Basic Mormon Beliefs

“The Articles of Faith outline 13 basic points of belief of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The Prophet Joseph Smith first wrote them in a letter to John Wentworth, a newspaper editor, in response to Mr. Wentworth’s request to know what members of the Church believed. They were subsequently published in Church periodicals. They are now regarded as scripture and included in the Pearl of Great Price.” (

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

2. We believe that men will be punished for their own sins, and not for Adam’s transgression.

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

4. 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.

5. 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.

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

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

8. 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.

9. 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.

10. 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 this the American continent; that Christ will reign personally upon the earth; and, that the earth will be renewed and receive its paradisaical glory.

11. 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.

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

13. 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.

(Feel free to comment or ask questions! I love actually speaking with people and not just blogging all about my opinions!)

Portrait of Joseph Smith

Portrait of Joseph Smith

Leave a comment


  1. Dani!

     /  January 23, 2009

    I heard you people have horns!

  2. That’s why all the 20 year old missionaries comb their hair over! To hide them!

    Thanks Dani! 😀

  3. Doug

     /  December 8, 2010

    I am not sure if you intend for this site to turn into a discussion, but I’ll bite.

    In the 12th article it talks about being subject to authority and obeying the law, unless I am mistaken. If this is true then why did Joseph and other church officials practice polygamy despite it being illegal in the US?

    Also, an example from modern times, why does the LDS church spend so much money on prop 8 when it violates their tax exemption?

    Hoping for a civil, but thought provoking conversation.

  4. Wow, Doug, thanks for commenting. I’m a little surprised for how much material about the Mormon Church I have covered in this site to say that this is the first time I have had someone question it. I’m not at all against this type of discussion, and happily welcome it.

    Honestly, I do not know much about the history of Joseph Smith practicing polygamy and the laws of the day other than that it happened. Nor do I know quite anything about the LDS Church’s tax exempt status and requirements. If you have some citations of places explaining the situations for each I would be happy to check them out and discuss. I’m sorry to just leave it to you to do the work, but I am about to go into finals week and I have some last assignments, papers, and then finals to wrestle.

    I am definitely not a proactive Mormon apologist, as much as I would love to know the history and finer aspects of some of the more controversial topics viewed by the public. I usually try to address more scriptural-oriented, doctrinal-based topics, but I don’t want that to seem like an excuse out. Not at all, I just haven’t quite figured out the reasoning behind entering into controversial subject matter.

    Again, thank you for the civil prompt of discussion.

  5. Doug

     /  December 9, 2010

    Here is the link for the tax exemption requirements:,,id=96099,00.html

    and this is a link to an LDS apologetic website:

    This might sound weird, but for the most part I think the only discussion worth having is a controversial one. It is how we grow in our knowledge and beliefs, not by everybody agreeing, but being forced to defend our world view.

  6. Sorry for the late-coming response, Doug! I got finals finished and then headed home for Christmas and didn’t remember until today that you had already shared these links with me!

    I completely agree about the tax exemption requirements of the church, as far as I understand them! It does seem like we are breaking those rules. But, I really have no idea what was exactly asked of by the church for Prop 8. I never was asked and never saw with my own eyes or spoke with anybody who was asked to donate or support Prop 8. Also, the fact that none of the anti-mormons have filed a lawsuit (or whatever is done to convict perpetrators of tax exemption requirements) and the fact that the church has a law department dealing with all of the laws in the countries our church extends into, including our own, I expect that there is an explanation to how the church is not in fact breaking tax exemption requirements. But, I guess you probably aren’t actually looking for my opinion and maybe are looking for an answer to how the church did what they did?

    As for polygamy, the link you shared had some great explanations that I hadn’t even thought of about the issue. But, all in the same, I can’t think of a religion that limits God’s authority to make commandments only as far as it is legal in the country where it is practiced. That god might as well be the government’s sponsored religion. Any devout member of a faith must assume God has the authority, and when necessary (as with polygamy), the prerogative to ask the members of that faith to suspend their faith in the order of law for faith in higher purposes. A simple, albeit extreme, example would be the person who lives in a country where the government is conducting genocide. The person must choose to not obey the law for higher moral principles. Granted, if a religion does not rely on modern revelation from deity to guide them then I can see how a simple statement such as the 12th article above would necessitate being followed literally and unconditionally.

    Speaking about worthwhile discussion, I completely agree with your explanation that through not agreeing we find truth. I just think that truth comes from asking questions to address ignorance, not through addressing differences of opinion. But, I can still understand your desire to inquire.

  7. John

     /  December 28, 2010

    Ok, I’m no expert in regards to any of this, but was honestly more interested in the tax exemption part. Polygamy is one of those things I don’t understand too well and will have to ask God more about on the other side.

    So with tax exemption. I took a look at that link that you posted above Doug and personally don’t think that the Church violates this clause. First of all it says, “may not attempt to influence legislation as a substantial part of its activities and it may not participate in any campaign activity for or against political candidates.” There was no political candidate that the Church was lobbying for, but it was rather legislation. Also this legislation did not occupy “a substantial part of activities.” No you may think that substantial is somewhat of a vague description, but the Church reported its monetary donations to be less than one half percent of the money raised for the campaign.

    You can read about this on their website:

    “On Friday, 30 January, the Church filed the final report of its contributions (all of which were non-monetary) to the coalition. The report, submitted in advance of the 31 January deadline, details in-kind donations totaling $189,903.58.

    The value of the Church’s in-kind (non-monetary) contribution is less than one half of one percent of the total funds (approximately $40 million) raised for the “Yes on 8” campaign. The Church did not make any cash contribution.”

    If you’re more interested in what the Church issued to the public in regards to Prop 8 feel free to use this link to view the five articles in their Newsroom and Blog:

    Though I don’t have time to read all of those articles, I feel that they could answer a lot of questions. I know that even a lot of Church members were angry at the Church for their involvement in Prop 8, but it shows how important the issue was to God for their involvement. Especially if people would question their tax exempt status, I know that the Church is aware of the laws and would not cross the line and lose tax exempt status. A lot of religious organizations came together for this campaign because they all felt that it was extremely important, not only for California, but for our nation as well.

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