I’ve worked with some of the Mormons, and they are indeed some of the kindest and most hard-working folks I’ve known. People who refer to themselves as “real” Christians seem to see the Latter Day Saints as cultists of a type, adherents to a made-up religion.
The primary arguments against the validity of their faith seem to boil down basically to the fact that the religion is less than a thousand years old, and was founded by an American, and is full of general weirdness.
If age is a determining factor with regard to religious authority, surely we were all Buddhists in our previous lives, right?
I grew up in a Christian home, and I’m glad for it, but if I’m going to judge a person’s faith based upon the wierdness contained within his or her “Holy” text of choice, then admittedly, all religions fail. I’m not a bible scholar by any stretch of the imagination, but here’s some of the oddities I remember from bible school, just off the top of my head:
1 magical flaming sword (guarding the garden of eden)
2 talking animals (one serpent and one ass)
1 superman who’s strength was lost because of a haircut.
1 guy flying straight to heaven on a chariot.
2 people walking on water
2 people being brought back to life after being dead for more than a day or so.
Assorted healings and miracles.
In short, I’m not sure that the Mormon faith fails any logic-based test that some other religion would pass. That’s why it’s called “faith” as in “Faith is the evidence of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:something.