Is Mormon baptism valid?

by Matt Slick

Mormon baptism is not valid because it is done in the name of a false god, a false Christ, and a false holy spirit that is without the true authority.  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints teaches that the Trinity is comprised of three separate gods. The first is god the father who has a body of flesh and bones and is an exalted man from another world. With his goddess wife, he procreated and produced the first offspring is Jesus who was another God. The Holy Ghost is a third God.  Together these comprise three separate gods and, therefore, a presentation of false doctrine concerning God. This is why the baptism of the LDS church has no validity. All who are baptized in Mormonism, who later repent and become true Christians, should be baptized in the name of the true God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit who comprise the single God, the Trinity.

Furthermore, Mormonism claims the authority of the priesthood to be able to baptize. But, like many false churches, they claim that authority is something that resides within its doors, to its restored gospel, through its laying on of hands, etc. Instead of coming to Christ who has the authority, they point to their church organization as the bearer of that authority. In reality, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has no authority to represent God. Unfortunately, all who die in Mormonism will die without salvation and enter into eternal judgment.

The truth is that there is only one God in all existence and all place and all time (Isaiah 43:10; 44:6; 45:5). The Trinity is not three separate gods, but one God in three distinct persons.  Jesus did not become a God. Instead, Jesus is the Word which was God and was with God (John 1:1) and who became flesh and dwelt among us (John 1:14). Therefore Jesus is both divine and human (Colossians 2:9). He never became a God.

Furthermore, Mormonism teaches that salvation, the forgiveness of sins is by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the gospel.  This, of course, is false. Instead, our salvation is by faith alone in Christ alone, (John 14:6; Acts 4:12), without the works of the law, without having to keep Commandments in order to be saved (Ephesians 2:8; Romans 3:28; 4:1-5).

Mormons need to come to Christ and trust in him alone, and not their own works combined with faith in order to be forgiven.

Following is a documentation from Mormon sources revealing the teaching about God, the Trinity, authority, and baptism.

  • The Trinity is three separate gods:  "I have always declared God to be a distinct personage, Jesus Christ a separate and distinct personage from God the Father, and that the Holy Ghost was a distinct personage and a Spirit: and these three constitute three distinct personages and three Gods." (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 370).
  • God the Father is an exalted man:  "I will go back to the beginning before the world was, to show what kind of being God is. What sort of a being was God in the beginning? Open your ears and hear, all ye ends of the earth, for I am going to prove it to you by the Bible, and to tell you the designs of God in relation to the human race, and why He interferes with the affairs of man. God himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted man, and sits enthroned in yonder heavens!" (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 345. Italics in original. See also Achieving a Celestial Marriage, p. 129)."
  • God the Father has a body of flesh and bones: “According to the teachings of Joseph Smith, he beheld the Father and the Son in his glorious vision, and he taught that each had a body of flesh and bones” (Joseph Fielding Smith, Answers to Gospel Questions, 5:122).
  • Jesus is the firstborn of heavenly parents: “Jesus was born of heavenly parents in a premortal world—he was the firstborn of our Heavenly Father” (Robert D. Hales, “Your Sorrow Shall Be Turned to Joy,” Ensign (Conference Edition), November 1983, p. 67).
  • Heavenly Mother"As with our natural birth, two parents were involved-our Father in Heaven and a lesser-known but vital Mother in Heaven. As one Mormon writer noted, ‘Latter-day Saints believe that all the people of the earth . . . are actual spiritual offspring of God the Eternal Father (Num. 16:22; Heb. 12:9). In this perspective, parenthood requires both father and mother, whether for the creation of spirits in the premortal life or of physical tabernacles on earth. A Heavenly Mother shares parenthood with the Heavenly Father. This concept leads Latter-day Saints to believe that she is like him in glory, perfection, compassion, wisdom, and holiness’” (BYU Professor Victor L. Ludlow, Principles and Practices of the Restored Gospel, pp. 145-146. Ellipses in original).
  • God the Father and Heavenly Mother are sexual beings:  "Sex is something we all have in common. Our sexual genders, our sexual power, our sexual identities are all gifts from loving heavenly parents who are themselves sexual beings. That our Heavenly Father and Mother are sexual beings is one of the most significant yet clearly radical ideas of the Restoration and one that sets us apart from the rest of Christianity. A related and equally radical idea is that we may become like God in this way, that is, eternally sexual” (Robert A. Rees, “Bearing our Crosses Gracefully: Sex and the Single Mormon,” Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, Vol.24, No.4, p. 98).
  • The Holy Ghost is a man:  "The Holy Ghost is a member of the Godhead. He is a spirit that has the form and likeness of a man (see D&C 130:22). He can be in only one place at a time, but his influence can be everywhere at the same time” (Gospel Principles, 1997, p. 37)."
  • Authority: “The priesthood is the eternal power and authority of God, through which He created the heavens and the earth and by which He governs the same. It is used to redeem and eventually exalt His children. As given in mortality, the priesthood is the power and authority to act in God’s name. By and through it, one is authorized to preach the gospel, administer the ordinances and govern in the Church” (“Priesthood Authority,” Church News, November 10, 2007, p. 16).
  • Baptism: “Without that divine priesthood no man could receive or would receive a remission of sins by being buried in the water. It has to be by divine authority and without that divine authority our works would not be acceptable to the Lord...” (Joseph F. Smith, Conference Reports, April 1916, pp. 5-6).
  • Baptism: "...Through the waters of baptism and the sanctifying power of the Holy Ghost we can receive a remission of sins. We retain that remission of sins by faithful observance of covenants we have made with God and through Christlike service to those in need.” (Joseph Fielding McConkie and Robert L. Millet, Doctrinal Commentary on the Book of Mormon 2:162)."
  • Salvation: “Salvation is twofold: General - that which comes to all men irrespective of a belief (in this life) in Christ- and, Individual - that which man merits through his own acts through life and by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the gospel” (Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation 1:134. Italics in original).





About The Author

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