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Byron

What does it mean to be mormon?

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If I am Christian Do I need to give that up to be a Mormon?

 

Only if you consider dedicating all you do, think, say and are to Christ the giving up of being a Christian.

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If I am Christian Do I need to give that up to be a Mormon?

 

Not at all!  

 

Worship Christ as your Lord and Savior?  Yep we do that.  Pray to your Father in Heaven?  Yep we do that.  Welcome the Holy Spirit and feel His witness of Truth?  Yeah we totally do that. 

 

There's a saying in our church, originally said by one of our modern-day prophets: Come, bring with you all the good and truth which you have received from whatever source, come and let us see if we may add to it.

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I wonder if I should even respond.

 

As positive as the above responses are, there are some often cherished Christian beliefs that will be difficult to retain as a Mormon. A couple of examples:

 

1) One of the central tenets of Protestantism is Sola Scriptura -- the belief that the 66 books of the Protestant Bible represent the entirety of God's revelations to man. I have seen some Protestants who try to claim that even Catholicism is not Christian because Catholicism rejects Sola Scriptura. I expect it would be very difficult to be an orthodox Mormon and also retain a belief in Sola Scriptura. If one believes strongly in Sola Scriptura and/or holds this doctrine as a defining element of being "Christian", I expect that there would be some inner turmoil as the individual wrestles with the scriptural authority of the Book of Mormon and other LDS scripture and revelation.

 

2) One of the central tenets of Catholicism is that the Roman Catholic Church is the direct extension of the New Testament Church, including a direct, apostolic line back to Peter. I have seen a few Catholics who claim that Protestants and others are not Christians because they reject the RCC's claims to apostolic authority. Mormonism teaches of the apostasy of the early Christian church and the necessity of a Restoration (including a restoration of the apostolic authority that was not present in existing denominations). I expect that it will be difficult for someone to simultaneously believe in the Restoration of Priesthood authority to Joseph Smith and the inherited Apostolic authority of Pope. If a belief in the supremacy of the RCC is an important part of what it means to you to be Christian, then there could be some difficulty in retaining this part of your Christianity when converting to the LDS faith.

 

On the other hand, if your main concern in retaining your Christian identity is retaining belief in Christ's death on the cross and subsequent resurrection, by which He is uniquely positioned and empowered to atone for the sins of each man and woman, then your Christian identity is safe within Mormonism.

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Guest

Well, your title and your post ask two different questions.

 

1) What does it mean to be a Mormon? I believe that is the longer answer, so I'll address that later.

2) Do you have to give up being a Christian to be Mormon?  This is entirely dependent on your definition of Christian.

 

Our first article of faith is: 

We believe in God the Eternal Father, and in His son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost.

 

Our third article of faith is:

We believe that, through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel.

 

The leaders / officials of the Church have repeatedly said that the central tenet of our faith is:

 

Jesus was born of a virgin as the Only Begotten of the Father in the Flesh.  He live a perfect life.  He atoned for our sins.  He died, was buried, and arose on the third day.  He allowed all mankind to be saved.

 

This is our definition of Christianity.  If you have other requirements to be "a Christian" then, we'll have to talk about those.

 

What does it mean to be Mormon?

 

Excellent question.  I'm glad you asked.  Being a Mormon really only has one consistent meaning:  You're name is recorded and kept to be numbered among the fold.  But this is largely an administrative definition.

 

Many spiritual and alternative meanings like your acceptance of the system of beliefs, level of activity, etc.  are what is really important.  This will take a long time.  So, read all the responses and get a "feel" for it all.

Edited by Guest

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To be Mormon means to believe that the Book of Mormon was inspired scripture and that Smith Jr was a legit, authentic prophet of God. That simple. Sure, Mormons believe a lot more, but if you don't believe in those two things-you are wonderful, a great person and my brother/sister in humanity-but you are not a Mormon. 

 

Are we Christians? You bethca. We aren't Trinitarian, that's why people think we aren't christians 

Edited by MormonGator

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Ditto to all that has been said already. Great answers.

 

Want to add that being Mormon is a 24/7 faith. We: Eat, Breathe, Love, Bleed, Study, Teach, Dress, Walk and Talk our faith every hour, every day. Not just on Sundays &/or religious holidays &/or at births and deaths. 

 

It is not an easy religion to live. For me it is easy to believe in, never had a problem with that really. Living it, now that was hard at one point. 

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I've had threats of violence leveled against me simply for being Mormon.

Some of the people who were most vocal in their hatred for me were self-identified "Good Christians".

While I've never had threats of violence (thank GOD) towards me, I've had arrogant little condescending looks.

 

Lifelong Mormons are nicer than I am, and they turn the other cheek. (That's a compliment, everyone) I match the Anti-LDS crowds condescending attitude with my own arrogance. Which is quite high. 

 

In fact, there is no one more truly compassionate, loving and accepting than a lifelong Mormon. I've been in the church for two years and I'm still in awe of how wonderful every single one of you are. If you need someone you can rely on to back you up, call a Mormon. 

 

 That's a double edged sword, because sometimes good, decent LDS allow people to walk all over them or ask insulting questions about our faith. 

Edited by MormonGator

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I've had threats of violence leveled against me simply for being Mormon.

Some of the people who were most vocal in their hatred for me were self-identified "Good Christians".

 

I am sorry you experienced that.  It was very wrong. Hatred is not a good tool for evangelizing and they will answer to God.  Not all Christians are like that.

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I am sorry you experienced that.  It was very wrong. Hatred is not a good tool for evangelizing and they will answer to God.  Not all Christians are like that.

Back when I first started online in 2000, the counter-cult movement was more reminiscent of the KKK than anything Godly.

Things got ugly.

It didn't help that Beliefnet.com, the #1 religion discussion forum on the entire internet, had embarrassingly incompetent site admins. The admins focused more on "keeping up appearances" than anything else, and so didn't pay attention to the fact that several forums (like "Mormonism Debate") were falling apart due to a lack of effective moderation. A few mods - like myself - tried to keep things in line, but we were outnumbered, overwhelmed, and lacking any sort of support from the higher-ups. By the time new higher-ups were installed and a crackdown began, it was too late and the place was already beginning its death spiral (it'll go read-only at 3 PM EST on Halloween).

In the process of it all, I met "Good Christians" who thought nothing of doing heinous things in God's name.

Things have gotten better since then, especially since folks like Daniel Darling have been calling out the more hateful strains of the movement. But some of it still remains.

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Isn't the giant elephant in the room being ignored?  Coffee and tea!  You'll eventually have to give them up.  Also, while a fair number of Protestants practice tithing, LDS are much more faithful -- so you might be giving up more of your money.  You'll have to jettison some of your doctrinal beliefs (or at least adjust them).  Then, as has been alluded to here, you'll be giving up a religious identity that most consider "mainstream" for one that is much less so.

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Guest

PC,

 

The "covenants" I referred to include those items.  We can only say so much in a short post.  Even your listing of the articles of faith in no way encompasses so much.

 

But to be clear, the covenants include:

 

1) Mourn with those that mourn and comfort those who stand in need of comfort

2) Stand as a witness of God at all times and in all places

3) Serve the Lord and keep His commandments

4) The Word of Wisdom (which includes coffee and tea).

5) The Law of Chastity -- and this is more strict than most "Good Christians" I know claim to be "OK".

6) The Law of Consecration (which includes tithing).

 

To me, the basic doctrinal beliefs beyond what I stated earlier are not what "makes me a Mormon".  Do we have different beliefs?  Of course we do.  We are a different faith after all.  But the first and most important doctrinal question that needs to be answered is "Are you a Christian?"  So, I give my definition and I answer yes.

 

Sorry, I just realized that I mentioned that in one of the other threads.

 

This is one reason why I suggested only one question at a time.  But Byron failed to follow that advice...

Edited by Guest

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Guest

Being Mormon means redacting the records of many prophets before, becoming a leader of Nephite armies at 16 years old, and watching the destruction of your entire nation. 

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Guest

If you are asking my belief about Mormon's not being Christian. No I think the two are separate... my beliefs are that Christianity is defined by John 3:16. 

 

Byron,

 

Based on this, you believe (based on what is written here) that Mormons do NOT believe:

 

1) God loves His children.

2) Jesus was God's Only Begotten Son.

3) God gave Jesus to the world.

4) Jesus is the savior of the world.

5) Believing in Jesus will grant you everlasting life.

 

What have you seen written here that contradicts any of these things?

 

I'd point you back to my two previous posts on this thread.

Edited by Guest

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Guest

"redacting"???  Do I need to find Inigo Montoya?

 

Maybe you do, but not for me. You know I was referring to Mormon literally, right? The prophet who redacted (Redaction is a form of editing in which multiple source texts are combined (redacted) and altered slightly to make a single document) the Book of Mormon?

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Guest

(Redaction is a form of editing in which multiple source texts are combined (redacted) and altered slightly to make a single document)

 

While your definition can be interpreted (incorrectly) from SOME definitions of redact, the most common usage of the word is to censor or otherwise withhold information/data for privacy, security, or similar purpose.

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Guest

It's a form of editing. Your interpretation being on one extreme end doesn't make my usage wrong. 

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My point is that all things being equal, the most common (not extreme, a-hem) definition is how people will read it.  Thus your statement made it seem like Mormon was censoring much of what was written because he didn't want to give out secrets.

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I did fact-check myself on Google, and most or all sites on the first page, at least, define it in the same way I used it. But it seems like it's important for you to be right, and it's really not worth arguing about, so I will rephrase so as not to cause you further discomfort.

 

Mormon adapted the writings of other prophets by condensing the writings into a more usable form. 

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Guest

I think that anyone who has read more than a couple of my posts would recognize that my goal here is to defend our faith. I chose Eowyn, a shieldmaiden, as my alter ego very intentionally. I guess I don't understand why you would accuse me otherwise. Sorry if my response got snotty, it was an immature reply to what felt like a snotty jab. 

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