These are what this particular religion/cult believes. Do understand what my church believes, please visit Cults and False Religions, Part 2.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Mormonism is also know as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS).
John 10:8-16~8 All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them.
9 I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.
10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
11 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.
12 But he that is a hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep.
13 The hireling fleeth, because he is a hireling, and careth not for the sheep.
14 I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.
15 As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.
16 And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.
We've never had Mormon missionaries stop out at our house, but my Grandpa and Grandma, who live in town, have. They can be quite persuasive, if you don't truly understand what you believe. Most Mormons have very high moral standards. The will not use alcohol, tobacco, or caffeine. They are also very family oriented.
Two Main Branches of Mormonism
~Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-Day Saints
They have 13.5 million members and originate from Salt Lake City, Utah.
~The Community of Christ
Organized in 2001.
Formerly Reorganized LDS.
250,000 members originating from Independence, Missouri.
~13.5 million members worldwide.
~Sometimes called, "America's largest homegrown religion."
~ 52,494 missionaries
~128 temples-"each temple is dedicated as a house of the Lord Jesus Christ, a place of holiness and peace, set apart from the world."
~28,100 congregations-called wards
~Publishes materials in 166 languages
~Owns largest private university in the country (Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah with 37,000 students).
~Bonneville International Corp-owns 30 radio stations and 1 TV affiliate-14th largest in country.
~Beneficial Life Insurance Company
~Extensive real estate and land holdings, beef ranching, and investment and financial services companies.
~In 1997, Time Magazine did a very thorough and extensive expose on the LDS Business interests and estimated it's worth to exceed $50 billion.
~Annual Income grosses more than $6 billion per year.
Some famous Mormons...
Donny & Marie Osmond
Sen. Orrin Hatch
Sen. Mitt Romney
From the LDS Homepage
"God know you personally and loves you more than you can comprehend. He wants you to be happy now and always. To accomplish this purpose, Heavenly Father has provided a plan called the gospel of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is the Son of God; His teachings are the way to peace in life and joy for eternity. As a part of His plan, God has followed a simple pattern from the beginning of the world. He chooses a prophet (like Noah or Moses) to teach the gospel and lead the people. Sadly, most of God's children have disregarded, disobeyed, and rejected His prophets. As promised, Heavenly Father sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to earth. Jesus Christ lived a perfect, sinless life. He established His Church, taught His gospel, and performed many miracles. Incredibly, even Jesus Christ was rejected. Following His death, many people began to drift away and distort Christ's true teachings. As a result, God withdrew His authority to direct the Church that Christ had established. Our loving Father in Heaven is the "same yesterday, and today, and forever." As in ancient times, He has followed his simple pattern in our day. He has again established the gospel of Jesus Christ on the earth through a prophet. This prophet whom the Lord called to restore God's truth is named Joseph Smith. The evidence of this Restoration is found in the Book of Mormon, which you can read, ponder, and pray about."
I highlighted the part my church has a problem with.
~Founder Joseph Smith Jr. 1805-1844
~Receiving the Golden Plates-September 22, 1827 on Cumorah Hill near Palmyra, New York. He supposedly was given golden plates by the Angel Moroni.
~Published Book of Mormon in March 1830.
~Smith and 5 others established the Church of Jesus Christ in Fayette, New York on April 6, 1830.
~Name changed in 1837 to Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
~Group moved to Kirtland, Ohio in the 1830's.
~Grew up to 25,000 members.
~Built the Kirtland Temple, "The finest building in the west."
~Smith planned an earthly paradise to be built in Independence, Missouri and many moved there.
~Persecution caused Mormons to flee Missouri and settle in Nauvoo, Illinois.
~Smith came from Ohio, jailed for destroying dissenting members printing presses.
~Smith killed by angry mob in Carthage, Illinois on June 27, 1844 making him a martyr.
~The group split after Smith's death
One group-leadership to Smith's son-moved to Independence, Missouri and is the Reorganized LDS, now Community of Christ.
Second group-leadership to Brigham Young-moved to Utah in 1847 and settled at Salt Lake City.
By 1877, 150,000 followers
The Practice of Polygamy
~Begun to be practiced by Joseph Smith in the 1830's (rumoured to have numerous immoral relationships with women.)
~After he began teaching this to his group, dissenters arose which ultimately led to Smith's death.
~Smith's first wife, Emma, violently opposed to the practice.
~Men could have multiple wives, women married to only one husband.
~Officially a church doctrine and practice from 1840 to 1890 when US Government threatened confiscation of property.
~Still practiced in some of the Fundamental groups.
Purpose of LDS
~As a "church"...Evangelize the world with the message of Jesus Christ as interpreted by Joseph Smith and the Mormon Church.
~Individually...To strive to attain "exalted" or godhead status on the basis of good works.
Sources of Authority
~Supernatural revelations to Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, and all succeeding prophets and presidents of the Mormon church.
~Current President-President Thomas S. Monson is the 16th president.
~Quote from his installation service in 2008, "We sustain that the President of the Church as our prophet, seer, and revelator-the only person on the earth who receives revelation to guide the entire church."
Key Writings for Their Beliefs
1. The Bible-but corrupted and unreliable
~"We believe the Bible to be the Word of God in so far as it is translated correctly." Articles of Faith-Article 8
2. The Book of Mormon-"We believe that the Book of Mormon to be the Word of God." Articles of Faith-Article 8
3. "Doctrine and Covenants"-138 revelations listing distinctive doctrines.
4. "The Pearl of Great Price"-History of Joseph Smith and Articles of Faith
What is the Book of Mormon?
~Supposedly translated from the "Golden Plates" found by Joseph Smith.
~Story of two ancient American civilizations who were Jews from Jerusalem.
~First group perished because of wickedness.
~Second group split into groups with the Nephites being righteous.
~The Nephites were defeated by the Lamanites (became the American Indians) in 428 A.D. and Mormon, their leader, buried the plates with the record of their civilizations and how Christ had visited them after his resurrection and given them instructions to institute their church.
1. No archaeological evidence that these civilizations existed.
2. There is no "reformed Egyptian" language that Smith translated.
3. No one else ever saw the plates-Smith sat behind a curtain to translate them.
4. 27,000 words plagiarized from KJV (1611)
5. Well over 3,000 revisions to the Book of Mormon since the original.
Mormons Believe About...
~The earth is one of several inhabited planets ruled over by gods who were once humans on other planets. Mormonism is "polytheistic."
~In the beginning, the head of the gods called a council with the other gods and came together to create this world and people in it-Joseph Smith teaching.
~ Heavenly Father, whose name is Elohim-is mortal and finite, has flesh and bones as tangible as man's, so does his wife (heavenly mother).
~Ever evolving and changing
~As man is, God once was; as God is, man may become-Prophet Lorenzo Snow
~He was the first spirit child of heavenly Father and Mother.
~He is the elder brother of Satan.
~Was a god of the Godhead
~Ordained as the Christ in pre-existent Council before coming to earth.
~Was once sinful and imperfect, but earned his salvation.
~Claim Jesus was married to 3 women and had children.
~Teach that Jesus was conceived by in a s-xual act with Mary and the Father in heaven.
~Claim that he was born in Jerusalem.
~Uses the term Holy Ghost-who is male personage.
~"A spirit man can only be one place at a time" Mormon Doctrine
~The trinity is three separate Gods: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.
~"That these three are separate individuals, physically distinct from each other, is demonstrated by accepted records of divine dealings with man." Articles of Faith
~"You are a child of God. Before you were born, you lived as a spirit with God, your heavenly Father. You cam to earth to learn to be more like God." LDS website
~Fall of Mankind-a necessary step in the progression of humanity to the level of Godhood.
~We were first begotten as spirit children and then born naturally on earth.
~"If you are a good Mormon, you have the potential of becoming a god." Joseph Smith
~A plan of salvation was needed for the people of earth so Jesus offered a plan to the Father and Satan offered a plan to the Father but Jesus' plan was accepted." from Mormon Doctrine, p. 193
~Resurrected by grace but saved (exalted to Godhood) by works, including faithfulness to church leaders, Mormon baptism, tithing, ordination, and secret temple rituals.
~Jesus sacrifice was not able to cleanse us from all sins (murder, repeated adultery are exceptions)-from Journal of Discourses.
~"We believe that through the atonement of Christ, all mankind will be saved,...and obedience to the laws and ordinances of the church." Articles of Faith #3
~"One of the most fallacious doctrines originated by Satan and propounded by man is that man is saved alone by the grace of God, that Jesus alone is all that is needed for salvation." Spencer W. Kimball-12th LDS President
Heaven and Hell
~Heaven consists of three levels.
1. Celestial-for good, obedient Mormons
2. Terrestial- is good moral people and lukewarm Mormons
3. Telestial-is for everyone else
~Baptism for the dead-secret temple ritual where one can be baptized for a non-Mormon ancestor in order that they can move to a higher level.
~Must be a Mormon to have "eternal life"-celestial level
~Hell is a temporary spirit world between death and resurrection for those awaiting telestial glory.
~Hell will come to an end. Only "extreme" sinners and sons of perdition will be eternally