home
RSS
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. jennyy

    How can anyone support a religion that molests children. Be it mormons, catholics or the pedophile mohammed.

    October 8, 2011 at 4:28 pm |
    • j777

      Perhaps you are thinking of the FLDS (Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints) which branched off of the Mormon church when the practice of polygamy was disbanded. Their beliefs have since greatly altered and have absolutely no affiliation with the Mormon church anymore.

      October 8, 2011 at 4:32 pm |
    • C

      I assume you mean the FLDS church. In my definition a religion is a group of people that does not harm anyone else and betters the world. You can draw your own conclusions from that.

      October 8, 2011 at 4:34 pm |
    • Errol Jones

      For heavens sake...Please...read..and know what you are talking about, before condemning things that have nothing to do with the LDS CHURCH. You are not even talking about...Mormons...(The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Fay Saints). You are talking about a....break-off crazed group of people who have nothing to do with the Mormon LDS church.

      October 8, 2011 at 4:46 pm |
    • Alan

      I'm a mormon and my Church leaders are always speaking out about the evils of child abuse/molestation.

      October 8, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
  2. Alan

    I'm a Mormon and have never been taught that I should worship Joseph Smith. there is only one Savior and that is Jesus Christ. There is only one way to heaven and that is through Christ. The only reason we talk about Joseph Smith is because the things he taught help us grow closer to the Savior. There is only one purpose of the Book of Mormon, and that is to bring people closer to Christ. It's whole purpose is to testify that he is our Savior, that because of Him we can be forgiven, and because of him we will overcome death. Please read the Book of Mormon.

    October 8, 2011 at 4:27 pm |
    • Errol Jones

      Alan...you have hit the nail on the head! People who no nothing about our religion...are not educated in our teachings. I know of no other religion that would put me closer to Jesus, our Savior..than our religion..and IF people would study up on what they are so big to judge, they would find that it is a religion that believes in our Savior, Jesus Christ. WHY else would you have a church called..THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER DAY SAINTS? It is not called THE CHURCH OF THE MORMONS or THE CHURCH OF JOSEPH SMITH. Please...read and learn. "Judge not, that you may be judged".

      October 8, 2011 at 4:39 pm |
  3. Tell the facts!

    LDS are obsessed with geneology for a reason! Mormons believe their big families will occupy their own planets after death. Also, they don't believe is grace, salvation or the trinity in the same sense as christians. Why no crosses on their temples or headstones? A hornblower named maroni.

    October 8, 2011 at 4:27 pm |
    • j777

      As a Mormon, I do believe in grace, salvation and the trinity, perhaps you are thinking how we believe that Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost are three separate beings, that is correct, but Mormon's are not the only Christian denomination to believe that. Tell me, why worship a cross and to worship Christ? How does that make more sense then having his picture in your your home, in your church, in your heart? However, you will find crosses at our church buildings 🙂

      October 8, 2011 at 4:31 pm |
    • C

      "Tell the Facts" another great question! You are talking about the after life where LDS people believe we have the chance to become as God and create our own worlds as God once did. That is quite advanced doctrine. There are lots of baby steps you are skipping over before you start talking about that. You can't take 2 steps in a marathon then be shuttled to the finish line and claim you ran the race. To non LDS people I'm sure that idea sounds CRAZY! Again, run the marathon then decide for yourself.

      October 8, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
    • Errol Jones

      HA!! Another..."God on Earth"...who don't know...anything...about what he's talking about! Could you put..a little more 'anger' and
      'rage'...into your...raging on..?? I'm sure you have studied and KNOW IT ALL. "read on...Mc Duff!". I don't think you know a thing about the LDS religion. In fact, I KNOW you don't know a thing about our religion, if this is all you have learned..which nothing in what you have said here.

      October 8, 2011 at 4:55 pm |
    • j777

      Don't take offense at Errol's words. He clearly has a deep love and commitment to the church and gets defensive when he feels it is threatened. I feel the same. But Errol, we should respond with kindness to these people, letting them see the pure truth instead of getting angry and insulting. That won't help anyone understand anything. It will just create more anger. Spread the love, brotha. 😉

      October 8, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
    • Alan

      If God knows all, and has all power. If God loves us perfectly. And if God is perfectly happy, logic would only suggest that God wants us to become like him, and has the knowledge and power to help us become like him so that we can have the same joy He has. Yes we are very far from becoming like our Father, however, that is why what the Savior Jesus Christ did for us is so wonderful. He made it possible for us to be forgiven and become clean so that we can reach our full potential

      October 8, 2011 at 5:06 pm |
  4. The Concerned On

    There is no such thing as god.
    You don't need a religion, a church, a pastor, or a congregation to learn how to do the right thing.
    Religion is responsible for the overwhelming majority of hatred, war, and intolerance in the world.
    Free up your mind.
    Learn about how there is no such thing as god.

    October 8, 2011 at 4:24 pm |
    • JOregon

      Thank you God for revealing this information.
      Only God could know this for certain.

      October 8, 2011 at 4:28 pm |
    • C

      I totally agree with every other sentence you wrote. #2 and #4 in particular. 🙂

      October 8, 2011 at 4:39 pm |
    • RevDana

      Your statement that "Religion is responsible for the overwhelming majority of hatred, war, and intolerance in the world." is simplistic and argueably inaccurate. In fact, you seem to be rather filled with hate and intolerance yourself. I completely defend your right to believe as you choose, however, please do not condemn others who believe differently, who seek to promote love, peace, and tolerance from the perspective of their faith, and who try not to judge another without looking in the mirror to see what they are reflecting first. I hope you find peace my friend.

      October 8, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
  5. Dr.Tong

    That's the airbrushed version of Mormonism, prepared by the Mormon Public Relations bureau. Mormons don't tell outsiders what they really believe.

    October 8, 2011 at 4:20 pm |
    • j777

      I'll tell you everything I believe, as a mormon, contact me 🙂

      October 8, 2011 at 4:23 pm |
    • Joe D

      How much time do you have, Dr?

      October 8, 2011 at 4:35 pm |
    • Jose

      Wrong! That is in a nutshell pretty much what Mormons truly and really believe. The details will mostly be expressions of those principles. Not a Mormon but one half of my family have been faithful Mormons for many decades. The rest, I can give my personal experience and knowledge that is a desire to learn and follow the complete (or as they call it "the fullness") of the whole gospel of Jesus Christ as revealed to ancient prophets, apostles and found in the bible and other ancient scriptures.

      October 8, 2011 at 4:37 pm |
    • j777

      I might also add that this article is not what a mormon would tell you they believe, you are correct (though there was nothing inaccurate in the article). Ask a Mormon what they believe and they'll say to you this:

      http://lds.org/library/display/0,4945,106-1-2-1,FF.html

      October 8, 2011 at 4:40 pm |
  6. Anita Hill

    I don't know what Mormons are, but they are not Christians. Tell me why they have a statue of a giant Bull in the basement of their Temple in Salt Lake City?

    October 8, 2011 at 4:18 pm |
    • j777

      I am a mormon and I have a strong faith in Jesus Christ. The oxen in the baptistry of the temple are symbolic of the twelve tribes of israel 🙂

      October 8, 2011 at 4:20 pm |
    • Dr.Tong

      I am SO tired of hearing Mormons lie about their beliefs.

      October 8, 2011 at 4:23 pm |
    • C

      Anita, I'm LDS also, and that is the BEST QUESTION I've ever heard! We were taught the symbolism of the 12 tribes when we are young so I wouldn't have even thought to ask that. But to an outsider touring the temples I bet it looks WAY creepy! That's awesome. Thanks for asking and not assuming we are sacrificing cattle or something. LOL

      October 8, 2011 at 4:25 pm |
    • Jose

      I am not a Mormon but I know most Mormons are very sincere and honest about trying very hard to follow all the teachings and principles of the gospel of Jesus the Christ, the Lord, God and Man who came from Nazareth. If that doesn't in itself make you a true Christian I don't know what else would. I truly believe Mormons are Christian and their religion is if anything -for the purpose of emphasis only- more Christian than many sects and churches you see all over the land.

      October 8, 2011 at 4:41 pm |
    • Alan

      Yea, it seems kind of weird, but it turns out that the temples in the bible also had 12 oxen statues. Example: 2 Chronicles 4: 2-5

      October 8, 2011 at 4:54 pm |
    • Errol Jones

      OH...I can't even believe...this....'a giant bull in their temple'...??? HA! Do you know...what you are talking about? Have you ever been through the temple? NO! If you had been through the temple, you would KNOW there is no...bull...and someone has told you something completely..wrong! I have heard that story before..and (ha)..I have also been asked, before,.."If you're Mormon
      where..are..your..horns?" Sorry...NO Bull..NO Horns...NO Devil...ONLY...Jesus Christ.

      October 8, 2011 at 5:10 pm |
    • C

      Errol. I think you are the one that's never been through a temple. I am LDS and she is right, there is a statue of an ox (actually many oxen) in the temple. See the above referenced scripture.

      October 9, 2011 at 10:29 am |
  7. Byron

    They forgot to mention that until 1976 Blacks could not join the the Mormon church.

    October 8, 2011 at 4:17 pm |
    • j777

      They were more than welcome to join, they just couldn't hold the priesthood. Entirely different 🙂

      October 8, 2011 at 4:18 pm |
  8. Brandon

    "...their beliefs and practices differ from traditional Christianity in key ways, including...wearing special undergarments." Really!? That's the "key way" Mormonism differs from traditional Christianity? Shouldn't the real emphasis concerning how they are different be their view of who Jesus was and why he came? That seems to me to the be the most important thing when trying to distinguish Christianity from Mormonism or Jehovah's Witnesses or any other religion for that matter. Please get someone to write these articles who knows how to major on the majors, not the minors.

    October 8, 2011 at 4:17 pm |
    • j777

      You don't seem to be extremely qualified either. As a mormon I can tell you we believe Christ was born to Mary and Joseph, ministered to people on earth and died for our sins. Not different from any other Christian denominations. We study the Bible with equal intensity as other Christian churches do.

      October 8, 2011 at 4:22 pm |
    • Brandon

      You didn't say anthing about Jesus' nature. Was Jesus God, the second person of the Trinity, of the same substance, power, and eternity as the Father and Holy Spirit?

      October 8, 2011 at 4:35 pm |
    • Alan

      Also, about those undergarments. There not that strange when you really think about it. many times in the bible when God was preparing his people to enter the temple he told them to make holy garments. here are just 2 examples Exodus 28:2 and Exodus 39:1.

      October 8, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
    • j777

      I believe them to be three separate beings. God the Father, his son Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost. As for garments, is it really an issue to you what people wear as underwear? It would probably make sense to you, but for now, get down the fundamentals of what the church believes. I'd be happy to send the missionaries your way 🙂

      October 8, 2011 at 4:45 pm |
    • Brandon

      Honest question: does Mormonism accept the Nicene Creed? The Nicene Creed has functioned for many Christians over the centuries as the bare minimum one must believe to be a Christian.

      October 8, 2011 at 4:53 pm |
    • j777

      We do not believe in the Nicene Creed, but we are Christian under the definition in the New Testament. I would love to discuss the Nicene Creed further with you if you would like. 🙂

      October 8, 2011 at 5:04 pm |
    • Brandon

      I appreciate your willingness to dialogue, but at the end of the day, you cannot change the fundamental building blocks of historic Christianity and still claim to be a Christian. We don't get to define the term however we want. As far as deferring to the Bible for proof for or against, I believe this article does so in a responsible way: http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/justintaylor/2010/08/30/an-faq-on-the-difference-between-mormonism-and-biblical-christianity/print/
      Now, if you want to start referring to the Book of Mormon for validation of your beliefs, that's fine. But understand, when you do that you are changing one of those fundamental building blocks of historic Christianity, aka the Canon, which was set way before 1830.

      October 8, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
    • j777

      In the words of one of our leaders, Elder Jeffery R. Holland (Yale Graduate) I would read the 6th paragraph of this

      http://lds.org/general-conference/2007/10/the-only-true-god-and-jesus-christ-whom-he-hath-sent?lang=eng

      and while you're at it, read other things by this incredible man and other leaders.

      I know without a doubt that this church is the Church of God. With all my heart, I love it. I have felt feelings of despair and darkness when I've been without it (I spent a time of my life in inactivity) but went back to the church because of the truthfulness there is to be found in it.

      October 8, 2011 at 5:59 pm |
  9. m

    the "evidence" in Mexico has been accepted by all non-LDS archeologists as an Aztec city. Compare that to archeological discoveries in Israel that support stories mentioned in the Bible, and there is no comparison.

    October 8, 2011 at 4:13 pm |
    • j777

      I'm not sure I see the relevance....

      October 8, 2011 at 4:46 pm |
  10. tallulah13

    Mormons may be the nicest people in the world, however it doesn't change the fact that if you look at the roots of mormonism, what you find is a con man who finally hit the jackpot.

    October 8, 2011 at 4:12 pm |
    • j777

      Joseph Smith made absolutely no profit off of the church. 🙂

      October 8, 2011 at 4:17 pm |
    • tallulah13

      He got power. He got to tell people how to live their lives and how to think. He got to "marry" a new woman when he tired of the old. As far as I can research, he didn't do any labor to support himself. He was a very successful cult leader, along the lines of David Koresh or L. Ron Hubbard.

      October 8, 2011 at 4:50 pm |
  11. L

    Would you ask a republican what the democrats believe? Why not go straight to the source and talk to the people who believe what they believe in? There is a force for good and evil in the world and this life is not all there is.

    October 8, 2011 at 4:09 pm |
    • Dan, TX

      Did you notice that this article does not answer any questions about what Mormons believe?

      October 8, 2011 at 4:12 pm |
    • tallulah13

      The greatest forces of good and evil on this planet are human, and there is no proof of any gods or afterlife.

      October 8, 2011 at 4:13 pm |
    • David

      Make sure you also talk to people who used to believe in the religion, but don't any more. Ask them why.

      October 8, 2011 at 4:15 pm |
    • j777

      I couldn't agree more. To see a nutshelled list of Mormon beliefs from the people themselves, see

      http://lds.org/library/display/0,4945,106-1-2-1,FF.html

      October 8, 2011 at 4:48 pm |
  12. blessings

    There are many roads to the Father and many are not Christian. And if God doesn't mind, who are we to judge? And, there is much that we can still learn about our individual faith beliefs, i.e. are we really Christian? There are those who believe themselves Christian and they are not, and there are many "born again Christians", who don't accept that Baptists, Methodists, Catholics, etc. are Christians too. Those of us who don't bother others about their faith beliefs and how they choose to worship and follow that faith belief, don't want anyone pushing their beliefs on us either.

    October 8, 2011 at 4:03 pm |
    • Dan, TX

      So religion doesn't really matter to republicans in your view. Any old religion or no religion at all is equally good as long as the people in those religions/non-religions are good. All religions are morally equivalent for republicans.

      October 8, 2011 at 4:06 pm |
    • C

      I didn't see any mention of "republicans" at all in the above post. I think that everyone should think that all religions are good as long as the people are not harming others and bettering the world. Dan I am SO sicking the missionaries on you! HA HA

      October 8, 2011 at 4:17 pm |
  13. David

    Want to know about the LDS Church? Read up on Mark Hoffman. All you will ever need to know.

    October 8, 2011 at 4:01 pm |
    • j777

      No one ever claimed the people in the church to be perfect. Indeed, no one could say they are. Mark Hoffman was a very bad man. But isn't that also like saying "Blondes are dumb" or "Muslims are terrorists"? There are always exceptions to the rules. Mark Hoffman was excommunicated from the church because of what he did. What does that tell you?

      October 8, 2011 at 4:27 pm |
    • j777

      Also, if you have questions about the "goodness" of Mormons, read the facts in this article http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/on-faith/post/why-i-wont-be-seeing-the-book-of-mormon-musical/2011/04/14/AFiEn1fD_blog.html

      October 8, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
  14. Rafael

    When my dad was a teenager, he used to avoid the missionaries when they came to his house. But when he learned that the leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints don't receive any money to preach, teach, and work on their local church callings, he knew that he had found God's church.

    I support gay rights, abortion, and the affirmative action. I support women rights, and I'm all for protecting and helping women that go through divorce. I listen to heavy metal. I don't give a f*** about what people think, and I'm still a Mormon. I learned that, in the end, it doesn't matter what you think. It only matters what you do, and the Church of Jesus Christ is beyond any other church in the world when it comes to doing.

    I think that the church often appears as too conservative, but when you really study what's all about... you see that it's indeed a very liberal church in the prism of acceptance. Many people will disagree with this, though, because there still some church leaders that are quite narrow minded. Some bad apples can make a real mess. When I lived in the U.S., I meet a few leaders that seemed blind to the suffering around them. They judged too fast. Mormons, as they try to avoid the evil things of the world, can appear to have a cold heart.

    But most leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ are very good men. My dad is one of them.

    October 8, 2011 at 4:00 pm |
    • David

      There are good people in the LDS Mormon Church. But they could do more good away from it.

      October 8, 2011 at 4:02 pm |
    • Dan, TX

      Just one question, do you believe that Joseph Smith is as important as Jesus as a teacher for understanding God?

      October 8, 2011 at 4:04 pm |
    • C

      Dan, I'd answer that one with a NO. Just as I assume any Christian would answer the question "Is the Pope as important as Jesus?" They are both servants and receive "revelation" or "inspiration" to pass on to their followers.

      October 8, 2011 at 4:12 pm |
    • Rafael

      @Dan: No, I don't think he's as important. I know what you mean, though. I heard that many times, as I grew up in the church. I think that some church presidents have been wrong at some things, here and there, in the past and present. In my opinion, Joseph Smith is often portrayed as a little too noble by the church. But, hey, I'm not noble either... haha. Besides, would I be willing to lose my life to fight for what I believe?

      October 8, 2011 at 4:20 pm |
    • Dolores

      If what you do is the only thing that matters and what you think is inconsequential, then how do you justify scripture that says all your good deeds are as clanging symbols if there is not love? Or how about you are saved by faith thorugh grace and not by your works? What you think and how you feel is important. If your emotions and thoughts are in the right place, good actions will follow (fruits of the spirit). But some people do "good" things out of obligation and not because they truly want to. Ultimately, people are judged by the content of their heart and not by the things they do.

      October 8, 2011 at 4:21 pm |
    • Errol Jones

      Rarael..You are right in what you say. In ALL OF IT...even to that some leaders (or would-be-leaders) look down on other LDS people who they don't think are 'up to their level' as following in their church. I, too am a Mormon and grew up in central Utah. My family, on one side, is very staunch in their religion, while the other side of my family are..still Mormon, but do NOT feel they are God's on earth, like the others do. I think this happens in ALL RELIGIONS and people putting other members down over others..so that is no different in whichever religion you may be....BUT..the thing that really bothers me, is that when we are called Non-Christians, this has to be coming from people who..do not even KNOW our religion. WE BELIEVE in Christ as our Savior, in God and The Bible...'as far as it was translated correctly'...and IF these people would look into our religion, they would find out that we are just as Christian as they are..that we are peace loving people, we do NOT believe in having more than 'one wife'...(oooh how stupid that is to think that the LDS church preaches that!!)..SO..until they look at our teachings and READ about us, they are still uneducated on our religion.

      October 8, 2011 at 4:32 pm |
    • Rafael

      @Dolores: I was referring to the whole "thinkology" of things. We can have our ideas, and talk about how Joseph Smith copied the Book of Mormon from the View of the Hebrews, and bla bla bla... but, you're right, in the end it only matters what's in our heart.

      I believe that when we love, we care, and we should show that through our actions. It's like in a marriage, I guess. You can think that you love all you want, but until your actions show that... there's no love.

      October 8, 2011 at 4:41 pm |
    • Rafael

      @Jones: So true, my friend.

      October 8, 2011 at 4:42 pm |
    • j777

      No one ever claimed the people of the LDS church to be perfect; Joseph Smith made mistakes, the leaders make mistakes, the members make mistakes. So thank heavens for Jesus Christ, right?? And Rafael is right. Though the church is generally more conservative, that is not to say the members are. Most of my family voted for Obama, and I know my brother is going to again. (*sigh*). If you have any more questions about the church, see mormon.org or read their beliefs from the people themselves at http://lds.org/library/display/0,4945,106-1-2-1,FF.html

      October 8, 2011 at 4:55 pm |
  15. Love for Neighbor

    Christians are politically neutral. This is in harmony with Jesus’ words: “[My followers] are no part of the world, just as I am no part of the world.” John 17:16

    October 8, 2011 at 3:53 pm |
  16. Melissa

    Just out of curiosity–how come people get so upset about the Mormon religion? Do you do the same thing to Judaism? Catholic? Protestant? Lutheran? HIndu? Muslim? What about this makes you so upset?

    October 8, 2011 at 3:52 pm |
    • David

      I am equally hostile towards Scientology and the other cults.

      October 8, 2011 at 3:58 pm |
    • m

      Don't get me wrong, Mormons are very moral and upright people, but they are masquerading as Christians. Their beliefs go against the core doctrines of the the Christian faith. If they stopped calling themselves "Christian" that would be okay. How would like if you were part of a club which held to certain principles and ideals, and then a rogue person visited your club one day and began to act as if they were a part of your club and misrepresenting your principles and ideals? They cannot claim to be Christian, because by definition they believe in different core doctrines. They are a new religion altogether.

      October 8, 2011 at 4:01 pm |
    • Dan, TX

      Was Joseph Smith a prophet favored by God over all others to teach people the truth. In other words, was Joseph Smith as important as Jesus to God. I think Mormons would answer in the affirmative.

      October 8, 2011 at 4:01 pm |
    • C

      Dan see my answer to your question above.

      October 8, 2011 at 4:13 pm |
    • tallulah13

      I'm not upset about it. However, the roots of mormonism are easily investigated, unlike any of the ancient faiths. Discovering that Joseph Smith was a conman before he got his "revelation" sort of puts a cynical light on his religion.

      That said, I believe every religion and every god were man-made, and Saul of Tarsus was perhaps the most successful conman of all time.

      October 8, 2011 at 4:17 pm |
    • C

      Dude, "M"....the "Core Doctrine" of being "CHRISTian" is CHRIST. How does the "Church of JESUS CHRIST of Latter Day Saints" not accomplish that "core"?

      What if you were part of a club and one day someone stopped into your club and said "Wow, your club is great, but have you seen this yet? I really think it will add to your club, you should check it out."? Don't think it would be such a bad thing.

      October 8, 2011 at 4:20 pm |
    • m

      C, I could keep the argument going, but I don't think that will accomplish anything. The fact of the matter is one of us is wrong, and the one of us who is will pay dearly for it in the end. I do honestly pray that you would earnestly seek truth and that God in his mercy would remove the vail from your eyes.

      October 8, 2011 at 4:30 pm |
    • j777

      I might ask... what is a "Christian" if it is not the belief in Christ? I believe in Christ. I believe in the Bible. Strongly. I am a Christian. I am a Mormon.

      October 8, 2011 at 4:37 pm |
    • Alan

      Dan TX,
      I will answer your question. But first I have a question for you. Are you implying that all Christ is is a teacher of truth? because thats what is sounds like. No Mormon believes that Joseph Smith was greater than the Savior Jesus Christ. Yes we do believe that Joseph was called to teach truth, there is nothing new or unchristian about that. The bible itself (which we believe in) is a testiment that God calls imperfect people to preach His gospel. During the 4000 years the bible covers there was always a Prophet to speak for God. Why should today be any different? I believe the burden of proof is on those who believe for some reason God has stopped calling prophets. The Bible never says God will stop calling prophets, in fact there are many scriptues that would indicate otherwise.

      October 8, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  17. R

    Jesus Christ is the savior, the messiah, and that only by following His example and living His commandments can mankind find true happiness and peace in the world today. Joseph Smith is a prophet of God in these latter-days; that through him the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored to the earth. I know this independently of any body else because I followed the council of the New Testament Apostles, ask and ye shall receive.

    October 8, 2011 at 3:52 pm |
    • Dan, TX

      Exactly, if you don't accept Joseph Smith as your savior, you will never understand Jesus.

      October 8, 2011 at 3:59 pm |
    • C

      Dan, in my opinion you've got too much riding on your "Joseph Smith" theory. There is SO MUCH more to the LDS faith then it's first prophet.

      October 8, 2011 at 4:15 pm |
  18. m

    Joseph Smith did have a creative mind, I'll give him that, but I don't think he would have written about Jesus coming to the Americas if he realized 150 years later this truth could so easily have been thrown out by archeology. There is not a shred of archeological evidence supported by non-LDS archeologists that suggests a Jewish tribe settled in the Americas. I've visited the ancient ruins of Jericho, which was leveled thousands of years ago, but on the other hand there is no trace of these more modern cities which the Book of Mormon talks about.

    October 8, 2011 at 3:52 pm |
    • C

      Have you been to Mexico?

      October 8, 2011 at 4:07 pm |
    • m

      sorry C, my answer came out above by accident

      October 8, 2011 at 4:16 pm |
    • David

      It's interesting you say that . . . I have found myself wondering whether he would have gone with the "translation" tack if he had known the Rosetta Stone would ultimately be found. Frankly, he might of. First, Smith was a little delusional. Second, the Rosetta Stone WAS found and only a fraction of Mormons left the church as a result.

      I guess maybe the best way he could have handled it was to prophesy that some day someone would learn how to translate "reformed egyption" and would then assert that Smith had been making everything up. Then, the failed translation would prove the Mormon church is true. Just like the lost manuscript proves the Mormon church is true.

      October 8, 2011 at 4:23 pm |
    • C

      M, Have you been to Jerusalem? I've been to both Jerusalem and Mexico. In Jerusalem there are many specific places where Jesus did many specific things. Where is the proof that those places are correct? Same as Mexico. It's all based on a little doctrine and a LOT of faith.

      On a side note, people can trash the LDS religion all they want. Good LDS people (myself included) are not harming anyone else and are in fact bettering the world (through humanitarian needs). Just as good people of any religion are doing around the world.

      In the end who's right and who's wrong will all be worked out when we die, so why argue about it now?

      October 8, 2011 at 4:32 pm |
  19. free2do

    Joseph Smith was either on drugs, or was just plain coo coo.

    October 8, 2011 at 3:49 pm |
  20. Jessica

    People are always always always always always going to give us flack for my religion. I am a Mormon. I will proudly declare it till my last dying breath and there is nothing than anyone can hurl at me or insult me with that will change that. I don't expect people to just believe this religion. If people really believe what they believe, let them believe it. I just don't think it's appropraite to spend hours writing hate notes on cnn to mormons and how we're horrible polygimists who believe in devil worshipping BECAUSE WE DON'T. If you really want to know who we are, come and ask one of us. Anyone of us would be happy to help answer any questions. I speak for any demonination in any faith in saying that people will always try our faith, but if they're trying it, it must mean that it is something.

    October 8, 2011 at 3:44 pm |
    • Greg

      Jessica, I haven't read any posts that accuse Mormons of being "horrible polygamists" or devil worshipers, but I'm sorry if ugly things have been said to you, here or elsewhere. I've had many peaceful conversations with Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses on my porch, and occasionally in my home. As a Christ-follower, I have no desire to insult anyone. But I do desire honesty and clarity. We should all be willing to clearly state what we believe and why, honestly identifying where we agree and where we differ. We should humbly listen with the purpose of understanding, and possibly learning something new. We may even persuade one another to discard or adopt certain beliefs. This is all part of healthy human dialogue. When evangelicals say that Mormons are not Christians, for most of us this is not intended as an insult, but simply as clarification. Historic biblical Christianity has always had as its bedrock the belief that there is only one God. Period. And that one God is uncreated. And He exists eternally as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. And salvation is only found by God's grace through our faith in God the Son, the Lord Jesus, apart from any works. These are not minor denominational distinctions. These are the tenets of essential Christianity. Every Mormon missionary I talk with eventually admits to polytheism (the belief in many gods). Mormons believe that Jesus was created by God the Father and God the Mother. You even sing about this in your hymnal. And where did the Father and the Mother come from? Mormons believe they were created by other gods who were created by other gods and on and on. Mormonism and biblical Christianity are as different as Islam and Buddhism. We may argue which of these is true, or whether any of them are. But let's not run away from clarity into the fog of ignorance. And let's not sacrifice kindness and humility on the altar of our insecurities.

      October 8, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
    • Alan

      Greg,
      I appreciate the non-offensive way in which you explained your beliefs. I would like to share mine as well. I believe that God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ are 2 distinct beings. There are dozens and dozens of scriptures that validate my belief. I understand that Christ on many occasions claimed to be one with the Father, but he also pleaded with his disciples to be one with each other and one with Him ,as He is one with the Father. I don't believe the Savior actually wants them to be the same person. I also understand that the bible can be taken out of context and that every scripture can be interpretted many ways, which begs the question, how can we actually know the truth? Joseph Smith had the same worries, everyone was telling him different things using the same scriptures. Thats why he read the bible himself and took its advice. Many times the bible says that we should ask and knowledge will be given to us. So thats what he did, and the Father and the Son appeared to him. Whats funny is that up until that point, Joseph Smith himself believed that the Father and the Son were only one being. I promise that if you honesly pray for guidance from God, He will give it to you.

      October 8, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60
Advertisement
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.