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Survey: U.S. Mormons feel discrimination, hope
The Mormon temple at church headquarters in Salt Lake City, Utah.
January 12th, 2012
12:01 AM ET

Survey: U.S. Mormons feel discrimination, hope

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor

(CNN) – Nearly half of American Mormons say they face a lot of discrimination in the United States, though most also say that acceptance of their religion is on the rise, according to a major survey released Thursday.

The survey also found that a large majority of American Mormons think their countrymen are uninformed about their religion and don’t see Mormons as part of mainstream society, even as most Mormons also say the country is ready for a Mormon president.

“The survey creates a mixed picture for how Mormons see themselves,” said Greg Smith, senior researcher with the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, which conducted the study. “On the one hand, many tell us they’re misunderstood and often discriminated against, recognizing the challenges of acceptance.

“But Mormons also seem to think that things are changing, that more Americans are coming to see Mormonism as mainstream,” he said.

The survey comes amid what has been called a “Mormon moment.”

Two of the Republican presidential candidates – Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman – attend the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The religion has also cropped up in big ways in popular culture, from the hit Broadway play “Book of Mormon” to the recent HBO series “Big Love,” about a fundamentalist Mormon family.

Mormons constitute about 2% of the American population.

The Pew survey found that 46% of American Mormons say they face a lot of discrimination in the U.S. today, while six in 10 say their fellow Americans as a whole are uninformed about the LDS Church.

Two-thirds of Mormons say their fellow citizens do not view Mormonism as part of mainstream American society.

At the same time, 63% of Mormons say Americans are “becoming more likely to see Mormonism as part of mainstream society,” in the words of the survey report, while 56% say the country is ready for a Mormon president.

There are some surprising parallels between how Mormons feel about their place in American society and how Muslims do, according to an earlier Pew survey.

"We do see a remarkable degree of similarity about what it's like to be a minority in society," Smith said. "They are under no illusions" about how the broader public currently feels about them, and know their religions are not widely understood, but they remain optimistic at heart, he said.

They recognize the challenges, "but both groups are relentlessly positive about their future in the United States," said Luis Lugo, the director of the Pew Forum.

As Romney’s and Huntsman’s ability to win evangelical votes in the approaching South Carolina presidential primary has become a major question in the presidential campaign, the Pew survey finds that half of Mormons believe that evangelical Christians are unfriendly toward them.

In fact, Mormon and evangelical political opinions match closely on almost everything except immigration, the survey found. (Mormons are much more likely than evangelicals or the U.S. population overall to see immigrants as making a positive contribution to society, said David Campbell of the University of Notre Dame, who helped advise the Pew Forum on the survey.)

Mormons also subscribe to key tenets of mainstream Christianity, despite the sense many evangelicals have that Mormons are not Christians. Previous Pew surveys show that about half of white evangelicals say Mormonism is not a Christian faith.

"Nearly all Mormons say they believe Jesus rose from the dead and that Mormonism is a Christian religion," Smith said.

But the Mormon-evangelical divide is not simply one of theology, a leading evangelical said.

"Evangelicals are - famously or infamously, depending on your perspective - very evangelistic," said Richard Land  of the Southern Baptist Convention. "And so Mormons are out there going door-to-door trying to convince folks  to become Mormons, and evangelicals are out there going door-to-door trying to convince people to become evangelicals."

By comparison, most Mormons said that Americans who are not religious are either neutral or friendly toward them.

Mormons and evangelicals are politically similar, the survey found, with three-quarters of Mormons saying they identify with or lean toward the Republican Party.

And the survey showed that Mormons are more devout in their faith than evangelicals, who are more devout that the public at large.

Three-quarters of Mormons report attending religious services at least weekly, while eight in 10 pray daily and give 10% of their income to their church.

The Pew Forum says the nationwide survey, conducted in October and November, constitutes the biggest survey of American Mormons conducted by an organization that’s not connected to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Pew surveyed 1,019 self-identified Mormons for the project.

CNN's Richard Allen Greene and Emma Lacey-Bordeaux contributed to this report.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Mormonism • Politics • Polls

soundoff (1,639 Responses)
  1. Billy

    The more I learn about the Mormon faith the more I'm convinced it is not Christian. There are many things that they believe that aren't in or contradict the Hebrew Bible. For instance, they believe that you can improve yourself to the point of becoming a god and that they get their own planet to rule over. They believe that "Yaweh" is one such god. That totally goes against the Hebrew Bible that says there is one God.

    January 12, 2012 at 11:40 am |
    • steve in texas

      Just how many gods do people need to invent to feel better?

      January 12, 2012 at 11:44 am |
    • God was never alive

      GOD OF THE MONTH CLUB

      January 12, 2012 at 12:17 pm |
    • sybarite6

      Why Mormons Are Not Christian.

      First: Mormons do not follow or believe in the historic Jesus Christ of the Bible, but rather in a difference Jesus. This is why most Biblical Christians emphatically insist that Mormons are not Christians. Let me explain.
      The god of the Mormons is not the God of the Bible. To the Mormons, Jesus is the firstborn son of an exalted "man" who became the god of this world. The man-god of Mormonism was made the god of this world because of his good works on another planet somewhere out in the universe. He "earned" godhood, and was thus appointed by a counsel of gods in the heavens to his high position as the god of planet Earth. The Mormon god of this world was a man, like all men, who became a god. This is what the celestial marriage and the temple vows are all about. LDS men, by doing their temple work, are striving for exaltation by which they, too, shall one day become gods. Their wives will be the mother goddesses of "their" world and with their husband will produce the population of their world. This is the Mormon doctrine of "eternal progression."

      January 12, 2012 at 12:39 pm |
    • bry55

      If you don't have more background on the teachings of Mormon theology, it is going to seem strange to you. But then that's how I feel about teachings such as the "rapure." Where is that found in the Bible. To a non-Christian, they really find it strange to hear talk of one born of a virgin or being resurrected. It's easy to sit back and throw darts at others' beliefs.

      January 12, 2012 at 1:03 pm |
    • joe

      Billy, there is scriptural foundation for their beliefs. Just one: Eph. 4:12-13 (for the perfecting of the saints. . . .till we all come unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ). Interpretation of the scriptures is a big stumbling block to relations between LDS people and evangelicals. Evangelicals have a long tradition of their interpretation; LDS read the same scriptures differently.

      January 12, 2012 at 3:58 pm |
  2. Scobar

    Critics are not wrong to call Mormonism a cult, since it is based on the teachings of a false prophet – Joseph Smith.

    January 12, 2012 at 11:40 am |
    • Skylar

      How do you know he is false? people think it is so weird that God has spoken to other, modern-day, men, when it happened in the Bible all the time. What's to say it can't happen now?

      January 12, 2012 at 1:10 pm |
    • rich

      As compared to most christian faiths which are predicated on the "christian" doctrine mandated by the Roman Emperoror Constantine? This brutal man defined what was and was not acceptable christian doctrine and brutally repressed any other professed christians that did not align with his approved definition. Mormons do not agree that the "Nicene creed" enforced by the roman emperor was entirely correct doctrine. In particular, they believe that the trinity doctrine is flawed.

      January 12, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
  3. Mac

    As a bit of a lapsed Mormon I cannot help but revel in the irony that mormons now feel discriminated against because of who they are, yet fail to understand the backlash they received for promoting an anti-gay propoganda and funding the Prop-8 campaign. I cannot be a part of any group that makes alienating and denying basic rights to a group of people part of their mission statement.

    January 12, 2012 at 11:38 am |
    • ggillis

      Thanks MAC! Well stated. I lived in California when the prop 8 campaign was in full swing. The hate that was spewing forth because of the rhetoric that the mormons propagated was palpable. I find it insulting that they can turn around and say they feel discriminated against! It's just blows my mind.

      January 12, 2012 at 11:50 am |
    • joe

      Mac, the LDS church does not deny any "basic rights" to anybody. Their stand is that gays should have every legal protection that anyone else does. The line is drawn at marriage being between a man and a women, as it has been since the beginning, as is their religious perrogative.

      January 12, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
    • Mac

      @joe Prop 8, that was funded and supported by the church, was designed to deny the same rights you and I have to a specific group of people. I also enjoy the irony that the church should now get into the business of declaring what they deem as "appropriate" marriages.

      I loved your comment, "The line is drawn at marriage being between a man and a women (surely you mean woman, right?), as it has been since the beginning, as is their religious prerogative."

      Not sure if you noticed your own little Freudian slip. Have we forgotten that "in the beginning" the Mormon church drew the line in the sand of marriage as being between a man and a woman, and a woman, and a woman, and a woman, and a woman, and a woman, and a woman, and a woman, and a woman, and a woman, and a woman, and a woman, and a woman, and a woman, and a woman, and a woman?

      A bit ridiculous to now attempt to become the authority on the definition of marriage don't you think?

      January 12, 2012 at 5:42 pm |
  4. How embarassing for you...............

    The comments on this board confirm the bigotry. The funniest part is most of you know little or nothing about Mormonism! Way to do your reserach before passing judgement! You guys/gals got it all figured out don't you? Lol!

    January 12, 2012 at 11:37 am |
    • w2lucky

      That's very secretive as well. Please elaborate. Learning is good.

      January 12, 2012 at 11:47 am |
    • Ryan

      I know all I need to know about it: Its totally ridiculous! Thats enough. Completely silly in epic fashion. Its a fairy tale club for adults, just like every other religion.

      January 12, 2012 at 11:51 am |
    • Jacob Anders

      I think that all the research I needed to do was to see how the Mormon church stepped in and played the part it did on Prop 8. You seem to believe that people out there are unfairly passing judgment on you and other Mormons when your church was all to eager to pass judgment on gays and lesbians. Seems a bit hypocritical, wouldn't you agree?

      January 12, 2012 at 11:55 am |
    • NSfromIndiana

      I think we know enough about spirit babies, Joseph Smith and the golden tablets, and polygamy to know how crazy this religions actually is.

      January 12, 2012 at 12:06 pm |
    • God was never alive

      what's to know about ignorance and make believe?

      January 12, 2012 at 12:18 pm |
    • God was never alive

      Religion is simply tax deductible discrimination enshrined by our government

      January 12, 2012 at 12:22 pm |
    • joe

      Jacob, this is the kind of thing the article is talking about. Somehow the LDS church is "blamed" for the whole of proposition 8, when many churches and organizations were involved. Do you really believe that the 2% mormon population of California has that much power to cause the whole state to vote as they did?

      January 12, 2012 at 3:40 pm |
    • mr. Magoooooooooo

      @Joe How much is Romney worth? Is it a quarter billion??

      January 16, 2012 at 1:54 am |
    • mr. Magoooooooooo

      Also Joe, do you really expect us to believe that prop.8 was only funded by CALIFORNIAN mor(m)ons?? That's is humorous, keep it up.

      January 16, 2012 at 1:57 am |
  5. SeanNJ

    @Doc Vestibule: I have a particular fondness for IPA's these days. Dogfish Head's 60 minute and 90 minute, Bear Republic's Racer 5 and Stone's Ruination IPA are my current favorites.

    January 12, 2012 at 11:37 am |
  6. JoeF

    I'm with you Abinadi. I also know this Church was founded by the Lord. I know He loves us and I know we are the children of a loving Heavenly Father.

    January 12, 2012 at 11:37 am |
    • Doc M

      Gag me.

      January 12, 2012 at 3:17 pm |
  7. Sam

    I was raised a Mormon and I think that Mormons get what they deserve. They do look upon other Christian Faiths with disdain, practice more insidious mind-control than most, and are very materialistic. No one ever questioned the obvious problems with Joseph Smith, Brigham Young or the other founders. When I quit I was told by my Bishop that God would withdraw all blessing and my life would change for the worse, which was the opposite of what happened. I would not want a Mormon for President because of the prejudice and insincerity that I felt, and because of the lack of intelligent consideration of the founding principles and history.

    January 12, 2012 at 11:35 am |
    • cardog

      I do not think of the Mormons in a religious sense at all, but as a group who may now be claiming bigotry, I must take issue with them as a group. I can remember the time past and to some degree even today, when the Mormons were the most bigoted group towards Blacks, just under the KKK.
      Now they want to cry bigotry? Sorry, but that sounds to me like hypocrisy.

      January 12, 2012 at 11:43 am |
    • joe

      Sam, you are disgruntled with the mormon church, but you are portraying the whole of it through your own pained experience.

      January 12, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
    • Cesar

      I All you haters and negative critics of the LDS church sound like a very negative and unkind spirit is in you. IS this what Jesus taught, to persecute others and show disdain to others because of their beliefs? Jesus himself was persecuted for being different than the establishment, yet know we know now that his teachings were true.
      The LDS church invites anyone that with honesty and good will want to find out if what they claim, that there has been a restoration of the primitive christian church in this latter days, is true. They go about doing good in the world with sincerity because they feel they have found a pearl of great price and want to share it with the whole world.

      January 13, 2012 at 11:20 am |
  8. abinadi

    I am working today, so I will do a post as I have time. Let's talk about revelation. Christ said that his church would be founded on the rock of revelation. Amos said in chapter 3, " 7 Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets." In Matthew 16, Christ said, "15 He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?

    16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.

    17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven."

    18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it."

    Paul said in Ephesians 2:"19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;

    20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;"

    So, Christ never intended that his church be "tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;" (Ephesians 4:14) He knew that his church would not last, because the world was not ready to receive it, (He came when he did to fulfill prophesy) but if we read the New Testament carefully, he told us how to organize it when it would be restored in the latter days by the prophet Joseph Smith.

    January 12, 2012 at 11:32 am |
    • Balls McGhee

      How about, lets not.

      January 12, 2012 at 11:33 am |
    • Balls McGhee

      should read: 16. "Bulls@#t, 17. Bullsh!t, 18. more bu@#$t...

      January 12, 2012 at 11:33 am |
    • Elaina

      Wow! Really? bc I didn't read anywhere in those bible verses that you just posted that it said anything about restoring anything by a man named Joseph Smith.......Don't tell me to improvise and read in between the lines, either.

      January 12, 2012 at 11:37 am |
    • ringo

      "petra" (peter) is greek for "rock". He was making a pun.

      And as for your conclusion, you've put two and two together and gotten wednesday.

      January 12, 2012 at 1:34 pm |
  9. B

    If they feel bigotry, it is because they are the one of the greatest proponents of it....

    January 12, 2012 at 11:28 am |
  10. w2lucky

    Mormons feel discriminated against? How do they feel about having so many flippin children and seriously overpopulating the planet? Why does every Mormon family have 7 kids? Can somebody please explain this part of the LDS faith to me. I think it's sick. Perhaps that is why some people see them in not such a bright light.

    January 12, 2012 at 11:27 am |
    • Balls McGhee

      ok, while i agree with you about the hypocrisy of mormonism, your posts has stupid arguments and are making the rest of us look bad. other people have 7 kids (like hispanics, and those uber Christians on that 19 kids and counting show). your hate of mormons for your listed reasons is ridiculous and stupid.

      January 12, 2012 at 11:32 am |
    • w2lucky

      And I'm still waiting for an answer to my stupid question....testicles McGee

      January 12, 2012 at 11:35 am |
    • Jonathan

      Our country needs children from intelligent families. The overpopulating of the planet isn't happening really in this country. It's more of an asian thing, and there aren't too many mormons there

      January 12, 2012 at 11:38 am |
    • w2lucky

      While I completely agree with your post Jonathan, the angle I take is that each child needs proper attention, love and care, and I live in a neighborhood where there is a Mormon "Stake" Center and many LDS families living nearby. They all have at least five children and I find it hard to believe with how hard it is to raise kids "properly" that each kid gets what they need. Thoughts?

      January 12, 2012 at 11:44 am |
    • lee

      w2lucky, as a life-long Mormon, I'll give you a brief explaination of why Mormons often have larger families than average. We belief that God created us as spirits (or souls) before the earth was created. He then decided to create earth so we could be born here to recieve a body of flesh and bones. All the spirits in the pre-mortal world were promised the chance to be born if they did not rebel against God (like Lucifer aka the devil did). Therefore, we feel it our responciblity to bring these childern of God to earth as our mortal childern. That is a very brief summary, see Moromon.org for further details.

      January 12, 2012 at 11:55 am |
    • Jonathan

      I was raised in a mormon family. There are a total of 5 kids. My mother was mostly a stay at home mom, and I can say that I think we got much more attention than most children do. I live in the chicago area, and so many upper middle class families here have nannies. They get little to no attention from their parents. I don't think the number of kids really matters, as long as the parents are providing for them and educating them. While you or I may not agree with their beliefs, I would rather have them become productive members of society who will think for themselves and contribute something, rather than children who grow up uneducated and a burden on society as a whole. Politics are what affect us all and mormons tend to align with all the other christians in being heavily conservative.

      January 12, 2012 at 12:13 pm |
    • Phoenix

      This argument is rediculous. Everyone is free to have as many children as they want or desire. The Duggars have 19 children and they aren't Mormon. I come from a Mormon family of 3 children. On the other hand, I know a Mormon family that has 15 children. Everyone is free to choose however many children they want–so why is this argument even being brought up?

      January 12, 2012 at 1:12 pm |
    • Skylar

      I'm Mormon, the oldest of 3 kids. Not every mormon family has 7 kids. That's a ridiculous reason to hate mormons. Actually, it seems like everyone BUT Americans have 5+ kids. I lived in Europe, lots of kids there. Mexico, south america, asia, and mostly every other culture on the planet has 5+ kids. You are rediculous

      January 12, 2012 at 1:17 pm |
    • ringo

      There are seven BILLION people on this planet. With a finite amount of land, water, and natural resources.

      I don't care what your spiritual beliefs are. I don't care that other people also do it. I don't care that not all Mormons have five, or that some have fifteen. I don't care how well they're raised.

      There are SEVEN BILLION people on this planet.

      January 12, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
    • Cesar

      You ARE misinformed with stereotypes! Did you know that the President of the Mormon church, Thomas S Monson only had 3 children??

      It is really up to each individual couple to decide how many children to have in the mormon church. The fact is that they love their families so much, are so united and unselfish that having a small family because of selfish motives is foreign to them.

      January 13, 2012 at 11:25 am |
    • Rachel

      Are you serious? So now there is something wrong with enjoying children! Why don't you start going after rapists or teenage pregnancies instead of loving families who actually WANT the kids.

      January 13, 2012 at 8:35 pm |
  11. Susan

    If mormons weren't so horrible and exclusionary, they would be better accepted. You reap what you sow. I don't believe they are nice people at all, and I think they have a lot of secrets and always an agenda, even when they are doing supposedly good things. I don't feel they have good hearts, deep down.

    January 12, 2012 at 11:26 am |
    • Cesar

      Are you kidding?? If you are not, just go to any local congregation and you will find the nicest people in the world.

      January 13, 2012 at 11:26 am |
    • Ian

      Geez Susan, that was such a nice, Christian thing for you to say about the Mormons:)

      January 13, 2012 at 11:40 am |
  12. HawHaw

    I was a mormon for 20 years and never once felt discriminated against because of it. I have however been discriminated against because I am now an athiest. Which isnt very christian like is it?

    January 12, 2012 at 11:26 am |
    • Balls McGhee

      exactly. Well said. Atheists have it the worst. we are seen as evil because we dont believe in something that doesnt exist. in actuality, atheists are more peaceful. we believe in co-existing without some pre-determined path of ideology. A christian cant accept a mormon, a mormon cant accept a gay/lesbian, a christian cant accept a muslim, a muslim cant accept a christian, and this is all due to some stupid book written by man thousands of years ago that makes absolutely no sense at all. An atheist accepts all people for who they are, not what they believe in.

      January 12, 2012 at 11:29 am |
    • I wonder

      HawHaw,

      I'll bet there are lots of people here who would like to hear your story - what prompted you to first question those beliefs and how your rejecting them progressed to finally leaving them behind.

      January 12, 2012 at 11:33 am |
    • momoya

      I feel you, HawHaw. When I deconverted I never thought that I would lose every Xian friends and acquaintance, or that I would have to hide my opinions. It turns out, my Xian friends were far from civil to me not to bring up "loving." I was shocked at the hate and ridicule that came my way. The discrimination against agnostics and atheists is simply beyond belief. Believers are so hateful and spiteful once you say that you don't believe in their god–or pretend to.

      January 12, 2012 at 11:40 am |
    • Jonathan

      I tend to think of atheism as a form of religious faith as well. I prefer to consider myself agnostic

      January 12, 2012 at 11:42 am |
    • zzzzzz

      what about Muslims... Before 2001, Muslims were considered main stream,
      after 2001, Muslims became the most discriminated
      Before 2001, a white Muslim, non practicing, was hardly discriminated against
      After 2001, practicing or not , Muslims are viewed as "the crap" of the USA.
      And who says that discriminating religions guided by "old men" is God's work!
      We are either all God's children or God does not exist!
      if you believe in God, Christians or Muslims, you should believe in very human, since we are created in God's image an/or you are told God's everywhere.
      Ups, "my mistake" that is also an new-atheistic thought: believing in humanity! (or humanistic Judaism and many others)

      January 12, 2012 at 11:55 am |
    • sybarite6

      What are atheists afraid of?

      We are afraid of our fellow humans who accept the patently ridiculous dogma of ancient cultures in order to subjugate and demean others in the name of their imaginary friend. This invisible friend created us all in its image, and loves us unconditionally, and is a completely perfect being in every way...but demands that we worship it slavishly unless we wish to suffer eternity in torment.
      These fellow humans are content with ignorance rather than a search for truth, content to hate their fellow man based on the irrational and downright silly beliefs from thousands of years ago (and in the history of Mormons, 185 years), content to judge, condemn and sometimes murder their fellow man for an ideology that hasn't a shred of evidence behind its alleged divine veracity.
      We fear anyone who has to force the propagation of their ridiculous beliefs through the indoctrination and brainwashing of children. We fear the willful ignorance of anyone who refuses to see the cold hard truth of reality in favor of a comforting lie.
      If god does exist and did indeed create us, I feel it would honor most atheists far more than most theists. Atheists revere the spirit of this supposed creator by searching for the mysteries of existence and questioning everything we know of reality as we perceive it. Theists are happy to bury their heads in the sand and wait for the end of days.
      I fear anyone in a position of power who bases their life on ancient Palestinian magic-men, talking snakes, Jewish zombies and humans made from dust and ribs.

      January 12, 2012 at 12:44 pm |
    • HawHawHaw

      Historically Mormons have been the most persecuted religious group in American history. I known of no other group that actually had an "extermination order" issued against them in the US. On the other hand, while atheists may certainly be discriminated against for their faith (and yes it actually requires faith to be an atheist, just like it requires faith to be a theist), as far as I am aware there has never been an “extermination order” issued against them in the US. And though I am not an atheist I would certainly hope this would never happen.

      January 12, 2012 at 3:19 pm |
  13. Balls McGhee

    Mormons feel bigotry but then again, they hate gays. go figure!

    January 12, 2012 at 11:22 am |
    • Fred Evil

      Shhh, don't bring logic into this, that will only 'outrage' them further!

      January 12, 2012 at 11:26 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      They don't hate gays.
      They just think that they're all evil corrupters of humanity.
      Just like they don't think that black people are evil, per se.... just lesser beings.
      " your ideas, as we understand them, appear to contemplate the intermarriage of the Neg.ro and White races, a concept which has heretofore been most repugnant to most normal-minded people from the ancient partiarchs till now. God's rule for Israel, His Chosen People, has been endogamous."
      – George Albert Smith J. Reuben Clark, Jr. David O. McKay

      January 12, 2012 at 11:35 am |
    • Phoenix

      With all due respect, I'm Mormon and I have many gay/lesbian friends. One of my very best friends is lesbian and I definitely don't hate her. Another of my friends is gay, and I've known him for 11 years–I definitely don't plan on starting to hate him just because he's gay.

      ...just my 2 cents' worth.

      January 12, 2012 at 1:15 pm |
    • ringo

      Pheonix, I'm glad you don't hate lesbians. But would you want your daughter to marry one?

      January 12, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
    • myklds

      @ringo, et al.

      The Church and the Bible neither hate nor condemn gays but the act thereof.

      I hope everybody have a bit of common sense to spot the difference.

      January 16, 2012 at 2:09 am |
    • HellBent

      @mykids,

      The bible has much more to say about divorce. Why is it that christians aren't out trying to pass laws to ban divorce. If christians were really serious about protecting the family and defending marriage, surely this is where the battle would lie, no? Not with a loving couple who simple wants the same rights as everyone else.

      January 16, 2012 at 2:14 am |
  14. Hakon

    Ahhh, the humanity! Belief is such a virus. To fully suspend the critical thinking capacity that guides one's decision making in all other areas of life EXCEPT this one, i.e. firmly believing something without a shred of evidence, and in fact denying the mountain of evidence that contradicts the existence of invisible supernatural deities is one of the definition of mental illness. It completely baffles me that an otherwise rational human being can allow themselves to be so deluded.

    January 12, 2012 at 11:22 am |
  15. JacobS

    Mormons are good, civic minded citizens, who have served their country well. But their theology and their claim to a supplementary revelation outside the Bible places them outside the Christian fold, as Christians defined themselves and have for 2,000 yrs. They are not a cult. They are a religion that thinks of itself as Christian and Mormons do think of themselves as Christians but their faith is not Christianity as defined by Scripture or tradition. Christians are Trinitarian as defined by the Council of Nicea. Mormons believe in trideism, that Heavenly Father has a physical body and along with Heavenly Mother engendered a son, Jesus Christ. They believe in 3 separate gods who are united not in being but in purpose. Mormons of course deny the legitimacy of all Church Councils since they believe the Church ceased to exist soon after Apostolic times. This belief as revealed only in their own books, is what most clearly separates them from Christianity.

    January 12, 2012 at 11:21 am |
    • w2lucky

      Never met a single mormon in the military in my 22 years of active duty.

      January 12, 2012 at 11:30 am |
    • LDSinSC

      Wasn't the Nicene Creed written in the 4th century? And I've never seen it in the Bible.

      January 12, 2012 at 11:35 am |
    • Respond to JacobS

      I was born and raised a true believing Mormon, with polygamy in my ancestry. Mormons, until recently have never considered themselves Christian. I was always taught that we, the Mormons were a peculiar people, with different beliefs from Christianity. This Christian thing is all driven by political correctness, and nothing more. Mormons have never considered themselves Christians, and never will.

      Many of the younger Mormons are not being exposed to the true Mormon doctrines, thus the evolution of the lie continues to morph.

      January 12, 2012 at 11:36 am |
    • Jonathan

      @w2lucky – that's probably because you're not hanging out at the same places they are, but there are plenty of mormons in the military

      January 12, 2012 at 11:45 am |
    • JoeF

      I have also been raised Mormon and I have always been taught we are Christians. We are as believers of Jesus Christ as our Lord and our God. I am also an active member of the Church today and can attest that all members I have encountered consider themselves as Christian as far as I have heard.

      Now, as to why this label is "non-Christian" according to the definition given in the Nicean creed is so important to other Christians I don't know. In a world that increasingly treats all Christian beliefs as myths at best and with hatred as worst I would think most Christians would want to build on our joint faith in the Lord and not increase hatred based on differences.

      January 12, 2012 at 11:50 am |
    • w2lucky

      not many places (or info) to hide when deployed with a tight unit for 10 months... (and I did 7 of those deployments).

      January 12, 2012 at 11:50 am |
    • Kurt Kammeyer

      JacobS: Well written. Yours is one of the few postings here that clearly define the very real differences between mainstream Christianity and Latter-day Saint Christianity. Thanks for cutting through all the blathering and nonsense posted here. I know, it's an uphill battle.

      January 12, 2012 at 11:51 am |
    • AlanG

      Very interesting and thoughtful explanation. I believe they deserve religious freedom as do all in America, but also feel it is proper to question their judgement and rationality since they believe in things such as an additional planet that all astronomers agree doesn't exist and in events such as great prehistoric battles occurring on the North American continent for which all mainstream historians and paleontologists agree there is no evidence. So my objection is that their judgement is blatantly irrational. Thus I have a big problem with a person holding blatantly irrational beliefs being president. Interested in others views on this.

      January 12, 2012 at 11:52 am |
    • JoeF

      My question Alan would be: Why do humans believe that their knowledge is the extent of all knowledge? I am not advocating a lack of scientific inquiry, in fact, I think it is absolutely imperative that we study harder and seek out knowledge, but I would never be so confident in my knowledge to say that I, as a human, am the creator of my own world. Faith still has a place in my view. Faith is "the knowledge of things that are unseen, but are true" (that's from the Book of Mormon). We can have faith in the existence of our soul before this life and faith that we will live again after this life. These things I believe are true, but there is no scientific explanation for them (yet).

      January 12, 2012 at 12:15 pm |
    • sybarite6

      Mormons have preferred to be called "saints"; however, in the recent years the LDS church has spent millions in an intense "PR" campaign aimed at moving the church into the mainstream of Christianity. The political and economic benefits of Mormons being included in the mainstream of Christianity are obvious. Further, for Mormons to be accepted as traditional Christians would greatly aid in proselytizing the members of Christian denominations into the LDS church. This is why the LDS church is trying so hard to present itself as Christian and is trying to overcome the stigma of being a cult.
      The answer to the question, "Are Mormons Christians," is simple. They are not Christians for several reasons, and their unbiblical doctrines show them to be a "Christian" cult.
      The name Christian was first used, as Acts 11:26 records, to identify the disciples of Jesus Christ. The word "Christian" is the Greek word "christianos," and it means an adherent of Jesus Christ. It literally means "Christ ones" (Acts 11:26, 26:28, 1 Peter 4:16). The correct definition of the word is one who is a follower of the Jesus Christ of the Bible. For almost two thousand years it has never had a reference to anyone other that the historical Jesus Christ of the New Testament.

      January 12, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
    • reply to w2lucky

      @w2lucky I lived in Heidelberg, Germany for 3 years. I had an english-speaking ward (our church group in the area) because their happened to be soo many English speaking mormon military families. Try looking again

      January 12, 2012 at 1:20 pm |
    • Andy

      Utah is one of the lowest in the nation for rates of joining the military. LDS members generally serve a church mission and steer clear of the armed forces, like Romney actually.

      January 12, 2012 at 3:27 pm |
    • LDSinSC

      @Andy,
      Go to DC and find out how many Mormons work for the Government. I have lots of family who have served in the military, as did the President of our church. Military service is not for everyone. But the FBI, CIA and other government agency’s recruit Mormons. Why? Because “We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers and magistrates, in obeying honoring and sustaining the law.” Plus, returned missionaries are accustomed to living in foreign countries with little contact with their families. They can speak a second (and at times 3 or 4) language.
      Utah also has one of the highest rates for higher education.

      January 12, 2012 at 5:02 pm |
    • Ian

      to Respond to Jacob S. "We believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in HIS SON JESUS CHRIST" That was written in the 1830's, yet you say they never considered themselves Christians? Or what about the fact that the BOM mentions the name of Jesus in some form every 1.6 verses?

      January 13, 2012 at 11:43 am |
  16. Elaina

    My momma ingrained in my head, since I was very young, to be very very scared of Mormons. She would say, "if they knock at the door, just slam it in their face." And it mostly stuck. Honestly, I do not have a clear understanding what they believe, but for some reason (probably thanks to my momma) I am very scared of Mormons. Shallow, I know, but thought I'd share.

    January 12, 2012 at 11:20 am |
    • JacobS

      that is lacking in good neighborliness and is more your problem than Mormons. They are good citizens and should be accepted and respected as that. You don't have to accept their beliefs or their books but no need to slam the door in their face.

      January 12, 2012 at 11:23 am |
    • Elaina

      Like I said, Jacob, I'm shallow.

      January 12, 2012 at 11:25 am |
    • w2lucky

      I guess that makes me shallow too Elaina. Don't knock on my door to sell your belief to me. If I desire it, I'll look for it.

      January 12, 2012 at 11:33 am |
    • farmdevil

      If you knock on my door promoting any religion, you are the one with the problem. Religion should be a private matter and when you try to recruit me I'm not going to think highly of it.

      January 12, 2012 at 11:33 am |
    • Susana

      Que estupidez!

      January 12, 2012 at 3:08 pm |
    • Rachel

      Way to play the ignorant card and not find out for yourself the truth. And way to be a Christian by slamming the door in anyone's face.

      January 13, 2012 at 8:43 pm |
  17. Reality

    Mormonism will slowly fade from society as will contemporary Christianity and Islam because of the obvious problems with the founders of these religions especially their angelic/satanic hallucinations and related prophecies. "Pretty and ugly wingie/horn-blowing thingies" simply do/did not exist

    January 12, 2012 at 11:00 am |
    • DamianKnight

      Maybe, but given that nearly half the world (2.2 billion Christians, 1.6 billion Muslim = 3.8 billion people of an estimated 7 billion people) ) ascribes to those two religions, it's not going to go anywhere anytime soon.

      Sorry to burst your bubble, but that's what we call Reality. 🙂

      January 12, 2012 at 11:10 am |
    • VegasRage

      Slowly? That lunacy of the Joseph Smith story should have prevented it ever starting! He talks to an angel named Moroni after eating spores who shows him golden plates no one else gets to see. Where do you think the word moron came from?

      January 12, 2012 at 11:19 am |
    • Susan

      They don't exist literally, but certainly figuratively. I think it's funny how, Abraham so long ago had a better understanding of symbolism, higher level philisophical thinking, etc. than today's modern person who just screams IT'S NOT REAL, IT'S NOT TRUE, THERE IS NO MAGIX!!! Lol I don't think we've come a long way, kinda feeling like a big ole step back.

      January 12, 2012 at 11:30 am |
    • Kurt Kammeyer

      Reality check: I hate to burst your bubble, but they've been saying that about Mormonism for 170 years now, and it has only grown stronger. From just 6 members in 1830, we now count over 14 million worldwide. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is now the FOURTH largest denomination in the United States. Get used to it. And I suggest that everyone on this blog go to lds.org or mormon.org to learn the truth about this religion. Some of the wild assertions I have read here would be funny, if they were not so utterly misinformed.

      January 12, 2012 at 11:34 am |
    • Reality

      Better to be Mormon than Muslim but both groups grow in numbers because they do not believe in birth control and both groups have long histories of polygamy.

      Once the bowers to Mecca and the horn-blowers in Salt Lake City see that they have been conned by the "angelic" hallucinations of a long-dead, womanizing founders, these lost souls will quickly become secularists, agnostics or atheists and a semblance a global peace will spread across the globe.

      January 12, 2012 at 5:41 pm |
  18. Pops

    Mormons follow a false religion that is false three times three. Mormonism is extra false.
    There is only Truth. Falseness is fakery that pretends to be True but it is not and never will be.

    January 12, 2012 at 10:23 am |
    • Sue

      No more false then anything you follow......there is right and wrong in all religions and actually Morman's have a better guideline as to how to be a family unit and to teach your kids of God.....They just got distorted as did many other religions along the way. God can send as many prophets as he likes, God is bigger then the box most like to keep him in. So unless you have experienced all of the religions do not say what you know to be right or wrong. Unless you have had a conversation with God himself or someone in the chosen family he has chosen, then do not put words out there that just aren't true.....I could point out wrongs and flaws in all religions, which religion are you? Here is the real truth, Religion is a ONE ON ONE relationship with God the Creator which we are authorized to have thru the power and name of Jesus Christ. That is factual.....what facts do you have to support your claims of wrong faith?

      January 12, 2012 at 10:30 am |
    • MarkinFL

      I call False times 10 hundred gazillion on Pops! And double false on any false he calls on me! Nanny nanny boo boo....

      January 12, 2012 at 10:35 am |
    • MarkinFL

      Sue, talk about the pot calling the kettle black. Your "facts" are no more supported than any other religions' "facts".

      Strong belief does not equal fact.

      January 12, 2012 at 10:36 am |
    • MarkinFL

      oops. My mistake. I failed to catch Pops satirical intent. Sad thing is I've read sillier stuff in sincere posts.

      January 12, 2012 at 10:47 am |
    • Pops

      Feel Free to say whatever you like, MarkinFL. You can only say True or Not True things. It is not up to your self-aware state of mind but only up to the Truth of Physics what you will say and do.
      If you prefer Truth over Non-Truths, then you are already one of the Chosen who follow my One True GOD to a greater or lesser extent based on what you actually think and do.
      Welcome! and Celebrate First Holy Day! Many think as you do. You have no choice. Feel Free to ignore all human laws thanks to the Truth of Being.
      There is only One True Religion. All others are false.
      Think on this and you will see I'm right if the One True GOD makes it happen that way! There is nothing but the Truth of Truth.

      January 12, 2012 at 10:54 am |
    • Fred Evil

      THEISTS follow a false religion.
      FTFY., no need to thank me!

      January 12, 2012 at 11:29 am |
  19. Sue

    I love the morman faith so do not think I am bashing for I am not......but as is the case with all religions, there are serious issues that must be worked out and if they can not be, then stop pretending to love God, Christ and all involved such as the Holy Spirit. When you do these things to people of faith you are also doing these things to the trinity, yes Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

    January 12, 2012 at 10:22 am |
  20. abinadi

    @MormonPerspectives.The true name of the church is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I am a member because Joseph Smith was a true prophet. This is not something I merely believe, I know it is true by revelation. Yes, yes, some of you will scoff at that, but a sincere person will feel the Holy Ghost testify that my words are true and will know that he has just read a true statement. Christ said, "My sheep hear my voice, I know them, and they follow me." (John 10:27). This is the same way that Peter knew Jesus was the Christ (Matthew 16:17) and it is the only way that we can know for sure which church is true. There is no possible way that I can explain the church here so I refer you to mormon.org where kind, people who serve with-out pay will be happy to explain all.

    January 12, 2012 at 10:09 am |
    • SeanNJ

      *scoff*

      January 12, 2012 at 10:11 am |
    • hippypoet

      you should seek help outside your church.... do they let you out often?

      January 12, 2012 at 10:12 am |
    • Chuckles

      Scoff

      January 12, 2012 at 10:14 am |
    • Moroni

      abinadi said "There is no possible way that I can explain the church here". That is true, and nor can he do it anywhere else.

      Produce the golden tablets and prove that the story about them is true, or go away and take your silly cult with you. The state will shelter your 5 wives; not one of them was satisfied with you anyway.

      January 12, 2012 at 10:18 am |
    • Sue

      would appear that my reply did not post.....You really should post it if you truly love God for that is information he would want all to know is wrong and that it must changed.....

      January 12, 2012 at 10:24 am |
    • Bob

      Sue, clearly Satan doesn't want your post to become visible. Couldn't possibly be that CNN subword filter that practically everyone else knows about.

      Seriously, check your post for nasty word inclusions like "cu-m" or "ti-t" within other words like "supersti-tion", and break the words up as shown. Or pray for divine intervention, which will have as much effect as it ever has.

      Ask the questions. Break the chains. Be free of religion in 2012.
      http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

      January 12, 2012 at 10:57 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @SeanNJ and Chuckles
      Would you two like some scoff medicine?
      A va.gue description of an unquantifiable warm and fuzzy feeling should be enough to convince anyone.

      January 12, 2012 at 11:11 am |
    • SeanNJ

      @Doc Vestibule: I find scotch works wonders for both. I get the warm and fuzzy feeling, and it also helps my scoff!

      January 12, 2012 at 11:15 am |
    • hippypoet

      sean, i had no idea you were a scotch drinker – whats your brand? glenfiddich is mine..

      January 12, 2012 at 11:18 am |
    • SeanNJ

      @hippypoet: More of a microbrewed beer drinker really, but I usually have a bottle of Glenmorangie in my bar. I have friends that like it much more than I do.

      January 12, 2012 at 11:23 am |
    • A_Pagan

      Fine, I won't scoff at your revelation. But know that I know through revelation in my heart and soul that there are true Gods, and that the one who is revealed as my guide, my mentor, my teacher, my confidant, is the Lady Morrigan, Queen of Battle, Lady of Ravens, Rider of the Storm. And while I understand that you will doubt my revelation, please understand that to others, the only difference is that mine doesn't rely on WRITTEN prophecy.

      January 12, 2012 at 11:27 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @SeanNJ
      I loves me some good beer!
      I'm a big fan of Unibroue in Quebec.
      They have a beer called "Maudite" (trans. "The Damned") that clocks in at 8% with a lovely portrait of Satan on it.
      They also make "Eau Benite" (Holy Water) and "La Fin Du Monde" (The End of The World).
      Sacrilicious!

      January 12, 2012 at 11:30 am |
    • Chuckles

      @Doc

      You want to help me with my scoff, but I am leery about your beer selection. It may be that since you are canadian you have yet to experience the elixer of the gods a.k.a. Fat Tire, but my friend I tell you now that no beer on earth can compete with this sweet necter. New Belgium Brewery is one of the best beer brewers around, in the US and outside of. It's ok though, I can forgive you because Fat Tire literally in the past like 2 weeks made its way out to the east coast of the US, so it's no surprise it has yet to go itnernational.

      January 12, 2012 at 11:43 am |
    • LDSinSC

      Thank you abinadi. I guess those that say no one but Joseph saw the plates are very ill informed. Others did see them. But then again, "Faith is not to have a perfect knowledge of things"...

      January 12, 2012 at 11:48 am |
    • Jonathan

      @ Chuckles

      Unibroue is better than New Belgium in my opinion, but they focus on more belgian style ales. And Fat Tire has been all over for quite a while

      January 12, 2012 at 11:53 am |
    • Chuckles

      @Jonathan

      SCOFF (damn, if this thing gets any worse I'm going to need to see a doctor). You're telling me something is better than New Belgium? I can usually respect opinions if they are based specifically on taste, but in this you are flat out wrong, If I worship anything, it would be good beer and Fat Tire is the the Zeus of the beer industry. As for Fat Tire being everywhere already......sort of, I mean there were places that sold fat tire as a specialty beer but they were few and far between. It's only been until VERY recently that I've been able to walk into a liquor store in DC and see Fat Tire on the shelf.

      January 12, 2012 at 11:57 am |
    • Andy

      A sincere person will read what you say and know it as truth? Well that's just belittling though I'm sure you did not mean it to come across that way.

      I am sure you are sincere in your belief, I just disagree with you as to the veracity of the LDS claims. I used to be a member myself but left the church because I found the evidence of the Book of Mormon to be... inadequate. It's obviously a Christian church and it's not a cult... but after sincere consideration, I have to be honest in my skepticism of the LDS church's claims which is why I left the church.

      January 12, 2012 at 3:31 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.