An Introduction to Mormonism (Introduction to Religion) by Douglas J. Davies

By Douglas J. Davies

Even if one of many quickest transforming into non secular routine on this planet, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints continues to be a secret when it comes to its center ideals and theological constitution. This well timed e-book offers a tremendous advent to the fundamental heritage, doctrines and practices of The LDS--the "Mormon" Church. Emphasizing sacred texts and prophecies in addition to the an important Temple rituals of endowments, marriage and baptism, it truly is written by way of a non-believer, who describes Mormonism in ways in which non-Mormons can comprehend.

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Angels can shake hands, resurrected beings do not have bodies and will not proffer their ‘hands’ to be shaken, while the devil – being a deceiver – will offer a hand but the recipient will feel nothing (D&C 129: 1–9). The very use of the word can also, for example, convey a meaning to the initiated that is not accessible to others. Public use of the word ‘keys’ can thus carry a message to Mormons who have undergone temple education and ritual but would mean little to those who have not. Such ‘keys’ do not simply refer to the historical past and the contemporary organization of the Church; they also hold prospective power associated with the afterlife and the conquest of death, as we see in chapters 4 and 8.

Doctrine in Catholicism lies under the scrutiny and interpretation of central church authorities and is not left open to each member’s views. It is no accident that Catholicism developed in and through a closed hierarchy of priests within a church that, when in its medieval prime, took the form of a holy empire. The Protestant Reformation dramatically questioned this view of authentic power and moved its focus to the Bible as the prime authority in religion. Believing that the Bible contains the revealed word of God, made real to believers through the internal witness of the Holy Spirit, Protestants developed the doctrine of the priesthood of all believers, in which each man and woman is held responsible before God for their own religious lives.

Awake and arise and go forth to meet the Bridegroom . . prepare for the day of the Lord’ (D&C 133: 8–10). I will return to this issue in chapter 9 when considering further Mormonism’s current and future development. The practical spirituality of early Mormonism viewed the world at large as evil, symbolized by Babylon, from which they should flee to Zion both to avoid disasters that God would bring upon the evil world and to prepare for the coming of Christ. Despite this stress on the American Zion and the fact that hundreds of thousands responded to the call to gather, there remains within LDS texts an ongoing commitment to the Holy Land and to Jerusalem as Zion.

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