Are you wondering what are the fundamental beliefs of Mormonism, or what a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints truly believes? Here is a short explanation, as well as a top 10 list of what LDS members believe.
If you have any questions about Mormon beliefs, please post them in the comments below.
A devout LDS member who supports the official doctrine of the Church and tries to live its teachings, or the teachings of Christ as taught in the Church, will believe these basic ideas:
- Jesus Christ is the Son of God and the Savior of the world. If we follow His commandments and teachings, we can become as perfect as He is, and enjoy an eternity of happiness with Him and our Father in Heaven after this life.
- Joseph Smith was and is a true prophet of Christ, through whom the Lord restored or rebuilt His true Church in our time period, which is known as the last days or the latter days before Jesus comes to cleanse the earth of wickedness and usher in a time of peace.
- The Book of Mormon is the word of God just like the Holy Bible.
- God has put His priesthood, or the authority to act in His name, back on the earth through Joseph Smith. This priesthood is needed in order for us to be able to form families that will last forever.
Here’s a top 10 list of Mormon doctrines if you’d like to get a quick sense of the core beliefs of the “Mormon Church” (which is just a nickname). It’s not in any way official – just the personal output of one Church member – but it’s pretty good. 🙂
1. God or Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost or Holy Spirit are three divine beings who work together for our eternal happiness. We can call any one of them God because that is the level of perfection they have achieved by obeying the same principles they teach us. They are separate persons from each other, but are so united in purpose and thought that we often speak of them as being one.
2. Through the atonement – the at-one-ment – of Jesus Christ, every person can overcome death and sin and be made one with God, enjoying everlasting happiness with Him. The Atonement takes full effect in our lives as we work to develop faith in Jesus Christ, repent of all our morally wrong choices, and make and keep promises with God that we signify through baptism and other special acts called ordinances.
3. God has always sent prophets to teach us the truth and how to become more like God. He is the same yesterday, today and forever.
4. We lived with God in heaven as His children before being born on earth. After we die, we will be resurrected thanks to the Atonement of Christ, meaning that our physical body will be raised from death and be perfect, never to die again.
5. We will all be judged by God according to our personal choices and the desires and motives of our hearts and minds. He will bless us with as much eternal happiness as we can possibly qualify for based on our level of obedience and our repentance from our bad decisions.
6. The supreme reigning power and virtue in the universe, and the crowning and most fundamental attribute of God, is pure love – a strong, undying feeling of attachment and desire for the well-being and happiness of ourselves and others. We often refer to this love as charity. As we serve others selflessly and embrace this power, we grow to become more loving and godlike.
7. Our Heavenly Father has commanded us to pray to him often. This simply means talking to Him in the humble attitude that a little child typically has as she shares her feelings with her parents, asks them questions and thanks them for what they give her.
8. We need to constantly read, study and ponder the scriptures, or the things that have been written or spoken throughout the ages by the power of the Holy Ghost, and strive to apply their insights and teachings to our lives. The Holy Spirit impresses upon our minds the things we need to remember so that we can each fulfill our purposes here on earth. Written scriptures that we strive to continually study and apply to our lives include the Bible, the Book of Mormon and hundreds of revelations that the Lord has given through prophets in our time, as well as other ancient revelations that God has brought back to our awareness.
9. The perfect family is patterned after the family we came from in heaven, in which a mother, father and children live together in love and peace. We should do all we can to strengthen our families in this life and to form happy families of our own through marriage and having and raising children.
10. We have to be patient and diligent in enduring to the end of our lives in following the example of Christ. The Lord gives us many trials and challenges to pass through, many of them painful and frustrating. We also experience grief and sadness due to our own poor choices or those of other people, or even due to natural occurrences. However, if we put our faith and trust in God, He will someday reveal all truth to us, and He will answer all of our questions, tie up all loose ends, and give us all the blessings we have earned by our faithfulness. Some blessings come sooner, some come later, and some don’t come until we get to heaven – but if we embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ, they surely do come.
So that’s a basic primer on what Latter-day Saints believe, written by a very imperfect but always striving LDS member. Read about the Book of Mormon experiment that changed his life – and can change yours.
May the power of God tell you in your mind and heart that what is written here is true. The one who wrote it promises you that it is and urges you to think and pray about it, with the intention to do according to whatever convictions may come to you as a result.
Got anything you’d like to share or ask? Please leave a comment below!