Apprising Ministries reminds you that when you meet people from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the Mormons)] they will often say to you: “We’re Christians too, because we believe in the Savior Jesus Christ.”
However, the defining area concerning whether one is a Christian or not is what they teach concerning the historic Person Jesus of Nazareth, Whom the Bible teaches is the Christ—God Himself come in human flesh.
Using the old TV show To Tell The Truth as a backdrop in Will The Real Jesus Please Stand Up? I took the benefit of my 25 years in the study of Comparative Religion to “personalize” various Jesuses one is likely to encounter.
Following is the Mormon “Jesus” as he would introduce himself:
I am the Jesus Christ of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the Mormons). My original Church went through a total apostasy and I took the Priesthood from the earth. In 1820 by one account—as there are nine different accounts—I appeared, with Heavenly Father, to Joseph Smith who would be the prophet to restore my Church. I told him that everything the historic Christian Church had taught was an abomination in my sight and that all who believe in those doctrines are corrupt. I am the spirit child who was born first to Heavenly Father, whose name is Elohim, and who has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man’s.
Elohim was once a man who lived on the star Kolob. He died and was resurrected by his father—after earning his way to godhood—as did his father before him, and so on back. Heavenly Father pro-created all of us through sexual relations with one of his celestial wives, and we are all his spirit children. I was born first; next was Lucifer, and then on down the line comes you. When the head of the gods—of which there are countless numbers—called a council of the gods I came up with a better plan of salvation than my brother Lucifer did. So I became the Savior for Heavenly Father’s children on earth. I was conceived for my earthly mission when Heavenly Father came down and had sexual relations with his daughter the Virgin Mary.
I sweat great drops of blood for your sins in the Garden of Gethsemane. Then on the cross I finished my work; and because of that atonement, all persons on this earth are going to be resurrected. And so now you have a chance to earn your way to becoming a god, just like me, by working the Gospel Principles taught by the Mormon Church. But be careful because my blood was not sufficient to cover some of your sins as my prophet Brigham Young once taught for me. He said, “There’s not a man or woman who violates the covenant made with their God that will not be required to pay that debt. The blood of Christ will never wipe that out. [And y]our own blood must atone for it.”
To give you some documentation, let us first consider the following from Gospel Principles, which is an official publication of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The below is from chapter 2:
God is not only our ruler and creator; he is also our Heavenly Father. “All men and women are . . . literally the sons and daughters of Deity. . . . Man, as a spirit, was begotten and born of heavenly parents, and reared to maturity in the eternal mansions of the Father, prior to coming upon the earth in a temporal [physical] body.” (Joseph F. Smith, “The Origin of Man,” Improvement Era, Nov. 1909, 78, 80)
Every person who was ever born on earth was our spirit brother or sister in heaven. The first spirit born to our heavenly parents was Jesus Christ (see D&C 93:21), so he is literally our elder brother (see Discourses of Brigham Young, p. 26). Because we are the spiritual children of our heavenly parents, we have inherited the potential to develop their divine qualities. If we choose to do so, we can become perfect, just as they are. (source, emphasis mine)
And then in the next chapter we read:
We needed a Savior to pay for our sins and teach us how to return to our Heavenly Father. Our Father said, “Whom shall I send?” (Abraham 3:27). Two of our brothers offered to help. Our oldest brother, Jesus Christ, who was then called Jehovah, said, “Here am I, send me” (Abraham 3:27)… Satan, who was called Lucifer, also came, saying, “Behold, here am I, send me, I will be thy son, and I will redeem all mankind, that one soul shall not be lost, and surely I will do it; wherefore give me thine honor” (Moses 4:1).” (Online source, emphasis mine)
How about this from the book Our Search For Happiness–An Invitation To Understand The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints—written by Mormon Apostle M. Russell Ballard:
our spiritual selves, if you will — existed along with the rest of our Heavenly Father’s spirit children. Jesus was the greatest of these spirits. He was the first-[one]-born…and He held a special place of honor with the Father “before the world was”… In that capacity He helped implement the plan that would bring us all to earth to obtain physical bodies and experience the vicissitudes of mortality so we could grow in our ability to obey God’s commandments once we heard and understood them. (9, emphasis mine)
In the LDS book of “Scripture,” known as The Doctrine And Covenants, Jesus is alleged to have spoken this to the so-called prophet Joseph Smith, founder of the Mormon Church:
And now, verily I say unto you, I was in the beginning with the Father, and am the Firstborn; And all those through me are partakers of the glory of the same, and are of the church of the Firstborn. Ye were also in the beginning with the Father; that which is Spirit, even the Spirit of truth;… (93:21-23).
This is from the official website of the Mormon Church where we read:
Jess L. Christensen, Institute of Religion director at Utah State University, Logan, Utah. On first hearing, the doctrine that Lucifer and our Lord, Jesus Christ, are brothers may seem surprising to some—especially to those unacquainted with latter-day revelations.
But both the scriptures and the prophets affirm that Jesus Christ and Lucifer are indeed offspring of our Heavenly Father and, therefore, spirit brothers. (source, emphasis mine)
Finally Dr. Walter Martin (1928-1989) sums this up well for u below from his classic textbook The Kingdom of the Cults when he points out that the “Jesus” of the LDS Church is clearly not the Christ of Biblical revelation:
The Savior of Mormonism, however, is an entirely different person, as their official publications clearly reveal. The Mormon “Savior” is not the second person of the Christian Trinity,… Mormons reject the Christian doctrine of the Trinity, and he is not even a careful replica of the New Testament Redeemer.
In Mormon theology, Christ as a preexistent spirit was not only the spirit brother of the devil (as alluded to in The Pearl of Great Price, Moses 4:1-4, and later reaffirmed by Brigham Young in the Journal of Discourses, 13:282), but celebrated his own marriage to “Mary and Martha, and the other Mary,” at Cana of Galilee, “whereby he could see his seed, before he was crucified” (Apostle Orson Hyde, Journal of Discourses, 4:259; 2:82)…[and] the Mormon concept of the Virgin Birth alone distinguishes their “Christ” from the Christ of the Bible. (252, emphasis mine)