Mormons – Summary of History and Key Teachings

Called the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Members are called Mormons.

Founded by Joseph Smith Jr. early 1800’s in Palmyra, NY.

1820   Joseph claimed to have first vision – the story changed several times as to whom he saw and what was said:

Jesus Christ appeared to Joseph

God the Father and Jesus appeared to Joseph

One “personage” appeared to Joseph

Two “personages” appeared to Joseph, neither of whom were the Son of God. These were accompanied by ‘many angels.

The “official” version: God the Father and God the Son appeared to JS, telling him to join no church because all were false, and that God would bring the truth church through Joseph Smith.

1823   Second claimed vision: angel Moroni told him there was a sacred history of the ancient Hebrews, engraved in Reformed Egyptian on golden plates buried in Hill Comorah.

1827   Joseph acquired the plates, translated them using “Urim & Thummim”

1830   Book of Mormon completed; said to be the most correct book in the world. Referred to as “another gospel of Jesus Christ.

1830   Joseph Smith established the Mormon church.


Joseph Smith

– called a “prophet, seer, and revelator” of God.

Will sit at the judgment bar with Jesus and Eloyim, judging all men for their deeds.

He was a treasurer-hunter, and used a seer-stone in his hat to ‘divine’ the location of treasure.

Was known as a liar & troublemaker, a fabricator of tales, and a scammer for money.

Was accepted into the Masonic Lodge, after which his temple ceremonies were developed with great resemblance to the Lodge ceremonies. Took high, occult order in the Lodge, according to many sources.


Book of Mormon, Doctrine & Covenants, Pearl of Great Price, Bible (so far as it is interpreted correctly in fact Smith wrote an “Inspired Revision” of the KJV)

Bible is said to be missing many precious portions, and wrongly translated/interpreted in many places.


God’s name is Elohim. – referred to as Heavenly Father.

– glorified man. “As man is, God once was; as God is, man may become.”

– is a physical being. – lives on a planet near the star Kolob.

– has at least one wife.

– rules His own universe

– there are many gods ruling over their own worlds.


– is spirit brother to Lucifer, and to all humans on earth, because all are spirit children of “heavenly father”.

– conceived through sexual relations between God the Father & Mary

– presently an un-glorified man

– volunteered to save the world; his proposition of how to do so pleased heavenly father more than Lucifer’s, so HF accepted Jesus as saviour

– God created the world through Jesus

– they also say that Jesus was the God of the OT, or Jehovah. Jehovah is not the same as Elohim.


–  spirit brother of Jesus, spirit son of Elohim

Offered to save humanity, but when HF chose Jesus’ over Lucifer, Lucifer collected other angry spirits and went to earth to destroy it and us.

The skin and hair of the spirits who followed him turned dark brown so there would be obvious difference between the good and bad people. The light-complexioned were described as “light and delightsome”, and dark skin is a curse from God – which can change if the dark person is sufficiently righteous!


One comes to faith by praying for God to show that LDS is true through a “testimony” which refers to what is described as a “burning in the bosom”. A Mormon having received this ‘testimony’ will believe LDS no matter what outside facts may clearly show its contradiction.

“… for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all that we can do” (Book of Mormon, 2 Nephi 25:23).

“We believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the gospel” (Pearl of Great Price: Articles of Faith).

Necessary actions to achieve salvation include:


Faithfully obey all the commands of the church and its leadership.

Mandatory tithe

Eternal marriage in the temple

Temple endowment & wearing of the sacred undergarment

Men become gods of their own worlds; women become wives of gods, producing spirit babies to populate their husband’s world.

Plural marriage: “the doctrine of plural and celestial marriage is the most holy and important doctrine ever revealed to man on earth, and that without obedience to that principle no man can ever attain to the fullness of exaltation in the celestial glory” (William Clayton in Historical Record, p.266); “the only men who become gods, even the Son of God, are those who enter into polygamy” (Brigham Young, in Journal of Discourses, vol. 11, p.269). (retrieved Mr 5/16 at

Baptism for the dead:    Baptism is considered essential for salvation, therefore Mormons in good standing are baptised for the dead in a special temple ceremony.

Heaven:  3 levels:

Telestial Kingdom:            unbelievers who have not received the gospel or testimony of Jesus, shall be ‘redeemed from the devil [at] the last resurrection.” D & C 76:82-86

Terrestrial Kingdom:         religious non-Mormons & Mormons lacking perfect compliance & faith to LDS. They receive the glory of the son but not his fullness, “the presence of the Son, but not the fullness of the Father”. D & C 76:76-79

Celestial Kingdom:           Mormons who have kept all laws and ordinances of the church; they are gods, the sons of God, and live in God’s presence forever. D & C 76:58-68

Eternal Judgement:    Book of Mormon refers to a literal, everlasting hell, but later prophets deny its existence, or that it is a temporary situation. Joseph Fielding Smith taught that those in the spirit world will be called upon to receive the gospel message. They will acknowledge their “saviour” and he will bring them from hell at the last resurrection. (Doctrines of Salvation, Journal of Discourses, D & C)

Church Leadership:         LDS has a perpetual prophet, who is always correct in terms of doctrine, because he always hears directly from God; therefore his words are binding on all Mormons.

The teaching of a living prophet supersedes that of a dead prophet. There is a lot of dissimulation when a living prophet has contradicted something Joseph Smith had previously said/written.

Current prophet (2016) Thomas S Monson

The Mormon Gospel Message:

Mormons believe that Joseph Smith “restored” the lost gospel of Jesus Christ.

  • We believe Jesus suffered in the Garden of Gethsemane and that He submitted to a cruel death on the cross of Calvary, all as a willing sacrifice, a substitutionary atonement for our sins. That offering is made efficacious as we exercise faith and trust in Him; repent of our sins; are baptized by immersion as a symbol of our acceptance of His death, burial and rise to newness of life; and receive the gift of the Holy Ghost (Acts 2:37–38; 3 Nephi 27:19–20). While no one of us can comprehend how and in what manner one person can take upon himself the effects of the sins of another — or, even more mysteriously, the sins of all men and women — we accept and glory in the transcendent reality that Christ remits our sins through His suffering. We know it is true because we have experienced it personally. Further, we believe that He died, was buried and rose from the dead and that His resurrection was a physical reality. We believe that the effects of His rise from the tomb pass upon all men and women. “As in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive” (Corinthians 15:22).
  • We do not believe that we can either overcome the flesh or gain eternal reward through our own unaided efforts. We must work to our limit and then rely upon the merits, mercy and grace of the Holy One of Israel to see us through the struggles of life and into life eternal (2 Nephi 31:19; Moroni 6:4). We believe that while human works are necessary— including exercising faith in Christ, repenting of our sins, receiving the sacraments or ordinances of salvation and rendering Christian service to our neighbors — they are not sufficient for salvation (2 Nephi 25:23; Moroni 10:32). We believe that our discipleship ought to be evident in the way we live our lives.

Retrieved Mar 5/16 from

“The gospel is our Heavenly Father’s plan of happiness. The central doctrine of the gospel is the Atonement of Jesus Christ. The Prophet Joseph Smith said, “The first principles and ordinances of the Gospel are: first, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; second, Repentance; third, Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; fourth, Laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost” (Articles of Faith 1:4).

           Additional Information

In its fulness, the gospel includes all the doctrines, principles, laws, ordinances, and covenants necessary for us to be exalted in the celestial kingdom. The Savior has promised that if we endure to the end, faithfully living the gospel, He will hold us guiltless before the Father at the Final Judgment (see 3 Nephi 27:16).

Retrieved Mar 5/16 from

“…the plan of salvation was calculated to save all who were willing to obey the requirements of the law of God(Journal History of the Church, 15 Aug. 1840).