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Switch to Forum Live View Is a label worth fighting for?
10 years ago  ::  May 13, 2008 - 6:11PM #1
ThinkNLove
Posts: 29
I am curious about the views of the general Church membership on this topic.  We are all familiar with the ongoing debate around whether Mormons are Christian.  Of course we say we are – our very name states that Jesus Christ is the head of our church.  Why would anyone want to deny us the title of “Christian”?  I understand that many “traditional” or as they may like to refer to themselves, “biblical” Christians may be offended by Mormons calling themselves “Christian” because there are some differing doctrines and beliefs.  The “traditionals” don’t want our unique beliefs to be confused with what they believe – so they would prefer to keep the “Christian” label purely for those that share the bulk of their biblically derived beliefs (per their specific interpretations).  It’s a matter of confusing beliefs, they don’t want people who believe in Eternal Progression (for one) to be associated with them by sharing the “Christian” label.  Of course we, as members of the LDS Church, feel that we follow Jesus Christ and want to be referred to as his followers by the commonly recognized “Christian” moniker.  Wouldn’t living the Golden Rule suggest that all followers of Christ allow the other followers, no matter their specific beliefs, to adopt the label?

Now the other side of my question.  I see a similar situation at play with followers of Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon – followers who are not a part of the larger LDS Church.  As they proclaim belief in Joseph Smith as a prophet, and the Book of Mormon as the word of God, they feel they should be referred to by the commonly recognized “Mormon” moniker.  We, meaning the larger LDS Church in general, may take offense when they adopt the “Mormon” label – because we don’t want their beliefs to be confused with our beliefs.  We would rather keep the label purely representative of our unique and current beliefs.  Wouldn’t living the Golden Rule suggest that all believers in the Book of Mormon allow the other followers, no matter their specific beliefs, to adopt the label?  Is this a double standard or am I missing something (genuine question).  Should we take a higher road than our Christian counterparts by giving them free use of the label?
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10 years ago  ::  May 13, 2008 - 6:20PM #2
ProfitOfGod
Posts: 1,020
It is worth fighting for, otherwise Mormons wouldn't be taught to care so much about it. 

The label is worth untold billions.
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10 years ago  ::  May 13, 2008 - 10:16PM #3
bytebear
Posts: 1,451
It's not a matter of the label itself, but of the information or misinformation it implies.   The term "Cristian" was  coined by non-believers, similar to the way "Mormon" was.  The term believers used to describe themselves in the Bible was "Saints," and it's the same today with "Latter-day" tacked on for clarity.  So, I prefer LDS or "the Saints." but just as Christians accepted that term, we accept the term Mormon.

Now, why do Mormons get out of joint when told they aren't Christians?  Because it implies Christ isn't part of their theology, but that simply isn't true.  But, Mormons are perfectly happy to be excluded from "apostolic Christianity," "Trinitarian Christianity" or even "traditional Christianity," because it clarifies and leaves room for Christ in their teachings.

Really, the biggest issue is that those who exclude Mormons from Christianity are being deceitful about what LDS believes.
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10 years ago  ::  May 13, 2008 - 11:02PM #4
MMCSFOX
Posts: 1,785
“Should we take a higher road than our Christian counterparts by giving them free use of the label?”
Of course we should. See below. Why should we let little people and little things cause us to alter the course we have set for ourselves?

“Contend not with others, but pursue a steady course.”
- Joseph Smith
*
A few months ago I was at a Rotary Club meeting in Los Angeles where President Thomas Monson gave a report to the seven to eight hundred people present (my rough count) regarding the combined Rotary / LDS humanitarian efforts throughout the world. There were people of all races, nationalities and religious beliefs, present. (Even at my table.)

When he was finished the Church received a unanimous and long lasting standing ovation.

It has been my experience that the Church receives this kind of respect from all types and groups of people who are actively involved in causes that help improve the lives of others. Wherever they are and whoever they happen to be

It is interesting that I tend to associate with mostly non LDS yet I never seem to have to deal with the type of situation stated in the first post. I tend to notice that the Church commands great respect from most actively involved groups and people who spend their time and resources caring for those in need.

Even so, I have found that the simplest and best thing to do with people who are always finding fault is not contend with them but try to make a friend of them. By friend I don’t mean that you have to go out to dinner with them. Try to remember that you will never change their minds, as people will usually believe whatever they want to believe.

Of course sometimes as I read some beliefnet posts the devil just gets the best of me and I contend. Ah well, I do repent a lot.

Jesse F.
*
“If the enemy is in range, so are you.”
- Infantry journal.

I think the Devil knows that too.
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10 years ago  ::  May 14, 2008 - 12:03AM #5
BillThinks4Himself
Posts: 3,242
The Church is caught in something of a dilemma.  It never liked the "Mormon" label, and has fought for a long time to shed it.  But "Mormon" is the only unique label when distinguishing "Mormons" from other Latter-day or Latter Day Saints.  Rightly or wrongly, the "Mormon" label has turned out to be the one thing Church leaders can have any hope of controlling.  They can say, whenever they hear mention of a break-off sect, "Those aren't Mormons.  We're the Mormons."

In typical, hard-fisted fashion, the Church plays it both ways.  It corrects anybody who speaks of "Mormons" by referring to the full and official name of the Church.  But it also has trademarked the name, "Mormon," and actively engages anybody who tries to incorporate it for some other purpose.  Of course, whenever it does this, it's just reaffirming the popular association between the LDS Church and the "Mormon" label.
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10 years ago  ::  May 13, 2008 - 10:16PM #6
bytebear
Posts: 1,451
It's not a matter of the label itself, but of the information or misinformation it implies.   The term "Cristian" was  coined by non-believers, similar to the way "Mormon" was.  The term believers used to describe themselves in the Bible was "Saints," and it's the same today with "Latter-day" tacked on for clarity.  So, I prefer LDS or "the Saints." but just as Christians accepted that term, we accept the term Mormon.

Now, why do Mormons get out of joint when told they aren't Christians?  Because it implies Christ isn't part of their theology, but that simply isn't true.  But, Mormons are perfectly happy to be excluded from "apostolic Christianity," "Trinitarian Christianity" or even "traditional Christianity," because it clarifies and leaves room for Christ in their teachings.

Really, the biggest issue is that those who exclude Mormons from Christianity are being deceitful about what LDS believes.
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10 years ago  ::  May 13, 2008 - 11:02PM #7
MMCSFOX
Posts: 1,785
“Should we take a higher road than our Christian counterparts by giving them free use of the label?”
Of course we should. See below. Why should we let little people and little things cause us to alter the course we have set for ourselves?

“Contend not with others, but pursue a steady course.”
- Joseph Smith
*
A few months ago I was at a Rotary Club meeting in Los Angeles where President Thomas Monson gave a report to the seven to eight hundred people present (my rough count) regarding the combined Rotary / LDS humanitarian efforts throughout the world. There were people of all races, nationalities and religious beliefs, present. (Even at my table.)

When he was finished the Church received a unanimous and long lasting standing ovation.

It has been my experience that the Church receives this kind of respect from all types and groups of people who are actively involved in causes that help improve the lives of others. Wherever they are and whoever they happen to be

It is interesting that I tend to associate with mostly non LDS yet I never seem to have to deal with the type of situation stated in the first post. I tend to notice that the Church commands great respect from most actively involved groups and people who spend their time and resources caring for those in need.

Even so, I have found that the simplest and best thing to do with people who are always finding fault is not contend with them but try to make a friend of them. By friend I don’t mean that you have to go out to dinner with them. Try to remember that you will never change their minds, as people will usually believe whatever they want to believe.

Of course sometimes as I read some beliefnet posts the devil just gets the best of me and I contend. Ah well, I do repent a lot.

Jesse F.
*
“If the enemy is in range, so are you.”
- Infantry journal.

I think the Devil knows that too.
Quick Reply
Cancel
10 years ago  ::  May 14, 2008 - 12:03AM #8
BillThinks4Himself
Posts: 3,242
The Church is caught in something of a dilemma.  It never liked the "Mormon" label, and has fought for a long time to shed it.  But "Mormon" is the only unique label when distinguishing "Mormons" from other Latter-day or Latter Day Saints.  Rightly or wrongly, the "Mormon" label has turned out to be the one thing Church leaders can have any hope of controlling.  They can say, whenever they hear mention of a break-off sect, "Those aren't Mormons.  We're the Mormons."

In typical, hard-fisted fashion, the Church plays it both ways.  It corrects anybody who speaks of "Mormons" by referring to the full and official name of the Church.  But it also has trademarked the name, "Mormon," and actively engages anybody who tries to incorporate it for some other purpose.  Of course, whenever it does this, it's just reaffirming the popular association between the LDS Church and the "Mormon" label.
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10 years ago  ::  May 14, 2008 - 3:13AM #9
moksha8088
Posts: 5,277
I say, let them have free access to the title FN Mormons or FN LDS.

;)
Cry Heaven and let loose the Penguins of Peace
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10 years ago  ::  May 14, 2008 - 2:08PM #10
MMCSFOX
Posts: 1,785
“by giving them free use of the label?”

Just so I don’t confuse more than myself, I meant the Christian” label, not the Mormon label.

Jesse F.
*
“Chance is the word that God uses when He wants to remain anonymous”
- Anatole France
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