Frequently Asked Questions About the LDS Church
What is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?
What is a Saint?
What is a Mormon?
Who belongs to the Church?
What do Latter-day Saints believe?
What is the basic unit of the Church?
What is the Church’s impact on society?
Matters of Fact
Q:What is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints? A: The LDS Church was established in the state of New York, USA, on April 6, 1830. Joseph Smith Junior was its first President and Prophet. Today, it is headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah, and Thomas S. Monson is its President and Prophet. More…
Q:What is a Saint? A: Since ancient times, members of the Church of Jesus Christ were called saints. A saint is one who follows Christ in holiness and devotion, with a view fixed on eternal life. More…
Q:What is a Mormon? A: The message of “voices the dust” comes to us via the ancient writings contained in a book engraved on gold plates, entitled the Book of Mormon, which was compiled and hid up to come forth in modern times. The book contains part of the teachings and doctrines of Christ taught by ancient Americans over a period of ten centuries. It’s named after the man who was commanded of God to compile it anciently and reveal it in our time, as a resurrected messenger from God. Members of the Church have been nicknamed Mormons, because they publish and promote the Book of Mormon, as the word of God. More…
Q: Who belongs to the Church? Do reasonable people become members? A: The LDS Church is world-wide organization, with wards and branches in nearly every country of the world. It builds a new meeting house, or chapel, every working day, in order to accommodate its growing membership. The Church is financed by the tithes and offerings of its members, and local congregations are led by volunteer, unpaid, members. It is well represented in politics and government. For example, members serve in the U.S. congress from both political parties, and are found in leadership positions throughout the world in government, business, medicine, law, education, media, sports, and entertainment. More…
Matters of Faith
Q: What do Latter-Day Saints believe? A: Latter-Day Saints are committed Christians with strong traditional values. They believe in the eternity of the soul, that the God of Israel is the Father of our spirits, and that we can return to Him after death. They believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and is our Savior and Redeemer, and they seek to model their lives after Him and to follow His teachings. They commemorate Christ’s atoning sacrifice in their Sunday worship services, similar to taking communion in other churches. They accept as fellow Christians all who believe Jesus Christ to be the Son of God and the Savior of all mankind. However, they believe that the original Christian church that Jesus established with apostles and prophets was overcome, that the priesthood authority it once had was lost, that there was a falling away, just as the ancient prophets foretold. and that the Church has been restored again in our day. The Priesthood, the authority given to man to act in the name of God, with apostles and a prophet of God leading the way, has been restored, as have all the necessary ordinances of salvation. They believe in and use the Holy Bible, the Old and the New Testaments of Jesus Christ, and they believe that the Book of Mormon is another testament of Christ, and they believe in other books of scripture which support and authenticate the Bible, testifying of the ministry and of the divinity of Christ and God’s ongoing revelation to man. More… See also the LDS Articles of Faith
Matters of Society
Q: What is the basic unit of the Church? A: The LDS Church places particularly strong emphasis on the family, as the basic unit of the church and of society. Consequently, it has a deep commitment to marriage defined as a union between one man and one woman. Polygamy, a limited practice in the early pioneer days of the church, was discontinued in 1890. Latter-day Saint families and others, not of the faith, worship together on Sundays, instructing one another from the scriptures. They also hold Family Home Evenings together weekly, in their homes, where parents teach the children Christian values and enjoy wholesome activities with them. The Church auxiliary programs for women, youth, and children support the family. These programs provide such things as religious instruction, opportunities for Christian service, sports, drama, music, and scouting. There’s also much focus on extended family genealogy and personal family history, providing young and old with a stronger sense of roots, identity and belonging. The highest, most sacred, ordinances of the faith relate to the family, both the living and the dead, who are not dead unto God. Some of these ordinances take place in the Church’s temples. More…
Matters of Consequence
Q: What is the Church’s impact on society? A: Jesus said that his followers can be identified by their fruits; that is, his followers will bear the fruit of his teachings in their lives. In the U.S., as in the rest of the world, the statistics of practicing Mormons (those who attend church and the temple regularly), reflect some of these results: These statistics show that practicing Mormons are healthier and live longer than the national average. This is attributed to the fact that they follow the Word of Wisdom, which is a divine revelation pertaining to how to live longer and enjoy a healthy life. They also show that those Mormons, who marry and attend the temple regularly, have a divorce rate far below the national and world average. They also attain to a higher level of education than the national average. In terms of service, over seventy thousand members volunteer, at their own expense, to serve for eighteen to twenty-four months in humanitarian efforts, church service assignments, and full-time missionary service, throughout the world. Strong emphasis is placed on self-reliance, a solid work ethic, active involvement in communities, and in providing service to others. The Church regularly donates substantial money, goods and services, to humanitarian causes around the globe, including untold hours donated by members to assist in disaster cleanup and relief. More…
For a contemporary, non-LDS, point of view of the Church, see The Christian Century article, “The Bible Plus,” by Kathleen Flake, associate professor at Vanderbilt Divinity School.