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Monday, February 20, 2012

Latter Day Saints

Are Mormons Christians?  During this campaigning for the Republican nomination for president, Mitt Romney's candidacy brings this question into the public arena.  It is likely that if you have a Mormon neighbor, friend or co-worker, this question has arisen (or now may soon arise).  Many Mormons (members of the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints) will say something like this: "We believe in Christ the same as you do."

They seem so clean cut and morally upstanding.  Their "Joe college" boys who ride their bicycles with white shirt and tie, including the neat,  crew cut hair, look like the decent kind of boy every parent would like to introduce to his/her daughter.  How can a church that represents itself with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir be anything but wholesome, heartland American?  How dare you call them a cult!  That is a vicious, judgmental accusation.  Isn't it arrogant to say you are Christian and they are not?

You need to know that the name calling began with Joseph Smith.  Mormons and members of any historic Christian denomination cannot both be Christians, and Joseph Smith himself demanded that we see it that way.  In the publication "Joseph Smith Tells His Own Story", he claims to have met God in the year 1820.  He said that God told him not to join any of the existing denominations, and that "all their creeds were an abomination in His sight."  This, of course, includes my creed, the Westminster Confession of Faith (1648).

If what I believe is an abomination in the sight of God, then there is no way we are both Christian.  Logically it is possible that all Christians up until 1820 were deceived and only Mormons are true Christians.  Or it is possible that Mormons are following a cleverly devised cult, and historic Christianity is indeed the Christian faith.  The one proposition that cannot be true is that "We believe in Christ the same as you."

The ambition of a good Mormon is to be god.  Shockingly identical with the luring words of Satan when he spoke to Eve in the garden.  "What we are now, God once was, and what God is now, we may become."  That is a mantra for striving Mormons.

For historic Christianity, Christ bore our sins in his own body on the cross, and He merited the righteousness that justifies us before God, and we receive that righteousness by faith, not by works.

For the Mormon, though it is said that Christ died for our sins, what they mean is that Christ undid the plight of original sin and set us on the path of earning our place in the highest heaven we can attain by our works.  How far you get is totally up to you, and based on just how good you can be.

That Christ died for our original sin in Adam is of little comparative value.  This is true because the sin of Adam was a "good" sin.  Mormon doctrine teaches that God allowed Adam to be put in a position that he had to choose to sin.  The first commandment God gave Adam was to multiply and replenish the earth.  The second command was not to eat of the forbidden fruit.  Since Eve had been tricked into eating the fruit, Adam had to choose between joining Eve so they could multiply, or refrain from eating the fruit and letting the world go on without increasing the population.  Mormons call Adam a good prophet because he made the right choice.  And the guilt incurred by that good choice is the only thing Christ removed by his suffering and death on the cross. (A Study of the Articles of Faith" by James E. Talmage, p. 65).

My point is simply this: the way of salvation is 180 degrees different between Mormonism and Christianity.

Now when it comes to politics, it may be true that in our pagan culture (of course our nation was never truly a Christian country) Christians may find a number of moral points of agreement with Romney.  It is conceivable that you will say this unbeliever (certainly that is what a cultist actually is) is preferable to other unbelievers who are candidates.

 It is not my desire to address that subject in this brief post.  Just don't be hoodwinked by the old hack that Mormons believe in Christ the same as other Christians.  Whatever else you want to believe, that cannot be so.


  1. Has the position of the Mormom church changed over the years, or do they still hold completely to the beliefs of Joseph Smith. Is there any reformed movement in the Mormon chruch. Even Presbyterians at one point got off track and if it weren't for folks like J. Gresham Machen, who knows how things might have been different. Perhaps there are reformers in the Mormon circle working to for a course correction of their faith. Perhaps it would be more like Martin Luther then Machen.....

  2. love how you broke that down.