FAQ Archive

Why Do Mormons Require Tithing?

Why Do Mormons Require Tithing?

Often articles attacking Mormons focus on their requirement of tithing. One writer said that most churches teach it but don’t require it and many writers assign a negative attitude toward being expected to pay tithing, even those who belong to other religions. This attitude fascinates me because it helps to outline one problem religious people today face—putting God before ourselves. While many churches do not require the payment of tithing, God does. In Genesis 14, Abraham paid his tithing to Melchizedek. Malachi also taught tithing. Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation. Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it (Malachi 3:8-10).... 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 some of the more controversial topics... Read the rest of this entry »

Where Did Satan Come From?

Where Did Satan Come From?

In the Book of John, we learn, “All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.” (See John 1:3.) It is clear, then, that anything that exists was created by God, and so God made Satan. However, he wasn’t Satan at his creation and he was not created evil. The prophet Isaiah helps us to understand what turned Lucifer into Satan and demonstrates that he is not the being God created him to be: “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!” (See Isaiah 14:12.) In other words, Satan, as created, was not evil. God does not create anything that is evil. The creation accounts in Genesis consistently remind us that everything God creates is good. How did Satan go from being a good creation of God to being the source of evil? Read the rest of this entry »  Read More →

Black Mormon

Black Mormon

There have been black Mormons since the 1830s. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the true name of the church commonly called the Mormon Church) accepted black people as members and did not segregate their congregations. They were officially opposed to slavery, which upset Missouri when they lived there. The newspapers published complaints that Mormons had a plan to convert and bring to Missouri free blacks at a time Missouri was trying to enter the United States as a slave state. Missouri, which beat free blacks entering the state, saw the Mormon plan to increase the black population as justification for increased persecution of Mormons. There have been black Mormons since the earliest days of Mormonism. The Mormon Church was organized in 1830 and the first black Mormon was baptized in 1832. His name was Elijah Abel. He would also receive the priesthood and become a seventy, a high-ranking church leader. Abel is believed to have escaped slavery through the underground railroad.... 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 or informal speculations of church... 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 our children may know to what source... 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 which Elder Packer is the president.... 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 →

ExMormon – Members who leave the Mormon Church

ExMormon – Members who leave the Mormon Church

In the strictest sense, the word exmormon simply refers to someone who chose to end his membership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Members of the Church are sometimes referred to informally as Mormons, and so an ex-mormon is a former Mormon. However, the term is more commonly used to refer not to people who simply left and moved on, but to those who then devote themselves to attacking the church. There are many reasons a person might do this. While most people who leave a religion—any religion—simply join a new one or abandon organized religion and go about their new lives quietly, a few feel a need to attack and to demonstrate hatred for the life they left behind. Some who do this had a disagreement with another member or with a leader. Some objected to counsel given to them by a leader. These people find themselves unable or unwilling to forgive or to resolve the matter in an amicable and Christ-like manner and as a result, organize their new life around a pattern... Read the rest of this entry »

Do Mormons Believe You Can Work Your Way to Heaven?

Do Mormons Believe You Can Work Your Way to Heaven?

This question is often asked by evangelicals, and is, in general, a misunderstanding of the Mormon teachings on what happens after death and how we control that. Many evangelicals teach that a person gets to heaven by being “saved.” This involves the act of accepting Jesus Christ as their personal Savior. At the same time, they teach that acts cannot get you into Heaven. The Mormons also believe that a person must accept Jesus Christ as His Savior in order to return to God’s presence after death. Both groups agree that at least one act is required of all of us in order to be with God. The confusion over the number of acts required to be saved comes from the differences in terminology used by Mormons. Mormons believe everyone is saved through the atonement of Jesus Christ, even if they never accept Jesus Christ as their Savior. However, grace and eternal life, to a Mormon, are not the same thing. To understand this complex issue, let’s look at several essential points. Read the... Read the rest of this entry »