Mormons: Unique to USA?

Just curious if the Mormons are unique to the USA…although they’ve been sent out to reform others, I suppose. Still, are there other sects claiming to be Latter Day somethings? - Jinx

Unique in what sense? There are native Mormons in many countries. I’m not aware of any other religion with “Latter Day” in their name, if that’s what you mean.

The majority of Mormons actually live outside the U.S.

I knew some Mormons when I lived in Korea.

I guess I was under the wrong impression that Mormon (Mormonism?) was exclusively within the USA with the exception of missionaries being sent out from here.

Also, to rephrase the second part of my question: Are there disagreeing factions within the Mormon religion, or do we find just the opposite?

Just curious…

  • Jinx

One faction apparently calls themselves Community of Christ.

There are Latter-day Saints (also known as Mormons) in nearly every country in the world. Although founded in the US, it spread abroad, especially with the start of the worldwide missionary program and the emphasis on establishing stakes of Zion in one’s home country, rather than migrating to some special location (like Nauvoo, IL; Kirtland, OH; Independence, MO). The definition of “Zion” changed from a particular location to wherever Latter-day Saints may be.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, thanks to its organization and the zeal of its members, tends to be more uniform/monolithic than other Churches. There are no major dissident movements within the Church. All dissident or reformist movements are outside the Church.

In addition, there are various Churches that claim to be the true successor to the organization set up by and the Gospel revealed to Joseph Smith, Jr., the founder of the Mormon religious movement and the first president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Some of these Churches are:

  • The Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (now known as The Community of Christ)
  • The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (also known as the Strangites)
  • The Church of Christ, Temple Lot

There are also a number of “fundamentalist” groups, most in the Western US, that claim to be the pure version of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Most of these forbid the priesthood to people of color, and most practice or believe in polygyny (commonly called polygamy). Note that these groups are not part of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints - they are splinter groups.


We’ve got a large, thriving Mormon community in Alberta.

In Northern Mexico the Mormons have an interesting history. Some American Mormons arrived there in the late 19th century and formed farming communities and towns.

In time some Mexicans also adopted the Mormon religion from them. During the Mexican Revolution many of them fled to the United States. A few stayed behind and were joined by others. Today there are a few thousand Anglo-American Mormons who are third, fourth, or fifth generation Mexicans among a total of hundreds perhaps a million Mexican Mormon.

There is even a Mexican senator from a Mormon community.

There’s an excellent book called Divergent Paths of the Restoration that lists quite a few of the faiths which trace back, in one way or another, to Joseph Smith Jr. The book was written by someone who grew up in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints but converted to the Community of Christ & is now one of their senior people.

Nitpick: Polygyny is just one form of polygamy. Polygyny (from the Greek for “many women”) means that one man can have multiple wives, while polyandry means that one woman can have multiple husbands. Polygamy can be either, or some combination.


Most people claim that Latter-day Saints practice polygamy, which is false. Latter-day Saints never practiced or believed in polygamy. They did practice and believe in polygyny. Polyandry was (and is) not allowed.

The practice of “plural marriage” in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints ended in 1890. It’s still practiced by fringe groups.


Actually, polygany is one type of polygamy[sup]1[/sup]; therefore, it is reasonable to infer that the LDS church did, in fact, both preach and practice polygamy in one particular form for a part of its history.

An interesting “home-grown” faith from another country, which has, what it seems to me, some parallels to the LDS is the Iglesia ni Kristo in the Philippines.

[sup]1[/sup]From the Merriam-Webster online dictionary: