As The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, sometimes informally called the Mormon Church, becomes more prominent, many people of other faiths have questions about the Mormon Church and Mormon beliefs. In the October 2007 General Conference of the Church, Elder M. Russell Ballard suggested that members formulate a list of basic Mormon beliefs they could share with others when asked.
It’s difficult to condense all the wonderful Mormon beliefs into a short list, but here’s my attempt to do so, patterned after some of the things that Elder Ballard mentioned in his talk.
- As stated in the First Article of Faith, “We believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost.” It is central to Mormon beliefs that God is our all-knowing, all-powerful, and all-loving Father, the father of our spirits, and that He does all things “to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man” (Moses 1:39).
- We believe that His Son Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer. He atoned for our sins; through Him alone may we one day return to the presence of our Father in Heaven.
- It is an important part of Mormon beliefs that during Christ’s mortal ministry, He established His church and ordained men to the Priesthood, giving them power to lead the church and care for its members. This church and the priesthood were later removed from the earth because of widespread apostasy.
- The church that Christ organized was restored in 1830 through Joseph Smith was named The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The priesthood was restored through Joseph Smith as well, giving him and his successors the necessary keys to lead the Church.
- Mormon beliefs include knowing the Bible to be the word of God. We consider it to be scripture and members are encouraged to study it regularly. Its preservation through the ages is a great blessing to us.
- The Book of Mormon is another book that we believe to be scripture. It is a record of people who lived in the western hemisphere from before the time of Christ until about four hundred years after His death. They were led to the Americas by the hand of God. The record largely covers God’s dealings with them, including the ministries of some of their prophets. Many of their wars and political dealings are also covered, particularly as they pertain to the righteousness or wickedness of the people and the Lord’s dealings with them in that context.
- The crowning event of the Book of Mormon comes when the resurrected Savior personally visits the people in the Americas. Among other things, it is a sweet reminder that God loves all of His children and wants them all to return to Him.
- Latter-day Saints place a high value upon the family. We believe marriage between one man and one woman to be ordained of God. We believe in having children and raising them in righteousness, teaching and guiding them and helping them to learn and do all that their Father in Heaven would have them do.
- In our temples, husbands and wives can be sealed together with their families for eternity, not just “till death do they part.” We also perform other saving ordinances such as baptism for those who have died without the opportunity to do so for themselves.
If you’d like to learn more about Mormon beliefs, www.mormon.org is a great place to go.