LDS are Christians
To the editor,
Please allow me to respond to John McCoy's letter to the editor of Tuesday, Jan. 25. John was uninformed about and, as a result, critical of something that is very dear to me. In his letter, John asserts that the "Mormon Church" is not a "Christian organization." Because "Mormons chose to adopt certain beliefs about the Trinity ... and heaven and salvation," states John, " ... they cast themselves outside the body of Christianity."
While my church probably differs from John's in numerous points of doctrine, I am personally hurt when someone publicly asserts that I am not a Christian. To set the record straight, let me present just a few points.
My church's correct name is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I don't call myself a Mormon, nor do I refer to my church as the Mormon Church. The word Mormon is simply the name of an ancient Christian leader who was instrumental in writing a sacred history - the Book of Mormon, which members of my church revere as scripture.
Similar to the Bible, the Book of Mormon had many contributing authors.
One of them explains his motivation for contributing to the record:
"For this intent have we written these things, that [our children] may know that we knew of Christ, and we had a hope of his glory ... and not only we ourselves had a hope in his glory, but also all the holy prophets which were before us. Behold, they believed in Christ and worshipped the Father in his name, and also we worship the Father in his name."
Those are the words of an ancient Christian. There is nothing more central to my faith. Modern church leaders also consistently affirm the same principles. Gordon B. Hinckley, my church's world president, recently said of Jesus Christ: "He is our triumphant Lord. He is our redeemer ... .
Through His redeeming sacrifice [we] shall rise from the grave. He has opened the way whereby we may gain not only immortality but also eternal life."
I understand that my faith asserts doctrines that conflict with John's personal definition of Christianity. The sum effect of these differences, however, is to present to the human mind a more simple and yet more comprehensive view of eternity and our place in it. Before believing unfortunate statements like those in John's letter, I suggest that readers explore the issues for themselves.
MBA/MS(MIS) Candidate, May 2000
LDS Tucson Stake Mission Presidency