Don't Say 'Mormon', and What Are Your Sources? - 11/13/2008

Was just wondering where exactly you got all of your information on the church of jesus christ of latter day saints?? or the mormons as you incorrectly refer to them. As alot of it seems to be incorrect or misinterpretated by yourself.


Hi Boyd. Thanks for writing.  All of our research into Mormonism is based on official LDS sources, such as the Book of Mormon, Doctrine & Covenants, Pearl of Great Price, Mormon Doctrine (a book by LDS Apostle Bruce McConkie), Articles of Faith (a book by LDS Apostle James Talmage), Gospel Principles (official LDS curriculum), The Journal of Discourses (a collection of the sermons of Brigham Young and other LDS prophets and apostles), and a few other LDS sources.  If you think something on our site is incorrect or misinterpreted, I encourage you to let us know specifically what that is, and back up your assertion. We actually request that in the email guidelines on our contact page.  Don't just make a blanket accusation - be specific.  That way we can discuss the specifics to see if we are incorrect or if you are. 

"Mormons" and "Mormonism" are correct and acceptable terms.  There was a public relations move prior to the Olympic Games in Utah to minimize the use of those terms, but that's recent and not followed by all Mormons.  I grew up with many Mormons - some of them direct descendants of Joseph Smith and Brigham Young - who referred to themselves as Mormons.  A non-practicing Mormon was referred to as a "Jack Mormon" by other Mormons as well.  LDS Apostle Bruce McConkie wrote the book Mormon Doctrine.  A review of many of Brigham Young's sermons in the Journal of Discourses finds that he used the term "Mormons" as well.  Even the official LDS website today is replete with these terms.  In a press release on the website entitled "Who Are The Mormons?", the author writes, "Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (commonly known as Mormons)..."  In an article on the LDS website entitled "A Mormon Worldview", we read "One reporter initiated a thought-provoking discussion by asking Mormon historian Richard Bushman, 'What is the question that Mormonism answers?' Bushman replied: 'What Mormons really try to do is to offer a story – a story of human existence that begins in the world before and comes to this world. It answers the classic questions of whence, why, and where. It’s not just something that stands above Mormons, but is imbued into their minds.' "  And in the article "The Religious Experience of Mormonism", the author states "In his recent book People of Paradox, Mormon scholar Terryl Givens maintained that 'Mormonism is ill disposed to maintain a simple hierarchy that privileges spiritual activity over physical or the contemplative over the active.' " If it were "incorrect", as you suggest, to refer to Latter-day Saints as "Mormons", I doubt they would do so on the official LDS website, books, and sermons. 

Now, if you believe we have any incorrect information on our website, please feel free to let us know specifically what it is, and provide some evidence to back up your assertion.  Otherwise we're left to believe you simply hope or want to believe that we're wrong, but we're really not.  God bless. 

In Christ,

Ben Rast
Contender Ministries