Text and doctrinal issues:
Looking over texts from Mormon books I will show where they drastically differ in doctrine from what Christians teach from Scripture. The differences should be quite easy to see, and uncover why they are not considered Christian or even a denomination. This is meant to be instructive and an aid in talking with Mormons about finding the true Christ of the Bible, and hopefully reject these books of errors they have attached to the Bible.
Pearl of Great Price, Moses 5:11 – “And Eve, his wife, heard all these things and was glad, saying: Were it not for our transgression we never should have had seed, and never should have known good and evil, and the joy of our redemption, and the eternal life which God giveth unto all the obedient.”
The first problem is that God had told them to be fruitful and multiply (have children) prior to the fall. Thus either Eve or Smith is confused not recalling this from either the Genesis 1:28 (Bible) account, Moses 2:27-28 (POGP) or the account in 2 Nephi 2:23 (BOM). So this is wrong, because children were not a condition of obedience or of the fall. If Adam had remained innocent he and Eve would have still had children.
Still from these passages we also see that it is Mormon teaching that the fall of Adam (sin) was a necessary and also to them (and them alone) a blessed thing. To know good and evil is not a good thing as Smith assumes. The references keep mentioning that man would not know joy without the sorrow of the fall. But this logic is faulty because if followed out I would not know faithfulness without cheating, and so forth. Also, if Smith is right, that not knowing sin we would not have known joy, then it stands to reason that in heaven one day, we will not know joy, because we will no longer know sin. But heaven is talked about as the Christian’s hope and joy for eternity, because there will be no sin. Thus Adam must have known this same kind of joy, without sin, prior to the fall.
The theological interpretation is that sin is not just a simple knowing of what is and what is not evil, but the essence of sin is that each individual person will decide for themselves what is good and what is evil for them. As the Bible makes mention of in Judges, everyman did what was right in his own eyes, is the thought behind knowing or deciding for one’s self what is good and evil. Adam took it upon himself to eat of the fruit and so overthrew or rather threw off the reign of God to make those decisions for him. This autonomous sin is no good thing, and logically no good pattern of thought to follow.
Another thought that my missionary visitors were not able to answer was about this initial sin also. The result of Adam’s sin is to be like God, knowing good and evil (as explained above). Because Mormons teach that there is the possibility to become a god of their own world one day, why is it a sin for Adam at all then? In other words, for Adam it’s a sin, but then it’s the goal in Mormon life anyway (to become your own god). It’s like saying he was punished for what he is now instructed to do in this life.
This is totally different teaching than what Christian churches teach about the nature of the fall, Adam’s sin, and our strivings in life by faith.
See link below for a confessional overview of the Bible’s teaching on Providence.
The LDS references can be looked up for what they are in context at: