The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is led by a pious male member who is dedicated to serving this faith for lifetime and is known as a 'Prophet'. He is also the President of the Church.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is widely known as the Mormon Church and is based on prophetical messages and teachings, with Christ as the central figure in its doctrines. The LDS church follows a path of proclaiming revival of the gospel of the ages. It believes that the truth of Christ and His teachings must reach out to all the people on the earth in order to obtain salvation and remittance from sin. It has been misunderstood that the Mormon Church advocates polygamy. This practice has been abolished over a century ago, and anyone who follows it is disowned by the church. The church has a large number of men and young boys participating in missionary activities all over the world.
Let's take a look at the various facts of this church which is based on strong values and extends a hand of hope to all.
Brief History of Mormonism
★ Joseph Smith founded The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) or The Mormon Church on 6th April, 1830 CE., in New York. Having gone through a phase of spiritual enlightenment, he claimed to have prophetic visions regarding the restoration of the original church in the modern world. A belief, that he was guided by divine messengers in his quest to establish the true christian faith, gave him the authority to baptize people into the true faith.
★ In order to restore the ancient biblical practices in modern society, Joseph Smith reintroduced the practice of polygamy.
★ The Catholic Church proclaimed this new way of faith as blasphemy. The new religious group was on the move from the 1830s to 1840s, as they faced wide persecutions and protests from the non-Mormon believers.
★ In June 1844, Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum were arrested on charges of treason and were jailed in Carthage, Illinois. On June 27, 1844, an irate mob broke into the jail and assassinated both the brothers.
★ The LDS Church split into two separate groups after the assassination; one was led by the widow of Joseph Smith and was known as the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, which settled in Independence, Missouri. And the other, led by Brigham Young, settled in Salt Lake, Utah. Polygamy was abandoned by the LDS Church in 1890, and it adopted traditional American values. According to the latest statistics, it has grown to more than two-thirds of Utah's inhabitants and has 15 million members worldwide.
About the Book of Mormon
★ The Book of Mormon is said to be an ancient firsthand account of Mormon, the leader of Nephites. It gives detailed information about the Nephite civilization, culture, and the appearance of Jesus Christ to Americans. It dates as far back as the 600 BCE. and existed till 400 CE.
★ The book gives details of the course of history and the existence of Jaredites, a race who escaped from the Tower of Babel and settled in central America but perished later due to their immoral ways. Then came the Jews who had fled from the persecutions of Jerusalem and settled in America under the leadership of a man named Nephi. This group later divided into the Nephites and the Lamanites who opposed each other. In 428 CE, the Nephite race was defeated, and the Lamanites continued to live in America as American Indians.
★ This gold-plated book, which seemed to be lost in the pages of history, resurfaced when Joseph Smith had a divine encounter with angel Moroni, who was the son of Mormon, the leader of Nephites. The date and place―Sept. 21, 1823, in Palmyra, New York. The angel proclaimed to him that he was chosen to translate this book and lead the people of the earth towards the true gospel. Joseph Smith finished translating this book and published it, naming it, the Book of Mormon, in 1830.
★ It was only after the publication of this book that this religion began to flourish. The book is the foundation to the Mormon faith.
Mormon Religious Practices and Beliefs
★ Mormons believe that the divine restoration of faith came to an end with the apostles of faith; however, it was revived by Joseph Smith through prophetic revelations in the 1800s.
★ Mormons believe in the concept of the Godhead. Jesus Christ is the central figure in the Mormon belief. They also believe in the Trinity but state that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are three physically different divine beings connected with each other.
★ They believe that God still keeps giving revelations to guide his people through prophets and apostles. The new revelations have been compiled into the Book of Mormon, subtitled as Another Testament of Jesus Christ. The Pearl of Great Price, one of the four books of standard works, has the prophetic messages of Moses and Abraham as well as the revelations of Joseph Smith. The Doctrine and Covenants hold the revelations of Joseph Smith and other presidents of LDS.
★ They believe in the theology of Plan of Salvation, which states that humans are children of God and existed with him before the creation of the universe. God wanted humans to experience a different life, and hence, gave each of us physical bodies and life on earth.
★ They believe that life on earth teaches us to grow spiritually through our experiences, and we have to overcome the failure of sin. It is through Christ that we can have abundant life.
★ They believe in death where our spirit leaves the body for a Spirit Paradise or Spirit Prison and rests till the day of judgment.
★ They do not have a full-time professional clergy in the church. Pastors, holding higher positions in the church, have left their lucrative careers and dedicated themselves as special witnesses of Jesus Christ. They believe in communal worship, fasting, praying, and giving tithes.
★ The various symbols associated with this faith are: the depiction of Angel Moroni with a trumpet heralding the New Gospel, and the CTR symbol meaning Chose the Right. The church never uses crucifix as a symbol as they give importance to the resurrection of Christ rather than His death.
Mormon Social Practices
★ Family genealogy is considered as an important tradition among the Mormons, maintaining family links and ties are said to be an obligation to the ancestors. The church has a family history that spreads throughout the world, and it maintains the website, Family Search, for accessing genealogical data.
★ The church carries out missionary programs worldwide to connect and bring more people to the true gospel of Christ.
★ They give primary importance to family and discourage abortion, adultery, and divorce. Same-sex marriages are an absolute no-no.
★ A modest way of dressing is encouraged, tattoos and body piercings are despised. The church discourages media obscenity, pornography, and gambling.
★ A strict diet is followed by the members. Consumption of tobacco, alcohol, tea, and coffee is prohibited.
★ The church is not actively involved in politics but encourages participation from its members.
The doctrines of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are distinct from other Christian faiths and the traditional Christian church. It involves a new way of learning and following the Gospel of Christ. For more information on this religion of faith, you can check out the Official Church Website
. The faith that started out with only six members has now become a full-fledged church in the world, with its plain and insightful teachings, it sure seems to be leading people on the prophetical way envisioned by its founder and the apostles.