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Portal:Religion

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Religion is the adherence to codified beliefs and rituals that generally involve a faith in a spiritual nature and a study of inherited ancestral traditions, knowledge and wisdom related to understanding human life. The term "religion" refers to both the personal practices related to faith as well as to the larger shared systems of belief.

In the larger sense, religion is a communal system for the coherence of belief—typically focused on a system of thought, unseen being, person, or object, that is considered to be supernatural, sacred, divine, or of the highest truth. Moral codes, practices, values, institutions, traditions, and rituals are often traditionally associated with the core belief, and these may have some overlap with concepts in secular philosophy. Religion can also be described as a way of life.

The development of religion has taken many forms in various cultures. "Organized religion" generally refers to an organization of people supporting the exercise of some religion with a prescribed set of beliefs, often taking the form of a legal entity (see religion-supporting organization). Other religions believe in personal revelation and responsibility. "Religion" is sometimes used interchangeably with "faith" or "belief system," but is more socially defined than that of personal convictions.

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Selected article

Mormon handcart pioneers
The Mormon handcart pioneers were participants in the migration of members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (also known as the LDS Church) to Salt Lake City, Utah, who used handcarts to transport their belongings. The Mormon handcart movement began in 1856 and lasted until 1860. Motivated to join their fellow Church members in Utah but lacking funds for full ox or horse teams, nearly 3,000 Mormon pioneers from England, Wales, Scotland and Scandinavia made the journey from Iowa or Nebraska to Utah in ten handcart companies. The trek was disastrous for two of the companies, which started their journey dangerously late and were caught by heavy snow and severe temperatures in central Wyoming. Despite a dramatic rescue effort, more than 210 of the 980 pioneers in these two companies died along the way. John Chislett, a survivor, wrote, "Many a father pulled his cart, with his little children on it, until the day preceding his death." Although less than 10 percent of the 1847–68 Latter-day Saint emigrants made the journey west using handcarts, the handcart pioneers have become an important symbol in LDS culture, representing the faithfulness and sacrifice of the pioneer generation. They continue to be recognized and honored in events such as Pioneer Day, Church pageants, and similar commemorations. The handcart treks were a familiar theme in 19th century Mormon folk music and have been a theme in LDS fiction, such as Gerald Lund's historical novel, Fire of the Covenant, and Orson Scott Card's science-fiction short story, "West."

Selected picture

Alchemist's Laboratory, painted by Hans Vredman de Vries
Credit: Hans Vredeman de Vries

In the history of science, alchemy refers to both an early form of the investigation of nature and an early philosophical and spiritual discipline, both combining elements of chemistry, metallurgy, physics, medicine, astrology, semiotics, mysticism, spiritualism, and art.

Selected religious figure or deity

SoBhheAzaal.jpg
Ṣubḥ-i-Azal (Morning of Eternity) (1831–1912, born Mírzá Yaḥyá Núrí) was a Persian religious leader of Azali Bábism.

Mirza Yahya was born in 1831 to Kuchak Khanum-i-Karmanshahi (Ruhi, A Brief Biography) and Mírzá Buzurg-i-Núrí, in the province of Mazandaran, and a younger-half-brother of Mírzá Husayn `Ali, better known as Bahá'u'lláh. His mother died while giving birth to him, and his father died in 1834 when Mirza Yahya was three years old. His father is buried at Vadi-al-Islam in Najaf. Mirza Yahya was committed to the care of his stepmother Khadíjih Khánum, the mother of Bahá'u'lláh.In 1844, at about the age of 14, he became a follower of the Báb.

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Selected quote

Confucius
Zilu (an impetuous disciple of Confucius) asked how one should serve ghosts and spirits. The Master said, "Till you have learnt to serve men, how can you serve ghosts?" Zilu then ventured upon a question about the dead. The Master said, "Till you know about the living, how are you to know about the dead?"
Analects, XI. 11.

Selected scripture

The Unicursal Hexagram
The Book of the Law is the central sacred text of Thelema, written (or received) by Aleister Crowley in Cairo, Egypt in the year 1904. It contains three chapters, each of which was written down in one hour, beginning at noon, on April 8, April 9, and April 10. Crowley claims that the author was an entity named Aiwass, whom he later referred to as his personal Holy Guardian Angel (or "Secret Self"). Biographer Lawrence Sutin quotes private diaries that fit this story, and writes that "if ever Crowley uttered the truth of his relation to the Book," his public account accurately describes what he remembered on this point. The teachings within this small book are expressed as the Law of Thelema, usually encapsulated by these two phrases:

"Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law" (AL I:40) and
"Love is the law, love under will" (AL I:57)

Its full title is Liber AL vel Legis, sub figura CCXX, The Book of the Law, as delivered by XCIII=418 to DCLXVI. It is often abbreviated as Liber Legis, Liber AL, or even just AL.

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