Last year, there was a fuss about Mormon women wearing pants to Church. A group of female members from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) started a Facebook page dedicated to “Wear Pants to Church” day. They said the event was meant to bring attention to the struggle over ‘gender inequalities’ in the Church. There is no dress code stating that women have to wear dresses to Church. I’ve worn pants (and jeans, scrubs, shorts and once, a hospital gown!) to Church several times and not only did I never felt pressured or uncomfortable, no one ever said a word about it! Some of the participants said they felt it was a first step towards women holding the priesthood. I found that particularly interesting since the only way that could happen (the same applies to gay marriage or any change in doctrine) is if the President of the Church receives Divine revelation. While that event and the subject behind it was obviously important to some, I just couldn’t muster up any sympathy. As an LDS member (albeit far from ‘Molly Mormon’), I often encounter ridicule online from other Christians, ridicule that is far more troubling than imagining people are offended by women wearing pants to Church!
Everyone has heard the claim that Mormons aren’t Christians. I share my testimony that I am a Christian and the LDS Church is a true Christian Church. I try not to mind that other religions believe otherwise. What I do mind is that as Christ-loving conservatives of many religions, we’re in the fight of our lives trying to save the country, yet we’re fighting each other. Obviously, you have the right, and in many cases, feel you have the duty to say my Church is a cult. Ezekiel 3:18-19 says, “When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand. Yet if thou warn the wicked, and he turn not from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul.” I would venture a guess that our Heavenly Father doesn’t mean that one should continuously ridicule Mormons, Jews, Catholics, Atheists and others. We can’t forget Matthew 7:1, “Judge not, that ye be not judged.”
The Maxwell Institute says, “Latter-day Saint beliefs are in harmony with what the Bible calls Christian. The terms Christian or Christians occur only three times in the New Testament (at Acts 11:26; 26:28; and 1 Peter 4:16). In each case these terms simply refer to those who follow Christ, which applies fully to Latter-day Saints.” In the most simple terms: Christian=believers in Christ; hence The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints=Christians. Is that going to change the mind of any Mormon detractors? Nope. Just like telling us about the trinity isn’t going to change our mind. The thing is, while some might argue with you about it, most aren’t overly concerned because we know who we are. Just like you, we are the children of our Heavenly Father. Just like you, we’d love for you to hear the Gospel from us. Frankly, all the fighting in the world won’t make a difference in the end. God is our judge.
Depending on your perspective, it’s feasible that you can justify malicious, cruel or even personal assaults on others. In a recent article, ex-LDS members (who have demeaned the Church for years) claim the symbols on our temples are satanic and that we are satanic. Comments went even further by comparing the religion to radical Islam. Hmm, a Church filled with some of the most patriotic, family-oriented and clean-living members in the world versus violent lunatics who want to destroy our country, invoke Sharia Law, bring on a Caliphate and kill anyone who doesn’t share their beliefs. Really? If you feel you must call me a non-Christian, by all means feel free; believe it, say it…but please, as followers of Christ, let us save our country and then we can argue over the nature of the trinity! Seriously, we’re starting to act like the Sunnis and Shiites–and at least they can unite over their hatred of America!
Isn’t it shocking to know how few people in the U.S. are actually hardcore liberals, yet they are running the joint? I’d venture to say the infighting on the conservative/Tea Party/GOP side is a huge distraction from the matter at hand. There’s infighting that’s clearly necessary right now, in particular between the Tea Party and establishment Republicans (regarding Obamacare and other things). It’s so bad that liberal outlets are laughing at our infighting. Every time a conservative attacks another conservative, it’s taking time and effort away from saving the nation. You might remember the proposed UN Resolution 16/18 from last year that “condemns any advocacy of religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence.” Carl Moeller, chief of Open Doors USA, told WND, “Muslim nations would use it as an endorsement of their attacks on Christians for statements as simple as their belief in the divinity of Jesus Christ, which Muslims consider an affront.”
We need to keep our eyes open and focused on the true threat to Christianity. We all have a duty to God to share the Gospel. Jared Allebest wrote, “Yale University humanities professor Harold Bloom is typical of non-Mormon intellectuals and academics in his description of Latter-day Saints as the ‘most American’ of all religions” (The American Religion, Simon & Schuster, 1992). We believe the Constitution is an inspired work. Let’s work together to get America back on track. Once that’s dealt with, if feral bands of Mormons start to capture non-members, outfitting them with their own sets of ‘magic underwear’ and imprisoning them in our temples (to handle the dead bodies we baptize, of course), then by all means, feel free to go after us! Until then…in the famous words of Rodney King, “Can’t we all just get along?”
“Once upon a time people everywhere said we are not Christians. They have come to recognize that we are, and that we have a very vital and dynamic religion based on the teachings of Jesus Christ. We, of course, accept Jesus Christ as our Leader, our King, our Savior…the dominant figure in the history of the world, the only perfect Man who ever walked the earth, the living Son of the living God. He is our Savior and our Redeemer through whose atoning sacrifice has come the opportunity of eternal life. Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints pray and worship in the name of Jesus Christ. He is the center of our faith and the head of our Church.” ~Gordon B. Hinckley