20 Common Mormon Beliefs and Teachings That Leave People Utterly Confused

People of different faiths understandably have different beliefs and teachings. However, some aspects of Mormon doctrine have unique foundations that raise questions for those unfamiliar with their religion and teachings. From beliefs about the afterlife, the journey to godhood, and modern-day church practices, here are the top 20 common Mormon beliefs that sometimes leave people scratching their heads!

There Is Only One True God, and That’s the Godhead

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Christians have always believed in a Trinitarian Church—wherein the Father, the Son, and the Spirit exist in one person. However, while Mormons believe in God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost, they only see Them as three separate entities, as they reject the idea of Trinitarianism. According to Luther College, “Mormons do not believe in the accepted view of Christ of the trinity that is coeternal and coequal with God the Father and the Holy Spirit in the triune godhead.”

God Has Not Always Been a Supreme Being

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Mormons believe that God is a Supreme Being, but what makes them different from Christians is that they think He has not always been a Supreme Being. Instead, people in this religion believe that God was a human like us who attained His godly status through persistent effort, dedication, and righteous living. This belief is concretized through their book of Doctrine and Covenants, specifically D&C 130:22, which reads, “The Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man’s.”

Everyone Has a Godlike Potential

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Those who belong to the Mormon Church are people on the journey toward godhood. They believe that because God was first a human being with his own flesh, they, too, can achieve the same level as Him through eternal progression. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints explains, “Latter-day Saints understand that all people are children of Heavenly Father and have the potential to become like Him. The Savior’s admonition to become perfect as He is perfect is evidence of our divine potential.”

All the Good Mormons Can Become Gods, Too

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Because Mormons believe in eternal progression or divine potential, they also think that all good Mormons can become gods. While Christians, Catholics, and the like believe that they will be brought to Heaven after death, Mormons have a different view of Paradise, and, as such, they think that they would become gods after death—if they are good people here on Earth. They believe they will inherit a kingdom of glory, wherein they will have the power to create people, worlds, and more, just like God Himself.

The Don’ts to Attain Godhood

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For Mormons, attaining godhood is a journey that pushes them to abstain from certain things that are sinful or will lead them to sin; examples include abstaining from alcohol, coffee, tea, and tobacco. Mormons avoid these vices as they believe doing so will help them lead a life more similar to Christ’s. These are evidenced by several parts of their Doctrine and Covenants, such as D&C 89:7-9, which reads, “And, again, strong drinks are not for the belly, but for the washing of your bodies; and again, tobacco is not for the body, neither for the belly, and is not good for man, but is an herb for bruises and all sick cattle, to be used with judgment and skill. And again, hot drinks are not for the body or belly.”

The Garden of Eden Could Be Found in the State of Missouri

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Mormonism, or the Church of the Latter-day Saints, has long been referred to as the religion of America or the “most American” religion. Well, just their belief in finding the Garden of Missouri can be proof of this. Contemporary or modern followers of Joseph Smith theorized this, saying that the Garden could be found near Independence, Missouri. Then, when Adam and Eve were cast out, they were sent to Adam-ondi-Ahman, a Latter-day Saint settlement, which is also in Missouri.

The Existence of Four Holy Doctrines

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Christianity and Catholicism abide by just one Holy Book—the Book of Books or the Bible. However, other religions, such as Islam and Mormonism, have more than one; in fact, the Church of the Latter-day Saints has four. They believe in the Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price. The Book of Mormon was “translated” and published by Joseph Smith, the founder of the religion, and deemed it the “most correct” book on this planet.

Jesus’s Incarnation Was the Result of a Physical Relationship Between God and Mary

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A very controversial part of the Mormon faith is the fact that they believe that Jesus’s incarnation was a product of a relationship God had with Mary. In hindsight, this belief could have also come about because of Mormons’ belief that God was once man like us. BeliefMap explains, “Mormonism teaches that God is made of flesh and bone, meaning God has a penis and is able to engage in sexual intercourse. Moreover, while it is not articulated in any standard works, Mormon authorities have taught that Mary could be and was impregnated with Jesus through physical sex with God.”

Baptism Exists—Even After Death

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For Catholics, baptism happens when a person is only a baby or a child; Christians, on the other hand, believe that baptism can only occur in adulthood—when a person is of sound mind to repent on their sins and commit to God. However, in Mormonism, baptism is viewed differently; in fact, they believe baptism can still take place—even after one’s death! BBC says, “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believes that a dead person can be baptized by proxy, which means that a Mormon can be baptized on behalf of someone who has already died. The Church teaches that because millions of people lived and died without learning the teachings of Jesus Christ and without belonging to his Church, ordinances such as baptism and eternal marriage should be carried out on Earth on their behalf.”

Satan Is Jesus’s Brother

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In Christianity and similar religions, Jesus is God’s only Son, and Satan is a fallen angel who went against God’s orders. However, one of the most unique things Mormons believe in is that Jesus is the brother of Satan. According to their teachings, Jesus is God’s first spiritual child with one of his many wives or someone they refer to as the “Heavenly Mother.” In line with this, Mormons believe that God had many other spiritual children, and Satan or Lucifer was one of them.

Our Spirits Existed Before Our Moral Lives Began

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In more ways than one, Mormons believe that we all had a pre-mortal experience. They simply do not accept the fact that our lives began as mortals on Earth. Instead, they preach that we have a pre-existence as spirit children, then we have a life or “probation” here on Earth, and then, lastly, we have eternal life with God. Mormons believe that spirits existed before mortal life began, choosing to come to Earth for growth and experience; their time here on Earth is a time for them to learn and prepare to meet God.

Graded Levels in Heaven Exist

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Christians believe in God’s gift of salvation at the end of life. On the other hand, Mormons believe in the existence of some reward in the afterlife; thus, they believe in graded levels of Heaven. They preach of multiple levels of celestial glory in the afterlife, where individuals are rewarded based on their faithfulness. In more ways than one, this contrasts with Christians’ more black-and-white or binary belief in Heaven and Hell.

There Are Different Kingdoms in the Afterlife

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Just as there are multiple grades of celestial glory in the afterlife, Mormons also believe there are different kingdoms in it. In their teachings, four kingdoms exist: the celestial kingdom, the terrestrial kingdom, the telestial kingdom, and outer darkness. The Book of Mormon describes these, and their Article of Faith talks about what one should and shouldn’t do to reach whichever kingdom.

Polygamy and Its Existence in the Afterlife

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Mormons are notorious for their polygamy. However, in truth, this was only practiced between 1840 and 1890; today, their Church is stricter when it comes to laying down God’s rules—that marriage is between only one man and one woman. Although this is the case, some Mormons still believe that polygamy is possible in the afterlife, even if it’s been prohibited on Earth.

Joseph Smith as the One True Prophet

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Joseph Smith didn’t declare himself the one and only prophet, although he did establish the religion. Even so, at some point in the history of Mormonism, he became labeled as the one and only prophet allowed to issue commandments, as someone like Moses. The Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-day Saints reveres Joseph Smith, just as how they revere and look up to Moses, Isaiah, and more.

The Human Body Is the Temple of the Holy Spirit

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Mormons believe in modesty in dress, speech, and behavior, reflecting a belief the Holy Spirit is housed in our bodies and, therefore, our bodies should be treated with respect. According to D&C 121:45-46, “A holy temple is considered the house of the Lord; your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost. By keeping the commandments and living righteously, you invite the Holy Ghost to be your ‘constant companion.’” While specific guidelines exist, like avoiding revealing clothing, the emphasis is on inner virtue and avoiding anything that might detract from spirituality or tempt oneself or others.

Mormonism Is the Restoration of the Christian Church

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Mormonism is founded on the belief that the Christian Church went astray. Because they’re lost and fallen, they need to be restored and renewed, and this could only happen with the help of Joseph Smith, the founder of the Latter-day Saints. According to the Christian Research Institute, “Joseph Smith, the founding father of Mormonism, built his institution on the premise that the Christian church was completely overtaken by apostasy. In other words, Smith claimed that the church established by Jesus in the first century was completely nonexistent by the 19th century.”

Families Could Be Bonded Throughout All Eternity

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How nice would it be to stay with the people you love throughout all eternity? Mormons believe this is possible for families, as they could be eternally bonded through a temple sealing ceremony. They think that the priesthood has a unique power to bind families and that this is one of the most special gifts from God. According to their teachings, this gift has been passed on from Isaiah to Joseph Smith to other living prophets in the Church of the Latter-day Saints.

The Connection Between Race and Priesthood

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Before 1978, Black men were prohibited from holding the Mormon priesthood. This restriction caused distress among many members and restricted the spiritual roles available to Black men in the Mormon Church. This history of racial discrimination continues to be a topic of ongoing discussion and reconciliation within the Mormon faith, but it’s believed that they are now fostering inclusion and equality and trying to move away from its outdated policies. Many think these changes were made due to a revelation made in 1978.

Temple Worship Is Different From Church Service

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Mormons engage in sacred rituals at temples, which are separate from regular church services. These temples are revered as sanctuaries for spiritual growth and connecting with God. The Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-day Saints notes, “Latter-day Saint temples are considered houses of God, a place of holiness and peace separate from the preoccupations of the world. They provide a place where Church members make formal promises and commitments to God, and they are also the place where the highest sacraments of the faith occur—the marriage of couples and the ‘sealing’ of families for eternity.”

Read More: 18 Things People Regret the Most When They’re Old and Dying

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As people near the end of their lives, they commonly reflect on what they’ve done or didn’t do and what they could have done better. Regrets often plague us in the last moments of our lives, but they’re completely avoidable. If you want to ensure you live a full life without any regrets, learn from the top 18 regrets of the old and dying that we have on this list!

18 Things People Regret the Most When They’re Old and Dying

20 Things You Should Say Goodbye to the Moment You Reach Age 50

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Reaching age 50 marks a significant milestone in life. As you embark on this new chapter, it’s important to say goodbye to certain things or habits that no longer benefit you in this current chapter. At this point, you must learn to let go of unrealistic expectations and detrimental vices. Read on and find the top 20 things you need to avoid when you’re in your 50s so you can live a full, meaningful, and happy life!

20 Things You Should Say Goodbye to the Moment You Reach Age 50

20 Common Christian Practices That Go Against the Bible’s Teachings

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The Bible’s teachings are classic and timeless, yet many Christian practices have veered away from its core principles over time. Today, we’re exploring 20 prevalent Christian practices that stand in contrast to the Scripture and the Bible. Understanding them will give us a deeper and more thorough understanding of how certain traditions may diverge from Christianity’s foundational beliefs. Read on and find some things you might need to reflect on!

20 Common Christian Practices That Go Against the Bible’s Teachings

17 Reasons Companies Aren’t Hiring Anyone Who’s 50 and Over

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Many laws and policies highlight how wrong it is for companies or businesses to discriminate against others solely because of age. Even so, they try to find loopholes in the hiring process so that they can forgo hiring people over 50 and instead prioritize those from the younger generations. However, aside from being unfair, companies overlook valuable resources that could contribute one-of-a-kind experiences and skills that could set them up for success!

17 Reasons Companies Aren’t Hiring Anyone Who’s 50 and Over

17 Things Christians Do That Absolutely Bother and Annoy All the Non-Christians

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Sadly, some Christians might not realize that their behavior is offending non-Christians. Their hypocritical and judgmental behaviors can be off-putting, pushing others to get annoyed and irritated with them. So, if you’re a Christian who wants to improve how others perceive your institution as a whole, read through to the end of this list to identify some key behaviors or habits you need to avoid!

17 Things Christians Do That Absolutely Bother and Annoy All the Non-Christians

Author: Karen Danao

Bio:

Karen is a writer and also a marketing and advertising professional. Beyond the keyboard and the screen, she is someone who’s out to enjoy every bit that life has to offer!

Poetry, philosophy, history, and movies are all topics she loves writing about! However, her true passion is in traveling, photography, and finding common ground to which everyone from different cultures can relate.

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