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Local clergy weigh in on LDS 'cult' claims, Christianity

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  • JM Lehi, UT
    Oct. 15, 2011 8:47 a.m.

    Sharonna,donn,brokenclay co. I'm not much more than a plowboy, but I think most LDS would be willing to discuss God, Trinity, etc with any open minded Christian, no matter how high. Contentious debates and fighting over Jesus, however, are now against the doctrine of Christ.

    I've often extended a hand of explanation, and I've written letters to Shawn McCraney (after he challenged LDS FAIR lds founder to a fight over Jesus on his weekly anti-Mormon show), suggesting that he include a comment section on his web pages, like the DN, but I get no responses.

    I'm not sure what you mean by the "original text" of the Bible. We certainly don't have all the original texts written by Apostles (btw the Senior Apostle can prophesy, thus is a Prophet also). We all know the "Bible" is a collection of writings, but not all inclusive, and we've discussed changes previously. Even Augustine admits the scriptures were changed by enemies of Christ.

    Once again, the LDS Trinity, the Tri-Unity of three persons, is the NT Deity.

    The Creeds (including Nicene-originally written by the Coptic Pope (non-Christians by some definitions)), often present a philosophers' God.
    RE? : )

  • Sarah Nichole West Jordan, UT
    Oct. 14, 2011 11:00 a.m.

    XelaDave,

    Nobody "booed a gay soldier." They booed the man who insulted the gay soldier and had the heckler removed from the meeting.

    A little research goes a long way.

  • Just Thinking Outloud.. Merrimack, NH
    Oct. 12, 2011 11:01 p.m.

    @Sharrona

    I can understand discussions and disagreements about the legitimacy of one doctrine versus another, or which translation of the Bible is the best, or any other topic of substance. There are understandable disagreements on many theological topics in every corner of Christendom.

    What I don't understand is this Non-Christian label attached to people who observe Christian practices of which The Lords Supper, baptism and evangelism are a few. Our Muslim, Atheist, and Jewish neighbors do not practice these things. I can think of several Protestant congregations that have teachings that are beyond the pale and I still call them Christians. Perhaps misguided Christians, but I'll give them that they are trying to be followers of Christ. Read up on snake handling during worship services and you'll know what I mean, it occurs in a small division of a prominent sect.

    I'll stick to my original premise. They are Christians, but you don't have to agree with everything.

    Since you don't walk into just any Church on a Saturday or Sunday my guess is you don't agree with most Christians on everything.

  • BostonTerry Merrimack, NH
    Oct. 12, 2011 5:12 p.m.

    To The Athiest: Are you kidding? Active LDS give more 10% of their income which I think is over $5. That is pretty generous on the part of the giver. Besides the Humanitarian Assistance which is documented by the Philanthropies, they have their fast offerings which does not go into that figure. Many people are fed on that assistance. In addition their buildings are fortified to sustain natural disasters. I bring that up because a relative, who never thought they'd darken the door of an LDS chapel, had to use one in Oklahoma during a tornado.

  • The Atheist Provo, UT
    Oct. 12, 2011 11:27 a.m.

    The LDS Church website reports:

    "Value of Humanitarian Assistance Since 1985: $1.3 Billions"

    1.3 Billions over 26 years = 50 million per year.

    With an average Church membership over those 26 years of 11 million, I believe that = $ 4.15 per member.

    How charitable are the LDS? They give an average of under 5 bucks a year each to Humanitarian Assistance.

    By the way, the City Creek project costs are estimated to exceed $1 Billion.

  • LDSareChristians Anchorage, AK
    Oct. 12, 2011 11:23 a.m.

    I'd love to see a poll (on question whether LDS are Christian or not) of Utah Evangelicals compared to a Nation wide poll to see if the UT Evangelicals know something the Nation wide don't.

    I suspect if you know a LDS, your more likely to recognize them as Christian then those who don't know a LDS.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 12, 2011 12:51 a.m.

    @big Blue

    "All I can say if works prove that you walk the talk, then you can not deny that the Mormons are Christian because no one does more welfare for all of God's Children in the name of his Son than Mormons, whether those in need be Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Buddhist, etc; Hundreds of Millions of dollars have been spent giving help to those in need by the Mormon Church,"

    60 million a year in humanitarian aid the past decade if I remember correctly. That's quite a lot. However... what is the church's income? I don't know, those numbers aren't really available, but what if it's 3 billion a year (a not unrealistic estimate)? That 60 million would then become 2%. I'm pretty sure I could find a church that donated more than 2% to charity and if not... then it's a sorry state of affairs religious giving is in.

  • BostonTerry Merrimack, NH
    Oct. 11, 2011 11:11 p.m.

    Grace,

    What ever Church you've joined has been changing doctrines too. Some Churches have different doctrines every congregation within the same sect. It all depends on that pasters focus. Give yourself time to study them and in time you'll find that it's simply the nature of humans to change things.

    Maybe that is why Christ was born a good deal after Adam and Eve- to set things straight. Think about it, he could have died for us at the beginning of time, or the very end, but he chose a mid-point.

    Historical, ancient Christianity, had plural marriage too- so what is your point? Think of Abraham and the other ancients.

  • mightymite DRAPER, UT
    Oct. 11, 2011 11:01 p.m.

    Spot on comment Grace, You go girl! Nice comment.

  • snowman Provo, UT
    Oct. 11, 2011 10:36 p.m.

    Grace: You couldn't be more wrong.

  • Mendel Iowa City, IA
    Oct. 11, 2011 10:06 p.m.

    I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I may not be a christian, but I am a Follower of Jesus Christ. He is my Savior and I love Him.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 11, 2011 9:51 p.m.

    @hermounts
    "this story just goes to show what a number of studies I've heard of recently show, that people who know members of the LDS Church are much more likkely to have a more positive attitude toward the Church."

    That seems to be true for pretty much everything, the other demographic I've seen those studies on frequently is that people who know members of the LGBT community are much more likely to have a more positive attitude towards them and more likely to support LGBT rights.

  • alien236 LOGAN, UT
    Oct. 11, 2011 9:02 p.m.

    @Iron Rod: As of a couple months ago, we do have sort of an Anti-Defamation League of sorts although it's made by the same people as FAIR and has no affiliation with the Church. They say they are going to take an active role in contacting and correcting reporters who write biased or inaccurate stuff about us. Time will tell whether it makes a difference or not.

  • whatnext Clearfield, Utah
    Oct. 11, 2011 7:56 p.m.

    If it is because the LDS doctrine does not follow the traditional Christian views is the reason they do not consider us Christian then fine. All of us who are LDS know that Jesus is the Savior of all mankind, that he is the Son of God, and that we try to obey his commandments, and follow his example on how we should treat each other. Now if that is not what a Christian is then I don't understand. LDS members strive everyday to help others, serve in their church and communities, visit the sick, feed the hungry and many other things the Savior has asked ALL of us to do. So can someone tell me what is considered to be a TRADITIONAL CHRISTIAN. Because I don't get it. I thought all Christians were people who excepted Jesus as their Savior and followed him.

  • sharrona layton, UT
    Oct. 11, 2011 7:29 p.m.

    @ Just Thinking Outloud. Start with the creeds to which the modern religions adhere. The Nicene Creed, written about 325AD, or The Athanasian Creed.

    How about, a televised theological debate the Catholic Church has an official apologetics ministry(Catholic Answers). Protestants as well: Lutheran, Reformed and Presbyterian. They Biblically defend the Trinity, and the creeds.. Mormons should have the advantage they have apostles.

    The Bible(Lower criticism). It is not true that we do not possess the original text of the Bible. What we do not possess are the original manuscripts. We have accurate well- preserved copies of the original text. There are some 5,700 early N.T. MS, and they contain all or nearly all of the original text . The original text can be reconstructed 99% accuracy. There is a distinction between the text and the truth of the text. While we, the have 99% of the original text, 100 % of the truth comes through.

    Christians debate Muslims and secular theologians often on all the above issues. CONTEND for the Faith that God has once for all entrusted to the saints(Jude 3)

  • hermounts Pleasanton, CA
    Oct. 11, 2011 7:24 p.m.

    this story just goes to show what a number of studies I've heard of recently show, that people who know members of the LDS Church are much more likkely to have a more positive attitude toward the Church.

  • twinkleberry67 Layton, UT
    Oct. 11, 2011 6:56 p.m.

    The freedom of speech and religion are wonderful things indeed and anyone can opine and worship as they wish. However, the notion of a non evangelical president not being allowed to access the blessings of inspiration and guidance from a higher being, has got to be one of the most foolish and narrow minded opinions I have ever heard. This is just as bad as people saying that the world is flat because some convention said so, and whomever sails out too far will go straight to endless torment in the lake of fire and brimstone. I posit that God(or whichever higher being that is preferred) is no respecter of persons. We are all creations of this Being and we have the right for divine help and intervention with whatever stewardship that we are responsible for. So that aside, would it not be consistent with the many religious denominations to stop complaining and pray for our leaders? Furthermore, just because some convention decides something does not make it a fact. The only fact in this case is what opinion they choose to have.

  • Bastiatarian TUCSON, AZ
    Oct. 11, 2011 6:50 p.m.

    The anti-Mormons are correct in a sense. We're not part of Hellenized Christianity (what many mistakenly call "traditional Christianity" or "historical Christianity," but which is more Aristotle than Christ), nor are we part of today's pop Christianity (social club mega-churches that are the religious equivalent of infomercials).

    I'm willing to tolerate believers in Hellenized and pop Christianity, though. Some of them are even decent people and good neighbors, regardless of their adherence to paganistic philosophies and pop psychology decorated with a thin Christian veneer. If they say that they are believers in Jesus Christ as the Only Begotten Son of God and the Savior of the world, I'll give them the courtesy of taking their word for it.

  • conrep SULLIVAN, MO
    Oct. 11, 2011 5:29 p.m.

    A major issue has been dowplyed in this article: If all this pastor said was that the LDS are a cult, well that has been said for years.

    What was ignored was the more egregious comment: That because the LDS are a cult--in his opinion--they then have no constitutional rights.

    I would never vote for Obama, but if Perry gets the nomination, I will vote third party.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Oct. 11, 2011 5:28 p.m.

    Every time one of these dogmatic hissy fits about who's a cult and who's true breaks out I think: A: religion divides us like nothing else; B: At least some, if not all, the participants in the argument are proving themselves liars, and C: religion doesn't belong in politics.

  • donn layton, UT
    Oct. 11, 2011 3:29 p.m.

    @grandmagreat, who were the men that murdered the Prophet Joseph Smith?

    A newspaper article in the spring of 1844. A very strong and bitter feeling was aroused against Joseph, among many of his brethren [ ,probably Mormons in the Masonic lodge] in and around NauvooJoseph had recently presented the revelation of Celestial Marriage to the high council for approval, and certain members were bitterly opposed to itFrancis Higbe a justice of the peace, sat a table in one end of the room and administered the oath to each individual separately, in the following manner, The candidate would step forward to the table; take up a Bible.. Raise his right handYou solemnly swear ,before God and all holy angels, and these your brethren by whom you are surrounded, that you will give your life, your liberty, your influence, your all, for the destruction of Joseph Smith and his party! The person being sworn in say, I do. About 200 hundred persons [took] the oath. (Millennial Star, Vol.46 pp 497,499,501,502 and 519). JS was married to 10 of their wives, which probably did not help matters.

  • Riles Midway, UT
    Oct. 11, 2011 3:26 p.m.

    By Paster Jeffress' definition the following religions are also cults:

    Sikhs, Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists, etc. It's one thing to say you don't regard members of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as "Christian"; but it's quite another to put them in the same camp with Jim Jones Kool-Aid drinkers.

    I think the media is giving undue voice to a pretty marginal figure, but it's interesting to see how many other "mainstream" Christians aren't willing to take a stand on his inflammatory comments. Lots of lukewarm responses out there. We all know what Christ thought of lukewarm...

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    Oct. 11, 2011 2:51 p.m.

    Any religion who interperts the Bible as ...

    God is all powerful

    God is all loving

    God will throw you into eternal torment forever and ever, if you are a Hindu, a Jew or some other religion and don't accept Jesus.

    Has no business pointing fingers at others.

    They make God out to be worse than Hitler or Osama Bin Ladin.

  • Utes11 Salt Lake City, Utah
    Oct. 11, 2011 2:44 p.m.

    I am a Christian. I am a follower of Jesus. Jesus Gonzales, the guy that came in and painted my living room.

    It all comes down to how you define Jesus. Are you following Jesus as he is described in the B of M or are you following Jesus as he described himself in the Bible? Have no doubt, the two are very different. ( John 1:1 & John 8:56-58)

    if a group of people have a belief system and label themselves with a title and THEN another group comes along with a different belief system and calls themselves with the SAME title....of course the first group is going to say, "You don't belong to our belief system, so please don't label yourselves with our title."

  • LDSareChristians Anchorage, AK
    Oct. 11, 2011 2:40 p.m.

    From a poster at Amazon dot com who hits it on the head....
    QUOTE
    The problem is that when someone says, "Mormons aren't Christian" there's a huge gasp from the listener. The listener doesn't hear that the LDS church is doctrinally different. The listener hears that the LDS people don't believe in Christ. That is inaccurate. Ask any LDS person if they believe in Christ and they will say, "Yes". Why don't people just start calling the LDS church non-orthodox Christians (or Restorationist Christians as found on religioustolerance dot org)? Throw it in our face that we don't believe as you do, but accept the fact that we do believe in Christ.

    I call myself a Christian. The LDS church says it's Christian. You can think whatever you want.
    END QUOTE

    LDS are NOT Creedal Christians, But we ARE Christian, in that we believe Christ, we follow Christ. We teach Christ, We breath and pray Christ.

  • utahboni Ogden, UT
    Oct. 11, 2011 2:36 p.m.

    Maybe the LDS Church should stop sucking up to the Evangelicals. The enemy of your enemy is not necessarily your friend. They may well be way, way worse than us Liberals that you fight against.

  • GoGetter Sandy, UT
    Oct. 11, 2011 2:36 p.m.

    It's a sad day when the very rights that were fought to be preserved are now used to prejudice against an American wanting a better country, and therefor choosing to exercise his American right by running for the office of President.

  • johnnylingo62 Gray, TN
    Oct. 11, 2011 2:34 p.m.

    It's funny... I am a member of the LDS Church and I consider Catholics, Protestants (incl Methodists, Baptists, Presbyterians, etc.) and yes, even evangelicals to be Christians - followers of Christ. Why can't they see mormons likewise?
    Contention is a tool of the adversary - it's amazing how divided Christians are when discussing theology and "whose most righteous". Sounds like everyone has their own Rameumptom to speak from...

  • The Atheist Provo, UT
    Oct. 11, 2011 2:23 p.m.

    Darrel,

    "These words taught by the one True Christian define to me a Christian, whether he profess a belief in Christ, Buddah, Allah or himself. I would much rather have the title 'disciple' than 'christian'"

    So as an atheist, if I "love one another", the you consider me to be a Christian?

    I find that presumptuous and offensive.

    Why can't I just be considered a loving atheist?

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Oct. 11, 2011 2:06 p.m.

    Looks like someone is using the same play from the "Mike Huckabee for President" handbook.

    Like a wild animal eating it's own young,
    it only goes to show how intolerent the GOP has really become.

    Like a square peg trying to fit into a round hole.
    Why - oh - why do Utah Republican Mormons yearn and long to part of these sorts of vile people?

  • Darrel Eagle Mountain, UT
    Oct. 11, 2011 1:56 p.m.

    "A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love, one to another."

    These words taught by the one True Christian define to me a Christian, whether he profess a belief in Christ, Buddah, Allah or himself. I would much rather have the title "disciple" than "christian"

  • Kazbert VAIL, AZ
    Oct. 11, 2011 1:38 p.m.

    [quote] "I personally consider Mormons (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) to be Christians." Seventy-five percent of the pastors surveyed said they disagree with that statement. [unquote]

    Wow! So 25% actually agreed? I'd say that's progress!

    Are we Christian? Of course we are. Are we "mainstream" Chirtians? No. We took the Nicene Creed and tossed it out the window. We are NOT mainstream, and are proud of it.

  • DeltaFoxtrot West Valley, UT
    Oct. 11, 2011 1:30 p.m.

    I do so love how religion teaches people to judge one another.

    Wait...

    Aren't we supposed to love one another?

  • Filo Doughboy Bakersfield, CA
    Oct. 11, 2011 1:29 p.m.

    Let me understand the bottom line here, 'cuz there's way too much whining from the church that told the world in 1830 that every existing denomination on the planet were not the true Christians.

    Joseph didn't use the dreaded "c" word that Jeffress used. He used the other one- "corrupt", to disavow any other denomination's priesthood, scripture or ordinance validity. Is that accurate according to all I've read on mormon.org, the title page of the Book of Mormon, my multiple missionary lessons, my entire LDS family, my conversations with the bishop and stake president up the street, et al?

    Why do you now want to be considered part of what you still claim is Chrisianity gone awry? No one said you are not charitable, loving, awesome people. They're just agreeing with you that you have your own prophets, scriptures, priesthood and doctrines, which don't correspond to the Bible, which your own founder rewrote! That is the classic theological definition of a cult. In my dictionary alone, all Christians fulfill 6 of Webster's 10 definitions; LDS fill 9 of them. Who cares?

    Please, some one, expain your own self-proclaimed designation and separation.

  • Big Blue Payson, UT
    Oct. 11, 2011 12:59 p.m.

    As long as you imply "Historical Christemdom" then you are right, Mormons do not meet that description. But that is the whole thesis of their being; That Historical Christemdom fell away through the Great Apostasy, and that a new Christemdon based on that ancient organization was required to re-establish the ancient church. That is why Mormons consider themselves a new wing of Christianity, not an extension of the "historical" version. All I can say if works prove that you walk the talk, then you can not deny that the Mormons are Christian because no one does more welfare for all of God's Children in the name of his Son than Mormons, whether those in need be Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Buddhist, etc; Hundreds of Millions of dollars have been spent giving help to those in need by the Mormon Church, not just talking about it! The proof is in the pudding.

  • Grace Bakersfield, CA
    Oct. 11, 2011 12:54 p.m.

    If you really want to understand the exact nature of the 'cult' flap, walk into any Christian bookstore's Apologetics section, or do research online. When you read the Biblical definition, you will understand. Just giving your impression of a cult, based on some wierd Manson-like movie won't educate you.

    I confronted "The Godmakers" book head on to refute its claims for a friend who refused to attend Sacrament Meeting with us, because we "ascribed to cultic theology and unbiblical gods". We gave him a Book of Mormon and Widstoe's "A Work and a Wonder". We agreed to settle our misunderstandings atleast. I refused to attend a showing of the movie, but took the book to check out Decker's so-called documentation. I referenced every one, ready to trash it, and kept a journal of each chapter. This friend was my husband's best friend and we desperately wanted him to at least visit church and read our best defense.
    My husband left the church, my bishop advised I divorce a man who "could not take me to the Celestial Kingdom", and I gladly did.

    I finished my research: all accurate. Mormonism is plural wives, gods and changing doctrines. Unbiblical.

  • OnlytheCross Bakersfield, CA
    Oct. 11, 2011 12:28 p.m.

    This comment site reflects the very reasons by which those who claim non-Biblical doctrines place themselves outside of Biblical fellowship. You have that right, Joseph Smith had that right, and now let your stated beliefs define you and move on. Why any active Mormon cares about outside labels is beyond me. If you want so badly to be considered authentic Christians, then go to the first document that defined Christ's own words, and align your doctrines accordingly.
    FYI: It would help if you'd stop quoting from the Book that you claim is corrupt, as your proof-text.

    When I grew up LDS, we were proud to denounce any brotherhood with the false body of so-called true Christians. We quoted Joseph Smith; we didn't sleep through seminary, so we knew exactly how to respond to those 'hateful, anti-Mormons'. We especially reacted to The Godmakers. We disliked the born-agains most, and there was no love lost in our confrontations.

    Not until a Baptist friend pointed out her observations of my hypocrisy did I inderstand her reasons for excluding our denomination in their camp:

    We knocked on their doors claiming they weren't the "true believers". Mormons still do.

  • XelaDave Salem, UT
    Oct. 11, 2011 11:10 a.m.

    I sure hope the world allows me to be Christian some day- glad they are discussing it though since as many have pointed out here it is up to them to decide- my beliefs and actions will never have anything to do with it- hopefully I can join their club someday and act just like them- one question- where were all the other candidates when the crowd was cheering for someone to die without insurance and booing a gay soldier- glad most have defended Mitt but they still have some "spalnin" to do prior to any getting my vote- I live in a better more christian country than that- I hope

  • axle Riverton, UT
    Oct. 11, 2011 10:56 a.m.

    @esquire
    Because politicians will be politicians no matter what religion they belong to. If Romney is supposed to be so great because he is Mormon, why does he seem to look and act like every other candidate we have ever had? The political game of getting elected has become a science, and some are able to take it beyond that to an art form. The tactics used in an election are taught and trained into the candidates so that these people are not running on what they believe in, but simply trying to look like a better option than the other guy. Polticians everywhere realize that religion is a big part of that. I wish those politicians that are LDS would hold themselves to a higher standard than that, but they play the game just as much as the next guy.

  • Greentd1 SLIDELL, LA
    Oct. 11, 2011 10:45 a.m.

    Thank you Reverend Myke Crowder and others for parting ways with Dr. Robert Jeffress when considering whether or not Mormons are Christians. Do we not remember a time, during the reformation, when Martin Luther, Calvin and other reformists were considered heretics by the "orthodox" or "traditional" church of their time? They,too, believed there were flaws in the "traditional" church and sought "reform" to come more in line with truth. They lost their lives, occupations, reputations, etc. for standing up for what they believed but they did a great service for ALL Christians today. Perhaps that will one day be said of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The only difference between what Joseph Smith did and the early "reformers" is that through him, God "restored" the fulness of his gospel, rather than trying to put "new wine into old bottles," as the Bible says, that would burst because they could not endure the "new wine."

  • dogchow1 Murray, UT
    Oct. 11, 2011 10:43 a.m.

    Flashback,

    Pastor Crowder is a very good man, but he has done his share of anti-LDS sermons, tapes, etc. I know this because I have copies of them. Evangelicals, etc. can consider Mormons good people but still have no doubt that Mormons are condemned to hell for eternity, period. This is a divide they cannot bridge due to the theological differences that neither side is going to give up on.

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 11, 2011 10:13 a.m.

    Bottom line, I think Mormons are Christian.

    However, people fail to see the double standard that Mormons, stopped calling THEMSELVES, part of the Christian-and-seperate very much FAITH (i.e. Christianity)...

    years ago.

    i.e. do you call Mormons 'christians'...?

    Or, Mormons?

  • christoph Brigham City, UT
    Oct. 11, 2011 10:13 a.m.

    The Bible tells us how to behave; the Book of Mormon shows how to have our heart changed. There is only one enemy: the devil---------other churches are not the enemy. Fortunately the Book of Mormon warns us more about the devil than the Bible does.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 11, 2011 9:59 a.m.

    @coleman51
    "I was a former Methodist and converted to the Church when I was 19 years old."

    Same with me, I remember my methodist pastor noting that being LDS is definitely Christian and that being LDS wouldn't hinder ones chances of getting into heaven relative to other denominations.

    @Iron Rod
    "People say things about Mormons that they would never say about blacks, hispanics, Cathoics or Jews,"

    Oh people they definitely say things about Catholics (try The Bible facebook page) and there are plenty of people who think blacks are poor because they're lazy and hispanics are all illegal immigrants and drug dealers.

    @David King
    Usually I want to tell Ron Paul fans to grow up but in this instance you are right. The lack of coverage about the actual winner of this summit is disappointing. Maybe if Romney got out of the single digits we'd be able to read about it.

  • J-TX Allen, TX
    Oct. 11, 2011 9:46 a.m.

    "Huntsman, interviewed on CNN on Monday, described Jeffress as a "moron."

    Not Presidential, John, but I like it!

  • first2third Elmo, UT
    Oct. 11, 2011 9:44 a.m.

    The evangelical argument is that LDS people believe that 1. the LDS idea of Jesus being the son of god and not the embodiment of god and the holy spirit is heretical. and 2. The LDS to believe that they may become like god, to elevate humanity to god like status is heretical.

    As a member of the LDS faith all I can say is those are true statements. 1. Jesus Christ is my savior and the only begotten son of god. He atoned for the sins of all humanity and mine personally. 2. God is our Father in Heaven and the father of our spirits. I know of no father that wouldn't want their children to have all that they have.

  • Hemlock Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 11, 2011 9:37 a.m.

    A cult is defined as an organization that is based on a personality. Would that make Christianity a cult since it is based on the person of Jesus? Alternatively it is a religion that is not accepted by the majority of a particular population. Does that make Christianity a cult in Indonesia or Afghanistan? Labeling anything as a cult is the dyslexics way of saying I don't like an organization and I'm going to insult it.

  • Enola BOUNTIFUL, UT
    Oct. 11, 2011 9:29 a.m.

    When I think of a cult I think of charismatic leaders that use there power to take advantage of followers such as through sexual acts, labor, or monetary donations. I think of secret circles of chanting devotees. I think of tight knit groups that separate themselves from the world, that dislike anybody that leaves the group. I think of people that are encouraged to all dress and groom the same. People that will do anything their leaders tell them. etc.

    I don't know what the technical definition of a cult is, but things like this are what make me think a group is a cult.

  • Demosthenes Rexburg, ID
    Oct. 11, 2011 9:26 a.m.

    The Dallas pastor's comments are outrageous, unkind, uncharitable, offensive, harmful, inflammatory, ill-timed, ignorant, and just plain untrue.

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Oct. 11, 2011 9:24 a.m.

    The only thing in this world right now that prevents religions from all out battle, is the American government. And as the religions have become stronger, and our government headed for failure, the war is starting to heat up.

  • Jonathan Eddy Payson, UT
    Oct. 11, 2011 9:24 a.m.

    I have witnessed very loud and very chaotic Evangelical prayer meetings that ended up with a room full of people lying on the floor, convulsing, with saliva falling from their lips while speaking jibberish, claiming to be possessed by the spirit and "speaking in tongues".

    I felt very uncomfortable and believed that they were certainly possessed. Despite all that I saw and heard, I never believed for a moment that these Evangelicals were not children of God and true believers in Jesus Christ. Notwithstanding theological differences, I hope that all people of all religious persuasions will look beyond those differences and just try to befriend and serve as the Master would have us do.

    None of us that are trying to stay close to the Savior will be lost or damned, regardless of church affiliation if we just serve each other. After all, is it better to right or to be helpful?

  • Kami Bountiful, Utah
    Oct. 11, 2011 9:07 a.m.

    The LDS gospel is very much Christ centered. Whether or not some of the members are true Christians is a question to be considered .. but that topic could be discussed about members in any religion. Take a look at some of posts on controversial topics on the boards and ask yourself .. was that member's post Christlike?

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    Oct. 11, 2011 9:06 a.m.

    Good for Rev. Crowder whom I would consider to be a real Christian. What do you expect from Rev. Jeffress who most likely passes out copies of 'THe Godmakers' at political rallys.

  • PAC Phoenix, AZ
    Oct. 11, 2011 9:00 a.m.

    The comments made is just enough for me not to vote for Perry. We are ready have a crazy man in there...I for one do not want another one...

  • bdckpakccd Plano, TX
    Oct. 11, 2011 8:59 a.m.

    The reason this is being focused on is because Rick Perry is associated with Jeffress. Like it or not, he CHOSE Jeffress. Now he is trying to distance himself since it backfired. Perry knew what he was getting--the First Baptist Church of Dallas has been spewing anti-Mormon lies for decades. I've lived in the Dallas area all my life (except for my BYU years). You should have seen the shenanigans they pulled when the temple was being built. It was organized and hateful. This little stunt was no accidental stumble on Perry's part. He is revealing himself---take note.

  • terra nova Park City, UT
    Oct. 11, 2011 8:59 a.m.

    In 1631, Roger Williams, a separatist, came to Boston. He was forced to flee several years later because his strange religious views were not well received. In 1635 he founded Rhode Island colony. He was a champion of religious liberty, separation of church and state and democratic government. In 1638 he founded the first Baptist Church in America.

    Good Brother Williams must be rolling in his grave when he hears the intolerant, small-souled opinions blabbed by believing Baptists in 2011 about members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

    How far they have come from their roots.

    May we be forgiving, kind and learn from their foolish behavior.

  • Red Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 11, 2011 8:52 a.m.

    Iron Rod,

    Maybe you are looking for something a bit stronger.

    They are called Danites.

    I'm not sure if they are still around though...?

  • other Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 11, 2011 8:49 a.m.

    I think the response from other Republican candidates is actually more interesting. For instance, Michelle Bachmann called for tolerance (of Mormons). Essentially, she said that Republicans should tolerate Mormons because even though their religion is so distasteful, their politics are similar enough that we don't want to lose them, yet we do not want to offend the Southern Baptists and others who are more intolerant than I am. Other Republican candidates have basically said that they accept the claims by Mormons that they are Christians, "if they say so", while basically winking at the intolerant wing of their party.

    I will admit I am not a Mormon. I am not a Republican. But I have actually voted for Mormon Republicans before- and, living in Utah, it is often a choice between a Democratic Mormon and a Republican Mormon. I look at the politics and pragmatic reality when I vote. But many Republicans outside of Utah are intolerant of anyone who does not meet their definition of "Christian" (I.e. Evangelical). I cannot understand why there is such a lack of criticism of these attitudes by Utah Republicans, Jon Huntsman being the exception.

  • tyndale1 Pullman, WA
    Oct. 11, 2011 8:47 a.m.

    The most interesting thing to me about this is the notion that people feel they need to elect someone to office who espouses their faith. I think that is as wrong for Mormons as it is for Southern Baptists. Any political leader should be the best person for the job period, not the best person for the job who attends our church. And that is how the LDS Church looks at it. Vote for the one who will be the best to move our great country forward, be he Catholic, Baptist, Muslum, Mormon, or atheist, as long as he will help enact laws that do not infringe upon our foundational freedoms. The beauty of this country is you can worship God as you see fit without fearing retribution.

    If the person you believe to be best suited to lead our country happens to also embrace your faith, that is fine and dandy. But please, do not make his religion be your criteria.

  • grandmagreat Lake Havasu City, AZ
    Oct. 11, 2011 8:35 a.m.

    Read the history of this great country. In the 1800's who were the people that were killiing many of the members of the LDS Church in Missouri, who were the men that murdered the Prophet Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum, although they were locked up in Jail.Who were the people that burned a Sacred Buildings owned by the LDS Church, who were the people that forced the members of the church to flee Ohio, then Illinois to walk across this continent. I suggest that people start reading their history. And who were the men that left their families on the plains to make the longest military march in History to protect this great country? Do those belonging to other churchs that call LDS a cult, do they know what a Cult is? grandmagreat

  • Jazz Cop San Francisco, CA
    Oct. 11, 2011 8:15 a.m.

    It's like you need to apply for chrisitianity now, with all these unknown qualifiers, in that case there must also be a best christian religion, and it is called the church of J.C. that's right, the church of Jazz Cop.

    accept jesus in your heart--check
    abstinence-check
    seven virtues-check
    hates the devil-check
    $125 check for application fee-enclosed-check

  • theOtter Lafayette, IN
    Oct. 11, 2011 8:07 a.m.

    The saddest thing about all this is the hypocrisy. Ive never encountered someone, who believes the Church of Jesus Christ to be non-Christian, who can give a definition of Christianity that accurately excludes it. Every so-called reasonĀ Ive ever heard also applies to other groups that these people *do* recognize as Christian, and often include groups from their own churchs ostensible history!

    People need to get a life.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    Oct. 11, 2011 7:58 a.m.

    Re: "Local clergy weigh in"

    It's kind and gracious of these men of God to give an honest assessment of their neighbors' actions and attitudes, but I think Pastor Mitchell's answer hits the nail on the head -- are Mormons Christians? "That is an individual question," Pastor Mitchell said. "I am not God and do not know anyone's heart."

    Another way of saying it -- if we're accused of being Christians, would there be enough evidence to convict?

    As we know, questions by friends, even enemies, of our status as Christians, are a matter of surpassing indifference to our standing before the Lord. How we handle these questions may be illustrative of our status, however.

    These questions provide an opportunity for reflection, to examine whether our actions may have given cause to question our status. But that questioning, whether sincere or disingenuous, should never be used as an excuse for unchristian conduct on our part.

    Are Mormons Christians? If our real concern is how the Lord would answer that question, the rest will take care of itself.

  • Leo Femedlers El Paso, TX
    Oct. 11, 2011 7:41 a.m.

    Re: Iron Rod -- "Perhaps we ought to form some thing like the Anti Defamation League which is used quite effectively by the Jewish Faith or the NAACP which is used by the Blacks to conter these misconceptions."

    I believe we do. They are called missionaries. Every member. :)

  • Rifleman Salt Lake City, Utah
    Oct. 11, 2011 7:40 a.m.

    The Jews thought Jesus was the leader of a cult. They thought that killing Him would destroy His Church. It didn't. In his day the enemies of Joseph Smith thought they could destroy the LDS Church by killing him. They didn't. Today members of the LDS Church are found all around the earth, and their numbers are growing daily.

    Why do people worry about Romney's faith when we've banned Jesus from our schools and public meetings?

  • LiberalEastCoastMember Parkesburg, PA
    Oct. 11, 2011 7:34 a.m.

    Iron Rod wrote, "Rather than ignore attacks on our faith perhaps we ought to do what other minorities do, form groups to actively challenge these misconceptions."

    Already done. They're called Wards and Stakes.

  • Midwest Mom Soldiers Grove, WI
    Oct. 11, 2011 7:23 a.m.

    Jeffress is enjoying his 15 minutes of fame.

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    Oct. 11, 2011 7:09 a.m.

    Why do conservatives keep pulling religion into politics, any way? Even in Utah it is done as a tool to suppress the other political party (I guess I have answered my own question, right?. So, Mormons, you don't like it when done on the national level, so why do you engage in it here in Utah?

  • GuitarGuy Layton, UT
    Oct. 11, 2011 7:01 a.m.

    The first mistake Evangelicals make in this situation is assuming they own the rights to define "Christianity".

    The second mistake they make is to define a Christian is someone who "subscribes to classical Christian creeds and doctrines", when NOT A SINGLE Protestant or Catholic denomination is in perfect agreement on all doctrines.

    That is why they split in the first place and great divides exist today: They had differences of opinion. Even one parish differs from another based on the beliefs and style of its preacher. They have ignored the charge from Paul in Ephesians 4:13 to come to a "unity of the faith". A fact which could lead one to question THEIR Christianity, I think, hmm? ;)

  • Elcapitan Ivins, UT
    Oct. 11, 2011 7:00 a.m.

    I appreciate that large group of born again clergy voting us Mormons out of their circle. I hate to think of us in such diminished, uninformed terms as they opeate on.

  • raybies Layton, UT
    Oct. 11, 2011 6:52 a.m.

    I loved the line in this response about how we're choosing a chief executive officer of the country, not chief pastor. It is a wise thing to seperate religious authority from secular, and imo, it's dangerous to think otherwise. Many religious leaders have terrible governance skills... just look to the middle-east for evidence of that.

  • alwaysthinking Farmington, UT
    Oct. 11, 2011 6:51 a.m.

    Praise God for people like "Just Thinking Outloud" from Merrimack, NH!!! I didn't know such people existed. You have absolutely hit the nail on the head.

    The DN article about the local pastor was encouraging. As a former member of the Baptist church, if those pastors being surveyed about "are Mormons Christians?"are anything like the pastors at my old church, it would be hard for them to make an informed decision because the ideas they passed on to our congregation about who Mormons are and what they believe were far from the truth. They did not know enough about the doctrines of Christ which we as Latter Day Saints hold sacred to be able to judge us - not that others should be judging us anyway-. As in most cases in this world, ignorance is the root of much evil and misunderstanding.

  • David King Layton, UT
    Oct. 11, 2011 6:26 a.m.

    I've seen maybe four or five articles now published by the Deseret News rehashing one statement made by one person during the Values Voters Summit, but never did I see the winner of the Summit's straw poll even mentioned. It was Ron Paul, by the way.

    Why do we as people and the media let one outspoken pastor define the entire political conversation for the nation? We could be talking about jobs, the economy, the wars overseas, budget deficits, securing our borders, immigration reform, health care, the value of our currency, or any number of things more important than this. I urge the Deseret News and all media to ignore the sideshows and report on the most important issues in the selection of a president.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    Oct. 11, 2011 6:23 a.m.

    I think I could accept someone saying we are outside of historical Christianity. I prefer the term traditional to historical because of differences that exist between modern Christianity and the primitive church.

    Our differences with other, modern Christian denominations are, in part, key to our religious claims. But to say we are not Christians is another thing entirely. It pains me to see the religion I love portrayed as anything less than the powerful advocate for the Savior which I have experienced it to be.

    We fall victim (please don't read more into that word) to the No True Scotsman argument. In this, the speaker defines a group to exclude all not in full agreement with their point of view. Essentially, they draw the definitional circle tightly around themselves.

    This is NOT an argument we can cede to our critics. To do so means we give up part of our ability to forcefully advocate for the Savior and his doctrines. In order to do his work, we must be undeniably understood to stand on his side.

    Untraditional? Sure. Non-historical? Depends on what you know of history. But non-Christian? NO. Not now, not ever.

  • Iron Rod Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 11, 2011 6:20 a.m.

    Unsaid feelings

    If 75 percent of the 1000 evangelic pastors responded to the survey that Mormons were not Christians, I think we can accurately judge what they are teaching their flocks.

    Rather than ignore attacks on our faith perhaps we ought to do what other minorities do, form groups to actively challenge these misconeptions.

    People say things about Mormons that they would never say about blacks, hispanics, Cathoics or Jews, Why because they are challenged if they do.

    Perhaps we ought to form some thing like the Anti Defamation League which is used quite effectively by the Jewish Faith or the NAACP which is used by the Blacks to conter these misconceptions.

  • lexidog MILLINGTON, TN
    Oct. 11, 2011 6:06 a.m.

    It really doesn't matter what others think of the LDS. They believe how they believe and it's no one elses business. It was a thoughtless comment on the Texas pastors' part and it has no bearing on who should be president. Because it occurred where Mr. Perry was speaking created a situation that he apologized for and that should be the end of it (IMHO).

  • coleman51 Orem, UT
    Oct. 11, 2011 6:06 a.m.

    I honestly don't know how anyone would not believe that Christ plays a deeply meaningful and central role in the doctrine of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I was a former Methodist and converted to the Church when I was 19 years old. The reason I converted was because of my reading of the Book of Mormon. One cannot come away from reading that book without a deeper understanding of the role of Jesus Christ and his atonement. The Book of Mormon is the most convincing book in this world on understanding and coming to know the Savior. Those who deny that Latter-Day Saints are not Christian are basing it on a very arcane or diluted understanding of the Savior or else they simply don't want to know the truth.

  • A voice of Reason Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 11, 2011 5:04 a.m.

    I'm not criticizing Reverend Myke Crowder, but simply remarking that "impolite" is a very nice way of putting it. Someone saying that I and millions of others don't have the right to the 1st amendments protections is far more than impolite, it's borderline on a lot of things that I doubt I need to mention here.

    My biggest concern is that so many evangelicals agree with some outrageous lies I've had the misfortune of learning about. An evangelical apologized in the tabernacle, saying that they've 'sinned against us, and made conspiracy theories against us', etc. This is my primary concern... with how many people I've either known, met, or seen that follow those ideas and cling to them... how many would be willing to listen to Jeffres's 1st amendment comment and would be inclined to agree with him?

    I don't care what people believe, but the second they start needlessly attacking others beliefs they have gone down the wrong road. I hate thinking about where that road ends and how many people have made it all the way down. I can say one thing though, that road is definitively not the straight and narrow, not of Christ at all.

  • Informed Voter South Jordan, UT
    Oct. 11, 2011 4:17 a.m.

    Thank you, Reverend Crowder.

  • Just Thinking Outloud.. Merrimack, NH
    Oct. 11, 2011 1:56 a.m.

    I view the LDS as Christian, but they are not Catholic or Protestant. In my opinion their unique teachings do not diminish the great message of Christ. They do not take anything from my strongly held faith.

    But I do consider them legitimate Christians. Their reason for a restoration was to move away from the changes brought about as Christianity evolved over the centuries. I have to be honest that there have been many, many changes since Christ walked the earth. Historical changes to Christianity are documented, and undisputed by most non-LDS theologians. To find out for yourself, study from the most excellent sources you can find. Start with the creeds to which the modern religions adhere. The Nicene Creed, written about 325AD, or The Athanasian Creed (5-9th century) is a place to start. Don't just read what someone says about them- actually read them. It is my belief that the reformers had good reason to challenge the theological leaders of that day.

    Protestant reformers were not viewed as historical, authentic Christians either. The leaders of Catholicism viewed them as heretic's. In spite of that, the followers of the reformers knew they worshiped and loved Christ.