How important and essential is the family? According to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (often mistakenly called the “Mormon Church”), the family is divinely ordained of God. Family plays a central role in God’s plan of happiness. In the world we live in today, there continues to be attacks on the family and the impacts are being felt in ways that can often create confusion, frustration, and unhappiness. One of the fundamental areas that is gaining more and more attention is the defining of marriage. It is in its strict adherence to the traditional definition of marriage that the LDS Church has received quite a bit of attention, since within this discussion is a conversation about homosexuality. This also leads to a discussion about gay Mormons.
The family is so important to Heavenly Father’s plan that He revealed to the First Presidency in 1995 “The Family: A Proclamation to the World” which begins with the following statement, “WE, THE FIRST PRESIDENCY and the Council of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, solemnly proclaim that marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and that the family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children.” This initial statement can bring hope, peace, love, and understanding to those who have accepted the gospel of Jesus Christ. At the same time, this initial statement can bring a sense of loss, sadness, frustration, and even anger for those that believe that having such a strict definition of marriage is exclusive rather than inclusive. While it can be very easy to draw a line in the sand, the truth of the matter is that God loves every one of His children and wants each of us to return to live with Him and Jesus again. God loves gay Mormons just as much as heterosexual Mormons, and He loves people of all faiths just as much as He loves Mormons.
It is necessary for there to be patience, understanding, and love for every child of God. Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are taught to love one another. They are taught that families can be together forever if they will live a life that is pleasing to God, keeping His commandments. Members are taught to reach out to those that may live differently than they do. This includes those that may identify themselves as gay or homosexual, even gay Mormons. It is one thing to not believe or accept the actions of someone, but it is entirely different to love and support the person himself. It is unfortunate that many have made it their mission to try and confuse, frustrate, and cloud the realities of this very important topic. Although the LDS Church teaches doctrine that comes directly from the scriptures, often time’s messages can be distorted and a complete understanding of what the Church teaches can be overlooked.
Jesus Christ, who was perfect, taught us to love one another; He taught us to love our neighbors; He taught us to serve others. Jesus never taught to hate or to discriminate. He never taught anyone to be judgmental or uncaring. Although the doctrine of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is perfect, its members are not. It is important to be able to distinguish between the two. Members of the “Mormon Church” may at times make decisions about one’s sexual preference that cause harm, sadness, and loneliness to others, such as gay Mormons. There are times where the LDS Church is put into a position where it must ensure its doctrine is being presented correctly, and it is often when this happens that many feel the LDS Church is anti-gay. The Church is pro-family, as taught in the scriptures, and as the doctrine of families has been revealed to modern-day prophets. There is a big difference between being anti-gay and simply being opposed to the practice of homosexuality. The LDS Church is making efforts to educate the world more and more about the love its members have for all people, no matter what those people believe. At the same time, Church leaders are also trying to ensure that the doctrine of the Church is not being distorted or misrepresented. While they disagree with the practice of homosexuality, they recognize the right of every individual to live as he or she chooses, but they also believe in the sanctity of the family and are striving to protect it.
The truth of the matter is that each individual has the freedom to choose how they will react towards others. The LDS Church continues to teach its members to love everyone, no matter what individuals outside of their faith might believe or practice. Mormon doctrine also teaches that within that love it is important to distinguish between loving and supporting the person rather than the actions one might take. This can be a difficult balance for those on both sides. Some will make the case that if you claim to love the person and not the actions then you really don’t love the person. At the same time, you will have some people on the other side saying that they cannot love the person based on their actions and thus must distance themselves from that person. If one truly strives to live as Christ taught us, then there is the ability to love the person no matter what their actions may be. As there becomes more visibility and dialogue surrounding the topic of gay Mormons and homosexuality in general, many will see that the LDS Church is very inclusive and strives very hard to teach its members to love every person.
Again, from “The Family: A Proclamation to the World” we read, “Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities.” What a wonderful blessing it is to know that if we strive hard to keep our lives and our families focused on the teachings of Jesus Christ we can achieve one of the most important purposes of this life: eternal happiness. As members of the LDS Church strive to love one another no matter what their sexual preferences might be and live worthy of Holy Ghost, they will receive blessings that cannot be numbered. This goes for those who are Mormon, gay, or gay Mormons. God does not discriminate. Whoever lives His commandments is entitled to His blessings.
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The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (sometimes mistakenly called the “Mormon Church”) has two types of weddings. These two weddings include the Church wedding and the most preferred and highly-encouraged temple marriage. Temple marriage is emphasized because when a couple is married in the temple, they may be together for eternity and not just for this life.
However, not all members of the Church may avail themselves of the opportunity to be married inside a Mormon temple. The temple is a holy place—a House of the Lord. To be married in the temple, the couple must be worthy to enter. The standard for worthiness is very high and includes being sexually pure. For this both bride and groom must have lived the Law of Chastity. The Law of Chastity demands abstinence from all sexual relations outside of marriage and perfect fidelity within marriage. The couple should also be:
- active in the Church,
- full-tithe payers (donating 10 percent of their income),
- actively involved in reading the scriptures and praying,
- adhering to the Word of Wisdom (the Mormon health law),
- and spiritually prepared for the covenants made in the temple.
Facts about Mormon weddings in Mormon temples:
The bride has a choice of wearing her wedding dress during the temple wedding ceremony. Some just wear a simple white long dress of the type normally worn in the temple, and then they change into a wedding gown for photographs on the temple grounds and the reception held later.
In the Salt Lake Temple, and in all the temples of the Church, the dress requirements are much the same. The bride can, indeed, wear a lovely, modest bridal gown for marriage (or temple sealing). It may be made in any appropriate style becoming to the bride. The gown must be white, including trim. It may be decorated with lace and/or seed pearls or small beads. However, sequins or other, very showy trim are inappropriate. There may be a train on the gown, but for convenience, it should be so arranged that the bride can comfortably carry it. The wedding gown should have long sleeves and a modestly high neck. If, for any reason, the gown does not meet the full requirements of modesty for the temple, the bride’s dressing room is supplied with lovely yokes and sleeve linings in all materials to match and enhance the gown so that it will be acceptable for the temple ceremony.
All-white slippers worn with the gown should have either no heels or very low heels and should be simple in a style. A higher heel may be worn when photographs are taken outside in the temple gardens.
The exchange of wedding rings is not part of the temple marriage ceremony, but it is a beautiful custom and is permitted in the temple after the ceremony is over.
Corsages and wedding bouquets are not used in the temple. All guests have to be temple worthy and hold “temple recommends” to attend a wedding inside a Mormon temple.
The actual temple marriage ceremony lasts less than five minutes, but the beautiful relationship that begins at that altar in God’s holy house will extend beyond the grave and throughout eternity, dependent upon the faithfulness of the marriage partners.
The couple is asked to be at the temple an hour before the appointed time so temple officials can check the marriage license and related papers and prepare the necessary documents for the recording of the marriage. The bride then proceeds to the lovely bride’s room where she can change into her wedding gown. At the same time, the bridegroom dresses in a separate dressing room in his temple clothes: a white suit with white shoes and necktie. In both cases, temple workers are on hand to give very special care and attention to the couple on such an important occasion.
Everything in the temple enhances the sacred importance of the wedding day so that the experience in the house of the Lord is a never-to-be-forgotten event in the lives of both bride and groom.
Below is a story of a joyous marriage performed in the temple:
We Wanted to Renew Our Vows
by Diana Berry
Valentine’s Day seemed like the perfect day for Rich and me to get married and begin our new life together. We had chosen Las Vegas as the place to exchange our vows, anticipating an exciting, magical honeymoon.
Unfortunately, at least three hundred other couples had the same idea. We waited in line for more than two hours just to have the justice of the peace spend two minutes declaring us husband and wife. Then off we went on our honeymoon in the glitter and lights of the city.
After about six months of marriage, we both felt something was missing. We were happy, but wondered if we hadn’t shortchanged ourselves. What a shame that the joy of our beautiful union had not been shared with our family and friends. There had been little ceremony, no flowers, no cake. We didn’t even have pictures for our scrapbook.
At the time, it was a trend to renew wedding vows on the first wedding anniversary, so we decided we would do just that—but in a church this time, with family and friends witnessing.
First, however, we needed to find a church to attend. Neither of us had attended church services in several years, and we felt awkward calling just any local minister and asking him to participate in our celebration. We wanted to attend the church first.
Each Saturday, we would turn to the yellow pages, call one of the listings, and go to that church’s services the next morning. Each Sunday we left the services unnoticed and unfulfilled, so we continued searching by this method each week, checking each off our list of possibilities. As we continued down the listings alphabetically, we purposely skipped over The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We knew that the Mormons were very committed to their faith, and we were not looking for a life-style change. We just wanted a church where we could renew our vows and visit occasionally on Sundays when it was convenient. Finally, however, we had exhausted our listings, so just to be fair, we decided to visit the LDS Church.
The first time we attended meetings in a Latter-day Saint ward, the bishop shook our hands and welcomed us personally. Many other members came over and welcomed us, talking with us as if they really cared! We couldn’t figure out how they knew we were visitors.
The meeting itself was unusual—a preacher didn’t address us. Instead, members of the ward spoke on prayer and family home evening. We were impressed with this church.
When we returned to the ward the next Sunday, we found the same warm feeling. That week, the bishop asked us if we would like to have the missionaries come visit us at our home. We said yes.
The missionaries showed us the film “Man’s Search for Happiness” at our first lesson. We were touched with our Heavenly Father’s plan for us. By the time they taught the lesson on baptism, in which we were challenged to be baptized, we had already marked a date on our calendar.
After our baptism, Rich and I revised our goals as a couple. Now we wanted something much greater than simply to renew our vows as we had once hoped. We now wanted to make covenants together in the house of the Lord. A year later, we went to the temple, where our marriage was sealed for time and all eternity. Many of our loved ones were there as witnesses.
Our marriage ceremony in Las Vegas pales in comparison to the warm glow of our being sealed to one another for all eternity.
Diana Berry writes the ward bulletin in the Meridian Third Ward, Meridian Idaho Stake, where her husband, Rich, serves as bishop.
A non- temple wedding or “temporal” (for mortality only) wedding in brief:
A non-temple wedding is open to anyone, whether a member of The Church Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints or not. A temple recommend is not needed to be able to attend to it, and a local bishop at any LDS meetinghouse can officiate the wedding. Weddings can take place in a Mormon meetinghouse in the “cultrual hall,” but not in the chapel. The wedding can also take place in a private home or other venue. After being marreid civilly, a couple may be sealed in a Mormon temple one year later, if they meet the requirements to enter the temple.
Latter-day Saints consider marriage their most crucial decision. For them, it will determine their eternal future and relationships. Many are determined to be married in the temple of the Lord. Not all will do it. But the Church is hoping that most of the rising generation will choose to be married at the right place, right time, and to the right person, because this will make their marriage and family much stronger, and help them in their eternal progression.
Joseph Smith organized The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (commonly called the Mormon Church) on April 6, 1830. Even before the Church was organized, those who aligned themselves to Joseph Smith were the recipients of much ridicule and persecution. This only increased after the Mormon Church was organized and began to receive more and more converts. In 1842, editor of the Chicago DemocratJohn Wentworth wrote to Joseph Smith seeking a knowledge of the basic doctrines of the new religion. In response, Joseph Smith wrote down what came to be known as the Thirteen Articles of Faith. These were later canonized by the Mormon Church. They are listed below, along with brief explanations of each doctrine and how each differs from the mainstream Christian interpretation.
- We believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost.
- We believe that men will be punished for their own sins, and not for Adam’s transgression.
- We believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel.
- We believe that the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel are: first, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; second, Repentance; third, Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; fourth, Laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost.
- We believe that a man must be called of God, by prophecy, and by the laying on of hands by those who are in authority, to preach the Gospel and administer in the ordinances thereof.
- We believe in the same organization that existed in the Primitive Church, namely, apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists, and so forth.
- We believe in the gift of tongues, prophecy, revelation, visions, healing, interpretation of tongues, and so forth.
- We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly; we also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God.
- We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God.
- We believe in the literal gathering of Israel and in the restoration of the Ten Tribes; that Zion (the New Jerusalem) will be built upon the American continent; that Christ will reign personally upon the earth; and, that the earth will be renewed and receive its paradisiacal glory.
- We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.
- We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.
- We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul—We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.
- While all other Christian denominations adhere to the doctrine of the Trinity as decided upon by men in the Nicene Creed, Mormon doctrine teaches that the Godhead is made up of three separate, distinct beings who are knowable and have form: God, the Father, in whose image we are made; Jesus Christ, the literal Son of God; and the Holy Ghost, a spirit member of the Godhead which speaks and testifies of the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ to the hearts of men. Those these three beings are separate physically, they are one in purpose.
- Mormon doctrine also rejects the principle of original sin. While Mormons believe that Adam and Eve transgressed the law of God by partaking of the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden, and while this act does affect all of mankind with temporal life and death, all of the effects of the Fall are solved through the power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Each of us will be judged according to our own choices and actions, not punished for those of anyone else.
- The Atonement of Jesus Christ is eternal and all-encompassing. He paid the price for not only the sins of all mankind, but also the sufferings and sorrows of mankind. He overcame death and sin, and with that power, He can choose to whom He wants to extend that power. Through keeping His commandments and receiving and living the ordinances of the Gospel which He has set forth, Mormons believe we can meet the requirements He has set for the power of the Atonement to cleanse and heal us.
- The entire Gospel of Jesus Christ is based upon faith that He is the Son of God and is the Messiah. If we have faith that Jesus is who He said He was, repentance should follow. Repentance and obedience to His laws are essential in obtaining salvation. Baptism is the first ordinance of the Gospel and goes hand-in-hand with confirmation. The first is the cleansing with the water, the second is the cleansing by fire (or the Holy Spirit) spoken of in the New Testament.
- Authority is essential in obtaining salvation. The Church became corrupted after the authority to act in God’s name (also known as the priesthood) was lost from the earth after the apostles and those to whom they had given the priesthood were killed. This authority was restored by the last men who held all the keys of the priesthood to Joseph Smith. Now this power has been restored and is organized in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. All worthy male members of the Mormon Church can hold the priesthood, which they exercise under the authority of higher priesthood holders, back up to the prophet and president of the Church.
- As stated above, Jesus Christ organized the Primitive Church while He was on the earth. After He ascended into heaven, and after His apostles died, men took over leading the Church and it fell into the period Mormon doctrine calls the Great Apostasy. The Mormon Church is the same organization which Jesus Christ organized upon the earth; it has simply been restored in its fulness in our day.
- All the gifts of the Spirit spoken of in the Bible are still available today, through the power and authority of the priesthood. Many Latter-day Saints share personal experiences with receiving these gifts at one time or another. Healing is a common gift used, by the laying on of hands, to help those who are suffering and in distress.
- Mormons do not replace the Bible with the Book of Mormon. Rather, Mormon doctrine recognizes that many truths were lost from the Bible over hundreds of years. These truths were restored in the Book of Mormon, which Joseph Smith translated by the power of God. These two books of scripture are complementary and both testify that Jesus is the Christ.
- In addition to the Bible and the Book of Mormon, Latter-day Saints believe in continuing revelation through a living prophet of God. Modern revelation always takes precedence over older revelation, because, though God does not change, men do, and God will give His children the knowledge they need when they need it.
- Mormons believe many things in the scriptures to be literal which the rest of the world, if they believe these things at all, takes to be figurative. The gathering of the Jews is one of these. Mormon doctrine teaches that the Jews will literally be gathered together again before Jesus Christ returns to the earth, which Latter-day Saints believe He literally will. Not as a reincarnated being, but in His resurrected flesh.
- The history of the Mormon Church involves much persecution for sacred beliefs and practices. When Joseph Smith wrote this, it had a great deal of feeling behind it. Not only did he claim the right, provided in the U.S. Constitution, to worship God according to how he saw fit, but he knew it to be such a basic right that he held that out to others who believed differently than he did. Tolerance is spoken of a great deal today, but is not shown towards the Mormon Church a great deal more than it was in Joseph Smith’s day, at least by some people.
- Latter-day Saints have always been taught to be a law-abiding people. While the law of God always trumps the law of man, for the most part, members of the Mormon faith are taught to abide by the laws of the land wherever they may live.
- The New Testament says that by their fruits you shall know the true followers of Jesus Christ. This includes seeking out the good things in this world and improving the world through our contributions. Latter-day Saints are encouraged to lift others in the pursuit of virtuous things as well.
Many people wonder what goes on in Mormon temples. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, as the Mormon Church is officially known, has been building a lot of temples across the world in the past few years. Because they are becoming more common, more people are asking questions about them. Why aren’t other people allowed in them? What happens inside? Why can’t people who go to the Mormon temple talk about it?
While it is true that only members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints can enter temples once they are dedicated, being a member of the LDS Church does not give a person automatic entrance into a Mormon temple. Standards for entering Mormon temples are very high because those who participate in the ordinances of Mormon temples (also called Mormon temple rites) make very serious promises (or covenants) with God to live a very high standard in their lives. Mormon doctrine teaches that breaking these covenants brings very serious, eternal consequences. Therefore, the standards to enter temples are very high because the standards one must live after participating in Mormon temple rites and ordinances are even higher. God has set high standards to ensure that only those who are ready and who are serious about keeping these covenants really make those covenants. The consequences for making mistakes are much higher once a person has been through the temple. Thus, having high standards to enter a temple is really a way of protecting people who are not yet ready to live a higher standard.
There is nothing secret about Mormon temples. The rites and ordinances performed in them are, however, very sacred. These things are not talked about outside of a temple because of their serious nature. They should not be made light of or shared with people who are not prepared to understand them. This is why people who have gone through the temple are limited in what they can talk about outside of the temple.
There is nothing cultish or offensive in Mormon temples. This article will take the reader on a short tour of a Mormon temple.
The first ordinance of the gospel of Jesus Christ is baptism and confirmation. The Bible teaches that a person cannot enter into heaven unless he has been baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. How can all those who died without a knowledge of the gospel then be saved? It is not fair or just to condemn them to hell for something they had no control over. This is why the Mormon doctrine of Baptism for the Dead exists. Baptisms can be done by proxy (or by a living person standing in for the deceased person). When a person is baptized and confirmed on behalf of someone who has died, Mormon doctrine teaches that the deceased then has the opportunity to choose whether or not to accept that ordinance.
The baptistries in Mormon temples are always located under ground. This adds to the symbolism of the ordinance of baptism by immersion of death, burial, and resurrection as well as the death of the old, sinful person, and the coming forth of the clean, sinless person. Temple baptismal fonts rest on the backs of twelve carved oxen. These oxen represent the twelve tribes of Israel. Mormons believe that Israel was a chosen people of God, and those who join the covenant of God today are adopted into one of the tribes of Israel.
A worthy member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints usually receives the ordinance of the endowment when he or she is going on a mission for the Mormon Church or is getting married. There are cases when single memebrs of the Church who are not going on a mission may get permission to go through the temple, though. The endowment is a series of lectures teaching participants about their true relation to God and about His plan for them. Here particpants receive instructions and make covenants with God to live His higher law and to help build His kingdom in the world they live in today.
While no ordinances are performed in the Celestial Room, it is the ending place of the endowment ordinance. Here people may pray, study the scriptures, ponder, and discuss quietly the things of God. It is a beautiful and peaceful place where one can be in the presence of God and receive revelation. This room is many people’s favorite room in the temple.
When two worthy members of the Mormon Church decide to get married, they may do so in a civil ceremony, which is no different than any other denomination’s ceremony: the union ends at death. In a Mormon temple, however, a couple can be married (or sealed in Mormon lingo) for eternity. Their union will go on beyond the grave, and any children born to them under this covenant will be sealed to them for eternity as well, as long as the couple is faithful to the covenants they make in the temple, both to God and to each other. The gift of eternal families is central to Mormon doctrine, and Mormon temples are key to eternal families.
My husband and I were married in the Los Angeles California Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints forty-three years ago.
I was a recent convert to the Church, and he had just finished serving a full-time mission for the Church in Europe. I was nearly finished with college, but he had barely started. It was a huge leap of faith, but the Holy Ghost had given us both a strong witness that we belonged together and that the time to marry was now.
Our backgrounds were very different, and we quickly discovered that men and women neither see things the same way nor communicate in the same way, but we anchored ourselves to our faith. In forty-three years we have seen the usual bouts of ill health and financial setbacks that assault everyone in mortality. We’ve raised six children and now have numerous grandchildren.
We came of age in the sixties, and our membership in the Church and our faithfulness to it protected us from the decade’s fascination with drugs and sex. Purity is a prerequisite for entering the temple. Repentance is an important aspect of the gospel, also. Purity and repentance continue to be important in our lives as we continue to strive to be worthy of the constant blessings of the temple.
Many nowadays think it is wise to live together before marriage to test compatibility. Statistics prove otherwise. Couples who cohabit before marriage are much more likely to be divorced later, than couples who do not live together. And couples who save intimacy for marriage have an even better chance to achieve a lifetime together. The divorce rate for Mormon couples who marry in the temple is only 7%, and that is still lamentable.
We look at our challenges differently than many other married couples, because we’ve been married in the temple. We don’t view ourselves as soul-mates, together only as long as we satisfy each other. Rather, we are co-partners serving the eternal marriage covenant. This is the way marriage is meant to be. Our children also serve the covenant. We all work together for the happiness of the family.
This doesn’t men we’re stodgy. One of us is a Blue-grass performer and the other a Hard Rock addict. We were both gorgeous and popular when we were younger, and can still impress a crowd. We’re both educated professionals, too. But the gospel of Jesus Christ is the most important thing in our lives, and an eternal, happy family is central to it.
Misperceptions abound regarding members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Mormons. One of those is that Mormon women are oppressed. This is false.
First of all, Mormons do not practice polygamy. The practice was begun and ended through revelation to modern prophets. Mormons have not practiced polygamy for over 100 years. Some secretive sects of polygamists call themselves “Mormons,” but they are not. The Mormon Church consists of 14 million members worldwide. Mormons are world citizens and do not live in seclusive compounds, rather they participate fully in public life. Mormon women you might recognize include Marie Osmond, Julianne Hough, Gladys Knight, and Torah Bright.
The Church encourages women to become well-educated and to develop their talents. Most Mormon women have careers, but many choose to cut back on work hours or stop working outside the home, while they are raising young children. The counsel given to women is the same as the counsel given to men: “No success can compensate for failure in the home” (Late Prophet David O. McKay). Career choices for both fathers and mothers must be made prayerfully, and with the well-being of the family as the paramount consideration. Mormons tend to have larger families than many in modern times, partly because they know the family can be an eternal unit. The eternal family is at the center of their doctrine.
Some are upset because Mormon women cannot hold the priesthood in the Church. The Mormon Church has a lay clergy, and most worthy men in the Church hold the priesthood, which is the power and authority to act in God’s name. Priesthood holder administer the affairs of the Church, and perform the same miracles as did the original apostles of Christ. However, wives share the priesthood of their husbands, and may call upon it when needed in the home. Also, women serve mightily in the Church, and are also General Authorities in the Church. For instance, the General Relief Society President leads the oldest and largest women’s organization in the world, 5 million women strong.