Educational moment, the FLDS are not Mormon

Just to clarify, because it is driving me absolutely NUTS.  The FLDS people that have been on the news with the polygamy and child brides are not Mormons.  People keep mixing these up, but they’re not the same. 

There’s The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, called LDS, or Mormons, that’s the church that’s got like 14 million people in it.  Then there’s a group that broke off a long time ago called the FLDS, they’re the ones with the multiple wives and all the controversy in Texas.  Mormons don’t practice polygamy, and haven’t practiced polygamy for about a hundred years. 

Just to clarify, because I talk to a lot of people around the country, and around the world, and when they find out I’m Mormon, they always want to know how many wives I’ve got.  One.  Just one.  Pretty normal stuff there.  And we were both in our early twenties when we hooked up, not 12.  And no, she doesn’t wear a Victorian prarie dress while she manually churns butter, either. 

To break this down, if you’re a normal Christian, you don’t claim the people that broke off from your organization a hundred years ago and set up that weird compound up in the hills, where they handle poison snakes, kidnap “sinners” who get lost on the backroads, and occasionally sacrifice a virgin.  (Deliverence music plays).  And I’ve lived in MIssissippi and Alabama, so don’t tell me you don’t know about that one.  Same difference.

So Mormon is not equal to FLDS.  Thank you.

9 Responses

  1. I wear a jumpsuit when I churn butter. It breathes and I can move in it. Butter-churning is hard work!

  2. I’m NOT a Mormon, and it gets on my nerves.

  3. Why do you have to be a splinter group mormon or an islamist to have multiple wives?

    What’s up with that?

    As an atheist, I feel completely left out.

  4. Okay, Larry, if the FLDS are not “Mormons”, then what about the other splinter groups, particularly they back east, such as the Temple Lot church and the Bickertonites. I think they would refer to themselves as “Mormons”, at least in a sense that they use the Book of Mormon in their preaching.

    I posit that all religionists that accept the Book of Mormon as the true and divinely inspired are “Mormons”, but not members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

  5. they may call themselves mormons, but when most people who don’t know any better hear “Mormon Church” they think of headquarters in Salt Lake. A more accurate name for our church is the LDS Church. It is true, also, that anyone can read the book of mormon. If you’d like one, go to mormon.org

  6. I’ve been doing a little reading on the subject, and some other Restorationist churches call themselves “Mormon”, and others don’t.

    One interesting name I came across that the eastern churches use to refer to “Utah Mormons” that I found amusing was “Brighamite”, although I might start using the term to refer to the “fundamentalist” churches still practicing “the Principle”.

  7. What about RLDS, where do they fit in?

  8. RLDS broke off right after the death of Joseph Smith.

    Let’s put it this way, 13,000,000 of us claim the word Mormon. Half a dozen splinter groups with a total membership of a couple thousand (mostly related) can claim it too, just don’t mistake the millions of us for the ones with the child brides.

    And atheists should have multiple wives too. What’re you going to do if you’re wrong? Go to hell? :D

    On the Islamic fundys having polygamy, notice that you NEVER hear anything negative about that in the news. Same with slavery. And if you don’t like it, it’s because you’re politcally insensitive.

    • The funny thing is, I happen to be RLDS (well, a split off of the RLDS, anyway) and we actually think the opposite: That the Utah Mormons split off of us right after the death of Joseph Smith. It’s likely the same for most factions.

      Still, we get the same flak and assumptions about having multiple wives, even though we’ve never practiced polygamy. Outsiders who don’t know much about the intricate schisms throughout general church history tend to lump us all together under the same term. And honestly, it’s so much easier to let them label us with the man’s name than to try and explain X. then Y, and then Z. The only thing I never let pass is the polygamy accusation.

      (I know this is a pretty old post, but I’m a fairly new follower of your blog and feel I’m allowed to browse through old material. That’s why it’s still up, isn’t it? :) I was pleasantly surprised to learn you were LDS.)

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