Dear Madame L,
I saw where some Baptist preacher says that people shouldn't vote for Mitt Romney because he's a Mormon, and Mormonism is a cult, and Mormons aren't Christians. He says most evangelical Christians agree with him, and that having a Mormon in the White House would be dangerous.
What do you think about this?
Madame L is, as you know, a Mormon, or, as she prefers to say, a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
As a member of this church, which has the name of Jesus Christ in its very title, Madame L tries very hard to be a good follower of Christ. This includes, among many things trying not to call other people names or mock them for their religious beliefs.
Also, Madame L doesn't like to engage in Bible-bashing or any other form of argument: it doesn't convince anyone, and generally leads to bad feelings on all sides.
Therefore, Madame L declines to criticize people who don't understand her religious beliefs. She believes that everyone should have the right to believe and practice his/her religion according to the dictates of his/her own conscience. And she believes that the only One who can judge how well we're living up to our Christian ideals is Christ himself, the ultimate judge.
Mormons believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, that he came to earth to live a perfect life and atone for our sins, and to be crucified so he could be resurrected, thereby giving all of us the opportunity to return to our Heavenly Father's presence one day.
What apparently offends some other Christians is that Mormons also believe that the Bible is not the only work of scripture written and passed down (confirmed in the Bible itself). Also, other Christians don't believe Joseph Smith was a prophet, that the Book of Mormon is another ancient scripture, or that Christ appeared to the people on the American continent and taught them the same principles he taught in the Holy Land. We do believe all these things, and we believe God still speaks to us through living prophets.
Madame L could say lots more, but L.D.S. leaders have already said it much better than she can. Madame L hopes that all who are interested in Mormonism will go to the Church's website, lds.org, where they can read all about it. Here they can find scriptures and discourses; and read, watch, and/or listen to the Church's general conference which was held earlier this month.
And maybe people who are interested in knowing more about Mormons could get to know some of them. For example, a Muslim-American comedian wrote recently about his experiences with L.D.S. Church members in Salt Lake City.
In "Who says Mormons aren't Christians?" Dean Obeidallah writes, "... Perhaps it's overly simplistic to define an entire religion by the few hundred we met, but let's be honest: many define religions, races and ethnicities by a few of their worst examples. I prefer instead to define minority groups by their best examples..."
He concludes, "This passage from the New Testament is often cited as one that articulates Jesus' philosophy: "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." (John 13:34-35)
"In comparing the hate-filled language of Jeffress with the words and good deeds of the Mormons we met, it is clear to me who is best following the teachings of Jesus Christ and truly deserves to be called a Christian."
Madame L, Christian