Saturday, September 6, 2008

Comparing the Mormon Christ with the Savior of the New Testament

In my post on born-again Mormons, a commenter challenged me to "write down the Book of Mormon descriptions of Christ and Salvation and then the Bible descriptions then compare the two." I knew that this type of endeavor could take some time, since there are many, many, many passages on the Savior in the Book of Mormon. So for this post, I thought I would narrow down my search. When I typed "Christ" in to the scripture search engine at lds.org, the first results to appear were in the book of Moroni. Today I will thus compare Moroni's teachings on the Son of God in Moroni chapter 7 to New Testament Christology. Here, in chart form, are some of the correlations I found:

(you may have to scroll down, since my first attempt at HTML tables didn't work very well.)
















































Believers in Christ enter into his restMoroni 7:3
Wherefore, I would speak unto you that are of the church, that are the peaceable followers of Christ, and that have obtained a sufficient hope by which ye can enter into the rest of the Lord, from this time henceforth until ye shall rest with him in heaven.
Heb 4:3,11
For we which have believed do enter into rest...Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.
Christ's followers cannot be servants of the devilMoroni 7:11
For behold, a bitter fountain cannot bring forth good water; neither can a good fountain bring forth bitter water; wherefore, a man being a servant of the devil cannot follow Christ; and if he follow Christ he cannot be a servant of the devil.
Luke 9:50
And Jesus said unto him, Forbid him not: for he that is not against us is for us.
Prophets testified that Christ would comeMoroni 7:23
And God also declared unto prophets, by his own mouth, that Christ should come.
Acts 3:20-21
And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.
We are saved by faith in Christ's nameMoroni 7:26,38
And after that he came men also were saved by faith in his name; and by faith, they become the sons of God.
For no man can be saved, according to the words of Christ, save they shall have faith in his name
Acts 16:31
Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.
After he finished his work on the earth, Christ ascended to heaven and sat on the right hand of GodMoroni 7:27
Christ hath ascended into heaven, and hath sat down on the right hand of God
Mark 16:19
So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God.
Those who have faith in Christ will have great powerMoroni 7:33
And Christ hath said: If ye will have faith in me ye shall have power to do whatsoever thing is expedient in me.
Matthew 17:20
And Jesus said unto them...If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.
Through the atonement and resurrection of Christ, humankind can be raised to eternal lifeMoroni 7:41
Behold I say unto you that ye shall have hope through the atonement of Christ and the power of his resurrection, to be raised unto life eternal, and this because of your faith in him according to the promise.
John 11:25
Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:
True followers of Christ will become like himMoroni 7:48
...that ye may become the sons of God; that when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is
1 John 3:2
Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.

Edgar Goodspeed's book How to Read the Bible says of Christ that Mark records the doer, Matthew the teacher, Luke the compassionate Savior; and John reveals him as the universal Lord--not just someone for Judea or the Middle East, but the universal Lord. Likewise the Book of Mormon portrays Christ as the living head and organizer of his church. In the Book of Mormon he is a doer, he is a teacher, he is a compassionate Savior, and as well he is the universal Lord of light, life, and salvation for all mankind in all nations.

This exercise has had the effect of strengthening my conviction that the Savior taught by the Book of Mormon and to the Latter-day Saints is that same being who is worshipped by orthodox Christians and who is found within the pages of the Bible. I am an amateur genealogist, and when I check my work on the Church's genealogy program, family search, I am often given a program to compare my ancestor with someone in the database. I have found that when I have a person with the same first and last name, birth date, place of birth, who has the same spouse and children, that this person is most likely the same though I may have a different middle name than the one on the program.

Mormons and evangelical Christians may have some different understandings of the nature of Christ, or some interpretations of the Bible which conflict. But as this post has shown, we can feel confident that we are worshipping the same being and we might do well to trust that the other community will not be damned for their sincere beliefs.

11 comments:

brooke said...

yep, i agree with you. as i've been leaving the LDS church and connected with my LDS friends this is what i've said. i go to a presbyterian church, but we worship the same God, we talk about the same Christ. though there is no longer the denominational similarities, there's still those 2 very core similarites. when i get together with my dear friend, that's what we talk about - God, Christ. it's really quite cool.

m_and_m said...

BiV,
A Baptist minister wrote about his belief in the BoM -- might be worth a read.

I think he misses a couple of key points about our doctrine, esp. the importance of ordinances (which he has decided not to pursue) but the way he found the Savior in the BoM was something I found interesting.

http://www.centerplace.org/library/bofm/baptistversionofbofm.htm

More links here:

http://graceforgrace.com/2008/06/06/baptist-preacher-believes-in-book-of-mormon/

Maraiya said...

Well said.

CatherineWO said...

Thank you for this post. I have trying to focus my spiritual study on Christ and His core teachings. Your post is very helpful.

Anonymous said...

Silly goose:) I actually thought that you would read the bible and not study from another man's work. Please read the Bible and make your own comparisons. I know the parts that agree, the BOM has them complete with all of the Bible translational errors intact. The problem is with the hundreds of Scriptures that do not agree such as 2 Nephi 25:23and Ephesians 2:8-9 THese scriptures could not be more opposite of each other. There are several others from the Bible that confirm this Scripture in Ephesians. I have given extensive study to the BOM and the Bible, will you please do the same. How about you read the New Testament for yourself and compare the differences. If you listened to the Prophet you most likely read the BOM many times. How many calls have their been to give equal time to the Bible. I am not looking for a quick answer, I am looking for Truth. That would be worth waiting for.

David

Bored in Vernal said...

David, no need to be condescending. You asked me to "write down the Book of Mormon descriptions of Christ and Salvation and then the Bible descriptions then compare the two," which is what I did. I think when you are referring to "another man's work" you are speaking of Joseph Smith's production of the Book of Mormon. I will not debate that as I prefer to concentrate on the question at hand, i.e. whether we believe in the same Savior.

I think that as Mormons we vary widely in how much emphasis we put on each of our scriptures. Some prefer the Book of Mormon. My husband likes to read the New Testament more than the other standard works. For myself, the Old Testament has more appeal due to its symbolism and poetry, so I have spent much more time studying it than the Book of Mormon. Please do not assume that Mormons do not give "equal time" to the Bible. I have made Bible study part of my day for over 30 years.

Since you seem to have quite an investment in the seeming contradiction you find in 2 Nephi 25:23 and Ephesians 2:8-9, the famous grace and works conundrum, I will address it in my next post. Be advised, however, that there is much more of a problem between the NT scriptures which address this subject than with the BoM ones!

S.Faux said...

BIV:

You have made a whole lot of excellent points.

As a life-long LDS, I have always been taught that the Bible and the Book of Mormon go hand-in-hand. In fact, one cannot thoroughly understand the Book of Mormon without a good background in BOTH the New and Old Testaments.

Over and over again at Church meetings we are taught to study the scriptures, of which the Bible is the essential component.

I like reading alternate translations of the Bible because they keep me motivated to keep reading. I just purchased the New Century Version. I plan to read it cover to cover -- probably New Testament first, however.

LDS doctrine expands my understanding of the Bible. It is the top priority on my reading list.

I agree with you that all Christians worship the same Being. However, there is a clarity that LDS doctrine and ordinances provide that is essential to my worship.

However, to expand my mind into new arenas, I am reading a relatively new book on the history of the Mass. Yes, even Mormons can study such things.

Anonymous said...

Actually I was not trying to be condescending nor was I taking about Joseph Smith's Work. I was speaking of Edgar Goodspeed. Not saying anything against his work only that we should do our own reading in the Word of God. Trust no man.

David

Anonymous said...

The famous grace and works conundrum? It is the foundation of salvation. Just how much is all you can do? If you prayed today for 5 minutes, could it have been 10? If you gave $10.00 could it have been $100.00? If you did 10 baptisms for the dead could it have been 20? You see my point? It becomes impossible if you are honest with yourself. There is a better way. We are saved by Grace, then as a show of faith we do good works and not the other way around.

David

Anonymous said...

John 3:16

16For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
18He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

The Bible clearly teaches that he that believes in Christ is not condemned.

Romans 11:6

6And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then it is no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.

Ephesians 2:8-9

8For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9Not of works, lest any man should boast.

Grace is a gift. When is the last time you had to work for a gift?

David

Bored in Vernal said...

David, these are not Edgar Goodspeed's comparisons, they are my own. I spent much time in the NT and also in the Book of Mormon to find them. You've really got to trust me more. I love truth, and I love the Word of God and I am willing to dig hard to find it. My readers could probably tell you, I am willing to be found in variance to Mormon teachings if I feel they are wrong!

As for your other comments, I hope my next post will be interesting to you...