Mormonism is the theology of the Latter Day Saint movement of Restorationist Christianity started by Joseph Smith in Western New York in the 1820s and 1830s. Mormonism has been applied to various aspects of the Latter Day Saint movement, however in recent decades, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have begun to distance themselves from this “label”.
Who is Joseph Smith, what did he do? Here is a description of his story and how he supposedly received insight to the true nature of God’s Word through visions and a meeting with an angel who gave him secret golden tablets of information, straight from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints website, “https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org” :
“Joseph Smith Jr. was born 23 December 1805 in Sharon, Vermont, to Joseph and Lucy Mack Smith. Born into a poor farming family, he was the fifth child of 11 — nine of whom survived childhood. Because his family could not afford the luxury of public education, Joseph received only three years of formal schooling. Along with his brothers and sisters, he was educated mainly at home from the family Bible.
Joseph's friend Parley Pratt described him as being over 6 feet (183 centimeters) tall, "well built, strong and active; of a light complexion, light hair, blue eyes [and] very little beard." With a "naturally cheery" disposition, Joseph enjoyed playing with children or wrestling and "pulling sticks" in contests of strength. One Latter-day Saint who visited Joseph in Kirtland, Ohio, wrote: "He didn't appear exactly as I expected to see a Prophet of God. However ... I found him to be a friendly, cheerful, pleasant, agreeable man. I could not help liking him."
As a 7-year-old child, Joseph contracted typhoid fever during a local epidemic. Although he recovered in two weeks, a painful infection settled in the bone of Joseph's leg. When attempts to clean out the infection failed, the doctor insisted on amputating the leg. Joseph's mother convinced the doctor to operate one more time, and the doctor chipped out the infected bone without anesthesia or proper medical facility. Joseph, who refused to be bound to the bed or drink liquor to dull the pain, endured the operation in the arms of his father. Although he walked on crutches for three years and suffered from a slight limp the rest of his life, Joseph was healed.
Joseph Smith married Emma Hale on 18 January 1827. During their 17-year marriage, they were parents to 11 children, two of whom were adopted. Joseph and Emma's first three children died within hours of their birth. In 1831, they adopted twins, one of which, a boy, died before reaching his first birthday. Over the next 12 years, Emma gave birth to six more sons, four of whom survived infancy — the youngest was born five months after Joseph's death.
Confused about religion during a time of revival in the state of New York where he lived in 1820, 14-year-old Joseph read a passage in the New Testament and went to the woods to pray. Joseph records that God and Jesus Christ appeared to him. "I saw a pillar of light exactly over my head," he wrote, "above the brightness of the sun, which descended gradually until it fell upon me." Within that light, he saw two personages — one of whom spoke Joseph's name, pointed to the other, and said, "This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him!" Church members refer to this experience as the "First Vision." It forever changed Joseph Smith and has become a central tenet of Latter-day Saint belief. It began the work of restoring the Church of Jesus Christ to the earth.
Joseph Smith is perhaps best known for his translation of the Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ. Church members believe that Joseph was led to a hill near Palmyra, New York, where he received an ancient record from an angel known as Moroni. The record, engraved on gold plates, gave the history of a people who lived on the American continent during the time of Christ. Joseph translated the plates in about 3 months, and the Book of Mormon was first published in New York by E. B. Grandin in 1830.
Although born a farmer, Joseph worked as an editor, entrepreneur and businessman. In the years he led the fledgling Church, Joseph organized an international missionary program and founded what is today one of the largest women's organizations in the world. He oversaw the building of three cities and directed the construction of two temples — all the while facing intense persecution from local mobs, who eventually drove Church members from all three cities Joseph settled.
Because the Saints' religious and civil rights as American citizens had been denied them despite numerous and repeated appeals to the federal government, Church leaders announced Joseph Smith's candidacy for President of the United States in January 1844. By May, Joseph had been officially nominated by a Nauvoo, Illinois, convention. His political platform called for government intervention on behalf of religious and civil rights in the face of persecution. Ironically, Joseph and his brother were killed by a mob in June of that same year, cutting short Joseph's run for political office.
Joseph and his older brother Hyrum were shot to death on 27 June 1844 by a mob of 150 to 200 men. They had been imprisoned in an Illinois jail on false charges of riot and treason after surrendering themselves to the law. Joseph was 38; Hyrum was 44. On 28 June, the bodies of Joseph and Hyrum were prepared and laid out for the estimated 10,000 mourners to view, and on the following day were buried secretly to avoid further attacks or desecration by mobs.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints today numbers more than 14 million. Latter-day Saints revere Joseph Smith as a prophet, just as they revere biblical prophets such as Moses and Isaiah.”
You might wonder, like me, where are the golden plates now, and why haven’t they been excavated? If the plates really lie hidden in the Hill Cumorah, why not dig it up and prove to the world once and for all that the story of the gold plates was not the result of Joseph Smith’s imagination? The Mormon Church owns the property and it certainly has the financial means to do so. Perplexing, indeed.
A historian, Sydney E. Ahlstrom, wrote in 1982, "One cannot even be sure, whether [Mormonism] is a sect, a mystery cult, a new religion, a church, a people, a nation, or an American subculture; indeed, at different times and places it is all of these". However, scholars and theologians within the Latter Day Saint movement, including Joseph Smith, have often used "Mormonism" as a label to describe the unique teachings and doctrines of the movement.
The center piece of this movement is The Book of Mormon, which describes itself as a chronicle of early indigenous peoples of the Americas and their dealings with God. Sound familiar? Mormonism includes mainstream Christian beliefs with changes applied stemming from supposed revelations to Joseph Smith and other religious leaders from Angels. This includes the use of and belief in the Bible, and other religious texts including the Doctrine and Covenants and the Pearl of Great Price. Mormonism includes significant documentations of eternal marriage, eternal progression, baptism for the dead, polygamy or plural marriage, sexual purity, health, fasting, and Sabbath observance, among much more.
The theology itself is not exactly uniform - as early as 1831, after Joseph Smith's death, various groups split from the Church of Christ that Smith established. Other than differences in leadership, these groups also differ in their stances on polygamy, which the Utah-based LDS Church banned in 1890, and Trinitarianism, which the LDS Church does not affirm. Mormon fundamentalism, however, still practices polygamy and includes several different churches. Other groups affirm Trinitarianism, such as the Community of Christ (formerly the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints), and describe their doctrine as a vision of Trinitarian Christian restoration.
So, now that I have touched a bit on exactly what Mormonism contains as a whole, it is time to explain some core doctrines in comparison to the Word, and show exactly why Mormonism is potentially riddled with Doctrines of Demons. I will focus in on several key aspects, and give a “Christian vs Mormon” type of analogy, to equally show both view points.
The following segments of information on the Mormon side has been heavily pulled from the Mormon Church, “Cornerstone Church”, based in Arizona, along with many core doctrines they believe that are readily public information from other Mormon churches. Their beliefs follow the recognized Mormon doctrine. And just for numbers sake, this church has a congregation of total attendance nearing 45,000 people, and runs a whopping 6 services per week, and has 10 churches in the East Valley of Arizona alone. It is safe to say they are making an impact and are a very influential Mormon movement - and a prime example of the doctrines and beliefs we are comparing and studying here.
The Essence of God and the Holy Trinity
I start with the belief in God and the Holy Trinity. I feel this is one of the most important aspects of Christianity, and also it is important to Mormonism because their beliefs are also founded on this in a completely different way that contradicts modern Christianity. The differences are stark, and Mormonism almost completely goes against the written Word of God on this belief. I am not here to just “bash Mormons” - I am here to show the facts as related to the written Word of God and compare the beliefs on both sides.
Mormon’s believe in God the Father and His Son, Jesus, and in the Holy Ghost. So far so good - this is known as their “First Article of Faith”. However, Mormonism teaches that God was once just a regular man - flesh and all - just like us and then became God.
Joseph Smith said: ”God himself was once as we are now. God had biological parents and served a different God on another planet until, through obedience and celestial marriage, he was finally exalted just to Godhood just like we can be.” (Source: Joseph Smith. "Character and Being of God, etc." Journal of Discourses. Ed. Asa Calkin. Vol. 6. Liverpool: Asa Calkin, 1859. 3-4, 7. Print.)
As crazy as that sounds, it is all depicted and taught across classic Mormonism besides just what I have sourced thus far.
The Bible teaches us that God is eternal, which means God has been God forever and always:
Isaiah 43:13 (ESV):Also henceforth I am he; there is none who can deliver from my hand; I work, and who can turn it back?”
Habakkuk 1:12 (ESV): Are you not from everlasting, O Lord my God, my Holy One? We shall not die. O Lord, you have ordained them as a judgment, and you, O Rock, have established them for reproof.
Psalm 90:2 (ESV): Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God
Isaiah 40:28 (ESV): Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable.
The Word says the Father has always been God, yet Joseph Smith says “We have imagined and supposed that God was God from all eternity. I will refute that idea, and take away the veil, so that you may see.” – Joseph Smith, the “King Follet Sermon”. Even though the Bible says God has been God from everlasting to everlasting, Mormonism believes the Father became God a relatively short cosmic time ago.
Continuing from Joseph Smith’s "Character and Being of God, etc.", “.…you have got to learn how to be Gods yourselves, and to be kings and priests to God, the same as all Gods have done before you, - namely, by going from one small degree to another, and from a small capacity to a great one; - from grace to grace, from exaltation to exaltation, until you attain to the resurrection of the dead, and are able to dwell in everlasting burnings, and to sit in glory, as do those who sit enthroned in everlasting power……..To inherit the same power, the same glory, and the same exaltation, until you arrive at the station of a God and ascend the throne of eternal power, the same as those who have gone before.”
The book quoted above is available in it’s entirety for free reading here (no sign up or anything required, it should just open and load up to a Google reader - feel free to reach out to me if it does not):
All in all, Mormonism teaches this idea that God was just a man like you and I and somehow ascended to become God and then roll out creation of Man. There are almost too many contradicting things to write about from the top down when you really peel back the layers.
One of the disgusting, in my opinion, that Mormonism is preaching is that God didn’t make the universe and world, totally discounting Genesis - go to page 6 of Joseph Smith’s “Journal of Discourses” and read all about how JS specifically says “…I totally reject the doctrine (of creation)” and offers a weird example along the lines of somehow all of the tools were already available and God just put it together, and that we misinterpret the word “create” in the Bible, which completely discounts our creation story in Genesis.
He continues on a tangent based off the sole beginning fact that we misinterpret the word “create” - however, he is incorrect. Many who have written about Genesis have tried to make a distinction between two Hebrew words found in the original text - namely, Create (bara) & Make (asah).
Why is this important to understand?
Well, as I peel back the layers, you will understand why and be able to compare it to commonplace English words and sentences.
Many who have written about Genesis - and in this case, Joseph Smith - have tried to create a distinction between two Hebrew words found in the original text: bara (בָּרָא, which means “to create”) and asah (עָשָׂה, which means “to make or do”). They try to make the point that the only Godly creation events were in relation to the heavens and the earth (Gen. 1:1), sea creatures and birds (1:21), and Adam and Eve (1:27). Since the word ‘asah’ is used for all other creation feats in Genesis 1, they deem those could have been creative processes over a long period of time (millions of years.)
So what does this all mean?
Well, this ideology is just not compatible when we look carefully at the use of these particular words in Genesis in relation to other passages in the Bible in regards to our creation story. Let’s cross examine some comparisons across the Bible with various verses that use each word. I will show you how they are used interchangeably to describe various acts of creation by God, from out of nothing and with present items prior created by God.
So - are God’s “creating activities” and “making activities” in Genesis actually different kinds of events and processes? From the verses above, we can make some logical conclusions based on the facts and how we understand writing today and throughout history.
In the chart above, the after verses shows things from the Word that God is said to have both created and made. “Created” as in out of nothing and a supernatural process unknown to man (and impossible for that matter), and “made” as in a creation from things already present and prior created by God (similar to how man can take a tree and turn it into wood to build a house to live in). As you can infer from these various verses throughout the Bible, and from referencing the Hebrew Bible, we see that both words, bara and asah, are used interchangeably when describing other acts of creation, such as the sun, moon, and stars, animals, humankind, heaven and earth. And, in some of these verses, they are even used to describe the SAME event!
Why would the writers do that if they were trying to draw a significance between acts of creation by God when using both words?
According to Genesis 1:11-13 and the words used, plants, seeds, grass and trees technically weren’t created - they were spoken into existence by God’s Word and Command for the earth to produce as such. There is no record - in science or the Word - that can prove that plants came into existence by only natural processes such as a seed growing in the ground and that everything else was created by a supernatural act from God, but the Bible DOES show us here that plants were literally a supernatural creation from God based on His words and power, commanding the earth to do something. Genesis 1:11-13 clearly shows a supernatural process at work, NOT something created from substances already present in the earth. If it were so, they would have written it as such, and told stories of how God took time to plant seeds and such, but they didn’t, and that’s the facts as written in the Word of God.
By now, you are probably beginning to see the similarities in these words that are so important to Joseph Smith and part of the foundation of Mormonism. Bara does not always mean to create out of nothing. God created males and femails as written in Genesis 5:2, and we also know from Genesis 2:7 that God formed (יָצַר, yatsar) Adam from the dust of the earth, and then in Genesis 2:22 it is written that God fashioned (בָּנָה, banah) Eve from one of Adam’s ribs. Basing a core foundational principal so strongly on the belief in a distinct difference - and misinterpretation by all Christians - between bara and asah in Genesis 1 - 2 is as unjustified as making a profound distinction between the English words “create” and “make”. Joseph Smith takes a huge risk in promoting this as a foundation of proof that God was a man just like us. Yes - it is true that in the Bible only God is the subject of the verb bara; men make (asah) things, but only God creates (bara). However, as we can see from cross examining the Word, God also makes (asah) things. The verbs alone don’t tell us how God created nor how long He took to create, yet Joseph Smith thinks this is enough to disprove a foundational pillar of Christianity and God. There is no significant distinction between these words in relation to our Creation.
Looking ahead, we learn in the New Testament from various passages that confirm this understanding when describing the work of our Creator, Jesus:
John 1:3 says that all things came into being (ἐγένετο, egeneto) by the Word of God, who is Jesus
Colossians 1:16 says that all things were created (ἐκτίσθη, ektisthay) by and for Christ.
Hebrews 1:2 says He made (ἐποίησεν, epoiaysen) the original creation by His Word
“Come into being,” “create,” and “made” in these passages are very clearly referring to the same divine actions in Genesis 1 and 2. No distinction can be made between these words in reference to Creation. Further to this point, these words are written in aorist tense (aorist - a verb tense in some languages (classical Greek and Sanskrit) expressing action - especially past action - without indicating its completion or continuation. tense - a grammatical category of verbs used to express distinctions of time). None of these words alone indicate a specific time frame other than that, and in these cases, they refer to finished past actions. They can’t be interpreted to mean that the processes are still going on (which would require a different Greek verb in the present tense). Thus, they don’t allow an evolutionary description, since evolution is said to be a process that is continuing on today and forevermore.
Based on these facts in the Word and what is written, I don’t see how you can come to a firm conclusion that “bara” ONLY means a supernatural creative action out of nothing by God and that “asah” ONLY means a natural process made from existing materials by God. In all of Genesis, both words are used to explain various creation events and both are also used to reference things God made from materials He previously created and are present in the world.
Obviously, this poses a big problem for Mormonism as essentially the core belief and the religion taught by Joseph Smith rides on the belief that those words are misinterpreted and that God didn’t actually create anything that wasn’t already present. This is also part of his supposed proof that God was once just a mere mortal man, just like us, and that he somehow “ascended” to the deity and Creator that He is now. The Word clearly disproves Joseph Smith’s theory and destroys one of the initial foundations that Mormonism is based on.
The Father is Invisible
The Invisible Father - what do I mean by that? Take a look at Colossians 1:15 (ESV): He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.
This is in relation to Jesus - He is the image of the invisible God.
Now look at John 6:46 (ESV): not that anyone has seen the Father except he who is from God; he has seen the Father. Jesus states here that “no one has seen the Father”. We can cross reference this to 1 Timothy 6:16 (ESV): who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see. To him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen.
Now.. where am I going with this? Well you see, despite these Scriptures, Joseph Smith says he has seen the Father. Take a look at these passages from his manifest, “First Vision”:
“I saw two personages…standing above me in the air. One of them spake unto me, calling me by name, and said, pointing to the other–‘this is my beloved Son. Hear him!’
The problem with this is obvious - the Word of God renders such an experience impossible for any man to experience and live to tell about it. Yes - it’s true that God is “seen” in the Old testament, such as when Yahweh let Moses see His back in Exodus 33 (ESV): But,” he said, “you cannot see my face, for man shall not see me and live.” And the Lord said, “Behold, there is a place by me where you shall stand on the rock, and while my glory passes by I will put you in a cleft of the rock, and I will cover you with my hand until I have passed by. Then I will take away my hand, and you shall see my back, but my face shall not be seen.”
So, we know what Joseph Smith claims can’t possibly be true - God clearly says no man can see His face and live to tell about it. But the way he proclaims it in his manifest would lead all to believe that God specifically spoke to Him in His full glory.
Take a look at Genesis 19:24 (ESV): Then the Lord rained on Sodom and Gomorrah sulfur and fire from the Lord out of heaven.
It reads that the Lord rained on Sodom and Gomorrah sulfur and fire from the Lord out of Heaven - TWO different divine persons (!) both called Lord. For reference, in the New Testament, the Father, Son, and Spirit are all called God, whom we know is referred to as our Lord as well.
For example, Jesus is called God in John 1:1 (ESV): In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. Further on at Verse 18, it calls Jesus “the only God” who is at the side of the Father. So, how can Jesus and the Father both be called God when the Bible is absolutely clear that there is only one God? The answer is this that God exists tri-personally - AKA - the Holy Trinity. The easiest way to explain this is that there is one what, and three whos. We have One Divine Being expressed in three equal persons.
As prior stated, this is known as the Holy Trinity - “God” is a word that describes what the Father, Son, and Spirit are by nature. This doctrine has been universally agreed upon by the church for the last 1700 years. Meanwhile, Joseph Smith completely denies the idea of a Holy Trinity and actually compares it to being a giant monster:
According to Latter-day Saints (Mormons), since the very beginning of this religion, the concept of the Trinity has made God into a “giant or a monster,” a “false doctrine,” and a “three-in-one spirit essence that filled the immensity of space.” Here are some direct quotes from LDS leaders about the Trinity:
“Many men say there is one God; the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost are only one God! I say that is a strange God anyhow—three in one, and one in three! It is a curious organization. All are to be crammed into one God, according to sectarianism. It would make the biggest God in all the world. He would be a wonderfully big God —he would be a giant or a monster” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 372.).
The Word of God teaches us about one eternal Triune God consisting of three co-equal persons and also teaches us that nobody has seen, or can see, the Father and live to tell about it. If you would like to read a deeper study into the Holy Trinity, and how it compares to a simliar “Oneness Theory”, please see my article on the topic here:
At the end of the day, we realize that Mormonism denies many facts about God and Christianity in general, and therefore fundamentally disagrees with Christian theology as a whole. I could write a multifaceted chapter by chapter breakdown series of Joseph Smiths’ various manifests, but I feel the main pillars I have taken down here crumble the entire foundation.