Busted Halo
feature: politics & culture
January 16th, 2012

Myth Busting in the “Mormon Moment”

 
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Since I wrote for Busted Halo about Mitt Romney’s first run for president in 2008, much has changed in the public landscape regarding knowledge and perceptions of Mormonism. Americans today find themselves swept up in a “Mormon Moment,” thanks to Romney’s second run, Jon Huntsman Jr.’s candidacy, and popular media coverage of The Book of Mormon musical. Rather than depending on Big Love for their (inaccurate) understanding of this world religion, Americans can now find informed reports in sources from the Washington Post to NPR. Still, persistent myths and misperceptions blight even the most well-intentioned reporters’ pieces. The following will help give Busted Halo readers the perspective they need to be informed observers of the “Mormon Moment.”

  • Myth #1: Mormons Practice Polygamy
    Polygamy as an acceptable familial structure was banned by the mainstream Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1890. Yep, that’s 122 years ago. Members of the modern Church who marry more than one spouse concurrently are excommunicated. For current Mormons, aside from the ancestral linkage some have to the small number of original frontier people who practiced it, polygamy has little relevance in day-to-day life.

    Why The Myth Exists: In an era of Victorian morals, polygamy was understandably a shocking and newsworthy characteristic. The confusion persists because extremist groups with similar organizational names continue the practice. The Church’s struggle to move past this titillating trait of its early days and disassociate itself from the extremist splinter groups remains a tremendous public relations challenge. Additionally, because our doctrine currently allows widowed and divorced men to remarry (serially) and thus be married — or “sealed” — for all eternity to more than one wife, we struggle doctrinally to reconcile how these multiple sealings will be honored after earthly life.

  • Myth #2: Mormons Aren’t Christian
    When confronted with the assertion that Mormons aren’t Christian, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints exasperatedly roll their eyes and say, “Just look at the name of our church!” We indeed consider Jesus Christ to be at the center of our worship: We acknowledge him as our personal Savior and Redeemer; we honor the Bible as the word of God; we commemorate his sacrifice every week in our sacramental worship. In fact, our additional scripture, the Book of Mormon, which is itself the reason for some of the “not Christian” allegations, is subtitled “Another Testament of Jesus Christ” as it tells of Christ’s visit to the Americas after his resurrection in Judea.

    Why The Myth Exists: The dispute around Mormonism’s kinship with traditional Christian denominations is, at its heart, a theological issue. Mormonism is not a creedal denomination, meaning that our doctrine doesn’t conform to the principles codified in documents such as the Nicene Creed. Specifically, we believe that God the Father and Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost are three separate personages, with God the Father and Jesus Christ having substantive bodies. This runs deeply counter to an understanding of God that uses the Trinity. Some feel our concept of Jesus Christ is so distant from the traditional concept that we should not be claiming membership in the Christian family, but our position is that no group should be excluded from that family if it claims foundation on and adherence to the teachings of the first century Jesus of Nazareth.

  • Some feel our concept of Jesus Christ is so distant from the traditional concept that we should not be claiming membership in the Christian family, but our position is that no group should be excluded from that family if it claims foundation on and adherence to the teachings of the first century Jesus of Nazareth.
  • Myth #3: Mormons Are All The Same
    About two years ago, membership in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints became larger outside of the United States than inside — with over 30,000 congregations in 176 countries, there are 14.1 million members worldwide, about a third of those speaking Spanish. There’s no way we’re all the same. In fact, you may have noticed the advertising campaign, “I’m a Mormon,” which is the Church’s effort to specifically target this myth. In the campaign, Mormons of various professions, interests and experiences from all over the world help build bridges of common ground with those in the general public through video portraits. We’re fond of noting that, while we might be claiming the Republican nominee for president, we can also claim the Democratic Senate Majority Leader.

    Why This Myth Exists: A devoted Mormon’s faith influences what she eats, what she wears, who she marries, how she spends her time. Mormons make these choices not by coercion, but on the belief that they will lead to a happier life and a closer relationship to God. Mormonism professes the continued role of right and wrong and the relevance of commandments. As members, we have to meet certain standards in order to enter our sacred temples and serve in our congregations’ leadership positions. This voluntary obedience, and the possibility of being denied some privileges of worship if we don’t live up to the standards, may appear despotic in this age of self-definition.

  • Myth #4: Mormon Beliefs Are Way Weirder Than Any Other Religion’s
    You’ve probably read something about Mormons over the past few months that raised an eyebrow: Mormons get their own planets! God is actually a man! Joseph Smith was a treasure seeker! While Mormonism is a religion requiring a heightened but willing suspension of disbelief — or, in other words, faith — believers are rewarded with a thorough cosmic vision of where we came from, why we’re here and where we are going that is beautiful and satisfying. And while our claims of angels, buried scripture and Christ on the American continent do sound farfetched to outsiders, we consider them meaningful enhancements to an eternal plan that includes other “farfetched” but more familiar claims, such as resurrection, grace and the virgin birth.

    Why The Myth Exists: While some outlandish statements by the media are bogus, many are distortions rooted in truth that make way more sense when put in context. This makes clarifying them a formidable and complex task. Because Mormon beliefs have their foundations in America’s Judeo-Christian orientation, the concepts and vocabulary are recognizable but uncomfortably distinct to Westerners, and thus some may find them more threatening than other cultures’ faiths, such as Eastern religions, that don’t hit nearly so close to home.

A Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life survey released last week did something that hasn’t been done very often before: rather than asking Americans what they think of Mormons, the survey asked Mormons what they think of themselves. According to the study, 62 percent of American Mormons believe the rest of the country knows little or nothing about their faith. Armed with the preceding myth-busters, Busted Halo students of the Mormon Moment can sift judiciously through the media reports and glean a more accurate understanding of this major religious movement.

 
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The Author : Neylan McBaine
Neylan McBaine grew up Mormon in New York City and attended Yale University. She has been published in Newsweek, Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, Segullah, Meridian Magazine and BustedHalo.com. She is the author of a collection of personal essays — How to Be a Twenty-First Century Pioneer Woman (2008) — and the founder and editor-in-chief of The Mormon Women Project, a library of interviews with LDS women found at mormonwomenproject.com. She blogs at neylanmcbaine.com.
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Please note that the editorial staff reserves the right to not post comments it deems to be inappropriate and/or malicious in nature, as well as edit comments for length, clarity and fairness.
  • Mandy P

    Great post! I found this very helpful as we have a lot of Mormons in our area and have been visited by 4 sets of missionaries since moving here:)

  • eugene norris

    The problem with Mormons or the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day saints is an on going one. The first problem I have with them is Jesus is the brother of Lucifer. I can not find a reason to believe this since Jesus is both God and man, or in the words of Thomas: “My Lord and My God.” Lucifer or Satan is a created being in particular an angel, who rebelled against God and is trying to lead astray those who trust in our Lord.

    I can not and will not vote for a Mormon -Romney based upon heresy. I will not vote for Obama as he has stated that he is a Christian, however his policy on abortions, lying to and attacking the Church is far from being Christian.
    Thanks for the time to state my position and I hope for a change in our United States. Prayer, Morals and a return to God.

  • Rebecca Fox

    This is from the mormon.org website: In his vision God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, appeared. The Savior told Joseph not to join any of the churches. Although many good people at that time believed in Christ and tried to understand and teach His gospel, they didn’t have the fullness of truth or the authority to baptize and perform other saving ordinances. This vision marked the beginning of the Restoration of the Church of Jesus Christ to the earth, which God authorized to be established 10-years later by a wiser, heaven-tutored Joseph Smith, once again allowing everyone to receive the joy and blessings that come from living it.

    Instead of asking the question, “Are Mormons Christian?”, why not ask the question about the church’s official position about YOU and YOUR church?
    According to this quote from the church website, Joseph Smith was told by two separate entities, Jesus and the Father, that your church (if you are in a church that was around back then) did not have the authority to baptize or perform other saving ordinances. Joseph Smith claims to have been told by God that he should not join any other church because none were true, and he was charged with leading a restored church…the only one that is considered true.
    I have many Mormon friends and am blessed to live in a country where we have the freedom to practice religion as we see fit. I have, however, always thought it odd that the LDS (Mormon) church has begun billing itself as “another” Christian church when the very foundations of their religion are based on their belief that they are the ONLY restored church, and that all others are fallen away.
    Certainly the reasons for the formation of the Mormon church should have been included in an article explaining the beliefs of the church for those of other denominations.

  • CJ

    Isn’t this a website to help us grow in our Catholic faith? Why are we talking about mormonism? And refuting claims on it????

    *************PLEASE SOMEONE HELP ME HERE??????****************

    I get the whole tolerance thing that we (as a society) are doing with everything… but our Catholic faith is often confusing enough as is, why add to the mix by throwing in another religion?
    As Catholics we deal with our own heap of ‘crap’ from those who think they know everything about us. We have to deal with the media throwing in ‘signs of the cross’ by random people before something monumental happens. It’s a joke played out by the media… as well as our priests, our nuns, our rosaries, our pope. Don’t get me started on the mockery by famous singers!

    And to top it off we are ‘different’ than our protestant brother’s and sisters. We honor Mary (where we are often accused of worship). We wear medals… (again accused of worship). Heck, we even eat this ‘bread and wine’ and call it ‘body and blood’. (as in Jesus is actually there)

    Then there are things like celibacy…

    Being the only church to actually promote and acknowledge that birth control is an abortificate. (some other denominations and churches may.. but we are the only Church that stood ground). And we also get the butt end of jokes on fertility. “Look at that woman other there, obviously Catholic she has like 14 kids. Doesn’t know about birth control” (add eyeroll to the picture)

    We have this thing called confession. (Why do you go to the priest and tell him your sins? *as asked by protestant friends)

    We say the rosary. ( “Isn’t that worshiping Mary… Why are you praying to her…”)

    We also have saints. (who sometimes have done odd things or witnessed odd sites… or overcome odd illnesses)

    I respect that Mormon’s have their faith, I respect them as people. But I find it completely inappropriate, and theologically wrong, to have a blog post on why Mormon’s are Christian.

    Catholics are already confused. Don’t believe me? How many ‘catholics’ do you know who use birth control? Who believe abortion is ok? Who think we should have gay marriage? ETC.

    Just as a Mormon can call themselves a Christian because of some similarities, so we too can call ourselves Catholics because we have some things in common with the church. I have friends who don’t go to church, haven’t in years. Don’t actually even understand the catholic faith, or care for it, but they go and tell the world they are catholic.

    We need true discernment in this day and age; as well as a true understanding and grasp of our faith. Remember that even Satan believes and acknowledges the existence of Christ… do we call him a Christian?

  • Brian Heagney

    This is actually very funny:

    1. The Myth of Polygamy:

    The truth is, if you’re a Mormon, it’s because you believe that Joseph Smith had direct communication with Jesus Christ (and later, some sort of magic-hat communication with God) and was directly instructed by God and Jesus for setting up the LDS Church. One of those instructions: Polygamy. Listen, it’s not actually so odd, in fact, the Catholic God (ie. God, from the Old Testament) gave instructions on how to treat your multiple wives, many of the people Catholics read about on Sundays had multiple wives. The only reason Mormonism doesn’t include the multiple wives thing today is because it is illegal in the US – the same reason they now allow blacks to join their church – they HAD to, because our CULTURE was changing.

    Yes, there are Mormons who do have multiple wives, they are a fundamental branch of Mormonism, but they are still Mormons, and they are still Christians. So it’s not really a myth, it’s the truth, just not for all Mormons.

    Oh yeah, it’s still in their doctrines and covenants that there is polygamy in the afterlife, so there is “celestial” polygamy for all sects of Mormons.

    2. Mormons aren’t Christians:
    I watch a show called “born-again Mormon” where a Born-Again Christian who used to be Mormon basically talks about the evils of Mormonism. What I find so interesting is that he rails against Joseph Smith, and says how unbelievable the story is of how Jesus appeared to people in the Americas…but has no problem with putting all of his faith in Paul the Apostle, who also never met Jesus, but only saw him after his death.

    So if someone who follows the teachings of Paul is a Christian, then a Mormon also has to be considered a Christian.

    4: Mormon’s beliefs are weirder than any other religion’s:

    I love this part, because many people, when reading about a new religion’s wacky aspects, will look at their own religion and say, “wow, I guess all the stuff I believe is wacky too”. Instead, you change it around, and you’re saying, “Wow, well, I guess some of the things that I think are normal could be considered as wacky as Mormonism…so that makes Mormonism just as normal as MY religion.”

  • P.A. Raygor

    When taking on the awesome responsibility of writing publically one would hope that a catholic author would make every effort to avoid the pitfalls of the secular media. As a catholic, a mother, and a catechist I have appreciated the various productions made by Busted Halo and have recommended their use. By doing so I am also promoting the validity of the contents found on this site. I can no longer do so unless a retraction or a rebuttal piece is presented.
    It is quite sad that the author of this article was allowed to post it on this catholic website. The issue is on of Truth. Truth is not discriminatory. If the intention was to state Mitt Romney’s Mormon theology; then an interview of the candidate stating what he believes should have been offered without misleading ‘facts’. Instead the use of terms like ‘myth’ and the tone of apologetics for a position (Mormonism) obviously outside of the author’s knowledge were presented and this is absolutely unacceptable.
    Again, the issue is whether or not the truth has been presented. Just read the comments posted and you will see only a few of the many people who have and will be led astray by this article. This article is not ethical, nor is it Christian! Quite frankly this article is an example of poor catechesis and what the Church is up against.
    I do not say any of this lightly. I was born in Utah and my family has lived there since the late 1800s. Many of my friends and relatives are Mormon. They are good people who live good lives and are capable of great things but they follow a doctrine that places them outside of the Church. To say otherwise would be a lie. I love them and pray for them daily.
    Stand for something or fall for anything.

  • Catherine

    I completely disagree with almost everything you have just said, Phil. I can’t speak for the others, but speaking for myself: I am fully aware that several former U.S. Presidents and some people claiming to be Protestant did/do not believe in the necessity of baptism and/or the Trinity. Mormon or not, a person who has not been baptized (or has been baptized, but not in the Trinitarian formula) and does not believe in a Trinitarian God cannot be Christian, according to Catholic teaching. I am also aware of Cardinal George’s remarks. He does make a good point about an important commonality between Christianity and Mormonism. However, suggesting a common point that we can agree upon does not necessarily mean acceptance of the idea that the group is Christian. If I recall correctly, Church documents such as Nostra Aetate also focus upon the importance of recognizing that all who believe in one God (Jews, Christians, Muslims, etc.) share something of significance as well. Again in this case, one important point of similarity does not mean that the conversation should end there. Why not leave it at Cardinal George’s remarks? Because if we leave it at that, many people who have not received theological education or read up on the issues themselves may be falsely led to believe that Mormonism (and other non-Trinitarian groups) shares just as much in common with Catholicism as the mainline Protestant denominations. Should such a person become upset with the Catholic Church for whatever reason and decide to leave, as so often happens today, that person might be just as likely to join a Mormon church as he/she could be to joining the Methodists, Episcopalians, etc. It saddens me any time I hear of someone leaving the Catholic faith, but at least those who leave and go to Trinitarian-believing Protestant churches will still be embracing a large number of the truths that the Catholic Church also holds. The same would not be true if this person were to join the Mormon Church. I’m tired of hearing people complain about discrimination, unfriendliness, and aggressiveness just because some of us are stating an opinion based upon authoritative teachings of the Catholic Church. There’s nothing unfriendly, discriminatory, or aggressive about it. The Church has clearly articulated that there are certain basic beliefs a person must hold in order to be a Christian. Mormons (and certain other groups) do not hold many of those basic beliefs. Consider the following metaphor: In order to become a basketball player, a person must be able to shoot, dribble, pass, etc. These are basic requirements for being a basketball player. If someone claims to be a basketball player, but can’t dribble, can that person truly be a basketball player? The answer is no. He/she may consider himself/herself a basketball player, but that claim doesn’t hold water because everyone else who plays the game knows that you can’t play without dribbling. It’s the same in this case. Mormons may consider themselves Christians, but this doesn’t matter because the Church has stated that a person isn’t a Christian without a valid baptism, Trinitarian theology, etc. Saying that Mormons aren’t Christians is not a judgement. I have a few Mormon friends and I respect all of them, and furthermore I do not judge whether or not they are living good lives, doing good things, or even whether or not they will be saved. I’m just making a statement that should be fairly obvious. If I think the aforementioned non-dribbling basketball player isn’t really a basketball player, does that make me judgmental? Not at all. It makes logical sense that if person X doesn’t meet all the requirements for being Y, then person X cannot be Y until he/she meets those requirements.

  • Phil Fox Rose

    Many of the comments here are hammering on the issue of whether Mormons are Christians. I find this disheartening. I think that insisting someone is not a Christian when they follow Christ and respectfully define themselves as Christian is an unfriendly and un-Christian act. As Cardinal George said when speaking last year to a Mormon audience: “Our churches have different histories and systems of belief and practice, although we acknowledge a common reference point in the person and the gospel of Jesus Christ.” Why not leave it at that?

    That said, the (non-sensationalist) reasons offered in comments here for saying Mormons aren’t Christian have to do with baptism and the Trinity. The odd thing is that the author of this article went out of her way to acknowledge that the Mormon church is not creedal and has significant differences in doctrine. Perhaps the critics don’t realize that at least four former U.S. presidents have been non-trinitarian Christians and many Americans are members of non-trinitarian Christian faiths; many others of Christian faiths that don’t believe in water baptism, often because of a philosophical rejection of all outward rituals.

    Unless someone is prepared to deny the Christian-ness of all of these, then their argument is inconsistent. Even if they are, while it’s all well and good to say, “I like Mormons; I just don’t think they’re Christian,” it is clearly aggressive, and entirely unnecessary, to contradict someone’s assertion of their own beliefs. Judge not…

  • Nick

    Mormons follow a guy named Jesus that sort of resembles the Jesus out of the Catholic Bible, but the Jesus they follow is so different that the early church followers would have called Mormons heretics. I do agree they are very nice and sincere people who have hope in some false doctrines.

  • annika

    i agree catherine. we do not discriminate against anyone!! like i said mormons are good people with good values in general

  • Catherine

    Again, stating that this group isn’t Christian is not discrimination. It’s a statement of the Catholic position. Disagreeing with Mormon doctrine and practices and categorizing them outside of Christianity does not automatically mean discrimination.

  • blake

    J. F. Hamster,
    I am not Mormon but i dont know why people discriminate so much on them. their ideas arent as outland-ish as a lot of other christian beliefs. as to polygamy? no question in my mind that the church of jesus christ of latter day saints does not practice it. i have talked with several mormon friends, and a bishop and they clearly do not. there are some sub groups of mormons (very small amounts of people) that do practice polygamy and do not have anything to do with LDS religion.

  • annika

    sarah and catherine — well said!! and to think i was going to donate to this website! your editor made a grave error. that’s why the catholic church is losing members bec of people advertising other religions for them! we dont have to be apologetic about anything. the truth hurts and we know the truth so we have to share it with them.
    long ago a coworker converted to the mormon faith. she (she’s asian) admitted to me that she opened the door to 2 good looking clean cut white mormon guys. she was attracted to them. she told me that the jews went to the US via submarine and that the tower beside their churches will turn into a spaceship when the end of the world comes! i was just looking at her and could not say anything. furthermore they are making inroads in asia bec they espouse typical asian values — respect for elders, strong family ties, respect for the man as head of household, etc. these values are good and right. but they worship a made up Jesus!

  • J. F. Hampster

    Wow, what a joke! Personally, I married into an LDS family. I have put in the research (3 hrs. per day) for 12 years, going in-depth into the LDS corporation. I am compelled to provide the following conclusion regarding this unfortunate post. #1) Mormons DO practice Polygamy, see Doct. & Cov. 132:60-64, this is an “Eternal Principal”, and YES the principal is still practiced today. Just ask any LDS bishop; he will agree that a man can be “sealed” (sealed = married), for time & all eternity to more than one woman (some conditions do apply). Additionally, my wife fully believes that she will engage in Polygamy in the “here-after”. #2) Mormons ARE NOT Christian. Who said LDS get to define what is christian? Thanks for mentioning the Pew research, now go and read more from Pew. MOST Christians (especially educated pastors, over 76%) do not consider LDS Christians, nor-do most “ex-mormons christians”. #3) Mormons are not all alike; I agree! And they dont always agree with each other. Sometimes its hard to get two or more LDS to agree on the specifics of doctrine. Often, the LDS church takes no stance on many important doctrinal issues; therefore it allows self-appointed apologists like Neylan, to go around and say “This is what I believe” without getting any stamp of approval from the President of the church. #4) The LDS are not weird, at least they don’t seem weird. A true believing mormon (or TBM) is usually a pretty cool, pretty normal dude, no doubt about it. And if your in the west, they most likely will take you out to shoot big guns for fun. And, yes the doctrine is farfetched and the history is Un-Believable. No scientist (outside of BYU) will try to argue that there every was a pre-Colombian culture of Jeduo-Christians (called the Nephites, Jarredites, and Lamenites; these are not found in the NIV anywhere) living in the Americas. There is just no historical, archaeological, linguistic or tangible evidence in support of this factious history what-so-ever. Now, that is a faith that is hard to believe in.
    However, what I find most farfetched in the above article is the vocabulary; words like resurrection, grace and the virgin birth have a totally “NON-Christian” application to the LDS. This author would like us all to think that because we use the same words, and because these words are used by christians, therefore the LDS must all be christian. This is a faulty set of reasoning. Since, the LDS have changed the meaning of each of the key terms, we have to understand what the meaning is. Resurrection to the LDS is not the same. General salvation to the LDS means that everyone gets a “free gift” of a body, in the resurrection. But, to attain the best the LDS have to offer; to go to the special place reserved exclusively for “obedient” mormons who go live eternally with god in the Celestial Kingdom, you must be a “good little mormon”. It is impossible for anyone outside the LDS church to attain the highest level of salvation to the LDS. What has happened is that the LDS have redefined the core terms used. Grace, to Christians is a free gift, but to the LDS it is given only after “All you can do”. In LDS philosophy, Christ’s birth, was brought thru a physical union (remember, to the LDS, god has a body with lungs, and fingers and… you know what) and NOT a Virgin Birth by the Holy Spirit (see Matt 1:18 & Luke 1:35). Neylan would like to push aside the funny stuff and tag the core beliefs as similar, just sweeping aside the huge gap in how these terms are applied in the christian vernacular. The LDS corporation wants desperately to gain acceptance by the greater christian community by using a common set of termenology. BTW – in a recent LDS conference, the church elders instructed the members to canvas the internet, to posts and blogs, and to interact with as many venues as possible to “re-post” or “spin” its story as often as possible.
    Yes, we christians can except other denominations and non-affiliated christian as still being members of “the Body of Christ” as some posters have mentioned above. This acceptance is, based on the Core Beliefs all christians hold in common. However, the LDS church excepts NONE of the christian denominations as legitimate. Among christian denominations, something like baptism is accepted among churches pretty much universally, but not in the case of the LDS. And to be fair the LDS re-baptize all new members, and christians should probably re-baptize any LDS that decide to join them. The reason; the LDS founder said that “ALL Denominations were corrupt, and ALL its professors (those that profess a faith) were abomination” to god. So, if your a christian, you have to ask yourself; is my trust/faith in the free gift of saving grace available ONLY through Jesus enough? Or as the LDS founder says, is my profession an abomination in his eyes. I don’t think that an LDS apologist and spin-master (sorry, Neylan McBaine, your a good writer, convincing, but…and I say this in love) should decide the track of how to define what is christian. You want to call yourself by any name, be my guest. No should a non-christian cult be allowed to re-define the vocabulary of christian terms. But, if someone wants to come in and espouse a believe system contrary (doctrine, not morals) to biblical, traditional, christian beliefs, then over my dead body. Millions died with only the the name of the savior on their lips. It was that important to them, shouldn’t it mean something to us today? In all the years of study, the best resource I have found is at the Utah Lighthouse Ministry dot organization (all one word) its the best, fact based research.
    God bless you, and keep searching!

  • Catherine

    I do have Mormon friends, but I must say, this is a terrible article. It has the potential to lead many young Catholics into error. The Mormon church isn’t “just another denomination.” It isn’t like the Seventh Day Adventists (referenced by Dale) who believe in the Trinity and other basic Christian doctrines. The Mormon church has a theology that is far from Christian, and it upsets me that a Catholic online magazine is presenting this group as anything remotely like a Christian group. It also bothers me that people who are Mormons (referencing Patricia’s comment) who are reading this are so quick to use words like judgment and discrimination at those who are expressing the Catholic perspective. Making a good argument that a group is not Christian does not mean judgment or discrimination: it’s just an honest statement of theological difference. Like some others have also said, I appreciate the Mormons in my life and I support their right to believe as they wish. But they also know that from my religion’s point of view, they are not Christians.

  • Dale

    Amie made a beautiful comment on what this is all about. The Mormons have very different beliefs. Whether they are Christian or not (and I don’t believe they are) those of their faith can set wonderful examples the will strengthen our OWN beliefs and faith in our Catholicism. I have worked at a Christian based hospital for over 21 years. They are Seventh Day Adventist. My mother told me back then that they were a ‘cult’. Well, the Catholic church says they aren’t but they do have some ‘different’ ideas. But like Amie, I have had the opportunity to pray everyday openly and freely with patients, visitors or even employees who need it, participate in mission trips (always making sure I go to Mass while they do their thing), sometimes having to defend my faith. Bottom line, I can truly say that working in that organizatin has strengthened my own faith in my own religion by seeing the examples they set in their faiths…observing the Sabbath, etc. Oh, and just like us everyone it isn’t perfect and doesn’t follow all the rules all the time. Like Catholics that I know that don’t go to Mass every week or confession or fast during Lent, etc. We must treat those who do not have our same beliefs as we would treat one another. That is what a Christian does because that is what Jesus would do. But you must also educate yourself of their beliefs…and more importantly your own! Know your stuff so that you can counter thier beliefs about those “weird” Catholics! I just feel absolutely blessed everyday that the Holy Spirit chose me to share the Catholic faith with.

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