Mormons: What’s the most important thing to know?

https://readthespirit.com/ourvalues/wp-content/uploads/sites/17/2013/03/wpid-0131_Jesus_in_LDS_teachings.jpgA common Mormon image of Jesus. This painting appears on the main LDS web page about Jesus. (Click this image to visit that page on the LDS.org website.)Mormons are Christians. That’s the single most important thing for non-members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to know and accept, Mormons overwhelmingly believe. It’s also the most hotly contested point between Mormons and other Christians.

Here’s what Pew found in its landmark survey of Mormons nationwide, a report that we introduced on Monday this week: Virtually all Mormons (97%) surveyed by the Pew Research Center describe their church as Christian.

In Michigan where I work and teach, journalists from across the state gathered last week for a tour of a major Mormon center in metro Detroit. Several of the state’s top LDS church officials led the hour-long tour. More than once, these religious leaders stressed this message, almost word for word: “We are just as Christian as can be. There is no question. We are Christian.”

Here’s a fascinating finding in another Pew report: Large majorities of other Christians now agree with members of the LDS church on that point—except for white evangelical Protestants, according to a Pew survey of the general population. Pew found that about two-thirds of white mainline Protestants (67%) and white Catholics (63%) said the LDS church is Christian, compared to about one-third (35%) of white evangelical Protestants.

Mormons share many religious practices and beliefs with other branches of Christianity, Pew found. Almost all (98%) believe in the resurrection of Jesus. They pray often (83% pray every day) and go to church (77% at least once a week).

How will Mitt Romney’s faith affect his chances this year? Pew concludes that Romney’s Mormon faith might be a factor in the Republican primaries—but not in a general election.

What do you think about these findings?

Were there earlier eras in the U.S. when your faith was questioned?

Is the validity of your faith questioned now by others?

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Originally published at www.OurValues.org, an online experiment in civil dialogue.

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