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. Harry Kermet

    Here is my problem with Mormonism and people (especially presidential candidates) of this particular faith. I sincerely believe our God is one of science and logic. Mormonism was founded by an adulterer by the name of Joseph Smith. He took this too far by ultimately teaching polygamy to his followers. I don't see how a religion, with a twisted teaching, founded by such an immoral person such as Joseph Smith could possibly be legitimately "from God", even more so suceeded by Brigham Young who had five wives. The Mormon Church still teaches it's followers that women are supposed to be subortinate to their male partners. I used to be Mormon and thus I speak with my credentials here. Mormons will be quick to defend their church, but they are mostly blind followers of a cult and don't know any better.

    October 8, 2011 at 9:53 pm |
    • JayBird

      To take your rational further and attempting to show some level of consistency in said rational, you must also believe that what Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was able to accomplish was irrelevant since he too was an adulterer. I bet you wouldn't agree with that statement because it surely doesn't fit within your distorted perception of freedom of religion with a fundamental inability to keep the political arena secular. You may not be a racist, but you sure are a bigot.

      October 8, 2011 at 10:05 pm |
  2. John Workman

    (1) I am member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

    Website: http://www.lds.org


    Please watch this outstanding motion picture film about the miraculous event when our eternal Father in Heaven, Redeemer God, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit appear together to a young prophet named Joseph Smith in 1820. This divine visitation by our Gods, led to the restoration of the pure gospel principles and true teachings of our Almighty Creator, Jesus Christ.



    Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XN0cit0XFDs




    Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z9cVyTbX1kM


    Website: http://www.mormon.org/free-book-of-mormon/

    (6) The Book of Mormon Testifies of Christ

    The focus of the Book of Mormon is Jesus Christ, His atoning sacrifice and His gospel.

    Website: http://mormon.org/book-of-mormon/


    The crowning event recorded in the Book of Mormon is the ministry of the Lord God, Jesus Christ among the American Indians, soon after his resurrection in Israel” recorded by the Prophet Nephi in 34 A.D, read his writings and account that occurred on the North American continent http://scriptures.lds.org/en/3_ne/11

    In my desire to serve a two-year mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I sought a spiritual manifestation by the Holy Spirit through prayer to provide irrefutable evidence that Jesus Christ is our Redeemer and that he has restored the pure form of his gospel principles, Priesthood and teachings upon the Earth through the modern day Prophet Joseph Smith in the Spring of 1820.

    On August 22, 1990, I finished reading the entire Book of Mormon and then keeled down on my knees one evening to invoke Angel Moroni's promise.

    You can read Prophet Moroni’s promise here in the in the last book of the Book of Mormon, written in 421 AD,

    Chapter 10 verses 4-5: http://scriptures.lds.org/en/moro/10

    4. And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.

    5. And by the power of the Holy Ghost, ye may know the truth of all things.

    I decided to invoke the formula of prayer written by Prophet Moroni.

    Dear Father in Heaven,

    In the name of Jesus Christ please tell me Father in Heaven….is Jesus Christ the Redeemer of the World? I desire to know the truth with all my heart. Is the Book of Mormon true? Is Joseph Smith a prophet of God? Did Joseph Smith the modern day prophet help to restore the Lord’s church by the direction and authority of our God, Jesus Christ?

    Did your son, Jesus Christ visit the Indians in North America after his resurrection in Israel? Is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints the restored and true gospel of Jesus Christ?

    Father in Heaven did you and our Lord God, Jesus Christ appear to Joseph Smith in 1820? I desire to know the answers to these questions with all my heart, mind and soul.

    In the name of Jesus Christ,


    Shortly after I finished the prayer, the Holy Spirit began to witness warm feelings within my mind and my inner body, loving feelings of confirmation that lasted for about 10 to 15 seconds…I received an answer to my prayer from the Holy Spirit!!! At first I thought…WOW! Can this really be happening…

    The Holy Spirit gently echoed feelings of love throughout my body, I followed the witness of the Holy Spirit with my conscious mind, so there is no way I could have generated the feelings because I was tracking the witness within my mind as I followed the Holy Spirit’s witness.

    I immediately received an answer to my prayer and gained my own personal testimony from our Father in Heaven and the Holy Spirit that Jesus Christ is our eternal Redeemer and Creator of the world. He has reestablished his church, called the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

    Our Savior God, Jesus Christ did appear with our Father in Heaven to Joseph Smith in 1820. Jesus Christ did visit the North American Indians after his resurrection and ascension in Israel, 34 A.D. The Book of Mormon is another testament of the divinity of Jesus Christ.

    Please…I challenge you, to read the entire Book of Mormon and formally ask our eternal Father in Heaven, in the name of Jesus Christ if the Book of Mormon is scripture and if the writing of the Indians were translated by the prophet Joseph Smith and if The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is the restored church of our Savior & Redeemer.

    The Almighty Creator of the Earth and Universe is Jesus Christ, the Lord of Hosts in Heaven.

    Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world is our daily and eternal judge; he is our advocate to our Father in Heaven in daily and eternal court. We are judged everyday for our actions and behaviors with our fellow sisters and brothers.

    When Jesus Christ was resurrected from the tomb, he ascended into Heaven; however his omniscient and omnipresent spirit and powers never left his children and creations of the Earth.

    Jesus Christ is the King of the Universe, he overseas and directs the Earth from his throne next to our Father in Heaven’s throne. Our Gods love us, watch and guide over our lives every day!

    Did you know that any questions you have in prayer will eventually be answered by our Father in Heaven, Redeemer Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit.

    I know that Jesus Christ will appear and he will judge our souls upon his return to rule as our King upon the Earth! I share my heartfelt testimony with you in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen

    How incredible to imagine that any question we have will be answered by our Gods!




    (a) Please join Jesus Christ’s Daily scripture and prayer request group on Facebook!


    (b) One of my Dad’s favorite New Testament scriptures.

    Romans 8:28

    28: And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.


    October 8, 2011 at 9:52 pm |
  3. CSX

    Again, they miss the whole point.....Christianity (Catholics and Protestants) belief Jesus is God, the one and only God, forever perfect.
    LDS beliefs Christ was a sinner, a man who became god and is one of many gods, not to mention themselves too.
    See the difference? The very existence of the LDS declared ALL churches dead since Paul and Peter. They believe they are the ONLY true church. Whereas Christians believe any believer can be saved.

    So LDS declared ALL churches as cults FIRST!!!! Face reality the LDS is a cult.

    They pride themselves on America being a Christian nation, yet they do not believe the church was around.
    1776 comes before 1830s.......busted .

    October 8, 2011 at 9:52 pm |
    • John

      CSX, you clearly do not know Mormonism. Mormons believe that Christ was the only perfect person. We believe that He is God, even the Son of God.

      October 8, 2011 at 9:57 pm |
    • Bob Smith

      Totally untrue! Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints believe that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, was the only sinless person to ever have walked the earth.

      October 8, 2011 at 10:00 pm |
    • JayBird

      And what does religion have to do with a secular office like the presidency? Keep it SECULAR!

      October 8, 2011 at 10:08 pm |
  4. Jeff

    I want to try be Mormon but I cant ride a bike I was born with no legs how can I do a Mission???

    October 8, 2011 at 9:49 pm |
  5. dudley0418

    You must treat all people as people, individuals with value to God, not as First, Second or Southern Baptists, Missouri, Wisconsin or American Synod Lutherans, Orthodox, Armenian, Irish or Roman Catholics, or etc. to be a true American or a true Christian for that matter.

    October 8, 2011 at 9:42 pm |
  6. Doug

    Let's get things straight. Try to be intellectually honest and stick to the facts.
    Mormons are not Christians in the traditional sense any more than Muslims are. Muslims follow God (Allah), who Christians refer to as the Father amongst the Holy Trinity. They follow Mohamed as a prophet. They do believe in Jesus Christ as another prophet but not the Messiah. In this sense Muslims and Mormons are very much alike aside from the fact that they have Joseph Smith as their unique prophet instead of Muhammad and they add the Book of Mormon to their sacred texts, ala the Muslims and the use of the Koran. Neither Mormons or Muslims believe in the Holy Trinity, certainly not in the way most Christians would/do. As someone else mentioned, both groups believe they will become divine in the afterlife and access to a bunch of virgins on their own special planet. Actually, that last part is about "saints" (as LDS members refer to one another.) Now that I think about it, Mormons may be closer to Scientologists than Christians. If anything, Islam is the religion that is much closer to Christianity. It makes the term Judeo-Christian rather oxymoronic if Muslims have more in common with Christians than those of the Jewish faith.
    To the brainwashed evangelical idiots that think Catholicism is a cult, we do not revere the Pope as a deity, he is simply the highest ranking priest in the clergy of the original Christian church. Catholicism and and the closely related Eastern Orthodox churches that splintered off in about 1000 A.D. were the one and only source of Christianity for around 1700 out of the approximate 2000 years since Jesus was born. Where do you thing the original Bible, the Vulgate lies (answer = the Vatican, the same place Jesus' Rock, the foundation for His church, St. Peter, was layed to rest.) The scriptures you love to quote but rarely follow and certainly don't understand are the Catholic church's gift to the world. Without the Catholic Church and the early martyrs, the Roman Empire would have extinguished Christianity nearly 2 millenia ago.
    By the way, re-read the Gospels. Jesus was a flaming liberal and the the Tea Party followers are converts to the Church of the Anti-Christ. I know that was provocative, but it is true; sadly way too true :(. Argue my points if you must, and, certainly you will, but the facts speak for themselves.

    October 8, 2011 at 9:24 pm |
    • Charles

      You make a claim that Christ is a "flaming liberal", yet you fail to provide facts to back it up. I think the onus is on you to prove something.

      October 8, 2011 at 9:28 pm |
    • John

      You're an idiot.....Mormons follow JESUS CHRIST. Joseph Smith is looked at as a PROPHET just like let's say Paul, Luke, or Mark. Yeah they "Follow" Joseph smith as the founder, but they FOLLOW the teachings of JESUS CHRIST in the BIBLE. Do your research before you openly bash a religion you obviously know nothing about.

      October 8, 2011 at 9:30 pm |
    • Nathan

      Latter-day Saints revere Joseph Smith as a prophet–a man. Latter-day Saints worship Jesus as God the Son. A Muslim would consider this blasphemy. Your comparisons are fair enough, but your implication is that because Mormons share commonalities with the likes of Muslims and Scientologists they cannot be Christians. You can state that LDS doctrine of God differs from the majority of traditional Christians, but you cannot deny them the self-description of "Christian". After all, this is what some close-minded Evangelicals claim about Catholics–and we all know how helpful that is.

      October 8, 2011 at 9:33 pm |
    • Nathan

      Charles, the evidence is in the Bible; Jesus is not just a flaming liberal, he is THE flaming liberal. He came to challenge the establishment; his aim was anything but conserving the status quo.

      John, Doug is not an idiot. He was not bashing Latter-day Saints–re-read his comment.

      October 8, 2011 at 9:36 pm |
    • James

      Sooo, this supposed Mormon belief that they will get their own planet and all the other stuff that goes along with it. Can you or any of those who posted these interesting "facts" support them with one statement from LDS doctrine or a statement by a general authority of the Church? It is real easy to make goofy statements on these sites without any proof.

      October 8, 2011 at 9:46 pm |
    • Doug

      Thank you Nathan,
      I wasn't bashing the LDS church or Mormons, I was just pointing out some mis-perceptions about LDS doctrines and some realities that many members try to cover up..
      John, Paul, was neither a prophet or a disciple (Mathew, Mark, Luke, John, etc.) were disciples. Look at the painting of the Last Supper in the Sistine Chapel. Paul was a convert who never met Jesus. As I have said, please re-read the New Testament, particular lily the first 4 books, the Gospels (assuming you have ever done so)

      October 8, 2011 at 9:52 pm |
    • Mike V


      The onus to prove is in the scientific method. Religion is exempt from such logical thinking. Did you not know this?

      October 8, 2011 at 9:52 pm |
    • bf

      Doug, you were on a roll with your first paragraph. Then you wrote the second one. 🙁

      October 8, 2011 at 9:52 pm |
    • Doug

      to bf,
      the second half of my initial post was a little over the top but as a Catholic, I get perturbed by people calling the Church a cult. It also bother me when other Christians, largely Evangelicals who watch Fox Noise, forget the part of the Bible (Mathew 5:5) where Jesus says, "Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth." I don't think you will hear Rush, Hannity or those of their ilk cite that part of the Scriptures. That quote is a huge part of the Catholic tradition of caring for your fellow man.

      October 8, 2011 at 10:09 pm |
    • JayBird

      Seriously people...who cares what they believe as long as they do the job as prescribed and bring down the national debt. Hell, I'd vote for a scientologist in a heartbeat if it meant my freedoms were safeguarded best with that candidate. This is the very reason why we are imploding. Get together people. Start protecting each others rights....no matter how goofy they may be!

      October 8, 2011 at 10:14 pm |
  7. Tom

    Glenn Beck was a convert too. The post implies he was a born Mormon. He converted so he could marry his now wife.

    October 8, 2011 at 9:21 pm |
  8. bozon

    You left out the yearning for kobol... that every mormon get's their own planet when they die and they get to be a god there.. their wife can only join him if he lets her.. all the kids populate the planet.. i've always wondered what do the kids do when they are supposed to get their own planet to be gods of.. never got that contradiction explained adequately..

    October 8, 2011 at 9:14 pm |
    • Charles

      Maybe you should study the REAL mormon church and not some fantasy created by anti-mormons.

      October 8, 2011 at 9:16 pm |
    • Nathan

      You have a lot to learn about Mormon beliefs. There's no way you learned about "kolob" from your own studies. You're merely regurgitating the periphery some malcontent dug up. You deserve better information, and we deserve your best thoughts. Keep the narrow minded comments to yourself.

      October 8, 2011 at 9:22 pm |
    • haarkonen

      nathan, if the mormon church wasn't so oddly secretive (using the "sacred" excuse is a cop-out) then maybe people wouldn't make "assumptions". anytime anti-mormon beliefs are expressed they are stamped as stemming from the "malcontent" which is convenient when you still keep most of your doors locked tight. there are only so many times that excuse will work.

      October 8, 2011 at 9:55 pm |
  9. Tee

    Most of us don't want a god or religion interupting our lives. But we betray this with our cries for mercy. The question is who are we asking mercy from?

    October 8, 2011 at 9:11 pm |
  10. mike

    This article leaves out the elephant in the middle of the room if comparative religions is your bag. Christianity is monotheistic while Mormonism is polytheistic. Some Muslims would say Christianity is also polytheistic due to the 'Trinity', but I degress.

    October 8, 2011 at 9:10 pm |
    • Nathan

      Yes, you do digress. The point is: Christians don't let Muslims define their faith; they get to do that on their own. Similarly, Latter-day Saint Christians get to do the same. Thoughtful, traditional Christians wouldn't think of defining Latter-day Saints as polytheists.

      October 8, 2011 at 9:25 pm |
  11. Bob

    Mormonism is a very scary "religion." Worst yet, most Mormons don't even know what they believe. As for all of them on here who talk about the lies being told about their faith, they need to ask themselves why. How many books do you find bashing mainline Protestants and Catholics, describing their hidden agendas. None that I'm aware of. Why? Because their faiths are based on sound doctrine. On the other hand, it's not hard to find detractors of the Mormon faith, many by former Mormons. Personally, I would vote for almost anyone before I'd vote for a Mormon. Having chosen a faith that is so obviously fabricated out of a mortal's mind shows a lack of judgment and sound reasoning on their part, and I'd rather not have them in public office. And as you research Mormonism, don't miss the part about how everyone gets their own planet when they die. C'mon!

    October 8, 2011 at 9:08 pm |
    • Tripp

      Wow, sounds a lot like "christianity". One big lie just like muslims, buddah, or any other supernatural, make beleive "god".

      October 8, 2011 at 9:16 pm |
    • Nathan

      It's clear you believe your comment is grounded in fact, but you're poorly read. First, anti-catholic sentiment continues to exist throughout the U.S., predominantly in the so-called Bible Belt. Myth and fantasy are just as dominant in traditional Christianity as they are in Mormonism; the primary difference is distance–only 180 years separate Mormon origins from the present day. What you call "sound doctrine" is the fancy of desperate minds in the first century for most rational beings. My faith includes people walking on water, turning water into wine, virgin birth, and returning from the dead. These are no easier for the rational mind than gold plates and modern-day prophets. Keep learning and we all benefit.

      October 8, 2011 at 9:18 pm |
    • Charles

      Bob, I have studied mormonism now for 25+ years and it's the most sane, logical, Christian religion I know. Your logic makes no sense. Where are muscles the strongest? Where they meet with the most opposition. Want to know a good sign of whether something is good or not? Look for how hard Satan is trying to oppose it. My faith in Christ and the LDS church is based upon 25+ years of scripture study, world religion study, Christian doctrine study, practical experience, and a witness of the Holy Spirit. That's enough for me!

      October 8, 2011 at 9:20 pm |
    • UtahPilot

      "How many books do you find bashing mainline Protestants and Catholics, describing their hidden agendas. None that I'm aware of. Why? Because their faiths are based on sound doctrine."

      Bob, this argument is flawed when considering the doctrine that Jesus taught while he was on the earth... he was crucified for His doctrine. His disciples and followers were persecuted and scattered. Jesus' doctrine was sound, I assure you. So therein lies the flaw that a lack of "bashing" is in any way connected to sound doctrine.

      October 8, 2011 at 9:23 pm |
    • Jack

      Regarding your comment that most Mormons do not know what they believe: this couldn't be further from the truth. A study done not too long ago questioned teens of different faiths to see if they knew what their respective churches believed. The Mormon kids blew the other religions away!

      October 8, 2011 at 10:06 pm |
    • JayBird

      If your entire statement doesn't meet the requirements for bigotry, I have no idea what does. Religious racist!

      October 8, 2011 at 10:16 pm |
    • JayBird

      Oh and Jack, sorry dude, I've been a Mormon my whole life and yes, most Mormons DON'T know their own religion. Contrary to what they may believe. The goons DO have that fact correct.

      October 8, 2011 at 10:18 pm |
  12. Liz

    I'm grateful for this honest description of the LDS church. I don't see, however, how one's religion should have anything to do with who is in (or will potentially be in) the White House. How does it have anything to do with America's most pressing issues: the economy, unemployment, foreign affairs, etc? I appreciate the fairness of this article to the LSD church, but I don't think a person's religious beliefs should be a factor in voting for someone.

    October 8, 2011 at 9:06 pm |
    • Liz

      *LDS* church. Ha. I'd be interested to see what an LSD church would be like ...

      October 8, 2011 at 9:08 pm |
    • dudley0418

      Liz, you may visit a Mormon (ward) church and see for yourself if you like. You may not visit a Mormon temple, however.

      October 8, 2011 at 9:38 pm |
    • Alison

      The first relevant comment on this thread! Thanks Liz. There have been several POTUS's who believe differently than the POTUS before them, and yet have done a fine job leading this country. I'm more interested in his or her leadership abilities, honesty, and intelligence than where they choose to worship on Sunday.

      October 8, 2011 at 9:49 pm |
  13. Jimmy

    A man's God is his business and his alone.Don't let my belief in my God bother you and I will not let your belief in the God you choose bother me.That is why they call it freedom of religion.You can even have freedom from religion if you choose.

    October 8, 2011 at 8:43 pm |
    • Harry Kermet

      Jimmy, you're an idiot. I used to be Mormon and if they could impose their religious beliefs upon all people, they would. They make ex-mormons feel inferior and they teach very awkward and strange cult-like dogma. There is nothing really Christian about these people.

      October 8, 2011 at 9:05 pm |
    • Charles

      I feel sorry for you, Harry. I am a mormon who grew up in a non-mormon home and who has family members who are former members of the church. That fact has nothing to do with how they are treated by mormons and non-mormons alike. I guess it depends where you grew up. I am from the east but now live in Utah. It's definitely a different world here, but my faith is in Christ, not the people. Being a member of the LDS church has been a tremendous blessing in my life.

      October 8, 2011 at 9:10 pm |
    • hillplus

      Harry, were you kinder when you were a Mormon?

      October 8, 2011 at 10:45 pm |
  14. Leonore H. Dvorkin

    We can only hope that someday an atheist can run for president and be elected. When will the people of this country ever grow up, start thinking for themselves, and stop believing in the absurd fairy tales that make up all religions?

    October 8, 2011 at 8:40 pm |
    • collins61

      When pompous, know it all, pagans learn to shut their collective pie hole. Maybe.

      October 8, 2011 at 9:05 pm |
    • JayBird

      I'm a Mormon and I pray for the day an Atheist is elected president! Then maybe the bigotry and religious racism with go away. As long as my rights are protected I couldn't care less what you do or don't do on Sunday...as radical as it might be!

      October 8, 2011 at 10:22 pm |
  15. Laughing Out Loud.

    My gawd, what a bunch of looney tunes posting on here. You'd think that they were all experts on the Mormons and their religion, but I'll bet dollars to doughnuts that less than 1% have ever looked into it themselves.

    But be careful...the boogeyman will get you!!! Bwah hah hah hah hah hah! (Dopes.)

    October 8, 2011 at 8:35 pm |
  16. JA

    You have failed to mention some significant facts of Mormonism; They do not believe Jesus is God in the flesh (Read John 1:1 in the Bible); they believe Jesus and Satan are brothers, they believe the Book of Mormon to be the most important book on earth (versus the Bible), and they believe that God was once a man but attained his position through merit.
    Mormons are very nice people and we should love them as we are commanded by Jesus to love all people. But there is a vast difference between Mormonism and Christianity. Further, the Bible is proven to be true based on historical, archaeological and extra-biblical historians such as Pliny, Josephus and others. The Book of Mormon has no proof of ever existing. None whatsoever and no ancient American civilizations have ever been discovered nor have been recorded throughout history.

    October 8, 2011 at 8:32 pm |
    • foodle

      "Bible is proven to be true based on historical, archaeological and extra-biblical historians"

      Ha ha ha ha ha. Tell me another one!

      October 8, 2011 at 8:38 pm |
    • Suz

      Thank you for posting the truth. I doubt a Mormon will counter this.

      October 8, 2011 at 8:53 pm |
    • Ryan

      faith was never about proof, sir. by saying that any form of christianity is the proven right denomination or that the bible is proven to be perfect, that claim violates the merits taught in the bible itself.

      in other words, jesus told you to not try to prove anything about him, so you are making yourself look un-christian.

      October 8, 2011 at 8:53 pm |
    • UtahPilot

      JA, I can't tell if you are being serious or sarcastic. Mormons do believe Jesus is God in the Flesh. They believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God as well as the Bible, they use them hand in hand. Mormons believe that Ezekiel 37:16,17 is referring to the Stick of Judah (The Holy Bible) and the stick of Joseph (The Book of Mormon) and just in case anyone is tempted, they are not thinking that "the stick of Joseph" is in reference to Joseph Smith. And in response to your claim that no civilizations have been discovered... have you heard of Machu Picchu? The Mayan civilizations? It shouldn't be too hard to believe that if God had children on other continents during the time of Jesus that He would want them to have truth as well. Perhaps this is what Jesus was referring to when he spoke of "other sheep" in John 10:16.

      Here are 13 basic beliefs of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints written by Joseph Smith himself.

      1 We believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost.

      2 We believe that men will be punished for their own sins, and not for Adam’s transgression.

      3 We believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel.

      4 We believe that the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel are: first, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; second, Repentance; third, Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; fourth, Laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost.

      5 We believe that a man must be called of God, by prophecy, and by the laying on of hands by those who are in authority, to preach the Gospel and administer in the ordinances thereof.

      6 We believe in the same organization that existed in the Primitive Church, namely, apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists, and so forth.

      7 We believe in the gift of tongues, prophecy, revelation, visions, healing, interpretation of tongues, and so forth.

      8 We believe the aBible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly; we also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God.

      9 We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God.

      10 We believe in the literal gathering of Israel and in the restoration of the Ten Tribes; that Zion (the New Jerusalem) will be built upon the American continent; that Christ will reign personally upon the earth; and, that the earth will be renewed and receive its paradisiacal glory.

      11 We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.

      12 We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.

      13 We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul—We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.

      October 8, 2011 at 9:15 pm |
    • Charles

      Some would say there is a vast difference between some of what today's Christians believe and what Christ taught. Where in the Bible is the word trinity? Where is infant baptism? Where does it say the Bible is the only word of God? Where does it say the earth is only 6,000 years old? It's no wonder the Lord needed there to be a restoration – Christianity had gotten so twisted over the centuries.

      October 8, 2011 at 9:25 pm |
    • Jason

      Please cite one reference where the LDS church has ever used the word "brother" to describe Jesus and Satan. You won't be able to cite one reference because there aren't any. Quit trying to distort what we believe!

      October 8, 2011 at 9:30 pm |
    • dudley0418

      Not sure I would be referring to ancient civilizations who practiced human sacrifice as a proof of my Christianity and beliefs, Utah Pilot. Was this your intent?

      October 8, 2011 at 9:46 pm |
    • trace

      "The Book of Mormon has no proof of ever existing."

      That's weird. I've got one on my bookshelf. I'm not Mormon, by the way.

      October 8, 2011 at 9:54 pm |
    • JayBird

      Christianity is defined as believing in Christ. End of story. Simple...yet so complicated. Either you believe in Jesus or you don't. Who cares HOW you believe.

      October 8, 2011 at 10:25 pm |
    • UtahPilot

      Dudley, read the Book of Mormon and you will see the history of those people. There are numerous stories about people who fell away from the teachings of Christ and, yes, did do some pretty weird and evil things, like human sacrifice.

      And I want to be clear when I say I have a tremendous amount of respect for the Catholic church as well as any honest truth seeking protestant or protestant church. But there are many instances in the history of Catholicism that are very controversial when it comes to biblical teachings. So, again, this argument is flawed when put into the context of the whole of world religious history.

      Read the Book of Mormon if you dont believe me. It wont hurt you nor will it "brainwash" you. Some may be surprised at how close it is to biblical teachings, and even backs up the Bible. The Bible testifies of Jesus Christ, the Book of Mormon also testifies of Jesus Christ, that makes two historical records that testify of His divinity.

      October 9, 2011 at 10:11 pm |
  17. Nathan

    A very fair-minded summary of some key topics–thanks. As a seventh-generation Latter-day Saint, I grow weary of the wide-spread, public ignorance of my faith. Of course, no one is more responsible for educating the public than we are–and we could stand to be more strait forward and transparent. That being said, articles like this are helpful to that end. I only wish they were more common.

    October 8, 2011 at 8:30 pm |
    • GROWBls


      October 8, 2011 at 8:31 pm |
  18. Godfrey

    There is nothing about Mormonism that is any more absurd than Christianity or any other religion.

    Which ain't sayin' much.

    October 8, 2011 at 8:26 pm |
  19. organic

    Religion is the biggesr scam and lie in the history of humanity

    October 8, 2011 at 8:21 pm |
  20. Ken

    I would prefer to elect a president who didn't believe in any fairy tales at all, Christian, Islam, Shiva, whatever...

    October 8, 2011 at 8:14 pm |
    • collins61

      Then put one up. It will be a snap counting his 38 votes.

      October 8, 2011 at 9:07 pm |
    • msadr

      Oh, I see. A candidate who believe in nothing. If you believe in nothing, you ARE nothing.

      October 8, 2011 at 10:04 pm |
    • Ken

      I don't want a president who believes in nothing, I want one who believes in TRUE things! Not old timey hocus-pocus.

      October 8, 2011 at 10:51 pm |
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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.