Crash Course Mormonism: Christianity

By Eric Johnson According to the teaching of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, original Christianity was marred by the Great Apostasy, which took place soon after the death of Jesus’s twelve disciples. This left the authority of the church in flux until it was eventually restored by LDS founder Joseph Smith. Second President … Read more

Are Rome and Salt Lake City on the same page?

By Eric Johnson They say a photo is worth a thousand words, and certainly this photo from the Vatican is worth double that amount. With Pope Francis of the Roman Catholic Church looking on, the LDS First Presidency presented a Christus statue at the Vatican in Rome, Italy on Saturday, March 9, 2019. The occasion for … Read more

CHRISTIANITY

The following are sections out of Bill McKeever’s book In their Own Words: A Collection of Mormon Quotations. The full book of 400 pages is available at Mormonism Research Ministry or Amazon.com. 2nd President Brigham Young “The people called Christians are shrouded in ignorance, and read the Scriptures with darkened understandings” (Brigham Young, October 8, 1859, Journal of Discourses … Read more

A Fundamental Disagreement between Mormonism and Christianity

by Sharon Lindbloom 7 May 2018 On April 19th (2018) Deseret News published an article by Daniel Peterson in his “Defending the Faith” column that discusses the Trinity. Dr. Peterson begins, “A fundamental disagreement between Latter-day Saint Christianity and mainstream Christianity concerns the doctrine of the Trinity. Both outsiders and members of The Church of Jesus Christ … Read more

Ever Wondered What Mormons Believe?

by Sharon Lindbloom 19 February 2018 The LDS Church recently released seven new one-minute videos via its web presence geared toward non-Mormons, Mormon.org. The videos discuss parenting, prayer, and basic beliefs held by Mormons. The three videos that fall into this last category are “60 Mormon Beliefs in 60 Seconds,” “Do Mormons Really Believe in … Read more

Will Mormons Worship Heavenly Father Forever?

by Sharon Lindbloom 5 February 2018 An interesting article appeared in the Salt Lake Tribune recently with the intriguing title, “Humans can become like God? Mormons say Orthodox Christians have similar belief — but that’s news to Orthodox Christians.” In this article, Bob Mims presents an overview of both the LDS concept of “deification,” and … Read more

Should I allow my child to visit a Mormon church service?

By Eric Johnson For more information on this topic concerning whether adults should visit a Mormon Church service, listen to a Viewpoint on Mormonism podcast that aired Feb. 6, 2017 titled Should I Visit a Mormon Church Service?  Article summary When a Christian child is invited to attend a friend’s church service at a local LDS chapel, … Read more

Chapter 22: Reaching Out with Love to New Converts and Less-Active Members

Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Gordon B. Hinckley (2016) During 2017, LDS members will be studying the latest manual published by their church, Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Gordon B. Hinckley. We will evaluate this book regularly, chapter by chapter, by showing interesting quotes and providing an Evangelical Christian take on this manual. … Read more

Chapter 21: The Latter-Day Miracle of Missionary Work

Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Gordon B. Hinckley, 2016 During 2017, LDS members will be studying the latest manual published by their church, Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Gordon B. Hinckley. We will evaluate this book regularly, chapter by chapter, by showing interesting quotes and providing an Evangelical Christian take on this manual. … Read more

Chapter 20: Fellowship with Those Who Are Not of Our Faith

Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Gordon B. Hinckley, 2016 During 2017, LDS members will be studying the latest manual published by their church, Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Gordon B. Hinckley. We will evaluate this book regularly, chapter by chapter, by showing interesting quotes and providing an Evangelical Christian take on this manual. … Read more

Review: Mormons Believe…What?! Fact and Fiction about a Rising Religion

Check out a five-part Viewpoint on Mormonism podcast that originally aired on March 20-24, 2017  concerning Lawrence’s book:  Part 1   Part 2   Part 3   Part 4   Part 5 Written by Gary C. Lawrence Reviewed by Eric Johnson Synopsis: A Mormon pollster writes a book criticizing the views of outsiders of the Mormon Church who he believes present a … Read more

Mormon Apostle Offers Solutions To Counter Information on the Web

Note: The following was originally printed in the February 2017 edition of the MRM Update, offered to financial supporters of Mormonism Research Ministry. To request to a free subscription of our other periodical, Mormonism Researched, please visit here.  By Bill McKeever  The December 2016 issue of Ensign magazine carried an article by Mormon Apostle M. Russell Ballard that … Read more

Richard Mouw–Defending a Brand of Mormonism Many Mormons Don’t Believe

Note: The following was originally printed in the July/August 2016 edition of Mormonism Researched. To request a free subscription, please visit here.  By Bill McKeever  Dr. Richard J. Mouw, the former president of Fuller Seminary in Pasadena, CA, has been involved in Mormon-Evangelical dialogues for the past decade and a half. Yet, despite actively engaging the topic for … Read more

(Short) Answers to the 10 Most Common Responses I Get at Temple Open House Outreaches

Listen to a special 2-part Viewpoint on Mormonism on this topic that aired on September 12-13, 2016   Part 1   Part 2 By Eric Johnson (Photo at right is of the author at the Philadelphia Temple Open House in August 2016) Since 1993, MRM has participated in 31 different temple open house events, which is the only time … Read more

¿Creen los Cristianos que pueden decir una oración para ser salvo y luego pecar como el diablo?

Por Eric Johnson  Un estereotipo falso que caracteriza el Cristianismo Evangélico es que las buenas obras no son importantes. Por lo tanto, los de afuera del Cristianismo opinan que lo único que debe hacer una persona es pasar por la iglesia, recitar una oración corta, y zas, la salvación está asegurada y la persona ahora puede … Read more

Could Mormonism be a Counterfeit from Satan?

By Michael Rabus For a Viewpoint on Mormonism broadcast on this topic that aired on May 23, 2016, click here. The April 2016 issue of the Ensign magazine featured an article titled “Recognizing Satan’s Counterfeits” by Dennis C. Gaunt in which the Book of Mormon was offered as the foundation of detecting spiritual counterfeits.  When … Read more

7 ways Mormon leaders aren’t budging on traditional LDS doctrines

By Eric Johnson There are some Christians—including those possessing Ph.D.’s—who have come to the conclusion that Mormonism has moved ever so close to Christian orthodoxy in recent years. While some folks—including a few BYU professors and LDS apologists—appear seem to delight in allowing this impression to be made to the outside world, this isn’t what I am finding when … Read more

¿Está bien que un Cristiano visite un servicio de iglesia Mormón?

Por Eric Johnson Si pasa por una capilla Mormona, verá lo siguiente escrito en el muro cerca de la entrada: “Bienvenidos Visitantes”. Lo seguro es que todo aquel que conoce a un Mormón ha recibido una invitación de leer el Libro de Mormón o asistir a un servicio. Si este es el caso, ¿debería el … Read more

Review of Talking Doctrine: Mormons and Evangelicals in Conversation

Review of Talking Doctrine: Mormons & Evangelicals In Conversation (IVP Academic, 2015, edited by Richard J. Mouw and Robert L. Millet) By Eric Johnson Listen to a 5-day Viewpoint on Mormonism podcast series airing in the late summer 2015:  Part 1  Part 2  Part 3   Part 4   Part 5 The following is an article published in the Christian Research Journal, … Read more

Bill McKeever interviewed by Doug Barton, June 2015

On June 26, 2015, MRM produced a dramatic portrayal of Joseph Smith’s 33 plural wives (plus Emma) on the streets of Manti before the Mormon Miracle Pageant. Doug Barton, who has been a part of the pageant since the very beginning and has been known “Mr. Sounds and Lighting,” decided to interview MRM’s Bill McKeever … Read more

To Contend or not to Contend?

By Sharon Lindbloom There’s an article in the January 2006 issue about the fourth LDS prophet, Wilford Woodruff, titled Contending for the Faith. The tag line to this article is, “While contending for the restored gospel of Jesus Christ, President Woodruff taught principles relevant for our lives today” (p.20). I was surprised to find that … Read more

¿Es el Ministerio de Investigaciones Para el Mormonismo “Anti-Mormón”?

Por Eric Johnson Cuando el Ministerio Para el Mormonismo lleva la verdad bíblica a las calles en lugares como Manti, Utah, o a las inauguraciones de templos Mormones, solemos recibir comentarios de los Santos de los Últimos Días que creen que nuestros motivos no son sinceros y nos etiquetan con el título sospechoso de “anti-Mormón.” … Read more

¿Es Necesario Entregar Una Carta de Resignación a La Iglesia Mormona? (¿Cómo Lo Hago?)

Por Eric Johnson  Esto se trata de una decisión individual que cada Santo de los Últimos Días debe considerar. Hay varios asuntos de los cuales se deben contemplar: ¿Rechaza las enseñanzas de la Iglesia Mormona? ¿Ya no se considera activo en esta iglesia? ¿Quiere que su nombre cuente con los más de 15 millones de “miembros” … Read more

10 reasons why Mormonism should not be considered the same as Christianity

10 reasons why Mormonism should not be considered the same as Christianity

1.   The idea that a restoration of Christianity was needed.

2.   The doctrine of God is corrupt.

3.    The minimalization of Jesus Christ.

4.     The teaching of preexistence.

Mormonism: Christian, Cult, or ???

In recent years, many members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS, or Mormons) have demanded that they be considered Christians. Thus, it can become very difficult for Christian laypeople to grasp the inherent differences unless one is familiar with how the common vocabulary is defined in a Mormon context. So, should Mormonism be considered Christian, a cult, or something else altogether?

Are Mormons Christian?

While the topic has been discussed at length over the years, the idea that Mormons are Christians continues to be argued by many Latter-day Saints. In 1998, BYU professor Stephen E. Robinson explained why he thought the answer is yes in his book Are Mormons Christians? As part of its series on “Gospel Topics,” the essay titled “Are Mormons Christian?” was published in January 2014 on the official LDS website. Let’s take a closer look at the reasons given for why we should accept Mormonism as a Christian religion. 

Mormon apostle’s definition disqualifies all but Latter-day Saints as “Christian”

Mormon apostle’s definition disqualifies all but Latter-day Saints as “Christian”     

By Bill McKeever

The following was originally printed in the January-February 2013 edition of Mormonism Researched. To request a free subscription, please visit here

Should we let people live a lie in Mormonism?

The following was originally printed in the December 2009 edition of MRM’s Update, a special edition mailed to financial supporters who also receive the publication Mormonism Researched. To request a free subscription of Mormonism Researched, please visit here.  A reader asks: Hello, How should one handle their knowledge of the truth of LDS doctrine and history with … Read more

What do Christians and Mormons say about Priesthood Powers?

The following was originally printed in the June 2010 edition of MRM’s Update, a special edition mailed to financial supporters who also receive the publication Mormonism Researched. To request a free subscription of Mormonism Researched, please visit here.  The letter is presented exactly as it was sent. A Reader Asks: I grew up Mormon, but … Read more

“Why don’t you take your ministry of hate…”?

“Why don’t you take your ministry of hate…”? An angry writer believes that MRM is unfair by targeting Mormons rather than other religious groups and demands to know why we run a “ministry of hate.” MRM’s Sharon Lindbloom provides a succinct and gentle answer. This exchange was originally printed in the June 2008 edition of MRM’s Update, a special every-other-month publication mailed to those who financially support the efforts of MRM. The original letter was not edited for grammar or spelling.

 

Responding to Those Who Disagree

Responding to Those Who Disagree

By Eric Johnson

The following was originally printed in the March-April 2009 edition of Mormonism Researched. The original headline was “Mormon apostle encourages silence, not dialogue, with perceived ‘accusers.’” To request a free subscription, please visit here

Claiming Christ: A Mormon-Evangelical Debate

Claiming Christ

By Aaron Shafovaloff

The following was originally printed in the January-February 2008 edition of Mormonism Researched. To request a free subscription, please visit herehttp://www.mrm.org/newsletter

Justification by Faith and the Book of James

When the subject of salvation comes up, many Mormons use certain biblical passages to support the LDS idea that good works are necessary for a person to receive salvation. It is clear Mormonism is a religion that stresses good works. Latter-day Saints are generally good people who are known for clean, wholesome living, volunteer service, and a rabid dedication to their families.  So, when a Christian says “salvation” comes by grace through faith alone (Ephesians 2:8-9), the average Mormon bristles. “What about James 2:20?” they oftentimes say, referring to the passage possibly quoted more often by Mormons than any other.

Redefiniendo el nacimiento virginal: La concepción natural de Jesús según el Mormonismo

Compilado por Bill McKeever y Aaron Shafovaloff Quizás piense que la gente Mormona celebra la navidad como lo hacen las denominaciones cristianas. No obstante, existe un asunto doctrinal que históricamente les impide a muchos Mormones apreciar el significado Cristiano de la navidad. De hecho, es un asunto que les impide tener una relación con el … Read more

Talking with Mormons: An Invitation to Evangelicals

Richard Mouw is the outgoing president of Fuller Theological Seminary.  He is a key

evangelical figure  in the realm of interfaith dialogue and has spent the better part of the last decade engaged in discussions with Latter-day Saint scholars and some LDS church officials.  His role has afforded him some high profile encounters typified by his role in the preliminary portion of Ravi Zacharias 2004 lecture at “An Evening of Friendship” in the Mormon Tabernacle at Temple Square in Salt Lake City.  This event is central to the book’s occasion and content since it affords much of the impetus for Mouw’s role in Mormon/Evangelical dialogues and established him as both a respected and controversial figure in this arena. A review of his book Talking with Mormons: An Invitation to Evangelicals.

Do I not understand your religion?

One complaint often made against Christians who are critical of Mormonism is that they just don’t “understand” Mormonism. It’s almost as if the Mormon is assuming that a person must be a Latter-day Saint in order to be accurate in any assessement of the religion. When the Mormon makes a statement saying “you just don’t (or can’t) understand,” it might be wise to ask if you could, in three minutes, quickly list some of what you know. If you are in a face-to-face discussion, ask the Mormon to not interrupt as you go through this list. The following are 21 possible points that a Christian could make:

Though he insists it isn’t, Richard Mouw’s definition of a cult fits the LDS Church

In an interview printed in Christianity Today titled Rich Mouw on Why Evangelicals Need to Be Quick to Listen to Mormons,” Dr. Richard Mouw, the outgoing president of Fuller Seminary (yes, the same Dr. Mouw that continues to accuse evangelicals of bearing false witness when it comes to the teachings of Mormonism) insists that the word cult should not be applied to the LDS Church. It’s not because he thinks all cults have suddenly disappeared; after all, in his new book, Talking with Mormons: An invitation to Evangelicals, he writes,

“Mormons don’t deserve to be dismissed by Christians as a cult. Scientology in my view, is a cult. The Jehovah’s Witnesses belong to a cult. Hare Krishna is a cult . But present-day Mormonism should not be lumped together with these groups” (vii-ix).

Является ли Мормонизм Христианством? (Is Mormonism Christianity?)

В 1998, Апостол Бойд Пакер церкви Святых Последних Дней (ЦСПД) жаловался о тех кто подвергает сомнению христианство Церкви Святых Последних Дней. “Это одна вещь говорить что мы не их вид Христианe,” говорил Пакер, “И совсем другoe характеризировать нас как не Христиан вообще.”

Является ли Мормонизм Христианством?

В 1998, Апостол Бойд Пакер церкви Святых Последних Дней (ЦСПД) жаловался о тех кто подвергает сомнению христианство Церкви Святых Последних Дней. “Это одна вещь говорить что мы не их вид Христианe,” говорил Пакер, “И совсем другoe характеризировать нас как не Христиан вообще.”

Is This Bigotry? A Response to Latter-day Saints Who Say, "We Never Criticize Christian Churches"

When Dr. Robert Jeffress, the senior pastor of the 10,000-member First Baptist Church of Dallas, Texas referred to Mitt Romney’s Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as a cult, he caused a firestorm among Mormons and those in the media. Sadly, even though Dr. Jeffress carefully explained that his comment was within the context of theology, he has been accused of bigotry, a typical accusation used by our culture when someone expresses disagreement. What has been virtually ignored in this controversy is how the LDS Church has historically viewed traditional Christianity. It is no secret that the LDS Church claims that it alone represents true Christianity and that God is only pleased with the church Joseph Smith started in 1830. LDS leaders have used words like, whoremaster, apostate, heathens, ignorant, fools, idolators, and blasphemous to describe professing Christians outside of the LDS faith. All things being equal, should they not also be considered bigots, and if so, when is the LDS Church going to apologize for these comments?

The Not-so Mormon Soteriology of Glenn Beck

Glenn BeckGlenn Beck, an outspoken member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, caused quite a stir on his July 13, 2010 broadcast when he spent a good portion of his show explaining the difference between the Christian view of individual salvation, and the collective view of salvation proffered by proponents of Black liberation theology. He explained:

“You cannot earn your way into heaven. You can’t! There is no deed, no random act of kindness, no amount of money to spread around to others that earns you a trip to heaven. It can’t happen. It’s earned by God’s grace alone, by believing that Jesus died on the cross for you. This is what Christians believe.”

A Response to the Mysterious "Paul Allen" Letter on Mormons

By Bill McKeever

For several years now, Mormons have been circulating an email allegedly written by NFL owner Paul Allen that they feel supports the claim that Mormons are Christians. First of all, there was a letter written by a Paul Allen that praised the Mormons that was printed in a Santa Clarita, California newspaper, but it was not the Paul Allen who owns the Seattle Seahawks. At Snopes.com you will find the following:

Struggling with your Mormonism?

Listen

Few things in life are harder to handle than betrayal. The impact of shattered trust seems to completely permeate hearts and minds, making it difficult to ever trust again. As bad as that is, betrayal is compounded when it comes from a trusted spiritual leader. If that is why you have come to this page, we hope to offer some understanding and suggestions.

Should We Dwell On Similarities?

 

In recent years some within the Christian and Mormon community have been espousing a method of mutual understanding that urges dialogue revolving around common ground rather than discussions that make a clear distinction between Mormonism and the Christian faith. To imply that a Mormon could be wrong and run the risk of offense is considered by many in this camp as anathema. I admit I have my concerns about this new approach.

Am I surprised to hear Mormons expressing their appreciation to Christians who refrain from making them answer the hard questions? Not at all. No doubt many LDS like this new approach because it protects them from hearing things about their faith that may eventually cause them to rethink their positions.

 

Should Christians Witness at Mormon Events?

By Bill McKeever

Many people who attend Christian churches see no problem with foreign missionaries exposing paganism and false doctrine by handing out literature and witnessing in public places. However, for some strange reason, some of these same people have a problem with Christians exposing false doctrine in a similar manner here in the United States.

"I feel a spirit of contention!"

By Bill McKeever

It is not uncommon for Latter-day Saints to accuse Christians of having a “spirit of contention” when their doctrinal inconsistencies are being discussed. Such a rebuke is meant to make it appear that the Christian is somehow not exhibiting a Christ-like attitude and/or not playing fair.

Being accused of being contentious should be taken seriously only if you really are. If so, kindly apologize. If you feel this label has been unjustifiably used, you might ask how he defines contention and then show him what Jude states in verse 3.

The Hypocrisy of the NCCJ (National Conference for Community and Justice)

By Bill McKeever

What is the NCCJ and why does this organization keep coming to the defense of the LDS Church? The National Conference for Community and Justice recently changed its name from the National Conference of Christians and Jews. It claims to be a human relations organization that fights bias, bigotry, and racism.

I first heard of this organization back in the mid-1980s following the release of the film, “The Godmakers.” The NCCJ took it upon themselves to send letters to Christian churches urging them not to show the film to their congregations.

Is It Just a Small Group of Evangelicals Who Have a Problem with Mormonism?

Is It Just a Small Group of Evangelicals Who Have a Problem with Mormonism?

By Bill McKeever

In 1998, LDS Apostle Boyd Packer complained about those who questioned the Christianity of the LDS Church. “It is one thing to say we are not their kind of Christians,” he said, “It is quite another to characterize us as not being Christian at all.”

Are "we evangelicals" guilty of bearing false witness when it comes to explaining Mormon doctrine?

By Bill McKeever

It is a rare event when a Christian theologian/philosopher is allowed to speak in the Mormon Tabernacle on Temple Square, but on November 14, 2004, Dr. Ravi Zacharias was given such an opportunity as he addressed the topic of Jesus as the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Unfortunately, much of what Dr. Zacharias had to say about the depravity of man, the necessity of the cross, the inability of man to save himself, and the all-sufficiency of Christ has taken a back seat due to remarks made prior to him taking the pulpit.

John MacArthur and Robert Millet: "fellow-warriors" in a common battle against easy-believism?

Much has been made about a meeting that took place in August of 1997 between Pastor John MacArthur of Grace Community Church and BYU professor Robert Millet. A number of Mormons (including Millet himself), as well as some evangelicals, have given the impression that the two men have much in common when it comes to theological issues.

Fresno Bee’s April 1, 2000 Editorial

 A Review by Bill McKeever

Those who have worked with MRM at temple outreaches know that we try very hard to stay low-key. Our intention is to politely hand out our 4-page newspaper that clearly explains things that the LDS Church is reluctant to have visitors know. We don’t seek media attention nor do we try to use sensational means to be noticed.

Is Judging Always Wrong? A Closer Look at Matthew 7:1

By Eric Johnson 

Are making judgment calls always wrong? If not, is it wrong to critique what Christians believe to be doctrinal error? A common proof text used by Mormons who insist that their church is above criticism is Matthew 7:1, which says, “Judge not, that ye be not judged.” “Why do you judge?” is an admonishing question we have heard countless times asked by those who believe that religious criticism is shameful and “unChristian.” They add, “The Bible says that you should mind your own business.”

Is Mormonism Moving Toward a Protestant View of Grace and Works? Seventy Calls Such a Notion a "Misconception."

By Bill McKeever

In recent years some Christians have insisted that the Mormon Church has been slowly abandoning its heretical roots and coming closer to embracing a more biblical soteriology. While we would like nothing more than to see this actually happen, we have been reluctant to engage in similar optimism. A speech given by Seventy Bruce Hafen in General Conference in April 2004 confirms our doubts.

Godhood and Theosis

That mere mortal men have the capacity to eventually become Gods is a doctrine that has been defended by LDS leaders since the early years of the Mormon Church. At the root of this concept is the idea that mankind is the literal offspring of God. Speaking in the Tabernacle on August 8, 1852, Brigham Young stated,

“The Lord created you and me for the purpose of becoming Gods like Himself; when we have been proved in our present capacity, and been faithful with all things He puts into our possession. We are created, we are born for the express purpose of growing up from the low estate of manhood, to become Gods like unto our Father in heaven. That is the truth about it, just as it is” (Journal of Discourses 3:93).