The Church of Latter Days Saints, commonly known as the Mormon Church, has been persecuted and threatened as a cult since its beginnings. According to Mormons, Joseph Smith, a man they regard as a prophet, received several divine revelation concerning certain records that had been written on golden plates. Smith uncovered and translated the plates from Reformed Egyptian to English, working on one side of curtain while his scribe (initially his wife) stay behind in the other. He kept the plates away from the vision of everybody, thus no one could see them. The prophet claimed that the plates contained the manuscript of a religious history written many centuries earlier by Moroni and his father, Mormon. Relying on these writings, Smith published the translation of what he considered the Book of Mormon, in 1830.
(Alexander, p. 44) This book holds that a tribe of Israelites, in about 600 B. C. E, sailed to the Americas, where they built cities and temples and obeyed the Law of Moses. But the Israelites fought among themselves. The Lama nites, Cains descendants, disobeyed Gods words and submit the peaceful Nephi tes (A bels descendants) against their will.
The last remaining Nephrite prophet was Mormon. The Lamanitess descendants are said to be todays Native Americans. The sacred books of the Mormons are the "Book of Mormon"; The "Bible", with Joseph Smith own interpretations; "Doctrines and Covenants"; "The Pearl of Great Price", with the Articles of Faith. The Book of Mormon and the Articles of Faith are considered to be divine revelations superior to the Bible. (Alexander, p. 80) The controversy against Latter Saints emerged from those who believed that the Book of Mormon is a plagiarism of a fiction novel written by Solomon Spaulding in 1816.
Also Mormons have been accused to be a false religion, because, although they follow the Bible, Smith introduced 125 new verses only in the New Testament, and changed 1, 475 verses in the King James version of the Bible, while he was inspired by Gods grace. (Alexander, p. 121) However, no religion has ever proved the truthfulness of its sacred books. Possibly, the main offences that have accused LDS of being a cult are their faiths on polygamy and racism against blacks. To understand why Mormons believe on plural marriage, or polygamy, we need to analyze first their idea of eternal marriage and family. Conversely to what many have thought, Mormons are taught to take very seriously their selection of a mate, seeing it as a religious responsibility that will determine not only their happiness on earth, but also their eternal welfare.
Furthermore, they think that being parents in mortality is an opportunity to share in Gods creative work. According to Mormons all men and women were born of Heavenly Parents (God Father and his Heavenly Wife). Because Divine Parents gave humans something of their own nature they think of themselves as gods in embryo as being able to continue on the path Heavenly Parents started. (Dun frey, p. 527) Thus, Mormons parents have the responsibility to give their children the best education and show them the path to salvation. Besides Mormons believe spirits destined for birth on earth are thought to be waiting to be born sooner or later, thus according to them is much better for this spirits to be born in a family who understand Gods plans.
For a believer of this religion, it is deliberately selfish to have no children or unseemly few. Plural marriage in the LDS is just a result of this idea, and not a question of lust, as many have assumed. However, since 1890 plural marriage has not been practice among the members of the Church, as the U. S. Supreme Court upheld the U.
S. statutory ban on polygamy. Mormons still believe in polygamy, but in the celestial world.