Origin and History of the Mormons
The Mormon religion was formed in April 1830 in upstate New York by 24 year old
Joseph Smith and five others. It was initially called the Church of Christ. Smith
dispatched missionaries to spread the message that a new dispensation was at hand,
that God had called a prophet and that the fullness of the Christian gospel was
contained in a new book of scripture The Book of Mormon.
By the end of 1830, around a hundred individuals had been Baptized in New York, and
a similar number in Ohio. This formative period of Mormonism came to a close when a
revelation directed church leaders to gather the entire body of converts in Kirtland, Ohio.
By May 1831 nearly all Mormons had left New York.
For most of the 1830s, missionary work remained concentrated near areas of Mormon
settlement in Ohio and Missouri as well as the states in between those two headquarter
sites and some parts of eastern Canada. In 1837, however, Joseph Smith sent a small
contingent of missionaries to Great Britain. Between 1837 and the early 1840s,
thousands of Britons joined the LDS Church, and most of them migrated to the LDS
stronghold at Nauvoo, Illinois. Smaller missionary operations began in French Polynesia
in 1843. After Joseph Smith's death in 1844, missions were established in Wales and
California. In the 1850s, after the Mormons arrived in Utah, Brigham Young established
missions in Scandinavia, South America, Asia, and the south Pacific.
Today, although there are Mormon congregations in most countries of the world, there
is very little local variation in terms of worship or teaching. There are13,500,000
followers. Their Headquarters are located in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Their Deity is God, Jesus, and the Holy Ghost. One key to understanding Mormonism
is Joseph Smith's teaching that God was once a man. They also worship Jesus Christ
and the third member of the Godhead The Holy Ghost. In Mormon teachings, the final
judgment comes in stages. Death is not the end, it is the beginning of another step
forward. Someday the physical body will die, but the spririt does not. It goes to the spirit
world. Then your spirit and body will be reunited this is called resurrection which is
made possible by Jesus Christ.
Mormons focus their worship in Sunday meetings but then attempt to reinforce their
faith daily through a series of prescribed practices. Sunday worship services consist of
a three-hour block of meetings. Sacrament meeting, a gathering that lasts a little more
than an hour and that features sermons from members of the congregation and the
performance of the sacramental ritual of the Lord's Supper, is the focal point of Sunday
Sacred Texts and Practices
The Sacred texts are the Bible, The Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and The
Pearl of Great Price. The priesthood in the LDS Church is divided into two parts: the
lesser, or Aaronic priesthood, and the higher, or Melchizedek priesthood. Only males
are eligible for ordination, which occurs at the age of twelve for the Aaronic and
eighteen for the Melchizedek. The most frequently performed public Mormon ritual is
the faith's version of the common Protestant and Catholic rituals of "communion."
Mormons practice baptisms by immersion, which are usually performed in LDS chapels
(although in some cases baptisms are performed in natural bodies of water). This ritual
is typically performed shortly after a child of Mormon parents turns 8 years old.
Marriages are performed in the LDS Temples. When worthy members of the Church of
Jesus Christ are married in a sacred temple it is called a sealing. Through the power of
the priesthood- God's authority- they make a covenant and are sealed together.
LDS temples are also the sites for...