Studies Of Lds Growth
16Previous studies on the diffusion of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have concentrated on its spread within the United States. Johnson and Louder both wrote analytical studies using Hagerstrand based models to emphasize the American nature of the Church. Louder particularly focused on the concentration of members in the western United States . This United States orientation makes sense for the sixties and early seventies because the Church had a much smaller international presence then, but much has changed in the geography of Church membership since that time.
17Stark emphasized the rapid growth trends of Mormonism internationally, while other more recent papers have concentrated on the social and spatial processes impacting the growth of the Church, especially in the United States . Bennion argued that the Church was still a strongly western United States institution in 1992, with nearly 80 percent of its U.S. members in the thirteen western states. Regardless of the Churchs membership geography within the United States, it has grown at a significant rate outside of the USA, so a study of Mormon international diffusion patterns is justified.
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.
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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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.
What About The Reorganized Latter
United we stand, divided we fall has always been an encouraging reminder that there is strength in unity. However, there is also strength found in diversity.
This is especially so when comparing some of the differences in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and Reorganized Latter-Day Saints churches.
When one looks at the more than 60 divisions and splits in the Mormon Church in the 160 years of its existence, it is hard to understand how it can keep growing, but both the LDS and the RLDS are growing very well.
As a matter of fact, too well with the differences they have. Gordon H. Fraser in his book , Sects of the Latter-Day Saints, Says the RLDS rejects the designation Mormon, and at present, uses the terms: The Saints Church, RLDS, or simply The Saints. Sometimes they are divisively called Josephite Mormons or Reorganites. The term, Reformed Mormons, is also thrown in from time to time. This is incorrect since there has been no reformation in the overall body, although many divisions.
The RLDS have two liberal Arts colleges: Graceland College in Lamoni, Iowa and Park College in Independence, Missouri. Their publishing house is Herald Publishing House, Independence, Missouri.
Some of the doctrinal differences in the RLDS and LDS can be summarized in the headings below:
The LDS believe strongly in the doctrine but claims not to be practicing in the present day.
Baptism for the Dead
The RLDS as a Christian Church
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Beliefs About How We Worship God
- Sunday services are reverent and reflective. We have no drums, rock bands, or speaking in tongues during our church services. I personally like Christian rock music, but we enjoy that at other times and focus our Sunday worship time in a more reflective and less distracting way.
- Families are encouraged to study the Bible and Book of Mormon together every day. We have a program called Come, Follow Me where all members of the church study the same gospel topic on the same schedule. As an example, at the time of writing, were studying Genesis 6-11 in the Old Testament.
- We have robust youth programs for children and teens. Children participate in the primary where they are taught the gospel at a basic level. Youth in the church have regular activities, adult leaders who spend time with them, and dedicated Sunday meetings to focus on their individual needs.
Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, widely known as the “LDS Church” or the “Mormon Church,” is the largest and most well-known denomination within the Latter Day Saint’s movement. Founded in the United States by Joseph Smith, Jr. in 1830, the Latter-day Saints regard Christ as the head of their church and count themselves as Christians, but do not consider themselves part of the Catholic, Orthodox, or Protestant traditions.
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Religious Authority And Ritual
Smith’s teachings were rooted in . He taught that the restored through him was a of the early Christian faith, which had been lost in the . At first, Smith’s church had little sense of hierarchy his religious authority was derived from visions and revelations. Though Smith did not claim exclusive prophethood, an early revelation designated him as the only prophet allowed to issue commandments “as Moses”. This religious authority encompassed economic and political as well as spiritual matters. For instance, in the early 1830s, he temporarily instituted a form of , called the , that required Latter Day Saints to give to the church all their property, to be divided among the faithful. He also envisioned that the theocratic institutions he established would have a role in the worldwide political organization of the Millennium.
Smith taught that the High Priesthood’s endowment of heavenly power included the powers of , allowing High Priests to effect binding consequences in the afterlife. For example, this power would enable proxy baptisms for the dead and that would be effective into the afterlife. Elijah’s sealing powers also enabled the , or “fulness of the priesthood”, which, according to Smith, sealed married couples to their .
The Book Of Mormon Is The Second Sacred Text Of Mormons
Next to the bible, the LDS church believes in the Book of Mormon. Mormon prophets who lived from 600 BC to AD 400 wrote the book. As we touched on above, the Prophet Joseph Smith translated the ancient book by what he called a revelation from God.
It has since been translated into more than 80 languages and more than 150 million copies have been printed. According to the book, Christ established his church in the Old World, or ancient America. People lived in unity for nearly 200 years after Jesus. Later, people abandoned Christs teachings and a war of extermination occurred.
The book refers to Jesus almost 4,000 times. The LDS church calls it another testament of Jesus Christ.
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Religious Diffusion Conceptual Framework
20The growth of the LDS Church in the international setting has great potential as a subject for diffusion research. The spatial patterns are guided by a number of factors which affect both the rate of diffusion and the degree of penetration in a country. To help organize these factors in an understandable manner, I have developed a framework which will guide the remainder of the study.
21Figure 1 outlines the conceptual model of international LDS diffusion. This model stems in part from the comparison of functional and spatial perspectives of diffusion described by Brown . The functional perspective of this model is the supply, demand, and temporal portions, while the spatial perspective is represented by the spatial box on the bottom of the figure.
22This paper concentrates on the “spatial perspective” by showing the patterns of LDS spatial diffusion within countries, so discussion of the functional portion of the model and how it relates to the international growth of Mormonism is mostly limited to the following paragraphs.
Figure 1 : Preliminary Conceptual Model of the international diffusion of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day saints
What Is The Position Of The Church Regarding Race Relations
The gospel of Jesus Christ is for everyone. The Book of Mormon states, Black and white, bond and free, male and female all are alike unto God . This is the Churchs official teaching.
People of all races have always been welcomed and baptized into the Church since its beginning. In fact, at the end of his life in 1844, Joseph Smith, the founding prophet of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, opposed slavery. During this time some black males were ordained to the priesthood. At some point the Church stopped ordaining male members of African descent, although there were a few exceptions. It is not known precisely why, how or when this restriction began in the Church, but it has ended. Church leaders sought divine guidance regarding the issue and in 1978 extended the priesthood to all worthy male members. The Church immediately began ordaining members to priesthood offices wherever they attended throughout the world.
The Church unequivocally condemns racism, including any and all past racism by individuals both inside and outside the Church. In 2006, then Church president Gordon B. Hinckley declared that no man who makes disparaging remarks concerning those of another race can consider himself a true disciple of Christ. Nor can he consider himself to be in harmony with the teachings of the Church of Christ. Let us all recognize that each of us is a son or daughter of our Father in Heaven, who loves all of His children .
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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.
Brief Overview Of Diffusion Studies
4Spatial diffusion has been the subject of much discussion and research in the world of geographic study. Spatial diffusion studies are indebted to the early work of Torsten Hagerstrand who wrote his dissertation, Innovation Diffusion as a Spatial Process, in 1953 . Hagerstrands model helped explain the spatial nature of the spread of a farm implement innovation in Sweden. He argued that because most people’s contact networks are localized, the diffusion of an innovation would likewise be a local process where innovations spread outward in a contagious manner .
5The research of Hagerstrand has had great influence on the many paths that diffusion research has followed . These studies range from the spread of black ghettos to the diffusion of influenza in Iceland to the differential growth of cities in the United States
6Brown explains the three general patterns often associated with the diffusion process : Over time, a graph of the cumulative level of adoption is expected to approximate an S-shape. In an urban system, the diffusion is expected to proceed from larger to smaller centers, a regularity termed the hierarchy effect. Within the hinterland of a single urban center, diffusion is expected to proceed in a wave-like fashion outward from the urban center, first hitting nearby rather than farther-away locations, and a similar pattern is expected in diffusion among a rural population. This third regularity is termed the neighborhood or contagion effect.
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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.
Reorganized Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter Day Saints
- The History of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints , by Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
- , by John J. Cornish
Items below are from related and broader terms.
- From Palmyra, New York, 1830, to Independence, Missouri, 1894. … / , by R. Etzenhouser and Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
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Other Historical Documents Of Local Church Units
The Historical DepartmentArchive Search Room also has the following types of historical records:
Minute Books from 1837 to 1977. You will find minutes of priesthood quorums, Relief Societies, other auxiliary organizations, and general ward and stake minutes. The minutes may provide dates of blessings, baptisms, confirmations, and ordinations that you will not be able to find elsewhere.
Quarterly Reports of branches, wards, stakes, and missions. These reports provide the names of the leaders in the various organizations. Stake and mission reports are available to the present. The ward and branch reports are available between 1956 and 1983.
Doctrinal Development Prior To 1830
The first Latter Day Saint references to the “church of Christ” are found in passages of the Book of Mormon that Smith dictated from April to June 1829. During the course of this dictation, the outlines for a community of believers or church structure gradually became apparent. Such a structure would have authority from God, ordinances such as baptism, and ordained clergy. Some time in April 1829, Smith dictated a story of Alma the Elder, the former priest of a wicked king, who baptized his followers by immersion, “having authority from the Almighty God”, and called his community of believers the “church of God, or the church of Christ”. The book described the clergy in Alma’s church as consisting of priests, who were unpaid and were to “preach nothing save it were repentance and faith in the Lord”. Alma later established many churches , which were considered “one church” because “there was nothing preached in all the churches except it were repentance and faith in God.” In addition to priests, the book mentions that the clergy of these churches also included teachers.
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