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10/29/09

Is Mormonism Christian?

I regard the question as academic and not worthy of serious consideration. I think this way because after Jesus' death the Jesus teachings took many forms, and many interpretations until becoming codified into the orthodoxy it is today. Centuries after Jesus' death, Constantine's Council of Nicaea, after days of wrangling and debate, decided what would be accepted as official Church doctrine, and what would not be. In the 19th Century, Joseph Smith's ideas came far too late to be accepted or rejected as orthodoxy by Council members--that's all. In short, the matter of orthodoxy was decided by men, some wise, some foolish. Barring his polygamy and other possible heresies, they might have accepted some of Joseph Smith's claims had he and his ideas been of the times and assimilated by the culture. Still, I offer the writer's comments below as they are interesting.

" . . . there has been more smoke than light, particularly about the fundamental question of what Mormons actually believe. Journalists, never particularly interested in doctrinal matters, tend to focus on the contemporary influence of the church or on intriguing chapters from its past history—most prominently the practice of polygamy, which officially was ended in 1890. Scholarly studies do little better, in part because they tend to focus on the history of the church, particularly its formative era from 1820 to 1890, or on its contemporary sociology and culture.

All this has led to considerable misunderstanding about what Latter-day Saints believe about the central subject of Christian religion: Jesus Christ and his atonement for sin. One can find innumerable assertions that Mormons do not believe Jesus was the messiah, that they do not believe he atoned for the sins of the fallen human race, and that they believe salvation comes by works.

All of these statements are false, and they reflect incomprehension of Mormon beliefs and doctrine." More

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