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Fundamentalist Doctrinal Concerns

About a dozen or so complaints are repeatedly lodged against the Church by "Mormon Fundamentalists." The practice of polygamy is by far the most visible.  Click here for more detailed information about polygamy.

 Other doctrinal differences include:


Through Joseph Smith, God revealed an economic plan called the "Law of Consecration." It retains a personís full free agency while providing for the poor and the needy. Members in the 1830s and again in the 1870s were given the privilege (D&C 51:15) of living this inspired plan. Notwithstanding, Church members were not totally successful and God subsequently replaced it with a lesser law called "tithing" (D&C 64:23, 119:4-5).

Mormon Fundamentalists assert that the "Law of Consecration" must be lived today. They forget that to practice it, they must have divine permission and authorized leadership (see D&C 42:30-39).  This they do not possess.  Click here for more information.


Through Joseph Smith the Lord instructed that missionaries should travel without "purse or scrip" (D&C 84:86). Fundamentalists claim that this is the only acceptable method of accomplishing missionary work. They refuse to accept prophetic guidance which subsequently dictated that providing support to missionaries in their field of labor is acceptable and even expected. For more information click here.


Fundamentalists claim that specific words must always be used in an exact manner whenever priesthood authority is conveyed from one man to another. They assert that improper words have been used by Church leaders in the past. As a result they claim that many brethren in the Church today think they have priesthood authority when in reality they do not.

Such critics fail to realize that from the beginning of the Church in 1830, a variety of words have been successfully used to confer priesthood. Click here for more details.


In the early 1830s Church members were striving to settle Jackson County, Missouri. Members were slow to follow inspired council. Contentions, envyings, strifes and lustful and covetous desires existed among them (D&C 101:6). As a consequence, the Lord promised that an individual referred to as, "one mighty and strong" might  be dispatched to accomplish two things: (1) "to set in order the house of God" and (2) "to arrange by lot the inheritances of the saints" on the properties then being purchased in that area (D&C 85:7).

Mormon Fundamentalists completely ignore the second duty listed above. Then they assert that the "house of God" mentioned is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the twenty-first century, with its headquarters in Salt Lake City, Utah. Consequently, they believe that some individual will eventually appear to "set in order" the Church according to their specific notions and to vindicate them. In fact, over twenty men have made the claim to be the "one mighty and strong" during the last 100 years. Most of them are now deceased.

Fundamentalists fail to realize that much of the work of the "one mighty and strong" was conditional.  It was dependent upon the continued unrighteousness of the Church members in that area at that time (see D&C 85:8). In addition, nothing exists to suggest that his responsibilities would ever expand to a time and place far beyond that implicit in the original revelation.  For more information, click here.


Modern revelations mention that there will be a gathering to "one place" prior to the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ (see D&C 29:8, 42:9). That "one place" has been specified as Independence, Missouri (D&C 57:3). Dissenters believe that all new converts should be "gathered" to that location, or at least to North America.

Joseph Smith plainly taught that the "gathering" was designed to bring individuals out of spiritual darkness and into the light of the gospel. This is accomplished as they accept revealed truth and participate in saving ordinances (see D&C 101:64, 115:6, History of the Church, 5:423-424). Click here for more information.


While serving as Church President, Brigham Young made a few references to Adam which, if isolated from all other Church teachings, may be difficult to understand. If given a cursory review, a few of these references seem to contradict other plain pronouncements which he himself made about Adam, as well as conflicting with all of the statements made by Joseph Smith on the subject. In addition they seem to contradict every reference to Adam found in the Standard Works.  It appears that currently, our understanding is incomplete.

Church members are content to wait patiently to fully comprehend these few statements given by President Young.  In contrast, fundamentalists seem anxious to rush in with their own narrow interpretations, ever willing to ignore all of the plain teachings given by Brigham Young, Joseph Smith, John Taylor and the scriptures concerning Adam, "the first man" (D&C 84:16; see also Moses 6:50-52). Click here for more discussion.


A Church policy dating back to the time of Brigham Young forbade men with African ancestry from receiving priesthood ordinations. Details as to why this policy was required have never been fully revealed.

In 1978, Church President Spencer W. Kimball received a revelation which allows all worthy males to receive the priesthood. Mormon Fundamentalists reject that prophetic declaration. Click here for more information.


Polygamy was openly practiced between 1852 and 1890. Participation was often felt to be a demonstration of devout faith. The United States government started in 1862 passing laws designed specifically to stop the practice. In 1890, then Church President Wilford Woodruff went to the Lord to inquire if plural marriage was still required as a manifestation of devotion and faith. He received a revelation which formed the basis for a document now referred to as the "Manifesto." It specified that polygamy was no longer a necessary practice for members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Mormon Fundamentalists reject this "Manifesto." Click here for more information.


Mormon Fundamentalists claim that sometime after Joseph Smith's death, Church leaders stopped receiving revelation from the Lord.  It is untrue.  Click here for more discussion.

New topics spring up from time to time because many Fundamentalists assume the role of a critic, judging the ongoing work of the Church.

For a brief synopsis of most of these topics see: Is Fundamentalism Fundamental?

Criticisms associated with LDS temples cannot be discussed outside those sacred edifices.  Irrespective, research clearly reveals that the Church continues to practices all of the fundamental teachings given through Joseph Smith and Brigham Young regarding temple ordinances.


The Doctrines of Modern Polygamy, An LDS Perspective  by Brian C. Hales and J. Max Anderson

     Chapter 1 - An Introduction

     Chapter 2 - The Law of Consecration

     Chapter 3 - Plural Marriage - Neither Commanded Nor Authorized

     Chapter 4 - Missionary Work Without Purse or Scrip

     Chapter 5 - The Gathering of Israel

     Chapter 6 - The Adam - god Theory

     Chapter 7 - Proper Priesthood Conferral - What Fundamentalists Need to Know

     Chapter 8 - Alleged Loss of Revelation Within the Church

     Chapter 9 - The "One Mighty and Strong"

     Chapter 10 - Blacks and the Priesthood


Is Fundamentalism Fundamental?  by Brian C. Hales