The term “New Order Mormon” was coined by the originator and author of much of the material on this web site and the founder of the NOM discussion board. Known online as LDSMan, his vision and hope for Latter-day Saints who found themselves disbelieving much of the doctrine of the church was that they could learn to live a “third way.” The church’s official “entirely true or entirely false” premise tends to generate ex-Mormons who view the church as an evil enterprise, and LDSMan strongly believed in another way of participation: “Take what you like and leave the rest.”
The original LDSMan eventually turned over the LDSMan screen name to another, but the founder of the site remained a helpful, wise, and important participant in the NOM discussion board until his death in summer of 2004. His wife has written a short essay about him and his work on the NOM web site and discussion forum.
What does “New Order Mormon” mean?
New Order Mormon was suggested by the term New Order Amish. Within the large umbrella of the Amish faith there are a variety of groups with different approaches. An Old Order Amish community is very strict about traditional practices with regard to behavior, clothing, and modern technology. New Order Amish, on the other hand, have different standards and are more open to the use of modern inventions. Both groups hold to strong standards of personal behavior and family loyalty.
The original LDSMan concluded that borrowing the Amish terminology would be a helpful way to distinguish between traditional, orthodox Latter-day Saints and those of us who remain in the church even though we don’t believe it is the only way to live in harmony with God’s will. The term Old Order Mormon never caught on, and it is common to refer to these Mormons online as “TBMs” or True Believing Mormons. The term New Order Mormon, however, has found widespread use, typically using the acronym NOM pronounced as a single word.