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Mormons
Mormons
are a religious and cultural group related to Mormonism, the principal branch of the Latter Day Saint movement
Latter Day Saint movement
of Restorationist Christianity, initiated by Joseph Smith
Joseph Smith
in upstate New York during the 1820s. After Smith's death in 1844, the Mormons
Mormons
followed Brigham Young to what would become the Utah
Utah
Territory. Today, most Mormons
Mormons
are understood to be members of The Church of Jesus
Jesus
Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). Some Mormons
Mormons
are also either independent or non-practicing. The center of Mormon cultural influence is in Utah, and North America has more Mormons
Mormons
than any other continent, though the majority of Mormons
Mormons
live outside the United States. Mormons
Mormons
have developed a strong sense of commonality that stems from their doctrine and history. During the 19th century, Mormon converts tended to gather to a central geographic location, and between 1852 and 1890 a minority of Mormons
Mormons
openly practiced plural marriage, a form of religious polygamy. Mormons
Mormons
dedicate large amounts of time and resources to serving in their church, and many young Mormons
Mormons
choose to serve a full-time proselytizing mission. Mormons
Mormons
have a health code which eschews alcoholic beverages, tobacco, coffee, tea, and other addictive substances. They tend to be very family-oriented and have strong connections across generations and with extended family, reflective of their belief that families can be sealed together beyond death. Mormons
Mormons
also have a strict law of chastity, requiring abstention from sexual relations outside heterosexual marriage and fidelity within marriage. Mormons
Mormons
self-identify as Christian,[9] although some non-Mormons consider Mormons
Mormons
non-Christian[10] and some of their beliefs differ from mainstream Christianity. Mormons
Mormons
believe in the Bible, as well as other books of scripture, such as the Book
Book
of Mormon. They have a unique view of cosmology and believe that all people are spirit-children of God. Mormons
Mormons
believe that returning to God requires following the example of Jesus
Jesus
Christ, and accepting his atonement through ordinances such as baptism. They believe that Christ's church was restored through Joseph Smith
Joseph Smith
and is guided by living prophets and apostles. Central to Mormon faith is the belief that God speaks to his children and answers their prayers. Due to their high birth and conversion rates, the Mormon population has grown significantly in recent decades. The number of members in 1971 was 3,090,953[11] and now in 2017 based on the Annual Report, there are 15,882,417[12] worldwide.[13][14]

Contents

1 Terminology 2 History

2.1 Beginnings 2.2 Pioneer era 2.3 Modern times

3 Culture and practices 4 Groups within Mormonism

4.1 Latter-day Saints (the "LDS") 4.2 Fundamentalist Mormons 4.3 Liberal Mormons 4.4 Cultural Mormons

5 Beliefs 6 See also 7 References 8 External reading 9 External links

Terminology[edit] The word "Mormons" most often refers to members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) because of their belief in the Book
Book
of Mormon, though members often refer to themselves as Latter-day Saints or sometimes just Saints.[15] The term "Mormons" has been embraced by most adherents of Mormonism, most notably Mormon fundamentalists,[16] while other Latter Day Saint denominations, such as the Community of Christ, have rejected it.[citation needed] Both LDS Church
LDS Church
members (or "Latter-day Saints") and members of fundamentalist groups commonly use the word "Mormon" in reference to themselves.[17] The LDS Church, however, disagrees with this self-characterization, and encourages the use of the word "Mormon" only in reference to LDS Church
LDS Church
members.[18] Church leaders also encourage members to use the church's full name to emphasize its focus on Jesus
Jesus
Christ.[19] The word "Mormon" is often associated with polygamy (or plural marriage),[20] which was a distinguishing practice of many early Mormons; however, it was renounced by the LDS Church
LDS Church
in 1890[21] and discontinued over the next 15 years.[22] Today, polygamy is practiced within Mormonism
Mormonism
only by people that have broken with the LDS Church.[23] History[edit] Main article: History of The Church of Jesus
Jesus
Christ of Latter-day Saints The history of the Mormons
Mormons
has shaped them into a people with a strong sense of unity and commonality.[24] From the start, Mormons
Mormons
have tried to establish what they call "Zion", a utopian society of the righteous.[25] Mormon history can be divided into three broad time periods: (1) the early history during the lifetime of Joseph Smith, (2) a "pioneer era" under the leadership of Brigham Young
Brigham Young
and his successors, and (3) a modern era beginning around the turn of the 20th century. In the first period, Smith had tried literally to build a city called Zion, in which converts could gather. During the pioneer era, Zion became a "landscape of villages" in Utah. In modern times, Zion is still an ideal, though Mormons
Mormons
gather together in their individual congregations rather than a central geographic location.[26] Beginnings[edit] See also: History of the Latter Day Saint movement

A stained glass window of Joseph Smith's First Vision.

Mormons
Mormons
trace their origins to the visions that Joseph Smith
Joseph Smith
reported having in the early 1820s while living in upstate New York.[27] In 1823, Smith said an angel directed him to a buried book written on golden plates containing the religious history of an ancient people.[28] Smith published what he said was a translation of these plates in March 1830 as the Book
Book
of Mormon, named after Mormon, the ancient prophet–historian who compiled the book. On April 6, 1830, Smith founded the Church of Christ.[29] The early church grew westward as Smith sent missionaries to proselytize.[30] In 1831, the church moved to Kirtland, Ohio
Kirtland, Ohio
where missionaries had made a large number of converts[31] and Smith began establishing an outpost in Jackson County, Missouri,[32] where he planned to eventually build the city of Zion (or the New Jerusalem).[33] In 1833, Missouri
Missouri
settlers, alarmed by the rapid influx of Mormons, expelled them from Jackson County into the nearby Clay County, where local residents were more welcoming.[34] After Smith led a mission, known as Zion's Camp, to recover the land,[35] he began building Kirtland Temple
Kirtland Temple
in Lake County, Ohio, where the church flourished.[36] When the Missouri
Missouri
Mormons
Mormons
were later asked to leave Clay County in 1836, they secured land in what would become Caldwell County.[37] The Kirtland era ended in 1838, after the failure of a church-sponsored anti-bank caused widespread defections,[38] and Smith regrouped with the remaining church in Far West, Missouri.[39] During the fall of 1838, tensions escalated into the Mormon War with the old Missouri
Missouri
settlers.[40] On October 27, the governor of Missouri
Missouri
ordered that the Mormons
Mormons
"must be treated as enemies" and be exterminated or driven from the state.[41] Between November and April, some eight thousand displaced Mormons
Mormons
migrated east into Illinois.[42]

Joseph Smith
Joseph Smith
preaching to the Sac and Fox Indians who visited Nauvoo on August 12, 1841

In 1839, the Mormons
Mormons
purchased the small town of Commerce, converted swampland on the banks of the Mississippi
Mississippi
River, and renamed the area Nauvoo, Illinois[43] and began construction of the Nauvoo Temple. The city became the church's new headquarters and gathering place, and it grew rapidly, fueled in part by converts immigrating from Europe.[44] Meanwhile, Smith introduced temple ceremonies meant to seal families together for eternity, as well as the doctrines of eternal progression or exaltation,[45] and plural marriage.[46] Smith created a service organization for women called the Relief Society, as well as an organization called the Council of Fifty, representing a future theodemocratic "Kingdom of God" on the earth.[47] Smith also published the story of his First Vision, in which the Father and the Son appeared to him while he was about 14 years old.[48] This vision would come to be regarded by some Mormons
Mormons
as the most important event in human history after the birth, ministry, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.[49] In 1844, local prejudices and political tensions, fueled by Mormon peculiarity and internal dissent, escalated into conflicts between Mormons
Mormons
and "anti-Mormons".[50] On June 27, 1844, Smith and his brother Hyrum were killed by a mob in Carthage, Illinois.[51] Because Hyrum was Smith's logical successor,[52] their deaths caused a succession crisis,[53] and Brigham Young
Brigham Young
assumed leadership over the majority of Latter Day Saints.[54] Young had been a close associate of Smith's and was senior apostle of the Quorum of the Twelve.[55] Smaller groups of Latter Day Saints followed other leaders to form other denominations of the Latter Day Saint movement.[56] Pioneer era[edit]

A statue commemorating the Mormon handcart pioneers

For two years after Smith's death, conflicts escalated between Mormons and other Illinois
Illinois
residents. To prevent war, Brigham Young
Brigham Young
led the Mormon pioneers
Mormon pioneers
(constituting most of the Latter Day Saints) to a temporary winter quarters in Nebraska and then, eventually (beginning in 1847), to what became the Utah
Utah
Territory.[57] Having failed to build Zion within the confines of American society, the Mormons
Mormons
began to construct a society in isolation, based on their beliefs and values.[58] The cooperative ethic that Mormons
Mormons
had developed over the last decade and a half became important as settlers branched out and colonized a large desert region now known as the Mormon Corridor.[59] Colonizing efforts were seen as religious duties, and the new villages were governed by the Mormon bishops (local lay religious leaders).[60] The Mormons
Mormons
viewed land as commonwealth, devising and maintaining a co-operative system of irrigation that allowed them to build a farming community in the desert.[61] From 1849 to 1852, the Mormons
Mormons
greatly expanded their missionary efforts, establishing several missions in Europe, Latin America, and the South Pacific.[62] Converts were expected to "gather" to Zion, and during Young's presidency (1847–77) over seventy thousand Mormon converts immigrated to America.[62] Many of the converts came from England and Scandinavia, and were quickly assimilated into the Mormon community.[63] Many of these immigrants crossed the Great Plains
Great Plains
in wagons drawn by oxen, while some later groups pulled their possessions in small handcarts. During the 1860s, newcomers began using the new railroad that was under construction.[64] In 1852, church leaders publicized the previously secret practice of plural marriage, a form of polygamy.[65] Over the next 50 years, many Mormons
Mormons
(between 20 and 30 percent of Mormon families)[66] entered into plural marriages as a religious duty, with the number of plural marriages reaching a peak around 1860, and then declining through the rest of the century.[67] Besides the doctrinal reasons for plural marriage, the practice made some economic sense, as many of the plural wives were single women who arrived in Utah
Utah
without brothers or fathers to offer them societal support.[68]

Mormon pioneers
Mormon pioneers
crossing the Mississippi
Mississippi
on the ice

By 1857, tensions had again escalated between Mormons
Mormons
and other Americans, largely as a result of accusations involving polygamy and the theocratic rule of the Utah Territory
Utah Territory
by Brigham Young.[69] In 1857, U.S. President James Buchanan
James Buchanan
sent an army to Utah, which Mormons
Mormons
interpreted as open aggression against them. Fearing a repeat of Missouri
Missouri
and Illinois, the Mormons
Mormons
prepared to defend themselves, determined to torch their own homes in the case that they were invaded.[70] The relatively peaceful Utah
Utah
War ensued from 1857 to 1858, in which the most notable instance of violence was the Mountain Meadows massacre, when leaders of a local Mormon militia ordered the killing of a civilian emigrant party that was traveling through Utah during the escalating tensions.[71] In 1858, Young agreed to step down from his position as governor and was replaced by a non-Mormon, Alfred Cumming.[72] Nevertheless, the LDS Church
LDS Church
still wielded significant political power in the Utah
Utah
Territory.[73] At Young's death in 1877, he was followed by other LDS Church presidents, who resisted efforts by the United States Congress
United States Congress
to outlaw Mormon polygamous marriages.[74] In 1878, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Reynolds v. United States
Reynolds v. United States
that religious duty was not a suitable defense for practicing polygamy, and many Mormon polygamists went into hiding; later, Congress began seizing church assets.[74] In September 1890, church president Wilford Woodruff
Wilford Woodruff
issued a Manifesto that officially suspended the practice of polygamy.[75] Although this Manifesto did not dissolve existing plural marriages, relations with the United States markedly improved after 1890, such that Utah
Utah
was admitted as a U.S. state in 1896. After the Manifesto, some Mormons continued to enter into polygamous marriages, but these eventually stopped in 1904 when church president Joseph F. Smith
Joseph F. Smith
disavowed polygamy before Congress and issued a "Second Manifesto" calling for all plural marriages in the church to cease. Eventually, the church adopted a policy of excommunicating members found practicing polygamy, and today seeks actively to distance itself from "fundamentalist" groups that continue the practice.[76] Modern times[edit] Further information: Mormonism
Mormonism
as a world religion During the early 20th century, Mormons
Mormons
began to reintegrate into the American mainstream. In 1929, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir
Mormon Tabernacle Choir
began broadcasting a weekly performance on national radio, becoming an asset for public relations.[77] Mormons
Mormons
emphasized patriotism and industry, rising in socioeconomic status from the bottom among American religious denominations to middle-class.[78] In the 1920s and 1930s, Mormons
Mormons
began migrating out of Utah, a trend hurried by the Great Depression, as Mormons
Mormons
looked for work wherever they could find it.[79] As Mormons
Mormons
spread out, church leaders created programs that would help preserve the tight-knit community feel of Mormon culture.[80] In addition to weekly worship services, Mormons
Mormons
began participating in numerous programs such as Boy Scouting, a Young Women organization, church-sponsored dances, ward basketball, camping trips, plays, and religious education programs for youth and college students.[81] During the Great Depression, the church started a welfare program to meet the needs of poor members, which has since grown to include a humanitarian branch that provides relief to disaster victims.[82]

The 360-member, all-volunteer Mormon Tabernacle
Mormon Tabernacle
Choir

During the later half of the 20th century, there was a retrenchment movement in Mormonism
Mormonism
in which Mormons
Mormons
became more conservative, attempting to regain their status as a "peculiar people".[83] Though the 1960s and 1970s brought changes such as Women's Liberation
Women's Liberation
and the civil rights movement, Mormon leaders were alarmed by the erosion of traditional values, the sexual revolution, the widespread use of recreational drugs, moral relativism, and other forces they saw as damaging to the family.[84] Partly to counter this, Mormons
Mormons
put an even greater emphasis on family life, religious education, and missionary work, becoming more conservative in the process. As a result, Mormons
Mormons
today are probably less integrated with mainstream society than they were in the early 1960s.[85] Although black people have been members of Mormon congregations since Joseph Smith's time, before 1978, black membership was small. From 1852 to 1978, the LDS Church
LDS Church
enforced a policy that restricted men of black African descent from being ordained to the church's lay priesthood.[86] The church was sharply criticized for its policy during the civil rights movement, but the policy remained in force until a 1978 reversal that was prompted in part by questions about mixed-race converts in Brazil.[87] In general, Mormons
Mormons
greeted the change with joy and relief.[87] Since 1978, black membership has grown, and in 1997 there were approximately 500,000 black members of the church (about 5 percent of the total membership), mostly in Africa, Brazil and the Caribbean.[88] Black membership has continued to grow substantially, especially in West Africa, where two temples have been built.[89] Many black Mormons
Mormons
are members of the Genesis Group, an organization of black members that predates the priesthood ban, and is endorsed by the church.[90]

Global distribution of LDS Church
LDS Church
members in 2009

The LDS Church
LDS Church
grew rapidly after World War II and became a worldwide organization as missionaries were sent across the globe. The church doubled in size every 15 to 20 years,[91] and by 1996, there were more Mormons
Mormons
outside the United States than inside.[92] In 2012, there were an estimated 14.8 million Mormons,[93] with roughly 57 percent living outside the United States.[94] It is estimated that approximately 4.5 million Mormons
Mormons
– roughly 30% of the total membership – regularly attend services.[95] A majority of U.S. Mormons
Mormons
are white and non-Hispanic (84 percent).[96] Most Mormons
Mormons
are distributed in North and South America, the South Pacific, and Western Europe. The global distribution of Mormons
Mormons
resembles a contact diffusion model, radiating out from the organization's headquarters in Utah.[97] The church enforces general doctrinal uniformity, and congregations on all continents teach the same doctrines, and international Mormons
Mormons
tend to absorb a good deal of Mormon culture, possibly because of the church's top-down hierarchy and a missionary presence. However, international Mormons
Mormons
often bring pieces of their own heritage into the church, adapting church practices to local cultures.[98] Chile, Uruguay, and several areas in the South Pacific have a higher percentage of Mormons
Mormons
than the United States (which is at about 2 percent).[99] South Pacific countries and dependencies that are more than 10 percent Mormon include American Samoa, the Cook Islands, Kiribati, Niue, Samoa, and Tonga. Culture and practices[edit] Main article: Culture of The Church of Jesus
Jesus
Christ of Latter-day Saints Isolation in Utah
Utah
had allowed Mormons
Mormons
to create a culture of their own.[100] As the faith spread around the world, many of its more distinctive practices followed. Mormon converts are urged to undergo lifestyle changes, repent of sins, and adopt sometimes foreign standards of conduct.[100] Practices common to Mormons
Mormons
include studying scriptures, praying daily, fasting regularly, attending Sunday worship services, participating in church programs and activities on weekdays, and refraining from work on Sundays when possible. The most important part of the church services is considered to be the Lord's Supper
Lord's Supper
(commonly called sacrament), in which church members renew covenants made at baptism.[101] Mormons
Mormons
also emphasize standards they believe were taught by Jesus
Jesus
Christ, including personal honesty, integrity, obedience to law, chastity outside marriage and fidelity within marriage.[102] In 2010, around 13–14 percent of Mormons
Mormons
lived in Utah, the center of cultural influence for Mormonism.[103] Utah
Utah
Mormons
Mormons
(as well as Mormons
Mormons
living in the Intermountain West) are on average more culturally and/or politically conservative than those living in some cosmopolitan centers elsewhere in the U.S.[104] Utahns self-identifying as Mormon also attend church somewhat more on average than Mormons
Mormons
living in other states. (Nonetheless, whether they live in Utah
Utah
or elsewhere in the U.S., Mormons
Mormons
tend to be more culturally and/or politically conservative than members of other U.S. religious groups.)[105] Utah
Utah
Mormons
Mormons
often place a greater emphasis on pioneer heritage than international Mormons
Mormons
who generally are not descendants of the Mormon pioneers.[98]

A Mormon meetinghouse used for Sunday worship services in Brazil

Mormons
Mormons
have a strong sense of communality that stems from their doctrine and history.[106] LDS Church
LDS Church
members have a responsibility to dedicate their time and talents to helping the poor and building the church. The church is divided by locality into congregations called "wards", with several wards making up a "stake".[107] The vast majority of church leadership positions are lay positions, and church leaders may work 10 to 15 hours a week in unpaid church service.[108] Observant Mormons
Mormons
also contribute 10 percent of their income to the church as tithing, and are often involved in humanitarian efforts. Many LDS young men, women and elderly couples choose to serve a proselytizing mission, during which they dedicate all of their time to the church, without pay.[109] Mormons
Mormons
adhere to the Word of Wisdom, a health law or code that is interpreted as prohibiting the consumption of tobacco, alcohol, coffee and tea,[110] while encouraging the use of wholesome herbs, grains, fruits, and a moderate consumption of meat.[111] The Word of Wisdom
Word of Wisdom
is also understood to forbid other harmful and addictive substances and practices, such as the use of illegal drugs and abuse of prescription drugs.[112] Mormons
Mormons
are encouraged to keep a year's supplies that include a food supply and a financial reserve.[113] Mormons
Mormons
also oppose behaviors such as viewing pornography and gambling.[102] The concept of a united family that lives and progresses forever is at the core of Latter-day Saint doctrine, and Mormons
Mormons
place a high importance on family life.[114] Many Mormons
Mormons
hold weekly Family Home Evenings, in which an evening is set aside for family bonding, study, prayer and other wholesome activities. Latter-day Saint fathers who hold the priesthood typically name and bless their children shortly after birth to formally give the child a name. Mormon parents hope and pray that their children will gain testimonies of the "gospel" so they can grow up and marry in temples.[115] Mormons
Mormons
have a strict law of chastity, requiring abstention from sexual relations outside opposite-sex marriage and strict fidelity within marriage. All sexual activity (heterosexual and homosexual) outside marriage is considered a serious sin, with marriage recognized as only between a man and a woman.[116] Same-sex marriages are not performed or supported by the LDS Church. Church members are encouraged to marry and have children, and Latter-day Saint families tend to be larger than average. Mormons
Mormons
are opposed to abortion, except in some exceptional circumstances, such as when pregnancy is the result of incest or rape, or when the life or health of the mother is in serious jeopardy.[117] Many practicing adult Mormons
Mormons
wear religious undergarments that remind them of covenants and encourage them to dress modestly. Latter-day Saints are counseled not to partake of any form of media that is obscene or pornographic in any way, including media that depicts graphic representations of sex or violence. Tattoos and body piercings are also discouraged, with the exception of a single pair of earrings for LDS women.[118] LGBT Mormons, or Mormons
Mormons
who self-identify as gay, lesbian, or bisexual, remain in good standing in the church if they abstain from homosexual relations and obey the law of chastity.[119] While there are no official numbers, LDS Family Services estimates that there are on average four or five members per LDS ward who experience same-sex attraction.[120] Gary Watts, former president of Family Fellowship, estimates that only 10 percent of homosexuals stay in the church.[121] Many of these individuals have come forward through different support groups or websites discussing their homosexual attractions and concurrent church membership.[122][123][124] Groups within Mormonism[edit] See also: Mormon spectrums of orthodoxy and -praxy, List of sects in the Latter Day Saint movement, and The Church of Jesus
Jesus
Christ of Latter-day Saints membership statistics Note that the categories below are not necessary mutually exclusive. Latter-day Saints (the "LDS")[edit] Members of the LDS Church, also known as Latter-day Saints, constitute over 95 percent of Mormons.[125] The beliefs and practices of LDS Mormons
Mormons
are generally guided by the teachings of LDS Church leaders. However, several smaller groups substantially differ from "mainstream" Mormonism
Mormonism
in various ways. LDS Church
LDS Church
members who do not actively participate in worship services or church callings are often called "less-active" or "inactive" (akin to the qualifying expressions non-observant or non-practicing used in relation to members of other religious groups).[126] The LDS Church does not release statistics on church activity, but it is likely that about 40 percent of Mormons
Mormons
in the United States and 30 percent worldwide regularly attend worship services.[127] Reasons for inactivity can include lifestyle issues and problems with social integration.[128] Activity rates tend to vary with age, and disengagement occurs most frequently between age 16 and 25. A majority of less active members return to church activity later in life.[129] Former Latter-day Saints who seek to disassociate themselves from the religion are often referred to as ex-Mormons. Fundamentalist Mormons[edit] Members of sects that broke with the LDS Church
LDS Church
over the issue of polygamy have become known as fundamentalist Mormons; these groups differ from mainstream Mormonism
Mormonism
primarily in their belief in and practice of plural marriage. There are thought to be between 20,000 and 60,000 members of fundamentalist sects, (0.1–0.4 percent of Mormons), with roughly half of them practicing polygamy.[130] There are a number of fundamentalist sects, the largest two being the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus
Jesus
Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS Church) and the Apostolic United Brethren
Apostolic United Brethren
(AUB). In addition to plural marriage, some of these groups also practice a form of Christian communalism known as the law of consecration or the United Order. The LDS Church
LDS Church
seeks to distance itself from all such polygamous groups, excommunicating their members if discovered practicing or teaching it,[131] and today a majority of Mormon fundamentalists have never been members of the LDS Church.[132] Liberal Mormons[edit] Liberal Mormons, also known as Progressive Mormons, take an interpretive approach to LDS teachings and scripture.[126] They look to the scriptures for spiritual guidance, but may not necessarily believe the teachings to be literally or uniquely true. For liberal Mormons, revelation is a process through which God gradually brings fallible human beings to greater understanding.[133] Liberal Mormons place doing good and loving fellow human beings above the importance of believing correctly.[134] In a separate context, members of small progressive breakaway groups have also adopted the label. Cultural Mormons[edit] Cultural Mormons
Mormons
are individuals who may not believe in certain doctrines or practices of the institutional LDS Church
LDS Church
yet identify as Mormon.[126] Usually this is a result of having been raised in the LDS faith, or as having converted and spent a large portion of one's life as an active member of the LDS Church.[135] Cultural Mormons
Mormons
may or may not be actively involved with the LDS church. In some cases they may not be members of the LDS Church. Beliefs[edit] Main articles: Mormonism
Mormonism
and Mormon cosmology Mormons
Mormons
have a scriptural canon consisting of the Bible
Bible
(both Old and New Testaments), the Book
Book
of Mormon, and a collection of revelations and writings by Joseph Smith
Joseph Smith
known as the Doctrine and Covenants
Doctrine and Covenants
and Pearl of Great Price. Mormons
Mormons
however have a relatively open definition of scripture. As a general rule, anything spoken or written by a prophet, while under inspiration, is considered to be the word of God.[136] Thus, the Bible, written by prophets and apostles, is the word of God, so far as it is translated correctly. The Book
Book
of Mormon is also believed to have been written by ancient prophets, and is viewed as a companion to the Bible. By this definition, the teachings of Smith's successors are also accepted as scripture, though they are always measured against, and draw heavily from the scriptural canon.[137]

Mormons
Mormons
see Jesus
Jesus
Christ as the premier figure of their religion.[138]

Mormons
Mormons
believe in "a friendly universe", governed by a God whose aim it is to bring his children to immortality and eternal life.[139] Mormons
Mormons
have a unique perspective on the nature of God, the origin of man, and the purpose of life. For instance, Mormons
Mormons
believe in a pre-mortal existence where people were literal spirit children of God,[140] and that God presented a plan of salvation that would allow his children to progress and become more like him. The plan involved the spirits receiving bodies on earth and going through trials in order to learn, progress, and receive a "fulness of joy".[140] The most important part of the plan involved Jesus, the eldest of God's children, coming to earth as the literal Son of God, to conquer sin and death so that God's other children could return. According to Mormons, every person who lives on earth will be resurrected, and nearly all of them will be received into various kingdoms of glory.[141] To be accepted into the highest kingdom, a person must fully accept Christ through faith, repentance, and through ordinances such as baptism and the laying on of hands.[142]

A Latter Day Saint confirmation circa 1852

According to Mormons, a deviation from the original principles of Christianity, known as the Great Apostasy, began not long after the ascension of Jesus
Jesus
Christ.[143] It was marked with the corruption of Christian doctrine by Greek and other philosophies,[144] with followers dividing into different ideological groups.[145] Mormons claim the martyrdom of the Apostles[146] led to a loss of Priesthood authority to administer the church and its ordinances.[147] Mormons believe that God restored the early Christian church through Joseph Smith. In particular, Mormons
Mormons
believe that angels such as Peter, James, John, John the Baptist, Moses, and Elijah
Elijah
appeared to Smith and others and bestowed various priesthood authorities on them. Mormons believe that their church is the "only true and living church" because of the divine authority restored through Smith. Mormons
Mormons
self-identify as being Christian,[148] while many Christians, particularly evangelical Protestants, disagree with this view.[149] Mormons
Mormons
view other religions as having portions of the truth, doing good works, and having genuine value.[150] Though the LDS Church
LDS Church
has a top-down hierarchical structure with a president–prophet dictating revelations for the whole church, there is a bottom-up aspect as well. Ordinary Mormons
Mormons
have access to the same inspiration that is thought to guide their prophets, and are encouraged to seek their own personal revelations.[151] Mormons
Mormons
see Joseph Smith's First Vision
First Vision
as proof that the heavens are open, and that God answers prayers. They place considerable emphasis on "asking God" to find out if something is true. Most Mormons
Mormons
do not claim to have had heavenly visions like Smith's in response to prayers, but feel that God talks to them in their hearts and minds through the Holy Ghost. Though Mormons
Mormons
have some beliefs that are considered strange in a modernized world, they continue to hold onto their beliefs because they feel God has spoken to them.[152] See also[edit]

List of sects in the Latter Day Saint movement The Church of Jesus
Jesus
Christ of Latter-day Saints LDS Church Book
Book
of Mormon Latter Day Saints in popular culture LDS cinema Standard works Culture of The Church of Jesus
Jesus
Christ of Latter-day Saints

Christianity
Christianity
portal Latter Day Saints portal LDS Church
LDS Church
portal

List of Latter Day Saints List of sects in the Latter Day Saint movement: Followers of Brigham Young List of former or dissident LDS

References[edit]

^ "2017 Statistical Report for 2018 April General Conference".  (The LDS Church
LDS Church
claimed a membership of over 14 million in 2010); Bushman (2008, p. 1) (reporting 13 million members of the LDS Church in 2008, and noting 250,000 members of the non-Mormon Community of Christ); D. Michael Quinn (Summer 1998). "Plural Marriage and Mormon Fundamentalism" (PDF). Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought (31 (2)): 1–68.  (estimating the number of so-called Fundamentalist Mormons
Mormons
at around 20,000). ^ http://www.mormonnewsroom.org/facts-and-statistics/country/united-states ^ http://www.mormonnewsroom.org/facts-and-statistics/country/mexico ^ http://www.mormonnewsroom.org/facts-and-statistics/country/brazil ^ http://www.mormonnewsroom.org/facts-and-statistics/country/philippines ^ http://www.mormonnewsroom.org/facts-and-statistics/country/chile ^ http://www.mormonnewsroom.org/facts-and-statistics/country/peru ^ http://www.mormonnewsroom.org/facts-and-statistics/country/argentina ^ Mormons
Mormons
in America: Certain in Their Beliefs, Uncertain of Their Place in Society, Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life 2012, p.10: Mormons
Mormons
are nearly unanimous in describing Mormonism
Mormonism
as a Christian religion, with 97% expressing this point of view ^ Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry (CARM), Is Mormonism Christian?, accessed February 27, 2016 ^ "The Annual Report of the Church – Ensign July 1972 – ensign". www.lds.org. Retrieved April 26, 2017.  ^ "2016 Statistical Report for 2017 April Conference". www.mormonnewsroom.org. April 1, 2017. Retrieved April 26, 2017.  ^ "2015 Statistical Report for 2016 April General Conference", Mormon Newsroom, April 2, 2016. ^ " Mormons
Mormons
more likely to marry, have more children than other U.S. religious groups". Pew Research Center. May 22, 2015. Retrieved September 13, 2015.  ^ John H. Vandenburg (May 1974). "Touchstone of Truth". Ensign. ; "Why is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
called Mormons or Mormonism? Mormon.org". mormon.org. 2012. Retrieved January 25, 2012. ; Givens, Terryl (November 2004). The Latter-day Saint experience in America. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 324. Retrieved January 25, 2012.  The full name of the church originated in an 1838 revelation recorded in Doctrine and Covenants; the term "saint" was used by Paul the Apostle
Paul the Apostle
to refer to members of the early Christian church—the "latter-day" being added to differentiate the modern church from the early church; Smith, Joseph (1838). " Doctrine and Covenants
Doctrine and Covenants
115:4". lds.org. Retrieved January 25, 2012. 1838 . ^ The LDS Church
LDS Church
has taken the position that the term Mormon should only apply to the LDS Church
LDS Church
and its members, and not other adherents who have adopted the term. (See: "Style Guide – The Name of the Church". LDS Newsroom. Retrieved November 11, 2011. ) The church cites the AP Stylebook, which states, "The term Mormon is not properly applied to the other Latter Day Saints churches that resulted from the split after [Joseph] Smith's death." ("Church of Jesus
Jesus
Christ of Latter-day Saints, The", Associated Press, The Associated Press Stylebook and Briefing on Media Law, 2002, ISBN 0-7382-0740-3, p.48) Despite the LDS Church's position, the term Mormon is widely used by journalists and non-journalists to refer to adherents of Mormon fundamentalism. ^ Gordon B. Hinckley
Gordon B. Hinckley
(November 1990). "Mormon Should Mean 'More Good,'". Ensign. p. 51. Retrieved November 11, 2011. ; See also: "Style Guide – The Name of the Church". Retrieved October 6, 2011. ; Sanjiv Bhattacharya. Secrets and Wives: The Hidden World of Mormon Polygamy.  ^ "Style Guide – LDS Newsroom". Retrieved November 11, 2011.  Despite the LDS Church
LDS Church
preference, the term "fundamentalist Mormonism" is in common use. ^ Russell M. Nelson
Russell M. Nelson
(May 1990). "Thus Shall My Church Be Called". Ensign. p. 16. Retrieved November 11, 2011. ; M. Russell Ballard (November 2011). "The Importance of a Name". Liahona.  ^ For many people, the mention of Mormons
Mormons
conjures up an assortment of contradictory images  .... The charge of practicing polygamy annoys many Mormons
Mormons
because it is so far out of date. Bushman (2008, pp. 1–2). ^ Bushman (2008, p. 2); "Official Declaration 1". lds.org. . ^ B. Carmen Hardy (1992). "Solemn Covenant: The Mormon Polygamous Passage". Urbana: University of Illinois
Illinois
Press. ; D. Michael Quinn (Spring 1985). " LDS Church
LDS Church
Authority and New Plural Marriages, 1890–1904". Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought. p. 9. Retrieved November 11, 2011. ; Kenneth Cannon II (Jan–Apr 1983). "After the Manifesto: Mormon Polygamy, 1890–1906" (PDF). Sunstone. p. 27. Retrieved November 11, 2011. . ^ Bushman (2008, p. 14). ^ O'Dea (1957, pp. 75,119). ^ A Mormon scripture describing the ancient city of Enoch became a model for the Saints. Enoch's city was a Zion "because they were of one heart and one mind, and dwelt in righteousness; and there were no poor among them" Bushman (2008, pp. 36–38); ( Book
Book
of Moses 7:18). ^ "In Missouri
Missouri
and Illinois, Zion had been a city; in Utah, it was a landscape of villages; in the urban diaspora, it was the ward with its extensive programs." Bushman (2008, p. 107). ^ Bushman (2008, pp. 1, 9); O'Dea (1957, p. 9); Persuitte, David (October 2000). Joseph Smith
Joseph Smith
and the Origins of the Book
Book
of Mormon. McFarland. p. 30. Retrieved January 25, 2012. . ^ Bushman (2008, p. 19). ^ Scholars and eye-witnesses disagree as to whether the church was organized in Manchester, New York at the Smith log home, or in Fayette at the home of Peter Whitmer Sr.. Bushman (2005, p. 109); Marquardt (2005, pp. 223–23) (arguing that organization in Manchester is most consistent with eye-witness statements). ^ O'Dea (1957, p. 41) (by the next spring the church had 1,000 members). ^ Brodie (1971, p. 97) (citing letter by Smith to Kirtland converts, quoted in Howe (1833, p. 111)); O'Dea (1957, p. 41). ^ Smith et al. (1835, p. 154); Bushman (2005, p. 162); Brodie (1971, p. 109). ^ Smith said in 1831 that God intended the Mormons
Mormons
to "retain a strong hold in the land of Kirtland, for the space of five years." (Doctrine and Covenants 64:21); Bushman (2005, p. 122). ^ Bushman (2005, pp. 222–27); Brodie (1971, p. 137) (noting that the brutality of the Jackson Countians aroused sympathy for the Mormons
Mormons
and was almost universally deplored by the media); O'Dea (1957, pp. 43–45) (The Mormons
Mormons
were forced out in a November gale, and were taken in by Clay County residents, who earned from non- Mormons
Mormons
the derogative title of "Jack Mormons"). ^ Brodie (1971, pp. 141, 146–59); Bushman (2005, p. 322). ^ Brodie (1971, p. 101); Arrington (1992, p. 21) (by summer of 1835, there were 1500 to 2000 Saints in Kirtland); Desert Morning News 2008 Church Almanac p. 655 (from 1831 to 1838, church membership grew from 680 to 17,881); (Bushman 2005, pp. 310–19) (The Kirtland Temple
Kirtland Temple
was viewed as the site of a new Pentecost); (Brodie 1971, p. 178). Smith also published several new revelations during the Kirtland era. ^ O'Dea (1957, p. 45) (In December 1836, the Missouri
Missouri
legislature granted the Mormons
Mormons
the right to organize Caldwell County). ^ Bushman (2005, pp. 328–38); Brooke (1994, p. 221) ("Ultimately, the rituals and visions dedicating the Kirtland temple were not sufficient to hold the church together in the face of a mounting series of internal disputes.") ^ Roberts (1905, p. 24) (referring to the Far West church as the "church in Zion"); (Bushman 2005, p. 345) (The revelation calling Far West "Zion" had the effect of "implying that Far West was to take the place of Independence.") ^ Bushman (2005, pp. 357–64); Brodie (1971, pp. 227–30); Remini (2002, p. 134); Quinn (1994, pp. 97–98). ^ (Bushman 2005, p. 367) (Boggs' executive order stated that the Mormon community had "made war upon the people of this State" and that "the Mormons
Mormons
must be treated as enemies, and must be exterminated or driven from the State if necessary for the public peace"). (Bushman 2005, p. 398) (In 1976, Missouri
Missouri
issued a formal apology for this order) O'Dea (1957, p. 47). ^ O'Dea (1957, p. 47) ("the Saints, after being ravaged by troops, robbed by neighbors, and insulted by public officials from February to April, crossed over into Illinois"). ^ Bushman (2005, pp. 383–84). ^ Bushman (2005, p. 409); Brodie (1971, pp. 258, 264–65); O'Dea (1957, p. 51) (noting the city growth and missionary success in England). ^ Widmer (2000, p. 119) (Smith taught that faithful Mormons
Mormons
may progress until they become co-equal with God); Roberts (1909, pp. 502–03); Bushman (2005, pp. 497–98) (the second anointing provided a guarantee that participants would be exalted even if they sinned). ^ Initially, Smith introduced plural marriage only to his closest associates.Brodie (1971, pp. 334–36); Bushman (2005, pp. 437, 644) The practice was acknowledged publicly in 1852 by Brigham Young. ^ Quinn 1980, pp. 120–122, 165; Bushman (2005, pp. 519–21) (describing the Council of Fifty). ^ Shipps (1985, p. 30) The first extant account of the First Vision is the manuscript account in Joseph Smith, "Manuscript History of the Church" (1839); the first published account is Orson Pratt, An Interesting Account of Several Remarkable Visions and of the Late Discovery of Ancient American Records (Edinburgh: Ballantyne and Hughes, 1840); and the first American publication is Smith's letter to John Wentworth in Times and Seasons, 3 (March 1842), 706–08. (These accounts are available in Vogel, Dan, ed. (1996). Early Mormon Documents. 1. Salt Lake City: Signature Books. ISBN 1-56085-072-8. .) As the LDS historian Richard Bushman wrote in his biography of Smith, "At first, Joseph was reluctant to talk about his vision. Most early converts probably never heard about the 1820 vision." Bushman (2005, p. 39). ^ LDS Church
LDS Church
(2010). " Joseph Smith
Joseph Smith
Home Page/Mission of the Prophet/First Vision: This Is My Beloved Son. Hear Him!". Retrieved April 29, 2010. ; Allen (1966, p. 29) (belief in the First Vision now considered second in importance only to belief in the divinity of Jesus.); Hinkley, Gordon B. (1998). "What Are People Asking about Us?". Ensign (November).  ("[N]othing we teach, nothing we live by is of greater importance than this initial declaration."). ^ O'Dea (1857, pp. 64–67) ^ Encyclopedia of Latter-Day Saint History, p. 824; Brodie (1971, pp. 393–94); Bushman (2005, pp. 539–50); Many local Illinoisans were uneasy with Mormon power, and their unease was fanned by the local media after Smith suppressed a newspaper containing an exposé regarding plural marriage, theocracy, and other sensitive and oft misinterpreted issues. The suppression resulted in Smith being arrested, tried, and acquitted for "inciting a riot". On June 25, Smith let himself be arrested and tried for the riot charges again, this time in Carthage, the county seat, where he was incarcerated without bail on a new charge of treason. Bentley, Joseph I. (1992), "Smith, Joseph: Legal Trials of Joseph Smith", in Ludlow, Daniel H, Encyclopedia of Mormonism, New York: Macmillan Publishing, pp. 1346–1348, ISBN 0-02-879602-0, OCLC 24502140 . ^ Brigham Young
Brigham Young
later said of Hyrum, "Did Joseph Smith
Joseph Smith
ordain any man to take his place. He did. Who was it? It was Hyrum, but Hyrum fell a martyr before Joseph did. If Hyrum had lived he would have acted for Joseph." Times and Seasons, 5 [October 15, 1844]: 683. ^ Quinn (1994, p. 143); Brodie (1971, p. 398). ^ Bushman (2005, pp. 556–57). ^ Smith's position as President of the Church
President of the Church
was originally left vacant, based on the sentiment that nobody could succeed Smith's office. Years later, the church established the principle that Young, and any other senior apostle of the Quorum of the Twelve, would be ordained President of the Church
President of the Church
as a matter of course upon the death of the former President, subject to unanimous agreement of the Quorum of the Twelve. ^ Quinn (1994, pp. 198–211). ^ In 2004, the State of Illinois
Illinois
recognized the expulsion of the Latter-day Saints as the "largest forced migration in American history" and stated in the adopted resolution that, "WHEREAS, The biases and prejudices of a less enlightened age in the history of the State of Illinois
Illinois
caused unmeasurable hardship and trauma for the community of Latter-day Saints by the distrust, violence, and inhospitable actions of a dark time in our past; therefore, be it RESOLVED, BY THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE NINETY-THIRD GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, that we acknowledge the disparity of those past actions and suspicions, regretting the expulsion of the community of Latter-day Saints, a people of faith and hard work." Illinois
Illinois
General Assembly (April 1, 2004). "Official House Resolution HR0793 (LRB093 21726 KEF 49525 r)". ; "The great Mormon migration of 1846–1847 was but one step in the Mormons' quest for religious freedom and growth." "Mormon Pioneer National Historic Trail: History & Culture", NPS.gov, National Park Service, retrieved July 9, 2014 . ^ O'Dea (1957, p. 86) ("Having failed to build Zion within the confines of American society, the Latter-day Saints found in the Great Basin the isolation that would enable them to establish a distinctive community based upon their own beliefs and values"). ^ O'Dea (1957, p. 84) (From 1847 to 1857 ninety-five Mormon communities were established, most of them clustering around Salt Lake City); Hunter, Milton (June 1939). "The Mormon Corridor". Pacific Historical Review. University of California Press. 8 (2): 179–200. JSTOR 3633392. ; Shipps (1957, pp. 83–84). ^ O'Dea (1957, pp. 86–89). ^ O'Dea (1957, pp. 87–91). ^ a b O'Dea (1957, p. 91). ^ O'Dea (1957, pp. 91–92); "Welsh Mormon History", WelshMormon.BYU.edu, Center for Family History and Genealogy, Brigham Young University  During the 1840s and 1850s many thousands of Welsh Mormon converts immigrated to America, and today, it is estimated that around 20 percent of the population of Utah
Utah
is of Welsh descent. ^ O'Dea (1957, pp. 95–96). ^ Bushman (2008, p. 88) ( Plural marriage
Plural marriage
originated in a revelation that Joseph Smith
Joseph Smith
apparently received in 1831 and wrote down in 1843. It was first publicly announced in a general conference in 1852); Embry, Jessie L. (1994), "Polygamy", in Powell, Allan Kent, Utah
Utah
History Encyclopedia, Salt Lake City, Utah: University of Utah Press, ISBN 0874804256, OCLC 30473917  The Mormon doctrine of plural wives was officially announced by one of the Twelve Apostles, Orson Pratt, and Young in a special conference of the elders of the LDS Church
LDS Church
assembled in the Mormon Tabernacle
Mormon Tabernacle
on August 28, 1852, and reprinted in an extra edition of the Deseret News
Deseret News
"Minutes of conference: a special conference of the elders of the Church of Jesus
Jesus
Christ of Latter-day Saints assembled in the Tabernacle, Great Salt Lake City, August 28, 1852, 10 o'clock, a.m., pursuant to public notice". Deseret News
Deseret News
Extra. September 14, 1852. p. 14. . See also The 1850s: Official sanction in the LDS Church ^ Flake, Kathleen (2004). The Politics of American Religious Identity. University of North Carolina Press. pp. 65, 192. ISBN 0807855014. . ^ Bushman (2008, p. 88) (If asked why they entered these relationships, both plural wives and husbands emphasized spiritual blessings of being sealed eternally and of submitting to God's will. According to the federal censuses, the highest percentage of the population in polygamous families was in 1860 (43.6 percent) and it declined to 25 percent in 1880 and to 7 percent in 1890). ^ Bushman (2008, p. 88) ("The close study of the marriages in one nineteenth-century Utah
Utah
community revealed that a disproportionate number of plural wives were women who arrived in Utah
Utah
without fathers or brothers to care for them...Since better-off men more frequently married plurally, the practice distributed wealth to the poor and disconnected"). ^ Tullidge, Edward (1886), "Resignation of Judge Drummond", History of Salt Lake City, Salt Lake City: Star Printing Company, pp. 132–35, OCLC 13941646  ^ O'Dea (1957, pp. 101–02); Bushman (2008, p. 95). ^ Bushman (2008, pp. 96–97) (calling the Mountain Meadows massacre the greatest tragedy in Mormon history). ^ To combat the notion that rank-and-file Mormons
Mormons
were unhappy under Young's leadership, Cumming noted that he had offered to help any to leave the territory if they desired. Of the 50,000 inhabitants of the state of Utah, the underwhelming response—56 men, 33 women, and 71 children, most of whom stated they left for economic reasons—impressed Cumming, as did the fact that Mormon leaders contributed supplies to the emigrants. Cumming to [Secretary of State Lewis Cass], written by Thomas Kane, May 2, 1858, BYU Special Collections. ^ Firmage, Edwin Brown; Mangrum, Richard Collin (2002). Zion in the Courts: A Legal History of the Church of Jesus
Jesus
Christ of Latter-day Saints. 1830–1900. U. of Illinois
Illinois
Press. p. 140. ISBN 0-252-06980-3. . ^ a b Bushman (2008, p. 97). ^ Official Declaration 1 ^ The LDS Church
LDS Church
encourages journalists not to use the word Mormon in reference to organizations or people that practice polygamy: "Style Guide – The Name of the Church: Topics and Background", MormonNewsroom.org, LDS Church, retrieved July 9, 2014 . The church repudiates polygamist groups and excommunicates their members if discovered: Bushman (2008, p. 91); Mormons
Mormons
seek distance from polygamous sects, NBCNews.com, AP, June 26, 2008 . ^ Bushman (2008, p. 103). ^ Mauss (1994, p. 22). "With the consistent encouragement of church leaders, Mormons
Mormons
became models of patriotic, law-abiding citizenship, sometimes seeming to "out-American" all other Americans. Their participation in the full spectrum of national, social, political, economic, and cultural life has been thorough and sincere". ^ Bushman (2008, p. 105). ^ Bushman (2008, p. 106). ^ Bushman (2008, p. 53). ^ Bushman (2008, pp. 40–41). ^ The term peculiar people is consciously borrowed from 1 Peter 2:9, and can be interpreted as "special" or "different", though Mormons have certainly been viewed as "peculiar" in the modern sense as well. Mauss (1994, p. 60). ^ "Developments mitigating traditional racial, ethnic, and gender inequality and bigotry were regarded in hindsight by most Americans (and most Mormons) as desirable  .... On the other hand, Mormons (and many others) have watched with increasing alarm the spread throughout society of 'liberating' innovations such as the normalization of non-marital sexual behavior, the rise in abortion, illegitimacy, divorce, and child neglect or abuse, recreational drugs, crime, etc." Mauss (1994, p. 124). ^ "[T]he church appears to have arrested, if not reversed, the erosion of distinctive Mormon ways that might have been anticipated in the 60s." Mauss (1994, p. 140). "However, in partial contradiction to their public image, Mormons
Mormons
stand mostly on the liberal side of the continuum on certain other social and political issues, notably on civil rights, and even on women's rights, except where these seem to conflict with child-rearing roles." Mauss (1994, p. 156). ^ Mauss, Armand L. (2003). All Abraham's Children: Changing Mormon Conceptions of Race and Lineage. University of Illinois
Illinois
Press. pp. 213–215. ISBN 0-252-02803-1. ; Bushman (2008, pp. 111–12) ("The origins of this policy are not altogether clear. "Passages in Joseph Smith's translations indicate that a lineage associated with Ham and the Egyptian pharaohs was forbidden the priesthood. Connecting the ancient pharaohs with modern Africans and African Americans required a speculative leap, but by the time of Brigham Young, the leap was made.") ^ a b Bushman (2008, pp. 111–12). ^ "1999–2000 Church Almanac". Adherents.com quoting Deseret News
Deseret News
. Salt Lake City: 119. 1998. Retrieved November 11, 2011.  "A rough estimate would place the number of Church members with African roots at year-end 1997 at half a million, with about 100,000 each in Africa and the Caribbean, and another 300,000 in Brazil." ^ "The Church Continues to Grow in Africa". Genesis Group. Archived from the original on November 5, 2012.  ^ Newell G. Bringhurst, Darron T. Smith (December 13, 2005). Black and Mormon. University of Illinois
Illinois
Press. pp. 102–104.  ^ Armand L. Mauss (1994), The angel and the beehive: the Mormon struggle with assimilation, p. 92 ; "Building a bigger tent: Does Mormonism
Mormonism
have a Mitt Romney problem?", The Economist, February 25, 2012  (In 2010 alone the church grew by 400,000 new members, including converts and newborns). ^ Todd, Jay M. (March 1996). "More Members Now outside U.S. Than in U.S." Ensign. . ^ "2012 Statistical Report for 2013 April General Conference".  ^ In 2011, approximately 6.2 million of the church's 14.4 million members lived in the U.S. "Facts and Statistics: United States". LDS Newsroom. December 2011. Retrieved April 2013.  Check date values in: access-date= (help). ^ Stack, Peggy Fletcher (January 10, 2014), "New almanac offers look at the world of Mormon membership", The Salt Lake Tribune . ^ " Mormons
Mormons
in America". Pew Research Center. January 12, 2012. . ^ Daniel Reeves (2009). "The Global Distribution of Adventists and Mormons
Mormons
in 2007" (PDF). Retrieved November 11, 2011. . ^ a b Thomas W. Murphy (1996). "Reinventing Mormonism: Guatemala as Harbinger of the Future?" (PDF). Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought. Retrieved November 11, 2011.  ^ "LDS Statistics and Church Facts – Total Church Membership". www.mormonnewsroom.org. Retrieved September 13, 2015.  ^ a b Bushman (2008, p. 47). ^ "Sacrament". lds.org.  ^ a b "For the Strength of Youth: Fulfilling Our Duty to God". LDS Church.  ^ "USA–Utah". LDS Newsroom. Retrieved November 11, 2011. . ^ Mauss often compares Salt Lake City
Salt Lake City
Mormons
Mormons
to California Mormons from San Francisco and East Bay. The Utah
Utah
Mormons
Mormons
were generally more orthodox and conservative. Mauss (1994, pp. 40, 128); "A Portrait of Mormons
Mormons
in the U.S.: III. Social and Political Views". Pew Research Center. July 24, 2009. . ^ Newport, Frank (January 11, 2010). " Mormons
Mormons
Most Conservative Major Religious Group in U.S.: Six out of 10 Mormons
Mormons
are politically conservative". Gallup poll. ; Pond, Allison (July 24, 2009). "A Portrait of Mormons
Mormons
in the U.S". Pew Research Center. . ^ Early Mormons
Mormons
had practiced the law of consecration in Missouri
Missouri
for two years, in an attempt to eliminate poverty. Families would return their surplus "income" to the bishop, who would then redistribute it among the saints. Though initial efforts at "consecration" failed, consecration has become a more general attitude that underlies Mormon charitable works. Bushman (2008, pp. 36–39). ^ Bushman (2008, p. 53) (The name "stake" comes from a passage in Isaiah that compares Zion to a tent that will enlarge as new stakes are planted); See Isaiah 33:20 and Isaiah 54:2. ^ Bushman (2008, pp. 35, 52) ^ A full-time mission is looked upon as important character training for a young man. O'Dea (1957, p. 177). ^ Stack, Peggy Fletcher (August 31, 2012). "It's Official: Coke and Pepsi are OK for Mormons". Washington Post. (Religion News Service). Retrieved September 20, 2013. . ^ "Doctrine and Covenants, section 89".  ^ "Word of Wisdom". True to the Faith. 2004. pp. 186–88. Retrieved November 11, 2011.  ^ February 2007 All Is Safely Gathered In: Family Home Storage The Church of Jesus
Jesus
Christ of Latter-day Saints ^ Bushman (2008, p. 59) (In the temple, husbands and wives are sealed to each other for eternity. The implication is that other institutional forms, including the church, might disappear, but the family will endure); " Mormons
Mormons
in America". Pew Research Center. January 2012.  (A 2011 survey of Mormons
Mormons
in the United States showed that family life is very important to Mormons, with family concerns significantly higher than career concerns. Four out of five Mormons
Mormons
believe that being a good parent is one of the most important goals in life, and roughly three out of four Mormons
Mormons
put having a successful marriage in this category); "New Pew survey reinforces Mormons' top goals of family, marriage". Deseret News. January 12, 2012. ; See also: "The Family: A Proclamation to the World". ^ Bushman (2008, pp. 30–31); Bushman (2008, p. 58). ^ "Chastity". True to the Faith. 2004. pp. 29–33. ; " Mormons
Mormons
in America". Pew Research Center. January 2012.  (79% of Mormons
Mormons
in the US say that sex between unmarried adults is morally wrong, far higher than the 35% of the general public who hold the same view). ^ "Topic: Abortion". lds.org. . ^ "Dress and Appearance". For the Strength of the Youth. LDS Church. 2001.  ^ Homosexual acts (as well as other sexual acts outside the bonds of marriage) are prohibited by the law of chastity. Violating the law of chastity may result in excommunication. Gordon B. Hinckley
Gordon B. Hinckley
(1998). "What Are People Asking about Us?". Retrieved November 11, 2011. . ^ "Resources for Individuals", EvergreenInternational.org, Evergreen International, archived from the original on November 20, 2012 . ^ Rebecca Rosen Lum (August 20, 2007). "Mormon church changes stance on homosexuality; New teachings say lifelong celibacy to be rewarded with heterosexuality in heaven". The Oakland Tribune. Retrieved December 20, 2007. . ^ " Mormons
Mormons
and Gays". The Church of Jesus
Jesus
Christ Latter-day Saints. Retrieved February 18, 2013. . ^ "North Star LDS Community". North Star. Retrieved February 18, 2013.  ^ Paul Mortensen. "In The Beginning: A Brief History of Affirmation". Affirmation: Gay & Lesbian Mormons. Archived from the original on October 21, 2013. ; See also:Affirmation: Gay & Lesbian Mormons. ^ The LDS Church
LDS Church
claims a membership of over 15 million ("2015 Statistical Report for 2016 April General Conference". ). Most other Brigham Young–lineage sects number in the tens of thousands. Historically, the Latter Day Saint  movement has dominated by the LDS Church, with over 95 percent of adherents. One denomination dominates the non- LDS Church
LDS Church
section of the movement: Community of Christ, which has about 250,000 members.) Also note the use of the lower case d and hyphen in "Latter-day Saints", as opposed to the larger "Latter Day Saint movement." ^ a b c Stack, Peggy Fletcher (September 23, 2011). "Active, inactive – do Mormon labels work or wound?". The Salt Lake Tribune. Retrieved September 20, 2013. . ^ Member activity rates are estimated from missionary reports, seminary and institute enrollment, and ratio of members per congregation – "Countries of the World by Estimated Member Activity Rate". LDS Church
LDS Church
Growth. July 11, 2011. Retrieved November 11, 2011. ; See also: Stan L. Albrecht (1998). "The Consequential Dimension of Mormon Religiosity". Retrieved November 11, 2011. ; Stack, Peggy Fletcher (July 26, 2005). "Keeping members a challenge for LDS church". The Salt Lake Tribune. Retrieved September 20, 2013.  ^ Cunningham, Perry H. (1992), "Activity in the Church", in Ludlow, Daniel H, Encyclopedia of Mormonism, New York: Macmillan Publishing, pp. 13–15, ISBN 0-02-879602-0, OCLC 24502140  ^ Stan L. Albrecht (1998). "The Consequential Dimension of Mormon Religiosity". Retrieved November 11, 2011.  ^ Martha Sonntag Bradley, "Polygamy-Practicing Mormons" in J. Gordon Melton and Martin Baumann (eds.) (2002). Religions of the World: A Comprehensive Encyclopedia 3:1023–24; Dateline NBC, January 2, 2001; Ken Driggs, "Twentieth-Century Polygamy
Polygamy
and Fundamentalist Mormons
Mormons
in Southern Utah", Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, Winter 1991, pp. 46–47; Irwin Altman, "Polygamous Family Life: The Case of Contemporary Mormon Fundamentalists", Utah
Utah
Law Review (1996) p. 369; Stephen Eliot Smith, "'The Mormon Question' Revisited: Anti-Polygamy Laws and the Free Exercise Clause", LL.M. thesis, Harvard Law School, 2005. ^ The LDS Church
LDS Church
encourages journalists not to use the word Mormon in reference to organizations or people that practice polygamy "Style Guide". LDS Newsroom. Retrieved November 11, 2011. ; The church repudiates polygamist groups and excommunicates their members if discovered – Bushman (2008, p. 91); " Mormons
Mormons
seek distance from polygamous sects". msnbc.com. 2008.  ^ Quinn, Michael D. (Summer 1998). "Plural Marriage and Mormon Fundamentalism" (PDF). Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought. 31 (2): 7.  ^ "LiberalMormon.net". Retrieved October 27, 2011. . ^ Chris H (September 21, 2010). "Bringing back Liberal Mormonism". Main Street Plaza. Retrieved October 27, 2011. . ^ Rogers, Peggy, "New Order Mormon Essays: The Paradox of the Faithful Unbeliever", New Order Mormon, NewOrderMormon.org, Publisher is anonymous, retrieved September 20, 2013 . ^ Jackson, Kent P. (1992), "Scriptures: Authority of Scripture", in Ludlow, Daniel H, Encyclopedia of Mormonism, New York: Macmillan Publishing, pp. 1280–1281, ISBN 0-02-879602-0, OCLC 24502140 . ^ Bushman (2008, pp. 25–26). ^ Bushman (2008, p. 8) ("As the name of the church  ... suggests, Jesus
Jesus
Christ is the premier figure. Smith does not even play the role of the last and culminating prophet, as Muhammad does in Islam"); "What Mormons
Mormons
Believe About Jesus
Jesus
Christ". LDS Newsroom. Retrieved November 11, 2011. ; In a 2011 Pew Survey a thousand Mormons
Mormons
were asked to volunteer the one word that best describes Mormons. The most common response from those surveyed was "Christian" or "Christ-centered". ^ Bushman (2008, p. 79). ^ a b "Plan of Salvation". True to the Faith: A Gospel Reference. LDS Church: 115. 2004.  ^ Bushman (2008, p. 75). ^ Bushman (2008, p. 78); In Mormonism, an ordinance is a formal act, in which people enter into covenants with God. For example, covenants associated with baptism and the Eucharist
Eucharist
involve taking the name of the Son upon themselves, always remembering him, and keeping his commandments; "Atonement of Jesus
Jesus
Christ". True to the Faith: A Gospel Reference. LDS Church: 14. 2004. ; Bushman (2008, pp. 60–61) Because Mormons
Mormons
believe that everyone must receive certain ordinances to be saved, Mormons
Mormons
perform vicarious ordinances such as baptism for the dead on behalf of deceased persons. Mormons believe that the deceased may accept or reject the offered ordinance in the spirit world. ^ Missionary Department of the LDS Church
LDS Church
(2004). Preach My Gospel. LDS Church, Inc. p. 35. ISBN 0-402-36617-4.  ^ Talmage, James E. (1909). The Great Apostasy. The Deseret News. pp. 64–65. ISBN 0-87579-843-8.  ^ Richards, LeGrand (1976). A Marvelous Work and a Wonder. Deseret Book
Book
Company. p. 24. ISBN 0-87747-161-4.  ^ Talmage, James E. (1909). The Great Apostasy. The Deseret News. p. 68. ISBN 0-87579-843-8.  ^ Eyring, Henry B. (May 2008). "The True and Living Church". Ensign. LDS Church: 20–24. ; Cf. John 14:16–17 and 16:13, Acts 2:1–4, and Galatians 1:6–9. ^ " Mormonism
Mormonism
in America". Pew Research Center. January 2012.  ( Mormons
Mormons
are nearly unanimous in describing Mormonism
Mormonism
as a Christian religion, with 97% expressing this point of view); Robinson, Stephen E. (May 1998), "Are Mormons
Mormons
Christians?", New Era, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints . ^ "Romney's Mormon Faith Likely a Factor in Primaries, Not in a General Election". Pew Research Center.  (About a third of Americans and half of evangelical Protestants view Mormonism
Mormonism
as a non-Christian religion). ^ "Have the Presbyterians any truth? Yes. Have the Baptists, Methodists, etc., any truth? Yes. They all have a little truth mixed with error. We should gather all the good and true principles in the world and treasure them up, or we shall not come out true 'Mormons'." Joseph Fielding Smith (1993). "Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith": 316. ; Mormons
Mormons
take an inclusivist position that their religion is correct and true but that other religions have genuine value. Palmer; Keller; Choi; Toronto (1997). Religions of the World: A Latter-day Saint View. Brigham Young
Brigham Young
University. . ^ Bushman (2008, p. 54). ^ Bushman (2008, pp. 15, 35–35) (Outside observers sometimes react to Mormonism
Mormonism
as "nice people, wacky beliefs." Mormons
Mormons
insist that the "wacky" beliefs pull them together as a people and give them the strength and the know-how to succeed in the modern world).

External reading[edit]

Alexander, Thomas G. (1980). "The Reconstruction of Mormon Doctrine: From Joseph Smith
Joseph Smith
to Progressive Theology" (PDF). Sunstone. 5 (4): 24–33. . Allen, James B. (1966), "The Significance of Joseph Smith's First Vision in Mormon Thought", Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, 1 (3), archived from the original on June 13, 2011 . Bloom, Harold (1992). The American Religion: The Emergence of the Post-Christian Nation (1st ed.). New York: Simon & Schuster. ISBN 978-0-671-67997-2. . Bowman, Matthew (2012). The Mormon People: The Making of an American Faith. Random House. ISBN 978-0-679-64491-0. . Brodie, Fawn M. (1971). No Man Knows My History: The Life of Joseph Smith (2nd ed.). New York: Knopf. ISBN 0-394-46967-4. . Bushman, Richard Lyman (2005). Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling. New York: Knopf. ISBN 1-4000-4270-4. . Bushman, Richard Lyman (2008). Mormonism: A Very Short Introduction. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-531030-6. . Epperson, Steven (1999). "Mormons". In Barkan, Elliott Robert. A notion of peoples: a sourcebook on America's multicultural heritage. Greenwood Publishing Group. ISBN 0-313-29961-7. . Hill, Marvin S. (1989). "Quest for Refuge: The Mormon Flight from American Pluralism". Salt Lake City, Utah: Signature Books. . Ludlow, Daniel H., ed. (1992). Encyclopedia of Mormonism. New York: Macmillan. ISBN 0-02-904040-X. . Mauss, Armand (1994). The Angel
Angel
and the Beehive: The Mormon Struggle with Assimilation. Urbana & Chicago: University of Illinois
Illinois
Press. ISBN 0-252-02071-5. . May, Dean (1980). "Mormons". In Thernstrom, Stephan. Harvard Encyclopedia of American Ethnic Groups. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press. p. 720. . McMurrin, Sterling M. (1965). The Theological Foundations of the Mormon Religion. Salt Lake City: Signature Books. ISBN 1-56085-135-X. . O'Dea, Thomas F. (1957). The Mormons. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. ISBN 0-226-61743-2.  Ostling, Richard; Ostling, Joan K. (2007). Mormon America: The Power and the Promise. New York: HarperOne. ISBN 978-0-06-143295-8. . Quinn, D. Michael (1994). The Mormon Hierarchy: Origins of Power. Salt Lake City: Signature Books. ISBN 1-56085-056-6. . Shipps, Jan (1985). Mormonism: The Story of a New Religious Tradition. Chicago: University of Illinois
Illinois
Press. ISBN 0-252-01417-0. . Shipps, Jan (2000). Sojourner in the promised land: forty years among the Mormons. Chicago: University of Illinois
Illinois
Press. ISBN 0-252-02590-3. .

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