I am a Convert of 3 1/5 years and am very happy as to where I am as a member of the Mormon Church. I have had many good, positive conversations with non members who are aware of my membership. I have had two instances that have me wondering how people who are very well educated in collegiate studies, and in one instance theological studies as he is a minister, have tried to come to my aid as to the fact that we (Mormons) believe in a different Jesus Christ. They are very good friends of mine but they quote many things from the Bible to attest to this (fact?). I feel very sorry for them that they are unwittingly wasting all this energy to prove us wrong because of some man made fear of our knowledge. Question! Can you explain what drives this philosophy? Thanks.
We read in 1 Cor. 2:11, For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. And in 1 Cor. 2:14, But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
The true knowledge of Jesus Christ can only come from the revelations of the Holy Spirit. Without that spiritual guide, men are left to their own resources in their attempts to understand and explain Deity. There has developed a consensus in Protestant Christianity on the nature of God and Jesus Christ. Since all the Protestant churches subscribe to it, there has developed a certain “brotherhood” among them. It’s curious, for instance, in the matter of baptism. Although baptisms in the different Protestant churches are performed in different manners and for somewhat different reasons, the churches believe in “one baptism.” The application of this belief is that if a person has been baptized by any one of the Protestant churches, that person does not have to be rebaptized when converting from one church to another. There is one exception to this practice–at least in the Presbyterian Church–if a person converts from Mormonism to Presbyterianism he must be rebaptized. Let me quote a paragraph from “Presbyterians and Mormons: A study in Contrasts,” from the Office of Theology and Worship Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
The question of baptism is often an issue when a Mormon chooses to become a Presbyterian either because of marriage or for some other reason. Pastors and sessions must make necessary decisions. Guided by the statement: ‘Baptism is received only once,’ Presbyterians do not rebaptize. We accept any Christian baptism in the name of the Trinity performed by a minister or priest with recognized ordination, whether or not the baptism occurs in a church with which we are ‘in correspondence.’ However, baptism by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in not recognized. Mormon beliefs about the Trinity do not correspond to the classical expression of trinitarian faith; the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has not recognized the ordination of the Latter-day Saints priesthood. Before the ordination of a minister from another denomination can be recognized by a presbytery, the ordaining denomination must be ‘judged by the presbytery to hold the Word and Sacraments in their fundamental integrity.’
The Presbyterian view of Jesus Christ (from the source mentioned above) is
Jesus Christ as only Son of God, begotten before the worlds; co-creator with the Father; one in whom the fullness of God is pleased to dwell.
The Presbyterian view of the Mormon doctrine of Jesus Christ is
Jesus Christ as one of many sons of God. Known as Jehovah, Brother of Satan/Lucifer. Born of physical union of Heavenly Father and Virgin Mary.
When they say that we are not Christian, they are really saying that we do not subscribe to their view of the Trinity. And this opinion is based on their grossly distorted view of the Latter-day Saint understanding of who the Savior is.
It is a rather useless exercise to try to convince those of the Protestant persuasion by the power of argument and reason that their view is incorrect and that we have the truth. Generally, such arguments only serve to steepen them in their convictions. Rather, if we can show respect for their views, and invite them to investigate the doctrine of the Church–in particular, if they would be willing to entertain the Mormon missionaries–they would have the best chance of being touched by the Spirit, and come to an understanding of the truth.