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Mormonism

From Academic Kids

Mormonism (also called Latter Day Saint theology or Mormon theology and Latter Day Saint culture or Mormon culture) is a religion, ideology, movement, and subculture originating in the early 1800s as a product of the Latter Day Saint movement. The term Mormonism is also often used to refer specifically to the theology and culture of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which is by far the most numerous and well-known religion among sects claiming derivation from Joseph Smith.

Mormonism is based on belief in Jesus as the Messiah, in the Israelites as a covenant people; as a form of Restorationism, it professes a restoration to the earth of the original Church instituted by Christ himself and thought to have been lost in a Great Apostasy after the death of Christ. Consequently, it has had complex and uneasy relationships with both mainstream Christianity and mainstream Judaism, as discussed in Mormonism and Christianity and in Mormonism and Judaism.

Most who practice Mormonism may be respectfully referred to as Latter Day Saints (members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints spell this Latter-day Saints). Other generally acceptable terms include LDS, Saints, and Mormons, although members of some sects other than The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints prefer not to be called Mormons. A very small minority view the terms Mormonism and Mormons as offensive slurs. Historically, Latter-day Saints have also been called Mormonites and Brighamites (followers of Brigham Young).

Contents

Mormonism as a theology

As a theology, Mormonism as a whole includes a highly diverse and eclectic cluster of religious beliefs. There is much in common with the Campbellite, Restorationist, and Universalist beliefs prevalent to the area. Smith's theology was seen by contemporary Mormons as answering nearly all of the unresolved religious questions of his day. The bedrock Mormon belief, however, is the acceptance of modern prophecy; that is, that people in modern times have the gift to authoritatively speak the mind or will of God. Common to all sects of Mormonism is the belief that Joseph Smith, Jr., the founder of the Latter Day Saint movement, was such a prophet.

Joseph Smith, when asked what The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints believed, wrote what is now known as the Articles of Faith. Though the articles of faith are not a complete representation of the beliefs of Mormonism, they do represent some fundamental beliefs.

Beliefs

Nature of God

A)God the Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost are one God (2 Nephi 31:21), though separate beings, known collectively as the Godhead.

B)God the Father and Jesus Christ have tangible bodies of flesh and bone.

C)Humans are children of a Father in Heaven and through the atonement of Jesus Christ they can return to Him and participate in all that Heavenly Father has, as Christ taught.

Pre-mortal & human existence

Mormons believe in as many as 5 stages of life.

  • Pre-spirit existence as intelligences.
  • Pre-mortal existence as spirit children of the Heavenly Father.
  • A time of probation on earth. During earthly life a veil prevents people from remembering the pre-existence.
  • A spirit world after the mortal world and before the resurrection.
  • Post-resurrection inheritance of an eternal glory or darkness.

Jesus Christ

a) Jesus Christ was the only begotten son of God the Father.

b) Christ atoned for the sins of humanity and also provided that all will be resurrected.

c) Christ saves humanity through His grace resulting from his atoning sacrifice as we individually accept Him as our personal savior. Christ's disciples follow His teachings in humble faith, hope, love, and gratitude.

Salvation

a)We are responsible for our own sins, and must turn from them.

b)We must be baptized for the remission of sins.

c)Faithful works determine the glory of the believer in heaven.

d)Salvation from the effects of sin (Separation from Father / Death) is overcome only by grace, through the atonement of Jesus Christ, after all we can do.

Afterlife

a)Everybody receives a perfected physical body in a personal resurrection, but to receive eternal life which is exaltation with God depends on various things including receiving the ordinances necessary for salvation and the way we live our lives.

b)People spend eternity in one of three Kingdoms of Glory.

c)Only those who most reflect the attributes of the Son will live with God the Father.

d)Those who knowingly defy and deny God as Satan did will be cast into outer darkness.

Scripture

a)The Bible as far as it has been properly translated is the literal word of God.

b)The Book of Mormon, The Pearl of Great Price, the Doctrine of Covenants, and revelations from modern prophets (the church presidents) are also God's word.

Mormon faith versus other faiths

Mormons believe that:

  • The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ and reflects the form it possessed at the time of the Apostles. All other Christian churches have drifted away from the original church set up by Christ, but nonetheless contain much truth.
  • Only the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has true divine authority to perform required ordinances, nevertheless all other churches and faiths have much of value to teach people.

See also

External links

Official websites of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

  • LDS.org (http://lds.org) - the official website of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
  • Mormon.org (http://mormon.org) - information on basic beliefs, a meetinghouse locator, and a place to email questions
  • Provident Living (http://www.providentliving.org/) - addresses lifestyles for spiritual and temporal welfare
  • Forever Families (http://www.foreverfamilies.net/) - addresses provides practical, scholarly and sacred information for strengthening individuals, marriages and families of all faiths
  • The Scriptures - Internet Edition (http://scriptures.lds.org)
  • FamilySearch.org (http://www.familysearch.org) - used for family history and genealogical research
  • Gospel Library (http://lds.org/gospellibrary/0,5082,4-1,00.html) - contains official publications and texts

Additional Websites

Opposing Views

  • Exmormon.org (http://exmormon.org) - by former members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
  • Apologetics Index (http://www.apologeticsindex.org/) - by Evangelical Christians, provides research resources from a variety of perspectives
  • Mormonism and the LDS Church (http://www.lds-mormon.com/) - a fairly extensive critical collection by a former Mormon missionary.
  • Utah Lighthouse Ministry (http://www.utlm.org/) - a ministry to Mormons of Evangelical Christians who have left the LDS Church
  • Concerned Christians (http://www.concernedchristians.org/) - an Evangelical ministry by former Mormons to Mormons
  • Zarahemla City Limits (http://home.comcast.net/~zarahemla/) - essays and commentary about the LDS Church from a skeptical viewpoint
  • The View from the Foyer (http://www.aimoo.com/forum/freeboard.cfm?id=418550\) - message board for those leaving the LDS Church or those who continue to attend while disbelieving the core tenets of the church
  • Rethinking Mormonism (http://www.i4m.com/think/intro/) Thoughts by a former Mormon.
  • Stay LDS (http://www.stay-lds.com/) - topical site that uses irony as critical commentary.
  • Cognitive Dissidents (http://forums.delphiforums.com/Dissidents1/start/) a forum that views the Mormon church criticallyeo:Mormonismo

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