Mormon “Idol” David Archuleta Sings About Jesus

American Idol’s 2008 finalist David Archuleta has a beautiful voice and a compelling way of phrasing his songs. A seventeen-year-old Mormon from Murray, Utah, his hometown and Church are very proud of him.

DAvid ArchuletaI watched a video of David singing “Smokey Mountain Memories,” a sad song about a displaced Appalachian family missing their Smokey Mountain home. David sang,

But I’ll keep leanin’ on my Jesus
I know he’ll love and guide and lead us
Appalachian memories keep me strong

Who is Jesus to David Archuleta? According to the web site of David’s church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Mormon understanding of Jesus “is significantly different from that of traditional Christianity.” So different, in fact, that the last Prophet and President of the LDS Church said Mormons don’t believe in the traditional Christ (Gordon B. Hinckley, LDS Church News, week ending June 20, 1998, p.7). Another leader in the LDS Church taught that Mormons worship a different Jesus than other Christians (LDS Seventy Bernard P. Brockbank, Ensign, May 1977, p.26). And an apostle of the Mormon Church even went so far as to say that all non-Mormon Christendom have “debased themselves before the mythical throne of a mythical Christ” (Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, p. 269).

So who is this Jesus that Mormons believe in? How is he different from the Jesus revealed in the Bible and worshipped by traditional Christians since Christ walked the earth 2000 years ago?

Traditional Christian theology states Jesus is the Creator of all things “in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through Him and for Him” (Colossians 1:16). Mormonism states that Jesus created many things, but not all things. He did not create Lucifer, for instance, who is identified in the Bible as the “power” we wrestle against in our spiritual battles (see Ephesians 6:10-12). In fact, according to Mormonism, Jesus is the spirit brother of Lucifer (Milton R. Hunter, The Gospel Through the Ages, p. 15; Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, p. 192).

In traditional Christian theology, Jesus is God and has always been God: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God” (John 1:1-2). According to Mormonism, Jesus was procreated by Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother, born to them as a spirit son, and later achieved His Godhood by obedience to “all the Gospel truths and universal laws” (Gospel Principles, p. 11; The Gospel Through the Ages, p. 51).

These are just a few of the many differences that could be cited, but these are enough to demonstrate that the differences between the traditional Christ and the Mormon Christ are indeed very significant.

Which Jesus is David Archuleta leaning on? Which Jesus is the true Savior? Which Jesus do you trust with your eternal life?

For further reading:

One Door to Salvation
Who is the “Living Christ” of Mormonism?
Latter-day Prophets Speak

About Sharon Lindbloom

Sharon surrendered her life to the Lord Jesus Christ in 1979. Deeply passionate about Truth, Sharon loves serving as a full-time volunteer research associate with Mormonism Research Ministry. Sharon and her husband live in Minnesota.
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18 Responses to Mormon “Idol” David Archuleta Sings About Jesus

  1. falcon says:

    If there is an up-side to the information provided above, it is that at least some Mormons are willing to come clean regarding who this Jesus is that they worship. Oops sorry, it has not yet been determined if they worship this Jesus that is the offspring of the gods. There’s really nothing new about the Mormon concept of Jesus. It’s basically recyled heresy. Mormons proudly align themselves with heretics of centuries past. So, Mormons tell people that this Jesus is not the Jesus of Christianity. Then they can choose. Sadly, the Mormon Jesus can’t bring salvation. People do have a choice.

  2. subgenius says:

    To those in the know:
    Denominations, by definition, have many subtle differences based onculture, language, geography, etc..however they also suffer, as do some religions, from inconsistent views of the true nature of Jesus. The Catholic versus the Jewish versus the Ebionite versus the Methodist..etc all differ to his nature. Some differ more than others, and some are so similar it is not worth the argument to distinguish.
    Catholic and Orthodox churches consider the Protestants not as denominations, but as heretics. Jewish Religion does not consider Jesus as a “deity” or even as the Christian defined Messiah (the Jewish religion is still waiting for the messiah)Event the Jewish denominations disagree on Jesus. Perhaps there is a non-mormon who is willing to answer the questions posted in Sharon’s article above. Obviously ‘falcon’ is more occupied, as usual, with critcizing mormons with baseless assumptions and inflammatory rhetoric. Fortunately i realize he is not the epitome of his religion, just the epitome of those who profess it but do not follow it. Which brings me to the questions above.
    Archuleta is obviously leaning on the Jesus of his faith. Obedience to God, Faith in Jesus, and Guidance from the Holy Spirit are the keys to my Salvation, now and forever. Watered down versions of this concept are close but will not deliver. Belief that The Father and The Son and The Spirit are one is simply incorrect (as discussed on another thread, not here). To trust in a facsimile of Jesus is “basically recy(c)led heresy”, especially if you have turned away from the the original; as many critics on this board have done. Do not confuse my proclamation as being one for non-mormons who bring spiritual honesty to these discussions, for they still have a chance in this world and beyond; and all will have their moment in the next world. And for those who respond to my comments with a “no, i am right and you are wrong” type response – Prove It!

  3. falcon says:

    I must really be scorching your tail feathers for you to come up with some of your shots in the dark. Let’s see, you suddenly “know” that I don’t “follow my religion”. That’s pretty funny and personaly nasty. It’s the old, if you can’t discredit the argument, discredit the person routine. Stick to the issues being discussed.
    Catholics have a different view of the nature of Jesus than protestants you say. Once again, you’re commenting on something you obviously know nothing about. Having grown up Catholic and having my little catechism right here we find the following in lesson one question six: “Where do we find the chief truths taught by Jesus Christ through the Catholic Church? Answer: We find the chief truths taught by Jesus Christ through the Catholic Church in the Apostles’ Creed.” Been in all kinds of churches. The Apostles’ Creed is the same. Same Jesus.
    Jews are not Christians so who they think Jesus is, is a big “so what”. Not even relevent to the discussion.
    Modern day Catholics don’t see protestants as heretics. Old news from the middle ages. As a Catholic school boy I was taught that protestants are saved through Jesus Christ.
    Please old dear friend make a list of my “baseless assumptions and inflamatory rhetoric”. I haven’t written anything about Mormonism that isn’t varifiably true.
    So Mormonism is the original. I have yet to have a Mormon prove to me by any historic source including the Bible, that the first century Church practiced plural marrage, temple rituals, that they even had temples, that the Church believed in progression to godhood, that god was once a sinful man, that Jesus and Satan are brothers, that there is a mother goddess, that there’s a place called Kolob, I could go on. You see the problem is, when faced with the hisorical facts about Mormonism, Mormons are left with one of two responses: you’re bashing us or you don’t understand it because you don’t believe it.

  4. fourpointer says:


    You said, “I have yet to have a Mormon prove to me by any historic source including the Bible, that the first century Church practiced plural marrage, temple rituals, that they even had temples, that the Church believed in progression to godhood, that god was once a sinful man, that Jesus and Satan are brothers, that there is a mother goddess, that there’s a place called Kolob, I could go on.”

    We know these things are true because Joseph Smith was a prophet of God, and we have the testimony of the Holy Spirit.


    The argument about denominations is, to a point, rather silly. There is nothing in the diverse theologies of men like Spurgeon and Wesley, or Arminius and Calvin that differs on matters such as how we are saved, who gets saved, the character of God, the infallibility of Scripture, etc. The differences in these men’s beliefs pertain to matters that are not essential to salvation, such as “election v. free will” or when the rapture will take place, or how many times we are to take the Lord’s Supper, etc.

  5. falcon says:

    Whewwwww… had me going for a second there. But your remarks sparked me to go through my Christian History periodicals and look at an issue titled “Heresy In The Early Church”. The subheading of an article titled “Why Bishops Should Be Trusted” is “When some early Christians said they had secret apostolic teaching, one church father said, ‘Not likely’.” It’s the writing of Irenaus of Lyon (c.130-c.200) titled “Against the Heresies”. I wish I could copy the whole article but here’s the salient point: “The tradition of the apostles can be clearly seen in every church by those who wish to behold the truth. We can enumerate those who were established by the apostles (and their successors) in the churches down to our time-none of whom taught or thought of anything like the heretics’ mad ideas. Even if the apostles had known of ‘hidden mysteries’ (which they had taught to the ‘perfect’ secretly and apart from others), they would have handed them down especially to those to whom they were entrusting the churches themselves. For they certainly wished those whom they were leaving as their successors to be perfect and irreproachable.” Now I bear you my testimony that what the apostles taught was handed down and we have it today as it appears in God’s Word, the Holy Bible. And the basic doctrine and traditions of the orthodox (Biblical)Christian Church are true. It is in God’s Word that we learn of salvation by God’s grace through faith in Jesus the Christ and His perfect and complete work on the cross for the forgiveness of sins, not by works, that any man might boast, but as a free gift for all who will humble themselves, repent, and receive Jesus as Savior and Lord.

  6. subgenius says:

    the catholic encyclopedia seems to disagree with everything you stated above. “The belief in the Bible as the sole source of faith is unhistorical, illogical, fatal to the virtue of faith, and destructive of unity.” The basis of Christianity (any denomination)recognizes the Bible as the ONLY infallible Word of God. It contains the fullness of the Gospel, and was divinely inspired. Catholics have openly added books to the Bible and believe that laypeople are are incapable of properly discerning and interpreting the Bible without help from priests and church authorities.
    Refer to King Solomon, Abraham, etc.. for examples of having many wives…concubines were also common see Judges 5:30, Genesis 16:1; 322:24; 35:22; 36:12; 25:5-6; 1 Chronicles 1:32
    temple and rituals
    heard of solomon’s temple, or when temples are mentioned in 1 2kings, 1Chr, 2Chr, Psalms, Jer, and etc..
    many worlds or heavens (not world or heaven) see Hebrews 1:2 for one example…..goodness falcon, this goes on and on have you read the Bible lately? The rest requies BoM, but maybe you knew that.

    see also above comment to pigeon, oops i mean falcon-You guys may be right, sarcasm is appropriate here.
    denominations were being used, in my comments, as an example of how diluted Jesus’s church and teachings have gotten. This is a common problem with those who subscribe to the so called Protestant tradition (ie “saved-once-saved-forever). Nevertheless, though they are usually resulting from culture/geography differences, they are still watered-down and create complaceny; without the urge to learn more, you succumb to erroneous teachings and interpret scripture poorly-thus denominations are created. Yes they may agree on a few points, but those points are often off-the-mark to begin with.

  7. pallathu says:

    The 2008 American Idol TV program had one more Mormon in addition to David Archuleta. Her name is Brooke White. The Mormons in Utah were rallying behind both of them – some even voting multiple times to push them to the top. I’ve heard of many remarks before the final like “The next American Idol is a Mormon”, and when Dave A. has lost in the final, they have turned to “Lord wants Dave to go to mission rather than becoming an idol”.

    I have been involved in Christian music for some years, so I’ve follow the Idol every season. The America Idol has developed some very good Christian artists. In this season, I liked the honesty of David Cook as well as he has sung some songs from Christian rock groups though he has not mentioned Jesus directly. Who knows he might be an asset to the Christian music! I don’t expect any such contribution from David Archuleta to the Christian music lovers. Interestingly, David Archuleta likes the music of Christian gospel artist Kirk Franklin.

    Brooke surprised me in a great way when she sang John Lennon’s Let It Be. Here are the words from the song:

    “When I find myself in times of trouble
    Mother Mary comes to me
    Speaking words of wisdom, let it be.
    And in my hour of darkness
    She is standing right in front of me
    Speaking words of wisdom, let it be.
    And when the broken-hearted people
    Living in the world agree,
    There will be an answer, let it be.”

    The Mormons take so much proud in Brook in dressing modest and being gentle. However I’m surprised at whether the song she sang reflects her religion.

  8. falcon says:

    Here’s your problem, without even going into any of your specific points, none of what you say about Catholics supports or proves that the Mormon church contains one scintilla of truth. I don’t get your thesis regarding the Catholic Church anyway, as in “the point is”. By-the-way I haven’t been a practicing Catholic for over 40 years, having left over some doctrinal positions I don’t hold to, so I’m not going to defend it. I could make my own list here of what I think are the problem areas.
    I see your trying to prove first century practice of plural marrage by your list of OT scripture. Doesn’t work friend. Plural marrage wasn’t practiced in the first century Church nor was it practiced by Jews at that time. Back to the drawing board on that one. No proof offered. You’re going to have to do better than repeat Mormon urban legends. The NT Church did not have temples nor did they practice temple rituals. If the Jewish converts to Christianity went to the temple they performed Jewish rites not those of the Masonic Lodge which Mormons lifted from that organization. Sorry, there were no secret hand shakes or throat slitting or disembolment hand gestures practiced by the NT Church.
    You’re going to have to try again with your reference to Hebrews 1:2. This is soooo typical Mormon Bible interpretation technique. You see if Mormons actually got serious about Bible study and Bible interpretation, they wouldn’t be Mormons. I call this the Mormon “pull something out of the hat” method, which incidentally Joseph Smith used with his magic rock in the hat trick.

  9. Berean says:


    Personal jabs on posters screen names isn’t going to get you anywhere and will only ruin any credibility to your own posts. Referring to Falcon as “pigeon” can be left out of here. (MODERATOR, WAS THIS NECESSARY?) You can be thankful that the posters on here are mature Christians (non-Mormons) who answer the LDS arguments. They won’t return the personal jabs that are silly. However, a young Christian may come on here and take light of your screen name and have a field day with it. My only leap I am willing to go with is that I believe your post to “pigeon” was not very “genius” on your part.

    First, I’m sure you have heard of the Protestant Reformation. Martin Luther started this for what reason? The Catholic Church was teaching salvation by grace and works both equally necessary for one’s own salvation which the New Testament denies thus bringing about the split that still goes on today. Protestants are in “protest” of the Roman Cathoic doctrines especially when it comes to issues of salvation. The last time I was in a Catholic bookstore I didn’t see the books of the Apochrypha in their Bible. I know they have recogized these in the past and guess what? They are wrong on that issue as well. I’ve been to many Catholic services. I don’t recalling seeing anyone bringing their Bible nor do I know any Catholic that seriously studies it. If Catholics rely on their spiritual leaders to tell them what it says instead of the parishoners checking it out then they are just as wrong as the Mormons who follow the same precept.

    You asked “pigeon” (aka “Falcon”) if he has read the Bible lately and then go on to say that the BOM helps fill in the gaps on what the Bible has left out. You must be kidding me with the three points you mentioned. I ask you: have you read the BOM lately?

    Is Hebrews 1:2 your go-to verse to substantiate the Mormon view of the three kingdoms, many gods, eternal progression taking place on other planets, etc,?

  10. Berean says:

    How about taking Hebrews 1:2 for what it says: “he made the worlds”. Did God not make the worlds? Did you take astronomy? Walk outside and look up. Did God not create all of that? God created all the planets and the galaxies. What’s your point? To try to insert the Mormon view of things in that verse is a real stretch. The 1960’s wasn’t a good decade for the Mormon Church. First, the original papyri that Joseph Smith used to translate the supposed book of Abraham was found and was shown that Joseph Smith was a complete fraud in his laughable translation of that. Second, The U.S. landed on the moon showing Joseph’s statement of people dressed like Quakers standing 6 feet tall to be completely incorrect. If Joseph would have been a real prophet he would have known those events were going to take place and would have never said such a thing nor would have written the Book of Abraham.

    Do you think endowments, baptism for the dead, celestial marriage, sealings, etc., were going on in those temples? Please, let’s not be ridiculous. Do a little research and find out what was done in Jewish temples and you will find absolutely no comparison to what goes on in LDS Temples.

    Did God command Solomon and Abraham to take more wives? No. They did it and suffered the consequences of it. The New Testament affirms what God wanted from the very beginning: one husband and one wife thus the TWO becoming ONE flesh. This is far cry from what Joseph Smith did in his lifetime. I dare you to read Mormon author Todd Compton’s book “In Sacred Loneliness: The Plural Wives of Joseph Smith”. The way that Joseph Smith conducted himself, coerced, manipulated and blamed on God so that he could have his way with the women he wanted all the while dangling their hopes of salvation on their agreeing to “the principle” is shocking and disgusting.

    Polygamy, temple ordinances and the LDS view of kingdoms & worlds are not mentioned in the BOM.

  11. subgenius says:

    Yes, God is responsible for “all that”, did i say different?i dont think so. So is the contention that there is a singular “world”? Is the “world” to be heaven, earth, stars, moons, and all other planets (uh, the ‘universe’)? There can only be four dimensions and the earth is flat?. But please, tell me what a “world” is and what “worlds” are; i mean how can “world” be plural at all?.
    Moses killed an Egyptian who was beating a slave, he then buried the body in secret and fled. Moses also refused to follow God’s command for getting water from stone when ‘wandering’ the desert, thus not allowed in Israel- this is just one Bible example of how any man or prophet can be flawed. Do these actions of Moses mean we must deny the obvious Spiritual truths he wrote in the Bible? Granted he was not a modern day polygamist, or rube, just a killer. Do you also condemn the Catholic church for its open and blatant addition of many books to the Bible? Judaism does not believe that Jesus was the true messiah, do you openly mock them? you and your like answer “no” because you have cowardice behind the arrogance in your spirit. You are no more informed about the Bible truths than a child, and your discernment and comments simply reinforce that fact.
    So the stories and commandments in Deuteronmy have no merit in your eyes? Marriage is never used with Adam and Eve, and revisit the 2 to 1 ntion-it is 2 “as” 1 not 2 “into” 1. What about when the Jews ask Jesus about wives (yes plural) and even he does not condemn the practice. How were “they” punished for having wives? Not only is research needed, but save up some money and purchase a Bible to read. Incessant, baseless, and inflammatory rhetoric is hereafter called-out. Who posts on here not to discuss or debate, but rather to inflate ego and close minds even tighter? Learn to crawl before you walk. I spiritually discern truths in the Bible and BoM, not just blindly accept them, others should try this method before they comment.

  12. subgenius says:

    first my apology for the pigeon remark, it was a weak moment and i thank you for not lowering yourself in kind.
    How do you respond to the fact that your Catholic Church has added books to the Bible? Is this any different than my Book of Mormon. Do you know the source of your “supplemental text”. How can you condemn Joseph Smith when history has a long list of atrocities committed by Popes and Bishops and priests which are to lengthy and horrific to discuss here?
    Falcon you should read my abve post and ponder what it is you offer on this blog and perhaps you should, at least, “practice” something.
    p.s. i do not condone plural marriage, however it did exist in Biblical history and was condoned by God. However, i am sworn to obey the laws of the land as long as they do not contradict the Gospel of Jesus, and polygamy, in my Spirit, is not Gospel, but i understand its presence, both today and in history.

  13. fourpointer says:


    The reason I began my comment the way I did was because that seems to be the fallback position for most Mormons (Not all, but most) when confronted with the fact that the early church did not teach Mormonism. Whenever a Christian produces evidence from the writings of (a) Scripture and/or (b) prominent writers in the early church, it seems that the Mormon’s last line of defense is “I know Mormonism is true because Joseph Smith was a prophet of God, and I have my testimony,” thus thinking they have somehow trumped any and every argument to the contrary.

    I will admit this is not the tactic every Mormon uses. But from dialoging with many LDS, that seems the most popular response. There are some, however, that can dialog quite extensivley, and do present arguments that require an answer.

    Like your statement that “However, i am sworn to obey the laws of the land as long as they do not contradict the Gospel of Jesus, and polygamy, in my Spirit, is not Gospel, but i understand its presence, both today and in history.” You say polygamy is not gospel, yet there it is in black and white in D&C 132. It was taught as gospel by the early prophets. And if it were not for the fact that the early LDS leaders wanted Utah to become a state, they would be, no doubt, still practicing it to this day. I have never read anything about any LDS General Authorities saying that polygamy was wrong, etc. In fact, consider what happened to Abraham, David, Solomon when they took other wives to themselves. Sarah begat Ishmael (we know where that led), David lost his kingdom to Absalom, and Solomon sank into depravity. These are not very positive examples of plural marriage.

  14. Rick B says:

    you bring up Moses and point out his flaws, then say He was a prophet and can be trusted.

    It’s like this, Name one so called Prophecy that Moses gave by first, clearly stating, Thus saith the Lord, or Here is the Word of the Lord….

    Yet JS was like Moses in the fact he killed People and made stupid mistakes, they are even on those points of being human, Now JS said, Thus saith the Lord, or Here is something God wants everyone to hear, or anything to that effect, JS spoke and said it was of and from God himself, Yet JS was wrong on a ton of stuff and even taught a complenty different Gospel claiming it came straight from God himself.

    Did moses do that? No he did not, that is the difference right their, so do not compare human mistakes, compare the words they spoke and then said it was really from God. Rick b

  15. falcon says:

    Not to be disrepectful, but how old are you? I get the feeliing that I’m dealing with a kid here. Focus…..please focus. And when you contribute give something beyond Mormon slogans that are used by the faithful to fire-up the LDS troups and convince them they are the true believers.
    Now I’ll try again. LOOK AT ME! I told you, I haven’t been a practicing Catholic for over 40 years. Now why would I want to spend my time and energy answering your questions about the Catholic Church? Go to a Catholic website and engage the Catholics directly. You want to know what I currently practice? I practice my guitars, all three of them several hours a day. And I must admit that I will probably be the only guy ever to get kicked out of lessons for a lack of talent.
    What do I offer on this blog? I’m glad you asked. Excellent and witty dialogue, in depth and expert analysis of Mormon doctrine, teaching custom and practice, incredible humor, close to genius intelligence, nobody can see me since this is all text but I’m really a good looking guy for my age, I mean like a really buffo body, my wife of 39 years says I’m really hot, I could beat you in arm wrestling with either arm. And I’m probably the most humble guy you would ever have the pleasure of meeting. I’m sure the other regular contributors have a long list of my attributes and features which I’m sure they’d willingly share and for which they will be handsomely compensated by me.
    Now come on, take it up a notch with your content. Spend some time in study and research and drop the nanananana attitude. I like having you guys around but start bringing it a little.

  16. Rick B says:

    Falcon said I’m sure the other regular contributors have a long list of my attributes and features which I’m sure they’d willingly share and for which they will be handsomely compensated by me.

    I’ll take that offer, I’ll share about me and you can Pay me, LOL. Rick b

  17. n2792m says:

    David Archuleta, you need to believe that Jesus is the ONLY way to heaven! He is the only one way to get to Heaven. i know that Mormans believe that there is more than one way to get to heaven, but the truth is, is that Jesus is the ONLY way to get to heaven. The way to know how to believe this is in Romans. Here is a passage..Romans 3:23 it says, “For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” This means that we all have done things that God does not appreciate and if Jesus did not die on the cross for ALL of our sins, we could not go to Heaven. Here is another passage. Romans 6:23 says “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal like in Christ Jesus our Lord” This means that we should have died for the first sin that we ever committed. But since God is forgiving and that Jesus died on the cross, we are able to have eternal life through Him. Another passage is Romans 5:8 it says ” but God demonstrated His own love for us: While we were still sinners Christ died for us.” This means that even though we all sin and fall short, Christ loved us so much that he still died so we can go to Heaven and live forever with Him. Another passage is Romans 10:9, this says, “That if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe with your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” This means that if you let God know that Jesus is the Lord of all and of your life, and if you believe in your heart that God raised Jesus from the dead, you will be able to live eternally with the Lord God. The creator of EVERYTHING!!! he did create everything! There should be no compromising on that. it is totally true! God created every last thing on this earth and He did a wonderful job. Jesus loved you and He wants you to love Him just as much, even though there is no way we could ever love God as much as He loves us. no matter what we do, God will always love us, He may be disappointed at times, but He will still be our Father!

  18. n2792m says:


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