|Biblical Christianity||Jehovah's Witnesses||Mormonism
(Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints)
|Founded||By God, especially Jesus Christ. John 1:1-18; Matt 16:18||1897, Pittsburgh, by Charles Taze Russell (1852-1916)||1830, New York, by Joseph Smith Jr. (1805-1844)|
The Bible, divinely inspired verbal revelation, Word of God. Reliable in everything that it affirms, and the sole authority for faith and practice. 2 Tim. 3:16-17.
|The Bible (New World "Translation") as interpreted by the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society.
|The Bible (except "errors")
The Book of Mormon
Doctrine and Covenants
Pearl of Great Price
Revelations of the Mormon prophets
|God||One supreme God, Creator and Lord of everything. The trinity eternally exists as three God-persons: Father, Son, Holy Spirit. Characterized by holiness, justice, and love. Gen. 1; Deut. 6:4; Matt. 28:19||One God (one person), properly called Jehovah. His Holy Spirit is an impersonal force. Reject the trinity.||God the Heavenly Father is an exalted man with a physical body of flesh & bone. Was a man in a preexistence.|
|Jesus' person||Full deity. Born to the virgin Mary and fully human. The living Word, revealing the Father and his love. John 1:1-13||A created being with stages of existence:
1. Archangel Michael or the Word.
2. Jesus, perfect man, became Messiah at his baptism
3. Rose spiritually, became Michael again but retains the name Jesus.
4. Returned to earth spiritually in 1914
|Jesus is the spiritual & physical offspring of God by procreation. Had a preexistence as God's spirit child and brother of Lucifer.|
|Jesus' work||Lived a sinless life. Willingly died on the cross as a substitutionary sacrifice for the sins of humanity. He is Messiah (Christ), Lord and Savior. John 1:14-18; 3:16||Christ's ransom (the sacrifice of his body on a "stake") made salvation possible. Spiritual resurrection.||His death guarantees immortality to all regardless of their faith, but one's exaltation must be completed by works. Suffered in Gethsemane for Adam's original sin. Resurrection.|
|Man||Created in God's image (Gen. 1:26-28). The historical fall, in which mankind freely chose to disobey God. Every human being is a sinner, alienated from God, and without hope apart from God's gracious plan of salvation. Gen.3; Rom. 3:10-18.||Created in Jehovah's image; a soul, not immortal; capable of responding to Jehovah. Willful rebellion against Jehovah.||Preexistent spiritual offspring of God; basically good; gods in embryo. Disobedience to God's laws. Adam's fall, in God's plan, caused loss of immortality. Each person responsible for his or her own sin.|
|Salvation||A gracious gift from God, received through faith in Jesus Christ and his substitutionary sacrifice on the cross. Provides eternal life as God's child with freedom from the guilt and penalty of sin. John 1:12; 3:16; Eph. 2:8-9||Jesus made it possible for us to earn our salvation.
Allegiance to Jehovah plus works (baptism, faithfulness in Kingdom Hall attendance and work)
Anyone ignorant of Jehovah given a chance to believe during millennium.
|Exaltation or godhood through obedience to Mormon teachings: repentance, faith, baptism, endowments, celestial marriage, tithing. Baptism for the dead saves some non-Mormons posthumously|
|Afterlife||Eternal communion with God (heaven) or eternal separation from God (hell). Heb. 9:27; Rev. 20-22||The end of the world is soon.
144,000 "elect" (already completed) to reign with Christ in Kingdom of God (heaven).
Other Jehovah's Witnesses to live on glorified paradise earth.
Annihilation for all who reject Jehovah (no hell).
|All spirits receive instruction, then enter one of three kingdoms:
1. (highest) Celestial renewed earth, where men become gods or angels
2. (middle) Terrestrial planet for righteous non-Mormons
3. (lowest) "Telestial" planet for the wicked.
Perdition is reserved for Satan and most wicked.
|Other||Christian living led and empowered by the Holy Spirit, including a consistent witness to the lost by both deeds and words.||No blood transfusions
No celebration of holidays
No religious images
All earthly organizations controlled by Satan
Jehovah's Witnesses required to obey Jehovah's laws as explained by Watchtower Bible and Tract Society.
|People are to obey the laws of God; Mormons expected to observe the "Word of Wisdom" (rules for conduct).
Temple garments worn under daily clothes.