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Religious Tolerance logo

Christian faith groups


The LDS Restorationist movement,
including many Mormon denominations

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The LDS Restoration movement is made up of denominations, sects, and small faith groups who trace their origins back to the original Church of Christ that Joseph Smith's founded in 1830. The Church of Christ was renamed the Church of Latter-day Saints in 1834, then became the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in 1838.

Following Smith's assassination by a Christian mob in 1844, problems arose about the choice of a new leader. This caused schism within the church, which resulted in the creation of a number of new faith groups. The largest faction, under the leadership of Brigham Young, started on a long trek to Salt Lake in what is now Utah. Other groups remained in the mid-west.

The Utah group changed the capitalization and punctuation of their name to became The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1851. It is now called by the latter title (no pun intended), and is often referred to as the LDS, LDS Church, Mormon Church, Latter-day Saints, the Church, or The Church of Jesus Christ. It remains by far the largest denomination within the LDS Restoration movement.

Many schisms followed so that the present-day LDS Restoration movement consists of almost a hundred faith groups.

The membership of the LDS Church and of some other groups within the LDS Restoration movement are often referred to as "Mormons" by the media and general public. However, only the LDS Church and a few other faith groups use this term themselves. Further, the LDS Church objects to any reference to other denominations having any claim to the term "Mormon."

In an essay on the LDS church in Christianity Today -- the leading evangelical Christian magazine -- Robert Millet and Gerald McDermott stated:

"Historically, evangelicals and Mormons have demonized each other. Evangelicals consider the Church of Latter-day Saints to be a cult and typically think Mormons are not real Christians." 1

In return, Mormons generally accept evangelicals and many other Christian denominations as Christian groups. However Mormons also believe that the Christian movement deviated from the true message of the Gospel after the apostles died in the first century CE and that they have been able to recreate authentic Christianity.

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Topics covered in this section:

The LDS Restorationist movement:

bulletTerminology: Almost hopelessly confusing
bulletAre the LDS Restorationists Christians?

bullet Are they Protestants? Which is the true Mormon denomination?
bulletHistory of LDS Restorationism
bullet Early history

bullet Recent history
bulletMormon texts:
bullet Who wrote the Book of Mormon?

bullet The Book of Abraham

bullet Computer analysis of the Book of Mormon to determine its authorship
bulletAmerican history:
bullet Book of Mormon teachings about ancient Native American origins

bullet DNA evidence about the ancestry of American Natives
bulletMore information
bulletMormon books and Internet resources
bulletPractice of polygyny 2 by some LDS Restorationists:
bulletThe Law of Abraham and the Law of Sarah

bulletDuring the early 19th century

During the later 19th century
bulletCurrent practice

bulletIn Bountiful, BC, Canada

bulletGovernment reaction

Groups within the LDS Restorationist movement:


The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (a.k.a. LDS Church & Mormon Church)

bulletCurrent status, Recent major events

bulletHoly texts, & Organizational structure

bulletTerminology, Practices, Opposition, & Off-shoots

bulletThe Mountain Meadows Massacre
bullet Books on the massacre

bullet2008 presidential candidate: Mitt Romney

bulletReasons Ex-Mormons give for leaving the LDS Church

bullet Videos and websites intended to dispel myths about the LDS faith
bulletLDS Beliefs:
bulletDifferentiating between valid LDS doctrine & opinions of its past leaders

bulletGeneral beliefs

bulletThe Articles of Faith  by Joseph Smith


bulletBlood atonement


bullet Homosexuality and same-sex marriage

bulletTheological conflicts with LDS beliefs:
bulletWhy a bishop resigned


Theological criticisms by evangelicals and some other non-Mormons:

bulletTheological questions by an Atheist

bulletIs the LDS church a cult?
bulletEssays donated by visitors to this web site:
bulletJose Davis: "Is Mormonism a Christian denomination?"

bulletSamuel Klein: Why the LDS Church is not a cult?

bulletJohn Nash: "On Mormons and the equality of women"

The Community of Christ (formerly called the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints)


The Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (FLDS) (known for their practice of polygyny) 2


The Church of Jesus Christ (Bickertonites)

Before sending a letter of complaint:


Please read this note

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A reference and footnotes used:

  1. Robert Millet and Gerald McDermott, "Mitt's Mormonism and the 'Evangelical Vote' Can conservative Protestants vote for a member of what they consider a cult?" Christianity Today, 2007-MAY-31, at:
  2. We receive a lot of Emails saying that our use of "polygyny" is a typo and that the correct word is "polygamy." This is not a spelling error. "Polygyny" means a marriage between one man and multiple wives, which is what the essays discuss.

    Polygamy can mean:
    bulletpolygyny: a marriage among one man and multiple women;

    bulletpolyandry: a marriage among one woman and multiple men; or

    bulletgroup marriage: a marriage among multiple men and multiple women

    Only polygyny is currently promoted by certain fundamentalist Mormon denominations. With few exceptions, polygyny was the only polygamous arrangement promoted by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints until it was at least temporarily suspended in the late 19th century.

  3. American Experience and Frontline, two of PBS' most acclaimed TV series presented "The Mormons," a four hour documentary about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It is available for viewing online and for purchase in DVD format. See:

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 Home > Christianity > Christian faith groups > here

Home > Christianity > Denominational families > here

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Copyright © 1995 to 2013 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Latest update: 2013-DEC-30
Author: B.A. Robinson

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