How Do Latter-day Saints Differ From Catholic Beliefs?

In this article, we will explore the distinct perspectives and contrasting beliefs of Latter-day Saints and Catholics. While both religious groups share a foundation in Christianity, their teachings, practices, and doctrinal views often diverge. From theological discrepancies to their unique organizational structures, we will delve into the fascinating distinctions that set these two faiths apart. Join us as we embark on a journey to understand the contrasting worldviews of Latter-day Saints and Catholics, discovering what makes each of these religious traditions truly special in their own way.

Beliefs about God

Nature of God

In the beliefs of Latter-day Saints, God is seen as a loving Heavenly Father who cares deeply for all of His children. He is seen as a being with a physical body, similar to ours, but perfected and divine in nature. Latter-day Saints believe that God is omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent, and that He actively guides and directs His children’s lives.

The Trinity

One key difference between Latter-day Saints and Catholic beliefs is the understanding of the nature of the Trinity. While Catholics believe in the concept of the Trinity as three persons in one God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit), Latter-day Saints believe that God the Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost are three separate and distinct beings. They are seen as united in purpose, but not in a literal sense of being one substance.


The Bible

Latter-day Saints accept the Bible as scripture and believe it to be the word of God. However, they also believe that it has undergone some changes and translations over time, leading to potential errors and omissions. They rely on the scriptures, particularly the Old and New Testaments, as a source of divine guidance and spiritual enlightenment.

Additional Scripture

In addition to the Bible, Latter-day Saints also consider the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and Pearl of Great Price as sacred texts. They believe that these additional scriptures were revealed and translated by prophets, specifically for the restoration of Christ’s original Church on earth.

Priesthood Authority


Latter-day Saints believe in a hierarchical structure within their church. This structure includes various levels of authority, starting with the Prophet and President of the Church, who is seen as the highest authority on earth. Below the Prophet, there are Apostles, Seventies, and other leaders who hold keys of authority within the priesthood.


Latter-day Saints believe in the authority of the priesthood, which is seen as the power and authority to act in the name of God. Priesthood ordination is essential for certain church roles and responsibilities, including performing sacred ordinances such as baptisms and blessings. This authority is seen as necessary for the proper functioning of the Church and for the administration of its saving ordinances.

Worship Practices


Latter-day Saints have several sacraments, or ordinances, that are considered essential for spiritual growth and progression. These include baptism, confirmation, the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper, and various temple ordinances. These sacraments are seen as acts of obedience, faith, and commitment to God and His teachings.

Temples and Ordinances

Temples hold great significance in the worship practices of Latter-day Saints. They believe that temples are sacred spaces where they can make covenants with God, perform sacred ordinances on behalf of deceased ancestors, and seek spiritual enlightenment. These ordinances are seen as essential for eternal progression and the sealing of families for eternity.

Hierarchy and Leadership


Unlike Catholicism, the Latter-day Saint faith does not recognize a Pope as the head of the Church. Their leadership structure involves a Prophet and President who is believed to receive direct revelation from God for the entire Church. This leader, along with Twelve Apostles, is seen as the highest authority in the Church.

Prophet and Apostles

Latter-day Saints believe in a living Prophet and Apostles who receive divine revelation and guidance for the Church. They see them as modern-day counterparts to the biblical prophets and apostles. These leaders are believed to have the authority to lead and make decisions for the Church, and their teachings are seen as inspired and authoritative.


Grace and Works

Latter-day Saints believe in the importance of both grace and works in attaining salvation. They believe that salvation is made possible through the grace of Jesus Christ and His Atonement, which provides forgiveness of sins. However, they also emphasize the need for active participation in living a righteous life, following commandments, and performing good works as manifestations of faith.

Heaven and Hell

Latter-day Saints believe in the concept of multiple levels of heaven, where individuals will be assigned based on their choices and actions in this life. They do not believe in a traditional notion of hell but teach that those who reject or choose not to accept the gospel of Jesus Christ may experience a separation from God’s presence in the afterlife.

Original Sin

Adamic Transgression

Latter-day Saints teach that the story of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden represents a necessary step in God’s plan for his children’s salvation. They refer to the events as the “Adamic Transgression” rather than the original sin. They believe that this transgression was necessary for the progression and agency of humanity, rather than a sinful act that condemned all of humanity.

The Fall

Latter-day Saints also believe in the Fall as an essential part of God’s plan. They see the Fall as a necessary step in allowing individuals to experience mortality, learn and grow, and exercise their agency. They do not view the Fall as a tragic event but rather as a vital part of the plan of salvation.

The Family

Marriage and Divorce

Latter-day Saints believe in the sacred nature of marriage between a man and a woman. They believe that marriage is intended to be an eternal covenant, binding husband and wife together not only in this life but also in the life to come. Divorce is viewed as a serious and regrettable matter, but it is recognized that some circumstances may warrant it.

Eternal Families

Latter-day Saints hold a strong belief in the eternal nature of families. They believe that families can be sealed together for eternity through temple ordinances, ensuring that familial relationships can continue beyond this life. This belief in eternal families brings great comfort and hope to Latter-day Saints, emphasizing the importance of family bonds and eternal relationships.

Beliefs about Jesus Christ

Divinity and Atonement

Latter-day Saints share a fundamental belief in the divinity of Jesus Christ and His role as Savior and Redeemer. They believe that through His Atonement, all humanity can be forgiven of their sins and have the opportunity for eternal life. His sacrifice is seen as the ultimate act of love and mercy.

Gospel Teachings

Latter-day Saints view the teachings of Jesus Christ as essential for guiding their lives and finding peace and happiness. They strive to follow His example and teachings, which emphasize love, forgiveness, service, and the importance of faith. The life, ministry, and teachings of Jesus Christ are seen as the cornerstone of their faith.

Religious Practices

Worship Services

Latter-day Saints gather for weekly worship services on Sundays. These services typically include singing hymns, praying, partaking of the sacrament, and listening to sermons and teachings. The focus is on worshiping God and learning from the scriptures and the teachings of modern prophets and apostles.

Missions and Service

Latter-day Saints place great emphasis on missionary work and service to others. Young men and women are encouraged to go on missions to share their faith and help others. Service is seen as a way to follow the example of Jesus Christ and show love to others. Whether it is through humanitarian efforts or individual acts of kindness, service is an integral part of Latter-day Saint religious practices.

Throughout these various aspects of belief and practice, Latter-day Saints strive to cultivate a personal relationship with God and live according to His teachings. Their faith is built upon the principles of love, service, and a strong sense of community. Through their unique beliefs and practices, they seek to draw closer to God and find joy and purpose in this life and the life to come.