Mormonism: Does It Pass God's
3-Question Test for Truth?
Question #3: A Different Gospel
The third question provided by God involves the message of the Gospel. If anyone comes with a gospel that is different from the Gospel preached by the disciples as recorded in the Bible, that person or religion is accursed.
I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. (Galatians 1:6-9)
Does Mormonism teach a gospel that is different than the one taught in the Bible? If so, Mormonism is cursed, even if an angel (Moroni) brought this new gospel. To determine if Mormonism's gospel is different, we must first determine what is the Gospel of the Bible.
Bible teachings on the Gospel
The Bible teaches that no one can be made right with God by keeping the laws of God. Therefore, to bring us into right relationship with God, Jesus died the death we deserved. His sacrificial blood was enough to pay the price for all sin. A person is made right with God when he places his or her trust in this payment for sins made by Jesus. Those who trust in their own works will not be right with God since they have rejected the provision by Jesus for their righteousness. See the following Bible quotes for details of this Gospel.
Works cannot make a person right with God
Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; (Titus 3:5, emphasis added)
Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. (Galatians 2:16, emphasis added)
For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement. (Romans 5:6-11, emphasis added)
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9, emphasis added)
Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith. Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law. (Romans 3:24-28, emphasis added)
For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God. For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. (Romans 4:2-5)
Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: (Romans 3:19-22, emphasis added)
And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work. (Romans 11:6)
I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain. (Galatians 2:20-21, emphasis added)
What shall we say then? That the Gentiles, which followed not after righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is of faith. But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness. Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone; As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. (Romans 9:30-33)
And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness. (Genesis 15:6)
Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed. So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham. For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them. But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith. And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them. Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. (Galatians 3:6-14, emphasis added)
And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: (Philippians 3:9)
Salvation and eternal life come through faith in Jesus
And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. (Acts 16:30-31, emphasis added)
And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God. (1 John 5:11-13, emphasis added)
Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. (John 5:24)
That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. (Romans 10:9-11)
Blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin.
But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:7-9, emphasis added)
The gospel of Mormonism
The gospel of Mormonism requires good works. It teaches that righteousness and eternal life are obtained only by keeping the entire law of God. Mormonism teaches that the sacrifice of Jesus provided for the resurrection of all people. It did not pay the full price for salvation. Therefore, Mormons must rely upon their own good works to obtain eternal life. The Mormon gospel also teaches that the sacrificial blood of Jesus is not sufficient to cover some sins. In some cases, the sinner must add his own blood to that of Jesus to atone for the sin.
Mormon salvation is obtained by works
Salvation in its true and full meaning is synonymous with exaltation or eternal life and consists in gaining an inheritance in the highest of the three heavens within the celestial kingdom. With few exceptions this is the salvation of which the scriptures speak…. This full salvation is obtained in and through the continuation of the family unit in eternity, and those who obtain it are gods…. If it had not been for Joseph Smith and the restoration, there would be no salvation. There is no salvation outside The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. (Mormon Doctrine, 2nd edition, Bruce R. McConkie, 1966, page 670, emphasis added)
… to get salvation we must not only do some things, but everything which God has commanded. (History of the Church, Joseph Smith, 2nd edition revised, 1978, vol. 6, page 223, emphasis added)
To inherit all the Father has, we must keep the full law of God. "Now if we want to become heirs, joint-heirs with Jesus Christ, possessing the blessings of the kingdom, there is only one thing required of you and of me, and that is that we keep the whole law, not a part of it only. (Achieving A Celestial Marriage, student manual, 1976, page 273, emphasis added)
Hence the justice of the scriptural doctrine that salvation comes to the individual only through obedience … exaltation is given to those only who by righteous effort have won a claim to God's merciful liberality by which it is bestowed. (The Articles of Faith, James E. Talmage, 1982, pages 90-91, emphasis added)
The inadequate blood of the Mormon Christ
But under certain circumstances there are some serious sins for which the cleansing of Christ does not operate, and the law of God is that men must then have their own blood shed to atone for their sins…. If these offenses are committed, then the blood of Christ will not cleanse them from their sins even though they repent. Therefore their only hope is to have their own blood shed to atone, as far as possible in their behalf…. This doctrine can only be practiced in its fulness in a day when the civil and ecclesiastical laws are administered in the same hands. (Mormon Doctrine, 2nd edition, Bruce R. McConkie, 1966, pages 92-93, emphasis added)
Suppose you found your brother in bed with your wife, and put a javelin through both of them, you would be justified, and they would atone for their sins, and be received into the kingdom of God. I would at once do so in such a case; and under such circumstances, I have no wife whom I love so well that I would not put a javelin through her heart, and I would do it with clean hands…. There is not a man or woman, who violates the covenants made with their God, that will not be required to pay the debt. The blood of Christ will never wipe that out, your own blood must atone for it; and the judgments of the Almighty will come, sooner or later, and every man and woman will have to atone for breaking their covenants. (Journal of Discourses, vol. 3, page 247, spoken by Brigham Young, emphasis added)
I could refer you to plenty of instances where men have been righteously slain, in order to atone for their sins. I have seen scores and hundreds of people for whom there would have been a chance (in the last resurrection there will be) if their lives had been taken and their blood spilled on the ground as a smoking incense to the Almighty, but who are now angels to the devil…. I have known a great many men who left this Church for whom there is no chance whatever for exaltation, but if their blood had been spilled, it would have been better for them, the wickedness and ignorance of the nations forbids this principle's being in full force, but the time will come when the law of God will be in full force.
This is loving our neighbor as ourselves; if he needs help, help him; and if he wants salvation and it is necessary to spill his blood on the earth in order that he may be saved, spill it. Any of you who understand the principles of eternity, if you have sinned a sin requiring the shedding of blood, except the sin unto death, would not be satisfied nor rest until your blood should be spilled, that you might gain that salvation you desire. That is the way to love mankind. (Journal of Discourses, vol. 4, page 220, spoken by Brigham Young, emphasis added)
Other Mormon teachings on salvation
"Your endowment is, to receive all those ordinances in the House of the Lord, which are necessary for you, after you have departed this life, to enable you to walk back to the presence of the Father, passing the angels who stand as sentinels, being enabled to give them the key words, the signs and tokens, pertaining to the Holy priesthood, and gain your eternal exaltation in spite of earth and hell."(Brigham Young in JD, 2:31.) (Achieving A Celestial Marriage, student manual, 1976, page 203)
We are the only ones on the earth at the present time, that we have any knowledge of, who hold the keys of salvation…. The building of temples, places in which the ordinances of salvation are administered, is necessary to carry out the plan of redemption…. (Discourses of Brigham Young, compiled by John A. Widtsoe, 1978, pages 396-397)
To gain salvation after baptism it is necessary to keep the commandments of God and endure to the end…. (Achieving A Celestial Marriage, student manual, 1976, page 198)
"If you would become a son or a daughter of God and an heir of the kingdom, then you must go to the house of the Lord and receive blessings which there can be obtained and which cannot be obtained elsewhere; and you must keep those commandments and those covenants to the end." (Achieving A Celestial Marriage, student manual, 1976, page 201)
Every boy and girl … should know that the ordinance of sealing [i.e., temple marriage] is an absolute, and that without it there can be no salvation in the eternal world, no eternal life. Therefore, we should move forward with all the power we have to convince young people to … plan for temple marriage. (Achieving A Celestial Marriage, student manual, 1976, page 204, brackets added)
The Bible teaches that salvation with eternal life is received only by faith (trust) in Jesus. Doing the good works of the law of God cannot earn salvation and eternal life. The blood of Jesus brings forgiveness to everyone who confesses his sins.
Mormonism teaches that faith in Jesus is not enough. To receive salvation and eternal life, a person must perform all the works of the law. Mormonism also teaches that some sins cannot be atoned by the blood of Jesus. In such cases, the sinner's own blood must be shed to atone for his sin. Additionally, Mormonism teaches that you must be married in a Mormon Temple (i.e., receive the sealing ordinance) or you cannot have eternal life.
Since Mormonism teaches a different gospel than was taught by Paul and others in the Bible, then Mormonism cannot be true. Therefore, we should not pray to ask if Mormonism is true. God has already given us the answer. The religion of Mormonism is cursed according to Galatians 1:6-9.
Mormonism: Does It Pass God's 3-Question Test for Truth?
Attention: The material in this book attempts to accurately describe official Mormon doctrine in certain important areas. Therefore, quotes are included from several authorized sources of Mormon doctrine. However, this book does not claim to be authorized by or endorsed by the Mormon Church.
Copyrights of quoted Mormon materials belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the Mormon Church) or the copyrights are under their control.
Quotations from the Bible are from the King James Version.