What are Mormons: Mormon Church, Faith, Beliefs and Funeral
Mormon Church – The Basics
Chances are you have heard or read the term Mormon, or Mormon Church, in the media lately. However, because the Mormon Church is relatively new, you may not know much about it and have questions such as, "What is a Mormon?" or, "What are Mormons beliefs?"
Facts about the Mormon Church
A Mormon is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (colloquially Mormon Church). The Mormon Church was formally organized by Joseph Smith on April 6, 1830 in New York, but is now headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah. The Mormon Church has established congregations (called wards or branches) and temples worldwide. The church currently has over 14.4 million members. The name “Mormon” is a nickname because of the Church’s belief in the Book of Mormon (ancient scripture comparable to the Bible). Mormons are also referred to as LDS (Latter-Day Saints).
The Mormon faith identifies as Christian. Some of their beliefs are different from conventional Christianity and, therefore, they are sometimes confused as a Mormon cult. Those of the Mormon faith believe in the Bible, as well as other books of scripture such as the Book of Mormon. Central to the Mormon religion is the belief that God is a loving Heavenly Father who hears and answers prayers. After Christ’s death, there was a “falling away” from the gospel Christ organized. They believe that Christ's Church was returned to the earth through Joseph Smith, and is guided by living prophets and apostles today. Mormons believe that to live with God again, one must follow the example of Jesus Christ, and accept his atonement through ordinances such as baptism.
Mormon practices include a night set aside once a week to spend quality time with the family, contribution of ordinary members in leadership positions of the church, members making monthly visits to each other, tithing, refraining from work on Sundays, and abstaining from drugs, alcohol, and pre-marital sex. Extreme body piercing and tattoos are strongly discouraged.
Mormons have many traditions similar to those of Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant faiths including baby blessings, baptisms and marriages. Blessings and baptisms are usually done in Mormon churches, while marriages take place in the temple.
A Mormon funeral is usually directed by the bishop of the deceased’s congregation and may take place in Mormon churches, a funeral home, or at the graveside. Those who are not members of the Mormon faith are welcome to attend the funeral service, however church attire (suit and tie for men; dress or suit for women) are requested.