Former LDS members: Do you consider LDS a cult?


#1

I’m curious how former LDS members view their former church as it pertains to whether they consider it a “cult” or not.

Cult: A religious group that follows a particular theological system. In the context of Christianity it is a group that uses the Bible but distorts the doctrines that affect salvation sufficiently to cause salvation to be unattainable.


#2

Maybe everybody should read this first. It tells you how to know if you are in a cult.
factnet.org/headlines/destructive_cult_warning_signs.html?FACTNet


#3

[quote=Stylteralmaldo]I’m curious how former LDS members view their former church as it pertains to whether they consider it a “cult” or not.

Cult: A religious group that follows a particular theological system. In the context of Christianity it is a group that uses the Bible but distorts the doctrines that affect salvation sufficiently to cause salvation to be unattainable.
[/quote]


cult ( P ) Pronunciation Key (klt) n.

A religion or religious sect generally considered to be extremist or false, with its followers often living in an unconventional manner under the guidance of an authoritarian, charismatic leader.
The followers of such a religion or sect.
A system or community of religious worship and ritual.
The formal means of expressing religious reverence; religious ceremony and ritual.
A usually nonscientific method or regimen claimed by its originator to have exclusive or exceptional power in curing a particular disease.
Obsessive, especially faddish, devotion to or veneration for a person, principle, or thing.
The object of such devotion.
An exclusive group of persons sharing an esoteric, usually artistic or intellectual interest.

Let me ask you something when Jesus was on Earth and he had followers do you think they though he was starting a cult?


#4

[quote=Stylteralmaldo]I’m curious how former LDS members view their former church as it pertains to whether they consider it a “cult” or not.

Cult: A religious group that follows a particular theological system. In the context of Christianity it is a group that uses the Bible but distorts the doctrines that affect salvation sufficiently to cause salvation to be unattainable.
[/quote]

I am not a former LDS member, but I wanted to make a comment on the question. A cult, at least sociologically-speaking, usually refers not just to a strange or peculiar religion or offshoot, but it is used to describe a sect which is fairly new on the scene. LDS is a false religion, but not necessarily a cult–depending on the defintion used–since it has been around for over a century. The Romans used to refer to Christianity as a cult, for example. Another way to phrase the question might be, “Do you think that LDS is a false religion with the trademark signs of a cult?”


#5

I think that the big difference is a cult member will take its members with them when they fall. Examples include James town massacre, Wayco,Tx, Heavens Gate, these leader required the ultimate sacrifice everyones lives. Jesus didn’t make anyone die with him, He stood his ground on His own when they crusified Him. Then His followers continues His teachings.

So if you are asking if I think I’m in a cult, nope. When Joseph Smith died, he stood his ground on his own when they killed him (he had friends that wouldn’t leave his side, their choice). He didn’t tell anyone it was a commandment for them to die, it wasn’t part of the plan. Then his followers continued the work that was started by him.

I’m not saying Joseph Smith was as great as Jesus, what I’m saying is that there are similarities you cannot mistake when it comes to the kind of way they lived.


#6

[quote=Stylteralmaldo]I’m curious how former LDS members view their former church as it pertains to whether they consider it a “cult” or not.

Cult: A religious group that follows a particular theological system. In the context of Christianity it is a group that uses the Bible but distorts the doctrines that affect salvation sufficiently to cause salvation to be unattainable.
[/quote]

I voted yes but I was not part of LDS. I wasn’t really paying enough attntion when I read it. Your definiton of cult is a bad one. According to it, us catholics are part of a cult because we follow a particular theological system. A cult is almost always founded by someone who is trying to gain somthing (Joseph Smith fits this category, how many wives did he have?) or is insane, usually involves some form of brainwashing and lying (like mormons telling people they are christians. However, I do not blame these mormons because they truly believe that because they have been so brainwashed themselves) , and has radical beliefs, like the old mormon belief that blacks cannot enter heaven (I believe this was changed because the mormons wanted to have people view them more positivly, but I could be wrong, it could still be in affect).

I do not mean for this post to be offensive to any Mormons. It was intended to be informative.


#7

[quote=LDS]I think that the big difference is a cult member will take its members with them when they fall. QUOTE]

What makes you think JS and BY haven’t taken you with them? I guess you wil find out when you die. Good deal for them, I guess. No way to prove it one way or another. For my own part, I’ll stay RCC. The way I see it is that there are always more sheep in the flock then goats.
[/quote]


#8

[quote=Andrew_11]I voted yes but I was not part of LDS. I wasn’t really paying enough attntion when I read it. Your definiton of cult is a bad one. According to it, us catholics are part of a cult because we follow a particular theological system. A cult is almost always founded by someone who is trying to gain somthing (Joseph Smith fits this category, how many wives did he have?) or is insane, usually involves some form of brainwashing and lying (like mormons telling people they are christians. However, I do not blame these mormons because they truly believe that because they have been so brainwashed themselves) , and has radical beliefs, like the old mormon belief that blacks cannot enter heaven (I believe this was changed because the mormons wanted to have people view them more positivly, but I could be wrong, it could still be in affect).

I do not mean for this post to be offensive to any Mormons. It was intended to be informative.
[/quote]

If you were trying not to be offensive you shouldn’t have posted anything at all! This must be a Mormon bashing session here to you. That’s fine, its not like its not like anything you posted was a new idea. Good luck with that.


#9

[quote=Andrew_11]…Your definiton of cult is a bad one. According to it, us catholics are part of a cult because we follow a particular theological system…
[/quote]

Actually it is a good definition. After the first sentence, the definition goes on to explain that the group uses the Bible but distorts the doctrines sufficiently to make salvation unattainable.

I’m asking former LDS members if following LDS teachings were heading them down a path to hell (thus rendering their salvation unattainable) had they continued on course with its teachings…in other words, making it a “cult” in the non-Christian path to hell sort of cult.


#10

[quote=stillsearching]Maybe everybody should read this first. It tells you how to know if you are in a cult.
factnet.org/headlines/destructive_cult_warning_signs.html?FACTNet
[/quote]

I’m curious how many of the eight factors LDS falls under if you concluded that LDS is a cult?


#11

[quote=LDS] Let me ask you something when Jesus was on Earth and he had followers do you think they though he was starting a cult?
[/quote]

Actually…yes. But the “cult of Jesus” is one that leads one towards eternal salvation, not away from it.

The nature of my question was as it pertains to the definition I stated in my initial post…which was that does LDS lead others away from salvation and not towards it.


#12

[quote=Writer]Another way to phrase the question might be, “Do you think that LDS is a false religion with the trademark signs of a cult?”
[/quote]

That may have been a better way to rephrase it with the added adjective describing it as a dangerous cult (if the former LDS member views it as such).


#13
[quote=Andrew_11]I voted yes but I was not part of LDS. I wasn't really paying enough attntion when I read it. Your definiton of cult is a bad one. According to it, us catholics are part of a cult because we follow a particular theological system. A cult is almost always founded by someone who is trying to gain somthing (Joseph Smith fits this category, how many wives did he have?) or is insane, usually involves some form of brainwashing and lying (like mormons telling people they are christians. However, I do not blame these mormons because they truly believe that because they have been so brainwashed themselves) , and has radical beliefs, like the old mormon belief that blacks cannot enter heaven (I believe this was changed because the mormons wanted to have people view them more positivly, but I could be wrong, it could still be in affect).
 
I do not mean for this post to be offensive to any Mormons. It was intended to be informative.
[/quote]



  I agree LDS and Catholics, and all religions are brainwashed to believe in Jesus Christ and the Bible. I think any parent who wants their child to believe certain things and have values will brainwash (teach) them to believe what they want them to believe. So we are all brainwashed, but we also have to reach a point in our lives when we make our own decision based on knowledge and our own conversion process.  LDS and Catholics have that freedom of choice and therefore are not forced or coerced or held captive against their will.  

The claim that the LDS Church and its members are predjudiced against black people and exclude blacks from membership has been around for some time.  However, a careful review of Church history to this day presents quite a different picture.  People of African descent have been members of the Church almost from the beginning in 1830.  Several blacks joined the Church when they were slaves and, after being freed, went west with the great pioneer exodus from Missouri to Utah.
Black members were relatively few in the early days, but their membership has grown vigorously in recent years.  Since LDS Church membership records do not identify race, it is impossible to accurately measure the growth of the black membership: however statistics on membership in areas where people are largely or exclusively of African descent demonstrate significant growth.  The first black African stake made up of approximately 2500 members was organized in Nigeria in 1988.  
Until June 1978 male black members of the Church could not hold the priesthood.  The reasons for this restriction was not given, but has been speculated on.  As early as 1857 Brigham Young said that the time will come when they will have the privilege of all that we have the privilege of and more.  In June 1978 President Spencer W. Kimball, then the prophet of the Church announced that all worthy males could hold the priesthood.  
Since the early days of the Church blacks have been welcomed and fellowshipped in the Church.  There has never been any demarcation between blacks and whites.  During the civil rights movement in the 1960s, Protestant churches in the US, South Africa and other parts of the world routinely separated blacks and whites for worship and fellowship.  No such separation ever existed in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
  I may be wrong, but I do not know that Joseph Smith had any wives but one, Emma.  I have tried to find out, but never came across anything but that many single women were sealed to him after his death. On that subject I only know what the anti-mormons have said, and that ranges according to who is telling the story. Could be he had 20 or 40 or 100, I have never heard this story.  Strange that in 62 years I would not have heard about it.  But then you know how they keep secrets in the Mormon church.  Maybe some of the other Mormons know, and can tell where we can find it in a non-anti-mormon site.
  :D BJ

#14

irr.org/mit/sacredlon.html

lds-mormon.com/12117.shtml

i4m.com/think/history/joseph_smith_sex.htm

answers.com/topic/plural-marriage

utlm.org/onlineresources/sermons_talks_interviews/brigham1852feb5_priesthoodandblacks.htm

myfortress.org/MormonChurch_BlackSin.html

angelfire.com/mo2/blackmormon/homepage.html


#15

No. Although I believe they are false. If you want to see a cult, go to groups such as the raelians and scientologists.


#16

[quote=Jerusha]irr.org/mit/sacredlon.html

lds-mormon.com/12117.shtml

i4m.com/think/history/joseph_smith_sex.htm

answers.com/topic/plural-marriage

utlm.org/onlineresources/sermons_talks_interviews/brigham1852feb5_priesthoodandblacks.htm

myfortress.org/MormonChurch_BlackSin.html

angelfire.com/mo2/blackmormon/homepage.html
[/quote]

Thank you Jerusha. that is certainly way more info then anyone needs to develop an opinion, (one I will certainly keep to myself) amout Mormons and mormonism. Excellent links and I would highly recommend others considering Mormonism to read them.


#17

I thought I distinctly said a non-anti-mormon site. Oh well, if you want to fill your mind with lies and garbage that is your choice, but also read some anti-catholic sites to counter balance the trash.
Sorry, I don’t know any I could recommend, because I refuse to read anti-Catholic websites. I am sure you can google anything you want to read. pro or anti anything, but at least be fair and read what they say about Catholics. Then you can compare apples to apples.
I won’t even stoop so low as to bring up some of the garbage said about Catholics, am I supposed to believe it? Or am I supposed to believe you all, whom I trust to tell me what you believe and I believe what you tell me you believe. I don’t listen to you and then tell you that a trashy web site knows more about what you really believe than you do.
Why do you even ask questions when you already know more than a practicing Mormon? I really thought you were sincere and wanted to know what we really believe. I thought you wanted to know the truth, not the lies that are spread by anti mormons.

:frowning: BJ


#18

[quote=BJ Colbert]I thought I distinctly said a non-anti-mormon site…
…Why do you even ask questions when you already know more than a practicing Mormon? I really thought you were sincere and wanted to know what we really believe. I thought you wanted to know the truth, not the lies that are spread by anti mormons.

:frowning: BJ
[/quote]

BJ…Just to let you know, I started this thread to get former Mormons opinions as to what they felt about their former faith.

They are the ones who lived it so they are the ones who would know what it was like to be a Mormon and then leave it.

Anti-Mormon sites or Pro-Mormon sites really have no place here in this thread in my humble opinion.

I would however encourage people to post links regarding definitions of cults so as to get a clearer picture of what a cult is (the anti-Christian type of cult definition). However, the standard definition as it pertains to this discussion is as I stated the definition in my initial post.


#19

[quote=BJ Colbert]```

I agree LDS and Catholics, and all religions are brainwashed to believe in Jesus Christ and the Bible. I think any parent who wants their child to believe certain things and have values will brainwash (teach) them to believe what they want them to believe. So we are all brainwashed, but we also have to reach a point in our lives when we make our own decision based on knowledge and our own conversion process. LDS and Catholics have that freedom of choice and therefore are not forced or coerced or held captive against their will.

The claim that the LDS Church and its members are predjudiced against black people and exclude blacks from membership has been around for some time. However, a careful review of Church history to this day presents quite a different picture. People of African descent have been members of the Church almost from the beginning in 1830. Several blacks joined the Church when they were slaves and, after being freed, went west with the great pioneer exodus from Missouri to Utah.
Black members were relatively few in the early days, but their membership has grown vigorously in recent years. Since LDS Church membership records do not identify race, it is impossible to accurately measure the growth of the black membership: however statistics on membership in areas where people are largely or exclusively of African descent demonstrate significant growth. The first black African stake made up of approximately 2500 members was organized in Nigeria in 1988.
Until June 1978 male black members of the Church could not hold the priesthood. The reasons for this restriction was not given, but has been speculated on. As early as 1857 Brigham Young said that the time will come when they will have the privilege of all that we have the privilege of and more. In June 1978 President Spencer W. Kimball, then the prophet of the Church announced that all worthy males could hold the priesthood.
Since the early days of the Church blacks have been welcomed and fellowshipped in the Church. There has never been any demarcation between blacks and whites. During the civil rights movement in the 1960s, Protestant churches in the US, South Africa and other parts of the world routinely separated blacks and whites for worship and fellowship. No such separation ever existed in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
I may be wrong, but I do not know that Joseph Smith had any wives but one, Emma. I have tried to find out, but never came across anything but that many single women were sealed to him after his death. On that subject I only know what the anti-mormons have said, and that ranges according to who is telling the story. Could be he had 20 or 40 or 100, I have never heard this story. Strange that in 62 years I would not have heard about it. But then you know how they keep secrets in the Mormon church. Maybe some of the other Mormons know, and can tell where we can find it in a non-anti-mormon site.
:smiley: BJ
[/quote]

I was under the impression that until very recently, The Church of LDS believed blacks could not enter into the kingdom of heaven. I saw this on a documentary, but I could be wrong. I will take your word for it because you are likely more knowlegible on the subject than me, but I’m pretty sure that Joseph Smith had multiple wives.


#20

Thank you, the last two posts were very fair. I know this is for LDS who have left the church.
I was one who left for 20 years and recently came back. It was a tough road back, as in giving up wine and social drinking. I social drink diet coke now or water, and I have just as much fun as if I were actually drinking. My friends love it because they have a designated driver now. The thing I noticed when I was away from the church was that I did not feel the spirit from my new friends. They talked about God, but it was only talk, they didn’t really commit. They were always in the material and party world. Like when is the next party, every night was New Year’s eve. As a single mother of 6, I had no guidance with my children, and I am truly lucky they turned out as well as they did, although only two out of six are LDS and 5 of them married Catholics.
I know cult, because I was briefly involved in a brainwashing experience where the persons isolated me from friends and family and kept me a virtual prisoner. I know from experience how frightening, no terrifying, that can be. That is a cult and you can not escape a cult without intervention by an outside party. My son saved my life from the aforementioned cult.
The LDS church is no cult, if they are a cult then so is the Catholic Church. It is completely voluntary to join and you can unjoin anytime you want without threat or loss of your life.
BJ


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