Cultural Mormon

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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] Usually this is a result of having been raised in the LDS faith, or as 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 officially 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."[2] The 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[edit]

The 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."[3] 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)[4] 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 a secret in order to continue to participate in such activities, or to avoid conflict with family and friends. In addition, disciplinary action may be taken when a member publicly opposes church doctrines (e.g. Grant Palmer).

Internet communities[edit]

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

New Order Mormons[edit]

One such group refers to itself as the New Order Mormons,[5] 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 faith, but because of family or cultural ties do not choose to completely separate themselves from the faith.

Humanistic Mormonism[edit]

Humanistic Mormonism[6][7] 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.[citation needed]

  • A Mormon is someone who identifies with the history, culture and future of the LDS way of life.
  • People possess the power and responsibility to shape their own lives independent of supernatural authority.
  • Ethics and morality should serve human needs and choices should be based upon consideration of the consequences of actions rather than pre-ordained rules or commandments.
  • The Bible, Book of Mormon or other religious texts are purely human and natural phenomena. Biblical and other traditional texts are the products of human activity and are best understood by scientific analysis.

The Society for Humanistic Mormonism characterizes itself as a "new worldwide religion of Humanistic Mormonism" with its own "General Authorities and Administrative Officers",[8] and with its own unique doctrines, such as a "Covenant of Comedy and Humor".[9]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Stack, Peggy Fletcher (23 September 2011). "Active, inactive – do Mormon labels work or wound?". The Salt Lake Tribune. Retrieved 2013-09-20. 
  2. ^ Rogers, Peggy (Undated), The Paradox of the Faithful Unbeliever, "New Order Mormon Essays", New Order Mormon, NewOrderMormon.org (Publisher is anonymous), retrieved 2013-09-20 
  3. ^ Hales, Robert D. (November 1994), "The Importance of Receiving a Personal Testimony", Ensign , retrieved 2011-09-27 
  4. ^ Mormonism 201: Chapter 15
  5. ^ New Order Mormons
  6. ^ Humanistic Mormonism=Traditional Mormonism; Redemptive Mormonism=Neo-Orthodox Mormonism:
  7. ^ Mormon Theologian Sterling M. McMurrin and humanistic Mormonism:
  8. ^ General Authorities and Administrative Officers of the Society for Humanistic Mormonism 
  9. ^ The First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of the Society for Humanistic Mormonism (2013), A Proclamation on Comedy and Humor 

External links[edit]

  • New Order Mormons - A website for members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who no longer believe some (or many) of the doctrines of the LDS church, but who want to maintain membership for cultural and social reasons.
    • New Order Mormon Discussion Forum: "A forum for those who have chosen to remain connected with the LDS church for personal reasons and in spite of church history or present practices."
  • Zarahemla City Limits - commentary and essays addressing issues in Mormonism from a Cultural Mormon perspective.
  • Society for Humanistic Mormonism - The official webpage for the Society for Humanistic Mormonism.
  • The Post-Mormon Community - An organization for those who have left the Church and no longer believe in it.