Comments about ‘Do Mormons really want recognition as a 'mainstream' religion?’

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Published: Wednesday, May 23 2012 9:00 a.m. MDT

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als Atheist
Provo, UT

The simple answer to this headline questions is "No".

Instead, Mormons want recognition as the "one and only true and living Church on the face of the whole earth with which God is well-pleased".

They want recognition as the "...the kingdom of God on the earth, but is at the present limited to an ecclesiastical kingdom. During the millennial era, the kingdom of God will be both political and ecclesiastical, and will have worldwide jurisdiction in political realms when the Lord has made 'a full end of all nations' (D&C 87: 6)." (LDS Bible Dictionary).

We have seen such Dominionist belief systems throughout history. It never turns out well for those who don't believe the same way.

no fit in SG
St.George, Utah

Many Mormons are kind people. However, some are a bit pushy. When one leaves the state, it is sometimes beneficial to refrain from discussing the LDS religion. It leads to the standard, uncomfortable questions about the Celestial Plural Marriage(polygamy) thing in their question" Well, how many wives do you have"? Also, Utah is unique in that there are not as many minorities. This leads to the questions, "Why don't Mormons like Blacks, didn't they ban them from their Church"?
Should a missionary ask these people to read the scriptures explaining this... they must be told to read "newer" scriptures with explanations of why "unpopular answers" are in the "older" scriptures.
People who attended LDS Sunday School, Relief Society and Priesthood classes in 1970 will hear a world of difference their now. My own children do not believe me concerning LDS writings, until I take out the 1960-1970 publications and Scriptures and show them.
This may be causing reluctance for those who are considering joining the LDS Church and in a lesser area, voting for Mitt Romney, an LDS church member.

Somewhere in Time, UT

I don't think we want to be considered "mainstream." We take great pride (I'll use the word pride for lack of a better word) in the fact that we are a "peculiar" people. But that doesn't mean "weird." We are regular, normal people who happen to profess knowledge of the restoration of Christ's true Church. We want that message to be spread far and wide. But, we want it made clear that we are unique in the world as a faith and as a people. We are not exactly "mainstream."

Salt Lake City, UT

I hadn't thought about some of the points raised. Coming from a United Methodist background that carries a strong belief that "it doesn't matter what denomination you belong to" made the concept of joining another church (the LDS church) much easier since I don't think any church is "the true church". Of course it also made it easier for me to leave the LDS church and assume that whenever I do find someone to marry odds are I'll just join her church to make things easier.

Somewhere in Time, UT

I swear, I just can't believe the way every time an LDS-oriented article appears there always are those who take the opportunity to spew their own emotional problems concerning the Church whether it is relevant or not. Do they really think they are convincing anyone? Honestly, this is sad.

Phoenix, AZ

There may be some merit to the old saying that: familiarity breeds contempt. And it seems the more one becomes familiar with Mormon history, doctrine and political culture the more confusing and questionable it becomes. It seems the true believing Mormons compensate for this by closing their minds to reality and going along with the church current that flows through a some what closed society of church authority dominance.

Bountiful, Utah

It shouldn't matter what Mormons want or don't want. Its Christ's church. Do what HE wants.

Sainte Genevieve, MO

I was taken somewhat aback by the lack of reference to the Ensign, especially the conference editions, as being official doctrine. I have been taught that the words of the General Authorities, spoken in conference, especially the words of the the President, are considered scripture. Is that teaching still valid?

Midvale, UT

I don't get it either....

the Mormon "Articles of Faith" even says:
"#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."

We believe this and so if everybody else would believe that too... the haggling with anybody's belief's should stop... Right?

Danbury, CT

My, my, what a list of malcontents that seem to be waiting to pounce on the blogs with every article on the Church. I feel most sorry for the ones who live in Utah and feel trapped.

My experience is that organizations of all kinds (right down to family size) have members that don't agree with the values or the way those values are being practiced. However, I see far more willingness in the LDS Church to let people choose whether to believe and join according to their own wishes. However, there are those who get in (or who are born inside) that want out or want to change it. For those, I just say "do it". But stop carping about whether or not the rest of us who remain faithful are blind or of low IQ.

As for the article, most of us welcome the more serious examination and discussion (surprised, doubters?). I've often thought that many of our doctrines and beliefs as practiced, would go down well with most thoughtful and moral people of the world. Truth exists independent and there are many out there who seek it.

sandy, ut

Donp - no, unfortunately that is not still a valid teaching. Prophets words are not doctrine, they used to be because, you know, they are prophets, right? But now because all of the contradicting statements made by prophets they have labeled them all opinion. So the big question is, what is the need for a prophet if what they say is only opinion. "Follow the Prophet" would be invalid, as what they say is only a suggestion. It all doesn't make sense.


"Not every statement made by a church leader, past or present, necessarily constitutes doctrine. A single statement made by a single leader on a single occasion often represents a personal, though well-considered, opinion, but is not meant to be officially binding for the whole church."

Honestly, this baffles me, an non-Mormon.

It seems with the benefit of time, it is so easy now to sift through and identify all those times in the distant past LDS prophets were "representing a personal opinion."

But assuming today's prophets are no more perfect than, say, Brigham Young, can anyone point to anything a current prophet has recently said that is also "a personal opinion"?

It seems to me Latter-day Saints regard every word spoken by the current prophets to be doctrine. Will some of those words be re-characterized in the future as "opinion"? Is it possible--just possible that President Packer's comments on gays might be regarded as such some day?

Danbury, CT

Name a conflicting statement, Brahma. Many of us would like to know what you're talking about...

Lehi, UT

The answer is No. Our beliefs in the Godhead, the nature of our Savior, the Preexistence, Life after death, the Priesthood, work for the dead, our opportunity to become exalted, etc. is way different from 'Mainstream religions'. If we attempt to become mainstream we would have to give up some of our beliefs and then we would not be who we are.
A devout disciple of Christ and member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

LDS Liberal
Farmington, UT

‘Do Mormons really want recognition as a 'mainstream' religion?’


No, absolutely not.

The more mainstream we become,
the more watered down our religion becomes.

We will loose most of our "Plain and Precious" truths that make us unique.

As a Mormon,
I consider myself a Christian, Jew, Muslim, Gnostic, Wiccan, and Shaman - all of it.

All truth can be circumscribed into one great whole.

I will not give any of it up for all the "mainstreaming" in the world.

Chris from Rose Park

For me, I want to be respected and give respect to others. This does not always mean that I will agree with everyone and that everyone will agree with me. If being "mainstream" is defined as respect, I believe LDS members seek that very much. However, if it is defined as fitting in with the rest of Christian theology which differs from the LDS church, then I for one do not desire it.

@no fit in SG
I actually like the topic of LDS doctrine outside Utah. From various experiences, especially with an internship in Florida and now moving to Connecticut since graduating school here, I have decided those topics are less controversial then they first seem. I was surprised how many questions I was asked (probably because of Romney) but the outcome was always one of mutual respect.

Juan Figuroa
Seattle, WA

Mainstreaming makes missionary work somewhat easier, and mitigates some obstacles to practicing one's faith. Utahans get unscheduled Monday nights, Sabbath-observant neighbors, meetinghouses within walking distance, homework-free youth nights, and high community expectations about behavior. None of that necessarily strengthens the soul. But statistically, it does increase religious participation. So one supposes, with a lukewarm affirmation, that on the whole, it's more or less a good thing. Ultimately, though, it doesn't matter, and obsessively tracking worldly acceptance levels is a form of idol worship -- one God probably doesn't approve of.

sandy, ut

eastcoastcoug - Ok, it is fairly common stuff. Polygamy was a doctrine revealed to Joseph Smith, and was practiced because it was doctrinal (see doctrine and covenants)

"We will not end the practice of plural marriage until the coming of the Son of Man". (Wilford Woorduff, manti temple dedication)

"Though I go to prison, God will not change his law of celestial marriage. But the man, the people, the nation, that oppose and fight against this doctrine and the Church of God, will be overthrown." (Lorenzo Snow in historical record)

Gordon B. Hinckley stated in the Larry King interview: "I condemn it, yes, as a practice, because I think it is not doctrinal."

Clearly it was not only a teaching, but a doctrine. A practiced doctrine. Then you have president Hinckley who states that it is NOT DOCTRINE. This is just one of many examples.


I feel like half the people who want to attack the church's view on whether or not what a prophet says is doctrine have a false assumption of what a prophet is. It seems that they think that by our definition a prophet, since he can speak for God, is infallible or that he is perfect. We've never claimed that and to my knowledge I don't think that the scriptures, ours of those accepted by all Christians, teach that. Moses forgot to circumcise some of his sons if I remember right, Peter denied the Christ. Those things don't diminish their callings as a Prophet or an Apostle it just means that they were human. If they would take away their assumption of Prophet=Perfect then there doesn't appear to be the contradiction of saying that sometimes a prophet just says something and sometimes he's officially speaking for the Lord.

Wally West

@ LDS Liberal 12:10 p.m. May 23, 2012

There are elements of Gnosticism in the LDS faith that I like.

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