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3 Ways the Mormons' Beliefs Make Them Different

By Edited Dec 31, 2013 4 7

The Mormons are a Christian sect created by their founder, Joseph

An LDS church
Smith, during the Second Great Awakening in the United States. He stated that he created the Church after God and Jesus Christ told him in what is called the First Vision that none of the Churches on Earth were currently true. The LDS faith is truly Christian in their beliefs, but, like all sects, the Mormons have certain doctrine that deviates them from other branches of Christianity.

1. Hell is not a defined place
Although the LDS faith is indeed Christian, they do not think that the eternal punishment described in the Bible is a place called Hell. Rather, Mormons' beliefs are of the three degrees of glory. Essentially, members of the LDS faith belief that we start life with God and come to Earth to get a body and be tested to
Three Degrees of Glory
grow spiritually. Upon death, worthy members go to Spirit Paradise where they essentially act as missionaries for everyone else, who is in Spirit Prison. Then, on judgment day, we are assigned one of three degrees of Glory: the Telestial Kingdom, the Terrestrial Kingdom, and the Celestial Kingdom (heaven).

The subject of Hell has been broached a few times, and from my understanding, it's still a very fuzzy concept in the LDS faith. However, I think that this quote from Understandable Religion sums it up:

"Now, it may be contended that a judgment, with some degree of salvation for all, encourages the sinner to pursue his dark ways. Not so. However generous the judgment, it is measured by our works. Our punishment will be the heavy regret that we might have received a greater reward, a higher kingdom, had our lives conformed more nearly to truth. Such remorse may yield keener pain than physical torture."

Essentially, the Mormons' beliefs are probably that Hell is the eternal feeling of regret you have for not making it to the Celestial Kingdom. Others have postulated that it means Outer Darkness (a place where people who have a full knowledge and certainty of God and disobey him go), or even a temporary place of punishment during Judgment Day. Regardless, one thing is for sure: the Mormons' beliefs do not accommodate for a place of eternal fire and brimstone for our sins.


2. You can become a God or Goddess
Another quite exhilarating part of the Mormons' beliefs is that worthy members will eventually become Gods or Goddesses; thus, that Mormonism is a cycle of God makers, if you will. This belief of the Mormons is affirmed in this quote in The Gospel Through the Ages:
Jesus Christ


"Thus all men who ascend to the glorious status of Godhood can do so only by one method - by obedience to all the principles and ordinances of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. If to obtain eternal life means to enjoy the same type of life that God lives and to experience similar experiences, then those people who receive it to the fullest degree shall actually be Gods." (The Gospel Through The Ages, pp. 114-117)

The belief that followers can become Gods and Goddesses requires them to abide by the Church's standards and get married in the temple, and thus be exaltated to the highest degree of the Celestial Kingdom, where the couple will grow and eventually become Godly. (No one can be a God of a universe solo.) It is with this belief that the conclusion can be drawn that God was not always God. The LDS faith states that God himself went through the process of being a God already. This bit of doctrine is considerably different from that of other Christian faiths, but certainly puts into perspective the "eternal plan of happiness" put forth by the Mormons.


3. Adam-ondi-Ahman
There is one thing I believe all Christian faiths can agree upon: the story of Adam and Eve. In case you are not aware, God created Adam and Eve, and left them in a state of perfection known as the Garden of Eden. They were instructed that they could not eat the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, for doing so w
Adam-ondi-Ahman
ould banish them from the Garden forever. However, a serpent tempts Eve, and she goes for it, as does Adam. From this decision, evil entered the world, and human life as we know it began.

While most Christian sects believe the Garden was located somewhere in the Middle East or southern Asia (Iran, Sumeria, Sri Lanka), the Mormons believe that the Garden was once located in a place called Adam-ondi-Ahman, near Independence, Missouri. To this you may be thinking, "How on Earth did we end up with Abraham around Babylon?" The Mormons' beliefs justify this by citing the split of Pangaea.

Although Adam-ondi-Ahman is in the Adamic language, some have speculated it to mean "Valley of God." Regardless of what it means, it is clear that the LDS faith certainly differs from popular Christianity on the location of what they claim to be our origins: the Garden of Eden.


Conclusion
Hopefully you now have a good understanding of the 3 ways that Mormons' beliefs set them apart from other Christian sects. Through the complex network of worlds instead of Heaven and Hell, the cycle of God makers, and Adam-ondi-Ahman's significance in the interpretation of the Bible by the LDS faith, the Mormons certainly add their own unique flavor to the world of Christianity.

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Comments

Jun 5, 2010 5:12pm
kimbell
This is a great article. Love the formatting and the content.
Jun 5, 2010 5:25pm
Glunn11
Thank you so much, kimbell! I'm glad you find it interesting :)
Feb 25, 2011 3:06pm
lucysky1
Thank you for this wonderful post, not many good posts about Mormons are around these days. I mean these are good men and they deserved to be treated equally. They make this world a better place =) Again thanks!!
Jun 5, 2010 6:58pm
octopusirl
This &gt Catholicism.
It almost makes me wish I was a mormon.
But then I realize I'm gay and hey, they don't like that very much.
Nov 28, 2010 4:14pm
JadeDragon
Mormons are not Christians because they believe humans can become God. Salvation is not through Jesus Christ, but rather follows the chart above.
Feb 25, 2011 3:08pm
lucysky1
Mormons are Christians =) They love you, ask any Mormons and they willcall you "sister" coz you and me are all brothers and sisters, from one parent up there =)
Nov 21, 2011 7:19am
sheilacameron
What you have written is a very interesting but, very simplistic article of what differentiates them from other churches. In the lds church marriage does not end with death, Jesus is not the only person who can hold the order of melchizideck, god has a wife and has a physical body. The lds church has 3 kingdoms of god and belief we have always existed in some form. This form took that we lived with god as spirits with our spirit brothers and sisters. God gave us the gift of agency to choose for ourselves and when we were born a veil has been put over our memory so, we cannot remember our pre-earth life with god. God is with us through the holy spirit and through prayer. They believe if we make the right choices we will return home to god in the highest kingdom. They believe that Jesus and Satan were brothers, god had to make the choice of whom to send as our saviour. When god chose Jesus Satan rebelled and was cast out for his actions. They have living prophets today as their first living prophet Joseph smith, of whom brought them the most significant physical difference to any church the book of Mormon. This was translated by Joseph smith in 1820. The doctrine and covenants, revelations from Joseph smith. Pearl of great price, collections of materials made by elder Franklin d. Richards, then a member of the council of twelve and president of the British mission. There are a great deal of differences that, I have not even listed. I had to challenge that you can only define it into 3 differences and be so very simplistic with thus church. These people are Christians and believe in god, Jesus and the holy spirit.
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