June 24th, 2011
02:11 PM ET

Explain it to me: Mormonism

With two Mormons running for the Republican presidential nomination and a play riffing on the religion tearing up Broadway, the country appears to be having a Mormon moment.

Here are 10 facts about Mormonism. What other questions do you have about the faith?

1. The official name of the Mormon church is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

2. Mormons consider themselves Christian but their beliefs and practices differ from traditional Christianity in key ways, including belief in sacred texts outside the Bible and practices like posthumous proxy baptism and wearing special undergarments.

3. There are about 14 million Mormons today, with more than half living outside the United States.

4.  The Mormon religion was founded in upstate New York in 1830, when Joseph Smith published a translation of writings he said he found and translated from Egyptian-style hieroglyphics into English.  That's the Book of Mormon, which believers say consists of writings produced by ancient American civilizations.

5. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has outlawed polygamy since 1890.

6. Early Mormons faced intense persecution, so church headquarters relocated from New York to Missouri to Illinois in rapid succession. Joseph Smith was killed by a mob in Illinois. His successor, Brigham Young, led early Mormons to the Great Salt Lake in what's now Utah, where church headquarters remains.

7. Mormon men are expected to perform two years of missionary work beginning when they're 19 years old. Women can also do missionary work when they turn 21, but there is less pressure to do so.

8. Famous Mormons include J.W. Marriott, founder of the hotel chain, Glenn Beck and Gladys Knight, a convert.

9. Jon Huntsman and Mitt Romney represent different generations of Mormonism that have related pretty differently to American culture.

10. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is running some major ad campaigns to take advantage of burgeoning interest in the religion.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Christianity • Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints • Mormonism

soundoff (3,741 Responses)
  1. SquareRootOfMinusOne

    I have a simple yes/no question for any LDS believer out there. Was Jesus created?

    June 27, 2011 at 9:51 pm |
    • Adam

      Simple answer according to Mormon theology is no, Jesus, known as both the eternal father and the only begotten son, was not created. His physical body was conceived in the womb of a virgin mortal named Mary by the divine power of God the Father. His spirit was begotten of the Father and he is the Son of God the Father. His Intelligence is eternal and can neither be created or destroyed. He is a divine member of the Godhead which consists of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Since the resurrection, he has a perfected body of flesh and bone. This is official mormon doctrine.

      June 27, 2011 at 10:26 pm |
    • SquareRootOfMinusOne

      Adam, is the following verse part of LDS doctrine: As Man is...God once was...As God is...Man may become? If I understand it properly it says that as man is (created), God once was (also created)... As God is (uncreated), man may become. If this is LDS doctrine, how do you explain this verse?

      June 27, 2011 at 10:40 pm |
    • Adam

      Actually, that verse is not official mormon doctrine. Most mormons believe that it might be true so I won't disregard it. It comes down to the mormon belief that we are each made of 3 parts. Body, Spirit (soul), and Intelligence (a term used to describe our most innate being). Our body comes from our physical parents. Our spirit was created by our Heavenly Father (God the Father). Our intelligence is eternal and can neither be created nor destroyed. We are therefore children of God the Father but He is not completely responsible for who we are due to this eternal nature that we were formed with. Mormon doctrine is actually much more defensible than that of other Christian sects which believe that God created us entirely but is also not held responsible for our imperfect natures.

      June 27, 2011 at 10:53 pm |
    • SquareRootOfMinusOne

      So most Mormons believe that the statement "as man is (created), God once was (also created)... As God is (uncreated), man may become" (as I understand it) to be true? If that so then that is THE major difference between the LDS Church and the Christian Church. Unfortunately, it boils down to the fact that a created being cannot save. Only an uncreated God can impart spiritual salvation. A created being (man or an angel) cannot impart that which he does not have. If Jesus was in fact created then we are greatest of fools. This issue was fought and won over many moons ago when the Arianism was defeated.

      June 27, 2011 at 11:07 pm |
    • California55

      As a devout LDS believer, I really don't know.
      We believe he is God's son, so on that line of logic I would say yes he was created by Father in Heaven. The term "Son" to me, means that the "Father" existed first.
      Now, unless God comes out and answers iit, how would that be a "simple" question? =)

      June 28, 2011 at 12:34 am |
    • SquareRootOfMinusOne

      The Book of John says that all created things were created by Jesus, and that no created thing exists which Jesus did not create. So Jesus is not a creation or otherwise he would have had to create himself. The Book of John contradicts Mormonism to the core from which Mormonism cannot recover.

      June 28, 2011 at 12:58 am |
    • AnnoyingHappyGuy

      > Was Jesus created?

      Adam's answers are correct. What you are asking is, "Do Mormons believe that Jesus was a man and not divine?" Mormons believe that Jesus lived like a man and experienced the joys and pains of mortality and the human condition, but he was not a mere mortal. He was and is the Son of the Living God, a God himself who paid the price for our sins and overcame death. He willingly laid down his life and took it back–something we mortals cannot do.

      As to our potential to be like Him and His Father, there are many scriptures in the Bible which tell of the glory that awaits those who accept Christ as Savior and follow His teachings:

      Revelation 3:21 "To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne."

      Matthew 24:47 (42-47) v45 "who then is faithful and wise..." v47 "Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods."

      Galatians 4:7 "Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ."

      Matthew 5:48 "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect. "

      Leviticus 19:2 "Speak unto all the congregation of the children of Israel, and say unto them, Ye shall be holy: for I the LORD your God am holy."

      I Peter 2:21 "Christ ... [left] us an example, that ye should follow his steps."

      John 14:12 "He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also."

      II Corinthians 3:18 "But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord."

      Ephesians 3:19 know the love of Christ which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.

      II Thessalonians 2:14 God "called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ."

      Phillippians 2:5-11 "Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: "

      June 28, 2011 at 1:33 am |
    • SquareRootOfMinusOne

      AnnoyingHappyGuy, unfortunately you are redirecting the discussion to the immanence of God. That is not what I'm asking. I am asking about the transcedence of God, i.e., that fact that his nature is uncreated. Could you do me a favor? Is there an official Mormon doctrine that explicitely says that Christ is uncreated and was never created or are you and Adam a small minority?

      June 28, 2011 at 7:02 am |
    • Brian

      Jesus created the physical realm, but the spirit realm is eternal. Neither Jesus nor mankind were created, but existed eternally. Something with no end has no beginning. Also, the word "created" is more appropriately interpreted as organized. Matter can neither be created or destroyed, but is reorganized. Our bodies are finite. We have a physical beginning and a physical end, but...1) our soul/spirit lives on forever and 2) the material that was our body returns to dust and is reorganized and "creates" something new from the existing materials. Too philosophical? Well, Mormonism is not as black as white as this threat and article makes it out to be.

      July 3, 2011 at 2:41 am |
    • Brian

      thread, not threat. Sorry.

      But in short. No, Jesus was not created, and he was God before the creation of the earth.

      July 3, 2011 at 2:42 am |
  2. Brian

    The Mormon religion is a very, very conservative Christian religion. Their roots are pretty out there, but then again, so are the roots of so many other religions. People still practice religions such as one that was created so a king could get a divorce. It really doesn't matter. It is just a matter of how they practice their religion, and interact with the rest of society. In this regard, they are no different than the devout of Evangelists, Protestants, Catholics, or any other Christian religion.

    By the way, it is pretty hard to hear Jon Huntsman, Jr. being called a Mormon. It may be his religion on paper, but while he was governor of Utah, he did not legislate based on what Temple Square was telling him to do. More than I can say for the idiot that he left us with when he took the job as ambassador to China.

    June 27, 2011 at 9:51 pm |
  3. Byron Alexander

    I di not give a flip whether Obama prays or not. He could prance around shaking bones for all I care. we did not vote him in as high-priest.

    June 27, 2011 at 9:34 pm |
  4. dilberth

    I was going to post a comment but seeing so many have already been posted, I decided against it.

    June 27, 2011 at 9:32 pm |
    • larry fembot (not my real name)

      Thanks for telling us why you weren't commenting. I'm not sure I could have made it through the day otherwise.

      June 28, 2011 at 1:31 am |
  5. John Kindle

    This long-time Catholic cannot understand all the anti-Mormon comments in this post. The Mormons I know are kind, law abiding church going citizens. A Mormon church was built right across from the Catholic church I go to; we have a much larger congregations and the Mormon church that we Catholics could use their parking lot as ours was overflowing. That is what Christians should do.

    Those of you blasting the Mormons are most likely liberals and are doing so early on in case one of the Mormons campaigning for the office of president becomes the Repub candidate.

    Question: Why are you not criticizing Obama for not going to any church and not joining one? Now that is what you should be criticizing. He is now president and should lead this nation in pray, praying that all the harm he has done to this country can be corrected by the next president, not him of course.

    June 27, 2011 at 9:21 pm |
    • T Man

      John, thank you for your kind comments. By any chance are you from the Harrisburg, Pa., area? My LDS ward there had such a parking agreement with the Catholic Church next to ours, though it was the diocesan headquarters. All the best to you.

      June 27, 2011 at 10:34 pm |
  6. Byron Alexander

    No religion is "right." And no one knows any more than any one else about god and His/Her (should be genderless) intent. Jesus was likely a Jewish version of Martin Luther and got whacked for challenging the established church. Most religions have a good moral basis and are then perverted by the greatest of sins, self-righteous. Smith and the Mormon bit is very obviously a fraud but that does not mean that a lot of Mormons aren't good people.

    June 27, 2011 at 9:21 pm |
    • Adam

      If no religion is "right" then all religions must be "wrong". Your opinion is that there is no absolute. Which in itself is an absolute and therefore self-contradicting.

      June 27, 2011 at 10:45 pm |

    @Lisa ... it doesn't take a science rocket to acknowledge the facts supporting mormonism to be non-Christian and a cult.

    June 27, 2011 at 8:50 pm |
    • Adam

      It also doesn't take an English major to repudiate your facts.

      June 27, 2011 at 10:30 pm |
    • Brian

      Does it take a science rocket to know that the phrase is "rocket scientist?"

      July 3, 2011 at 2:45 am |
  8. Agostino Marfella

    you know what ? i believe what i believe. one thing in know. God talk to me every day and i talk to him everyday, this count, and also what he deed for me all my life until now, and where i am now is my decision. i am 56 year hold, mature whit lots experience an knowledge plus education to know what i am doing, i recommended everybody to go in one of L D S CHURCH AND SPEND SOMETIMES IN THE GOSPELl AND BIBLE CLASSES like i deed...

    June 27, 2011 at 8:38 pm |
    • A_MUSING

      Sorry ... the gospel of Jesus is not taught there.

      June 27, 2011 at 8:51 pm |
    • Adam

      Mormons definitely believe and teach from the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. I believe those include the Gospel of our Savior Jesus Christ.

      June 27, 2011 at 11:07 pm |

    CORRECTION ... Plagarism is Joseph Smith's middle name. Egyptian ... yeah, only an UNinformed person of biblical history would believe that.

    June 27, 2011 at 8:08 pm |
    • Bjolls

      A_MUSING What is the cause of you personal vendetta against The Church of Jesus Christ?

      June 27, 2011 at 8:35 pm |
    • Bjolls


      June 27, 2011 at 8:38 pm |
    • A_MUSING

      @Bjolls ... I'm sorry that your perceptions are misguided, mormonism is clearly and factually anti-Chrisitian; an anti-Christ cult.

      June 27, 2011 at 9:08 pm |
    • A_MUSING

      @Bjolls ... are you saying that you've swallow the hook, line an sinker on the claimed reformed Egyptian language ?

      June 27, 2011 at 9:12 pm |
    • Brian

      Reformed Egyptian is not a language. It is a name given to a writing style that essentially shorthands Hebrew using Egyptian characters.

      The phrase "Reformed Egyptian" appears in exactly one Book of Mormon verse:

      "And now, behold, we have written this record according to our knowledge, in the characters which are called among us the reformed Egyptian, being handed down and altered by us, according to our manner of speech." – Mormon 9:32

      July 3, 2011 at 2:50 am |
  10. God

    You can't mix the Real Bible with the falsehoods of Morornizim, there better off on drugs then to follow such BS lies

    June 27, 2011 at 8:05 pm |
    • Bjolls

      In the many versions of the "real bible" which one are you referring to?

      June 27, 2011 at 8:10 pm |
    • A_MUSING

      Perhaps this short clip may point you in the right direction for serious research ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cbfns6xjNQ4&feature=related ... your comment supports mormomism's highest crime to influence their members to distrust the Bible YET audiously claims to be Christian is ludicrious.

      June 27, 2011 at 9:17 pm |
    • Brian

      That didn't really answer the question.

      July 3, 2011 at 2:54 am |
  11. A_MUSING

    *Extreme* persecution claim is a falsehood, I doubt there were more than 20 victims, where compared with millions of Christians. Joseph Smith was killed for overt pervertness (again) to a teenager and for treason to the US of A. He did not die as a hero or martyrdom. Joseph Smith failed biblical tests, a trialed criminal and a pervert. Mormons do not want non-members to learn the truth about their history. Anyone who seeks real facts about the history of mormonism, may easily find answers at utlm.org (the more mormons attack this site and those who resigned from that cult, only proves just how fearful mormons are of the truth becoming public knowledge). The highest crime of mormonism is to influence their members to distrust the Bible, that alone shows mormonism clearly to be anti-Christ. While JKF honored his word regarding the Pope not to influence his decisions, mormons take an oath in their temples and will follow whatever their prophet says or they will lose their temple recommend or special pass into their temples and be jeopardizing their eternal blessings to make babies for eternity and becoming gods. Should a mormon obtain the presidential seat ... country would take back seat with mormonism. Furthermore, the first case of socialism in the US of A was with mormons.

    June 27, 2011 at 7:54 pm |
    • Jack

      The Mormons I experienced in Salt Lake City were a bunch of self-absorbed racists jerk-offs who did NOT practice what they preached!!! My family and I were welcomed with open arms, but soon after they learned we were Catholic and wouldn't convert, we were shunned... They don't have a chance in 2012!!! GOBAMA!!!

      June 27, 2011 at 8:07 pm |
    • Bjolls

      Not everyone is perfect Jack. As a member of The Church of Jesus Christ I certainly understand that and don't generalize one persons deeds on an entire race or nation.

      June 27, 2011 at 8:13 pm |
    • Agostino Marfella

      I became a member in 2009. After i heaved the opportunity to understand the church of the L D S called also Mormon church, i am proud to be a part of the church.And this is my comment.. I am from Italy.

      June 27, 2011 at 8:15 pm |
    • Bjolls

      ..and most certainly not on a religion or belief.

      June 27, 2011 at 8:15 pm |
    • Agostino Marfella

      I have been cut off, in the middle, this church is the church of Jesus Christ Please no politics or any necessary involvement in charity, self discrimination, i have been a christian since i was 5 years hold.M My relation with God is so strong

      June 27, 2011 at 8:25 pm |
    • A_MUSING

      @Jack ... yes, mormons in Utah are the worst. You would find that superficialness diluted the farther out from Utah, yet everything else remains including to manipulate non-members to join their cult.

      June 27, 2011 at 9:24 pm |
    • A_MUSING

      @Bjolls ... you said ///Not everyone is perfect/// ... obviously, accountability is not a common action verb within mormonism.

      June 27, 2011 at 9:32 pm |
    • A_MUSING

      @Agostino Marfella ... whether you live in Italy or Nigeria or Hong Kong ... you will never ever be able to provide FACTS to support your brainwashed emotional claim that mormonism is Jesus Christ's church simply because the Bible states otherwise. Why else would mormonism influence their members to distrust the Bible? Because the Bible *clearly* warns about the mormon cult. I challenge you to seriously investigate facts (starting at utlm.org) and should any other member advise you not to with absurd arguments to keep you away from discovering GOD's truth ... trust in Jesus Christ and not Joseph Smith. Your salvation depends on it.

      June 27, 2011 at 9:44 pm |
    • Segev Stormlord

      I really, really don't get where people come up with the idea that mormons distrust the Bible. It's one of our core scriptures. We study it in sunday school and our teenagers spend two years studying it in seminary. Saying we distrust the Bible is like saying Muslims distrust the Koran.

      July 7, 2011 at 12:33 pm |
  12. jack

    7. Mormon men are expected to perform two years of missionary work beginning when they're 19 years old. Women can also do missionary work when they turn 21, but there is less pressure to do so.

    First off...stop thinking of it as work. If you're doing it right it shouldn't be. Also, missionary isn't the only way to do it. Lastly, I'm sorry to hear that there's less pressure for women to do it.

    June 27, 2011 at 7:36 pm |
    • Bjolls

      First off, when you get the chance to meet a mormon who served an honorable mission you'll know that not a single day of those 2 years was work to them. Second, we know it's not the only way. The Church of Jesus Christ is one of the largest humanitarian giving organizations in the world. Giving countless hours of labor, food and shelter in areas of catastrophie throuout the world. Finally, if you understand their beliefs you understand the great responsibility for men to serve and live worhty to their priesthood covenants(serving a mission is within those covenants). Women have equal opportunity to serve a mission and throughout the church leadership, however they are seen as not only equals but respected highly for their motherly and nurturing roles. So if women choose ot to it is still a great honor however else they find ways to serve others.

      June 27, 2011 at 7:49 pm |
    • Bjolls

      If you really want to know Mormons beliefs you have to see how they live their lives. This story is very basic and just facts. Not how they fully views things or live their lives. Go to Mormon.org

      June 27, 2011 at 7:52 pm |
    • Bjolls

      Or just reach out and meet a Mormon! That's how I like to discover other beliefs. I find it more appropriate and much more affective to get it from the source and see people in action. I enjoy friendships of Catholics, Lutherans, Baptists, Muslims, Budists, and hope for many more to come.

      June 27, 2011 at 7:59 pm |
    • A_MUSING

      @Jack ... yes, you are correct. Because mormonism claimed it is *work* for many years, European countries are now beginning to limit their intrusion under labour laws by taking jobs away from locals and SLC headquarters are scampering about like rats with their tails cut off trying to find loopholes to continue invading the privacy of citizens.

      June 27, 2011 at 9:55 pm |
    • A_MUSING

      @Bjolls .... you said ///Or just reach out and meet a Mormon! That's how I like to discover other beliefs. I find it more appropriate and much more affective to get it from the source and see people in action.///

      I say ... use the brains God gave ya and research the FACTS instead of accepting an invitation to bite the same fruit of deception.

      June 27, 2011 at 10:02 pm |
  13. Absolutely

    Mormon's faith maybe peculiar as it may seems, but one thing for sure all of the doctrines and teachings are for the good and welfare for each and every members likewise to the people of the community that they may all (members or not) prosper in the land (both)spiritually and temporally.

    And going back to the topic, either Huntsman or Romney would make the best President America ever have.

    June 27, 2011 at 7:22 pm |
    • A_MUSING

      Only a cult follower would say something like that :///

      June 27, 2011 at 10:03 pm |
  14. Repressed in Idaho

    SOUTH PARK EPISODE 712. Nuf said. I have lived in a mormon culture my entire life. What a bunch of self absorbed hypocrites. NEVER TRUST A MORMON are local words to live by. Another great glimpse into the world of mormons is a true story called THE MORMON MURDERS. If a mormon becomes president, we are all in big trouble:(

    June 27, 2011 at 7:20 pm |
    • A_MUSING

      They are a suffocating superficial group, yes.

      June 27, 2011 at 7:58 pm |
  15. Byron Alexander

    A cult that made it. Harder to do nowadays-the ATF might come get you.

    June 27, 2011 at 7:19 pm |
  16. greytunes

    Mormon folk are good people, and, as with any organization, its the leadership that comes into question. The Mormon histories of Mountain Meadows, the Grand Canyon, and other ventures established by the church, show the leadership to not be as "Christian" or "LDS" as the publicity states. God knows where to find me if he wants to party, I don't need a qurom of hypocrites or a pope telling me how to live.

    June 27, 2011 at 6:37 pm |
  17. Brian


    I do not disrespect Mormons themselves, just the history and doctrines that came from Joseph Smith. I will belittle JS all I want because he was a liar. Your martyr comment is meaningless. He could have believed it himself. Doesn't make it true.

    In addition to researching the origins and translation of the Book of Abraham, I suggest you look into the Egyptian Alphabet and Grammar that he came up with. Hilarious stuff. Has nothing to do with "real" Egyptian, but nobody in Nauvoo knew better so he could say whatever he wanted and they believed he was amazing. Kinderhook plates. Zelph. Polyandry. Fanny Alger. Telling the world Mormons didn't practice polygamy years after he did personally. Man has only been on the earth for 6,000 years. Universal flood. Need I go on?

    Mormons are good people. The stories of their founder are ridiculous and even most Mormons don't know them.

    June 27, 2011 at 6:06 pm |
  18. CRAIG

    As far as baptizing for the dead, the bible does not condone, it warns against.

    June 27, 2011 at 6:00 pm |
    • Bjolls

      1 Corinthians 15:29. Shows there has always been baptism for the dead. This scripture is showing there is a resurrection and life after death. That's why it asks "why would they be baptized for the dead?" But I understand millions of people have questions and confusion about the Bible. That's why God gave us additional scripture that testifies of the truths in the Bible and shows how it is correct. There was only ONE translation of the Book of Mormon and it was under Gods direction and power. As members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints we use both as well as direction from a living prophet on the earth to guide The Savior's Restored Gospel.

      June 27, 2011 at 6:44 pm |
    • cody

      it's actually referring to the resurrection. speaking to skeptics of the resurrection of all mankind, it says, "if the dead rise not at all, then why are they then baptized for the dead?" it is not saying to avoid baptism for the dead, it is merely saying, 'why then, if you don't believe in the resurrection, are you baptizing for the dead?"

      There's actually a lot of evidence in the ancient christian church of baptism for the dead. it was likely one of the doctrines omitted during the purging of texts and doctrines in the 4th century.

      June 27, 2011 at 6:51 pm |
    • Bjolls

      Exactly 🙂

      June 27, 2011 at 7:08 pm |
    • A_MUSING

      Those mormons cherry-picking scriptures to support their false doctrine only prove they have been denied to comprehend let alone study ,,, contextual context.

      June 27, 2011 at 8:01 pm |
    • Brian

      What is said is there is so much suppression by Christian groups against Baptism for the Dead because they don't want to validate Mormons. But the simple truth is, Biblical and historical scholars are finally beginning to show the full extent that this practice had in the first century BC. Of the many things Joseph Smith gave insight on, this one is spot on.

      June 27, 2011 at 9:40 pm |
    • A_MUSING

      The Bible absolutely does not instruct this practice. Conditioned or brainwashed mormons can easily find the truth if they contextually read the scriptures.

      June 27, 2011 at 10:09 pm |
    • Segev Stormlord

      On the contrary, A_MUSING, the more we read the Bible and seek out context, the clearer our practices become as preached in the Bible. Try reading for context rather than cherry-picking according to anti-mormon web sites and books, yourself.

      July 7, 2011 at 12:37 pm |
  19. pappy

    WOW. people have so much hatred. These comments are really sad to read.

    June 27, 2011 at 5:51 pm |
    • A_MUSING

      LOL ... what is sad, are mormons claiming to be Christians instead of admiting they are actually Smithians.

      June 27, 2011 at 8:02 pm |
    • Adam

      Book of Mormon, 2 Nephi 25: 26 And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins.

      June 27, 2011 at 11:12 pm |
  20. Sy2502

    Joseph Smith was a fraud, he didn't know how to translate Egyptian, he made the whole thing up. And gullible people fell for it, and continue to fall for it. Smith made up an entire alternative history of America which has been shown to be bogus, but people still fall for it. Is there no limit to how stupid and gullible people can be?

    June 27, 2011 at 1:24 pm |
    • Montanamormon


      I agree that Joseph Smith did not know how to translate (Reformed) Egyptian. But God Did, and if you believe in God, than anything is possible with him. Once you write 239 chapters on prophecy and history that does not contradict itself or the Bible in over 500 pages of text....I will accept your claim that Joseph Smith was a fraud. Also, you have to do all of this in a 3 month time frame.
      Whether you do or you do not believe in God, then I will gladly allow you your own belief without insulting your intelligence.

      June 27, 2011 at 2:41 pm |
    • Brian

      Montnamormon-Joseph Smith had from 1820 until 1829 to come up with the story. Sure it got reduced to its final form in a few months, but it could have been conceived and in some form over the period of years.

      Smith did not know anything about Egyptian. This has been proven by every Egyptologist who has examined the Book of Abraham papyri. The translations of the existing facisimiles in the book of Abraham have been described as nonsense by every non-LDS Egyptologist who have compared the papryi to the "translation".

      I believed this garbage for 40 years until I decided to get rid of the fairy tales.

      June 27, 2011 at 2:55 pm |
    • Discovega

      A lot of people didn't believe Moses, Noah, Abraham, Isaiah, John the Baptist or Jesus either...does that make all of them frauds? A prophet may be a hard thing to understand, but God has always had a prophet he has used to get his word out...it was true in days of old, and it's true today. I know it must to hard to except how God works, but, like it or not, that's how God works.

      June 27, 2011 at 3:11 pm |
    • Montanamormon


      Would something that you just "made-up" be worth dieing for? Joseph Smith Never denied what he saw or did. If it were a lie, then there was no point in him persisting with the lie when he knew death was imminent. As for the "garbage" which I readily believe, I find it amazing that so many out there encourage the diversity of our nation, yet reject any 'diversity' that does not agree with their own personal beliefs. I believe in your status as a child of God. In fact, I believe we all are Children of God whether we be white, black, gay, or straight. I try to be kind to everybody because I know their potential. If you went from a member of The LDS faith where you did not criticize others beliefs, to a hate monger who cannot stand the thought of somebody thinking differently from you, I would submit that it was a move in the wrong direction. I would also submit that if you were an LDS member who couldn't stand others who think differently from you and then renounced your faith to become more understanding of all beliefs, THAT would also be a move in the right direction. Please do not criticize our beliefs, I have only ever seen good come from people who abide by the precepts taught in the Book of Mormon. Good works certainly are not garbage.

      June 27, 2011 at 3:29 pm |
    • I_get_it

      montana: "Would something that you just "made-up" be worth dieing for?"

      Would it be for David Koresh? Jim Jones? The Heaven's Gate cult? Mult'itudes of Muslim suicide bombers?

      June 27, 2011 at 4:25 pm |
    • Montanamormon

      Valid point. But I also think it would be for John Wycliffe, Martin Luther, William Tyndale, and John Calvin. All seeking to improve the quality of life, not destroy it.

      June 27, 2011 at 4:50 pm |
    • mtngrl78

      The Bible has been proven to be fabricated in many ways, but still serves as a guideline for Christianity. Parables are Fables, fables are stories with a moral. Give me a break. You sound so under educated when it comes to religion with your one simple comment here. You obviously have little knowledge about religion and the belief that the Spirit works through people and therefore allows them to do things they couldn't otherwise do. Grrr.....you frustrate me.

      June 27, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
    • A_MUSING

      Plagarism is Joseph Smith's middle name. Egyptian ... yeah, only an informed person of biblical history would believe that.

      June 27, 2011 at 8:05 pm |
    • A_MUSING

      It is interesting to note frustrating comment from mtngrl78 ultimately supports mormonism's highest crime to inflence their members to distrust the Bible.

      June 27, 2011 at 8:07 pm |
    • i wonder

      A_MUSING: Perhaps you would be better off looking at the inconsistencies and unbelievability of your own fantasy scenarios.

      June 28, 2011 at 3:23 am |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.