The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was founded in 1830 by Joseph Smith and a small of group followers in Fayette, New York. Since this time it has grown to over thirteen million members and is the fourth largest denomination in the United States. The Church understands itself to possess the “fullness” of the gospel of Jesus Christ that was restored to Joseph Smith after a long period of apostasy. An important principle for Latter-day Saints (nicknamed “Mormons”) is the doctrine of continuing revelation through living prophets and apostles. These revelations include the addition of new scripture including the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and Pearl of Great Price.
The Church is headquartered in Salt Lake City and is led by President Thomas S. Monson, twelve apostles, and other general officers including the leadership of the Relief Society, the Church’s women’s organization.
Mormons worship Jesus Christ as the Son of God and the Savior who atoned for the sins of all humanity.
Mormons believe that all people are children of a loving, all-knowing and all-powerful God who gives commandments to humankind in order to help them grow and progress.
Mormons believe that while on earth, Jesus Christ established a church. This church eventually fell into apostasy and was restored in 1830 through the prophet Joseph Smith. As in times of old, the church today is led by apostles and prophets who receive revelation from God to direct the church. Individuals may also receive personal revelation from God to direct their lives.
Mormons believe that the word of God is contained in the scriptures, including the Bible and additional scriptures revealed through Joseph Smith: the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price.
Mormons meet regularly as a community of believers to worship, to partake of the emblems of bread and water in the sacrament rite, to study the scriptures and to fellowship together. Mormons also worship in temples, houses of worship specially consecrated and dedicated as places where God’s spirit may constantly dwell. Temples are also the place where ordinances of marriage and sealing are performed. Through sealing, Mormons believe that family ties can endure beyond mortal life and into the eternities.
More information about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and its members can be found at www.mormon.org and www.lds.org, the church’s official websites.
RELIGIOUS VITAL SIGNS
Total Church Membership: 15,372,337
Congregations Worldwide: 29,621
Proselytizing Missionaries: 74,079
Welfare / Humanitarian Missionaries: 10,403
Church Material language Translations: 188