Mormonism began as part of the Christian restoration movement, which hoped to restore the original practice of Christianity. It is also referred to as The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and is based in Salt Lake City, Utah. Mormons, followers of the faith, rely on various religious texts, including the traditional Doctrine and Covenants, the Christian Bible, the Book of Mormon and the Pearl of Great Price. Today, millions of people 15 practice Mormonism around the world. This article examines the history of this religion as well as some of its basic beliefs.
Foundation of the Mormon religion
Joseph Smith Jr. founded religion during the 1820s. During this historical period, the United States was experiencing the Second Great Awakening, a Protestant revival movement. While considering which denomination to adhere to, Smith claimed to receive a message from God that none of the new Christian denominations adhere to true Christianity.
On September 22, 1823, an angel directed Smith to find hidden golden plates, which he brought home in 1827. Smith said the tables had a text written in a reformed Egyptian language that he translated using a pair of special glasses and a stone seer. After he had translated the gold plates, he gave them back to the angel. The fruit of this effort is the Book of Mormon.
The first members of the Mormon Church moved from New York and tried to establish a new city in Missouri. However, the state did not accept the religious group. The government has issued an order to kill or expel them. Mormons fled to Illinois. In 1844, Joseph Smith, Jr. was killed during a revolt against the church and its practices.
A new prophet
After Smith’s death, church members needed a new leader. The majority agreed on Brigham Young, who took devout followers to the west in Utah. Here, Mormons were safe to practice some of their beliefs, such as multiple marriages. Brigham Young founded Salt Lake City and was the first governor of Utah. He also helped found the University of Utah, Brigham Young University, the Salt Lake Temple and the Salt Lake Tabernacle.
In 1890, the federal government prohibited multiple marriages and the church was divided into different denominations. The largest of these, the Church of Latter-day Saints, opposes multiple marriages, promotes patriotism, and sends missionaries around the world.
The Book of Mormon
The Book of Mormon tells the story of the Nephites, which the Mormons believe are one of the four Israelite tribes. They are direct descendants of Nephi, whose father left Jerusalem in 600 BC and settled in the Americas around 589 BC. In the Book of Mormon, the Nephites believed in Jesus before his birth.
The authenticity of the book has been criticized by the Smithsonian Institution, the National Geographic Society and many non-Mormon archaeologists. These criticisms claim that no archaeological or historical evidence has been found to verify any of the stories in the Book of Mormon. They claim that the book is just a religious text. Mormons, however, accept the book as a historical fact.
What do Mormons believe?
Mormonism is similar to other Christian denominations in that it teaches about the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. However, the Mormon Church teaches that these 3 are separate individuals with shared thoughts and actions. In Mormonism, it is believed that the Father is actually the Father of all human spirits. These spirits have always existed since before inhabiting human bodies on earth. This church also teaches that there is a heavenly mother. Because of this close relationship with God, even humans can become a God by returning to live with him as a family. Therefore, they must live their lives purely and draw closer to Jesus.
Mormons believe that life as human beings is only a piece of their eternal life. They believe that humans began as spirits close to God and that God gave them a plan of salvation, the opportunity to also become gods. After accepting his plan of salvation, the spirits were sent to earth in human form to experience pain, suffering and sin as a kind of process before becoming a god. Every human being is in a different stage of development.
Mormons also practice baptism, confirmation, sacrament, and children who name and bless and anoint and bless the sick. They don’t believe in abortion, homosexuality, gay marriage, sex before marriage. Moreover, Mormons abstain from tobacco, gambling, alcohol and caffeine.