Are Mormons Christians? Yes! As a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I humbly declare that I believe in Jesus Christ. Mormons are Christians who have a profound love for the Savior of the world.
A typical Mormon meetinghouseA 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.
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.
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.
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.
The U.S. Supreme Court will hold 2 days of arguments this week about Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act. This event once again puts gay marriage in the spotlight.
I’m not going to spend any time discussing the constitutionality of this proposition and act, nor will I speculate what the Supreme Court will eventually rule in June. But since this is back in the spotlight, I figured I would take a moment to discuss the Mormon Church’s views on homosexuality and gay marriage. Please note that my comments do not necessarily represent the views of the Mormon Church.
I know that this is an emotionally charged issue with strong opinions on either side. My goal in this post is not to start any arguments but rather to present the facts about Mormon belief. If you have any questions, please let me know or leave a note in the comments below.
“We, the First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, solemnly proclaim that marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and that the family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children.”
And later in the same document, it states:
“The family is ordained of God. Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan. Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity.”
What is the Church’s Belief on Homosexuality?
Because of Mormons’ belief about the family and traditional marriage, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the Church does not agree with or condone homosexuality. Again, from the Church’s proclamation:
“All human beings—male and female—are created in the image of God. Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and, as such, each has a divine nature and destiny. Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose.”(emphasis added)
That being said, the Church has begun to recognize the complexity and sensitivity of this issue. Let’s be clear, Mormons are not denying that homosexuality is real, because it is. Hundreds of thousands of people around the world have real and legitimate feelings for those of the same sex. But that doesn’t change the Church’s belief that acting on homosexuality is wrong. The Church recently launched a new website to address this topic: MormonsAndGays.com.
In summary, Mormons believe:
The family is ordained of God
Marriage should be between a man and a woman
Homosexuality is contrary to God’s eternal plan for His children
Want to learn more? I would encourage you to read the entire proclamation released by the Church in 1995 which explains many beliefs about family and marriage. Read it here.
As the Supreme Court gets ready to hear arguments this week, I hope this post helped explain Mormons’ belief about gay marriage and this heated issue in our country.
Jesus was baptized by a prophet named John, commonly referred to as “John the Baptist.” The New Testament provides an account of the baptism of Jesus and the miraculous events surrounding it:
13 Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him.
14 But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me?
15 And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him.
16 And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him:
17 And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
Why Was Jesus Baptized?
Jesus Christ lived a perfect, sinless life. And though the Christian world disagrees on how baptism is to be performed, all Christians believe it to be a sacrament of some kind, a cleansing of sin, or a commitment to God. Why would Jesus then, the very Son of God, a perfect man, need baptism?
The Book of Mormon, an additional book of scripture read by members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, contains some valuable insight into this question. Here is an excerpt:
4 Wherefore, I would that ye should remember that I have spoken unto you concerning that prophet which the Lord showed unto me, that should baptize the Lamb of God, which should take away the sins of the world.
5 And now, if the Lamb of God, he being holy, should have need to be baptized by water, to fulfil all righteousness, O then, how much more need have we, being unholy, to be baptized, yea, even by water!
6 And now, I would ask of you, my beloved brethren, wherein the Lamb of God did fulfil all righteousness in being baptized by water?
7 Know ye not that he was holy? But notwithstanding he being holy, he showeth unto the children of men that, according to the flesh he humbleth himself before the Father, and witnesseth unto the Father that he would be obedient unto him in keeping his commandments. —2 Nephi 31:4-7
We learn from these scriptures that Jesus was baptized to “fulfill all righteousness.” In other words, baptism is a commandment, and Jesus was baptized to obey the commandments of God.
Video of the Baptism of Jesus
Please enjoy this Bible video of the baptism of Jesus produced by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It is based off of the verses in Matthew quoted in this post.
In October 2011 the apostle M. Russell Ballard spoke at the General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, more commonly known as the Mormon Church. Elder Ballard (leaders in the Church are referred to as “Elder”) spoke about the name of our Church and what it means.
“I have thought a lot about why the Savior gave the nine-word name to His restored Church,” Elder Ballard said. “It may seem long, but if we think of it as a descriptive overview of what the Church is, it suddenly becomes wonderfully brief, candid, and straightforward.”
According to Elder Ballard’s talk, I have created this graphic to illustrate what the name of the Church means:
So after all this you may be wondering, why do I refer to the Church as The Mormon Church? Why is this website BasicMormonBeliefs.com? The reality is, that’s how most people know the Church and search for topics about it online. That being said, I hope this post has helped you understand the meaning and purpose behind the true name of the Church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.