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June 24th, 2011
02:11 PM ET

Explain it to me: Mormonism

With two Mormons running for the Republican presidential nomination and a play riffing on the religion tearing up Broadway, the country appears to be having a Mormon moment.

Here are 10 facts about Mormonism. What other questions do you have about the faith?

1. The official name of the Mormon church is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

2. Mormons consider themselves Christian but their beliefs and practices differ from traditional Christianity in key ways, including belief in sacred texts outside the Bible and practices like posthumous proxy baptism and wearing special undergarments.

3. There are about 14 million Mormons today, with more than half living outside the United States.

4.  The Mormon religion was founded in upstate New York in 1830, when Joseph Smith published a translation of writings he said he found and translated from Egyptian-style hieroglyphics into English.  That's the Book of Mormon, which believers say consists of writings produced by ancient American civilizations.

5. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has outlawed polygamy since 1890.

6. Early Mormons faced intense persecution, so church headquarters relocated from New York to Missouri to Illinois in rapid succession. Joseph Smith was killed by a mob in Illinois. His successor, Brigham Young, led early Mormons to the Great Salt Lake in what's now Utah, where church headquarters remains.

7. Mormon men are expected to perform two years of missionary work beginning when they're 19 years old. Women can also do missionary work when they turn 21, but there is less pressure to do so.

8. Famous Mormons include J.W. Marriott, founder of the hotel chain, Glenn Beck and Gladys Knight, a convert.

9. Jon Huntsman and Mitt Romney represent different generations of Mormonism that have related pretty differently to American culture.

10. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is running some major ad campaigns to take advantage of burgeoning interest in the religion.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Christianity • Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints • Mormonism

soundoff (3,741 Responses)
  1. Margroks

    The fact is indeed that mormons disdain minorities and women-a woman can only get to Heaven depending upon her husband's behavior. Women are second-class citizens in this religion. The article also does not make clear that the two-year "missionary" work actually means boys are taken from their homes, forced to do the church's work while their family pays an outrageous sum for it, and they not allowed to contact their own families without church's permission. That screams out "CULT!" to any reasonable person. The real truth is that this "religion" is a result of Smith not being able to keep his pants zipped and so inventing a religion to justify it. The Mormon cult is not like the original church and is nothing more than a scam.

    June 24, 2011 at 3:06 pm |
    • Danny

      Yesterday God told us to have many wives. Today (now that we are in trouble with the authorities) God told us not to have all of these wives. Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha!!!!!!!!!!!!

      June 24, 2011 at 3:17 pm |
    • Facts

      I am a minority in the LDS Church. I have never faced any discrimination. As a matter of fact just the opposite. As for women. The doctrine is actually that a man cannot get into the Celestrial Kingdom without a woman. And woman alone run the largest organization of women in the world – the Relief Society. I also served a mission. Boy are not forced. I know many who chose not to. Famous example at this time is perhaps Jimmer Fredette. As for contact with family. All missionaries are asked to write home once a week via email. Missionaries get to talk to their families twice a year on Christmas and Mother's Day (yet another example of the importance of women/ mothers.). My parents are not members of the church. While on my mission, I actually was told to call and talk to my parents as I felt needed to. I did so about every other month. I did not respond to your comments to start an arguement/ debate, etc. I am simply giving you the facts. I know that I will not change your mind at all, but these are the facts before you. Thanks!

      June 24, 2011 at 3:18 pm |
    • NotLDS

      There is not a single statement in your post that is accurate.

      June 24, 2011 at 3:21 pm |
    • mark

      These people are wacked out. They are so desperate for the afterlife to be true that they will believe any idiot who says that God just revealed himself to them. I feel so sorry for all of the gay adolescents who find themselves trapped in the subculture of wackos.

      June 24, 2011 at 3:22 pm |
    • stephen

      Just like Islam, another patriarchal religion that benefits the man.

      June 24, 2011 at 3:32 pm |
    • rebecca

      Wow!!! That video was the most anemic and white washed explanation of the Mormon church.

      June 24, 2011 at 3:34 pm |
    • A_MUSING

      LOL ... there are a lot in denial of the going ons in the mormon church.

      June 27, 2011 at 8:33 pm |
  2. Reality

    Mormonism – full disclosure:

    A business/religious cult based on Joseph Smith's hallucinations/con which has bought respectability with a $30 billion business empire, the BYU "mission matured" football team and a great choir.

    From: lds-mormon.com/time.shtml

    "The first divergence between Mormon economics and that of other denominations is the t-ithe. Most churches take in the greater part of their income through donations. Very few, however, impose a compulsory 10% income tax on their members. Ti-thes are collected locally, with much of the money pas-sed on informally to local lay leaders at Sunday services. "By Monday," says Elbert Peck, editor of Sunstone, an independent Mormon magazine, the church authorities in Salt Lake City "know every cent that's been collected and have made sure the money is deposited in banks." There is a lot to deposit. Last year $5.2 billion in t-ithes flowed into Salt Lake City, $4.9 billion of which came from American Mormons."
    "The Mormons are stewards of a different str-ipe. Their charitable spending and temple building are prodi-gious. But where other churches spend most of what they receive in a given year, the Latter-day Saints employ vast amounts of money in investments that TIME estimates to be at least $6 billion strong.

    Even more unusual, most of this money is not in bonds or stock in other peoples' companies but is invested directly in church-owned, for-profit concerns, the largest of which are in agribusiness, media, insurance, travel and real estate. Deseret Management Corp., the company through which the church holds almost all its commercial as-sets, is one of the largest owners of farm and ranchland in the country, including 49 for-profit parcels in addition to the Deseret Ranch. Besides the Bonneville International chain and Beneficial Life, the church owns a 52% holding in ZCMI, Utah's largest department-store chain.

    All told, TIME estimates that the Latter-day Saints farmland and financial investments total some $11 billion, and that the church's nont-ithe income from its investments exceeds $600 million. "

    "Members of the church celebrate the Lord's Supper with water rather than wine or gra-pe juice. They believe their President is a prophet who receives new revelations from God. These can supplant older revelations, as in the case of the church's historically most controversial doctrine: Smith himself received God's sanctioning of pol-ygamy in 1831, but 49 years later, the church's President announced its recision. Similarly, an explicit policy barring black men from holding even the lowest church offices was overturned by a new revelation in 1978, opening the way to huge missionary activity in Africa and Brazil. "

    The leaders of the Mormon Church/"Cult" are not paid? Actually, they are paid via being executives of the large Mormon-owned businesses:

    e.g. http://207.224.220.202/excerpts/hier2.htm

    "The Quorum of Twelve's president Ezra Taft Benson was a director of Beneficial Life Insurance Co. Apostle Howard W. Hunter was president of the Polynesian Cultural Center (Hawaii), and director of Beneficial Life Insurance Co., of Continental Western Life Insurance Co., of Deseret Federal Savings and Loan, of First Security Bank of Utah, of First Security Corp., of Heber J. Grant & Co., of PHA Life Insurance Co. (Oregon), of Watson Land Co. (Los Angeles), and of Western American Life Insurance Co. Apostle Thomas S. Monson was president and chairman of the board of Deseret News Publishing Co., vice-president of LDS Social Services and of Newspaper Agency Corp, and director of Beneficial Life Insurance Co., of Commercial Security Bank, of Commercial Security Bankcorporation, of Continental Western Life Insurance Co. (Iowa), of Deseret Management Corp., of IHC Hospitals, Inc., of Mountain States Telephone and Telegraph Co., of Murdock Travel, of PHA Life Insurance Co. (Oregon), of Pioneer Memorial Theater, and of Western American Life Insurance Co. Apostle Boyd K. Packer was chairman of the board of Utah Home Fire Insurance Co., while also director of Murdock Travel and of Zion's First National Bank. Apostle Marvin J. Ashton was president of Deseret Book Co., chairman of the board of ZCMI, and director of Beneficial Development Co., of First Security Bank of Utah, of First Security Corporation, of Laie Resorts (Hawaii), and of Zion's Securities Corporation. Apostle L. Tom Perry was director of American Stores Co. (which operated Skaggs Drugs and Alpha Beta supermarkets), of ZCMI, of Zion's First National Bank, and of Jewel Companies, Inc. (Chicago), and trustee of LDS Social Services and of Nauvoo Restoration. Apostle David B. Haight was director of Bonneville International Corporation, of Deseret Management Corporation, of First Security Bank of Utah, of First Security Corporation, and of Valtek, Inc., while also a trustee of Deseret Management Corporation Foundation. Apostle James E. Faust was vice-president of Deseret News Publishing Co., director of Commercial Security Bank, and of Commercial Security Bank Corporation, while also a trustee of Ballet West and of LDS Social Services. Apostle Neal A. Maxwell was director of Mountain Fuel Resources, Inc., of Mountain Fuel Supply Co., and of Deseret News Publishing Co. Apostle Russell M. Nelson was director of Zion's First National Bank. Apostle Dallin H. Oaks was chairman of the Public Broadcasting System (national), while also director of O.C. Tanner Jewelry Co. and of Union Pacific Railroad."

    June 24, 2011 at 3:05 pm |
  3. Barking Alien

    Moronism like right wing fundamentalism is a mental disease. Originally made up so man could have multiple wives and marry underage girls.

    June 24, 2011 at 3:04 pm |
    • Truth

      It is against the LDS belief to marry more than one woman at a time. It has been that way for a hundred and fifty years. With your reference to marrying under-age girls, you may be confusing the LDS church with the FLDS church, which has many very different beliefs. Also, there has only been a few occasions where members of the FLDS church (not the mormons) have married under age girls. Just getting the facts straight.

      October 9, 2011 at 9:56 pm |
    • saraha

      Joseph Smith had 33 "spirit" wives, some married to other men and the youngest being 13.

      October 10, 2011 at 12:24 am |
  4. David

    I have known many Mormans and found them to be very honorable Christianlike people. I have always had a great deal of respect for them.....Until now that I hear Glenn Beck is one. Now I don't know what to think....

    June 24, 2011 at 3:04 pm |
    • Interesting

      Judging a whole group of people based on one person? When has that ever proven to be wise? 🙂 As a side note, I am a Mormon and I cannot stand Glenn Beck. Not all members of the church are Republican. I'm certainly not and I consider myself an active and devoted member of the church. So, please don't judge all mormons based on your feelings about one wacka-doodle.

      June 24, 2011 at 4:03 pm |
    • Melissa

      Judge the religion based upon its doctrine and the whisperings of the spirit, not by who's a member.

      June 24, 2011 at 5:56 pm |
    • A_MUSING

      The material Glen Beck spews out originates on many mormon beliefs.

      June 27, 2011 at 8:36 pm |
  5. anichols

    Let me just say that if you are going to talk about mormonism please show an accurate picture. Go to temple square and get pictures of doctors, lawyers, ceo's, musicians, etc who are mormons. They look nothing like the picture above. The picture above is of fundamentalist mormons. The picture is of individuals who made up their own churches and try to use the name mormon. They are not mormons.

    June 24, 2011 at 3:03 pm |
  6. Megan

    I thought all the women were wearing snuggies for a second, there.

    June 24, 2011 at 3:03 pm |
    • ManicZorbian

      ROFL!!!

      June 24, 2011 at 7:24 pm |
  7. Lisa

    As a former Mormon and now agnostic... I can honestly say that the non-Mormons responding and bashing the religion seem more off than most Mormons that I know as well as the ones posting here. Some of the crazy stuff people think Mormons do is funny and entertaining as well as incredibly ridiculous.

    June 24, 2011 at 3:02 pm |
    • sfcanative

      Lisa, it's apparent you never went to the temple for your washing, anointing, endowment or marriage . . .

      June 25, 2011 at 3:39 am |
    • A_MUSING

      @sfcanative ... who in the rightful mind would go through a cult initiation process if they were not brainwashed.

      June 27, 2011 at 8:38 pm |
  8. Daveyboy

    A cult based on a fanatic. Unbelievable, yet there are believers. Good luck with that

    June 24, 2011 at 3:02 pm |
  9. B

    ^I think you should list little known facts about Mormons such as: their huge geneology database, thier self reliance belief, their farms and food factories used to feed the poor, their contributions to impoverished nations, etc... I'm not a member, but I am in awe of everything this religiion stands for and accomplishes.

    June 24, 2011 at 3:01 pm |
  10. Great book on LDS/FLDS

    Check out "Under the Banner of Heaven." Great read and it really allows you to dig into the history of the religion. I wouldn't draw conclusions about all Mormons based upon this work as its only from the perspective of one person, but it does provide very interesting insight

    June 24, 2011 at 3:01 pm |
    • Steven

      The banner of heaven is book based on the fundamental mormons who are not mainstream Mormons.

      June 25, 2011 at 2:44 pm |
  11. Tom

    Given the impossible BS present in all Christian religions – Mormonism seems like some dopers sitting around, "If they believe in a 600 year old man building an arc, two (or seven) of each kind of animal, virgin birth, resurrection, etc. "are they gullible to accept say . . . funny underwear, Jesus visiting mid America, unwanted baptisms". People who believe this crap are neither smart enough nor educated to run for public office.

    June 24, 2011 at 3:01 pm |
  12. wildflower801

    I live in Utah and grew up Mormon. This article is being generous and leaving out all the weird and creepy stuff that actually goes along with being Mormon. I wish Mormons would portray themselves accurately but no one would join...such as they require 10% of your income to be a Mormon in good standing and are actually a business, not a religion. Their Sunday church services are a snooze and you look around to watch men nodding off and women fussing with their kids to stay awake. My advice..if you want to know find the truth...which means reading nothing that is published or associated with the church, and stay away..stay very far away because once you join you are tracked like animals. 14 million members..maybe "officially" but most of those people want nothing to do with the church, the church just has no concept of freedom of religion.

    June 24, 2011 at 3:00 pm |
    • Sk33t3r88

      I agree Wildflower801. How can people beleive that heap of BS... Im a beleiver in "God" but i wouldnt go out there and say that i beleive everything that the Bible says let alone something that some cracked out man wrote thousands of years after anything in the Bible was writen about happend.
      Now besides that i think what every American needs to do is go research Mormonism and learn for your self how we should not have one of these people running our country. Religon shouldnt be part of the Goverment and the goverment officials shouldnt base their straigities and plans to run this country on a spefic religion. I know im rambeling but this is a time in the world where we cant afford to be a "stupid" country.... Look back in history at every war that has happend (besides the oil wars of our great Mr. Bush.... sarcasim...) and you will see that religion caused almost all of them. The "God" that i beleive in wouldnt make his people fight eachother or allow a man to have as many wives as he wants. Remember Americans we live in a war torn world and the last thing we need is another psyco leading our country.

      June 24, 2011 at 3:32 pm |
    • i wonder

      Sk33t3r88: "Look back in history at every war that has happend (besides the oil wars of our great Mr. Bush.... sarcasim...) and you will see that religion caused almost all of them."

      There are those that say that Bush's actions were intended to fulfill some claptrap from Revelation too.

      I am quite anti-religion, but even I don't think that religion has caused "almost all" wars. Most are and were politically oriented - land grabs, resource grabs, economic grabs and political power/control grabs.

      June 25, 2011 at 4:03 am |
  13. Limbaugh is a liberal

    Notice: the right-wingers will only complain about how CNN supposedly constantly bashes Christianity with not one favorable article. By tomorrow they will deny the existence of this fair and favorable article about Christianity on CNN all together.
    Fact: CNN is not liberal biased. They are sensationalistic. Notice they haven't missed a SINGLE opportunity to put muslims in a bad light. Whenever a muslim committs a crime, they always emphasize the religion. Whenever a Christian committs a crime, you will not see a single mention of their religion.

    And yes, we all remember how CNN was sooo liberally biased when along with Faux News they scared us into the Iraq War. We all remember how back in the 90s they constantly 'avoided' talking about the Lewinsky scandal... And of course their constant pushing of the SBVFT agenda, that too must have beena 'liberal' bias...

    June 24, 2011 at 3:00 pm |
  14. Luke

    Sounds like Christianity, but with added BS, which addes to is shelf life and freshness.

    June 24, 2011 at 2:59 pm |
    • jack279

      Don't forget the mandatory 10% gift of your income, which makes it one of the richest churches on the planet.

      June 24, 2011 at 3:01 pm |
  15. HaveADamnNiceDay

    To the Author of the article: You also forgot to mention that Mormons also believe that Black People are inferior/bad and that good souls were born into bodies with white skin, while bad souls were born into bodies with black skin. I don't think that would make either Mormon candidate very popular with the minorities.
    Mormonism is as different from Christianity as Scientology is from reality.

    June 24, 2011 at 2:59 pm |
    • katieroo

      That's actually not true, but good try, mr. troll.

      June 24, 2011 at 3:07 pm |
    • marc

      Funny...I am LDS (Mormon) and have never noticed myself having any thoughts whatsoever that Blacks are inferior in any way. As a matter of fact, I am a father of two adopted children, both of whom are black. I love them and feel greatly blessed to be their father and am looknig forward to enjoying the blessings of an eternal family together with them. You'd think that I would never have adopted them in the first place if I had such hatred towards blacks, let alone maintained a hope and faith of enjoying an eternal relationship with them.

      I'm sorry to say that you are misinformed and misinterpreting history and your accusations of hatred being maintained by members of the LDS church only betray your own reservoirs of hatred being expressed against others who have different beliefs than do you.

      June 24, 2011 at 3:09 pm |
    • Bevan

      This simply isn't true. There are many members of the church who are black, and from many other ethnic groups. All have the same privileges of leadership and all other opportunities. I have known several bishops and bishopric members that are black.

      June 24, 2011 at 6:13 pm |
  16. Andrew

    The LDS Articles of Faith describe much better what the LDS faith believes.

    1We abelieve in God, the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost.

    2We believe that men will be punished for their own sins, and not for Adam’s transgression.

    3We believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel.

    4We believe that the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel are: first, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; second, Repentance; third, Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; fourth, Laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost.

    5We believe that a man must be called of God, by prophecy, and by the laying on of hands by those who are in authority, to preach the Gospel and administer in the ordinances thereof.

    6We believe in the same organization that existed in the Primitive Church, namely, apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists, and so forth.

    7We believe in the gift of tongues, prophecy, revelation, visions, healing, interpretation of tongues, and so forth.

    8We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly; we also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God.

    9We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God.

    10We believe in the literal gathering of Israel and in the restoration of the Ten Tribes; that Zion (the New Jerusalem) will be built upon the American continent; that Christ will reign personally upon the earth; and, that the earth will be renewed and receive its paradisiacal glory.

    11We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.

    12We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.

    13We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul—We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.

    June 24, 2011 at 2:58 pm |
    • HDK

      Mormons are NOT CHRISTIAN...all ths you just wrote doesn't make sense if you read you own book...this was all a "revelation" of one of your elders to make your religion more mainstream. Most Americans don't buy it. But nice try!

      June 24, 2011 at 3:02 pm |
    • John Do

      Since everyone obviously has their own opinion about Mormonism/religion/whatever, why doesn't everyone agree to disagree and leave it at that? I have a son that doesn't believe God exists, knows I'm a converted Mormon, and yet tries every chance he can get to start an anti-God argument? I never even approach the subject with him. I respect his views but he won't respect mine.

      People can no more disprove the existence of God than we can prove He exists. That is where "faith" comes into play. To each his/her own. You may mock my religious beliefs but surely I can mock things in your life as well.

      June 24, 2011 at 3:19 pm |
    • ManicZorbian

      HDK, most of Christianity has nothing to do with Christ either. They're not doing the things Jesus said to do, and dropped off the planet with the last of the apostles. Maybe the Mormons DO have it right, after all!

      June 24, 2011 at 7:26 pm |
    • Montanamormon

      @HDK

      The articles of faith were written by the church founder....Joseph Smith here is the link

      http://lds.org/library/display/0,4945,106-1-2-1,FF.html

      June 27, 2011 at 1:45 pm |
  17. Marc

    So many negative comments. You know, I recall that many thought that Jesus Christ himself was the Devil and was abused and ridiculed. I am a Mormon convert and the majority of the negative things I've read about in these postings are completely wrong and written out of ignorance. I would suggest you spend less time slandering a faith you know nothing about and a little more time striving to emulate the life of Christ.

    June 24, 2011 at 2:57 pm |
    • someoneelse

      It's bad enough that there are kids who are brainwashed into Mormonism (or any religion really), but to be a convert tells me a lot about your ability to think rationally and your ability to use logic.

      June 24, 2011 at 2:59 pm |
    • John Do

      someoneelse-Likewise could be said of you as well. Ignorance.

      June 24, 2011 at 3:12 pm |
    • Danny

      Don't forget that they support anti-gay referendums with loads of cash. They actually use cash and nasty propaganda to thwart the steady march to civil and human rights by the red-blooded gay and lesbian American community. Their antics are best recorded during the Proposition 8 referendum in California. These people are breeding out of control on a planet with limited resources in order to create a "heavenly family" in the sky after death. Their dabblings in pedophilia are now commonly known and at least one of their leaders in Texas is now sitting in jail. With one man needing multiple wives, there are not enough wives to go around and we get the "Lost Boys".- young men who run away from home because of this problem and many others like iron fisted control by the church and the family.

      June 24, 2011 at 3:12 pm |
  18. NotLDS

    Joseph Smith did not "find" golden plates, nor did they "mysteriously disappear". The man (Mormon) who compiled and edited the plates (made of gold and brass) buried them prior to the destruction of his people around 420 a.d. His son Moroni appeared to Joseph Smith and revealed to him where they were buried. He translated them using the urim and thumin and through the inspiration of God, not by "sticking his head in a hat". After they were translated, they were returned. The plates contained an account of various tribes who inhabited the Western hemisphere and their relationship with Christ.

    As has been thoroughly discussed in other forums, Mormon Priesthood holders were their symbolic garments under their clothing. They do not have 'magical' powers. Mormons believe and follow the teachings of Christ, and they are indeed Christians. I would expect anyone who also claims to be Christian to at least read The Book of Mormon because it contains the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ as was preached to the inhabitants of the ancient Americas. Christ is the savior of the entire world, not just the Eastern Hemisphere. He taught the same gospel to all, and you will find if you read it that it fulfills it's promise of being the second witness for Jesus Christ.

    Lastly, you certainly have the right to mock things Mormons hold sacred, but you could at least get some better jokes. Seriously, the "magic underwear" thing has been around a lot longer than you have. The photo accompanying the article is not representative of Mormons, by the way.

    June 24, 2011 at 2:57 pm |
    • logicnrsn

      dumb dumb dumb dumb dumb....

      June 24, 2011 at 3:09 pm |
    • NoBS

      Suuuuure you're not LDS. Ahahahahaha. Nice work apologist, the elders are proud of you, brother.

      June 24, 2011 at 4:23 pm |
  19. Bradie Peard

    Mormons spread hate and breed children they cant support to spread there religion ..... Im fine with them until they try to control my life and take away my rights. Dont get caught up in this campaign for Mormonism. its still as screwed up and un-ethical as its always been.

    June 24, 2011 at 2:56 pm |
    • Really?

      Your comments are interesting to say the least... Please share any data – one fact, that brings you to this conclusion. I would be willing to bet that if you looked at the total number of families/children receiving public benefits, the number LDS families would be very low. Your understanding of this religion is lacking and I invite you to learn more before sharing your ramblings on a public forum.

      June 24, 2011 at 3:13 pm |
    • Truth

      Mormons choose to have children because of God's commandment to Adam and Eve: "be fruitful, multiply and replenish the earth." Not all mormons have tons of kids. I know many with just 1 or 2 or not at all.

      Joseph Smith said:

      We claim the privilege of worshipping Almighty God accoring to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.

      Freedom of religion is a huge part of mormon belief. Any one who denies someone freedom is going against the mormon church.

      October 9, 2011 at 10:06 pm |
  20. Jackie Smith

    Mormons aren't Christians. I'm an atheist, so I don't personally care, but I'm just making a statement of fact.

    Different denominations of Christianity may differ, but they all agree that the New Testament is the end of the road when it comes to scripture. They all agree that the Garden of Eden was NOT in Jackson County, Missouri. They all agree that Jesus and Satan were NOT brothers. They all agree that ancient Jews did NOT build boats and sail to Central America. They all agree that Joseph Smith (and his 38 wives, including a 14 year old girl and some women who were already married) was NOT a prophet of any kind. They all agree that God does NOT live on a planet called Kolob.

    That is Mormonism, not Christianity. And Catholics and Protestants (specifically not Lutherans) are not really that different when it comes down to it. It's mostly a fight over leadership and which men (by that I mean males) should be able to tell others what to do because religion is about power and money for men.

    June 24, 2011 at 2:56 pm |
    • Katie

      It all depends on your definition of the word Christian. If your definition means Protestant – then no, Mormons aren't Protestant Christians. But each Protestant religion believes vastly and wildly different things as well if you dig into them. Their doctrines came about by vote, not by divine authority. The Mormon religion is more similar to the church Christ set up while on the earth than any other religion. If that isn't "Christian", people need to step back and figure out what is.

      June 24, 2011 at 2:59 pm |
    • HaveADamnNiceDay

      @Katie: Clearly you didn't read the commenter's whole post. Was it a case of tl;dr?

      June 24, 2011 at 3:03 pm |
    • Lisa

      I don't think people should decide what Christian is at all. It's Jesus' namesake, he should get the final call. To bad he's dead.

      June 24, 2011 at 3:04 pm |
    • HDK

      Sorry Katie but Mormons are NOT Christian period.

      June 24, 2011 at 3:06 pm |
    • Lisa

      Seriously, Jackie and HDK and all the others who say Mormons aren't Christians... who made that call? Did your God and Jesus do that? If not, then it's not a valid claim since no one has given either of you the authority to make that decision. You think they're not Christian, but your opinion and fact are 2 entirely different things and you have to have some sort of real evidence to prove that Mormons aren't Christian. Since evidence is the one thing that religion lacks entirely, you will never be able to prove they're not Christian.

      June 24, 2011 at 3:09 pm |
    • NoBS

      DNA refutes the Native American Jew theory anyway.

      June 24, 2011 at 4:25 pm |
    • A_MUSING

      @Katie ... obviously you're a kool-aid drinker. Mormonism is not nor ever will be Christian, mormonism is anti-christian and anti-Christ, mormonism is Smithian with abdundant historical similarities with Islam. I remind you that mormonism's highest crime is to influence their members to distrust the Bible ... hmmm

      June 27, 2011 at 8:47 pm |
    • Huggyface

      @Jackie Smith – Exactly where was the Garden of Eden? Mormons believe it was in America. Most people assume it was in the middle east near Jerusalem because that's where most everything in the Bible happened. If you think about it, we know where Noah's ark landed – near Jerusalem. But it's not outlandish to conclude that the people from Adam and Eve down to Noah could have lived on the American continent before the flood.

      A Christian is someone who believes in Christ and lives by his teachings. This is a personal conviction, not a religious one. I know mormons who I would not consider Christian and I know others from other "christian" faiths I would also not consider to be "Chist-like." I have many friends of other faiths including mormons that we share many common beliefs. Both of us try to be good and follow the Son of God. If we sat down and created a list of our values and how we live our day-to-day lives we have more in common than we do differences. These values create strong families, strong communities and a strong nation. Let's focus on what beliefs we share and stand together for those – they are worth fighting for!

      June 28, 2011 at 2:31 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.