October 12, 2011

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS)  is a world-wide religion, diverse, dynamic, and growing. Mitt Romney is a practicing member of the LDS Church, he is also a top-tier GOP presidential candidate. That puts a target on his back. Accusations from certain Evangelical Christians that the LDS, or Mormon Church, is a cult and that’s its members are not Christians are incendiary, and totally inappropriate in a political race. I will use the work of experts who have studied the nature and practices of modern cults to illustrate why the Mormon Church is not a cult. I will answer the following “cult” criteria with examples of LDS doctrines and organizational practices.

Note: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has few clergy members who receive compensation for their service. Virtually all leaders on the local and regional levels are volunteers. Nearly all adult members of the church have a leadership, teaching, or service calling. The Mormon Church is lead by its members, and its leaders are members of the church on equal standing with all other members. They will usually serve for a short time in their leadership position, and then be released from that calling, then placed into another capacity. It is a truism in the LDS Church to say that, “A Bishop (Pastor) may serve his time as the leader of many, then find himself rocking babies in the nursery within the blink of an eye.”

Characteristics Associated with Cultic Groups: Janja Lalich, Ph.D. & Michael D. Langone, PH. D

The Articles of Faith of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

  1. We believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost.
  2. We believe that men will be punished for their own sins, and not for Adam’s transgression.
  3. We believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel.
  4. We believe that the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel are: first, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; second, Repentance; third, Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; fourth, Laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost.
  5. We believe that a man must be called of God, by prophecy, and by the laying on of hands by those who are in authority, to preach the Gospel and administer in the ordinances thereof.
  6. We believe in the same organization that existed in the Primitive Church, namely, apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists, and so forth.
  7. We believe in the gift of tongues, prophecy, revelation, visions, healing, interpretation of tongues, and so forth.
  8. We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly; we also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God.
  9. We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God.
  10. We believe in the literal gathering of Israel and in the restoration of the Ten Tribes; that Zion (the New Jerusalem) will be built upon the American continent; that Christ will reign personally upon the earth; and, that the earth will be renewed and receive its paradisiacal glory.
  11. We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.
  12. We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.
  13. We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul—We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.

Joseph Smith

On a personal note:

It is a strange for me, as it would be for others of my faith, to be told by others who don’t know me and who are not acquainted with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, that I am not a Christian. I pray daily, and sometimes the sweetest and most powerful thing I can utter is the name of my Lord. Jesus Christ, His character, His plan, His compassion, and His kindness have been taught to me by my church since I could comprehend the concept of an all-knowing, all-loving being.  The atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ and His resurrection are central to all the doctrines of my faith. Without Him, there is no salvation, there is no way. He is the way. Some may contend that “The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ” is not a Christian text. This is an excerpt from that book.

2 Nephi 25:25-26

 25 For, for this end was the law given; wherefore the law hath become dead unto us, and we are made alive in Christ because of our faith; yet we keep the law because of the commandments.

 26 And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins.

My heart sings with the testimony of my Savior, Jesus Christ. He, born of a virgin, is the living Son of God the Eternal Father. He atoned for our sins in the fiery torment of Gethsemane. He died on the cross to cleanse us from our sins. He rose on the third day, glorified and perfect. He lives. I know that my Redeemer lives.

My name is Marjorie Haun and I am a Mormon.


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  1. Michael Santos

    Great post. Good job explaining. Unfortunately the haters will never accept the truth.

    • Reagangirl

      Thank you Michael. The most painfully ironic thing to me is that those who refuse to see the truth of the spirit and function of the LDS church, those who call us a cult, are people from other Christian churches. Strange indeed.

  2. […] EXCERPTED FROM Faith Healing source […]

  3. Charles G.

    When I reactivated into the church I had a very dear friend who was attending another church that had anti-Mormon resources and literature in their library. They made sure to educate him about “us Mormons”. The damage they did to our friendship exists to this very day. Over 19 years later. It doesn’t matter what we say about our church because they tell them that any response we make will be a lie to protect or secrets. So how do you break through a wall fortified with such an idea? That when you confront a Mormon (about anything that they consider a secret Mormon ritual or a false doctrine), that anything we tell them will be a lie?
    I once was once anti-Mormon. I believed all the anti-Mormon literature and the radio shows I listened to. I thought I was educated about what the Church really believed and practiced from what those people taught me. It wasn’t until I took a leap of faith that God sent the Holy Ghost to fill my heart with a powerful, undeniable and indescribable force of love and truth that the hatred that had been planted there by others was removed.
    Is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints a cult?
    Consider this. When Jesus Christ walked the roads of Judea. When he taught the masses of people that followed him and performed his miracles and healed the sick and taught them the gospel of God. The official powers of the accepted church at the time said things and took actions that clearly show that they considered him a leader of a cult. A cult so dangerous to what they had built up, and the power they had created for themselves in a church that was lacking so much of what God had taught that they conspired to have him killed.
    It seems that after 2000 years that type of thinking hasn’t changed for some.
    What a shame. My heart is saddened for them.

    • Thank you for that beautiful account. When some faith decides to discredit another, the end result is disunity, suspicion and un-Christian animosity. It is time for Christians to embrace that which they have in common, not the details which make them different.

  4. JimS

    I am Mormon and I am NOT a Christian. I am proud of my religion and my beliefs, and they differ greatly from Christianity. Yes, I do believe in Christ – but not the same version of Christ that Christian churches believe. I believe that God introduced his Son to Joseph Smith, and Christ told Joseph that ALL their creeds were an abomination in His sight, they were corrupt and that, ” “they draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me, they teach for doctrines the commandments of men, having a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof.” -Joseph Smith History, v19.

    Why would I want to be lumped in with those guys? I don’t understand why the LDS population gets so upset about being labeled as “not Christian” – it’s the very foundation of our religion. It is why Joseph Smith went into the woods to pray.

    • It is important to differentiate the uses of “Christian.” There is the use which Protestants embrace which includes the doctrines that are contained in the traditions of the post-Nicean practices. Those traditions include the definition of the “Trinity,” original sin, etc. There is also the definition which is simply a follower of Christ. I am a Christian, a follower of Jesus Christ. I embrace the original doctrines and form of His primitive church, complete with 12 Apostles. Christ is the literal head of my church, in that way I am also a Christian. But I do not embrace the alterations made at the Council of Nicea which were determined by consensus, not by divine revelation. I try to live a “Christian” life, which simply means a “moral” life.

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