The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Here are a list of terms from my church and their meanings that are referred to on my blog in no particular order.

General Conference

Twice a year members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints gather either in person or remotely to listen to church leaders deliver sermons to increase faith, testimony and unity.

For more information about general conference visit this link.

Temples

“For members of the Church, a temple is the most sacred place of worship on the earth. It is unique from all other places of worship. It is designated as the only place where families can be united forever and where the most sacred gospel ordinances are performed. It is also a place where you can feel closer to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, a place of peace and revelation, a place where family relationships are strengthened, and a place to seek direction concerning life’s challenges.

Although all people are invited to attend worship services in Church meetinghouses, a temple is different. After a temple is dedicated, visitors are welcome to enjoy the beautiful and peaceful temple grounds, but entrance into the temple is reserved for faithful members of the Church—those who are willing and prepared to receive these special ordinances, covenants, and blessings.”

Being “sealed” for time and all eternity in the temple to your spouse is the culminating ordinance of the gospel and is something that is unique to our religion. It carries the promise that as long as covenants and obligations are kept to each other and to the Lord, the couple may be able to remain wedded after this life. This sealing blessing also extends to any children that the couple bears or adopts. The promise that “families can be together forever” is, to me, one of the sweetest and most hope-filled doctrines of the Church.

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For more information about temples visit this link.

Bishop

Each congregation of the Church is called a ward and is presided over by a bishop. He serves without financial compensation and provides spiritual support to members of his congregation.

For more information about bishops visit this link.

Priesthood Blessings

We believe that the Priesthood is God’s power to act in His name. He authorizes His children to use it to bless others and perform ordinances on the earth. Jesus Christ gave this power to His apostles when He was on the earth. We believe that power was restored to the earth by those same apostles and was given to Joseph Smith who in turn gave it to other apostles and elders in our day.

“Priesthood ordinances are sacred acts given by the Lord and performed by the authority of the priesthood. Priesthood blessings are given by the authority of the priesthood for healing, comfort, and encouragement.”

For more information about Priesthood Blessings and Ordinances visit this link.

Missions

Members of the Church can volunteer to serve proselyting or service missions for varying periods of time. Young unmarried men and women who opt to serve proselyting missions typically serve full-time for 18-24 months and leave their families and college/job responsibilities behind to live and serve in another area of the country or world. This is the type of mission I served from August 2005-March 2007. I was assigned to the Arizona Tucson Mission which, at the time, took in areas along the US/Mexico border from Tucson, Arizona to El Paso, Texas.

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Derek served in Leon, Mexico from June 2003-June 2005.

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Fasting

“To fast is to go without food and drink. Proper fasting, with prayer as its companion, increases spirituality, fosters a spirit of devotion and love of God, increases faith, encourages humility, teaches man his dependence upon God, and provides an opportunity for the spirit to take control over the body.” (See Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 2nd ed. [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1966], p. 276.)

For more information about fasting visit this link.

Sacrament Meeting

During the first hour of worship services families meet together to partake of the sacrament, similar to communion in other churches.

For more information about the sacrament visit this link.

Elders Quorums

During the Sunday worship services, men and women are divided into separate classes for part of the time. Women are part of an organization called the Relief Society and men are organized into priesthood quorums.

“A priesthood quorum is an organized group of brethren. The primary purposes of quorums are to serve others, build unity and brotherhood, and instruct members in doctrine, principles, and duties.”

For more information about priesthood quorums visit this link.

Institute

Seminary and Institutes of religion are gospel education programs for the youth and young adults in the Church. Students in junior high and high school are encouraged to enroll in a seminary class each year of school. College aged students are encouraged to attend Institute of religion classes each semester in addition to their other academic classes. Institutes also host various activities and dances for the young adults in the area.

Baptism

“Baptism is the first saving ordinance of the gospel (see Articles of Faith 1:4). Through baptism and confirmation by priesthood authority, you became a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

When you were baptized, you showed your willingness to follow the Savior’s example. He too was baptized, even though He was without sin. As He explained to John the Baptist, He needed to be baptized in order to “fulfill all righteousness” (see Matthew 3:13–17).”

For more information about baptism visit this link.

The Book of Mormon

“The Book of Mormon is a volume of holy scripture comparable to the Bible. It is a record of God’s dealings with ancient inhabitants of the Americas and contains the fulness of the everlasting gospel.”

We believe it was written by ancient prophets in America and translated by the power of God through a modern prophet.

For more information about The Book of Mormon visit this link.

Read a copy of The Book of Mormon online at this link.

Request your own free copy of The Book of Mormon at this link.

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