Letter to the Editor: Taking issue with columnist’s viewpoint


I respond to Jason Wright’s recent column with great reluctance. I know Jason personally, having benefited from his writer workshops, and having received his comments in this paper concerning my own holiday novella, “The Christmas Truce.”

I extend my sympathies to him and his family about the perceived injustice he refers to in his piece. As a father, and grandfather, I understand that feeling. I offer my apologies for the inability of sincere believers to articulate their faith in a gracious manner.

Regrettably, my conciliatory tone can proceed no further. Mr. Wright is incorrect in asserting that the differences between Christians and Mormons resemble those separating other Christians. Baptists and Presbyterians differ on infant baptism, Methodists and Reformed believers on the question of whether one can lose salvation. Pentecostals differ over the question of tongues and the role of miracles.

The difference between Mormons and Christians however, goes well beyond these secondary concerns to the very heart of Christian theology, the person and work of Jesus Christ.

Though Mormons use the same terms, they have significant different meanings. “The gift” in English means a token of love or appreciation. “Das gift” in German means poison. The spelling and pronunciation are similar, the distinction in meaning is stark.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is based on the teachings of Joseph Smith. In the Pearl of Great Price, Smith claims he was warned not to align with any church because all were corrupt, their creeds abominations. A fact easily researched since the Book of Mormon itself refers the reader to this history. How strange then, that Mormon apologists now infer we’re all the same in beliefs.

Mormons occupy and serve valued community roles, as do Buddhists, Muslims, Hindus and yes, Christians. Only love can provide the glue necessary to work together for the good of our society. But we don’t honor other’s beliefs by inferring we believe the same thing. It’s simply false to suggest Christian and Mormon beliefs are similar and it seems disingenuous for a person of Mr. Wright’s intelligence to suggest they are.
William Shifflett, Edinburg

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