The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is a worldwide faith of over 16 million members centered on the belief that everyone on earth is a son or daughter of a loving God1 and that His Son, Jesus Christ, saved the world from sin and death. Jesus Christ invites all of God’s children to come unto, follow, and become more like Him.2
The mission of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is to help all of God’s children come to Jesus Christ3 through learning about His gospel, making and keeping promises with God (covenants), and practicing Christlike love and service.4
Members of the Church believe in helping individuals and families fulfill the commandments to love God and to love your neighbor.5 Members do so by living the gospel of Jesus Christ,6 caring for those in need,7 inviting all to receive the gospel,8 and uniting families through family history and temple work.9
The Church has over 30,000 congregations in more than 160 countries and territories. Each of these congregations is a local group of Saints who serve, teach, inspire, and mentor each other as they strive to overcome personal challenges and hardships, and each is led by nonpaid leaders10 selected from the congregation who serve on a limited-time, volunteer basis.
The Church provides gospel resources and programs in over 110 languages. It also operates several universities; a religious education program for youth and young adults with enrollment of more than 400,000 in 170 countries; FamilySearch, the world’s largest genealogical organization; and Latter-day Saint Charities, a vast humanitarian aid program that provides nearly $1 billion annually in worldwide relief. The Church’s worldwide headquarters are located in Salt Lake City, Utah.
While Jesus Christ was on the earth, He established His Church. Following His death and the deaths of His Apostles, some of the precious truths He taught and His sacred authority were lost for a time.11 This time period is known as the Great Apostasy.
In the spring of 1820, a young man named Joseph Smith prayed to God with great concern for the salvation of his own soul and to know which church he should join. God and Jesus Christ appeared to Joseph12 and began to prepare him to bring back (or restore) the precious truths and the sacred authority that had been lost from the Church Jesus Christ formed while on the earth. Under the Lord’s direction, Joseph Smith organized The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on April 6, 1830.
Through the power of God, Joseph Smith translated an ancient record written by prophets who lived on the American continents and taught and testified of Jesus Christ.13 This ancient record is called the Book of Mormon and stands alongside the Bible as another testament that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and the Savior of mankind.