Home The Catalog of Accusations

Is Mormonism a Cult?
by Woody Brison

Accusation: Mormonism is a cult.

This accusation is designed to discourage people from getting involved with the Mormons. It relies on people assuming that a cult is bad. There have been several bad cults in recent times, such as Jonestown, Heaven's Gate, etc.

But a cult can also be good. Basically, a cult
- separates themself from the world, by physical barriers or by unique practices
- studies and CULTivates (hence the name) certain abilities and knowledge
- usually has a charismatic leader.

Thus the Baptists are a cult, as are the Weight Watchers, the Teamsters, the Masons, etc. etc. The original church that Jesus established was a cult.

When Jesus was on the earth, he established a church. They didn't generally use physical barriers, except that their houses had walls and doors like all others; they mixed daily with the rest of humanity. They practiced various unique behaviors that separated them from the world, such as baptism, avoidance of idol worship, faith, strict honesty and chastity, broad generosity and charity, prayer, fasting, and meeting together with ritual meals. They didn't at first construct buildings for worship because they knew that the church would not last. They studied the scriptures of the Jews and gradually accumulated their own literature, which they studied and emulated. And of course, Jesus and Peter and the other Apostles were charismatic leaders. This was a good cult, so good that the world destroyed it and assimilated its fragments.

The Latter-day Saints, called Mormons, are similarly a good cult. The attributes cultivated are the same as the early Christians. We do build meetinghouses and Temples, but our real separation from the world is like the early Christians: by practices, such as avoidance of tobacco and alcohol, clean speech, etc. And our charismatic leaders are still Jesus and his Apostles.

Not too long ago, a lady came to one of our meetings. She had met with our missionaries a couple of times, I guess, and she spoke up in the meeting: "How do I join your cult?"

1. Woody Brison is an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but this website is not affiliated with the church. It may be thought of as an additional, somewhat independent witness.

2. I want this page to be as accurate as I can make it. If you have a correction, please email me.

3. All biblical quotations are from the King James unless otherwise noted.

Copyright 2013 Woody Brison. All rights reserved.