(Disclaimer: These views are all based on my knowledge and interpretation as an active Latter Day Saint, or “Mormon”, only the actual article of faith I list should be considered “official”. Still, I try to be accurate and do my homework 😉
I’ve decided that over the next several days, I’m going to elaborate a bit on what Mormons believe, using the Articles of Faith as my guide. This series of posts is meant to both assist in setting the record straight about Mormonism (if you’re not LDS, and have seen the plethora of false information online), and to helping those of us that are LDS appreciate the simple beauty behind our most basic beliefs.
(For context, the Articles of Faith were written by Joseph Smith and published in March of 1842 in an effort to provide a brief view of Mormon teachings… see here).
The first article of faith states:
We believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost.
Yes, that means we’re Christian. We believe in Jesus Christ. We believe that He lives, that He was resurrected after having been crucified on the cross. We believe that He is our savior, and that through His atoning sacrifice, our sins might be forgiven that we might be made clean through His mercy.
We believe that he is the literal Son of God, and that God is a real being of flesh and bone, who created the earth, and that we are all His children (see we are of royal birth). Mormons believe that God is not some vague, cosmic energy, but is a real person that we can see, feel, and speak to.
What a beautiful thing that is, to know that we are made in the image of God. Knowledge of such a divine heritage should fill us with hope, fortify our confidence, and alter the perspective we have on ourselves, and others.
And how wonderful it is to know that God is a literal, tangible being. Somehow that makes him approachable, being able to see him as a kind and gentle Father who is concerned at all times for our eternal welfare (see God is Omnicaring).
We also believe in the Holy Ghost, that He is a personage of spirit, and as such, is able to dwell within us. Think upon that for a moment. Through living a righteous life, we are able to have the Holy Ghost actually dwell within us. What a marvelous gift. A measure of divinity placed within each of us providing a direct conduit straight to our Father in Heaven.
While it’s so easy to take the first article of faith for granted, being so basic, I find it to be of remarkable substance and encouragement. I am a child of God, who sent His Son to atone for my sins, and provided me the Holy Ghost as a companion to show the way during dark times. Armed with such knowledge, we should all feel a little bolder, a little more confident, and a little more determined.
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