Skip to main content

Who Are Christians?

As members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we are frequently labeled Mormons/the Mormon Church or Latter-day Saints/the LDS Church. No matter what people call us, they never reference Christ, the Son of God, whom we worship and for whom our church is named. We are never called Christians.

Who are Christians? According to Merriam-Webster's dictionary, a Christian is "one who professes belief in the teachings of Jesus Christ." There are many things wrong with this definition: 1.) it implies that to be Christian you only need to profess belief, 2.) the belief is in Christ's teachings, not in Him, and 3.) there are many interpretations of what His teachings are. The last problem is why people do not consider us Christians. The first two are why I don't consider many people Christians.

Of course, to be Christian you need to believe in Christ. We do. We believe He is the Son of God and atoned for our sins. We worship Him and only Him--not prophets, dead or alive, as some think, which is why we prefer to be called by our church's true name instead of being called Mormons.

However, a true Christian is more than just someone who believes in the Bible and Jesus Christ. Christ said,
Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?

And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. (Matthew 7:21-23, emphasis added)
This passage reveals that more than profession of belief and good works are required to be His disciples. We must also do the will of the Father. We must show our true belief by keeping His commandments (John 14:15) and following in His footsteps (3 Nephi 27:21). If we do these things, our Christlike lives will testify to the world that we Mormons are true Christians (Matthew 7:20).

Michael Otterson of Church Public affairs addressed the issue of Mormons being excluded from Christians. “If you try to track the number of references to Jesus Christ in the service, you may lose count,” Otterson says. “So just observe the families, listen to the prayers, leaf through the hymn book to see if any of the hymns seem familiar, and make up your own mind as to how Christian our people are.”

A New Era article adapted from Stephen E. Robinson's book Are Mormons Christians? discusses the question more thoroughly. For more articles on the subject, go to and type "Christians" in the search box.

Discussion: What else makes a true Christian?


Anonymous said…
you are a consummate Christian-DAD

Popular posts from this blog

Family Home Evening for Babies

Family home evening can sometimes be a challenge because we don't know what to do. This is especially true for those of us with only a baby. There are plenty of ideas for single members, couples, and families, but I have yet to find good suggestions for planning a family home evening lesson for a baby (not yet in Nursery). So I compiled my own list: Read gospel-related board books. They are short and introduce common scripture stories in a very simple manner. Read the scriptures. Elder Bednar said, "Youth of all ages, even infants, can and do respond to the distinctive spirit of the Book of Mormon. Children may not understand all of the words and stories, but they certainly can feel the 'familiar spirit' described by Isaiah (Isaiah 29:4; see also 2 Nephi 26:16)." Sing Primary songs together. There is no better way to invite the Spirit, teach basic gospel principles, and prepare your baby for Nursery and Primary. Sing interactive songs to get wiggle…

The Sacrament Prayers

We hear the sacrament prayers every week, but do we listen to the words and know the purpose of the prayers? I have broken down the blessing on the bread to help us better understand the sacrament, something I was advised to do in my patriarchal blessing.

O God, the Eternal Father, we ask thee in the name of thy son, Jesus Christ,
First, we address Heavenly Father. Then we ask Him in humility and verify that we are doing so in Jesus's name, as we are commanded to do all things in His name (3 Nephi 27:7, 9).

to bless and sanctify this bread to the souls of all those who partake of it,
The Guide to the Scriptures on defines the words bless and sanctify as follows:
Bless: To confer divine favor upon someone. Anything contributing to true happiness, well-being, or prosperity is a blessing.
All blessings are based on eternal laws (D&C 130:20–21). Because God wants his children to find joy in life (2 Ne. 2:25), he grants blessings to them as a result of their obedience to hi…

Patriarchal Blessings

"The same Lord who provided a Liahona for Lehi provides for you and for me today a rare and valuable gift to give direction to our lives, to mark the hazards to our safety, and to chart the way, even safe passage—not to a promised land, but to our heavenly home. The gift to which I refer is known as your patriarchal blessing. . . .

"Patriarchs are humble men. They are students of the scriptures. They stand before God as the means whereby the blessings of heaven can flow from that eternal source to the recipient on whose head rests the hands of the patriarch. He may not be a man of letters, a possessor of worldly wealth, or a holder of distinguished office. He, however, must be blessed with priesthood power and personal purity. To reach to heaven for divine guidance and inspiration, a patriarch is to be a man of love, a man of compassion, a man of judgment, a man of God.
"A patriarchal blessing is a revelation to the recipient, even a white line down the middle of the …