For those who say that we are not Christian:
In many cases the individual who attempts to claim that LDS individuals are not Christian are:
#1. Attempting to claim this because in their belief system all true Christians are saved.
#2. They do not believe that LDS individuals are saved... and thus could not be Christians.
#3. They attempt to modify or change the definition of the word Christian to fit their own ideas.
They assume that how one interprets beliefs determines whether or not one is a Christian, concluding that if their beliefs conflict with ours, LDS individuals could not thus be considered Christian.
This assumption is inherently flawed:
a) How do they come to the conclusion that their beliefs are what constitute true Christianity?
b) Are their beliefs consistent with Catholic, Coptic, or Russian Orthodox Christianity?... (No!)
c) Do they have a true understanding of LDS doctrine concerning Christ? (No!)
The dictionary definition of "Christian" is: "of, pertaining to, or derived from Jesus Christ or His teachings". If someone claims to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ, then that would make them Christian. Having differing opinions about what Jesus taught, who he really was.. does not determine whether the individual should be known as a Christian.
They redefine the word in such a way that it has no true definition, and is subjective and non-deterministic. They define it in such a way that if some ones beliefs conflict with theirs "They" cannot be Christian.
Thus their assumption is flawed... not only because of what their perception of what constitutes "Christian" is not only invalid... but they have a flawed concept of what constitutes LDS Christianity!
Would you say that Jehovah's Witnesses are "Christians"? How about the "Monies"? or the "Christian Scientists"? or any of the members of the thousands of other "cults" that exist in the world today? How can they ALL be "Christians" when their beliefs contradict one another on countless points (in some cases, in all points)?
The dictionary's first definition of "Christian" is: "of, pertaining to, or derived from Jesus Christ or His teachings." If someone claims to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ, then that would make them Christian.
Do we thus believe that all "Christians" are saved in the kingdom of heaven? No. They may be in a "saved" condition i.e. Terrestrial - but they are not saved as in a Celestial condition - or a member of the church of the firstborn - or exalted.
Some believe that all "Christians" are saved, these are the individuals who would disqualify an individual from being "Christian" because their beliefs do not match their own. They may think that having differing opinions about these doctrines are cause for disqualification, but as to the pure definition of believing one is saved you cannot do so. This is because they believe that they are a disciple of Jesus Christ and should thus be considered "Christian" no matter what religious sect, cult or group they may be a member of. I don't think Mormons care to define others, or apply a label to others, concerning whether or not they are "Christian". They would say that anyone who believes in Christ, attempts to follow his teachings, and believe that he is the redeemer of the world should be called a "Christian", this would include them.
As to this definition are Catholics, Coptic, or Russian Orthodox individuals Christian? What of Jehovah's witnesses, are they Christian? We would say yes if they believe in Christ and rely on him for salvation even if they have errors in their doctrine for not all "Christians" are saved and will return to God's presence.
Some would say that we are not "Christian" because we profess to believe in a Jesus Christ that is different from him who is portrayed in the Bible.
Well... once again this is their interpretation of what is portrayed in the Bible and it still comes back to that same issue. If you don't believe like me... your not Christian. They may all use the Bible, they may believe/interpret those same bible verses different than you and have different beliefs concerning Jesus Christ because of that. They may also have additional scripture that they believe in that gives additional insights and information concerning Jesus Christ and his mission and current state. Even so... they still rely upon him as their Saviour, are attempting to be his disciple, and believe in their interpretation of their "Biblical" Jesus Christ, thus they are "Christian". Each different sect will have differing opinions about Jesus, but each one of them will maintain that the Jesus spoken of in the New Testament is the Jesus Christ whose teachings they follow. The fact that they have varying opinions doesn't negate the source of their doctrine.
Consider this: Some people may believe that Joseph Smith, the first prophet of the LDS faith in these latter days was a fraud. I personally believe that he was a great prophet. The fact that we believe different things about Joseph Smith doesn't mean that we're talking about two different people, we're both talking about the same Joseph Smith. This is the same person, we just have different beliefs about him. This is the same is true concerning Jesus Christ and what we believe about him.
Some would say that our beliefs of Jesus Christ contradict what the Bible teaches of him so they should not be considered "Christian"
They may also say that our beliefs concerning him contradict ourselves because of additional scripture.
Those contradictions probably exist from a flawed/misunderstood perspective of our doctrine. I have been a student of the LDS faith for nearly 50 years and I find it to be incredibly consistent. I have examined those so-called contradictions and found them to be without substance.
A Republican president isn't the same president denounced by the Democrats is he? They both know he's president of the U.S.., but by using this logic there are really two presidents. How far do you think such logic would get you in the real world? They are the same person - people just believe different things about them.
Some would ask - if all who claim to believe in Jesus are "Christian" then why bother trying to "Convert" people out of Christianity and into the LDS faith? Why not just let everyone interpret the Bible in their own way, and come up with their own doctrines, even if they conflict?
Because exaltation doesn't consist of claiming to be a Christian. Men may be Christians and yet remain saved but un-exalted. Besides, we don't convert people out of Christianity, we give them a fuller understanding of the Christianity they already enjoy. We teach them a greater understanding of the role of Jesus Christ as both the creator, and redeemer of the world, We teach that an individual must actually do as he said and repent, be baptized before one can be saved/receive a remission of their sins. We actually teach what the new testament teaches that Repentance isn't a perhaps, but is instead a must do activity.
19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
30 And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:
2 Cor 7:10
10 For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.
Some have said:
"A" does not equal "B" in mathematics. To plug religion into the equation, If "Christianity" is "A" and "Mormonism" is "B" then it should logically follow that "Christianity" does not equal "Mormonism" and vice versa. LOGIC dictates this.
Actually, that's not logic. Logic consists of a series of true statements tied together to show a true conclusion. The example above fails at the outset because it is false. In mathematics, "A" often equals "B." You first have to find out what A and B represent before you can determine whether or not they are unequal. If "A" equals 5, and "B" equals 3+2, then A DOES equal B.
In the case of placing Mormonism and Christianity in this equation and saying they're not equal, that's merely a slam dunk. No Mormon would say they mean the same thing. It's like saying "cars" don't equal "Cadillacs" and vice versa. Of course they don't. Cadillacs are a subset of "cars" just as Presbyterians are Christians but all Christians aren't Presbyterians. However, that Mormon's are Christian is a given because Mormon is a subset of Christianity even though a Christian may not be a Mormon.
Therefore saying that Mormon's are not Christian is an illogical syllogism.
For example, this is a logical syllogism:
All horses are animals.
You purchased a horse so you own an animal.
They are trying to establish the reverse as a logical construct:
All animals are horses.
You purchased an animal, therefore you own a horse.
Clearly you could have purchased some other animal such as a duck or a woodchuck. The flaw in the logic is in the beginning with a fallacious claim. All animals aren't necessarily horses.
In conclusion those who would state that LDS individuals are not "Christian" are wrong.
If they want to establish the premise that Mormons aren't Christians, they either need to change the dictionary definition, or demonstrate by a series of true statements leading to a true conclusion that Mormons do not derive their teachings from Jesus Christ. Neither of which is possible to do :).
2 Nephi 25:26-27,29
26 And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins.
27 Wherefore, we speak concerning the law that our children may know the deadness of the law; and they, by knowing the deadness of the law, may look forward unto that life which is in Christ, and know for what end the law was given. And after the law is fulfilled in Christ, that they need not harden their hearts against him when the law ought to be done away.
29 And now behold, I say unto you that the right way is to believe in Christ, and deny him not; and Christ is the Holy One of Israel; wherefore ye must bow down before him, and worship him with all your might, mind, and strength, and your whole soul; and if ye do this ye shall in nowise be cast out.
32 Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ; and if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in nowise deny the power of God.