I got an email yesterday from a high school friend. His father was known in our community as a strong opposition to our faith (ie. an anti-Mormon).
Never did we talk about religion. Never did the topic come up, possibly because, where I was from, this friend and his dad were in the minority.
However, yesterday he ask me this question:
I am going to be doing a comparative study between Christianity and Mormonism to our youth in about a month. Would you mind have a dialogue with me about your faith and answering any questions I may have. I know that you are zealous about your faith and I would appreciate your input.
I thought about it for awhile, knowing that I didn’t want to get in to a debate or argue with him about religion. I talked it over with Becky. And then I responded like this:
I’d love to help you out in any way that I can with your study. I am a bit confused about the title of comparing Mormonism to Christianity since Mormons believe and worship Jesus Christ as our Savior, and that only in Him, and through Him, can we be saved. We believe He came to Earth, taught the truth, was crucified and died on the cross, was buried, and three days later was resurrected as an immortal being and that He lives today. We believe that through the atonement of Christ, all mankind can be saved by obedience to the laws and ordinances of His gospel.
As a “Mormon”, I would definitely consider myself a Christian.
I’m happy to answer any other questions and appreciate you asking me.
Later, I read The Living Christ: The Testimony of the Apostles. This was helpful too, as it states clearly about our belief in Jesus Christ as the only way back to the father.
“That by him, and through him, and of him, the worlds are and were created, and the inhabitants thereof are begotten sons and daughters unto God” (D&C 76:24)
I’m grateful for the knowledge and testimony I have of Jesus Christ. I think it’s interesting how a question like this from a friend can really get me thinking about what I believe and why.
I decided to do a bit more research and found this talk by Stephen E. Robinson titled “Are Mormons Christians?”
Here are some of the highlights:
…remember that the spirit of contention is always un-Christian (see D&C 10:63).
The whole article is really well written. It sums up the question about whether or not Mormons are Christian with this frank statement:
…it isn’t really the LDS doctrine of Christ that is objectionable; rather, it is the claim that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God, that the Book of Mormon is God’s word, and that the gospel has been restored to the earth in the latter days.
Again, I’m grateful for my testimony of Jesus Christ, of the Book of Mormon as another testament of Jesus Christ, and that the gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored on the earth today through living prophets who hold the priesthood, which is the power to act in the name of God.
I’m grateful to have been raised with this belief and to have been working on increasing my testimony through study and prayer.
I’m also grateful that I’ve made time this morning to study these principles.