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About Mormon Fundamentalism
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About Mormon Fundamentalism

See Also: Updated entry on Mormon Fundamentalism

In 1890, after being pressured by the U.S. Government, the Mormon Church announced it would give up its practice of polygamy and their separate economy, including their United Order, a system where all things are held in common.

Secretly, however, the Priesthood continued to practice polygamy, insisting that the Priesthood was a separate entity from the church.

Over the years, the church eventually denounced those who continued to practice polygamy, and the two factions split. Those practicing polygamy and United Order were called "Fundamentalists". The antagonism between the two groups promoted mutual antagonism with Fundamentalists insisting they had the courage to continue to live God's laws in spite of the U.S. Government, while the church buckled in cowardice. This antagonism continues to exist today.

Fundamentalists embrace all the early doctrines that Joseph Smith and Brigham Young taught, many of which are not taught by the mainline church today. An example being the Adam-God doctrine.

Many Mormons live a double life. That is, they remain active in the mainline church while secretly belonging to Fundamentalism. Some, not necessarily all, also live polygamy.

However, if any Mormon is discovered having sympathies or contact with Fundamentalists, they are called in by their Bishop and face the possibility of being excommunicated.

The approximate membership of Fundamentalists today, is 50,000. They are spread over many states, mainly California, Arizona, Idaho, Wyoming, New Mexico, Utah, Canada and Montana. While the greatest concentration is in Utah, there are many independent groups led by self-appointed leaders.

While all Fundamentalists believe in polygamy, not all necessarily practice it. Some join because they want to be faithful in believing in early Mormon teachings; some join because they want to live polygamy; others join because they want to live a United Order.

For those in the latter, living in the communes is not always a happy life. It is a harsh life with leaders exercise unrighteous dominion and who end up padding their own pockets. Nevertheless, many remain in spite of the hardness of having their life controlled, believing they are sacrificing to live a law of God.

More members leave the Mormon Church, than Fundamentalists.

Janis Hutchinson is author of Out of the Cults and Into the Church: Understanding and encouraging ex-cultists (Kregel Pub.). Also, The Mormon Missionaries: An inside look at their real message and methods (Kregel Pub.). Both are available at all Christian book stores, or you can click on their titles and order them directly from Amazon.com. Her e-mail address is: [email protected]
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