Whom do we worship?

Related Posts: Who is Jesus?—to a Mormon; The Nature of Christ; The Trinity; Godhead: God or Gods?

See also “Worship” in Encyclopedia of Mormonism

In the mind of most Mormons the objects of worship are God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ.[1] The Holy Ghost is necessary for the true worship of the Father and the Son; it is through the Holy Ghost that we worship in spirit and in truth, for “the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost” (Rom. 5:5).

The concept of worship in Mormonism is not strictly defined. Those in heaven “sing ceaseless praises with the choirs above, unto the Father, and unto the Son, and unto the Holy Ghost” (Mormon 7:7); the ordinance of baptism is performed “in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost” (D&C 20:73); our prayers are directed to God the Father and are done in the name of Jesus Christ; and the first words every newly confirmed church member hears are, “Receive the Holy Ghost” (D&C 49:13-14). Continue reading

The First Vision

Related Posts: Godhead: God or Gods?; Who is Jesus?—to a Mormon; Whom do we Worship?; The Trinity

Joseph Smith’s first revelatory experience is known among Mormons as the first vision. Joseph’s four known accounts of this experience are from 1842, 1838, 1835, and 1832. These accounts were either written by Joseph himself or were dictated by him to a scribe.

The first vision experience

Between the age of fourteen and fifteen Joseph began to wonder which of all the religious denominations is correct, and was concerned about his own standing before God. One night as he was reading the Bible he came First Visionacross a passage from the book of James: “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God” (James 1:5). Joseph decided to do as James suggested and pray for guidance. He writes, “for how to act I did not know, and unless I could get more wisdom than I then had, I would never know; for the teachers of religion of the different sects understood the same passages of scripture so differently as to destroy all confidence in settling the question by an appeal to the Bible” (JS-History 1:12). With these questions in mind he retired one morning to a secluded place to pray. As he began to offer his prayer Continue reading