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World Religions - Mormonism

Mormonism

What do the Mormons believe?


The Mormon Church, also called the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (LDS) was founded in the nineteenth century by Joseph Smith. 

Smith wrote the Book of Mormon, which he based upon a series of divine revelations that he himself experienced over 11 years. Smith claimed to have his first revelation at the age of 14, where he had a vision of God and Jesus who told him that there were no “right” churches in the world. At the age of 17, Smith saw an angel who told him of hidden golden scrolls on which God had wrote details of a visit to America. By adulthood Smith had found the golden scrolls which eventually became the Book of Mormon.

The Mormon religion is based upon the Book of Mormon, published in 1830, the Bible and other publications that LDS leaders have created. It was this year that Smith organized the first meeting of the Mormon church, which was held in New York. Later, after Smith's assassination by opponents of the church, Brigham Young became the leader of the church. The church's primary location of leadership was now based in Salt Lake, Utah.

Mormon doctrine believes that the people spoken about in the King James Bible are descendents of Native Americans. It also believes that all men have divine potential and that even men that have sinned may reach heaven some day. All males in the church are given priesthood holders at the age of 12. This means that all males now have a special connection with God and must follow the church's teachings and spread the doctrine to others. All young Mormon males must do some type of missionary work to spread the doctrine to others.

The religion also teaches that men can also reach heaven by procreating and bringing new children into the faith. Traditionally the common way to do this was to marry several women and have several children by them. Today, the church frowns upon polygamy, although there are offshoots of the major church that still practice polygamy today.

Other Mormon beliefs include sacraments, strictly adhering to abstinence of alcohol, tobacco, and caffeine, the belief in eternal marriage and a strong emphasis on family, work and education.

Much of what the Church of Later Day Saints teaches and promotes, appears to stand in-line with main stream biblical Christianity, ie:

"God is your Father in Heaven. He knows you personally. Jesus Christ is the Son of God and your Savior. His life and teachings are the way to peace and happiness."

But, on further study you will find that there are some distinct differences in their teachings. Differences that make it impossible for biblical mainstream Christians and Mormons to stand united on.

Mormons believe that God established the gospel of Jesus Christ on the earth through their prophet Joseph Smith who was sent to restore God’s truth. They believe that the evidence of this restoration is not found in the Holy Bible as used by most Christians, but in their Book of Mormon.

 

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Comments  

 
0 #8 2013-07-19 06:18
Dear Faith-Admin,
Thanks for your help.

My purpose here is to clear up and correct numerous inaccurate statements in the above article titled "What do the Mormons Believe?"

I'll begin with the very first sentence.
Quote:
Smith wrote the Book of Mormon, which he based upon a series of divine revelations that he himself experienced over 11 years.


First of all, Joseph Smith did not "write" the BOM. He translated the book from plates he found in a hill after being directed to them by an angel of God---the same man (now a resurrected being) who hid them in the hill 1400 years previous. It took Smith approximately 80 days to finish the translation, NOT 11 years as stated. Considering the fact that Smith had the equivalent of a 3rd grade education at the time he translated the book, the idea that he is the author of it is simply not reasonable.

Quote:
At the age of 17, Smith saw an angel who told him of hidden golden scrolls on which God had wrote details of a visit to America.


The BOM was not written on "scrolls", it was written on metal plates, which according to those who saw and handled them had the "appearance of gold".
Joseph Smith allowed eight men to handle and examine the plates, all eight of whom testified to the world in a signed, written statement that they had both seen and handled the plates. Despite the fact that many of them eventually became disaffected with the Church and Joseph Smith, not one of them ever denied that testimony.
In addition, three other men testified that they had a "special witness" regarding the plates. They testified that an angel of God showed them the plates, and that they heard the voice of God from Heaven commanding them to bear witness of what they had seen and heard (fulfilling God's own law of witnesses [Matt. 18:16; 2 Cor. 13:1])
Despite the fact that all three of these men were excommunicated (two eventually returned; one did not) they each affirmed that their testimonies regarding the plates were true until the end of their lives.

Quote:
The Mormon religion is based upon the Book of Mormon, published in 1830, the Bible and other publications that LDS leaders have created.


The Mormon religion is based upon the gospel of Jesus Christ which is found in the BOM, the Bible, and other scriptures which have been received by prophets in this dispensation. The actual name of the Church is "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints".

Quote:
Mormon doctrine believes that the people spoken about in the King James Bible are descendents of Native Americans.


This statement makes no sense whatsoever. How can anyone spoken about in the Bible be a descendant of Native Americans??
The BOM is a record of God's dealings with the ancient inhabitants of North America---the ancestors of our Native Americans.

Quote:
All males in the church are given priesthood holders at the age of 12.


The words given priesthood holders make little sense, and "all" males in the Church are NOT automatically given the priesthood. Only those who are worthy (those who are striving to keep God's commandments) are given the priesthood, which is the authority to act in God's name. Those who are worthy at 12 years of age may have the Aaronic Priesthood conferred upon them and be ordained to the office of a Deacon in that priesthood. Other offices within the Aaronic Priesthood are "Teacher" (usually when a boy turns 14) and "Priest" (usually when he turns 16).
At 18 years of age he may (if he is worthy) receive the higher priesthood (Melchizedek) and be ordained to the office of an "Elder".

Quote:
This means that all males now have a special connection with God and must follow the church's teachings and spread the doctrine to others. All young Mormon males must do some type of missionary work to spread the doctrine to others.


The word "must" is inaccurate and misleading. There is NO compulsion in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. All worthy young men are expected and encouraged to serve missions, but they are not required to do so. There are tens of thousands who have not served missions and yet are still members in good standing.

Quote:
The religion also teaches that men can also reach heaven by procreating and bringing new children into the faith.


This statement is just plain silly. All men are expected to marry and raise families, but doing so is no guarantee of salvation. There is only one way to "reach heaven" and that is by keeping God's commandments, repenting when we fall short, and doing so to the end of our mortal lives.

Quote:
Other Mormon beliefs include sacraments, strictly adhering to abstinence of alcohol, tobacco, and caffeine...


There is NO prohibition against caffeine. Along with alcohol and tobacco, there is a prohibition against coffee and tea. The fact that these substances may contain caffeine is irrelevant. There are other substances which also contain caffeine (sodas, chocolate, etc.) which are not prohibited.

Quote:
Mormons believe that God established the gospel of Jesus Christ on the earth through their prophet Joseph Smith who was sent to restore God's truth. They believe that the evidence of this restoration is not found in the Holy Bible as used by most Christians, but in their Book of Mormon.


On the contrary, we believe there is ample evidence in the Bible of a necessary restoration of the Gospel in the latter days, and certainly ample evidence in the hundreds of competing Christian denominations with their hundreds of conflicting doctrines.

We teach the same gospel which was taught to Adam and which he in turn taught to his own children. The same Gospel Noah preached to his generation; the gospel that Abraham preached to his; the same gospel Moses taught to the children of Israel; the same gospel Christ Himself preached to those in His day, and the same gospel His apostles taught and preached after He was risen---the gospel of Jesus Christ.
The gospel which embraces all of the laws, principles, doctrines, rites, ordinances, powers, authorities, and keys necessary to save all of mankind from the effects of Adam's fall and their own personal sins. It is the covenant of salvation, which God offers to each and every one of His children.
In short, it is the glad tidings or "good news" concerning Christ and His atonement, the fundamentals of that gospel being:

1. Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior and Redeemer

2. Repentance of personal sin

3. Baptism by immersion by those having authority

4. Receipt of the Holy Ghost

5. Enduring to the end through obedience to gospel teachings.

As for the video clip accompanying the article, I'll just say that the gentlemen contesting our "Christianity" is more of an expert on sophistry than Christianity. Unfortunately I don't have the space to expound on each of his claims.
What I will say is this:
As members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints we make serious and solemn covenants to follow Christ. Everything we do is centered on and revolves around Him.
We are baptized in His name and make a covenant at baptism to follow Him and keep His commandments.
We partake of the sacrament weekly to remember the sacrifice of His blood and to remember His victory over death.
We pray daily to the Father in His name, and strive to obey Him, knowing that it is only through His merits and grace that we are saved.
Every ordinance in our Church is performed in His name.
We believe He is the Messiah and the Son of God, foretold in the Old Testament, revealed in the New Testament, and affirmed in the Book of Mormon.
We believe He is our Savior, our Redeemer, our Lord, and the author of our faith and salvation.

The gentlemen in the video may proclaim that we aren't "traditional" Christians, but to claim that we aren't Christians (one who believes in and follows Christ's teachings) is patently ludicrous.
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0 #7 Faith-Admin 2013-07-16 11:07
Dear Glocker57, I didn't realize that there was a character/word limit in the comments section because it isn't enforced for administrators. So I have adjusted the settings so that the limit is now 10,000 characters instead of 1000. I trust that this will be adequate. Sorry for my delay in resolving this.
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0 #6 2013-07-13 07:48
I'm not sure why you don't think there is a word limit? As I type this I see a ticker at the bottom telling me how many "symbols" I have left. The limit is clearly 1000.
I'm assuming that since you're the administrator you have the ability to get rid of the limit? If so, would you? I would much prefer to post my corrections here rather than a separate page that people may never take the time to visit.
If not, let me know and I will do so on the page you suggested.
Thanks
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0 #5 Faith-Admin 2013-07-10 11:59
Quoting Glocker57:
I'm not sure how to contest the above description of Mormonism since I'm allowed so few words here, but suffice it to say there are numerous false statements in the above introduction. Whoever wrote it obviously didn't do much research.
Sad.

Dear Glocker57, I don't think there is a word limit, so please share your thoughts regarding the problems with the above summary of Mormonism. Otherwise you are welcome to post your more lengthy evaluation and list of corrections within the Mormon forum thread here: http://www.faithofchoice.com/component/agorapro/default-forum/22-mormonism-lds.html
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0 #4 2013-07-10 11:37
I'm not sure how to contest the above description of Mormonism since I'm allowed so few words here, but suffice it to say there are numerous false statements in the above introduction. Whoever wrote it obviously didn't do much research.
Sad.
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0 #3 2013-06-29 13:43
Odds are you won't ever see this post, Denise, but I just had to comment on your statement above. No matter what our detractors claim, we DO NOT teach that God had sex with Mary. We don't believe it, we don't teach it, and we don't endorse it in any way shape or form. Those who make the claim are either liars, or they are simply quoting other anti-Mormons who are liars. It's as simple as that.

You wrote: Quote:
They are just such good nice folks and its so hard to leave What do I say? What do I do?


May I suggest you go to your Father in Heaven in prayer and sincerely ask Him what you should do?
I'm guessing you never would have been baptized in the first place if you hadn't had a witness from the Holy Spirit that what you were doing was correct.
If it was true then, it's true now. Sincere prayer will get you the answer you seek.
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+1 #2 2013-01-30 05:49
Wow, I was recently baptized Mormon, and they haven't taught me that stuff yet, they stay in the Christian part although they have made reference to God having a real body of flesh and bones but not saying he's on another planet yet. I haven't been to temple yet and not tithing or attending church so I guess I don't qualify. I know about the baptism and stuff of the dead,etc, which to me sounds nice like you won't go the hell but don't know most of their beliefs. If they think there is a bunch of Gods running around with other wives and that God actually had sex with Mary then I need to leave like quickly. They are just such good nice folks and its so hard to leave What do I say? What do I do? They have helped me so much since I've been sick but if it is against God and His Son's teachings I just can't go on! Thanks for the info!
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+1 #1 2011-08-23 01:37
Appreciate the clear distinctions made between Biblical Christianity and Mormonism. An addition that I think would be helpful is a discussion of grace and works -- the clear difference between Biblical grace of God and Mormonism grace. Thank you.
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We are not alone. There is something out there bigger than ourselves. Where will you go after you die? What do you believe and why do you believe it? What is the point of having a mind if you never change it? Here's a surprisingly unsurprising statistic: Everyone dies sooner or later; there is no escaping it and you will be dead for longer than you are alive. This suggests that eternity might be worth more than a passing thought.

Are you ready for the inevitable? There is no need to be fearful of that inevitable moment, so long as you are prepared and as long as you are not taking comfort in something that sounds nice but is really just positive but wishful thinking. Make your life journey count, consider your eternal destination. Just believing in a lie wont make it truth, no matter how much you want it or how appealing that lie is. It is better to know the truth than to live in the delusion of a lie. No one likes being deceived, but in a world of political correctness, acceptance and anything goes, it is easy to side-step the truth of reality. What REALLY is true?

Can we just make up our own truth and say "well that is true for you, but my truth is something else"? Surely we can't all be right, especially when there are so many contradictory beliefs and top world religions out there.


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