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The Church Of Latter Day Saints

Restoration Of The Church Of Jesus Christ

The Goal: A Story of Faith, Friendship and Forgiveness

While Jesus Christ was on the earth, He established His Church. Following His death and the deaths of His Apostles, some of the precious truths He taught and His sacred authority were lost for a time.11 This time period is known as the Great Apostasy.

In the spring of 1820, a young man named Joseph Smith prayed to God with great concern for the salvation of his own soul and to know which church he should join. God and Jesus Christ appeared to Joseph12 and began to prepare him to bring back the precious truths and the sacred authority that had been lost from the Church Jesus Christ formed while on the earth. Under the Lords direction, Joseph Smith organized The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on April 6, 1830.

Through the power of God, Joseph Smith translated an ancient record written by prophets who lived on the American continents and taught and testified of Jesus Christ.13 This ancient record is called the Book of Mormon and stands alongside the Bible as another testament that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and the Savior of mankind.

The Plan Of Salvation

The term Plan of Salvation is used to describe how the gospel of Jesus Christ is designed to bring about the immortality and eternal life of humankind. It includes the Creation, the Fall, and the Atonement, along with all God-given laws, ordinances, and doctrines. Members believe that after this life is the Resurrection and Judgment.

The gift of immortality is also believed to be freely given to all because of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross and his subsequent Resurrection, although salvation from sin is conditional. Entrance to the highest Heavenly Kingdom, the “Celestial Kingdom,” is only granted to those who accept Jesus through baptism into the church by its priesthood authority, follow Church doctrine, and live righteous lives. Faith alone, or faith without works is not considered sufficient to attain exaltation.


According to the Church, the Celestial Kingdom is where the righteous will live with God and their families. This kingdom includes multiple degrees of glory, the highest of which is exaltation. Those who have had the ordinances of eternal marriage, which is performed in temples, and baptism may be exalted if they are found worthy by God. Accountable individuals must be baptized and repent to gain entrance to the Celestial Kingdom Latter-day Saints profess that all children who die before the age of accountability automatically inherit a celestial glory.

They Weave Aliens Into Their Faith

Most religions, particularly Christians, have a difficult time on the subject of aliens. Given the Christian doctrine stating that salvation is only possible to those who accept Jesus , it’s hard to then work in where aliens fit into the picture, assuming that Jesus didn’t live a double life on some faraway planet and die for their sins too.

Mormons, however, don’t have as much trouble making sense of extraterrestrials, even going so far as to embrace them. According to LDS Living, aliens aren’t just out there, they were also made by the same God who created us, and they made regular visits to Earth throughout history. While it may appear that Mormons conflate aliens with angels, their primary evidence of extraterrestrials is indeed through angelic interventions as described in the Bible, like Daniel in the lion’s den, or the angels circulating during the birth of Christ. That said, this doesn’t necessarily mean little green aliens with giant eyes, as explained, “Obviously, God’s sons and daughters would be of his species, would resemble him. Consequently, people on other worlds would be like us, because we are all his children.”

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Finding Aids For Latter

The Studies in Mormon History Database includes citations to articles, books, theses, and Ph.D. dissertations dealing with the history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, written from the time of its inception in 1830 to the present. It is intended to be comprehensive. It includes citations to over 2,000 Latter-day Saint biographies and 800 published Latter-day Saint diaries. The diary entries have abstracts describing dates of coverage and a summary of the contents. There are some links to full-text items.

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How Did The Church Begin

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints was founded by Joseph Smith in New York State in 1830. This era is often referred to as the Second Great Awakening, a Protestant religious revival, in which preachers including Smith called for the restoration of Christianity, which they saw as corrupt.

According to Smiths account, he was visited in the 1820s by an angel called Moroni, who revealed to him the location of a new revelation from God, called the Book of Mormon. It was discovered by Smith in the form of gold plates or tablets, buried near his family farm in New York State.

The Book of Mormon includes stories about the ancient peoples of the North American continent, who had travelled there from Israel, as recorded by the prophet Mormon and his son, the angel Moroni. It claims that Jesus visited the Americas after his resurrection. Smith said it was written in a new language which he alone could translate, and as he gradually converted the texts into English they revealed the structure of a new religious movement which he then established.

Gradually Smith gathered a group of followers, often by converting people who were already interested in restorationist versions of Christianity, and tried to settle the nascent church in several towns.

In 1844 Smith and his brother Hyrum were charged with riot and treason and were shot dead by a mob while being held in an Illinois jail awaiting trial.

Fundamentalist Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter

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Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints
The former FLDS temple at the YFZ Ranch near Eldorado, Texas

The Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is a religious sect of the fundamentalist Mormon denominations whose members practice polygamy. The fundamentalist Mormon movement emerged in the early 20th century, when its founding members were excommunicated from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints , largely because of their refusal to abandon the practice of plural marriage after it was renounced in the “Second Manifesto” . The FLDS Church as a distinct group traces its origins to the 1950s in the Short Creek community , where the group is still based.

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They Don’t Get Their Own Planet

One of the biggest lies to come out of the “Book of Mormon” musical is that every Mormon hopes to get their own planet. The parallel that the musical draws from is the Mormon vision of “exaltation,” which is when they reach eternal glory alongside God. In response to the misinterpretation, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints penned a 3,500-word article detailing what their eternity view is actually like: Unsurprisingly, they aren’t teaching anyone that they’ll get their own planet after death. In a refutation of this celestial mockery, the church stated that, “while few Latter-day Saints would identify with caricatures of having their own planet, most would agree that the awe inspired by creation hints at our creative potential in the eternities.”

They go on to explain that the Book of Mormon teaches an exaltation that focuses less on what Latter-day Saints will get when they are exalted, but instead on how what they have, and who they are, will be perfected and elevated. So, while God is said to come from near his own celestial body, Kolob , followers are not out there trying to get their own.

Teachings About Marriage In General

Nearer, My God, to Thee

A spouse is the only person other than the Lord that Latter-day Saints are commanded to love “with all heart”. A revelation in the Doctrine and Covenants states: “Thou shalt love thy wife with all thy heart, and shalt cleave unto her and none else.” Church leaders have taught that this commandment applies equally to wives loving their husbands.

The LDS Church also teaches that marriage is a partnership of equals, and that partners should be thoughtful, respectful, and loyal to one another. The church teaches that if couples keep their lives centered on Jesus Christ, their love will grow. Regarding marriage and divorce, the church instructs its leaders: “No priesthood officer is to counsel a person whom to marry. Nor should he counsel a person to divorce his or her spouse. Those decisions must originate and remain with the individual. When a marriage ends in divorce, or if a husband and wife separate, they should always receive counseling from Church leaders.”

In the LDS Church, the bride should wear a wedding dress that is “white, modest in design and fabric, and free of elaborate ornamentation” when getting in the temple. The church says, “White is the symbol of purity. No unclean person has the right to enter Gods house.”

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Polygamy Officially Discontinued In 1890

The Tanners argue that the church’s 1890 reversal of its policy on polygamy was done for political reasons, citing the fact that the change was made during the church’s lengthy conflict with the federal government over property seizures and statehood. The Ostlings say that, soon after the church received the revelation that polygamy was prohibited, Utah again applied for statehood. This time the federal government did not object to starting the statehood process. Six years later, the process was completed and Utah was admitted as a state in 1896. The Ostlings note that soon after the church suspended the practice of polygamy, the federal government reduced its legal efforts to seize church property. Despite this, Mormon leaders after 1890 continued to sanction and participate in plural marriages in secret, in smaller numbers, both in the U.S. and in Mexico, for the next several decades.

Mormons Ron Wood and Linda Thatcher do not dispute that the change was a result of federal intervention and say that the church had no choice in the matter. The 1887 EdmundsTucker Act was crippling the church and “something dramatic had to be done to reverse trend.” After the church appealed its case to the U.S. Supreme Court and lost, church president Wilford Woodruff issued the 1890 Manifesto. Woodruff noted in his journal that he was “acting for the temporal salvation of the Church”.

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.

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Organization Of The Church

On April 6, 1830, Joseph Smith, Oliver Cowdery, and a group of approximately 30 believers met with the intention of formally organizing the Church of Christ into a legal institution. It is uncertain whether this occurred in the home of Peter Whitmer Sr. in Fayette, New York, or whether it occurred in the log home of Joseph Smith Sr. near their property in Manchester. Soon after this formal organization, small branches were formally established in Manchester, Fayette, and Colesville. Although the purpose was to effect a legal organization, it may have had no legal effect since no records of incorporation have been found in either the ManchesterâPalmyra area, the Fayette area, or in several other counties around this time period, as required by state law at the time: the church evidently did not follow the required legal formalities.

Mormonism Is The Core Theology Of The Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter

Engaging Church of Jesus Christ of Latter

Mormonism is the theology of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Members of the church are often called Mormons. The term was originally considered derogatory, but today it is considered acceptable. However, the LDS church has explained that the word Mormon is sometimes used to describe other splinter groups that are not affiliated with the Church of Latter-day Saints, such as polygamist groups.

Mormonism is marked by several saving ordinances, or what other religions may call sacraments. These ordinances include baptism by immersion, confirmation, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, an endowment in the temples, and marriage.

Ordinances and covenants help us remember who we are, the LDS church says on its official site. They remind us of our duty to God. The Lord has provided them to help us come unto Him and receive eternal life. When we honor them, He strengthens us.

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The Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter

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The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Official logo since 2020 featuring the Christus statue
  • Restored Church of Jesus Christ
Official website .org

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.

Young Mormons Want A More Tolerant Church

Even with a concerted emphasis on family formation and religious education, there is evidence that an increasing number of Mormons are still leaving the church. The Pew Research Centers 2014 Religious Landscape Survey found that 64 percent of those raised in Mormon households still identify as Mormon as adults. And while this rate is still better than that of most other Christian denominations, it represents a modest decline from 2007, when the retention rate stood at 70 percent. Jana Riess, author of the upcoming book The Next Mormons: How Millennials Are Changing the LDS Church, argues that younger Mormons are leading the way out the door, at least in part over the churchs hardline stance on LGBTQ issues.

It is an argument that resonates with many younger Mormons. Jennifer struggles with her own feelings about the churchs treatment of gay and lesbian people. I wished that certain doctrines would have come out differently, and I wished that things had been communicated differently, she says. Sarah, another young Mormon mother, concedes that the church might be out of step with young people even younger Mormons on the issue of same-sex marriage. A lot of members of the church feel like more love is better and being more welcoming is better, she says. But there are signs that the church hierarchy is listening.

Correction: The Mormon Church lifted its ban on caffeinated soda in 2017, but still prohibits the consumption of tea and coffee.

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