Guess Who?

Members of the LDS Church are familiar with the charge that Mormonism isn't a Christian faith. They hear it often enough, but they really don't understand why people think that. "We are Christians," Mormon President Gordon B. Hinckley insisted. "We have the name of Jesus Christ right in the name of our Church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We follow Christ. We worship Him. We love Him. He is the center of all we do"("Inspirational Thoughts," Liahona, June 1999, 3; 2 Nephi 25:24-29).

In the summer of 2005 we asked Mormons in Nauvoo, Illinois to take a quiz we called "Guess Who?" The quiz consisted of 15 relatively recent statements made by LDS leaders; we asked the participants to see if they could determine who their Church leaders were talking about. We invite you to take the same quiz. The answers will be at the end; see if you can do this without scrolling down for the answers.

  1. His teachings "are the foundation of our faith. Everything we have is a lengthened shadow of [him]."
  2. "I pray we may learn from his example, that we might incorporate into our lives the great principles which he so beautifully taught; that we ourselves might emulate him;..."
  3. "I honor and revere [his] name... I delight to hear it; I love it. I love his doctrine... I am his witness."
  4. "He died for those he loved. He reigns in the realms above."
  5. "The more I learn of him, the more I love and revere him."
  6. "I look to him. I love him. I seek to follow him."
  7. "He not only gave us joy, happiness and opportunity here, but also a great hope in the life to come."
  8. "Today, this Sabbath day, in many thousands of congregations, perhaps as many as twenty-one thousand, in many areas of the earth, our people have sung or will sing the praises of [him]."
  9. "Of noble seed, of heavenly birth, he came to bless the sons of earth."
  10. He was "a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief."
  11. "Church members are interested in learning more about [him] because they love him and they love the gospel he brought forth."
  12. "How great indeed is our debt to him. ...Great is his glory,... We stand in reverence before him... Let us not forget him. Let not his memory be forgotten in the celebration of Christmas."
  13. "...and he shall stand in due time on the earth, in the flesh, and fulfill that to which he is appointed."
  14. "The light, provided to the world by [him], illuminates the confusion, clarifies the principles of the gospel, and helps lead men and women to their own eternal reward, if they will but endure to the end."
  15. The "work that has been carried out by President Young and his brethren [of the Twelve] has been in accordance with the plans, and designs, and Spirit, and instructions of [him]."

How did you do?

If you thought these statements were about Jesus—the One Mormons claim to worship and adore, the One they say is the center of all they do—you are incorrect. In each statement above, the speaker was talking about Joseph Smith.

Quotes with References

  1. His teachings "are the foundation of our faith. Everything we have is a lengthened shadow of [him]." (15th President Gordon B. Hinckley, Church News, 3/19/2005, p.3.)
  2. "I pray we may learn from his example, that we might incorporate into our lives the great principles which he so beautifully taught; that we ourselves might emulate him;..." (Thomas Monson (First Presidency), Ensign, 6/1994, p.7.)
  3. "I honor and revere [his] name... I delight to hear it; I love it. I love his doctrine... I am his witness." (2nd President Brigham Young, quoted in Ensign, 1/1996, p.7.)
  4. "He died for those he loved. He reigns in the realms above." (3rd President John Taylor, Hymns #296, "The Seer, Joseph, The Seer." While this hymn was written in the 18th century, it is still in use as evidenced by its performance by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir during the 175th Semi-Annual General Conference of the LDS Church in October, 2005.)
  5. "The more I learn of him, the more I love and revere him." (Apostle Joseph B. Wirthlin, Church News, 2/19/2005, p.5.)
  6. "I look to him. I love him. I seek to follow him." (15th Gordon B. Hinckley, Church News, 12/13/2003, p.3.)
  7. "He not only gave us joy, happiness and opportunity here, but also a great hope in the life to come." (Apostle L. Tom Perry, Church News, 7/3/1993, p.4.)
  8. "Today, this Sabbath day, in many thousands of congregations, perhaps as many as twenty-one thousand, in many areas of the earth, our people have sung or will sing the praises of [him]." (15th President Gordon B. Hinckley, Ensign, 9/1994, p.62.)
  9. "Of noble seed, of heavenly birth, he came to bless the sons of earth." (John Taylor, Hymns #296, "The Seer, Joseph, The Seer.")
  10. He was "a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief." (BYU Professor Robert Millet, Ensign, 9/1994, p.19.)
  11. "Church members are interested in learning more about [him] because they love him and they love the gospel he brought forth." (LDS Church Historian Glen M. Leonard, Church News, 12/6/1997, p.4.)
  12. "How great indeed is our debt to him. ...Great is his glory,... We stand in reverence before him... Let us not forget him. Let not his memory be forgotten in the celebration of Christmas." (15th President Gordon B. Hinckley, Ensign, 12/1997, p.2.)
  13. "...and he shall stand in due time on the earth, in the flesh, and fulfill that to which he is appointed." (Church News, 7/19/1994, p.5.)
  14. "The light, provided to the world by [him], illuminates the confusion, clarifies the principles of the gospel, and helps lead men and women to their own eternal reward, if they will but endure to the end." (Church News, 12/13/1997, p.16.)
  15. The "work that has been carried out by President Young and his brethren [of the Twelve] has been in accordance with the plans, and designs, and Spirit, and instructions of [him]." (George A. Smith (First Presidency), quoted in Church News, 12/20/1997, p.7.)