What Do Mormons Believe?

Answers to your frequently asked questions about the Latter-day Saints

BY: Terryl Givens

 


As a Mormon, has Mitt Romney sworn an oath to follow the church's prophet? If so, wouldn't that be a potential conflict with his oath as president?


Latter-day Saints do not swear an oath to follow the prophet or any other mortal. Latter-day Saints who have been to a Mormon temple pledge to keep the commandments of God and do all they can to build his kingdom on earth. One of those commandments Mormons believe in is to honor and sustain the law of the land. They also believe the constitution is a divinely inspired document. So, there would be no conflict between their religion and an oath to support and defend the constitution.


Recently, Mike Huckabee asked in an interview if Mormons believe Satan and Jesus are brothers. Do they believe that?

Mormons believe Jesus Christ is God the Son, the first born of the father, and the only begotten in the flesh. Lucifer was an angel who rebelled and was cast out of heaven, becoming Satan.. The question of their being brothers makes little sense to Mormons, since there is no special relationship they have, other than in the very general sense of being, along with all of us, children who were created by the same Father in Heaven.


Do Mormons believe Jesus is the Son of God?

Yes, Mormons believe Jesus Christ is literally the Son of God who died for the sins of humankind, and rose from the dead on the third day. They affirm that he was God before he came into the world, and that salvation is offered only through his atonement. Resurrection and immortality are his unconditional gift to the entire human family.(back to top)

 
What's the Book of Mormon?

Mormons believe The Book of Mormon is a testament of Jesus Christ, his teachings, and his dealings with ancient inhabitants of the American continent. It covers a period from roughly six centuries before to four centuries after Christ. It also chronicles the appearance of the resurrected Christ to these ancient peoples, and the eventual demise of those who believed in him and went by the name of Nephites. Mormons believe the angel Moroni appeared to Joseph Smith and told him about the record. It was delivered to Smith in 1827; he translated it, and published it in 1830. Mormons consider it to supplement the Bible.

Do Mormons believe the Old and New Testaments are the Bible?

Yes, Mormons believe in both the Old and New Testaments. They prefer the King James Version.

What is the White Horse prophecy? Does it say a Mormon will rescue the United States and the Constitution?

The White Horse prophecy is the name for a largely oral tradition that says Joseph Smith  predicted that a day will come when the Constitution will hang by a thread (or “be on the brink of ruin”) and the elders of Israel (or “the Latter-day Saints,” never an individual) will step forward to save it from destruction. Although no definitive version of the “white horse prophecy” has been traced to Smith, a number of sources recorded him as saying something to that effect. The denunciation of the prophecy as false and ridiculous by a few Mormon leaders is probably a reflection of the prophecy’s non-canonical status, and their wish to rule out melodramatic interpretations of what may have been a largely metaphorical prediction.

Do they believe the Garden of Eden was in Missouri?

Joseph Smith taught that the area of Spring Hill, in Daviess County, Missouri (the northern part of the state) was Adam-ondi-Ahman, where Adam blessed his posterity three years before his death. Smith never said where the Garden of Eden was.(back to top)


What do they believe about polygamy?

 

Mormons believe, as the Book of Mormon teaches, that the commandment of God regarding marriage is that a man shall have one wife—unless God expressly commands otherwise. Mormons believe, for purposes and reasons they do not presume to know, that at certain times God has commanded the practice of plural marriage, the term Mormons use for polygamy. This was the case with the biblical patriarchs Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Joseph Smith, the church’s founding prophet, had multiple wives. In the early days of the LDS church, perhaps 20 to 25 percent of Latter-day Saints practiced polygamy.  In 1890, Mormons believe God authorized the end of the practice. Today, some breakaway sects continue to practice polygamy, but they are not affiliated with the LDS church, and individuals who practice plural marriage are excommunicated by the Church today. (back to top)


 

Is there a history of secrecy about the beliefs of the Mormon faith?

In the early nineteenth century, Joseph Smith and other leaders who were beginning the practice of polygamy, which they called plural marriage, did so secretly because they feared persecution. Once the church was safely out of the reach of persecutors and, some would say, the arm of federal law, they publicly announced the doctrine. (In 1890, Mormons believe God authorized an end to the practice, and it is condemned by the church today.) Other than the particular details of temple worship, which Mormons believe are too sacred to discuss publicly, no LDS teachings today are secret or concealed from the public. Many teachings of particular past church leaders are not publicly promulgated, for the simple reason that they are not official doctrine and have, in some cases, been officially repudiated.

 
Do they believe Christ will return to Jackson County, Missouri, Jerusalem, or both?

 

Both. One emblem of  bringing together of all things in Christ at his Second Coming will be his appearing to his people in Jerusalem, as well as his appearing at the “New Jerusalem” which will be built up in the “Land of Zion” in Missouri.  (back to top)

Continued on page 2: Do They Believe Humans Can Become God-Like? »

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