What is Mormonism?
Mormonism is a religious movement that was founded by Joseph Smith. The people that belong to this religion are called Mormons. Their religious movement is called “The Church of the Latter-day Saints”. While most religions have their fair share of idiosyncrasies, most people don’t really understand the depths of certain quirky Mormon beliefs, a lot of people don’t even know that Mormons self-identify as Christians, however some of their beliefs differ from mainstream Christianity.
Top 10 Beliefs of the Mormons
1. Stay Away from the Water – A Mormon Belief
The Mormon doctrine states that Satan has power over the water. This includes rivers, lakes and the ocean. Wandering into or around these areas puts you at risk of danger as you are now in Satan’s realm and away from God’s protection. That’s why Mormons are discouraged from going near the water and tend not to be the best swimmers. Water is usually used in the Sacrament (communion, Lord’s Supper) in place of wine or grape juice. Also, Church members avoid things like recreational boating, swimming and other water activities on Sunday, missionaries avoid it at all times unless absolutely necessary. Behold, I, the Lord, in the beginning blessed the waters; but in the last days, by the mouth of my servant John, I cursed the waters. Wherefore, the days will come that no flesh shall be safe upon the waters. And it shall be said in days to come that none is able to go up to the land of Zion upon the waters, but he that is upright in heart. . . . And now I give unto you a commandment that what I say unto one I say unto all, that you shall forewarn your brethren concerning these waters, that they come not in journeying upon them, lest their faith fail and they are caught in snares; I, the Lord, have decreed, and the destroyer rideth upon the face thereof, and I revoke not the decree. Wherefore, let those concerning whom I have spoken, that should take their journey in haste–again I say unto you, let them take their journey in haste. And it mattereth not unto me, after a little, if it so be that they fill their mission, whether they go by water or by land; let this be as it is made known unto them according to their judgments hereafter (D&C 61:14-22)
2. The Belief of Multiple Heavens
Christianity believes there is only heaven, but according to Mormon beliefs, there are three categories of heavens that are hierarchical based on how good you were as a human being, Heaven 1, Heaven 2 and Heaven 3, these are namely: Celestial Kingdom, Terrestrial Kingdom, and Telestial Kingdom, this doctrine is not even close to the doctrines of purgatory and limbo in Roman Catholicism. According to the Mormons, Celestial Kingdom is the highest heaven where God lives, only those that are good enough to follow all the laws laid down by God will go there, this is followed by the Terrestrial Kingdom or the second heaven, though this heaven is not as good the Celestial Kingdom, but it’s still heaven, it is reserved for those that followed the laws of Moses but didn’t live up to the laws translated by the founder, the last is the Telestial Kingdom, this is the least of the three heavens and is reserved for those that managed to follow “carnal law,” but not any of the religious laws. D&C 76: 94-98 94 They who dwell in his presence are the church of the Firstborn; and they see as they are seen, and know as they are known, having received of his fulness and of his grace; 95 And he makes them equal in power, and in might, and in dominion. 96 And the glory of the celestial is one, even as the glory of the sun is one. 97 And the glory of the terrestrial is one, even as the glory of the moon is one. 98 And the glory of the telestial is one, even as the glory of the stars is one; for as one star differs from another star in glory, even so differs one from another in glory in the telestial world;
3. The Belief of Dinosaur Bones
Dinosaur bones are not an indication of how old the earth actually is according to this faith. In most instances, Mormons also believe that the earth is roughly around 7000 years old. The dinosaur bones that are unearthed which point to the earth being much older are simply recycled materials from other created and destroyed planets. The presence of these bones is not meant to point to the actual age of the planet but it is more to test our faith in God. This contains the Revelation given to Joseph Smith the Prophet, at Hiram, Ohio, about March 1832. Joseph Smith’s history states, “In connection with the translation of the Scriptures, I received the following explanation of the Revelation of St. John. ”Beasts have spirits and will dwell in eternal felicity; This earth has a temporal existence of 7,000 years; Various angels restore the gospel and minister on earth; The sealing of the 144,000; Christ will come in the beginning of the seventh thousand years; Two prophets will be raised up to the Jewish nation.
4. Mormons Belief that Skin Color (Dark Skin Turns White)
Since people of darker skin, especially people of African descent are considered descendants of Cain and thus cursed according to Mormon doctrine or Mormon beliefs, dark skin is frowned upon in the Mormon faith. If, however, you convert to Mormonism and you have dark skin, the belief is that God will change your dark skin to become lighter in appearance. It wasn’t until 1978 that black men could be given priesthood in the Later Day Saints church. A number of people have accused Mormons of preaching white supremacy and racial discrimination, although not all Mormons believe or even know about this. “Not only was Cain called upon to suffer, but because of his wickedness he became the father of an inferior race” (The Way to Perfection, p.101) “It was well understood by the early elders of the Church that the mark which was placed on Cain and which his posterity inherited was the black skin. The Book of Moses informs us that Cain and his descendants were black” (The Way to Perfection, p.107) Mormon 9:6. “O then ye unbelieving, turn ye unto the Lord; cry mightily unto the Father in the name of Jesus, that perhaps ye may be found spotless, pure, fair, and white, having been cleansed by the blood of the Lamb, at that great and last day.”
5. The Happening Place of Mormonism is in Missouri
It was in 1831 when Mormon founder Joseph Smith declared that the righteous would gather in Independence, Mo., to greet the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. Disputes with Missourians led to a very bloody Mormon War eventually ended after the state’s governor gave an “extermination order” to expel the then Smith’s followers Missouri is a fine place, but it holds special importance to Mormons. Most people consider Utah as the hub for the Mormon faith, and in Mormon doctrine, Missouri is where all the action is. Missouri claimed to be the home of the Garden of Eden, Missouri is also a key point in their belief of end time prophecies. This is one of the weird mormon beliefs and prophecies that estranged the mormon faith from traditional Christianity, as at today, At least 66,000 Mormons now live in the state.
6. The Work of Creation
A popular Christian belief is that God created the universe but in fact Mormon doctrine tells a bit of a different story. Mormons believe that God didn’t actually create the world but he subbed out that work to Jesus and the Archangel Michael who coincidentally, they believe was also the first man created, the man that many others call Adam. Mormon teachings clearly deny the doctrine of creation ex nihilo (ie creation out of nothing), a belief that is held by the Christian faith, conventional Christians so to speak. According to Mormons, God did not necessarily create the world and everything in it, but instead organised the world. God discovered the world as a pre-existing but chaotic matter and decided to organise it into the world we have today. “Now the word create came from the word baurau, which does not mean to create out of nothing; it means to organize; the same as a man would organize materials and build a ship. Hence we infer that God had materials to organize the world out of chaos—chaotic matter, which is element, and in which dwells all the glory. Element had an existence from the time He had. The pure principles of element are principles which can never be destroyed; they may be organized and reorganized, but not destroyed. They had no beginning, and can have no end” (Teachings of Joseph Smith, pp. 350-352). “Behold, I am Jesus Christ the Son of God. I created the heavens and the earth, and all things that in them are. I was with the Father from the beginning” (3 Nephi 9:15).
7.The Sacred Book
The sacred Book of Mormon is alleged to have been found on ancient golden plates buried in a hill in upstate New York, just outside of Rochester. Furthermore, Mormons teach that these plates were translated from their original ‘reformed Egyptian’ language into English solely by the uneducated, 24-year old Joseph Smith. He did this supposedly by looking into a hat, where his magic ‘peep stone’ was sitting. The English words appeared miraculously in the stone.
8. The Church of Later-Day Saints (LSD)
The largest Mormon church, teaches that God the Father has a physical body and that there is a Heavenly Mother, who also has a physical body. Together, our Heavenly Father and Mother produce ‘spirit children’, who are then incarnated into physical bodies (us). This would seem to imply ‘heavenly sex’, and indeed this is supported by a statement by the second President of the Mormon Church, Brigham Young: “[God] created man, as we create our children; for there is no other process of creation in heaven, on the earth, in the earth, or under the earth, or in all the eternities, that is, that were, or that ever will be.”
9. No Virgin Birth – One of the Most Controversial Mormon Beliefs
Perhaps one of the most important aspects of Christian belief is the concept of the Virgin Mary giving birth to Jesus. While this may be the core of past and modern day Christianity, it is disavowed by the Mormon doctrine. Mormons still believe that God took human form and had sexual intercourse with Mary in order to impregnate her with Christ. Mormon apostle Bruce McConkie, in perhaps what might be described as the most explicit denial of the virgin birth, wrote,
“Christ was begotten by an immortal Father in the same way that mortal men are begotten by mortal fathers.” (Mormon Doctrine, 1966, p. 547)
10. God in Space
The popular Christian belief is that God resides in heaven but according to Mormon doctrine, his place of residence is not in some unreachable heavenly realm. In fact, the Mormons believe God does not reside in heaven but actually resides on a planet located close to the star Kolob.
1. Kolob, signifying the first creation, nearest to the celestial, or the residence of God. First in government, the last pertaining to the measurement of time. The measurement according to celestial time, which celestial time signifies one day to a cubit. One day in Kolob is equal to a thousand years according to the measurement of this earth, which is called by the Egyptians Jah-oh-eh.
2. Stands next to Kolob, called by the Egyptians Oliblish, which is the next grand governing creation near to the celestial or the place where God resides; holding the key of power also, pertaining to other planets; as revealed from God to Abraham, as he offered sacrifice upon an altar, which he had built unto the Lord.
3. Is made to represent God, sitting upon his throne, clothed with power and authority; with a crown of eternal light upon his head; representing also the grand Key-words of the Holy Priesthood, as revealed to Adam in the Garden of Eden, as also to Seth, Noah, Melchizedek, Abraham, and all to whom the Priesthood was revealed.
4. Answers to the Hebrew word Raukeeyang, signifying expanse, or the firmament of the heavens; also a numerical figure, in Egyptian signifying one thousand; answering to the measuring of the time of Oliblish, which is equal with Kolob in its revolution and in its measuring of time.
5. Is called in Egyptian Enish-go-on-dosh; this is one of the governing planets also, and is said by the Egyptians to be the Sun, and to borrow its light from Kolob through the medium of Kae-e-vanrash, which is the grand Key, or, in other words, the governing power, which governs fifteen other fixed planets or stars, as also Floeese or the Moon, the Earth and the Sun in their annual revolutions. This planet receives its power through the medium of Kli-flos-is-es, or Hah-ko-kau-beam, the stars represented by numbers 22 and 23, receiving light from the revolutions of Kolob.
6. Represents this earth in its four quarters.
7. Represents God sitting upon his throne, revealing through the heavens the grand Key-words of the Priesthood; as, also, the sign of the Holy Ghost unto Abraham, in the form of a dove.
8. Contains writings that cannot be revealed unto the world; but is to be had in the Holy Temple of God.
9. Ought not to be revealed at the present time.
11. Also. If the world can find out these numbers, so let it be. Amen.
12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, and 21 will be given in the own due time of the Lord.
The above translation is given as far as we have any right to give at the present time.