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. n8c

    Very impressed with this CNN peice. I would correct very little. it is refreashing to see the media treat our faith honestly without the weird soundbites. Mormon.org also will help those seeking further info. One thing to add, Fundamentalist "Mormon" are completely severed from our church. They are two entirely different churches. Their are no fundamentalist Mormons in the Salt Lake Church-the worldwide church of some 14 Million memebers. Thanks again CNN. this was very good, very honest.

    October 8, 2011 at 11:09 pm |
    • hugh carlyle

      I would describe the piece as wholly incomplete....if we are to talk about this lets have a complete and honest perspective on tthis – the fraudulent life of the founder and the laughable foundation and readings of this "cult" ....the racism of Mormonism....lots more to talk about.... lots...

      October 8, 2011 at 11:22 pm |
  2. frootyme

    Anyone who believes in something other than Bible is not Christian, simple!.
    Anyway it back fires on Romney himself. He hates muslims to the core, I wonder how he feels now
    after realizing that someone hates him.

    October 8, 2011 at 11:07 pm |
  3. frootyme

    Little stupid to say Glen Beck a famous mormon. He is an infamous and idiot mormon.

    October 8, 2011 at 11:03 pm |
  4. rhodes

    the Mormon belief of the law of eternal progression contradicts the Bible... Scripture teaches to not add to the canon of scripture therefore prohibits continued writing which claims to be from God... the refs. to racial discrimination and polygamy have been removed, which is convenient...I would not vote for Mitt but I would choose a Mormon follower before I would choose an Islamic adherent... I have read the Bible, the Book of Mormon, and the Koran and they are mutually exclusive of each other... one would have to unequivocally choose between them as a belief system

    October 8, 2011 at 10:58 pm |
    • Marcus

      Which part exactly of the Book of Mormon is "mutually exclusive" with the Bible? Mormons study and teach from the King James Version of the Bible as part of their canon of scripture, so they apparently seem not to think they are incompatible.

      October 8, 2011 at 11:08 pm |
    • Leslie

      You probably don't realize that Revalations was NOT the last book wrote in the Bible.

      October 8, 2011 at 11:09 pm |
    • kevin Walker

      to explain a little better on what the mormons believe the book of mormon is, is that when the bible was written, there were also people who lived in the americas who did not have the teaching of the biblical prophets or even jesus himself, so god called prophets as well in the americas so that his gospel could be taught in the western hemisphere as well (some supposed prophets of the book of mormon are lehi,nephi mormon,moroni etc...). those prophets wrote down their accounts. (just like peter,noah and all the other biblical prophets) If the book of mormon is true, then all of the accounts within the book were written before the new testament was completed. the mormons claim that the book of mormon contains the same gospel that the bible teaches, one does not contradict the other, the only difference being that they were written in 2 different parts of the world at the same time.....on the other hand, it could be a 300 page book that joseph smith made up. If you ever get a chance, Try reading some of it.

      October 8, 2011 at 11:41 pm |
  5. Billie the Mormon

    There seems to be a lot of comments on Joseph Smith and some of our doctrine that are way off base. Please do a little research on him and the church. Also, about the extreme confusion on our view of Satan is a God is because we believe before the world was created, we were all spirits under the direction of Heavenly Father. Lucifer was one who wanted to fulfill Christs mission (to atone for our sins so we could return to live with Heavenly Father after judgement), but he was already evil. He was thrown out of heaven, and will never recieve any of the ordinances we have or a body: he is forever inferior and bitter in his position. So he is a spirit who fell from grace eons ago. He's not a god and never was one-he's as far from at is you can get! Atleast we agree on that!
    Anyway, you and I and choose to worship Christ in different ways, and I totally respect that 🙂
    Signing off-time to get back to my novel (as a college student, I LOVE the weekends when I can read something other than a textbook!)
    P.S. Thanks CNN for helping disperse some rumors 🙂

    October 8, 2011 at 10:52 pm |
    • DJD

      Can you explain something for me? If Adam was the original god of this world and he created this world then wouldn't he know that the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil that he created was forbidden by himself? Why would he eat something he knew would end in death?

      October 8, 2011 at 10:59 pm |
    • hugh carlyle

      what is off-base about Joseph Smith...? the fraud, the treasure seeking expeditions? the jail? the fact that nothing...nothing....about his life or story reveals anything even close to being plausible.

      October 8, 2011 at 11:16 pm |
  6. RIco

    All one needs to know about the mormon's can be found in Mark Twain.

    October 8, 2011 at 10:50 pm |
  7. max

    Whatever you do don't read and pray about the Book of Mormon. That's how they get you!

    October 8, 2011 at 10:40 pm |
    • Leslie

      You make it sound like Mormons are like aliens or something. They are good people. Maybe if you set your bias aside you will see that.

      October 8, 2011 at 10:53 pm |
    • mormon21

      Is this for real?? of course that's how they get you. Because the Book of Mormon is TRUE, and is the word of God. You read and pray about it, and you will receive your answer from God that it is TRUE just like I did.

      October 8, 2011 at 10:54 pm |
    • tillzen

      Christians saying Mormons are weird is hilarious. Virgin birth, rising from the grave and a NEW Testament? I know one thing, this life is not explainable by man. If there is a creator or a meaning to life it can not be understood by the living. Agnostics at least have the courage to say I do not know. The rest of you are deluded fools.

      October 8, 2011 at 10:57 pm |
    • Leanne

      Mormons are NOT good people. Their agenda is thought control. Their methodology includes guilt, lies, psychological games and manipulation. Utah is a state to be avoided.

      October 8, 2011 at 11:00 pm |
    • mormon21

      mormons don't only reside in utah....

      October 8, 2011 at 11:08 pm |
    • pazke

      Leslie, you can't generalize and say "Mormons are good people". Some Mormons are good people and others not so much. Being a good Mormon is not synonymous with being a good person.

      October 8, 2011 at 11:13 pm |
  8. julianpenrod

    Many of the basics of Mormonism are opposed to the very basics of Biblical tradition and even go so far as to be blasphemous.
    Joseph Smith referred to Moroni, who he credited with showing him the golden tablets, as being an "angel", yet Moroni is also identified as a human prophet of Israel. Humans are not angels. Angels are beings created by God to carry out projects, but without the independent type thought humans have. Humans are described as becoming, among other things, prophets or saints, but it actually is demeaning by Biblical standards to call a human an "angel".
    More than that, the first settlers around Salt Lake are all characterized as "saints". They didn[t have to do anything particularly noble or impart great wisdom. They only had to be the first generation of settlers in the Mormon community in Utah! And that is blasphemous against what the religion and the meaning of "saint" is sup[posed to be!
    Using names close enough sounding to original Israelite names to con the unwitting, but evidently with no similar derivation, and apparently different enough not to be accused of stepping on established reputations; and "interpreting" the plates from behind a heavy curtain, allowing no one to see him as he did it, Mormonism has all the qualities of a swindle.

    October 8, 2011 at 10:36 pm |
    • Kristin

      Julian, you are really misinformed. Next time do your homework before responding.

      October 8, 2011 at 10:44 pm |
    • Leslie

      If you even took the time to read the Book of Mormon and not ramble on about things you have heard or were told, you would know that Moroni not only is an angel, but was once a living prophet, a human many years ago that walked this earth. He was the one that buried the plates in the ground. He then died and many years later appeared to Joseph as an angel which is what we all will be when we die prior to the ressurection. How is this a contradiction to the Bible? There were angels in the Bible too. The word "saint" was bestowed upon the early Mormons due to them following Christ. Aren't all "saints" followers of Christ? It isn't a "sainthood" by all means, just a follower of Christ.

      October 8, 2011 at 11:05 pm |
  9. Billie the Mormon

    May I also mention that the post that compares Joseph Smith to Muhammad is WAY off base. First, how many churches who claim their founder to be a prophet DON'T believe that he has contact with Diety? Second, Joseph Smith started a brand new church-but maybe you are referring to the fact that our church is set up with the same priesthood keys and structure as the original church (as in the New Testament). Third, Joseph Smith was only married to one woman. Fourth, it's true he was martyred, but why in the world would that discredit him? Doesn't it mean that he believed in his church so deeply that he could not deny his testimony of it?

    October 8, 2011 at 10:29 pm |
  10. hugh carlyle

    The difference between Mormonism and Christianity is one of degrees....both are laughable in their origins...I mean seriously...the founder Of Mormonism for years was a man who committed one act after another of fraud....sent to jail, run out of town...and then....then later he claims to hear from God...gold tablets? An angel named Moroni?? Its a sham – now how come that isn't in the tidy CNN summary??? The origins of Mormonism just reeks.......it really is laughable. Now imagine a guy who wants to be the US President believing in such drivel....drivel that won't stand even a basic examination

    October 8, 2011 at 10:26 pm |
    • Ken

      Its no more laughable than Christianity itself. Or any other religion for that matter. Blind belief in things that uneducated nomadic tribes from thousands of years ago said were the explanation to everything is absurd. The true explanation is out there... Read a science book.

      October 8, 2011 at 10:33 pm |
  11. Ken

    Why does a presidential candidates "faith" have to count for so much? Can't we support them for their knowledge and perhaps their ability?

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

      EXACTLY! I want to know where he stands on the issues, not whether or not he wears magic underwear.

      October 8, 2011 at 11:18 pm |
  12. CSX

    The LDS says the churches were dead since paul and Peter. Yet Jesus said the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

    The LDS sing songs from the dead church and use the KJV from the dead church. They believe America was founded as a Christian nation, yet they say the churches were dead. CONNOT BE!!!

    Now the LDS whines and says We are Christians......sorry you can not use that argument because your deoctrine says
    my church is dead. YOU CANNOT HAVE IT BOTH WAYS! Your Christ is 100% different.

    October 8, 2011 at 10:23 pm |
    • Jimmy Richards

      Once again CSX you're showing your ignorance and you're lying to people. The LDS church believes in the Apostasy, which is something a lot of Christians believe INCLUDING PROTESTANTS. You choose to use a term like "Dead". C'mon, stop misleading people and stop lying to yourself. How can you actually be chiming in a discussion like this with your obvious misinformation. Do everyone a favor and keep you lies to yourself and just stop talking. Everyone is dumber for having read your rants.

      October 8, 2011 at 10:43 pm |
  13. Jimmy Richards

    It's unbelievable what some of you Mormon bashers believe. Mormons believe in Jesus Christ as their Savior and Redeemer and God. You sound like you've been brainwashed by the rantings of ignorant Pastors. Harry Kermet, Doug, and some of you other guys, you have no idea what you're talking about. Seriously... get your facts straight about Mormons before you speak like you're experts. Mormons believe Salvation comes through Jesus Christ alone.

    October 8, 2011 at 10:22 pm |
    • CSX

      You are blind, simple research will show a mountain of lies.

      We believe the Bible, you believe Joseph Smith.

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

      Mormon bible clearly states in their translation of the Gospel of John that "the Word was LIKE God," rather than that the Word WAS God. (1st paragraph.) That's not being Christian, believing that Jesus is God. That's a distortion of Christianity. I read this when traveling through Salt Lake City. In their headquarters, the display of the Bible was conveniently hidden in the basement level, a bit obscure, and it would appear intentionally so. That's just a start as to the whole "why Mormons aren't Christians." argument.

      October 8, 2011 at 10:35 pm |
    • LevelHeaded

      Mormons follow Joseph Smith, Christians follow Jessus, but remember in the Bible when Satan offered to make Jesus into his own god through the temptations. Jesus resisted and said "get thee behind me Satan" believe in only one God... Wake up and read the Bible!

      October 8, 2011 at 10:36 pm |
    • hugh carlyle

      Explain Mormonism.....Its hard not to laugh at Mormonism.....there is not a credible thread to Joseph Smith's story – it is so false as to be laughable....his early years of committing one act of fraud after another with his treasure hunting business........jail....and after doing jail time....Moroni, gold tablets...please....

      October 8, 2011 at 10:41 pm |
    • Jimmy Richards

      Admit it James, you've never been to Salt Lake City. Otherwise you wouldn't have made such an outlandish claim. Did you really suggest that the LDS church hid a Bible in the basement because they didn't want people to see it??? C'mon, move out of your parent's basement and move on with your life. The LDS church believes in the Bible. And in Jesus Christ. All of your comments show you don't have any idea what the LDS believe.

      October 8, 2011 at 10:53 pm |
    • Susan B

      I wish that when facts about the LDS church are put forth someone would give complete information like their belief in eternal life with contunued procreation and after-life polygamy. Oh, don't forget about the promise of becoming a god and goddess of your own planet if you live faithfully all the LDS beliefs. That planet will include all of your relatives from past, present and future who have also live the tenets, were temple-worthy, have been posthumously baptized if not done in mortal excistence. Latter-day Saints believe that the after-life for its upstanding members is a material life along with continued marriages for the men and continued copulation to produce more progeny. This in its self is a far cry from mainstream Christianity. There are other equally strange beliefs and I don't know why Mormons act like it isn't so. The problem with a Mormon as president is the fact that part of the secret temple rites require the member to swear allegience to the church above all else no matter what secular position one has. I would like to hear any responses that are not emotion based.

      October 8, 2011 at 10:54 pm |
    • Jimmy Richards

      Susan B, I don't think you really understand. Where are you getting this "they get their own planet" bit? Not one Mormon I've ever met sat back and said "I can't wait 'til I get my own planet...". Why do you think this is important or a point of doctrine?? Mormons believe in an afterlife, and that this includes being with our loved ones in eternity. Why are you so preoccupied with our beliefs in the afterlife? If you don't believe what we believe that's fine. But all Christians denominations believe something different about the afterlife. Mormons are Christians because they believe in Jesus Christ, not because they are or aren't validated by other Christian denominations.

      October 8, 2011 at 11:08 pm |
    • Kkeelann

      Members of the LDS faith also believe you have to work your way to heaven (hence the various levels of heaven in the LDS faith) although the Bible says, "By grace are you saved, through faith...it is a gift of God, not of works". They believe that God was once a human being like we are, that he had to work his way up to being God and that we can one day be gods with worlds of our own, too (so there are many gods "out there" with worlds). This denies not only the omnipotence of God, but His infallibility. They believe that our souls have always been in existence (thus they could not have been created by God). They believe that Jesus Christ was conceived by an actual physical act between God and Mary, which, again, lessens God.

      The definition of a Christian is more than just accepting Jesus Christ. It is accepting Christ's teachings, accepting the Trinity, accepting the omnipotence and infallibility of God, accepting that there is only one God. It is accepting the Bible as a sacred work (Latter-Day Saints accept it only insofar as it has been translated correctly– which means that any time they find something they don't agree with, they say it's a mistake). It is accepting that you cannot work your way into heaven.

      October 8, 2011 at 11:55 pm |
    • Jimmy Richards

      kkeelann, you're wrong about what you think the LDS believe. LDS don't believe that God is fallible. That's your first error. Second, the LDS don't believe that you can "work your way into Heaven". We believe that it is only by grace that you are saved. Third, we do not believe in an actual "act" between God and Mary. Fourth, the LDS do believe in the Bible. We don't believe in all the different ways men choose to believe in or interpret the Bible, but that is the way all Christian denominations approach it. If all Christian denominations believed in the Bible the same way then why are there so many different denominations? Honestly kkeelann, just about everything you wrote is wrong about the LDS church. Do more homework next time.

      October 9, 2011 at 12:10 am |
    • Kkeelann

      I am a graduate of Brigham Young University. What I stated I was taught in my Book of Mormon classes. In fact, my Book of Mormon instructor said he believed Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were already gods with worlds of their own. If you believe God is not infallible, then you can't believe that God was ever human because humans are fallible.

      October 9, 2011 at 3:14 pm |
  14. Chris

    Lets not forget that ALL of the people that found the golden plates that were translated into the book of mormon later denied it. Do some research.... Joseph Smith was a fraud.

    October 8, 2011 at 10:15 pm |
    • hillplus

      Actually the opposite is true. Those who saw the plates, and were the three witnesses whose testimonies are at the beginning of the book, never denied it to their deaths. Perhaps you should do some research. 🙂

      October 8, 2011 at 10:26 pm |
    • Jimmy Richards

      Chris, face it, you're a fraud and liar because you posted something that is a complete and utter lie. The Witnesses of the Golden Plates did not retract their testimony. Do some research before you post an obvious lie. And no, Joseph Smith was not a fraud. He was a Prophet.

      October 8, 2011 at 10:29 pm |
    • hugh carlyle

      Joseph Smith was most certainly a fraud. A convicted one at that with his early business of "treasure hunting" , ripping off people, sent to court more than a few times.....the story he tells of the Angel Moroni is a joke....gold tablets...blah blah blah...the sad reason why some can believe this nonsense is the small size of our frontal lobe..

      October 8, 2011 at 10:54 pm |
    • Chris

      I have done my research. I have attended the mormon church. I dated several girls that admitted to me that the elder of the local church told them to date me to attract me to the church. She has since left the church and her father disowns her. I spent 2 years reading the book of mormon cover to cover, and the other books that talk about it... dozens of them.... I have done the research, and I know what the truth is.

      October 8, 2011 at 11:11 pm |
    • Jimmy Richards

      Chris if you know the truth then why did you say the witnesses of the Book of Mormon denied their respective testimonies? They didn't deny their testimonies so therefore you LIED. You can say all you want, but your words are out their in print and what you wrote is a LIE. You can't back down from that now. Don't say anyone else is being misled or doesn't understand when you just got caught in a LIE.

      October 8, 2011 at 11:48 pm |
  15. CSX

    Gal 1:6 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:
    Gal 1:7 Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.
    Gal 1:8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.
    Gal 1:9 As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.

    October 8, 2011 at 10:14 pm |
    • hillplus

      Yes, the evidence of the apostasy is there in the Bible, even when the the apostles were on the earth there were wolves in sheep's clothing, not sparing the flock.

      October 8, 2011 at 10:30 pm |
    • Jimmy Richards

      Seriously CSX, I've heard those same scriptures used against different denominations of Christianity hundreds of times. The Catholics use it against the Protestants, Protestants against other Protestants, and the ignorant against everybody. Just because you can quote some scriptures doesn't mean you understand them. Let's see you argue against all the great Humanitarian work the LDS church does. Or the way they preach to their people about being good, upright, honest and hard-working people. Let's see you argue against that. Find scriptures that say that is wrong.

      October 8, 2011 at 10:38 pm |
    • AngelMoroni

      Jimmy Richards...PLEASE...You said "Let's see you argue against all the great Humanitarian work the LDS church does. "
      Well, I will argue against it. I try to be open minded and look at both sides of the coin, but don't try to say LDS in know for "great Humanitarian work". I am NOT Catholic, but when I think of great Humanitarian work, I think of the Catholics, not Mormons. There are Catholic hospitals and schools all around the world. You see the great humanitarian work Catholics missionaries and nuns do for the poor throughout the work (how about Mother Teresa). THAT is true MISSION work. When we think about Mormon mission work, we think of the pair of mormon missionaries who are in any given city in the world but for the one purpose of growing the membership of mormonism, NOT doing any humanitarian work. Probably in another 20 or 30 years from now, we will also hear the Scientologists claiming to be Christians and that they are a main stream religion, not a cult too.

      October 8, 2011 at 11:19 pm |
    • Jimmy Richards

      Angel Moroni, you're going to sit their and tell me the LDS Church doesn't do Humanitarian Work?!? Do yourself a favor and OPEN YOUR EYES and read something. The LDS Church is one of the most charitable organizations and the first to respond to disasters in the world. Just because you don't know this doesn't mean it isn't happening. Do some homework before you write something down. And I'll agree, the Catholic Church does good Humanitarian Work. Good for them and the people they serve. But the LDS Church does not take a back seat to ANY church in the amount of Humanitarian Work and assistance it gives people. Do some research and you'll find out that I'm right.

      October 8, 2011 at 11:56 pm |
  16. JLP

    I wonder how Mr. Smith was able to translate what he found from Egyptian to English and was never able to produce the originals that he copied from. Some of the teachings seem pretty far fetched to me.

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

      JLP, indeed

      Considering the article ti-tle, "Explain it to me: Mormonism", the appropriate response and explanation is kind of obviously, "well, it's all a scam. Yet another religious con like all the rest o' them."

      October 8, 2011 at 10:14 pm |
  17. Billie the Mormon

    I am a Mormon-and even though most of the world refuses to acknowledge us as Christians because we believe that Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost are seperate beings, with the HG being the only one without a real and tangible body, harsh words cannot stop me from loving and worshiping Him. Please visit mormon.org or lds.org to find out more for yourself about us 🙂 Surely it must seem amazing to you that Joseph Smith, who grew up with almost no education, could make up a book so complex and accurate to styles of such an ancient text. I love the Book of Mormon (Mormon is the name of the ancient prophet that compiled it) and hope that others will give it a chance: if you believe it was made up by a farm boy, then you have nothing to lose in reading it for yourself. You'll at least find that it supports the doctrine of the Bible. If nothing else, please respect or choice to worship differently from you.
    Thanks for your consideration 🙂

    October 8, 2011 at 10:01 pm |
    • SM

      "Surely it must seem amazing to you that Joseph Smith, who grew up with almost no education, could make up a book so complex and accurate to styles of such an ancient text."

      Same argument is put forward by muslims, "how did an illiterate man named Muhammed make up such a complex text as the Koran?"

      Something for us to reflect on. But also realize that the two texts are contradictory on many points.

      October 8, 2011 at 10:08 pm |
    • pastmorm

      I'm an ex-mormon and a return missionary for the same church. After leaving the church I decided not to follow any other faith because it's pounded into our heads from birth (as mormons) that the mormon church is the only true church and all others are false. With that buried into your mind all your life, you will always doubt god because when you find out that the mormons are only another corporate business, raping it's members of as much money as possible – to use on political campaigns that warp and manipulate our country – you can't find anything else to fill that void. Don't respect the Mormons anymore then you would respect another man made religion that promises something it can never give.

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

      You do not even know your own doctrine. LDS declared ALL churches dead after Paul and Peter.
      LDS believes they restored the church, so the LDS declared ALL others a cult first.

      Now you want to joing the dead churches? INPOSSIBLE MY FRIEND.

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

      Pastmorm, I understand why you choose no other faith, you are correct that there is nothing to fill the void. I feel sad that you can not find peace. The door is always open.

      October 8, 2011 at 10:18 pm |
    • Trot

      I believe you mean "respect our choice", not "respect or choice"

      October 8, 2011 at 10:33 pm |
  18. CSX

    He was a prophet and was met by an angel. He has a book greater than the Bible. He started a religion from an existing one. He had many wives, some were underage. He was matryred. Joseph Smith or Muhammad? Both.

    October 8, 2011 at 9:58 pm |
  19. Peter Grasso

    Let's Add #11... Mormonism is a Cult that elevates Satan to Deity, while reducing Jesus to that of a glorified man.

    So, here is a little refresher taken from the Mormon "Pearl of Great Price" concerning Satan and Jesus. Mormons believe that Jesus and Satan are half brothers. Read and weep...

    We needed a Savior to pay for our sins and teach us how to return to our Heavenly Father. Our Father said, "Whom shall I send?" (Abraham 3:27). Two of our brothers offered to help. Our oldest brother, Jesus Christ, who was then called Jehovah, said, "Here am I, send me" (Abraham 3:27).

    Jesus was willing to come to the earth, give his life for us, and take upon himself our sins. He, like our Heavenly Father, wanted us to choose whether we would obey Heavenly Father's commandments. He knew we must be free to choose in order to prove ourselves worthy of exaltation. Jesus said, "Father, thy will be done, and the glory be thine forever" (Moses 4:2).

    Satan, who was called Lucifer, also came, saying, "Behold, here am I, send me, I will be thy son, and I will redeem all mankind, that one soul shall not be lost, and surely I will do it; wherefore give me thine honor" (Moses 4:1). Satan wanted to force us all to do his will. Under his plan, we would not be allowed to choose. He would take away the freedom of choice that our Father had given us. Satan wanted to have all the honor for our salvation.

    October 8, 2011 at 9:57 pm |
    • CSX

      Blaspheme to believe this garbage. Read John1.

      October 8, 2011 at 9:59 pm |
    • dthor

      Actually, Mormons believe that we are all spiritual children of our Heavenly Father, including Jesus Christ. Christ is different than all of us because in addition to being a spiritual child of Heavenly Father, He is the physical child of Heavenly Father, his "only begotten son."

      How does that elevate Satan to Deity?

      October 8, 2011 at 10:12 pm |
    • CSX

      Your book says they were brothers. The Holy Bible says there is ONE GOD, whose Son is Jesus.

      And there are NO OTHER GODS!!!!!!

      To place Jesus equal to Satan is BLASPHEME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      October 8, 2011 at 10:17 pm |
    • Jon

      Agreed, it is blasphemous to place Jesus equal to Satan. However, it is ignorant and misleading to state that is what Mormons believe. Please do a little research before slamming someone else's religion. With the internet it's so easy to do that there's really no excuse.

      October 8, 2011 at 10:43 pm |
  20. Jon

    Nice summary. Back in the day Joseph Smith sent a letter to a Chicago paper explaining the Church's beliefs. Included in the letter are a statement of beliefs known as The Articles of Faith. See http://mormon.org/articles-of-faith/ 1. We believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost. 2, 3, 4, etc . . .

    October 8, 2011 at 9:55 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.