After reading some of the other pages on this site, maybe you’re just wondering: What do Mormons believe then?
One of the most succint documents that we have which outlines key Mormon doctrines is the “Articles of Faith.” In 1842, the editor of the Chicago Democrat, John Wentworth, wrote Joseph Smith and requested information about the Mormon Church. Up until that time, most of the newspaper articles that had been written about the Mormon Church since its inception in 1830 were negative, and were often filled with lies and gross inaccuracies. Therefore, Joseph Smith was anxious to take the opportunity to set the record straight.
In his reply, which is now termed in Mormon history as the “Wentworth letter“, Joseph outlined the history of the Church up until that point and also penned “The Articles of Faith” which have been canonized and are as follows:
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.
In addition these articles of faith, I’ve written brief articles on the following key doctrines:
- Plan of Salvation
- Prophets & Joseph Smith
- Book of Mormon & Bible
If you have questions about these or any of the other doctrines, please contact me.