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The Latter Day Saint movement
The Latter Day Saint movement (also called the LDS movement, LDS restorationist movement, or Smith–Rigdon movement) is the collection of independent church groups that trace their origins to a Christian Restorationist movement founded by Joseph Smith in the late 1820s.
Collectively, these churches have over 16 million members, although the vast majority of these—about 98%—belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). The predominant theology of the churches in the movement is Mormonism, which sees itself as restoring the early Christian church with additional revelations.
A minority of Latter Day Saint adherents, such as members of Community of Christ, believe in traditional Protestant theology, and have distanced themselves from some of the distinctive doctrines of the LDS Church. Other groups include the Remnant Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, which supports lineal succession of leadership from Smith's descendants, and the more controversial Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, which defends the practice of polygamy.
In the Latter Day Saint movement, a temple is a building dedicated to be a house of God and is reserved for special forms of worship. A temple differs from a church meetinghouse, which is used for weekly worship services. Temples have been a significant part of the Latter Day Saint movement since early in its inception. Today, temples are operated by several Latter Day Saint denominations. The most prolific builder of temples of the Latter Day Saint movement is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). There are 168 dedicated temples (161 currently operating; and 7 previously dedicated, but closed for renovation), 14 under construction, and 35 announced (not yet under construction), for a total of 217. Several other variations of the church have built or attempted to build temples. The Community of Christ operates two temples in the United States, which are open to the public and are used for worship services, performances, and religious education. Other denominations with temples are the Apostolic United Brethren, the Church of Christ, the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and the Righteous Branch of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
An etching of the Carthage, Illinois jail, circa 1885. This was the location of the Death of Joseph Smith on June 27, 1844
The Nauvoo Temple was the second temple constructed by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. The church's first temple was completed in Kirtland, Ohio, United States, in 1836. When the main body of the church was forced out of Nauvoo, Illinois, in the winter of 1846, the church attempted to sell the building, finally succeeding in 1848. The building was damaged by fire and a tornado before being demolished.
In 1937, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) reacquired the lot on which the original temple had stood. In 2000, the church began to build a temple on the original site whose exterior is a replica of the first temple, but whose interior is laid out like a modern Latter-day Saint temple. On June 27, 2002, a date that coincided with the 158th anniversary of the death of Joseph and Hyrum Smith, the temple was dedicated by the LDS Church as the Nauvoo Illinois Temple. Read more...
Selected Schismatic Histories
The Community of Christ, known from 1872 to 2001 as the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (RLDS), is an American-based international church, and is the second-largest denomination in the Latter Day Saint movement. The church reports 250,000 members in 1,100 congregations in 59 countries. The church traces its origins to Joseph Smith's establishment of the Church of Christ on April 6, 1830. A group of members including his eldest son Joseph Smith III formally established the current church on April 6, 1860 in the aftermath of the 1844 death of Joseph Smith.
The Community of Christ was founded as a Restorationist church, although today attitudes are largely congruent with mainline Protestant Christianity. While it generally rejects the term Mormon to describe its members, the church abides by a number of theological distinctions unique to Mormonism, including but not limited to: prophetic revelation, a priesthood polity, the use of the Book of Mormon in some contexts, and belief in an interpretation of the Word of Wisdom. In many respects, the church differs from the larger Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) and most other Latter Day Saint denominations in its religious liberalism, belief in the traditional conception of the trinity (as opposed to a godhead of three separate and distinct beings), and rejection of exaltation and the plan of salvation. Salvation is considered a personal matter and not subject to dogma, but salvation by grace alone is emphasized. The church considers itself to be non-creedal and accepts people with a wide-range of beliefs. Church teachings emphasize that "all are called" as "persons of worth" to "share the peace of Christ".
Community of Christ worship follows a free-form worship placing more of the foundation on scripture based on the Revised Common Lectionary. From its headquarters in Independence, Missouri, the church offers a special focus on evangelism, peace and justice ministries, spirituality and wholeness, youth ministries and outreach ministries. Read more...
Joseph Smith Jr. (December 23, 1805 – June 27, 1844) was an American religious leader and founder of Mormonism and the Latter Day Saint movement. When he was 24, Smith published the Book of Mormon. By the time of his death, 14 years later, he had attracted tens of thousands of followers and founded a religion that continues to the present with millions of global adherents.
Smith was born in Sharon, Vermont. By 1817, he had moved with his family to the burned-over district of western New York; an area of intense religious revivalism during the Second Great Awakening. Smith said he experienced a series of visions, including one in 1820 during which he saw "two personages" (presumably God the Father and Jesus Christ), and another in 1823 in which an angel directed him to a buried book of golden plates inscribed with a Judeo-Christian history of an ancient American civilization. In 1830, Smith published what he said was an English translation of these plates called the Book of Mormon. The same year he organized the Church of Christ, calling it a restoration of the early Christian church. Members of the church were later called "Latter Day Saints" or "Mormons", and Smith announced a revelation in 1838 which renamed the church as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
In 1831, Smith and his followers moved west, planning to build a communalistic American Zion. They first gathered in Kirtland, Ohio and established an outpost in Independence, Missouri which was intended to be Zion's "center place". During the 1830s, Smith sent out missionaries, published revelations, and supervised construction of the Kirtland Temple. The collapse of the church-sponsored Kirtland Safety Society Anti-Banking Company and violent skirmishes with non-Mormon Missourians caused Smith and his followers to establish a new settlement at Nauvoo, Illinois, where he became a spiritual and political leader. In 1844, when the Nauvoo Expositor criticized Smith's power and practice of polygamy, Smith and the Nauvoo city council ordered the destruction of their printing press, inflaming anti-Mormon sentiment. Fearing an invasion of Nauvoo, Smith rode to Carthage, Illinois to stand trial, but was killed when a mob stormed the jailhouse. Read more...
||I am certain, because of my experience with the birth of Doctrine and Covenants 163, of this: God has some big dreams for the church. How we choose to respond to God’s vision for us as a prophetic people will make all the difference in the years ahead.
— Stephen M. Veazey, Prophet–President of the Community of Christ
- The best content is also available in book form: Look at Book:Mormonism
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