Article Info

published: 10/18/05
updated: 1/6/14

Mormonism Today 




Present-Day Mormonism

The Latter Day Saint movement has continued to grow and evolve. Today there are thousands of active organizations, as the various denominations have continued to give birth to new expressions of the movement. By far the largest denomination is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints which reports some 12 million members worldwide. The Community of Christ reports 250,000 members, and the Church of Jesus Christ (Bickertonite) reports around 10,000 members. The Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints — the largest polygamist Latter Day Saint group — may also have as many as 10,000 members.

In addition to Latter Day Saint adherents, there are a large number of "Cultural Mormons" — people raised in the Church or in the Mormon cultural zone, but who don't not believe some (or all) of LDS doctrine, or who don't follow some (or all) of LDS practices. Cultural Mormons can be so-called "Jack Mormons", who do not practice their religion, but share cultural values and/or a common ancestry with practicing Latter Day Saints. Some Jack Mormons may even still believe many or all of the Church's teachings, but for various reasons choose not to attend services or participate in church activities. Cultural Mormons also include Practicing Cultural Mormons, who do practice their religion but do not believe in the doctrines. This includes the sub-group of so-called "New Order Mormons", who choose to hide their lack of belief to avoid conflict within their families.





As from the beginning of the movement, Anti-Mormons are still engaged in criticizing the church. Today, the principal groups of Anti-Mormons consist of ex-Mormons and Evangelical Christians. Although the criticisms remain largely the same, the medium of expression has shifted towards the internet. In addition, they tend to focus only on The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Today, the most well-known apologetic groups are FAIR (Foundation for Apologetic Information & Research) and FARMS (Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies (BYU)). They represent the LDS viewpoint and engage in debate with the Anti-Mormons.




Sources

  1. "Mormon." Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Premium Service. Accessed October 2005.
  2. "History of the Latter Day Saint movement." Wikipedia. Accessed October 2005.
  3. "History of the Church." Mormon.org. Accessed October 2005.