What Makes Mormonism Different From Other Religions?

Imagine exploring the rich tapestry of religious beliefs and stumbling upon a unique and vibrant faith tradition known as Mormonism. Curiosity piques as you wonder, what sets this faith apart from other religions? With its foundation built upon divine revelations, sacred texts, and the belief in modern-day prophets, Mormonism offers a distinctive perspective on spirituality that captivates the soul and sparks meaningful contemplation. Allow yourself to be intrigued by the remarkable qualities that make Mormonism a truly one-of-a-kind religious experience.

Theological Beliefs

Divine Nature of God

In Mormon theology, God is seen as the literal Father of all spirits and the creator of the universe. Mormons believe in a God who is loving, merciful, and just. They view God as a real and tangible being, with a physical body of flesh and bones. This belief in the divine nature of God sets Mormonism apart from other religions that may see God as purely spiritual or unknowable.

Plan of Salvation

Mormons believe in a comprehensive plan of salvation that encompasses the entire journey of the soul. They believe that all individuals have the opportunity to progress and become like God through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. This plan includes elements such as faith, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end. The focus on the plan of salvation gives Mormons a unique perspective on the purpose and meaning of life.

Preexistence and the Purpose of Life

One distinctive aspect of Mormon theology is the belief in a preexistence. Mormons believe that before we were born on earth, we lived with God as spirits and made choices that prepared us for mortality. They believe that this life on earth is a crucial part of our eternal progression and provides opportunities for growth, learning, and developing faith. This belief in a preexistence and the purpose of life gives Mormons a unique perspective on the origin and purpose of humanity.

Eternal Progression

Mormons believe in the concept of eternal progression, which means that individuals have the potential to continue learning, growing, and progressing throughout eternity. They believe that this progression includes the opportunity to become like Heavenly Father, with the ability to create, lead, and love. This belief in eternal progression sets Mormonism apart from other religions that may view salvation as a static state.


The Bible

Mormons regard the Bible as holy scripture and believe it to be the word of God. They study and teach from the Bible, recognizing its importance in understanding the teachings of Jesus Christ. While Mormons respect and honor the Bible, they also recognize that it has been translated and transmitted through various languages and cultures, which may introduce errors or omissions. As a result, Mormons may also consult other scriptures to gain additional insight and understanding.

The Book of Mormon

The Book of Mormon is a central and distinctive scripture in Mormon belief. Mormons believe that the Book of Mormon is another testament of Jesus Christ and that it was brought forth by the power of God through the prophet Joseph Smith. They regard it as a companion to the Bible, providing additional teachings and testimonies of Jesus Christ. The Book of Mormon gives Mormons a unique perspective on the life and ministry of Jesus Christ and provides profound insights into the plan of salvation.

Additional Scriptures

In addition to the Bible and the Book of Mormon, Mormons recognize other scriptures as holy and inspired. These additional scriptures include the Doctrine and Covenants, which contains modern revelations given to Joseph Smith and subsequent prophets, and the Pearl of Great Price, which includes translations and revelations received by Joseph Smith. These additional scriptures help guide Mormons in their understanding of God’s will and provide insights into the principles and doctrines of the faith.

Hierarchy and Leadership

Prophets and Apostles

Mormons believe in a living prophet who receives revelation from God for the entire Church. They see the prophet as a modern-day counterpart to biblical prophets and view his words as authoritative and binding. Mormons also believe in apostles as special witnesses of Jesus Christ and regard them as leaders and teachers within the Church. The belief in living prophets and apostles sets Mormonism apart from other religions that may not have a central figure with ongoing revelatory authority.

Local Leadership

In addition to the top leadership of prophets and apostles, Mormons have a system of local leadership in each congregation. This local leadership consists of bishops who oversee the spiritual and temporal welfare of their congregations. Bishops are lay leaders, meaning they are not paid clergy but are called from among the members of the Church to serve in this capacity. This emphasis on local leadership and lay ministry gives Mormons a unique sense of community and engagement within their congregations.

Lay Ministry

Mormons believe in the principle of a lay ministry, where members of the Church are encouraged to serve and support one another. This means that individuals are not paid for their ecclesiastical service but serve out of love and devotion to God and their fellow members. Mormons see this approach as a way to foster love, unity, and the development of individual talents within the Church. The lay ministry aspect of Mormonism distinguishes it from other religions that may rely more heavily on professional clergy.

Worship and Practices


Temples play a central role in Mormon worship and are regarded as sacred and holy places. Mormons believe that through temple ordinances and covenants, families can be sealed together for eternity and receive additional blessings and knowledge. Temples provide a peaceful and reverent environment where Mormons can seek spiritual guidance, perform sacred rituals on behalf of the deceased, and strengthen their connection with God. The emphasis on temple worship and ordinances sets Mormonism apart from other religions that may not have dedicated temples.

Sacrament Meeting

Mormons gather each Sunday for a worship service called Sacrament Meeting. During this meeting, they partake of the sacrament, which consists of bread and water, symbolizing the body and blood of Jesus Christ. Mormons believe that by partaking of the sacrament, they renew their covenants with God and receive forgiveness of sins. Sacrament Meeting also includes hymn singing, prayers, and talks given by members of the congregation. This emphasis on the sacrament and communal worship is significant in Mormon worship practices.

Sunday Worship

In addition to Sacrament Meeting, Mormons participate in other meetings and classes on Sundays. These meetings may include Sunday School, where individuals study the scriptures, and Relief Society and Priesthood meetings, where men and women gather separately to receive instruction and support. Mormons see Sunday as a sacred day and devote it to worship, rest, family time, and spiritual growth. The structured and comprehensive nature of Sunday worship sets Mormonism apart from other religions that may have less organized or less frequent gatherings.

Word of Wisdom

The Word of Wisdom is a set of dietary and lifestyle guidelines given by God to Joseph Smith. Mormons adhere to the Word of Wisdom as a commandment from God and believe that it brings blessings of physical and spiritual well-being. The Word of Wisdom includes abstaining from harmful substances such as alcohol, tobacco, coffee, and tea, as well as promoting moderation and healthy living. This focus on health and well-being is distinctive in Mormon practices and sets them apart from other religions.

Emphasis on Family

Eternal Families

Mormons believe in the eternal nature of family relationships. They see the family as central to God’s plan and believe that through sacred ordinances performed in temples, families can be united eternally. Mormons strive to create strong and loving family relationships based on principles of love, respect, and sacrifice. This emphasis on eternal families sets Mormonism apart from other religions that may not have the same understanding of the eternal nature of family bonds.

Celestial Marriage

Mormons believe in the importance of marriage and see it as an eternal covenant between a man and a woman. They believe that marriage performed in temples by the authority of God can extend beyond mortality and last throughout eternity. Mormons strive to build strong and enduring marriages based on love, fidelity, and mutual support. This focus on celestial marriage distinguishes Mormonism from other religions that may have different views on marriage and its eternal significance.

Genealogy and Family History

Mormons place a strong emphasis on genealogy and family history. They believe that by researching and preserving their family’s history, they can strengthen their connections to their ancestors and provide essential ordinances for deceased family members through the temple. Mormons see genealogy and family history as a way to honor and respect those who came before them and to feel a greater sense of identity and belonging. This focus on genealogy and family history sets Mormonism apart from other religions.

Missionary Work

Dedication: Full-time Missionaries

Mormons have a strong tradition of missionary work and believe in sharing their faith with others. Full-time missionaries are young men and women who dedicate 18-24 months of their lives to serve and teach others about the gospel of Jesus Christ. They are called by Church leaders and spend their time proselyting, teaching, and serving in various locations around the world. This focus on dedicated full-time missionary work is unique to Mormonism and reflects their commitment to spreading their beliefs.

Personal Outreach: Member Missionary Work

In addition to full-time missionaries, Mormons emphasize the importance of member missionary work. They believe that every member has a responsibility to share their faith with others and invite them to learn about the Church. Member missionary work can take many forms, such as sharing testimonies, inviting friends to Church activities, or simply being a positive example of the gospel in action. Mormons see member missionary work as a way to live their faith authentically and make a difference in the lives of others.

View on Salvation

Grace and Works

Mormons believe in the importance of both grace and works in the process of salvation. They view grace as the enabling power of Jesus Christ, which can cleanse individuals from sin and help them become more Christlike. At the same time, Mormons believe that individuals have a responsibility to exercise faith, repent, be baptized, receive the Holy Ghost, and endure to the end. They see these works as necessary steps in accepting Christ’s grace and becoming joint heirs with Him in the kingdom of God.

Three Degrees of Glory

Mormons believe in a unique view of the afterlife, known as the Three Degrees of Glory. They believe that after death, individuals will receive a degree of glory based on their actions and faithfulness in this life. These degrees include the Celestial, Terrestrial, and Telestial Kingdoms. The highest degree, the Celestial Kingdom, is where God and His Son dwell and represents the greatest blessings and progression. The concept of the Three Degrees of Glory sets Mormonism apart from other religions that may have different views on the afterlife.

Temple Ordinances

Mormons believe in the performance of sacred ordinances in temples, which they see as essential to achieving eternal salvation. These ordinances include baptisms for the deceased, sealings of families, and other sacred rituals that connect individuals to God and provide necessary ordinances for their eternal progression. Mormons believe that temple ordinances are not only applicable to the living but can also be performed by proxy for deceased individuals. This focus on temple ordinances sets Mormonism apart from many other religions.

Continuing Revelation

Modern Prophets and Revelations

Mormons believe in the principle of continuing revelation, which means that God continues to speak to prophets and provide guidance to His Church. They believe that God has called prophets in modern times, including Joseph Smith and subsequent leaders, to lead and guide the Church. Mormons look to these modern prophets for ongoing revelation and believe that God’s counsel and guidance are essential in navigating the challenges of the modern world. This belief in modern prophets and revelations makes Mormonism distinct from other religions that may not have ongoing prophetic authority.

General Conferences

Twice a year, Mormons gather as a worldwide Church for General Conference, where they listen to sermons and teachings from Church leaders. They see General Conference as an opportunity to receive inspiration and guidance from living prophets and apostles. Mormons believe that through these conferences, they can gain personal revelation and insight into how to live the teachings of Jesus Christ. The emphasis on General Conference as a source of spiritual nourishment and personal revelation sets Mormonism apart from other religions.

Personal Revelation and Inspiration

Mormons believe in the importance of personal revelation and inspiration in their daily lives. They see prayer and study of scriptures as avenues for receiving guidance and direction from God. Mormons believe that through the Holy Ghost, individuals can receive personal revelation that is specific to their needs and circumstances. They encourage individuals to seek answers to their questions through sincere prayer and trust in the promptings of the Holy Ghost. This emphasis on personal revelation and inspiration sets Mormonism apart from other religions.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Name and Identity

The formal name of the Mormon Church is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Mormons believe that the Church carries the name of Jesus Christ as a reminder of His central role and divine authority. They see themselves as disciples of Christ and strive to pattern their lives and beliefs after His teachings. The name and identity of the Church reflect the emphasis on Jesus Christ as the foundation of Mormonism and distinguish it from other religious denominations.

Restoration of the True Church

Mormons believe that Joseph Smith was called by God to restore the true Church of Jesus Christ on the earth. They see a period of apostasy or falling away from the original Church and believe that through Joseph Smith, the priesthood authority and true doctrines were restored. Mormons regard this restoration as a significant event in religious history and see it as evidence of God’s ongoing involvement in His children’s lives. The belief in the restoration of the true Church sets Mormonism apart from other religions.

Organization and Structure

Mormonism has a structured organizational framework that extends from local congregations to worldwide leadership. At the local level, congregations are called wards or branches and are led by bishops or branch presidents. These local units are organized into stakes, which are led by stake presidents. Above the stakes are general authorities, including apostles and the First Presidency, who provide global leadership and direction. This hierarchical structure ensures unity, consistency, and effective administration within the Church. The organization and structure of the Church distinguish Mormonism from other religions that may have different leadership models.

Mormon Culture

Family-Centered Lifestyle

Mormon culture places a strong emphasis on the family and its central role in God’s plan. Mormons believe in the importance of spending time together as a family, fostering strong relationships, and teaching children the principles of the gospel. Family home evening, a weekly gathering for family worship and activities, is a common practice in Mormon homes. The family-centered lifestyle in Mormon culture sets it apart from other cultures that may prioritize individual pursuits or have different views on the family unit.


Mormon culture places a high value on education and encourages its members to seek knowledge and develop their talents. Mormons often pursue higher education and see learning as a way to improve oneself and contribute to society. Mormon families prioritize education for their children and strive to provide opportunities for intellectual and spiritual growth. The emphasis on education in Mormon culture distinguishes it from other cultures that may have different attitudes towards educational attainment.

Service and Charity

Mormons believe in the importance of service and charity as expressions of their faith. They see helping others and alleviating suffering as central principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Mormons engage in various service projects and initiatives, both within the Church and in the broader community. They also have a strong tradition of humanitarian aid and disaster relief efforts. The emphasis on service and charity in Mormon culture is significant and sets it apart from other cultures that may have different approaches to charitable acts.

Health and Welfare Programs

Mormons place importance on the health and well-being of individuals and families. They have established health and welfare programs to provide support and assistance to those in need. These programs include employment and education assistance, addiction recovery services, and programs for those experiencing economic hardship or natural disasters. Mormons see these programs as a practical expression of their belief in helping others and building strong communities. The focus on health and welfare programs distinguishes Mormon culture from other cultures that may have different approaches to community support.

In conclusion, Mormonism is a unique religion with distinctive theological beliefs, scriptures, hierarchy and leadership, worship and practices, emphasis on family, missionary work, view on salvation, continuing revelation, and a strong cultural identity. These aspects combine to create a comprehensive understanding of what makes Mormonism different from other religions. Mormons’ belief in the divine nature of God, their focus on the plan of salvation and eternal progression, and their emphasis on the importance of family and temple worship contribute to the distinctive nature of their faith. Their dedication to missionary work, belief in continuing revelation, and adherence to moral and health standards are also significant aspects that set Mormonism apart. Overall, the richness and depth of Mormonism’s teachings and practices contribute to its unique position among religious traditions.