The Mormon Church is an unofficial name used to refer to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The term Mormon derives from the Book of Mormon, translated by Joseph Smith in 1829. The Church was established a year later, in 1830. The nickname has been commonly used, especially by those outside the Church, to refer to the Church since that time.
The core of Mormon belief is a belief in Christ as the Only Begotten Son of God, the Creator of Earth and Savior of the world. Christ is the center of their church, so Mormons are Christians. In addition to believing that Christ has restored the lost eternal truths of the Gospel, Mormons believe He has restored priesthood authority, the authority to act in God’s name. These keys have been handed down in an unbroken line ever since this restoration. The Church also holds as one of its core tenets that God speaks to man today. He spoke to Joseph Smith, and to prophets living today. The Church, since its founding, has always had prophets to lead it. Modern revelation and modern scripture go hand-in-hand. The Doctrine and Covenants is a compilation of latter-day revelations.
Central to Mormon belief is the knowledge that God has a plan for Mankind, called the Plan of Salvation. The Plan of Salvation teaches that human beings live before they come to this earth in a pre-mortal existence as spirit children of God. Thus, they are literally His children. Earth life is a time of testing and discovery, a time to prepare for resurrection and glory. The atonement of Christ enables people to repent and return to God the Father. The companionship of the Holy Ghost gives worthy people access to personal revelation and answers to prayer, providing (along with the scriptures) an anchor and guide in a wicked world. At death, people move on to the Spirit World, where they have the same freedom of choice as they did in their mortal life. They are then resurrected – receiving a perfected body – and then judged by God. Those who are truly faithful then dwell eternally in His presence.
Other essential beliefs include the idea that salvation is a gift to all men provided by Christ’s atonement. Salvation means that all living beings will be resurrected. Most living souls will inherit a kingdom of glory. Exaltation, however, is dependent upon repentance and righteousness, and is bestowed through God’s grace upon those who keep His commandments. Thus, both grace and works are necessary for exaltation. Mormons believe that men are judged according to the knowledge they possess. Mormons share their knowledge of the gospel with others through missionary work. They also provide ordinances for those who have died without hearing the gospel. These ordinances are performed in temples, and are only binding for people who desire to accept these ordinances as they are explained to them in the Spirit World.
Encyclopedia of Mormonism
This section includes topics from the Encyclopedia of Mormonism. The Encyclopedia was the first major encyclopedia published about the Mormons. It presents the work of hundreds of Latter-day Saint (LDS) lay scholars and others from throughout the world and provides a comprehensive reporting of Mormon history, scripture, doctrines, life, and knowledge, intended for both the non-Mormon and the LDS reader. Readers will find an article on almost any topic conceivably related to the general topic of Mormonism, but no article is exhaustive because of space limitations.
In this website we will only include some of the articles of the Encyclopedia and links to the full text for the other articles.
Articles are organized by alphabetical order: