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Today we are going to look at the Latter Day Saint’s Articles of Faith, written by their prophet Joseph Smith, to see how it conflicts with Orthodox Christianity.  It is important to note how they use the same words we do, but define them very differently.

The Articles of Faithof The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Chapter 1

1 We believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost.

2 We believe that men will be punished for their own sins, and not for Adam’s transgression.

3 We believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel.

4 We believe that the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel are: first, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; second, Repentance; third, Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; fourth, Laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost.

5 We believe that a man must be called of God, by prophecy, and by the laying on of hands by those who are in authority, to preach the Gospel and administer in the ordinances thereof.

6 We believe in the same organization that existed in the Primitive Church, namely, apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists, and so forth.

7 We believe in the gift of tongues, prophecy, revelation, visions, healing, interpretation of tongues, and so forth.

8 We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly; we also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God.

9 We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God.

10 We believe in the literal gathering of Israel and in the restoration of the Ten Tribes; that Zion (the New Jerusalem) will be built upon the American continent; that Christ will reign personally upon the earth; and, that the earth will be renewed and receive its paradisiacal glory.

11 We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.

12 We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.

13 We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul—We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.

Joseph Smith.

The first one seems alright until you ask them to define their terms, then we see the vast chasm that separates them from the true faith.

1 We believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost.

Their father was once a man named Elohim (which is amusing because Elohim is the Hebrew word for god)  This man followed the doctrines of the LDS faith so well that he became an exalted man, then the god who rules this solar system.  According to the LDS faith, he has a flesh and bone body and is a caucasian.  When they say he is eternal they only mean that he was part of the eternal energy and intellect.  They only believe that matter and intellect are eternal.  They believe that Elohim was the son of his parents as they were children of their parents and so on approaching infinity.  In that sense, they call him eternal.  They believe that Jesus is actually his son through sexual copulation and that the holy spirit is simple the spirit of the father.

2 We believe that men will be punished for their own sins, and not for Adam’s transgression.

They deny man’s inherited sin nature in Adam, conflicting with what the Bible says in 1 Corinthians 15 as Adam being our federal head.  Denial of total depravity also helps them justify other abhorrent beliefs.

3 We believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel.

They deny limited atonement and affirm that man’s salvation is by his obedience to the laws and ordinances of the gospel.  It must be noted that they do not mean the moral law of the Bible, and they do not mean the gospel of Christ when they refer to, “ordinances of the gospel.”  They are talking about their own set of laws and ordinances that their prophets have made up and recorded for them to follow.  Thus their salvation is one of works not grace for grace is unmerited favor and by definition can not be of our own being.  This belief is also in direct conflict with the Bible for we know, “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9

4 We believe that the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel are: first, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; second, Repentance; third, Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; fourth, Laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost.

Again this sounds good until you find out what they believe about Jesus, the gospel, faith, repentance, baptism and the laying on of hands.  I’ve already explained that their jesus is a created being who is not God.  Their gospel is a list of works and doctrines that must be obeyed so it is no good news at all.  Read their book, “Doctrines and Covenants” if you want to understand what they call the gospel.  The Christian gospel, εὐαγγέλιον-euangelion, or good message is one of salvation by grace, not adherence to a moral code written by a false prophet.  Their repentance is not the repentance that leads to life, because theirs is the one that leaves them dead.  They have a works righteous repentance where they admit wrongdoing and attempt in their own dead flesh to not do it again.  As we know the repentance that leads to life is actually the repentance of their type of repentance.  For someone to truly be LDS they must be baptised into the cult.  It is a necessity.  In Christianity baptismal regeneration is a heresy.  They believe in apostolic succession.  This is also a false teaching.  We know there are no more Apostles in the same sense as the ones who were with the incarnate Christ and sent by Him to build the Church upon Him as the rock.  We also know that the Holy Spirit indwells all regenerate believers.  

5 We believe that a man must be called of God, by prophecy, and by the laying on of hands by those who are in authority, to preach the Gospel and administer in the ordinances thereof.

This also sounds good until you understand what they mean.  Their god can call nobody, because he doesn’t exist.  Their god is a fictional character imagined by Joseph Smith.  The only people who can be leaders in their cult are those who have been approved by the men who have already been firmly entrenched into their cult.

6 We believe in the same organization that existed in the Primitive Church, namely, apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists, and so forth.

Smith uses the phrase, “so forth” without being specific about other offices they affirm.  It is almost as if he was just too lazy and didn’t want to look into it.  Again he is using words that are in the Bible and redefining them.  One who is sent with a message is an apostle according to the Bible in a sense all Christians are apostles.  We are not Apostles in the sense of, “The Apostles.”  A person who declares the reality of what God says as actual truth is a Prophet.  Prophets who declared portions of God’s word that had not occurred yet are not predicting the future like a fortune teller.  If God says something is going to happen it has already happened we just haven’t gotten that far down the timeline yet.  Modern Prophets are just reading the Bible out loud.  We have the complete word of God given to us in the Bible, there is no more to come.  Jesus perfectly fulfilled the role of Prophet, as He is the Word made flesh.

7 We believe in the gift of tongues, prophecy, revelation, visions, healing, interpretation of tongues, and so forth.

Of course they affirm all sorts of extra-biblical revelation.  It is the only way they can justify believing the lies of Joseph Smith and all of the other false prophets of their faith.

8 We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly; we also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God.

Here is the kicker.  It seems fine, and you might even agree that the Bible does need to be translated correctly, but that is not how they use this.  Whenever you bring up a conflict between what the false doctrines of the LDS are and show them the Bible they default to this article.  “Oh the Bible has been corrupted here and it wasn’t properly translated.”  They, like so many cults and satan in Genesis call people to doubt the word of God.  Satan tempted Eve by telling her God’s word is not true and that she could become like God.  It is interesting that the LDS say the same thing satan said.  Genesis 3:1-7 Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, “Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?” The woman said to the serpent, “From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.’” The serpent said to the woman, “You surely will not die! “For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loin coverings.”

9 We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God.

The LDS are continuationists in the extreme sense.  They don’t just believe in continued miracle healings like our charismatic brother, but exceed that of acceptable doctrine by preaching extra-biblical revelations and more revealed truths that supercede and abrogate the word of God that we have.

10 We believe in the literal gathering of Israel and in the restoration of the Ten Tribes; that Zion (the New Jerusalem) will be built upon the American continent; that Christ will reign personally upon the earth; and, that the earth will be renewed and receive its paradisiacal glory.

That’s right, you read it correctly, Joseph Smith wrote there were only 10 tribes.  What happened to the other 2?  They believe that there were 10 lost Hebrew tribes that fled to America in antiquity.  They also believe that ‘Merica! is going to be where the New Jerusalem will be…  Come on? Really?  I know, I know, it baffles the mind, but this is what they believe.  When you are a false prophet you can say just about anything even stuff that is flat out fiction.

11 We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.

This is a pretty relativistic statement in practice.  It sounds innocuous enough to be non-threatening, but if they truly believe this why do they send out missionaries?

12 We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.

Interesting that there is no clause to disobey the government when it is compelling the people to disobey God.  The Bible is pretty clear that we stop obeying the government when it tells us to disobey God.  Like their 11th article it is a product of the time.  During this period in American history mormons were seen as a dangerous cult.  They were forced out of cities and towns as they followed their outlaw leaders who were  horse thieves, and crooks.  They were not well liked or respected due to their insane beliefs and practices.

13 We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul—We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.

Joseph Smith attempts to tie it all up here and put a pretty spin on things, but let’s see what they really pursued, polygamy, false prophecies that never came true, false prophets whose prophecies they built their faith on, immoral ceremonial practices, oh oh and, “So forth” (I’m kidding, I won’t do to you what Joseph Smith did to you) works righteousness in a graceless man-centered system, they have believed the lie instead of the truth, a false jesus who is a creation and can not save from sin, and a god who is not eternal.

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