White Horse Inn Modern Reformation

Mormonism

Mormonism. The Mormons, as they are usually known, represent one of the most successful of the new religious movements of the nineteenth century. Today they are divided into two main groups, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, organized from Salt Lake City, Utah, and the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, based in Independence, Missouri. In addition to these major groups a number of smaller “fundamentalist” groups exist. Mormonism has a dual foundation. The first is the claim of Joseph Smith to have received golden plates upon which ancient scriptures are alleged to have been written. Smith claimed to have translated these plates and subsequently published them in 1830 as Book of Mormon. The second foundation is Smith’s claim to have had an encounter with the living Jesus and subsequently to receive continuing revelations from God. The substance of these continuing revelations is to be found in the Mormon publication Doctrine and Covenants, while an account of Joseph Smith’s encounter with Jesus and the discovery of Book of Mormon is to be found in Pearl of Great Price. Pearl of Great Price also contains the text of two Egyptian papyri that Joseph Smith claimed to have translated plus his translation of certain portions of the Bible. Together Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and Pearl of Great Price form the basis of the Mormon continuing revelation. Since the death of Smith these revelations have been supplemented by what the church claims to be further revelations given to its leaders. (Adapted from Evangelical Dictionary of Theology, Second Edition, s.v. “Mormonism”)

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