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Newsweek Looks at the Mormon Church

September 10th, 2001

"The [Mormon] Church now insists that it be regarded as a Christian Church..."

[Distinct Mormon] doctrines...help to explain why many Christian fundamentalists oppose Mormonism as a pernicious “cult.”

Newsweek Magazine’s Religious Editor, Kenneth L. Woodward, took a good look at Mormonism as Utah prepared to face the world during the 2002 Winter Olympics. What he found is not new to those of us who are familiar with life behind the Zion Curtain—Posturing, Pretending, and Proselytizing.

Read the entire article
Here are a couple of excerpts.

...for more than two decades now, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has worked hard to alter its image. With an infusion of converts from Latin America, Asia and Africa since the 1950s, it is no longer a white-bread church. Once staunchly separatist, Mormons today cooperate with other churches in providing international relief. Above all, the church now insists it be regarded as a Christian church, albeit one with doctrines about God, salvation and the priesthood that differ radically from traditional Christianity. For example: with Olympic fever heating up, the church’s hierarchy recently advised the media that the term Mormon Church is no longer acceptable. Henceforth, officials declared, short references to the church should read: “The Church of Jesus Christ.” In this way the church hopes to emphasize what Mormons share with historic Christianity, not what makes them different...

Doctrines such as these—that God is a finite being with a body, is married and eternally procreative—give the Mormon faith its distinctive theological profile. But they also help to explain why many Christian fundamentalists oppose Mormonism as a pernicious “cult.” Even mainline Protestants like Presbyterians and Methodists reject Mormon baptisms as invalid. And in July the Vatican decreed that converts from Mormonism must be rebaptized, thereby signaling that Rome does not consider the Latter-day Saints to be Christians. The feeling is mutual. Mormons consider theirs the only church of Jesus Christ: all others are apostate.