Here are a few Q&A’s about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (The Mormon Church). If you would like to learn more, you can speak to a missionary or me. I will also include some websites that you can find any information about the church. Some of the answers on my blog are from these websites.
Question: Are all Mormons required to serve a mission?
Answer: Quite simply, no. The young men of the church have been strongly encouraged to serve a mission at age , and the sisters are able to serve at age , but no one is required to serve. We do it because we want to! Who in their right mind would give up two years and pay that’s right, missionaries pay their own way to go somewhere they had never been and do all that they do? We serve missions because we know that Jesus is the Christ, and we want the happiness that knowledge bring to be available to everyone! So no, Mormons are not required to serve a mission. It’s a personal choice to share the happiness and joy they’ve received from the Gospel.
Question: What is a “testimony” that Mormons speak of?
Answer: The word “testimony” is used frequently by members of The Church. When they use this, what they mean is they have knowledge that a certain principle or doctrine is true because they have studied it, and received a witness of it from the Holy Ghost. For example, to gain a ‘testimony’ of the Book of Mormon, you read it, study it, and ask Heavenly Father if it is true. He will typically respond with a feeling of peace or happiness. This feeling is the witness from the Holy Ghost that the Book of Mormon is true. Once you receive this witness, you have built a testimony of the Book Of Mormon. This process can be applied to any aspect of The Church, or your life.
Question: Why does the church have living prophets?
Answer: Without living prophets God can’t guide his church. He has always called prophets and always will.
Question: What is the Book of Mormon?
Answer: The Book of Mormon is a Volume of scripture comparable to the bible. It is a record of God’s dealings with the ancient inhabitants of the Americas and contains a fullness of the everlasting Gospel. The book was written by many ancient prophets by the spirit of prophecy and revelation.
Question: How is the church organized?
Answer: “We believe in the same organization that existed in the Primitive Church, namely, apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists, and so forth” (Articles of faith #6)
The Church is led by 15 apostles. The most senior apostle is the president of the Church, and he selects two other apostles as counselors. These three function as the First Presidency, which is the highest governing body of the Church. Twelve others form the Quorum of the Twelve — the second-highest governing body of the Church. Together, the First Presidency and the Twelve oversee the entire Church. Church members trace this organizational structure to the New Testament.
Question: What is The Word of Wisdom?
Answer: The Word of Wisdom is a code of health that Mormons live by. We believe that it came from God through the prophet Joseph Smith. Our bodies were created by God. He understands the workings of our bodies. He understands what is best for them and knows exactly what needs to be done to take care of them and make sure that they have the best chance of lasting for a long time. He wanted us to know this as well, so he gave us the Word of Wisdom. The Word of Wisdom teaches us what things we should put into our bodies and what things we shouldn’t–this gives us the best possible chance of being healthy that a person could have! In short, the Word of Wisdom teaches us what is good for our bodies: herbs, grains, wheat, fruits, little meat, etc. A pretty normal diet, if I do say so myself! God has also told us, very specifically, what things are harmful for our bodies. They are alcohol, tobacco, coffee, tea, and any illegal or harmful drug. I have lived by the Word of Wisdom my entire life, and I can testify from experience that it works! I have never been addicted to anything. I have always been healthy. And, best of all, I feel good every day! I know that the Word of Wisdom comes from a loving God, who wants His children to be healthy and happy!
Question: What is the Law of Chastity?
Answer: The law of chastity is a set of behaviors (and non-behaviors) pertaining to sexual purity. In a nutshell it is that unmarried persons are not to have sexual relations (of any kind) with one another outside of a legal and lawful wedding. Per the law of chastity married persons are permitted to engage in sexual relations but complete fidelity to spouse is required. Additionally behaviors like being involved in pornography (inside or outside of marriage) are a violation of this law. Relations between man and woman (husband and wife) should be of a type and fashion that are acceptable to both partners. Homosexuality is a contravention of the law of chastity and is forbidden of the Lord (regardless of a so-called marital agreement). The law of chastity also forbids masturbation as this is a misuse of sacred God-given power. The prophets and apostles (President Boyd K. Packer prominently among them) have spoken out ever increasingly on the subject of the law of chastity. There are numerous resources on the topic on LDS.org (key word: chastity). Satan’s main desire is to destroy families (in all stages) and he finds great success in deceiving mortals into abusing themselves and each other by violating the tenets of the law of chastity. Article of faith #13 states “We believe in being honest, true, chaste…”
Question: How is the Book of Mormon different from the Bible? How did Joseph Smith Obtain the “Golden Plates” or Book of Mormon?
Answer: The Book of Mormon is different from the Bible because it is another testament like there is the Old Testament and the New Testament, but it is the same because it is the same God inspiring what is written! At the end of the Old Testament times, there was a family in Jerusalem that left to travel to what is now called the Americas. They had part of the Old Testament, and brought it with them. This Jewish tradition – of keeping records of the families and the events of the Lord working in their lives – continued when the family traveled to the Americas. So just like the Old Testament is a record of the history of the people in that area, the Book of Mormon is a history of the family traveling to the Americas, and then what happened once they settled there. Like the Old Testament, these records were passed down through the families over time. So with the Book of Mormon, there was a man named Mormon who was named after a place, actually, where there was a river and people got baptized, and he consolidated these records into a “book”. That is why it is called “the Book of Mormon”.
Question: Do Mormons practice polygamy?
Answer: No. The Church does not practice polygamy although it did for a short while in the early years of the Church. (Please review your Bible history as it was practiced in ancient times.) It was not practiced at all until Joseph Smith received revelation asking the people to do so. Even then, only the more righteous members were joined in plural marriage, not everyone could participate. A later prophet received revelation that this practice should be stopped and so it was. This is just my personal belief and is not an authorized church response….If you will recall your history, persecution was rampant in the early history of our church and many people died because of their beliefs including many righteous male members. That left many women usually with large families with no means to make a living and no man to provide for the family. Through plural marriage these families were provided for and led by a righteous priesthood holder who could teach, care for, and protect the family. Later persecution was less, the Church had established itself in the West, and more jobs were available to women as technology began to affect society. Also, the Church was persecuted for practicing polygamy and if things hadn’t changed, God’s purposes to share the gospel throughout the world would have been hindered. Our greatest command has been to “go forth and teach all nations” about the Gospel Plan. Today, we believe in and practice monogamy, the marriage of one man to one woman.
Question: What do Mormons believe about family?
Answer: That families are the most important organizations in the world and that belonging to a family is one of the reasons we are on this earth. We believe that families can be together forever, and one of the purposes of temples is to make that happen. We do family history work and temple work for those in our family who died before they could go to a temple so that they can be linked together with us as families extending back through time to Adam. We believe that the blessings Heavenly Father has for His children though being parts of families are so necessary that He has asked us to do this family history research and temple work so that we can find our family members and connect them to us. Every person who has lived on this earth should have a chance to receive these wonderful family blessings, and family history research is how we find people who didn’t have a chance to receive them while they were living. We believe that everyone should have a chance to choose these family blessings, and so we do the temple work that will give them that choice, even if they have not lived on this earth for a long time. My first grandchild only lived for ten hours because she was born without a skull, but we believe because of the family blessings of the temple, we can be with her after we have died and we can know her and love her as part of our family. We believe that Christ’s sacrifice and atonement makes this possible, and we are anxious for others we know and love to have this great blessing as well.
Here are some great links to check out, some with more information about the questions and others have more information:
Good luck in your quest to learn more. If you want to obtain a free copy of the Book of Mormon, one can be sent to you at no cost. The Book of Mormon is always free, everyone should be able to access the Lord’s gospel for free, right? If you read it, you will gain a knowledge of it.