By Mark Swarbrick
Mormonism is a religious system founded first by Joseph Smith, a fugitive from justice who was a liar, murderer, adulterer, fornicator and pedophile. The religion was further developed by Brigham Young, a man who was all of the above as well as a mass murderer. Their fruits show these men to be false prophets who founded a false religion which led to several wars or battles between the Mormon army and the governments of Missouri, Illinois and the United States.
The goal of Mormonism is for its adherents to become gods through a system of religious works. Mormon prophets have presented a Jesus whom they have described as a mere man conceived by an act of physical sex between the god of this planet and Mary. LDS writings tell of a Jesus who became a god by adhering to Mormon principles. The emphasis of Mormonism is upon obeying Mormon rules and Mormon leaders and working hard to obtain godhood. Reverence of Joseph Smith is a predominant aspect of the religion. The Book of Mormon and Doctrine and Covenants are honored above the Bible. The Mormon god is depicted by LDS prophets as only one of an endless number of gods, who all have “spirit bodies” and have sex with their many wives who give birth to spirit babies that are then incarnated to earthly bodies.
Christianity, on the other hand, was instituted by Jesus and is built upon the foundation of the writings of the Old Testament prophets and New Testament apostles. In other words, it is founded upon the Holy Bible. The goal of Christianity is to be saved from punishment in Hell for our sins, and to be given an eternal heavenly home with God. This salvation is obtained, not by works, but it is a free gift given to those who surrender their lives to Jesus Christ and put their faith in Him by believing Him to be who He said he was. Jesus claimed that he was the eternal God. He is God the Son, part of the Triune Godhead of Father, Son and Holy Spirit, which is the one and only God.
The Holy Bible warns us that the only way to be saved from punishment and to find salvation and obtain the reward of heaven is by putting our faith in Christ. We cannot earn this salvation, as Mormonism falsely teaches. Jesus warned that having done great works for God will be no basis for salvation. Hear His words:
Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you…’ (Matthew 7:22-23)
Here Jesus tells us that on judgment day that some people will believe they are deserving of salvation because of the great works they have done. Even those who had the spiritual power to cast out demons and perform miracles are cast away from Jesus! Why? One would think that someone who did such works as these would be in God’s favor. Why are they cast away? Let us look closer at this enigma. Notice what the basis of their appeal is. They are basing their claim to salvation upon the works they did. Big mistake. The Bible clearly says that no one can be saved by works:
“However, to the man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness” (Romans 4:5)
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9)
Also notice the reason that Jesus casts them away:
Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you.’
It is because they did not know Jesus that they are cast away. Knowing the real Christ is the only basis for salvation. They had no relationship with Jesus; consequently all of their works, even great works of miracles, mattered not an iota.
Real Persecution for Christ
I realize that you have been told that Mormonism is the true faith, and as a Mormon believer you can expect to be persecuted, and that this persecution is another proof that Mormonism is true. Please consider this: Many other religions make the very same claim. Jehovah’s Witnesses, Moonies, Muslims, and the list goes on. Perceived persecution, in and of itself, is not proof of the veracity of a teaching. Consider also that Mormon teaching emphasizes that all Christian churches are wrong and that only Mormons have the truth. Give some reflection to the fact that what you have been told is “persecution for Christ” is really nothing more than the body of Christ reacting to a religious organization making bold claims that are not founded upon evidence. Give it some thought: Negative feedback is a natural backlash to an outlandish, aggressive and hostile stance that Mormonism has taken towards Christian denominations. But this is not real persecution for Christ. Now let me say a few words about real persecution.
To accept the real Jesus and leave the Mormon Church is not a step that any Mormon could take easily. I am aware of this. Although Mormondom will no longer have you “used up,” “hewn down” or “put out of the way,” the Mormon Church still has the power to hurt those who choose to leave. Some have said that their spouses were told that they should file for divorce and find a good Mormon wife or husband. Mormonism is a close, tight-knit culture and many an ex-Mormon has found that their former Mormon friends will no longer speak to them. Shunning seems to be an oft-used means of coercion and punishment that is used upon those who dare to leave Mormondom.
There is no question — Leaving the Mormon Church takes true courage and anyone who accepts the Christian Jesus will suffer genuine persecution from the Mormon Church. Jesus warned that following him would cause persecution. Leaving the Mormon Church to follow Jesus is a true act of courage and I admire anyone who loves Jesus enough to do it.
Getting Christian Support
Nevertheless a vital living relationship with the real Jesus is worth it. There are many support groups available to assist new Christians who leave Mormonism. Concerned Christians of Mesa, Arizona, is one such group. Founded by a family who suffered through the pains of leaving Mormonism, they are there to assist Mormons with their walk with the Jesus of the New Testament. You will find them online at ConcernedChristians.org. To read fascinating testimonies of former Mormons who became Christians, I recommend www.concernedchristians.org/testimonials.php
Other sites that are helpful to those questioning their faith in Mormonism and need support as they transition to Christianity are listed below.
A Final Appeal
My dear Mormon friend, the last thing I should ever wish to do is to offend you. I have written boldly out of genuine love and concern. This writing has been a labor of love. It is for you, my friend. I yearn for the day when you will come to fully know the Jesus of the New Testament and experience the soul-cleansing rejuvenation of life-giving water flowing through your soul that comes from a life of faith in the real Jesus of the New Testament. My sincere hope and expectation is that God will hear my prayers for my readers and that He will work mightily and powerfully on your behalf. May the Jesus of the Holy Bible be revealed to you in a wonderful way. Because I hope and pray for exactly this, I have undertaken this writing. Jesus said:
But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God.” (John 3:21)
Many of today’s Mormons are good and truthful people. So I think it likely you will consider carefully all that I have said and that you will let the Holy Spirit guide you into all truth. Read the New Testament. You can trust its every word. Don’t believe the lies of the LDS church which claim that the Bible is unreliable. Jesus promised his word would never pass away, and it is right there in the Holy Bible, preserved by God’s almighty power.
I encourage you to put your trust completely in the Jesus of the Bible. Put your faith completely in Him to save you. Bow your head and pray to Him. Ask Him to forgive your sins and help you to surrender your life to Him. Let the Spirit of Christ help you to leave a world of dead religious works behind and ask Him to come into your heart and make you a new person. He will do that if you ask Him to, and you will be born again. It’s as simple as that.
You will find that rivers of living water will flow through your soul and give you refreshment and joy that exceeds anything that dry religiosity can ever bring to you. Humble yourself as a small child, for this is how Jesus told us we must enter the Kingdom. This is the Kingdom found only in Jesus our Savior, not a kingdom invented by mere men, but the true Kingdom of God. Jesus said the Kingdom of God is within you. And by this he meant that it is not found in a building, not found in any religious organization, not found outside of you, but is found inside of you, as you make that choice to repent and accept the Jesus of the Bible and pray for Jesus to come into you and save you. Just as it is written in Holy Scripture:
But what does it say? “The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,”that is, the word of faith we are proclaiming: That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. As the Scripture says, “Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame.” and “For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” (Romans 10:8-13)
A simple prayer of repentance and faith directed to the real Jesus is all it takes to be born again. After that ask the Lord, who now lives in you, to help you to find a church that believes and preaches the Holy Bible.
This is the gospel of salvation. This is the truth of God’s Word, and this truth, as you know, is radically different from what the Mormon Church teaches. Let me say this also: If you cannot now accept what I have said here and become a born-again Christian as the Bible defines it, I shall still always pray that someday you will come to see the truth of the gospel of the Holy Bible. I would expect it would take time for a person to consider all these things and turn them over in his or her mind. May God’s Spirit rest upon you as you humbly and prayerfully consider these matters.
If I have in any way offended you with my words, I ask your forgiveness. I earnestly hope that you will not let anything raise a wall between you and the truth. I close with a scripture from God’s Word:
Consider what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything. (2 Timothy 2:7)
I pray this writing has helped you. If it has, I would appreciate hearing from you. If you have questions and would like to talk, please contact me. I would love to be your friend. You may email me at:
If you wish to leave a comment, please scroll to the bottom.
My book, To Mormons with Love explores the history and false teachings of Mormonism. Click the image for more information and to purchase. Only $8.99 on Kindle.
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Mark, as an active LDS member, I wanted to comment. I feel that Christians generally do not understand Ephesians 2:8-9. In proper context, what Ephesians here is saying is that no matter how good we are and how good our works are, they will never be good enough to save our own selves. As good and decent and Christian as we might be, we all fall far short from saving ourselves regardless how good our works are. True, Paul warns us to not boast of our works because they are not sufficient to save ourselves. Only the grace of our Savior can save us, however Ephesians, nor anywhere else in the Bible, does not say that works are not necessary, only that our works are insufficient. New Testament scripture, I feel, is crystal clear that Jesus requires His Saints to put forth effort with as good as works as possible, and He will do “the rest” for our salvation, “the rest” being those things that we are simply unable to do for ourselves and that only Christ can do. See Philippians 2:12 which supports this idea. There are a number of other scriptures that clearly teach that our works are necessary, again, even though they are not sufficient to save us. Jesus expects us to put forth our own efforts coupled with His saving grace for all mankind. After all, what are the Ten Commandments, and any other commandments found in the scriptures? They are works that Christ doesn’t expect us to do, but “commands” us to do! Other supporting scriptures of works being necessary are James 2:17–26, Matt. 5:16, Matt. 7:21. I will end with a quote below from one of our past presidents of our church that illustrates my point and which I hope you will take a minute to read.
President Joseph Fielding Smith has summarized the relationship between grace and works as follows:
“So Paul taught these people—who thought that they could be saved by some power that was within them, or by observing the law of Moses—he pointed out to them the fact that if it were not for the mission of Jesus Christ, if it were not for this great atoning sacrifice, they could not be redeemed. And therefore it was by the grace of God that they are saved, not by any work on their part, for they were absolutely helpless. Paul was absolutely right.
“And on the other hand, James taught just as the Lord taught, just as Paul had taught in other scripture, that it is our duty, of necessity, to labor, to strive in diligence, and faith, keeping the commandments of the Lord, if we would obtain that inheritance which is promised to the faithful. …
Hi Charlie – Thanks for your comment. You accurately described what Mormons believe and you hit upon the crux of the difference between Christianity and Mormonism – salvation by faith, or salvation by works. In Christianity it is believed that Christ saves us completely, apart from works. This is what the Bible teaches: “For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law.” (Romans 3:28) and “Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.” (Hebrews 7:25). Christians believe that when they repent of their sins, turn their life over to God and invite Jesus Christ into their hearts and make Him Lord of their life and ask His forgiveness, that they are born again and completely saved at that moment, that we then put on the righteousness of Christ, as the Bible says,
This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe.” (Romans 3:22)
Mormonism teaches that Jesus saves you, but not completely. You have to add to it your own works. Thus Jesus only saves you after you add to it all that you can do. The problem with that is that you can never know if you have done all that you can do. In fact, the truth be known, no one has ever done all they can do, for we all fall short of the glory of God. This becomes sort of a hybrid mixture between salvation by faith and by works, a teaching which is denied by Biblical Christianity.
I just added another article on Mormonism that I suggest you take a look at: It is entitled Unbiblical LDS Doctrines. I think you will find it an eye opener. You can click here to read it: Unbliblcal LDS Doctrines
Thank you for replying. I maintain, thru NT teachings, that both faith and works are necessary. I think the NT clearly teaches this. I believe the scriptures you quote and fully accept them, that our faith in Christ is necessary for our salvation. But you can’t exclude the scriptures that I offered in my prior comments that also clearly teach that our works are also necessary. Do you accept these teachings that works are also necessary as James teaches? How much clearer can James 2:17-18 be when it states that “faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone… yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works, shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. Also Matthew 7:21 teaches “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven”. This scripture in and of itself should destroy any ideal and belief that “mouth confession” and lip service that Jesus is our Savior is simply not enough, even if that confession is sincerely heartfelt. Keeping God’s commandments (doing the will of the Father) in conjunction with faith in Christ and sincerely verbally confessing Him as our Savior is what saves us from the grasp of satan and lands us in the kingdom of Heaven. Why are commandments from God splattered throughout the Bible? For what purpose, if all we have to do is confess and have faith? The commandments are given to us to show our works to God if we will keep His commandments. I know you realize Mark that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has what we consider additional scripture that our church believes that supports the Bible. So when you mention that we have teachings that are unbiblical, that really does not affect me because though I believe and accept the NT and OT, there is additional light and knowledge not contained in the Bible that we believe come from God found in the Book of Mormon and the other scriptures that we use. One of the most profound scriptures found in the Book of Mormon that supports what you and I are discussing states “For we labor diligently to write, to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God; for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do”. Therefore, stating that some of the Latter-day saint doctrine is unbiblical is really a moot point to Latter-day saints because all of our beliefs and practices are not found in the Bible. Though Latter-day saints accept the Bible as the word of God, we believe the Bible was translated by some wicked men, though not all were wicked, and precious truths were either lost or corrupted during translation. In fact, the Book of Mormon states regarding the Bible, “The book that thou beholdest is a record of the Jews, which contains the covenants of the Lord, which he hath made unto the house of Israel; and it also containeth many of the prophecies of the holy prophets… Thou hast beheld that the book proceeded forth from the mouth of a Jew; and when it proceeded forth from the mouth of a Jew it contained the fulness of the gospel of the Lord, of whom the twelve apostles bear record Wherefore, these things go forth from the Jews in purity unto the Gentiles, according to the truth which is in God… And after they go forth by the hand of the twelve apostles of the Lamb, from the Jews unto the Gentiles, thou seest the formation of that great and abominable church, which is most abominable above all other churches; for behold, they have taken away from the gospel of the Lamb many parts which are plain and most precious; and also many covenants of the Lord have they taken away… And all this have they done that they might pervert the right ways of the Lord, that they might blind the eyes and harden the hearts of the children of men… Wherefore, thou seest that after the book hath gone forth through the hands of the great and abominable church, that there are many plain and precious things taken away from the book, which is the book of the Lamb of God… And after these plain and precious things were taken away it goeth forth unto all the nations of the Gentiles”. Sorry for the lengthy BOM scripture quote. Simply put, the Bible, though the word of God, has gone through many translations and some truths have been unintenionally lost or intentionally corrupted. Some Christian scholars even support this idea. Here are just a few examples: Dr. Lobegott Friedrich Konstantin Von Tischendorf, one of the most adamant conservative Christian defenders of the Trinity was himself driven to admit that: “[the New Testament had] in many passages undergone such serious modification of meaning as to leave us in painful uncertainty as to what the Apostles had actually written”. Dr. Frederic Kenyon said: “Besides the larger discrepancies, such as these, there is scarcely a verse in which there is not some variation of phrase in some copies [of the ancient manuscripts from which the Bible has been collected]. No one can say that these additions or omissions or alterations are matters of mere indifference”. More recently Bart Ehrman, a New Testament scholar, currently the James A. Gray Distinguished Professor of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill said: “Ehrman determined that the Bible was not free of mistakes: We have only error ridden copies, and the vast majority of these are centuries removed from the originals and different from them, evidently, in thousands of ways”. Many Christians do not really know what they believe and have little or no knowledge of the source of their beliefs. I will end with the quote below from one of our church’s current Apostles, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland: “It is not our purpose ever to demean any person’s belief or the doctrine of any religion. We extend to all the same respect for their doctrine that we ask for ours. (That too is an article of our faith.) But no less a source than the stalwart Harper’s Bible Dictionary, the gold standard in that field, records that “the formal doctrine of the Trinity as it was defined by the great church councils of the fourth and fifth centuries is not to be found [anywhere] in the [New Testament].” So we are very comfortable, frankly, in letting it be known that we do not hold a fourth- or fifth-century, pagan-influenced view of the Godhead, and neither did those first Christian Saints who were eyewitnesses of the living Christ. We are New Testament—not Nicene—Christians”.
Hi Charlie, Sorry for the long delay in replying. My response is here: https://www.christiananswerman.com/debate-with-a-mormon/