The Basics about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
· The Church was organized in 1830 in upstate New York by Joseph Smith, its first prophet. Today it is headquartered in Salt Lake City, with President Thomas S. Monson as the present prophet.
· Members are sometimes called “Mormons” because members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believe in Book of Mormon an ancient scripture testifying of Jesus Christ. Members are also referred to as “Latter-day Saints,” or “LDS.” The term “Saint” in the Bible means a baptized member of the Church.
· The worldwide Church is one of the fastest growing religions in the world. There are over 13 million members in 176 countries and territories. Over 6 million of these members are in the United States, making it the fourth largest Christian denomination in America. Everyday it is estimated that one new chapel is built somewhere in the world.
· The church is an all volunteer organization. Members are not paid for this service. Men and women serve in various positions in both adult and youth organizations of local congregations. The “Relief Society” auxiliary is one of the oldest women’s organizations in the world, it was organized in 1842.
· Members of the church are well represented in politics, government, and other high and trusted positions throughout the world in various fields, including business, medicine, law, education, media, sports, and entertainment.
· We believe in the eternity of the soul; that God is a loving Father in Heaven, the Father of our spirits, who’s knows and cares about each of His children and wants everyone one to succeed in life and return to His presence after death.
· We believe that our Father in Heaven answers our prayers. He wants to help and guide us in all of our righteous endeavors as we seek truth and true happiness. Miracles and spiritual gifts are available today as they were in ancient times to those who have faith.
· We believe that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is our personal Savior. He atoned for our sins as we have faith in Him, repent, obey His commandments and follow His example. After we are baptized, each Sunday we recommit ourselves to follow Jesus Christ by partaking of the sacrament (similar to communion in other churches).
· We believe that throughout all ages of time God has spoken through prophets. He also spoke through his Son who established a church lead by apostles and prophets. The original church of Jesus Christ was lost and has been restored again in our day. The priesthood, the authority given to man to act in the name of God, with apostles and a prophet to lead us, has been restored including all necessary ordinances of salvation.
· We believe in and use the Holy Bible and we also believe in the Book of Mormon “Another Testament of Jesus Christ.” The Book of Mormon was given to us by God as an added witness to the sacred mission of Jesus Christ the savior of the world.
Importance of the Family
· In today’s world the family unit is eroding. Mormons place strong emphasis on family as the basic unit of the Church and society. The family is where children are nurtured and become the future members of our society. We have a deep commitment to marriage and preserving the traditional family.
· Latter-day Saint families are encouraged to hold one night a week, Monday, as Family Home Evening. This provides a time for parents to teach values to their children and have fun together.
· There is much focus on extended family, genealogy, and personal family history, providing young and old with a stronger sense of roots, identity, and belonging. The Church has established the largest Family History Library in the world.
Benefits of Church membership
Members of the church who practice their religion reap great benefits.
· One of the benefits is a longer life. Studies show that practicing Mormons are healthier and therefore live longer than the national average.
· Members who are married in and attend the Temple regularly have a divorce rate far below the national and world average.
· Church members achieve an educational level that is higher than the national average.
· Local church members have the opportunity to serve in various church assignments within various church organizations specifically tailored for adults and youth and children. These assignments help members develop personal teaching and leadership abilities.
· Members have an opportunity to give full-time church service. Over 70,000 members volunteer at their own expense to serve for 18 to 24 months in humanitarian efforts, Church service assignments, and full-time missionary service throughout the world.
· We place strong emphasis on self-reliance and a solid work ethic. We encourage active involvement in our communities and in providing service to others. The Church continues to donate substantial money, goods, and services to humanitarian causes around the globe, including untold hours of labor donated by members to assist in disaster cleanup and relief.
Answers To Life's greatest questons
The Teachings of the Church Answers Life's greatest questions such as:
· What is the Purpose of Life? - Who am I? - Where did I come from? - Did I exist before birth? - Why am I here on Earth? - Where am I going after death.
· Does God exist? - What is God Like? - Is God real? - Why doesn't God speak to prophets today like He did in Bible times?
· Does God love me? - Can God help me? - What is my relatonship with God?
· I want to know the truth? - Is there a true religion? - Which Church is Right? - Where is the Truth?
An invitation to attend worship services.
· Families and individuals, whether members of our faith or not, can attend Sunday services in our chapels. Here we worship together, instructing one another from the word of God in the scriptures and inspired council of living prophets. Click “here ” to learn about our worship services.
· The Church auxiliary programs for women, youth, and children help support the family. These programs provide such things as religious instruction, opportunities for service, sports, drama, music and Scouting.
In March of 1842, at his request, a letter was sent to Mr. John Wentworth, Editor and Proprietor of the Chicago Democrat to answer the question of what the Latter-Day-Saints believe. Part this is letter has become known the “Articles of Faith” 13 statements of what we believe.