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FIVE REASONS WHY I BELIEVE MORMONS ARE CHRISTIANS – PART 2: CHRISTIAN COVENANTS



Before moving on, some have brought up the concern of Mormons worshipping a “different Jesus,” thus suggesting that it does not matter how much we appeal to the name Jesus Christ if it is the wrong Jesus anyway. In my afore mentioned manuscript, I spend over 20 pages responding to this argument, including a table showing the characteristics of Jesus listed in the Bible, the Book of Mormon, and “The Living Christ,” showing that they are indeed the same Jesus. Perhaps one day my arguments in that regard will see the light of day, but for now, I’m only interested in making my case for Mormons as Christians, not refuting the case against it. That has been done before, and I’m quite content to direct readers to the previous efforts of others.


Mormons Make Covenants in the Name of Jesus Christ

At the very core of LDS theology is the making of covenants through Jesus Christ, which reconcile us back to God. It ought to be clear from this fact that we are Christians, but our critics are never satisfied. Thus, we shall explore this concept in the New Testament, and see how the Latter-day Saint understanding compares.
 
The Bible and the Gospel Covenant

            The Apostle Paul taught that Jesus was the “mediator of the new covenant” (Heb.12:24), which is also called the “better covenant” (Heb. 8:6; also see Heb.8:7-10, 13; 7:22), and an “everlasting covenant” (Heb. 13:20); and that Christ brought about this covenant by means of His death and atoning blood (see Heb.9:15-20; 13:20). Jesus Himself taught His disciples during that great and last supper that the emblems which he had administered to them (the bread and the wine) were symbolic of the new covenant which was to be wrought through His own blood (see Matt. 26:26-28; Mark 14:22-24; Luke 22:19-20; cf. 1 Cor. 11:23-25).[1] It is by virtue of this covenant that we are granted a remission of sins (see Matt.26:26-28) and made perfect by Christ’s blood (see Heb. 13:20-21).

Latter-day Saints and Covenants

            For Latter-day Saints, the ordinance of baptism represents the formal entry into the new and better, and everlasting covenant which was mediated through Jesus Christ’s atoning blood. Upon baptism, the Latter-day Saint covenants to: (a) take upon themselves the name of Jesus Christ (see Gal. 3:27); (b) always remember Christ (see Luke 22:19-20; 1 Cor. 11:23-25); and (c) to keep Christ’s Commandments (see John 14:15; 15:10; 1 John 2:3; 3:22; 5:2-3). In turn, God promises the following for keeping this covenant: (a) the remission of our sins (see Acts 2:38; Matt. 26:26-28); (b) that we will receive the Gift of the Holy Ghost (see Acts 2:38); and (c) be born again (see John 3:3-5; cf Rom. 6:3-4)

            To the Latter-day Saint, the Sacramental emblems of Christ body and blood serve as a symbol of this covenant, just as Christ Himself taught in the New Testament (see Matt.26:26-28; Mark 14:22-24; Luke 22:19-20; cf. 1 Cor. 11:23-25), and partaking of the Sacrament weekly allows the repentant sinner to re-new this covenant and once again demonstrate their willingness to follow Christ (see Moro. 4:1-3; 5:1-2; D&C 20:76-79).  Latter-day Saints further make formal covenants “confirmed before of God in Christ” (Gal. 3:17) through ordinances in the Temple.

            The Christian nature of this covenant is self-evident. Would non-Christians formally take upon themselves the name of Jesus Christ; and strive to remember Him and follow Him? Whether or not one agrees with the LDS Church about baptism being the formal entry of the “holy covenant” (Luke 1:72) which Christ delivered; whether or not one agrees that the LDS covenant is in fact the New Testament gospel covenant; one must agree that, in its very nature, this is clearly a Christian covenant.

Conclusion of Part 2

            The New Testament is clear that through the Atonement, Jesus Christ delivered and mediated a new and better covenant, and that by this covenant we may be cleansed of our sins and inherit eternal life. Consistent with this teaching, Latter-day Saints formally enter into a Christian-natured covenant via baptism. Therefore, I suggest that according to this New Testament based practice, Mormons are Christians.

Other Reasons

LDS Scripture Testifies of Christ
LDS Prophets and Apostles Testify of Christ
Jesus Christ as the Only Means of Salvation

[1] In the King James text of the New Testament, the word diatheke is translated as both covenant and testament. Diatheke literally means covenant or “contract” (see Strong, Transliterated Strong’s Greek-English Dictionary of the Greek New Testament, g1242). Hence, while these passages have been rendered as testament in the KJV, covenant would be an equally accurate translation of the Greek text. The same is applicable for Heb. 7:22; 9:15-20

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