Orrin Hatch has written a new book to help people understand Mormonism. It is not an official Mormon resource, so any information in it should be verified by searching LDS.org. However, it is a look at Mormonism through the eyes of an ordinary member.
Hatch, a senator from Utah, believes that while the Mitt Romney campaign drew attention to Mormonism, people still lack a basic understanding of what Mormonism is all about.
Hatch would like people to use the full name of the church instead of the nickname. The full name is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which makes clear the fundamental belief in Jesus Christ. It is inappropriate to call the church the Mormon Church. In the Book of Mormon, which Mormons use as a compliment to the Bible, contains an account of Jesus talking to a group of people he visited on the American continent after His death. They wanted to know what to name the church He was helping them organize. He told them that if a church is named after a man, it is that man’s church. Mormon was a prophet in ancient times—his story is told in the Book of Mormon. To call the church the Mormon Church would mean, according to Jesus Christ, that it was Mormon’s church, and it is not. It is the Savior’s Church, and so His name is central to the name as it is to the Church.
Hatch notes that many people do not realize Mormons are Christian. The name of the Church helps to clarify that information. Mormons believe the Bible and worship the New Testament Jesus (while rejecting the Jesus described centuries later in various creeds that overturn Biblical teachings). Mormons believe Jesus Christ is the Son of God, that He was born to Mary and God, that He took our sins on Himself and atoned for them, that He died for us, was resurrected, and broke the bonds of death for everyone.
An excellent official source of answers to questions about Mormons can be found at the LDS Newsroom, which contains a frequently asked questions page.
On this page, you will find an infographic that shows that Jesus Christ is mentioned in the Book of Mormon 3,925 times-averaging once every 1.7 verses. To really understand Mormon Christianity, it is essential to read the entire Book of Mormon, as well as the entire Bible. This clarifies many Mormon beliefs about Jesus Christ.
On this page, you can learn how Mormons view the trinity, whether or not they really believe they can become Gods, what happens in Mormon temples, and other questions many people have concerning Mormon beliefs. Learning about these beliefs from an official source means you will learn them accurately. It also allows you to treat the Mormons the way you want your own faith treated—because you would certainly prefer people learn about your faith from official sources, and not from people who set out to destroy your faith.
Terrie Lynn Bittner
The late Terrie Lynn Bittner—beloved wife, mother, grandmother, and friend—was the author of two homeschooling books and numerous articles, including several that appeared in Latter-day Saint magazines. She became a member of the Church at the age of 17 and began sharing her faith online in 1992.