Is the Mormon Jesus Different from the Christian Jesus? - 08/10/2008

Ben,
I have asked this question to Mormon Joel Hardy of mormonhaven.com, and this is his response. Can you provide a response to his response? Thank you for your help.

Q. How can the Mormons call themselves Christians when they believe in a Jesus that is different than what all true Bible-believing Christians believe in?

A. We do not believe in a different Jesus. It only seems different because through modern revelation we have learned more about him than what other Christians know.

We obey the commandment "Whatsoever ye shall do, ye shall do it in my name." (3 Nephi 27:7) Every prayer we offer is in His name. Every ordinance performed is in His name. Every baptism, confirmation, blessing, ordination, every sermon, every testimony is concluded with the invocation of His sacred name. It is in His name that that we heal the sick and perform other miracles. In the sacrament we take upon ourselves the name of Christ. We covenant to remember him and keep his commandments. He is present in all that we believe. He is our Lord, our God and our Savior.

Some misunderstanding may come from the fact that some Latter-day Saints have tended to focus on Christ's Sonship as opposed to His Godhood. As members of earthly families, we can relate to Him as a child, as a Son, and as a Brother because we know how that feels. We can personalize that relationship because we ourselves are children, sons and daughters, brothers and sisters. For some it may be more difficult to relate to Him as a God. And so in an attempt to draw closer to Christ and to cultivate warm and personal feelings toward Him, some tend to humanize Him, sometimes at the expense of acknowledging His Divinity.

It is true that we believe that Jesus was our Elder Brother in the premortal life, but we believe that in this life it is crucial that we become "born again" as His sons and daughters in the gospel covenant.

We believe in the Jesus of the New Testament, and we believe what the New Testament teaches about Him. We do believe things about Jesus that other Christians do not believe, but that is because we know, through revelation, things about Jesus that others do not know. It is a twisting of language to call this a "different Jesus," as though we have created some other individual by that name.





CONTENDER MINISTRIES RESPONSE:


Well, Mr. Hardy has been less than forthcoming.  I can show you how the Mormon Jesus differs from the true Jesus of the Bible, and also how even LDS authorities concede they believe in a different Jesus.  Biblical teaching shows us that Jesus is part of the ONE triune God.  He is not a separate God from the Father.  He is a distinct and separate person from the Father, but the two - along with the Holy Spirit - form one God (see my article on the Trinity by clicking here).  However, Mormonism teaches that Jesus is but one of many gods, and is a separate god from the father.  They teach that Jesus is our eldest brother and also the brother of Lucifer (Satan).  The Bible teaches us that Jesus was born of Mary - a virgin who was overshadowed by the Holy Spirit and miraculously conceived the body of Jesus.  However, Mormonism teaches that Jesus was conceived through a physical union of Mary and God the Father.  Past LDS prophet Ezra Taft Benson said, “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints proclaims that Jesus Christ is the Son of God in the most literal sense.  The body in which He performed His mission in the flesh was sired by that same Holy Being we worship as God, our Eternal Father.  Jesus was not the son of Joseph, nor was He begotten by the Holy Ghost.  He is the Son of the Eternal Father!” (Ezra Taft Benson, Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1988), p 7.).  LDS Apostle Bruce McConkie said, Christ was Begotten by an Immortal Father in the same way that mortal men are begotten by mortal fathers….And Christ was born into the world as the literal Son of this Holy Being; he was born in the same personal, real, and literal sense that any mortal son is born to a mortal father.  There is nothing figurative about his paternity; he was begotten, conceived and born, in the normal and natural course of events, for he is the Son of God, and that designation means what it says.” (Bruce McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, pp 547, 742.).  The Bible teaches us that the blood (sacrifice) of Jesus Christ cleanses us from all unrighteousness.  The Mormons believe there are some sins that cannot be covered by the blood of Christ.  Finally, while not official LDS doctrine, many LDS leaders (their prophet Brigham Young among them) believed that Jesus was married and had children.  The Biblical Jesus did not. 

Now, if Mr. Hardy believes the LDS Church teaches the same Jesus as Christians believe in, perhaps he should examine the following statements by Mormons:
  • And virtually all the millions of apostate Christendom have abased themselves before the mythical throne of a mythical Christ” (Apostle Bruce McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 269)
  • "It is true that many of the Christian churches worship a different Jesus than is worshiped by the Mormons or the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints." (Bernard P. Brockbank, member of the Quorum of the Seventy, Ensign (May 1977): p.26.).
  • When speaking to a group of Latter-day Saints in Paris in June 1998, President Hinckley responded to claims that Ladder-day Saints do not believe in the traditional Christ by saying, "No, I don’t.  The traditional Christ of whom they speak is not the Christ of whom I speak."
So you can see, the Jesus of Mormonism differs from the true, biblical Jesus.  Even LDS apostle and prophets recognize the difference.  I hope this answers your question.

In Christ,

Ben Rast
Contender Ministries