Teachings on baptism, Trinity make Mormons different from Protestants
Published: September 19, 2012
WASHINGTON (CNS) -- With Mitt Romney at the top of Republican Party presidential ticket and Rep. Paul Ryan as his running mate, the Republicans for the first time do not have a Protestant on the ticket. Ryan, the vice presidential candidate, is Catholic. GOP presidential hopeful Romney is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and as the Catholic News Service Stylebook on Religion notes, "It is not a Protestant church." The word "Protestant" is the proper term for the new churches of Western Christianity formed during the Reformation, for the branches of those churches and for their members. The main branches of Protestantism include Baptist, Congregational, Lutheran, Methodist, Quaker, Presbyterian and Reformed denominations. Some significant differences in belief and practice between Mormonism and Protestantism come into play. "Well, it probably would refer mainly to the teachings on baptism," said Bishop John C. Wester of Salt Lake City, which is home to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, often referred to as "LDS." The bishop said: "In 2001, the Vatican conclusively determined that we do not accept LDS baptisms, and the LDS Church does not accept Catholic baptisms, so there's no surprise in that." In explaining its decision, the Vatican said that even though the Mormon baptismal rite refers to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, the church's beliefs about the identity of the three persons are so different from Catholic and mainline Christian belief that the rite cannot be regarded as a Christian baptism. Catholics and other Christians believe that God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are three persons of a triune God, while Latter-day Saints believe them to be separate and distinct persons. Another point that distinguishes them from Catholics and Protestants is their church's Book of Mormon, four books that are appended to their religion's Bible. The books are considered "extracanonical" by Christians and are not included in Catholic or Protestant Bibles.
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