"His life seems something of a sacred manuscript upon which the Holy Ghost has written - and is still writing one remarkable message after another." So says the Mormon blurb on the life of the cult's new 80 year old President, Thomas S. Monson. Monson will lead the world's 13 million Mormons who will revere him as a prophet and a vehicle of divine revelation. He can hardly be called a fresh face, having been at the heart of the Mormon bureaucracy for almost half a century and achieving the top post in Mormonism only in the twilight of his life.
Monson comes to the job after a life time of preparation in Mormon administration. By all accounts he has business experience and acumen and has considerable powers of diplomacy. He is touted as a man of deep personal sympathies for the weak and underprivileged and has gained for his followers a respected place alongside Jewish and Christian groups as a co-belligerent in social campaigns. Having said that, Monson has been adamant that those co-operative efforts are not exercises in ecumenical religion; they are purely joint actions to alleviate social need.
The question that faces Mormons and indeed the rest of us is whether the organization Monson now leads is in any way a Christian church. Mormons have styled themselves as "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints." That title makes a number of radical claims not one of which can be justified by Scripture or history.
Is Mormonism a never mind the Church of Jesus Christ? Has it any claim at all to be recognized as Christian? If you start with the premise that Christianity is the religion of the Bible, that no church has the right to the title Christian just because it claims it, but that its claim must be validated by Scripture, then Mormonism must be rejected as non-Christian. Like all cults, Mormonism cannot be satisfied with the Bible. Given that the Bible does not countenance the weird system that Joseph Smith concocted and that Brigham Young advanced, Mormons have to appeal to the bogus Book of Mormon. It is the mark of a cult that it places some other authority over or alongside the Bible. Mormonism is a cult, not a Christian church.
That conclusion is strengthened when you consider Mormon doctrine. The god of Mormonism is not the God of the Bible. In fact the Mormon view of God is obscenely crass. Mormonism rejects the central doctrine of Christianity, namely the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is thus not Christian but anti-Christian. The same could be said for its doctrine of salvation. Anything further from the Biblical doctrine would be difficult to imagine.
Are Mormons "Latter day Saints?" Many of them are decent, upright people but by definition Mormons are not Christians and therefore not saints but sinners who still need to be saved. And that is the challenge facing Bible believing Christians, not only to recognize Mormonism for what it is, an unchristian cult, but to reach those trapped in its web of error with the gospel of God's saving grace in Jesus Christ.