The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints
Mormonism is a relatively new religion in the world, founded by Joseph Smith in the middle of the 19th century in the Northeast United States. The official name of the religion is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (or LDS for short). The Mormon church has distinct beliefs, an interesting history, and their influence is increasing in America and elsewhere in the world.
When Mormonism is compared to orthodox Christianity, it is seen that the religions have similarities and differences. Although the name "Jesus Christ," is found in the church's official title, Mormon beliefs don't adhere to the same doctrines regarding the person and work of Christ as Roman Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, and Protestant Christianity do. Mormons deny the Trinity and have additional sacred books that they hold in high esteem for establishing doctrine and right conduct, like the Book of Mormon.
Like others religions, Mormon history has experienced its share of controversies, such as issues related to racial equality and polygamy. The LDS church has worked to overcome those issues, which sometimes serve to foster misunderstandings about what Mormons believe and practice today. Modern-day Mormonism is known for their family-centered churches, their missionary efforts around the world, their elaborate temple in Salt Lake City, Utah, and for their well-known church members, such as former presidential candidate, Mitt Romney.
Mormon beliefs, practices, history, and more
The LDS church has distinct beliefs about Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, and God the Father, who is often called "heavenly father." They don't believe in the Trinity. Furthermore, Jesus Christ according to Mormon belief is a created being, the firstborn "son of God" and the Holy Spirit in LDS teaching isn't part of a Godhead or Trinity, but is entirely detached from the persons of the Father and son.
Mormonism further teaches that people were formerly spirits in heaven, created by God the Father. According to LDS doctrine, Jesus atoned for mankind's sin in the Garden of Gethsemane when he sweated blood. People can be saved from sin and go to heaven in different ways according to the Mormon doctrine of salvation. The afterlife in Mormonism is also a unique teaching and has many differences with Christianity. See more differences and similarities on this Mormonism and Christianity comparison chart.
Mormon beliefs also summarized in the 13 Articles of Faith.
In the above link, readers will find quick information on the most important people, dates, and places in the Mormon faith. The imagery found in a religion is informative, which makes the symbols of Mormonism important. Understanding Mormon terminology is also important because two religions may use some of the same terms, and even refer to the same people, but mean, or understand those things, very differently.
To get an overview of important people and events, a timeline of the LDS church is helpful. At the most basic level, this religion cannot be understood with knowing about its founder, Joseph Smith. After Smith was martyred, the LDS church experienced the succession crisis of 1844, as men fought about who would lead the faith. There were also further schisms when people from LDS churches in other states claimed the leadership role. All of these people and events have served to makeup the religion of Mormonism today.
Mormonism developed within 50 years of an another American-born religion; for more on their similarities and differences, see the Mormonism and Jehovah's Witnesses comparison chart.
Mormon beliefs and convictions are often symbolized through various acts of faith. Mission trips in Mormonism are critically important, evidenced by the young men in dress shirts and ties, sometimes on bicycles, in neighborhoods around the world. LDS church services on Sunday mornings are a very important part of the believer's weekly routine. Also, temple ordinances play an important role of a church member's life, which involves events from marriage to baptism for the dead. Adherents also follow a particular health code in matters related to their bodies.
Other than the Bible, the LDS church encourages its members to read and learn from The Book of Mormon, The Doctrine and Covenants and The Pearl of Great Price.
Unlike Jehovah's Witnesses, and like Christians, Mormons observe of Easter and Christmas. Unlike Christians, Mormons celebrate Pioneer Day.
The local and worldwide structure of the Mormon church, as well as individual leadership roles, are an important part of the LDS community.
There have been many branches off historic Mormonism.