I’ve heard a number of people say that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints isn’t a Protestant church, but it’s also not a Catholic church. However, this leaves us undefined,* and it’d be nice to have a label of some sort—so here’s my take:
I’d argue that it’s true that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is neither Catholic nor Protestant, but rather that we’re part of a third (and much smaller) branch of Xianity, the Restoration branch (as opposed to Restorationist, which is clearly Protestant). This branch includes not just the LDS Movement religions, but also such religions as the New Apostolic Church and possibly the Quakers—basically, those churches that rejected previous approaches in favor of a restoration directly from the divine (or authority or spirit or whatever one cares to call it), without arguing that what’s involved is a “priesthood of all believers” or a similar idea.**
* And saying “We’re not Protestant, we’re not Catholic, we’re true” isn’t a valid way of dealing with it—it ignores the possibility that the Protestants or the Catholics or another of the neither-of-those groups is right.
** The Worldwide Church of God has gone through an interesting shift in which it started out as a Restoration church, but has moved toward fitting in better with Protestantism. There are a number of LDS Movement churches that have done the same.
Faith Hill: Where Are You, Christmas?
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