A lot of people say that Mormons belong to a cult. Is that true? First, it depends on what your definition of a cult is. Here are a few definitions culled from the web. If you have others feel free to add them.
1. Followers of an exclusive system of religious beliefs and practices.
2. Followers of an unorthodox, extremist, or false religion or sect who often live outside of conventional society under the direction of a charismatic leader.
3. A religion or sect that is generally considered to be unorthodox, extremist, or false; “it was a satanic cult”.
4. A system of religious beliefs and rituals.
Do Mormons fit any of these definitions? Certainly Mormons are followers of an exclusive system of religious beliefs and practices, but so is everyone else who belongs to a religion, so by this definition of the word “cult” all other Christians would also belong to a cult.
Are Mormons followers of an unorthodox, extremist, or false religion or sect who often live outside of conventional society under the direction of a charismatic leader? Mormons certainly do not live outside of conventional society by any stretch, but it could be argued that Mormon beliefs are unorthodox, extremist, and false, and that we have charismatic leaders. But then again, the Jews accused Christ of all those same things. From their viewpoint he was teaching a false religion, and he was certainly unorthodox and extremist, at least from their perspective. Of course he was teaching the same truth the Jews had been taught for millennia by the prophets, but they misunderstood the gospel and therefore didn’t recognize Christ as the Messiah when he came.
Finally, here’s Webster’s definition: A system of religious belief and worship.
So you can smile, yes, Mormons are a cult, and when confronted with this evidence, even Mormons won’t be able to deny it. Of course by this definition Baptists, evangelicals, Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims, and anyone else who belongs to any religion of any sort also belongs to a cult.