When comparing religions, you may find similarities, but there are no belief systems that are completely identical to one another. In this article, we will take a look at the differences between Mormonism and mainstream Christianity, including topics such as sacred texts and the belief in God.
For starters, when it comes to religious authority, Mormonism holds all texts to be equal to one another. For mainstream Christianity, the Bible is the main source of authority for all that fall under this religion. Various types of Christian groups also follow other authoritative guides. For example, Catholics and Orthodox Christians pay attention to ecumenical councils and creeds. Official papal pronouncements are also important to Catholics, where continuing revelations are noted within the Pentecostal religion.
When it comes to sacred texts, the Bible is the key to following the mainstream Christian way of life and worship. Two versions of the Old Testament were in circulation during the time of Christ. These represented a Hebrew, as well as Greek version. For early Christians, to speak Greek was quite common. For a sacred text, they referred to the Septiagint, which included the Apocrypha. Until the Reformation, the Apocrypha was still in use. For Mormons, there are several different sacred texts that are used to spread the word. The Bible, Doctrine and Covenants, Book of Mormon, as well as the Pearl of Great Price are all sacred texts associated with this religion.
In regards to the Trinity, Mormons and mainstream Christians possess varied views. Mormons reject the concept, stating that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are three separate entities who share one purpose. Within mainstream Christianity, the Trinity is affirmed, where the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are seen as coming from the same, where each of these persons is actually one being. Mormons see God as a Heavenly Father, who possesses a physical body that can be seen and touched. Mainstream Christian believe that God is a Trinitarian God, who does not possess a physical shape. In reference to Jesus Christ, Mormons refer to Him as the Son of God, as well as the Savior. He too is believed to possess a physical body and is thought to be one of the original spirit beings that all humans were once. Throughout mainstream Christianity, Jesus Christ is referred to as the Son of God, Word of God, as well as God. This is the second person of the Trinity. The Holy Spirit is considered a separate being from Jesus and God in the eyes of a Mormon. For mainstream Christianity, God is the third person of the Trinity.
When it comes to original sin, Mormonism denies that it exists and places the existence of such occurrences to human nature. Differing from this view, mainstream Christians (at least the majority of denominations) believe in original sin. As for the concept of free will, Mormons take the stance that you are free to do both evil, as well as good. Mainstream Christians believe that free will to do positive thing can be seriously influenced.