What does the Mormon church do about politics?

A lot of people are curious about the Mormon church’s approach to politics. In some churches, a political party or candidate may be endorsed from the pulpit; in the Mormon church, members are simply encouraged to seek and find good honest men and women to vote for and support. The Mormon church does not endorse any political party or candidate.

From LDS.org:

The Church’s mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ, not to elect politicians. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is neutral in matters of party politics. This applies in all of the many nations in which it is established.

Many Mormons are very politically active. There are even Mormons serving in the Senate and other major political offices around the US. They are Republicans, Democrats, Independants, etc. We are encouraged to be active participants in our communities, and to reach out and help our neighbors wherever we may be.

If you have any more questions about Mormons in politics, please feel free to ask. Thank you.

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About Mormon Church Meetings

Recently a reader asked me why the Mormon meeting house near his home was so busy one particular Sunday. According to him, the church had 3-4 times the normal assembly. He was curious if something particular was going on that day. I imagine he probably wondered if the same thing was happening in Mormon meeting houses around the globe.

The answer is pretty simple- there was likely what we call a “stake conference”, which is just a meeting of 3 or more congregations, or “wards”.  These are regional conferences that happen once yearly, and they are scheduled and managed by members in any given area.

The Mormon church is organized in a simple functional structure. Under the topic “church administration” on lds.org search, you can find the following information:

Wards and Branches. Members of the Church are organized into congregations that meet together frequently for spiritual and social enrichment. Large congregations are called wards. Each ward is presided over by a bishop, assisted by two counselors. Small congregations are called branches. Each branch is presided over by a branch president, assisted by two counselors… Each ward or branch comprises a specific geographic area.

Stakes, Missions, and Districts. Most geographic areas where the Church is organized are divided into stakes. The term stake comes from the prophet Isaiah, who prophesied that the latter-day Church would be like a tent, held secure by stakes (see Isaiah 33:20; 54:2). There are usually 5 to 12 wards and branches in a stake. Each stake is presided over by a stake president, assisted by two counselors. Stake presidents report to and receive direction from the Presidency of the Seventy or the Area Presidency.

Also, there is a good break-down of the ward and stake organization on Wikipedia at the following links:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ward_(Mormonism)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stake_(Mormonism)

Mormons in the news

People often ask me why Mormons are in the news so much.  We strive to uphold traditional Christian values about the family, marriage and doing good in the world.  We are encouraged to donate for charity, and participate actively in volunteer efforts in our communities.  We are very involved in the Boy Scout and Girl Scout programs, and give millions to relief efforts around the globe each year.

These are things that many good people in this world do, not just Mormons. I think we end up in the news more often because we aren’t as understood as most Christian churches- we’re somewhat of a mystery to many people. I hope this blog gives some people a chance to ask some questions, that’s what I’m doing it for.

Sometimes it is not Mormons (the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) who are in the news, but people who used to be Mormons but have gone off on their own, with their own beliefs and ideas.  These people often don’t hold Christian values, break the laws of the land, and contribute to confusion people might have about the Mormon church.  If you’re confused about the Mormon church, go right to the source to see what we believe. Check out the official church websites. They have excellent search engines that will let you look up our beliefs on pretty much any subject.

LDS.org, official mormon church website

Mormon.org, another official mormon church website

And of course, feel free to ask me any basic questions about the church that you’d like, and I’ll be glad to answer them on this blog.