Q&A: The LDS Church Today

What are members of the LDS Church called?

    This is one of the most common questions and one of the most important ones to be clarified to the public. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has different nicknames such as “LDS Church”, “Mormon Church”, “Mormons”, and so forth. The members of the Church were also called by nicknames like “Mormons” or “LDS”. We don’t blame them since those nicknames were all used to address the Church in the past years.

However, the church leaders have encouraged the members not to use such nicknames anymore to emphasize the Church’s focus on Jesus Christ. Thus, the Church is properly addressed as “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints” and its members are called “latter-day saints”.

Why is the LDS Church called Mormon Church?

    The LDS Church “was” called “Mormon Church” because the members believe in the Book of Mormon — which is the keystone of the organization. But as mentioned earlier, the proper way to address the Church is to use the appropriate name: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Will the LDS Church practice polygamy again?

    The polygamy issue of the LDS Church has been very controversial. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints doesn’t practice polygamy, and I am confident that the Church won’t practice polygamy again in the future. 

    Why am I so sure? Because we believe that the “1890 Manifesto”, also known as the Woodruff Manifesto or the Anti-polygamy Manifesto, is a revelation from God that said it was time to stop practicing polygamy. Unless the Heavenly Father commanded us to practice polygamy again, the LDS Church will continue to practice monogamy in the future.

    To know the real story on why the LDS Church practiced polygamy in the early years and why it ended in 1890, read “Plural Marriage and Families in Early Utah”.

How many members does the LDS Church have?

    The LDS Church has a growing number of members every year. As of December 2018, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has approximately 16.3 million members. (Source: The Salt Lake Tribune)

Who is the founder of the LDS Church?

    The founder of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is Joseph Smith. He is known to be the first Prophet and President of the Church, and we also believe that Joseph Smith was called by Heavenly Father to restore the fullness of His gospel to the earth.

Who is the leader of the LDS Church?

The one and only leader of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is Jesus Christ. He is the head of His church right from the start. Under Jesus Christ’s leadership, there are prophets and apostles who 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)

    Under the leadership of Jesus Christ, we have the Living Prophet (also known as the President of the Church). He is the one who receives direct revelation from God and guides the entire Church. The latter-day saints consider the President of the Church to be a “prophet, seer, and revelator”. 

Does the LDS Church believe in the Holy Bible?

    This is the one question that keeps popping up everywhere, and it’s a good thing that the latter-day saints never get tired of answering this question and explaining it further. YES, the members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believe in the Holy Bible. In fact, the Holy Bible is a part of the Church’s standard works (the official, canonized scriptures of the Church):

    The Holy Bible

    Book of Mormon

    Doctrine and Covenants

    Pearl of Great Price

For further explanation, you can check out the article “Why Do We Need to Personally Study the Holy Bible?” (Please insert the link to the article once posted.)

Does the LDS Church believe in Jesus Christ?

Another question that people kept asking. YES, we believe in Jesus Christ. I think it should be obvious that the LDS Church believes in Jesus Christ because the full and appropriate name of the Church is “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.” 

If you are one of those people who asks this question, you might want to know the latter-day saint beliefs about Jesus Christ by clicking here. (Please insert the link to the article “The Latter-day Saint Beliefs About Jesus Christ” once posted.)

Does the LDS Church require tithing?

    The LDS Church teaches its members to give “ten percent of one’s annual income” to the Church. Basically, the main source of the Church income is the tithing of its members. The money is used for charity works, building and maintaining buildings, missionary and temple work, written materials, the Church Educational System, and the global administration of the Church. 

The latter-day saints’ view on tithing is helping others and to develop the soul of the tithe-payer. At the end of the year, each latter-day saint is asked to meet with the bishop to declare if the individual is a full-tithe payer, partial-tithe payer, or non-tithe payer.

There are some latter-day saints who are non-tithe payers, and they’re still welcome to the Church. However, only full-tithe payers are allowed to enter the temple and to participate in important saving ordinances.

How rich is the LDS Church?

    This is the funniest common question of the people about the Church. I don’t know why they are so curious about the financial standing of the LDS Church. But one thing I’m sure of is that whatever the figure is, it just represents the wonderful accomplishment of the Church.

    Moreover, the money which the LDS Church makes is mainly used for charity works — for members or non-members — which I totally think is not a problem.

What does the LDS Church believe?

    The LDS Church has so many beliefs. Some of them are too similar to other Christian denominations, and some of them are completely different. This question is popular with our friends outside the faith who are interested to know more about the Church. So now, I think it’s a good thing to have a jump-start with the basic beliefs of the LDS Church by looking to the Articles of Faith.

    Articles of Faith

The “Articles of Faith” of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is a statement written by Joseph Smith to John Wentworth, a newspaper editor, in response to his request to know what the latter-day saints believe. The Articles of Faith outline 13 basic points of belief of the Church. 

Sharing to you the quick summary of the Articles of Faith will give you vast knowledge about the LDS Church beliefs. You can also read the full and original statement by going to churchofjesuschrist.org.

  1. The latter-day saints believe in God the Father, His Son, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost.
  2. The latter-day saints believe that men will be punished only for their own sins and not for Adam’s transgression.
  3. The latter-day saints believe that through the Atonement of Christ, we can be saved by being obedient to the laws and ordinances of the gospel.
  4. The latter-day saints believe that we can be saved by having faith in Jesus Christ, by repentance, baptism by immersion, confirmation, and receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost.
  5. The latter-day saints believe that leaders and teachers in the Church must be chosen and ordained by priesthood power.
  6. The latter-day saints believe that the Church of Jesus Christ today is organized as it was when He first established it.
  7. The latter-day saints believe in the gift of tongues, modern-day prophecy and revelation, visions, healing, interpretation of tongues, and so forth.
  8. The latter-day saints believe in the Bible and the Book of Mormon to be the word of God.
  9. The latter-day saints believe that God has been communicated with and will continue to communicate with humankind.
  10. The latter-day saints believe in the literal gathering of Israel and in the restoration of the Ten Tribes, and that Zion (New Jerusalem) will be built on the American continent, and that Christ will personally reign on the earth.
  11. The latter-day saints claim the privilege of worshipping God according to our own dictates and allowing all men the same privilege.
  12. The latter-day saints believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.
  13. The latter-day saints believe in being “honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men.”

    The additional belief of the LDS Church members that were not mentioned on the Articles of Faith is:

  • The latter-day saints believe that the Holy Bible has an expanded canon of scripture which includes the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price.

You can keep yourself updated

with the latest news about the LDS Church by simply visiting the links below:

Official Newsroom: newsroom.churchofjesuschrist.org

Church News: www.thechurchnews.com

Facebook: facebook.com/ChurchOfJesusChrist

Twitter: twitter.com/ldschurch

Instagram: instagram.com/churchofjesuschrist

You can also find the nearest Church below:

LDS Church Near Me

“Learn of me, and listen to my words;

walk in the meekness of my Spirit, and you shall have peace in me.”

(D&C 19:23)

Source of all images: churchofjesuschrist.org

“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.

Let us remember Joseph Smith with “Praise to the Man” and more on Living Scriptures Streaming. Simply follow this LINK and start your free month today! livingscriptures.com/joseph-smith

“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!

For further explanation of the Book of Mormon, please read the article “Book of Mormon Stories: A New Way to Feast on The Scriptures” by following this LINK: livingscriptures.com

You can also watch the Complete Animated Book of Mormon Stories only here at
Living Scriptures Streaming!

“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.

Facebook Page:
facebook.com/churchofjesuschrist

Facebook Group:
facebook.com/groups/churchofjesuschristinspirationandnews

Instagram:
instagram.com/ChurchOfJesusChrist

Twitter:
twitter.com/churchnewsroom

Youtube:
youtube.com/churchofjesuschrist

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”

          LINK: livingscriptures.com

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!

Conclusion

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.

“If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth
to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.”
(James 1:5)

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