Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Part V: QUESTIONS RE: MORMONISM

PART V
QUESTIONS RE: MORMONISM

DO MORMONS FOLLOW GOD OR MAN?

God. The prophet is only the Mormon leader insofar as it is believed he speaks for God. This is exactly analogous to how the children of Israel followed God even while they followed Moses.

DO MORMONS BELIEVE THEIR PROPHET IS INFALLIBLE?

That Mormon prophets have stated opinions or shown cultural biases that have later turned out to be incorrect or misinformed can be demonstrated. What is believed, however, is that the prophet will never lead the church astray, and that he and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles will always collectively lead the church members to Christ.

That said, Mormons are taught that it is not only recommended, but crucial, for them to maintain a personal relationship with their Heavenly Father, and that they can and should pray and study and do what they can to find personal confirmation of what their leaders are telling them. Mormons should have faith that their leaders are called of God, but that faith should be borne of study and prayer, not inattentive hope. Where exactly the balance should be drawn here is another item of hot debate among Mormons.

CAN BLACK PEOPLE HOLD THE MORMON PRIESTHOOD?

Yes. Until 1978, however, the church did not allow men of native African descent to hold the Priesthood. Some Mormons would argue that this was a reflection of human error in the days of the church's inception, but in any case, most Mormons believe that it was within the designs of God.

IS MORMONISM AN OFFSHOOT RELIGION?

Mormons consider themselves to be the restored church of Jesus Christ, and many Mormon would be uncomfortable thinking of themselves as a Protestant, because they believe themselves to be part of the one true church, not a category of churches. However, with that said, many marks of Protestantism are evident in Mormonism, including the lack of icons and d├ęcor in chapels, the relative lack of rituals and rote ceremonies, and the emphasis on a personal relationship with the Saviour. Joseph Smith grew up in a Protestant environment, and this undoubtedly had an effect on how he administered the church. It would well be argued that Mormonism is, in fact, an “offshoot” religion, and falls tidily into the Protestant category.

An EVANGELICAL aside: The thought behind “true Church” vs. “category of churches” is interesting. While people usually attend the church they believe has gotten the most doctrine correct, it would be odd for an Evangelical to say that Evangelical Missionary churches, for example, are more true than Baptist or Alliance churches - they're all within the category of Evangelical churches. Some of the content may be more true or less true from one denomination to another, but the church itself isn't more true. That being said, some people would disagree with this paragraph, and churches outside the Evangelical realm do start getting rather questionable...

ARE MORMONS CHRISTIAN?

This question is a little confusing. Ultimately, it comes down to how one defines “Christian.”

If “Christian” is someone who believes in the Lord Jesus Christ, that He is the only path to salvation and who tries to follow Him in every way, then the answer is unquestionably “Yes.”

If “Christian” means someone who believes in the Trinitarian doctrine then the answer is “No”.

The important thing, however, is that Mormons consider themselves Christian, and Mormonism teaches that they have a lot to share with the Christian community, as well as having a lot to learn from them.

6 comments:

Brianna said...

Oops, I guess I started with part V. Very interesting!

Randal said...

I do not usually leave comments, but I've been told I must. It took me a while, there's a lot of information there, and I got through it all. One thing I'm curious about, and I noticed didn't come up, do they have communion?

Art said...

I can see this being topic being a controversial one. There is much disagreement on who is a Christian. Some say all you need is to repent from your sinful ways and live your life to please God - Love the Lord your God with all heart, soul and mind and love others as you would love yourself. Under this viewpoint, your religious affiliation - Mormon, Muslim, Baptist, etc is irrelevant. Obviously others take a more narrow approach and claim that one needs a correct view of the trinity, know about the birth, life, death, resurrection of Jesus, have "correct" views on the Bible and other assorted doctrines. People have told me you cannot be a Christian if you believe the earth is much older than 6000 years. People like making rules and creating doctrine and unfortunately, many times the truth is irrelevant.

CavDawg said...

@Randal: Mormons have what they call the Sacrament, which they take every week at church. Functionally and doctrinally it is identical to Communion (as far as I'm aware) except that Mormons use water instead of wine, due to their prohibition on the consumption of alcohol. (See "Word of Wisdom")

Carla said...

I have not been to an Evangelical church before that uses wine for communion. Every place I've been uses grape juice (usually Welch's, if I'm not mistaken...)

Sandra said...

Very well presented and written, Cavan and Carla. Thank you.