When asked what the Latter-day Saints believe, the Prophet Joseph Smith put Christ at the center: “The fundamental principles of our religion is the testimony of the apostles and prophets concerning Jesus Christ, ‘that he died, was buried, and rose again the third day, and ascended up into heaven;’ and all other things are only appendages to these, which pertain to our religion.”
The modern-day Apostles reaffirmed that testimony when they proclaimed, “Jesus is the Living Christ, the immortal Son of God. … His way is the path that leads to happiness in this life and eternal life in the world to come.” (Read The Living Christ: The Testimony of the Apostles.)
In recent decades, however, some have claimed that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is not a Christian church. The most oft-used reasons are the following:
- Latter-day Saints do not accept the creeds, confessions, and formulations of post–New Testament Christianity.
- The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints does not descend through the historical line of traditional Christianity. That is, Latter-day Saints are not Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, or Protestant.
- Latter-day Saints do not believe scripture consists of the Holy Bible alone but have an expanded canon of scripture that includes the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price.
Each of these is examined on the page Are Mormons Christian? in Gospel Topics on LDS.org (topics.lds.org).
See the article “Explaining Mormon Beliefs: Jesus Christ” for a list of online resources that explain more about our belief in Jesus Christ.
“What does it mean to be a Christian?” (page 22 in the January 2014 issue of the Friend magazine) provides a simple explanation for children.