More alike than you think: Mormons and Jews

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  • The Solution Las Cruces, NM
    Oct. 1, 2013 1:42 p.m.


    My boy was friends with another Jewish boy his age, and as a result, we were invited to his Upsherinish. It was really cool and fun. I loved the sense of community that that Jewish sect had with each other. I understand what you are saying about not being part of the community, and I respect and get that.

    There is a great misunderstanding of the doctrine for baptisms for the dead. It is not "posthumous baptism." When we perform the ordinance, the person in question is not part of our faith. In the next life, IF that spirit chooses to accept the ordinance, than it will become binding, but otherwise has no effect. That is why we perform them for as many as we can regardless of who they were. We leave the judgement to Christ, and it may be that baptism is denied to those nazis who committed horrific acts against your people. Nevertheless, we (LDS) will not assume His judgement.

    I understand where you are coming from, and why you view this as a slap in a face to these Jews' faith. Understand we thought it was an act of kindness.

  • zoar63 Mesa, AZ
    Aug. 31, 2013 5:22 p.m.


    "Remember, there are no archeological or historic evidences for one iota of the BoM. You can believe in it, just not claim that there are any cities, weapons, pottery or physical proof. Hence, the Smithsonian refusal to allow any Nephite-Lamanite claims or suppositions."

    If Joseph Smith made up the BOM then the same claim could be said about the New Testament since the oldest manuscripts of the four gospel writers only can be dated to c.200 and those are just fragments. No complete books exist. The letters of Paul c.175-225 also just fragments. Those fragments are nice to know they exist but it is like reading a book with missing pages. What information did the missing pages contain? The only book that is complete is 3 John but that is dated c.350. But The argument can be raised that 3 John could have been written by someone living during that time period seeing that there are no earlier documents to verify what was written by John. The earliest complete copy of the New Testament, the Codex Sinaiticus dates to the 4th century.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    Aug. 31, 2013 5:04 p.m.


    From a recent Jewish news site:

    “A 2,000-year-old mikveh (ritual bath) has been uncovered just 20 meters from the Western Wall. Given its location just outside the Holy Temple - where untold numbers of Jews regularly immersed before entering - the newly-revealed pool is among the largest ever discovered in Jerusalem.”

    No, not in the temple. But real close.

    As to the BOM? All I can say is that when I joined the church over 35 years ago, there was a lot less evidence than there is now. Circumstantial? Sure. But nevertheless more each year.

    The Quakers on the Moon thing is a real stretch.

    But you are right, “My people perish for lack of knowledge”.

    Mormonism is as much of a cult as early Christianity.

  • Shazandra Bakersfield, CA
    Aug. 31, 2013 2:57 p.m.

    Unbelievable, the comments and claims here. If DN editors will post any LDS claim, why don't they allow the challenges to preposterous claims and patently false statements?

    'My people perish for lack of knowledge' comes to mind.

    1- Libs and Eternal Perspective live in their own universe. "Cult" has 10 Webster defs, 9 of them harmless but accurate. Don't bristle if the shoe fits. Semantics need clarification, not trite escape.

    2- No bonafide Biblical Christian group is jealous of the increase of false gospels, or the success of the fastest rising converts in the world- Islam. Remove jealousy from the debate and read Matthew 28:19. Our Lord made it clear the command and the sacrifice.

    All else saddens true followers of the historic, Biblical Christ.

  • Shazandra Bakersfield, CA
    Aug. 31, 2013 2:40 p.m.

    Whatcha drinkin' in Rexburg, Happy Feet? All my kin are from Rexburg and I love it there, but LDS do not hail from Biblical times any more than any other ethnicity. The Ethiopian Jews are far closer to their tribal connection than any claim from Euro-Ephraimites. Just getting a patriarchal blessing sans any genetic or valid geneological evidence is no more verifiable than an African witch doctor's pronouncements, per the scientific/historic/legitimate community. Adherants can believe and claim anything they wish; but we now know that no 7 ft. Quakers inhabit our lunar luminary...

    Remember, there are no archeological or historic evidences for one iota of the BoM. You can believe in it, just not claim that there are any cities, weapons, pottery or physical proof. Hence, the Smithsonian refusal to allow any Nephite-Lamanite claims or suppositions.

    There is also no Biblical or historical verification that any ancient Jewish temple, Solomon or Herod's, was ever used for weddings, sealings, baptisms, et al.

    Heck, growing up Mormon, I thought we were spiritual Israel...

  • HappyFeet123 Rexburg, ID
    Aug. 31, 2013 9:49 a.m.

    One of the most signifigant similarities between Latter Day Saints and Jews, and a similarity that dwarfs all others, is that they are the only two groups of people in the world who have maintained their individual identities as members of the House of Israel as established in ancient times

  • iNKSpot Wilsonville, OR
    Aug. 31, 2013 8:57 a.m.

    Moslems have large families, dietary restrictions and modest dress. Wouldn't it be great if we all got along?

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Aug. 30, 2013 4:50 p.m.

    It starts with the Abrahamic Covenant --

    Isaac and Ishmael spilt.
    Their posterity eventually falls away.

    Moses is called for a restoration.

    There is another falling away,
    Jesus is born, and
    There is another restoration.
    There is another falling away.

    God calls yet another restoration.

    Of course they are similar.
    It all revolves around that very same Abrahamic Covenant,
    to which the Jews, Islam, and Latter-Day Saint Christians all claim privilege to.

  • sharrona layton, UT
    Aug. 30, 2013 4:46 p.m.

    RE:zoar63, (200 A.D. On Souls), Tertulllian, wrote against the Platonic doctrine the Pre-existence of the soul and the Pythagorean(occult) doctrine of transmigration, re-incarnation.

    i.e.,(Ecc 12:7)… the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.

    In (2Tim 1:9 & Titus 1:2)God existed before time, implying he created time.

    The Temple for Christians is Jesus,“destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up” (John 2:19). Jesus spoke of the destruction of the temple,he was speaking of his own body (John 2:22).

    But for Jews,the temple in Jerusalem needs to be rebuilt to continue sacrifices.

    (2 Thes 2:3-4)Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God....

    *Allusions to Isa 14:13-14; Dan 11:36; Ezek 28:2-9.

    RE: EternalPerspective, devotion to Jesus Christ?

    … this has never been spoken of by the prophets; but those things which existed prior to Moses' day, namely, Sacrifice, will be continued.(HofC v.4 p.211-21)JS, false prophecy.

  • Eliyahu Pleasant Grove, UT
    Aug. 30, 2013 2:42 p.m.

    @ 2bits:
    "The only beef Jews have with Mormons I know of is the doctrine of baptism for the dead."

    The issue we have with proxy baptisms of our people is at least twofold. First, many of those subjected to such "baptisms" were Jews who died in nazi camps because of who they were; that is, because they were Jews. They died because they were Jewish, and now someone would have the chutzpah to pretend to convert them to a religion they vehemently rejected while alive and able to choose. Secondly, some Mormons have done proxy baptisms of most, if not all, of the nazi hierarchy, and there's not a one of us who would willingly consent to being made a member of any church to which they belong.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Aug. 30, 2013 1:32 p.m.

    I've always thought Mormons and Jews have a lot in common.

    I don't think either side should be offended. Even on the simplistic level of the article. They have even MORE similarities if you do a more in depth analysis.

    They should... in theory they have common roots.

    I've had many conversations with people of the Jewish faith and never seen either side get offended. Mormons have no beef with Jews. The only beef Jews have with Mormons I know of is the doctrine of baptism for the dead. And if they don't think Mormons have the valid priesthood authority to do a valid baptism that God would consider binding in the afterlife... then the act has no validity or affect, so what do you have to worry about? And if Mormons DO have the valid Priesthood authority to conduct saving ordinances that are actually binding in heaven... then why would you not want them?

    But either way... nobody needs to be offended. People of other faiths could baptize me all day and I'd just thank them kindly.

  • zoar63 Mesa, AZ
    Aug. 30, 2013 12:19 p.m.


    "Origen believed in the Platonic pre-existence and transmigration of souls. The Council of Constantinople .. in 453 CE posthumously excommunicated him."

    And Constantine who was a pagan ordered the council. That gives a lot of credibility, a council doing its business supervised by an unbeliever seeing as Constantine was never baptized until he was on his death bed.

    "The N.T. teaches that Christ is the New Temple . Christ’s body is the true temple–as Paul puts it, “For we are the temple of the living God”

    How can the son of perdition sit in the temple If Christ’s body is the temple?

    Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;

    Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.

    (2 Thes 2:3-4)

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 30, 2013 12:09 p.m.

    One important distinction here is that a lot of the similarities are between Mormons and Orthodox Jews. The comparisons rather fall apart when Reformed Judaism is used instead.

  • BigBuddha Chandler, AZ
    Aug. 30, 2013 11:50 a.m.

    uh..umm..uh..well uh...hmm Jewish people do not believe that Christ is the Savior.I think I will stop right there.Great people great culture and history but that is a HUGE difference

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Aug. 30, 2013 11:40 a.m.

    They have all humanity in common. It's religion that divides them.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Aug. 30, 2013 9:53 a.m.

    ‘More alike than you think: Mormons and Jews’

    and I might add --

    ‘More alike than you think: Mormons and Muslims’

  • sharrona layton, UT
    Aug. 30, 2013 9:40 a.m.

    RE: EternalPerspective, Mormon doctrine is compatible?

    Origen believed in the Platonic pre-existence and transmigration of souls. The Council of Constantinople .. in 453 CE posthumously excommunicated him.

    Ecc 12:7)… the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.

    For in him we live and move and have our Being...(Acts 17:28)Creation is dependent on God for it’s very existence.

    One greater than the temple has come! Jesus Christ. It is in Christ’s church–as Jesus’ mystical body–that we find the fulfillment of the O. T. prophecies regarding Jerusalem and the Mountain of the Lord. The promise of a land, will be fulfilled in a new heaven and earth in the consummation (cf. Romans 4:13; Hebrews 11:9-10).

    The N.T. teaches that Christ is the New Temple . Christ’s body is the true temple–as Paul puts it, “For we are the temple of the living God” (2 Corinthians 6:16)–What use remains for a future literal temple?

    That to which the temple had pointed, is now a reality through the work of the Holy Spirit.

  • Christmas Carole LAS CRUCES, NM
    Aug. 30, 2013 8:40 a.m.

    Since I once lived in Utah, it would probably be a WONDERFUL experience for your community AND you if you chose to become a part of it...

    THANK YOU! Abby for a very pleasant, positive, smooth flowing article...I enjoyed it immensely!

  • Eliyahu Pleasant Grove, UT
    Aug. 30, 2013 8:11 a.m.

    While there are a lot of cultural and communal similarities and shared values, there are still vast differences when we look at actual theology. While many of our scriptures are shared by Mormons, we don't recognize or accept most of theirs. E.g., New Testament, Book of Mormon, D&S, Pearl of Great Price. Similarly, they don't give any accord to our Talmud. When it comes to the actual theology, there's very little in common.

    That said, we like our LDS neighbors and neighborhood even though we recognize that we'll never really be a part of the community.

  • EternalPerspective Eldersburg, MD
    Aug. 30, 2013 8:10 a.m.


    "ex nihilo" is popular in Jewish and Christian sects, but not all believe in it. Science proves that matter cannot be created out of nothing and Mormon doctrine is compatible.

    Christianity, Judaism, and Mormonism were mentioned as separate religions. Mormons couldn't be more Christian with the Savior Jesus Christ being at the center of everything we do. But, it also has a close resemblance to Judaism with temple building and other facets.

    Separating Mormons from the word Christian has been a false rumor since the days of Joseph Smith, along with the whole “cult” association. All one has to do is attend a Sacrament meeting on Sunday in a Mormon Chapel and see plainly that devotion to Jesus Christ and living His Gospel are at the core of beliefs and practices.

    Some of this is from negativity with differences between Creedal and Reformation Christianity. Another one is jealously from proselyting success. Most Christian sects say that God has done His work and all we can do is believe in Him as the Heavens are closed in these days. Mormons know God is unchangeable and Christ's Church was restored by the same patterns in the Bible.

  • mdp Bountiful, utah
    Aug. 30, 2013 8:03 a.m.

    I found the Mormons and Messianic Jews have a lot in common theologically- It really surprised me.

  • morpunkt Glendora, CA
    Aug. 30, 2013 8:02 a.m.

    My brother-in-law is Jewish. He is like a brother to me, and is my favorite brother-in-law. We can joke about a lot of things and not get offended. My favorite joke to him is that he has to take care of his "Mormon American princess" wife. He loves that one.

  • Contrariusester mid-state, TN
    Aug. 30, 2013 8:02 a.m.

    Jews and Mormons could be more similar.

    Rabbis from the Reform, Reconstructionist, and Conservative (USA) denominations are happy to perform same-sex marriage ceremonies.


  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    Aug. 30, 2013 8:01 a.m.

    One thing I have noted is that the LDS generally (not always but generally) have a better understanding than many other Christians of the religion's Jewish roots.

    I am sometimes surprised that good, faithful Christians of my acquaintance have little knowledge of the Jewish faith.

    Overall, I have found that the better I understand the Old Testament (Judaism as practiced at the time of Christ and before), the better I understand the New Testament and Book of Mormon.

  • Mugabe ACWORTH, GA
    Aug. 30, 2013 7:14 a.m.

    The people that we commonly refer to as, "Jewish" aren't really Jews. Jewish and Jew are two different things. Jew refers to those who are actually descendants and Jewish refers to those who came from Rome, whose descendants presently occupy the land of the Jews. Pretty much like the Europeans who came here from Europe who now refer to themselves as Americans.

    Occupying the land of another nation does not automatically change the Natal Nationality of a people.

    We are more like the Moslem's in our practices because, essentially, this gospel is what the Moslems embraced before they were forced, by orders from Pope Nicholas V to become Christians, by reducing them to slavery. It states:

    In 18 June 1452: Pope Nicholas V issues Dum Diversas, a bull authorising Alphonso
    V of Portugal to reduce any "Saracens (Muslims) and pagans and any other unbelievers" to perpetual slavery.

  • Cats Somewhere in Time, UT
    Aug. 30, 2013 6:57 a.m.

    latter-Day Saints have always known that there are many similarities and connections between Mormons and Jews. It is the Jews who are just beginning to learn this.

  • kolob1 sandy, UT
    Aug. 30, 2013 6:23 a.m.

    Large families, dietary restrictions and modest dress are a few of the similarities author Rabbi Perry Tirschwell noted in his article, “Our Friends the Mormons” that ran on The Jewish on Aug. 29.

    Landau describes searching Google for "Modern Orthodox bridesmaids dresses" or "Jewish bridesmaid dresses" and "Tasteful bridesmaid dresses," but the results only brought up dresses listed at $400 or more that were far too modest, "covering everything from clavicle to wrist, to ankle."

    WOW "too modest" for a Mormon and a Jew? They could have dressed like Muslim brides! Now that's modest

  • EternalPerspective Eldersburg, MD
    Aug. 30, 2013 4:25 a.m.

    Ancient Israelites made covenants with God through His Priesthood authority with the Law of Moses or the lesser law. This was a "schoolmaster" to come to Christ that arose due to disobedience leading to 40 years in the wilderness.

    Faithful Jews and Gentiles received same covenant after the ministry of Jesus Christ as mentioned in Mark 14:24, "And he said unto them, This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many.". Testament is better translated to "covenant".

    This covenant was restored using the same patterns of the Bible by Priesthood authority through a living prophet to fulfill the promise made to Abraham for his posterity. The purpose was to restore Christ’s church to gather the 12 tribes of Israel preparatory to the second coming of Christ.

    God’s Church and religion is bound by the same Priesthood authority and covenants, though its form and doctrine on the earth has varied based on the faith of those who are called. God is the same yesterday, today, and forever and His course is one eternal round. Evil divides religion to draw people away from truth.

  • mountain man Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 30, 2013 2:25 a.m.

    I notice this article didn't mention many similarities. I've taken Jews, Muslims and Mormons to lunch. They all want to be good, honest people. They don't want to kill others. They all want to take care of the poor.
    One does not believe Christ.. One believes Christ was a prophet like the other prophets and one believes Christ is the savior of the world and is the son of God.

  • hamaca Baton Rouge, LA
    Aug. 29, 2013 10:14 p.m.

    @ A Scientist,

    "I can't decide whether Jews or Mormons should be more offended by this simplistic comparison."

    I'm certain the types who look to be offended will have no problem here, regardless of their background.

  • christoph Brigham City, UT
    Aug. 29, 2013 9:47 p.m.

    In 2008, 78% of Jews voted for Mr. Obama; 78% of Mormons voted for Mr. McCain; in 2012, 69% of Jews voted for Mr. Obama. It is true the numbers are shifting. And the same could be said of Muslims.

  • spring street SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Aug. 29, 2013 9:36 p.m.

    There are also many comparisons between Jews, Mormons, and Muslims.

    @ PLM: Many cultures - including Native Americans, Pagans, and Buddhists - honor their dead, hold feasts of Thanksgiving, serve God or the gods, and try to lead good lives.

    There are more similarities between people than there are differences. It would be nice if we could focus on that as a general principle instead of an itty bitty principle.

  • Roland Kayser Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Aug. 29, 2013 9:32 p.m.

    Here's another similarity: A recent study found that while atheists and agnostics know more about religion than does any relgious group, Mormons and Jews know the most among religious people.

  • sharrona layton, UT
    Aug. 29, 2013 9:01 p.m.

    RE:Jews and Chritians believe that God created all that exists ex nihilo (out of nothing). Mormonism is quite different in its cosmology, claiming that God fashioned the universe out of preexisting material. God is eternal in some forms of LDS theology, but so is preexisting matter, including the material used by God to create human beings.
    @ dietary restrictions. Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ. (Col 2:16-17)
    I had a friend who had her husband go war and she kissed his picture every day upon his return she still kissed his picture even though she had the real(ality) person there.

  • franc Kirkland, WA
    Aug. 29, 2013 8:57 p.m.

    Sweet but ... Abby must be a VERY recent graduate of BYU. This is a little simplistic ... although I agree there are many comparisons of Jews & Mormons.

  • PLM Kaysville, UT
    Aug. 29, 2013 8:54 p.m.

    When I think of Jewish people, I feel like I am thinking about my cousins and have a true fondness and affection for them. The Jewish celebration of the Feast of the Tabernacles has many parallels to our Thanksgiving; family gathering, feasting, giving thanks. We both honor our dead, try to serve God and lead good lives. I appreciate their contributions to our scriptures, laws and culture. America once had a Judeo-Christian cultural foundation that was the source of our strength. My ancestors, Charlemagne, William the Conqueror and others honored and protected the Jewish people and the important strengths they have brought to the world. God bless you, my Jewish brothers and sisters.

  • A Scientist Provo, UT
    Aug. 29, 2013 8:37 p.m.

    I can't decide whether Jews or Mormons should be more offended by this simplistic comparison.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Aug. 29, 2013 8:21 p.m.

    Funny --

    The exact same thing can be said about Mormons and Muslims as well.

    As-salamu alaykum
    Peace be unto you, Peace be upon you.
    My Peace, I give unto you.