Mormonism is a term to describe the doctrine and teachings, based on the Book of Mormon. Those that believe in the Book of Mormon are refered to as Mormons. Mormons believe God was once a man who, became a god on another planet, and promoted in some way to be "god of this world." Mormon's also believe that the priesthood authority and the keys of Gods original church were removed from the earth shortly after the death of the apostles. The Book of Mormon is a collection of writings by prophets in the Americas. Those plates, (never seen again) became the "Book of Mormon." Outside the church, church members called Mormons because of their belief in the Book of Mormon as scripture, alongside the Bible. The founder, Joseph Smith was supposedly praying one day and asked God which religion he should be and God said none.
Joseph Smith clarified on the origin of the term Mormon by stating, "Through the medium of your paper, I wish to correct an error among men that profess to be learned, liberal and wise; and I do it the more cheerfully, because I hope sober-thinking and sound-reasoning people will sooner listen to the voice of truth, than be led astray by the vain pretentions [pretensions] of the self-wise.
The error I speak of, is the definition of the word "Mormon." It has been stated that this word was derived from the Greek word mormo. This is not the case. There was no Greek or Latin upon the plates from which I, through the grace of God. translated the Book of Mormon. Let the language of that book speak for itself. In the 523d page, of the fourth edition, it reads: "And now behold we have written this record according to our knowledge in the characters, which are called among us the Reformed Egyptian, being handed down and altered by us, according to our manner of speech; and if our plates had been sufficiently large, we should have written in Hebrew: but the Hebrew hath been altered by us, also; and if we could have written in Hebrew, behold ye would have had no imperfection in our record, but the Lord knoweth the things which we have written, and also, that none other people knoweth our language; therefore he that prepared means for the interpretation thereof." Here then the subject is put to silence, for "none other people knoweth our language," therefore the Lord, and not man, had to interpret, after the people were all dead. And, as Paul said, "the world by wisdom know not God," so the world by speculation are destitute of revelation; and as God in his superior wisdom, has always given his saints, wherever he had any on the earth, the same spirit, and that spirit, is John says, is the true spirit of prophesy, which is the testimony of Jesus, I may safely say that the word Mormon stands independent of the learning and wisdom of this generation.-Before I give a definition, however, to the word, let me say that the Savior says according to the gospel of John, I" am the good shepherd;" and it will not be beyond the common use of terms, to say that good is among the most important in use, and though known by various names in different languages, still its meaning is the same, and is ever in opposition to bad. We say from the Saxon, good; the Dane, god,; the Goth, goda; the German, gut; the Dutch, goed; the Latin, bonus; the Greek, kalos; the Hebrew, tob; and the Egyptian, mon. Hence, with the addition of more, of the contraction, mor, we have the word Mormon; which means, literally, more good." (John Greenhow, 1843, p. 194) This is a report on the Mormon religion and a comparison of Christianity through an interview with a friend named, Jennifer Pope.
Common Beliefs for MormonsMormons do not believe in the original sin of Adam. Mormons believe we are born innocent and pure and that Adam and Eve did the world a favor by par taking the fruit so that we could come to this earth, learn, grow, and be tested. The Mormon's believe that all people will have a chance to hear the gospel in either this life or the next.
Mormon's also believe that the priesthood authority and the keys of Gods original church were removed from the earth shortly after the death of the apostles. Because had it stayed it would have fallen into a twisted state of apostasy (which the doctrine kind of did) and that many events have been guided and inspired to lead to the restoration of that gospel.
They believe God restored the keys of that original church, along with the priesthood authority through Joseph Smith and that the Book of Mormon is another testament of Christ and God. The Book of Mormon is a collection of writings by prophets in the Americas. They also believe in the Bible. They do not believe in the trinity. They also believe they are three separate beings, one in purpose. Additionally, they believe heaven is more a reward system then a punishment one. There really is not a burning and gnashing of teeth type place of fire and brimstoneMormons believe that around 1830 in Palmyra, NY. Joseph Smith discovered ancient buried plates (under the direction of an angel). Which, only he could read with special glasses. Those plates, (never seen again) became the "Book of Mormon." They also believe "the Bible is the word of God in-so-far as it is translated correctly" (since 1830 there have been over 3000 changes in the "Book of Mormon"). So, when they say the Bible is not translated correctly, coupled with their other beliefs about God, is why Christians consider them a cult (spiritual) as for being a cult by the "worlds" standards(destructive) that is usually small sects not recognized by the "church" proper.
Outside the church, church members called Mormons because of their belief in the Book of Mormon as scripture, alongside the Bible. They believe that Jesus and the Devil are brothers, they believe you are married in heaven (celestial marriages) when in the Bible Jesus completely says this is not so. Jennifer Pope when asked why they believe something, which contradicts the Bible she said, 'oh we do not believe that part', so they choose which verses they want to use to suit their needs. They also think there are three levels of heaven, and if you are a good Mormon, you go to the top, and eventually get a planet. There is a 'heavenly father and mother that have spirit babies that come to earth to inhabit bodies; this is why they have so many offspring.
Mormons believe in the factual assembly of Israel and in the re-establishment of the Ten Tribes; that Zion (the New Jerusalem) is to be rebuilt upon the North American continent; that Jesus will be personally in power upon the earth; and that the earth will be transformed and obtain its paradisiacal glory.
The founder, Joseph Smith was supposedly praying one day and asked God which religion he should be and God said none. He claimed to have found golden plates with writing that only he could translate (imagine that) and he created the several books of Mormon about made up characters with places that do not even exist to this day.
Mormons have a good sense of family, society, work ethic, they are polite etc., but in the end the only thing that gets you into heaven, is not the fact that you are Mormon (as they believe), but the truth is that you have to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. This means that you must fall on your knees, cry out to Jesus and admit that you are a sinner, repent from your life of sin and believe that Jesus is Lord. That is it. It is in the Bible and it is the longest standing message that God delivered to us through the Bible.
HolidaysThe two main holidays that the Mormons celebrate are Easter and Christmas, which represent the Birth and Death of Jesus Christ. There are a few other days for celebration as well. The specific main Mormon Holiday is called "Pioneer Day"; this day is on July 24 every year. This is a special day, because this is the day that Mormons first entered Salt Lake Valley in 1847, after a very long journey to escape persecution in the east. May 15th is a day in which it is believed that John the Baptist visited Joseph Smith Jr. in 1829.
To the Mormon Church, Easter is probably the most sacred holiday. Together with Christians around the world, members of the Church take the time to remember Christ's atoning sacrifice and His glorious resurrection from the dead. Because the date Easter falls on fluctuates, the April General Conference of the Church occasionally coincides with Easter weekend. While keeping the Savior at the center of the holiday, Mormon families may also participate in some of the other Easter traditions, such as the Easter Bunny and plenty of candy. Many Mormons combine the celebration of the resurrection with the celebration of the establishment of the Church of Christ on April 6, 1830. Having lost most of its pagan undertones long ago, mostMormon families celebrate Halloween in some form. Children can dress up, and go trick-or-treating. Parties often held for the youth or for the entire ward.
Christians throughout the world celebrate Christmas on December 25 as an annual church festival and as the traditional day of our Savior's mortal birth. Modern scripture (Doctrine and Covenants 20:1) suggests, and many Mormons believe, that the Savior was born in the spring. However, they observe the Savior's birth when, more than at any other time of year, the world unites to remember this most sacred event and where it is evident the Savior's teachings of love, charity, self-sacrifice, and tolerance put into practice.
Mormons believe that without Christ, there would be no Christmas and without Christ, there cannot be true happiness. Ideally, the time to ponder the true meaning of Christmas and to center attentions on the true doctrine of His birth as the Son of God, an event that allowed Him to work out the infinite and eternal atonement.
Christmas trees, stockings, gifts and greeting cards believed to add to the beauty of the Christmas season. However, when such is too time consuming and expensive, it can detract from the spirit of Christmas. If left to the last minute, it can often relay rapidity and confusion to Christmas observance. Church leaders caution members that holiday shopping, decorating, and festivities should not be so all consuming that they forget or vaguely remember the reason for Christmas. Gifts should reflect the same spirit of love and concern, as did those of the Wise Men who presented the first gifts to the baby Jesus. The Mormon Church encourages its members to draw their families close together, show concern for neighbors, renew old friendships, and show acts of Christ-like love by giving, and celebrating the birth of our Savior.
While conversing with Jennifer Pope, it has become apparent that the Mormons are nowhere similar in their beliefs as Christians. They tend to study in their own homes as well as meeting houses. Jennifer stated that she practices her faith at home; you do not need to go anywhere to feel the love of God the Father. While talking with Jennifer, I had asked her a few simple questions. She then informed me of the facts in this paper and gave me websites to visit. Mormon beliefs are not only unbiblical, but also anti-Christian.
Jennifer chose the Mormon faith because that is what her husband was. She stated that if given the choice, she would probably reconsider her choice, and reflect more on Christianity beliefs. She now is thinking of converting back to Christianity, since she is no longer married at this time. She will discuss the Mormon religion with anyone who may be interested in the history of the religion. She chooses not to try to convert people; they should be able to choose what is right for them. (Jennifer Pope, personal communication, March 09, 2009)ConclusionIn conclusion, there is a real difference in the Mormon religion and Christianity. Mormons follow their book, and only reference the bible for occasional verses that they 'created' their religion based on. Mind you, Joseph Smith had this 'revelation' 1800 years after the Bible was written. One additionally thought from this writer, it is this writer's personal belief that most of the religions of today have always had the faith, and belief in One True God. While researching, and writing about this particular religion, again given the chance to view the beliefs and teachings of another person's religion. Still, holding true to personal beliefs that everyone has the equal right to chose for him or herself which religion and beliefs are right for him or her.
ReferencesJohn Greenhow. (1843, May 15). Truth Will Prevail. Times and Seasons, 4(13), 190-200.
Robert Ruby. (2007, May). Two Leaders in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Discuss the Tenets of Their Faith and its Role in Today's Political Life. The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life. Retrieved March 10, 2009, from In Focus: Mormonism in Modern America Web site: http://pewforum.org/events/?EventID=143The Official Scriptures of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. (2006). THEDOCTRINE AND COVENANTSOF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. Retrieved March 2009, from The Doctrine and Covenants of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints Web site: http://scriptures.lds.org/en/dc/101Dale L. Berge. (1985). Archaeological Work at the Smith Log House.