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The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (abbreviated as the LDS Church, often colloquially referred to as the Mormon Church) is the largest denomination originating from the Latter Day Saint movement founded by Joseph Smith, Jr. circa 1830. The church is headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah, and has established congregations (called wards or branches) worldwide. Estimates of the church's membership range from about 13.5 million (6 million in the United States) to about half of those numbers, depending on how membership is counted.

Adherents are usually referred to as Latter-day Saints, LDS, or Mormons. They consider themselves part of Christianity. LDS Church theology includes Christian doctrines of restorationism (via Joseph Smith, Jr.), millennialism, continuationism, penal substitution, a form of Apostolic succession, rejection of original sin, practice of baptism by immersion, and practice of the Eucharist (called by them the Sacrament). LDS theology rejects of the post aspostlic creeds. They believe in a plan of salvation that includes degrees of glory, a variant of theosis called exaltation which includes the possibility of humans to inherit the attributes of God in the afterlife, and ordinances, some of which are only conducted in LDS temples. The Church has an open canon which includes four scriptural texts: the Bible (both Old and New Testament), the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price. Other than the Bible, the majority of the LDS canon constitutes revelation dictated by Joseph Smith, and includes commentary and exegesis about the Bible, texts described as lost parts of the Bible, and books said to be written by prophets past down generation to generation.

The LDS Church is organized in a hierarchical structure primarily administered by men, with women in roles leading other women and children. Mormons believe that Jesus leads the church through revelation, and has chosen a single man, called "the Prophet" or President of the Church, as Jesus' spokesman on the earth. The President is part of a First Presidency of three men, which leads a Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and other larger bodies (called quorums) of general authorities, who themselves lead down the chain of command to local congregational leaders. At the local level, these members of the priesthood are drawn from the laity and work on a purely volunteer basis without stipend. Members, including clergy, are asked to donate a full tithe of their income to the Church. The church has a strong cultural influence on its members, and has taken stands on a number of public, governmental issues. It is an active proselytizing church, and sends full-time missionaries nearly worldwide, which is mainly responsible for its rapid growth.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Mormon church."
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