Didn't Mormonism used to be a church?
The reason I pose this question is because when my parents decided the family would become Mormons in 1966, it seemed to be to my youthful mind, a church which the members and the leaders believed in.
David O. Mkay was the president, then. We got the impression that he really believed in the truth of the church and always did his best for the membership.
I believe that it is possible that the history of the Mormon church is something like this:- Joseph Smith started the Mormon church as a combined joke and method of scamming money from people. After all, making your faithful followers take baths and then getting them to wear underwear with magic markings sewn on to them has to be a joke, right?
But then, Smith had a change of heart. He sent out an order telling members to stop wearing their so-called temple garments. Perhaps he had realised that he should stop poking fun at his followers? Had he somehow received a real revelation from God chiding him for abusing his followers?
But then he was killed, so we wont know exactly what Smith would have done. But it is fair to surmise that Smith and at least Brigham Young were aware that the whole thing was nothing but a scam.
But by the mid 1960s, the leaders seems to take it all very seriously. But a curious thing happened. At some point after this, the leadership (most noticeable in the time of Hinckley) seemed to suddenly re-connect with the idea that the Mormon church was nothing but a scam and decided to take the opportunity to poke fun at the members, pretty much as Smith had done.
Mormonism used to be a church at least in the 1960s, when my parents made us join. It is not a church anymore. It is a Pyramid scheme which offers those lower down the slopes of the pyramid no chance of earning anything. President Hinckley's downline pays its members absolutely nothing!