Are Mormons Christians?

In the 177 years since its founding, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has grown to become the … Continued

In the 177 years since its founding, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has grown to become the fourth or fifth largest church in the United States. Yet poll after poll has shown that a sizable minority of Americans still acknowledges some discomfort about the “Mormon” faith, and many more who readily admit knowing little about its teachings.

Last week, the intensity of the national debate about Mormons reached a new high in this country, but I suspect the average American hasn’t been enlightened much about what Latter-day Saints believe and practice. In particular, the most commonly discussed question still being asked is whether “Mormons” are Christian, or whether their views are sufficiently unorthodox to warrant the pejorative term “cult.”

Because of its long-declared position of neutrality in matters of party politics, the Church has kept clear of the political debate but shown itself willing to engage in discussion about its beliefs.

Swedish theologian Krister Stendahl, Lutheran Bishop of Stockholm and the former dean of Harvard Divinity School, offers three rules of engagement when trying to understand faiths other than your own. Space in this column allows reference to only the first: When trying to understand a religion, first ask its adherents.

The question, “Are Mormons Christian?” is a good starting point for this discussion. When some conservative Protestants say Mormons aren’t Christian, it is deeply offensive to Latter-day Saints. Yet when Latter-day Saints assert their Christianity, some of those same Christians bitterly resent it. Why? Because both sides are using the same terms to describe different things.

When someone says Mormons aren’t Christian – and I’m trying not to break Stendahl’s first rule here by interpreting conservative Christian thought incorrectly – he or she usually means that Mormons don’t embrace the traditional interpretation of the Bible that includes the Trinity. “Our Jesus” is somehow different from “their Jesus.” Further, they mean that some Mormon teachings are so far outside Christian orthodoxy of past centuries that they constitute almost a new religion.

The irony is that most Latter-day Saints wouldn’t argue with those statements. When a Mormon says he or she is Christian, they are not trying to minimize differences or fudge the issues. Mormons are well aware of the many deep doctrinal differences with other Christians. For instance, Mormons reject the Trinity as non-biblical, and believe the concept to be the product of the creeds that emerged from the 4th and 5th centuries. Further, while embracing the Bible (the King James version is preferred), they don’t interpret it the same way as some Protestants – for instance, that the earth was literally created in six days of 24 hours. Neither do they believe that the scriptural canon was closed with a period and an exclamation mark after the death of the apostles, but that God is perfectly able to talk to prophets today as He did in ancient times.

But for Mormons, these belief differences have nothing to do with whether or not they are Christian in the true meaning of the word. Mormons believe in the Jesus of the Bible, the same that was born at Bethlehem, grew up in Nazareth, preached His gospel in Galilee and Judea, healed the sick, raised the dead, and finally offered Himself as a sinless ransom for the sins of the world. They believe that Jesus Christ was literally resurrected, that He lives today, and that He is the only name under heaven by which mankind can be saved. This is the Jesus whose name is depicted on the front of every Mormon place of worship. This is the Jesus in whose name every Mormon prays and every sermon is preached. This is the Jesus whose body and blood are commemorated in weekly worship services by Latter-day Saints from Nigeria to New Zealand, from Michigan to Mongolia. For Latter-day Saints who try to live their lives as they believe Jesus taught, assertions that they aren’t Christian are as bewildering as they are wounding.

Mormons have no argument with assertions that they are not “creedal Christians,” or not “orthodox” Christians or “Trinitarian Christians.” Frankly, the whole point of Mormonism is that it is different. Just how different is best explained not by pastors of other faiths, or by secular journalists or by those whose self-interest lies in marginalizing a growing religion, but by Mormons themselves. For those interested in the basics of Mormon belief, two good starting points are:

Core beliefs and practices
Mormons speaking for themselves

In their 177 years of history, Mormons have felt the sting of persecution. Even today, extremists emerge occasionally who would seemingly wish to turn the clock back to the 19th century. But for the most part, Mormons are now seen simply as part of the religious mosaic that makes up the United States. Senator John Kennedy made a speech in 1960 that bears quoting at some length – and I’m not talking about the speech about his Catholicism that has been much quoted of late. Less than two weeks after delivering the famous address in Houston, Kennedy spoke from the pulpit of the Mormon Tabernacle in Salt Lake City.

“Tonight I speak for all Americans,” he said, “in expressing our gratitude to the Mormon people – for their pioneer spirit, their devotion to culture and learning, their example of industry and self-reliance. But I am particularly in their debt tonight for their battle to make religious liberty a living reality – for having proven to the world that people of different faiths of different views could flourish harmoniously in our midst…”

Kennedy added: “They suffered persecution and exile, at the hands of Americans whose own ancestors, ironically enough, had fled here to escape the curse of intolerance. But they never faltered in their devotion to the principle of religious liberty – not for themselves alone, but for all mankind. And in the 11th article of faith, Prophet Joseph Smith not only declared in ringing tones: ‘We claim the privilege of worshipping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience” – he also set forth the belief that all men should be allowed “the same privilege. Let them worship how, where, or what they may.’

“And what has been true of the Mormons has been true of countless other religious faiths – Jews, Quakers, Catholics, Baptists, Unitarians, Christian Scientists, Seventh Day Adventists, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and many, many others. All encountered resistance and oppression. All stuck by both their rights and their country. And in time the fruits of liberty were theirs to share as well; and the very diversity of their beliefs enriched our Nation’s spiritual strength… Many a great nation has been torn by religious feuds and holy wars – but never the United States of America. For here diversity has led to unity – liberty has led to strength. And today that strength – that spiritual, moral strength – is needed as never before.” 

“On Faith” panelist Michael Otterson has served as director of media relations for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints since 1997.

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  • John B.

    The problem is that Romney is sending a mixed message. On the one hand he wants us to believe that the precise religious affiliation of a presidential candidate doesn’t matter (wink wink), but that he really, really is a Christian, REALLY. It’s too bad he didn’t have the courage of his convictions to say, in the context of a presidential campaign, “it doesn’t matter if a Mormon or any other candidate is a Christian, and it shouldn’t matter.”

  • MtMav

    There is only one reason for the renewed interest in the Mormon faith: Mitt Romney.To all presidential candidates regardless of party:If elected, please bring the best of your Christian Judeo *VALUES* to the Oval office.Please leave your *THEOLOGY* and *THEOLOGICAL DOCTRINE* outside the White House gate.To all voters:Please cast your vote for the candidate you feel will make the best *COMMANDER* in Chief and NOT the best *THEOLOGIAN* in Chief.Amen.

  • Nicole

    To be a Christian means to be Christ Like and to be Followers of Christ. But to do that you have to accept him as your Lord and Savior. That’s it. That’s all it takes. Now the doctrines and commandments come next. As a believer in Christ, it’s not my job to clean myself up, if I could do that then I wouldn’t need Christ. Once you receive Christ, then you need to accept His gift of the Holy Spirit. That simply means that you will have the power to speak in other tounges, you will be able to pray directly to God without any interference from the devil. And when you don’t know what to pray you can pray the perfect will of the Father being filled with the holy Ghost. 1.) I believe in the Triune God (God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit).That’s what I believe and that’s that. There is no one on this post that can change my mind or say anything that will hurt my feelings or anything. IT is What it IS. That’s It, God Said it and that Settles it.

  • Jerry Persall

    All well and good. Unmentioned, however, in this puff piece is the indisputable fact that Mormonism is founded on a scam text which is the Book of Mormon. Anyone who reads the history of Joseph Smith and his “discovery”, i.e. “manufacture” of this hoax foundational text must know that caveat emptor applies here, in particular, just as it always has to the manufacturing of all so-called holy writ. Only people produce scripture.

  • Les Caine

    JFK seems to have said many things best. He did not revel in religious posing but his concern for the poor and oppressed spoke eloquently of his values.

  • Rick Jones, Fredericksburg, VA

    Thanks for the excellent post; as a result, I now have a better understanding of the Mormon faith.I think that our main problem today is not our lack of tolerance of any particular faith, but rather our unqualified support for the apartheid state of Israel in its oppression of the Palestinian people.

  • Anonymous

    Mormons appear to be incredibly sexist and until a few decades ago they were outspoken racists (look at their ruling group of elders). That does indeed match with the general standards of most US christians and world wide moslems. If you want some real insight into mormon life check out the websites built by former mormons to help each other recover from their ex-religion. History should have taught us all that we shouldn’t believe what organizations say in the process of self-description. They are generally selective and creative in reciting past behavior. I’d have to say that when using logic it is difficult to find any organized group that could be classified as christians if “christian” means following the teachings of Christ and emulating his behavior.

  • Gordon Hill

    In my experience there are only local, no universal, definitions of what one must profess–even better, how one is to live–to be a Christian. Within my own tradition, Methodism, I have yet to find two people who agree precisely on what it takes to be a Christian. In fact, the continuing exploration of pre-Nicean Christianity reveals how diverse the Christian movement was before Constantine tried, with unfortunate success, to focus Christian thinking and practice.Today there are many movements within Christianity, each following an idea born of reflection on the Christian tradition as viewed in today’s circumstances, especially as science reveals new wonders.A friend likes to answer the question, “Are you a Christian?” with “Ask my neighbor.” I agree. Behavior trumps asserted belief. The real question of each candidate is, “Are you behaving yourself and how will you behave if elected?” It would be best asked by their Mothers.

  • Keith

    I would much rather a president with “humanistic values” than, so called, “Christian values” any day! A large majority of those who profess to be “Christian” and nothing like the Christ they purport to follow!

  • John Maass

    A good starting point for those interested in learning about the origins of the Mormon cosmology is John Brooke’s prize-winning book entitled “The Refiner’s Fire.”

  • Mike S.

    How does this jive with Christianity…?The Angel Moroni is an angel that Joseph Smith, Jr. said visited him on numerous occasions, beginning on September 23, 1823. The angel was the guardian of the golden plates, which Smith said were buried in a hill near his home in western New York, and which he said were the source material for the Book of Mormon. Moroni is an important figure in the theology of the Latter Day Saint movement, and is featured prominently in Mormon architecture and art. Three Witnesses besides Joseph Smith said they saw Moroni in 1829 visions, as did several other witnesses who each said they had their own vision.Moroni is said to be the same person as a Book of Mormon prophet-warrior named Moroni, who was the last to write in the golden plates. The book says that Moroni buried them before he died after a great battle between two pre-Columbian civilizations. After he died, he was resurrected, became an angel, and was tasked with guarding the golden plates, and with eventually directing Joseph Smith to their location in the 1820s. According to Latter Day Saint movement theology, Moroni still has the plates and several other Book of Mormon artifacts in his possession.

  • William kraal

    religion poisons everything it touches! its a big scam run by mostly homophobic priest/ministers/rabbis to get a hold of your hard earned money. a total fraud!

  • Ego Nemo

    Good column.I make no value judgment of Mormon beliefs here. I examine its historical context.As for whether Mormons are Christians, it’s really not a relevant question. Mormonism did not grow out of 18 centuries of European/Middle Eastern Christianity. LDS may use similar words, symbols and one particularly translation of the Bible, but it, unlike so many branches, did not bud from the “one, holy and apostolic church” of the The Creed.Asking whether Mormonism is a form of Christianity is like asking whether baseball is a form of cricket.Mormonism, to my view, erupted out of the Great Awakening of the last half othe 19th century. Hundreds of new religious movements and communities formed during that time. Western New York state was a hotbed of this sort of thing. And it was also a hotbed of religious and personal bigotry. It gave birth to Mormonism and to the Anti-Masonic movement. It also gave birth to proto-communist communities practiced open marriages, free love or other still-controversial social combinations.WNY’s farmlands today are still dotted with the remnants — sometimes empty old buildings, in some places small, small communities of believers — of the Great Awakening.Nearly all these movements died out. Mormonism is the Great Awakening’s success story. One of those movements had to succeed. And LDS did, in spite of the murderous attempts of xenophobes.I once attended a conference on Christian group organizing. Everyone, it seemed was there — Catholics, mainline Protestants, those “everybody’s-a-priest” Christian groups, Hippies, Midwest neo-commune folks. I asked the organizer, “Did you think about inviting Mormons?” He said: “No. You gotta have a limit somewhere.”

  • ChuckB

    Religions seem more credible and its prophets more substantial with the passage of time to non-zealots. Contemporary first hand observers usually take the shine of the aura seen by the faithful. However, the din of the fervent believer rises in crescendo and lasts much longer than the rational reports of disinterested observers. All established religions started as cults. Are the supernatural claims of the Mormons any more preposterous than those of other religions?

  • Ego Nemo

    I’m sorry I should have written FIRST half of the 19th century.

  • sly

    The differences between traditional Christianity and Mormonism are too profound and deep to consider Mormonism a Christian faith. To do so would, frankly, gloss over each faith’s differences. Jews and Muslims share many beliefs with Christians–Muslims even belive in Jesus–and yet there’s no mistaking the fact that they’re different faiths. No one should be discriminated against or mistreated because of their Mormonism, but to call Mormonism Christianity is an extreme disservice to the Christian community.

  • Scott

    Thank you, Mr. Otterson. Your article is a refreshing departure from what has now become typical: journalists writing about Mormonism without knowing very much about it, or worse, people from other religions criticizing Mormonism without knowing very much about it.You have also hit on the issue that really matters most in the debate on whether Mormons are Christian; that is, how to define “Christian.” As you point out, if “Christian” means that you have identical beliefs to everyone else who considers themselves Christian, than perhaps Mormons are not Christian. But if you use a more sensical definition of “Christian”–someone who worships Christ–than in fact, Mormons are Christian, and the debate is over.

  • reader

    I am not an evangelical Christian, and don’t care one way or another about Mitt Romney’s personal beliefs. But that doesn’t make Mormons Christian. Mormonism, like Islam, is an outgrowth of Judao-Christianity. Both Islam and Mormonism use the same books as Christians and Jews (albeit reinterpreted), but add another book and claim that it’s an additional revelation.You can’t add a book to Christianity and have it remain Christianity. It just doesn’t work that way. (You can add additional books to Hinduism, which works differently; but Christianity, and for that matter, Islam, are essentially “set in stone” in terms of the permissable major texts.)The inclusion of a new book on an equal basis with the Old and New Testaments (whether “revealed,” as Muslims say about the Koran and Mormons say about the Book of Mormon, or a con man’s invention, as I assume most thinking non-Mormons would say of the Book of Mormon) means that Mormonism is a new religion. Whether or not it began as a cult — I say it did, Mormons would say it didn’t — is irrelevant. It’s long outlasted it’s cult status, but has not become accepted as a Christian sect because, well, it just isn’t Christian.So the question becomes, can a non-Christian be president? Seems to me that presidents have to be born in America and above 35, but there’s nothing that says he or she has to be Christian. The issue should be Romney’s positions, not his belief.

  • Dr. Robert W. Bass

    I submit that I have something of value to say on the subject of whether or not “Mormons are Christians” and in particular whether or not a devout Mormon could serve well as a President of these United States of America, because, although I am presently an “inactive Mormon” I was a VERY active member of that Church for 16 years (witnessing many of their top leaders up close) and benefited physically & spiritually in ways for which I’m grateful (and on the basis of hard scientific evidence still believe some of their “peculiar” beliefs) though after a year of RCIA I was received into the Roman Catholic Church by Adult Baptism at Easter of 2,001. If one judges Mormons by their Attitudinal Ideals and their Behavioral Ideals (as rendered definitively by Jesus in Matthew 25 where He SPECIFIES how He will “divide the sheep from the goats” on the Final Judgment Day) then Mormons are EXEMPLARY Christians because they are good neighbors, good citizens, practice what they preach, and (like Jews, who in fields that require diligence & creativity & higher education are over-represented by a FACTOR of 20 in comparison to their percentage of the USA’s population) they contribute far more than their proportional share to the advancement of human civlization, in that, regarding every field into which they enter, metaphorically they “consistently produce vastly more than they consume”! The Protestant & Catholic ‘scholars’ who imagine that they have debunked the Ancient History of the New World as presented in the Book of Mormon (namely that the higher civilization of the Olmecs & later Maya were produced by transoceanic contact with voyaging Hebrews and that Jesus appeared to the Maya after his death & Resurrection) are pathetically ignorant of hard archaeological facts. There is factual information in the Book of Mormon which could not possibly have gotten there in 1830 by natural means! But alas some verses provide irrefutable evidence that, far from being a Prophet, Joseph Smith was actually a Victim of Satanic deception & oppression. Anyone who wants a list of irrefutable archaeological evidence can consult my etisbew innoventek tod moc. Weary of ignorant evangelicals calling Mormons ‘cultists’ when they know not whereof they speak, I remain, patiently, Dr. RWB

  • Sang Kim

    So, what is the answer? Are they Christian or not?Personally, if any one discredits Christ’s resurrection, His second coming and denies that Jesus isn’t GOD Almighty, then they are not biblical; therefore, they are cults and heretics.Good examples of heretics: Jews, Catholics (some), Christian Scientists, Seventh Day Adventists, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and many, many others.For further reference: use King James Version my friend.

  • Andrew

    An above poster noted that one of the Mormon beliefs (which may have been discounted in recent years, one aspect of the LDS faith is that its tenets can change if its leaders/prophets receive new instructions from god) is that the blood of Christ is not enough for some sins. This belief was known as “blood atonement”. Whose blood would substitute for Christ’s? The blood of the sinner. Certain sins meant death, and Mormons were driven from communities in their early days for practicing this belief (I have no knowledge if they practiced it among non-believers, but one suspects that would provide a powerful motivation to drive a creed from one’s community if they did.) People forget that the early Americans were driven from Europe for the same reason – not because they were being persecuted for different religious beliefs, but because their religious beliefs were overly harsh and punitive, even by the standards of that day. Much early Mormon persecution amounted to the communities they lived in saying “we don’t do murder.”

  • Hey Doc

    RWB –Perhaps here we have it.So what are you? Are you a Mormon or a Catholic?Can one be a Catholic and an “inactive” anything else at the same time.Catholicism rests on the Creed, read near the close of the Liturgy of the Word during every Mass. Those who recite it say that they believe, as Ego Nemo points out, in “one, holy, Catholic and apostolic church” and in “one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.”Do you believe these things or do you not? Do you believe these things and then believe things in addition to these things?If so, you may have misunderstood the doctrine you were to learn as a catechumen.Please reflect in your heart whether by saying you are an “in active Mormon” you are really a faithful Catholic.

  • Chris Faria

    To say that “we believe in the same Jesus” is patently dishonest and intellectually deceptive. Mormonism holds that at one point there was a council among the “gods.” At the council was God the Father, God the Son whom we know as Jesus, and Jesus’ brother- Lucifer. When Jesus posed the solution to sin by going to earth, Satan posed another. Jesus’ was accepted- Satan’s was rejected. So Satan and others rebelled. This is NOT the same Jesus of orthodox Christianity.Further, Mormons state that one has to go through a series of works in order to have salvation. This is absolutely contrary to even the King James Bible, Galatians 1:6. The Apostle Paul said if anyone preaches another gospel, let him be condemned. Mormonism is an unbiblical gospel invented by a con artist.

  • Jkoch

    The Protestant Right’s fear of Mormons has nothing to do with creed. It’s anxiety over loss of market share to a movement that has expanded at double-digit rates and compounded its financial base at a speed they cannot match. Election of a Mormon to the White House would complete the ascent to respectability and displace the traditional televangelist$ and Dobsonians. Eventually, some might be compelled to change cloth, just the same way a Chevy or Ford dealer would shift to Toyota or Nissan. Grace always amazes.

  • bangalee babu

    I’m not sure why you need to justify your faith to anyone except GOD.Funny thing is most so called Christian men and women will think nothing of not keeping the sabbath holy (think tailgate party, nfl game, beer and food, and wild behaviour) but will cringe when told a Mormon might be President.Morally upright people do not judge others lest they be judged themselves.Are we one step away from banning all but a few religions?

  • BurfordHolly

    Romney’s comments showed an extraordinary ignorance of both American and Biblical history. Our rights (voting, speech, press, assembly, redress, suffrage, emancipation, and especially religion) are NOT in the Bible.And for a presidential candidate to say that the government should distinguish “real” Christians from “secularists” is obscene. Anyone that opposes any government policy could be labeled a “secularist.” Conveniently, most Republicans will be “real” Christians.Romney speech can summarized this way “I am one of YOU, and it’s US against THEM.”I can only characterize this as anti-American.

  • SLS

    My issue with Mitt Romney’s faith, isn’t that it isn’t Christian (I would be happy to have a Jewish, or Buddhist, or thoughtfully atheist president), but that it is excessively authoritarian, extremely racist and sexist, and secretive. I’m an Episcopalian, and if anyone wants to know what we believe and how we worship, all they have to do is attend a Sunday morning service in any church, all of which are fully open to the public and available for all to see. This isn’t the case with the Mormon church. Most faiths (like most human institutions) have histories of sexism and racism, but the Mormons seem to be an extreme example. Their teachings through the 1970s on race are quite shocking. Given the past eight years under a self-identified “Christian” president, I think choosing a committed Mormon at this juncture would truly be a case of leaping from from the frying pan into the fire. Finally, I don’t buy the argument that Mormons are Christians because they define themselves that way. I can define myself as a space alien but that doesn’t make it true. There is a group of black Americans who stand in Times Square proclaiming themselves to be the true Jews. No one except themselves views this as anything but lunacy.

  • Oort

    uh huh … uhh hhhaaaaaahahhhhhahHHAHHAHAAAAAA!hhahhhahhahhahhhHHAAAAAAA!ok, ok. What was it you were saying?

  • Paul Abeln

    I actually don’t care what religion Romney espouses. I do care how he uses his religous convictions to make decisions. In his speech last week he made clear he would be the president of the christians and the secularists be damned. He and the rest of the conservatives like to use the code phrase ‘the religion of secularism’ to describe non-christians. He made it clear that those who want government and religion to be separate are damned secularists. Well I consider myself to be a christian and I want my government to stay out of religion. I am not looking for a christian leader to be president. I am looking for someone who can run a competent government–not a faith-based government or a christian-based government. I guess that makes me a damned secularist. So be it. I suspect most of us can agree that we don’t need another religous nut job as president. Whoops, I forgot most of you reading this probably think we need another christian leader to show us the way. Look at what malarky our current christian leader has feed us. Intelligent people don’t need a christian president, we just need a competent (from either party) president. But I suspect that’s a little too much to expect.

  • Mike Kessler

    Otterson’s piece is well written and very, very clear — possibly the best thing I’ve ever read on the topic. I’m not a Christian, but it seems to make sense to me that Christianity began with Jesus, right? Most of the commenters have a knee-jerk reaction that Christianity began several centuries later with the Nicene Creed, but there are other Christian faiths that don’t go along with the Nicene Creed, either, and they’re still considered Christians by most.

  • Bill

    Fascinating discussion. The author of the piece doesn’t really address the key questions that cause Mormonism to fall into my “cult” category. The trinity is important but not as important as the Mormon belief that men in their church evolve into Gods – this is a pretty profound heresy in ANY Christian church.Also for some reason the Church cannot be honest about their history: the massacres of Christians and Ute Indians and the sexual perversions of their first generation of so-called prophets. On the history, it is kind of like the Turks refusing to acknowledge their history of genocide of Armenians and Kurds.On the perversions, a good rule of thumb is that if somebody shows up claiming to be a prophet and demanding sex with the children of his believers he should be not trusted, followed, or believed. Instead Brigham Young has a University named after him.This doesn’t mean that I wouldn’t vote for a Mormon any more than I wouldn’t vote for a Muslim or Hindu. I will remember to not mention to Mormons that I don’t think they are remotely Christian, but I cannot help but have that understanding through a knowledge of their history and theology.

  • Concerned The Christian Now Liberated

    Hmmm, what we really know about the LDS et al:1. Luther, Calvin, Joe Smith, Henry VIII, Wesley et al, founders of Christian-based religions, also suffered from the belief in/hallucinations of “pretty wingy thingie” visits and “prophecies” for profits analogous to the myths of Catholicism (resurrections, apparitions, ascensions and immaculate conceptions).2. No “pretty/ugly wingy thingies” ever visited or talked to Mohammed, Jesus, Mary or Joseph or Joe Smith. Today we would classify angels as fairies and “tinker bells”. Modern devils are classified as the demons of the demented. 3. Joe Smith had his Moroni.Jehovah Witnesses have their Jesus /Michael the archangel, the first angelic being created by God;Mohammed had his Gabriel (this “tinkerer” got around).Jesus and his family (and scribes) had Michael, Gabriel, and Satan, the latter being a modern day demon of the demented. The Abraham-Moses myths had their Angel of Death and other “no-namers” to do their dirty work or other assorted duties.4. “Latter-day Saints also believe that Michael the Archangel was Adam (the first man) when he was mortal, and Gabriel lived on the earth as Noah.”5. Moroni was a “pretty talking fictional thingie” or would a better description be “one of the many hallucinations seen by founders of the major religions” or ” a clone of the fictional Gabriel” or “Moroni the golden hornblower”, or “son of Mormon, the propheteer/profiteer”, or “actually Nephi”, or “good buds with John the Baptist, Peter, James, John, Moses, Elijah, and Elias all who ministered to Joseph Smith as angels” or as per 6. “Some scholars have theorized that Smith became familiar with the name “Moroni” through his study of the treasure-hunting stories of Captain William Kidd.[2] Because Kidd was said to have buried treasure in the Comoros islands, and Moroni is the name of the capital city and largest settlement in the Comoros, it has been suggested that Smith borrowed the name of the settlement and applied it to the angel who led him to buried treasure—the golden plates. Complementing this proposal is the theory that Smith borrowed the names of the Comoros islands and applied them to hill where he found the golden plates, which he named Cumorah.[3]???7. “Old time” Mormonism as well as “old time” Catholicism, Islam and Judaism relied and rely on prophets and prophecies (for profit?). Taking the modern view that includes reality and common sense, the correct term would be Mormonism as well as Catholicism, Islam, and Judaism relied and rely on fortune ($$$$$?) telling (for profit?). Theologically speaking, these religious fortune tellers require that God knows the future i.e. if God does not know the future (is not omniscient) then no human knew or knows the future. As per the famous contemporary theologian, Edward Schillebeeckx, God is not omniscient. Please read, pause and contemplate the following by Schillebeeckx:Church: The Human Story of God, “Christians must give up a perverse, unhealthy and inhuman doctrine of predestination without in so doing making God the great scapegoat of history” . “Nothing is determined in advance: in Therefore the historical future is not known even to God; otherwise we and our history would be merely a puppet show in which God holds the strings. For God, too, history is an adventure, an open history for and of men and women.”Bottom line: LDS is a cult based on hallucinations and “palgiarizations” which has bought respectability with a $30 billion business empire, the BYU “mission matured” football team and a great choir.

  • John

    This is all quite ridiculous. If Mormons are Christians then why deny the name to anyone who recognizes that Jesus was a great man of profound spiritual insights? That would include Muslims as a matter of theology as well as many Buddhists, Hindus and agnostics on an individual basis. I’m shocked at the idea that I might actually be a Christian. At any rate, these self-serving appeals for inclusion are nothing short of disgusting coming from a religion that fairly revels in intolerance of both blacks and homosexuals.

  • Phil

    I want to associate myself with the comments of Rob B. Also, the Mormon “Scriptures” disagree with the Bible on many foundational issues, which whey hold to be also Scripture, and puts them at odds with the Apostles and first generation believers, not just later believers.I also want to reference the use of the word “persecution” in the article. While there regrettably has been some substantive persecution, this word should not be applied to disagreement, as I have seen it used by Mormons in the past. I have a right to disagree with others and to express my disagreement and reasons, but doing so does not constitute persecution. Some believe that people should never discuss their beliefs because they are afraid that people might disagree. Discussion of beliefs is important to society, but it should be done in a way that is sufficiently thorough and may contradict ideas and practices, but does not insult the person. All people have equal value, all ideas do not have equal value.

  • rob

    Michael Otterson is a crazy. Deluded, and dangerous. As to Mormon’s being Christians, why, that’s as dumb as believing in God in the first place. Scared people unite! (under some dumb god)

  • OK, but

    The faith of LDS members is laudable, but it is hard for outsiders to ignore the many unique aspects of their beliefs and practices:Their founding by a former treasure hunter who was led to golden tablets in an indian mound in NYThe belief that the mound, like Native American structures across the US were actually constucted by the lost tribes of Israel (a belief that has no supporting archeologic, genetic or other scienfific evidence)Smith’s translation of the golden tablets using special spectacles, and later, when the initial copies were lost, using a hat and “seeing stone” into something that sounds suspiciously like King James era Biblical EnglishThe murderous internal purges that helped make the church unwelcome amidst the other prejudices of 19th century rural AmericaThe Meadow Mountain Massacre, where Mormons disguised as indians attacked innocent pioneers, alledgely with the backing of LDS leader Bringham YoungThe long-enduring racism of their views, seeing dark skin as a mark of God’s disfavor (abandoned only in the late 70s by a well-timed revelation)And we haven’t even gotten to the plural marriages, the holy underwear, or the planets men get to rule as gods after death.Perhaps being good people makes up for odd beliefa and a bloody past. And perhaps accepting Christ, even if on their own terms, makes them Christian. Whatever the case, being founded in the recent past, without the mists of time to take off the rough edges of action or allow accomodation to changed circumstances, is a major liability for “Mormons.

  • Rob

    The primary similarity between Christians and Mormons is that they are both crazy, deluded, and dangerous to humanity. Jesus would puke on all of you. So go pray in a closet, like he suggested.

  • rec

    It saddens me to see the Republican candidates running for the office of President try to “out-Christian” the other in order to get their parties nomination. What a sad state of affairs this has become. Rather than talk about what they would do to deal with many of the ills of our country, they are discussing who is the most religious candidate that can carry forth the religious ideology of Evangelical Christians. The framers of our constitution must be turning over in their graves. I believe that the goal of the Evangelical Christians is the same as the goal of the Muslims in Iran, that is to control the government and use that control to implement their religious views on their respective societies. The only difference is the two religions have some differing views. They believe they cannot convince Americans to adopt their views through their religious teachings in the Church, so they must resort to using the governmental powers to force their views upon those who have not been “born again”.

  • norman ravitch

    Are Mormons Christians? Well, are Christians Christians? Christians are presumably followers of Jesus. Well, those who followed Jesus best and knew him best — those led by his brother James of Jerusalem — were quickly branded as heretics by the pagans who quickly got control of the Christian faith. Evidently those we now call Christians do not know the real Jesus or what he was about. Christians, are you Christians? I think not.

  • Alan

    Are you kidding me?! Ha… “We Latter-day Saints don’t subscribe to the same creeds, but we do believe in the same Jesus.”LDS doctrine teaches that God the Father is personally and numerically distinct from Jesus Christ. Mormons believe that the Father is understood to be the literal father of His spirit children. LDS believes that Jesus and Satan were equals at one point… last time I check, no Catholic or Protestant church has ever taught that.If they do not believe in the Trinity, their Jesus is not the same Jesus of Christianity. Every Christian may not be creedal, but the vast majority of true Christians agree with the basic creeds of historical Christianity.

  • ldressage

    Men become gods of other planets after death. Jews emigrated to America and later became Native Americans. Jesus, once resurrected, somehow flew to North America and coverted all the Indians. Black skins is a curse from Lucifer, a belief somehow only abandoned in 1980. How do these belief reconcile with the Methodist church I grew up in? Or basic history accuracy? They don’t.

  • Bsix

    Thanks for the article. As a Latter Day Saint (Mormon), I think you have represented how Mormons view the the differences between our beliefs and some traditional Christians.As a former Protestant Christian, I can speak from experience that the hostility and judgementalism represented by some self-described Christians on this discussion thread is NOT a fair reflection of the vast majority of Christianity. While Latter Day Saints and traditional Christians have doctrinal divides, we share many doctrinal views and deep moral convictions. Mormons and traditional Christians have more faithful things in common than things that seperate us. As a Latter Day Saint, I am happy and content to know that my personal Savior is Jesus Christ. My doctrinal views may differ from those of a Catholic, Evangelical, or other traditional Protestant. However, I can assure anyone that my relationship, reverence, love, and spiritual blessings from Jesus Christ are as deeply felt as anyone.

  • JoeT

    I have no quarrel with Mormons calling themselves Christians because there’s no higher authority with the right to define the term in a way that would make the claim false. At the same time, it’s perfectly legitimate for fundamentalists to say that Mormons aren’t Christian in any sense they would recognize. Both are correct. The issue is Romney trying to scam fundamentalists by dodging any discussion of his faith in the process of claiming to be just like them, and crossing his fingers hoping he isn’t exposed as a hypocrite on that score as well as six or seven others in his speech.

  • tim kamer

    I’m not sure what people need saved from. Christ is simply the self-sacrifice aspect of life – life sacrifices itself to itself so that life may continue. Being fine with this is called living in grace, or being in touch with your own Christ aspect. We are all Christ. We must all learn self-sacrifice that we may learn to live in grace and see that all the world is in us. Do you think Jesus would disagree? No. He say, wow, the kingdom of heaven is here, and here is someone that actually sees its. Does the term Mythic Dissociation mean anything to people? Christianity concertized myth – made it historical fact instead of allegory to teach and live by. If Jesus were here, he would rebel against the Churches because life and god lie within, consubstantiation lies within, not given from without as a sacrament from a power system. Boy, how Jesus’s message has been screwed up by his followers. I’m afraid if Jesus were here today he would have to preach all the same stuff again because people just didn’t get it.

  • Parker

    Dear readers of the comments above,I am happy as one among many to answer single questions, but please, my goodness, do some sincere homework first, and for one thing, read and understand the whole Bible before quoting a few verses and thinking that makes you a theologian! Have a nice day, all.

  • Onofrio

    It saddens me to read these posts and realize that so many self-proclaimed Christians are so ignorant of their church history: Pointing fingers at violence, sexism and racism in the Mormon past as if those things don’t exist in the past of other Christian denominations; Assuming that the King James Version of the Bible is the literal word of God when it is just another translation and, while beautiful, not necessarily accurate; Assuming that the biblical canon is closed, but ignoring that Protestant and Catholic Bibles contain different books. I can’t judge what a person believes. Only that person and God knows what’s in a person’s heart. I can make judgements based on someone’s actions, since I can see those actions or the fruits of those actions. Mr. Romney is running for president. He should be judged not on his religious beliefs but on his record and his professed policy positions.

  • GWequalsWPE

    Having a father who converted from Catholicism to Mormonism, I did quite a bit of research on the Mormon church. More than enough to convince me that Joseph Smith was a con artist. For a quick summary, the South Park episode “All About Mormons” actually gives a pretty accurate overview of the origins of the Mormon faith.

  • JC

    I don’t think anyone argues the right Mormons have to practice their faith as they see fit. Mormons along all other faiths represented in the U.S. should have the same rights and privileges. Personally, I do agree that Mormon doctrine is so different that it does not resemble biblical Christianity. Perhaps it is similar to the same way that new testament Christianity has undeniably Jewish roots but no one would go as far to say that Christians are some branch of Judaism. There are some similarities but the differences are profound enough that they could in no way be considered the same. Having said that I do know the pain of being labeled a cult. I was raised in the churches of Christ and continue in that faith tradition. As a young adult it came as quite a blow to hear people of other protestant faith traditions refer to members of the churches of Christ as unchristian cult members. A little bit older now and although I do not agree that it is a cult I see the logic behind the thought. The reason some would view the churches of Christ as a cult just as some would view the Mormon church or Jehovah’s Witness as a cult is because of a real or perceived doctrine that said church is the true church and all others are apostate. I don’t know about the Mormons or Jehovah’s Witnesses enough to speak for them, but I do know my faith tradition enough to know that many are realizing the fallacy of the common belief that only one church exists that is the true church. And I believe that it is with this changing tide of thought that churches of Christ are beginning to have more validity in the mainstream Christian culture. It is a less known doctrine of the Mormons but nevertheless real that the Mormon church teaches that they are the church of Christ as Christ established in the first century. Interestingly enough, I heard this very same teaching in the churches of Christ growing up. As I mentioned though that is now changing. No one would disagree that our goal as Christians is to emulate what Christ wished to establish here on earth. For it is a noble and worthy goal indeed. However, fewer are those now who would be arrogant enough to say that we in the churches of Christ have completely and perfectly attained that goal of being the church that Christ wanted to establish here on Earth. So back to my point and it is this. I do not view Mormons as Christians simply because their teachings stray much too far not from man made tradition but from Biblical teaching. This does not indicage however that Mormons as people are bad or cult members. I do believe thought that they are Mormons not Christians. To combine the two is to do diservice to the teachings of both traditions.

  • jpk

    Standard LDS PR from a top LDS PR man. The usual talking points: we believe in Jesus so we’re Christians. By that logic Jews are Muslims, too; they all believe in one God. It’s WHAT they believe about that one God that makes Judaism and Islam two different religions. Likewise it’s what LDS believes about Jesus that makes LDS and Christianity two different religions, as different and distinct as Judaism and Islam, or Buddhism and Hinduism. There’s nothing wrong with different religions: I respect and celebrate the wide diversity of religious beliefs in the world. Why pretend there are no differences? Why pretend that two different religions are really one? LDS PR pretends that LDS teachings are Christian because they now want to be taken as mainstream. That’s Otterson’s mission, and he does as good a job as anyone. His problem is all the LDS doctrine he can’t mention, because it obviously stands well outside anything ever recognized as Christian.

  • Common sense

    It’s easy to highlight obscure tenets of a religion, or even miraculous occurrences, in order to denigrate that religion. Two points in response: (1) Christians who find aspects of Mormon doctrine too fanciful to believe should ask themselves whether they believe a female donkey told her rider to stop beating her because she was only trying to save him from the sword-wielding angel he could not see (Numbers 22:23-31); or that God instructed some Bible prophets like Abraham, Isaac and Jacob to take more than one wife while such a practice was forbidden for others; or that Noah built a big boat and put two of every animal on it (except perhaps the sea creatures–can you imagine how big the boat would have had to be then?); or that not just Christ but Peter also walked on water, or that someone might obtain and translate a true record of divine events, the original copy of which no longer can be located (remind me again which museum holds the original Bible?). If these things, among many others, are believable, then why be so quick to dispute others, particularly when with God, nothing is impossible? (Luke 1:37) (2) Believers and non-believers should ask themselves how another person’s apparently strange beliefs affect that person’s actions. If I am a kinder, harder-working, more sober, more patient, more honest, more charitable, more humble, less judgmental, happier, better husband, better father, better son, better brother, better employee, better neighbor because of my seemingly incredible beliefs, what possible good reason would someone have for telling me to stop believing?

  • kimo pizzicato

    I am less interested in the outcome of this debate (arguements over definitions are rarely useful) and more in its history. As a kid growing up in the southwest 30 years ago, I knew lots of Mormons and it never came up. “We” were Christians, “they” were Mormons, and I think it was just understood that there was a difference there. Has the question come up because Mormons prefer to be included under the umbrella of evangelical Christianity, or because evangelical Christianity wishes to widen its penumbra and increase it political strength?

  • Rich

    Yes, Mormons are Christians, and the stubborn prejudice against Romney’s Mormonism in red-state land proves 2 things: firstly, that right-wing Christians don’t practice the religion, they use it as a political tool; and secondly, that those who claim to believe in the supernatural origins of Christianity don’t feel comfortable when claims for the supernatural are made by modern people who perhaps ought to know better. It’s all right for wide-eyed Hebrews two thousand years ago to go around claiming to see angels, but when the Smith brothers make the same claim in upstate New York that somehow leaves a bad taste in their selectively credulous mouths…

  • morrisward

    Fallwell blamed 9/11 on gay rights and abortion. Today there was a deadly house fire in the Washington area, where the mother, grandmother, and child died. From the WashPost article about the fire: “Piringer said the fire appeared to have started in that living room-dining area. He said there were Christmas decorations in the room, along with some type of religious shrine or display that seemed to have included candles.” What do the believers in the Christian god have to say about why this fire took place?

  • dLinq

    I was born and raised a Mormon, freely accepting the doctrines of the church — just as (most) other children do with their own parent’s religion. It was not until my early 20’s that I learned the power of critical thinking and began to question not just my own religion but religion in general. Twenty years later, I remain a highly skeptical, but genuinely happy, agnostic. What gets me with all these posts is the virulence hurled at Mormonism for it’s admittedly peculiar (and, yes, some downright strange) beliefs. Yet, most of those doing the bashing profess to believe in some sort of diety…just not the same one(s) (although the names are awfully similar) that those scary Mormon cultists do. Of course they are oblivious (or willfully ignorant) to the fact that their own beliefs are as non-sensical and weired (transubstantiation, anyone?) as Mormonism. It is simply the case that over two millenia the ideas have become easier to digest.So, of course, the recency of Moromonisms rise — with all it’s supposedly blasphamous percepts documented ad nauseum — makes it particularly susceptible to derision. Yet, again, it is certainly no more preposterous than other religion…mainstream or otherwise. And, in fact, although I have not had any religous adherence for a couple decades now, some of it’s doctrines still make intuitive sense to me…supposing you buy into the god idea in the first place. One quick example: God made man in his own image, right?; well, that’s easy to explain in Mormonism seeing as God has a corporeal body. A teaching that is a helluva lot more straightforward than those of the so-called (by them) Christian churches with their classical trinity.What it all comes down to is how does one act. Do you leave the world a better place? Do you actively try to help your fellow man? Mormons, for the most part, do. Call ‘em what you will, but they put their money where their mouth is when it comes to focus on family, education, welfare assistance, and a whole lot more. Religion, in my opinion, may be bunk, but that doesn’t exclue the good done by those who worship it’s creeds (as long as one also own up to the damage and death that has all too often followed in its wake). Mormons may have some kooky ideas, but if you worship any religion, I don’t see that you have much room to criticize.

  • John B.

    Here’s a question: given that many (most?) religions teach that their own is the one true faith, do Mormons consider the OTHER faiths (Catholics, Baptists, etc.) to be Christian? Or does Mormon theology teach that those religions are corruptions of “true” Christianity? It would be interesting to see whether the LDS church is willing to extend the label of “Christian” as broadly as they want other groups to apply it to them.

  • scaliwagg

    HEAR! HEAR! What a novel idea–The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormon) being able to make their own determination whether or not they are Christians, rather than having their beliefs defined by loudmouthed critics belonging to other creeds. The word “Christian” has been hijacked by the evangelical right and trimmed and padded to fit nicely into their little mold of just who or what belongs to the club. We are witnessing only anger, bitterness, and hatred being the results of such pronouncements –church burnings, vandalism, shootings, etc.As a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I believe in Christ, I worship Christ, I love Christ with all my heart and soul and pray to my Father in Christ’s name; and I know that only through Him can I be redeemed of my sins and be saved. I can never fully understand or appreciate what He has done for me and for the world through his atonement, death and resurrection, but I can try and live by His teachings and show my love by living his commandments. He is the Son of God The Father, He stands on the right hand of God The Father, and the Holy Ghost is the third member of the Godhead. He was born in Bethlehem to Virgin Mary, but God the Father is his father, physically as well as spirituallly. He will soon return in glory and every knee shall bow and proclaim that He is the Christ, and he shall rule for 1,000 years of peace. IT’S ALL IN THE BIBLE, JUST READ IT! We are biblical Christians in the truest sense of the word; no, we are not NICEAN Christians whose concept of the godhead was decided by Constantine et al. And by the way, what’s the big problem with doing baptisms for ancestral dead? Paul mentions baptism for the dead in Corinthians for heavens sake (ha ha funny pun) oh, well, there’s my input, now people with a chip on their shoulders can spew their hateful comments. We’re used to it.

  • lch

    I very much appreciate Mr Otterson’s article. It is clear, thoughtful, and insightful. I think the angry and abusive posts here are comments upon the characters of the people posting them more than anything else. Understanding comes from conversation, courteous questions and a willingness to listen. Unfortunately many people form their opinions after hearing one of two facts (perhaps inaccurate) and then hold onto them no matter what. A bit of open-mindedness would go a long way.

  • Zutz

    Poor, poor Mr. Romney. If he were to read most of the comments posted here today he would have to think he’s losing the christian vote because he isn’t christian enough.There are a large number of Americans, myself included, who will not be voting for Mr. Romney because he is too much a christian.Can’t win for losing can you Mitt? Too bad.I would like to thank Romney though for bringing this all to our attention. He’s given the evangelicals an unfettered opportunity to show us all must how bigoted and close-minded they really are.

  • Keith Edward

    Being a Christian does not mean simply using the name of Jesus in your statement of beliefs. It does mean following the one an only risen Lord who knocks on the door of everyones heart (Rev 3:20) and offers forgiveness, fellowship and leadership. The Lord Jesus I have met, would never tell me to commit polygamy. Let’s not forget that Joseph Smith claimed the Jesus told him to lead his “one true church” to commit polygamy/adultery. And then just before the U.S. government was going to crack down on the Mormon Polygamy, Brigham Young said the Lord told him to stop the polygamy. This is not the Lord leading the Mormons. The Bible paints a clear picture of satan being the great deceiver. Mormon’s are zealous, but they are being lead astray… A Christian believes there is one God and we are His creation. Mormon’s are driven to think that they will become God’s -sound familiar? What did the serpent say in the garden: “God doesn’t want you to eat of the tree of good and evil, because He knows you will become like God”…. same lie, repackaged…

  • Parker

    To the reader looking for real answers about the gospel of Christ:If you’re reading this, you may be wondering how in the world people are joining the LDS church every day all over the world if what some of the things detractors say are true? Guess what? The answer is that what you have read from detractors is clouded in error and deliberately misleading statements. There is so much more depth to the message of the light of the gospel of Christ. It all comes together, the entire Bible, the history of mankind since the creation of this world by the Word, who was made flesh, even Jesus Christ. He came to earth to carry our sins, our pains, our sorrows, our shortcomings, our weaknesses, so that we don’t have to be burdened by them as we call on His holy name with faith and love in our hearts. If you’re doing that within your current faith, then you are blessed for that. Keep seeking the Spirit in your life. The Spirit will lead you to be merciful, to love all mankind, to forgive, to build, to be kind, to understand and love keeping the commandments. God will lead you along in your life. Bless you for the good that you do. “Seek and ye shall find. Knock, and it shall be opened unto you.” Peace, my friend. Do not be discouraged.

  • zutz

    The power goes on, the eyes open. The BIOS loads, the virus executes, and every packet that passes through the NIC is infected with “lord our saviour” and “I’m not worthy”.Like HIV it infects the immune system – reason.

  • въпрос vilros

    So you christians, who’s next? The episcopalians are already having a civil war, Pat Robertson says the Methodists are the anti-christ, the evanglicals are saying the mormons are a cult … you know it’s good to see this. Maybe you’ll spend all your time arguing about how many angels it takes to screw in a lightbulb, maybe you’ll spend your time trying to force each other into the “right way” … that will leave the rest of us free to go about our lives without having to deal with your infection in our government.You do know how ridiculous you all are arguing about this, don’t you? Perhaps not, you don’t know how ridiculous you all are anyway, why should you be expected to see it here.

  • въпрос vilros

    oh, the pain, the pain.

  • Stewart

    You don’t go to a honda dealer to find out if there’s any merit to a toyota. you go to a toyota dealer. This is what too often occurs when people seek answers about mormonism, they go to everyone but the mormons themselves. It is ironic that People are asking so much of mitt romney, when ever they have had mormon friends & neighbors nearby, & missionaries banging on their doors. Do answers to questions about mormonism only have credibility when they fall from mitt Romney’s lips? As a member of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day saints, it should be said that all of our chapels are open for anyone to attend, We have a great web-site ( http://www.mormon.org ) with all of our basic beliefs, We do not hide our doctrines. The doctrines taught on this website are exactly what we believe. check it out.

  • GrewUpMormon

    For what it is worth – I recently blogged about growing up a “Mormon” in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I think it is rare for people to talk about their actual lived experience, and unfortunately they rather focus on abstract doctrinal or theological differences. I don’t claim to know everything – but I know my own experience – and so that is what I tried to explain in my blog post.Hyvä Päivää

  • erinannie

    I think it is sad how many people have nothing better to do with their time than spread gossip and false information about another religion.If you want to know about Mormons, ask a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. As a member of the LDS Church, I am amazed at how many half-truths and outright lies are told above. Men with guns forcing women from a restaurant? What on earth??? Do you really believe yourself? The thought is just ridiculous.Joseph Smith was a satanist and pro-slavery? I’m just amazed at the creativity of these lies. They are so far-fetched that I can’t even figure out what tiny kernel of truth they were warped from.Blacks were disfavored by God??? I am so appalled that people would think that I believe this utter rubbish. I believe in God. I believe he has a Son named Jesus Christ. I believe he hears and answers my prayers. And I believe that makes me a Christian. A Christian who emulates and follows all of the teachings of Christ, including loving my neighbors, forgiving others, and many more things. I recognize the Divine Power of Jesus Christ. (unlike Jews and Muslims that only acknowledge that he existed). And that, I believe, makes me a Christian.

  • Rachel Loveridge

    “Just get on the internet and read the history of those folks as written by an unbiased, degreed historian – not a biased, brainwashed Mormon historian.”I know plenty of them. And your post was full of a bunch of crap. History can be a lot like rumors. I don’t know a university history professor who would substantiate 95% of what you purport. Really, all this arguing is ridiculous. By their fruits ye shall know them…Most of the more secular posters here have some rather good points…Doing good = trying to do what’s right. Understanding, compassion, and moving forward are what is right. There is enough mud-slinging in pollitics already without us having to add more with mud-slinging over religious differences. Joseph Smith was a character. There is no disputing that. He was not, however, pro-slavery. He even ran for the presidency under the platform of freeing the slaves. I was moved by Eboo Patel’s piece on the issue. He recognized something that we often miss when slandering each other…

  • sb

    Thank you Mr. Otterson. I appreciated your article. I also appreciate Bishop Stendahl’s rules when engaging in discussions with those of other faiths. Merry Christmas.

  • Paganplace

    OK, so, if Mormons are Christians, can I ask them to *also* kindly let the rest of us patriotic Americans *live,* already?Just cause your Bibles say I’m a ‘sinner’ is not supposed to mean I don’t get equal protection under the law, and all. Hate to harp on it, but it does tend to peeve one.

  • Pagainplace

    All of you: I’m saying: Stop.

  • Dr. Robert W. Bass

    Yesterday I posted a well-informed comment but I haven’t seen anybody else reply to it.

  • Dr. Robert W. Bass

    To the reader who signs himself as “hey doc!” and who asks how I can be an “inactive Mormon” and a 2001-Baptized Roman Catholic and whether I believe the Catholic creeds. Firstly, I am classifed by the LDS Church as an “inactive Mormon” because I haven’t been excommunicated, and since I haven’t attacked the church (note that I said that if one judged LDS adherents by their “attitudinal ideals” and “behavioral ideals” then they are “EXEMPLARY Christians!”) then the mere fact that I joined another denomination will not suffice for them to excommunicate me. As for what I now believe, I believe every word of the Apostle’s Creed (as exposited by Gary Wills in his recent book “Why I am a Catholic” [after his book attackind "structures of deceit" in the Papacy] which is recited by the congregations every Easter (or when the audience has many children) while I have reservations about the Athanasian interpretation of the Trinity (as expressed in the Nicene Creed of 325 AD) as opposed to the Arian interpretation. I’m glad I was Baptized by a Catholic Priest because at that moment I was in “physical contact” with Jesus as opposed to merely “spiritual contact” because in the eyes of an intelligence “outside of time [like God]” on the shoulder of the Priest touching me was the hand of a Bishop on whose shoulder was the hand of another Bishope and going all the way back for ~2,000 years to Saint Peter who of course had been touched by Jesus. The Nicene Creed was adopted by vote under pressure from Emperor Constantine to settle the feud between Arians and Athanasians (whose historical details are as enlightening as internecine Mafia warfare), but two years later Bishop Eusebius wrote to the Emperor “I wish to change my vote, which I did only under fear of Your Majesty” and subsequently the Emperor was Baptized on his deathbed by an Arian Priest and his successors and the Court were all Arians for several generations until the Athanasians staged a comeback and have been dominant ever since. But the Athanasian conception of the Trinity violates Aristotles’ Law of the Excluded Middle, which is the basis of all logic, mathematics, science and genuinse reason. Jesus said “I am the TRUTH and the way and the life” and the TRUTH is not self-contradictory, regardless of politized fights in 325 AD to establish what theologians call the “paradoxical version of the Trinity.” The Apostle’s Creed is all I am required to believe in order to become a Baptized Catholic and it (not the paradoxical Nicene Creed) is the one used at Baptisms (or around children) and once per year at Easter. So, Mr. “hey doc” study some history besides what they offer in the Catechism. Also note how Jesus HIMSELF states definitively and very SPECIFICALLY exactly how He is going to “divide the sheep from the goats” on the Final Judgment Day, and note that His specific criterion has EVERYTHING to do with a truly compassionate heart, as demonstrated by ACTIONS, and nothing to do with propositional doctrines!

  • Bud

    It is pathetically sad that, in this day and age, this debate is even taking place. To put so much emphasis on one’s religion, to require the “Christian Litmus Test”, to continually mock and slander those who do not share the same beliefs as we do (and those who have no religion), and to continue to pander to those who require the aforementioned. Ask yourselves, how is treating someone differently and judging them based solely on thier religion any different than judging them based solely on the color of their skin or their biological sex? Yet we continue to pander to those who do exactly that. The candidates not only do not recognize that this is wrong on so many levels, but go to great lengths to show these people they share the same narrrow minded and prejudicial views. And why do they do this? Simple. These people hold the key to being elected. At one point in our history the majority of people thought that women and people of color were inferior and did not deserve the same rights as they did. Would you support a candidate that pandered to the prejudicial views of such people merely because they were in the majority and wanted to get elected at any cost? Please, America, drop the religious litmus test and choose your next candidate based on how he or she will run this great nation and improve the lives of all citizens who occupy this great land and call it home.

  • Parker

    Paganplace,

  • Parker

    Some writers have apparently struggled with understanding LDS beliefs about some of the purposes of this life and what happened in the garden of Eden. To clarify briefly:The choice of bringing that “opposition”, that “resistance” into the world to enable the growth that would begin through the process of mortality, had to be Eve and Adam’s choice, not God’s choice. God gave them a single commandment about the tree of knowledge of good and evil–that they should not partake of it or they would die. (The Savior rescued them and all of us from that death, into newness of life here and the resurrection hereafter.) Eve made the choice to partake because she wanted something more than what they were experiencing. Adam chose to stay with Eve and further God’s plan of salvation by having children and experiencing the opposition of this life. So here we are, experiencing the opposition of this life, growing all the while. Our freedom enables us that the growth is more expansive. How thankful I am for that freedom! Have a good day, all.

  • Roy

    Otterson, you loose further credibility when you state the Church has “….. long-declared position of neutrality in matters of party politics.” This is simply not true. The Mormon Church has given hundreds of thousand of dollars to right-wing Republican causes like anti-gay referendums while pretending to be neutral and tax-exempt.

  • Richard Whitney

    Quoting: bangalee babu:I’m not sure why you need to justify your faith to anyone except GOD.Funny thing is most so called Christian men and women will think nothing of not keeping the sabbath holy (think tailgate party, nfl game, beer and food, and wild behaviour) but will cringe when told a Mormon might be President.Morally upright people do not judge others lest they be judged themselves.Are we one step away from banning all but a few religions?RW: This country is, sadly, a mere “few steps” away from abandoning organized religion – period.

  • 94nole

    Are Muslims Christians? Are Jews Christians?I am so tired of this question. Aren’t you tired of this question?There are differences in the doctrine of the Church and that of other religions.Wow, what a profundity!!!I believe that the concern for those who keep asking that question is this:If The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is, in fact, the restored Church of Jesus Christ and everything professed to be, then the others have been living a lie all these years.They are afraid that it might be true and that Mormons really might be Christians. They know it is the fastest growing religion in the world and that concerns others who make there living “preaching” to people and passing the plate.Mormons don’t pass a plate. They give of their own free will and choice. Most that I have known, also practice what they preach. Many others spend 1-2 hours a week in church and live the other 166-167 hours living as they will because they are “saved” because they have professed with their mouths what they are not willing to do in their lives.Good luck to those “Christians”.

  • trr2

    “Mormons were so out of step with Christians that they were jailed for their immoralities. Joseph Smith met his end with a bullet as he tried to escape the law.”Can you imagine Jesus trying to escape the law? I cannot.”This is just patently false in so many respects. Joseph had the chance to flee his accusers, but was shot while in jail awaiting trial. Murdered because a mob did not want to see him go free on charges they fabricated to put him there. After watching his companions be shot one by one (one his brother), he stood in the window with a prayer on his lips as a large group shot yet another unarmed man locked in a room. Brigham Young saw what they did to his prophet. Can you blame him for taking the rest of the people away from multiple states that had death sentences on the heads of those who wanted to practice their religion in peace? Say what you will about my religion, but do not lie about Joseph Smith’s death. It was cold-blooded murder of an unarmed man, and should be reprehensible to any person.

  • Mark, Las Vegas, NV

    As an educated Mormon, I laugh at all the backward and incorrect info on my church that people have been writing. If you are going to make derogatory statments about someones faith, at least do some research first to make it accurate and educated. Half of what has been written is absolutely inacurate–more than likely heresay passed from one religious bigot to the next.

  • davis13

    As much as Republicans would like to legitimize Mormonism so Romney could be elected the fact is Mormons are not Christians.

  • Martin CT

    Many of those who question whether Mormons are “Christians” would probably question whether many “Christians” are “Christian”. I am sure my progressive denomination, which is non-creedal and which tries to practice “extravagant welcome” to all comers is written off by many conservative “Christians”.Jesus is about inclusion, love, and service and not about building walls. Litmus tests are not in my bible.Mormons have some real hurdles to climb, with those historical claims that are so strongly at odds with our modern experience. The early Christians had the same problem (the resurrection), but they lived in less skeptical times. By now, the standard Christian claims are built into our culture and seem (to most) normal or at least inoffensive.

  • j.

    I have been a Mormon for almost 30 years – I am Black and a female (considered a “protected, minority” class, except when it differs, interestingly). The one thing I have never gotten used to is the venom that many who

  • Sang Kim

    Mr. an educated Mormon, I am not as educated person as you but I feel sorry for you that you are spiritually blind, my friend.

  • Jon

    Wow, this pretty much sums it up perfectly. Good job by the author.

  • John B.

    Several people posting as Mormons have commented that we non-Mormons should be asking them, not other non-Mormons, about their church and their beliefs. Okay, I’m asking again because nobody answered it: do you Mormons consider non-Mormons–Catholics, Baptists, etc.–to be Christians? Simple question.

  • phil stanek

    This is the most accurate article i have ever read about mormons, oh i see, it’s written by a mormon.

  • DAn

    If evangelical Christains defeat Romney they will rejoice. Then a few days after installing MR. Huck, reality will set in. The Nation feels uncomfortable about electing a Mormon, but there is no way on God’s green earth they will elect a minister, reguardless of religon.

  • Parker

    John B.,Simple answer: Yes, absolutely, and several are among the people I have most respected and admired during my life, for their love, their compassion, their gentility and warmth, for the Christian qualities that made them stand out in any crowd.

  • Andrea Eaton

    I’ve read about half of the comments regarding this article and it’s clear to me that the majority of those making these comments still know nothing of the L.D.S. religion and furthermore don’t want to know more, which is just fine.But let me ask you this if you don’t believe that the L.D.S. church is what it says it is “The only true Church of Jesus Christ” on the earth today with the only Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ then why the HELL do you care so much about whether we’re Christian’s or not Christian’s? What difference should it make to you? Some of you use the most absurd reasons for not wanting anything to do with “Mormons” like one lady was run out of a restaurant by Mormon men carrying their guns and bibles. How funny!! In the first place I don’t believe it and in the second place if there were men in that restaurant carrying guns and bibles they were probably there during the Elk or Deer hunt having a bite to eat or those men weren’t Mormon. But that’s a good reason to give to justify BIGOTRY! Things haven’t changed much since Joseph Smith found the Golden Plates. The persecutors have just hidden themselves more cleverly. I hope you all can use your arguements and justifications when you stand beford God on judgement day. That’ll be interesting to see. I am contstantly amaze at the ignorance people display when talking about the Mormon religion.

  • James Brickey

    In response to John B. and others who have asked whether Mormons consider non-Mormons to be Christians: The answer is yes, we do. We may believe that the teachings of other Christian churches are incorrect, but that does not mean that the mambers of those churches are not Christian. That is the crux of the whole problem. Mormons acknowledge that people of other faiths can have a personal, genuine and a very real relationship with Jesus Christ. Here is an analogy. Suppose most of the citizens of the United States said that people in Hawaii were not “Americans,” because somebody on an island can’t possibly be an American. Wouldn’t that be offensive to Hawaiians, especially those who had served in the military to protect America. That is how a Mormon feels when he/she is told that they are not Christian. It has nothing to do with trying to gain acceptance, or appear maintstream. Mormonism has many doctrines that may appear strange, or different. We accept that we are not like most other religions. But we still beleive that Christ is the savior, and that we can only be saved through his sacrafice. When other people say “you are not Christian,” it’s like they are saying, “hey, you can’t beleive in Christ, we have already claimed him.”

  • Javier

    I have sadly spend the last hour reading most of the posts here. Trying to understand why, from among all the posts here, most just deal in one way or another to attack the mormon faith. I once remember reading that the bible as we know it is a pretty human fabrication. When Paul wrote to the corinthians, was he thinking about the writing the new testament. Not only that, but Moses wrote in Deut. that whoever added more than what was written was anathema. Do we only read the first five books of the “bible.” Of course not, to say that God cannot speak again is blasphemy. Is God the Father different than God the Son. How else do you explain that there was a voice in heaven, the dove representing the Holy Ghost, and Christ in the Water. Or the comment by Christ, I go to my Father and your Father, my God and your God. (Would this statement mean that we are siblings as well? Could he still be the first creation of God the Father and by him and through him all things were created, but still be our brother? Are God the Father and Jesust two separate beings? Jesus talked to him (rather to himself) and Jesus was God’s first creation, how do we explaint that?) Does he not change, no, there is no shadow of change. Can he make mistakes, I do not think so. But the bible tell us that he “repented from creating man,” and the flood followed. I think that might be a slight mistranlation, because if he made a mistake, he did not know what was going to happen, if that is true, he is no God.Obviously the bible says that God is spirit, and all that worship him do it in spirt, but yet, Jesus appear to the Apostles and he was of flesh and bones, was He not the same Lord of the Universe, God, but yet he asked for fish and bread.My point is that if you are going to come claiming anything about other religions please read the whole bible, pray for understanding of what it says, know that there are mistakes in it, due to translation and copying. And please do not for one second believe that the bible as you have it today existed before the last, what 1000 years. Bible comes from biblos, which means “compendium or collection of books.”I believe that God lives, that his Son Jesus Christ is my savior, that we are guided by the Holy Ghost. That men will be judge according to their own sins but that God’s atonement will save them after doing all that they can (repentance and good works). If anyone wants to know if the doctrine is true, then live by it. I think Jesus said something like that.If my believes in God and Jesus turn out to be wrong, I can still look up to God and with a straight face say, I have lived the way you asked me to. I know His mercy will suffice. I hope that we all can be the kind of men that He wants all to be. What would Jesus do? should be what we should be discussing, I can guarantee that he will not treat other humans like this.

  • A Mormon

    In answer to John B.: Yes, we would never presume to tell someone that professes to believe in Christ that they are not Christian just because their concept of Christ differs from ours. We recognize the sincere faith of people in all other religions and we believe that God answers their prayers as well as ours, because we are all children of God and He loves us.

  • Andrea Eaton

    I have read about half of the comments regarding this column and must say that the majority of the commentators don’t know a thing about the L.D.S. church or it’s beliefs and don’t want to know anything which is just fine!Let me ask you good Christians this question: Since you DON’T believe the L.D.S. church is what it says it is “the only true Church of Jesus Christ” on the earth today with the only true restored Gospel of Jesus Christ then why the HELL do you care if we’re Christian’s or not Christian’s?And there’s this little tidbit from Nancy:In the first place I don’t believe that actually happened and if it did those men were probably there during the hunting season “with their guns and bibles” eating breakfast also, although I believe they would have left their guns in their trucks, OR they weren’t Mormon men. However it supposedly happened, it makes for a good story and a good excuse to justify BIGOTRY!!!I seems as though things haven’t changed all that much since Joseph Smith found the Golden Plates and the mob murdered him and his brother in Carthage. The persecutors have just learned to be more subtle and less hands on shall we say! I hope you can make your words and actions more accepting when you stand before Heavenly Father on the day of Judgement, whatever you profess to believe! And may I say I hope the same for myself.

  • BB

    Dear Nancy Lindell,What a hoot you are! Seriously, I don’t know whether you sat and crinkled up your monobrow for hours to come up with that stuff, or if you just sat down with your monkey and let him do the typing. Here are some questions, that is if you are still around reading these. Where was this? (city, state, restaurant) When was this? (mm/dd/yy) What were the bad men wearing? (e.g., all black clothes and stovepipe hats, etc.) If no hats, did they have horns on their heads? Is so they were not Mormons, there were a nightmare after bad pizza. I might have some more questions later.

  • carl

    Amazing how so-called Christians are such authorities on Mormons. I am a Mormon. I know that Jesus Christ is my personal Savior. I know that I can pray to God and that he can answer prayers. No I don’t believe that every bit of information that God ever intended for man is in the Bible. Were that the case we might as well tell God that his job is done. I am a Mormon because God has answered my prayers. That is what we teach the world. He answers mine and he’ll answer yours. That is why this church has grown so rapidly. It is sad that so many “Christians” who take it upon themselves to define Christianity for the rest of the planet are so very religiously intolerant themselves.

  • carl

    Amazing how so-called Christians are such authorities on Mormons. I am a Mormon. I know that Jesus Christ is my personal Savior. I know that I can pray to God and that he can answer prayers. No I don’t believe that every bit of information that God ever intended for man is in the Bible. Were that the case we might as well tell God that his job is done. I am a Mormon because God has answered my prayers. That is what we teach the world. He answers mine and he’ll answer yours. That is why this church has grown so rapidly. It is sad that so many “Christians” who take it upon themselves to define Christianity for the rest of the planet are so very religiously intolerant themselves.

  • jkoch

    There is but one GOP, and Mamon is its profit. Easier that a camel should pass through an eye of a needle than should a penniless praying schmuck be welcome among the lords of wealth or on their green fairways. Let all candidates profess pious slogans to win red votes, but then tidy up, abide by deus dollar, and be charitable to the supporters that count, when in office.

  • Christine

    I am a dermatologist by profession, and the mother of 4 children. I am also a Mormon.I found this link in my Google News this morning and read the posts here with growing dismay. I didn’t know that quite so many people that hated me. I didn’t realize that so many people would impune my professional skills on the account of my religion — a very rational religion — one that does not expect me to believe absurd things about the nature of God and creation and scientific inquiry. While I have always been aware of the lunatic fringe of Christianity (and apologized for these embarrassing relatives), I didn’t realize the extent to which so many Christian people love to live with so much hatred in their hearts for others. Perhaps I have been mistaken in my view that it is just the whackos who stand outside other people’s churches (and even cemeteries!) ranting and waving signs. Maybe that is how most Christians are, a thought that I do not enjoy contemplating….Why hasn’t their religion had the power to transform them into decent human beings?Last week my teenage daughter and I were out shopping when we came across a funny little book in a novelty store, entitled, “How to Know if Your Boyfriend is the AntiChrist.” One of the clues to him being the antichrist was that he might have a metal fish on the back of his car. (!) The thing is, it wouldn’t be funny if there were not a whole lot of truth to that assertion.I know one thing. My life’s goal is not to become like the people on this page. And even though there are no dictionaries that define the word Christian as “a believer in the Trinity,” I don’t know that I want to be associated with them anymore. My feelings may now mirror those of early LDS church members, when they did not want to be called Christians either. After all, Christians were the ones driving them from their homes and/or outright murdering them. And that’s not what the Mormon Church was about!More and more, I find myself symathisizing with secularists, though I don’t share their theology.

  • JBE

    I do not believe in “Maroni”. I do not believe that Jesus made a trip to latin america after his death. I do not believe Joseph Smith’s tale, nor do I believe in his doctrin.Of course I don’t believe Ted Haggard, Jimmie Swaggart, Oral Roberts, Jerry Falwell, Jim Baker, Father Coughlan, or Billy Graham’s SON, either.Instead of arguing which book, which church, which version is right, can’t we just admit that all of them were edited by humans with an agenda of some sort? Evangelicals don’t seem to mind one bit that the murderous Constantine edited THEIR book, because they say his hand would have been guided by God… who ostensibly wasn’t powerful enough to write one that didn’t need editing? C’mon people be real!God has a path for all of his children – let’s leave the question of faith aside and follow the money, shall we?Where the money flows to in any religion is where the lies and deceit reside.

  • Eric

    John B.The answer to your question as to whether Mormons consider Catholics, Protestants, etc to be Christians is YES. We believe that the word “Christian” is a very broad term. It means a “follower of the teachings of Jesus Christ.” It does not say anything about HOW people follow Christ or how they interpret his teachings. It says nothing about whether the follower thinks Christ prayed to himself or not….The word Christian does not even say anything about whether various interpreatations are even acceptable to Christ, but ONLY that a Christian is someone who believes in the divinity of Jesus Christ and follows his teachings.There are many different religions under the very big umbrella of Christianity. And there are more differences between the beliefs of people you consider to be “acceptable” Christians than you would care to acknowledge. You might consider some of their beliefs heretical and worthy of damnation.But, if you simply must separate yourselves from Mormons, and if you would sincerely like contention to cease on this matter, perhaps you could consider calling yourselves Trinitarians instead. Or Trinitarian Christians. Mormons have no interest in being called Trinitarians because, well, we don’t believe that Christ prayed to himself or appeared along-side himself, or any of that Trinity stuff that came along in the 4th century. But we’re absolutely OK with you calling yourselves Christians! Absolutely, we believe that you accept Christ and that you are sincere.Mormons are only interested in being called Christians because they believe in the divinity of Jesus Christ and try to follow his teachings. We’re basically like the followers of Jesus who lived BEFORE the Nicene Creed got battled out….

  • Henry James

    Of COURSE Mormons are Christians.It is an odious and ignorant position to claim that they are not.They believe Jesus Christ was the So are they Christians? Duhhhhh……

  • mm

    As an active Mormon I have no intention of voting for mitt, I don’t agree with his politics. Furthermore I really don’t care if you think I’m a Christian or not. I do not lead my life based on the influence of popular opinion. When forming an opinion of Mormons read all the posts below. Guess which are posted by Mormons, guess which are posted by “Christians”. I have more respect for the blatanent atheist than the supposed “Christian” who spews vile and reveals his ignorance

  • mm

    As an active Mormon I have no intention of voting for mitt, I don’t agree with his politics. Furthermore I really don’t care if you think I’m a Christian or not. I do not lead my life based on the influence of popular opinion. When forming an opinion of Mormons read all the posts below. Guess which are posted by Mormons, guess which are posted by “Christians”. I have more respect for the blatanent atheist than the supposed “Christian” who spews vile and reveals his ignorance

  • gary

    Wow, the bigotry, lies and hatred run hot in the replies. Truly amazing what people will say and do in the name of God.

  • JCal

    So if I accept Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, am I saved? and what if I happen to be Mormon, am I unsaved? If I am saved, what do you care about doctrinal differences between the LDS faith and other Christian faiths given the fact that there are literally thousands of different Christian sects, let alone pastors with varying beliefs.(some Christian sects believe baptism is essential others do not– is one Christian and the other not?)If I am not “saved” what else do I need to do to become saved given the fact that I already have accepted, and continue to accept Jesus Christ as my personal Savior and Redeemer and am committed to live by His word and deed? (note that I am not mereley recognizing Jesus as a good guy, but am accepting him, as other faithful mormons, as the Savior of the world, the Messiah). And don’t post some, “you mormons believe in other mumbo jumbo.” I want to know how my ardent testimony of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ does not qualify me to call myself a Christian. Are Mormons “mainstream” Christians? No

  • ROMNEY? MORMONS? INSIDIOUS:

    erinannie: I do not take kindly to having my post described as rubbish.Every word which I wrote is true and has been documented by solid scholarship – much of it by members of your cult. Otherwise I would not have written it.You may not approve of my style; but I shall school you on the facts.I am sorry that you had to find out about the immorality of your prophets and other leaders from me. So, if you are up to a schooling, please dispute any fact that I wrote. Or, you may apologize for your characteriztion of my post.

  • James Brickey

    To Romney? Mormons? InsidiousYou have never read the Book of Mormon. Otherwise you would know that it tells of many people in the Book of Mormon who had dark skin (refered to as Lamanites) who were righteous. At several periods in the Book of Mormon, the Lamanites were described as being more righteous than the Nephites (those with white skin). There was even a Lamanite prophet named Samuel in the Book of Mormon who was commanded by God to call the Nephites to repentance. There were also righteous groups of Lamanites and Nephites who lived in the same communities in the Book of Mormon. So don’t think that you can simply take a few passages of the Book of Mormon out of context and prove that Mormons are racist. I suggest you actually read the Book of Mormon.

  • Parker

    To the insidious/odious person who doesn’t like the term “rubbish”:I like the following from the website you referenced:We believe that a Christian should desire to live a life of righteousness, good works, and separation unto God from the evil ways of the world (Rom. 12:1,2), manifested by speaking the truth (Js. 5:12), maintaining the sanctity of the home (Eph. 5:22-6:4), settling differences between Christians in accordance with the Word of God (1 Cor. 6:1-8), not engaging in carnal strife but showing a Christ-like attitude toward all men (Rom. 12:17-21), exhibiting the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22,23), and maintaining a life of prayer (Eph. 6:18; Phil. 4:6).”If you really do that and believe it, then you have been inconsistent in how you have presented yourself here. You have not “spoken the truth,” you have “engaged in strife,” you have not shown a “Christ-like attitude toward all men,” and you certainly do not exhibit “the fruit of the Spirit”. Sorry to call a spade a spade, but we know the Bible better than you do. Read it more, and live by it better. Bye.

  • Paganplace

    I think what’s *truly* insidious here is the presumption that creeps in behind the question and underlies the debate “Are Mormons Christian,” Namely, that Mormons may not want to be treated like non-Christians, but they’ll sure treat non-Christians in those ways. What’s insidious is the idea that it’s *OK* to disenfranchise *non-Christians,* never mind whether or not this particular kind of Christian is ‘really’ Christian to others. Romney isn’t standing up for freedom and tolerance, here, he just wants his lot to join the theocracy.

  • Gaby

    I was very much taken aback by Mr. Romney’s remarks and have basically decided that he will not get my vote. That he is a Mormon does not bother me, but that he stooped so low as giving this speech in a blatant attempt the pander to the fundamentalist Christians has turned me off. Then he turns around and basically calls an entire segment of American society un-American. What gall!!! If he now turns around and makes conciliatory gestures to non-believers because he knows he has stepped in deep doo-doo, he has lost all credibility with me.

  • Henry Drummond

    Christians do not bitterly resent Mormon’s wanting to be known as a Christian denomination. What is bitterly resented is the claim of the Church that ministers of other religions are not authorized to baptize, teach the gospel, or perform other ordinances of the ministry. Only Mormons are. It is also bitterly resented when Mormon missionaries raid the congregations of other churches insisting that only Mormon baptisms are recognized of God. The talk of Mormons not being Christian is simply a way of retaliating or perhaps giving Mormons a taste of their own medicine.Mormons have every right to do all of the above but seem somewhat tone deaf when it comes to understanding how others view these activities. The greatest irony of course is that the Mormon Church has aligned itself on numerous occasions with Evangelical political activism to use legislation to enforce their religious beliefs about Homosexuals, Abortion, and the teaching of Evolution in the public schools. They have helped these activists achieve the stature and influence they now have. Now these same groups are using that influence to defeat a candidate purely because he does not meet their view of Christian orthodoxy. Mormons have sown the wind and are now reaping the whirlwind. The sad part is that they still don’t seem willing to even try and understand the real problem.

  • Clark

    If you need any evidence of why Mormons are so confused at how much trouble they have explaining why they feel they are Christians, you need only to read a few of the comments in this thread.In your mind, place a small frowny face next to the posters who obviously didn’t read what Otterson wrote. Put a question mark next to the ones who read, but obviously didn’t understand. Put a checkmark next to the ones who read and understood the Mormon position a little better.You will find that the check marks are a disparate minority against the questions and smileys. Ask yourself how you would feel if brought up to trial, offered a compelling alibi, and then the jury said, “We decided to throw out the defendant’s testimony on the grounds that we weren’t paying attention. Guilty!”

  • Clark

    My excuses for a typo. My previous message should read “You will find that the check marks are a disparate minority against the questions and frownies.”

  • Clark

    And finally, how many of you actually read the freakin’ byline? People accuse Otterson of writing a “puff piece” or “spreading propaganda” and so forth.This is an OPINION BLOG, and Otterson is an invited guest voice because he is DIRECTOR OF MEDIA RELATIONS for the LDS Church (aka the Mormons).Of course he’s going to be pro-Mormon!*sigh*Even if we can’t agree on whether Mormons are Christians, can’t we all agree that a little literacy goes a long way? Hmm?

  • Dean

    This article is about as fair as I have ever seen. Good job! I love that quote by Kennedy as well: gives me more appreciation for the man in cutting through all the rhetoric and speaking truth.God Bless America!

  • Gayle

    The fact that we as “Mormons” don’t recognize the authority of ministers of other religions to baptize shouldn’t be equated with not accepting someone else’s belief that they are Christian. If they want to baptize people into their churches that’s fine. We are not saying that they are not Christians, we are just saying they don’t hold the priesthood authority. I for one, would not want to belong to a church that did not believe it’s authority was exclusive. Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints believe that all churches have truth. We just believe that our truth is more complete, and that we have the authority to administer the ordinances of the gospel. If that offends some people, I take great comfort in knowing that Christ offended people too. You don’t have to share my belief, but don’t try saying that I don’t actually believe what I do believe, which is that Christ is our Savior. Your acceptance of that fact does not preclude my belief.

  • Martin

    I am LDS (Mormon) and I am astounded by all the misinformation and outright fabrications in this thread. If you believe that LDS doctrines are wild and outlandish, and “Mormons” are evil and hell bound, then that is your prerogative and there is nothing I can say that will change your mind. But if you claim they are non Biblical then you don’t know your Bible very well, and I would be happy to show you, chapter and verse, that they are, and that Latter-day Saints ARE Christians in every way that the New Testament prescribes. Interestingly, the word “Christian” is actually used only 3 times in the NT; followers of Christ are mainly referred to as “saints”. Sincerly,

  • Martin

    I am LDS (Mormon) and I am astounded by all the misinformation and outright fabrications in this thread. If you believe that LDS doctrines are wild and outlandish, and “Mormons” are evil and hell bound, then that is your prerogative and there is nothing I can say that will change your mind. But if you claim they are non Biblical then you don’t know your Bible very well, and I would be happy to show you, chapter and verse, that they are, and that Latter-day Saints ARE Christians in every way that the New Testament prescribes. Interestingly, the word “Christian” is actually used only 3 times in the NT; followers of Christ are mainly referred to as “saints”.Sincerly,

  • Melvan Ross

    The ignorance of most Christians is blathering.We are Latter-Day-Saints, not MoooooooooooormansThe word Mormon, is the name of an ancient American prophet whose name and writings are recorded in the Book of Mormon. If you have any intellectual and spiritual courage I would challenge the readers of the article to actually read the Book of Mormon and pray about it and ask God, our Heavenly Father if the book itself contains the doctrines of Christ. I did, and have no reason not to be truthful in regards to that matter.It is the Word of God. Just as the Bible is.Actually if many Americans know little or nothing about the Church it isn’t because the LDS Church has failed in trying to teach people about who and what we are. We have public service commercials on all major networks. We list our internet site as http://www.mormon.orgso you’ll know who we are(lol)If viewers can’t log on to that site and take the time to read up on who and what we are, then its’ their problem. Not from our lack of trying.We have over 60-thousand full time missionaries in the field; ready and able to teach the doctrines of the restoration. As the LDS people we have been given an obligation to share those docrines of salvation with our brothers and sisters. But regardless of the publics reluctance to avail themselves of information on the Church, in the end it is up to you out there, to take the time to learn of it yourselves. And if you don’t, well I guess that is your responsibility.We believe those things we teach to be true and from God Himself. And ultimately it doesn’t really matter if you ‘Mormon Haters’ believe it or not. It is for us, a matter of faith, of commitment to follow through on our covenant with God. With or without you in terms of the eternal scheme of things, if we followed through on our part, it was your failing to exercise your own faith in reaching out to the Almighty to seek as much truth as possible. That lack of faith will ultimately have its’ own eternal consequences. For you, and as well as for us.Jesus is my Personal Savior. He is the God of Heaven and Earth. He Lives. And one day, quite soon, I know he will return, ressurected to reclaim this world and His people, from the wretched unholiness that binds this world in turmoil. I hope for your sakes that you’ll take the opportunity to at least understand what your rejecting before that time comes. It would be indeed a shameful loss of your time if you don’t.

  • Melvan Ross

    The ignorance of most Christians is blathering.We are Latter-Day-Saints, not MoooooooooooormansThe word Mormon, is the name of an ancient American prophet whose name and writings are recorded in the Book of Mormon. If you have any intellectual and spiritual courage I would challenge the readers of the article to actually read the Book of Mormon and pray about it and ask God, our Heavenly Father if the book itself contains the doctrines of Christ. I did, and have no reason not to be truthful in regards to that matter.It is the Word of God. Just as the Bible is.Actually if many Americans know little or nothing about the Church it isn’t because the LDS Church has failed in trying to teach people about who and what we are. We have public service commercials on all major networks. We list our internet site as http://www.mormon.orgso you’ll know who we are(lol)If viewers can’t log on to that site and take the time to read up on who and what we are, then its’ their problem. Not from our lack of trying.We have over 60-thousand full time missionaries in the field; ready and able to teach the doctrines of the restoration. As the LDS people we have been given an obligation to share those docrines of salvation with our brothers and sisters. But regardless of the publics reluctance to avail themselves of information on the Church, in the end it is up to you out there, to take the time to learn of it yourselves. And if you don’t, well I guess that is your responsibility.We believe those things we teach to be true and from God Himself. And ultimately it doesn’t really matter if you ‘Mormon Haters’ believe it or not. It is for us, a matter of faith, of commitment to follow through on our covenant with God. With or without you in terms of the eternal scheme of things, if we followed through on our part, it was your failing to exercise your own faith in reaching out to the Almighty to seek as much truth as possible. That lack of faith will ultimately have its’ own eternal consequences. For you, and as well as for us.Jesus is my Personal Savior. He is the God of Heaven and Earth. He Lives. And one day, quite soon, I know he will return, ressurected to reclaim this world and His people, from the wretched unholiness that binds this world in turmoil. I hope for your sakes that you’ll take the opportunity to at least understand what your rejecting before that time comes. It would be indeed a shameful loss of your time if you don’t.

  • Cade Williams

    Here’s an open query to all those posting anti-mormon sentiment herein:WHY DO YOU CARE?!I applaud all anti-mormon postings…they make me laugh. Thanks. Tolerance is beautiful.

  • Realism

    This comment thread is unbelievable. If anything is learned, it’s that bigotry, hatred and contempt are alive and well among people who otherwise have the temerity to label themselves Christian. And the Bible-thumping going on here is flat-out comical. ANYONE can interpret scripture.If you want to know what a sincere member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints believes, simply ask them. Observe their life; then make the determination of whether or not they are striving to pattern their life after Christ.

  • ich dien

    It was a long read and I appreciate the editors allowing the discussion. As an 80 year old, I have worshiped at many an alter in many parts of the world. As one with 13% native American genes and 1% sub-Saharian African genes, I am always interested in challenges to ancients over treatment and/or beliefs about Blacks. My great great grandfather freed the only black in his “family” and in a letter introducing his former servant to his brother described him as being intelligent, virtous, and of good report. Grandfather Willard Richards (who was in the jail with the Smith brothers when some of their Christian neighbors came and killed them) also said that he would rather sit at a table beside his former servant and engage in conversation than with him than with many of his white neighbors. Another ancestor, Elie deBonrepos freed his slave when many of his religious friends and neighbors challenged the right of a black to live in their community

  • Game over – everyone go to bed, we have a long day tomorrow

    MCW: That’s correct.But, in the mean time, SLC is preying upon the weak.Have you ever seen a person who is well developed and strong in their faith in Christianity or other faith (indulge me on this one) who has become Mormon? Neither have I. That’s my point. SLC preys upon the weak.REALISM: Yes, of course, if you want to know what a “sincere” LDS believes, ask and observe them.If you want to know the truth, better go elsewhere.

  • Henry James

    I admire MM in saying that it is of no concern whether non-mormons consider mormons christian. he believes what he believes.an eminently respectable position.of course, mormons ARE christians. there is a broad spectrum of christian beliefs. the one qualifier is that you believe Jesus was the son of god, and clearly the mormons do.mormon history is implicated in racism. Brigham young was much more overtly racist than joseph smith.not to excuse the sins, but the entire US has been racist for 450 years, so at least one can say that mormons are not unique in their racism. and as an ex mormon, i feel fairly confident in saying that mormon racism was not virulent. it was more of a passive racism. not that that makes it much better, but i think it is descriptive.in general, mormons are good-willed people. i think that they are more open minded and tolerant than your typical evangelical christian, for instance.and Mr Otterson, i think you wrote a good column here, and as you know, i don’t always say that.

  • Keith Edward

    TO ALL MORMONS:1) Isn’t true Joseph said the God told him to lead people into polygamy [adultery]?? 2) Do YOU really believe God told Joseph to lead your body into polygamy? 3) If you all are so proud of your prophet, then why is the Mormon church of today so ashamed of polygamy ? 4) Why does your president prophet try to distance Mormons from their polygamy past in his speeches?

  • micah

    As a religious outsider (I’m just a Godless half-Jew) I’ve learned one thing from reading these posts over the last half hour: You people who claim to be Christians really, really hate Mormons. As a non-believer, I judge religions not by what they believe but by the kind of people they create. I could sit around on my ass and believe anything, but it is my actions and words that make me what I am. My Mormon law partner exemplifies everything I think of when I think of a good Christian. He is honest, he is faithful to his wife and family, his is hard working, he is charitable, and he is kind. I have seen him work 80 hour weeks and still spend his weekends visiting the poor and lonely from his church here in the Washington DC area. 3 years ago when my wife was dying of cancer his wife came to my house every day for a month to care for my daughter and clean my house while I stayed with my wife at the hospital. I never talked to my friend about the details of his religious beliefs. I didn’t need to. I could tell by his actions that he was a Christian. In these posts, many of you professed Christians have shown me through your hateful words that you are not.

  • manaen

    RE: ARE MORMONS CHRISTIAN?

  • micah

    As a religious outsider (I’m just a Godless half-Jew) I’ve learned one thing from reading these posts over the last half hour: You people who claim to be Christians really, really hate Mormons. As a non-believer, I judge religions not by what they believe but by the kind of people they create. I could sit around on my ass and believe anything, but it is my actions and words that make me what I am. My Mormon law partner exemplifies everything I think of when I think of a good Christian. He is honest, he is faithful to his wife and family, his is hard working, he is charitable, and he is kind. I have seen him work 80 hour weeks and still spend his weekends visiting the poor and lonely from his church here in the Washington DC area. 3 years ago when my wife was dying of cancer his wife came to my house every day for a month to care for my daughter and clean my house while I stayed with my wife at the hospital. I never talked to my friend about the details of his religious beliefs. I didn’t need to. I could tell by his actions that he was a Christian. In these posts, many of you professed Christians have shown me through your hateful words that you are not.

  • micah

    As a religious outsider (I’m just a Godless half-Jew) I’ve learned one thing from reading these posts over the last half hour: You people who claim to be Christians really, really hate Mormons. As a non-believer, I judge religions not by what they believe but by the kind of people they create. I could sit around on my ass and believe anything, but it is my actions and words that make me what I am. My Mormon law partner exemplifies everything I think of when I think of a good Christian. He is honest, he is faithful to his wife and family, his is hard working, he is charitable, and he is kind. I have seen him work 80 hour weeks and still spend his weekends visiting the poor and lonely from his church here in the Washington DC area. 3 years ago when my wife was dying of cancer his wife came to my house every day for a month to care for my daughter and clean my house while I stayed with my wife at the hospital. I never talked to my friend about the details of his religious beliefs. I didn’t need to. I could tell by his actions that he was a Christian. In these posts, many of you professed Christians have shown me through your hateful words that you are not.

  • Concerned The Christian Now Liberated

    Read the Book of Mormon? Why?LDS is a cult based on hallucinations and “palgiarizations”(the Book of Mormon) which has bought respectability with a $30 billion business empire, the BYU “mission matured” football team and a great choir. Rules for human behavior go way, way back. Read the Code of Hammurabi as a starting reference. (And save your 10% tithing).

  • jimmy dean

    AMAZING……….THE VIRULENT RELIGIOUS BIGOTRY EXHIBITED BY THE ANTI-MORMON COMMENTARY HERE SHOULD BE A REVELATION TO MANY READERS. IT IS REMENISCENT OF THE JUSTIFICATION OF CATHOLICS AND PROTESTANTS IN MURDERING EACH OTHER IN THE NAME OF JESUS IN IRELAND AND OTHER COUNTRIES OVER THE YEARS; OF THE “CHRISTIANS ” WHO SANCTIONED THE EXTERMINATION OF MILLIONS OF JEWS BECAUSE THEY “MURDERED JESUS”; OF THE GENOCIDE IN KOSOVO AND BOSNIA ETC; OF THE SPANISH INQUISITION ETC: OF RADICAL ISLAMISTS WHO CALL FOR THE DESTRUCTION OF ISRAEL AND OF JEWS AND CHRISTIANS EVERYWHERE. I SEE BUMPER STICKERS THAT SAY WHAT WOULD JESUS DO? WOULD YOUR VERSION OF JESUS (WHATEVER IT IS) COUNTENANCE SUCH WIDESPREAD PERSECUTION AND BLOODSHED AS HAS BEEN SEEN OVER THE YEARS IN THE NAME OF JESUS,YAWEH, ALLAH,JEHOVAH ETC.? THINK ABOUT IT! STUDY THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD FROM MANY POINTS OF VIEW IF YOU WANT TO GAIN UNDERSTANDING. DON’T GLOSS OVER THE INCONVINIENT TRUTHS. SURE MORMONS HAVE SOME ISSUES ABOUT THE FOUNDING OF THIER CHURCH, BUT WHO DOSEN’T WHEN THE HISTORY IS TOLD BY A NON ADHERENT. IE TO CATHOLICS ALL PROTESTANTS ARE APOSTATES. THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND (EPISCOPAL) WAS FOUNDED BY KING HENRY VIII BECAUSE HE WANTED A NEW WIFE TO BEAR HIM A MALE HEIR TO THE THRONE AND THE POPE WOULD NOT GRANT HIM A DIVORCE. HMMMMM…… HORNY KING WANTS A NEW WIFE TO GO ALONG WITH ALL HIS CONCUBINES…… POPE SAYS NO. KING STARTS HIS OWN CHURCH. INTERESTING……. ANY EPICAPALIANS OFFENDED? I COULD GO ON ALL NIGHT. HISTORY ALL DEPENDS ON THE VIEW OF THE PERSON WRITING IT. SOME “SCHOLARS AND HISTORIANS” DENY THE HOLOCAUST EVER HAPPENED. AND SOME INTELLECTUAL MIDGETS BELIEVE IT. ASK ANYONE WHO SUFFERED THROUGH IT OR WITNESSED IT AND YOU WILL KNOW THE REAL TRUTH. IN THE 1830S GOV. LILBURN BOGGS OF MISSOURI ISSUED AN EXTERMINATION ORDER THAT ALL MORMONS IN THE STATE OF MISSOURI SHOULD BE KILLED. MEN WOMEN AND CHILDREN. NO TRIALS, NO PRESUMPTION OF INNOCENCE. NO PROTECTION UNDER THE CONSTITUTION OF THE USA. JUST FLAT OUT LEGALIZED MURDER SANCTIONED AND ENCOURAGED BY THE STATE GOVERNMENT. THIS LAW WAS ON THE BOOKS UNTIL THE 1970S WHEN THE LAW WAS REPEALED BY THE MISSOURI LEGISLATURE. AND AN APOLOGY ISSUED BY THEN GOV. JOHN ASHCROFT. DONT BELIEVE IT? LOOK IT UP. BREAK OUT YOUR BIBLES AND TELL ME WHO IS THE FATHER OF HATE, MURDER, LIES, PRIDE AND DISSENSION? COULD IT BE……….. UH…..SATAN. JESUS SAID WE SHOULD LOVE OUR NEIGHBORS AS OUR SELVES. NOT HATE THEM BECAUSE THEY ARE DIFFERENT AND THEN JUSTIFY OURSELVES IN HIS NAME. IN THE WORDS OF THE SONG, ” COME ON PEOPLE NOW SMILE ON YOUR BROTHER, EVERYBODY GET TOGETHER TRY TO LOVE ONE ANOTHER RIGHT NOW”

  • Parker

    Micah,

  • Parker

    RMI,

  • erinannie

    To Romney? Mormons? InsidiousI see little purpose in attempting to debate or talk with you, when you seem hell bent on twisting words so as to serve your purposes.You suggested-1. Mormons are a cult similiar to the Branch Dividians or Jonestown. 2. You claim that Mormons are jailed for their immoralities, and yet only offer one example- Joseph Smith. The Prophet Joseph Smith was not charged with a crime, and yet was in jail. A mob came and began shooting at him and the others in his jail cell. His brother was killed. Joseph was killed by a mob as he jumped from a window fleeing the lawless mob trying to kill him(NOT by law enforcement officials).3. You ask if we can imagine Jesus trying to flee the law. No, we cannot. Christ was not a criminal, but was crucified because non-believers did not like what he had to say. Can you not see the similarities to how Joseph Smith was killed? He had broken no laws, done nothing wrong. And yet he was killed because people didn’t like what he said.4. Again you suggest that Brigham Young took his cult and fled the law. Are you not familiar with the Extermination Order in Missouri? The Mormons were ordered out of Missouri, and if one was seen, they could be shot or “exterminated.” After Joseph Smith was killed Brigham Young became the new head of the LDS Church. The departure for the west took several months and years to organize. It did not happen over night.5. When did the US government ever take over a church? And tell them how to worship? This claim of yours is so preposterous and fabricated that I have no way of responding to it.6. Polygamy- Yes, Mormons call Polygamy plural marriage. Is that not what polygamy is? And yes, the US government outlawed polygamy in another direct effort to hurt and punish Mormons. So much for freedom of religion.7. As you yourself have said polygamy/plural marriage was ended over 100 years ago. Anyone practicing it now is expelled from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Why does this practice continue to be brought up? No one alive today recalls or has ever practiced it. 8. Joseph Smith ran for President against Martin Van Buren on an ANTI-slavery platform. You are seriously mis-informed and mis-guided to think otherwise.9. You said, “They were PRACTICING RACISTS until 1978 when the Great Society (which Mormons hate to this day) caused “god” to speak again to the “prophet” (Spencer Kimball – who, by the way, had the sales presentation of a Pope John-Paul) with the message: “better stop being racist or you will have your racist behind handed to you in jail just like Joseph Smith.”10. 1 Nephi 12:23 (as you quoted correctly) 23 And it came to pass that I beheld, after they had dwindled in unbelief they became a dark, and loathsome, and a filthy people, full of idleness and all manner of abominations. I do not think this means we are racist. This is a description of the people of Latin America, who last I checked, had dark skin. This is a description of the people that had rejected the Gospel at the time. If you also read what the “good guys” look like, you will find they also had dark skin and hair.1 Nephi 13:15 ” 15 And I beheld the Spirit of the Lord, that it was upon the Gentiles, and they did prosper and obtain the bland for their inheritance; and I beheld that they were white, and exceedingly fair and beautiful, like unto my people before they were slain. ” This is a description of the people he could see in a dream. Not a description of actual people.11. You also warn against Mormons asking you for money. Again, I have no idea as to what you refer. I have never asked anyone for money. Again, I call rubbish on you and your concoctions.

  • Brad

    Wow, talk about vitriol and misinformation. I never realized how much my faith is despised. I will say that I have taught Sunday School in the LDS church for the last several years. For the last two years I have taught exclusively from the Old and New Testament of the King James version of the Bible. Frankly, I was curious to see how “Mormon Doctrine” stood up to the Bible and made it a point to focus my teaching on the Bible itself and not refer to the Book of Mormon except on rare occasions. The vast majority of Mormon Doctrine is Biblical, like it or not. Teaching of Christ and of his resurrection and atonement was some of the most rewarding and spiritual opportunities I have ever had.About Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon. In the Book of Mormon, there is a Book titled Jacob. In Jacob chapter 5, is a discussion called “the allegory of the olive tree.” For all of you critical of the Book of Mormon as a fraud, I suggest you find a copy and read this. In this allegory, there is detailed reference to the culture of olive trees, to include pruning, grafting, etc., used to describe a history of the House of Israel. How many olive trees were there in New York in 1820? Where was Joseph Smith supposed to have acquired knowledge of olive tree culture sufficient to spin it in to a detailed religious allegory? (He was a young man, with a limited education, when the Book of Mormon was produced). The more likely author was someone more familiar with olive culture. Check it out. It is pretty amazing.What is sad to me is that Mitt Romney’s religion is even an issue. The values he carries from being a Mormon should be attractive to many Americans. Yet many will not look past preconceived and misinformed notions about his faith. It may get in the way of our country making a proper choice for president.

  • Dr Jose Rodriguez

    Iam mormon my family and I are CHRISTIAN.

  • Robert M.

    Thirty years ago I was a Baptist. Because of the hipocracy and evil politics of that church I quit. About a week later a Mormon missionary knocked on my door. At that time I was open to listen to his message. He told a story about a young man who didn’t understand the religions of the day and which one to join. I accepted what I was taught,read the Book of Mormon, and joined the LDS church about two weeks later. My sister, brother-in-law, and my father came to my house and screamed a lot about me being a member of a “Cult” and all sorts of other garbage. I laughed at all of them while they, including my wife, were in tears. I know that what my wife and I did by joining the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints was the right thing for us to do. What I didn’t know was how evil and ignorant were the teachings of other “Christian” Churches. The idea of the Trinity with the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost being ONE is truly incredible. Other beliefs such as the Bible being the only true words of God, and that we don’t need a Prophet in such perilous times as these are equally absurd. While saying all this I have no problem with anyone calling himself a Christian. This was originally a word of derision coined by people who hated the Saints who followed Jesus. Christ always called his followers “Saints”. “Christian” means anyone who believes in Jesus Christ. That covers us. If you don’t think so, go to your nearest LDS church any Sunday and find out for yourself. The preachers who wrote the derogatory remarks contained in these comments will be even angrier!

  • Parker

    Concerned,I don’t get the feeling that most LDS women feel subservient to men in any way. Some may feel marginalized in how they are treated in their own home or in leadership roles, but not if the men in those situations are practicing what they are taught by LDS Church leaders and scriptures. Some men are still getting over the age-old, abhorrent cultural bias that still exists in some cultural backgrounds and family backgrounds.Concerned, what is your cultural background and family background? Perhaps you are asking the question because you have detected a struggle in this area in your own ancestry or traditions? I hope the women you know from your past and present are as assertive and eloquent as leaders, “movers and shakers” in their community and world as are the women in the LDS Church.

  • Kevin

    Ok, I’m LDS and I’m not a “Christian”. There, does that make every happy? Instead I’ll describe myself as a “Follower of Jesus Christ”.

  • L

    I’m glad Jesus (yes, the very Jesus all “Christians” say they worship/believe in–and yet disagree with each other and place themselves above other “Christians” because they believe they have a superior understanding of who Christ is)…As I was saying, I’m glad Jesus will be the one to ultimately decide who is a Christian and who is not. ;)I think he may be the only one truly cut out for this business of judging others…and yet, from all the self-righteous banter…we all seem so eager to do.

  • Martin

    A Christian train is on the Christian track. It’s conductor guides the train through myriads of connections. Then he dies. The train is left to others who may not know the route quite as well as the master conductor, but they do the very best they can to keep it on track. They steer the train through junction after junction after junction over centuries of time and millions of additional connections. Then one day those on the Christian train, which is now in South Timbuktu, see a shiny sleek train on a totally different track up north. Those on the traditional train are appalled that the newcomers on this northern train would say the traditionalist had taken a few wrong turns and are far off course. But the traditionalists argue that the northern train is laughably the one off course, in fact, should not even be considered a Christian train at all because it is so far away from them. The northern train is indeed on an entirely different track, but one must take a step back to realize which is truly following the master conductor. If a people worship Christ, talk of Christ, and attempt with all their souls to walk in His footsteps, they just might be able to be classified as His followers, no matter how far away they are from the traditional followers who have tried to remain on the train even though it may have missed a connection here or there.

  • Concerned The Christian Now Liberated

    Parker, Parker, Parker,The LDS Relief Society’s members have been Bred, Born and Brainwashed in Mormonism’s Joe Smith/Moroni mumbo jumbo. No doubt all Mormon women are expected to join the Society just as they are expected not to question the authority of the all male, past and current Mormon “profits”. There is hope, however, for them via the easy Three Step Program for “Deflawing” Mormonism i.e. 1. Moroni was a “pretty wingie talking fictional thingie and all references to him in the Book of Mormon should be deleted.2. Joe Smith suffered from signficant hallucinations/drinking binges. During these episodes in conjured up names like Moroni and the phantom Golden Tablets. As with Moroni, the Golden Tablets never existed.3. Flaws in the basic foundations of the major Christian religions to include Mormonism are to be immediately memorized and used to remind yourself of the delusions of those who preceded you.a. Abraham founder/father of three major religions was probably a mythical character. If he was real, he was at best a combination of at least three men. 1.5 million Conservative Jews and their rabbis have relegated Abraham to the myth pile along with most if not all the OT. b. Jesus, the illiterate Jewish peasant/carpenter possibly suffering from hallucinations, has been characterized anywhere from the Messiah from Nazareth to a mythical character from mythical Nazareth to a mamzer from Nazareth (Professor Bruce Chilton, in his book Rabbi Jesus). Analyses of Jesus’ life by many contemporary NT scholars (e.g. Professors Crossan, Borg and Fredriksen, On Faith panelists) via the NT and related documents have concluded that only about 30% of Jesus’ sayings and ways noted in the NT were authentic. The rest being embellishments (e.g. miracles)/hallucinations made/had by the NT authors to impress various Christian, Jewish and Pagan sects. The 30% of the NT that is “authentic Jesus” like everything in life was borrowed/plagiarized and/or improved from those who came before. In Jesus’ case, it was the ways and sayings of the Babylonians, Greeks, Persians, Egyptians, Hittites, Canaanites, OT, John the Baptizer and possibly the ways and sayings of traveling Greek Cynics. c. Luther, Calvin, Smith, Henry VIII, Wesley et al, founders of Christian-based religions, also suffered from the belief in/hallucinations of “pretty wingy talking flying fictional thingie” visits and “prophecies” for profits analogous to the myths of Catholicism (resurrections, apparitions, ascensions and immaculate conceptions).And Parker, I have had no religious struggles in my past, only a great desire to get at the truth as ingrained in me by the many male and female teachers in my life.

  • Martin

    Some say God is dead, that He is silent, that He does not speak to men today, that there could not be a prophet of God nor Apostles of Jesus Christ today. So what would those very people say to this very blog which is the fulfillment of modern prophecy. See

  • Alex

    A few weeks ago, I attended the LDS Church temple. I had a marvelous experience there and I drove home with love for my Father in Heaven and my Savior, Jesus Christ in my heart. My desire to be obedient to the Lord grew in my heart. I know they live, for I have felt their presence near. I had communed with my Father in Heaven through the Spirit, and it happened exactly as Joseph Smith said it would. My joy was full.But apparently the Lord and I are mistaken, because a little bit later that day, I sat down at the computer and read a blog commenting on how deceived I am. The commenter wrote as if he were defending Christ from the likes of me, while flamboyantly defending his Bible so as not to let it be defiled by a lunatic Mormon. I have found that one of life’s ironies is that direct experience with heaven brings with it simultaneously the finger of scorn. It creates a paradoxical pinch, wherein we are tested as to whether we can abide the comforting Spirit of heaven and the ridicule of the ignorant simultaneously. How we choose to react when the ridicule of the world belies our own experience with the divine is a great measure of our devotion to God.

  • J Golden Rockwell

    Once again, the usual kooks (and their audiences) come out of the woodwork to “prove” that Mormons aren’t Christian, according to the Bible. They will quote you chapter and verse, word for word.Mormons, you see, are considered a “cult” because we believe in the Bible “as far as it is translated correctly” rather than believing that it is word-for-word, 100% accurate, inerrant and complete.The real amusing part is that the “perfect” Bible was compiled at the END of the FOURTH CENTURY, by a group of Catholic and Orthodox priests. Most of the anti-Mormons also use the Bible to “prove” that Catholics aren’t Christians! And which of the several versions of the Bible is the “perfect” one? Most of these people say that it is the King James Version (KJV). The problem is that there were six different versions of the KJV, and there are the modern translations, NONE OF WHICH AGREE WITH THE OTHERS.I ran into one of these “KJV is perfect” oddballs a while back, preaching that all other versions of the Bible are wrong, including all non-English versions (which also don’t agree with the KJV).To add to the confusion, there are NO ORIGINAL MANUSCRIPTS of any of the books in the Bible. The priests in the 4th Century had to work from copies of copies of copies, trying to figure out which were the most accurate due to the errors that had cropped up over the years. They largely relied on inspiration and prayer to figure this out, then made their best guess.How could such a book be 100% perfect? And if the root is not perfect, how can any translation, especially one done 1000 years later, become perfect?The oddballs will tell you that “all true Christian doctrine” is found in the Bible. This begs the question — where does the Bible say this?For that matter, the reason that they say Mormons aren’t Christian is because we don’t believe that God, Jesus and the Holy Ghost are the same entity. This doctrine is not found anywhere in the Bible, and in fact came along in the 3rd and 4th centuries. The Jesus of the Bible says the exact opposite, and even asks God to release Him from His mission, but says that that He will follow the commandments of our Father (“. . .not as I will, but as thou wilt . . .”).I once had an anti-Mormon smugly tell me “I guess we just don’t believe in the same Jesus.” I guess not — the Jesus that I believe in is found in the Bible, not in the Nicene Creed.Given just these simple things, it becomes obvious that the critics of Mormonism are themselves not truly Christians, as proven by their own “perfect” Bible.

  • J Golden Rockwell

    ATTN: ConcernedLet me tell you a couple of things about women and Mormonism.First, we do not follow the fundamentalist doctrine that women are to “remain silent” and not teach in church. If you visit to Temple Square in Salt Lake City (the headquarters of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) you will be guided and given a basic understanding of our doctrines by women — “sister” missionaries who come here from all over the world.Continuing your tour, you will see that the building closest to the front door of our most sacred the Temple was built for the Relief Society, our women’s organization. Look as hard as you like, you won’t find any building there which was built for a men’s organization, not even for the highest “quorum” of our Priesthood.The Temple itself is used for ordinances of an eternal nature, binding the family together for time and for all eternity. Our doctrines state that no man may reach the highest levels of Heaven without his eternal companion, nor she without him. In cases of divorce, the Temple sealing can only be canceled by request of the wife — the husband can’t do it.Women in this church are called to serve missions, teach, give community service and the other things which the Lord calls men to do — everything which doesn’t require the Priesthood.A Relief Society joke asks: “Why do men get the Priesthood and not women? To make things even!”An Elders’ Quorum joke: “The man is the head of the household, but the woman is the NECK! She holds him up and helps him face the right way.”We also don’t segregate our Sacrament or adult Sunday School meetings in any way (including seating arrangements). When you come attend our services, sit where you like, as a member or visitor.I suggest that you do that — visit your local LDS services next Sunday. That will let you see what we are really like, and give you some idea of what we believe. Don’t be surprised if the two missionaries assigned in that “ward” (a geographic area, like a Catholic parish) are sister missionaries from some other country, who are paying their own way to serve here. We don’t pay our missionaries (or anyone else) to preach the Gospel. Even President Hinckley, our Prophet, is not paid to preach — he lives in a simple apartment near his office and the Temple — so you won’t have the embarrassment of everyone watching what you put in the plate (we don’t pass one). The best way to address concerns is head-on. When you see what we really do, you will laugh at what you have been told.

  • Concerned The Christian Now Liberated

    The OT, NT, Koran and the Book are Mormon are all flawed because of the historical problems with the founders and foundations of the associated religions. Once again the “Flaw” synopsis:1. Abraham founder/father of three major religions was probably a mythical character. If he was real, he was at best a combination of at least three men. 1.5 million Conservative Jews and their rabbis have relegated Abraham to the myth pile along with most if not all the OT. 2. Jesus, the illiterate Jewish peasant/carpenter possibly suffering from hallucinations, has been characterized anywhere from the Messiah from Nazareth to a mythical character from mythical Nazareth to a mamzer from Nazareth (Professor Bruce Chilton, in his book Rabbi Jesus. Analyses of Jesus’ life by many contemporary NT scholars (e.g. Professors Crossan, Borg and Fredriksen, On Faith panelists) via the NT and related documents have concluded that only about 30% of Jesus’ sayings and ways noted in the NT were authentic. The rest being embellishments (e.g. miracles)/hallucinations made/had by the NT authors to impress various Christian, Jewish and Pagan sects. The 30% of the NT that is “authentic Jesus” like everything in life was borrowed/plagiarized and/or improved from those who came before. In Jesus’ case, it was the ways and sayings of the Babylonians (e.g. Code of Hammurabi), Greeks, Persians, Egyptians, Hittites, Canaanites, OT, John the Baptizer and possibly the ways and sayings of traveling Greek Cynics. 3. Mohammed, an illiterate, womanizing, warmongering, hallucinating Arab, also had embellishing/hallucinating/plagiarizing scribal biographers who not only added “angels” and flying chariots to the koran but also a militaristic agenda to support the plundering and looting of the lands of non-believers. The warmongering, Islamic Shiite terror and torture theocracy of Iran aka the Third Axis of Evil and also the Sunni “Wannabees” of Saudi Arabia.4. Luther, Calvin, Joe Smith, Henry VIII, Wesley et al, founders of Christian-based religions, also suffered from the belief in/hallucinations of “pretty wingy talking flying fictional thingie” visits and “prophecies” for profits analogous to the myths of Catholicism (resurrections, apparitions, ascensions and immaculate conceptions).5. Hinduism (from an online Hindu site) – “Hinduism cannot be described as an organized religion. It is not founded by any individual. Hinduism is God centered and therefore one can call Hinduism as founded by God, because the answer to the question ‘Who is behind the eternal principles and who makes them work?’ will have to be ‘Cosmic power, Divine power, God’.”The caste/laborer system and cow worship are problems when saying a fair and rational God founded Hinduism.” 6. Buddhism- “Buddhism began in India about 500 years before the birth of Christ. The people living at that time had become disillusioned with certain beliefs of Hinduism including the caste system, which had grown extremely complex. The number of outcasts (those who did not belong to any particular caste) was continuing to grow.””However, in Buddhism, like so many other religions, fanciful stories arose concerning events in the life of the founder, Siddhartha Gautama (fifth century B.C.):”Archaeological discoveries have proved, beyond a doubt, his historical character, but apart from the legends we know very little about the circumstances of his life.Bottom line: There are many good ways of living but be aware of the hallucinations, embellishments, lies and myths surrounding the founders of said rules of life.

  • J Golden Rockwell

    Oh, BTW, “Concerned,” you make comments about how women are treated in then Church, then cite a Wikipedia reference. Did you read it, especially this part?”Women also have retained a certain degree of authority in some areas, including a number of leadership positions, which include authority over children or other women, although these women leaders are subject to supervision and guidance by priesthood-holding leaders. Women are “endowed” with priesthood power, but are not ordained as clergy. Though not considered clergy, women play a significant part in the operation of local congregations. Women teach classes to adults, teenagers, and children. Women also organise social, educational, and humanitarian activities. Women may also serve as missionaries, and a select few may perform certain ordinances such as washing and anointing on behalf of women in Latter-day Saint temples. Unofficially, wives of male clergy also often play an indirect leadership role by influencing and counseling their husbands.”

  • Gator

    I find it interesting that others will go to extreme lengths to prove that LDS beliefs are wrong. Why? What are you scared about? Every religion has different theologies. The question that should be asked is does that religion make you a better person. 1. Mormons stress a healthy lifestyle including abstinence from alcohol, coffee, tea and tobacco. Is this a bad thing? I could go on an on but everyone wants to focus on a few things in LDS history that are negatives. Why?

  • Palooza

    Mormons? Romney? Insidious! Are you for real?I’ve read through most of the posts and am rather shocked at that “good christians” will say to defend their idea of what will get them into heaven. I’m also surprised that you Bible thumpers are so anxious to attack instead of proffering Christ-like love to those you think are lost sheep. I also agree that if you have any questions about a religion, the best place to find information is from the source. Reading websites built by ex-members or anti-religious groups is never a good idea. Take it from the source, and then decide if it’s right for you. I’m still floored that this nation founded on religious freedom (or freedom from religion, if you choose) would be having this type of discussion in the 21st century.

  • Ryan Starks

    I have enjoyed reading everyone’s comments and their distinct views about mormonism and politics. I wanted to express my thoughts on some of the points that have been made. I understand that to many, the LDS faith is mysterious. I would like to clarify a few things. We believe that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is not a “new” church, but rather the same Church that Christ established while on the earth. Like Christ’s original church, apostles and prophets have been called to preach of Christ to all the world. Thus there are nearly 60,000 missionaries “proclaiming the gospel” to the entire world as Christ commanded before his asention to heaven. We do not try to tear down others’ beliefs, rather we strive to add the knowledge we have that has been restored. The accounts of angelic messengers may seem strange, but remember, angels proclaimed Christ’s birth in the New Testament. The fact that we believe in 3 seperate beings affirms the account of Christ’s baptism where the Father spoke from heaven, declaring Christ as his son. In addition, the holy ghost was manifested in the form of a dove. I would ask anyone who sincerely wants to know more about the LDS faith to obtain a copy of the Book of Mormon and study it for themselves. That is the promise the book gives, that you may know the truthfullness of all things. Find out for yourself what the Church teaches rather than believing every misconception. At this time of year, let us all remember who it was that was born into this world to redeem all who would follow him. For additional info. please visit mormon.org

  • Ryan Starks

    I have enjoyed reading everyone’s comments and their distinct views about mormonism and politics. I wanted to express my thoughts on some of the points that have been made. I understand that for many, the LDS faith is mysterious. I would like to clarify a few things. We believe that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is not a “new” church, but rather the same Church that Christ established while on the earth. Like Christ’s original church, apostles and prophets have been called to preach of Christ to all the world. Thus there are nearly 60,000 missionaries “proclaiming the gospel” to the entire world as Christ commanded before his asention to heaven. We do not try to tear down others’ beliefs, rather we strive to add the knowledge we have that has been restored. The accounts of angelic messengers may seem strange, but remember, angels proclaimed Christ’s birth in the New Testament. The fact that we believe in 3 seperate beings affirms the account of Christ’s baptism where the Father spoke from heaven, declaring Christ as his son. In addition, the holy ghost was manifested in the form of a dove. I would ask anyone who sincerely wants to know more about the LDS faith to obtain a copy of the Book of Mormon and study it for themselves. That is the promise the book gives, that you may know the truthfullness of all things. Find out for yourself what the Church teaches rather than believing every misconception. At this time of year, let us all remember who it was that was born into this world to redeem all who would follow him. For additional info. please visit mormon.org

  • Mike Johnson

    I love how all of these people who know little about the LDS church are telling us what we believe. Get a clue people! If you want to know whether the Mormons are Christian try living our beliefs for a year. I guarantee you will know!

  • Greg

    To Keith David:

  • manaen

    Wow — the mormophobia continues!I’ll just offer the Lord’s words about The Book of Mormon:Moroni 10:Just ask God! Don’t believe an LDS or an opponent of the restored gospel — just ask God.

  • ryan

    “By their fruits ye shall know them…”Words to apply towards politicians and religions.

  • Mike R.

    I read many of these posts with an increasing degree of laughter. Those of you out there who profess to “know” about Mormons make me laugh at your very high degree of stupidity. Case in point: ‘Yes But’ posted that Joseph Smith got the Gold plates from an “Indian Mound” and that Mormons believe that.It’s funny that I have always been taught that what we call the “Hill Cumorah” is a Drumlin. A remnant of the ice sheet that covered much of North America during the last ice age. I’ve never heard of it being an Indian Mound.For that comment and many others, Yes But strains credibility.As Otterson said, if you want to know what a Mormon believes, ask a Mormon. Don’t believe your preacher or your teacher or your anti/ex-Mormon. They all have an agenda.The agenda of the LDS Church as stated time and time again by it’s leaders is to, “Bring people to Christ.” You don’t like it? Go and soak your head.

  • CT

    From MSNBC:”The bad news for Romney is that he is getting blown out in Iowa, where he spent too much time and money. He and Rudy have to hope that the ol’ prosecutor himself, Fred Thompson, is willing to step up and try to take down Huckabee. Romney’s hopes now rest not in Iowa, but in New Hampshire, where he would have to make his stand. Huckabee is the revenge of history on the GOP. PARTY STRATEGISTS BUILT THE BASE ON EVANGELICALS IN THE SOUTH. NOW THEY WILL HAVE TO LIVE WITH THE RESULTS.”The good news is that bigotry is coming to light. The bad news is evangelicals will not learn to behave like christians until after the election.

  • AnnieB

    Well said, Brother Otterson. Might I double underline your quote:”For Latter-day Saints who try to live their lives as they believe Jesus taught, assertions that they aren’t Christian are as bewildering as they are wounding.”I am a Latter-day Saint and have been taught from birth to not only hold fast to my own faith, but to respect the differing faith of others. When I see others attacking my religion I conclude that it must be out of fear. Why else would someone who is truly religious or deeply spiritual seek to tear down another…something that goes against the heart of any religion?I pray for the day when we all can, as Paul said in Ephesians, “…come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God…”Until then, these attacks will only divide, alienate and demean *all* people of faith.

  • Concerned The Christian Now Liberated

    J. Golden Rockwell,Of course, I read the paragraph. In summary: Mormon women are still subservient to Mormon men doing their bidding wherever and whenever.

  • Alex

    Concerned,I’ll have to inform my wife that we were both wrong. Apparently she is supposed to be subservient to me at doing my bidding, wherever and whenever. I guess I should have been following this strawman Mormonism rather than the real teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

  • Fred

    I love, believe, and follow Jesus Christ of Nazareth and I accept Him as my personal Savior. What am I?

  • Kylie Walters

    What a wonderful article. I wish we had more stories like this one going around. There are so many assumptions made still today and i am amazed at how many people see The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as a cult, it is so 18th 19th century to me when will this world wakeup and smell the 20th century for what it really can be a place where all man, woman and children can worship whom how and wherever they please. I live in Sydney and my mother-in-law went to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Sydney Australian Temple last weet for a meeting and discovered that the nativity scene that has been used for many years now had graffiti on it. Black spray paint covered the whole face of the baby doll that represented Jesus and the eyes and parts of the faces of the manikins representing Mary, Joseph and the three wise man were sprayed black even the animals were sprayed on and the word ‘Satan’ was written on the sign out side the front of the grounds that told people that this was a house of the Lord. It brought tears to my eyes as I saw those photos and I pray that the people/person responsible will on day learn to be more open minded and learns to respect other peoples believes. For me the word ‘Christian’ should mean nothing more then someone who believes in Christ the babe born from Bethlehem no matter how they see him now.Always a faithful Member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

  • Concerned The Christian Now Liberated

    Alex,Apparently your wife is one lucky woman considering your Mormon “right” to subjugate her.

  • J Golden Rockwell

    Attn: “Concerned”My wife says that if you ever had a clue, you must have broken it and lost half the pieces.I didn’t want to tell you that, but she required me to do so (instead of saying what I originally planned to say).. . .so much for “subservience” and “doing my bidding wherever and whenever” . . .. . .but you already KNOW that you’re lying. I just wanted everyone else to know it also.

  • Savea

    If Christians continue to criticize the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints then they should not be called Christians anymore. If today is the final judgement day, they shall be punished for not following Christ’s commandments. Where is your Christ-like compassion? Make your own research and pray about it. You’ve wasted your time criticizing the Mormons and their own peculiar beliefs. Look at the mirror and say I am a child of God. How can you pray to our Father in Heaven to love you while you don’t show love to others? The LDS have done more to help others than many of these self-righteous evangelists.

  • Savea

    If Christians continue to criticize the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints then they should not be called Christians anymore. If today is the final judgement day, they shall be punished for not following Christ’s commandments. Where is your Christ-like compassion? Make your own research and pray about it. You’ve wasted your time criticizing the Mormons and their own peculiar beliefs. Look at the mirror and say I am a child of God. How can you pray to our Father in Heaven to love you while you don’t show love to others? The LDS have done more to help others than many of these self-righteous evangelists.

  • Peter

    The real question that everyone should be asking–are Evangelicals religious bigots, bumbling idiots, or both? Please enlighten me.

  • J Golden Rockwell

    Peter: Like the TV ads say, “they are all that, and MORE!”BTW, “Game Over,” thank you for reminding me why I could no longer stand being like you and instead became a Mormon.

  • Into the Fray…

    I think I’ve read every comment regarding this article. Here’s what I’ve concluded.There is a lot of Hate, Fear, Bigotry, Ignorance, Arrogance, Stupidty, and last, but not least, a total lack of manners/civility associated with 90% of the above posts.It’s really disheartning to know that we are going to be at each others throats until Jesus Christ comes and saves (salvages) what’s left of humanity.Or we could just drop all the macho finger pointing, and help this nation re-gain its post-war glory by serving (loving) one another.

  • S2M

    I only have one thing to say regarding these posts. Those of you claiming to be real Christians ought to be ashamed of youselves for being so judgemental. One and only One will judge, and that is Christ Himself. So with the time you put into tearing other religions and Americans apart, perhaps you “christians” should take a look inside yourselves and ask youselves if you are truly following Christ’s example.

  • Parker

    RMI,

  • Parker

    RMI,

  • Palooza

    RMI, I merely asked about your intentions because, with all due respect, some of the things you asserted as asinine. You have your personal choices regarding your own spirituality to deal with, but I’m not sure that you are qualified to tell Mormons or any other member of any religion what they believe. Don’t want to believe in any religion or any god? Fine. Don’t. But it is incredibly intolerant for anyone to tell someone else that they are brainwashed or evil or even sadly misguided because they have chosen to follow one particular faith. If you had made similar comments related to homosexuals or members of a minority group, you would be rightly labeled a bigot. Making those same comments about a religion you choose not believe still makes your opinions bigoted.

  • RMI

    Palooza,Let’s have it. I’m a big boy. Which of the “things” that I asserted were asinine? Then, we can measure how well qualified I might be.You don’t comprehend what you read very well, do you? (and you make assumptions too readily – just an observation – would you like for me to demonstrate your rush to assume?)Intolerant? Certainly I’m intolerant. In regard to this thread, I am intolerant of people being misled by conartists.Using your reasoning, we would have ignored people like Jim Jones and Warren Jeffs.I disagree with you with respect to your opinion that my opinions are bigoted. Nevertheless, lets have it. Why, exactly, do you have that opinion? (Note – I am bigoted toward murderers, thieves, liars, paedophiles, rapists, etc. so, if that is your basis, well……. I proudly raise my hand)Or, you can stop bothering me and I will return the same courtesy.

  • RMI

    Thanks Parker,I will get back to you on this.

  • Nicholas Gordon

    Why Mormons Are Not Christian.First: Mormons do not follow or believe in the historic Jesus Christ of the Bible, but rather in a different Jesus. This is why most Biblical Christians emphatically insist that Mormons are not Christians. Let me explain. The god of the Mormons is not the God of the Bible. To the Mormons, Jesus is the firstborn son of an exalted “man” who became the god of this world. The man-god of Mormonism was made the god of this world because of his good works on another planet somewhere out in the universe. He “earned” godhood, and was thus appointed by a counsel of gods in the heavens to his high position as the god of planet Earth. The Mormon god of this world was a man, like all men, who became a god. This is what the celestial marriage and the temple vows are all about. LDS men, by doing their temple work, are striving for exaltation by which they, too, shall one day become gods. Their wives will be the mother goddesses of “their” world and with their husband will produce the population of their world. This is the Mormon doctrine of “eternal progression.” Note the following quote from the Mormon Journal of Discourses, vol. 1, page 123, made by the LDS Apostle Orson Hyde: “Remember that God, our heavenly Father, was perhaps once a child, a mortal like we ourselves, and rose step by step in the scale of progress, in the school of advancement; has moved forward and overcome, until He has arrived at the point were He is.” Lorenzo Snow, late President of the Mormon church, made this statement in the second verse of his famous poem entitled, “Man’s Destiny”: “As Abra’m, Isaac, Jacob, too, babes, then men–to gods they grew. As man now is, our God once was; As now God is, so man may be,– Which doth unfold man’s destiny. . .” The God of the Bible is not an exalted man. The God of the Bible is omnipresent, omnipotent, and omniscient. The Bible says He is the only God and there are no other Gods. He had no beginning or end and he is a spirit being and never was a man. Read more…

  • Anonymous

    WOW! Such a firm stand by everyone on their opinions. I didn’t sense much humility, or forgiveness, or compassion. Just dogmatic opinions from one good christian to another I guess.

  • noone

    I am a mormon and I won’t be voting for Mitt Romney. I am not voting for him because I don’t agree with his politics. I resent that news agencies are using my faith to stir up controversy and promote hate among this nation. Religious prejudice is still alive and well, and trust me if it is practiced you will pay for it for along time. Just ask us Mormons, no matter how much you try, we can never, never get away from polygamy, the black issue, and others. Just remember, all you Christians out there. What goes around, comes around.

  • noone

    I am a mormon and I won’t be voting for Mitt Romney. I am not voting for him because I don’t agree with his politics. I resent that news agencies are using my faith to stir up controversy and promote hate among this nation. Religious prejudice is still alive and well, and trust me if it is practiced you will pay for it for along time. Just ask us Mormons, no matter how much you try, we can never, never get away from polygamy, the black issue, and others. Just remember, all you Christians out there. What goes around, comes around.

  • Palooza

    RMI, I happen to think that some of you assertions were ridiculous, but as with all things academic, interpretations are subjective. We will never agree so I don’t see the point in wasting either of our time. But in the future, it would be *great* if you could refrain from assuming that if someone agrees with you, they are correct and enlightened. I did read through all your statements, and, incredibly, still found them ridiculous. You’re certainly entitled to your opinions on any religion, but just remember that all members of any religion or any other group are still human first, and worthy of some some respect instead of mockery and belittling for their personal beliefs.

  • Bro. Gary

    In summary:”Is it Christian for a Christian to narrowly define Christian such that a more broadly, self-defined Christian isn’t a Christian?”

  • Pope Benedict

    Wikipedia lists Mormons at restorationist Christians, that’s good enough for me.

  • Concerned The Christian Now Liberated

    “Once again into the breach”:Three Step Program for “Deflawing” Mormonism i.e. 1. Moroni was a “pretty wingie talking fictional thingie and all references to him in the Book of Mormon should be deleted.2. Joe Smith suffered from signficant hallucinations/drinking binges. During these episodes in conjured up names like Moroni and the phantom Golden Tablets. As with Moroni, the Golden Tablets never existed.3. Flaws in the basic foundations of the major Christian religions to include Mormonism are to be immediately memorized and used to remind yourself of the delusions of those who preceded you.a. Abraham founder/father of three major religions was probably a mythical character. If he was real, he was at best a combination of at least three men. 1.5 million Conservative Jews and their rabbis have relegated Abraham to the myth pile along with most if not all the OT. b. Jesus, the illiterate Jewish peasant/carpenter possibly suffering from hallucinations, has been characterized anywhere from the Messiah from Nazareth to a mythical character from mythical Nazareth to a mamzer from Nazareth (Professor Bruce Chilton, in his book Rabbi Jesus). Analyses of Jesus’ life by many contemporary NT scholars (e.g. Professors Crossan, Borg and Fredriksen, On Faith panelists) via the NT and related documents have concluded that only about 30% of Jesus’ sayings and ways noted in the NT were authentic. The rest being embellishments (e.g. miracles)/hallucinations made/had by the NT authors to impress various Christian, Jewish and Pagan sects. The 30% of the NT that is “authentic Jesus” like everything in life was borrowed/plagiarized and/or improved from those who came before. In Jesus’ case, it was the ways and sayings of the Babylonians, Greeks, Persians, Egyptians, Hittites, Canaanites, OT, John the Baptizer and possibly the ways and sayings of traveling Greek Cynics. c. Luther, Calvin, Joe Smith, Henry VIII, Wesley et al, founders of Christian-based religions, also suffered from the belief in/hallucinations of “pretty wingy talking flying fictional thingie” visits and “prophecies” for profits analogous to the myths of Catholicism (resurrections, apparitions, ascensions and immaculate conceptions).

  • RMI

    Palooza: Well… that’s a start. Interpretations being subjective – uh huh. You do not like my style. It’s arrogant…. blah, blah, blah. It’s ok.PREACHING TO THE CHOIR:That you find my posting ridiculous is fine with me. We could (well I could) have so much fun if you would offer up some of those extraordinary rationalization skills.This is not the the first time I have offered to school you with respect to my ridiculous postings.Go ahead, be brave, select one of my ridiculous facts. Let’s examine it. Bet we can find agreement on whether I am correct or not about the fact.Then, we can apply our interpretive skills and perhaps I will chuckle at my preposterous, laughable posting (and beg forgiveness) Or, perhaps you will acknowledge that understanding the truth of my posting just required your further study (you will be forgiven straightaway – we are friends; aren’t we?).One of us is going to become a better person for having learned from the other. Or, you can stop bothering me and I will return the same courtesy.

  • R Conger

    Thank-you Newsweek.

  • R Conger

    Thank-you Newsweek.

  • Jaci Fairbanks

    Your article was very well written. I appreciate knowing that you have taken the time to state the facts. Thank you for not spreading more false teachings. God bless you and your family.

  • Jaci Fairbanks

    Your article was very well written. I appreciate knowing that you have taken the time to state the facts. Thank you for not spreading more false teachings. God bless you and your family.

  • George Jungle

    MORMONISM and the LDS Church is a FALSE church. The Jesus that Mormons believe in is NOT the Jesus of the Bible. The JESUS of the Bible is GOD himself ! GOD and JESUS are ONE and the SAME ! JESUS is the creator of the universe !WARNING TO ALL MORMONS:The BIBLE teaches that anyone who ADDS anything to what the BIBLE teaches will have plagues and punishment added to them. What do you think the Book of Mormon and the D&C are ? They are adding to what the Bible teaches. Where is Joseph Smith ? Joseph Smith is in Hell ! Why ? Because Joseph Smith refused to believe the Bible and decided to instead mislead who knows how many people by creating the Mormon religion which is SATANICLY conceived !The HOLY BIBLE is 100% true ! The BIBLE is GOD’s inspired HOLY WORD and is NOT to be played with and trivialized which is exactly what the LDS church has done.There will be NOT ONE true MORMON in heaven. Joseph Smith is not there. Joseph Smith is the same place as Hitler !The LDS church is NOT God’s chosen people. The JEWISH people are GOD’s chosen people. ISRAEL, not UTAH, is the APPLE OF GOD’s eye !WAKE UP MORMONS BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE AND YOU FIND YOURSELF IN HELL !!!

  • Sang Kim

    There you go George Jungle! Tell the truth my friend.

  • Steve Redinger

    I speak as a person who was LDS from age 19 to age 37 years old. Mormonism is a dual religion. It has a public gospel and a private esoteric gospel. (See Apostle Bruce McConkie, ‘Mormon Doctrine’ pg 333 ) The public gospel appears Biblical from a public analysis. The LDS declares itself ‘Christian’ in public from this stand point. The private gospel- contains what creedal/traditional Christians find ‘non-Christian’ When a person joins the Mormons they first are taught the public (preparatory gospel). It teaches of One God (BoM Alma 11:29) who is strictly Eternal ( BoM Moroni ch. 7&8) the convert makes what is claimed to be forever baptismal covenants to this One Eternal God-being (see Doctrine & Covenants 20:19). Later after membership , these conditions and covenants change with the teaching of the second gospel (fulness of the gospel or Eternal Progression). This fulness teaches that God is only one of many gods who are really not eternal afterall (King Follet Discourse). So a person becomes a Mormon under one set of conditions– but after joining the conditions change. This represents a bait and switch practice in gaining religious converts– or lack of informed consent when joining the LDS Church.

  • RMI

    Steve R:You are spot on.Thank you.

  • Jody Goodrich

    As a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints I found this article to be very helpful, both for myself as I wonder how to relate with friends and neighbors of other faiths and for those who know little about the “Mormon” religion. Particularly I enjoyed the quote by Senator John Kennedy who I believe accurately portrayed the spirit of religious liberty as it applies to members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. We believe in freedom, we believe in goodness, we believe in respecting the beliefs of others whatever they may be and we appreciate seeing and feeling that same respect and goodness in return.

  • Concerned The Christian Now Liberated

    Wow, George Jungle sure has a severe case of the Three B’s i.e. Bred, Born and Brainwashed in “red neck” Christianity!!!!

  • noah berkey

    The fact that mormons are christian is self evident in the name of the The LDS Church. The official name is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. And it is indeed The Church of Jesus Christ, and there is only one Jesus Christ. The different religions that believe in Christ are to numerous to mention, but it is easy to differentuate between various christians. Catholic Christians do not go by the name of the Baptist, nor do the Baptist go by the name of Lutheran, yet all are christians because they belive in Jesus Christ. So whether a person be a Mennonite Christian, a baptist Christian, a Lutheran Christian, or a Mromon Christian, how can some say that all are not chrisitans?Since God requires those who “claim” to be saved to keep his commanments, then only those who learn what those commandments are, and keep them, these will be the only ones who are saved. The Question then is not who is christian, but rather who knows the truth? Obvopusly, if there are 100 opinions on a subject, then 99 of that 100 are either in the wrong or they do not have the truth! Is God double minded? I think not. The scriptures are clear on the subject that God is not a respector of persons and Jesus Christ himself pointed out that many of his own generation erred, not knowing the scriptures. This irratated them and they put him on the cross and crucified him. Today we have those same type of people in all religions, thinking that “their”truths are the only correct way. Hos silly! All men and women are cildren of God and he will do everything in his power to help and enlighten any persons mind, but they must let him come to them. If they believe in Christ, they do well, but even the devils believe, so it is obcious that belief is not enough to save any soul. The fact is that there are good men and women in all religions, and that is as it should be. as always…the way it is…[email protected]

  • Tim Holyoak

    Mr Otterson,I very much liked your article and would be very much inclined to direct friends or interested persons to read it for clarifications as to Moronism and Christianity. Thanks, Tim

  • anonymous

    I love the Father and the Son with all of my heart.

  • John Stephens

    My deceased stepfather was an elder in the Mormon church, and most all of his family, whom I love, are Mormons in Utah. I attended the LDS church from my youth to early adulthood and I was baptized in the church, so I am well acquainted with Mormon doctrine. It would take a thesis or perhaps a dissertation to write a proper treatise on all the ways Mormonism contradicts the Word of God in general and Jesus Christ in particular, but I shall be succinct by adhering to basics.

  • Jon Penny

    Can’t resist.John Stephens: what the?Dude, the three “languages” you quote are traditional literary genres, including the prophetic. And if it matters, which it really doesn’t by any but the most artificial standard for scripture, you will find symbol, parable, prophecy, and even allegory in the Book of Mormon. In fact, the presence of chiasma–a Hebrew poetic conceit–is considered one of the literary evidences of its authenticity. But even if this were not so, recall that portions of the OT and most of the NT were not written, or at least not considered canonical and compiled, until 400 AD–centuries after the events and teachings they retain, whereas the Book of Mormon purports to have been written and assembled by an offshoot of the Hebrews over a period of 1,000 years within the context of a culture, language, and belief system in significant flux. It also claims to have a single editor working with physical records and a single translator. These would be better claims to authority than the mere coincidence of three literary modes. Now that said, I read and love the Bible. I have no problem with its textual history, which, given the spiritual witness I experience when reading its most cogent and profound teachings, actually deepens my faith in God: that he can work with this whole dysfunctional human family at all is a miracle. That his Word gets airtime despite us is a wonder.Also, you know darn well–or should–that Israel has no greater advocate in the spiritual sense than the Church: remains neutral politically, and reaches out to people of all faiths and persuasions, of course, but Israel has a pretty big soft spot in our hearts and our theology. I guess I don’t mind so much when rationalists, atheists, and skeptical agnostics knock the Church: have atter. But when people of other faiths, and especially those who have left the Church for another, start countering the claims of the Church with the claims of their own–well, it all sounds a little silly, doesn’t it? “I don’t believe Joseph Smith (about whom I have some rather silly ideas) was a prophet, but rather that an authoritative interpretation of scripture is the Nicene Creed. So you’re wrong!” Offer your witness, by all means, but don’t dress it up as rational argument. Alright, so here’s my take: I’m tired of the whole thing. I couldn’t care less anymore whether the fundies, the methodists, the catholics or the moon-people think I’m Christian. Frankly, if we’re right, then such criticisms and disavowals are meaningless. Is it hurtful to be told you are not a follower of Christ because you don’t believe He is His own father? Sure, especially since it is abundantly clear from the NT itself, with a little help from Isaiah and the other apocalyptic prophets, that He is not. Such teaching is heretical and post-Biblical. But whatever. I won’t condemn anyone on the basis of their belief, and I haven’t the personal authority to do it even if I wanted to.Here’s what’s beautiful about our theology: everyone will have an opportunity to learn the Gospel, in this life or the next. God does not condemn His children in their ignorance, but rather wishes them to be saved and exalted beside Him. To that end, He sent His Only begotten Son to offer himself as a sacrifice and to teach a new law, one that asks us to love God and each other in patience, humility, and charity. He founded a new church in which He established His authority–an authority that was lost due to the persections and abuses within and without the Early Church. It has been restored, and is the nexus of His salvation: its restoration is a Grace. But guess what: turning away the missionaries or railing against the cultic practices you read about in the National Enquirer are not sufficient to “sepaate [you] from the love of Christ,” as Paul teaches in Romans.Nope. He works patiently and lovingly with each of us, as He has always done. He bides His time. And I think most of us are in for some surprises–good and bad, may be–one day regarding who did and didn’t manage to get things together. But all of God’s children, save a very, very few that only He can identify, will receive a reward of comfort and peace commensurate with their ability to receive. Will some become like God? So we’re told. Is that heretical? Not at all. And if God is all Love, all Light, all Wisdom, and all Power, how could He not but want His children to share all of those things? So anyway, I got it out of my system . . . again. Hope there’s something of use. Oh, and Creedal Christians who worry over the Trinity doctrine: get your hands on a Book of Mormon and find Abinadi’s prophetic lecture on the unity of God, Christ, and Spirit. You’ll get it, and it might clear a few things up along the way. Can’t hurt, anyway.Salem,JP

  • Dixon Grant

    As a Mormon and a believer of Christ I appreciated the article. However I don’t mind if “Christians” don’t think Mormons should be included in the Christianity club. I agree with many who have posted that following Christ is how we are all Christians. I wish we all didn’t have to be so critical of each others beliefs but rather could seek to understand how religion helps us to find happiness and meaning in our lives. I was talking to my wife about how I have observed some atheist’s acting more Christian than some of the most zealous Christians. I define Christians as people who remind me of Christ not those who claim to be belong to a Christian Faith.

  • Michael Tubbs Sr.

    Thankyou

  • Concerned the Christian Now Liberated

    The Bottom Line:Mormonism (and Islam and to some degree Christianity) relies on the “revelations” of a “pretty, wingie, talking, flying, fictional thingie”. That fact alone relegates Mormonism (and Islam and Christianity) to the pile of human hallucinated superstitions with the codes of the ancients woven in to give hallucinations some credibility. And if Mitt Romney does not recognize this in public statements and debates, he will have no chance to be President. Ditto for Huckabee.

  • Jennifer

    Great Article! I especially enjoyed the quotes from President Kennedy and the invitation to look at the basic Mormon beliefs.

  • Jennifer

    Great Article! I especially enjoyed the quotes from President Kennedy and the invitation to look at the basic Mormon beliefs.

  • RMI

    Jon Penny (hereafter known as Jon the Rationalist):Help me out Jon, Is it not hurtful to be told that your beliefs are skewed and that your Bible does not contain the full truth by a stranger on your doorstep (clean cut, white shirt, tie notwithstanding)?Anyway, nice try Jon. I’m glad you got it off your chest.The problem in the minds of many of those who post here with Mormonism is that there is an overwhelming preponderance of evidence – historical fact and physical fact – that it is a cult. JFTR – I accept that one person’s faith is as valid as any other person’s faith:e.g. believing that the Divine condones(ed):Islamic female suicide bombers,Zionists murdering the Palestinians – faith remains the belief in that which cannot be proven nor disproved.Jon, Mike asked the question. What did he (you) expect the answers would be?Lastly, to quote you, Jon:Your friend,

  • Tom

    Steve Redinger,I’m also a long-standing member of the LDS church (30+ years) and the only dualities are the misrepresentations of church doctrine and Gospel covenants that you posted in your comments on this site. Your page reference in Mormon Doctrine makes no mention of a “public” or a “private esoteric” gospel (nor does the rest of the book). A more important point to make is that Bruce R. McConkie’s ‘Mormon Doctrine’ is not official church doctrine as the title might imply, but only McConkie’s privately written opinions and speculations *about* official church doctrine. Official church doctrines are published in the accepted church scriptures (Bible, Book of Mormon, Doctrine & Covenants, Pearl of Great Price) and declarations from the First Presidency quorum (or First Presidency and Quorum of Twelve Apostles).As for what the LDS church does in public, the church is not shy about sharing its foundational doctrines (existence of God, divinity of Jesus Christ, restoration of Christ’s ancient church in our era, modern-day prophets and continuing revelation, Book of Mormon, etc.) which are also taught within the church. LDS missionaries cover these doctrines with the public and they’re available for public review on the church’s official web sites. The non-LDS public can even attend Sunday services in LDS chapels and hear these same doctrines (and others) taught firsthand. There’s no such thing as a “public” vs. “private” gospel. The LDS church is Christian simply by the ordinary definition of the term but some of these foundational doctrines have been labeled by church critics as ‘non-Christian’ because they disagree with post-apostolic creedal beliefs.No “bait and switch” was done to me nor any of the many people I came into contact with in the church. The conditions of the baptismal covenant to gain membership to the church remain in force throughout a member’s life (taking upon one’s self the name of Christ, comforting those who stand in need of comfort, standing as a witness of God in all places and at all times, etc). This is why the baptismal covenant is renewed every Sunday by taking the sacrament. Surely you would have been reminded of this if you took the sacrament and attended your meetings every week. Violation of the baptismal covenant disqualifies one for eternal life even if later covenants have been made.As far as “informed consent” goes, a person who wants to join the LDS church is first taught the basic teachings of the Gospel then asked to pray to God to confirm (1) what they were taught was true and (2) if they should join the church. The answers to honest, sincere prayers on both questions come directly from God through a witness of the Holy Ghost. Jesus taught that the Holy Ghost (or Spirit of truth) would guide us into all truth (see John 16:13). So if the question on whether or not to join the LDS church came from the source of all truth (God) through sincere prayer, this is definitely enough to be “informed” before joining the church. Such was my experience and the experience of many of the 12.8 million worldwide current members of the church.

  • Gloria

    I add my thanks to Newsweek for this blog.

  • RMI

    Gloria, Which is it? December 25th? or April 6th?Personally, I think it was closer to April 6th. Why don’t Mormons celebrate the Saviour’s birthday closer to the date they say it is? Just curious.Christians have already elbowed their way into the Mid-Winter Yule Fest.Steve R: Don’t you love it when the “private writings” of an Apostle of the Church are disavowed?Folks, don’t you get it? We love you. You are members of a cult. We don’t hate you for it!Personally, I think your cult is insidious and to be avoided; but hate? Well…..maybe the cult; but, just a little bit.

  • giles

    Dear Michael Otterson,I appreciate your comments on the topic of Mormons being Christians. I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or known by most as a Mormon. Your words refreshing to me, because of your respect in addressing this topic. As a missionary in Montreal, Quebec, I wore a badge with the name of the church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and shared the words of Jesus Christ as our Saviour and Redeemer daily. I continue to attend church, where the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John are preached, and where freedom of religion is spoken.I respect diverse faiths as a Mormon, and hope to strengthen Faith and Love in our communities, nations and world. I know that Mormons are Christians and that most Mormons are happy to talk and our faith and learn of yours.

  • Intrigued Mormon

    After reading most of the posts, and having studied not only Mormonism, but also other forms of western religions, eastern religions and their historical bases, I would like to make two comments:-To those who attack Mormons based on the teachings of their early leaders be sure to check your sources and find more than one reference. (any good undergraduate student should be familiar with that requirement). I find it interesting that because Mormons have documented their sermons from the beginning that they catch so much flak, when most sects of Christianity and other religions have made just as many rascist, biggotist and sexist comments. -To Mormons who refuse to acknowlege their past or try to squeeze themselves into the Christian mold. Stop fooling yourself, read your scriptures and get familiar with your doctrine. You are told that you are different than the rest of the world. Aren’t you paying attention in your sunday school classes? I am a card-carrying mormon, I attend the meetings weekly and do all those mormon things that everyone criticizes us for. I also am fully prepared to admit that the “archeological evidence” for the Book of Mormon is inconclusive, and that the current academic world would indicate that the book cannot be backed by science. However, I have also read studies and papers published from many of the worlds most prestigeous universities that justify slavery because of the functions of the Negro’s body. I have seen 500 years of world history summarized in a single sentence. Seriously, try to remember when reading the articles and examining the evidence that ideas, principles and “scientific evidence” change. The reason I am a Mormon is because I believe in what the religion teaches, I try to practice the principles of good Christianity (not the mormon type, but the type that my Christian friends also work for), and find that my core principles are in line with my buddhist, muslim and hindu friends. I also believe in proper study. In my studies I am still willing to be Mormon – and yes I know about the blood atonement doctrine, the kinderhook plates and the mountain medows massacre. Lets be realistic here, the big issue isn’t the “controvesies” or the bizarre mormon doctrines, the real issue is that some – and I put that emphasis on some very strongly- people are too blinded by their own cultural conditioning to find an objective ground to stand on. Yes there are some mormons who do things that are should not be done in a perfect utopian world, but most of the time it isn’t because they are mormon, they would be that way regardless of religious orientation. There are way more factors to consider. I will be the first to admit I don’t know everything about science, culture and religion. But, I do know this – we have a great opportunity to be educated and think critically about things, so do it, but try to see the big picture as well as the details. As long as there are religions who believe that there is one God, there will be disagreements on who’s version of that God is right, or if that God even exists. If Americans could accept that fact, we would find alot more tolerance and respect, which is from what I have read an intrinsic part of the establishment of democracy world wide.I am also not American, and so have no direct involvment with the presidency debate. However, as it is an important consideration I would urge every american to vote for the president who will do the best job for America, and remember that unfortunately the American President has influence on foreign issues as well as domestic.

  • Concerned the Christian Now Liberated

    The Bottom Line:Mormonism (and Islam and to some degree Christianity) relies on the “revelations” of a “pretty, wingie, talking, flying, fictional thingie”. That fact alone relegates Mormonism (and Islam and Christianity) to the pile of human hallucinated superstitions with the codes of the ancients woven in to give hallucinations some credibility. And if Mitt Romney does not recognize this in public statements and debates, he will have no chance to be President. Ditto for Huckabee.

  • A. Laron Kunz

    It seems to me that Romney’s campaign for President would be greatly enhanced if Kennedy’s speech was used as part of a campain strategy. I appreciate your article.

  • Gordon

    I consider myself a Mormon, but I do not believe that God is still speaking through modern day profits and I do not believe anything that Joseph Smith said about receiving a revelation from an angel. I like the social concern and emphasis of the church and the emphasis on family. I know I’m different, but I am a Mormon.Gordon

  • Jon Penny

    RMI,If you’re still listening: sort of touche’. Except that I wasn’t suggesting I was being rational at all–I was calling out the battle of theologies for what it is, and then I offered my witness, as I encouraged others to do. No inconsistency there, if you look closely.The nice list of abuses you offer are very poor examples of what you’d like to illustrate, as has been demonstrated time and again. Historical research on Mountain Meadows, for instance, cannot confirm any official church sanction of the massacre, but can confirm both attempts to avert the massacre and official legal and ecclesiastic responses in the aftermath. It is a terribly troubling event, yes, but not the official conspiracy that paranoid critics of the Church want it to be. That’s wishful thinking as much as a denial it ever happened would be.As for the Priesthood Ban–individual members and even a generation or two of members have believed all kinds of wonky things in an effort to justify the ban, the the truth is no official reason was ever offered except that it was in response to revelation. We do know that several generations of apostles and prophets hoped and prayed for it to be rescinded. I won’t speculate about reasons beyond that, but will only say that at the age of 7, when the revelation lifting the ban was publicized, I wept like a baby for joy, and still do when I think about it long and hard. For anything else, go talk to one of the hundreds of thousands of members of African origin. I can make referrals. As for the potential offense of missionaries and missionary-minded members: sure, I get it. I was a more sensitive missionary than that, I think, and I hope the majority are. I know that many are not–they are young, naive, simple, and sometimes over-zealous. My feeling was always that it was good for folks to join the Church if they were truly converted, but no otherwise. And no, I don’t think good people will be damned to any kind of hell for not joining, now or later. What critics of the Church fail to understand is that the doctrines of salvation are much fuller, and more revelatory of God’s compassion for his children, than anything else out there. The majority of Creedal Christianity has an appetite for mystery, and they manufacture it where they can’t find it. And guess what: the Bible doesn’t contain all truth, and neither do all the books of scripture combined: an eternal God (and by the way, his eternity is considered permanent: that’s the whole point) is an infinite God, and thus his truths are infinite. 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 truths pertaining to his kingdom. That says it. Latter-Day scripture, we claim, contains the fulness of the Gospel as it has so far been revealed, and that in the scriptures together we find the saving doctrines. Are there mysteries? Sure. But these are not to remain mysteries at all costs, but may remain veiled until God is willing to unveil them. We love revelation, not mystery.And anyway, being told you are not a follower of Christ is not the same as being told you have a partial truth, and would you like to add to it. The first is an unequivocal rejection of the person’s faith and witness, and the second is an implicit acknowledgement of the person’s faith. Gordon: sorry you feel that way. 36 years on, I sometimes think the social aspect is the most challenging in my experience of the Church. I stick it out because of my testimony and my continued experiences. But hang in there: maybe something will click again. I just hope you don’t embrace hypocrisy for the sake of social interaction.Peace out, everybody.

  • RMI

    Jon,Thank you for at least acknowledging Mtn. Meadow occured. Many Mormons are not even aware. It isn’t part of the lessons, you know. Can you pronounce cover up? Well suspicious at least – after all inquiring minds…..1978 – better late than never. I think Mitt Romney said that he also cried. I am happy to know that you are not a racist but the cult has a history which will always be front and center. Don’t blame me. I’m sorry that you must always defend a defenseless position.I sure you were a good missionary. I am happy to learn that you do not believe in “any kind” of hell. Tell us about the afterlife. Now Jon, are you being honest with all of us? Of course your cult believes in “any kind” of hell. Tell us where Satan hangs out. Tell us where the recalcitrant lovers of Satan hang out after death.The Bible dosen’t contain all the truth? Thank you for saying that. Futher, isn’t the Bible translated incorrectly? Doesn’t the KJV contain error? Seems mysterious to me. The temple seems mysterious. Revelations to the executive in SLC seem mysterious. The gold plates, the translation devices, baptisms for the dead: all seem mysterious (no need to explain and rationalize, Jon. I have heard it all – too many times).Jon, it hurts the Catholics and Protestants alike to be told they are not up to par – same as you being told that you aren’t up to par.Thanks again, JonSorry about running over. You bud,

  • ETD

    Definition of a non-Christian: one who labels a person who claims to be a Christian as non-Christian is not a Christian themselves. For those in this situation, don’t be troubled; Christ will forgive you (if you ask in faith) and let you become a Christian again – hang in there.

  • Sang Kim

    To: ETD,

  • Alex

    To: Sang Kim”Definition of Christian is having personal relationship with Christ.Done.

  • Quickdraw

    Thanks Bro. Michael Otterson for your great article.I am LDS and live on the border of Mexico, namely Laredo, TX.I too am greatly amazed by the amount of hate those of the Evangelical right are thrusting our direction in this and other blogs. I served for 2 years in Chile and knew firsthand the Evangelicals of Chile. But I never saw or felt such hate exhibited. Evangelicals, if you must, don’t call us Christians as you define it; I prefer the label I and we give ourselves of ‘Latter-day Saints’, with ‘Saint’ implying that I am a believer and follower of Jesus Christ to the best of my ability. It is really scarry to read the hate written here. Is it little wonder there is so much trouble today to discuss what is to be done to solve the challenges of our country. I am prone to think how much of this originates from the late 1970’s and early 1980’s with the advent of the religous right and their self righteous efforts to take back the country from the ‘left’, led by the likes of Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, James Dobson and Ed McAteer. Since their efforts to combine a self-imployed career with moral influence on their ignorant flocks, we have been going down a rapidly declining desencion into self-righteous political conformity. I originally am from Michigan where we once had a tradition of true separation of religion and politics. We voted conservative and Repulican for the most part (except around Detroit) with Gerarld R. Ford being our best example in the House of Representatives.But look what Mr. Robertson, Mr. Falwell, Mr. Dobson and Mr. McAteer and their like have done? And all for the sake of power and money. It is so funny to see all of the Anti-Mormon posts here and to think who is pulling your chain? I for one payed my own way on my mission and in my present calling or position in the church (that requires sometimes 20 plus hours a week) I receive no financial reimbursement. I only get to see how much happier those I serve are with my commitment of my precious time. No paycheck here is recieved here. Good luck to Mr. Romney. I still have not decided who to vote for but I am so glad he is running for office. It sure is opening a lot of opportunites to answer questions about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. To all of those Anti-Mormons: keep up all of the great Anti-Church posts….you would not believe how many people came to church this last Sunday to find out for themselves what we believe! I remember on my mission that if we could just start a dialogue with people and they were honestly looking for answers, I felt as a missionary I had done my job. This past Sunday the local missionaries were quite literally overwhelmed. Again, thank-you, all you Anti-Mormon ‘Christians’!Again, as for me I am happy to call myself a Saint, trying to do my best to follow Jesus Christ.

  • RMI

    Just what have Mr. Robertson, Mr. Falwell, Mr. Dobson and Mr. McAteer and their like done? And all for the sake of power and money that differs from what your cult has done? Just curious?BTW, do not think you are special just because I ask hard questions that sometimes embarrass the LDS’s.I ask similar questions of Mr. Robertson, Mr. Falwell, Mr. Dobson and Mr. McAteer and their like (to use your words).Do you consider entities out there that claim to be Christian to be or have been also cults, e.g. the followers of Jim Jones, Warren Jeffs, David Koresh?Thank you.

  • Amanda

    I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I enjoyed the article. I am not an official spokesperson of the church, but I’ll still share my beliefs: Christ is my Savior. He lives. He loves me. And all of you. What could be more joyful than that?If anyone would like to know more about the truths that I rejoice over, the best place to start would be to get a copy of the Book of Mormon. I know this book is true and is of God.

  • Jon Penny

    RMI,Here’s my original passage on Hell:”And no, I don’t think good people will be damned to any kind of hell for not joining, now or later.”Which isn’t saying there’s no such condition: as Marlowe’s Mephistopheles puts it, “Where there is no God, here is Hell.” And “Thinks’t thou that I, who saw the face of God, am not in Hell?”In terms of place, our theology teaches that the pre-resurrection spirits of the dead (the body and the spirit together being the unified soul of man) “reside” either in what we call paradise, which is not an eternal condition, or in what we call hell, which is likewise not an eternal condition. Those in paradise were those who embraced the Gospel and the necessary ordinances in life, or who have accepted these ordinances vicariously. Those in hell are those whose progress was truncated either by choice or circumstance. The spirits in paradise are organized to teach those in hell in hopes that when the saving ordinances are performed on their behalf (else why are they then baptized for the dead . . .?), they will accept and no longer be “damned” or “stopped.”Thankfully we little people don’t get to decide who does or does not make the cut: that’s Christ’s responsibility as advocate and judge. So we just try to reach as many as we can here and, presumably, in the afterlife as well (I wouldn’t know for certain: I’ve never been there.)My point was that all God’s children, save those guilty of denying God’s spirit entirely, and very likely those guilty of cold-blooded murder, will experience a degree of joy in the eternities. They may not progress beyond a certain point because of their choices, but God will not leave them to suffer in eternity, if for no other reason than his Son has already suffered infinitely on their behalf. They may have a rough go of it for a while, of course.See, that’s a beautiful thing, and it lacks the childish fear-mongering of Creedal Christianity’s rather simplistic and dualistic view of things. I don’t mean to give offense saying that, but I’m aware it will probably be offensive. But there you have it. Another clarification: I said all scripture together doesn’t necessarily contain all truth: we are unique in this respect as well in that we believe in an Eternal and unchanging God, who continues to use revelation as a means of communicating with his children, whose works and words are without number, and who doubtless has a heckuva lot more to say to us all. So no, the Bible doesn’t contain all truth, and neither do the Book of Mormon et al. But combining them in one (Ezekiel 37) gives us a lot more clarity. And yes, our belief in the Bible comes with the proviso “as far as it is translated correctly.” The again, as non-Creedal Christians, we haven’t the obligation to believe in the infallibility of our leaders or those whom they appointed to decide what was and was not scripture. As has been pointed out, 1600 years on, the jury is still out among creedals on that one.But latter day scripture, if indeed it is that, comes directly through revelation from single-sources. The doctrines are pure even if the grammar isn’t always. That said, we honour those who worked so hard to gather and preserve the truths of Judeo-Christianity, from Luther and Tyndale and King James’ team on back through the centuries. And we believe they have an eternal reward, and look forward to an association with them all. We certainly don’t pray to them for intercession or expect them to be without flaw.As for Mountain Meadows: of course it isn’t part of our sabbath curriculum–although our manuals on Church History do refer to it. I’ve already explained that there is no evidence that it was an officially sanctioned act, and so is the act of a handful of saints, no of the Church. If an order of, oh, say Jesuits went a little paranoid and, I dunno, killed off some heathen pagans in say, South America, would you blame Catholicism? No, and nor do I. Are incidences of priestly sexual abuse of children and young adults and vulnerable adults, or of nuns inflicting physical abuse in Catholic schools part of the Catechism?But here’s a difference, if you must have one: far from covering up, our Church has always preserved the very records that are still used against it, however speculatively. And those records have been made available and are increasingly made available to scholars from within and without the Church, including Bagley, who has spouted the same lunacy for years about MM despite the evidence. The same can be said about polygamy, masonry, and any other number of oddities. Not sure Catholicism, or your friendly Lutheran brotherhood, can make the same claims. If we’d wanted to cover anything up, we’d have had an accidental fire decades ago. FInally: cults. First of all, we don’t ask converts to cut off all relations with their friends and family. Just the opposite. Second of all, when someone is disfellowshipped or excommunicated, we work very hard to support and help them come back. My own brother is in this circumstance, and we have not rejected him at all. If anything our prayers and efforts on his behalf are greater than ever. Third, our general leaders, if they are not financially independent when they are called, are supported only in a very basic way–they are to be comfortable enough to focus on their work, but none lives lavishly. Our prophet resides in a modest apartment in a high-rise, for example. Fourth, our tithe is 10% financially and whatever time and talent we can reasonably commit. As a lay clergy/leadership, we receive no temporal benefit, no kickbacks, no favours. We sign no contract, and can withdraw our membership at any time. Of course, our leaders and friends will discourage us from doing so, but that’s love for you. Fifth, we are usually very active in our communities, and whatever else he may be, Mitt is an example of this. We are not paranoid, isolationist, anti-establishment freaks, and you know it.My little discourse has, of course, made several assumptions about the definition of a cult, and these are based in popular, not academic assumptions. But you keep slinging that term around like it applies. And anyway, people who live in glass houses . . . physician, heal thyself . . . don’t crap where you eat . . . and he who is without sin, let him . . . and so on. RMI, everything of which you have so casually accused our church, most of it rooted in rumour and half-truth, is at least 100-fold the case in so-called mainstream Christianity. So we’re all in a cult, I guess. That’s certainly what the dominant Jews vis-a-vis the Pharisees and Sadducees, considered Christ and his merry band of saints. FInally, in an age when religion and religious freedom are increasingly at risk, does it really make sense to alienate your fellow believers? To say, it’s okay to attack them, but not the rest of us? Do we believe we belong to the only true and living Church on earth? Yes. But we also believe we have good brothers and sisters working and serving in other churches. We’d be tickled if they all joined up, and we’ll keep working to that end because we love them and want them to share what we have. But we’re realists, and we know this ain’t gonna happen. So we love them anyway and try to work peacefully alongside them in our neighborhoods and schools and towns, etc. Sans the muckrakers, this generally works out.Merry Christmas,JP

  • Steve Adkins

    That was a great article. It was a good point about going to the source to ask for information. If a person wants to know about “Mormon” beliefs, ask a “Mormon”.

  • Don O’Brien

    Thank you to newsweek for allowing a true perspective about traditional and non-traditional Christianity. I often see the Mormon Church at the forefront of humanitarian efforts worldwide and for other Christian religeons to mock them is very unfair to the Mormon people who practice their religeon. This is truest way that Jesus himself did to alieve human suffering.

  • Don O’Brien

    Thank you to newsweek for allowing a true perspective about traditional and non-traditional Christianity. I often see the Mormon Church at the forefront of humanitarian efforts worldwide and for other Christian religeons to mock them is very unfair to the Mormon people who practice their religeon. This is truest way that Jesus himself did to alieve human suffering.

  • Don O’Brien

    Is it Christian to help others and DO what Jesus himself did to alieviate human suffering? If so then I would suggest the Mormon people are VERY Christian. I see their Church always helping others, even those not of their faith.

  • Don O’Brien

    Is it Christian to help others and DO what Jesus himself did to alieviate human suffering? If so then I would suggest the Mormon people are VERY Christian. I see their Church always helping others, even those not of their faith.

  • CMA

    Wow, it is amazing for me to read all of the knowledgable insight given by the critics of Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints of which I am a member. I am reminded of the fact that it is not religions that have caused so many problems througout time but rather religious intolerance. I am happy to belong to this church. My life has been blessed immensely by its impact on my life. We are Christians. Ever since I can remember, I have been taught to live and love as Christ Himself did on the earth. Is that a bad thing?

  • Anonymous

    AMEN. i wonder what people would think if a mormon told a catholic or protestant or other “christian” that THEY weren’t actually Christian in the true sense of the word…because according to the beliefs of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, other Christian faiths do not believe in the correct forms of God the Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost. But you don’t hear Mormons telling anyone else they are not Christian because they don’t believe in the Godhead as three seperate and distinct beings. It seems preposterous to me that anyone would have the nerve to tell someone else that they really aren’t who they say they are. it is not anyone’s place but the believer themself to define what he believes and whether he is a Christian or not. that is why mormons don’t attempt to tell everyone else they are wrong and not literal christians, and why anyone of any other faith or denomination should not attempt to do so, either…to me, it’s like someone named “james” telling someone else named “james” that that can’t really be their name because “my name is james, and you do not talk, look, or sound identical to me.” …ridiculous!!

  • Anonymous

    AMEN. i wonder what people would think if a mormon told a catholic or protestant or other “christian” that THEY weren’t actually Christian in the true sense of the word…because according to the beliefs of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, other Christian faiths do not believe in the correct forms of God the Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost. But you don’t hear Mormons telling anyone else they are not Christian because they don’t believe in the Godhead as three seperate and distinct beings. It seems preposterous to me that anyone would have the nerve to tell someone else that they really aren’t who they say they are. it is not anyone’s place but the believer themself to define what he believes and whether he is a Christian or not. that is why mormons don’t attempt to tell everyone else they are wrong and not literal christians, and why anyone of any other faith or denomination should not attempt to do so, either…to me, it’s like someone named “james” telling someone else named “james” that that can’t really be their name because “my name is james, and you do not talk, look, or sound identical to me.” …ridiculous!!

  • Heidi

    the only way for anyone to really know the truth regarding the Mormon Church, is to ASK GOD. and if you believe in a God who loves you and wants the absolute best for you, then you must believe that he would tell you what is truth and what is not. Why not put it to the test, then? What do you have to lose? If the Mormons are wrong, then they are wrong…but what if they are right?

  • Teresa

    So ,”Love thy Neighbor” only applies to people who have beliefs you approve of? This is the state of tolerance in America? A bunch of faceless people spewing virulence about some religion or another. Do you just set Google news to tell you anytime your hated religion of the day pops up and then you add your miserable comments. Get a life. If I want to know what Mormons believe, I’ll ask them. I certainly won’t look it up on one of your hateful links or the woefuly innacurate wikepedia. The Christian Right is neither, I guess Mormons are exempt from that by your own admission.

  • Eric Jamison

    Are Samaritans Jewish? This Savior didn’t address this; he DID go out of his way to show that they were children of God deserving respect and kindness.As a Mormon missionary in the South I received respect and kindness from most of those I spoke to who identified themselves as Christians–even when they had heard and accepted half-truths about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Mormons and Creedal Christians actually have much in common and can accomplish a great deal together. Arguing about labels will not achieve anything; showing the world the love of Christ will.(Incidentally, I do not vote according to my gender, skin color, or religion. I will vote for the candidate who impresses me as the best leader and whose views on the issues best represent my own.)

  • manaen

    ARE MORMONS CHRISTIAN?

  • ME

    Thanks for all the great insight this is awesome. It goes to show how many people hate the Mormon faith… and for what? Did you know that the Mormon faith gives $500,000 a year to the Baptist church? So you must hate the Baptist then. Also the Baptist has bought a lot of lds buildings when the Mormons are done with them. Did you know that the Mormons are the first in destruction areas even before Red Cross gets in and the gov’t knows that?

  • RMI

    My, my, my, Not enough time for a response, Jon; but, I will return to post one.Quickly, to the rest of you. There are many good people out there – Christians, Mormons, Hindus, Buddists,…..Most of the Mormons posting here seem like really fine folk. I would be the last to deny that.Just because you are a cult follower of Jospeh Smith does not make you a bad person. It might even make you a better person. Yet, you will remain a cult follower.Jon, I’ll be back in a day or so.Your friend,

  • Sang Kim

    Oh, oh, oh,You are absolutely right my friend. Mormons are very fine people (a clean living Americans) but what does the BIBLE say? Matthew 19:16 |The Rich Young Man | **So, you can try to be good, better, best as possible, but at the END my friend, Jesus Almighty GOD is the one will be the judge. Last, if Mormons didn’t read this CARTOONS, then please do, you will like it.

  • manaen

    Sang Kim ended his/her comment at 12/20 @ 8:55am with, “Last, if Mormons didn’t read this CARTOONS, then please do, you will like it.”

  • Sang Kim

    Hello, Manaen: How are you my friend?I am glad that you liked the CARTOON Now, here is more for you my friend.

  • Parker

    RMI,

  • manaen

    Sang Kim,

  • manaen

    Correction to my comment of 12/20 @ 7:42pm:”which eventually will deflate the other groups and cause their disappearance” is an overstatment. We believe that even while Christ reigns in the Millenium, that the people on the earth will be able to choose to follow His true Church or some other way. In this sense, the other groups won’t disappear until the final judgement.

  • Sang Kim

    Manaen,I am sorry that I have used the CARTOON to ridicule your religion. However, I get the same information from all the resources. Result from the book (Kingdom of Cults), sermons, CARTOON, and other sites. And I realize that you are kept telling me that it’s all lie. Who ever is a liar should be punished.I want to end this nonsense conversations, it’s just like talking to the Jehovah witness for hours to conclude the subject.You and I are not in the same page and the conversation will NEVER end; therefore, we should stop. However, I will pray for you my friend that you can see, taste and feel what the Christians are experiencing the SAME God we experienced.Merry Christmas and happy new year my friend.

  • Dorothy

    There is a Supreme Authority who is the Final Judge of all things. It is not for man to decide whether or not a church is Christian. We are given the gift of the Holy Ghost to inquire for ourselves, with a sincere and open heart and mind. When you have found your own answer, through unbiased searching, you don’t need to defend it, because you will have an undeniable, sure knowledge, regardless of what the pseudo scholars and critics say. “If any man lack wisdom, let him ask of God, who giveth liberally to all men.” (This is in the Bible.) It works! You will not feel the need to criticize the beliefs of those who do not agree. Let others say what they will. Let them label you as they see fit – right or wrong. They have the right to do so. God’s great gift to man was the gift of free agency.

  • David Wagaman

    Great article!!!

  • David Wagaman

    Great article!!!

  • David Lewis Drysdale

    While it may be true, and I quote from the article, “I suspect the average American hasn’t been enlightened much about what Latter-day Saints believe and practice”.I think it’s safe to say that while the average American may know very little about our beliefs and practices, a growing number of Americans have known, or rubbed shoulders with some member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in some capacity, either in business, school, sports, or in in their community. I believe that many of them would say that the way LDS Church members live their lives says a great deal about their beliefs and practices. Cordially,David L. Drysdale

  • Elizabeth Tenney

    Thank you for this thoughtful article. I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon) and I am so appreciative of an article that fairly exerts our Christian beliefs. It is comforting to see media bring accurate information to light regarding our commonality of Christian beliefs, rather than a divisive discussion! I am regularly finding common ground with my Christian friends, and even my Jewish friends, as we often discuss our common efforts to live “Christian” standards of kindness, thoughtfulness and conviction to living the Ten Commandments. Thank you for positive approach to this topic!

  • Elizabeth Tenney

    Thank you for this thoughtful article. I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon) and I am so appreciative of an article that fairly exerts our Christian beliefs. It is comforting to see media bring accurate information to light regarding our commonality of Christian beliefs, rather than a divisive discussion! I am regularly finding common ground with my Christian friends, and even my Jewish friends, as we often discuss our common efforts to live “Christian” standards of kindness, thoughtfulness and conviction to living the Ten Commandments. Thank you for positive approach to this topic!

  • Current Member

    Why there are those who would spend time, money and preach rhetoric dedicated to bashing and destroying other’s faith is something I will never understand. I encourage you to use your resources more wisely.I am a practicing member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I am a Christian. I have a personal testimony of Jesus Christ as my Savior and Redeember. Mormons are hard working people who try to live clean, self-reliant lives, uphold the law of the land, and serve others. I unequivocally state we are not racists nor sexist. Our Sunday worship services are open to the public. Go in and see for yourselves what we believe and how we worship. The Book of Mormon is about Jesus Christ. Pick up a copy and read it to find out for yourself.

  • John

    Excellent article!

  • kelly miller

    Merry Christmas- Dear Latter-Day SaintsI greet you wherever you may beHe who’d been the creator of this earth.His life and death mean so very much.We’ve a Latter-Day witness, He lives.

  • LDS mom

    I am an active member of the Mormon Church… and I can honestly tell you that LDS do not worship Christ as the Christian world does. No indeed – we openly worship God the Father and not His son Jesus Christ. We pray to God in the name of His son, but Mormons are not taught to pray to Jesus, as the Christian world does. That is what seperates us from the Christian world – the doctrine that we believe God is *not* the same person as Jesus Christ. We believe Jesus died for us, but we certainly don’t worship Him. We also believe God was once a man – just as Jesus was a man. He is not a personage of Spirit, but has a human body – glorified and perfect. He had to “work out” his salvation just as others are doing right now. I believe Mormons need to be transparent and stop trying to appear “mainstream”…. we simply aren’t. To try to fit into the mainstream Christian mold is simply impossible and it also leads to denying key doctrines. There is also the belief that God speaks thru prophets. Mormons believe in continuing revelation. Joseph smith and his revelations is a huge part of our faith and doctrines. Most of the key doctrines of our church were set forth by Joseph Smith. We do use the bible, but we believe it can be in error. We believe the Book of Mormon to be the most correct of any book , including the Bible. We have a very unique view of heaven – believing in the doctrine of plurality of gods – thus Mormons today believe that we truly can become ‘gods’….. and inherit all God has. Radically different then what the Christian world’s view of “heaven” is. We also do not believe we are saved by grace – another truly mainstream christian view….. Mormons believe you are saved “after all you can do” … there is a huge push to become “perfected” and “work out one’s salvation”. The principal of Grace plays a minimal role in our doctrines. These are just a few key doctrines that seperate the LDS church from mainstream christianity. I believe it is simply a lie and absurd to try to fit the Mormon Church into mainstream christianity. It is impossible. Our doctrines are too radically different. By the way, LDS are very proud of these differences and most LDS should defend them in the public arena.Just thought it would be good to share a perspective from an active member of the LDS church.Setting the record strait,

  • Anonymous

    Merry Christmas!!!!!!

  • manaen

    LDSMOM wrote, 12/25 @ 2:36am,

  • Frank O’Beirne

    This column is as clear and succinct as I have read on this subject. I am looking forward to the other two rules of discussion as Swedish theologian Krister Stendahl, Lutheran Bishop of Stockholm has formed them. I wish this column could be revealed to the general public by our various media who claim to keeping the public informed.FO

  • Alex

    LDS Mom:I wanted to take exception with one point you made. Just because our Father in Heaven requires us to keep his commandments does not mean that our acts of obedience and faithfulness are sufficient to earn our salvation. We are not trading items of equal value. Becoming a new creature, becoming like our Father in Heaven, becoming a god, is not an even trade for our best efforts at righteousness here, yet the Lord does all of those things as an act of love for our obedience. It is true that the Lord REQUIRES us to exercise faith in Him, repent of our sins, be baptized and receive the Holy Ghost, continue faithful and receive all of our covenants. It is true that He REQUIRES our faithfulness in keeping his commandments. However, aside from all of that, there is nothing that anyone can do now or ever that could justly merit the gift of the atoning blood of the Savior. It is His atonement that is the engine behind all of our covenants of baptism and in the temple. It is by His blood that I have hope of being enabled to be married to my wife for time and all eternity. Indeed, our faithfulness cut off from the source of our salvation is dead.By faithfulness to our covenants, the Lord bestows gifts (grace) line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little, and there a little, in such a way as to change our souls to become like Christ and enable us to greater obedience. I understand that sometimes we talk about working out our salvation in fear and trembling or even earning our salvation. However, whenever we speak of these things, we are only speaking of doing what the Lord has asked of us and required of us. We are not speaking of the relative merits of our acts of obedience to save ourselves. Some who would twist our beliefs withhold this information from those they try to sway away from our faith.When you say that we are different from most protestants and evangelicals though, you are absolutely correct. To them, salvation is a one-event salvation(i.e. the moment I first believed was when I was saved.) To us, salvation is a living breathing active process. Obedience is offered and grace is given in return all along the way. It begins with belief, through which we are impelled to action and repentance, which leads us to the point that we are willing to enter a covenant with the Father that we are willing to keep His commandments (through the Lord’s authorized servants). By entering into and keeping those covenants, we prove ourselves worthy to receive the next endowment of grace. For instance, the next endowment of grace when we are baptized is the reception of the Holy Ghost, which gift begins the sanctification of our souls. This progresses through the ordinances of the temple, where greater endowments of grace are given. This process does not end until we are like the Father and Christ. In this manner, we end up being saved FROM our sins, which is different from being saved IN our sins.

  • RMI

    LDS Mom:Thank you for your post.Anyway, I watch and read this post from time to time (in fact I owe Jon Penny a post – sorry Jon, yours requires a lot of effort from this old grey-beard at a very busy time of year for me. Please do not give up; I haven’t). My comment will be short (and sweet – sometimes I am not so sweet, as you may have read).You have told the truth about being a(n) LDS and their beliefs as well as or better than anyone that I’ve read (a high complement – there being so many very good posts)on this blog. You are forthright, confident and make no effort to lull or sell you reader – very refreshing.Anyone out there disagree with me? Let them speak up.

  • Jay

    To: RMI–Yes, I disagree with your assessment.The items presented by LDS Mom are true, but they are far from being accurate! As has been pointed out, there are many salient details missing.

  • Jon Penny

    RMI, LDS Mom, et al.LDS Mom is correct that we do not pray to Christ. However, hers is a limited definition of worship, and that bears saying. Pres. Hinckley has recently and very earnestly proclaimed that he worships Christ, as do we all, as the Saviour and Redeemer of the world. There is no other way or means by which mankind can be saved. Indeed, in the exclusivity of our recognition of Christ as the Way, Truth, and Life, we are peculiar. LDS Mom is also misguided about Grace, as Manaen and someone else have pointed out. LDS Mom, the passage you quote from 2 Nephi reads “for it is by Grace that we are saved, after all we can do.” This is pretty darn clear. And the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, Pearl of Great Price, and prophetic teaching are full of the doctrine of Grace. The passage from 2 Nephi might be read as suggesting that our works somehow qualify us for Grace, or it might be read as meaning that ultimately, whatever our works might be, it is by Grace that we are saved. I think it means both: we are expected to do good works as testament to Christ’s doctrine and message, and as a witness that we follow him. But none of these things can ever overcome our separation from Him–that comes, freely, through his Atonement (Expiation) and Grace.Now I don’t go on about this to mainstream us. I agree with LDS Mom, as I’ve said before, that the judgment of other groups is ultimately meaningless. Ours is a unique and sophisticated theology, and it is both because it is the doctrine of Christ revealed once again by divine authority and divinely called apostolic witness and prophetic revelation. RMI, take your time.

  • RMI

    You will notice that there have been two posters that have responded to LDS Mom, RMI. Frankly, I am not certain LDS Mom is who she purports to be. Just a hunch. While I agree with Satan and Jesus being spirit brothers, it is nevertheless merely a derivative doctrine, if you will. However, to say that it is “taught” in the temple inaccurately implies that it is a central theme and teaching, which it is not. LDS Mom really should know these things, if she doesn’t already.When she says, “Satan is not a fallen angel, but a fallen son of God. “, she doesn’t add to her credibility either. An angel IS a spirit son or daughter of God by definition. They are BOTH THE SAME. The only reason to try to distinguish the “fallen angel” definition from the “fallen son of God” definition in this context would be to imply parity of the Lord and Satan by the gentle spin of a phrase (i.e. Jesus is the Son of God in the flesh, and Satan is a [spirit] son of God, therefore Mormons believe they are equivalent.). Another point: LDS Mom says: “The principal of Grace plays a minimal role in our doctrines. “On the contrary, our doctrines are absolutely dependent on it. Without the atoning blood of Christ, we have nothing. See my comment above on this subject. In the end, I would agree with LDS Mom that we are different from orthodox Christianity. I welcome and am unashamed of our true differences, but I won’t defend straw men and caricatures.

  • Alex

    RMI:You will notice that there have been two posters that have responded to LDS Mom, RMI. Frankly, I am not certain LDS Mom is who she purports to be. Just a hunch. While I agree with Satan and Jesus being spirit brothers, it is nevertheless merely a derivative doctrine, if you will. However, to say that it is “taught” in the temple inaccurately implies that it is a central theme and teaching, which it is not. LDS Mom really should know these things, if she doesn’t already.When she says, “Satan is not a fallen angel, but a fallen son of God. “, she doesn’t add to her credibility either. An angel IS a spirit son or daughter of God by definition. They are BOTH THE SAME. The only reason to try to distinguish the “fallen angel” definition from the “fallen son of God” definition in this context would be to imply parity of the Lord and Satan by the gentle spin of a phrase (i.e. Jesus is the Son of God in the flesh, and Satan is a [spirit] son of God, therefore Mormons believe they are equivalent.). Another point: LDS Mom says: “The principal of Grace plays a minimal role in our doctrines. “On the contrary, our doctrines are absolutely dependent on it. Without the atoning blood of Christ, we have nothing. See my comment above on this subject. In the end, I would agree with LDS Mom that we are different from orthodox Christianity. I welcome and am unashamed of our true differences, but I won’t defend straw men and caricatures.

  • Alex

    RMI, my apologies for putting your name on the heading of my message on December 27 at 11:26. I was addressing the message to you and posted before I realized that it looks like you wrote it. Sorry.

  • Jefferson Da Silva

    well written article! God and his son Jesus Christ will judge all of us, the opinion of others matters very little. Thank you to the LDS for their many acts of service to my community…for their wonderful example as noted by President Kennedy in 1960, they continue strong today as I read of their 1 millionth Brazilian member just last month.

  • Amanda

    The Mormons I know are the most Christian of all Christians that I have met. As the race question was clarified to me, the Mormon prophet had been praying on the question for months when he received a confirmation to allow all worthy men to receive the priesthood. They listen for God to reveal his wishes….seems pretty enlightened.It seems many other churches just voted on racial change or created black congregations to keep them separate….these denominations seem more like social clubs with a religious twist for which they earn millions $$. If God spoke to them I doubt they would listen or want to hear what he had to say.

  • Josh Quinn

    Who cares if other people don’t think Mormons are “Christian” enough for them? Any “real Christian” would acknowledge that only Christ can judge them anyway. Are Mormons (ie members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) Christians? Ask Christ.

  • manaen

    Another thought about the LDS view on GRACE: much of the confusion found in LDS Mom’s comments was discussed and resolved in the article “Salvation: By Grace or by Works?”, published in the Church’s official magazine, “The Ensign,” April, 1981, p. 17. It’s available here:

  • Bill E.

    Thanks you for one of the most honest views I have read about my church through the news media. It is refreshing to read something by someone who has done an honest research of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Why should people show a disregard or condom ones religion and belief when they also believe in that same Jesus of Nazareth? There is no reason we supposedly live in a country that believes in the freedom of religion.

  • Vincent Poldrugovac

    The main difference in LDS theology and orthodox Christianity is between a procreated Jesus (of Heavenly Mother and Father) and a Jesus who is the Eternal God. Both cannot be true. One Jesus is false and the other is true. You may also find the chapter on the American Eden in the free downloadable book ENSIGN enlightening. There is much about the LDS Church that recent converts do not know about. See http://www.ldslearning.org/ensign.pdf for an indepth analysis.Sincerely,Vince

  • Matthew

    I think this was a great article. In the end, we all need to be tolerant of each other’s beliefs and do what we feel is right, whatever that may be.Religious intolerance will always exist, as we can easily see from the comments listed here. What I am glad for is countries that still allow us to speak about this freely and believe what we want to believe.That is exactly what Article of Faith 11 is all about.Matthew

  • sally

    From reading the previous postings, I can see many minds are made up as to whether Mormons are Christians. The interest in this question is due to the bid for president of Mitt Romney. I can honestly say I am very impressed with Mitt after reading about how far in debt the Olympics were, how underestimated the debt was when he took over, how he organized a turn around and got members of his team committed to making the sacrifices necessary to get the money, logistics, and people on board for a successful Olympics. I am saddened to think that so many people are only looking at his religion as a basis for their voting. Just as I am sad to think that one would look at Hillary as someone not to vote for because she if female, or Obama because is his African-American. I have my set of beliefs and look for the good in all whether they believe likewise or not.

  • sally

    From reading the previous postings, I can see many minds are made up as to whether Mormons are Christians. The interest in this question is due to the bid for president of Mitt Romney. I can honestly say I am very impressed with Mitt after reading about how far in debt the Olympics were, how underestimated the debt was when he took over, how he organized a turn around and got members of his team committed to making the sacrifices necessary to get the money, logistics, and people on board for a successful Olympics. I am saddened to think that so many people are only looking at his religion as a basis for their voting. Just as I am sad to think that one would look at Hillary as someone not to vote for because she if female, or Obama because is his African-American. I have my set of beliefs and look for the good in all whether they believe likewise or not.

  • sally

    From reading the previous postings, it seems as minds are made up whether or not Mormons are a cult, whether or not they are Christian. Definitions are flying all over the place. The reason for this discussion seems to be the bid for President by Mitt Romney. I recently read a book about his take over of the Olympics and was duely impressed by his attention to detail, willing to make hard decisions, work with people, choosing the right people for the plan to turn it around. He did not want to take on the endeavor, but felt it was for the good of the country to have a great Olympics. After saying yes to the offer, much of the debt had been underestimated and revenue overestimated. There were legal problems, logistic problems, advertising problems, public relation problems, not to mention the added security to be solved on a timetable for the world to see. I’ve heard that some people won’t vote for a woman, an African-American, or a Mormon. Let’s get past all this nonsense. I’m glad I live in a country that has freedom of religion or if you choose, freedom to have no religion.

  • Sally

    Sorry about the 3 similar postings. I did not see them listed directly after I posted them, so I there was a snafu and tried again and again. I apologize, this was my first blog.

  • Kelley Larsen

    Thank you for your insights and correct depictions of my faith. The points you made were very well said. Paragraph eight made all the difference to me. I hope that thos who are opposed to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will find acceptance in their hearts once this point is understood. I also appreciated the piece of Senator John Kennedy’s address you included. God Bless America!

  • Robyn Pearson

    I pray our country can remain free, free for individuals to worship as they please. Free from persecution for religious beliefs. What John F. Kennedy said is admirable and is as true now as when he delivered his address. As a Latter-day Saint, I feel somewhat persecuted when the faith that I have loved and been blessed by is called unkind names and misrepresented. As this article said, to find out about the LDS faith, ask a member. It is a wonderful church, with uplifting beliefs. I believe it is from God. I have never seen anything as a member to make me feel otherwise. I am very happy, though, to allow others to worship as they please with respect for their beliefs and the good they do. I am very happy to share my beliefs with those interested in searching for truth.

  • John K.Y.

    ANSWER: YES John Young Chicago

  • Rick

    I think it’s a mistake that members of the Church be offended when told that they are not Christian. Being a member myself, when I am told that, I perfectly understand that under my non-mormon friend’s definition of being a Christian includes believing in the Trinity doctrine, and the doctrine of being saved by grace alone without the need for ordinances to access that grace.That is their definition of Christianity. Therefore, under that definition, we are not Christian.We would feel strange if someone thought and believed thoroughly that they were Christian, and yet under OUR standards we would believe them not to be. But we would feel perfectly fine in our belief of them not being Christian, since WE know (for us) that we are in the right.So, in other words, let’s not get offended.

  • manaen

    RE: Rick’s comment of 12/31 @ 12:04am,

  • Latoya Williams

    I’m happy for the invitation to share with others what I believe. I’m an ordinary member of the LDS Church. We are a Christian denomination that believes wholeheartedly in Christ and some of the best exemplars I’ve seen where it comes on living by the precepts of Jesus. Before I became a member there, I was of a Protestant denomination. Since then I’ve come along way in my “Degrees of Christianity”. Though I’m not perfect, I’m ten times better than I ever was. Here’s to a better life, and a more Christ focused faith. I salute all you LDS folk out there. Best Wishes,

  • David

    Friends,I hope this insight will shed a little more light on the issue of salvation by GRACE AND WORKS:C.S. Lewis said something to the effect that arguing over GRACE AND WORKS, would be just as silly as arguing over which blade of the scissors was more important or essential . . Each is important, they work together! Here’s how I look at it:Of course we are saved by GRACE . . The infinite or universal atonement wrought by the Savior in Gethsemane and culminated on the Cross, is something we could never do for ourselves . . However, at the same time, of course we’re also saved by our WORKS . . What manner of men ought ye to be? . . . To become even as I AM . . means we must walk in his footsteps . . not at an easy task . . and of course, none of us will reach perfection in this life . . but we should look at each day as an opportunity to get as far down that path as we can in this life!

  • T. Bertagnole

    Well scripted message to all those interested in understanding Mormon beliefs. It is interesting to me that most people want to ask their Catholic, Protestant, or Evangelical freinds and pastors about Mormons. Michael Otterson offers the most profound doctrine to all who really want to understand the LDS church: IF YOU WANT TO KNOW ABOUT THE MORMONS, IT IS PROBABLY A GOOD IDEA TO ASK A MORMON. Regardless of what is said about Mormons they will continue to flourish. Why? Because the time that you spend bickering about their non-christian views, they are preaching the good news of Christ. HMMMM no wonder it is the fastest growing christian denomination in the US.

  • From a Mormon Woman

    I have read through many of the comments written about my faith and feel badly about the many misconceptions, especially towards women. I’m just a simple member, trying to live my religion, but I would like to comment. In fact, I’m a divorced member of the LDS church due to abuse. There are good and bad people among all religions, some choose to live their religion, some don’t. However, contrary to many of your beliefs about Mormon women, I would like to explain what it’s really like to be a woman in this religion.I have been treated with the deepest kindness and tender respect by the leaders in my church, and by other gentlemen in my faith. I am loved and treated as an equal or lifted far up above their equal. I am supported and my needs are served well in fact beyond my needs with true Christian serve and care. When I went through my divorce, my church leaders were my kindest, and greatest support, full of love and compassion and willingness to help in any way they could. There are people in the world who do not follow the pattern I mentioned, including in our church, but that is not the norm, don’t listen to them, listen to the members of the chruch who love their religion.As far as being Christian, I am Christian to the fullest extent and meaning of that word. What others believe I am has little effect on my belief. I love Jesus Christ, I honor Him, and I servie Him, He is my religion, He is my way of life and worship, come what may. As far a a cult, I can’t even comprehend or understand how anyone could ever come up with such crazy idea. I am at all times free to act anyway I choose, go anywhere I choose, say anything I want, think anyway I want to think, do whatever I want, and I am not only allowed, but respected and encouraged to so do. My leaders encourage and counsel, then I am free to take that counsel and use it however I want to. No one forces me to do anything or is angry if I choose to do something different, hense, I am a divorced member of the church in good standing, and loved by my leaders.There is so much that is beautiful and good about our religion, how sad it is that people want to make it look otherwise. I love being a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Later-day Saints.

  • SUPERMANo5

    Mormonism is it christianity, I think not. Even thouh they say that they go by scripture in actuality they do not. they add and they subtract stuff to the sciptures and place guidelines on them which causes the scriptures to contradict itself. In John 1:1 it states that in the begining was the word and the word was God. Also in the bible it basically states that anything that is added or subtracted to scripture, (meaning the Holy Bible which is the absoulte truth).or anyone who does it will be destroyed (Duteronomy 4:2-3). Also in (Revelation 22:18-19) it says the same account. The bible should be our only source of truth NOT THE BOOK OF MORMON WHICH COMPLETELY CONFUSES AND CONTRADICTS WHAT THE BIBLE SAY.

  • BDC

    Supermanos and others with questions/comments about the Book of Mormon and who read these 314 comments and make it all the way to this one; Please do, if you really are searching for truth, read the Bible and the Book of Mormon and then with an open heart pray to God while pondering the truths you’ve read. God has promised us if we ask we shall recieve. I want to ensure I’m clear in this, that my words are meant for those really searching for truth, if your desire is to bash, or slander this doesn’t apply to you until your heart changes. In my quest for truth and understanding it’s very clear that the Book of Mormon is another witness of Jesus Christ! In our day when Christianity is disputed and when the principles of the gospel taught by the Savior himself are eroded; the Book of Mormon and the teachings of the prophets therein go hand in hand with the Bible and as mentioned stand as a witness of Jesus Christ and the teachings taught in the Bible! The gospel that I have learned through The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has helped me to improve and progress towards being a better Christian and I hope other sincere seekers of the truth can hear the truth about the gospel as much or more than the false things shared.-BDC

  • David

    Dear Friends:Just a thought regarding the comment on the Bible, only the Bible, no other revelation aside from the Bible, etc.I believe the Bible itself speaks of other books or writings in addition to the 39 books in the Old Testament and the 27 in the New Testament that we are familiar with . . Apparently these writings were lost over the years and didn’t make it to our day . . I don’t believe it was ever our Father in Heaven’s intention to place a big, final “period” at the end of the Bible, after inspiring John to write on the Island of Patmos/The Book of Revelation.Why is it difficult to accept that God can inspire people from different lands to write and record their dealings with God? According to The Book of Mormon, when Christ visited the ancient inhabitants of America following his death and crucifiction in the Old World, he told them that there were “still others” who he had yet to visit and reveal himself to . . the islands of the sea, and other lands, etc.In short, I guess if you have trouble with Christ visiting ancient America, you would find it pretty hard to believe that as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we also believe that Christ visited other lands . . 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.

  • Tracie-KY

    I thought Romney was running for President?Why would he have to explain why he is a member of a particular church? No one else is having to explain what church they belong to? This is nothing but prejudice! A person that would say they won’t vote for a proven leader because of his religion only proves that person is very narrow minded. No one has expounded on what type of man he is.Now- about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. No one has touched on the humanitarian efforts that goes forth from this very church. Members tithe “willing” . No plate is passed around during service, or during a funeral service. Members also donate to this very Humanitarian Fund . They are very well known to be the first “organized” group to show up on the scence of disasters. Sounds very Christian to me.Young Men/Women that will donate 2 years/1.5 years of their young adult life to teach what they passionatly believe in, sounds like an act of Christ and his followers. No they are not paid, and their families support them on their own. No secrets- earnestly seek and learn, and then you will find the truth. But if you have hate in your heart you will have your preconceived notions- Here is a question for those that claim so called LDS secrecy is offending (which is false, LDS religion has nothing to hide)… Then why do you not disclose your name on here, what is up with these made up screen names? Sounds very secretive to me!

  • summatheologica

    I go to a conservative Christian University and I am also a Latter Day Saint (Mormon), I take religion courses and included is the History of Christianity. In this course we learn of the Councils in particular the first Nicean Council and it seems to me this is the largest difference between Mormons and mainstream Christianity. In the first Council of Nicea there was a dispute between Arius and Athanasius over the nature of the Son and his relationship to the father. Arius said they are separate and the Son is not divine, Athanasius won the debate and we all know what he belives because it is the Trinity.Anyway, my point is this, in going to chapel three times a week on campus and going to the Christian courses I find that there is so much more in common with Mormons and Mainstream Christianity than there is not in common. I didn’t get this off some scumball Anti-Mormon website, I know it first hand.

  • AnarakySano

    Hello everybody,

  • Gerald Lichty

    I think think this article should run in every newspaper in the country. Very well written, and expresses the ultimate sentiment that a persons religion is a personal and private thing and should not be the basis of political discussion.

  • Sweta-Zinok

    Hi. Sorry for my english. Happy New Year!!!!!

  • Jane Wadsworth

    I appreciate the article, and find it right on. Also, I’m glad I know enough Evangelical Christians that I know NOT to judge them ALL by some of the negative posts here. There is even to be found a link of the Romney web site to “EvangelicalsforMitt” . fyi- some corrections of only a FEW of the MAJOR distortions of our faith. LDS women had the vote before any other state. Joseph Smith campaigned on a platform of freeing the slaves. The revelation that all worthy male members could receive the priesthood came NOT under the pressure of the civil rights movement, but well after it. The Bible says in several places, even with Jesus quoting it “ye are gods, unto whom the scriptures came” and in Job 1:6 you find Lucifer INCLUDED among the sons of God. The council in heaven had ALL of us there, not just those mentioned. The Mountain Meadows Massacre (a HUGE tragedy!) happened at a time that the US had sent an ARMY to eliminate LDS- without any warning, (this is a MUCH larger story than can be explained here), and was NOT done with the knowledge of the prophet but it seems that possibly by number of people killed, it might be considered at least less of a tragedy than the Crusades which the Popes TOTALLY approved!! The bottom line is that — it is by Romneys deeds, record, that he can be known– and the other candidates too. Comparing records (in context!), their plans on the issues is RIGHT, name calling, distortions of records etc is NOT. also- I saw it got acceptably printed by the press that Huckabee spoke to over 100 pastors (who were then to go speak to how many people??) pleading with them to “redeem (some take this to mean PAYINY)the vote” at the first of Dec. and gets paid $25,000 to give sermons **while** running for pres. (which is NOT counted against his candidacy $) but this is NOT apparently seen as a problem by the press, but when some Romney supporters went to see if through BYU alumni- they might check to find supporters- there was a cry of FOUL in the press, and watchers were staked outside of the church headquarters to see if any Romney people went in! Double standard???? Oh, YEA! When you look at the # of declared voters for faith, and the number in the state it looks like there should have been MORE Evangelicals for Huckabee and for Mitt to get such a percentage at ALL is quite amazing! He actually did VERY WELL! Well, I’m praying that the BEST CANDIDATE (notice I didn’t say “Man”– though I can’t stand Hillary) is elected president, and I am working to support Romney! Go MITT!!!!

  • Philip Staggs

    As a member of the Church, I sincerely appreciate this article and how it is written. I was not born in the church and as for my background I attended many other churches before becoming a member. I’m just truly amazed just how closed minded others are about our christian beliefs.

  • Leanne Knudsen

    I can put you out of your misery and quandry as to why mainstream Protestant churches say you’re not Christians: they should be defining it down to your not being “Biblical Christians”. There- it’s solved and we all agree with Joseph Smith that you have another gospel, another Jesus, and another salvation.I continue to pray that the truly sincere, who want the truth, will listen for Christ’s voice, search His Words for truth, and come out of your organization…. Not because you aren’t a wonderful group of industrious people… But because like wonderful, industrious, moral Muslims, Jews, Hindus, or pagans, you do not believe in the Jesus of the Bible.By the way, your Book of Mormon states that He was born in Jerusalem, not Bethlehem. You run from all unbiblical teachings, change them when necessary and expect the world to look the other way. I was LDS for 35 years and I know exactly what was and is taught. I would have more respect for all Mormons if they would simply stick to the message of their founder: All of us are wrong, our Bible is untrustworthy, and ALL of our professors and pastors are wrong.” How would he feel to discover that today his thousands of references to “the Mormon people” have been quelled by his followers and told not to refer to his followers as “Mormons”>Joseph’s definition of the word Mormon: “more good”. You certainly are a church of change and you are nothing close to the church he “restored” or organized. You even changed God’s words in the Book of Mormon to read that the Lamanites will NOT become “white and delightsome”, but “pure and delightsome” when they accept Christ. You poor, lost souls. I pray you open your hearts and eyes to the real Jesus and you will truly find peace.

  • summatheologica

    Where in the Book of Mormon does it say Christ was born in Jerusalem, or did you find that on an Anti-Mormon website?… Joseph I belive did not come up with the “More good” ring as well.Also, as far as Jesus and Satan being spirit brothers: If God (father not son) created all that is contained in the earth and the heavens, both angel, deamon etc… Then he must have created Satan. Well, Jesus was the first born of the father right? So, subsequently all that was created after, you, me, satan, are we not all creations of God and could be labled Brother and Sister? To say that God (father not son) didn’t create Satan is to say that Satan or another power as great as God is out there and capable of creating. So in the sense that God is the creater, omnipotent, and creater of all things is to say that Jesus, us, and Satan are all God’s creations, or brothers and sisters…..

  • a sal

    To say that Satan is not the Brother of Christ is to say that there is a power out there as great or greater than God (The Father) who could have created Satan. Are all the offspring of God: Christ, Us, Satan somehow related because we are the offspring of the Father? Yes, and because that is so, we are Brothers and Sisters.

  • a sal

    To say that Satan is not the Brother of Christ is to say that there is a power out there as great or greater than God (The Father) who could have created Satan. Are all the offspring of God: Christ, Us, Satan somehow related because we are the offspring of the Father? Yes, and because that is so, we are Brothers and Sisters.

  • Christine C.

    Thank you Mr. Otterson for a very informative article, written minus the bias against the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints–I was baptised Lutheran many years ago, yet “Born Again” in 1975–and cautioned by other “Born Again” believers in Christ not to trust any Christian Church’s teachings, since “all had been corrupted” by false doctrines—-well, as a Christian, that left me not having any body of believers in Christ with which to belong, and with which to fellowship–I’ve tried to convert to Catholisim, since my husband is Catholic–I’ve tried returning to the Lutheran Church–yet, something was always missing from each one–something that I found about 8 years ago, when I began inquiring into the LDS–I had prayed, asking God just which denomination I should finally settle on, since I was becoming a bit desperate by then–and, my answer, that I fully trusted as being from Him, was simply, “Follow the Love”—-when I attended an LDS Sunday worship service soon after that, I was stunned, because I genuinely did find that Love–after all, New Testament Scripture tells us that “God IS Love”–but, due to fears surrounding the Book of Mormon, among a few other things, that I’d picked up from other Christians, I balked, and never continued on with learning about the LDS, let alone joining it—-however, I can see, by now, how God has been trying to get through to me, trying to cut through that terrible, ingrained fear of anything that seems to contradict what many of the mainstream Christian Church’s teach–because, most Christians speak of God’s Love for mankind–yet, they live on fear of God–most Christians can quote the Scripture in which it states, “God is Love”–yet, they demonstrate that they live in a state of constant fear that He is always angry at them, and at the world, in general—-most Christians can quote the words from Scripture which tell us that we must trust God, the way a child trusts his own father–and come to God as trusting as little children of their father–yet, scratch the surface of most Christians, and what I’ve very sadly found is such fear of God, and fear of not adhering to every ‘jot and tittle’ of His Word, that they demonstrate the fact that trusting in God, as their loving heavenly Father, is about the last thing they are actually doing– –and, it was genuine love, shown between fellow believers in Christ–the true ‘Love of Christ’, that is spoken of by other Christians, yet seemingly never demonstrated, or actually practiced, to a great enough degree–that was missing in whatever denomination I investigated, as I’d tried to find the one place that God wished me to be, within in His earthly family—-and, because Mormon’s believe in, and trust in, Jesus, to be the Son of God, and their Lord and Savior–and, believe the very basics taught by ‘mainstream’ Christianity, concerning His teachings, and even about our salvation through believing in, and trusting in, Jesus Christ, alone–to me that simply spells it out fairly plainly–Mormons ARE Christians—-they DO follow Christ–plus–they believe in obeying His commandments to us, not merely leaving them to exist as words, alone, giving them merely “lip service”–they literally “put their money where their mouth is”, so to speak, and actually practice following Christ Jesus by obeying His commandments to us, through this life–and, on into the rest of eternity–so, how is that not being a Christian?! And, how is that not “sound doctrine”?

  • manaen

    summatheologica, re: your question, “Where in the Book of Mormon does it say Christ was born in Jerusalem?”

  • Carl Hoyt

    I came to this site to get information on the Mormon Church. With the primary elections in full swing, Mitt Romney being a candidate, I believe that what I just read as to Mormonism, are they Christians? Should be discussed or read by Mr Romney on one of his appearances with the Media. I believe that would clear-up his religious background. I am a Lutheran in doctrine and agree with the Mormons, it is only by a lack of understanding the Mormon Church suffers the inaccuracy of others. Please help Mr Romney, I believe him to be the best candidate for the Presdency of our great country.

  • Sid Walters

    1. Who is Moroni, the angel of light, on top every Mormon church/temple? He is most definitely NOT Jesus, whom you claim to worship. Your own books say Moroni is Satan of hell. Do you deny this? You worship the Devil? It’s your basic Christianity, right? If you say now that Moroni is not the Devil, who has he become?2. Why is there NO HOLY CROSS inside or outside of any Mormon building of any kind? Do Mormons have a problem with the blood of Christ?3. Why do Mormons drink water at communion rather than juice or wine like every single Christian church? Well, on this planet anyhow.4. Of your millions of gods, who you believe were finite men, which one of those men created himself as a man and then to become A god?5. Do Mormons realize that when a single word is changed in the Holy Bible that God says it is an abomination?6. Why did Mormons rewrite the Bible to their own liking and then have the audacity to call themselves Christian?7. How many gods are there? Over 3 million, right?8. Did Joseph Smith really die a martyr or was he killed in a gunfight by Masons who he stole from while serving time in jail for crimes he commited?9. Is the real Jesus Christ related in any way to Lucifer? Satan?10. Your heavenly Father Elohim came from what planet? that is near what star?, Kolob you call it? What is that about?11. Did Elohim have many wives? How many? Why do Mormons belive in Polygamy? Oh, but then they SUDDENLY changed their belief about that, right? Why?12. Is Jesus Christ a product of incest as the book of Mormon suggests? What would Jesus Christ have to say about that?13. Where does it say in the Holy Bible that we get to heaven through good works and sacrificial rituals in your HOLY temples? Cut your throat from ear to ear and slice open your belly if you fall from faith? What is that about? Christian, right?14. Will you please tell me how to become A god?15. You believe that; As man is, God once was, and as God is, man may become. Right? Christian?16. A man can become a god and be the ruler of his own planet. Right? More Christianity?17. How can you claim that your cult is even remotely Christian?18. When Elohim decided on a project from his planet to build planet Earth, his spirits who didn’t agree with either Jesus or his brother Lucifer (the devil)and were neutral about it were cursed to be born with black skin, and that’s how the Negro race came to be, right? It’s in your books.The answers to these few questions of who knows how many more, clearly go against the Holy Bible’s teachings, yet it is clearly writen in your books.

  • manaen

    Response to Sid Walters’ comments @ 1/11, 3:12 amHere are some answers to your questions. I hope they’re helpful.

  • manaen

    2.” Why is there NO HOLY CROSS inside or outside of any Mormon building of any kind? Do Mormons have a problem with the blood of Christ?”

  • manaen

    Response to Sid Walters’ comments @ 1/11, 3:12 amHere is an answer to your third question. I hope that it’s helpful.

  • manaen

    Response to Sid Walters’ comments @ 1/11, 3:12 amHere is an answer to your fourth question. I hope that it’s helpful.

  • manaen

    Response to Sid Walters’ comments @ 1/11, 3:12 am, question #5. I hope that it’s helpful.

  • manaen

    Further to Sid Walters’ #5, here is an article in “Christianity Today” that discusses the problem of translating correctly:

  • manaen

    Response to Sid Walters’ #6 @ 1/11, 3:12 am. I hope that it’s helpful.

  • manaen

    Response to Sid Walters’ #7 @ 1/11, 3:12 am. I hope that it’s helpful.

  • manaen

    Response to Sid Walters’ #8 @ 1/11, 3:12 am. I hope that it’s helpful.

  • manaen

    Response to Sid Walters’ #9 @ 1/11, 3:12 am. I hope that it’s helpful.

  • manaen

    Response to Sid Walters’ #10 @ 1/11, 3:12 am. I hope that it’s helpful.

  • manaen

    Response to Sid Walters’ #11 @ 1/11, 3:12 am. I hope that it’s helpful.

  • manaen

    Response to Sid Walters’ #12 @ 1/11, 3:12 am. I hope that it’s helpful.

  • manaen

    Response to Sid Walters’ #13 @ 1/11, 3:12 am. I hope that it’s helpful.

  • manaen

    Response to Sid Walters’ #14 @ 1/11, 3:12 am. I hope that it’s helpful.

  • manaen

    Response to Sid Walters’ #15 @ 1/11, 3:12 am. I hope that it’s helpful.

  • manaen

    Response to Sid Walters’ #16 @ 1/11, 3:12 am. I hope that it’s helpful.

  • manaen

    Response to Sid Walters’ #17 @ 1/11, 3:12 am. I hope that it’s helpful.

  • Sick

    After having read only a portion of the comments it sickens me along with many others who have already commented here the ignorance of many who have claimed “fact.” There is no doubt as to major differences of belief between the Church of Jesus Christ and other Christian sects. There always will be and I respect the right of Christian’s and non-Christian’s alike to worship as they choose. Hence I am not here to debate doctrinal beliefs. What disturbs me is the slander and biggotry that has been posted about early church leaders. Those who truly knew them knew them to be men of integrity and high moral character. Having differing beliefs does not give someone the right to bash others. I do not agree with many doctrines set forth by early religious reformers such as Martin Luther, but that does not mean that I will resolve to purporting vicious and unsubstantiated rumors about the lives of good men who lived hundreds of years ago. Although I disagree with their teachings, I recognize them as men of faith and good works. Anyone who studies truthful and substantiated histories of men such as Joseph Smith and Brigham Young will find the same to be true of them even if they do not aggree about doctrines. And if you want fact, don’t just search the web. Most web sites have about as much truth as a gossipy neighbor.

  • brig graff

    Well, I guess I’ll bite my tongue at all the spiteful comments being thrown in these posts at my religion (Mormonism) and the attempts to make it sound like a sham. No need to address each one individually. Growing up in Seattle I often was amazed when I would be at school and kids would track me down so they could “try out” the latest anti-Mormon jabs they learned from their pastor on Sunday. You could tell they were excited to take some belief I had, yank it out of context, and accuse me of belonging to a non-Christian cult. I can’t tell you what it was like to have that happen to me week after week — but soon I got pretty defensive and really quite upset that it seemed all the other religions talked about was how awful Mormonism was. One teacher even had a girl do a report in class about how Mormons were a messed-up non-Christian cult with a con-artist false prophet. My jaw about hit the floor. If that teacher had allowed a similar bit of religion-hate towards any other religion, it would have been considered highly inappropriate. But for some reason, it was okay to use students in a public school to bash Mormonism because “hey, they’re just Mormons and they’re a cult of wackos anyway.”Well, reading some of these comments makes me feel like I’m right back there at high school, but thankfully I’m a lot more “live & let live” about things now. I guess I don’t have the time or energy anymore to try to counter every barb thrown at my religion. But in the end I’m not sure it matters. What matters is that I believe that Jesus Christ is my Savior. I attend the Church of Jesus Christ. Living his teachings leads to happiness & peace…really…no joke. And that is the core of all the other beliefs in Mormonism — which are all there to lead us to that one overwhelming truth…Christ saves, and his teachings lead to real happiness. If that isn’t Christian in your eyes, then I suppose your definition of Christian is something other than “someone who worships Christ as their savior.”And as James said in the New Testament, faith without works is dead. So we try to live it, and we’ll also continue to do our missionary work because the Savior asked us to “feed his sheep.” So we try to carry it to others too. But if they don’t want it, and if they throw stabs at ours, well then we just keep moving forward & live life the best we can. We hope that someday you’ll see by our actions that we are sincerely trying to follow Christ and to help our fellow man — just take a look at the huge humanitarian effort of the Church that is provided to all people in the world in times of crisis, regardless of their faith or beliefs. But if you still think we’re wackos, I guess it doesn’t matter — we’ll just keep trying to live good lives, worship Christ, and do good in the world. Maybe someday people will get it…that that’s what Mormonism is. Yep, we have some beliefs that many others find odd. But so do all religions, if you pull those beliefs out of context and wave them in front of people who are less informed about the religion. It just fans controversy. And in the end we don’t deserve to have mud thrown at us just because we are Mormon.

  • manaen

    Sick and Brig Graff, thank you for your comments! I like how you’ve shown that “sweet is the peace the gospel brings.”

  • Dawn Jones

    Thank you from the bottom of my heart for posting this article. You are right when you say that the thought that mormons are not christians hurts us. Yes, I said us. I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I say that Jesus Christ is the center of my faith. I pray to the same god everyone else does, I sometimes think that God and Christ are more real to me than to many other people. Whenever people ask me if I am a Christian I bear my testimony to them that Christ lives as you and I do. So why does this debate still rage. Do people not believe that myself and others feel this way? When I do tell them these things they act as though they don’t believe me. Be that as it may, Jesus Christ knows who truely believes, loves and worships him and that is all that really matters any way. Dawn from North Carolina

  • Don Hoffman

    Well done !!!

  • brig graff

    @ MANAEN –Thank you for those quotes — I had not remembered the quote from Pres. Hinckley especially. Hopefully our lives will continue to be our best testomony. Sensationalism sells, and people who oppose Mormonism know that. But hopefully with all of us together living as we should and talking sincerely on public forums such as this one, folks will start seeing through the smokescreens that people toss up about the Church and just respect us for who we really are —– instead of throwing ignorant & inflammatory punches.

  • Curtis Simon

    I thought the article was very well written and objective. It is rare to read a religious article, especially one about Mormons that is not obviously slanted one way or the other.I am a Mormon, although I have not been an active member for years. After reading both the article and several of these blogs, I understand both perspectives better, namely that Mormons may or may not be Christians, depending on your perspective. Like many LDS members, I have often been perplexed why other Christian religions refused to allow Mormons in the Christian group. Mormons are very offended that they would not be called Christians because their broad definition would be; someone who accepts Christ as their Savior and lives a life indicative of their beliefs. From the Evangelical perspective, I would imagine their definition for Christians would involve tradition as much as theological accuracy; meaning someone who professes their belief in Christ, being saved by grace, using the Christ defined in the Nicean Creed. The reason I mention tradition is once one alters the basic tenets of their belief, like Mormons do i.e. additional book of scripture, the different Trinity, modern revelation, men becoming Gods ect, that this new version is at least a diluted version and most heresy.We could certainly agree to disagree. I think Mormons need to understand the Evangelical perspective and stop insisting that everyone accepts them as Christians. (For the same reason that Mormons do not want to include polygamous sects or conservatives want to alter their definition of Marriage by allowing homosexuals to marry)On the other hand, Evangelicals need to practice what the preach and stop going out of their way to tell Mormons they are not Christian, knowing they are deeply hurt by the accusation.The extreme blogs, calling the Mormon religion a cult or worse are based on either blatant ignorance or in some cases deliberate lies by angry ex-Mormons who will write anything to destroy the church, such as saying Romney is working with LDS leadership to take over the country.Both sides could be more tolerant of each other, although I would give the Mormons more credit for reaching out and showing respect toward evangelicals. In a day and age when racial bigotry is not tolerated in this country, is amazes me how we still accept and often promote religious bigotry. (Many more people will not vote for Romney because of his religion that those who will not vote for Obama because of his race) I personally don’t believe any Mormon could ever be elected president for this reason alone.Many anti-Mormons are upset about being excommunicated from the church. The Mormon lifestyle is so consuming, that the sense of loss for some leaving the church is similar to a divorce or a death in the family. Many react be organizing and doing anything they can to destroy the church.Still others are jealous of the success of the Mormon church, whether it is losing members from another faith or the great deal of wealth and power the church has attained. (Some speculate they have up to a 50 billion dollar network) Wealth and power is a big issue for the Evangelicals, who are often frustrated from their recent lack of political influence. Speaking for all conservatives, what frustrates me is that Evangelicals refuse to work with the Mormons instead of against them in politics. Both groups do have very similar political beliefs. Evangelicals are so concerned that Romney winning will legitimize the Mormon faith that they must believe the Mormons are a greater threat than the liberals. With their combined influenced and less bickering, it would be much more likely that a real conservative like Thompson or Romney would have more success, rather than Social Liberals like McCain, Gulliani or Huckabee.Curtis Simon

  • Colleen Corbridge

    This is one of the best statements I’ve heard describing my faith and how to best learn about it. Thank you Michael Otterson.

  • Snay

    Good article. As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I have many many friends of all religions and backgrounds. We fight for the right for ALL to worship how they will. We beleive in being literal followers of the Savior when we come to the knowledge of his power and existance. As has been stated in previous posts. If you truely want to know what we beleive. Ask Us. Don’t ask so you may argue or fight. If you really want to know, ask with an open heart. We try to live good lives but are shunned for it in circles that think it’s funny to live by the “old fashioned” way. Is it “old fashioned” to help our neighbiors in need? Did he not say come follow me? I submit that he wasn’t asking us to skateboard around and check out what he was doing next. He was asking us to live the way he lived as much as possible. He knows we are not prefect. Thats why He died for us. Heavenly Father would not leave us to wander alone in these days. The Book of Mormon is a religious history and complilation of the wars and trials of the peole in Ainchent America. And another testiment that He does live, and loves all of his children. In the Bible its states that there are two sticks. One of Judah and one of Joseph. Sticks were refered to as writ. Judah is the Bible, Joseph is the Book of Mormon. Its says they will speak unto us from the dust. For those who have trouble believeing such a record existed. See all the evidence uncovered in lands where records have been found. They are in the form of thin plates of various metals. The same that the Book of Mormon were recorded on. But mostly. Ask in your heart. No one else can tell you by showing you things. But only by the spirit by which ALL men have access to. Are we as humans so arrogant that we think we know everything? Why couldn’t there be continuing revelation, especially since the Savior said we would have that. Let’s all get together and be good to each other. No matter what you belive or don’t believe. We are all human and capable of great mistakes. The people will never be perfect in this life. But the Doctrines and ordinances are. I love all my friends of all walks of life and celebrate thier love of what they hold dear to them!

  • Jared

    Are Mormons Christian? To find out the answer, I did what any internet user might do: I decided to google the “definition of Christian.” The first thing that popped up is: “Web definitions for Christian” I clicked on it.I liked the 3rd dot on the page: “following the teachings or manifesting the qualities or spirit of Jesus Christ” – If that is your definition of Christian, then YES, Mormons, Baptists, Catholics, Protestants, anyone that tries following the teachings,or spirit of Christ is a Christian. I propose that one of the best ways of following the teachings of Jesus Christ is following the two great commandments: Love God & love my neighbor.Now, back to my google search. On the other side of the coin, the Fourth dot on my google search for the definition of Christian- “A Christian is normally very narrow-minded, judgmental followers of Jesus of Nazareth, referred to as the Christ”LOL- Guess what? I think the answer to that definition is exactly the same as the previous answer: Are Mormons Christians? If that is your definition of Christian, then YES, some Mormons, some Baptists,some Catholics,and some Protestants could all be considered Christians.So….depending on your definition of Christian, many people, of many religions are Christian, however open or narrow your definition may be.I for one choose to try to follow the teachings of Christ and will let Him decide ultimately if I was a true Christian by the way I kept His commandments and loved Him and my fellow man. Are Mormons Christians? Yes. Get to know one, you’ll know what I mean.

  • Sandra CLARK

    Great job, very well said! Thanks.

  • Sandra CLARK

    Great job, very well said! Thanks.

  • Brian Rhodes

    Just a friendly response to Jerry Persall:I respect your opinion that you think the Book of Mormon is a hoax but somewhere down the line wouldn’t you have to explain where it came from? It was produced in approximately 80 days (many non-Mormon historians can agree with that). Is there an explanation (e.g. that Joseph Smith made it up, that a committee made it up, etc.) other than it came from God? The book brings me closer to my Savior, Jesus Christ and helps me feel of His love for me. It has even brought non-believers of Christ (Jews, atheists, agnostics, etc.) to now believe in Christ. The “fruits” of this book help me realize that this is God speaking to us again today–not to replace the Bible but as another witness that Jesus IS the Christ and to clarify points that have been ARGUED BETWEEN CHRISTIAN RELIGIONS for ages. I hope ANYONE with doubts about it’s origins will obtain a copy and examine it–independent of any other person. Thank you for your time.

  • Jon Penny

    Manaen:Good on you. Of course, you know Sid Walters long ago stopped watching: not interested in truth.Anyway, thanks for keeping our end up: I’ve been absent, and you did a much better and more thorough (and more charitable) job of correcting the ravings than I would have.Peace out.

  • manaen

    @ Jon Penny,

  • gaurgeona

    Make love, not war!

  • Brandon S.

    “Come follow Me,” the Savior said. “Love thy neighbor even as thyself.” These are words that I would expect a “Christian” to follow. I don’t remember when Christ said, “and thou shalt believe that I, my Father, and the Holy Spirit are one and the same being.” In fact, I don’t believe the word “Trinity” appears anywhere in Biblical canon.

  • ron gawlitta

    I am not Mormon but I have been close enough to Mormons over the past several decades to have observed what I consider to be admirable traits: high moral standards, exceptional family relationships within the immediate family and the community and, unlike so many members of the more “mainstream” religions they observe the teachings of their faith on a daily basis and not only on Sundays or traditional holidays. Not Christian? I hardly think so. Christ is ever present in their lives. Perhaps some of the rest of the “mainstream” folks could learn from them!

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  • suzette graham

    I am a Latter-Day Saint and I appreciate this article as a clear and correct expression of the way I feel as a Christian/Mormon who is often confused and hurt by those who so easily reject our faith as non-Christian. Unfortunately it probably will not be read or accepted by those who insist that Mormons are not Christians. The fact that I believe in Jesus Christ and try to live the things he taught seem to have no validity in this argument. I have observed that those who don’t know much about the Church, pretty much don’t want to know much about the Church and prefer to believe what they have been told by non Mormons, though they will easily admit that we are nice, good people who love our families and our country.

  • Jeff Nielson

    Thank you Michael,

  • PF

    Two comments:Matthew 7:1-2, “Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.”andMatthew 7:20, “Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.”

  • Virginia

    I really enjoyed this article. I copied it and put it in my folder. Thanks you for explaining everything.

  • Kenneth

    I have read a number of the comments concerning the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I spent 4 years studing all of the Christian faiths (religion or churches). I found that there is very little diffenent in them when you consider they all use the same manual (Bible). We must study the Catholic and the Church of Jesus Christ/Latter Day Saints and find their diffenences for here is were we find God’s true religion. Now here is were I begins my search for a true Christian religion. For I know that if I don’t find it here, then it does not exist (true Christian religion).

  • Kenneth

    I have read a number of the comments concerning the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I spent 4 years studing all of the Christian faiths (religion or churches). I found that there is very little diffenent in them when you consider they all use the same manual (Bible). We must study the Catholic and the Church of Jesus Christ/Latter Day Saints and find their diffenences for here is were we find God’s true religion. Now here is were I begins my search for a true Christian religion. For I know that if I don’t find it here, then it does not exist (true Christian religion).

  • Brian Rhodes

    To Kenneth,I’m glad to hear you are searching. Can I add some thoughts as one who has done the same and feels he has found the truth?I am a Latter-day Saint. It has been said that if the Book of Mormon is not a book that comes from God, then the entire work of the Church is a fraud; But if the Book IS of God, then this Church is the greatest message on the earth.I think believers and non-believers alike can agree with that statement.Do all of the searching you need but I feel your answer (one way or the other) lies in the Book of Mormon. If it’s a true book, then the Prophet who brought it about is a true prophet. If he was a true prophet, then the Church he established is God’s true Church on the earth.I hope you will examine the Book of Mormon and prayerfully decide. I believe that those who do not believe in the book will be left to explain another way how it got here. I’ve read the book and it is compelling evidence. I can hardly find a verse that doesn’t teach of the Savior and his ways and bring me closer to the Spirit.If you pursue a serious course to discover for yourself, Kenneth, be braced for opposition on all sides. You will hear more negative things than you could even imagine. That’s the way it’s always been when there has been a work from God to go forward. That’s the way it always will be. Just do it for yourself and make it personal between you and the Lord.Best wishes to you and your future,Brian

  • K.Morgan

    I have always found it so strange that there is such a strong backlash to the LDS religion. So much in fact, that other religions actually have classes devoted to debunking the Mormon faith. I appreciate the comments of “Brian.” I too am LDS and have prayed for myself to find the answer. That’s what it boils down to. What’s sad is when the discussion generates into degrading another person’s beliefs. To me, that is the opposite of being Christ like, which should be the goal of all people, regardless of religion.

  • packer

    As usual on any interesting topic found on any oportunity to comment there are a few people whose names constantly pop up. They allways appear to be sickly friendly and polite yet full of venom. If, and I assume they are, professed Christians one thing seems very aparent to me and its this, “You do not know what spirit you are of”

  • Irene Paris

    I loved it. Finally,someone who understands that we all need to simmer down and behave ourselves. What makes us so different from the rest of the world can make us stronger if we will only let it. We do not need to dwell on our differences but use them to make each other stronger. I have many friends and many neighbors and I celebrate the fact that we all believe different things and have different goals. However, we are all very much the same. We all want our marriages to work our children to be successful and our nation to thrive. That is more than enough for me to call them all my friends.

  • Harold Rust

    I appreciated this article that clearly delineates the two views of addressing the issue as to whether Mormons are Christian. Many of the comments above, however, reflect a one-sided, biased, vengeful, and un-Christian approach by the commentors. Why are many of you so defensive you’re really offensive? Just read the article again and realize what was written is very objective and very appropriate.

  • Harold Rust

    I appreciated this article that clearly delineates the two views of addressing the issue as to whether Mormons are Christian. Many of the comments above, however, reflect a one-sided, biased, vengeful, and un-Christian approach by the commentors. Why are many of you so defensive you’re really offensive? Just read the article again and realize what was written is very objective and very appropriate.

  • Harold Rust

    I appreciated this article which I believe clearly delineates the two views when addressing the question of whether Mormons are Christians. Many of the comments above reflect statements that appear to be very biased, angry, and almost vengeful–in fact, very un-Christian. To those of you who seem to react so negatively, I suggest you re-read the article and recognize the matter was covered in a most objective way and deserves a Christian-like response.

  • Tara Lee Swenk

    Among my ancestors, I have Ana-Baptists (Zurich, Switerland)who protested the Catolic Church’s baptism of infants. They were burned at the stake, and drowned in the depths of the sea.When they came to America they were known as the Amish. I have Quakers, Baptist ministers, and yes, Moromn Pioneers. My grandmother was born in Denmark. I have English, Welch, Scotch, Irish, and German blood. My Christian ancestors have paid a great price in helping establish this great land.A

  • Tara Lee Swenk

    Among my ancestors, I have Ana-Baptists (Zurich, Switerland)who protested the Catolic Church’s baptism of infants. They were burned at the stake, and drowned in the depths of the sea.When they came to America they were known as the Amish. I have Quakers, Baptist ministers, and yes, Moromn Pioneers. My grandmother was born in Denmark. I have English, Welch, Scotch, Irish, and German blood. My Christian ancestors have paid a great price in helping establish this great land.A

  • Tara Lee Swenk

    I have never posted a comment before yet my comment was denied for this reason. It took much time to write it and I am disappointed it it now lost.

  • JDF

    If the venom, bigotry and hatred that has been displayed in this thread by many apparent “Christians”, defines the modern use of the word, then perhaps members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints are not “Christians” and that’s looking more and more like a good thing. There, you won! Now live with it!

  • LDS mom

    Hello. I posted last month on this article… I was on lds.org tonight trying to get info on Pres. Hinckley’s passing and I clicked on this article on the LDS newsroom. I wanted to read the comments that the public have left about the LDS faith & church. I noticed that some of the LDS readers here have posted remarks in response to my earlier post last month. First of all I would like to say I am who I am… a mother of my beautiful children and a wife of one dear & wonderful man and a member of the LDS church for almost 20 yrs. I served a full time mission for the LDS church and have been active in the Church since my conversion. I have served in the RS, Primary in Presidencies and as a teacher. I have been endowed and have been actively engaged in geneological work. Just wanted to share a bit about me, so that my identity is not questioned. :) Just needed to clear that up! I wanted to post again and once again unashamedely ( sp?) state that the Mormon Church is not and can not be paired up with mainstream Christianity. Pres. Hinckley himself stated that we do not worship the same Christ as the Christian world. We honor & love Christ, the Son of God who was chosen since the foundation of the world to be the savior of mankind..he is our spirit brother, and not our God as the Christian world views Him. He came to earth to work out His own salvation and ours. ( so very radically different from the christian view). We believe Christ is our brother, not our “God” as the Christian world teaches and believes so strongly. The God we worship, as Mormons is Elohim. I want to make that very clear. Elder Bruce R. McConkie gave a wonderful speach back in 1984 to the BYU students on Our personal relationship with Jesus Christ , and in this talk he clearly stated that we do not worship Christ, and it is perilous to do so. Mormons worship God, the eternal Father, known as Elohim. Jesus Christ was sent to earth to atone for us, but at the same time he was working out his own salvation and grew grace upon grace. This is a very unique difference between us and the Christian world.The Christian’s world view is biblically based, the Mormon world view is based on modern revelation, and especially focused on the teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith. Without Joseph Smith there would be no unique teachings between mormonism and Christianity.I still continue to believe it is inherently false to call us “Christians” in the same sense as the Biblcal Christians call themselves. I would never tell my Christian friends that I am Christian — because simply we are not. ( in their eyes and in mine) We are Latter Day Saints who worship in a very unique way. I spent 18 mos of my life teaching Christians about mormonism…. if mormonism was another brand of Christianity there would be no need for Christians to convert to the one true Church. Let’s not be bashful or ashamed of what we know to be true — Mormonism can not lump itself with the rest of the christian world! I think Joseph and Brigham would be rolling over in their graves if they believed that the Church they worked so hard to establish was just another Christian church.I think it’s very critical that mormons be transparent with the world and stop trying to fit into a box that simply will not fit us in! Mormons are not like the rest of the Christians — plain and simple. We recognize Jesus as the Savior of the World , but we do not worship him as our “God”. There is but one God that we worship and that is Elohim! I am not ashamed to state that is precisely what we are taught in the Temple. Why be ashamed? I grow so tired of fellow saints trying to give the world “milk” and hiding the “meat” for fear of what others may think…. let the world think what they think….. I believe that is what Brigham would tell us today!Also just a thought on the principle of grace… as a mormon woman, mother, and wife… I am sorry to disagree with the men here, but I and most LDS women I know feel very strongly the need to work out our salvation! Jesus did die for us, but his grace only covers as far as the resurection is concerned. Meaning, yes, all will be saved from physical death thru the atonement of Jesus Christ. But let’s be clear here for mormons, we believe there is a difference between salvation and exhaltation!! Salvation is *not* enough for LDS who are faithful…. we want exaltation in the celestial kingdom! Salvation is a free gift thru Christ’s grace… but to receive exaltation… to become a god as we believe in the literal sense of the word , we must work out our salvation , make & keep covenants, receive all the saving ordinances of the temple and endure to the end…. I am sorry to disagree with the LDS folks here — but faithful LDS know very well that their exaltation is not secured by Jesus’ grace! It is by our works friends, we must be obedient and faithful to the end! We can not rely solely on grace as a means to exaltation and eternal life….. which is to live with God the father and to rule and reign with Him forever! It is deceptive to our Christian friends and the world at large to tell them that we believe in grace as they do, for we do not. Our defination of grace is very unique and not like mainstream christians believe and teach and definately not like the grace mentioned in the bible. Again I am not ashamed, and I believe LDS should stop trying to fit into the mainstream christian “box”…. we simply can’t! Just my .02 ~~ for whatever it’ worth!

  • amj2007

    Since that DNA has proven that the claim of the founder Mr. Smith Jr. is false, Indians of Native America do not come from Israel, the Base of Mormonism has been swept away under their feet. The BOM is proven to be 19th century’s common beliefs and mixture of plageriasm from the Bible plus a stolen manuscript from a schoolteacher as well. If you believe a person who had a fantasy who could cheat his family by believing them he had a ‘Golden Book’, you can believe everything… like gnomes living in your garden. It is not all bad, some things are worth to keep on doing, like Baptism for the Dead, Family History, Priesthood although the latter is debatable. Conclusion: what is truth and what is fiction? Who can tell, only G-D.

  • amj2007

    Since that DNA has proven that the claim of the founder Mr. Smith Jr. is false, Indians of Native America do not come from Israel, the Base of Mormonism has been swept away under their feet. The BOM is proven to be 19th century’s common beliefs and mixture of plageriasm from the Bible plus a stolen manuscript from a schoolteacher as well. If you believe a person who had a fantasy who could cheat his family by believing them he had a ‘Golden Book’, you can believe everything… like gnomes living in your garden. It is not all bad, some things are worth to keep on doing, like Baptism for the Dead, Family History, Priesthood although the latter is debatable. Conclusion: what is truth and what is fiction? Who can tell, only G-D.

  • Barbara Laumann

    As an individual who joined the church over 30 years ago I would like to share with you what I have learned, during these years, about what Mormons believe. The focus of our life is to try & become more like Jesus. We TRY to learn to live the principals taught and lived by our Lord & Savior Jesus Christ; love, service, prayer, forgiveness, humility and obedience to the commandments of God. We believe that each individual has the right to choose for himself how he will live and that each choice has consequences. , Each week we go to church to learn about Jesus Christ & his atonement. We believe that all who are born on this earth are children of a loving God and therefore all mankind are brothers and sisters. We value families and consider it a privilege to be a parent. Thank you for your attempt to help people understand the Mormon religion.

  • proTESTant

    I was raised in a protestant (Lutheran) church for most of my life. I studied religion as a major in college, exploring different facets of many world religions including Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, Native American traditions, and so on. I have always had a personal interest in the LDS church’s teachings, so I have read a great deal about it, both from official church doctrine and publications and from other outside sources.The Mormon church is not Christian.The Christian church, being the body that bears the name, should reserve the right to define itself and its core beliefs, however points of emphasis may vary between denominations. Christians define themselves as those who believe in the humanity and divinity of Jesus, the only begotten son of a creating, omnipotent, omniscient, timeless God. We believe that God has a triune nature including Father, Son, and Spirit, and that the Son lived upon this earth, died upon the cross as payment for humanity’s transgressions, rose from the dead, and will return a second time “to judge the living and the dead” in the words of the Apostles’ Creed. We believe that we as people are imperfect and doomed to remain so, and that nothing we can do will save our souls except confessing that Jesus Christ is Lord and by receiving the free gift of his grace. Our actions should reflect our faith in Him, but they do not change the course of our soul’s path upon our death.I think that beyond their denial of the Trinity, the doctrine of salvation by grace through faith is perhaps the biggest sticking point in this debate. In all of the LDS church literature and television programs, there is always an undercurrent of tension, of needing to work hard to prove that they are maturing as God intended them to. Grace kicks in after they have done everything they can on their own.GRACE IS FREE. You do not have to earn it or prove that you deserve it. You don’t have to perform baptisms by proxy for dead people. You don’t have to jump through ritual hoops in temples to be worthy. Trying to earn one’s way into heaven via good works negates Christ’s gift of salvation and, in essence, constitutes the individual thumbing his or her nose at this great gift. All have fallen short of the glory of God; we know this! What good is Jesus’ freely given sacrifice if we must work for it? No, works will not get you into heaven, not even your pinky toenail, and likewise, works will not lock you out of it. Truly will you answer for what you have done or not done in this life, and it is better to demonstrate your faith than hide it, but all that is necessary is the confession of a repentant heart aching to fill that God-shaped hole.In closing, I want to emphasize that Christians do not hate Mormons. They do not despise them or wish them ill. We respect and admire much about them. However, we do feel that they have been mislead by the writings of a man who either intentionally or unintentionally (i.e., lead by some kind of demonic influence) deceived them, and we hope that they will have the courage to take a step back and examine the basis of their faith and see if it holds up under scrutiny. Simply having a burning in the bosom or some notion of a testimony about the Book of Mormon does not make it true. I could wish that the sky were green and that would not make it so. The God of the Bible is one of order, consistency, wisdom, power, love, and grace, and I personally cannot put my faith and trust in documents (Book of Mormon, Doctrine & Covenants, Pearl of Great Price, etc.) that do not withstand the same historical nitpicking as the Biblical texts. Why would God provide the miraculous gold plates to be translated and then take them away, when we have such an abundance of Biblical scripture from antiquity? Why would the LDS church claim to be the restored church when the New Testament states that the true church will never be removed from the face of the earth?

  • Tom Nauss

    Thanks for that great article. As LDS members we are greatful this explanation.

  • Sydni

    All that I would ask of those who read this is that before you make any judgments that you study it out. Mormons are Christians, they profess the name of Christ, they are saved through him just as all Christians are. Those are the basic fundamentals of Christianity. Why is it that they are prosectuted so for their beliefs? What have they done to deserve so much critizium?

  • Elder FrancisDouglas HOLLAND.

    The Lost of one of the most beloved Prpphets has now returned home to his beloved wife,to carry foreworrd there Eternal union for time & ALL Eternaty, I had the B;essing of meeting with them both, and when HE took my hand I knrw with out any form of doubt HE was the choosen one of this the latter day, I recall meeting him x3, plus DavidOMcKay, then prophet who blessed our marraige for Eternaty I felt there inner Spirit beyond works that could ever be spoken in the fullness of time, I am at complete loss over his leaving this life, tio Enter the next life, at the right hand of “GOD” even so him, self the master of life its self.Senior Francis Douglas Holland.

  • Linda Wright

    If you really want to know if Mormons are Christians, and if their claims are true, you can simply ask the one person who knows. That is ask your Father in Heaven the questions, He knows the truth, and if you ask in sincere faith with real intent He will make the truth known to you.

  • William J

    It’s interesting…and distressing…how galvinizing this question seems to be. It seems to bring out the lack of Christianity in many people (Mormons and non-Mormons alike) professing to have been saved and become committed to the kinder nature of Christian theology. I think paraphrasing the biblical remarks of the member of the sanhedrin about the Master are probably appropriate here too. If Mormonism is true…no one will be able to stop it though many might try. If it is false…it will fall under it own weight regardless of how many might try to prop it up. Time and experience will be the ultimate judge. In the meantime, it seems Mormons and other Christians would do well to follow their Savior and work together for a more civil and compassionate world.

  • Nancy Llinet

    I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I do believe that I am a Christian, and we do belief in the trinity of the Father, the son and the Holy ghost. I belief the Joseph Smith was a true prophet of God and he did restore the true church, and all others are by Gods words an abomination.

  • Nancy Llinet

    I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I do believe that I am a Christian, and we do belief in the trinity of the Father, the son and the Holy ghost. I belief the Joseph Smith was a true prophet of God and he did restore the true church, and all others are by Gods words an abomination.

  • LDS Mom

    I am still not convinced you are who you say you are. No matter. I will respond to a few points that I believe you don’t understand.”The Christian’s world view is biblically based, the Mormon world view is based on modern revelation, and especially focused on the teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith. “The biblical world view IS modern revelation. That is why if you really want to be correct, you would say that orthodox “Christianity” isn’t biblically based, because they reject the basic premise of continuing revelation under which the books of the Bible were written to begin with. “Without Joseph Smith there would be no unique teachings between mormonism and Christianity. “Look, if the Father and the Son (i.e. the Lord Jesus Christ, Jehovah, Yahweh, Christ Jesus, etc.) revealed themselves to Joseph Smith in a glorious heavenly vision and if in succession the fulness of the Gospel has been revealed by the Lord Jesus Himself, then Mormonism IS Christianity. It is really quite simple. “I think Joseph and Brigham would be rolling over in their graves if they believed that the Church they worked so hard to establish was just another Christian church. “It is a good thing that they don’t have to worry about that. If, in being called non-Christian, we are so called on account of doctrines and practices that we truly and unabashedly hold, then being called Christian from an orthodox Christian tradition is concerned is really a moot point. However, we do not throw out fundamental, indispensible and essential truths. We claim that Jesus of Nazareth, as the Messiah and Savior of the World, without whom there is no salvation for anyone. When our teachings decry what we claim to be false doctrines and practices in other Christian denominations, we do not and indeed cannot throw out our rock. We never have and never will. For without Christ, we have nothing: no revelation, resurrection, justification, sanctification, no efficacy to ordinances and teachings, no celestial kingdom, no eternal families, no perfection etc. Joseph, Brigham, and every other President of the Church were built on the rock and they knew this.”I grow so tired of fellow saints trying to give the world “milk” and hiding the “meat” for fear of what others may think…. let the world think what they think….. I believe that is what Brigham would tell us today! “You don’t get the deep doctrines by discarding the fundamentals. You can’t have the fruits without the roots. The fundamentals are foundation pieces upon which deeper doctrines build. They aren’t temporary placeholder doctrines that we give in public but deny in private. Personally, I love the meat of the Gospel and in my experience I get an endless supply of it. I love to read Brigham and Joseph too. They got meat based upon the same principles.

  • Kevin Szczepankowski

    Well said!

  • Idaho Mormon

    Reading these comments I am amazed at the amount of meaness that is generated over a topic such as belief in Jesus Christ. I am amazed at the number of people that want to spend their time trying to prove all LDS beliefs wrong. Do you go from this web site to others disproving Hindu beliefs, Lutheran beliefs, Jehovahs witness beliefs etc.? Is that how you spend your time? I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Yes, I believe in Jesus Christ, I believe in the Bible and the Book of Mormon and in living prophets. I think my home reflects that and I hope my actions do too. I am also grateful for other good people in this country who try to make this country a decent place to live whatever their religion may be. I don’t spend my day blogging trying to disprove every belief they may have. Whether the president is a Mormon or not, is not as important as if he has integrity, honesty and the ability to lead others to do good. There are many great people in this country in every religion. I think the purpose of this article was to allow people to see how Mormon’s view themselves and their beliefs not to generate an all out fist fight over the term Christian. I am always interested to see others and how their beliefs are part of their lives. Why can’t you do this with Mormons and leave it at that. Let’s spend our time trying to promote good causes and not to try in disprove each other’s religious convictions.

  • Charles F MacDonald

    There is much discussion these days about Jesus and Satan being brothers. We Mormons may be clouding the issue with our explanation of pre-mortal relationships. The approach, it seems to me, should be given in a plain all agree up; that is are Satan and Jesus related. My answer is simply that Jesus was born of the virgin Mary. He was a mortal man. Satan, on the other hand, never recieved a body. Jesus and Satan are not brothers. Why must we enter a discussion about the relationsip between Jehovah and Satan? Keep it simple. Just answer their question.

  • Barry M. Hancock

    28 January 2008It has been interesting and gratifying to me through the years to learn how the LDS Church has consistently taught its members to be tolerant. It isn’t always automatically a part of every member’s behavior. After all, the membership of the church is been drawn from the population of the nations, and converts sometimes bring with them prejudices and intolerant attitudes, which must be refined out of their hearts and minds. The LDS church teaches tolerance and respect for others and their opinions.As a youth — and I am over 60 now — I was very impressed that Joseph Smith taught Latter-Day Saints to not “contend” against other churches or religions, but just tell their own story and let people decide for themselves through study and personal prayer and reflection. And he taught the people to recognize the contributions to the general good that has been made by individuals and organizations, and give credit to them and thanks to God for their part in preserving and promoting truth. As examples: the ancient Jewish scribes preserved many invaluable writings of their prophets; the age-old Catholic church preserved a large body of the writings of Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Paul, Peter, and others, from which the world has knowledge of many of the words, actions and circumstances of the life of Jesus Christ; the Protestant reformers broke down many barriers of narrow prejudices and promoted the printing of the scriptures in many languages. Modern Latter-Day Saint leaders and writers frequently quote C. S. Lewis, Norman Vincent Peale and other non-LDS Christians and even non-Christians.One thing that has appealed to me about my accepted faith through the years is the precept taught by Joseph Smith’s successor, Brigham Young, that Latter-Day Saints should seek, recognize, welcome, and accept truth wherever it comes from, trusting that all truth will work together to enlighten people and to promote harmony and prosperity of society.Of course there are things that should not be tolerated, such as dishonesty, enslavement and oppression of people, child or spouse abuse, intoxication and — well, a long list of destructive practices. However, even in the battle against these things, as I see it, the LDS church advocates clear thinking, wisdom, fairness and justice with due process of just laws and with appropriate preventive and corrective action and education, administered with compassion for both victims and perpetrators.It seems quite a “Christian” approach to me. It is a reflection of the LDS Church’s teaching its members to be like Christ, emulating his love of people, truth, and of God who is his and our Father. If all Christians can do this while we are learning more about the details of Christ’s life and the nature of the Godhead, etc., then in due time we will not only see and understand him perfectly, but we will be like him for we will have followed his example. — A Latter-Day Saint

  • Alex

    Thank you, Brother Hancock.

  • Capri Barlow

    To Nicole,

  • John Temple

    I am a member of the church in Chelsea Michigan, we are planning a missionary fireside meeting on this topic. Can I get permission to run this article as part of an advertisement in our local papers for this event?

  • Nancy Llinet

    I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I do believe that I am a Christian, and we do belief in the trinity of the Father, the son and the Holy ghost. I belief the Joseph Smith was a true prophet of God and he did restore the true church, and all others are by Gods words an abomination.

  • Alex

    I just need to clear something up. I posted a response to LDS Mom timestamped as January 28, 2008 10:54 AM. I put who I was addressing in the post rather than what my name is. As it is, it looks like LDS Mom is posting and responding to herself. Sorry for the mixup.

  • Protestant

    Do not forget that LDS members are also taught that God was once a man, a mortal being who was perfected and exalted in immortality and because of that, has the priviledge and honor or being OUR God. “As man now is, God once was; as God now is, man may become.” If God were originally an ordinary mortal being, it would stand to reason that there were numerous others like him who also traveled the path to perfection, exaltation and eternal life. The Bible teaches that God is the alpha and omega, the beginning and end, the first and last, that there were no other gods besides him save false and unliving idols worshipped by foolish people. Christians do not believe that anything compares with God; there is none like Him, never was, and never will be.Again, if you profess to be Christian and take that to mean simply that you follow Christ, that would include all manner of people who botch the definition of the word. Some think that being Christian simply means you are a good person, that you go to church sometimes, or that you were once baptised. The mainstream Christian and LDS churches both declare themselves to be Christian, but the word has two separate and distinct meanings depending on the group to whom it is applied.

  • ****** Lee *****

    At a time when the understanding of the beliefs of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is so crucial to the unity in our nation and the world(though all may not realize it), I am grateful for men like Brother Otterson who can be articulate and forthright in defining for the world where they should start in their introduction to the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. We are so blessed to be able to share with the world the eternal truths of the Savior’s words and love. I know it is your job, Bro. Otterson, but thank you for doing it so eloquently and genuinely.

  • Alex

    Protestant:”The Bible teaches that God is the alpha and omega, the beginning and end, the first and last, that there were no other gods besides him save false and unliving idols worshipped by foolish people. “That’s right. I agree. We agree that we will have no other God besides Him. Our Father in Heaven will always be the one we worship. “Christians do not believe that anything compares with God; there is none like Him, never was, and never will be. “Do you teach your children NOT to be like Jesus? Why would anyone try to be like Jesus if there were no way we could actually become like Him? I would submit that anything less than becoming like Jesus is to be damned. Through the grace and mercy of Christ, I, a fallen man, can become a new creature, or in other words, I can be like Jesus (who became a God on His own merits. We can’t on our own merits.) If I am like Jesus and Jesus is a God, then I become a god too. That, my friend IS Christian doctrine it has been restored by revelation. That is the miracle of amazing grace. Those who are thus saved, will praise His holy name forever and ever, and they will have very good reason to.

  • florida latter-day saint

    After reading the article, I decided to just glance at the comments – something I rarely do. I am always astounded at the absolute hypocrisy of those who profess to be christians while at the same time demeaning their fellow man because of apparent differences of religious opinion. I for one choose to believe that Jesus Christ loved all mankind and that he died for the sins of all men/women. My advice to those of you who haven’t got anything better to do than to sit around and blog nasty remarks about other people, is to spend a little more time in your bible and find out exactly what the Savior was like and try to find a way to emulate Him. Personally, I’d be worried about standing in front of Him at the last day after spending all of my time trying to hurt other people. If you think you’ll be justified for your actions – like I said – spend some time in your bible. “Why call ye me Lord, Lord, and do not what I say?” Just saying….

  • florida latter-day saint

    All of these nasty comments in regard to members of the LDS church remind me of something the Savior said in the Bible. “Why call ye me Lord, Lord, and do not what I say?” I can’t believe the hypocrisy of some people who profess to be christians while at the same time demeaning their fellow human beings simply because they have a different set of beliefs than they do. Personally, I would hate to have to stand before my Savior at the last day if I knew I had spent my time trying to hurt some of His children. Christ said, “By their fruits, ye shall know them.” What are your fruits?

  • Lameko Lea’ea

    To all the haters out there. This is how I look at it, If the mormons are wrong,then you have nothing to loose,but if the mormons are right,then you have everything to loose. The bible teaches us that the mysteries of God is given to some,but to others it is not given. Why do you think that is so? could it be because the mysteries of God are only given to those who are ready to hear it and most of all understand it?. We believe that writings of the prophets contained in the bible are true,but how ever the critics forgot about somting that is also predicted in the bible called “The apostacy”. During the apostacy many of the writings and teachings of the original prophets where changed and replaced by the teachings of men.Have you ever wondered why there are so many religions in the world today.And yet the bible teaches us in the book of james that their should only be one Lord,one faith and one baptism?.This is why the boy joseph inquired of the Lord.He did exactley what james said for him to do,if joseph would only knew that when he came out of that sacred grove,that his life would never be the same again.And the interesting thing about this whole experience that the boy joseph had was.All he had to do to make his life livable again was to deny that he ever saw God the Father and the son.The Prophet Joseph Smith new that he could never deny what he saw that day in the grove of trees.The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is a “restored” gospel.The mormon faith is that gospel that the Savior organized when he walked the earth thousands of years ago.I so testify in the name of Jesus Christ Amen.

  • LDS mom

    Just want to clarify one thing: The Mormon Church is a restored church – it’s members and leaders proclaim that it is the *only* true church and that all other Christian churches are only apostate versions of the true church. No offense intended to non – mormons reading these comments. You are certainly welcome to join us in our persuit of truth! :) Why it’s ridiculous to even to consider that we can fit in with the Christian world for our doctrines are so radically different from Chrisitan doctrines! This is going to be my last post , but I wanted to share the *core* differences between the LDS faith and the Christian faith:**The Christian world believes in the trinity. Mormonism absolutely refutes that! God is a person, a God who was once a man and became the God of our world. The Christians have de-humanized God and made him to be a personage without passions and body. That is blasphemy! For God is as man is now, once a man with body parts and passions who thru time became the God we know worship! Mormons should not be ashamed or try to skirt around these key differences that truly do define our faith. ****Jesus Christ is not “God come down as man” as the Christian world believes….. Jesus Christ was chosen from the foundation of the world to become the Savior of the world. He is our brother, and not our God. We reverence Him and love him , but certainly do not worship Him, for he worships Elohim as we do. We want to become like him, but we do not worship him. ***The Holy Ghost is a person of spirit. We are given the companionship of the Holy Ghost when we are baptized into the only true church. The christians believe not in the Holy Ghost as we do , but believe in the Holy Spirit dwelling within the Christian after he accepts Jesus Christ. The Holy Ghost is how we as LDS determine “truth”… thru the feelings, whisperings and impressions of the HOly Ghost we can determine truth. As mormons we rely heavily on our feelings, or the Holy Ghost to determine what course of actions we should take in our life on a day to day basis. Christians do not rely on their feelings but on the Bible as the ultimate source of truth. We as LDS refute that. ***Salvation for the mormon is not a one time event We are not saved by grace – but thru grace after all we can do. Salvation by grace only covers salvation of physical death. The christians do not embrace nor believe in exlatation and eternal progression. We believe that Salvation fro sin or spiritual death is achieved thru obedience to the laws and ordinances of the gospel and enduring to the end. It is false to assume that grace alone saves us for revealed teachings show us differently! ***Heaven for Mormons is so much more than what the Christians declare it to be — for we know that we will become heirs of all God has for us, joint heirs with Christ and destined to become gods. As a mormon woman I have spent the last 19 yrs of my life striving dillegently to become all God wants me to become… and yes it is hard work! Mormon women all over the world take our duties very seriously, and we seek to become perfect even as Christ is perfect. We are required to work out our salvation. Much is required of us. We believe that when we are exalted, we will live in family relationships. Meaning I will be married to my husband & with him If I am valiant, become a god to rule and reign forever with my husband. That is uniquely different from the christian world view! For mormons believe in eternal progression — we are not just going to sit in heaven and have a lovely time with Jesus! There is much more…..****Modern Day Revelation — as Mormons we believe God continues to reveal His will to us thru our leaders. We are to sustain them and obey them and trust their guidance for they speak for the Lord himself. Mormons are anxiously awaiting the appointing of a new prophet & pres. of the church with the passing of Pres. Hinckley. God continues to speak to his children. The words of the prophets take precedence over the words found in the standard works. General Conference talks are the inspired word of God and ‘fresh off the press” sort of speak from God himself! The Christians believe that God has finished speaking and the Bible is it. ****Christians believe the Bible to be infalliable. Mormons do not agree. The bible is only correct when translated correctly. If this was not so, Joseph Smith would have not gone out of his way to write his inspired version. The Book of mormon is the most correct of all books. The bible is only correct *if* it is translated correctly. So different from the Christian belief that truth is found solely in the BibleI am not ashamed of my beliefs. These are core beliefs of the Church of Jesus Christ of LDS. These I believe are the core differences in our doctrines and the doctrines of the Christian world. I am going to let this go now. But as a member of the LDS church, I believe it does us no good to pretend we are something we simply are not! Our brand of Christianity is very unique and in no way are we like the rest of the Christian world. The christians are correct when they say we are not like them — NO we are not, nor are the doctrines! Christians are invited to join the cause of the kingdom by coming to know this for themselves thru prayer and the Holy Ghost’s whispering to them that it is true. I am not ashamed to declare these things.

  • Margaret

    I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I know Jesus Christ is my personal Savior and the Savior of the world and all people. I try to live as He did. I am a Christian. I am also a woman and have never felt subservient to any male in the Church. If any man tried to tell me to do something because he told me to and he is a man and I am a woman and must submit to his will, then I would know he is living in direct discord with the teachings of the Church. He would not have my respect. I am married and I love my husband. He and I are equals. I am intelligent and have been formally educated and will continue my formal education throughout my entire life. I will support and encourage my daughter and any other woman I know to build her mind and her spirit through education, experience, and example. I am proud to be a member of the Relief Society, a group that encourages and supports women in becoming the best they can. It brings relief to the poor, the wounded, the sick, the abused, the oppressed and the depressed.

  • Alex

    LDS Mom:I need to apologize to you. In some previous posts, you posted some things that didn’t quite settle with me. Perhaps it was that they were couched in a way that put a wedge between the Savior and His church, in my view. I think I may have misunderstood your points, but in your last post, you were much more clear. I am now satisfied that you are who you say you are, and I am sorry to have doubted you. I agree with your last post wholeheartedly. All the best to you.

  • Nichole Crane

    Thank you for this article, it is both accurate and fair. I am LDS (or Mormon) and I am deeply wounded when anyone insinuates that I am not Christian. I do realize, however, that we are different and that is what attracted me to this church when I was in my early twenties and caused me to join despite the persecution I recieved, even from my own family.

  • Lisa

    Michael Otterson,Thank you for your article. Thank you for your clarification. Thank you for taking the time to help us have a better understanding of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.Wow! For those of you who have taken some time to read the article written by Michael Otterson as well as the comments listed so far, can you see a difference in the posts that have been written?For those of you who are willing to take the time to learn about Mormons you will see something unique and special. Spend 15 minutes on http://www.mormon.org. You will be greatly blessed by doing so.

  • Dave

    Great Article!Finally someone who gets it. I’m surprised by those who try to employ the “slippery slope” fallacy in their assertions that if Mormons are allowed to call themselves Christians soon everyone will be doing it (Jews, Muslims, and anyone who believes Jesus existed and was a good person). Latter Day Saints believe Jesus Christ is their savior and the only means by which they can be saved from being eternally separated from God the Father. If the Jews believed that, they wouldn’t be Jews, they’d be Christians. If the Muslims believed that, they’d be Christians as well.

  • Maggie

    Hi to all,

  • elder zevallos

    descansa en peace ya era el tienpo de ke este mejor ke no sostros ya iso muycho por aki ahora ke toka por aya a aya vemos ke ace pssssss?????????

  • geopoet

    This is the first article that I’ve ever read that enlightened me further about my Mormon faith. Indeed, the words of Pres. Kennedy ringed to every corner of the globe displaying its tremendous effect not only to all Americans but to all the people of the world.Today, I can declare that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is true! The Book of Mormon is a true word of God that contains the fullness of the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. I can even shout on top of the mountain that I belong to this true living Church of God.This article has inspired me a lot!

  • Protestant

    Alex:”We agree that we will have no other God besides Him. Our Father in Heaven will always be the one we worship.”Simply put, this says to me that you acknowledge the existence of other Gods in other places but chose to worship only the one we know as God the Father who presides over our world. Is this incorrect?”Do you teach your children NOT to be like Jesus? Why would anyone try to be like Jesus if there were no way we could actually become like Him? I would submit that anything less than becoming like Jesus is to be damned. Through the grace and mercy of Christ, I, a fallen man, can become a new creature, or in other words, I can be like Jesus (who became a God on His own merits. We can’t on our own merits.) If I am like Jesus and Jesus is a God, then I become a god too. That, my friend IS Christian doctrine it has been restored by revelation. That is the miracle of amazing grace.”And Steve:”Why would Christ tell us to be perfect if perfection were not obtainable? Granted we all fall short of this but he will help us obtain it. This life is but a short but important moment in our development….I don’t put myself or others in the same category as these perfect beings (God the Father and Jesus Christ)but what if they were to tell you you had the divine potential to become as they are…This is exactly what the Bible teaches us. Open you mind to more God has revealed or he will take away from you that which he has given you.”I do my best to teach my children to be honest, kind, helpful, respectful, patient, loving people. Yes, we are taught to follow Christ, to walk with him through our lives, and apply the principles he taught to our dealings with others in all ways possible. The difference between us is that you believe by becoming Christlike, you become Christ, meaning a god, a divine and perfect being; I believe that in becoming Christlike, I am forced to acknowledge my faults and my complete need for the strength, comfort and salvation of Jesus. Believing that I could somehow become a god equal to Christ, who was the only begotten of God and whose death paid the price for the sum of humanity’s sins, strikes me as incredibly arrogant and ungrateful.Amazing grace is realizing that we are imperfect and must wholly rely on God and not on ourselves. I believe that it pleases God when we try to follow His Son to the best of our abilities, just as it pleases us when our own children follow directions and behave in an honorable way, but He does not love us less or take back our salvation if we fall short of the mark. In fact, He knows we will fall short of the mark of perfection; that’s what it means to be human. Christians do not believe we can save ourselves through any merits or good works; we believe that God through his infinite mercy provided for our salvation through the sacrifice of His Son. Gifts cannot be bought by the recipient, only accepted, and it requires us to humble our opinions of ourselves to recognize that the gift is available and that we are in desperate need of it.

  • Alex

    Protestant:”Amazing grace is realizing that we are imperfect and must wholly rely on God and not on ourselves. I believe that it pleases God when we try to follow His Son to the best of our abilities, just as it pleases us when our own children follow directions and behave in an honorable way, but He does not love us less or take back our salvation if we fall short of the mark. “Amen and so it is. Our Father in Heaven loves all of his children and always will. To us, we don’t lose our salvation by falling short of the mark, but we do lose our salvation by not remaining in the covenant and continuing faithful. It is our faithfulness to our covenants that he requires of us, not perfection. Mercifully, part of staying in the covenant involves repentance when we have sinned. It is the staying and enduring that keeps us within His arms of mercy. As long as we keep safely within the covenant with childlike trust to our Father, we can eventually become perfected and become like Him. Nothing you have said in this statement conflicts with anything I have said.

  • Pamela Ross

    Our religious freedom has been taken away from us if you think of the inability to have prayer in schools and other public situations. What happen to the statement? Let them worship how, where or what they may.

  • Pamela Ross

    Our religious freedom has been taken away from us if you think of the inability to have prayer in schools and other public situations. What happen to the statement? Let them worship how, where or what they may.

  • Pamela Ross

    Our religious freedom has been taken away from us, if you think of the inability to have prayer in schools and other public situations. What happen to the statement? Let them worship, how, where or what they may.

  • Michael Anderson

    This is a very good article. As a member of the LDS church I have been offended by the exclusive character of some Christians who think they have a monopoly on biblical or Christian religious interpretation. There are some who will narrow the definition of what it means to be Christian that it only fits their particular beliefs. Do all so called orthodox Christians really believe in the trinitarian view? If you ask many of them they will say that the trinitarian view of their churches does not represent their own belief about god. Then why fault the LDS church for openly espousing biblically supported non trinitarian views when many orthodox Christians do not really accept these views. Joseph Smiths tolerant and inclusive attitude towards other faiths is the best way. We respect the beliefs of others and hope that others would reciprocate the privilege. The LDS Church does not have a monopoly on truth but only seeks to invite others to investigate those things that we believe were communicated to us by God in these days. This is indeed good news to all who have an open enough mind to investigate. Asking a mormon what mormons believe is really a sensible policy. Thank your for your excellent article.

  • Nathan Sorenson

    The article above is very well writtenButI distinctly recall one of the 15 Brethren of the First Presidency or The Twelve clearly making a distinction between two doctrines:1. The Holy Trinityand 2. The “mystery of the Trinity.”According to him, the Holy Trinity we believe in while “the mystery of the Trinity” we do not.I believe it was Elder Ballard of whom I provide a substance quote. Trinity means three in unity. We should be forgiven for misunderstanding this term for two reasons: 1. It is not a biblical term. and 2. In Christian theology the term “Trinity” arose in the context of the non-bibilcal “mystery” of the Trinity.However, if we should be forgiven our misunderstanding, our critics should likewise be forgiven their error in calling us non-Christians for when we mistakenly say we don’t believe in the Holy Trinity, we are literally misinforming them that we don’t believe Jesus is Holy and in unity with his Father.Check this out with the First Presidency or The Twelve and this be verified.As a Latter-day Saint Christian I know Jesus is part of a Holy Trinity – the Holy Trinity – and not part of some “mystery of the Trinity.”

  • Nathan Sorenson

    The article above is very well writtenButI distinctly recall one of the 15 Brethren of the First Presidency or The Twelve clearly making a distinction between two doctrines:1. The Holy Trinityand 2. The “mystery of the Trinity.”According to him, the Holy Trinity we believe in while “the mystery of the Trinity” we do not.I believe it was Elder Ballard of whom I provide a substance quote. Trinity means three in unity. We should be forgiven for misunderstanding this term for two reasons: 1. It is not a biblical term. and 2. In Christian theology the term “Trinity” arose in the context of the non-bibilcal “mystery” of the Trinity.However, if we should be forgiven our misunderstanding, our critics should likewise be forgiven their error in calling us non-Christians for when we mistakenly say we don’t believe in the Holy Trinity, we are literally misinforming them that we don’t believe Jesus is Holy and in unity with his Father.Check this out with the First Presidency or The Twelve and this be verified.As a Latter-day Saint Christian I know Jesus is part of a Holy Trinity – the Holy Trinity – and not part of some “mystery of the Trinity.”

  • Member

    To LDS Mom: It would seem that what you are really saying is that Mormons are the only “true Christians.” And that the fact that there are so many differences between Mormons and other Christians would indicate that only one group can be real Christians. As a member of the LDS faith, I would refute that. We may have many different beliefs from mainstream Christianity, but just because other Christians do not believe in the same things the Mormons do, does not mean they are not Christian. It simply means that their understanding of Jesus Christ and his teachings are not the same as the Mormons. The mark of a true Christian is not his or her religion, but his or her soul. Does she follow Jesus Christ’s example and teachings? Just believing in Jesus is not enough, you must seek to follow in His footsteps. One other thing LDS mom, some of your explanations of Mormon beliefs are not quite correct. For instance, Jesus Christ was a God in the flesh. Although he is our older brother, he was also 50% an imortal being. He had no earthly Father; His Father was God. Thus, even as a 50% mortal, who was capable of dying, He was still a God. Everything we do in the Church is in His name and through His will. The Priesthood is His Priesthood. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is exactly that–His Church. It is Jesus’ kingdom on the earth today. He organized it, he created it, he taught the principles that are taught in it. He formed it among the Jews during his earthly ministry. He taught it to Adam almost six thousand years ago. The God of the Old Testament, the New Testament, and the Book of Mormon peoples, as well as the rest of the world and us, is Jesus Christ. He is our God, we are His Saints. That makes faithful members of the Mormon faith Christian. But it does not mean that others who are not of the Mormon faith are not Christian. Their Christianity depends upon whether they personally follow Jesus.

  • Protestant

    Alex:”To us, we don’t lose our salvation by falling short of the mark, but we do lose our salvation by not remaining in the covenant and continuing faithful. It is our faithfulness to our covenants that he requires of us, not perfection. Mercifully, part of staying in the covenant involves repentance when we have sinned. It is the staying and enduring that keeps us within His arms of mercy. As long as we keep safely within the covenant with childlike trust to our Father, we can eventually become perfected and become like Him.”This to me is an affirmation of the doctrine that works are necessary for salvation, that grace is sufficient only when we have done all that we can humanly do. This conflicts with both my scholarly and personal understanding of Biblical Christianity. Our imperfection makes it unavoidable that we will mess up and fail to please God by our thoughts, words and deeds. When we do good works, we should do it for the glory and pleasure of God, not to earn our salvation, since there really is nothing we can do to earn it. I should also clarify that I’m not advocating running around committing every conceivable sin just because you know you can be forgiven. Repentance and a sincere heart are essential to our understanding of the nature of God, ourselves, and our relationship to Him, but again, I think it is fallacious to insert works into the salvation equation.

  • ..just listening…

    Wow weee! I never post but this has been fun, hearing people talk about there faith is pretty cool, it all ways seem like such a taboo to talk about in real life.As for the post question…I don’t know enough about Mormons to say they aren’t and I don’t know enough about Christains to say that they aren’t either. Coming from someone who is not really educated any religion… It really all sounds like your saying the same things. Thanks to everybody who has put some time and thought into their posts. It has really got me interested in a topic I usually avoid. I have dusted off my old Bible, bought “The path to Tranquility” by the Dalai Lama, and ordered a Book of Mormon.The other reason I decided to post now is that I heard the Mormon President died…Sorry to hear it Alex, LDS mom and all the other mormons who have posted.

  • Elizabeth Diehl

    Wow! That was an extremely well written (and easy to understand) article – Congrats!I was particularly touched by the JFK quote. I am embarrassed to admit I had not previously known that such an event or speech took place. However, it is a solemn and refreshing reminder of just how wonderful and blessed our Nation of Diversity and Religious Differences truly is. Thank you :-)

  • Elizabeth Diehl

    Wow! That was an extremely well written (and easy to understand) article – Congrats!I was particularly touch by the JFK quote. I am embarrassed to admit I had not previously known that such an event or speech took place. However, it is a solemn and refreshing reminder of just how wonderful and blessed our Nation of Diversity and Religious Differences truly is. Thank you :-)

  • Rotpada

    As far as I know Mitt Romney is not the official spokesperson of ANY religious sect. Hopefully he won’t become anything official on a national scale. Everyone is talking about his chosen faith. Who cares? The guy said he wants to “double Guantanamo.” Double up the the torture. Who cares what religion he is, he obviously isn’t following a Christian line of thought there.This was a well-spoken article. It acknowledges the differences and similarities between The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and Nicene Christianity. BTW – Wasn’t Nicene Christianity established by the hand of a king trying to gain political power? Weren’t the books chosen for the Nicene Bible determined under those circumstances? Are we to believe that there is no further truth written by anyone on the planet in regard to Christ’s ministry? Only the books selected by the Council of Nicaea could possibly hold any truth about God? They were ordered to do so by a king seeking to expand his rule. Could there possibly be ANY political influence on the selection of canonical scripture?

  • Protestant

    Steve:”I believe this in a more all inclusive way, he has provided the way for us to become perfected beings. This is to his glory not mine. He wants all of his children to enjoy the kind of life he lives.”I believe that human beings were created unique so as to be in relationship with one another and with God, but I do not believe that we can become perfect. The only thing perfect about us is our salvation. Christians do not believe in a pre-existence or afterlife in the same way that Mormons do, such that this life is a sort of proving ground where we are expected to gain experience for our pre-mortal souls in mortal bodies. Heaven for us does not constitute a state of exalted humanity, but rather eternal communion with God, never to be separated from his presence and love.Regarding the verses you quoted, people often look to the book of James when speaking of the relationship of works to faith. “Faith without works is dead” (James 2:26) and whatnot. Good works should be an outward expression of a healthy faith, just as good fruit is born of a healthy tree. Good works should serve to glorify God and demonstrate compassion for our neighbors and the world at large. In this regard, many holier-than-thou Christians could learn a lot from LDS church members, since they are active in a lot of nitty gritty service and humanitarian aid projects. For example, my town experienced record flooding this past December and many people suffered great losses as a result. The local LDS church was one of the first organizations to show up in our waterlogged neighborhood with cleaning supplies and offers of help (they even made it in before FEMA or the insurance adjustors did). Kudos and blessings to the folks who braved the weather and muck and demonstrated their faith in a tangible and meaningful way.It is wise for people to follow the rules set forth in the Bible; I believe that they were intended to help people live better, more productive, faith-filled lives. However, one must also acknowledge that the other major purpose the law served was to prove to people that they could not fulfill every requirement and thus not be perfect. It pleases God when we do our best to keep His commandments, since it usually means we are on a better and less sin-filled path in life, and He wants only the best for us and from us. However, I do not believe that following God’s commandments will save me, but rather knowing that I cannot follow them perfectly, admitting my weakness, and inviting Christ into my life will provide me with grace that is more than sufficient for my salvation. The line between works and grace is a fine one to walk, and it is very easy to come down on one side or the other without even realizing you’ve slipped.

  • Bevan Grace

    Simply put, There is only one Christ. Because the LDS church teaches of another Jesus (not the Biblical Jesus) the LDS church can not use the term Christian in regards to their teachings in sincerity.I would point out that in the year 2000, late President of the LDS church Gordon Hinckley highlighted this very point of (another Jesus) in a new dispensation.Bevan.

  • Sandra

    As a lifelong member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints I am deeply troubled by one poster’s insistence that Mormons do not worship Jesus Christ. I worship Christ. Furthermore, I believe that most Latter-day Saints do also; in complete accordance with our doctrine that recognizes the divinity of Jesus Christ, who is God. The Book of Mormon teaches “And now behold, I say unto you that the right way is to believe in Christ, and deny him not; and Christ is the Holy One of Israel; wherefore ye must bow down before him, and worship him with all your might, mind, and strength, and your whole soul; and if ye do this ye shall in nowise be cast out.” 2 Nephi 25:29

  • Karen Taylor

    As a converted member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, it never ceases to amaze me that ‘everyone else’ thinks they know more about the Church than actual members of the Church. Please don’t tell me what I am or am not! And, don’t tell me what I believe. I (and my faithful member friends) know exactly what we believe! I AM a Christian. Mormons ARE Christians…(I didn’t say we are perfect, that’s not the issue). If you want to know the truth about the CHURCH, visit: http://www.mormons.org

  • Protestant

    Steve:This has been a very interesting discussion and I’ve enjoyed it immensely. However, it has to come to a conclusion at some point or we just end up repeating ourselves, and I think I will end on the note that Mormons and Christians share many common theological points, but they also differ greatly in regard to other matters, such as the nature of mankind, salvation, the nature of God, etc. We can say that both have points in common, but diverge to the point that they cannot both be labeled as Christian and have the term retain meaning. I would liken doing so to holding an apple in your hand and deciding to rename it an orange just because both apples and oranges are fruit. I respect your right to believe what you will and appreciate your willingness to have this intelligent discussion with me and others here.

  • Steven Barnhart

    Thank you Micheal for ” Are Mormons Christians?”.You seem to have correctly stated the feelings and beliefs of the members of The Church of Jesus Chirst of Latter Day Saints.

  • Steven Barnhart

    Thank you Micheal for ” Are Mormons Christians?”.You seem to have correctly stated the feelings and beliefs of the members of The Church of Jesus Chirst of Latter Day Saints.

  • Jerry Bartle

    I was on the road to personal destruction with my drinking-and I did smoke a pack a a half of cigarettes a day. When I learned of the LDS(Mormon)Church I was taught basic principles of not only good health but also about God the Father, Jesus Christ His Son and the Holy Ghost being 3 different indentities. The Book of Mormon as a sacred work as a second witness of Christ adjoining the Bible as the first-Joseph Smith was a prophet-just as those that have followed his leadership have been -each for a specific purpose.

  • Barbara Laumann

    TO JUST LISTENING

  • Steve

    Protestant: I have enjoyed the conversation as well. I’m sorry you feel we can not both be called Christian. I feel we have much more in common that defines us as Christian brothers than you feel separates us from what I have read of your posting. I hope your search for truth and enlightenment will continue as I know mine will.

  • Kevin Jepperson

    I do not understand why some people hate us (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) so much. We allow you to worship God according to the dictates of your own conscience. Please allow us to do the same. If you happen to go into a “Christian” book store, you will find row upon row of “Anti” books, be it Anti-Mormon or any other group or so called “cult” they happen to despise. If you go into a “Latter-day Saint” bookstore you willl not find any kind of book that is “anti” ANYTHING. Only books that serve to uplift and strengthen one another, and help you to become more Christlike. If you are “Christian”, please try to show it by loving one another as Christ instructed us to do. If you are convinced that we are wrong you are entitled to that opinion. If “Mormonism” is wrong, then leave it alone, it will eventually come to naught. But….if it be of God you cannot overthrow it. Do you want to risk being found fighting against the very God you claim to worship?

  • pekka roto

    Very interesting and important comment. Should be used largely in the public communication in Europe.Pekka Roto

  • Mike

    With all of the “history buffs” that have posted on this long stream I am surprised to see a true lack of consideration and discussion of the origins of “christianity” other than those of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Historically speaking, all “christian” and protestant religions can find their oldest beginings in the doctrines of the Catholic church. If not from there, through some inspiration/vision from God in relatively recent times (similar perhaps to Joseph Smith’s, although certainly less dramatic). The Catholic church would have you believe direct succesion of the Pope from the Apostle Peter. The reality is that even the Catholic church really only organized some 500 years after the death of Christ and the Apostles. The original Popes were actually more like war lords, some quite viscious and blood thirsty in their pursuit of power. One of which was only 12 years old. Does this make the Catholic Church evil? Through his writings, I have great respect for John Cardinal Ratzinger, now more widely known as Pope Benedict. All religions where “men” were involved have their dark history. That does not make the religion wrong or bad, only the men bad. Many religions have “true” or biblical based beliefs. It is up to our free agency to decide which is the real, true message, with the guidance of the Holy Ghost.”But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chost the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things — and the things that are not– to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him. It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God– that is, our righteousness, holiness, and redemption. Therefore, as it is written: “Let him who boasts, boast in the Lord.”I can testify that I know Jesus Christ to be the Son of God, that I know He lives, and that He sacrificed Himself for us to pay a debt that was not His, that we could not pay ourselves. The Saviour of those that will accept Him as such. I also know that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ continue to give guidance to us through revelation to living prophets, and that Jesus Christ will return again. These words I leave with you humbly, in the name of our Saviour, Jesus Christ.

  • Sally Smith

    I have just read the article by Michael Otterson and I was impressed with the insight about the doctrinal differences between Christian beliefs on the trinity and the Mormon doctrine concerning the “trinity” It cleared up some questions that I have had and now I can explain this more clearly to people who are not members of he church. Thank you for this articleSally

  • Linda B

    Are Mormons Christians? How about how many self-proclaimed “Christians” are even Chrisitans? I know nonbelievers of God Almighty who behave and act more “CHRISTIAN” than some supposed Christians. I think the better, bigger question here is why do so many extremists feel the need to LABEL people either Chrisitian or NOT based on their slanted view of what that even means. I consider myself a Christian because I believe in the Savior, Jesus Christ. I believe He lived and Died for all mankind and was resurrected and lives again. I believe because of this knowledge within my heart I am obliged to act a certain way to my neighbors, be a better person,a better citizen, a better parent, a better employee, a more reflective, forgiving, unselfish, serving person or I am not walking the walk, I am just talking the talk! Many people whow live & follow their own faith & beliefs may feel similarly about their life’s path and a “Christian” might look at THEM and think they ACT LIKE A CHRISTIAN too. I have known and been closely associated with many an evangelical, born again christian who claim to be SO Christian and yet demean and hate and belittle their mormon neighbor. Some churches go so far as to hold classes for their congregation supposedly “EDUCATING” them about the evils of mormons and mormonism. HOW, pray tell does one call thelmself a christian and do, feel, behave like THIS? It is just beyond belief to me! WHY don’t we all consider the MOTE in our own eyes, the follies of our own lives and be grateful that whether Mormon, Baptist, Catholic or Muslum – we are hopefully surrounded by ANYONE who lives a good, honest, law abiding life, teaching their children to love their neighbor, to forgive their imperfect friends and family members, to help a neighbor, serve the less fortunate, give of their substance – better their city, their community, their homes, their marriages, their relatinships etc. IS NOT THIS the true essence of what “CHRISTIANITY” in any form should be about? Isn’t this the characteristics we hope to find and nurture in our world. If all men are created equal and endowed by their creator with certain ‘rights’ then I’d say our country was formed & founded on people who were seeking religious freedom and somehow we have LOST SIGHT of that self evident truth. Should we not be our brothers keeper? I find that MOST MORMONS, like most other good people are as CHRISTIAN A PEOPLE as you can find and am lucky to have as a friend and neighbor. Whether you believe in every single aspect of their faith & beliefs should not matter at all! They, like all the rest of us, DO HAVE the right to believe and ascept and follow the TRUTHS that we believe are right and true and that obviously is DIFFERENT TO ALL MEN or we wouldn’t have hundreds of different churches following hundreds of different DOGMA now would we?

  • Ruth Godfrey

    This is an enlightening and inspiring report.

  • Ruth Godfrey

    This is an enlightening and inspiring report.

  • Andrew VanWagoner

    I suppose the big question is a definition terms. Being LDS, I understand that many would not call me Christian. If they mean mainstream or traditional Christian, I’d probably have to agree with them. However, my faith is in Christ.I know that Christ is the Savior of the world, and that only through Him, I can be happy in this life, and have hopes for a glorious future after death.Whether by Moses, Elisha, John the Revelator, Joseph Smith, or Gordon B. Hinckley, it makes little difference, so long as we learn about Christ and come to believe in Him. Without a personal relationship with God, having a prophet in any age does us little good.I consider myself to be Christian because I believe in Christ and strive to live what I believe to be His teachings.Perhaps it would be more Christ-like for me to give up all my possessions and live my life as Mother Teresa did, but I don’t think I could do it. Instead, I just try to live a good life, be kind and honest with others, treat my wife and daughter with love and respect, and do the best I can with what I know.

  • Florina Maraon

    What a wonderful write-up about The Church oof Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I hope people all over the world especially those who are bias in their opinions will open their minds and not form their judgements based on heresay.If they really wants to know more about the church, we have a website where everybody can know for themselves.

  • manaen

    I’d like to share a a personal outgrowth of this discussion vis-a-vis the current presidential election in the U.S. I’m LDS and I have voted for Evangelical candidates in the past.

  • Mark

    “Christians” are not Christians!

  • Kimberly Schaeffer

    I would just like to make a comment regarding the statement made that Mormons reject the Trinity as non-biblical. The fact of the matter is, members of my church do not use the word Trinity. We refer to it as the God Head. When asked if I believe in the the Trinity, I say yes, but not as others believe. To clarify that, I believe that there are 3 personages, God the Father, Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost. I believe that they are each seperate individuals. They are one in purpose, not one in body. For those who disagree, I ask-When Christ was praying in the Garden of Gethsemane, suffering and bleeding from every pore, if they are of one body, who then was he praying too? He was praying to our Heavenly Father in Heaven. When he was baptised by John the Baptist, the “Holy Ghost descended on him like a dove”.A separate spirit. As Latter-Day Saints, we start our prayer by addressing our Heavenly Father and close in the name of Jesus Christ. I hope this helps others understand some of what we believe-even if you don’t agree.

  • Barbara Laumann

    How Do Mormons feel about the Bible,

  • Barbara Laumann

    How Do Mormons feel about the Bible,

  • Barbara Laumann

    How Do Mormons feel about the Bible,

  • Lexa

    I only read through a few hundred of the comments on here, but I thought I would join in the discussion. Since the passing of President Gordon B. Hinckley people started the “Mormon” debate again, about it being, or not being, a Christian church. The author has done a tremendous job of being non-bias and educating. Like he mentions, one way of finding out more about a faith is asking its followers. But he never mentions that people could read more about it at Mormon.org . Other commentators here left anon. messages saying to go find websites from ex-mormons to find out the “Truth”. If I wanted to more about a Catholic church, I wouldn’t find an ex-Catholic. They could be skewed on many of the beliefs that most likely made them want to leave the church. I think people are looking at all sorts of religions now days, and linking them to the appropriate websites after they read an article about it is only the correct thing to do.

  • Michael Barth

    Otterson’s article was very accurate. I would suggest to those wondering why the vitriol spewed towards the LDS Church is so pervasive ,I suggest dear reader,Two simple reasons. First, “Follow the Money” The LDS Church has no paid clergy. Really, read Time Magazine’s article on the subject. Second,The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints claims to be The restored Church of Jesus Christ, not simply another version of the “traditional” post-apostolic 4th century Christian churches. Consider then,the modern professionally trained minister, his very livelihood depends on two things, first,his flock must be satisfied with his performance or authority and secondly, believe that he is the conduit that tithes are given. How likely is it that he would be uncomfortable with the LDS Church’s Biblically-based organization of a lay clergy? Very uncomfortable you might surmise, Since his income is derived from the good pleasure of his congregation, would he not logically direct his stewardship in ways that would ultimately be pleasing to that congregation,ie, telling them what they want to hear, showing them what they want to see? If The LDS Church is true then his ministry/business will likely suffer a serious decline. You might then understand why he he might try to combat his perceived business competitor any way he can. thus giving us whole libraries of books, DVDs and web sites filled with aggressive “sales pitches”,so to speak,attacking the LDS Church in an effort to keep his congregation/business in the positive side of the ledger.Seems simple enough to me, how about you? But, you know what they say about publicity……..

  • Anonymous

    I keep reading about how sexist and racism Mormons are, but do any of you actually know any Mormons in good standing with the church? There are well over 100 temples around the world in which Mormons go to worship, from Africa to Asia, From Brazil to Canada. We are not only not racism, we are in no way sexist. Just because we as a people share a common belief of the family as the central unit and see and support the importance of a mother and a father does not make us sexist. And the fact that only men can receive the Priesthood is not any different in the Mormon religon than in any other Christian faith. Ask any Mormon woman if she would like to hold the Priesthood and I can bet her answer is “No way!” Before you all go on judging Mormons I suggest you get to know one, and not an inactive member or one who had apostatized the church.

  • Syndi

    Thank you for that note, that was succeint and illuminating. I greatly enjoyed reading JFK’s comments too, it increase my respect for him and makes me sorely wish we could have some clarity in todays political world, but perhaps that is pipe dream.

  • Lepa

    I wish to emphasazise here that God created us in his own image, then we fell into sin and God himself saved us by sending his son Jesus Christ to die for everyone. It seems that we are trying to say which Church is a Christian church and which one is not, the fact is that we all believe in God, only one God that created us, like what one of the previous comment was saying: if you say you are a Christian but the fruit of Christian doesn’t come out in that person then she or he is lying, but if somebody claims to say that she or he is Mormon and we see the fruits of Christlike comes out in that person then I would say that, that person is a real Christian. No one in this whole wide world is perfect except for Jesus Christ. If we keep on criticising the Mormon belief then we are arguing with God’s words and doctrines. With someone was saying that Mormons are encouraging breeding large families, what is the point of being against it???? If the families look after their own welfare plus the unconditional help of the church why do we need to criticise their own business. To wrap up the whole point, worship and do what we are told by the bible to do and then we don’t have to look around to judge our fellow companions, we will just focus just on our personal relationship with God and God to us.

  • Brig Day

    This is a wonderful article and I am pleased to hear a well balanced perspective on the religion which means so much to me. I am glad to hear also that many stereotypes are starting to dissolve before the perspective of the world. I hope that others will see the depth and character of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints as it rolls it’s work into the new year. I am appreciative for the comments made in this forum and the respect for all religions treated herein. Thank you.Brig Day

  • Brig Day

    This is a wonderful article and I am pleased to hear a well balanced perspective on the religion which means so much to me. I am glad to hear also that many stereotypes are starting to dissolve before the perspective of the world. I hope that others will see the depth and character of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints as it rolls it’s work into the new year. I am appreciative for the comments made in this forum and the respect for all religions treated herein. Thank you.Brig Day

  • Brig Day

    This is a wonderful article and I am pleased to hear a well balanced perspective on the religion which means so much to me. I am glad to hear also that many stereotypes are starting to dissolve before the perspective of the world. I hope that others will see the depth and character of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints as it rolls it’s work into the new year. I am appreciative for the comments made in this forum and the respect for all religions treated herein. Thank you.Brig Day

  • Brig Day

    This is a wonderful article and I am pleased to hear a well balanced perspective on the religion which means so much to me. I am glad to hear also that many stereotypes are starting to dissolve before the perspective of the world. I hope that others will see the depth and character of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints as it rolls it’s work into the new year. I am appreciative for the comments made in this forum and the respect for all religions treated herein. Thank you.Brig Day

  • Brig Day

    This is a wonderful article and I am pleased to hear a well balanced perspective on the religion which means so much to me. I am glad to hear also that many stereotypes are starting to dissolve before the perspective of the world. I hope that others will see the depth and character of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints as it rolls it’s work into the new year. I am appreciative for the comments made in this forum and the respect for all religions treated herein. Thank you.Brig Day

  • Anonymous

    It is amazing that some who call themselves Christians can judge and teach against, write negative article and books about and offer classes simply to convert or be able to tell “the Morman” Neighbor… where they are supposedly wrong. Is this not judging? Is this having a Christian attitude toward our neighbor? As a religion were persecution has existed, why can’t others understand why we keep some things private. Why we put our families and God and his son Jesus Christ, first in our lives. We should all enjoy the rights of this country to worship how and where we want with out others saying, you are wrong to do so. They are wrong to judge. Are they not? I want to protect my children from the hurtful comments of other children who find it necessary to say hurtful things they have learned from there parents. Is it not our job to teach tolerance and love and respect of others. Otherwise to be a Christian Neighbor, someone who wants to be LIKE Christ and follow his example of true charity and humbleness in all our daily activities.

  • Robert Luke

    Thank you for this informative and open minded article. Sincerely, R. Luke

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  • Julie

    It is unfortunate that any person of faith would choose to attack others with the rancor I have read in this thread. I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and have never, in 50 years, felt the negative, hateful feelings about my church that others try to ascribe to it. On the contrary, it is a source of great goodness as I try to live up to its gospel teachings. Sadly, some believe that Constantine’s description of God at the Council of Nicea, hundreds of years after the life of Christ, not only determines who can and who cannot call themselves “Christian” today, but further, allows persecution of those who disagree. Rather than divisive attacks on one another, why not look at the good accomplished by all religions? The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints seeks to serve and help others, after the pattern of our Savior Jesus Christ. We do this through humanitarian aid to many parts of the world, from measles immunizations for children in Africa, to assistance after Hurricane Katrina and the tsunami, and a host of other needs. Aid is given to the poor, needy, elderly, and hungry here in the United States and around the world. The gospel of love and forgiveness is taught in our meetings. We learn of our Savior and His atoning sacrifice for us. Hymns of worship are sung, and we strive to come unto Christ. Children are taught to pray to their Father in Heaven, in the name of Jesus Christ. Families are emphasized and strengthened. I would like to hear of good works from other religions, that we might inspire each other to do better. As people of faith, that would be a worthy goal. As Americans, it could bring back the spirit of optimism and generosity that can strengthen our great country.

  • William

    To all professed Christians:James 1: 26-2726. If any man among you seem to be religous, and bridleth not his own tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain. James 4: 1010. Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art NOT a doer of the law, but a judge.Peter 1: 2222. Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart ferventlyPeter 2: 1&9 (Speaking to converts)1. Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocricies, and envies, and all evil speaking

  • Justine

    I am thankful for this article. I believe it will be helpful to people confused about our beliefs. We do love and worship our savior Jesus Christ and we love reading and studying the bible along with with the Book of Mormon.

  • John Sobkowicz

    As a member of the LDS church, I appreciated the balanced presentation given in this article – it informs, without being insulting. Following the link Stendahl’s “three rules” is also worthwhile – clearly written by someone who has thought carefully about others’ religions, as well as his own – and good advice for anyone who would attack another person’s beliefs.My own experience has been that the Mormon “version” of Christianity (I wouldn’t call it that, but others might) makes a lot more sense than many other “versions” of Christianity that I have encountered – the doctrines are understandable and sensible, and they work. Faith, repentance, baptism, and the Gift of the Holy Ghost are all active and fundamental aspects of the LDS beliefs.A little extra information – members of the LDS church treasure all of what is considered scripture in their church – the Old and New Testaments, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine & Covenants (modern day revelation) and the Pearl of Great Price. These scriptures all complement one another, and are used together to understand the gospel taught by Christ. It is by studying all of the scriptures, dilgently comparing them, and steadfastly living them, that members of the LDS church practice their religion.A side comment that some of you might find interesting – I was listening to a program on CBC today, where they were explaining the views of one of the “new age” philosophers. His opinion was that most of the “traditional” regligions of the world were just pure dogma; that they lacked any direct experience of God. I could assure him that God is alive and well in some Chrisitian religions, and that direct experience, including feeling the influence of the Holy Ghost and personal revelation, is one of the most cherished parts of the LDS faith. Ask any member of the LDS church: “What is it that makes your faith so vital, and attracts so many people?”, and the answer will almost invariably come back “Personal revelation, and through that, personal testimony of the gospel”.

  • Zuriel Knowles

    Thank you for an excellent article. Your coverage was fair and well researched. Those of us who are members of the faith do so appreciate a positive and accurate story from the media. We are grateful to have such an articulate spokesperson for the Church. I look forward to your continued service. Today’s press conference was excellent. You obviously have the confidence and respect of the media–both local and national.Sincerely,Zuriel Knowles

  • Jonathan Sevy

    Although I worship and try to follow Jesus Christ, the criterion I have found most useful in choosing good friends and presidents is not Christianity, but Integrity. Not, “Does she believe everything that I believe?”, but “Does she consistently do what she says she will?”

  • Bobby

    This was good to read. It seems that I have read a lot of negativity lately with this church. I only know one guy here in Michigan who is a mormon, but he is a great guy. He looks and acts very christian to me. Makes you wonder why there is so much adversity towards this religion. I guess it has been like that with every “serious” religion since time began.

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  • Alvaro Pineda

    How could someone think mormons are non-christians when the very name of their Church bears the Saviors`s name? Just going through our Articles of Faith should be enough to convince the most resilient.

  • Carol Mckee

    I thought this was an informative article, I have read many of the articles responding to it and find it very difficult to understand why it would provoke such negative comments. I have been a member of The Church of Jesus Christ Of Latter-Day-Saints (The Mormon Church)for over 30 years. I am a Christian, I love the Bible, I read the King James version, and have done so from cover to cover several times. I am just a very ordinary person, I have raised a family on the teachings of the church I belong to and they have grown into good people, educated, responsible, and hard working, who are now raising fine families of their own. I have also read the Book of Morman many times, I find no contradictions in what I have read in the Bible. Only sound direction from both, they have been a great help in trying to raise a family in a world where there seems to be so much confusion. Why do we need a definition of what a Christian is, just do what Christ taught us to do.

  • Jesse Neihart

    What is the difference between the Orthodox Christian Trinity and the God Head? How do the differ, to me they seem almost the same.

  • David Kimball

    Good article! Why don’t the professional anti-mormons get a real job? One wonders if they are anti-semetic as well.

  • Rose Marie Childs

    After all that has been said, The only thing I have to say is, Read the Book of Mormon, Pray and decide for yourself, you do not need to take anyones word for anything–you can find out on your own. Isn’t that great!!! We live in a free land where we can read, study and pray.

  • Rose Marie Childs

    After all that has been said, The only thing I have to say is, Read the Book of Mormon, Pray and decide for yourself, you do not need to take anyones word for anything–you can find out on your own. Isn’t that great!!! We live in a free land where we can read, study and pray.

  • Kim Soriano

    It would be a great idea for everyone to learn and practice the 11th Artivle of Faith.

  • Kim Soriano

    It would be a great idea for everyone to learn and practice the 11th Article of Faith.

  • Norma Parker

    No one creed or denomination owns or defines the word Christian. Check you dictionary, folks. Christian: “professing belief in Jesus as Christ or following a religion based on his teachings.” While we may have significant theological differences among various denominations, Mormons, Baptists, Lutherans, Catholics, Seventh-day Adventists, you name it, we all are appropriately defined as Christians. To ascribe a position to another person which he does not claim is more than rude, it is dishonest. I have studied the above denominations sufficiently to know each believes in the atonement of Christ and relies on the merits of Christ for salvation. If I were to say to a Baptist, “you do not believe in Christ because I find you do not understand Christ as I do” I would be acting in an unchrist-like manner. (By their fruits ye shall know them)

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  • carolyn

    To answer a question posted earlier, yes, Mormons do consider other Christian religions “Christian.” As an active member of the Church for over 50 years, I am sad to hear the misguided arguments trying to discredit the true Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. To a Mormon, any church that believes in the divinity of Jesus Christ is a Christian church. We believe that all churches have truth and teach some correct principles. What we tell the world is that we have more. Come and find out from us what the Lord has revealed in this day. The heavens are not closed. Isn’t it wonderful?! Jesus Christ himself was accused of being led by Satan by religious leaders of the day. If you really want to know the truth about God, you have to humble yourself and become totally submissive to his word. Keep his commandments the best that you can. Pray “with all the energy of your heart” to Heavenly Father to lead you to the truth. Then be patient, put aside all bias and religious dogma that may remain in your heart. Let God lead you to the truth. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints never puts down other churches, but shows them respect and admiration for the good that they do. We too wish for the salvation of mankind. But we don’t believe we help others find God by denigrating their beliefs. We believe and teach each other to love one another. Hate is never a Christian teaching. “By their fruits ye shall know them.” It’s as simple as that. If your neighbor loves the Lord and shows it by being “honest, true, chaste, benevolent,” etc. then your neighbor is truly a Christian. It is true that Christian ministers might lose their congregations if members leave their churches to become members of my church. (Entire congregations gained testimonies of the gospel in the time of Joseph Smith. Their ministers and all joined the Church.) But if God leads you into his fold, he won’t desert you. You will be blessed with whatever it is you need, even if that is a new job.Each Sunday, as I keep the Sabbath and worship God by attending church, I come home with such joy and hope and love for my fellow man. I am so thankful to God (yes, Heavenly Father and his son, Jesus Christ–two separate individuals, but entirely one in purpose) for the purpose he gives to life through his wonderful plan of happiness. “Man is that he might have joy.”God bless.

  • RD

    The majority of the Mormons that I know are fantastic human beings. Most people who know Mormons seem to agree. If “being Christian” is defined as something like “believing in or striving to follow Christ” then Mormons clearly are Christians. So the more interesting question becomes: why are Evangelicals so hateful and critical of Mormons? The answer is MONEY. One of my insightful Evangelical friends summed it up best as “professional jealousy”. Evangelical pastors personally feel the hurt in their wallets when members of their congregations join the Mormon church. Like most competitive businessmen they will do anything they can to cast their “competitors” as villans. Unfortunately their interest in “self preservation” leads to the perpetuation of demeaning and misleading half truths. Mormons, on the other hand, do not have a paid clergy and therefore do not have the same financial motivation to attack. That, in a nutshell is why you feel the different demeanors as you read through these threads. The Evangelical’s vicious assaults start to make sense only when their agenda (protection of cash flow) is understood.

  • Jacen

    I’m a Latter-Day Saint and a descendant of the pioneers and the Latter-Day Saints of the late 1800’s who were driven across the country by persecution and prophecy like the children of Israel in ancient times. My middle name happens to be ‘Christian’. I work in an art gallery where a significant part of the art is religious. Catholics and Baptists and other Christians have ironically been known to use artwork by Latter-Day Saint artists in representing their Christianity artistically. Gustave Dore and Carl Bloch were not Latter-Day Saints but they were certainly Christians. I’m in accord with much of their depictions of Christ. I believe in the Old Testament (of Jesus Christ), the New Testament (of Jesus Christ), and The Book of Mormon (Another Testament of Jesus Christ). I find it extremely confusing when I hear others suggest that ‘Mormons aren’t Christians’, because in fact I hold that Jesus Christ himself stands at the head of his church and nothing could be more twisted then to call Christ’s church not ‘Christian’. To do so is to deny that you’re reading these words at this moment.

  • Max Lawson

    As a member of the LDS church please be advised that I am a Christian, and instead of looking at my religion as starting in the1800’s you really need to go back a few years more.The fact is that we consider Christianity to be as old as the Earth and not just a Jesus invention from the time of his death and resurrection. What we teach about Christianity is that it was taught to Adam all the way until Christ was crucified. It revolves around the idea of gifts in a symbolic manner. Adam’s Gospel looked forward to the time when Christ himself would be the sacrafice for man’s sins. When Adam offered sacrafice with the firstling of the flock in was animal sacrafice in similitude of the sacrafice of Jesus to come at a future date.Christ came and did just that in his own words: “I come to fulfill the law”. The trouble with man and the Jews of the time, was that they were not looking for spiritual solutions – they were looking for political/worldly solutions to their problems. From the time of Christ’s resurrection to the present the sacrafice is still present that is required of God to hold Jesus in Memoriam only now instead of the animal sacrafice required anciently we have the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper which Mormons partake and drink of 48 times a year which Jesus himself commanded to be done and we also offer a broken heart and a contrite spirit.So to my protestant and catholic friends please do not call me a cultist. When I was younger I was baptized as Jesus was, immersed by someone having authority to do so in a font or pool of water. Many of my other Christian friends who proclaim me a cultist have never been baptized. My baptism occurred in October many years ago in a building 70 miles from my home. On Monday of the following week, when my friends asked where I was on Saturday, I told them I was baptized. The older kids made fun of me and at our bus stop was a huge puddle of water left over from a rain storm. They proceeded to drag me through this before the bus came got me all wet all over and there was broken glass from soda pop bottles in the mud hole which cut my butt and back.I have never complained about that because Jesus went through a whole bunch of suffering for me and died for my sins in a huge way. Jesus is the Christ and the Son of the Living God. I accept this even with all of my imperfections. Please don’t tell me what I am, I know what I am.God loves us all as his children and I love you all too. God be praised.Respectfully submitted,Max Lawson

  • milton lee brown

    I was baptized at age on 9, as I had a broken leg during the timeof my 8th birthday, in the Tabernacle on Temple Square, but my conversion came later in life as i read and studied the Book of Mormon and felt the spirit of the book and the messages. Through fasting and prayer and further study I was convinced. The Trinity concept had always confused me and I came to feel that the concept was the result of many ment making a compromise to try to make all the different participants happy with the final creed. Mormons believe that the Father and the Son have bodies, the boy Joseph Smith saw them during a marvelous visitation, and that the Holy Ghost is a personage of Spirit. I could comprhend that. Many times the bible says that the Son could only do what He had seen the Father do. Seems simple to me. Religion should not be uncomprehensible.

  • A.B.

    Thank you for this article. I have also enjoyed reading many of the comments. I only read a few but there is on that I would particularly like to comment on. To thoroughly do so I believe I must give a brief background of my life. I was born into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It is all that I have truly known. I do have an understanding for the other faiths that are out there and I respect what they stand for and believe that many of those people are truly good and kind. I am now twenty years old and am attending a university-no, it is not BYU. This particular comment is a reply to someone who claimed that the Book of Mormon was fabricated. I am here to say, although that is your opinion I disagree. I can completely accept that you feel the way you do but I hope that this comment may help you think about it more. (And just to let you know I am not writing this trying to convert you, I just want to give my side.)I could write this from a factual stand point saying something like, “Joseph Smith could not have made up the Book of Mormon because he had very little formal education,” but I will not write it that way. What I want to say is how I know that it is true. It is the only way that someone can learn it is true. I read it with an open heart, mind and most importantly I prayed. Just because I was raise LDS does not mean that I never had doubts or questions. There came a time in my teens that I had to find this out for myself. I could no longer rely on what others had told me or what others believed. When that time came I had to pray and read to find out for myself. Through the Holy Spirit my believe and questions on whether the Book of Mormon and the Church were true was confirmed. I now know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is true and that the Book of Mormon is true. That is what I believe. Now, if I may make a suggestion, it is for you to read it. This is meant specifically for Jerry but if you too want to know what you think about it then please simply read it. Like I said I am not trying to convert you but I think to understand it you must first read it. Not just read it but be willing to read it with an open mind. If you go into it thinking to yourself that you are going to find every single thing wrong with it then you are not going to rationalize every little thing that you don’t understand into being some falsehood. But, if you read it with the mind to be educated you might learn more about our faith and our beliefs. I hope this helps in the education of people.

  • chicklets

    I read quite a few posts that say that even Muslims believe in Jesus but that doesn’t make them Christians… too true but Mormons don’t just believe that Jesus lived and was a prophet… They believe that He is their Savior and Redeemer and that He died for their sins. BIG difference.

  • embarrassed

    Jesus Christ would be ashamed of the vitroil expressed by some people who call themselves Christians — as a long-time observer of the social scene, I think that many “Christians” who most loudly insist that Mormons aren’t Christians aren’t very good Christians themselves — and many Mormons who quietly follow their Redeemer’s teachings truly are Christians.Most statements that Mormons aren’t Christians aren’t made for theological reasons or in a spirit of honest intellectual inquiry — they are made for hateful reasons. And Jesus Christ would be ashamed at the hatefulness of many of those who call themselves Christians will denying the title to others. Matthew 23:13 comes to mind, and Matthew 23:27-32, substituting “modern-day Mormon haters” for “scribes and pharisees”.Let us love our neighbor, and try to live as Jesus would want us to.

  • Kevin Jepperson

    Some of these hateful posts just amaze me. Why do these people feel that they have the authority to judge whether Mormons are Christians or not? We are supposed to be judged by our works. A good tree does not bring forth evil fruit. Based upon the good works of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the Mormon Bashing by many of the Evangelicals, I think many Evangelicals would be ashamed to be in the Lord’s presence when the “sheep are separated from the goats.”Mormons respect everyone no matter what religion they belong to. Cannot the Evangelicals show us the same respect? As the Lord said, let us “Love one another” As to the hateful comments I say: “God forgive them, for they know not what they do.”God bless us all to respect and to love one another.

  • J.Mileski

    I find it particularly sad that all these responses go to such extremes to criticize, denounce, or other wise discredit people for something they believe in.

  • J.Mileski

    I find it particularly sad that all these responses go to such extremes to criticize, denounce, or other wise discredit people for something they believe in.

  • Lisa West

    Thank you washingtonpost.com for going to the source – a spokesperson for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for clarification on LDS beliefs. So many inaccuracies are being published daily because many media outlets will not take the time to search out someone who knows the facts.We hope that others will follow your lead and return a healthy dose of integrity back into journalism.Lisa West

  • Lisa West

    Thank you washingtonpost.com for going to the source – a spokesperson for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for clarification on LDS beliefs. So many inaccuracies are being published daily because many media outlets will not take the time to search out someone who knows the facts.We hope that others will follow your lead and return a healthy dose of integrity back into journalism.Lisa West

  • Whacherhige

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  • Anonymous

    While the statements you make regarding Mormon beliefs are true, I feel an important issue which causes problems between Mormons and people of other faiths has not been addressed. If you attend one of the Mormon’s first Sunday “testimony” meetings, you will hear them declare that they are “the only true Church.” They believe their church’s doctrine is the only one that will lead to life with God after death and that other faith’s doctrines fall short. Although Mormons say they believe in letting others “worship how, where, or what they may,” their missionary recruiting efforts stem from their belief that all people need to become Mormon and adhere to their doctrine in order to achieve exaltation.I know this because I was a devout Mormon having served in many leadership positions within the church for over 25 years.

  • DANIEL CUEVAS

    Above article majors on the mental gymnastics to explain the ant-Christian position of the mormon church.

  • Natalie Bastian

    Daniel

  • Fank

    If you want to learn about the Momon faith, pick up a Book of Mormon and read it. Get your religion from God not form somebody or something. God will tell you.

  • Follower of Christ

    As a Latter Day Saint, I am happy and content to know that my personal Savior is Jesus Christ. My doctrinal beliefs may differ from yours be it Catholic, Evangelical, or any other traditional Protestant religion. Instead of fighting about our differences, let’s try to celebrate our religious similarities. I try to do this with my friends, neighbors and colleagues. I worship God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ. I know that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love me as well as I know they love you. We are all God’s children. If the “Christian” world does not want to recognize me as a christian, sobeit, I simply recognize myself as a “follower of Christ”. I take no offense. I know that I can not in any way be saved by my own “good deeds”, only through the atonement that Jesus Christ made for me. I am forever in His debt. For me, I try to follow the admonition of Jesus Christ and “Love one another” as stated in the Bible. That isn’t always easy when others label or insult me. But I will continue to try to follow His example.

  • Natalie Bastian

    D PerryThanks for the link to the paper written by non Mormon “mainstream christians”. It was a very fascinating and educational read. I had to use my widget dictionary over and over again to understand it but it was well worth it. Nat

  • Heidi Miller

    Thank you for clarifying our stance on being Christians. I have had several discussions with friends and strangers about how our beliefs are based completely upon the teachings of the Savior, Jesus Christ, and how now today we have the privilege of hearing from modern-day prophets who receive instruction for us in the present day. Thank you for writing this piece.

  • Barbara Jenkinson

    I thought some of those replying to Michael Otterson’s article in the vein of the Mormons being racist would like to know that the Book of Mormon fell into the hands of a few Black Africans in the 1950’s and 1960’s and liked it so much they shared it with thousands of others. None of these people appear to have thought the Church racist and waited patiently for the time when the Church was set up properly in their countries. Their experience is depicted in a documentary film called Pioneers in Africa. Likewise there have been quite a few black members in other countries who likewise waited patiently for their opportunity to be given all the blessings of membership. Mormons believe it is the Lord who dictates when and how things should be done in the Church which bears his name. No-one really know why the Lord did not extend full membership to all from the outset but one can guess that it had something perhaps to do with their freedoms and the eliminating to some extent the bigotry which existed back then. Like many, as a member of the Mormon faith I prayed furvently for all the blessings of membership to be given, and thankfully they were.

  • paul

    Jesus and lucifer being brothers, is against the scriptures. for Jesus claims to be God. Lucifer or satan is a created being that wanted to be like or above the most high – Isaiah 14

  • Scott Lyman

    Excellent Article. I believe Mormons are Christians, possibly the most dedicated to being followers of Jesus of Nazareth than most other faiths, since they believe in following the Biblical Christ, not some edited version to make Him politically correct in modern times.

  • Natalie

    What has happened to all the comments from December through March?

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  • Lynne I.

    I understand the need to allow those of different faiths to have religious freedom to worship.Nothing addressed the fact that the Mormans not only follow the Jesus of the Bible and do not believe in the Holy Trinity, but they follow the text they created, “The Book of Morman” rather than the Bible. What happened to the first commandment. I consider the “addition” of another so called holy book that they follow to be ample proof enough that they are a cult.

  • Natalie

    Lynne IYou know not of what you speak.Natalie

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  • Roy Russell

    I would like to share my conversion to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. My family attended a Baptist Church in Arkansas when I was young. I also attended various other Christian churches with my uncle from time to time, including revivals.I was always confused about how God and Jesus Christ were the same person. I was also left lacking in spirit and substance whenever I left the various revivals and meetings. They were uplifting for a few days, but there was no life changing force in them.When I was 15, I was introduced to the Mormon Missionaries and they shared the story of the first vision of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ to Joseph Smith. This immediately made sense to me and cleared up some of the questions I had of earlier teachings that were confusing and did not make sense. I can honestly say that I felt the spirit witness to me that day that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God and that Jesus Christ lives today and is waiting to bless us and forgive us of our sins. He is the same in purpose with God the Eternal Father, but not the same person. I still have the same feelings today about those teachings as I did over 35 years ago. I now have a much greater appreciation for my Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, and the sacrifice that was made for us that we might be forgiven of our sins and have an opportunity to live in His presence again.

  • Prophetess Theresa Lockwood

    No matter what someone claims…Many claim that they are the true church.They all thrive on number and how many can we get.And try to lcaim it as evidence.But I rarely see.amongst all these denimanitons.Being a church in the midst of darkness.And being a strength of the weak.They all claim They believe .In the Lord Jesus as thier savior.and that he died and rose again.and that Jesu preached the gospel.Amny denominations.Read the scriptures,Live a moral life,according to thier standards.They quote their scriptures and live and boast in everyone elses exsperince.Hardly anyone listens or sees.Or seeks God.They recruit people to get baptized in thier churhces to claim some large number.They dress nice ,they show up at church on Sun.But one thing everyone seems to be missing.as they tell the stories of all these other people.Sanctification.They are not able to understand or sanctify humanity.They are dry.They have no food for the soul.They can’t understnad the broken hearted,Theres no truth to touch the soul,They can’t guide into Gods spiritual divine truth.They can’t battle dark principalites, and can’t see unjustness to use the sword.