A generally misunderstood religion. Mormon is just a nickname for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Followers are called Latter Day Saints or Mormons.
Heaven: there are three degrees of Heaven:
highest: Celestial- this is where God the Father and Jesus Christ reside. in order to be allowed into the Celestial Kingdom, you must accept Jesus Christ as the redeemer of the world, accept what Jesus taught, and try to be your best in life. mormons do believe in the idea that if you do your best, god/jesus will do the rest
Middle- Terestial- well, not as good as celestial, better than Terestial. This is the average joe area.
Low - Telestial - This is where murderers, rapists, and those who commit suicide and other forms of murder go.
---- all the kingdoms are beautiful beyond belief - it is said that a person would commit suicide to just get into the Telestial kingdom, so just try to imagine what the Terestial and Celestial Kingdoms would be like!
the equivalent of hell is Outer Darkness. if a person regrets a sins or something he did, and he goes through the steps to forgive himself and ask forgiveness to anyone that it hurt in the process, and asks god for forgiveness and help to overcome it, god will forgive it. the only thing god will not forgive is denying christ, god, and the holy ghost. if you commit this sin, you will be sent into endless misery and darkness in Outer Darkness with Lucifer.
before you are sent to any of the kingdoms or outer darkness, you must wait in spirit prison. really, its not a prison, its just a between place (between earth and the kingdoms or outer darkness) its not scary like a prison - its simply where a soul waits until it is baptised (or if it was baptised on earth, it goes on) by proxy and it either accepts or rejects the gospel, thus, they choose where they spend eternity.
Polygamy: is not practiced by Mormons. at the restoration of the church (1820) God commanded that mormons practice polygamy in order to build up the church, to make it stronger so it could stand without any crutches, completely on its own. Once it could, god commanded no more polygamy, but we still get crap for the fact that we (not even 'we', more like our ancestors)commited polygamy.
Big families: contrary to popular belief, its not because we have nothing else to do, and we like to do 'it', its because there are still souls in heaven waiting to receive physical bodies. In order to do that, a husband and a wife (and only a husband and a wife) can create a body for that soul to occupy.
We were sent to earth in order to receive physical bodies and become perfected in christ, and, through our trials and tribulations, become gods and goddesses like God the father.
blacks in the church: blacks, it is true, were not allowed into the church until about 40 or 50 years ago. many non mormons think this is racist. blacks were not allowed to hold the priesthood until this time because it is said that when Cain killed Abel, cain had a mark put on him that would show everyone who he was, so he was shunned. It is said that this mark is black skin. finally god allowed us to allow blacks the priesthood. it is not racist, please understand.
Gays: the church firmly stands in a marriage between man and woman stance. this is best summed up by president kimball: "The unholy transgression of homosexuality is either rapidly growing or tolerance is giving it wider publicity. … The Lord condemns and forbids this practice....'God made me that way,' some say, as they rationalize and excuse themselves...'I can’t help it,' they add. This is blasphemy. Is man not made in the image of God, and does he think God to be 'that way'?"
Joseph Smith: NOT a god, he is the prophet chosen by god. at age 14 he recieved a vision in the sacred grove. See, joseph had been curious about what church to join. When he recieved no insight, he read the bible, and in james 1:5 it states "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him." he decided to pray and ask god himself. when god answered, he appeared to joseph in a vision with his son, Jesus. they explained that none of the churches were correct and to join none of them. years later, when joseph was ready, he was led to the golden plates by the angel moroni. he translated the golden plates into what is called the Book of Mormon too. contradictory to popular belief, it is complimentary and runs parallel to the bible.
We believe that the book of mormon is the most correct book in the world.
Missions: missions are assignments sent to young men (beginning at age 19) and young women (beginning at age 21) who send in applications for it. the application is prayed over, and the assignment is sent back to the young man or woman, and they go to a place/country, learn the language (if needed) and spend 2 years (if they're a boy) and 1 1/2 years teaching (if they're a girl) the gospel and trying to spread mormonism to everyone, to give them a chance to accept the doctrine.
please, anyone who reads this and knows any of these missionaries, be kind to them.
how would you like it if you were away from your family and friends shortly after high school or the beginning of college so you could to a strange place, find the courage to talk to people about a religion that many are so angry and misunderstanding about? it is one of those difficult, scary, but wonderful lessons that changes a person's life.
a married couple can go on a mission together, should they so choose. there is no limit to how many missions one can go on. missionaries try so hard because we simply need more members.
it is said that when the last days come and jesus returns to the earth, only 2/3 of the mormons will be prepared, so we are trying to raise that number, give people the choice, you know.
temples: are the house of god. they are a sacred and holy place where people come to baptise for the dead (baptise by proxy those who did not have the chance to be baptised) or to be sealed, (a married couple and their family, so they can be together for eternity)
the true church: please don't take this to be pompous, i don't know how else to explain it:
all churches have some of the truth to them; they have sacraments, baptisms, etc.... but the only true church is the church of jesus christ of latter day saints.
as an analogy, please put your hands up into the air: put on hand straight up an down, and flat, like a board. put your other hand, also flat, perpendicular to your fingers; notice that only one of the fingers touches: only one church is true.
please don't take that for the church being pompous.
we believe in loving eachother, being kind to all, helping anyone who needs it.
essentially, if a man asks you to carry his backpack for a mile, carry it for two.
to find out more, go to mormon.org