Studying world religions can be engrossing since you get to study how diverse humans are.
Christianity has several variations that are interesting to look up, one of which includes Mormonism.
Although the Mormons believe themselves to be Christians, they are not regarded as such by Catholics and Protestants.
Do Mormons believe in God?
Like other religions, Mormons believe in a higher entity, regarded as God. However, contrary to the Trinitarian belief, Mormons believe that the Heavenly Father (God), Christ, and Holy Ghost are three separate entities that work in unison and form the Godhead.
Read below to know more about the distinct beliefs of the Mormons/LDS Church and how they differ from traditional Christianity.
What Is The Concept of God In Mormonism?
There are certain similarities in the concept of God in Mormonism and traditional Christianity.
Like Catholics and Protestants, Mormons, also known as Latter-day saints (followers of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Mormon church founded by Joseph Smith), also believe in God i.e. the Father, His Son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost.
They believe that God is the loving Heavenly Father who knows humankind individually.
Mormons also believe that Jesus Christ is the Savior and Redeemer, who atoned for the sins of humankind so we can be forgiven and have eternal life.
The Holy Ghost is the third member of the Godhead who helps us know the truth and guides us in our daily lives.
How Does The Mormon Concept of God Differ From That Of Traditional Christianity?
Both religions believe in God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. However, unlike mainstream Christian denominations, Mormons do not believe in a Trinitarian concept.
The Trinity says that God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost are three co-equal, co-eternal, and consubstantial entities that are all one God.
Mormonism, on the other hand, says that God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost are three distinct and separate entities.
However, they all work in unison towards the same goal, i.e., guiding humankind towards the right path.
Is Mormonism Stricter Than Traditional Christianity?
Mormons place a strong emphasis on family life and morality. Apart from alcohol, they also abstain from consuming coffee or tea.
While divorce is permissible, it is highly discouraged and involves a process of approval from the Church.
In addition, Mormons believe in the principle of self-sufficiency and expect members to tithe 10% of their income to the Church.
While these beliefs may seem stricter than those of other Christian denominations, they help to create a tight-knit community of believers who value personal growth and service.
Do Mormons Believe In The Miraculous Birth Of Jesus Christ?
Christians uphold the belief that Jesus Christ was born miraculously, and that mother Mary was a virgin when Jesus was born.
Since Jesus Christ is an eternal deity in traditional Christianity, His birth is believed to be miraculous and devoid of any sort of male intervention.
In Mormonism, the birth of Jesus Christ is disputed.
Typically, Mormons believe that Jesus Christ had a natural birth as opposed to a virgin birth, through God’s intervention.
This means that God copulated with his mortal spirit-daughter Mary, which led to the birth of Jesus Christ.
However, other Mormons believe that the exact manner through which Jesus Christ was born naturally is open to speculation and interpretation.
Is Mormonism a Polytheistic Religion?
While Mormons may not identify themselves as polytheists in the strictest sense, a more befitting label for them may be ‘monolatristic’ which refers to the belief of existence in multiple gods, but the worship of only one.
Mainstream Christians believe that the Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ and Holy Spirit are all one entity, which is why they identify as monotheistic.
Mormons believe that there are other divine and godly entities beside the Godhead (including the Father, Jesus Christ and Holy Ghost), however, it is only God who is worthy of worship.
The polytheistic label has connotations with non-Abrahamic faiths such as Hinduism and most Asian religions, which involve the worship of multiple idols and gods.
Since Mormons do not worship any other deity besides God, they consider themselves to be monotheistic.
While there may be several differences between the religious concepts in Mormonism and traditional Christianity, there are many similarities as well.
Both faiths believe in a higher entity, God, who guides humankind and loves all of us equally.
By researching various religions, we can develop tolerance and understand the diversity of the human race.