They Are Loved By The Fbi And Cia
While the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints place in the American purview is still a little muddy, one thing that is broadly familiar is their moral code. This, in turn, has led to somewhat of a partnership with law enforcement agencies such as the FBI and CIA, who recruit Mormons pretty regularly, and have for quite some time, according to Atlas Obscura. Apparently, ever since the inception of the FBI, Latter-day Saints have been well represented therein, and the CIA’s connection to Mormonism popped up around the time of Watergate.
There are several examples, per Atlas Obscura, of the prevalence of Mormons in the CIA, including a Mormon-owned PR firm purchasing office space outside of America to allow their followers to have safe houses. Then there’s the Utah-based, Brigham Young University professor in the 1980s, who admitted that they had never had any difficulty when placing Latter-day Saints who applied to work for the CIA.
Both the CIA and FBI still actively recruit at BYU, according to Atlas Obscura. So much so, in fact, that a spokesperson at the university admitted that the recruitment is so prevalent that it’s difficult to even put a number on it. Given the secrecy of these intelligence agencies, it’s remarkable that one particular religion has become so sought after.
Social Events And Gatherings
Additional meetings are also held at the meetinghouse. Church officers may conduct leadership meetings or host training sessions and classes. The ward or branch community may schedule social activities at the meetinghouse, including dances, dinners, holiday parties and musical presentations. The church’s Young Men and Young Women organizations meet at the meetinghouse once a week, where the youth participate in activities. At the start of 2020, the church implemented a new initiative for children and youth worldwide, which replaced all other church youth programs.
In LDS theology, a temple is considered to be a holy building, dedicated as a “House of the Lord” and held as more sacred than a typical meetinghouse or chapel. In temples, church members participate in ceremonies that are considered the most sacred in the church, including marriage, and an endowment ceremony that includes a washing and anointing, receiving a temple garment, and making covenants with God. Baptisms for the dead are performed in the temples as well.
In order to perform ordinances in temples on behalf of deceased family members, the church emphasizes genealogical research, and encourages its lay members to participate in genealogy.It operates FamilySearch, the largest genealogical organization in the world.
Growth And Demographic History
The records of the LDS Church show membership growth every decade since its beginning in the 1830s, although that has slowed significantly. Following initial growth rates that averaged 10% to 25% per year in the 1830s through 1850s, it grew at about 4% per year through the last four decades of the 19th century. After a steady slowing of growth in the first four decades of the 20th century to a rate of about 2% per year in the 1930s , growth boomed to an average of 6% per year for the decade around 1960, staying around 4% to 5% through 1990. After 1990, average annual growth again slowed steadily to a rate around 2.2% for the ten years ending 2015, approximately double the average world population growth rate of 1.1% for the same period. The growth rate has not been greater than 3% per year in the 21st century and has decelerated steadily since 2012. The rate has not been above 2% since 2013. In May 2019, however, Phil Zuckerman, Ph.D., of Psychology Today expressed skepticism of how the LDS Church reports growth in membership, noting that while church membership was reported to be rising, separate analysis conducted by journalist showed that reports of Mormon retention, religious participation, teachings and belief have been declining since 2007. By 2019, Mormons represented 51% of the population in their longtime stronghold of Utah, in contrast with 75% in 2000.
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Migration To Utah And Colonization Of The West
Under the leadership of Brigham Young, Church leaders planned to leave Nauvoo, Illinois in April 1846, but amid threats from the state militia, they were forced to cross the Mississippi River in the cold of February. They eventually left the boundaries of the United States to what is now Utah where they founded Salt Lake City.
The groups that left Illinois for Utah became known as the Mormon pioneers and forged a path to Salt Lake City known as the Mormon Trail. The arrival of the original Mormon Pioneers in the Salt Lake Valley on July 24, 1847, is commemorated by the Utah State holidayPioneer Day.
Groups of converts from the United States, Canada, Europe, and elsewhere were encouraged to gather to Utah in the decades following. Both the original Mormon migration and subsequent convert migrations resulted in much sacrifice and quite a number of deaths. Brigham Young organized a great colonization of the American West, with Mormon settlements extending from Canada to Mexico. Notable cities that sprang from early Mormon settlements include San Bernardino, California, Las Vegas, Nevada, and Mesa, Arizona.
Lds Church History Museum
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints began with six members in upstate New York in April 1830. Persecutions took the Church to Ohio, Missouri, and Illinois before its massive exodus, led by Brigham Young, to the Salt Lake Valley in 1847. At the Museum of Church History and Art, relive the fascinating story of the Mormon pioneers, who suffered through tremendous difficulties to establish their religion here in the Rocky Mountains.
The museum features numerous hands-on exhibits to enhance your experience, such as covered wagons like those used by the original pioneers. A model log home demonstrates the look and feel of some of the first houses in Salt Lake City. Visitors can also see an 1830 edition of The Book of Mormon, as well as historical actors, films, and demonstrations.
In addition to Mormon history, the museum offers an extensive art collection, plus special exhibits dealing with a variety of religious topics. For example, in 2005 the museum featured an exhibit of Rembrandt’s biblical etchings, as well as an exhibit on Joseph Smith, founder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, whose 200th birthday was celebrated in December of that year. In 2006 the museum will hold its seventh International Art Competition, which showcases the best in Mormon artwork.
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History Of The Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter
Philadelphia Pennsylvania Temple
ONE OF THE MOST INFLUENTIAL EVENTS IN RELIGIOUS HISTORY occurred during the spring of 1820, when two heavenly beings appeared to a young boy named Joseph Smith.
Joseph Smith was born 23 December 1805 in Sharon, Vermont, in the northeastern United States. He later moved with his family to the rural community of Palmyra, New York, where in a religious revival occurred in the early 19th century. Confused by the conflicting claims of the various faiths, Joseph went to the Bible for guidance and found the counsel in James 1:5 to “ask of God” for himself.
In a wooded grove near the family farm, Joseph knelt to pray. There in that secluded place, in the most dramatic revelation since biblical times, God and his Son, Jesus Christ, appeared to the boy and gave him instructions. He was commanded to join none of the existing churches and was told that God would restore to earth the Church originally organized by Jesus Christ, with all of its truths and priesthood authority. Ten years later, after a series of revelations and dramatic visitations to Joseph and others, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was officially organized on 6 April 1830, in Fayette, New York.
The Book of Mormon contains religious writings of civilizations in ancient America between about 2200 B.C. and A.D. 421. It includes an eyewitness account of the ministry of Jesus Christ on the American continent following His resurrection in Jerusalem.
The Challenge Of Name Convergence
The Book of Mormon tells of a challenge faced by those living during the time of Christs visit to the Americas. Although they who were baptized in the name of Jesus were called the church of Christ , we hear their petitions in the very next chapter: Lord, we will that thou wouldst tell us the name whereby we shall call this church . The Savior then replies with directness: Have they not read the scriptures, which say ye must take upon you the name of Christ, which is my name? For by this name shall ye be called at the last day .
This wrestling for proper name recognition characterized the first decade of the Restoration and continues into the twenty-first century, as noted by President Russell M. Nelsons official statement released August 16, 2018,5 and then his subsequent remarks in the October 2018 general conference.6 President Nelson emphatically states, The Lord has impressed upon my mind the importance of the name He has revealed for His Church, even The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We have work before us to bring ourselves in harmony with His will.7
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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.
The Church Of The Latter Day Saints
Unlike the titles Church of Christ and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the title The Church of the Latter Day Saints does not appear in any verses of our standard works and is not acknowledged, directly or indirectly, by the Lord in the revelations. This particular change for members of the Church would prove to be significant and not without controversy. The name would remain official for less than four years.
Minutes of a conference of the elders of the Church of Christ show Joseph Smith acting as moderator and Frederick G. Williams and Oliver Cowdery as clerks . After prayer, the record states, they began to discuss the subject of names and appellations, when a motion was made by Sidney Rigdon, and seconded by Newel K. Whitney, that this church be known hereafter by the name of THE CHURCH OF THE LATTER DAY SAINTS. Appropriate remarks were delivered by some of the members, after which the motion was put by the Moderator, and passed by unanimous voice.24
There are at least five possible motivations for this name adjustmentthe first three being the most supported by the historical record and the last two being the weakest. The name change may have come about to
distinguish the Church from other churches using Christs name.
restore the notion of saints being followers of Christ.
distance the Church from terms such as Mormon and Mormonite.
emphasize Christs imminent millennial return to the earth.
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When Mormons Aspired To Be A White And Delightsome People
A historian looks at the legacy of racism in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
So many recent events in American life have been a call for the country to grapple with its legacy of racism and white supremacy, including the violence in Charlottesville and even the 2016 election. These events have created turmoil among some conservative Christian groups, who have triedin fits and startsto confront their own racial divisions.
One group, however, has taken a slightly different path: Mormons. While a majority of Mormons voted for Trump in the 2016 election, he fared far worse than previous Republican presidential candidates among the minority religious group. According to The Salt Lake Tribune, many in Mormon-heavy Utah doubted the presidents moral character and strength as a role model.
Read A Brief Summary Of This Topic
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints , also called Mormonism, church that traces its origins to a religion founded by Joseph Smith in the United States in 1830. The term Mormon, often used to refer to members of this church, comes from the Book of Mormon, which was published by Smith in 1830 use of the term is discouraged by the church. Now an international movement, the church is characterized by a unique understanding of the Godhead, emphasis on family life, belief in continuing revelation, desire for order, respect for authority, and missionary work. Its members obey strict prohibitions on alcohol, tobacco, coffee, and tea and promote education and a vigorous work ethic.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah, and had more than 16 million members by the early 21st century. A significant portion of the churchs members live in the United States and the rest in Latin America, Canada, Europe, Africa, the Philippines, and parts of Oceania.
Another Mormon denomination, the Community of Christ , is headquartered in Independence, Missouri, and had a membership of approximately 250,000 in the early 21st century.
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Church Of Jesus Christ / Church Of God
During the first decade or two of the Church, two of the more commonly referenced names of the Church were the Church of Jesus Christ and the Church of God. To pinpoint a precise date of first use for any of the referenced names in the timeline is far more problematic than for the official names of the Church. Keyword searches through the primary sources enable estimates of first usage, though the dates could be revised should other historical documents come to the forefront.
Church historian B. H. Roberts, referring to the revelation given to Joseph regarding the Churchs official name, stated, Previous to this, the Church had been called The Church of Christ, The Church of Jesus Christ, The Church of God.20 Figure 5 is an example of the use of church of God21 in a revelation now canonized as section 107.22
Interestingly, there are no verses in any of our four standard works containing the name Church of Jesus Christ. Figure 6 shows what may be one of the earliest extant documents of the restoration period containing this title: a license appointing Edward Partridge as a bishop of the Church in February 1831.23
Prior Use Of The Full Name Or Potential Emendations
We read in the Joseph Smith Papers, The revelation sanctioned the name for the church that JS and others had recently begun to use: the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.52 Other historians, writers, and religious educators have drawn similar conclusions that the full name of the Church may have already been in use prior to the April 26 revelation in Far West.53
Three documents are referenced in the Joseph Smith Papers as possible examples of the full name being used in the early months of 1838.54 The first document is the minutes from a general assembly of the Church in Far West, copied by clerk Hosea Stout in Minute Book 2 and dated February 5, 1838. The name of the Church is clearly written in its full form . However, historians from the Joseph Smith Papers comment that the name recorded by Stout may simply have been a combination of the first two names of the church or may be an emendation made after the new name of the church was revealed.55 The biographical sketch of Stout indicates he was living in Caldwell County during this period but was not baptized a member of the Church until August 24, 1838.56 It is not clear, despite the February 5 dating, exactly when he copied these minutes into Minute Book 2.
The final example of the full name of the Church being used prior to the April 26 revelation is a resolution passed at the quarterly Church conference held in Far West .61
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How Important Is History
I have been speaking as a historian. What about converts in Mongolia and Ghana? Do they know, or should they know, the Churchs nineteenth century history in any depth? What about those non-readers being produced by the government schools in this country? Will they know the details of Mormon history? What about the young missionaries preaching the gospel throughout the world? Are they shining bright because they have read history books for ten hours a day during their teenage years? How much do they know? How much should they know?
So our eager anti-Mormon comes to us with his version of Mormon history. He has probably picked up his example from other anti-Mormons. He is pretty sure his Latter-day Saint neighbor will not know about it. His eyes are bright with anticipation. Gotcha! What do you say to that! In view of that, how can you possibly be a Mormon? If he doesnt say these things, he implies them.
Here is where the faithful Latter-day Saint should take the wind out of the sails of his critic. Instead of collapsing or emitting a wail of distress, you smile. You shrug your shoulders. You say things like this. Hmm. I wonder if thats true.I havent heard what might be said on the other side.You know what? That probably interests you a lot more than it does me.That isnt part of my religion. I have never heard it taught in any of the classes and have not read it in any of our manuals.I dont have a testimony of the history of the Church.