I’ve been noticing that political conservatives, in their enthusiasm for Mitt Romney (who is honestly the most believably conservative of the apparently viable candidates – McCain, Giuliani, Romney), are embracing Mormons as Christians, and the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-Day Saints (hereinafter LDS for short) as a normal church. This is such a false idea. After interacting with several Mormon fellow-students and residents, earlier this year I got several books on the subject and read up about the origins and teachings of the LDS. I came to the conclusion that Joseph Smith was manipulated by Satan, just like Mohammed and other false prophets, that there are serious demonic powers in the temple rituals, that Mormons do not worship the true God of the Bible, but a figment of their imagination, and that they have no claim to be Christians at all, any more than Muslims do. I will try to support these conclusions by going through key sections from the Nicene Creed (in my estimation, the foundational truths necessary for agreement between true Christians) and showing how the LDS deviates from these.
1. “We believe in God the Father Almighty. . .”
LDS doctrine, as originated by Joseph Smith, and developed by Brigham Young and the subsequent prophets and “revelators” of the Mormon church, teaches that God himself was once a man (perhaps even Adam; there is contradiction on this point), who through doing good works eventually became perfect, and the father-god of this universe. Humans are his spirit-children, who through following the example of Jesus’ perfect life can eventually attain to the same divine status. This is why marriage and family are so important to Mormons; the men are taught that the size and glory of their future celestial kingdom depends on the number of children they have in this life. Women are taught that their salvation depends on their husband achieving divine status, and their value consists in bearing children to populate his future kingdom.
2. “. . . And in Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of his Father before all worlds, God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father, by whom all things were made . . .”
Mormon doctrine is contradictory on this point; but the early prophets taught that Jesus and Lucifer were the two sons of the father-god; Lucifer rebelled and became evil, but Jesus continued to obey his father perfectly, thus becoming divine, and receiving his own universe/kingdom, as all Mormons may also do if they follow his example. To this day, the LDS church teaches clearly that we are all children of God in the same sense that Jesus was, and can all become divine, like him. This is entirely contrary to the Christian doctrine that Jesus is coequal and coeternal with God, completely divine, that he did not become divine, and that humans can never become divine, either. This evil and demonic doctrine about Jesus and Lucifer is taught in the induction ceremonies of the LDS temples, where new entrants are drawn into a drama which represents Lucifer speaking to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, mocking the “false” Christian doctrine about Jesus. (This ritual has been slightly modified in the past few decades, as disillusioned Mormons have made public secrets which in fact they swore on their lives to guard; the entrance ritual also includes a ghastly oath which calls for the convert’s brutal death if he relates any of the temple secrets to outsiders.)
3. “. . . who for us men and for our salvation became man, and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the Virgin Mary, and became man. . .”
As mentioned above, Mormon doctrine teaches that Jesus started off as a human, and became divine, rather than being God before the beginning of time, and taking on human nature for us. Also, this is the phrase in the Nicene Creed which most clearly refers to Christ’s death as a substitution, receiving the punishment due for men’s sins. Mormon missionaries will tell you that they believe in salvation and justification through faith in Christ. However, if you read their own internal writings, or quiz the missionaries carefully, you will find that what they actually believe is salvation by works: Humans must do good works in order to earn the grace which enables them to believe on Jesus. This is completely contrary to Paul’s famous statement in Ephesians 2: “For by grace are ye saved through faith, and that [the grace] not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest any man should boast. . .”
The practical daily life of devout Mormons also demonstrates this. They are taught by their elders that in order to qualify for admission into the temple, and thus into heaven, they must keep a strict set of rules: No alcohol, tobacco, or caffeine; no lustful thoughts whatsoever; always wearing the special Mormon undergarments; always obeying the directions of the church leadership; etc. The testimony of many ex-Mormons shows that, although this leads to a beautiful picture of a strong, happy family on the outside, inside there is oppression and fear, because their salvation depends on fulfilling these many onerous, manmade laws.
4. “. . . And we believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of Life. . . who spoke by the prophets. . .”
The Christian Church, ever since the early years, has accepted a particular canon, which was closed with the book of Revelation (even allowing for the Apocrypha; whether you accept it or not, it was written before Revelation). The Church has always united in rejecting false prophets who come with new messages which suggest that something was left out of the original revelation. Joseph Smith, however, claimed to have received a message from the angel Gabriel, revealing some golden tablets, hidden near Palmyra, NY, written in ancient Egyptian, which revealed a new gospel, one with major changes from that originally received. As Paul warns in Galatians 1, “But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.”
There are many objections to the Book of Mormon (supposedly translated from the golden tablets) and the Doctrines and Commandments (the compilation of Joseph Smith’s “inspired” teachings and prophecies, as well as statements by the later “prophets,” who are supposed to have divine authority and revelation, just as Smith did). Firstly, Smith told different stories about his “discovery” at different times in his career, which contradict each other, and are contrary to facts known about him and his family from contemporary records (letters, civic record, and newspapers). I cannot in this space go into these issues in detail, but I highly recommend reading the books No Man Knows My History, by Fawn M. Brodie (a biography of Joseph Smith, with many original sources quoted; this historian was a descendant of one of the prophets, and was excommunicated for this book), and One Nation Under Gods, by Richard Abanes (documents both early and modern history of the LDS, as well as their political ambitions), as well as the website of Utah Lighthouse Ministries, which has a wealth of historic documents relating to Joseph Smith and the Mormons, as well as other resources.
Secondly, the text of these books has been changed. Both Abanes and the Lighthouse Ministries have extensive documentation of how LDS leaders have revised these books – editing Joseph Smith’s bad grammar and awkward faux-KJV-English to make it look more perfect, as well as removing doctrines that are offensive to modern ears. Which leads to the racist nature of Mormonism. Originally, the book of Mormon purported to explain about a white, godly race which lived in North America and was exterminated by the evil colored Native Americans. In one famous phrase, Indians and blacks who convert to Mormonism are promised that they will become “white and delightsome.” In other words, non-white coloring is a sign of evil, and will be supernaturally removed from any of these unfortunates who convert to Mormonism. Because of this racist background, the LDS did not accept black as converts until several decades into the 1900s, and only accepted them as priests and elders after heavy pressure on the church during the civil rights movement.
Which leads to the third problem with these new “inspired” books of the Mormons: Their doctrines change. One prophet can receive a new revelation which contradicts a previous one, and that’s just fine. For instance, consider polygamy. Joseph Smith (again like Mohammed) developed this doctrine pretty early in his career, but kept it secret for many years, until after he had accumulated some dozen polygamous wives. Its publication was one reason for the Mormons being driven out of Illinois (that, and their political aspiratons and influence in that state). In the 1880s, when Utah was becoming a state, the LDS leaders, under pressure from the US government, finally declared that polygamy was wrong – but many of the men who made this ruling kept taking extra wives secretly, and in fact sent secret colonies of what are now called “fundamentalist Mormons” into southern Utah and Idaho and southern Canada to keep alive what they still regarded as the truth. These are just two instances of how Mormon doctrine bends to fit the times. Their temple ritual has also been altered because of public scandal about the brutal oath of secrecy.
This is in total distinction to the true word of God, about which Peter, quoting Isaiah, declares, “For all flesh is as grass; and the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower thereof falls away: But the word of the Lord endures forever; and this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.” Jesus also said in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7), “Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law till all be fulfilled.”
5. “. . . And in one holy, catholic, and apostolic church. . .”
The Mormons’ current claim to be just another variety of Christians is in amazing contradiction to the original claims of Joseph Smith, who taught that every single church in his day had fallen away from the truth, which was what necessitated his new revelation. He decried all ministers as servants of Satan, denied that any member of a traditional church could be saved, and called on his followers to separate themselves from the false churches. Up until the past few decades, LDS leaders continued to teach that they alone were the true church, and that all others were false and apostate. This makes it particularly astonishing that they have been so successful in turning on their propaganda machine, and tricking most Americans into thinking that they are nothing more than another denominational flavor, like Baptist, Methodist, and Pentecostal.
Again, their marked deviations from accepted orthodox Christian teaching, shared across history and across all denominations, shows that, even if they truly wanted to be considered Christians, they have no such right, since they deny the true divinity of Jesus, and salvation through faith rather than works.
There are other astonishing secrets in Mormon theology, for which I again recommend to you the books of Fawn Brodie and Richard Abanes, and the Utah Lighthouse Ministries website. But these should be enough to support my original statement.
So how does this relate to politics? As Richard Abanes shows in his book, one of Joseph Smith’s most famous prophecies, known as the “White Horse prophecy,” states that at some point in the future, “the government of the United States will hang by a thread,” and the LDS will save the constitution of the United States. They hoped to accomplish this during the Civil War, but were not in position for it. Since Utah became a state, the LDS has been maneuvering to get themselves into control of the US government. They have had many influential cabinet ministers, and recently some very influential senators: Orrin Hatch and Harry Reid. Orrin Hatch indeed on a radio interview once specifically referred to the White Horse prophecy as influencing his mission in politics.
Given the very centralized, dictatorial nature of the LDS, where the members’ salvation depends on their unquestioning obedience to the mandates of the current Prophet, there is every reason to expect that a Mormon president would be significantly influenced by Mormon beliefs, and by the wishes of the church leadership. I do not want a demonic organization controlling the US government. Even Hillary might be better.
(To those who would argue that George W. is also controlled by a religious organization: 1) The conservative Christians are much less tightly organized than the Mormons are. 2) They do not exercise as tight a hold over their members, since they are not centralized, and often disagree on policy and theology. 3) Evangelicals do not teach that obedience to every one of their political desires is required for salvation. 4) In any case, George W. has done a lot of things we don’t like. :) Romney and the Mormons would be different.)
I look forward to comments and discussion on this dissertation. My family is now confiscating the computer. . .