Comparative Religion: LDS Church

I'm working on a comparitive religion project, and I'm using this forum for my notes as I research. :)

The LDS Church/ Mormons

Church Structure/Organization

Church is led by 15 apostles, the senior apostle is the president of the church- he chooses two others as his counselors. Together, they form the First Presidency- the highest governing body of the church. The other 12 form the “Quorum of the Twelve.” Leaders called “Seventies” assist the 12 apostles and serve throughout the world. This structure is thought to have come about from the New Testament. A Bishop leads a congregation, and his “parish” is called a ward. Several wards form a stake, and the stake president is the leader of that group of wards. Most members of the church are asked to help out in specific capacities, called “callings.”

Holy Book or Writing

• Bible
• Book of Mormon
• Revelations to Joseph Smith and subsequent presidents of the LDS Church
• Pearl of Great Price- writings of Moses and Abraham, as well as writings by Joseph Smith

Main Ethics/Rules
No alcohol, tobacco, tea or coffee
10 Commandments

Easter/ Christmas
Pioneer Day on 7/24- celebrates the day when Mormons first entered Salt Lake Valley in 1847
Minor holidays may include 4/6- founding of the church, and 5/15- John the Baptists appearance to Joseph Smith

Main Mythology / History
Joseph Smith was born in Vermont in 1805. Fifteen years later, he sees Jesus Christ and God the Father near his home in New York. In 1827, he obtains a set of gold plates from an angel named Moroni, from which he’d translate the Book of Mormon. These are finally completed and witnessed in June of 1829, the year that Joseph Smith is conferred the Aaronic Priesthood by John the Baptist. A year later, the first edition of the Book of Mormon is published. During 1830, the LDS church is organized and six years later the first temple is dedicated in Ohio. As part of the mission of the church is to spread their beliefs, members are encouraged to go abroad. Brigham Young- a missionary- reaches the Salt Lake Valley in 1847. In 2006, church membership reached 12 million.

Key Points
- believe themselves to be a restoration of the original church of the apostles as it was in 1st Century.
- believe in the Holy Trinity
- believe that God still speaks to people, and calls his apostles
- believe in a “plan of salvation”

Interesting Points
Prior to the 80s, they’d emphasized their differences, in the 80’s started to focus on the similarities between LDS and the Christian church
Joseph Smith was murdered in prison after being arrested on false charges


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