The formal name of this worldwide church of 15 million members, who are often referred to as “Mormons”, is long, but each part of it has significance. As the formal name of the Church indicates, Mormons belong to the Church of Jesus Christ, and are Christians, who have faith in God their Eternal Father, strive to follow the teachings and example of Jesus Christ, and seek the inspiration of the Holy Ghost in all areas of their lives. Although they have doctrinal differences with other Christian faiths, Mormons believe that their Church is the same as the original church Jesus established when He was on the earth (see Ephesians 2:19-20, 4:11-14).
As we know, the members of Christ’s church in the New Testament were referred to as “saints” – from today’s perspective, “former day saints”. Consequently, the name The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints indicates it is a restoration and continuation of the Church of Jesus Christ, which he himself organized, but set in the “latter days”, as our times were referred to in both the Old and New Testaments.
Members of this Church became known as “Mormons” as a result of the publication of the Book of Mormon by Joseph Smith in 1830, when the LDS Church (as it is abbreviated) was founded. In addition to the Bible, Mormons read and study the Book of Mormon and appreciate its preservation of ancient Christian teachings and principles. The Book of Mormon was compiled by the prophet Mormon, a descendant of Joseph of Egypt, whose ancestors were led by God from Jerusalem to the New World shortly before the its destruction in 587 BC. This compilation of the 1000 year history and prophetic teachings of their people is regarded as a second witness to the mission and divinity of Jesus Christ. For more information, feel free to visit www.Mormon.org or approach any Mormons that you know – they would be happy to respond to your questions or help you obtain your own copy of this intriguing book.