October 8th, 2007
Gordon B. Hinckley, president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, defended the Mormon faith at a conference in Salt Lake City. He admitted that their beliefs and practices were different than all the Christian churches:
“The work is unique and wonderful. It is fundamentally different from every other body of religious doctrine of which I know.”
Hinckley commented that men had struggled for generations to understand the nature of God and added that he personally couldn’t understand the creeds used by most Christian churches. Further, he said that non-Mormons have little understanding of the LDS Church.
As President Hinckley says, the doctrines of the Mormon Church separate it from other Churches. All Christian Churches accept the ‘Great Tradition’, which is a theological consensus that includes all the teaching of the Apostolic Fathers, the church creeds and councils of the first 1,000 years of Christian history. This includes all the basic doctrines and teachings which have been taught and believed ‘everywhere, always, and by all’. ‘All’ includes: all the Catholic, Orthodox, Lutheran, and Anglican churches, and then all the 20,000 or so Protestant denominations and groups. But it does not include the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
The LDS reject the ‘Great Tradition’ and refer to it as the ‘Great Apostasy’. Mormons are taught to look at all the different churches and thousands of denominations and see only the divergent teachings and practices that divide one church from another. They do not see or understand that all Christian churches (Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant) agree on the basic Christian doctrines and theology.
Since the Mormons reject those doctrines, that is the reason why so many question whether they are really Christians or not. From an Evangelical perspective, only those Churches that accept the basic doctrines are considered truly Christian. We agree with President Hinckley, the doctrines of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints do indeed separate it from all Christian Churches.