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What Is the Difference Between the Beliefs of Catholics and Mormons? (Explained)

What Is the Difference Between the Beliefs of Catholics and Mormons? (Explained)

More than 30% of the world’s population follow one religion, with around two-point four billion people in the world following Christianity. This religion has its own set of sub-divisions that has been existing since time immemorial. 

Catholics and Mormons are two sets of a group that follows Christianity. However, both of these groups have their own sets of principles and rules which they follow.

Although they follow the same religion, still they have their own conflicts and difference of opinion. There are few significant differences in the beliefs of people of both the groups which makes part different from each other.

In this article, we’ll discuss Catholics and Mormons and what are the key differences between them.

What Is Catholic?

Catholic is a common term used for members of the Roman Catholic Church. The Catholic belief that Jesus Christ himself proclaimed the apostle Peter as the “rock” upon which the church will be built.

After the death of Christ, the apostle spread his teachings throughout the Roman Empire. By the year 50 A.D, Christianity was fully established in Rome, where ritual holds that Peter became the first bishop.

Catholics believe that after the passing of the Apostle John, God’s revelation was ended and reached its fullness and thus ceased. The early Christians experienced periods of persecution under Roman rule. Their peculiar secretive rituals made the rest of the population quite suspicious.

Roman Catholic Belief
Roman Catholic Belief

However, when the leader Constantine accepted Christianity in 313 A.D., the persecution ended. The next few centuries were pretty difficult and complicated, theologians argued over topics such as the nature of Christ and the celibacy of priests.

Catholics have a common Christian belief that God is three “persons”. These are, God the Father, God the Son (Jesus Christ), and the Holy Spirit, all three of them are distinct but made of the same substance.

Earlier, some of the Christian leaders were married. However, in the 12th century, the Roman Catholic hierarchy decided that you have to be unmarried to become a priest or bishop. Traditionally, Catholics consider the bishop of Rome as the direct inheritor of the apostle Peter. The bishop of the church is also known as the pope, the head of the Church.

Comparing Mormons vs Catholics

What Are Mormons?

Mormon is another term for members of the church and Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or LSD Church. The LSD Church believes in the movement started by Joseph Smith in 1830. Smith’s translation of the golden plates, called The Book of Mormon, is important to Mormon ideology.

Mormons’ sources that contribute to Mormons’ principles include the Bible, Doctrine and Covenants, and The Pearl of Great Price. Mormons believe in the revelation of the LDS prophets, such as the church President, who leads the church through changing times while recreating the original teachings of Christ.

One of these teachings is about Christ himself. The LDS Church teaches its followers that Jesus Christ is the only begotten son of God the Father and was born in the flesh, However, he’s not made of the same substance as God.

Mormons also believe that John the Baptist directly conferred priesthood upon Joseph Smith. Today, Mormons are divided into two priesthoods. That is:

  • Aaronic priesthood
  • Melchizedek priesthood

Aaronic priesthood is consist mostly of young men who are allowed to perform certain ordinances, such as baptism. Melchizedek priesthood is a higher office for older men who move up from the Aaronic order.

The President of the LDS Church belongs to Melchizedek’s office of Apostle, and Mormons consider him a prophet and a revelator. He’s also considered to be God’s spokesperson to the world.

The headquarter of the LDS Church was first in New York, but later it moved westward a number of times to Ohio, Missouri, and Illinois in order to escape persecution. After the demise of Joseph Smith, his heir Brigham Young and his congregation settled in Utah.

Now, the majority of the population of Mormons are settled in that state, and the LDS Church has also an important presence in the rest of the United States. Mormon men also usually go outside of the country for missions.

Mormons, Divided into two Priesthood
Mormons are divided into two priesthoods

How Are the Beliefs of Catholics and Mormons Different?

Although both Catholics and Mormons follow the same religion and share a number of similarities, still they have some major differences in their beliefs. Arguments over whether Mormons are considered Christians or not are still controversial, most Protestants, as well as Catholics, don’t want to acknowledge Mormons to be Christians. 

However, some religious experts often compare Catholics and Mormons. This is the reason that Mormonism became familiar in a Christian context and Mormons think of themselves to be Christians. However, there are some key differences in the beliefs of Catholics and Mormons.

Revelation

Catholics believe that the Bible contains revelation. While individuals experience revelations privately that don’t replace or add to what has already been revealed to the prophets and apostles.

In contrast, Mormons teach that revelation continues in the modern age, starting with the Book of Mormon and continuing with revelations to Church apostles, and didn’t stop with the Bible.

Priesthood, Leadership, and Celibacy

The most differences between Catholics and Mormons lie in their clergy. Most Catholic men who want to become permanent deacons can be married. However, Men who wish to join the priesthood are required to take a vow of celibacy. The pope is also chosen to form a group of bishops, who are celibate leaders.

While most of the young Mormons men take on the Aaronic priesthood, some eventually move up to the Melchizedek priesthood. The highest rank office of the Melchizedek priesthood, the Apostle, requires that the holder be married. Apart from that, the president of the LDS church has to be an Apostle and he must be married as well.

The Nature of Christ

Catholics believe that God is three different persons, a father, a son, and a holy spirit that are of one divine substance. In contrast, Mormons believe that Jesus Christ was the only-begotten son of God the Father and is part of the Godhead, but was born in the flesh and isn’t of the same substance as God.

To summarize the differences between Catholics and Mormons, here’s a table:

MormonsCatholics
Canon includes the Old and New Testaments. 
The Book of Mormon 
Doctrine
Covenants 
The Pearl of Great Price
Canon includes the Old and New Testaments
A Catholic Bible
Priesthood is for all worthy Mormon men having two types: Aaronic
Melchizedek
Priesthood is for celibate males who receive Holy Orders
Religious
Diocesan
The Prophet-President is the Highest position of the Church including duties such as:
President of the Church
President of Priesthood
Seer, Prophet, and Revelator
The Pope is the head of the Roman Catholic Church and is concurrently the Bishop of Rome
Administer the Church
Define Faith Issues
Appoint Bishops
Jesus Christ is part of the Godhead, but distinct from God the FatherGod is the Father, the Son (Jesus Christ), and the Holy Spirit
Comparison between Catholics and Mormons
The Book of Mormons
Book of Mormons

Conclusion

  • Similar to other religions, Catholics have their own set of rules and regulations, and the resultant divisions, branches, and subsidiaries.
  • Both Catholics and Mormons follow the teaching of Christianity, but there are a few major differences in the beliefs that make them different.
  • Mormons are a new branch of Christianity that has been around since its formation.
  • The teaching of Mormons comes from Joseph Smith.
  • The teachings of Catholics come from Lord Christ.
  • Mormons believe that there’s an afterlife and second chances for every soul.

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