There are so many religious sects in the world — so many that people will never end up comparing one organization from the other. Members of one group are judging the practices of another group. Sundays are supposedly solemn but ended up insulting other associations on their talks.
But everyone should accept that people have different beliefs. Even decades ago, not everyone had the same judgment. Because of the differences between one church from the other, humans have so many questions about an organization.
And when it comes to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, there are some questions that are common for non-members, investigators, and even for members! Let’s answer those questions in a clear and fun conversation.
“What is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints?”
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is a nontrinitarian, Christian restorationist church founded by Joseph Smith in 1830 — yes, around 200 years ago. Followers of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints consider it to be the restoration of the original church founded by Jesus Christ.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah in the United States after moving to the desert state in the 1850s. Started with just six members in the United States on April 6, 1830, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints now has over 16 million members, most of which are based in the United States, and 65,000 full-time volunteer missionaries (and counting!).
The church has established more than 30,000 congregations and built about 170 temples worldwide, which are being constructed or presently in use. Did you know, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints usually feel something deep in their hearts whenever they look at temple pictures? (Most members even cry once they enter the temple gates!)
“What Is the Story Behind the Church Name?”
In the Book of Mormon, when Jesus Christ visited the Nephites, He taught that the Church should be called after His name. ”And they who were baptized in the name of Jesus were called the church of Christ.” (3 Nephi 26:21) In the New Testament, Paul refers to early Christians as saints. (See Ephesians 1:1; 2 Corinthians 1:1)
We call ourselves “Latter-day Saints” because of the strong belief that we are currently living near the time of the second coming of Jesus Christ. So if the early Christians were called “saints”, the members in today’s era are called “latter-day saints”.
“Who is the Leader of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?”
Jesus Christ is the one and only leader of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and no one can ever replace him. He is the head of His church right from the very beginning. And under His leadership, the prophets and apostles spearhead the mission of the Church.
“And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief cornerstone” (Ephesians 2:20)
Jesus Christ is on the top, followed by the Living Prophet (also called the “President of the Church”) who directly receives God’s orders through revelation. The prophet will choose his two counselors, forming as the “First Presidency”, followed by the “Quorum of the Twelve Apostles”. Yes, we are so blessed to have a living prophet!
The prophet is honored by all, but not worshipped. As true Christians, we only praise, worship, and bow to our Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ.
The History of the Church: “How Did It Start?”
The story of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints unfolds in the spring of 1820 — when two heavenly beings appeared to a little boy named Joseph Smith.
Joseph Smith: The Founder
Joseph Smith was confused by the conflicting claims of various faith, so he went to read the Bible for guidance. The “Ask of God” verse (See James 1:5) lead him to pray in the Sacred Grove, where he experienced the “First Vision”.
Joseph knelt in the woods near the farm. It was the first time in his life to pray… vocally. In the most dramatic revelation since biblical times, “Two Personages” — presumably God the Father and Jesus Christ — appeared to the young boy and gave him instructions. He was commanded not to join any of the existing churches, and that God would restore to earth the Church originally organized by Jesus Christ. (See JS—H 1:1)
Ten years later, after a series of revelations and visitations, Joseph Smith officially organized The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on 6 April 1830, calling it a restoration of the early Christian church.
The Book of Mormon
Joseph experienced a visitation from angel Moroni — an ancient prophet who had lived and died in the Western Hemisphere centuries earlier. Joseph claimed that the angel directed him to a hill near his home in Palmyra, New York where the golden plates are buried in the ground.
The religious history of an ancient American civilization, between 2200 B.C. and A.D. 421, was engraved on the plates. Aside from Joseph Smith, there were at least 11 witnesses who saw the plates in 1829, and another 3 claimed that they have been visited by an angel, too.
After four years, Joseph Smith was permitted to translate the record. Named for one of the ancient American prophets — Prophet Mormon — The Book of Mormon was first published in 1830, the same year when the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was founded.
“Why Is the Temple Important for Latter-day Saints?”
Temples are literally houses of the Lord. These are the holy places where members make sacred covenants with God, receive instructions, perform sacred ceremonies and ordinances, and worship Jesus Christ. Moreover, the members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints acknowledge the temple as a sacred place to commune with God and understand His will, seek God’s aid, and receive personal revelation. I’m telling you, just by looking at the temple pictures, members can feel something different.
The Lord has commanded His people to build temples, that’s why The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is working to build temples all over the world. This will make temple blessings accessible to God’s children here, there, and everywhere.
Temples Near Me
Hundreds of temples were built over the world, and the church keeps building more from time to time. To check the nearest temple, please follow the link below:
Find a Temple churchofjesuschrist.org
Churches Near Me
And because there are thousands of meetinghouses and wards globally, I’m pretty sure that you’ll find at least one near you:
Find a Meetinghouse or Ward churchofjesuschrist.org
“Do Latter-day Saints Read the Bible?”
Yes, absolutely. Some people might say “The Book of Mormon replaces the Bible.” — No! And we never do that. The Book of Mormon is the second witness for Christ. It gives us a better understanding of the Gospel and validates more biblical stories. It is true that the Book of Mormon is the “keystone” of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but it doesn’t mean that we don’t believe in the Bible. Why would we do that?
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints members read the Book of Mormon, The Holy Bible, together with The Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price, and more! You’re right, we love reading!
“There Are So Many False Teachings Online. What Should I Trust?”
That is a good question. Yes, we know that you can find billions of information online. That’s helpful if you’re looking for product reviews or reading movie critiques. However, when it comes to studying the scriptures and wanting to know more about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or any other organization, it is hard to trust the internet. Really, really hard.
But don’t worry, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have numerous official websites, pages, apps, and more so that you won’t struggle looking for CORRECT information online.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Official Websites
There are a couple of official websites managed by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. You can find one easily on the internet just by typing “latter-day saints”. Here are some of the most-visited church websites.
- LDS.org (or churchofjesuschrist.org)
Here you can research conference talks and keep updated with the recent Church news as well as find many Church resources, manuals, and magazines. Go to this link: churchofjesuschrist.org
- Mormon.org (or comeuntochrist.org)
This website is recommended for both members and non-members who want to learn more about the church. Link: comeuntochrist.org
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Newsroom
Kind of like your daily newspaper, here you can read the recent events and happenings about the church and the people. You can visit the lds.org and look for the newsroom, or simply follow this link: newsroom.churchofjesuschrist.org
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Blog
Sure thing that everyone loves to read blogs. How about reading church blogs instead of “how to take a good selfie” or “how to be popular” articles? churchofjesuschrist.org/blog
The Official Church Social Channels
As members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we should be thankful that Social Media platforms allow us to spread positive thoughts and kind words in just a click.
The Latter-day Saints Mobile Apps
And because almost everyone owns a smartphone, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has official and non-official mobile apps available at the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. Check out this article: “LDS Apps: 10 Apps Every Member of The Church Must Know”
The Living Scriptures Streaming
Are you looking for illustrated scripture stories? Documentaries? Faith-based movies? Latter-day-saints-produced comedies and dramas? Inspirational films? Values-based kid’s shows? You don’t need to browse the internet. All you have to do is to visit livingscriptures.com and claim your free one month now!
There are so many conflicts when it comes to faith and religion. Not everyone believes in what we believe is true, and we also don’t believe in what they believe is true. (Did I make it too straightforward?)
Instead of fighting over what’s right or wrong, a believer should encourage non-believers to open up their hearts and, at least, try to hear the word of God, the Gospel, the scriptures, and the stories of the Book of Mormon
Do you remember how Jesus Christ tried so hard to spread the word of God, even if non-believers hate Him so much? Do you remember the sacrifices He made just to preach the Gospel, even if He knows that many people don’t believe Him? That’s what we all should do. Even though we know that some might never believe us, we still hope that one way or another, their hearts will open up. It’s never late, people can help people… you can help people.
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