What is Mormonism?

Mormonism is the predominant religious tradition of the Latter Day Saint movement of Restorationist Christianity started by Joseph Smith in Western New York in the 1820s and 30s.

 

The word Mormon originally derived from the Book of Mormon, a religious text published by Smith, which he said he translated from golden plates with divine assistance. The book describes itself as a chronicle of early indigenous peoples of the Americas and their dealings with God. Based on the book’s name, Smith’s early followers were more widely known as Mormons, and their faith Mormonism. The term was initially considered pejorative, but Mormons no longer consider it so (although generally preferring other terms such as Latter-day Saint or LDS).

 

After Smith was killed in 1844, most Mormons followed Brigham Young on his westward journey to the area that became the Utah Territory, calling themselves The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church).

Brigham Young

Brigham Young

Brigham Young Brigham Young (June 1, 1801 – August 29, 1877) was an American religious leader, politician, and settler. He was the second president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) from 1847 until his death in 1877. He founded Salt Lake City and served as the first governor of the Utah Territory. Young also led...

Holy Books of Mormonism

The Book of Mormon 3

The Book of Mormon 3 ⇐ Go back to The Book Mormon 2 (The Second Book of Nephi, The Book of Jacob, The Book of Enos, The Book of Jarom, The Book of Omni, The Words of Mormon, Words of Mormon 1, The Book of Mosiah) The Book of Alma...

Holy Books of Mormonism

The Book of Mormon 2

The Book of Mormon 2 ⇐ Go back to The Book Mormon 1 (INTRODUCTION, Introduction and Witnesses, The Testimony of the Three Witnesses, The Testimony of the Eight Witnesses, TESTIMONY OF THE PROPHET JOSEPH SMITH, A Brief Explanation about the Book of Mormon, The First Book of Nephi) The Second...

A statue of Chief Walkara, a Mormon slave trader

Beliefs and practices of The LDS Church

Beliefs and practices of The LDS Church The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) focuses its doctrine and teaching on Jesus Christ; that he was the Son of God, born of Mary, lived a perfect life, performed miracles, bled from every pore in the Garden of Gethsemane, died on the cross,...

the Mountain Meadows massacre occurred

Mormonism and Violence

Mormonism and Violence Mormons have both used and been subjected to significant violence throughout much of the religion’s history. In the early history of the United States, violence was used as a form of control. Many people of different faiths used violence in order to harass and persecute people who...

Brigham Young with native Americans

Ex-Mormon

Ex-Mormon Ex-Mormon or post-Mormon refers to a disaffiliate of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) or any of its schismatic breakoffs, collectively called “Mormonism“. Ex-Mormons—sometimes referred to as exmo or postmo—may neither believe in nor affiliate with the LDS Church. In contrast, Jack Mormons may believe but do not affiliate; and cultural Mormons may or may not affiliate but...

A Brighamite-centric timeline of formations and origins for most Mormon denominations

List of Denominations in The Latter Day Saint Movement

List of Denominations in The Latter Day Saint Movement This is a dynamic list and may never be able to satisfy particular standards for completeness. You can help by expanding it with reliably sourced entries. The list of denominations in the Latter Day Saint movement includes: The original church within this movement, founded in April 1830 in...

President Russell M. Nelson of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and his wife Sister Wendy Nelson, right, along with Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and his wife Sister Mary G. Cook, say goodbye at the end of a Latin America Ministry Tour devotional in Quito, Ecuador on Monday, Aug. 26, 2019. Credit: Ravell Call

President of the Church

President of the Church The Latter Day Saint Movement In the Latter Day Saint movement, the President of the Church is generally considered to be the highest office of the church. It was the office held by Joseph Smith, founder of the movement, and the office assumed by many of Smith’s claimed successors, such...

Arizona Temple Church Of Jesus Christ Mormon

Second Coming in Mormonism

Second Coming in Mormonism The LDS Church teaches that there is Second Coming in Mormonism. Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) believe that there will be a Second Coming of Jesus Christ to the earth sometime in the future. The LDS Church and its leaders do not...

Execution by firing squad of John D. Lee for his role in the Mountain Meadows massacre. Lee's blood was shed on the ground where the massacre had taken place 20 years earlier; nevertheless, Brigham Young said that Lee "has not half atoned for his great crime" (Young 1877, p. 242).

Blood Atonement

Blood Atonement Blood atonement is a disputed doctrine in the history of Mormonism, under which the atonement of Jesus alone does not by itself redeem the Eternal sin. Instead, to atone for this sin, the sinner should be killed in a way that allows their blood to be shed upon the ground as a sacrificial offering, so...

A view of the former FLDS compound in Eldorado, Texas

Mormon Fundamentalism

Mormon Fundamentalism Mormon fundamentalism (also called fundamentalist Mormonism) is a belief in the validity of selected fundamental aspects of Mormonism as taught and practiced in the nineteenth century, particularly during the administrations of Joseph Smith and Brigham Young, the first two presidents of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). Mormon fundamentalists seek to uphold tenets and...

Mormon Temple - Falls City, Idaho

Latter Day Saint Movement

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...

Interior of the Conference Center where the church holds its General Conferences twice a year.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, often informally known as the LDS Church or Mormon Church, is a nontrinitarian, Christian restorationist church that is considered by its members to be the restoration of the original church founded by Jesus Christ. The church is...

Joseph Smith

Joseph Smith

Joseph Smith 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...

Mormonism And Women

Mormonism And Women The status of women in Mormonism has been a source of public debate since before the death of Joseph Smith in 1844. Various denominations within the Latter Day Saint movement have taken different paths on the subject of women and their role in the church and in society. Views range from the full equal...

Degrees of Glory

Degrees of Glory In Latter-day Saint theology and cosmology, there are three degrees of glory (alternatively, kingdoms of glory) which are the ultimate, eternal dwelling place for nearly all who lived on earth after they are resurrected from the spirit world. Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believe that...

History of The Latter Day Saint Movement

History of The Latter Day Saint Movement The Latter Day Saint movement is a religious movement within Christianity that arose during the Second Great Awakening in the early 19th century and that led to the set of doctrines, practices, and cultures called Mormonism, and to the existence of numerous Latter Day Saint churches....

The plan of salvation as taught by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Plan of Salvation in Latter Day Saints

Plan of Salvation in Latter Day Saints According to doctrine of the Latter Day Saint movement, the plan of salvation (also known as the plan of happiness) is a plan that God created to save, redeem, and exalt humankind, through the atonement of Jesus Christ. The elements of this plan are drawn from...

The baptistry in the newly completed Concepción Chile Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Baptism For The Dead

Baptism For The Dead Baptism for the dead, vicarious baptism or proxy baptism today commonly refers to the religious practice of baptizing a person on behalf of one who is dead—a living person receiving the rite on behalf of a deceased person. Baptism for the dead is best known as a doctrine of...

Angel Moroni

Mormonism

What is Mormonism? Mormonism is the predominant religious tradition of the Latter Day Saint movement of Restorationist Christianity started by Joseph Smith in Western New York in the 1820s and 30s. The word Mormon originally derived from the Book of Mormon, a religious text published by Smith, which he said he translated from golden plates with divine assistance....