The religion of the Latter Day Saints or Mormons differs from other religious groups by being a newer religion. It was first founded by Joseph Smith Jr. in 1830. The religion follows the Book of Mormon, similar to the Bible, is a written history of prophets. It is different from the Bible because the prophets were all from the American continents. It also views the history differently. The stories of the Book of Mormon are accounts from the prophets of the religion. These prophets are completely different from other religions. They include Nephi, Jacob, Enos, Jarom, Omni, Mormon, Mosiah, Alma, Helaman, Ether, and Moroni (Mormon.org, 2012). Mormon religion also recognizes the Bible, a collection of revelations and writings by Joseph Smith known as the Doctrine and Covenants and Pearl of Great Price, although they consider the Book of Mormon the most important and accurate.
In the Mormon religion, followers attend services on Sundays for about seventy minutes. During the service there are hymns sung and prayers with the choice to partake in the receiving of communion but there is not a passing of a plate or collection of donations like other religions. After the service is over there are a number of different programs for the members to attend such as religious teaching for young people, priesthood meetings for young men and Relief Society meetings for young women over the age of 18 (Mormon.org, 2012).
The values of the Mormon religion are different in some ways from other religions in that they truly try to have Jesus Christ in every aspect of their lives. Most of their values are the same as any other religion, to be giving to others in the community, to strengthen their family, and to perform missionary work in other countries (Mormon.org, 2012).
The Mormon religion also has a group of young men and women who are missionaries that go into communities and try to spread the word of their religion to others. Many people feel that this is a way of trying to force their religion onto others. Some say it’s annoying or intrusive. They walk or ride bicycles around neighborhoods instead of driving a car and they talk to people on the street as well as knock on doors. In the early 1900’s Mormons were discriminated against when homes were burned and the religion’s followers were forced from cities. The religion was viewed as a cult by some communities and organizations as well.
The Mormon religion has had to defend itself for centuries. It had to prove to other religious groups that they were not a cult and that their religion isn’t that different than many others that believe in Jesus. Even in today’s society the religion isn’t a very well accepted one and has many critics. There are often protests outside the religion’s gatherings by other people who believe that the religion is based on fraud and deceit.
The Mormon religion has affected American culture in a few ways. First of all, the Book of Mormon introduced approximately 26 new words to the English language. They were also the first to suggest that tobacco is harmful. The religion is also among the largest financial supporters of the Boy Scouts of America and genealogical research. This stems from the religion’s values of family, community, and their views on alcohol, tobacco, drugs, and caffeine.
The research for this group has taught me more than I knew about them and in turn has helped me understand it a bit more. I understand that there are more similarities in their religion with Catholic and Christian beliefs than I originally thought. I understand that as a newer religion, it is not likely to be widely accepted by other religions, perhaps out of the fear of the unknown.
The people of African descent have also been the subject of discrimination throughout history. The African culture goes back as far as 16,000 BC. The culture is very diverse because of the size of the continent