Portal:LDS Church

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For a topic outline on this subject, see Outline of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Portal

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, sometimes referred to as the LDS Church or the Mormon Church, describes itself as the restoration of the original church established by Jesus Christ. It is classified as a Christian church; separate from the Catholic or Protestant traditions, though many of those denominations disavow the LDS Church.

The LDS Church teaches that God the Father and Jesus Christ appeared to Joseph Smith, Jr., called him to be a prophet and to restore the original church as established by Jesus Christ during his mortal ministry. This restoration is often referred to by members of the LDS Church as the Fulness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which they believe was had by prophets and righteous civilizations throughout the earlier history of the earth. Further, adherents believe the restoration included all elements that had been lost since the early days of Christianity due to apostasy. This restoration included the return of priesthood authority, new sacred texts, and the continual leadership of a prophet and twelve apostles. The LDS Church traces its history to Joseph Smith from Fayette, New York, on April 6, 1830. Soon after Smith's translation of the Book of Mormon, adherents were nicknamed Mormons.

Smith led the Church of Christ until he was killed in 1844. After a period of confusion during which the church was led by the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and various claims of succession were made, Brigham Young led the largest group of Mormon pioneers away from the former church headquarters in Nauvoo, Illinois, eventually to Utah's Salt Lake Valley in July 1847. Young was sustained as the church's president at general conference in December 1847.

Now a more international organization, the LDS Church is headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah, and led by its current president. The church annually sends tens of thousands of missionaries throughout the world, with over 85,000 currently in service. As of December 31, 2015, the church reported a worldwide membership of 15.6 million, with more than 50% living outside the United States.

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A doorknob of the Salt Lake Temple bearing an image of a beehive and carrying the inscription, "Holiness to the Lord"

In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), a temple is a building dedicated to be a House of the Lord, and they are considered by church members to be the most sacred structures on earth. Upon completion, temples are usually open to the public for a short period of time (an "Open House"). During the Open House, the church conducts tours of the temple with missionaries and members from the local area serving as tour guides, and all rooms of the temple are open to the public. The temple is then dedicated as a "House of the Lord", after which only members who are deemed worthy are permitted entrance. Thus, they are not churches (meetinghouses) but rather places of worship. The church is a prolific builder of temples as they hold a key place in LDS theology. At present, there are temples in many U.S. states, as well as in many countries across the world. Several temples are at sacred sites of the LDS Church, such as Nauvoo, Illinois and Palmyra, New York. The importance of temples is often emphasized in weekly meetings, and regular participation in temple work is strongly encouraged for all Latter-day Saints (LDS).

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Sample from the Deseret Second Book, printed in 1868. The first four words (plus part of the fifth) read "One of the worst habit[s]" (The first four words are read in IPA as "/wʌn ɒv ð(ə) wʌɹst hæbɪt(s)/")

The Deseret alphabet (/dɛz.əˈrɛt./ (About this sound listen)) (Deseret: 𐐔𐐯𐑅𐐨𐑉𐐯𐐻 or 𐐔𐐯𐑆𐐲𐑉𐐯𐐻) is a phonemic English spelling reform developed in the mid-19th century by the board of regents of the University of Deseret (later the University of Utah) under the direction of Brigham Young, second president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In public statements, Young claimed the alphabet was intended to replace the traditional Latin alphabet with an alternative, more phonetically accurate alphabet for the English language. This would offer immigrants an opportunity to learn to read and write English, he said, the orthography of which is often less phonetically consistent than those of many other languages. Similar experiments were not uncommon during the period, the most well-known of which is the Shavian alphabet.

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The Atlanta Georgia Temple

The Atlanta Georgia Temple (formerly the Atlanta Temple) of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) was the first temple built by the church in the Southeastern United States and the second temple east of the Mississippi River since 1846. Members of the church consider it a literal "house of God" comparable to the ancient Israelite temple where, as recorded in Bible, God spoke with Samuel. Emphasizing this belief, the building's façade bears the inscription "Holiness to the Lord – The House of the Lord." The announcement to build a temple in Georgia was made by the church's First Presidency in April 1980. A site for the temple was selected on a 13-acre (53,000 m2) lot in Fulton County, in the then-unincorporated city of Sandy Springs, between Barfield Road on the east and Glenridge Drive on the west, 3.5 miles (5.6 km) north of Atlanta.

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Lorenzo Snow

Lorenzo Snow (April 3, 1814 – October 10, 1901) was the fifth president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) from 1898 to his death. Snow was the last president of the LDS Church in the nineteenth century and the first in the twentieth. The LDS Church was also in severe financial difficulties, some of which were related to the legal problems over plural marriage. Snow approached this problem first by issuing short term bonds with a total value of one million dollars. This was followed by emphatic teaching on tithing. It was during Snow's presidency that the LDS Church adopted the principle of tithing—being interpreted as the payment of 10 percent of one's income—as a hallmark of membership. In 1899, Snow gave an address at the St. George Tabernacle in St. George, imploring the Latter-day Saints to pay tithes of corn, money or whatever they had in order to have sufficient rain. Eventually, it rained in southern Utah. For the remainder of his tenure, Snow emphasized tithing in his sermons and public appearances. By April 1907, the members' practice of paying tithing had eliminated the church's debt.

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Publication of the Book of Mormon

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1 Now the Lord God caused the famine to wax sore in the land of Ur, insomuch that Haran, my brother, died; but Terah, my father, yet lived in the land of Ur, of the Chaldees.

2 And it came to pass that I, Abraham, took Sarai to wife, and Nahor, my brother, took Milcah to wife, who was the daughter of Haran.

3 Now the Lord had said unto me: Abraham, get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will show thee.

4 Therefore I left the land of Ur, of the Chaldees, to go into the land of Canaan; and I took Lot, my brother’s son, and his wife, and Sarai my wife; and also my father followed after me, unto the land which we denominated Haran.

5 And the famine abated; and my father tarried in Haran and dwelt there, as there were many flocks in Haran; and my father turned again unto his idolatry, therefore he continued in Haran.

6 But I, Abraham, and Lot, my brother's son, prayed unto the Lord, and the Lord appeared unto me, and said unto me: Arise, and take Lot with thee; for I have purposed to take thee away out of Haran, and to make of thee a minister to bear my name in a strange land which I will give unto thy seed after thee for an everlasting possession, when they hearken to my voice.

7 For I am the Lord thy God; I dwell in heaven; the earth is my footstool; I stretch my hand over the sea, and it obeys my voice; I cause the wind and the fire to be my chariot; I say to the mountains—Depart hence—and behold, they are taken away by a whirlwind, in an instant, suddenly.

8 My name is Jehovah, and I know the end from the beginning; therefore my hand shall be over thee.

9 And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee above measure, and make thy name great among all nations, and thou shalt be a blessing unto thy seed after thee, that in their hands they shall bear this ministry and Priesthood unto all nations;



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