Who Thinks Mormonism Is a Christian Religion?

Is Mormonism a Christian religion? Though we have discussed this question here so many times, here we go again. Because of the flap Pastor Jeffress caused in publicly identifying Mormonism as a “theological cult” on October 8 (2011), it seems that everybody is talking about where Mormonism fits into the religious landscape.

Non-Christians and Mormons, predominately, think that defining Mormonism as a non-Christian religion is nothing but a nasty slur. Christians, on the other hand, generally understand the wisdom of sticking with a theological definition of the Christian faith. Albert Mohler, president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, wrote this week,

“It is neither slander nor condescension to state clearly that Mormonism is not Christianity. Taking Mormonism on its own terms, one finds a comprehensive set of teachings and doctrines that are self-consciously set against historic Christianity. The larger world may be confused about this, but biblical Christians cannot make this error, for we are certain that the consequences are eternal.”

Brent Hunsaker, reporter for ABC News Salt Lake City, thinks it is wrong to say Mormonism is not Christian. Though he frames the question personally, as whether Mormons themselves are Christians, his argument is broader. He wrote,

“[W]hy am I so disturbed by Pastor Jeffress declaration that Mormons are not Christians? — Because he does not grant me the same privileges.

“How is it that you, Pastor Jeffress, or for that matter, The Southern Baptist Convention, have obtained patent to the title Christian?

“Mormons, or more correctly, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, believe their only hope for salvation rests in Him whose name the Church bears. They believe the scriptural declaration that Jesus Christ is the great ‘I AM’ and the Only Begotten Son of the Father.

“Quibble all you want over the meaning of St. James, but Mormons take him at his word that ‘faith (in Christ) without works is dead’ and yet also believe in His saving grace. They hold that the two concepts are not exclusive or contradictory.

“Sounds ‘Christian’ to me…

“Mormons have what they believe are very good reasons for calling themselves Christians.”

What Mr. Hunsaker has failed to realize is that while he rejects the historic (biblical) theological definition of “Christian,” he demands that his own definition be recognized and accepted in its place. “Mormons have what they believe to be very good reasons for calling themselves Christians,” he argues. But what about those on the opposite side of the debate, who have what they believe to be very god reasons for saying Mormonism is not Christian?

Christians have been busy in the media over the last couple of weeks, explaining the reasons Mormonism is not recognized as Christianity. What follows are a few of these explanations (heavily edited – please click on the links for the complete stories). From an article in NewsOK:

“Mark McClellan, dean of the Hobbs College of Theology and Ministry at Oklahoma Baptist University, said there are several theological differences in what the ‘historic Christian Church’ — which he described as mainline Protestant churches and the Roman Catholic Church, to some degree — believe, and the faith beliefs to which members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints ascribe…

“McClellan said the historic Christian Church and Mormonism differ on the role of the Bible.

“He said the historic Christian Church believes that the Bible is the revealed word of God and is the one inspired and authoritative Christian book.

“He said, and [President of the Oklahoma City Stake of the LDS Church, Kevin] Graves agreed, that Mormons have not one book, but a set of standard books which they ascribe to…

“McClellan said the historic Christian Church is monotheistic, viewing God as being one eternal God. He exists as one God in three persons (the Trinity)…

“By contrast, he said Mormons believe there are a number of gods… Mormons don’t have the same view of the Trinity, either.

“He said [Mormons] believe that God the Father was once a man and…that men can become gods, McClellan said.

“Graves said McClellan’s assessment of this aspect of Mormonism is true…

“McClellan said another difference can be found between views of grace.

He said the historic Christian Church says men are saved by the grace of God through Jesus Christ alone. By contrast, Mormonism holds that men are saved by grace but by also being obedient to the requirements of the Book of Mormon and Mormonism.

“Graves agreed with this assessment…”

To recap, both the Christian and the Mormon in this interview agreed that Mormonism is radically different from Christianity in the areas of Scripture, the nature of God, the nature of man, and the way of salvation.

An explanation by Pastor Mark Driscoll:

“Historically, there has been a very clear line drawn between Mormonism and orthodox Christianity, with all leaders of the church across a wide spectrum of Christianity agreeing that Mormonism is not only heretical but also a cult…

“The Christian is not a Christian because he or she is good or even like Christ, but because he or she is in Christ. Out of this comes good works (Ephesians 2:10), but it is not our good works that make us Christian, it is Jesus’ work on the cross (1 John 1:5-7)…

“For the Mormons, it is not Jesus blood that makes us righteous, but rather his sacrifice that gives us grace to be good, which leads to righteousness and salvation. The Mormons do not find the work of Christ to be sufficient for salvation but rather the starting point…

“Thus, it’s important to understand what the cult of Mormonism teaches, to understand that it’s antithetical to Christianity, and that, while it’s certain there are some Christians in the Mormon church who love the Jesus of the Bible and don’t understand or agree with what their church teaches, the Mormon church could never be considered orthodox unless it made some serious and massive changes to it’s theology.

“The danger facing the Christian church is always to capitulate to culture. As Mormonism becomes more culturally acceptable, the temptation will be to make Mormonism more acceptable to Christians as well. This can’t happen if the Church is to preserve its witness in the world to the true triune God of the Bible as worshipped by Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant Christians alike.

“Many Mormons are good neighbors, friends, and fellow citizens. But, we cannot go so far as to call them brothers and sisters in a common faith. To do so is to not only confuse real Christians, but to also diminish the importance of lovingly speaking with Mormons about the errors of their belief in hopes of seeing them come to know the real God of the Bible and avoiding eternal damnation for worshipping a false god.”

To recap, a person is a Christian when he or she is born again in Christ–made righteous by the blood of Christ. Christianity teaches that Jesus is the beginning and the end of salvation; Mormonism says Jesus is the “starting point” of salvation, but the end point is determined by personal righteousness.

Dr. Albert Mohler:

“…for evangelical Christians, our concern must start with theology. Is Mormonism just a distinctive denomination of Christianity?

“The answer to that question is definitive. Mormonism does not claim to be just another denomination of Christianity. To the contrary, the central claim of Mormonism is that Christianity was corrupt and incomplete until the restoration of the faith with the advent of the Latter-[d]ay Saints and their scripture, The Book of Mormon. Thus, it is just a matter of intellectual honesty to take Joseph Smith, the founder of Mormonism, at his word when he claimed that true Christianity did not exist…

“From a Christian perspective, Mormonism is a new religion, complete with its own scripture, its own priesthood, its own rituals, and its own teachings. Most importantly, those teachings are a repudiation of historic Christian orthodoxy – and were claimed to be so from the moment of Mormonism’s founding forward. Mormonism rejects orthodox Christianity as the very argument for its own existence, and it clearly identifies historic Christianity as a false faith.

“Mormonism starts with an understanding of God that rejects both monotheism and the Christian doctrine of the Trinity…Furthermore, Mormonism teaches that we are now what God once was and are becoming what He now is. This is in direct conflict with historic Christianity.

“Mormonism rejects the Bible as the sole and sufficient authority for the faith, and insists that The Book of Mormon and other authoritative Latter-Day Saints writings constitute God’s final revelation… Nothing makes the distinction between Mormonism and historic Christianity more clear than the experience of reading The Book of Mormon. The very subtitle of The Book of Mormon – Another Testament of Jesus Christ – makes one of Mormonism’s central claims directly and candidly: That we need another authority to provide what is lacking in the New Testament.

“The Mormon doctrine of sin is not that of biblical Christianity, nor is its teaching concerning salvation… Mormonism’s teachings concerning Jesus Christ start with a radically different understanding of the Virgin Birth and proceed to a fundamentally different understanding of Christ’s work of salvation.

“By its very nature, Mormonism borrows Christian themes, personalities, and narratives. Nevertheless, it rejects what orthodox Christianity affirms and it affirms what orthodox Christianity rejects. It is not orthodox Christianity in a new form or another branch of the Christian tradition. By its own teachings and claims, it rejects any claim of continuity with orthodox Christianity.”

Again we see that Christians reject Mormonism as Christian based on its theological claims as well as its own repudiation of historic Christianity.

Dr. Phil Roberts, president of Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary explains,

“It is important for us to remember that the question here is much broader than just evangelicals. Virtually every self-confessed Christian movement in America rejects Mormonism as a true expression of biblical or traditional Christian faith…

“When I was director of interfaith evangelism at the North American Mission Board, we generally approached the idea of a ‘cult’ as a religious movement which claimed to be the only true expression of the Christian faith and yet had altered or changed one or more of the essential doctrines of the faith. Using this as a working definition, Mormonism is clearly, absolutely, completely, and thoroughly a ‘religious cult.’ And while the word ‘cult’ may be less than academic, it still carries popular meaning when used in a doctrinal sense as Dr. Jeffress has done…

“When I am asked the question, ‘Is Mormonism a cult?,’ I generally respond by saying there are three elements that everyone must be clearly aware of when it comes to Mormonism. These elements make it an aberrant expression of the Christian faith…

1. Mormonism radically redefines and doctrinally reconstructs the Christian faith. There is no major doctrine of the faith, whether it be God, Jesus, salvation or inspiration of the Scriptures that Mormonism has not severely and completely altered and changed from its original intent…

2. Mormonism radically redefines and reconstructs the Christian worldview…

3. Mormonism is disingenuous in its approach to proselytization. While claiming to be true to the Christian faith, Mormonism has seriously redesigned and recreated it. The whole basis of the church is built on the words of Jesus which are canonized in Joseph Smith’s religious autobiography. Joseph Smith claimed that God and Jesus commanded him not to join any church because ‘they were all wrong … their creeds were an abomination in his sight; that those professors [members] were all corrupt.’ Mormonism, in fact, has set itself apart from main-stream Christianity…

“… Mormonism has been, is, and probably always will be a radical departure from Biblical faith.”

Dr. Ed Stetzer, president of LifeWay Research, wrote,

“For evangelicals and others, ‘Christian’ is more than a self-identified label. It is hard for people in tolerant America to hear, ‘I know you SAY you are a Christian, but you are not.’ Yet, basic to evangelicalism (and historic Protestantism) is that some people are Christians, some people are not, and not all people who think that they are Christians actually are.

“’Christianity’ is not based on what you say about yourself or your beliefs. ‘Christianity’ must be connected to how your beliefs agree with the beliefs of biblical Christianity.

“…the view that ‘Mormons are not Christians’ is the widely and strongly held view among Protestant pastors. That does not mean they do not respect Mormons as persons, share their values on family, and have much in common. Yet, they simply view Mormonism as a distinct religion outside of basic teachings of Christianity. Many of these pastors may know Mormons consider themselves Christians, but Protestant pastors overwhelmingly do not consider them such…

“The fundamental issue is: how divergent can your views be and still be a part of a faith group (in contrast to forming a new one). Can you believe, for instance, that Muhammad is not the prophet and still call yourself a Muslim? The vast majority of Muslims would say you cannot. For Christians, calling yourself a Christian while not believing that God has always existed as the triune Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is as inconceivable…

“…Christianity has been defined a certain way for centuries. There is no reason to be shocked that devout Christians consider those with a different view of Christ as non-Christians. In the current cultural climate it may be uncomfortable, but it is anything but shocking.”

About Sharon Lindbloom

Sharon surrendered her life to the Lord Jesus Christ in 1979. Deeply passionate about Truth, Sharon loves serving as a full-time volunteer research associate with Mormonism Research Ministry. Sharon and her husband live in Minnesota.
This entry was posted in Christianity, LDS Church and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

80 Responses to Who Thinks Mormonism Is a Christian Religion?

  1. bws71 says:

    Here is my take on this post – *Some* of the LDS beliefs described in this article are close enough to the truth to call them reasonably accurate. But many of our beliefs described here are distorted and misrepresented. A partly true, mostly inaccurate description of LDS doctrine is presented for critique and of course it is rejected by an audience who has no other reference. But much of this isn’t what Mormons believe. So we are left frustrated becuase someone else is speaking for us, attempting to control the message, telling others what *we* believe. Why not let Mormons tell you what they believe? Aren’t they in the best position to know?

    My second contention is – who has determined the Southern Baptist Convention has the authority to decide how the scriptures should be interpreted for the world? There is more than one way to read the bible. How are they the custodians for Christianity who get to decide who is in and who is out? What qualifies their opinion as God’s will?

    Luckily for us all we are not subject to eternal judgement by each other. I may not be Christian enough for the SBC. Fine. I have but one eternal Judge – only His opinion will matter in the end… unless he lets a baptist gaurd the pearly gate I guess (joke)

  2. TJayT says:

    I recently read a blog entry from a non-mormon that stated my view on the matter more eloquently then I ever could.


    It’s a great piece about the silliness of different religions yelling “unsaved!” each other over doctrines.

  3. Mike R says:

    bws71, you are absolutely correct, the Southern Baptist Convention is not the authority
    which ultimately decides how the scriptures are to be interpreted for Christians or reveals
    God’s will respecting salvation for all . That position of authority has already been filled .
    This exclusive authority is claimed to be God’s only legal channel of communication to
    mankind . It resides in Salt Lake City.

  4. Kate says:

    “So we are left frustrated becuase someone else is speaking for us, attempting to control the message, telling others what *we* believe. Why not let Mormons tell you what they believe? Aren’t they in the best position to know?”

    No Mormons are not in the best position to know. Most Mormons only know what they are taught at church. They could tell you easily how to can your veggies, make an emergency kit, be charitable to a neighbor or friend, etc. But most Mormons I know are absolutely clueless as to the true doctrines of Mormonism. Just as I was. I’ve read many posts by different Mormons and they all have a different viewpoint of what is taught as “official” doctrine. According to one poster, you don’t have to believe anything the prophet says, you are free to believe whatever you want as long as you don’t teach it to others. Mormon doctrines and history are whitewashed at church. I know, I lived it. I haven’t attended for 4 years, so I’m not sure if that is changing or not. Bottom line is, one could talk to 5 different Mormons and get 5 different answers on the same question. Why not go to the source? Mormon leaders and prophets. What has been revealed and taught as doctrine over the last 180 years. If you want to know what Mormonism teaches, do the research, don’t ask a Mormon.

  5. Kate says:

    Funny how Mormons say that they alone have the authority, yet cry foul when someone tells them they don’t. It’s OK for Mormon Missionaries to knock door to door and claim that Joseph Smith needed to restore Christianity because all Christians were corrupt and an abomination to God, but it’s not OK for Christians to say that Mormonism is it’s own religion. Not affiliated with Christianity. In my mind, if you don’t believe the core doctrines of Christianity or the history of Christianity, then you aren’t a Christian. If you believe the doctrines and history of Mormonism, you are a Mormon. Why try and be something you are not? I’m wondering if Joseph Smith and Brigham Young wanted to be called Christians. Did they fight tooth and nail for the title? The first several LDS prophets fought hard to separate themselves from Christianity, why is there such a need for Mormons to be called Christians now?

  6. Rick B says:

    BWS, I want to point out two things,
    You said

    Why not let Mormons tell you what they believe? Aren’t they in the best position to know?

    While I agree Mormons should tell us what they believe, here is the problems I have.
    1. We read what your Prophets, presidents and over all leaders say, We read things from JS, BY, and even Monson. Yet when we say, Your leaders have taught or said, You guys cry foul and say we are twisting the facts. Yet we are simply going by what your leaders have said. So you cannot have it both ways, Tell us you can speak for yourself, yet when we repeat what you guys say, you then claim we are wrong.

    2. I have said publicly on this blog hundreds of times, Where is the Love from the LDS? You claim we should let you guys speak for yourselves, Yet their was one mormon here just recently that said, I am not here to answer questions, I am only here to correct error. She clearly laid out, I dont care to answer your questions. Then every time Mormons on here cry foul and say we are wrong, then never go and tell us or “correct us” on where we were wrong. I notice you did just this, You said,

    But many of our beliefs described here are distorted and misrepresented.

    Yet where are the “Corrections” From you? How come you did not tell us in detail what was wrong and what is the truth?

    Then to add to what Kate said, and I know I already said this to you before, Why can LDS say they are Christians, Yet if I called myself LDS and taught my belief’s LDS again cry foul? (Cont)

  7. Rick B says:

    Also why can LDS say RLDS, and FLDS are not real LDS members, yet when Christians say LDS are not real Christians you guys blow a gasket? That is really lame and very hypo critical of you guys to do that. Why is that ok for you guys to act that way?

  8. TJayT says:

    RickB you asked why it is mormons feel they have the right to say the FLDS and RLFS aren’t LDS members, I’d compare it to a Baptist saying a Lutheran isn’t Baptist. They are two different sects of christians basing there belief on a common belief in the bible. The LDS, FLDS and RLDS are coherent sects all basing there beliefs on the Bible, JS and the BOM. To compare that to being upset about not being called christian feels like apples and oranges to me.

  9. Rick B says:

    T jay said

    The LDS, FLDS and RLDS are coherent sects all basing there beliefs on the Bible, JS and the BOM

    Really? They dont all believe the same thing, Kate was a hard core TBM for 40 Years and she just pointed out in a previous thread they dont agree and dont believe the same things. Then their is a huge difference between Mormons and Christians, Doctrines are worlds apart and you guys have a totally different gospel. Many Mormons over the years have honestly admitted as much. This makes like the 3rd of 4th time I will say this in like 2 days.

    Why is it LDS can go door to door, say they are CHRISTIANS, yet teach Grace plus works, deny the Trinity, teach they can and will become gods someday, Teach satan and Jesus are brothers and many other things. But if I were to dress as a MM, Go door to door and claim I am from the Church of Jesus Christ of latter day saints, But then teach the Bible only, Deny JS and the BoM, the D and C the Pearl of Great price, Claim they are not scripture, Teach Grace alone, Teach the Trinty, Claim we will never be gods, Teach Jesus created Lucifer and they are not and never have been brothers, You guys would throw a fit and claim I cannot do that. Why can you teach your gospel and claim it is Christian, But I could not teach mine and claim I am LDS?

    And if you say I could, then you would be the first LDS ever to say I could. all others have said No I cannot and it would be wrong to do that.

  10. liv4jc says:

    BWS, there is more than one way to read the Bible? Try that with a cookbook and see how it works for you. Try that when you take a test based upon a historical account of Lincoln’s murder. Would you tell the professor, “That’s not how I read the account of the assassination of President Lincoln.” There is a correct and incorrect way to read the Bible, and it’s the same way you read any other work. The Bible is a historic narrative based upon the accounts of those who witnessed the events or were given information about historical events. The doctrinal statements of the Apostles and writers of the gospels are very clear and are written based upon what Jesus did and told them in the same way a reliable text about the assassination of President Lincoln would be written. Mormons say they are members of the Church of Jesus Christ. A Mormon’s definition of Jesus Christ, who said, “I am the way the truth and the life. No man comes to the Father but by me” is far different from the Biblical teaching. Our definitions are so far apart that it is necessary for us to determine which is true and which is false. The best way to do that is to rely upon the first-hand accounts of those who knew Jesus and not upon “latter day revelation” that is millennia removed from the events, especially when the latter day revelation contradicts long-held doctrines based upon the historical record. Those first-hand accounts are found in the historical writings of the Bible, which includes geography, characters, and historic facts that we can verify independent of the biblical text. This lends a great credibility to the Bible that is entirely lacking in the LDS standard works.

  11. Kate says:

    Wrong. The LDS church doesn’t recognize the others as Mormons at all. Gordon B. Hinckley, objected to the term FLDS and its association with the LDS in 1998 on Larry King Live. “There is no such thing as a ‘Mormon Fundamentalist, it is a contradiction to use the two words together.”
    The LDS believe that they alone hold the keys to the kingdom and they alone are the sole mouthpiece of God. They believe they are the ONLY true church on the face of the earth. The only thing the LDS think about the other sects is that they are apostates. They do not view them as just another sect of Mormonism. By the way, there are upwards of 200 different sects of Mormonism. They are not recognized by the LDS church as being Mormons either.

  12. TJayT says:

    RickB, your right that the FLDS and RLDS teachings are very different from the LDS. I admit my analogy was to simplistic and I recind it.

    In the end it all boils down to what makes a christian a christian? Is it a belief in cognitive salvation? Is it a belief in the doctrine of the trinity, or the infallibility of the bible? Is it simply a belief that Jesus died for our sins and rose from the grave three days later? Or a combination of all the above? I’m sure we could sit here all day debating the reasons for and against each of these and never agree. Thats what I ment by my first post here.

  13. Mike R says:

    TJayT , welcome. I sense a bit of frustration on your part concerning this subject
    of who is a Christian . This is understandable given how this term ( ” christian ” ) has
    evolved over the years. I read years ago that in rural England it was common to call
    a clean bed , a “christian ” bed . Then there was the story of a Anglican priest who
    decided to embrace major teachings of Hinduism , it even showed him worshipping
    before the shire of an Elephant god , yet he still maintained his position as an Anglican
    priest. There are so many other examples that could be cited concerning , so it’s easy
    to just not care any more about this. I think the way people have treated each other over
    this whole subject is very unfortunate and that is what has caused many people to simply
    not want to admit that sooner or later there is a line , a divining line , over which we must
    take a stand on what is a Christian , and it’s more than just being a moral person .
    Now concerning Mormonism. It’s my opinion most of the controversy with this topic
    as it relates to Mormonism is that some Mormon leaders have , the last few decades especially,
    been somewhat less than forthright in their answer they give the media or non-Mormons.
    On one hand we have influencial Mormons stating very clearly that they are the ONLY TRUE
    Christians, and on the other hand we see other Mormon leaders attempt to down-play or
    dodge that significantly . So TJayT I would just encourage you to read the New Testament
    and look for that dividing line , if it’s there you’ll find it.

  14. TJayT says:

    MikeR, Thank you, that’s exactly what I was trying to say. I wouldn’t call my feelings frustration so much is confusion. For years I had wondered why people would believe the mormons are not christian and I came here trying to learn more. I can now understand why people would think mormons arent christian, and even if I don’t agree with them I can understand them.

  15. Brian says:

    Dear TJayT,

    You’ve asked a fine question: “What makes a Christian a Christian?” I know the answer. The answer is one word, one syllable. Want to guess? I’ll give the answer shortly.

    First, let’s look at the following Scripture:

    “For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life” (Titus 3:3-7).

    In this passage, who is doing the doing? Oh yes, believers are doing something (before they became believers). And nothing they would be proud of. What is God doing? Read this Scripture again. Look at all God is doing.

    Has God done this for you? Would you like to know for certain whether he has or has not?

    “All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out. … For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day” (John 6:37,40).

    “What makes a Christian a Christian?”


    [PS: For more information about how to begin a relationship with God, see the website link above in my name.]

  16. Rick B says:

    Since so many people feel they are Christians even if they are not, like people who say I am a christian since I was born in the United States. So I would say there are two questions you must ask yourself.
    1. Are you saved? And if you say yes, then how are you saved.
    2. Do you really know and have the real Jesus?

    In the Bible we clearly read what we must do to be saved. The religious leaders said to Jesus,

    John 6:28 Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?
    John 6:29 Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.

    Jesus said we MUST ONLY BELIEVE to be saved. Mormons believe we must do works.

    Then many people can say, I know Jesus, but the Bigger question is, Does Jesus Know you? We read in the Bible

    Mat 7:21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

    A lot of people claim they know Jesus, But Jesus states He does not know them. Mormons claim they do good works in the name of Jesus, But Jesus says,

    Mat 7:22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?

    Many people think they are saved and are doing good works in the name of Jesus, yet sadly they are not saved and do not know Jesus and will be cast into hell forever.

  17. bws71 says:

    Kate – your post at 1045 strikes at the root of the problem as I see it, I’m glad you came out and said it the way you did. Basically I heard you say “Rank and file mormons don’t know what their church believes. The best way to find out is to research old documents and interpret them for yourself. Then you’ll see what Mormons really believe.”

    My mouth sort of dropped open. I think this is completely wrong. Can you imagine applying this same strategy when attempting to understand any other group on the planet? Doing so seems incredibly irresponsible to me. If you want to know what mormons believe, ask THEM.

    I do understand the suspicion and the skepticism. I agree that mormons have whitewashed *some* of our history – but I see this as human nature, not some diabolical plot. Let us work through our own history. Let us define ourselves. It seems ridiculous, even laughable to me to be arguing with someone about what *they* believe.

    If rank and file mormons don’t know about it, it isn’t important. I’m anticipating some in this group will erupt in protest but I’ll say it again. IMO If modern mormons are unaware of some alleged belief or doctrine, it is no longer important to our faith. I know this goes against the way evangelicals approach Mormonism – but I believe it is absolutely true. I think you can put Kolob, spirit wifery, blood atonement and all the like in that same pile. If it hasn’t been spoken in conference or taught at church then it is not relevant to us.

    I’m interested in your thoughts.

  18. bws71 says:

    Rick B – post 11:12 maybe the facts are being twisted. It seems to me it matters how *WE* interpret our leaders and their words, not how you interpret them. As to providing answer and correcting the misrepresentations, I do have lots of thoughts on that. With my schedule I’m having a hard time contributing thoughtful replies and keeping up with the multiple threads. Please send me an email with the question you posed here that seems the most important to you. I’ll try to answer some of your questions here but 4 kids, busy job – not a lot of time. A well written post take time for me.

    BTW your post at 5:14 is chock full of controversy IMO. Those scriptures actually argue more for the LDS interpretation of what qualifies one for salvation than the evangelical *IMO.* Would love to engage you on the topic off line. I feel the LDS interpretation of this issue is totally supported using the gospels alone. I’m not saying your interpretation is not logical or reasonable, many hold the same – but I feel there are other, at least equally valid interpretations of those scriptures.

    Liv4JC – super interesting analogy. For me you answered your own question. There *is* more than one version of Lincoln’s assassination. There are experts on the topic who don’t agree on certain details. Which one is right? To say there is only one way to interpret scripture seems contrary to the well documented history of the Christianity. Huge division have existed from even the early church on how to interpret certain verses and doctrines. To me your statement strengthens, rather than weakens my position. Maybe you can clarify.

  19. Rick B says:

    BWS Said

    It seems to me it matters how *WE* interpret our leaders and their words, not how you interpret them.

    Well BY SAID, In the book Discourses of BY pg 194 1925 edition also found in JOD vol 1 pg 237 a person ask’s BY a question.

    I ask you, brother B, how I must believe the Bible, and how shall you and every other follower of the Lord Jesus Christ believe it? BY replies with. “Brother Mormon, how do you believe it?” I believe it just as it is. I do not believe in putting any man’s interpretation upon it, whatever, unless it should be directed by the Lord himself in some way. I do not believe we need interpreters and expounders of the Scriptures, to wrest them from there literal, plain, simple meaning.

    Now according to BY, if he believes the Bible as it is, Then I believe we could apply that to other LDS teachings. It seems to me that LDS claim everything their leaders said that is crazy and wrong are taken out of context when us Christians quote there leaders, yet when the leaders/prophets say something that the LDS agree with, then it’s easy to understand what they meant.

    Example, Adam God. It is only two pages long, but it is false Doctrine and LDS claim we cannot know what BY meant. Yet King Follet Discourse is 11 Pages long and LDS view it as scripture as far as We will be gods someday and there are millions of gods. Funny how that works Dont you think?

  20. Ralph says:

    Well it’s nice to see that you all believe and practise in faith only saves without works, as this topic totally contradicts what Jesus taught in Matthew 13:24-30. I think the main point of His teaching is in verse 29 when He states ”But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them.” In placing a ‘patent’ on the word ‘Christian’ you may be excluding some people who are the true believers and condemning yourselves.

    The actual Biblical meaning of the term ‘Christian’ is just one who is a disciple of Christ and was given to His believers by the non-believers. Nothing more, nothing less. Unless the Christian hunters sat their quarry down and asked them if they believed in a ‘Trinity’ and ‘salvation by faith without works’ and ‘do you believe in sola scriptura’ (which let’s face it, they didn’t have the Bible at that point in time so that is moot) and then let everyone who answered ‘No’ go.

    But somehow I don’t see that as what happened. I think anyone who professed that Jesus was The Christ and The Son of God and that salvation is only through Him was sentenced to a Christian death regardless of how they believed in Jesus. So that is the Biblical definition of Christian.

    And that definition excludes Muslims and other religious groups because they do not believe that Jesus was the Son of God, nor do they believe that salvation is through Him.

  21. Kate says:

    There are extreme differences in the Biblical Jesus and the Mormon Jesus. To a Christian and all of Christianity, Jesus is God incarnate, born of a virgin. The Bible teaches this like it or not. The Mormon Jesus is the literal Son of God. Begotten the same way you and I were begotten of our fathers. Which would make him born not of a virgin. The Mormon Jesus is our spirit brother and the spirit brother of Satan, which to a Christian is blasphemy. None of the Mormon Jesus is found in the Bible. Mormons who say, “Well, we believe that Jesus was the Son of God ” has extremely different meaning to a Christian. Jesus said there would appear many false Christs and false prophets Matthew 24:24.

    “The traditional Christ of whom they speak is not the Christ of whom I speak.” (Gordon B. Hinckley)

    There it is in black and white. Mormons believe in a different Christ than the traditional Christ of the Bible. Jesus warned us about this. Just because a religion makes up it’s own Christ and uses some Christian sounding words, does not make them Christians.

  22. Kate says:

    “The best way to find out is to research old documents and interpret them for yourself. Then you’ll see what Mormons really believe.”

    No this is not at at all what I said. I said “If you want to know what Mormonism teaches, do the research, don’t ask a Mormon.” That is, research Mormon doctrine past and present, research the claims of Joseph Smith, the Book of Mormon and it’s origins, the Book of Abraham (which is where the whole Jesus is our brother comes from) the D&C that still holds the doctrine of polygamy in it even though Gordon B. Hinckley said in a public interview that polygamy is an abomination to God, the Masonic rituals done in the temples, the Occult practices of the Smith family, and yes, research the Journal of Discourses where revelation was given by past prophets and leaders. Research it ALL. Mormons who have not been through the temple really don’t know much about the rituals done there. They don’t know that those same rituals are done in Masonic temples across the globe. Waving your hand in dismissal does not make the past 180 years of Mormonism magically disappear. I can understand why you would want it to though.

  23. Rick B says:

    BSW Said

    “The best way to find out is to research old documents and interpret them for yourself. Then you’ll see what Mormons really believe.”

    BSW This statement is very far from the truth, The reason why this is not true is because no mormon can agree on anything. I say this because most Christians here, myself included can provide quotes from past and currant living prophets who cannot agree on most subjects. If the cannot agree, then that means They interpret everything differently and then who do I trust? Also You can just read replies from Mormons on this board, they cannot agree. Some Mormons on this MC website dont agree with anything BY said or taught. Their was just a mormon here going by the name Helen, she claimed BY was her favorite prophet and believed most of what BY said and taught. So Do I side with Helen and believe BY? Or do I side with the LDS that Dont agree with BY?

    I can also give quotes from Mormons who quote from LDS prophets Like JS, BY and others. These people agree with JS and BY. But then I can give quotes by other LDS who dont agree with JS and BY. So who do I trusty and believe. It seems everyone can read what they said and Taught, they just cannot interpret what they said. I think it is more a matter of they agree or dont agree based upon what they want to believe to be true.

  24. falcon says:

    Well what another wonderful opportunity for me to list those things that orthodox Christians believe. Mormons can compare this list to what they believe and see if they are Christians. Now before you Mormons give us the “Who are you to determine what basic Christian doctrine is?”, I might add that he who was first to the game gets to set the rules.
    1. The Bible is the Word of God.
    2. The Trinity; One God, three persons.
    3. The deity of Christ. He is God.
    4. The virgin birth of Christ.
    5. Christ died for us. The blood atonement.
    6. Jesus’ resurrection.
    7. Saved by grace apart from works.
    8 Jesus’ second coming.
    9. The judgement of God.

    What do Mormons believe about the Word of God? We could explore the “great conspiracy theory” that holds that some Catholic monks left all of the Mormonism out of the Bible. This is not only childish, but stupid, inane, self-serving and total mindless drivel. Mormonism claims additional Scripture that has been proven to be totally fallacious and pure fantasy.
    The doctrine of the nature of God? Mormons believe there are millions, perhaps billions of gods and that the god they acknowledge was a sinful man who through good works, clean living, and performance of Mormon rituals, became a god. Jesus is the off-spring of a mother-father god-goddess tandem who procreate spirit children who will obtain human bodies, populate the god’s planet and be given an opportunity to become gods themselves.
    One of the more creative and might I add disgusting of Mormon revealed doctrine was Brigham Young’s claim that the Mormon god the father had actual sexual relations with the Virgin Mary.
    Clarity in Mormonism is lacking and is pretty much a confused maze.

  25. bws71,
    It would be pretty convenient to pick and choose which doctrines and prophecies you’d like to believe and which ones to toss aside. However, that’s not quite how it works. If a past prophet speaks on behalf of God, those prophecies must be true. You can’t just say “oh it’s not important anymore” and leave it at that. These people proclaimed to be God’s mouthpiece. Everything out of their mouths was to be taken as scripture:

    “The new edition of the Religion 333 Student Manual says, “What the First Presidency says is scripture” (43, 52). To support the point, the manual quotes Marion G. Romney:
    ‘So I repeat again, what the presidency say as a presidency is what the Lord would say if he were here, and it is scripture. It should be studied, understood, and followed, even as the revelations in the Doctrine and Covenants and other scriptures’ (53, included here is an excerpt from a longer quote in the manual).” (taken from an earlier post here at MC)

    So those who follow historical Christianity are left to the task to test these self-proclaimed prophets’ words. We can’t just take some Joe Schmoe Mormon off the street and ask them what they believe and that be the end of it. Because ultimately, it doesn’t matter what they think. It matters what their leaders have said. The majority of Mormons have no idea that their leaders once called mainstream Christianity a “false religion, a false cult”, “an abomination”, and “whoremasters”. They’re too busy with their emergency kits and craft days and callings to take the time to research. One Mormon admitted that had this been said about them, they’d be defensive about it too. It made her think twice before complaining about the use of the word “cult”.

  26. Like I’ve said before, it seems a bit hypocritical to demand to be included in a group that for so long, the Church leaders separated themselves from, while refusing to associate themselves with other sects. The main Utah brand of Mormonism has way more in common with the other branches of Mormonism, like the FLDS, than they do with historical Christianity.
    So Ralph, if that’s your definition of Christian… how are we (mainstream Christianity) and the FLDS still considered apostates? How is Kate (and other exmormons) considered an apostate and sentenced to outer darkness? Because according to your definition, she’s still A-okay.
    It’s because you subscribe to an alternate religious system that defines her as “apostate” and not “Christian”, even though by definition, she should be labeled as such.

  27. falcon says:

    Now every time I post my little list and make my comments we get a rash of a certain type of Mormon posts that are very predictable. It’s very difficult for Mormons to defend Mormon doctrine because it’s all over the block. For Christians it’s very difficult to pin Mormons down as Mormonism is a moving target when it comes to what it believes.
    The basics of the doctrines of the Christian faith go back to the time of Jesus with the baptismal formula (Father, Son and Holy Ghost) and the liturgy of the Last Supper with the elements (bread, wine, this is My Body, this is My blood). During the first 400 or so years of the Church, the basic doctrines were continually defined as the Church Fathers battled the heretics. Actually the heretics did the Church a favor because the errors of their heresy challenged the Church to draw a line in the sand as the Church Fathers clarified the doctrines of the Church.
    Mormons make a mistake of thinking that the Church Fathers won out over the heretics because (the Church Fathers) had bigger megaphones. I would challenge Mormons to take the time to read the writings of the Church Fathers and see what real spiritual inspiration and intellectual horsepower are all about.
    Mormonism can’t be found in the Bible. I’m still waiting for some enterprising Mormon to show me where what Mormons do, believe and teach is defined in the NT. Actually it’s difficult to find what Mormons believe since it’s inconsistent and continually changing.

  28. Nelson says:

    Surveying pastors doesn’t really measure well what “Christians” believe. A Pew study showed that a majority of Christians believe Mormons are Christians. Among Catholics and mainline Protestants, the margin is actually quite large.

  29. Clyde6070 says:

    Oh well shall I feed the flames that consumes falcons soul or reason with him some other way. He is totally convince of what I believe that if he ever told me I would be quit perplexed of what he was talking about. I do not have a copy of the journal of discourse so you who are nit picky can read it and say look they believed this once and perplex me even more.
    I respect and fear christianity as well as islam. Fanatics can be found in all religions. We ask why does God allow evil to exist when we are the ones that allow it. I remember Lehi’s dream and wonder am I in the tower scoffing at people or holding onto the rod of scripture.
    There are times when we wonder where people get there ideas. We look deeper into there doctrine and ask-Does God really allow 12 year olds to be raped to suit his purpose( heard this one about Calvinism) And the great one-once saved always saved-which to people observing it allows people to sin six days out of the week.
    Am I scoffing at you guys? Probably so. I believe I am a christian not the traditional one but non-traditional one. ( Gee I am having stirrings of Fiddler on the Roof insert song here) People who claim a certain definition of christianity can fail to recognize what true christianity is.

  30. falcon says:

    Well clyde,
    You did a little editorial rant there that emitted more heat than light. In fact, I’m left with the impression that you have no arrows in your quiver so you’ve picked up a few rocks to toss. You said you heard something from Calvinism about some 12 year old getting raped serves God’s purposes? I guess that’s the best you can do. Come back and post when you can actually put forth some cogent argument as to why Mormons should be considered Christians of any sort.
    Mormons claim a different God the Father, a different Jesus, a different Holy Ghost AND a Holy Spirit (a force likened to electricity), have a rather low view of the Bible, and believe that the universe is populated by men who became gods. They believe that a man used a magic rock in his hat (shoving his face in the hat) to translate some golden plates he said an angel led him to. This same man claimed all sorts of visitations by all manner of spirit beings including one with a sword who told him he’d kill him if he didn’t start marrying more women. Not being content with having “translated” the plates, the man set out to translate an ancient parchment and low and behold it was discovered he was totally clueless as to what the parchment really said.
    I could go on here but the bottom line is that Mormonism is a hoax, a fraud, a total flim flam and a religion that borrows just enough from Christianity to make Mormons think they have some sort of new and improved product. Alas what they have isn’t even good heresy but has enough elements of Christianity to make these folks feel something that they mistakenly conclude is the real deal.

  31. falcon says:

    Now given what I’ve written above, which is incidentally all true, I must ask why in the world would anyone believe this nonsense and how could they by any stretch of the imagination claim they are Christians? The only way they could do this is to totally redefine what Christianity is.
    There’s a few boxes that have to be checked off before a religion could be considered Christian. Mormonism can’t check off any of the boxes so they’re having to rely on their redefinition and hope and pray that those in the faith or considering it, don’t do any real investigation.
    Those Mormons who are foolish enough to accept the premise of a “restored” gospel, have to train themselves to totally ignore the obvious and rely on creative means and a whole lot of blind faith combined with feelings to convince themselves that this fraud is true.
    So here’s the deal. I notice that our Mormon posters are very devout in their expressions of faith in Jesus. So I have to ask myself, “When Mormons express this faith in Jesus, what image do they hold in their minds of the Savior?” Well to them Jesus is a valiant older brother. He’s the offspring of the mother-father god who live on the planet Kolob and the very same two that gave spirit birth to them. He is very much respected, admired and adored………opps! Is this Jesus adored? Well we may not want to go that far. But Mormons do express a fond affection for whom they see as the big brother they can look up to and emulate.
    As to their other brother Satan? He’s the bad seed in the Mormon god and goddess’ family.
    Now why in the world don’t Christians consider Mormonism Christianity and Mormons Christians? Hard to figure, huh?

  32. Rick B says:

    You seriously rambled on about nothing, gave no evidence, just a bunch of, I heard….

    Then you said, see I’m a believer. Please, stop smoking the green stuff and do some serious research, then come back and talk with us.

  33. falcon says:

    Mormons like to speak in hushed and reverential tones about “Heavenly Father” and “Jesus” and express their devotion, love and commitment to “God”. They also point out their penchant and desire to live clean, moral and upright lives in an atmosphere that promotes strong family values.
    We have Mormons who show-up here and post and I can sense a desire on their part to have deep and meaningful discussions about spiritual matters with those of us who self-identify as born again believers in Jesus Christ. It leaves me wondering, don’t you Mormon folks think we were going to look into the claims of your religion, its history and founder? Did you think we were just going to over-look your claims at being a “restoration” of Christianity?
    I have a template, a decision making model that I use to check out the claims of a religion. If the religion doesn’t align itself with the basic doctrines of the Christian faith, I’m not going to ignore the facts in favor of having positive feelings producing discussions about some generic spiritual matters.
    As an example; Mormons have a supreme being they call Heavenly Father and a Savior they call Jesus. Mormons are nice folks dedicated to clean living and strong family values. Why sweat the details, right? Let’s, just over-look some of these “minor” things and talk about generic God and family.
    Well the problem is that from my point-of-view this wouldn’t be a very kind, considerate and loving thing to do. I want people to know the God of the Bible and the salvation he’s offering us through His Son Jesus Christ. A person’s eternal destiny depends on getting it right. Claiming “a Jesus” as Savior isn’t sufficient in order to obtain eternal life.
    We can’t avoid the fact that what we believe has consequences.

  34. I think I’ve said this before… Jesus is seen as their Savior. But what did he save them from? Certainly not any form of hell, since virtually everyone gets to some form of heaven. Did he save them from their own sins? Not quite. His atonement wasn’t quite enough… they have to make up the difference in works, charity, religious rituals, etc. So again, what did he save them from?
    And you know, JW’s believe in Jesus too. Catholic believe in Jesus (the ones Mormons claim screwed everything up). Even the demons believe in Jesus… they tremble at the sound of his name. I think you see where I’m going with this.
    Being a Christian is so much more than just believing Jesus exists. It’s trusting Him. Knowing what He did for us, and who He is. Mormons scoff at the fact that traditional Christians worship and praise Jesus instead of “Heavenly Father”. They mock the methods of worship, calling them irreverent. Yet when the “unclean” woman came and washed Jesus’ feet with her tears, totally making a scene and causing some to raise their eyebrows, He did not turn her away. What did Jesus see? Her heart. He did not correct her in her focus of worship nor her method. Why didn’t he direct her worship to “Heavenly Father” instead? Because He is God. The Jewish religion only had One God, so to accept that kind of worship was sending the message, “I am God” (“Emmanuel”=”God with us”). Which is exactly why the Jewish religious leaders hated Him so much and why He was being accused of blasphemy. Only God can see into the hearts of men. And this is the major defining line between true Christianity and, for lack of a better term, the knock-offs.

  35. Mike R says:

    A question for our Mormon guests :

    After a member of the Mormon Church has been formally ex-communicated , is he or she
    a Christian ?

  36. Kate says:

    Perhaps you can show me where this survey says “a majority of Christians believe Mormons are Christians.” I read through this survey twice and found no such comment. All I found was a comparison between the Muslims and the Mormons and what the opinions are of both groups among the people surveyed. A few things stick out to me:

    1.Most Americans believe that their own religion has little in common with either Islam or the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

    2.The most commonly used negative words to describe Mormonism are “polygamy,” “bigamy” or some other reference to plural marriage. Among positive words used to describe the Mormon religion, “family” — or some variant of the term.

    If Americans still hold the view that the LDS practice polygamy or that is the word they use to describe it, that shows that most Americans have no clue when it comes to LDS Mormonism. How could they possibly think of Mormons as Christians? They think of Mormons as polygamists.

  37. falcon says:

    Point #3 in the above article made a very good observation. That is, Mormonism, specifically the missionaries, misrepresent what Mormonism is all about.
    If one of the salient features of Mormonism is that men can become gods, why isn’t that on a bumper sticker? It reminds me of buttons I saw people wear years ago that said something like, “I lost 30 pounds ask me how.” It was a come-on for Herbal Life weight lost products.
    Mormons could wear similar buttons or affix bumper stickers with, “I plan on becoming a god. Ask me how” Wouldn’t that be more honest and a good way of targeting a market of people who are interested in becoming gods? Or how about, “There are millions of gods in the universe. You could be one too. Ask me how.” I guess that would be a pretty big button to wear, but it would attract attention.
    Mormons believe that they can’t give people the whole story or their market for prospects would shrink considerably. But I think that maybe becoming a god isn’t emphasized all that much in some wards.
    I would guess that there’s a significant number of people who aren’t on the fast track to deification. If a Mormon is going to become a god, they have to really get after it. It’s really a full time life activity.
    None-the-less the honest and forthright thing to do is to lay Mormonism out to prospects so they know what they’re getting into and let people judge for themselves whether or not Mormonism is a Christian religion or not.

  38. Brian says:

    “Jesus is seen as their Savior. But what did he save them from?”

    Great post, MarriedAMormon.

    “I plan on becoming a god. Ask me how.”

    It would make for a springboard to conversation, wouldn’t it, Falcon? I would be interested in hearing some of the answers provided. Perhaps some would feature a long list of various tasks. I think my response would be to invite a reading of Isaiah 43:10. Then I would ask, “How to do think God feels about your plan?”

    In a Christian catalog I receive, there is a clothing section featuring shirts and jackets with various Bible verses and commentary. Perhaps a Herbal Life styled shirt would make a good addition: “Forgiven. Ask me how.”

  39. Nelson says:

    Kate: 3rd page.

    Are Mormons Christians?

    Catholic: 52% Yes/29% No
    Mainline Protestant: 62% Yes/23% No
    Black Protestant: 43% Yes/30% No
    Evangelical Protestant: 40% Yes/45% No

  40. bws71 says:

    I can see like 15 different topics raised in the recent comments. I’m going to try to respond to a few. I hope my responses help non LDS in understanding what I believe and what I feel represents LDS beliefs in general.

    Is everything a LDS leader says Gospel? No. Yes, apostles and prophets are called to perform unique functions. They are people with a special job, but still people. The things God does through them are true and good. Whatever else they do or say is separate from the work they were called to do. These people may do and say things outside God’s will and wisdom. God’s word must then be separated from the mundane. This sifting process has already happened for the bible. The process is still happening in the post restoration era.

    Yes, God restored some important truths during the restoration and it happened very quickly. The *understanding* of those truths is a continual process that is ongoing. I’m not an expert on early Christian history but from what I know the early Christians took time to mature and grow in their understanding of what had been revealed to them. The original apostles certainly did. I feel the same thing is happening for LDSs.

    LDSs know that their leaders make mistakes. These leaders make mistakes even when they believe they are revealing God’s will and wisdom. (McConkie and the blacks – great example) We accept that real spiritual life is messy, imprecise and sometimes unclear. This is life. It is challenging. We embrace it. It doesn’t have to be clean. It doesn’t have to be easy. (cont)

  41. bws71 says:

    I think evangelicals would do well to let go of the false notions of ‘blood atonement, Adam God, and God was once a sinful man.’ LDSs have moved on. When asked “was God a man?” on national television GBH said “We don’t know much about that really.” He’s right. So why talk about something we don’t know much about.

    We understand revealed truth better now than ever before. We continue to draw closer to truly understanding truth. Please don’t get in the way by insisting we believe things we do not. Let us define ourselves and our message. Tell the world what *you* believe about God and let them agree or not. Why isn’t that enough? Mormons are trying to move on from the name calling that we’ve both engaged in. Let’s raise the bar.

    Mike -IMO an excommunicated LDS is absolutely a Christian if they continue to accept Christ as the one and only source of salvation. “Are they saved?” I belive that depends on their hearts, which only God can judge. Do they love Christ? Then they are saved. “But what if they don’t believe the book of Mormon and joseph smith all that stuff?” Then they don’t enjoy the blessings that go along with those beliefs and their associated behaviors. Pretty simple.

    I’d like to pursue the ‘Mormon Jesus’ topic a little more. Concerning the nature of God and Christ, I don’t know how much my understanding does differ from that of evangelicals because I don’t have a grasp on what evangelicals believe. Can someone summarize in descriptive laymans terms what evangelicals understand about the trinity and Jesus’ relationship to God? How do you explain it to kids?

  42. Mike R says:

    bws71, I actually meant to ask that if a member of the Mormon Church was ex-comm.
    for APOSTASY , would he or she be a christian ? I had Mr. Christopher Nemelka in mind here.
    MRM has a good article on him in case you’re not familiar who he is , or his claims. Is he a
    true christian ? A false one ? What say you ?

  43. bws71 says:

    I read the salt lake city news article on him. Hadn’t heard of him before. I don’t mean to be trite, but I believe my answer is unchanged. If Chris loves Jesus and accepts him and his teachings as the only path to salvation then, in my opinion he is a Christian by definition. I cannot judge his heart so as far as assigning him to heaven or hell… that is a job only God is qualified for – thankfully. Did I answer your question?

  44. Mike R says:

    bws71, you asked, ” Did I answer your question ? ” Not really . My question was ,
    is Mr. Nemelka a true christian or a false one ? While you’re thinking about that perhaps
    you could answer to this question also: Is Mr Nemelka a Mormon ? ( I hope you can
    provide an authoritative position on this question and not merely give your own opinion ,
    thanks )

  45. Clyde6070 says:

    Mike R.
    Your Question to bws71 is similar to me asking you the question If a person is a christian and joins the mormon church does he lose his salvation?

  46. Rick B says:

    I would say that if someone ever walked away from Jesus to become a mormon was either never a real true believer, or yes they will lose their salvation. Gal 1:8-9 says they have a different gospel and they will be damned.

    BSW said

    I think evangelicals would do well to let go of the false notions of ‘blood atonement, Adam God, and God was once a sinful man.’ LDSs have moved on.

    These are not false Notions, They were taught as fact and scripture by your prophets. Then If your prophets taught them as scripture and they are false then you have a false teacher as the head of your church. These are big issues and cannot simply be brushed aside if you dont like them.

  47. Kate says:

    Oh sorry, I thought the information was on the page you linked to, I wasn’t aware that the survey was actually 5 pages long.

    Your explanation is absurd. I’m not trying to be offensive, I know you truly believe this. The problem is, if a prophet teaches something as scripture and that thing is false or that thing doesn’t come to pass, he is a false prophet. I would like you to give your explanation to all the people who died believing Adam is God. Tell them that it was just Brigham Young’s opinion or that he made a mistake. Where are these people? Are they Saved? Personally I don’t think so and here’s why,
    God says that we should have no other gods before him Exodus 20:3. I would say Adam was a god that was put before God. People worshiped a false god with Brigham Young. Brother Brigham also worshiped a false god. He also died believing Adam was God. How do you explain his Salvation/exaltation? He cannot possibly be in the Celestial Kingdom. He worshiped a false god. That is a pretty big mistake. One that can’t be brushed off with the wave of your hand as you are trying so hard to do. One last question, why on earth would anyone want to follow LDS prophets if they can’t be completely trusted to get it right? You said:
    “These people may do and say things outside God’s will and wisdom. God’s word must then be separated from the mundane.”
    Was Adam/God “mundane?” Try telling the people who are dead due to Blood Atonement that it was “mundane.” I’m picking on Brigham Young, but there is plenty of stuff from other LDS prophets, including Joseph Smith. Why not follow Jesus instead? Stop following men.

  48. falcon says:

    Monster good post. I can see that you’re looking for clarity. Clarity is the enemy of Mormonism. Mormonism thrives on ambiguity. It’s kind of funny because the Mormon canned testimony is prefaced with the words “I know”. The confidence of the “I know” riff comes about because of the belief a Mormon has that he/she has received personal revelation regarding the five points of Mormonism from the Mormon god.
    The personal revelation that a Christian born again believer confesses to is that Jesus is the Son of God. There isn’t anyone who comes to faith in Jesus that has done so without the leading of the Holy Spirit.
    The confidence that we have in Jesus is that faith in Him secures our relationship with the Father and allows us to be in His presence when we die.
    Mormons are counting on the LDS religious system and their own efforts to secure for them the Mormon prize which is to become a god.
    Now what Christians believe and what Mormons believe is not just different, the two belief systems are diametrically opposed to one another. So they can’t both be considered Christian. The basic doctrine of orthodox Christianity is well established. The basic doctrines of Mormonism change as often as the Mormon prophet changes his sacred undergarment.
    As Christians we have confidence in God because the Bible tells us that He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. This is who He is. He’s not like the false Mormon god who is limited and constantly evolving.
    The Bible is clear as to who God is and what is required for eternal life. Mormons have decided to place their bet on a bunch of men who don’t know God and can’t be sure if their efforts will pay off in the end or not. I

  49. bws71 says:

    @Mike – The answer to your second question seems easy to me. Whether or not someone is a member of a Church is an administrative matter. Once someone has been excommunicated from a Church, they are no longer members of that church. As any organization, the church controls and defines its membership.

    As far as determining who is or who is not a “true Christian” – I believe only Christ holds those keys. It seems you are asking me to determine the nature of a person’s personal relationship with their Savior, whether it is good enough or real enough. I can’t do it. I submit that no person can. I understand Hitler claimed to be Christian. I would tell him his understanding of what it means to be Christian is very different than mine. His church certainly has the right to kick him out. But the final decision on Hitler’s Christianity will be between him and the bearer of that title, Christ. I really don’t know of another way to describe my beliefs.

    @Rick and Karen

    I hear you saying that the idea that a person who claims to be a prophet but also misunderstands or miscommunicates a theological point is incredibly important to you. It seems it is your opinion that if someone is called as a prophet then everything they say and teach should be scripture.

    I feel like I understand and respect your opinions, but I do not share them. Nor does my church. These are my leaders, the leaders of my church. Certainly LDSs are in a better position to interpret the words and actions of our leaders. The LDS church decides what the LDS church teaches and believes.

  50. bws71 says:

    The Adam God doctrine taught by BY was never ratified by the Church. BY was wrong.

    I don’t feel I’m trying hard to dismiss anything. I’m sharing my sincere beliefs and those of my church. It requires very little effort. The hard part is the 300 word limit =)

    As to the people who “died believing Adam was God”, I feel this question does highlight an interesting difference I see in our views of salvation. Misunderstanding the exact nature of God is a matter of the mind that will be quickly rectified on our first meeting with Him. I don’t think misunderstandings will keep us out of heaven.

    Hate, jealousy, selfishness and other non Christ-like attributes are matters of the heart which only Christ can mend. If we show up on heaven’s door with these, then we will not be fit to enter. To be clear–being nice is not what qualifies one for God’s kingdom, but being made ‘nice’ by the transformative power of Christ’s atonement.

    If you resist the most extreme interpretation of what I just said, I wonder if you’ll find it true.

    If not, I imagine you are already coming up with reasons why and how what I just said is wrong. You may be getting some scriptures or quotes ready to copy and paste. But I propose there are just as many quotes and scriptures (LDS and otherwise) that support what I’ve said here.

    My goal is not that you agree with me, but that you *understand* my beliefs and the teachings of my church. That way next time someone asks you “do Mormons believe Adam was God?” you can give them the right answer…”No” (better yet, tell them to ask a mormon)

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