Catholic Q&A

There is a Mormon church in the vicinity, and polite foreign youth eagerly recruit on the streets. Can it be viewed as an orthodox Christian denomination?

Mormonism is officially called “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.” It is an emerging Christian religion founded in the United States in 1830 by a man named Joseph Smith. Smith claimed to have discovered their Bible, “The Book of Mormon,” through the revelation of an angel. According to their beliefs, a tribe of ancient Israelites migrated to the Americas around 600 BC, and became the ancestors of the American Indians. They declare that despite Jesus Christ having appeared to them and taught them several things, yet they grew corrupt and perished. The sole surviving Mormon wrote down everything on gold plates and buried them. According to their teachings, the end of the world is near, and Jesus will soon return. Mormons are convinced that they alone are the group preparing for the second coming of Jesus, and they reject other Christian denominations as being wrong.

The founder Smith passed away in 1844, but his successor, Young, led the congregation to Utah in western United States, and founded a town called Salt Lake City. This town is considered the “Apocalyptic Jerusalem.” The life of the Mormons is morally firm, and besides they are very diligent and meticulous people. They are intensely devoted to missionary work, and all male members of the congregation are required to serve as missionaries in various countries of the world, for a period of two years.

The ethical seriousness of Mormons is indeed worthy of respect. However, it may be said that their teaching arises from the pride of 19th century American world hegemony, based on a fictitious private novel. It is not orthodox Christianity.

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