Section Banner Next entry » « Previous entry
August 30, 2012

Rapid Response: Can Christians Vote for Mormons?

Editor’s Note: Summit Ministries endorses neither political candidates nor political parties. While not an endorsement, this Rapid Response addresses two pressing questions many Christians are asking as the autumn elections approach: Is the Mormon Church a Christian church? May Christians vote for Mormons?

Kevin James Bywater is the Director and Resident Scholar of the Summit Oxford Study Centre. In his essay on Summit’s website, “Mormonism: A Survey and Biblical Critique,” he addresses these and other questions at greater length than we shall here. Kevin is a former fifth-generation Mormon who was born and raised in northern Utah. He is available to speak and consult on the subject of pseudo-Christian religions and many other subjects. Please contact him at to request that he speak to your group.

Now that Mitt Romney is the Republican nominee for president, come January 20th, 2013, either Barack Obama will begin his second term as president or Mitt Romney will begin his first. Romney would be the first Mormon to become President of the United States of America.[1]

Is Mormonism Christian?

Mitt Romney is a member[2] of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (commonly known as the Mormon Church or the LDS Church). His religious beliefs are a serious consideration for many voters. According to a November 2011 poll of the Pew Research Center, 51 percent of Americans hold that Mormonism is Christian.[3] However, we find that few Christians know enough about the teachings of the Mormon Church to discern whether it is a Christian denomination.[4]

So, is the Mormon Church a Christian church?[5] Let us look briefly at some central Mormon teachings:

  1. What and who is God?
  2. What is the nature of humankind?
  3. What is the nature of Scripture?
  4. How does one acquire salvation?

As we will see, Mormons use the same theological words as Christians. This alone gives the impression that Mormons are Christians. But that is a mistaken impression. With other pseudo-Christian[6] religions (e.g., Jehovah’s Witnesses), Mormons use Christian vocabulary but have a very different dictionary.[7] Thus they have a different worldview.

The Mormon Church holds that following the deaths of the first apostles, there was a great apostasy and the gospel and church authority were lost from the earth.[8] They were restored through Joseph Smith, Jr. in the early-1800s. Mormons thus see their church as the one true church, with other churches being corrupted and without proper priesthood authority to administer saving ordinances such as baptism or communion.[9]

What and Who is God?

The Mormon Church teaches that God the Father once was a man who progressed to become a god,[10] that he has a wife,[11] and that all humans and other spirits are their literal offspring.[12] Mormons reject the Christian doctrine of the Trinity,[13]-[14] believing that God the Father, Jesus Christ,[15] and the Holy Spirit are three separate gods[16] who are unified in purpose.[17] Jesus is seen as the firstborn of God and his wife, with Lucifer being born later.[18] It is believed by Mormons that Jesus attained deity prior to his incarnation on earth.[19] He is our older brother and was literally conceived through a conjugal relationship between God the Father and Mary.[20]

What is the Nature of Humankind?

The Mormon Church teaches that all humans, prior to life on earth, were born as spirit children of God the Father and his wife(s).[21] Mormonism also teaches that Adam and Eve made a good and right choice in eating of the forbidden tree in the Garden of Eden.[22] Now, as a result of the fall, humans go through mortality with the opportunity of becoming exalted gods[23] by believing the teachings and obeying the practices of the Mormon Church.[24]

What is the Nature of Scripture?

The Bible (King James Version) is part of the Mormon canon of Scriptures, along with The Book of Mormon, The Doctrine and Covenants, and The Pearl of Great Price. However, the Mormon Church teaches that the Bible has been corrupted in both transmission and translation.[25] Mormons usually hold that their church leaders have sole authority to interpret the Scriptures correctly.

How Does One Acquire Salvation?

The Mormon Church teaches, in effect, that Jesus refinances our sins.[26] The Church teaches that salvation is through baptism and other ordinances and principles. Even so, all people but a few[27] will find a future in one of three heavenly kingdoms, the highest being the celestial kingdom.[28] The baptized faithful will obtain a place in the highest heaven, the celestial kingdom, with the most faithful among them being exalted and become gods themselves, as families, able to produce children eternally.[29] It is only those faithful who live in the presence of Heavenly Father forever. According to the LDS Church, the gospel principles one must obey to live with Heavenly Father forever include being baptized by a Mormon priest, receiving priesthood authority, obeying the Mormon prophets and apostles, and being eternally married[30] in a Mormon temple.[31]

In transparent comparison with the Christian faith, one can only conclude that Mormonism is not another Christian denomination but a pseudo-Christian religion.[32] Most contrasts and differences are plain, sometimes admitted by Mormon leaders, and stunningly profound; they include the nature of God (eternal or emergent), the nature of Jesus Christ (eternal deity or spirit child of God and literal brother of all other spirit), the number of gods (one or many), the nature of the fall of mankind (Adam and Eve’s actions were bad or good), and the way of salvation to the eternal presence of God (faith in Jesus Christ or special works and ordinances). Again, we have only briefly discussed the differences.[33]

Is the Mormon Church a Christian church? No, it is not. As we noted above: Mormons use Christian vocabulary but not a biblical dictionary. As such, profound confusion reigns when Mormonism is seen as a Christian denomination.

This conclusion should not be seen as accusing Mormons of being bad citizens or unfriendly people. Indeed, Mormons may be your best neighbors, capable co-workers, or among your friends at school. As a subculture in America, Mormons are taught to express many values that Christians also hold.

Can Christians Ever Vote for Mormons?

Many Christians have voiced several objections to voting for Mormons, and that without regard for the candidates’ proposed policies. Below we address some of these objections.

“Choosing between the lesser of two evils is evil, so even if the other candidate is worse, I can’t vote for a Mormon.”

As Summit President Dr. Jeff Myers points out in the new Political Animal course, this is a misguided objection, because it misses one crucial point: according to Romans 3:10, all of us, not just particular political candidates, are shot-through with sin. If taken to its logical conclusion, this objection would disallow Christians from being involved in any civil or social activity, politics or otherwise.

We also must not forget that in the United States, voting is only one of our civic responsibilities.[34] If candidates are elected and do evil, it is the citizens’ responsibility to hold the officials accountable through exposure, protest, the judiciary, and the next election.

“Mormons don’t believe in the one, true God.”

While this is true,[35] we ought to remember that in a republic such as ours, we do not elect preachers-in-chief as our presidents; we elect the best person seriously on offer for the job. Nowhere does the Bible stipulate that the only people who are to hold political authority are Christ’s followers. Take, for example, the following biblical heroes: Joseph in Egypt, Daniel in Babylon, or Esther in Persia. The apostle Paul, in Acts 25, appeals to Caesar as a Roman citizen.

These biblical heroes were asked to work for the good of others in the confines of often-hostile government leadership. Yet God did not ask them to overthrow or only support believing leadership. He taught them to live justly and to promote societal justice.

“A vote for a Mormon is a vote for the LDS church.”

When we vote for a candidate, we do not vote for all his or her ideas or ideals. That is impossible: people change their minds, and we cannot know all of a person’s opinions. Support for any candidate is not an endorsement of all of that candidate’s convictions. Again, a helpful approach would be to voting for a candidate the same as one would hire a candidate for a job. In this case, the job is to exercise political authority within the constraints of the nations’ laws.

While there are objections to be considered in voting for Mormons, there are also reasons to vote for Mormons, or for anyone with worldview convictions that differ from our own.

It is Christians’ role to be a preserving agent of a society.

As Jeremiah 29:4-7 reminds us, we are to seek the welfare of our city — of our most immediate communities. In other words, we are to be preserving agents, not just of cultures, but also of good political processes. And in our own republic, sometimes preserving the political process involves voting against someone as much as voting for someone. Therefore, if a candidate would not be our first choice to fill a political position, we can vote for that candidate in the hope that a worse candidate does not win.

Politics in a fallen world demands prudence.

Naturally, objections may be lodged against any candidate’s policy positions. The careful consideration of these questions is what political prudence is all about. For more information on issues such as economic, political, and religious freedom, check out our past Rapid Responses, Journals, and essays.

Sometimes, we must look at the practical results of a particular candidate’s victory. Who will a candidate surround himself with to help execute the office’s responsibilities? In the case of president, one of the most overlooked — but perhaps most important — functions is to appoint justices to the U.S. Supreme Court, who then can serve as long as they like. In fact, presidents appoint literally thousands of people in their cabinet, to judicial positions, and to regulatory agencies. And many of these individuals serve for life or at least well beyond the term(s) of the president.

Which candidate will best support the ideals necessary for the flourishing of our society: religious liberty, economic freedom, respect for life, and a proper ordering of the spheres of society? Prudence dictates that we take such political decisions into account when deciding how to cast our vote.


To summarize, Mormonism is not Christian, but that is not the only (and maybe not the leading) consideration when Christians vote. Christians may vote for candidates who are not Christians, for at issue is not the leadership of a local Christian church or Christian denomination. In the race for president, for example, our goal is not to elect a preacher-in-chief but a commander-in-chief.

Political engagement is neither easy nor optional, as Dr. Jeff Myers reminds us. But when we are equipped with biblical wisdom and make prayerful, careful deliberation, we can play our proper role as citizens and seek to shape our society for the well being of others.

Further Resources

  • A number of additional essays and resources have been noted in the endnotes.
  • Kevin James Bywater, Director of the Summit Oxford Study Centre, and a former fifth-generation Mormon, is available to speak on this and related subjects. You may contact him at for details and pricing. His personal website is


  1. Romney is not the first Mormon to run for the U.S. presidency. In fact, Joseph Smith, Jr., the founder and first prophet of the Mormon Church, was the first Mormon to aim for that high office. See ”Joseph Smith: Campaign for President of the United States,” Arnold K. Garr, Ensign, Feb. 2009 ( Ensign is a magazine officially published by the Mormon Church and found at an official website,
  2. Other well-known politicians who are Mormons include Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Senator Harry Reid (D-Nevada), who currently is the Senate Majority Leader.
  3.—views-of-the-mormon-religion.aspx, accessed 29 August 2012.
  4. For a fuller discussion of this question, please see, Kevin James Bywater, “Mormonism: A Survey and Biblical Critique” (
  5. Citations of Mormon teachings will reference only official websites of the Mormon Church, such as,,,, and (including its subsidiary library sites, such as The Encyclopedia of Mormonism,  We will be citing LDS prophets, apostles, and general authorities, as well as official teaching publications of the LDS Church. Do note that we will supply only a small sampling from the ocean of quotes available. It is recommended that any quote in doubt by the reader be read in its context. Usually hyperlinks are provided.
  6. The prefix pseudo means false, fake, or counterfeit.
  7. In philosophical parlance, this is known as equivocation (using the same word but with different meanings).
  8. See, “Apostasy,” in Encyclopedia of Mormonism,; also, Gospel Principles (2011) (an official LDS adult Sunday school manual), “Chapter 17: The Church of Jesus Christ Today” ( • The Bible teaches that the church remains forever. In Matthew 16:18 Jesus declared, “I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” Given that Jesus has all authority in heaven and on earth, we can trust that this promise would not fail (Matthew 28:18). While there are several passages that refer to an apostasy, it is never said to be a universal or complete apostasy (e.g., Acts 20:30; 2 Thessalonians 2:3; 1 Timothy 4:1) as Mormonism teaches. Rather, we know that God will be glorified in the church throughout all ages (Ephesians 3:21), and that Christians have received a kingdom that cannot be shaken (Hebrews 12:28; cf. Daniel 2:44).
  9. Sample quotes: “Restoration of the Gospel”: “God’s reestablishment of the truths and ordinances of his gospel among men on earth. The gospel of Jesus Christ was lost from the earth through the apostasy that took place following the earthly ministry of Christ’s Apostles. That apostasy made necessary the restoration of the gospel. Through visions, the ministering of angels, and revelations to men on the earth, God restored the gospel. The Restoration started with the Prophet Joseph Smith . . . and has continued to the present through the work of the Lord’s living prophets” (, accessed 28 August 2012). • Henry B. Eyring, First Counselor in the First Presidency, “The True and Living Church” (April 2008): “The Apostles, after the Ascension of Christ, continued to exercise the keys He left with them. But because of disobedience and loss of faith by the members, the Apostles died without the keys being passed on to successors. We call that tragic episode ‘the Apostasy.’ Had the members of the Church in those days had the opportunity and the will to exercise faith as you have today, the Lord would not have taken the keys of the priesthood from the earth” (, accessed 28 August 2012).
  10. Sample quotes: Robert L. Millett (a Professor at Brigham Young University), “The Eternal Gospel,” Ensign, July 1996 (Ensign is an official magazine published by the LDS Church): “Knowing what we know concerning God our Father—that he is a personal being; that he has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as our own; that he is an exalted and glorified being; that he was once a man and dwelt on an earth—and knowing that this knowledge was had by many of the ancients, should we be surprised to find legends and myths throughout the cultures of the earth concerning gods who have divine power but human attributes and passions?” (,+eternal+gospel,%E2%80%9D+ensign, accessed 28 August 2012). • Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Brigham Young (1997), “Chapter 4: Knowing and Honoring the Godhead”: “President Brigham Young taught the Latter-day Saints to worship God the Father and address prayers to Him in the name of Jesus Christ. He taught further that God the Father was once a man on another planet who ‘passed the ordeals we are now passing through; he has received an experience, has suffered and enjoyed, and knows all that we know regarding the toils, sufferings, life and death of this mortality’” (, accessed 28 August 2012). • “The Fulness of the Gospel: The Nature of the Godhead,” Ensign, January 2006: “Not only do we know that God possesses a glorified body of flesh and bones, but from this restored understanding of the nature of God flows the Latter-day Saint belief regarding our nature and potential. The Prophet Joseph Smith once taught: ‘It is the first principle of the gospel to know for a certainty the character of God, … and that He was once a man like us. … When you climb up a ladder, you must begin at the bottom, and ascend step by step, until you arrive at the top; and so it is with the principles of the gospel—you must begin with the first, and go on until you learn all the principles of exaltation. But it will be a great while after you have passed through the veil before you will have learned them’” (ellipses in original;, accessed 29 August 2012). • God has always been God (Genesis 21:33; Psalm 90:2; Isaiah 40:28). God is spirit, not an exalted man with flesh and bone (John 4:24; Luke 24:39; Hosea 11:9; Numbers 23:19). God does not change (Malachi 3:6), nor does he grow in knowledge (Isaiah 40:13). There is none like him, he is unique, he is the only true God (Exodus 8:10; 2 Samuel 7:22; Isaiah 43:10; 44:6–8; 45:5, 21–22; 46:9; 1 Corinthians 8:5). (Note that though Jesus, being God, did become human in his incarnation [John 1:1, 14], this is quite different from a man progressing to become a god.)
  11. See, Encyclopedia of Mormonism, “Mother in Heaven,”
  12. Sample quotes: Primary 2: Choose the Right A (a Sunday school guide for teachers of Mormon youth), 1995, “Lesson 3: I Am a Child of God,” “Explain that we all lived in heaven with Heavenly Father before we came to this earth. We are his children. That is why we call him Heavenly Father. We also lived with our heavenly mother and all the rest of Heavenly Father’s children. Everyone who has been born on the earth is a child of Heavenly Father” (, accessed 28 August 2012). • “The Family: A Proclamation to the World” (1995), The First Presidency and Council of the Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints: “ALL HUMAN BEINGS—male and female—are created in the image of God. Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and, as such, each has a divine nature and destiny” (, accessed 28 August 2012). • Gordon B. Hinckley, then First Counsellor in the Presidency of the LDS Church, and later Prophet, did not reject the teaching but strongly discouraged Mormons from praying to their Mother in heaven (“Daughters of God,” October 1991,,  accessed 28 August 2012).
  13. The Bible teaches that the Father is God, the Son is God (John 1:1; 20:28) and the Holy Spirit is God (Acts 5:3–4); and that they are distinct Persons in the Godhead — not to be confused with one another (Matthew 28:19; 1 Corinthians 12:4–6). There is only one true God (Deuteronomy 6:4; Isaiah 43:10; 1 Corinthians 8:4). • See the brief discussion of the doctrine of the Trinity here: “Thinking about the Trinity,” by Kevin Bywater ( For Mormon rejection of the Trinity, see, for example, Encyclopedia of Mormonism, “Godhead,” See also the notes below.
  14. Further on the LDS view of God, see, Kevin James Bywater, “Mormonism and Lesser Gods” (
  15. Sample quote: In 1998, then President Gordon B. Hinckley declared, “In bearing testimony of Jesus Christ, President Hinckley spoke of those outside the Church who say Latter-day Saints “do not believe in the traditional Christ. No, I don’t. The traditional Christ of whom they speak is not the Christ of whom I speak” (“Crown of gospel is upon our heads,’ Church News, Saturday, June 20, 1998,, accessed 28 August 2012).  • The Mormon view of Jesus is not the biblical view of Jesus. Indeed, the apostle Paul warned that some would teach “a different Jesus” (2 Corinthians 11:3-4, 13-15).
  16. Sample quote: Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith (a church teaching manual), “Chapter 2: God the Eternal Father”: “Joseph Smith taught the following in April 1843, later recorded in Doctrine and Covenants 130:22: ‘The Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man’s; the Son also; but the Holy Ghost has not a body of flesh and bones, but is a personage of Spirit. Were it not so, the Holy Ghost could not dwell in us.’ ‘I have always declared God to be a distinct personage, Jesus Christ a separate and distinct personage from God the Father, and that the Holy Ghost was a distinct personage and a Spirit: and these three constitute three distinct personages and three Gods” (, accessed 28 August 2012).
  17. The Mormon Church espouses not monotheism (belief in one God) but polytheism (belief in many gods). Sample quotes: Dallin H. Oaks (one of the Mormon twelve apostles), “Apostasy and Restoration,” Ensign, May 1995: “In common with the rest of Christianity, we believe in a Godhead of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. However, we testify that these three members of the Godhead are three separate and distinct beings. We also testify that God the Father is not just a spirit but is a glorified person with a tangible body, as is his resurrected Son, Jesus Christ…. In contrast, many Christians reject the idea of a tangible, personal God and a Godhead of three separate beings. They believe that God is a spirit and that the Godhead is only one God. In our view, these concepts are evidence of the falling away we call the Great Apostasy” (, accessed 28 August 2012). • News Release, 20 July 2007, “Elder Oaks Interview Transcript from PBS Documentary”: “Before the close of his ministry, in Illinois, Joseph Smith put together the significance of what he had taught about the nature of God and the nature and destiny of man. He preached a great sermon not long before he was murdered that God was a glorified Man, glorified beyond our comprehension, (still incomprehensible in many ways), but a glorified, resurrected, physical Being, and it is the destiny of His children upon this earth, upon the conditions He has proscribed, to grow into that status themselves. That was a big idea, a challenging idea. It followed from the First Vision, and it was taught by Joseph Smith, and it is the explanation of many things that Mormons do — the whole theology of Mormonism” (, accessed 28 August 2012).
  18. Sample quotes: Gospel Principles (a standard adult LDS Sunday school text): “Jesus was willing to come to the earth, give His life for us, and take upon Himself our sins…. Satan, who was called Lucifer, also came…. Jesus Christ Became Our Chosen Leader and Savior . . . After hearing both sons speak, Heavenly Father said, ‘I will send the first’…” (, accessed 28 August 2012). • For further discussion, see, Kevin James Bywater, “Mormonism: Testimony to Another Jesus Christ” (
  19. Sample quote: Bruce R. McConkie (an apostle of the LDS Church), “The Salvation of Little Children,” Ensign (April 1977): “Christ himself, the Firstborn of the Father, rose to a state of glory and exaltation before he was ever suckled at Mary’s breast” (, accessed 28 August 2012).
  20. Sample quote: Ezra Taft Benson (then an apostle of the LDS Church), “Five Marks of the Divinity of Jesus Christ,” New Era (an official publication of the LDS Church), December 1980: “I am bold to say to you young people tonight: Jesus Christ is the Son of God in the most literal sense. The body in which He performed His mission in the flesh was sired by that same Holy Being we worship as God, our Eternal Father. He was not the son of Joseph, nor was He begotten by the Holy Ghost. He is the Son of the Eternal Father!” (, accessed 28 August 2012).
  21. Sample quotes: Gospel Principles (2011), “Chapter 2: Our Heavenly Family”: “’God is not only our Ruler and Creator; He is also our Heavenly Father. All men and women are literally the sons and daughters of God. “Man, as a spirit, was begotten and born of heavenly parents, and reared to maturity in the eternal mansions of the Father, prior to coming upon the earth in a temporal [physical] body” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph F. Smith [1998], 335)” (, accessed 28 August 2012). • See also Encylopedia of Mormonism, “Jesus Christ: Only Begotten in the Flesh”: “It is LDS doctrine that Jesus Christ is the child of Mary and God the Father, “not in violation of natural law but in accordance with a higher manifestation thereof” (, accessed 28 August 2012).
  22. Sample quote: Preparing for Exaltation: Teacher’s Manual (an adult Sunday school manual published by the LDS Church), “Lesson 3: The Fall of Adam and Eve”: “Express your gratitude for Adam and Eve and the choice they made. Encourage class members to follow Adam and Eve’s example and choose good over evil…. Encourage class members to continue to be like Adam and Eve, following their righteous examples” (, accessed 28 August 2012). • Further discussion of this issue is found in Kevin James Bywater, “Mormonism on the Fall” (, and “Mormon Theology, God, and the Original Catch-22” (
  23. The Bible teaches that humans are created, not procreated, by God (Genesis 1:26; 2:7). Our existence begins in the womb of our mothers (Psalm 139:13). Humans cannot compare themselves to Jesus and his pre-existence, for they are not deities, while Jesus is. He pre-existed because he is God (Isaiah 9:6; John 1:1; 17:5; Philippians 2:6–7). Jesus alone is from heaven, we are from the earth (John 3:13, 31; 8:23–24). Humans cannot become gods (Isaiah 43:10). Humans are created beings, unlike God, who has always been (Genesis 21:33). God will not share his glory with another (Isaiah 42:8).
  24. See the discussion and notes below, under “4. How Does One Acquire Salvation?”
  25. Sample quotes: Gospel Principles, “Chapter 10: Scriptures”: “”Through the Prophet Joseph Smith, the Lord has expanded our understanding of some passages in the Bible. The Lord inspired the Prophet Joseph to restore truths to the Bible text that had been lost or changed since the original words were written. These inspired corrections are called the Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible. In the Latter-day Saint edition of the King James Version of the Bible, selected passages from the Joseph Smith Translation are found on pages 797–813 and in many footnotes” (, accessed 28 August 2012). • God has promised that his word, the Bible, would stand forever (Isaiah 40:3). We know that his word is true (John 17:17), contains wisdom unto salvation, and thoroughly equips God’s people for every good work (2 Timothy 3:15–17). God has given us everything we need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:2).
  26. While this may be hard to believe, see the illustration of Jesus as a creditor who refinances sins provided by Boyd K. Packer (an apostle of the LDS Church), “The Mediator,” Ensign, May 1977 (; also, Gospel Principles (2011), “Chapter 12: The Atonement” (
  27. This small group is comprised of those called “the sons of perdition,” and include people who have left the Mormon Church or otherwise committed the unforgiveable sin (see, “Sons of Perdition,” Encyclopedia of Mormonism []).
  28. The three Mormon heavens are the celestial, terrestrial, and telestial kingdoms. • The context of 1 Corinthians 15:40–41 (a key proof text for their teaching) is the contrast between resurrection (celestial, heavenly) and pre-resurrection (terrestrial, earthly) bodies, not heavenly kingdoms. The Bible does speak of three heavens, but not in the Mormon sense: the atmospheric heaven, where birds fly and from which the rains fall (Genesis 7:23; 8:2); the astronomic heaven, where the stars and planets reside (Genesis 1:14, 15; 22:17); and the third heaven, the throne of God (Matthew 6:9; Revelation 4:2).
  29. Sample quote: Gospel Principles (2011), “Chapter 47: Exaltation”: “What is exaltation? Exaltation is eternal life, the kind of life God lives. He lives in great glory. He is perfect. He possesses all knowledge and all wisdom. He is the Father of spirit children. He is a creator. We can become like our Heavenly Father. This is exaltation. If we prove faithful to the Lord, we will live in the highest degree of the celestial kingdom of heaven. We will become exalted, to live with our Heavenly Father in eternal families.… What are some blessings that will be given to those who are exalted? Our Heavenly Father is perfect, and He glories in the fact that it is possible for His children to become like Him… These are some of the blessings given to exalted people: 1. They will live eternally in the presence of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ… 2. They will become gods… 3. They will be united eternally with their righteous family members and will be able to have eternal increase….” (, accessed 28 August 2012).
  30. See, Russell M. Nelson (an LDS apostle), “Celestial Marriage” General Conference address, April 2012 (
  31. Those who receive Jesus will have eternal life, but the wrath of God remains on those who reject him (John 3:36). While Christians are called to keep God’s commandments (e.g. John 14:15), salvation is in no way based on our own righteous deeds (Ephesians 2:8-10; Titus 3:5–8). It is through the atonement of Christ that we are made perfect (Hebrews 10:13–18). • For further discussion, see, Kevin James Bywater, “Not a Religion but a Relationship?” (
  32. For further clarification, see, Kevin James Bywater, “But I Am a Mormon…Aren’t Christians Mormons Too?” (, and “Learning a Lesson from the LDS Newsroom” (
  33. See the fuller discussion and comparison in Kevin James Bywater’s essay, “Mormonism: A Survey and Biblical Critique” (
  34. See, Kevin James Bywater, “A Few Quick Thoughts on Citizens as Voters” (
  35. See the discussion in Kevin James Bywater, “Do Muslims, Mormons, and Christians Worship the Same God?” (

This post has earned 42 Comments so far.

Jump to comment form
  • August 30, 2012 // 02:57 pm //  # 
    Carolyn's avatar Carolyn

    There are other candidates on the ballot.  We do not need to vote for Obama or Romney.  No one will ever bully me into voting for someone I don’t believe in.  I live in California.  The primary election was already decided by the time we had our primary.  Consequently, no one in our state had a voice in electing our candidates.

  • August 30, 2012 // 03:01 pm //  # 
    Len Di Giovanni's avatar Len Di Giovanni

    Your right to say that we are electing a Commander-In-Chief and not a Preacher-In-Chief. Personally I don’t get hung up on a person calling themselves Morman. I know many “Mormans” that are Born Again and disciples of Jesus. I would much rather look at the person and their life than look at the title of their religious affiliation. I know people who call themslves Baptist, as an example, that lead lives outside the boundaries of the Word Of God; not even close to being a convert let alone a disciple of Our LORD Jesus. If a person has accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior and leads a life in pursuit of His teachings and Righteousness I really don’t care about religious titles. Personally I appreciate and respect Mitt for the life he has lead and the righteous principles that he aspires to. A righteous leader exaults a nation.

  • August 30, 2012 // 03:14 pm //  # 
    Kathy's avatar Kathy

    I live in California, too. Sadly, your vote and mine won’t make one iota of difference in this state. I guess the up side is that—when we vote our consciences—we can vote without having to feel we might have made a mistake.  California will go for Obama no matter how I vote.  Sad.  I’d vote for Mickey Mouse over Obama, and I think we make a mistake as Christians assuming that being a believer makes a person a good president.  We’ve had a lot of good presidents who professed Christ—and quite a few bad ones. Maybe we need to be able to look at some other sections of the resume….

  • August 30, 2012 // 03:27 pm //  # 
    Chris's avatar Chris

    We really need to look more closely at the teachings of the LDS church teachings.  In a column by William Schnoebelen - Former Satanist, Mason, and Mormon, He mentions a controversial prophecy called the “White Horse Prophecy? or the prophecy of the “One mighty and strong.? Now, this is not public, formal LDS doctrine, but it was taught by many leaders of the Church and is still taught today. It is said by LDS leadership that when the Constitution is in dire peril, one will come who is mighty and strong. He will come riding (figuratively perhaps) on a white horse and will wield awesome political and spiritual power.

    This mysterious priesthood elder would somehow seize control of the US government to prevent the total abrogation of the Constitution. He would assume total power and create an LDS “Kingdom? in America. At that time, this “one mighty and strong? would be proclaimed the new “Prophet “ (First President) of the LDS church and would also be president of the United States. Thus, he would wield both supreme political power of the most powerful nation on earth and also be the “Prophet, Seer and Revelator? (12) of the LDS Church.

    At the same time, through the vast corporate and agricultural holdings of the LDS Church (through its various subsidiaries), he would have the power to either feed the world or with-hold food from the world. The implication is that getting food would be dependent on being obedient to the United Order.

    Now, to a Bible-believer, all of this sounds chillingly like the description of the “man of sin? (2 Thess. 2:3) or the Anti-Christ. He will be a great political leader (Rev. 13:2) but with a religious component (Rev. 13:4). He will control commerce and especially food distribution (Rev. 13:17). But most Mormons do not see that connection. They believe he will be a mighty spiritual and political leader who will save the USA from destruction and ultimately bring peace to the world.  The rest of the article is here:

  • August 30, 2012 // 03:55 pm //  # 
    Hector Falcon's avatar Hector Falcon

    We have to remember that we are not voting for a church leader but a government leader. We need to examine how they stand on issues important to the well running of the government. jimmy Carter claimed to be a “born again” Christian but led from a Marxist perspective. Obama is even worse. He openly advocates the killing of children once they are born. His view mirror that of the back-sliden Jews that sacrificed their babies to Baal and Molech. He is a hard left communist with Islamic affinities. Watch the movie 2016 by Dinesh   D’Souza which explains Obama’s worldview. If judgment comes upon America - it will be for the open slaughter of our babies, much as judgment came on the Jews when they did the same thing.

  • August 30, 2012 // 04:42 pm //  # 
    Tina's avatar Tina

    Which of the two men would bring the most God honoring leadership to the office?  Obama’s genocide of our babies is deplorable.  Romney may not be a Christian, but he has respect for life in the womb and the family unit.  Obama is not a Christian that I can see, so that cancels that issue out.  Romney is moral; and morality is what is so terribly broken here in the U.S.A.  I believe that God’s wrath will and is visiting the U.S.A based on the killing of babies and the neglect of Isreal.

  • August 30, 2012 // 05:47 pm //  # 
    Kim Shroyer's avatar Kim Shroyer

    thank you for this article. I also had concerns but hands down Romney/Ryan ticket is toward the way of the Lord, their values of Life, Marriage and stewardship of finances are just a few examples that have persuaded me to vote for them!

  • August 30, 2012 // 05:59 pm //  # 
    Terrie's avatar Terrie

    I’m not voting for the mormon church. I’m voting to rid ourselves of a non Christian tyrant. Besides, there are Christian mormans just like there are Christian Catholics, Babtist or any other denomination. You are a Christian if you are saved by the blood of JESUS…. yOU DON’t HAVE TO GO TO CHURCH TO BE A cHRISTIAN ALTHOUGH MOST TRUE cHRISTIANS TRY TO ATTEND SOMEPLACE. There are millions in church today that are not true Christians,  that call themselves Christians but that don’t make it so. The question about Romney is a non issue.

  • August 30, 2012 // 06:27 pm //  # 
    Paul's avatar Paul

    How to make your vote count the most:

    Many people wonder if voting for Mitt Romney is what they should do.  But as other’s have mentioned, their vote in a state makes little difference to who gets chosen.  This is true in the primary and the general election.  We vote for electors and delegates, and, in many states, the winner is a foregone conclusion.

    If you are in a state that is not a swing state, be it supportive of Romney or Obama, your vote will NOT make a difference in the final outcome if you just vote for one of the two.  The best choice is to vote for the third party candidate who best matches your beliefs.  This can have a bigger effect that just voting for the “lesser of two evils.”

    In my state, a vote for a third party that gets 2.5% of the vote will immediately make that third party a recognized state party.  2.5% in a non-swing state will NOT effect the election outcome.  The favored candidate will still win, but the third party can save thousands (in some states tens of thousands) of dollars in petitioning costs.

    Another reason that may be even more important is that a vote for a strong pro-life candidate will let the moderates know what issues are important to Christians.  The battle in elections is for the “swing vote”.  When you vote third party, politicians will want to win you to their cause.  They pay more attention to these votes than their “base.”

    So, in the 2012 election, Virgil Goode of the Constitution Party is strong pro-life and will get my vote.

  • August 30, 2012 // 07:09 pm //  # 
    colgate clark's avatar colgate clark

    If we were to see this much research done on Obama
    few folk would be doubtful as to who to vote for.

    Pray deeply and fervently and let God guide your decision.  When Jack Kennedy was running for president folks were up in arms because he was Catholic.

  • August 30, 2012 // 07:39 pm //  # 
    Hector Falcon's avatar Hector Falcon

    Third Party movements are a waste of your vote. A vote for a third-party candidate is a vote for pro-abortion and Marxist Obama. Romney has made a pro-life pledge and I believe he will honor his word. Way too many libertarians are bitter from losing the primary and are willing to lose the election and nation to a Marxist just to make a point based on revenge. The real issue is not politics, it is the immoral condition of our people. This means the solution rests with the church - not politics. However, Obama is a hard core radical and will plunge the nation into an economic blackhole based on his Marxist worldview.

  • August 31, 2012 // 09:14 am //  # 
    Colleen's avatar Colleen

    After watching the RNC last night I was even more concerned. All the tear jerking stories about Romney and all the use of Scripture to try and make Mormonism sound like Biblical Christianity made me very troubled and sad, especially to see the faces of those there buying “hook line and sinker”.

    I’ve been struggling with whether or not I’m going to vote in this election. I too live in CA so my vote really doesn’t “count”.  However I’ve been praying about what the Lord wants me to do and I’ve had this thought that perhaps God will use Romney in His plan for End Times.  After reading the link Chris posted - well, it’s chilling…

    Over and over again last night they tried to make the LDS church sound like Biblical Christianity - I’m so sad to read the comments here of those that think Mormons, who are VERY nice people, are real Christians. Among their MANY false beliefs are NOT to worship Jesus, they just see Him as a what they can be - a perfect god type, so they respect him greatly, but DO NOT worship Him as God…They also believe the Fall was a good thing, that it was Adam taking his first step toward “godhood”... How their belief of sin is NOT troublesome to Bible believing Christians is very troublesome to me.  Or perhaps these folks just don’t know what the LDS church believes. 

    All this excitement within either Christianity or the Republican Party are a scary reminder to me of 4 years ago when things were so bad under Bush many saw Obama as the answer to all our problems. Perhaps all the pain we’ve been through under Obama is blinding us too to really vetting Romney (truly leaning what he believes, again the article Chris posted a link to is very helpful and eye opening) - just like the pain of Bush caused us not to vet Obama (his affiliation with Jeremy Write and so many other things) - and we all know where that lead us.

    Jesus in Matt 24:24, “For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect.” 

    In closing, even with all this, I trust that God’s will - WILL be done.

  • August 31, 2012 // 09:16 am //  # 
    Sandra Manriquez's avatar Sandra Manriquez

    There is not such thing as a “mormon/christian”.  I guess the person that made this comment didn’t read this article thoroughly.  That is what bothers me the most about voting for this ticket.  People thinking that mormonism is christian.  Thank you for your article.  It helps me a bit as I am REALLY struggling with this.

  • August 31, 2012 // 09:25 am //  # 
    Sandra's avatar Sandra

    I’m with Carolyn and Kathy, our vote in CA doesn’t seem to matter.  I also think we need to look more closely at what Chris mentioned about the “White Horse Prophecy”....
    Thank you again.

  • August 31, 2012 // 10:20 am //  # 
    Paul's avatar Paul

    Don’t let Hector mislead you!  Third parties votes are a much better use of your vote.  In my state, Mitt Romney will win the electoral votes no matter who I vote for.

    The only logical choice is to vote third party since it will be noticed and can drive the agenda of the Republican Party.  A vote for a very strong pro-life third party candidate will nudge the Republicans more towards pro-life.

    Historically this has happened.  The Communist Party had very little influence politically but their planks have been adopted by the Democratic Party.

    Now, if you are in a swing state, voting Republican would be better than voting third party, as it may really change the outcome.

  • August 31, 2012 // 10:25 am //  # 
    Kathy's avatar Kathy

    My issue isn’t whether a Christian can vote for a Mormon. My issue is more to do with Mitt Romney’s policies and where he stands or flip-flops on issues which - in my opinion - may be in some ways worse than Obama’s position. THAT is why I can’t in good conscience and therefore won’t be voting for him. I agree with a previous comment that there are other people on the ballot besides those two and there is always a vote by not voting. That vote still counts. But my main beef with Summit is that they would PARTNER with the Mormon Mitt Romney by encouraging students to help with his campaign which Jeff Meyers did a while back. All the while saying Summit doesn’t endorse a political party or candidate. Um, you can say that but your actions and words show otherwise. Partnering with the Mormon candidate, I think, is over the line into Christians partnering with Mormons and that I do not agree with nor do I see as biblical. It blurs the lines to the world to where they think that Mormons and Christians MUST be the same because they are working together with no calling out whatsoever that Mormonism is a cult and heretical.

  • August 31, 2012 // 11:10 am //  # 
    Warren Norred's avatar Warren Norred

    I could vote for a Mormon a lot easier if he weren’t trying to convince me he was a Christian. The trademark lawyer in me screams “INFRINGEMENT”!

  • August 31, 2012 // 11:58 am //  # 
    Barbara Strickert's avatar Barbara Strickert

    I will be voting for Mitt Romney and all the Pharisees can scream foul if they like.  I know and have worked with many Mormons. And I would vote for a Mormon before I would vote for anyone that cannot govern, cannot lead, and also tried to make be believe he is a Christian….aka Pres. Obama.  His policies are sinking this country and I will vote for anyone…..who is good in business and has ethical standards.  All Mormons I know put most the Christians I know, including myself, to shame.

  • August 31, 2012 // 12:01 pm //  # 
    Richard Scholtz's avatar Richard Scholtz

    I don’t care if Mitt was/is an atheist.

    He is the good Samaritan that actually lives out his own “code of Samaritan conduct? as he understands it -  better than most of us “Christians? who ethically now cannot vote for him?

    We are electing a President
    A Commander in Chief to make war for us – and to kill our enemies and bomb their families before they bomb yours.
    A business man to deal with the economy—- to facilitate trade and to satisfy our greed for new markets and products providing us jobs.
    A statesman to advance this gentile nations interests in a gentile world who are collectively faithfully serving satan,  who is still the god of this world.(2 Cor 4v4)

    If you want to elect a Priest—-  get involved in your local church and elect another pedophile – or vote for Jimmy Carter so we can ‘love our enemies?  and “turn the other cheek?…and “confess our lustful thoughts?  on National TV as way to really impress the world with our Xianity.

    Wow…..the errors that replacement theology brings into the church when we think we are Israel and under their covenant for a theocratic government…..

    Warmest Regards

    Richard Scholtz

  • August 31, 2012 // 12:38 pm //  # 
    Kevin James Bywater's avatar Kevin James Bywater

    Re: #comment-40501

    Chris: as a former-Mormon, I am quite well aware of the work of William Schnoebelen. I have a few observations. First, I do not find Bill to be a credible person. His persona of former-everything diminishes his claims in general. Second, many of his claims have either not been verified or have been falsified. Third, there are better sources for these subjects.

    In addition, I personally do not believe we should assess our current moment in history in light of theories of prophecy. Such theories have failed to serve the Christian church over the last century. I believe we can assess things ethically, noting that they are unbiblical, without flights into prophetic speculations. Those simply will not help.

    Now, yes, Mormonism does have the White Horse Prophecy. That is an interesting thing to consider. And consider it we should. But Romney has not been a most faithful Mormon over his years in politics. I doubt very much that LDS Church leaders will have much influence upon him.

    Additionally, the LDS Church does not have the resources to feed the world. That is a gross overstatement. And no matter Romney’s position, he does not have control over the resources of the LDS Church!

    Finally, fears that people can become tyrants need to be noted. Yes, people in power can seek even more power. We must be ever-vigilant in this regard. But I would not encourage using Mormon prophecies or Christian prophetic theories to guide in this regard. America should not be seen as the center of biblical eschatology. That comes off to me as unhealthy and even ethnocentric. Regardless, one cannot make that case from the Bible without grand theories lathered on.


  • August 31, 2012 // 01:59 pm //  # 
    Mark's avatar Mark

    The author misses some important points.  I studied this several weeks ago and determined Christians cannot vote for a dedicated Mormon.  Here’s my study, comments are welcome.

  • August 31, 2012 // 02:07 pm //  # 
    Kevin James Bywater's avatar Kevin James Bywater

    Hi Mark:

    It appears to me that you’ve confused America with the nation of Israel, and thus have inferred that the criteria for Israelite leaders is the same for America. But this is mistaken in several respects. For one, you say that the leaders must be male. This would leave off Deborah, for example. In addition, you overlook what we have noted regarding Joseph, Daniel, Esther, and Paul.

    So, it appears that our approaches certainly do differ, in assumptions and applications, and implications. If you would care to discuss specifics, we could do that here or you could contact me directly through my personal website at


    P.S. There were several contributors to the piece, though I’m happy to answer for any element within it. Cheers.

  • August 31, 2012 // 02:20 pm //  # 
    Mark's avatar Mark

    Regarding Daniel, Joseph, et al, they were not freely choosing/ruling but were enslaved.  The question before us is choosing a leader in a democracy.  I don’t believe Joseph or Daniel would have chosen/elected the leader they served, given the opportunity.  And I think what applies to Israel generally applies to the earth and political governments since Jesus rules now and we rule with Him.  Depends on someone’s viewpoint of eschatology.  Jesus is the perfect Israelite, the perfect Son of God.  What was shadowed in Israel is fulfilled in Him.  So we can’t dismiss specific commands to Israel.  We have to wisely apply them and live in a way consistent with their intention.  Thanks again for a thoughtful article.

  • August 31, 2012 // 02:40 pm //  # 
    Kevin James Bywater's avatar Kevin James Bywater

    Mark: Our point does not regard merely the question of whether we are in a democratic context. Rather, Joseph, Daniel and the others were in non-Israel contexts. Some were leaders and certainly worked with non-Hebrews/non-Israelites. By way of a thought experiment, I can imagine them having to choose between different people for positions under them, with these people not being Hebrews/Israelites. I imagine they would seek to select the best person for the position.

    As for eschatology, well, that does have a big bearing on how people approach these issues. I find that far too often Christians are beholden to particular eschatological theories and schools and then attempt to assess our place and actions in history in that light. I find that very problematic. I find that moral assessments are adequate in themselves to guide us. When we have a worldview informed by the scriptures, and wisdom gain from God’s Spirit and maturing lives (and counsellors), we may be guided to decisions that are good and just.

    As for the commands to Israel, well, that could be a very long and involved discussion indeed. Here at Summit Oxford we spend many hours examining the relationship of OT law to NT ethics, and thus the relationship between Christians and OT law, including civil law. In the briefest of terms, I believe we should find the civil laws of Israel instructive but not necessarily binding. We are not Israel. America is not Israel. The covenant is new and thus the law has changed. But, again, this could be a very long conversation, one that would take us well be beyond the bounds of this forum.


  • August 31, 2012 // 02:48 pm //  # 
    Kim's avatar Kim

    Hello, I am just wondering where people get the idea there vote doesn’t count. Each one of us matters and our vote matters! we each give an account to the Lord one day also!

  • August 31, 2012 // 02:48 pm //  # 
    Mark's avatar Mark

    Kevin, good thought experiment.  Do you think Daniel or Joseph would have chosen an enemy of the current king?  If they surveyed all applicants for a job and everyone wanted to overthrow the king, the job would have been left vacant.  That is the case with a Mormon who is an enemy of the King of kings.  We cannot select him to any job in the King’s administration.

    I agree on the complexities of OT law, covenants, etc.  Can’t resolve that here and I’m still working through it myself.  Greg Bahnsen’s book I mention in my article speaks directly to the issue.  You might check it out if you haven’t seen it.  Link to free etext is in the article near the end.

    Thanks again.

  • August 31, 2012 // 02:55 pm //  # 
    Kevin James Bywater's avatar Kevin James Bywater

    Mark: I appreciate your response. Given that the apostle Paul writes of pagan magistrates as “servants of God” in Romans 13, I don’t see how that would fit with your approach. That label, by Paul, is applied to non-Christian, non-Israelite leaders who are entrusted with discouraging evil and promoting what is good. That is enough for me to suppose that your categories are not thoroughly biblical.

    I am very familiar with Bahnsen’s work. And I am friends with many people who have spent years within the environs of the Reconstructionist movement. Interestingly enough, even Gary DeMar and James Jordan have said they would vote for Romney. And there are others too. So, even these men who have written books that defined the Theonomist/Reconstructionist landscape (and worked very closely with Greg Bahnsen when he was alive), see it as good and just to vote for a Mormon. And one might also add here Greg’s own son, David Bahnsen. He too has said he would vote for Romney. P. Andrew Sandlin is another. Might I suggest that you take up a conversation with them over this? You can find them online and on Facebook.

    Warmly in Christ,

  • August 31, 2012 // 08:33 pm //  # 
    Mark's avatar Mark

    Kevin, I see your point.  I have pagan and anti-Christs/enemies of Christ in the same category.  What if I broke that out into 2 different categories?  Pagan would be those who have not explicitly rejected Christ, yet nominally embrace a false religion.  Anti-Christs/enemies would be Christ rejectors, heretics, cultists, and radical/serious pagans.  Psalm 2:10-12 and Acts 12:21-23 show examples of enemies/anti-Christs that God is working to destroy.  These are outside the Romans 13 designation of servants of God, as God is actively opposing them and a house divided cannot stand.  And any Christian cannot voluntarily align themselves with an enemy of Christ, yet could reluctantly support a ‘mere’ pagan.  Does that help?

  • August 31, 2012 // 09:30 pm //  # 
    kim simon's avatar kim simon

    It seems really simple to me.  Jesus says if you’re not with Me you are against me, he who does not gather-scatters.  No i will NOT be voting for a morman or a muslim this presidential campaign because to do so is to go against Jesus’ teachings, which weighs on me much more then whether i do my ‘civic duties’ Really do you think Jesus cares about that!

  • September 01, 2012 // 05:25 am //  # 
    Ramez Emad Fekry's avatar Ramez Emad Fekry

    I am a faithful Coptic orthodox Christian living in Egypt and I am planning to legally emigrate to America after my college graduation to escape tyranny and Muslim relentlessly hateful   persecution and slaughtering of Egyptian Christians and I have been wondering what percentage of America’s population is made up by true Christians and is it really true that Islam is taking over there ?

  • September 01, 2012 // 05:55 am //  # 
    Kim's avatar Kim

    Hello, as you can tell we brothers and sisters in the Lord vary in opinions, and thats okay! In my opinion Islam in not taking over America and the percentage of true Christians I cannot tell you, I’m not going down that road.
    blessings to you I am glad your coming to America!

  • September 01, 2012 // 09:54 am //  # 
    Hector Falcon's avatar Hector Falcon

    Ramez - American Christianity suffers from a form of Gnosticism in which we only emphasize the spiritual dimension of the Christian life. As a result, Christians have turned the reins of power and the culture over to the pagans. Hopefully when you get here you can be a witness as to what happens when Christians fail to act as the salt which Jesus commanded us to be within the culture. Islam is beginning to make its way into American culture. The Democratic convention is featuring a major Islamic function as a part of its program. Also, Sharia laws are starting to get implemented within the American law system in our quest to become pluralistic and postmodern. We need people like you to come to our country and to show what happens when the church makes Jesus the lord of one’s personal life - but not of all of life. Our culture suffers from the 1/2 way gospel. Jesus is made lord only of one’s spiritual life while Satan is allowed to control the earth and cultures. Hopefully you can be a light to the darkness that has come upon our nation as we foolishly placed a Marxist into the presidency. American Christianity needs new leaders that will present a holistic Gospel in which Jesus is lord of every single facet of life. Perhaps God is bringing you here for that very purpose. However, once you get here you need to search for a church that has not compromised - a very hard task since so many have bought into a watered-down Gospel.

  • September 01, 2012 // 01:08 pm //  # 
    dougeefresh's avatar dougeefresh

    I wish people would keep a realistic perspective. The reality is you can elect a socialist /muslim/liberal or you can elect a republican/mormon/conservative ...those are the only two choices.Some say “well, I’m not voting for either” not voting you are voting for the worst of the two choices. Instead of overspiritualizing this election, any COMMONSENSE christian will vote for the maybe not so ideal canidate in order to reverse what has been 3.5 years of totally destructive behavior . If your “holier than thou” attitude wont let you vote , check your “RELIGION at the door”...

  • September 01, 2012 // 02:20 pm //  # 
    Paul's avatar Paul

    dougeefresh: In a previous comment I went over practical reasons to vote third party.  For some it is just common sense and a vote for Romney defies reason.

    In our state (TN) we could establish a pro-life minor party recognized by the state with JUST 2.5% of the vote.  Romney will win the state by 10% or more of the vote according to current polling.  A third party vote could cause legal recognition of the third party AND have the Republicans wanting to know what issues are important to win these votes back.

    I do think that it is night and day between Obama and Romney.  I take this very seriously.  Obama supports “live birth abortions”.  Romney may not be the best pro-life candidate, but I think he will be more open to our issues.  So I would encourage people in “swing states” to vote for Romney.  Otherwise, I would encourage people to vote their conscience. can show you which states are swing states.

  • September 02, 2012 // 02:18 pm //  # 
    Kevin James Bywater's avatar Kevin James Bywater

    I personally don’t think that playing with votes in swing states or others is a necessary or effective maneuver. I can appreciate your point, mind you, but have little confidence that such actions would be helpful, or that your wise distinctions would be followed.

  • September 02, 2012 // 08:09 pm //  # 
    John Scotus's avatar John Scotus

    Thanks for the article. I guess where I draw the line with Romney is if he started presenting himself as the “Christian” candidate, and tried to get Christians to vote for him on that basis. If the election becomes an attempt to get mainstream support for the idea that Mormonism is a Christian denomination, then count me out.

  • September 02, 2012 // 08:39 pm //  # 
    Lowell Brown's avatar Lowell Brown

    I appreciate the thought that went into Mr. Bywater’s piece.  I’ll just suggest that it’s not a good idea to try describing what others believe. For example, I’m also a 5th-generation Mormon but I don’t understand our beliefs exactly as Bywater describes them.  In fact, I think he’s flat-out wrong on some of those, especially the more sensational ones.  I hope that someday there will be true peace, despite our doctrinal disagreements, between Mormons and our Evangelical friends and neighbors.

  • September 02, 2012 // 11:50 pm //  # 
    Kevin James Bywater's avatar Kevin James Bywater

    Lowell: Thank you for your response. To be clear, we did not describe what all Mormons believe but what the Mormon Church teaches. There is ample documentation, including many sample quotes (with documentation) in the notes.

    I noticed that while you did believe we did not accurately portray what you believe, you did not specify what it was that we got wrong. Again, what we listed is documented.

    Personally, I’m glad you don’t believe all that the Mormon Church teaches. There are many Mormons I know who, like me, are surprised or shocked to find out that the Mormon Church teaches such things. Many people find that when they spend more time in the Bible, we are less persuaded of LDS teachings.

    But do note that we are not encouraging anything less than peace. But we also are encouraging nothing less than clarity and understanding.

  • September 03, 2012 // 04:51 am //  # 
    Dia's avatar Dia

    I feel sad reading many of the responses to this blog entry. I had the thought that it’s a very good thing we have been commanded to love our neighbors as we do ourselves as opposed to the other way around. I fear we’d be so much more critical if we were to love ourselves as we do our neighbors. My thoughts also turned to the previous Rapid Response speaking of good and evil.

    “...evil is not actually a “thing.” Rather it is the absence of a “thing,” in this case good—much like a shadow is the absence of light or cold is the absence of heat. Therefore, since evil is not a thing, it could not have been created by God. Rather, it was the rebellious actions of man that created evil—circumstances void of that which is good.”

    There are so many people in this world—all coming from the hands of God into families, cultures, and the modeling/teaching/experiences contained therein. This all cannot be a mistake. It creates diversity which puts a natural oppositional force in place due to human behavior of reacting to anger, sadness, and pain/unmet needs. We are taught through the experiences these forces instigate. It’s as if we’re all reacting one to another all day, every day. Christ teaches us to see past the initial flinch-reaction, into the human-ness of the individual—look for the good, acknowledge the possibilities instead of personalizing the moment. I understand there are some who have become a danger to others due to the build-up of emotion and unmet developmental needs. This is why we learn to create boundaries of emotional &/or physical safety. My point is we are a huge nation of innumerable individuals—all with multiple belief systems of what is “normal” and “good.” God provided a unifying gospel, and yet there are so very many interpretations even of that.
    Isn’t it possible that we are all meant to overlook the small details and see the offerings of good? God gave us very individual personalities and talents which naturally lend themselves to a diverse point of view. There is also inspiration available to reach every point of view and encourage the follower/learner to become more aware of, and contribute to, good. It’s so easy to misinterpret another’s walk in life (even when a news story or movie is produced about them).

    Vote for what is good in this election.  Just as the quote above explains, add light and good to the world through your vote. This country is great because we have the talent and abilities of a diverse population. It is also great because God reserved it for this purpose—a land of promise and freedom to work and create good (which means opposition must also exist).
    Please do not hate for the sake of Christ. Do not let anger and fear displace room in your countenance to see opportunities to offer good in the smaller and larger moments of life. Let us not get bound into inaction over the imperfection of our choices. As we are all seeking for understanding of God’s will and to know God, let us remember that our own shortfalls of perspective and slant are known as developing maturity by a loving God.

    Vote for good as you understand it. God will teach us as a nation regarding our understanding of Him through our experiences.

    I am human and imperfect. I felt a desire to share my thoughts.

  • September 03, 2012 // 08:56 am //  # 
    Gregg Jackson's avatar Gregg Jackson

    This article that has been circulating around the Internet essentially says that Mormonism is NOT another branch of Orthodox Christianity BUT that it is ok for Christians to vote for a Mormon for president by repeating the toxic liberal lie that “we are electing a president not a preacher.?

    Of course what a candidate believes about The God of the Bible and His Son (God in the flesh) Jesus Christ and whether that candidate serves the Only True God is the single most important thing we can know about any candidate (or any man for that matter) since that fundamental view/belief influences where he believes our rights come from (either from The God of the Bible or from man), what he believes the central purpose of govt to be (either to protect God given inalienable rights especially the right to life or to create/regulate new rights regardless of whtether they are contrary to the “laws of nature and Nature’s God?) and how he will ultimately govern (either in accordance with the Divinely Revealed Law of God or in opposition to it).

    So, yes, what a candidate believes about the God of the Bible and the extent to which that candidate governed in the past in accordance with those beliefs, is, in my humble opinion, the single most significant thing we can know about him (her).

  • September 04, 2012 // 01:03 pm //  # 
    Eric Wilbanks's avatar Eric Wilbanks

    I appreciate the attempt to clarify some of the issues a believer might struggle with. But my struggle remains unaddressed: “A vote for a Mormon is a vote for the LDS church.? The “answer” given is nothing more than an elongated version of “No it doesn’t.” For example, the author says, “When we vote for a candidate, we do not vote for all his or her ideas or ideals.” REALLY? Then what exactly ARE we voting for? His looks? The sound of his voice? His oratory style? His logo? No. We are voting for his ideals. And to assume that a person’s faith and beliefs has no impact on the rest of his life is naive at best, foolish at worst. The author also says, “Support for any candidate is not an endorsement of all of that candidate’s convictions.” Overstated to make a point, I understand. But think about this in terms of *defining* ideals. If you were to poll 10,000 people and ask them for one word to describe Romney, I GUARANTEE that “Mormon” would be a top three answer. In the eyes of Americans, Romney is Mormonism. Now, whether being a Mormon would make him a good or bad president is irrelevant for people like me. What IS relevant is whether or not a Romney presidency will continue to catapult Mormonism into the mainstream and thus lead hundreds of thousands of people to an eternal hell. No one can answer that question. We don’t know the future. But it is a question I cannot ignore as I make my way to the polls in November. Vote your conscience, just don’t vote in ignorance of the potential eternal implications (with EVERY candidate). Vote in faith, in fear and trembling, as the *Holy Spirit* guides you—not the media, the “circumstances” we face, or the political trends of the day.

  • September 04, 2012 // 01:43 pm //  # 
    Kevin James Bywater's avatar Kevin James Bywater

    Gregg: I’m perplexed by your “humble opinion” that accuses us of repeating a “toxic liberal lie.” Ouch. The energetic application of labels does not make them more valid. And a passive-aggressive approach is just confusing. I’m not confident that you’ve tended to what we’ve written. Your words might suggest that you embrace theonomy. I’m not certain. But I’m happy to have a conversation, as long as you agree to stop hitting.

    Eric: I think you may have misunderstood the article: it is not an endorsement of any candidate or political party. It does promote certain values and considerations that may align more with a candidate or party. But, of course, anyone who knows Summit would know well our promotion of certain values and considerations.

    As to your suggestion that a vote for Romney is a vote for the Mormon Church, well, I’m tempted to agree, in some measure. Associations may carry with them commendations or condemnations (to use the strongest of terms). As such, it seems to me that Romney could very well tarnish the reputation of the Mormon Church. (I’m not confident he enhanced it as governor.) Indeed, it could be that an increasing number of Mormons and Mormon missionaries worldwide could face increased threats and risks because of any association with Romney. Only time will tell, as you note. Even so, I’m not confident that a vote for Romney in Massachusetts was a vote for the Mormon Church. I suppose it depends on what you would mean by those words and how you would produce documentable support for them. I’m open.

Join the discussion

Commenting is not available in this section entry.