LDS Question 17; Are Mormons True Christians?
Simply stated, one could just read the name of our church—or walk in one—and he/she would quickly see . . . in either instance . . . that Jesus Christ is the center of everything we are. The name, “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints” states that we are the church of Jesus Christ. It further states of “Latter-Day Saints” because the members of his church anciently were called “Saints.”
If you were to walk in any of our buildings—which many of you do every week for our lessons—you will see paintings all around of Jesus Christ and various periods and/or events of his life.
But one very, very important aspect about the Christian view of Mormons that separates us from the entire Christian orthodox modern world (and principally why the orthodox Christian world says that we are not “true” Christians), is that—as far as my knowledge and studies have so shown—we, the Mormons, are the only Christian faith upon the face of the earth---whose doctrine I have researched---that does not believe in the orthodox Christian belief/aspect of the “Trinity.”
The concept of the TRINITY was founded principally in the gathering of religious scholars in 325 A.D., during the First Ecumenical Council of Nicaea held in Nicaea, located in what is now known as Turkey. As a response to the Arian heresy which denied the divinity of Christ . . . AND the Second Ecumenical Council of Constantinople in 381 A.D. in response to the Macedonian or Pneumatomachian heresy which denied the divinity of the Holy Spirit. And even another at 431 A.D. which reaffirmed the first of 325. In these meetings, a “Nicene Creed” was established which was intended to define the substance and nature of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Ghost. The Catholic Church and it’s various branches/versions . . . and the various branching protestant churches’ beliefs all have roots in the Trinity belief established during these three meetings.
Basically, the concept of Trinity supports the belief that God the Father and God the Son and God the Holy Ghost . . . are all one essence. . . one being . . . that has the power to be one of either of the three of the Godhead; NOT three distinct beings. As a matter of fact, the actual definition of the word Trinity is; “Also called Blessed Trinity, Holy Trinity, the union of three persons (Father, Son and Holy Ghost) in one Godhead, or the threefold personality of the one Divine Being.” That, in according to need and purpose for mankind, they may appear as Christ . . . or may appear as the Father . . . or may influence by the Holy Ghost . . . but, are, in actuality . . . one essence . . . one being.
Well, (briefly described) this concept of belief was disrupted substantially on one Spring morning in a grove of trees in the year 1820. For, it was on that morning when a young 14 year old boy named Joseph Smith walked into that grove of trees with the intent to pray vocally for the first time . . . in answer to a question he had about “Which of all the churches should I join?” You see, he came from a family of 11, and in the area of his residence, there was a great upheaval of religious excitement . . . with revivals of all the different faiths being held saying, “Come join us!” And, others saying “Come join us!” The Baptists, the Methodists, etc., etc. all were taking part.
But, Joseph’s family were very religious; all wanting to do the right thing. Some joined one church, others interested in another, etc., etc.. But young Joseph—while studying the Bible—read in James 1:5, which reads,
“If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.”
So, this young lad felt so impressed by this scripture that he decided to go and, truly, pray and ask God what he should do. On that fateful morning, he walked in that grove of trees and knelt in prayer to offer such a question to God. To his amazement, a light began to appear above him in the air, where came two personages of bodies of flesh and bone. Their brightness was that of the brightness of the sun at noon day. One of the personages introduced the other by saying, “This is my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased, hear ye him.” After Joseph gained his composure enough to speak, he then asked the personages . . . “Which of all the churches he should join?” And was told by the Lord Jesus Christ to join none of them, for they were all wrong . . . that they had a form of godliness, but denied the power thereof. Joseph eventually learned the he would be led to establish, once again, the church as it was anciently; with the 12 Apostles and Prophet and the Priesthood Authority. He was also led to where an ancient record was hidden under a stone on a local area mountain . . . which was the record of the ancient inhabitants of these Americas. He eventually procured that ancient record and translated it by the gift and power of God; that record, today, is called the Book of Mormon, and is a second witness of the divinity of Jesus Christ . . . that he, Jesus, is literally the Son of God who was born to this earth in the meridian of time.
So, on that Spring morning, a 14 year old boy came out of that grove of trees with knowledge that disproved the entire Christian World’s concept of the nature of God . . . or, the Trinity; and this young lad would eventually be led to establish the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, the one and only church---of which I am aware---that does not embrace the concept of Trinity today. Yet, we believe that everyone should have the right worship what, who and how they may.
So, are Mormon’s Christians? Indeed . . . in every sense of the word. WE believe that the Ten Commandments are just as pertinent today as they were on the day they were given. We believe that the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost are three separate and distinct beings; and that the Father and the Son each possess a body of flesh and bones as tangible as mans, and that Jesus Christ was, literally, the Only Begotten Son of God the Father, and that we are all sons and daughters of our Heavenly Father; that we also have a Heavenly Mother and that Families are Forever. That the family unit is the principle and most important entity of all creation; and that the principle and most important goal of God is to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of men/women . . . as husbands and wives . . . sons and daughters . . . eternal families.
I hope that this has answered your question. =0)