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MostlyToastly
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MostlyToastly
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So, I saw a lot of threads such as "Ask a Muslim", "Ask a Jew", etc. and thought I'd make one of my own. As far as I can tell, Mormonism is one of the most widely misunderstood religions, so I thought I'd clear a few things up. Now, I'm not like a stake president or anything, but I'll do my best to answer your questions. I can't guarantee I have an answer to all of them. I would prefer it if this thread were not to turn into a religious debate. I've tried debating religion before. As far as I can tell, if you took a recording of a theist's arguments and a recording of an atheist's arguments, stuck them together and played them, you'd get approximately the same amount of actual thinking and listening as what goes into the actual debates. That's not to say atheists aren't allowed to ask questions, of course, just that I'm asking you not to turn this into a debate. I would also request that you keep this civil and polite. I will joke about my own religion sometimes, jokes are fine as long as humor, not malice, is the intent. But I will treat your beliefs with respect and expect you to do the same for mine. Thanks.
So now...go ahead and ask.

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MostlyToastly
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in the most basic form, the storehouse holds everything the bishop's ward has donated. he holds on to it until a family in the ward is in need or when there is a natural disaster and many families are affected.

You're thinking of something else...those do exist, but the Bishop's Storehouses are different.
The Bishop's(or Lord's) Storehouses are stores with food, clothes, and other basic amenities. They are all provided by volunteer LDS farmers, local storeowners, etc., and the Storehouses themselves are staffed by volunteer LDS Church members. Items at the Bishop's Storehouses are sold for very low prices to families that cannot afford things at regular grocery stores. You do not have to be LDS to shop at a Bishop's Storehouse, but there is a maximum salary for people to shop there(I'm not sure what it is).

I've heard wierder ones. the people in my ward are so off that one of our members calls it the "jerry springer ward". one lady went crazy and started spewing a bunch of bible verses. I actually thought she was going to pull out a crucifix and say "by Jesus christ, I rebuke you".

Lol.

Sounds pretty nice though - people talking about their mission and that.

Well, it's not just that. Often, people quote things from the Bible/Book of Mormon or tell parables/fables, etc.
Hypermnestra
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Hypermnestra
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So what's the organization of the church? Like you've already mentioned deacons and elders, and I know that those mean different things in the LDS Church than they do in other churches.

Bladerunner679
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Bladerunner679
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in this order of the priesthood:

deacons (12)
teachers (14)
Priests (16)
elders (18)
high priest (when you prove worthy to become one after you become an elder)

thats really all that the organization is in a ward.

Jefferysinspiration
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I would have assumed high priest would come before an elder, so that;s rather interesting.

MostlyToastly
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MostlyToastly
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So what's the organization of the church? Like you've already mentioned deacons and elders, and I know that those mean different things in the LDS Church than they do in other churches.

Bladerunner pretty much already got it, but I'll expand on what he already said.
Firstly: deacons, teachers, priests, and bishops are all offices in the Aaronic Priesthood. Elders, high priests, and apostles(of which there are only 70 anywhere) are all offices in the Melchizedek Priesthood. In addition to specific requirements, mostly pertaining to age, for each office, you must have been baptized in order to hold an office in the Aaronic Priesthood, and endowed to hold an office in the Melchizedek Priesthood. The Melchizedek and Aaronic Priesthoods are only for men: the rough equivalent for women would be the Womens' Relief Society, I think. The Relief Society doesn't really have any organized ranks as far as I know, they have a ward president, I don't even know how they are picked. Other than that, they basically just divvy up duties and responsibilities based on how much they think each person can handle. While the Melchizedek and Aaronic Priesthoods handle the clerical duties of the church, the Relief Society is more of a humanitarian thing. They do teach Sunday School, home teaching, but they also do a lot of philanthropic stuff. But I'm not exactly an authority on the Womens' Relief Society.

Deacon
Requirements: 12 years of age.
Responsibilities: Pass out the Sacrament; collect tithings and fast offerings.

Teacher
Requirements: 14 years of age.
Responsibilities: Prepare the Sacrament; go home teaching, usually with their father.

Priest
Requirements: 16 years of age.
Responsibilities: Bless the Sacrament; ordain others to the offices of the Aaronic Priesthood.

Bishop
Requirements: Married adult; high priest of the Melchizedek Priesthood.
Responsibilities: Leader of the ward, preside over and organize Sacrament meetings, judge for temple recommends, oversee financial records from tithings and donations, serve as high priest for the ward, manage the other organizations in the ward(Sunday School, Relief Society, Primary, etc.).

Elder
Requirements: 18 years of age.
Responsibilities: Baptize and lay on hands for others; bless and administer to the sick; teach others; watch over the church. In addition, Elders are the people who go on missions, although that's technically not one of their official duties.

High Priest
Requirements: Responsible adult.
Responsibilities: The responsibilities of high priests depend on what they have been assigned. It's less of an office in and of itself, and a qualification for other offices.

Other offices that you need to be a High Priest to hold are mission president, stake president, bishops, etc.
Jefferysinspiration
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Jefferysinspiration
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Woah, they're some pretty young ages there.
Why do they start of positions in the church so young? To prepare one for their mission?

MostlyToastly
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MostlyToastly
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Woah, they're some pretty young ages there.
Why do they start of positions in the church so young? To prepare one for their mission?

Here's a link to the Aaronic Priesthood as explained by lds.org.
Not just to prepare them for their mission. Even though they don't have many duties as a deacon, it's important for people to start learning responsibility. Handling things like the Sacrament is a good way to impress that trait into people if it hasn't been already. Assigning these jobs to people is to train them, but not just for their mission, but for their life.
And people, both male and female, who have a temple recommend(so at least 12 years old) often do baptisms for the dead. How frequently they visit the temple and perform baptisms for the dead varies from person to person, and they don't have to.
Jefferysinspiration
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Jefferysinspiration
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I think it's pretty cool to have people involved in the church from such a young age. In catholicism you can be an alter boy/girl if you're younger: to help prepare the altar but that's it.

So girls can help out too? Until what level?

MostlyToastly
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MostlyToastly
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So girls can help out too? Until what level?

Like I said, girls can't hold the Aaronic or Melchizedek Priesthoods. But they do have the Women's Relief Society, can baptize the dead, go on missions, etc.

I think it's pretty cool to have people involved in the church from such a young age. In catholicism you can be an alter boy/girl if you're younger: to help prepare the altar but that's it.

Cool. So is that an important responsibility, like is there only one altar, and what do you use it for? Catholicism seems pretty different from Mormonism.
Jefferysinspiration
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Jefferysinspiration
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The priest says the sermon from the altar. The bread and wine are prepared there for Eucharist.

Although kids aren't allowed to do that much. Mainly baptizing, only the priests and those higher can do that.

MostlyToastly
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MostlyToastly
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My apologies for letting the thread die.

The priest says the sermon from the altar. The bread and wine are prepared there for Eucharist.

Eucharist?

Although kids aren't allowed to do that much. Mainly baptizing, only the priests and those higher can do that.

Oh. So most kids don't have a lot of responsibility?
That would be kind of nice.

I guess I should also explain this, since I've mentioned wards a lot lately.
Ward: Like a parish, it's presided over by a bishop. Wards also have auxiliaries. The primary auxiliaries for the ward are Young Men, Young Women, Relief Society, Primary, and Sunday School.
Stake: Made of multiple wards, like a diocese. Presided over by a stake president and two counselors, who make up the stake presidency.
Bladerunner679
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Bladerunner679
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I guess I should also explain this, since I've mentioned wards a lot lately.
Ward: Like a parish, it's presided over by a bishop. Wards also have auxiliaries. The primary auxiliaries for the ward are Young Men, Young Women, Relief Society, Primary, and Sunday School.
Stake: Made of multiple wards, like a diocese. Presided over by a stake president and two counselors, who make up the stake presidency.


there is also a branch, which is a newly established ward, or has a small population of members in the area.

Teacher
Requirements: 14 years of age.
Responsibilities: Prepare the Sacrament; go home teaching, usually with their father.


when I saw that, I remembered the fact that my dad's a baptist. he's a great father, but he straightforward said he's going to stay a baptist. he has no problems with the church, but his parents, and their parents, were baptists. it really kinda sucks when you can't go home-teaching with your dad.
koreanmarine
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koreanmarine
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the story from south park Season-7 Episode-12 any true?


All true, the creators of South Park were once Mormon, but they were excommunicated for their cartoons.
MostlyToastly
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MostlyToastly
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All true, the creators of South Park were once Mormon, but they were excommunicated for their cartoons.

I don't know where you're getting this information, but it's incorrect.
First of all, the LDS Church does not excommunicate people for vulgar cartoons. A cartoonist making vulgar cartoons of the LDS Church might be put on temporary probation or disfellowshipped if it was especially offensive, but definitely not excommunicated. Excommunication is reserved for much more serious offenses.
Second, neither Matt Stone nor Trey Parker are, or ever were, members of the LDS Church. Matt Stone is an atheist; Trey Parker is an agnostic Christian.
zakyman
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zakyman
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I know that I am reviving an old thread here, but please bear with me...


For any Mormons on this site, what are your views on postmortem baptism? In light of the scandal involving a Jewish Nazi hunter's parents, I would like to hear more about this issue from a Mormon, as well as their personal views on this topic.

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