Is Mormonism the True Church?

If the New Testament paints a picture of the true church, how does Mormonism reflect it?

Reference Links

The Mormon Corporation
Essay on the True Church

Video Transcript

One of the most emphasized claims that Mormons make is that they are the one true church. So let’s compare their true church to the one that Christ built.

The New Testament church was spread mainly by the work of the original apostles. All of these men saw the resurrected Christ, publicly worked signs and wonders to prove their authority, personally risked their lives by street preaching in hostile areas, and had no system or expectation to continue their office.

None of those statements apply to modern LDS apostles. Instead, Mormon apostles become leaders in a hierarchical corporation worth tens of billions of dollars, of which the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is only a trademarked property, and which owns commercial interests in insurance, finance, tourism, retail, communications, and agribusiness. A far cry from the old persecuted evangelizing apostles.

In the Bible, the temple was where God’s special presence resided and priests came to sacrifice animals to atone for the people’s sin. In the New Testament church, Jesus became the last sacrifice for sin ever needed, and God, as the Holy Spirit, began to dwell inside his people, making them the temple, doing away with the need for a building.

Mormonism, however, is approaching 150 temples. None of the ceremonies in these temples were taught by the New Testament church, but Mormonism requires them for salvation. The New Testament only requires the grace of God manifested by faith in Christ.

The New Testament church affirms that all believers hold a royal priesthood. The only other priesthood mentioned belongs to Christ, the Melchizedek and high priest. But Mormonism has a remarkably different male-only priesthood system.

The New Testament church is not required to tithe, or to even give money to an organized religion. Instead, they are taught to give generously to the needy, the specifics are left up to the individual. In fact, the Bible clearly states to not give under compulsion.

Mormonism, however, exacts ten percent paid directly to the corporation in order to have access to the temple, effectively requiring the tithe for salvation.

The New Testament church is bound and defined by the teachings of Christ and the apostles found in the Bible. The Mormon church is bound by the teachings of the living prophet, even when they oppose the Bible.

In the New Testament, although the apostles did give the Holy Spirit by the laying on of hands in certain situations, it was by no means essential. Jesus made it clear that the Holy Spirit is given to all who ask directly by God, and since each Christian is their own priest, no human has authority over their relationship to God.

In Mormonism, however, the Holy Spirit is distributed exclusively by priesthood holders and the church has the power to cut people off from the Holy Spirit and salvation.

Seeing as it doesn’t resemble the New Testament, Mormonism has clearly set its own standards for the true church. This is important, because these differences aren’t merely cosmetic, they represent a fundamental disparity in crucial doctrines.