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Mormon Transhumanism and the Church

Lincoln Cannon

5 July 2024

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Mormon Transhumanism works to syncretize modern science and emerging technology with Mormon theology. When encountering this syncretization for the first time, most members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) respond with cautious interest. Some glow with enthusiasm. Some react with skepticism.

Recently, Mormon Transhumanism has begun growing quickly in Africa. And of course Mormon Transhumanists in Africa, like elsewhere, are encountering varying reactions from fellow Mormons when they talk about Mormon Transhumanism. Because new Mormon Transhumanists in Africa don’t yet have much experience with these reactions, a few have reached out to me, asking for advice.

To that end, in this article, I’ll identify a few reasons for skepticism that I’ve heard some Church members repeat. And I’ll share some thoughts on how Mormon Transhumanists can respond. Before that, to establish context, I’ll describe differences between the Mormon Transhumanist Association (MTA) and the Church. And I’ll explain why MTA isn’t a church, and doesn’t aspire to become one.

Difference Between MTA and the LDS Church

The LDS Church is a global religious institution committed to the teachings of Jesus Christ and related ordinances developed by Joseph Smith. The Church has a centralized ecclesiastical hierarchy. It emphasizes participation in local worship services and activities, worldwide missionary work, temple rituals both for the living and on behalf of the dead, and expansive humanitarian aid. The Church does not explicitly engage with Transhumanism, focusing instead on traditional expressions of theology that implicitly resonate with Transhumanism.

In contrast, MTA is an advocacy organization, whose purpose is to promote ideas expressed in the Transhumanist Declaration and the Mormon Transhumanist Affirmation. As a collective of philosophical activists, MTA facilitates publications and gatherings that encourage practical expressions of religious faith, informed by modern science and empowered by emerging technology. Common interests include artificial intelligence, cybernetics, life extension, and space exploration, which we typically view as complementary to Mormon visions of eternal progression and divine potential. While most MTA members are also members of the LDS Church, MTA functions independently and has no formal relationship with the Church.

MTA Is Not and Does Not Aim to Become a Church

MTA is not and does not aspire to become a church for several reasons, rooted in its foundational purposes and structural philosophy.

First, the legally-established purpose of MTA is advocacy. Its purpose is not principally religious practice. Of course, that doesn’t mean MTA is opposed to religious practice. To the contrary, we commonly advocate for religious practice.

Second, MTA aims to support its members in their respective religious affiliations and practices. This eliminates any burden of duplicate function. It emphasizes the complementary nature of Transhumanism with the core tenets of Mormonism generally. And it cultivates diverse approaches to Mormon Transhumanism.

Third, most MTA members value our relationship with the LDS Church, or another church as the case may be, cherishing the communities and doctrines. We tend to see MTA not as a replacement for church, but as a tool that helps us better align our hearts and minds, so that we may more effectively participate in church.

Responses to Criticisms from Church Members

Despite the inclusive intentions of most Mormon Transhumanists, some LDS Church members are skeptical of our ideas due to theological, practical, or emotional concerns. Below are some reasons for skepticism that I’ve heard some Church members repeat. Each is followed by my brief thoughts on how Mormon Transhumanists can respond.

  1. “Evolution theory is not compatible with Mormon doctrine.” The LDS Church has no official position on evolution theory, thereby facilitating a spectrum of beliefs among its members. Beyond that, it’s not difficult to harmonize evolution theory with Mormon theology, leveraging symbolic interpretations of scriptures in ways that the scriptures themselves encourage. Given the prominence of the doctrines of eternal progression and exaltation, Mormons should be the foremost evolutionists in the world.

  2. “Transhumanism is hubris, like the Tower of Babel.” Without exception, all goals can be hubris, if we pursue them with an arrogance that does not acknowledge and express gratitude for the pervasive and persistent grace of opportunity, granted by people around us and the world that we live in. In particular, seeking to raise one’s self above God, as exemplified by Satan, rather than seeking to raise each other together in Godhood, as exemplified by Christ, is the ultimate hubris. However, God calls us to participate in the divine work, using all means including technology that God has given us, to bring about human immortality and eternal life, following the example of Jesus, and sharing the name of Christ.

  3. “Transhumanism is elitism, which is inconsistent with Christian charity.” Transhumanism can indeed be criticized as elitist if its advancements are accessible only to the wealthy, but it doesn’t inherently conflict with Christian charity. Properly guided, Transhumanism advocates for universal access to enhancements as a moral imperative, complementary to Christianity’s call for universal salvation. Furthermore, Transhumanism and Christian charity share the goal of alleviating suffering and enhancing human life, suggesting that the two can and should work together rather than oppose each other.

  4. “Transhumanists don’t give sufficient attention to the Gospel of Christ.” Transhumanism can be positioned as an expression of the Gospel of Christ, further motivating adherents to participate actively in the divine work of alleviating suffering and transforming mortality into immortality. Far from neglecting spirituality, many Transhumanists recognize the importance of ethics and spiritual evolution alongside technological advancements. Ultimately, Transhumanism and the Gospel of Christ are complementary, calling for compassionate action, commitment to the well-being of humanity, and trust in superhuman potential.

  5. “Technological transfiguration is not compatible with Mormon doctrine.” Technological transfiguration, whether imagined in terms of life extension or brain emulation or otherwise, is sometimes misunderstood to entail the negation of bodies, but is actually consistent with Mormon doctrine on the importance of bodies. Joseph Smith and other Mormon authorities have spoken about transfiguration as an ordinance that humans will eventually provide to each other, similar to advancements sought in transhumanist technologies. Moreover, the ethical application of science and technology to attain glorified bodies aligns with the mandate, repeatedly expressed in Mormon scripture, to leverage all means provided by God to participate in the divine work, not lazily waiting to be commanded in all things.

  6. “Technological resurrection is not compatible with Mormon doctrine.” Technological resurrection, whether imagined in terms of cryonics or quantum archeology or otherwise, is consistent with the Mormon mandate to do all we can to participate in God’s work to bring about human immortality and eternal life. The LDS Church has no official position on cryonics, but encourages the use of reasonable means to extend life. Moreover, Mormon scripture strongly supports efforts to raise the dead, providing numerous stories of prophets and Jesus doing so, consistent with Jesus’ command to his disciples to “raise the dead.”

  7. “Transhumanists waste time because we need only God for salvation.” Mormon Transhumanists believe that humanity is called to participate in God’s work through both accepting divine grace and contributing our own effort. When we wait for God to do everything, we overlook this partnership in which we fulfill prophecies through our actions, leveraging divine opportunities and gracious means including technology. Furthermore, science and technology align with the scriptural assertion that faith without work is dead.

  8. “God doesn’t use technology, nor need we, to achieve God’s goals.” The scriptures indicate that God creates worlds and operates in relation to them in accordance with an understanding of law, an application of knowledge which is essentially the definition of “technology.” There are numerous examples of God explicitly commanding or implicitly encouraging use of technology throughout the scriptures, including cases when technology repeatedly saves people from destruction. When we avoid or minimize use of technology in efforts to participate in God’s work, we demonstrate a lack of faith.

  9. “Transhumanists propose salvation without the Atonement of Christ.” Transhumanists, particularly Christian and Mormon Transhumanists, commonly advocate for human enhancement in terms of consolation, healing, and raising each other together. Such advocacy is consistent with Jesus’ teachings to his disciples, including his invitation to become one with him, take on the name of Christ, and reconcile with God and each other. By accepting this invitation and working to reconcile with each other, asking for and giving forgiveness, repenting and changing and transforming, becoming one in purpose and love, we participate in the Atonement of Christ.

  10. “Transhumanists propose salvation without priesthood authority.” According to Mormon scripture and authorities, the work of God is not limited to Mormons or even Christians, but also involves all of humanity. Within that context, priesthood authority has a valuable practical role to fill. When we use it with love and without any compulsion, it can strengthen our faith and mediate the effectiveness of our work.

  11. “Transhumanists propose salvation without any need for righteousness.” It is a misconception to suppose that Transhumanists seek salvation without righteousness. Rather than invalidating the need for righteousness, Transhumanism emphasizes the importance of ethics in our use of technology to extend human abilities. Mormon Transhumanism, specifically, warns that our technological endeavors must be rooted in compassion, or humanity will ultimately destroy itself.

  12. “Transhumanists are too progressive politically.” Mormonism in general and the LDS Church specifically are compatible with many political ideologies and parties, including those that are characterized as “conservative” and “progressive.” Although Mormon Transhumanists do tend to be more progressive or libertarian than other Mormons, many if not most of us are political centrists, and there are also conservatives among us. More importantly, Mormon Transhumanism embraces the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which should move us all beyond the limitations of contemporary politics.


Mormon Transhumanism works to syncretize modern science and emerging technology with Mormon theology, addressing both interest and skepticism within the LDS Church and other Mormon communities. The Mormon Transhumanist Association (MTA) complements rather than replaces religious institutions, promoting a vision of ethical technological progress aligned with spiritual devotion. By advocating for enhanced human capabilities and collaborative divine work, Mormon Transhumanists aim to embody the core principles of the Gospel of Christ. This approach enables Mormons worldwide, particularly in growing regions like Africa, to integrate their faith with future possibilities.

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