Gospel Q&A is a series from LDS Daily that strives to answer important gospel questions from readers. Today, we answer the question, “Are Latter-day Saints Christians?”
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The answer to this question is an easy, profound, resounding YES. Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are absolutely, emphatically, followers of Jesus Christ.
While there will always be a spectrum of commitment among believers, the core tenets—the first principles and ordinances–of the Church of Jesus Christ are faith in Lord Jesus Christ, repentance through His name, baptism following His pattern in the Jordan River, and receipt of His Holy Spirit to be with us.
We covenant to remember Him weekly through the Sacrament ordinance, partaken in remembrance of His flesh and blood.
We read, study, love, and honor the sacred, Holy Bible.
We also read, study, love, and honor the Book of Mormon—another Testament of Jesus Christ. In it we read, “And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins” (2 Nephi 25:26).
We believe in Jesus Christ as the Messiah of the New Testament and the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
He is the Creator of all things.
His love and law provide perfect mercy and perfect justice.
Any hope of salvation is through Jesus Christ—through His atoning sacrifice. He took upon Himself the pains and suffering of all mankind so that if we have faith in Him, trust in Him, and give our sorrows and sins to Him, He can make our burdens light. He makes strong our hope for a better world.
So, why are there people who believe members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are NOT Christians?
- Some people erroneously believe (because of an early misnomer and nickname) that we only believe in the Book of Mormon, and not in the Bible. Yes, we believe in the Book of Mormon, but nothing in its teachings will contradict what we also believe in the Bible.
- A narrow view of Christianity. According to Merriam-Webster, a Christian is “one who professes belief in the teachings of Jesus Christ.” This is a pretty simple definition. Some people want to make it more complicated by using the following definition.
- A view that Christians must follow the Nicene Creed. In the fourth century following the death of Jesus Christ and His apostles, Emperor Constantine held a churchwide conference to come to a cohesive belief system within Christianity. It seems like a good idea, but the problem is that this council didn’t include the power or authority of the priesthood nor the gift of prophecy, but was instead subject to individuals’ feelings and beliefs. The council determined that Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father were the same flesh (the Trinity) and that God was “incomprehensible” and “without body, parts, or passions.” Without the guidance and direction of a prophet to clarify and declare the truth, many gospel truths were lost or distorted. To this day, many people hold that since we (as members of the Restored Church) do not believe in a Trinity, but in a Godhead, and that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ are resurrected beings with bodies, we fall outside of the definition of Christianity.
I have had very good friends who have held these beliefs—that I am not Christian because they held a narrow definition of what that meant. I find comfort in knowing that these people—even my good friends—are not who judge me. Jesus Christ knows me, and He knows I choose and follow Him. In the end, if He knows it, and I know it, it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks.
If you’re a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, do you consider yourself Christian?
Disclaimer: While all of my answers will use scriptures and/or words of modern prophets, I do not represent The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I don’t believe any of my answers are comprehensive. I’m just one person using the gospel I have been blessed with to bring hope, peace, and answers to other seekers of truth.
Becca loves audiobooks, cookies, hiking, walking, singing with Millennial Choirs and Orchestras, going out with her husband, and raising their ten chickens and five children. She still wants to meet her hero Sheri Dew, see magma and a blue whale in person, and uplift others with her words.