I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We are commonly referred to as "Mormons" because of our belief in the Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ. I've compiled a list of terms that I use frequently here on my blog so that those not a baptized member of the church can better understand what I am talking about. :) If there are any terms that are not listed below that you do not understand, please email me or visit www.lds.org for more information.
Ward: A congregation of members within a set of geographical boundaries.
Stake: A group of wards.
Temple: The House of the Lord where we go to make sacred covenants. This is also the place where families can be sealed not only for time, but for all eternity. This means that our family associations do not end when we die, but rather continue and grow after this life. Other sacred ordinances are performed here as well. All ordinances performed are made possible by the Priesthood of God here on the earth today.
Mission: An area within specific geographical boundaries that has a certain amount of missionaries assigned to preach the gospel to those living within the boundaries.
Missionaries: Typically, young men ages 18-20, young women ages 19-20, and older couples who are set apart for a specified amount of time to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ to a specific area of the world (mission).
Sacrament Meeting: A one hour worship service each Sunday that consists of prayer, song, the partaking of the sacrament, and talks given by members of the congregation on assigned topics relevant to religion.
Nursery: A two hour meeting each Sunday for children ages 18 months-3. There is a play time for 40 minutes, a short lesson, a craft, and a snack plus more supplemental activities pertaining to the gospel.
Primary: A two part, two hour meeting each Sunday for children ages 3-11. In one block, they are taught by teachers a short lesson pertaining to the gospel. In the other block, they have the opportunity to give talks, have a singing time, and have a short lesson about a gospel topic called Sharing Time.
Sunday School: A one hour meeting each Sunday following Sacrament Meeting where scripture is explained and discussed by class members.
Young Women: A one hour meeting each Sunday following Sunday School for girls ages 12-18 where a lesson is taught by a teacher about a gospel topic. Within Young Women, there are 3 classes. Beehives are girls ages 12 and 13, Mia Maids are girls ages 14 and 15, and Laurels are girls ages 16 and 17.
Young Men: A one hour meeting each Sunday following Sunday School for boys ages
12-18 where a lesson is taught by a teacher about a gospel topic.
Within Young Men, there are 3 classes. Deacons are boys ages 12 and
13, teachers are boys ages 14 and 15, and Priests are boys ages 16
Relief Society: A one hour meeting each Sunday for women ages 18 and older for the edification of the sisters and discussion about religious topics.
Priesthood Meeting: A one hour meeting each Sunday for men ages 18 and older for the edification of the brethren and discussion about religious topics.
Priesthood: The power of God given to men on earth. The authority to act in God's name. Only those found worthy to hold the priesthood have it conferred on them. Only those worthy to act in God's name have the authority to use it. Within the priesthood, there are a few divisions. The Aaronic, or lesser, Priesthood is typically given to boys ages 12-18 and is used in the preparation, blessing, and passing of the sacrament. The Melchizedek, or higher, Priesthood is typically given to young men entering the mission field at the age of 19. Men holding the Melchizedek still have the same responsibilities as the Aaronic Priesthood, but may also baptize, confer the gift of the Holy Ghost, and give priesthood blessings among other things.
Visiting Teaching: Each sister in a ward is assigned two other sisters who contact/visit her monthly in her home. They teach a short spiritual lesson and fellowship with one another. This is the Lord's way of making sure that each sister can feel loved and so that any needs can be met by other church members in times of need.
Home Teaching: Each family in a ward is assigned two brethren who are to visit them monthly in their home. They teach a short spiritual lesson and fellowship with each other. This is the Lord's way of making sure that each family has a priesthood presence in their home and to meet the needs of families at a local level.
General Conference: "We meet each six months to strengthen one another, to extend
encouragement, to provide comfort, to build faith. We are here to learn.
Some of you may be seeking answers to questions and challenges you are
experiencing in your life. Some are struggling with disappointments or
losses. Each can be enlightened and uplifted and comforted as the Spirit
of the Lord is felt." --Pres. Thomas S. Monson Each six months, our world-wide church gathers to hear as our prophets and apostles and other church general authorities speak to us and exhort us to live the teaching of Jesus Christ. IT IS AMAZING.