5 Things Mormons Believe That Other Christians Do Not, But Make So Much Sense

5 Things Mormons Believe That Other Christians Do Not (but make so much sense)

Mormons are Christians—they believe that Jesus Christ is their Savior. That said, there plenty of Mormon beliefs that go against the grain of many modern sects of Christianity. And as it turns out, they make a whole lot of sense.

1. Mormons believe there are still prophets today

LDS Church leadership
via lds.org

Mormons believe that God spoke directly to certain individuals in antiquity, such as Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, etc. They believe he still speaks to certain individuals, called prophets, today. Because, why wouldn’t he?

Some theologians argue that the Bible holds all of the prophetic counsel we’ll ever need. But, respectfully, why? The Bible itself is simply a combination of smaller books that serve as evidence of God speaking to prophets over thousands and thousands of years. Why would he neglect us in modern times? The Mormons say He hasn’t, isn’t and won’t.

This concept really rubs a lot of Christians the wrong way. That said, scripturally, it’s a very rare occasion when people believe in an actual, current prophet. They always seem to believe in the prophets that lived before them, but really struggle to believe in the one standing in front of them. Exhibit A: Jesus Christ himself. The most powerful of all prophets (not to mention, the Savior). The people believed in Moses and Abraham, but crucified Christ.

Despite our mortal shortcomings, Mormons believe that God has provided prophets to us today, just as he did in ancient times. Makes sense, right?

For more on what Mormons believe about prophets and apostles, click here.

2. Mormons believe that God spoke to more than just ancient Israel

Painting of Christ visiting people on western hemisphere of the worldThe Bible is the record of God’s dealings with the people in the ancient Middle Eastern region. Mormons definitely believe in the Bible, but they believe God dealt with people in other areas of the world as well. Because, again, why wouldn’t He?

In addition to the Bible, Mormons study The Book of Mormon, which is simply the record of God’s dealings with a branch of Israel on the ancient American continent. If God truly loves His children (us), why would He communicate exclusively to those in the Middle East? It makes sense that He would spread his message around the globe. It also makes sense that those who heard His message would write it down. So, I guess it makes sense that there might be more scripture than just the Bible.

Don’t get me wrong, the Bible is great—but if there’s more of the word of God out there that corroborates, supports and elaborates on what the Bible says, you can bet I’ll be all over that.

For more on The Book of Mormon, click here.

3. Mormons believe that marriage and family continue after this life

Mormon temple in Salt Lake City, Utah
Mormon couples are “sealed” in temples like this one. Image via llens photography.

I recently did a three-month stint in the most beautiful country I’ve ever seen—New Zealand. It was magnificent. The beaches were pristine, the foliage was lush and the people were saint-like. But then I realized something: I desperately wanted my family there with me. Despite the natural wonders of New Zealand, that paradise was not paradise without my family around me. I was alone.

Heaven isn’t Heaven without your family.

Mormons believe that marriage does not end with, “till death do us part.” Instead, a Mormon wedding ceremony (they call it, a sealing ceremony) uses the terminology, “for time and all eternity.” If both parties involved live worthily of heaven, their marriage continues into the eternities. Romantic, isn’t it?

For more on what Mormons believe about marriage and family, click here.

4. Mormons believe there is so much more than Heaven and Hell

A sunsetAs a child I always wondered where the dividing line between Heaven and Hell was. I looked at it as a very measurable judgement. I thought, “How many sins can I commit before I cross into Hell-judgement territory?” What is Hell like? What is Heaven like? Are we just going to be peacefully praying on clouds for all eternity? Because, to be completely frank, that sounds like it would get monotonous really fast.

Mormons believe that Heaven is separated into what they call Kingdoms of Glory. There are three kingdoms, each more glorious and awesome than the last. Judgment from God is less of a yes/no decision and more of a placement on a heavenly spectrum. This makes a whole lot of sense. With such a vast range of righteousness and wickedness amongst humanity, it makes sense that there is more than the traditional binary Heaven or Hell.

For more on what Mormons believe about Heaven and Hell, click here.

5. Mormons believe you should get baptized in the same way that Jesus Christ did

John the Baptist baptizing ChristIt’s commonly understood in many Christian congregations that baptism is meant to cleanse you from sin. Mormons agree, but the concept begs the question: If Jesus was sinless, why would he need to be baptized? One of the Mormon Church’s holy texts, The Book of Mormon (which we’ll talk more about later) has a solid answer:

And now, if the Lamb of God, he being holy, should have need to be baptized by water, to fulfil all righteousness, O then, how much more need have we, being unholy, to be baptized, yea, even by water!

The Mormon Church is extremely Christ-centered. They believe He is their perfect example in all things. As such, they believe they should be baptized like Christ was—by complete immersion in a body of water.

But there’s another important aspect of Christ’s baptism that the Mormons take very seriously—authority. According to the scriptures, Christ must have traveled multiple days to reach John the Baptist at the Jordan River. Why would he have traveled so far just so John would baptize him? Well, because John was the only man in the area that had authority to baptize. Mormons call this priesthood authority, and believe it is essential for a valid baptism.

It might seem a bit strict, but it makes total sense. You can’t just ask the ice cream man to baptize you—unless he has the God-given authority to do so.

Mormons believe that authority was lost from the earth once Christ was crucified, His apostles were killed and His teachings were corrupted. They also believe it was restored again to a prophet named Joseph Smith in 1829 and continues within the Church today.

For more on what Mormons believe about baptism, click here.

Note from the author to my fellow Christians

If you’re not a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the Mormon Church), it’s probably going to be very easy to interpret some of the points in this article as complete slams on popular Christian beliefs. That is not at all my intention.

I grew up in a predominantly Christian town and the faith of my Christian friends strengthens me. I’ve visited their Sunday services and love their unique perspectives. At the end of the day, all Christians (including Mormons) are just trying to better themselves, and that’s great. It’s true that Mormons believe many long-standing Christian beliefs are incomplete, but we fully recognize the good intentions behind them.

Despite out differences, we can all agree on the one belief that brings us together: Jesus Christ is our Savior.

David Snell is a proud member of the LDS Church. He is a BYU graduate, the Founder of The Sunday Pews, and has experience writing for Mormon Newsroom Pacific, KBYU11, Classical 89 Radio, FamilyShare.com and plenty more. He doesn't take himself too seriously and just wants to brighten your day a bit.
  • J. David Taylor

    In the Dominican Republic where I served my mission, most folks believed in prophets/prophecy, baptism by immersion, forever families, among other things. Mormonism is one of the few religions that lays exclusive claim to perpetual family relationships. So this article isn’t quite accurate. It reinforces the stereotype that Mormons don’t know about other religions or about the people in them, and that’s disappointing.

    • David Snell

      There are thousands and thousands of forms of Christianity throughout the world. This article speaks of Christianity in general, not the few specific sects that may agree with some of our doctrines. I was simply trying to hit the biggest chunk of the Christian audience as possible. For example, Catholicism has about 1.2 billion members worldwide, and they definitely do not require baptism by immersion or believe in kingdoms of glory, etc.

      Additionally, it’s common to find people who say they agree on these doctrines (because they ring true for many people), but less common to find actual statements of belief from Christian denominations.

      However, you’re right. There are probably Christian sects out there that do agree with some items on this list. I hope the DR, and you, will forgive my ignorance.

  • Jodi Walker

    You state that ” to many Christians agree it takes your own work, in this case baptism, to reach God, but there is no basis for this in the Bible. Jesus died for our sins so that we might have ETERNAL LIFE (John 3:16). If we are to receive salvation, it is vital that we understand what is required in order to receive this great gift. We must earn Salvation it is not a free gift, it is not unconditional. See Acts 2:38 Where Peter gave instructions to thousands saying First we need to “REPENT (ASK FOR FORGIVENESS OF OUR SINS)….. and the second “be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit”

    Peter never once said, “Just sit there and whisper to yourself. ‘Jesus, I accept you into my heart.’ ” No! Peter taught that receiving salvation required ACTION on the part of those wanting it. How could it be plainer? Repentance and baptism are essential requirements for salvation.

  • David Blanton

    Great post! Honest. Truthfull. Biblical.

  • Malleeman

    For example, if there are 3 layers of heaven you call “kingdoms of glory” why is there NO reference to this in the Bible?
    There is reference to this in 1 Corinthians Ch15:40 – 41

    40 There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another.

    41 There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory.

  • Alexis Thomas

    Christianity by definition is the belief in God (Heavenly Father) sent his son Jesus Christ to make it possible to live with God again or go to heaven members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints believe in that and therefore are Christian. The doctrines you speak of are different because of what was lost in translation because of it being dummied down to make people happy today so you cannot say you are an educated person in religious matters and say that Mormons are not Christian because we are.

    • Mark Sahlberg

      In Revelation 22:13 Jesus proclaims himself to be the alpha and omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. In other words He proclaims himself to be God. The definition of one who is a Christian is one who believes in Jesus Christ and follows His teachings. The Morman Jesus was the brother of Lucifer and the offspring of Elohim and his wife. That is not scriptural based on what Jesus says in Revelation. Therefore, the Mormon Jesus is not the Jesus of the Bible and Mormons are not Christians.

  • Alexis Thomas

    yes, not all Christian faiths believe the same Mormons believe that Christ was killed, buried, and resurrected so we can do the same we also believe that baptism is a remission of sins hence the being fully emersed in water the symbolism goes hand in hand we are being born again so we must be buried and born again and when baptized we must be fully emersed in water as if being in our mother’s womb so all of our sins are washed away and we covenant with our father in heaven to obey all of his commandments

  • Peggy Bogar

    Beautifully written and put simply.

  • David Snell

    Interesting perspective, Jamie123. I respectfully disagree and lend more credibility to The Book of Mormon than I do to Tim Stafford, but then again, I’m biased. Great thought, though. Have a great day.

  • David Snell

    Fantastic questions, seeking_justice. I’d love to take the time to address them each personally to you here, but instead I’d strongly encourage you to ask them here: https://www.mormon.org/chat.

    • seeking_justice

      Okay, I will, but before I do, I would like to ask you something. Personally, do you ever worry that you aren’t good enough to make it to heaven?

      • David Snell

        Another fantastic question. I recognize that it is only through the grace of Christ that heaven is even an option for me. If it weren’t for His Atonement there would be absolutely nothing I could do to “earn” my way into heaven. That said, as taught in James 2:26, “grace without works is dead.” So, while I recognize the supernal importance of grace and mercy, I also recognize that they must be supported by essential works that we call ordinances in order to reach the highest kingdom (or level) of heaven. For example, baptism.

        I know we disagree on the subject of baptism as a requirement to enter heaven, but just so you’re aware of where our interpretation comes from, here are some references:

        John 3:5: “Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.”

        Mark 16:16: “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved,” and plenty others.

        I recognize that you, no doubt, interpret these scriptures differently than we do, which is fine. The wide variety of biblical interpretations is one reason why we love The Book of Mormon so much, as it acts as a second source to support or dispel so many different interpretations.

        But in answer to your question, yes, sometimes I worry about that (whether or not I should). I worry that my faith isn’t strong enough. I worry that I haven’t satisfactorily taken upon myself the image of Christ. I’m a worrier. But I know that through His grace and by utilizing His redeeming Atonement to repent and to continually progress, I’ll be OK. I hope that answers your question. Thank you for being civil.

    • Bobby H

      You said you’d love to take the time to address the question but then you direct him to a chat page. Talk about passing the buck! Either you don’t know the answer or you do.

      • David Snell

        Dear Bobby,

        “Either you don’t know the answer or you do.” … I do. I’ve been striving to live this stuff for 17 years, two of which I spent teaching it more than full-time in a foreign language as a missionary. I’ve dealt with these questions hundreds of times. The sad reality is that discussions like these in public comments forums rarely change peoples’ paradigms and often just cause contention and defensiveness. A private conversation with a missionary will be much more sincere and effective.

        So, is it passing the buck? If that’s the way you’d like to look at it, sure. Is it because the questions are just too darn hard for me? No.

        If you’d like the answers to those questions, I suggest you take it up with mormon.org/chat, search keywords on lds.org, or find me on Facebook and we can have a private conversation which I’m sure wouldn’t be very productive as you’ve evidently taken issue with me and lend little credibility to what I say.

  • David Snell

    I would love to hear that Mormons and Catholics agree on the matter of eternal marriage. Can you provide an official statement from the Catholic Church that marriage continues for eternity? I’d love to have the reference, or is it just an implied belief?

  • gwen rothberg

    Pretty sure this is why evangelicals in the Midwest freak out about LDS folks claiming that they’re Christian. If you ask one, they’ll tell you – no, they don’t consider the LDS to be Christian, but as soon as they’re certain that they are voting with their dominionist block, they’ll leave you alone. They do the same thing to conservative Jews, but tolerate Jews more generally because ‘Israel’ and their dreams of end times.

    • RazzleD

      Be careful when you generalize evangelicals. My evangelical friends have never questioned my Christianity and they know I am LDS. My friends in Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa, Tennessee, and Florida would never say anything ill about the LDS to me. And they feel perfectly comforatable discussing their faith with me. I love my fellow Christians and I know they love me too.

  • momsaid

    I love to remember when the missionaries came to our house for the first time. One of my aunts had asked if Mom and Dad would let them come and teach us. I was 11 yrs old, with full-on ADD brain and lots of curiosity, and this was intriguing.

    I had wondered why my aunt joined the Church: she smoked and drank coffee for years, then just gave them up completely. This must be pretty important, for her to change her habits. I listened, not sure about Joseph Smith or the Book of Mormon, until they taught the Plan of Salvation. Premortal, Earthly, and Eternal Life were mapped out on a flannel board, and they made sense. I’d had a dream when I was very young (abt 4), where I was watching people through a glass window. It was like a parade of History, with folks dressed in and surrounded by ancient things. As I watched them, a voice spoke and said, “It’s not your turn yet. You have to wait.”, and I looked up to my left and saw a man in a white suit. I’d never told anyone about the dream. I knew that this religion had a teaching that no others did, and that it was true. Through all the years of learning, trying, failing, working to do better, and finding my way, that experience reminded me why it’s worth it. It’s true…and that’s all that matters.