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A New Zealand Church member is greeted with the traditional "hongi" by John Shaw Welch, president of the LDS Maori Agricultural College (1917). Friendship, understanding, kindness, love, and service are fostered in the Latter-day Saint communities through personal fellowshipping and social activities. Courtesy Edith W. Morgan.
by Lynn Reed Payne
Latter-day Saints consider themselves brothers and sisters (see Brotherhood and Sisterhood) responsible to help one another. Their informal acts of friendship and kindness foster congeniality within the Church and assist new members as they move into its social context. In addition, the Church has developed some practices specifically intended to help integrate new members.
After baptism, the full-time and stake missionaries present to new members a series of lessons entitled Discussions for New Members. Home teachers also teach them and help them become part of the local Church unit. The bishopric, priesthood quorum, and auxiliary leaders also help converts feel welcome. New members are encouraged to attend Church meetings and participate in other scheduled ward activities. Converts are also invited to accept Church callings (such as teaching a class or serving in an administrative capacity). Women are welcomed into Relief Society activities, and girls into young women; male adults and teenagers receive the priesthood and begin functioning in their priesthood responsibilities. Newly baptized members grow in love for the gospel as they serve others. After one year of membership, worthy adult members are encouraged to attend the temple, where they receive temple ordinances that bind families together as eternal units.
[See also Conversion; Joining the Church; Membership; Daily Living home page; Activity in the Church home page.]
Discussions for New Members. Salt Lake City, 1987.
Encyclopedia of Mormonism, Vol. 2, Fellowshipping Members
Copyright © 1992 by Macmillan Publishing Company
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