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The Articles of Faith

Unlike the Catholic Church, which captures its essential beliefs in the Nicene Creed, the Latter-Day Saints do not have a clearly defined set of beliefs. Given their belief in continued revelations, some of which contradict previous revelations, this is no surprise. It also means that many Mormons do not fully understand their own church's beliefs and sometimes provide different positions than that of their church.

The closest statement of beliefs that the LDS Church has are the Articles of Faith, written by Joseph Smith, and now considered scripture as part of the Pearl of Great Price. The 13 Articles of Faith are provided below. I've included my comments and links to more detailed explanations of their beliefs following the relevant articles.

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

A very nice, Christian sounding, statement. But, this statement does not define the nature of God and the relationship between the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. For that, see Nature of God.

It also does not address the Mormon belief in the existence of other gods...see Polytheism.

2. We believe that men will be punished for their own sins, and not for Adams 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.

Except for certain sins...see Blood Atonement.

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.

But if you choose not to get baptized during your lifetime, don't worry, they've got a procedure for that...see Baptism for the Dead.

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.

And who has the authority, except for the True Church of God.

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.

I'm guessing "so forth" includes the belief that we are the spirit offspring of God...see Spirit Children.

8. We believe the Bible 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.

Well, we know Joseph Smith didn't think the Bible was translated correctly, since he started re-writing it...see Joseph Smith's Bible. He also considered the Book of Mormon to be superior to the Bible...see Supremacy of the Book of Mormon.

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.

This is an important belief, one which allows current prophets to change the beliefs preached by previous prophets...see Revelation.

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.

This Article of Faith violates and directly undermines the first and most important of the Ten Commandments: "I am the Lord thy God...Thou shalt have no other gods before me." This is scripture for the Latter-Day Saints...their scripture actually authorizes the worship of other gods! And the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is supposed to be God's true church?

But what does God know anyway...He is no more intelligent than us, right?...see Man's Intelligence.

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

Especially if that results in statehood for Utah...see Polygamy.

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.

Joseph Smith

History of the Church, Vol. 4, pp. 535-541