Don’t patronize us, please

In a 2007 General Conference talk, Seventy Gary J. Coleman referred to a story of fourteen-year-old Cortnee, the daughter of an LDS mission president, who was confused when her high school classmates questioned her Christianity. She went home and asked her mother, “Mom, are we Christians?” Coleman answered,

“As a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, you are a Christian, and I am too. I am a devout Christian who is exceedingly fortunate to have greater knowledge of the true ‘doctrine of Christ’ since my conversion to the restored Church. These truths define this Church as having the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ, I now understand the true nature of the Godhead, I have access to additional scripture and revelation, and I can partake of the blessings of priesthood authority. Yes, Cortnee, we are Christians.”

The very foundation of Mormonism is based on the effects of the “Great Apostasy” and the belief for a need in a “restoration” of Christianity. In an April 2013 General Conference address, Apostle Dallin H. Oaks gave a talk titled “Followers of Christ.” He explained,

Like all other Christians, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints study the life of our Savior as reported in the New Testament books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. I will review examples and teachings contained in these four books of the Holy Bible and invite each of us and all other Christians to consider how this restored Church and each of us qualify as followers of Christ” (Ensign, May 2013, p. 96).

He says that “like other followers of Christ, we sometimes find it difficult to separate ourselves from the world and its traditions.” On the next page, he writes, “Like other Christians, we pray in all our worship services.”

warning-mass-confusion-aheadPerhaps he didn’t mean it, but I believe his blurring the lines patronize “other Christians.” After all, he makes it appear that the Mormons and other Christians are somehow similar in their claims to truth.  Yet the context of the article shows what it means to be a true “follower of Christ.” Consider several of the traits that he provides:

  • “Jesus taught that baptism was necessary to enter the kingdom of God”—However, the idea of baptismal regeneration (water baptism necessary for salvation) is rejected by Evangelical Christians. In addition, Oaks makes no mention how Mormonism teaches that this rite must be performed with the proper authority (via the Aaronic and Melchizedek priesthoods); any baptisms performed by “other Christians” are not efficacious in the eyes of Latter-day Saints.
  •  “Jesus gave commandments”—Obeying these commandments are necessary for eternal life (exaltation). Oaks explains, “They range all the way from worldly practices like political correctness and extremes in dress and grooming to deviations from basic values like the eternal nature and function of the family.” Regarding that last point, those outside the church do not have access to everything a Mormon has, including the 1995 talk given by then-President Gordon B. Hinckley called “The Family: A Proclamation to the World.” In addition, “other Christians” also do not have the Word of Wisdom or have an understanding of or access to the temple and the ordinances performed there. In other words, only those inside the church can truly know what must be done to be fully obedient.
  • “Jesus taught that ‘men ought always to pray.’” If prayer is to “our Father in Heaven”—different in image than the God worshipped by other Christians—then how can the prayers of these “other Christians” be given with authority?
  • “The Savior called Twelve Apostles to assist in His Church and gave them the keys and authority to carry on after His death.” Oaks explains how the Mormon Church “follows this example in its organization and in its conferral of keys and authority on Apostles.” In other words, every “other Christian” organization does not have this structure, which means they do not have the “keys and authority to carry on after His death.”
  • “Jesus taught, ‘Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.’” Oaks explains, “From modern revelation, unique to the restored gospel, we know that the commandment to seek perfection is part of God the Father’s plan for the salvation of His children.” Yet while good works are crucial in the sanctification process, Evangelical Christians do not interpret this verse as Latter-day Saints do. After all, justification comes by God’s grace through faith. Period.

Here is my request to Mr. Oaks and other Latter-day Saints. If you insist on clinging to the name “Christian,” then please quit referring to those outside your church as “Christians.” It must be understood that the average layperson is unable to grasp the implications of this speech because it is difficult to read between the lines. Since Mormonism teaches that a person must be baptized with apostolic authority, must follow the commandments given by God, and must belong to a church with proper organization, it is clear that “other Christians” are not “just like” you. If nothing else, differentiate yourselves by using “Restored” or “Authoritative” in front of “Christian” to describe yourselves. Or, even better, why not just claim to be “Latter-day Saints” or “Mormons”? But please, quit patronizing Christians. Just call a spade a spade. Confusing the issue is just not fair. Or honest.

This entry was posted in Baptism, Christianity, Priesthood, Truth, Honesty, Prayer, and Inquiry, Worthiness and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

110 Responses to Don’t patronize us, please

  1. Old man says:

    You said this to MJP
    “Tha is the most laughable, contempible, ignorant statement I have seen on this blog site for a long time – and believe me there have been many.Do you really have no knowledge of Christian history? Do you really not know that Christians have been slaughtering other Christians with gruesome glee for hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of years over the smallest doctrinal differences? Have you not heard of ther Protestant Reformation which precipitated the Thirty Year War and numerous other wars and religious conflicts in which hundreds of thousands of Christians were murdered by other Christians for merely having a slight difference of opinion on some theoligical matter………Seriously, read a book on the history of Christianity”

    I don’t know what point you’re trying to make with the above comment, you either don’t understand what MJP is talking about or you are deliberately distorting what he says by implying (I assume) that Christians don’t behave in that way. If the latter is the case then I would have to agree with you, but will you then apply the same logic to Mormon history? The Mountain meadows massacre when Mormon ‘Christians’ murdered over 100 men women & children, your false prophet Brigham Young was deeply involved in that.
    Have you forgotten that Mormons burned the town of Gallatin on the direct orders of the false prophet Joseph Smith? And please don’t bother telling me that Gov. Boggs had issued an extermination order against Mormons as he was simply repeating what Sidney Rigdon, Joe Smiths first counsellor had already said concerning Missourians several months previously. Seriously, read a book on the history of Mormonism. Let’s be clear on this, Christians DO NOT use violence but NON-Christians will use Christianity as an excuse to enforce their will on others.
    Your use of emotive language such as ‘slaughtering other Christians with gruesome glee’ & your convenient ‘forgetfulness’ concerning Mormon history reveals to everyone here that you are not interested in history per se but are manipulating it to suit your own agenda.

    I’m not going to comment on what you said concerning Grindaels post, first, because you have misunderstood, or more likely you choose to misrepresent what he said, & secondly, he can reply to you so much better than I.
    This is the third time I have spoken to you in response to the numerous issues you have raised & so far I have been met with a wall of silence, so, I’m going to ask you a question. Will you, in typical Mormon fashion when you don’t have an answer, continue to ignore everything I have said?

  2. Rick B says:

    I don’t believe you are who you claim to be. Are you the mormon who called himself ocean coast? Are you coming back under a new name?

  3. Alex says:

    Old Man,

    You write: “Christians DO NOT use violence”


    Are you suggesting that Roman Catholics and Protestants (and all other denominations for that matter) are not Christians??? Or are you denying almost two millenium of sectoral violence that marks Christianity as perhaps the most violent religion in the history of mankind?

    How can any educated person make such a silly statement?

    …Oh wait a minute now I understand. Old Man you should have gone to school when you had a chance. At least you should read a book on the history of Christianity – a very bloody history indeed.

    In answer to your question: NO.

  4. Old man says:


    Thank you for replying at long last but I do notice that you only reply to one thing when I have in fact said quite a few things, so, let’s look at it.
    You said
    “Old Man,
    You write: “Christians DO NOT use violence”
    Are you suggesting that Roman Catholics and Protestants (and all other denominations for that matter) are not Christians??? Or are you denying almost two millenium of sectoral violence that marks Christianity as perhaps the most violent religion in the history of mankind?
    How can any educated person make such a silly statement?
    …Oh wait a minute now I understand. Old Man you should have gone to school when you had a chance. At least you should read a book on the history of Christianity – a very bloody history indeed.”

    That’s correct, I said Christians do NOT use violence, what I actually said in full was this
    “Christians DO NOT use violence but NON-Christians will use Christianity as an excuse to enforce their will on others.”

    Now, anyone with half a brain cell at their disposal should be able to see what I am saying, you unfortunately don’t seem to possess even that amount of grey matter.
    Are you trying to tell me that uneducated medieval peasants start wars? Why don’t you put your brain into gear before you open your mouth? The violence & deaths to which you refer were not started by Christians they were started by violent men WHO USED CHRISTIANITY AS AN EXCUSE. Any Christian who uses violence against another is committing a SIN & I’m sure everyone else apart from you can understand that.
    Leaving aside all the other issues that you continue to ignore I notice you haven’t replied to my comments on the violent Mormon history, now why might that be? Could it be that Mormon history is no different to the violent Christian history you describe & that Mormons CANNOT be Christians for the very same reason the people you mention cannot be Christians? Perhaps in your next post you will reply to those points namely, The Mountain meadows massacre, the burning of Gallatin, oh, & another one for you, the attempted assassination of Governor Boggs?

    One last thing, Rick thought you might be oceancoast under an alias but having seen your reply to me, in particular what you said here,
    “Oh wait a minute now I understand. Old Man you should have gone to school when you had a chance.”
    A pound to a penny you’re the late & unlamented Jason whose insults finally got him banned

  5. jayjay says:

    Alex wrote:

    Grindael, do you actually understand what you have quoted? Do you not understand the meaning of the word “anathema”?

    Alex, You pulled the trigger too soon. I suggest you go back and read ALL of what Grindael wrote regarding the above. ALL of it. Do not cherry pick. Read ALL of it.

    You’ve been barking and mooing about “Evangelical” Christians and with that differentiation, have nicely validated Eric’s point in the original post. Thank you! Because you find us so reprehensible, why are Mormons so eager to represent themselves as being “just like ‘other Christians’ ”?

    As to the “very bloody history” of Christianity, if you continue to identify yourselves as Christians, that history belongs to you too.

    As Eric pointed out in the original post, “Confusing the issue is just not fair. Or honest.”

  6. Rick B says:

    Alex, aka, jason, or some other former mormon.
    Here is a problem, how can you accuse us of dishonesty when you yourself get booted from here, then come under a false name.

    Then when you said the answer to my question us no, I am guessing thst question was, can you tell me I am wrong in what I said about your church. You said no, and you have proven by the lack of replys that I am correct.

  7. MJP says:

    Alex, I love it. I absolutely love it. Why? Because you continue to look at things you have been told not to look at. Now, I fully recognize the past conflicts and the current differences. The past conflicts had as much to do with politics as they did religion. The Catholic church was a major source of power back in the day, and when people started to rebel, well, what do you think would happen? But for you to assume that everyone involved is truly a Christian is a bit presumptuous, don’t you think?

    And I, along with everyone else here, have recognized that differences in our theologies do exist. I’d bet everyone here has a slightly different take on any number of issues. However, when it comes to matters of importance, such as who Christ was and what he has done for us, we agree completely.

    If you choose to ignore this and focus on the conflicts as proof that what we say is incorrect, you have a closed mind and are not interested in the truth. You are only interested in slandering that which you do not understand.

  8. grindael says:

    LOL Alex,

    Do you understand that the Council of Trent was speaking of only intellectual assent? Did you not read my comments where I quoted the CATHOLICS who said,

    “If anyone says that the sinner is justified by faith alone, so as to understand that nothing else is required to cooperate in the attainment of the grace of justification . . . let him be anathema.”

    Protestants and Evangelicals don’t believe this. In fact, at the same Council of Trent, they affirmed the same doctrine of Faith that Evangelicals believe:

    “CANON III.-If any one saith, that without the prevenient inspiration of the Holy Ghost, and without his help, man can believe, hope, love, or be penitent as he ought, so as that the grace of Justification may be bestowed upon him; let him be anathema. ”

    Canon XII. If anyone affirms that we can form any right opinion or make any right choice which relates to the salvation of eternal life, as is expedient for us, or that we can be saved, that is, assent to the preaching of the gospel through our natural powers without the illumination and inspiration of the Holy Spirit, who makes all men gladly assent to and believe in the truth, he is led astray by a heretical spirit, and does not understand the voice of God who says in the Gospel, “For apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5), and the word of the Apostle, “Not that we are competent of ourselves to claim anything as coming from us; our competence is from God” (2 Cor. 3:5).(Council of Trent)


    Thus Trent is only condemning one interpretation of the sola fide formula AND NOT THE FORMULA ITSELF.

    So Trent does not condemn the (better) Protestant understanding of faith alone. In fact, the canon allows the formula to be used so long as it is not used so as to understand that nothing besides intellectual assent is required. The canon only condemns “sola fide” if it is used “so as to understand that nothing else [besides intellectual assent] is required” to attain justification. Thus Trent is only condemning one interpretation of the sola fide formula and not the formula itself.

    Evangelicals do not believe in “intellectual assent”. We believe in Loving God and our Neighbor. You obviously can’t read. You are being very dishonest. You are playing the troll game of making up what others believe and then trying to disprove your own made up lies. This is about the 6th time you’ve posted to me WITH NO PROOF. You don’t post truth, you don’t post evidence, you are only good for one thing. Ejection. If you don’t post the proof I asked for the very next time you post, consider yourself gone.

    I’ll be declaring YOU anathema.

  9. 2bowdown says:

    The end of this post says that we (Mormons) should stop referring to those not of our church as “Christians”. Why? Mormons believe that those who believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and that He died for our sins and is the only way to be saved are called Christians. We understand that there are millions of people who hold this belief outside of our church. Why wouldn’t we refer to them as Christians??? Yes, there are certain underlying beliefs that are different, but you find that between various denominations hence the need for more then one denomination. It comes down to the belief in Jesus Christ and what He did for us! If you don’t believe Mormons are Christians, well that is fine by me…everyone is entitled to their own opinion…..I would like to know how “Mainstream Christians” define being a Christian?

  10. MJP says:


    The problem is not just that you believe that someone died for our sins to save us. Its who that person is. I am not sure you grasp the full extent of the differences in our respective Jesus’s. When placed side by side, they are more than just a little bit different. From being Satan’s literal brother to him being a separate god from the father your Jesus is clearly not the same as ours.

    How would I define a Christian? Someone who has put their full faith in the full saving power of Jesus and acknowledges that they can do nothing to add to what Christ has already done for us (that is to say, that Christ saves and we cannot do any work to make us any more saved). A Christian is one who believes in the traditional notion of the Trinity, that God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit are all one God, united in every aspect and are but one individual God but interact with us in different modes. A Christian in one who believes in but one God.

    And that brief description does not match with what Mormons believe. And this description captures mostly all of Christendom. There are differences between Baptists and Methodists, sure, and among others. But the differences are not found in this description.

    I suggest you look into what it is we believe. Understanding the critics is only part of the question– you also need to know what it is we believe.

Leave a Reply