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Mormon
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Mormon

Alternate meaning: Mormon (prophet)

Mormon is a name first used in the 1830s for followers of Joseph Smith, Jr who accepted "The Book of Mormon" as scripture. It originated as a derogatory term, but the name soon lost its negative connotation. Today the term "Mormon" generally refers to members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). There are other smaller denominations that also adhere to Mormonism, but some of them have avoided and discouraged the term "Mormon" because of its primary association with the LDS Church. Another name commonly used to refer to Mormons is Latter Day Saint. (Note that the spelling given, "Day," with no hyphen is intentional. It doesn't refer just to a "Latter-day Saint") Members of the Church today prefer the name "Latter-day Saint," but the term "Mormon" is not considered offensive.

Table of contents
1 Scope of the term "Mormon" within the Latter-day Saint movement
2 Distinguishing Mormons from Quakers, Mennonites, and the Amish
3 See also
4 External links

Scope of the term "Mormon" within the Latter-day Saint movement

Some scholars feel the terms "Mormon" and "Mormonism" are useful to collectively describe all denominations within the Latter Day Saint movement, who claim to originate from the religion founded by Smith. Moreover, some other churches and groups disagree with the position of the LDS Church, and continue to call themselves Mormons. Sometimes "Restorationist" or "Restoration Movement" is used for this purpose instead, but that can lead to confusion since there is an entirely different group of Christian churches (those derived from the Campbellites or Stone-Campbell churches, for example, the Church of Christ and the Disciples of Christ) which are also known as Restorationists.

Some scholars, such as Melton, in his Encyclopedia of American Religion, subdivide the Mormons into "Utah Mormons" and "Missouri Mormons." The Missouri Mormons are those Mormons who did not travel westward to Utah, and the organizations formed from them (the Community of Christ, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Strangite), Church of Christ (Temple Lot), etc.), while the Utah Mormons are those who did travel westward to Utah, and the organizations formed from them (the LDS Church and the various polygamy-practicing groups such as the True & Living Church of Jesus Christ of Saints of the Last Days; and the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, scattered in usually isolated communities mostly in Utah, Idaho, Arizona, and British Columbia). The term "Utah Mormon" is still being popularly used today among the American members of the LDS Church just to point out cultural differences and/or geographical positioning of Utah State members. "Missouri Mormon" nomenclature, on the other hand, is not common among Mormons anymore, and has become almost useless since today, most Mormons live outside the United States.

Distinguishing Mormons from Quakers, Mennonites, and the Amish

Despite some misconceptions over similar nicknames and stereotypes, Mormons are not the same religious group as Quakers, Mennonites, or Amish. Mormons originated separately from all of these groups. One source of confusion comes from the mistranslation of the movie Witness with Harrison Ford into Spanish and French. In it "Amish" was translated into "Mormon." The Quakers are officially known as members of the Religious Society of Friends. As stated above, Mormons were originally identified as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. While the Quakers, Mennonites, and Amish have embraced the nicknames or pejorative terms that were applied to them, the Church prefers that the term Latter-day Saints or LDS be applied to members rather than the term "Mormon."

See also

External links