Core Beliefs

The main purpose of God’s numberless creations is to allow His children to find joy
and happiness.  Latter-day Saints believe in a loving, personal God as our Heavenly Father. Since He is the Father of our spirits, all people are His children created in His image, and thus all people are brothers and sisters.

The Father sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to redeem mankind from their sins. Church members try to model their lives on the teachings of Jesus Christ. What Mormons refer to as the “plan of salvation” explains the pre-mortal state of all mankind, the reasons why God created the world, the nature and purpose of our life here and what future awaits us in the next life.

God has called new apostles and prophets in modern times through whom He reveals his word, as He did anciently. All individuals are entitled to commune with God and receive guidance from Him concerning their individual lives. Thus, God still speaks to humankind.

In 1842, Joseph Smith composed 13 statements which are referred to as “The Articles of Faith”.

The Godhead
The Trinity of traditional Christianity is referred to as the Godhead by members of The Church
of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. While the same terms are used by Latter-day Saints and
other Christians for the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit (or Holy Ghost), Latter-day Saint
understanding of the three members of the Godhead is significantly different from that of
traditional Christianity.

God the Father
God is often referred to in the Church as Heavenly Father, because He is the Father of all human spirits and they are created in His image. It is an appropriate term for a God who is kind and just, all wise and all powerful. Latter-day Saints believe He has a human-like body but is immortal and perfected. Heavenly Father instituted the “plan of salvation” which allows worthy individuals after they die to return and live in His presence and with their families for eternity. In fact, this is His work — to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of His sons and daughters.

Jesus Christ
Jesus Christ is the Son of God and is central to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which bears His name. Every prayer, whether in the home or in the chapel, invokes the name of Jesus Christ. Similarly, every sermon in a chapel is given in the name of Jesus Christ. The emblems of the sacrament (communion) that are taken weekly in worship services are symbols of the Atonement12 of Jesus Christ. Latter-day Saints wholly accept the New Testament accounts of the birth, life and ministry, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

He, like His Father, has a physical body — the same body that walked out of the tomb after His
resurrection, and which He invited His apostles to “handle … and see.”  As the Son of God and
the only perfect man who ever lived, Jesus set the example in His life for all to follow. Because
humans fall short, Christ’s atoning sacrifice pays the price of sin on condition of individual
repentance. His sacrifice also allows all humankind to be resurrected into immortality. He is the
Savior of the world, and in a future time will be the Judge before whom all human beings will
make an accounting of their lives.

In 2000, the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles — the Church’s two
highest governing bodies — issued a proclamation, “The Living Christ: The Testimony of the Apostles” stating the Church’s doctrine about Jesus Christ.

Holy Ghost
Church members believe the Holy Ghost is a personage of spirit, not a physical being. The special mission of the Holy Ghost — sometimes called the Holy Spirit — is to testify of the Father and the Son, to reveal truth, to comfort and to sanctify. He is a divine guide and teacher. Latter-day Saints believe that the Holy Ghost can inspire and influence righteous people who are receptive to those promptings. In addition, the “gift” of the Holy Ghost is the privilege of enjoying His constant companionship if God’s commandments are followed. It is given after baptism to members of the Church by a priesthood holder who puts his hands on the head of the baptized person and blesses him or her to “receive the Holy Ghost.”

Plan of Salvation
For Latter-day Saints, the mortal existence is seen in the context of a great sweep of history,
from a pre-earth life where the spirits of all mankind lived with Heavenly Father to a future life
in His presence where continued growth, learning and improving will take place. Life on earth is
regarded as a probationary state in which men and women are tried and tested — and where they
gain essential experience they otherwise could never have.

Latter-day Saints believe God knew that humans would make mistakes, so He provided a Savior,
Jesus Christ, who would take upon Himself the sins of the world. While some of the gifts of the
Atonement are unconditional (a resurrected body, immortality), men and women are expected to
repent of their sins and strive to live more in harmony with the teachings of Christ in order to
continue to progress and reach their potential in the next life.

To members of the Church, physical death on earth is not an end but the beginning of the next
step in Heavenly Father’s plan for His children. Nor does death need to be the end of relationships with loved ones. Families can be together forever, beyond this mortal existence.
Family members who accept the atonement of Jesus Christ and follow His example can be sealed
together forever through sacred ordinances performed in God’s holy temples.

Latter-day Saint doctrine teaches that after the resurrection, all will be judged and rewarded for
the things done in this life. Those who are worthy to return to the presence of God and Christ
become “heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ” of all that the Father has. They will return
to live with Heavenly Father and with their families. Those who choose not to follow God and
Christ will receive a reward according to what they have done in this life, but they will not enjoy
the glory of living in the presence of God.

Modern Prophets and Continuing Revelation
Modern apostles and prophets are a distinctive feature of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter –day Saints. Church members view senior Church leaders – Joseph Smith, Brigham Young and
the presidents of the Church that followed – as prophets of God in much the same way as they
and other Christians and also Jews view Abraham, Moses, and Isaiah as prophets, or as Muslims
view Muhammad as a prophet. Thomas S. Monson is the current president and prophet of the

Along with living prophets and apostles comes continuing revelation and additional scripture. In
addition to translating the Book of Mormon, Joseph Smith recorded other revelations he received
from God. Many of these revelations are found in two other books of modern-day scripture
called the Doctrine and Covenants and the Pearl of Great Price. Successive presidents of the
Church since then have made their own distinctive contributions. Additional scripture doesn’t
mean the Book of Mormon replaces the Bible (Old Testament and New Testament) as scripture
for members of the Church. The Bible and the Book of Mormon are used side-by-side in their
preaching and personal study.

Belief in prophets and apostles that represent Jesus Christ, who is the head of the Church, does
not mean that members blindly follow their leaders. While the prophet of God receives
revelation and inspiration to guide the Church as a whole, revelation flows at every level,
including to the leaders of local congregations and to individual families and members. In fact,
individual members are expected to seek divine guidance to help them in their own lives, in their
responsibilities in the Church and even in temporal pursuits, including their occupations.
Members are also expected to prayerfully seek their own conviction (referred to as a witness or
“testimony”) of the principles their leaders teach them.

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