Mormonism Research Paper

Mormonism Research Paper

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Mormonism is one of the fastest growing religions in the world today. When it first was founded in 1830 there were only six members. A month later this number had grown to forty members. Currently there are estimated to be over 13,824,854 members in the entire world ("Newsroom "). After observing the belief systems of Mormonism one could argue that it contains more similarities to that of a cult compared to that of a new religious movement.

Before comparing Mormonism to a cult, a definition must be laid down. A cult, according to Dr. Walter R. Martin as quoted in Edmond Gruss’s book entitled Cults and the Occult, is “the Adherence to major doctrines which are pointedly contradictory to orthodox Christianity, yet which claim the distinction of either tracing their origin to orthodox sources or of being in essential harmony with those sources. Cultism, in short, is any major deviation from orthodox Christianity relative to the cardinal doctrines of the Christian faith” (Gruss 3). Anthony Hoekema calls cults the “unpaid bills of the church” (Hoekema 1). Hoekema also goes on to say that cults sometimes arise because they believe “established churches have failed to emphasize certain important aspects of religious life, or have neglected certain techniques or values.” ( 1) Many times cults either contain all or some of the following ten characteristics.

The first characteristic they usually contain is the importance they place on having certain convictions about matters of faith. For example if a cultist is asked what he or she believes in they will usually not be hesitant to share their beliefs with you. This may be the leading reason as to why some cults grow in size so quickly. If an individual who has little or no doctrinal teach...

... middle of paper ...

...bject matter, for the purposes of my paper I believe Mormonism does indeed fit the definition of what it means to be a cult based on what I have established a cult to be.

Works Cited

Gruss , Edmond . Cults and The Occult . Rev. ed . Phillipsburg, New Jersey: Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing CO. , 1980 . 3. Print.

Hoekema, Anthony . The Four Major Cults . Ann Arbor, Michigan : Cushing-Malloy , 1963. 1-87, 373-388. Print.

Newsroom . The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints , 03 04 2010. Web. 6 Dec 2010. .

Smith , Joseph. The Pearl of Great Price . Liverpool, England : 1851 . eBook.

"Their Modern Development and Growth." Watchtower . Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania, 2000. Web. 6 Dec 2010. .

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