There is an interesting Wikipedia page called “Who is a Jew?“. The entry tries to explain what a “Jew” is, which is complicated because as the article says, it can have cultural, ethnic, religious, political, genealogical and personal dimensions. It is an interesting article, and I recommend reading it.

There are no such pages in Wikipedia for “who is a Catholic/Baptist/Mormon” etc. There are pages for the Mormon church, the Catholic church, and so forth, but there does not seem to be the confusion about “who is”. But looking at the list of dimensions of who can be a Jew, it seems most can be used to determine who is a Mormon. Lets look at each and see if they apply

Culture: Yes on this one. There are culture Mormons. I’m a culture Mormon. I was born in Logan Utah, and then lived in Rexburg ID and Laie Hi, both extremely Mormon towns. My mother baked bread, and we had scones regularly on the days she baked. It was quite a culture shock when I moved to a secular city after leaving Laie. I went from a public school that was 99% LDS, to being one of two members in my new school. To this day I still do “Mormon ” stuff. Even if I was to resign my membership, I would still be a Mormon.

Ethnic: No on this one. This is where we part ways with our Jewish friends. Unless you count the “linage” pronounced in a patriarchal blessing, there is no “ethic” Mormon

Religious: Yes. This is the mechanism where one can become a Mormon by conversion/baptism. This is the most obvious, and the one most people think about when they declare themselves Mormon.

Genealogical: Kind of. While we don’t have rules like in the Jewish faith where you are a Mormon if your mother was a Mormon, there is something to the case that coming from a long line of Mormons give you some Mormonhood. I’m a 5th generation Mormon, with polygamy on my fathers side. Both side came across the plains to migrate to SLC. It’s in my blood

Personal: If I identify as a Mormon, regardless of my official status with the records in SLC, I’m a Mormon. I would say yes, even more so with the Nelson Church disavowing the name Mormon. I could say I’m not LDS, or not a member of TCJCOLDS, but I could still be a Mormon if personally that’s what I feel like

I could write a whole other post of all the different Mormon sects, that all spring from Joseph Smith, and have used the Book of Mormon in one way of another, but that is not this post. They are all Mormons also. This is more about being part of the Brighamite church at one time or another, and using the moniker “Mormon” even if you are not a member of record or don’t attend anymore.

So dear readers, are you a Mormon?

Image by Aline Dassel from Pixabay