Are Mormons Christian? The short answer is yes. The very name of the Church itself, , a prophet in the Book of Mormon, tells us:
“We talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ” (2 Nephi 25:26). Notice that Nephi is writing to us more than 500 years before the birth of Christ. Yet he and his contemporaries had a knowledge of Christ, His impending Atonement for the sins of all mankind, and His resurrection. They looked forward to His coming.
In the same group of scriptures, Nephi says the following: “There is none other name given under heaven save it be this Jesus Christ, of which I have spoken, whereby man can be saved … We labor diligently to write, to persuade our children and also our brethren, to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God; for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do … We are made alive in Christ because of our faith” (2 Nephi 25:20, 23, 25).
Countless other prophets have testified of the divine role of our Savior Jesus Christ. In January of the year 2000, the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles issued a statement entitled “The Living Christ: The Testimony of the Apostles, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.” In it they state:
We bear testimony, as His duly ordained Apostles-that Jesus is the Living Christ, the immortal Son of God. He is the great King Immanuel, who stands today on the right hand of His Father. He is the light, the life, and the hope of the world. His way is the path that leads to happiness in this life and eternal life in the world to come. God be thanked for the matchless gift of His divine Son. (“The Living Christ: The Testimony of the Apostles, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,” Ensign, Apr. 2000, 2)
Members of the Church recognize all who believe in Jesus Christ as their Savior as Christians. Yet some people outside the Church don’t extend that same definition to Latter-day Saints. Some erroneously believe we worship Joseph Smith, or that we don’t believe in Christ at all. Some are confused because of our nickname “Mormons,” and think that someone or something named Mormon must be at the center of our religion. Others are concerned because we don’t follow the Christian tradition of the Trinity, which came about in the First Council of Nicea in 325 AD, long after Christ and the Apostles were gone. Latter-day Saints believe fully in God the Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost. The difference is that we believe them to be three separate beings, although completely unified in purpose. Of this, President Gordon B. Hinckley, the current prophet of the Church, has said:
Our faith, our knowledge is not based on ancient tradition, the creeds which came of a finite understanding and out of the almost infinite discussions of men trying to arrive at a definition of the risen Christ. Our faith, our knowledge comes of the witness of a prophet in this dispensation who saw before him the great God of the universe and His Beloved Son, the resurrected Lord Jesus Christ. They spoke to him. He spoke with Them. He testified openly, unequivocally, and unabashedly of that great vision. It was a vision of the Almighty and of the Redeemer of the world, glorious beyond our understanding but certain and unequivocating in the knowledge which it brought. It is out of that knowledge, rooted deep in the soil of modern revelation, that we, in the words of Nephi, “talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that [we and] our children may know to what source [we] may look for a remission of [our] sins” (2 Ne. 25:26). (Gordon B. Hinckley, “We Look to Christ,” Liahona, Jul 2002, 101-2)
To this I add my own testimony. As a Latter-day Saint, I believe with all my heart that Jesus Christ is my Savior and my Redeemer. I only hope that in some small way I can help Him, after all he has done for me.