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Mormons in the United States Research Paper

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Running Head: Mormons in the United States Research Paper

RE 307 Religion In today's World

v.

03-02-11

Abstract

This research paper focuses on the Mormon Religion. The Latter-day Saints began in the first half of the nineteenth century. The First Church was built in 1830, in Fayette, New York, after the publication of the Book Of Mormon. It began with very few members. Modern-day Mormons have beliefs that are similar to those of other Christians. Mormons obey the Book of Mormons which is considered to be scripture alongside the Bible. Mormons believe in God the Father, Jesus Christ the Son and the Holy Ghost. This is one of the key fundamentals of their religion system. This paper is also going to mention how to LDS followers the family is absolutely central when it comes to practice and thought. They also value marriage highly. Every member is encourage to marry. As a matter of fact anyone to remain celibate is absolutely forbidden. Mormons like in some other religions, gather on Sunday morning in churches. There, people sing, listen to sermons and are given a chance to tell others how god has had an influence in their life. They take communion using bread and water. Unlike for example Catholics who use wine. When it comes to the institutional LDS believe their Church is a theocracy under the direct rule of God. They feel that highest leaders of the Church continually receive revelation or vision form God. Mormon families' strong commitment to the LDS Church and cooperation with each other have led to religious communities fostering new generations of Mormons.

Mormons in the United Sates

Joseph Smith was born in Sharon, Vermont on December 23, 1805. He was raised on a farm, getting little education and rarely going to Church. Smith had his first revelations when he was only 14 years of age. He claimed to have had direct communication with God who prompted him not to accept any other religion because of all of them had diviated away from the Gospel and did not follow his commandments. Joseph Smith established the Mormon religion in 1830 after receiving a vision from God who told him that he was to collect a set of golden plates which had word of the Lord. In 1823 the angelic messenger Moroni appear and told him he would be God's chosen servant to restore the church to fullness of the Gospel. (Hemeyer, 2010). The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints was funded with just five or six followers in the beginning; many of them were Joseph's family members. (Ingleton, 2005). LDS followers believe their religion is the pure doctrine of Jesus Christ. Joseph composed the Book Of Mormons after translating the content of the golden plates he found and used it as a secondary Bible. Smith still believed in the content of the Holy Bible. However, he strongly believed the Book Of Mormons was the most correct and accurate book on earth to obey by. Latter-day Saints follow four corner stones of their faith. The first on is Jesus Christ himself. The second one is the revelation to Joseph Smith. The Book of Mormons is the third cornerstone and the final one is the Mormon priesthood that allows men to act with authority in the name of God. He began preaching to different groups of people implementing this Book Of Mormons. Many people did not agree with Joseph's visions and ideas casting him and followers out east. Joseph claimed the only place the Mormon religion would have a chance at surviving was heading to the mountains lead by the vision he had of a place called Zion.

With his teachings he drew the attention of a man named Brigham Young. Brigham Young studied the Book of Mormon for two years before he was convinced that this was the one true book and religion. Therefore, after Joseph Smith died Brigham felt compelled to carry out the vision of Joseph Smith. Young was the one who lead the people to find the Zion in what is now Salt Lake City, UT in search of religious freedom. This is where the Mormon religion has been based since July, 1859 when the settlers petitioned for statehood. (Joseph Smith Jr. Wikipedia) Joseph Smith had visions of a Holy Temple that would be built at the Zion where his people could worship without religious persecution and God had commanded he build the House Of God. "Four days after entering the Salt Lake Valley on 24 July 1847, Brigham Young designated where the temple would be built, and on 6 April 1853, he laid the cornerstone of the temple foundation. That event marked the beginning of a long construction process. Work on the temple stretched from years to decades until finally, 40 years after it was begun, the temple was completed and dedicated on 6 April 1893" (Abanes, 2003).

The Church now has many temples, or Houses of God. The Latter Day Saints view building these temples as the fulfillment of the prophecy found in Malachi 3:1. (Abanes, 2003) "As of Dec 2008, there are 129 Temples in operation, 9 temples under construction, and an additional 8 temples announced for construction in the near future. These figures give a grand total of 146 Temples that will be or are in operation in the near future" (Abanes, 2003). The temples differ from the church meeting houses that are used for weekly worship. They are only used for special occasions such as endowment ceremonies and marriages to be sealed. A weekly meeting house or church can be found every few blocks. There is one church or meetinghouse for every ward. A ward consists of 200 to 500 active church members that live within a reasonable distance from the meetinghouse (Abanes, 2003).

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) is technically considered a type of Christian religion. Mainly this is because they believe in God and his son Jesus Christ. Beyond that their beliefs differ and the LDS follow different religious leaders. There are many prophets of God, such as Joseph Smith that the church looks to for guidance. These prophets also serve as Presidents of the Church and direct the affairs of the Church. There have been sixteen church Presidents since the beginning of the LDS Church. There isn't a term to their presidency and many remain President until their death. The current President is Thomas S. Monson and he has served as the Church President since 2008 (Mormonism, Wikipedia).

There are many sects associated with

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