Many people are unfamiliar with what actually takes place during a worship service in a chapel of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Research also shows that there are many people who feel that they are not welcomed inside an LDS chapel to worship with Latter-day Saints to be able to observe for themselves that Mormon worship is focused on the Lord Jesus Christ.
This is often the basis for misunderstandings among communities where Latter-day Saints live and leads many to believe that the close-knit ties of the Latter-day Saint community is both clannish and secretive. Part of this misconception may be caused by the differences between worship services in LDS chapels and temple worship. All are invited to attend services in LDS chapels, but only those members of The Church of Jesus Christ who are deemed worthy and hold a valid temple recommend are permitted to enter the sacred temple – the House of the Lord.
The infographic below is an excellent comparison of worship in an LDS chapel and temple worship.
Many different organizations, sects, and people from all parts of the world continuously praise The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (frequently misnamed the “Mormon Church”) for its high standards when it comes to dealing with family relationships. Mormon women are doing a great job in raising their families as they work together with their husbands to create atmospheres of love, peace, and respect in their homes, carrying out the wonderful Plan of Salvation of God for His children. An old proverb says, “The north wind driveth away rain: so doth an angry countenance a backbiting tongue. It is better to dwell in the corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman and in a wide house” (Proverbs 25:23–24).
Mormon women believe that some of the greatest blessings God has bestowed to His children are found in the home. They know that motherhood is the most noble status and act that any woman can achieve. It is in the home where the greatest lessons of life can be learned; it is also the best place to teach God’s plan for us. In the Mormon Church, the home is often likened in sacredness to Mormon temples of God where the Spirit of the Lord can be strongly felt and manifested. With both the husband and the wife equally doing their responsibilities in their family, and their children helping the parents achieve their goals, anyone can say that indeed the home is where the most joy can be found on this earth. It is just like the temple of God; a piece of heaven on earth and a glimpse of what life will be like in heaven.
Mormon women also know that life here on earth is a big test where sometimes unpleasant things happen, even if somebody doesn’t really deserve it. There seem to be a growing disintegration within the family in society. The family unit is being attacked. Satan wants us to believe the family is not nearly as important as a good career and earning lots of money to give a great financial life to your family. Even some Mormon women fall into this trap, but the truth is money does not give happiness. Once a family’s basic needs are provided for, the strengthening of relationships should take far more precedence than earning an increasingly better living. Mormon doctrine teaches these principles, and Mormon women and men are called to accountability for these teachings. True happiness comes through obedience to the commandments found in the everlasting gospel of Jesus Christ.
The gospel of Jesus Christ is central to God’s plan of salvation because it contains the authority, ordinances, and teachings necessary to our salvation. It is an essential element and should be the center of every Mormon family. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has put so much emphasis on teaching the gospel of Jesus Christ in the home, because children learn life’s lessons from their families. David O. McKay, a latter-day Mormon prophet, said, “No other success can compensate for failure in the home” (Quoted from J. E. McCullough, Home: The Savior of Civilization , 42; Conference Report, Apr. 1935, 116).
Elder Douglas L. Callister, a Mormon General Authority, shared a story about how the husband and the family could at least give something back about the mother’s efforts in their home:
Many years ago an associate of mine decided he would please his wife by sharing with her a specific compliment each night as he arrived home. One night he praised her cooking. A second night he thanked her for excellence in housekeeping. A third night he acknowledged her fine influence on the children. The fourth night, before he could speak, she said, “I know what you are doing. I thank you for it. But don’t say any of those things. Just tell me you think I am beautiful.”
She expressed an important need she had. Women ought to be praised for all the gifts they possess—including their attentiveness to their personal appearance—that so unselfishly add to the richness of the lives of others (“Our Refined Heavenly Home” by Elder Douglas L. Callister, June 2009, Ensign).
Mormon women sacrifice a great deal to be mothers in Zion. Some of the manage to fulfill their own dreams at the same time. How each woman manages this is a personal matter between her and her Heavenly Father. Still, there is no contribution a woman can make to the world which would exceed the importance of her influence on her family.
More about Mormon Women
Roy Patrick is currently working as a Call Center Agent in the Philippines. He served a full-time mission in San Francisco, CA. His family is one of the pioneers of the LDS Church in Panay Island, Philippines.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the official name of the often misused title the “Mormon Church.” The misnomer comes from a book which Latter-day Saints (“Mormons”) regard as holy scripture: the Book of Mormon. While Latter-day Saints accept a few different books as scripture (including the Bible), the Book of Mormon sets it uniquely apart. The Book of Mormon is a record of some of the ancient inhabitants of the Americas who were led out of Jerusalem by the hand of the Lord. It contains His dealings with this people and records the instance of His appearance to them after His death and resurrection. The book is another testament, along with the Bible, that Jesus is the Christ. Its name comes from the man who abridged the book, and that is where the misnomer originates.
While there is nothing offensive to Latter-day Saints about being called “Mormon,” replacing the Church’s true name with “Mormon Church” takes away the focus of the Church on Jesus Christ. Faithful Latter-day Saints believe that Jesus is the Christ, the literal Son of God, and that He died for us. They strive to live their lives to emulate His.
The Mormon religion has been steadily growing since its organization on April 6, 1830. It was organized by a man named Joseph Smith, called to be a prophet in our day. Latter-day Saints believe that this church is the restored gospel of Jesus Christ, which is the same church which Jesus Christ organized when He was on the earth. Because of wickedness, the priesthood authority was lost along with many sacred truths, and a restoration was essential to bring the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ again to the earth.
Today, the “Mormon Church” has grown into a global religion. It now has more members outside of the United States than inside it and gains more members outside the United States each year than in it. Membership exceeds 14 million people in more than 100 countries around the world. The faith centers on Jesus Christ and on following His example of love and charity to all those around us, not just to others who are members of the Mormon faith.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has one of the largest humanitarian aid programs in the world, which serves all those who stand in need of help. Millions of people have been served in response to famine, war, flooding, earthquakes, tsunamis, and other natural disasters. Individuals and communities are helped without regard to race or religion, because we are all God’s children. In addition to emergency response aid, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has many programs which help communities become self-sufficient and take better care of their own.
One thing that sets Latter-day Saints apart from other Christians is their lifestyle. While many Christians live similar lifestyles to Latter-day Saints, few live so strict a code. This code, called the Word of Wisdom, is a health law which teaches faithful Latter-day Saints to take care of their physical, emotional, and spiritual health. Some restrictions outlined include the consumption of alcohol, coffee, tea, and tobacco, as well as any substance which is harmful to the body. Latter-day Saints are also commanded to get ample rest, to limit their consumption of meat, and to get regular exercise. Each person’s adherence to this health code is personal, though the consumption of those things listed above will keep a person from being worthy to enter Mormon temples.
The Mormon religion is one of happiness, love, hope, and obedience. Those who live the religion faithfully find joy in their lives. This does not mean they have no trials or struggles, but they do have the forbearance and faith to deal with them better than if they had no knowledge of God. Latter-day Saints believe families can be together forever, as part of God’s plan for us, which also brings them joy and perspective in their lives.
by Kay Cahoon
The “Mormon Church” is actually officially known as The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The term “Mormon Church” is a nickname and its use is discouraged by the Church because it leads people to believe that the Church’s members worship Mormon rather than Jesus Christ.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. It is the same church as laid out by Jesus Christ when He was on the earth, as found in the New Testament. Over the centuries since Jesus has walked on the earth, the fulness of the gospel was lost from the earth as a result of widespread apostasy. Apostasy means the abandonment of one’s religious and moral beliefs and commitments, or a turning away from the truth. This apostasy is evidenced in the history of the church after the death of the Apostles. Men came together disagreeing about certain doctrines, throwing some things out, modifying others, and keeping what they liked. This meant some precious truths were lost, along with the authority to lead God’s church.
Joseph Smith was 14 years old when he wanted to know which of the many churches surrounding him in upstate New York was true, and which he should join. In the spring of 1820, in Palmyra, New York, while in a grove of trees praying, Joseph had two personages—God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ—visit him. He was told to not join any of the churches because none contained the fulness of the gospel.
In 1823, the angel Moroni (a prophet from ancient America) visited Joseph Smith and led him to the Hill Cumorah where the ancient records of the Americas were buried. This record contained the dealings of Jesus Christ with some of the inhabitants of the ancient Americas and was a second testament (along with the Bible) that Jesus is the Christ.
There were three witnesses to seeing these golden plates: David Whitmer, Oliver Cowdery, and Martin Harris. In 1829, the three men signed a declaration that they had seen the plates, and they testified of the plates’ divine origin, having been shown the plates by an angel of God, the same angel Moroni who had first appeared to Joseph Smith. There were also eight additional witnesses that signed a separate declaration saying they had seen the plates as well, on a separate date, and the plates were shown to them by Joseph Smith.
Heavenly Father gave Joseph Smith the ability to translate the record which was written on gold plates. This sacred record is today called the Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ. The book is named after Mormon, a prophet from the ancient Americas, father of the angel Mormoni, and abridger of the original records. This is the origin of the misnomer “Mormon Church.” People over the years have confused the name; it is not the “Mormon Church,” but The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, with the restored gospel of Jesus Christ as its foundation.
In 1829, the priesthood (or power and authority to act in God’s name) was restored to the earth through a visit from John the Baptist to Oliver Cowdery and Joseph Smith. The same men were later visited by Peter, James, and John, who restored the higher (or Melchizedek) priesthood. In 1830, Joseph Smith organized The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints under the direction and authority of Heavenly Father.
Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believe in the Bible as far as it has been translated correctly. Through many centuries, the Bible has been translated from one language to another. When this happens, often the meaning behind the words doesn’t translate correctly. Latter-day Saints also believe in the Book of Mormon as another testament of Jesus Christ. The Book of Mormon is the history of some of the people of the ancient Americas as written originally by ancient prophets. Now the true gospel of Jesus Christ, with all of its priesthood authority—including a living prophet, President Thomas S. Monson—stands once again on the earth. Latter-day Saints have the blessing of having modern-day revelation to strengthen and to guide and direct us here on the earth today.
Latter-day Saints believe in baptism by immersion and the laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost. They believe in being law-abiding, honest, hardworking, and charitable people. Church humanitarian efforts are widely known and renowned worldwide. Often The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is amongst the first to respond to disasters with food, clean water, clothes, or whatever is needed, to people around the world, regardless of their religious affiliation.
Through the prophet Joseph Smith, Heavenly Father and His son, Jesus Christ, restored the gospel in its fulness. Joseph Smith was beaten, tarred and feathered, falsely imprisoned, and ultimately martyred because he would not deny the truth. Thousands of members of the Church also saw their homes and businesses burned, family members murdered, and mobs chase them out towns and states, all because they would not renounce Joseph Smith as a prophet or deny the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. In spite of persecution, these Saints believed; they persevered, and their faith never wavered. Now all the ordinances necessary for eternal progression and salvation are available to those who choose to participate in them and receive them. The true church has been restored to the earth. The gospel of Jesus Christ is on the earth again in its fulness and glory.
Kay Cahoon is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon), a wife, a mother of six, a grandma of many, a traveler and a genealogist.
Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, often called Mormons by those of other faiths, believe strongly in the importance of family history and genealogy. The past few decades have seen an explosion if interest among people of all faiths across the world in their personal heritage. In the past, records have been difficult to obtain. People have had to travel to remote places to search for important family records in cemeteries and parish records. An enormous effort by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, frequently misnamed the “Mormon Church” by the media has allowed millions of people to access these records from the Internet without having to travel extensively.
A great indexing movement is still taking place in the LDS Church. Teams have travelled the globe scanning in countless documents. Volunteer members then work to digitize the important information from these documents, providing them to any who wish to search them. Unlike certain businesses who charge a good deal for the use of their records, those records which The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has digitized are available free of charge to anyone who wishes to access them. In addition, there are many family history centers across the globes, mostly located in LDS meetinghouses, which are run by volunteers. Anyone may use these facilities, free of charge, and may also obtain help from those who are trained in using the programs and equipment.
One may ask why The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has spent so much time and so many resources providing a service which they don’t even charge for. The answer is quite simple and is based in a basic belief of Mormonism, that families can, and should, be together forever. Latter-day Saints believe that there are certain earthly ordinances which each individual must receive in order to be exalted and live in the presence of God for eternity. These ordinances cannot be performed on the other side of the veil. On earth, most of these ordinances are received in Mormon temples. However, once a person has received these ordinances for himself, he may return to the temple and perform the same ordinances vicariously for someone who died without the chance to receive those ordinances. Latter-day Saints are encouraged to do their own family history (or genealogy) so that they can personally perform these ordinances for their own ancestors by proxy. One of these ordinances is Baptism for the Dead.
Another fundamental belief which Latter-day Saints hold is that we all have the eternal right of free agency, or free will. We each choose for ourselves good or evil. No one else can force choices upon us. When a person who is deceased has ordinances performed for him by proxy, that does not mean he has lost the right to choose whether or not he wants to accept those ordinances. When temple work is done for an individual, he still has the right to choose if he wants the blessings and commitments that come with those ordinances. It is necessary the temple work is done, though, because if it is not, the choice is not given to the individual at all. He simply cannot partake of those blessings.
There are many other blessings which come from Mormon genealogy and family history. The knowledge of the experiences of one’s ancestors brings a tremendous power. To feel the influence of others’ choices in your life can be very moving. It is important to remember that these are people, beloved sons and daughters of God, just as we each are.
Watch this message from President Thomas S. Monson on the significance of temple blessings in the lives of members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Of all the numbers in the Pew Research Center’s recently released survey of “Mormons in America,” the highest, most overwhelming numbers are these: 98 percent of respondents said they believe in the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, and 97 percent say their church is a Christian religion.
This comes on the heels of earlier surveys indicating that 32 percent of non-LDS U.S. adults say the LDS Church is not a Christian religion, and an additional 17 percent are unsure of LDS Christianity. The theological and semantic reasons for this can be complex, but for the 1,019 self-identified Mormons who participated in the Pew survey, their theological position is clear: Mormons believe in Jesus Christ, and they consider themselves to be Christian.
“Certainly in Latter-day Saint theology is this idea that if you understand who you are, you understand that there’s a purpose in life, you understand your connection to God, that certainly has an impact on how you live your life and what you do, but also how you feel about your life and what you are doing,” said Michael Purdy of the LDS Church Public Affairs office. Read more
A recent The Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion and Public Life conducted an in-depth survey of Mormons in the United States. Mormon is a nickname sometimes used to describe members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The fourth article in a series that appears in Deseret News is evaluating the results of this survey and providing context for the results.
Immigration is a controversial topic in the United States. The survey asked one question on this topic. They were asked which of two statements most closely matched their view, even if they didn’t completely agree. They were asked whether immigrants strengthen or burden the nation. No distinction was made between legal and illegal immigration, leaving those polled to decide for themselves what the question meant.
In the general U.S. population, 45 percent of Americans feel that immigrants strengthen the country, while 44 percent burden it. 12 percent feel that neither or both are true or they have no opinion on the subject. Mormon views closely mirror these statistics. 45 percent of Mormons also believe immigrants strengthen the nation, although a smaller number, 41 percent, consider them a burden on society. The number of Mormons who accept both or neither or who have no opinion is higher, at 14 percent.
These numbers put them at odds with evangelical Christians, one of the few political areas in which they disagree. Within the white evangelical population, 59 percent believe immigrants are a burden, and 27 percent believe they strengthen the country. Like Mormons, 14 percent answered both, neither, or no opinion.
The statistics for Mormons shows a strong divide based on age, income, and education, as well as on religious commitment. Only 36 percent of highly committed Mormons see immigrants as a burden, while 50 percent of those who are less committed see them as a burden. This largely correlates with economic status. 84 percent of Mormons who are highly committed to their religion are college graduates. (The church strongly encourages Read more
As the “Mormon moment” extends into 2012, the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life today released a groundbreaking new survey, the first ever published by a non-LDS research organization to focus exclusively on members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and their beliefs, values, perceptions and political preferences.
Entitled “Mormons in America: Certain in Their Beliefs, Uncertain of Their Place in Society,” the survey was conducted between Oct. 25 and Nov. 16, 2011 among a national sample of 1,019 respondents who identified themselves as Mormons. The results validate a number of long-held stereotypes (most American Mormons are white, well-educated, politically conservative and religiously observant) while providing a few interesting surprises (care for the poor and needy is high on the list of LDS priorities, while drinking coffee and watching R-rated movies aren’t as taboo among the rank and file as you might think).
“While this survey comes amid a contentious election campaign, it is not solely or even chiefly about politics,” said Luis Lugo, Pew Research Center director, in the published survey’s preface. “Rather, we hope that it will contribute to a broader public understanding of Mormons and Mormonism at a time of great interest in both.”
For example, in one very interesting section of the new survey, respondents were asked several questions about what is essential to being a good Mormon. According to the survey, 80 percent said “believing Joseph Smith saw God the Father and Jesus Christ” is essential to being a good Mormon, 73 percent said “working to help the poor,” 51 percent said “regular Family Home Evenings,” 49 percent said “not drinking coffee and tea” and 32 percent said “not watching R-rated movies. Read more