In the present political climate, the question of whether Mormons are Christians has surfaced again and again. I will leave the issue of whether 21st century America is ready for a Mormon chief executive to pundits, pollsters, and, of course, voters. But the underlying question is an important one, a matter whose implications reach well beyond the 2012 election.
So far as I can determine, the cry of “Mormons are not Christian” was not heard very often during the formative period of Mormon history. Baptists and Methodists and Presbyterians in the area knew that the followers of Joseph Smith believed in doctrinal matters that deviated somewhat from traditional Christianity. Folks seemed to assume, however, that Mormonism fit under the umbrella of Christianity.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is built upon the person, power and teachings of Jesus Christ. He is our King, our Lord, and our God. Now, because Mormons do not hold to the decisions and formulations of the post-biblical church councils, and because we believe in an expanded canon of scripture, some do not consider us to be a part of “orthodox” Christianity. They are correct.
We believe a Christian is one who follows Jesus. For us, one is a Christian not simply because he or she possesses a “correct” theology. One’s Christian faith ought to be manifest in the way he speaks to and treats others. The Apostle Paul charged those who professed Christian discipleship: If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.” I think that means: “If we talk the talk, we really ought to walk the walk.”
As Mormons, we ask to be permitted to define ourselves and explain what we really believe. While we have no desire to compromise our distinctiveness or ignore our differences with other groups, we feel it is appropriate to celebrate our similarities and work together to remedy many of the troubling issues in our society. We ask only to be invited more regularly into the larger religious conversation.
The United States has been a melting pot for well over two centuries, and we have prospered largely because we have welcomed those who were different ethnically, racially, culturally and religiously.
Joseph Smith once asked: “If I esteem mankind to be in error, shall I bear them down? No. I will lift them up, and in their own way too, if I cannot persuade them my way is better; and I will not seek to compel any man to believe as I do, only by the force of reasoning, for truth will cut its own way.”
I couldn’t agree more. There is too much at stake in the world for God-fearing people to spend their time attacking one another. We have been called to stand on higher ground.
I would only have a problem with having a Muslim president. Just think about what they believe and it's against most of what we believe. And it is clear that Muslims are tolerant of people among them that we would put in jail such as people who abuse women and people who want to perform violent acts against non Muslims. That's not an accusation against a person, it is an accusation against the Muslim community as a whole and it is well deserved. Yet Obama seems to embrace Islam. I really don't understand that. Why would he be motivated to want to ally with Islam?
Obama has strong Islam ties! His folks were all Islamic. Mormons have different beliefs but they are centered on Jesus (not traditional , as bapt, meth, pres etc ) I much prefer Mormon to the Jerimiah Wright hate style of religion.
I don't have a problem with most religious and philosophical belief systems. I believe people should be able to believe what they want, as long as they don't hurt others. I believe they have in common a believe in a larger spirit or law, and I believe that is good whether you're a Christian, shaman, Buddhist, or whatever. Personally, I like the spiritualism of Buddhism and native American spiritualism rather than organized religion. But I don't have a problem with Christians or Mormons. I kind of have a problem Islam, at least this militant version that IS a threat to the U.S. and me.
I'm a fan of Orson Scott Card. He said something I found to be quite profound. If we are created, we cannot have free will, if we have always existed, then free will is possible.
For if we were created, then everything about us was pre-determined in the big bang. How can you have free will if you are merely a product of events billions of years in the past...
Magical golden plates aside, I find some of the Mormon ideas to be interesting.
I really want to ask you one simple question after reading what you wrote on this message board. Now we know there are billions and billions of stars, and each star has several planets. If our star has planet they call it earth, has water and proper climate, do you really think there is no life on those stars. All those years Our God Jesus was here who took care of people on those stars.Some may be more advanced than we are. Every day several stars are dying, it means there is a dooms day there and every thing is perished which will happen some day here too when all fuel is burned out.
We should not bicker on trivial things related to religions and beliefs which I think are all manmade.
If it is not true, I will like to see some body start some new major religion now when all the people are not uneducated and living in tents and caves and have means of comunication. Let people believe whatever they believe in as long as they do not harm the society but work for it.
Muni, of course religions are man-made. However, it does not mean the divine reality is not.
By the grace of great suffering, I have experienced the divine reality in a manner very similar to the experience of Paul as described in Acts. While I disagree with many, if not all doctrines of any organized religion, in particular an eternal hell for creatures that have no free will (that would be us), I cannot deny the reality of the divine.
Atheists are just as dogmatic as those that prescribe to doctrinal religion. It is absurd for them to discount the mystical experiences of those that have glimpsed the ESSENCE of GOD on the basis of subjectivity. That would be like a color blind man telling me the color red does not exist, because he cannot see.
Reductive materialist atheism is based on the creed of empirical evidence, if it cannot be verified by sense perceptions, then it does not exist. Yet, it discounts the mystical experience as a hallucination. If it discounts the mystical experience, then it must discount all human experience as illusion for the mystical experience has been verified throughout human history.
The only "problem" I see is "What If" there is transcendent truth. IOW, what if there is an absolute(not relative) God. What if the sayings of Jesus were true and He was the Son of God and He was offering us all redemption through belief in Him?
Then your statement, ""We should not bicker on trivial things related to religions and beliefs which I think are all manmade""" suffers greatly, because you are denying others the opportunity to believe in that truth, by stating that the "truth" is man-made. Do we force people to believe at the "Tip of a Spear"...hardly, but you offer your opinion that discussions on "beliefs" are "trivial things", where others might argue that they are essential to your salvation.
The book "I'm OK, you're OK" advanced the"belief" that whatever you wanted to believe was great and that we would all be OK. It was the "Groupie" era. I'm down with that IF there isn't "absolute truth". An example might help:
You spoke about the possibility of other planets populated with people , eventually dying from a Supernova to their sun. Suppose there were folks who knew their sun was going to die and offered people free rides to escape the impending disaster. They had discovered this weird colony on the third planet from a new sun in the Milky Way galaxy. All they had to do was show up at the launch site and take a free ticket, get on the transport and jet away to this place called Earth.
There were other folks who said this was nonsense, that their sun was fine, that even if there was a problem with the sun, they could escape to an underground bunker and avoid any problems. IOW, there were other ways to escape any disaster. They said, "leave us alone and stop warning us. All of your beliefs are just made up...they are man-made".
My question; Do you just trivialize/marginalize the people operating the Jet service to Earth, by suggesting that they should let their friends and neighbors believe whatever they want without at least attempting to warn them of the impending doom?
Do those people operating the jet service sit idly by, not giving a rip that their fellow neighbors are going to die in the Supernova? So the question remains, where does your reasoning end up, IF there is absolute/transcendent truth?