I’m excited to be participating in the 3rdAnnual LDS Writer Blogfest. “LDS” stands for Latter-day Saints, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Most people know us as the Mormons (I use LDS/Mormon interchangeably). As part of the blogfest we were given the option of either writing about a favorite speaker from our recent LDS worldwide conference, or to write about our beliefs in general. Since I tweeted quite extensively about the conference, and since many of my friends are not of my faith—blog/twitter/facebook followers as well—I chose to write about my beliefs.
With Mitt Romney’s run for US President this year (he’s LDS/Mormon if you didn’t know), it’s been an interesting year for my religion. I live in Michigan where there aren’t an abundance of Mormons. That means I get ample opportunity to talk about who and what we are—as well as who and what we are not. With Mitt Romney as the probable GOP nominee, it’s been great to see how many people have a better and more accurate understanding of Mormons. I love that. However…there are still a lot of misunderstandings and even blatant lies. While I don’t claim to be an expert on the LDS Church, I have been an active, participating member my whole life, so I thought I’d just give a quick overview, in case you’re curious.
1) There are approximately 14 million LDS/Mormons around the world.
We have temples throughout the world, we believe in miracles and that the heavens are still open. In fact, we have an open canon of scripture, including the Old and New Testament, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and others. Very cool.
Article of Faith #1) “We believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost.”
We believe they are three separate beings functioning as one unit, the Godhead. This is slightly different than the concept of the Trinity.
Article of Faith #3) “We believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel.”
I’ve had many people ask me if Mormons are Christians. (I actually wrote a post on this awhile back, read it here.) I will just say a resounding, YES!!! Mormons believe that Jesus Christ is the son of God and our only way to salvation. We, however, do not believe in the concept of grace alone. Like this Article of Faith states, our salvation comes in part through obedience to his commandments. Like it states in the Book of Mormon, “For we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do.” (2 Ne 25:23) Or like James said in the New Testament, “Faith without works is dead.” (James 2:20)
|Are Mormons Christian? YES!|
AofF #6) “We believe in the same organization that existed in the Primitive Church, namely, apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists, and so forth.”
|Thomas S. Monson, Prophet and President of
the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints since 2008
AofF #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.”
AofF #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.”
Mormons are known for being family-oriented people. That is in part because we believe the family is more than just an earthly relation. We believe that families can live together as families into the eternities. In other words, when my husband and I were married, we were not wed “until death do us part” but “for time and all eternity.” I love that he’s mine forever. I love that I am not just a mother now, but I will be a mother forever.
|LDS Temple in Salt Lake City where couples are married for time and all eternity|
Mormons also have a strict chastity law, meaning no sexual relations before marriage, and only complete fidelity after. And if you’re curious about the polygamy thing, it was outlawed in 1890. Groups practicing polygamy are NOT part of the LDS Church. In fact, members are excommunicated if found practicing polygamy. Polygamists belong to their own church, sometimes referred to as Fundamentalist Mormons, but please don’t link us together. It’s not accurate.
Mormons are also well known for our Word of Wisdom law that asks us to avoid alcohol, coffee, tea, drugs, and tobacco in all forms. While that may seem very restrictive, I actually love this law. It means my mind is always my own, if that makes sense.
Anything you want to add? Any questions you have for me?
related articles: Are Mormons Christian?
Mitt for Mormonism?
PS: To read more from the LDS Blogfest, here’s the list of participants. I have a lot of reading to do today. :)
Ben SpendloveBritanny Larsen
Julie Coulter Bellon
Krista Van Dolzer