NOTE: The entire NBC Today Show segment is available for viewing. http://real.ksl.com/video/slc/0/38/3860.ram
(KSL / NBC News) -- This morning the TODAY Show began a week-long series on what the show is calling mysterious faiths. The first on the list: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
This morning, Matt Lauer sat down with the LDS President of the Manhattan Stake to try and find answers to some of the more commonly asked questions.
Brent Belnap/LDS Stake President, Manhattan: "I think that there are some misperceptions out there..but i think it's changing as the Church grows I think the misperceptions decrease"
Representing some 12 million members of the LDS faith, Manhattan Stake President Brent Belnap fielded several question not only posed by the Today Show's Matt Lauer, but questions posed by viewers as well.
Matt Lauer, Today Show Anchor: "This one comes from Maria in Willowick, Ohio and she wants to know if Mormons worship Jesus Christ or Joseph Smith:
Brent Belnap/LDS Stake President, Manhattan: 'That's a great question...I'm glad that one was raised...We worship God the Father through his Son Jesus Christ with Christ being the head of the Church. Christ restored his original church through Joseph Smith who we revere, but don't worship him...we look at Joseph as a prophet that existed in ancient times...Moses, Abraham, Isaih ...The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, it's about as central as it can be, it's in the name the Church"
Then there was the question about polygamy.
Matt Lauer, Today Show Anchor: "It has not been condoned since 1890. Was it a mistake in teaching?
Brent Belnap/LDS Stake President, Manhattan: No I don't believe so. It was actually a revelation from God and in Biblical times it was practiced and it was discontinued following a revelation from God in 1890."
One of the focal points for the Today Show: The church's growth. Currently, the LDS faith is the fastest growing religion in the United States with more than 5 of its 12 million members here in the U.S.
Matt Lauer, Today Show Anchor: "Are you saying it's the only path to God and Salvation or are you presenting it as an alternative?
Brent Belnap/LDS Stake President, Manhattan: I think it's more as an alternative. We give people the opportunity to choose just as every religion should have the ability to go out an share its message. We do say and believe that everybody will resurrect as a result of Jesus Christ. There are those who will also be exalted in the hereafter if they follow the teachings of Jesus Christ if they repent of their mistakes but that's a choice that every individual should make."Tomorrow, the Today Show continues its week-long series called Mysterious Faiths with a look at the ancient teachings of Kabbalah