Religious and Ethnic Groups

Topics: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Joseph Smith, Jr., Slavery Pages: 5 (1560 words) Published: December 1, 2013
Religious and Ethnic Groups
ETH 125/Cultural Diversity
November 10, 2013
Sally Kwitkowski
Religious and Ethnic Groups
I associate myself as being a white Christian female. Although there are many millions of people who consider themselves of the Christian belief, there are several branches of that belief that practice different worshipping techniques.

Latter-Day Saints (Mormons)
The Latter Day Saints (“Mormons”) are a Christian group founded by Joseph Smith in the late 1820s, and who have over 15 million members. (Wikipedia, The Latter Day Saints Movement [“Wikipedia 3”].) The Mormon church includes four scriptural texts: the Bible (both Old and New Testaments), the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price. Other than the Bible, the Book of Mormon is their most-used text, which includes revelations written by Joseph Smith. It includes commentary about the Bible, chapters and stories believed to be lost parts of the Bible, and other works believed to be written by ancient prophets. (Wikipedia, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints [“Wikipedia 4”].) The Mormon religion is relatively new compared to the other Christian sects around the world, and was founded in Utah in the United States. Other groups go back millennia and are traditionally based on the Bible, the only word of God believed to be inspired by God. According to the Bible, no other books or writings exist outside the Bible as the true Word. Mormonism believes in the Bible, but also that Joseph Smith was a prophet who was guided by God to write a second book, the Book of Mormon, to further teach the Gospel. This thought usually goes against what other Christians believe. The greater criticism of the church was its practice of plural marriage (polygamy), which it abandoned in 1890. Since then, criticism has focused mostly on homophobia, racism, sexism, and non-disclosure of its financial documents. (Wikipedia, Criticism of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints [“Wikipedia 2”].) According to the Wikipedia article, the main reason polygamy was abandoned was mostly for political instead of religious reasons. Because of a growing battle with the government when trying to become a state, Utah did away with the practice to save the public’s opinion of the Church. Critics also believe that the reason polygamy was accepted in the first place was because Church leaders and members wanted to justify their behaviors that would normally be looked upon as impious. (Wikipedia 2, para. 9.) Thoughts that the Church was racist and sexist stem from the fact that only men of good standing were allowed to be elders. When the Church spread to other parts of the world, where mixes of other races were common, the elders were no longer only white males, but of a mixed background. Women are still not allowed to be elders or members of the priesthood, but can become missionaries. (Wikipedia 4, paras. 3-4; Wikipedia 2, para. 3.) Criticisms aside, the Church has grown in membership over the years, now reaching into the 15-million mark. They are active in politics, including topics on legalized gambling, same-sex marriage, and physician-assisted death. More men of black/African descent (regardless of what their skin color might be) are accepted into the priesthood. (Wikipedia 4, “Modern Times,” paras. 2-3.) During the Great Depression, the Church began operating a church welfare system, and has cooperated with other religious organizations including Catholic Relief Services and Islamic Relief, as well as non-religious organizations like the American Red Cross. (Id at para. 3.) “Anti-Mormonism is discrimination, persecution, hostility or prejudice directed at members of the Latter Day Saint movement, particularly The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). The term is often used to describe persons or literature that are critical of their adherents, institutions, or beliefs, or physical...

References: "African". Oxford Dictionaries. Oxford University Press, n.d. Web. 11 November 2013. .
Wikipedia. (2013). Africa. Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Africa
Wikipedia. (2013). African American. Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/African_American
Wikipedia. (2013). African people. Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/African_people#cite_note-1
Wikipedia. (2013). Anti-Mormonism. Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-Mormonism
Wikipedia. (2013). Criticism of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?oldid=579895226
Wikipedia. (2013). Latter Day Saint movement. Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?oldid=578954915
Wikipedia. (2013). The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?oldid=580670294
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