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For a topic outline on this subject, see Outline of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

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The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, sometimes referred to as the LDS Church or the Mormon Church, describes itself as the restoration of the original church established by Jesus Christ. It is classified as a Christian church; separate from the Catholic or Protestant traditions, though many of those denominations disavow the LDS Church.

The LDS Church teaches that God the Father and Jesus Christ appeared to Joseph Smith, Jr., called him to be a prophet and to restore the original church as established by Jesus Christ during his mortal ministry. This restoration is often referred to by members of the LDS Church as the Fulness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which they believe was had by prophets and righteous civilizations throughout the earlier history of the earth. Further, adherents believe the restoration included all elements that had been lost since the early days of Christianity due to apostasy. This restoration included the return of priesthood authority, new sacred texts, and the continual leadership of a prophet and twelve apostles. The LDS Church traces its history to Joseph Smith from Fayette, New York, on April 6, 1830. Soon after Smith's translation of the Book of Mormon, adherents were nicknamed Mormons.

Smith led the Church of Christ until he was killed in 1844. After a period of confusion during which the church was led by the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and various claims of succession were made, Brigham Young led the largest group of Mormon pioneers away from the former church headquarters in Nauvoo, Illinois, eventually to Utah's Salt Lake Valley in July 1847. Young was sustained as the church's president at general conference in December 1847.

Now a more international organization, the LDS Church is headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah, and led by its current president. The church annually sends tens of thousands of missionaries throughout the world, with over 85,000 currently in service. As of December 31, 2015, the church reported a worldwide membership of 15.6 million, with more than 50% living outside the United States.


Selected article

The First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in September 1898.

In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (also known as the Quorum of the Twelve, the Council of the Twelve Apostles, or simply the Twelve) is one of the governing bodies in the church hierarchy. Members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles are apostles, with the calling to be prophets, seers, and revelators, evangelical ambassadors, and special witnesses of Jesus Christ. The quorum was first organized in 1835 and designated as a body of "traveling councilors" with jurisdiction outside areas where the church was formally organized, equal in authority to the First Presidency, the Seventy, the standing Presiding High Council, and the high councils of the various stakes. The jurisdiction of the Twelve was originally limited to areas of the world outside of Zion or its stakes. After the apostles returned from their missions to England, Joseph Smith altered the responsibilities of the quorum: it was given charge of the affairs of the church, under direction of the First Presidency.

Selected picture

The Kirtland Temple
Credit: John Hamer

The Kirtland Temple, dedicated on March 27, 1836, making it the first temple to be built by followers of Joseph Smith.

Selected history

Stained glass 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 was 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.

Selected Location

The Twin Falls Idaho Temple

The Twin Falls Idaho Temple is a temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) located in Twin Falls, Idaho, just south of the Snake River Canyon. It became the fourth LDS temple in the state when it was dedicated in August 2008 and the second temple dedicated in Idaho that year. Standing at approximately 159 feet (48 m) tall, as of 2009 the temple is the tallest building in Twin Falls. LDS Church president Gordon B. Hinckley announced the construction of a temple for the Magic Valley region of Idaho in his opening remarks of general conference held October 2, 2004, to serve the thousands of members who live in southern Idaho between the Boise and Idaho Falls temples.

Selected biography

Joseph F. Smith

Joseph Fielding Smith, Sr. (November 13, 1838 – November 19, 1918) was the sixth president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). He was the last president of the LDS Church to have personally known the founder of the Mormon faith, Joseph Smith, Jr., who was the brother of his father, Hyrum Smith. Smith issued the "Second Manifesto." He also declared that any church officer who performed a plural marriage, as well as the offending couple, would be excommunicated. Smith received a revelation on the nature of the spirit world and on Jesus Christ's role in ensuring that the gospel is taught to all men, living and dead. A written account of the revelation was submitted to the general authorities of the church on October 31, 1918 and was unanimously accepted. The revelation was initially published in December 1918, and was added to the Pearl of Great Price, an LDS scripture, in April 1976; it has since been removed from the Pearl of Great Price and added to the Doctrine and Covenants as Section 138. This revelation complemented an 1894 statement on the eternal nature of the family and appropriate work for the dead issued by Wilford Woodruff. Genealogy work by members of the LDS Church increased after both of these statements.

Selected Anniversaries

Emma Smith

Selected Quotes

The Book of Enos
Chapter 1

Enos prays mightily and gains a remission of his sins—The voice of the Lord comes into his mind, promising salvation for the Lamanites in a future day—The Nephites sought to reclaim the Lamanites—Enos rejoices in his Redeemer.

1 Behold, it came to pass that I, Enos, knowing my father that he was a just man—for he taught me in his language, and also in the nurture and admonition of the Lord—and blessed be the name of my God for it—

2 And I will tell you of the wrestle which I had before God, before I received a remission of my sins.

3 Behold, I went to hunt beasts in the forests; and the words which I had often heard my father speak concerning eternal life, and the joy of the saints, sunk deep into my heart.

4 And my soul hungered; and I kneeled down before my Maker, and I cried unto him in mighty prayer and supplication for mine own soul; and all the day long did I cry unto him; yea, and when the night came I did still raise my voice high that it reached the heavens.

5 And there came a voice unto me, saying: Enos, thy sins are forgiven thee, and thou shalt be blessed.

6 And I, Enos, knew that God could not lie; wherefore, my guilt was swept away.

7 And I said: Lord, how is it done?

8 And he said unto me: Because of thy faith in Christ, whom thou hast never before heard nor seen. And many years pass away before he shall manifest himself in the flesh; wherefore, go to, thy faith hath made thee whole.

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