Anonymous asked: What is a Mormon?
This is the first time I’ve gotten this directly.
So technically, “Mormons” belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We value family, virtue, charity, and the atonement of Jesus Christ above all else.
Here are some facts about us:
- We believe in a loving, living God. We are His Children, and nothing we do can make Him stop loving us.
- We believe that God, the Eternal Father; His Son, Jesus Christ; and the Holy Ghost (the Holy Spirit) are three separate beings and make up the Godhead. They live and are active parts in our lives, if we let them.
- We have a living prophet, a man of God who speaks to Him on our behalf and provides revelation for the entire Church and, by extension, the world.
- Our church has the same structure as the Church in the times of the New Testament, with “apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists, and so forth.”
- We use the King James Version of the Holy Bible, not just the Book of Mormon. We also have two other books, called the Doctrine and Covenants and the Pearl of Great Price.
- The Book of Mormon is the record of the people who lived in the Americas around the time of Christ. It documents the lives of prophets of the Lord as well as the time when Jesus Christ came to the people who lived there. It was found, buried in a hill in upstate New York by a young man by the name of Joseph Smith, Jr.
- The Doctrine and Covenants consists of revelation given to Church leaders at the time of its restoration in the 19th century.
- The Pearl of Great Price contains excerpts from the Book of Moses and the Book of Abraham.
- Worthy male members of the Church can be ordained to the Priesthood, which means they have the authority to act in God’s name on the Earth.
- We have just over 70,000 missionaries (elders and sisters) serving worldwide to bring the truth and light of the gospel to those in need of it.
- We do attend church every Sunday - we have a three-hour block of meetings, including sacrament meeting (the sacrament is like communion for Catholics minus the wine and wafers plus water and bread or crackers) and Sunday school where we learn about doctrines of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.On the structure of the church:
- We have wards and branches which are akin to Catholic parishes. Branches are smaller versions of wards, where wards are unable to be formed due to lack of something or other, I think it’s members in the area or authority members.
- Wards and branches are grouped together into Stakes, which are like the Mormon version of a Catholic diocese. (I’m pretty familiar with Catholicism, so I tend to make comparisons.)
- Stakes are grouped together into regions (self-explanatory).
- This page of the MormonWiki explains the structure within the Priesthood, and it explains the part that the young men and leaders play in the structure of the Church.On the members of the Church:We have programs for every age group within the church, which are as follows:
- Children ages 0-3: Sunbeams
- Children ages 4-11: Primary
- Girls ages 12-18: Young Women’s
- Boys ages 12-18: Young Men’s
- Women ages 19+: Relief Society
- Men ages 19+: Elder’s QuorumThere are activities each week for the Young Men and Young Women, as well as for the Primary children.
Relief Society and the Elder’s Quorum are the staples of a Young Single Adult ward, like the one in which I live. We have activities on a monthly basis.Family wards have all six groups, but YSA wards (which consist of single adults ages 18-32) do not generally have children, so the other programs are unnecessary. We stick with RS and EQ (there are a lot of abbreviations in LDS culture so we tend to shorten everything).
Additionally, and this is most important, members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or more commonly called Mormons, are not perfect. Church is a hospital for the infirm, not a trophy hall for the perfect. If we were all perfect, we would be translated like the City of Enoch. But since we’re not perfect, this would mean that we all sin. Which we do.
That leads to my next point:
The Atonement of Jesus Christ is integral to our salvation. In The Pearl of Great Price, in the book of Moses, chapter 1 verse 39 says, “Behold, this is my work and my glory; to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.” The fact that both are listed means that there is a fundamental difference between “immortality” and “eternal life”:
- Immortality is living forever.
- Eternal life is living forever in the presence of God.Through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, because He suffered for our pains, our sufferings, our trials, and our sins, we have the opportunity to become whole through the process of repentance. It is a long and a hard route, but it is far better than the alternative. Especially since once we have truly been forgiven for our sins, it feels absolutely amazing.
And one thing I would like to mention since it is my specialty:
We, as a Church, believe in the principle of eternal families.
If you’ve ever been to Utah and wondered what those huge white buildings are in the distance, or if you’ve ever encountered a huge white-ish building with a golden guy on the top and wondered what it was used for, here you go: That building is a temple. The temples that are on the Earth are the Lord’s houses. It even says so right on the building: “Holiness to the Lord, the House of the Lord.”
Temples are places of worship and they are the place where the family that has been torn apart by the world may be pieced back together by our Heavenly Father.
From the first ordinances of baptism and confirmation to the sealing of a husband and wife for time and all eternity, we have been blessed with the authority from God to seal the entire human family together. The Atonement can heal all wounds, even those caused by family members. It is very important to remember this.
Taking that into account, families can be together forever, thanks to the sealing power of the Priesthood and the ordinances performed in the temple.
This is something that I am very glad to know, because I know that life does not end with death - it will end with my family in the rest of my Heavenly Father and my Older Brother, Jesus Christ.
If you or anyone you know has questions, you can either direct them to me or to the missionaries at Mormon.org. Or, if you’re just curious and want more information, check out the MormonWiki. I’d suggest checking out the MormonWiki and then bringing your personalized questions to the missionaries so they can help.
Also, here are two videos that might help you if you are in need of comfort or peace. They are a testimony that Jesus Christ, the Savoir of the world, lives and is there to support is:
Oh, sweet, what joy this sentence gives:
"I know that my Redeemer lives!"