Friday, September 25, 2009

What is a Cult?

Bill has been talking to a friend at work who's wife thinks we're in a 'cult'. I had lunch with somebody today who's father basically disowned her when she joined the church because he said she was now in a 'cult'. I hear it all the time, but maybe because I've heard it so much lately I feel I need to say something:

What is a cult? (OK, that was ask not say...but stay with me).

"The negative term most frequently flung at the LDS is “cult,” a term which can suggest images of pagan priests and rituals. But the truth is there is no objective distinction by which a cult may be distinguished from a religion. Use of the term cult does not tell us what a religion is, only how it is regarded by the person using the term. It simply means “a religion I don’t like.”
Though non-LDS scholars have made many attempts to define a “cult” in a way that would distinguish it from a “religion,” to date every such attempt has failed. So far the major difficulty has been that any definition of “cult” that fits the LDS Church also fits New Testament Christianity! But that’s not bad company to be in." by Stephen E. Robinson in "Are Mormon's Christians?"

I did some research into the word 'cult', and for every 'Christian' site it was different.

So let me tell you what I am...

I am Mormon woman! I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints! The title has the name of Christ in it...I believe in Him = He is my Savior and King.

Do I follow a prophet? Yes! Unquestionably, just as the prophet Noah led, and Moses led, Thomas S. Monson leads today.

Do I follow blindly? No! The Holy Ghost testifies to the truthfulness of this Gospel, I follow in light!

Is a prophet necessary? Well let's take a look at some of the things our prophets in these last days have warned us about: * get a year supply of food storage, * Stay out of debt "I realize that young families find it necessary at times to purchase on credit. But we caution you not to buy more than is truly necessary and to pay off your debts as quickly as possible."~ This was spoken in 1979 ( more on this here) * Dress modestly and don't have pre-marital sex. * Don't smoke, drink alcohol, or coffee and tea.

This doesn't sound like outrageous fact if more people listened to the prophet we wouldn't be having a lot of the difficulties in this country (or world) that we have now.

Joseph Smith founded the LDS church and restored the Gospel as it was in the days of Christ and his apostles. I do not worship Joseph Smith
anymore than the Methodists worship John Wesley or the baptists worship John Smyth, or any other Christian religion worships their founder.

Anyone who knows me knows I am not a mind numb robot in constant subservience to my husband. The women of this church are strong, intelligent, charitable women, but we are not alike in all ways. Some work, some stay at home, some are fit, some are not, some can cook, some can't, some have children, some don't.

I have certain beliefs that are not any part of the church or it's teachings. Some of my quirks do not reflect my doctrinal beliefs.
*I don't vaccinate because of some personal revelations and feelings Bill and I have, the church suggests we vaccinate.
* Since we don't vaccinate we knew that the 'standard American diet' would not be sufficient to keep our family healthy, so we try to eat as organically and nutritionally as possible. We don't do fast food, and we eat out maybe twice a year as a family.
* If it were up to me I would home school all my children, I really think public school is a HUGE waste of time, but my children like it, I think they think it's easier, plus the socialization is something they enjoy. (Although if Oboma gets his way with making school days longer and taking out summer vacation, I will pull them out!)
* Having 7 children is large even for a 'Mormon' family now. There are no guidelines for the amount of children a family should have in the church. The only council is not to put it off in lue of financial gain and to keep the mother's health (mental and physical) in mind.

I want every aspect of my life to be so when people know me, they will want to know more about why I am like I am. I am happy (most of the time...), I am healthy, I am confident, I am in love (with Bill - just in case you're wondering), I am a mom, and I try to be aware of people and their needs. These traits are not unique to just me. They are traits that are found in women world wide. Many of the women I am 'sisters' with in the LDS faith portray these traits daily, and I want to be like them. Maybe that is what a cult is, people influencing others - and others wanting to follow. So if that is what people want to think of me, that I'm in a cult, then fine, but maybe they should first see what our beliefs really are.


Erika said...

Nicely put. I find it CRAZY when I hear people saying we're a cult. Seriously?!?

Oh, and Stephen Robinson...he's my sister-in-laws father. I keep meaning to read more of his books.

JoEllen said...

I'm happy just drinking the koolaid! :)

Just kidding. I totally love your post. LDS are different, but we are strong, and charitable and loving, and everything else you said. :)



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