What Mormons Believe

Everything you Need to know about Mormons:

History and Beliefs

What Mormons BelieveDing Dong.  It’s my doorbell!  I run down my stairs, throw open the front door, and come face to face with two Mormon Missionaries! Two blond haired men dressed in Khaki pants with white button down shirts stood before me. With big smiles on their young faces, they greeted me enthusiastically.  Naturally, I invited them in.  From there ensued a friendly dialogue that would last almost 3 years with numerous missionaries coming and going.

Needless to say, I learned a lot about their religion.  I had the opportunity to pepper them with all my questions and concerns, and they were always polite.  Now, I don’t like when my religion is misrepresented, and so it is not my intention to misrepresent them here.  But, this post was inspired by Glenn Beck who was a Catholic and converted to Mormonism.  In my last blog, I tore apart the many blunders he made regarding the Catholic Church, which you can read here.

I should say at the outset that I have the utmost respect for Mormon missionaries (and I tell them so), and while I respect who they are and what they do, the truth is that their religion was founded on extremely shaky grounds and possess some pretty wild beliefs!  So, let’s set sail to the land of Mormon!

Short history of Mormonism:

The story of the Mormon religion is, ummm, interesting.  How did it start, you ask?  Well, I will tell you.  It all began with a 14-year-old boy, named Joseph Smith (considered a prophet) in 1879, New York.  Young Joseph claimed to have had visions from God the Father, Jesus, and others.  God told him all religions in the world were corrupt and evil, and a new one was needed.  Can you guess which one that was?

Besides being a kid of only 14-years-old, Joseph Smith just isn’t credible.  Why?  Because he spent time in jail for fraud.  More problematic though is that Smith claimed to have an angel appear to him.  The angel supposedly revealed the lost teachings of Jesus on two golden tablets.  Smith claims to have translated these tablets into the Book of Mormon.  The problem with all of this is that only he could read the plates, and only he saw themNo one else ever saw the tablets (except with “the eyes of faith” or “under a cloth”).  Sooo, no one actually saw the plates except Smith (hmmm), and the entire religion was started on the word of someone who went to prison for fraud.  From the outside looking in, that’s pretty hard to swallow, just to be honest.  Now, when Smith died, it’s claimed that the angel took the plates back up to heaven.

Mormons mostly depend on the Book of Mormon (B.O.M) for their beliefs, which is said to be the account of a civilization living in the Americas from 600 BC to 400 AD.  After His resurrection, Jesus appeared to these people.  Unfortunately, archeologists have not found evidence of this, and the most prestigious historical societies in the world also have not found claims of the B.O.M. to be true.

What Mormons BelieveInteresting Mormon Beliefs: 

While the Mormon Church and the Catholic Church do share some common beliefs, the differences are much greater, including the belief in millions of gods, polygamy, black people being cursed by God, the possibility to become a god and own your own planet, etc.

  • Mormons claim to believe in the Trinity, but in their religion, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are three different gods who are one in purpose (Articles of Faith, pg. 38).
  • Mormons believe in countless gods, though they themselves claim to only worship one of those gods, the god of our planet (King Follet’s Discourse).
  • God did not create the universe; rather, he was a man like us who obeyed another god on another planet. That god was also a man who in turn worshiped another god and so on, etc. (Teachings of Joseph Smith, pg. 345).
  • Thus, the God of this planet, who was once a man like us, followed the laws faithfully and became the god he is today. By following the laws of their religion faithfully, Mormons also aspire to one day become gods and to own their own planet (The Seer, pg 1).  With the help of their spirit wives, they will populate their own planets and rule over them. This is why Mormonism teaches the necessity of marriage for everyone, even Jesus. (Yes, you read that correctly – Doctrines of Salvation, vol. 11, pg. 141).
  • There are 3 different levels of heaven – Telestial, Terrestrial, and Celestial (highest level).  God lives in the Celestial kingdom, and all Mormons strive to get there (Mormon Doctrine, pg. 338).  By attaining the highest heaven they can become gods.
  • Mormons baptize themselves on earth for the dead who were never baptized.(Doctrines of Salvation, vol. 11, pg. 141).
  • God the Father has a body of flesh and bones as does the Son (Doctrines and Covenants, 130:22).
  • Christ and Satan are brothers. They were conceived by the union of God the father and his spirit wife.
  • Mormons believe in pre-existence – a life before earth, a spirit realm, where souls exist before they are born.  Then, they are given bodies and sent to earth.
  • Satan rejected God’s plan for salvation in the spirit realm. He rebelled while Jesus remained faithful. Thus, Jesus Christ materialized and was born on earth first. He came to earth to save people from their sin (Mormon Doctrine, pg. 163).
  • Because Satan was unfaithful in the spirit realm, he was cast to earth cursed. When Cain killed his brother Abel, he participated in the rebellion of the devil and was cursed with black skin (dark skin) for his evil deed.  This doctrine was taught by early Mormon prophets who declared that all “negro” and dark skinned persons were cursed by God and proceed from the lineage of Cain.  Their dark skin is a visible sign of their evil rebellion (Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, pg. 95).  The B.O.M. still teaches this doctrine today in 2 Nephi 5:21-23.  It also states in this passage however, that if they convert, they will become white and blond. True story!
  • Historically, blacks were not allowed into the Mormon priesthood until 1978 when there was a “new revelation” allowing it.
  • New revelations can occur any time, which is one reason why the doctrines of Mormonism continue to change.  Some critics argue that God contradicts Himself, like with the doctrine of polygamy, for example.
  • Polygamy (having more than one wife) was a practiced doctrine of the Mormon religion.  Mormon prophets declared that it was an eternal doctrine, a practice that was obligatory to attain the highest heaven (Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses. vol. 11, pg. 268-269).
  • Today, there are over 40 Mormon sects all claiming to be the correct one. Even though polygamy is not officially taught anymore by the majority of Mormons, some still teach and practice it proclaiming that it was the original and eternal teaching of God.  According to some Mormon prophets, (Orson Hyde and Orson Pratt, to name a couple), Jesus was a polygamist.
  • Mormons cannot drink alcohol, coffee, tea, or anything with caffeine (Word of Wisdom).
  • The apostasy:  Mormons teach that the Church Jesus started became corrupt and lost all “priesthood authority.”  Consequently, God needed to restore this dead religion with the birth of a brand new one, the Mormon Church – “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.”  One wonders why God would wait over 1800 years to resurrect His church, but that’s beside the point.
  • Mormonism teaches that John the Apostle (one of Jesus’ original 12 Apostles) is still alive on earth today. It is said that John will live until the end of the world.  This is a tough “Catch 22” for Mormons.  Never mind the fact that not a single person, reporter, or journalist has seen John the Apostle in over 2000 years (though he is traveling around preaching and performing miracles), a more important point is that if John is still around, he is someone who holds the priesthood authority of Jesus.  You know what that means.  There is still one person who holds God’s priesthood authority on earth, and consequently, there was never any full apostasy and no need for a new church to be started.

Mormons will ask you to read the B.O.M. and to pray about it. You are supposed to feel a “burning in your bosom” as a sign from the Holy Spirit that the B.O.M. is true and that Joseph Smith is a prophet.  Mormons base all their faith in a subjective feeling despite all of the completely odd doctrines.  Most of their peculiar doctrines are not found in the B.O.M. but are the product of later revelations. Furthermore, Mormons will not tell you these odd doctrines until you join their church.

Mormons today are proclaiming a “New Gospel.” Their B.O.M. claims this.  However, listen to what the Bible warned about new gospels many centuries earlier; “If we, or an angel from heaven, preach to you any other gospel than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed.  As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed” (Gal. 1:8-9).

I think that’s pretty straight forward.  Now, Mormons are some of the nicest people you will meet, and they do a lot of good.  I mean that.  However, their religion is full of teachings that are not found in the Bible or taught by Jesus.  I invite them to take a second look and consider coming back to the one Church of Jesus Christ that has existed unbroken for more than 2000 years. Like the many Mormons before them, they will not be sorry.

About Bryan Mercier

Bryan Mercier is a professional Catholic speaker, retreat leader, author, YouTuber, and Catholic apologist. He has spoken to adults and teens for 20 years the last fifteen years on a wide variety of topics; ranging from catechetics and faith formation, to morality, spirituality, and apologetics. He has spoken at youth and adult retreats, workshops, seminars, Catholic schools, parish missions, local, regional and national conferences. He has spoken in front of crowds ranging from thirty to three-thousand and has and has been aired on TV and radio in different states, including Relevant Radio, Ave Maria Radio, EWTN, and more.
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3 Responses to What Mormons Believe

  1. Linda Sue Fiatoa says:

    FIrst of all, Joseph Smith was born in 1805, and was killed in 1844. By 1879, the Saints were in the Salt Lake Valley, doing well.

    The LDS church was founded in 1830.

    Under the list of beliefs, the only one you got absolutely right was “God the Father has a body of flesh and bones as does the Son (Doctrines and Covenants, 130:22).” The rest you used sources that are not official sources of doctrine. You took things out of context and put your own spin on them.

    If you want OFFICIAL beliefs, here they are:

    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 the American continent; that Christ will reign personally upon the earth; and, that the earth will be renewed and receive its paradisiacal 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.

    Joseph Smith.

    Now, agree or disagree, this is what we believe. As I’ve said to many others, I don’t care if you never believe like we do, but at least get it right what we do and do not believe.

    I am lindalds on You Tube.

  2. Linda Sue Fiatoa says:

    You said “Mormons today are proclaiming a “New Gospel.” Their B.O.M. claims this”

    No, the Book of Mormon claims to be “another testament of Jesus Christ”.

    It absolutely preaches the same Gospel of Jesus Christ that is in the Bible.

    1 Corinthians 15:1 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;

    2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.

    3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;

    4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:

    You said “Most of their peculiar doctrines are not found in the B.O.M. but are the product of later revelations”

    We never claimed that the Book of Mormon was a book of doctrine.

  3. Linda Sue Fiatoa says:

    You said “God told him all religions in the world were corrupt and evil, and a new one was needed”

    No, God said that all THOSE churches were wrong, meaning the ones he had contact with. That their CREEDS were an abomination, and their PROFESSORS were corrupt.

    NOT ALL the churches in the world.

    You said “Besides being a kid of only 14-years-old, Joseph Smith just isn’t credible. Why? Because he spent time in jail for fraud.”

    A. He was never convicted of any crime. Because he never committed any crime. Just because someone goes to jail does not mean they are guilty of any crime.

    B. If we are talking credibility, let’s talk about all the past popes and cardinals and bishops of the RCC.

    I have nothing but the utmost respect for the Roman Catholic church. There are a lot of your beliefs that I do not agree with, but I DO try to learn what you all do and do not believe. I have had lots of Catholic friends over the years, and we do try to learn from each other.

    Example: My husband’s young cousins were raised devout Catholic. Every time I would drive them somewhere, they always made the sign of the cross before we drove off. At first, it bothered me cause I thought it was because they were scared of my driving, but they assured me it was to bless the entire car, so that we would have a safe trip. Then I said, go ahead! Every little bit helps!

    Another time: I was in the hospital about to have my gall bladder removed, and scared to death. I had several pastors of my room mates pray for me, as well as two priesthood blessings from the men of my church. One such blessing was from a Catholic priest. I felt comfort that he was sincere in his prayer for me. (the other two were a baptist preacher and a Presbyterian preacher)

    You said “archeologists have not found evidence of this, and the most prestigious historical societies in the world also have not found claims of the B.O.M. to be true.”

    A. Give me any scientific evidence that the Bible is the Word of God.

    B. Probably most of whatever would be evidence here in the western hemisphere is no doubt buried in those AmerIndian burial mounds, which are sacred and not to be touched.

    Oh, one more thing:

    You have a book about why I believe in God.

    I have a Bible verse that pretty much sums up why I believe in God.

    Psalm 139:14 I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.

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