Infrequently Asked Questions


A. Questions about me & Mormonism

1. Are you Mormon? Have you ever been Mormon?
2. Why aren’t you Mormon?
3. How did you get started studying the LDS church?
4. Why did you go to BYU if you’re not Mormon?
5. What did you study at BYU?
6. Do you think Mormons are Christians?
7. Is Mormonism a cult?
8. Are you an anti-Mormon? Is this site anti-Mormon?
9. Isn’t your husband Mormon?
10. Do you think Mormons are saved?

B. Questions about evangelical Protestantism and my faith

1. How did you become a Christian?
2. What denomination are you?
3. What does your bio mean when it says you are the “wife of one husband (for now)”?
4. What’s the deal with your name?

A. Questions about me & Mormonism

1. Are you Mormon? Have you ever been Mormon?

No and no, I have never been a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints or any of its splinter groups.

2. Why aren’t you Mormon?

I don’t really need a reason to not be Mormon other than that I believe my own faith is correct, therefore all other religions must be wrong to at least some degree. However, if you really must know, I’m not fond of the following LDS doctrines: eternal regression of Gods, male-only priesthood, total apostasy of the New Testament church, ordinance work for the dead, post-mortem polygyny, rejection of non-LDS baptisms, human exaltation into beings who will be Gods over their own worlds/universes, and refusal to acknowledge that people can receive the gift of the Holy Spirit without being baptized into any organization as it was in the early Christian church (Acts 10:34-48). I also have issues with the way polygamy was practiced in early Mormonism which raise serious questions for me on the prophetic status of early LDS leaders.

3. How did you get started studying the LDS church?

The short story is that an LDS guy whom I met online began asking me to learn about the church when I was 16. For the full story, see the series of blog posts found here.

4. Why did you go to BYU if you’re not Mormon?

Because I felt like God wanted me there. Do I need another reason? I have begun blogging the full story on this here.

5. What did you study at BYU?

I completed a bachelor of arts in classical studies (classics emphasis) with a minor in Hebrew. I was also one class short of completing a history minor.

6. Do you think Mormons are Christians?

I hate this question. The answer is, etymologically, Mormonism is a Christian religion. Its founder was raised in a Protestant tradition, so arguably Mormonism sprang from Protestant Christianity. If you don’t think it came from Christianity, where did it come from? It came from a branch of Christianity and everybody knows it.

Furthermore, Mormonism is in fact Christocentric. Like it or not, its doctrines and theology do derive from what Mormons regard as the gospel of Jesus Christ. They have as much claim to the title “Christian” as anyone. (BTW, don’t spout off to me about Mormons believing in a “different Jesus.” It means you’re probably too stupid to be reading this blog and should click away at your earliest convenience.)

What other Christians usually mean when they say Mormons are not Christians is that Mormons are not true Christians. The Christianity practiced by Mormonism is corrupt and incomplete, so Mormonism is a Christian heresy.

If you’re Mormon and what I just said offends you, it shouldn’t. You teach the exact same thing about non-LDS Christians. I say heresy, you say apostasy. Same diff. Each of us thinks the other is not practicing full Christianity.

I think non-LDS Christians have very little to gain by igniting a semantics war over the word “Christian.” The issue should not be whether or not Latter-day Saints are Christian, it should be whether or not their theology is correct, which it isn’t. In general, I’m happy to grant the term “Christian” to Mormons as a courtesy so that we can move on to talking about things that actually matter.

7. Is Mormonism a cult?

No. Only stupid people think this.

8. Are you an anti-Mormon? Is this site anti-Mormon?

No. Only stupid people think this.

If you want a more serious response to those last two questions, in the context of discussions on Mormonism, I think the words “cult” and “anti-Mormon” are two sides of the same coin. Each term has a legitimate and proper meaning that (once upon a time) could have been used to facilitate meaningful discussion. Unfortunately, in practice, these terms have been excessively abused by the respective sides in the debate so that they have been diminished to little more than pejorative, thought-stopping rhetoric. These terms generally poison the well and move to circumvent thoughtful exploration of the subject under discussion, and it seems that it’s the less-capable counter-cultists, LDS critics, and Mormon apologists who thrive on a liberal application of said terms.

Some people have called me a critic of the LDS church, but I disagree. I prefer to think of myself as a critic of sexism & patriarchy, invasive policies, destructive cultural practices, and bad apologetics. In as much as the church officially sanctions those things, yes, I am a critic of the church. But by those same tokens I’m also a critic of my own religion.

9. Isn’t your husband Mormon?

Yes. My husband is a lifetime, temple-recommend-holding, active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who is descended from pioneers and has served a full-term mission in France. I have discussed my interfaith marriage at length here.

10. Do you think Mormons are saved?

I openly admit to accepting some degree of individual soteriological inclusivism. This means I think some people can have a saving relationship with Jesus Christ in spite of believing in false theology, like Emeth the Calormene warrior in C.S. Lewis’s The Last Battle. So yes, I think some Mormons are saved. Don’t ask me how many because I don’t know.

I still see LDS theology as containing much that is false, and any false theology can be harmful and destructive to the soul. Beyond that, even if we allow that some Latter-day Saints may be saved, the heretical and heterodox teachings of the church can still prevent LDS people from experiencing the fullness and joy of true discipleship. I maintain that Evangelical Christians have considerable incentive to share our truth with Latter-day Saints for that reason.

B. Questions about evangelical Protestantism and my faith

1. How did you become a Christian?

The short story is, I was converted by my evangelical aunt when I was 10. I had difficulty being a practicing Christian in high school, but re-committed my life to Christ at 16. I have begun blogging the story of my full testimony here.

2. What denomination are you?

I am a member of the Evangelical Covenant Church as of June 2010. In the past I have attended congregations that were part of the Church of the Nazarene, Presbyterian Church (U. S. A.), Assemblies of God, and New Frontiers family of churches. Or in other words, I am something of an evangelical mutt—which is precisely why I joined the ECC. The ECC is a denomination that allows for a great deal of freedom of interpretation on the issues that traditionally divide evangelicals, so it makes a great home for evangelical mutts.

I was baptized when I was 12 by an ordained minister of the Church of the Nazarene.

These are some of my beliefs and positions:

Credobaptism
Arminian
Charismatic
Egalitarian
Eternal Hell, though I believe in the C.S. Lewis idea of torment rather than the literal fire kind.
Undecided on protology, though I’m somewhere between Theistic Evolution and Progress Creation
Completely undecided on eschatology

3. What does your bio mean when it says you are the “wife of one husband (for now)”?

Well, the phrase “wife of one husband” occurs in the Bible (1 Timothy 5:9) as a requirement for enrollment in the order of the widows, likely an ordered women’s ministry in the early church. 1 Timothy 3:2 similarly decrees that an elder must be “the husband of one wife.” Marital fidelity, whether currently or previously married, was apparently an important requirement for ministry in the early church for members of both sexes.

The “for now” part is a humorous allusion to the early Mormon practice of polyandry.

4. What’s the deal with your name?

Formerly I did most of my writing and blog commenting as Bridget Jack Meyers. Earlier this year, I made the decision to return to my maiden name, for professional reasons and because I miss it. Now I write and blog as Bridget Jack Jeffries.

———————————


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

* Copy This Password *

* Type Or Paste Password Here *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>