By Douglas J. Davies
Even supposing one of many quickest starting to be spiritual hobbies on this planet, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints continues to be a secret when it comes to its middle ideals and theological constitution. This well timed booklet presents a tremendous creation to the elemental heritage, doctrines and practices of The LDS--the "Mormon" Church. Emphasizing sacred texts and prophecies in addition to the an important Temple rituals of endowments, marriage and baptism, it really is written by means of a non-believer, who describes Mormonism in ways in which non-Mormons can comprehend.
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Additional resources for An Introduction to Mormonism (Introduction to Religion)
In LDS discourse this uniting of person and period is symbolized in the notion of a person possessing the ‘keys’ of a dispensation. The wider Christian notion of ‘dispensations’, which inﬂuenced some Adventist movements, was particularly associated with the Protestant group of the Plymouth Brethren, ﬁrst formed in England in the 1830s at almost exactly the same time as the LDS Church was established in the United States. Though details vary, dispensationalism involves dividing world history into different phases or stages in which divine activity emphasizes some distinctive aspect of salvation.
By democratizing religious expertise Protestants made salvation free for all, but that salvation demanded commitment from each believer. It is no accident that Protestantism fostered theology as a way of understanding God both through a detailed study of biblical texts and through the construction of systems of interpretations based on them. Yet another form of religious authority is that of mysticism. There is no ‘church of mystics’ but only a style of religion periodically seen in distinctive individuals for whom religiosity is entirely personal and experience is self-authenticating.
While all afﬁrm God as the source of their authority, these three positions could be characterized as locating authority in church, Bible or self, with Mormonism displaying all three. This is evident when Joseph Smith Jnr is viewed (i) as a new apostle, commissioned through latter-day appearances of Jesus and other biblical ﬁgures, (ii) as the prophetic source of new scriptural revelation and (iii) as a mystic emerging from the Protestant cultural world. Formally, the leader of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is widely acknowledged to be a prophet, seer and revelator or, as the Doctrine and Covenants has it, ‘seer, revelator, translator’ and ‘prophet’ all expressing the gifts God ‘bestows upon the head of the church’ (D&C 107: 93).
An Introduction to Mormonism (Introduction to Religion) by Douglas J. Davies