There has always been a conversation about whether Mormonism is a cult, I think? (For anyone who is not aware, Chris and I both have had an insider’s view of Mormonism.)
I tend to think there is an element of personal surrender built-in to the Mormon experience. Inside, it is revered as “obedience” and “faith.”
As historical research started to reveal some of the uglier sides of the so-called first modern-day Mormon Prophet (Joseph Smith), I think the church has tried to downplay its personality-focused aspects and gently transfer members’ allegiance to its 12+3 leadership model so that the cult moniker doesn’t as easily apply...
However, the absolutism remains.