What Exactly Do Mormons Believe?

Are you curious about the beliefs of Mormons? In this article, we will explore the core beliefs that shape the Mormon faith. From their belief in God and Jesus Christ, to their unique teachings on modern-day revelation and the eternal nature of families, we will provide a brief overview that will help you gain a better understanding of the Mormon faith. So, let’s dive in and discover what exactly Mormons believe!

The Basics of Mormonism

Introduction to Mormonism

Mormonism, also known as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is a religion that originated in the United States in the early 19th century. It is a faith founded on the belief in modern-day revelation and the restoration of the original Christian church. The teachings of Mormonism are based on the Book of Mormon, a sacred text believed to be a record of ancient inhabitants of the American continent. Mormons believe in the importance of family, personal revelation, and the role of prophets in guiding the church.

The Book of Mormon

At the core of Mormon belief is the Book of Mormon, which is considered by Mormons to be an additional volume of scripture alongside the Bible. According to their beliefs, the Book of Mormon was translated by Joseph Smith from ancient golden plates and contains the teachings of ancient prophets who lived in the Americas. It is seen as a companion to the Bible and provides further insight into God’s plan for humanity. Mormons study the Book of Mormon alongside the Bible to gain a deeper understanding of their faith.

Joseph Smith and the Restoration

Joseph Smith is a central figure in the history of Mormonism. Mormons believe that in 1820, when Smith was just 14 years old, he had a vision in which God and Jesus Christ appeared to him and told him to restore the true Christian church on earth. According to Mormon belief, Smith was chosen as a prophet to receive revelations and restore the priesthood and church organization that had been lost over time. He is regarded as the founding prophet of Mormonism and his story serves as an inspiration to Mormons worldwide.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

The official name of the Mormon Church is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, emphasizing their belief in Jesus Christ as the Savior and the importance of following His teachings. The church is organized into local congregations called wards and stakes, led by lay members who serve as bishops and stake presidents. The Church also has a hierarchical structure with a President who is considered the prophet and leader of the entire church. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is a global faith community with millions of members in over 190 countries.

Beliefs and Practices

The Nature of God

Mormons believe in a loving Heavenly Father who is the ultimate creator and ruler of the universe. They believe that God has a physical body and that human beings are created in His image. Mormons also believe in the divine potential of every individual, that they can progress to become like God and inherit eternal life.

Jesus Christ

Mormons consider Jesus Christ to be the Son of God and the Savior of the world. They believe in His atoning sacrifice and that through His grace individuals can be forgiven of their sins and find redemption. Mormons strive to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ and seek to model their lives after His example of love, compassion, and service.

The Holy Ghost

The Holy Ghost, or Holy Spirit, is believed to be a distinct member of the Godhead in Mormon theology. Mormons believe that the Holy Ghost serves as a guide, comforter, and revealer of truth. They value personal revelation and believe that the Holy Ghost can provide guidance and inspiration in their daily lives.

The Plan of Salvation

Mormons believe in a pre-mortal life, where individuals existed as spiritual beings before being born on earth. They view life on earth as a test and an opportunity for growth and development. Mormons believe that through faith in Jesus Christ, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end, individuals can return to live with God and experience eternal life.

The Atonement of Jesus Christ

The Atonement is a central doctrine in Mormonism. Mormons believe that through Jesus Christ’s atoning sacrifice, all people can be saved from the effects of sin and death. They believe that repentance and faith in Jesus Christ’s sacrifice are necessary for individuals to access the full blessings of the Atonement.

Eternal Families

Family is of great importance to Mormons. They believe that families can be sealed together for eternity through sacred ordinances performed in temples. This sealing allows families to continue their relationships after death and progress together in the eternities. Mormons emphasize the importance of marriage, parenting, and building strong family relationships.

The Word of Wisdom

The Word of Wisdom is a health code followed by Mormons. It advises against the consumption of harmful substances, such as alcohol, tobacco, coffee, and tea. Mormons believe that following the Word of Wisdom promotes physical and spiritual well-being.

Temple Worship

Temples play a central role in Mormon worship. They are considered to be the house of God, where sacred ordinances and ceremonies are performed. Mormons believe these ordinances are necessary for their own salvation and progression. Temple worship is viewed as a sacred and uplifting experience that strengthens their connection to God and their commitment to living a righteous life.


Mormons believe in the restoration of the priesthood, a power and authority given by God to act in His name. The priesthood is divided into two levels: the Aaronic Priesthood and the Melchizedek Priesthood. The Aaronic Priesthood is held by young men and grants them authority to perform certain ordinances. The Melchizedek Priesthood is held by adult men and provides the authority to bless, administer sacraments, and lead congregations.

Service and Charity

Mormons are encouraged to participate in service and charity as a way of following the example of Jesus Christ. They believe in the importance of helping others, both within their community and throughout the world. Mormons engage in a variety of service projects and humanitarian efforts, such as disaster relief, clean water initiatives, and assisting those in need.

Prophets and Leadership

The Role of Prophets

Mormons believe in the continuation of modern-day prophets. They view prophets as individuals called by God to receive revelation and guidance for the church and its members. Prophets are seen as the mouthpiece of God and their teachings are considered authoritative and binding.

The Prophet Joseph Smith

Joseph Smith is considered the first prophet of the restoration. Mormons believe that he was chosen by God to restore the true church, priesthood authority, and the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Smith’s teachings and revelations are highly regarded and his vision and leadership are seen as crucial to the establishment of the Mormon faith.

Succession of Prophets

Since the passing of Joseph Smith, the leadership of the church has been passed down through a succession of prophets. Mormons believe in a line of authority that connects the current prophet to Joseph Smith, ensuring continuity and guidance for the church. The process of succession is seen as divinely directed and is based on revelation and priesthood keys.

Modern-day Prophets

The current President of the Church is considered the prophet. Mormons believe that the prophet receives ongoing revelation and guidance for the church and its worldwide membership. The prophet is seen as a spiritual leader, providing direction, encouragement, and instruction based on God’s will.

General Authorities

General Authorities are leaders in the church who serve in various capacities, including the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, the Presidency of the Seventy, and other auxiliary presidencies. They assist the prophet in providing guidance and leadership to the church.

Local Leadership

Mormon congregations are led by local lay leaders, including bishops and stake presidents. These leaders are responsible for the spiritual and temporal welfare of their members. They provide guidance, oversee church programs, and offer support and counseling to individuals and families.

Scriptures and Doctrine

The Book of Mormon

The Book of Mormon holds a central place in Mormon scripture. Considered a companion to the Bible, it is believed to be a record of ancient prophets and their interactions with God’s chosen people in the Americas. Mormons consider it to be a testament of Jesus Christ and an additional witness of His divinity.

The Bible

Mormons also believe in the Bible as the word of God. While they acknowledge that it may contain errors due to translation issues or omissions, they still view it as an important source of truth and revelation. Mormons read and study from both the Old and New Testaments of the Bible.

Additional Scripture and Teachings

In addition to the Bible and the Book of Mormon, Mormons believe in the divine inspiration and authority of other scripture. The Doctrine and Covenants contains revelations received by modern-day prophets, while the Pearl of Great Price includes translations of ancient texts and additional writings by Joseph Smith.

Doctrines and Principles

Mormon doctrine encompasses a range of beliefs and principles that shape their worldview and guide their behavior. These include principles of faith, repentance, baptism, and the laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost. Mormons also adhere to principles such as honesty, chastity, and integrity in their personal lives.

Family and Relationships

Importance of Family

Family is considered the fundamental unit of Mormon society. Mormons believe that strong families are essential for happiness and eternal progression. They emphasize the importance of marriage, commitment, and unconditional love within the family unit.

Marriage and Relationships

Mormons believe in the sacred nature of marriage. They view marriage as an eternal covenant and recognize marriages performed in their temples as binding for eternity. Mormons strive to create harmonious and loving relationships within their own marriages and promote healthy relationships among all individuals.

Gender Roles

Mormons believe in the complementary roles of men and women within marriage and family life. They view men as having a responsibility to provide and protect their families, while women are seen as nurturing caregivers. However, Mormons also emphasize the equal value and worth of both genders.

Parenting and Education

Mormons believe in the importance of raising children in a loving, nurturing, and spiritually grounded environment. They encourage parents to teach their children about God, morality, and the principles of the gospel. Mormons value education as a means of personal growth and development.

Heavenly Mother

Mormons believe in the existence of a Heavenly Mother, who shares in the divine nature of Heavenly Father. While little is known or taught about her, Mormons believe in her essential role in the creation and nurturing of their spirits and the eternal family unit.

Eternal Marriage

Mormons believe that marriages can be sealed for eternity in their temples. They view the sealing of spouses as a key to eternal progression and happiness. This belief in eternal marriage strengthens their commitment to their spouse and fosters a deep sense of devotion and loyalty.

The Afterlife and Salvation

The Spirit World

Mormons believe in a spirit world, where the spirits of the deceased reside before the resurrection. They believe that in the spirit world, individuals continue to learn, progress, and have the opportunity to accept the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Three Degrees of Glory

Mormon theology teaches that after the resurrection, individuals will be assigned to one of three degrees of glory: the celestial, terrestrial, or telestial kingdoms. The highest degree, the celestial kingdom, is where God dwells and is reserved for those who have lived righteous lives and made covenants with God.


Exaltation refers to the highest degree of glory attainable in the afterlife. Mormons believe that through adherence to the principles and ordinances of the gospel, individuals can become like God and inherit all the blessings and authority He possesses.

Salvation for the Dead

Mormons believe in performing proxy ordinances, such as baptism and sealing, on behalf of deceased individuals who never had the opportunity to receive them during their mortal lives. This practice allows those who have passed on to have the opportunity to receive the blessings of the gospel in the afterlife.

Repentance and Forgiveness

Mormons believe in the power of repentance and forgiveness. They encourage individuals to acknowledge their mistakes, seek forgiveness from those they have wronged, and strive to change their behavior. Mormons believe that through sincere repentance and the mercy of Jesus Christ, individuals can receive forgiveness and begin anew.

Faith and Works

Mormons believe in the combination of faith and works in attaining salvation. While they emphasize the importance of faith in Jesus Christ, they also believe that faith must be accompanied by righteous actions. Mormons seek to live according to God’s commandments and demonstrate their faith through service and obedience.

Mormonism and Christianity

Mormons as Christians

Mormons consider themselves to be Christians, as they believe in and follow the teachings of Jesus Christ. They believe in Christ’s Atonement, His divinity, and the power of His grace. While there are some theological differences between Mormonism and mainstream Christianity, Mormons are steadfast in their belief that they are followers of Christ.

Differences with Mainstream Christianity

Mormonism has theological differences with mainstream Christianity. These include beliefs in modern-day prophets, additional scripture, and different understandings of the nature of God and the Atonement. Despite these differences, Mormons strive for unity and respect among all believers in Christ.

Beliefs in Common with Christianity

Mormons share many core beliefs with mainstream Christianity. They believe in the divinity of Jesus Christ, the importance of His teachings, and the need for salvation through His Atonement. They also share a commitment to living a righteous life based on love, kindness, and service to others.

Interfaith Relationships

Mormons value relationships with individuals from different religious backgrounds. They strive to find common ground and foster understanding and mutual respect. Mormons believe in the importance of religious freedom and encourage dialogue and cooperation with people of all faiths.

Contemporary Issues and Social Issues

LGBTQ+ Issues

Mormonism has experienced ongoing dialogue and discussion regarding LGBTQ+ issues. While the Mormon Church maintains that marriage is between a man and a woman, they also emphasize the importance of love, compassion, and understanding towards all individuals. Mormons believe in the inherent worth and dignity of every person and seek to create an environment of inclusivity and support.

Gender and Identity

Mormons believe in the divine nature and purpose of gender. They view gender as an essential aspect of individual identity and support traditional definitions of male and female. Mormons emphasize the importance of embracing one’s own gender identity and fulfilling gender roles in accordance with God’s plan.

Family Values and Gender Roles

Mormons place a strong emphasis on traditional family values, including marriage between a man and a woman, and the importance of gender roles within the family. They believe that men and women have unique roles and responsibilities in the family unit, each contributing in their own distinct way.

Political Involvement

Mormons believe in being politically active and engaged citizens. While the Mormon Church is politically neutral and does not endorse specific candidates or parties, Mormons are encouraged to be informed about political issues, participate in the democratic process, and support policies that align with their values.

Religious Freedom

Mormons place great importance on religious freedom and the ability to worship according to their beliefs. They advocate for the right of all individuals to practice their religion freely and without persecution. Mormons believe in maintaining a respectful and inclusive society that celebrates religious diversity.

Mormon Culture and Traditions

Pioneer Heritage

The early history of Mormonism is closely tied to the pioneers who made the arduous journey to settle in the American West. Pioneers are highly celebrated in Mormon culture and their perseverance and faith are seen as inspirational. Pioneer Day, celebrated on July 24th, commemorates their arrival in the Salt Lake Valley.

Missionary Work

Mormonism places a strong emphasis on missionary work. Young men and women are encouraged to serve as full-time missionaries, dedicating two years of their lives to teaching others about the Mormon faith. Missionaries strive to share their beliefs and inspire others to develop a relationship with Jesus Christ.

Mormon Temples

Temples hold a central place in Mormon culture. They are seen as places of special holiness and worship, where sacred ordinances are performed and families can be sealed together for eternity. Mormons deeply value the peace and spiritual connection they feel within temple walls.

Family History and Genealogy

Mormons have a strong interest in family history and genealogy. They believe in the importance of knowing one’s ancestors and connecting with them through the performance of sacred ordinances in temples. Mormons use a vast collection of genealogical records to research and document their family history.

Welfare and Humanitarian Work

Mormons place a strong emphasis on providing for the welfare of others. The Church has extensive programs to assist those in need, both within its own membership and in the broader community. Mormons engage in humanitarian work worldwide, providing disaster relief, clean drinking water, education, and other forms of aid to those in need.

The Future of Mormonism

Growth and Expansion

The Mormon faith continues to grow and expand globally. With millions of members in over 190 countries, Mormonism is becoming increasingly diverse and multicultural. The Church’s missionary efforts and the dedication of its members contribute to the ongoing growth and influence of the faith worldwide.

Adapting to Modern Culture

Mormons recognize the need to adapt and engage with modern culture while remaining true to their core beliefs. They seek to find a balance between embracing technological advancements and maintaining their traditional values. Mormons strive to be relevant and impactful contributors to the world around them.

Evolution of Beliefs and Practices

As with any religion, Mormonism experiences a continued process of growth and evolution in beliefs and practices. The Church continues to receive modern-day revelation, adapting and responding to the needs and issues of its members. Mormons believe in the ongoing nature of divine revelation and consider themselves an open and dynamic faith community.

The Role of Technology

Technology plays an increasingly important role in Mormonism. The Church uses various digital platforms to deliver educational and spiritual content to members worldwide. Technology also facilitates communication, community building, and genealogical research. Mormons embrace the opportunities technology provides while exercising mindfulness and moderation in its use.

In conclusion, Mormonism is a vibrant and unique religious tradition that emphasizes the importance of family, personal revelation, and the guidance of modern-day prophets. With its strong belief in the divinity of Jesus Christ, the power of the Atonement, and the potential for eternal progression, Mormons seek to live righteous lives and follow the teachings of their faith. Continuously growing and adapting, Mormonism looks to the future with optimism and a commitment to embracing the opportunities and challenges of modern society.