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A Christian Look at the Mormon (LDS) Faith


A Christian Look at the Mormon (LDS) Faith September 15, 2013 By David Skarshaug What do Mormons need to have to leave Mormonism? (According to a former Mormon) A ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: A Christian Look at the Mormon (LDS) Faith

A Christian Look at the Mormon (LDS) Faith
  • September 15, 2013
  • By David Skarshaug

Why Look at the Mormon (LDS) Faith
  • The Mormon/LDS Church (in huge contrast to the
    AALC/LCMS) is among the wealthiest fastest
    growing organizations in the world.
  • There are about 14 million Mormons, they dominate
    the state of Utah in nearly every regard, they
    own/operate banks, universities, hotel chains,
    etc. They have 165 divisions.
  • Nearly all of us know or will know Mormons or
    have Mormon friends.
  • Most Mormons claim to be Christian, and many
    Christians take them at their word.
  • Many things about Mormons are attractive to
    Christians they appear sincere, religious, clean
    (free of vices), conservative, family-oriented,
    patriotic, model citizensbasically nice people.
    They are the largest sponsor of Boy Scouts in the
    US (17,000 troops).
  • Mormons are a Mission people, who seek to convert
    all people to their faith.

Why Look at the Mormon (LDS) Faith
  • The Mormon/LDS Church is NOT Christian It is
    either a Cult or a different religion from
  • The Mormon/LDS Church does not accept Christian
    Churches as the true church. They teach that all
    churches outside of the Mormon Church are
    apostate (false).
  • While selling themselves as Christian by using
    Christian phrases (which mean different things to
    Mormons) and side-stepping their controversial
    history teachings, Mormons deny virtually every
    basic tenant of historic Christian teaching.

Things Mormons say that sound good.
  • Christ is our Redeemer and our Savior. Except
    for him there would be no salvation and no
    redemption, and unless men come unto him and
    accept him as their Savior, they cannot have
    eternal life in his presence. (Sounds good until
    you understand what they mean by terms in red.)
  • Mormons freely use Christian terms like God,
    Jesus Christ, grace, virgin birth, salvation,
    heaven hell, scripture, the Bible, born again,
    the Aaronic priesthood, the priesthood of
    Melchizedek, etc.

Why Look at the Mormon (LDS) Faith
  • Mormons teach their children (4 yrs of formal
    daily seminary), 2 yrs of mission work, to
    aggressively convert strangers and friends like
    you me. Seventy-five percent of converts to
    Mormonism come from protestant churches.
  • The Mormon Church is large, well financed
    (biggest financial institution west of the
    Mississippi River), well-connected, and
    increasingly accepted by Christian leaders who
    should know better.
  • The Mormon Church is a dangerous organization
    that is actively leading people to an eternal
    separation from God.
  • Still, Mormons--like all of us--are people God
    loves who need to be directed to the Biblical
    Jesus Christ.

Why Look at the Mormon (LDS) Faith
  • As Christians, we need to know the truth about
    Mormon Beliefs.
  • We need to recognize false teachings when we see
    them, and we need to recognize when our faith is
    under attack.
  • We need to be prepared to defend our faith when
    it is attacked by
    Mormons (this is
    what they are doing when they ask you pointed
    questions about your faith).
  • We need to be prepared to share the truth with
    Mormons about the true Christian faith.
  • Now, lets watch part 1 of a video that discusses
    more of this.

What is Authoritative?
  • Mormons Claim
  • Scriptures (1) The (King James) Bible, as
    correctly translated, (2) The Book of Mormon,
    (3) Doctrines Covenants, (4) The Pearl of Great
    Price (includes The Book of Abraham)
  • Their Prophets (past and present), so revelation
    is seen as evolving
  • Your testimony via A Burning in the Bosom that
    Joseph Smith is a true Prophet
  • The Truth
  • Gods Word, as written in the Bible
  • All things taught are compared to Gods Word

Who is God?
  • Mormons Claim
  • God (Elohim) is one of many Gods.
  • He was born of other Gods, lived as a man, and
    became a God himself
  • He lives on a planet that circles the star
  • He is sovereign over the Earth (his planet) as
    other Gods are sovereign over their planets
  • We can become Gods/Goddesses also

Who is God?
  • The Truth
  • God (the triune Godhead) has existed for all
  • In the beginning God created all things
  • God is sovereign over all things
  • There are no other Gods (nor will there
  • You are my witnesses, declares the LORD, and
    my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may
    know and believe me and understand that I am
    he.   Before me no god was formed, nor will
    there be one after me. -- Isaiah 4310
  • This is what the LORD says Israels King and
    Redeemer, the LORD Almighty   I am the first
    and I am the last apart from me there is no
    God. Isaiah 446
  • I am the LORD, and there is no other apart
    from me there is no God.   I will strengthen
    you, though you have not acknowledged me, --
    Isaiah 455

Who is Jesus?
  • Mormons Claim
  • Jesus is the Old Testament Jehovah and also the
    first spirit child of Elohim, who made a special
    earthly appearance to physically impregnate the
    Virgin (they believe she was virgin only up to
    this point) Mary to create the baby Jesus.
  • Jesus is the spirit brother of us, one of many
    children of God
  • Lucifer (Satan) is another spirit brother
  • These spirit children were born of God (Elohim)
    and his wives in order to populate the earth
  • Jesus became a God because of his good works on
    earth (including his marriage)

Who is Jesus?
  • The Truth
  • Jesus is the only begotten son of God (John 316)
  • Jesus is God
  • In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was
    with God, and the Word was God. John 11
  • Thomas said to him, My Lord and my God! John
  • Theirs are the patriarchs, and from them is
    traced the human ancestry of Christ, who is God
    over all, forever praised! Amen. -- Romans 95
  • For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives
    in bodily form, -- Colossians 29
  • while we wait for the blessed hopethe glorious
    appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus
    Christ, -- Titus 213
  • Jesus, together with God, the Holy Spirit have
    existed forever

What is the Trinity?
  • Mormons
  • Reject the concept of the Trinity, claiming
    (correctly) that the word Trinity never appears
    in the Bible
  • They view God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit as three
    Gods of this world. Hence, in a sense they are
  • Technically, Mormons are henotheistic, that is,
    worshipping a primary God (Elohim), while
    accepting the existence of many gods.
  • Still others, argue Mormons are the most crazy
    polytheistic religion in existence, in that they
    believe there are an ever-increasing number of
    Gods, and they themselves are hoping to become
    Gods that will populate planets and be prayed to
    by their own spirit children offspring.

Review of Mormonism
  • The Mormon Religion is a Mission Religion has
    grown rapidly
  • From 1831 1947 (6 people to 1 Million)
  • From 1947 1983 (1 Million to 3 Million)
  • From 1983 Present (3 Million to nearly 15
  • Growth has leveled recently, modern Mormons
    may/may not know their history
  • The Mormon Religion has evolved is evolving
  • From their start until very recently, they prided
    themselves in NOT being Christian or Sectarian
    (what they call the Christian churches/denominatio
  • Their modern marketing strategy is to sell
    themselves as a branch of Christianity

Review of Mormonism
  • Mormonism is either a Cult or a Religion
    (depending how you look at it)
  • To older Mormons, it is VERY DIFFERENT from
  • To younger Mormons, they might view it as
  • Mormonism is less than 200 years old but it is a
    family-oriented faith
  • Many families are 5th and 6th generation Mormons
  • Many can trace their ancestry back to Joseph
    Smith Brigham Young
  • To leave the Mormon faith is to leave your
    family, ancestors, risk outer darkness

What is the Trinity?
  • The Truth The Trinity is a device used to
    explain 3 persons exist in 1 God
  • GOD is ONE As weve seen, the O.T. clearly says
    there is one God (Isaiah 43, 44, 45, etc.)
  • Hear, O Israel The LORD our God, the LORD is
    one. Deut. 64
  • The Father is God John 316 show us that God is
    Jesus Father
  • The Son is God As weve seen in previous slide,
    Jesus was identified as God also
  • The Holy Spirit is God
  • Then Peter said, Ananias, how is it that Satan
    has so filled your heart that you have lied to
    the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some
    of the money you received for the land? Didnt
    it belong to you before it was sold? And after it
    was sold, wasnt the money at your disposal? What
    made you think of doing such a thing? You have
    not lied to men but to God. Acts 53-4
  • God refers to himself in plural form (Gen. 1)
    and Jesus calls for trinitarian baptismal formula
  • Then God said, Let us make man in our image, in
    our likeness, -- Genesis 126a
  • Therefore go and make disciples of all nations,
    baptizing them in the name of the Father and of
    the Son and of the Holy Spirit, -- Matthew 2819

How do we obtain Eternal Life?
  • Mormons Claim
  • Mormons hold to the Law/Plan of Eternal
    Progression (will go over in detail on slide 20)
  • They believe in numerous eternal destinations
  • Upon death, folks go to 1 of 2 holding places
    (1) spirit paradise (2) spirit prison
  • To get to Spirit Paradise, you need the 4
    Fundamentals of the Gospel
  • Faith
  • Repentance
  • Baptism by Immersion (by someone holding the
    Aaronic Priesthood) or Baptism of Dead
  • Laying on of Hands (by someone holding the
    Melchizedek Priesthood)
  • To get to Spirit Paradise, you also need
    Continued Obedience to the Gospel Rules
  • The rest of us go to Spirit Prison
  • Most of us await judgment
  • Those who have never had a chance to believe are
    witnessed to by Mormon Missionaries from Spirit
    Paradise (opportunity to have faith repent,
    receive Baptism Hands while dead)

How do we obtain Eternal Life?
  • Mormons Claim
  • There are 3 Heavenly Kingdoms, derived from
    Joseph Smiths peculiar interpretation of 1
    Corinthians 1540-41
  • There are also celestial bodies, and bodies
    terrestrial but the glory of the celestial is
    one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another.
    41 There is one glory of the sun, and another
    glory of the moon, and another glory of the
    stars for one star differeth from another star
    in glory. 1 Cor. 1540-41 (KJV)
  • For clarification, Paul was addressing a question
    posed about what kind of bodies people will have
    in heaven. Hes saying the sun, moon stars are
    all glorious in their own way, and like wise our
    resurrected bodies will be different from our
    earthly bodies.

How do we obtain Eternal Life?
  • Mormons Also use Pauls words in 2 Cor. as
    proof of 3 levels of heaven
  • I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was
    caught up to the third heaven. Whether it was in
    the body or out of the body I do not knowGod
    knows. 2 Cor. 122
  • Again, for clarification, folks in Pauls time
    understood there to be 3 levels of heaven our
    atmosphere, outside the earths atmosphere, and
    Gods abode. So Paul was not dividing Gods
    heaven into 3 parts, but rather explaining things
    in the understanding of his day.

How do we obtain Eternal Life?
  • Mormons Claim
  • Upon Christs return Millennial Reign, there is
    the judgment
  • Mormons in Spirit Paradise proceed to Gods
    presence in the top of the 3 levels (or
    Kingdoms) of heaven the Celestial Level (the sun
  • Within the Celestial level, the top level is
    reserved for perfect Mormons who are destined to
    become Gods Godesses populate their own
    planet with spirit children for all eternity
  • Good non-Mormons go to the 2nd level
    Terrestrial Kingdom (the moon level)
  • Bad folks go to the 3rd level the Telestial
    Kingdom (the stars level)
  • The worst eternal location to a Mormon is hell or
    the outer darkness reserved for Satan, Demons,
    and Mormons who leave the church. Hell is not
    eternal for most people, but a temporary

(No Transcript)
How do we obtain Eternal Life?
  • The Truth
  • There are two eternal destinations determined by
    the relationship you do or dont develop with
    Christ during your one earthly life. Name them.
  • Believe in Jesus Christ Receive Him as Your
    Personal Savior
  • For it is by grace you have been saved, through
    faithand this not from yourselves, it is the
    gift of God not by works, so that no one can
    boast. -- Eph. 28-9
  • Then they asked him, What must we do to do the
    works God requires?    Jesus answered, The work
    of God is this to believe in the one he has
    sent. -- John 628-29
  • Jesus answered him, I tell you the truth, today
    you will be with me in paradise. Luke 2343

Who controls entry to Heavenly Kingdom?
  • Mormons say Joseph Smith
  • They say the true church became apostate shortly
    after Jesus death (the Great Aposty)
  • Joseph Smith Restored the true church 1800
    years later and possesses the keys to heaven
  • I have more to boast of than ever any man had.
    I am the only man that has ever been able to keep
    a whole church together since the days of
    AdamNeither Paul, John, Peter, nor Jesus ever
    did it. I boast that no man ever did such work
    as I. The followers of Jesus ran away from Him
    but the Latterday Saints never ran away from me
    yet. -- Joseph Smith
  • Verily I say unto you, the keys of this kingdom
    shall never be taken from you, while thou art in
    the world, neither in the world to come. --
    Doctrine Covenants 903
  • that no man or woman in this dispensation will
    ever enter into the celestial kingdom of God
    without the consent of Joseph Smith. -- Brigham
    Young in Journal of Discourses Vol. 7, p 289

Who controls entry to Heavenly Kingdom?
  • The Truth says Jesus Christ
  • I (Jesus) will build My church and the gates of
    Hades shall not prevail against it. -- Matt.
  • Then Jesus came to them and said, All authority
    in heaven and on earth has been given to me.
    Matt. 2818

But Mormons believe in Grace, right?
  • The LDS says
  • Grace consists of Gods gift to His children
    wherin He gave His Only Begotten Son that
    whosever would believe in Him and comply with His
    laws and ordinances would have everlasting life.
    Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, pp 353-354
  • The Bible Teaches
  • For God so loved the world that he gave his one
    and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall
    not perish but have eternal life. John 316
  • And if by grace, then it is no longer by works
    if it were, grace would no longer be grace.
    Romans 116

Grace is a proportional thing, right?
  • The LDS says its in proportion to our works
  • Grace is granted to men proportionately as they
    conform to the standards of personal
    righteousness that are part of the gospel plan.
    Bruce McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, p. 339
  • The Bible Teaches it is in proportion to our sin
  • The law was added so that the trespass might
    increase. But where sin increased, grace
    increased all the more, -- Romans 520
  • Therefore, the promise comes by faith, so that it
    may be by grace and may be guaranteed to all
    Abrahams offspringnot only to those who are of
    the law but also to those who are of the faith of
    Abraham. He is the father of us all. -- Romans

And Jesus seems to see love proportionally too
  • Jesus answered him, Simon, I have something to
    tell you.   Tell me, teacher, he said. Two
    men owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed
    him five hundred denarii, and the other fifty.
    Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so
    he canceled the debts of both. Now which of them
    will love him more? Simon replied, I suppose
    the one who had the bigger debt canceled.  
    You have judged correctly, Jesus said. Then he
    turned toward the woman and said to Simon, Do
    you see this woman? I came into your house. You
    did not give me any water for my feet, but she
    wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with
    her hair. You did not give me a kiss, but this
    woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped
    kissing my feet. Luke 740-45

So Grace is sufficient when?
  • The LDS says
  • Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him,
    and deny yourselves of all ungodliness and if ye
    shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and
    love God with all your might, mind and strength,
    then is his grace sufficient for you Moroni
    1032, The Book of Mormon
  • The Bible Teaches
  • For it is by grace you have been saved, through
    faithand this not from yourselves, it is the
    gift of God not by works, so that no one can
    boast. -- Ephesians 28-9

What makes justification operative?
  • The LDS says
  • As with all other doctrines of Salvation,
    justification is available because of the atoning
    sacrifice of Christ, but it becomes operative in
    the life of an individual only on conditions of
    personal righteousness McConkie, Mormon
    Doctrine, p. 408
  • The Bible Teaches
  • for all have sinned and fall short of the glory
    of God, and are justified freely by his grace
    through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.
    Romans 324
  • he saved us, not because of righteous things we
    had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us
    through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the
    Holy Spirit, --Titus 35

Are you a saved-by-grace-alone fanatic?
  • The LDS says
  • Certain saved-by-grace-alone fanatics flatter
    their followers into believing they can be saved
    through no act other than confessing Christ with
    their lips. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, p. 287
  • The Bible Teaches
  • 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. Romans
    109 (written by Paul, the original
    saved-by-grace-alone fanatic)

What is the archaeological evidence?
  • The Book of Mormon
  • Tells of ancient peoples (Jaredites, Nephites,
    Lamanites) in Americas
  • Jeredites supposedly came to America around
    2200B.C. after Tower of Babel died off around
    600 B.C.
  • Israelites, led by Lehi, came to America around
    600 B.C.
  • Lehis clan split into two great peoples
  • The white-skinned Nephites who were good
  • The Lamanites were cursed with dark-skin
    (descendants of American Indians)
  • These 2 peoples received the resurrected Jesus
  • Around 400 A.D. the Lamanites killed off all the
  • No names, cities, civilizations, locations,
    languages, or artifacts have been validated
  • Materials, plants, animals listed in the book
    did not exist in the Americas
  • DNA Evidence fails to link any Native Americans
    with semitic peoples.
  • The Smithsonian, National Geographic, even Many
    LDS Archaeologists confirm the lack of any
    archaeological or genetic evidence of these

What about the Prophecies of Joseph Smith?
  • Joseph Smith revealed that there were inhabitants
    on the moon, who were tall and dressed like
  • Brigham Young followed this by saying there were
    settlers on the sun.
  • Joseph Smith also prophesied that Jesus would
    return to the New Jerusalem (and corresponding
    temple) to be built near Independence, Missouri
    in the 1800s. It was not. (Perhaps he had it
    confused with Worlds of Fun.)
  • Joseph Smith prophesied that Christ would return
    in his generation.

What about the Prophecies of Joseph Smith?
  • Scripture tells us
  • If a prophet, or one who foretells by dreams,
    appears among you and announces to you a
    miraculous sign or wonder, and if the sign or
    wonder of which he has spoken takes place, and he
    says, Let us follow other gods (gods you have
    not known) and let us worship them, you must
    not listen to the words of that prophet or
    dreamer. The LORD your God is testing you to find
    out whether you love him with all your heart and
    with all your soul. Deuteronomy 31-3
  • You may say to yourselves, How can we know when
    a message has not been spoken by the LORD? If
    what a prophet proclaims in the name of the LORD
    does not take place or come true, that is a
    message the LORD has not spoken. That prophet has
    spoken presumptuously. Do not be afraid of him.
    Deut. 1821-22

What about the Prophecies of Joseph Smith?
  • Scripture tells us
  • But even if we or an angel from heaven should
    preach a gospel other than the one we preached to
    you, let him be eternally condemned! Galatians
  • All this talk about angels appearing to people
    with another gospel, brings us to our next step
    concerning how Joseph Smith started the entire
    Mormon faith.
  • Lets watch part 2 of the video segment

What do Mormons need to have to leave Mormonism?
(According to a former Mormon)
  1. A reason to doubt the truth of Mormonism
  2. A Reason to believe in the reliability of the
  3. A Knowledge of what the Bible teaches about God,
    Christ, Salvation

Reasons to Doubt Mormonism
  1. Joseph Smith was a false prophet
  2. The false nature of The Book of Mormon
  3. The changing teachings of the LDS
  4. The contradictions with Scripture

Reasons to Believe the Bible
  1. The consistency of manuscripts
  2. Outside proofs like archaeology
  3. Inside proofs like scripture

A Knowledge of What the Bible Teaches
  1. God is one eternal, spiritual being
  2. Man is a created being
  3. Salvation by Grace Alone through Faith Alone in
    Christ Alone (The 3 Solas)

Six Reasons for Hope(Perspective of former
  • My forgiveness comes BEFORE I do any good works.
  • 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. 2 Nephi 2523
  • Blessed are they whose transgressions are
    forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is
    the man whose sin the Lord will never count
    against him. Is this blessedness only for the
    circumcised, or also for the uncircumcised? We
    have been saying that Abrahams faith was
    credited to him as righteousness. Under what
    circumstances was it credited? Was it after he
    was circumcised, or before? It was not after, but
    before! Romans 47-10

Six Reasons for Hope(Perspective of former
  • I dont have the ability to be perfect.
  • I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in
    my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do
    what is good, but I cannot carry it out. Rom.
  • If we claim ourselves and the truth to be without
    sin, we deceive is not in us. 1 John 18

Six Reasons for Hope(Perspective of former
  • Christ saved me as a sinner
  •  And now, verily I say unto you, I, the Lord,
    will not lay any sin to your charge go your ways
    and sin no more but unto that soul who sinneth
    shall the former sins return, saith the Lord your
    God. Doctrine Covenants 827
  • You see, at just the right time, when we were
    still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.
    Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man,
    though for a good man someone might possibly dare
    to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us
    in this While we were still sinners, Christ died
    for us. Romans 56-8

Six Reasons for Hope(Perspective of former
  • True Freedom from sin in Jesus
  • For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
    so great is his love for those who fear him as
    far as the east is from the west, so far has he
    removed our transgressions from us. -- Psalm

Six Reasons for Hope(Perspective of former
  • Eternal security in Jesus
  • In the Mormon faith, your eternal life is
    dependent on your works rather than Christs
  • I give them, eternal life and they shall never
    perish no one can snatch them out of my hand.
    John 1028

Six Reasons for Hope(Perspective of former
  • Hope has new meaning in Christ
  • I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and
    believes him who sent me has eternal life and
    will not be condemned he has crossed over from
    death to life. John 524

Concluding Tips on witnessing to Mormons
  • Witness in Love (BUT, avoid Missionary Dating
    where you try to convert a boyfriend or
  • Know your stuff their stuff, because they
    might (Comment)
  • They need reason to doubt Mormonism ( different
    Mormons will know different things)
  • They need reason to believe Bible
  • They need to understand the plan of salvation
  • Have a plan (road map) of what you want to cover
    stick to it
  • Dont assume common word meaningsbe prepared to
    explain back up with scripture
  • Stick to the basics God, Man, Jesus, Salvation
  • Avoid insulting them with side issues (underwear,
    temple rituals, polygamy, etc.)
  • Dont get distracted by side issues they present
    say, Ill get back to you on that
  • Remember it is a long (family) road from
    Mormonism to Christianity, so give it time

  • www.lds.org --access to official LDS website.
    Note this is a PRO-LDS site.
  • www.mormonthink.com -- Site written by LDS
    members who question church teachings. Gives both
    sides of controversial Mormon issues, including
    current summaries details of arguments used
    by both sides.
  • aomin.org Alpha Omega Ministires, website for
    Dr. James White, Christian expert on LDS/Cults.
    100 Verse memory system.
  • www.MoreTruthFoundation.com -- Great listing of
    helpful videos, podasts, websites, etc.
  • www.utlm.org -- Lighthouse Ministry, Ministry
    site of Sandra Jerald Tanner, former Mormons
  • Living Hope Ministries Videos on YouTube
    Excellent videos explaining problems with Mormon
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