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, 155 of its beautiful temples adorn sites in North, South, and Central America, Europe, Asia, Africa, and numerous islands of the sea. There are 22 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.
Paris France will be the location of one of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint’s newest temples. The news was first broken by the French press in July 2011 while government approvals were still pending. Church President, Thomas S. Monson announced the Church's intention of building a temple on the outskirts of Paris in July 2011 and then confirmed it during the October 2012 semi-annual General Conference worldwide broadcast. Construction is planned for grounds in Le Chesnay, France, located in Paris’ western suburbs.
There are currently about 38,000 members of the Church in more than 100 congregations in France. Missionaries are serving in two missions in the country.
Mormon missionary work in France began shortly after the Church’s organization. The apostle John Taylor, who later served as the prophet of the Church, began a lengthy European proselyting mission in 1849. France’s first six Latter-day Saints organized the country’s first congregation in April of 1850 in Boulogne-sur-Mer. Just over three years later, there were nine small congregations in France, totaling 337 church members. Many of France’s first members (289 of that 337) were from the Channel Islands.
The growth of the Church continued at a slow pace until World War II ended. The LDS Church’s contributions to European reconstruction after the war sparked interest from outsiders. Missionaries resumed the work in France and the Church’s growth rate increased. In 1955, the renown Mormon Tabernacle Choir stopped to perform at the Parisian Palas de Chaillot during its historic European tour, at which time the country’s membership was roughly 1,500. The first meetinghouse for church members was finished and dedicated in 1962.
Former Church President Gordon B. Hinckley visited France in 1998, prophesying that someday French members would enjoy a temple of their own. During a return visit in 2004, he asked members to exercise patience and faith. Now these members, who come from all walks of life, enjoy the exciting fulfillment of that promise.
In France, Le Parisien reported that the final hurdles were cleared for the construction of the Paris France Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Le Parisien reported on 9 November 2011, "It's now a done deal. The city council has just given its green light by validating the building permit filed by La Foncie des Régions on behalf of the Mormon Church."
In February 2012, Voice of America reported controversy regarding the building of the Paris France Mormon Temple. France is traditionally a Catholic country, but as in many countries in Western Europe, few attend church. As a secularized country, France is wary of any religion, especially a religion as demanding of its followers as Mormonism. The fact that only worthy Mormons can attend the temple also concerns some French people. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints assures the French people that it is not extremist in any way and that the gardens (open to the public) will be a blessing to local residents. There is always an open house staged before a Mormon temple is dedicated to worship, and many LDS temples offer holiday programs for the public.
Dignitaries Attend Reception and Tour Paris France Temple
On Thursday, 6 April 2017, dignitaries attended a reception and toured the newly completed Paris France Temple located just outside of Paris in Le Chesnay, France, which per the Deseret News is "a small city that borders Versailles on a site along Boulevard Saint-Antoine, within walking distance of the beautiful gardens of the Château de Versailles." The words that hold deep spiritual meaning to members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, "Sainteté au Seigneur, La Maison Du Seigneur" — "Holiness to the Lord, The House of the Lord" were visible above the entrance as the guests entered the sacred edifice. Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, Bishop Gérald Caussé of the Presiding Bishopric, and former GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney gave remarks in French to the dignitaries attending. Each of their wives was also in attendance. Per the Deseret News, "The Caussés raised their family nearby and were longtime church leaders in France before Bishop Caussé's current assignment, and both Elder Andersen and Mitt Romney served LDS missions to France, with Elder Andersen also serving three years as a mission president in Bordeaux."
Nearly 19 years after President Gordon B. Hinckley had told the faithful Saints in France, "The time has come when you deserve to have a temple among you, and we'll look for a place to build one," Philippe Brillault, Mayor of Le Chesnay, greeted a crowd of 100 government, church and business leaders to welcome Latter-day Saints and their new temple to France. In French, he remarked, "Nous sommes heureux de vous accueillir. Nous vous respecterons à mesure que vous nous respectez, et nous vivrons en harmonie." - "We are happy to welcome you. We will respect you as you respect us, and we will live in harmony."
During his remarks, Elder Neil L. Andersen referenced "The Little Prince," by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, and quoted a portion in French:
"Et maintenant, voici mon secret, un secret très simple: ce n'est qu'avec le cœur qu'on peut voir à juste titre; ce qui est essentiel est invisible pour les yeux."
"And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
He further commented, "The temple is considered the House of God and while physically beautiful, constructed by skilled craftsmen with the finest materials, it is what is invisible — "His Spirit and influence" — that is so beautiful to those who come here."
During his remarks, Mitt Romney stated, "Aujourd'hui, nous vivons dans un monde divisé. Ceux de différentes confessions peuvent se réunir. Il est bon d'avoir un endroit où nous sommes tous des enfants de Dieu." - "Today we live in a divided world. Those of different faiths can come together. It's good to have a place where we are all children of God."
Open House, Cultural Celebration, and Temple Dedication Scheduled
The First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has announced the open house, cultural celebration and dedication dates for the Paris France Temple.
The free public open house for the Paris France Temple will begin on Saturday, 22 April 2017 and go through Saturday, 13 May 2017, except for the Sundays of 23 and 30 April and 7 May. A few weeks before the open house, the public can make reservations at templeopenhouse.lds.org.
A cultural celebration will be held Saturday, 20 May 2017. The celebration will feature music and dance performances by local Mormon youth.
The temple will be dedicated on Sunday, 21 May 2017, in three sessions - 9:00 a.m., 12:00 noon and 3:00 p.m. - which will be broadcast to meetinghouses in France and French-speaking units in the Europe area. The three-hour block of meetings will be canceled for that Sunday.
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.
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.
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:
Mormon Music - Features bios about seasoned and upcoming LDS artists, music videos, and interesting news articles about the Mormon music scene
Mormons in America
Photo by Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News
On January 11, 2012, the Pew Research Center's Forum on Religion & Public Life released a groundbreaking new survey, the first ever published by a non-LDS research organization to focus exclusively on members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and their beliefs, values, perceptions and political preferences.  The Pew Forum titled the survey, "Mormons in America: Certain in Their Beliefs, Uncertain of Their Place in Society." During the 2011 campaign for a Republican candidate for president, members of the Church of Jesus Christ, who are often referred to as Mormons, came under the spotlight for better or for worse. Journalists began to call this the "Mormon moment." (Read more...)
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 AuthoritySeventy, he was working in Lima, Peru, with MAJ Invest, a Danish investment firm. His duties focused on microfinance.
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.
You Can Find True Happiness
===Mormons Bear Witness of the Birth of Christ.===
Christmas Season 2012, Mormons are bearing their witness that Jesus Christ, our Creator and Redeemer, was born to the Virgin Mary in Bethlehem, born to be our Exemplar and Redeemer. Because of His infinite atonement, all of us will rise again, with perfect, immortal bodies, to live eternally.
We at More Good Foundation wish you a Merry Christmas, and we want you to know that each of us has an individual witness of the joy that is found in accessing God's grace through the Savior of the World. Our blessings are numerous even in times of trouble, because of the atonement and continuing tender mercies of the Lord, Jesus Christ. He has said, "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid" (John 14:27).
MormonWiki is sponsored by the More Good Foundation. The wiki serves as a tool through which positive LDS content can be developed in a collaborative manner, in order to provide sound and true information about Mormons and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (sometimes nicknamed the "Mormon Church"). This website is not an official website of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but has been mounted by sincere adherents to the LDS Church and the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. There is no intent to cover controversial subjects except to explain the stance of Mormonism and the Church of Jesus Christ regarding these subjects. (Read more...)
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