The Mormon religion was founded by Joseph Smith around 1830 in the United States of America. It is a fast growing religious movement which claims more than 12 million adherents worldwide as of 2006 (1). Mormonism teaches that historical Christianity is totally apostate, and God raised up Joseph Smith as a prophet to restore it. In addition to using the Bible (which they believe is totally inadequate by itself to tell us what we need to know), mormons believe that the “revelations” “discovered” by Joseph Smith which came to be written down as the “Book of Mormon” are Scripture. They also base their religious system on two other books: “Doctrines and Covenants” and “The Pearl of Great Price” as well as the pronouncements of their “living prophets”, which they teach are Scripture and binding on all true believers.
Mormonism spreads primarily through its worldwide missionary efforts – good young unmarried mormon men are required to do two years missionary service. There are other recommendation for women and for those who have finished with child rearing responsibilities. Mormonism appeals to many on the basis of its appeal to strong family values. But when you look deeper into this mysterious and fascinating religion, you will find all kinds of bizarre practices and beliefs.
Mormonism now teaches that God was once a man, and that man may become a God (through mormonism, of course). This contradicts the book of mormon itself, but mormons don’t really follow what the book of Mormon says anyway. Mormons are taught that God the Father is now on a planet near the star Kolob with his wives having spiritual children. They believe that Jesus and Lucifer (Satan) were once spirit brothers. They once taught that Jesus was married to more than one wife (I’m not sure if this doctrine is still taught). Some of the other fascinating religious beliefs of this group are listed below later in this page.
Many mormons at some time in their lives get involved in mysterious secret rites which are practiced at their special mormon temples. These rites include baptism for the dead. Mormons believe that by being baptised “in proxy” for their departed relatives and for others, they can release their souls so as to be able to enter a higher paradise. Mormons also believe in the importance of wearing a special kind of magic underwear, which is supposed to protect them somehow. This underwear is supposed to be worn at all times except when washing. The underwear has on it certain images from the occultic religion of freemasonry. Mormon temples are reputedly full of masonic imagery – apparently Joseph Smith was a freemason also at one stage. The temple rituals are supposed to be totally secret. However some former temple workers who left the mormon church have revealed the rituals as they were and probably are still practiced. You will not be any closer to God if you know the substance of these rituals, I can assure you.
The Mormon publication, “The Doctrine of Salvation, V.1.” on page 188 states that “Mormonism so-called stands or falls on the history of Joseph Smith. For either he was a prophet, with divine calling, name and empowerment, or he was one of the greatest charlatans the world has ever known”.
If Joseph Smith was a true prophet from God, then his prophecies should have come to pass. However, there are plenty of cases where they did not. For example, Joseph Smith claimed that before 1891, and before he reached the age of 85, Jesus Christ would return. Well, Joseph Smith did not reach the age of 85 – he was murdered on the 27th of July 1844. And we know that Jesus Christ didn’t return before 1891, bringing an end to the present world order.
Smith prophesied in 1832 concerning the American civil war that the British would get involved and the war would extend to all nations. This is just one of his false prophecies concerning the American civil war. Smith also predicted the demise of the government of the state of Missouri which had displeased him – this never happened. He prophesied that the civil war would not result in the freedom of ‘Ham’ – this could not happen until the millenium according to Smith. Here again Smith was demonstrating just what a false prophet he was.
As to the character of Joseph Smith Jr., the historical record is clear that he was a man who sneaked off and took multiple wives, including the wives of other men, to be his own wives. He justified this with special revelations, claiming God told him to do it. Brigham Young, one of the early “apostles” of Mormonism apparently had 19 or more wives also. Although the mormon church today does not advocate polygamy or polyandry, why shouldn’t they be willing to follow the leadership of their own Prophets? Could it be that those prophets were in error, or did God actually command them to do these things?
Mormonism can look good to sincere people who are untaught in the Scriptures. They have a well-oiled religious organisation and an incredible amount of money to back it. They don’t teach people all their strange beliefs until later on – especially after they are baptised. If Mormon beliefs were widely known by all, that cult would have a hard time gaining any new converts. But they will continue to gain converts no doubt, as long as widespread ignorance concerning the Bible exists around the world, and people remain open to the deceptive religious spirits in this world which deceive people by a thousand and one methods of false religion.
The other thing to note is that Mormons teach things which promote wholesome family life and they are really good at organizing family and community events in such a way as to create a tremendous support network for their members. Even so, lovers of truth need to look at the foundations of the movement, for what shall it profit a man if he has a great family life, if he loses his soul?
Prospective mormons are encouraged to pray to God to ask if the book of Mormon be true. They are told that the answer will come to them by means of a burning sensation in their bosom. Sadly, many people don’t bother to check out the Book of Mormon according to more objective tests – like internal consistency, archaelogical support and so on. The fact that many mormons testify to this experience of “burning in the bosom” doesn’t make the book of mormon true. It only means that there are spiritual beings out there which are willing to create that kind of sensation in people in order to promote the religion of mormonism. A well-informed Christian would know these beings to be demons. Lots of religions have spiritual experiences. Indeed, some of these experiences might be explainable in mere psychological terms, but a great many of them, in fact, are explainable only in terms of the spirit world. The Bible teaches that this world is full of evil, deceptive spirits who operate under Satan’s command and seek to draw men into sin and destruction. To my mind, only such a scenario could adequately explain how so many otherwise intelligent people have been sucked into the religion of mormonism.
What follows are some of the strange doctrines of mormonism.
God was once a man – Brigham Young said, “If our Father and God should be disposed to wak through these aisles, we should not know Him from one of the congregation. You would see a man and that is all you would know about Him.” (Journal of Discourse, Vol II, pg 40). Mormons belief that through faithfulness to the mormon doctrine they too may one day become gods with a planet of their own.
God the Father has many wives – God the Father, according to the “Pearl of Great Price” in “Abraham 3:9,16”, is said to be living on a planet near the star Koleb with his wives having spiritual children.
Jesus was the spirit brother of Lucifer – according to this doctrine Jesus became the Savior because he came up with a better plan than Lucifer concerning how to get the people on earth to worship God (see The Kingdom of God, by Oscar McConkie Jr pg 46; Pearl of Great Price, Book of Moses, 4:1-3).
Black-skinned people are of inferior origin – mormonism teaches that the spirit beings that did not fight valiantly for God come to earth as blacks, while those who fought valiantly come to earth as whites. Until very recently blacks could not become priests in the mormon system of worship for reasons related to this and other demeaning doctrines.
President Brigham Young, for example, in the March 1863 Journal of Discourses 10:110, said: “Shall I tell you the law of God in regard to the African race? If the white man who belongs to the chosen seed mixes his blood with the seed of Cain, the penalty, under the law of God, is death on the spot. This will always be so.”
We are saved by grace, after we have done all we can – who is there that has done ‘all they can’ in following any given religious system? No one. This is a kind of double-speak. Mormonism is a system of religious works and merit from start to finish. It is all about earning merit and a state of worthiness by obedience to the mormon religious system.
Joseph Smith will judge who may or may not enter into heaven. See Brigham Young, Oct 9, 1859, Journal of Discourses 7:282
Jesus Christ practiced Polygamy during His ministry on earth
President Orson Hyde, president of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, General Conference, October 1854, Journal of Discourses 2:210 wrote: ‘I discover that some of the Eastern papers represent me as a great blasphemer, because I said, in my lecture on Marriage, at our last Conference, that Jesus Christ was married at Cana of Galilee, that Mary, Marthda, and others were his wives, and that he begat children.’
There are many other strange mormon doctrines and beliefs which I may get into later. I hope it is clear for those who may be considering the mormon religion seriously that there are many strange and highly doubtful teachings and practices which have perhaps even less credibility than the prophecies of their originator – Joseph Smith.
Problems with the Book of Mormon – an extensive article written by a former believer in the Book of Mormon, who “studied his way out”.
Out of Mormon Deception – a powerful testimony.
C.A.R.M. – Matthew Slick has compiled some more information on the mormon religion which is very helpful.
(1) (see http://www.allabout mormons .com/ number_of_mormons.php – remove spaces to get the URL)