Can Non-Mormons Attend Mormon Worship Services?

mormon meetinghouse

A typical Mormon meetinghouse

A visitor to the site recently asked, “can non-Mormons attend Mormon worship services?” This is a great question. Whether it’s the Mormon Church or any other church, people often wonder if they are invited to attend.

The answer is, yes! Visitors are always welcome to attend regular church worship services held (in most parts of the world) each Sunday. Meeting times vary depending on the location, but you can find a local meetinghouse and time here: mormon.org/meetinghouse.

What Should You Expect?

It’s totally normal to feel a little uneasy when visiting a new place for the first time. My experience has been that Mormons are warm and welcoming, and simply excited to have a new visitor in their midst. If you decide to attend a Mormon worship service, hopefully you’ll feel the same way.

A typical worship service on Sunday consists of 3 separate meetings.

  1. Sacrament Meeting: This is the main worship service. But don’t expect to hear a preacher speaking at the pulpit here—the Mormon Church has a lay ministry and sermons (referred to as talks) are usually given by members of the congregation each week. We also partake of the sacrament (aka communion) in remembrance of Jesus Christ.
  2. Sunday School: During this meeting, members meet in different Sunday School classes depending on their age. Children attend primary, young adults attend separate classes based on their age, and adults meet together. Topic discussed are about the gospel of Jesus Christ and may be on any of several Christian topics found in the Bible or Book of Mormon.
  3. Priesthood and Relief Society: For the last meeting, the men and women separate for different lessons and instruction. Men, of which all worthy males hold the priesthood, attend a meeting to discuss the gospel of Jesus Christ and learn how to better fulfill their duties as husbands, fathers, brothers and sons. The women of the Church are part of the largest women’s organization in the world, called the Relief Society. They discuss the gospel of Jesus Christ and receive instruction on how to be the best mothers, wives, sisters and daughters.

For me, attending worship services each week is a great way to take a break from this crazy world and gain a better perspective. Learning about God and Jesus Christ, and hearing from other members teach and share their personal experiences really helps strengthen me for the week ahead.

Have you attended a Mormon worship service before? Tell us about it in the comments below.

April 2013 General Conference Recap

LDS General Conference concluded on Sunday April 7th. It was a spiritually rewarding two-day conference. The prophet and president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Thomas S. Monson, along with each of the Twelve Apostles and other Church leaders, delivered short 5 to 15 minute sermons about various gospel topics.

Some topics included:

  • Marriage
  • The Atonement
  • Missionary work
  • Family
  • Repentance

See a full list of Conference topics here.

As a Mormon, and as a Christian, I really look forward to General Conference every 6 months. With all the constant barrage of evil in this world, with all the temptations, it’s such a relief to take a weekend and focus on God and the important things in life. The messages shared are inspiring and uplifting. Furthermore, I know that God has indeed called prophets and apostles in our day. They speak the words of God. I would encourage you to read or listen to their words by visiting gc.LDS.org.

Did you watch General Conference? What were your thoughts and feelings?

April 2013 LDS General Conference

The 183rd Annual General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will be held on April 6-7, 2013 in Salt Lake City, Utah.

The Mormon Church holds a world-wide conference every six months in April and October. The April conference typically falls around Easter so many of the addresses will usually have an Easter theme.

Brief 10-20 minute talks (or sermons) are given by various leaders of the Church, including the Prophet and president, Thomas S. Monson; the counselors in the First Presidency; and the Quorum of the Twelve apostles. Various gospel topics are addressed throughout the conference.

Who Is Invited?

People of all faiths are invited to attend. For those not in Salt Lake City, Utah, the services will be broadcast to meetinghouses throughout the world as well as streamed online.

General Conference Schedule:

April 6

  • Saturday morning session: 10am MDT
  • Saturday afternoon session: 2pm MDT
  • Priesthood session: 6pm MDT (not available via live streaming)

April 7

  • Sunday morning session: 10am MDT
  • Sunday afternoon session: 2pm MDT

April 2013 General Conference will be a great event for you and your family. I always leave conference feeling uplifted with the messages of Jesus Christ and His gospel. I hope you can find time to attend!

58 New LDS Missions Created

mormon missionariesThe Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced last week it will create 58 new missions in response to a recent surge in missionary applications.

The news comes after an announcement made by President Thomas S. Monson, leader of the Mormon Church, last October in which the minimum age for young men and young women was lowered to age 18 and 19, respectively. Since then, the Church has seen an immense response from young men and women throughout the world who previously left for missionary service at age 19 (for young men) and age 21 (for young women).

Missionary service is an integral part of the Mormon Church. There are tens of thousands of Mormon missionaries throughout the world that serve in pairs, teaching individuals and families about the gospel of Jesus Christ.

A mission is defined as a geographical area which is presided over by a mission president. Several hundred missionaries will be assigned to each mission. With the increase of 58 new missions, that brings the total to 405.

The new missions include:

Pope Benedict XVI Resigns, How Does it Work With the Mormon Prophet?

pope benedict
Via ABC News

Various news outlets reported this morning that Pope Benedict XVI has chosen to resign from his position in the Catholic Church. As one of the largest religions in the world this is certainly a significant announcement, so it’s no wonder the story has been so widely covered.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or Mormon Church, has a leader who leads the Church world-wide as well. Mormons do not refer to their leader as the Pope, but rather the President or prophet. There have been 16 prophets of the Mormon Church since its founding in April 1830, but Mormons really see today’s modern-day prophets as a continuation of the type of leadership God has always had on the earth with prophets that lead His Church (think Moses or Abraham, or even Peter).

president thomas s monson
President Thomas S. Monson

The current prophet of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is Thomas S. Monson. He has been president of the Church for 5 years and succeeded the late Gordon B. Hinckley.

It’s not my place to comment on the Pope’s decision. But I thought I would take a moment to discuss how succession of leadership works in the Mormon Church.

The prophet and president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the leader of the entire Church. He appoints two counselors to assist him in his calling. He serves in that position until he passes away. The next prophet is chosen from the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (a group of 12 men who help govern the church, just like the 12 apostles Jesus called in His time). The current president of that quorum at the time of the prophet’s death becomes the next leader of the Mormon Church. It’s a very simple, straightforward process.

In my lifetime I’ve witnessed this transition of leadership several times. Even though the Church always knows who the next leader will be, it’s inspiring to see the new president take that position. I wish the best to the Catholic Church as they accept a new leader in the coming weeks.