Are Mormons Christians?

I’m sure many of you know personally or have met at some point, a Mormon.  At the very least, you’ve probably heard people talk about the “bizarre” doctrines of the Mormon faith. In fairness, sometimes these doctrines are exaggerated and inaccurate, but sometimes they’re not.  What has recently disheartened me is the surge of thought that equates Mormonism with Christianity. So, are Mormons Christians?A friend of mine recently visited a Mormon church for the first time. In talking about his experience he told me, “What was interesting is that everything said at church was what you would hear at any other [Christian] church.”

What really bothers me is the danger that lies below the surface of his impressions.  You see, at first glance much of the language Mormons use to describe Mormonism is very similar to that of the Christian faith, especially in their affirmation of loving Jesus Christ, and their high esteem of moral virtue.  It’s not until you probe into the depths of their religion that you see more clearly that Mormonism is drastically different (in major areas of teaching) than Christianity. And more specifically, why Mormonism doesn’t equate to Christianity at all.

I suppose I should acknowledge at this point that the majority of what I know about the Mormon faith comes from a book I read a few months ago.  So in no way can I claim to be an avid scholar.  I will say however, that if you’ve ever wondered what Mormons actually teach, I highly recommend Andrew Jackson’s “Mormonism Explained: what Latter-day Saints teach & practice.” I thought it was extremely well researched and honest in its explanation of Mormon belief.

In Jackson’s book, I found three irreconcilable differences between Mormonism and Christianity: (All italics are cited in the book.)

1. Mormons teach that the Mormon Church is The One and Only True Church on Earth. In fact, the central message of the LDS Church is that it is the single organized expression of the true New Testament church and the only earthly vehicle of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ in all its fullness. Mormon systematic theologian Bruce McConkie writes, “If it had not been for Joseph Smith and the restoration, there would be no salvation.  There is no salvation outside of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints…” This teaching excludes all Christian churches from possessing apostolic authority and fullness of the gospel.

2.  Mormons teach that God was once a human and that humans have the potential of becoming Gods. Fifth Mormon President and Prophet Lorenzo Snow says this shocking statement: “As man now is, God once was; as God now is, man may become.” Mormons believe that Jesus Christ under the direct authority of Father God created not only this earth but also many other worlds for future humans, who would progress into gods, to inhabit and fill with spirit children. Mormons actually affirm and teach a plurality of gods. This is polytheism.

3. In sharp contrast to Christian belief, Mormonism teaches that the Bible is corrupt, containing errors, and missing God-inspired books and truths. Again, Bruce McConkie writes, “There is no more false or absurd doctrine than the sectarian claim that the Bible contains all of the word of God.” Mormons place more authority and certainty in the Book of Mormon than they do the Bible. The Book of Mormon is thought to be more trustworthy because it is free of errors and contains the fullness of the gospel. I’d like to point out here that not a single person, place, or event unique to the Book of Mormon has been proven to have existed. Contrary to the historicity of the Bible, The Book of Mormon is merely guesswork.

While these doctrines and beliefs expose the wide gap between Mormonism and Christianity, it’s important to remember that we’ve all been created in the image of God.  Respect and care for one another as we discuss these fundamental differences is important. My goal in writing this post was not to attack or belittle, but rather to inform and clarify a thought popular in our society.  Mormonism is not Christianity.

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About Kyle Richter

I graduated from Mizzou in 2007. I was a member of FarmHouse Fraternity and maintain an avid interest in greek life at Mizzou. Currently I'm on staff with Veritas and attending Covenant Theological Seminary in St. Louis.
This entry was posted in Campus Mind, Engaging Worldviews, Why I am a Christian. Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to Are Mormons Christians?

  1. Peter says:

    As a Mormon myself, let me reply to each of the 3 above. But I want to strongly state that the only reason that these teachings are strange is because they are against a paradigm that has been in place for generations. Otherwise they would make more sense than current mainstream Christian teachings. By the way, I am a convert from protestantism and was very active in the movement.

    1. It is true that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints maintains that it is the only church authorized by God. However, Mormons do respect the good works of other churches. Mormons believe that the early Christian church drifted from correct teachings after the apostles died. The early church had a very structured organization led by revelation to apostles who were called of God. The church had teachings that were very strange to the people of their day and even to the people of today. For example, the early members lived communaly, and were required to give all that they had to the church. One couple died for not complying (see Acts 4:32 thru Acts 5:10). Today, mainstream Christianity is fragmented and most churches have very little structure or requirements. The LDS church claims to be the restored church of Jesus Christ set up by Christ himself and led by revelation to living apostles.

    2. Mormons teach that we are literal spirit children of God and that families are eternal. Earth life is a training ground for us to learn god like virtues as we strive to become more like God. There is purpose to our circumstances, opportunities and trials. Mormons do not believe that we sit around doing nothing accept play a harp after we die. We work, create and grow just like here. Mormons believe in eternal progression. In other words, we continue to learn. If this is true, can you imagine what kind of people we will be in a billion years? how about 10 trillion years? Polytheism is just a naughty word usually used in a wordsmithing activity to make the church sound bad. Mormons do not worship multiple Gods. They only worship God the Father in the name of Christ.

    3. Mormons believe that the bible is the word of God. Mormons teach and learn from the bible. This years curriculum for Sunday school is the New Testament. Though the bible is of great worth, Mormons recognize it as a compilation of ancient religious texts that were compiled by an uninspired committee in 300 ad. The books were not written to us nor were they intended to be the authoritative handbook on Christianity for the last days. For example, we often build our lives around the teachings of Paul to various struggling churches in the ancient world. We do not know what those people knew, only the counsel that was provided to a 2000 year old group of Christians struggling to live the gospel. The LDS church claims to be led by revelation, not by ancient records. Remember that Christ likened the scribes (people who kept the words of the dead prophets) and pharisees (a religious group who lived by their interpretation of the words of the dead prophets but rejected the live ones) to whited sephulcres full of dead mens bones. The Book of Mormon is different in that Mormons believe it is a record that was kept over a period of 1000 years by prophets who were commanded to keep and preserve the record for us.

  2. Peter says:

    One more comment:

    The idea that there is no evidence for the Book of Mormon is false. There are whole books written on the subject. They discuss such things ase cultural similarities, war, monetary and government practices. weapons, writing styles, similariy in heiroglyphics, writing on plates of metal, roads, building construction, the way cities were protected, DNA evidence, trans oceanic crossings, religious beliefs and customs.

    I used to think that people were just using old science but I have since come to the conclusion that a few people are purposely leaving out information and most others are just spreading the rumor. In other words, I believe that at the core of this philosophy is a lie.

  3. “Today, mainstream Christianity is fragmented and most churches have very little structure or requirements.”

    I’m curious. Isn’t the same true of Mormon churches?

    “There is purpose to our circumstances, opportunities and trials. Mormons do not believe that we sit around doing nothing accept play a harp after we die.”

    I’m not sure if you’re dispelling a misrepresentation of the Mormon idea of Heaven or saying this is what we believe. While this caricature has, unfortunately, been quite popular, this certainly isn’t Christian doctrine either. We believe we’ll physically inhabit a new heavens and new earth and continue to live, but free of sin and for the glory of God.

    “Polytheism is just a naughty word usually used in a wordsmithing activity to make the church sound bad. Mormons do not worship multiple Gods. They only worship God the Father in the name of Christ.”

    You’re monotheists when it comes to your object of worship, I get that, but do you guys believe that ontologically there are a plurality of gods?

    “The Book of Mormon is different in that Mormons believe it is a record that was kept over a period of 1000 years by prophets who were commanded to keep and preserve the record for us.”

    I’m ignorant so I’m just curious, do we have any of those records? Do we have anything before what Joseph Smith wrote in the early 1800’s?

  4. “The idea that there is no evidence for the Book of Mormon is false. There are whole books written on the subject.”

    If you could list off some off some of these books, I’d love to check them out.

    “Mormons believe that the early Christian church drifted from correct teachings after the apostles died.”

    So would you guys say the church was lost in this time until the new revelation in the 1800’s? Why exactly would God allow the church to drift so far from His teachings? In Matthew 16:18 Jesus says “And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” Sure, the church isn’t perfect, as history makes obvious, but Christ’s claim that the gates of hell won’t prevail against the church means the church will never be totally lost.

  5. Kyle Richter says:

    Peter,

    Thanks for your response. My goal in writing the post was to begin to dispel the rumor that Mormons and Christians believe the same thing. You made my point for me. They do not.

    Here are thoughts regarding your response:

    1. I would agree that there can (and should) be a certain level of mutual respect between Christians and Mormons. But that respect doesn’t insinuate agreement, and certainly doesn’t equate the two. The LDS maintaining that it is the only church authorized by God, excludes all Christian churches. This was my point. This is NOT what the Bible teaches.

    2. Correct me if I’m wrong, but doesn’t the Mormon teaching of being literal spirit children of God come from Mormonism’s idea of the preexistence of humanity? That we lived in a premortal existence before birth? And that the purpose for mortal living is seen as a school in which we are gods-in-process? There is absolutely no common ground between Mormonism and Christianity on this view. You might worship one god, but teaching and believing that one day you have the potential to become equal with god, possessing his divine attributes and abilities, is a polytheistic belief. Brigham Young states, “How many gods there are, I don’t know. But there was never a time when there were not Gods and worlds.” Mormonism affirms polytheism.

    3. Unlike Mormons, Christians believe the Bible is the sole and primary authority of God’s revelation and truth. It is much more than “a book of great worth,” it the written Word of God. Not “a compilation of ancient religious texts compiled by an uninspired committee in 300 ad.” Again, there is no common ground on the belief that the Bible is corrupt, contains errors, and is missing God-inspired books and truths.

    As previously stated, I do not intend any response to come off as an attack. I do not wish to speak or think poorly of Mormons, rather I want to save them from the deception and sin of particular beliefs. Please feel free to email me personally at kyle@thecrossingchurch.com if you’d like to have further discussion.

  6. Peter says:

    Wow, there are allot of responses. I cannot spend too much time on this. I agree that we do not want to be contentious about religion. My intent is not to put down other churches but to correct what I beleive may be false information about the LDS church. People may not beleive in the doctrine but at least they should understand what it is,

    Here are a couple of books about Book of Mormon evidences. There is also a ton of stuff on the internet also. If a person is looking for negative info. they will find it. If they are looking for positive info. they will find it as well.

    MesoAmerica and the Book of Mormon by John L. Lund
    Sacred Sites – Serching for the Book of Mormon Lands by Joseph L. Allen

    “And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”

    I have seen a number of explanations for this verse. I personaly believe that the church is refering to the members of the church, not the institutional church. The Catholic church was created after 300 ad when the emperor of Rome Constantine wanted to install Christianity as the state religion. I do not believe that Constantine was called of God to do this. If a person believes that the institutional Catholic church goes all the way back to Peter then they must agree that the Catholic church is God’s church and has the true priesthood authority vested in the pope. This would leave out all protestant churches because they do not have a leg to stand on.

    God has allowed the people to drift away from the truth from time to time (think pharisee’s). When the time was right, God would call another prophet to lead the people back. “Surely the Lord God will do nothing save he revealeth his secret to his servants the prophets” (Amos 3:7)

    “We believe we’ll physically inhabit a new heavens and new earth and continue to live, but free of sin and for the glory of God”.

    Mormons believe this also. They also add the concept of eternal progression which means that we can continue to grow and learn. This means that we can become perfect like God “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect” (Matthew 5:48).

    I agree that their is no common ground between Mormonism and mainstream Christianity in some area’s such as the pre-existence. That does not really matter to me. The Mormon church is not a bible church. It claims to be led by current revelation. However there are scriptures that refer to some of the more obscure teachings. Here are a couple concerning the pre-existence:

    “Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding…. When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy”? (Job 48:4,7).

    “Then the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the enations”. (Jeremiah 1:4,5).

    We do not have the plates which contained the Book of Mormon writings. We do however have witnesses. In fact, almost every major revelation or angelic visit to Joseph Smith was accompanied by others. You can find the testimonites of 11 others who saw the plates here:

    http://lds.org/scriptures/bofm/introduction?lang=eng

    3 of them also claimed to see and angel.

    One other note; When a person says that a religion is not Christian because it is not biblical, I believe that what they mean is that the religion does not conform to the persons understanding of what the scriptures teach.

  7. Daniel Gruhn says:

    Firstly, it is a common misunderstanding that Constantine made official the Christian church, it was Flavius Theodosius that declared Christianity the state religion. It was under Constantine that the Nicaean Council occurred declaring the doctrine of the Trinity in order to refute prevailing incorrect Christologies. The LDS does not support the notion of a Triune Godhead, thus rejects a fundamental and historical doctrine of Christianity. If the LDS wishes to garner the term “Christian”, it should be noted that they do not worship the same Christ. This is the main issue this article was trying to address (as far as I could see): it is confusing for Mormons to use the same terminology when they endow it with alternative meanings than what has historically been used.

    Regarding Biblical origin: the collection of texts that is the modern New Testament was well established by the time of the Nicaean Council. Many of the Anti-Nicaean church fathers quote from the new testament sources. The Synod of Hippo in 393 was the first time the new testament cannon was officially declared in response to the growing number of gnostic gospels. The cannon was approved in the Council of Carthage in 397 and was ratified by Rome in 405. The members of these gatherings were unified in their declaration that they “were ratifying what had already become the mind of the church” and not a novel rendition of scripture. What more, evidence of the authenticity of what we have as the New Testament is extremely reliable. The notion of the Bible containing errors is simply wrong; we now have texts that date back to the early 2nd century showing how accurate our modern Bible is.

    And regarding the angelic beings appearing to Smith and others, “But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed.” Galatians 1:8. Therefore, one should be very careful when proclaiming a different gospel, which the LDS does.

  8. manaen says:

    @ Daniel, 2/19
    .
    A few thoughts for you:
    .
    From Harper’s Bible Dictionary:
    “the formal doctrine of the Trinity as it was defined by the great church councils of the fourth and fifth centuries is not to be found in the [New Testament].”
    (Paul F. Achtemeier, ed. (1985), 1099; emphasis added)
    .
    From LDS Apostle Jeffrey R. Holland,
    “If the idea of an embodied God is repugnant, why are the central doctrines and singularly most distinguishing characteristics of all Christianity the Incarnation, the Atonement, and the physical Resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ? If having a body is not only not needed but not desirable by Deity, why did the Redeemer of mankind redeem His body, redeeming it from the grasp of death and the grave, guaranteeing it would never again be separated from His spirit in time or eternity? Any who dismiss the concept of an embodied God dismiss both the mortal and the resurrected Christ. No one claiming to be a true Christian will want to do that.”
    (See his complete remarks at:
    http://lds.org/general-conference/2007/10/the-only-true-god-and-jesus-christ-whom-he-hath-sent?lang=eng#3 )
    .
    Re: Gal 1:8, note the “contrary” qualifier. This includes such post-New Testament innovations as a triune deity. In fact, the angel helping to restore Christ’s gospel was prophecied in Rev 14:6, “And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people” — hence the statues of him on our temples.
    .
    Here’s my triune recasting of the first chapter of Hebrews. Caps show the triunizated parts. I believe it captures well the triune renovation of God.
    .
    1 God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,
    2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by HIMSELF, whom he hath appointed HIS OWN heir of all things, by HIMSELF also he made the worlds;
    3 Who being the brightness of his OWN glory, and the express image of HIMSELF, and upholding all things by the word of his OWN power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down ON HIS OWN right hand;
    4 Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance FROM HIMSELF obtained a more excellent name than they.
    5 For unto which of the angels said he at any time, I art my OWN Son, this day have I begotten ME? And again, I will be to ME a Father, and I shall be to me MY OWN Son?
    6 And again, when he bringeth HIMSELF AS HIS OWN firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of ME worship ME.
    7 And of the angels he saith, Who maketh MY angels spirits, and MY ministers a flame of fire.
    8 But unto HIMSELF he saith, MY throne, O ME, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of MY OWN kingdom.
    9 I HAVE loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore I, even MYSELF, hath anointed ME with the oil of gladness above MY fellows.
    10 And, I, MYSELF, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of MY hands:
    11 They shall perish; but I remain; and they all shall awax old as doth a garment;
    12 And as a vesture shalt I fold them up, and they shall be changed: but I AM the same, and MY years shall not fail.
    13 But to which of the angels said I at any time, Sit ME on MY right hand, until I make MINE enemies MY footstool?
    14 Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?

  9. Doug says:

    The thing to understand about the Church of Jesus Christ is that its purpose is to prepare the elect of God for the return of Christ. Who are the elect of God? Those people, Jew and Gentile, who hear his voice and obey his commandments.

    It is the Lord’s purpose to gather his people, and he will do it, if they will hearken unto his voice. He will gather them as a hen gathers her chicks beneath her wings, before the storm.

    Those who will not hearken, must, at some point, realize that they are on their own, without Christ, in the world, because they cannot reject him, or those whom he has sent, with impunity. Soon, peace shall be taken from the earth and the devil shall have power over his own dominion, but the Savior shall have power over his saints, and shall reign in their midst, and shall come down in judgment upon Idumea, or the world.

    This is the message to focus on, because the Lord warns us, both in the Bible and the Book of Mormon, that the rebellious shall be pierced with much sorrow; for their iniquities shall be spoken upon the housetops, and their secret acts shall be revealed.

    In the end, what Biblical Christianity must understand is that the only salvation which remains for the Gentiles is for them to be identified in the same covenant, and to worship at the same altar with Israel. In short, they must come to the same standard; for there shall be one Lord, and his name one, and He shall be king over all the earth.

  10. Samuel Scheible says:

    If looked at the different protestant churches, the mormon church is in a way a protestant church, as it stands in opposition to the old roman catholic church, just like all the rest of the protestant movement, yet the mormon church as the best organized of them.
    For the roman catholic church, all other christian denominations are not real churches. They are just clubs, without any apostolic authority, i.e. “apostolic succession” = the chain of laying on of hands, through the centuries beginning with Christ to Peter and the following, thus conveying the authority of Christ, to perform legally as official of his church, untill this day.
    Therefore from a religious study point of view, the arguments brought up form the protestant camp, saying that mormons cannot be christians, because they are not protestants or likewise, is not an argument. and cannot stand accurate scrutiny. Because the same way a mormon could say that protestants are not christians, and this even with more reason, as they do claim to even have the authority from Christ in the same way, as the roman catholic church. No Protestant church claims to have authority down from Jesus Christ, to Peter, James, and John, than except those two churches, the roman catholic- and the church of Jesus Christ of latter day-saints.

    This is at the moment not so much a matter to argue about who is the bigger party, or the older, or who interpretes the bible right or not, or whatever! If You would ask the Pope of the catholic church (Ratzinger) he would tell you this, ” they are clubs, not churches”. Is he right or wrong?? And this is what all Popes said so far. Why would they tell you that, think about it. What makes the difference between the church and the clubs?

    Therefore anyone can be a christian or on the way to be a christian, no matter in what kind of club or church the person is or not, as long as he/she confesses that very same, in full sincerity by his/her full heart and mind, according to his/her own cognisance. Generally this must be accepted. There cannot be arguments about this.

    The only controversial subject on this issue can be about, who or where are those men, who have the factual authority of Christ, down to Peter, James and John and further. It is not the protestant camp is it ?! As they cut off themselves from the roman catholic church, they cut off the apostolic succession, except I must say, the anglican church. They kept the apostolic (catholic) succession, yet independent from the catholic church, which though is actually not quite consistent and possible.
    Even Martin Luther and all other founders of protestantism did admit, that they did not have that very special authoriy to restore the church of Christ, yet they also did not accept the roman catholic church to have it.
    That is why Protestantism has remained a fruitfull decentralized protest-movement, an offset itself, with many following offsets, up to this day. It is good this way, it is just the way it is. It actually proves the roman catholic church and its offsets not necessarily fully wrong, but continuously doubting the roman catholic church to have that special authority or power coming from the incarnated Christ.

    Samuel Scheible (Germany)

    • Patrick K. Miller says:

      I don’t want to give any pithy responses to your comment, but I think we would both agree that both sides of this argument require more than a blog comment to explain.

      That said, this blog post was written for protestants in regards to Mormon who claim partnership with us in Christ. It’s rather unfortunate that you equate both of us, but common sense says that any such sentiment is an oversimplification akin to calling two blondes sisters, simply because their hair looks alike. (And that might even be a generous anecdote).

      What makes someone a Christian is their understanding of who Jesus Christ was (that’s where we got the “christ” part of Christian). The true question is whether their understanding stands inline with the teaching of the apostles as revealed in the New Testament. We also believe that beyond the New Testament no one (not Jesus, nor the apostles, nor the church fathers), gave us any serious indication that we should look to any additional human authority to learn about the mans of God’s salvation for the world.

      I realize that you disagree, but I hope you see that I’m not trying to make the case for what I believe, but simply stating it. Why? This blog wasn’t meant to say anything about catholicism and protestantism, but something about those who call upon the name of Christ in false ways; those who manipulate the truth wickedly; I hope you can agree that such a thing deserves far greater reproach than protestants and their reformation of grace, faith and love.

      I wish I could give a more full response, but that’s the downside of the digital word. Feel free to e-mail me with anymore thoughts! Thank you for your thoughtful reply and heartfelt concern.

  11. Samuel Scheible says:

    Thank you for your post Patrick, or I think the right word is blog. I am not so familiar with the Englisch computer terminology, even though we use mostly the same terms here in Germany also. I can agree with that what you have said, there is nothing really that i would question about what you have said, except the point, where you say that this blog was meant to say somthing about those who call upon the name of Christ in false ways respectively those who manipulate the truth wickedly. That would be indeed a weighty reproach for a member of the LDS church. I do know, that there is partly a stagnant conflict between the long established protestant side and the LDS church. My intention in this conflict is just to handle it, because for me in a way the people from both denominations are similar, the way they try to live their lives according to a high christian standard.

    Therefore i would see more benefit from trying to get people work together, rather than increase seperation, by accusations. In this context I am reminded of an drastic historical event, when the two reformators Martin Luther and Huldrich Zwingli from Switzerland met each other, and shorthly after they met, one of them I forgot who, accused the other of not having the spirit of the Lord, and they departed, because of the differences in interpreting verses in the bible. This event shows impressively how much self-will, there is even among the reformationfounders themselves. From a sociological aspect though in a way it was good that they departed, because, the people in the south resp. Switzerland needed a different spritual leadership than in the middle or north of Germany, for which the more northern german people were not ready yet, or the other way round.

    It my opinion it would be better to see at times the fronts not harden, which in result minimizes the information exchange down to zero. There will always be conflicts between people, churches, parties etc, yet for the reason, that people learn from each other. The faster they learn and like to listen to each other, the smoother conflicts turn into positive challenges, which incomparably accelerates the motivation of a person.

  12. Samuel Scheible says:

    Thank you for your post Patrick, or I think the right word is blog. I am not so familiar with the Englisch computer terminology, even though we use mostly the same terms here in Germany also. I can agree with that what you have said, there is nothing really that i would question about what you have said, except the point, where you say that this blog was meant to say somthing about those who call upon the name of Christ in false ways respectively those who manipulate the truth wickedly. That would be indeed a weighty reproach for a member of the LDS church. I do know, that there is partly a stagnant conflict between the long established protestant side and the LDS church. My intention in this conflict is just to handle it, because for me in a way the people from both denominations are similar, the way they try to live their lives according to a high christian standard.

    Therefore i would see more benefit from trying to get people work together, rather than increase seperation, by accusations. In this context I am reminded of an drastic historical event, when the two reformators Martin Luther and Huldrich Zwingli from Switzerland met each other, and shorthly after they met, one of them I forgot who, accused the other of not having the spirit of the Lord, and they departed, because of the differences in interpreting verses in the bible. This event shows impressively how much self-will, there is even among the reformationfounders themselves. From a sociological aspect though in a way it was good that they departed, because, the people in the south resp. Switzerland needed a different spritual, – political leadership than in the middle or north of Germany, for which the more northern german people were not ready yet, or the other way round.

    It my opinion it would be better to see at times the fronts not harden, which in result minimizes the information exchange down to zero. There will always be conflicts between people, churches, parties etc, yet for the reason, that people learn from each other. The faster they learn and like to listen to each other, the smoother conflicts turn into positive challenges, which incomparably accelerates the motivation of a person.

  13. Excal says:

    I believe it’s a mistake to place the restored gospel solely in the context of the Gentile church. Yes, the Mormons claim to be the only true Gentile church, and this is hard to accept for some, but the more important claim has to do with the gathering of Israel.

    If it’s not the LDS Church and its message to the scattered of Israel that is the official voice of the God of Israel, then what is? The message of the Mormons to the Gentiles is that the only salvation remaining for them is to drop their priestcrafts and contentious disputes over the doctrine of Christ and to be identified in the same covenant and to worship at the same altar with Israel. All, both Jew and Gentile, must come to the same standard, for there shall be one Lord and his name one, and he shall be King over all the earth.

    The Lord has set his hand again, the second time, to gather his people, as Jesus foretold in Matthew 24. All Christians should look for the remnant, that’s where the eagles gather, for even now the wicked bend their bow and make ready the arrow upon the string that they may shoot at the upright in heart – that they may destroy their foundation.

    The Lord has promised that the terrible one would be brought to naught, but in the process the scorner would be consumed, and those that make a man an offender for a word, and lay a snare for him that reproveth in the gate, while Lebanon would become a fruitful field, even though it would be esteemed as a forest.

    We see much of this being fulfilled before our eyes. Lebanon (the temples of the Lord) has become a fruitful field indeed, even though it is clearly esteemed as a forest by many. The deaf are hearing the words of the book, the sealed book that was delivered to one who was unlearned, and the eyes of the blind are seeing out of darkness and out of obscurity, for the Lord has shown that he can do his own work.

    Surely, the pale face of Jacob’s shame is brighter, as he sees his children sanctifying the name of the Holy One of Jacob and fearing the God of Israel. Many of those who erred in spirit have come to understanding, and many of those who murmured have learned doctrine.

    Is it not so, surely?

  14. Samuel Scheible says:

    I am not saying that I can fully reproduce, what you have pointed out in your last message Excal, but what i got is that you think that the main issue is the gathering of the lost tribes of Israel resp. all of Israel, and that all tribes will become manifest, and that the LDS Church plays a major part in that event.

    Yet i would like to repeat the major question ,which is: can Mormons be looked upon as Christians? I would like to proceed in this question from a different starting point, yet i have to really say that your argument is strong. Should it be true it would really make the major question needless.

    My argument in this, is morelikely of less weight, but i would like to just attach it for those who have this question, “can Mormons can be looked upon as Christians”. In this question, I like to answer with: everything is relative! For some people they maybe not Christians, because they think themselves to be far more christian than them, and for others they are maybe Christians because they consider their way of life to be a Christian-life.

    But where did it start to be a relative thing? Did it not start, when people were allowed to have access to the holy scriptures i.e. the bible, when it was translated first from Latin to English, German and French etc.? The Roman Catholic Church did not want to have the normal people read the bible and have it translated, because they knew as soon as this would be possible, everybody would be able to read the scriptures and develop their own thoughts about it. And this is exactly what happend and led to the great schism. Even the bible itself was once for a time( if I don’t mistake on this), on the INDEX ROMANUS (list of the forbidden books). It seems that the schism has not ended so far about the bible. All churches today are able to verify their doctrines with the bible in their hand. The Jehova Witness church verifies its doctrine of the total death of the soul by scriptures out of the old testament. Other churches verify their centres of gravity just in the same way. Believe it or not just in the same way the Church of Jesus Christ is able to verify their doctrines just only on the bible too.

    Does it really make sense to point to each other with the finger, while three fingers point backwards in this great schism? Does it really make sense to accuse the other of false doctrines, since the time (appr. 1500 Century) everybody is allowed to inteprete the bible according to his/her own understanding? Schism will go on the bible, if the Mormons should decline, it will be some other new offshoot of Protestantism, which will reveal new doctrines which will require a little more effort to understand, than old driven in, ways of thinking.

  15. Excal says:

    Samuel wrote:
    “I am not saying that I can fully reproduce, what you have pointed out in your last message Excal, but what i got is that you think that the main issue is the gathering of the lost tribes of Israel resp. all of Israel, and that all tribes will become manifest, and that the LDS Church plays a major part in that event.”

    That is close Samuel, but the main point of bringing it up in the context of the question, “Can Mormons be looked upon as Christians?” is this: When Christ gathers his elect beneath his wings as a hen gathers her chicks, that gathering has to be based on the true principles and doctrines of salvation. So, since the view of these differs so much between Catholics, Protestants, and Jews, wherein they all claim to adhere to the best and truest of the Judeo-Christian tradition, which does he choose, when he bares the arm of his power in the eyes of all the nations and commences the great gathering of Israel?

    Since all three of these groups reject Mormonism as non-Christian, as well as each other, then clearly Jesus will have to make his judgement known to the correct church, so his servants can go into all the earth and gather the elect on the true principles and doctrine, before the end comes. There can be no disputing this.

    If he is to go before them and be their rearward, placing the cup of their suffering into the hands of their enemies, as he has promised them he would do, then he has to raise a standard to them, so they may gather to it. What standard shall he raise? This is the question to consider.

    The Mormons testify that the standard of Zion is the standard he raises. He says to every soul, “Flee unto my mountain,” and the righteous are fleeing, as a bird let go of the snare of the fowler, just as the Psalmist foresaw.

    If any other church is raising that standard to the scattered of Israel, it’s news to me. To be sure, they say, “Come unto Jesus,” and “Jesus saves,” which is true, but that is as far as they can go. It’s like Billy Graham had to do, when people came forward at his great gatherings to be saved: He gave them some literature and a directory of local churches, effectively saying, “Go with God!” I submit that this does not constitute the great gathering described by all the holy prophets.

    The Lord is gathering his elect, both Jew and Gentile, that they may gird up their loins, and be looking forth to his coming, In the meantime, those who fight against Zion and her munitions, will become as the chaff, blowing in the wind, for the Lord has spoken it and who can dis-annul it?

  16. Samuel Scheible says:

    The restoration of Israel resp. Zion is important and indespensable. The whole bible is targeted at it, yet I personally think that the first step or decicion by a person for Jesus Christ, can be done anywhere at any time, even if someone would be a Moslem or HIndu etc.. Once a person starts thinking about Jesus Christ and obeys his commandments, which are written in the 4 gospels, the person has done the right thing, and has converted to christianity. Everything beyond is a process of individual growth and cannot be forced. As i said, this can simply happen anywhere, and should be respected. What really counts, is how much that person maintains relationship with Jesus Christ. In this context the Roman Catholic Church refers to “The Invisible Church” meaning all humans, who may not be baptized, but have Jesus Christ in their heart. Should baptism be a crucial issue though, there are Mormons around, who do the baptism for the dead. This includes people from all denominations. However, if asked about religion, it is sometimes better; I think, to answer with:” I am a Christian or Member of the Church of Jesus Christ of latter day Saints, rather than I am a Mormon. The word “Mormon” is at times too much confronting or seperating and may stir up quite negative assosciations for some people.

    For some people it might be peculiar, why the Church of Jesus Christ of latter day Saints teaches doctrines, which other churches would not come up with. However not necessarily, for a Free Mason or a person with a theosophical background. For a Free Mason, it can be very usual to be together in his lodge, with participants of many different, even opposite i.e. hostile religions, e.g. Mormons as long as they believe in an existance of a deity. This mutual recognition of doctrines and universal symbolism puts forth integrity. As time goes on, such wholeness can hardly be achieved by many traditional churches, as their arguments are not only in lack of knowledge, but also of rhetorical and controversial incompleteness.
    The result is a kind of segragation of each other, by which inconvenient truths and facts of the other side are just simply disrespected and rejected.

    So it does seem also to be a matter of how much truth or what kind of (false)truth a person or certain groups of persons can bear or cannot bear, does it not?
    Isaac Newton in his time, for instance did not want to bear the widely spread and driven in doctrine of the TRINITY of the Godhead, punched in since the fourth century by the traditional churches. It gave him a headache only and he never reconciled himself with this doctrine.

  17. Excal says:

    The key to understanding the LDS point of view is to understand that they testify that the work that they are engaged in is not theirs, but the work of the Father, which has commenced in all the world.
    Like Jesus, they are sent out by the Father, but they are under the direction of Jesus. His intent in gathering his people is to glorify his name, to bare the arm of his power in the eyes of all the nations.
    When it is complete, every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God. This is the purpose of his raising the standard of Zion. One cannot say that he accepts Christ and yet refuses to gather to the standard.

  18. Zane Thor says:

    I’m a mormon, And all I have to say is I agree with you. We do have diffrent beliefs I’ve always wondered why people say we are not Chirstians and I see that it has little to do with “How I live” and more to do with Interpretation of what I believe. However, If you wish to separate yourself from me I don’t mind. When I pray, I pray to God in the “Name of Jesus Christ”. When I live, I live with my eye towards the example set by the Savior in the bible. When people ask me by what way will I enter the gates of heaven, I will say through Jesus Christ who is my savior and redeemer. When people ask me are you saved? My answer will always be I’m saved through Chirst who took my sins so that I might return to home some day.

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