The term unorthodox Mormon
encompasses a wide variety of people within the Mormon Spectrum

Other terms with which people may identify are: open, big-tent, liberal, progressive, non-literal, non-traditional, New Order Mormon (NOM) and heterodox.

There is a wide range of beliefs regarding Mormon theology, culture and the formal LDS church in this group. Many feel an attachment to their Mormon identity, heritage, and culture and have warm feelings for aspects of Mormonism and Mormon people. Awareness and knowledge of church history, as well as omissions from correlated church material, are common. Perspectives on social issues vary greatly. An Unorthodox member is typically unwilling to accept correlated Mormonism without investigation. They may self-identify as being fully faithful in *practice* while recognizing that beliefs may be privately held.

People that identify in this area of the spectrum may feel free to pick and choose what works for them and discard the things that don’t. Often a more nuanced approach in viewing theology is taken. The unorthodox member may embrace, accept, or recognize fallibility in prophets and leaders, and view some past historical things as mistakes. Their views of early prophets, the restoration and church truth claims vary widely. The Book of Mormon and the Book of Abraham may be viewed as inspired, but not necessarily as literal historical records. Disagreement with current or past prophets and leaders on various subjects is not uncommon. Actively working for change within the church, in various areas, may be important.

A variety of callings in the church are held by people that identify as unorthodox. Members may or may not hold current temple recommends and hold different viewpoints regarding the temple experience. They may or may not pay tithing or adhere to the Word of Wisdom. Attendance and participation in the church vary widely. Choices regarding church participation are motivated by a variety of factors.

There is a wide range of emotions and feelings within this group regarding Mormonism and the church, depending on personal circumstances and experiences. They may feel isolated, as they recognize they no longer share some of the same perspectives and beliefs as those around them at church. They may feel limited in their ability to interact, make comments, teach lessons, and share their perspectives. Desire for privacy and the fear of damaging marriages, relationships, employment, social circles, and community may be a real concern. “Leadership roulette” may become a significant factor in whether or not these individuals are embraced, accepted, and supported within the church community or simply disciplined.

The church often sends mixed messages to those who identify in this area of the spectrum. On the one hand, there are leaders who proclaim inclusion to members of all levels of faith and testimony. On the other hand, there are others that frame doubts or differing perspectives in negative ways. This has the potential for added pressure on relationships and families. It can place great strain on married couples if they find they don’t share the same views, perspectives, and beliefs anymore. Navigating marriages and raising children in situations where partners view things differently can be very challenging.

Mormon Spectrum hopes to provide resources and information to help unorthodox Mormons as they navigate these challenges and help them find additional ways to feel supported.