The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (often referred to as the Mormon Church) was organized in 1830 as the restoration of Christ’s ancient church, with all its authority and power. Ever since this restoration, members of The Church of Jesus Christ have been accused of not being Christians. Even today the belief persists that Mormons aren’t Christians. So, is it true? Are Mormons Christians or not? They are. Mormons are Christians because they recognize and accept Jesus Christ as the Savior and Redeemer of the world. Mormons worship Christ.
What Makes Mormons Different from Other Christians?
One of the most significant ways that Mormons are different from other Christians is that, in addition to the Bible, they have the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price as scripture. Many Christians mistakenly think that the existence and acceptance of these scriptural books violate God’s commandments to not add to revealed scripture. They get this idea from Revelation 22:18, 19:
For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.
Some Christians think this means there can never be any more scripture. However, The Book of John and other parts of the New Testament were received and written after the Book of Revelation, so these verses could only pertain to the Book of Revelation itself. Also, these are common warnings to copyists and printers; the same kind of thing can be found in the Book of Deuteronomy. Also, Mormons have not added nor taken away from the Bible. Additional revelation recorded as scripture stands outside of, and as a second witness to, the Holy Bible.
The Book of Mormon and Other Scripture
The Book of Mormon stands as another witness of Jesus Christ, with the Bible being another. The content of the Book of Mormon expressly testifies of the reality of Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. The other books in the Mormon scriptural canon also direct the reader toward Christ. Mormons believe that there can’t be too many witnesses of Jesus Christ. That belief in His reality is only strengthened through multiple witnesses and testimonies.
Mormon theology rejects some doctrinal tenets central to other denominations of Christianity. For instance, Mormons do not believe in predestination (the idea that our fate in heaven or hell is already decided) or the Trinity (Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost being all one essence, with God being a spirit without body parts or passions). Because of this, some people think that Mormons aren’t Christian. What this really indicates, however, is that modern prophets have received revelation that says those doctrines are false.
The Church of Jesus Christ Restored
Mormons believe that the gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored in its fullness through The Church of Jesus Christ. After the apostles died after Christ’s ascension into heaven, some central, plain truths of Christ’s doctrine became corrupted and lost, along with the authority bestowed by Christ on His apostles. Many different Christian sects branched off, and that’s why there are so many different Christian denominations today (over 48,000). In 1820 Joseph Smith, who was a young teenager at the time, followed counsel in the Bible (James 1:5) and prayed to God to know which Christian denomination, if any, was the true one. At this time, God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ visited Joseph Smith personally and gave him the responsibility of restoring the full and true church of Jesus Christ to the earth.
What followed was a pouring out of revelation and scripture. Mormons believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and that He overcame death and sin for us. They also believe that through Him we can become as He is. This is done through living the commandments and repenting from our wrongdoings. Since the restoration of The Church of Jesus Christ, God has reestablished a prophet on the earth to guide and direct His children. The Mormon faith today is the restoration of The Church of Jesus Christ as it was when He was on the earth, complete with priesthood authority and prophets and apostles.
Mormon Doctrines Center on Jesus Christ
Everything Mormons teach points to Jesus Christ as our Savior. Every church organization, every lesson, every sermon, every piece of doctrine has an end goal of bringing individuals and families unto the Savior. No matter what others say about The Church of Jesus Christ, if you talk to a member, you will quickly learn that Jesus Christ and His saving grace is the center of everything taught and emphasized. Mormons believe that not only are we saved from our sins because of Him, but because of Christ we can also become as He is. Mormon doctrine on Jesus Christ is glorious, inspired, and thoroughly Christian.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has produced a series of Bible videos focusing on the Savior.
The infographic below answers the question “Who are the Mormons?” in a concise manner.