Seven reasons why the Mormon faith is not a cult

In the common lexicon of the past few decades, the word “cult” has conjured up images of fiery leaders and fanatical adherents indulging in all manner of religious excesses that often end in death. When we hear of cults, we think of Texas compounds burning, mass murders within Charles Manson’s “family,” and suicides in Marshall Applewhite’s Heaven’s Gate. Cults are generally thought of as bizarre, isolationist, anti-government, fundamentalist, controlling, and on the extreme fringes of society.

Sociologists once used the term “cult” to refer to small and distinctive religious movements such as the Amish or Mennonites, but since then, the word has become so politicized that they generally avoid its use in academic discourse. The term today has such negative connotations that it has become a universal insult designed to discredit any group it might be hurled at.

It is little wonder then, that Mormons find being labeled as a cult particularly irksome, perhaps more irksome than any other label imaginable.

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