Since Mormonism is back in the news I thought I’d share the post below. The “still not Christians” part of the title is sure to offend, but words mean things. Short version: The Mormon Jesus is not the same as the Christian Jesus, so we don’t have the same religion.
They come to my door trying to convert me because they think I have the wrong religion. But that doesn’t offend me. I know we’re different. I would expect anyone who thinks they have the proper view of God, salvation and the world to want to persuade others to their way of thinking (and shame on Christians who have no such desire to do that, whether by doing it themselves or supporting others who do so).
Also see Mormonism 101 for a terrific overview of that religion. It doesn’t say why they are wrong and Christianity is right, it just gives a thorough and accurate history and overview of Mormonism — thus highlighting why Mormonism is not just another Christian denomination.
A Mormon on a now-defunct blog wrote the following after I pointed out how it is frustrating for them to play the “We’re Christians, too” card while simultaneously trying to save us via their worldview. I really appreciated his candor, especially in contrast to the kind of responses I got on Part I.
I can see that we do double speak, trying to stand on both sides of the line and often feint ignorance until called out. I found my self doing it with that last post. I almost took the polyandry references out because I wanted to protect other LDS readers who I know are following this conversation. I realize that I have this knowledge and my tendency is to hide it from less informed members of my faith. Ultimately I decided to leave it in and that is in large part due to reading your criticisms in other places and not wanting to be apart of this legitimate frustration.
I fully understand that as a Mormon, I am dishonest if I try to make our doctrines sound the same as yours so that we can get along better. They are different and I know that. When bloggers say, “Billy Mormon would never talk bad about your beliefs” it is just silly. By definition, our church proclaims that yours is wrong. We send out missionaries to say other churches are wrong, come be baptized here instead. I saw these types of comments and I recognize them for what they are.
What he wrote was the opposite of what many Mormons have said on this blog and elsewhere. I realize that not all Christians agree on every topic and not all Mormons agree on every topic, but what he addressed was obviously related to the essentials of their faith. So if Mormons don’t agree with him then one of you isn’t a Mormon (or at least one of you isn’t well educated in your faith).
Again, kudos to him for his honesty. That goes a long way towards having productive dialogues. It doesn’t bother me if people disagree with me, but I don’t like to waste time with folks who insist that they agree and disagree with me at the same time on the same subject.
P.S. I think this is one of the items we were discussing at the time:
Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, 150: “When our father Adam came to the garden of Eden he came into it with a celestial body, and he brought eve, one of his wives, with him. He helped to make and organize this world.
He is Michael, the archangel the ancient of days, about whom holy men have written and spoken he is our father and our god and the only god with whom we have to do.”
Those are irreconcilable differences in who God is and how the world works. Different God. Different creation narrative. Adam = God and Michael ??!! You can’t even get out of Genesis 1 without seeing the clear differences, let alone John 1 or countless other passages.