Mormons () are a religious and cultural group related to Mormonism, the principal branch of the Latter Day Saint movement of Restorationist Christianity, which began with Joseph Smith in upstate New York during the 1820s. After Smith's death in 1844, the Mormons followed Brigham Young to what would become the Utah Territory. Today, most Mormons are understood to be members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). Some Mormons are also either independent or non-practicing. The center of Mormon cultural influence is in Utah, and North America has more Mormons than any other continent, though the majority of Mormons live outside the United States.
Mormons have developed a strong sense of communality that stems from their doctrine and history. During the 19th century, Mormon converts tended to gather to a central geographic location, and between 1852 and 1890 a minority of Mormons openly practiced plural marriage, a form of religious polygamy. Mormons dedicate large amounts of time and resources to serving in their church, and many young Mormons choose to serve a full-time proselytizing mission. Mormons have a health code that eschews alcoholic beverages, tobacco, coffee, tea, and other addictive substances. They tend to be very family-oriented, and have strong connections across generations and with extended family, reflective of their belief that families can be sealed together beyond death. Mormons also have a strict law of chastity, requiring abstention from sexual relations outside of opposite-sex marriage and strict fidelity within marriage.
Mormons self-identify as Christian,〔(Mormons in America: Certain in Their Beliefs, Uncertain of Their Place in Society ), Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life 2012, p.10: Mormons are nearly unanimous in describing Mormonism as a Christian religion, with 97% expressing this point of view.〕 though some of their beliefs differ from mainstream Christianity. Mormons believe in the Bible, as well as other books of scripture, such as the Book of Mormon. They have a unique view of cosmology, and believe that all people are spirit-children of God. Mormons believe that returning to God requires following the example of Jesus Christ, and accepting his atonement through ordinances such as baptism. They believe that Christ's church was restored through Joseph Smith and is guided by living prophets and apostles. Central to Mormon faith is the belief that God speaks to his children and answers their prayers.
Due to their high birth and conversion rates, the Mormon population has grown significantly in recent decades rising from around 3 million in 1970 to over 15 million in 2014.
The word "Mormons" most often refers to members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) because of their belief in the Book of Mormon, though members often refer to themselves as ''Latter-day Saints'' or sometimes just ''Saints''.〔; ; The full name of the church originated in an 1838 revelation recorded in Doctrine and Covenants; the term "saint" was used by Paul the Apostle to refer to members of the early Christian church—the "latter-day" being added to differentiate the modern church from the early church; .〕 The term "Mormons" has been embraced by most adherents of Mormonism, most notably Mormon fundamentalists, while other Latter Day Saint denominations, such as the Community of Christ, have rejected it.〔The LDS Church has taken the position that the term Mormon should only apply to the LDS Church and its members, and not other adherents who have adopted the term. (See: ) The church cites the ''AP Stylebook'', which states, "The term Mormon is not properly applied to the other Latter Day Saints churches that resulted from the split after () Smith's death." ("Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, The", Associated Press, ''The Associated Press Stylebook and Briefing on Media Law'', 2002, ISBN 0-7382-0740-3, p.48) Despite the LDS Church's position, the term Mormon is widely used by journalists and non-journalists to refer to adherents of Mormon fundamentalism.〕 Both LDS Church members (or "Latter-day Saints") and members of fundamentalist groups commonly use the word "Mormon" in reference to themselves.〔; See also: (【引用サイトリンク】title=Style Guide – The Name of the Church ); 〕 The LDS Church, however, disagrees with this self-characterization, and encourages the use of the word "Mormon" only in reference to LDS Church members.〔 Despite the LDS Church preference, the term "fundamentalist Mormonism" is in common use.〕 Church leaders also encourage members to use the church's full name to emphasize its focus on Jesus Christ.〔; 〕
The word "Mormon" is often associated with polygamy (or plural marriage),〔For many people, the mention of Mormons conjures up an assortment of contradictory images .... The charge of practicing polygamy annoys many Mormons because it is so far out of date. .〕 which was a distinguishing practice of many early Mormons; however it was renounced by the LDS Church in 1890〔; (【引用サイトリンク】title=Official Declaration 1 ).〕
and discontinued over the next 15 years.〔;
Today, polygamy is practiced within Mormonism only by people that have broken with the LDS Church.〔.〕
抄文引用元・出典: フリー百科事典『 ウィキペディア（Wikipedia）』