What is the difference between the Catholic religion and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints?
by Mattie Guthrie
This is one of the many questions we get asked as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints! So, what is the answer? Here below we will cover a few of the main differences and similarities. If you have any more questions or insights, please contact us!
1. First of all, we are both Christians! Both churches believe in Christ as their saving Redeemer! However, Latter-Day Saints believe that Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost are three separate beings, one in purpose. The Catholic church believes in the Trinity, which are these three beings, but only as one person. They believe that Jesus Christ has all power as well but is a spirit and does not have a physical body.
Members of our faith can be baptized at age 8 and older. We perform baptisms only by full immersion in the water by a male figure in the church, who is a worthy holder of the Priesthood, the power and authority of God. Members of the Catholic church can be baptized at any age by way of sprinkling, pouring, or full immersion in the water, done by the Priest.
The Catholic church believes in the Bible as the only collection of true ancient accounts involving Jesus Christ, his prophets and apostles. It takes place in the Middle East, ancient Europe, and Egypt. As Latter-Day Saints, we also believe in and read the Bible. However, we have the Book of Mormon as another true testament of Jesus Christ. We believe it to be an account of the people in the ancient Americas following their migration from the Middle East and the experiences they had as followers of Jesus Christ.
4. Personal Revelation and Church leaders
The leader of the Catholic church currently is Pope Francis. As the Pope, he holds the power of God that was given to St. Peter by Jesus Christ. However, the Catholic church believes that revelation ceased with the time of the ancient apostles. Latter-Day Saints believe that after Jesus and all of the apostles (like Peter and Paul) were killed, the power of God was taken from the earth and restored in the early 1800s with a young, faithful farm boy, named Joseph Smith. He prayed to know which church was true and was visited by Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. With direction from them over many years, he was prepared and prepared others to receive that same power of God to the earth again. (We call this power the Priesthood.) In doing this, we believe that the same church that Jesus Christ established was restored again to the earth. So, today we have living prophets and apostles. Our living prophet today is Russell M. Nelson who receives guidance for the church. We also can receive personal revelation for ourselves.
5. The Sacrament
The main reason why Latter-Day Saints go to church is to take the Sacrament. We do this every Sunday with the bread and water that has been blessed by two worthy men who hold the priesthood. The bread and water represent the body and blood of Christ. We remember Him and try to be more like him every week. The Catholic church has 7 Sacraments: baptism, confirmation, Eucharist (the partaking of the bread and wine), penance (confession, repenting), anointing the sick, marriage and being ordained a bishop, priest or deacon. They do these steps to help them come closer to Christ. The partaking of the bread and wine can be taken every day, if asked, and is given and blessed by a Priest or Bishop.
While reading, you probably noticed that there are lots of similarities! Although many religions have significant differences, we shouldn’t let these differences keep us from being united. We are all brothers and sisters, children of our loving Heavenly Father. Thank you so much for reading and don’t forget, GOD LOVES YOU!!