What Should Catholics Call Mormons?

It seemed like you were under the impression that I wanted to use the terms the Mormon church recommended, even though I myself said they didn’t work.

Later on I tried telling someone that we shouldn’t call Mormons “pagans” or “heretics” because of how mean-spirited that would be. That was not me urging the use of terms like “the church” or “the church of Jesus Christ”, because I previously said those terms didn’t work.

That’s right. Pushing away non-Catholics may feel good in the moment to some but in the end it just makes the Holy Spirit’s work harder than it has to be.

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If you believe this to be the case you have no historical record to back this up.

RPC Hansen asks:
"Finally, what is this Christian midrash [i.e., tradition]? What are its contents? The Gnostic formulae of Ignatius? The angcl-Christology of Hermas? … or the economic Trinity of Irenaeus and of Tertullian? The modalistic monarchianism of Callistus and Zephyrinus? The graded Trinity of Origen? (R. P. C. Hanson, Tradition in the Early Church (London: SCM, 1962),244-45.

Saint John Henry Newman writes,
If we limit our view of the teaching of the Fathers by what they expressly state, St. Ignatius may be considered as a Patripassian, St. Justin arianizes. and St. Hippolytus is a Photinian … Tertullian is heterodox on the doctrine of our Lord’s divinity … Origen is. at the very least, suspected, and must be defended and explained rather than cited as a witness of orthodoxy; and Eusebius was a Semi-Arian. (Newman, Essay, 43)

Are Justin Martyr, Ignatius, and Hippolytus also not Christians? None of them professed the Doctrine of the Trinity.

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:yawning_face: Semantics. All of the above were more Trinitarian in scope than you seem to suggest and certainly in their liturgical practice more closely resembled the Catholic liturgical norms than that of the Mormon liturgical norms; since this is what you’re really after. Scholarly commentary as to where their theological bend best situates itself categorically in an era privy to such introspection is undoubtedly not a tally in your favor. Do demonstrate from their works, not others commentary, how they were less trinitarian than actually were.

Also, given the continuing existence of revelation to you and your kin shouldn’t you be more sympathetic to the view that doctrine can evolve? :thinking:


When this change came out, my high-schoolers attended a heavily Mormon school, with a healthy minority of Catholics. Collectively, the kids (both Catholic and Mormon) decided that Mormons would henceforth be known as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and Catholics would be known as members of the One, Holy, and Apostolic Church. It had a good run of a couple of months.


Perhaps you could demonstrate - for the benefit of @gazelam - where in this ‘Sacred Tradition (that) predates the New Testament by decades’ he will find - clearly expressed - the doctrine of the Trinity; and the doctrine that ‘Jesus is truly God and truly man.’

And please address your answer to him, after all, he is the one who raised the matter.

Thank you for your time.

What is their full name? They renamed themselves to “The Church?”


Here is Justin Martyr:
And that Christ being Lord, and God the Son of God , and appearing formerly in power as Man, and Angel, and in the glory of fire as at the bush, so also was manifested at the judgment executed on Sodom, has been demonstrated fully by what has been said.10

Permit me first to recount the prophecies, which I wish to do in order to prove that Christ is called both God and Lord of hosts .11

Therefore these words testify explicitly that He [Jesus] is witnessed to by Him [the Father] who established these things, as deserving to be worshipped, as God and as Christ .12

The Father of the universe has a Son; who also, being the first-begotten Word of God, is even God . And of old He appeared in the shape of fire and in the likeness of an angel to Moses and to the other prophets; but now in the times of your reign, having, as we before said, become Man by a virgin…13

For if you had understood what has been written by the prophets, you would not have denied that He was God, Son of the only, unbegotten, unutterable God .14

Here is Tertullian:
For God alone is without sin; and the only man without sin is Christ, since Christ is also God .23

Thus Christ is Spirit of Spirit, and God of God , as light of light is kindled…That which has come forth out of God is at once God and the Son of God, and the two are one. In this way also, as He is Spirit of Spirit and God of God , He is made a second in manner of existence— in position, not in nature ; and He did not withdraw from the original source, but went forth. This ray of God, then, as it was always foretold in ancient times, descending into a certain virgin, and made flesh in her womb, is in His birth God and man united .24


And here is Hippolytus
The Logos alone of this God is from God himself; wherefore also the Logos is God, being the substance of God .27

For, lo, the Only-begotten entered, a soul among souls, God the Word with a (human) soul. For His body lay in the tomb, not emptied of divinity ; but as, while in Hades, He was in essential being with His Father , so was He also in the body and in Hades. For the Son is not contained in space, just as the Father; and He comprehends all things in Himself.28

For all, the righteous and the unrighteous alike, shall be brought before God the Word .29

Let us believe then, dear brethren, according to the tradition of the apostles, that God the Word came down from heaven , (and entered) into the holy Virgin Mary, in order that, taking the flesh from her, and assuming also a human, by which I mean a rational soul, and becoming thus all that man is with the exception of sin, He might save fallen man, and confer immortality on men who believe on His name…He now, coming forth into the world, was manifested as God in a body , coming forth too as a perfect man. For it was not in mere appearance or by conversion, but in truth, that He became man. Thus then, too, though demonstrated as God , He does not refuse the conditions proper to Him as man, since He hungers and toils and thirsts in weariness, and flees in fear, and prays in trouble. And He who as God has a sleepless nature, slumbers on a pillow.30


It’s is true that Islam and the Church of Jesus Christ share a similarities in that both believe in post-Biblical scripture and a post-Biblical prophet.

However, it’s also true that there are similarities between Islam and mainstream Christianity. Consider these:

  1. Man did not exist in a pre-mortal state.

  2. The family structure in mortality does not carry over into the next life, i.e., no marriage in the hereafter.

  3. There is no ontological similarity between God and man. (Latter-day Saints believe that man is literally offspring of God in some sense.)

  4. Interestingly there is a historical similarity between the Nicene Creed and the Koran. At the Council of Nicea there was a debate as to whether Jesus was created (Arian) or uncreated (Trinitarian). The Trinitarian view won the day. Several hundred years after Mohammed brought forth the Koran there was a debate as to whether the Koran was created or uncreated. (The question being that since the Koran is the word of God and God is eternal, is the Koran therefore eternal (i.e., uncreated) also? The “uncreated” faction won the debate. (See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quranic_createdness for more information.)

No one denied that. In fact, being a Christian heresy it makes sense they have similarity with Christianity. He pointed that out.

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They said to either call them by their full name without the LDS abbreviation or just “the church” or “the church of Jesus Christ.”

Most, if not all, of these Justin Martyr quotes aligns with Latter-day Saint belief. (I’d have to delve into the “unbegotten, unutterable God” phrasing a bit to give the 100% thumbs up.) Note that this passage says nothing about the Holy Spirit being co-equal, co-eternal with God, and also assumes that the Son is subordinate to the Father. So there are gaping Trinitarian holes in these quotes.

Note the non-Trinitarian subordinationism in this statement.

Regarding Justin Martyr, Edmund J. Fortman says the following:

On several occasions Justin coordinates the three persons, sometimes citing formulas derived from baptism and the eucharist, sometimes echoing official catechetical teaching. He worshipped the Father as Supreme in the universe; he worshipped the Logos or Son as divine but in the second place ; he worshipped the Holy Spirit in the third place. But he has no real doctrine of the Trinity , for he says nothing of the relations of the three to one another and to the Godhead . (Edmund J. Fortman, The Triune God: A Historical Study of the Doctrine of the Trinity (Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1972), 47

Leo Donald Davis states “Though a step forward in Trinitarian thought, it is clear that Tertullian’s view is still somewhat immersed in the sensible. Spirit is for him really only attenuated matter, and imagination so pervaded his thinking that he could explain the unity of the divine substance in terms of an organic continuity and of accord within the human monarchy. His view as father and Son as of one quasi-material substance is different from the consubstantiality (homoousian) that will form the basis of Nicaea’s pronouncements.” (Leo Donald Davis, SJ, The First Seven Ecumenical Councils, The Liturgical Press, pg 45)

“There was a time,“ he [Tertullian] said, “when there was no son to make God a Father.” (Leo Donald Davis, SJ, The First Seven Ecumenical Councils, The Liturgical Press, pg 45)

Leo Donald Davis states “For him [Hippolytus of Rome] the generation of the Word was the progressive development, the Word appearing as Son only at a time determined by the Father. Hippolytus described the process thus: while existing alone, God yet existed in plurality, for he was not without reason, wisdom, power and counsel. Determining to create the universe, He begat the Word through whom all things come to be. God next made the Word visible, uttering Him and begetting him as the Light of Light, in order that the world might see Him in His manifestation and be capable of being saved. Thus there appeared another beside God himself, but there are not two gods, but only Light from Light, in order that the world might see Him and His manifestation and be capable of being saved. Thus their appeared another beside God himself, but there are not two Gods, but only Light from Light, Word coming from God as water from the fountain or as a ray from the sun. This is the Word which came into the world and was manifested as Son. Prior to his incarnation, The Lord was not yet perfect Son, although He was the perfect, only begotten word. He was manifested as perfect Son of God only when He took flesh.” (Leo Donald Davis, SJ, The First Seven Ecumenical Councils, The Liturgical Press, pg 45, 46)

None of these writers are expressing Trinitarian ideas.

Interesting that the Church (the real one) has said for 1700 years that those people were trinitarian, and a false church established 2 centuries ago teaches that they weren’t trinitarian.

Hmmm… which one will I believe, I wonder?


I think this went over your head. He’s saying he wasn’t perfected as the Son because he hadn’t been born into human form yet. But he still existed.

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Do you have any references to support this statement? In debating this point I quoted a Jesuit (Davis) and a a Catholic Saint (Newman) canonized just last year.

For the record, my church takes no formal position on which belief was supported by which Early Church Father.

Yeah, hopefully I’ll remember when I get home. Sorry for getting a little sassy there.


No problem. Take care and God bless you.


Your “church” only has false beliefs.

If the play is to change history books and names used in the past they will fail miserably. “Mormon” settlers won’t be changed in history.

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