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Comparison of
the AoG Statement of Fundamental Truths
with the LDS Articles of Faith


It is widely known that AoG and LDS members have nearly identical practices in a wide variety of moral areas, including proscriptions against alcohol, abortion, tobacco, narcotics, R-rated movies, gambling, extra-marital sex (including homosexuality), immodesty, etc. Both groups practice similar forms of tithing and missionary work/evangelism (including well-organized, institutionally directed geographical expansion).

A full comparison of AoG and LDS practice and belief is beyond the scope of this document, and is probably inadvisable. Both denominations are best understood independently, without reference to the other.

One thing which can be done fairly simply is to compare doctrinal statement documents that both use widely: the LDS "Articles of Faith" (AoF) and the Assemblies of God's "Statement of Fundamental Truths" (SoFT).

This comparison should not be construed as an attempt to harmonize or compare overall LDS and AoG theology, or to imply that the two denominations are theologically similar or dissimilar. The comparison table on this page is only intended to compare two documents; it does not compare AoG and LDS theology. This may be little more than a literary exercise; it is not a sociologically or theologically meaningful comparison. The reader should be aware that these two documents are being compared, essentially in a vacuum, with little reference to actual AoG or LDS sociology or theology, by statisticians who makes no claim to being an expert on either group, or on theology in general.

These two lists of doctrinal statements (13 items in the AoF and 16 items in the SoFT) are remarkably similar in many areas in wording and meaning. They address many of the same theological topics, even where the denominations differ. Topics which both address include the nature of the Trinity, method of salvation, church government, religious ordinances, good works and ethical living, the Bible, the "Fall of Man", spiritual gifts, the afterlife, and eschatology (including the Second Coming, future status of the Earth, and the final judgment).

The table below presents a side-by-side comparison of the items in these two doctrinal summary lists. Brief notes of comparison are provided, but are not necessarily authoritative, comprehensive, or optimal descriptions of the issues involved. This table is here primarily to present the original text of the two documents side-by-side. The notes regarding comparison may be ignored by those who are more knowledgable about the theology of these two denominations than we are. (We just like making nice-looking HTML tables.)

LDS articleAoG articleComparison
1. We believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost.2. The one true God has revealed Himself as the eternally self-existent "I AM," the Creator of heaven and earth and the Redeemer of mankind. He has further revealed Himself as embodying the principles of relationship and association as Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

3. The Lord Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God.

2. We believe that men will be punished for their own sins, and not for Adam's transgression.4. The Fall of Man - Man was created good and upright. However, man by voluntary transgression fell and thereby incurred not only physical death but also spiritual death, which is separation from God.
3. We believe that through the atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel.5. The Salvation of Man - Man's only hope of redemption is through the shed blood of Jesus Christ the Son of God. Salvation is received through repentance toward God and faith toward the Lord Jesus Christ. The inward evidence of salvation is the direct witness of the Spirit. The outward evidence to all men is a life of righteousness and true holiness.
4. We believe that the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel are: first, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; second, Repentance; third, Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; fourth, Laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost.6. Ordinances of the Church - (a) Baptism in Water - The ordinance of baptism by immersion is commanded in the Scriptures. All who repent and believe on Christ as Savior and Lord are to be baptized. Thus they declare to the world that they have died with Christ and that they also have been raised with Him to walk in newness of life.

(b) Holy Communion - The Lord's Supper, consisting of the elements--bread and the fruit of the vine--is the symbol expressing our sharing the divine nature of our Lord Jesus Christ; a memorial of His suffering and death, and a prophecy of His suffering and death; and is enjoined on all believers "till He come!"

7. The Baptism in the Holy Ghost - All believers are entitled to and should ardently expect and earnestly seek the promise of the Father, the baptism in the Holy Ghost and fire.

5. We believe that a man must be called of God, by prophecy, and by the laying on of hands by those who are in authority, to preach the Gospel and administer in the ordinances thereof.11. The Ministry - A divinely called and scripturally ordained ministry has been provided by our Lord for the threefold purpose of leading the Church
6. We believe in the same organization that existed in the Primitive Church, namely, apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists, and so forth.10. The Church and Its Mission - The Church is the Body of Christ. The priority reason-for-being of the Assemblies of God as part of the Church is: (a) To be an agency of God for evangelizing the world; (b) To be a corporate body in which man may worship God; (c) To be a channel of God's purpose to build a body of saints being perfected in the image of His Son
7. We believe in the gift of tongues, prophecy, revelation, visions, healing, interpretation of tongues, and so forth.8. The Initial Physical Evidence of the Baptism in the Holy Ghost - The baptism of believers in the Holy Ghost is witnessed by the initial physical sign of speaking with other tongues as the Spirit of God gives them utterance.

12. Divine Healing - Divine healing is an integral part of the gospel. Deliverance from sickness is provided for in the atonement, and is the privilege of all believers.

8. We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly; we also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God.1. The Scriptures, both the Old and New Testaments, are verbally inspired of God and are the revelation of God to man, the infallible, authoritative rule of faith and conduct.
9. We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God.[NO PARALLEL]
10. We believe in the literal gathering of Israel and in the restoration of the Ten Tribes; that Zion (the New Jerusalem) will be built upon the American continent; that Christ will reign personally upon the earth; and, that the earth will be renewed and receive its paradisiacal glory.14. The Millenial Reign of Christ - The second coming of Christ includes the rapture of the saints, which is our blessed hope, followed by the visible return of Christ with His saints to reign on the earth for one thousand years. This millennial reign will bring the salvation of national Israel and the establishment of universal peace.

16. The New Heavens and the New Earth - "We, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth wherein dwelleth righteousness"

11. We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.[NO PARALLEL]
12. We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.[NO PARALLEL]
13. We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul--We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.9. Sanctification - Sanctification is an act of separation from that which is evil, and of dedication unto God. The Scriptures teach a life of "holiness without which no man shall see the Lord".
[NO PARALLEL within AoF]13. The Blessed Hope - The resurrection of those who have fallen asleep in Christ and their translation together with those who are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord is the imminent and blessed hope of the church
[NO PARALLEL within AoF, but similar belief, with some important differences]15. The Final Judgment - There will be a final judgment in which the wicked dead will be raised and judged according to their works. Whosoever is not found written in the Book of Life, together with the devil and his angels, the beast and the false prophet, will be consigned to everlasting punishment in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.

The two tables below display the same matching-up of parallel LDS Articles of Faith and the AoG Statement of Fundamental Truths items, but without the text. One table maintains AoF order, the other maintains SoFT order:

LDS
AoF
Number
AOG
SoFT
Number
12, 3
24
35
46, 7
511
610
78, 12
81
9--
1014, 16
11--
12--
139
--13
--15

AOG
SoFT
Number
LDS
AoF
Number
18
21
31
42
53
64
74
87
913
106
115
127
13--
1410
15--
1610

Some Disclaimers and Comments Regarding the Purpose of this Document

Please note that the editors of the Adherents.com site do not have the expertise to answer questions regarding LDS or AoG theology. Adherents.com is primarily a database of statistical and geographical citations. As the perspective of Adherents.com is primarily sociological and literary, scriptural references are generally not used. Data used as sources for sociological and statistical information about specific religious groups are primarily survey and census data, and contemporary primary and observational literature. This document is not intended as an exercise in polemics, apologetics, or Biblical exegesis.

Researchers who wish to know about the LDS or Assemblies of God denominations should look elsewhere for information. Possible sources are:

Additional comments about the LDS Articles of Faith and AoG Statement of Fundamental Truths

From a Christian perspective even these brief doctrinal statements ("Articles of Faith" and "Statement of Fundamental Truths") make it clear that AoG and LDS beliefs are quite similar in many regards, but differ on some important points. The degree to which these theological differences translate into sociologically meaningful differences is debatable.

From a non-Christian perspective, this side-by-side comparison might indicate a radically high degree of similarity, with only trivial differences. (Certainly one would not expect a non-Christian religious denomination, such as Buddhism's Soka Gakkai, to address most of these topics.)

Both of these lists are important to their respective denominations. Although the Assembles of God denomination promotes congregational autonomy, it requires all congregations to subscribe completely to the Statement of Fundamental Truths. The LDS Articles of Faith, while not considered a direct "verbal" revelation, are nonetheless considered an important writing by the founder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and are considered canonical (the Articles of Faith are included in the Pearl of Great Price). The Articles of Faith which have potential practical application have been implemented by institutional policies of the Church. The Articles of Faith constitute the primary catechism studied and memorized by youth; they have heavily influenced LDS ethics and culture.

Despite their importance, it is very important to point out that these two doctrinal summaries are not the source of theology for either the Assemblies of God or the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. These two lists are a convenient source of doctrinal statements for producing a simple side-by-side comparison. But neither is a summary of all (or even all the important) doctrines of the denomination that uses them.

The source of Assemblies of God theology is its understanding of the Bible based on Christian, Protestant, and especially Pentecostal tradition and theology. The source of LDS theology is the Bible, the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, Pearl of Great Price, and revelation through its prophets. Neither denomination claims the AoF or SoFT doctrinal summary as a complete summary of their theology. (Although the "Statement of Fundamental Truths" is probably a more complete list of central doctrines for the Assemblies of God than the "Articles of Faith" is for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.)

This comparison table really should not be thought of as anything more than a comparison of two documents: the LDS Articles of Faith and the AoG Statement of Fundamental Truths. This comparison may be more a literary exercise than a legitimate theological one. This comparison should not be construed as an attempt to harmonize or compare overall LDS and AoG theology, or to imply that the two denominations are theologically similar or dissimilar. Both denominations are best understood independently, without reference to the other. This comparison should not be understood to imply that LDS doctrine should be classified as Evangelical. Although many sociologists classify Latter-day Saints as Evangelicals or fundamentalist Christians in various studies having to do with Christian ethics, political views, religiosity, etc., neither LDS nor Evangelical Christians think that their different theologies are entirely compatible. On the other hand, most researchers today, whether Evangelical or otherwise, classify Assemblies of God as Evangelical.


Statement of Fundamental Truths
of the Assemblies of God

Originally written in 1916, by the Assemblies of God leadership.

Two years after forming the Assemblies of God, its leaders wrote the 16-item "Statement of Fundamental Truths," which, with few changes, has remained the central declaration of Assemblies of God beliefs in the 80+ years since that time.

The following is a condensed version of the "Statement of Fundamental Truths" (Revised 1983 General Council) document:

  1. The Scriptures Inspired - The Scriptures, both the Old and New Testaments, are verbally inspired of God and are the revelation of God to man, the infallible, authoritative rule of faith and conduct.

  2. The One True God - The terms "Trinity" and "persons" as related to the Godhead, while not found in the Scriptures, are words in harmony with Scripture.

  3. The Deity of the Lord Jesus Christ - The Lord Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God.

  4. The Fall of Man - Man was created good and upright. However, man by voluntary transgression fell and thereby incurred not only physical death but also spiritual death, which is separation from God.

  5. The Salvation of Man - Man's only hope of redemption is through the shed blood of Jesus Christ the Son of God. Salvation is received through repentance toward God and faith toward the Lord Jesus Christ. The inward evidence of salvation is the direct witness of the Spirit. The outward evidence to all men is a life of righteousness and true holiness.

  6. Ordinances of the Church - (a) Baptism in Water and (b) Holy Communion

  7. The Baptism in the Holy Ghost - All believers are entitled to and should ardently expect and earnestly seek the promise of the Father, the baptism in the Holy Ghost and fire.

  8. The Initial Physical Evidence of the Baptism in the Holy Ghost - The baptism of believers in the Holy Ghost is witnessed by the initial physical sign of speaking with other tongues as the Spirit of God gives them utterance.

  9. Sanctification - Sanctification is an act of separation from that which is evil, and of dedication unto God. The Scriptures teach a life of "holiness without which no man shall see the Lord".

  10. The Church and Its Mission - The Church is the Body of Christ. The priority reason-for-being of the Assemblies of God as part of the Church is: (a) To be an agency of God for evangelizing the world; (b) To be a corporate body in which man may worship God; (c) To be a channel of God's purpose to build a body of saints being perfected in the image of His Son

  11. The Ministry - A divinely called and scripturally ordained ministry has been provided by our Lord for the threefold purpose of leading the Church

  12. Divine Healing - Divine healing is an integral part of the gospel. Deliverance from sickness is provided for in the atonement, and is the privilege of all believers.

  13. The Blessed Hope - The resurrection of those who have fallen asleep in Christ and their translation together with those who are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord is the imminent and blessed hope of the church

  14. The Millenial Reign of Christ - The second coming of Christ

  15. The Final Judgment - There will be a final judgment in which the wicked dead will be raised and judged according to their works. Whosoever is not found written in the Book of Life, together with the devil and his angels, the beast and the false prophet, will be consigned to everlasting punishment in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.

  16. The New Heavens and the New Earth - "We, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth wherein dwelleth righteousness"

Articles of Faith
of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Written by Joseph Smith, 1842

1We believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost.

2 We believe that men will be punished for their own sins, and not for Adam's transgression.

3 We believe that through the atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel.

4 We believe that the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel are: first, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; second, Repentance; third, Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; fourth, Laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost.

5 We believe that a man must be called of God, by prophecy, and by the laying on of hands by those who are in authority, to preach the Gospel and administer in the ordinances thereof.

6 We believe in the same organization that existed in the Primitive Church, namely, apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists, and so forth.

7 We believe in the gift of tongues, prophecy, revelation, visions, healing, interpretation of tongues, and so forth.

8We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly; we also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God.

9 We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God.

10 We believe in the literal gathering of Israel and in the restoration of the Ten Tribes; that Zion (the New Jerusalem) will be built upon the American continent; that Christ will reign personally upon the earth; and, that the earth will be renewed and receive its paradisiacal glory.

11 We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.

12 We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.

13 We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul--We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.


AoG and LDS University Student Requirements Compared

The requirements for students at Assemblies of God and Latter-day Saint universities are remarkably similar. As is the case at any university, students who violate the rules of their campus are subject to censure and dismissal.

The "Honor Code" at Brigham Young University (LDS) and the "Student Lifestyle" requirements at Trinity Bible College (AoG) are compared below.

Pending

[Original online sources: Honor Code * Student Lifestyle]


Another point of commonality has to do with how the Assemblies of God and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints usually remain neutral on political issues. Many other American denominations take issues on so many topics, from NAFTA to foreign policy to trade unions, that they end up seeming like unofficial arms of the Republican or Democratic political parties. But both the Assemblies of God and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints rarely weigh in on political issues, preferring instead to focus on both spiritual and real world concerns as guided by their long-standing principles and scriptures, rather than taking their cue from current ideological and political trends.

One example of this is the official neutrality of the two denominations with regards to the death penalty. (According to polls, 80% of Americans favor continued use of the death penalty.) While nearly all American denominations have issued policy statements either in favor of or in opposition to the death penalty, the Assemblies of God and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints both prefer to leave this matter to the state, and they take no stance either way. (This article in the Washington Post discusses how different religious groups have commented on this issue.) In a Dallas Morning News article researching the policies of over twenty denominations, only the Assemblies of God and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints were neutral on this issue.


Additional articles:

"A Peacemaker in Provo" - article from Christianity Today about Dean Jackson, an AoG minister who helped his congregation overcome their prejudice and hatred towards Mormons

Latter-day Saints donate steeple to Pentecostal church:
A Pentecostal church in East Texas now has a new steeple thanks to members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Members of the Church in Nacogdoches donated the steeple, which used to sit atop their own structure. "This gesture crosses church lines," said Dr. Paul H. Risk, bishop of the Latter-day Saint ward. "This gesture overcomes barriers that have been built up through the years."

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Created 15 February 2000. Last updated 16 March 2002.