Mormon Beliefs Articles

New Study Manual for Mormon Teenagers Addresses Controversial Aspects of Church History

New Study Manual for Mormon Teenagers Addresses Controversial Aspects of Church History

by Doris White The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (frequently nicknamed the “Mormon Church”) has recently released a new study manual for teenagers who study the Doctrine and Covenants, a book of modern scripture that records the organization of the Church and its early history. While the study of the Doctrine and Covenants for teenagers is certainly not new, the significance of this new manual is substantial. Several controversial events of Mormon history are covered in this manual. Whereas before, the focus was mainly the doctrine that is contained in the book and the history that brought about the revelation of those doctrines, the new manual also teaches the background about some potentially divisive episodes. Church leaders have obviously recognized that it is important to be very clear about these episodes and doctrines so that from a younger age members of the Church will know the truth and will not be so easily misled by enemies of The Church of Jesus Christ who... Read the rest of this article »

The Truth about the Practice of Polygamy in the Mormon Church

The Truth about the Practice of Polygamy in the Mormon Church

by Doris White Continuing misconceptions about the historical practice of polygamy in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have beleaguered its members since the institution of the practice. Here we will attempt to answer some of the questions people still have about polygamy today. We will try to accurately portray the historical and religious environment surrounding The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (which church is frequently called the “Mormon Church” by mistake) during the period when polygamy was practiced. Polygamy Is No Longer Practiced Today First of all, to clear up a common misunderstanding, polygamy is not practiced today by any member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. To practice polygamy today will lead to excommunication. Gordon B. Hinckley, fifteenth president of The Church of Jesus Christ, said the following in October 1998:   Gordon B Hinckley Read the rest of this article »  Read More →

Women’s Rights and Mormonism

Women’s Rights and Mormonism

Extraordinary Mormon Women Women belonging to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have always done remarkable things. Emma Smith, first president of the Latter-day Saint women’s organization, told the women working with her, “We are going to do something extraordinary” (Relief Society Minute Book, Nauvoo, Illinois, March 17, 1842, Church History Library, 12), and they haven’t stopped doing extraordinary things since their organization on March 17, 1842. Read the rest of this article »  Read More →

The Office of Church Patriarch in the LDS Church

The Office of Church Patriarch in the LDS Church

The word “patriarch” is more commonly used in religious references. In Judaism, for example, “patriarch” may be used to refer to one of the three forefathers of Israel – Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The word may also be used in reference to the twelve sons of Jacob, or the twelve tribes of Israel – Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Dan, Naphtali, Gad, Asher, Issachar, Zebulun, Joseph, and Benjamin.) Or, it may refer to the antediluvian ancestors of the human race. The word “patriarch” is formed from a combination of the Greek words for father and rule. Therefore, a layman’s definition of the word “patriarch” is a father who rules. The term is used today to refer to a male head of a household or organization. In that sense, a father would be considered the patriarch of his home. The Office of Church Patriarch  In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (inadvertently referred to as the Mormon Church by the media and others), “Patriarch” is an office in... Read the rest of this article »

Mormon? Morman? What’s a Mormon?

Mormon? Morman? What’s a Mormon?

By Doris With the so-called “Mormon Moment” having taken center stage for such a length of time in the media, it’s hard to imagine anyone left in the United States who has not heard of a Mormon. Yet, many people are still mixed up about what exactly a Mormon is. What is a Mormon? First off, “Mormons” do not refer to themselves as “Mormon.” They are Latter-day Saints. They are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. However, the media constantly confuses this name and misnames the church the “Mormon Church.” This causes many people who are not familiar with the faith to think of Latter-day Saints as “Mormons.” The confusion extends so far that some people actually think Mormons and Latter-day Saints are followers of two different religions. Read the rest of this article »  Read More →

A Prophet Speaks Today

A Prophet Speaks Today

By Doris A prophet of God speaks today. Listen to individuals share their experiences and witnesses of exercising their faith in the living prophet. “Because Heavenly Father loves His children, He has not left them to walk through this mortal life without direction and guidance,” President Dieter F. Uchtdorf said. “That is why He pleads so earnestly with us through His prophets. Just as we want what is best for our loved ones, Heavenly Father wants what is best for us.” Prophets and apostles who speak today represent and carry out the Lord’s will as they lead His children in this dispensation. President Uchtdorf said, “Our fate and the fate of our world hinge on our hearing and heeding the revealed word of God to His children” (“Why Do We Need Prophets?” Ensign, March 2012). We are blessed to have a living prophet and living apostles today. They reveal God’s words to His children and bless our lives by being God’s mouthpieces today. Read the rest of this article »  Read More →

Humanitarian Aid

Humanitarian Aid

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has one of the largest and most effective humanitarian programs in the world. Its volunteer members provide relief in times of war and natural disaster as well as development projects to help communities and individuals to bring themselves out of poverty and free themselves from disease. All services given by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (often misnamed the Mormon Church) are provided without regard to race or religion. The LDS Church is often one of the first responders to disasters. Church leaders work with government officials where the disasters have occurred to determine exactly what the needs of the people are (e.g. food, clothing, medicine, etc.). Then these materials are sent immediately. After the first critical needs are met, Church leaders then look for ways to help a community recover. The Church’s principle both in humanitarian aid and welfare is to help people become self-reliant. They can do this by... Read the rest of this article »

The Book of Mormon and Other Mormon Scripture

The Book of Mormon and Other Mormon Scripture

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which is commonly nicknamed the “Mormon Church” by those of other faiths, has a large canon of scripture. Whereas most Christian religions only accept the Bible as the word of God, the LDS Church has four canonized books of scripture: the Bible (King James Version), the Book of Mormon (a book of scripture about Jesus Christ’s dealings with some of the inhabitants of ancient America), the Doctrine and Covenants (a collection of modern-day scripture, most of which was revealed to the Prophet Joseph Smith), and the Pearl of Great Price (a modern collection of ancient scripture). The Bible Latter-day Saints believe the Bible to be the word of God, as far as it is translated correctly. This means that Latter-day Saints believe it once contained the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ, but over time many of these simple and precious truths were lost. Some were lost through the transmission and translation of ancient documents.... Read the rest of this article »

Mitt Romney and Tithing

Mitt Romney and Tithing

The years of 2011–2012 are being called by many in the media the “Mormon moment.” It is truly a unique time in Mormon history. Two Mormon candidates for the Presidency of the United States of America have brought a great deal of discussion to the forefront. Many other things have contributed to the discussion, such as the Book of Mormon musical on Broadway and shows on reality television claiming to depict Mormon polygamists who are really fundamentalists. Much of this discussion has been good. Though many misconceptions still exist about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, as the nicknamed “Mormon Church” is officially called, the discussion has begun to show some of the truth about what Latter-day Saints believe. A lot of attention has been given to presidential-candidate Mitt Romney’s recent publication of his taxes. Romney has been the center of much attention and discussion as a Mormon candidate for president. One misconception that exists... Read the rest of this article »

Mormons Say Polygamy Morally Wrong

Mormons Say Polygamy Morally Wrong

By Amy Choate-Nielsen Deseret News Published: Sunday, Jan. 15, 2012 7:00 p.m. MST David Letterman knows how to get a laugh.Like most comics, he riffs on the day’s news, deadpans the camera and revels in audacity.”Oh, did you hear about this?” the host of CBS’ Late Show with David Letterman asked his audience recently. “A campaign staffer on the Newt Gingrich campaign was fired because he was making negative comments about Mormons. I thought, now, wait a minute — isn’t Newt in favor of multiple wives?” Laughter rumbled from the audience followed by applause. The polygamy punch line is a familiar one when it comes to poking fun at Mormons — as though Mormons and polygamy are synonymous in mainstream media. Ironically, the practice that’s most linked to Mormons is a practice most Mormons oppose, according to a groundbreaking new study of Mormons in America released Thursday by the Pew Research Center‘s Forum on Religion and... Read the rest of this article »

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