The question was posed to Gordon B. Hinckley, president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints: What is it that people find so difficult in accepting Mormons as Christians? President Hinckley’s candid response was reflective of what Church members think when confronted with the same question. “I don’t know. I can’t understand it,” he said.
Addressing the same topic, Jeffrey R. Holland, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve — the second-highest governing body of the Church — replied: “The thing that defines me is my … Christianity. And for people to tell me that I am not a Christian is wrenching.”
President Hinckley and Elder Holland discussed their views about Latter-day Saints as Christians for the recent PBS documentary The Mormons. Their interviews are available on the PBS Web site.
While others have their opinions, “in our terms,” President Hinckley said, “we worship Christ.”
Elder Holland explained how the Church’s doctrines are grounded in New Testament Christianity and yet stand apart from other Christian denominations. He addressed doctrines of the Godhead and priesthood authority, a correct understanding of the role of Joseph Smith and what he learned about the nature of God, and the necessity for all Christian people to refrain from quarrelling over doctrinal points and to accept each other as fellow believers.