they have "feel good" commercials.
they have nice looking buildings
they are exemplary citizens
but are mormons christians?
this has been a hot topic of conversation since former massachusetts governor mitt romney announced that he was running for presidency of the united states.
yesterday, romney made a speech in which he addressed the concerns of those who were worried that his loyalty to his faith may play too large of a role in his presidency if elected. (which can be read here)
in it he references jesus christ, god as creator, and so forth. in a recent debate, when the canidates were asked " do you believe the bible is literally true" he answered:
"I believe it's the Word of God...I mean, I mightagain, this sounds like a safe christian answer.
interpret the Word differently than you interpret the Word,
but I read the Bible and I believe the Bible is the Word of God.
I don't disagree with the Bible. I try and live by it."
but what is it that mormons believe? are they just another denomination like the baptists, methodists or presbyterians? or are they another branch of christianity like the roman catholic church or the anglicans?
here are some examples of the teachings and beliefs of the church of jesus christ of latter days saints, the mormons:
- there are many gods, and the head of them rules the universe along with his council
(joseph smith teachings of the prophet joseph smith pp.348-49)
- god has wives ("a mother in heaven,") and they live on a planet near a star named kolab.
- through endless sexual encounters, "elohim" and his wives produce billions of spirit children
- god has and is limited by a physical body. he is not omnipresent, in fact, it is impossible for him to be in more than one place at once
- adam is identified as michael the archangel
- jesus and satan are brothers
- jesus was given savior status of earth, enraging lucifer, who revolted.
- jesus was not born of a virgin, because god had sex with mary, which produced jesus
- jesus was married
- humans can acheive god status
- the bible (unless it is the mormon approved version) is incomplete and contains errors, and is only one of four holy books
- all churches except LDS (mormon) churches are false churches
- the final judgment is in the presence of jospeh smith, the mormon jesus, and "elohim".
[sources: book of mormon; mormonism: what you need to know by ed decker; fast facts on false teachings by ron carlson and ed decker; mormonism unmasked by r. phillip roberts, and mormons answered verse by verse by david a. reed and john r. farkas]
at the bare minimum, to be a christian one has to confess that:
- there is but one god, who exists in three persons (father, son, and holy spirit)
- jesus was/is god incarnate-born of a virgin
- there is no salvation outside of faith in jesus christ- and only those who place their faith in him will be saved
mormonism denies all three of these. there is obviously much more to the mormon faith than outlined above, but just from scratching the surface we can see that mormonism is not a part, branch, or denomination of christianity.
does that mean we cant be friends with mormons? of course not. i have had and currently do have mormon friends who are genuinely nice, caring, and wonderful friends.
does that mean christians cannot vote for mitt romney for president. i dont think so. [*however, this post or its content should not be viewed as an endorsement for or against voting for romney]
what it does mean is that when we have conversations with people who are discussing mr. romney or any mormon, that we do not let it slide when people equate mormonism with christianity. we should do so in love and with gentleness, but we should make sure that there is no confusion. mormons-the church of jesus christ of latter day saints are no more christian than muslims, buddhists, or jehovah's witnesses.
so let us be compelled to love them by sharing the true gospel with them.
for further reading see sources cited above as well as:
1) solving the mormon puzzle dvd by the north american mission board
2) john devito, former mormon, has a blog here