Mormonism has moved into the limelight with Mitt Romney running for president and being a Mormon high priest. However, it is not a just another denomination of Christianity as some might believe due to the fact that the Bible is a part of their teachings. . Rather, it is viewed largely by the Christian religion as a Cult that distorts the Bible and, as a result, constitutes blasphemy in the eyes of many Christians.
History of Mormonism
It was founded by Joseph Smith in the 1820’s in New York. In 1820 at age 14, he went into the forest to pray one day and came out claiming that God and Jesus had appeared before him to tell him to found a new religion since all others had wandered off path. He claimed also that, sometime after that, an angel named Moroni appeared to him and revealed the secret location of some hidden writings which he, located and, by the power of God translated into the Book of Mormon.
To outsiders, the Mormons may appear to be just another denomination of Christianity. They teach the Bible and claim to believe the whole Bible is 100% true. However, closer inspection of their religion reveals that they do this by redefining many of the terms in the Bible to give them meaning that is consistent with the teachings of their founder, who claimed to have been given a second collection of writings from God---The Book of Mormon.
Upon deeper analysis, one can see that the Mormon religion has beliefs that are very different from Christians that come entirely from the book of Mormon and have no support in the Bible. Some differences between Mormonism and Christianity are:
1) They do not believe in one true God. They believe that there are many gods. And that Mormon males can become god’s of their own private planet by performing certain rituals and tasks during their lifetime.
2) Earth has a god named “Elohim” who was once a man who lived on another planet millions of years ago. The name ‘Kolob’ is referenced in the Book of Mormon but it is unclear whether this is the planet they believe Elohim came from or if it is the star nearest the planet he came from. Elohim earned his position over Earth as Mormon males earn theirs.
3) They believe in 3 levels of Afterlife. Males, if they obtain priesthood and complete all the required rituals and tasks, get their own planet. They can then resurrect their “good wives” to join them. There is a middle level of ‘heaven’ where people go who are Mormon but did not achieve their own planet. The bottom level of ‘heaven’ is where all evil sinners go. Lastly, Hell is a place reserved solely for people who were at one time Mormon but denounced the religion.
4) When a Mormon male becomes a god of his own planet, he then has the option of resurrecting his ‘good wives.’ As head of his planet, he rules over the world with his many wives making spirit babies. All people on the planet are his spirit babies.
5) Jesus Christ and Satan were brothers and sons of Earth’s god. They are also spirit babies of Elohim.
6) They believe Jesus is “a son of god” (as opposed to the Son of God) and so are you, me and every other person on this planet.
7) They have a ‘prophet’ in charge (similar to the Pope’s position over Catholics) who, from time to time, has new truths revealed to him which are recorded in the Book of Mormon. He may have visions and as a result, he may rewrite the religion from time-to-time as they deem necessary. For example: When Utah wanted statehood but the U.S. did not allow polygamy, the ‘prophet’ had a great vision that they needed to renounce polygamy and so Utah became a state.
8) They originally did not believe in Immaculate Conception. They believed God had sex with Mary. However, this view was also changed by a ‘prophet’ because of the appeal to certain people of having a female divine figure in the religion.
On the surface, Mormons often live out what many deem a very moral life. Because of the works-based aspect, they are quite dedicated to their religion and their services. The differences in their beliefs, however, separate them entirely from the Christian religion as a whole.