I was just reading another blog about the Church of Jesus Christ being un-Christian. I was reminded of my mission days in Georgia, where I was faced with this accusation with great frequency. I always found it disturbing and rude, but I still learned to love the people and their dedication to Christ. I was deep in the Bible belt, and virtually everyone was a hardcore Protestant. However, a certain issue came to mind as I served my mission:
“Why am I not Christian in your eyes?” I would wonder. I believe the main reason for that conclusion was because we believed in “a different Jesus,” one who was not Trinitarian, but a distinct individual from his Father. The other denominations believed that because we accepted a different Jesus, we would go to Hell, and whenever we were working an investigator find his or her testimony of the Restored Gospel, others would work their hardest frustrating our efforts. As I have often found with their efforts and beliefs, it appears that the majority of laypersons attending a “true Christian church” would still be doomed to Hell. I taught a great deal of first discussions on my mission, where I would quote the First Vision to each investigator. I would always emphasize the fact that two beings appeared to Joseph Smith, the Father and the Son. And nearly everyone willing to listen also believed that this was possible. Many accepted that they were separate beings without any question or qualm. According to that, they are already Hell-bound without even being baptized into our Church. It seems to me that if there is more concern with keeping our religion down, and less with actually instilling a proper understanding of what they hold to be salvation-necessary doctrine.
I think that’s just a residual frustration from those days. But feel free to comment.