Richard Land (center), President of the Southern Evangelical Seminary, meets with Brigham Young University President Cecil O. Samuelson (left), and Brent L. Top, BYU Dean of Religious Education on Sept. 6, 2013. Photo by Bella Torgerson/courtesy Brigham Young University

Richard Land (center), president of Southern Evangelical Seminary, meets with Brigham Young University President Cecil O. Samuelson (left) and Brent L. Top, BYU dean of religious education, on Sept. 6, 2013. Photo by Bella Torgerson/courtesy Brigham Young University


This image is available for Web and print publication. For questions, contact Sally Morrow.

(RNS) Last month, after being sure to get his caffeine fix at Starbucks, Southern Baptist leader Richard Land went where few evangelicals had dared to go before: the campus of Brigham Young University, the intellectual heart of Mormonism.

After lecturing on “family, faith, freedom and America,” Land attended a BYU football game with Mormon leaders and joined them to hear James Taylor sing with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

Days later, George O. Wood, the general superintendent of the Assemblies of God, also visited BYU, followed by the Rev. R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of Southern Baptists’ flagship seminary.

Is there a new detente — perhaps more practical than theological — between evangelicals and Mormons?

For more than a decade, Mormon and evangelical scholars have discussed their differences and similarities, and even written books together. But leaders of the two faiths appear to have reached a new juncture, with some on both sides seeing benefits in more public engagement.

“At the very least, the two communities, evangelicals and Mormons, have been … each other’s worst enemies,” said Richard Mouw, the former president of Fuller Theological Seminary and a longtime proponent of evangelical-Mormon dialogue.

“There’s a significant part of the evangelical movement that is now having healthy and friendly conversations, and it’s gone from a group of two dozen scholars talking to each other to church leaders meeting each other, going to see each other.”

John Taylor, director of interfaith relations for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, said there is a growing sense that Mormons and non-Mormons can agree in some areas — from humanitarian aid, where Mormons have also joined with Catholics — to the desire to retain their younger members.

“There’s a realization among faith groups generally that despite doctrinal differences — and we have doctrinal differences, there’s no question about that — we do have areas of commonality,” said Taylor.

Dr. George Wood, Chief Executive Officer of Assemblies of God, greets students after speaking during a lecture series on faith, family and society in the Varsity Theatre of the Wilkinson Student Center on Sept. 16, 2013. Photo by Mark A. Philbrick/courtesy Brigham Young University

George O. Wood, general superintendent of the Assemblies of God, greets students after speaking during a lecture series on faith, family and society in the Varsity Theatre of Brigham Young University’s Wilkinson Student Center on Sept. 16, 2013. Photo by Mark A. Philbrick/courtesy Brigham Young University


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The recent Utah meetings, which came at the invitation of Mormon church leaders in Salt Lake City, have centered on faith, family and religious freedom. Mohler — who was careful not to paper over doctrinal distinctions in his BYU speech — addressed joint concerns about the intersection of those issues.

“That is why I and my evangelical brothers and sisters are so glad to have Mormon neighbors,” Mohler said in his talk on Oct 21. “We stand together for the natural family, for natural marriage, for the integrity of sexuality within marriage alone.”

In a statement, the Assemblies of God said “no restrictions were placed on Dr. Wood’s lecture” when he addressed some 400 BYU students on Sept. 16. He “shared freely” about his Pentecostal faith and being brought up in a missionary family.

Land, who considers Mormonism to be a “fourth Abrahamic faith” — and thus distinct from Christianity — said there has been “gradual increased understanding on both sides.”

He accepted the invitation to BYU because Mormons and evangelicals, with shared opposition to the growing national acceptance of same-sex marriage, need to face together what they both view as increasing religious hostility.

“Those who oppose us are not going to make any distinctions,” said Land, the new president of Southern Evangelical Seminary in North Carolina. “They’re hostile to people of faith, period.”

The outreach has gone both ways. In September, Taylor joined two members of the LDS church’s Quorum of the Twelve Apostles at the Washington installation of Russell Moore, who succeeded Land as head of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission.

“It’s clear where we disagree, but we’re standing together in the public square for religious liberty,” said Moore, who has recently spoken with Mormon officials about military chaplains’ religious rights.

Richard Mouw, former president of Fuller University. Photo courtesy Fuller University

Richard Mouw, former president of Fuller Theological Seminary. Photo courtesy Fuller Theological Seminary


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Bob Millet, a BYU religion professor who suggested the evangelical visitors to LDS officials, said the rapprochement helps Mormons, “a sample of the population that’s not well-understood and highly misunderstood.”

As Mormons continue to work toward greater acceptance and visibility — from Mitt Romney’s White House bid to a category of questions on “Jeopardy” — they are more likely to have tangible benefits from this engagement, said Stephen Webb, author of the new book “Mormon Christianity: What Other Christians Can Learn from the Latter-day Saints.”

“It’s not just the fact that evangelicals are being more curious about Mormons and being more willing to listen to them and learn from them, but it’s also a matter of the Mormon leadership itself wanting to be part of the American Christian mainstream,” he said.

Gregory Johnson, co-founder of Standing Together, a Utah group of evangelical pastors, has given dozens of presentations with BYU’s Millet called “A Mormon and an Evangelical in Conversation.” He dubbed the recent get-togethers “the year of the evangelical at BYU.”

Some scholars credit colleagues such as Johnson, Millet and Mouw with the thaw in relations, which still remain tense in some circles. Mouw, for instance, gets hate mail  — “a lot of angry stuff” — from pastors and groups that don’t agree with his friendships with Mormons.

The recent evangelical appearances in Utah have sparked online debates, with some welcoming them and others warning they hurt traditional Christianity. A moderator for the unofficial LDS.net who calls himself “prisonchaplain” concluded the meetings were more civil than groundbreaking.

“As far as ‘fruit’ goes, these events sure beat the cold theological wars of the past,’’ he said.

And there’s more to come: Christian apologist Ravi Zacharias, who spoke at the Mormon Tabernacle in 2004, will be at BYU in January, followed by a second appearance by Mohler the following month.

KRE/MG END BANKS

78 Comments

  1. Adelle,
    I loved your objective reporting.
    I am a firm believer in the Vinn diagram idea that we can all benefit more by emphasizing our commonalities than we can by emphasizing our differences.
    And I greatly admire the participants on both sides of the isle that have had the courage to pioneer this effort.
    Again, thank you.

  2. Ok. So Mormons and Evangelicals are now working to find “common ground.” I assume they will find plenty of common ground as they work together to stop states from recognizing gay marriages and to fight single fathers in the name of religion from claiming custody of their children so their adoption services can thrive….

    • That’s silly, Gary. Stop gay marriages? Absolutely we should. Stopping fathers claiming custody so their adoption services can thrive? No they don’t. If a girl can’t look after the child, adoption is an option. What is the law? Does the Law give fathers rights in the case of a child born out of wedlock? I think they leave it to the mother. I agree with you fathers should have a say so but ultimately the law gives the decision to the mother. Don’t blame the Church for what the law of the land says.

  3. How curious, considering that some speculate that it was the evangelicals staying home that kept Romney from winning. Could this all be leading up to Romney re running or another Mormon candidate running in the next presidential election? Do not be duped Christians. Mormonism is not a Christian religion. The Muslims do not believe in homosexuality either, will you be meeting with them? You do not have to meet with these religions to study them. Their own religious beliefs will be all the support for traditional values that is needed.

    • Hannah the name of the Church is actually,”The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints”. I see the name Jesus Christ there. Are you saying they don’t believe in Jesus Christ? Maybe you should talk to some. Is there any other mormons in a position to run? I don’t think Orin Hatch will be. Why do you think they are not Christian? I doubt you have really honestly looked into it. The point is that to try to stop things from happening that we all, as Christians , believe are wrong, we need to come together and fight if we are to fight against what God has decreed is wrong. The problem with politics is that we vote for one or the other but there are things that both will say that we don’t agree with. We will not agree 100% completely with both. That’s how they get away with a lot. We need to stand together as Christians to fight a common foe regardless of religious differences. We don’t need to have a full understanding of eachothers beliefs, but we are one in fighting same sex marriage. We should be embracing eachother rather than what your comment seems to do which is tear your allies down.

      • Mormons and Christians (Generic term with wide latitude) share much philosophy. They also share quite a bit of terminology. If you ask a typical Mormon what he believes, the words will be pretty consistent with what a typical Christian says he believes. That is about where the similarity ends. Because I admire much about the Mormon church and generally like most Mormons I rub shoulders with, I was at one time interested in it. If one has any understanding of Christian doctrine, it does not take long to see there are virtually no areas where Mormon and Christian theology actually intersect. Mormonism is polytheistic with the goal of ultimately becoming a god with your own world. Christianity is mono-theistic. Mormons consider the trinity a unanimity of purpose while Christians hold to the three in one (generally–personally, this would be a dividing doctrine for me when it comes to fellowship or not.) Mormonism is functionally two in one with the temple rituals being significantly different in many ways to the routine doctrine. The goals are so different–becoming a god vs Exalting God. Mormonism is based primarily on works and Christianity on Faith. Pick any doctrine and these differences become pretty quickly apparent. Read Doctrine and Covenants to see what the positions are. In my searching time, I read quite a bit from D&C and it was very illuminating. One last, Christ and Satan are both spirit children of god created with different wives, so, half brothers. This doctrine alone creates an unbridgeable theological gulf for joint worship.

        • How can you claim to “admire much about the Mormon church” and yet misrepresent it’s doctrine so egregiously? You obviously don’t know much more about it that what anyone can find in most of the deceptive and dishonest work of the anti-Mormons that are out and about. If you are a true Christian, how can you so blithely bear false witness against your neighbor? Truly did Christ teach, “By their fruit you will recognize them . . . ” Your fruit is bitter and so we know the tree that bears it is bad.

          • Minjae,

            please do elaborate how Dave has misrepresented the tenets of Mormonism.
            I would like to hear educated discourse on this subject so I may learn more.

            Thank you.

        • Dave, you are absolutely correct. The crux of the matter is: The Mormons do believe in Jesus, there is no question about that, however, they believe in “another Jesus” which the apostle Paul addresses in II Corinthians 11:4.

        • Lets just stop all the talk for one minute and asking a mormon right off the bat will stop all of this talk as well. Do you believe daily that all non-Mormons a.k.a. a born again Christians going to hell? Answer is Yes.
          Enough said. There is nothing in common. Either you yield to the becoming a god on your own planet, and joseph smith is above Chirst and all the other Sci Fi adventure doctrine, or your a lower life form period to them. Ohh and thats all besides the fact there is zero geological evidence of anything in the book of mormon. plagiarism yes. plenty of that. but no geographical, topographical, or even proven lineage, or dna to prove anything. Scientology is the same, its a better read though.

          • Completely wrong David and you really don’t understand the mormons by what you have written. The questions you posed, “Do you believe daily that all non-Mormons a.k.a. a born again Christians going to @#!*%?” (my computer filter blocked out the last word, I assume you said hell) The answer is actually no. There are many who will not have been mormons on this earth but will have the opportunity to live in the presence of God.For example, children who died before the age of accountability, mentally disabled people such as some downs syndrome people I know. There will be millions who have died without the knowledge of the Gospel here on earth but will have learnt it after they died. There will actually be a lot more than any of us realise. Many of your own ancestors will not have had a Gospel knowledge. they will have the opportunity to learn about the Gospel and accept it if they choose. they too can live in the presence of God eternally. Have you David met with the missionaries and honestly and sincerely prayed to know if the Book of Mormon is true? God knows if you have or not, You can lie to me here on this site but you can’t lie to Him. So basically David, to say only Mormons will live eternally in the presence of God is wrong.

        • Yours is excellent commentary! Even if the true Body of Christ regards mormonism and not mormons as the problem, will we ever convince anyone? There are probably more regenerate mormons out there than we realize.

      • Mormons do not hold to the essentials of Biblical Christianity:
        1. The authority of the Holy Bible. (Its authority above all other writings.)
        2. One God. (None shall evolve into gods.)
        3. The tri-unity nature of the One God as revealed in the Holy Bible.
        4. The full Deity and humanity of Jesus Christ, which includes His virgin birth. (People can use the name “Jesus Christ” but mean something or someone entirely different than the King of kings and Lord of lords.)
        5. Jesus is the promised Anointed One (the Christ, the Messiah.)
        6.Jesus died physically on a cross as a sin-sacrifice.
        7. Jesus bodily resurrected.
        8. Man is fallen.
        9. Salvation is through Jesus Christ alone. (God’s grace only–not works; and no other paths.)
        10. Faith is required; a choice, an action to receive His grace.
        11.Jesus will return.
        12. The true Church / true Christians are those who have accepted Jesus as He revealed Himself, and accepted His salvation on His terms.

        We can agree to disagree on nonessential doctrines and can work together in those areas. But it is the gravest of errors to think we can compromise on the essentials. Jesus is returning for those who overcome darkness, not get into bed with it.

        • Gayle: You state “Mormons do not hold to the essentials of Biblical Christianity” and then go on to list purported differences. Please let me clarify where you have misunderstood.
          1. The authority of the Holy Bible. (Its authority above all other writings.) One of the Mormon “Articles of Faith” states “we beleive the Bible to be the word of God, as long as it is translated correctly.”
          2. One God. (None shall evolve into gods.) However often this doctrine is reported, it is generally off the mark. There is NO doctrine or scripture that states Mormons will “replace” God or even be His equal. The doctrine is in line with Christ’s invitiation to “be ye therefore perfect” meaning we have the ability to become “like” God.
          3. The tri-unity nature of the One God as revealed in the Holy Bible. The LDS doctrine of “three separate beings with one purpose” squares well with Bible doctrine. How could God forsake himself: “Why has thou forsaken me?” Appear as three different beings at the same time, as at Christ baptism (Christ in the water, Holy Ghost appearing as a dove, and God speaking from Heaven.) Yes the doctrine is different, but certainly squares with doctrine in the Bible.
          4. The full Deity and humanity of Jesus Christ, which includes His virgin birth. (People can use the name “Jesus Christ” but mean something or someone entirely different than the King of kings and Lord of lords.) Mormonism is in complete harmony here. Christ is God made flesh; born of the Virgin Mary, our Savior and Redeemer, and only through Christ are we redeemed.
          5. Jesus is the promised Anointed One (the Christ, the Messiah.) Ditto. We fully agree.
          6.Jesus died physically on a cross as a sin-sacrifice. No difference in doctrine here.
          7. Jesus bodily resurrected. We agree.
          8. Man is fallen. We agree. Because of the fall of Adam, Christ was sent to redeem us.
          9. Salvation is through Jesus Christ alone. (God’s grace only–not works; and no other paths.) We agree that Salvation is through Christ alone, but simply calling upon Him without following His teachings will leave you short of the mark.. How can we know Christ, believe in his teachings, and truly be converted to him if we do not turn that faith into action? We believe that true faith in Christ will lead us to do great works in His name.
          10. Faith is required; a choice, an action to receive His grace. See above,
          11.Jesus will return. Mormons faithfully and anxiously await His return,
          12. The true Church / true Christians are those who have accepted Jesus as He revealed Himself, and accepted His salvation on His terms. Mormons agree.

          I do not mind when we discuss the differences between Mormonism and other Christian doctrines, but we are greatly frustrated when our beliefs are misrepresented.

          • Dear “Get It Right” – your reply is an example of why many of us have a hard time trusting Mormon people when they talk about LDS beliefs. You state:

            <>

            You misdirect the issue – Gayle (and those who find the Mormon doctrine of God unbiblical) never said Mormons would replace God. The issue is “how many true Gods are there?” and not will we become ‘like God’ but will we evolve into Gods – the same type of Being God is right now?” The Bible says there is only one God (and it doesn’t say just for this planet). We provide a list of over 25 biblical references that address this here: http://mit.irr.org/28-biblical-passages-which-explicitly-teach-there-only-one-god .

            So, the issue is two-fold: Was God the Father ever a man like us? Jews and Christians and the Bible have always said ‘No.” Joseph Smith and LDS leaders since him have said “Yes.” Can we as finite humans evolve into Gods like God is currently a God? Jews and Christians and the Bible have always said “No.” Joseph Smith subsequent leaders and the Mormon Church’s official teaching manuals continue to say “yes.” Ample documentation here: http://mit.irr.org/category/mormon-view-of-god-and-christ

            Your failure to acknowledge this and misdirect the issue could be because you are not aware of this clear, repeated LDS teaching – which renders any explanation of LDS doctrine you provide suspect, or it could be due to the Mormon culture of deception and “lying for the Lord” which allows for deception of any kind if its purpose is to protect, enhance or further the positive image of the Mormon church or protect the reputation of its leaders. Extensive documented article on this here: http://www.mormonthink.com/lying.htm

            Please consider the implications of being part of a religious organization that sanctions and promotes obfuscating its own core doctrines for self-protective purposes.

          • What about this: 1. Jesus and Satan are spirit brothers and we were all born as siblings in heaven to them both(Mormon doctrine p. 143)
            2: After you become a good Mormon, you have the potential of becoming a god(Teachings of Joseph Smith)
            3. There is a mother god(Articles of Faith, Talmage pg. 443
            4. The book of Mormon is more correct than the Bible(HIstory of the Church)
            5. God had sexual relations with Mary to make the body of Jesus(Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses)
            6. “We accept Christ’s atonement by repenting of our sins, being baptized, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and obeying all of the commandments”(Gospel Principles, Corporation of the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints).
            7. “The true gospel was lost from the earth. Mormonism is its restoration” (Articles of Faith, Talmage)
            All of these by known Mormon authors in good standing the church.

          • To Joel:
            I had no intention of misdirecting. I was providing brief responses to Gayle’s comments that inferred Mormon doctrine is different than it is in reality. With regards to her comments about “evolving into Gods” I readily acknowledged our doctrine about the opportunity for man to become like God, but did not go int great detail as my comments are all quite brief. It seems to me, Joel, that you are the one misdirecting by taking a small response to one of 12 comments and saying I don’t understand my doctrine because I did not elaborate. You then go on to cite non-LDS websites as backup to your comments. These are the same sites that twist our doctrine. I am not afraid to discuss differences, but let’s not misrepresent what Mormons believe.

            I did go to your referenced sites, and even there I find scripture that supports the Mormon view of the trinity. These are copied from the reference you provided:

            John 17:3 — And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. (Note the word “and” and the distinction . . . “whom thou has sent.” Did he send himself? Why not say, “I came.”)

            1 Timothy 2:5 — For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus. (One god AND one mediator.)

            1 Corinthians 8:4-6 — . . . But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him. (Note the ANDs in this scripture as well as the differences, we are IN the Father, and and we are BY Christ.)

            Again, we really get nowhere debating these points because we are only converted by the Spirit, not contention. I was merely pointing out that Mormon doctrine is supported by scripture.

          • To Michael:

            I do not dispute any of your points. This is doctrine I am happy to discuss. I beleive the statement Christ and Satan are brothers gets blown out of proportion, however. Mormon doctrine is EVERY being is created by God. That is what makes God, God. If God created everyone, we are all his children. That makes us brothers and sisters, and explains why we call God the Father. If God did not create Satan, who did?

          • Point #2 becoming “like God.”
            Here is where the counterfeit is revealed. We read in Genesis where Adam is instructed not to eat of the tree lest his eyes be opened and be become LIKE GOD knowing both good and evil. Throughout Biblical history (tower of Babel for example) mankind strived to become “like God”…it is one of Satans traps

          • To dave, I’m not sure the point you were making but the KJV of the bible in that verse says, “And the Lord God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil.” The key word is “Us”. That must mean more than one person so there was more than one person with God when He made that comment. Was He with other Gods or somethone else?

        • I find it amazing that there are so many trying to define Christianity with their OWN definitions or prejudices. Folks… Christianity is simple reflective of those “Believing in Christ”… any other attempt to define Christianity is simply trying to DICTATE that definition. There are MANY forms of Christianity – Baptist, Catholics, and others.

          Why attack each other… shouldn’t we be MORE focus as those that don’t believe in Christ (Which Mormon absolutely do) or strive to be Christlike. By ANY standard, member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormons) absolutely reflect that standard. “By their fruits you shall know them”. We should have nothing but positive things to say about a faint that supports strong family values, lower rates of infidelity, pre-marital sex, crime and divorces among their members and also live longer due to their dietary directives. Shouldn’t we be more concerns that absolutely don’t believe Chris is the savior?… Such as Muslins, or Atheists?

      • “The traditional Christ of whom they speak is not the Christ of whom I speak” Mormon prophet Gordon B. Hinkley (LDS Church News, June 20th 1998).

        Not Christians. They have a different gospel and different Jesus (2 Corinthians 11:3-4)

        • Just one comment, you say,”Not Christians. They have a different gospel and different Jesus”. If that is the case, why are there so many different churches? Is there one Gospel or many Gospels? Which one is the right one, or if there is not one, even though they teach different things, does it really matter which church you belong to? Are there some teachings which it is ok for churches to be different and still be called Christian? How can we know which ones they are?

        • Incidentally, the concept of trinity, which is God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit being one and the same person, didn’t that come from the nicene creed which was written in the 4th century after Jesus? So that being the case, is it possible that the original teaching of God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit was changed? Why did it take a council to try to decide on a teaching that you would think was around for 300+ years after Jesus? Jesus passed on the truth to the apostles, they taught people what Jesus taught them, if the truth was passed on down, why have a council to decide on what was true? If the Catholic church taught the truth, why did protestant churches spring up? they obviously disagreed with the Catholic Church. It seems to me that all Churches had a beginning and taught teachings that were heretical to the Catholic church because if they were the same all churches would be in harmony with the catholic church. If Protestants found what they believed were inconsistencies and false teachings in the Catholic church and began their own churches, why is it hard to believe another church also found false teachings in the Catholic church as they saw it and began another Church? They all can’t be right, logically if there is a true church, there must be things being taught that are wrong in all of the others. How can you be so sure that the mormon church is not the one when no one church agrees completely with the others?

      • Dear Mic, Mormons use the same language, but it means something else. Jesus to them is NOT the Jesus of the Bible. He is a created being, not eternal, the brother of Lucifer, and the product of an actual sexual liason between Elohim and Mary. Elohim was once a man from the planet Kolob, and a good Mormon can be a god! They say “as man is, god once was. As god is, man can be.” In reality, there are numerous “gods” in Mormonism. It is NOT CHRISTIAN!

        • I think it just comes down to interpretation. A lot of the Bible is symbolic and the language used can be confusing. I know for a fact however, as I have researched this, that no LDS church leader has said it was a sexual liaison. Many non mormons have construed comments by LDS church leaders that way but really they did not say it was a sexual encounter as we would do it, Really, George, did God need to touch Mary to make her preganant? Now Jesus turned water into wine with out touching the wine. Jesus healed people great distances away without even touching them. If nothing is impossible to God, did He really need to come down to earth and have sexual intercourse with Mary? I don’t think so. If you have comments that say it was sexual intercourse please share them.

      • Mick,

        I know a fellow by the name of Barack Obama. He is 5 feet tall has red hair and a beard and only one leg. Does this mean I know the current president of the US? absolutely not by my descriptive definition these are clearly two different men. In the same way the Jesus Christ of Mormonism, according to LDS doctrine, is not the same as the Jesus of biblical Christianity. To the Mormon teachings Jesus is a second god, the brother of Lucifer, Brigham Young (Mormons’ 2nd president) taught that Jesus married at least 3 women and was the groom at the wedding of Cana in the N.T. This is nothing like the description of Jesus Christ in Christian scriptures. The names are the same and that is all. I hope this helps clear up the misinformation you have been fed.

        • I hear what you’re saying Jay but one point I would make is why is there so many Churches? They all don’t agree. With the Mormons you are on about the attributes of Jesus to try and prove mormons are not Christian. Well the protestants don’t agree with the catholics. many protestant churches don’t even agree with eachother. they all disagree on different doctrines so why single the mormons out? Many churches go back to the nicene creed as a basis for their beliefs but that was 3 or 400 years after Christ. I don’t know obviously what church you belong to but how do you know you have the right belief. I can go to the Bible and come up with different interpretations for dofferent scriptures. Jesus, as we know did set up His church while on the earth. Is the Church that Jesus set up here on the earth today or do we take an ‘all roads lead to Rome’ approach? You started your comment by using an example of Barack Obama and I can see your point. But Jesus began a Church. they all can’t be His Church. If we are not in His Church then, like your example of what the real Jesus is, we are believing in something that is not true. So which is Jesus’ Church today? If catholic, then the rest are wrong because there can only be one true church of Jesus Christ that is set up as he set it up. If Methodist then the rest are wrong. If Mormon, then the rest are wrong. If Church of England, then the rest are wrong. It can only be one. Is baptism by immersion or is it sprinkling? Is the sabbath Sunday or is it saturday? They all can’t be right. Now you may be certain that the mormons are wrong, fine, but then which one is right?

          Oh and one more point, you made the point about there being nothing in the scriptures about Jesus having wives and I agree, I haven’t seen anything about it but my question is this, is everything that Jesus said and did, contained in the scriptures?

    • actually we are Christians. We worship the same Jesus as every other Christian on the planet. We even have the name Jesus Christ in our official church name; The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. If you choose not to believe as we do, that is your choice. However, please educate yourself before you post about other’s beliefs. Check out the following website if you don’t believe me http://www.mormon.org or www.lds.org

  4. “As far as ‘fruit’ goes, these events sure beat the cold theological wars of the past,’’

    Jesus tells us to love our neighbor, but He never tells us to compromise the Truth.

    http://downtownministries.blogspot.com/

  5. Mormonism is a very dangerous cult.

    Watch “The God Makers” movie here.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=85Se2rzU_VY

    Or read the book “The God Makers” Vol #1 and #2.

    Proverbs 16:25 There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.

    2 Corinthians 6:14-16 Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? And what agreement has the temple of God with idol.

    • As an Evangelical scholar who specializes in new religious movements and evangelism, I appreciate your heart-felt concerns, but “The Godmakers” film has been critiqued by Evangelicals as sensationalistic and inaccurate. As such it is not a reliable resource for Evangelicals in understanding Mormonism, and does not provide helpful suggestions in how we might relate to Mormons. It unfortunately is an example of a violation of the command not to bear false witness against our neighbor. Instead, Evangelicals would be better served by those resources that seek to fairly understand and represent Mormonism, and provide suggestions for encounters that follow the way of Jesus in his interactions with Gentiles and Samaritans. We have produced one such resource in the Bridges program: http://www.wiics.org/seminars/mormonism-adult-training. In our pluralistic and post-9/11 era where religious tensions are high, Evangelicals can and should do better as they live as disciples of Jesus amidst their non-Christian neighbors.

  6. Yes, the Mormon Church and its adoption services along with Christian evangelicals work to limit single fathers’ rights in the name of preserving traditional families. in some states, both Mormons and evangelical Christians work with attorneys to limit the father’s custodial rights so that adoptive couples can have easier access to kids. Utah has seen several lawsuits by single fathers fighting to gain custody of thier own kids because no one told them their kids were even put up for adoption. It’s sad but the people behind this are mormons and evangelical attorneys who have influenced state laws to further their own religious agendas and bring revenue to their businesses.

    • I hear what you are saying but my question is are they following the law? I am all for fathers having rights in terms of their kids, I’ve had my own problems but not with the church. You are blaming mormons and evangelicals with an agenda. I don’t think that is the case. As I understand it, it comes down to the mothers rights and that unfortunately has precedence in the courts.

  7. My son and I were just at the BYU campus last week and were impressed by the beauty of the place and the friendliness of the people. However, as Christians we are living out a different faith and adhere to a different gospel than our mormon neighbors. We are saved by faith alone and not by works. In days to come, we do need to come together to try and save this nation where secularism is systematically destroying everything we hold dear.

    • Without Christ we cannot be saved in the kingdom of God, but our Savior commanded us to follow his example, this includes baptism, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, faith, and the 10 commandments as some examples. Show me in the scriptures where one NEVER is required to pray and will yet be “saved?” Jesus and the apostles taught baptism, with Jesus setting the example. If not essential for salvation, then why is it taught throughout the New Testament? Satan deceives people thinking it is not necessary to following Jesus, making mockery of Jesus’ commandments. Any wonder Baptist churches are loosing membership! And will continue to do so in the decades to come.

      • “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.”. – Ephesians 2:8-9.

        Baptism is a sign to the world that one has been saved – not a means of salvation. If there was anything we could do to be saved, Christ died for nothing.
        And He didn’t…

    • Didn’t Paul talk about showing faith by his works? We can have faith but without works, our faith is dead. What good is that? But I do agree with the rest of what you say.

  8. First, I lived in Utah for several years among many Mormons. I know their theology, their doctrine, their traditions, and their history. I guess I don’t mind simple discussions on marriage, family, etc., but is it really necessary? To me, this whole “reaching across the aisle” mentality is really nothing more than the “Moral Majority” or the “Christian Coalition.” Simply trying to change the world system (i.e. ‘the culture’) with political, social, and economic ‘understanding.’

    Mormons are NOT Christians no matter how hard they try, no matter how many times they say it, no matter how much they have in common with Christians. After all, a person must believe that Jesus Christ is THE God – not A God in order to be converted from spiritual death unto spiritual life. Yoking ourselves, as Christians, to Mormons is not the best means to the desired ends.

    • Brother Todd…..you nailed the truth right there! I, too, shared the eye opening experience of living in Utah and know to be true exactly what you said. As I recall, God hates “mixing”…..I am afraid Christians in the 21st century have been too thoroughly influenced by our culture.

    • Much of what I am reading here is not worthy of comment. I appreciate my fellow Mormon’s comments trying to clarify the many misrepresentations of our doctrine but it is really pointless. One thing they need to known is that in the Bible and Book of Mormon it is clear that Jesus Christ prior to his birth was Jehovah who came to earth as a baby born of a virgin (no sex with anyone), crucified, resurrected, and the Savior of all Mankind who chooses to follow and believe him and accept his Grace for our sins which we cannot do by ourselves. Now He is the one who said He had a Father so when He gets here He will answer all our questions. It will not matter who is right and who is wrong, we will have to accept it. Who is “saved” by Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ will be decided by Him not Rev Land, Professor Mohler, Pope Francis nor President Monson. All the arguing is silly considering our world is devolving around us and who is a “real Christian” and “who is really saved” when our very religious freedom is at stake. You would do better to go out and spread the message of salvation of Jesus Christ to as many as will listen not matter your particular religion or doctrine. During the 1000 year reign of Christ you will have plenty of time to argue.

  9. Looking at some of the mainline “Christian” denominations that no longer believe in the inerrancy of Scripture as well as their stance on traditional Biblical morality, it seems obvious to me that orthodox Christians have as many or more differences with liberal Christianity as with Mormonism. Most Christian Churches appear unorthodox every bit as much as Mormonism and more insidiously – retaining the form without the substance.

  10. Richard Mouw, former President of Fuller Seminary, will be speaking at Utah Valley University in November. This is but the latest of a series of interactions between Evangelical and Mormon leaders. This article talks about the current positive stance in this context, but other elements of Evangelicalism find this problematic.

    Some of the LDS General Authorities do not want to dialogue about differences in doctrine, but want to focus on common political and social aspects. Some Evangelicals want to focus on on doctrinal disagreements, and to emphasize difference and proclamation of their message.

    Scholarly and popular dialogues, in public and in private, between Evangelicals and Mormons is a good thing. Perhaps this is a good time to engage in critical self-reflection about the process, and in effect, dialogue about dialogue. What types of dialogue should we be engaged in? Should unresolvable differences be a part of the agenda? How does dialogue differ from religious diplomacy?

    • From a Mormon standpoint, to hear evangelicals continuously claim to be the hall monitors of “Christianity” sounds very peculiar. You don’t own that term or title. It’s not your place to define the boundaries of that tent and the Bible doesn’t give you that license like you believe it does, merely because you read it and talk about it among yourselves. God certainly didn’t give you that commission personally…you don’t even believe that He has the ability to communicate with you directly anymore.

      Presumptuous.

      The point is that we don’t mind that you consider yourselves Christians. From our standpoint, so are Jehovah’s Witnesses, 7th Day Adventists, Catholics, Coptic’s, Eastern Orthodox Churches etc. We’re not threatened or diminished by others following Jesus Christ according to the dictates of their own conscience or even using a different translation of the Bible or even believing that it is complete or inerrant, or that God doesn’t talk to man anymore.

      Do you EVER see Mormons condemning or belittling Evangelical Christian Churches in these online forums? Do you see them initiating attacks or attempting to destroy the faith of their members? NO. Keep in mind that it would be easy to do based on your histories, but we don’t. That would be un-Christ like.

      Yet the converse is not true. Some few Evangelicals are ALWAYS tearing down other faiths. It’s like an obsession; they can’t seem to help themselves.

      I say “some few” because I attended the Southern Baptist Convention’s annual meeting in New Orleans last year. At the very end of the last day a resolution specifically condemning the Mormon Church, that was previously rejected by the resolutions committee, was brought to the floor for a vote. I watched Brian Wright the SBC President ask for a vote by the over 7,500 voting messengers present on whether they wanted to consider the resolution. The motion of condemnation was “overwhelmingly” rejected by the body in about 5 seconds flat.

      This year at the annual meeting in Houston another resolution was presented to the resolutions committee by the same group that again focused specifically on the Mormon Church but it was also rejected by the committee.

      The message is clear. The VAST MAJORITY of the Southern Baptist Convention and its leadership have no appetite for waging war against the Mormon Church. Why? Because The Mormon Church is not the enemy! The enemy is the secular world that is encroaching on all religious freedom and is systematically pushing us all in a corner. That’s the message in this article. That’s the root cause for the sea change in the working relationships between conservative valued churches. Everyone recognizes that there are doctrinal differences between faiths. There are significant dissimilarities between and among the many Protestant Denominations and Catholics, all considered Traditional Trinitarian Christians. Fine, differences noted, stop the attacks and work together on larger, more significant issues.

      There are some few Evangelical stragglers in the trenches who have not yet got the memo that the conflict is over. The desired outcome is not to try to win a denominational battle. That serves no purpose. The need is to win the war to retain religious freedoms in our country.

      • I’ve got to say that was very well put. really, who has the right to tell another person what the bounds of Christianity are? It doesn’t matter what religion you are, if you get your teachings from the bible and try to follow Jesus Christ, doesn’t that make you a Christian? The comment was made above about mormons believing a different Jesus. Well how many religions are there? They all don’t believe the same thing, otherwise there would only be one church. They all disagree with eachother on one thing or another. Why do they single the mormons out? The mormons obviously have some different teachings to other religions which also come from the bible, so why do some not consider them Christian when they get their teachings from the same place. As you said, why do other religions think they have the monopoly on Christianity and what it means?

  11. Of course they want to focus on common political and social aspects. I’m already hearing that both groups are working in some states to get the gay marriage issue right back on the ballots so they can overturn it. Since the DOMA ruling, mormons and evangelicals want to fight against these political issues.

    • actually, we are Christians. We believe in God, the eternal father, His son Jesus Christ and the holy ghost(spirit). We also believe in the Bible as do other Christians.

  12. “the two communities, evangelicals and Mormons, have been … each other’s worst enemies”

    Idolatry, belief that you will also be a god, works salvation and the belief that Satan is spiritual brother to the Lord Jesus Christ will always be an enemy to Christianity.

    • I’m not sure if you are aware but the bible does talk about all of those things so why does that make mormons an enemy to Christianity. They teach out of the bible.

  13. The Bible Teaches, ” Have no other gods ” Why would Christians support religious
    liberty of a cult that is hostile to us? Paul didn’t support religious liberty in Athens.
    ( Acts 17:16-31)!

    • Mormons (i assume you mean themas the cult) are not hostile to any other religion, why would you think they are? They believe in freedom to believe in what you want to. Paul did not say he did not support the right to believe what you want to. he met people and talked about the truth with them, even disputing with them. When they took him to Areopagus and Paul told them about God. he never said Paul disagreed with people having different beliefs. You call the mormons a cult, well probably all protestant religions were seen the same way when they began but are now seen as mainstream religions. Christianity was certainly seen that way (as a cult) when it began. Mormonism is another Christian religion because they teach about God and Jesus and how we can be with them eternally and it comes from the bible.

  14. Hey, Get it right. You exactly got it right. All you can do is to explain things with absolute truth. Those without any spiritual discernment, lacking enlightenment, will always attack you for your belief in the Savior, and in the truth. Great post!

  15. If you sincerely want to know the truth pray that the spirit of Christ will invigorate you soul, open your mind and soften your heart so that you may have understanding

    Job 1:6
    Ps 82:6
    Hosea 1:10
    John 1:12
    Acts 17:29
    Romans 8:14-17
    1John 3:1-2
    Rev 21:

  16. This conversation is interesting.

    From a Mormon standpoint, to hear evangelicals continuously claim to be the hall monitors of “Christianity” sounds very peculiar. You don’t own that term or title. It’s not your place to define the boundaries of that tent and the Bible doesn’t give you that license like you believe it does, merely because you read it and talk about it among yourselves. God certainly didn’t give you that commission personally…you don’t even believe that He has the ability to communicate with you directly anymore.

    Presumptuous.

    The point is that we don’t mind that you consider yourselves Christians. From our standpoint, so are Jehovah’s Witnesses, 7th Day Adventists, Catholics, Coptic’s, Eastern Orthodox Churches etc. We’re not threatened or diminished by others following Jesus Christ according to the dictates of their own conscience or even using a different translation of the Bible or even believing that it is complete or inerrant, or that God doesn’t talk to man anymore.

    Do you EVER see Mormons condemning or belittling Evangelical Christian Churches in these online forums? Do you see them initiating attacks or attempting to destroy the faith of their members? NO. Keep in mind that it would be easy to do based on your histories, but we don’t. That would be un-Christ like.

    Yet the converse is not true. Some few Evangelicals are ALWAYS tearing down other faiths. It’s like an obsession; they can’t seem to help themselves.

    I say “some few” because I attended the Southern Baptist Convention’s annual meeting in New Orleans last year. At the very end of the last day a resolution specifically condemning the Mormon Church, that was previously rejected by the resolutions committee, was brought to the floor for a vote. I watched Brian Wright the SBC President ask for a vote by the over 7,500 voting messengers present on whether they wanted to consider the resolution. The motion of condemnation was “overwhelmingly” rejected by the body in about 5 seconds flat.

    This year at the annual meeting in Houston another resolution was presented to the resolutions committee by the same group that again focused specifically on the Mormon Church but it was also rejected by the committee.

    The message is clear. The VAST MAJORITY of the Southern Baptist Convention and its leadership have no appetite for waging war against the Mormon Church. Why? Because The Mormon Church is not the enemy! The enemy is the secular world that is encroaching on all religious freedom and is systematically pushing us all in a corner. That’s the message in this article. That’s the root cause for the sea change in the working relationships between conservative valued churches. Everyone recognizes that there are doctrinal differences between faiths. There are significant dissimilarities between and among the many Protestant Denominations and Catholics, all considered Traditional Trinitarian Christians. Fine, differences noted, stop the attacks and work together on larger, more significant issues.

    There are some few Evangelical stragglers in the trenches who have not yet got the memo that the conflict is over. The desired outcome is not to try to win a denominational battle. That serves no purpose. The need is to win the war to retain religious freedoms in our country.

  17. In the name of whoever “The God of This Realm” Is can we please have a discussion of a post that contains the word, “Mormon” without it devolving (rotting)) into a “Yes-we-are-No-you’re-not-Read-your-Bible-No,-you-read-YOUR-Bible morass. Take all this mishigas over to “Flunking Sainthood” where it belongs.

  18. lds.org provides the following on their teaching on the Mormon Heavenly Father. This is NOT the God of the Bible.

    “Long before our God began his creations, he dwelt on a mortal world like ours, one of the creations that his Father had created for him and his brethren. He, with many of his brethren, was obedient to the principles of the eternal gospel. One among these, it is presumed, was a savior for them, and through him they obtained a resurrection and an exaltation on an eternal, celestial world. Then they gained the power and godhood of their Father and were made heirs of all that he had, continuing his works and creating worlds of their own for their own posterity—the same as their Father had done before, and his Father, and his Father, and on and on. ”
    http://lds.org/new-era/1971/04/people-on-other-worlds?lang=eng

  19. I hope that we can learn to respect each other’s differences, but as an African-American Latter-Day Saint, it’s hurtful to see so many people misrepresenting the faith that I love and believe with all my heart. We don’t have to always agree, but to point fingers and accuse us of being non-Christian without having researched and talked to a person from our faith is rather hurtful, since the crux of our entire faith is belief in, devotion to, and being examples of, Jesus Christ. If that’s not Christianity, then what is? How do we define “Christian” if it doesn’t mean being lovers and followers of our Savior, Jesus Christ?
    I actually wrote a post defending some of the more pivotal points of our doctrine on my blog in response to a similar situation. The post is titled, “In Case Y’all Still Didn’t Know…” and you can find it here: http://blacktexanmormon.tumblr.com.
    I’m a teacher, so I feel that responsibility to present all of the facts in a way that allows for real thought and conversation. I don’t think it’s right to misrepresent information to people who don’t understand something.
    To Jaosn: That statement was taken from a rather lengthy article written by Kent Nielsen for our Youth magazine, New Era in 1971. It’s a beautiful article, and I think taking just one quote-out of context-from a pages-long article doesn’t do the article justice. The point of the article was that God our Father is eternal, and that the cycle and process of mortality, death, and afterlife is eternal not just in this Earth sphere, but in others. It is a matter of fact that we are not the only galaxy in space. Ours is just one of many, and that fact is supported by not only experts, but it is also supported by the Scriptures. Is it not beautiful to look up and have faith and knowledge that Heavenly Father created many worlds and heavens? The time period (1971, post-moon landing) heavily influenced the comments made in the article, but as I read, I felt Nielsen’s faith, enthusiasm, and love for our Heavenly Father and the gospel.
    Over the years, our leaders have expounded and further prayed on this idea and helped the Saints better understand this idea, but we do believe in the God of the Bible. We do believe that our Heavenly Father, as we know him through the scriptures and revelation from prophets, is eternal, loving, and the creator of the heavens and earth. He is our literal Heavenly Father. We were made in his image, thus we came to this earth with a touch of the divine. We are divine beings with divine possibilities. I can’t bring myself to believe that we came to earth to go through what we go through and not be able to use it in some way in the eternities. I do not believe that our eternal lives will be stuck in adoration mode. I believe that we are here for a reason, I believe that we take our mortal experiences and talents and intelligences into eternity so that we can be refined and expanded for divine purposes. How mega awesome is that? To live and work alongside our Father and his Son, our Savior Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit in the eternities? Isn’t that an awesome reward? Shouldn’t we look forward to that? Blows. My. Mind!
    I love the gospel. I am proud to be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. No, we members-humans-aren’t perfect, but Jesus’ Church, as we’ve established it again in these Latter Days, according to revelation from the Father, is. I love Heavenly Father, his Son, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit. I believe that we have a beautiful, complete gospel.
    I think that Nielsen simply attempted to answer the question of many people, especially teens and children, of “where did God come from?”/”How did God become God?” In context, the article makes sense, and it’s comforting. Haven’t you ever wondered about those very things? Isn’t that why God gave us our intelligence in the first place? We should seek, we should question, we should ask of God to give us revelation on things that we don’t quite understand.
    Presently, our attentions are focused on different theological questions, but that’s okay. I do not believe that God will condemn us for trying to understand and seek answers to our questions. I don’t think he’ll condemn us for believing in very exciting possibilities. Who is anyone to argue that Heavenly Father didn’t give Nielsen that revelation? That Heavenly Father didn’t allow him to come to that conclusion?
    The purpose of his statements certainly wasn’t to diminish God in any way. He was simply trying to explain that we are not alone in our mortal experience, that God knows what we go through, and that because there are many worlds and intelligences, that they go through the same cycle. It makes God more personal to us, and accessible.
    Our belief in eventually becoming like God in the eternities isn’t a strictly LDS belief. Give Mere Christianity, by C.S. Lewis a read. Many of his conclusions about Christian doctrine and theology square with LDS and other Christian denomination beliefs.

  20. Maybe this article with prompt evangelicals to work with Mormons:

    “Election Over, the Mormon Church Quietly Re-enters the Gay Marriage Fight.”

    After brief hiatus last year, Mormon officials are once again pushing back against gay-marriage legislation—this time in Hawaii.”

    The article in Mother Jones on Oct 29 provides links to LDS Church documents and says this: “Now that the 2012 election is over, and Mitt Romney, the nation’s most famous Mormon, is no longer running for president, it seems the church is back in the ring. This week, the Hawaii state legislature began a special session to consider a bill that would legalize gay marriage in the state. The church is actively working to kill that measure.”

    A former GOP political consultant “unearthed documents from that time that show the extent to which the church was involved in the amendment fight, and the lengths to which it attempted to hide its involvement, including starting a front group to help disguise donations from Mormon contributors.”

  21. Whenever you encounter a religious belief system, the over-arching question should be: is it true?

    In today’s postmodern world, it is possible for almost anyone to start a make-believe, fairy-tale system of belief.

    The question then, is this, are the claims Mormonism makes true and how do we know? Does the Book of Mormon describe ancient American history? What does archaeology have to say about this?

  22. I’m sure the Apostle Paul would never under any circumstances be found giving credence to false teachers like the Mormons (2 Cor. 6:14-18). This “road show” of evangelicals who are making pilgrimage to BYU only show themselves to be opposed to the exclusivity of the gospel of Christ. Détente and dialogue are not the way to win heretics. All these inter-faith meetings are only giving respectability to a cult that shares nothing in common with the biblical faith of Christ. I call upon these so-called leaders to “put on the armor of God and stand against the wiles of the devil.”

    • I find it amazing that people so blindingly follow a booked that most biblical scholars agree was compiled by MEN – During Emperor’s Constantine’s time who put together a “panel” of men who “selected” historical accounts and created the Bible HUNDREDS of years after Jesus’ death. It is generally accepted that chapters were omitted.

      Is it not logical that to think there there might be other writings to be a witness to the Bible. For whatever people may say, many so-called Christians are finding problems with traditional christian faiths and finding a MORE reflective sense of Christianity in Mormonism. The uneducated would simply believe these people to be stupid. I simply believe that many simply don’t believe in an unintelligent belief that if you simply believe in Jesus you’ll be saved. Believe me, with that argument the Devil would be saved as well. He definitely believes in Jesus.

      The argument that simply believing and accepting Jesus is flawed. Doesn’t the Bible teach us that some will have “more Jewels in their Crown”. Mormons offer the only scenario that makes sense and supported in Corinthians where there are several degrees of heaven… that makes sense to me. The Mormons are also the ONLY faith that practice the ability to do temple work to enable ancestors and others to enter heaven … as Paul continued to preach about AFTER the death of Jesus. Why would that be required then and not now?

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