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Jesus Brother of Satan
An oft-repeated claim is that Mormons believe Jesus is the brother of Satan. Like many other provocative claims against Mormonism this is only a half-truth; a half-truth which leaves the uninformed reader with the false impression that Mormons place Jesus and Satan on equal footing. This could not be further from the truth–it is a distortion of what Mormons actually believe.
Latter-day Saints believe that Jesus and Satan are brothers in the exact same sense that all men and women are siblings to Satan. But critics of Mormonism usually do not provide this context, and therefore leave audiences with the false impression that Mormons are not Christians. Saying Jesus is the brother of Satan thus serves as a short-hand code for communicating “Mormons aren’t Christian.”
Q. What do Mormons believe about all people?
A. Mormons believe that all of us are God’s children, and that we are all brothers and sisters in spirit.
Q. What do Mormons believe about Satan?
Mormons believe that Satan was also one of God’s children. He was once a great angel who rebelled against our Heavenly Father and was thrown out of God’s presence, with all spirits who followed him. He is now our Adversary, the Father of Lies. He tempts all humanity to sin and turn against our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. He has essentially renounced and abandoned his rights as a child of God and as our spirit brother. He has left the family, so to speak.
Q. What do Mormons believe about Jesus?
Mormons believe that Jesus is one of God’s children, though perfected and glorified. He is the divine Son of God, the Redeemer and Savior. He is part of the Godhead, but defers to the Father. They have a relationship of perfect love, harmony, and unity of purpose. On Earth, He taught the Gospel to all who would believe Him, suffered and died for our sins, and was resurrected, all as the Bible and other LDS scriptures testify. It is only through His atoning sacrifice and His grace that we can return to our Father in Heaven.
Q. What about the Jesus and Satan being brothers claim?
Mormons believe God created all things. We are his children. Jesus and Satan were both sons of God in the beginning, and thus it is technically correct that Mormons believe Jesus and Satan once were brothers–in this sense. However, Jesus chose to honor and glorify his Father while Satan chose to rebel against and dishonor Him. Jesus and Satan are polar opposites–literally as different as any two individuals can possibly be. We too are all sons and daughters of God, though you are just as related to Mother Theresa as you are to Adolf Hitler.
Being related to someone shouldn’t have any impact on your character. It just helps you understand the relationship we have to all people. As the old saw goes, “You can’t pick your relatives.”
In any case, this claim should be given no credibility whatsoever in responsible news coverage.
Q. So how could repeating this claim be promoting bigotry?
Many anti-Mormons claim that Mormons are not Christian. But Mormons believe in Jesus Christ and in His Atonement for our sins. It is only through Jesus that we are saved. Jesus is divine. Many Christians who claim you only have to accept Jesus to be saved have a problem with Mormons because we likewise accept Jesus as our Savior and Redeemer, despite our doctrinal differences. So, some who refuse to accept us as Christians claim we must believe in a “different Jesus,” not the Jesus of the Bible. As supposed proof, these critics argue that the so-called “Mormon Jesus” is the brother of Satan, and therefore it doesn’t matter if Mormons accept him or not because he is the wrong Jesus. Alternatively, to other detractors, accepting the “Mormon Jesus” actually matters very much, because following the “Mormon Jesus” would be the same as following Satan, his “brother.”
Whichever the case, this ridiculous notion is a “straw man” or a gross misrepresentation of actual LDS belief. There is only one Jesus Christ. Mormons believe in the Jesus described in the Bible, though like all Christian denominations they may have some opinions which differ from others.
Claims that Mormons do not worship the biblical Jesus reflect a fundamental misunderstanding of Mormonism, if not willful misrepresentations of our true beliefs. At the very least, such a claim is simply special pleading–any fair-minded reader can see how self-serving it is to claim that “my Jesus” is the true one, and “your Jesus” is not even the same person.
Anti-Mormon critics might as well claim that because Bob thinks that Senator Foghorn is a great speaker, while Mary thinks he’s a boring windbag, there are two different Senators. Bob does not believe in a “different Foghorn” than Mary.
Having a difference of opinion about some detail regarding Jesus does not mean that we are speaking of two “different” people.
In short, the entire argument is a disingenuous attempt to demean and belittle Mormons. It is bigotry, pure and simple.
For more information, see the official Church statement on this issue here, as well as an extended treatise on this subject from a well-researched LDS perspective here. More information is also available from FAIR here.