The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

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The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
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{{redirect|Mormon church|its overarching religious tradition|Mormonism}}{{pp-pc1}}{{pp-vandalism|small=yes}}{{Use American English|date = April 2019}}{{short description|nontrinitarian Christian restorationist church}}{{Use mdy dates|date=January 2018}}{{active editnotice}}

| governance = Hierarchical| leader_title = President| leader_name = Russell M. Nelson176 nations & territories}}Joseph SmithHTTP://WWW.CHURCHOFJESUSCHRIST.ORG/MANUAL/TEACHINGS-HEBER-J-GRANT/CHAPTER-7TITLE=(TEACHINGS OF PRESIDENTS OF THE CHURCH: HEBER J. GRANT)PUBLISHER=THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTSPAGES=62–70, {{dead linkbot=medic}}{{cbignore|bot=medic}}TITLE=APRIL 6, 1830: THE DAY THE CHURCH WAS ORGANIZED MAGAZINE=ENSIGN (LDS MAGAZINE) >PUBLISHER=INTELLECTUAL RESERVE, INC.ACCESSDATE=APRIL 3, 2017, as Church of ChristFayette, New York, United States}}Salt Lake City>Salt Lake City, Utah, United StatesLDS denominations}}PUBLISHER=INTELLECTUAL RESERVE, INC.ACCESSDATE=MAY 12, 2019, 16,313,735 (2018)}}| missionaries = 65,137 (2018)At the end of 2018, the number of full-time and church service missionaries was 103,100.LDS Humanitarian Services}}Church Educational System#Higher education>}}LDS Church |Mormon Church}}}}{{Christianity |width=24em |state=collapsed}}The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, often informally known as the LDS Church or Mormon Church, is a nontrinitarian, Christian restorationist church that is considered by its members to be the restoration of the original church founded by Jesus Christ. The church is headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah in the United States, and has established congregations and built temples worldwide. According to the church, it has over 16 million members and 65,000 full-time volunteer missionaries.The most notable instance of violence during this war was the tragic Mountain Meadows massacre, in which leaders of a local Mormon militia, contrary to top church leaders orders, ordered the massacre of a civilian emigrant party who had the misfortune of traveling through Utah during the escalating military tensions. The Mormons feared the mobs which murdered their families at the Haun's mill massacre and other illegal thefts of land, and murders which had plagued them back east. after which Young agreed to step down from power and be replaced by a non-Mormon territorial governor, Alfred Cumming.To combat the notion that rank-and-file Mormons were unhappy under Young's leadership, Cumming noted that he had offered to help any leave the territory who desired. Of the 50,000 inhabitants of the territory 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. Nevertheless, the LDS Church still wielded significant political power in the Utah Territory.{{Citation | last1=Firmage| first1= Edwin Brown| last2 = Mangrum| first2=Richard Collin| title=Zion in the Courts: A Legal History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 1830–1900| page=140| url=,M1| isbn=0-252-06980-3| publisher=U. of Illinois Press| year=2002}}At Young's death in 1877, he was followed by other church presidents, who resisted efforts by the United States Congress to outlaw Mormon polygamous marriages. In 1878, the United States Supreme Court, in Reynolds v. United States, decreed that "religious duty" to engage in plural marriage was not a valid defense to prosecutions for violating state laws against polygamy. Conflict between Mormons and the U.S. government escalated to the point that, in 1890, Congress disincorporated the LDS Church and seized most of its assets. Soon thereafter, church president Wilford Woodruff issued a manifesto that officially suspended the practice.{{lds|Official Declaration —|od|1}} Although this manifesto did not dissolve existing plural marriages, so that families would not be split apart, no new polygamous marriages would be performed. Relations with the United States markedly improved after 1890, such that Utah was admitted as a U.S. state in 1896. Relations further improved after 1904, when church president Joseph F. Smith again disavowed polygamy before the United States Congress and issued a "Second Manifesto", calling for all plural marriages in the church to cease, as they were already against church doctrine since Woodruff issued the Manifesto. Eventually, the church adopted a policy of excommunicating its members found practicing polygamy and today actively distances itself from "fundamentalist" groups still practicing polygamy.{{citation |quote= If any of our members are found to be practicing plural marriage, they are excommunicated, the most serious penalty the Church can impose. Not only are those so involved in direct violation of the civil law, they are in violation of the law of this Church. |first= Gordon B. |last= Hinckley |authorlink= Gordon B. Hinckley |url=weblink |title= What Are People Asking About Us? |journal= Ensign |date= November 1998 |page= 70}}

Modern times

File:Salt Lake Temple, Utah - Sept 2004-2.jpg|thumb|left|The Salt Lake TempleSalt Lake TempleDuring the 20th century, the church grew substantially and became an international organization, due in part to the spread of missionaries around the globe. In 2000, the church reported 60,784 missionaries and global church membership stood at just over 11 million.{{citation |title= Statistical Report, 2000 |journal= Ensign |date= May 2001 |page= 22 |first= F. Michael |last= Watson}} Worldwide membership surpassed 13 million in 2007Deseret Morning News 2008 Church Almanac p. 655 and reached 14 million in July 2010,{{Citation |first= Michael |last= De Groote |url=weblink |title= 14 million Mormons and counting |newspaper= Deseret News |date= January 23, 2011}} with about six million of those within the United States.{{citation |authorlink= Peggy Fletcher Stack |first= Peggy Fletcher |last= Stack |url=weblink |title= LDS Church ramps up on global stage |newspaper= The Salt Lake Tribune |date= September 14, 2010}} However, it is estimated based on demographic studies that only one-third of the total worldwide membership (about 4.5 million people as of 2014) are regularly attending churchgoers.{{Citation |url=weblink |title= Keeping members a challenge for LDS church |newspaper= The Salt Lake Tribune |date= July 26, 2005 |last= Stack |first= Peggy Fletcher |authorlink= Peggy Fletcher Stack}}NEWS, Stack, Peggy, New almanac offers look at the world of Mormon membership,weblink 11 October 2018, Washington Post, Religion News Service, January 13, 2014, en, The church cautions against overemphasis of growth statistics for comparison with other churches because relevant factors—including activity rates and death rates, methodology used in registering or counting members, what factors constitute membership, and geographical variations—are rarely accounted for in the comparisons.{{citation |url=weblink |title= Background: Growth of the Church |work= |publisher= LDS Church |accessdate= September 23, 2014}}The church has become a strong and public champion of the nuclear family and at times played a prominent role in political matters, including opposition to MX Peacekeeper missile bases in Utah and Nevada,{{citation |url=weblink |title= First Presidency Statement on Basing of MX Missile |journal= Ensign |date= June 1981 |page= 76}} the Equal Rights Amendment,{{citation |url=weblink |title= The Church and the Proposed Equal Rights Amendment: A Moral Issue |journal= Ensign |date= March 1980 |at= insert}} legalized gambling,{{citation |url=weblink |title= News of the Church: Church's Stand against Gambling |journal= Ensign |date= March 1992 |page= 74}} same-sex marriage,{{citation |title= Topic: Same-Gender Attraction |work= |publisher= LDS Church |url=weblink |accessdate= September 23, 2014}} and physician-assisted death.{{citation |title= Topic: Euthanasia and Prolonging Life |work= |publisher= LDS Church |url=weblink |accessdate= September 23, 2014}} Apart from issues that it considers to be ones of morality, however, the church maintains a position of political neutrality, but encourages its members to be politically active, to participate in elections, and to be knowledgeable about current political and social issues within their communities, states, and countries.{{citation |title= Topic: Political Neutrality |work= |url=weblink |accessdate= September 23, 2014}}A number of official changes have taken place to the organization during the modern era. One significant change was the ordination of men of black African descent to the priesthood in 1978, which reversed a policy originally instituted by Brigham Young in 1852.BOOK,weblink Mormonism's Negro Doctrine: An Historical Overview, Bush, Lester E., Jr., 1984, Bush, Lester E., Jr., Mauss, Armand L., Armand L. Mauss, Neither White nor Black: Mormon Scholars Confront the Race Issue in a Universal Church, Midvale, Utah, Signature Books, 70, 0-941214-22-2, 11103077, There are also periodic changes in the structure and organization of the church, mainly to accommodate the organization's growth and increasing international presence. For example, since the early 1900s, the church has instituted a Priesthood Correlation Program to centralize church operations and bring them under a hierarchy of priesthood leaders. During the Great Depression, the church also began operating a church welfare system, and it has conducted numerous humanitarian efforts in cooperation with other religious organizations including Catholic Relief Services and Islamic Relief, as well as secular organizations such as the American Red Cross.

Teachings and practices

Authorized texts

File:Latter-day Saint Scripture Quadruple Combination.jpg|upright=.6|thumb|The written canon of the LDS Church is referred to as its standard worksstandard worksThe theology of the LDS Church consists of a combination of biblical doctrines with modern revelations and other commentary by LDS leaders, particularly Joseph Smith. The most authoritative sources of theology are the faith's canon of four religious texts, called the "standard works". Included in the standard works are the Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price. The Book of Mormon is said by the church to be "Another Testament of Jesus Christ" that Smith translated from buried golden plates. The LDS Church believes that the Angel Moroni told Smith about these golden plates and guided him to find them buried in the Hill Cumorah. The church believes that this Angel Moroni is at least partial fulfillment of Revelation 14:6 in the Bible. The church characterizes the Book of Mormon as "the most correct of any book on earth and the keystone of [the] religion".{{citation |title= History of the Church |volume= 4 |page= 461}}The Bible, also part of the church's canon, is believed to be "the word of God as far as it is translated correctly."{{lds|Articles of Faith|a_of_f|1|8}}: "We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly." Most often, the church uses the Authorized King James Version. Sometimes, however, parts of the Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible (corrections and restorations of assertedly damaged or lost passages) are considered authoritative. Some excerpts of Smith's translation have been included in the Pearl of Great Price, which also includes further translations by Smith and church historical items. Other historical items and revelations are found in the Doctrine and Covenants.Another source of authoritative doctrine is the pronouncements of the current Apostles and members of the First Presidency. The church teaches that the First Presidency (the church's president and his counselors) and the Quorum of Twelve Apostles are prophets{{Citation |title= The Sustaining of Church Officers |first= Henry B. |last= Eyring |authorlink= Henry B. Eyring |journal= Ensign |date= November 2012 |url=weblink |quote= It is proposed that we sustain the counselors in the First Presidency and the Twelve Apostles as prophets, seers, and revelators.}} For past sustainings, see also: [// Search - "The Sustaining of Church Officers"]. and that their teachings are generally given under inspiration from God through the Holy Spirit. Members of the church acknowledge (sustain) them regularly as prophets, seers, and revelators—this is done publicly twice a year at the church's worldwide general conference.

Distinctive doctrines and practices

File:Phil and Marlene.jpg|thumb|upright|A couple after their marriage in the Manti Utah TempleManti Utah TempleSeveral doctrines and practices of the LDS Church are peculiar within Christianity. For example, the Mormon cosmology and plan of salvation include the doctrines of a pre-mortal life, three degrees of heaven, and exaltation. According to these doctrines, every human spirit is a literal child of a Heavenly Father, and each has the potential to continue to learn, grow, and progress in the eternities, eventually achieving eternal life (which Latter-day Saints view as distinct from immortality), which is to become one with God in the same way that Jesus Christ is one with the Father, thus allowing the children of God to become divine beings or "gods" themselves.{{Harvtxt|Bushman|2008|p=74}}BOOK,weblink The Divinization of the Christian according to the Greek Fathers, Gross, Jules, 2002, A & C Press, 0736316000, 1st, Anaheim, Calif., Onica, Paul, 51254902, BOOK,weblink Irenaeus: Against Heresies, Irenaeus, 2001, Chapter 5, Preface, Irenaeus, This view on the doctrine of theosis is also referred to as becoming a "joint-heir with Christ."ENCYCLOPEDIA, Carter, K. Codell, Godhood,weblink 553–55, Ludlow, Daniel H, Daniel H. Ludlow, 1992, Encyclopedia of Mormonism, New York, Macmillan Publishing, 0-02-879602-0, 24502140, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints teaches that all resurrected and perfected mortals become gods. […] Those who achieve this state of perfection will become joint-heirs with Christ. […] Latter-day Saints believe that those who become gods will have the opportunity to […] add[] further offspring to the eternal family., The process by which this is accomplished is called exaltation, a doctrine which includes the reunification of the mortal family after the resurrection and the ability to have spirit children in the afterlife and inherit a portion of God's kingdom.BOOK,weblink Chapter 47: Exaltation § Blessings of Exaltation, Gospel Principles, Salt Lake City, Utah, LDS Church, 2011, They will become gods[,][…] will be united eternally with their righteous family members and will be able to have eternal increase., {{dead link|date=July 2019|bot=medic}}{{cbignore|bot=medic}}WEB,weblink Doctrine and Covenants,, Chapter 88 Verse 107, 2018-10-05, WEB,weblink Becoming Like God, Saints, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day,, February 2014, 2018-10-05, To obtain this state of godhood, the church teaches that one must have faith in Jesus Christ, repent of his or her sins, strive to keep the commandments faithfully, and participate in a sequence of ceremonial covenants called ordinances, which include baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, the endowment, and celestial marriage.{{citation |last= Pope |first= Margaret McConkie |contribution= Exaltation |contribution-url=weblink |page= 479 |editor-last= Ludlow |editor-first= Daniel H |editor-link= Daniel H. Ludlow |year= 1992 |title= Encyclopedia of Mormonism |location= New York |publisher= Macmillan Publishing |isbn= 0-02-879602-0 |oclc= 24502140 }} ("All Church ordinances lead to exaltation, and the essential crowning ordinances are the Endowment and the eternal marriage covenant of the temple."){{citation | author=LDS Church | title = Church Handbook of Instructions: Book 1, Stake Presidencies and Bishoprics | publisher = LDS Church | place = Salt Lake City, Utah | year = 2006 | page=80}}This latter ordinance, known as a sealing ceremony, reflects a singular LDS view with respect to families. According to LDS Church theology, men and women may be "sealed" to one another so that their marital bond continues into the eternities.A man may be sealed to more than one wife if his previous wives are either dead or legally divorced from him; a living woman, however, may only be sealed to one husband. See {{Citation | author=LDS Church | title=Church Handbook of Instructions | year=2006 | place=Salt Lake City, Utah | publisher=LDS Church | page=85}}. Thus, there is a common view within the LDS Church that though prohibited by the LDS Church in mortality, plural marriage will exist in the afterlife. See, e.g., {{Citation | last=Penrose | first=Charles W. | author-link=Charles W. Penrose | title=Mormon Doctrine Plain and Simple, or Leaves from the Tree of Life | page=66 | year=1897 | publication-place=Salt Lake City, UT}} ("In the case of a man marrying a wife in the everlasting covenant who dies while he continues in the flesh and marries another by the same divine law, each wife will come forth in her order and enter with him into his glory."); {{Citation | editor1-last=McConkie | editor1-first=Bruce R. | editor1-link=Bruce R. McConkie | last=Smith | first=Joseph Fielding | author-link=Joseph Fielding Smith | title=Doctrines of Salvation: Sermons and Writings of Joseph Fielding Smith | volume=2 | page=2 | year=1954–56 | publisher=Bookcraft}} (stating of his deceased wives: "my wives will be mine forever"). Children may also be sealed to their biological or adoptive parents to form permanent familial bonds, thus allowing all immediate and extended family relations to endure past death.See {{citation |last= Hyer |first= Paul V. |authorlink= Paul Hyer |contribution = Sealing: Temple Sealings | contribution-url=weblink |pages= 1289–1290 |editor-last= Ludlow |editor-first= Daniel H |editor-link= Daniel H. Ludlow |year= 1992 |title= Encyclopedia of Mormonism |location= New York |publisher= Macmillan Publishing |isbn= 0-02-879602-0 |oclc= 24502140 }}; {{citation |last= Thomas |first= Ryan L. |contribution= Adoption of Children |contribution-url=weblink |pages= 20–21 |editor-last= Ludlow |editor-first= Daniel H |editor-link= Daniel H. Ludlow |year= 1992 |title= Encyclopedia of Mormonism |location= New York |publisher= Macmillan Publishing |isbn= 0-02-879602-0 |oclc= 24502140 }}. Children born to biological parents who have been sealed to each other are considered "born in the covenant" and need not be sealed to their parents. See {{citation |last= Cottrell |first= Ralph L. |contribution= Born in the Covenant |contribution-url=weblink | page= 218 |editor-last= Ludlow |editor-first= Daniel H |editor-link= Daniel H. Ludlow |year= 1992 |title= Encyclopedia of Mormonism |location= New York |publisher= Macmillan Publishing |isbn= 0-02-879602-0 |oclc= 24502140 }} The most significant LDS ordinances may be performed via proxy in behalf of those who have died, such as baptism for the dead. The church teaches that all will have the opportunity to hear and accept or reject the gospel of Jesus Christ and the blessings that come to those who faithfully adhere to it, in this life or the next.WEB, Tingey, Earl C, The Simple Truths from Heaven—The Lord’s Pattern,weblink, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 17 April 2019, Ordinances such as baptisms for the dead, sealings, and endowments are performed in temples that are built and dedicated specifically for these purposes.The LDS faithful observe a health code called the "Word of Wisdom," in which they abstain from the consumption of alcohol, coffee, tea, and tobacco. The Word of Wisdom also encourages the use of wholesome herbs and fruits within season, moderate consumption of meat, and consumption of grains.Doctrine and Covenants {{lds||dc|89}}.Latter-day Saints follow a moral code, called the "law of chastity," which prohibits adultery, homosexual behavior, and sexual relations outside of marriage.LDS faithful donate a ten-percent tithe on their annual income, for the operations of the church, including construction of temples, meetinghouses, and other buildings, and other church uses.{{citation |title= Gospel Topics: Tithing |url=weblink |work= |publisher= LDS Church}} Faithful members also abstain from food and drink (fasting) on the first Sunday of each month for at least two consecutive meals, prayerfully dedicating the fast to a purpose of each individual's choosing. They donate at least the cost of the two skipped meals as a fast offering, which the church uses to assist the poor and needy and expand its humanitarian efforts.{{citation |title= Gospel Topics: Fasting and Fast Offerings |url=weblink |work= |publisher= LDS Church}} Members are further instructed to set aside one night a week, typically Monday, for a "Family Home Evening," where they gather as a family to study gospel principles and participate in wholesome activities.WEB,weblink Activities - Monday Nights,, 2018-10-05,

Missionary service

File:MISSIONNAIRES MORMONS.JPG|thumb|upright|Missionaries typically commit to 18–24 months of full-time service.]]All LDS young men are expected to serve a two-year, full-time proselytizing mission.In 1974, church president Spencer W. Kimball said that "every male member of the Church should fill a mission". {{citation |last= Kimball |first= Spencer W. |title= Planning for a Full and Abundant Life |journal= Ensign |date= May 1974 |page= 86 |url=weblink |authorlink= Spencer W. Kimball |quote= The question is asked: Should every young man fill a mission? And the answer of the Church is yes, and the answer of the Lord is yes. Enlarging this answer we say: Certainly every male member of the Church should fill a mission, like he should pay his tithing, like he should attend his meetings, like he should keep his life clean and free from the ugliness of the world and plan a celestial marriage in the temple of the Lord. While there is no compulsion for him to do any of these things, he should do them for his own good.}}. The church's current president, Thomas S. Monson, stated in 2012 that "missionary work is a priesthood duty" and encouraged "all young men who are worthy and who are physically able and mentally capable to respond to the call to serve."{{citation |last= Monson |first= Thomas S. |title= Welcome to Conference |url=weblink |authorlink= Thomas S. Monson |date= November 2012 |journal= Ensign |quote= We affirm that missionary work is a priesthood duty—and we encourage all young men who are worthy and who are physically able and mentally capable to respond to the call to serve. Many young women also serve, but they are not under the same mandate to serve as are the young men. We assure the young sisters of the Church, however, that they make a valuable contribution as missionaries, and we welcome their service.}} In the church's October 2002 general conference, M. Russell Ballard, of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, stated that local leaders recommend for full-time missions "only those young men ... whom you judge to be spiritually, physically, mentally, and emotionally prepared to face today's realities of missionary work"; he added that "not every young man needs to be called to serve away from his home; some may best serve under your direction as ward missionaries." {{citation |quote= Upon you bishops and you stake presidents rests the responsibility to recommend only those young men and women whom you judge to be spiritually, physically, mentally, and emotionally prepared to face today's realities of missionary work. Brethren, judge wisely and remember: not every young man needs to be called to serve away from his home; some may best serve under your direction as ward missionaries. |last= Ballard |first= M. Russell |title= The Greatest Generation of Missionaries |journal= Ensign |date= November 2002 |url=weblink |authorlink= M. Russell Ballard}} Missionaries do not choose where they serve or the language in which they will proselytize, and are expected to fund their missions themselves or with the aid of their families. Prospective male missionaries must be at least 18 years old and no older than 25, not yet married, have completed secondary school, and meet certain criteria for physical fitness and spiritual worthiness. Missionary service is not compulsory, nor is it required for young men to retain their church membership. Unmarried women 19 years and older may also serve as missionaries, generally for a term of 18 months. However, the LDS Church emphasizes that women are not under the same expectation to serve as male members are, and may serve solely as a personal decision. There is no maximum age for missionary service for women.{{citation |url=weblink |title= LDS Church members respond to new mission age rules |first= David Self |last= Newlin |first2= Jennifer |last2= Stagg |date= October 8, 2012 |publisher= KSL |accessdate= March 7, 2013}} Prior to October 2012, the minimum age for full-time missionary service was generally 19 for men and 21 for women.{{Citation |first= Joseph |last= Walker |url=weblink |title= LDS Church lowers age requirement for missionary service |newspaper= Deseret News |date= October 6, 2012}} Retired couples are encouraged to serve missions, and may serve for either 6-, 12-, 18-, or 23-month terms."Missionary Policy Changes Give More Seniors Opportunity to Serve", LDS Church News Release, June 2, 2011. Unlike younger missionaries, these senior missionaries may serve in non-proselytizing capacities such as humanitarian aid workers or family history specialists. Other men and women who desire to serve a mission, but may not be able to perform full-time service in another state or country due to health issues, may serve in a service mission. They might assist at Temple Square in Salt Lake City or aide in the seminary systems in schools. Many opportunities are available.WEB,weblink Church-Service Missionary,, October 16, 2017,

Comparisons with Christian denominations outside the Latter Day Saint movement

{{See also|Mormonism and Christianity}}The LDS Church shares various teachings with other branches of Christianity. These include a belief in the Bible (subject to an acknowledgement that it is imperfect),Adherents believe in the Bible "as far as it is translated correctly": see {{lds|Articles of Faith|a_of_f|1|8}}. Additionally, Joseph Smith taught that the Songs of Solomon "are not inspired writings". the divinity of Jesus, and his atonement and resurrection. LDS theology also includes belief in the doctrine of salvation through Jesus alone, restorationism,{{lds|Articles of Faith|a_of_f|1|6}}. millennialism, continuationism, penal substitution,Book of Mormon, Alma 34:8–16. and a form of apostolic succession. The practices of baptism by immersion and the eucharist (referred to as the sacrament) are also held in common. However, the Catholic Church considers doctrinal differences between the two groups to be so great that it will not accept a prior LDS baptism as evidence of Christian initiation, as it will baptism by other Christian groups, such as the Eastern Orthodox and Protestant churches.WEB,weblink The Question of the Validity of Baptism Conferred in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Fr. Luis Ladaria, S.J., November 1, 2010, The LDS Church does not accept baptisms performed in any other churches, as it teaches that baptism is only valid when it is conducted through proper priesthood authority.WEB, The Restoration of The Gospel in the Latter Days,weblink Intellectual Reserve, Inc.,, July 13, 2012, dead,weblink" title="">weblink July 12, 2012, mdy-all, Nevertheless, the LDS Church differs from the many other churches within contemporary Christianity, and many people do not accept the church as part of Christianity.For example, a 2007 poll conducted by the Pew Research Center found that 31 percent of Americans surveyed do not consider Mormons to be Christian.WEB, Public Expresses Mixed Views of Islam, Mormonism,weblink Pew Research Center,, September 25, 2007, September 13, 2018, The faith itself views other modern Christian faiths as having departed from true Christianity via a general apostasy and maintains that it is a restoration of 1st-century Christianity and the only true and authorized Christian church.{{Citation | last=Smith | first=Joseph, Jr. | author-link=Joseph Smith | title=Church History [Wentworth Letter] | journal=Times and Seasons | volume=3 | issue=9 | pages=706–10 [707] | date=March 1, 1842a | url=}} (traditional Christian denominations "were believing in incorrect doctrines, and that none of them was acknowledged of God as His church and kingdom"). {{Citation | last=Smith | first=Joseph, Jr. | author-link=Joseph Smith | title=History of Joseph Smith | journal=Times and Seasons | volume=3 | issue=11 | pages=748–49 | date=April 1, 1842c | url=}} Stating that Jesus told Smith that all existing Christian creeds "were an abomination in his sight".D&C 1:30 (LDS Church is the "only true and living church upon the face of the whole earth"). Differences between the LDS Church and most of traditional Christianity include disagreement with aspects of the Nicene Creed, belief in a theory of human salvation that includes three heavens (referred to as "degrees of glory", its interpretation of I Cor. 15:35 et.seq.),{{citation |authorlink= Spencer W. Kimball |first= Spencer W. |last= Kimball |url=weblink |title= An Eternal Hope in Christ |journal= Ensign |date= November 1978 |page= 71 |quote= Then he taught and testified that even as Christ is risen from the dead, so will all men come forth from the grave; each will then be judged according to his works, and each will receive his appointed place in the mansions which are prepared. In that resurrected state, Paul said, there are 'celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial, and bodies telestial; but the glory of the celestial, one; and the terrestrial, another; and the telestial, another' (JST, 1 Cor. 15:40)}} a doctrine of "exaltation" which includes the ability of humans to become gods and goddesses in the afterlife, a dietary code called the Word of Wisdom, and unique ceremonies performed privately in LDS temples, such as the endowment and sealing ceremonies.File:Christus statue temple square salt lake city.jpg|right|thumb|Latter-day Saints believe in the resurrection of Jesus, as depicted in this replica of Bertel Thorvaldsen's Christus statue located in the North Visitors' Center on Temple Square in Salt Lake CitySalt Lake CityOfficially, major Christian denominations view the LDS Church as standing apart from creedal Christianity.See, for example, {{Citation|url=|title=Presbyterians and Latter-day Saints|accessdate=January 30, 2007}} (Presbyterian Church USA, stating that "Mormonism is a new and emerging religious tradition distinct from the historic apostolic tradition of the Christian Church"); {{Citation|url=|title=Should Lutherans Rebaptize Former Mormons Who Are Joining the Congregation?|accessdate=August 15, 2006|url-status=dead|archiveurl=|archivedate=February 11, 2006|df=mdy-all}} Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, stating that LDS Church doctrine regarding the Trinity is "substantially different from that of orthodox, creedal Christianity"; {{Citation|url=|title=General Conference 2000 806-NonDis|accessdate=August 15, 2006}} (United Methodist Church, stating that the LDS Church, "by self-definition, does not fit within the bounds of the historic, apostolic tradition of Christian faith"). Leaders of the LDS Church assert that the LDS Church is the only true church and that other churches do not have the authority to act in Jesus' name.According to Joseph Smith, Jesus told him that the other churches claiming to be Christian creeds "were an abomination in the Lords sight; that those professors [of religion] were all corrupt". Pearl of Great Price, Joseph Smith—History 1:19.From the perspective of Christians who agree with creeds, the most significant area of departure is the rejection by the LDS Church of certain parts of ecumenical creeds such as the Nicene Creed, which defines the predominant view of the Christian God as a Trinity of three separate persons in "one essence". LDS Church theology includes the belief in a "Godhead" composed of God the Father, his Son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost as three separate Persons who share a unity of purpose or will; however, they are viewed as three distinct Beings making one Godhead. Other significant differences relate to the church's acceptance of additional scripture, doctrine, and practices beyond what is found in the Catholic, Protestant, or Eastern Orthodox versions of the Bible.

Comparison with other Latter Day Saint movement faiths

{{See also|List of sects in the Latter Day Saint movement}}The LDS Church shares a common heritage with a number of smaller faith groups that are collectively called the Latter Day Saint movement. The largest of these smaller groups is the Community of Christ (previously known as the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints), based in Independence, Missouri, followed by The Church of Jesus Christ, based in Monongahela, Pennsylvania. Like the LDS Church, these faiths believe in Joseph Smith as a prophet and founder of their religion. They also accept the Book of Mormon, and most, but not all, accept at least some version of the Doctrine and Covenants. However, they tend to disagree to varying degrees with the LDS Church concerning doctrine and church leadership.The main branches of the Latter Day Saint movement resulted from the crisis of succession upon the death of Joseph Smith. Other branches may be considered later offshoots of the LDS Church branch, mainly due to disagreements about plural marriage.

Organization and structure

Name and legal entities

The church teaches that it is a continuation of the Church of Christ established in 1830 by Joseph Smith. This original church underwent several name changes during the 1830s, being called the Church of Jesus Christ, the Church of God,{{Citation |last= Roberts |first= B. H |authorlink= B. H. Roberts |title= History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints |volume= 3 |publisher= Deseret News |year= 1905 |pages= 23, 24 |url=weblink}} and then in 1834, the name was officially changed to the Church of the Latter Day Saints.{{Citation |last1= Smith |first1= Joseph, Jr. |author1-link= Joseph Smith |last2= Williams |first2= Frederick G. |author2-link= Frederick G. Williams |last3= Cowdery |first3= Oliver |author3-link= Oliver Cowdery |title= Minutes of a Conference of the Elders of the Church of Christ, May 3, 1834 |journal= The Evening and the Morning Star |volume= 2 |issue= 20 |page= 160 |year= 1834 |url=weblink}} In April 1838, the name was officially changed to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.{{Citation |last=Smith |first=Joseph, Jr |authorlink=Joseph Smith |journal=Elders' Journal of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints |volume=1 |issue=4 |date=August 1838 |page=52 |url= |title=Special Collections |postscript=.}}, {{Citation| title=Manuscript History of the Church, book A-1| year=1838| place=LDS Church Archives| page=37}}, reproduced in {{Citation |editor-last= Jessee |editor-first= Dean C. |year= 1989 |title= The Papers of Joseph Smith: Autobiographical and Historical Writings |place= Salt Lake City, Utah |publisher= Deseret Book |volume= 1 |pages= 302–303}}. {{Citation| year=1994|title=Inventing Mormonism: Tradition and the Historical Record| publication-place=Salt Lake City, Utah| publisher=Signature Books| page=160| editor1-last=Marquardt|editor1-first=H. Michael| editor2-last=Walters| editor2-first=Wesley P.}} After Smith died, Brigham Young and the largest body of Smith's followers incorporated the LDS Church in 1851 by legislation of the State of Deseret under the name "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints",The initial incorporation by the non-existent State of Deseret WEB,weblink (1851) Laws and Ordinances of the State of Deseret (Utah) Compilation 1851, was not legally valid, but was soon ratified by the Utah Territory in 1851 WEB,weblink (1851) Acts Resolutions and Memorials Passed by the First Annual and Special Sessions of the Legislative Assembly of the Territory of Utah, 1851, and 1855. See Late Corporation of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints v. Romney, 136 U.S. 44–45 (1890). which included a hyphenated "Latter-day" and a British-style lower-case "d."WEB,weblink State of Deseret: An Ordinance, incorporating the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, February 4, 1851, In 1887, the LDS Church was legally dissolved in the United States by the Edmunds–Tucker Act because of the church's practice of polygamy.BOOK, Montoya, Maria, Belmonte, Laura A., Guarneri, Carl J., Hackel, Steven, Hartigan-O'Connor, Ellen, Global Americans: A History of the United States, 2016, Cengage Learning, 9781337515672, 442,weblink August 6, 2017, en, In the United States, the church continues to operate as an unincorporated entity.BOOK, Munoz, Vincent Phillip, Religious Liberty and the American Supreme Court: The Essential Cases and Documents, 2015, Rowman & Littlefield, 9781442250321, 312,weblink August 6, 2017, en, Common informal names for the church include the LDS Church, the Latter-day Saints, and the Mormons. The term Mormon Church is in common use,WEB,weblink ?, dead,weblink" title="">weblink January 24, 2010, but the church began discouraging its use in the late 20th century.NEWS, Taylor, Scott, LDS or Mormon? It depends,weblink August 6, 2017, Deseret News, April 2, 2011, en, The church requests that the official name be used when possible or, if necessary, shortened to "the Church" or "the Church of Jesus Christ".{{citation |title= Topic: Style Guide — The Name of the Church |work= |publisher= LDS Church |url=weblink |accessdate= September 23, 2014}}Tax-exempt corporations of the LDS Church include the Corporation of the Presiding Bishop of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,WEB, Corporation of the Presiding Bishop of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints - Utah Business Search,weblink State of Utah, August 6, 2017, en, a corporation sole which was organized in 1916 under the laws of the state of Utah to acquire, hold, and dispose of real property; the Corporation of the President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,WEB, Corporation of the President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints - Utah Business Search,weblink State of Utah, August 6, 2017, en, which was established in 1923 in Utah to receive and manage money and church donations; and Intellectual Reserve, Inc., which was incorporated in 1997 to hold the church's copyrights, trademarks, and other intellectual property.WEB, Intellectual Reserve, Inc.,weblink, August 6, 2017, en, Non-tax-exempt corporations of the church include Bonneville International and the Deseret News.

Geographic distribution and membership

{{See also|The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints membership statistics|The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints membership history|List of Latter Day Saints}}(File:LDS Church presence in world.png|thumb|upright=1.35|left|{{legend|#336699|Countries and territories with at least one LDS temple}} {{legend|#99CCFF|Countries and territories with no LDS temple, but with organized congregations and/or missionaries}} {{legend|#CCCCCC|Countries and territories with no official LDS presence}})Church congregations are organized geographically. Members are generally expected to attend the congregation with their assigned geographical area; however, some geographical areas also provide separate congregations for young single adults (between the ages of 18 and 30), single adults aged 31 to 45,{{citation |title= (Handbook (LDS Church)|Handbook 2: Administering the Church) |publisher= The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints |contribution-url= // |contribution= 16. Single Members}} or for speakers of alternate languages. For Sunday services, the church is grouped into either larger (150 to 400 people) congregations known as wards, or smaller congregations known as branches. Although the building may sometimes be referred to as a chapel, the room used as a chapel for religious services is only one component of the standard meetinghouse. The church maintains a virtual tour online of a typical example and also an online meetinghouse locator, which can be used to find the locations and meeting times of its congregations all over the world. Regional church organizations, encompassing multiple congregations, include stakes, missions, districts, areas, and regions.{| class="wikitable floatright"! style="width:200px;"|Pew 2014 U.S. Religious Landscape StudyWEB,weblink Mormons, 2014, Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, December 2, 2016, !width="25"|Mormons (U.S.)!width="25"|U.S. Avg.|Married|66%|49%|Divorced or separated|7%|11%|Have children under 18|41%|31%|Attendance at religious services (weekly or more)|77%|40%The church reports a worldwide membership of 16 million;WEB, Facts and Statistics,weblink Mormon Newsroom, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 3 June 2019, This is the church's own accounting, based on membership records. The church's definition of "membership" includes all persons who were ever baptized, or whose parents were members while the person was under the age of eight called "members of record" {{Harv|LDS Church|2006|pp=145–46}}, who have neither been excommunicated nor asked to have their names removed from church records {{Harv|LDS Church|2006|pp=116, 148–49}}. with approximately 8.3 million residing outside the United States, as of December 2011.Subtracting U.S. membership of 6,144,582 (December 31, 2011) from total worldwide membership (December 31, 2011) of 14,441,346, results in 8,296,764 (rounded to 8.3 million) members outside the United States of America{{citation |title= Facts and Statistics: United States |url=weblink |work= |publisher= LDS Church |accessdate= September 23, 2014}} According to these statistics it is the fourth largest religious body in the United States.2005 Yearbook of American and Canadian Churches, National Council of Churches{{full citation needed|date=March 2015}}WEB, Mainline Protestant churches no longer dominate NCC Yearbook’s list of top 25 U.S. religious bodies,weblink, National Council of Churches, 9 May 2019, WEB, Largest U.S. Churches, 2005,weblink Information Please Database (, Pearson Education,weblink" title="">weblink December 8, 2014, live, The church membership report includes all baptized members and their children. Although the church does not release attendance figures to the public, researchers estimate that actual attendance at weekly LDS worship services globally is around 4 million. Members living in the U.S. and Canada constitute 46% percent of membership, Latin America 38 percent, and members in the rest of the world 16 percent.{{citation |url=weblink |title= Facts and Statistics |work= |publisher= LDS Church}} The 2012 Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life survey, conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International, found that approximately 2 percent of the U.S. adult population self identified as Mormon.The church continues to seek recognition in regions where it has had little or no influence. On August 30, 2010, church leaders announced that they were making significant progress on "regularized operations for the Church in China."{{citation |url=weblink |title= News Release: Church in Talks to "Regularize" Activities in China |work= |publisher= LDS Church}}

Priesthood hierarchy

File:Russell M. Nelson.png|upright|left|thumb|Russell M. NelsonRussell M. NelsonThe LDS Church is organized in a hierarchical priesthood structure administered by men. Latter-day Saints believe that Jesus leads the church through revelation and has chosen a single man, called "the Prophet" or President of the Church, as his spokesman on the earth. While there have been exceptions in the past, he and two counselors are normally ordained apostles and form the First Presidency, the presiding body of the church; twelve other apostles form the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.{{citation|authorlink=David B. Haight|last=Haight|first=David B.|url=|title=A Prophet Chosen of the Lord|magazine=Ensign|date=May 1986|page=7}} When a president dies, his successor is invariably the most senior member of the Quorum of the Twelve (the one who has been an apostle the longest), who reconstitutes a new First Presidency. Following the death of church president Thomas S. Monson on January 2, 2018, senior apostle Russell M. Nelson was named president on January 14.NEWS,weblink President Russell M. Nelson,, 2018-01-16, en, These men, and the other male members of the church-wide leadership (including the first two Quorums of Seventy and the Presiding Bishopric) are called general authorities. They exercise both ecclesiastical and administrative leadership over the church and direct the efforts of regional leaders down to the local level. General authorities and mission presidents work full-time and typically receive stipends from church funds or investments.Ludlow, Daniel H., Latter-day Prophets Speak: Selections from the Sermons and Writings of Church Presidents, 1948/1993, ch. 32.Twice each year (in April and October), general authorities address the worldwide church through general conference, which includes five two-hour sessions over the course of two days. General conference sessions are translated into as many as 80 languages and are broadcast from the 21,000-seat Conference Center in Salt Lake City.NEWS,weblink Mormons Gather Twice a Year for General Conference, 2011-07-14,, 2018-03-13, en, In addition to general conference, general authorities speak to church members in local congregations throughout the world; they also frequently speak to youthWEB,weblink Face to Face with President and Sister Nelson,, 2018-03-13, and young adultsWEB,weblink Worldwide Devotional for Young Adults,, 2018-03-13, in special broadcasts and at the Church Educational System schools, such as Brigham Young University.WEB,weblink BYU Devotionals, Forums, Commencement Addresses - BYU Speeches, BYU Speeches, en-US, 2018-03-13, At the local level, the church leadership are drawn from the laity and work on a part-time volunteer basis without stipend.For a time, the church had a paid local clergy; however, that practice was discontinued in the early 1900s. See D. Michael Quinn (1997), Mormon Hierarchy: Extensions of Power, Salt Lake City: Signature Books, ch. 6. Like all members, they are asked to donate a tithe of 10 percent of their income to the church. An exception to that rule is for LDS missionaries, who work at the local level and are paid basic living expenses from a fund that receives contributions from their families or home congregations. However, prospective missionaries are encouraged to contribute the cost of their missions to this fund themselves when possible. Members volunteer general custodial work for local church facilities.File:LDS Conference Center interior panoramic.jpg|center|thumb|upright=3.2|Interior of the Conference Center where the church holds its General Conferences twice a year.]]All males who are living the standards of the church are generally considered for the priesthood and are ordained to the priesthood as early as age 12. Ordination occurs by a ceremony where hands are laid on the head of the one ordained. The priesthood is divided into an Aaronic priesthood for young men 12 and up, and a Melchizedek priesthood for men 18 and up.WEB, Aaronic Priesthood {{!, The Priesthood of Aaron|url =weblink|website =|accessdate = December 3, 2015}}WEB, Melchizedek Priesthood,weblink, December 3, 2015,

Programs and organizations

{{See also|Auxiliary organization (LDS Church)}}Under the leadership of the priesthood hierarchy are five organizations that fill various roles in the church: Relief Society (a women's organization),The Relief Society was founded in 1842 in Nauvoo, Illinois, and with the motto "Charity Never Faileth", the organization today includes more than 5 million women in more than 165 countries. {{Citation |url=weblink |work= |title= Topic: Relief Society History |publisher= LDS Church |accessdate= September 23, 2014}}. Every Latter-day Saint woman age 18 or older is a member of the Relief Society. the Young Men and Young Women organizations (for adolescents ages 12 to 18), Primary (an organization for children up to age 12), and Sunday School (which provides a variety of Sunday classes for adolescents and adults). Women serve as presidents and counselors in the presidencies of the Relief Society, Young Women, and Primary, while men serve as presidents and counselors of the Young Men and Sunday School.{{citation |title= Organization How the Church Is Organized |url=weblink |work= |publisher= LDS Church |accessdate= September 23, 2014}} The church also operates several programs and organizations in the fields of proselytizing, education, and church welfare such as LDS Humanitarian Services. Many of these organizations and programs are coordinated by the Priesthood Correlation Program, which is designed to provide a systematic approach to maintain worldwide consistency, orthodoxy, and control of the church's ordinances, doctrines, organizations, meetings, materials, and other programs and activities.File:BYUclarillon.jpg|left|thumb|The carillon tower at Brigham Young UniversityBrigham Young UniversityThe church operates a Church Educational System which includes Brigham Young University (BYU) (and its associated Jerusalem Center), BYU–Idaho, BYU–Hawaii, and LDS Business College. The church also operates Institutes of Religion near the campuses of many colleges and universities. For high-school aged youth, the church operates a four-year Seminary program, which provides religious classes for students to supplement their secular education. The church also sponsors a low-interest educational loan program known as the Perpetual Education Fund, which provides educational opportunities to students from developing nations.{{citation |publisher= LDS Church |title= Topic: Education |work= |url=weblink |accessdate= September 23, 2014}}File:LDS genealogy library slc utah.jpg|thumb|right|The church's Family History Library is the world's largest library dedicated to genealogical research ]]The church's welfare system, initiated during the Great Depression, provides aid to the poor. It is financed by fast offerings: monthly donations beyond the normal 10 percent tithe, which represents the cost of forgoing two meals on monthly Fast Sundays. Money from the program is used to operate Bishop's storehouses, which package and store food at low cost. Distribution of funds and food is administered by local bishops. The church also distributes money through its LDS Philanthropies division to disaster victims worldwide.Other church programs and departments include LDS Family Services, which provides assistance with adoption, marital and family counseling, psychotherapy, and addiction counseling; the LDS Church History Department, which collects church history and records; and the Family History Department, which administers the church's large family history efforts, including the world's largest family history library and organization (FamilySearch).{{Citation |url= |title=AAG International Research |author=AAG International Research |publisher=AAG |accessdate=October 31, 2009 |archive-url= |archive-date=December 12, 2009 |url-status=dead |df=mdy-all }} For over 100 years, the church has also a major sponsor of Scouting programs for boys, particularly in the United States, where it provides more members of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) than any other church.{{Citation |title=Boy Scouts of America Membership Report â€“ 2007 |date=January 7, 2008 |url= |format=PDF |publisher=P.R.A.Y. |accessdate=May 22, 2008 |url-status=dead |archiveurl= |archivedate=May 28, 2008 |df=mdy-all }} In May 2018, the church announced it will no longer sponsor BSA programs, effective the end of 2019.{{citation |url=weblink|title= Church Announces Plan for Worldwide Initiative for Children and Youth |work= Newsroom |publisher= LDS Church |date= May 8, 2018 }}


Although the church has not released church-wide financial statements since 1959, in 1997, Time magazine called it one of the world's wealthiest churches per capita.WEB, Van Biema, David, Kingdom Come,weblink Time (magazine), Time, August 4, 1997, September 13, 2018, In a June 2011 cover story, Newsweek stated that the LDS Church "resembles a sanctified multinational corporation—the General Electric of American religion, with global ambitions and an estimated net worth of $30 billion."NEWS,weblink The Mormon Moment, Walter, Kirn, Walter Kirn, Newsweek, June 5, 2011,weblink" title="">weblink December 8, 2014, live, Its for-profit, non-profit, and educational subsidiary entities are audited by an independent accounting firm: {{As of|2007|lc=on}}, some done by Deloitte & Touche.WEB,weblink Belo Corp 8-K/A SEC Filing § 3,, EDGAR Online, April 10, 1995,weblink" title="">weblink January 7, 2009, dead, WEB, Financial Planning,weblink,weblink" title="">weblink May 27, 2008, September 13, 2018, dead, In addition, the church employs an independent audit department that provides its certification at each annual general conference that church contributions are collected and spent in accordance with church policy.{{Citation |last= Cantwell |first= Robert W. |date= May 2007 |title= Church Auditing Department Report, 2006 |journal= Ensign |url=weblink |quote= The Church Auditing Department has been granted access to all records and systems necessary to evaluate the adequacy of controls over receipts of funds, expenditures, and safeguarding of church assets. The Church Auditing Department is independent of all other church departments and operations, and the staff consists of certified public accountants, certified internal auditors, certified information systems auditors, and other credentialed professionals. Based upon audits performed, the Church Auditing Department is of the opinion that, in all material respects, contributions received, expenditures made, and assets of the church for the year 2006 have been recorded and administered in accordance with appropriate accounting practices, approved budgets, and church policies and procedures.}}The church receives significant funds from tithes and fast offerings. According to the church, tithing and fast offering money collected are devoted to ecclesiastical purposes and not used in for-profit ventures.The church has also invested in for-profit business and real estate ventures such as Bonneville International, Deseret Book Company, City Creek Center, and cattle ranches in Utah, Florida, Nebraska, Canada and other locations.MAGAZINE, Winter, Caroline, How the Mormons Make Money,weblink Bloomberg Businessweek, July 10, 2012, September 13, 2018, It has been estimated that the LDS Church received $33-billion in donations from its members in 2010 and, during the decade of the 2010s to net about $15-billion gains per year. According to Bloomberg Businessweek, the LDS Church's worth at $40 billion as of 2012.WEB, Fletcher, Peggy,weblink Historian digs into the hidden world of Mormon finances, shows how church went from losing money to making money — lots of it - The Salt Lake Tribune,, October 16, 2017,


Due to the differences in lifestyle promoted by church doctrine and history, members of the church have developed a distinct culture. It is primarily concentrated in the Intermountain West. Many of the church's more distinctive practices include adhering to the Word of Wisdom, a health law or code which outlines guidelines for maintaining good health. Among these guidelines are instructions prohibiting the consumption of tobacco, alcohol, coffee, tea, and improper drug use. As a result of members adhering to the Word of Wisdom, areas of the world with a high concentration of LDS members practice these restrictions. They sometimes come into conflict with local retail businesses that serve non-members.{{citation |newspaper= The Salt Lake Tribune |author= Editorial Board |url=weblink |title= Liquor stores: Banning phone listings, stores won't stop abuse |date= December 27, 2006}}WEB,weblink America's 10 Fittest Cities—and 10 Least Fit, Too, Megan Johnson, December 15, 2008, October 14, 2010, Meetings and outreach programs are held regularly and have become part of Latter-day Saint culture.

Media and arts

The culture has created substantial business opportunities for independent LDS media. Such communities include cinema, fiction, websites, and graphical art such as photography and paintings. The church owns a chain of bookstores called Deseret Book, which provide a channel through which publications are sold. Titles including The Work and the Glory and The Other Side of Heaven have found acceptance both within and outside the church; BYU TV, the church-sponsored television station, also airs on several networks. The church also produces six pageants annually depicting various events of the primitive and modern-day church. Its Easter pageant Jesus the Christ has been identified as the "largest annual outdoor Easter pageant in the world."{{Citation|url= |title=Mesa Mormon temple prepares for Easter pageant |work=East Valley Tribune |date=March 24, 2007 |first=Lawn |last=Griffiths |accessdate=November 30, 2008 |url-status=dead |archiveurl= |archivedate=September 11, 2007 }}File:Mtchoirandorchestra ConferenceCenter (cropped).jpg|thumb|right|upright=1.35|The Mormon Tabernacle Choir has received a Grammy Award, two Emmy Awards, two Peabody Awards, and the National Medal of ArtsNational Medal of Arts

Home and family

In 1995, the church's First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve issued "(The Family: A Proclamation to the World)," which stresses the importance of the family. The proclamation states that "marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and that the family is central to the Creator's plan for the eternal destiny of His children." The document further says that "gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose," that the father and mother have differing but equal roles in raising children, and that successful marriages and families, founded upon the teachings of Jesus Christ, can last eternally.{{citation |url=weblink |title= The Family: A Proclamation to the World |publisher= LDS Church |year= 1995}}. See also: (The Family: A Proclamation to the World) This document is widely cited by LDS members as a statement of principle.{{citation |first= Douglas E. |last= Brinley |title= Together forever: Gospel perspectives for marriage and family |page= 48 |isbn= 1-57008-540-4 |place= Salt Lake City, Utah |publisher= Bookcraft |year= 1998 |oclc= 40185703 |url=weblink }}The adult women (members of the church's Relief Society) in a congregation meet at least quarterly for additional instruction and service. The meetings may consist of a service project, conferences, or of various classes being offered.After interviewing and polling thousands of youth across America, evangelical statistician Christian Smith writes, "in general comparisons among major U.S. religious traditions using a variety of sociological measures of religious vitality and salience .... it is Mormon teenagers who are sociologically faring the best."{{citation |first1= Christian |last1= Smith |first2= Melinda Lundquist |last2= Denton |title= Soul Searching: The Religious and Spiritual Lives of American Teenagers |page= 261 |publisher= Oxford University Press |year= 2005 |isbn= 019518095X |oclc= 55947930}}

Social events and gatherings

File:Usapride (cropped).jpg|thumb|right|upright=1.35|As part of its Young Men program, the church contributes more members to the Boy Scouts of America than any other chartered organization.{{citation |url=weblink |title= Run, Boy, Run! |authorlink= Thomas S. Monson |first= Thomas S. |last= Monson |date= November 1982 |journal= Ensign}}]]Additional meetings are also frequently held at the meetinghouse. Auxiliary officers may conduct leadership meetings or host training sessions and classes. The ward or branch community may schedule social activities at the meetinghouse, including dances, dinners, holiday parties and musical presentations. The church's Young Men and Young Women organizations meet at the meetinghouse once a week, where the youth participate in activities and work on Duty to God, Scouting, or Personal Progress. Other popular activities are basketball, family history conferences, youth and singles conferences, dances, and various personal improvement classes. Church members may also reserve meetinghouses at no cost for weddings, receptions, and funerals.In the summer, the LDS Church promotes week-long seminars throughout North America, known as Especially for Youth (EFY). This program is held Monday through Saturday during the summer months for youth ages 14–18. During this week, youths often spend the night in college campus dorms and the day in various classes taught by adult religious educators, as well as participating in other various activities such as scripture study and dances.WEB, Craig, Chanelle, Especially For Youth,weblink Chanelle Craig, March 5, 2015,

Political involvement

The LDS Church takes no partisan role in politics, stating that it will not "endorse, promote or oppose political parties, candidates or platforms; allow its church buildings, membership lists or other resources to be used for partisan political purposes; attempt to direct its members as to which candidate or party they should give their votes to ... or attempt to direct or dictate to a government leader."{{citation |url=weblink |title= News Story: Church Reemphasizes Political Neutrality |date= December 6, 2007 |work= |publisher= LDS Church}}While the church takes an apolitical approach to candidates, it encourages its members to play an active role as responsible citizens in their communities, including becoming informed about issues and voting in elections. It actively works to counter anti-Mormonism that may come up during political campaigns. A 2012 Pew Center on Religion and Public Life survey indicates that 74 percent of U.S. members lean towards the Republican Party.WEB,weblink Majority of Mormons Lean Republican; Half Cite Discrimination Against Their Faith, January 12, 2012, ABC News, November 13, 2012, Some liberal members say they feel that they have to defend their worthiness due to political differences.NEWS,weblink Liberal Mormons: A Minority Within a Minority, October 30, 2012, USA Today, November 13, 2012, Referring to the 2012 U.S Republican Presidential Primary, Michael Otterson, the LDS Church's managing director for public affairs stated, "We now have two Latter-day Saints running, and the potential for misunderstanding or missteps is therefore twice what it was before."NEWS, Weisman, Jonathan, Mormons Duck Political Duel, The Wall Street Journal, August 3, 2011, A1, A6,weblink {{Dead link|date=September 2019 |bot=InternetArchiveBot |fix-attempted=yes }}The official church stance on staying out of politics does not include if there are instances of what church leaders deem to be moral issues. It has previously opposed same-sex marriage in California Prop 8, supported a gay rights bill in Salt Lake City which bans discrimination against homosexual persons in housing and employment,{{citation |url=weblink |title= Mormon Support of Gay Rights Statute Draws Praise |newspaper= The New York Times |date= November 11, 2009 |first= Kirk |last= Johnson}}{{citation |url=weblink |title= News Story: Statement Given to Salt Lake City Council on Nondiscrimination Ordinances |date= January 1, 2009 |work= |publisher= LDS Church}} opposed gambling, opposed storage of nuclear waste in Utah,{{citation |url=weblink |title= No to nuclear storage, LDS say |date= May 5, 2006 |publisher= Deseret News}}{{citation |url=weblink |title= LDS joins N-storage foes |date= May 5, 2006 |publisher= The Salt Lake Tribune}} and supported the Utah Compact. It also opposed a ballot initiative legalizing medicinal marijuana in Utah,NEWS,weblink Church sends email to Utah Latter-day Saints urging them to vote no on marijuana initiative, Deseret News, August 23, 2018, but supports a possible alternative to it. Jack N. Gerard, a general authority who serves as executive director of the church's Public Affairs Department stated, "The Church does not object to the medicinal use of marijuana, if doctor-prescribed, in dosage form, through a licensed pharmacy."NEWS,weblink Coalition Seeks Safe and Compassionate Alternative to Utah’s Medical Marijuana Initiative, 2018-08-23,, 2018-11-15, en, Thirteen persons identified as members of the LDS Church served in the 115th United States Congress.WEB, Sandstrom, Aleksandra, The religious composition of the 115th Congress,weblink Pew Research Center, January 3, 2017, September 13, 2018, Utah's governor, Gary Herbert, is also a church member.NEWS, Weaver, Sarah Jane, 15 Mormons serving in U.S. Congress,weblink Church News, January 8, 2011, September 13, 2018, Church member Mitt Romney was the Republican Party's nominee in the U.S. 2012 presidential election. Jon Huntsman, Jr. sought the Republican nomination until his withdrawal in early 2012.NEWS, Vance, Lauren, Mormon Mission: Mitt Romney, Jon Huntsman Challenged by Stereotypes,weblink ABC News, June 25, 2011, September 13, 2018,

Humanitarian services

File:USN sailors at Beirut pier with aid cargo Aug 4 2006.jpg|thumb|upright|U.S. Navy sailors moving LDS Church-donated humanitarian supplies to Beirut, LebanonBeirut, Lebanon{{See also|LDS Philanthropies|LDS Humanitarian Services}}The LDS Church stresses the importance of worldwide humanitarian service.WEB, The Mormons: Humanitarian Programs,weblink American Experience website, PBS, March 18, 2014, JOURNAL, Riley, Naomi Schaefer, A Welfare System That Works,weblink Philanthropy, Fall 2012, Philanthropy Roundtable, The church's welfare and humanitarian efforts are coordinated by LDS Philanthropies (LDSP), a church department under the direction of the Presiding Bishopric. Welfare efforts, originally initiated during the Great Depression, provide aid for the poor, financed by donations from church members. LDSP is also responsible for philanthropic donations to the LDS Church and other affiliated charities, such as the Church History Library, the Church Educational System—which includes Brigham Young University, the Perpetual Education Fund, and the Polynesian Cultural Center—the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, and efforts dedicated to providing funds for LDS missionaries and temple construction.WEB,weblink LDS Philanthropies: Helping Change and Save Lives, LDS Philanthropies, {{nonspecific|date=March 2014}} Donations are also used to operate bishop's storehouses, which package and store food for the poor at low cost. Distribution of funds and food is administered by local bishops. These local storehouses distribute commodities to the needy as requested by local bishops on a specified form. Bishop's storehouses also provide service opportunities for those receiving assistance and for those desiring to serve missions or to volunteer in the church's welfare program. The day-to-day operations of the storehouses are typically run by senior-aged missionaries as store managers.{{citation |url=weblink |contribution= Overview of Bishops' Storehouses |title= Welfare Operations Training |publisher= LDS Church |accessdate= September 23, 2014}}The church also distributes money through its Humanitarian Services division to natural disaster victims worldwide.{{citation |url=weblink |title= News Story: Annual Report Highlights Church Emergency Relief |date= March 9, 2011 |work= |publisher= LDS Church}} The church's Humanitarian Center, established in 1991, prepares emergency relief supplies for worldwide shipment to disaster victims, works to establish a global sense of self-reliance, and offers service opportunities to both church members and non-members. The emergency relief supplies that the church donates typically include clothing, personal care kits, and medical supplies. According to the LDS Humanitarian Center website, it ships about 12 million pounds of shoes and clothing, one million hygiene kits, and one million pounds of medical supplies per year, to relieve suffering in more than 100 countries.{{citation |url=weblink |title= Humanitarian Services: Latter-day Saint Humanitarian Center |work= |publisher= LDS Church}} When a disaster strikes, the church works with local government officials and other organizations to determine the immediate needs, and sends the necessary supplies and food to the affected area within hours. Missionaries are then sent to help alleviate other long-term damages by assisting injured persons and reconstructing damaged buildings. The church carries out these efforts without regard to the nationality or religion of the recipients, and 100 percent of the financial contributions donated to the church by members and non-members are used for humanitarian purposes.{{citation |url=weblink |title= Topic: Humanitarian Services |work= |publisher= LDS Church |accessdate= September 23, 2014}}The church has been involved in providing relief aid for victims of several disasters in recent years, including Hurricane Katrina,{{citation |publisher= LDS Church |title= News Story: Church Providing Relief to Hurricane Katrina Victims |url=weblink |date= September 1, 2005 |work=}}{{citation |title= News Story: Latter-day Saints to Mobilize Another 4,000 Volunteers in Chainsaw Brigade's Second Wave |publisher= LDS Church |url=weblink |date= September 16, 2005 |work=}}{{citation |title= Mormon Helping Hands Make a Difference |journal= Meridian Magazine |url=weblink |date=October 20, 2005 |archive-url=weblink" title="">weblink |archivedate= February 1, 2010}} the 2010 Haiti earthquake,{{citation |url=weblink |title= Emergency Response: Doing Our Part: Port-au-Prince, Haiti |work= |publisher= LDS Charities |url-status=dead |archiveurl=weblink" title="">weblink |archivedate= October 9, 2014 |df= mdy-all }} the 2011 Christchurch earthquake,{{citation |url=weblink |title= Church News: Christchurch Members' Faith Remains Unshaken as Recovery Continues |date= April 7, 2011 |work= |publisher= LDS Church}} and the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami.{{citation |url=weblink |title= News Release: Church Update on Response to Japan Earthquake and Tsunami |work= |publisher= LDS Church |date= March 14, 2011}} In 2005, the church partnered with Catholic Relief Services to provide aid for struggling families and individuals in Niger,{{citation |url=weblink |title= LDS-Catholic aid for Niger |newspaper= Deseret News |date= March 11, 2005 |first= Carrie A. |last= Moore}} and it has also partnered with Islamic Relief to help victims of flooding in Pakistan.{{citation |url=weblink |title= Mormon church, Islamic Relief team up for Pakistan flood relief |newspaper= Deseret News |date= September 11, 2010 |first= Jamshid Ghazi |last= Askar}} In addition, the church sponsors five global projects (neonatal resuscitation training, clean water projects, wheelchair distribution, vision treatment, and measles vaccinations),{{citation |url=weblink |title= Humanitarian Service: What the Church Is Doing: Humanitarian Programs |work= |publisher= LDS Church}} and works with local government agencies and other religious and secular organizations such as the American Red Cross and UNICEF to accomplish these needs. In 2003, the church joined Measles Initiative and has committed one million dollars per year to the campaign.WEB,weblink Humanitarian Aid,, December 15, 2011,weblink" title="">weblink December 15, 2011, dead,

Controversy and criticism

{{See also|Criticism of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints}}The LDS Church has been subject to criticism and sometimes discrimination since its early years in New York and Pennsylvania. In the late 1820s, criticism centered around the claim by Joseph Smith to have been led to a set of gold plates from which the Book of Mormon was reputedly translated.In the 1830s, the greatest criticism was for Smith's handling of a banking failure in Kirtland, Ohio. After the Mormons migrated west, there was fear and suspicion about the LDS Church's political and military power in Missouri, culminating in the 1838 Mormon War and the infamous Mormon Extermination Order (Missouri Executive Order 44) by Governor Lilburn Boggs. In the 1840s, criticism of the church centered on its theocratic aspirations in Nauvoo, Illinois. Criticism of the practice of plural marriage and other doctrines taught by Smith were published in the Nauvoo Expositor. Opposition led to a series of events culminating in murder of Smith and his brother while jailed in 1844.File:Prop8templeProtest.jpg|thumb|left|Protesters in front of the Newport Beach California Temple voicing their opposition to the church's support of Prop 8 ]]As the church began openly practicing plural marriage under Brigham Young during the second half of the 19th century, the church became the target of nationwide criticism for that practice, as well as for the church's theocratic aspirations in the Utah Territory. Beginning in 1857, the church also came under significant media criticism after the Mountain Meadows massacre in southern Utah.Academic critics have questioned the legitimacy of Smith as a prophet as well as the historical authenticity of the Book of Mormon and the Book of Abraham. Criticism has expanded to include claims of historical revisionism, homophobia, racism, and sexist policies. Notable 20th-century critics include Jerald and Sandra Tanner and historian Fawn Brodie. Evangelical Christians continue to argue that Smith was either fraudulent or delusional.Mormon apologetics organizations, such as the Foundation for Apologetic Information & Research (FAIR) and the Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies (FARMS), have been founded to counter these criticisms. Most of the apologetic work focuses on providing and discussing evidence supporting the claims of Smith and the Book of Mormon. Scholars and authors such as Hugh Nibley, Daniel C. Peterson, Jeff Lindsay, Orson Scott Card, and James E. Talmage are well-known apologists within the church.During the civil rights era of the 1960s and 1970s, the LDS Church was criticized for its policy of excluding black men of African descent from the priesthood, a policy that the church changed in 1978.BOOK, Turner, John G., Out of Obscurity: Mormonism Since 1945, 2016, Oxford University Press, 0199358222, 132–137,weblink September 23, 2016, In more recent years, the Internet has provided a new forum for proponents and critics of religions, including the LDS Church.{{Citation | title = Religion Journal; Spiritual Issues Lead Many to the Net | author = Sink, Mindy |work=The New York Times
| date = September 6, 2003 | url =weblink | accessdate =February 21, 2008}}NEWS,weblink Some Mormons Search the Web and Find Doubt, Goodstein, Laurie, 20 Jul 2013, New York Times, 2018-10-07, en,
The church's support in 2008 of California's Proposition 8 sparked heated debate and protest by gay-rights organizations and others.{{Citation | title = Mormons Tipped Scale in Ban on Gay Marriage | author = Jesse McKinley and Kirk Johnson |work=The New York Times | date = November 14, 2008 | url =weblink | accessdate =February 14, 2012}}{{Citation |url= |title=San Diego march for marriage equality draws 20,000 protesters |accessdate=January 21, 2009 |work=Gay & Lesbian Times |url-status=dead |archiveurl= |archivedate=February 14, 2009 |df=mdy-all }}{{Citation |url=weblink |title= Commentary: California and Same-Sex Marriage |date= June 30, 2008 |work= |publisher= LDS Church}} The church expressed support for a Salt Lake City ordinance protecting members of the LGBT community against discrimination in employment and housing while allowing religious institutions to consider lifestyles in actions such as hiring or providing university accommodations.{{Citation |url=weblink |title= Mormon Church Backs Gay Protecting City Ordinances |newspaper= Deseret News |first= Scott |last= Taylor |date= November 10, 2009}} Further controversy resulted in late 2015, when the church changed its guidance to lay leaders about same-sex unions and about minor children living in the home of a parent in a same-sex relationship, whether natural or adopted.NEWS, Dobner, Jennifer, New Mormon policy makes apostates of married same-sex couples, bars children from rites,weblink The Salt Lake Tribune, November 6, 2015, January 9, 2018, The policy said that these children should only be baptized after reaching legal age, and only if they did not live with parents who were in a same-sex cohabitation or marriage. In addition, it said that these children should reject the practice of homosexual marriage or cohabitation. The church said that this baptism policy is designed to protect children.WEB, First Presidency Clarifies Church Handbook Changes,weblink Intellectual Reserve, Inc.,, January 9, 2018, In April 2019, the church reversed course on this policy, citing efforts to be more accepting to people of all kinds of backgrounds. Church leaders described these changes not as a change in doctrine but as one on policy.WEB, Stack, Peggy Fletcher, LDS Church dumps its controversial LGBTQ policy, cites continuing ‘revelation’ from God,weblink, Salt Lake Tribune, 4 April 2019, WEB, First Presidency Shares Messages From General Conference Leadership Session,weblink Mormon Newsroom, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 4 April 2019, Jewish groups, including the American Gathering of Jewish Holocaust Survivors, criticized the LDS Church in 1995 after discovering that vicarious baptisms for the dead for victims of the Holocaust had been performed by members of the church.NEWS, New York Times: Again, Jews Fault Mormons Over Posthumous Baptisms,weblink The New York Times, Ian, Urbina, December 21, 2003, November 14, 2012, {{Harvnb|Bushman|2006|pp=86}} After that criticism, church leaders put a policy in place to stop the practice, with an exception for baptisms specifically requested or approved by victims' relatives.{{citation |url=weblink |title= The LDS Agreement: the Issue of The Mormon Baptisms of Jewish Holocaust Victims |work= |publisher= Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust |accessdate= November 14, 2012}} Jewish organizations again criticized the church in 2002, 2004, 2008, and 2012{{Citation |url=|title=A Twist on Posthumous Baptisms Leave Jews Miffed at Mormon Rite| author=Mark Oppenheimer | work=The New York Times | date = March 2, 2012 | accessdate= November 13, 2012}}WEB, Mormons crack down on proxy baptisms; whistleblower's access blocked,weblink November 14, 2012, stating that the church failed to honor the 1995 agreement. The LDS Church says it has put institutional safeguards in place to avoid the submission of the names of Holocaust victims not related to Mormon members, but that the sheer number of names submitted makes policing the database of names impractical.Due to doctrinal differences, the LDS Church is generally considered to be distinct and separate from mainstream Christianity by Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant churches, which express differences with one another but consider each other's churches to be Christian.{{Citation|url=|title="Response to a 'dubium' on the validity of baptism conferred by 'The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints', called 'Mormons{{'"}}|publisher=Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith|date=June 5, 2001|first=Joseph|last=Ratzinger|accessdate=August 15, 2006}} (the official Roman Catholic view).
  • {{Citation|url=|title=Presbyterians and Latter-day Saints|accessdate=January 30, 2007|publisher=Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)|archiveurl=|work=Interfaith Relations|archivedate=January 23, 2010|url-status=dead|df=mdy-all}} (a Presbyterian view).
  • {{Citation|url=|title="Should Lutherans Rebaptize Former Mormons Who Are Joining the Congregation?"|publisher=Evangelical Lutheran Church in America|accessdate=June 19, 2010}} (a Lutheran view).
  • {{Citation|url=|work=General Conference 2000|title=806-NonDis|publisher=The United Methodist Church|accessdate=August 15, 2006}} (a Methodist view).
  • {{Citation|url=|title=Latter-day politics|first=Douglas|last=LeBlanc|work=GetReligion|date=June 13, 2005|accessdate=November 22, 2008}} (an Episcopalian view).
  • {{Citation|url=|title=Cults Within & Without|work=Orthodox America|first=Alexey|last=Young|date=March–April 1996|accessdate=June 19, 2010}} (an Orthodox view). Many have accused the LDS Church of not being a Christian church at all as a result of disagreements with Apostolic succession and the "Great Apostasy", the Nicene Creed, separation of the Godhead and, more so, Mormon cosmology and its Plan of Salvation including the doctrines of pre-mortal life, baptism for the dead, three degrees of heaven, and exaltation, the LDS view of theosis.{{citation needed|date=January 2018}}

See also

{{Book bar|The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints|LDS Church|LDS Church History|LDS Church Presidents|Temples of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints|Standard works|Priesthood (LDS Church)|Ordinance (Latter Day Saints)|Relief Society|Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (LDS Church)|Seventy (LDS Church)|Culture of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints|Historic Sites of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints|Criticism of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints}}




  • {{Citation |last=Allen |first=James B. |author-link=James B. Allen (historian) |title=The Significance of Joseph Smith's First Vision in Mormon Thought |journal=(Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought) |year=1966 |volume=1 |issue=3 |url=,3611 |url-status=dead |archiveurl= |archivedate=June 13, 2011 |df=mdy-all }}.
  • {{Citation |last=Anderson |first=Richard Lloyd | author-link = Richard Lloyd Anderson |title=Investigating the Book of Mormon Witnesses |publisher=Deseret Book Company | publication-place = Salt Lake City, Utah |year=1989 |isbn=0-87579-242-1}}
  • {{Citation |last1=Garr |first1=Arnold K. |last2=Cannon |first2=Donald Q. |last3=Cowan |first3=Richard | author1-link = Arnold K. Garr |title=Encyclopedia of Latter-Day Saint History |publisher=Deseret Book Company | publication-place = Salt Lake City, Utah |year=2000 |isbn=1-57345-822-8}}
  • {{Citation |author=LDS Church |title=Church Handbook of Instructions |year=2006 |place=Salt Lake City, Utah |publisher=LDS Church}} (published only to certain clergy—not generally available to church members or the public).
  • {{Citation |author=LDS Church |title=2008 Church Almanac |publisher=Deseret Morning News |year=2008b |isbn=978-1-59038-900-3}}
  • {{Citation |last=Newell |first=Coke |author-link=Coke Newell |year=2001 |title=Latter Days: An Insider's Guide to Mormonism, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints |publisher=St. Martin's Griffin |isbn=0-312-28043-2 |url= }}
  • {{Citation |last1=Ostling |first1=Richard | author1-link=Richard Ostling |last2=Ostling |first2=Joan K. |year=2000 |title=Mormon America: The Power and the Promise |publisher=HarperSanFrancisco |edition= 1st |isbn=0-06-066372-3}}
  • {{Citation | editor1-last=Parry | editor1-first=Donald W. | editor1-link = Donald W. Parry | editor2-last = Peterson | editor2-first = Daniel C. | editor2-link = Daniel C. Peterson | editor3-last = Welch | editor3-first = John W. | editor3-link = John W. Welch |title=Echos and Evidences of the Book of Mormon |publisher=Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies | publication-place = Provo, Utah |year=2002 |isbn=0-934893-72-1}}
  • {{Citation | editor1-last = Reynolds | editor1-first = Noel B. | editor1-link = Noel B. Reynolds | editor2-last = Tate | editor2-first = Charles D. |title=Book of Mormon Authorship: New Light on Ancient Origins |publisher=Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies |place=Provo, Utah |year=1982 |isbn=0-934893-18-7}}
  • {{Citation |last1=Riess |first1=Jana | author1-link = Jana Riess |last2=Bigelow |first2=Christopher Kimball |title=Mormonism For Dummies |publisher=For Dummies |year=2005 |isbn=0-7645-7195-8}}
  • {{Citation |last=Robinson |first=Stephen E. |author-link=Stephen E. Robinson |title=Are Mormons Christians? |publisher=Bookcraft, Inc. |year=1992 |isbn=0-88494-784-X |url= }}
  • {{Citation |last=Shipps |first=Jan | author-link=Jan Shipps |title=Mormonism: The Story of a New Religious Tradition |publisher=University of Illinois Press |year=1987 |isbn=0-252-01417-0}}
  • {{Citation |last=Shipps |first=Jan | author-link=Jan Shipps |title=Sojourner in the Promised Land: Forty Years Among the Mormons |publisher=University of Illinois Press |year=2000 |isbn=0-252-02590-3}}
  • {{Citation |last=Smith |first=Joseph, Jr. | author-link=Joseph Smith |title=Church History [Wentworth Letter] |journal=Times and Seasons |volume=3 |issue=9 |pages=706–710 |date=March 1, 1842 |url=}}.
  • {{Citation | editor-last = Smith | editor-first = Joseph Fielding | author-link = Joseph Fielding Smith |title=Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith |publisher=Deseret Book Company |year=1976 |isbn=0-87747-665-9 |others=(index and concordance by Robert J. Matthews)}}
  • {{Citation |last=Williams |first=Drew |title=The Complete Idiot's Guide to Understanding Mormonism |publisher=Alpha |year=2003 |isbn=0-02-864491-3}}

Further reading

  • {{Citation |last=Williams |first=Drew |title=The Complete Idiot's Guide to Understanding Mormonism |publisher=Alpha |year=2003 |isbn=0-02-864491-3}}
  • {{Citation |last=Shipps |first=Jan | author-link=Jan Shipps |title=Sojourner in the Promised Land: Forty Years Among the Mormons |publisher=University of Illinois Press |year=2000 |isbn=0-252-02590-3}}
  • {{Citation |last=Shipps |first=Jan | author-link=Jan Shipps |title=Mormonism: The Story of a New Religious Tradition |publisher=University of Illinois Press |year=1987 |isbn=0-252-01417-0}}
  • {{Citation |last1=Ostling |first1=Richard | author1-link=Richard Ostling |last2=Ostling |first2=Joan K. |year=2000 |title=Mormon America: The Power and the Promise |publisher=HarperSanFrancisco |edition= 1st |isbn=0-06-066372-3}}
  • {{Citation |last1=Riess |first1=Jana | author1-link = Jana Riess |last2=Bigelow |first2=Christopher Kimball |title=Mormonism For Dummies |publisher=For Dummies |year=2005 |isbn=0-7645-7195-8}}
  • {{Citation |last=Newell |first=Coke |author-link=Coke Newell |year=2001 |title=Latter Days: An Insider's Guide to Mormonism, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints |publisher=St. Martin's Griffin |isbn=0-312-28043-2 |url= }}
  • {{Citation |last=Stark |first=Rodney | author-link=Rodney Stark |year=2005 |title=The Rise of Mormonism |publisher=Columbia University Press |isbn=0-231-13634-X}}
  • {{Citation |last=Prince |first=Gregory | author-link=Gregory Prince |year=2005 |title=David O. McKay and the Rise of Modern Mormonism |publisher=University of Utah Press |isbn=0-87480-822-7}}
  • {{Citation |last=Foreman |first=Grant | author-link=Grant Foreman |year=1935 |title=Missionaries of the Latter Day Saints Church in Indian Territory |publisher=Createspace |isbn=978-1533469199}}
  • {{Citation |last=Winder |first=Michael | author-link=Michael K. Winder |year=2007 |title=Presidents and Prophets |publisher=Covenant Communications |isbn=1-59811-452-2}}
  • {{Citation |last=Kidd |first=Clark | author-link = |year=1998 |title=A Convert's Guide to Mormon Life: A Guidebook for New Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints |publisher=Deseret Book Company |isbn=1-57008-520-X}}
  • {{Citation |last=Bushman |first=Richard | author-link=Richard Bushman |year=2008 |title=Mormonism: A Very Short Introduction |publisher=Oxford University Press |isbn=0-19-531030-6}}
  • {{Citation |last=Brase |first=Brad | author-link= |year=1998 |title=Why Would Anyone Join the Mormon Church? |publisher=Bonneville Publishing Company |isbn=1-55517-387-X}}
  • {{Citation |last=Brown |first=Dennis |author-link= |year=2008 |title=Evidences of the True Church |publisher=Cedar Fort |isbn=0-88290-712-3 |url= }}
  • {{Citation |last=Denison |first=Alan |author-link= |year=2002 |title=Guess Who Wants to Have You for Lunch? |publisher=Foundation for Apologetic Information & Research |isbn=1-893036-05-7 |url= }}
  • {{Citation |last=Eliason |first=Eric | author-link= |year=2001 |title=Mormons and Mormonism: an introduction to an American world religion |publisher=University of Illinois Press |isbn=0-252-06912-9}}
  • {{Citation |last=Millet |first=Robert |author-link=Robert L. Millet |year=1998 |title=Latter-day Christianity: 10 Basic Issues |publisher=Maxwell Institute |isbn=0934893322 |url= }}
  • {{Citation |last=Millet |first=Robert | author-link=Robert L. Millet |year=2008 |title=Magnifying Priesthood Power |publisher=Cedar Fort |isbn=0-88290-779-4}}
  • {{Citation |last=Millet |first=Robert | author-link=Robert L. Millet |year=2007 |title=The vision of Mormonism: pressing the boundaries of Christianity |publisher=Paragon House |isbn=1-55778-868-5}}
  • {{Citation |last=Neilson |first=Reid | author-link=Reid Larkin Neilson |year=2008 |title=Global Mormonism in the 21st Century |publisher=Brigham Young University |isbn=978-0-8425-2696-8 |url=}}
  • {{Citation |last=Shuster |first=Eric | author-link= |year=2010 |title=The Biblical Roots of Mormonism |publisher=Cedar Fort, Inc. |isbn=1-59955-406-2}}
  • {{Citation |last=Scott |first=Tom | author-link= |year=2012 |title=It's True: An Evangelical Pastor's Journey to Truth in the Mormon Church |publisher=Brigham Distributing |isbn=0983603049}}
  • {{Citation |last=Webb |first=Stephen H. | author-link=Stephen H. Webb |year=2013 |title=Mormon Christianity: What Other Christians Can Learn From the Latter-day Saints |publisher=Oxford University Press |isbn=0199316813}}

External links

{{Sister project links|wikt=no|s=no|v=no|b=The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints}}{{Spoken Wikipedia|En-The_Church_of_Jesus_Christ_of_Latter-day_Saints-article.ogg|2007-01-12}}Official church websites Other sites
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