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.
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 leaders. (more…)