Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Your quick A-to-Z guide to Mormonism

< Previous Page

Virgin birth• Like many Christians, Mormons believe that Jesus’ mother, Mary, was a virgin when he was born. Unlike Catholics, though, Latter-day Saints teach that Mary was not a perpetual virgin. They believe she later had children by her earthly husband, Joseph.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

Word of Wisdom • Good Mormons don’t drink and don’t smoke. They don’t consume coffee or tea either. Perhaps no other LDS teaching can so visibly "out" Latter-day Saints. At cocktail parties, they’re downing Sprite. At restaurants, they do the "Mormon flip," turning over their coffee cups. These behaviors are rooted in the Word of Wisdom, the faith’s health code. Issued by Joseph Smith in 1833, it teaches Mormons to eschew alcohol, tobacco and "hot drinks," which church leaders subsequently described as "coffee and tea." Many members presume the ban on coffee and tea is because both beverages contain caffeine, so they avoid, say, Mountain Dew or Pepsi or Coke. But LDS leaders have reaffirmed their longtime stance that the only prohibited drinks are alcohol, coffee and tea. So caffeinated colas are kosher.

Young• As in Brigham. He is called the Mormon Moses because he led the exodus of Latter-day Saints from Illinois to a promised land: the Salt Lake Valley. He became the faith’s second president after Joseph Smith’s murder. In Utah, he rose to territorial governor and colonized much of the West — establishing settlements stretching from San Bernardino to Las Vegas to Logan and points in between and beyond. He died in 1877 at age 76 after leading the church for nearly 30 years as president, the longest tenure of any Mormon prophet.

Zion • For Mormons, Zion can be a particular place where the saints live. At various times in LDS history, for instance, Zion has been Kirtland, Ohio; Jackson County, Mo.; Nauvoo, Ill.; and Salt Lake City. Zion also can be any place where the saints live — from Tokyo to Tooele, Albania to Zimbabwe. And Zion can be an attitudinal place because Mormon scripture describes it as the "pure in heart."

Sources: Encyclopedia of Mormonism, lds.org, Salt Lake Tribune archives

story continues below
story continues below

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment

About Reader Comments

Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.