Jesus of the Bible and Jesus in Mormonism; Not the Same Christ
The week after Thanksgiving is always the same for our family. We always find ourselves basking in the joy of having full tummies of good food and warm fellowship with other Christians. The “busy season” is upon us as we rush to the umpteenth performance of our children’s rendition of Pachelbel Canon at the local schools and clap wildly just like we did the first time we heard it.
Full tummies and scratchy orchestra performances are the blessings making our lives joyful, while knowing they are from the one and only God. With that in mind let us turn our attention to the greatness of our Lord, our God and Savior, Christ Jesus; let us pause for a moment and think upon nothing and no one, save Him only.
I challenge the Mormon people to ask themselves the following questions without having any part of their answers include anyone or anything but Jesus. I have always felt such a strong tug at my heart for Isaiah 53 as many people have I am sure! There is something about that one chapter of His word where I find myself lost in thought about Jesus. In light of this chapter can you as a Mormon answer the following? The chapter will be at the end of this article.
Who is Jesus?
Why was He born?
Where is He now?
What was His “mission”?
When did He become the Atonement for us?
How did His death justify our sin?
This month at the ministry we began carrying the documentary film “The Bible vs. The Book of Mormon” from Living Hope Ministries. Viewing this documentary is something I highly recommend to any member of the LDS faith and for Christians who mentor them.
As my daughters and I watched the film this morning I could feel my heart slowly dropping to my feet. It is truly devastating to me that “my people” believe this monumental lie. While my girls have always known about the false teachings of Mormonism, watching their reaction continues to put a new spin on the travesty of what Jesus got me out of.
The documentary focuses on the abundance of evidences found to prove the authenticity of the Bible and the lack of any evidence to prove the Book of Mormon to be true. The producers of the film interviewed several people who included reputable archaeologists, professors and rabbis from around the world asking for their opinions and findings of the two books.
All during the film I couldn’t get my mother out of my thoughts. I cannot fathom how this continues to go on, one generation after another with millions of people still being trapped in the lies. One of the archaeologists that were interviewed quoted Gordon B. Hinckley from the LDS General Conference in April 2002. Hinckley said;
“As a Church we have critics, many of them. They say we do not believe in the traditional Christ of Christianity. There is some substance to what they say. Our faith, our knowledge is not based on ancient tradition, the creeds which came of a finite understanding and out of the almost infinite discussions of men trying to arrive at a definition of the risen Christ. Our faith, our knowledge comes of the witness of a prophet in this dispensation…” – Ensign, May 2002, pg. 90.
There you have it folks, it doesn’t get much plainer than that last sentence of Mr. Hinckley’s:
“Our faith, our knowledge comes of the witness of a prophet in this dispensation…”
Explain to me please where does the part about Jesus fall into this category? What does the term The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints mean anyway? Ironically enough I asked my mother about this when she visited me this past summer. I wanted to know her opinion of what Hinckley said and I quoted the passage above to her. Immediately I could see the hairs on her arms stand up as she snapped back “Well, I don’t know. We’ll just have to wait and see in the end what he meant by it”.
??????? Wait till the end? I couldn’t believe the answer and yet I remember saying the same thing to a friend back in 1984 when she asked me if I knew I could go to heaven.
One of the things I always found to be odd as well was the conversations Kirk and I would get into not long after we were married. While growing up in Utah Mormonism, I had been taught from birth up that I was a Christian. Even though Christ was mentioned as often as a fruit cake is wanted at Christmas, he was still talked about!
I would be indignant by the mere suggestion that I wasn’t a Christian! Then Kirk came along…I chose to not pay attention to what he had to say about Mormonism. He was only a convert after all and not even an active one at that. Kirk had insisted that when they converted him in the Los Angeles area the Church made it abundantly clear they are not Christians.
Someone in the film said the Mormon can be as mad as they want at you for promoting this information or when you ask questions, but they cannot deny what Hinckley said in the General Conference that year. The historical Christian Jesus of the Bible and the Jesus of Mormonism are not the same Jesus. This is exactly what I tell people when they write or call in asking us for help in witnessing. Joseph Smith may have named one of their gods Jesus, but that doesn’t mean he is the Only True Son of God!
Hearing what was said on the film also reminded me of what Elder Stanley Ellis of the Seventy said at this past conference in October. He spoke at one of the sessions and named his speech “He trusts us!” – Ensign Nov. 2006, pg. 51.
After Mr. Ellis told the audience of young men that God has given them his power and authority because of their obedience and faithfulness, he went on to assure them that God even trusts them! He also told these young men that “God is careful with his priesthood” and to exercise this power is a “sacred responsibility”.
The arrogance it takes to even think this is beyond description. First of all the people who are given the Mormon priesthood are but boys! The only thing they’ve accomplished is living long enough to celebrate their twelfth birthday. What kind or type of god is it that would trust a mere boy with something supposedly very “sacred”?
The subject about the priesthood will have to wait for another day to give it the attention it deserves. The point for today is that this “God” of the LDS Church cannot possibly be the True God of the Bible. In Isaiah 43:10-11 God tells His people:
“Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me. I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no saviour.”
I’m not trying to sound disrespectful, although I know this is how it will come across when read by the members of the Church. I want to challenge the Mormon people to just stop and think about it. What type of god would trust a twelve year old boy with the most sacred of obligations?
What if the boy was just going through the motions of receiving the priesthood because that’s what his parents told him to do, but in his heart he hated everyone and everything around him? Wouldn’t that same boy be disqualified by the Church’s standards? Yet they “ordain” these boys because of age, not because the child has been called by God to do so.
Tryptophan comas, choir practices and orchestra recitals are all well and good; they are truly the blessings of life from the One True God. However these “events” are not what qualifies us for real salvation and neither are the other obligations in life that we must perform. Jesus didn’t come here to earth and die so that we might have a chance to work our way to heaven. Yet this is part of the bedrock of a Mormon’s salvation! 2 Nephi 25:23 says;
“For we labor diligently to write, to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God; for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do.”
The Christ that hung on the cross for your sins was the same person who was born in a stable. He’s the twelve year old boy who was “accidentally” left behind at the temple and the God that became man so He could do the sacrificing instead of us. This my friend, is the Jesus of the Bible. This Christmas look to Him and promise yourself to learn more about Him. The worst that could happen is that you might find a new friend – Jesus.
Think about this. All over the world people who attend Christian churches go to the “unchurched” world to evangelize and spread the news about Jesus. Why is it the LDS Church goes to the people who call themselves Christians to proselytize? Wouldn’t you bid them farewell and praise God with them when or if they told you they are Christian?
If the LDS Church is truly Christian then why are their missionaries going to the Christians for converts if they’re already Christian? That’d be like me going to the store for milk while owning the dairy. This can’t possibly be the same Jesus my friend! A young woman who just converted to the Church keeps coming to mind as of late. She grew up in a Christian home, dedicated her life to Jesus throughout her childhood and still she was tricked into the lie of Mormonism. Being young and immature she naturally fought against her parent’s desire to not join explaining they do believe in the same Jesus…little does she know that not even Hinckley believes this.
On a personal note here – this year will be particularly difficult for some of my family. I have two nieces who live with my mother in Utah and they have recently lost their mother to liver and kidney failure due to alcoholism. She was 37 years old. Please, pray with us here at Life After Ministries that my husband, our daughters and I will be a light in the darkness for them as their father (my brother) is unable to take care of them. We are the only Christians they know personally. My mother and nieces are the only ones left in my family that will associate with us because of what we do in ministry. We don’t want to lose that connection for these young girls!
1. Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed?
2 For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.
3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
4 ¶ Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.
7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.
8 He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken.
9 And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.
10 ¶ Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.
11 He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.
Update to this story: I wrote this article back in 2008. It is now April 2011. On January 1, 2011 my niece Felicia died in a car wreck while driving on a local freeway near her home in Ogden, Utah. Continued prayers for her younger sister Angie are greatly appreciated.