Doctrine and Covenants
The Doctrine and Covenants is a part of the open scriptural canon of several denominations of the Latter Day Saint movement. The doctrine portion of the book, has been removed by both the LDS Church and the Community of Christ, controversy has existed between the two largest denominations of the Latter Day Saint movement over some sections added to the 1876 LDS edition, attributed to founder Smith. Whereas the LDS Church believes these sections to have been revelations to Smith, the Doctrine and Covenants was first published in 1835 as a version of the Book of Commandments, which had been partially printed in 1833. This earlier book contained 65 early revelations to church leaders, including Joseph Smith, before many copies of the book could be printed, the printing press and most of the printed copies were destroyed by a mob in Missouri. On September 24,1834, a committee was appointed by the assembly of the church to organize a new volume containing the most significant revelations. This committee of Presiding Elders, consisting of Smith, Sidney Rigdon, the committee eventually organized the book into two parts, a Doctrine part and a Covenants part.
The Doctrine part of the book consisted of a course now called the Lectures on Faith. The lectures were a series of doctrinal courses used in the School of the Prophets which had recently completed in Kirtland. According to the committee, these lectures were included in the compilation in consequence of their embracing the important doctrine of salvation. The Covenants part of the book, labeled Covenants and Commandments of the Lord, to his servants of the church of the Latter Day Saints, each of the 103 revelations was assigned a section number, section 66 was mistakenly used twice. Thus, the sections of the work were numbered only to 102. The book was first introduced to the body in a general conference on August 17,1835. Smith and Williams, two of the Presiding Elders on the committee, were absent, but Cowdery and Rigdon were present. At the end of the conference, the church by a unanimous vote agreed to accept the compilation as the doctrine and covenants of their faith and to make arrangements for its printing.
In 1835, the book was printed and published under the title Doctrine and Covenants of the Church of the Latter Day Saints, together the LDS Churchs scriptures are referred to as the standard works. In 1844, the church added eight sections not included in the 1835 edition, in the current edition, these added sections are numbered 103,105,112,119,124,127,128, and 135. Previous editions had been divided into verses with the early versifications generally following the structure of the original text. It was with the 1876 edition that the currently used versification was first employed, preside over my priesthood to live plural marriage in order to qualify to hold their church positions
Seventy (LDS Church)
Seventy is a priesthood office in the Melchizedek priesthood of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Latter-day Saints teach that the office of seventy was anciently conferred upon the seventy disciples mentioned in the Gospel of Luke 10, multiple individuals holding the office of seventy are referred to collectively as seventies. In practical terms, the office of seventy is one which has varied widely over the course of history. These presidents, chosen from the first quorum, would appoint, as introduced by Joseph Smith, the apostles and the seventy had authority only outside the main body of Latter Day Saints in Zion, and in the outlying stakes. Members in Zion and the stakes were led by the High Council of Zion, the First Quorum of the Seventy came into being in 1835 when seven men were set apart as the First Seven Presidents of the Seventy. In 1837, six of the seven presidents were released because it was discovered that they had previously been ordained high priests, five of these men were ultimately replaced by others.
The other two—Levi W. Hancock and Joseph Young—remained members of the First Seven Presidents for the rest of their lives. In the LDS Church, the quorums of the seventy are directed and supervised hierarchically by the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, as a body, the seventy in the LDS Church are considered to be equal in priesthood authority with the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. This presumably means that if the apostles were killed or incapacitated, however, in such circumstances, the seventy would be required to act unanimously. In the LDS Church, members of the First and the Second Quorums of the Seventy are general authorities of the church with responsibilities covering the church as a whole, Members of additional Quorums of the Seventy are called an area seventy. Members of these quorums are ordained to the office of seventy. Area seventies generally have authority only within a unit of the church called an area. By the time Joseph Smith was killed, he had organized four incomplete quorums of seventy.
By 1845, there were ten quorums of seventy, the members of the first quorum were thus spread out across the church, making meetings of the first quorum rare. Elders were often ordained to the office of seventy immediately before left on a mission. Quorums were not restricted to geography, so individual quorums were scattered all over the world, in 1883, church president John Taylor localized the quorums of seventy. Each stake was given a quorum of seventy, and seventies in that stake would belong to that quorum. Taylor prescribed that the president of the first 64 quorums could meet with the seven presidents of the first quorum
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is a Christian restorationist church that is considered by its members to be the restoration of the original church founded by Jesus Christ. The church is headquartered in Salt Lake City and has established congregations, according to the church, it has over 70,000 missionaries and a membership of over 15 million. It is ranked by the National Council of Churches as the fourth-largest Christian denomination in the United States and it is the largest denomination in the Latter Day Saint movement founded by Joseph Smith during the period of religious revival known as the Second Great Awakening. Adherents, often referred to as Latter-day Saints, or, less formally, view faith in Jesus Christ and his atonement as fundamental principles of their religion. The church has a canon which includes four scriptural texts, the Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants. The current president is Thomas S. Monson, individual members of the church believe that they can receive personal revelation from God in conducting their lives.
The president heads a hierarchical structure with various levels reaching down to local congregations, drawn from the laity, lead local congregations. Male members, after reaching age 12, may be ordained to the priesthood, Women do not hold positions within the priesthood, but do occupy leadership roles in some church auxiliary organizations. Both men and women may serve as missionaries, and the church maintains a large missionary program which proselytizes, faithful members adhere to church laws of sexual purity, health and Sabbath observance, and contribute ten percent of their income to the church in tithing. The LDS Church was formally organized by Joseph Smith on April 6,1830, Smith intended to establish the New Jerusalem in North America, called Zion. In 1831, the moved to Kirtland and began establishing an outpost in Jackson County, Missouri. However, in 1833, Missouri settlers brutally expelled the Latter Day Saints from Jackson County, the Kirtland era ended in 1838, after a financial scandal rocked the church and caused widespread defections.
Smith regrouped with the church in Far West, Missouri. Believing the Saints to be in insurrection, the Missouri governor ordered that the Saints be exterminated or driven from the State, in 1839, the Saints converted a swampland on the banks of the Mississippi River into Nauvoo, which became the churchs new headquarters. Nauvoo grew rapidly as missionaries sent to Europe and elsewhere gained new converts who flooded into Nauvoo, Smith introduced polygamy to his closest associates. He established ceremonies, which he stated the Lord had revealed to him, to allow people to become gods in the afterlife. He introduced the church to an accounting of his First Vision. This vision would come to be regarded by the LDS Church as the most important event in history since the resurrection of Jesus
President of the Church (LDS Church)
In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the President of the Church is the highest office of the church. It was the held by Joseph Smith, founder of the church. The President of the LDS Church is the leader and the head of the First Presidency. Latter-day Saints consider the president of the church to be a prophet and revelator, and refer to him as the Prophet, when the name of the president is used by adherents, it is usually prefaced by the title President. The President of the Church serves as the head of both the Council on the Disposition of the Tithes and the Council of the Church, the President of the Church serves as the ex officio chairman of the Church Boards of Trustees/Education. The concept that the Church of Christ would have a single presiding officer arose in late 1831, after the churchs formation on April 6,1830, Joseph Smith referred to himself as an apostle of Jesus Christ, and elder of the church. However, there was another apostle—Oliver Cowdery—and several other elders of the church, for he receiveth them even as Moses.
This established Smiths exclusive right to lead the church, in early June 1831, Smith was ordained to the high priesthood, along with twenty-two other men, including prominent figures in the church such as Hyrum Smith, Parley P. Pratt, and Martin Harris. As high priests, these men were higher in the hierarchy than the elders of the church. However, it was unclear whether Smiths and Cowderys callings as apostles gave them superior authority to that of other high priests. And again the duty of the President of the priesthood is to preside over the whole church. Smith was ordained to this position and sustained by the church on January 25,1832, at a conference in Amherst, in 1835, the Articles and Covenants of the Church of Christ were revised, changing the phrase an. Elder of the church to the first elder of this Church, subsequent to 1835, Smith was sometimes referred to as the First Elder of the church. The 1835 revision added a verse referring to the office of president of the high priesthood, in 1844, while in jail awaiting trial for treason charges, Joseph Smith was killed by an armed mob.
Hyrum Smith, his successor, was killed in the same incident. Smith had not indisputably established who was next in line as successor to President of the Church, several claimants to the role of church president emerged during the succession crisis that ensued. Young would not be ordained President of the Church until December 1847, thomas S. Monson is the 16th and current President of the LDS Church. As president, Monson is considered by adherents of the religion to be a prophet, seer, a printer by trade, Monson has spent most of his life engaged in various church leadership positions and in public service
Plan of salvation (Latter Day Saints)
According to doctrine of the Latter Day Saint movement, the plan of salvation is a plan that God created to save and exalt humankind. The first appearance of the representation of the plan of salvation is in the 1952 missionary manual entitled A Systematic Program for Teaching the Gospel. In the 1840s, Joseph Smith stated that the human spirit existed with God before the creation of Earth, Latter-day Saints believe in a pre-mortal existence, in which people are literally the spirit children of God. Latter-Day Saints often point to Jeremiah 1,5 as one example of evidence in the Bible for a pre-earth existence and this teaching is primarily based however upon revealed doctrine by Joseph Smith and others in the early years of the Church. This may explain the Churchs teaching that man and God are co-eternal, within Latter-day beliefs, God is looked upon as both creator and Heavenly Father. During this pre-mortal existence, Heavenly Father presented the plan to His children. There they would receive a physical body necessary to exaltation and a fullness of joy, on earth, they would be tested through trials of their faith, and be subject to mortality.
However, because each persons experience in mortality is unique, every individual will be judged in accordance with the opportunities, knowledge, no human would ever have their freedom taken away in an attempt to force righteous behavior. People would be free to do evil and good, both to themselves and to those around them and he agreed to die and be resurrected, thus making it possible for all individuals to be resurrected. The Holy Spirit would be sent to encourage righteous behavior and guide human beings towards Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father, but would never interfere with freedom. Also part of the plan was a foreordination of prophets and teachers who would have gifts, yet they understood that there would be opportunities before the final judgment for every child of God to hear of Jesus Christ and to either accept Him or reject Him. He loves each of them unconditionally and desires that they progress, knowing that this leads to greater happiness, after Heavenly Father presented this plan, Lucifer volunteered to save mankind by taking away mans agency.
Nobody would be able to fail the test and so, Lucifer claimed, as recompense for the implementation of his plan, Lucifer demanded that the power and the glory which Heavenly Father possessed be transferred to him, effectively making him God. However, as Lucifer alone would have freedom of choice under his plan. Heavenly Father countered that this would make the test worthless, and knew Lucifer sought only power, Lucifer chose to rebel against Heavenly Father and rallied to him a third part of Heavenly Fathers children who preferred Lucifers plan. The two factions warred, and Lucifer and his followers were cast out of Heaven, Lucifer became Satan, and those who followed him became fallen and they were denied the right to have their own physical bodies but were not affected by the veil. Latter-day Saint beliefs include the general Christian belief in a world between death and the resurrection. The Latter-day Saints believe that the Final Judgment of mankind will occur after the resurrection
Book of Mormon
It was first published in March 1830 by Joseph Smith as The Book of Mormon, An Account Written by the Hand of Mormon upon Plates Taken from the Plates of Nephi. According to Smiths account and the narrative, the Book of Mormon was originally written in otherwise unknown characters referred to as reformed Egyptian engraved on golden plates. Critics claim that it was fabricated by Smith, drawing on material, the pivotal event of the book is an appearance of Jesus Christ in the Americas shortly after his resurrection. The Book of Mormon is divided into books, titled after the individuals named as primary authors and, in most versions, divided into chapters. It is written in English very similar to the Early Modern English linguistic style of the King James Version of the Bible, as of 2011, more than 150 million copies of the Book of Mormon have been published. The writings were said to describe a people whom God had led from Jerusalem to the Western hemisphere 600 years before Jesus birth. According to the narrative, Moroni was the last prophet among these people and had buried the record, which God had promised to bring forth in the latter days. e.
Smiths description of these events recounts that he was allowed to take the plates on September 22,1827, exactly four years from that date, accounts vary of the way in which Smith dictated the Book of Mormon. Smith himself implied that he read the plates directly using spectacles prepared for the purpose of translating, other accounts variously state that he used one or more seer stones placed in a top hat. Both the special spectacles and the stone were at times referred to as the Urim and Thummim. During the translating process itself, Smith sometimes separated himself from his scribe with a blanket between them, the plates were not always present during the translating process and, when present, they were always covered up. Smiths first published description of the said that the plates had the appearance of gold. They were described by Martin Harris, one of Smiths early scribes, Smith called the engraved writing on the plates reformed Egyptian. A portion of the text on the plates was sealed according to his account, in addition to Smiths account regarding the plates, eleven others stated that they saw the golden plates and, in some cases, handled them.
Their written testimonies are known as the Testimony of Three Witnesses and these statements have been published in most editions of the Book of Mormon. Smith enlisted his neighbor Martin Harris as a scribe during his work on the text. In 1828, prompted by his wife Lucy Harris, Smith reluctantly acceded to Harriss requests. Lucy Harris is thought to have stolen the first 116 pages, after the loss, Smith recorded that he had lost the ability to translate, and that Moroni had taken back the plates to be returned only after Smith repented
Pearl of Great Price (Mormonism)
The Pearl of Great Price is part of the canonical standard works of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and some other Latter Day Saint denominations. These items were produced by Joseph Smith and were published in the Church periodicals of his day, the name of the book is derived from the Parable of the Pearl told by Jesus in Matthew 13. The same material is published by the Community of Christ as parts of its Doctrine and Covenants, the Book of Abraham is an 1835 work produced by Joseph Smith that he said was based on Egyptian papyri purchased from a traveling mummy exhibition. According to Smith, the book was a translation of ancient records. Purporting to be the writings of Abraham, while he was in Egypt, called the Book of Abraham, written by his own hand, the text that Smith produced describes a story of Abrahams early life, including a vision of the cosmos. The Book of Abraham was canonized in 1880 by the LDS Church as part of the Pearl of Great Price, thus, it forms a doctrinal foundation for the LDS Church and Mormon fundamentalist denominations of the Latter Day Saint movement.
It is not considered to be a text by the Community of Christ. Other sects in the Latter Day Saint movement have various opinions regarding the Book of Abraham, with some rejecting and some accepting the text as inspired scripture. The book contains several doctrines that are distinct to Mormonism, such as the concept of God organizing eternal, the Book of Abraham papyri were thought lost in the 1871 Great Chicago Fire. However, in 1966, several fragments of the papyri were found in the archives of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and they are now referred to as the Joseph Smith Papyri. As a result, the Book of Abraham has been the source of significant controversy, with criticism from Egyptologists, Joseph Smith–Matthew is an excerpt from Joseph Smiths retranslation of portions of the Gospel of Matthew. It was originally published in 1831 in Kirtland, Ohio, in an undated broadsheet as Extract from the New Translation of the Bible, Joseph Smith–Matthew includes Smiths retranslation of Matthew 23,39 and all of Matthew chapter 24.
The text deals mainly with Jesus prophecy of the destruction of Jerusalem. Joseph Smith–Matthew contains significant changes and additions to the biblical text. Joseph Smith–History is an excerpt from the record of some of the early events in Joseph Smiths life. Like many of Smiths publications, it was dictated to a scribe, the incidents described in Joseph Smith–History include the First Vision and the visitation of the angel Moroni. It is a listing of thirteen fundamental doctrines of Mormonism. Most Latter Day Saint denominations view the articles as a statement of basic theology
Temple (LDS Church)
In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a temple is a building dedicated to be a House of the Lord. Temples are considered by members to be the most sacred structures on earth. Upon completion, temples are open to the public for a short period of time. During the open house, the church conducts tours of the temple with missionaries and members from the area serving as tour guides. The temple is dedicated as a House of the Lord. They are not churches or meetinghouses designated for public worship services. There are 155 operating temples,14 under construction, and 13 announced, at present, there are temples in many U. S. states, as well as in many countries across the world. Several temples are at sites of the LDS Church, such as Nauvoo and Palmyra. The importance of temples is often emphasized in weekly meetings, Ordinances are a vital part of the theology of the church, which teaches that they were practiced by the Lords covenant people in all dispensations. Additionally, members consider the temple a place to commune with God, seek Gods aid, understand the will of God, and receive personal revelation.
Latter Day Saints cite various Old Testament references to temple ordinances such as found in Exodus 29, 4-9, Exodus 28, 2-43 and Leviticus 8. The words HOLINESS TO THE LORD can be found on LDS temples as referenced in Exodus 28,36, a place where the Lord may come, it is the most holy of any place of worship on the earth. Only the home can compare with the temple in sacredness, in cases of extreme poverty or emergency, these ordinances may sometimes be done on a mountaintop. This may be the case with Mount Sinai and the Mount of Transfiguration, the tabernacle erected by Moses was a type of portable temple, since the Israelites were traveling in the wilderness. From Adam to the time of Jesus, ordinances were performed in temples for the living only and properly using a temple is one of the marks of the true Church in any dispensation, and is especially so in the present day. The best known temple mentioned in the Bible is that which was built in Jerusalem in the days of Solomon and this was partially destroyed in 600 B. C.
and restored by Zerubbabel almost a hundred years later. This structure was burned in 37 B. C. and was subsequently partially rebuilt by Herod the Great. It was destroyed by the Romans in A. D.70, likewise the Tabernacle was considered a portable temple by the children of Israel in the Old Testament, Tabernacle
Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (LDS Church)
In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles is one of the governing bodies in the church hierarchy. Members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles are apostles, with the calling to be prophets and revelators, evangelical ambassadors, the jurisdiction of the Twelve was originally limited to areas of the world outside of Zion or its stakes. The Quorum of the Twelve Apostles claims a leadership role second only to that of the First Presidency, at the time of the death of Joseph Smith, the President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles was Brigham Young. Young emphasized what he said was Smiths authorization that the Quorum of the Twelve should be the governing body of the church after Smiths death. Church policy decisions are made unanimously, with consultation among the First Presidency, the Quorum of the Twelve, and where appropriate, effort is made to ensure that the organizations are united in purpose and policy. Each member of the quorum is accepted by the church as an apostle, as well as a prophet, thus, each apostle is considered to hold the rights to use all powers granted by God to the church.
Individually and collectively, the Twelve Apostles hold the keys and have conferred the authority to exercise all of the keys upon the President of the Church. Thus, as outlined in the Doctrine and Covenants, only the President of the Church is entitled to revelation or dictate policy for the entire church. A major role of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles is to appoint a successor when the President of the Church dies, shortly after this occurs, the apostles meet in a room of the Salt Lake Temple to appoint a successor. Invariably the successor has been the most senior member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, the apostles lay their hands on his head and ordain him and set him apart as President of the Church. The president chooses two counselors in the First Presidency, who are high priests, the second most senior surviving apostle becomes the President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. This has invariably been the most senior member of the quorum who is not a member of the First Presidency, the final decision rests with the President of the Church, but is formally voted on by the Twelve and the counselors in the First Presidency.
The chosen man is generally ordained an apostle by the President of the Church, depending on circumstances, this may occur before or after a sustaining vote is held at a church general conference. Any Melchizedek priesthood holder is eligible to be called as an apostle, new apostles have considerable experience in church government and have served faithfully as bishops, stake presidents, mission presidents, or seventies. Some apostles receive assignments to become members of boards of church-owned for-profit corporations, the calling of an apostle is typically a lifetime calling. Pages, Quorum of the Twelve Apostles — biographical sketches of all past and present members of the Quorum
Missionary (LDS Church)
Mormon missionaries may serve on a full- or part-time basis, depending on the assignment, and are organized geographically into missions. The mission assignment could be to any one of the 418 missions organized worldwide, the LDS Church is one of the most active modern practitioners of missionary work, reporting that it had over 74,000 full-time missionaries worldwide at the end of 2015. Most full-time Mormon missionaries are young men and women in their late teens and early twenties. Missionaries are often assigned to serve far from their homes, including in other countries, many missionaries learn a new language at a missionary training center as part of their assignment. Missions typically last two years for males,18 months for females, and 6 to 18 months for older couples, the LDS Church strongly encourages, but does not require, missionary service for young men. All Mormon missionaries serve voluntarily and do not receive a salary for their work, many Latter-day Saints save money during their teenage years to cover their mission expenses.
Throughout the churchs history, over one million missionaries have been sent on missions, LDS Church president Spencer W. Kimball said, Every young man should fill a mission. Completing a mission is described as a rite of passage for a young Latter-day Saint. The phrase the best two years of my life is a common cliché among returned missionaries when describing their experience, hinckley had suggested that a mission is not to be a rite of passage, this cultural aspect remains. With the usual starting age of 18–20, a provides a clear event or marker for the traditional age of adulthood. Young men between the ages of 18 and 25 who meet standards of worthiness are strongly encouraged to consider a two-year and this expectation is based in part on the New Testament passage Go ye therefore, and teach all nations. Prior to the announcement, some held that male missionaries may be 18 years old because of educational or military requirements. It was announced that women may serve beginning at age 19 instead of 21.
In 2007, approximately 30% of all 19-year-old LDS men became Mormon missionaries, from LDS families that are active in the church, in cases where an immediate family member dies, the missionary has the choice to travel home for the funeral or to remain on the mission. Missionaries can be sent home for violating rules, and occasionally missionaries choose to go home for health or various other reasons. However, the vast majority of serve the whole two-year or eighteen-month terms. As of 2007, 80% of all Mormon missionaries were young, single men, 13% were young single women, women who would like to serve a mission must meet the same standards of worthiness and be at least 19 years old. Women generally serve as missionaries for 18 months, married retired couples, on the other hand, are encouraged to serve missions, but their length of service may vary from 6 to 36 months depending on their circumstances and means