The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Portal
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (known as the LDS Church or, informally, the Mormon Church) is a Nontrinitarian, Christian restorationist church that is considered by its members to be the restoration of the original church founded by Jesus Christ. The church is headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah, and has established congregations and built temples worldwide. According to the church, it has over 67,000 missionaries and a membership of over 16 million. In 2012, it was ranked by the National Council of Churches as the fourth-largest Christian denomination in the United States, with over 6.5 million members reported by the church, as of January 2018. It is the largest denomination in the Latter Day Saint movement founded by Joseph Smith during the period of religious revival known as the Second Great Awakening.
Adherents often referred to as "Latter-day Saints" or, less formally, "Mormons," view faith in Jesus Christ and his atonement as fundamental principles of their religion. LDS theology includes the Christian doctrine of salvation only through Jesus Christ, though LDS doctrines regarding the nature of God and the potential of mankind differ significantly from mainstream Christianity. The church has an open canon which includes four scriptural texts: the Bible (both Old and New Testaments), the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price. Other than the Bible, the majority of the LDS canon constitutes revelation received by Joseph Smith and recorded by his scribes which includes commentary and exegesis about the Bible, texts described as lost parts of the Bible, and other works believed to be written by ancient prophets. Because of some of the doctrinal differences, some Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant churches consider the LDS Church to be distinct and separate from mainstream Christianity.
Under the doctrine of continuing revelation, Latter-day Saints believe that the church president is a modern-day "prophet, seer, and revelator" and that Jesus Christ, under the direction of God the Father, leads the church by revealing his will to its president. Individual members of the church believe that they can also receive personal revelation from God in conducting their lives. The president heads a hierarchical structure with various levels reaching down to local congregations. Bishops, drawn from the laity, lead local congregations. Male members, after reaching age 12, may be ordained to the priesthood, provided they are living the standards of the church. Women do not hold positions within the priesthood but do occupy leadership roles in some church auxiliary organizations.
Both men and women may serve as missionaries and the church maintains a large missionary program that proselytizes and conducts humanitarian services worldwide. Faithful members adhere to church laws of sexual purity, health, fasting, and Sabbath observance, and contribute ten percent of their income to the church in tithing. The church also teaches about sacred ordinances through which adherents make covenants with God, including baptism, confirmation, the sacrament (holy communion), priesthood ordination, endowment, and celestial marriage (marriage blessings which extend beyond mortality)—all of which are of great significance to church members.
Title page of the 1921 LDS edition
The Doctrine and Covenants (sometimes abbreviated and cited as D&C or D. and C.) is a part of the open scriptural canon of several denominations of the Latter Day Saint movement. Originally published in 1835 as Doctrine and Covenants of the Church of the Latter Day Saints: Carefully Selected from the Revelations of God, editions of the book continue to be printed mainly by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) and the Community of Christ (formerly the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (RLDS Church)).
The book originally contained two parts: a sequence of lectures setting forth basic church doctrine, followed by a compilation of important revelations, or "covenants" of the church: thus the name "Doctrine and Covenants". The "doctrine" portion of the book, however, has been removed by both the LDS Church and the Community of Christ. The remaining portion of the book contains revelations on numerous topics, most of which were dictated by the movement's founder Joseph Smith, supplemented by materials periodically added by each denomination.
Controversy has existed between the two largest denominations of the Latter Day Saint movement over some sections added to the 1876 LDS edition, attributed to founder Smith. Whereas the LDS Church believes these sections to have been revelations to Smith, the RLDS Church traditionally disputed their authenticity.
A Limited geography model for the Book of Mormon is one of several theories by Latter Day Saint movement scholars that the book's narrative was a historical record of people in a limited geographical region, rather than of the entire Western Hemisphere as believed by some early Latter Day Saints. According to a subset of LDS scholars investigating the field, the application of the Book of Mormon limited geography model to a Mesoamerican setting produces a "highly plausible match." LDS scholars use "contextual knowledge" in order to establish a plausible setting (not necessarily accepted by mainstream academia or other LDS) for the cultural events of the Book of Mormon within the context of known Mesoamerican historical settings. The goal is to determine places and times at which Book of Mormon events occurred that correlate with similar events in the Mesoamerican historical record.
The Aaronic priesthood (; also called the priesthood of Aaron or the Levitical priesthood) is the lesser of the two (or sometimes three) orders of priesthood recognized in the Latter Day Saint movement. The others are the Melchizedek priesthood and the rarely recognized Patriarchal priesthood. Unlike the Melchizedek priesthood, which is modeled after the authority of Jesus and the Twelve Apostles, or the Patriarchal priesthood, which is modeled after the authority of Abraham, the Aaronic priesthood is modeled after the priesthood of Aaron the Levite, the first high priest of the Hebrews, and his descendents. The Aaronic priesthood is thought to be a lesser or preparatory priesthood and an "appendage" of the more powerful Melchizedek priesthood. In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) today, the holders of the Aaronic priesthood are primarily young men ages 12 to 18 and recent adult male converts to the church.
The Manhattan New York Temple
The Manhattan New York Temple is the 119th operating temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). It is the second "high rise" LDS temple to be constructed, after the Hong Kong China Temple, and the third LDS temple converted from an existing building. (The previous two being the Vernal Utah Temple and the Copenhagen Denmark Temple.) The announcement of a temple in New York City was made on August 7, 2002. News coverage was swift and widespread. Several months before, on March 24, 2002, at a special regional conference broadcast from Manhattan to surrounding stakes and districts, LDS Church President Gordon B. Hinckley told those in attendance that he expected a temple to be built in the area in the next two years. It was widely assumed that this was in reference to the previously announced temple in Harrison, New York, construction of which had been delayed for several years. The need for a temple in the area became apparent during the previous decade when local Mormon membership tripled to more than 42,000 members.
Gordon Bitner Hinckley (June 23, 1910 – January 27, 2008) was a religious leader and author who served as the 15th President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) from March 12, 1995 until his death. Considered a prophet, seer, and revelator by church members, Hinckley was the oldest person to preside over the church in its history. Hinckley tied the record for oldest living LDS Church president on November 2, 2006, and broke the record the next day. Hinckley's presidency was noted for the building of temples, with more than half of existing temples being built under his leadership. He also oversaw the reconstruction of the Nauvoo Illinois Temple and the building of the 21,000 seat Conference Center. During his tenure, the "Proclamation on the Family" was issued and the Perpetual Education Fund was established. At the time of his death, approximately one-third of the church's membership had joined the church under Hinckley's leadership. He was awarded ten honorary doctorate degrees, and in 2004, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by George W. Bush. Hinckley also received the Boy Scouts of America's highest award, the Silver Buffalo, and served as chairman of the Church Boards of Trustees/Education.
An account of Lehi and his wife Sariah, and his four sons, being called, (beginning at the eldest) Laman, Lemuel, Sam, and Nephi. The Lord warns Lehi to depart out of the land of Jerusalem, because he prophesieth unto the people concerning their iniquity and they seek to destroy his life. He taketh three days' journey into the wilderness with his family. Nephi taketh his brethren and returneth to the land of Jerusalem after the record of the Jews. The account of their sufferings. They take the daughters of Ishmael to wife. They take their families and depart into the wilderness. Their sufferings and afflictions in the wilderness. The course of their travels. They come to the large waters. Nephi’s brethren rebel against him. He confoundeth them, and buildeth a ship. They call the name of the place Bountiful. They cross the large waters into the promised land, and so forth. This is according to the account of Nephi; or in other words, I, Nephi, wrote this record.
Nephi begins the record of his people—Lehi sees in vision a pillar of fire and reads from a book of prophecy—He praises God, foretells the coming of the Messiah, and prophesies the destruction of Jerusalem—He is persecuted by the Jews. About 600 B.C.
1 I, Nephi, having been born of goodly parents, therefore I was taught somewhat in all the learning of my father; and having seen many afflictions in the course of my days, nevertheless, having been highly favored of the Lord in all my days; yea, having had a great knowledge of the goodness and the mysteries of God, therefore I make a record of my proceedings in my days.
2 Yea, I make a record in the language of my father, which consists of the learning of the Jews and the language of the Egyptians.
3 And I know that the record which I make is true; and I make it with mine own hand; and I make it according to my knowledge.
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