Is Mormonism a cult?

by Matt Slick

Yes, Mormonism is a non-christian cult. Mormonism denies the doctrines that make Christianity what it is and it substitutes their new and different doctrines that are not taught in the Bible. For example, the Bible says there's only one God in all existence (Isaiah 43:10; 44:6; 45:5), but Mormonism says there are many gods, (Mormon Doctrine, p. 163). See also, "And they (the Gods) said: Let there be light: and there was light," (Book of Abraham 4:3).1 Furthermore, Mormonism teaches that the Trinity is three separate gods (Articles of Faith, by James Talmage page 35) and that salvation is attained through obedience to the law and doing good works (Miracle of Forgiveness, Spencer W Kimball, page 206).  In fact, in their book Doctrines of Salvation, vol. 1, page 188, it says there is no salvation without accepting Joseph Smith as a prophet of God. Joseph Smith, of course, is the founder of Mormonism.

Mormonism, also called The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS), teaches the following non-Christian, non-biblical doctrines.  (Note that all the documentation is taken from Mormon writers and Mormon scriptures).

  • God used to be a man on another planet, (Mormon Doctrine, p. 321; Joseph Smith, Times and Seasons, vol. 5, p. 613-614; Orson Pratt, Journal of Discourses, vol. 2, p. 345; Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, vol. 7, p. 333).
  • God resides near a star called Kolob, (Pearl of Great Price, p. 34-35; Mormon Doctrine, p. 428).
  • "The Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man’s..." (Doctrines and Covenants 130:22).
  • God is in the form of a man, (Joseph Smith, Journal of Discourses, vol. 6, p. 3).
  • "God himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted man, and sits enthroned in yonder heavens!!! . . . We have imagined that God was God from all eternity. I will refute that idea and take away the veil, so that you may see," (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 345).
  • After you become a good Mormon, you have the potential of becoming a god, (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 345-347, 354).
  • There is a mother goddess, (Articles of Faith, by James Talmage, p. 443).
  • God is married to his goddess wife and has spirit children, (Mormon Doctrine, p. 516).
  • The trinity is three separate Gods: The Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. "That these three are separate individuals, physically distinct from each other, is demonstrated by the accepted records of divine dealings with man," (Articles of Faith, by James Talmage, p. 35).

In contrast to these teachings, the Bible teaches that God has always been God and was never a man (Psalm 90:2).  The Bible nowhere says he lives near another star, or that the Father has a body of flesh and bones - which Christ contradicted in John 4:24 and Luke 24:39.  We do not have the potential of becoming gods because there are no gods formed (Isaiah 43:10; 44:6, 8; 45:5).  The Trinity is one God (Deut. 6:4) - not three.

In addition, Mormonism teaches that the forgiveness of sins obtained by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Mormon church. Now I stated this above but it needs to be reiterated here because this is another teaching that makes Mormonism non-Christian. Please consider the following.

  • "As these sins are the result of individual acts it is just that forgiveness for them should be conditioned on individual compliance with prescribed requirements -'obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel,'" (Articles of Faith, by James Talmage, p. 79).
  • "One of the most fallacious doctrines originated by Satan and propounded by man is that man is saved alone by the grace of God; that belief in Jesus Christ alone is all that is needed for salvation," (Miracle of Forgiveness, Spencer W. Kimball, p. 206).
  • Good works are necessary for salvation (Articles of Faith, by James Talmage, p. 92).
  • "We know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do," (2 Nephi 25:23).

In contrast to the works righteousness teachings of Mormonism, the Bible tells us that our forgiveness of sins is accomplished by faith alone in Christ alone because it is Jesus who did everything necessary for our salvation. This is why we have the following verses.

  • Romans 3:28, "For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law."
  • Romans 4:5, "But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness,"
  • Galatians 2:21, "I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died needlessly."

Conclusion

 So, Mormonism teaches doctrines that are in direct contradiction to the essentials of the Christian faith. it denies the true nature of God, the true nature of Christ, and the true nature of salvation. In fact, if you want to know what the Bible says are the essential doctrines, then check out the article "essential doctrines of Christianity."  that article lists out the Scriptures that tell us what the essentials of the faith are. Mormonism clearly contradicts those essentials.

The Mormons will claim they are Christians because they say they follow the Jesus of the Bible, in reality, they are following a false Christ. Jesus is not the brother of the devil as Mormonism teaches. Jesus is the second person of the Trinity. Jesus did not atone for our sins in the garden of Gethsemane as Mormonism teaches2. Instead, he did it on the cross (1 Peter 2:24).

Finally, we do not hate the Mormons, and we pray for their repentance, that they would stop believing in false gods.  we want them to believe in the true God and the true Christ and the true gospel. But, unfortunately Mormonism has deceived millions of people and it is most definitely not Christian. Mormonism is a non-Christian cult.

 

 

 

 

 

  • 1. These quotes are from Mormon authorities and scriptures.
  • 2. Laurel Rohlfing, “Sharing Time: The Atonement,” Friend, Mar. 1989, p. 39
 
 

About The Author

Matt Slick is the President and Founder of the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry.