My definition of “Anti-Mormon”

In response to a question posed by a commenter on this site, I figured it was fair to provide an answer since I do use the term rather broadly at times. I see there being multiple types of anti-Mormons:

1. The Professional anti-Mormon. These are folks like Jerald and Sandra Tanner who have dedicated their lives to anti-Mormonism as though it were its own religion.

2. The Amateur anti-Mormon. These are the people who attack the Mormon church, but on a part-time basis, when it’s convenient or when they get particularly riled up, but they have day-jobs and lives that aren’t defined by their animosity towards the LDS Church. But make no mistake, these people harbor a lot of negative feelings against the Church and would like to see it taken down.

3. The anti-Everythings. There are some people who aren’t particular about being against the Mormon church, they’re just against a lot of things and the Mormon happen to make the cut. These might be people of another faith who attack all faiths other than their own, or it might be an atheist who attacks all religions.

4. The Peaceful anti-Mormon. It’s almost incorrect to call these people “anti-Mormons”, because they’re not out to take down the Church and they’re not looking for battles. You wouldn’t know they have anything against the LDS Church except that they occasionally get dragged into a conversation that exposes how they feel.

5. The Closet anti-Mormon. This is the person who may not even know how negatively they themselves feel about the LDS Church or some of its doctrines. They might confuse their tactics with an intellectual search for truth, when in fact they have no real intention of an open-minded search for truth but are merely attempting to assert their “intellectual superiority”.

6. The Accidental anti-Mormon. This is the person who is not, in fact, any sort of anti-Mormon, but due to the way in which they have phrased a question or statement appears to be one, and therefore gets labeled as one on this blog. If that’s the case, I apologize.

All of these people may, at one time or another, be labeled as “anti-Mormons” on this website. While it may not be 100% accurate to do so, for the sake of time we must deal with labels that are sometimes incorrect, or risk spending so much time worrying about proper labeling that we ignore the actual points we are trying to debate.


  1. numbers 4 and 6 apply as well to those whom had left the church also. because in the lds faith it is impossible to conceive why anybody would leave by the members, those who do are simply lumped into the anti camp instead. its way more convenient that way to dismiss any claims they make.

  2. I thinks its important to make a clear distinction between "anti-Mormon" and "anti-Mormonism"

    Someone who is "anti-Mormon" is against Mormons and dislikes or hates them. Someone who is "anti-Mormonism" is for Mormons and loves them and is genuinely concerned for them.

  3. I guess I probably belong to the second group but I don't consider myself against the Mormon church members but against the false and different gospel they are being taught.

    Here is a great article from a man who left the Mormon church.

    I hope Mormons at least investigate the reasons he left.

  4. Here is another Ex Mormon and why he left his church, very powerful testimony.

  5. I read the whole thing. It might provide some good fodder for topics for this blog when I have the time. But suffice it to say, I didn't see much that was new to me there. Many of the points he focuses on (Kindhook plates, similarities between Masonic and Mormon rituals) as being major issues have been thoroughly refuted. The more experience I get with ex-Mormon and anti-Mormon thought, the more I see that people pretty much believe what they want to believe. I think God has done a wonderful job of setting things up so that it's hard for us to know anything for sure, and thus we end up living our lives according to what we want them to be, rather than merely following a list of rules that may or may not be aligned with what we really want.

  6. On what motivates an anti-Mormon…

    I suppose there are as many reasons as there are anti-Mormons.

    The man who murdered Parley P. Pratt was mad that his wife ran off with Pratt. Well, I say he was wrong, his wife had that right.

    But I think the epitome of an anti-mormon is William Law, who was simply appalled when he figured out that Joseph Smith was a liar, an adulterer, a murderer, and a thief, and not a prophet.

    There's an intense sense of vertigo when your worldview collapses. I was a full-on believing Mormon until age 38, served a mission, married in the temple, had four children, served in every calling I was asked to. But it started coming unglued. It was more and more of a stretch to explain the paradoxes to myself. It was depressing. Finally it just snapped. I realized all at once that the parsimonious explanation is fraud.

    Well, what's your reaction when you find out you've been had? It was far worse than the feeling of being burglarized- at least a burglar is an honest thief. With the church it's a deep sense of betrayal, that something you trusted more than anyone/anything, had lied to you. It makes you angry and deeply offends your sense of fairness and justice that a corporation sells another God myth and has become fatly rich from it. You feel a sense of duty to criticize it. Then you quickly find out that the church systematically censors critics and uses PR spin to make itself look good, and that church HQ is consciously complicit. When you know this, believe me, it's hard to stay in your seat.

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