Humanistic Mormonism is a movement of Freethinkers, Humanistic Mormons, Liberal Mormons, Cultural Mormons, Reform Mormons, Post-Mormons, Humanist, Transhumanist, Atheist, Agnostic, Secular Mormons, Disfellowshipped, Resigned, Excommunicated and/or Independents related to and have some connection with Mormon culture, identity, and/or history, but do not demand belief in a supernatural god, or the historicity of the Bible or the Book of Mormon. Humanistic Mormonism is a branch of Mormonism and is represented by the Mormon denomination known as the Society for Humanistic Mormonism. Those who practice and follow the philosophy of Humanistic Mormonism are known as "Humanistic Mormons." Humanistic Mormonism is based on Humanism and can be summarized in some points:
A Humanistic Mormon is someone who identifies with the history, culture, and future of the Mormon people;
Mormonism is the historic culture of the Mormon people, and religion is only one part of that culture;
People possess the power and responsibility to shape their own lives independent of supernatural authority;
Ethics and morality should serve human needs, and choices should be based upon consideration of the consequences of actions rather than pre-ordained rules or commandments;
The Bible, Book of Mormon or other religious texts are purely human and natural phenomena. Biblical and other traditional texts are the products of human activity and are best understood by scientific analysis;
Reason, science, philosophy and compassion are the key guides to living the good life as Humanistic Mormons;
Humanistic Mormonism teaches that the virtues and the way of life that lead to a good life include: wisdom, courage, meditation, mindfulness, love, reason, compassion, humility, justice, moderation, joy, pleasure, happiness, tranquility, non-attachment over things outside human control and acceptance of things that are and will be.
Humanistic Mormonism seeks the alleviation of all suffering for both humans and animals.
Humanistic Mormonism teaches that humans must protect the earth’s environment from destruction which all livings things (including human beings) are dependent on;
Humanistic Mormonism teaches that if there is anything leading to human transcendence and human enhancement Humanistic Mormons ought to seek after these things;
Humanistic Mormonism is inclusive of all people and allows regardless of a human being's sexual orientation, gender, or race to serve in the highest positions of leadership within the Humanistic Mormon Priesthood;
Humanistic Mormonism teaches that it is the ethical duty of all of society and Humanistic Mormons in particular to care for the poor, the sick, and those left behind in general in society; and proclaims this ethical duty as the very foundation of true humanism;
Humanistic Mormonism teaches that the democratic ideal of governance is best where all people have an opportunity to engage in a democratic vote and where universal human rights are protected and guaranteed.
The Society for Humanistic Mormonism is the first official religious institution of its kind and is organized as a world religion separate from any other Mormon denomination and represents the philosophy and teachings of Humanistic Mormonism. Seeing that there was no such religion or institution to meet the needs of Humanistic Mormons the Society was founded on September 15, 2010 by a small group of Mormon atheists, agnostics, and pandeists and was officially incorporated on February 08, 2013 as a Mormon denomination.
The Society for Humanistic Mormonism mobilizes people to celebrate Mormon identity and culture consistent with a humanistic philosophy of life independent of a supernatural authority. As the central body for the Humanistic Mormon Movement in the world, the Society assists in organizing and supporting congregations and in providing a worldwide voice for its members. Humanistic Mormonism can be classified as a religion, both as a form of religious humanism, as well as being classified as a form of religious transhumanism; which maintains its cultural Mormon identity.
The Society for Humanistic Mormonism is similar to Unitarian Universalism (inasmuch as we accept all religious or non-religious identities/memberships) and The Society for Humanistic Judaism (which sees religion as something more than a belief in the supernatural but a tie to a person's history, culture, and the future of a group of people as its core identity). So it is with The Society for Humanistic Mormonism as it is tied to a culture, a history, and a connection to the Mormon people. Humanistic Mormonism also shares many similarities with Buddhist humanism, especially with regard to its free-thought position as well as its focus on ending human suffering, engaging in daily meditation services, and developing mindfulness and compassion for all beings. Humanistic Mormonism is a religion but as far as personal interpretations go it is similar to Ethical Culture which can be "religious to those who are religiously minded, and merely ethical to those who are not so minded." Humanistic Mormonism also shares similarities with both Humanistic Stoicism with its focus on reason and overcoming destructive emotions and Humanistic Epicureanism with its focus on the pursuit of happiness, freedom from pain, and developing friendships.
The Society for Humanistic Mormonism is officially incorporated as a world religion which welcomes both religious and secular Mormons or Ex-Mormon humanists under its tent as well as Mormon or Ex-Mormon transhumanists. All are welcome including other faiths and secular beliefs as the foundation of this Society is built upon religious pluralism and freedom of belief and freedom of disbelief.
We believe that the words of Carl Sagan apply to the Society for Humanistic Mormonism as well as the following quote from Humanist I:
"A religion old or new, that stressed the magnificence of the universe as revealed by modern science, might be able to draw forth reserves of reverence and awe hardly tapped by the conventional faiths. Sooner or later, such a religion will emerge."
Humanist Manifesto I
"Today man's larger understanding of the universe, his scientific achievements, and deeper appreciation of brotherhood, have created a situation which requires a new statement of the means and purposes of religion. Such a vital, fearless, and frank religion capable of furnishing adequate social goals and personal satisfactions may appear to many people as a complete break with the past. While this age does owe a vast debt to the traditional religions, it is none the less obvious that any religion that can hope to be a synthesizing and dynamic force for today must be shaped for the needs of this age. To establish such a religion is a major necessity of the present. It is a responsibility which rests upon this generation..."