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Mormons

Mormonism stems from a belief system started by Joseph Smith in the early nineteenth century. Smith claimed that his revelation was directly from God and that orthodox Christianity was erroneous on many levels. Interesting Mormon doctrines include their belief in cosmology, as well as their view on God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit. There are many of their doctrinal beliefs that go against conventional Christian doctrines, some of which will be mentioned here.

Joseph Smith

Seen as a latter day prophet in the 1820s, Joseph Smith founded a new religion known as The Church of the Latter Day Saints. He claimed to have received these doctrinal changes to orthodox Christianity by divine revelation which led him to a certain book. This book contained many historical writings that apparently stemmed from a group of believers in Christ hundreds of years before the latter even walked the Earth. Joseph Smith then translated the book through “divine revelation” and his teachings are still held to today by those who call themselves ‘Mormons’ or ‘Latter Day Saints’.

What Mormons believe

One of the most interesting aspects of Mormonism is a doctrine they call ‘cosmology’. According to their beliefs, mankind existed with God before they were sent to live in the physical world. God then proposed a plan that would involve every person coming to earth and being faced with the choice of good or evil. According to this belief, those who choose good, will choose to accept the atoning work of Jesus Christ and eventually ascend to a level that is equal with God. To attain this level, Mormons believe that they should live godly lives, be baptized, and repent of all their former sins.

Distinguishing Mormon doctrine from orthodox Christianity

Mormons believe that Joseph Smith received new revelation that in some ways contradict orthodox Christianity. Once such difference is that God is not Trinitarian. In the same breath, they also believe that Jesus is a separate person altogether. The Holy Spirit also does not form a part of God’s being according to Mormon theology. Despite these separate entities, Mormons still believe that all three have one mind and that they are all considered to be ‘God’.

Certain liberal Christian denominations have voiced their acceptance of Mormons as Christians despite their differences in doctrine. To many, (certainly not all) these differences are not deal breakers and there can still be harmony between them and Mormons in fellowship circles.

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