Mormon official challenges 'cult' designation

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  • LeftBehind SAN FRANCISCO, CA
    July 25, 2011 11:34 a.m.

    To Bill in Nebraska:

    The sacred books of a Church are not the only thing that defines it. A church should be measured by the words and deeds of its leadership.

    The Southern Baptist Church apologized for their past support of segregation and racism. None of the racism they apologized for was in the Bible. The Church apologized for "intentionally and/or unintentionally excluded African-Americans from worship, membership and leadership". It went on further to "unwaveringly denounce racism, in all its forms, as deplorable sin."

    When the leadership of the Mormon Church unflinchingly examines the statements made by some of its past leaders and denounces the statements it finds to be racist as a "deplorable sin", I think it will go a long was to reducing the perception of the Mormon Church as racist.

  • Bill in Nebraska Maryville, MO
    July 23, 2011 9:25 a.m.

    To Michael M: If you read the Book of Mormon carefully you will find that it in no way says it is right to call one race superior over another. What it does say is that the Lamanites would be scattered and killed by those who came to this continent to settle. This starts with the coming of Columbus and others. After that the Book of Mormon would come to the Lamanites and they WOULD BLOSSOM AS A ROSE. You have so much hate that you fail to understand that the prophesies contained in the Book of Mormon actually took place before many read it. Today The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints has more members outside of the United States than within it, yet it is an American Religion by some. There are more temples in Central and South America than in many states in the United States. The Lamanites are starting to blossom as a rose as mentioned in the Book of Mormon. Maybe you should start to really understand what is within the cover of this magnificient work and a wonder that has come forth in these the latter days.

  • A voice of Reason Salt Lake City, UT
    July 23, 2011 12:13 a.m.


    WOW, how did I miss your posts until now?

    "LDS are Christians: YES!!! thats the point. We are Christians, just [different]... people make the statement without any modifier, as it [then] implies we don't beleive in Christ."

    "...What message does that send?"

    -I could not agree more!

    I talked with a Hindu person today who asked what "LDS" meant. She knew what "Mormon" was and we discussed... She said "But it basically falls under Christianity, right?" and I explained this very debate... to give her a fair view. She understood that despite what people debate- that Christian, from a non-American, non-Christian, from any other point of view (objective) would be that a fitting classification.

    P.S. I enjoyed your "Touche", very fitting.


    Idaho Coug:

    Read the 'fundamental #2' from "Fourteen Fundamentals in Following the Prophet" by Ezra Taft Benson-

    And then consider: perhaps when others say "Yes, TRUE!" to Brother Otterson, that they don't follow him, but are in fact edified by the spirit- that personal revelation is also an LDS doctrine- or that my agreeing is simply my own logical conclusion.

    We also believe in the 13th AoF, personal study, and so on.

  • Kevin J. Kirkham Salt Lake City, UT
    July 22, 2011 9:55 p.m.

    Sharrona, I would have loved to listen to the debate, but Mr. Madrid's site wants $19.99 for it.

    RE: 1 Jn 5:7, Jn 17 explains's a oneness of purpose and doctrine (...til we all come into unity of the faith Eph. 4:13).

    Analogies regarding the Trinity breakdown because they attempt to fit the square peg of paganism into the round hole of the Bible. The Bible is one big anti-trinitarian tract. Consider -

    * The Son has a different nature (human AND physical) than the Holy Spirit.
    * Being physical, the Son isn't omnipresent.
    * The Holy Ghost isn't refered to as God.
    * The Father is the God of Christ per Christ and Paul
    * Christ was made (ginomai 1096) by the Father (Heb. 1:4)..
    * ..and granted a more excellent name than the angels. (If Christ was God, how can he be granted anything he didn't already have?)
    * "..there is but one God, the Father,...and one Lord Jesus Christ.." (1 Cor. 8:6). Paul again refers only to the Father as God.
    * etc..

    Calling us LDS cultists for believing in the word of God rather than trusting in the arm of flesh (Creeds) is arrogant and hypocritical.

  • sharrona layton, UT
    July 22, 2011 6:22 p.m.

    Kirk J Kirkham. I attended these Christian debates vs Cults, For the purpose in (2 Peter 3:16).

    Is the doctrine of the Trinity true? Pat Madrid(Catholic) vs. Elder Gary Coleman .The audience Q&A section at the end of the debate is very helpful. Many Catholics have used this dialogue as a helpful apologetics tool in discussions with their Mormon friends. Also, Why you should believe in the Trinity; Robert Bowmen(Protestant) debates Jehovahs witness.
    the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost: these three are one(eis,1520)the #1 (1John 5:7 KJV &JST)
    The Sun in the sky, shows itself as triune, sunlight and heat yet one essence or being. This analogy of the Tri-unity break s down at some point, but they all do.
    One God in three divine persons great is the mystery of this unity. Saint Augustine.

    Now to the King eternal, immortal, INVISIBLE, the only God(the Father), be honor and glory for ever and ever. (1 Tim 1:17 NIV). while we wait for the blessed hope the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ(Titus 2:13 NIV)

  • LDS Revelations Sandy, UT
    July 22, 2011 4:58 p.m.

    Certainly Mr. Otterson can see why the LDS Church gets stuck with the cult label as often as it does, can't he?

    Consecrating all that you posses or may possess in the future (money, time, talents) to the building up of the LDS Church.

    mind control-
    "Don't read unauthorized or critical materials. Stick to the approved materials." "Milk before meat." "If you get another answer than what we say you're being deceived."

    "14 Fundamentals of Following the Prophet" "Only the Brethren speak for God." "Follow the Prophet!" Obedience in all things.

    Temple anyone? Milk before meat. Lying for the Lord.

    Truthfully, I think many LDS seeing devotion in another group similar to their own would label them a cult as well.

  • American First Merced, CA
    July 22, 2011 3:31 p.m.

    Notice that Protestants are labeling Latter Day Saints heretics in the same manner as the Catholic Church condemned them during the reformation and the translation of the Bible into English? To me the Restoration of the Gospel is just another level of progression in the ultimate Journey of Christians to meet Jesus Christ on the Day of His return.

  • Vanka Provo, UT
    July 22, 2011 12:28 p.m.

    lds4gaymarriage wrote:

    "Vanka, Joseph quoted the Father. We LDS DON'T refer to other Christians as cultists. We embrace you as fellow Christians..."

    First off, I am not a Christian, so don't embrace me as a "fellow Christian"; I need none of your embracing. I have seen firsthand what being "embraced" by Mormonism does to people.

    Second, you mince words and wrest the scriptures. Is there really a practical difference between calling ALL other religions "abominations" and "corrupt" or calling them "cults"?

    Third, NO, "the Father" is NOT being quoted. Joseph Smith SAID that one of the "personages" he claimed appeared to him said this. Saying it does not make it so.

    Finally, rejecting "extra-Biblical" concepts as you claim, ignores at least two things:

    1. the fact that Joseph Smith's theology evolved dramatically over time, and was closer to "traditional" Christian Trinitarian theology for much of his life, than the current LDS theology that was "correlated" by the likes of B.H. Roberts and James Talmage.

    2. traditional Christianity has never claimed that the Bible contains ALL doctrine. Rather, it was a rigorously vetted compilation of MSS. representing what early Christians believed from the beginning of Christ's ministry.

  • Bill in Nebraska Maryville, MO
    July 22, 2011 12:20 p.m.

    Actually Dennis what snowman said is absolutely true. You don't have to give the tithing to participate in the Church. However, failure to do so will keep you from entering into the Temple. It is your choice if you want to participate in the Temple Ordinances or not. No one forces you to do so. Too many critics feel that one MUST give but it is still a choice. You can have callings in the Church, participate in everything else and never attend the Temple. The only ones who know who have current temple recommends is the Bishop, the individual, in some circumstances the High Priest Group Leader and the Elders Quroum President. No one is singled out in Church or in other meetings for not having a recommend or paying tithing. So, your accusation in and of itself carries very little weight.

  • Michael_M Scottsbluff, NE
    July 22, 2011 12:00 p.m.


    Here are some things from the Book of Mormon.

    Mormon 5:

    Verse 9, The Lord said that the indigenous people of America should be mistreated by the Europeans.

    Verse 15, The indigenous people are dark and filthy because they worship idols.

    Verse 18, The indigenous people are satanic.

    And there is that catchy little song about indigenous people that includes "given this land, if they live righteously". It is a disturbing way to get LDS children thinking that indigenous people are not righteous.

    LDS getting offended at being called a cult is trivial by comparison.

  • LVIS Salt Lake City, UT
    July 22, 2011 11:04 a.m.

    atl134 | 7:59 p.m. July 21, 2011
    Salt Lake City, UT
    " get to the celestial kingdom one has to pay tithing."

    Not true. One only has to be baptized.

  • OC64 Edmonton, AB
    July 22, 2011 10:49 a.m.

    In many ways the LDS Church fits the definition of a cult (as do many other organizatiosn). The financials are kept private, the authority is very centralized, there are some private rituals or worships (temple), some families use pressure to keep members in the fold, individuals can be punished for speaking out against the church leadership.

    I don't think the LDS Church is a cult but one could argue it fits some of the criteria

  • Hellooo Salt Lake City, UT
    July 22, 2011 10:40 a.m.

    It is really the misinterpretation of the word cult that creates the problem. After all, it is the base word to culture, which if used to describe Mormons or other groups would not be offensive. So we have the Mormon culture, Jewish culture, Catholic culture, culture of Islam and so forth. No derogatory implication to these descriptions with just the addition of 3 letters.

  • LVIS Salt Lake City, UT
    July 22, 2011 9:13 a.m.

    cjb | 7:52 p.m. July 20, 2011
    Bountiful, UT
    "Most every religion is very controlling,"

    Hmmm. Nah. Not buyin' it. However, marriage is.

  • yarrlydarb Ogden, UT
    July 22, 2011 7:56 a.m.

    Now, just for kicks, try Googling Tea Party and cult.

    Are you ready for this? Youll get seven million, eight-hundred-thousand hits!

    Now, try this: Republican and cult Google says about 16,700,000!

    So, just to be fair, how does Democrat and cult turn out?

    Here we go: according to Google Search 7,000,000. In other words, less than half that of Republicans and 800,000 thousand less than Tea Party.

    I think what that says very clearly is, Be careful what you read and believe ... even on Google!

  • raybies Layton, UT
    July 22, 2011 7:00 a.m.

    The Poodle comment is hysterical. great response. I'm gonna have to remember that one. Hehehehe...

    I've always suspected poodles were an evil conspiracy. Buwahahaha!

  • Dennis Harwich, MA
    July 22, 2011 6:15 a.m.

    Snowman: I'm sorry but your story doesn't hold up.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    July 22, 2011 2:22 a.m.


    Is that supposed to make it better, that God is the one calling other churches an abomination? At least with those who call the LDS church a cult they're frequently just spouting off their own opinions. But to say that it's God who is calling other churches abominations... that would pretty much render it doctrine.

  • Hospitality SPRINGVILLE, UT
    July 21, 2011 11:12 p.m.

    Vanka: Actually, it was God who dished it out.

  • Hospitality SPRINGVILLE, UT
    July 21, 2011 11:11 p.m.

    Sharrona: You need to go earlier than 4th Century Nicea. Truth can't be voted on. It's all right there in the Bible, just as Jesus explained it.

  • Kevin J. Kirkham Salt Lake City, UT
    July 21, 2011 11:10 p.m.

    Sharrona - Hypostatic Union is a concept from pagan philosophy. Wrong JS taught Christ was God at one time...(Mosiah 7:27)&15:1-3.

    KJK Plato philosophized about hypostatic unions. Another example of pagan philosophy creeping into the Church. It teaches another Jesus. As has been stated, Christ was the Father's representative to man prior to his incarnation. Mosiah was written during that timeframe. The Spirit likewise represents the Father (Jn. 14:26, Acts 5:3,4) but he isn't God any more than the Levi priest is God (Lev. 5:15,18).

    Sharrona - The Bible teaches it. regarding his Son, who as to his human nature was a descendant of David(Romans 1:3),even in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.(1John 5:20)

    KJK Sorry, but the He refers to the Father. Read the verse again. Jesus said that the Father was the true God and eternal life comes from knowing the true God, the FATHER. See Jn. 17:3. The Father is the GOD of Christ. See Jn. 20:17; Eph. 1:3, 17; 2 Cor. 11:31, etc...

  • Kevin J. Kirkham Salt Lake City, UT
    July 21, 2011 11:08 p.m.

    Sharrona - LDS4,Did Christ deem it appropriate to consider Himself God, Yes? Who, being in the nature of God thought it not robbery to be equal with God. Phil 2:6 ...Isosceles triangle 3 in 1.

    KJK - LDS4gaymarriage showed that the answer depends upon which translation one uses. Some say yes, some say no so the verse offers no solid support for either position. An isosceles triangle has EQUAL sides, but Christ and Paul state that the Father is the God of Christ and the Holy Spirit isn't called God. Those are three UNequal sides. The Trinity can't be understood because it can't be explained logically. Trinitarians try to fit the square peg of paganism into the round hole of the Bible. No wonder it makes no logical sense. This is explained in 1 Tim 1:7 and 2 Pet. 3:16.

  • Hospitality SPRINGVILLE, UT
    July 21, 2011 11:05 p.m.

    Michael_M: What a silly comment! You should read the Book of Mormon.

  • Hospitality SPRINGVILLE, UT
    July 21, 2011 10:56 p.m.

    Brer Rabbit: I've been a Mormon all my life, and never once have I met one who believes in blind obedience. Where did you get such an idea?

  • snowman Provo, UT
    July 21, 2011 10:40 p.m.

    atl134: That would be called celestial marriage. Yes amn can be sealed to multiple women but not at the same time. We can give money to the church if and when we want to. Tithing is a requirement to receive temple ordinations. But it isn't required to be a worthy member. God askes us to give 10% but he gives us back so many blessings when we do. But giving that money is a choice.

  • Michael_M Scottsbluff, NE
    July 21, 2011 9:00 p.m.


    Joseph is the largest of the lost tribes. You should study the Bible more. Ephraim and Manasseh were his sons. Manasseh was the firstborn, but Ephraim was given the birthright blessing. This made Ephraim over Manasseh.

    The BofM is the stick of Joseph, the record of one of the lost tribes. It's "coming forth" was part of the gathering of Israel as prophecied in the Old Testament.

    America's indigenous people who become LDS are given the lineage of Manasseh in their patriarchal blessings. It is a subordinate tribe to Ephraim, the dominant tribe which non-indigenous LDS members are typically given. This entitles the whites to dominate the indigenous people of the Americas, according to the God of the LDS religion.

    Today the LDS teachings on this are in conflict with the UNESCO declaration against racism:

    "Any theory which involves the claim that racial or ethnic groups are inherently superior or inferior, thus implying that some would be entitled to dominate or eliminate others, presumed to be inferior, or which bases value judgments on racial differentiation, has no scientific foundation and is contrary to the moral and ethical principles of humanity."

  • Mc West Jordan, UT
    July 21, 2011 8:17 p.m.

    We do not believe that descendants of the Lost Tribes of Israel settled in the New World, at least not that we know of. Lehi was a descendant of Joseph, who was not one of the 10 lost tribes. I have seen others make that statement in DNews comments and also in anti-Mormon writings. Time to set the record straight on that.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    July 21, 2011 7:59 p.m.

    "The practice of polygamy is no longer practice by the members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints."

    Celestially it is still practiced. That's how widowed men can be sealed to multiple women but widowed women cannot be sealed to multiple men.

    "10. No you don't have to donate money to be a worthy member of the church. "

    That's not true. To get into the temple and thus to be able to be sealed to a spouse or to get to the celestial kingdom one has to pay tithing.

  • sharrona layton, UT
    July 21, 2011 7:51 p.m.

    LDS4,Did Christ deem it appropriate to consider Himself God, Yes? Who, being in the nature of God thought it not robbery(725) to be equal( isos,* 2470) with God. Phil 2:6 Greek N.T), *Isosceles triangle 3 in 1.

    Hypostatic Union is a concept from pagan philosophy. Wrong JS taught Christ was God at one time.
    . he said unto them that Christ was God, the Father of all things, and that he should take upon him the image of man.God should come down among the children of men, and take upon him flesh and blood, and go forth upon the face of the earth.(Mosiah 7:27)&15:1-3.

    The Bible teaches it. regarding his Son, who as to his human nature was a descendant of David(Romans 1:3),even in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.(1John 5:20)
    If his(JS) claims and declarations were built upon fraud and deceit, there would be many errors and contradictions, which would be easy to detect. The doctrines of false teachers will not stand the test when tried by the accepted standards of measurement scriptures. Joseph Fielding Smith

  • amst plano, tx
    July 21, 2011 7:35 p.m.

    Honestly as a member of the lds faith I must say who cares. Church official's have been making statements concerning this for many years. Let them handle it and leave it at that. Thats my take at least.

  • RAB Bountiful, UT
    July 21, 2011 6:29 p.m.

    Lets be honest here. People do not refer to the LDS Church as a cult because they have assessed its practices and have determined that the church fits the definition of a cult. They call it a cult because they hope the fear-arousing name will create a negative impression of the church in the minds of less informed people. (They also do this by always calling members of the church Mormons, so they can avoid any reference to Jesus in relation to the church.) They are not trying to educate the world about the LDS Church. They are trying to attack the church and slow its progress. If members of the Church do not react and defend their church from such propaganda, it will only get worse.

  • snowman Provo, UT
    July 21, 2011 5:24 p.m.

    Utter Nonsense: 1. The church was started by God and restored through Joseph Smith. 2. He didn't find the plates, they were given to him by the Angel Moroni. 3. He translated the plates with the help of the urim and thumin (spelling is right I'm sure) 4. Joseph and his followers restored the church of Jesus Christ. They believe in the doctrines taught to them by God and Jesus 5. The practice of polygamy was a revelation from God. The practice of polygamy is no longer practice by the members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints. 7. We have the potenial to be gods and goddes of future worlds. 8. We believe in a place called Kolob 9. We are the one true religion. And we teach the gospel to others. 10. No you don't have to donate money to be a worthy member of the church. What money is given is given voluntarily to further the work of the gospel.

  • lds4gaymarriage Salt Lake City, UT
    July 21, 2011 1:24 p.m.

    (Ex 3:14, John 8:24) Christianity worships one God. Monotheism.

    Those verses are Scripture Mastery verses H.S. kids are taught in seminary. We believe that Jesus is the God of the O.T.

    ..Christianity affirm(s) the early church's consensus concerning the nature of Christ (Kenosis doctrine, Phil 2:5-9 and the hypostatic union the Trinitarian faith.

    Phil.2:6 - Did Christ deem it appropriate to consider Himself God due to His being in God's form?
    No - NASB, NIV, ASV, RSV, NRSV, etc..
    Yes - NLT, DRB, NEB, YLT, DBY, KJV
    Hypostatic Union? The Spirit is never called God and the Father is the God of Christ. Hypostatic Union is a concept from pagan philosophy. It teaches another Jesus, being unBiblical. BTW, Mormon Doctrine isn't. It's one man's opinion.

    Vanka, Joseph quoted the Father. We LDS DON'T refer to other Christians as cultists. We embrace you as fellow Christians. We disagree over the Athanasian Trinity, but Jesus, Paul, and others stated, those believing in Christ and call upon his name ARE saved Christians. We LDS reject the extra-Biblical Trinity and the extra-Biblical doctrine requiring belief it to be a Christian.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    July 21, 2011 12:52 p.m.

    "make "abomination" and "corrupt" seem like good, loving, nice words!"

    Hey, the abominable snowman is very loving... he just doesn't realize his hugs can hurt reindeer.

  • Idaho Coug Meridian, Idaho
    July 21, 2011 12:29 p.m.

    I think we will see more and more of these types of articles and comments coming from Mr. Otterson's office in the near future.

    It is becoming more and more confusing who is shaping both member and public perception more - actual prophets and apostles or the church's PR department and scholars/apologists.

    I would submit that men like Otterson and Daniel Peterson are shaping membership dialogue and opinions far more the past several years than actual LDS leadership.

  • kenny Sterling Heights, MI
    July 21, 2011 11:27 a.m.

    This label the church has aquired is a insult and out of line. If people need to show their distaste or predjudices towards the church then so be it.We think we live in an educated and enlightened society but in this case we do not. Fortunatly I do not meet up with people who make this a issue but that day may come.

  • Eugene C. Rasband SAINT GEORGE, UT
    July 21, 2011 10:14 a.m.

    I fully agree with the Church's wish to not be labeled a "cult"; however in France, where I served my LDS mission (1967-1969), "culte" is the word for sect. The misunderstanding is entirely understandable to a French speaker. There may be some link to this labelling of the Church. I fully support the efforts to have this labelling changed. We must try to understand others, all the while trying to correct mistaken ideas.

  • Midvaliean MIDVALE, UT
    July 21, 2011 9:59 a.m.

    Challenging this term seems to have given it some validity, it would be best to STOP defending the faith online, as it just fuels the fire, and it's a bit silly. There wasn't a need to address this issue, but now it's all over the web. Good one.

    July 21, 2011 9:49 a.m.

    A cult by any other name is still a cult.

  • Ronnie Bray Mesa, AZ
    July 21, 2011 8:21 a.m.

    Sadly, the word 'cult' has been hijacked by those wishing to separate Mormonism from Christianity, and to do so they have redefined a proper word in standard English and narrowed its definition to include those against whom they feel some rancour.

    The issue is not whether Mormonism is a cult any more than Catholicism is, or whether the Baptist Churches are cults, but the dishonest redefinition that is essential to include those your favour and exclude those you do not.

    I am happy for Mormonism to be called a cult and admit that I follow, slavishly, my cult leader. He is Jesus Christ and he fits the definition of a cult leader admirably. He is charismatic, his teachings go against what is is the Old Testament, he causes new scripture to be added to the accepted canon, and speaks against established religious practices of his day and condemns the hypocrisy of its practitioners.

    A cult is correctly defined as any religious movement, denomination, or faith.

    Hallelujah, I'm a Christian that exercises his Biblical faith in Jesus Christ within Mormonism. You can call me what you like, but you will not dissuade me from following the saviour Jesus Christ.


  • Vanka Provo, UT
    July 21, 2011 8:06 a.m.

    lds4gaymarriage wrote:

    "I wonder how those Christians who call The LDS Church a cult would react if we LDS called traditional Christianity a cult..."

    You DO!

    Your religion is, from its very foundations, officially and openly, acrimoniously, "anti-" Christian and anti-every other religion on the planet.

    Joseph Smith said,

    "...they were all wrong; ...all their creeds were an abomination in [God's] sight; that those professors were all corrupt; 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, 1:19).

    I even read an unbelievable article not long ago wherein an LDS apologist tried to make "abomination" and "corrupt" seem like good, loving, nice words!

    So you Mormons can dish it out, but you can't take it?

  • sharrona layton, UT
    July 21, 2011 7:51 a.m.

    LDS4,we are different in one or two things that they feel are important?[essential for salvation].
    And God(Elohim) spoke to Moses, saying, I(ego) am(eimi) THE BEING; and he said, Thus shall ye say to the children of Israel, THE BEING has sent me to you.(Ex 3:14 Greek Septuagint)
    I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I(ego) am (eimi)he, ye shall die in your sins.(John 8:24) Christianity worships one God. monotheism.

    ..Father,Son and Holy Ghost comprise the Godheadthese are the three are the only Gods we worship..(Mormon Doctrine p. 576-577)Polytheism.
    Most conservative Protestant churches:, Baptist, Lutheran ,reformedconsider Mormonism a cult. The RC Church considers Mormonism a non-Christian religion(Catholic Answers).
    The pale of Christianity (Roman Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, and Protestantism) disagree over important issues of doctrine, but all affirm the early church's consensus concerning the nature of Christ (Kenosis doctrine, Phil 2:5-9 and the hypostatic union the Trinitarian faith. These are precisely what Mormonism rejects.

  • Dennis Harwich, MA
    July 21, 2011 6:17 a.m.

    Would someone like to explain the difference between Scientology, Jehovah Witness and Mormonism and why they are not all classified as the "same".

  • Michael_M Scottsbluff, NE
    July 21, 2011 5:41 a.m.

    There are approximately 48 million indigenous peoples of the Americas. This is significantly more than the total members of the LDS faith.

    The BofM and LDS teachings claim that these people are from degenerate and devolved ancestors who lived before Columbus and turned against God, becoming wicked.

    That teaching is offensive but I was told "the truth is never offensive".

    For LDS to challenge the use of the word "cult" while continuing to degrade the indigenous people of the Americas with pseudo-history is ridiculous.

    If the LDS wish to be considered mainstream Christian, perhaps they should jettison the Book of Mormon from their cannonized scriptures.

  • L Central, Utah
    July 21, 2011 1:14 a.m.

    "By the world's definition of a cult, all of Christianity is a cult. Christianity believes in following one charismatic leader. That's basically the definition of a cult.

    By the world's definition, Christ and his disciples were a cult. You see where this leads?"......

    There were several similar opinions expressed and I would only not only add that Christianity meets the defination, but was indeed considered a cult (obviously a different word was used) in the Days of Christ.

    Look at Patriot at 1:10 and Kimball at 4:21 too.

    Lots of words have varied in their emphasis over the years.

    The "N" word was used to refer to a certain group of people.

    Lots of words have varried in their emphasis over the years. Some found them offensive. Those who choose not to refer to them by offensive words changed to other words. Others continue using the original "N" word.

    Some find the word cult to be offensive and even deceptive. Some people will find diffrent ways to refer to these groups, others will continue to call them "cults" even though they know they are offensive, but will proabably continue to do so. Some do it to agrivate others!

  • apache1 Phoenix, AZ
    July 21, 2011 12:18 a.m.

    I can appreciate Michael Otterson's efforts on behalf of the church, sadly he can battle all he wants against journalists who label our faith as a cult, sadly the one thing he cannot gain for the church is respect. The idea of being labeled as a cult is unsetteling for sure, but not having the respect of the majority of Americans troubles me much more. The media is not going to stop in it's campaign against the church, and sadly Mike can't be everywhere to put out all the fires at once. The current campaign is in every aspect of the media from the internet to the printed news and on the media and it is only spreading in it's intensity. The fact that 2 members of the church have tossed their hats into the 2012 presidental campaign is only adding fuel to the fire. I am sad to say that neither Rommney or Huntsman have any real chance of winning, which is only going to add more fuel to the media frenzy. The media will then ask the obvious question...was it their Mormon faith that made the Mormons in the race loose?

  • lds4gaymarriage Salt Lake City, UT
    July 21, 2011 12:18 a.m.

    I wonder how those Christians who call The LDS Church a cult would react if we LDS called traditional Christianity a cult since it is based upon the Athanasian Trinity whose origins are found in Greek/Pagan philosophy. Trinitarian concepts are easily refuted in the Bible. Such remind me of 1 Tim. 1:7.

    Our accusers often condemn us for our "adding to" the word of God, yet they do the exact same thing raising creedal statements at least as high as scripture.

    Our accusers state that we aren't Christians, yet Jesus, Paul and others state that believing in/calling upon the name of Jesus saves an individual. They seem to be denying the clear word of scripture and "adding to" the word of God by additionally placing non-Biblical requirements for man's salvation (ie. believing in the Athanasian Trinity).

    Perhaps a taste of their own medicine (given in the spirit of love with some humor thrown in) would prompt them to study and think before mindlessly regurgitating baseless charges.

  • lds4gaymarriage Salt Lake City, UT
    July 20, 2011 11:53 p.m.

    ...SSM cannot produce offspring, no matter how healthy the partners are, or how strong their desire to create a child together. Therefore, they can't keep that first commandment God gave Man and Woman.

    Well the nice young couple in my ward with incurable infertility problems can't keep it either. They're adopting kids. The senior citizen couple in my ward that have been married for about 1 year aren't keeping it. Do either of these couples "deserve" to be married any more than an SSM couple?

    The libertarian in me says fine, let them have civil unions that afford them vistation, iheritance, medical decison-making, and any other rights they think they need. Just don't call it marriage..

    Civil Unions are no different than White and Colored drinking fountains. Both provide the same benefits, but also officially convey 2nd class citizenship.

    Marriage is so much more than just loving someone.

    Agreed. SSM couples aren't different than the infertile couple referenced above. Neither can produce kids biologically related to both spouses. There is no objective difference between them and none that should be legally relevant.

    Who should get to define the terms "cult" and "marriage"?

  • Michigander Westland, MI
    July 20, 2011 11:20 p.m.

    The only way the Utah LDS Church can rid itself of the "cult" moniker is for their "Prophets & Apostles" to publicly renounce all the heretical doctrines contained in the D&C and POGP, but hold fast to the rod of iron doctrines of the KJV and the BOM. We all earnestly hope and pray that that day may come.

  • Mel50 Nashville, TN
    July 20, 2011 11:06 p.m.

    lds4gay - The first commandment God gave to his children Adam and Eve was "be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth" (Gen 1:28). It is also stated that "the Lord giveth no commandment unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them" (1 Nephi 3:7). SSM cannot produce offspring, no matter how healthy the partners are, or how strong their desire to create a child together. Therefore, they can't keep that first commandment God gave Man and Woman. And since God didn't "prepare a way" for them to keep that commandment, then apparently God didn't mean for men to marry men, nor women to marry other women.

    The libertarian in me says fine, let them have civil unions that afford them vistation, iheritance, medical decison-making, and any other rights they think they need. Just don't call it marriage and don't pretend GOD thinks it's good that two men or two women are in love and want to commit to each other. Marriage is so much more than just loving someone.

  • Mel50 Nashville, TN
    July 20, 2011 10:40 p.m.

    My feeling is that a cult is generally a group of people who follow a charismatic leader who exerts his will on the members. I also feel most - if not all - cults rarely survive the loss of that original leader. Subsequent leaders may not be as charismatic and so the members will fall away and new converts will not be made. In the case of Jim Jones, the Heaven's Gate people, David Koresh and others, the leader took many followers with him, via suicide.

    We've had sixteen presidents/prophets of the church in this dispensation. If the church had been created out of thin air for Joseph Smith's self-aggrandizement, then logic says in the next fifteen men, there would be a weak link who would expose the fallacy of the church. (Even moreso if you count in all the apostles and general authorities who have served in the last 181 years.) But there has been no such weak link. The church has remained strong and unshaken. That, to me, proves indisputably, that we are not a cult.

  • DustinCedarCity Cedar City, UT
    July 20, 2011 10:12 p.m.

    "extremism, mind control, authoritarianism and secrecy."

    Sounds like the Mormon church to me, but that could also be the descriptive words used of many other churches and groups. Mormons just need to get over it and stop worrying about what others think. Sure, a lot of non-Mormons think you're ideas are out there and crazy, but who cares? You Mormons believe what you believe, and I respect you for that, even though I don't share your beliefs. Just don't expect the rest of the world to give the Mormon church the respect the Mormon church refuses to give MANY other groups. And who the heck cares if the rest of the country doesn't consider you Mormons "main stream." You're better than that and you know it!!!

  • lds4gaymarriage Salt Lake City, UT
    July 20, 2011 8:07 p.m.

    I posted the below on the thread regarding a Fox comentator saying Romney isn't a Christian. It applies here too.

    "I agree with the vast majority here that the reporter is using a subjective definition of the term "Christian". LDS and traditional Christians share the same doctrine and culture FAR FAR more often than not but because we are different in one or two things that they feel are important, they feel that they have to label us as non-Christians.

    It's ironic that many LDS do the exact same thing to same-sex couples. Opposite-sex families and same-sex families share the same family challenges and culture FAR FAR more often than not but because the latter are different in one or two things that many LDS and others feel are important, they feel that they have to deny the same-sex families the term "marriage".

    The disgust, frustration and hurt we LDS feel about this reporters words is the same feelings same-sex couples feel when LDS and others justify denying gays marriage likewise using subjective definitions that don't reflect reality.

    We can't really be righteously indignant over this when we are doing the exact same thing."

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    July 20, 2011 7:52 p.m.

    Most every religion is very controlling, to single out the LDS makes no sense.

  • mightymite DRAPER, UT
    July 20, 2011 7:18 p.m.

    From what I understand he did not go through the proper nor get approval for this post. As with everything in a "cult" there will be consequences when not getting approval from the "proper" authority.

  • Gregg Weber SEATTLE, WA
    July 20, 2011 6:38 p.m.

    "Words have meaning"; as Rush has said, and he is right. Perhaps there should be some other words in the gray area between "church" and "cult".
    I would imagine that there were some back then who considered Abraham a cult leader. Remember what he tried to do to his son and was stopped by an angel he claimed.
    I would also imagine that in a world of local gods, those that taught that there was no god at all could meet some definition of "cult" either before or after the flood.
    Communications is when the picture in my mind, spoken or written by me, is understood and duplicated in another's mind. Hard to do when meanings change with time, distance, or experience.
    There are as many pictures of "car", "race car", "sports car" as people and time. The same with "church" and "cult".

  • Still Jim Bountiful, UT
    July 20, 2011 5:40 p.m.

    I have never worried about it. If we are a cult every other religion is obviously a cult.

  • jaredw007 Salt Lake City, UT
    July 20, 2011 5:24 p.m.

    Part of the problem is that there is a dictionary definition of cult and a media definition. The former defines cult as a group of people who are devoted to and follow a certain figure. By that definition most religions would fall under that classification. The popular media definition however, is that of a sect who will go to great lengths to isolate themselves from the rest of society to live a strict code or lifestyle and uses various methods of brain washing and intimidation to discourage people from leaving that society. Because Mormons are often perceived as folks who keep to themselves, wear strange underwear and do secretive things in their Temples, journalists and others have a hard time resisting that cult label because it just sounds so provocative. Never mind the fact that to the uninformed novice, it creates a very negative and unsettling image of Mormonism. Unfortunately, this is a label and stereotype Mormons have had to endure since its founding and will likely have to endure in the future because people just can't help themselves. Old habits die hard.

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    July 20, 2011 5:14 p.m.

    It is what it is.

  • donn layton, UT
    July 20, 2011 5:09 p.m.

    Cult Designation #1 is Extra biblical revelation. We have a special message from God, see(D&C 130:22).
    Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for FLESH and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.(Mt 16:17)
    Joseph Smith, Lectures on Faith, Q. What is the Father? A. He is a personage of glory and of power. (5:2.).
    God[is]spirit(pneuma,)and His worshippers must worship and spirit and truth (John 4:24 NIV)
    Georgeman said, John 10:34, Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods? Psalms 82:6 I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High.
    James Talmage explains: Divinely Appointed Judges Called gods In Psalms 82:6,judges invested by divine appointment are called gods, To this the Saviour referred in His reply to the Jews on Solomons porch. Jesus the Christ p. 501.
    Also ,the Savior uses present tense,is it not written in your law, I said YE are Gods.? Not even Mormonism teaches men are gods right now.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    July 20, 2011 4:59 p.m.

    You know, I wonder how effective "we're not a cult" type statements are. Think of it this way. Remember Christine O'Donnell, the Republican candidate for senate from Delaware? What do we know about her? That witch thing mostly. And her ad that started with the words "I'm not a witch". Okay so she's not a witch but... what is the only thing we can remember to associate with her? The witch thing (well that and if you're a democrat you remember it as a free senate seat to help keep the majority). So, might it be that "we're not a cult" mostly just leaves people casually paying attention to stories remembering the word cult in association with the church much like those casually paying attention to the delaware senate race knew it as that race where the witch-woman is running. So it begs the question of whether or not it'd be better to just focus on what the church is rather than what it's not.

  • Kimball Bakersfield, CA
    July 20, 2011 4:21 p.m.

    Mainstream so-called Christians today would probably have called Christ and his Apostles a cult and would have called for crucifixion. We aren't in bad company.

  • Florida Brad Saint Petersburg, FL
    July 20, 2011 3:48 p.m.

    I have to add my two cents. As a former Church member living in the South East US, I honestly have to tell you that I just dont see disrectful articles in print or on tv about the Church. Maybe because I dont watch FOX. Anyway, I find much curriosity in a possitive sense about the Church, particularly with Romney and Hunstman and the upcoming 2012 election. I have had very bad things happen when I was a member and very good things happen. The Church is in an awesome period of transition to being accepted as a mainstream religion. But always question your faith AND your leaders. You will be stronger for it.

  • Fender Bender Saint George, UT
    July 20, 2011 3:31 p.m.

    I am a member of the LDS faith and I agree with many of the sentiments expressed here. The word cult is derisive and vague. When any attempt is made to define a "cult", the same logic that leads to labeling the LDS Church as a cult would also condemn most other religions as cults.

    What we have here is a case of all Mormons being unfairly grouped according to mean, negative and inaccurate stereotypes.

    I wonder if some of us Mormons are reaping what we sow. I remember a controversy a while back regarding the building of a Mosque several blocks away from ground zero. As I recall, there were quite a few people objecting to the building of this mosque on this very site. I was amazed at that time how many commentors had no qualms with stereotyping all muslims based on an extremely small minority of fundamentalist extremists who have hijacked the religion to justify terrorism, and who do not represent the beliefs of the majority of muslims.

    Going forward, we should remember that the sword of religious intolerance cuts both ways. Let's not be guilty of wielding it.

  • @Charles the greater outdoors, UT
    July 20, 2011 3:05 p.m.

    @ETBass: What exactly did utter nonsense BINGO? I find it interesting that you claim to be an LDS member but in most, if not all of your posts, you fall in line with all those who are trying to tear it down.

    I guess behind a name from the Andy Griffith show anyone can claim to be anything, even LDS when one isn't.


    I find the arguing over who is or isn't a Christian silly. I know what I believe and I know who I follow. I don't worry about the little people who spread lies about my religion. They are the people who will never ever desire to know the truth. They are just about denigrating something they don't know about or have rejected.

    To those saying we have different understandings/beliefs of the Bible and orthodox churches, I say thank you. Now you can understand why a restoration of the gospel was needed as no 2 churches on the planet agree to the same doctrines.

    One Lord, one baptism, one faith. Not thousands.

    The path is straight and narrow, not wide and crooked. And few be there that find it. Truth Restored!

  • LVIS Salt Lake City, UT
    July 20, 2011 2:36 p.m.

    skeptic | 12:28 p.m. July 20, 2011
    Phoenix, AZ

    "The answer and the solution is for the Mormon church to be more open..."

    Might I ask how? And about what? What is it about the teachings/practices/beliefs of the Mormon church that you can't find?

  • Vince here San Diego, CA
    July 20, 2011 2:32 p.m.

    @ Utter Nonsense

    Every prophet - particularly Jesus Christ's dispensation - considered God's messenger as straying away from traditional religion - in the time of Jesus - more than that - as someone who claimed to be, in fact, the Son of God.

    If your norm to be considered cultish is based on "noncorming to traditional religion" then you must consider every prophet following Moses as the leader of a triber.

    Jesus chided the Pharisees of his time as claiming to follow the tenets of old prophets but rejecting living prophets.

    Kolob, or any number of "Mormon" words - might sound strange - but if you look up any number of Bible words, they will likewise sound foreign - and the events told from the Bible are full of fantastic events all of which required due study.

    While not criticizing any one person, any one denomination outside of the LDS church, I find it ironic that those who profess to be members of traditional Christendom, who claim to believe in the Bible, hardly a few, read the entire Bible. Is this traditional Christendom? Go figure.

    As to the comment of paying tithing - Malachi and Genesis contain evidence of tithe paying.

  • greenman108 Petaluma, CA
    July 20, 2011 2:17 p.m.

    Pagan opined: All religions are cults. As, the faith to adhere to them require zero facts."

    On the contrary. Try THE GNOSTICON by Adi Da Samraj. Bring your brain. While I agree that the religions which base their key element upon the notion that killing another person, the central figure of their sect, will somehow buy life ever lasting, cannot be corroborated with facts, you will observe that you have to actually consider in depth and understand and BE the results promised in the Gnosticon and its fellow travelers, such as the Pneumaton, and The Aletheon while you are still alive. The way you will verify Adidam, whose key books I listed, is by doing the practices and understanding. Do be do be do.

    Your suggestion that "they are all the same" merely means you have not studied outside the usual western fare.

  • LDSareChristians Anchorage, AK
    July 20, 2011 2:04 p.m.

    A voice of Reason posted: An accurate description of the LDS Church regarding the question of Christianity would be to say that "The LDS Church is a non-trinitarian Christian religion."
    YES!!! thats the point. We are Christians, just diffrent. When people say that we aren't Christians, you hear a gasp from the listener. They think LDS don't believe in Christ at all. Thats not true. We DO believe in Christ. I just can't stand it when people make the statement without any modifier, as it than implies we don't beleive in Christ.

    When a person ask you if LDS are Christians and you answer back NO. What message does that send? Please instead answer back, Yes, but.......

    I am completely aware of Googles efforts in targeting results. Thats why I use a freshly installed browser, or dump caches, history, etc, in my search tests.

  • Willard Mesquite, NV
    July 20, 2011 1:55 p.m.

    To the person who wrote about brainwashing children. Did your children,if you have or had them, learn anything from you? A child raised in a religuous home is generally religous. A child raised in a non-religous home doesn't generally have much to do with religion. There are exceptions. The point is children learn all kinds of things from their parent's based on what they teach or what they omit teaching. It would be a sad society if parents did not teach children,besides it not possible. I have often wondered why such a big deal is made of the Mormon Religion. If commentators went after Jews or Catholics, they would likely be off the air. They would be chacterized as discrimintory, bigoted or worse, and should be.

  • LDSareChristians Anchorage, AK
    July 20, 2011 1:54 p.m.

    Mightymite posted: Sorry, you were seventh on the list behind the Christian faiths -the universal (Catholic) church and several other protestant denominations. Not sure where you got your facts from or how google has pinpointed your searches but your statement is incorrect.

    Try clearing the cache in you browser, or even installing a new diffrent browser. The cached effects of your prevoius searches at Google effect all future searches. Google modifies current searches based on prior search results. In other words, they try to focus the results towards your interests. I bet most LDS folks see half a dozen LDS sites amongest the first 10 listed.

  • Jared Gainesville, FL
    July 20, 2011 1:53 p.m.

    Re: Utter Nonsense

    Joseph Smith translated by the power and revelation of God. The Urim and Thummin were used in Biblical times through which revelation was received. Joseph Smith's use fits closely with the Biblical use of those objects.

    What's your definition of historic Christianity? You might disagree but Mormons claim that the LDS Church is a continuation of historic Christianity.

    As georgeman stated, polygamy was practiced by a number of prophets in the Bible. The anti-polygamy stance in the U.S. (and now much of the world) stems from European biases. In other words, your view of polygamy is largely shaped by the culture you grew up in.

    Yes, we do believe that we can become like our Father in Heaven. He is our Father after all.

    What's wrong with believing in a place called Kolob? We also believe in a place called Heaven.

    Yes, we do believe that the ordinances necessary for exaltation are found in the LDS Church. We never claim a monopoly on truth though.

    We must donate money to be worthy? True but not strictly. If someone has no income, they pay no tithing but are still "worthy" of entering the temple.

  • LDSareChristians Anchorage, AK
    July 20, 2011 1:42 p.m.

    Moderate posted: Wow. That's amazing. Could it because "Jesus Christ" appears in the name of the church?

    My responce: Touche!

    So? Why doesn't the Catholic church, with 1 Billion members to hit their site, rate higher, than the church with 14 million? Must be that we type the term Jesus Christ quite a bit more than others. What does that say about us? That we believe in Christ? That we are Christians? Yep!

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    July 20, 2011 1:10 p.m.

    The Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter Day Saints is a cult in the same respect that the original Church Of Jesus Christ was a cult - the people religiously followed the teachings of their leader - Jesus Christ.

  • VocalLocal Salt Lake, UT
    July 20, 2011 1:10 p.m.

    Whenever a new religion emerges it is mocked and belittled until it grows and then becomes mainstream. Mormonism is still in the mocking and belittling phase but it will rise to become a world religion like Islam, Hindism, Buddhism and Catholicism. Every religion that firmly enroots it's doctrine through repetitive teaching and ceremonies and then teaches it's followers to proselyte and procreate eventually does-particularly if they frighten their children into believing spiritual destruction awaits them if they leave and if leaving as an adult imperils every social aspect of their life.

  • georgeman Kearns, UT
    July 20, 2011 12:35 p.m.

    @ Utter Nonsense

    Other churches are created from stories of prophets like Moses who saw a burning bush, parted the Red Sea, and saw God on a mountain.
    Historic christianity contains many of the same doctrines as the LDS faith. The LDS faith just excludes man made doctrines such as the Holy Trinity idea (so called historical Christianity).
    Polygamy was a common practice in the bible by such men as King David and King Solomon, and current LDS doctrine does not condone or promote polygamy.
    Bible verses:
    John 10:34, Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods?
    Psalms 82:6 I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High

    Kolob is a park in southern Utah.

    All other religions believe they are also the only true religion. Muslims, Baptists, Jews, etc.. and all try to convert others to their beliefs.
    Collection pates are passed around all historically Christian churches and people are guilted into donation by publically passing the plate. LDS people choose whether or not to donate in private and nobody else knows.

    So why aren't they all cults??
    Your facts are officially rebuffed.

  • Joggle Clearfield, UT
    July 20, 2011 12:29 p.m.

    I can see why many people do think the LDS Church is a cult. Some definitions of a cult do fit the LDS Church. Utter Nonsense makes good points! However, to use the term cult too casually risks tarring the merely unconventional.

    Many academics and observers of cult phenomena, such as psychologist Philip G. Zimbardo of Stanford, agree on four criteria to define a cult. The first is behavior control, i.e., monitoring of where you go and what you do. Second is information control, such as discouraging members from reading criticism of the group. The third is thought control, placing sharp limits on doctrinal questioning. The fourth is emotional controlusing humiliation or guilt. Yet at times these traits can also be detected within mainstream faiths. Add two_more_categories: financial control and extreme leadership.

    Yet every coercive religious group harbors one telltale trait: untoward secrecy. As opposed to a cult, a religious culture ought to be as simple to enter or exit, for members or observers. Members should experience no impediment to relationships, ideas, travel, and the group's finances should be reasonably transparent. The doctrine should be knowable to outsiders.

    If you answer "yes" to the above then perhaps you_are_in_a_cult!

  • skeptic Phoenix, AZ
    July 20, 2011 12:28 p.m.

    The truth being that there are so many esoteric believes and practices in the Mormon church that few people know about, or understand, and if the public in general had more information or interest in the Mormon culture and believes they may consider the Mormon church even more of a cult than what they presently percieve it to be. The answer and the solution is for the Mormon church to be more open in disclosing and distinguishing that what it is. It may still be classified as a cult, but at least it would be a better understood cult and viewed with less suspicion and fear.

  • mightymite DRAPER, UT
    July 20, 2011 12:17 p.m.

    The grass is looking greener. If you can't be christian you might as well be a cult. At least your gathering attention an I think that is the mormon mindset.

  • ciaobello Concord, CA
    July 20, 2011 12:12 p.m.

    I don't like the Church being referred to as Mormon church making me a "Mormon" and I really detest the word cult which has a horrible, negative connotation.

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    July 20, 2011 11:49 a.m.

    re: Utter Nonesens: Bingo! You nailed it.

  • Rifleman Salt Lake City, Utah
    July 20, 2011 10:53 a.m.

    Re: Hutterite | 9:24 p.m. July 19, 2011

    When Jesus walked in Jerusalem they thought he and his followers were a cult. In the end they crucified Him on a cross If He walked the streets of San Francisco today the Christians there would reject his message and label Him and his followers a cult.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    July 20, 2011 10:45 a.m.

    Many religions have cult-like natures (what's the joke - a religion is just a cult with political power) in that their members are expected to give them preeminent loyalty to the exclusion of all other organizations. This describes Mormonism and a whole lot of other religions.

  • Abbe Faria Draper, UT
    July 20, 2011 10:43 a.m.

    Why do we care so much about what others think? People seem so frustrated if everybody in the world doesn't accept and agree with us. There always is going to be misinformation and lies about the Lord's annointed church. That is the mantle we must hold.

  • bballjunkie Cedar Hills, UT
    July 20, 2011 10:42 a.m.

    If you look at the definition of "cult" it says.

    1. a particular system of religious worship, especially with reference to its rites and ceremonies.
    2. an instance of great veneration of a person, ideal, or thing, especially as manifested by a body of admirers: the physical fitness cult.
    3. the object of such devotion.
    4. a group or sect bound together by veneration of the same thing, person, ideal, etc.

    If you look at the true defintion of it then you can consider anything that has 2 or more people believing in something a cult. If more people were educated on the word you would see it is not all negitive that some spin it to be. That is why the soccer team had such a big hit as well in the article. Jazz fans, Jimmer fans can all be considered a cult.

  • Demisana South Jordan, UT
    July 20, 2011 10:41 a.m.

    "Since 'poodles and cult' returns millions of results too, here's my less-than-profound conclusion: Google indexes a lot of pages," Otterson wrote. "Or something sinister is going on with poodles."

    I'm sorry, it's a good think I'd finished breakfast, or I'd have been cleaning my monitor off at this point. That is the best line I've heard in a long time.

    And I KNEW there was a reason I've never liked poodles!

    Now back to the very serious conversation going in the previous 50+ comments...

  • Cinci Man FT MITCHELL, KY
    July 20, 2011 10:39 a.m.

    The leader does not receive any more of a stipend for earthly sustenance as any other leader who is in the full-time leadership of the church. Assets of members are not confiscated nor owned by the Church. They remain in ownership of the members individually with no church interest in them.
    Members of the Church are not subject to sexual relations with Church leaders. If any such abuse comes to light, the leader is immediately expelled and appropriate legal action is encouraged. Sexual abuse of any kind is not tolerated.
    All members of the Church are agents unto themselves and make their own choices and decisions. Families are supported and sustained. Church activities and programs have as the primary focus to assist individuals and families to come unto Christ. No one is told how to vote or anything else. Members are taught true principles from the scriptures and are left to govern themselves.
    Members are taught to obey the laws of their own land and no Church discipline, act, event, program, or rite violates local laws.
    part 5 coming

  • Cinci Man FT MITCHELL, KY
    July 20, 2011 10:38 a.m.

    The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is not a cult, for the following and many other obvious reasons:

    The LDS Church is not a small part, but a large part of American and the world communities. They are not located in only a few isolated areas, but are located throughout the world. There are prominent people in all walks of life and in all parts of the world affiliated with the Church.
    The LDS Church has a very significant and working organization. Leaders have stewardship and are given the latitude to operate within the bounds of their stewardship. They are taught principles and govern affairs of the church within those boundaries.
    The highest position within the church understands the clear distinction between him, as Prophet and President of the Church and knows full well that he is not God, nor Jesus Christ, Gods Son.
    part 4 coming

  • Cinci Man FT MITCHELL, KY
    July 20, 2011 10:37 a.m.

    In the mass media, and among average citizens, "cult" gained an increasingly negative connotation, becoming associated with things like kidnapping, brainwashing, psychological, sexual and other criminal activity, and mass suicide. The mass suicides committed by members of the Peoples Temple in Jonestown, Guyana, and the Manson Family murders are perhaps the most prominent examples in American popular culture. A cult lacks sophisticated organization, but instead is usually only lead by one leader and a few appointed assistants or deputies, all bound, obligated, and loyal to the leader.

    Another prominent characteristic of a cult is that the internal community of the group is very ego-centric, or in other words, devoted entirely to the interests of the group, in deference to the larger community, state, country, or world. There are no contributions made for the welfare of others. They tend to take from, not give to the community around them.

    part 3 coming

  • Cinci Man FT MITCHELL, KY
    July 20, 2011 10:37 a.m.

    The word cult first appeared around 1617 and was defined to mean worship. The word originates from the French word culte and the Latin root cultus, meaning care, cultivation, worship, and tending. In the 1800s a more specific meaning became popular; that being the devotion to a person or thing, not God. A religious group called a cult was called such because followers worshipped the religious leader or a symbol in lieu of a god. Such a religious group labeled cult always made up a small portion of a culture and had religious rites and ceremonies that were strange to the larger community in which they lived.

    In more modern times, certain characteristics have been common among groups given the distinction of cult, as follows:
    1.The leader equates himself with God, or more often claims to be the resurrected son of God, Jesus.
    2.The leader demands surrender of all assets and income to him.
    3.The leader has sexual relations with multiple members of the group.
    Part 2 coming

  • Whoa Nellie American Fork, UT
    July 20, 2011 10:09 a.m.

    Ms Molli
    "I could care less what words someone uses for my religion. I don't become offended."

    Just wondering, how much less could you care? Did you really mean to write, ". . .couldn't care less. . ."

    To Thinkman, If I choose to let my children learn on their own and follow whatever path they choose, then chances are they will be taught whatever by someone else that may or may not be beneficial to my child's welfare. Therefore, I choose to teach my children facts and truths that are indisputable and proven to be beneficial to their progress in a civilized society. Guess I didn't realize I was indoctrinating them. Thanks for your enlightenment.

  • Jared Gainesville, FL
    July 20, 2011 9:04 a.m.

    Re: Ms. Molli

    I don't personally know any church members who feel victimized. We are allowed to answer our critics (which is something that we Mormons have historically not done very much) by telling our side. That's all Mike Otterson has been doing with his series of posts. If we don't stand up for our beliefs, critics will create and own the discussion. In any case, if you read the article, Mike Otterson is not offended, he's just stating that he sees the issue differently than some people who are not members of the LDS Church.

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    July 20, 2011 9:01 a.m.

    All religions are cults.

    As, the faith to adhere to them require zero facts.

    It's only a question of what size they are.

  • greenman108 Petaluma, CA
    July 20, 2011 8:51 a.m.

    I tried to post on this topic at length once and my comment was not published. all my material was directly from definitions you can find on wiki, both the current and old-fashioned definitions.

    LDS is very touchy on this issue and so is the DN. With good reason, actually.

    I will try again, off the cuff, with some humor. the people in the majority define everything. if a significant minority can, they can use "politically correct" as a way to force the majority to redefine the significant minority as within "the pale". The word "cult" is such an example. Aside from what they really are all about; ie dangerous or deluding or great and wonderful, cults are sects with few people or with little power, in an area dominated by another paradigm. the word cult is used in a disparaging way in the media and common parlance, but it really only means: the subject being discussed has no power and no respect.
    The sect to which I belong has been called a cult on TV, NBC Today Show. From my point of view, the teeny tiny cult to which I belong is the bearer of Truth.

  • wanttolearn GRAHAM, WA
    July 20, 2011 8:48 a.m.

    Thank you for writing this article, and thank my friend for linking it to FaceBook. I am not an active member of this church and have heard this word "cult" used in conversations several times. It is not only disrespectful, but it perpetuates a belief that the religion itself is not a legitimate religion. After reading this article it compelled me to rethink my own conversations and how the language I use effects what others percieve (whether or not I intend the ideas to be innocent). I've decided that any religion deserves to be dissasociated with this word. As for those of you who say, "Why should it bother us?", it should. Because being called a cult is a negative word that people associate with taboo behaviors, this reflects on your church from people who are non-Mormons. If you are promoting your church, why would you want that word circulating about your belief? Stick up for yourself like this author did!

  • dalep2u Herriman, UT
    July 20, 2011 8:42 a.m.

    One sign of being a cult using standard Christianity as the guidline, is that Mormons are the only religion claiming that they can become the same as God is.

    "As man is, God once was. As God may become".

    I would say that pretty well defines the LDS church as a cult.

    Baptizims for the dead???? Probably considered by most Christians as Cultish.

    3 kingdoms in Heaven....from a Christianity point of view...Cultish.

  • JLFuller Boise, ID
    July 20, 2011 8:02 a.m.

    The deliberate choice to use cult when referring to the Church is most often done by those who have no idea what a cult is and know even less about LDS theoelogy. You can forgive them to some extent, much as we overlook small children who misbehave although adults should be more circumspect. But professional journalists should know better. They should exercise due dilligence and find out for themselves what they are talking about before submitting pieces to print.

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    July 20, 2011 7:58 a.m.

    It fits some definitions of being a cult.

  • Ms Molli Bountiful, Utah
    July 20, 2011 7:53 a.m.

    Oh cry me a river. No wonder so many members of the church continue to feel victimized, villianized, etc. -- they get this from their leadership. Personally, I could care less what words someone uses for my religion. I don't become offended.

  • Pete in Texas Copperas Cove, TX
    July 20, 2011 7:35 a.m.

    To Thinkman I would pose the question: at what age would you deem it appropriate to start teaching your kids truth? Let me re-phrase it: when did you start talking to your kids using the words "no" and "yes", because the minute you do, you're setting parameters for what is right or acceptable and what is not. To start teaching a child even at the age of 3 of what is right, who can be trusted, and what they can believe, in my mind, certainly couldn't be deemed negative in any sense. I don't want my kid to get burned on the stove, so I start teaching them not to touch it even before they are able to effectively understand what it is and all the reasons why. Does that mean I'm trying to brain-wash them? No. I've already learned that it's not good and if you stay away from it you're happier in this life. What concerns me most is you seem to have a problem with teaching kids even at the tender age of 3. I truly hope you didn't wait until they were teenagers to try and start that.

  • Allen Salt Lake valley, UT
    July 20, 2011 7:32 a.m.

    If you google the two words mormonism and cult, you not only get the # hits for the two words but the number of hits for each of the two words. Put a + sign in front of the two words to get the number of hits of the two words together. In doing this, I got 1.24 million hits, half of the number given in the article. Does this prove anything? Only that 1.24 million pages refer to mormonism and cults. Some of those pages maintain mormonism is a cult, and some maintain mormonism isn't a cult.

  • Monsieur le prof Sandy, UT
    July 20, 2011 7:24 a.m.

    @(non)Thinkman: Teaching truths of the gospel (or any other subject) is not indoctrination, but education. And the earlier, the better as any educator or parent knows.

    Children's testimonies are simple and reflect what they have heard others say. As they grow and are touched by the spirit, those feelings will have more depth and meaning.

    I've never heard one church official "vilify" a member who has left the faith. And most church members who leave the church or become inactive do so because of transgression. To justify the guilt they feel, they rationalize in many ways, including the rejecting of doctrine. Church policies may change, according to revelation, but doctrine doesn't.

    And the church accepts truth, even if it seems to cast a negative light on it. Check out the Joseph Smith papers and/or Rough Stone Rolling by Bushman.

  • Cats Somewhere in Time, UT
    July 20, 2011 6:50 a.m.

    By the world's definition of a cult, all of Christianity is a cult. Christianity believes in following one charismatic leader. That's basically the definition of a cult.

    By the world's definition, Christ and his disciples were a cult. You see where this leads?

    Those who call the LDS Church a cult are those who feel threatened by us. When a preacher has to make his living by how many members he can attract, there is an automatic conflict of interest. Obviously, if another Church is taking your members, that's a threat to your economic self interest. It's as simple as that.

    "They draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me."

  • Cats Somewhere in Time, UT
    July 20, 2011 6:40 a.m.

    When I lived in Washington, D.C. I was once late for Church and was sitting in the foyer. A man came right into our Church, confronted me and proclaimed to me that Mormons were not Christians. I corrected him and told him that we WERE Christians. He kept repeating "no you're not." No matter how many times I tried to convince him, he wouldn't listen. Finally a guy in our ward offered to let him come in and sit down and see for himself. The guy left while yelling and screaming that we were all "liars." This was a shocking incident, but this is the kind of stuff that those preachers, who feel threatened by us, are teaching to their congregations. The truth is always a threat to the dishonest.

    These sorts of lies need to be confronted. We must stand for truth. The stone rolling forth from the mountain will continue to roll. Bro. Otterson is an INCREDIBLE communicater. He's amazingly articulate and to the point. He is certainly the right man for this calling.

  • Jared Gainesville, FL
    July 20, 2011 6:11 a.m.

    Re: Thinkman

    It gets even worse. We teach our children to not only revere the prophet but to listen to him and follow what he says. We even teach our children to revere men like Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and many other men as prophets of God. We also teach our children to revere women like Sarah, Sariah, Mary, Ruth, and others for the great roles they played in scriptural events. We even go so far as to teach our children to revere their parents. We also teach them to respect women, girls, children, and all others who are children of God.

    What's also worse is that not only do we teach our children that they should pay tithing, we teach them that they shouldn't smoke or use drugs or drink alcohol. We teach other terrible things like honesty and sexual purity. All of those are necessary for temple attendance. We also teach them (in part through tithing) to serve others and help those who are in need.

    Your points about certain phrases said in "early every 'testimony' given" [sic] and "villification" [sic] by church leaders of others are patently untrue.

  • NeilT Clearfield, UT
    July 20, 2011 5:37 a.m.

    To Brer Rabbitt. What does this article have to do with immigration and how does the church's position conflict with the 12th article of faith. I challenge anybody to show me where the church has ever endorsed illegal immigration. Just because the church refuses to bow to the far right and support an unconstitutional mass deportation doesn't mean we support law breaking. The church is simply making it clear that we don't support punishing children by breaking up their family due to their parents actions.

    I for one have always been troubled by those who label LDS a cult. They obviously have an agenda and it isn't very christian.

  • LeftBehind SAN FRANCISCO, CA
    July 20, 2011 4:35 a.m.

    If someone is going to object to the word 'cult', it would be beneficial to have a definition of the word.

    The definition of cult (pertaining to religion) from Merriam/Webster:

    1: formal religious veneration : worship
    2: a system of religious beliefs and ritual; also : its body of adherents
    3: a religion regarded as unorthodox or spurious; also : its body of adherents

    I'm pretty sure what people object to is definition 3. Let's throw out spurious. Can the Mormon religion be regarded as unorthodox?

    As believers in Christ who are not monotheistic, who believe that descendants of the lost tribes of Israel settled in the New World and believe that Jesus visited the Western Hemisphere, I think it is fair to characterize Mormon beliefs as 'unorthodox' compared with most Christian denominations.

    Unorthodox does not mean bad or wrong. It simply means not orthodox.

    The problem is not with the definition of the word cult, it is with the subjective connotation of the word, which is often used in association with groups like the People's Temple or FLDS.

  • AlohaandMahalo EWA BEACH, HI
    July 20, 2011 1:42 a.m.

    It definitely is a "culture", which is hard for people to understand in some places.

  • JohnJacobJingleHeimerSchmidt Beverly Hills, CA
    July 20, 2011 1:06 a.m.

    I chose to join the LDS Church and through my greater understanding of the teachings of Jesus Christ I feel that I have improved as a person and in my family. I have become less selfish and more understanding of others. I invite anyone to learn about it. I feel now my life has a different purpose than the money chasing materialistic person I was. I no longer listen to divisive right wing talk radio and listen to Conference talks. My life is much better for these choices.

  • BYR Woods Cross, UT
    July 20, 2011 1:00 a.m.

    "expect to be challenged." Politely, but Amen to that.

  • CA. reader Rocklin, CA
    July 19, 2011 10:43 p.m.

    Brother Otterson, you are going to cause considerable angst in the mainstream media if you keep insisting that they actually research something before they write about it.

  • BYUHOCKEY American Fork, UT
    July 19, 2011 10:22 p.m.

    Thank you.

  • Thinkman Provo, UT
    July 19, 2011 10:09 p.m.

    So let me get this straight, the LDS Church isn't a cult even though the following occur in the LDS Church?

    -Teaching children from age 3 (and sometimes earlier) to revere a man as a prophet of God (We Thank Thee o God for a prophet)
    -Teaching 3 year olds to give 10% of their money to a church so they can go to a temple
    -early every "testimony" given in every Fast and Testimony Meeting containing the same phrases of "I know the Church is true", I know the Book of Mormon is true, Joseph Smith is a prophet of God, Pres Monson is a prophet of God,
    -villification by Church leaders and Church members of their own members who no longer believe in the church because of their concerns over changing Church doctrine or their reading the not so positive things in Church History.

    I could list more but I only have 200 words.

    And LDS members wonder why others outside the Church call it a cult?

    Beats me too!

  • User41 Provo, UT
    July 19, 2011 10:07 p.m.

    A cult? Christian? Well... I've been a member of the LDS Church for many years now. The more I participate, the more convinced I am that I need to be an honest, positive contributor to society. This religion makes me want to treat others kindly, server those in need, and follow the teachings of Christ. It makes me want to use my mind, improve my skills and learn everything I can. I've got a very long way to go in all those areas, but my religion makes me want to keep going. Call me a non-Christian or call my church a cult, but I'll stick with it unless someone can show me something that brings me more happiness and hope. Arguing about definitions just isn't persuasive.

  • A voice of Reason Salt Lake City, UT
    July 19, 2011 10:04 p.m.

    LDSareChristians, while I agree with the idea of what you were trying to convey... the factual part of your statement is lacking.

    The LDS Church isn't a cult. The Church is a Christian one, obviously. However, Google results are tailored by more than 10 or 20 different types of identification. I can't remember where, but if you search for it you'll find Google exec's and officials actually talking about it, probably on their privacy help page.

    They use your login, cookies, ip address, location, and several other 'identifiers' to aid in producing a customized search response page. If you want, Google has the option to not customize your search results... but even then, it only goes so far.

    Just some helpful info for your comment.


    An accurate description of the LDS Church regarding the question of Christianity would be to say that "The LDS Church is a non-trinitarian Christian religion."

    If people have a hard time with that, the logic would have to be purely arbitrary and self-serving as the 'label' I provided is an objectively accurate and unbiased title that serves only one purpose, providing an accurate description of the belief system of the LDS Church.

  • zero_limits_33 Eagle mountain, UT
    July 19, 2011 9:57 p.m.

    @utah girl
    You seem to imply that orthodox christians are not orthodox, and traditional christians are not traditional. This is very confusing to me because lds are both non-traditional and un-orthodox in their beliefs/worship. Adding the phrase"the so called..." Does not discredit our cast doubt on anything if it is really what it claims to be.

  • mightymite DRAPER, UT
    July 19, 2011 9:51 p.m.

    LDSareChristians | 6:28 p.m. July 19, 2011

    Sorry, you were seventh on the list behind the Christian faiths -the universal (Catholic) church and several other protestant denominations. Not sure where you got your facts from or how google has pinpointed your searches but your statement is incorrect.

  • A voice of Reason Salt Lake City, UT
    July 19, 2011 9:40 p.m.

    Often people argue 'cult by definition means that the groups beliefs are simply rare or uncommon, not radical or extreme'.

    However, we define words ourselves; in other words, word definitions are man made. If people, whether the vast majority or the non-intellectual, or only the state of Alaska- if there are large enough groups of people that understand the meaning of 'cult' with it's negative connotations, then it is necessary to properly define the word and which groups properly and accurately fall under that classification.


    Michael Otterson often voices his opinion. The LDS Church asks certain 'high ranking' officials (for lack of a better term) to refrain from voicing certain things, like political endorsements, etc. The opinions Otterson does publish lead me to believe that he is a very respectable and well-intentioned human being.

    With that said, I would suggest everyone watch the video of him reading the LDS Church statement on gay marriage. There are no hateful comments in this video. I'm not saying he wrote the statement by himself or at all, only that this kindness is typical of his personal commentary- therefore, only respectful replies to his personal views and comments are appropriate.

  • Utah Girl Vernal, UT
    July 19, 2011 9:33 p.m.

    To Doctor: You wrote, 'Otterson said, "I am equally uncomfortable with some aspects of traditional, orthodox Christianity, which was the very issue that gave rise to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the first place." I beg to differ. What gave rise to the LDS church was a belief God appeared to Joseph Smith. Absent that, no amount of uncomfortableness would have resulted in the LDS church.'

    Among the primary reasons Joseph Smith inquired of the Lord as to which church he should join were the many variations he found in the so-called traditional, orthodox Christian churches he investigated in the early 1800's as a youth in upstate New York. Every church taught something different. Each of them saw Christ, God the Father, agency or predestination, and so on, in very different ways. His confusion was such that he did not know which church was right. I would submit that it was a very uncomfortable situation for Joseph, which is why he prayed to God for an answer. That answer resulted in the many events and miracles that led to the organization of the LDS Church, and the translation of the Book of Mormon.

  • mightymite DRAPER, UT
    July 19, 2011 9:31 p.m.

    Wow, and look at the comments. Hmmm, I wonder where this all comes from. As my daddy said "if you want to be seen as a big boy then act like one and don't whine about it." Sounds like much work to be done in 'Zion' in articulating and relating to others. Very systemic in the closed mormon culture. In order to get over an issue, first you have to accept it--and I think that is where the mormon church is at a crossroads.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    July 19, 2011 9:24 p.m.

    None of 'em is a cult. Just ask them.

  • Vanka Provo, UT
    July 19, 2011 9:14 p.m.

    As for the LDS Church, it doesn't really target college-aged young folks (as much) for its recruits.

    Instead, the LDS Church grows for the most part by BIC: "Born in the Covenant" growth - births to members.

    According to the statistics I have seen, a large majority of new members fall away from the LDS Church within the first year (somewhere between 60-70%). By contrast, the Church keeps about that same percentage of those born into the Church.

    So, to my way of thinking, there is the issue: innocent children who have no choice, and are baptized into the Church at the tender age of 8, after having been "programmed" (can I use that word, or would you prefer "indoctrinated") since birth with the LDS way of life, esoteric language, and superstitious practices, including bearing their "testimonies" (can a 5 year old have a "testimony"?).

    The core idea we are getting at when we use the word "cult" is an organization that exploits those innocent and defenseless members of society and exercises unwarranted and potentially damaging control and invasiveness into their individual lives, resulting in unhealthy conformity and compliance with centralized (controlling) authority.

  • Vanka Provo, UT
    July 19, 2011 9:03 p.m.

    I would never consider the LDS Church a "cult".

    All the dangerous religious cults I know about target the young college-student-aged person who is struggling to figure out who they are. They lure them in with friendliness, social activities, and "programs" to give these targets the illusion that they are "normal" and "fun" and not some crazy kool-aid drinkers or mother-ship-arrival watchers.

    Then the "cult" get so involved with the everyday activities of the victims' lives - daily and hourly rituals, finances, social connections, etc. - that the victims barely have time to breathe, and are constantly watched over by representatives of the "cult". If they begin to stray, or fail to give the appropriate money to the "cult", they are "counselled" and pressured to comply with the requirements of the "cult".

    A fascinating expose on the Scientology "cult" that describes all these sorts of things can be found by searching "Paul Haggis vs. the Church of Scientology".

    So I wonder, Michael Otterson, what would YOU call an organization such as the Church of Scientology, that has such harmful effects on so many members?

    Do Moromons think Scientology, or The People's Temple, are "cults"?

  • fresnogirl Fresno, CA
    July 19, 2011 8:29 p.m.


    The danger of the "cult" label is that the words we use shape how we view the world. If a group is designated enough in the media (or over the pulpit) as a "cult," it immediately implies certain things about that group as a whole: namely, they lack free-will and their teachings are dangerous to themselves and to society as a whole; they are mindless robots to be feared.

    A group that is thus labeled and feared is in peril. Who will stand up for them when a politician hungry for power unites his/her base by blaming them for the ills of society? We saw that in Europe in the 1940's and we saw that first-hand in Missouri.

    Make no mistake, words can make the most powerful weapons.

  • Oatmeal Woods Cross, UT
    July 19, 2011 8:29 p.m.

    Junkgeek wrote: "Sure, it's informative to see what we're called, but it's hardly worth the effort to respond."

    Please explain that comment to a Jew or African-American. Bigotry is bigotry and the truth matters, and if you don't stand up now, you may not be able to in the future.

  • Mayfair City, Ut
    July 19, 2011 8:21 p.m.

    "...that play perfectly into the kind of rigid stereotypes beloved of the ignorant and bigoted. Journalists could and should do better than perpetuate this kind of shallowness when referring to the fourth largest church in the United States. Rather than continuing to parrot it, it's time they pushed back against those who choose to use it."

    What a choice of words! BRILLIANT!! Touche!

  • Kass SLC, UT
    July 19, 2011 8:12 p.m.

    So, the only example they could come up with is not even an example of someone referring to the LDS Church as a cult but someone saying some people think the LDS Church is a cult?

    Wow. Really sounds like something you need to be putting some time and effort into....

    (And this story just increased the number of hits for a google of "Mormon" and "cult." Sometimes you can be your own worse enemy.)

  • Michigander Westland, MI
    July 19, 2011 7:51 p.m.

    The Utah LDS church is a HERETICAL mutation from pure Restoration Christianity of 1820-1830.

  • The Rock Federal Way, WA
    July 19, 2011 7:28 p.m.

    For my part I refused to allow anyone to refer the Mormons or LDS and Christians as two different things. I always politely say something like; "You are referring to Mormons and Christians as if they are two different things. For the record Mormons are Christians." If they object to that statement they quickly discover that I stand my ground. I have never yet had anyone, minister included, that could back up their claim that the LDS faith is not Christian.

    I will gladly share the label of Christian with members of other faiths; however, I will not allow them sole ownership as that would simply be a lie.

  • Brer Rabbit Spanish Fork, UT
    July 19, 2011 7:15 p.m.

    My question is, does blind obedience to its leaders make the LDS Church a cult? And if so do the LDS Church leaders expect blind obedience from the members? Often we hear, "When the prophet speaks debate is ended." Is this blind obedience? Blind obedience is a characteristic of a cult. I personally do not believe in blind obedience, but I know many church members that do.

    The recent LDS Church position on illegal immigration, especially as many see it as in conflict with Church doctrine, (12th Article of Faith) has confused many on this principle of obedience. My comments are in no way meant as an attack on the Church but questions.

    Finally, growing up I was taught not to worry about what others said or thought about me, but to do what was right in spite of them. Is the Church overly concerned about what others think and say?

  • Moderate Salt Lake City, UT
    July 19, 2011 7:12 p.m.

    If you Google "Jesus Christ", guess which religions site is listed 1st after the top few secular sites?

    Wow. That's amazing. Could it because "Jesus Christ" appears in the name of the church?

    Now I'm going to Google "General Motors" and see what world automotive company is listed first.

  • christoph Brigham City, UT
    July 19, 2011 7:01 p.m.

    To Doctor: when the church was founded in 1830, few converts knew about Joseph's vision of the Father and Son-------I could be wrong, but details of that vision did not come until later-----in my view, the Book of Mormon (which few people read in the 1830's both inside and outside the church) and the idea of a modern prophet brought the first converts into the church----and many were longing for the same church that had existed 18 centuries earlier.

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    July 19, 2011 6:53 p.m.

    When Otterson complains about the use of the term "cult" when referring to Mormonism, he is making one fundamental mistake - he is assuming journalism is widely practiced in the world. Unfortunately it is not. Repeated soundbites and opinion pieces masquarade as journalism, but they are not journalism.

  • Doctor Tucson, AZ
    July 19, 2011 6:50 p.m.

    Otterson said, "I am equally uncomfortable with some aspects of traditional, orthodox Christianity, which was the very issue that gave rise to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the first place." I beg to differ. What gave rise to the LDS church was a belief God appeared to Joseph Smith. Absent that, no amount of uncomfortableness would have resulted in the LDS church.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    July 19, 2011 6:50 p.m.

    The "mind control" nature of the cult theory has been largely discredited. The only true violation of people's rights in most of the context of groups labeled cults has been from the anti-cult extremists who engage in kidnapping people who have chosen to join a new religion and forcing them through "deprogramming".

    Sadly the media still perpetuates false notions about how "cults" are formed. The fact of the matter is that the vast majority of people in all movements are participating willingly. This applies from Scientology to Raelism and many other movements.

    We need to remember that giving governments the power to suppress any religion will give them the power to suppress all reliigons.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    July 19, 2011 6:45 p.m.

    We are told in the scriptures that there are those who are kept from the truth by the craftiness of men. One example of this is the false designation of groups as "cults".

    It is important to create a situation where people will be receptive to the gospel, and this is done by challenging needlessly laoaded and negative wording in the media.

  • Joggle Clearfield, UT
    July 19, 2011 6:35 p.m.

    Though Mormonism does essentially fit three traditional definitions of what a cult is, those definitions are inadequate to society's view of what a cult is. If we follow standard definitions, we can call Mormonism as well as anything else we want to, a cult. However, when we realize that the particular beliefs of a church do not a cult make, and we understand what we ourselves view as a cult, we can see that this is not the case.

    The LDS Church is not a cult and is much more than a religious movement or a sect. Instead, it is a new and legitimate faith in and of itself. In the process of its evolution, the LDS Church has taken the next great step along the same path its Abrahamic cousins have already traveled.

    Although I'm anti organized religion as a whole rather than anti any specific idea of a true cult lies with groups such as Jim Jones People's Temple, the David Koresh Branch Davidians, the Heaven's Gate group who are all on the extreme end of the religious spectrum.

  • junkgeek Agua Dulce, TX
    July 19, 2011 6:31 p.m.

    @Christophe -

    Sure, it's informative to see what we're called, but it's hardly worth the effort to respond.

  • christoph Brigham City, UT
    July 19, 2011 6:29 p.m.

    To Milo Otis: why should we care? Because we are a missionary minded faith, and therefore we care how we are perceived. And truth matters.

  • LDSareChristians Anchorage, AK
    July 19, 2011 6:28 p.m.

    If you Google "Jesus Christ", guess which religions site is listed 1st after the top few secular sites?

  • Utah Girl Vernal, UT
    July 19, 2011 6:09 p.m.

    Fantastic response, Bro. Otterson! I, too, get a little annoyed...actually a lot annoyed...when people without knowledge continue to refer to my beloved church as a "cult". It definitely is NOT, and anyone who thinks it is just has not taken the time, nor made the effort, to do their own research. Lack of critical thinking! To continually parrot what others have said, without doing one's own research, is laziness.

  • shopporama SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    July 19, 2011 6:02 p.m.

    I wonder if that poodle comment is going anywhere (because I WAS thinking of getting a dog).

  • LKA Tremonton, UT
    July 19, 2011 5:58 p.m.

    All faiths no matter what they believe in should at least have respect. This includes the lady (respectful) on Fox news. Name calling and bulling are just an old playground tactic.

  • Milo P Otis West Jordan, UT
    July 19, 2011 5:52 p.m.

    Why worry about what others refer to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints?