Mormon women are praised and honored in Mormon doctrine. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (often misnamed the “Mormon Church”) teaches that women are of equal value to men and should be treated as beloved daughters of God.
While some take the view that because women do not hold the priesthood in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints then they must be viewed as inferior, those who truly understand Mormon doctrine see that in no way, shape, or form are Mormon women viewed as of less value. Mormon women are seen as help mates for men, as God declared when He created Eve in the Garden of Eden. This does not mean that a woman’s purpose is to serve a man. This means that man and woman are complementary to each other. They have been given different traits, characteristics, and abilities which help the other progress in life and through the eternities.
Mormon women are seen as capable, spiritual, sensitive people who have a unique ability and responsibility to raise and nurture children. This does not mean that they are incapable of going out and getting a career and being just as successful and valuable as a man would be in the same career. Mormon doctrine teaches, rather, that there is no more valuable sphere in which a woman can use her talents and abilities than in the home. The world has come to view the job of a mother and housewife as inferior and substandard. Mormon doctrine, however, teaches that families hold our greatest responsibilities and potential.
In a world that is no longer focused on God or salvation, it is easy to say that we are all here for the short span of our lives and the harder we work, the more money we will earn, and the more comfortable life we will have. Mormon doctrine focuses on the eternities, not the here and now. While this life is an important part of our eternal progression, it is more important that we live this life with an eye to the eternities rather than to what car we can drive and how big of a house we can buy.
Mormons believe that families can be together forever. This doctrine is unique to Mormonism. Though many individuals of other faiths believe personally that they will be reunited with loved ones when they die, their churches’ doctrines declare marriages end at death. A Mormon woman is encouraged to stay home, if financially possible, to raise her children in love and righteousness not because she is incapable of doing more, but because there is nothing more important she could possibly be doing.
A career will last throughout this lifetime, but that is all. While a man’s primary responsibility is to provide for his family’s physical, spiritual, and emotional well-being, a mother’s responsibility is to create a wholesome, protected environment for her family to protect them as much as possible against the raging of the world.
There are many Mormon women who, either by choice or necessity, choose to pursue careers while also managing to raise children. These women are strong and often rely greatly on the Lord for extra strength and guidance. They should not be judged as breaking a commandment or going against the counsel of the prophet. This choice is a personal one that should be made with her husband prayerfully. On the other hand, Mormon women who choose to stay home and do their best to raise their families in love and righteousness should not be viewed as lazy or old-fashioned. They are content filling that role because they recognize its significance.
Mormon women hold many leadership positions within The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They lead the primary organization for children between the ages of 18 months to 11 years. Women also lead the Young Women organization for young women between the ages of 12 and 18 as well as the Relief Society organization, for women ages 18 and up. In addition to these leadership positions, women serve in many areas of the Mormon Church’s organization. They are not paid for their time, but neither are the men who serve in the church; not even the president of the church. All Mormon clergy is a lay clergy. None is a professional religious leader. All who serve in the Mormon Church do so willingly, on their own time, and without monetary compensation, though they are of course blessed by the Lord for their service.
Mormon women are strong, encouraged to gain an education, recognized as the equals to and complementary partners with men. They have just as much to offer and just as much responsibility as men do in building the kingdom of God.
The Mormon religion is the popular name for the beliefs of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was organized on April 6, 1830, by Joseph Smith, Jr., who was a prophet of God in our day. Mormon history is full of persecution and struggle. Despite the religious freedom granted by the United States Constitution, Latter-day Saints were driven from their homes in four different states for their Mormon religion before finally fleeing west and settling in the Utah territory.
What is so different about the Mormon religion compared to other Christian faiths? What was it that made people who were otherwise good, law-abiding, faithful people turn on their neighbors with such hatred and malice? While there are many levels to answering these questions, for the most part, there are several straightforward responses.
Even today, there are members of many Christian denominations who feel a burning hatred for and distrust of the Mormon religion. This is largely because of misunderstandings and misconceptions, but there are some legitimate differences between the Mormon religion and other Christian faiths which are rooted in doctrinal issues of great importance.
Latter-day Saints do not believe in the Trinity that is defined in Christian creeds. Mormons reject the idea that God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit are three different manifestations of an unknowable, indefinable being. They believe that God has a tangible body of flesh and bone and that He is the literal father of Jesus Christ, His Only Begotten Son. Jesus Christ was born of Mary in a miraculous virgin birth. As the literal Son of God and as the son of a mortal woman, He had the power to die, but also had the power to take up His life again, which He did, rising from the grave on the third day after His death. The Mormon religion teaches that Jesus Christ lives, in a resurrected body, on the right hand of God and is our Mediator with the Father. The Holy Spirit, also known as the Holy Ghost, is a spirit being, who is the third member of the Godhead. He speaks to our hearts and testifies of the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Another doctrine which sets the Mormon religion apart from other Christian faiths is that of authority. Latter-day Saints believe that the priesthood authority which Jesus Christ gave to His apostles when He organized the early church after His resurrection was lost after the deaths of the apostles due to the wickedness of men who took over the church. Instead of taking the existing doctrine and authority on faith, they tried (successfully) to instill the popular philosophies of learned men of their day into the doctrine and make the doctrine conform. Thus, the authority to act in God’s name was lost. A restoration, not a reformation, was needed to bring this authority back, which is what happened in 1830. Joseph Smith was set apart as the first prophet of our dispensation, and he was given the power and authority by those who had held it last: John the Baptist, Peter, James, and John.
The Mormon religion also loses popularity with other Christian religions because it claims to be the only true church on the earth today. It is understandable why this view may not be taken well by other churches, but it is also important to understand that the Mormon religion recognizes that all religions which teach good principles have truth. The distinction is that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the only church on the earth today which has the fulness of the truth. They do not want to take away from people’s faith and beliefs; they simply want to add to the goodness that they already possess.
The most important thing to know about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is that the doctrine is focused on Jesus Christ as our Savior. The danger in referring to this belief system as the Mormon religion is that it takes away from that focus, but that is a nickname that has been stamped on the LDS Church since its early days because of its belief in a book of scripture called the Book of Mormon. Christians often do not take kindly to the Book of Mormon, either, calling it the “Mormon Bible,” but the Book of Mormon is a companion book of scripture to the Bible and serves as another witness that Jesus is the Christ.
Everything in the Mormon religion focuses on Jesus Christ and the fulness of His gospel.
Article Written By Doris
By Kay Cahoon
Mormon Families today are like every other family. We work hard to take care of and support our families. In today’s society some families have to have both father and mother working full-time to take care of household bills. We have the same stresses day to day as everyone else. Making ends meet is difficult for the Mormon family as it is for society in general. Mormon families have disappointments, trials, tribulations, heartaches, and setbacks. So why are Mormons seen as “Pollyanna’s” or perennially “happy”.
People seem to think that “nothing seems to phase us” or we must be faking “joy”. After all, NO one can be “happy” or “joyful” all the time, right? But in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we have access to the Lord’s grace to help us with our trials — the unconditional love of our Savior, Jesus Christ. We can go to our Heavenly Father in prayer every day to share our struggles. We know that He listens with mercy and cares about each and every one of us no matter what we say or do. We are loved. When the world comes crashing down around us, we are never alone and we are always loved. And that is true in the Mormon family.
We teach our children that they are children of God and that they can always pray to Heavenly Father about anything that they are concerned, troubled or questioning about. We also teach our children that they have the agency to make any choice that they want to make, as long as they understand that their choices have consequences. We teach our children that they are accountable for those choices. We teach them about the “Word of Wisdom” which is all about making healthy lifestyle choices. That means we don’t drink alcohol, smoke cigarettes or drink coffee and tea. We believe in moderation in all things.
We teach them that the scriptures are a sacred record and that if we read them daily, we will find answers to those daily struggles that we all must endure. We go to church every Sunday as a family to renew our baptismal covenants that we made when we were baptized. But we also go to learn more about the Gospel of Jesus Christ through scripture study, talks and music. We believe in the Ten Commandments given to Moses. They include.. thou shalt not steal, honor your mother and your father and thou shalt not commit adultery. We study the scriptures daily as a family; we talk about the scriptures and how they apply to us today. One night a week we gather as a family for Family Home Evening, which is a fun time that we can enjoy each other and reinforce that we are an eternal family.
The active Mormon family keeps the Sabbath day holy, which means we don’t go shopping, play sports or anything that takes us away from the respect and focus that we have in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We can be busy like bees for 6 days a week, but on Sundays we take a break, attend our church meetings, visit family, and keep the day holy.
But something that we hold sacred that really binds us as a family is going to the Mormon Temple. We build temples all over the world. Temples are Houses of God considered special or sacred to the Mormon Family. We go to temples to perform special ordinances that are eternal. Each person must be found worthy to attend and needs a temple recommend to enter The House of the Lord. In the Temple, we can learn more about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and our place in the eternities. Families are sealed together for forever, children to parents and grandparents going back generation-to-generation. Through family history research we find our ancestors, then through the ordinances of the Mormon temple, such as baptism for the dead, we seal our relationships forever. When a loved one dies, we believe that we will see that person again, when we pass away. We are sad to lose a loved one, but there is the belief, comfort and faith that we will be together in the eternities.
We are generally a happy and joyful people, because we try to live the Gospel of Jesus Christ every day as individuals and with in our families. By putting Him first and with the knowledge that everything we have and everything we do is through Him, we have the comfort of knowing that we are part of an eternal family, that we are loved unconditionally, that through prayer, scriptures, and personal revelation, we can find the answers we need for ourselves and for our families.
Kay Cahoon, member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon), wife, mother of six, grandma of many, traveler and genealogist.
I didn’t know what was expected the first time I heard someone say, “Let us say grace.” The family bowed their heads, said a memorized prayer and began the meal. I realized that their “grace” was similar to the un-memorized blessing on the food we had each meal as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (referred to as Mormons or LDS).
It didn’t take long to learn that “grace” had even more meanings. But the most meaningful to me refers to the grace extended from God.
The Bible, together with the Book of Mormon and other modern-day scriptures provides a comprehensive explanation of Grace.
From the Bible we read:
In the writings of Paul, grace is freely given to all mankind because of the love and tender mercy of Jesus Christ.
The LDS Bible dictionary defines Grace in this way:
It is through the grace of the Lord Jesus, made possible by his atoning sacrifice, that mankind will be raised in immortality, every person receiving his body from the grave in a condition of everlasting life. It is likewise through the grace of the Lord that individuals, through faith in the atonement of Jesus Christ and repentance of their sins, receive strength and assistance to do good works that they otherwise would not be able to maintain if left to their own means. This grace is an enabling power that allows men and women to lay hold on eternal life and exaltation after they have expended their own best efforts.
Divine grace is needed by every soul in consequence of the fall of Adam and also because of man’s weaknesses and shortcomings. However, grace cannot suffice without total effort on the part of the recipient…
When Jesus suffered in Gethsemane for the sins and sorrows of mankind, He freed us from the prison of death—we were saved with no strings attached. However, we are expected to follow His teachings, example and commandments.
Some churches use biblical scriptures to argue that nothing more is required than the faith that Christ is one’s personal Savior. However, in the New Testament, James made it clear that faith alone is not enough:
What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? Can faith save him? (James 2:14-17)
For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also. (James 2:26)
Gerald Lund, a Mormon Educator, quoted President Joseph Fielding Smith in an article in the April, 1981 Ensign Magazine, “Salvation: By Grace or By Works?” :
So Paul taught these people—who thought that they could be saved by some power that was within them, or by observing the law of Moses—he pointed out to them the fact that if it were not for the mission of Jesus Christ, if it were not for this great atoning sacrifice, they could not be redeemed. And therefore it was by the grace of God that they are saved, not by any work on their part, for they were absolutely helpless. Paul was absolutely right.
And on the other hand, James taught just as the Lord taught, just as Paul had taught in other scripture, that it is our duty, of necessity, to labor, to strive in diligence, and faith, keeping the commandments of the Lord, if we would obtain that inheritance which is promised to the faithful. …
The Book of Mormon confirms that it takes more than saying we believe; we must live as Christ commanded:
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 that we are saved, after all we can do.” (2 Nephi 25:23)
Dallin Oaks, an apostle of the LDS Church, explained (Ensign Magazine, May 1998, “Have You Been Saved?”):
…what is “all we can do”? It surely includes repentance (see Alma 24:11) and baptism, keeping the commandments, and enduring to the end. Moroni pleaded, “Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ” (Moro. 10:32).
We are not saved in our sins, as by being unconditionally saved through confessing Christ and then, inevitably, committing sins in our remaining lives (see Alma 11:36–37). We are saved from our sins (see Hel. 5:10) by a weekly renewal of our repentance and cleansing through the grace of God and His blessed plan of salvation (see 3 Ne. 9:20–22).
We must take action now to gain exaltation later. Exaltation is different than salvation. It means being exalted into the highest kingdom of heaven into the very presence of God. The gift of grace guarantees that the end of life (death) is just the beginning of eternity (immortality). We must strive to become better each day.
Using the standard dictionary definitions of Grace, Christopher J. Sexton, a recent convert to Mormonism, told how grace works in his life.
1. Elegance, beauty, and smoothness of form or movement. This is how things go in my life when I allow God to drive the bus, and I just follow instructions.
2. Politeness, dignified and decent behavior. This is how I try to act as I pray and ask for the continued humility, strength and love to accept His will for me, knowing He knows best.
3. Generosity of spirit, a capacity to tolerate, accommodate or forgive people. This is the never-ending Love of my (our) Savior and all He does for me during the trial of this existence.
Moroni, a Book of Mormon prophet, taught that through grace and following Christ (works) we will be redeemed:
Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ; and if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in nowise deny the power of God.
And again, if ye by the grace of God are perfect in Christ, and deny not his power, then are ye sanctified in Christ by the grace of God, through the shedding of the blood of Christ, which is in the covenant of the Father unto the remission of your sins, that ye become holy, without spot. (Moroni 10:32–33.)
I am humbled by the Grace of God. Because of Christ’s redeeming love, I deeply desire to be worthy of the incomprehensible sacrifice He made in my behalf. I am grateful for His arms of comfort and mercy that encircle me and strengthen me when I am weak. I pray that others will come to know, as I do, that Jesus is the Christ, filled with Grace and truth and that He is available to all who seek Him.
Gerald N. Lund – “Salvation: By Grace or by Works?
Elder Dalin H. Oaks – “Have You Been Saved?”
Bible Dictionary: Grace
LDS Scriptures: New Testament
Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (also known as Mormons) believe in the Book of Mormon. It is another testament of Jesus Christ. At the beginning of this sacred text we learn of a family that was led to the Americas before Jerusalem was destroyed nearly 600 years before the Lord Jesus Christ was born. In their account we learn from the father of the family (and prophet of God), “Wherefore, I, Lehi, prophesy according to the workings of the Spirit which is in me, that there shall none come into this land save they shall be brought by the hand of the Lord” (2 Nephi 1:6).
Mormons recognize and understand that America is a blessed land. Some 2,000 years after Lehi and his family were led to America, we know that there was another who was led to this great land—a man of faith and determination, Christopher Columbus. In the Book of Mormon we learn about Columbus and his divine mission, from a vision of Lehi’s son Nephi,
And I looked and beheld a man among the Gentiles, who was separated from the seed of my brethren by the many waters; and I beheld the Spirit of God, that it came down and wrought upon the man; and he went forth upon the many waters, even unto the seed of my brethren, who were in the promised land” (1 Ne. 13:12). President Gordon B. Hinckley (former prophet of the LDS church) said of Christopher Columbus:
It was he who in faith lighted a lamp to look for a new way to China and who in the process discovered America. His was an awesome undertaking—to sail west across the unknown seas farther than any before him of his generation. He it was who, in spite of the terror of the unknown and the complaints and near mutiny of his crew, sailed on with frequent prayers to the Almighty for guidance. In his reports to the sovereigns of Spain, Columbus repeatedly asserted that his voyage was for the glory of God and the spread of the Christian faith. Properly do we honor him for his unyielding strength in the face of uncertainty and danger (“Building Your Tabernacle,” Ensign, November 1992).
Just as we know that Columbus had a divine mission to “discover” America (perhaps his greatest contribution was establishing a colony on nearby islands from where exploratory expeditions could launch), we also know that our Founding Fathers had a divine mission to found the country itself. It was not by coincidence that these wise and courageous men (George Washington, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Robert Morris, etc.) were all born around the same time, were introduced to one another, and that they all had an indescribable passion and zeal for the land of America to be founded under God. President Ezra Taft Benson (late prophet of the LDS church) said this,
I testify that America is a choice land. God raised up the founding fathers of the United States of America and established the inspired Constitution… America will be a blessed land unto the righteous forever… (“I Testify,” Conference Report, October 1988).
Noted historian, Barbara Tuchman, said,
The product of a new nation, George Washington, was a leader who shines among the best. While Jefferson was more learned, more cultivated, a more extraordinary mind, and unsurpassed intelligence, a truly universal man, Washington had a character of rock and a kind of nobility that exerted a natural dominion over others, together with the inner strength and perseverance that enabled him to prevail over a flood of obstacles. He made possible both the physical victory of American independence and the survival of the fractious and tottering young republic in its beginning years.
Around him in extraordinary fertility political talent bloomed as if touched by some tropical sun. For all their flaws and quarrels, the Founding Fathers have rightfully been called by Arthur Schlesinger, Sr., “the most remarkable generation of public men in the history of the United States or perhaps of any other nation.” It is worth noting the qualities this historian ascribes to them: they were fearless, high-principled, deeply versed in ancient and modern political thought, astute and pragmatic, unafraid of experiment, and—this is significant—“convinced of man’s power to improve his condition through the use of intelligence.” That was the mark of the Age of Reason that formed them, and although the 18th century had a tendency to regard men as more rational than in fact they were, it evoked the best in government from these men.
It would be invaluable if we could know what produced this burst of talent from a base of only two and a half million inhabitants…. the Founders remain a phenomenon to keep in mind to encourage our estimate of human possibilities, even if their example is too rare to be a basis of normal expectations (The March of Folly: From Troy to Viet Nam, 18, 19).
A day never to be forgotten is that of July 4th, 1776. This was the day that our founding fathers signed the Declaration of Independence, declaring independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain. And to answer the question in the title of this article “Do Mormons Celebrate the Fourth of July?” the answer is a resounding, Yes! American Mormons honor and celebrate this day with fun and games and patriotic observances, just as other Americans. And we also celebrate it with singing hymns in church, giving thanks to God in our personal, family, and public prayers, and we simply celebrate it by honoring with reverence the great momentous occasion that it was—a day that was consecrated by God Himself.
A unique belief of Mormonism is that one pivotal reason for the foundation of America was for the re-establishment of Christ’s Primitive Church, now known as The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (commonly called the “Mormon Church” by friends of other faiths). After Christ died, the priesthood power (the name Mormons give the power and authority of God) gradually disappeared with internal doctrinal disagreements developing within the Christian community. That priesthood power needed to be brought back, and it was, because of the rights and freedoms that came into effect on March 4, 1789, with the Constitution of the United States of America. Like Christopher Columbus, George Washington, and other key players of the founding of America, Joseph Smith Jr. had a divine mission from God. Just 44 years after the Declaration of Independence was signed, he saw God the Father, and His Son Jesus Christ in a vision, wherein they told him that he was to be an instrument in bringing about this great work. All of these events were not by coincidence; God designed them.
Each Fourth of July, I am reminded not only of the blessing it was to have our country become independent from Great Britain, but I am also reminded of God’s powerful hand in all things. I know that America was founded under God, and that indeed it is a blessed land.
Following are the words of President N. Eldon Tanner (former member of The First Presidency of the LDS Church):
We are all a part of America’s future. Our job is to learn and benefit from the past and to go forward in righteousness, keeping the commandments of God. In this connection the prophet Lehi said, “Wherefore, this land is consecrated unto him whom he shall bring. And if it so be that they shall serve him according to the commandments which he hath given, it shall be a land of liberty unto them; wherefore, they shall never be brought down into captivity; if so, it shall be because of iniquity; for if iniquity shall abound cursed shall be the land for their sakes, but unto the righteous it shall be blessed forever” (2 Nephi 1:7). (“If They Will But Serve the God of the Land,” Conference Report, April 1976).
Read a talk by a modern day apostle Elder L. Tom Perry titled, “God’s Hand in the Founding of America”