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.
You are invited to worship with a local LDS congregation
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (inadvertently called the “Mormon Church” by the media) invites other people to come unto Christ. All services and activities center around the Savior Jesus Christ.
Who Funds the “Mormon Church”?
Many other Christian churches may pay their clergy but the “Mormon Church” depends upon volunteers. The bishop (local pastor) asks members to teach classes or volunteer their time and talents to bless those around them. Under the bishop’s direction, I have enjoyed teaching various gospel doctrine classes, play the piano, play the organ, organize musical numbers and plan activities. My family has helped clean the chapel, cooked meals for sick neighbors, and done various community service projects.
Members of the Latter-day Saint Church pay tithing money (10% of one’s income) which is distributed as needed.”Tithing funds are used to build churches and temples, to sustain missionary work, and to build the kingdom of God on earth (Tithing, “The Guide to the Scriptures”).” Tithing has always been a commandment from God and modern prophets today have taught us to still obey this commandment. Read more
Perhaps all of us will agree to the notion that most of the successful men and women in any field anywhere in the world are largely a product of good nurturing and teaching at home. The mother plays a very important role in the home. She is the most effective teacher and nurturer. And with the help of her husband in establishing righteousness in the home, they create an excellent place to learn the gospel of Jesus Christ.
President Gordon B. Hinckley, former president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (which church is frequently misnamed the “Mormon Church”) shared a story about the essence of motherhood:
The story is told that in ancient Rome a group of women were, with vanity, showing their jewels one to another. Among them was Cornelia, the mother of two boys. One of the women said to her, “And where are your jewels?” To which Cornelia responded, pointing to her sons, “These are my jewels.” Under her tutelage and walking after the virtues of her life, they grew to become Gaius and Tiberius Gracchus—the Gracchi, as they were called—two of the most persuasive and effective reformers in Roman history. For as long as they are remembered and spoken of, the mother who reared them after the manner of her own life will be remembered and spoken of with praise also (“These, Our Little Ones,” Ensign, December 2007).
In God’s Plan of Salvation, a father and a mother have equal responsibilities in building family relationships.
And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him. And out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof. And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him. And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh (Genesis 2:18–24).
In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Mormon women are highly valued and are given great care and respect. The Church believes in the capacity of these Mormon women in building righteousness in their own homes as well as in their communities. The Church also, under the direction of the Lord, organized the societies of Mormon women commonly known as the Young Women Organization for women ages 12–17 and the Relief Society Organization for women ages 18 and older to help them develop sisterhood and to teach one another the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ, helping each other develop their testimonies of Jesus. In the Relief Society and in the Young Women organizations, women are also taught about their temporal well-being like modesty in dress and action, according to the standard of the Church, home-making skills, and most importantly, about their divine potential as daughters of God.
Elder Douglas L. Callister, one of the general authorities of the Church, shared an experience that illustrates the sweet essence of womanhood:
I once visited briefly with the great actress Audrey Hepburn while she was making the movie My Fair Lady. She spoke of the opening scene in the movie in which she depicted a modest, unpolished flower girl. Her face had been besmirched with charcoal to make her seem part of her surroundings. “But,” she said with a twinkle in her eye, “I was wearing my perfume. Inside I still knew I was a lady.” It doesn’t take expensive perfume to make a lady, but it does require cleanliness, modesty, self-respect, and pride in one’s appearance (“Your Refined Heavenly Home,” BYU Devotional, September 19, 2006).
Mormon women are also actively participating in different righteous acts, whether that be a Church-run activity or a community faith-promoting experience. They strive to follow the examples of Dorcas in the New Testament.
Now there was at Joppa a certain disciple named Tabitha, which by interpretation is called Dorcas: this woman was full of good works and almsdeeds which she did. And it came to pass in those days, that she was sick, and died: whom when they had washed, they laid her in an upper chamber. And forasmuch as Lydda was nigh to Joppa, and the disciples had heard that Peter was there, they sent unto him two men, desiring him that he would not delay to come to them. Then Peter arose and went with them. When he was come, they brought him into the upper chamber: and all the widows stood by him weeping, and shewing the coats and garments which Dorcas made, while she was with them. But Peter put them all forth, and kneeled down, and prayed; and turning him to the body said, Tabitha, arise. And she opened her eyes: and when she saw Peter, she sat up. And he gave her his hand, and lifted her up, and when he had called the saints and widows, presented her alive (Acts 9:36–41).
Although people may sometimes forget the face or the name of a person who once served them or helped them in their difficult times, the righteous acts will always be there in their hearts. Mormon women strive to be like their Savior, serving those around them in love and righteousness.
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.
Tiffany Sowby is a mother of five and member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (“Mormon” woman). She tries to find humor, joy, and contentment in the little things life has to offer.
While a student at the University of Utah, I passed the Salt Lake Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (often mistakenly called the Mormon Church) on my drive to school each day. At that point in my life, I was able to count on two hands the number of times I had entered into a Mormon temple to do what we Latter-day Saints (or “Mormons”) believe to be temple work for those that have passed on before us. This temple work consists of performing certain ordinances, by proxy, for family members who passed away without an opportunity to receive those ordinances. Specifically, at that time in my life, I was limited to participating in baptisms for the dead only. Worthy Latter-day Saints age 12 and older have the opportunity to participate in baptisms for the dead, the first of the essential ordinances. Read more
Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (also called Mormons) put a great deal of emphasis on the importance of genealogy, or family history. Some people wonder why this is. Latter-day Saints (or Mormons) believe that the family unit is meant to be eternal, but can only be made eternal when sealed by the power of the holy priesthood in Mormon temples. Ordinances which are received in Mormon temples are considered earthly ordinances, however. They must be received on this earth. So, what about all those who died without the chance to receive those ordinances? Others must do the work for them.
The first of these earthly ordinances is that of baptism and confirmation. The Lord Jesus Christ is our perfect example of this principle of the gospel. Though he was sinless, he was baptized by immersion by John the Baptist, who held the authority of God. The Apostle Paul spoke of the principle of baptisms for the dead to the Corinthians. He said, “Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? why are they then baptized for the dead?” (1 Corinthians 15:29). He posed an impeding question to unbelievers about the rights of all God’s children to partake the blessings of the gospel. He spoke of our ancestors, the non-Christian nation and to those people living in the remotest part of the world where the fullness of the gospel hadn’t penetrated yet.
Many of our ancestors and non-Christian people died without the knowledge of the Savior Jesus Christ and blessings of the gospel. Through the inspiration of God, Joseph Smith, one of the Mormon prophets, said, “And now, my dearly beloved brethren and sisters, let me assure you that these are principles in relation to the dead and the living that cannot be lightly passed over, as pertaining to our salvation. For their salvation is necessary and essential to our salvation, as Paul says concerning the fathers—that they without us cannot be made perfect—neither can we without our dead be made perfect” (Doctrine and Covenants 128: 15).
The Apostle Peter testified of the necessity of the ordinances for the dead, he said, “For for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit” (1 Peter 4:6).
God loves us so much. He is our Father in Heaven. Temple ordinances are essential in bringing us incomparable blessings in our lives as well as to dead loved ones.
Latter-day Saints around the world have been encouraged by the living prophet and other leaders to seek out and search for their ancestors. There is a wonderful website established by the Church to help Church members as well as friends of other faiths search for their ancestors. The collected names are taken to Mormon temples by family members, where sacred ordinances for the dead are performed. Taking family names to the temple is the primary goal of one’s personal genealogy. However, many more blessings come from learning about one’s family history. Mormons believe that ordinances performed by proxy for dead loved ones are conditional upon the person for whom the ordinances were done accepting that work. Nothing is forced upon them, but if the ordinances are completed, individuals then have a choice to accept them, whereas before, they were helpless.
We are all children of God and therefore are all entitled to the same blessings given to those who are obedient and who are willing to follow His commandments.
Thus was the gospel preached to those who had died in their sins, without a knowledge of the truth, or in transgression, having rejected the prophets. These were taught faith in God, repentance from sin, vicarious baptism for the remission of sins, the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands, And all other principles of the gospel that were necessary for them to know in order to qualify themselves that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit. And so it was made known among the dead, both small and great, the unrighteous as well as the faithful, that redemption had been wrought through the sacrifice of the Son of God upon the cross (Doctrine and Covenants 138:32–35).
Latter-day Saints hope all will sanctify themselves in order to be worthy to enter into God’s house and partake of the higher ordinances that can lead us towards eternal life.
And no unclean thing can enter into his kingdom; therefore nothing entereth into his rest save it be those who have washed their garments in my blood, because of their faith, and the repentance of all their sins, and their faithfulness unto the end. Now this is the commandment: Repent, all ye ends of the earth, and come unto me and be baptized in my name, that ye may be sanctified by the reception of the Holy Ghost, that ye may stand spotless before me at the last day. Verily, verily, I say unto you, this is my gospel; and ye know the things that ye must do in my church; for the works which ye have seen me do that shall ye also do; for that which ye have seen me do even that shall ye do; Therefore, if ye do these things blessed are ye, for ye shall be lifted up at the last day (3 Nephi 27:19–22).
Family history is taking the world somewhat by storm. Many people who have never even heard of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are now feeling an unquenchable desire to seek out their ancestors. They may do so by using the Church’s facilities. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has some of the most amazing family history resources in the world, and they are all available for free to anyone who wishes to use them.
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.
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
SMITHFIELD — After dinner, three baths, four bedtime stories and a half-a-dozen goodnight kisses for 2-year-old twins Brock and Isaac and 6-year-old Ellie, Erin and Brian Thompson finally sink into the couch with weary smiles.
Being parents is just what they always wanted. And they love it.
“Of course we have our crazy moments,” Thompson says, “but for the most part we just try to find the good things in the day and remember that they’re only going to be little for so long.”
As members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Thompsons believe that maintaining a strong marriage and raising and teaching children are essential keys to happiness and their most important responsibilities on earth.
In fact, 81 percent of Mormons say being a good parent is “one of the most important things in life,” according to a new survey by the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life — the first survey of Mormons about Mormons, by a non-LDS research organization.
The survey of more than 1,000 self-identified Latter-day Saints from across the country asked how accepted Mormons feel in American culture, as well as their thoughts on religious practices, political issues and family roles.
The survey showed that Mormons are more likely to be married than the general population, 67 percent of the sample size compared to 52 percent of the general public. 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
“Mormons” is a nickname (a misnomer, really) for members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. People have nicknamed them “Mormons,” because of a volume of scripture called the Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ. The Book of Mormon is so named, because an ancient warrior-prophet named Mormon abridged and compiled the scriptural record of his people, a branch of Israelites that had been led away by God to the Americas.
Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are more properly known as “Latter-day Saints,” to distinguish them from the original followers of Jesus Christ, whom the original apostles called “Saints.” The LDS Church is the complete restoration of that ancient, original church, with its authority, power, and doctrines intact. The ancient church of Christ was restored in this way to prepare for the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.
“Mormons” must not be confused with any reclusive sect, especially a sect that practices polygamy. Some of these sects call themselves “Mormons,” but they are not. Most have never been Mormons, and those that have been may have been excommunicated for practicing plural marriage. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints had over 14 million members by 2011, all over the world. It was in that year the fourth largest church in the United States and one of few still growing. Mormons do not cloister themselves or live on reclusive compounds. They dress according to the styles of the day in the countries where they live, although they try to be modest in dress.
Mormons stand out for several reasons. Most noticeable is their abstinence from addictive substances, such as alcohol, tobacco, coffee, and tea. The health law of the Church was given in 1832 by revelation from God to Prophet Joseph Smith. The introduction to the revelation, now found in Section 84 of the Doctrine and Covenants, is very enlightening. It says: “Behold, verily, thus saith the Lord unto you: In consequence of evils and designs which do and will exist in the hearts of conspiring men in the last days, I have warned you, and forewarn you, by giving unto you this word of wisdom by revelation…(D&C 89:4). No one knew at the time how dangerous these substances were, or the lengths to which designing men would go to make money from selling these substances.
Mormons tend to be “light-brights.” They have a squeaky-clean, shiny appearance, partially because of their clean-cut lifestyle, and partly because dedicated members have been blessed with the “gift of the Holy Ghost,” the constant companionship of the Holy Spirit. This imbues them with light. A person manifesting this light should have been born again, and will strive to live according to Christ’s example. He or she should be kind and charitable, approachable no matter how high his/her vocation or calling in life.
Mormons are well-known because of their orientation toward happy family life. The family is central both to the doctrines and structure of the Church, and all things in the Church are organized toward supporting and uplifting the family. Mormons tend to have larger families than is common in most modern societies. They are counseled not to postpone or prevent children from coming into the home for materialistic reasons. Many Mormons go through advanced education with children in tow. Family prayer, family home evening, and family scripture reading are part of Mormon family life. But so are hard work, self-reliance, development of talents, emphasis on education, and good wholesome recreation, part of Mormon family life. Mormon parents hope their children will grow up to be moral people of integrity and honesty, good citizens, and that they will have had the opportunity to gain an education and develop their talents. It is important to Mormon parents that children not follow blindly the tenets of the faith, but that they gain their own anchoring spiritual witness that Jesus is the Christ, and that His church has been restored. In keeping with this witness, devoted Mormon parents raise their children to look forward to eternal marriage in a holy temple, and the possibility of serving a full-time mission for the Church.
Mormons may be found in any walk of life, as long as the profession is honorable. Mormons in politics include…
Mormons in business include…
Mormons in show business include…
Lately, the “Mormon” Church has launched an ad campaign called “I’m a Mormon” in many U.S. cities and Australia. The campaign is so you can get to know us better. Following are a few of the ads.