The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, widely known as the LDS Church or the Mormon Church, is the largest and most well-known denomination originating from the Latter Day Saint movement founded by Joseph Smith, Jr. The church is headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah, and has established congregations and temples worldwide, reporting approximately 13 million members on its rolls.
Adherents, usually referred to as Latter-day Saints, LDS, or Mormons, are Restorationist Christians, but do not consider themselves part of the Catholic, Orthodox or Protestant traditions. The church teaches there was a Great Apostasy, or loss of the original authority to lead Christ's church. Jesus Christ is viewed as the head of the church, leading it today through revelations given to a hierarchy of priesthood leaders. The highest-ranking leader is the President of the Church, who is considered to be a prophet and an apostle.
Latter-day Saints believe that four books of scripture have divine authority: the Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price. According to their beliefs, Jesus is the son of God and Mary, a virgin. They believe Jesus lived a sinless life, and that his suffering and crucifixion was an atonement for the sins of all humanity. They believe in Jesus' literal bodily resurrection, and that he currently sits at the right hand of God the Father. They believe Jesus is united in purpose with the Father, but that they both have separate bodies of "flesh and bone," rather than solely spirit.
The church has also distinguished itself from other Christian denominations by their practice of temple ceremonies (such as baptism for the dead and the Endowment), eternal marriage, and teaching that Jesus visited and preached in the Americas after his resurrection.
1. The LDS Church prohibits its members outright from consuming all caffeinated beverages.
2. The LDS Church, at one point in its history, taught plural marriage, and some of its members practiced polygamy.
- a. The LDS Church, as of 2008, tolerates the practice of polygamy.
3. The LDS Church, at one point in its history, instituted a policy that denied African-Americans the priesthood based on their race.
Contrary Evidence and ArgumentsEdit