I’m a Christian First

Today, I made a change to my Facebook profile.  In the “info” box, I wrote:

Katie L. is a wife, a mother, a professional copywriter, a devoted Christian, a friend, and a teacher-to-be.

After I wrote it, I sat there for about 10 minutes, wondering if I should post it, afraid my self-identification as a Christian might alarm people.  In the end I decided it doesn’t really matter, because it’s how I feel.

I’m a Mormon, yes.  But I’m not a Mormon first.  I’m a Christian first, a follower of Christ.  He is the One I worship, adore, and to whom I owe everything.  He is the One who pulled me from perfectionism and anxiety and brought me lasting peace.  The LDS church, for all the good it does, is not itself the vehicle of my salvation.  Christ is.  And it is to Him first and foremost that I owe my allegiance.

About Katie L

A doubter by nature, a believer by grace.

Posted on September 8, 2009, in Thoughts on God and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 14 Comments.

  1. Nearly all the time (including in my Facebook profile) when asked to identify myself by religion, I also use the word “Christian” and leave it at that. The main reason is because that’s what I am, and a second reason is I feel that if people want to start putting me in a stereotype of some sort I’d rather they do so after they get to know me a bit.

    If people care to ask for details beyond that (such as denomination), I’ll tell them. As often as not, that usually ends that part of the conversation. One time my wife, whose occupation typically requires postgraduate study, was asked the question, and the response she got: “Oh, really. I didn’t know Mormon women were allowed to go to college.” (I don’t make this stuff up.)

    Anyway, now I’m curious: Who did you think would be alarmed by your new profile, Mormons or non-Mormons?

  2. I think I’m probably over-sensitive, but I’m mostly worried about my ward members seeing it and wondering. I’m in the RS presidency and feel a tremendous responsibility not to be a stumbling block to anyone, despite my inherent questioning nature and rather unorthodox views on some things.

  3. Well, that does give you some added responsibility. But if someone who is a member of a church called the Church of Jesus Christ can’t call him- or herself a Christian, who can?

  4. If this post were on FB, I’d give it the much-coveted Thumbs Up.

    (Or, as my Pirate setting puts it…Arrr, this be pleasin’ to me eye.)

  5. Maybe I should post it on FB, eh? Or just not worry about it?

  6. My official Assassin Wife Pirate Endorsement isn’t incentive enough??

  7. My religion used to say “Led Zeppelin.”

    Actually the best thing about my real religious persuasion is that I can profess and practice it openly and nobody is really ever sure how serious I am. It’s a neat camouflage for me, since I am desperate to “come out” but terrified to do so.

  8. I personally feel the term “Christian” has too much baggage associated with it. I opt for “disciple of Christ” which isn’t technically a religion, but it communicates that Christ is most important to me.

    I think Pres. Hinkcley would agree with your position here, Katie. He always said Christ should be #1 – with church service coming in at #3 (after family). Our relationship with Christ should be our foremost concern at all times.

  9. Katie, I think there are Mormons who are Christians first and Mormons second, and Mormons who are Mormons first and Christians second. Where, if the prophet was to say “OK, we’re done with Jesus. From now on, we are worshiping Heavenly Father and doing away with the Jesus part,” that the first group would leave the Church, as it is no longer an appropriate forum to worship Jesus, and the second would remain loyal to the Church above Jesus.

    No judgment from me for/about either group, but I don’t think there’s anything wrong–and nobody in the church could fault you–with putting Christ first. Also, at least in the wards I was in, we often spoke of being Christians.

  10. Well, the question to ask yourself is: If you found out Mormonism was not true, would you continue to believe in Christ?

    If the answer is “yes,” then I think you are indeed a Christian first and a Mormon second.

    But if you would throw out all Christianity because Mormonism is shown to be false, I think you’re just a Mormon.

  11. Jack, great point.

    And yes. There is no doubt in my mind that I would most definitely remain a Christian. The way I see it, the church is good ONLY insofar as it draws people to Christ and teaches salvation in His name. If ever it fails to do this, I believe it is in error–whether on a local or institutional level.

  12. Katie,
    FWIW, I would have no problem with any Mormon putting Christian down as their religion.

    I wonder what the gellies think?
    Are we just trying to pass ourselves off merely as ‘another Christian religion’ if we use the word Christian for our religion?

    I personaly use LDS-Christian. That way I don’t inflate my dating options via f/b by getting “regular”christians, and I don’t alienate the Mormon options.

    As I said. FWIW.

  13. I doubt it would bother any Mormon. It’s bound to cause a few Christians a bit of cognitive dissonance.

    I just came off an all-day seminary teacher inservice conference, where about the only thing discussed was that the students have to understand the power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, through the influence of the Holy Spirit, and that anything that doesn’t point them that way is pretty much time wasted.

    Sounded Christian to me.

  14. welcome to the club Katie.

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