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. 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. 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." 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) 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.
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, 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 is a movement of free thinkers, cultural Mormons, disfellowshipped or independents 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.
- 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", and with its own unique doctrines, such as a "Covenant of Comedy and Humor".
- Blogs about Mormons and Mormonism
- Cafeteria Christianity
- Cultural Catholic
- Cultural Christian
- Cultural Judaism
- Cultural Muslim
- Culture of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
- Humanistic Judaism
- Jack Mormon
- Lapsed Catholic
- Moralistic therapeutic deism
- Off the derech (Orthodox Jewish expression)
- Stay LDS
- Sunday Christian
- Lee Hale (August 28, 2016). 'Cultural Mormons' Adjust The Lifestyle But Keep The Label. All Things Considered (radio broadcast). NPR.
- Stack, Peggy Fletcher (23 September 2011). "Active, inactive – do Mormon labels work or wound?". The Salt Lake Tribune. Retrieved 2013-09-20.
- Rogers, Peggy (n.d.), "New Order Mormon Essays", New Order Mormon, newordermormon.org, Publisher is anonymous, retrieved 2013-09-20
- Hales, Robert D. (November 1994), "The Importance of Receiving a Personal Testimony", Ensign, retrieved 2011-09-27
- Mormonism 201: Chapter 15
- New Order Mormons
- Humanistic Mormonism=Traditional Mormonism; Redemptive Mormonism=Neo-Orthodox Mormonism:
- Mormon Theologian Sterling M. McMurrin and humanistic Mormonism:
- General Authorities and Administrative Officers of the Society for Humanistic Mormonism
- The First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of the Society for Humanistic Mormonism (2013), A Proclamation on Comedy and Humor
- New Order Mormons – A website for members of the LDS Church 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."
- 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 LDS Church and no longer believe in it.