Mormonism, or the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) to give it its full title, is a religion which was founded by American Joseph Smith in Salt Lake City in the nineteenth century. Today it is a leading world religion with followers estimated to be in the region of 14 million.
Belief and readings
The principle of Mormonism is that other Christian religions have veered from the path and that theirs is the one true path to follow. It is a fairly strict religion with many practices that others follow being completely off limits. Through this strict approach, Mormons remain true to their faith and use the Bible in conjunction with the Book of Mormon, their own text which teaches of God and Jesus’ involvement with the North American continent.
There are 13 what are called key articles of faith to the Mormon religion, which include the fact that the new Jerusalem, Zion, will be built in North America.
They also believe that God has a human form and that there was no creation as laid out by the Bible.
Commitment to the Church
Mormons have a much closer connection to the Church than in other religions. There is no hierarchy within the Mormon Church and everyone can have their own turn to lead it should they want to. The Church is more than just a place of once a week worship and Mormons will typically offer a minimum of 12 hours of their time each week for church based activity. Sundays are especially holy to the faith and no work of any kind is permitted, paid or unpaid. Mormons pay a tithe of around 10% of their salaries to the Church.
Mormons believe that their strict and pure lifestyle is the best way to maintain a healthy faith and as a result many things which others do are not allowed. Marriage is for life and divorce is not tolerated and pre-marital sex is forbidden. Polygamy was once permitted, but this was outlawed over a hundred years ago. Mormons are staunchly anti-abortion and anti-gay, believing these things to be sins. They also do not allow the use of many stimulates, including but not limited to, narcotics, tobacco, alcohol or caffeine. Gambling and pornography are also outlawed.
Mormonism has many conditions people might find difficult to live by, but the unwavering faith of the Mormons has to be admired. Through their lifestyle and faith they enjoy fulfilling, religious lives.