According to Wikipedia: "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (often colloquially referred to as the Mormon Church, a term the organization itself discourages) is the largest denomination originating from the Latter Day Saint movement founded by Joseph Smith, Jr., on April 6, 1830. The church is headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah, and has established congregations (called wards or branches) worldwide. As of 2007, the church reported just over 13 million members on its rolls. Based on this number, it is the fourth largest Christian denomination in the United States. Adherents-usually referred to as Latter-day Saints, LDS, or Mormons-are restorationist Christians and are not a part of the Catholicism, Orthodox, or Protestant traditions. Like other Restorationist organizations, the LDS Church teaches that after the events described in the New Testament, there was a Great Apostasy, or "falling away" from the true Christian faith and priesthood. The church teaches that this true faith and priesthood were restored to Joseph Smith, Jr. through Smith's prophecy and the visitation of angels in the early 1800s. Thus, the church teaches that it is the only organization on the Earth with authority to conduct valid Christian sacraments ("ordinances") such as baptism or the Eucharist (called by LDS the "Sacrament"). The church also practices other sacraments, said to have been restored or instituted by Joseph Smith, such as Celestial marriage."
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B&R Samizdat Express
February 01, 2009
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