What is Mormonism?It is a term that defines the religious practices and beliefs of the members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, who are known as Mormons.
In Mormonism doctrines that were restored by the Prophet Joseph Smith are described. Mormons when asked: What is Mormonism? They often speak of their love for the Savior Jesus Christ.
For Mormons, the Savior is very important. Members of this church are found at all levels of society: in education, business, charity, political parties, science, entertainment industry, media, and government.
As for the Latter-day Saints’ description, they don’t care where they live, they find themselves part of a network with mutual interests; even in Mormon theology, everyone is a minister of some kind.
In some way, Mormon practitioners are empowered to do good to other people and to do good to them, it is a 21st century pact of care.
Caring is not just limited to members of the church, it extends beyond that.
In the United States, the fourth largest church in the entire country is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Even more than half of its members live outside this country.
However, despite the growth and presence of the faith, it continues to be shown that relatively few people are familiar with Mormon beliefs.
Among the different beliefs of Mormonism we can find:
- In the early years of the founding of Mormonism they were considered polygamous, but it has been more than 100 years since this practice was abandoned.
- It is at 8 years of age when children are baptized, since they do not share the idea that they come into the world with original sin.
- One day a week, usually Monday, when the sun goes down; they celebrate so-called family home evening, a time when all family members put aside their obligations to talk and participate in common activities.
- They often practice family prayer and scripture on a daily basis.
- Every Sunday they receive the body and blood of Christ with water and bread (they cannot drink wine), to celebrate sacrament meeting.
- For Mormons, marriage transcends death and is for all eternity, it is for this reason that when a couple celebrates the sealing of their commitment, they are also committing in the afterlife.
- When the men turn 21 and the women 19, they are called to participate in the mission, in the city of the world assigned to them for two years in order to proselytize. Likewise, missionaries will not be able to return to their families until they have completed two years of mission.
- To enter the sacred temple it is necessary to dress completely in white, even shoes, as this color is a sign of purity.
- Mormons cannot consume alcoholic beverages, tobacco, or caffeine-based beverages.
- Their way of dressing should be modest and simple. Women may not wear suits and shirts with suspenders and leave their shoulders exposed, much less show their belly, or wear skirts or pants above the knee.
- This church recommends to its members not to resort to in vitro fertilization, nor to use the semen of another man other than the husband or the ovum of another woman other than the wife. But it recognizes the spouses as solely responsible for this decision.
How is Mormonism practiced?
In the practice of Mormonism, several ordinances are performed as part of their faith, most of them take place within the temples, they are described below:
- The endowment is the baptism ceremony that includes the anointing and the rising.
- The confirmation.
- Ordination of higher priesthood offices and ordination to elder on behalf of the dead.
- Marriage and other eternal family sealings.
- Prayer circle is when prayer is performed around the altar during ceremonies and the investiture.
- Hosanna Shout at the dedication of the temple.
- Foot wash.
- Second anointing.
Some of these ordinances are performed outside the temples, but when done in the name of the dead, they must be done exclusively inside the temple; This includes baptism, confirmation, and priesthood ordination.
Some LDS temple activities
Actually the ordinances in the 68 temples around the world are not open to the general public.
There is a church manual called “Preparing to Enter the Holy Temple” explaining that temple ordinances are not usually discussed outside of them.
Members need a personal temple recommend from their bishop before attending.
After a few months of membership a temporary temple recommend can be obtained, this also allows the person to do baptisms for the dead.
To obtain a permanent temple recommend, the person must be a member for one year and be considered worthy.
To be considered worthy, you must pay a tithe to support the church, follow the commandments, the “Word of Wisdom,” and remain morally clean.
Subsequently, the recommendation is obtained, already signed by the bishop, after passing a personal interview, where the commitment of the person to the gospel is highlighted.
Said recommendation is also signed by the stake president, after a second personal interview, and finally by the person himself, who, by signing his own recommendation, should be responsible for continuing to be worthy of upholding the recommendation.
As soon as this recommendation is issued, it will have a validity period of 2 years.
Characteristics of Mormonism
Mormons possess certain particular characteristics that differ from other existing religions in the world.
In their diet they have certain prohibitions, they follow exclusive work ethics and unique commercial activities, they stimulate values such as sports, dance and education, in addition to their public worship, although they have some rituals that Joseph Smith took from Freemasonry.
Its main features include:
- Have joy.
- Know and read the sacred scriptures.
- Get intimate with Jesus Christ and God, so that they manifest and guide the disciples.
- Family, prayer, and congregation in the church are equally important to Mormons.
- Two crucial aspects for Mormons is constant prayer to be the door of understanding and the congregation.
What does Mormonism say about Jesus?
Jesus Christ is considered by Mormons to be the central figure of their faith and a perfect example of how they should live their lives. Jesus Christ is the second person of the deity and a being separated from God the Father and the Holy Spirit.
Mormons believe in Jesus Christ as:
- The firstborn (spiritual son of God)
- Jesus Christ helped God (father of creation)
- In the Old Testament he was known as Jehovah.
- He was the biological and literal son of Mary and God.
- Jesus Christ died, was buried and on the third day he rose again.
- Jesus Christ possesses a physical body.
- He will return to earth and rule for a thousand years.
- Total salvation will only be possible through the life, death, resurrection, doctrines, and ordinances of Jesus Christ.
Polygamy in Mormonism
In the church the practice of polygamy is totally forbidden, just as it has been for more than a century. Polygamy is the marriage of more than one woman to the same man and was once part of the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
This practice began with its founder Joseph Smith and was widely publicized around the time the second president of the Brigham Young Church was present.
It was in 1831 that Smith asked prayerfully about the practice of plural marriage in the Old Testament, resulting in divine instruction and establishment of this practice as a religious principle.
Latter-day Saints of the 19th century were raised in monogamous, traditional households and struggled with the idea that a man would have more than one wife.
It was so strange to them, as it is today to families in the Western world and even to Brigham Young who would also have many children and wives, and he confessed his initial fear regarding plural marriage.
As early as 1890, the fourth president of the Wilford Woodruff church, said that the Latter-day Saints believe in a revelation in which God withdrew the mandate of the practice of plural marriage.
In turn, he issued the well-known “Manifesto”, which is a written statement to church members and the public, which stopped the practice of polygamy.
Today church members respect and honor the sacrifices that polygamists made in the early days of the church.
However, this practice is totally prohibited and no person can remain a member if they practice plural marriage today.