Q&A with a Mormon

 

As GOP candidates battle for the presidential nomination, Rick Perry (R-Texas) and his camp have attacked the Mormon faith of Mitt Romney (R-MASS).

If Mitt Romney were running for president of the Southern Baptist Convention I could understand why his faith traditions would be an issue. But since he’s running for president of the U.S., which upholds a separation of Church & State, a core value of the GOP, I’m a bit befuddled as to why Perry’s pastor, Dr. Robert Jeffress, of First Baptist Dallas, felt the need to denounce Romney based upon his Mormon faith.

So I asked my buddy Kim Puzey to dialogue with me here about his Mormon faith. I’ve known Kim for a very long time. Our children attended high school together.

We share a love of God, of family, of people and of writing.

Feel free to ask questions yourself. Not promising that either Kim or myself will have the answers you are seeking but we are happy to wrangle through the issues with you.

KAREN: How did you feel about the recent flap over Mitt Romney?

KIM: If by the recent events surrounding Mitt Romney, you mean those of Dr. Robert Jeffress, I was bored and embarrassed, the boredom stemming from one more addition to a very lengthy list of threadbare accusations made against Mormonism over the years, and embarrassment for Reverend Jeffress that he was the accuser. These responses both are related to the issues of religion.

On the political side of recent events it matters not at all to me what someone says about Mitt Romney as a candidate. If he wants to be president, he should expect to be scrutinized., but the Constitution precludes a religious test for elected officials. No religion should receive favor under the law, nor should a religious litmus test be required of those who seek elective office.

Those were my initial reactions.

I was especially embarrassed for Reverend Jeffress when he was interviewed by Anderson Cooper. I felt sympathy for those who look to him as their pastor. I didn’t think he did his faith a service. He would not have almost persuaded me to be a Christian as Agrippa said of Paul.

When I think of the broader context of Mitt Romney’s candidacy, I think of the difficulties for other members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints should he be elected. What about Speaker Harry Reid? What about the other Senators and Congressman, potential Cabinet Secretaries, Supreme Court Justices, Federal Judges, and so forth? None of these appointments or nominations could go as easily as they might under a president who was not a Mormon. Jon Huntsman would not likely have been called to serve as U.S. Ambassador to China, and so forth.

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KAREN: Did you grow up in the Mormon household?

KIM: Yes.

My maternal and paternal lineage in the LDS Church goes back to pioneer days. Some of my ancestors knew Joseph Smith. Many were in the church under Brigham Young.

I grew up in Utah, served a two year mission, graduated with two degrees from Brigham Young University, and married a Mormon in the Great Salt Lake Temple 32 years ago. We have raised our children in the LDS Church and have lived outside of Utah for more than 30 years.

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KAREN: How do you define salvation?

KIM: This is a bit of a challenge as you know. Paul wrote to the Ephesians that we are saved by grace, not works lest we boast, (Ephesians 2:8-9) whereas James reminded the early saints that faith without works was dead. (James 2:18)

A scripture from The Book of Mormon says this:

For we labor diligently to write, to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God; for we know that it is by bgrace that we are saved, after all we can do.

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. (2 Nephi 25:23, 26)

We also believe that in addition to faith, we must repent of our sins, be baptized and receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

There is more, but I am not sure you are looking for a lengthy treatise. The aforementioned verses are representative of the doctrine, however.
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KAREN: You and I have known each other for a very long time. You’ve always been very respectful of my faith tradition but I’m wondering, deep down do you think I’m lost or missing out on God’s plan for my life?
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KIM: We have thirteen Articles of Faith. The eleventh says: We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.

There is also a passage in The Book of Mormon that says this:

1. O that I were an angel, and could have the wish of mine heart, that I might go forth and speak with the trump of God, with a voice to shake the earth, and cry repentance unto every people!

2 Yea, I would declare unto every soul, as with the voice of thunder, repentance and the plan of redemption, that they should repent and come unto our God, that there might not be more sorrow upon all the face of the earth.

3 But behold, I am a man, and do sin in my wish; for I ought to be content with the things which the Lord hath allotted unto me.

4 I ought not to harrow up in my desires the firm decree of a just God, for I know that he granteth unto men according to their desire, whether it be unto death or unto life; yea, I know that he allotteth unto men, yea, decreeth unto them decrees which are unalterable, according to their wills, whether they be unto salvation or unto destruction.5 Yea, and I know that good and evil have come before all men; he that knoweth not good from evil is blameless; but he that knoweth good and evil, to him it is given according to his desires, whether he desireth good or evil, life or death, joy or remorse of conscience. 

6 Now, seeing that I know these things, why should I desire more than to perform the work to which I have been called?

7 Why should I desire that I were an angel, that I could speak unto all the ends of the earth?8 For behold, the Lord doth agrant unto ball nations, of their own nation and tongue, to teach his word, yea, in wisdom, all that he seeth fit that they should have; therefore we see that the Lord doth counsel in wisdom, according to that which is just and true. 

9 I know that which the Lord hath commanded me, and I glory in it. I do not glory of myself, but I glory in that which the Lord hath commanded me; yea, and this is my glory, that perhaps I may be an instrument in the hands of God to bring some soul to repentance; and this is my joy.

10 And behold, when I see many of my brethren truly penitent, and coming to the Lord their God, then is my soul filled with joy; then do I remember what the Lord has done for me, yea, even that he hath heard my prayer; yea, then do I remember his merciful arm which he extended towards me. (Alma 29:1-10)

Karen, I’m certain the Lord knows you, loves you, knows the desires of your heart, and is ever working to draw you nearer to him. I trust that you will respond to him as you are willing and able and that you have done so to this point in your life. How he deals with his children is between him and them. How he deals with me is between us. If we both are true to the promptings we receive from the Holy Spirit or Holy Ghost, we will be led along to our Heavenly home.
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KAREN: Why do you think our respective faith traditions have historically been at odds with each other?

 

KIM: I don’t know enough about your faith tradition to know the answer to this question, so I will make an attempt at a general response from traditional Christendom.

We believe that when Jesus was on the earth he established his church by calling disciples to follow him. He chose the twelve apostles and later called the seventy. In time there were bishops, teachers, priests, deacons, and so forth.

These statements are two of our Articles of Faith:

We believe in the same organization that existed in the Primitive Church, namely, apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists, and so forth.

We believe that a man must be called of God, by prophecy, and by the laying on of hands by those who are in authority, to preach the Gospel and administer in the ordinances thereof.

In addition we accept the following from the New Testament:

11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;

12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:

13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive. (Ephesians 4:11-14 KJV) 

Some of the officers in the original church had callings to go into all the world, preaching the gospel. Others had roles that were more pastoral. Some officers were general in scope and others were more local in their responsibilities.

We believe that there was an orderly transfer of authority that went from Peter and the other apostles to the respective aforementioned officers according to need. We would cite the New Testament for all of this and I can provide references if you want them.

After the death of Jesus, we believe that he ministered to certain disciples in a forty day post-resurrection ministry culminating by him ascending into heaven with a promise that he would return in like manner. This was followed by the Pentecost and the expansion of the gospel from Judea, to Samaria, to all the world and so forth as described in the Acts of the Apostles.As persecution increased from both the Jewish and Roman sectors, martyrdom became commonplace and soon the apostles were killed. 

The remaining officers and disciples strived to be faithful, struggled to keep heresy and schism from arising with and without the Church. We believe that there was a gradual decline in pure doctrine and a loss of proper priesthood authority.

I have been reading a delightful little book by Edgar J. Goodspeed entitled The Formation Of The New Testament. He was Professor of Biblical and Patristic Greek at the University of Chicago. In this book, he writes about how the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John as well as the Acts, Pauline epistles, and other writings were gradually brought together, sorted, selected and so forth into our current New Testament. Although it was not the main focus of the book, it becomes clear that there were no leaders on par with the original apostles. There was brilliant scholarship, extraordinary human effort to cooperate and collaborate, faithful, prayerful, disciples doing the best they could, but to me there was a sharp absence of authoritative leadership such as that found in the days of Jesus of immediately thereafter.The Church met together. There were many Councils from Nicea going forward. I could recite the controversies and resolution of each Council, but so could you, but I will only mention the Great Schism of 1054 and the Council of Trent (1545-1563) where in the original Catholic (general) church was split, reformed from within and without and split again and again and again. 

The body of Christ was in such a state that reformers from within and without sought to heal the divisions and traditions that had entered in over the centuries. These efforts were motivated by faith, righteousness and the love of God. I have the greatest respect for those who sought the internal and external reforms that were so sorely needed.If you fast forward to the Second Great Awakening in the northeastern United States, this is the world of Joseph Smith Jr. He admitted that he was confused at religion, sought wisdom through prayer and was answered in a vision that was the genesis of Mormonism. 

He was met with opposition from Christian ministers in his neighborhood and spent the remainder of his life in the work to which he had been called.

There are a number of reasons that Mormonism may be at odds with Christendom and I’m not sure which seems to provoke the most ire.We believe that Joseph Smith was a living prophet on the same standing as Moses or Jeremiah or the ancients. This may be a provocation. 

Because of the principle of continuing revelation, we provoke those who believe in a closed canon of scripture. This may be a provocation.

We do not share the same traditions nor decisions from the historic Councils including the creeds and so forth. This may be a provocation. Otherwise, I am at a loss to know the nature of the conflicts.

About Karen Spears Zacharias

Author. Speaker. Journalism Instructor. Four kids. Three dogs. One grandson.

  • Ronald Frederick

    It is human nature to be provoked by those who are different or who believe in different values etc. I am more provoked by Islam than by LDS but that would be a popular provocation at this time in history. However, here is my question. Kim quotes the “Saved by Grace” scripture yet the LDS Theology seems to be oriented toward works. It seems that one must earn his or her way to heaven and to the various levels of the afterlife etc. And what is this thing about having your own planet? Granted….no one here is authoritative on the afterlife, but doesn’t this theology seem to go off the deep end?

    • Nuclear45

      We believe that every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus is the Christ. The atonement of Christ saves all from sin and death. However, if we have lived a sinful life, will we want to be with Him in His kingdom? Like the devils who believe in Christ, we will not want to be in His presence if our hearts are on the things of this world. We do good works not because we think we can earn our way to heaven (Jesus’s sacrifice is sufficient to save us), we do good works to learn heaven and become the person He wants us to be. “Be ye therefore perfect.” “Straight is the gate and narrow is the way that leadeth to eternal life.”

      As far as the afterlife, you can read D&C 76. As far as having your own planet, that is not mentioned in the scriptures or ever taught over the pulpit at church.

    • Paul

      The LDS faith, as Kim explained, teaches that only through Christ can we be saved but his teachings in the New Testament are clear that he does require certain works: “Unless a man is born of the water and of the spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God”. Just confessing his name is not enough. Christ is the Savior and as such, the definer of the requirements for salvation, and he established some works to go hand in hand with faith. You cannot save yourself by your works but he requires some works as your show of faith before he will offer his atonement on your behalf. Both are required in spite of what modern Christendom teaches.

      LDS doctrine does not teach that anyone will be granted their own planet after this life but that we will live together as families in his celestial kingdom.

    • Anonymous

      LDS doctrine is that we are saved by grace.

      One of our apostles explained,
      “…the Final Judgment is not just an evaluation of a sum total of good and evil acts—what we have done. It is an acknowledgment of the final effect of our acts and thoughts—what we have become. It is not enough for anyone just to go through the motions. The commandments, ordinances, and covenants of the gospel are not a list of deposits required to be made in some heavenly account. The gospel of Jesus Christ is a plan that shows us how to become what our Heavenly Father desires us to become.
      [...]
      “Most of us experience some measure of what the scriptures call “the furnace of affliction” (Isa. 48:10; 1 Ne. 20:10). Some are submerged in service to a disadvantaged family member. Others suffer the death of a loved one or the loss or postponement of a righteous goal like marriage or childbearing. Still others struggle with personal impairments or with feelings of rejection, inadequacy, or depression. Through the justice and mercy of a loving Father in Heaven, the refinement and sanctification possible through such experiences can help us achieve what God desires us to become.
      .
      “We are challenged to move through a process of conversion toward that status and condition called eternal life. This is achieved not just by doing what is right, but by doing it for the right reason—for the pure love of Christ. The Apostle Paul illustrated this in his famous teaching about the importance of charity (see 1 Cor. 13). The reason charity never fails and the reason charity is greater than even the most significant acts of goodness he cited is that charity, “the pure love of Christ” (Moro. 7:47), is not an act but a condition or state of being. Charity is attained through a succession of acts that result in a conversion. Charity is something one becomes. Thus, as Moroni declared, “except men shall have charity they cannot inherit” the place prepared for them in the mansions of the Father (Ether 12:34; emphasis added).”
      – Dallin Oaks, in Oct, 2000 General Conference
      http://lds.org/general-conference/2000/10/the-challenge-to-become?lang=eng
      .
      And so James 2 in the New Testament explains that our works only make our faith perfect and are a manifestation it, not that they save us.
      Another of our Church’s leaders explained how someone can know when they have been so converted, ““He may be assured of it when by the power of the Holy Spirit his soul is healed.” (Marion G. Romney, cited in Oct, 2004 General Conference, http://lds.org/general-conference/2004/10/bringing-peace-and-healing-to-your-soul?lang=eng)
      .
      This is biblical doctrine so naturally it also appears in The Book of Mormon:
      Moroni 6:4 And after they had been received unto baptism, and were wrought upon and cleansed by the power of the Holy Ghost, they were numbered among the people of the church of Christ; and their names were taken, that they might be remembered and nourished by the good word of God, to keep them in the right way, to keep them continually watchful unto prayer, RELYING ALONE UPON THE MERITS OF CHRIST, who was the author and the finisher of their faith.
      .
      This is so fundamental to LDS doctrine that The Book of Mormon concludes with these verses:
      .
      Moroni 10:
      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.
      33 And again, if ye by the grace of God are perfect in Christ, and deny not his power, then are ye sanctified in Christ by the grace of God, through the shedding of the blood of Christ, which is in the covenant of the Father unto the remission of your sins, that ye become holy, without spot.
      34 And now I bid unto all, farewell. I soon go to rest in the paradise of God, until my spirit and body shall again reunite, and I am brought forth triumphant through the air, to meet you before the pleasing bar of the great Jehovah, the Eternal Judge of both quick and dead. Amen.

      • Lwilliamson42353

        The hesitancy from some people seems to be quite similar to how many people felt in 1960 about a Roman Catholic president. JFK was elected and the question of his religion that had been an issue in the campaign was not an issue for his administration. I am sure that if Romney were to be elected it would be much the same. Things tend to get hyped in a campaign.

        I hope that Americans across the board would remember we are a nation where church and state are separated and they will cast their respective votes specifically based on how a person will govern and their position on issues of importance to that voter.

        • http://karenzach.com Karen Spears Zacharias

          If only…

    • Anonymous

      “And what is this thing about having your own planet?”
      .
      That is contrary to LDS doctrine and as much as I’ve heard our detractors ignorantly or willfully misstate our belief, I’ve never heard anything like that within the Church.
      .
      Here’s an authoritative statement; it comes from our scriptures (emphasis added):
      Doctrine & Covenants 76:
      92 And thus we saw the glory of the celestial, which excels in all things—where God, even the Father, reigns upon his throne forever and ever;
      93 Before whose throne all things bow in humble reverence, and give him glory forever and ever.
      94 They who WHO DWELL IN HIS PRESENCE are the church of the Firstborn; and they see as they are seen, and know as they are known, having received of his fulness and of his grace;

      • Bj powell

        I was raised with a Catholic influence on my mums side of the family and a Baptist influence from my fathers side. It was not until I joined the LDS Church as a Junior in college did I fully begin to understand this critical principle. One of the best yet simple examples that I ever found was given to us by Pres David O. McKay, the 9th President of the Church. In the following story he illustrates the inter-relatinship of grace and works. It does not get any clearer than this, “both of these extremes views are incorrect.” We are saved by grace after all we can do.

        Some years ago, President David O. McKay (1873–1970) related a story which illustrates the relationship between works and grace. He told of a group of boys who were learning to swim when one fell into a treacherous hole in the stream. The boy would have drowned but for a quick-thinking companion who extended a branch to him and helped pull him to shore.

        “There are those who claim that no one will sink and be lost if he will look to Jesus on the shore and say, ‘I believe.’ There are others who declare that every one must by his own efforts swim to the shore or be lost forever. The real truth is that both of these extreme views are incorrect. Christ redeemed all men from death which was brought upon them through no act of theirs, but He will not save men from their personal transgressions who will put forth no effort themselves, any more than the young rescuer on the river bank could have saved the drowning lad if the latter had not seized the means provided him. Neither can man save himself without accepting the means provided by Christ for man’s salvation.”

    • JediMormon

      “…your own planet?” I’ve been LDS for 50+ years, and in all that time, have never been taught that as a Mormon, I will be god over my own planet when I die. I only heard that statement when I began dialogging with the anti-Mormon crowd on a regular basis several decades ago. A few intense searches on the internet have not revealed to me where the comment originated from. Thus, I’m left to assume that the charge is nothing more than an anti-Mormon fabrication–and one that refuses to die because of gullible people who are too lazy to do some genuine research of their own, but who are quick to repeat any statement that puts Mormon beliefs and doctrine in a bad light, whether the statement is true or not.

    • John Ross

      Mormons clearly believe their highest destiny is to become like our Father in Heaven, and become “joint heirs” with Jesus Christ as it is written in the New Testament. Many of us then go on to imagine and speculate what it means to live the kind of life God lives. Aside from the doctrine of eventually having innumerable posterity (as was promised Abraham), we can only guess. I am one of those who once indulged in that idle Mormon fantasy. As a teen I jested that if I ever were able to create a planet I would make it all like Hawaii. I don’t know anyone who takes such things very seriously except those who think it makes for good ridicule.

  • Deana

    Thank you Kim and Karen…appreciate the conversation and thoughts :)

    • http://karenzach.com Karen Spears Zacharias

      Thanks for joining us!

  • duckman

    Mormons are good people. I live in Washington and know many Democrat Mormons. Obviously, there are many Conservative Mormons, but in my area the opposite is true. But the bottom line is, either way, they are good people.

    • http://karenzach.com Karen Spears Zacharias

      I think there are good people among most any faith traditions… with perhaps the exception of the hate groups that call themselves a religious group.

  • http://www.facebook.com/rebekah.sanderlin Rebekah Gleaves Sanderlin

    A couple of (maybe ignorant) questions:
    1. Do Mormons receive a secret name that only their spouse, priest and God know? I’ve heard this is the name they will use in Heaven.
    2. Why are Mormons so interested in ancestry?

    • mrs.buster

      Rebekah: go onto youtube and search for EXPOSED Secret Mormon Temples.
      The guys name is David Lory and he discusses the “new name” and why we do proxy baptisms for the dead. It’s a little much to cover in a quick format such as this and the videos are also entertaining because he’s also funny. Calls himself the mormon family man. He covers 9 different subjects and I have been lds for 30+yrs and I learned a lot!
      Hope this will help and remember there is a difference bx stupid and ignorant. we are all ignorant of certain things and no need to be ashamed of that.

      • LDS Christian

        Instead of listening to anti-Mormons explain Mormonism, try the LDS missionaries, or try Mormon.org or lds.org. Temples have been around since the beginning (the Garden of Eden was the first “temple” and now temples of many faiths all over the world are patterned after it – facing east, the various parts, etc – can be seen from Cambodia to Egypt to Latin America, to LDS temples, but much of the early understanding has been lost. Early Christians (up to about 300 AD) and the Jews believed in temples, and performed many of the ordinances now performed/restored in LDS temples. In fact, if you go to the Wailing Wall of the Jerusalem ancient temple, and go to the left when facing the wall, you’ll enter a large entrance where, once inside, you can see the Jews doing some of the same exact things that go on in a Mormon temple. You won’t understand it if you’re not LDS. Most of the Jews don’t understand it, but they do it in an attempt to preserve the Temple ceremonies that they once had. One of them said, “If you really want to know, ask a Mormon, they understand this better than we do.”

        If you need a Mormon side of anti-Mormon rhetoric, go to an unofficial LDS site: fairmormon . org.

        • mrs.buster

          David Lory is lds and his youtube videos are a great learning tool. He is absolutely NOT anti-mormon! Besides one doesn’t have to read but can just watch and listen. You might actually want to check it out yourself. Saying that one can’t understand the temple rituals unless one is lds is incorrect. It might be a bit too much meat for Rebekah but then maybe not, we don’t know her level of spiritual understanding, but Brother Lory explains much of the temple rituals and other lds doctrines in pretty simple terms and backs it ALL up with Old & New Testament scriptures. I bet you could learn a thing or two as well.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_PPZZIAHPLE22KGOPQYLGANF4IU L L Edmiston

      Speaking of new names, what is the first thing that happens when the Catholics choose a new Pope? He chooses a new name. New names are also common among the Catholic monastic orders. They also show up in the Bible (Jacob becoming Israel, Abram becoming Abraham, Sarai becoming Sarah, Saul becoming Paul, etc.)

    • http://karenzach.com Karen Spears Zacharias

      I will put these questions to Kim in our next dialogue. Thanks!

    • John Ross

      Mormons believe those who did not accept Christ while alive may yet do so in the world of spirits. An essential part of accepting Christ is making a covenant and being baptized by the proper authority. We believe that by finding our ancestors names and vicariously being baptized for them we enable them to live by all the Lord’s commandments if they so choose. We do not count them as members of the Church here, but we hope they become members of Christ’s church in the spirit world and do their best to love and serve Him while in their disembodied state.

    • John Ross

      Temple ordinances include simple vicarious baptisms for the dead, brief but beautiful sealings (marraiges) of husband and wife, and a long and elaborate ceremony called The Endowment. this lengthy ritual includes narrative, instruction and covenants symbolizing Gods epic work from the creation of the earth through the exaltation of his children. Because these ordinances are sacred we have promised not to speak much about them. But they are not scandalous, nor as exotic as many people imagine. Of course, over the years many people have broken their vows and revealed every detail of the temple ceremonies. Most of these exposes err, sometimes egregiously and intentionally distorting the ritual and its meaning with the assurance that devout LDS will have a difficult time setting the record straight while still trying to respect the sanctity of the Temple.

      I tell you this so you will understand that I cannot discuss the new name as it is given in the temple, nor speculate if it will actually be used in heaven. But your question is a good one, and is cause to reflect upon why God gave new names in Old Testament times, and why in Revelation 2:17 he promised “To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.”

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_PPZZIAHPLE22KGOPQYLGANF4IU L L Edmiston

    It is true that Mormon teaching affirms the ultimate worth and divine potential individual. I found this to be a welcome change (and a welcome relief!) from the degrading and belittling of the individual which I had encountered previously among right wing Protestants.

    • http://karenzach.com Karen Spears Zacharias

      I think if you are honest you’ll find degrading and belittling people among any faith tradition.

      • Susan C.

        I believe that LL was referring to the “degrading and belittling of the individual” per the teachings of some of the “right wing Protestants,” meaning the religions themselves, and not the individual people. A teaching that we all are of worth and divine potential is not part of many churches.

        • http://karenzach.com Karen Spears Zacharias

          None of the churches I’ve ever attended.

  • Robert Joseph Powell

    Dear Folks, Go to the link below to hear the best response or rebuttal to what Dr. Robert Jeffress, of the First Baptist Dallas church said about Gov Mitt Romney. But 1st enjoy the very short video clip in the beginning of the article (minus the commerical) where Former Sec of Education, Bill Bennett actually introduces Gov Mitt Romeny. Please listen to what they both say. Then the response by Richard J. Mouw, President of Fuller Theological Seminary, an evangelical school in Pasadena, CA. The title of the article is “My Take: This Evangelical says Mormonism isn’t a Cult.” Go to: http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2011/10/09/my-take-this-evangelical-says-mormonism-isnt-a-cult/

    • http://karenzach.com Karen Spears Zacharias

      Great link. Thanks so much. I agree with Bennett, Perry’s pastor did him no favors, and in fact, may have cost him this nomination.

  • MormonChristian

    Pastor Robert Jeffress stated that “Mormons are not Christians..”

    Please note that Pastor Jeffress preaches from the same pulpit as did Pastor Wallie Amos Criswell. In 1980 Pastor Criswell publicly asked, “Does God Almighty hear the prayers of Jews?” Pastor Criswell answered: “No!”

    Same pulpit … same message!

    P.S.: The former president of the Southern Baptist Convention, Bailey Smith, echoed Pastor Criswell is also on when he declared that “God does not hear the prayers of the Jews.”

    • http://karenzach.com Karen Spears Zacharias

      So it’s the pulpit’s fault? :) Or perhaps a mindset that resorts to name-calling instead of conversation?

  • Gripsen

    Very well recorded and commented upon. It has been nearly two hundred years since The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was established. It has grown and flourished. The problem is not the honest doctrine of the Church but those who willingly choose to repeat lies, gossip and assumed knowledge without basis and with bigoted and/or prejudicial intent. People tend to be down on what they are not up on. Perhaps it is easier to repeat than to study. We live in an age of information. Use it.

    Study the fruits of our faith so you can come to know us and of our faith in Christ.

    • http://karenzach.com Karen Spears Zacharias

      I think we, Kim & I, are hoping is that this discussion will allow us to engage in conversation in productive ways that will address misconceptions on both sides of the fence.

  • Guest102811

    Karen, I hope you are blessed for your thoughtful posts, Q&A and Comments both. I am a little dismayed, however, by the URL ending which suggests either you or an editor are adding fuel to the “Mormons are not Christians” fire/controversy (qa-between-a-mormon-a-christian). If by an editor, then I have to question the notation on the home page of Patheos, “Balanced Views of Religion and Spirituality,” as the URL suggests a continuing bias/editorializing outside the scope of the article itself. If it was named by you, then do I dare risk adding more fuel to the fire, do you think Kim is a Christian?

  • Tony

    What does it mean to sink slowly into the strait and narrow pat


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