January 2006

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 1:30)

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?)

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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 trinity.

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, p. 20)

"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 taught:

" ...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, stated:

"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)

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Both the LDS church and the Watchtower have prophesied falsely.

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. 182)

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, 1907)

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 we find:

"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 Bible.

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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