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Mormons vs. Catholics — What's the Difference?

By Tayyaba Rehman & Fiza Rafique — Published on February 28, 2024
Mormons, members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, emphasize modern revelation and the Book of Mormon, while Catholics adhere to traditional Christian doctrines and the authority of the Pope and Bible.
Mormons vs. Catholics — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Mormons and Catholics


Key Differences

Mormons are followers of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS), founded in the 19th century by Joseph Smith in the United States. Central to their faith is the belief in modern prophets and additional scriptures, including the Book of Mormon, which complements the Bible. Catholics belong to the Roman Catholic Church, which traces its origins to Jesus Christ and the apostles, particularly focusing on the leadership of Apostle Peter, considered the first Pope.
One of the key differences between the two is their source of religious texts. While Catholics rely on the Bible as the sole source of revealed truth, Mormons have additional scriptures, including the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price.
Mormons have a unique perspective on the Godhead, viewing God the Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost as three distinct beings united in purpose, which differs from the Catholic understanding of the Trinity as three persons in one essence.
Salvation and authority also differ significantly. Mormons believe in the necessity of faith in Jesus Christ, repentance, baptism, receiving the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end for salvation. They also emphasize the importance of priesthood authority, restored through Joseph Smith. Catholics, on the other hand, emphasize salvation through faith, the sacraments (including baptism and communion), and good works, under the guidance of the Pope and bishops who maintain apostolic succession.
Rituals and practices also vary, with Mormons having unique ceremonies in their temples, such as baptism for the dead and celestial marriages, which are not found in Catholicism. Catholics have seven sacraments, including the Eucharist, which is central to Catholic worship, and they do not practice baptism for the dead.

Comparison Chart


19th century by Joseph Smith.
1st century, tracing back to Jesus Christ and Apostle Peter.


Bible, Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, Pearl of Great Price.

Concept of God

Godhead as three distinct beings.
Trinity as three persons in one essence.


Modern prophets and apostles, priesthood authority.
Apostolic succession, Pope as spiritual leader.


Faith in Christ, repentance, baptism, receiving the Holy Ghost, enduring to the end.
Faith, sacraments, good works.

Key Rituals/Practices

Temple ceremonies, baptism for the dead, celestial marriage.
Seven sacraments, including the Eucharist.


President of the Church.
Pope, bishops, priests.

Compare with Definitions


Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Mormons follow teachings from the Book of Mormon alongside the Bible.


Followers of the largest Christian church.
Catholics participate in Mass, receiving the Eucharist as a central act of worship.


Priesthood authority.
Mormon males may receive priesthood authority, playing a significant role in church functions and ceremonies.


Emphasis on tradition.
Catholic teachings and practices are deeply rooted in centuries-old traditions.


Unique scriptures.
The Book of Mormon is another testament of Jesus Christ for Mormons.


Papal authority.
Catholics recognize the Pope as the spiritual successor to Saint Peter, holding supreme authority in matters of faith.


Believe in modern prophets.
Mormons look to their Church President as a modern-day prophet.


Sacraments for spiritual life.
Catholics receive baptism as an initiation into the faith, followed by other sacraments like confirmation and communion.


Temple ceremonies.
Mormons participate in special temple ceremonies, including sealings for eternal marriage.


Apostolic succession.
Catholic bishops are considered part of an unbroken line of succession from the apostles.


A member of the Mormon Church. Also called Latter-day Saint.


An ancient prophet believed to have compiled a sacred history of the Americas, which was translated and published by Joseph Smith as the Book of Mormon in 1830.


Of or relating to the Mormons, their religion, or the Mormon Church.

Common Curiosities

Can Mormons become Pope?

No, only a member of the Catholic Church, specifically a male bishop, can be elected as Pope.

How do Catholics and Mormons view the concept of the Trinity?

Catholics view the Trinity as one God in three persons (Father, Son, Holy Spirit), while Mormons see the Godhead as three distinct beings united in purpose.

How do Catholics view the Book of Mormon?

Catholics do not consider the Book of Mormon as sacred scripture and adhere solely to the Bible for revealed truth.

What is the significance of temples in Mormonism?

Temples are considered sacred spaces where Mormons perform important ordinances, including marriages and baptisms for the dead, believed to be necessary for salvation.

Do Mormons and Catholics recognize each other's baptisms?

Generally, Catholics do not recognize Mormon baptisms as valid due to differences in the understanding of the Trinity, and Mormons typically perform baptisms for those converting to their faith.

What is the Catholic stance on modern revelation?

Catholics believe in revelation through the Bible and Church tradition, with the Magisterium (teaching authority of the Church) interpreting God's will, rather than ongoing revelation through modern prophets.

What do Mormons believe about Jesus Christ?

Mormons believe in Jesus Christ as the Savior of the world, central to God's plan of salvation, and as a separate being from God the Father.

Are there dietary restrictions in Mormonism or Catholicism?

Mormons adhere to the Word of Wisdom, a health code that advises against alcohol, tobacco, and hot drinks like coffee and tea. Catholics observe fasting and abstinence at specific times, such as Lent.

How do missionary efforts compare between Mormons and Catholics?

Both faiths engage in missionary work, with Mormons notably dedicating two years of service for young members, while Catholic missionary efforts are carried out by various religious orders and lay organizations.

What role do prophets play in Mormonism?

Prophets in Mormonism are considered God's messengers on earth, providing modern revelation and guidance to the Church.

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Tayyaba Rehman
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.
Co-written by
Fiza Rafique
Fiza Rafique is a skilled content writer at, where she meticulously refines and enhances written pieces. Drawing from her vast editorial expertise, Fiza ensures clarity, accuracy, and precision in every article. Passionate about language, she continually seeks to elevate the quality of content for readers worldwide.

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