On January 16th the Associated Press provided interested readers a short list of the Key Tenets of [the] Mormon Faith. The list is comprised of these six items:
Nature of God: God once was a mortal who became an eternal being after a great trial.
Jesus Christ: Christ was God’s first-born spirit child, his only earthly child and the only perfect mortal.
No Trinity: Mormons reject the idea of the Christian Trinity — God, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit as one ethereal being. Instead, they believe the three are separate beings joined in a common purpose.
Pre-existence and the afterlife: Before their mortal birth, humans existed in pre-mortality and were born in the spirit world to heavenly parents. Mormons also believe in the resurrection and teach that most people will receive some measure of salvation and have a place in a three-level eternal kingdom.
One true church: Mormons say their faith is not Protestant, Catholic or Orthodox but holds a unique place as “restored New Testament Christianity.” Founder Joseph Smith said God told him none of the existing churches were practicing Christianity as it was intended.
A living prophet: Mormons believe the head of their church is a living prophet, seer and revelator who can communicate with God.
To me, this seems like a reasonable snap shot of Mormonism. Certainly there could be more written — more points, more detail and clarity (e.g., instead of saying, “they believe the three are separate beings,” it would have been better to say, “they believe the three are separate Gods”) — but for what it is, the Associated Press did a fair job.
I wonder what Latter-day Saints think of the list. Do they find any fault with it? Many Mormons reacted strongly (and vocally) against last month’s public disclosure of the LDS doctrine regarding the sibling-status of Jesus and Lucifer. Do Latter-day Saints put the AP list in the same category? That is, do Mormons believe the Associated Press has attacked their faith by publishing these key tenets? Is this also an attempt (as an LDS spokesperson suggested last month about the Jesus/Lucifer question) to smear the Mormon faith rather than clarify doctrine? What do you think? And why do you think it?