A few years ago I met a few Mormon missionaries plying their mission in deepest, darkest UK.

I went along to a few of their meetings. In one of them, a senior 'cleric' - I say cleric, because they all dressed like conservative republican business-men - said to the 'congregation' - that he had an audience with senior clerics of the Vatican where questioned on devotion to Christ. He replied, "we follow Christ"!

Apparently, there was complete silence afterwards. Whether this was the silence of disbelief or a meditative silence, I don't know - I wasn't there.

I stopped going as they tried to 'trick' me into conversion, even though I had said I had no interest in converting, but merely wanted to discuss theology with them. Once a missionary, always a missionary I suppose. Plus, I was dismayed by a theology that indigeonised Christianity to the Americas as though white Europeans were indigenous to the Americas.

Anyway, I want to ask what is the relationship between the Mormon Church and the Vatican?


2 Answers 2


While there are doctrinal differences the relationship between the two religions is good (though this hasn't been a constant).

In 2019 before the Rome, Italy temple was dedicated President Nelson met with Pope Francis and said:

The differences in doctrine are real,“ he added. “They are important. But they are not nearly as important as things we have in common—our concern for human suffering, our desire for and the importance of religious liberty for all of society, and the importance of building bridges of friendship instead of building walls of segregation. ...

We both shared the feelings of the importance of freedom of religion and the stability that faith in God brings to a society,” said President Nelson. “If we have a godless society, we have a rudderless ship. ...

The Church has worked “side by side” with Catholic Relief Service in 43 countries, said President Ballard. “We have been shoulder-to-shoulder as partners in trying to relieve suffering.1

Three largest(?) doctrinal differences are

  1. premortal existence
  2. belief that the fall of humanity in Eden was a positive event because it made mortal life possible (as opposed to the Catholic and Protestant view that humanity is tainted with original sin that requires Christ’s redemption), and, arguably most important in the broad comparison
  3. the loss of apostolic authority after the death of the first Apostles, which resulted in the Great Apostasy and required the restoration of ecclesiastical authority through Joseph Smith as prophet2

1 President Nelson Meets with Pope Francis at the Vatican(LDS) and Pope Meets Top Leaders of Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints(Catholic)

Vatican issued no statement on the meeting with the pope

2 Catholic Mormon Relations

  • Is there a Vatican readout / press release about the meeting? It would be nice to include in your answer. Sep 22, 2022 at 11:08
  • @GratefulDisciple not that I could find, found a washington post article
    – depperm
    Sep 22, 2022 at 11:08
  • 1
    Thanks. I also found one news article, though not official, from a Canadian Catholic newspaper: The Catholic Register. Great to see the cordial meeting between the highest leaders of the two churches! Sep 22, 2022 at 11:15
  • 1
    The 2012 BYU journal article you mentioned (Catholic-Mormon relations) is a good one (a keeper for my notes) by a scholar in American Religion, proper non-partisan academic venue (religious studies), third party and objective in tone, with an eye for the common fight against laxing morality in America. Sep 23, 2022 at 11:22

I always direct people asking questions like this to 2 places

  1. the modern Mormon up for canonization Cora Louise Evans (1904 – March 30, 1957) was an American wife and mother who was raised Mormon and eventually went on to convert to Catholicism in 1935. She is considered to be a Catholic mystic.

  2. the many living Mormon converts who have appeared on Coming Home Network, eg https://chnetwork.org/denomination/mormon/

I am at least humble enough to know that this kind of question is not really an intellectual question alone, it has to be answered by someone who has been on both sides of the fence ;)

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