Night photo of the Mormon temple in Oakland, California at night, overlooking the city.
Mormon Temple in Oakland, California. The public is welcome to visit the visitor center at this and many other temples.

The sincerely held beliefs of faithful Mormons have been mocked on Broadway Shows, late-night adult cartoons, and bloggers who seem to have an axe to grind against Mormons.  Their goal is to paint The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in a negative light–even if they have to twist the truth to do it.  Usually, this is done by making Mormon beliefs seem as strange and weird as possible.

They aren’t totally wrong.  To many, some of the beliefs of Mormons will seem unique and different.  If you think about it, all religions have unique beliefs.  Below is a list of some of the unique beliefs that Mormons believe, which is what makes the church unique.  It’s what defines their relationship to Christ.  I think that you’ll see that while the beliefs are unique, they are beautiful at the same time, and they make Mormons be good citizens and members of any community.

1. Mormons Believe in Eternal Marriage

The Mormon wedding ceremony is unique in a few ways, but it produces incredible results.  Despite countless social programs, the divorce rate throughout the United States has remained extremely high for many years.  Currently, the divorce rate among all people is around 47-50% depending on what statistic you cite.  However, the divorce rate among Mormons who marry in a Mormon temple is only 6%.  That is remarkable when you consider that the divorce rate among other Christians almost always mirrors the 50% national average of non-Christians.

A portion of that statistic is no doubt a result of the type of faithful people who marry in an LDS temple.  Another reason is that those who marry in a Mormon temple believe that the marriage is respected by God after death–not only “to death do you part.”  So when Mormon couples hit rough patches, they work out the problems between them rather than looking for an “out.”

Exceptions are many, but statistics show that Mormon families are happy, healthy, and do their best to be good parents.

2. Mormons Believe that Christ, Heavenly Father, and the Holy Ghost are Separate Beings

The Mormon belief that God the Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit are three separate people who are one in their mission to bring about the salvation of all mankind.

The Bible is ripe with evidence in this belief.  When Christ was killed on the cross, he cried an earnest and desperate prayer to Heavenly Father.  His sacred prayer was, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”  Was he desperately seeking a connection with himself?!?!  When he declared, “Into thy hands, I commend my spirit,” was he asking himself to accept himself in his own Heaven?  It takes a contorted and twisted reading of the Bible to honestly believe that.

Another obvious example of this belief in the Bible is in the Book of Mark.  Christ is baptized of John the Baptist.  After Christ comes out of the water, the Holy Spirit descends from Heaven in the form of a dove (Mark 1:10).  This shows that Christ and the Spirit are certainly separate as they are seen separately here.  Christ could not have stood in a river and looked up in the sky only to see himself descending in the form of a dove.  Then, Heavenly Father’s voice from heaven declares, “Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Mark 1:11).  Was Christ’s voice magically teleported into the sky?  Did Christ really call himself his own son, and was he really pleased in himself?  I think not.  To me, this is as clear of a reference to Christ, the Spirit, and God being separate beings as anything.

I could go on, and on, and on.  Really the only scripture that could make one wonder if the three are one being is where the Bible records that Christ, God, and the Holy Ghost are one.  However, I believe that this merely shows their unity in purpose.  The Bible also uses this phrase in relation to married couples who leave their mother and father and become one.

3. The Book of Mormon Says that Christ Ministered to the Whole World

In the Bible (John 10:16), Christ explains that he is the Good Shepherd and that he will be killed.  Then, he says “Other sheep I have which are not of this fold, and they shall hear my voice.  And there shall be one fold and one shepherd.”  The question is who are the “other sheep” that Christ promised to minister to?

Mormons believe that Christ, after his death and resurrection, followed up on that promise and visited other lands throughout the world.  After all, he is the Savior of the entire world–not only the Jews.  The Book of Mormon is a record of Christ’s teachings to the people in the Americas.

This is a unique belief among other religions, and some might find it to be a little weird to read about Christ visiting other places than Jerusalem until they realize that Christ promised to do so.

4. Mormons Believe in Donating 10% of their Money to Charity

Yup, 10%.  Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons) feel that it is important to not become overly obsessed with worldly possessions.

They pay a tithe (10%) of their earnings to the church each month.  The church uses these funds for charitable works–nearly all of the church’s clergy are unpaid with only a handful of exceptions out of the 15 million Mormons throughout the world.

No “donation plate” is ever passed around at church and nobody brow beats anyone who doesn’t pay a tithe.  Tithing is an individual choice that the faithful voluntarily chose to give in secret.

Also, the Mormons pay a generous “fast offering” which is a donation to charity once per month.  They fast (skip food and drink) for 24 hours to show their devotion to God, and donate the money they would spend on those meals, plus a generous amount to charity.  The church uses these funds to do all kinds of humanitarian works around the world.

5. Mormons Believe Everyone Has a Responsibility to Research Their Family History

One unique belief of Mormons is their belief in baptism for the dead.  To understand this principle, a basic Biblical understanding of baptism is required.

John 3:5 says, “Except a man be born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.”  This scripture clearly lays out the requirement of baptism and receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost before entrance into heaven is permitted.  God cannot lie, so this teaching is iron clad.

What of the millions and millions of people who die without a fair chance to learn of Jesus, be baptized, and receive the Holy Ghost?  What of those who live in countries such as China where Christianity is not preached?  Are they all cast down to hell?  Does God not love these people?

Surely not.  God’s plan is perfect, and he wants all of his children on Earth to return to Him.  He provides for this through baptism for the dead.

The Bible makes reference to baptism for the dead a few times, such as in 1 Corinthians 15:40-42: “Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all, why are they then baptized for the dead?”  In this speech, Paul uses the apparently common practice of baptism for the dead to teach the truth of the resurrection.

In the Mormon church, members are asked to research their ancestors.  They study their family history (genealogy) and find those who died without a knowledge of the gospel.  Then, they take those names to Mormon temples and the member of the church is baptized in a font for and in behalf of their ancestor.

The practice of baptism for the dead makes Mormons especially mindful of their families, family trees, and their family legacy.  It is a beautiful practice which is essential to God’s plan.

6. They Believe Innocent Children Are Without Sin

One interesting teaching in The Book of Mormon is that innocent children are without sin.  While many churches believe in “original sin” meaning that Adam and Eve’s sin makes children unclean even though the children did not make the choice to partake of the fruit.

Toward the end of the Book of Mormon, Moroni (a Book of Mormon prophet who lived around AD 400 in the Americas) said “Little children are alive in Christ, even from the foundation of the world …  How many children have died without baptism! Wherefore, if little children could not be saved without baptism, these must have gone to an endless hell.” (Moroni 8:12-13)

This teaches that we are all subject to the fall of Adam and Eve.  Because of their choice, we can all die and do not live in a perfect Garden of Eden.  However, their sin is their own.  Children are not born evil because of someone else’s choice.  Instead, children are alive in Christ and are not responsible for their sins until they reach the age of accountability (age 8).

Thus, children are not baptized in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints until they are at least 8 years of age.

7. Mormons Dedicate More than 2 Hours Per Week to Church Worship

Mormons have their main church meetings on Sundays.  The meetings last 2 hours long.  The first meeting is called Sacrament Meeting, where the bread and water are passed around as a memory of Christ’s last supper and to renew promises the Mormons have made to serve Christ.

The second meeting is called Sunday School.  The youth and kids each go to meetings with kids their own ages, and adults meet together to study the Bible and the Book of Mormon.

In addition to Sunday worship, we attend the temple (about 2 hours if you live close), read the scriptures daily, have church meetings in our homes, and read our scriptures daily.

The public is always invited to attend Mormon church services.

8. They Serve in their Churches Without Pay–Often for Many Many Hours Per Week

Members of the church are all given specific duties or ways they can help out in the church.  A member may be assigned to make a program for the church service each week, to serve as a bishop (leader of a congregation of about 300), to play the piano during services, to teach a youth class, etc.  Out of the more than 15 million Mormons in the world, only a very small handful receive pay for their ecclesiastical work.

I have been assigned to teach a youth Bible class each morning to the teenagers before they go to high school.  That calling takes about 3 hours of my time each week day, and I am not paid to do so.  While it is a major time commitment, I’m happy to have a way to serve others and fulfill my responsibility to be a servant of Christ.

Conclusion

So are Mormons totally bizarre and weird?  I guess you could say so.  They don’t do the same things as most people.  Actually, they do a lot of things differently in order to serve others and to strive to be good members of society.

Maybe being weird isn’t so bad.  In fact, maybe it helps Mormons to become better Christians.

If you learn more about Mormons, you’ll see that although Mormons are different, at the same time they believe many of the same things that you do.

25 Comments

  1. Nice. Direct and to the point. I would like to post this on FB but don’t know how. Any suggestions?

  2. Odd, all my Bibles say nothing of the sort, concerning the reference to 1st Corinthians 15:40-42. Maybe this is why the Mormons get a bad rap, because of their founder changing the wording in the Mormon Bible, just to suit his own cause. Something that’s strictly forbidden in the book of Revelation.

    1. The quote in the post of 1 Corinthians 15:40-42 is from the regular old King James Version of the Bible. It’s the most common version of the Bible ever printed.

      1. Non-LDS here but looked up the verse to see it in context. It’s actually 1 Corinthians 15:29. The author quoted correctly but misattributed the quote. Easy to happen.

    1. Because God & Christ love everybody & want them to return to them. If you don’t believe in it, why would it bother you or you be afraid of it? I would think that you would shrug your shoulders & say something like “silly Mormons, wasting their time!”

    2. I also would like to know what Mr. JB asked. “Why do you baptize those that are already deceased into the Mormon religion”?

  3. Baptism is an individual action taken by the person who believes that Christ is his/her Savior.
    A person who passes from life on earth without accepting Christ and being baptized will not enter the gates of Heaven unless God intervenes.
    A family member can not do for another family member what Christ asked man to do alone. God is the judge, not a family member. The Morman Church has added to Christ ‘s commands, again, making the Bible appear incomplete. If you believe you can rewrite the Bible, I say respectively, your faith is not in God. God has a plan for those who are not baptized and did not hear the gospel. Mam needs to follow the scriptures and not try to rewrite them.

    1. Hi Shirley, I think there’s a potential confusion here. You said “God is the judge, not a family member.” I fully agree. We don’t somehow judge our ancestors worthy of heaven. We simply perform the physical action of baptism requiring a body, and give them the ability to accept Christ.

      1. Does the LDS denomination believe that it is through Grace we are saved? That to enter Heaven Christ stands before God as the sacrifice for our sins through Grace? We can not earn our way into Heaven. We can accept the gift of salvation or not. I have a difficult time believing the Almighty hasn’t seen into the hearts of those denied knowledge of Him and then would deny them everlasting life with Him. The truth is religion is man made. We are saved through Faith.

        1. @Kathy- Yes, we believe that the grace of God is required for our salvation. Yes, we believe that to enter heaven, Christ stands before God as the sacrifice for our since through grace. Yes, we agree that we cannot earn our way into Heaven of our own accord.

  4. The point of baptism for the dead is to give them a second chance at baptism if they did not have the chance or did not what to be baptized. So that they can go to the kingdom of god.

    1. It is a covenant that you have to do. If you don’t you can’t enter any of the kingdoms in heaven, so you have to wait if you don’t get baptized. So if a person in a another place hasn’t ever heard of the church we are giving them a chance to enter a kingdom. Did this answer your question?

  5. Okay, so let’s discuss. I want to understand what makes the Mormon congregation Christian? I mean if they are Christian why have the title of being ‘Mormon’??…
    Please make me understand.

    1. People call us “Mormon” but that is not what we call ourselves. We’re members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

      What makes us Christian? We believe in Jesus Christ as the savior of the world, and only through his grace do we believe we can be saved. We follow him.

    2. Just like pizza can be made in different ways & still be pizza, we may have some differences with other Christian religions but we still accept Christ as our Savior, we worship Him, he died for us & rose again, breaking the permanency of death, & He continues to guide us through the Holy Spirit. If you study other Christian religions you will also find differences between them (baptism for one example). Does that make them non-Christian?He said that a church in a man’s name is that man’s church. His church would have his name in the name of the church. How many “Christian” churches have other names? Are they then not Christian? Instead of churches arguing about who is/isn’t Christian, we should be doing as He did, using our energy to help lift the downtrodden, comforting the sick, & helping one another on this mortal experience so we can all return to Him!

      1. You see, some of us believe and take the Word as fact, that when Jesus said, “if you do not believe I am he, you will die in your sins”, and “Before Abraham was, I am” (I am, was a name God went by in the Old Testament to Moses and the Jews). We believe Jesus is God in the Flesh, as John 1 testifies to. Without belief that Jesus is God, you will die in your sins, as Jesus says. We’re not arguing with you. We simply care for you. Hope that helps.

      2. I like your comment brother Dave
        You have given a such inspiring and a positive objection
        “We are not supposed to define ourselves as a church name but our relationship with God”

  6. Interesting
    How can you believe in any religeon as no human has ever made contact with God
    I respect the good the Mormons do .
    Jos Bots

    1. We actually do believe that some people have made contact with God like Joseph Smith and other prophets in the Book of Mormon and Bible. Also we believe that when we pray we are talking to god and he can answer our prayers.

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