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Will we recognize their welcome as a product of the same root?

Will we recognize their welcome as a product of the same root?

Recently I noticed the Presiding Bishop, Katherine Jefferts Schori’s sermon to the opening Eucharist of the Executive Council, meeting in Salt Lake City UT. Ever the scientist, she began speaking about botanical subjects, namely trees, vines and common root stocks. These seemed metaphors for different branches or denominations of Christianity today. Because the Executive Council was meeting in Salt lake City and the upcoming General Convention will also be convened there, she spoke of her hope that folks attending General Convention would be mindful of their common root stock with the LDS people who settled the Salt Lake Valley and what is now the State of Utah.

When General Convention shows up here just over 3 months from now, many of the volunteers and dispensers of hospitality will be our sisters and brothers from that [LDS] tradition. Will we recognize their welcome as a product of the same root, or will we assume that they come from a different and unrecognizable species?

The Presiding Bishop is suggesting that those attending General Convention view the LDS folks as fellow Christians. How about you, do you have LDS neighbors in your patch? Can/do you interact with them as fellow Christians? Or are they unrecognizable and alien to you?

posted by David Allen


Salt Lake Temple photo from


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Joseph Merkling

I must admit I am puzzled that any missionaries would not affirm that we are Christian. The closest I’ve ever been to not claiming membership in the body of Christ is when I was about 11, living in San Antonio, and a neighbor asked if we were going to attend the big meeting with then Pope John Paul II saying “no because we aren’t christian” then immediately corrected myself to say “I mean we aren’t Catholic.” I knew we were christian but not that kind of christian.

Just this Sunday I went to the 6:30 service at the Lutheran Church, as part of a neighborhood out reach effort(there are 4 churches within a block) and had no trouble saying ‘Amen’ to anything said during the liturgy, including the Apostles Creed.

In part I was there to deliver a DVD containing brief dramatizations from the Bible of the life of Christ as a small 50th Anniversary present (videos can be seen at Also this Sunday the LDS Church purchased all the adds on Youotube’s front page to promote a social media campaign celebrating the resurrection. (

Now we fully acknowledge that some of our doctrines are different (otherwise what good would it be for us to be a Church), but I can witness that our devotion to the Lord Jesus Christ is central (

26 And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins.

29 And now behold, I say unto you that the right way is to believe in Christ, and deny him not; and Christ is the Holy One of Israel; wherefore ye must bow down before him, and worship him with all your might, mind, and strength, and your whole soul; and if ye do this ye shall in nowise be cast out.

David Tiffany

Early Mormon church founders, Joseph Smith and Bringham Young did not consider Mormons to be Christian. Here’s what they had to say about Christians and Christianity:

“What is it that inspires professors of Christianity generally with a hope of salvation? It is that smooth, sophisticated influence of the devil, by which he deceives the whole world”

– Prophet Joseph Smith, Jr., Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 270

“…all the priests who adhere to the sectarian religions of the day with all their followers, without one exception, receive their portion with the devil and his angels.”

– Prophet Joseph Smith, Jr. , The Elders Journal, v. 1, no. 4, p. 60

“Nothing less than a complete apostasy from the Christian religion would warrant the establishment of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.”

– Prophet Joseph Smith, Jr., History of the Church, v. 1, p. xl

“Brother Taylor has just said that the religions of the day were hatched in hell. The eggs were laid in hell, hatched on its borders, and then kicked on to the earth.”

– Prophet Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, v. 6, p. 176

“When the light came to me I saw that all the so-called Christian world was groveling in darkness.”

– Prophet Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, v. 5, p. 73

“With a regard to true theology, a more ignorant people never lived than the present so-called Christian world.”

– Prophet Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, v. 8, p. 199

“The Christian world, so-called, are heathens as to the knowledge of the salvation of God”

– Prophet Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, v. 8, p. 171

“…the time came when Paganism was engrafted into Christianity, and at last Christianity was converted into Paganism rather than converting the Pagans. And subsequently the Priesthood was taken from among men, this authority was re-called into the heavens, and the world was left without the Priesthood—without the power of God—without the Church and Kingdom of God.”

– Prophet Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, v. 22, p. 44

And read the following post to see how Mormon teachings contradict the teachings of Biblical Christianity:

Daniel Colton

As a practicing “Mormon” I found this comment section much more interesting than the article.
Regarding the instances were Mormon missionaries said, “We’re Mormon, not Christian” I’m very surprised at their language. I have two thoughts, 1) I hope that with further learning within the Mormon faith they’ll learn that is not an accepted statement, and 2) I wonder about the culture of the Mormons where those missionaries were raised. I was raised outside of the Book of Mormon belt and I just never heard my membership say, “We’re not Christian”. That said, I never knew that the mainstream of Christianity identified so much with each other, even when belonging to different sections of Christianity. I always thought that Mormons were as “divided” from Episcopalians as Pentecostals were “divided” from Catholics as Lutherans from etc etc etc. It’s been a surprise to me to learn there is more unity among the rest of Christianity, excluding Mormons and I don’t know who else.
The leg I hear my own faith stand on is the definition, “To be Christian is to follow Christ”. I think regardless of ones view on the Godhead, regardless of ones view on the validity of other Christian faiths, if you’re following the teachings of Jesus, as taught in the Bible (and the Book of Mormon) and trying to be Christlike then you’re endeavoring to be a disciple of Christ, ergo you’re Christian. I fully respect that many people think my faith is doing a crummy job of following how they understand the gospel.

The second major thing I came here to say is, how pleased I am at the comment section. Civility and thoughtfulness abound.

Adrianne Sorensen

Excellent Points Thank you for your comment

Ann Fontaine

Downtown Dave: please add your full name when you post – thanks. Editor

Leighton Anderson

The comment by “downtown dave” violates the comment policy (“Our comment policy requires that you use your real name”).

Statements attributed to bygone church leaders (“Journal of Discourses” is in all cases a third party’s account of what was said, and entries are not considered canonical) do not represent current theological viewpoints. Any denomination might need to explain or harmonize earlier statements with more modern and accepted views. I don’t know how comfortable any of us might be with Paul’s comments on the role of women in worship, for example. But LDS doctrine does hold that significant Christian principles were changed or lost in the centuries following Christ, and that Christ’s priesthood needed to be restored. This admittedly sets Mormons apart but it does not make them unworthy of the name, “Christian.” All of us ought to be willing to extend that name to any believer in the divinity, son-ship, atonement, resurrection and ecclesiastical leadership of Jesus Christ. Mormons qualify on all points.

Adrianne Sorensen

Excellent post. Thank you

Ann Fontaine

Leighton: Thanks for the note about our policy — there are only 7 of us (one editor per day) and we all have “day jobs” – so we do not catch all these promptly.

David Streever

Leighton: Sorry about that. I hit approve on it quickly without looking at the name.

In terms of the content, I think it’s OK for him to post without much context a list of ideas he believes Mormons ascribe to; I also think it’s OK to disagree with him! I didn’t see his comment as hateful or uncivil, and he’s posting something that many people do agree with. I’m not informed enough about LDS doctrine to know if he’s correct or not, and in general, we don’t moderate because someone is incorrect; we leave it up to commentators to have that discussion (so long as it stays civil…)

Leighton Anderson

Mr. Streever, thank you for your comment. I agree with you on all of those points. But there is some background with “downtown dave” – he is relentless about posting negative comments toward Mormonism in connection with web articles, especially when articles are then linked on Real Clear Religion as this article was. I find that to be a source of personal irritation, but of course that has nothing to do with your comment policy! I agree with the remark of another commenter here that this discussion is remarkable for its civility, and you and other moderators deserve thanks for that.

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