What Exactly Do Mormons Believe?
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What Exactly Do Mormons Believe?

Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, also known as Mormons, deal with a lot of incorrect ideas about what others assume they believe.

What Exactly Do Mormons Believe?

Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, also known as Mormons, deal with a lot of incorrect ideas about what others assume they believe. I've written this article to help set some of those ideas straight. To explain our beliefs, I'm using The Articles of Faith; 13 statements that sum up what we believe in the LDS Church.

We believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost.

Many other Christian churches believe that we are not a Christian church ourselves, but this is false. We are Christians! We believe in God, Christ, and the Holy Ghost. Where we differ from other Christian churches is that we in the LDS Church know that God, Christ, and the Holy Ghost are three separate personages--they are one in purpose, but not one in body.

We believe that men will be punished for their own sins, and not for Adam's transgressions.

In many churches, baptism occurs shortly after birth. However, in the LDS Church children are not baptized until they are eight years old. The point of baptism is to wash away the sins we have committed. Can a baby who is less than a month old commit sin? No! To commit a sin, one must understand that there is a difference between right and wrong. Babies cannot understand this, of course, so that is why we are baptized at eight years old; we are beginning to truly understand right and wrong.

We believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel.

The Atonement is what enables us to return to live with God after we die on earth. Because of Christ's sacrifice for us; taking on the sins of the world and paying for them both in the Garden of Gethsemane and on the cross; we are able to return to heaven. However, we must also do our best to keep the commandments and follow the gospel of Jesus Christ.

We believe that the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel are: first, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; second, Repentance; third, Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; fourth, Laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost.

This list of things is the gospel of Jesus Christ. One of the ways that we differ from many other churches is that we believe baptism cannot just be sprinkling water over someone's head; it must be full immersion in the water; covering you from head to toe. In one of our books of scripture which we believe in, Doctrine & Covenants, this revelation was given: "The person who is called of God and has authority from Jesus Christ to baptize, shall go down into the water with the person who has presented himself or herself for baptism, and shall say, calling him or her by name: Having been commissioned of Jesus Christ, I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen. Then shall he immerse him or her in the water, and come forth again out of the water." (D&C 20:73&74)

We believe that a man must be called of God, by prophecy, and by the laying on of hands by those who are in authority, to preach the Gospel and administer in the ordinances thereof.

This Article of Faith explains the ability to use the priesthood. In a talk simply titled "The Articles of Faith" by L. Tom Perry, a former apostle in the LDS Church, he stated that God "would, in times and seasons, have the priesthood on earth to bless mankind with the authority to perform the sacred ordinances that would prove man’s obedience to His will." These ordinances include things such as baptism and the sacrament. Elder Perry continues that these ordinances are "...done under the authority given to mankind from God. Each man who officiates can trace that authority directly back to the Lord Himself, who bestowed that right on mankind."

We believe in the same organization that existed in the Primitive Church, namely, apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists, and so forth.

We believe that not long after Christ was resurrected and returned to heaven, the correct church that He had organized disappeared from the earth. It was gone until Joseph Smith--under the guidance of God, Christ, and the Holy Ghost--established it again on earth. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the church that Christ created when he was on earth. In the time of Christ and before then, there were prophets who spoke directly with God and communicated His will to His children here on earth. We have that same church today, and that is why the leader of our church is a prophet. Thomas S. Monson communicates with God.

We believe in the gift of tongues, prophecy, revelation, visions, healing, interpretation of tongues, and so forth.

Ask missionaries who have served in foreign countries or have served in the United States but spoken a different language if they believe in the gift of tongues. It is so true! We believe that everyone can receive these blessings and gifts, if they stay close to the Holy Ghost, Christ, and God.

We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly; we also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God.

Again, to bring up the point I made earlier about the LDS Church being a Christian church: we believe in the Bible! We believe in the King James' Version of the Bible, and use it often. However, the second part of this statement is very important: as far as it is translated correctly. We also believe in The Book of Mormon as another testament of Jesus Christ. Think of the Bible and The Book of Mormon as two halves to one whole story. The Bible tells the stories of Christ in certain parts of the world, and The Book of Mormon tells of Christ's experiences in the Americas.

We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God.

If God had prophets leading His church way back in the day (like Moses pictured above), why wouldn't He have prophets leading and guiding His children now? God is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8), so He wouldn't just stop providing His children with ways to know what is right and wrong. We believe that God is not done sharing doctrine and counsel with us in this day! He still has important things that He wants us to know.

We believe in the literal gathering of Israel and in the restoration of the Ten Tribes; that Zion (the New Jerusalem) will be built upon the American continent; that Christ will reign personally upon the earth; and, that the earth will be renewed and receive its paradisiacal glory.

This one is a bit overwhelming to understand, so I'll do my best to sum it up for you. We believe that in the Second Coming, Christ will return to the American continent; where Zion is. He will reign over all the earth. In Revelations in the Bible, the things that will happen during the Second Coming are explained, and we believe in those things. The earth will be cleansed by fire and flood and all that scary-sounding stuff, and it will be like the earth has been baptised and made new.

We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.

We believe very strongly in religious freedom. We share our religious beliefs with those around us because as Latter-day Saints, part of our responsibility is to share the gospel with as many people as we can. However, this isn't just a one-sided belief: we advocate for everyone to have the freedom to worship in the way they believe is correct, whether that is LDS, Baptist, Hindu, Muslim, etc.

In this image from an article on Mormon Newsroom, the caption reads: "Elder Christofferson, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, spoke about basic principles of religious freedom and the need for vigilance and cooperation to preserve it. Here, he visits with Sheikh Dr. Abdelhamid Metwally, the main religious leader in the oldest Mosque in Latin America. The Brazil Mosque was the location of Elder Christofferson's speech.”

We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.

We believe in obeying the laws of the land in which we live. This is more difficult in countries where religious freedom is more restricted, but ultimately we know God will bless us for attempting to follow Him and follow the laws of our country.

We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul—We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.

We believe in loving those around us. We believe in having hope for the future, in pushing through hard times, and in facing future problems with courage. We look for the good in the world, and gravitate towards those things.

If you have more questions about the LDS Church, please ask someone! Whether you've got a good friend who's LDS, or you feel comfortable contacting the missionaries, do it. You can even live chat with missionaries online if you're not comfortable meeting with them in person.

My husband and I have recently started a YouTube channel where we make videos answering questions about our faith. You can check that out here.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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