What do Mormons believe?

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Mormonism is a religion practiced by millions around the world. And yet, many who are unfamiliar with it sometimes rely on vague stereotypes and pop culture references to define it. In reality, it’s a theologically complex religion with an unusual history. Here, we answer some of the most common questions about Mormonism, with context from religious experts and Mormon literature.

What do Mormons believe?

Mormons believe in a Christian view of God and Jesus. The Bible and the Book of Mormon are the two most important sources for the Mormon faith. The Book of Mormon is described by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as “a collection of writings from ancient Christians who traveled from Jerusalem to the Americas during biblical times,” transcribed by the church’s founder Joseph Smith, who is considered by believers to be a prophet. This marks one of the biggest differences between Mormonism and other Christian religions.

Are Mormons Christians?

Several other details of Mormon history and belief also diverge from most Christian understandings. (These are described below in the section “What does the Book of Mormon say?”)

Mormonism does define itself as a type of Christianity. However, the answer isn’t that simple.

“Here’s the problem. Who decides what Christianity is?” says Matthew Bowman, associate professor of religion and history and Howard W. Hunter Chair of Mormon Studies at Claremont Graduate University in California.

“Mormons reject trinitarianism – the idea that God the Father, Jesus the Son and the Holy Spirit are the same entity. This is a central tenet of mainline Christianity that was decided in early Christian councils. So to a lot of Christians, believers in Mormonism are not Christian. It is an internal debate.”

However, trinitarian beliefs can vary among Mormon denominations. While the LDS Church, the largest denomination of Mormonism, states a belief that “God the Father, Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost are one in will and purpose but are not literally the same being or substance,” the Community of Christ, a smaller denomination, defines the trinity as “God who is a community of three persons,” a view that more aligns with other Christian traditions.

Content retrieved from: https://www.cnn.com/2023/04/29/us/mormon-beliefs-explained-cec/index.html.

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