If you’ve ever wondered about the core beliefs of the LDS (Latter-day Saints), look no further! Here, we will explore the fundamental beliefs that shape the LDS faith. From the belief in a loving Heavenly Father to the eternal nature of families, the LDS Church holds these core beliefs dear and they form the foundation of their religious worldview. So, join us in this fascinating exploration of the core beliefs of LDS, and discover the principles that guide their faith and inspire millions around the world.
God and the Godhead
Belief in God
As a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS), you believe in God as the supreme being and the creator of the universe. You recognize God’s divine nature and power, and you strive to develop a personal relationship with Him. You believe that God is loving, merciful, and just, and that He is actively involved in your life and in the lives of all His children.
The Nature of God
In LDS doctrine, God is understood to be an exalted being with a physical body of flesh and bone. He possesses all knowledge, power, and attributes. He has an infinite capacity to love and bless His children. You believe that God is your Heavenly Father and that you are His literal offspring, making it possible for you to become like Him. This belief in a personal and loving God gives you comfort, guidance, and purpose in your life.
The Godhead refers to the three divine beings who are God: God the Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit. They are three separate individuals who are united in purpose, knowledge, and love. Each member of the Godhead plays a distinct role in your life and in the plan of salvation. You recognize and worship each member of the Godhead, and understand the unique attributes they possess.
The Divinity of Jesus Christ
As an LDS member, you believe in the divinity of Jesus Christ. He is the literal Son of God, born of a mortal mother and an immortal Father. Jesus Christ is the Savior and Redeemer of all mankind, and you recognize Him as the central figure in the plan of salvation. You believe that through His infinite Atonement, His sacrificial death and Resurrection, Jesus Christ offers forgiveness, healing, and eternal life to all who accept Him and follow His teachings.
The Atonement is at the core of LDS beliefs. It is the central event in human history, where Jesus Christ suffered for the sins, pains, and afflictions of all people. Through His Atonement, you believe that Jesus Christ offers you the opportunity to repent, be forgiven, and ultimately return to the presence of God. His Atonement not only covers sins, but also provides strength, comfort, and grace to help you overcome challenges and become more like Him.
The Resurrection is a fundamental belief in LDS doctrine. You believe that Jesus Christ was resurrected, meaning He overcame death and was brought back to life with a perfected and immortal body. Jesus Christ’s Resurrection is a testament to His divinity and power over death. It brings hope and assurance that you too will be resurrected and have the opportunity to live with God and your loved ones in the postmortal existence.
The Second Coming
LDS members eagerly anticipate the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. You believe that Jesus Christ will return to the earth in power and glory to establish His kingdom and reign as the righteous and just King. His Second Coming will mark the beginning of a new era of peace and righteousness. As a faithful Latter-day Saint, you strive to prepare yourself and others for His return by living His teachings and sharing the gospel.
The Savior’s Role
The role of Jesus Christ as the Savior and Redeemer is central to LDS beliefs. You recognize that without Jesus Christ’s sacrifice and grace, salvation and eternal life would not be possible. Through faith in Him, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and following His commandments, you believe you can come unto Christ and receive the blessings He offers. Jesus Christ stands as the mediator between you and God, bridging the gap caused by sin and enabling your spiritual progression.
The Holy Spirit
The Function of the Holy Spirit
In LDS theology, the Holy Spirit, also known as the Holy Ghost, plays a vital role in your life. You believe that the Holy Spirit is a member of the Godhead and is a separate individual from God the Father and Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit acts as a constant companion, guide, and comforter. He testifies of truth, teaches and prompts you, and fills you with feelings of peace, joy, and love. Through the Holy Spirit, you can receive personal revelation, gain knowledge, and feel God’s presence in your life.
The Gift of the Holy Ghost
The gift of the Holy Ghost is a sacred and significant event in the life of an LDS member. After baptism by proper authority, you have the opportunity to receive the gift of the Holy Ghost through the laying on of hands. This gift enables you to have a more constant companionship with the Holy Spirit and access to spiritual gifts and blessings. The Holy Ghost can sanctify you, guide you in making righteous choices, and help you develop a personal relationship with God.
The Plan of Salvation
LDS doctrine teaches that before you were born on Earth, you lived as a spirit child of heavenly parents in a premortal existence. In the premortal realm, you had the opportunity to learn, progress, and make choices. You believe that during this time, a divine plan for your eternal progression was presented, and you chose to come to Earth to gain a physical body, learn and grow through experiences, and ultimately become more like your Heavenly Father.
Mortal life is seen as a crucial part of the plan of salvation. You believe that Earth is a place where you can learn, make choices, and experience joy and growth. You understand that mortality brings challenges, trials, and temptations, but you also recognize it as a time of opportunity for developing faith, exercising agency, and making choices that can lead to eternal happiness. You strive to live according to God’s commandments and follow the example of Jesus Christ during your mortal journey.
As mentioned earlier, the Atonement of Jesus Christ is a central component of the plan of salvation. You believe that through His Atonement, Jesus Christ bridged the gap between your fallen state and eternal life. His sacrifice enables you to repent, be forgiven, and progress spiritually. The Atonement provides a way for you to overcome sin, weakness, and adversity, and to receive the blessings and exaltation God offers.
Following mortal life, you believe in the continuation of your existence in the postmortal realm. When your physical body dies, your spirit will continue to live and will be reunited with your resurrected body. You believe in a judgment that will determine your eternal destiny based on your faithfulness, repentance, and obedience to God’s commandments. This postmortal existence offers the opportunity for continued growth, learning, and progression towards eternal life in the presence of God.
LDS teachings emphasize the belief that after the death of the original apostles, there was a falling away from the true gospel and the authority to act in God’s name was lost. This period of time, known as the Apostasy, resulted in the distortion and loss of many plain and precious truths. You believe that this Apostasy was prophesied in the Bible and that it led to the need for a restoration of the true church and its priesthood authority.
The Prophet Joseph Smith
In the early 19th century, you believe that God called Joseph Smith to be His prophet and restored the gospel of Jesus Christ through him. Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon, which you believe to be another testament of Jesus Christ. He received revelations, organized the Church, and reestablished the priesthood authority necessary for the administration of the ordinances and covenants. You regard Joseph Smith as a prophet of God and a key figure in the Restoration.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
As an LDS member, you belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. You believe that the Church was restored by God through Joseph Smith. The Church is not just an organization or a social institution, but the restored kingdom of God on the earth, with Jesus Christ as its head. You believe in the divine origin and authority of the Church and strive to actively participate in its ordinances, teachings, and fellowship.
LDS belief includes the acceptance of modern-day prophets and apostles as successors to Joseph Smith. You believe that these leaders are called, ordained, and guided by God to receive revelation and provide guidance for the members of the Church and the world. The teachings and counsel of these living prophets are considered authoritative and are believed to offer guidance and help in navigating the challenges and complexities of life.
As an LDS member, you believe in the principle of continuing revelation. This means that God continues to speak to His children through prophets, apostles, and personal revelation. You believe that God can reveal new truths, guidance, and understanding to individuals, families, and the Church as a whole. This ongoing communication with God brings greater understanding, light, and direction, helping you navigate the changing world and personal circumstances.
LDS members revere the Bible as holy scripture. You recognize it as the word of God, containing the sacred writings of ancient prophets and apostles. You value the teachings, stories, doctrines, and principles found in the Bible and view it as a source of guidance and inspiration. The Bible testifies of Jesus Christ, His mission, and His teachings.
The Book of Mormon
The Book of Mormon is another important scripture in LDS belief. You believe it to be a record of ancient prophets in the Americas, compiled by the prophet Mormon and translated by Joseph Smith. The Book of Mormon is considered to be another testament of Jesus Christ, providing additional evidence of His divinity and the truthfulness of His gospel. It contains teachings, prophecies, and principles that are relevant to your life today.
Doctrine and Covenants
The Doctrine and Covenants is a collection of revelations, commandments, and teachings received by Joseph Smith and subsequent prophets. You believe that these revelations were given specifically for the establishment and guidance of the Church in modern times. The Doctrine and Covenants provides doctrinal explanations, organizational instructions, and spiritual counsel that are applicable to your life and the governing of the Church.
Pearl of Great Price
The Pearl of Great Price is another scriptural compilation that contains additional revelations, translations, and writings. You believe that it includes the Book of Moses, the Book of Abraham, Joseph Smith-Matthew, and Joseph Smith-History, among other texts. These writings provide further insights into the plan of salvation, the teachings of Jesus Christ, and the calling of prophets in ancient times and in the Restoration era.
The Aaronic Priesthood
Within the LDS Church, there are two main divisions of the priesthood: the Aaronic Priesthood and the Melchizedek Priesthood. The Aaronic Priesthood is named after the biblical figure Aaron, and it is often referred to as the preparatory priesthood. It includes the offices of Deacon, Teacher, and Priest. Through the Aaronic Priesthood, young men in the Church are given opportunities to serve and build their faith.
The Melchizedek Priesthood
The Melchizedek Priesthood is named after the biblical figure Melchizedek, who was a great high priest. It is a higher and more expansive priesthood authority, encompassing the power and authority to act in God’s name. The Melchizedek Priesthood includes the offices of Elder, High Priest, Seventy, and Apostle. Through the Melchizedek Priesthood, worthy male members of the Church are given the authority to perform sacred ordinances, preach the gospel, and provide leadership and service.
Restoration of Priesthood Authority
LDS belief teaches that the priesthood authority, which was lost during the Apostasy, was restored by heavenly messengers to Joseph Smith. You believe that John the Baptist restored the Aaronic Priesthood and Peter, James, and John restored the Melchizedek Priesthood. This restoration of priesthood authority is seen as a key aspect of the Restoration and allows for the administration of saving ordinances and the organization of the Church according to God’s pattern.
Salvation and Eternal Progression
Salvation through Grace
LDS belief holds that salvation is made possible through the grace of Jesus Christ. You understand grace to be the enabling power and divine assistance that allows you to repent, receive forgiveness, and progress in becoming like your Heavenly Father. While you strive to keep God’s commandments and do good works, you recognize that it is through the grace of Jesus Christ that you are ultimately saved and exalted.
Works and Faith
Faith and works go hand in hand in LDS theology. You believe that true faith in Jesus Christ leads to action and obedience to His commandments. You strive to demonstrate your faith through your thoughts, words, and deeds. Your good works, such as serving others, obeying God’s commandments, and seeking to become more Christlike, are evidence of your faith and a way to show your gratitude for the blessings of the Atonement.
The Celestial Kingdom is the highest degree of glory in LDS belief. It is where God the Father and Jesus Christ dwell, and where you hope to reside after this mortal life. To attain the Celestial Kingdom, you believe you must have faith in Jesus Christ, repent of your sins, be baptized and receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, and endure faithfully to the end. In the Celestial Kingdom, you anticipate eternal joy, progression, and the opportunity to be with your loved ones.
The concept of eternal progression is foundational to LDS belief. You believe that God’s plan encompasses your eternal growth and development. As you exercise faith, repent, receive ordinances, and follow the Savior’s teachings, you hope to progress spiritually, intellectually, and emotionally. You believe that in the eternities, you can continue to learn, improve, and become like your Heavenly Father, participating in divine work and experiencing everlasting joy and fulfillment.
The Purpose of Temples
Temples hold great significance in LDS belief. They are considered sacred places dedicated to the Lord, where you can seek personal revelation, perform saving ordinances, and make covenants with God. Temples are seen as a way to come closer to God and receive His blessings. They are a physical representation of the spiritual connection between heaven and Earth.
Ordinances and Covenants
Within the temple, you have the opportunity to participate in sacred ordinances and make covenants with God. These ordinances, such as baptisms for the dead, endowments, and sealings, are considered essential for your eternal progression and exaltation. Through these ordinances, you believe you can access the blessings of the Atonement and make connections that last beyond mortal life.
Families and Eternal Sealings
A significant focus of temple worship is the sealing ordinance, which connects families together for eternity. You believe that through the sealing power of the priesthood, marriages and families can be bound together in a way that extends beyond mortality. This sealing ordinance brings hope and joy, knowing that your relationships with loved ones can continue beyond the grave and into the eternities. It emphasizes the eternal nature of family and the importance of strengthening and nurturing those relationships.
LDS belief holds that marriage can be an eternal covenant. In the temple, you have the opportunity to be married or sealed to your spouse for time and all eternity. This sealing ordinance allows couples to continue their relationship beyond death and to progress together in the eternities. It is seen as the pinnacle of love, commitment, and partnership, and provides the foundation for eternal families.
Family as the Fundamental Unit
The family is regarded as the fundamental unit of society and of the Church. You believe that strong families are essential for individual growth, happiness, and the establishment of righteous communities. As a member of the LDS Church, you strive to prioritize and nurture your family relationships, creating an environment of love, respect, and support. You believe that the family unit can bring great joy and serve as a source of eternal strength.
LDS belief provides the hope and assurance that through the plan of salvation and ordinances performed in the temple, families can be together forever. You believe that with faithfulness to the gospel and the sealing power of the priesthood, you can be reunited with your loved ones in the eternities. This belief in eternal families brings comfort, peace, and motivation to strengthen family ties and live in a way that is harmonious with God’s eternal design for the family unit.
In conclusion, the core beliefs of LDS encompass the nature of God, the divinity of Jesus Christ, the role of the Holy Spirit, the plan of salvation, the Restoration, the importance of scriptures and priesthood authority, the doctrine of salvation, the purpose of temples, and the significance of family. These beliefs provide a foundation for your faith and guide your actions and decisions in striving to become more like your Heavenly Father. As a member of the LDS Church, you are encouraged to continue learning, growing, and living these beliefs, knowing that they bring blessings and the hope of eternal joy and progression.