I’ve always had a mild fascination with Mormonism. It may have started during my early years of elementary school when my brother’s best friend was a Mormon. I was young, so what I knew of their beliefs was limited to two things. First, they didn’t drink soda and, second, they believed something about getting their own something when they died (yes, it was that vague). In hindsight, I’ve been able to trace a series of touchpoints in my life where Mormons or Mormonism was always in view. As I mentioned, my brother’s best friend was a Mormon, my first crush, a girl named Tami in my third-grade class, was a Mormon, my favorite author is a Mormon, and on and on. Throughout, I’ve maintained a general curiosity about it all. I’ve never wanted to become one, but the beliefs, practices and story of the Mormon church have always been intriguing to me. How exactly did a nineteen-year-old farm boy from upstate New York convince people he was a prophet? Do they really believe they’ll become gods?
This “mild fascination” turned into an area of intense interest a few years ago, when my own studies of Christian theology and apologetics ramped up. It is often valuable when learning what is right to compare it with what is wrong. In this way, Mormonism provided a nice point of contrast since (spoiler alert) theologically orthodox Mormons will deny just about every doctrine that protestants hold dear.
So, what is Mormonism? Who are Mormons and what do they believe? Like any faith system this is not a subject that can be treated to a respectable degree in a single blog post or article, particularly because the biggest point of contention between Mormons and evangelical Christians in recent decades has been the issue of whether or not they should be considered “just another denomination” under the Christian banner. To come to an accurate understanding of the answer to that question, we need to understand the significant doctrinal differences between us. And believe me, the differences are not only highly significant, they are numerous. I plan to point out and address these differences in future posts, but for now we should cover the basics.
Writer, artist, lay theologian, student of comparative religion.