A Mormon writes,
I am a Mormon. I found your video regarding stereotyping of Mormons interesting. It is true that we don`t all agree. We are a very intellectual body. Our Sunday services are more like intellectual discussions or seminars than a long sermon. I am the type of Mormon who is generally true-blue; but am at times bored with my church and go through what I call ‘lostspells’, where I lose interest in church, but I continue to be active. During those times I tend to get fulfillment from other Christian sources and I really do enjoy listening to evangelical sermons and mainline protestant sermons; but shedding my Mormon beliefs, practices, and heritage would be impossible to do. What are evangelical community churches doing to embrace and accommodate people like me who are believers, but enjoy the atmosphere that evangelical community churches bring offer?
Because the evangelical community is at its core centered around shared beliefs in and about Jesus Christ, you won’t find any *final* sense of belonging with evangelical Christianity if you keep traditional Mormon beliefs (particularly the Mormon beliefs that contradict Christianity: like that God was once a mere mortal man who had to become a God, or that we can become Gods someday worshiped by billions of our own spirit children).
However, I have known some Mormons who have already shed much of their traditional Mormon beliefs. They believe that God was always fully God, and they renounce the idea that we can become Gods worshiped by our own spirit children, etc. But they hang onto a few Mormon beliefs, like that the Book of Mormon is the word of God. This isn’t as problematic, because the Book of Mormon doesn’t itself have the controversial doctrines that make modern Mormonism so heretical. The Book of Mormon largely reflects 19th century Protestantism. Indeed, the Book of Mormon teaches a view of God that most Mormons have rejected (see Moroni 8:18).
I call Mormons with one foot in and one foot out “evanjellyfish Mormons.” I’ll be honest, I’m not really sure how churches are supposed to accommodate them. All I know is that we should get to know them and be patient with them. And love them! If you are one, and feel like somewhat of an outsider, be patient with them too: your condition makes it hard for us Christians to know where you are at spiritually. Just as you might be confused about your own spiritual identity, others might be too, and that can make it hard for people to confidently link arms with you as though you are a true fellow worshiper in the same Jesus Christ of the Bible.
While it is reasonable and even good for someone like yourself to hang onto some Mormon cultural practices and heritage, it is not good to hang onto Mormon beliefs that go against the Bible. It’s not good for your long-term spiritual health nor does it honor God. But if you’re at a place in your life where things seem grey… a time of transition where you are acting in accordance with your conscience—just know that God loves you and he is patient with you! That I love you to, and I wish you the best. Please keep attending evangelical churches when you can and please consider joining a “small group” or bible study group where you can be in a context where it is easier for individual believers at the church to be in relationship with you. Believers are normally eager to “meet you where you are at.” But again, it is an awkward kind of situation, so please be patient with yourself and with others.
Grace and peace in Jesus,