The Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter
|The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints|
|Official logo since 2020 featuring the Christus statue|
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, often informally known as the LDS Church or Mormon Church, is a nontrinitarian, Christian church that considers itself to be the restoration of the original church founded by Jesus Christ. The church is headquartered in the United States in Salt Lake City, Utah, and has established congregations and built temples worldwide. According to the church, it has over 16.8 million members and 54,539 full-time volunteer missionaries. The church is the fourth-largest Christian denomination in the United States, with over 6.7 million US members as of 2021. It is the largest denomination in the Latter Day Saint movement founded by Joseph Smith during the early 19th-century period of religious revival known as the Second Great Awakening.
The church has been criticized throughout its history. Modern criticisms include disputed claims, treatment of minorities, and financial controversies. The churchs practice of polygamy was also controversial until officially rescinded in 1890.
Adoption Of The Current Name
In the late 1830s, Smith founded a new headquarters in Far West, Missouri. At Far West on April 26, 1838, Smith recorded a revelation from God renaming the organization the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. The church was known by this name until after Smiths death in 1844 occasionally the name would be written with a hyphen between the words Latter and Day.
After Smiths death, competing Latter Day Saint denominations organized under the leadership of a number of successors. The largest of these, led by Brigham Young, continued using Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints until incorporation in 1851 by the legislature of the provisional State of Deseret, when the church standardized the spelling of its name as The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which included a hyphenated Latter-day and a British-style lower-case d. In January 1855, the legislature of Utah Territory re-enacted the charter which incorporated the church under this name.
In 1876, the LDS Church issued a new edition of the Doctrine and Covenants which contains the text of significant revelations received by Joseph Smith. In this new editionâthe first revision since before Smiths deathâthe capitalization and hyphenation of the churchs name in the 1838 revelation to Smith was changed to reflect the name format the church had since adopted:
Episcopal Government In Other Denominations
The and the in may sometimes be called “episcopal”. In these latter cases, the form of government is not radically different from the form, except that their councils of bishops have hierarchical over the local ruling bodies to a greater extent than in most and other . As mentioned, the Lutheran Church in Sweden and Finland are exceptions, claiming apostolic succession in a pattern somewhat like the Anglican churches. Otherwise, forms of polity are not mandated in the Lutheran churches, as it is not regarded as having doctrinal significance. Lutheranism, for historical reasons, has tended to adopt theories of episcopal authority . In the United States, the Lutheran churches tend to adopt a form of government more comparable to . A small minority of exists.
Most churches of the tradition follow an episcopal system, at least in name. Congregational governance is strongly emphasized, and each congregation elects its pastor. Bishops enforce inter-congregational unity and may discipline pastors for breaking from traditional norms.
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Membership History Of The Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter
Jump to navigationJump to searchThe Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints membership statisticsThe Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints membership statistics The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints membership statistics
The membership of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as of December 31, 2021, was 16,805,400. LDS church annual membership growth, while positive every year for 165 years, has reduced velocity during recent years and slowed to below the world growth rate during the COVID-19 Pandemic. In 2020 the annual growth rate in membership was 0.6% and in 2021 annual membership growth was 0.85%, lagging the world population growth rate which was around 1.05% in 2020 and 1.00% in 2021.
Relationship With Mainstream Christianity
Mormonism categorizes itself within , and nearly all Mormons self-identify as . For some who define Christianity within the doctrines of , and , the , and , Mormonism’s differences place it outside the umbrella of Christianity.
Since its beginnings, the faith has proclaimed itself to be Christ’s Church with its original authority, structure and power maintaining that existing denominations believed in incorrect doctrines and were not acknowledged by God as his church and kingdom. Though the religion quickly gained a large following of Christian seekers, in the 1830s, many American Christians came to view the church’s early doctrines and practices as politically and culturally , as well as doctrinally heretical, abominable, and condemnable. This discord led to a series of sometimes-deadly conflicts between Mormons and others who saw themselves as orthodox Christians. Although such violence declined during the twentieth century, the religion’s unique doctrinal views and practices still generate criticism, sometimes vehemently so. This gives rise to efforts by Mormons and opposing types of Christians to proselytize each other.
Mormons believe in Jesus Christ as the literal and , as a conclusion of a , and subsequent . However, Latter-day Saints reject the ecumenical creeds and the definition of the . Mormons hold the view that the prophesied both the from the teachings of Christ and his apostles as well as the of all things prior to the second coming of Christ.
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Cosmology And Plan Of Salvation
According to these doctrines, every human spirit is a spiritual child of a Heavenly Father, and each has the potential to continue to learn, grow, and progress in the eternities, eventually achieving eternal life, which is to become one with God in the same way that Jesus Christ is one with the Father, thus allowing the children of God to become divine beings that is, gods themselves. This view on the doctrine of theosis is also referred to as becoming a “joint-heir with Christ”. The process by which this is accomplished is called exaltation, a doctrine which includes the reunification of the mortal family after the resurrection and the ability to have spirit children in the afterlife and inherit a portion of God’s kingdom. To obtain this state of godhood, the church teaches that one must have faith in Jesus Christ, repent of his or her sins, strive to keep the commandments faithfully, and participate in a sequence of ceremonial covenants called ordinances, which include baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, the endowment, and celestial marriage.
Activity Rates And Disaffiliation
The LDS Church does not release official statistics on church activity, but it is likely that only approximately 40 percent of its recorded membership in the United States and 30 percent worldwide regularly attend weekly Sunday worship services. A statistical analysis of the 2014 Pew Religious Landscape Survey assessed that “about one-third of those with a Latter-day Saint background” outright “left the Church”, identifying as disaffiliated. Activity rates vary with age, and disengagement occurs most frequently between age 16 and 25. Young single adults are more likely to become inactive than their married counterparts, and overall, women tend to be more active than men.
Church humanitarian aid includes organizing food security, clean water, mobility, and healthcare initiatives, operating thrift stores, maintaining a service project website, and directly funding or partnering with other organizations. The value of all donations from the church in 2021 was $906 million.
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Brigham Young’s Early Theocratic Leadership
Following the death of Joseph Smith, Brigham Young stated that the Church should be led by the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles #Conference_of_August_8,_1844″ rel=”nofollow”> Succession Crisis). Later, after the migration to Utah had begun, Brigham Young was sustained as a member of the First Presidency on December 25, 1847, , and then as President of the Church on October 8, 1848. .
One of the reasons the Saints had chosen the Great Basin as a settling place was that the area was at the time outside the territorial borders of the United States, which Young had blamed for failing to protect Mormons from political opposition from the states of Missouri and Illinois. However, in the 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, Mexico ceded the area to the United States. As a result, Brigham Young sent emissaries to Washington, D.C. with a proposal to create a vast State of Deseret, of which Young would naturally be the first governor. Instead, Congress created the much smaller Utah Territory in 1850, and Young was appointed governor in 1851. Because of his religious position, Young exercised much more practical control over the affairs of Mormon and non-Mormon settlers than a typical territorial governor of the time.
For most of the 19th century, the LDS Church maintained an ecclesiastical court system parallel to federal courts, and required Mormons to use the system exclusively for civil matters, or face church discipline.
The Mormon Vs Christian Church
Christians believe that all true Christians make up the true church. Theologians often refer to this reality as the universal or invisible church. It is what Paul referred to in 1 Corinthians 1:2: together with all those who in every place call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Further, Christians believe that the local church is a group of true Christians who have voluntarily covenanted together to worship God as a church .
Since the very beginning, the Mormons have rejected all other churches outside of the Mormon church. At various times Mormon leaders and teachers have referred to the Christian church as the church of the devil or the church of abomination .
Today, seldom is that sort of directness apparent in Mormon publications. However, historically and canonically , this is how the Christian church is viewed.
Life After Death
Christians believe that there is life after physical death for everyone. When those who are saved by faith in Christ die, they depart to be with Christ . They will all eventually dwell with God in the New Heaven and New Earth. Those who perish in their sin will suffer eternal punishment, away from the presence of God .
Those who do attain to eternal life are eligible for eternal progression, the process over time of becoming gods. Just as God the Father progressed to become God, so they themselves will eventually attain deity.
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The Church And Its Leaders Are Rightly Cautious About Officially Endorsing Any Material That Has Not Been Approved By The Correlation Process Of The Church
How does the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints view apologists?How does the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints view apologists?
- Does the Church avoid mentioning the work of LDS apologists in any public forum sponsored by the Church?
- Does the Church avoid endorsing any LDS apologetic scholarship?
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Viewpoints Of The Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter
The existence of 19th century anti-Universalist arguments and rhetoric in the Book of Mormon has been pointed out as anachronistic by various scholars, including Fawn M. Brodie and Dan Vogel. Most scholars of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints reject the anachronism.
LDS Church scholar Terryl Givens argues that because Book of Mormon prophets were shown by Jesus Christ the modern era, and the audience of the Book of Mormon was people in the modern era, that Book of Mormon prophets would have been intimately familiar with anti-Universalist rhetoric and purposefully used it to convince modern day readers. In Givens’s view, the existence of anti-Universalist rhetoric validates ancient prophets prophetic abilities. Similarly, LDS Church scholar Casey Paul Griffiths wrote, “If Mormon and Moroni saw our day, as they claimed, wouldn’t we have expected them to write on topics related not only to us but to those of Joseph Smith’s day? As one of the burning issues of the day, if the book did not deal with Universalism, it wouldn’t be fulfilling its promises.”
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Duties And Expectations Of Church Members
For members of the church, the greatest commandment is to love God with all their heart and the second is to love others as they love themselves. All other commandments are considered appendages to these great commandments /Matthew#22:37-40″ rel=”nofollow”> Matt 22:37-40). Members are encouraged to pray several times a day, to perform good works, and to read scriptures daily.
Members are expected to donate their time, money, and talents to the church, and those who have participated in the endowment ceremony make an oath to donate all that they have, if required of them, to the Lord. To be in good standing and to enter the church’s temples, church members are asked to tithe their income to the church, which is officially interpreted as 10 percent of annual income. In addition, members are invited to donate monthly charitable “fast offerings” , which are used to help the poor and needy in the community members are also encouraged to make other humanitarian donations through the church.
Church members are permitted to think or believe freely on any issue, but are discouraged from publicly criticizing local leaders or general authorities repeated public criticism of the church or its leaders may subject a person to church discipline for apostasy. The church maintains a Strengthening Church Members Committee which monitors members’ publications and refers critical material to local authorities for possible disciplinary action.
Universalism And Early Latter Day Saints
In 1823 there were around 90 Universalist congregations in the greater Finger Lakes area where Mormonism was founded. In 1818, speaking of a town 15 miles south of the Joseph Smith family home, minister David Millard said, “Universalism was a predominant opinion in the place.” Universalism was also a prominent theology in the Joseph Smith’s home growing up. His father, Joseph Smith Sr., along with his Uncle Jesse and Grandfather Aesel founded a Universalist Society in Topsfield, Massachusetts, in 1797. Topsfield was just 15 miles north of the residence of influential Universalist John Murray.
Lucy’s father Solomon Mack converted from Universalism to orthodox Christianity in the early 1800s and back to Universalism in 1818. One of the scribes of the Book of Mormon, , was also a Universalist at one point before joining the Latter Day Saint movement. Joseph Knight Sr. and members of his family had also been Universalist.
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List Of Denominations In The Latter Day Saint Movement
The denominations in the Latter Day Saint movement are sometimes collectively referred to as Mormonism. Although some denominations oppose the use of this term because they consider it derogatory, it is especially used when referring to the largest Latter Day Saint group, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints , and offshoots of it. Denominations opposed to the use of the term consider it to be connected to the polygamy once practiced by the Utah church or to pejoratives used against early adherents of the movement.
The Latter Day Saint movement includes:
Universalism And The Book Of Mormon
A central theme of the Book of Mormon is the salvation of humanity. The Book of Mormon rejects the doctrine of universal salvation as heretical. The discussions surrounding Universalism in the Book of Mormon are similar to those in early nineteenth century United States. Early converts may have felt their anti-Universalist views confirmed by the Book of Mormon.
The anti-Universalism of the Book of Mormon was recognized by its early readers, both adherents and critics. Prominent opponent Alexander Campbell wrote, “This prophet Smith … wrote … in his book of Mormon, every error and almost every truth discussed in N. York for the last ten years. He decides all the great controversies” and included “eternal punishment” as one of those controversies. Early Latter Day Saint Sylvester Smith wrote in 1833 that “the Universalist says it reproaches his creed.” Another early convert, Eli Gilbert, of Connecticut said that the Book of Mormon shortly after publication, that it “bore hard upon my favorite notions of universal salvation”
Amongst anti-Universalists there was general agreement that there was a two-outcome doctrine of heaven and hell, but differing opinions on who would ultimately be saved. Calvinism for example believed that an omniscient God already had decided who would be saved, and human actions on earth would do little to change things. The Book of Mormon generally aligned with Methodists of the time, who divided humankind into five groups of people:
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