Theologically, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS, commonly known as the Mormon Church), is a cult of Christianity.
Its teaching and practices depart from Christianity’s essential doctrines to such an extent that the church and its members are considered to be outside the boundaries of the Christian faith.
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See also our older collection of research resources on Mormonism
- Gospel Principles: A Scripture Study Guide to the LDS Teaching Manual “A chapter-by-chapter look at the Mormon Church manual that is now being used by Latter-day Saints for Melchizedek Priesthood and Relief Society sessions around the world.” by Rob Bowman, and posted at the Institute for Religion Research. IRR notes, “Our friends at Mormonism Research Ministry have put together an exposition of some of the notable changes made to the Gospel Principles manual between 1978 and 2009″
- Is Mormonism a Cult? Blog post by Denny Burk, Associate Professor of Biblical Studies at Boyce College, the undergraduate arm of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY. Notes the various definitions of the term cult, and argues that — using the theological definition — “Focusing on what Mormonism actually teaches in contrast to orthodox Christianity, we can come to no other conclusion than that Mormonism is a cult.”
- Yet Again, Are Mormons Christians? Shedding Light on a Hot Topic by Rob Bowman, on The Religious Researcher blog.
In interreligious discussions, it is vital that we understand each other (cf. Prov. 18:13). When evangelicals say that Mormons are not Christians, they simply mean that Mormons do not adhere to the essentials of the Christian faith as evangelicals understand them. When Mormons say that they are Christians, they simply mean that they disagree with the evangelical criteria for what constitutes acceptable, authentic, genuine Christian faith. Evangelicals are not necessarily being mean-spirited when they say that Mormons are not Christians (although some evangelicals may in fact be mean-spirited in the way they say it). Mormons are not necessarily being duplicitous when they claim to be Christians (although some Mormons may in fact be duplicitous in the way they present this claim). Eliminating these generally unjustified, prejudicial misunderstandings of what each other is saying would help clear the air and allow meaningful, constructive discussion of our differences to go forward. It’s a step.
- LDS & Evangelical Conversations A discussion of differences and similarities between Mormonism and Evangelical Christianity. Interesting approach, but it may not appeal to everyone.
This is a conversation between Evangelical Christians and Latter Day Saints. We discuss our differences so that we might find common ground. The purpose of this blog is not for Evangelicals to try and convert Mormons, nor for Mormons to convert Evangelicals. Attacks on the history of the LDS church or the life and character of Joseph Smith, although many may find interesting, will not be the focus of this blog.
The blog was started by Tim(Dando), an Evangelical Christian, and C.John an active Latter Day Saint. C. John has since dropped out of the conversation and no committed LDS has been found to replace him as a co-author. A few other LDS have authored several posting and many others actively comment. The opinions of all who participate should be considered their own, and not necessarily representational of all in their respective faith traditions.
To read a summation of Tim’s exposure to the LDS faith, read the “Me & Mormons” series found here.
To read Tim’s take on whether or not Mormons are Christians click here.
Books — Online
- The Changing World of Mormonism by Jerald and Sandra Tanner. Documents the ever-changing doctrines of the Mormon Church. See also: 3,913 Changes in the Book of Mormon
- Mormon Claims Answered by Marvin Cowan. “This book examines basic Mormon claims in the light of historical documents, scientific evidence, the Bible, and authoritative Mormon sources.”
- Mormon Infographics Interesting website that presents clear overviews of such issues as Racism in Mormonism, The Impossible Gospel of Mormonism, and — on a separate site — What is required for Mormons to receive saving grace?
- The Bible vs. The Book of Mormon? An Evangelical — LDS Debate Mr. Wallace is pastor of Christ Presbyterian Church in Salt Lake City. Dr. Tanner is an LDS apologist who has contributed to the FARMS Review of Books and The Encyclopedia of Mormonism. He hosts KSL Radios Religion Today. This debate took place at the University of Utah, on Nov. 7, 2008
- ‘Releasing the Bonds’ — Empowering People to Think for Themselves [YouTube video series] Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Cult Awareness expert Steven Hassan discusses how cults operate and how the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints fits the profile of a cult in both practice and organization. From a presentation given at the Oct. 2008 conference of the ExMormon Foundation.
- Quick Questions for Mormons: #42 Official Mormon Church Doctrine Keith Walker, of Evidence Ministries, says
Mormons often complain that if people want to learn about Mormonism, they need to talk to a Mormon. When Christians attempt to define Mormonism through the writings of its prophets, teaching manuals and other Mormon sources, Mormons reply with the objection that the sources used are not official. This video addresses the frustration that can occur when trying to officially nail down official Mormon doctrine.
- Who Really Wrote the Book of Mormon? Presentation by Craig Criddle Ph.D, Professor and Senior Fellow, Woods Institute for the Environment, Stanford University. This presentation presents the strong connection via word print analysis & historical evidences of Sidney Rigdon, Oliver Cowdery, & Parley P. Pratt as key players in the authorship of the Book of Mormon.
Additional resources in our older entry on Mormonism
Mormonism and Excommunication (related: How to have your name removed from Mormon Church Records)
Other entries on Mormonism
- Mormons in America Published Jan. 12, 2012 by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life. The survey report includes a section on Mormon religious beliefs and practices as well as a brief glossary of Mormon terminology used in the report. The report can also be downloaded as a PDF file (2 MB, 125 pages)
- Special Report: Mormonism besieged by the modern age Reuters, Jan. 31, 2012. Not a survey but of interest to people looking for statistics on the Mormon Church.
The LDS church claims 14 million members worldwide — optimistically including nearly every person baptized. But census data from some foreign countries targeted by clean-cut young missionaries show that the retention rate for their converts is as low as 25 percent. In the U.S., only about half of Mormons are active members of the church, said Washington State University emeritus sociologist Armand Mauss, a leading researcher on Mormons.
Sociologists estimate there are as few as 5 million active members worldwide.
See also: Retention of new members challenge for LDS Church, Salt Lake Tribune, Oct. 17, 2005
- Ex-Mormons Testify
Personal testimonies are a powerful way to share what Jesus Christ has done in your life. They are also an especially important part of religious communication in Mormon culture. If you are an ex-Mormon who has come to have a saving relationship with Jesus Christ, we would love to consider including your testimony on ExMormonsTestify.com.
- What Mormons Don’t Tell Helping Christians Understand Mormonism, and Helping Mormons Understand Non-LDS Christians