Many people think that Mormonism is just another branch of Christianity. Interestingly enough, however, that is something that official Mormon doctrine has never taught. Joseph Smith, founder of Mormonism, actually thought all Christianity was apostate, and that the Mormons were the only true church. And other official Mormon doctrine (such as it is), seems to say the same thing. This is why Ethan Harris chose to compare official Mormon teaching with the Bible, hoping to show how different from Christianity Mormonism really is. In The Gospel According to Joseph Smith, he places Mormon doctrine side-by-side with Christian doctrine to offer a reliable, informative comparison like no other.
Harris offers a compelling introduction to the history of Mormonism, and then looks at the primary works of Mormonism, including the writings of Smith and the writings of the Mormon Prophets. He shows what the official Mormon doctrine of God is, and explains the doctrine of baptism for the dead, and the origin of sin. He also looks at Mormon doctrines of creation. Throughout this book, Harris compares the Book of Mormon to the Bible on various doctrines. He also offers an ethical argument against Mormonism, along with the testimonies of those who have left Mormonism for Christianity.
Harris is civil toward Mormonism, and shows great respect for Mormon thinkers. His decision to use only primary sources stems from this respect, and results in a fair and accurate assessment of Mormon doctrine. Whether you are a Mormon with questions about your faith, or you are a Christian with friends of loved ones in Mormonism, you will likely appreciate this book. The differences between Christianity and Mormonism are clearly shown, and documented from primary sources for each religion. Neither a diatribe, nor polemic in nature, The Gospel According to Joseph Smith showcases Harris' passion to reveal truth, as he allows the sources for each religion to speak for themselves. This book is destined to become one of the best resources for effective ministry to Mormons.
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