Mormons & Catholics Archive

What is the Difference Between the Pope and the Prophet?

What is the Difference Between the Pope and the Prophet?

The Pope is the head of the Catholic Church, while the Savior leads The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, through a living prophet ordained by priesthood authority, and whose members are sometimes called Mormons. There are both similarities and differences between the two positions. To understand the role of a prophet, one must first understand how the highest levels of the Mormon church is organized. At the head of the church is the prophet. He is assisted by two counselors (advisors) who share the workload and are chosen by the prophet himself. No one seeks for the position or campaigns for it. The prophet alone makes the choice through prayer and inspiration. These three, known as the First Presidency, oversee the workings of the worldwide church. Read the rest of this entry »  Read More →

Do Mormons Canonize Saints?

Do Mormons Canonize Saints?

In the Catholic faith, canonization is the official recognition that someone is a saint and was so even prior to the official recognition. A process is followed to allow the church to determine who is a saint. Mormons (the nickname for members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) do not follow this process. The term saint is used in the official name of the church and denotes, as used in the Bible, a community of people who followed God. Read the rest of this entry »  Read More →

Do Mormons Do Stations of the Cross?

Do Mormons Do Stations of the Cross?

Stations of the Cross is a Catholic tradition that grew out of a desire to replicate pilgrimages to Jerusalem. Today, they help Catholics remember the final days of the life of Jesus Christ as they move through a series of wooden crosses that have been blessed by a person with the authority to do so and pray. Some consider it reparation for the suffering and loneliness of the Savior’s personal Via Dolorosa. Pope Pius XI considered it an obligation for Catholics and John Paul II praised those who make an effort to stand by the endless crosses the Savior endures even today through abuse and mistreatment from those who do not honor the Sacrifices He made for them. Although Mormons don’t participate in a formal ceremony, they do teach the principle behind it. As Pope John Paul II said, we must stand beside the Savior. In the April 2009 General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints , whose members are often called Mormons, Jeffrey R. Holland gave a powerful... Read the rest of this entry »

What Do Mormons Believe About Adam and Eve

What Do Mormons Believe About Adam and Eve

Mormons see Adam and Eve very differently than most of the Christian world. Rather than blaming Eve for all our problems, we celebrate her as the mother of all living and honor her for making the hardest choices. Through the scriptures of the restoration and modern revelation, we have learned more about these two first ancestors. Adam and Eve were created by Heavenly Father and placed into a peaceful place to begin their lives. We can think of this as replacing the protected childhood of most people. Here they had everything they could want and only one request to obey. This allowed them time to settle into their marriage and the unfamiliar world in which they were placed, and they could have chosen to stay there forever, had they wanted to do so. However, their progress would be very limited if they did so. They would not have children or progress through a normal lifespan. This would also mean they could not fulfill the purposes for which they were sent. The story of Adam and Eve really... Read the rest of this entry »

How Do Mormon Ministers Qualify to Preside?

How Do Mormon Ministers Qualify to Preside?

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, whose members are sometimes informally called Mormons, is a lay church. It does not have a paid, professional clergy. Instead, all members of the church are invited to serve in callings-church assignments-as chosen by God. Local congregations, known as wards, are led by a bishop. The bishop is a man who holds the priesthood. The bishop has a family and a career, unless he’s retired, and so he is doing this work during his “free” time. This calling, which typically lasts five years, is a gift he gives to God, and is very demanding, since he does nearly everything a full-time pastor might do. He oversees the financial, temporal, and spiritual well-being of the ward, visits the sick, meets with those in need to determine how the church can help, counsels those who are having problems, and leads the program for teenage young men. He has not been through a formal seminary program to learn how to do this job, although training... Read the rest of this entry »

Why Don’t Mormons Pray to Mary or Have Statues of Her?

Why Don’t Mormons Pray to Mary or Have Statues of Her?

Mormons do not pray to Mary. Statues are art, and, as with any other form of art, might be found in an individual building or home, usually in a nativity setting. There are several aspects of Mormon beliefs that must be understood before this question can be answered. The first is that Mormon beliefs do not include the trinity. While they believe in God, Jesus, and in the Holy Ghost, they do not teach that they are the same being. They are three very distinct beings, wholly unified in purpose. For more on this, please read: How Could Jesus Pray to Himself? The second important point of Mormon doctrine is that we lived with God before we were born. God created our spirits and we lived with Him for a time before coming to earth. These two teachings are important because they explain why we don’t feel we need to pray to Mary in order to get God’s attention. It is sometimes explained that if we’re in a noisy room, we will notice, despite the din, the voice of someone we know... Read the rest of this entry »

Do Mormons Abstain From Meat on Fridays?

Do Mormons Abstain From Meat on Fridays?

Catholics teach that Christ died on Friday, and for that reason, they follow special penitential observances on Fridays, willingly suffering as He suffered, and traditionally, this has required the sacrifice of the eating of meat, something many people enjoy. They use Friday as a special time to draw closer to God, to become aware of their sins, and to work to overcome them. Although the bishop’s counsil suggests this is now voluntary, but encouraged, Catholics are still asked to use Friday as a day to draw closer to God and can substitute other penances. (Pastoral Statement on Penance and Abstinence A Statement Issued by the National Conference of Catholic Bishops November 18, 1966) Mormons do not abstain from meat, but there are other ways in which they too and focus on seeking forgiveness of and abandonment of their sins. One such method is the weekly taking of the Sacrament. Mormons are baptized for the remission of their sins at age eight, which Mormons consider the age of accountability.... Read the rest of this entry »

What is Confirmation Like for Mormons?

What is Confirmation Like for Mormons?

Mormon children can be confirmed members of the church at the age of eight. Converts older than eight are confirmed soon after their baptisms. The confirmation is a very simple procedure. The person being confirmed sits in a chair, with arms folded for the prayer that is about to begin. Men who hold the proper level of Mormon priesthood and who have been invited by the person being confirmed, gather around the seated person. They each place one hand on the child’s head, and one on the shoulder of the man next to them. The child will have previously decided who will confirm her. Since all worthy male members of the church of the proper age can hold the priesthood, this is usually the child’s father. If the father doesn’t hold the priesthood or isn’t living, any other priesthood holder can be selected. The confirmation is done formally, with the priesthood holder simply confirming the child a member of the church in selected language, and then telling the child to... Read the rest of this entry »

Do Mormons Have Mass?

Do Mormons Have Mass?

Catholics have mass to show adoration to the Savior. They teach Jesus offered Mass at the Last Supper and that the bread and wine offered during mass are literally transformed into the Savior’s blood and body. Mormons have a similar celebration, called the Sacrament. It is offered during a weekly Sacrament Meeting, which is the primary worship service. There are differences between the Catholic and Mormon service, however. Mormons use bread and water in the Sacrament. Although wine was used when Christ held the first Sacrament, Mormons teach that the bread and water only represent the blood and body of the Savior, rather than being transformed into the actual blood and body, and therefore, it is not important that water is used instead. Read the rest of this entry »  Read More →

How Do Mormons Confess Their Sins?

How Do Mormons Confess Their Sins?

Mormon beliefs teach that anyone who has reached the age of accountability, which is eight years of age, must confess his sins. However, not all sins must be confessed to an ecclesiastical leader. The process of repentance involves several steps. The first step is to have faith in God. Without faith, repentance is not possible, because the entire process is based on our faith in God. If a person who has sinned lacks faith, then strengthening that faith is part of the repentance process. The next step is to feel sorrow for the sin. Repentance is meaningless is one is just going through the motions. Sorrow comes not from being caught, or from having to cope with the consequences of sin, but from having disobeyed God. When we love God, we want to please Him and to live the way He has asked us to. Repentance, then, is an act of love, not fear. Read the rest of this entry »  Read More →