Page images

mortality and to the eternities beyond is freely extended— to you and yours and to everybody, near and afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

Their Articles of Faith


HILE it may be impossible for any religious body to set forth in a brief statement all the distinguishing features of its doctrines and practise, it has become usual for churches to embody the fundamentals of their belief in condensed form as creeds. When asked for a concise presentation of the principal doctrines accepted by his people, Joseph Smith, through whose instrumentality the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was established, responded with the Articles of Faith presented below. This was in the year 1841.

From the time of their first promulgation The Articles have been in force as an authorized statement of belief; and they were early adopted as such by the Church in general conference assembled.

The Articles of Faith

of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints


We believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in His Son Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost.


We believe that men will be punished for their own sins, and not for Adam's transgression.


We believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel.


We believe that the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel are:-(1) Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; (2) Repentance; (3) Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; (4) Laying on of hands for the Gift of the Holy Ghost.


We believe that a man must be called of God, by prophecy, and by the laying on of hands, by those who are in authority, to preach the Gospel and administer in the ordinances thereof.


We believe in the same organization that existed in the Primitive Church, viz.: apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists, etc.


We believe in the gift of tongues, prophecy, revelation, visions, healing, interpretation of tongues, etc.


We believe the Bible to be the word of God, as far as it is translated correctly; we also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God.


We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God.


We believe in the literal gathering of Israel and in the restoration of the Ten Tribes; that Zion will be built upon this [the American] continent; that Christ will reign personally upon the earth; and that the earth will be renewed and receive its paradisiacal glory.


We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.


We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.


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. Joseph Smith.

To most of these items many sects professing Christianity could confidently pledge allegiance; to many of them all Christian bodies subscribe. Belief in the existence and powers of the Holy Trinity, in Jesus Christ as the Savior and Redeemer of the human race, in man's individual accountability for his acts, in the acceptance of sacred writ as the Word of God, in the rights of worship according to the dictates of conscience, in the moral virtues-these professions and beliefs are a common creed in the realm of present-day Christendom. There is no peculiarly "Mormon” interpretation, in the light of which these principles of faith and practise are viewed by the Latter-day Saints, except, perhaps, in a certain simplicity and literalness of accept


The Articles of Faith are confessedly but an incomplete summary of doctrine, as the ninth of the series avers. The atmosphere of the Church is that of expectancy, of reverent waiting for further revelation of the Divine will and purpose. "Mormonism" is alive, and therefore grows and develops with the years. It promulgates latter-day Scripture as well as the Holy Writ of centuries remote; and strict comparison demonstrates consistency and harmony in spirit and principle.

"Mormonism" affirms itself to be the embodiment of the essential requirements of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, as proclaimed by the Master Himself, and by His duly ordained Apostles in the Primitive Church, and as taught and administered under Divine authority in the present dispensation. "Mormonism" is new only as a reestablishment, a restoration. It is the embodiment of the eternal Gospel, come again.

For more detailed treatment see the author's "The Articles of Faith," 480 pp., The Deseret News, Salt Lake City, Utah.

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]



HAT'S in a name? So asked one who has been called the chief of English bards; and hosts of thoughtful minds have been conscious of the same insistent query springing up as a conception original to each. Who but the superficial will venture to deny the influence of names? We are all subject to the witchery of bias and of prejudice for or against; and the odium or the good repute of a name ofttimes determines our provisional acceptance or rejection of that for which it stands.

Most of us are in the habit of putting up our knowledge in little packages, duly ticketed. These we stow away in more or less orderly fashion, and though we glance betimes at the label we are apt to forget what any one of the parcels really contains.

"Mormonism" is an unpopular name; the truths for which it stands, the principles which it embodies, are more readily believed in if left unlabeled.

It should be borne in mind that the term "Mormon” with its several variants was first applied by way of nickname to the people now so designated. But nicknames. may be so sanctified by effort and achievement that they become titles of respect and profound significance. To this fact history lends definite and abundant testimony.

The term "Christian" was first applied as an epithet of contempt. You know how it was hurled in hatred and disdain at the disciples in Antioch. See Acts 11:26. Yet the

« PreviousContinue »