What is Mormonism?
It is a religion born here in the United States based on the testimony of one Joseph Smith Jr. who claims to have had a revelation from God that all churches were wrong and that God would show him His true church. There followed several visits by an angel named Moroni which led JS to find some plates that are supposedly the history of a group of Israelites who left Israel and came to the US in approx 600 bc. This history has been “translated” into the Book of Mormon. If you’re looking for some really good info on it, try the book Inside Mormonism by Isaiah Bennett.
[quote=Paris Blues]What is Mormonism?
It’s proper name is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, sometimes abbreviated ‘LDS’. During the late 18th and early 19th centuries in the USA and other English-speaking nations a movement was afoot among Protestant Christians known as ‘restorationism’–the idea that the purity of the Gospel had been obscured (as believed by moderate restorationists) or lost (as believed by radical restorationists). The latter group tended to believe that the Gospel would have to be re-discovered or restored by miraculous intervention.
Along came a young man named Joseph Smith who in the early 1800’s had repeated visions of an angel Moroni–a being who had once been a man, and the son of a man named Mormon. Moroni eventually led Smith to the Hill Cumorah and there showed him the hiding place of some gold plates, purportedly a religious history of Israelite refugees from the 6th century BC who had settled in America by Divine Providence and here established a ‘mini-Israel’ for approximately a thousand years. These people were plagued with wars, blessed with their own prophets, were visited personally by the resurrected Jesus Christ, and eventually all but destroyed themselves. Mormon and Moroni abridged the history and prophecies of these people and hid up the record for future discovery.
Joseph Smith was supposedly given the miraculous power to translate these plates into a pseudo-Elisabethan form of English, after which the plates were taken away. Smith was also repeatedly visited by Jesus Christ, and was ordained by John the Baptist and by the Apostles Peter, James, and John, first to the ‘Aaronic’ and then to the Melchizedek priesthood. By the power and authority of these two priesthoods, Smith and his early followers were enabled to ‘restore’ the Gospel. Smith continued to receive personal revelation and was dubbed the first ‘prophet’ of the Church. He attracted a following of radical restorationists very quickly. He and his followers were persecuted repeatedly, and Joseph Smith was eventually murdered. His successor Brigham Young led the remaining Latter-Day Saints to what is now Utah.
LDS theology is extremely complex. They practiced polygamy for some 70 or so years, until this was decisively outlawed in 1890. They teach a multiplicity of Gods and that faithful Mormons can themselves become Gods. They practice ‘ordinances for the dead’-they are baptised, married, etcetera on behalf of non-Mormons who have died, in hopes that the souls of such departed people will accept the Mormon Gospel in the afterlife. The leadership of the LDS church has engaged in some truly bizarre speculation at various times. LDS theology essentially teaches a form of salvation by good works (semi-Pelagianism, bordering on explicit Pelagianism).
Hope this helps!
Hmmmm…just wanted to know what it was. Oh my…when you have all these different denominations going, it’s hard to find out and tell which one is THE TRUE ONE…that’s why I’m staying to Catholicism…though still in the RCIA classes!
[quote=Paris Blues]Hmmmm…just wanted to know what it was. Oh my…when you have all these different denominations going, it’s hard to find out and tell which one is THE TRUE ONE…that’s why I’m staying to Catholicism…though still in the RCIA classes!
Congratulations!!! And Welcome Home!!! :dancing: