Mormons - Are JWs a Cult?


I’ve noticed that Mormons don’t like being called cultists. I’ve also noticed that Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses are competitors in the door-to-door marketplace for converts. Since the theologies of the two religions are so different, do Mormons consider JWs to be a cult?

For that matter, are there ANY religions that Mormons consider to be cults?



Mormons don’t consider others to be cults generally. They do however consider all other faiths wrong. :slight_smile:


Not always wrong, just not complete.:thumbsup:


yet JS-H says :

*19 I was answered that I must join none of them, for they were all wrong; and the Personage who addressed me said that all their creeds were an abomination in his sight; that those professors were all corrupt; that: “they draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me, they teach for doctrines the commandments of men, having a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof.”
this is canonized scripture for mormons and seems to leave little doubt about wrong versus “incomplete”.


wademan, since you are LDS, maybe you can answer this for me.

How do Mormons view the Jehovah’s Witnesses? Would a Mormon identify the JW religion as a “cult”?

If not the JWs, are there ANY religions which a Mormon might identify as a “cult”?


Not always wrong, just not complete.

Good point!


We view them as we view any other religion. We treat all religions with respect. There is no reason why we should treat JWs any different.

Would a Mormon identify the JW religion as a “cult”?

The short answer is no. “Cult” is a derogatory term used (by Evangelicals mainly) to attack and insult any religion they don’t agree with—which means pretty much everybody except themselves. We are not into attacking or insulting other religions. We treat all religions with respect.

If not the JWs, are there ANY religions which a Mormon might identify as a “cult”?

It all depends on how you use the word cult. In the (derogatory) sense in which you are using it, the answer is no, we do not consider any religion a cult. We respect all mankind’s religious beliefs, and we treat their religions with deference. We do not seek to insult any man with regard to his personal convictions.

The word cult has at least two different meanings. One use is, as described, a purely derogatory term to attack any religion that “I don’t agree with”. The other meaning is in the secular realm in which it is it is just another word like any other, and has no derogatory connotations. In that sense of the term, it is more often used in a non-religious sense than a religious one. I did a Google search using the search term “cult of” (including the quotation marks), and came up with this result. As you can see, the word cult is used in common speech for just about anything, including a religion. Here is the result:

In this sense of the term of course we use the word “cult” like any other normal English speaker would, who does not have an “axe to grind”.

I also did a dictionary search for the word cult, and came up with a couple of interesting results. Here is the first one (emphasis added):

[LIST]*]adherents of an exclusive system of religious beliefs and practices
*]fad: an interest followed with exaggerated zeal; “he always follows the latest fads”; “it was all the rage that season”
*]a system of religious beliefs and rituals; “devoted to the cultus of the Blessed Virgin”[/LIST]

The first definition can be applied to any religion. Every religion is “exclusive” in its own way, therefore all religions according to this definition are cults. The second definition is not religious at all. And in the third definition it gives the Catholic practice of worshipping or supplicating Mary as an example of a “cultic” practice; but it does not appear to be deliberately intended to be disrespectful towards the Catholic Church.

The next quote is particularly interesting. It appears to be a formal definition approved in Catholic usage. Maybe I have misunderstood it. If so, you guys can tell me. If this is right, then some Catholic practices are definitely classified as cults:

[LIST]*]Veneration (or honoring) of a saint expressed in public acts, local or universal, and formally approved by the Pope.[/LIST]

If they are officially called cults in the Catholic Church, then we would of course respect that, and we would also call them cults.



Like Mother Theresa says “I love all religions, but I’m IN LOVE with mine”.

I have never heard anyone in my church call another religion a cult. I think all religions have parts of the truth, and that the LDS church has the most complete truth, with more to be revealed in time.


Maybe he was just talking about that particular group of men, in that particular area, at that particular time.:confused:


Having lived in the immediate neighborhood of Nauvoo, IL and attended the gala productions of “City of Joseph”, and having talking at length with the missionaries on assignment there, they all made it clear that Smith was not referring only to those churches in his community but to all of historic, orthodox, and catholic Christendom of all persuasions. And that this is what they still believe.


but that is not what it says nor has it been explained that way by LDS prophets. in fact for many years LDS apostles were quite outspoken about it’s global nature. Up until 1990 the temple ceremony took it a step further and illustrated Popes as blood thirsty tyrants and sectarian ministers as duped hirelings of Satan. This exists in canonized LDS scripture today in this exact form. it is quite explicit as a minimum on the creeds. it says ALL. even we accept your idea here that it was only the particular churches that Joseph had considered joining in that area at that time (BTW I don’t accept that premise) then we know exactly what those creeds were. This at the very least considers the apostles creed and the Nicene creed abominations to God. Why? how is this not a vicious attack on all current churches that profess those creeds today? If I referred to the LDS articles of faith as an abomination in the sight of God I think you would consider that to be quite hostile. It is basically the same thing.



Illustrated Popes? what on earth are you talking about ? The Temple ceremony never included that. Sectarian ministers yes, but Popes no.


In the pre-1990 version of the endowment, Lucifer says “I will buy up armies and navies, Popes and priests, and reign with blood and horror on this earth!”



So, when you guys say, that we are dupes and follow satan it is because you are getting back at us for saying it first? So two wrongs make a right? There is a saying, “if you are offended by someone that means no offense then you are a fool. If you are offended by someone who means to offend you, then you are a bigger fool”. :slight_smile:


That is right. The context makes clear that those remarks were made by the Lord to Joseph Smith with regard to those priests and religious ministers whom Joseph had encountered in that “religious excitement” which he wrote of, and who later became his greatest persecutors. It was not referring to every religious person on the planet.



not as another character but described by Lucifer in his angry tirade that he would use the treasures of the earth to buy up popes who would rule with blood and horror. (amongst other things) here is the pre 1990 exact quote:

Then with that enmity I will take the treasure of the earth, and with gold and silver I will buy up armies and navies, Popes and false priests who oppress, and tyrants who destroy, and reign with blood and horror on the earth!

that is what i was referring to


i am confused. what do you mean? what catholic scripture or part of the catechism does this?
I showed you where LDs scriptures do it


It does not say all Popes and all priests. I would have to say that there is evidence, that some of them, have been doing satans work, and not just the catholic religion.:frowning:


In more than 30 years of being friends with Mormons, visiting services at a Mormon stake, , reading about Mormonism from its attackers and adherents both within the LDS and outside of it, and chatting with Mormon missionaries in Nauvoo who knew I was writing a Master’s thesis on the beginnings of Mormonism, I have never once heard the explanation you have just shared. Indeed, I always heard the one you have just denied.

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