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How to Show a Mormon the Difference Between the Mormon Jesus and the Biblical Jesus

I find that Mormons frequently claim they are Christians, and that they want to be referred to as Christians, and they have even recently sought to distance themselves from the word “Mormon.” The problem is, they worship another Jesus, and here is how to show them the difference between the Mormon Jesus and the Biblical Jesus. Before we get to that, some clarifications are necessary.

 

The Mormon President Russell Nelson said, 

 

“What’s in a name or, in this case, a nickname? When it comes to nicknames of the Church, such as the “LDS Church,” the “Mormon Church,” or the “Church of the Latter-day Saints,” the most important thing in those names is the absence of the Savior’s name. To remove the Lord’s name from the Lord’s Church is a major victory for Satan. When we discard the Savior’s name, we are subtly disregarding all that Jesus Christ did for us—even His Atonement.”[1]

 

So, according to Nelson, to call Mormons, Mormons, is a victory for Satan. So, this also means that to call an anti-Mormon (an arguably pejorative term for those who speak against LDS beliefs), an anti-Mormon, a name that they are told not to use by their own president, is also a victory for Satan. In other words, Mormons are anti-Mormons if they use the term, “anti-Mormon.”

 

If you use the term, “anti-Mormon,” then you are an anti-Mormon

 

The logic is simple:

1.     Mormons are told not to refer to themselves as Mormon because it removes the word “Jesus.”

2.     Calling someone an anti-Mormon removes the word “Jesus,” and refers to themselves as Mormons.

3.     Therefore, Mormons who call other people “anti-Mormon” are anti-Mormon themselves.

 

So, when someone calls you an anti-Mormon, tell them that they are as well. Now that we have this understanding, we can continue with how Mormons worship another Jesus. Mormons either knowingly or unknowingly try to intrude on the title, Christian. But the problem is, they have fundamentally different beliefs about Jesus than Christians. 


The Difference

The Mormon Jesus is ultimately a created being. According to Mormons, Heavenly Father (the Mormon phrase for “God”) created Jesus and therefore Jesus has a beginning. 

 

“We believe Jesus is the Son of God the Father and as such inherited powers of godhood and divinity from His Father, including immortality, the capacity to live forever. While He walked the dusty roads of Palestine as a man, He possessed the powers of a God and ministered as one having authority, including power over the elements and even power over life and death.”[2]

 

The difference between the Mormon Jesus and the Biblical Jesus can often take some linguistic acrobatics in order for Mormons to understand that the Mormon Jesus is fundamentally different than the Jesus we see in the Bible. If you ask a Mormon if they worship the same Jesus as Christians, they will almost always say that they do. Then your next step is to ask them if Jesus had a beginning; if He was ever created. They will say that He existed before the creation, and was with the Father before the creation of the world. The problem is that this sounds like what Christians believe, but it is fundamentally different. What they mean is that Heavenly Father (the Mormon phrase for “God”), created spirits before the world began. 

Mormons believe that “We lived as spirit children of God in a premortal existence.”[3] In other words, Heavenly Father created spirit children and eventually, these spirits were sent to earth, and filled all human bodies, but the problem is that we forgot our pre-mortal existence.[4] Jesus was supposedly one of these spirit children. So, according to Mormons, Jesus did exist before the creation of the world, but not before the creation of spirit children. This is the fundamental difference between Mormons and Christians about the beliefs in the deity of Christ. Perhaps a good question to ask Mormons at this point is, "Did Jesus exist before the creation of spirit children?" To this question, they will answer "no," and this is how you can begin to show them the difference between The Mormon Jesus and the Christian Jesus.  


NOTE: For the Mormons who say that they do not believe that Jesus is a created being, the difference can still be found between the Mormon Jesus and the biblical Jesus through the Mormon teaching that the Father and the Son are two distinct beings. But otherwise, if you press them on whether or not Jesus is the "first born spirit child of Heavenly Father," they cannot deny this based on their scripture. Some may try to explain that Heavenly Father is a re-arranger of particles, and in this sense, Jesus has always existed, but still not as a person (or even a spirit). In any event, press them on Jesus being the first born spirit child of Heavenly Father.





For a Mormon, Jesus is ultimately a created being, but for a Christian, Jesus is not a created being. He always existed. In the gospel of John, verses one through three, we find in the King James Version of the Bible, the Bible that Mormons claim is their own scripture, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.”[5] So then according to this passage, Jesus, at the beginning of all that is created, was already in existence. Not only that, but the Bible says that all things were created through Him. This would seem to include spirit children. This is the fundamental difference between what Mormons believe about Jesus and what Christians believe about Jesus. This is also why we should continue to refer to Mormons as Mormons and not as Christians.

After you ask them if Jesus had a beginning, show them how the Bible communicates that this is impossible. It is impossible because Jesus would’ve had to create Himself, according to John 1:1-3, which is absurd. “Without Him was not any thing made that was made.” The Christian Jesus is fundamentally different from the Mormon Jesus because He is not a created being. If you have a conversation with a Mormon willing to discuss this in depth, they must come to agree with you about the differences, because these differences become glaringly clear. Perhaps then, they may understand why Christians do not call Mormons Christian.

I think this distinction is necessary because it is deceiving to those unaware and seeking. If there is a person who heard the name of Jesus and is curious about it, they may begin to seek Him and bump into “The church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-day Saints.” When the unfamiliar or even strange doctrines start to appear, and the seeker responds, “Are you a Christian?” and the Mormon replies in the affirmative, deception indeed takes place. This distinction is absolutely necessary. 

Mormons refer to themselves as Mormons when they call someone an anti-Mormon, so where is the error when Christians want to continue calling them Mormons as well? They call themselves such when they speak the term, anti-Mormon, and they believe in a fundamentally different (Mormon) Jesus. Until some big and necessary changes happen in Mormon beliefs and doctrine, let’s keep the title Christian away from Mormonism.

 

“Contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints.” –Jude 3

 

 

For more, see my book on Mormonism:

https://www.amazon.com/Mormonism-Refuting-Fundamental-Apologetics-Latter-Day/dp/1662885377/ 



 

 Written by Nace Howell through the grace of the Lord Jesus.


 © Nace Howell, 2023 

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