Basic Beliefs Archive

Why Mormons Are Right about Alcohol

Why Mormons Are Right about Alcohol

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the faith often inadvertently referred to as the Mormon Church) are known for many quirks, perhaps their abstinence from alcohol being the most telling. Ever since 1833, when its health law was received by revelation, Mormons have shied away from alcohol, as well as from coffee, tea, and tobacco. Mormon doctrine calls this health creed the Word of Wisdom, and its contents haven’t changed since the scripture was recorded over 150 years ago. Recent studies have shown that Mormons may be on to something when it comes to alcohol. Turns out, Mormons may just be right about drinking, and governments around the world are starting to realize it.[1] Alcohol Consumption is Increasing–Along with the Consequences Some may argue that negative consequences from alcohol consumption affect primarily the individual drinking, and that no one–especially the government–has the right to interfere... Read the rest of this entry »

Christmas: Commercial Holiday or Sacred Holy Day?

Christmas: Commercial Holiday or Sacred Holy Day?

Most people would generally agree that Christmas is a “magical” time of year. It is during this time of year that people seem to be a little more thoughtful of others, especially for those of their own families as they shop for that special gift. There are also those who broaden their vision, and with giving hearts, they reach out to those who are less fortunate in order to make their holidays a little brighter. However, no matter how a person views Christmas and its meaning, the fact remains that commercialism plays a huge part in the celebration of the holiday. The question that begs an answer is whether more people focus on the commercial aspects of the holiday, or on the deep spiritual roots and meaning of the holiday. Religious Holiday or Commercial Celebration According to an article by Cathy Lynn Grossman for the Religion News Service, “Nine in 10 Americans will celebrate Christmas this year, but a new poll shows that increasing numbers see... Read the rest of this entry »

Understanding the “Mormon Moment:” Mormonism 101

Understanding the “Mormon Moment:” Mormonism 101

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, sometimes called the “Mormon Church” by the media, has been in the news a lot lately. Topics ranging from Mitt Romney’s payment of tithes to the Church (he is a practicing Mormon) to Mormons’ practice of baptisms for the dead have prompted some to call this the “Mormon Moment.” The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the fourth largest Christian church in America, and even more Mormons live abroad than in the United States. Yet many people throughout the world still have little understanding of how Latter-day Saints (Mormons) live and what they believe. Mormonism 101 To help people understand more about Latter-day Saints, the Church recently published an article entitled “Mormonism 101: FAQ.” This article outlines Mormons’ basic beliefs, and answers some of the most common questions non-Mormons may have about the Church. It also addresses... Read the rest of this entry »

The Second Coming of Jesus Christ

The Second Coming of Jesus Christ

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, who are often called Mormons by others, believe that Jesus Christ will return to earth one day. Mormons focus on what we know about that time and leave the rest to God. Jesus Christ will return to Earth. “Four matters are indisputable to Latter-day Saints: (1) The Savior will return to the earth in power and great glory to reign personally during a millennium of righteousness and peace. (2) At the time of His coming there will be a destruction of the wicked and a resurrection of the righteous. (3) No one knows the time of His coming, but (4) the faithful are taught to study the signs of it and to be prepared for it. (See Dallin H. Oaks, “Preparation for the Second Coming,” Liahona, May 2004, 7–10) Let’s look first at the first and second principles Elder Oaks mentioned. Mormons believe in the Second Coming. We can over cover what will happen briefly in this article. For a more detailed... Read the rest of this entry »

The Book of Mormon Musical

The Book of Mormon Musical

The media has spent a lot of time on the Book of Mormon Musical, a Broadway production people either love or hate. The reviews have often demonstrated the biases of the reviewers. One rejoiced that the musical showed that religion believes in a lot of silly things (not just Mormonism, but all religion). Another suggested the message was that blind faith is a sin, with his unspoken message being that religious faith is always blind. A Jewish writer argued that Jewish people, with their great knowledge of the dangers of religious persecution, should speak out loudly against the musical. Other writers have noted that the musical attacks all religions, even though it focused on only one. Some have noticed it is an inherently vicious portrayal of Africans, mocking their poverty and suffering. The official statement of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was a single sentence: “The production may attempt to entertain audiences for an evening,... Read the rest of this entry »

Why is Life So Hard?

Why is Life So Hard?

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, whose members are sometimes called Mormons, recently held its semi-annual General Conference. In this conference, Mormon leaders instruct members and other listeners in ways to better live Christ’s teachings. In the April 2011 General Conference, Paul V. Johnson answered the question, “Why is life so hard?” He taught that trials often come to us because Jesus loves us. It might not seem, at first glance to be much of a gift, but when we understand why we came to earth, the reasoning behind this becomes clear. Mormon beliefs teach that God created our spirits. As spirits—meaning we had no body—we lived with God, getting to know Him and becoming the people we are today. Eventually, of course, every child needs to leave home and so God prepared the earth for us. When we came to earth we would take with us our own personalities but we would forget who we had been and where we had come from. We’d... Read the rest of this entry »

What are the Core Doctrines of Mormonism

What are the Core Doctrines of Mormonism

When people talk about Mormonism, they often focus in on small things that are not important, aren’t taught currently, aren’t even practiced today. By doing so they miss an opportunity to understand Mormonism as it lives today and even as it was originally taught. The atonement of Jesus Christ is central to Mormonism. To understand Mormonism, you must focus on core doctrines, those things which are canonized as official doctrine and taught consistently. While church practices sometimes change, truth does not. There are a few guidelines that can help you evaluate whether or not a teaching is a core doctrine—or even a true doctrine of Mormonism. First, it is important to understand that every word spoken by a prophet is not necessarily doctrine, particularly in the earliest days of the church. In the beginnings, the church was run much more informally. People talked among themselves and sometimes others took notes and published those conversations... Read the rest of this entry »

Do Mormons Celebrate Christmas?

Do Mormons Celebrate Christmas?

Mormons celebrate Christmas as the birth of Jesus Christ. Mormon beliefs sometimes get confused with the beliefs and practices of other religions. One such belief concerns the celebration of Christmas. Mormons tend to be very passionate Christmas celebrators, with many Mormon congregations hosting nativity festivals or free sing-alongs of Handel’s Messiah each year. While Santa makes an appearance in some Mormon homes, the focus is always on the meaning of Christmas. Christmas is considered a sacred holiday and Mormon families are encouraged to simplify the secular portions of it in order to make more room for the spiritual elements of the Christmas celebration. Jesus Christ and celebrate His birth as a pivotal moment in eternal life. The Book of Mormon, which Mormons consider a companion book to the Bible, says, “And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that... Read the rest of this entry »

Boyd K. Packer’s Mormon Talk on Homosexuality

Boyd K. Packer’s Mormon Talk on Homosexuality

In the October 2010 General Conference, a semi-annual world-wide meeting for Mormons, Boyd K. Packer gave a talk which generated some controversy. It has been widely reported as a talk on homosexuality, but was in reality a talk on a proclamation on families issued by the Mormons a number of years ago. In this talk, he also addressed pornography, honoring marriage vows, and chastity. He focused on the ability of people to choose repentance and then to succeed in their sincere efforts to repent and their ability to be forgiven for past sins. In order to understand why the controversy is misguided, one must understand some important principles concerning how the Mormon Church operates. Elder Packer is an apostle. The president of the Church and the prophet are roles both filled by Thomas S. Monson. President Monson is assisted by two counselors. He and the counselors form the First Presidency of the Church. Next is the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, of... Read the rest of this entry »

Do Mormons Believe in Blood Atonement?

Do Mormons Believe in Blood Atonement?

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, whose members are sometimes called Mormons, recently issued the following statement: Mormons believe we are saved through the atonement of Jesus Christ. In the mid-19th century, when rhetorical, emotional oratory was common, some church members and leaders used strong language that included notions of people making restitution for their sins by giving up their own lives. However, so-called “blood atonement,” by which individuals would be required to shed their own blood to pay for their sins, is not a doctrine of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We believe in and teach the infinite and all-encompassing atonement of Jesus Christ, which makes forgiveness of sin and salvation possible for all people.” (See Mormon Church Statement on Blood Atonement.) Read the rest of this entry »  Read More →