"For the word of the Lord is truth, and whatsoever is truth is light..."

What do Mormons Believe?

What do mormons believe? This section answers common questions regarding basic beliefs and practices of the Latter-day Saints.

Individual questions are answered in the Question and Answer section.
Answers to accusatory questions are given in the Response to Criticism section.

What is "Mormonism"?
Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints were nicknamed "Mormons" by non-members because of their belief in The Book of Mormon. Non-members have at times also referred to the LDS faith as "Mormonism".

What Do Latter-day Saints Believe About God?
With the vast majority of their fellow Christians, members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believe in a God of love, who has all knowledge and all power (see 1 Nephi 11:22; 2 Nephi 1:15; 2 Nephi 9:20; D&C 38:1-3; Moses 1:6; 1 Nephi 7:12; Alma 26:35). FARMS

Why don't Mormons have crosses on their buildings and temples?
Latter-day Saints view the "good news" of the gospel as Christ's resurrection more than his crucifixion.

Can Mormons have more than one wife?
No, Latter-day Saint men can only be married to one woman at a time. However, during the nineteenth-century a few LDS men were permitted to marry more than one wife under certain conditions.

Do Latter-day Saints Believe in the Bible and Biblical Christianity?
"The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints accepts and honors the Bible as the word of God. Latter-day Saints treasure its inspired accounts of the Savior's life and earthly ministry. They read the Bible regularly and accept both the Old and New Testaments among the standard works of the restored Church of Jesus Christ." FARMS

Can You Help Me Locate a Latter-day Saint Friend?
If you are trying to locate a Latter-day Saint, please call 1-800-453-3860 and ask for the Locating Service in the Membership Department.

How Many Members Do You Have?
As of 2005, the Mormon church had about 13 million members.  As of 1998 members in the United States totaled 5,023,158.

What does LDS stand for?
LDS stands for "Latter-day Saint," the nicknamed preferred by most members of the Church.

Can you help me with Family History (or genealogy) research?
No, but our Family History section under Daily Living has links to some good resources. The Church's new Family Search site can be found at http://www.familysearch.org.

Why do Latter-day Saints Try to Convert Others?
"Mormons believe that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints contains a fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ and that this fulness is not found elsewhere. Therefore, they feel a responsibility to make the message of the restoration of Christ’s Church available to all who will hear." FARMS

Do Mormons believe in the Trinity?
Latter-day Saints believe in the New Testament teaching that there is a Father, a Son, and a Holy Ghost, all three of whom are fully divine, then Latter-day Saints believe in the doctrine of the Trinity...However, mormons do not believe in the definition of the trinity formulated by the councils of Nicaea and Chalcedon and elaborated upon by subsequent theologians and councils--that God is three coequal persons in one substance or essence. They do not believe it, because it is not biblical.

Who was Joseph Smith?
"Joseph Smith, Jr. (1805-1844), often referred to as the Prophet Joseph Smith, was the founding prophet of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Latter-day Saints call him "the Prophet" because, in the tradition of Old and New Testament prophets, he depended on revelation from God for his teachings, not on his own learning." Encyclopedia of Mormonism

Who are the present Church leaders?
A brief biography of each general authority and auxiliary presidency.

How Do I Join the Church?
A discussion of the steps involved in joining the Church. If you would like to have LDS missionaries visit you in your home, please call (U.S.) 1-800-453-3860 and ask for the Missionary Department.

How is LDS theology different from other Christians?
As biblical scholar W. D. Davies once pointed out, LDS doctrine can be described as biblical Christianity separated from hellenized Christianity, a conjunction of first-century Judaism and Christianity.

What are some distinctive LDS teachings?
Few religious doctrines are unique in the strict sense, but many are rare enough to be considered distinctive features of this or that religion or denomination. Several doctrines of the Latter-day Saints are distinctive in this sense, although in most cases other Christians have at some time held identical or similar beliefs.


Are Mormons Christian?
Yes, Latter-day Saints are indeed Christians.

What is the Book of Mormon?
The Book of Mormon is a volume of sacred writings comparable to the Bible. Its principal purpose is to testify of the divinity of Jesus Christ and the truthfulness of his teachings.

Why is a Temple Recommend necessary to enter the temple?
Most learning disciplines, including spiritual ones, have a sequential approach to learning. Before a person can enter the temple, he must have developed a certain degree of spiritual maturity, as evidenced by issuance of a temple recommend.

Are Church leaders considered infallible?
No, Church leaders are neither infallible nor without faults. Latter-day Saints believe that only Jesus Christ was perfect.

What is the role of women in Mormon society?
The present role of women in LDS society is singular to the degree that it reflects the teachings and doctrines of the Church. Among the most fundamental of these is individual agency, or the right to choose. Consistent with this doctrine, a woman's role varies with her circumstances and the choices that she makes within the context of LDS belief; she may fill many roles simultaneously.

Do Latter-day Saints date outside the faith?
While Latter-day Saints have the right to choose for themselves, the Church encourages members to date those of their own faith.

Do Mormons celebrate holidays and birthdays?
Yes, Latter-day Saints usually celebrate the holidays associated with their particular culture.

What are the Church's policies on divorce?
The Church officially disapproves of divorce but does permit both divorce and annulment (a decree that a marriage was illegal or invalid) in civil marriages and "cancellation of sealing" in the case of temple marriages.

Do Mormons believe in the virgin birth of Christ?
Yes, Latter-day Saints believe that Mary, mother of Jesus Christ, was a virgin at the time of Jesus' birth.

Do Mormons wear special clothing?
Latter-day Saints, who have been to the temple, wear sacred garments under their regular clothing to remind them of the sacred covenants that they have made with God.

Do Mormons believe that God is married?
Latter-day Saints infer from authoritative sources of scripture and modern prophecy that there is a Heavenly Mother as well as a Heavenly Father.

What is the LDS conception of Hell?
"Latter-day scriptures describe at least three senses of hell: (1) that condition of misery which may attend a person in mortality due to disobedience to divine law; (2) the miserable, but temporary, state of disobedient spirits in the spirit world awaiting the resurrection; (3) the permanent habitation of the sons of perdition, who suffer the second spiritual death and remain in hell even after the resurrection.

Do Mormons worship Joseph Smith?
No, Latter-day Saints worship God the Eternal Father in the name of Jesus Christ. We consider Joseph Smith to be a Prophet of God and Apostle of Jesus Christ similar to those men mentioned in the Bible like Moses, Samuel, Isaiah, Peter, Paul, and John.

Who Where All the Past LDS Prophets (Church Presidents)?
Links to Biographies to each of the fifteen Church presidents.

Why did the true Church of Christ need to be restored?
Shortly after the death of the original apostles, there was a general apostasy in the early Christian Church. Most members of the Church turned away from the true gospel and persecuted the faithful remainder. The organization ceased to be led by God.

Why Should I Convert?
"While many Christian Churches teach portions of the gospel, we alone offer all the knowledge necessary to become Christlike and receive the fullness of salvation.