What Are The Basic Practices Of Mormonism?

Have you ever wondered about the fundamental practices of Mormonism? This article explores the core principles and rituals that define the Mormon faith. From attending weekly worship services to participating in temple ceremonies, Mormons believe in fostering strong family ties, living a healthy lifestyle, and striving to serve others. Delve into the beliefs and practices of Mormonism to gain a deeper understanding of this vibrant and tightly-knit religious community.

Worship Services and Meetings

Sacrament Meetings

Sacrament meetings are an essential part of LDS worship services. Typically held on Sundays, these meetings provide an opportunity for members to partake of the sacrament, which represents the body and blood of Jesus Christ, and renew their baptismal covenants. The sacrament meeting is also a time for members to come together as a congregation to worship, learn from the scriptures, and strengthen their faith through inspiring talks and musical performances.

Sunday School Classes

Sunday school classes are another important aspect of LDS worship services. These classes are divided into age groups and provide a structured environment for members to study the scriptures, learn principles of the gospel, and discuss various topics related to their faith. Sunday school classes offer an opportunity for individuals to deepen their understanding of the teachings of Jesus Christ and apply them in their daily lives.

Priesthood and Relief Society Meetings

In addition to sacrament meetings and Sunday school classes, the LDS Church also emphasizes the importance of gender-specific meetings for both men and women. Priesthood meetings are held for men and focus on their roles as priesthood holders, while Relief Society meetings are held for women and provide a supportive and nurturing environment where they can learn and grow together. These meetings aim to strengthen individuals spiritually and provide guidance on how to effectively fulfill their respective roles within the family and the Church.

Prayer and Scripture Study

Family Prayer

Prayer is considered a vital part of the LDS faith, and one of the basic practices is daily family prayer. Families are encouraged to gather together in the morning and evening to offer prayers as a collective unit. This practice helps foster unity within the family and allows members to seek guidance and blessings from Heavenly Father. Family prayer is a cherished time for families to express gratitude, request divine help, and strengthen their relationships with God and one another.

Personal Prayer

In addition to family prayer, personal prayer holds great significance in the lives of Mormons. Individuals are encouraged to have a personal relationship with God through prayer and seek guidance and comfort from Him in all aspects of their lives. Personal prayer allows members to share their thoughts, concerns, and gratitude with Heavenly Father, and receive personal revelation and answers to their prayers.

Scripture Study

The study of sacred scriptures is central to the beliefs and practices of Mormons. Members are encouraged to spend time each day studying the scriptures, including the Bible, the Book of Mormon, and other modern-day revelations. Scripture study provides spiritual nourishment, strengthens faith, and offers guidance for daily living. It is seen as a way to connect with God and receive personal revelation as individuals strive to live according to His teachings.

Family-centered Lifestyle

Family Home Evening

The LDS Church places a strong emphasis on building and maintaining strong family relationships. One way this is achieved is through a practice called “Family Home Evening.” Typically held once a week, Family Home Evening is a designated time for families to come together and participate in various activities that strengthen their bonds. This may include scripture study, sharing personal experiences, playing games, or engaging in acts of service. Family Home Evening provides an opportunity for families to teach and learn from one another, strengthen their faith, and foster love and unity within the family unit.

Family Councils

Family councils are an important aspect of Mormon family life. These meetings provide a structured environment where family members can discuss important matters, make decisions together, and address any concerns or issues that may arise. Family councils promote open communication, listening, and respect for one another’s opinions. They serve as a platform for families to work together, establish goals, and maintain a harmonious and supportive family environment.

Strong Emphasis on Family Relationships

Mormons believe that families are eternal and that strong family relationships are crucial for individual and collective happiness. The Church emphasizes the importance of spending quality time together as a family, expressing love and appreciation for one another, and supporting each other in both spiritual and temporal matters. The strong emphasis on family relationships serves as a foundation for personal growth, emotional well-being, and the transmission of religious values and traditions from one generation to the next.

Temple Worship

Sealing Ordinances

One of the distinctive practices of Mormonism is the performance of sealing ordinances in temples. These sacred ceremonies bind families together for eternity and are considered essential for achieving exaltation, or eternal life. Sealing ordinances unite husbands and wives, parents and children, and generations of ancestors, creating an eternal family unit. These ordinances are often performed in proxy for deceased individuals, allowing them to have the opportunity to accept or reject these sacred ordinances in the afterlife.

Baptism for the Dead

In addition to sealing ordinances, Mormons also practice baptism for the dead. This practice involves performing baptisms by proxy on behalf of deceased individuals, allowing them the opportunity to accept or reject the ordinance in the spirit world. The belief is that baptism for the dead is necessary for everyone to receive the full blessings of salvation and exaltation. This practice demonstrates the Mormon belief in the ongoing influence of the living on behalf of their deceased ancestors, as well as a desire to offer everyone the opportunity to receive these saving ordinances.

Endowment Ceremonies

Endowment ceremonies are an integral part of temple worship for Mormons. These ceremonies are seen as a sacred and symbolic reenactment of the covenant-making process between individuals and God. Participants make sacred promises to live according to God’s commandments and receive blessings in return. The endowment ceremony includes teachings on the plan of salvation, sacred ordinances, and promises made to God and fellow members. It is considered a transformative experience that deepens an individual’s commitment to living a righteous life and serving others.

Missionary Work

Full-time LDS Missions

Mormon missionaries are a well-known aspect of the LDS faith. Young men and women, typically in their late teens or early twenties, have the opportunity to serve full-time missions lasting 18 to 24 months. These missionaries dedicate their time and efforts to teaching others about the restored gospel of Jesus Christ and inviting them to come unto Christ and receive the blessings of the Atonement. Full-time missionaries spend their days studying, teaching, and serving wherever they are assigned, often learning new languages and immersing themselves in new cultures. This experience strengthens their faith, broadens their understanding of the world, and prepares them for future responsibilities within the Church and their communities.

Member Missionary Involvement

In addition to full-time missionaries, every member of the LDS Church is encouraged to be actively involved in sharing the gospel with others. Member missionaries strive to be good examples of Christ-like behavior in their interactions with others and often participate in missionary activities in their local communities. This can include sharing their personal experiences and testimonies, inviting friends and neighbors to church events, or simply living the principles of the gospel in a way that attracts others to inquire about their faith. Member missionary involvement is seen as a natural extension of one’s commitment to the teachings of Jesus Christ and a responsibility to help others find truth and happiness.

Sharing the Gospel

Sharing the gospel is at the core of Mormonism, and members are encouraged to actively seek opportunities to share their faith with others. This can be done through everyday conversations, online platforms, or organized events. Mormons believe that the gospel of Jesus Christ offers hope, peace, and purpose in this life and the life to come, and they are eager to share these blessings with others. Whether it is through bearing testimony, inviting others to church services, or engaging in meaningful discussions about faith and spirituality, Mormons strive to share the teachings of Christ in a gentle and loving manner, respecting the agency and beliefs of others.

Tithing and Financial Responsibility

Paying Tithing

Tithing is an important principle in Mormonism, and members are encouraged to contribute a tenth of their income to the Church. This practice stems from the biblical concept of tithing and is believed to be a way of showing gratitude to God for His blessings and supporting the work of the Church. Tithing funds are used for various purposes, including the construction of temples and meetinghouses, supporting missionary efforts, funding educational programs, and providing for the welfare needs of members. Paying tithing is seen as an act of faith and a way to demonstrate trust in God’s promises of temporal and spiritual blessings.

Financial Self-Reliance

The LDS Church places a strong emphasis on financial self-reliance. Mormons are encouraged to manage their finances wisely, avoid debt, and save for the future. The Church provides resources, such as financial literacy courses and budgeting tools, to help members develop good financial habits and make responsible financial decisions. Financial self-reliance is seen as a way to free individuals from the burdens of financial stress, enable them to better serve others, and contribute to the overall welfare of the Church and community.

Welfare Assistance

The LDS Church operates a comprehensive welfare system that provides assistance to those in need. This system includes food production, manufacturing, and distribution facilities, as well as employment training and counseling services. Welfare assistance is available to both members and non-members alike, and it is based on the principle of self-reliance. The Church teaches that while temporary assistance may be necessary at times, the ultimate goal is to help individuals become self-reliant and capable of supporting themselves and their families. Welfare assistance is provided with a focus on preserving individual dignity and fostering a spirit of gratitude and responsibility.

Word of Wisdom

Avoidance of Harmful Substances

The Word of Wisdom is a health code followed by members of the LDS Church. It emphasizes the importance of taking care of one’s body and avoiding substances that are harmful to physical and spiritual well-being. The Word of Wisdom prohibits the use of tobacco, alcohol, coffee, tea, and illegal drugs. Mormons believe that abstaining from these substances helps individuals maintain optimal health, clarity of thought, and spiritual sensitivity. They also believe that adhering to the Word of Wisdom brings blessings of physical strength, increased capacity to receive revelation, and improved overall quality of life.

Health and Well-being

The Word of Wisdom also encourages members to adopt a healthy lifestyle by eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and getting adequate rest. Mormons believe that caring for their bodies is a way of showing gratitude to God for the gift of life and the physical bodies they have been blessed with. By prioritizing their health and well-being, individuals are better able to fulfill their responsibilities and serve others effectively.

Spiritual and Physical Benefits

The observance of the Word of Wisdom is seen as a way to align oneself with God’s commandments and teachings. Mormons believe that through obedience to this principle, individuals can experience spiritual growth, increased clarity of mind, and a closer relationship with God. This obedience also brings physical benefits, such as improved health, increased energy, and a longer life expectancy. Living the Word of Wisdom is viewed as a way to honor God’s commandments, respect one’s body as a temple, and maintain a harmonious balance between the physical and spiritual aspects of life.

Service and Volunteerism

Community Service

Mormons are encouraged to actively engage in service to their communities. This includes volunteering time, talents, and resources to help meet the needs of others. Mormons believe that service is a way to follow the example of Jesus Christ and demonstrate love and compassion towards their fellowmen. Community service can take many forms, such as organizing humanitarian projects, participating in community clean-up efforts, or assisting local charities. By serving their communities, Mormons seek to make a positive difference in the lives of others and promote the principles of kindness, selflessness, and inclusion.

Assisting Church Members

In addition to community service, Mormons are also encouraged to serve and support fellow members within their local congregations. This can involve acts of kindness, offering emotional and spiritual support, or assisting with practical needs such as meals, childcare, or transportation. Mormons view themselves as members of a global family and consider it their responsibility to look out for and support one another. Through acts of service within the Church, members build strong bonds of friendship and create a supportive and loving community.

Helping Others in Need

Helping those in need is a fundamental value in Mormonism. Members are encouraged to be aware of the needs of individuals around them and extend a helping hand when possible. This may include helping a neighbor in distress, providing financial or emotional support to those facing challenging circumstances, or participating in international humanitarian efforts. Mormons believe that by helping others, they are serving God and expressing their love for their fellow beings. Volunteering and assisting those in need is seen as a privilege and an opportunity to develop Christlike attributes and show genuine compassion and empathy.

Genealogy and Family History

Researching Ancestors

Genealogy and family history research are highly valued practices within the LDS Church. Mormons believe in the importance of knowing and understanding their family heritage, as well as the sacrifices and experiences of their ancestors. Members are encouraged to research their family history by collecting vital records, interviewing older family members, and utilizing online resources. By tracing their lineage, Mormons can learn more about their identity, strengthen connections with their ancestors, and gain a deeper appreciation for the blessings and opportunities they enjoy today.

Temple Work for the Dead

Once genealogical research is completed, Mormons have the opportunity to perform temple work on behalf of their deceased ancestors. This work includes performing sealing ordinances and baptism by proxy in the temple, providing deceased individuals the opportunity to receive these sacred ordinances even if they were unable to do so during their lifetime. Mormons believe that through temple work for the dead, individuals can accept or reject these ordinances in the afterlife, ensuring that all have the opportunity to receive the blessings of exaltation.

Importance of Family Heritage

Mormons believe that understanding and honoring one’s family heritage is important for individual and family identity. By learning about their ancestors, members can gain perspective on their own experiences, cultivate a sense of gratitude for their heritage, and develop a deeper connection to their family roots. The LDS Church provides resources and guidance to help members engage in genealogy and family history research, ensuring that they have the tools and support needed to connect with their past and create a meaningful legacy for future generations.

Continuing Education and Lifelong Learning

Seminaries and Institutes

The LDS Church places a strong emphasis on education and lifelong learning. Seminaries and institutes are educational programs offered to youth and young adults, respectively, to supplement their secular education with religious instruction. Seminaries provide religious education classes for high school students, while institutes offer similar classes for college-aged individuals. These programs aim to deepen understanding of the scriptures, strengthen faith, and foster personal growth during these formative years.

Educational Pursuits

Mormons are encouraged to value education and pursue lifelong learning opportunities in a variety of fields. The Church emphasizes the importance of gaining knowledge, both secular and religious, and applying it to improve oneself and contribute to society. Mormons believe that education is a means of developing talents, broadening perspectives, and fulfilling individual potential. Members are encouraged to seek higher education, engage in personal and professional development, and actively acquire knowledge in areas of interest or importance.

Personal Development

In addition to formal education, Mormons are encouraged to engage in personal development activities that focus on spiritual, emotional, and intellectual growth. This may include reading inspiring books, attending conferences and workshops, or seeking mentorship and guidance from experienced individuals. Personal development is seen as a lifelong journey of self-improvement and discovery, and an opportunity to cultivate Christlike attributes such as love, patience, and humility. By actively seeking personal development, Mormons strive to become better individuals, strengthen their relationships, and make a positive impact in the world around them.

In conclusion, the basic practices of Mormonism encompass a wide range of spiritual, social, and personal aspects. From worship services and sacrament meetings to missionary work and temple worship, Mormons strive to align their lives with the teachings of Jesus Christ. Prayer, scripture study, and a family-centered lifestyle serve as foundational practices, while principles such as tithing, service, and self-reliance foster a sense of unity, compassion, and responsibility within the community. Genealogy and family history research provide opportunities for connection to one’s past, while education and personal development empower individuals to become lifelong learners and contribute to the betterment of society. Through these practices, Mormons seek to develop a closer relationship with God, strengthen their families, and fulfill their divine potential.