Mormon Churches Are Open to the Public. Here’s how to attend.


This is a Mormon church. Many of our churches look the same so they are easily recognized. You’ll see a plaque on the front that says, “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. VISITORS WELCOME.”

All Mormon churches are open to the public to visit and worship with us on Sundays.  I’ve been a Mormon all my life and have attended Mormon churches in many US states and many foreign countries.  Without exception, all of them are open to the public on Sundays.

Since Mormon churches are, in some respects, different from other churches, I thought it’d be helpful to write this post explaining how to attend a Mormon church, what it will be like, and things that could help to know beforehand.

How to Find When and Where You Can Attend a Mormon Church

It’s really easy to find a Mormon church to attend.  Just go to this website and type in your address.  It will show you the “ward” (congregation) you are assigned to attend.  Click the name of the ward and you’ll see where they meet and at what time their worship service starts on Sunday.  We usually attend in the ward where we’re assigned (just to keep things organized), but you’re of course welcome to attend any Mormon church.

At most Mormon churches, more than one congregation meets in the same building at different times.  That website will tell you when the worship service begins.

How to Attend a Mormon Church Service

Just show up!  It’s not strange at all for a new person to come to a Mormon church.  It happens almost every Sunday.  After you find out when and where the worship service is on Sunday, just drive to the church, park, and walk in.  Take a seat and enjoy the service.  Later I’ll explain more about what that’s like.

If you don’t feel comfortable just showing up, you have two good options.  (1) If you have a Mormon friend or acquaintance, ask them if you can go to church with them.  I promise, 100% guaranteed they will be EXTREMELY happy to have you ask.  Sometimes we Mormons feel like we want to share our religion, but we don’t want to bother those who aren’t interested.  So if you know a Mormon, just say “Hey, I’ve been wanting to check out your church.  Could I go with you some day?”  I promise they’ll be happy about that.

If you don’t know any Mormons and you don’t feel comfortable just showing up, then give the missionaries a call.  The missionaries are young members of the church who help new people feel comfortable at church and learn about what we believe.  Just go to this page and ask to talk with a missionary.  You’ll have two very excited people ready to bring you to church with them.

This is an example of typical attire for attending a Mormon funeral.

What Is It Like Attending a Mormon Church?

I just barely got back from church earlier today, so I’ll tell you exactly what it was like.  Each Sunday is pretty much the same 🙂

Most people dress in nice clothes for church to show respect.  Guys usually wear a white shirt and tie, and women wear a dress or skirt and top.  People usually dress modestly in clothes covering to the knee and shoulders.  But there is no dress code whatsoever.  You’ll be warmly welcomed no matter what you wear, but I just mention what people USUALLY wear so you can feel comfortable.  If you show up in jeans and a nice shirt, I promise you’ll be welcomed just as warmly 🙂

People try to arrive 10 or 15 minutes before the meeting starts usually.  Today…. I failed.  My family and I walked in late and sat in the back.  As soon as you walk in the doors of the church, you’ll see the entrance to the main chapel.  Just walk right in.  There’s usually an usher at the door who hands out the agenda.  If you want to, you can tell the usher it’s your first time and ask him where to sit, but if you’d prefer to fly under the radar, don’t say a thing and just walk right in and find any seat.

There will likely be a couple hundred people attending the worship service.  The meeting usually starts right on time.  One of the local leaders will stand up at the front and welcome everyone and announce the opening prayer and song.  Someone will go to the front and say a prayer, and then the congregation will sing a hymn such as “Nearer, My God to Thee.”  If you’d like to sing, there are green hymn books in front of all the pews so you can see the words.  Otherwise, you can just listen to the song.

Then, the local leader will stand up and give any announcements for the group, such as if there’s a ward party coming up, or Boy Scout camp for the youth, etc.  Then another song will be performed.

The most important part of our worship service is the sacrament.  In memory of Jesus Christ when he washed the feet of his disciples as recorded in the Bible, we do the same.  Some people will break bread into small pieces and the teenage boys will bring along a tray with small pieces of bread and small cups of water.  This is to remember Jesus Christ’s sacrifice for us.  If you’d like to take the bread and water when it is passed to you, you are welcome to.  If you don’t feel comfortable doing so, then just say “No thank you” when the teenage boys come to your row.  No problem at all.  There are always some in the congregation who don’t feel ready to take the sacrament yet.

After the sacrament, people from the local congregation will give short, uplifting speeches about Jesus Christ, the gospel, prayer, or other topics to help strengthen others.  Our meetings are quite calm and reverent.  Some may even think they are a bit “sleepy” if it’s your first time, but as you attend more, you’ll see how the things we are taught can really help us to live a happier and more righteous life.

At the end of the speeches, the congregation will sing another song and someone will say a prayer and the first meeting will be over.  But, there is a lot more you can get from church.  After this first meeting, we go to Sunday School.  The kids will separate and go to their classes, and the adults will go to a different class.  You won’t have any problem finding out where to go.

There are always lots of visitors at church, so nobody will really know if you’re a Mormon visiting from another state, or if it’s your first time.  If you’d like, just turn to someone on the row in front of you and say, “Hey, this is my first time visiting a Mormon church.  Are there missionaries here who could help me know where to go?” BINGO!  I promise 100% that you’ll be extremely well-cared-for if you just tell someone it’s your first time.  We all LOVE being able to share our church with others and sometimes are just waiting to be asked.

During these classes, people will read things from the Bible and the Book of Mormon and help each other.  The classes are taught by members of the congregation who volunteer as teachers, because nobody at our local churches–even the bishops–is paid.  We all volunteer to make the church what it is because we love it.

After the classes are over, we go home!  There is a lot more that happens at church during the week and you’re invited to all of it, but Sundays are when we hold our worship services and it’s definitely the best way to attend our church for the first time.

Are Mormon Temples Open to the Public?

Mormon temples are different than Mormon churches.  There are many thousands of Mormon churches in neighborhoods around the world, but only about 150 Mormon temples.  The temples are very large, extravagant buildings where we make our sacred promises to God.  Mormon churches are where we go to church each Sunday, have youth activities, etc.

Anyone can attend Mormon churches without any restrictions whatsoever.  The public is always welcome to attend!

All people are invited to attend Mormon temples too.  After a Mormon temple is newly built in a city, or if it undergoes major renovations, there is a period of time when anyone can go tour the building and learn about the temple.

To attend worship services in a temple, all people need to meet certain requirements first.  They are not open to the public unless people are ready to make those sacred promises to God.  For this, we require that someone first attend church for a while and gets baptized, as well as keeps God’s commandments.  After that, you’ll be ready to go to the temple for more worship services there.

Temple grounds are always open to the public.  In fact, many temples have visitor centers where you can go learn more about the temple.  We just require that people are ready before making sacred promises to God in the temple.

Jim Harmer

I own an online company where I create websites which are read by millions of people. I'm a non-practicing lawyer, husband and a father of three little kiddos. My faith in Christ is the most important aspect of my life, and this blog is where I get to share my beliefs. The rest of the time, I'm riding dirt bikes or traveling the world taking pictures. I live in St George, Utah where I attend my local congregation of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Each month, over 30,000 people come to this site to learn about the basic beliefs of my religion, and it's my privilege to share about it. The opinions expressed on this website are not necessarily those of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints as this blog is not an official source of church information. However, every effort is put into providing accurate information in support of the church.

22 thoughts on “Mormon Churches Are Open to the Public. Here’s how to attend.

  1. Are “Mormons” discouraged from going to a different Mormon church?
    I heard they go to an assigned church and that’s pretty much it. To break from that is unusual. ??
    Also, if a Mormon doesn’t have great attendance, are they counseled by Elders or whatever? To see what’s wrong and help with whatever is causing it? Or can they just skip around as they like, like other religions?

    1. Individual congregations of the church have designated geographic boundaries and members of the church are asked to meet with the congregation where they live. This makes the church far more organized. I’ve always really liked that about the church. Certainly if someone went to a different congregation, they would be welcomed just the same, but members are encouraged to go to the congregation where they live.

      If a member of the church stops attending services, it would be very common for some other members to call them up and invite them back, or to check on them. It’s not like a counsel of elders plans an intervention or something, LOL 🙂 We just try to help each other and strengthen one another.

  2. Question..when Jesus Christ instituted the sacrament of Holy Communion, he did not give just bread, but wine as well, which in turn thru the mystery of “transubstantiation” become his body and blood. Why is water instead of wine passed by a young person, and not by an ordained minister of the church who has consecrated his life to His service?

    1. Great question. You are correct that Jesus Christ used wine at the last supper. Joseph Smith prayed to receive an answer to this very question and wrote down how the Lord answered his prayer. You can read it in the first few verses of this chapter: https://www.lds.org/scriptures/dc-testament/dc/27.2?lang=eng

  3. Hi Jim, thanks for the informative article. Is it possible for me to attend the Sunday service and then leave? or would that be deemed rude etc. Not sure i’d feel comfortable going to a class after and maybe being asked questions in a group I may not be ready to answer. Looking forward to your reply in anticipation. Adam, Plymouth .UK

    1. Thanks for your comment, Adam. That’s perfectly fine! Many people leave after the main service. Just be sure to introduce yourself to someone so they know you’re new and can welcome you.

  4. Hello Mr Harmer My Name Is Jasmin Diaz If You Can Please Reach Out To Me At 5628504804 Im Currently Homeless & Got Doors Shut In My Face From A Mormon Church In Paris California Made Me Rethink My Beliefs And inSo Happened To Stumble Across This Page, “Coincidence”.
    Looking Foreword To Speaking With You
    God Bless Have A Great Day
    Jass

  5. There is no such thing as Mormon church. The Church is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The church bears Jesus Christ name because it is His church, not Mormon’s.

  6. Good morning
    A little over a year ago I was helping a friend in North Carolina with his disaster hurricane flooded home.
    I noticed lots of groups including Mormons showed Up donating time Helping with disaster Relief.
    I travel a lot but I just returned to Arizona a couple days ago and I know there’s a hurricane slamming into Louisiana if your church or possibly a sister church is involved sending a group to help for a bit I would like to join it
    please get back in touch
    George Lyle 970-946-5200 or you can use this email
    I had thought the Mormon church was closed to visitors I might’ve visited but reading this page that I’m on It said you were open for visitors if that’s true please let me know I would like to visit.

      1. The ward I am in is more that 50% of African decent. As is our Stake President who is the Priesthood leader of all the Wards and Branches in our Stake

  7. I am hoping to be blessed with a large print book of Mormon. I’ve had 3 stroke and reading is hard if it’s small

  8. Are temples required to be built? was this a command given to Joseph Smith.
    wouldn\\\\\\\’t any building be satisfying? think of the money that is spent that could be used
    for other things. God never told David to build a temple but David told the Lord that he
    would build a temple a permanent one. God told David He would not build the temple but his son would
    God gave David the plans for the temple

  9. This site is very informative. Thank you for your guidance. I was wondering why some Mormon Church I do not see the statue of Angel Moroni like I saw in must Churches in Utah.

    1. Good question. So normal churches don’t have the Moroni statue on them, but many (not all) of the temples do. Temples are more rare than regular church buildings, and are reserved for those who have prepared themselves to enter. EVERYONE is welcome to attend our churches at any time without any preparation.

    1. You could always request a free visit from the missionaries! https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/comeuntochrist/sg/form/request-missionary-visit

    1. No. Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints do not practice plural marriage or incest. Any that do would be violating God’s commandments and would be subject to church discipline.

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