Common LDS Myths
Numerous myths have been circulated about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and some are just out and out bizarre. Here, some of the more common myths about the LDS Church will be addressed.
- Myth: None of the Church of Jesus Christ’s ministry is paid.
- Answer: This is actually not true. The General Authorities are offered a living allowance because they provide full-time service. Mission Presidents receive basic financial support while they serve. However, those who serve at a local level, such as Bishops and Stake Presidents, are not paid.
- Myth: The Mormon Church is a correct title.
- Answer: This is untrue. The proper name for the Church is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and this has been the official name of the Church since 1838. The Church actually discourages the use of the term “the Mormon Church.” While referring to a member of the Church as a Mormon is generally acceptable, most members prefer to be called “Latter-day Saints” or "LDS."
- Myth: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is not a Christian church.
- Answer: When given the name of the Church, it is a wonder some people deny that Latter-day Saints are Christians. The entire focus of the Church is centered around Jesus Christ, the Atonement, and the resurrection.
- Myth: Latter-day Saints practice polygamy.
- Answer: Absolutely not. The practice has been banned from the Church since 1890. Any member found practicing polygamy is excommunicated from the Church. Polygamists who claim to be Latter-day Saints are not telling the truth. Polygamist sects have no affiliation with the Church.
- Myth: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is racist.
- Answer: This is absolutely not true. In 1978, President Spencer W. Kimball stated that every “faithful, worthy man in the Church may receive the holy priesthood.” Before this time, blacks of African descent were not able to receive the priesthood. This situation was not the desire of the members of the Church or its leadership. When President Kimball and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles received the revelation to extend the priesthood to all worthy male members of the Church, they had already been praying fervently for some time for that blessing. The Church’s position toward all races has always been to embrace them. Latter-day Saints treated Native Americans with respect at a time when many did not, and founding prophet Joseph Smith, Jr., actually ran for President of the United States on an anti-slavery platform. Members of the Church come from all over the world, and no one is denied access to the blessings of the Church because of his race.