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Controversies regarding Mormonism

General Note about Critical Analyses of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

As with most critical analyses relating to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Church makes an effort to collect and catalogue criticisms, but generally does not respond to them. Church members generally consider most criticisms (sometimes referred to pejoratively as "anti-Mormonism") as irresponsible misrepresentations. However, individual members have taken apologetic positions from time to time in support and defense of Mormonism. Please note that apologetic positions, even when supported by General Authorities of the Church, do not necessarily reflect the official positions of the Church nor the beliefs of Latter-day Saints at large. Dialogue between individual apologists and critics have highlighted interesting observations. Critical points and counter-points follow below. For critical analysis relating to more specific topics, see the following articles:

(This list is incomplete.)

In general the controversies can be categorized as follows:

  1. Critics charge that the doctrines or practices of Mormonism are heretical or bizarre in contrast to mainstream Christianity (as in vicarious baptism for the dead).
  2. Critics consider the culture of Mormonism to be authoritarian, legalistic, deceptive, delusional or politically oppressive (as in the subjugation of women).
    1. Critics charge that the Church leadership has engaged in historical revisionism, cover-up or censorship.
      1. Critics charge that Joseph Smith and the events surrounding the founding of the Church are fraudulent.

In general, mormon apologists respond to the attacks in the following ways:

  1. Mormonism is only bizarre or heretical compared to mainstream christianity because it is more similar to the original christianity.
  2. Mormonism may not be politically correct but it is no less so than original christianity or the theocracy of the Jews.
  3. There is no infallability, but the Prophet will not be allowed to lead the people astray in matters of salvation.
  4. There are in fact many good things about mormonism.
  5. There are in fact many evidences that the Book of Mormon is true.
  6. There is no reason to draw an arbitrary limit on the definition of Christianity such that Mormons are excluded simply because of doctrinal uniqueness; Fundamentally, the LDS church believes the same basic doctrines as any other Christian church, namely, that Christ is the savior and people should strive to follow him.

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