#1 Do Mormons Believe in God?
Yes, Mormons believe in God as a separation of three powers, all existing as one, (God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit). Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and the Messiah of the Latter-day Saints, and Jesus is God.
Mormon believe unequivocally that:
- Jesus Christ is the Savoir of the physical realm and Son of the Father, a third of God’s comprehensive power
- Christ’s sacrifice allows humanity to live on earth, and later be sent to the various levels of heaven. Jesus’ death is the reason for what Mormons view as ‘mankind’s inevitable resurrection.’
- The highest level of heaven, the Celestial Kingdom, is where God and Jesus exist. This is the only level of heaven in which one may be reunited with God.
- Humans were formerly Gods, sent to earth for a human experience, later to be returned to divine form in the afterlife. Life on earth is a temporary state that God has prescribed to humankind as a large-scale test of impermanence, transience, and mortality.
- “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” – Genesis 1:27.
- ‘What Do Mormons Believe About God?’ – Posted by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Posted on July 10, 2019.
#2 Do Mormons Believe in Polygamy?
In 1890, the Latter-day Saints Church officially renounced their support of the practice of Polygamy. Although Polygamy is referenced in scriptures and was formerly a way of life for Mormons, the social pressure of modern monogamy may have inflicted too much pressure on this practice of plural marriage.
Today, the Mormon church has been known to excommunicate those in polygamist marriages; however, some fundamentalistic Mormons believe Polygamy is the key to the highest plane of heaven.
Mormons feel that marriage is one of the holiest encounters of the human experience, only coming second to having children, which is the primary purpose of an eternal union.
There are still polygamist Mormons and fundamentalists that keep a historical approach to the religion by favoring Polygamy.
Still, most Mormons born in the last century will marry one person and one person only.
- “And in that day seven women shall take hold of one man, saying, We will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel: only let us be called by thy name, to take away our reproach.” – Isaiah 4:1.
- “If a man have two wives, one beloved, and another hated, and they have born him children, both the beloved and the hated; and if the firstborn son be hers that was hated.” – Deuteronomy 21:15.
- ‘What Was Polygamy Like in Pioneer Utah?’ – Posted by: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to the Official Website.
#3 Are Mormons Circumcised?
Although the Book of Mormon, the holy scripture of Mormonism, states that ‘children are whole,’ and ‘the law of circumcision is done away in me,’ according to God – Mormons still circumcise their children.
As an option and choice, not all Mormon parents will circumcise their male children; however, it is a very Americanized tradition that is typically not seen in other parts of the world.
As a decision left up to the parents, the two schools of thought pertaining to this question, according to ThirdHour.org, include:
“One idea is that the circumcision represents a reliance on the law of Moses and thus a rejection of Christ’s sacrifice. For that reason, Latter-day Saints would not want to be circumcised.
Others suggest that as long as circumcision is not decided on for religious reasons, there is no religious statement being made.“
With experts debating about the health benefits (or lack thereof) of circumcision, this is still a heated debate that is best left up to the parents and physician.
- “Listen to the words of Christ, your Redeemer, your Lord and your God. Behold, I came into the world not to call the righteous but sinners to repentance; the whole need no physician, but they that are sick; wherefore, little children are whole, for they are not capable of committing sin; wherefore the curse of Adam is taken from them in me, that it hath no power over them; and the law of circumcision is done away in me.” – Moroni 8:8.
- “The Church under direction of Peter and the Twelve, and acting under the guidance of the Spirit, declared that circumcision was not obligatory for gentile converts.” – LDS Official website.
- ‘ Mormons and Circumcision’ – Referenced from the LDS.Org/GeneralConference. Posted May 14, 2012.
#4 Why Do Mormons Not Drink Coffee?
Mormons do not drink coffee because substances in depressant- or stimulant-nature are seen as unhealthy. Although younger Millennial Mormons are beginning to consume iced coffee and soda, Fundamentalist Mormons find this as a tarnishing impact on the body, mind, and spirit.
Caffeine was only allowed in 2012 following an official statement from the LDS church. Being that caffeine is so newly-accepted in the Church, many do not consume caffeinated beverages.
“We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul – We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.”
- Come Unto Christ Organization’s – Word of Wisdom – Healthy Living Posted By The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
#5 Can Mormons Drink Coffee?
Since the rules surrounding hot beverages, substances, and stimulants of any influential-degree were created in 1833 – opinions have drastically changed over time. The Mormon doctrine, ‘The Word of Wisdom,’ specifically mentions the foods, substances, and beverages which should be avoided, and they distinctly cite coffee.
A loophole has been discovered in recent years, especially taken advantage of by the younger Mormon church members. Since the Bible specifically says, ‘hot drinks are not for the body or belly,” D&C 89:9, some Mormons will opt for iced coffee on a technicality to the rule’s ill-phrasing.
- “And again, hot drinks are not for the body or belly.” D&C 89:9
- Why Mormons Don’t Drink Coffee – Posted by Saints Unscripted; March 20, 2019.
#6 Can Mormons Drink Iced Coffee?
Yes, some Mormons consider iced coffee to be a disconnection from God’s specific request in ‘The Word of Wisdom,’ to avoid the hot beverages of coffee and tea.
The LDS church has explicitly stated its condemnation of iced coffee, still considering it coffee.
A devout or strict Mormon will obediently drink water, fruit juices, hot chocolate, or other beverages that do not influence the mind or body as significantly. The main reasoning behind this caffeine restriction by the LDS church is in the hopes of keeping the body pure from:
- Addictive chemicals
- Neurologically-altering substances
- Elements that would cause a division between one and the Church
So iced coffee could nonetheless be seen as caffeinated and addicting, therefore, should be handled with caution and restraint. As MRM.org states:
“Drinks with names that include café or caffé, mocha, latte, espresso, or anything ending in -ccino are coffee and are against the Word of Wisdom.”
An additional loophole to this rule is decaffeinated coffee, which could be seen as a safer and non-stimulating option.
- The Church of Latter-day Saints – Coffee
- “(18) And all saints who remember to keep and do these sayings, walking in obedience to the commandments, shall receive health in their navel and marrow to their bones;
(19) And shall find wisdom and great treasures of knowledge, even hidden treasures;
(20) And shall run and not be weary and shall walk and not faint.
(21) And I, the Lord, give unto them a promise, that the destroying angel shall pass by them, as the children of Israel, and not slay them. Amen.” – Doctrine and Covenants 89:18-21
#7 Can Mormons Drink Green Tea?
- Coffee, Tea
- Alcohol, wine, beer
- Tobacco, Vaping
- Drugs, stimulants
- The LDS church writes on their Official Website regarding – ‘Vaping, Coffee, Tea, and Marijuana:’
“Green tea and black tea are both made from the leaves of the exact same tea plant. The only difference is that the leaves in black tea are fermented and in green tea they’re not. They’re both tea and against the Word of Wisdom. Some drinks have tea in them but don’t advertise that fact, so always check the ingredients. Also, iced tea is still tea.”
- “Latter-day Saints Reassert Ban of Vaping, Tea, and Anything Ending in -ccino’ – Posted by Newsweek on August, 17th 2019.
#8 Can Mormons Date?
Yes, Mormon church members can date once they have matured past the age of 16, before this age, the LDS church forbids it. Being that the goal of two Mormons dating is to marry in a sacred union, become closer with God, and create sacred children – Dating is taken very seriously within the Mormon religion.
“Your ultimate goal is to spend eternity with Heavenly Father, and in His kingdom we will live as eternal families. So the ultimate goal of dating is to find an eternal companion you can make and keep temple covenants with.”
If trying to decipher loopholes or exceptions to this rule, the Church officially discredits, ‘Whatever you call it—”going out,” “dating,” or even “hanging out”— saying that you must ask yourself what is in your heart’s intent. If you are 15 and have the intent of dating before this sufficient timeframe, you are to tell them that you are not dating until the age of 16.
- “(27) So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
(28) And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
(29) And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.” – Genesis 1:27-29.
- “What may appear to be harmless teasing or simply having a little fun with someone of the opposite sex can easily lead to more serious involvement.” – President Ezra Taft Benson (1899–1984), “The Law of Chastity,” New Era, Jan. 1988, 6.
- “Before marriage, do not do anything to arouse the powerful emotions that must be expressed only in marriage. Do not participate in passionate kissing, lie on top of another person, or touch the private, sacred parts of another person’s body, with or without clothing. Do not allow anyone to do that with you. … Always treat your date with respect, never as an object to be used for your lustful desires. Stay in areas of safety where you can easily control your physical feelings. Do not participate in talk or activities that arouse sexual feelings.” – For the Strength of Youth, 27.
- ‘8 Tips for Successful Dating Relationships’ – Posted by The Official Website of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; Posted on October 29, 2018.
#9 Why Aren’t There Crosses in Mormon Churches?
Although many Christian religions utilize the cross as a physical symbol of Jesus Christ’s sacrifice, some denominations, such as Mormons, Protestants, and Jehovah’s Witnesses, oppose the use of the crucifix in Church.
Despite being a staple to Christian sects, such as Catholicism and Orthodox Christianity, the reasons that other Christian religions are averse to/do not use the cross are due to the following:
- Seen as a method of constituting idolatry, or “the worship of a physical object as God with an immoderate attachment” or devotion to an item.
- Seen as a reminder of Jesus’ painful death
- Seen as a distraction that takes away from Jesus’ resurrection and life.
- Seen as a negative symbol that should be replaced by actionable demonstrations of love for the Savior’s work. One is meant to remember the Savior’s sacrifice without the symbol of his death representing their faith.
The only members of the LDS church that are allowed and instructed to wear the crucifix are the Latter-day Saint Chaplains, who wear it to display military affiliations.
- “Jesus endured the cross and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God,” – Hebrews 12:2.
- Paul said, “While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal” – 2 Corinthians 4:18
- “I do not wish to give offense to any of my Christian colleagues who use the cross on the steeples of their cathedrals and at the altars of their chapels, who wear it on their vestments and imprint it on their books and other literature. But for us, the cross is the symbol of the dying Christ, while our message is a declaration of the Living Christ. …
“… The lives of our people must become the most meaningful expression of our faith and, in fact, therefore, the symbol of our worship.” – President Gordon B. Hinckley (1910–2008), “The Symbol of Our Faith,” Liahona and Ensign, April 2005, 3.
- ‘Symbol of The Cross – Talking to Mormons.’ – August 15, 2018.
- Jesus is Crucified – The Official LDS Website.
#10 How Are Mormon Prophets Chosen?
There are no scriptures that direct specific Christian denominations on how to regulate their hierarchies; therefore, this is entirely at the discretion of the Mormon Church, not the Bible.
Believing in modern-day prophets (just as Jesus, the apostles, and Joseph Smith were considered Mormon Prophets), Mormon church leaders determine who within their congregation warrants the title of a living Mosiah. These unofficial policies are selected by the LDS church based on the following criteria:
- The prospective member must already be an apostle, the highest realm of superiority within the Church besides the President, also known as the Prophet.
- Candidate must be a mature male with leadership abilities
- Candidate must have a divine connection to the Lord
- Candidate must be a long-serving member that displays dedication
There are twelve apostles, and only one will become the President, or Prophet, of the Church.
Once voted into this honorary role, the Prophet serves for the remainder of his life. As the highest governing body for the religion, the Prophet is seen as a:
- A man with a divine channel to God
- A prophet
- A seer
- A revelator
- The supreme leader
Most prophets since the 1980s have been between the ages of 80-90, showing a favor within the Church towards members that have served for their entire lives, possessing the gift of time’s wisdom, accumulated knowledge from experience within the Church, and matured grace.
- The LDS Official Website writes:
“Succession in the Presidency of the Church has been established by the Lord. The Church is never without inspired leadership, and there is no reason for speculation or controversy over who will become the next President of the Church. President Harold B. Lee (1899–1973) explained:
“[The Lord] knows whom he wants to preside over this church, and he will make no mistake. The Lord doesn’t do things by accident. He has never done anything accidentally” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1970, 153; or Improvement Era, Dec. 1970, 127).
President Ezra Taft Benson (1899–1994) taught that “God knows all things, the end from the beginning, and no man becomes president of the church of Jesus Christ by accident, or remains there by chance, or is called home by happenstance” (“Jesus Christ—Gifts and Expectations,” New Era, May 1975, 16–17).
- Mormon Prophets and Continuing Revelations – Posted by The Official LDS website. ‘Be An Example of Light.’
#11 How Are Mormon Apostles Chosen?
Apostles are selected by the President of the Church of Latter-day Saints. As the highest role of authority governing the Church, one can similarly recruit a group of supportive allies, just as a President of the Executive Branch can appoint supreme judges.
The process of choosing one of the twelve apostles of the LDS church includes:
- Determining which of The Quorums of the Seventy best suit the role.
- Laying hands on each and connecting spiritually
- The President will allow God’s communication to flow through him, speaking the answer onto the Prophet as an intuitive sensation of certainty.
- Being that this responsibility is a reference to Jesus Christ’s twelve loyal apostles, a President wants to select twelve apostles that feel aligned with his approach to leadership and will support his ability to make a consensus of decisions for the Church. Although it is said to be a spiritually-driven decision, one could argue there are politics involved.
The Salt Lake City Tribune writes that Apostles make an average of $120,000 per year, upped in 2014 from $116,400. They also are reported to receive full benefits, Church-paid vehicles, and royalties.
- “And when it was day, he called unto him his disciples: and of them he chose twelve, whom also he named apostles.” – Luke 6:13.
- “The title was also applied to others who, though not of the number of the original Twelve, yet were called to serve as special witnesses of the Lord. Paul repeatedly spoke of himself as an Apostle (Rom. 1:1; 1 Cor. 1:1; 9:1; Gal. 1:1). – The LDS Official Website’s Apostle Page.
- ‘Meet the Apostles’ – The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Official Website > Children.
- ‘Three Named to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles’ – Newsroom of the LDS Church.
#12 How Are Mormon Bishops Chosen?
The process of a bishop being called into this role, as sourced from the official LDS website, is as follows:
- The stake president will feel God communicating that is time to relinquish a bishop of his duties.
- The stake president will then fast and pray, seeking the Lord’s clear voice instructing on who is the appointed replacement.
- Once identified, the stake president will draft a formal proposal and recommendation, sent to the highest leader, the First Presidency, to seek approval.
- The leading President, as well as his Twelve Apostles, will pray and consider the bishop’s recommendation, asking God for guidance.
- The prospective bishop is made aware of the candidacy and calling from the Lord.
- With a duration to consider the call and conference with his wife and family, the bishop is ultimately expected to fulfill the request as if it has been sent directly from God.
- The ward will offer a final vote.
- An ordainment is organized by the stake president
- A new bishop is instated until the stake president sees fit for another replacement.
The Encyclopedia of Mormonism writes:
“A bishop is the ecclesiastical leader of a Latter-day Saint congregation or ward, and has comprehensive pastoral and administrative responsibility at that level.
The bishop is President of the ward’s Aaronic Priesthood holders and is responsible for all their activities. He is also an ordained high priest in the Melchizedek Priesthood and is the presiding high priest in the ward, responsible for all ward activities and functions, (Doctrine and Covenants 107:15-17).”
- ‘How is a Bishop Called?’ – Posted by the Official LDS website.
- Getting Started for Bishops – Posted by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints > Help Center > Getting Started. A presentation on the role and responsibilities of the bishop in Church record keeping.
#13 How Are Mormon Missions Chosen?
The role of missionaries is not necessarily a chosen position, but rather, an honor and expectation of all young Mormon church members, especially men. This is a voluntary task, and although the LDS church strongly encourages men to go on a mission trip upon maturity, it is not a forced protocol.
Their locations are the ‘chosen’ aspect of the process, not the role itself. Leaders of the Church will ask God for guidance on which country each applicant will be best utilized.
The option for missionary travel is even more lenient for women, also limiting the duration by which they can serve by six months less than that of their male counterparts.
The rules for Mormon missionaries fall into these categories:
|–||For Mormon Men||For Mormon Women|
|Age Requirement||19 to 26||Over the age of 21|
|Duration of Missionary Trip||2 years||Only for 18 months|
- “And now, if your joy will be great with one soul that you have brought unto me into the kingdom of my Father, how great will be your joy if you should bring many souls unto me!” Doctrine and Covenants 18:15-17.
- ‘Process of Latter-day Saint Mission Call’ – Posted by: Church Newsroom; Posted on October 29, 2013.
#14 How Are Mormon Missionaries Funded?
Missionaries offer their time, work, and efforts on a voluntary-basis, not receiving a salary for their time. In fact, it is quite the opposite being that:
- Missionaries must fund their own travels for 18-months to two years
- Families and friends will donate money to add to savings in the years leading up to one’s missionary age of maturity
- Missionaries must also pay for the Missionary School and language preparation beforehand, with one year at the Ventura Missionary School in California costing $5,300.
The funding will come from a lifetime of savings, but it is not a paid role or church-funded effort.
- Missionary Preparation – Preparing to Serve – Posted on the LDS Official Website.
#15 How Many Chapters Are in The Book of Mormon?
There are 239 chapters in the Book of Mormon; however, these chapters are referred to as ‘books.’
The audible version of the book is 25 hours and 19 minutes long, with the longest chapter being Book 5: The Parable of the Olive Tree.
The Mormons have four holy scriptures:
- The Bible
- The Book of Mormon
- Doctrine and Covenants
- The Pearl of Great Price
- Learn More About the Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ – A Book of Mormon Introduction, Posted on the LDS official website.
#16 How Much are Mormon Garments?
Prices off LDS.org:
- Apron: $8.60 – $14.25
- Robe and sash: $26.75 – $44.40
- Veil: $12.65 – $14.80
- Envelope: $3.10
- Cap: $6.35 – $8.65
One can easily spend $100 on a full temple garment, more if seeking high-quality.
You must create an account and be an active member of the Church to shop in the Official Store of the Church of Jesus Christ.
- Temple Garments: Posted by the Official Newsroom of the LDS Church.
#17 How Much is Mormon Tithing?
Mormons are required, as full-fledged members of the Church, to donate 10% of their annual salary to the Church. This practice is known as tithing, and is considered a voluntary contribution or tax to support the religious establishment. Although described as ‘voluntary,’ it is only an obligation to those that want to remain in the Church.
The word ‘tithe’ literally translates to ‘tenth’ in Hebrew. The phrase was sourced from the Bible and originated in July of 1838, when Joseph Smith, the Founder of Mormonism, saw a visionary revelation about the concept.
To clarify gross or net – Tithing entails a tenth of one’s net worth, able to be paid at any time.
- “Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.” – 2 Corinthians 9.
- “All the tithe is the Lord’s: it is holy unto the Lord,” Lev. 27:30–34.
- “Thou shalt truly tithe all the increase,” Deut. 14:22, 28.
- “The Lord’s house will be built by the tithing of his people,” D&C 97:11–12.
- ‘How the Church of Jesus Christ Uses Tithing and Donations’ – Posted on the LDS Official Website; Posted December 20, 2019, by the Official LDS Newsroom.
#18 How is Mormonism Different from Christianity?
The main differences between Mormons and traditional Christians are:
|The Holy Trinity||Believes that God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit are separate but equal entities.||Some believe the same as Mormons. Others believe that: They are all oneThey are all separate but unequal in powerOr that God is the highest of these powers God being the highest power is most common, with most Christians seeing Jesus as the Son of God, and the Holy Spirit as a separate force. Christians see themselves, Jesus, and the Holy spirit as subordinate to God.|
|Holy Authority||The BibleThe Book of MormonThe Doctrine & CovenantsThe Pearl of Great Price||The Bible|
|Alcohol and Substance||Not permitted||Generally fine in moderation, with Catholics even drinking wine in Church as a symbol of the blood of Christ.|
|The Afterlife||Believes in the three leveled kingdoms, and in a longer judgment process than an immediate rising to heaven. Also believe that humans can be returned to a God-like state. All souls are gifted immortality and the final destination will be decided upon the checkmark of a millennium of soul travel.||Believe in two levels, Heaven and Hell. Believe that your spirit is sent their immediately, a less drawn-out judgement than that of a Mormon perception. Do not believe that we are returned to a God-like state, only that our souls can cohabitate with God and Jesus in heaven (idols which are superior to human souls, not equal in stature).|
|Sin||There is no original sin to Mormons. They believe that “men will be punished for their own sins, and Not for Adam’s Transgression,” (A of F 1:2)||Believe in original sin, the Sin of Adam. Christians believe in a story of forbidden fruit that Adam and Eve consumed, an apple gifted from the Devil. This rebellion resulted in the fall of man and introduction of man’s ‘sinful nature,’ that must be punished.|
|Church Attendance||Very strictVery conservativeTemple ceremony weddingsNon-LDS members may not enter the temple||Less strict, more casual, especially in agnostic Christian churchesConservative and most wear Sunday best. Some churches allow jeans and a more casual attire for youthEveryone is welcome|
|Tithings (10% of income to the Church)||Required||Not required Donation-basis only|
|God’s Body||God has a physical form (sees man as very comparable to God) – D&C 130:22 says, “The Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man’s.” Mormons believe that God was once a mortal man that became a God.||God is not imagined as a physical form, often described as a powerful light that could not be looked at with the human eye. Man is made in the image of God (Moses 6:9) but John 4:24 states: “God is spirit.” Christians believe that God has been immortal for eternity.|
|Place of Origin||New York||Roman Province – Judea|
|Population||2.3-billion worldwide||16.5-million worldwide|
- ‘How Do Latter-day Saints Beliefs Differ From Other Christians?’ – Posted by Church Newsroom of the LDS Church – Elder M. Russel Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints explains how Latter-day Saint beliefs differ from other Christian Churches; Posted October 4, 2007.
If you are interested in learning about other Religions in the world, then check out this book on World’s Religions on Amazon.