About the Church
|Today The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (sometimes inadvertently referred to by the media or friends of other faiths as "The Mormon Church") has over 15 million members in over 160 nations worldwide. Currently, 158 of its beautiful temples adorn sites in North, South, and Central America, Europe, Asia, Africa, and numerous islands of the sea. There are 24 other LDS temples that have either been announced or are under construction. The relief and humanitarian efforts of the Church have helped bless the lives of millions around the world, regardless of faith, as it follows the example of its Living Head, Jesus Christ. Sadly, The Church of Jesus Christ is still greatly misunderstood, and many myths and falsehoods still exist. We hope that this site will provide information to those who visit hoping to gain knowledge about Latter-day Saints (nicknamed "Mormons"), either on a given topic in Mormonism or simply about Mormons in general. Articles cover topics about such things as basic Mormon beliefs, Mormon doctrine, Mormon history and leadership, temple work, family life, Mormon literature, controversial topics, and Church organizations and humanitarian efforts.
Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles Explains What Sets Mormonism Apart.
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Cedar City Utah Temple (Courtesy of Bobby Valero)
On 6 April 2013, at the Saturday morning session of the 183rd Annual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, President, and Prophet Thomas S. Monson announced the construction of a Mormon temple in Cedar City, Utah.
There are nearly two million Church members in Utah and the Cedar City Utah Temple announced in April 2013 will be the seventeenth in Utah. The 42,657-square foot edifice is located at 280 South Cove Drive in Cedar City on 7.3 acres of land - on the north side of Leigh Hill. It will serve members in 17 stakes headquartered in southern Utah and eastern Nevada, an area which includes approximately 50,000 members. One of the great temple hymns, "High on a Mountain Top," was written by Joel Hill Johnson while living in Enoch, Utah, a suburb of Cedar City. Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Cedar City, Utah, currently participate in temple ordinances at the St. George Utah Temple, located approximately 50 miles to the south. The St. George Utah Temple serves members from 48 stakes in Southern Utah, Eastern Nevada, and Northern Arizona.
History of Cedar City Utah
Cedar City is north of St. George, Utah, where the first temple in the state was completed (the Salt Lake Temple took 40 years to build). Cedar City is the home of the University of Southern Utah, famous for its annual Shakespearean Festival, and near several national parks and ski ranges, including Zion's National Park and Brianhead Ski Resort.
In 1851, the first settlers arrived in the Cedar City area on an assignment from Church leaders to establish iron works. Although the ironworks were not as successful as they had hoped, iron mining continued, and the addition of the railroad near Cedar City in 1923 aided distribution of mining products. The railroad also introduced the world to southern Utah’s national parks. Today Cedar City has a large Latter-day Saint population, some of which are descendants of those 19th-century settlers.
The Cedar City Utah Temple will serve members from 17 stakes located in southern Utah and eastern Nevada: Beaver Utah Stake, Cedar City Utah Canyon View Stake, Cedar City Utah Cross Hollow Stake, Cedar City Utah Married Student Stake, Cedar City Utah North Stake, Cedar City Utah Stake, Cedar City Utah West Stake, Cedar City YSA 1st Stake, Cedar City YSA 2nd Stake, Ely Nevada Stake, Enoch Utah Stake, Enoch Utah West Stake, Escalante Utah Stake, Minersville Utah Stake, Panaca Nevada Stake, Panguitch Utah Stake, and Parowan Utah Stake.
The ground was broken for the Cedar City Utah Temple on Saturday, 8 August 2015. Elder L. Whitney Clayton of the Presidency of the Seventy presided. He was joined by Elder Kent F. Richards of the Seventy and executive director of the Temple Department and Elder Dane Leavitt of the Seventy. During his comments, Elder Clayton said, "we remember the founders of Cedar City 167 years ago and remember the broken picks and broken shovels. We stand on their shoulders. They endured much to prepare the area's foundation for a city they would never see."
Services were broadcast live to the 17 stake centers in the temple district, allowing Latter-day Saints across the region to participate in the historic event.
Things to Know about the Cedar City Utah Temple
The Cedar City Utah Temple has been years in the making. The grounds of the lot on Leigh Hill were subdivided into three parcels in September 2012 and the LDS Church finalized the purchase of the 21-acre west-side parcel a few months late in November. Construction on the 42,657-square foot building started in 2015 with the Angel Moroni placed on the tower in September 2016.
Zwick Construction delivered and signed over the recently completed temple to the owners’ representatives on Friday, 29 September 2017. They will oversee the finishing touches and final preparations for the next four weeks before the public open house begins on Friday, 27 October 2017.
Open House Dates Announced
The First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has announced that the free public open house for the Cedar City Utah Temple will begin on Friday, 27 October 2017, and continue through Saturday, 18 November 2017, except for the Sundays of 29 October, 5 and 12 November.
The tour is open to anyone who is interested – including non-members – but reservations are required. Tickets are available through an online reservation system at templeopenhouse.lds.org (a valid e-mail address is required to confirm reservations). The tours will begin with a short video presentation on the importance of the temples in the LDS faith. Following the video, a temple host will escort attendees on a walking tour of the facility. Modest dress is requested. A parking attendant will be on-site to guide visitors to an available parking space. All guests are encouraged to arrive early to allow extra time for traffic and parking.
All ages are welcome. The limit is 15 guests per reservation, but larger groups can be accommodated by calling the Temple Open House Reservation Center at 855-537-2000. Guests will be asked to show either an electronic or printed copy of their reservation when they arrive for their scheduled tour. Those without tickets may wait in a standby area for available spots in line as they open up. Tickets for the open house are available at templeopenhouse.lds.org. Tours will take place every 15 minutes from noon until 9 p.m. MDT Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays; and from 9 a.m. until 9 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. Each tour last approximately one hour, which includes a 10-minute video followed by a room-by-room walk-through tour of the temple.
No photos, videos or recording devices are permitted inside the temple, but outside photographs are encouraged. Professionally taken photos of the interior will be available for free download on the Church’s website at lds.org. Animals, including service animals, are not permitted inside the temple. Also, food and drinks are not allowed inside the temple.
St. George Utah.com reports that officials of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are expecting over 150,000 visitors to the Cedar City temple open house over the next three weeks. To accommodate parking and transportation, five shuttles will run continuously during the event. The shuttles will run from the Cross Hollow Stake Center, located at 2830 W. Cody Drive, to the temple at 280 S. Cove Drive, a trip of about a mile. They will run in a continuous loop, so there will be a minimal wait time.
The temple is wheelchair accessible. and guests with mobility issues, other disabilities or special needs should indicate by checking a box on the online registration form or by calling the Temple Open House Reservation Center at 855-537-2000.
Cultural Celebration and Temple Dedication
The cultural celebration will be held at 7:00 pm MDT on Saturday, 9 December 2017, at the America First Event Center (formerly known as the Centrum Arena) at Southern Utah University. The program, which will feature approximately 4,500 youth performers, will commemorate the heritage of the region through narration, song, and dance. The celebration will be broadcast live to local stake centers.
The temple will be dedicated the following day on Sunday, 10 December 2017, in three sessions at 9:00 a.m., 12:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. The dedication will be broadcast to members of the Church in the Cedar City Utah Temple district. The three-hour block of meetings will be canceled for that Sunday for those congregations to enable members of the Church to participate and focus on this sacred event.
After the temple is dedicated, only Latter-day Saints with "temple recommends" may enter. However, the temple grounds will remain open to the public. The Cedar City Utah Temple will be the 17th LDS temple in Utah and the 159th in the world. The temple will begin regular operations on 12 December 2017, with operating hours like those of most other Utah temples. For more information regarding ordinance schedules, call the temple at 435-867-6264.
Humanitarian Aid Updates
|Mormons Provide Humanitarian Aid Around the World
Following the admonition of the Master who taught, “Verily I say unto you, inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me” (Matthew 25:40), members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints actively engage in the service of their fellowmen in many areas of the world.
The service that they render is not limited solely to Latter-day Saints in need, but rather they stand ready, willing, and able to “lift up the hands which hang down, and [to stable] the feeble knees” (Hebrews 12:12) of anyone in their hour of need. Thus, as they perform their unselfish acts of service, the words found in the text of King Benjamin’s sermon as recorded in The Book of Mormon resonate with them. Said King Benjamin, “And now, if God, who has created you, on whom you are dependent for your lives and for all that ye have and are, doth grant unto you whatsoever ye ask that is right, in faith, believing that ye shall receive, O then, how ye ought to impart of the substance that ye have one to another” (Mosiah 4:21).
The Church of Jesus Christ Humanitarian Programs
LDS Humanitarian Services is a branch of the Welfare Services department of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The organization’s stated mission is to relieve suffering, to foster self-reliance for people of all nationalities and religions, and to provide opportunities for service.
Throughout its history, The Church of Jesus Christ has always provided for those in need and is perhaps best known for taking care of its own members. In 1842, Joseph Smith organized the Women’s Relief Society, with a primary focus to provide “relief” to suffering members and an ultimate vision of aiding all people. During the Great Depression, the Church organized a welfare program, now administered by the church's Welfare Services Department, to help provide for the needs of its members.
To help as many people as possible, the Church has established various humanitarian projects which operate throughout the world. These programs include LDS Charities, Helping Hands, and LDS Philanthropies. The Church also maintains the Latter-day Saint Humanitarian Center in Salt Lake City, Utah, which was established in 1991 to “prepare humanitarian supplies for use worldwide and train those desiring to develop employable skills to become self-reliant.”
The Members' Role in Humanitarian Work
The Savior taught, “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another” (John 13:35). We show our love for one another when we are willing to follow the admonition of the Lord to feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, take in the stranger, clothe the naked, and visit the sick and those in prison. We are also taught that we are to visit the fatherless and the widow in their afflictions. In his timeless sermon, King Benjamin exhorted the people, “For behold, are we not all beggars? Do we not all depend upon the same Being, even God, for all the substance which we have, for both food and raiment, and for gold, and for silver, and for all the riches which we have of every kind?” (Mosiah 4:19).
Members can get actively engaged in humanitarian efforts in several ways. One way that members can become involved is through service in their local community. Service in the community can include things such as cutting a neighbor’s lawn, washing a neighbor’s car, offering to run errands for an elderly person or someone who is otherwise unable to do so themselves, or babysitting for a neighbor. Service in the community might also include taking part in projects that benefit the community. Members should also seek to build community relations by being actively involved in community service projects that may be spearheaded by people of other faiths, or if they identify something that would benefit the community that has not been addressed, they should take the initiative to bring about a solution. No matter how a person chooses to serve his community, and no matter how small the service may seem, the service alone will say myriads about that person and his or her faith.
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Second Counselor in the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ, in the October 2011 General Conference, stated:
- Too often we notice the needs around us, hoping that someone from far away will magically appear to meet those needs. … When we do this, we deprive our neighbor of the service we could render, and we deprive ourselves of the opportunity to serve.
Another way that a member can be involved in humanitarian efforts is by donating to the Humanitarian Aid Fund. Donations can be made through a local ward or branch of the Church by filling out a Tithing and Other Offerings slip and indicating the amount on the “Humanitarian Aid” line, mailing a check, or donating online through the Humanitarian Services Giving section of the LDS Philanthropies website. Donations to the Humanitarian Aid Fund allow the Church to help people throughout the world by providing relief and ultimately helping them to become self-reliant.
There are also many members who become actively engaged in community service or helping with relief efforts during natural disasters and catastrophes by volunteering to be a part of the Mormon Helping Hands. The Mormon Helping Hands is a program of The Church of Jesus Christ, under the direction of the Priesthood, which provides community service and/or disaster relief for those in need. The service that is rendered by the Helping Hands helps to establish the name and reputation of the Church by dispelling some of the misconceptions about the Church, and proving that Mormons are Christians who are willing to give of their time and service for the good of the communities in which they live.
Church of Jesus Christ Humanitarian Initiatives
Emergency Response is the part of the LDS Church’s humanitarian efforts of which most people are aware. Funds and supplies in this area are used to help victims of natural disasters such as earthquakes, floods, droughts, tornadoes, and hurricanes, as well as other disasters such as wars or political unrest. Supplies in this area are gathered and stored before a crisis so supplies can be sent within hours of an emergency. Volunteers are also on call so they can be reached and organized within a few hours if needed. The LDS Church is renowned for its ability to organize its members in various regions of the world to respond to emergency and facilitate distributing goods immediately after a crisis, often before aid programs such as the Red Cross or the Salvation Army come to assist. In 2008, the LDS Church responded to 124 disasters in 48 countries.
Wheelchair Distribution is another church program crucial to helping those in need. Studies estimate that only one percent of the disabled in the world have wheelchairs. For the rest, being without a wheelchair means adults cannot provide for themselves or their families, and for children it often means not being able to attend school. By providing wheelchairs to those in need, the church hopes to help people become more self-reliant which is an important tenant of LDS beliefs.
The Clean Water Service provides clean water and wells to people who otherwise would most likely contract deadly diseases because of the dirty water. It is estimated that one billion people lack clean water. The clean water program is designed to partner with local community agencies to provide sustainable clean water.
The Neonatal Resuscitation program sends doctors and volunteers to areas where infant mortality rate is high. They are able to teach people in the area how to resuscitate newborns as well as provide simple medical equipment. This service is greatly needed as it is estimated that nearly 1 million newborns die each year due to birth difficulties. Up to 10% of newborns have breathing difficulties.
The Vision Treatment Training program teaches facilities and medical personnel in developing countries how to treat preventable or reversible blindness. There are 37 million people in the world who are blind, and up to 75 % of blindness is treatable. The vision care program works with local vision health care centers to help treat and prevent blindness for the poor.
|The following articles discuss African-Americans and the Church of Jesus Christ:
The following articles discuss the issue of Same-Sex Attraction and Gay Marriage:
- Changes to Handbook 1
- Apostle D. Todd Christofferson Provides Context on Handbook Changes Affecting Same-Sex Marriages:
- Same-sex attraction
- Mormon Church and Gay Rights
- Same Sex Marriage
- Celestial marriage
- How one young Mormon man has handled same-sex attraction
- What the LDS Church Believes about Same-Sex Attraction
- Same-Sex Attraction | LDS Church Perspective on Chastity
- North Star - A place of community for Latter-day Saints dealing with issues surrounding homosexual attraction who desire to live in harmony with the teachings of Jesus Christ and the values and doctrines of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
The following articles discuss the topic of Religious Freedom:
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Joaquín Esteban Costa : General Authority Seventy
Joaquín Estaban Costa was born on 8 March 1965, in Concordia, Entre Rios, Argentina, to Graciela M. Fassi and Eduardo J. Costa. He was baptized in 1988 after beginning to date Renée Beatriz Varela who had served as a missionary in Chile. They dated for another year after he was baptized, and were married in the Buenos Aires Argentina Temple on 29 September 1989. They are the parents of two sons and two daughters.
He received his Bachelor Degree in Economics from Universidad de Buenos Aires in 1987, and his Master of Business Administration from Brigham Young University in1994. He has worked in the banking industry in his native Argentina, the Czech Republic, the Sultanate of Oman in the Middle East, and for a multinational investment banking and financial services corporation (Citibank) in Chicago, Illinois. At the time of his call as a General Authority Seventy, he was working in Lima, Peru, with MAJ Invest, a Danish investment firm. His duties focused on microfinance.
Elder Costa has served in several callings in the Church including Bishop, counselor in a stake presidency, counselor in a mission presidency, High Council member, and Area Seventy. He was serving as a member of the Fourth Quorum of the Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the South America Northwest Area when he was called as a General Authority Seventy. He was sustained as a General Authority Seventy during the Saturday afternoon session of the 186th Annual General Conference on 2 April 2016.
Below is Elder Costa's message given during the Sunday afternoon session of the 187th Annual General Conference on 3 April 2017 in English and Spanish.
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Featured Mormon Artist
Lyza Bull, a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is an immensely talented 12-year-old soprano who sings with the world-renown One Voice Children’s Choir under the direction of Masa Fukuda. She has loved to sing since she could even talk. During the 2015 Christmas season, she was featured in BYU Vocal Point’s "One Single Bell" video as a soloist, and in 2016, she participated in the BYUtv special "Christmas Under the Stars."
Perhaps one her most popular YouTube videos are her extraordinary rendition of the hymn "I Know That My Redeemer Lives." The video was published on her YouTube channel on 20 November 2016 and has been viewed more than 43,000 times. The music was arranged and produced by Masa Fukuda, and joining her in the video were members of the One Voice Children’s Choir, along with her brother and her little four-year-old sister. Lyza has an angelic voice and her beautiful testimony of the Savior shines through as she sings the song.
The description of the video provides some backstory:
- Well, on a calm fall afternoon, a few weeks ago, we ventured up to the most beautiful, peaceful, and sacred mountainside meadow we have ever been to. The leaves were vibrant, the air was warm, and the spirit was tangible. We had cars full of children, parents, our amazing music director Masa Fukuda, friends, family, the indescribably talented Nick Sales, and our little Lyza! And what transpired for the next few hours are now forever documented in this beautiful video, "I Know That My Redeemer Lives."
Lyza’s mother, Shaundnee, who co-produced the video with Nick Sales, further commented on the video, "From the beginning, we all felt like this video needed to be made for someone specific. We don’t even know who this person is, but we felt that it was for someone who needed to know and remember they are loved. They are important and that they have a Savior who knows them. So, if this video was made for just that one person…we couldn’t be happier. If it was made for more than one person…even better."
Lyza appears in several other YouTube videos with the One Voice Children’s Choir and with friends such as Reese Oliveira with their exciting upbeat cover of Justin Timberlake’s "Can’t Stop the Feeling" from the movie Trolls. Her most recent video is a cover of "Stand in the Light" from NBC’s The Voice and Jordan Smith which was filmed by Nick Sales in New York City and is part of the LDS Church's #LightTheWorld initiative.
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- Discover more seasoned and upcoming LDS artists by visiting the Mormon Music website.