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Christian faith groups


The LDS Restorationist movement,
including many Mormon denominations,
including The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:

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The LDS Restoration movement is made up of denominations, sects, and small faith groups who trace their origins back to the original Church of Christ that Joseph Smith's founded in 1830. The Church of Christ was renamed the Church of Latter-day Saints in 1834, then became the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in 1838.

Following Smith's assassination by a Christian mob in 1844, problems arose about the choice of a new leader. This caused schism within the church, which resulted in the creation of a number of new faith groups. The largest faction, under the leadership of Brigham Young, started on a long trek to Salt Lake in what is now Utah. Other groups remained in the mid-west.

The Utah group changed the capitalization and punctuation of their name to became The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1851. It is now called by the latter title (no pun intended), and is often referred to as the LDS, LDS Church, Mormon Church, Latter-day Saints, the Church, or The Church of Jesus Christ. It remains by far the largest denomination within the LDS Restoration movement.

Many schisms followed so that the present-day LDS Restoration movement consists of almost a hundred faith groups, most of which are tiny.

The membership of the LDS Church and of some other groups within the LDS Restoration movement are often referred to as "Mormons" by the media and general public. However, only the LDS Church and a few other faith groups used this term themselves. Further, the LDS Church objects to any reference to other denominations having any claim to the term "Mormon."

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2018-AUG: God allegedly orders LDS Church to use its full name:

To further complicate matters, God allegedly instructed the LDS Church to abandoned the terms "Mormon" and "LDS Church." They are to use the full denominational title: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints." On 2018-AUG-17, Jana Riess, a columnist for the Religion News Service wrote:

"Yesterday, the church that invested millions in its Meet the Mormons movie and exports its Mormon Tabernacle Choir as its ambassador to the world asked us all to stop using the word 'Mormon.'

Ahem. It seems I’m no longer a Mormon columnist. I’m a Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints columnist, and isn’t that just so fun to say?

What’s more, this is being presented not as a simple branding change but in the language of divine revelation: 'The Lord has impressed upon my mind the importance of the name He has revealed for His Church, even The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,' said Russell M. Nelson, president of the Church formerly known as the LDS Church."

There is considerable doubt about whether other faith groups will abandon the terms "LDS" and "Mormon." Richard E. Bennett, a church history professor at Brigham Young University said:

"I don't think it's going to stop our friends outside the church from calling us nicknames. But certainly among members of the church, we'll be making a greater effort to follow the directions."

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir, which as been singing for over 150 years, has changed its name to "The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square." Choir president Ron Jarrett said:

"A new name for the Tabernacle Choir will represent a change after so many years. But we have always been a forward-looking people, and we are focused on what is not changing: the world-class musicianship, the inspiring arrangements and programming, and our weekly ‘Music and the Spoken Word’ broadcast." 6

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What Mormons and other Christians think of each other's theology:

In an essay on the LDS church in Christianity Today -- a leading evangelical Christian magazine -- Robert Millet and Gerald McDermott stated:

"Historically, evangelicals and Mormons have demonized each other. Evangelicals consider The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to be a cult and typically think Mormons are not real Christians." 1

A major concern of evangelicals towards the LDS Church is their belief in the nature of God. Evangelicals believe that God the Father is a spirit without a physical body. One of the major sources of LDS theology is the Doctrine and Covenants [D&C]. An article in SBC LIFE -- the official journal of the Southern Baptist Convention -- quotes D&C saying that the Mormons believe the Holy Spirit, Jesus Christ and the Heavenly Father to be:

"... comprise three separate and distinct gods: the Father and the Son have bodies of flesh and bones 'as tangible as man's,' but the Holy Ghost 'is a personage of Spirit' (Doctrine and Covenants [D&C], 130:22)." 5

In return, Mormons generally accept evangelicals and many other Christian denominations as Christian groups. However Mormons also believe that the Christian movement deviated from the true messages of the Gospel after the last apostle died during the early first century CE and that the denominations in the LDS Restorationist movement have been able to recreate authentic Christianity.

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Topics covered in this section:

The LDS Restorationist movement:

bullet Star Terminology: Almost hopelessly confusing
bulletAre the LDS Restorationists Christians?

bullet Are they Protestants? Which is the true Mormon denomination?
bulletHistory of LDS Restorationism
bullet Early history

bullet Recent history
bulletMormon texts:
bullet Who wrote the Book of Mormon?
bullet The Book of Abraham

bullet Computer analysis of the Book of Mormon to determine its authorship
bulletAmerican history:
bullet Book of Mormon teachings about ancient Native American origins

bullet DNA evidence about the ancestry of American Natives
bulletMore information
bulletMormon books and Internet resources
bulletPractice of polygyny 2 by some LDS Restorationists:
bulletThe Law of Abraham and the Law of Sarah

bulletDuring the early 19th century

During the later 19th century
bulletCurrent practice
bulletIn Bountiful, BC, Canada

bulletGovernment reaction

Groups within the LDS Restorationist movement:


The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (a.k.a. LDS Church & Mormon Church)

bulletCurrent status, Recent major events

bulletHoly texts, & Organizational structure

bulletTerminology, Practices, Opposition, & Off-shoots

bulletThe Mountain Meadows Massacre
bullet Books on the massacre
bullet2008 presidential candidate: Mitt Romney

bulletReasons Ex-Mormons give for leaving the LDS Church

bullet Videos and websites intended to dispel myths about the LDS faith
bulletLDS Beliefs:
bulletDifferentiating between valid LDS doctrine & opinions of its past leaders

bulletGeneral beliefs

bulletThe Articles of Faith  by Joseph Smith


bulletBlood atonement


bullet Homosexuality and same-sex marriage

bulletTheological conflicts with LDS beliefs:
bulletWhy a bishop resigned


Theological criticisms by evangelicals and some other non-Mormons:

bulletTheological questions by an Atheist

bulletIs the LDS church a cult?
bulletEssays donated by visitors to this web site:
bulletJose Davis: "Is Mormonism a Christian denomination?"

bulletSamuel Klein: Why the LDS Church is not a cult?

bulletJohn Nash: "On Mormons and the equality of women"

The Community of Christ (formerly called the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints)


The Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (FLDS) (known for their practice of polygyny) 2


The Church of Jesus Christ (Bickertonites)

Before sending a letter of complaint:


Please read this note

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A reference and footnotes used:

  1. Robert Millet and Gerald McDermott, "Mitt's Mormonism and the 'Evangelical Vote' Can conservative Protestants vote for a member of what they consider a cult?" Christianity Today, 2007-MAY-31, at:
  2. We receive a lot of Emails saying that our use of "polygyny" is a typo and that the correct word is "polygamy." This is not a spelling error. "Polygyny" means a marriage between one man and multiple wives, which is what the essays discuss.

    Polygamy can mean:
    bulletpolygyny: a marriage among one man and multiple women;

    bulletpolyandry: a marriage among one woman and multiple men; or

    bulletgroup marriage: a marriage among multiple men and multiple women

    Only polygyny is currently promoted by certain fundamentalist Mormon denominations. With few exceptions, polygyny was the only polygamous arrangement promoted by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints until it was at least temporarily suspended in the late 19th century.

  3. American Experience and Frontline, two of PBS' most acclaimed TV series presented "The Mormons," a four hour documentary about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It is available for viewing online and for purchase in DVD format. See:
  4. Jana Riess, "I’m a Mormon! But I’m not supposed to call myself that anymore," Relion News Service, 2018-AUG-17, at:
  5. Diana Chandler, " 'Mormon' name too common to go away, many say," Baptist Press, 2018-AUG-20, at:
  6. "Mormon Tabernacle Choir changing its name but not its tune," Religion News Service, 2018-OCT-05, at:

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Copyright © 1995 to 2018 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Latest update: 2018-OCT-08
Author: B.A. Robinson

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