Convention of Statesmen

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The LDS Church is Not a Cult

A common accusation against the church is that we are a cult. Let me be very, very clear about this. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is not a cult, not in the sense of the word to which it is applied.

By sheer definition of the word, according to Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionary:
Main Entry: cult
Pronunciation: 'k<
Function: noun
Usage: often attributive

Etymology: French & Latin; French culte, from Latin cultus care, adoration, from colere to cultivate -- more at WHEEL

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

4 : a system for the cure of disease based on dogma set forth by its promulgator cults>

5 a : great devotion to a person, idea, object, movement, or work (as a film or book); especially : such devotion regarded as a literary or intellectual fad b : the object of such devotion c : a usually small group of people characterized by such devotion

- cul·tic /'k&l-tik/ adjective

According to the first definition, a formal religious veneration, we're all members of a cult. Because we all worship Jesus Christ. That would make Catholics, Protestants, Jews, Hindus, Muslims and anyone else who gathers together as a formal religion, a cult. So in this instance, it isn't a bad thing. But the term cult has positive and negative definitions.

And this isn't the definition being used when it is applied to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I think those people are playing around with definitions four and five. So let me explain.

The prophets of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have always taught, from the very beginning, the saints to think for themselves. We are to take nothing we are taught without praying and gaining a testimony of it ourselves. We are taught to think and govern ourselves. Nope, that wouldn't be a cult.

Should one choose, they are completely free to leave the church. No one will hunt them down and harangue them (I can't account for the actions of family members and friends). They will not be killed if they leave the church. They are not ostracized, at least, the brethren have asked us not to do so. So again I say, we are not a cult.

Contrary to popular belief, members of the Mormon faith do not worship Joseph Smith or Gordon B. Hinckley. We worship Jesus Christ. We are Christians. We are devout in our belief and daily practices, but we are not fanatical. So once more I say, we are not a cult.

We are a people gathered together in a common cause to return to the presence of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Are we alone in that? No.

We are a people who believe in family, morals, integrity, loyalty, strength and all that is virtuous and of good report. Are we alone in that? No.

We are a people who believe The Holy Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly. Are we alone in that? No.

So I respectfully invite all who believe the church to be a cult to search the church's websites: www.lds.org and www.mormon.org. There you will find answers to all questions you may have without the taint of bitterness, anger and falsehood.
The LDS Church is Not a Cult The LDS Church is Not a Cult Reviewed by Candace Salima on Wednesday, August 15, 2007 Rating: 5