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Generally, it is agreed that Christian mythology is on-topic. Now, recently, there has been a great deal of discussion in chat about how to distinguish "genuine" mythologies (e.g. Greek, Norse, Native American, etc.) from "fictional" mythologies (e.g. Star Wars, Game of Thrones, etc.). Various criteria have been proposed, including age, creative intent, and temporal separation from modernity. Previously, Cthulhu was deemed off-topic and Scientology might be on-topic. durron597 and I don't really care much about Scientology either way. This chat discussion spawned this Meta question, and my question seeks to bring up another example that might be off- or on-topic and the consensus will hopefully help us (the community) come up with a definitive answer to that question.

Scientology is a gray area. Mormonism, however, is an unknown-color area. It's recent, but the sacred texts are intended to be corrections and additions to the classic Bible. For instance, Doctrine and Covenants records the revelations of their Prophet Joseph Smith.

As an example of Mormon mythology, there is this Christianity.SE question: Did Noah build the Ark in America? The original poster included links to verses that show that Mormons believe that Eden was in Missouri, a state in the United States of America, which is half a world away from its traditional location in the Middle East. They also show that yes, the Mormons did believe that Noah built his Ark in North America.

The orthodox, Judeo-Christian stories of the Garden of Eden and Noah's Ark are certainly considered to be mythology that is on-topic for this site. What about Mormonism's recent version of the same events?

  • I want to solve this the way I want to solve all the other similar issues - come up with a metric most of us agree on and then apply this metric to the conversation. – durron597 May 5 '15 at 19:27
  • The bar established is "Is it a religion that someone at some point in time believed... that makes this a yes" – Chad May 6 '15 at 2:25
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I don't see why it wouldn't be. From one perspective, it's not any different than "mainstream" Christianity. The stories and beliefs are different, but both deal with beliefs in a Supernatural God, and have stories that are/were believed by a group of people. It certainly meets the dictionary definition:

a traditional or legendary story, usually concerning some being or hero or event, with or without a determinable basis of fact or a natural explanation, especially one that is concerned with deities or demigods and explains some practice, rite, or phenomenon of nature.

Mormon theology offers stories not present in Mainstream Christianity, particularly that chronicled in the Book of Mormon. I see no reason why that should be any less on-topic than those in the Bible, and excluding it means excluding some unique content that can't be found elsewhere.

I don't, however, think that it should be treated a distinct from "mainstream Christianity". Bear in mind that even classic Greek mythology had variances. If we're going to treat Christianity as mythology (which I'm perfectly OK with, even though I am a Christian and believe in what others call "myth") then we should follow the same guidelines as we do with any other branch of mythology, and just be consistent.

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