Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
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The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (LDS) is the official name of the religion popularly known as the Mormon Church. Headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah, the Mormon Church was founded by Joseph Smith in the 1830s during the period known as the Second Great Awakening.
Latter Day Saints Push Westward
Smith’s church was pushed westward out of New York because of its radical beliefs, best known among them polygamy, or plural marriage. In the 1850s, the Mormons settled around Salt Lake City, and the LDS Church was forced to abandon polygamy as a practice in exchange for statehood in 1890.
During the 20th century, the LDS has expanded globally. Part of its outreach is to send missionary teams, usually consisting of two young men. The Mormon Church also holds up The Book of Mormon as a foundational text equally important as the Bible. Joseph Smith wrote the Book of Mormon, having claimed that the angel Moroni directed him to buried golden plates that Smith then translated.
Latter Day Saints Characteristics
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is culturally characterized by the following:
- Social conservatism
- An emphasis on the nuclear family.
- Based on Leviticus 11, LDS members are prohibited from consuming tobacco, alcohol, caffeine (including tea and coffee), and illegal drugs
- Many LDS members also choose to wear special, sacred undergarments as a symbol of their commitment to their faith