NPR addresses the theological divide between Mormons and evangelicals

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  • sharrona layton, UT
    Jan. 15, 2018 8:42 a.m.

    RE: Kevin J. Kirkham. Sola Scriptura. Check *The Nicene Creed (with Scripture references).

    The Southern Baptist church(non creedal) has a Statement of Faith. E.g.., God. …The eternal triune God reveals Himself to us as Father, Son and Holy Spirit, with distinct personal attributes, but without division of nature, essence, or being.

    RE: kvnsmnsn There are five main forms or sects of Judaism . Orthodox, Conservative, Reformed, Reconstructionist, and Humanistic. A short list of the traditional beliefs of Judaism would include God is the creator of all that exists; He is one, incorporeal (without a body).

    (John 4:24).God [is] spirit. ( *pneuma hο theos). There is ‘*no article’ in the Greek text before the word spirit, and that emphasizes the quality or essence of the word. The word spirit occurs first in the sentence for emphasis. The literal idea would be something like, “Absolutely spirit in His essence is God.”
    Jesus did not leave any doubt about this truth. God(The Father)= spirit! E.g…

    Lectures On Faith(JS) Q. What Is the Father? A. He is a personage of glory and of power=[spirit]. (5:2.)Q. What is the Son? A. First, he is a personage of tabernacle. (5:2.) .

  • kvnsmnsn Springville, UT
    Jan. 14, 2018 5:15 p.m.

    Sharrona posted:

    =RE: LV BYU fan’ 1.Jesus addresses God in prayer. The answer to this, as well as
    =to all references to Jesus as being tired or hungry…, etc is that Jesus was a
    =true man, as well as God.

    That doesn't answer LV BYU fan's question. Was Jesus talking to Himself, or was He talking to someone other than Himself?

    =God(the father is Spirit)

    Sharrona, are you saying that God the Father is a spirit? If so, He would be a holy spirit, since He's God the Father, and in fact He would be THE holy spirit, because He's God the Father. So there you have it, God the Father is the Holy Spirit, and the Trinity is reduced to a Binity. The fact that there are three members of the Trinity / Godhead is evidence to me that God the Father is NOT a spirit.

  • Kevin J. Kirkham Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 13, 2018 10:52 a.m.

    What I find funny is that one of the reasons that traditional Christianity gives for LDS not being Christian is that we don't believe in a closed canon, yet they elevate the Nicene and Athanasian Creeds to the level of scripture and since we don't believe them, we are dismissed.

    Sola Scriptura!

  • Isaac2045 Weber, UT
    Jan. 13, 2018 12:53 a.m.

    If you question that members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints are Christians then investigate! Their doctrinal/theological reasoning is strong and based on sound principles.

    Hamblin, B. (2012, August 31). Are Mormons Christians?

  • sharrona layton, UT
    Jan. 12, 2018 2:12 p.m.

    RE: LV BYU fan’ 1.Jesus addresses God in prayer. The answer to this, as well as to all references to Jesus as being tired or hungry…, etc is that Jesus was a true man, as well as God." In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God . . . and the word became flesh and dwelt among us," (John 1:1, 14}

    The second Person of the Trinity, God the Son, took upon Himself complete humanity, except for our sinful nature. He is has two natures, divine and human—the God-man. (Phil 2:5-11) The Kenosis.

    God(the father is Spirit) Visible signs of God's presence are known as the Shekinah Glory, or dwelling place of God. This special light is a visible manifestation of divine majesty. His presence was manifested by the intense light that filled the Tabernacle, the Temple in Jerusalem and even in the Transfiguration on the Mount where Jesus shone brighter than the sun when He spoke with Moses and Elijah. “God says that ‘no one‘(JS) can look at God and live” (Ex 33:20)

    … he (Moses)endured, as seeing him who is invisible (Heb 11:27)

    2.“ in later(days) times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons.(1 Tim 4:)

  • LV BYU fan Las Vegas, NV
    Jan. 12, 2018 11:54 a.m.

    This is a perfect illustration of why Mitt Romney had no chance in 2012, evangelicals are not going to vote for a LDS person any time soon.

    Having grown up in the South and serving a mission there as well and living there as an adult for 6 years this is a discussion I have had literally thousands of times. Here are three quick observations.
    1. The doctrine of the trinity is not a doctrine believed or understood (if possible) by protestant members, only by paid clergy. In discussion with clergy just ask one question. Whom was Jesus praying to? Easy answer if you are LDS, complicated and very confusing if you are protestant clergy.
    2. Speaking generally they are stunned at how successful the LDS Church is at attracting new members and how members support the church with time and money.
    3. Their financial model is failing. They are losing members and financial support.

    When their livelihood is threatened, the clergy responds irrationally. (understandably)
    I expect this devolution to continue, as they feel continual and increasing financial pressure. It is always enlightening to follow the money.

  • BigAlAvenger Summit, UT
    Jan. 12, 2018 11:19 a.m.

    Eventially we shall see.

  • CMTM , 00
    Jan. 12, 2018 9:53 a.m.

    Kvnsmnsn. “Why LDS don't believe in the Trinity.” No exaltation. E. g….,

    Partaking of the Divine Nature-image The Orthodox(Christian) Church understands theosis as a union with the energies of God and Not with the essence of God which always remains hidden and unknown. However, the experience of the Church testifies that this is a true union with God. Orthodox Christians believe there are three persons in the Godhead, each divine, distinct and equal. The Father God is the eternal head; the Son is begotten of the Father; the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father.
    Our full union with God is a union with the "energies" of God. These energies, while an extension of God, are not to be confused with the "essence" or "substance" of God, which is unknown by humans and is shared only by the Holy Trinity.
    Our union with God will Not make us gods but will make us partners in the Divine nature in works not in essence. We will Not acquire the unique characteristics of such as being the Creator, the Omnipresence, Self-existence,(aseity). by Mark Shuttleworth

    ”(2Peter 1:4).“... so that through them you may participate=(koinnos/*communion .=The Apostles Creed/The communion of Saints.

  • kvnsmnsn Springville, UT
    Jan. 11, 2018 5:11 p.m.

    CMTM posted:

    =Catholic Dictionary: The nature of God as mentally distinguished from the
    =persons and the attributes of God. Thus each of the three divine persons has
    =one and the same essence. And the different attributes of God are objectively
    =identical with the divine essence.
    =RE Irenaeus in175-185 taught Trinitarian theology. Three distinct entities
    =named Father, Son, and Spirit, eternally united through one divine and
    =spiritual nature.

    Yeah. Okay. So far I still don't see anything inconsistent with LDS theology. So I guess I'm still wondering why Joseph Smith said Latter-day Saints don't believe in the Trinity.

  • Thomas Jefferson Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Jan. 11, 2018 4:30 p.m.


    "And reality is that there is no truth anywhere in religion?"
    There is plenty of 'truth' in religion but only as much as it happens to coincides with reality. Do unto others is good. The parts of the bible which describe how to treat your slaves is bad.

    "That there isn't a God in control of the universe?"
    Right. I dont believe for one minute that the god of the bible exists. I do find it funny that you 'know' that the thousands of other gods men have made up are false but the one you happened to be taught as a child is totally real.

    "Rather than worry about that future generation, I think it's a lot more productive to try to find out the will of God in our lives, so that we can work in concert with God toward the preservation, forever, of some good things."
    Again, I dont believe your deity exists so I cant 'work in concert' with a nonexistent entity. And I don find it funny that you will and 'his will' coincide so frequently.

  • BrentBot Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 11, 2018 4:00 p.m.

    The differences have their origin in the Nicene (and other) creeds. Mormons retain Early Christians' beliefs in baptism by immersion of youth by their fathers, a lay clergy, proxy baptism for deceased ancestors, a tripartite Godhead (two with physical bodies), theosis or divinization (Eternal Life), esoteric temple ordinances, Celestial marriage, etc. Athanasius spearheaded the destruction of hundreds of inspired writings and retained only the 22 found in the New Testament canon. Fortunately, some of these inspired writings were discovered in the 1950s in Nag Hammadi, and they verify that LDS teachings are those of the Early Christian Fathers. Mohler believes in Creedal Christianity, LDS believe in the Christianity of the New Testament era.

  • CMTM , 00
    Jan. 11, 2018 2:54 p.m.

    RE: KevinSim "one in essence" actually means?

    Catholic Dictionary: The nature of God as mentally distinguished from the persons and the attributes of God. Thus each of the three divine persons has one and the same essence. And the different attributes of God are objectively identical with the divine essence. e.g...,

    The Son is the radiance of his glory and the representation of his *essence…(Heb 1:3 NET)

    *hypostais, in Christian Trinitarian doctrine each of the three persons of the Trinity, as contrasted with the unity of the Godhead.

    RE Irenaeus in175-185 taught Trinitarian theology. Three distinct entities named Father, Son, and Spirit, eternally united through one divine and spiritual nature. Before the Nicene Creed of 325.

    “Immanent and Transcendent, In Christian theology, God(the Father) is transcendent, who cannot be approached or seen in essence or being, becomes immanent in the God-man Jesus the Christ, who is the incarnate Second Person of the Trinity. Christ and the Holy Spirit immanently reveal themselves, God the Father only reveals himself immanently vicariously through the Son and Spirit, and the Divine Nature.

  • crimendelsiglo where there ain't no freaking snow, UT
    Jan. 11, 2018 2:43 p.m.

    does the protestant reformation of the 1500+AD "simply fails every major test of historic Christian orthodoxy." ? just wonderin'. they were the organizations claiming to going back to the root of christian orthodoxy.

    christianity is so exclusive: yes i am no you're not yes i am no you're not

  • rdean92 Los Angeles, CA
    Jan. 11, 2018 2:31 p.m.

    There were roughly 9 versions of the 1st vision. In Joseph Smith's 1st version (not recorded until 12 years after he said it took place in 1832), he only mentions The Lord. It was not until years later he included 2 personages.

  • sister GRASS VALLEY, CA
    Jan. 11, 2018 1:10 p.m.

    why I recommend listening to different things - hearing more accurate representation of what someone says: "The Dawn of The Restoration" on YouTube by Truman G. Madsen

  • KevinSim Springville, UT
    Jan. 11, 2018 12:54 p.m.

    CMTM and Sharrona, could you tell me whether traditional Christians consider Seventh-day Adventists to be Christian? And Christian Universalists? If so, then I think it's incredibly ironic that Christians distinguish themselves from Latter-day Saints over belief in the Trinity (and several other points of doctrine that I consider minor), and yet they unite themselves with these two churches with whom they disagree over whether God at some point in time puts an end to the extreme suffering of the unsaved. Talk about straining at a gnat and then swallowing a camel!

    On the other hand, if traditional Christians DON'T consider those two groups Christian, then all I've got to say is that I'm kind of glad I'm not considered part of that brand of Christianity.

  • KevinSim Springville, UT
    Jan. 11, 2018 12:46 p.m.

    Sharrona posted:

    =Another look into the Trinity shows a dialogue during the period of creation.
    =God speaks to God saying, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our
    =likeness”. It is significant because this isn’t true of any other created
    =thing. Only man is created in the(moral) image of God.

    I'm aware that Joseph Smith said Latter-day Saints don't believe in the Trinity. After all I've heard about the Trinity, I'm kind of surprised that Smith understood the Trinity well enough to be able to determine whether we should believe in it or not! It all seems to come down to the idea of "one in essence." Believers in the Trinity believe that God the Father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, are one in essence. Does anybody on this forum have any clue what "one in essence" actually means?

  • KevinSim Springville, UT
    Jan. 11, 2018 12:39 p.m.

    Thomas Jefferson posted:

    =My hope for the planet is that everyone can leave the fantasy behind and deal
    =with reality on its terms.

    And reality is that there is no truth anywhere in religion? That there isn't a God in control of the universe? And never will be? If that's true, then I think it's safe to say that nothing good will last forever, and it's also pretty clear to me that the human race in particular will not last forever. That means that there will be one generation of the human race that doesn't reproduce. Thomas Jefferson, what is your conscientious obligation to that last generation of the human race?

    Rather than worry about that future generation, I think it's a lot more productive to try to find out the will of God in our lives, so that we can work in concert with God toward the preservation, forever, of some good things.

  • KevinSim Springville, UT
    Jan. 11, 2018 12:27 p.m.

    CMTM posted:

    =Therefore the one Sun shows itself as triune, sunlight and heat yet one
    =substance or essence, as its splendid in its unity and oneness. How much more
    =the Creator of the sun is splendid and One in his unity and oneness in his
    =triune being. We therefore believe in One God in three divine persons, great is
    =the mystery of this unity.

    CMTM, is this really a description of how the Trinity works? If it is, then I'm very surprised. If a court were trying to determine the truth of some item, and the light from the Sun was brought to the witness stand to help determine it, and then the mentioned light was excused and the heat from the Sun was brought to the witness stand to corroborate the former testimony, that would be an abuse of justice; the Sun cannot corroborate itself. And yet John 8:17-18 quotes Jesus as saying, "It is also written in your law, that the testimony of two men is true. / I am one that bear witness of myself, and the Father that sent me beareth witness of me." It looks pretty clear to me in this verse that Jesus is saying that He and His Father are indeed two. They're one, yes, but they're also two.

  • floridagirl Palmetto, FL
    Jan. 11, 2018 11:07 a.m.

    I live in the south. I will tell you that many evangelicals say these things because they are hemmoraging members and not finding new ones. The only have fear to try to get you to switch over "we won't go to heaven together" etc. They are losing people to apathy/agnosticism, the big rock band just show up once a month and here's a smoothie churches, and Mormonism. They are panicking.

  • VKI Mesa, AZ
    Jan. 11, 2018 10:20 a.m.

    "...He declared the LDS Church should not be considered a Christian denomination as it "simply fails every major test of historic Christian orthodoxy."

    If there's a test I think it only has one question on it: Do you believe in Jesus Christ?

    I'm a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and yes, I do believe in Him and recognize that He is the way, the truth, and the life. It is ONLY through His grace that I can be saved. Because of this grace I am led to attempt in any small way I can to perform good works. That doesn't mean I think that my works somehow merit His grace. It's the other way around...His magnificent grace changes who I am and makes me a better person.

  • Central Texan Buda, TX
    Jan. 11, 2018 8:41 a.m.

    "in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit"

    That is similar to a decree that begins "In the name of the King, of the Queen, and the Princes of the Kingdom..."

    Obviously there is no supposition that the various entities referred to must somehow be a single being. All it is referring to is the body that holds the authority in the kingdom.

    And the Godhead, consisting of three separate beings, is the body that holds authority over all creation.

    [To be clear, I am using the word 'body' as 'a group of individuals organized for some purpose, ie. governmental body, legislative body']

  • CMTM , 00
    Jan. 11, 2018 8:34 a.m.

    RE: Twin Lights ( D&C 20:28). "Which Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are one God, infinite and eternal, without end. Amen." E.g…,

    JS taught the triu-nity. “… true doctrine of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, which is *one God.”(2 Nephi 31:21) (**1John 5:7-8 JST& KJV verse 7. one= (G.*heis, the #1).

    (3 Nephi 11:36) And thus will the Father bear record of me, and the Holy Ghost will bear record unto him of the Father and me; for the Father, and I, and the Holy Ghost are one. (3Nephi 11:36)**see footnotes on 3 Nephi 11:32 a 1John 5:7-8 KJV.

    @Analogy. We see the Sun through its light. In the same way, as we behold the Father through the Son, and heat is something we feel, and the Holy Spirit is the Comforter, he is the presence we feel that supports us and gives us consolations and gifts.

    Therefore the one Sun shows itself as triune, sunlight and heat yet one substance or essence, as its splendid in its unity and oneness. How much more the Creator of the sun is splendid and One in his unity and oneness in his triune being. We therefore believe in One God in three divine persons, great is the mystery of this unity.

  • wisetimes Phoenix, AZ
    Jan. 11, 2018 8:00 a.m.

    I respect anyone that believes in Christ, and many people of other spiritual beliefs are commended for living to the best moral understanding they have.
    To say Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints are political allies with Evangelicals, might be a confusing statement at this point in history. Because Certain prominent Evangelicals have written about and endorsed Trump as a prophet or prophetic. Still respecting Evangelicals, this factor would have me worried that society is seeing Christianity as hypocritical.
    We all know that prophets were not perfect, but I am discouraged that any one can merge that political concept together w/the most basic of Christian tenants.

  • dski HERRIMAN, UT
    Jan. 11, 2018 7:41 a.m.

    When I visit my families in Texas, I listen to various evangelical radio stations. Joseph Smith and Mormons are frequently mentioned in their condemnations as part of evil forces that will never be accepted in heaven. As LDS members, we as-a-matter-of-factly declare there is no other true church but us. Doctrines and all! Any bible thumber who hears that will not excitedly jump into the fray and join us as an ally. As long as doctrines and teachings are different, attitudes toward us will remain the same.

  • BioPowertrain Detroit, MI
    Jan. 10, 2018 11:46 p.m.

    This business about the trinity misses the whole point of true Christianity-- repenting and coming to Christ. D&C 10:67-68 #stayontarget #loveandservehim

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    Jan. 10, 2018 9:22 p.m.

    I have read the NT attempting to find the Trinity advocated in the Council of Nicaea. I cannot find it. Other than a few oblique references, the totality, and especially Christ's own words, show Christ to be fully differentiated from the Father.

    Such a key doctrine should be explicitly described in the NT - most likely by Christ himself (he could explain anything to anybody). Instead, I find separate individuals.

  • sashabill Morgan Hill, CA
    Jan. 10, 2018 6:11 p.m.

    Evangelicals seem to focus almost entirely on theology in determining who is (or is not ) a Christian, and very little on personal character. By that standard, the priest and the Levite (the two who passed by on the other side of the road and did not stop to help the injured traveler) will be the ones going to heaven, since they presumably had the "right" theology.

    Conversely, the Samaritan (who did stop and take the initiative to help the injured traveler) is nonetheless condemned to eternal Hell, since he had the "wrong" theology.

  • JdTNvUTxred33317 Cedar City, UT
    Jan. 10, 2018 5:42 p.m.

    Mormons shouldn't be considered Christians because they depart from orthodox Christianity? I can't believe people still think that being since the name is in the title of the Church. What is departing from orthodox Christianity, actually believing in Christ? Thats what a Christian is. This guy doesn't know what Latter Day Saints actually believe, because that is what our whole doctrine is based on, Jesus Christ. I am a Mormon and I glad to call myself a Christian even if others don't.

  • Commentor ,
    Jan. 10, 2018 4:30 p.m.

    The only one that will decide who is and isn't christian is Jesus Christ.
    If He is satisfied that I am christian, then I won't be concerned about any other opinion.

  • Frozen Fractals Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 10, 2018 4:04 p.m.


    [@George C Thomas;
    " I can with some authority say that the LDS faith does not disbelieve anything the Bible teaches. "

    Ummm. Mormons reject grace as a pathway to heaven, for works instead. Mormons reject the Trinity. Both, mainstays of Christianity. Also, Easter, not Christmas, is the most honored day in Christianity. But, when Easter falls on Conference weekend, it is all but ignored by mormons.
    This is in direct conflict with your statement.]

    How about... the LDS faith does not intend to disbelieve anything the Bible teaches? That leaves aside the back and forth about which denomination is right about certain things and just focuses on the main point which I think was "LDS members believe in the Bible".

  • Ben Jones Bowie, MD
    Jan. 10, 2018 2:18 p.m.

    Having read through Albert Mohler's talk, I can see where people get very wrong-headed ideas about Mormons. Mohler says Mormons don't believe in the Trinity, which he calls the "most basic doctrine of Christianity". Well, if the Trinity is indeed the most basic doctrine of Christianity, well, that sounds like we fail the test. However, we do believe in the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost as described in the New Testament. We believe that Jesus prayed to the Father, and that He sent the Holy Ghost as another comforter. All that gives the lie to Mohler's claim that we worship a different Jesus than Christians do. Where traditional Christianity goes astray, in the Mormon perspective, is to insist that the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are three ways of looking at one incomprehensible deity called the Trinity. Then you start wondering, well, who did Jesus pray to? What happened to His body after his resurrection? What does it even mean to be resurrected? What does it mean to follow Jesus' example? It all begins to sound like a philosophical concept rather than a reality that we can relate to.

  • Thomas Jefferson Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Jan. 10, 2018 1:16 p.m.

    I often find myself on message boards sticking up for Mormons when evangelicals try to claim they are not christian, as if it is up to evangelicals to decide. If someone tells me they are christian then I have no choice but to believe them. But not a day goes by when I am not happy I left all religious hokum behind. These arguments on how many angels can dance on the head of a pin just reinforce that happiness. My hope for the planet is that everyone can leave the fantasy behind and deal with reality on its terms.

  • sharrona layton, UT
    Jan. 10, 2018 12:58 p.m.

    RE: teeoh . Deut 6:4 uses "echad", the word for a unified one between individuals. This laid the ground work for the Trinity to be revealed in Christ and his apostles who could look back to the important Jewish Bible verse and show them Jesus was there too!

    “Another look into the Trinity shows a dialogue during the period of creation. God speaks to God saying, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness”. It is significant because this isn’t true of any other created thing. Only man is created in the(moral) image of God.

    (Gen 1:26 LXX) Verse let *US”= (poismen) …*OUR =(hÉmeteros)’image’. 27 God made man, according to the image ’of God’**=( Theou)..*plural **singular. Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person(substance, 5287).Heb 1:3

    C.S Lewis,” If Christianity was something we were making up, of course we would make it easier. But it is not. We cannot compete, in simplicity, with people who are inventing religions. How could we? We are dealing with fact. Of course anyone can be simple if he has no facts to bother about." The three personal God “Mere Christianity. Lewis gives some other analogies of the Tri(3) Unity.

  • bernand0 Spokane, WA
    Jan. 10, 2018 12:55 p.m.

    I have spent a lot of time looking into different church (church shopping). I would say that from a theology stand point, LDS is not a Christian Church. The main reason being, Evangelicals and other protestant groups consider each other Christian and tend to rally around each other. When they talk about "The Church" at say a Presbyterian church, they mean all Christian churches, including the Episcopal church down the street.

    When LDS people say "The Church," they mean the LDS church and not the other Christian churches around them. So when Evangelicals say they aren't Christian, they are talking about the shared commonality they feel with other Christian sects. I have even had some Evangelicals tell me they don't consider the Catholic Church, to be apart of their Christian "Church," or their Christianity.

    I consider the LDS Church to be a Christ centered church, built on Christ's teachings, but not a Christian Church- they aren't apart of the club. In many ways the LDS church probably doesn't want to be apart of the Christian Church network, it would loose its uniqueness.

  • Irony Guy Bountiful, Utah
    Jan. 10, 2018 12:29 p.m.

    My sweet grandmother was Relief Society president in a small Utah town for 37 years. She served people endlessly, tending the sick, feeding the elderly, even sending big batches of clothing to the victims of World War II in Europe.

    Mr. Mohler says my Mormon grandmother isn't going to the same heaven as he is. I would be willing to bet that is true. As for me, I hope to follow Grandma--wherever she is...

  • George C Thomas Spokane, WA
    Jan. 10, 2018 11:38 a.m.

    Impartial7. Your response to my comment, again proves my point. What you think we believe is simply not true. I dont know you, but I love you as a brother or sister and will continue in my private and public life to help my protestant and LDS family better understand eachother. I so appreciate your thoughts and perspective. Thanks everyone for the honest dialogue.

  • eigerjoe Sandy, UT
    Jan. 10, 2018 11:37 a.m.

    Mormons are not Evangelicals - but they are definitely Christians. Evangelicals are not Mormons - but they also are definitely Christians. Mormons and Evangelicals interpret the scriptures differently as do the Catholics and Non-evangelical Protestants - but we are all still Christians because we all believe in and worship our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. This claim by some Evangelicals that Mormons are not Christians is simply not true and seems a bit ridiculous. I don't understand why they are so determined to hold on to this idea and/or why do they care if Mormons claim to be Christian? How does that harm them?

  • teeoh Anytown, KY
    Jan. 10, 2018 11:29 a.m.

    @sharrona - semantically speaking, the phrase "in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit" indicates the individuality of the three because of the of word "of" before each. The purpose of the 2nd and 3rd "of" is to replace "the name of" in the subsequent phrases. It's the same as saying "in the name of the Father, and (the name) of the Son, and (the name) of the Holy Spirit"

    If the 2nd and 3rd "of" were absent, then you would have a point (semantically speaking).

    Regardless of semantics, there are plenty of non-Mormons biblical scholars who concede that neither the word nor the concept of the Trinity exist in the Bible, despite accepting the Trinity as formulated in the councils of Nicea and Constantinople. (See non-Mormon, well-accepted sources such as The Oxford Companion to the Bible and The HarperCollins Bible Dictionary to support these claims.)

  • cal cougar camarillo, CA
    Jan. 10, 2018 11:01 a.m.

    Mr. Mohler read the Sermon on the Mount and Christ's life. The venom you produce does not align yourself with anything Christ taught.

    In your own words, you "simply fail every major test of historic Christian orthodoxy."

  • Baccus0902 Leesburg, VA
    Jan. 10, 2018 10:41 a.m.

    Is it naivetÉ what led LDS to associate with evangelicals? I wonder.

    The LDS Church seems to have been the rich kid in the block being used for the political gain of the religious right.

    The enemy of my enemy is not necessarily my friend. Evangelicals have always considered the LDS Church as an obscene offshoot of the Great Awakening in the United States. Mr. Mohler and his ilk feel they have the POTUS' ear and they no longer needs the LDS Church.

  • sharrona layton, UT
    Jan. 10, 2018 10:06 a.m.

    Re: teeoh - Trinity“… in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit(Mt 28:19 NIV).The word "Name"(not names) is used here, as so often in the Hebrew Scriptures, for the majesty, glory, dignity, of the Godhead.

    The doctrine of the Trinity does not teach that there are three gods. The unity(God=Elohim) the LORD=YHWH is one. Deut. 6:4) of God disproves that there are many gods, such as in henotheism (Mormons). Each one is God and with God (John 1:1-2). The Son is equal with the Father (John 5:18, Phil. 2:6).

    The Second Person of the Trinity is God the Son. Over 100 Bible verses prove the deity of Jesus Christ (e.g., John 1:1, 20:28). He is the great “I AM” (John 8:24, 58). He was worshipped as God. Many O.T verses that speak of YHWH are applied to Jesus in the N.T. Jesus is God.

    in Mt 22:32 Jesus quotes Ex 3:6, “I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” In John 8:58, “(Jesus)”.., before Abraham was, I am.” The Jews clearly understood Jesus to be calling Himself God because they took up stones to stone Him for committing blasphemy in equating Himself with God. ”

  • Cinci Man FT MITCHELL, KY
    Jan. 10, 2018 9:27 a.m.

    I defend Impartial7's right in this forum to say anything accurate or inaccurate that he chooses and also I defend the right of the moderators of comments to allow the comments of those who misrepresent the truth about church teachings. I also defend the right of moderators to disallow many comments that are the truth, as they often do.

    I once cut and pasted a paragraph from a conference talk by Gordon B Hinckley into a comment and gave him credit, and the comment was not allowed because it was said to be offensive. I had to laugh. Even prophets get censored in these comments. And there was nothing offensive at all about the quotation. We're all human and make mistakes.

  • teeoh Anytown, KY
    Jan. 10, 2018 9:03 a.m.


    Mormons don't reject grace. (Even so, both grace and works are found in the Bible.) The Trinity is not found in the Bible. Nor is there any statement in the Bible on how to celebrate Easter. Otherwise, good points on following biblical teachings!

  • Kaladin Northern, CO
    Jan. 10, 2018 8:47 a.m.

    @Impartial7 - Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints believe that it is ONLY by grace that we are saved. The difference is that we also believe that "Faith without works is dead, being alone." Christ taught that throughout His ministry. Why did he spend so much time pointing out the hypocrisy of the Pharisees and Sadducees? Because they were believers in word only, and did not follow the commandments. Why was Christ baptized? What is the meaning of the parable of the unprofitable servant? Christ is the only way back to the Father, but we cannot just say we believe, expecting that "he will justify us in committing a little sin." For, "No unclean thing can enter into his kingdom."
    And we do not ignore Easter. We celebrate it all year long and on Easter Sunday. The reason we don't have crosses in our churches is because we focus on the resurrected Christ. Nothing is more important to us than His glorious Atonement and Resurrection.

  • toosmartforyou Kaysville, UT
    Jan. 10, 2018 8:42 a.m.

    Imp. 7 -- I think you lack understanding of the LDS doctrine and have summarized it in a way that fits your personal belief. That's OK. It's fairly common for others to tell us what we believe when they really don't know, they just suspect from what they've heard from others. I'll not take the time to list the specifics because that wouldn't really accomplish anything positive but just say I appreciate your opinion, even if it is inaccurate.

  • Ben Jones Bowie, MD
    Jan. 10, 2018 8:38 a.m.

    I once walked into a classroom at my sister's church and overheard the teacher saying, "Yeah, Mormons are evil". I said, "Excuse me, I'm a Mormon and I don't consider myself evil. Why do you say that?" He rattled off a few doctrinal differences but before I could get a word in edgewise, he admitted that every Mormon he'd known personally was a good neighbor, solid citizen, honest, etc. So I asked, "So by what criteria do you judge a person to be good or evil?" At that point, he was stumped.

    I had a similar experience with my brother who wondered how I could "turn my back on everything our parents stood for" (by becoming a Mormon)? Let's see, I learned from our parents to be kind, generous, neighborly, tolerant of those who were different, to treat each other with respect, etc. Becoming a Mormon hasn't changed that. In fact, it has reinforced those qualities.

    I regard arguments over theological differences much the same as I regard partisanship, which often exaggerates differences at the expense of civility. I like to remind people that Jesus Christ often held up Samaritans (the politically incorrect of His day) as examples to be emulated.

  • TripleB1111 Milford, NH
    Jan. 10, 2018 8:30 a.m.

    I don't really care what Mohler thinks. I know that my faith is in Jesus Christ and that he has either been deceived by Satan or is just ignorant.

  • CMTM , 00
    Jan. 10, 2018 8:26 a.m.

    RE: NoNamesAccepted. “That seer… his name shall be called Joseph and it shall be after the name of his father”. ( Gen 50:33 JST. JS adds prophecy about himself to his Inspired Version. But NOT found in Greek LXX (Apostles Bible) or dead sea scrolls.

    RE: sashabill Joseph Fielding Smith.“They tell us the Book of Mormon states that Jesus was begotten of the Holy Ghost. I challenge that statement. The Book of Mormon teaches No Such Thing! Neither does the Bible!” ?

    “who shall be overshadowed and conceive by the power of the ‘Holy Ghost(pneuma)’, and bring forth a son, yea, even the Son of God. Alma 7:10,

    “The Angel answered, "The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will *overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God(Luke 1:35 NIV,NET…) Christians, believe the miracle of the virgin birth.

    @. The Catholic Church does not recognize Mormon baptism as valid because, although Mormons and Catholics use the same words, those words have completely unrelated meanings for each religion. The Mormon’s very concept of God is infinitely different from that of ‘Christians’. They are polytheistic and pagan rather than Trinitarian.

  • Impartial7 DRAPER, UT
    Jan. 10, 2018 8:10 a.m.

    @George C Thomas;
    " I can with some authority say that the LDS faith does not disbelieve anything the Bible teaches. "

    Ummm. Mormons reject grace as a pathway to heaven, for works instead. Mormons reject the Trinity. Both, mainstays of Christianity. Also, Easter, not Christmas, is the most honored day in Christianity. But, when Easter falls on Conference weekend, it is all but ignored by mormons.
    This is in direct conflict with your statement.

  • Rockyrd Gilbert, AZ
    Jan. 10, 2018 7:45 a.m.

    I have a strong belief that the Lord uses many different people in many different ways to accomplish His purposes. I don’t think He is too concerned about labels. I also believe He is not happy when we humans try to decide who is Christian and who isn’t, who is good and who isn’t.

  • Cinci Man FT MITCHELL, KY
    Jan. 10, 2018 6:50 a.m.

    I'm content following the prophets above the evangelicals. And I'm also very content with the vast outreach of the LDS Church in so many ways that bless and benefit families and individuals. Social Services, Welfare Services, temples, family history, Sabbath Day observance, the Word of Wisdom, The Family, a Proclamation to the World, Self Reliance, Humanitarian Fund, Perpetual Education Fund,, BYUTV, meetinghouses, tithes and offerings, and Scripture Study with aids, are just a few of the efforts that I can tap into for blessings and opportunities. There are many more.

  • no comment South Jordan, UT
    Jan. 10, 2018 12:51 a.m.

    Mohler showed his true stripes in his addresses to BYU, as he consistently referenced "The Church of the Latter-Day Saints", an obvious and intentional obfuscation of the true nature and belief of BYU's sponsor.

    If you have to deceive others in order to win your argument, you know in your heart that your argument has lost.

  • JoelB44 Idaho Falls, ID
    Jan. 9, 2018 11:12 p.m.

    When opponents of Christianity pass out what they consider "the blame" for many of the wrongs and conflicts, across the world, of the last two thousand years, it would be good for them to remember Mr. Mohler and his "traditional Christian" behavior in almost every generation, especially with regard to "traditional" treatment of Latter-day Saints!

  • sashabill Morgan Hill, CA
    Jan. 9, 2018 10:54 p.m.

    The LDS gravitation toward the Republican Party has been of fairly recent vintage - starting in the 1960s and continuing since that time. This has been due in large part to the national Democratic Party's hostility (real or perceived) toward people of faith, and their advocacy of abortion and what amounts to moral relativism.

    This, however, tends to obscure the genuinely liberal aspects of LDS teaching and theology -- matters which do separate the LDS from many evangelicals. These include: (1) a non-trinitarian view of the Godhead; (2) rejection of the Doctrine of Original Sin, (3) affirmation of the necessity of both faith and works (and the importance of personal character), (4) the inherent worth and divine potential of mankind, (5) the importance of both study (learning) and faith, and (6) the concept of modern revelation and inspiration, including in the non-Christian religions of the world.

  • 1Reader Alpine, UT
    Jan. 9, 2018 9:47 p.m.

    'Historic Christian orthodoxy' has been dead since the early apostles--and they can set their own self-serving definitions. I'll use the Bible, the example of Jesus's life and ministry, and His own Spirit for my Christian standards.

  • MAYHEM MIKE Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 9, 2018 9:18 p.m.

    As a Mormon, I'm proud of the fact that we don't adhere to "historic Christianity," given that Christ's doctrines were altered by committees (think: Nicene) debating scripture, rather than by revelation, as well as by lecherous and uninspired tyrants, such as Henry VIII.

  • George C Thomas Spokane, WA
    Jan. 9, 2018 9:01 p.m.

    It is unfortunate that Mohler simply does not understand the nomenclature & semantics of our faith. As a former protestant, Lay minister, and seminary student, I can with some authority say that the LDS faith does not disbelieve anything the Bible teaches. what most protestants think we believe is not actually what we believe. Of course we do ourselves little favor as a faith In our understanding of traditional protestant beliefs. I spend a significant amount of time in church setting correcting erroneous thinking about protestants that we in the LDS faith also miss construe. So this divide definitely without a doubt goes both ways.

  • Impartial7 DRAPER, UT
    Jan. 9, 2018 8:01 p.m.

    For many decades the LDS church distanced itself from "christians". They were the "one true church" and other denominations were wrong. Then, when evangelicals started gaining political influence, all of a sudden, mormons said "we're chritstians, too". Only now, evengelicals, whom never considered mormons as christians, don't see them as a value for their agenda and mormons, once again, are by themselves.

  • sashabill Morgan Hill, CA
    Jan. 9, 2018 7:33 p.m.


    Mormons do not "worship" Joseph Smith. Anyone having even a basic familiarity with LDS beliefs would know that.

  • mightymite , 00
    Jan. 9, 2018 7:23 p.m.

    There is a clear theological devide here. I am not sure what needs to be addressed. One camp follows and warships Joseph Smith and the other does not. I am not sure how stark of a contrast NPR can not see there.

  • NoNamesAccepted St. George, UT
    Jan. 9, 2018 7:11 p.m.

    The theological divide between Evangelicals (or even much of the rest of historic Christianity) and the Latter-day Saints is not going to shrink until Christ Himself returns to the earth and sets us all straight once and for all. The different Christian denominations exist precisely because of theological difference of varying degrees. And Mormon doctrines do depart quite significantly from traditional Christianity in several important regards including the physical nature of God, His Son Jesus, and the Holy Spirit; a closed vs open cannon; on-going revelation to living prophets and apostles vs a closed heaven; and the importance of priesthood lineage.

    These doctrinal differences have few direct ramifications for day-to-day values or socio-political goals. And so much of Christianity are well aligned on social issues.

    The bigger problem is usually word use. We often use the same word to mean different things, or different words to mean the same thing. And people on both sides can take offense. But we don't have to.

    I claim the privilege of calling myself a Christian, knowing that I believe differently than most of Christianity. I'll let Jesus sort out who is or isn't.

  • samhill Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 9, 2018 7:02 p.m.

    "....Mohler has long expressed that while Mormons and evangelicals are allies politically, their beliefs do not align doctrinally."

    I'm not one to speak for the LDS church but I can't figure out what "news" is actually being reported in this story.

    Was there ever a time when people actually thought that there was NOT a theological divide between Mormons and evangelicals??

    I mean, if there was not, why would they congregate in different religious organizations?

    In other words, these are different religious organizations **for a reason**.