Before discussing whether or not Mormons are Christians, it is important to know what a Mormon is. The name itself is probably confusing to people. When my mother, a catholic at the time, was engaged to my father, her parents wrote to her relatives in New Hampshire and told them that she was marrying a Mormon. Her relatives wrote back asking, “What kind of Moron is she marrying?” I think this shows that there are many who have never heard of the religion and still others who do not know who, what, or where a Mormon is. With that in mind let me explain.
The official name of the Mormon Church is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (heretofore ‘the Church’). The term Mormon was actually a nickname spoken of in a derogatory manner by enemies of the Church . Early opponents of the Church took the term from the Book of Mormon and disparagingly used it to refer to anyone who had accepted Joseph Smith and The Book of Mormon. Mormon was the ancient prophet who compiled the record which makes up what is now known as The Book of Mormon. Because he is a person of honor to members of the Church, it was a name that they graciously accepted. However, it is important to recognize the Church’s true and correct name, for it contains where the devotion of its members is truly directed.
Mormons accept Jesus Christ as the literal Son of God and as their personal Savior and Redeemer. They believe that it is only in and through Him that they can be forgiven of their sins and thereby be worthy to live in the presence of God. He is the one and only way to gain eternal life and without Him there would be no hope of ever receiving such. They also believe that because of Jesus Christ’s willingness to lay down His life and then to take it up again, He has broken the bands of death and has thus provided a way for all mankind to be reunited with their bodies at the time of resurrection. This is a gift offered freely to all, rich and poor, black and white, good and evil. In addition, because of the atonement of Jesus Christ, all mankind is offered the opportunity to be forgiven of their sins and thus be worthy of eternal life. This gift is contingent upon one’s desire to accept it as witnessed by his willingness to accept Jesus Christ as his personal Savior and Redeemer and thus be willing to follow Him and to keep all of His commandments.
Although there are many who claim that Mormons are not Christian, I know that these beliefs, which are the most important doctrine within the Church, clearly show that Mormons are indeed Christian. We do not claim superiority over any other group or people. We are very imperfect human beings who strive to follow Jesus Christ but who consistently fall miserably short. We, nevertheless, press forward with a steadfastness and a hope in Christ believing that He can and will make up for all we cannot do for ourselves.
Please look for a future post on “What is The Book of Mormon?” In the meantime, Remember that 2 Plus 2 Doesn’t Always Equal 4 [And please take time to read my original post to understand Why the Title of this Blog? (Feb. 17, 2011)]