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Posted 24 Feb 2001   For week ended November 17, 2000
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News about Mormons, Mormonism,
and the LDS Church
Sent on Mormon-News: 18Nov00

By Kent Larsen

Dispute Over Whether Mormons Are Christian Hits Internet Directories

NEW YORK, NEW YORK -- A survey by Mormon News of Internet directories shows that the fight over whether or not Mormons are Christian has affected how Mormonism is classified on some sites. While most of the directories and classification systems analyzed by Mormon News classify Mormonism under Christianity, a handful do not.

One of the most widely-used directories on the Internet, LookSmart, is one that does not classify Latter-day Saints under Christianity. LookSmart's directory is used by a number of other sites, including Excite, Go2Net, and Altavista.

LookSmart's classification of Latter-day Saints has changed from time to time. LookSmart originally had Latter-day Saints under Christianity, but changed its classification scheme in the past year several times, putting Latter-day Saints first under "Christian Influenced," and then under the general religion category. Mormon News was unable to contact anyone at LookSmart to get an explanation for the changes.

Another website that includes Mormons separately from Christianity is the advice site, An spokesperson told Mormon News that the site had been told by Mormons and Non-Mormons alike to classify Mormons separately from Christianity. creates new categories based on user demand, and when it came time to create a Mormons category, four "experts" on the site, two of whom reportedly were Mormon, told to put Mormons simply under religion.

The directories also differ on exactly what to call Mormons. Following instructions from the LDS Church and many members, most directories use the term Latter-day Saints or Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. However, some instead name the classification Mormons or Mormonism. This is also a source of some differences of opinion, with some LDS Church members claiming that there isn't any difference between Mormons and Latter-day Saints, and others claiming that Mormons is broader, including a variety of other denominations that believe in the Book of Mormon and the restoration of the gospel by Joseph Smith. [Mormon News falls in this latter category.]

Oddly, there are some sites that put Mormons in more obscure categories. Online retail giant puts Mormons under Christianity - but in the Protestantism subcategory. (formerly also includes Mormons under Christianity, but in an Independent Denominations category.


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