But sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts,
always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to
give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness
and reverence - 1 Peter 3:15
Mormonism vs Jehovah's Witnesses
Generally speaking, many LDS doctrines are radically
different that those same teachings accepted by the Jehovah's Witnesses.
However, both religious systems are equally non-Christian and share
a number of similarities. Many of these similarities are also shared
by other cults and often are a common area of departure from the
historic Christian faith.
Both the Watchtower Society and the LDS Church
teach all other churches are wrong.
One of the Mormon Books of Scripture, The Pearl
of Great Price, says this about non-LDS churches:
"... they were ALL WRONG; and the Personage
who addressed me said that ALL their creeds were an ABOMINATION
in his sight; that those professors were ALL CORRUPT;..."
(Joseph Smith 2:19).
The LDS church states further in the Doctrine
and Covenants (LDS Scripture) that they are "the only true
and living church upon the face of the whole earth." (D&C
LDS apostle, Bruce McConkie claims the LDS church
is "...the only organization authorized by the Almighty
to preach his gospel and administer the ordinances of salvation,
the only Church which has power to save" (Mormon Doctrine;
1977 ed, p. 136).
The Watchtower likewise insists there was a great
apostasy involving all the churches.
"Thus, in the fourth century C.E., the
apostasy foretold by Jesus and the apostles came into full bloom.
Development of the Trinity was just one evidence of this. The apostate
churches also began embracing other pagan ideas, such as hellfire,
immortality of the soul, and idolatry. Spiritually speaking, Christendom
had entered its foretold dark ages, dominated by a growing "man
of lawlessness" clergy class." (Watchtower.org web
site, Should You Believe in the Trinity?)
In agreement with the LDS position, the Watchtower
insists they alone have the truth.
"No matter where we may live on earth,
God's Word continues to serve as a light to our path and a lamp
to our roadway as to our conduct and beliefs. (Ps. 119:105) But
Jehovah God has also provided his visible organization, his "faithful
and discreet slave," made up of spirit anointed ones, to help
Christians in all nations to understand and apply properly the Bible
in their lives. Unless we are in touch with this channel of communication
that God is using, we will not progress along the road to life,
no matter how much Bible reading we do." (The Watchtower,
12/1/1981, p. 27)
Both the Witnesses and the Mormons reject the
Joseph Smith, founder of Mormonism taught:
"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 curious organization...
All are crammed into one God according to sectarianism (Christian
faith). 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."
(Joseph Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 372).
The Watchtower is also adamant that Jesus is not
God nor a part of a Trinity:
"The fact is that Jesus is not God and
never claimed to be." (Should You Believe in the Trinity,
"Thus, Jesus had an existence in heaven
before coming to the earth. But was it as one of the persons in
an almighty, eternal triune Godhead? No, for the Bible plainly states
that in his prehuman existence, Jesus was a created spirit being,
just as angels were spirit beings created by God. Neither the angels
nor Jesus had existed before their creation." (Should
You Believe in the Trinity? p. 14)
The Watchtower organization and the LDS Church
insist that grace plus works are required for Salvation.
The Book of Mormon is clear, ". . . We
know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do."
- II Nephi 25:23.
"We believe that through the atonement
of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and
ordinances of the Gospel." (Pearl of Great Price,
3rd Article of Faith of the LDS Church)
Witnesses are also taught we can merit salvation:
"Jehovah God will justify, declare righteous,
on the basis of their own merit all perfected humans who have withstood
that final, decisive test of mankind. He will adopt and acknowledge
them as his sons through Jesus Christ." (Life Everlasting,
1966, p. 400)
Mormons strongly believe they can become Gods,
which also was taught in early editions of the Watchtower under
first president, Charles Russell.
"There is the potential to become Gods
"...we are begotten of a divine nature...Jehovah is thus our
father...we are divine beings - hence all such are Gods...Now we
appear like men, and all die naturally as men, but in the resurrection
we will rise in our true character as Gods." (Watchtower,
December 1881, 1919 reprints)
Joseph Smith, the founder of Mormonism, clearly
" ...you have got to learn how to be Gods
yourselves...the same as all Gods have done before you,..."
(Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 346)
Both the Watchtower and the LDS Church claim you
must follow the leadership who speak for God:
The LDS Ward teacher's message for June, 1945,
"When our leaders speak, the thinking
has been done. When they propose a plan it is God's plan."
(Improvement Era, June 1945, p. 354)
Herber C. Kimball, First Councilor to Brigham
Young, clarifies further:
"But if you are told by your leader to
do a thing, do it. None of your business whether it is right or
wrong." (Journal of Discourses, vol. 6, p. 32)
Witnesses are taught something very similar:
Thus the Bible is an organizational book and
belongs to the Christian congregation as an organization, not to
individuals, regardless of how sincerely they may believe that they
can interpret the Bible. For this reason, the Bible cannot be properly
understood without Jehovah's visible organization in mind. (The
Watchtower, Oct. 1, 1967, page 587)
Both the LDS church and the Watchtower have prophesied
In 1835 Joseph Smith prophesied concerning the
coming of the Lord:
"At a meeting called by Joseph Smith he
instructed the Latter-day Saints that it was "the will of God"
to go forth and "prune the vineyard for the last time, or the
coming of the Lord, which was nigh-even fifty-six years should wind
up the scene." (History of the Church, vol. 2, p.
Eight years later he reinforced this by stating:
"I prophesy in the name of the Lord God,
and let it be written - the Son of Man will not come in the clouds
of heaven till 1 am eighty-five years old." (History
of the Church, vol. 5, p. 336)
Jehovah's Witnesses likewise are given false prophecies
about the end of the world.
"We see no reason for changing the figures
- nor could we change them if we would. They are, we believe, God's
dates, not ours. But bear in mind that the end of 1914 is not the
date for the beginning, but for the end of the time of trouble."
(Watchtower Reprints, July 15, 1894, page 1672)
"The 'battle of the great day of God Almighty'
(Rev. 16:14), which will end in A.D. 1914 with the complete overthrow
of earth's present rulership, is already commenced." (The
Time Is At Hand, Studies in the Scriptures, vol 2, page 101,
Both insist that Salvation is in their church
or the organization.
LDS Apostle Bruce R. McConkie made this statement:
"If it had not been for Joseph Smith and
the restoration, there would be no salvation. There is no salvation
outside The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints."
(Mormon Doctrine, p. 670)
From the Watchtower publication, Kingdom Ministry
11/1990 p. 1, Directing Bible Students to Jehovah's Organization
"Bible students need to get acquainted
with the organization of the "one flock" Jesus spoke about
at John 10:16. They must appreciate that identifying themselves
with Jehovah's organization is essential to their salvation. (Rev.
7:9, 10, 15) Therefore, we should start directing our Bible students
to the organization as soon as a Bible study is established."
One thing we can be certain about, absolute truth
is not in an organization or church but rather a book, the Holy
Jesus Himself tells us in John 5:39:
"Search the scriptures; for in them ye
think ye have eternal life; and they are they which testify of me."
God's unfolding plan of redemtion is all about
the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the heart of the Gospel and the only
way to the Father. Forgiveness of sins and peace with God are found
in a person [Jesus] not an organization or Church.
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