Why is the Mormon church a viable religion and not a cult?

Why is the Church of the Latter Day Saints (Mormons) a viable and vibrant religion? Why is the commitment to tithing among its members far greater than any other denomination?

In the 1990's, I worked for a Mormon company owned by the great grandson of Mormon founder Joseph Smith. Prior to my position as a time management trainer, I visited Salt Lake City for a week of training.

In the beginning, I felt the environment made Japan look like a "melting pot." It seemed homogeneous to a point that everyone looked and acted the same. Since the vast majority of these people were Mormon, I initially thought the religion was a cult.

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