News Story

Mormons Are Christians

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are often asked whether they are Christians. Samantha Smith-Bird, a member of the Church currently residing in northern Alberta, experienced such questioning while she attended university.

As Smith-Bird prepared to return home for the Christmas holidays in 2005, she was chatting with a few other students when one of them asked, “But Mormons aren’t Christians, right?” Smith-Bird was surprised at the question and worried that she hadn’t done enough to indicate otherwise.

Many people have the misconception that Mormons are not Christians. This could be due to the basic differences between Mormonism and mainstream Christianity, such as the belief in additional canonized scripture, including the Book of Mormon; the structure of the Church, which is led by a modern, living prophet; and the belief that the Trinity (God the Father, Christ the Son and the Holy Ghost) are three distinct personages (see Doctrine and Covenants 130:22.

Although differences between Mormonism and other Christian faiths exist, those differences need not separate us. Smith-Bird says, “Do we not share much more in our commonalities than in our differences? At this time of year when all of Christianity celebrates with such reverence the birth of the Messiah, one cannot help but see how much we share in our love and devotion to the One who redeems us from death, how we are unified in our desire to return to Him. We are reminded of the depths to which He has descended to allow us to return to His presence. It is these feelings and remembrances that unify us as Christians and allow us to converse in the same language.”

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believe in the restoration of the gospel — more specifically, the gospel as it existed on the Earth during Christ’s ministry. Perhaps most notably, Mormons believe that prophets and apostles lead the Church, that the heavens are still open and that priesthood keys have been restored.

As Paul courageously said as he stood before King Agrippa, “Having therefore obtained help of God, I continue unto this day, witnessing both to small and great, saying none other things than those which the prophets and Moses did say should come: That Christ should suffer, and that he should be the first that should rise from the dead, and should shew light unto the people, and to the Gentiles” (Acts 26:22–23). Paul’s testimony is now reaffirmed by modern-day prophets who foretell and testify of His millennial return to Earth.

Smith-Bird concluded her account of her university experience by saying, “With all of the confidence that an inexperienced 18-year-old could muster, I said to my questioning schoolmate, ‘We believe in Christ. We worship Him. Isn’t that what a Christian is?’ She was quiet for a moment, then nodded her head in agreement.”

As evidenced by its name, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints identifies itself as devoutly Christian. Though the label “Christian” is often associated with particular creedal claims, which the Church does not adopt, Mormons use it to express their belief in the divinity of Jesus Christ. While acknowledging genuine differences in various doctrines with other traditional Christian churches, Mormons identify themselves as Christians in light of their devotion to worshipping and following the Saviour.

Focussing on worshipping and following the Saviour is especially important to members of the Church at Christmastime. “There is no better time than this very Christmas season for all of us to rededicate ourselves to the principles taught by Jesus Christ. It is the time to love the Lord our God with all our heart and our neighbors as ourselves. This joyful season will bring to each of us a measure of happiness that corresponds to the degree in which we have turned our minds, feelings and actions to the spirit of Christmas. … [Jesus Christ] is indeed ‘the way, the truth, and the life’ (John 14:6)” (“The First Presidency 2011 Christmas Message,” Dec. 3, 2011,

Style Guide Note:When reporting about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, please use the complete name of the Church in the first reference. For more information on the use of the name of the Church, go to our online Style Guide.