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Are Mormons Really Christians?

Updated on November 7, 2016
kbdressman profile image

Katie has been a member of the LDS Church since her baptism at age 8. She graduated from Seminary, the Institute of Religion, and BYU.

Christus Statue on Temple Square: A Statue of Jesus Christ

This beautiful Christus statue is housed in the North Visitor Center on Temple Square near Church Headquarters in Salt Lake City, Utah.
This beautiful Christus statue is housed in the North Visitor Center on Temple Square near Church Headquarters in Salt Lake City, Utah. | Source

The Official Statement of Doctrine of the Latter Day Saints

"We believe in God the Eternal Father and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost."-1st Article of Faith of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Joseph Smith, the founder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, was once asked about the basic beliefs of the LDS church in a letter. In his response he outlined 13 key doctrines. Today, those doctrines are known as the Articles of Faith. Primary children (ages 4-12) memorize the Articles of Faith and then continue to discuss them and seek to understand them throughout the rest of their lives.

The First Article of Faith of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints reads, "We believe in God the Eternal Father, and in His son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost."

Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, known as Mormons, do not believe in a Trinity. Instead, they believe in a Godhead comprised of 3 distinct beings that are united in purpose: God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost.

Mormons believe God and Jesus Christ have bodies of flesh and bones. They believe that Jesus lived on this earth as Jesus of Nazareth in the meridian of time, lived a perfect life, and suffered for all mankind's sins, in order to overcome death, sin and hell and fulfill the law of justice. They also believe that because Jesus suffered for their sins, if they strive to be obedient to His commandments, the law of mercy will be applied to them and they can be saved and eventually become like God. This is stated in the Church's Third Article of Faith, "We believe that through the atonement of Christ all mankind may be saved by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the gospel."

Church Official Answers the Question About Whether or Not Mormons Are Christians

The LDS Church's Recent Easter Campaign on Social Media

The following video was produced by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to celebrate Easter 2015 and the miracle that Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God, lives today. The Church also launched a media campaign in which members and non-members alike use the hashtag #BecauseHeLives to share how the miracle of the atonement and resurrection effects their lives. To see examples of how Jesus has blessed the lives of millions of people world wide, simply search the hashtag on facebook.

#BecauseHeLives- the Importance of the Life of Jesus

A Recent Address By a Church Leader on Official LDS Doctrine about Jesus Christ, the Savior and Redeemer of the World

The video above is an address by Elder Hales of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ explaining mormon belief in the life and ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Faith and Works

Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believe that salvation comes through faith in the grace of the atonement of Jesus Christ. However, we also believe that that grace cannot change us unless we are willing to do the works commanded us and be obedient. If grace were to force us to be changed into the kind of creatures that can live with God without action on our part, our agency would be violated and God would cease to be God.

Further, Latter-day Saints believe that those who have faith in God and His plan will come to love Him. The reverse is also true, as we come to love God and His infinite goodness, our faith in Him will grow and we will realize we are ultimately dependent on Him for all things. As this mighty change, called conversion, occurs, we will have a stronger desire to do His will and keep His commandments. Obedience to His commands, or works, are how we demonstrate our faith in Him and our love for Him. Because of this, faith and works are inseparably connected. Both are essential to our salvation.

Jesus Christ Appeared to Joseph Smith, the Founder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the only church on the earth today that is organized like the church that Jesus organized during his ministry. After Christ's resurrection and ascension, the apostles were killed and the proper authority, or priesthood, was lost from the earth. This resulted in a period of apostasy, known as the Great Apostasy.

In the Spring of 1820, during the religious revivals in the New England area. Joseph Smith, a 14 year old boy, was trying to determine which church to join. He was reading in the bible one day and read across James 1:5 which encourages man to pray if they lack wisdom. Joseph decided to do so and a glorious vision was opened to him. He saw God the Father and Jesus Christ. God called him by name and commanded him to listen to His son, Jesus Christ. Christ then explained that the priesthood was no longer on the earth. He also explained that Joseph was not to join any existing church, but instead would be instrumental in re-organizing the church that existed when Christ lived on earth in the meridian of time. This event is known as the first vision among Mormons. Joseph's explanation of the event is available here in verses 7-19.

Jesus Christ appeared to Joseph Smith-the founder of the LDS religion

President Gordon B. Hinckley-President of The Church when "The Living Christ" was Published in 2000

President Gordon B. Hinckley was president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints when "the Living Christ-The Testimony of the Apostles-The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints" was published.
President Gordon B. Hinckley was president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints when "the Living Christ-The Testimony of the Apostles-The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints" was published. | Source

The Living Christ-the Testimony and Teachings of the Leadership of the Church about Jesus Christ

In 2000, the First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles published "The Living Christ-A Testimony of the Apostles." It's available here.

As this document states, members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believe in Jesus of Nazareth. They believe that He created our world under the direction of God, our Father. They believe that He was born in Bethlehem, suffered in Gethsemane for the sins and pains of the world and died on Calvary. They believe that salvation is only available through obedience to His teachings and strive to emulate His example. And, they look forward to His second coming at the last days.

Mormons join with the rest of the Christian community in worshiping and loving Jesus of Nazareth as the Christ, Savior and Redeemer of the world.

The Book of Mormon-Another Testament of Jesus Christ

The Book of Mormon-A Second Witness of Jesus Christ

Members of the Church of Jesus Christ believe the Bible to be the word of God. They believe that parts of it may have been lost and some of the text changed in translations, both intentionally and unintentionally, but they believe that in its original form, the bible was the pure word of God. This is stated in the Church's 8th article of faith, "We believe the bible to be the word of God, as far as it is translated correctly..." Members are encouraged to read the bible available today and to abide by its principles.

The remainder of the Church's 8th article of faith reads, "we also believe the Book of Mormon to be the Word of God." Mormon's belief in the Book of Mormon is not intended to diminish the value of the bible. Members study and seek to live by the principles in both the Book of Mormon and the Old Testament. The Book of Mormon is an additional witness of Jesus Christ.

The Book of Mormon is the record of the Nephites, a people that descended from Lehi, a prophet who fled from Jerusalem just before Jerusalem was destroyed by the Babylonians. Lehi and his family left Jerusalem and came to the Americas during the first year of the reign of Zedekiah, final King of Judah, when Lehi's life was threatened for foretelling the downfall of Judah if the people didn't repent and change their ways. The principal event recorded in the Book of Mormon is Christ's post-resurrection ministry to the Nephites on the American continent.


Objections to Mormons Being Christians

The Bible, the Old Testament, or Hebrew Bible, and the New Testament, are clear that Christians are to worship one God. They are to put God before all else because putting anything before God keeps us from aligning our wills with His and keeps Him from perfecting us.

Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints follow this divine mandate. We believe that His son, our spirit brother, Jesus Christ is one in purpose with God, but is a distinct and separate being from God. We reverence Him as our Savior and Redeemer and believe that He helped create the earth under the direction of God, our Father. We worship God, our Eternal Father, the creator of our spirit bodies, and hope to live worthy of returning to God's presence through the mercy and grace of Jesus' atonement and obedience to God's laws.

There is no contradiction here, between the mandate to worship Jehovah, the Lord God, and no other Gods, and the doctrine of the Godhead, because both God and Jesus are perfect and they are perfectly united in purpose, attitude, action and belief. By knowing one you can come to know the other. By aligning yourself with one, you are aligning yourself with the other. By worshiping one you are worshiping the other.

Although we do not believe that God the Father, His Son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost are one physical entity, as stated in the doctrine of the trinity, we do believe that they are perfectly united in thought, attitude, desire, and purpose. We do not believe they are one physical being, but we do believe they are unified as if they were one.

Additional Questions

Further questions can be left in the comments and the author will respond to the best of her ability or they can be taken to the church's official website at lds.org. If you would like to talk to a missionary of the church about the church's beliefs, please see mormon.org.

So, Are Mormons Christians?

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Comments

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    • kbdressman profile imageAUTHOR

      kbdressman 

      3 years ago from Harlem, New York

      I'm glad you enjoyed it Perspycacious! It was particularly enjoyable to write!

    • Perspycacious profile image

      Demas W Jasper 

      3 years ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

      This was a beautiful presentation of the beliefs of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and so fitting for this Easter season when I had the chance to read and listen. Thanks.

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