What Is a Church Community?
Loading.....

The video player could not be built.

Do you want to chat with a missionary?

We are happy to answer any questions you may have. Start a chat or call us at 1-888-537-6600.

Hi I'm Danielle Davidson Middleton

I grew up in Albuquerque, New Mexico and I am now living in Cullman, Alabama and I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I have wonderful parents that were raised in strong LDS homes. I have four brothers and three sisters and my oldest brother Darryl passed away with Luekemia about three years after his mission in Denmark. I was born a member of the church and I have a strong testimony of it's truthfulness. I served a mission in Pennsylvania, Philadelphia like my sister Doneen Larsen. I love family and it's hard to live so far away from family at times. I married Jeff Middleton from Cullman, Alabama and we have three children, Lauren, Heather and Trey Middleton

Why I am a Mormon

I was born a member of the church but I worked on receiving my own testimony of it's truthfulness through diligent study, prayer, fasting and work. I am so grateful for righteous parents that taught by example and lived the principles of the gospel. My mom is such a righteous example and influence and I miss not being able to live close to my parents since I married. I have read the Book of Mormon several times, I have served a full time mission, and I have been through serious trials in my life but I know the Lord is there and that his true church is on the Earth today. My brothers and sisters have also been very important to me and have set really good examples. My oldest brother Darryl had such a strong testimony of this church and lived it each day of his life. He served an honorable mission in Denmark and went through so much pain and heartache when he had cancer but he was always so kind and loving and always wanted to share his testimony of the truthfulness of the restored gospel and the Book of Mormon. I learned so much through going to my church meetings and going to General Conference with my family. My testimony was strengthened as I felt the spirit very strongly. When I have trials I always look back to my family and my testimony and the rock that it can be if I have faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and live his commandments and his gospel on earth.

How I live my faith

I am a dental assistant for Dr. Dube in Hanceville, Alabama. I also have a BA Degree from Athens State College in Elementary Education. I love the Cullman ward and feel blessed that my grandfather and grandmother (Roland and Lois Davidson) served a couple mission in the late 1970's in the same ward building in Cullman, Alabama. It was a small branch when my grandfather was there, but many members of the church knew and loved my grandfather and grandmother Davidson. I have a calling as a nursery assistant in the ward and I love the little children. I am also the Cub Scout leader for the Cullman ward and we meet on Wednesdays. Boy Scouts is very important and the values it teaches is so great. I love the young men and young women programs of the church. My daughter's go to Camp every summer for a week at Camp Hulaco near Cullman, Alabama. My son went on his first Boy Scout camp this summer. The young women and men also go to a Regional Confrence every summer that is very inspiring and strenghtens youth spiritually. I also have a visiting teaching calling. Visiting Teaching is a very important calling and I know that I have benefited over the years by having visiting teachers and the service they have given me and the spiritual thoughts, etc. I have three sisters to visit and keep in touch with. Home Teachers have also been wonderful. Home Teachers are two men that are assigned to a family that come give the family a spiritual thought and give service or help when needed. I know when I was young my parents were helped so much by their many moves throughout the years. The church is an immediate family you have wherever you go throughout the world. I know this is the true church of Jesus Christ and that he is the head of this church and that we have a living prophet on the earth today Thomas S. Monson and Jesus gives him instruction and Revelation to guide the church and kingdom on Earth. I love the church with all my heart.

How can I know Mormonism is true?

Danielle Davidson Middleton
God is the source of all truth. He loves you and wants to answer your questions. He will help you recognize the truth as you sincerely seek it and ask Him for guidance. You can know that what you’ve been learning is true (see James 1:5-6; Book of Mormon, Moroni 10:4-5). Sincerely pray to your Heavenly Father. Ask Him if what you are learning is true. Continue to study and give thoughtful consideration to what you are learning. Listen with your heart for the sweet feelings of inspiration from the Holy Ghost, who will to whisper the truth to your spirit and mind. Follow God’s commandments so you can feel the influence of the Holy Ghost. You may have experienced feelings of peace, hope, comfort, or happiness as you’ve read. If so, you have already felt the Holy Ghost telling you that these things are true. Show more Show less

What is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' attitude regarding homosexuality and same sex marriage?

Danielle Davidson Middleton
In the Bible Paul preached to the Romans that homosexual behavior was sinful (see Romans 1:24-32). In Old Testament times Moses included in his law that homosexual relations were against God’s law (see Leviticus 20:13) Gordon B. Hinckley, prior President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, issued the following statement about homosexuality: “We believe that marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God. We believe that marriage may be eternal through exercise of the power of the everlasting priesthood in the house of the Lord (“The Family: A Proclamation to the World” which was written by twelve modern Apostles through inspiration from the Lord). “People inquire about our position on those who consider themselves so-called gays and lesbians. My response is that we love them as sons and daughters of God. They may have certain inclinations which are powerful and which may be difficult to control. Most people have inclinations of one kind or another at various times. If they do not act upon these inclinations, then they can go forward as do all other members of the Church. If they violate the law of chastity and the moral standards of the Church, then they are subject to the discipline of the Church, just as others are. “We want to help these people, to strengthen them, to assist them with their problems and to help them with their difficulties. But we cannot stand idle if they indulge in immoral activity. Show more Show less

How does the Church finance its operations?

Danielle Davidson Middleton
Gordon B. Hinckley, prior President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, said: “Our major source of revenue is the ancient law of the tithe. Our people are expected to pay 10 percent of their income to move forward the work of the Church. The remarkable and wonderful thing is that they do it. Tithing is not so much a matter of dollars as it is a matter of faith. It becomes a privilege and an opportunity, not a burden. Our people believe in the word of God as set forth in the book of Malachi, that the Lord will open the windows of heaven and pour down blessings that there will not be room enough to receive them (Malachi 3:8-10). Moving and touching is the testimony of Latter-day Saints throughout the world concerning this, the Lord’s law for the financing of His work.” Show more Show less

Why is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints called Mormons or Mormonism?

Danielle Davidson Middleton
In 1838, Joseph Smith was told in a revelation that the Church should be called The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Doctrine and Covenants 115:4). The Church has been known by that name since that time. Gordon B. Hinckley, prior President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, has emphasized the Church’s correct name, saying: “We believe in Jesus Christ as the Son of God. The official name of the Church is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and He is the central figure in all of our worship. “The Church carries the name of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Redeemer of the world. It is His name by which this Church is officially called. “As for the term Latter-day Saints, members of the Christian Church anciently were called Saints (see Acts 9:32, Ephesians 2:19, Philippians 1:1). They were former-day Saints. We are the Latter-day Saints. It is that simple. “We are frequently called Mormons. It is a nickname given us because we believe in the Book of Mormon as the word of God, a book which goes hand in hand with the Bible, becoming a second witness for Jesus Christ.” Show more Show less

Who chooses the Mormon prophet?

Danielle Davidson Middleton
Jesus Christ is the Head of this Church. The calling and appointment of the Living Prophet is directed by Him whose Church it is. After the death of the Prophet Joseph Smith in Carthage Illinois, Brigham Young led the Church to the Salt Lake Valley and guided its growth and expansion throughout the West. After his death, the senior Apostle, John Taylor, became the third President of the Church. After each Church President passes away, the senior Apostle becomes the next President. Since Brigham Young, the Church has been led by: John Taylor—1877–87 Wilford Woodruff—1887–98 Lorenzo Snow—1898–1901 Joseph F. Smith—1901–18 Heber J. Grant—1918–45 George Albert Smith—1945–51 David O. McKay—1951–70 Joseph Fielding Smith—1970–72 Harold B. Lee—1972–73 Spencer W. Kimball—1973–85 Ezra Taft Benson—1985–94 Howard W. Hunter—1994–95 Gordon B. Hinckley—1995–2008 Thomas S. Monson—2008–present Each President of the Church selects counselors from worthy and capable men. Together, these men form the First Presidency of the Church. Along with the Twelve Apostles, they give direction to the Church. Show more Show less

Can a husband and wife be together forever? Do Mormons believe that families will live together in heaven?

Danielle Davidson Middleton
Family relationships can last forever—not just for this life. Just as some of life’s sweetest joys can come through family associations, the loss of a beloved family member can be a source of our deepest sorrows. Jesus Christ gave power to His disciples to seal families together forever when He said, “And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven” (Matthew 16:19). Death does not need to be the end of our relationships with cherished loved ones. The Lord revealed to Joseph Smith that the “same sociality which exists among us here will exist among us there [in eternity], only it will be coupled with eternal glory” (Doctrine and Covenants 130:2). Family members who accept the Atonement of Jesus Christ and follow His example can be together forever through sacred ordinances performed in God’s holy temples. These ordinances seal a husband and wife together for all eternity and children to their parents as an eternal family. (See: “The Family: A Proclamation to the World”) Show more Show less

Who was Joseph Smith?

Danielle Davidson Middleton
Joseph Smith Jr. was born in 1805 in Sharon, Windsor County, Vermont, to Joseph and Lucy Mack Smith. He had 10 brothers and sisters. His parents taught him to pray, read the Bible, and to have faith in God. At age 14, as an answer to fervent prayer, Joseph saw God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, in his First Vision. At age 17, Joseph began to receive heavenly messengers who prepared him for his role in the Restoration of the Church of Jesus Christ to the earth. He was a prophet, just like Moses, Isaiah and others in biblical times. He was strengthened by God to fulfill His mission much as was Jeremiah who said, “Ah Lord God! Behold I cannot speak: for I am a child. But the Lord said unto me, Say not I am a child: for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak” (Jeremiah 1:6-7). Show more Show less

What do Mormons believe about the nature of God?

Danielle Davidson Middleton
God is perfect, all wise, and all-powerful; the ruler of the universe. He is also merciful, kind, and just. He is our Father in Heaven. We are created in His image (Genesis 1:27). He has a body that looks like ours, but God’s body is immortal, perfected, and has a glory that words can’t describe. Because we are His children, He knows and loves each of us individually. He has a plan to help His children find joy in this life and return to live with Him when this life is over. Show more Show less

What do Mormons believe about Jesus Christ? Do Mormons believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God?

Danielle Davidson Middleton
Jesus Christ is the literal Son of God. His birth, life, death, and resurrection fulfilled the many prophecies contained in the scriptures concerning the coming of a Savior. He was the Creator, He is our Savior, and He will be our Judge (see Isaiah 9:6, 53:3-7; Psalms 22:16-18). Under the direction of our Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ created the earth (John 1:10; Hebrews 1:2). When Jesus lived on the earth (approximately 2,000 years ago), He led a perfect life. He taught by word and example how people should live in love of God and others. Through His suffering in the Garden of Gethsemane and by giving His life on the cross—that is, by performing the Atonement —Jesus Christ saves us from our sins (1 Peter 2:21) as we follow Him. Because of the Atonement, you can be forgiven of your sins when you sincerely repent (Book of Mormon, Mosiah 26:30). Through His Resurrection, Jesus Christ saved us from death. Because He overcame death, we will all be given the gift of resurrection, that is to say our spirits will be eternally re-united with our bodies (Acts 24:15; 1 Corinthians 15:22). When life on this earth is over, Jesus Christ will be the final Judge (Acts 17:31; John 5:21-22; Acts 10:42). Show more Show less

What is a ward/stake/branch?

Danielle Davidson Middleton
Our local congregations are called wards (or branches for smaller congregations). They are organized geographically and members attend a ward or branch near their home. Because in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints all the teaching materials are consistent throughout the wards and branches, a person will be studying the same lessons no matter where in the world they attend church. The spiritual leader of each ward is called the bishop (or the branch president for branches). He is a member of the congregation who has been asked to serve as a volunteer in this position. A group of wards forms a stake, and the leader of a stake is a stake president. “Stake” is not a term found in the New Testament, but is taken from Old Testament tent imagery in which the “tent,” or church, is held up by supporting stakes (see Isaiah 54:2). A ward or a branch is a community in which members develop friendships and help each other. Members try to follow the teachings of an ancient prophet who taught that when we are baptized, we are “willing to bear one another’s burdens, that they may be light” and “willing to mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort” (Book of Mormon, Mosiah 18:8-9). Through service, members lift one another’s burdens and express their love. Show more Show less

What blessings can you receive from reading the Book of Mormon, the Bible, and other scriptures?

Danielle Davidson Middleton
As you study the scriptures, you will grow closer to God and be better able to live righteously. Scripture study will bring you more joy, hope, and understanding of God’s plan and your place in that plan it. Jesus Christ invites you to “feast” upon His words (The Book of Mormon, 2 Nephi 32:3). This means more than casually reading the scriptures. It means to study them, ponder them, compare verses, learn passages by heart, treasure them, delight in them. As you feast upon the scriptures, prayerfully asking God for understanding, the Holy Ghost will let you know they are true (see Book of Mormon, Moroni 10:4,5). You will grow closer to God. Your faith in and love for Jesus Christ will increase. So will your desire to do good and to be like Him. Show more Show less

How can I find someone to talk with, in person, about the Mormon religion?

Danielle Davidson Middleton
Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints live throughout the world. They are willing to share their feelings and beliefs with those who are interested. If you know or meet members of the Church, we invite you to let them know what you have learned on this Internet site and discuss your questions with them. If you do not know a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we invite you to visit with representatives of the Church to learn more about the information you have viewed on this site. Please call 1-888-537-6600 (in US and Canada only) or use the following form to arrange for these representatives to visit your home and share some of Christ’s teachings that answer life’s questions and helped people find greater happiness. Show more Show less

What is the difference between attending church and the temple?

Danielle Davidson Middleton
Our churches are dedicated public places of worship where Mormons and visitors can meet to pray, study scripture, partake of the sacrament, and continue to learn their responsibilities as children of God. The temple is literally, as it has been throughout history, the "House of the Lord" (see 1 Kings 6:1, 37). The primary purpose of the temple is to provide a dedicated place where sacred ordinances needed for eternal life can be preformed. Because of its sacred nature, attendance in the temple is limited to Mormons who obey God's commandments and therefore are worthy to enter. Show more Show less

What do Mormons believe about the Holy Ghost? Who is the Holy Ghost?

Danielle Davidson Middleton
The Holy Ghost is a member of the Godhead, along with God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. The Holy Ghost is one in purpose with the Father and the Son, but is a separate being. Through Joseph Smith, the Lord revealed: The Holy Ghost has not a body of flesh and bones, but is a personage of Spirit. Were it not so, the Holy Ghost could not dwell in us. (Doctrine and Covenants 130:22) The special mission of the Holy Ghost is to testify of the Father and the Son, to reveal the truth (Book of Mormon, Moroni 10:4,5), to comfort us (John 14:26), and to sanctify us. He is a divine guide and teacher. Show more Show less

Who are the Mormons?

Danielle Davidson Middleton
Mormons are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which was organized in 1830. As of 2010 the Church had a worldwide membership of approximately 14 million people. The Church headquarters in Salt Lake City Utah. Mormons believe the Bible and Jesus’ teachings in revelations to modern-day Apostles and Prophets. Mormons believe that their church is the same as the original church Jesus established when He was on the earth (see Ephesians 2:19-20, 4:11-14). The name ‘Mormon’ is a nickname because of the Church’s belief in the Book of Mormon (ancient scripture revealed to and recorded by prophets in the Americas during the same time the Bible was being written in the Old World.) Show more Show less

Where did Mormonism and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints begin?

Danielle Davidson Middleton
In the spring of 1820, a 14-year-old boy named Joseph Smith went into a grove of trees near his home in Palmyra, New York, and prayed to learn which church he should join. In answer to his prayer, God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, appeared to him, just as heavenly beings had appeared to prophets like Moses and Paul in biblical times. Joseph learned that the Church originally organized by Jesus Christ during His mortal ministry was no longer on the earth. Joseph Smith was chosen by God to restore the Church of Jesus Christ to the earth. During the next 10 years, Joseph was visited by other heavenly messengers, translated the Book of Mormon by the gift and power of God, and received authority to organize the Church. The Church was organized in Fayette, New York, on 6 April 1830, under the leadership of Joseph Smith. It has grown to an organization with members and congregations throughout the world. Show more Show less

What do Mormons believe about the Bible? Do they regard it as Holy Scripture and the word of God?

Danielle Davidson Middleton
Most of our scriptural writings have come through apostles and prophets. Through apostles and prophets, God has given His children sacred writings called scriptures. The scriptures can help you know God, His love for you, and His teachings. To the Christian world the most well-known collection of scriptures is the Holy Bible. In addition to the Bible, Latter-day Saints accept the following books as scripture: The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ, a record of God’s dealings with the inhabitants of ancient America (2000 BC – 400 AD). The Doctrine and Covenants, a collection of revelations and inspired declarations given for the establishment and regulation of the Church of Jesus Christ in the last days (1830 AD – 1978 AD). The Pearl of Great Price, a selection of revelations, translations, and writings of Joseph Smith. Show more Show less

What does Mormonism teach regarding baptism?

Danielle Davidson Middleton
“We believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel” (Articles of Faith 1:3). Baptism in water is an ordinance essential to our salvation. By being baptized, we show God that we are willing to be obedient to His commandments. Jesus set the example for us by being baptized, even though He was without sin (see Mosiah 18:8-10). The Savior revealed the proper method of baptism to the Prophet Joseph Smith, making clear that the ordinance must be performed by one having priesthood authority and that it be done by immersion (see Doctrine and Covenants 20:72-74). Immersion is symbolic of the death of a person’s sinful life and the rebirth into a spiritual life, dedicated to the service of God and His children. It is also symbolic of death and resurrection. (See Romans 6:3-6) Little children are redeemed through the mercy of Jesus Christ. They are “alive in Christ” and cannot sin. They do not need baptism until they understand the difference between right and wrong. The Lord has revealed that children should be baptized at eight years of age. (See Book of Mormon, Moroni 8:8-24; Doctrine and Covenants 29:46-47, 68:27) Show more Show less

Why do Mormon missionaries proselyte?

Danielle Davidson Middleton
The Savior taught His disciples, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations” (Matthew 28:19). As followers of Jesus Christ, members of His Church are enthusiastic about proclaiming the good news of His restored gospel to all who are willing to listen. Carlos E. Asay, a Church leader, said, “(There is) a marvelous phenomenon which occurs among men when the light of the gospel illuminates their lives. Almost instinctively, it seems, the light of truth sparks a desire to share. When our minds are expanded by new knowledge, we want others to know; when our spirits are elevated by heavenly influence, we want others to feel; and when our lives are filled with goodness, we want others, particularly those whom we love, to enjoy similar experiences.” You may have seen missionaries riding on bicycles or walking door to door, sharing their message. They are doing everything they can to seek out people who may be interested in learning more about Jesus Christ and God’s plan for their happiness. They serve in pairs, for “in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established” (Matthew 18:16). Missionaries volunteer full-time service for a period of eighteen months to two years. Show more Show less

What do Mormons believe concerning the doctrine of grace?

Danielle Davidson Middleton
The prophet Joseph Smith taught ‘Therefore ye are justified of faith and works, through grace...’ (see JST Romans 4:16). The Book of Mormon teaches ‘For we labor diligently to write to persuade our children, and also our brethren to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God; for we know that it is by grace we are saved after all we can do’ (2 Nephi 25:23). The Book of Mormon adds ‘all that we could do [was to] repent of all our sins’ (Alma 24:11). A Book of Mormon prophet named Lehi taught, ‘There is no flesh that can dwell in the presence of God, save it be through the merits, and mercy, and grace of the Holy Messiah’ (2 Nephi 2:8). Show more Show less

Do Mormons only help Mormons?

Danielle Davidson Middleton
Much of what is done in the Church is to bless and help those who are not Mormon. The Mormon Church has donated more than $1 billion in cash and material assistance to 167 different countries in need of humanitarian aid since it started keeping track in 1985. Many of these countries have few to no Mormons, but are also non-Christian. More than 53,000 Mormon missionaries serve through the world today. All of their service is to help those who are not Mormon. Joseph Smith himself taught that we are "to feed the hungry, to clothe the naked, to provide for the widow, to dry up the tear of the orphan, to comfort the afflicted, whether in this church, or in any other, or in no church at all." Show more Show less

Why are only some Mormons allowed into temples? Is there something secret going on in Mormon Temples? What goes on in Mormon Temples?

Danielle Davidson Middleton
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has more than 100 operating temples around the world. Visitors are welcome to visit the temple grounds at all of these temples and attend open houses prior to dedication. However, only baptized members who are qualified and prepared are allowed to enter a temple after it is dedicated. In temples, Church members participate in ordinances designed to unite their families together forever and help them return to God. In the temple, members: Learn eternal truths. Receive sacred ordinances, including those that bind husband and wife together for eternity, as well as join children and parents (Malachi 4:5-6). Provide ordinances such as baptism for those who have died without the opportunity to receive the gospel of Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 15:29; 1 Peter 4:6) Show more Show less

Why is authority to perform a baptism important?

Danielle Davidson Middleton
Throughout time, God has given His servants, the prophets, the authority to act in His name. This authority is called the priesthood. Jesus Christ gave the priesthood to His original Twelve Apostles by ordination (see John 15:16), and they directed the work of His Church after Jesus ascended to heaven. But after the Apostles were killed, the priesthood gradually disappeared from the earth. In 1829 Joseph Smith received the priesthood authority to organize Christ’s Church from Heavenly Messengers who had held this authority anciently including the prophet John the Baptist and apostles Peter, James, and John. In 1830 the same Church of Jesus Christ that existed centuries ago was organized and restored to the earth. The priesthood has two divisions. The lesser priesthood is called the Aaronic Priesthood, named after Aaron in the Old Testament. It includes the authority to preach the gospel of repentance and to baptize. The greater priesthood is called the Melchizedek Priesthood, named after Melchizedek in the Old Testament. It includes the authority to preside over the Church and to perform all ordinances, including giving the gift of the Holy Ghost. Show more Show less

What do Mormons believe happens to us after we die? What do Mormons believe about life after death?

Danielle Davidson Middleton
Death is not the end. Death is really a beginning—another step forward in Heavenly Father’s plan for His children. Someday, like everyone else, your physical body will die. But your spirit does not die, it goes to the spirit world, where you will continue to learn and progress and may be with loved ones who have passed on. Death is a necessary step in your progression, just as your birth was. Sometime after your death, your spirit and your body will be reunited—never to be separated again. This is called resurrection, and it was made possible by the death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ (see 1 Corinthians 15:20-22). Show more Show less

Does The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints endorse political parties?

Danielle Davidson Middleton
he Church has made the following public statement on multiple occasions prior to major elections: “Principles compatible with the gospel are found in the platforms of all major political parties. While the Church does not endorse political candidates, platforms, or parties, members are urged to be full participants in political, governmental, and community affairs.” Show more Show less

What is the Relief Society?

Danielle Davidson Middleton
he Relief Society is the oldest and largest women's organization in the world. Relief Society was established in 1842 for women 18 years of age and older. Its purpose is to build faith and personal righteousness, strengthen families and homes, and help those in need. Show more Show less

What is the Word of Wisdom that Mormons talk about?

Danielle Davidson Middleton
Our body is a precious gift from God. To help keep our bodies and our minds healthy and strong, God gave a law of health to Joseph Smith in 1833. This law is known as the Word of Wisdom (see Doctrine and Covenants 89:1-21). In addition to emphasizing the benefits of proper eating and physical and spiritual health, God has spoken against the use of: Tobacco. Alcohol. Coffee and tea. Illegal drugs. God promises great physical and spiritual blessings to those who follow the Word of Wisdom. Today, the scientific community promotes some of the same principles that a loving God gave to Joseph Smith nearly two centuries ago. Show more Show less

What is the Mormon lifestyle like? How do Mormons live?

Danielle Davidson Middleton
One of the greatest reasons for being here on earth is to "have joy" (2 Nephi 2:25). Personal prayer, scripture study, and attending church helps us better understand that the best way to find joy and happiness in this life is to know about Our Heavenly Father's plan of happiness, the gospel of Jesus Christ, and to strive to keep God's "law" (Proverbs 29:18). Families are an essential part of God's Plan and much of how we live focuses on our families. We want to share the happiness we enjoy with everyone we can through service, missionary work, and contributing to society. Show more Show less

What is the Book of Mormon?

Danielle Davidson Middleton
The Book of Mormon is another witness that Jesus Christ really lived, that He was and is God’s Son. It contains the writings of ancient prophets. One of these, Lehi, lived in Jerusalem around 600 B.C. God commanded Lehi to lead a small group of people to the American continent. There they became a great civilization. God continued to call prophets among these people. The Book of Mormon is a collection of the writings of their prophets and record keepers. It is named after Mormon, one of the last of these ancient prophets. These prophets knew about Heavenly Father’s plan for His children and the mission of Jesus Christ. They recorded that Christ appeared, after His Resurrection, to the people in America, taught them His gospel, and formed His Church among them. The book contains the teachings of Jesus Christ, testifying of His Atonement and His love. It supports and verifies the Bible. The Book of Mormon concludes with a great promise that those who read it and sincerely pray about it can know by the Holy Ghost that it is true (Moroni 10:4). Show more Show less

Why are Mormons asked to donate 10% of their income to their Church?

Danielle Davidson Middleton
Gordon B. Hinckley, prior President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, said: “Our major source of revenue is the ancient law of the tithe. Our people are expected to pay 10 percent of their income to move forward the work of the Church. The remarkable and wonderful thing is that they do it. Tithing is not so much a matter of dollars as it is a matter of faith. It becomes a privilege and an opportunity, not a burden. Our people believe in the word of God as set forth in the book of Malachi, that the Lord will open the windows of heaven and pour down blessings that there will not be room enough to receive them (Malachi 3:8-10). Moving and touching is the testimony of Latter-day Saints throughout the world concerning this the Lord’s law for the financing of His work.” Show more Show less

Why is it important for us to take care of our bodies? Why are our bodies called temples of God in the Bible?

Danielle Davidson Middleton
Man is composed of two parts: a mortal body, and an immortal spirit. The Lord calls our body a ‘tabernacle’ or a ‘temple’ since it is the temporary residence of our eternal spirit (see Book of Mormon, Mosiah 3:5; 1 Corinthians 3:16). Since the spirit and the body together are the soul of man (see Doctrine and Covenants 88:15), what affects one affects the other. By taking care of our bodies we make our “tabernacles” an acceptable house for our spirits. By defiling our bodies with drugs, tobacco, or unwholesome foods it affects our spirits adversely. Show more Show less

Mormons believe Jesus Christ is their Savior. Why do we need a Savior?

Danielle Davidson Middleton
You can be forgiven of your sins through the Atonement of Jesus Christ by the process of repentance. Because Heavenly Father knew we would sometimes make wrong choices, He provided a way for us to be forgiven of our sins (John 3:16). He provided a Savior, Jesus Christ, who suffered for our sins in the Garden of Gethsemane and on the cross so that when we sincerely repent, we can be forgiven (Book of Mormon, Mosiah 4:6). When we sincerely repent, we: Confess the sin to both God and anyone who has been harmed by our sin. In cases of serious sin, confession needs to be made to the proper priesthood authority. Ask forgiveness from God and from anyone we have harmed. When possible, repair the damage we have done. Forsake our sins. Strive to keep the commandments. Sincere repentance brings peace and forgiveness. God has promised, “Behold, he who has repented of his sins, the same is forgiven, and I, the Lord, remember them no more” (Doctrine and Covenants 58:42). Show more Show less

What is done with the tithing that Mormons pay?

Danielle Davidson Middleton
Official Church Answer The principle of tithing, or voluntarily giving one tenth of one’s income to God’s work, has been known since Old Testament times. Abraham paid tithes to Melchizedek (Genesis 14:17-20). The law of tithing is how the Lord funds His Church. Today all faithful members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints contribute one tenth of their income as tithing. Tithing funds are used for: Constructing temples, chapels, and other buildings. Providing operating funds for the Church. Funding the missionary program (This does not include individual missionary expenses.) Preparing materials used in Church classes and organizations. Temple work, family history, and many other important Church functions. Education. When the Lord reminded His people of this law through the prophet Malachi in the Old Testament, He promised to bless those who were willing to pay an honest tithe (Malachi 3:10). Show more Show less

What are Mormon Temples used for?

Danielle Davidson Middleton
Temples are houses of the Lord, the most sacred structures on the earth. Anciently, the Lord directed Solomon to build a temple (1 Chronicles 28:1-6). This temple was a place where God could dwell, was a place of prayer, was a place of sacrifice and was a place where the principle and covenant of sacrifice was fundamental to worship. At the time of the Restoration, the Lord commanded Joseph Smith to once again build temples on the earth. Like ancient temples, today’s temples are also sacred places where God may dwell; they are places of prayer and, although we no longer offer animal sacrifices because that was done away with when Jesus Christ became the Eternal Sacrifice for our sins, the principle and covenant of sacrifice is fundamental to our temple worship. In temples, Church members participate in ordinances designed to unite their families together forever and help them return to God. In the temple, members: Learn eternal truths. Receive sacred ordinances, including those that bind husband and wife together for eternity, as well as join children and parents (Malachi 4:5-6). Provide ordinances such as baptism for those who have died without the opportunity to receive the gospel of Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 15:29); 1 Peter 4:6) Show more Show less

How can we increase our faith in Jesus Christ?

Danielle Davidson Middleton
The Book of Mormon prophet Alma compared faith to a seed. If you plant a seed and nourish it, if it is a good seed it will grow and eventually bear fruit (Alma 32:28-43). It is the same with faith. If you are obedient to God’s commandments, study His word, and have a desire to believe in Christ, faith will grow inside of you. Show more Show less

What is faith?

Danielle Davidson Middleton
Official Church Answer To have faith is to “hope for things which are not seen, which are true” (see Book of Mormon, Alma 32:21 and Hebrews 11:1). Each day you act upon things you hope for, even before you see the end result. This is similar to faith. Faith in God is more than a theoretical belief in Him. To have faith in God is to trust Him, to have confidence in Him, and to be willing to act on your belief in Him. It is a principle of action and power. The Book of Mormon prophet Alma compared faith to a seed. If you plant a seed and nourish it, if it is a good seed it will grow and eventually bear fruit (Alma 32:28-43). It is the same with faith. If you are obedient to God’s commandments, study His word, and have a desire to believe in Christ, faith will grow inside of you. Show more Show less

What is the Law of Chastity?

Danielle Davidson Middleton
The power to create children is very sacred. Our Father in Heaven has commanded that the sacred power and privilege of sexual relations be exercised only between a man and woman who are legally married. This is the law of chastity. It means that we must not have sexual relations before we are married, and after we are married we should have sexual relations only with our husband or wife. Keeping the law of chastity brings safety, happiness, peace, and self-respect. It also deepens married love and protects families. Breaking this law is serious. But those who have broken it can gain forgiveness and peace through repentance and obedience. God wants the best for you and for all of His children. Following God’s plan of reserving intimacy for marriage will help you and your family be happy. Show more Show less

What blessings can we receive through the gift of the Holy Ghost?

Danielle Davidson Middleton
Official Church Answer The Holy Ghost can bless your life in many ways. Christ promised His Apostles that the Holy Ghost would “teach you all things” (John 14:26) and “guide you into all truth” (John 16:13). He also said that the Holy Ghost “shall testify of me” (John 15:26). Likewise, the Holy Ghost can help you. Through the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, you can recognize and understand truth and make right choices and inspired decisions. The Holy Ghost can inspire you with thoughts and ideas, warn you, and comfort you in times of sorrow. You may have already felt His influence at times in your life. That influence includes “love, joy, [and] peace” (Galatians 5:22).] Almost everyone has felt the Holy Ghost at some time. But there is a difference between experiencing the occasional influence of the Holy Ghost and receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost. Although the Holy Ghost may temporarily comfort someone or reveal truth to them, the gift of the Holy Ghost is reserved for those who have been baptized and confirmed into Christ’s Church. This gift is the privilege of enjoying the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost conditional upon keeping the commandments. The gift of the Holy Ghost is given when a person is confirmed a member of the Church after baptism by someone having priesthood authority from God. It is given by the person having authority laying their hands upon the head of the person who was baptized and giving them a blessing to receive the Holy Ghost (Acts Show more Show less

Why don’t Mormons have paid clergy?

Danielle Davidson Middleton
Members are organized into local congregations called wards or branches. These congregations are organized geographically, and members attend a ward or branch near their home. Congregations meet together on Sundays to worship. The leader of a congregation is a bishop or a branch president. He is not paid for his service, but he donates his time to serve the congregation. Members are called by their leaders to serve in various positions in their congregation. Leaders seek divine guidance when making such callings. Positions to which one might be called include teachers, youth leaders, clerks, etc. A member’s service blesses others and provides opportunities for the member to learn and grow. A ward or a branch is a community in which members develop friendships and help each other. Members try to follow the teachings of an ancient prophet who taught that when we are baptized, we are “willing to bear one another’s burdens, that they may be light” and “willing to mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort” (Book of Mormon, Mosiah 18:8-9). Through service, members lift one another’s burdens and express their love. Show more Show less

What are Mormon church services like? Are visitors allowed at church meetings? Can I attend church?

Danielle Davidson Middleton
Our primary family worship service is called sacrament meeting. This meeting is held in our chapels on Sunday and lasts approximately 70 minutes. Visitors are welcome to attend. It is common for families to attend, and we are accustomed to having children as part of the congregation. A typical meeting would consist of the following: Hymns: Religious songs sung by the congregation (hymn books are provided). Prayers: Offered by local Church members. Partaking of the sacrament (communion): The sacrament consists of prepared bread and water, which is blessed and passed by priesthood holders to those in attendance who wish to do so. Speakers: Typically a meeting will have two or three assigned speakers. (Note: We do not pass a plate or request donations as part of our worship services.) Visitors are also welcome to attend other Sunday meetings that precede or follow sacrament meeting: Sunday School classes are offered for each age group, beginning with 12 year olds. Primary meetings consist of a group service and age-oriented classes for children 3 through 11 years of age. A nursery is available for young children, ages 18 months to 3 years. Young Women meetings provide classes for those 12 through 17 years of age. Relief Society meeting is for women, ages 18 years and older. Priesthood meetings provide age-oriented classes for males 12 years and older. Show more Show less

Why do Mormons believe in the Bible?

Danielle Davidson Middleton
The Holy Bible testifies of the divinity of Jesus Christ and has influenced and sustained millions of His followers. It is a collection of sacred writings containing God’s revelations and accounts of His dealings with His children in the Holy Land. The historical accounts in the Bible cover many centuries, from the time of Adam through the death of the Apostles. Likewise most of the books of the Bible were written by and about prophets who lived at various times in the history of the world. As you probably know, the Bible is divided into the Old Testament and the New Testament. The Old Testament contains sacred texts written prior to the birth of Christ. Many prophets in the Old Testament fortold the coming of a Savior and Redeemer (See Isaiah 7:14, 9:6, 53:3-7). The New Testament tells of the life of that Savior and Redeemer, who is Jesus Christ. It also tells of the establishment of His original Church. Show more Show less

Do you really believe there is a prophet like Moses alive today?

Danielle Davidson Middleton
Throughout history, God has chosen prophets, such as Noah, Abraham, Moses, and others, to teach the gospel and direct His Church (Amos 3:7). It is no different today. We all need God’s guidance in a world that is sometimes confusing. Because God loves His children, He continues to send living prophets. Joseph Smith (1805–44) was the first prophet of our time. Thomas S. Monson is God’s chosen prophet today. Just as God led the Israelites out of slavery and to a better place through His prophet Moses, He leads His children today into happier, more peaceful lives when they choose to follow His living prophet. We invite you to listen to the words of living prophets and consider how knowing God’s will can benefit your life. Show more Show less

Who founded Mormonism and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?

Danielle Davidson Middleton
In the spring of 1820, a 14-year-old boy named Joseph Smith went into a grove of trees near his home in Palmyra, New York, and prayed to learn which church he should join. In answer to his prayer, God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, appeared to him, just as heavenly beings had appeared to prophets like Moses and Paul in biblical times. Joseph learned that the Church originally organized by Jesus Christ was no longer on the earth. Joseph Smith was chosen by God to restore the Church of Jesus Christ to the earth. During the next 10 years, Joseph was visited by other heavenly messengers, translated the Book of Mormon by the power of God, and received divine authority to organize the Church. The Church was organized in Fayette, New York, on 6 April 1830, under the leadership of Joseph Smith. It has grown to an organization with members and congregations throughout the world. Show more Show less

What are Mormon women like? Do Mormons believe in equality of men and women?

Danielle Davidson Middleton
The Apostle Paul taught that “neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 11:11). In the sight of God, and in the marriage relationship, men and women are equally important. By divine design, fathers are to watch over and teach their families in love and righteousness. They are to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children. In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers should help one another as equal partners. (Taken from “The Family: A Proclamation to the World” which was written by twelve modern Apostles through inspiration from the Lord.) Both parents should be involved in the care and discipline of children. It is important to agree on family goals and be willing to work toward them with their children. If parents are not in harmony and do not have mutual respect, the children may become confused and lose confidence in their parents. Both parents should be unified and intimately involved in the upbringing of their children. Show more Show less

Why do Mormons perform baptisms for the dead?

Danielle Davidson Middleton
Jesus Himself, though without sin, was baptized to fulfill all righteousness and to show the way for all mankind (see Matthew 3:13-17; 2 Nephi 31:5-12). Thus, baptism is essential for salvation in the kingdom of God. We learn in the New Testament that baptisms for the dead were done during the Apostle Paul’s time (see 1 Corinthians 15:29). This practice has been restored with the establishment of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The Prophet Joseph Smith first taught about the ordinance of baptism for the dead during a funeral sermon in August 1840. He read much of 1 Corinthians 15, including verse 29, and announced that the Lord would permit Church members to be baptized in behalf of their friends and relatives who had departed this life. He told them “the plan of salvation was calculated to save all who were willing to obey the requirements of the law of God” (Journal History of the Church, 15 Aug. 1840). Because all who have lived on the earth have not had the opportunity to be baptized by proper authority during life on earth, baptisms may be performed by proxy, meaning a living person may be baptized in behalf of a deceased person. Baptisms for the dead are performed by Church members in temples throughout the world. People have occasionally wondered if the mortal remains of the deceased are somehow disturbed in this process; they are not. The person acting as a proxy uses only the name of the deceased. To prevent duplication the Church keeps a record of Show more Show less

Why don’t women hold the priesthood in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints? How do Mormon women lead in the Church?

Danielle Davidson Middleton
Gordon B. Hinckley, prior President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, said: “Women do not hold the priesthood because the Lord has put it that way. It is part of His program. Women have a very prominent place in this Church. Men hold the priesthood offices of the Church. But women have a tremendous place in this Church. They have their own organization. It was started in 1842 by the Prophet Joseph Smith, called the Relief Society, because its initial purpose was to administer help to those in need. It has grown to be, I think, the largest women’s organization in the world... They have their own offices, their own presidency, their own board. That reaches down to the smallest unit of the Church everywhere in the world... “The men hold the priesthood, yes. But my wife is my companion. In this Church the man neither walks ahead of his wife nor behind his wife but at her side. They are co-equals in this life in a great enterprise.” Show more Show less

Is it true that Jesus appeared in North America after his crucifixion and resurrection according to the Book of Mormon?

Danielle Davidson Middleton
The Book of Mormon tells of the resurrected Jesus Christ and His visit to His faithful followers in ancient America. After His visits to His disciples in the Old World, He descended out of heaven and appeared to His followers in ancient America. The Book of Mormon describes how, during His visit, Jesus Christ healed their sick, taught them His gospel, blessed their children, and called twelve disciples to organize His Church in the Americas (3 Nephi 11:18; 3 Nephi 12:1-2). Show more Show less

Why do some call Mormonism a cult?

Danielle Davidson Middleton
One definition listed for ‘cult’ in Webster’s Dictionary is “a religion regarded as unorthodox.” Since the roots of Mormonism are not a break off from the Catholic or Protestant churches, it is seen by some as “unorthodox.” For example, the LDS definition of the Godhead differs from the Nicene Creed accepted by most Catholic or Protestant churches. The “cult” label is usually applied by Church opponents attempting to criticize or discredit the Church. However, sometimes it’s simply a matter of characterization that has grown up over time by the lack of understanding. Such misunderstandings often vanish when people begin to realize the commonality of what The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints really teaches and believes. That Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that He is the Savior and Redeemer of the world whom we love and worship. When people begin to see and recognize these things about Mormons, then their opinion of the Church usually changes, and old beliefs are replaced with new understanding. Show more Show less

What is the First Vision?

Danielle Davidson Middleton
As a boy, Joseph Smith was surrounded by various churches which, though they disagreed with on another, each claimed to teach the truth. This caused him much serious reflection. He wanted to know which church was right. One day he read a passage in the Bible which says, “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him” (James 1:5). Joseph decided to accept the invitation to ask God. In the spring of 1820, Joseph went to a grove of trees near his home and prayed to learn which church he should join. In answer to his prayer, Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, appeared to him. Joseph wrote: “When the light rested upon me I saw two Personages, whose brightness and glory defy all description, standing above me in the air. One of them spake unto me, calling me by name and said, pointing to the other—This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him!” Joseph was told to join none of the churches that existed at that time as the priesthood authority and Church as Jesus Christ had organized it when He was on the earth had been lost over the centuries. Joseph Smith’s First Vision marked the beginning of the Restoration of Jesus Christ’s Church to the earth. Joseph’s written account of this event is a powerful testimony of what he saw and experienced. (Joseph Smith’s History chapter 1 verses 8-17.) Show more Show less

What is being a Mormon like?

Danielle Davidson Middleton
Official Church Answer One of the greatest reasons for being here on earth is to "have joy" (2 Nephi 2:25). Personal prayer, scripture study, and attending church helps us better understand that the best way to find joy and happiness in this life is to know about Our Heavenly Father's Plan of Happiness, the gospel of Jesus Christ, and to strive to keep God's "law" (Proverbs 29:18). Families are an essential part of God's Plan and much of how we live focuses on our families. We want to share the happiness we enjoy with everyone we can through service, missionary work, and contributing to society. Show more Show less

Why was a Restoration of the Gospel needed? Haven’t we always had the Bible?

Danielle Davidson Middleton
A general falling away from the truth occurred after the death of Christ’s Apostles. This is called the Apostasy (Amos 8:11-12; Acts 20:29-30; 2 Timothy 4:3). When Jesus Christ lived on the earth, He established His Church. After His Ascension into heaven, His Apostles carried on His work under His direction, through revelation and with His priesthood authority. After the Apostles and many righteous Church members were killed and other members departed from the truth, the Lord took the priesthood authority and His Church from the earth. Without God’s priesthood authority, the Church no longer functioned as Christ had established it. The ordinances were changed and many plain and simple truths were lost. While many good people and some truth remained, the original Church was lost. The Apostles prophesied of the falling away or Apostasy. One example is Paul’s letter to the Thessalonians (2 Thessalonians 2:1-3). The Apostle Peter prophesied of the “restitution of all things” before Christ’s Second Coming (Acts 3:19-21). Having been lost because of the Apostasy, Christ’s Church and His authority were to be restored to the earth. This Restoration would make available the opportunity for all to receive once again all of the blessings of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Joseph Smith’s First Vision marked the beginning of the Restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ to the earth. In subsequent years, Christ restored His priesthood and reorganized His Church. Show more Show less

How are the activities of the Mormon missionaries funded?

Danielle Davidson Middleton
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is actively involved in teaching the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. Currently about 53,000 volunteer missionaries throughout the world share the joy they have found in the gospel. Most of them are young, single people serving full time for 18 to 24 months at their own expense. These missionaries share a message about Jesus Christ and His Atonement for all people. They teach about our Heavenly Father’s great plan of salvation, which allows all people the opportunity to return to Him. Show more Show less

What will the Mormon missionaries talk about when they visit my home?

Danielle Davidson Middleton
Missionaries share a message about Jesus Christ and His Atonement for all people. They teach about our Heavenly Father’s great plan of salvation, which allows all people the opportunity to return to Him. Show more Show less

What is the priesthood?

Danielle Davidson Middleton
The priesthood is the authority to act in God’s name. The same priesthood authority that existed in the original Church established by Jesus Christ exists in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints today. The Church is directed and led through this authority. All male members of the Church who are prepared receive the priesthood in order to help lead the Church and serve Heavenly Father’s children. A man with the priesthood might serve in some of the following ways: Leading congregations of the Church Performing the ordinances of the Church, such as baptism Blessing those who are sick God expects those who hold this sacred priesthood authority to follow the example of Jesus Christ and serve with love, gentleness, and kindness. Show more Show less

Why do Mormons perform proxy baptisms in their temples?

Danielle Davidson Middleton
Official Church Answer Jesus Christ taught that baptism is essential to the salvation of all who have lived on earth (see John3:5). Many people, however, have died without being baptized. Others were baptized without proper authority. Because God is merciful, He has prepared a way for all people to receive the blessings of baptism. By performing proxy baptisms in behalf of those who have died, Church members offer these blessings to deceased ancestors. These individuals in the next life can then choose to accept or decline what has been done in their behalf. Show more Show less

How is the Book of Mormon different from the Bible? How did Joseph Smith obtain the “golden plates” or Book of Mormon?

Danielle Davidson Middleton
The Book of Mormon is another witness that Jesus Christ really lived, that He was and is God’s Son. It contains the writings of ancient prophets. One of these, Lehi, lived in Jerusalem around 600 B.C. God commanded Lehi to lead a small group of people to the American continent. There they became a great civilization. God continued to call prophets among these people. The Book of Mormon is a collection of the writings of their prophets and record keepers. In September 1823, Joseph Smith was visited by a heavenly messenger named Moroni - the last of these ancient prophets to keep the record - in the same way that angels often appeared to Church leaders in the New Testament. The Angel Moroni informed Joseph that God had a work for him to do. Moroni told Joseph that a record of the ancient inhabitants of the American continent was buried in a nearby hill and that the record contained the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ. In September 1827, Joseph received the record, which was written on thin plates of gold. Joseph translated the book into English by the inspiration of God. The book is called The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ. It is named after Mormon, an ancient prophet who made an abridgment of the sacred records of his people. The Book of Mormon was published in 1830. The Book of Mormon concludes with a great promise that those who read it and sincerely pray about it can know by the Holy Ghost that it is true (Moroni 10:4). Show more Show less

Why is family so important to Mormons?

Danielle Davidson Middleton
Our families provide a setting for much of the growth we experience in life. In our families we love, serve, teach, and learn from each other. We share our joys and our sorrows. Family ties may bring us difficult challenges, but they also give us strength and some of our greatest happiness. The family is central to God’s plan for His children. It is also the central unit of society and the means for bringing children into the world where they can be loved, provided for, and taught truth and righteousness (see “The Family: A Proclamation to the World”). While we cannot choose the conditions of our birth, we can choose each day to make our families stronger and happier. It is possible for individuals to return to the presence of God and for families to be united eternally. Show more Show less

How can we stop the spread and influence of pornography?

Danielle Davidson Middleton
President Gordon B. Hinckley, prior President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said: “A return to the teachings of God will do more than all else to keep our ship of state on a steady course as she sails into the third century a nationhood. Here is the answer to the conflicts the best us. Here is the answer to the evils of pornography...” (Teachings of Gordon B. Hinckley, pp. 18) Speaking on the civic responsibility of those opposed to pornography, President Hinckley also said: “The building of public sentiment begins with a few earnest voices. I am not one to advocate shouting defiantly or shaking fists and issuing threats in the faces of legislators. But I am one who believes that we should earnestly and sincerely and positively express our convictions to those given the heavy responsibility of making and enforcing our laws. The sad fact is that the minority who call for greater liberalization, who peddle and devour pornography, who encourage and feed on licentious display make their voices heard until those in our legislatures may come to believe that what they say represents the will of the majority. We are not likely to get that which we do not speak up for. Let our voices be heard. I hope they will not be shrill voices, but I hope we shall speak with such conviction that those to whom we speak shall know of the strength of our feeling and the sincerity of our effort.” (Teachings of Gordon B. Hinckley, pp. 130) Show more Show less

What do Mormons believe about “eternal life?”

Danielle Davidson Middleton
Heaven is the place where God lives and the future home of those who do God’s will and follow the teachings of Jesus Christ. The hope of our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and the purpose of life on this earth is to teach us and prepare us that we, along with our families, might live with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ eternally. After we are resurrected we will be judged and rewarded for the things we have done in this life (see Revelation 20:12,13). Jesus Christ taught His Apostles that in His Father’s house are “many mansions” (John 14:2). Our loving Heavenly Father is anxious to reward all of His children according to their obedience to His commandments and their willingness to follow the Savior. Those who do these things and are worthy to return to the presence of God and Christ become “heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ” (Romans 8:17) of all that the Father has. They will return to live with Heavenly Father and with their families in His eternal glory. Those who choose not to follow our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ will receive a reward according to what they have done in this life, but they will not enjoy the glory of living in the presence of God. Show more Show less

Why is self-reliance important to Mormons? Why do Mormons talk about emergency preparedness?

Danielle Davidson Middleton
Being prepared for potential emergencies helps us to become self-reliant. Becoming self-reliant provides more personal independence, industry, thrift and self respect. It also gives more opportunity to serve and care for others in need. Show more Show less

Do Mormons worship Joseph Smith?

Danielle Davidson Middleton
President Gordon B. Hinckley, prior president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints made the following statement in 2005 about Joseph Smith: “We do not worship [Joseph Smith] the Prophet. We worship God our Eternal Father and the risen Lord Jesus Christ. But we acknowledge the Prophet; we proclaim him; we respect him; we reverence him as an instrument in the hands of the Almighty in restoring to the earth the ancient truths of the divine gospel, together with the priesthood through which the authority of God is exercised in the affairs of His Church and for the blessing of His people” (Gordon B. Hinckley, “Joseph Smith Jr.—Prophet of God, Mighty Servant,” Ensign, Dec 2005, 2–6). Show more Show less

What do Mormons believe is the purpose of life?

Danielle Davidson Middleton
Have you ever thought there must be something more to life than just living day to day? There is—much more. Your life has a divine purpose. God, your Heavenly Father, has prepared a marvelous plan for your happiness. When you realize that God has a plan for you, it is easier to understand why you are on this earth. God wants all of His children to progress and become more like Him. This time on Earth provides opportunities for you to grow and progress. Coming here allows you to: Receive a physical body. Exercise agency and learn to choose between good and evil. Learn and gain experience that will help you become more like your Heavenly Father. Form family relationships that may become eternal. By following our Heavenly Father’s plan, you—like all of His children—can someday return to live with Him and with your loved ones. You can have greater peace in this life and eternal joy in the life to come. Show more Show less

Can you tell me about Mormon customs: how you dress for church, what holidays you celebrate, etc.?

Danielle Davidson Middleton
Members attending Sunday services will most likely be wearing their “Sunday best,” which may include suits, sport coats, and ties for the men and modest dresses or skirts for the women. Children also typically dress up for Sunday. Members of the Church celebrate Christmas and Easter, regarding these two events as the most spiritually significant days in history because of the birth, suffering, death, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Church members also celebrate the regional and national holidays of the countries where they live. Church members also celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, and similar events. Show more Show less

What is Mormonism? OR What do Mormons believe?

Danielle Davidson Middleton
When Jesus Christ lived on the earth, He organized His Church so that all people could receive His gospel and return one day to live with God, our Heavenly Father. After Jesus Christ died, was resurrected and ascended to heaven, His Apostles continued to receive revelation from Him through the Holy Ghost on how to direct the work of His Church. However, after they were killed, members changed the teachings of the Church that He had established. While many good people and some truth remained, this Apostasy, or general falling away from the truth, brought about the withdrawal of the Church from the earth (2 Thessalonians 2:1-3; Acts 20:29-30). The Apostle Peter prophesied that Jesus would restore His Church before His Second Coming (Acts 3:19-21). Jesus Christ began to restore His Church in its fulness to the earth through the Prophet Joseph Smith in 1820. It has grown to become a worldwide Church with over 13 million members. It has the same teachings and basic organization as the Church established by Jesus in New Testament times. Show more Show less

To what do you attribute the growth of the Church?

Danielle Davidson Middleton
Gordon B. Hinckley, prior President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, said: “[People] see in this Church an anchor in a world of shifting values. The family is falling apart in America and across the world. We are putting strong emphasis on the family. It is appealing to people. They like it. They welcome it. They need help and we offer that help. “Furthermore, it gives purpose to life.... We answer the old questions of Where did I come from? Why am I here? Where am I going? These great religious questions have been asked by men throughout the ages. We give them an assurance of who they are, sons and daughters of God. I am a child of God. We have a song that says that. We believe it. It is a fact with us. People find comfort. They find peace. They find strength in that. “And in the organization they find sociability. They find friends. We are a very friendly Church. We are a very happy Church. We are a happy, go ahead people, and others like it.” Show more Show less

In whom should we have faith?

Danielle Davidson Middleton
In order to come closer to Heavenly Father and receive all the blessings that He has for you, you must first develop faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. The Apostle Peter taught that “there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). Faith in God is more than a theoretical belief in Him. To have faith in God is to trust Him, to have confidence in Him, and to be willing to act on your belief in Him. It is a principle of action and power. Show more Show less

What is a “testimony” that Mormons speak of?

Danielle Davidson Middleton
A testimony is a spiritual witness given to an individual by the Holy Ghost. The foundation of a Mormon’s testimony is the knowledge that Heavenly Father lives and loves us; that Jesus Christ lives, that He is the Son of God, and that He carried out the infinite Atonement; that Joseph Smith is a prophet, which God called to restore Jesus Christ’s church to the earth; that we are led today by a living prophet; and that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the Savior’s Church restored on the earth today. Show more Show less

Who is the Mormon prophet today?

Danielle Davidson Middleton
God has called prophets to lead His Church in our day, just as He did anciently. The current prophet and President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is Thomas S. Monson. He is assisted by two counselors—Henry B. Eyring and Dieter F. Uctdorf. Together, they make up the First Presidency of the Church (much like Peter, James, and John after Christ’s death). All members of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles are apostles and prophets. The current Apostles are: Boyd K. Packer L. Tom Perry Russell M. Nelson Dallin H. Oaks M. Russell Ballard Richard G. Scott Robert D. Hales Jeffrey R. Holland David A. Bednar Quentin L. Cook D. Todd Christofferson Neil L. Andersen Show more Show less

How are modesty and chastity related? How can parents teach their children to be modest in dress, language and behavior?

Danielle Davidson Middleton
Modesty, language and chastity are all connected in that our bodies are sacred creations made in the image of God. Therefore respecting this sacred gift means reserving physical intimacy for marriage between a man and woman, covering our bodies appropriately in dress and using language about the body that is always uplifting. Parents can teach their children that when they show respect for their bodies in this way, they can qualify to have the benefits of having the Holy Ghost with them. Show more Show less

Do Mormons regard the Bible as Holy Scripture and the word of God?

Danielle Davidson Middleton
Mormons believe, revere and love the Holy Bible. We see it as a powerful, important, and sacred holy record which serves as the bedrock of all Christianity. The Bible is rich in history, doctrine, stories, sermons and testimonies, all of which witness that Jesus Christ is the Divine Son of our Heavenly Father. The Bible is the word of God and came from the writings of holy men of God as they were moved upon by the Holy Ghost (see 2 Peter 1:20-21). Through the same process we have additional Holy Scripture, including the Book of Mormon, which supports and exalts the Bible. Show more Show less

Why do you have 12 Apostles? They were just meant to be around for the time of Jesus Christ, not to be replaced with new apostles.

Danielle Davidson Middleton
It is apparent from the New Testament that after Jesus established His 12 apostles that the group or Quorum of 12 was to continue from the events of Acts Chapter 1 where the 11 apostles, under the direction of Peter, choose Matthias as the new apostle to replace Judas. Paul, an author of a number of books in the New Testament, was also chosen as an apostle. Paul indicates that the church is built upon the foundation of apostles and prophets (Ephesians 2:19-20) and lists their functions to “bring us to a unity of the faith” (Ephesians 4:11-14). (See Apostles in the Bible Dictionary) Show more Show less

What are some things that tell you there is a God?

Danielle Davidson Middleton
God has provided many evidences of His existence. One of these is the testimony of His creations: “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork” (Psalms 19:1). Have you ever looked in awe at the night sky with its billions of stars? Or studied the intricate details of a leaf or flower? Or marveled at the miracle of a tiny new baby? These beautiful and complex creations didn’t come about by chance. They are the creations of God, your Heavenly Father. They can remind you of His existence and of His love for His children. An ancient prophet declared: “All things denote there is a God; yea, even the earth... and its motion, yea, and also all the planets which move in their regular form do witness that there is a Supreme Creator” (Book of Mormon, Alma 30:44). Show more Show less

Are all Mormons required to serve a mission?

Danielle Davidson Middleton
There is a strong tradition of missionary service in the Church. The Savior taught, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations” (Matthew 28:19). Church members consider it a privilege to show their love for other people and the Lord by sharing the gospel. Missionaries generally begin serving when they are from 19 to 21 years old. Many retired seniors, men, women, and married couples also serve missions. Missionaries serve from 18 months to 2 years. Missions are voluntary, and missionaries are not paid for their service. Missionaries come from around the world, and they serve wherever the Church calls them. While serving full-time, missionaries are official representatives of the Church. Show more Show less

What do Mormons believe about family?

Danielle Davidson Middleton
In “The Family: A Proclamation to the World” many Mormon beliefs about families are outlined. One of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ core beliefs is that family relationships can last forever—not just for this life. Just as some of life’s sweetest joys can come through family associations, the loss of a beloved family member can be a source of our deepest sorrows. But death does not need to be the end of our relationships with cherished loved ones. The Lord revealed to the Prophet Joseph Smith that the “same sociality which exists among us here will exist among us there [in eternity], only it will be coupled with eternal glory” (Doctrine and Covenants 130:2). Family members who accept the Atonement of Jesus Christ and follow His example can be together forever through sacred ordinances performed in God’s holy temples. Jesus gave to Peter the power to have things sealed on earth and sealed in heaven (Matthew 16:19). This same sealing power was restored to Joseph Smith. Mormon’s believe that they can be “sealed” or bound together through His power enabling them to live together in eternity. Show more Show less

How can faith in Jesus Christ influence us in our marriages and family relationships? in our friendships?

Danielle Davidson Middleton
A successful marriage requires faith—both in God and faith in each other. Faith in God is more than a theoretical belief in Him. To have faith in God is to trust Him, to have confidence in Him, and to be willing to act on our belief in Him. It is a principle of action. Shared faith in God can bind married couples and families together in a commitment to common values. It can lend them strength to overcome obstacles that might otherwise damage these important relationships. In successful marriages, couples trust each other. And they strive to prove worthy of their spouse’s trust. Any strong marital or family relationship must be based on mutual trust and trustworthiness. Faith in each other, like faith in God, can help couples and families face uncertainty and live up to high expectations. Show more Show less

Are Mormons Christians?

Danielle Davidson Middleton
Gordon B. Hinckley, prior President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (1995-2008), said: “We are Christians in a very real sense and that is coming to be more and more widely recognized. Once upon a time people everywhere said we are not Christians. They have come to recognize that we are, and that we have a very vital and dynamic religion based on the teachings of Jesus Christ. We, of course, accept Jesus Christ as our Leader, our King, our Savior...the dominant figure in the history of the world, the only perfect Man who ever walked the earth, the living Son of the living God. He is our Savior and our Redeemer through whose atoning sacrifice has come the opportunity of eternal life. Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints pray and worship in the name of Jesus Christ. He is the center of our faith and the head of our Church. The Book of Mormon is Another Testament of Jesus Christ and witnesses of His divinity, His life, and His Atonement.” Show more Show less

How can we come to know our Father in Heaven?

Danielle Davidson Middleton
Along with evidence of His marvelous creations all around you, Heavenly Father has given you many ways to know for yourself that He lives. You can: Talk to Him through prayer and ask Him for reassurance and love. Read the testimonies of special witnesses called apostles and prophets. They have had sacred experiences with God and have recorded these experiences in sacred books called scriptures. Keep His commandments, which bring you closer to God and help you know that He lives. Your belief in God will grow as you: Pray to Heavenly Father (James 1:5). Study the scriptures (2 Timothy 3:14-17). Obey God’s commandments (John 14:21-23). As you act on your desire to believe, God will strengthen your belief in Him until it becomes sure knowledge (Book of Mormon, Alma 32:27-35). Show more Show less

Who wrote the Book of Mormon?

Danielle Davidson Middleton
The Book of Mormon is another witness that Jesus Christ really lived, that He was and is God’s Son. It contains the writings of ancient prophets. One of these, Lehi, lived in Jerusalem around 600 B.C. God commanded Lehi to lead a small group of people to the American continent. There they became a great civilization. God continued to call prophets among these people. The Book of Mormon is a collection of the writings of their prophets and record keepers. It is named after Mormon, one of the last of these ancient prophets. These prophets knew about Heavenly Father’s plan for His children and the mission of Jesus Christ. They recorded that Christ appeared, after His Resurrection, to the people in America, taught them His gospel, and formed His Church among them. The book contains the teachings of Jesus Christ, testifying of His Atonement and His love. It supports and verifies the Bible. The Book of Mormon concludes with a great promise that those who read it and sincerely pray about it can know by the Holy Ghost that it is true (Moroni 10:4). Show more Show less

What is the role of the husband and the wife in the family?

Danielle Davidson Middleton
Children are a wonderful blessing. “Children are an heritage of the Lord” (Psalms 127:3). Raising a child isn’t easy. In fact, it’s among the most challenging and all-consuming responsibilities we have in life. But good parenting is vital—to society and to the Lord. Both mother and father have a necessary and important role in the lives of their children. Parents’ work in the home will be more effective if their first priorities are God, each other, and their children. A home that is safe, where children can grow mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually, requires faith and the best efforts of the parents working together (see “The Family: A Proclamation to the World”). In such a home, children learn to love and serve each other. They learn to keep the commandments of God and to be good citizens. Such homes bless children and their communities. Show more Show less

Why do Mormons baptize their new members?

Danielle Davidson Middleton
Jesus Christ taught that we must be baptized by immersion (Mark 16:16; 3 Nephi 11:21-26). He set the example Himself by being baptized to “fulfill all righteousness” (Matthew 3:15). We are baptized by someone who has God’s priesthood authority for the remission of sins. (Acts 2:38, Acts 22:16). We are also baptized to become members of the Church of Jesus Christ, and to enter the kingdom of God (John 3:5). Through the ordinance of baptism, we make a promise, called a covenant, with God. We promise to accept Christ, to become His followers, and to keep His commandments to the end of our lives. In return, our Heavenly Father promises to forgive our sins and let us return to live with Him, provided we keep our covenants. Show more Show less

What is the purpose of the welfare services of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?

Danielle Davidson Middleton
The purpose of Church welfare is to promote self-reliance and to care for and serve the poor and needy. For assistance, recipients are encouraged to work (when able) so that they are blessed and can bless the lives of others. Work is a guiding principle in the Church's welfare program. Show more Show less

What is the Church’s position on abortion?

Danielle Davidson Middleton
In 1973, the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints released the following statement regarding abortion, which is still applicable today: “The Church opposes abortion and counsels its members not to submit to or perform an abortion except in the rare cases where, in the opinion of competent medical counsel, the life or good health of the mother is seriously endangered or where the pregnancy was caused by rape and produces serious emotional trauma in the mother. Even then it should be done only after counseling with the local presiding priesthood authority and after receiving divine confirmation through prayer.” Show more Show less

How do I become a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon Church)?

Danielle Davidson Middleton
As you learn more about the gospel of Jesus Christ, you may experience feelings of peace, comfort, or happiness. Some have expressed that they feel a familiarity with the truths they are being taught and feel as though they are coming home. You are feeling the influence of the Holy Ghost telling you that what you are learning is true. If you have a desire to follow Christ’s teachings and obey His commandments, you are first encouraged to participate in a series of discussions that will introduce you to basic principles of His gospel. Then, when you are ready, you can become a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints by receiving the ordinance of baptism by immersion for the remission of sins by one having authority who after the baptism lays their hands upon your head, confirms you a member of the Church and then pronounces a blessing upon you that you may receive the gift of the Holy Ghost (see Acts 8:18-20). If you would like to receive a visit from Church representatives who can tell you more about becoming a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints you can do that. Show more Show less

Why did your church previously practice plural marriage (polygamy)?

Danielle Davidson Middleton
At various times, the Lord has commanded His people to practice plural marriage. For example, He gave this command to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, David, and Solomon (Doctrine and Covenants 132:1). At other times the Lord has given other instructions. In the Book of Mormon, the Lord told the prophet Jacob “for there shall not any man among you have save it be one wife: and concubines he shall have none... for if I will, saith the Lord of Hosts, raise up seed unto me, I will command my people; otherwise they shall hearken unto these things” (Jacob 2:27-30). In this dispensation, the Lord commanded some of the early Saints to practice plural marriage. The Prophet Joseph Smith and those closest to him, including Brigham Young and Heber C. Kimball, were challenged by this command, but they obeyed it. Church leaders regulated the practice. Those entering into it had to be authorized to do so, and the marriages had to be performed through the sealing power of the priesthood. In 1890, President Wilford Woodruff received a revelation that the leaders of the Church should cease teaching the practice of plural marriage (Official Declaration 1). The Lord’s law of marriage is monogamy unless he commands otherwise to help establish the House of Israel (see Encyclopedia of Mormonism Vol. 3, pp. 1091-1095). Show more Show less

Do Mormons practice polygamy?

Danielle Davidson Middleton
President Gordon B. Hinckley, made the following statement: “This Church has nothing whatever to do with those practicing polygamy. They are not members of this Church.... If any of our members are found to be practicing plural marriage, they are excommunicated, the most serious penalty the Church can impose. Not only are those so involved in direct violation of the civil law, they are in violation of the law of this Church.” At various times, the Lord has commanded His people to practice plural marriage. For example, He gave this command to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, David, and Solomon. At other times the Lord has given other instructions. In the Book of Mormon, the Lord told the prophet Jacob “for there shall not any man among you have save it be one wife: and concubines he shall have none... for if I will, saith the Lord of Hosts, raise up seed unto me, I will command my people; otherwise they shall hearken unto these things In this dispensation, the Lord commanded some of the early Saints to practice plural marriage. The Prophet Joseph Smith and those closest to him, including Brigham Young and Heber C. Kimball, were challenged by this command, but they obeyed it. Those entering into it had to be authorized to do so, and the marriages had to be performed through the sealing power of the priesthood. In 1890, President Wilford Woodruff received a revelation that the leaders of the Church should cease teaching the practice of plural marriage Show more Show less

Are there restrictions based on race or color concerning who can join The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and have the priesthood?

Danielle Davidson Middleton
There are no race or color restrictions as to who can join The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. There are also no race or color restrictions as to who can have the priesthood in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. An official declaration of the Church states, “every faithful, worthy man in the Church may receive the holy priesthood, with power to exercise its divine authority, and enjoy with his loved ones every blessing that flows therefrom, including the blessings of the temple. Accordingly, all worthy male members of the Church may be ordained to the priesthood without regard for race or color.” (Doctrine and Covenants, Official Declaration – 2, 294). Gordon B. Hinckley, prior President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, reaffirmed this principle when speaking to the National Press Club in Washington D.C.: “We believe in the old adage that many hands make light work. We have a lay priesthood, and every worthy man is eligible to receive this priesthood.” Show more Show less