Mormonism Came Out Of A Movement From Joseph Smith
Reports indicate that at 14 years old, Joseph Smith was confused about religion and went to the woods to pray. In 1823, Joseph Smith said the angel Moroni visited him. The angel told him about an ancient record that detailed Gods work with the former inhabitants of America. Smith said he found those records and translated them into what would become the Book of Mormon. In 1830, he organized the first Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and became its first president. He is believed by the church to be a prophet.
He is credited with establishing thriving cities in Ohio, Illinois, and Missouri, and also with growing the church from just six members to some 26,000. He also helped organize the building of church temples. However, he was persecuted by those who opposed him and was killed by a mob in 1844.
Myth : Mormons Can’t Drink Caffeinated Beverages
Faithful Mormons do their best to live by a set of health and lifestyle rules known as the Word of Wisdom. The original Word of Wisdom was a revelation given to Joseph Smith in 1833 after he prayed about the use of tobacco among church members. The answer Smith received was that men and women should not only avoid tobacco, but also alcohol and “hot drinks,” which were interpreted as coffee and tea. Meat was also to be eaten “sparingly,” only in times of winter and famine, and then always with thanksgiving.
In the original revelation, the Word of Wisdom was less a rule than a “principle with promise” the promise being physical health, wisdom and knowledge to those who follow its guidelines.
“For much of the first decades of the church, the Word of Wisdom was considered good advice, something that good saints might do who wanted the promises in the revelation,” says Bowman. “But there are instances of members not following it, in part because it wasn’t seen as a formal commandment or injunction. The first wagon train that left for Salt Lake City carried coffee with it.”
In the early 20th century, as polygamy ended, Bowman says that the Word of Wisdom took on a new significance as a way of maintaining social boundaries between the Latter-day Saints and outsiders. Eventually, adherence to the Word of Wisdom’s injunctions against alcohol, tobacco, coffee and tea became a prerequisite for full activity in the Church.
Histories Of Local Church Units
Many histories of wards, stakes, and missions are available at the Family History Library and the Church History Library. These unit histories sometimes include biographical sketches of members, photographs, maps, lists of ward officers, and a history of the local community. For books and articles that give short histories of many local Church units see:
- Jenson, Andrew. Encyclopedic History of the Church cited fully in .
The Church History Library has manuscript histories, and historical reports for local Church units from the 1830s to 1983. Since 1983, the yearly histories have been known as annual reports. Wards and branches submit their reports to the stake or mission, which compiles them and submits the reports to the Church History Library. These records often include the names of the Church units officers and teachers. Histories of the Mormon Battalion, the Pioneers of 1847, , and other prominent groups are also available.
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A Major Victory For Satan
Raised in a non-religious home, Nelson read the Mormon scriptures at a young age and was convinced. So convinced that he went home and smashed his parents liquor supply.
Since then, divine omens have played an important role in his life, Nelson says. A former heart surgeon who conducted Utahs first open-heart operation, the Mormon president said he has prayed for the Holy Ghosts help while wielding a scalpel over a patients body.
Revelations have seeded Nelsons love life as well. After his first wife died in 2005, Nelson proposed to the former Wendy Watson. To strengthen my proposal to Wendy, I said to her, I know about revelation and how to receive it, the Mormon president has said. Wendy Nelson said she, too, had received a revelation about their relationship.
During his time as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, one of the churchs top echelons of leadership, Nelson said that he prayed for revelations daily. In 2016, before he became president, he defended the churchs then-new policy of calling LGBT couples apostates and effectively barring their children from baptism.
When liberal Mormons criticized the policy, Nelson called it the will of the Lord as expressed to former president Thomas Monson.
Some Mormons say Nelson was trying to shore up a man-made decision by calling it a revelation, but the criticism seems not to have slowed his revelation roll.
Why Is Mormonism Sometimes Described As A Secretive Religion
The most common and visible target for charges of suspicious secrecy in the Mormon religion are the temples. After dedication, these buildings are closed to the public and church members do not talk openly about the rituals that take place within. The church holds that the temple and its rituals are sacred and therefore private, not secret. They maintain that early Christianity featured similar special practices and bodies of knowledge that were kept quiet to preserve their sacred nature.
Church finances are also kept confidential, provoking criticism that there is no way for church members or outsiders to know where money from tithing and other revenue goes. And the church has also been questioned about the secrecy surrounding their defense of doctrine. Latter-day Saints can face excommunication if, after being warned, they continue to publicly discuss problematic or provocative elements of Mormon theology that the church chooses not to draw attention to. Because disciplinary councils that can lead to excommunication are always private, the process of gathering information and the closed meetings that consider the fate of a disciplined member add to the perception of Mormon secrecy.
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Is There More Than One God In The Godhead
This question turns on the question of how language is used. In one sense, there is only one God. In another sense, there are three beings to whom the title “God” is rightly applied: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost. Thus, in one sense the answer is, “No,” because these personages together make up “one God.” In another sense, the answer is “Yes.” One must first be clear about which sense one means before answering the question. And, in answering the question, one must realize that the other sense is not suddenly false.
All Christian groups must grapple with this issue. Much of Christianity settled on the Nicene creed as a solution. The Latter-day Saints reject that solution as extra-biblical.
To learn more:
What Religion Is Most Similar To Mormonism
Although Mormonism and Islam certainly have many similarities, there are also significant, fundamental differences between the two religions. MormonMuslim relations have historically been cordial recent years have seen increasing dialogue between adherents of the two faiths, and cooperation in charitable endeavors.
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Life In Nauvoo Illinois
Many American newspapers criticized Missouri for the Haun’s Mill massacre and the state’s expulsion of the Latter Day Saints. Illinois accepted Mormon refugees who gathered along the banks of the Mississippi River, where Smith purchased high-priced, swampy woodland in the hamlet of Commerce. Smith also attempted to portray the Latter Day Saints as an oppressed minority, and unsuccessfully petitioned the federal government for help in obtaining reparations. During the summer of 1839, while Latter Day Saints in Nauvoo suffered from a malaria epidemic, Smith sent Brigham Young and other apostles to missions in Europe, where they made numerous converts, many of them poor factory workers.
In 1841, Smith began revealing the doctrine of plural marriage to a few of his closest male associates, including Bennett, who used it as an excuse to seduce numerous women wed and unwed. When embarrassing rumors of polygamy’s practice got abroad, Smith forced Bennett’s resignation as Nauvoo mayor. In retaliation, Bennett left Smith’s following and published sensational accusations against Smith and his followers in Nauvoo.
According to researchers Ronald Romig and Lachlan Mackay, Smith posed for a daguerreotype by Lucian R. Foster sometime in 1844 .
What Do Followers Believe
The church follows 13 articles of faith, the first of which states that members believe in God the Father, his son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost. However, the church is non-Trinitarian: they are understood as three separate beings.
Salvation or individual exaltation requires repentance of ones own sins , baptism through immersion, confirmation and receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, through the laying on of hands.
Members believe in three realms of existence: the premortal, mortal, and postmortal world. Souls move from the premortal, through mortal existence, into the spirit world, then to a resurrected state. Hence they live with God before and after their time on earth life is an intermediate stage of trial and improvement. The postmortal world is comprised of three kingdoms of glory: celestial, terrestrial, and telestial.
Exaltation, or eternal life, is salvation in the Celestial Kingdom. This is a doctrine of human theosis humans can become as God, if they choose to fulfil Gods plan.
Gods plan is seen as working through the family unit. Human beings, in marriage, partner with God to provide a mortal experience for Gods children. This is why members tend to have larger-than-average families.
The spirit world is believed to have a physical existence: families live together for ever there, so long as their relationships were sealed in the temple .
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Overview Of Episcopal Churches
The definition of the word episcopal has variation among Christian traditions. There are subtle differences in governmental principles among episcopal churches at the present time. To some extent the separation of episcopal churches can be traced to these differences in , that is, their theological understanding of church and church governance. For some, “episcopal churches” are churches that use a hierarchy of bishops who identify as being in an unbroken, personal .
“Episcopal” is also commonly used to distinguish between the various organizational structures of . For instance, “Presbyterian” is used to describe a church governed by a hierarchy of assemblies of elected , referred to as . Similarly, “episcopal” is used to describe a church governed by bishops. Self-governed local congregations, governed neither by elders nor bishops, are usually described as “”.
More specifically, the capitalized appellation “Episcopal” is applied to several churches historically based within , including those still in communion with the .
Using these definitions, examples of specific episcopal churches include:
Some churches practice congregational polity or a form of presbyterian polity. Others, including the , practice episcopal polity the Church of Sweden also counts its bishops among the . This is also the case with some American Lutheran churches, such as the , , , and the .
Chapel And Temple Services
Weekly worship services, including sacrament meetings, are held on Sundays, in meeting houses, also referred to as “chapels” or “stake centers.” All people, regardless of belief or standing in the church are welcome to attend. The Sacrament, similar to Communion or the Eucharist in other churchesconsecrated bread and water in remembrance of the body and blood of Christis offered weekly.
The primary Sunday service is sacrament meeting and attended by the combined congregation. The foremost purpose of sacrament meeting is the blessing and passing of the Sacrament to members of the church. After the Sacrament, the service usually consists of two or three “talks” prepared and delivered by members of the congregation. Once a month however, usually on the first Sunday, instead of prepared talks, members are invited to bear their testimonies about gospel principles. Hymns are sung throughout the service.
During the other two segments, the congregation divides into smaller groups based on age and/or gender. The church publishes manuals for each type of class, usually including a teacher’s manual as well as a student booklet for youth and adult classes.
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Criticism Of Joseph Smith
In the 1830s, the church was criticized for Smith’s handling of a banking failure in Kirtland, Ohio. After the Mormons migrated west, there was fear and suspicion about the LDS Church’s political and military power in Missouri, culminating in the 1838 Mormon War and the Mormon Extermination Order by Governor Lilburn Boggs. In the 1840s, criticism of the church included its theocratic aspirations in Nauvoo, Illinois. Criticism of the practice of plural marriage and other doctrines taught by Smith were published in the Nauvoo Expositor. Opposition led to a series of events culminating in the death of Smith and his brother while jailed in 1844.
Myth : Mormons Wear ‘magic Underwear’
This one is only half mythical. Mormons who have gone to an LDS temple do wear special undergarments, but they aren’t magical.
Large and ornate LDS Temples are different from the smaller, plainer chapels where Mormons hold their Sunday services. At 168 Temples around the world, worthy church members over 18 years old can receive essential ordinances for salvation. When someone goes to the temple for the first time, they receive the temple “garment,” which is a pair of special underwear top and bottom with religious significance.
For Mormons, the garment is supposed to act as a daily reminder of important covenants made in the temple. It’s not supposed to have any magic powers, even though Bowman says Mormon folklore is full of such stories. The hotel magnate Bill Marriott, a member of the church, once told “60 Minutes“that his sacred undergarments had saved his life in a freak boating accident.
“The boat was on fire. I was on fire. I was burned. My pants were burned right off me. I was not burned above my knee. Where the garment was, I was not burned,” said Marriott. “My undergarments were not singed.”
Bowman gets why non-Mormons think it’s weird to wear special underwear, but in the context of world religions, Mormons aren’t odd at all.
“Most religious traditions require some sort of special clothing,” says Bowman. “Yarmulkes in Judaism, headscarves in Islam, some Hindus have a spot on their forehead, Turbans for Sikhs. Mormons are more typical than not.”
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So Why The Controversy About Whether Theyre Christians Or Not Are They Accepted As Christian By Other Churches
As a general rule, no says Deakin Universitys Dr Andrew Singleton, a leading sociologist of religion.
This is due to significant doctrinal differences, including their use of The Book of Mormon along with the Bible, and their departure from the orthodox Christian view of the Trinity as three persons in one God.
Mormons also believe that faithful members of the church may receive Gods fullness and thus become gods themselves.
These modern-day prophets are appointed apostles to lead the Church, reflecting the way Jesus organised His Church in biblical times.
Mormons also believe that faithful members of the church may receive Gods fullness and thus become gods themselves.
Theologian and Anglican rector Dr Michael Jensen says the prevailing view among orthodox Christian churches is that the Mormons are sociologically a Christian sect rather than a part of the Christian faith.
In my view, they are no more Christians than Muslims are Christians.
The structure of Mormon belief, in my view, is completely antithetical to Christian belief.
In terms of Orthodox Christianity, and that covers Catholics and most Protestant churches, we hold to the great creeds of the ancient Church, and believe in the authority of the scriptures the Old and the New Testament.
But they dont adhere to this creed and this is one of biggest differences.
Another difference is their belief in attaining salvation through doing good works, Jensen says.
Question: Galatians : 8
The authors of these questions are “begging the question”they are assuming that which they wish to prove. They are presuming that their version of Christian doctrine and belief is true, and assuming that it was the same as the doctrine taught to Paul’s converts in Galatia.
Latter-day Saints agree with this scripturebut, insist that because of apostasy, the doctrine, rites, and practices of modern “creedal Christians” have been altered from the days of Paul. This is a good example of why an appeal to our own Bible interpretation alone can never resolve the question of God’s truth. These issues are discussed further in the section below.
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Tithing And Other Donations
Church members are expected to donate one-tenth of their income to support the operations of the church, including construction of temples, meetinghouses, and other buildings, and other church uses. Members are also encouraged to abstain from food and drink on the first Sunday of each month for at least two consecutive meals. They donate at least the cost of the two skipped meals as a fast offering, which the church uses to assist the poor and needy and expand its humanitarian efforts.
All able LDS young men are expected to serve a two-year, full-time proselytizing mission. Missionaries do not choose where they serve or the language in which they will proselytize, and are expected to fund their missions themselves or with the aid of their families. Prospective male missionaries must be at least 18 years old and no older than 25, not yet married, have completed secondary school, and meet certain criteria for physical fitness and spiritual worthiness. Missionary service is not compulsory, nor is it required for young men to retain their church membership.
Unmarried women 19 years and older may also serve as missionaries, generally for a term of 18 months. However, the LDS Church emphasizes that women are not under the same expectation to serve as male members are, and may serve solely as a personal decision. There is no maximum age for missionary service for women.