Interior of Mormon Tabernacle Building, Salt Lake City, Utah

Religious Groups Seek to Call Themselves “Mormon”

July 10, 2008 04:23 PM
by Lindsey Chapman
A coalition representing professed "fundamentalist Mormons" has objected to attempts by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to reject their claims to a shared heritage.

30-Second Summary

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is going to great lengths to clarify its doctrine and distance itself from groups claiming to be “Fundamentalist Mormons.”

A recent poll commissioned by the church found that weeks of media coverage about a polygamist group in Texas caused public confusion over differences between the mainstream Mormon Church and other religious sects.

In fact, 30 percent of respondents to the poll thought members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints were Mormons, while 36 percent thought the group was associated with the Mormon faith.

“We’re certainly aware that there is some confusion out there,” stated Mike Otterson, a spokesman for Latter-day Saint leaders. “But when that comes back as three out of every four people” think there are connections between the groups, “that’s sobering.”

Salt Lake City ABC affiliate KTVX reported, “The LDS Church has been especially sensitive since the raid of the Texas compound of the FLDS polygamist group,” and is conducting a media campaign to emphasize the differences between the groups.

“The dispute over ‘Fundamentalist Mormon’ seems to be an extension of that same effort,” KTVX continued.

Religious groups with historical connections to Mormonism have expressed their displeasure with the church’s efforts to draw lines between groups that call themselves “Mormon.”

Anne Wilde of The Principle Voices Coalition, one of the groups debating the issue, said, “We strenuously object to any efforts to deprive us and others of the freedom to name and describe ourselves by terms of our own choosing.”

Headline Link: ‘Fundamentalists: We’re Mormon, too’

Reactions: ‘PR Nightmare’

Opinion & Analysis: Assessing the confusion

Related Topic: FLDS in Texas

Reference: Mormonism resources


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