are Mormons considered Christians?


#1

If we could keep the thoughts here concise and coherent it would be great:

two questions:

  1. are Mormans Christian?
  2. do they consider themselves Christian?

I understand they do not believe in the Trinity, and therefore Christ’s divinity, so this would put them in the non-Christian camp, right?

God Bless


#2

You’ve got it in a nutshell: They do consider themselves Christians, but the Catholic Church (and the vast majority of all other Christians who hold an opinion about the subject) does not. There are a couple of reasons for this. One, at the root of it all, they aren’t monotheists, but polytheists, as they believe that mormon men can acheive godhood in the after life, and rule their own universe. Second, their idea of the Trinity is really strange. I don’t fully understand it, but I know that they consider Christ just the first born of God’s spirit children, conceived first by Him in heaven, then here on earth, through the Holy Spirit having sexual intercourse w/ Mary. They have a different understanding of the Holy Spirit as well, but I’m not sure what it is.

Maybe someone else can shed more light on the subject. But, mormons will argue w/ you till the cows come home that they are Christians.

Ellen


#3

[quote=Tom of
[/quote]

Assisi]If we could keep the thoughts here concise and coherent it would be great:

two questions:

  1. are Mormans Christian?

  2. do they consider themselves Christian?

I understand they do not believe in the Trinity, and therefore Christ’s divinity, so this would put them in the non-Christian camp, right?

God Bless

The answer to number 2 is yes.

LDS believe that Jesus Christ is divine.

LDS threeness and oneness is not authoritatively explained, but I believe the concept of the Social Trinity is the best read on our scriptures (this is different than the Augustinian Trinity most Catholics embrace, but it does explain the threeness and oneness evident in the Bible, BOM, …)

In answer to number 1, let me provide a quote introducing a master’s theisis. This theisis was written 5 years ago by am man who was a Catholic Priest.

[font=Geneva]“The underlying motive for this thesis,” Father Vajda states in the new introduction that he has written for FARMS, “was my . . . perception that one connection between the Catholic Church and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints lay in the fact that those who sought to deny the label ‘Christian’ to the LDS Church were, more often than not, the very same people who would then turn around and attempt to deny this label to the Catholic Church with the same reasons often being used in both instances to justify the conclusion. And since it was easy enough for me to see through the many half-truths, misunderstandings, and even outright errors alleged against the Catholic Church, I suspected that similar critiques leveled against the LDS Church as to its ‘non-Christian’ status were equally flawed.”[/font]

Charity, TOm


#4

[quote=Tom of Assisi]If we could keep the thoughts here concise and coherent it would be great:

two questions:

  1. are Mormans Christian?
  2. do they consider themselves Christian?

I understand they do not believe in the Trinity, and therefore Christ’s divinity, so this would put them in the non-Christian camp, right?

God Bless
[/quote]

  1. No
  2. Yes

#5
  • but the Catholic Church (and the vast majority of all other Christians who hold an opinion about the subject) does not.*

Do you have a citation for this assertion?

I was under the impression that the Catholic Church only made a ruling that LDS baptism is invalid due to lack of intent, not whether or not LDSers are Christian or not.


#6

Tom,
You say that LDS believe Christ is divine, but elaborate on divine. From my understanding, you do not mean Divine, the one and only Lord of Creation, founder and creator of the earth and everything in it and out of it. You mean, if my theology is correct, that Christ obtained godhood, and let me ask you this if I am wrong with what I just said…
If Christ is considered a God or god, how did he get to be that…according to LDS theology, God the Father, lived on another earth according to the gospel principles and attained his Godhood over this earth…So how did Jesus get to be “Divine”???

Thank you for you participation, Tom, on this forum, and for your answer.
Peace


#7

TOm,

You quote Fr. Vajda, who, sadly, was a priest at the UW Newman Center, where I celebrate mass. For those of you who don’t know him, he left the cloth and converted to LDS last summer.

I will post a piece from an earlier post of mine to a bit more claerly distinct LDS from Christianity.

  1. No. In quotes are actual statements from mormon.org.
    -“We believe in the same organization that existed in the Primitive Church, namely, apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists, and so forth. We believe in the gift of tongues, prophecy, revelation, visions, healing, interpretation of tongues, and so forth.”

I, as a Catholic, agree that Christ’s Church needs apostles (modern day bishops), pastors (modern day priests), teachers, evangelists, and so forth. However, any Catholic (heck, any Christian for that matter) would STRONGLY disagree that there have been any prophets or prophecy since Jesus Christ. We can both agree that Christ taught the ENTIRE Gospel, and any prophecy to the contrary is heresy. Prophecy is direct revelation from God, introducing MORE teachings in additon to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. If, then, there is a need of prophets in the days after Christ, then Christ DID NOT teach the entire Gospel, and therefore was fallible and WAS NOT divine; Jesus WAS NOT GOD if modern prophets do exist. If this is the case, there is ABSOLUTELY NO WAY that LDS can even begin to call themselves “Christian.”

-"We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God. "

Simply put, as I argued earlier, Christianity is a revealed religion. Christ taught the entire Gospel; He told us everything we need to know about God and Life. Saying, or believing, anything to the contrary is heresy.

-“We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly; we also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God.”

How can the Bible be translated correctly if not by Christ’s Church that He began and to Her gave this authority alone? How can the Book of Mormon be the Word of God if it contains blatant historical errors?

  1. Yes, TOm has showed us this.

#8

Q. 1 - Are Mormons Christian? A. No.

Why? There are many answers to that Q. Here’s one. Mormonism is polytheistic (or, better said, henotheistic). Another is the teaching that Jesus and Satan are brothers, children of the same parents as are we (according to the Mormons). Jesus, however, was a “heavenly personage.”

Quote from the LDS publication Gospel Principles: God is not only our ruler and our creator, he is also our Heavenly Father. "All men and women are . . . literally the sons and daughters of Diety . . . Man, as a spirit, was begotten and born of heavenly parents and reared to maturity in the eternal mansions of the Father, prior to coming upon the early in a temporal [physical] body (Joseph F Smith, “The Origin of Man” Improvement Era. Nov. 1909, pp. 78, 80).

“Heavenly Father” called a Grand Council to present his plan for our progression. . . We learned that he would provide an earth for us where we would be tested (Abraham 3:24-26). A veil would cover our memories, and we would forget our heavenly home. This would be necessary so that we could choose good or evil…

**The first spirit born to our heavenly parents was Jesus Christ (see D&C 93:21). He is thus our elder brother. [Satan [/color]is also Christ’s brother and ours.]

**Satan, who was called Lucifer, also [said]: “Behold, here I am, send me. I will be thy son, and I will redeem all mankind . . . (Moses 4:2). **[Both Satan and Christ volunteered to be our savior, but Jesus Christ was chosen.] After hearing both sons speak, our Heavenly Father said, "I will send the first.

Quote: Abraham, chapter 4: The Gods plan the creation of the earth and all life thereon – their plans for the six days of creation are set forth. 1*.* And then the Lord [Jehovah] said: Let us go down. And they went down at the beginning, and they, that is the Gods, organized and formed the heavens and the earth…and the Spirit of the Gods was brooding upon the face of the waters . . . And they (the Gods) said: Let there be light . . . And the Gods [etc.] . . . And the Gods [etc.] . . . And the Gods organized the earth . . . And the Gods took counsel among themselves and said: Let us go down and form man in our image . . . So the Gods went down to organize man in their own image, in the image of the Gods to form they him, male and female to form they them [sic].

Well, you get the idea. Lifted right out of Genesis, with the words twisted by Joseph Smith, Jun.


Jay**


#9

(I’m going to exceed the character limit, so my response will occupy 2 posts.)

Are Mormons Christian?

No, Mormons are not Christians for several reasons. To be in God’s grace:
[list=1]
*]One should have an accurate understanding of who God is.
*]One should have an accurate understanding of the problem that sin has created for mankind in general and individuals in particular.
*]One should have an accurate understanding of God’s remedy for the problem of sin, and
*]One must willingly and cooperatively appropriate God’s remedy.
[/list]

Mormon doctrine stands in stark disagreement in each of these four areas.

Christianity teaches that God is eternal, omnipotent, omniscient, perfectly righteous, perfectly just, and perfectly loving. He is the first cause of everything. He has no first cause. While God is comprised of 3 persons, there are not 3 Gods. This subject has been covered more fully in another discussion thread, so I won’t repeat that content here. One of the most significant truths about the Trinity is it allows selfless love to be demonstrated among the persons of the Trinity. God also demonstrates this kind of love toward us, but it cannot be said the He “needs” us. God is completely self-sufficient. He created us, not because He needs us (e.g. in order to fulfill a self-actualized need to demonstrate love and be loved), but rather simply because He chose to create us.

The Mormon Heavenly Father, in contrast, was once a mortal. He attained Celestial godhood, just as good Mormons may someday attain. He and his “sealed” wife from their mortal existence create spirit babies which are then born mortally into this world. Jesus was the first born of those spirit babies and Lucifer was second.

When Mormons say Jesus was divine, it has a much different meaning than the Christian use of the term. The Mormon use of the term simply refers to Jesus’ special role as being the chosen Savior. Lucifer apparently wanted this privilege and rebelled when it was not granted to him. The Mormon Jesus is not God. He is merely our brother with a special ministry and calling.

The Mormon understanding of sin is different as well. They see the fall of Adam and Eve as necessary evil (if necessary, then perhaps not that evil at all). The logic is that if they did not sin, they couldn’t have procreated. The freeing of spirit babies into mortal life is a central doctrine to the Mormon faith. They, rightly, place a high importance upon family, but they see it as an end in itself, rather than a means of God instructing us in spiritual truths. Besides, if Adam and Eve never sinned, who’s to say they couldn’t have children?

Even though Mormons see the fall of man as a necessity, they still recognize the need for some sort of remedy. As previously mentioned, Mormon doctrine indicates that Jesus was ultimately born into this world to pay for our sins. The Mormon Jesus isn’t capable of the job, though. Consider that even one of our sins, however small, is enough to separate us from God eternally. An eternity of suffering would not be sufficient for us to pay for that sin. Now think of all the sins we may commit in a lifetime. Now think of all the people that ever lived on this earth. A finite being, even if sinless himself, could not atone for the sins of the world. He could not be a Savior. Only God eternal, infinite and without first cause, could have possibly accomplished this.

I once spent an evening in the living room of a Mormon family, the husband of which was the supervisor of all the young missionaries in town. After a couple of hours of conversation, he had an epiphany. (You could see it on his face, too) He said, “You know, your Jesus and my Jesus are not the same person!” I said, “Exactly!!!” He wasn’t persuaded that his Jesus was false, but he realized, truly, that they were only common in name. Faith in the Mormon Jesus is not faith in the Christian Jesus. It is exceedingly important to determine which is the true Jesus.

Another aspect of the Mormon Jesus’ atonement is that he automatically saved everyone from hell. People are saved to one of 3 levels of glory, Terrestrial, Telestial, and Celestial. There are, additionally, 3 levels of glory in the Celestial Kingdom. The highest of these allows Mormon couples to attain godhood, continue the family unit by procreating spirit babies and being Heavenly Father and Mother of another world. There is no hell, as we know it, in Mormon theology. Even people like Hilter will make it to the Terrestrial Kingdom, which isn’t supposed to be so bad.

[continued…]


#10

The last area of important distinction is how to appropriate God’s remedy. On the surface, it may seem that Catholics and Mormons are similar, and Protestants and Mormons are the most different. But I will show that Protestants and Catholics agree, differing only in semantics, and Christians and Mormons disagree on substance.

Advancement to the higher levels of Mormon glory are based on merits. Mormons say that they are “saved by faith after all they can do.” To make it into the Celestial Kingdom, they need to have a temple recommend, do temple work (such as baptism for the dead), be married in the temple, they need to tithe, adhere to dietary laws, as well as many other works. Mormonism is like most other religions in which the individual reaches up to God through following rules.

Christianity, in contrast, is unique in that our salvation is accomplished through God reaching down to us. We cannot even desire Him if not for the grace of the Holy Spirit. He gives us the desire and He gives us the ability to respond in faith to his invitation for salvation. Christians (Protestants and Catholics) agree that faith without works is dead, but this does not mean that our works save us or give us any improved favor with God. We agree that demons believe in God, but that belief does not save them. Confusion arises between Protestants and Catholics in the definition of the term “faith”. The Catholic definition of faith is simply an intellectual assent. Intellectual assent does not save, so it is appropriate to say that a saving faith will include RESULTS — the bearing of fruit. The Protestant definition of saving faith assumes that one’s life will be changed and good works will result. In fact, Protestants will say that if someone’s life doesn’t demonstrate changes of moral behavior and a devotion to God, that person “probably wasn’t saved to begin with.”

The essence of the Christian gospel is acknowledging the real Jesus’ payment for our sins, accepting that payment as a free gift, simultaneously abandoning an attempt to earn our salvation through our own merits, and placing real faith (that produces a changed life) in Jesus Christ. The sacraments of Christianity and Catholicism, in particular, are special graces that God has given us. They are His gifts to us, not our gifts to Him. They help us become more holy and draw us into a closer relationship with Him. But there is nothing we can merit for ourselves to earn salvation. It is by His grace alone.

Question 2: Do Mormons consider themselves Christians?

They do now, but only as recently as a few decades ago did they start referring to themselves as Christians.


#11

Petra: :clapping:


#12

[quote=Fullsizesedan]* but the Catholic Church (and the vast majority of all other Christians who hold an opinion about the subject) does not.*

Do you have a citation for this assertion?

I was under the impression that the Catholic Church only made a ruling that LDS baptism is invalid due to lack of intent, not whether or not LDSers are Christian or not.
[/quote]

I have searched for a Magisterium statement that denies the title of Christian to LDS. I have not found any.

I have made a similar challenge to the one you put forth and received no responses.

It has been a long time since I have looked, but the reason the Catholic Church will rebaptizes LDS is because the Magisterium concluded that the CoJCoLDS includes a Heavenly Mother in their Godhead.

LDS scripture does not have any reference to this and thus it is not binding LDS doctrine in any way. (Interestingly enough if the Wisdom of Solomon was included in our scriptures there would perhaps be room to point to this a source of LDS belief in a Heavenly Mother and thus making it possible to say this is official LDS doctrine).

To my knowledge no Catholic involved in the decision to rebaptize consulted LDS on this issue.

All this being said, the decision does not appear to include any declaration on the Christianity of LDS. Many Protestant groups do not baptize, and their Christianity is seldom challenged.

Of course LDS rebaptize Catholics too, but our issue is not doctrinal but authority. LDS believe that Baptism is only valid with proper authority. The Catholic Church decided that Baptism may be valid without authority.

Charity, TOm


#13

Amen, Petra. Thank you, and God bless.
:thumbsup:


#14

[quote=Monicathree]Tom,
[/quote]

You say that LDS believe Christ is divine, but elaborate on divine. From my understanding, you do not mean Divine, the one and only Lord of Creation, founder and creator of the earth and everything in it and out of it. You mean, if my theology is correct, that Christ obtained godhood, and let me ask you this if I am wrong with what I just said…

If Christ is considered a God or god, how did he get to be that…according to LDS theology, God the Father, lived on another earth according to the gospel principles and attained his Godhood over this earth…So how did Jesus get to be “Divine”???

Thank you for you participation, Tom, on this forum, and for your answer.

Peace

This will prolly be much more complex than you are looking for. It will also involve some information that is somewhat apologetic towards the CoJCoLDS. I am not apologizing (saying I am sorry), I am just warning.

First, LDS do believe that Christ is the Lord of Creation, founder and creator of the earth. We believe that He is Jehovah of the Old Testament. But you are also correct if you are suggesting that the oneness of God LDS embrace is not a one-being-ness.

Now, on to more complex stuff…

Pre-Nicea orthodoxy was subordination of Jesus Christ to God the Father. The creator/creature dichotomy where everything was either God or creature, eternal or created was also not a universally held position by the SAINTS in the 1st and 2nd Centuries. LDS believe in subordination and reject the creator/creature dichotomy. We embrace the divinity of Jesus Christ without requiring the one-being-ness that became orthodoxy long after Nicea. So when I say Jesus Christ is fully divine I do not mean that he is one who creates ex nihilo. I mean that he possesses the fullness of the attributes of deity. LDS could like Eastern Orthodox say that the Fount of Divinity exists in the PERSON of the Father. (Catholics with the filoque clause would really say that the Fount of Divinity exists within the Beingness of the Father, there being only one beingness). It is inconceivable that the union that exists between the Holy Trinity (as conceived by LDS or Catholics) could ever be extinguished and thus Christ is, has always been, and will always be divine.

Your sighting of statements that say that God the Father was once a man have been dealt with elsewhere, but briefly: This is not part of binding LDS doctrine. Whatever truth may exist in this common LDS belief it must be righted with this –

[font=Times New Roman]“There is a God in heaven who is infinite and eternal, from everlasting to everlasting the same unchangeable God…” (D&C 20:17).[/font]

Which is binding LDS doctrine.

For an excellent discussion of the Godhead of the CoJCoLDS you may read Blake Ostler’s essay.

nd.edu/~rpotter/ostler_element1-1.html

(isn’t it cool that it is on the Norte Dame website!)

Charity, TOm


#15

Petra,

Since I wrote this about 1 week ago, I thought I would respond to this section of your comments. If there is something else you think demands my attention please highlight it.

I have studied how we are saved by Jesus Christ quite a bit. I wrote this for a predominately Protestant audience.

This is what I believe. This is what I think is the most appropriate read of the LDS scriptures (Bible, BOM, D&C, and PGP).

We are saved by Grace alone through Faith and Works. Faith in Christ is a choice we make. We choose Christ. This is the first step. This is entering the gate to the straight path. After this we must subordinate our will to the will of God. Each day we “choose who we shall serve.” In truth each decision we make we “choose who we will serve.” We must endure to the end not to provide good works to God for He needs none of our works.

As we choose good works over evil works it is not our person that performs the work. We just choose the work.

Christ works through us to accomplish these good works and Justifies/Sanctifies us as He labors through us. (This BTW is Infused Righteousness, it was universal Christian doctrine until the reformation).

But Christ is not just a catalyst that provides the energy but is not part of the product. Christ is united with us through every good work. We become more like Him through His work within/through us. The final state of the believer is the state of Christ-like-ness. We are of one heart, one mind, one will. Our choice is our will and we finally sacrifice that will on the altar of God. We give the one thing that was truly ours to God, our will.

Why is this so important?

First, our choices are done that we might know what we choose. God knows what we will choose.
Second, our choice influences others and the world. Through the works Christ performs as a result of our choosing to perform these works, others come to Christ. For some the example they see in Christians is the only Bible they will ever read. All can be lifted up by the good works Christ performs through those who serve Him.
And lastly, salvation is the mighty change of heart mentioned above. To become Christ-like. To become one with God. To subordinate ones will to the will of God. This is to be saved. There is no balance beam in heaven were we weigh our good works against our bad. We are who we become as we live on this earth. The persons we become then choose to spend eternity in the presence of God the Father, Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, and all the Saints who so choose throughout the eternities. Or the persons we become choose to separate from God the Father.

God the Father could give us all that he has, but to be all that he is we must allow him to mold us, to work through us, to sanctify use, to deify us.

This is how I read LDS theology.

BTW, I agree with you the differences between Catholic and Protestant Infused/Imputed righteousness boil down to nothingness if the Christian endures to the end. Protestants separate sanctification and justification in a way not done before the reformation, but the faithful protestant who does the works of righteousness, inviting Christ into their life behaves the same as the faithful Catholic.

I however totally reject the concept that LDS are Pelagian in our salvation paradigm. I believe LDS who hold to Pelagian views are in need of correction in fact.

Charity, TOm


#16

Petra,

I wanted to add a little to the above.

As I hinted there is one aspect of what I say that I am not sure a Catholic can be comfortable with.

We are saved by Grace alone. It is through the grace of God that we are given the choice to choose Him as a propitiator for our sins. But it is something that all men have the ability to choose. LDS and Catholic do not believe that some are born unable to choose God. God’s light shines such that all can make this choice.

What I am not certain of is that I then say that after making this choice it is again up to us to continually choose to make God active in our lives. The only thing we have the ability to do is choose.

I know that Catholics reject Calvinistic double predestination, but I am unaware if Catholics demand a single predestination that would somehow preclude our continued choice to make God active in our lives. Do you have any thoughts on this?

Your words almost boarder on a double predestination, but I assume that you do not embrace any such thing else you would not be Catholic. I also know that Calvinists are becoming Catholics in greater relative numbers than are non-Calvinist Protestants. Were you once a Calvinist?

My read of LDS theology results in a salvation paradigm that requires the “natural man” to be able to make a free choice. God places the choice before all of us, but we choose. My read of the Bible and the BOM results in a belief that we cannot attribute good works to ourselves. I therefore attribute the motive force of the works to God and the choice to submit ones will to the man. I am not sure this is acceptable within a Catholic paradigm.

Briefly:

One should have an accurate understanding of who God is.

I have dealt with this on this thread. LDS understanding of God needn’t be as far from non-LDS Christian as it is regularly portrayed, but there are some differences. From the Bible and the earliest ECF I submit that the LDS understanding could have been what was taught the Apostles. If the 4th century church’s decisions were totally sealed by God, the Catholic and Protestant understanding are correct. But the pre-Nicea witness is subordination and other LDS ideas are also found.

One should have an accurate understanding of the problem that sin has created for mankind in general and individuals in particular.

Augustine basically introduced the idea of original sin that developed into orthodoxy (and Calvinism). LDS ideas are not in accordance with what Catholic histories present as Pelagian, but LDS ideas are no where (to my knowledge) contradicted in scripture or any ECF pre-Augustine. I could be wrong here, but I understand that it was Augustine who developed (first wrote) the ideas on sin that are accepted by Catholics and Protestants today. BTW, LDS are significantly closer to Eastern Orthodox in this area.
Charity, TOm


#17

[quote=TOmNossor]I know that Catholics reject Calvinistic double predestination, but I am unaware if Catholics demand a single predestination that would somehow preclude our continued choice to make God active in our lives. Do you have any thoughts on this?
[/quote]

Catholicism does not demand that Catholics believe in simple predestination, but I understand that they are free to believe that if they are so persuaded. James Akin, in his book, The Salvation Controversy indicates that Catholics are free to believe 4 out of the 5 points of Calvinism, excluding the doctrine of eternal security.

Yes, I was formerly a Calvinist. I still believe in some form of predestination . . . But my larger concern and area of study right now in coming to grips with the relative ease which someone might lose their salvation. My current belief is that it is not an easy thing to do and requires a conscious act to reject God or major habitual sins that, in effect, reject His work of grace in our life.

What was it that I said that “borders on double predestination”, though? :confused:


#18

[quote=TOmNossor]LDS understanding of God needn’t be as far from non-LDS Christian as it is regularly portrayed . . .
[/quote]

I beg to differ. I’ll state again that eternal progression is a central doctrine of the Mormon Church. Continuation of the family means the exhalted married couple will progress to godhood and produce spirit babies. Mormons believe in the pre-existance of our souls. These pre-existing souls were a result of a union between Elohim (Heavenly Father) and who . . . . ? Jesus was the first born of Elohim and Mrs. Elohim’s spirit children — no different than you or I except that he was chosen to be the Savior. I’m sorry. This is a different god than that of Christianity.

Mormon rhetoric has apparently evolved to sound more trinitarian. But reader beware, the Mormon god only rules over planet Earth. There are millions of such gods throughout the universe. And Mormons work diligently to attain godhood, as well.

Tom, I concede that you may not be aware of this. There are many doctrines of the LDS church that are slowly revealed to members as they become more deeply involved. And some of the most secret doctrines are only revealed in temple ceremonies.


#19

[quote=
[/quote]

petra]… eternal progression is a central doctrine of the Mormon Church. Continuation of the family means the exhalted married couple will progress to godhood and produce spirit babies. Mormons believe in the pre-existance of our souls. These pre-existing souls were a result of a union between Elohim (Heavenly Father) and who . . . . ? Jesus was the first born of Elohim and Mrs. Elohim’s spirit children — no different than you or I except that he was chosen to be the Savior. …
Eternal Progression yes. In that we may progress and become deified. This is binding doctrine. It included the possibility of “eternal increase.” But what “eternal increase” actually is, we do not have binding doctrinal statements on.
God’s achieving Godhood through eternal progression however, is not binding. LDS must believe this though:

[font=Times New Roman]“There is a God in heaven who is infinite and eternal, from everlasting to everlasting the same unchangeable God…” (D&C 20:17).[/font]

Pre-existence of souls: Yes.

The pre-existent souls are literally the sons and daughters of Heavenly Father. The existence of a Heavenly Mother is possible (but not binding LDS doctrine). President Hinckley says that he generally believes that this makes sense(that is HM).

That Christ is no different than you and me is absolutely incorrect. Christ never sinned, never was not God. He was first born and pre-ordained to bring to pass the infinite atonement.

Real differences would be that we have a Social Trinity (we could not embrace an Augustinian Trinity). We believe that God created from eternal matter and eternal intelligences. We do not believe in the creator/creature dichotomy.

Eternal Progression: perhaps you would care to comment on my Catholic Deification thread:

forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=1624

[quote=petra] Mormon rhetoric has apparently evolved to sound more trinitarian. But reader beware, the Mormon god only rules over planet Earth. There are millions of such gods throughout the universe. And Mormons work diligently to attain godhood, as well.
[/quote]

[font=Arial][/font]

Oh that sounds so ominous. If you do not think Catholics have evolved to sound more Trinitarian, you should read the Ante-Nicean Fathers. Subordinationalism was pre-Nicea orthodoxy.

Tom, I concede that you may not be aware of this. There are many doctrines of the LDS church that are slowly revealed to members as they become more deeply involved. And some of the most secret doctrines are only revealed in temple ceremonies.

While I am certain there are many things I am not aware of, I have been surprised by next to nothing written here. I do not present a false read on the CoJCoLDS. I present my read which is the one that I think best meshes with the 4 standard works. I am confident that I could share all I say with my Bishop and not have my membership questioned.

I am also confident that I would not be in total agreement with all those who sit in the pews each day. The spectrum of LDS beliefs is rather large. This comes from not being creedal IMO. My beliefs are solidly in line with the teachings of the church, and I can back up what I put forth with Scripture, General Authorities, and/or BYU Scholars. You as a former Calvinist and someone who has studied their religion will most certainly differ in your beliefs as compared to the little old Italian lady who attends mass 3x per week. But both of you are Catholics in communion with Rome.

Charity, TOm


#20

IIRC, the Church uses the Nicean\Constantinople Creed as a ‘benchmark’ of the theology of an organization.

If the theology holds to the Creed, the Church generally considers the organization to be Christian.

The lack of a valid Trinitarian Baptism is disturbing. It signifies that even if the orgranization is Christian, it’s adherents are not united to the Body of Christ.


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