With a title like What's Wrong with Mormons? I paused for a moment when asked to host this tour. I was like, "Gee, is that a nice thing to say?" Then I read the subtitle, "a good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit", a Bible verse that our children will be learning more about at Vacation Bible School this year.
Today's guest blogger is B. Jay Gladwell, author of What's Wrong with Mormons? - a good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit. He'll discuss common misconceptions people have regarding Mormons and how people can find out the truth.
B.J.G.: What are three misconceptions about Mormons, what is the truth, and where can the truth be found?
When one considers the vast number of misconceptions about Mormons (members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints), attempting to select only three is a daunting task at best. The single greatest misconception about Mormons is we are not considered Christians.
Perhaps the grossest misconception argues that we are not Christians. Not one of these arguments have anything to do with whether or not we accept Jesus as the Christ (the Messiah—the Savior and Redeemer of all mankind). Nothing could further from the truth. Of course we do!
So the question must be asked, how does one define “Christian”? Webster’s Online Dictionary defines the term as: “one who professes belief in the teachings of Jesus Christ.” By definition, Mormons qualify as Christians.
Recently, I was interviewed on a talk-show radio program. During the course of that interview, the host (not a member of the LDS Church) asked, “Do you believe in Jesus Christ?” and “Do you believe He is the Son of God?” Both questions were answered in the affirmative. Then, much to his credit, he said, “All right, my Bible tells me that all I need to do to be saved is to repent of my sins and accept the Lord Jesus Christ as the Son of God. And this is where I have a problem with my evangelical brothers and sisters, who in the world are we to suggest that you, or anybody else, is wrong if you have met the requirements of salvation?”
Herein lays the heart of the matter. What the opponents of the Church have said, those who refuse to recognize Mormons as Christians, in so many words, is that the term “Christian” is only defined to mean “those who believe as I believe.” When a person claims Mormons aren’t Christians what he’s really saying is Mormons don’t embrace the traditional idea of the Trinity. “Their Jesus is different from our Jesus,” is the usual response.
In his book, Are Mormons Christians?, author Stephen E. Robinson states, “If the term Christian is used, as it is in standard English, to mean someone who accepts Jesus Christ as the divine Son of God and the Savior of the world, then the charge that we aren’t Christians is false. However, if the word Christian is given an overly narrow definition, then it is merely a way of saying LDS Christians differ in some degree from other Christians. No one ‘owns’ the term Christian or has the right to deny it to others who worship Jesus as the divine Son of God.”
This misunderstanding as to what Mormons believe about Jesus Christ has grown out of the unfortunate reality that non-Mormons go to other non-Mormons in an effort to figure out what is it Mormons believe. How absurd! Would you go to a Baptist to learn what the Catholics believe?
So this dilemma leads to the answer to the second half of the question posed above. To learn the truth about what Mormons believe, ask a practicing Mormon. It’s that simple!
About the book:
What’s Wrong Wrong With Mormons? was written as a result of the falsehoods and misinformation that continues to be perpetuated by those who are less than honest. The author, B. Jay Gladwell, invites the reader to come and reason together. Using a conversational style, he discusses the basic doctrines of the restored Gospel, based on the teachings found in the Holy Bible and latter-day scriptures.
About the author: B. Jay Gladwell is an active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Having served in several leadership positions in the Church on the local level, he currently serves as the Gospel Doctrine teacher in his ward. He received and MFA from the University of Miami in screen writing and has taught various writing and cinema classes on the university level in South Florida.
He and his wife have four grown children and live in Miami, Florida.
The WHAT'S WRONG WITH MORMONS? VIRTUAL BOOK TOUR '08 will officially begin on August 4, 2008 and continue all month long. You can visit B. Jay's tour stops at www.virtualbooktours.wordpress.com in August to find out more about him and his book!
As a special promotion for all our authors, Pump Up Your Book Promotion is giving away a FREE virtual book tour to a published author with a recent release or a $25 Amazon gift certificate to those not published who comments on our authors' blog stops. More prizes will be announced as they come available. One winner per author will be announced on our tour blog on August 31!
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