World Religion Analysis Paper: Mormonism

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  • Topic: Christianity, Jesus, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
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Liberty University

World Religion Analysis Paper:
Mormonism

A paper submitted to Dr. Jeffrey Robinson
In partial fulfillment of the Requirements for
the course APOL 500

Liberty Theological Seminary

By
John W. Austin

Lynchburg, Virginia
Sunday, February 24, 2013

World Religion Analysis Paper:
Mormonism

Table of Contents
Introduction ……….…………………………………………………………………………...… 3

Summary …...………………..……..……………………………………………………………. 3

Critique ………………………………………………………………………………………….. 4

Sharing the Gospel …….………………………………………………………………………… 6

Conclusion ………………………………………………………………………………………. 7

Bibliography .……………………………………………………………….…………………… 8

Introduction:
This paper is a brief analysis of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS) or more often referred to as Mormonism. It is intended to give a short summary examining the history, beliefs and some criticisms of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Also presented, is a plan to reach those involved in Mormonism with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Summary:

“There is probably no American religious group that has had a more interesting, complex, and confusing history than the Mormons.” Joseph Smith (1805-1844) was the founder of the Mormon Church in 1830, in Fayette, New York. It is considered one of the fastest growing religions in the world. In the Popular Encyclopedia of Apologetics, the Mormon Church claims to have 53,000 missionaries, 13 million members, and missions in over 170 countries around the world.

The founder, Joseph Smith was dissatisfied with church and not sure which church he should join. He claims to have had a vision from Jesus and God the Father in which Jesus told him not to join any of the churches and that they were all an abomination in the eyes of God. From this vision Smith felt that he was to establish a new church on earth that would institute real Christianity on earth.

Two years after his first vision, at the age of sixteen Smith claims to have had another vision where an angel named Moroni revealed to him golden plates that had been buried. On these plates were writings that Smith translated into what we know today as the Book of Mormon. In the Book it describes how a Jewish family fled to America and then split into two groups. There was constant friction between the two factions and before they killed each other off, Moroni, who was only a prophet at this time, buried the sacred tablets. Moroni was instrumental to Smith finding and translating these golden plates. From their start in New York the Mormons constantly were on the move through several states. In the state of Illinois Joseph Smith was arrested and killed by an angry mob. From this point several of Smith’s followers went on different tracks. The majority followed Brigham Young who led them to their present headquarters today in Salt Lake City, Utah. Today the Mormon Church uses the Book of Mormon as well as the King James Version of the Bible, The Book of Doctrines & Covenants, and the Book of the Pearl of Great Price. The emphasis is always on the Book of Mormon and all the other books and readings are subordinate to it. Several key people who have left the LDS Church cite the non-emphasis of the Bible as a reason for leaving. Critique:

A direct quote from Brigham Young’s writings, "Take up the Bible, compare the religion of the Latter-day Saints with it and see if it will stand the test," (Brigham Young, May 18, 1873, Journal of Discourses, vol. 16, p. 46.) This may be considered a challenge presented to someone who would want to understand the Church of LDS and the Doctrines. In taking up that challenge it appears that on many different areas the beliefs of the Mormons and the Bible are very different.

The first difference is that the Mormons believe that God was once man just like you and me and that we ourselves can become a god. In 1844, at Nauvoo, Illinois Smith preached a sermon stating, “I will refute that idea, and...
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