Are Mormons Closer to Muslims or Christians?

Source: Huffington Post

Author: Eliza Wood

Are Mormons any closer to Christians than Muslims? Short answer: no.

Long answer goes something like this: As the media shapes our understanding of the Mormon faith, now that we Americans consider electing our first Mormon presidential candidate (Mitt Romney), it might be wise for us to better understand the similarities and the differences among Christianity and these two faiths.

While many Americans might not be willing to consider electing a Muslim candidate for president in 2012, in reality Islam is about as close to Christianity as Mormonism. Certainly, neither is bad.  They both have amazing people holding less significant public offices, they are just quite different from Christianity, and it seems that the media is doing a uniquely good job at fusing Mormonism with Christianity in order to better position Romney for mainstream consideration.

Many Christians feel better knowing what their candidates believe about God, and sometimes in heated debates our candidates are put on the spot to confess their faith.  With sweat beads lining up neatly across their foreheads they agree that the Bible is the “word of God” to the comfort of many in our nation.  Those Christians, many of whom veer to the right these days, haven’t done much to demystify Mormonism but they sure would resist a Muslim candidate.

Both Islam and Mormonism have teachings from the Christian Bible and believe Jesus was “a prophet,” but they had prophets after Jesus that they believe to be more authentic and current than Jesus. Jesus’ teachings were a bit archived in both because Muhammad and Joseph Smith were both visited by angels who told them to receive new orders from God. Both have respected Jesus’ messages but moved forward with other teachings and practices that are not consistent with Christianity.

Islam teaches that Muhammad was the last prophet and Mormonism teaches that a line of prophets extended from Joseph Smith all the way to the present with Thomas S. Monson, who is currently considered their prophet.

While in some ways neither Islam nor Mormonism is very much like Christianity, the two faiths actually have a lot of similarities. For example, both had founding prophets who received visits from an angel, leading to revelation of Scripture. Both consider the family unit as the foundation for religious life, and both have an insistence that religion is their complete way of life.

Islam and Mormonism both require fasting and ritual cleansings. They both believe theirs is the original religion of Adam. Both Islam and Mormonism allowed four wives but both forbid homosexuality and bisexuality. Both religions forbid alcohol and gambling.

This may be alarming to some, but both Islam and Mormonism teach that marriage can extend into the afterlife. Neither worships their founding prophets, but both hold them with special respect. Both religions heavily proselytize and believe everyone should belong to their faith. In order to lead, both Islam and Mormonism do not require formal seminary training, but take regular members and move them up into leadership roles.

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Categories: Americas, CHRISTIANITY, Islam, Mormonism, Religion

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10 replies

  1. hmm that’s an interesting article ,I never really knew these things about mormons, but the difference is and that’s a big difference is muhammad(saw) inspired so many people all over the world and his teachings brought so many positive changes throughout history, including the inspired constitution of our united states of america that the mormons and their founders enjoy today, I hope they study the real history of syed humanity muhammad (saw)not from the pigots and the extremists who are attempting to destroy his image and reputation ,but from the living true followers ,Imam Mahdi and Masih Mauood(as) and his blessed khulafaa and their followers who are numbering in the millions today alhamdulillah around the world and making positive spiritual changes in the world for the love of god and humanity, peace to the world (ameen)

  2. This article is rife with misconceptions. Although the author does make some interesting comparisons, she sometimes goes a bit too far in making one religion sound like the other. Polygamy, for example, was limited by Islam to four wives, while there was no limit in Mormonism, contrary to what is stated in this article.

    The Mountain Meadows massacre was committed in Utah after Joseph Smith was murdered by a mob in Illinois, and there is no evidence that he would have condoned this, so to call Mormonism a violent faith based on this incident is stretching it a bit too far, I think. If there is only one violent incident she can dredge up, and that early in Mormonism’s history, it would seem to me that Mormonism is relatively non-violent. As we would say it unfair to call Islam a violent religion due to the actions of its violent extremists, when what they do clearly contradicts both the Quran and the Sunnah, I would say it unfair to paint Mormonism as violent based on this incident which I would imagine goes against their principles.

    What she has left out of this article is the plain fact that Christianity is the bloodiest faith on the face of the Earth, having perpetuated more wars and violence and having produced more casualties by far than any other religion on the planet. If she wanted to contrast Mormonism and Islam with Christianity on the subject of violence, she should have mentioned that Mormonism and Islam are more like each other and less like Christianity because they are so much LESS violent.

  3. American Presidents do not worry about religion. They are more concerned about political correctness (support of JEWISH state) & American global interests (not protecting Coptic CHRISTIANS in Egypt).
    Muslims are WRONG to assert that Christianity is violent because of actions of Christians (Crusades, Inquisition etc)
    Are we not making the same mistake the Christians do, by asserting that Islam is violent (Al Qaida & other terrorists).
    Both Islam & Christianity teach not to choose for others, What you would not choose for yourself.

  4. As a Mormon, I believe in Christ and consider myself to be a Christian. The Mormon doctrines of which Wood writes are completely unfamiliar to me, and in many cases, are factually incorrect.

    This is such an unfortunate article. Politics and religion invite disagreement and contention, but it’s not necessary. Whether out of a temporary lapse of journalistic integrity or something more consciously vindictive, Eliza Wood has published an article littered with untruths that damages her reputation while misleading her readers about the Muslim faith and the Mormon faith.

    I hope Wood will rewrite her article. There is a world of difference between laying out the facts and saying, “I see that differently than you,” – and what Wood did. It would be challenging to acknowledge such severe shortcomings and do a rewrite, but it would also set an example of civil discourse that could influence discussions elsewhere.

  5. I live in the state of Michigan, USA, where Mitt Romney’s father was a very popular and successful governor for 6 years. The issue of his faith had little or no impact on public opinion from what I recall. As well it shouldn’t have. The USA is a secular nation when it comes to its governance. What matters is competence. I will leave the comparisons of the various faiths to the theologians.

    • The religion may not matter, but without a ‘pilgrimage’ to the Government of Israel no one seems to have a chance to be elected to the highest US office. (I do not live in the USA)…

  6. Hi Rafiq,
    Id’ be happy to share some of the facts behind the beliefs Eliza wood referred to in her article.

    If you followed some of the comments after Wood went to press, she joined the conversation at one point and explained that Muslims claim to be Christian. The points relative to the Mormon faith in her article have nearly as much credibility as her assertion that Muslims worship Jesus Christ as Deity.

    Shortly after her article was published, I posted a response that addressed most of her statements as to Mormon doctrines one by one.

    The tone of my response is that of civility and professionalism.

    While we each bring different religious beliefs to the table, I’m convinced it does no good to tear down those who belong to different religious faiths. In fact, I think if we engage in these kinds of discussions, we can come away having learned a tremendous amount about the way others think and believe. Misunderstandings begin to disappear, love increases, peace replaces contention, and understanding eradicates fears.

    I’ve included a link below to the response. I’d be happy to receive your feedback, answer any questions you might have, and get your own response on how Wood addresses Islam.

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