Why are Mormons considered Christians? Please read the description before answering!?

First let me start off by saying that ANYONE can answer this question to say THEIR opinion. I recently answered a question about Mormons in the fairest most balanced way that I could, focusing mostly on their history since that is what I know. I got a massive number of thumbs down and several other answerers posted answers whining about how non-Mormons were answering the question. Well, it didn't ask for Mormons to answer now did it? I responded to the best of my ability and touched on several important things the "Mormon" answerers chose not to cover! It got me thinking though about why Mormons are considered Christian to begin with.

Of course it's all just a name and defining a religion by one label or another doesn't really have any bearing on the practice of the religion itself, nor should it have any other impact in society as a whole. I'm curious though as to why they are classified this way, or if they actually are. Before last year I'd always heard them referred to as a distinctive religious group and not just a sect of a larger one.

I've often heard Mormons referred to as Christians, but I honestly cannot understand why. They have their own prophet, Joseph Smith, whom they base much of their doctrine around. They also have their own holy book, "The Book of Mormon."

It is my understanding that Christianity and Islam are not considered part of Judaism because, while they have some of the basic doctrine and share origins with it, they also have their own prophets (Jesus & Muhammed) and their own holy books (the New Testament & the Quran). Due to the similarity in the relationship Mormonism has with Christianity and Christianity/Islam have with Judaism I cannot see a valid reason that Mormons are Christians but Christians and Muslims are not Jews.

However, regardless of what I think I have often heard Mormons referred to as Christians so it could be that is what they think of themselves.

One more thing, I'm an Athiest, so I really don't care what they are classified as. I'm not some self-rightious Christian trying to declare that they must be something else because of my sect or something. I just want to know why because I genuinly do not understand the reasoning. I also want to know because I am unsure why Islam & Christianity are not considered sects of Judaism. As Moromonism seems to relate to Christianity in the same way as Islam & Christianity relate to Judaism it seems a very valid question.

Update:

One of you asked where my information on Mormons came from.

I saw a movie (I forget the title) about the Mormon migration to Utah in the 1800s. I also learned about that same migration in school at the same time I learned about the Oregon and California Trails.

I also learned about the polygamy practice being ended to get Utah statehood about the same time and probably in school, but I forget exactly.

I traveled through Utah a few years ago and read part of the "Book of Mormon" (that was in my hotel room) out of curiousity.

FLDS was all over the news last year and I saw a movie about them on TV last week so my knowledge of them is from that.

My main hobby is genealogical research and I have been to the LDS genealogical website, familysearch.org, many times as a result. I've also been to the big family history library in Salt Lake City and a smaller one near my house in Washington State. I guess I know a little about them from that too.

Update 2:

I know from what I have learned as part of my genealogical research that there is something in Mormonism about converting dead people through allowing their descendents to research genealogy. A Mormon classmate of mine confirmed this. It works out great for me since I like genealogy, but it does seem to differ quite a lot from the Christian idea about "saving souls" BEFORE the people die!

Update 3:

LDS from Afrika, I did not leave my church. I am a 4th generation Athiest.

Update 4:

Completely Ducky, I included FLDS in "Mormonism" because it is my understanding that FLDS is one sect of Mormonism and that LDS is another.

This would be the same reasoning for Presbyterian & Puritan both being sects of Protestantism or Protestantism, Orthodox, & Catholicism all being sects of Christianity or Sunni & Shi'ite both sects of Islam.

Update 5:

By the same reasoning of most of the answerers on here, should the Tai Ping of 19th century China also be considered Christian?

I often here that they are not, but they considered Jesus their saviour and held other basic Christian principles. However, they also held that their leader was Jesus's younger brother and that god had many wives and got Mary pregnant through sex. They also considered themselves Christian, although none of the other churches of that time (to my knowledge) regarded them that way.

Update 6:

Huckleberry, I'm not trying to "make up" a definition about anything! I'm looking at the facts and common sense (as clearly shown from relationships between Islam, Christianity, and Judaism) clearly dictates otherwise.

I honestly don't care who considers and doesn't consider themselves a given religion. They can believe in anything they want as long they don't hurt people as far as I'm concerned.

What I am interested in is why the definition for religion seems to be changed for Mormons when different rules apply for every other case in the history of the monthotheistic belief system!

Update 7:

Adam, guess what? I'm not out to attack anyone! If you'd read the description as clearly stated in the question line you would have seen that very clearly! The only person attacking anyone on here is you.

Update 8:

Adam, obviously since I said I was an Athiest I don't have a "monopoly" to Christianity nor am I claiming to have one.

Even if you and every other religious person in the world gave whatever you're talking about to me (it remains unclear) I wouldn't want it, so please keep it.

Please stick to the question next time!

Update 9:

To everyone on here accusing me of being judgemental, I am NOT BEING JUDGEMENTAL!!!!!!!!!!!!

I asked a QUESTION because I did NOT KNOW THE ANSWER and I WANTED TO KNOW the answer.

I did NOT ask this question because of some deep dark ulterior motive! I asked it because I DID NOT UNDERSTAND the reasoning and was CURIOUS! That's it! I'm NOT out to get Mormons, or anyone else for that matter. This is Yahoo Answers, where people ask questions when they want to know something. It's NOT Yahoo Insult!

23 Answers

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  • ?
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago
    Best Answer

    This is why, because we believe in the Bible and Jesus Christ.

    Yes, we have a living prophet.

    Yes, we accept further revelation from Christ.

    The followers of Jesus, in his time, believed in all the dead prophets that the Jews believed in and they considered themselves to be the true Jews in the truest sense. They believed that the Lord of all of the Jews in the OT was their God. They were a sect of Jews whose distinction was that they had their own living prophet, John the Baptist, and they accepted Jesus Christ as the promised Messiah spoken of in the OT.

    Yes we have our own book that we call “Another Testament of Jesus Christ”.

    The Christian Jews also accepted the new writings of their living prophets and Apostles to be holy.

    You are wrong about Christians not considering themselves Jews. Paul and the others clearly did consider themselves Jews. The other Jewish sects hated that they would call themselves “Jews” much like the Christians have a problem with Mormons calling themselves Christian.

    For example, when they were crucifying Jesus, the Jewish (Pharisee) priest did not want the sign Pilate had made to say “King of the Jews”. He felt that insulted his own beliefs.

    He wanted it to read, “He (Jesus) SAID, I am King of the Jews” not I AM... (JN 19:19-22)

    Paul claimed to be a Jew. No longer was he a Pharisee Jew, but he was a Christian Jew. Jesus claimed to be a Jew. Is that like Joseph Smith claiming to be Christian? IDK…

    (Acts 16:20, 2 Cor. 11:22, Matt. 27:11,29)

    Early Christians did consider themselves Jews or Children of Israel. They are followers of the God of Abraham.

    In the simplest terms, the truth is that Christians, Mormons, Muslims, and others are all followers of the God of Abraham, who I believe and know is Jesus Christ.

    They are part of Israel, which means the children of God, or a part of the believers. There are many names for the followers of God. Hebrews, Israelites, and Children of Abraham, etc.

    I am a Mormon, Christian, Hebrew, Israelite, and a Child of Abraham because I believe that Christ was the Messiah and the God of the Old Testament.

    Being a Jew now means a specific sect when it used to include many sects that accepted the Old Testament.

    When we call ourselves Christian, we mean that we believe in and follow Christ. We do not follow the Catholic Church or the Christian sects that broke off (yet still accepted the doctrine of the creeds that is it’s foundation).

  • 1 decade ago

    Your question is only if we are Christian right? Ok, then what is a Christian? According to the bible a Christian is a follower of Christ (which the LDS strive to do) and according to the dictionary it is anyone who CLAIMS to believe in (and follow is sometimes added) Jesus Christ but I will add "as the Son of God".

    Jews do not believe Jesus Christ was the Son of God so not Christian

    Islam does not believe Christ was the Son of God so not Christian

    Mormons believe Christ WAS the Son of God so Christian

    There are some Christians who argue against this for several different reasons. There is a very good article that explains how we ARE Christian and why those arguments against us don't work.

    http://lds.org/ldsorg/v/index.jsp?vgnextoid=024644...

    As for any other doctrines or practices that we have that are different from mainstream Christianity, you would be surprised how many have biblical support (like polygamy being ok in the bible, Prophets, etc) but whatever your opinion on those, it does not change who we follow and that is the Savior Jesus Christ.

    Also, we hold the Bible and Book of Mormon as equal scripture one supports and edifies the other. Catholics are Christian and they also embrace additional scripture.

  • Minnow
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    Sorry for the massive thumbsdown though I don't think I was part of it. You probably got something very wrong. It would be something like me saying that an Atheist can't be spiritual, when they very well could be, and it would set off a knee-jerk reaction. Your sources are very questionable (for instance, they stopped polygamy to get statehood doesn't ring true in my reading of that history. The people practicing polygamy were denied any citizenship so statehood wasn't really going to be withheld. That's not your fault though, but more whoever was teaching your class.)

    Alright, Joseph Smith was a prophet, and we have current prophets, but all of them say that Jesus Christ is our savior, our Christ, the only way we can be saved in the end. It's like saying that since Paul was not alive during Christ he shouldn't be considered an Apostle or prophet, and that anyone who believes in him don't believe in Christ even though he testifies in Christ. Our prophets do the same, they testify of Christ as the Savior... That basically means we're Christian because we believe in Christ as our Savior. The Book of Mormon is "another testament of Christ", it doesn't replace the Bible. If anything it should be seen as another testimony that Christ is the Savior. It's sort of like someone coming forward to say that your eyewitness testimony of what you saw is what they saw too, it doesn't detract from your testimony, it strengthens it and reinforces it.

    With Muslims, Jesus is a prophet, not the Savior, so they're not Christian. And Christians are not considered Jews simply again because the Savior is not considered the Savior, and because they don't use the New Testament. We use the Old and New Testament, believe in Christ as our Savior, believe our book testifies of Christ and confirms He was the Savior, the same with our prophet...

    Another HUGE indicator of the fact that we're Christian is to look at the history of the RLDS church. The RLDS church believed that when Joseph Smith died his son should be the next prophet, not Brigham Young. They stayed behind, moving to Kirtland if I'm not mistaken. Years upon years later, they ran out of blood relatives willing to be their prophet, and joined a Christian worldwide group. They still say the Book of Mormon is inspired, but don't call it Scripture, and they still say Joseph Smith was a prophet. They keep both these traits, but are now known as Christian. They're the "Community of Christ" churches now, and are part of Christian groups and rarely challenged on whether they are Christian or not, even though their beliefs are very similar.

  • 1 decade ago

    I think you are making it too complicated: Mormons believe in Jesus Christ as their Savior and are therefore Christians. It is as simple as that.

    You will get people around here claiming they are not Christians for other reasons, mainly selfish reasons at best.

    For example, I am not too fond of the ELCA's recent stance on gay clergy. I am also not too pleased that some churches in the big city near me take busloads of their gay members down to Iowa to get legally married. However, I would not and do not say they are not Christians because of these actions and beliefs. That is not my job or my concern, it is the Lord's. This is apparently a hard concept for the "Mormons are not Christian" people to grasp.

    I also scratch my head as to why they would even want to exclude Mormons as Christians. The more Christians the better, right? Why would you want to decrease the number of Christians by 13 million? What happened to "He that is not with me is against me"?

  • How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer.
  • Depends on the definition of Christian. Mormons believe Jesus Christ established a church. Men changed it. God restored the church with its original teachings and doctrine through Joseph Smith. By that standard, the LDS church and the Church Christ established are the same except for the time period they are in.

    Some of current beliefs adopted by many Christians come from various councils and ideas introduced after the time of Christ. (such as the council at Nicea) if one believes it is necessary to accept these doctrines to be considered a Christian, Mormons would not be Christian

  • 4 years ago

    As long as he knows right up front that you would not convert to Mormonism, you would probably be all right together. If you do end up together, before you make any commitments or have sex, discuss how the two of you would handle religion in your own family life. Would he expect you to raise his children as Mormons? Is a minimum of 10% of both of your incomes expected to be given to this church? Whenever they call him or any of the kids for activities, are they expected to participate without question?

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Obviously you are out to attack more than anything else.

    The name of our chruch is, "The Chuch of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints".

    If you don't understand the name of the church, I will explain it to you:

    The name of the church means that our church is of Jesus Christ. Who is Jesus Christ? He is the only begotten of the Father, the Savior and Redeemer of the world. It is He who was born of the virgin Mary, It is He who is our Supreme Exemplar and taught us of His way. He shows us how to get back to the Father. And guess what? It can only be through Him and none else (I'm sorry I have upset you that we don't worship Joseph Smith--he was a man. A prophet of God, yes, but just a mortal who made mistakes and had to REPENT a lot). So, I hope this has helped you to understand. Whether you wish to define the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and its members as being Christian or non-Christian is completely up to you. I know who I am. I have a feeling you might be questioning who you are and hence the attacks. And who, Mormons included, has a monopoly on Christianity and the right to call themselves a Christian? You don't and it's quite arrogant of you to put yourself in God's position and make claims of who is Christian or not based off your biased, imperfect human nature with all of its infallibility. Have a great day!

    Source(s): LDS
  • ME
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    Mormons believe in Jesus. That makes them Christians. They also are the most Christlike people I ever met. If there was to be 1 Christian sect left on earth, I would want it to be them since they live good clean lives and have nice stable families.

  • 1 decade ago

    Christianity's core belief is centered on Jesus, so any religion also believing in Christ is a sect of Christianity - Mormons included. Any religion that doesn't believe in Christ as it's savior is a totally different religion. The only thing Christian means is that you believe in Jesus, and that he died for your sins. While two religions might have the same roots, any two that have such a difference in values, rules, worship, prophets, holy books can't be counted similar. That's like saying elephants and horses are similar because they both have four feet.

    Side note: People thumbs down answers for totally stupid reasons, and it's nothing to get worked up about. Sometimes I thumbs down by accident, meaning to thumbs up.

  • 1 decade ago

    It seems that anyone who has some belief in Jesus and is not a Moslem could be called a Christian. As such, the Mormons would qualify. Many Christian religions have laid claim to be the "New Israel" or something similar and there is even a group of Christians who claim to be "Jews for Jesus" which annoys true Jews.

    Islam and Christianity are offshoots of Judaism. They claim to be separate religions. Mormons don't claim to be a separate religion but part of Christianity. I have also heard certain Christian faiths claim that the Roman Catholic church membes are not Christians. As there is no trade mark violation, you will have to live with Mormons and others whose faith you dislike using the Chiristian lable.

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