With the announcement of the Catholic Pope’s retirement, some have wondered if Mormon prophets ever retire. Mormon is a nickname sometimes used to describe members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Filed under: LDS Q&A, Leaders, Political Leaders
Because Mitt Romney has been a Mormon bishop and a Mormon stake president, and is still a high priest, those terms have generated a lot of interest—and a lot of misinformation. In order to understand how those titles affected him in the past and how they affect him now, it’s important to understand what they mean. This is not a political article. It is about explaining Mormonism, not electing a candidate.
Filed under: Joseph Smith: Mormon Prophet, LDS Practices, LDS Q&A, Mormon Women's History, Women of the Church
Mormon polygamy was discontinued more than one hundred years ago, but it is still associated with Mormonism and Mormon history, and sometimes incorrectly associated with modern Mormonism. Mormon is a commonly used nickname for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Polygamy—or more correctly polygyny (the proper term for one man having multiple wives) was first practiced in the Old Testament. In Genesis 16, we learn that Sarai asked her husband Abraham to marry her handmaiden in order to produce heirs. This was very difficult and stressful for all three, but God sent an angel to help the handmaiden through the trials that followed. Abraham is the first recorded case of polygamy. Later, Jacob took additional wives, as did Gideon, Elkanah (the father of Samuel), and others. The Bible gave instructions on the treatment of additional wives and the resulting children. If polygamy were immoral in all situations, God would not give instructions on how to responsibly practice it. Instead, he would have instructed them to end the practice. (See Deuteronomy 21:15-17 and Exodus 21:10-11 as examples in the Old Testament of Biblical instruction on the appropriate practice of polygamy.) Since some practitioners were prophets, it is clear polygamy was acceptable to God. However, it should be noted that polygamy was not the rule in all time periods. It was practiced only when approved by God and for His purposes. Read more
Filed under: Basic LDS Beliefs, Discipleship: Following in the Savior's Footsteps, Finding Happiness, Finding Truth, Gospel Principles, Practices & Precepts, Jesus Christ, LDS Practices, LDS Q&A
A personal response
Most people are familiar with the sight of Mormon missionaries riding bikes, walking the neighborhoods, or knocking on doors. The men are dressed in suits, white shirts, and ties. They have short hair. The women are in dresses or skirts that fall below the knee. Most are young adults, but some are retired couples. And Mormons don’t wait to get called on missions. Many of them just love to share their beliefs with other people.
The correct name for the Mormon church is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Mormon is just a nickname once given Mormons by their enemies, but which Mormons themselves good-naturedly use, on occasion. The centerpiece of the church name explains the love Mormons have for missionary work. It is Jesus Christ’s church and the Bible commands us to share His gospel. Read more
Filed under: Basic Beliefs of Mormons, Basic LDS Beliefs, Counsel from Church Leaders, Discipleship: Following in the Savior's Footsteps, Frequently Asked Questions, Gospel Principles, Practices & Precepts, LDS Practices, LDS Q&A, Making Decisions, Prophets, Recognizing Truth, Written for Our Day
In 1852, when Hannah Last Cornaby was baptized, she and her husband had to enter the church building through a volley of stones being thrown at them by a screaming mob. She did not turn back. She bravely pushed through the mob, coping with the rocks and insults and allowed her husband to baptize her. Perhaps this event motivated her to later write the LDS hymn, “Who’s On the Lord’s Side?”
Hannah didn’t just choose the Lord’s side when it was easy or popular. She chose it when her very life was in danger. She left her home in England for it and endured many hardships with good humor for it. Hannah chose the Lord’s side.
Today, there are many forces trying to get us to choose the other side. Secular forces try to convince us it is old-fashioned to be on the Lord’s side. Political parties urge loyalty to them over the gospel. Media mocks the Lord’s side on a regular basis. This is reminiscent of a story in the Book of Mormon about a prophet named Lehi. Read more
Filed under: 72-Hour Kits, Basic Beliefs of Mormons, Basic LDS Beliefs, Counsel from Church Leaders, Gospel & Doctrine, Gospel Principles, Practices & Precepts, LDS Practices, LDS Q&A, Preparedness
The recent Japanese tsunami has brought attention to the fact that in an emergency, it is often difficult to purchase food and water. Because normal deliveries are halted and many stores are closed, people find themselves running short of critical supplies in a crisis.
Mormon beliefs include storing enough food, water, money, and other supplies to be used in emergencies. Many people misunderstand this belief, considering it hoarding or a last-days scenario. However, many people use these supplies during critical times in their lives, such as natural disasters or unemployment.
You might remember that in the Old Testament, Joseph (famous for his coat of many colors) was freed from prison after interpreting Pharaoh’s dream about seven years of plenty followed by seven years of famine. He suggested the Pharaoh needed to prepare for the famine by storing food ahead during the years of plenty and that God had been teaching him this through the dream. God has often taught his people the importance of preparation.
Mormons don’t stockpile the food in the basement and forget about it. They use what they store and rotate it. When grocery day comes around, they shop from their food storage for non-perishables and then replace it when they shop at a regular store. This allows them to cut food costs. Since they have everything they need, they can shop only when items are on sale. They can also purchase in bulk, which helps keep costs lower. If poor weather conditions cause the price of sugar to rise, they can use their stored sugar and not replace it until prices go down again.
Mormons have three types of storage. The first is a 72-hour kit. This portable storage has what they might need to take with them if they have to evacuate suddenly and need to care for themselves for 72 hours. This includes food, hygiene materials, blankets and pillows, scriptures, and other necessities. It can also include entertainment items for children who may get bored quickly in a shelter.
The second type of storage is a three-month supply. This includes everything a person needs to survive for three months. It often includes the most common foods the family eats, cleaning and hygiene materials, pet food, and anything else that would be useful in helping a family spend no money for three months. Read more
Filed under: Basic Beliefs of Mormons, Basic LDS Beliefs, Bible, Gospel & Doctrine, Gospel Principles, Practices & Precepts, LDS Practices, LDS Q&A
The Bible teaches the law of tithing beginning early in the Old Testament. The word tithing means tenth and so Mormons, as do others who follow the Bible, pay one-tenth of their increase (see Deuteronomy 14:22). Increase refers to income. It is left to individual Mormons to decide what income involves. Various Mormons interpret it in different ways, but we are asked only to take it to God for clarification.
The first mention of tithing is in Genesis, when Abram paid his tithes to Melchizedek. From that time on, if not before, God’s children have been asked to pay tithes. “And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land, or of the fruit of the tree, is the Lord’s: it is holy unto the Lord (Leviticus 27:30).
Although it can feel challenging to suddenly begin turning over so much of your income to God, it is important to remember that without God, we have nothing at all. When I teach little children, I often tell them I will give them ten pennies. I then ask if they would be willing to give one back—but not to me. I ask them to give it to God. We spread the pennies out and each child sees that he gets to keep a lot more pennies than God does, even though it is because of God they have the pennies. (I wouldn’t be giving them out if I weren’t teaching God’s commandment.) They consider that quite fair. Read more
Filed under: Basic Beliefs of Mormons, Basic LDS Beliefs, Families, Finding Happiness, Gospel Principles, Practices & Precepts, LDS Practices, LDS Q&A, Relationships, Temples
It is a central part of Mormon beliefs that families are meant to last forever. Although many religions teach that death also leads to forced divorce, Mormons believe that God created families and counseled against divorce. Therefore he would not force people to get divorced at any time, even after death, without a chance to keep their families forever.
Mormons refer to being married forever as being “sealed.” In other words, they are joined together forever, along with their children, parents, and other family members. This sealing can happen only in a temple, which is different from an ordinary Mormon meetinghouse. Read more
Filed under: Basic Beliefs of Mormons, Gospel Principles, Practices & Precepts, Jesus Christ, LDS Practices, LDS Q&A
When Jesus was ready to begin his ministry, he went to where his cousin John was baptizing people. He requested his own baptism. John at first hesitated, knowing Jesus had no sin and also knowing who Jesus really was. John felt Jesus should baptize him, not the other way around. Jesus insisted, though. Baptism was a commandment and even Jesus had to obey the commandments.
Filed under: Basic Beliefs of Mormons, Children, Choosing the Right, Discipleship: Following in the Savior's Footsteps, Finding Happiness, Finding Truth, Fruits of gospel living, Gospel & Doctrine, Gospel Principles, Practices & Precepts, Jesus Christ, Jesus Christ, LDS Practices, LDS Q&A, Parents/Leaders, Teens & Seminary, Youth Programs
Part one of a series
A new report from the Council of Churches states that while most church membership numbers are declining, Mormon membership is growing. Mormons are the fourth largest religion in the United States and the church with the highest growth among the top ten this year and second among all churches reporting numbers.
Mormonism isn’t an easy church to join. You have to participate in a series of “discussions” about the church first and complete assignments designed to help you learn what you’re signing up for and to help you find out if the Mormon Church is true. To this end, you are required to pray and ask God to tell you, since God is the one source you can always trust when you want the truth. You are then asked to commit to living specific Gospel principles and to live a moral lifestyle.
Then, if that’s not enough, you’ll probably get put to work. The Mormon religion is a lay church, so we don’t have paid ministers, organists, or other workers. This means everyone pitches in to help with one or two tasks. For instance, I assist a toddler with a disability in the toddler nursery each week.