I'm trying to decide what to go into next, as there's so much to cover... maybe a bit more history, then some primary differences between the LDS church and the rest of Christianity. History Upon the forming of the church, the Mormons faced a ton of persecution. Despite this, membership continued to grow. The Mormons first accumulated in Kirtland, Ohio, where the first temple was built, while at the same time trying to establish a settlement in Independence, Missouri. However, as more Mormons got there, and eventually Joseph Smith, the Missourians became angered due to their large size and the fact that they voted as a block. Mobs often came and destroyed the settlements, as well as tar and feathering the leaders. Eventually the Governor of Missouri (Boggs) issued the Extermination Order, which literally made it legal to kill and drive out the Mormons. This event, known as the Mormon War, eventually drove out all the Mormons to settle in a swampy marshland in Illinois, which they named Nauvoo. Here the Saints faced disease due to the swampy climate, and many died. However, the settlement was eventually established, and the construction of a new temple was underway. During these events, Joseph Smith Jr and many of the other leaders of the church faced persecution as well as jail time (particularly Liberty Jail) under conditions which would now days undoubtedly be considered unconstitutional. Soon after entering Nauvoo, Joseph Smith Jr was called to trial in Carthage, Illinois. Joseph, his brother Hyrum, and few others were sent to Carthage Jail. The first-hand account of this event can be found here. Joseph Smith Jr, age 38, and his brother Hyrum Smith, age 44, were murdered by a mob, their faces painted black, who stormed the jail. After this event, there was a Succession crisis. The majority followed a member of the Quorum of the Twelve, Brigham Young. Others, however, went elsewhere, forming the Reorganized LDS church, which now goes by the name of Community of Christ. During this succession mob violence continued to strike and the Nauvoo temple was burned down, so the Saints following Brigham Young went westward, first to Winter Quarters, Nebraska, for a time, then continued on to Utah. The trip westward was easy for some, fatal for others, depending on the conditions. Members of the Martin and Willy handcart companies didn't get started west until late in the year, and the harsh winters led to the death of 210 of the 980 pioneers in the company. Brigham Young, when told of the situation, ordered immediate attention by the members, ordering all who had oxen and wagons to make their way there as soon as possible. Had this not happened, it is likely that all of the 980 people in the company would have perished. Over the years, a temple was built in Salt Lake City, settlements were set up throughout the state of Utah. Due to polygamy (started in Nauvoo by Joseph Smith for reasons such as land ownership being denied for unmarried women, temple sealings*, welfare of widows, etc) and a fight over the Utah territory, the President Buchanan sent an army led by Col. Alexander, which while under his control was harassed by the Nauvoo Legion, a militia under the control of Brigham Young, by the killing of their oxen, burning of their wagons, and ruining of their food. Soon relief was sent under the direction of Col. Johnston. However, Young was soon notified that an affiliate that the US wanted Cumming to take over the office of Governor, a message that the President failed to notify Young about. With this news, Governor Cumming was welcomed and appointed into his new office, and the event known as the Utah War ended. Over the years polygamy was eventually abandoned (with the exception of a small group breaking off from the LDS church, becoming the Fundamental LDS church who practices polygamy still today) in the 1890s, and Utah was finally granted statehood. Differences Between Mainstream Christianity and Mormonism ~The Plan of Salvation: Basically where we came from and where we're going. The LDS believes in a pre-mortal existence where we all lived with God as spirit children. After a dispute in heaven between Satan and his followers (yes, Satan was originally a Spirit child of God) and Jesus Christ and his followers, after which Satan and 1/3 of the spirit children (his followers) were cast off to Earth, never to receive a body (this event is outlined in Revelation 12). Those who did follow Christ gained the opportunity to receive a body here on Earth. So we pass through the veil, and come to Earth for the trial of our faith. After this life comes the Spirit world which, depending on our decision in the mortal life, will be either a paradise or a prison to us. Next comes the resurrection at which point anyone who's ever lived on this Earth will rise in our now perfected bodies. Then, 1000 years later comes the final judgment, at which point we'll be assigned to one of three glories (or heavens): Telestial, Terrestrial, or Celestial (the highest). In the highest level of the Celestial kingdom, people will inherit the Kingdom of God, or in other words, Godhood. (I made this brief and left out key points, but there you go). ~Modern Day Revelation: We believe in prophets, seers, and revelators, as well as personal revelation from God. ~Temples: We believe in temple sealings. In marriage, this means being married to your spouse for time and all eternity. With families, this means being united with them forever. ~Priesthood: We believe all worthy men should receive the priesthood. The following are the offices of the priesthood with the corresponding age at which they are typically received in parenthesis: Aaronic Priesthood Offices: Deacon (12) Teacher(14) Priest(16) Melchizedek Priesthood: Elder (18 ) High Priest (varies) Deacons can administer the sacrament, teachers can prepare it, and priests can bless it, as well as perform baptisms. Elders can make a confirmation of the Holy Ghost after baptism, can give blessings to the sick, babies, father's blessings, etc., and can receive callings within their wards (local congregations) for anything from scout leader to nursery worker. ----------------------------- Anyways, it will be a while before I'm back again. I have to give this monitor back to my grandpa, and then I'll be gone all Spring Break. Then I have to get a new monitor... so maybe a week and a half from now I'll be back. Until then, post questions, comments, whatever, and I'll revive the topic when I come back (unless there's been no activity at all). So long.