18 Mormon Beliefs That Make Outsiders Curious

SharePinEmailMormonism, officially known as The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS), is a faith that emerged in the early 19th century in the United States. It has grown significantly, boasting millions of adherents worldwide. The church’s unique beliefs and practices often intrigue those unfamiliar with its teachings. Let’s explore some of these beliefs…

Mormonism, officially known as The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS), is a faith that emerged in the early 19th century in the United States. It has grown significantly, boasting millions of adherents worldwide. The church’s unique beliefs and practices often intrigue those unfamiliar with its teachings. Let’s explore some of these beliefs and examine why they raise questions.

The Book of Mormon

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Central to LDS belief is the Book of Mormon, considered another testament of Jesus Christ. This differs from the Bible and it narrates the history of ancient American civilizations and their interactions with God. This scripture is unique to Mormonism but it does complement the Bible in their religious canon. Many Mormons read both the Book of Mormon and the Bible together to gain an even greater insight into the life and teachings of Jesus. 

Modern-Day Prophets

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Mormons believe in continuing revelation through modern-day prophets. The president of the LDS Church is considered a prophet, seer, and revelator, receiving direct guidance from God, which shapes church doctrines and practices. In many other Christian denominations, there is no such belief about modern-day prophets. 

The Nature of God

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Mormon teachings present a distinct view of the Godhead, comprising God the Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost as three separate beings united in purpose. This differs from the traditional Christian doctrine of the Trinity, where God is three persons in one essence.

Plan of Salvation

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Mormons have a comprehensive Plan of Salvation, outlining humanity’s pre-mortal existence, earthly life, and the afterlife. It emphasizes the purpose of life as a test and a period for gaining experiences and making choices that affect eternal destiny. By following the plan, you can achieve spirituality and happiness. 

Baptism for the Dead

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While baptism is a common practice in all Christian denominations, Mormons have a slightly different approach. One unique practice of Mormonism is baptism for the dead, where living members are baptized on behalf of deceased individuals. This is based on the belief that everyone should have the opportunity to accept or reject the gospel, even after death. 

Eternal Marriage

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LDS doctrine teaches that marriages can last for eternity if performed in a temple ceremony called sealing. This belief in eternal families sets Mormonism apart from other Christian denominations, which generally view marriage as a mortal covenant only. As with other Christian denominations, divorce is discouraged in Mormonism, but it is possible to have a marriage sealing canceled along with a legal divorce. 

Pre-Mortal Existence

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Mormons believe in a pre-mortal existence, where all human spirits lived with God before being born on Earth. This doctrine explains the purpose of life and the importance of earthly experiences for spiritual growth. 

Word of Wisdom

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The Word of Wisdom is a health code outlined in LDS scripture, advising against the consumption of alcohol, tobacco, coffee, tea, and illegal drugs. It also promotes the consumption of grains, fruits, and vegetables, emphasizing a healthy lifestyle.

Tithing

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Although giving to charity is common in other Christian denominations, tithing is a significant practice in Mormonism, where members are expected to donate 10% of their income to the church. This funding supports church operations, including building temples and aiding humanitarian efforts. This formal tithing is not typical in other denominations. 

The Priesthood

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The LDS Church holds that the priesthood, or the authority to act in God’s name, is essential for performing sacred ordinances. Only male members can receive this priesthood, which is divided into the Aaronic and Melchizedek Priesthoods. On the other hand, some Christian denominations have started to introduce women into the role of priests, vicars, and other church leadership roles. 

Sacred Temples

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Temples are considered sacred spaces where essential ordinances, such as endowments and sealings, are performed. Unlike regular meetinghouses, temples are not open to the general public and are reserved for faithful members.

The Role of Women

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Women in the LDS Church play crucial roles, particularly within the family and the church’s auxiliary organizations. However, they do not hold the priesthood, which has sparked ongoing discussions about gender roles within the faith.

The Second Coming

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Mormons believe in the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, which will usher in the Millennium, a thousand-year reign of peace. They hold that signs and events will precede this return, guiding the faithful to prepare.

Missionary Work

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While charitable works are common in many Christian denominations, missionary work is a cornerstone of Mormon practice. Young members, typically aged 18-25, often serve missions worldwide to share the church’s teachings. This emphasis on proselytizing is distinctive among Christian denominations.

The Gathering of Israel

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A fundamental LDS belief is the gathering of Israel, where members are seen as part of the prophesied restoration of God’s covenant people. This concept influences missionary work and the church’s global outreach.

Continuing Revelation

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Mormons believe in continuing revelation, meaning that God continues to reveal his will through modern prophets. This belief allows for evolving doctrines and practices, which can adapt to contemporary challenges and needs.

Agency and Accountability

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The principle of agency is central to Mormon theology, emphasizing that individuals are free to choose their actions and are accountable to God for their decisions. This belief underscores the importance of moral agency in personal growth and salvation.

Exaltation

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Exaltation is the ultimate goal in Mormonism, referring to becoming like God and living eternally with Him. This belief involves achieving the highest level of the celestial kingdom through obedience to the gospel and temple ordinances.

Mormonism is not as widespread as Catholicism, but there are currently approximately 17 million Mormons around the world. While there are some commonalities between Mormonism and other Christian faiths, there are many unique beliefs and practices that distinguish it from other Christian denominations, raising curiosity and sometimes disputes. Exploring these beliefs provides deeper insights into a faith that continues to shape the lives of millions around the globe. It can also help other Christians to a greater understanding of Mormonism so that they can join together as one Christian community. 

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