Is Mormonism a Cult?

Although some Christian denominations have labeled Mormonism as a cult due to the amount of deviation in Mormon beliefs from traditional Christian beliefs, there is nothing within the professed beliefs of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that matches the classic characteristics of a cult. It is possible that some radical sects of Mormonism may be classified as cults.

Cults are not so much defined by their beliefs as by their practices. There is typically a leader with little or no limitations placed upon him. That person is free to make rules, change rules and decide what the cult believes at any given time. Cult members typically have a lot of restraint placed upon them, and failure to acknowledge the divine authority of the leader can result in members being punished or expelled from the cult. Members are sometimes forbidden to have contact with outside friends and family members.

Cults usually actively solicit members as well as money in order to fund their endeavors. Members are often charged with securing money for the cult. Cults also use mind control techniques to convince members to engage in behaviors in which they may not have necessarily previous engaged. None of these practices describe the Mormon Church at large.