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Dear Catholic.com visitor: Summer is here, and you may be thinking about a well-deserved vacation, family get-togethers, BBQs with neighborhood friends. More than likely, making a donation to Catholic Answers is not on your radar right now. But this is exactly the time we most need your help. The “summer slowdown” in donations is upon us, but the work of spreading the gospel and explaining and defending the Faith never takes a break. Your gift today will change lives and save souls for Christ this summer! The reward is eternal. Thank you and God bless.

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Are Mormons Christian?

Question:

I’ve heard Mormons say they worship the same Jesus we do and so they are Christians. After all, their church is “the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.”

Answer:

Just because someone says he’s a Christian doesn’t make him a Christian, because a Christian must be validly baptized and believe in the God of Christianity. The Catholic Church holds Mormon baptisms invalid because, even though the baptismal formula they use is correct, the meaning of the words “Father, Son, and Holy Spirit” are so alien to Christian belief that they essentially belong to another religion.

When it comes to Jesus, Christians believe he is fully human and fully divine, and he has always been divine given that he is the second person of the Trinity, God the Son. Mormons, however, believe that Jesus Christ was once an “intelligence” such as us who existed from eternity. He was not always divine, and he was not always the Son of God. Instead, God chose him to become the “firstborn” among the intelligences by giving him the first spirit body. In 1909, the Mormon Church’s leadership released a statement that read, “The Father of Jesus is our Father also. . . . Jesus, however, is the firstborn among all the sons of God—the first begotten in the spirit, and the only begotten in the flesh. He is our elder brother, and we, like him, are in the image of God.”

Instead of being completely different in kind from human beings, this counterfeit Christ is different from us only in degree (hence the term “eldest brother”). He is just a more exalted spirit-child of God the Father, which reduces him from being the eternal creator of the universe to being merely one highly praised part of it, which is antithetical to true Christian belief.

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