The Hard Questions Part 2: Are Mormons Christians: Trinity, Cult or not, why don’t we use crosses, worship different Jesus, Church history misunderstandings

Are Mormons Christians:

http://makinglifeablisscomplete.blogspot.com/2014/05/are-mormons-christians-question-that.html

Why Mormons don’t wear crosses:

https://www.lds.org/new-era/1996/09/qa-questions-and-answers?lang=eng

President Gordon B. Hinckley explained the reason in a talk delivered in general conference. He told about talking to a Protestant minister following a temple open house. The minister had asked why there were no crosses anywhere if we say we believe in Jesus Christ. President Hinckley answered, “‘I do not wish to give offense to any of my Christian brethren who use the cross on the steeples of their cathedrals and at the altars of their chapels, who wear it on their vestments, and imprint it on their books and other literature. But for us, the cross is the symbol of the dying Christ, while our message is a declaration of the living Christ.’

“He then asked, ‘If you do not use the cross, what is the symbol of your religion?’

“I replied that the lives of our people must become the only meaningful expression of our faith and, in fact, therefore, the symbol of our worship” (“The Symbol of Christ,” New Era, Apr. 1990, p. 4).

President Hinckley further explained, “On Calvary he was the dying Jesus. From the tomb he emerged the living Christ. … Because our Savior lives, we do not use the symbol of his death as the symbol of our faith. But what shall we use? No sign, no work of art, no representation of form is adequate to express the glory and the wonder of the Living Christ. He told us what that symbol should be when he said, ‘If ye love me, keep my commandments’ (John 14:15)” (pp. 6, 7).

Mormonism is a cult:

Cult has many definitions, one just being a religion. Merriam-Webster defines it as:

:a small religious group that is not part of a larger and more accepted religion and that has beliefs regarded by many people as extreme or dangerous

I found this definition on gotquestions.org:

The specific Christian definition of a cult is “a religious group that denies one or more of the fundamentals of biblical truth.” In simpler terms, a cult is a group that teaches something that will cause a person to remain unsaved if he/she believes it. As distinct from a religion, a cult is a group that claims to be part of the religion, yet denies essential truth(s) of that religion. A Christian cult is a group that denies one or more of the fundamental truths of Christianity, while still claiming to be Christian.

The truths this website talks about are about Jesus not being God and not being saved by faith alone.

The answer to this would be that the “fundamental truths of Christianity,” though popular, are not true. We should explain how we know.

See http://makinglifeablisscomplete.blogspot.com/2014/10/you-arent-weird-but-your-beliefs-are_11.html

If anyone actually thinks our beliefs are dangerous, find out what that person has been taught and kindly correct him/her.

Mormons worship a different Jesus:

See this website for all we believe about Jesus: http://www.mormonnewsroom.org/article/what-mormons-believe-about-jesus-christ

As to whether we worship a “different Jesus,” we say again: We accept and endorse the testimony of the New Testament writers. Jesus is the promised Messiah, the resurrection and the life (John 11:25), literally the light of the world (John 8:12). Everything that testifies of His divine birth, His goodness, His transforming power and His godhood, we embrace enthusiastically. But we also rejoice in the additional knowledge latter-day prophets have provided about our Lord and Savior. President Brigham Young thus declared that

we, the Latter-day Saints, take the liberty of believing more than our Christian brethren: we not only believe … the Bible, but … the whole of the plan of salvation that Jesus has given to us. Do we differ from others who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ? No, only in believing more.[x]

Mormons aren’t Christians because they don’t believe in the trinity:

See https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2007/10/the-only-true-god-and-jesus-christ-whom-he-hath-sent?

Our first and foremost article of faith in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is “We believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost.”2 We believe these three divine persons constituting a single Godhead are united in purpose, in manner, in testimony, in mission. We believe Them to be filled with the same godly sense of mercy and love, justice and grace, patience, forgiveness, and redemption. I think it is accurate to say we believe They are one in every significant and eternal aspect imaginable except believing Them to be three persons combined in one substance, a Trinitarian notion never set forth in the scriptures because it is not true.

Indeed no less a source than the stalwart Harper’s Bible Dictionaryrecords that “the formal doctrine of the Trinity as it was defined by the great church councils of the fourth and fifth centuries is not to be found in the [New Testament].”3

So any criticism that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints does not hold the contemporary Christian view of God, Jesus, and the Holy Ghost is not a comment about our commitment to Christ but rather a recognition (accurate, I might add) that our view of the Godhead breaks with post–New Testament Christian history and returns to the doctrine taught by Jesus Himself.

Church History Misunderstandings

  1. Joseph Smith only cared about the rights of the Mormons:

Speaking to his followers in a Sabbath service near the uncompleted Nauvoo Temple on 9 July 1843, Joseph declared, “If it has been demonstrated that I have been willing to die for a Mormon I am bold to declare before heaven that I am just as ready to die for a [P]resbyterian[,] a [B]aptist or any other denomination; ; for the same principle which would trample upon the rights of the Latter-day Saints would trample upon the rights of the Roman Catholics, or of any other denomination who may be unpopular and too weak to defend themselves —It is a love of liberty which inspires my soul, civil and religious liberty” (Andrew F. Ehat and Lyndon W. Cook, eds., The Words of Joseph Smith [Provo: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 1980], 229).

  1. Joseph Smith’s death happened because he burned a printing press unlawfully.

This printing press was used to print a newspaper that spread lies about Joseph Smith. Joseph, who was mayor of Nauvoo, called a city council meeting, comprised of members and nonmembers. The council decided that the newspaper was a public nuisance, and ordered the town marshal to destroy the printing press. The press was destroyed legally.

Regardless of this legal destroying of the press, the governor of Illinois urged Joseph Smith and other members of the council to come to Carthage to stand trial, and said they would be safe. Joseph Smith knew a fair trial wasn’t possible and that they wouldn’t be protected. Joseph and Hyrum went into hiding and planned to move west, but a posse from Carthage threatened to take over Nauvoo if Joseph and Hyrum weren’t found. Hyrum and Joseph decided to give themselves up, knowing they would be murdered.

On June 25, 1844, Joseph and Hyrum were accused of rioting and treason. They and many of their friends were put in Carthage jail, where mobs threatened and cursed them. These men prayed and read the Book of Mormon. Joseph bore his testimony to the guards.

On June 27, Dan Jones was told by a guard to leave before sundown if he wanted to survive the night. Everyone in that jail would die that day. Jones told the governor, but he said not to worry about it. The governor promptly left Carthage, leaving hateful mob men in charge. Most of Joseph’s friends were ordered to leave the jail that day.

Joseph Smith, Hyrum Smith, John Taylor and Willard Richards were left. That evening about 100 men attacked the jail. Their faces were smudged with gunpowder and mud. None of the guards tried to stop the attack.

Hyrum and Joseph were killed that day. Elder Taylor was hurt, but not killed. Elder Richards was unharmed, as Joseph had prophesied to him once before.

  1. Brigham Young knew about the plans for the Mountain Meadows Massacre and didn’t stop it.

Brigham Young did not know about the massacre until after it happened (he wrote a letter strongly advising peace) and that those Mormons that took part in this were either excommunicated from the church, executed, or jailed for what they did. The men who did take part in this were being overly defensive and assuming that the emigrants had bad intentions when they didn’t.  This was due to the terrible persecution the Mormons had gone through for years. This behavior was egregious and is heartbreaking. The important thing to remember is that the actions of a few do not dictate the beliefs and values of a whole religion.

https://www.lds.org/ensign/2007/09/the-mountain-meadows-massacre?lang=eng

Note: Many anti-Mormons will use stories like the Mountain Meadows Massacre to pain Mormons as wicked and violent people. Robert L. Millet,

Richard L. Evans Professor of Religious Understanding at Brigham Young University, said:

This is like asking someone: “Would you like to understand Catholicism today? Then study carefully the atrocities of the Crusades and the horrors of the Inquisition.” Or: “Would you like to gain a better insight into the minds and feelings of German people today? Then read Mein Kampf and become a serious student of Adolph Hitler.” Or: “Would you like a deeper glimpse into the hearts of Lutherans today? Then be certain to study the anti-Semitic writings of Martin Luther.” Or: “Would you care to better understand where Southern Baptists are coming from? Then simply read the many sermons of Baptist preachers in the Civil War who utilized biblical passages to justify the practice of slavery.”

https://www.lds.org/topics/peace-and-violence-among-19th-century-latter-day-saints?lang=eng&query=tarred+and+feathered

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thank you for sharing!

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