Are Mormons Christians? And Other Thoughts
Why, yes! Yes, we are! But there are some big differences between us and other Christians, and it just so happens that Elder Jeffrey R. Holland detailed them to a bunch of Harvard Law School students this week. (You can jump to the 11:45 mark to hear that part.)
I thought he gave an excellent account of what distinguishes Mormons from other Christians, and why wouldn't he? He is an apostle after all. I love hearing apostles speak to people other than Mormons. There is an entirely different tone to their speech than there is in General Conference, I think. It's smarter, succinct, and straightforward. This kind of communication is the perfect example to other Mormons on how to talk about what we believe to non-Mormon friends. Apostles are wholly unapologetic about what they believe, and I think that's how every Mormon should be. That's how I want to be, anyway. I know not everyone believes what I believe, and I think I am sensitive to that, but the bottom line is this: I believe in the gospel of Jesus Christ as it is outlined by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Some of the principles and doctrine may seem odd or fantastical, but they are what I believe, and I'm not ashamed of that.
And here's something else: Elder Holland quoted a 19th-century Presbyterian pastor, Henry Martyn Field, to emphasize the effects of belief in God. I don't know that I've ever heard a better explanation, even from a Mormon.
The loss of respect for religion is the dry rot of social institutions. The idea of God as the Creator and Father of all mankind is to the moral world, what gravitation is in the natural; it holds everything else together and causes it to revolve around a common center. Take this away, and any ultimate significance to life falls apart; there is, then, no such thing as collective humanity, but only separate molecules of men and women drifting in the universe, with no more cohesion and no more meaning than so many grains of sand have meaning for the sea.
Thing I'm thankful for: The weekend! I have so many big plans: watching The Hunger Games, watching Breaking Away, archery lessons, paddleboarding, homework, etc., etc., etc.