We continue our tour of the Gospel Topics Essays and with the essay Are Mormon Christian. The Goal- To share the LDS Church’s Gospel Topic Essays and help the both the believing member and the non-believer get a sense of the why these essays were written, who the intended audience is, whether these essays resolve the concerns of the faithful and non-believer and why they perhaps these essays even add to the disbelief of those who skeptical of the issues they find in Mormon History.
Co-Hosts of this episode
Allan Mount is Co-host of the Marriage on a Tightrope podcast with his wife Kattie. After 35 faithful years in the church, it was the Gospel Topic Essays that acted as a catalyst to his faith transition. He is a sales director for a technology company in South Jordan Utah. Kattie and Allan have 4 children between the ages of 5 and 13.
Anthony Miller is an entrepreneur and education enthusiast in Billings, Montana, with Masters degrees in Business Administration and in Financial Services. After a lifetime of faithful membership in the church, he experienced a faith transition after he stumbled across the Gospel Topics Essays and similar materials in 2016, while he was searching for resources to support his adult gay son. Anthony blogs at UnpackingAmbiguity.com and is a frequent contributor to post and progressive Mormon support communities.
Bill Reel is a media producer and Pawn Shop Broker and lives in Southern Utah. bill experienced a deep faith shift while serving as a LDS Bishop in 2012. Since then has has worked to be a voice to help others reconcile the complex issues of Mormonism. He is the the lead contributor of the Mormon Primer and host of Mormon Discussion Podcast
The Essay We Discuss
Gospel Topic Essay “Are Mormon Christian
Mormon Discussion’s 6 Part series on the Historical Jesus
Gospel of Mark
Gospel of Q
Gospel of Mathew
Gospel of Luke
Gospel of John
Are Mormons Christian (Sources outside Mormonism)
Online Documents on the Historical Jesus:
- Comparative Chart of the 4 Gospels
- Historical Jesus: Christology
- Historical Jesus & Mythical Christ
- Historical Jesus: 5 views
- Albert Schweitzer on the Historical Jesus
- Synoptic Problem
- Biblical Criticism: Higher & Lower
- Q-Source may look like this
- Closer look at the Q-Source
- Internet Christian Library (includes many early christian documents not in our scriptures)
- Q Gospel quick run through of evidence
- BYU Article by Robert Millet
- Paula Fredriksen’s Quest for the Historical Jesus
- Quest for the Historical Jesus
- Resurrection Faith & The Historical Jesus
- Origins of Christianity and the Quest for the Historical Jesus
- Why the Quest for the Historical Jesus Matters
- Non Christian Evidence for the Historical Christ
- Progress in the Quest for the Historical Jesus
Podcasts on the Historical Jesus:
- Historical Jesus by Stanford Continuing Studies Program
- Religions of the Ancient Mediterranean Podcast
- Yale Open Courses
- The Partially Examined Life (select episodes)
- Progressive Spirit (select episodes)
- Mormon Matters Podcast on the Historical Jesus
- Mormon Discussion Podcast on the Historical Jesus
- Mormon Sunday School episode
- FairMormon on the Historical Jesus
Books on the Historical Jesus:
- The Historical Jesus: The Life of a Mediterranean Jewish Peasant
- Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth
- The Historical Jesus: Ancient Evidence for the Life of Christ
- Historical Jesus: A Comprehensive Guide
- The Quest of the Historical Jesus
- The Historical Jesus of the Gospels
- The Historical Jesus: An Essential Guide
- The Historical Jesus: A Guide for the Perplexed
- Studying the Historical Jesus: A Guide to Sources and Methods
- The Historical Reliability of the Gospels
- The Historical Christ and the Theological Jesus
- Jesus Through Middle Eastern Eyes
- The Historical Jesus and Mythical Christ
- The Historical Jesus For Dummies
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Wow guys!! Going through the gospel topic essays is great!!
Answer, we are a different type of Christians.
I never wanted to be Christian in the first place, but now President Nelson wants me to be Christian.
I wish Mormonism would have remained distinctive and different, taking pride in differences rather than trying to go mainstream.
But I digress, we are just as Christians, as FLDS are also Mormons. Too bad, we are no longer Mormons.
I would submit that the “Are Mormons Christian?” essay may be intended to reach people experiencing a faith crisis (or their loved ones) — like the other essays are.
The essay may be intended to reinforce/salvage one of the few remaining sales pitches that the LDS church can offer to someone: “Even if you don’t believe the truth claims, we’re a good place to be a Christian.”
Of course, as Bill noted, folks often start deconstructing Christianity after deconstructing Mormonism. This essay won’t help the folks deconstructing Christianity.
But for the folks who aren’t deconstructing Christianity, but have deconstructed Mormonism. The natural step is to retain a belief in Christ and the issue is whether the LDS church is a good place for someone to be a Christian.
I, personally, see a lot of worship of the LDS church, its ordinances, and its leaders and only lip service to Jesus and his teachings in the LDS church. So I don’t think this essay will be very effective to that end.
Please, please, please front-load the essay “Plural Marriage in Kirtland and Nauvoo”!!! (even though it is lengthy – 55 footnotes)
Polygamy/Polyandry is on nearly EVERY LDS/Mormon woman’s shelf (or in their cupboard) whether openly acknowledged/conscious or not. It is probably a top-2 concern issue for all LDS/Mormons going through Faith Crisis, too, when the real/actual messiness & disgusting-ness is uncovered.
This may need to be a multi-part episode. Take your time & be thorough – this is awesome content you guys are producing & many of us are taking notes. If you can keep your podcast nodes somehow tied to the portions/paragraphs of the essay, that would be awesome, too. THANK YOU!!!
The copies and copies and copies you speak of, have less than 1% variance with less than 25% of that 1% being contextual. Study about the dead sea scrolls, which requires some effort. One thing of note; the more scrolls available equals less variance. That is the book of Hebrews. The fewer scrolls available equals a greater variance. That is the book of Revelation.
When Arius of Alexandria was going around teaching Jesus had a beginning and subordinate to the Father, the first Nicean Creed came about. The Christian view is Jesus as fully god and fully man is from everlasting to everlasting. Interestingly, that’s what the Book of Mormon says too. In fact if you look at mainstay mormon doctrine such as priesthood, temples, god was a man, we can become like God, 3 degrees of glory, Heavenly mother, eternal progression, is NOT in there. Even though the Jesus in the BOM is very different than Jesus in the bible; the BOM is closer by far to the bible than it is to mormonism.
It’s embarrassing to have been so dumb for so long. Even though I hated mormon doctrine; hated it. I hung on so long. I’m free now and just want to help those who miss being in the dark by showing how ridiculous and hurtful and heinous mormon doctrine is.
Have you read scholar Bart Ehrman’s books, Misquoting Jesus, and Forged?
Edit here. Jesus is fully god and fully man. He wasn’t always fully man until the incarnation. Not immaculate conception. That’s Catholic and has to do with Mary not being held under Jewish law which required women who gave birth to offer a sin offering. Being the mother of Christ exempts her.
What’s great about Christianity is you don’t have to see the bible as literal and you are still loved and accepted. You can be in a little or a lot and you are accepted. And no one gets in your business and are so happy to see you. The place I’ve landed says come as you are and they love me. It’s so wonderful. No more fear. The mormon church is horrible. I know more about Jesus in one year than I did in 55 attending and studying the mormon way. My standards are the same except I love bigger and am less judgemental.
Mormonism was created, edited and changed and added to just like the bible and “Christianity” (and Judaism) was. They are all the proven changing words of men, and not of any real unchanging, loving, giving, forgiving God or Father as Jesus described, which unchangeable, loving Father “we christians” reject as well.
“Christians” just don’t really follow the true Jesus anyway. It’s all about following and not questioning those with power and authority, and the bible as they define it despite all those changes and additions/forgeries. You are loved and accepted by “christians” until you question or point out the obvious man-made and changing god and “christ.”
You aren’t “christian” if you don’t uphold the man-made Trinity, virgin Mary and such, and uphold christ being god himself from time immemorial. Those are all man-created, a god created in man’s own narcissistic image, as are the forged books and other contradictory ideas in the bible and Mormon theology.
“Keys, Power and Authority” should be our key to run from anything claiming such, or similar. Jesus said, “Fruits…” He also described the controlling father of the Pharisees as Satan, even the very father of today’s “christian” Saint’nism.
Just one question for those who are “officially christian,” Why do you support the need for the forgery of 1 John 5: 7-8 added in the 16th century to solidify your man-made “Trinity” which the gospels of Mark, Matt and Luke flat out defy?
Question for Mormons, Why did your church support that faked “Trinity” for so many years before changing it and back-dating out of it to make an 1838 fake First Vision Version which defies all earlier teachings of JS on the Trinity nature of god?
Well, there had been a lot of debate concerning additions and changes to the bible before JS’ time, so, maybe the “Trinity” change and more was presented to JS and that is why he backed out of what was “official” prior to 1838 yet so obviously fake?
God does not restore BS and then change his mind later about it and reveal truth which still isn’t truth so he can even later reveal to us the real truth, and so forth… Yes, ceaseless moving of the goal posts to this day and beyond.
Didn’t Jesus tell us to NOT follow that wishy-washy, MPD, fake “god” created and endlessly changed by MPD narcissistic men with keys, power and authority?
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