What’s the Mormon community like?
In addition to being a place to learn about and worship God, it’s a place to serve Him.
Generally speaking, Mormon Church communities are where we learn about our relationship with God and His plan for us and are founded on the teachings of Jesus Christ. Church communities offer valuable opportunities for Church members to put the things we learn into practice by helping others and serving God. Each congregation within the Church is called a “ward” and is made up of about 200 to 400 Church members who live in a particular geographical area.
Each ward is led by a bishop. Because there is no paid local clergy in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, these bishops come from all walks of life. They may be anything from teachers to businessmen, farmers to laborers. They are called to serve for several years while continuing to work in their professions and provide for their families.
But they don’t oversee the ward all alone. Members of the ward are given opportunities to teach and serve each other. Some teach Sunday School or youth classes, some lead choirs, and others handle executive and administrative responsibilities. The goal is to give every Church member an opportunity to participate.
Mormons believe that “when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God” (Mosiah 2:17). While many Church activities take place on Sunday, a number of activities and opportunities to serve occur throughout the week, which makes being part of the community much more than participating in Sunday worship services.
Why is a church community important to Mormons?
Both the family and society benefit from church communities.
When Church congregations are founded on the teachings of Jesus Christ, members are taught to treat each other with kindness, love, and respect. Because they follow Jesus, Mormons actively care for and help each other. One way Mormons do this is by participating in a monthly fast where they don’t eat or drink for two consecutive meals. They then donate the money they would have spent on the two meals—or more money if they choose—to help people in need.
Mormons also believe that their wards provide structure for families to learn and grow spiritually. The congregations within The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints provide classes and programs to help every member live a happier, more fulfilling life.
For example, young children attend Primary classes on Sunday and can participate in other activities during the week. Many congregations sponsor Boy Scout troops and have robust activity programs for both young men and young women. Female adult members of the ward belong to the Relief Society, one of the world’s oldest and largest female service organizations, which provides women with ample opportunities to help others. Simply put, in any given ward there’s something for everyone.
As Mormons follow the teachings of Jesus Christ, they benefit personally. Additionally, their families and societies benefit. The family is blessed with increased love and unity, which in turn strengthens the community.
How can I benefit from the Mormon community?
“Ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God” (Ephesians 2:19).
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints invites and welcomes everyone to come and worship in our Sunday services as well as participate in the many activities that come with being a part of the community found within the Church.
As individuals and families attend church and worship in their wards (local church communities), they find opportunities to learn and grow spiritually.
As part of our Sunday worship, members of the congregation have opportunities to pray, sing, and teach. Sunday School, which is taught by members of the ward, offers everyone the opportunity to ask questions and share thoughts about the teachings of Jesus Christ.
Another benefit of actively participating in a ward is the opportunity to provide Christian service to others. Whether someone needs help overcoming a setback, is experiencing a health problem, or is dealing with a death or other loss, Church members are part of an extended family that help each other in times of need.
That help can come in many forms. It can be as simple as a visit from a friend or a meal prepared by someone in the ward. It could be an organized service project where members join together to offer a helping hand. It could be a prayer or a fast offered on behalf of someone facing challenging times. The opportunities for serving others within a church community are as varied and unique as the members of the Church itself.
The blessings and benefits of being part of the church community are many. As we worship and serve together, we grow closer as a community and closer to God.