Denomination Differences

Catholic vs. Mormon Beliefs

CatholicMormon
a.k.a.Latter-Day Saint
Number of Members1,360,000,000[1]16,800,000[2]
How does one get saved?Repent of your sins, believe in Jesus Christ's death and resurrection to save you, be baptized, participate in the Eucharist, and don't die with any unconfessed mortal sins.[3][4][5]There is no singular salvation for Mormons: Exaltation, or going to the highest of the three degrees of glory and becoming a god, is achieved by getting baptized, confirmed, ordained in the Melchizedek priesthood (if a man), endowed, and married and then by keeping the covenants for the rest of one's life.
Who gets saved?Anyone who chooses by his own free will to believe and accept God's gift of grace will be saved.Anyone who chooses by his own free will to believe and accept God's gift of grace will be saved.
Can one lose his salvation?Yes, a Christian can lose his salvation by apostasy or by committing a mortal sin.Yes, the promise of exaltation can be lost by breaking one's covenants, except for a select few couples who are chosen for a second anointing which guarantees exaltation unless one sins against the Holy Ghost or commits murder.
Who gets baptized and why?The unsaved, typically as infants, get baptized as the first sacrament of Christian initiation, cleansing them of all sins.Understanding persons get baptized as the first ordinance, cleansing them of all sins.
How should baptism be done?Baptism should be by pouring water on the head.Baptism should be by immersion.
When does one receive the Holy Spirit?The Holy Spirit is received at baptism.The gift of the Holy Ghost is received at confirmation.
What is the trinity?The Trinity is God existing as one god in three equal, eternal, cosubstantial persons: God the Father, God the Son (Jesus Christ), and God the Holy Spirit.The Godhead comprises three separate gods—God the Father, his son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost.
What is the human nature?Human nature is not totally corrupt but is wounded and inclined to evil.[6]Humans are neither inherently good nor inherently evil.
Are we guilty of Adam's original sin?No, we are not guilty of Adam's sin, but we did inherit the consequences and a corrupt human nature from him, causing us all to sin.[7]No, "men will be punished for their own sins, and not for Adam's transgression."
Are Christians required to keep the Old Testament ceremonial laws?No, the ceremonial laws of Judaism were fulfilled and done away with by Jesus.No, the ceremonial laws of Judaism were fulfilled and done away with by Jesus.
Can Christians become sinless in this earthly life?"Christian perfection" is attainable in this life, but this does not mean one is sinless, as one will always commit minor "venial sins".No, although Christians can and should sin less, they can never become sinless in this life.
Do the elements of communion become the body and blood of Christ?Transubstantiation: Yes, the bread and the wine change into the body and blood of Christ.No, the elements merely symbolically represent the body and blood of Christ.
Can one be baptized of behalf of someone who has died?No, the dead cannot be baptized.Yes, a living person can be a proxy for the dead to be baptized, who then can accept or reject it in the afterlife.
What happens if a saved person dies without being perfect?Christians who die imperfectly purified must be purified through purgatory.[8]Once Christians leave their sinful bodies, nothing else is needed to receive glorified, sinless bodies.
Did Mary ever sin?Immaculate conception: No, Mary was free of original sin and remained sinless throughout her life.Yes, Mary sinned like all other humans except Jesus.
What spiritual gifts are available today?Most believe that all spiritual gifts are still available to believers.Continuationism: All spiritual gifts are still available to believers.[9]
What framework has God used in dealing with man?God has different periods of history where he has at least one authorized servant on earth.[10][11]
What is the gift of tongues?Speaking in tongues is sometimes unintelligible and sometimes foreign human languages.[12]
What are the requirements for clergy?Priests must be unmarried men over 25 ordained by bishops.
How many church ordinances/​sacraments are there?The church has seven sacraments: Baptism, Confirmation, the Eucharist, Penance, the Anointing of the Sick, Holy Orders, and Matrimony.[13]The Church has five saving ordinances: Baptism, Confirmation, Ordination to the Melchizedek Priesthood (for men), the Temple Endowment, and the Marriage Sealing. There are roughly a dozen other ordinances important for comfort.[14]
To whom do Christians need to confess their sins?Mortal sins must be privately confessed to a priest at least annually.[15][16]Confession should be made directly to God unless the church might discipline for such sin, in which case it must be confessed to the bishop.[17][18]
How should a church be structured?Episcopal: Churches should be governed by the bishop in that diocese, who in turn is governed by an archbishop, who is governed by the Pope.Wards should be governed by the president in that stake, who in turn is governed by the seventies, who are governed by the Twelve, who are governed by the President of the Church.[19][20]
What day of the week should Christians worship?Christians worship on Sunday.Christians worship on Sunday.
How does God's revelation come to us today?Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition have equal authority and comprise one finished deposit of faith.There are many sources of God's revelation.
How many books are in the Bible?There are 73 canonical books of the Bible: 39 protocanonical books, 7 deuterocanonical books, and 27 New Testament books.There are 66 canonical books of the Bible—39 Old Testament books and 27 New Testament books—and three other canonical books: the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price.
Is the Bible inerrant?No, the Bible was written inerrantly on matters of salvation but may contain errors in other matters.No, the Bible is not inerrant in any respect.[21][22]
Who can speak with God's authority today?The Pope speaks infallibly with God's authority when speaking ex cathedra.[23][24]The President of the Church and the Twelve Apostles are prophets, seers, and revelators who speak for God and whose prophecies shall all be fulfilled.[25][26]
How was the earth created?The earth was formed by gravity pulling dust together, which ultimately came from the Big Bang.The earth was created by God organizing matter which has existed eternally.[27]
What is marriage?Marriage is a covenant before God between one man and one woman.[28]Marriage is a covenant before God between one man and one woman.[29]
Is sex permissible outside marriage?No, sex outside of marriage is not permissible.No, sex outside of marriage is not permissible.[29]
When is divorce permissible?Divorce is never permissible.Divorce is permissible for any reason allowed by law.[30]
May a Christian remarry while his former spouse is still alive?Divorce is never permissible.Yes, a Christian may freely remarry after divorce.[31]
When does a fetus become human?Humanity begins at conception.[32]No established doctrine, but the church opposes elective abortions.[33][34]
Is contraception permissible?No, contraceptives are not permissible.[35]Yes, contraceptives are permissible.[36]
Are blood transfusions permissible?Yes, blood transfusions are permissible.
Should women cover their heads?No, head coverings are no longer required due to cultural changes.[37]No, head coverings are no longer required due to cultural changes.[38]
Should Christians drink alcohol?Yes, drinking alcohol is fine as long as one does not get drunk.[39]No, alcohol should be totally avoided.
Should Christians fight in wars?Yes, Christians should fight in just wars.[40][41]Yes, Christians should fight in just wars.[42][43]
Whom does the Holy Spirit come from?The Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son.[44]The Holy Spirit is a separate god.
Do icons glorify God?Yes, icons are holy and should be venerated.
Where does a Christian's soul go after death?Some Christians first go to purgatory to be purified when they die.[8]The righteous await the resurrection in Paradise, part of the spirit world.[45][46]