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Questions to Ask Mormons Pt 3: Are We Speaking the Same Language?

Mormon words don’t mean the same thing.

Anyone who tries to talk to a Mormon will soon find that the words they use do not always mean the same thing to Christians. Below is a list of terms that are important for Christians to know when discussing the truth with Mormons. It is important that you know what the Mormons mean by the same words used by Christians.

Retrieved from:http://carm.org/mormon-definitions

ADAM LDS- Father of physical mankind. Adam is also known as Michael the archangel, the ancient of days, (D&C 116). Bible- the first created man by whom all of humanity descends. He was not Michael the archangel.
ATONEMENT LDS- The sacrifice of Christ that made resurrection possible along with the possibility of our earning forgiveness of sins. Bible- The substitutionary sacrifice of Jesus on our behalf. He died for our sins (1 Peter 2:24; 1 John 2:2).
AARONICPRIESTHOOD LDS- A lesser priesthood in the LDS church. It is still used in LDS church practices and is held by the very young, (D&C 107:1, 6, 10). Bible- A priesthood that is no longer necessary now that we have the full revelation of Christ.
BAPTISM LDS- A necessary ordinance for salvation in the Mormon church. By it sins are washed away. Bible- An ordinance of the Christian church that is not necessary for salvation (Rom. 5:1).
BIBLE LDS- The Bible is correct only as far as it is correctly translated. It is basically trustworthy. It is the only one of the four standard works (Bible, Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and Pearl of Great Price) that is not considered infallible. The KJV is the official Bible of the LDS church. Bible- the Bible is the inspired inerrant word of God (2 Tim. 3:16).
BISHOP LDS- an office in the Melchizedek Priesthood of the LDS church. D&C 20:67), Bible- An office held by a male member of the Church.
CELESTIALHEAVEN LDS- The highest of the three levels of heaven where faithful Mormons are exalted to Godhood. Bible- There is no such thing as a celestial heaven.
CHURCH LDS- The LDS church with its organizational structure, laws, and proper name. Bible- The body of believers in the true and living God through Jesus. It is comprised of those who are redeemed and is not limited to an earthly structure.
DAMNATION LDS- Basically, anything lesser than exaltation (becoming a God). Bible- The state of condemnation, judged by God in eternal hell (Matt. 25:46).
DEVIL LDS- See Satan. Bible- See Satan.
ELOHIM LDS- The name of God the Father. Bible- The Hebrew word for “God.” The name of God is “YHWH,” which means “I AM,” (Exodus 3:14).
ETERNALLIFE LDS- Exaltation (exaltation to a Mormon means obtaining Godhood) in the Celestial Kingdom. Bible- Forgiveness of sins and life eternal with God (John 17:3; Rom. 6:23).
EXALTATION LDS- The state of becoming a god in the celestial heaven. Bible- There is no such thing as becoming a God in the Bible.
FALL OFMANKIND LDS- A blessing (Mosiah 3: 11-16). A necessary step in the progression of humanity to the level of Godhood. Bible- The open rebellion of Adam and Eve against God resulting in their condemnation and the fall of mankind.
GOD LDS- One of countless gods in existence. An exalted man from another world who created the earth who’s name is “Elohim.” He became a god by following the laws and ordinances of his god on the other world. He has a body of flesh and bones. D&C 130: 22-23. Bible- The one and only God in all the universe, (Isaiah 44:6,8).
GODHEAD LDS- An office held by three separate Gods: the Father who is a god; Jesus who is a god; and the Holy Ghost who is a god. Bible- God Himself, not an office. Three persons in one God. A Trinity: The Father; the Son; and the Holy Spirit.
GOSPEL LDS- The laws and ordinances of the Mormon church. Bible- The death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus for the forgiveness of the sins of all who would trust in Him (1 Cor. 15:1-4).
HEAVEN LDS- Divided into three Kingdoms: Celestial, Terrestrial, and Telestial. The Celestial is for perfect Mormons, the Terrestrial is for moral people and lukewarm LDS, and the Telestial Kingdom is for everyone else. Bible- The dwelling place of God (1 Kings 8:30). Christians go to heaven.
HELL LDS- The temporary abode in the spirit world between death and resurrection for those awaiting telestial glory, (D&C 76: 84-85, 106). Hell will come to an end. Bible- the eternal dwelling place of those who rejected the atoning work of Christ.
HOLYGHOST LDS- “A spirit man. He can only be at one place at one time… ” (Mormon Doctrine by Bruce McConkie, p. 359.) The Holy Ghost is contrasted with the Spirit of God, which is the influence of the Godhead that fills the immensity of space which enables God to know what is going on. It is likened to electricity.” D&C 130: 22-23. Bible- Third person of the Trinity. Same as Holy Spirit (Acts 5:3-4).
HOLYSPIRIT LDS- The presence of God as distinguished from the Holy Ghost who is a god in the mormon trinity. Bible- An equivalent term to Holy Ghost, third person in the Trinity.
JEHOVAH LDS- The name of Jesus in the Old Testament. Bible- The name of God is “YHWH,” which means “I AM,” (Exodus 3:14).
JESUS LDS- Literal offspring of God the father. Spirit brother of Satan. A god in the Godhead. He is Jehovah of the O.T. compared to Elohim being the Father. He was the first spirit child to be born to the Father and Mother gods. Ordained as the Christ in the pre-existent Grand Council before coming to earth. Bible- Jesus is God, second person of the Trinity (John 1:1,14; Col. 2:9).
KINGDOMOF GOD LDS- Celestial heaven. The kingdom of God on earth is the LDS church. Bible- All the believers of Christ (Matt. 13:41-43).
MARRIAGE LDS- An eternal bonding of husband and wife that continues into the afterlife. These couples will continue to have children. (D&C 132:15-20). Bible- the holy covenant between a man and a woman that is broken at death.
MELCHIZEDEKPRIESTHOOD LDS- A greater priesthood in the LDS church held by elders, (D&C 107), Bible- A priesthood held by Jesus alone.
PRE-EXISTENCE LDS- We existed in heaven with God our (literal) Father and mother before we became human. Bible- We did not exist before we came to earth (1 Cor. 15:46).
SALVATION LDS- Two fold meaning: Simple bodily resurrection of all people. Also, forgiveness of sins. Bible- Forgiveness of sins with the result of a present new life and in the future eternal life with God (1 Cor. 15:1-4; Rom. 6:23; 10:9-10).
SATAN LDS- The opposer of God, literal son of God, brother of Jesus and all people begotten in the pre-existent spirit world. Bible- A fallen angel who rebelled against God.
SCRIPTURE LDS- Bible, Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, Pearl of Great Price. Bible- Only the Bible is scripture.
TEMPLE LDS- A present day temple used to practice the ordinances and ceremonies of the gospel of the LDS church on behalf of the living as well as the dead. Bible- The Old Testament building where God dwelt, sacrifices were offered, and holy priestly rites were administered. There is no longer a need for temples.
TRINITY LDS- Three gods: a god called the Father; a god called the son; a god called the Holy Ghost. Bible- The one and only God in all existence who is comprised of three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. See Trinity.

Next Question: Which Jesus Do You Follow?

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4 thoughts on “Questions to Ask Mormons Pt 3: Are We Speaking the Same Language?

  1. There are a number of problems with this attempt at distorting the LDS teachings. Firstly, your ‘Christian definition’ does not carry the same meaning throughout Christianity, as most churches actually interpret these words differently to each other. It is not a ‘one definition fits all’.

    Secondly the LDS definitions provided are exaggerated and taken out of context. They are twisted purposefully to try and make them different to the definition representing Christians.

    Take for example your definition of the Atonement. LDS do not teach that you have to earn forgiveness any differently to how it is taught throughout much of Christianity. Forgiveness is given through the grace of Christ.

    There are many more points. I hope you are not trying to purposefully mislead?

  2. Distort? Are you telling me that these definitions are in error? Would you correct the ones that you think are in error? I have not distoreted anything,.. I think that most Mormons simply dont like what they see, I am showing you that there are vast differences between Christianity and Mormonism. Those are the Biblical Definitions,.. I could care less about First Whatever Church down the road. The Bible is not up for debate by some Board of Elders. Who does the Bible, in fact who does Jesus say he is. What does the Bible say about Heave, Hell, Salvation. Individual church defintions do not interest me.

    “It is not a ‘one definition fits all’.”- Well I would have to disagree with you. Jesus cant be both the Created Half Spirit Brother of Lucifer of Mormonism and The Eternal God of the Bible all at the same time.

    Do you not know your own doctrine on Atonement- Look at what your own Church teaches- and it is not compatible with Christian teaching.

    I gather that 12th President Spencer Kimball would have disagreed with this assessment. On pages 211-212 of his book The Miracle of Forgiveness, Kimball chastised members who “are doing nothing seriously wrong except in their failures to do the right things to earn their salvation” (emphasis mine).

    John A. Widtsoe, the respected Mormon apostle whose works are still read widely today, wrote, “Every person will inherit a glory of salvation, which will be the one that he has earned” (Joseph Smith–Seeker after Truth, Prophet of God, p.170, emphasis mine.).

    Many LDS leaders have stated that exaltation is something that must be earned, including current LDS President Thomas S. Monson. “It is the celestial glory which we seek. It is in the presence of God we desire to dwell. It is a forever family in which we want membership. Such blessings must be earned” (“An Invitation to Exaltation,” Ensign (Conference Edition), May 1988, p.53. Emphasis mine). So from where is Dr. Millet drawing his conclusions?

    On page 13 Millet also quotes Mormon Apostle Bruce McConkie who said, “What salvation is free? What salvation comes by the grace of God? With all the emphasis of the rolling thunders of Sinai, we answer: All salvation is free; all comes by the merits and mercy and grace of the Holy Messiah; there is no salvation of any kind, nature, or degree that is not bound to Christ and His atonement.”

    However, because Millet fails to quote the McConkie comment to the end of the paragraph, we miss his intended meaning. McConkie goes on to say, ” Specifically, our Lord’s atoning sacrifice brings all men forth in the resurrection with immortal bodies, thus freeing them from death, hell, the devil, and endless torment: and our Lord’s atoning grace raises those who believe and obey, not only in immortality, but unto eternal life; it raises them to sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in God’s everlasting kingdom forever” (The Promised Messiah, pp.345-346, emphasis mine).

    This same McConkie also taught, “Salvation grows automatically out of the resurrection, and the coming forth in the resurrection constitutes the receipt of whatever degree of salvation has been earned.” (Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, 1:196. emphasis mine). In volume three of the same set, he wrote, “Salvation is free,’ but it must also be purchased; and the price is obedience to the laws and ordinances of the gospel” (3:462, emphasis mine).

    Millet insists that “grace is unmerited favor;” however, the grace he speaks of “is an enabling power that allows men and women to lay hold on eternal life and exaltation after they have expended their own best efforts” (p.18, emphasis mine). To the biblically-trained ear this is nothing but contradictory double-speak. Like fingernails scraping against a chalkboard, these explanations cause pain to the Christian’s ears.
    *Sources available

    Dan I hope you consider what you own church says about atonement. At least, you should acknowledge that the LDS and Biblica definition are NOT the same. And if they are not the same that what else isn’t?

  3. The problem you have here is that you are misunderstanding the doctrines taught within the LDS church. There is a distinction between “Salvation” and “Exaltation”. The quotes you present above refer to Exaltation, even though the word Salvation is used. Hence I can understand your confusion.

    Through Christ – and by his grace – we are saved. This means that we have been freed and are able to enter the kingdom of Heaven. However, that doesn’t mean we will.

    Jesus said “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven”.

    Thus, not everyone who calls on his name will enter the kingdom of heaven – only those that do his will. All are able to (through his sacrifice), but not all will. Those are his words.

    In simple terms, we call the ‘entering the kingdom of heaven’ part “exaltation”.

    So in reality, we are saying the same thing as the Bible. All are saved, but to exaltation needs to be earned. In other words, worked at. That is, we need to live the teachings of the gospel and “do the will of his Father”.

    The Bible tells us that the books shall be opened, and we will be judged at the end of this life. What will we be judged on? the things that we have done. Not simply IF we have believed, but more than that.

    The quotations you provide merely emphasise this point.

    My other comments that Christian doctrines are not a “one definition fits all” is merely referring to the fact that throughout Christianity, the various denominations interpret doctrines differently. Hence, one word is understood differently… and one definition does not fit them all.

    Again we are no different. We have our own interpretation of common words (like all denominations).

    It would be helpful to you if you stopped copying and pasting from sites like ‘carm’.. they will not help you understand the true teachings of Mormonism.

    Cheers

    • kealnt on said:

      No you are confused about Christian Salvation, when you are saved its not an OPPORTUNITY,you are saved. In the LDS its a Chance, I get that, I am saying it is, yet again, DIFFFERENT than Christianity.

      Jesus said “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven”.
      Thus, not everyone who calls on his name will enter the kingdom of heaven – only those that do his will. All are able to (through his sacrifice), but not all will. Those are his words.

      You so completely took that out of context its ridiculous. And no, those are your words. Can you for a moment tell me what the Thief on the Cross went out and did to earn his salvation just before he died on the cross? Did he say, “Oh hey guys can you let me down for an hour or two ill be back, I need to get some good works in before I kick the bucket” No, But Jesus said that he would be with him in Paradise on that day. They were both dying and they both knew it. There was no opportunity to do anything to earn his salvation, no chance for good works, NO Sacrifice to offer.

      -“”The Bible tells us that the books shall be opened, and we will be judged at the end of this life. What will we be judged on? the things that we have done. Not simply IF we have believed, but more than that. “”-

      Where do you get this at? That we as believers are judged by our works? You dont find that in the Book of Revelation? Our Works are judged but it has nothing to do with our Salvation, N O T H I N G! Our place with Christ is already secure! We can know that in this life. In LDS Doctirne you never really know do you?

      -“”My other comments that Christian doctrines are not a “one definition fits all” is merely referring to the fact that throughout Christianity, the various denominations interpret doctrines differently. Hence, one word is understood differently… and one definition does not fit them all. “”-

      I dont know what you are getting at here other than you think that if Christian denominations are clouded up that it paves the way for LDS Doctrine to be more acceptable or to look more Christian? However, I would tell any “Christian” denomination who strayed from CORE beliefs that they are in error and are dead wrong as well. So just becuase they are a “Christian” denomintion doesnt mean that they are teach lies. Read John 15 if you want.

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