Cultural Mormon

Cultural Mormon

Cultural Mormon is a term used for Mormons who no longer believe some (or many) of the doctrines of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but who self-identify as Mormon. Usually this is a result of having been raised in the LDS faith, or as having converted and spent a large portion of one's life as an active member of the LDS church. Cultural Mormons may or may not be actively involved with the church, and in some cases may not even be officially members of the church.

Typically, cultural Mormons still have an appreciation for the lessons and the love they have received in the course of long church membership."[1] The Cultural Mormons do not necessarily hold anti-Mormon sentiments and often support the goals of the Church. Many retain a sense of Mormon identity for life.


Results of doctrinal differences

The Church does not regard disbelief in its doctrines as grounds for disciplinary action. Church leaders teach that doubts can be resolved by "instruction, study, and prayer, which result in increased testimony, which drives out further doubts."[2] However, disbelief in certain core doctrines (such as the role of Jesus Christ as Savior and Redeemer, or the leaders of the Church as prophets, seers, and revelators)[3] can prevent a Cultural Mormon from participating in certain activities, such as priesthood ordinances and temple worship. Thus some members choose to keep their doubts a secret in order to continue to participate in such activities, or to avoid conflict with family and friends. In addition, disciplinary action may be taken when a member publicly opposes Church doctrines (e.g. Grant Palmer).

Internet communities

Because of the fear that divulging their unorthodox beliefs will result in stigmatization and increased attention, some Practicing Cultural Mormons prefer anonymity. Many therefore participate in Internet communities, where they can discuss their issues anonymously.

New Order Mormons

One such group refers to itself as the New Order Mormons,[4][unreliable source?] a name patterned on the term New Order Amish (Amish who maintain cultural ties to their religion while not accepting some of its core tenets). This is a group of Mormons and former Mormons who no longer believe some or all of the main tenets of the LDS faith, but because of family or cultural ties do not choose to completely separate themselves from the faith.

Humanistic Mormonism

Humanistic Mormonism[5][unreliable source?][6][unreliable source?] is a movement of Free Thinkers, Cultural Mormons, Disfellowshipped or Independents people related to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and other Latter Day Saint groups that emphasize Mormon culture and history, but do not demand belief in a supernatural god, or the historicity of the Bible or the Book of Mormon. It is based on Humanism and can be summarized in some points.

  • A Mormon is someone who identifies with the history, culture and future of the LDS way of life.
  • People possess the power and responsibility to shape their own lives independent of supernatural authority.
  • Ethics and morality should serve human needs and choices should be based upon consideration of the consequences of actions rather than pre-ordained rules or commandments.
  • The Bible, Book of Mormon or other religious texts are purely human and natural phenomena. Biblical and other traditional texts are the products of human activity and are best understood by scientific analysis.

See also

Christus statue temple square salt lake city.jpg Latter-day Saints portal


External links

  • New Order Mormons - A website for members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who no longer believe some (or many) of the doctrines of the LDS church, but who want to maintain membership for cultural and social reasons. Includes a forum for discussions or support.
  • Zarahemla City Limits - in-depth commentary and thoughtful essays addressing issues in Mormonism from a Cultural Mormon perspective.
  • The Post-Mormon Community - An organization for those who have left the Church and no longer believe in it.
  • New Order Mormon Discussion Forum: "A forum for those who have chosen to remain connected with the LDS church for personal reasons and in spite of church history or present practices."

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