by Matt Slick
"In bearing testimony of Jesus Christ, President Hinckley spoke of those outside the Church who say Latter-day Saints 'do not believe in the traditional Christ.' 'No, I don't. The traditional Christ of whom they speak is not the Christ of whom I speak. For the Christ of whom I speak has been revealed in this the Dispensation of the Fullness of Times. He together with His Father, appeared to the boy Joseph Smith in the year 1820, and when Joseph left the grove that day, he knew more of the nature of God than all the learned ministers of the gospel of the ages.'" (LDS Church News Week ending June 20, 1998, p. 7).
Christians have long maintained that Mormonism teaches a Jesus that is different from what the Bible reveals. Of course, the Mormons say that they believe in the same Jesus that originally walked on the earth and is revealed in the Bible. Though they may make this claim, it is up to them to prove it--especially in light of what Mormonism says about God and Jesus.
In Mormonism, Jesus is a creation, the product of relations between god and his goddess wife who used to be people from another world (McConkie, Bruce, Mormon Doctrine, p. 192, 321, 516, 589). Jesus is the literal spirit brother of the devil and of you and me (McConkie, p. 192, 589). Also, in Mormon theology, God has a body of flesh and bones (Doctrine & Covenants 130:22) as does his wife, and together they produce spirit offspring in heaven who inhabit human bodies on earth.
Very few, if any, of the 'different' Mormon doctrines are found in their Standard Works: the Bible, The Book of Mormon, Doctrine & Covenants, and The Pearl of Great Price. Rather, they are taught by Mormons of high standing: prophets, apostles, members of the 70 Quorum. McConkie, for example, was a member of the 70's Quorum, a very high ranking Mormon, and wrote the book, Mormon Doctrine, from which much of the documentation for this is taken.
President Hinkley, the prophet and revelator of the Mormon church, has publicly declared that the Jesus of Mormonism and traditional Christianity are not the same. Let's take a look at the difference between the Mormon Jesus and the one of Traditional Christianity: "
The Christian Jesus says Jesus was Fatherless and Motherless until incarnation just like Book of Mormon teaches:
3 The Father, because he was conceived by the power of God; and the Son, because of the flesh; thus becoming the Father and Son—
Hebrews 7 King James Version (KJV)
7 For this Melchisedec, king of Salem, priest of the most high God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him;
2 To whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all; first being by interpretation King of righteousness, and after that also King of Salem, which is, King of peace;
3 Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually.
Gordon B. Hinckley’s doesn’t believe in Jesus of Book of Mormon either
“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” (Gordon Hinckley, “We look to Christ,” Ensign (Conference Edition), May 2002, p. 90).Apostle Bruce R. McConkie taught,
“And virtually all the millions of apostate Christendom have abased themselves before the mythical throne of a mythical Christ whom they vainly suppose to be a spirit essence who is incorporeal uncreated, immaterial and three-in-one with the Father and Holy Spirit” (Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 1966, pg.269).Seventy Bernard Brockbank stated in a general conference,
“It is true that many of the Christian churches worship a different Jesus Christ than is worshipped by the Mormons or The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints” (Bernard P. Brockbank, “The Living Christ,” Ensign (Conference Edition), May 1977, p. 26).What are some of the ways He is different. For one, the LDS Jesus had to work for his salvation. McConkie taught,
“Christ worked out his own salvation by worshipping the Father. After the Firstborn of the Father, while yet a spirit being, had gained power and intelligence that made him like unto God; after he had become, under the Father, the Creator of worlds without number; after he had reigned on the throne of eternal power as the Lord Omnipotent-after all this he yet had to gain a mortal and then an immortal body” (Sermons and Writings of Bruce R. McConkie, 1966, p. 61).Seventy Milton R. Hunter believed that Jesus had to have continuous obedience, according to a 1945 Melchizedek priesthood manual:
“Jesus became a God and reached His great state of understanding through consistent effort and continuous obedience to all the Gospel truths and universal laws” (Milton R. Hunter, The Gospel Through the Ages, p. 51).According to Mormonism, perfection is something that Jesus apparently did not have when He was here on earth, for one apostle explained,
“That Jesus attained eternal perfection following his resurrection is confirmed in the Book of Mormon. It records the visit of the resurrected Lord to the people of ancient America. There he repeated the important injunction previously cited but with one very significant addition. He said, ‘I would that ye should be perfect even as I, or your Father who is in heaven is perfect.’ This time he listed himself along with his Father as a perfected personage. Previously he had not” (Russell M. Nelson, “Perfection Pending,” Ensign (Conference Edition), November 1995, p. 87).Christians beleive that Jesus is God made flesh (see John 1:1-14), which we call the Incarnation. Christ was God from the very beginning and never lost His deity upon the Incarnation. (See Phil. 2:5-11.) Rather, He is 100% God and 100% man. He never sinned--He couldn't even if He wanted to, as the LDS writers seem to insist He could do--and sits at the right hand of God the Father. It belittles Jesus to say that he "became a god" and had to have "consistent and continuous obedience to all the Gospel."
Second, the Jesus of Mormonism is nothing more than the spirit brother of Lucifer, as Milton R. Hunter taught in a Melchizidek priesthood manaul in 1945:
“The appointment of Jesus to be the Savior of the world was contested by one of the other sons of God. He was called Lucifer, son of the morning. Haughty, ambitious, and covetous of power and glory, this spirit-brother of Jesus desperately tried to become the Savior of mankind” (Milton R. Hunter, The Gospel Through the Ages, p. 15).That thought was agreed upon by an LDS professor:
“Jesus was the firstborn spirit child of God the Father and thus the recipient of the birthright of the royal family. As such, and in that premortal realm, he was the Elder Brother of all of the spirit sons and daughters of the Father” (BYU Professor Robert L. Millet, A Different Jesus? The Christ of the Latter-day Saints, p. 20).
The Christian Jesus and not the Mormon Jesus is found in the BOOK OF MORMON
Mosiah 3:5 For behold, the time cometh, and is not far distant, that with power, the Lord Omnipotent who reigneth, who was, and is from all eternity to all eternity, shall come down from heaven among the children of men, and shall dwell in a tabernacle of clay, and shall go forth amongst men, working mighty miracles, such as healing the sick, raising the dead, causing the lame to walk, the blind to receive their sight, and the deaf to hear, and curing all manner of diseases.
3 Nephi 19:
18 And behold, they began to pray; and they did pray unto Jesus, calling him their Lord and their God.
Mosiah 5:15 Therefore, I would that ye should be steadfast and immovable, always abounding in good works, that Christ, the Lord God Omnipotent, may seal you his, that you may be brought to heaven, that ye may have everlasting salvation and eternal life, through the wisdom, and power, and justice, and mercy of him who created all things, in heaven and in earth, who is God above all. Amen.
An abridgment taken from the Book of Ether also, which is a record of the people of Jared, who were scattered at the time the Lord confounded the language of the people, when they were building a tower to get to heaven—Which is to show unto the remnant of the house of Israel what great things the Lord hath done for their fathers; and that they may know the covenants of the Lord, that they are not cast off forever—And also to the convincing of the Jew and Gentile that Jesus is the Christ, the Eternal God, manifesting himself unto all nations—And now, if there are faults they are the mistakes of men; wherefore, condemn not the things of God, that ye may be found spotless at the judgment-seat of Christ.
Translated by Joseph Smith, Jun.
2 Nephi 26:12 And as I spake concerning the convincing of the Jews, that Jesus is the very Christ, it must needs be that the Gentiles be convinced also that Jesus is the Christ, the Eternal God;
3 Nephi 19:18 And behold, they began to pray; and they did pray unto Jesus, calling him their Lord and their God.
These quotes from the Book of Mormon sure don't sound like the Jesus of Mormonism do they ?
Yahweh, translated I AM WHO I AM in Exodus,
is derived from the Hebrew verb meaning to be,
to become, to live or to have life and implies
continuing, unfinished action. This name stresses
existence: I AM the One who always is. All life is
contained in God and comes from God, so we call
him "the self-existent one." He always was what
he is – and what he is, he always was – and he
will always be what he was and is! Because he
"is," Yahweh is the God who is always present
and always near. He is not a God that is far off
or a God of past history. He is a God who is
present and acts in the "now." Whatever our
situation, whatever our need, Yahweh is the God
who always is and who is always present.
John 8: Amplified Bible (AMP)
24 That is why I told you that you will die in (under the curse of) your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He [Whom I claim to be—if you do not adhere to, trust in, and rely on Me], you will die in your sins.