Where is common ground for Christians and Mormons to debate?

Mormons believe in Book of Mormon, articles of faith, and Bible (only if it's translated properly.)

Christians believe in the Bible, as translated from original language and scrolls (NIV, KJV, etc.)

Where is the common ground to discuss our faiths? Should we even bother? Or does it just lead to hurt feelings?

Or are we posting questions and answers just to prove our "spiritual superiority?"

What's your heart about this?

Update:

What I'm asking is--if Christians don't regard BOM as truth, and Mormons put limitations on the Bible's truth, where is the common ground?

21 Answers

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  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Religious debate is pretty senseless I find. As you well know 'convincing' only comes about through the spirit of the Lord. I can not convince you, nor you I about what is truth or not. We have to prove within our own hearts & souls what is right & true for US.

    Arguing only leads to contention - which is NOT of the Lord in my opinion - so I just express my feelings, opinions, beliefs and testify when I can to what I know & believe - beyond that it's not in my hands. Hopefully the common ground for us all is our Savior Jesus Christ - in HIm alone I can trust! : )

  • 1 decade ago

    There IS common ground between us. There are MANY similarities. The problems arise when people who are not Mormon accept what others say about us, without coming to us and asking us if that is what we believe, and to explain our point to them. There are many former Mormons out there who joined the church at some point then for one reason or another became unsatisfied with their membership in it and stopped attending. These types of people usually divide themselves into one of two groups - those who are still civil to us and understand that what we believe is just as important to us as their beliefs are to them, and those who turn anti and not only belittle us, our beliefs, and things that we hold sacred, but in some cases also make stuff up that makes things sound worse or that puts a negative spin on a doctrine.

    The common ground lies in both of our belief in the Bible, that Christ is our Savior, that God is Christ's Father, that the Holy Spirit is the Great Comfortor promised by Christ. From there, depending on your denomination of Christianity, we may also have in common the need for baptism, communion/sacrament, the atonement, the need to meet together often to worship God with those of like mind, to strengthen each other through the good word of God. There are also several hymns in our hymnals that can be found in Methodist, Baptist, Church of Christ, Presbyterian, and other denominational hymnbooks. We believe that ALL will be resurrected, that a Judgement will occur. There are so many things that we have in common. It's just very difficult on here, to find someone who is secure enough in their own faith to not fear a discussion where they might have to admit that they do not have an answer for a question, but that my answer may be one they can understand and accept.

    EDIT: take jesussaves answer of: "any group the believes there is error in the bible is saying God is imperfect"

    I say: I'm not saying that God is imperfect. I'm saying that those who compiled and translated it were imperfect. Those parts that are translated correctly and completely are God's word, most of those parts that are not translated exactly correct or complete can usually be understood pretty well nonetheless.

    "the BM has many errors as well......so their god is fallible as well"

    I say: Yes, over the years there have been errors that have been found in the BoM. Many were punctuation and grammatical errors. You will find in the book that it says if there are errors in it, they are the errors of men, not of God. It says precisely the same thing that we believe about the Bible - that any errors are the errors of men, not of God.

    "i KNOW the KJV is perfect and the BM is false....so my Jesus is God and will be the standard by which ALL will be judged"

    I say: I disagree with your statement about the KJV being perfect and the BoM being false, but that doesn't mean we don't have common ground in other things, like my agreement with you that Jesus is God and will be and is the standard by which all will be judged. I agree 100% with that part of your statement.

    Yet with all our commonalities there will always be some who focus on the differences. They are important differences, but there IS common ground on which to build, it just takes a willingness to do so.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I think your statement about our belief in the bible is a strong overkill. Everyone is aware there are some mistakes in the bible. For the most part, they are very small. I sometimes get the feeling that the LDS believe in more of the bible than many Christians when I hear about the twisted interpretations. For example how one arrives at the 3 in 1 God from the bible, is far beyond my comprehension. Especially when the Christians believed they were separate until the Nicean convention in 350 AD or so.

    The Book of Mormon, does not have any conflicts with the KJV that I am aware of. It teaches the same 10 commandments and adds the same two commandments.

    One can prove from the bible we get saved by faith, and also prove separately from other scriptires that we can be saved by Works. The book of Mormon correctly adds the two together and says. "We are saved by grace, after all we can do."

    The bible is very clear on the events that are important to us. Some Christians wrongly feel that when we die we go to heaven or hell. Nope, we go to the spirit world. The B of M confirms that. Some feel when Christ comes they are going to heaven. The Bible plainly says we go to the Millenium and live for 1000 years before final Judgement. The B of M confirms that. I think many Christians ought to read the Bible and see what it says rather than allowing leaders to tell them untruths about Bible events.

  • 1 decade ago

    Debate is the wrong way to go about it. Discusion is fine. But the minute you go in trying to prove you are right and as a result the other is wrong you bring contention into the discusion.

    There are many beliefs that coincide. We all believe that Christ is the Savior of the world, the redeemer, the atoner. And despite the (as far as it is translated correctly) statement we do believe the Bible is the word of God. Most problems accure in translation or in the simple fact that it was compiled 1000 years after christ died by men who considered themselves smarter than anyone else. Kind of pridefull don't you think. Our biggest concern with the bible is that people treat it like it contains all the knowledge you need when that is not possible in anyway.

    There are lots of possible discusion topics.

    The trinity or understanding God.

    The resurection

    The atonment

    The life of Christ

    The role of repentance

    Faith

    Hope

    Charity

    all of these are common though we all (even the many christian denominations of which Mormons are one) have different opinions on. So lets discuss them rather than debating them.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Bible scholars all admit that the Bible has errors and mistranslations. Since we have no original autographs, we are simply getting at least second hand scriptures.The fact that there are many different denominations shows that even within the mainstream "Christianity" there is vast disagreements. We (LDS) are just courageous enough to admit the obvious.

    We use the KJV of the Bible. The Book of Mormon has its own disclaimer right in it.

    I am willing to discuss the Bible and the Book of Mormon with anyone who wishes it. I won't debate it though...no point it in.

  • 1 decade ago

    There are common grounds...but I just want to say, how sad I feel when a Mormon says they trust the BOM more then the bible because the bible has various translators, while the BOM had one. I respect Mormons and there beliefs, there superficial beliefs are great, but when a comment like that is made, it makes me very VERY sad, and I know thats just my opinion. But as a true Christian, if the bible is minimized, then that is a slap in the face to God, and that makes me sad.

    p.s. I dont believe in the trinity or that there is a fiery hell, thats why I say there is common ground. What I said were the words of a mormon that answered a question yesterday, she said, I rely mostly on the BOM because it was only translated once...this is not the first time I hear it, and honestly, from my heart it did make me VERY sad to read that.

  • 1 decade ago

    Well, first of all realize that it is a little contradictory (in my opinion) to say

    "Christians believe in the Bible, as translated from original language and scrolls (NIV, KJV, etc.)"

    This sounds like double speak to me, since you are accepting more than one version, indeed we need to be looking for one translation, the correct one among those several versions you are thinking of, that's all that Latter-day Saints are trying to do.

    We don't limit the Bible we honestly believe it, we just don't honestly believe any old translation.

    Say for example that Moses were on Earth for a month again and that he took the time to reiterate his records as he spoke/wrote them himself. It wouldn't be surprising to see critical differences that cropped up due to millenia of translations and copies etc...

    Latter-day Saints then believe that God gave the Book of Mormon for this purpose, to clarify the muddled passages in the Bible and strengthen the knowledge of the truth that was originally found in the original writings compiled therein. Furthermore we believe that as God has called prophets again in our day that God can and did quite simply reveal and clarify the most egregious errors that exist in the KJV. This He did through the prophet Joseph Smith.

    It is interesting to note that for the most part the corrections that were made were 99.9% of the time a correction of omission of words or passages, or a rephrasing an unclear translation, and correcting erroneous translations.

    The common ground we can have to discuss is simply to exchange ideas and viewpoints. Debate will only bring about just that, debate; wherein one party tries to one up the other with their viewpoint.

    Now, the reason debate is usually sparked it that we Latter-day Saints have obviously made some very bold claims that in and of themselves are exclusive of other belief systems that we purport are true to one degree or another but not sanctioned of Jesus Christ. Not out of arrogance, but out of the practical idea that there must be one set of truths SOMEWHERE and when one finds those truths all others are truly less desirable.

    Please feel free to write me as I would love to have this discussion and exchange of viewpoints with you.

    Thanks for the good question.

  • 1 decade ago

    Anyone who belongs to a particular religion should not debate different religions. You already made your choice. At that point, debate offers nothing but an opportunity to try to prove "spiritual superiority" (I like your term). Debate of religions should only occur when you're deciding which religion fits your belief and which you're going to support. It should be used as a learning tool...not a weapon.

    God is the only common ground between all religions. Since they all have their own spiritual guide book and these books do not correspond with each other, the only common ground is the end result, which is God.

  • slcbtf
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    Way to go Jesussaves!

    This is exactly what she is asking. There should be an appropriate way to discuss common beliefs. It starts with questions like this. This question provides the neutral ground needed for such a discussion.

    Those who post questions with malintent, or have provided their own useless answers right after their question, have little value to me personally. It would have been better for the author of such questions to keep their hands gloved.

  • 1 decade ago

    The Book of Mormon and The HOLY BIBLE is a common ground for debates.

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