How does Mormonism, more formally known as The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, compare to Biblical Christianity? Is it different? If so, what about it is different? Are Mormons considered Christians? This paper is going to explore these questions about Mormonism. In 2007 there were over 13 million Mormons worldwide, there are approximately 6 million Mormons in the United States. Mormonism is “the fastest and most successful cult in the history of the United States…an average (increasing) rate of 300,000 converts a year” (Ridenour 130).
Analysis/Summary of Topic
First of all, we must explore the origin of Mormonism. In 1820, a 14 year old boy named, Joseph Smith, Jr., had a vision of what he thought was the Father and the Son. The boy asked them what Christian denomination he should be, and they said none of them because they were all “wrong and corrupt” (Ridenour 131-132). Three years later at age 17, Smith saw the angel Moroni appear at his bed side, who told him about two golden tablets that were buried underground that contained sacred writing on them. Four years later the tablets were dug up and translated. There was much controversy about the reliability of the translation of the tablets, however Smith still published the writings as the Book of Mormon by 1830. Once the Mormon Church was establish it grew rapidly. Despite its positive growth the Mormon Church did not always receive acceptance or tolerance. Between the early 1830’s and early 1840’s, Smith continued to receive “inspired scripture” from more revelations. These “inspired scriptures” include, the Book of Commandments, which was published in 1833, and the Doctrine and Covenants, which was published in 1835.
Tension continued to arise around the Mormons. Smith and his followers were driven out of Missouri and into Illinois. In Illinois smith continued to have revelations about things such as the “Godhead, origin and destiny of the human race, eternal progression, baptism for the dead, plural marriage (polygamy)…” (Ridenour 133). Polygamy was perhaps one of the most controversial issues the surrounded Smith’s revelations. With his statement about polygamy on august 12, 1843, he included a threat to his first wife,...