Are Mormons Christian?

Mormons say that they are Christian, yet some dispute their claim to Christianity. Most
arguments find their roots in the following concerns:

  1. Mormons are not Christian because their canon is not limited to the Holy Bible.
  2. Mormons are not Christian because they do not conform to the traditions and teachings of historical Christianity (post New-Testament era).
  3. Mormons are not Christian because Joseph Smith, not Jesus Christ, organized the religion.

Without any additional information, these allegations would undoubtedly trouble any devout Christian. We offer some simple explanations that will clarify these claims:

1) An answer to: Mormons are not Christian because their canon is not limited to the Holy Bible.

Mormons adhere to the teachings of the Holy Bible, but they do not believe that God’s
interaction with his children ended with the book of Revelations. They find additional
answers and comfort in the Book of Mormon (see “Book of Mormon” on mormon.org).
The Book of Mormon does not replace the Bible, nor does its existence somehow lessen
the doctrine and teachings taught therein; rather, the two books were divinely created to
complement one another.

Leaders of Mormonism are very vocal about their belief in an open canon, or the
claim that God continues to give commandments, prophecies, and scripture. Elder Jeffrey
R. Holland, one of the Twelve Apostles in the Mormon church, states: “The scriptures are not the ultimate
source of knowledge for Latter-day Saints. They are manifestations of the ultimate
source. The ultimate source of knowledge and authority for a Latter-day Saint is the
living God.” [1]

2) An answer to: Mormons are not Christian because they do not conform to the traditions and teachings of historical Christianity (post New-Testament era).

Mormons believe that in the centuries following the death of Jesus Christ his teachings fell
victim to political and social agendas. As a result, the church that Christ established
during his mortal ministry was changed and ultimately lost. This event was foretold in
the Old Testament book of Amos: “Behold, the days come, saith the Lord God, that I will
send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the
words of the Lord. And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the
east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the Lord, and shall not find it.” [2]

This loss of truth necessitated a restoration of Christ’s true church. Naturally,
Mormons do not believe in doctrine that was negotiated during the many centuries that preceded this restoration (see “The Restoration” – mormon.org). Elder Holland again
explains: “Any criticism that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints does
not hold the contemporary Christian view of God, Jesus, and the Holy Ghost is not a
comment about our commitment to Christ but rather a recognition… that our view of the
Godhead breaks with post–New Testament Christian history and returns to the doctrine
taught by Jesus Himself” [3]

3) An answer to: Mormons are not Christian because Joseph Smith, not Jesus Christ, organized the religion.

Mormons believe that Joseph Smith was a prophet, like Adam, Noah, Moses, etc.,  who restored the Church of Jesus Christ on the earth by God’s command. Thus, in reality, Jesus Christ’s church was restored by God himself, and not by Joseph Smith.

Read more information about mormons when you have a minute!

Footnotes:

[1] Jeffrey R. Holland, “My Words Never Cease” April 2008 General Conference.

[2] Amos 8:11-12. http://lds.org/scriptures/ot/amos/8?lang=eng

[3] Jeffrey R. Holland, “The Only True God and Jesus Christ Whom He Hath Sent” October 2007 General Conference.

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