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Sectarian Discord Serves No Religion

July 26, 2001

Re "Vatican Will Not Accept Mormon Baptisms," July 20: I was amazed to read that some say I am not a Christian. For many years each morning before school my wife and I read the New Testament with our children and then prayed together in the name of Jesus Christ. Each Sunday at church, we partake of a small piece of bread and cup of water that reminds us of the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ. As we partake, we recommit ourselves to try to live according to the teachings of Jesus. I admit that we are not always successful, but we keep trying.

Four of our children have served missions in Poland, France, Denmark and the Dominican Republic, teaching from the Bible and the Book of Mormon about Jesus Christ.

Yes, some of my beliefs are different from some who label me as non-Christian. I believe that Jesus Christ was divine prior to coming into mortality, that he is the son of God, literally resurrected with a physical body. I believe that he healed people, raised the dead, calmed the sea and died to atone for our sins.

I have great respect for people of other faiths, both Christian and non-Christian, many of whom exhibit far more compassion, dedication and faith than I do. But I want to suggest to all those who must use labels or draw lines that they personally ask Latter-day Saints what they believe. Each will answer, "Yes, we are Christians."

Steve Gilliland

Lakewood

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As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I was not sure whether to laugh or be insulted at your article about the Catholic Church not accepting our baptisms. As a member of the church I am a Christian, and whether the Catholic Church--or any other church--considers me one is of no concern to me.

As a member of the only church with the authority given by Christ to baptize people in his name, not only am I not concerned about the stance of the Catholic Church toward our baptisms, but I would expect any church that felt its church was correct to be rebaptizing all converts as well.

Diane Rice

Lake Forest

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Thank you for your piece on the disagreements among Christian sects. This is only another indication that these churches do not follow Jesus but rather follow their founders, St. Paul, Joseph Smith, John Wesley and so on, who undoubtedly were holy men in their own way, but who would be the first to remind us that they themselves were merely human people. The teachings of Jesus are inclusive; those of the churches are exclusive, to their detriment.

Jack Wright

Marina del Rey

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