I wrote this piece as an extra credit assignment for my religion course at BYU, August 2014.
Jews believe in ancient text and follow the words written in the Old Testament to a very literal degree. They follow ancient traditions set in place by their forefathers who were deeply connected to G-D (God). Jews practice their sacred rituals in their temples and spend most of their days with a prayer in their hearts as they strive to remember G-D’s example. For the most part, Jews believe that Jesus was a rabbi. At times they will admit that Jesus was a wonderful, living example of G-D’s love on the earth, but it is very rarely you will hear much more than that on the subject of Jesus Christ. However, there is a sect of Judaism where the Jews fully believe that Jesus Christ was more than just a great teacher. These people are called Messianic Jews and I dare say, Mormons.
Mormons are similar to Messianic Jews because:
-Mormons believe that Jesus was the Christ, just as Messianic Jews believe.
-Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints desire to participate in the gathering of Israel and the tribes.
-Many members of the LDS church are descendants or adopted into the tribes of Israel as discovered by patriarchal blessings.
-Mormon church members believe that Lehi, one of the original forefathers, rescued the Torah and other Jewish genealogical records and also worked to preserve the Jewish legacy for future generations.
-Both cultures honor the Sabbath with reverence and have an extremely close connection to our father in heaven.
-Mormons base all of their rituals and ceremonies off of ancient Jewish tradition as received by revelation and through scriptures.
-Both faiths are dedicated to the construction and frequent use of their holy temples.
Mormons are different from Messianic Jews for a few different reasons:
-Mormons believe that Joseph Smith was visited by God the Father, Jesus Christ, and many ministering angels.
-Mormons believe that Joseph Smith was given the priesthood keys to minister unto us the same power that Jesus used on the earth in ancient times.
-The LDS faith exercises the true authority when baptizing, blessing, healing, and teaching.
-While Messianic Jews seek to follow the words of G-D in the Old and New Testaments as their versions allow, Mormons study the Old and New Testaments as well as the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and Pearl of Great Price as gospel truth.
-Mormons perform temple work for the deceased so the dead can progress in the after-life.
In closing, I’ve discovered some undeniable similarities between the Messianic faiths and Mormonism. I hope that one day Mormon missionaries will have the opportunity to proselyte to members of the Messianic faiths and that they will be receptive to the continued teachings of Jesus Christ. I know that the leap from Messianic Judaism to Mormonism seemed almost natural to me (once I started getting past the culture shock, of course!). I hope that others will be given the opportunity to learn for themselves and make the choice to follow Jesus Christ’s complete and true church.
This is a photograph of my Hebrew graduation in 2009 with my tata (“daddy”). I am in the front row on the left and my tata is center in the back.
This is a photograph of some of my little sisters and I after the holiday of Rosh Hashana in 2010.