Mormon words don't mean the same thing.

by Matt Slick

Anyone who tries to witness to a Mormon will soon find that the words they use do not always mean the same thing to Christians.  Below is a list of terms that are important for Christians to know when discussing the truth with Mormons.  It is important that you know what the Mormons mean by the same words used by Christians.

ADAM LDS--Father of physical mankind.  Adam is also known as Michael the archangel, the ancient of days, (D&C 116). Bible--the first created man by whom all of humanity descends.  He was not Michael the archangel.


LDS--The sacrifice of Christ that made resurrection possible along with the possibility of our earning forgiveness of sins. Bible--The substitutionary sacrifice of Jesus on our behalf. He died for our sins (1 Peter 2:24; 1 John 2:2).
LDS--A lesser priesthood in the LDS church.  It is still used in LDS church practices and is held by the very young, (D&C 107:1, 6, 10). Bible--A priesthood that is no longer necessary now that we have the full revelation of Christ.
BAPTISM LDS--A necessary ordinance for salvation in the Mormon church.  By it sins are washed away. Bible--An ordinance of the Christian church that is not necessary for salvation (Rom. 5:1).
BIBLE LDS--The Bible is correct only as far as it is correctly translated. It is basically trustworthy. It is the only one of the four standard works (Bible, Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and Pearl of Great Price) that is not considered infallible. The KJV is the official Bible of the LDS church. Bible--the Bible is the inspired inerrant word of God (2 Tim. 3:16).
BISHOP LDS--an office in the Melchizedek Priesthood of the LDS church, D&C 20:67). Bible--An office held by a male member of the Church.
LDS--The highest of the three levels of heaven where faithful Mormons are exalted to Godhood. Bible--There is no such thing as a celestial heaven.
CHURCH LDS--The LDS church with its organizational structure, laws, and proper name. Bible--The body of believers in the true and living God through Jesus.  It is comprised of those who are redeemed and is not limited to an earthly structure.
DAMNATION LDS--Basically, anything lesser than exaltation (becoming a God). Bible--The state of condemnation, judged by God in eternal hell (Matt. 25:46).
DEVIL LDS--See Satan. Bible--See Satan.
ELOHIM LDS--The name of God the Father. Bible--The Hebrew word for "God."  The name of God is "YHWH," which means "I AM,"  (Exodus 3:14).
LDS--Exaltation (exaltation to a Mormon means obtaining Godhood) in the Celestial Kingdom. Bible--Forgiveness of sins and life eternal with God (John 17:3; Rom. 6:23).
EXALTATION LDS--The state of becoming a god in the celestial heaven. Bible--There is no such thing as becoming a God in the Bible.
LDS--A blessing (Mosiah 3: 11-16).  A necessary step in the progression of humanity to the level of Godhood. Bible--The open rebellion of Adam and Eve against God resulting in their condemnation and the fall of mankind.
GOD LDS--One of countless gods in existence.  An exalted man from another world who created the earth who's name is "Elohim."  He became a god by following the laws and ordinances of his god on the other world.  He has a body of flesh and bones, D&C 130: 22-23). Bible--The one and only God in all the universe, (Isaiah 44:6, 8).
GODHEAD LDS--An office held by three separate Gods: the Father who is a god; Jesus who is a god; and the Holy Ghost who is a god. Bible--God Himself, not an office. Three persons in one God. A Trinity: The Father; the Son; and the Holy Spirit.
GOSPEL LDS--The laws and ordinances of the Mormon church. Bible--The death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus for the forgiveness of the sins of all who would trust in Him (1 Cor. 15:1-4).
HEAVEN LDS--Divided into three Kingdoms: Celestial, Terrestrial, and Telestial. The Celestial is for perfect Mormons, the Terrestrial is for moral people and lukewarm LDS, and the Telestial Kingdom is for everyone else. Bible--The dwelling place of God (1 Kings 8:30). Christians go to heaven.
HELL LDS--The temporary abode in the spirit world between death and resurrection for those awaiting telestial glory, (D&C 76: 84-85, 106).  Hell will come to an end. Bible--the eternal dwelling place of those who rejected the atoning work of Christ.
LDS--"A spirit man. He can only be at one place at one time . . . " (Mormon Doctrine by Bruce McConkie, p. 359.) The Holy Ghost is contrasted with the Spirit of God, which is the influence of the Godhead that fills the immensity of space which enables God to know what is going on.  It is likened to electricity." D&C 130: 22-23). Bible--Third person of the Trinity. Same as Holy Spirit (Acts 5:3-4).


LDS--The presence of God as distinguished from the Holy Ghost who is a god in the mormon trinity. Bible--An equivalent term to Holy Ghost, third person in the Trinity.
JEHOVAH LDS--The name of Jesus in the Old Testament. Bible--The name of God is "YHWH," which means "I AM,"  (Exodus 3:14).
JESUS LDS--Literal offspring of God the father.  Spirit brother of Satan. A god in the Godhead. He is Jehovah of the O.T. compared to Elohim being the Father. He was the first spirit child to be born to the Father and Mother gods. Ordained as the Christ in the pre-existent Grand Council before coming to earth. Bible--Jesus is God, second person of the Trinity (John 1:1,14; Col. 2:9).
LDS--Celestial heaven. The kingdom of God on earth is the LDS church. Bible--All the believers of Christ (Matt. 13:41-43).
MARRIAGE LDS--An eternal bonding of husband and wife that continues into the afterlife.  These couples will continue to have children, (D&C 132:15-20). Bible--the holy covenant between a man and a woman that is broken at death.
LDS--A greater priesthood in the LDS church held by elders, (D&C 107).) Bible--A priesthood held by Jesus alone.
PRE-EXISTENCE LDS--We existed in heaven with God our (literal) Father and mother before we became human. Bible--We did not exist before we came to earth (1 Cor. 15:46).
SALVATION LDS--Two fold meaning:  Simple bodily resurrection of all people.  Also, forgiveness of sins. Bible--Forgiveness of sins with the result of a present new life and in the future eternal life with God (1 Cor. 15:1-4; Rom. 6:23; 10:9-10).
SATAN LDS--The opposer of God, literal son of God, brother of Jesus and all people begotten in the pre-existent spirit world. Bible--A fallen angel who rebelled against God.
SCRIPTURE LDS--Bible, Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, Pearl of Great Price. Bible--Only the Bible is scripture.
TEMPLE LDS--A present day temple used to practice the ordinances and ceremonies of the gospel of the LDS church on behalf of the living as well as the dead. Bible--The Old Testament building where God dwelt, sacrifices were offered, and holy priestly rites were administered.  There is no longer a need for temples.
TRINITY LDS--Three gods:  a god called the Father; a god called the son; a god called the Holy Ghost. Bible--The one and only God in all existence who is comprised of three persons:  Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  See Trinity.

Go to for a list of Mormon words and definitions produced by the LDS church.


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About The Author

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