Are Mormons a Cult? No.
For decades people have bashed on the Mormons, or more properly labeled members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, by calling this Christian religion a cult. Fortunately the truth is coming out, and many are coming to learn the truth of the LDS religion—simply put, that they are normal people living normal lives, aka not a cult. Yet still there are many under the delusion that Mormonism is a cult.
James T. Summerhays wrote an article in Meridian Magazine titled, “Seven Reasons Why the Mormon Faith is Not a Cult” published on 12 Oct. 2012. Summerhays explains the stigma behind the term cult, and teaches the reader why Mormons do not deserve the title. Below are excerpts from his seven reasons:
First, Mormons believe in integration. They not only have a religious obligation to mix and mingle with the world, they generally seem to appreciate the opportunity…
…We can respect other religions, and must do so. We must recognize the great good they accomplish. We must teach our children to be tolerant and friendly toward those not of our faith.” This hardly sounds like the ravings of a cult leader.
WELL-BALANCED SECULAR KNOWLEDGE
Second, the Mormon religion admonishes adherents to stay well-balanced by seeking out secular knowledge… They earn more PhDs or similar degrees per capita than the greater population. And, strangely enough, the more education they obtain the more devout and active in their faith they tend to be…
14.4 MILLION MEMBERS
Third, Mormonism has 14.4 million members in well over a 150 countries, resulting in tens of thousands of ethnically and culturally diverse congregations worldwide. Scholars in religious studies today are arguing whether Mormonism should be considered the next world religion, not whether it is some parochial oddity.
Fourth, the Mormon faith maintains a politically neutral stance. As a result, Mormons often vary widely in political opinion…
CHECKS AND BALANCES OF POWER
Fifth, Mormonism’s organizational structure places elaborate checks and balances on its leaders to guard against abuses of power… There are no particular honors involved, and they work completely without pay. Plenty of heavy responsibility and long hours of volunteer service is just about their only consolation.
SUBJECT TO RULE OF LAW
Sixth, Mormons believe in the rule of law. Their twelfth Article of Faith states: “We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law…”
RELIGIOUS CLOTHING & SYMBOLISM
The seventh and final point is that Mormons really are not as weird as they may at first appear. Much has been said about their secret magic underwear and their secret temple rituals. Yet wearing religious symbols as a reminder of one’s commitment is a common practice among all religions. Jews wear Yarmulkes and Christians wear crosses around their necks. The Mormon garment is essentially the same thing: a simple reminder of their devotion to God. (By the way, Mormons themselves never talk of the garment in terms of magical powers. Calling it magic underwear sounds just as silly to them as it does to you…)
…Mormonism’s founding leader explained it well: “The fundamental principles of our religion,” he said, “is Jesus Christ, that He died, was buried, and rose again the third day, and ascended into heaven; and all other things which pertain to our religion are only appendages to it.”
It has always interested me that there is intense opposition against Latter-day Saints, when their goal and purpose in life is to come closer to Jesus Christ and invite others to do the same. To me, it just proves that Mormons have something great. Because anytime there is something great, Satan will try to stop it—if it wasn’t true he wouldn’t waste his time. I love being a Mormon, and I believe that I am a normal human being—not part of a crazy cult. I personally love learning about other religions, and believe that we have more in common with the major religions of the world than many would like to think. I know and believe that Jesus is the Christ—I love Him, He is the Savior of the world. I am so grateful to Him for giving us the infinite gift of the Atonement. I invite you to learn more about Mormons by reading the Book of Mormon and asking God if what we believe is true.
Ashley Bell is a 22-year old wife, mother, BYU graduate, and member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Ashley loves to run, cook, garden, read, and most of all spend time with family and friends.