A friend, still cross at the Mormon Glenn Beck for telling Christians to leave their churches, wrote last night asking if Mormonism is a form of Christianity or another religion, and I would be grateful for your thoughts.
There are a couple of tests. . . . One is the teaching of the major Christian traditions on Mormon baptism. . . . If the baptisms are not Christian baptisms, the baptized are not Christians.
Now, plain it is for one to see that this first argument is invalid, for Mormons baptize in the Name of Jesus Christ, in the Authority of the Holy Priesthood, which Priesthood Jesus Christ, Peter, James, and John held. This same Priesthood was restored by John the Baptist and Peter, James, and John in early 1829, thus leaving The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as the only religion on Earth with legitimate Authority from God. This will settle the argument of the foolish:
Baptism is to be administered in the following manner unto all those who repent— The person who is called of God and has authority from Jesus Christ to baptize, shall go down into the water with the person who has presented himself or herself for baptism, and shall say, calling him or her by name: Having been commissioned of Jesus Christ, I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen. Then shall he immerse him or her in the water, and come forth again out of the water. (D&C 20:72-74)
After this tirade comes to an end, it is mentioned that Mormonism can be judged to be a non-Christian religion. The writer of the blog says, "Is [Mormonism] close enough to count as a form of Christianity? A Lutheran friend suggested that it is, but I don’t think so."
First Things than argues that Joseph Smith, although not breaking off from a specific church, taught from personal revelation rather than Scripture. It is true that Joseph Smith did not receive Mormonism from the pages of the Bible, but rather from direct revelation from God. However, in all his sermons wherein he expounds Mormon doctrine, he uses the Bible as a text to explain and expound Mormonism, which he does better than anyone I have ever read.
Since the only religion duly Authorized by God (as proven heretofore in The Mormon Eagle) to teach the correct doctrine which Christ taught is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, then it must follow that Mormonism in the only correct Christian religion on the face of the earth. In the Name of Jesus Christ, amen.