America in the 1820’s was full of revolutionary changes that helped cultivate the ideals, values, stock, and pride of the nation. For example in 1820, a group of freed Black colonists left New York, NY to go to Africa to Freetown, Sierra Leone. In 1821 for the 1st time the Saturday Evening Post is published as a weekly newspaper by Atkinson and Alexander, in 1827 a statute was passed in New York that would end slavery in that state and the Baltimore & Ohio (B&O) Railroad was the 1st commercial railroad to offer transportation of people and goods in the United States. Also in the 1820’s arose a religious movement that would cause great controversy in the years to come, that movement was headed by Joseph Smith founder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
Mormons believe that Joseph Smith was, “chosen by God torestore the Church of Jesus Christ to the earth.” According tolegend, in 1820 14-year-old Joseph Smith went into a grove oftrees near his home in Palmyra, New York to pray. While inprayer, God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, appeared tohim, in similar fashion to the appearances prophets like Mosesand Paul experienced. From this divine visitation, Joseph tellsothers that he learned that the Church originally organized byJesus Christ was no longer on the earth. In the following years,Joseph Smith says he was visited by other heavenly messengers,including the angel Moroni in 1823- that Smith claims guided himto buried gold plates inscribed by ancient Native Americans. Therecovered gold plates was supposed to be the “fullness of thegospel of Jesus Christ.” In 1827, Smith translated the gold platesinto English in 60 days, “by the inspiration of God,” this translationis published as The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of JesusChrist. The Church of Christ was organized in Fayette, New York,on 6 April 1830, under the leadership of Joseph Smith. The nameof the church was later changed to The Church of Jesus Christ ofLatter Day Saints in 1838.
Who were important people/leaders/empires in the religion/philosophy? Joseph Smith – Visionary and founder of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints formerly named The Church of Christ Brigham Young – Endearingly referred to as “American Moses” for leading the “Mormon Pioneers” to the “promised land” – the territory which is now the state of Utah. Thomas Monson – Current President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Became a bishop at 22 years old, leading view includes preserving the sanctity of marriage
Are there religious texts or other primary sources that are important to understanding the religion/philosophy? The King James Holy Bible – written through out time, inspired of God, translated from Hebrew, Aramaic, & Greek The Book of Mormon – written by Joseph Smith, named after angel “Moroni”, based on translation of gold plates & papri The Pearl of Great Price- written by – Joseph Smith Includes various books and “The Articles of Faith” The Covenants & Doctrines – part of the “open canon” and continues to be edited/ revised today. Contains two parts: lectures setting up basic church doctrine, and a compilation of important revelations
Excerpts from The Book of Mormon, Doctrine & Covenants, & The Pearl of Great Price to explain the religion The “true church” "And he said unto me: Behold there are save two churches only; the one is the church of the Lamb of God, and the other is the church of the devil; wherefore, whoso belongeth not to the church of the Lamb of God belongeth to that great church which is the mother of abominations; and she is the whore of all the earth" (1 Nephi 14:10). "And when the day cometh that the wrath of God is poured out upon the mother of harlots, which is the great and abominable church of all the earth, whose foundation is the devil, then, at that day, the work of the Father shall commence. . ." (1 Nephi. 14:17). The Holy Bible "We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly. . ." (8th Article of Faith of the Mormon Church). "Wherefore, thou seest that after the book hath gone forth through the hands of the great and abominable church, that there are many plain and precious things taken away from the book, which is the book of the Lamb of God," (1 Nephi 13:28).
God "Therefore we know that both the Father and the Son are in form and stature perfect men; each of them possesses a tangible body . . . of flesh and bones." (Articles of Faith, by James Talmage, p. 38). "Then shall they be gods, because they have no end; therefore shall they be from everlasting to everlasting, because they continue; then shall they be above all, because all things are subject unto them. Then shall they be gods, because they have all power, and the angels are subject unto them," (D&C 132:20). Jesus "The birth of the Saviour was as natural as are the births of our children; it was the result of natural action. He partook of flesh and blood - was begotten of his Father, as we were of our fathers," (Journal of Discourses, vol. 8, p. 115). "Christ Not Begotten of Holy Ghost ...Christ was begotten of God. He was not born without the aid of Man, and that Man was God!" (Doctrines of Salvation, by Joseph Fielding Smith, 1954, 1:18). The Trinity "Many men say there is one God; the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost are only one God. I say that is a strange God [anyhow]--three in one and one in three. . .It is curious organization… All are crammed into one God according to sectarianism (Christian faith). It would make the biggest God in all the world. He would be a wonderfully big God--he would be a giant or a monster," (Joseph Smith, Teachings, p. 372).
Does this religion claim their text to be inerrant, inspired, & the final authority? “On February 17, 1835, after the committee had selected the books contents, the committee wrote that the resulting work represents "our belief, and when we say this, humbly trust, the faith and principles of this society as a body.” (D&C section 156) The Mormons allow for an “open canon” of their religious writings giving provisions for changes, additions, and removals to the written works that they subscribe to. In conclusion the Mormons believe in and practice from what is taught in their religious texts emphatically until a change is made, then adapt to the new belief.
What are the basic principles &practices of the religion/philosophy? (from the 13 Articles of Faith) Mormons believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost. (#1) Mormons believe that men will be punished for personal sins, not for Adam’s transgression. (#2) Mormons believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly; & also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God.(#8) The privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of your own conscience, in Mormonism allows all men the same privilege: letting them worship how, where, or what they may. (#11) Mormons believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul… (#13)
Mormons believe they have the potential of becoming a god Mormons believe in many gods, including a goddess who is depicted as the mother of Jesus & satan. In Mormonism there are three levels of heaven: telestial, terrestrial, and celestial. Mormons believe that if it had not been for Joseph Smith and the restoration, there would be no salvation. Mormons believe that God used to be a man on another planet who was made a god by his god. They also believe that once a Mormon obtains godhood they will get their own planet. In Mormonism The Book of Mormon is considered to be “more correct than the Bible” Some Mormons believe in & practice polygamy
Are there any doctrines within the religion/philosophy? The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints – Largest group practicing Mormonism, with varying beliefs & practices Mormon Fundamentalists - believes in the practice of plural marriage, although only about half of the members actually practice polygamy Community of Christ - Formerly known as the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, rejects certain beliefs & practices of the LDS church, such as marriage sealing for eternity. Allows women into the priesthood. Apostolic United Brethren - Disagrees with the LDS decision to allow ordination of African-Americans & allowing women leadership positions. LGBT Mormons - LGBT Mormons members self-identify as gay, lesbian, or bisexual. To Participate in this church member have to remain in good standing in the church by abstaining from homosexual relations & obeying the Law of Chastity.
Modern Mormons Early 20th century, Mormons started to reintegrate with the American mainstream. They emphasized patriotism and industry, rising in socioeconomic status from the bottom among American religious denominations to middle-class; identifying with current events. Customize a television commercial campaign depicting family values, launched to draw new converts: http://youtu.be/L53wRnYmMZQ http://youtu.be/P3RnuwCGLg4 http://youtu.be/6Kc-Xj8pxHM Celebrity Mormons: Don Bluth, Gladys Knight, Billy Barty, Ted Bundy, Marie Osmond, Mitt Romney, & Katherine Heigl. More famous Mormons here: http://www.famousmormons.net/
How did the religion view revelation, illumination, & inspiration? In Mormonism there is favorable regard for revelation and inspiration proved by J. Smith’s testimony. However because they subscribe to an open canon, there can be no illumination for the standard is not really set.
Topic The Book of Mormon / The Holy Bible The Doctrine & CovenantsJesus Born to the Father & Equivalent member of the Mother Gods, spirit brother Godhead, Son of God of satan, God in the God through virgin birth, the head Messiah/Redeemer/Savior (Matt. 1:18, 3:16-17)The Holy The Holy Ghost differs from Third person of the Trinity.Ghost the Holy Spirit. Is a spirit Same as Holy Spirit. Can be man & can only be at one in more than one place at one time. person/place at a time. (1John 5:7)Marriage Bonding of husband & wife The Holy covenant that continues in eternity. between a man and a Will continue to bear woman that is broken at children in eternity. death. (Mark 12:25)
Melchizedek A greater priesthood in A priesthood held by JesusPriesthood the LDS church held by alone elders (Hebrews 7:11 AMP)Trinity Three distinct gods: a The one and only God in god referred to as the all existence who is Father; a god called the comprised of three son; a god referred to as persons: Father, Son, and the Holy Ghost. Holy Spirit. (1 John 5:7)Kingdom of Celestial heaven. The All the believers of ChristGod kingdom of God on earth (Matt. 13:41-43) is the LDS church.Fall of Man A blessing according to ( The open rebellion of Mosiah 3: 11-16). Also a Adam and Eve against necessary step in the God resulting in their progression of humanity condemnation and the fall to the level of Godhood. of mankind. (Genesis 3)
1805 - Joseph Smith is born 1820 - God the Father & the Son appear to Smith 1823 - Angel Moroni appears to Joseph Smith telling him the location of the golden plates. 1827 - Joseph Smith receives the golden plates that were buried in the Hill Cumorah. 1830 – The Book of Mormon is published and the Mormon “Church of Jesus Christ” is organized. 1838 – The name of the church is changed to “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints” 1843 – The revelation that polygamy is permitted is received by Smith. 1844 – Joseph Smith & followers destroy a Nauvoo Expositor’s printing press and are put in jail. While in jail Smith & brother Hyrum are killed by a mob
1846 - Led by Brigham Young the Mormons leave Nauvoo. 1851 - The Pearl of Great Price’s first edition is published 1857 - On September 11, the Mountain Meadows Massacre occurred where more than 120 men, women, and children were killed by Mormons and Indians. 1862 - Polygamy is outlawed in the US 1890 - President Wilford Woodruff requests Mormons to stop practicing polygamy 1967 - The Original papyri Smith used to translate the Book of Abraham are rediscovered -- it was found to be the Book of Breathings, a funeral text. 1978 - Blacks are allowed to hold the priesthood