Though all the world may say that Latter-day Saints do not know or love or worship Jesus Christ, the truth is that we do. At one time, Catholics called Protestants “heretics,” and Protestants called Catholics “papists.” But this sort of tactic amounts to nothing more than saying, “Boo for your religion, and hurrah for mine.”, The negative term most frequently flung at the LDS is “cult,” a term which can suggest images of pagan priests and rituals. 2:3, 5–8); and that—after all we can do (Alma 24:11)—we are saved by grace (2 Ne. Many Mormons have serious questions about Scriptural conflicts, or about things Christians have challenged them with, but they don’t ask, don’t tell. 10:24; 2 Ne. [67], While Mormons might agree with the statement that the Father and the Son are "uncreated", their understanding of "creation" differs from that of traditional Christianity. [117] Mormons view other Christian churches as teaching some truth, doing good works, and acknowledge their strong faith in Christ. Traditional Christian denominations and the LDS Church share work in providing welfare or humanitarian aid. Of course. Indeed, the Mormon church has increasingly become involved with the Interfaith movement, joining with various Christian denominations in various charities."[147]. Yes, Latter-day Saints do believe … an evolution of Mormon thought toward doctrinal positions nearer those of evangelicals. The organization kept a photo file to provide photos to the media for such events as temple dedications. [108] Although mainstream Christian denominations still reject Mormons as being non-Christian, the image of Mormonism has metamorphosed during the 20th century in large part due to an evolution of Mormon theology and partly due to a deliberate effort on the part of the leadership of the LDS Church. We may be somewhat different from the traditional pattern of Christianity. [58] They regard God the Father as the biblical god Elohim, and they believe that the Son, a distinct being, is both Jesus and the biblical God Jehovah. [105], The existence and implications of the movement continues to be debated. The Doctrine and Covenants and Pearl of Great Price bear that same great witness, as do all of the modern prophets and apostles. Prominent Mormons such as Joseph F. Smith, John A. Widstoe, and James E. Talmage formulated the outlines of Mormon orthodoxy with publications that significantly narrowed the realm of acceptable speculative Mormon theology. Read more. For most Christians the canon of scripture is limited to the Bible. In fact, we believe that revelation to the early Church stopped because of the death of the Apostles and the growing apostasy, or falling away, from the truth. For example, Wilford Woodruff, an early president of the church and a contemporary of Joseph Smith taught: When you go into a neighborhood to preach the Gospel, never attempt to tear down a man's house, so to speak, before you build him a better one; never, in fact, attack any one's religion, wherever you go. Doctrines are official if they are found in the standard works of the Church, if they are sustained by the Church in general conference (D&C 26:2), or if they are taught by the First Presidency as a presidency. However Mormons require that everyone be baptised when they join their Church, no matter what background they come from. [citation needed] According to Jan Shipps, during the 1950s the attitude of mainstream Christians towards Mormonism changed from "vilification" to "veneration", with emphasis on positive Mormon traits such as "family orientation, clean-cut optimism, honesty and pleasant aggressiveness".[109]. Mormons say they are Christians, but because they reject foundational truths from God’s Word, they are not. Latter-day Saints do believe that God the Father has a physical body. [26], Kurt Widmer stated that "early Mormons were reacting against a heavily intellectualized and theologized Trinitarian concept of God" and the nature of God was not at first of central importance to Smith. The freewheeling General Conference addresses of earlier years, elaborating unique LDS doctrines, were gradually replaced with a basic Christian message downplaying denominational differences. “We believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost” (A of F 1:1) as taught in the New Testament. [141] Richard Abanes asserts that President Gordon B. Hinckley "on numerous occasions demonstrated his willingness to seriously downplay any issues that might be construed as controversial". [citation needed], Mormonism arose in the 1820s during a period of radical reform and experimentation within American Protestantism, and Mormonism is integrally connected to that religious environment. [94] Mormons reject the Protestant doctrine of the "priesthood of all believers", but they consider all confirmed Mormons to have the "Gift of the Holy Ghost" (also conveyed by the laying on of hands), which entitles believers to spiritual gifts but to no ecclesiastical authority. In Bruce R. McConkie's 1958 edition of Mormon Doctrine, he had stated his opinion that the Catholic Church was part of "the church of the devil" and "the great and abominable church" because it was among organizations that misled people away from following God's laws. He consequently contends that "Christian consensus is fluid and, in some cases, has lagged behind the Mormon model. If it has been demonstrated that I have been willing to die for a "Mormon", I am bold to declare before Heaven that I am just as ready to die in defending the rights of a Presbyterian, a Baptist, or a good man of any other denomination. Most anti-Mormons reject the LDS scriptures without knowing or caring what those scriptures actually teach about Christ. "[140], Recent church presidents have tended to downplay those doctrines that served to distinguish Mormonism from mainline churches. What Latter-day Saints do not believe is the non-Biblical doctrine formulated by the councils of Nicaea (A.D. 325) and Chalcedon (A.D. 451) centuries after the time of Jesus—the doctrine that God is three coequal persons in one substance or essence. Views on the Nature of God in early Mormonism has been a matter of debate. It simply means “a religion I don’t like.”. Instead, other historians[who?] [34] Initially, the authority of Smith's faith was based on correct doctrine[35] and his own claim of prophethood. [4], The Mormonism that originated with Joseph Smith in the 1820s shared strong similarities with some elements of nineteenth-century Protestant Christianity. As Harper’s Bible Dictionary states: “The formal doctrine of the Trinity as it was defined by the great church councils of the fourth and fifth centuries is not to be found in the New Testament.”. The line of succession was restored through Joseph Smith when biblical prophets and apostles appeared to him and ordained him through the laying on of hands with lost priesthood authority. Bookcraft, 1991. [citation needed], In 1995, the church announced a new logo design that emphasized the words "JESUS CHRIST" in large capital letters. They believe that there would be no salvation without his atonement. Why would anyone say such a thing? This shows that the Roman Catholic Church regards Mormonism as varying in its essential beliefs from traditional Christianity. Rather, what they basically boil down to is this: Latter-day Saints are different from the other Christian churches. [84][85][86], Mormons believe they must not only have faith and repent but also be baptized (by immersion and by an authorised priesthood holder within the Church) and bring forth good works. [132] Similar polls have concluded that over two-thirds of the general public view Mormons as members of the larger Christian community, including many independent evangelical ministries and prominent evangelical leaders. Although Mormons consider the Prot… Mormons express the doctrines of Mormonism using standard biblical terminology and have similar views about the nature of Jesus' atonement, bodily resurrection, and Second Coming as traditional Christianity. Mormons express the doctrines of Mormonism using standard biblical terminology and have similar views about the nature of Jesus' atonement, bodily resurrection, and Second Coming as traditional Christianity. We do not believe it because it is not scriptural. [146], Ron Rhodes asserts that, "The Mormon church has in recent years sought to downplay its exclusivism as the 'restored' church. They believe that the Father (like the Son) was twice "born"—once as a spirit, and again as a mortal man. Consequently, though the feelings may be strong, there is often a feeling of mutual appreciation and respect that accompanies missionary efforts on both sides (though this is not always the case). Now we work with people of other faiths on common causes, many of them across the world. Nevertheless, most Mormons do not accept the Trinitarian views of orthodox Nicene Christianity, codified in the Nicene and Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creeds of 325 and 381. Robert L. Millet & Gregory C. V. Johnson; This page was last edited on 27 October 2020, at 13:53. I bring this issue up now, because of the general ignorance of the American public about whether or not Mormons are actually Christians or not. Were the Twelve Apostles Christians? Joseph Smith , who referred to himself as “The Prophet,” founded the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the mid-1800s. Rather, such claims are made by those who have lost priesthood authority and have lost direct revelation and, instead of trying to find them again, are trying desperately to maintain that their loss doesn’t matter. [28] Early Mormonism agreed with Methodists and the Disciples of Christ in rejecting Calvinistic doctrines in favor of Christian perfection and free will (called free agency). Conciliar Press, a department of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America, has published a brochure designed to inform Orthodox Christians of the proselytizing efforts of what it describes as "cultists" (Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses). "[115] Joe Scarborough has drawn analogies between the Pharisees in the New Testament and prominent evangelical religious leader Robert Jeffress calling Mormonism a cult.[116]. The Prophet has been compared to the Pope in Catholicism because both, within their respective faiths, are regarded as the leading authority. If he does not accept your testimony with regard to the Gospel of Christ, that is his affair, and not yours. 4. However, see, Mormons believe in what is sometimes called "social trinitarianism", meaning the three beings of the Godhead are blended in heart and mind like extremely close friends, but are not one being. Photo Credit: ©Thinkstock 6. Some claim that in the late-20th century, a conservative movement within the LDS Church (called "Mormon neo-orthodoxy" on the analogy of an earlier Protestant neo-orthodoxy)[95] emphasized the Book of Mormon over later revelations[96] and embraced original sin, an absolute, eternal, and unchanging God, a pessimistic assessment of human nature, and a doctrine of salvation by grace rather than by works.[97]. Mormons believe this church to be the "only true and living church". [41] Although the Book of Mormon rejected the doctrine of universal reconciliation, Smith taught that damnation was a temporary state (for all but the Sons of Perdition) from which the wicked would ultimately escape after they had paid for their sins, to be resurrected into one of the two lesser kingdoms of glory.[40]. Do we not worship Christ? "Mormonism Unmasked" Phillip Roberts -Nashville: Learn how and when to remove this template message, Christianity is more than just a sect of Judaism, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, Criticism of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Mormons in America: Certain in Their Beliefs, Uncertain of Their Place in Society, "Real Differences, Real Similarities and Biblical Christianity", "Joseph Smith and Modern Mormonism: Orthodoxy, Neoorthodoxy, Tension, and Tradition", "Truman Coe's 1836 Description of Mormonism", "Warfield - The Children in the Hands of the Arminians", "Of Simplicity, Oversimplification, and Monotheism", "Temples in Ancient America, Etc., by Orson Pratt (Journal of Discourses, vol.