The Jehovah's Witness religion and Mormonism both began in 19th-century America, and a single person founded each: Joseph Smith founded the Mormon faith and Charles Taze Russell founded the Witnesses. They both are Christian denominations whose followers believe others misinterpreted the true teachings of Jesus, and they both heavily emphasize spreading their faith around the world. However, beliefs on divinity, afterlife and texts differ substantially.
Jehovah's Witnesses look exclusively to the Bible for religious teachings. They believe the Bible is literally true, and follow the The New World Translation of Holy Scriptures version. They reject any religious teaching or practice that does not directly derive from the Bible's 66 books.
Mormons follow the New King James version of the Bible, and revere the Book of Mormon as much as the Bible. The book tells the story of Jesus' life after the Resurrection. Mormons believe the Prophet Mormon wrote the ancient texts on gold plates, and his son Moroni buried them in what is now New York. Moroni later appeared to Joseph Smith as an angel in 1823, and revealed their location.
Jehovah's Witnesses reject the idea of the Trinity. They believe God, called Jehovah, is the supreme being who created the universe. His first creation was his son Jesus, whom he used to create everything else. Jesus is separate from and less powerful than Jehovah. He became human, was sacrificially executed and will judge everyone at the end of the world. The Holy Ghost is a representation of God's power.
Mormons believe in the three-part Godhead. God, called Elohim, created the universe. His son Jesus, who was called Jehovah, is part of Elohim. Mormons believe Jesus came to Earth, was executed and resurrected, after which he traveled to America and preached. God and Jesus have bodies, the Holy Ghost does not; he looks human and teaches people about Elohim and Jesus.
Jehovah's Witnesses believe that the soul will not last forever after death. However, God will resurrect people back to life. They do not believe in everlasting torture in Hell, but that when people are resurrected, they will receive rewards or punishments based on their lives. Only 144,000 people are anointed; they are chosen by God, and only they can go to Heaven. Others will spend eternity in a paradise on Earth alongside some other non-Jehovah's Witnesses.
Mormons believe in exaltation: People can become gods if they lived moral lives, accepted the sacrament of Jesus, received a celestial marriage in the Mormon Temple and received a baptism. If Mormons reach salvation, they live forever as a family in a heaven. Jesus' atonement allows humans to live forever, however, their earthly lives determine the quality of their afterlives.
Both religions share the idea of spreading the faith. Jehovah's Witnesses travel to people's homes to attempt to convert them to the religion and to pass out literature.
Many young Mormons travel on missions to countries throughout the world to spread Mormon doctrine. While it is not a requirement, Mormon males are highly encouraged to go. Women may also go, but they are not under as much pressure, and their terms are shorter. Elderly retired couples may also take part in missions.
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