Mormonism, a failed religion

At first glance, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, aka the Mormon Church, seems highly successful. It was founded in the early 19th Century and has spread over the world. Somewhat.

The term ‘Mormons’ most often refers to a member of the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), which is commonly called the Mormon Church. According to Latter Day Saint belief, Mormon is the name of the prophet who compiled the book of scripture known as the Book of Mormon. Also included are over 90 schismatic bodies. The map is dominated by the Americas. (Information source: Wikipedia)

So in the 150 years that the Church has been spreading, it has done little to become a world faith. Why not?

I’ve seen these missionaries in my community. They stick out like sore thumbs with their outfits, and thus give the impression that their own faith makes them and potential converts to their faith the same way. That’s bound to turn people off! You’d think they would dress more like everyone else to blend in and thus put people at ease!

The fact that Mormon missionaries are not paid for their work also must limit the number who would be willing and able to serve. I guess the Mormon leadership is too stingy.

BTW, whoever made this video didn’t want feedback on it:

Adding comments has been disabled for this video.
Imagine my astonishment when I looked at the Wikipedia entry for Salt Lake City, where the center of the Mormon Church is, and found:

The city was founded in 1847 by Brigham Young and his Mormon followers, who extensively irrigated and cultivated the arid valley. Due to its proximity to the Great Salt Lake, the city was originally named “Great Salt Lake City” – the word “great” was dropped from the official name in 1868. Although Salt Lake City is still home to the headquarters of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), less than half the population of Salt Lake City proper is Mormon today.[5]

Less than 50% of Salt Lake City’s residents are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This is a much lower proportion than in Utah’s more rural municipalities; altogether, LDS members make up about 62% of Utah’s population.[55]

Salt Lake City has been considered one of the top 51 “gay-friendly places to live” in the U.S.[60] The city is home to a large, business savvy, organized, and politically supported gay community. Leaders of the Episcopal Church’s Diocese of Utah,[61][62] as well as leaders of Utah’s largest Jewish congregation, the Salt Lake Kol Ami,[63] along with three elected representatives of the city identify themselves as gay. These developments have attracted controversy from socially conservative officials representing other regions of the state. A 2006 study by UCLA estimates that approximately 7.6% of the city’s population, or almost 14,000 people, are openly gay, lesbian, or bisexual, compared to just 3.7%, or just over 60,000 people, for the metropolitan area as a whole.[64]

Yikes! It’s like an apple that seems whole on the outside but is rotting from within!
What is causing the majority of Salt Lake City residents to reject Mormonism? Maybe stories like this:
When you are raised in a religion that condemns a basic part of your nature, of course you will do your best to suppress the “perversion” and pretend to be straight. Either that, or you will be ostracized by your own family members who share your religious upbringing if you cannot conform.

Though I’ve never been a Mormon,  as both an ex-Christian and an ex-Baha’i I can identify strongly with people like Emily Pearson. When you leave a religious community you have identified with for so long and given so much of your life too, its like ripping out your own liver. But the resulting freedom you gain from the choice you make helps you grow as a person and makes you stronger in the end.

I wonder how many members of these Unitarian Universalist churches in Utah are ex-Mormons:  

First Unitarian Church
Number of Members: 356
Address: 569 S 1300 E
Salt Lake City, UT 84102-3228
Phone: (801) 582-8687
Fax: (801) 582-0250
Email: admin @
South Valley UU Society
Number of Members: 140
Address: 6876 Highland Dr
Salt Lake City, UT 84121-3045
Phone: (801) 944-9723
Fax: (801) 944-9723
Email: svuus @
UU Church of Ogden
Number of Members: 112
Address: 705 23rd St
Ogden, UT 84401-1707
Phone: (801) 394-3338
Fax: (801) 394-9457
Email: office.uuco @
Utah Valley UU Fellowship
Meeting Address: 245 S 200 E
Springville, UT 84663
Mailing Address: PO Box 1023
Springville, UT 84663-7023
Phone: (801) 853-5600
Email: info @
Cache Valley UUs
Number of Members: 47
Address: 596 E 900 North
Logan, UT 84321
Phone: (435) 755-2888
Fax: (435) 755-2888
Email: info @

I counted about 655 UUs in Utah! That’s a lot of UUs in a supposedly conservative state dominated by one religious group! Most UU churches are also “Welcoming Congregations” meaning they accept as equals gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgenders.

As the old saying goes, what comes around goes around, so maybe its time the Unitarian Universalist Association sent hundreds of “missionaries” to Utah to encourage more people who are Mormons but questioning their faith to look at UU churches.  And PAY those missionaries too!

And maybe someday, the state’s name will be spelled UUtah!

Uh, just kidding!

19 thoughts on “Mormonism, a failed religion

  1. Oddly enough, I read this just after I made a post that linked to one of your previous entries on Mormonism. If you go here:

    You’ll see some other fun facts about Mormonism. To address just one thing that you brought up, men are required to serve as missionaries in order to enter the “Melchizedek Priesthood”, and what they call the priesthood is what everyone else calls the laity, i. e. the rank-and-file members of the church. So while it’s not absolutely required that they serve as missionaries, the system is set up so that they have to do it if they want to be a regular adult member.

    • I saw that already, and commented. I even sent you a gift, after seeing your own amusing illustrations. Sorry my artwork is so inferior, though.

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      • Interesting side note, all attempts at liberal Mormon churches like the Godbeites have all eventually disbanded. See that section on liberals.

        Church of Zion defunct
        United Order Family of Christ defunct since 1974
        Restoration Church of Jesus Christ dissolved in 2010

        Also, have you started watching that new show on TLC about the FLDS called Breaking the Faith?

        The Community of Christ isn’t as liberal as the three listed groups were, but attempts somewhat to be a liberal alternative to the LDS. I think it fails in that regards.

        Also, I find it while most Mormon groups recognize the BOM as scripture, it has no influence on actual beliefs and practices of that group compared to other parts of their canons. The exception is Mormon fundamentalism.

    • I actually found some of the comments left below the article to be more interesting than the article itself. For example:

      9:18 AM CST
      Depending on who you ask, what has been lumped together under Christianity is actually more than one faith.

      1- Many non Catholics do not view Catholicism as Christian as many Catholics worship Mary as something more than a human woman.
      2- Many/most non-Mormons do not view Mormons as Christians as they incorporate teachings wildly divergent from that which mainline Christianity follows and incorporates additional writings as divine that are considered outright fiction by most Christian denominations.
      3-Unitarians reject the divinity of Jesus and fall outside of almost all Christian groups understanding on a foundational tenet of the faith.
      4-Universalists reject the uniqueness of Jesus as the only way to redemption and fall outisde of almost all Christian groups understanding on a foundational tenet of the faith.

      There are many schisms within Christendom, but those listed above differ profoundly from what is believed, taught and practiced by Protestants and other non-Catholics.

      Those “foundational tenet(s) of the (Christian) faith” were decided upon by church councils and imposed upon the people using the fact that the later Roman Emperors were Christian and were willing to use force to suppress Paganism as well as dissenting views within Christianity, despite the statement attributed to Jesus himself that, “For whoever is not against us is for us.” Freedom of thought was under attack and any society which does that is a tyranny.

      And do I need to explain the irony of someone criticizing the Book of Mormon as “fiction” who also believes in the Bible myths? That statement about Catholics and how they view Mary is also inaccurate, though typical of those who are ignorant about Catholics. What an idiot DavGreg is!


    There is even a Gnostic church in Salt Lake City!

    Sophia Diocesan Center, Los Angeles, CA. Most Rev. Stephan Hoeller, Presiding Bishop. Rev. John Goelz, Rev. Robert Peterson, Rev. Donna Owen, Rev. Laurel Tropp and Rev. Gilberto Morales, Priests. Rev. Bryan Campbell, Rev. Gerry Szeman, Rev. Maria Clark, and Rev. Amber Tidwell, Deacons.
    Saint Sophia Gnostic Seminary, Sedona, AZ. Rev. Charles Wells, Priest & Rector. Rev. Scot Soller, and Rev. Kriss Sprinkle, Priests.
    Queen of Heaven Gnostic Church, Portland, OR. Rt. Rev. Stephen Marshall, Auxiliary Bishop. Rev. Ed Smith, Priest.
    The Holy Gnosis of Thomas Chapel, Salt Lake City, UT. Rev. Troy Pierce, Priest & Rector. Rev. Lance Owens, Priest.
    Hagia Sophia Church, Seattle, WA. Rev. Sam Osborne, Priest & Rector. Rev. Andrea Turner and Rev. Erik Winsor, Deacons.
    Capella Santa Sophia, Oslo, Norway. V. Rev. Jan Valentin Sæther, Archpriest & Rector. Rev. Terje Bergersen, Deacon.

    The Ecclesia Gnostica (Latin for The Church of Gnosis or The Gnostic Church) is an openly Gnostic liturgical Church that practices and offers its sacraments publicly. It is centered in Los Angeles, California with parishes in Seattle, Washington; Portland, Oregon; Salt Lake City, Utah; Sedona, Arizona; and Oslo, Norway. The church and its affiliate, the Gnostic Society, attempt to “make available the philosophy and practice of gnosticism to the contemporary world.”

  4. Interesting facts is that only 30-40% of Mormons are “more active” than the “less active” majority.

    Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), formally known as Latter-day Saints, constitute over 99 percent of Mormons. The beliefs and practices of LDS Mormons are generally guided by the teachings of LDS Church leaders. There are, however, several smaller groups that differ from “mainstream” Mormonism in various ways.

    LDS Church members who do not actively participate in worship services or church callings are often called “less-active” (akin to the qualifying expressions non-observant or non-practicing used in relation to members of other religious groups). The LDS Church does not release statistics on church activity, but it is likely that about 40 percent of Mormons in the United States and 30 percent worldwide regularly attend worship services. Reasons for inactivity can include lifestyle issues and problems with social integration. Activity rates tend to vary with age, and disengagement occurs most frequently between age 16 and 25. A majority of less active members return to church activity later in life. Former Latter-day Saints who seek to disassociate themselves from the religion are often referred to as ex-Mormons.

    Arrington, Leonard J. (1994). History of Idaho 2. University of Idaho Press. p. 268. ISBN 0-89301-164-9. See also May, Dean (1980). “Mormons”. In Thernstrom, Stephan. Harvard Encyclopedia of American Ethnic Groups. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press. p. 720 (describing Mormons as an ethnic group); Epperson, Steven (1999). “Mormons”. In Barkan, Elliott Robert. A notion of peoples: a sourcebook on America’s multicultural heritage. Greenwood Publishing Group. pp. 411–27. ISBN 0-313-29961-7 (arguing that Mormonism has become an ethnicity in addition to a religion).

    So basically 30-40% are religiously Mormons while the other 60-70% are secular Mormons like secular Jews or any other ethnic group associated with a religion.

  5. What has prevented people from turning to the Gospel according to the Mormon Church? Mormon Leaks exposed what they think is why more people aren’t Mormons.

    The article is about the Mormon Church suing Mormon Leaks for leaking their documents. The perceived enemies of the church document is the one getting the most talk on the Internet. It categorizes the reasons (issues and ideas leading people away from the Gospel) as far left to far right. Far left things are Ordain Women, Disagree With Current Policies, John Dehlin, Secular, and Incredulity Over Church History. Center of the road things are Chastity, Pornography, Lack of Righteousness, Lack of Commitment, Sabbath, and Langauge & cultural problems “ites”. Far right things are Denver Snuffer, Robert Norman, Last days/end of the world predictions, False prophets, Church has lost its way or is deficient, and Need “something more”.

    Mormon Leaks is like Wiki Leaks or Vati Leaks, but more Mormon Church focused. The Mormon Church is trying to sue them out of existence.

    Dale, what do you think of this leaked “enemies list” of issues and ideas causing people to leave and preventing people from joining Mormonism? Which reasons do you think are best for people to be critical and skeptical of Mormonism? Ordain Women (the literal “patriarchal order of the priesthood” is male only with a literal “patriarch’s blessing”)? Disagree With Current Policies and John Dehlin (basically the Mormon Church opposing LGBT rights is the issues here)? Secular (criticism and skepticism of religion in general, not just Mormonism)? Incredulity Over Church History (criticism and skepticism of the Book of Mormon, Joseph Smith, and all pre-1844, though not excluding post-1844 events as well, but post-1844 events being subject to criticism and skepticism without pre-1844 events is the territory of Mormon Fundamentalists hence the far right list of ideas and issues)?

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