With the news of Mitt Romney in the Presidential elections, many people have started to ask questions about Mitt’s religion and about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or Mormonism as it is commonly known.
Continue reading to find out a number of interesting facts about what this religion teaches.
A “Mormon” is the name given to a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Often just abbreviated to just the LDS Church).
There are a number of splinter groups of the LDS church, such as the Community of Christ and the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, who are often mistakenly called Mormons too.
The LDS church was founded on April 6, 1830, by Joseph Smith, who, after praying to God to see which was the correct church to join, was told none were, and that he was to start his own church and become a prophet of God.
After numerous visits from an angel called Moroni, Joseph Smith started translating the Book of Mormon from ancient golden plates, which were revealed to him to be hidden on the top of Hill Cumorah.
Despite what many people believe, Mormons do not practice polygamy. There are, however, a handful of splinter groups that still believe in and practice it.
Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum (One of the 8 witnesses) were murdered by a mob whilst they were held in jail at Carthage, near Nauvoo, on June 27, 1844.
Just before the death of Joseph Smith, he passed on the authority to become the prophet of the church to a man called Brigham Young. There are a number of towns and universities named after him, the most popular being Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah.
As well as using The Holy Bible as scripture, the LDS church also uses the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price.
While there are many versions/translations of The Bible, the LDS church uses primarily the King James version.
As the eighth Article of Faith says, “We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly; we also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God.”
The Doctrine and Covenants is a collection of revelations and inspired declarations, mainly recorded by Joseph Smith.
The Pearl of Great Price is composed of two lost books from the Bible, a translation of the Gospel of Matthew, Joseph Smith’s history, and the 13 Articles of Faith.
The main events described within the Book of Mormon take place between 600 BC and 421 AD, although parts go right back to the Tower of Babel, some 2,000 years ago!
The Book of Mormon also tells the reader that after Jesus’ resurrection, he visited America and other lands to talk to God’s children.
In March 2010, the 100 millionth copy of the Book of Mormon was printed.
Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints do not drink tea, coffee, alcohol, smoke tobacco, or take illegal drugs. This is due to Section 89 of the Doctrine and Covenants, often referred to as the “Word of Wisdom.”
The typical church service is split up into three one-hour sections: The Sacrament meeting, Sunday School, and the Priesthood for the men, the Relief Society or Young Women’s for the females, and Primary for the children.
For a member to be worthy of entering a Temple, they must abide by the Word of Wisdom and pay their tithing, among other things. If they are found to be worthy enough, they are then given a Temple Recommend, allowing them access to the LDS Temples across the world. The Temple Recommend can last up to two years.
The first LDS temple was built in Kirtland, Ohio, in 1833.
As of 2012, there were 136 temples across the world, with another 15 in construction and another 15 that have been announced.
The LDS church is one of the fastest-growing Christian churches today!
Joseph Smith received a revelation from God that the Garden of Eden’s original location was in Jackson County, Missouri.
Mormons believe in God the Father, the Son (Jesus Christ), and the Holy Ghost existing as three separate individual beings or personages. This is known as the “God Head.”
The church’s main Head Quarters are in Salt Lake City, Utah.
During the church’s first 12 months of the Church being re-established, it managed to gain 1,000 members.
As of 2011, there were between 12-15 million members worldwide.
Children are said to be free of sin and incapable of sinning until the age of 8, then they become accountable for their actions.
The church teaches that all humans existed in spirit form and lived with God before they were born on Earth.
The church also teaches that men and women will only be punished for their own sins and not for Adam’s transgression.
The church’s official website is LDS.org, where you can find out much more information on Mormon beliefs and practices.