Facts About Mormonism
Mormons—more properly referred to as Latter-day Saints or members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints—are well known for certain aspects of their religion and culture which are seen as unique among Christian religions. The focus on families is a well-known aspect of Latter-day Saint culture; most Church members say that marriage and being a good parent are among the most important things in life. Here are some more interesting facts about the religion:
Fact #1: Latter-day Saints believe in the Godhead.
The Godhead is made up of three unique individuals: God the Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost. Though individual beings, each are united in purpose, power, and knowledge. God the Father is the father of every human spirit, and all men and women are created in His image. He has a glorified, physical body of flesh and bone. Jesus Christ is the firstborn Son of God. He is the Savior and Redeemer of the world. Jesus Christ also has a glorified, physical body of flesh and bone. The Holy Ghost does not have a physical body, but is a spirit who acts as a messenger and reveals truth to all of God's children.
Fact #2: The Restoration of the gospel was necessary for salvation.
After Jesus Christ's Crucifixion and the deaths of His Apostles, the fulness of the gospel was absent from the earth because of widespread apostasy. In 1830, Jesus Christ restored His Church through Joseph Smith. The Restoration brought back everything found in Christ's original Church, including priesthood authority from God, baptism by immersion, the gift of the Holy Ghost, temples, continuing revelation, and the pure doctrine of Christ as taught by living prophets and apostles and in additional scripture, such as the Book of Mormon.
Fact #3: Latter-day Saints accept four volumes of written scripture.
- The Holy Bible: Latter-day Saints believe the Holy Bible to be the word of God. They believe it is a collection of sacred texts that contain many of God's revelations to His children from the Creation of the earth to the ministries of Jesus and His Apostles, and they are encouraged to study and follow its teachings.
- The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ: "The Book of Mormon is a volume of holy scripture comparable to the Bible. It is a record of God's dealings with … ancient inhabitants of the Americas and contains, as does the Bible, the fulness of the everlasting gospel. The book was written by many ancient prophets by the spirit of prophecy and revelation. Their words, written on gold plates, were quoted and abridged by a prophet-historian named Mormon" (introduction to the Book of Mormon). The plates were buried by the prophet Moroni, the son of Mormon. In 1827, Joseph Smith was instructed to recover the plates and later translate them according to the gift and power of God.
- Additional Scripture: In addition to the Bible and the Book of Mormon, Latter-day Saints believe in continuing revelation and consider two additional books as scripture. The Doctrine and Covenants is composed of modern-day revelation from God. The Pearl of Great Price includes two lost books from the Bible, a translation of the Gospel of Matthew, Joseph Smith's history, and the Articles of Faith.
Fact #4: Latter-day Saints believe in modern-day prophets and apostles.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is led by prophets and apostles just as Christ's Church was led in ancient times. Members believe that God speaks to His prophets to teach, warn, and inspire His children.
Fact #5: Latter-day Saints grow closer to God in temples.
In the early days of the Church, its leaders were commanded to build temples. In temples, Church members draw closer to the Lord, learn about God's plan, and receive ordinances for the living and on behalf of those who have died without a knowledge of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Men and women are married in temples to seal their relationships throughout eternity—not just "until death do us part."
Fact #6. The plan of salvation is God's plan of happiness.
Latter-day Saint scripture teaches that all humans are God's children and lived with Him before being born. God authored a great and merciful plan by which His children could come to earth to gain a body and become more like Him. This plan, often called the plan of salvation, helps Latter-day Saints answer important questions such as "Where did I come from?" "Why am I here?" and "Where am I going?" At the center of the plan is Jesus Christ. He was chosen as a Savior to redeem mankind from sin through His atoning sacrifice and through His followers' faith, repentance, and obedience to covenants made with Him.
Fact #7. Latter-day Saints believe in resurrection and exaltation.
Members of the Church believe that through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, after physical death, each person's body and spirit will reunite and no longer be subject to disease or death. Latter-day Saints also believe that after the Resurrection, mankind can be exalted to the highest level of salvation. "He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son" (Revelation 21:7).
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