Comparison Charts

Compare Mainstream Christianity and Mormonism

Whether Mormons should be considered "Christians" is a controversial issue. Many Catholics and Protestants do not consider Mormons to be Christians because they believe the differences in doctrines are larger and more fundamental than those between Christian denominations.

On other hand, religious studies books tend to group Mormons in with Christians because: (1) Mormons regard themselves as Christians; (2) Mormonism emerged in a Christian context; and (3) Mormonism shares much in common with other forms of Christianity.

Mormons also consider themselves Christians for much the same reasons as listed above. However, they consider themselves to be significantly different from other forms of Christianity. They regard themselves as neither Catholic nor Protestant, viewing both of those faiths as corruptions of true Christianity, which has been restored by Mormonism.

The following chart provides a quick-reference guide to the major similarities and differences between the beliefs and practices of Mormonism and mainstream Christianity. As is the case with charts, the information is simplified for brevity and should be used alongside more complete explanations. The beliefs listed for both Mormons and Protestant Christians represent those of most, but not all, churches or individuals within each tradition.

 Mainstream ChristianityMormonism (LDS)
religious authorityBible (all), ecumenical councils and creeds (Catholic and Orthodox), papal decrees and canon law (Catholic), continuing revelations (Pentecostal)Bible, Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, Pearl of Great Price (all equally); continuing revelations
textsBible (Hebrew Bible + New Testament)Christian Bible, Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and Pearl of Great Price
GodOne God, who is a Trinity of Father, Son and Holy Spirit; angels; demons; saintsGod the Father, the Son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost are three separate individual beings
Trinityaffirmed by most denominationsrejected (Father, Son and Holy Spirit are three distinct beings who are "one in purpose")
JesusSon of God, God incarnate, Word of God, Messiah, savior of the worldSon of God. Savior. Originally one of the spirit beings that all humans used to be. Has a physical body.
Holy SpiritGod; Third Person of the TrinityA spirit being who is a separate being from God and Jesus.
original sinaffirmed by most denominationsdenied
free willfree will to do good is seriously impaired or non-existent (without grace)Free to do good or evil.
purpose of Jesus' lifeteach about God, provide a model for right living, die sacrificially for human sin, reveal God directly to humanityteach about God, provide a model for right living, die sacrificially for human sin
resurrection of Jesusaffirmedaffirmed
 Mainstream ChristianityMormonism (LDS)
salvationcorrect belief, faith, good deeds, sacraments (Protestants emphasize faith alone)faith in Christ, good works, baptism, and temple ordinances (for entrance to the celestial kingdom; all are saved from hell)
second chance after deathnoYes, during a period of "learning and preparation" after death.
afterlifeResurrection of body and soul; eternal heaven or hell (most denominations); temporary purgatory (Catholicism)All return to spirit world instruction before resurrection. Then Mormons to heaven with God and families; others rewarded apart from God; hell for those who still reject God.
hellaffirmed by most denominations as a place (or state of being) of eternal torment and distance from GodThe wicked enter an unpleasant "spirit prison" prior to judgment; after that, only the most obstinately wicked (like Satan) will be consigned to "Outer Darkness" for eternity.
house of worshipchurch, chapel, cathedral, basilica, meeting hallchapel (for weekly worship); temple (for ceremonies)
doctrine of sacraments/ordinancessymbolic acts commanded by Christ (some Protestants); means of grace if received with faith (Catholic, Orthodox, and some Protestants)ordinances are covenants between man and God and a means of grace; some are necessary for salvation
symbolsCross, dove, anchor, fish, alpha/omega, chi rhoNo official symbol; cross is not used; the angel Moroni raising a trumpet is seen atop Mormon temples.
holidaysEaster, Christmas, saints' days (some denominations)Easter, Christmas, celebrations of events in Mormon history.
blood transfusionsacceptedaccepted

Article Info

Title Compare Mainstream Christianity and Mormonism
Last UpdatedFebruary 13, 2021
MLA Citation “Compare Mainstream Christianity and Mormonism.” 13 Feb. 2021. Web. Accessed 28 Oct. 2021. <>