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 67,000
missionaries and a
membership of over 16 million. 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, after reaching 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.
Book of Mormon is a
sacred text of the
Latter Day Saint movement, which adherents believe contains writings of ancient
prophets who lived on the
American continent from approximately 2200 BC to AD 421. It was first published in March 1830 by
Joseph Smith as The Book of Mormon: An Account Written by the Hand of Mormon upon Plates Taken from the Plates of Nephi.
According to Smith's account and the book's narrative, the Book of Mormon was originally written in otherwise unknown characters referred to as "
reformed Egyptian" engraved on
golden plates. Smith said that the last prophet to contribute to the book, a man named
Moroni, buried it in the
Hill Cumorah in present-day
Manchester, New York, then returned to Earth in 1827 as an
angel, revealing the location of the plates to Smith, and instructing him to translate it into English for use in the
restoration of Christ's true church in the
latter days. Critics claim that it was fabricated by Smith, drawing on material and ideas from contemporary 19th-century works rather than translating an ancient record.
The Book of Mormon has a number of original and distinctive doctrinal discussions on subjects such as the
Adam and Eve, the nature of the
eschatology, redemption from physical and spiritual death, and the organization of the
latter-day church. The pivotal event of the book is an
appearance of Jesus Christ in the Americas shortly after his resurrection.
Mormon handcart pioneers were participants in the
migration of members of
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (also known as the LDS Church) to
Salt Lake City,
Utah, who used
handcarts to transport their belongings. The Mormon handcart movement began in 1856 and continued until 1860.
Motivated to join their fellow Church members in Utah but lacking funds for full
horse teams, nearly 3,000
Mormon pioneers from
Scandinavia made the journey from
Nebraska to Utah in ten handcart companies. The trek was disastrous for two of the companies, which started their journey dangerously late and were caught by heavy snow and severe temperatures in central
Wyoming. Despite a dramatic rescue effort, more than 210 of the 980 pioneers in these two companies died along the way. John Chislett, a survivor, wrote, "Many a father pulled his cart, with his little children on it, until the day preceding his death."
Although fewer than 10 percent of the 1846–68
Latter-day Saint emigrants made the journey west using handcarts, the handcart pioneers have become an important symbol in LDS culture, representing the faithfulness and sacrifice of the pioneer generation. They continue to be recognized and honored in events such as
Pioneer Day, Church pageants, and similar commemorations.
Salt Lake Temple is a
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) located on
Temple Square in
Salt Lake City,
Utah, United States. At 253,015 square feet (23,505.9 m2), it is the
largest LDS temple by floor area. Dedicated in 1893, it is the sixth temple completed by the church, requiring 40 years to complete, and the fourth temple built since the
Mormon exodus from
Nauvoo, Illinois, in 1846.
Did you know?
Spencer Woolley Kimball (March 28, 1895 – November 5, 1985) was an American business, civic, and religious leader, and was the
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), from 1973 to 1985. Grandson of the LDS
Heber C. Kimball, Spencer 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
From 1914-1916, he served an
LDS mission (see below), 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. He served as a stake president in his hometown from 1938-1943, when he was called to serve as a member of the
Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.
Like most other church apostles, Kimball traveled extensively to fill a 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.
Nephi's words are true—They testify of Christ—Those who believe in Christ will believe Nephi’s words, which will stand as a witness before the judgment bar.
6 I glory in plainness; I glory in truth; I glory in my Jesus, for he hath redeemed my soul from hell.
7 I have charity for my people, and great faith in Christ that I shall meet many souls spotless at his judgment-seat.
8 I have charity for the Jew—I say Jew, because I mean them from whence I came.
9 I also have charity for the Gentiles. But behold, for none of these can I hope except they shall be reconciled unto Christ, and enter into the narrow gate, and walk in the strait path which leads to life, and continue in the path until the end of the day of probation.
10 And now, my beloved brethren, and also Jew, and all ye ends of the earth, hearken unto these words and believe in Christ; and if ye believe not in these words believe in Christ. And if ye shall believe in Christ ye will believe in these words, for they are the words of Christ, and he hath given them unto me; and they teach all men that they should do good.
11 And if they are not the words of Christ, judge ye—for Christ will show unto you, with power and great glory, that they are his words, at the last day; and you and I shall stand face to face before his bar; and ye shall know that I have been commanded of him to write these things, notwithstanding my weakness.
12 And I pray the Father in the name of Christ that many of us, if not all, may be saved in his kingdom at that great and last day.
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