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Dear Gramps,

Would you know what this statement means? “…not maintaining any affiliation or sympathy with apostate groups.” What is this statement talking about exactly?





Dear Shelly,

One part is missing from the statement which clouds the understanding, and that is who wrote it. There are two main religions from which groups have apostatized–the Catholics and the Mormons. If this was written in reference to the Catholic Church, all the Protestant groups would be considered as apostates–having left the Catholic Church and organized other religions. However, those apostate groups have long since been stabilized and are generally accepted as independent religions in today’s world. There would seem to be little reason for a member of the Catholic Church to avow fidelity to the church by stating that he had no affiliation or sympathy with any of the Protestant churches.

However, Mormonism is a relatively new religion, being founded in the year 1830. From its inception it has provoked much hostility, among dissident members as well as non-members. Numbers of disavowed members in the early days of the Mormon Church apostatized and started churches of their own. There are probably on the order of a hundred such organizations existing today. If the loyalty of a member of the Mormon Church may be in question for one reason or another, such a person could possibly have reason to declare that he had no affiliation or sympathy with any apostate group. A practicing Mormon with such affiliations would naturally be prohibited from acting in leadership positions in the Mormon Church or from participating in sacred ordinances.






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