Are Mormons Christian?

Hear the 9-part Viewpoint on Mormonism shows on this topic:

Part 1   Part 2   Part 3   Part 4   Part 5   Part 6   Part 7   Part 8   Part 9


By Eric Johnson

While the topic has been discussed at length over the years, the idea that Mormons are Christian continues to be argued by many Latter-day Saints. In 1991, BYU professor Stephen E. Robinson explained why he thought the answer is yes in his book Are Mormons Christians? In the first chapter of our new book Answering Mormons’ Questions (Kregel, 2013), we explain why the answer is no. The following essay was published in January 2014 under the Gospel Topics section on the LDS Church website. Allow me a chance to respond, with the original full article underlined and my response following.

Are Mormons Christian?

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints unequivocally affirm themselves to be Christians.

Many Latter-day Saints today are easily offended when their claim to Christianity is challenged. Perhaps they think their character or conduct is being judged. Please don’t hear me say that because I don’t call Mormonism “Christianity” that somehow I think Mormons are bad people. Morally, they’re among the best I know. But being a good person is not what I mean when I use the term Christianity. While there are many noble, moral Latter-day Saints who are striving to live exemplary lives, we must recognize that more than just semantics or minor disagreements exist between Mormonism and Christianity. Because there is such confusion in calling two polar opposite philosophies “Christian,” we think it is wiser for followers to be called a unique name. Since there is a “Mormon Tabernacle Choir” and the “I am a Mormon” campaign, would it be OK just to call Latter-day Saints “Mormons” and not Christian?

They worship God the Eternal Father in the name of Jesus Christ.

The very idea that LDS Church founder Joseph Smith (1805–1844) claimed he was told by God the Father and Jesus in the First Vision account that all the churches were “wrong” should show those outside the LDS Church that Mormonism does not view itself as just another Christian denomination. Just who is the God of Mormonism? And can God really be considered the “Eternal Father” if there was a time when He was not God? Is it really possible that God was once a sinner, which is the only logical conclusion if God the Father died?

When asked what the Latter-day Saints believe, Joseph Smith put Christ at the center: “The fundamental principles of our religion is the testimony of the apostles and prophets concerning Jesus Christ, ‘that he died, was buried, and rose again the third day, and ascended up into heaven;’ and all other things are only appendages to these, which pertain to our religion.” The modern-day Quorum of the Twelve Apostles reaffirmed that testimony when they proclaimed, “Jesus is the Living Christ, the immortal Son of God. … His way is the path that leads to happiness in this life and eternal life in the world to come.”

According to Mormonism, the Jesus that is taught in Mormonism is different than what is written in the Bible. For instance, the Mormon Jesus is the spirit brother of Lucifer who was not always God. The “Virgin Birth” of Mormonism is quite unique as well. Suppose I said, “Let me tell you about President Obama. He is a coal miner in Tennessee who has five children and loves to fish.” Would you think I was describing the President of the United States? Or could I either be completely misinformed or even talking about another person? In the same way, the Jesus of Mormonism is unique unto itself. Because Paul warned against accepting just any old Jesus in 2 Corinthians 11:4, we beg to differ that the Christ the LDS organization puts in the “center” is authentic. Thus, we believe this Jesus ought to be rejected.

In recent decades, however, some have claimed that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is not a Christian church. The most oft-used reasons are the following:

Latter-day Saints do not accept the creeds, confessions, and formulations of post–New Testament Christianity.

This is called a straw man. I have never heard a reputable Christian claim this is a reason to reject Mormonism as Christianity. However, if the “creeds” and “confessions” accurately represent the historical biblical position, then they should be accepted. Mormonism is the “Johnny-come-lately” and will need to explain why its interpretation ought to be accepted over the historical position.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints does not descend through the historical line of traditional Christianity. That is, Latter-day Saints are not Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, or Protestant.

Nobody ever claimed they were. They are, in essence, a unique religion, very different from these other religions.

Latter-day Saints do not believe scripture consists of the Holy Bible alone but have an expanded canon of scripture that includes the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price.

No other “Christian” church or denomination accepts these “latter-day” scriptures. If these are to be accepted as true, then the Mormon needs to explain why they are authentic, especially if there are so many problems. For some problems, see our website page dealing with these unique scriptures.

Each of these is examined below.

Latter-day Saints Do Not Accept the Creeds of Post–New Testament Christianity

Scholars have long acknowledged that the view of God held by the earliest Christians changed dramatically over the course of centuries. Early Christian views of God were more personal, more anthropomorphic, and less abstract than those that emerged later from the creeds written over the next several hundred years. The key ideological shift that began in the second century A.D., after the loss of apostolic authority, resulted from a conceptual merger of Christian doctrine with Greek philosophy.

This is utter nonsense. No support is provided to show how earlier worship in the times of the Bible evolved.

In 1947, a shepherd boy stumbled upon the first cave that contained what was later known as the Dead Sea Scrolls. Inside this cave were two copies of the Old Testament book of Isaiah, dating to before the time of Jesus. In fact, the earliest copy we had before (the Masoretic text) was dated the 10th century AD. It would seem that this would help us understand if the Bible we had was transmitted correctly. Using this, allow me to quote from the English translation of the Dead Sea Scrolls:

Isaiah 43:10: You are my witnesses, says YHWH, and my servant whom I have chosen: so that you may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, nor after me will there be.

Isaiah 44:6-8:  Thus says YHWH the King of Israel, and his Redeemer YHWH of hosts [+is his name]; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God. . . . you are my witnesses. Is there a God beside me? There is no god of stone that I know.

Isaiah 45:5-7:  I am YHWH, and there is no one else, and beside me there is no God I girded you, and you did not know me: So that they will know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am YHWH, and there is no one else.

Meanwhile, we have almost 6,000 Greek manuscripts of the Koine Greek of the New Testament and 24,000 total manuscripts. We have pieces of the Bible going back to the second century, with complete manuscripts as early as the fourth century. The Mormon must show how there was a loss of apostolic authority and how there was a “merger” with Greek philosophy.

But the Mormon scholar must not only show that Christianity merged with the Greeks. If they want to present a case for their own religion, they must show in “former-day” Christianity where doctrines similar to theirs were taught. They must produce evidence that it was once believed that God is comprised of a body of flesh and bones and that he once existed in another world. They must explain that the temple contained ordinances similar to theirs, including secret handshakes and baptisms for those already dead. And they must present evidence that people (other than the Levites) could hold the priesthood. In fact, there are a host of other issues that must be thoroughly explained to show that Mormonism is closer to the original than Christianity. One cannot merely claim that there were a number of changes without doing this second part.

As Aaron Shafovaloff has stated, “If all their creeds are an abomination, why is much of the Nicene Creed to be found in D&C 20:17-28?” Good question. In addition, Sharon Lindbloom writes this thought-provoking blog article here.

Latter-day Saints believe the melding of early Christian theology with Greek philosophy was a grave error. Chief among the doctrines lost in this process was the nature of the Godhead. The true nature of God the Father, His Son, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost was restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith.

Which version of Joseph Smith’s teaching ought we to accept when it comes to the Godhead. The earlier version according to the Book of Mormon claimed:

  • God was only one God (Alma 11:26-29; 2 Nephi 31:21; Mosiah 13:34, 15:1-4; Alma 11:44; 3 Nephi 11:27, 36; Mormon 7:7)
  • God is unchangeable and eternal progression is impossible (Mos. 3:5; 3 Nephi 24:6; Mormon 9:9-10; Mormon 9:19; Moroni 7:22, 8:18)
  • God is a spirit and could not be a glorified man (Alma 18:2-5, 18:24-28, 22:9-11)

Or should we accept the later version, as taught by Joseph Smith in the last couple years of his life?

  • “I wish to declare I have always and in all congregations when I have preached on the subject of the Deity, it has been the plurality of Gods” (History of the Church 6:474).
  • “God himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted man, and sits enthroned in yonder heavens!” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pg. 345).
  • “We have imagined and supposed that God was God from all eternity. I will refute that idea, and take away the veil, so that you may see” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pg. 345).
  • “The Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man’s” (D&C 130:22).
  • “The idea that the Father and the Son dwell in a man’s heart is an old sectarian notion, and is false” (D&C 130:3. Oddly enough, the Book of Mormon teaches the Lord does dwell in the hearts of the righteous. See Alma 34:36).

If any religion has gone through changes from the original, Mormonism is surely the candidate!

As a consequence, Latter-day Saints hold that God the Father is an embodied being, a belief consistent with the attributes ascribed to God by many early Christians. This Latter-day Saint belief differs from the post-New Testament creeds.

No supporting evidence is given to support such a claim.

Whatever the doctrinal differences that exist between the Latter-day Saints and members of other Christian religions, the roles Latter-day Saints ascribe to members of the Godhead largely correspond with the views of others in the Christian world. Latter-day Saints believe that God is omnipotent,

Bill Mckeever writes:

Mormons believe they will always be subservient to their God, so too it would make sense that their God is subservient to his God as well. It would also makes sense that if the LDS God is the offspring of another God, then his God must be more advanced in his eternal progression than the God whom Mormons claim to serve.

Mormon author W. Cleon Skousen stated that God is God only because another force sustains him as such. He wrote, “Through modern revelation we learn that the universe is filled with vast numbers of intelligences, and we further learn that Elohim is God simply because all of these intelligences honor and sustain Him as such…since God ‘acquired’ the honor and sustaining influence of ‘all things’ it follows as a corollary that if He should ever do anything to violate the confidence or ‘sense of justice’ of these intelligences, they would promptly withdraw their support, and the ‘power’ of God would disintegrate…’He would cease to be God'” (The First 2,000 Years, pp. 355-356).

That the LDS God would have to answer to anyone clearly shows he is not omnipotent. Some Mormons insist his omnipotence lies in the fact that he has unlimited power, not all power. This too is inconsistent with Mormon thought since the God of Mormonism has no ability to create ex-nihilo, or out of nothing. The God of Mormonism is limited to only being able to reorganize matter.

omniscient,

Sharon Lindbloom writes on Mormon Coffee:

Mormonism entertains conflicting views regarding God’s omniscience. Fourth LDS Prophet Wilford Woodruff, for example, taught that

“GOD IS INCREASING IN KNOWLEDGE. If there was a point where man in his progression could not proceed any further, the very idea would throw a gloom over every intelligent and reflecting mind. God Himself is increasing and progressing in knowledge, power, and dominion, and will do so, worlds without end.” (The Discourses of Wilford Woodruff, 3)

But another LDS Prophet taught,

“It seems very strange to me that members of the Church will hold to the doctrine, ‘God increases in knowledge as time goes on.’… Where has the Lord ever revealed to us that he is lacking in knowledge? That he is still learning new truth; discovering new laws that are unknown to him? I think this kind of doctrine is very dangerous.” (Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, 1:7-8)

In February (2010) the blog Mormon Matters took a poll of its readers asking “Is God Still Progressing?” Eighty-two percent of the respondents said they believe God is still learning and progressing.

The question of God’s omniscience was addressed at the LDS FAQ section of the BYU website.

Q. How can God be all-knowing and still progress eternally?”

The supplied answer might not be as helpful as some “confused students” may hope.

A. An article by James R. Harris [BYU Studies] explains that some students have been confused by apparently conflicting statements made by early Church leaders about God’s omniscience on the one hand and his ability to grow in knowledge and glory on the other. These leaders recognized that God could somehow grow in knowledge and at the same time experience no deficiency in his knowledge, being, in fact, a possessor of all knowledge. God’s foreknowledge spans all of man’s experience (premortal, mortal, post-mortal, and immortal) and man’s end (his final condition as an individual) is known by God, ‘from the beginning.’ This foreknowledge may have come as a result of God’s long observation of his children through premortal ages or eons, or it may come as a result of the celestial globe where God resides and where things past, present, and future are continually before the Lord. In this sense, God’s knowledge is perfect. Eternal progression, like eternal life, may represent a quality of experience and not exclusively a duration of experience. The mind of our God is in constant and perfect union with all that is divine throughout the immensity of space. Our Lord, Jesus Christ, has the character of a God and under the law of consecration, he is the possessor of all things. All that God possesses in wisdom, knowledge, and power, are his through a union of property among all Exalted Fathers. Thus, as the Lord moves to ever higher degrees of exaltation, a constant flow of knowledge and power will be called forth from what Harris calls the ‘Grand Union of Divine Minds.’ Harris suggests that while God is progressing in knowledge, there is never a practical deficiency in his knowledge because of his immediate access to the experience and knowledge of all divine beings.”

Joel Groat at Institute for Religious Research’s Facebook page observed that this BYU Studies answer

“Makes clear two things: 1. When it comes to God in Mormonism there is not just one and only one unique divine being (historic, biblical Judaism and Christianity), and 2. Unlike the God of the Bible, the God of Mormonism is dependent on other divine beings (Exalted Fathers) for his omniscience and omnipotence.”

and all-loving,

While Mormons might say their God is “all-loving” and point to the LDS rejection of hell, one must ask, Why did God kick one-third of his children out of pre-existence, never to be given the chance to have a body, based on one error in judgment (choosing Lucifer over Jesus)? While their version of hell (outer darkness) might be impossible to ever attain, a good number of souls will never have the chance to experience one of the three kingdoms.

and they pray to Him in the name of Jesus Christ.

If the Jesus to whom they pray is different than the One described in the Bible, is this false belief adequate for a person to be labeled “Christian”?

They acknowledge the Father as the ultimate object of their worship, the Son as Lord and Redeemer, and the Holy Spirit as the messenger and revealer of the Father and the Son. In short, Latter-day Saints do not accept the post-New-Testament creeds yet rely deeply on each member of the Godhead in their daily religious devotion and worship, as did the early Christians.

Yet LDS definitions deny and distort the fundamental and historical teachings of these Christian teachings.

Latter-day Saints Believe in a Restored Christianity

Another premise used in arguing that Latter-day Saints are not Christians is that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints does not descend from the traditional line of today’s Christian churches: Latter-day Saints are not Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, or Protestant. Latter-day Saints believe that by the ministering of angels to Joseph Smith priesthood authority to act in God’s name was returned or brought back to earth. This is the “restored,” not a “reformed,” church of Jesus Christ. The Latter-day Saint belief in a restored Christianity helps explain why so many Latter-day Saints, from the 1830s to the present, have converted from other Christian denominations. These converts did not, and do not, perceive themselves as leaving the Christian fold; they are simply grateful to learn about and become part of the restored Church of Jesus Christ, which they believe offers the fulness of the Lord’s gospel, a more complete and rich Christian church—spiritually, organizationally, and doctrinally.

“More complete” church? A church manual written specifically to instruct Mormon missionaries defines the differences between Mormonism and Christianity in a section describing the gift of the Holy Ghost uses language that is more honest:

“The priesthood authority needed to perform this ordinance, which was lost centuries ago through apostasy, was restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith. Only through membership in the Church can one receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. This authority makes the Church different from any other religion in the world. By the Lord’s own declaration, it is ‘the only true and living church upon the face of the whole earth’ (D&C 1:30).” (Preach My Gospel, 65)

Saying that his church “accepts many of the same biblical doctrines as other Christian churches,” apologist Gilbert Scharffs explained in a book used by Mormon missionaries that “the LDS Church also believes in numerous biblical concepts changed or forgotten by many Christian denominations, which could arguably make the LDS Church more Christian than other Christians.” (The Missionary’s Little Book of Answers, 10) This is more than just a “more complete church.”

While Mormons may say their church has never criticized other churches, this is just inaccurate. Check out this article to see a number of quotes where the leadership blasted Christianity.  To claim that your church is the “only true and living church upon the face of the whole earth” shows that all others are lacking in authority. Indeed, according to LDS leaders, the Mormon Church is, by itself, the only true church. As sixth President Joseph F. Smith explained,

“…for I contend that the Latter-day Saints are the only good and true Christians, that I know anything about in the world. There are a good many people who profess to be Christians, but they are not founded on the foundation that Jesus Christ himself has laid” (Joseph F. Smith, November 2, 1891, [Stake conference message], Collected Discourses, 2:305. Ellipses mine).

According to LDS apostle Bruce R. McConkie,

“Mormons are true Christians; their worship is the pure, unadulterated Christianity authored by Christ and accepted by Peter, James, and John and all the ancient saints” (Mormon Doctrine, 1966, p. 513).

 President Spencer W. Kimball explained,

“Latter-day Saints are true Christians. …We are the true followers of Jesus Christ; and we hope the world will finally come to the conclusion that we are Christians, if there are any in the world” (The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, pg. 434.).

15th President Gordon B. Hinckley

“They [Mormons] are generally classed as Protestants, since they are not Catholic. Actually they are no closer to Protestantism than they are to Catholicism. Neither historically nor on the basis of modern association, theology, or practice can they be grouped with either. …Suffice it to say that its theology, its organization, and its practices are in many respects entirely unique among today’s Christian denominations” (Gordon B. Hinckley, What of the Mormons? a non-paginated tract, 1976. Brackets and ellipses mine).

“Mormons are true Christians; their worship is the pure, unadulterated Christianity authored by Christ and accepted by Peter, James, and John and all the ancient saints” (Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 1966, p. 513).

President Gordon B. Hinckley:

“They [Mormons] are generally classed as Protestants, since they are not Catholic. Actually they are no closer to Protestantism than they are to Catholicism. Neither historically nor on the basis of modern association, theology, or practice can they be grouped with either. …Suffice it to say that its theology, its organization, and its practices are in many respects entirely unique among today’s Christian denominations” (Gordon B. Hinckley, What of the Mormons? a non-paginated tract, 1976. Brackets and ellipses mine).

Apostle Dallin Oaks made it very clear that other “Christians” needed to be evangelized:

“The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has many beliefs in common with other Christian churches. But we have differ­ences, and those differences explain why we send missionaries to other Christians…” (Dallin Oaks, “Apostasy and Restoration,” En­sign (Conference Edition), May 1995, p. 84).

Princeton theologian B. B. Warfield declared,

“People who set upon calling unchristian things Christian are simply washing all meaning out of the name. If everything that is called Christianity in these days is Christianity, then there is no such thing as Christianity. A name applied indiscriminately to everything, designates nothing.”

Members of creedal churches often mistakenly assume that all Christians have always agreed and must agree on a historically static, monolithic collection of beliefs. As many scholars have acknowledged, however, Christians have vigorously disagreed about virtually every issue of theology and practice through the centuries, leading to the creation of a multitude of Christian denominations. Although the doctrine of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints differs from that of the many creedal Christian churches, it is consistent with early Christianity. One who sincerely loves, worships, and follows Christ should be free to claim his or her understanding of the doctrine according to the dictates of his or her conscience without being branded as non-Christian.

Mormon leaders are free to claim that their church “is consistent with early Christianity,” but evidence needs to be provided. And when exactly did the early church move into apostasy? If soon after the death of the apostles, then this means Christianity was dead by AD 100. The question is, what does it mean “early Christianity”?

There are certainly differences within today’s denominations on the peripheral (side) issues. But there is a general agreement on the essential issues. Denominations do not negate the Christian faith.

Latter-day Saints Believe in an Open Canon

A third justification argued to label Latter-day Saints as non-Christian has to do with their belief in an open scriptural canon. For those making this argument, to be a Christian means to assent to the principle of sola scriptura, or the self-sufficiency of the Bible. But to claim that the Bible is the sole and final word of God—more specifically, the final written word of God—is to claim more for the Bible than it claims for itself. Nowhere does the Bible proclaim that all revelations from God would be gathered into a single volume to be forever closed and that no further scriptural revelation could be received.

If additional scripture is needed, then it begs the question why the Mormon scriptures ought to also be considered. However, too much must be assumed to accept these books. We must assume Joseph Smith:

  • really was a prophet of God
  • could read “reformed Egyptian
  • lost books such as those written by Abraham and Moses were recovered and then translated by Smith.
  • had the ability to talk directly with God and receive “scripture” (D&C), including words that clearly contradict the Bible, such as the idea that God the Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man’s (D&C 130:22).

However, there are just too many holes in accepting these items. For example, there is no evidence that Smith had the ability to translate ancient manuscripts into English. For example, there have been many problems reconciling Smith’s “translation” of the Book of Abraham. Set aside an hour and watch the video The Lost Book of Abraham here.

Moreover, not all Christian churches are certain that Christianity must be defined by commitment to a closed canon. In truth, the argument for exclusion by closed canon appears to be used selectively to exclude the Latter-day Saints from being called Christian. No branch of Christianity limits itself entirely to the biblical text in making doctrinal decisions and in applying biblical principles. Roman Catholics, for example, turn to church tradition and the magisterium (meaning teachers, including popes and councils) for answers. Protestants, particularly evangelicals, turn to linguists and scripture scholars for their answers, as well as to post–New Testament church councils and creeds. For many Christians, these councils and creeds are every bit as canonical as the Bible itself. To establish doctrine and to understand the biblical text, Latter-day Saints turn to living prophets and to additional books of scripture—the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and Pearl of Great Price.

We must understand that Evangelical Christians don’t hold that “these councils and creeds are every bit as canonical as the Bible itself.” Rather, these creeds are shadows of the original rather than the source. As far as having an open or closed canon (can scripture be written today), what does it matter? The Christian doesn’t need to argue for either; instead, he or she only needs to point to Smith’s works (such as the Book of Mormon or the Book of Abraham) and say, Prove that these are scripture. For another look at this topic, go here.

Together with the Old and New Testaments, the Book of Mormon supports an unequivocal testimony of Jesus Christ. One passage says that the Book of Mormon “shall establish the truth” of the Bible “and shall make known to all kindreds, tongues, and people, that the Lamb of God is the Son of the Eternal Father, and the Savior of the world; and that all men must come unto him, or they cannot be saved.” In its more than six thousand verses, the Book of Mormon refers to Jesus Christ almost four thousand times and by over one hundred different names: “Jehovah,” “Immanuel,” “Holy Messiah,” “Lamb of God,” “Redeemer of Israel,” and so on. The Book of Mormon is indeed “Another Testament of Jesus Christ,” as its title page proclaims.

The statement “that the Book of Mormon ‘shall estalbish the truth’ of the Bible” seems to undermine the previous paragraph. And well and good, the Book of Mormon might mention Christ’s name 4,000 times, but does it teach the same Jesus of the Bible? Or the same Jesus of modern Mormonism? Just because a book speaks of Christ one time or 4,000 times does not mean it ought to be accepted as true. If so, then should the Muslim’s Qu’ran be accepted because it also has Jesus’s name throughout its pages.

Conclusion

Converts across the world continue to join The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in part because of its doctrinal and spiritual distinctiveness. That distinctiveness flows from the knowledge restored to this earth, together with the power of the Holy Ghost present in the Church because of restored priesthood authority, keys, ordinances, and the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ. The fruits of the restored gospel are evident in the lives of its faithful members.

If people are joining the LDS Church because of its “distinctiveness,” then we would advise the leadership not to attempt to confuse people by being called “Christian.” Make yourselves distinctive by making it clear that you are “Mormons” and are not like those calling themselves “Christian.” In addition, there are many good people across the world who belong to different religions. To say that “the fruits of the restored gospel are evident in the lives of its faithful members” does not prove that Mormonism should be considered “Christian.”

While members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have no desire to compromise the distinctiveness of the restored Church of Jesus Christ, they wish to work together with other Christians—and people of all faiths—to recognize and remedy many of the moral and family issues faced by society. The Christian conversation is richer for what the Latter-day Saints bring to the table. There is no good reason for Christian faiths to ostracize each other when there has never been more urgent need for unity in proclaiming the divinity and teachings of Jesus Christ.

Ending this article, the author moves completely off the issue (Are Mormons Christian?) and makes a plea for working together for moral issues. This is a non sequitur. Who says that Christians can’t or won’t work with others, including Mormons, on political or societal issues? This isn’t the point. But to say that there can be “unity in proclaiming the divinity and teachings of Jesus Christ” is fallacious thinking. If Mormonism and Christianity are not teaching the same essential issues, there can’t be unity. In other words, Mormonism should not be called Christianity and Christianity should not be called Mormonism. Just as I would never call myself a Mormon—a word that has a certain meaning to it—I as a Christian ask my Mormon friends to refrain from saying they are Christian. It’s OK to have differences. So let’s acknowledge them and be OK in the differences of our theology.

In conclusion, the question raised in this essay is “Are Mormons Christian?” As we have shown, the better question is “Is Mormonism Christian?” And the answer is definitely no.


For more responses to the Gospel Topics Essays, click here.