Are Mitt Romney and Other Mormons "Christian"?

Establishment Republicans are determined to engineer Mitt Romney to be the GOP’s presidential nominee, says Rush Limbaugh.
Certainly, Chris Christie’s surprise endorsement of Mitt Romney yesterday bolsters Limbaugh’s claim. Who wudda thought that the Christie admired adulated by so many conservatives for his pugnacious stance against teachers’ and other public employee unions turns out to be so establishment?
But it’s not just RINOs who want Romney. Liberals, too, want him to be the GOP nominee. Yesterday, none other than the liberal Washington Post‘s Alexandra Petri opines “Just nominate Mitt Romney, already.”
If the Republican Old Guard succeeds in engineering a Romney candidacy, the spotlight will be on his Mormon religion. Already, it is an issue.
An Evangelical pastor who supports Rick Perry caused a big controversy when he told reporters he thought Mormonism is “a cult”, prompting a denial of the opinion by the Perry campagn, and a characterization of it as “bigotry” by former member of the Reagan cabinet, Bill Bennett, speaking in support of Romney.
Mormons, of course, insist theirs is not a cult, but rather in the mainstream of Christian America. So is Mormonism really Christian? Below are excerpts from an article for Catholic Lane by Mary Kochan, “Is Mormonism a Christian Denomination?,” Oct 10, 2011:
Mormons have been publicly asking to be accepted as “Christians” and have their church, “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints”, viewed as just another Christian denomination for decades now. But their own history makes this problematic. Their founder, Joseph Smith, claimed to have been told in a vision regarding the Christian churches that God “forbade me to join with any of them” and “all their creeds were an abomination in his sight.” It is hence Mormons (not Christians) who established, from the beginning of their group, an antagonistic relationship with those Christian groups already in existence, although in recent years Mormons have sought to downplay this antagonism.
[…] In one sense, clearly, Mormonism is Christian. If you were going to categorize Mormonism according to world-religion criteria, you would have to say they are Christians. World religions are the major belief systems found around the world that frame a tradition of enough cultural richness to support a civilization. The major world religions are Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Shintoism, Confucianism and Islam. Clearly Mormonism fits into the broad “Christian” category. And so would many other groups whose relationship with the wider Christian world is antagonistic: Jehovah’s Witnesses, Oneness Pentecostals, etc.
[…] It may be that in the not-too-distant future, we will have to categorize Mormonism as a separate world religion. It is the fifth-largest religious group now in the US, having passed the Lutherans, and the LDS are experiencing rapid expansion in other countries. In many ways its development parallels that of Islam. Both religions were founded by prophets who claimed to have been visited by an angel. They borrow heavily from Judaism and Christianity, yet reject their central tenets. Both rely upon strange revisions of history. The Koran identifies Mary, the mother of Jesus, with Miriam the sister of Moses, who lived over fourteen centuries earlier. The Book of Mormon makes numerous claims regarding the peoples of the Americas (including the idea that the American Indians descended from a lost tribe of ancient Israelites) that have been refuted by history, archeology, and anthropology. Both Islam and Mormonism claim that where their sacred writings contradict the Bible, the Christian and Jewish scriptures have been corrupted.
[…] In their initial approach to you, they will do all they can to hide or gloss over the distinctive beliefs of their church. Statements of Mormon belief sound so much like statements of the Christian faith that many Catholics and Protestants are quite willing to recognize Mormons as “Christians” […]
Christians…are misled into the Mormon church where they are indoctrinated in a religion which rejects the central doctrines of the Christian faith, resulting in them bringing their children up as non-Christians. […]
In order to protect Christians from this deception and to help Mormons learn the truth, we must understand how Mormon doctrine differs from the historic Christian faith that we share with Protestants. To do this, we will examine first what Mormons say, then how they define the terms they are using and how that differs from the Christian faith. Finally we provide a biblical, Christian response and suggestions for how to discuss these things with a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
The Central Question: Who is God?

What Mormons will say they believe about God:

  1. We believe in God the Father who is the Father of Jesus Christ.
  2. We worship God the Father and pray to him in Jesus’ name.
  3. Jesus is our Savior.

Why the Mormon God the Father is not the Christian God the Father:

  1. “God the Father” to a Mormon is not God the Father, first Person of the Holy Trinity, Whom Christians confess. He is one of many gods.
  2. The Mormon worships God the Father because He is the god of this planet, but other planets have other gods equal to or even greater than God the Father.
  3. The Mormon “God the Father” had a father and was once a man on a planet who worshiped his own Father God. He was subsequently exalted to godhood. He has a physical, human body.
  4. It is the hope of the male Mormon to progress to the point where he too will be a god like God the Father and be ruling over his own planet.
  5. The Mormons have a saying: “What man is, God once was; what God is, man will become.” This is polytheism.

Christian answer:

  1. The God of the Bible is the Creator and God of all the universe, of all worlds, not just our planet. He made the heavens and the earth; there is no other God; there never has been any other God, nor will there ever be another (Gn 1:1; Is 43;10; 44:6, 8, 24).
  2. God the Father was never a man.
  3. You will never be God.
  4. True Christianity, like Judaism, is monotheistic. As our creed states “We believe in one God.”

Jesus: Brother of Lucifer?

Why the Mormon Jesus is not the Christian Jesus:

  1. The Mormon Jesus is the spirit-brother of Lucifer (Satan). They were both born in heaven by God the Father’s union with one of his many spirit wives.
  2. According to Mormon teaching, when it was time for Jesus to come down to earth, God the Father sent down one of his spirit wives from heaven to be born as a woman, Mary. Then he came down and had physical, marital relations with her in order for her to give birth to a human body inhabited by Jesus coming from heaven. This is a denial of the Virgin Birth.

Christian answer:

  1. Since God the Father does not have a physical human body, He did not impregnate Mary by a physical union (2 Chr 6:18; Jn 4:24).
  2. Jesus became incarnate by the power of the Holy Spirit and was born of the Virgin Mary (Mt 1:23; Lk 2:30-35).
  3. God the Father does not have a wife or wives in heaven.
  4. Jesus is the eternally-begotten Son of God, one in being with the Father (Jn 1:1-18).
  5. He is not the older brother of Lucifer.
  6. He is the older brother, as well as Lord and God, of those born again by water and Spirit, God’s adopted children (Jn 3:3-17; Rom 8:14-17, 29).

Why the Mormon doctrine of man is not the Christian doctrine of man:

  1. According to Mormonism, all human beings existed as spirit children of God and his wife in heaven before coming to earth.
  2. They grow to spirit “adulthood” serving God (even fighting in heavenly battles), and are then sent to earth to be babies of human parents.
  3. The earthly life is their opportunity to become gods themselves, like their heavenly Father, by “obeying the laws of the Gospel” just as the god of this planet once did.

Christian answer:

  1. There is no biblical support for the idea that human beings were spirit children of God in heaven before coming to earth.
  2. Jesus was unique in being a human being with a pre-human existence (Jn 1:18; 3:13, 31; 8:23, 58).
  3. Jesus took on human nature at the Incarnation. God became man — not the other way around. His human nature was glorified at His Resurrection.
  4. We will be like God in that we will have the same kind of glorified human nature which Jesus possesses, not in becoming gods and ruling planets ourselves (1 Jn 3:3; Rom 8:22, Phil 3:20-21).
  5. While heaven is the presence of God with unfettered communion, the distinction between God and creatures remains (Rv 5:13, 14).

What is Salvation?

What Mormons will say they believe about salvation:

  1. All are redeemed by the Savior’s self-sacrifice, from the consequences of the fall.
  2. Immortality comes as a free gift, by the grace of God alone, without works.
  3. Jesus is our Savior.

Why Mormon salvation is not Christian salvation:

  1. According to Mormonism, everyone and everything — all of creation — has been redeemed and therefore “saved.”
  2. This salvation gains, for all human beings, a physical resurrection only — not eternal life. Eternal life is not “salvation”; it is “exaltation.”
  3. If you ask a Mormon if he is saved (per Evangelical parlance), he will answer yes.
  4. If you ask him if he believes you are saved, he will answer yes. This confuses Christians who do not understand that being “saved” and gaining “eternal life” are not the same thing in Mormon thinking.
  5. It is further confused by the Mormon distinction between “immortality” (salvation to physical resurrection) and “eternal life” (exaltation to godhood).
  6. The Mormons have a saying: “Salvation without exaltation is damnation.”
  7. Therefore, a Mormon can, with a straight face, tell you he believes you are “saved,” while he also believes you are damned!

Christian answer:

  1. We define salvation according to what we are saved from. We are saved from sin and from the wages of sin — death.
  2. To be saved from sin is to be justified and sanctified. To be saved from death is to receive eternal life (Rom 6:22, 23).
  3. Being saved, justified, sanctified and given eternal life by the grace of God are all things which are interconnected in the Scriptures. There is no biblical basis for separating them (Rom 5).
  4. Seeking exaltation is contrary to the spirit of Christ. We are rather to humble ourselves, recognize our sinfulness and call upon the Lord for mercy and forgiveness (Js 4:6-10).

Why the Mormon hope is not the Christian hope:

  1. It is the hope of the male Mormon to progress to the point where he will be a god like God the Father and be ruling over his own planet. This is “exaltation,” and depends upon the Mormon “Plan of Eternal Progression.”
  2. The hope of Mormon females depends upon their being married, in a temple ceremony, to a Mormon male who achieves exaltation.
  3. Mormon women married to non-Mormons (“Gentiles”) can arrange for a “temple sealing” (marriage by proxy) to a Mormon male after their death. This is to assure that in eternity they are considered to have been married to and produced their children from a Mormon husband so that they and their children can be exalted.
  4. Mormon males expect to produce offspring in heaven with their mate(s), offspring who will subsequently be sent to populate their planet and achieve their own exaltation to godhood and so on and so on…

Christian answer:

  1. The God of the Bible is the Creator and God of all the universe, of all worlds, not just our planet. He made man for Himself and in His image to be in communion with God and enter into the love of the Holy Trinity.
  2. When man fell into sin and marred the image of God in his own being, the second person of the Trinity became incarnate — taking human nature to Himself.
  3. He then did what He could not do in the form of God: He died to save us from sin and death, so that we could come back into communion with God and share the love of the Holy Trinity. Our hope is to be with God, not to be God (Gn 1-3; Phil 2:5-11).

When Talking to a Mormon

Remember that the Mormon is trained to hide the difference between his beliefs and yours and to present himself as a Christian. However, his belief that he is a Christian is sincere, and his efforts to hide the distinctive of the Mormon religion are pursued in his desire to get you to accept Mormon teachings.
Do not allow glib, surface responses to go unchallenged; press the Mormon to define the Christian-sounding words he is using.
Define your own terms also. Draw the contrast for the Mormon. Calmly and clearly insist that what you and he believe about the nature of God, the identity of Jesus, the nature of man, salvation and eternal life are different. To pretend otherwise is dishonest.
Appeal to his honesty and sense of fairness. You might say, “Look, we are not going to get anywhere unless we are honest with each other. Without making any statement about which one of us is right, can’t we just acknowledge that we do not worship the same God?” or “Can’t we just acknowledge that we do not have the same hope for the future?”
Help the Mormon to consider the logical and philosophical problems with the Plan of Eternal Progression: If God had a Father and He had a Father and so on — then who was the first God? Mormons say it is an “infinite regression.” But since there is no way to cross an infinite distance or pass an infinite amount of time, there would be no way to get to “now” and to “us” from an infinite past. Time has to have had a beginning and it did. It began with the creation “of all things seen and unseen” by God. Mormons say that God is omnipotent (almighty, all-powerful), yet they say there are many gods. There cannot be more than one omnipotent being, so the Mormon conception of God is shrunken and distorted.
A big selling point of the Mormon hope for the future is the idea that families will be together eternally. But if Mormons become Gods of planets and then their children become Gods of other planets — how do the children and parents get together? Can a God leave his planet unattended while he goes to a celestial family reunion? This Mormon selling point would be diminished if we Christians were more vocal about our hope for the “new heavens and new earth” in which we know one another in the all the relationships of our present lives, only in glory (2 Pt 3:13; Rv 21:1).
Welcome the participation of Mormons in causes which we share for the common good: strengthening family life, fighting pornography and abortion, fostering the virtue of patriotism, and defending the Constitution. We honor each Mormon as a person who desires what is genuinely good for himself, his family and his society – and when we share the truths of the Christian faith with him.
[For more on the political implications of Mormonism see here.]

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0 responses to “Are Mitt Romney and Other Mormons "Christian"?

  1. Excellent article Eowyn!
    It distinguishes the differences quite thoroughly…
    Only one more thing….
    No Mitt in 2012 😉

  2. He sure is putting a lot of commercials on the Boob Tube about the Moron Religion lately! Semper Fi.

  3. Thank you, so very, very much, Dr. Eowyn, for this excellent, well-thought out, well-defined and accurate definition of the cult of Mormonism.
    Having been raised in the State of Utah and living there for 20 years, I agree with the distinctions made between the cult of Mormonism and Christianity. As a Catholic in the State of Utah, I was subject to much discrimination, from being jeered at, to having doors slammed in my face and being denied jobs. Nevertheless, discrimination aside, the Jesuit priests who taught us these same distinctions indicated that in the theological definition of Christianity, Mormonism as set out above, simply does not hold to basic universal beliefs of Christian faiths, Catholic and Protestant. The reverend who made the characterization is absolutely correct.
    The issue is not about the goodness of the people who call themselves Mormon. Indeed and in fact, there are numerous Mormons who are wonderful and decent people. As usual, however, material fallacies exist and the actual issue is not understood and is thwarted. Most of the Mormons I debated with who constantly require you to defend your faith, do not know what they believe. When I would tell them how their beliefs differed from Scripture and Tradition, they were incredulous, because I would point out to them these differences using their own books, the book of Mormon, the Pearl of Great Price and so on and so forth. I recall one individual telling me that had they known these facts, they would not have converted to Mormonism.
    In any event, thank you again, Dr. Eowyn, for disclosing these important distinctions. God bless you always, and may Our Blessed Virgin Mary, the angels and the saints, take care of you and help you always!

  4. I concur. An excellent analysis….not the only deceived in this world that we need to pray for,sigh.

  5. Interesting…never knew this much about Mormonism.
    No Romney…please, please, please!!

  6. I don’t even know what to say, except that some of those things are true but many are false. Can they all be found in someone’s writings? Yes, but that doesn’t make them true.
    The Articles of Faith in no way covers everything, but it’s a good place to start.
    The Articles of Faith
    of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
    We believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost.
    We believe that men will be punished for their own sins, and not for Adam’s transgression.
    We believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel.
    We believe that the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel are: first, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; second, Repentance; third, Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; fourth, Laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost.
    We believe that a man must be called of God, by prophecy, and by the laying on of hands by those who are in authority, to preach the Gospel and administer in the ordinances thereof.
    We believe in the same organization that existed in the Primitive Church, namely, apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists, and so forth.
    We believe in the gift of tongues, prophecy, revelation, visions, healing, interpretation of tongues, and so forth.
    We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly; we also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God.
    We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God.
    We believe in the literal gathering of Israel and in the restoration of the Ten Tribes; that Zion (the New Jerusalem) will be built upon the American continent; that Christ will reign personally upon the earth; and, that the earth will be renewed and receive its paradisiacal glory.
    We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.
    We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.
    We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul—We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.
    Joseph Smith

    • Judy,
      You’re a loved member of the Fellowship, but I will have to politely disagree with you:
      From Wikipedia:
      “Most Mormons self-identify as Christian, though some of their beliefs differ substantially from mainstream Christianity. Mormons believe in the Bible, as well as other books of scripture, such as the Book of Mormon. They have a unique view of cosmology…. Mormons have a scriptural canon consisting of the Bible, the Book of Mormon, and a collection of revelations and writings by Joseph Smith known as the Doctrine and Covenants and Pearl of Great Price. Mormons however have a fairly open definition of scripture. As a general rule, anything spoken or written by a prophet, while under inspiration, is considered to be the word of God…. According to Mormons, a Great Apostasy began in Christianity not long after the ascension of Jesus Christ. It was marked with the corruption of Christian doctrine by Greek and other philosophies, with followers dividing into different ideological groups. Mormons claim the martyrdom of the Apostles lead to a loss of Priesthood authority to administer the church and its ordinances. Mormons believe that the Lord re-established the early Christian church through Joseph Smith. In particular, Mormons believe that angels such as Peter, James, John, and John the Baptist appeared to Joseph Smith and others and bestowed various Priesthood authorities on them. Mormons believe that their church is the “only true and living church” because of the divine authority restored through Smith.”
      Wikipedia on Mormon cosmology:
      “According to Mormon cosmology, there was a pre-existence, better described as a pre-mortal life, in which human spirits were literal children of heavenly parents…. According to a plan of salvation as described by God the Father, Jehovah (the heavenly form of Jesus Christ according to Mormonism) created the earth, under the direction of God the Father, as a place where humanity would be tested. After the resurrection all men and women except spirits that followed Lucifer and the sons of perdition would be assigned one of three degrees of glory. Within the highest degree, the Celestial Kingdom, there are three divisions, and those in the highest of these divisions would become gods and goddesses through a process called exaltation or “eternal progression”. According to some Mormon sources,This would involve having spirit children and populating new worlds…. The faith teaches that this earth is just one of many inhabited worlds, and that there are many governing heavenly bodies, including a planet or star Kolob which is said to be nearest the throne of God. According to some Mormon sources, God the Father himself once passed through mortality like Jesus did, but how, when, or where that took place is unclear.
      Many Mormons believe that God once lived on a planet with his own higher god (however, while this is a prevalent view among Mormons, not all Mormons believe this) and that those who go to the celestial kingdom will eventually themselves become gods, a doctrine known as eternal progression. The doctrine of eternal progression is based on a speech by Joseph Smith called the King Follett discourse and was succinctly summarized by LDS Church President Lorenzo Snow in the phrase, “As man now is, God once was: As God now is, man may be.”….
      In Mormonism, the concept of divinity centers around an idea of “exaltation” and “eternal progression”: the idea that mortals themselves may become gods and goddesses in the afterlife, be rulers of their own heavenly kingdoms, have spirit children, and increase in power and glory forever as a result of their cosmic posterity. Mormons understand that there are many gods and goddesses in the cosmos, including a Heavenly Mother. However, the three persons of the Christian Trinity (God the Father, Jesus, and the Holy Ghost) are to be the only objects of worship.”

      Noone is disputing that many Mormons are moral decent people (Wiki: “Mormons emphasize standards they believe were taught by Jesus Christ, including personal honesty, integrity, obedience to law, chastity outside of marriage and fidelity within marriage.”). I wish Christians were more like Mormons in that regard.

    • I don’t really know what to say, either, Judy. I respect you and your choices. However, the Jesus Christ I know and accepted as my Savior is in no-way, shape or form, akin to Lucifer. Nor did God the Father, physically impregnate Mary… IMO, it is blasphemous to even suggest such a thing.
      There are many discrepencies and misleadings in Mormonism, and you are entitled to follow the belief system that is Mormonism.
      All I can add is that I will be praying, as I do for lots of people in this day and age, that their eyes will be opened to what is the solid foundational Rock that is Jesus Christ, and that He, through the power of His Holy Spirit, will enable them to see the Truth. I hope I haven’t offended you. I see you are passionate about your beliefs…as I am, mine. Will be praying, and thanks for listening! 🙂

    • 😀
      I especially love this: “But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.” 1 Corinthians 13:10
      That’s why I don’t believe in supposed new “private revelations” — by Mohammed or Joseph Smith or whatever. As if Jesus needed these men to “correct” or “add to” His words.

      • Thanks, Sage. I so appreciate your help.
        To Meltthemean: You outright accuse Mary Kochan of lying in her article, so I’ve e-mailed her, asking her to respond. I suggest you go directly to her article’s site and confront her. I’m not her spokesman.
        To Grouchy: Frankly, I’m surprised at both the argumentativeness and tone of your comment. To say that there can be no new revelation after Jesus had spoken in the Gospels doesn’t mean the Holy Spirit doesn’t enlighten or guide us. But it’s ridiculous to think that someone can just come along and claim he’s had some special “private divine revelation” that changes the fundamental tenets of Christ’s words, the Gospels, and Christianity. Since you believe that, then you must also approve of Islam because that’s what Mohammad claimed. How about if Joe Smoe claims tomorrow that he’s had a private revelation via a special pair of glasses God gave him, and this revelation says the Devil really is good and should be worshipped? Puleeze.
        Like Sage, I’m also done with this, and will no longer be responding to anyone.

  7. ….and supposedly, the men wear special underwear. I do not know if this is true or not.

  8. Judy, the God of Mormonism that you describe, is not the theology of the Mormon Church. Dr. Eowyn has provided you with Wikipedia’s very clear summary of Mormon religious beliefs which is accurate in addition to the citations as set forth in her initial post. Mormonism does not teach the Holy Trinity of Christianity. In fact, Jesus is still becoming perfect under Mormon theology. Mormonism is a polytheistic belief system which completely defies the history of the Early Church, the apostolic fathers and the Tradition of the Early Church notwithstanding the revelation of Our Lord through Scripture and Tradition. Joseph Smith and Brigham Young taught, amongst other things, and this is still within their articles of belief, the doctrine of polygamy. They thought nothing of taking other men’s wives as their own which contributed to Joseph Smith’s demise.
    In any event, Judy, I respect your attempt to defend Mormonism. However, the doctrines of Mormonism speak for themselves and if you carefully study the distinctions which are set out in this post ab initio, you will understand the differences between Mormonism and Christianity. There is no need for me to duplicate what has already been competently communicated.

    • joandarc says….”in addition to the citations as set forth in her initial post” – I did not find any citations or references listed in this post.
      If by ‘the doctrine of the Trinity’ one means the New Testament teaching that there is a Father, a Son, and a Holy Ghost, all three of whom are fully divine, then Latter-day Saints believe in the doctrine of the Trinity. The Latter-day Saints’ first article of faith, written by Joseph Smith in 1842, states, “We believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost……However, if by “the doctrine of the Trinity” one means the doctrine formulated by the councils of Nicaea and Chalcedon and elaborated upon by subsequent theologians and councils–that God is three coequal persons in one substance or essence–then Latter-day Saints do not believe it. They do not believe it, because it is not biblical. Words central to the orthodox understanding of the Trinity –words like coequal, consubstantial, and circumincession, or the word trinity itself, for that matter–are not found in scripture.

  9. Doc’s wife, temple underwear is provided in Mormon temple weddings that are held secretly in their Mormon temple. The niece of David O. McKay, who fell away from Mormonism, wrote a controversial piece on what is practiced in their temple marriages. There is an Adam-God scenario and/or play, fertility rites which is where the underwear comes in, which is a bizarre rite in and of itself. I just wanted you to know where the “special underwear” comes from.

  10. I would have liked to have seen a more fair reporting on Mormonism. Any religion, including Catholicism, can be presented in a positive or negative light. Where is the other side to the argument? All I know is that all discussions about religion have one thing in common – Everyone thinks they are right and no one can unilaterally prove it.
    As a criticism from someone who is not an expert on Mormons, the weakest argument of the article was that the [Founder Joseph Smith, claimed to have been told in a vision regarding the Christian churches that God “forbade me to join with any of them” and “all their creeds were an abomination in his sight.”] So basically a Catholic is telling us that Mormons are weird because they think they are the only legitmate church. Really? No other Christian churches would ever make the claim that they have the full truth and that the others are incorrect to some degree? Come on. If that’s the case then why would I belong to any of them?
    If anything, in light of this article I’m more inspired to do some of my own research. Maybe even read the Book of Mormon. Especially if it’s as entertaining as the Broadway show going on in my neck of the woods.

    • Ryan,
      Please point to exactly where and what in my post that was “unfair reporting” on Mormonism. Is it not factually true that Mormons believe in their particular brand of cosmology? Do point to the factual errors I made — with your sources.
      Did I anywhere claim that Catholicism was “right”? My post was to address whether a FACTUAL assertion that “Mormonism is Christian” is true or not. Nowhere did I make a NORMATIVE claim that Catholicism/Christianity is “better than” Mormonism.
      Now, if you don’t know the difference between a factual vs. normative proposition, I suggest you educate yourself on epistemology. But don’t come on my blog and accuse me of something I didn’t do, just because you’re confused/ignorant.

    • I was surprised, startled and saddened to see this appear on Fellowship of the Minds (one of my favorite blogs). I enjoy reading the posts by Dr. Eowyn and Sage and what I believed to be their spiritual insight and uplifting messages, but to slam Mormanism by using an article written by Mary Kochan for CatholicLane (“Mary Kochan, former Senior Editor of CatholicExchange, is Editor-in-chief of Raised as a third-generation Jehovah’s Witness…..”) was something I didn’t expect and I felt it was a pretty low blow. Citing Wikipedia as a credible source isn’t something I would do. In all fairness, please post a response countering this one-sided viewpoint.
      Let he that is without sin among you, cast the first stone.
      Judge not, lest ye be judged.
      Love thy neighbor as thyself.

      • Melt,
        I am surprised, startled and saddened to see you attack me. Please specify what is mistaken in Kochan’s and Wikipedia’s articles. Since you haven’t done that, I have no idea what it is to which you object. It’s like boxing with a shadow, in the mist. Your attack is extremely unfair, because you are slamming Kochan simply because she is Catholic, instead of pointing to specific assertions of hers that you believe to be mistaken or wrong. If the latter, you have the obligation to point out what those mistakes are, what the correct facts are, and cite your sources.
        Not having done that, I can only conclude that you are an anti-Catholic bigot.

        • No where in my post did I attack you nor did I slam Kochan simply because she is Catholic nor am I an “anti-Catholic bigot” (how Christian of you). I object to Mary’s article because of the misinformation it contains and her lack of citations. Perhaps she formed her opinion from watching The God Makers, who knows. Any effort to respond to criticism, slander or misrepresentation is weighted in favor of the critic. With a single “authoritive” quote a critic can raise doubts or give an impression which might take pages to correctly understand or correct. So, with that in mind, my sources are here:
          From its beginnings, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and its members have been targets of persecution and criticism.This persecution is not unexpected, for the Savior told us:
          Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you [from their company], and shall reproach [you], and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man’s sake. Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward [is] great in heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets. (Luke 6:22-23).
          In every town, in every street,
          In nearly every house you meet
          A little imp, who wriggles in,
          With half a sneer and half a grin,
          And climbs upon your rocking chair
          Or creeps upon you anywhere;
          And when he gets you very near,
          Just whispers something in your ear,
          Some rumor or another’s shame,
          And little ‘Hearsay’ is his name.
          He never really claims to know;
          He’s only heard that it is so;
          And then he whispers it to you,
          So you will go and whisper too.
          For if enough is passed along,
          The rumor even though it’s wrong,
          If John tells Henry; Henry, Flo;
          And Flo tells Mildred, and Mildred, Ruth;
          It very soon will pass for truth.
          You understand this little elf;
          He doesn’t say he knows himself;
          He only whispers it to you
          Because he knows you’ll go and tell
          Some other whisperers as well;
          And so before the setting sun
          He gets the devil’s mischief done,
          And there is less of joy and good,
          Around your little neighborhood.
          Look out for ‘Hearsay’ when he sneaks
          Inside the house when Slander speaks,
          Just ask the proof in every case;
          Just ask the name, the date, the place;
          And if he says he only heard,
          Declare you don’t believe a word
          And tell him that you’ll not repeat
          The silly chatter of the street,
          However gossips smile and smirk,
          Refuse to do the devil’s work!

  11. It sounds like I’ve upset you and I apologize if you feel that I am somehow attacking your professional capabilities. I don’t pretend to be a religous scholar. On the other hand, I am somwhat offended that you have attacked my personal opinion. I simply read your article and felt that it was one sided. If you had stopped at what you wrote it would have been great. However, you went on to include the Catholic point of view. My comment was merely that there was no point of view given of the other side. An opinion of a Catholic of what a Mormon’s point of view consists of hardly counts as a balance to a first person point of view of a Catholic.
    All that being said, I commend you for taking on the issue. It’s not an easy one to take on.

    • What does being Catholic have to do with an effort to answer a FACTUAL question of whether Mormonism is Christian? Are you saying that Catholics should be barred from such an undertaking? Why is that?
      A factual question is either true or not true — and the answer depends entirely on the facts, not on opinions. You are, once again, very very confused, because you cannot distinguish facts from opinions.
      Christians believe in certain fundamental truths: Is there one God or many gods? Who God the Father is; who Jesus is; who Mary is; who Lucifer is; who human beings are.
      Christians do not believe the Universe is teeming with many gods; or that God the Father lives on a planet; or that Jesus was a “creation” of God the Father just as Lucifer was; or that human beings can/will become gods, each with their own planet to rule.
      These are FACTUAL questions. To point out that Mormon beliefs are wholly different from Christian beliefs on these matters is neither “unfair” nor is it an “opinion” nor does doing so have anything with being Catholic or not. Anyone with the information can ascertain whether Mormons hold the same beliefs as Christians. And it is precisely that information that I tried to provide. But you continue to twist what I’ve done into some sinister Catholic skullduggery. Shame on you!

  12. Mitt Romney’s mormonism isn’t what scares me about him, as he is free to believe as he wishes.
    What truly scares me about him is his RINO-ism.
    As for the MSM, they want him to win the republican nomination ASAP so they can start “McCaining” him early and often – like five minutes after he wins it.
    They probably have all the stories written already.

    • Me too. I object to Romney because he’s a RINO, not because of Mormonism. But I was curious about Mormon claims that they are Christian. That’s why I did this post.

      • Yeah, we’ve had some pretty hot Christianity vs. Mormonism debates over at NB, as well as some Catholic vs. Protestant ones as well – some of the latter got out of hand to the point the admins had to step in.
        I rarely got involved in them, as I tend to stick to the Christian vs. Islam stuff – LOL.
        I really have never studied very much about Mormons, as we don’t really have that many around here, and I don’t have any plans to move to Utah.
        That was an interesting piece you put together.

        • Alas, as you can see, Mormons just will not tolerate anything about them they don’t want to hear/read. Instead they go on the attack, esp. against Catholics. Nor do they produce counter-evidence. I sure hope Romney isn’t like the ones who’ve posted on this thread. If he is and he’s elected in 2012, God help us.

  13. As to your presentation of the ‘facts’ I would propose a simple question. Suppose a survey was taken as to whether the US or China is a better place to live and the following headlines were run the next day. Is there a FACTUAL difference between the following headlines if the results of the survey showed that the US was #1 and China was #2?
    US Newspaper “China Rated Dead Last in Best Places to Live Survey”
    Chinese Newspaper “China Ranks #2 in Best Places to Live Survey”
    While this is a quick and crude example it demonstrates the point that without a full understanding of the circumstances ‘FACTS’ can be twisted to get a desired result. Just as the US newspaper paints China in a negative light an article written by a Non-Mormon about a Mormon might present the ‘FACTS’ correctly but in a negative light.
    In addition, I don’t know why you think I don’t like Catholics. If anything, of all the Christian sects they are the ones I most appreciate. You simply chose to include a Catholic point of view. If it was a Evangelical or Methodist I would have made the same comment.
    I feel like I’ve been fair in my assessments. I would appreciate it if you stopped suggesting that I’m some ignorant bigot. That kind of talk is reserved for 10 year olds on a playground trying to hurt each other’s feelings.

    • Once again, you are proving my original point that you confuse “factual” claims with “normative” claims.
      This post is about whether Mormonism is Christian, i.e., whether the beliefs of Mormonism are the same as the fundamental beliefs of Christianity — which is a FACTUAL question, and can either be true or not true or partly true.
      This post is NOT about whether Mormonism is “better than” Christianity, or vice versa — which is a NORMATIVE question (norms = values = good/bad, better/worse).
      I am not suggesting you are ignorant; I am stating you are ignorant because you don’t know the difference between Factual vs. Normative. I can’t help it if you are ignorant and confused. Then, on top of that you base your entire objection to this post on the fact that a Catholic wrote it. That’s comparable to saying that if a white person writes about the beliefs of black people, or vice versa, it is inevitably biased. No. It all depends on whether what the person says or writes is true of not.
      I have other work to do — like writing posts and managing this blog. There really is nothing more I can say to you. Your ignorance and confusion run so deep, compared to you, teaching my students is a breeze.

  14. I feel like a 10 year old being called names out on the playground. I would appreciate it if you stopped trying to paint me as a ignorant bigot. I happen to like Catholics very much and I believe their doctrine has a lot of credibility. It could have been a Methodist or Evangelical point of view and I would have made the same comment. Once again, I appreciate your article, I just thought it would only be fair to hear the same story from someone else’s mouth. If you don’t believe the story will sound different from a Mormon’s point of view then I would recommend taking a note from politicians. Anything can be spun.

    • I called you an anti-Catholic bigot because you based your objections to this post ENTIRELY on the fact that Mary Kochan is Catholic, instead of on whether the information she gave is accurate or not. I’m not preventing you or any Mormon from presenting the “real” facts about Mormonism to show that Kochan is wrong. But I haven’t seen any. Instead, all I get are attacks and accusations based SOLELY on Kochan being Catholic. If you have information about Mormonism that is different from Kochan’s, no one is preventing you from presenting it. But, in all your comments, I haven’t seen any.
      I asked you for FACTS on Mormonism, you gave me none. I asked you for sources, you gave me none. All you’ve done is to attack me.

  15. In the comboxes at Catholic lane, under my original article, this appears:
    “An absolutely great article Mary, virtually one of the best I’ve read describing the differences between Mormonism and Catholicism.
    “I was raised as a Mormon, but once becoming an adult I began to study its “theology” and found all of what you have written about and much more that I found impossible to equate with any form of Christianity….”
    Mormons are free to make any claims they wish. We ae also free to examine their claims as long as we are honest and don’t falsley attribute things to them they don’t hold to, which as the comment above shows, I did not do.
    There is a historic Christian understanding of the nature of God and Christ and man that is shared by Catholic and Protestants and not shared by Mormons. If Mormons are so certain that their understanding of gods and planets, etc. is correct, then they should defend it instead of trying to hide it. The Catholic idea that God became man and that bread and wine become the Body and Blood of Christ is certainly strange to someone unacquainted with the Christianity, but we don’t go around hiding that we believe that.

  16. First of all, this issue came about because of the comment made by a Protestant minister that Romney belongs to a cult, that Mormonism is a cult. Obviously, Fellowship of the Minds is involved in current issues. This was not a post created by Dr. Eowyn out of the clear blue – it was set out clearly to respond to the current queries as to whether or not, from a theological definition, Mormonism is considered a Christian religion. It is not! Get off Dr. Eowyn’s back! Get a grip! Mormonism does not theologically agree with basic Christian universal beliefs about the nature of God, salvation, creation, the Sacraments, the Blessed Mother, et al., as set out very clearly above. If you attend a theology class in a major university you will also learn these same distinctions. As Dr. Ewoyn and Mary Kochan have pointed out, feel free to rebut with documentary and specific evidence these clearly defined distinctions. Don’t be disappointed and shocked with Fellowship of the Minds! We had nothing to do with the creation of Mormonism and the absolute distinctions it has in its belief system contrary to Christianity!

  17. Thank you Sage, for this excellent and fact-filled video.

  18. The National Conference of Christians and Jews – Summary Review
    An ad hoc committee from The National Conference of Christians and Jews produced an evaluation of the Godmakers movie. This committee was made up of:
    3 Roman Catholics
    1 Methodist
    2 Presbyterians
    1 Disciples of Christ
    7 Jews
    1 Greek Orthodox
    2 Mormons (Not Robert Brown, Rosemary Brown or Gilbert Scharffs)
    Highlights from their report stated:
    The film does not – in our opinion – fairly portray the Mormon Church, Mormon history, or Mormon belief. It makes extensive use of ‘half-truth’, faulty generalizations, erroneous interpretations, and sensationalism. It is not reflective of the genuine spirit of the Mormon faith.
    We find particularly offensive the emphasis in the film that Mormonism is some sort of subversive plot – a danger to the community, a threat to the institution of marriage, and is destructive to the mental health of teenagers. All of our experience with our Mormon neighbors provides eloquent refutation of these charges.
    We are of the opinion that The Godmakers relies heavily on appeals to fear, prejudice and other less worthy human emotions. We believe that continued use of this film poses genuine danger to the climate of good will and harmony which currently exists between neighbors of differing faiths. It appears to us to be a basically unfair and untruthful presentation of what Mormons really believe and practice.
    We believe that most fair-minded people who would happen to view this film would be appalled by it, because their attitudes have been previously formed through many day-to-day experiences with Mormons which demonstrate that they are good friends, neighbors and fellow citizens. (Brown 1995, 67-68)

    • Latter-day Saints do not use the symbol of the cross in their architecture or in their chapels. They, like the earliest Christians, are reluctant to display the cross because they view the “good news” of the gospel as Christ’s resurrection more than his crucifixion.
      The cross, a traditional symbol of Christianity, is displayed extensively in Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, and Protestantism. In each tradition, the symbol of the cross focuses the worshiper’s attention on central elements of the Christian faith. However, different theological points may be emphasized. For example, in Catholicism the crucifix (the cross with the dead Christ hanging on it) symbolizes the crucifixion of Christ and invites meditation on the Atonement. In contrast, the plain cross used by Protestants symbolizes not only the crucifixion but also the resurrection of Christ, for the cross is empty. The Eastern Orthodox crucifix is a symbolic concept somewhere between those of Catholicism and Protestantism: Christ hangs on the cross, but as the living Lord, his head not bowed in death but raised in triumph. Thus, the crucifixion, the Atonement, the resurrection, and the Lordship of Christ are all graphically presented in the Orthodox crucifix.

    • How can you explain the resemblances between Masonry and the LDS temple?

  19. The doctrines of Mormonism, that God was once a mortal man living on another planet, that God the Father has a physical body of flesh and bones, that Mormon men may become gods and rule over kingdoms as God the Father rules earth and thus, that there are many gods, that attendance at the Mormon temple is essential for salvation, that refraining from tea, alcohol and tobacco is essential for salvation, that paying a full tithe is essential for salvation and that each soul has existed from eternity and had a spirit birth ages before it was placed in a human body, can all be easily refuted by Holy Scripture and the Tradition of the Church as set forth by the apostles themselves and the Apostolic and Early Church Fathers.
    Nevertheless, it is most necessary, once again, to keep on the REAL ISSUE HERE: Is Mormonism a cult and is it defined as a Christian faith? This was the assertion of the Protestant minister, that it was a cult, not an established Christian faith.
    In order to understand Mormonism, one must understand what Joseph Smith taught, who was the founder of Mormonism. It is very clear that Joseph Smith did not want Mormonism to be a part of Christianity. As a matter of fact, he claimed that all of Christianity went through a complete Apostasy, notwithstanding history, testimonies, the Scriptures, the writings of the Apostolic Fathers, the Early Church Fathers, the martyrs and historians such as Eusebius, et al. In fact, in the History of the Church written by Joseph Smith, in 6:408-409, he stated, “I have no more to boast of than any other man. I am the only man that has ever been able to keep a whole church together since the days of Adam. A large majority of the whole have stood by me. Neither Paul, John, Peter, nor Jesus ever did it. I boast that no man ever did such a work as I.” Indeed and in fact, Joseph Smith did not desire to be part of “Christianity.” Look what he said! Such are the words of a false prophet, a narcissist par excellence who saw himself more effective than Our Lord Himself! Accordingly, Joseph Smith desired to have his own system outside of Christianity.
    As for the Bible, our Holy Scriptures, Joseph Smith said in the History of the Church, 4:461, that “the Book of Mormon is the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts than by any other book.” This is an indictment in and of itself. Joseph Smith found his Book of Mormon more important than the Scriptures, which is the Word of God in Christendom.
    Don’t try to include Mormonism as a Christian faith when its own founder did not desire such an inclusion.