Christian Terms vs. Mormon Terms: Not all words have the same meaning

Pentecostal Evangel article, Feb. 10, 2002

 

Salvation

For Christians, salvation means the ultimate reconciliation between man and God. The saved person spends eternity with the Creator of the Universe in heaven while unsaved people endure eternal damnation separated from God. For Mormons, salvation means resurrection. Everyone gets to be resurrected (saved from death) through the Atonement of Christ. However, where one spends eternity depends upon that person’s membership in the Mormon church and their obedience to Mormon laws and ordinances.

Trinity

Mormonism not only teaches that Father, Son and Holy Ghost are three separate and distinct gods, but claims all men may become gods.

The idea that men may become gods is so repugnant to Christians that some Mormons misrepresent their beliefs in order to appear biblical. A noted Mormon author steadfastly maintained that Mormons are not polytheists. He quoted 1 Corinthians 8:6 saying, "to us there is but one God." However when you study his explanation, you find he believes there are lots of gods in the universe, but only one (or three) that earthly humanity "will ever be subject to."

Celestial Marriage

Mormons believe marriage is "for time and all eternity." They believe marriage on earth will exist throughout eternity (if it is a Mormon marriage solemnized in a Mormon temple – and assuming there is not a temple divorce). But most people do not know that Celestial Marriage – "the new and everlasting covenant" – encompasses polygamy. In fact, polygamy is the "new and everlasting covenant," and anyone who reaches the Celestial Kingdom will practice it.

The mainline Mormon Church has "renounced" polygamy – but only in the sense that it is not now practicing it. It has never said that it was wrong, nor does it promise that the practice will not be reinstated. Most of the hundreds of Mormon sub-sects practice polygamy because the early Mormon prophets clearly taught that it would never end. Only when the Mormon church was faced with losing its temples, property and chances for statehood, was polygamy "renounced."

Virgin birth

In Mormon theology, Eloheim – God the Father – had "normal" human sexual relations with Mary and conceived Jesus in the "natural" way. That is, Jesus was conceived "the same as we were." (Journal of Discourses, Vol 1. Pp. 50-51; Vol 8, p. 115; Vol. 4, p. 218; Vol 8. P. 211.)

Pre-existence

Mormons believe that although the mind of man is co-eternal with God, it was still "organized." The organizational process was done by the Mormon god Eloheim, who "generated" our spirits through sexual relations with his numerous spiritual wives. You and I, Jesus and Lucifer, Hitler and Churchill, Stalin and Roosevelt, Martin Luther and Nostradamus – all of us were conceived by the spiritual union of Eloheim and one of his spiritual polygamous wives. We were then sent to earth to "gain a body" on our way to godhood.

Blood Atonement

One of the most unusual beliefs to come out of Mormonism is the doctrine of Blood Atonement. This Mormon teaching states: There are some sins for which the blood of Christ cannot atone and a man’s own blood must be shed if he is to find forgiveness.1

This doctrine was practiced widely in Utah in the latter half of the 19th century. The Salt Lake Tribune reported, in 1876, that "no less than six hundred murders have been committed by the Mormons, in nearly every case at the instigation of their priestly leaders, during their occupation of this Territory."2

Blood Atonement is still practiced in Utah today by some members of the polygamous sub-sects. Utah allows those sentenced to die for capital crimes to be executed by firing squad in deference to this doctrine and every prospective juror in a capital homicide case is asked what he thinks about Blood Atonement.3

1Journal of Discourses, Vol. 4, p. 54.; Jedediah M. Grant, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 4, p. 49-51; Heber C. Kimball, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 6, p. 126.; Heber C. Kimball, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 7, p. 19.

2Salt Lake Daily Tribune, Tuesday Morning, January 25, 1876.

3"Concept of Blood Atonement Survives in Utah Despite Repudiation," Salt Lake Tribune (November 5, 1994) D-1.

– James R. Spencer