Saturday, April 19, 2014

Why Do Some People Call the LDS Church a Cult?

The Short Answer: As Hitler said, if you're going to tell a lie, you have to make it huge to make it believable.

The Long Answer: Let me illustrate this with an example I learned from my advertising class. This particular company will remain anonymous as I can't remember what it's name was.

Once upon a time, there was an unsuspecting baby food company that only wanted to fill babies tummies with delicious fruits and veggies. Then one day, some person made the claim that this company worshiped Satan. How outlandish! They claimed that this company put Satanic figures in its logo, poisoned babies, summoned spirits, and did all sorts of horrible, nasty stuff. All of it quite obviously untrue.

For some strange reason, this caught the public's attention. The accusations were so far from the expected, that maybe they were right. I mean, no one would make this sort of claim without something to back it up. And so, the Satanic image of this baby food company spread like a disease and their sales plummeted.

Naturally, the company didn't stand back and just let it happen. They fought back with advertising campaigns to correct the misinformation and by charging the people responsible for spreading the lies. Unfortunately, when one person got charged with libel, someone else took up the cause and continued spreading the lies.

Eventually, this company realized it couldn't fight stupid, and it gave up. It changed its logo, apologized for hypnotizing babies, and promised never to worship Satan again. Basically. The company survived and eventually the rumors died away as most lies do.

I'm a Mormon button
"No, I'm LDS!"
Sometimes you just can't escape a negative image, no matter how hard you try, and so you have to go with it. For instance, we were called, "Mormons," as a derogatory term. And no matter how hard we try to say, "No, we're Latter-day Saints! We're LDS!" the term is already stuck. So we just embrace it, and now we have the lovely I'm a Mormon campaign, backed up by the, "It's just a nickname for our church, I'm really a Latter-day Saint," initiative to keep Elder Ballard happy.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is not a cult. That is a lie created so that people who don't like the church have a reason to hate it. I don't know of any other cult that is so secretive that it sends out thousands of missionaries to bug you and tell you all about it. We don't murder people, we encourage you to tell your friends and family that you're joining our church, and all of our doctrine is publicly available here and here. You can also read a bunch of statements from lots of other Latter-day Saints on how the Church is not a cult here.

Unlike the aforementioned baby food company, the Church will not back down or surrender to the negative accusations thrown at us. No matter how clunky the name sounds in our mouths when we try to say it quickly, we will always belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. No matter how much the world thinks we're strange, outdated, or peculiar, we will not change our doctrine.Christ gave it to us, and we will stick to it.

And remember: sacrificing babies is wrong.

1 comment:

  1. People made similar accusations towards Pokémon (the satanic brainwashing stuff anyway)