A New View of the World

Culture

A Living Prophet

The Torah, the Koran and the Bible are all books written several thousand years ago, and they are still used today in the Jewish, Islamic and Christian faiths respectively. Each one is a guide for religious beliefs and practices, and none of them are seen as requiring change in the modern world. Many older religions see change, particularly in their religious books, as heretical. There is one group of Christians who believe differently.

The worshipers of the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints, commonly known as Mormons, believe God sends new messages through Jesus to the president of their religious organization. It is the work of this man to keep the religion fresh and healthy as the world around it changes. While this person is the one to receive the majority of messages, individual members believe they also have the ability to directly receive messages.

Throughout its history, this Christian organization has had its religious doctrines misunderstood by many outsiders, and Mormons have traveled far to find a place where they could practice their religion in peace. When many religious institutions other than fundamental Islamic groups began a policy of marriage to only one woman, the Mormon Church kept their policy of polygamy. It was not a form of slavery for women, but an answer to the early death of men within their community. If a man died, one of his male relatives was expected to marry his wife to care for her and their children.

The continuing issue of polygamy has haunted the Mormon Church for years. While the main group has given up this practice, small off-shoots and cults have arisen to defy local laws. Many people see them as dangerous, and their practices are often bizarre and have more to do with the practice of polygamous marriage than religious beliefs.