The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Portal
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), often informally known as 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 in the United States, 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, Catholic, Orthodox, and several 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 are not allowed to 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.
LDS temple construction reached an all-time high in 2000. As of March 2016, there are 150 operating temples.
In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
(LDS Church), a temple
is a building dedicated to be a House of the Lord. Temples are considered by church members to be the most sacred structures on earth.
Upon completion, temples are usually open to the public for a short period of time (an "open house"). During the open house, the church conducts tours of the temple with missionaries and members from the local area serving as tour guides, and all rooms of the temple are open to the public. The temple is then dedicated as a "House of the Lord", after which only members who are deemed worthy are permitted entrance.
They are not churches or meetinghouses designated for public weekly worship services, but rather are places of worship open only to the faithful where certain rites of the church must be performed. Read more...
depiction of the first vision of Joseph Smith
, completed in 1913 by an unknown artist (Museum of Church History and Art).
The First Vision (also called the grove experience) refers to a vision that Joseph Smith said he received in the spring of 1820, in a wooded area in Manchester, New York, which his followers call the Sacred Grove. Smith described it as a personal theophany in which he received instruction from God. Smith's followers believe the vision reinforces his authority as the founder and prophet of the Latter Day Saint movement.
According to the account Smith told in 1838, he went to the woods to pray about which church to join but fell into the grip of an evil power that nearly overcame him. At the last moment, he was rescued by two shining "personages" (implied to be Jesus and God the Father) who hovered above him. One of the beings told Smith not to join any existing churches because all taught incorrect doctrines.
Smith wrote several accounts of the vision beginning in 1832, but none of the accounts were published until the 1840s. Though Smith had described other visions, the First Vision was essentially unknown to early Latter Day Saints; Smith's experience did not become important in the Latter Day Saint movement until the early-20th century, when it became the embodiment of the Latter Day Saint restoration. The First Vision also corroborated distinctive Mormon doctrines such as the bodily nature of God the Father and the uniqueness of Mormonism as the only true path to salvation. Read more...
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Spencer Woolley Kimball (March 28, 1895 – November 5, 1985) was an American business, civic, and religious leader, and was the 12th president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). The grandson of early Latter-day Saint apostle Heber C. Kimball, Kimball was born in Salt Lake City, Utah Territory. He spent most of his early life in Thatcher, Arizona, where his father, Andrew Kimball, farmed and served as the area's stake president. He served an LDS mission from 1914 to 1916, then worked for various banks in Arizona's Gila Valley as a clerk and bank teller. Kimball later co-founded a business, selling bonds and insurance that, after weathering the Great Depression, became highly successful. Kimball served as a stake president in his hometown from 1938 until 1943, when he was called to serve as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.
Like most other LDS Church apostles, Kimball traveled extensively to fulfill a wide variety of administrative and ecclesiastical duties. Early in his time as an apostle, Kimball was directed by church president George Albert Smith to spend extra time in religious and humanitarian work with Native Americans, which Kimball did throughout his life. He initiated the Indian Placement Program, which helped many Native American students gain education in the 1960s and 1970s while they stayed with LDS foster families.
In late 1973, following the sudden death of church president Harold B. Lee, Kimball became the twelfth president of the LDS Church, a position he held until his death in 1985. Kimball's presidency was noted for the 1978 announcement ending the restriction on church members of black African descent being ordained to the priesthood or receiving temple ordinances. Kimball's presidency saw large growth in the LDS Church, both in terms of membership and the number of temples. Kimball was the first church president to state publicly that the church expects all able-bodied male members to serve missions in young adulthood, resulting in an increase in missionary service. Read more...
THE BOOK OF NEPHI
THE SON OF NEPHI, WHO WAS THE SON OF HELAMAN
Jesus Christ did show himself unto the people of Nephi, as the multitude were gathered together in the land Bountiful, and did minister unto them; and on this wise did he show himself unto them. Comprising chapters 11 to 26 inclusive.
The Father testifies of his Beloved Son—Christ appears and proclaims his atonement—The people feel the wound marks in his hands and feet and side—They cry Hosanna—He sets forth the mode and manner of baptism—The spirit of contention is of the devil—Christ's doctrine is that men should believe and be baptized and receive the Holy Ghost. [A.D. 34]
1 And now it came to pass that there were a great multitude gathered together, of the people of Nephi, round about the temple which was in the land Bountiful; and they were marveling and wondering one with another, and were showing one to another the great and marvelous change which had taken place.
2 And they were also conversing about this Jesus Christ, of whom the sign had been given concerning his death.
3 And it came to pass that while they were thus conversing one with another, they heard a voice as if it came out of heaven; and they cast their eyes round about, for they understood not the voice which they heard; and it was not a harsh voice, neither was it a loud voice; nevertheless, and notwithstanding it being a small voice it did pierce them that did hear to the center, insomuch that there was no part of their frame that it did not cause to quake; yea, it did pierce them to the very soul, and did cause their hearts to burn.
4 And it came to pass that again they heard the voice, and they understood it not.
5 And again the third time they did hear the voice, and did open their ears to hear it; and their eyes were towards the sound thereof; and they did look steadfastly towards heaven, from whence the sound came.
6 And behold, the third time they did understand the voice which they heard; and it said unto them:
7 Behold my Beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased, in whom I have glorified my name—hear ye him.
8 And it came to pass, as they understood they cast their eyes up again towards heaven; and behold, they saw a Man descending out of heaven; and he was clothed in a white robe; and he came down and stood in the midst of them; and the eyes of the whole multitude were turned upon him, and they durst not open their mouths, even one to another, and wist not what it meant, for they thought it was an angel that had appeared unto them.
9 And it came to pass that he stretched forth his hand and spake unto the people, saying:
10 Behold, I am Jesus Christ, whom the prophets testified shall come into the world.
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