Th Curia declared that Mormon baptisms are not valid, therefore they have not received a Christian baptism.
That being said, many Mormon individuals seek to follow Jesus, according to their understanding. I leave their judgement to God.
The Mormon Church is non-Christian religion, in how the Catholic Church seeks a relationship with other churches. The Catholic Church does not seek ecumenism, as with Protestants, or reconciliation, as with the Orthodox. The relationship is the same as other non-Catholic religions, such as Islam or Buddhism.
A charitable approach. My only aversion to this approach is that it can be taken to the absurd. I once had a Mormon tell me that an atheist who views Jesus in a positive manner were by a basic definition, Christian.
That’s okay to believe - but it’s contrary to Church teaching.
The Church teaches Mormons are a non-Christian Abrahamic religion - Mormons are in the same category as Jews and Muslims.
Mormons are not Christians because to be a Christian means to be baptized into Christ. And to be baptized into Christ you have to understand Who Christ Is - the Second Person of the Trinity.
For a baptism to be valid there are three requirements:
correct form. The form is “I baptize you in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit”. You can’t baptize “in the Name of Jesus” or “in the Name of Source, Son, and Spirit” - those would invalidate the baptism.
correct matter. The matter must be water, either salt or fresh, tap or spring, doesn’t matter. But you can’t baptize someone in beer or orange soda - that would invalidate the baptism.
correct intention. Both the one baptizing must intend to baptize the person into the Body of Christ, and the person being baptized must consent and have the intent of being baptized into Christ. You can’t intend to make a good scene in a movie, and you can’t baptize non consenting dead people - those invalidate the baptism.
The mormons use correct matter, but the form they use, and arguably also their intent, is lacking. Therefore Mormon baptisms are invalid - they are just a dunk in the water. At best they are a symbolic religious imitation of baptism. But they are not sacramentally efficacious.
Mormons are no more Christian than Muslims or Bahais. They are Abrahamic Theists, yes. But they are not Christian - and it’s arguable that they are polytheists or henotheists, not monotheists.
The word “trinity” is not in the Bible. But evidence supporting the Trinity (ie: God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Ghost/Spirit) is. For one thing, the Father and the Holy Ghost/Spirit were present when Jesus was baptized in the Jordan River. Also Jesus told the Apostles to baptize “in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” Why would would He say that if the Trinity wasn’t true?
All I know is that I was told by my priest that I will have to be baptized because the Catholic Church does not recognize Mormon baptisms as Christian. That’s good enough for me. I like the idea that the sin of having been a Mormon will be washed from me.
Another benefit of that is you won’t have to make a long and painful confession.
Say someone was baptized validly as a baby then raised baptist, and age 70 convert to Catholicism - they have to try and remember and confess 70 years worth of sins.
Being non baptized, I always felt, is kind of preferable for adult converts for this reason. So much easier to be baptized and all your sins washed away in the baptismal waters, then just be Chrismated and receive First Holy Communion.
The Church’s definition is not yours. If you actually understood the teachings of the Church you’d understand that they are not Christians. The Church teaches that a Christian is a person who has been validly baptized in the name of the Trinity. Mormons baptize, but not in the name of the Trinity, rather, in the name of their Godhead which, though from the outside it sounds like the Trinity, is very very far from it.
Mormons, as already demonstrated, follow Joseph Smith, not Jesus.
Wrong, very wrong. It was actually almost the other way around. The Arians continued long after Nicaea, in fact, the Emperor Constantine may have had sympathy for Arianism, and we know that two of his successors to the Roman Empire were Arians including his own son, Roman Emperor Constantius II, who did try at times try to push his Semi-Arian beliefs onto Trinitarian Christians. Furthermore, Arianism survived for a long time more in the Gothic Germanic tribes to the north of the Roman empire, and when the Vandal Goths conquered north Africa in the 5th century, they heavily persecuted Trinitarian Christians, suppressing Trinitarian worship, and executing/killing Trinitarian priests. Ultimately, by the 7th century Arianism died out on its own, as most of the Arian Goths converted to Trinitartian Christianity on their own with the help of Trinitatian clergy. The best example of this is when Spanish Visigoth ruler, Recarred I, converted to Catholicism from Arianism in the 6th century. There was some suppression of Arianism when the tables turned, since for a long time it was Arians in power, not Trinitarians, but for the most part Arianism just died out on its own.
HEAVENLY FATHER is a living, breathing Being, once a Man like us, who now lives on Kolob. The SAVIOUR was the GOD of the Old Testament, and HIS Name is JEHOVAH. JESUS of Nazareth is the Incarnation of the Old Testament GOD, whilst HIS FATHER, ELOHIM, is Our Eternal and Literal FATHER in Heaven. The Trinity is a Myth. The HOLY GHOST is a Personage of Spirit but appears to take the Form of a “Man” as “HE” appeared to the ancient Prophets in the Americas.
Not all Christians accept the Trinity. The Arians did not, and they were all exterminated for it.
“God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.” - John 4:24
And as already said, no, the Arians were not “exterminated.”
11 And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.
Jesus is using a simile there, did you forget grade school? Besides, the members of the body of Christ are, in no doubt, “one” in a similar way that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are one in the Trinity because we mimic one nature.
17 Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.
Alright? All that demonstrates is the hypostatic union, Jesus being man was created by God in that sense, as a human being he worships God as his God.
“Who, existing in the form of God, did not consider equality with God something to cling to” - Philippians 2:6
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” - John 1:1
i may have missed it, and sorry if i did; but, has everyone agreed on what the definition of a christian is?
if not, we are all really arguing about the definition of the word.
the word, it is believed, was first applied to people in, i think corinth. at that time, it meant those people who accepted the teachings of the apostles about Jesus Christ. it was meant to distinguish those who accepted the Gospel of Jesus Christ from those who did not.
if the above definition of the word is accepted, i could be wrong, but i think mormons believe that everyone, excepting themselves, who claim to be christians are not true christians because they are following an apostate version of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
from this, for the sake of clarification and useful discussion, perhaps the most accurate definition of the word is, those people who believe and accept the authentic Gospel of Jesus Christ.
in any case, using this definition, it should be clear to all that either roman catholics and protestants are not “christians” or mormons are not “christians” because they substantively disagree on what constitutes the authentic Gospel of Jesus Christ. in other words, protestants and roman catholics do not believe in the same Gospel of Jesus Christ in which mormons believe.
both groups, the group composed of roman catholics along with protestants as differentiated from the group called mormons cannot be called, in any logical use of the word, christians.
consequently, mormons believe they are the only true christians. because they reject the Gospel of Jesus Christ professed by protestants and roman catholics, there is no way to reconcile mormonism with protestantism and roman catholicisim at the most fundamental, intellectual level.
And do you follow what Jesus said in the Bible? There is no talk about polygamy or baptisms for the dead or becoming a god. True we cannot say who is Christian and who is not. But being a follower of Christ means you believe in Him and His word. Not what joe smith said or any of the other prophets said.
According to the traditional doctrine of the Catholic Church there are four requirements for the valid administration of the sacrament of Baptism: the matter, the form, the intention of the minister, and the right disposition of the recipient. Let us examine briefly each of these four elements in the teaching and practice of the Mormons.
I. The Matter. On this point there is no problem. Water is used. The Mormons practice Baptism by immersion (cf. Doctrine and Covenants [D&C] 20:74), which is one of the ways of celebrating Baptism (application of the matter) which is accepted by the Catholic Church.
II. The Form. We have seen that in the texts of the Magisterium on Baptism there is a reference to the invocation of the Trinity (to the sources already mentioned, the Fourth Lateran Council could be added here [DH 8021). The formula used by the Mormons might seem at first sight to be a Trinitarian formula. The text states: “Being commissioned by Jesus Christ, I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit” (cf. D&C 20:73). The similarities with the formula used by the Catholic Church are at first sight obvious, but in reality they are only apparent. There is not in fact a fundamental doctrinal agreement. There is not a true invocation of the Trinity because the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, according to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, are not the three persons in which subsists the one Godhead, but three gods who form one divinity. One is different from the other, even though they exist in perfect harmony (Joseph F. Smith, ed., Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith [TPJSI, Salt Lake City: Desert Book, 1976, p. 372). The very word divinity has only a functional, not a substantial content, because the divinity originates when the three gods decided to unite and form the divinity to bring about human salvation (Encyclopaedia of Mormonism [EM], New York: Macmillan, 1992, cf. Vol. 2, p. 552). This divinity and man share the same nature and they are substantially equal. God the Father is an exalted man, native of another planet, who has acquired his divine status through a death similar to that of human beings, the necessary way to divinization (cf. TPJS, pp. 345-346). God the Father has relatives and this is explained by the doctrine of infinite regression of the gods who initially were mortal (cf. TPJS, p. 373). God the Father has a wife, the Heavenly Mother, with whom he shares the responsibility of creation. They procreate sons in the spiritual world. Their firstborn is Jesus Christ, equal to all men, who has acquired his divinity in a pre-mortal existence. Even the Holy Spirit is the son of heavenly parents. The Son and the Holy Spirit were procreated after the beginning of the creation of the world known to us (cf. EM, Vol. 2, p. 961). Four gods are directly responsible for the universe, three of whom have established a covenant and thus form the divinity.
As is easily seen, to the similarity of titles there does not correspond in any way a doctrinal content which can lead to the Christian doctrine of the Trinity. The words Father, Son and Holy Spirit, have for the Mormons a meaning totally different from the Christian meaning. The differences are so great that one cannot even consider that this doctrine is a heresy which emerged out of a false understanding of the Christian doctrine. The teaching of the Mormons has a completely different matrix. We do not find ourselves, therefore, before the case of the validity of Baptism administered by heretics, affirmed already from the first Christian centuries, nor of Baptism conferred in non-Catholic ecclesial communities, as noted in Canon 869 §2.
III. The Intention of the Celebrating Minister. Such doctrinal diversity, regarding the very notion of God, prevents the minister of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from having the intention of doing what the Catholic Church does when she confers Baptism, that is, doing what Christ willed her to do when he instituted and mandated the sacrament of Baptism. This becomes even more evident when we consider that in their understanding Baptism was not instituted by Christ but by God and began with Adam (cf. Book of Moses 6:64). Christ simply commanded the practice of this rite; but this was not an innovation. It is clear that the intention of the Church in conferring Baptism is certainly to follow the mandate of Christ (cf. Mt 28,19) but at the same time to confer the sacrament that Christ had instituted. According to the New Testament, there is an essential difference between the Baptism of John and Christian Baptism. The Baptism of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which originated not in Christ but already at the beginning of creation (James E. Talmage, Articles of Faith [AF], Salt Lake City: Desert Book, 1990, cf. pp. 110-111), is not Christian Baptism; indeed, it denies its newness. The Mormon minister, who must necessarily be the “priest” (cf. D&C 20:38-58.107:13.14.20), therefore radically formed in their own doctrine, cannot have any other intention than that of doing what the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints does, which is quite different in respect to what the Catholic Church intends to do when it baptizes, that is, the conferral of the sacrament of Baptism instituted by Christ, which means participation in his death and resurrection (cf. Rom 6,3-11; Col 2,12-13).
We can note two other differences, not as fundamental as the preceding one, but which also have their importance:
A) According to the Catholic Church, Baptism cancels not only personal sins but also original sin, and therefore even infants are baptized for the remission of sins (cf. the essential texts of the Council of Trent, DH 1513-1515). This remission of original sin is not accepted by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which denies the existence of this sin and therefore baptizes only persons who have the use of reason and are at least eight years old, excluding the mentally handicapped (cf. AF, pp. 113-116). In fact, the practice of the Catholic Church in conferring Baptism on infants is one of the main reasons for which the Mormons say that the Catholic Church apostatized in the first centuries, so that the sacraments celebrated by it are all invalid.
B) If a believer baptized in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, after renouncing his or her faith or having been excommunicated, wants to return, he or she must be rebaptized (cf. AF, pp. 129-131).
Even in regard to these last elements it is clear that the Baptism of Mormons cannot be considered valid; since it is not Christian Baptism, the minister cannot have the intention of doing what the Catholic does.