Cultural Mormon

Cultural Mormon is a term used for Mormons who no longer believe some, or many, of the doctrines of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), but who self-identify as Mormon.[1][2] Usually, this is a result of having been raised in the LDS Church or having converted and spent a large portion of one's life as an active member of the LDS Church. Cultural Mormons may or may not be actively involved with the church, and in some cases may not even be official members of the church.

Typically, cultural Mormons still have an appreciation for the lessons and the love they have received in the course of long church membership.[3] Cultural Mormons do not necessarily hold anti-Mormon sentiments and often support the goals of the church. Many retain a sense of Mormon identity for life.

Results of doctrinal differences

The LDS Church does not regard disbelief in its doctrines as grounds for disciplinary action. Church leaders teach that doubts can be resolved by "instruction, study, and prayer, which result in increased testimony, which drives out further doubts."[4] However, disbelief in certain core doctrines (such as the role of Jesus Christ as Savior and Redeemer, or the leaders of the church as prophets, seers, and revelators)[5] can prevent a cultural Mormon from participating in certain activities, such as priesthood ordinances and temple worship. As a result, some choose to keep their doubts secret in order to continue to participate in such activities, or to avoid conflict with family and friends. Disciplinary action may be taken when a member publicly opposes church doctrines.

Internet communities

Because of the fear that divulging their unorthodox beliefs will result in stigmatization and increased attention, some cultural Mormons prefer anonymity. Many, therefore, participate in Internet communities, where they can discuss their issues anonymously.

New Order Mormons

One such group refers to itself as the New Order Mormons,[6] a name patterned on the term New Order Amish (Amish who maintain cultural ties to their religion while not accepting some of its core tenets). This is a group of Mormons and former Mormons who no longer believe at least some of the tenets of the LDS Church, but because of family or cultural ties do not choose to completely separate themselves from the faith.

Humanistic Mormonism

Humanistic Mormonism[7][8] is a movement of free thinkers, cultural Mormons, disfellowshipped or independents people related to LDS Church and other Latter Day Saint groups that emphasize Mormon culture and history, but do not demand belief in a supernatural god, or the historicity of the Bible or the Book of Mormon. It is based on humanism and can be summarized in some points.

The Society for Humanistic Mormonism characterizes itself as a "new worldwide religion of Humanistic Mormonism" with its own "General Authorities and Administrative Officers",[9] and with its own unique doctrines, such as a "Covenant of Comedy and Humor".[10]

See also


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