The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Portal
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, often informally known as the LDS Church or Mormon Church, is a
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 16 million
members and 67,000
full-time volunteer missionaries. In 2012, the
National Council of Churches ranked the church 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
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,
Orthodox, and several
Protestant churches consider the Church to be distinct and
separate from mainstream Christianity.
Under the doctrine of
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, beginning in January of the year they reach age 12, may be ordained to the
priesthood, provided they are living the standards of the church. Women are not ordained to the priesthood but do occupy leadership roles in some church
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
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
celestial marriage (marriage blessings which extend beyond mortality)—all of which are of great significance to church members.
history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) is typically divided into three broad time periods:
- the early history during the lifetime of
Joseph Smith which is in common with all
Latter Day Saint movement churches,
- a "pioneer era" under the leadership of
Brigham Young and his 19th-century successors, and
- a modern era beginning around the turn of the 20th century as the practice of
polygamy was discontinued.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints traces its
New York, where Joseph Smith, founder of the Latter Day Saint
movement, was raised. Joseph Smith gained a small following in the late 1820s as he was dictating the
Book of Mormon, which he said was a translation of words found on a set of "
golden plates" that had been buried near his home in
upstate New York by an
indigenous American prophet. On April 6, 1830, at the
home of Peter Whitmer in
Fayette, New York, Smith organized the religion's first legal church entity, the
Church of Christ. The church rapidly gained a following, who viewed Smith as their
prophet. The main body of the church moved first to
Kirtland, Ohio in the early 1830s, then to
Missouri in 1838, where the
1838 Mormon War with other Missouri settlers ensued, culminating in adherents being expelled from the state under
Missouri Executive Order 44 signed by
the governor of Missouri. After Missouri, Smith built the city of
Nauvoo, Illinois, near which
Smith was killed. After Smith's death, a
succession crisis ensued, and the majority voted to accept the
Quorum of the Twelve, led by Brigham Young, as the church's leading body.
After continued difficulties and persecution in Illinois, Young left Nauvoo in 1846 and led his followers, the
Mormon pioneers, to the Great
Salt Lake Valley. The group branched out in an effort to pioneer a large state to be called
Deseret, eventually establishing colonies from Canada to present-day Mexico. Young incorporated The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as a legal entity, and governed his followers as a
theocratic leader serving in both political and religious positions. He also publicized the previously secret practice of
plural marriage, a form of
polygamy. By 1857, tensions had again escalated between Mormons and other Americans, largely as a result of church teachings on polygamy and theocracy. The
Utah Mormon War ensued from 1857 to 1858, which resulted in the relatively peaceful invasion of Utah by the
United States Army, after which Young agreed to step down from power and be replaced by a non-Mormon territorial governor,
Alfred Cumming. Nevertheless, the LDS Church still wielded significant political power in the
Utah Territory as part of a shadow government. At Young's death in 1877, he was followed by other powerful members, who continued the practice of polygamy despite opposition by the
United States Congress. After tensions with the U.S. government came to a head in 1890, the church
officially abandoned the public practice of polygamy in the United States, and eventually stopped performing official polygamous marriages altogether after a
Second Manifesto in 1904. Eventually, the church adopted a policy of
excommunicating its members found practicing polygamy and today seeks to actively distance itself from "
fundamentalist" groups still practicing polygamy.
Missouri Executive Order 44, also known as the Extermination Order, was an
executive order issued on October 27, 1838, by the
Governor of Missouri,
Lilburn Boggs. The order was issued in the aftermath of the
Battle of Crooked River, a clash between members of The Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter-day Saints (known as
Mormons) and a unit of the
Missouri State Militia in northern
Ray County, Missouri, during the
1838 Mormon War. Claiming that the church members had committed open and avowed defiance of the law and had made war upon the people of
Missouri, Governor Boggs directed that "the Mormons must be treated as enemies, and must be exterminated or driven from the State if necessary for the public peace—their outrages are beyond all description". The militia and other state authorities—General
John B. Clark, among them—used the executive order to violently expel the Mormons from their lands in the state following their capitulation, which in turn led to their subsequent migration to
Nauvoo, Illinois. The order was supported by most northwest Missouri citizens but was questioned or denounced by others. However, no determination of the order's legality was ever made. On June 25, 1976, Governor
Kit Bond issued an executive order rescinding the Extermination Order, recognizing its legal invalidity and formally apologizing on behalf of the State of Missouri for the suffering it had caused the members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Laie Hawaii Temple is a
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) located on the
northeast shore of the Hawaiian island of
Oʻahu. The temple sits on a small hill, a half-mile from the
Pacific Ocean, in the town of
Lāʻie, 35 miles (56 km) from
Honolulu. Along with
Brigham Young University–Hawaii and the
Polynesian Cultural Center, the Laie Hawaii Temple plays an important role in the town of Lā'ie, with the Visitors' Center attracting more than 100,000 people annually.
In addition to initial building and construction, the temple has been dedicated for use by several
presidents of the LDS Church. The temple site was dedicated by
Joseph F. Smith on June 1, 1915, with
Heber J. Grant dedicating the completed structure on November 27, 1919.
Spencer W. Kimball rededicated the temple after significant expansion on June 13, 1978. Following seismic upgrades and remodeling,
Thomas S. Monson rededicated the temple on November 21, 2010.
The Laie Hawaii Temple was the first temple built by the LDS Church outside the
contiguous United States. The temple is also the oldest to operate outside
Utah, and the fifth-oldest LDS temple still in operation. The Laie Hawaii Temple was formerly known as the Hawaiian Temple or the Hawaii Temple until the implementation of the standard naming convention for LDS temples.
Did you know?
Mormon invites the Lamanites of the latter days to believe in Christ, accept His gospel, and be saved—All who believe the Bible will also believe the Book of Mormon.
1 And now, behold, I would speak somewhat unto the remnant of this people who are spared, if it so be that God may give unto them my words, that they may know of the things of their fathers; yea, I speak unto you, ye remnant of the house of Israel; and these are the words which I speak:
2 Know ye that ye are of the house of Israel.
3 Know ye that ye must come unto repentance, or ye cannot be saved.
4 Know ye that ye must lay down your weapons of war, and delight no more in the shedding of blood, and take them not again, save it be that God shall command you.
5 Know ye that ye must come to the knowledge of your fathers, and repent of all your sins and iniquities, and believe in Jesus Christ, that he is the Son of God, and that he was slain by the Jews, and by the power of the Father he hath risen again, whereby he hath gained the victory over the grave; and also in him is the sting of death swallowed up.
6 And he bringeth to pass the resurrection of the dead, whereby man must be raised to stand before his judgment-seat.
7 And he hath brought to pass the redemption of the world, whereby he that is found guiltless before him at the judgment day hath it given unto him to dwell in the presence of God in his kingdom, to sing ceaseless praises with the choirs above, unto the Father, and unto the Son, and unto the Holy Ghost, which are one God, in a state of happiness which hath no end.
8 Therefore repent, and be baptized in the name of Jesus, and lay hold upon the gospel of Christ, which shall be set before you, not only in this record but also in the record which shall come unto the Gentiles from the Jews, which record shall come from the Gentiles unto you.
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