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Our Message at a Glance
By Cal Fullerton
In spite of its blemishes, the foundation of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints of Salt Lake City (LDS or Mormon Church) is the real Lord Jesus Christ. Even though about thirty percent of their teachings are inaccurate, Mormons constitute a Christian organization.
In other words, anyone who believes what the LDS Church teaches about the Savior is a born-again Christian and will go to heaven. Many of their achievements will be consumed by flames on judgment day, but they themselves will escape the fire (1 Corinthians 3:11-15).
How can you claim the Mormon Church is Christian?
- The LDS Church purpose coincides with Jesus’ stated purpose for sending out Paul the Apostle. That is, “to open [people's] eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me” (Acts 26:18).
- All their falsehoods concern nonessential matters (See Romans 14:1).
- LDS Church leaders do not teach error on purpose. They simply lack a full revelation of the Word of God and inadvertently fill in some of the blanks on their own—as we all do. (See 1 Corinthians 13:12.) (By the way, those who condemn the Mormon Church don’t normally realize their error either.)
- Gordon B. Hinckley, LDS President from 1995 to 2008, stated that Jesus “is the central focus of our worship. . . . He is our King, our Lord. . . . He ‘loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, and hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever’ (Revelation 1:5-6).” (1)
- Mormons are generally recognized and known for their positive moral behavior. Jesus said, “A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit” (Matthew 7:18).
Why do critics claim the Mormon Church is not Christian?
Their judgment is based on fallacies through which
- Nonessential biblical doctrines are thought to be essential.
- LDS teaching is often misunderstood.
- Statements by LDS leaders are often taken out of context.
- Knowledge of LDS teaching is often obtained primarily from secondhand sources including ex-Mormons. Current Mormon officials are seldom given a fair chance to defend themselves (See Proverbs 18:17).
- Many critics are not guided by the Holy Spirit in discerning the LDS. Instead they use their unrenewed minds and their old natures. The old nature is negative, cynical, and judges prematurely. The new nature in Christ judges objectively (Proverbs 24:23), sees the best in others (1 Corinthians 13:7 AMP), recognizes the power of the blood of Jesus to cover unintentional sin (Romans 4:7), and is anchored in the wisdom of God.
- Because the old nature does not trust the guidance of the Holy Spirit it is overly afraid of being deceived. For this reason many critics keep their distance from Latter-day Saints. This handicaps their ability to see good fruit in Mormon lives.
How can I know who is right?
- Rely on the discernment of God which comes through prayer, reading the Bible, listening to God's voice, and walking in God’s ways by faith in his Son, Jesus Christ. “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding” (Proverbs 3:5).
How can I help bridge the division?
- If you're a Mormon: Realize that the church of Christ and Christ's authority extends beyond the boundaries of the LDS. (I know this is asking a lot, but all things are possible with God!) And realize that non-Mormon followers of Christ also enjoy the constant companionship of the Holy Spirit.
- If you're not a Mormon: Realize and declare that the Mormon Church is at core a Christian organization.
What’s in it for me?
- Many goodies! God will release you from the curse that comes to those who judge falsely—“In the same way you judge others, you will be judged” (Matthew 7:2).
- Peacemaking across the division between the LDS Church and other Christian streams is challenging, stimulating, and will stir up all sorts of gifts God has given you.
- “Blessed are the peacemakers” (Matthew 5:9).
Why is this site called “Evangelicals and Mormons for Jesus”?
- The name implies that evangelicals and Mormons serve the same Jesus.
- It also reflects our vision of Mormons and evangelicals worshiping and working together for the advancement of God’s glorious eternal kingdom. Unity among Christians attracts the lost (John 17:20-23)! Such unity truly will be REFORMATION!
What are you NOT saying?
- We are NOT saying all Mormons are Christians—far from it!
- We are NOT saying LDS false doctrines are harmless. We encourage non-Mormons to help Mormons grow in the Lord with love, patience, humility, and primarily by example.
Click here for biblical evidence for the Christian foundation of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
GOD BLESS YOU!
1 “We Testify of Jesus Christ,” March 2008 Ensign, 4.
Copyright © 2008-2011 Cal Fullerton. Permission is granted and you are encouraged to send the above article to your own email lists and post it on your own websites.
All Scripture quotations above, unless otherwise noted, are taken from the HOLY BIBLE,
NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society.
Used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers.