What do Mormons Really Believe?

While not an actual question someone left in the question box, it is a top entry in Google’s autocomplete for “What do Mormons…”

Mormons really believe in God, our Eternal, Heavenly Father, in Jesus Christ, the Son of God and our Savior and Redeemer, and in the Holy Ghost, who testifies of both the Father and the Son.

We really believe in the power of the Atonement of Christ in daily life.

We really believe that God still communicates His will to people on earth directly and prophets exist in the same way they did in biblical times to teach God’s will to the people generally.

Besides revelation and prophecy, we really believe in miracles and in the power of God on earth, and that the priesthood, the authority to act in God’s name, has been restored to the earth.

We really believe the true gospel that has been taught since the days of Adam.

We really believe the Bible and the Book of Mormon to be the word of God and that further words from God will be given to us as He deems necessary.

We really believe in being good people and serving our fellow man.

We really believe that by following the commandments, we can live fuller, better lives because they are given by a loving God who has our best interests first.

Question Box: Do Mormons believe in Jesus?


Sometimes people hear about “Mormons” but don’t realize that the actual name of the religion is “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints”.  Jesus Christ is our Savior, Lord and Redeemer. We believe that He was born of the Virgin Mary in Bethlehem as described in the New Testament. As the Son of God, He came to save all mankind through his suffering in Gethsemane, death on the cross and resurrection on the third day.

Related Articles and Links:

mormon.org – Jesus Christ
lds.org – Jesus Christ, Son of God
What Do Mormons Believe about the Atonement of Jesus Christ?
Jesus the Christ
Do Mormons Believe in the Trinity?
Is Jesus the only son of God?
The Living Christ
Why I am a Mormon
Are Mormons Christians
The Bible: A Testimony of Jesus Christ
mormon.org – Christ

Is Mormonism a Cult?

You might have heard that the Reverend Robert Jeffress called Mormonism a cult a couple weekends ago. It’s nothing new to us Mormons: people have been calling us cultists for generations. It’s only news because someone connected to a presidential campaign said it, giving journalists the perfect excuse to write headlines combining the words “religion” and “politics.”

With accusations of bigotry flying in from all directions, the pastor has stood by his statement and made the clarification that Mormonism is a “theological cult,” which has a different denotation than a “sociological cult” akin to the small, controlling groups led by the likes of David Koresh and Jim Jones. The way that Jeffress describes it, a “theological cult” is a religious group that deviates from traditional Christianity significantly enough that it should be excluded from the realm of Christianity.

Now, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints does deviate from traditional Christianity in some ways, so there may be some value in his assessment; it’s a question worth exploring through further research and education. My main objection to the term “cult” is its connotation: it conjures up images of brain-washing, living in barbed-wire compounds, restricting access to the outside world. Rather than opening the question, it closes the door on it. The intent of the word is to tell everyone, “DANGER! Don’t go near these loons!”

So, there’s a problem with the word “cult” itself: it’s pejorative. Rev. Jeffress’ relatively neutral definition is automatically charged by the fierce emotional context surrounding the word, and the message of that emotion is “REJECT MORMONS!” As Mormons, we feel that message unfairly replaces education with anti-Mormon propaganda.

This tactic is relatively commonplace in the public square. The well-known atheist, Christopher Hitchens recently summed up my religion as one led by “a supreme leader, known as the prophet [who can order Mormons] to turn upon and shun any members who show any signs of backsliding […] Word is that the church can be harder to leave than it was to join. Hefty donations and tithes are apparently appreciated from the membership.”

If Jeffress or Hitchens were my first introduction to Mormonism, I’d probably call the LDS church worse names than “cult.” Fortunately, I (as a Mormon) know more about my religion than these two combined.

While each of these descriptions is based on a small kernel of truth (we do have some theological differences with traditional Christianity and we do indeed have a prophet and we pay our tithing, etc.), they mislead you (we believe in the grace of Jesus Christ, we actively reach out to “backsliding” members, and we allow members to resign their membership freely). Without the necessary context it’s impossible to understand some issues the way Mormons understand them. If your goal is to feed your hatred for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints then stop right here. Just go find some anti-Mormon screeds and don’t be surprised when you develop strong feelings of disdain and disgust for us lunatic Mormons.

If you want to understand Mormonism, though, here are the main things a Mormon will focus on when introducing the Church:

  • God is our Father and He loves us,
  • Jesus Christ atoned for our sins,
  • the original Christian priesthood and apostleship have been restored, and
  • God speaks to us through His prophets and through the Holy Ghost.

I’m not sure why these don’t get the press’s attention as much, but they are the foundational principles of the Mormon religion (and my life). Start with these to better understand the frequent accusations and misleading descriptions that are thrown our way.

To get a true education on our religion, contact a Mormon friend or acquaintance; you can ask them your questions directly. We are always itching to tell our story to people who want to learn, especially if the focus is on the central themes I listed here. If you don’t know any Mormons, send me an email. I’ll gladly volunteer to be your first latter-day saint friend.

Question Box: The Mormon Bible

From the question box: Does the Mormon Bible have the book of revelation in it?

Short answer: yes.

Our church has four officially canonized books of scripture, of which the Bible is one. We use and love the Bible because it is a book that contains revealed truth about God and Jesus Christ. No other book in our canon is referred to as a “Bible”, so when you say “the Mormon Bible”, you are really talking about the same Bible used by any other Christian church. In that sense, our Bible has the book of Revelation in it just like any other Bible does.

However, when somebody refers to “the Mormon Bible”, we assume they mean The Book of Mormon, which is another book in our canon of scripture. It is the testimony of Jesus Christ as recorded by a branch of the house of Israel that emigrated from Jerusalem before the Babylonian captivity. It contains many great truths, prophecies and testimonies of Jesus Christ, but it does not have the Revelation of John referred to in the question.

For more information as well as a discussion of our other books of scripture, you can follow the links below:

More Than the Bible?

The Book of Mormon: The Mormons’ Bible?

The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ