Biblical Evidences for LDS Beliefs



The following is a list of biblical evidences for certain doctrines and practices of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. LDS doctrine is not limited to what is taught in the Bible, however. Rather, it comes from continuing and constant revelation through living prophets and apostles. Therefore, this list of points is not intended to be a comprehensive list of LDS doctrines and practices, but instead is meant to be a list of important LDS doctrines and practices, many of which are peculiar to the Latter-day Saints, that find solid support in the Bible.

I. Apostasy and Restoration

The LDS Church believes itself to be a restoration of Apostolic Christianity. That is, the ancient Christians rejected the Lord's prophets and apostles, so the Lord removed His Church organization from the earth. The Church had to be restored before the Second Advent of Jesus. In this section we examine prophecies of an impending apostasy or falling away from the truth, evidence that such an apostasy was underway in the New Testament Church, and evidence for the necessity of some of the things the LDS Church claims to have restored.

    A. The apostles predicted there would be an apostasy before the Second Coming. Latter-day Saints believe the prophet Amos was referring to this apostasy when he predicted a time when no one would be preaching the word of the Lord.

      1. 2 Thess. 2:1-3

      2. 2 Tim. 4:3-5

      3. Amos 8:11-12

    B. Latter-day Saints believe the apostasy was underway even while the Apostles were still present in the Church, and was essentially complete within a century or so after their passing. The following passages show that schism and heresy were widespread in the New Testament Church, and Paul predicted that the situation would get even worse after he was gone.

      1. 2 Tim 1:15

      2. Galatians 1:6-8

      3. Jude 1:3-4

      4. 1 Jn. 2:18

      5. Acts 20:29-30

    C. The presence of apostles and prophets was considered essential in the ancient Church. Thus, the loss of the office of apostle, as well as the general loss of the gift of prophecy within Christianity implies an apostasy, as well as the need for a restoration of this authority. In fact, John predicted the presence of at least two prophets in the Church just prior to the return of Christ

      1. Eph. 2:19-20

      2. Eph. 4:11-14

      3. Rev. 11:3-11

    D. The "gifts of the Spirit", including the gift of prophecy, were regained by the Church in general as part of the Restoration. These were considered essential by the ancient Church, as well.

      1. Eph. 1:17

      2. Rev. 19:10

      3. Mark 16:17-18

      4. 1 Cor. 12:27-28

      5. 1 Cor. 12:1-11

      6. 1 Cor. 14:1, 39

      7. 1 Thess. 5:19-20

    E. The apostles and prophets in the Restored Church have generated new scripture in addition to the Bible, to restore lost doctrines and even expand upon it. The Book of Mormon, a record of some Israelites from the tribe of Joseph who emigrated to America ca. 600 B.C., is an example of such scripture. Latter-day Saints believe the Bible prophesied such a record of the tribe of Joseph would be made available to stand alongside the Bible, which is a record of the tribe of Judah.

      1. Ezekiel 37:15-20

II. The Godhead

Latter-day Saints believe in the God of the Bible, but believe a great deal of knowledge about the nature of God, which mainstream Christianity has lost, has now been restored.

    A. There are three members of the Godhead - the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. It is proper in both Mormonism and mainstream Christianity to say that these three persons are one God (see 2 Nephi 31:21 and 1 John 5:7). However, traditional Christians believe the oneness of God is a oneness of "being" that cannot be added to or taken away from, while LDS Christians believe it to be a oneness of will, purpose, and love. The following Bible verses show that Jesus believed that Christians in general could become one in each other and one in Christ, in the same way that the Godhead is one. This supports the LDS doctrine.

      1. John 17:11, 21-24

    B. The doctrine of oneness in traditional Christianity implies that the three persons of the Godhead are equal in all respects. However, the LDS doctrine is that the Father is first in authority, followed by the Son, and then the Holy Spirit. The following Bible verses show that the Son is subordinate to the Father in authority.

      1. John 14:28

      2. Matthew 26:39

      3. Mark 13:32

      4. 1 Cor 15:28

    C. Latter-day Saints believe that before his birth, Jesus was Jehovah, God of Israel. Compare the following pairs of Bible passages.

      1. Exodus 3:14 and John 8:58

      2. Isaiah 6 and John 12:40-41

      3. Isaiah 54:5 and Matthew 11:27

      4. Isaiah 43:11 and Luke 2:11

      5. Deuteronomy 32:3-4 and 1 Cor. 10:1-4

    D. LDS doctrine states that God the Father, as well as his Son Jesus Christ, who is a resurrected personage, both have physical bodies, and these bodies are human in form. The following passages are evidence that the God is "anthropomorphic", or "in the form of man". Also, it is clear that Jesus Christ now has a resurrected and glorified body of flesh and bone. Although the Bible does not explicitly state that the Father has a physical body, Paul did say that Christ is the "express image" of the Father's person (Heb. 1:3), so the LDS doctrine is certainly a possible interpretation.

      1. Genesis 32:30

      2. Exodus 33:18-23

      3. Exodus 24:9-11

      4. Acts 7:55-56

      5. Luke 24:36-43

III. The Plan of Salvation

Latter-day Saints believe that God has a definite goal in mind for humanity, and He has a plan for getting us there. The following points give Biblical support to what the LDS Church believes are some of the main phases in the Plan of Salvation.

    A. Mormons believe that all humanity lived as spirits in a pre-mortal existence. There the Lord gave us assignments to fulfill in mortality. The following Bible verses give examples of such foreordination.

      1. John 9:1-3

      2. Jer. 1:5

      3. Titus 1:2

      4. Ephesians 1:4

    B. Mortality is a testing ground, where we forget our past life with God and are entrusted to fulfill God's plan for us by the light of faith, rather than by sight.

      1. James 1:12

      2. 1 Pet. 1:7

      3. Judges 2:21-22

      4. 2 Cor. 5:6-7

    C. Another important purpose of mortality is for our spirits to be joined with a body. The Bible teaches that it is a great blessing to possess a body.

      1. 1 Cor. 3:16

      2. Matt. 8:28-32

    D. When we die, we immediately enter the world of Spirits, consisting of "paradise" and "hell". There our spirits remain until the resurrection.

      1. Luke 23:43

      2. 1 Pet. 3:18-20

      3. Luke 16:19-23

    E. Christ will come again to destroy the wicked, renew the earth, and reign for 1,000 years. The righteous dead will be resurrected at the beginning of the thousand years, while the wicked will be resurrected at the end.

      1. Rev. 20:1-6

      2. Matt. 24:44-51

      3. Malachi 4:1-3

      4. Isaiah 2:1-4

    F. Latter-day Saints believe the resurrection body will be physical, as was Jesus' body when He rose from the dead. Unlike the body of "flesh and blood" (see 1 Cor. 15:50) we possess in mortality, the resurrection body will be a "spiritual body" - a glorified body of flesh and bone, animated by the spirit. The following verses show the resurrection body will consist of flesh and bone, and will be glorified.

      1. Luke 24:36-39

      2. Job 19:25-26

      3. 1 Cor 15:35-55

    G. In the resurrection and final judgement, different kingdoms of glory or heavens will be assigned, based on the faithfulness of the people being judged. Latter-day Saints believe there will be three main heavens, as well as a hell.

      1. 2 Cor. 12:2-4

      2. 1 Cor. 15:40-42

      3. Rev. 20:12-15

    H. Those who have been faithful, and have been cleansed by the blood of Jesus, will inherit all that the Father and Jesus have. They will become like God.

      1. 1 Jn. 3:2

      2. Rom. 8:16-17

      3. 2 Cor. 3:18

      4. Gal. 4:1-7

IV. Requirements for Salvation

There is great confusion within Christianity about what exactly one must do to be saved in the Kingdom of God. Latter-day Saints believe the true knowledge of the path to salvation has been restored to them.

    A. Since everyone has sinned, and is justly condemned by the law of God, everyone must be saved by the grace of Jesus Christ. He suffered and died as a sacrifice so that we might be "justified", or "declared innocent" of our sins.

      1. Rom. 3:22-25

      2. John 14:6

    B. The way to access the grace of Jesus Christ is by faith in Him. No amount of good works can ever earn the forgiveness of sins. Faith is not just intellectual assent, or belief, though. It is an active principle that causes one possessing saving faith to desire to be obedient to God in all respects. Therefore, "faith" and "good works" cannot be separated. Even though one may believe and not perform good works, or perform good works with the wrong intentions, such dead faith and dead works are not to be equated with the living faith and works required for salvation.

      1. Eph. 2:8-10

      2. James 2:14-20

      3. Gal. 5:6, 19-26

      4. 1 Jn. 5:1-4

      5. Rom. 14:23

    C. True faith is followed by repentance, which means turning away from sins committed in the past.

      1. Acts 2:37-39

      2. 2 Cor. 7:10

      3. Acts 17:30 4. Acts 26:19-20

    D. Aside from the repentance and general good works that naturally accompany true faith, Jesus asks us to be obedient to him in certain specifics, as well. For example, Jesus has commanded us to be baptized, and to receive the Holy Spirit into our lives. Since no one with true faith would refuse to obey Jesus in this respect, no one can enter God's kingdom without first being baptized.

      1. Mark 16:15-16

      2. 1 Pet. 3:21

      3. John 3:5

      4. Acts 2:37-39

    E. The Gift of the Holy Spirit is given by the laying on of hands by those who have the authority to give it.

      1. Acts 8:12-23

      2. Acts 19:1-6

    F. If someone has to be baptized to enter the kingdom of God, then what about those who never got the chance to be properly baptized, or indeed never heard of Christ at all? Latter-day Saints teach that the Gospel is preached to the dead in the spirit world, and members of Christ's Church may be baptized in place of dead relatives and friends. However, it is up to the dead to accept or reject this baptism. The following passages show that the ancient Church believed in the preaching to the dead and practiced baptism for the dead.

      1. 1 Pet. 3:18-20

      2. 1 Pet. 4:6

      3. 1 Cor. 15:29

    G. After one has accepted Christ in faith, repented, been baptized, and received the Gift of the Holy Spirit, he must endure to the end in faith and good works to be saved.

      1. Matt. 10:22

      2. 2 Cor. 6:1-10

      3. 1 Cor 9:25-27

      4. Rev. 2:10

      5. Heb. 6:4-6

    H. The Holy Spirit helps the faithful stay on the path of righteousness by "sanctifying" them, or changing them into new creatures in Christ. However, our total effort is also required to put our will in line with the will of God. We must strive to become perfect in Christ.

      1. 2 Cor. 5:17

      2. 2 Cor. 3:18

      3. Rom 12:2

      4. 1 Cor. 6:9-11

      5. 1 Jn. 3:9

      6. Matt. 5:48

      7. 2 Cor 13:9-11

      8. 2 Pet. 1:10

    I. Are you saved? Since no one except Jesus Christ has attained perfection in mortality, how can one know whether he is in a saved condition or not? The Holy Spirit is given to tell us whether we are on the correct path. That is the guarantee of our salvation.

      1. 2 Cor 1:21-22; 5:5

      2. Eph. 1:13-18

      3. 1 Jn. 3:24

V. The Search for Truth

How can you know whether the LDS Church is the restored Church of Jesus Christ? How can you know whether the interpretations given of the scripture passages presented here are correct? The Bible gives the following answers.

    A. Study the scriptures and test any claims against them.

      1. 2 Tim 3:15-17

      2. Romans 15:4

      3. Isaiah 34:16

      4. Luke 24:27

      5. John 5:45-47

      6. Acts 17:11

      7. Acts 18:28

    B. Follow the will of God to the best of your ability, and the truth will be made known to you.

      1. John 7:17

      2. John 3:20-21

    C. In the end, spiritual truth can only be known by the testimony of the Holy Spirit.

      1. 1 Cor. 2:9-16

      2. John 5:32

      3. John 15:26

      4. Acts 2:37

      5. luke 24:32