On Monday (18 June 2012) Mormon Coffee addressed the claim made by BYU Professor James Faulconer: “Mormons differ from other Christians in significant ways, but there is little difference between us in our understanding of the gospel.”
How individual Mormons understand the gospel may or may not line up with the teachings of Church leaders, but there is no doubt that the Mormon gospel itself is completely different from the Christian gospel.
At a seminar for new mission presidents in 2007 Mormon Apostle James E. Faust emphasized this fact:
“Our message is distinctly different because it contains the gospel restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith… The message is the gospel of Jesus Christ as restored by Joseph Smith, not the Readers Digest, not Time magazine, and not from the Bible alone. It means almost everything we have is different from all other religions.” (Church News, 6/30/2007, 5)
On the Mormon Church’s website the gospel is defined in this way:
“In its fulness, the gospel includes all the doctrines, principles, laws, ordinances, and covenants necessary for us to be exalted in the celestial kingdom.”
Mormon Apostle L. Tom Perry said the content of the gospel is “commandments”:
“We are now being tried and tested to see if we will do all the things the Lord has commanded us to do. These commandments are the principles and ordinances of the gospel, and they constitute the gospel of Jesus Christ.” (“The Plan of Salvation,” Ensign, 11/2006, 71)
Another Mormon apostle, David B. Haight, explained that the gospel is equivalent to “work”:
“I know that the work that we do is the gospel of our Savior, our Lord Jesus Christ, as taught by Him when He was upon the earth…” (“Prophets Are Inspired,” Ensign 11/1996 p. 14)
These teachings represent a tremendous difference between the Mormon gospel and the Christian gospel. As Christian pastor and author Alistair Begg succinctly said, “The Gospel is not about something we must do; the Gospel is about something God has done.”
Christian theologian Michael Horton expresses the same thought when he points out, “The Gospel never tells us something to do.” In the following three-minute video Dr. Horton explains the Christian gospel. Clearly, the Mormon gospel and the Christian (biblical) gospel are not the same at all.