The Distinctive Beliefs of the Mormon Church are not Christian

Are Mormons Protestants? No, but their founder, Joseph Smith, came from a Protestant background, and Protestant presuppositions form part of the basis of Mormonism.

Still, it isn’t correct to call Mormons Protestants, because doing so implies they hold to the essentials of Christianity—what C. S. Lewis termed “mere Christianity.” The fact is, they don’t.

Gordon B. Hinckley, the former president and prophet of the Mormon church, says (in a booklet called What of the Mormons?) that he and his co-religionists “are no closer to Protestantism than they are to Catholicism.”

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Editor’s note: Because of their novel beliefs and their acknowledgment of another “christ” who cannot possibly be the Jesus Christ who personally founded the Catholic Church, the Mormon faith cannot be properly described as “Christian”. Hence, Mormon baptism is not recognized as valid by the Catholic Church.

Does Mitt Romney believe the Mormon myths?

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) has a habit of crying “Not fair!” when the media draw attention to its exotic beliefs. I sympathise – up to a point. If Mormons believe that the angel Moroni appeared to Joseph Smith and showed him a new Christian testament written on gold plates, that’s up to them. Seen from a secular perspective, the episode isn’t any stranger than angelic visitations in the Bible or Koran. Likewise, the Mormon claims that God lives near a planet called Kolob and that humans can become gods of their own universes aren’t intrinsically odder than transubstantiation. And why keep raising the topic of polygamy more than a century after the LDS abandoned it?

But we’re entitled to keep prodding when a religion goes out of its way to rewrite what scientists and historians have discovered about the world – as fundamentalist Christianity does when it offers us the nonsense of “scientific Creationism”. And the truth is that Mormonism, uniquely among large-scale religions, is built around an elaborate counter-historical fantasy.

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Cardinal George speaks to group of 14,000 Mormons

George brought laughter with reminiscences of hearing the Tabernacle Choir perform for the first time when he was 13 (his mother was an organist and a fan) and again, in 2007, when then-conductor Craig Jessop invited George to lead the choir during an Illinois performance.

“I thought to myself, ‘I’m doing better with the Mormons than the Catholics.’ I have a lot harder time getting them to sing together.”

George — with LDS apostles M. Russell Ballard and Quentin L. Cook on the dais — noted the two faiths have worked together to alleviate world poverty, combat pornography, defend the unborn and push for traditional marriage.

“I’m personally grateful,” George said, “that, after 180 years of living mostly apart from one another, Catholics and Latter-day Saints have come to see one another as trustworthy partners in the defense of shared moral principles.”

Marriage, the union of one man and one woman, must be defended, he added, “against various efforts to redefine in civil law that foundational element of God’s natural plan for creation.”

George said Mormons and Catholics are called to respect and love all people, including those who are gay, because they are children of God.

“That doesn’t mean we must approve of everything everyone does,” said George, who later noted that his family, like many others, includes gays.

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Mormons, Catholics … what’s the difference?

Mormon

Catholics learn from childhood that God is a Spirit – a being without a material body. In Jesus Christ, He was incarnated as a man. Nevertheless, the human nature of the Son was something that He took on; it was not part of His original nature. The Mormon view of God is vastly different. To begin with, the LDS God looks an awful lot like your neighbor: “The Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man’s; the Son also; but the Holy Ghost has not a body of flesh and bones, but is a personage of Spirit” (Doctrine and Covenants 130:22). Indeed, for the Mormon, God the Father is an exalted man, not an omnipresent Spirit:

“Latter-day Saints perceive the Father as an exalted Man in the most literal, anthropomorphic terms. They do not view the language of Genesis as allegorical; human beings are created in the form and image of a God who has a physical form and image (Genesis 1:26)” (Encyclopedia of Mormonism, “God”). In this way, God has arms, legs, flesh, passions – all things that we, his children, have ourselves.

But wait, there’s more. Not only is Heavenly Father a man, but he lives with his wife on a planet near the star Kolob (Abraham 3:2-3, 16). There, from a distance, he reigns over the earth. To say these beliefs are outside the mainstream of Christianity is like saying Hitler wasn’t a very observant Jew. So divergent is the Mormon theology of God from that of orthodox Christianity, that the two can hardly be said to be related. The controversy over whether or not Mormonism is Christian springs from this fact.

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