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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. Rob

    Gladys Knight is a Mormon? I thought Mormons thought that dark skin was a curse?!?!

    October 8, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  2. ODR

    If you really want to know who the Mormons are, instead of read or listen this people who don't have a complete idea about the Mormonism call to the LDS Church and ask for information, or look for http://www.mormons.org, or speak with any of the LDS missionaries, then you will really know about the Mormons directly from them and not from another people. Mormons believes in Christ the same Jesus Christ as the Catholics, protestants and other religions believes.

    October 8, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  3. Patricksday

    Mormons are a very clickie group they only do business with their own, or associate with people but their own religious kind. But then if your going to lie with dogs (the GOP) you can expect to get crabs, fleas and other parasites that love to feed off of others.

    October 8, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
    • j777

      I'm a Mormon and some of my best friends aren't Mormon! I love people for who they are, not what they believe. And to say "they only do business with their own" isn't a very factual statement. No Mormon businesses would survive! You should come visit me, we could be good friends. I won't convert you to Mormonism, but I can convert you to Mormons!

      October 8, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  4. Errol Jones

    J777....Yes..I agree with you. I should Not come back in anger, but it is so hard sometimes to not go there, when you are always put down and by people who have not even looked into your religion. I never do that with other people's religions.
    I will now shut my mouth and say no more.

    October 8, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  5. Ian Guzman

    Let the party of bigots eat themselves alive. The god of Abraham must be sadden to see his followers (Christians, Jews & Muslims) bicker on whom is the better... whom is right... whom god loves.

    OM... GOD... you worship the SAME god whom you do NOT know in person and in the flesh!!!
    This coming from an agnonstic whom DOES appreciate religions for the most part, but HATES the IGNORANCE that religion brings.

    THE GOD OF ABRAHAM SHOULD BE SAD.... I'd be sad if I were away with my own children fighting over whom they think I would choose as their favorite. SELFISH RELIGIOUS FOLLOWERS.... WAKE UP TO YOUR OWN TRUE FAIT!!!

    October 8, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
  6. DiscipleofElijah

    I can accept a Jew as a Jew with their beliefs. I can accept a Muslim as a Muslim with their beliefs. I can accept a Buddhist as a Buddhist with their beliefs. What I can't accept is the LDS claiming to be a mainstream Christian Church.

    If the LDS Church would just admit that they have a different God, a different Jesus and that they only accept the Bible as the divine, inspired word of God if it is translated correctly.

    God spoke directly to the authors of the books of the Bible who wrote what God commanded. The Bible does not need to be supplemented by the Book of Mormon, Doctines and Covenants and Pearl of Great Price, the Bible speaks for itself.

    If the LDS Church is going to accept Joseph Smith, Brigham Young and others as their prophets, they should simply admit the differences in their beliefs with mainstream Christian beliefs and quit trying to "piggyback" mainstream Christianity. The LDS Church doesn't even come close to what mainstream Christians believe.

    October 8, 2011 at 5:12 pm |
    • j777

      I am a Mormon and I believe in Jesus Christ and the Bible. I read it and study it as intensely and even more intensely than my other Christian friends. Sir, we are Christians as far as the New Testament defines it.

      October 8, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
    • Disciple of Christ

      The first of the LDS Church's 'Articles of Faith' state 'We believe in God the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost.' Good sir, I respectfully, yet vehemently disagree with your comments. I agree with you that God spoke directly to the authors of the Bible; God also spoke directly to the authors of the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants and Pearl of Great Price. As the Savior taught, 'by their fruits ye shall know them' (Matt. 7:20) The Book of Mormon is another testament of Jesus Christ, supported by the Biblical teaching that 'in the mouth of two or three witnesses, every word may be established (Matt. 18:16). It teaches its readers to 'talk of Christ...rejoice in Christ...preach of Christ...prophesy of Christ...that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins' (2 Nephi 25:26). If you believe in a different God than the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the same God that led the Israelites out of captivity in Egypt and the God who sent forth His only Son to die, and be resurrected for ALL mankind, then yours is not the same God that Mormons believe in. If you believe in a different Jesus than Jesus of Nazareth, who was born of Mary in Bethlehem, then yours is not the same God that Mormons believe in.

      I will agree with you that the LDS Church does not conform to, as you call it, "mainstream Christianity"; rather, Mormons believe in the restoration of Bibilcal Christianity, a restoration of the same Church that Christ established during His mortal ministry. I find it interesting that, even in His day, Christ's disciples were never 'mainstream'. I reject the notion that the LDS Church is attempting to 'piggyback' on 'mainstream Christianity'. I do believe, however that the Church is making an effort to build relationships with other Christian organizations to build solidarity in the face of ever increasing moral decay on the basis of common moral standards. I also believe that the Church, is trying to combat the falsities being promoted, painting members of the Church as 'non-Christian weirdos with a conspiracy to take over the world'.

      October 8, 2011 at 5:54 pm |
    • DiscipleofElijah

      @Disciple of Christ; I'll just take one thing you say to substantiate that most LDS members don't know their own scripture very well.

      You stated; "If you believe in a different Jesus than Jesus of Nazareth, who was born of Mary in Bethlehem, then yours is not the same God that Mormons believe in."

      The Jesus I believe in was born in Bethlehem.

      From the Book of Mormon, Alma 7:10 states; "And behold, he shall be born of Mary, at Jerusalem which is the land of our forefathers," etc.

      Here you have a contradiction. The Bible says Bethlehem, but the Book of Mormon which I just referenced says Jerusalem. Is the Bible correct or is the Book of Mormon correct? The Book of Mormon is full of contradictions with the Bible. Joseph Smith was not well versed on scripture. You are following the beliefs of a false prophet.

      October 8, 2011 at 6:36 pm |
  7. jkelly

    Why is it that Mormonism is only brought up when Republican Candidates are involved? Harry Reid is a Mormon in good standing.

    And, by the way, want to know something about a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints? Talk to one. Don't spread mistruths. You probably have one you work with, or in your neighborhood, or checks you out at the grocery store. We are very similar to the rest of Americans. We are hard working, productive citizens who love our families and believe Jesus Christ is our savior, whom we love.

    We follow him and just try to be good, decent people.

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

      Religions are silly.. And we vote these denationalised in office? People who believe in talking snakes? \

      Pure silliness.

      October 8, 2011 at 5:07 pm |
    • j777

      I agree wholeheartedly with what you are saying. And if you'd like to read a legit list of beliefs instead of bullet point facts about the church, I invite you to read

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

      October 8, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
    • TheMovieFan

      I am not a Mormon and unfortunately not very religious and definitely not a conservative. When my wife & I moved into our first house in a new development, we learned that we would have Mormons transplanting from Utah. I was thrilled. Before I was married, the neighborhood I grew up in gradually had families replaced with spoiled college students and recent grads (BTW, I am a college graduate from a top school but I was raised properly & did not trash the neighborhood of the off campus house I lived in) who had no respect for where they were living since they would leave in a year or two. With a Mormon family, I could expect peace and quiet from them. It was a pleasant bonus that they were very nice people & I do miss them since they have returned to Utah.

      October 8, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  8. John

    Now that I know that my password works I'll expand a bit.
    I was born in Salt Lake City, Utah, where I lived until 16. My Great Grand Parents were Morman converts who came west wint B. Young.and the wagon train.
    My parents and I were never members of the Morman church. A common guestion asked by teachers in school was'which morman church do you attend', my gtades would plummet, often I'd be sent to the hall while the rest of the class would vote wether to include me in their activities. It was routine for me to be tormenated, and I was depants several times.
    I've never been back to Utah since 1957

    October 8, 2011 at 5:04 pm |
    • j777

      I'm sorry you had that experience growing up. Perhaps, though, it wasn't because of your religious beliefs. I have grown up in Salt Lake and some of my greatest friends have been not been Mormons and at the schools I have attended, they have been embraced as people. I would have to say your experience is unique.

      I might also point out that Mormons are a minority in Salt Lake. In Utah they are a majority. Salt Lake is a great place with diverse people, beautiful scenery and a great symphony! I'd say come back and visit. You might like what you see!

      October 8, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  9. jcom

    To me, religion of any kind is just hocus-pocus BS. Any belief that actually believes that "there's an invisible man, living in the sky" (George Carlin) is completely bizarre. Sorry folks, just face it...when you die, the lights go out and it's all over. Many people frivolously waste their lives and time away preparing for something that will never happn. Try to enjoy your life on Earth because that's all you, or anyone, will ever have.

    October 8, 2011 at 4:58 pm |
  10. Ian Guzman

    WHY DOES CNN (and other broadcastsers) EXCLUDE IMPORTANT TRUTHS

    With all respect to Mormons, cause most all mormans are good americans whom love their country and do think of the good for not just people of their own religion but others and other cultures (minus pre 1978, when blacks could not hold the priesthood and WERE looked at as the sons of CAIN, lesser people under god's eyes in their own eye's).
    Technically it is a cult; why do I say this, cause Mormons believe the the president of their church is their LIVING profit. Not a pope, not a cardinal, not the head guy but actually a devine LIVING profit whom all mormons must submit to UNCONDITIONALLY. Can we say David Koresh! BUT, this is JUST an example as the as Mormons for the most part are NOT krAZs.

    I would vote for a Mormon, I would trust a mormon with my life, I do consider the average mormon a MUCH better person than the average joe out there (including ME).

    WHY DOES CNN (and other broadcastsers) EXCLUDE IMPORTANT TRUTHS

    October 8, 2011 at 4:58 pm |
    • Ryan in Miami

      While Mormons do believe in modern day prophets, how is that so different from other Christians believing in ancient prophets? If God used prophets before, and he is an unchanging God, then why would he not use them anymore? Also, you make a mistake when you say that Mormons have to follow their prophet "unconditionally." Mormons are taught that they should follow their leader's spiritual advice and counsel, but they have their free agency in whether or not they actually do so. Case in point, the issue of gay marriage. The LDS Church worked with several other churches (including Baptists, Catholics, Jews, Etc.) to support the Prop 8 ban on gay marriage in California (where there are more Mormons than there are in Utah). What many people do not realize is that there were also many Mormons who actively opposed Prop 8, for various reasons. That is where Mormons differ significantly from "cults." Mormons are not mindless little drones serving an ultimate leader. They have a spiritual leader whom they call a Prophet, and whether or not they actually follow is between them and their God.

      October 8, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  11. Mark

    I'm Mormon – I think the video was a pretty good synapsis of the church, especially in just a minute or two

    October 8, 2011 at 4:54 pm |
    • j777

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

      To read what the mormons believe, see that link 🙂

      October 8, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
  12. dflye

    One of the m's in Mormonism was actually a spelling error introduced by good ol' Joseph Smith himself after he realized that calling his new "religion" Moronism wasn't working too well.

    October 8, 2011 at 4:54 pm |
  13. John

    If the Book of Morman is the word of GOD why was it changed three times? The last was a requirement of the US before Utah would be admitted to the US.

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

      Uh, no. Only some punctuation and minor grammar changes.

      October 8, 2011 at 5:03 pm |
    • Shade

      Try again. The word God in the original was changed to "son of God" in subsequent translations in multiple places. This can easily be found online, where scans of the original text and the current text are displayed side by side for comparison purposes. The notion that the Book of Mormon remains "as translated" is one of many myths the LDS church leadership knows to be false but continues to perpetuate anyway.

      October 8, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
  14. Erik in Houston

    It is a cult, but, then again, so are all religions.

    October 8, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
    • Ian Guzmn

      With all respect to Mormons, cause most all mormans are good americans whom love their country and do think of the good for not just people of their own religion but others and other cultures (minus pre 1978, when blacks could not hold the priesthood and WERE looked at as the sons of CAIN, lesser people under gods eyes in their eyes).
      Technically it is a cult; why do I say this, cause Mormons believe the the president of their church is their LIVING profit. Not a pop, not a cardinal, not the head guy but actually a devine LIVING profit whom all mormons must submit to unconditionally. Can we say David Koresh! BUT, this is JUST an example as the as Mormons for the most part are NOT krAZs.

      I would vote for a Mormon, I would trust a mormon with my life, I do consider the average mormon a MUCH better person than the average joe out there.

      October 8, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
    • jcom

      Here here!

      October 8, 2011 at 4:59 pm |
  15. cynthia

    Mormons are not Christians because they do *not* believe that Christ was the one true savior. They believe that Christ was one of the great prophets, like Ghandi, or Muhammed. This is why they do not celebrate Christmas. Instead the men believe that, if they are *very* good in this life, they, too will become deities in their own right, married to their earthly wives, whom they will impregnate eternally

    OR

    Ask any Mormon about the practice of "Date 'em, Dunk 'em, Dump 'em"– the process whereby high school girls lure non-Moron boys into converting to Mormonism, and then break up with them. I grew up in Idaho and Northern Utah watching this happen, but didn't know what it was called until a Danish Mormon I met in Germany told me about it. That's *real* Christianity.

    Ask any Mormon. If they're honest, they'll tell you all about it.

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

      This is completely false. Why would you put something like this about someone's religion and apparently know nothing about it? Mormons believe that Christ is the true son of God, and not just a profit. There is no difference between what Mormons and other Christians believe on that subject matter. Also, why would you classify all people of one religious sect to a few that you met along the way. This response is both immature, and a complete fallacy.

      October 8, 2011 at 4:44 pm |
    • brg4q

      Wow! A bunch of posts really got my beliefs wrong!

      First, we believe that Christ is the son of God.
      Second, we do celebrate Christmas. There is very large celebration in Utah by the leader every December remembering Christ's birth.
      Third, as for "changing" the Book of Mormon three times, yes, there have been three major grammatical corrections.

      As for my own experience as being Mormon, I find it unpleasant that people will not let me define my own beliefs. Growing up in Houston I have hundreds of devout people of other beliefs tell me very forcibly that I am not Christian. Although I believe what Paul wrote that only Christ can lead to eternal salvation (see the epistle to the Hebrews), many people tell me that I do not believe that. What more can I say?

      In the end, I have found that when people tell me that I am not a Christian they are really telling me that I do not believe the same thing as they do (although they rarely have any idea what MY beliefs are) and, therefore, am not the same as they are. That is very true. 🙂

      October 8, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
    • jcom

      I call BS on you. You "grew up in Utah and Idaho" and claim that Mormons don't celebrate Xmas?? I'm a non-Mormon living in Salt Lake and Christmas is absolutely, heavily celebrated by Mormons. Temple Square has the largest Xmas light show in the country and is one of the biggest attractions in the state come Nov-Dec.

      With this being said, religion of any kind is a complete joke and a farce. The true opiate of the masses born of the fear of knowing one will eventually die. Sorry folks, when you die, it's all over. Try to enjoy your time on Earth because that's all you will ever have.

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

      Just to be clear...Mormons know that Christ in the one and only Savior. They love and celebrate Christmas. I think you may be confused with Jehovah Witnesses a totally different faith altogether.

      October 8, 2011 at 4:56 pm |
    • Dan who Believes in Santa

      You've got to be kidding, right? I lived in Idaho and you've lost me. Jehova's Witnesses don't celebrate Christmas. Your confusing their beliefs witih Mormons.

      I still believe in Santa and I'm a 35 year old Mormon....at least I help Mrs. Claus on the eve of the 25th along with all of my Mormon neighbors. Ever been to the Mormon temple square at Christmas time that is lit up with Christmas lights more than the tree on Rockefeller Square? How about fact that the Mormon Tabernacle Choir has some of the best all time Christmas Music through Time Life? Jesus the Christ was no prophet. He is the Savior. But, thanks for the attempt to skew the record and give me a little chuckle.

      I was a missionary in Tennessee of all places for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I called it the belt buckle of the bible belt. Yes, I was hoping Tennesseans would join our church, but the best lessons I learned are that there are wonderful, beautiful people of all faiths and there will be folks of all persuasions on both sides of the pearly gates.

      Thanks for the top ten on Mormons in this article. It's spot on.

      October 8, 2011 at 4:59 pm |
    • Correction

      Incorrect, Cynthia. If you are truly interested in knowing what a Mormon, or member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, believes, talk to one, or visit http://www.mormon.org. You might be surprised what you learn. Christ is my Savior – I worship Him as the only One through whom salvation can come.

      October 8, 2011 at 5:02 pm |
    • Dan

      Hey morons, I mean.. mormons.... give ONE historical verifiable proof that those "tribes" in America existed.. It is all myth, of course. And also it is true, you guys believe jesus is the son of god... like you when you become also a god. I am not christian, but obviously you guys morons are not considered christians by large majority of other christians.

      October 8, 2011 at 5:03 pm |
    • Dan

      Why do you lie? We celebrate Christmas like everyone else. Jesus Christ is our savior. Go to lds.org. Learn your facts first please.

      October 8, 2011 at 5:05 pm |
    • Ian Guzman

      Cynthia, I am not a mormon but can tell you that you are mistaken like all the other sects that also classify themselves as Christians.
      Mormons do believe that Christ was their savior.... but also believe that Christ will return for a millenium to rule on earth and teach the truth to those whom either never heard of christianity (as the dead will rise) or those that lets say did not have the opportunity to learn of Christ (lets say some poor muslim lady under control of her man).

      One thing that I can say I do appreciate of Mormons is that... THEY DO NOT BELIEVE THAT ONE WILL GO TO HELL JUST CAUSE YOU EITHER DID NOT HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY OR DID NOT SUBIT TO CHRITIANITY.

      Side note: as for the bible, it is NOT what it originally was; it WAS written by MAN from many different scriptions with MANY other scriptures left out (like scriptures indicating that Jesus DID mary and DID have children). Can we say King James Version, NIV version... not to mention what the Catholic church did to these scriptures over hundreds of years when they influenced what was CHANGED in the bible. Hmm... IGNORANCE SUCKS!

      October 8, 2011 at 5:08 pm |
    • product503

      I'm sorry but you are incorrect in your statement about Mormons in that they do not accept Jesus as the Savior. This is a misconception based on...well I don't know what. Christ is the central figure to the Mormons. They teach that only through him and by him can one be saved in the Kingdom of God. If you heard otherwise...well, they were incorrect.

      October 8, 2011 at 5:14 pm |
    • j777

      I'm an honest Mormon and I will link you to an honest mormon telling you what we believe in a succinct manner.

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

      October 8, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
  16. Dolores

    What about the Mormon belief in many gods? And that God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit are three seperate gods(which definitely goes against basic Christian doctrine) who work together? And that God the Father came from the planet Kolob? And that Satan and Jesus are brothers? There are lots of other core Mormon beliefs such as varying levels of heaven and women not getting to the top level unless they were married and sealed in the temple and then their husband summoning them once he dies. If the men are "good enough" they can become god over their own planet and have infinite celestial s3x in order to create spirit babies. Not exactly in line with mainline Christian doctrine. It is a religion based on works and not grace. The only part that grace plays is to pull you that last little bit if all your good works are not enough. You can't find anything in Jesus' teachings to back up some of these key Mormon beliefs.

    October 8, 2011 at 4:36 pm |
    • DNADEB

      Also, they say that Native Americans are the lost tribes of Israel. DNA studies show absoutely no connection to Jewish peoples. Instead, Asian DNA is the closest.
      Also, hundreds of thousands were killed in intense battles with iron chariots etc in upstate New York but there are no archaeological evidence for any great sophisticated culture.

      October 8, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
    • Sarah

      I really would like to know where you heard that because Mormons (LDS) don't believe in 3 gods, they believe in 1, Heavenly Father. They also believe in his son, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost, but they are not gods. Heavenly Father does not come from the planet Kolob, or any such place. since everyone is the son and/or daughter of God, Lucifer, who's name is also Satan, and Jesus are technically brothers, although we don't go around saying that. Before everyone came down here, Heavenly Father asked for someone to be sent down to Earth as His Begotten Son, and Lucifer, became the 'Father of all Lies', and Jesus answered the call. Lucifer said that if he were sent he would make sure that everyone did what God wanted, and that all the honor would go to himself. Jesus said that he would teach us the word of God but give us free agency to choose right or wrong, and that all the honor would go back to Heavenly Father. Since Heavenly Father chose Jesus' plan, Lucifer became angry and decided to go against god. God banished Lucifer to Earth and all his followers, which is said to be about 1/3 of the people, without bodies. This is why we have temptation here on Earth. There are 3 levels(kingdoms) of heaven: celestial being the highest, then terrestrial, and telestial. Depending how faithful you where on Earth, even not being religious but still trying to be a good person, you'll end up like in the terrestrial or telestial kingdoms. To get into Celestial a man and a woman would have to be married and sealed in the temple, but still being faithful. a husband does not summon a wife, neither the other way around, anybody can get into heaven, unless you say that you sincerely don't believe in Heavenly Father and his Son, Jesus Christ, when you meet them once you're dead, only then will you be sent to 'Outer Darkness'. if anybody is faithful and follows the word of Christ, they will receive tons of blessings, you will also receive all that God has. i don't understand how this wouldn't be similar to Christian doctrine, maybe the fact that we have a Book of Mormon which helps us have a stronger testimony of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ is one, but unless someone comes up with something big that would differentiate LDS and mainstream Christian doctrine, then I don't see the big deal.Yes, we do a lot of work in our religion because without work, we wouldn't be able to share our message with those interested in learning about God and Jesus Christ, the work we do is to help and not to put down other religions, even though we do believe ours is the true church. the church spends the money it has either helping people through hardships, or building churches and temples around the world, and also to advertise the right idea of the church to those who've been mislead with lies about our church. I don't understand too well what you're trying to say by Grace because we thank Heavenly Father for all the blessings he always gives to us through our prayers constantly and ask for help whenever we don't think we can do something alone, for protection from the adversary when we get scared, or about anything that may trouble us. You can't find anything in Jesus' teachings to back up some of these key Mormon beliefs. each Sunday we are reminded of the sacrifice Jesus Christ did for us through the Sacrament, and we do try to keep his commandments. Most of stuff we believe in either comes from the Bible, Book of Mormon, or our church leaders or prophets, and if you online to the church's site, you'll be able to find someone who can help you find how most of our beliefs come from Jesus' teachings.

      October 8, 2011 at 6:37 pm |
  17. JOregon

    This is only a question of curiosity.
    In my work I have spent a lot of time in places with large Mormon populations.
    Rexburg, Idaho Falls, etc.
    In my work I met lots of different people.
    Why is it huge numbers of Mormon families have 7 children?
    That seems to be common with most families.
    Is there a real reason or does it take that many before the – "What were we thinking?" – brain cells kick in.

    October 8, 2011 at 4:34 pm |
    • product503

      Mormons believe that Family is central to God's plan for them and that true joy will come from those family relationships. They also believe that Lord's command to Adam and Eve to multiply and replenish applies to them as well. So, in order to live in harmony with the word of God they often times have big families. This, however, is not a requirement. How many children each couple has is left entirely up to the couple and what they think their Father in Heaven would like them to do. So, it's not uncommon for a mormon family to have one or two children or to have seven as in the case you mentioned.

      October 8, 2011 at 5:01 pm |
    • Bill

      I grew up in a Mormon family of 10 kids. Basically it goes back to the whole "multiply and replenish the Earth" stuff from da Bible.

      October 8, 2011 at 5:07 pm |
    • JOregon

      I appreciate your answers (was out of town for a few days my first chance to read them).
      It just seems there is a huge number that stop at 7.
      I suppose it could just be a coincidence, but most often it ends at 7.

      October 10, 2011 at 1:01 pm |
  18. NW1000

    Also, LDS folks will freely admit that they believe the bible is missing many plain and precious parts, that it is mistranslated, etc...yet they give away millions of these "flawed" books every year.
    Their central teaching, i.e., that God is a man of flesh and bone, is NEVER found in the Book of Mormon; the BOM claims to be the "most correct of any book on earth," yet it does not teach the central idea of LDS about God.

    October 8, 2011 at 4:34 pm |
    • DNADEB

      They have rewritten it many many times. Their BOM of the 20s is different than that of h 50s or the 60s etc. Yes very changeable. The Bible has been the same for centuries and even fragments from the Dead Sea Scrolls show that it has been faithfully copied.

      October 8, 2011 at 4:45 pm |
    • j777

      We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it has been translated correctly. But it is not perfect. It has been through many, many translations. In fact, the Bible that we have today... the oldest one that's been discovered dates to the 9th century (speaking in the King James version). We don't even know where the original bible is.

      In fact, if we're going off the Bible today, Paul wouldn't say he believes in the Bible. And yet, was Paul a Christian? He most certainly was! There wasn't even a Bible back then, and the one that was being written, was much different. Look at the historic facts. Christ never said you had to believe in the Bible to be a Christian. You must try to be like Christ.

      That being said, I absolutely do believe in the Bible. 🙂

      October 8, 2011 at 5:39 pm |
  19. coyote123

    Who, that was a sanitized version of Mormon 101! Where are the magic hat and glasses, the made up "Egyptian" writing, the native Americans lost tribe of Israel? Come on...give us the true nuttiness of this cult we can take it.

    October 8, 2011 at 4:32 pm |
    • NW1000

      If you can find them, reproductions of the original BOM are fascinating to read. A Mormon apologist, Wilford Woodruff, reproduced the BOM, D&C, and Pearl of Great Price some years ago.
      In the original, it promises that if the American Indians would heed the Mormon gospel, their dark skins would turn "White and delightsome." This is why for many, many years dark skinned people were not allowed into the Priesthood, until a "revelation" changed all that.

      October 8, 2011 at 4:36 pm |
  20. NW1000

    Mormons also believe that God the Father is a man, with a body of flesh and bone.
    This is NEVER taught in the Bible or the Book of Mormon.
    They also believe that YOU can become a god yourself, with your own world and kingdom to rule over.
    This idea is NEVER taught in the scripture or the Book of Mormon.
    LDS does NOT believe that the sacrifice of Christ at the cross atones for all sins; some sins, according to LDS, like murder or adultery, can only be atoned for with the blood of the guilty. That is why Idaho and Utah still allow firing squads.

    October 8, 2011 at 4:32 pm |
    • Disciple of Christ

      I'm not even going to address your first two points, which you can easily misconstrue out of proper context; however, I CANNOT stand idly by and allow you to state that Latter-day Saints do not believe that Christ's sacrifice atones for the sin of ALL men. THIS IS NOT TRUE. Mormons base their existence, and even their day-to-day lives on the knowledge that Christ bled for them in Gethsemane and on the cross at Calvary, I hold that very dear to my heart. They also know that He was resurrected on the third day that all mankind might live eternally.

      Say what you will about obscure, misrepresented beliefs out of their proper context, but DO NOT belittle Mormons ardent belief in Christ

      JesusChrist.lds.org

      October 8, 2011 at 6:05 pm |
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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.