There are many types of Mormons in the world – not just the LDS Church in Utah.
Reform Mormonism is not the LDS Church based in Utah. Our beliefs are not fundamentalist, and we do not take scripture literally. We are not an attempt to change the LDS or FLDS churches. Reform Mormonism is its own approach to faith and life, separate from other Mormon sects. We’re a much more positive, progressive, and liberal type of Mormonism than you may have encountered:
We believe in thinking and acting rationally. We welcome new knowledge and discovery.
We believe we existed before this life, and we believe we will exist, in some form, after this life. In the meantime, we believe in expanding our knowledge and always improving. We believe that progression is eternal.
We believe that whatever is waiting for us after this life does not include judgment or condemnation. Therefore, we don’t believe in heaven or hell. We don’t believe that a supreme being created, or has much interest in, systems such as original sin or following earthly laws to obtain spiritual rewards. We believe these are all man-made things.
We believe in being accountable for our decisions and actions. This means that we accept responsibility for the consequences of our actions.
We believe in supporting all types of families, including single-parent and gay relationships. We believe in maintaining strong family ties, and in “turning the hearts of parents to their children, and the hearts of children to their parents.” We don’t believe in any type of discrimination based on family status.
ROLE OF WOMEN
We believe that women are entitled to all roles and positions. We do not believe that some roles or positions are to be held only by men or only by women. We don’t believe that one is superior to, or in authority over, another.
We believe in keeping church and state separate, for the benefit of both.
We believe that all scripture is man-made. Some scripture is edifying, some of it is not. All of the world’s scripture is open to us. We do not believe in reading scripture literally; we believe that taking scripture literally is a bad idea.
Prophets may offer enlightenment, but we believe in exercising caution when deciding to follow someone. We do not believe that another person has more authority to “speak for God” than anyone else.
We share Reform Mormonism with those who inquire. We do not proselytize.
We believe in contributing to non-profit organizations and charities, in the way that each of us feels will do the most good. We do not tithe to a church.
CHURCH AND TEMPLE ATTENDANCE
Reform Mormonism is a home-based, personal philosophy. A weekly day of rest is suggested; there are no church services. Reform Mormonism does have communal ceremonies that are designed to aide a person throughout their life, that are conducted in dedicated temple spaces. Our temple ceremonies are highly personal, edifying experiences. Unlike the LDS, we do not perform any temple ordinance for the deceased.
Q. Do you drink coffee or alcohol?
A. There are no dietary restrictions in Reform Mormonism.
Q. Do you baptize dead people?
A. No. That’s the LDS Church, based in Salt Lake City. Reform Mormons don’t believe in proxy ordinances, feeling that they are unnecessary and often unwise.
Q. Do you follow a prophet?
A. No, we look to the variety of inspired writing that comes from people every day, and from history. We learn to follow our own guidance and to make our own way in life.
Q. Are you a church?
A. No. We’re a personal philosophy, home-based. Any centralized Reform Mormon activity is only to bolster individuals. We don’t believe in an organized religion. Most of the time, organized religion causes more problems than it solves.
Q. Do you send out missionaries?
A. No, we do not proselytize. You’re probably thinking of the LDS Church based in Utah.
Q. Do you practice/advocate polygamy?
A. No, but we don’t have a problem with it. The living arrangements that consenting adults wish to have is no business of ours.
Q. Do you allow gay people?
A. Absolutely, we don’t believe in discrimination. We’re especially proud of our gay sealings.
Q. Do you allow women to hold the priesthood?
A. Yes. In Reform Mormonism, everyone holds the priesthood.
Q. Do you believe in sin?
A. No, not really. And we don’t believe the human race is in a fallen state. In fact, we believe the opposite.
Q. Do you believe you’ll become Gods after you die?
A. We believe it’s a possibility. It’s part of our belief in “eternal progression,” that we continue growing and developing, even after this life. Eternity is a long time, and we don’t view it as retirement.
Q. Do you wear or believe in the special Mormon undergarments?
A. No, we don’t. You’re thinking of the LDS Mormons from the church based in Utah.
Q. Do you believe God lives on a planet called “Kolob”?
A. No, we don’t.
Q. You don’t seem to follow the more idiosyncratic aspects of Mormonism. Are you sure you’re Mormon?
A. Yes. “Magic underwear” or baptism of the dead are things that make the LDS Church unique, but they aren’t the aspects of Mormonism that are important to us. We have a unique view of things such as “God” and “faith” that isn’t like any other denomination, and that is what matters to us.
Reform Mormonism has been around since 2002, and we’ve heard from many thousands of people during the years, expressing their alignment with Reform Mormon principles, support for our approach to life, and their appreciation of it. We welcome you to explore our unique perspective. If you find it appealing, please feel free to consider yourself a Reform Mormon. You do not need permission or authority from us to become one.
You can read more about Reform Mormonism in the About Us and Library sections.