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Six Things to Know When Joining The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

By Mormon.org

Converting to Jesus Christ isn’t a one-time event. It’s a continual process that happens as you change your heart and character and then commit to following Him. Following Jesus includes repenting of your sins, being baptized, and living life with faith.

If you’re considering joining the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints or Mormons, here are six things you should know about the Church’s beliefs and culture.

1. God has a plan for you.

Before you were born, you lived with God. He created the earth and provided a plan for your life called the plan of salvation. As you continue to study the scriptures and listen to the prophets, you’ll learn more about this plan. You’ll learn who you are, where you came from, why you’re here on earth at this time, and where you’ll go after you die. God’s plan is a loving plan for all His children.

2. Mormon worship services are different from other Christian worship services.

The worship services at many Christian churches may include a church choir singing, a minister preaching a sermon, and the congregation praying together. Many services last only one hour, maybe two, and sometimes the services are held on Saturday nights.

Similarly, Mormon worship services are on Sunday for three hours. The first hour they attend the primary worship service called a sacrament meeting, which includes prayers, congregational hymns, the sacrament [similar to the communion] being blessed and passed to the congregation, and short talks about gospel principles given by members of the congregation. The remaining two hours are divided into Sunday School classes and into classes formed by age and gender, where teachers instruct and class members discuss gospel doctrines.

3. You'll be asked to pay tithing and fast offerings.

Some churches pass around an offering plate during worship service. Mormons don’t do this during their worship services. While members are still asked for monetary donations, it is done in a different way, known as tithing and fast offerings.

Tithing has been around since Old Testament times (see Genesis 14:17–20). Tithing is a commandment from God, and Mormons are asked to give one-tenth of their income to the Lord and His Church. This money allows the church to minister and help all of God’s children and build and maintain church buildings and temples and support missionary work.

Once a month, church members are asked to go without eating or drinking for two meals, a practice called fasting, and to give the money they would have spent on those meals to the Church to help care for people in need in their congregations. These contributions are called fast offerings.

4. Commandments are safeguards, not restrictions to keep you from enjoying life.

Some people investigating the Mormon Church lose interest as they learn about all the “rules” the Church has, like not drinking alcohol, or not having sex until you’re married. They may feel there are too many rules and that these rules are too restrictive—but the reality is quite the opposite. God’s commandments aren’t meant to restrict you from enjoying life. They are meant to help bring you closer to God and to keep you safe and happy and to help you avoid unwanted consequences.

5. You will still experience life challenges.

Nobody is immune from trials in life. In fact, it’s often when you’re trying to be faithful and live righteously that you experience the hardest trials. But remember that each trial you face can be for your benefit. Trials have a purpose. As you’re joining the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and trying to become like Jesus, you’ll likely experience struggles and sorrows, but the hard times will be easier to face and overcome. Your faith, your Church community, God, and Jesus Christ will help strengthen you, help you progress, and help you find happiness, even during your hardest trials.

6. You will need to continually strengthen your testimony

One of the first steps of conversion to the Restored Church of Jesus Christ is gaining a testimony—a personal, spiritual witness of Jesus Christ and His gospel that was restored through Joseph Smith. To gain a testimony, you must first desire to have one and then reinforce that desire with your efforts to read the scriptures, pray, obey God’s commandments, and share your growing testimony with others. As you do these things, you will experience personal, spiritual moments that cement your testimony. But don’t stop there. Keep doing those things so your testimony will continue to deepen and mature.