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Difference Between Jehovah’s Witness And Mormon

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Introduction

Jehovah’s Witness and Mormon, both are orthodox Christian denominations driven by common ideology of restorationism or primitivism Christianity. The founders of the denominations subscribed to the view that Christianity and the affairs of Church should be restored along the line of early period apostolic church in order to re-establish the pure and ancient form of the religion. Both the denominations look at the primitive church as the normative model to fix the faults and deficiencies in the application of Christianity. In spite of the common ideological commitment, the two denominations have a number of differences between them. This article focuses on some of the distinct differences between the two denominations.

Difference as to origin & evolution

Jehovah’s Witnesses: In 1870s, Christian Restorationist minister (church appointed preacher and overseer of religious and social ceremonies) Charles Taze Russell (1852 – 1916) founded the denomination in US. The concept was crystallized by the Bible Student Movement which was spearheaded by the followers of Russell. During 1880 to 1900 the movement was spread in England by the missionaries of Bible Student Movement. Within a span of fifteen years the movement spread to Canada, Germany, Australia, France, and other European countries. Russell used The Watch Tower magazine under his editorship and his own legal & publishing corporation namely The Watch tower Bible & Tract Society of Pennsylvania to spread the messages of Christianity in general and that of Jehovah’s Witness in particular.

After the death of Russell, the reign of the movement passed into the hands of Joseph Judge Rutherford. Rutherford introduced a number of doctrinal changes in the movement and alienated the organization from the influence of Russell’s followers. During 1930s the movement grew rapidly and the name Jehovah’s Witness was adopted in place of Bible Student Movement. Russell introduced absolute centralized control of the movement and made some striking amendments in the charter of Watch Tower which seemed controversial in the eyes of mainstream followers of Christianity. The sect was banned in Canada during WW I and during WW II the denomination members were barred from practicing the religion in Germany, Canada, Australia, and Soviet Union. The members of Jehovah’s Witness were persecuted in US, Canada, Russia and other countries. After Rutherford’s death in 1942, Nathan Homer Knorr, more democratic in thinking, became the President of The Jehovah’s Witnesses. Knorr transformed the centralized individual leadership to corporate leadership. In 1976, the leadership structure of Jehovah’s Witnesses underwent further change with the power or presidency passing to the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Till 2014 there have been changes in doctrine as well as organizational structure of the denomination. The successive presidents of the society after the death of knorr were Frederick William Franz (1893-1992) and Milton George Henschel (1920-2003) and the present incumbent is Don A. Adams. As on August 2014, there were about 8.2 million Jehovah’s Witnesses all over the world.

Mormons: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, more popular as Mormon Church is an orthodox Christian sect that was founded by Joseph Smith in 1830 CE in New York. Joseph Smith was a self proclaimed messenger of God, who claimed to have been instructed by God to restore the Church that Jesus Christ established but the tradition was lost after the death of the apostles. According to Joseph, messengers of God visited him and conferred upon him the holy authority to baptize Christians. Joseph strongly recommended polygamy as a part of restoration process of medieval Christian practices in the modern day Christian practices. Joseph also claimed that angels from heaven directed to a location underneath the ground where he found the book of Mormon, and which he translated from a very ancient language. The book contained description of pre-Christ primitive people who believed in Christ, before Christ was born.

During the period 1830 to 1840, the Mormons were hunted and persecuted by non-Mormons and followers of mainstream Christianity. After Joseph Smith was murdered by some non-Mormon Christians, the baton of leadership passed on to Brigham Young, who by his organizational prudence navigated the sect to the security of West America. Under the leadership of Young, the Church vehemently propagated polygamy by devoted Christians. This bizarre practice was the bone of contention with US Congress and also Catholics and Protestants. Throughout the 19th century, this single practice of plural marriage remained signature characteristic of the sect. However, in 1860 in the face of stiff resistance from within the Christian society, the then President of the Church Welford Woodruff announced the end of the plural marriage doctrine. After this several smaller groups within Mormon broke free from the LDS umbrella and formed denominations with Mormon fundamentalism. During 1880s Mormons were subject to state discrimination and even jailed and in some areas their voting rights got forfeited. After WW II, Mormon Church started to register international growth, mainly in South America, South Africa and erstwhile Soviet Union. In 1995, Gordon B. Hinckley became the president and prophet of the Mormon Church. Membership of Mormons surpassed 13,000,000 and by 2000 there were more than 100 Mormon temples were built in China, Japan, Philippines, America, Africa and all over Europe.

Difference as to Identity of God

Neither of the groups believed in the mainstream Christianity concept of trinity (God, Father, and Holy Spirit). But their ideas about God, Jesus and Holy Spirit are different from one another. Mormons consider worship God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit as separate persons and worship all of them. Mormons believe that all humans are God’s children like Jesus Christ whom they know as Jehovah in the Old Testament.

Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that the Only God is Jehovah who’s only son is Jesus and Jehovah created all human beings. They consider Jesus as less than God. Unlike Mormons, they don’t believe Holy Spirit as a person but the power of God.

Difference as to Concept of Afterlife

Mormons believe that with death body and soul are separated and the soul continues to live to be resurrected or re-united with the body and that all people are resurrected by Jesus Christ and assigned to a kingdom of heaven.

Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that after death the spirit goes to sleep. As Jesus Christ comes back to earth, the sleeping souls of righteous Jehovah’s Witnesses will be resurrected, but only 144,000 people will be resurrected to the heaven and the rest will live in earth peacefully forever.

Difference as to Concept of End of the World

Both the denominations believe that after a massive turmoil on earth, Jesus would come back and reign as a king for 1000 years. But the two sects differ in their beliefs as to how Jesus will come back and what will happen after that. Mormons believe that Jesus will make a glorious come back, and everybody will come to know about it. The wicked people will be destroyed and only people with good deeds, both Mormons and non-Mormons will live on earth. During the 1000 year rule of Christ, Mormons would be doing God’s service, and after a final battle with the evil, the earth will be transformed into a celestial kingdom.

Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that Jesus has already come back in 1914 and will be visible at some time when all non-Jehovah’s Witnesses would be killed and earth will become perfect. The Jehovah’s Witnesses would take care of the earth for eternity as Adam & Eve did in the Garden of Eden.

Difference as Regards Scriptures

Mormons consider the King James Version of the Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine & Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price as their scriptures, whereas Jehovah’s Witnesses consider the New World Translation of the Bible as their Scripture.

Other Differences

As regards medical practice Mormons have no reservations, whereas Jehovah’s Witnesses do not permit blood transfusions.

Mormons encourage active participation in politics, government and military, whereas Jehovah’s Witnesses abstain from participating in politics or military services.

Mormons celebrate religious holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, and other special occasions, but Jehovah’s Witnesses do not celebrate any such occasions including Jesus’ birthday.

Mormons mandate all members to donate one tenth of income to the Church. No such mandate exists in case of Jehovah’s Witnesses and all donations are voluntary and the donors are anonymous.


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20 Comments

  1. Thank you for a very interesting website. Concerning tithing in the LDS church, I think “mandate” is a little strong. The church teaches members what they call “the Law of Tithing.” Then, the members are allowed to choose to donate whatever they want. Nobody is forced or coerced. All tithing and other donations are kept strictly confidential. The following illustrates the culture in the church: Joseph Smith was asked by a number of persons how he managed to govern so many people to live such clean and orderly lives. His response was, “I teach them correct principles and let them govern themselves.”

    Concerning polygamy, church doctrine requires obedience to civil law. When congress outlawed polygamy, the church was obliged to prohibit any future polygamous marriages. By outlawing polygamy, congress violated the First Amendment: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof….”

    The opposition to polygamy was hypocritical. Those lawmakers who routinely entertained intimate relations with women other than their wives established a law to make criminals of men who committed to love and financially support wives and children. These devoted husbands and fathers were ordered to have no further contact with their children or wives, and to leave these families at the mercy of charity. This was a violation of the prohibition of ex post facto (after the fact) laws as well as common sense and simple human compassion.

    • DB…thank you for clearing up some inaccuracies as to Morman beliefs. As a JW, i was curious as to what your beliefs are and your reply gives me a better understanding.
      Thanks again!

    • Tho’ I am Conservative Mennonite,I agree with your position. I find it evil of any government that outlaws plural marriages but legalizes same sex so called marriage and the murdering of preborn babies. I just do not understand.
      So far as I know, the Mormon practice of plural marriages was never forced on anyone and non Mormons were never coerced into becoming Mormon. Who was it harming. I would not desire to be one of several wives to one man but someone else practicing it for their faith does not harm me.
      I pray God Blesses you in His Wisdom.

  2. I just wanted to mention to the creators of this website that when considering the sources or references used to describe the beliefs of a certain religion, you will get much more exact, accurate and reliable facts by using the official website of that organization. I couldn’t help but notice that some of the sources are the websites of those who are “apostates” or those who are opposed or speak out incorrectly about Jehovah’s Witness beliefs. The web is full of inaccurate information about most subjects, however going directly to the source is beneficial. It’s no different than if for example you wanted information about a certain company, their product,what they sell, buy, etc., how the company is ran, or their policies and procedures, going directly to the company’s website is usually going to have the most amount of accurate and informative information about them.
    The official website of Jehovah’s witnesses is JW.ORG. There you will find the exact beliefs and answers to any question as to specific beliefs of the Jehovah’s witnesses, and a broader amount of information regarding just about any subject or question/answer regarding their beliefs, history, etc. That website is a great source for anyone that has questions regarding any and every topic about JW beliefs and exactly what those beliefs are based on. Specifically the scriptures that support those beliefs, and way of life.
    Thank you for your consideration in this regard!
    Sincerely,
    Felecia

    • Felecia, your advice is so common sense yet so often ignored. I think part of the problem is superstition and distrust. Some fear they would incur the wrath of God if they visited another church or even went to that church’s website. Others believe they would only be deceived if they went to the source. I have been told Mormons do not believe in Jesus. When I point out that is the name of the church, I am told that is just to trick people into thinking we believe in Jesus. I have even been told we do not know what our church teaches, that the Big Evil Leaders have us all hoodwinked into thinking we believe in something nice when all along, we worship the devil (without knowing it, of course). And so the superstitious and fearful resort to the sources they trust, never imagining their pastor might be either misinformed or even dishonest.

    • Hi Felicia,

      I’m going to be straight up honest with you as I’ve found that’s the best policy to live by. I’m what’s known in exjw circles as a PIMO – Physially In, Mentally Out JW.

      You can say to yourself “this guy is an apostate!” and stop reading, that’s fine…..

      ….. but:

      – I’m a real person, pretty much a normal JW in appearance and by behavior except I objectively questioned my beliefs and realized those beliefs were not indeed authoritative truth.
      – I still live with, work with, associate with socially true believing JWs every day of my life, they just don’t know I’m exjw/apostate.
      – It’s been about 5 years since I last attended *any* meeting except for the memorial [which I attend because my wife wants me to otherwise I wouldn’t bother]
      – I’ve never done a Zoom meeting ever and never will.
      – I keep living my life as I want to inside of a JW-saturated social bubble, despite not believing any of the doctrine any more.

      You comment has aspects of truth in it, but it also is deceptive and that’s fine. I’ve found practically everything we read is like this and it’s due to how we interpret what we intake. How we interpret things is based on what we’ve taken in previously, so over time our minds become a self-satisfying thing.

      I found after I “woke up” and many months of reviewing through WOL that key points that I based foundational beliefs on in the literature could all be read and interpreted in different ways which allowed for varying ‘intensity’ of a belief.

      Some exjws believe the organization is a scam and that the people that run it know it is a scam, but I am not convinced of that.

      I do think that the publications are _very carefully_ worded in ways so that if you ever put your hand up and have a problem with the doctrines, it can easily be flipped on to you and “it’s all your fault” because you interpreted what the literature said wrong.

      Whether this style of writing is intentional or just a product of many decades of refining of a constant writing process – I don’t know. I only know that key points that I read in WOL about topics I was interested in were very easy to misinterpret one way or another, and I found no satisfying way to establish how the key point should be interpreted.

      Also, if you ever read this Felicia, do you know about PIMOs? There are many people (usually teenagers if I’m honest) in the JWs who are mentally out but remain in the organization in some shape or form because of the disfellowshipping arrangement. It is undeniable that disfellowshipping hurts family relationships when you actually listen to the stories from exjws – and that’s the key – when you listen.

  3. Both organizations are against what the Holy Bible teach. Most Churches do not teach nor practice what is required of them. Some might have elements of what the Holy Bible teach, while they omit some or most. The Holy Bible is the basis or foundation of the Christian faith and it must be adhered to in all situations! We do not have a choice!

    • The Eighth Article of Faith in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints reads: “We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly; we also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God.”

      We Mormons, as the world likes to call us, love both the Old and New Testaments of the Holy Bible and are grateful for the witness of our Savior they provide. We also love the additional witness of Jesus Christ found in the Book of Mormon.

      To the earlier comments regarding the wisdom of going to the source, may I also encourage readers of this article and the subsequent comments to go to the source–read the Bible, read the Book the Mormon, visit the official websites of the Jehovah Witnesses and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints ( and ultimately ask God, who is the source of all truth, as directed in James 1:5–“If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.” This was great direction in the New Testament times, it worked in the spring of 1820 and it works today. God is the same yesterday, today and forever. He will answer your sincere prayers. Much success!

    • God is The God of All and His Word declares: if “anyone” lacks wisdom, then just ask Him,and He is Not in the business of tricking people or lying. He will Show Himself!! Plain &Simple! !

      • Where much of discussing religion with certain sects/cults etc. presents a problem lies in the idea of a “testimony” as to the truth of a particular belief system. For example, the Mormon inquirer prays about the Book of Mormon after reading it and if they get a “warm fuzzy” feeling they will “know” the book is true. Jehovah’s Witnesses believe the Watchtower is God’s organization on earth and they are convinced their beliefs are true if they align with that. When an individual is inquiring into the beliefs of Islam they are told to read the Koran and God will let them know it is true. And so forth and so on. Every group believes they are in the “true” church. Therefore, asking God for a “testimony” becomes tricky since God is not a God of confusion but people can easily be confused. If you put members of different sects in a room they will all tell you that God told them their church was “true.” Therein lies the rub.

  4. Hello, you written that Jehovah Witnesses claim that Jesus returned in 1914. I think you misunderstood what happened in 1914, what I know about Jehovah Witnesses is that in the Bible when Jesus followers were asking him in Matthews when we will know you are coming. Jesus replied by explaining the world events that would occur, meaning the signs too look for, starting with WW1 in 1914. 1914 was the year of the beginning of plagues and distress. That year Satan was cast down to the earth in an invisible force seeking to devour and destroy, knowing he has a short period of time. The problems we are facing now will soon end. The signs Jesus foretold are happening now. Then he will come and make sure that this world will be a better place. The 144,000 are his warriors who will preside with him at the time of the end of this world. The 144,000 aren’t the only ones who will survive. Many of Jesus’s followers are due to survive. It is difficult to believe that Jesus did come back with all the crazy stuff that is going on. Jesus will be here soon. Amen!

  5. Neither of them is orthodox Christianity. Neither of them is Christian. Their beliefs have absolutely nothing in common with anyone in early Christianity (except perhaps the gnostics and arian heretics)

    Both were started in 19th century America. The JW branched off from the failed Millerites and the mormons were started by a guy known as “Joseph the glasslooker” who had numerous arrests including bank fraud.

  6. So, is there a true religion? What is it? What I believe is that religion will not save us but our true relation with god will. I Pray alone or with my family directly to god. Will I be saved? What is the true bible to read? As there are so many translations that only confuses us.

    • The seventh day Adventist are a good Bible based religion. I am watching a series now called panorama prophecies. Very enlightening. O was raised lutheran went non demonizational and a couple years with jehovahs witnesses. I just want to make sure I pick the right one.

  7. I cannot believe for one moment that a kind and loving creator would require us to follow one doctrine recorded and interpreted by mere human beings!
    We struggle to make sense of anything. If there is a God, he/she/it will be merciful and accept our confusion.
    The history of mankind is full of contradictions where humans are attempting to create order and peace. Many leaders have come along and tried to show us how, or have even forced us to follow a certain set of beliefs.
    God knows that we can only accept what we truly understand! Life is all about learning and growing – we never stop, we never know The Way! Wouldn’t it be lovely if we could ❤️

    • I totally agree with you. Our God is loving and merciful. He wants us to be exalted. Truth is truth. There can only be one truth. Upon hearing the truth and knowing it is true. The Holy Spirit will testify unto you whether or not is truth,For God is the source of all light and truth and after hearing truth and deciding not to believe and letting Satan tempt us into doubting truth is where the problem lies. As A member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, I believe our church is Christ restored gospel on earth, not to say that anyone that is not a member of the church should be immediately condemned but having the true gospel will aid you and give you the guidance and ordinances necessary to receive exaltation.

  8. JW and Mormons are not considered part of Orthodox Christianity by Orthodox Christianity due to Christological heresies they promote. While this page may include some helpful information, do not read this page as factual. There are many errors both about the JW and LDS stances and how they are contrasted by Christianity.

  9. The Bible says “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” And the Word (Jesus) was God and the Word was with God. It also says “God said let us “God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit) make Man in OUR image. What’s so hard to understand? It says hereafter man and woman to become one flesh in marriage. Jesus said I am the truth the way and the life. No man (or woman) comes to the Father except thru me. Not through good works only thru belief that when Jesus died He took away the sins, past present, and future of the world. We are to become his followers and spread the good news to all. When you become a Christian you will have troubles in this life but God’s (God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit) grace is sufficient to see us thru. God does not send anyone to hell-those who refuse Jesus sacrifice on the cross send themselves to he’ll. If you want to know more about he’ll, look up “23 minutes in hell” it will open your eyes. Our Heavenly Father loves all His creation more than we can understand and this means you and I. How wonderful it is to know He will never leave you. Read the Bible. Glory to God in the highest. Praise Him day and night and thank Him for all the many blessings He has given you especially for Jesus. This day your soul may be required of you, where will you be? Do not follow false religions you know who you are. Know the truth and live.

  10. I grew up a JW and I can tell you reading this there are a lot of inaccuracies.
    JW’s don’t believe Jesus returned in 1914 for example, they believe that was when Satan was thrown from heaven to the earth, they believe this is why in the last hundred years since then the world has become more unbalanced, lewd, crazy whatever else you want to call it.
    The believe eventually Jesus will return in a spiritual form to do battle with Satan and that will in turn cause Armageddon in which the wicked with die and the righteous will survive.

    Also in regard to when people die and the soul going to sleep to be resurrected, it isn’t only JW’s they believe have that privilege, anyone that dies before Armageddon they believe will be resurrected after the fact.
    They will then live for a thousand years in peace and if they can prove themselves to not be wicked after that 1000 years (the second test they call it) they will get to live for eternity on earth.

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References :


[0]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_Jehovah%27s_Witnesses

[1]www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/witnesses

[2]www.religionfacts.com/.../jehovahs_witnesses_mormonism.htm

[3]www.quora.com › … › Christian Churches and Denominations

[4]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eternal_life_%28Christianity%29#Jehovah.27s_Witnesses

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