Christianity, Latter Day Saints (Mormon).....return to religions grid 
  • General Beliefs
  • Illness andDisability
  • Disease
  • Healing Practices
  • Food and Health
  • Death and Dying
  • Holy Days
  • Miscellaneous information
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General
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was founded in 1830 by Joseph Smith. The term Mormon comes from the Book of Mormon which along with the Bible form the basis of beliefs. Believers prefer the term LDS (Latter-day Saints) to Mormon, though it is not considered a rude term. The center of the church is Salt Lake City, Utah, where the church head is known as the President and considered a prophet. He (the president is always a man) governs the church with the assistance of the Council of the Twelve. Worship is conducted in churches and temples. Churches are for Sunday worship, and temples are for greater religious ceremonies, like weddings. There are no professional clergy. A Bishop is the presiding officer of churches with men receiving the status of Bishop through works and study after they are called to the position by revelation of those in authority. One of the more common but not essential steps to becoming a bishop is going on a mission, which until about 30 years ago was usually done only by men. Although the first women to go on mission occured around 1898, it is only more recently that mission work has become common for both young women and men. Young men and women may go on a mission, during which they study and teach to convert followers to their religion while their families support them for two years. A mission may be within the U.S. or in any foreign country. There is a worldwide network to support the young people, usually between the ages of 18 and 25, while "on mission."
.....Monday nights are set aside for "Family Home Evening" - a time for families to gather together to study gospel principles, talk about upcoming family events and concerns, and have fun.
....."Home teaching" is where pairs of priesthood holders visit assigned families in their congregation ("Ward") on a monthly basis to share a gospel message as well as help with any needs the family may have. Women do a similar type of thing- it is called "Visiting Teaching"- they visit assigned women in their congregation.
Belief about illness and disease
Many LDS wear an undergarment called a Temple Garment, which is believed to provide extra protection since it is a privilege to be ceremoniously given this garment. Since faithfulness and divine protection are associated with the garment, it is important to honor their wish to maintain the spiritual comfort this clothing provides.
 Belief about disability
Mormons are supportive of persons with disabilities or other life situations that can create problems. The LDS Welfare system provides support to individuals and families while asking people to participate as they are able to help in service. Deseret Industries is a vocational training system as well as thrift store system that provides work and materials locally and to projects outside the U.S. Participants are taught skills from retailing, to maintenance, and job hunting, as well as utilizing volunteers to maintain the Deseret Industry programs. No federal money supports this system so that more flexible guidelines can be used to provide opportunities to participants. Bishops recommend participants to the programs. (Additions or corrections can be sent to bdnapier[at]comcast.net)
Beliefs about healing practices
Prayer provides comfort and is believed to aid in healing. Those who are priesthood holders will often come and give blessings of healing to those who are sick.
 Beliefs related to food and health
Healthy diet is part of the LDS teachings. Latter-Day Saints abstain from tobacco, alcohol, and beverages such as coffee, tea and some sodas that contain caffeine. They may drink beverages similar to coffee and tea, such as some browned-grain beverages. The beverage restricition is not a church doctrine but fits into ways to promote healthy diet.
 Beliefs related to death and dying
.LDS includes a strong belief in life before birth and after death. Couples marry "for time and all eternity." Death therefore is a passing to another part of life. Life and death decisions are an individual or family discussion and decision. Dying persons may be asked to deliver messages to people who have died before them.
Holy days
Members of the LDS church celebrate Easter and Christmas as the most important holidays. Members in the US also celebrate traditional holidays such as Thanksgiving, Halloween, Independence Day, birthdays, etc. The only particularly LDS holiday is July 24th, on which members usually have some kind of celebration (in Utah it is a state holiday) to commemorate the arrival of the Mormon pioneers into Utah.
Links & Miscellaneous
http://www.mormon.org for general information about the Latter Day Saints (Mormons)
http://www.mormon.org/learn/0,8672,1598-1,00.html for the "Thirteen Articles of Faith"
http://religiousmovements.lib.virginia.edu/nrms/mormon/mormon.html
If you have additional information that could contribute to this site, please email bdnapier[at]earthlink.net 
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