Striking Similarities Between Mormonism and Roman Catholicism

The more I learn about LDS teaching, the more I am struck with the similarities between it and Rome.  No, I am not implying that they are linked either sequentially or causally, except possibly at that Ecclesiastes 1:9 juncture.

As I've been reflecting on my déjà vu while probing LDS beliefs, I thought about cataloging what I am seeing and posting it here.

That is, until I was reading through older items in my RSS reader and found someone who had already done exactly that. I wish I had come across it sooner.  Fourpointer at DefCon did an excellent job documenting his evidence, so I am going to just give you the quick bullet-points here and ask you to head over there for more info or to comment.

  • They both teach that after you die, someone else can come along and perform rituals that will help improve the state you are in.

    • Catholicism has indulgences.
    • Mormonism has baptism for the dead.

  • They both have one man whom they claim to be “speaking for God.” Around him is a group of men who claim to hold the “Keys to the Kingdom” and who choose his successor.

    • Catholicism has the Pope and the College of Cardinals.
    • The Mormon church has their prophet/president along with the Quorum of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.

  • They both teach that you need other teachings besides the Bible. In fact, they say, you cannot understand the Bible without their own teachings and Traditions.

    • The Catholic church has added the Catechism and Traditions.
    • The Mormon church denies the accuracy of the Bible, and adds their Book of Mormon, Doctrine & Covenants, and Pearl of Great Price–along with the words of the current prophet/president.
  • They both teach that salvation is a result of the combined effort of God’s grace and our own vile, human works.

    • The Roman Catholic Church teaches “grace plus works/merit”
    • Mormonism teaches the we are saved by grace “after all the we can do”

  • They teach that they are either the continuation (Roman Catholicism) or the restoration (Mormonism) of what the apostles taught.

    • Catholicism teaches they alone possess the “Apostolic Succession”
    • Mormonism teaches that they possess the “restored” gospel that was lost after the age of the apostles.

  • They both have wrong ideas about Mary.

    • Catholicism teaches that our salvation depends on how we think of Mary.
    • Catholicism teaches that Mary was born sinless.
    • Mormonism teaches that Mary was impregnated by God the Father Himself 

  • They both teach that the blood of Christ is not the only way to pay for our sins
    • Catholicism teaches that the person must pay for some sins themselves in Purgatory.
    • Mormonism teaches forgiveness beyond the grave
    • Early Mormon leaders also taught the doctrine of “Blood Atonement”, which means that a person can commit a sin that can only be forgiven by them shedding their own blood.
  • They both teach that one must honor their leader
    • Catholicism teaches that one must honor the Pope.
    • Mormonism teaches that one must honor Joseph Smith in the same way they honor Christ.
  • They both teach that their leader (Pope, Prophet/President) is still giving new, authoritative revelations today.
    • The Catholic Pope speaks ex cathedra
    • Mormonism teaches strict adherence to the word of the Prophet/President

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