I don’t think God is a Mormon

By: Rebbie Groesbeck //

A few weeks ago, my Mormon congregation paid our annual visit to the Pilgrim Missionary Baptist Church in South Central Los Angeles. It’s a tradition I’ve participated in every year since moving to LA; we visit their congregation in the summer, and they come to ours in the fall.

I will admit I was nervous the first time I went. Inglewood, CA is basically the polar opposite of my hometown of Provo, Utah, and I just didn’t know exactly how it would go down. But upon attending that first Sunday, I was struck by how familiar it felt; what seemed foreign at first glance turned out to be a similar atmosphere of love, devotion, and faith.

I am always touched by how welcome I feel at the Baptist Church. Someone gives an opening prayer and thanks God for the friendship between our faiths. Then we take a twenty-minute break to walk around and greet each other. We hug and smile and shake hands, even though we don’t know each other from Adam. It couldn’t be more different from the polite, demure Mormon congregation I have attended my whole life.

Then the music starts. They have a full choir backed by a piano and a guitar and drums. Drums! At church!! Only someone who has grown up with Mormon hymns can understand how exciting that is.

We shout praises and yell Hallelujah, and I feel it in my bones.

For me, attending the Baptist church is a deeply spiritual experience. And this last time it got me thinking. 

It reminded me of a conversation I had with a friend about religion. He asked me if I thought God was Mormon. After a moment of thinking about it, I startled myself when I answered no.

I don’t think God is a Mormon; I think God is truth.

I believe you can find God’s truth in myriad places—a Mormon church and a Baptist congregation are just two of them. 

The problem is, truth is a tricky subject these days. We have more information available than ever, and yet so many of us still struggle with basic questions about life.

Unfortunately, I don’t think information always equals truth.

There are a lot of voices shouting at us constantly, and it takes a lot of effort to sift through them to get to the truth. Take, for example, something as simple as reading the news. If you want the truth, you have to read the same story from three separate sources — whatever pieces match up are probably somewhere close to the truth. Then we have movies and media, which would have us believe that true love comes in the form of a sparkly vampire who stands over your bed and watches you sleep. And then there are those blasted advertisers—don’t even get me started on them!

We live in a time when everything is sensationalized, and more frustratingly, polarized. I might be alone in this, but I personally detest feeling like the truth is so often obscured. It leaves me frustrated, skeptical, and jaded.

It is precisely for this reason that I like being Mormon; I crave an undiluted source of truth.

In 1820, Joseph Smith asked a question that many of us have asked: “where can I find truth?” He had asked pastors, he had asked his parents, but none of them had an answer that satisfied him. And so, he asked God.

We believe that when Joseph asked God that question, he received a direct and personal answer.

We believe that through Joseph, God restored Prophetic revelation to the earth, so that a church could again be led by ordained servants who are instructed by God. But even more than that, God opened the heavens so that each one of us can receive personal revelation.

That truth has been vital to my life. 

It has made it possible for me to have a deep and personal relationship with my Father in heaven. It wasn’t an inherent perk that came with being born into a Mormon family, nor did it descend upon me immediately after I was baptized. It has come as the result of a million thoughts and inquiries and prayers, and a lot of periods of doubt and confusion in between.

My relationship with God has developed gradually as I have spoken to him and expected to hear back. 

My faith is not built on a church, it’s founded in a God; one that is infinitely understanding and deeply aware of us personally.

The thing is, life is weird. This is maybe the only thing I know for sure after having entered adulthood. Things will happen that will shake your faith, whether it’s death, disappointment, heartache, disagreement, the list could go on for days. 

Things will even happen within the church that can shake your faith, because while God’s servants are ordained by God, they are still men—trying, like you and I, to be a little better, but struggling, like you and I, with the reality of imperfection. For me personally, I need my faith to be rooted in something big enough that when men may falter, my faith can endure.

So when life gets weird, I look to God. Yes, I look around to my family and friends and church. I go to people with questions and I look to them for support. But ultimately, my faith is between me and one other person, and that person is God. He gives us truth individually, in ways that only make sense to you or to me. He speaks the language of our souls and I think he will find us when we seek him.

I don’t think God is a Mormon. After all, Jesus was a Jew. I think God is so much bigger than our earthly organized religions. And yet organized religions exist, because God needs channels by which he can share his truth.

So as I was standing in a Baptist sermon, swaying and clapping, I asked myself, Why, of all the organized religions, am I Mormon? 

Why am I part of a church that has such a demanding doctrine, and a history I sometimes can’t explain?

Why do I defend a church that continues to be both publicly and even privately misunderstood?

There are a lot of reasons.  

Mormonism gives me a safe place to be with God every Sunday and has taught me how to find him once I leave.

It gives me something worthwhile to work toward; it teaches me that there is a purpose for my life.

It gives me an understanding of what lasting happiness is and helps me work towards it.

It gives me a community of people who are aware of me and care about my well-being. 

But most of all, Mormonism teaches me, and each of us, to do what Joseph Smith did–to ask God to help us find the truth.

To that I say, Hallelujah.

 

66 comments

  • Great post. I couldn’t agree more. It is so easy to focus on doctrinal difference and isolate ourselves from our heavenly brothers and sisters in different sects. Thanks for sharing.

  • Rebbie! I am glad you posted your thoughts on the subject! In a world where there seems to be so much hatred and fear you have summed up what it means to disciple of Christ. This is something that has been forgotten amongst our fellow members more commonly today than ever before. Makes you wonder what the future of our “Corporate Church” will look like in the wake of recent events. Good post and God Bless!

    Ryan H

  • July 20, 2014 at 7:48 pm //

    Thanks a lot for the great post! I had a similar conversation this week about Islam, Mohammed and the Gospel and I agree with you that God’s truths are everywhere.

    “One of the grand fundamental principles of ‘Mormonism, is to receive truth, let it come from whence it may.”
    -Joseph Smith

  • The Katy Texas Stake and the Epiphany of the Lord Catholic Community have a 15-year tradition of doing a combined Christmas Concert. It has helped bring fellowship and understanding to both churches as we celebrate the birth of our Savoir together.

  • July 20, 2014 at 9:56 pm //

    I can see how someone born into the church might have to think before realizing God isn’t a Mormon. As a convert, the idea that he might be a Mormon never occurred to me. One of the things that attracted me to the Church was the willingness to acknowledge that there is much to be revealed. I strongly suspect that an interconnectedness between people of faith that transcends the tertiary celestial/terrestrial/telestial concept we now (can) understand may be revealed.

    BTW, God loves guitars and drums. If you ever get the chance, don’t miss an opportunity to see Gladys Knight. She played at our stake center a few years back and she was amazing.

  • Rebbie, I really enjoyed reading your article. It is refreshingly honest and speaks directly to what we all crave…truth! I couldn’t agree more that in this world, where we are confronted with so many conflicting views and opinions, we long for truth in it all and need to be discerning in that search for what is true and what is not. I don’t believe that truth comes from One God in different organized religions, however. Jesus says in John 14:6, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.” That is truth. It’s not through religion or striving to be good and morally upright. Truth is that the Father sent His only Son, Jesus, to die in our place for our sin and failings because He loves us beyond measure and no matter how religious we are or how hard we try to be good people, we cannot bridge the gap between us and the Father that sin has created. And that is why Jesus died in our place. To bring us back into relationship with the Father. Jesus is the only way.

  • July 21, 2014 at 12:08 am //

    this is beautiful and very, very well written. you’re definitely not alone in those thoughts.

  • July 21, 2014 at 8:50 am //

    Rebbie,

    This is my favorite piece you’ve written. While reading it, I found myself nodding my head yes and saying a silent amen. Yes, silent. I recognize the irony in my statement. I grew up listening to Baptist gospel hymns on Sunday mornings while getting dress to go to Mormon church service. My mom always felt we needed and little something upbeat to wake our spirits up in the morning. In fact, we often hold hands during prayer and I sometimes catch my mom closing her eye’s during a sacrament hymn, trying her hardest not to lift her hands in the air. As you already know, physical praise is not a behavior we practice in our church. Your thought provoking title is just the beginning of an even more insightful read. In fact, it is probably one of the most thought provoking statements I have heard leave another mormon’s mouth in a really long time. My head is spinning in a really good way. Thanks for that. Jimmy.

  • I was raised Roman Catholic. There is a lot of history of the Catholic church that defies explanation, so why aren’t people asking those questions? Why did you have two popes at the same time? Why did you have a woman pope? Why did you burn people at the stake? Why the involvement in European politics? If you see what I mean.

    • This comment isn’t very charitable to our Catholic brothers and sisters. The Roman Catholic Church is very inquisitive. It has produced some of the best theologians, philosophers, and scientists the world has had. Asking why the Catholic Church had two popes at the same time would be akin to asking why Mormons had two prophets at the same time when what became the LDS Church separated from the RLDS Church. The answer is that one of the churches has a less legitimate leader.

      The Catholic Church never had a Pope Joan and no serious historian takes such conspiracy theories seriously.

      The answer to why Catholics have committed violent atrocities is the same answer to why anyone commits violent atrocities. We are all human beings capable of choosing good or evil, whether Mormon, Buddhist, Christian, or Atheist.

      Catholics get involved in politics because politics dictate laws and policy and they want to make sure those laws and policies don’t steer a government and its people in a detrimental direction.

  • I’m a Mormon. I like your post. I have had many of the same thoughts I wish you would have addressed the critical covenants and ordinances only available because of the restoration I the priesthood. Other than that, I really enjoyed it! Thanks for writing it.

  • I enjoyed your article. Thank you for writing it!

    I too asked myself “… Why, of all the organized religions, am I Mormon?” After 5 years of intense searching I have made my home in Eastern Orthodox Christianity. God bless you in your pursuits.

  • It was a good article, but you almost lost me at one point. I know this may come off sounding critical, after all, you just mentioned how we are all imperfect and struggling. But this is English 101 and it really shouldn’t be a struggle. Anytime you need to join “you and me” or “you and I’ together, ask yourself, “does this sentence make sense when I take ‘you’ out of it?” “You and I” are in the same boat instead of “you and me” because you wouldn’t say “me is/are in the same boat” unless you’re three years old. So, “trying, like you and me, to be a little better, but struggling, like you and me, with the reality of imperfection” is actually perfect. Which sounds better, “trying, like me, to be better” or “trying, like I, to be better”?

    • Hey David,

      A few quick suggestions:
      1) “I know this may come off as critical[;] after all, you just mentioned how we are all imperfect and struggling.”
      2) “But this is English 101[comma] and it really shouldn’t be a struggle.”

      Those pesky commas and semi-colons! I guess those don’t come until English 201.

        • Maybe you ought to give English 102 a shot, then.

          Muphry’s Law: When a person criticizes another’s editing or proofreading, there will be a mistake of a similar kind in that criticism.

          While you didn’t mix up your objective and subjective pronouns, you did misuse your punctuation, which can cause similar levels of confusion. But what boggles my mind is that as a result of those errors in the article, you got lost for a while. How? Mixing objective and subjective pronouns is so commonplace these days that it’s almost impossible for someone to communicate without being able to automatically replace one with the other in his/her head.

          I majored in English and currently work as technical writer, and yet I don’t snark on “I vs. me” in casual conversation, simply because I can see through that error and still understand the other person’s meaning. As such, correcting their grammar will only make me sound like a jerk.

      • Brad,

        Welcome to the internet.

        Here’s how it works on the comment section of the blogosphere:

        You don’t have to use correct punctuation, in fact, these comments won’t even be graded by your teacher or professor! U can type however ya’ damn-well please. It’s pretty awesome.

        Also, in order to minimize the authority or legitimacy of another’s counter-argument, it is NOT requisite to personally attack the arguer. It is kosher, however, to attack their argument. You can do that alllll you want!

        P.S. Notice the number of “L”s in the word “alllll”. There are waaay too many “L”s, but on the internet, it’s totally OK to type that way. Ya get it?!

    • David,

      Welcome to the internet.

      Here’s how it works on the comment section of the blogosphere:

      You don’t have to use correct punctuation, in fact, these comments won’t even be graded by your teacher or professor! U can type however ya’ damn-well please. It’s pretty awesome.

      Also, in order to minimize the authority or legitimacy of another’s counter-argument, it is NOT requisite to personally attack the arguer. It is kosher, however, to attack their argument. You can do that alllll you want!

      P.S. Notice the number of “L”s in the word “alllll”. There are waaay too many “L”s, but on the internet, it’s totally OK to type that way. Ya get it?!

    • Hey David. I am feeling bad about my snarky response to your comment. This article was very personal for me, it weighed heavily on my mind and heart for months before I had the courage to share it, and after posting it I find myself a little sensitive about all the comments, especially one that seemed primarily mean spirited and had nothing to do with the actual content.

      But I feel like I got mean on you, which is also not the goal of this site. Forgive me, faceless internet friend? I’d appreciate it.

    • David! How wonderfully Pharisetic of you to notice my grammar error. Actually I’m not sure whether “Pharisetic” is a word. Could you let me know? :) happy to edit the article just as soon as I can get to my laptop. Might take me a few hours though, so sit tight!

      • Normon – just f.y.i, I meant to have my second comment as part of the first comment. When I read my first comment while in “pending” mode, I noticed I had forgotten to say that you didn’t need to publish my comment. I wasn’t trying to be Pharisaical.

  • July 21, 2014 at 11:44 am //

    Nice article. But God’s servants are not just men, in fact I would guess that more women in and out of the Church fit that designation than men. Perhaps you were being generic.

    I have been to the African Methodist Episcopal Church. Now that is a good time with true doctrine. If I didn’t have a testimony, I’d go with them.

  • I’m pretty sure the last time I checked that in order to be a Mormon you have to be baptized. I’m pretty sure our God hasn’t been baptized on this earth so technically he isn’t a Mormon ;) …just saying…I’m pretty sure he believes the Mormon doctrine and would be a terrific Mormon!

  • Thank you for your article and insight.

    It is the greatest misunderstanding people have of Mormonism. We do not, nor ever have, claimed exclusivity on Truth. Truth is anything (object, thing, person or subject) that was, that is and will be. Light is the understanding or comprehension of Truth. Both are needed to progress in acquiring further Light and Truth.

    God is full of Light and Truth. The closer we approach God by studying, living and experiencing our lives by the truth that we have in ourselves.

    As an example let us ask a question using the definition of truth.
    What is a Baptist?
    What was – A quick internet search gives us that the earliest Church labeled Baptist was back in 1609 a pastor of the English Separatist of the Church of Engand named John Smyth. (Interesting name and history.) Later in 1638 Roger Williams established the first Baptist congregation in North America in Providence, Rhode Island. (Also interesting history).

    Thomas Helwys created the Baptist confessions of faith. (Most interesting) .

    These are the founders of Baptists.

    What is – Baptists or related groups have more than 100 million members world-wide, 33 million in North America. SBC has 16 million members alone. Membership includes anyone able to freely and earnestly profess their faith. Beliefs vary among Baptists congregations.

    Religious liberty is very important which is reflected in the congregational governance of local churches.

    What will be – While membership has declined historically a Great Awakening can easily reverse such trends. While non-binding a new Baptist Faith and Message reaffirms the core belief of religious liberty.

    As this is the core fundamental belief of the Baptist Church it is no wonder the Mormon and Baptist Church can and will in the future get along. Embracing truth is important to liberty which both religions understand.

    Even if we do not agree in many doctrines we can agree to be civil.

    At least we can agree on one thing universally: God is not a Morrmon.

  • “But most of all, Mormonism teaches me, and each of us, to do what Joseph Smith did–to ask God to help us find the truth.”
    And Joseph Smith claimed that when he asked God about this, he was told that all of the teachings of the churches in his day were an abomination to the Lord.
    Abomination: something that causes disgust or hatred.
    Building on that, here is a statement Joseph Smith made: “Nothing less than a complete apostasy from the Christian religion would warrant the establishment of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.”

    – Prophet Joseph Smith, Jr., History of the Church, v. 1, p. xl

    Complete apostasy from the Christian religion. 2 Thessalonians 2:1-4, “Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you, not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come. Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away (apostasy) comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.”
    So Mormonism has a bad taste in its mouth concerning born-again Christianity. Why the cry to be considered Christian, when their first prophet claimed it is an abomination in the sight of God? Is it that Mormonism wants to learn how to be born-again? Or is it because Mormonism wants to infiltrate born-again Christianity and help bring about the great apostasy?
    http://downtownministries.blogspot.com/2013/12/lift-up-your-heads-o-you-gates-be_7.html

  • I am not a religious person, but I find myself coming here often. This post might be my favorite! So thoughtful, so personal, so well written. Great job.

    On second thought, “We Fly Virgin” will always remain the best of the best.

    Also, David needs a chill pill.

  • This article misses the point. The issue is not which church God belongs to but which church is God’s church, the one he founded and placed his name on. The issue is not which church has some truth but which church has the truth, the fullness of the gospel (DC 123:12). Fortunately, God has answered these questions much more clearly and simply than this politically correct ecumenical article. Of the other churches, God told Joseph Smith to “join none of them for they were all wrong” (JS-H 1:19). Later, after the Church was organized, God called it “the only true and living church upon the face of the whole earth (DC 1:30). These are plain statements from the Lord identifying which church is the only church that offers the path to celestial salvation and eternal life. God spoke plainly because the salvation of his children is at stake. This was not meant to be an insult to those in other churches but an invitation to all to join his church and be saved.
    The article above tries to avoid these hard sayings and plain conclusions in order to make everyone feel good in whatever religion they belong to. In fact, the only reasons the author gives for belonging to this church are generic reasons for why someone would belong to any other church. I just want to state clearly and plainly that the #1 reason why I belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints church and why everyone I have ever known belongs to it is this—It is because we believe that this is the only true church of Jesus Christ, restored to the earth through the Prophet Joseph Smith. Boyd K. Packer, a living Apostle of the Lord, has spoken powerfully on this subject and why we cannot yield on this point of being the only true church. Please read these talks here https://www.lds.org/general-conference/1985/10/the-only-true-church?lang=eng and here https://www.lds.org/ensign/1971/12/the-only-true-and-living-church?lang=eng

    P.S. This is my first time to this website and I was wondering does Normons stand for “normal Mormons” or “New Order Mormons?” or is there any difference? This article left me unsure.

    • I believe YOU are missing the point. This article is simply saying we need to love and embrace all of God’s children regardless of what religion or beliefs and being a mormon does not make us perfect. There are some truthful doctrines in every religion but we as Mormons believe that this church has the fullness of gospel.

    • Mark: PERFECTLY said! Thank you!! I agree with you 100% and am grateful you took the time to write this response!

  • This is the BEST blog post ever! If I could write my feeling of my faith and faith in general, this would be it. I feel like we’re kindred spirits! haha! I love normons.com

  • July 21, 2014 at 9:06 pm //

    Hello downtown dave,

    Reread the post, but this time remove the glasses of bitterness. You’ll be better able to identify the truths contained in this post – and be more open to truths found in all religions, be it born-again, Mormon, Islamic, etc.

    To think that the LDS Church is trying to ‘infiltrate’ born-again Christianity is simply ludicrous, even you can’t honestly believe that.I guess it is better for us to live our religions and trust that God is the ultimate judge.

  • Dear Normons,

    You continue to impress me with your thoughtfulness and authenticity. Cheers to a beautiful post and to seekers of truth.

  • Rebb! I felt similar thoughts about Islam when I studied in Jerusalem. Beautiful realization.

    Don’t forget that while pieces of Truth can be found anywhere and the Spirit will accompany pure truth, the covenants we make in the LDS church are what link us to Heaven and provide the way back. These can be found in no other organized religion since the priesthood, authorized by God, is only in his organized church on the earth.

  • July 22, 2014 at 6:17 am //

    With respect, Mormonism teaches that God was once a man who became exulted to god hood. They further teach that only Mormons can attain such exultation to hod hood. Although I believe neither, and Protestants, Catholics, and Eastern
    Orthodox – those faiths B McConkie called the ‘cults of Christendom’ – believe not such teachings as well, simple logic tells us that if a Mormon does believe this, they must, perforce, believe that God was once a Mormon.

    Nice you enjoy hanging with people of other faiths, but please be more upfront and you need to also be prepared to state just when did your church denounce one of its founding principles, ie that all other Christian churches were an abomination and their creeds corrupt?

    • Thanks for the comment Barbara (and you thought we wouldn’t publish it! hehe).

      I’m not sure your “simple logic” works well here. In fact, i’m not sure it’s actually good logic at all. There’s no “perforce” that demands anything close to the conclusion you supply because, indeed, you’ve missed the point of the post. Or, as they say, you’ve missed the forest for the trees.

      And also, proof-texting with McConkie quotes doth not a persuasive argument make :) Your view of Mormonism is just one version, an anachronistic and entrenched one at that. If you look harder at the whole corpus of revealed truth, you’ll find much more flexibility and loads of the kind of beauty Rebbie expresses in this post.

  • July 22, 2014 at 11:02 am //

    Sorry, no dice. If you believe, as Mormons do, that God is a former man and that only Mormons can attain God hood, then logic demands you to be honest and at least say God was once a Mormon.

    You will not publish this comment either.

  • This is the way I’ve felt for a long time, and I agree with alot of this article. What makes me sad is that I’m not sure that the really church is a safe place to look for God right now. There are members getting disciplined for asking questions. Asking questions is hard, and getting a different answer than the one your Bishop, family, or friends have doesn’t feel very safe to me right now.

  • God the Father appeared to Joseph Smith and told him not to join any church. God commanded Joseph Smith to restore the gospel on the earth. God commanded Joseph to establish His church in His name. God committed the priesthood authority to Joseph Smith on the earth. If God is truth then he is absolutely a Mormon. God is a Mormon because he is a member of his own church and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints IS his church.

  • Well written and I appreciate your comments. I do think two very critical points should have been added to your list of reasons on “why am I Mormon?”

    Priesthood authority, and ordinances. Without those, we are merely part of the vast myriad of churches striving to live the gospel the way we think God intended for it to be lived.

  • God is truth. We should never be so narrow minded or egotistical to think that God only speaks to Mormons. That would be quite a shame. However I believe if everyone continues to listen to God no matter what, they will eventually become Mormon.

  • July 24, 2014 at 6:32 pm //

    I don’t like this article. It mentions nothing about the priesthood. I belong to the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints because it is the restored church and has the priesthood authority from God. This is God’s church. Of course he is not Mormon. You can’t put a title on what god is. It’s his truth and his religion. It says in the book of Mormon that God named our church. It distinguishes us from our faiths and sets us apart from the world. We are the light on the hill, and candle that can not be set under a bushel. I am Mormon because it is through this baptism and the ordinances which I made in the holy temple that will bring me exaltation. You can’t get that in any other church. Other church’s come close to the truth, but they do not have the proper authority from God. We are still all God’s children, and respect other religions.

  • Thank you Mark for saying what really needed to be said. It is vital that we realise truth can be found many places, but The Church of Jesus Christ is the only church where all the truths necessary for salvation and exaltation are found, accompanied by the necessary saving ordinances.
    Is God a Mormon? I am not sure why this question is profound or relevant. God is God. He restored His church that leads us back to Him. It bears the name of His son as it is through Christ we must go to return to our heavenly home.
    I do feel loving one another is so critical in our day, but the best way to do that is to proclaim the true and everlasting gospel in its fullness, found in the Church Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

  • I enjoyed your post, but I agree with Samuel P. and Peter. Your post could make someone think that since God is not a Mormon and Mormons believe truth can be found anywhere that is doesn’t matter if you’re Mormon. But it does matter because the Mormon church is the only church with the priesthood authority to perform ordinances that are necessary to exaltation.

    So while I’m a Mormon for all the reasons you mentioned, I am also Mormon because I believe that only the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has the priesthood authority necessary for eternal life.

  • We shouldn’t confuse the gospel principle that God is the Father of all people and is always ready to answer sincere prayers and petitions from all his children and the other principle that “Strait is the gate and narrow the way that leads to salvation and few there be that go in thereat.” Either in this life or the next every one of God’s children will have the opportunity to go through that gate. Right now in this world, that gate is the priesthood ordinances of baptism and the temple. In that sense, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is God’s church. Therefore, I think God and his Son, Jesus Christ, are members and therefore, in everyday lingo, “Mormons.”

  • I gotta be honest. I liked the post. but I don’t buy it.

    Here’s why:

    Mormons believe that their church is the only completely true church in all of existence, even beyond the realm of this universe.

    Mormons believe that authority is necessary in order to organize, restore, or manage their church, but not just any authority, no; Mormons believe that authority must come from God Himself.

    Thus, as a Mormon, it is necessary to believe that it was God who established His church on this Earth, not man. Why would a Mormon believe that God is not even a member of his Own Church?

    As for Truth…

    Truth has always existed as a set of universal laws; it existed before the Bible was put together, and before the Earth was created. In order for one to reach exaltation (godhood), one must fully follow and understand these laws. One cannot,however, fully engage in exaltation without proper authority (which comes from God).

    Therefore, in order to know the full truth, Mormons believe that one must be a member of their Church. It is Mormon doctrine that, in order for one to become “as God is now”, one must be a member of His church. There is no other way (according to Mormon theology).

    That being said, other religions can still obtain a part of the full truth, and can, in turn, inspire members to live good, fulfilling lives.

    Now, if you’re saying that you believe that the Mormon church is just another one of God’s many religions, then that’s fine, and I completely respect your opinion. BUT, if you’re saying that Mormon’s don’t believe that God is a member of their church, then your argument is false.

    Does that make sense?

    Regards,

    Dallin

  • When I’m around people of other faiths, I don’t think of myself as a Mormon and them as an athiest, Catholic, Baptist, agnostic, or anything. I generally just like being lighthearted and being friends with whoever. I’m not perfect at all, so I really dislike judgement of any kind. God does not think of people according to their religion. It’s pretty easy to find scriptural evidence that God doesn’ judge men based on baptism, or any ordinance. The scriptures are the word of God and in my mind the words of Love. So while baptism is necessary, to me its like you don’t need a drivers license to be a driver as long as you are a good driver. Sure you get training in drivers ed and are legally allowed to drive, but just like a Mormon who is evil isn’t making it (without repentence), a good athiest or anyone will have every opportunity they need. There’s no question in my mind. I love my baptism in the LDS church and the other incredible ordinances and gifts. But my God is NEVER a respecter of persons and because he treats me that way, I treat others that way too. Understanding is what this world needs, not conversion. That will hopefully come when people are ready and IF they want to. This world would be so much happier. God wants our happiness and lets us decide our destiny. Freedom is surely of God and really what else allows for happiness.

    “For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in.” – Matthew 25

    To me this is the only requirement that matters. The other stuff is details. Important and beautiful details, but that’s not why my God loves me.

  • I think this is a well-intentioned post, but one that needs a little clarification. As I read, I got the impression that it doesn’t really matter which church we are a part of as long as we believe in God. Although I share the belief that God loves all of His children regardless of their religious affiliation and that truth can be found in almost all religions and denominations, I also must respectfully assert that Mormons’ belief in God cannot be divorced from the belief that He has only established one “true and living church upon the face of the…earth. (D&C 1:30)” We believe that in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints abides the divine authority and fullness of truth necessary for all of God’s children to receive eternal life. I do not mean to say that all people in other sects or religions are doomed to eternal misery, but I do offer my humble testimony that only through the ordinances found in Christ’s restored church can we receive all the blessings God wishes to give us.

  • July 27, 2014 at 8:35 pm //

    Cool, however God would more than likely be Mormon if anything.

    the belief in a god or in a group of gods

    an organized system of beliefs, ceremonies, and rules used to worship a god or a group of gods

    an interest, a belief, or an activity that is very important to a person or group

    This is what religion is and he believes in Christ obviously since he sent him to the Earth so he is Christian, but he sent Christ here to bring Mormonism back to the Earth and he made it possible for Joseph Smith to do all that he did so I know he is a Christian and believe he is a Mormon.

  • THANK YOU. This so beautifully and simply sums up much of my thinking these days as I try to rediscover my Christian roots and redefine what being Mormon means to me. As I raise my children, I want them to identify as children of God and good, charitable Christian people on a deep and personal level before they just habitually wear the label of Mormon.

  • A fascinating debate!

    While I respect the Mormon belief that God spoke to Joseph Smith, I don’t buy any argument that the Mormon church has the _only_ path to God. Nor would I say it doesn’t have such a path.

    However, I believe in the Holy Trinity – Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Jesus came to earth (we can talk for a very long time about that, and the reasons) and when he left, told Peter “You are the rock on which I will found my church”. Now, we know that church was involved in some nefarious activities over the centuries, and we condemn those – just as we condemn sin. That did not invalidate the ministry of the great majority of holy and devoted Christians who continued to teach and expound the faith.

    At various times, other churches sprang up in response to many stimuli. Some were very introspective and restrictive. Others were off-beam in a variety of ways. “By their fruits you shall know them”, Jesus said. But among all the confusion there are Christians of many denominations who know and worship the Lord in faith, truth and love. They do it in the way they are comfortable with and that works for them. Worshipping with each other reveals the holiness of both parties.

    There are aspects of some churches that I disagree with (the ones that proclaim Genesis 1 and “creationism” and ignore the rest of the Bible come to mind). Those that insist on using a 16th century translation despite the availability of older and better manuscripts and better translations frustrate me, but it’s their choice.

    But in the end, what matters is to follow our instructions – and above all Matthew 28 v 19 and 20.

    • Actually if you carefully examine Matthew 16:17-18 it is saying that the Rock upon which the church is built is revelation from God.

      17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.

      18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

      Notice how Christ says Peter knew that Jesus was the Christ, through the Father, or Revelation, he then says: “And I say unto thee” then addresses Peter, and declares, upon this rock [revelation from God] I will build my church. It helps to carefully study the scriptures before using them so you don’t preach false doctrine like thousands of creeds in the old and new world.

  • July 28, 2014 at 8:53 am //

    I agree with all of those commenting that you left out the biggest difference between the churches. Authority makes all the difference as well as all of our saving ordinances, without which we could not make it all the way back to our Heavenly Father. I am grateful to Heavenly Father for restoring these lost ordinances. I am also grateful for my childhood when I was a member of the Baptist church. My time as a Baptist helped me recognize the truth of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. In that aspect it is important that people go to Church whether they are able to find their way to the true restored church in this life or not. I have always said that any step towards being more like Christ is a step in the right direction. It matters in the end how close we get to being like Him. I know from studying other churches and attending them as I searched for the right church to join that The Church of Jesus Christ is the only way to get closest to being like Jesus and Heavenly Father.

  • July 28, 2014 at 9:01 am //

    I guess you didn’t really convince me as to what you mean by “God isn’t a Mormon”. I liked the article in general and you finished with a strong testimony of the restore gospel of Jesus Christ, but never made a clear concerning how God isn’t a Mormon, yet still this is “the only true and living church upon the face of the whole earth, with which I, the Lord, am well pleased” (D&C 1:30).

    I guess this hearkens me back to when I was a teenager and I used to hear people get up and bear their testimony that “the Church is true”. At the time, this really bothered by because it seemed a little strange to me that a church could be true. However, over the years I have realized that sometimes this statement is made because people think that is what they are supposed to say in a testimony and sometimes this statement is made because it encompasses a whole slew of truths for which people have gained a testimony. I try to avoid it and bear testimony of the individual things that make the church “true”.

    I guess my point, which my previous rambling didn’t necessarily make apparent, is that I think saying “God isn’t a Mormon” is kind of a loaded statement and that I don’t necessarily agree with the fact that there is goodness and truth all around us, including but not limited to other churches and their members, implying that God’s purposes and direction of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is somehow less than it was previously or that he has stopped considering it “the only true and living church upon the face of the whole earth, with which I, the Lord, am well pleased”.

    • July 28, 2014 at 9:04 am //

      I realize my last paragraph was written strangely/wrong. I wrote “I don’t necessarily agree with the fact that there is goodness and truth all around us, including but not limited to other churches and their members”, but that was not what I was trying to say. It should have read,

      “I don’t necessarily agree with the fact that *despite the fact that* there is goodness and truth all around us, including but not limited to other churches and their members…”

      Complete typo on my part and I should proofread better.

  • I really liked this post, however there are things about “being a Mormon” that are so much bigger than just “being a Mormon”. For example, the blessings of the priesthood and the power than we have from the priesthood. Also temple ordinances that are crucial to celestial glory. These things are so much more than the good feeling that you can get at any church. I think you can feel the spirit in many different churches as you are told truths, however the crowning ordinances are not available in any other church and that is the real importance and why I think you would consider God “Mormon” No, not actually “Mormon”, but he has the same power of the priesthood and established temple ordinances so we can become like Him. That is why the LDS church is the only fully true church on the earth. Yes, many churches have a lot of truth and I believe God finds happiness in those who are religious no matter what church they belong to. But in order to eternally progress He has established His true gospel with all of the keys of the priesthood, and in that way the gospel of the LDS church is His gospel.

  • Hi commenters! Rebbie here.

    I would like to add something to all who have commented that they believe God in fact would be a Mormon. Because I don’t necessarily disagree with you. I know, I know, now you think I’m a hypocrite. But really, it’s a semantics thing.

    I was discussing this post with my Mother, who had a similarly tough time with the idea, and she pointed something out: If we were addressing the church with its full name, we would say it is the Church of Jesus Christ (of Latter-Day Saints.) I believe that God has always been at the head of the Church of Jesus Christ. Currently on earth, I believe that that is the Mormon church. At other times of the earth’s history, it wasn’t the Mormon church. At one time it was just a man named Jesus and a band of fishermen, trying to share truth. At one time it was a group of faithful people practicing the Law of Moses until they received further revelation. And from then until now, fragments of Christ’s Church have blessed people all over the earth.

    Truth has existed on the earth in various forms at various times, based on our readiness to receive it. So I guess my arguing that God isn’t a Mormon is more an argument that God isn’t bound by the cultural Mormonism that I sometimes feel has come to define the Church of Jesus Christ (of Latter-Day Saints.) Though I believe his truth is not bound to Mormonism, I also believe that it can be most clearly found within Mormonism, as it is the place where modern revelation (i.e. restored priesthood keys) and especially personal revelation are available.

    Clearly I could talk about this all day :) But in a nutshell….

    Being Mormon is the clearest, most direct way I have found on the earth today by which I can access God’s truth. But there are other good people who are not Mormon who find God’s truth, and I don’t think they will be kept from the truth if they are doing their best to find it where they can.

  • July 30, 2014 at 7:55 am //

    I’ve been thinking about your message. Though this may be merely semantics, the truth is that Mormon wasn’t a Mormon either. He was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ. The ‘world’ calls us Mormons, but we are really members of the Church of Jesus Christ.
    If Christ were to come to earth, and we know he will again one day…
    He would definitely be with His people. That would absolutely be us, and also ANY true follower of Christ who is desirous of all truth.
    Still I love your message, that anyone who is humble and sincere, can access knowledge from God personally. Like you, that is one of my favorite truths of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
    Thanks Rebbie, for helping me think!