Chapter 1 - Latter-Day Saint


  • Kasey Anderson, RN - Utah
  • Cathy J. Bennett, RN, BSN - Utah
  • Sean N. Bennett, RN, MSN - Assistant Professor - Utah Valley University - Orem, Utah
  • Kaylee Collins, RN - Utah



  • .





The Latter-Day Saint (LDS) faith is the fourth largest religious body in the United States with 15 million members worldwide, 8.3 million residing outside of the United States (40.). With a large population of it's members living outside of the United States of America, culture in the LDS religion is extremely varied and diverse. There are currently 189 published languages in 153 countries (25.). Although culture among members may be different, teachings and beliefs taught by the church are consistent from country to country. Thomas S. Monson is the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and is also the current Prophet.

Because of their firm belief and faith in Jesus Christ members of the LDS church strive to follow after the teachings and example of Jesus Christ. He is the center of their lives. They have a distinct way of life, a set of values and expectations and practices common to all members. This gospel culture comes from the plan of salvation, the commandments of God, and the teachings of the living prophets. It guides them in the way they raise their families and live their individual lives (3.).

They are generally a friendly people with the desire to get to know their neighbors and be an active part of their communities. It is not surprising to find members of the LDS (Mormon) church serving on a committee, PTO, Local and State government, or at a local clean-up effort. Because of their belief in Jesus Christ they believe life is eternal – that it has no end- that it continues beyond death. They believe that while they are here on earth their decisions determine their happiness throughout eternity. They believe that Jesus Christ “atoned” or “paid” for their mistakes and this gives them great hope that when they repent and change their behavior, they will be forgiven.

Members of the LDS faith have strong family bonds. They believe in marriage between a man and a woman and they typically have more children than the average family. They have a lower divorce rate than the average couple. They believe that the greatest happiness here on earth comes from their family relationships and they place great value on the time spent together as a family. They believe family relationships continue beyond death.


Values and Norms


Members of the LDS faith strongly value family and believe families are essential to God's plan. They believe the effort put into strengthening families is the hardest but most significant and important work that will be accomplished in this life. Families are seen as a unit, each member with a role to fulfill and responsibilities. In 1995, the First Presidency issued "The Family: A Proclamation to the World". This proclamation emphasizes the importance of the family unit while discussing the various roles within the family. The proclamation states that "marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and family is central to the Creator's plan for the eternal destiny of his children." It goes on to say that "gender is an essential characteristic of individual pre-mortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose". Men and women are considered to have different roles and responsibilities but each have equal importance.

Salt Lake City Latter-Day Saint Temple

Many members of the LDS faith strive to get married in the temple. Individuals must follow God's commandments and live a worthy lifestyle in order to enter the temple. When a couple enters the temple to be married they make promises with God and vow to stay together forever, in this life and in the life thereafter. If these promises are upheld it is believed that their marriage will be eternal and that their future children will also become part of this heavenly covenant and be sealed to their parents forever.

Members of the LDS faith value service and believe members have several opportunities to serve those around them. Service can be simple like doing small acts of kindness for neighbors, taking part in community service, or fulfilling responsibilities within our local congregations or contribute to the Church's large-scale humanitarian efforts. Every effort, big or small, is valued and seen as a way to better connect with those around them and assist God in answering others prayers. The church teaches that" because everything we have comes from God, we should be willing to share it all-from our possessions and money to our time and talents- in order to help others who are in need (and it's important to remember that we're all needy in one way or another)" (40). Former prophet, Spencer W. Kimball, said, "God does notice us, and he watches over us. But it is usually through another person that he meets our needs" (41.). It is believed that god has the power to work alone, but he often allows us to help because of the peace and happiness service can bring.

Members of the LDS faith also value good citizenship. They believe in obeying the laws of the land and being conscientious citizens of our country, state, and/or community. It is believed that by being good citizens the world can become a more beautiful, peaceful, safe, fair, and just place for individuals and families to live in. In relation to war and serving your country the church believes in supporting government leaders and participating in civic affairs to strive and make the world a better place to live. The Church's 12th article of Faith states, "We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law (11.).

The church also values the Earth and believe people should be good citizens of the Earth as well. They believe gratitude should be shown toward the beautiful world God created and that we as human beings have a responsibility to respect it. Humans are entrusted to take care of the Earth because it is a gift from God and something we depend on to live and thrive (40.).

The church remains neutral in political matters and believes all members should be free to make an informed personal decision of their choice. Church leaders do not make suggestions or dictate which candidate their members should vote for. Members are encouraged to choose whatever political party they best identify with and vote for the individual that best represents their interests.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints values missionary work. There are 84,000 missionaries currently serving and 405 established missions throughout the world. Right now, tens of thousands of missionaries are walking, driving or riding their bikes around the world, handing out copies of the Book of Mormon and sharing the gospel with the people they meet. Why do these people, most of them under the age of 25, volunteer to leave their homes at their own expense and dedicate a period of their lives to preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ? The Lord said, “proclaim my gospel from land to land, and from city to city… bear testimony in every place, unto every people". Doctrine and Covenants Section 66:5,7 (4.). We take that commandment to heart and look for opportunities to share the blessings we've received from living the gospel with everyone we can. They believe that all people are sons and daughters of a Heavenly Father who loves them. They believe the more of us that are able to learn and keep His commandments and enjoy eternal life, the happier we’ll all be (5.).

Mormon’s value Family History. This goes along with the value they place on family life. A life not documented is a life that within a generation or two will largely be lost to memory. And yet, knowledge of our ancestors shapes us and instills us with values that give direction and meaning to our lives. They cherish their ancestors and desire to extend the blessings of the gospel to them as well. What about our ancestors who die without the opportunity to receive ordinances like baptism, or the blessings of being an eternal family? Does it make sense that God would simply say, "Too bad, tough luck?" Of course it doesn’t. When Christ organized His Church anciently, it included vicarious work for the dead and the practice of performing ordinances for deceased relatives "Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? Why are they then baptized for the dead?" 1 Corinthians 15:29 (6.). The restoration of Christ’s church on the earth today includes these ordinances and members of the LDS church perform these in holy temples (7.).

LDS Church members value the freedom to choose. They believe all men are free to choose for themselves what they will do during their life. They also believe that all men are accountable for their choices. They believe there are consequences – good and bad – for the choices made. "Men... have become free forever, knowing good from evil: to act for themselves... they are free to choose liberty and eternal life, through the great Mediator of all men, or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil" 2 Nephi 2:26-27 (8.) (9.).

Members of the church are encouraged to take a stand for what they believe. It may not be easy, popular, or fun. Sometimes taking a stand means subjecting yourself to ridicule, slander or even physical abuse. In this kind of situation, a person can rely on the Lord to help them maintain their beliefs. He expects us to do what we believe is right in any situation, and He will help us have the moral courage to do it. It isn't enough to look away or to keep quiet. Looking away can sometimes be a sin in itself. We are acting as Jesus acted when we stand up for what we believe and take action (9.).

The LDS church values humanitarian efforts, and they take a lead when it comes to lending assistance all over the world. The church encourages its members to give of their time and resources wherever they can and promise as they do so they will be filled with joy. People like to talk about how they need to "find" themselves. This usually means they’re unhappy, lack direction and are primarily focused on themselves. Interestingly, Christ said the way to find ourselves was by losing ourselves: "For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel's, the same shall save it" Mark 8:35 (6.). Wherever there is need – worldwide – you can find donations from members of the church through time and resources. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has donated more than $1 billion in cash and material assistance to 167 different countries in need of humanitarian aid since it started keeping track in 1985. It sent an airlift of tents, tarps, diapers and other supplies to the areas of Chile hit by the February 2010 earthquake, and two planes with over 80,000 pounds each of food and emergency resources to Haiti in January 2010 due to their catastrophic earthquake. The local, national and international organization of the church allows it to coordinate relief efforts quickly so that food, supplies and workers can arrive when they are needed most (10.).


Traditions, Beliefs and Attitudes


Members of the LDS faith believe in following God's commandments. God's commandments are seen as divine guidance meant to protect humans from harm and guide individuals to live the most fulfilling life possible rather than restrictive rules. The two most important commandments can be found in scripture. In the book of Matthew in the New Testament it states, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets" Matthew 22:36-40 (6.). These two commandments in and of themselves encompass the ten original commandments. Basically, if one loves the Lord with all one's heart, they will in essence keep the first four commandments and if one loves his neighbor as himself he would also in essence keep commandments five through ten.

Prayer is another commandment and belief that is highly valued in the LDS faith. It is believed that individuals can build closer relationships with God and receive spiritual guidance and comfort through the use of prayer. Members are commanded to pray often because the more they speak with God; the more open they will be to His guidance through the challenges they face.

Members also believe it is important to read and study the scriptures regularly. The church recognizes the following books as scripture: The Holy Bible (King James Version is believed to be the most correct), The Book of Mormon, The Doctrine and Covenants, and The Pearl of Great Price. They believe gaining a better understanding of the scriptures allows individuals to better understand God as they teach people how to live righteously, fullfill God's plan of happiness, and become more like him. Although the scriptures were written thousands of years ago, they believe God's wisdom to be timeless, and that scriptures can be read and lessons from them can be applied to modern day situations.

In addition, members of the LDS faith also believe in keeping the Sabbath Day Holy. They believe Sunday to be a Holy day on which individuals should focus on God, their families, and their friends. Individuals and families are encouraged to worship God on this day, attend church meetings, spend time with family and friends, visit the sick or the lonely, spend and rest from their typical day to day obligations and tasks. Church meetings generally occur in a three hour block where singing, praying.

Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believe in what is called "The Plan of Salvation". This plan helps us answer three questions:

1. Where did we come from?

Our spirits were created by Heavenly Father and we lived with him prior to birth. It was a joyous time. We don't remember our time with Him but we can continue our relationship with Him through prayer. He knew and loved each one of us individually. And we knew and loved Him. He knew that we needed to continue our progression and the only way for us to do this was for us to leave our Heavenly home, receive a body, and be given opportunities to make choices. He also knew as we learned on earth we would make mistakes that could keep us from returning to His presence. So as part of His Plan of Salvation He needed a Savior - one who would Atone for any mistakes we made. This Savior is our Brother, Jesus Christ (19.).

2. Why are we here on earth?

Why are we here on earth: We came to earth to receive a physical body and to learn to make correct choices. We are not alone here on earth. We are born into a family that helps us learn and grow. We can also pray to receive guidance from our loving Heavenly Father. It is here on earth that the Atonement was done by Jesus Christ and it is our opportunity to partake of the Atonement through repentance of the wrong choices we make (19.).

3. Where will we go after death? It is also called "The Plan of Happiness".

Where will we go after death: At death, our spirit and our body are separated. Our spirit will leave the body and go to the spirit world - a waiting place with other spirits until the resurrection. Another part of the Atonement is the Resurrection - which is the reuniting of our spirit and our body. We all will be resurrected one day. And after our resurrection we will stand before God to be judged for the choices we made on earth. After being judge we will be given a state of glory according to our works and desires on earth (19.).




The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is a christian church which considers itself to be a restoration of the religion founded by Jesus Christ. In the last 3 years of his ministry on earth, Jesus Christ established his church and appointed 12 apostles to speak in his name and run the church. After Christ's death the 12 apostles soon died after. As direct authority to speak in Christ's name disappeared with their deaths Christianity began to quickly drift from the church Christ had once established and men began to alter the original beliefs to incorporate their own.

It is believed by the LDS faith that in 1820, God, The Father, and His Son, Jesus Christ appeared to Joseph Smith, a young man searching for religion. In this vision, Smith was given instruction concerning the gospel of Jesus Christ and how to properly restore it upon the earth.

The LDS religion is based upon the belief that "Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world and the Son of God" (40.).

The basic beliefs of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints were written in a letter to a newspaper editor, John Wentworth, when he had asked Joseph Smith for information about the church. These became known as the “Thirteen Articles of Faith”.


13 Articles of Faith

1. We believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost.

2. We believe that men will be punished for their own sins, and not for Adam’s transgression.

3. We believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel.

4. We believe that the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel are: first, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; second, Repentance; third, Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; fourth, Laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost.

5. We believe that a man must be called of God, by prophecy, and by the laying on of hands by those who are in authority, to preach the Gospel and administer in the ordinances thereof.

6. We believe in the same organization that existed in the Primitive Church, namely, apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists, and so forth.

7. We believe in the gift of tongues, prophecy, revelation, visions, healing, interpretation of tongues, and so forth.

8. We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly; we also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God.

9. We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God.

10. We believe in the literal gathering of Israel and in the restoration of the Ten Tribes; that Zion (the New Jerusalem) will be built upon the American continent; that Christ will reign personally upon the earth; and, that the earth will be renewed and receive its paradisiacal glory.

11. We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.

12. We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.

13. We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul-We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things (11.).


Since the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was organized in 1830, its membership has grown to over 15,634,199 million members (2016). It is called the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints because of their belief that it is Christ’s Church “restored” in the “latter-days”. It has been nicknamed the “Mormon” Church because of its belief in the Book of Mormon. The Book of Mormon contains the history and God’s dealings with the people who lived in the Americas between approximately 600 BC and 400 AD. The prophets in the Book of Mormon recorded God's dealings with His people, which were compiled by a prophet named Mormon onto gold plates (1.). The Book of Mormon testifies that Jesus Christ did indeed live on the earth and still lives today as our divine Savior. It’s a second witness affirming the existence of Jesus Christ and the truth of the Bible (2.).

Members of the LDS faith believe in the teachings of the Bible as well as the Book of Mormon. The LDS church describes the Book of Mormon as "the word of God, like the Bible. It is Holy Scripture, with form and content similar to that of the Bible. Both books contain God's guidance as revealed to prophets as well as religious histories of different civilizations. While the Bible is written by and about the people in the land of Israel and surrounding areas, and takes place from the creation of the world until shortly after the death of Jesus Christ, the Book of Mormon contains the history and God’s dealings with the people who lived in the Americas between approximately 600 BC and 400 AD. The prophets in the Book of Mormon recorded God's dealings with His people, which were compiled by a prophet named Mormon onto gold plates" (40.).


Sense of Self and Space


Members of the LDS faith value modesty and sexual morality. The human body is considered a sacred gift from God that and, therefore, should be valued and respected. Because of this belief, members are encouraged to dress modestly. They believe the way you dress sends a message about who you are and can influence the way you and those around you think and act. It is believed that when you are well groomed and modestly dressed, you can more easily invite the spirit into your life while also being a good influence on those around you. Revealing or sexually suggestive clothing is thought to stimulate desires and actions and may violate the law of chastity. Furthermore, they also strive to avoid extremes in clothing, appearance, and hairstyle and do not believe in tattooing or excessive body piercings (39.).

The power of procreation is believed to be a sacred part of God’s eternal plan. Sexual relations are viewed as expressions of love and allowing husband and wife to create life. Members believe God has commanded that this power and privilege of a sexual relationship only exist between a man and woman who are legally married. "This commandment is called the law of chastity. It requires abstinence from sex before marriage and complete fidelity and loyalty to our spouses after marriage. God expects us to keep our thoughts clean and be modest in our dress, speech, and actions (Matthew 5:27–28). We must also avoid viewing pornography and engaging in homosexual relations" (40.).

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has consistently opposed the practice of abortion. Members believe that life is precious. It is a gift form Heavenly Father (23.). They obey the commandment, "thou shalt not kill" which encompasses the life of an unborn child - regardless of it's age. Elder James E. Faust stated, "One of the most evil myths of our day is that a woman who has joined hands with God in creation can destroy that creation because she claims the right to control her own body. Since the life within her is not her own, how can she justify its termination and deflect that life from an earth which it may never inherit?" The great medical profession, for which I have such great respect, that for centuries has been committed to the preservation of life under the cardinal principles of treatment—“do no harm” and “protect life”—now finds itself destroying almost a million unborn children a year in the United States alone. Each of these, because of tiny chromosomal differences, would have been different from any other person born in the world. How many with special gifts like unto Moses, Leonardo da Vinci, and Abraham Lincoln might have been among them?" (24.).

A question that has plagued men for all time is "Who am I?" Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believe they have an eternal nature and destiny - that they are literal Children of a loving Heavenly Father. They existed with Him in their pre-mortal life and they have the opportunity to exist with him in the post-mortal life as well. They believe He knows and loves them individually. This belief helps them endure many of life's trials without losing hope. They believe that as they live the standards of the gospel of Jesus Christ and love and serve others their sense of joy and self- worth grows.

They believe in the Sacred nature of certain spaces. One of these is the Temple. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believe in building Temples. They have Temples throughout the world. Current temple statistics: 150 operating (4 under renovation), 14 under construction, 13 announced (20.). Members regard the Temples as the most sacred place on earth where they can feel closest to their Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ (21.). Another place they regard as sacred is their chapels - housed within their church buildings. These chapels are where the members congregate each Sunday to worship and partake of the Sacrament - the formal blessing and administering of bread and water representing the body and blood of Christ to Church members. It is the equivalent of communion in many other Christian churches (22.).


Communication Style and Language


Whereas the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has long had the nickname, the "Mormon Church", it is actually not an authorized title. It is preferred that when a shortened reference is needed, that the terms "the Church" or the "Church of Jesus Christ" be used. The term "Mormonism" is acceptable in describing the combination of doctrine, culture and lifestyle unique to them (27.).

Communication within the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints occurs by various forms. The church has definitely kept up with the information age. and are the two main websites operated by the church. They also operate, and They publish three monthly magazines (also available electronically): The "Ensign" - for adults, called the "Liahona" Internationally; The "New Era" - for youth; The "Friend" - for children. The church has social media accounts on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram, and Google plus. It is important to look for the Church's official logo to ensure it is their official site (26.). These have become a quick and simple way for members to share news and inspirational messages.

The Membership of the Church is spread Worldwide in 153 countries and currently publishes in 189 languages (25.). The Book of Mormon is currently published in 109 languages - Malay being the most recent (28.).

Members of the Church believe that an individual's language and behavior is an expression of their character. They believe a person's words and actions can have a profound impact on their own life and the lives of those around them. Members are encouraged to express themselves through the use of clean, positive, and uplifting language, allowing them to be more inviting to the spirit. They are encouraged to avoid filthy or vulgar language as well as taking the Lord's name in vain or using it in an irreverent manner. It is believed that inappropriate language impairs your ability to receive promptings and inspiration from the Holy Ghost (39.).

Members of the Church learn at an early age how to speak and pray publicly. No one in the Church is a paid clergy. All participation is voluntary. Beginning in childhood - usually around the age of three, children are given the opportunity to say the prayer or give a short talk (on an assigned religious topic) in their church classes - called primary. This continues until they are twelve and then they are given the opportunity to give prayers and talks (for ten minutes) in their Sacrament Meetings - an hour-long meeting, where men, women and younger members offer prayers and give sermons, sing hymns and partake of the sacrament (similar to receiving communion in other churches) (29.). Members continue to this voluntary service throughout their lives.


Food and Feeding Habits


Members of the Latter-Day Saint Faith typically strive to follow a health code known as the Word of Wisdom. This doctrine encourages individuals to abstain from alcohol, tobacco, coffee, and tea. It also encourages individuals to maintain a healthy lifestyle through including whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and herbs in their diet while consuming meats in moderation and getting regular physical exercise.

Fast Sunday is held the first Sunday of every month. On Fast Sunday individuals will abstain from food and drink for two consecutive meals. The amount of money that would have been spent on these two meals is donated as a fast offering which is used to assist those in need in that specific ward, branch, or community.

Fasting is combined with sincere prayer. Members are encouraged to fast as personally needed – not just on the first Sunday of the month - according to their individual desires and needs. (ie: sickness, decisions, trials, etc). Families often join in fasting together in behalf of a member of their individual family who may have specific needs – either spiritual, emotional, or physical. They believe by abstaining from food and drink their physical body is in submission to their spirit thus strengthening them spiritually and bringing their spirit closer to God. This prepares them to receive divine guidance and inspiration as well as blessings desired (12.)

Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are encouraged to eat together as a family at least one meal daily. This allows families to connect and talk about what is happening in their lives: their challenges, and successes; their concerns and questions. It also allows families to work together as they prepare and clean up meals. It also allows parent(s) a time to really listen to their children and offer advice as needed. One young woman shared her experience as follows: “Every evening we came home to each other from school, work, and activities. We learned how to prepare dinner. We ate and talked together every night and then read the scriptures together. I still remember the spirit I felt as my mother and father testified of true gospel principles. There was a spirit of love and acceptance there that allowed us to express ourselves and discuss difficult topics. And when our parents needed to teach us something, it came naturally during scripture discussions, with love and testimony. We argued less among each other and became best friends…. Those dinner hours we spent together had a huge impact on the way I dealt with challenges and how I felt about life and myself. I knew that no matter what happened outside our home, I had a family who cared about me” (13.).

According to Dallin H. Oaks a member of the LDS church Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, ‘the time a family spends together “eating meals at home [is] the strongest predictor of children’s academic achievement and psychological adjustment.” Family mealtimes have also been shown to be a strong bulwark against children’s smoking, drinking, or using drugs. There is inspired wisdom in this advice to parents: "What your children really want for dinner is you" (14.)


Time Consciousness


Members of the LDS faith believe in eternal life. They believe this life to only be a short span of time in relation to eternity. They believe in the preexistence, or a life where we all lived with God before being born into this world. It is also believed that life continues on into eternity after death. All human beings, even the wicked, are blessed with the gift of immortality.

Have you ever heard of "mormon standard time". This is a cliche that has been adopted because, although the main Sunday Worship Service (Sacrament Meeting) starts on time each week, many members show up late... generally after the opening prayer. Although this is not encouraged and in fact has been discouraged, the old cliche is still used when someone is late.

Members of the Church believe that during their "time" here on earth they need to use their time efficiently - not to idle it away. Besides working to provide for their individual and family needs they also volunteer their time in church and community service. Three hours each Sunday are spent attending worship services. Two weekends per year (April and October) they spend ten hours listening to General Conference. Young Men (age 18)- volunteer two years, Young Women (age 19) - volunteer 18 months, and Senior Couples (empty-nesters)- volunteer between 6 months and three years to serve as full time missionaries for the Church. Outside of Church service members can be found serving their neighbors, community, and world through donations of resources and time.

In the Church of Jesus Christ children are baptized when they are eight years old. This is the time of life - or age when a child is able to understand right from wrong and make choices for himself. They believe prior to this age Satan has no power to tempt children. They consider infants innocent and without sin thus without a need for baptism (30.).

Members of the Church typically wait until they are 16 years old to start dating as encouraged by their leaders. At this age they are encouraged to begin dating in groups with other young people and avoid dating the same person consistently until later. The reasons for this counsel have to do with timing and safety. Until they are old enough to consider marriage, steady dating has no real purpose and can lead to the desire to express feelings physically (31.).


Relationships and Social Organization


The LDS religion views relationships and social organizations as very important. The LDS church has two main internet websites that each discuss the faith, it's teachings, values, beliefs, etc. These websites are set in place to establish and enhance relationships between it's members as well as non-members.

Latter-day Saints place great importance on the family relationship. They believe that the family is the basic and most important unit of society. They emphasize marriage. They emphasize having children. It is no secret Mormons are known for their “large” families. A very widely used statement from a past Prophet and President of the Church, David O. McKay, is, “No other success can compensate for failure in the home.” In “The Family: A Proclamation to the World,” written by the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve we learn that happiness within our family will most likely be achieved when it’s founded on the teachings of Jesus Christ (17.).

Mormon’s hold the belief that marriages performed in their sacred Temples are not temporary – till death do us part - but are eternal. Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believe that relationships go beyond this life. They believe all people are sons and daughters of Heavenly Parents. Thus all are “brothers” and “sisters”. Thus you may hear them call each other not by “Mr.” and “Miss/Mrs.” But “brother” or “sister”. Even if you are not a member of their faith. They believe we lived as a family unit prior to birth and will once again live in family units after death.

The Social Organization of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is unique. It is very organized. You can go almost anywhere in the world and find the different congregations of Mormons organized and operated similarly. The worldwide church is divided into geographic areas called “Areas” – which are very large. Each of these “Areas” are then divided into smaller geographic areas known as “Stakes” – which usually consist of five to twelve smaller geographic congregations called “Wards” or “Branches” – large congregations, with approximately 300 or more members are called “Wards” and smaller congregations are called “Branches”. Areas are “watched over” by “Area Authorities” which are typically from the General Authorities of the Church. Stakes are “watched over” by a Stake President, his two Counselors, and a High Council (12 members). Ward are “watched over” by a Bishop, and his two Counselors. All of these leaders are Men who hold the Priesthood. Within each ward there are “Auxiliary” Organizations – these include: Melchizedek Priesthood – This is for men beginning at age 18 and older. This includes the Elders Quorum and the High Priests Group. Relief Society – for all women in the ward ages 18 and older. Young Men – for all young men ages 12-18. Young Women – for all young women ages 12-18. Primary – for all children ages 18 months – 11 years. Sunday school - Classes are held one hour each Sunday. It is specific gospel instruction for ward members age 12 and older (18.).


Education and Learning


Members of the LDS church view education as a key to personal growth, self-reliance, and a strong family. Gordon B. Hinckley, 15th President of the LDS church stated the following concerning education: " Take advantage of opportunities to gain more knowledge...We live in a world where knowledge is developing at an ever-accelerating rate. Drink deeply from this ever-springing well of wisdom and human experience" (42.). Members are encouraged to receive as much education as time and finance permit. Men and Women are encouraged to continue their education after graduating from high school (or it's equivalent) and where possible receive a college degree in a vocation that can provide means to support a family.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has organized universities and colleges including: Brigham Young University (1875)- 2013 Winter enrollment 29.035 (34.). 14,755 males, 12,436 females (undergraduate) (36.). BYU Idaho (1888)- previously known as Ricks College 2014 - Spring enrollment 12.931; 6,535 Male and 6,396 females (35.). BYU Hawaii (1955), and LDS Business College (1886) (32.).

Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believe what that whatever level of intelligence they gain in this life will be with them in the post-mortal life. Thus they place much emphasis on lifelong learning. This learning includes spiritual and secular knowledge - which brings balance to life. Spiritual and Secular knowledge can complement each other. Because God created the earth and the things that inhabit it, studying geology, physics and biology teaches us more about the greatness of our Creator (33.)

In 2001, the Prophet of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at the time, Gordon B. Hinckley, announced a "bold initiative" to help youth in developing countries get an education they couldn't afford on their own. The Perpetual Education Fund (PEF) is a program that allows Mormons without other financial resources to borrow money to fund professional training or advanced education. With this assistance, they can then find good jobs to help themselves and their families out of poverty. Once they are established, they pay back their loan into the fund so that other students can use the money in the same way. "Education is the key to opportunity," said President Hinckley. In the past nine years, 40,000 men and women in 40 countries have been given access to this opportunity. The program is funded through contributions of Mormons and others who support its mission (33.).


Work Habits and Practices


The Church encourages each family to take necessary and appropriate steps to obtain a job/career that will support their family. This part of what is known in the Church as Self Reliance. Self-reliance involves several facets of a balanced life, including:

  1. Education
  2. Health
  3. Employment
  4. Family home production and storage
  5. Family finances
  6. Spiritual strength (38.)


Although men typically work outside of home more than women (women often stay home to care for children), women are also often seen in the workplace. The Church has said "Wives are equal to their husbands. Marriage requires a full partnership where wives and husbands work side by side to meet the needs of the family" (40.). In September 1995 the Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints released a statement called "The Family; A Proclamation to the World". It says "By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children. In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners. Disability, death, or other circumstances may necessitate individual adaptation. Extended families should lend support when needed (17.).

Members of the Church believe that having a fulfilling life involves hard work. From Adam and Eve mankind has been commanded to till the earth and have dominion over the beast of the field, to eat his bread by the sweat of his brow. As one learns to do honest, hard labor, one gains self-worth. There is nothing like seeing the fruits of ones own labor. There is no substitute for work. Building a strong family takes hard work, and part of that work is teaching our children how to work. Though some may see work as something to avoid, the gospel teaches that working for and with our families brings great blessings (37.).




Members of the LDS faith, if they have gone through and made sacred ordinances in the LDS temple, typically wear a sacred undergarment. These undergarments have symbolic meaning and are meant to be worn day and night. Registered nurses may come in contact with members who will be concerned or worried about removing their temple garment for certain medical procedures. As a nurse, it would be important to provide these individuals with proper education regarding the importance of removing their temple garment for certain medical procedures to prevent negative outcomes and that leaving them on may lead to improper viewing or handling of the garment. It would also be important to tell them that, from your understanding, removing garments for medical reasons is not considered morally wrong, disrespectful, or improper.

Members of the LDS faith believe in the power of the Priesthood and it's blessings. In times of sickness, LDS Members may often request a blessing from a male family member who appropriately holds the Priesthood. If a family member holding the Priesthood is not available, it is important to know that any other male member of the faith appropriately holding the Priesthood may give the blessing. This may often include, but not limited to, hospital staff, chaplains, etc. Blessings of comfort may also often be requested when a patient is undergoing surgery or treatment or in other situations that may unease the patient.


Priesthood blessings is an integral part of their culture. Members of this church have strong faith in God's willingness and ability to heal. It is important for us to understand that these blessings are coupled with their belief in seeking the help of "healing practitioners". In fact- except in emergency situations they are encouraged to pursue all efforts simultaneously. Latter-day Saints believe in also using nutrition and exercise to help preserve health. They also believe in the simply praying in faith - either alone, as families, or in church for divine healing. Church members believe that healing has to do with the will of the Lord and they exercise their faith by doing all they can and then leaving it in the Lord's hands. (15.)


In 1833 the Prophet, Joseph Smith, received a revelation known as "Word of Wisdom". Doctrine and Covenants Section 89 (4.), The Word of Wisdom, is in essence a health plan or guideline for the members of the church. These guidelines include no alcoholic drinks, no smoking or chewing tobacco, and no hot drinks ie: coffee and tea, whole grains, fruits and vegetables, herbs, and meats are to be used sparingly. The church also interprets the misuse of drugs - illegal, legal, prescription or controlled as a violation of the health code. Interestingly the Word of Wisdom - which was given well over a hundred years ago is very similar to the recommendations made by the scientific world for improving health and maintaining quality of health today. "A 14-year UCLA study completed in 1997, tracked mortality rates and health practices of 10,000 members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in California. Specific findings: Church members who adhered to the health code had one of the lowest death rates from cancer and cardiovascular disease in the United States — roughly half that of the general population. The study also indicated that Church members who followed the code had a life expectancy eight to 11 years longer than the general white population of the United States." (16.)

See Also


• The Book of Mormon

• LDS Religion

• Mormon

• The Articles of Faith

• The Family: A Proclamation to the World

• The Living Christ

• The Priesthood




External Links






  1. (n.d.). The Book of Mormon. Retrieved from
  2. (n.d.). Restoration of Jesus Christ's Church. Retrieved from
  3. Elder Dallin H. Oaks. (2012, March). The Gospel Culture. Retrieved from
  4. (n.d). The Doctrine and Covenants. Retrieved from
  5. (n.d.). Missionary Work. Retrieved from
  6. (n.d.). The New Testament. Retrieved from
  7. (n.d.). Family History. Retrieved from
  8. (n.d.). The Book of Mormon. Retrieved from
  9. (n.d.). Freedom to Choose. Retrieved from
  10. (n.d.). Humanitarian Aid. Retrieved from
  11. (n.d.) Articles of Faith. Retrieved from
  12. (n.d.). Fasting and Fast Offerings. Retrieved from
  13. Amya Jensen. (2014, May). Time Out for Dinner. Retrieved from
  14. Elder Dallin H. Oaks. (2007, October). Good, Better, Best. Retrieved from
  15. Elder Dallin H. Oaks. (2010, April). Healing the Sick. Retrieved from
  16. (n.d.). Health Practices. Retrieved from
  17. (n.d.). The Family; A Proclamation to the World. Retrieved from
  18. (n.d.). How the Church Is Organized. Retrieved from
  19. (n.d.). The Plan of Salvation. Retrieved from
  20. (n.d.). Temples. Retrieved from
  21. (n.d.). Why Latter-day Saints Build Temples. Retrieved from
  22. (n.d.). Sacrament. Retrieved from
  23. Elder Russell M. Nelson. (1985, May). Reverence for Life. Retrieved from
  24. Elder James E. Faust. (1975, May). The Sanctity of Life. Retrieved from
  25. (2014, June 26). Facts and Statistics. Retrieved from
  26. (n.d.). Media Library. Retrieved from
  27. (n.d.). Style Guide - The Name of the Church. Retrieved from
  28. (2013, August 12). Book of Mormon Now in Malay Language. Retrieved from
  29. (n.d.). What to Expect at Church Services. Retrieved from
  30. (n.d.). Infant Baptism. Retrieved from
  31. (2014, January 6). Research Supports LDS Dating Guidelines. Retrieved from
  32. (n.d.). Church Universities and Colleges. Retrieved from
  33. (n.d.). Lifelong Learning. Retrieved from
  34. (n.d.). Full-time and 3/4 Day Enrollment. Retrieved from
  35. (2014, May 21). BYU-Idaho releases enrollment figures for Spring Semester 2014. Retrieved from
  36. (n.d.). Enrollment by Gender. Retrieved from
  37. (n.d.). Happiness in Family Life. Retrieved from
  38. (n.d.). Catching the Vision of Self-Reliance. Retrieved from
  39. Pictures Intellectual reserve, inc. (2010). Retrieved from:
  40. Intellectual Reserve, Inc., (2013). Retrieved from:
  41. President Spencer W. Kimball. (1979). The Abundant Life. Retrieved from
  42. Hinkley, G. B. (1979). Teachings of Gordon B. Hinkley. Salt Lake City: Deseret Book