Friday, January 23, 2015

LDS “Articles of Faith”

The following is copied from the tract booklet, “The Articles of Faith OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS (MORMON); A Christian Examination,” by Carol J. Stoddard, which was published by the Utah Christian Tract Society.  Utah Christian Tract Society was founded in 1956 and continued until 1990, when UCTS merged with Mormonism Research Ministry, who gave me permission to post it here.

The Mormon church publishes a list of thirteen Articles of Faith which are attributed to its founder Joseph Smith.  This “statement of belief” is contained in one of their books of “scripture,” on missionary cards, and in various pamphlets.  One would expect a church’s statement of faith to be a true reflection of the teachings and beliefs of the organization.  However, while the Mormon church’s thirteen articles sound quite “Christian” on the surface, further explanation is necessary.  The following is a discussion of each article individually and in turn:

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

Mormons believe in a God who progressed from being a mortal man, on an earth like ours, to an exalted man, in a system of “eternal progression.”  He is our Father in a literal physical sense, having many wives with whom he sexually procreated all of us a spirit children in heaven.  They believe in Jesus Christ as the first spirit child born to God and one of his wives.  Jesus and Satan were spirit brothers, and Jesus became Christ because his free agency plan of salvation was accepted by God over Satan’s compulsory plan.  Mormons also believe in a Holy Ghost who does not have a physical body like God and Jesus supposedly do, but is a “personage of spirit” which can “only be in one place at one time” (Mormon Doctrine, p.359, an LDS book); sand yet he “dwells in us” (Doctrine and Covenants 130:22 LDS book of “scripture”).  A Mormon, John A. Widtsoe, said, “The chief agent by which the Holy Ghost accomplishes his work is usually spoken of as the Holy Spirit or the Spirit of God.  It is a universe-filling medium or influence.” (Evidences and Reconciliations, p.62, LDS book).  Anyone can check a Greek dictionary to see that the one word pneuma is translated either “ghost” or “spirit” interchangeably.  There is no distinction.

In the 1835 edition of the LDS book, Doctrine and Covenants, pp. 52-58, the Mormon church taught only two, not three, members in the Godhead.  “There are two personages . . . the Father and the Son: The Father being a personage of spirit, glory and power, . . . the Son, who was in the bosom of the Father, a personage of tabernacle . . .  possessing the same mind with the Father, which mind is the Holy Spirit . . .”.  The Mormon idea of the Trinity is: God, and exalted man; Jesus, a spirit son, now with a body; and the Holy Ghost/Spirit, which is either the “mind” of God and Jesus, or is an influence.  Either way, their Holy Ghost could not be a god because “the crowning Gospel ordinance requisite for Godhood is celestial marriage . . . obedience to this law is absolutely necessary in order to obtain the highest exaltation in the Kingdom of God.” (The Gospel Through the Ages, pp.118-119, LDS book).  Accordingly, the Holy Ghost is not a god because he doesn’t have a body with which to obey this law.  Furthermore, to qualify for godhood, Jesus must have been married.  Mormon apostle Orson Hyde, and second president of the LDS church, Brigham Young, stated that Jesus was married to Mary, Martha, and others, and had children.  (Journal of Discourses, Vol.2, p.210; Vol.4, pp. 259-260; Vol.13, p.309; LDS books).

Since we cannot understand even then finite things of our lives and world, how presumptuous to try to define, describe, and explain (thereby limit, and eventually eliminate) the infinite.  A thorough study of the names,, attributes, and works of each three individually leads to the conclusion that the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God.  Are there then three gods?  NO — “the Lord our God is one Lord,” (Deuteronomy 6:4).  There is one God existing eternally as the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

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

Mormons believe that Adam did not “sin,” but merely obeyed the greater of two conflicting commandments (first, to multiply; and second, to not eat of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil).  Actually, these are not in conflict as the commandment to “be fruitful, multiply, and replenish the earth” (Genesis 1:28) was given before sin came into the world, and Adam and Eve were in their original state of innocence.  But the Mormons believe that Adam and Eve (one of his wives from heaven) couldn’t have children until after the Fall . . .  so they needed to “fall” in order to multiply, therefore they had to disobey the command no to eat.  They say that Adam “transgressed” but did not “sin.”  The plain teaching of God’s Word is:  “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law; for sin is the transgression of the law,” (1 John 3:4), and “Wherefore as by one man (Adam) sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for all have sinned” (Romans 5:12); “For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners.” (Romans 5:19).  People are not sinners because they commit an act of sin, rather, we commit sins because we are sinners, by nature, as humans, from Adam.  “But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8).  “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord,” (Romans 6:23).

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

Mormons believe Christ’s atonement merely brought resurrection from physical death, and opened the way for people to become gods by earning their own salvation through obeying the laws of the Mormon church.  However, Christ said, “I AM the way,” (John 14:6).  “Therefore by deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight,” (Romans 3:20), but we can be “Justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,” (Romans 3:24).

4.  We believe that the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel are: first, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; second, Repentance; third, Baptism by immersion for remission of sins; fourth, Laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost.

Mormons believe the principles and ordinances of the Gospel are: first, Faith in the spirit son of an exalted man; second, To cease from all wrongdoing; third, Baptism by immersion to receive forgiveness of past sins (future sins to be pardoned either by partaking of the sacrament” [water and bread], or through personal interviews with bishops or stake presidents, with possible disfellowshipping or excommunication); fourth, Laying on of hands to be confirmed a member of the Mormon church.  Additional ordinances, administered in the temples include: washing, anointing, receiving a new name, receiving sacred undergarments, baptism for the dead, communication of the first and second tokens (grips) of the Aaronic priesthood, and of the first and second tokens of the Melchizedek priesthood, and the Patriarchal Grip.  They also believe one must attend all meetings, sustain all church authorities unreservedly, pay tithing, and not use tobacco or alcohol.  Birth control is out.  A good member will accept any callings and perform all duties required.  Nevertheless, after all of this, there is NO assurance of eternal life; you won’t know if you “made it” until after you die.

How beautiful is God’s Word:  “If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God which He hath testified of His Son.  He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made Him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of His Son.  And this is the record, that God HAT GIVEN TO US ETERNAL LIFE, and this life is in His Son.  He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son hath not life.  These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that YE MAY KNOW THAT YE HAVE ETERNAL LIFE,” (1 John 5:9-13).

5.  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.

Mormon males who are worthy (until June 1978 black men weren’t “worthy”…) are admitted into an ascending order of priesthood offices, beginning with twelve-year-old boys and on up (each one called directly by prophecy?).  Apostles are called to their apostleship as well as the boards-of-directors and presidencies of many large corporations, owned by the Mormon church., and receiving salaries from these corporations.  Yet the LDS church criticizes Christian churches for paying their ministers.  Jesus Himself said “the labourer is worthy of his hire” (Luke 10:7, Matt. 10:10), and this was reiterated by the Apostle Paul in giving instruction for church order (1 Timothy 5:18).  The verse 1 Peter 5:2 refers not to a salary but to the motivation behind a minister serving among God’s people.

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

Mormons believe in apostles, prophets., and teachers, but not “pastors” or “evangelists.”  Other churches which have apostles and prophets are: Reorganized LDS church; Church of Jesus Christ, Strangite; Church of Christ, Temple Lot; Church of the Fullness of Time; Catholic Apostolic Church, and others.  Mormons also have elders and deacons.  Their deacons are ordained at age twelve.  God’s Word says, “Let the deacons be the husband of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well,” (1 Timothy 3:12).  It is interesting that the Utah LDS church claims to have the only authority on earth to function as Christ’s church, claiming a continuous succession of twelve apostles (from the time of Joseph Smith on), although the actual number has ranged from 15 to 18 or so.  When Christ was on earth He ordained twelve apostles in Israel.  There was only one true church.  Then why did Christ supposedly ordain twelve more apostles among the Nephites?  That’s twenty-four apostles on earth at the same time.  Was there an Israelite church and a Nephite church?  Furthermore, Mormons say that apostasy set in among both groups and the authority was lost.  So then, Christ tried twice to set up His church only to have it fail both times?  But when Joseph Smith organized his church there was no falling away?

The Lord Jesus Christ said, “I will build MY church and the gates of hell WILL NOT prevail against it” (Matthew 16:18).  Christ’s real church is not a man-made, man-powered organization, but a living, vital, universal body of believers, bound together by truth and love in a supernatural sense that no denomination could attain.  The SAVED are the CHURCH, the body of Christ.

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

Mormons believe in tongues and healing, but only by means of the Mormon priesthood; any other manifestation is of the devil.  But where are the tongues, where the healings?  A Mormon testimony meeting is full of mention of Joseph Smith and the “true church,” but nothing of the assurance of salvation through faith in the shed blood of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins.

8.  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.

The wording of this article has been changed.  Originally it read:  “We believe in the Word of God recorded in the Bible; we also believe in the Word of God recorded in the Book of Mormon, and in all other good books,” (Joseph Smith Begins His Work, Vol.ii, Wilford C. Wood).  “Good books” are certainly not on the same level as the inspired Holy Scriptures.  Notice that a qualification is now made concerning the Bible.  Mormons say that they believe the Bible.  Yet LDS apostle Orson Pratt said, “. . . who in his right mind could not for one moment suppose the Bible in its present form to be a perfect guide?  Who knows that even one verse of the Bible has escaped pollution?” (Divine Authenticity of the Book of Mormon, p.47).  So the Bible is incomplete and corrupt?  In a pamphlet entitled “Mormonism,” another LDS apostle, Hugh B. Brown, wrote on p.38, “The Book of Mormon is in complete harmony with the Bible and quotes from it frequently.”  The Book of Mormon does have a biblical style since thousands of words are from the King James version, hundreds of words copied word-for-word.  If the Bible is mistranslated and corrupt, why claim to use it?  If it’s not, whey won’t they read it and believe it?

They believe the Book of Mormon is the word of God, supposedly containing the “fullness of the everlasting gospel” even though it does not say a word about the major LDS doctrines (eternal progression, God as an exalted man, temple work, baptism for the dead, polygamy — except to speak against it, or church organization), and in spite of almost four thousand changes in the text.

9.  We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does not reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God.

Mormons believe all that their God has revealed and been interpreted by those having the “authority” to interpret, or reinterpret as with many “revelations.”  They believe all that God reveals (although the church has not received a revelation and published it as scripture in over sixty years).  They believe that God will yet reveal many “great and import and things.”  Too bad if something really important is revealed after you die.

Is more revelation or scripture necessary?  The Apostle Peter wrote that “His divine power hath given unto us ALL THINGS that pertain to life and godliness,” (2 Peter 1:3).  The Apostle Paul assures us, “Ye are COMPLETE in Him [Christ],” (Colossians 2:10).  Read Paul’s epistles.  “I have FULLY preached the gospel of Christ,” (Romans 15:19).  Any other doctrines than those in the Bible constitute fraud, and are condemned in Galatians 1:8, 9.  Is what is contained in the Bible enough?  “And many other signs truly did Jesu in the presence of His disciples which are not written in this book: but THESE THINGS ARE WRITTEN, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that BELIEVING ye might HAVE life through His name,” (John 20:30, 31).  The Bible contains enough to know how to be saved (John 3:3, 16) and how to have assurance of salvation (1 John 5:9-13).  It is ENOUGH.

10.  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.

Mormons, among other, believe the ten tribes are “lost.”  They are not lost, but scattered among the people of the world.  In 722 B.C. the ten northern tribes were carried away captive by the Assyrians.  The southern tribes of Judah and Benjamin were conquered in sieges from 605 to 586 B.C. by the Babylonians.  From that time on, there are still Israelites from all twelve tribes around (Luke 2:36, Anna was from the tribe of Asher: John 1:19, Levites were in Jerusalem; Romans 11:1-5).  All twelve tribes are among us, and in time twelve thousand will be gathered from each tribe (Revelation 7). Zion is in Israel, not Independence, Missouri, where Joseph Smith designated the location of the temple of the “New Jerusalem” (this plot of land is owned by a church which split-off from Mormons).

11.  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.

Mormons do worship “according to the dictates of their own conscience,” and are certainly free to worship this god of their own imagination (Acts 17:23; Romans 1:21, 22).  All people have this “privilege” until Christ returns and establishes His rule.  In the meantime, Christians will continue to worship in “spirit and truth” (John 4:24).

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

Mormons believe in being subject to authority and sustaining the law (regardless of apostles having been jailed for having more than one wife, after being instructed by church authorities [who were constrained by civil authorities] not to; Reed Smoot Case, Vols. 1,2,4).  Mormons must uphold polygamy as a true doctrine and yet must not practice it.  To deny the doctrine is to deny Joseph Smith’s “revelation,” but to honestly preach and defend their doctrine would bring criticism.  Hence, the disregard of present polygamous marriages.

13.  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.

Mormons believe in being honest, true, chaste (even though polygamy is preferable and will be practiced during the millennium and in their idea of heaven), benevolent, etc.  They follow SOME of the admonitions of Paul.  They do good deeds.  Bu they do not understand (see 1 Corinthians 2:14) the wonderful words of God: “By grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God; not of works lest any man should boast,” (Ephesians 2:8,9); “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us,” (Titus 3:5); or “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved,” (Romans 10:13).

It is apparent that what the Mormon Articles of Faith say and what they mean are two different things.  Please do not be deceived.  All truth from God will conform to His already established Word.  Truth is not relative; it is fixed, and “the Word of the Lord endureth forever,” (1 Peter 1:25).


1.  We believe in God: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

2.  We believe that “He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son hath not life,” (1 John 5:12); that some will hear, “Depart from me, ye accursed, into everlasting fire,” (Matthew 25:41); and that some are assured, “verily (truly) I say unto you, he that hearth my Word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.” (John 5:24).

3.  We believe that through the acceptable, substitutionary sacrifice of the spotless Lamb of God, “whosoever believeth in Him will not perish but have everlasting life,” (John 3:16), “being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,” (Romans 3:24).

4.  We believe that “faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God,” (Romans 10:17).  Saving faith consists of : first, Repentance (changing one’s mind about who Jesus is, turning from sin): second, Confession (Romans 10:9, 1 John 1:6-10); third, Obedience (John 14:15, 1 John 5:23).  BECAUSE we ARE saved, we desire to take His Body and Blood in remembrance of Him, and be baptized to evidence to the unbelieving world that we have already died and risen in Christ.

5.  We believe “as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name.” (John 1:12); and “How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things,” (Romans 10:15); and to “Preach the Word” (2 Timothy 4:2), “the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also,” (2 Timothy 2:2).

6.  We believe the Church, the body of Christ, his bride, is “built upon THE foundation of THE apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone,” (1 Corinthians 3:11); that “by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body,” (1 Corinthians 12:13); and that we have one “great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God,” (Hebrews 4:14).

7.  We believe “there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit,” (1 Corinthians 12:4), that “the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal” (1 Corinthians 12:7), “but all these worth that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as HE will,” (1 Corinthians 12:11).

8.  We believe that “the word of the Lord endureth forever.  And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you,” (1 Peter 1:25); that “prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost” (2 Peter 1:21); and that “ALL scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteous that the man of God may be perfect [mature], thoroughly furnished unto all good works.,” (2 Timothy 3:16).

9.  We believe “according as His divine power hath given us ALL things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him that hath called us to glory and virtue,” (2 Peter 1:3); that “in the past, God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but IN THESE LAST DAYS He has spoken to us BY HIS SON,” (Hebrews 1:1);  and that the gospel was “written that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through His name,” (John 20:31).

10.  We believe that the twelve tribes will be regathered (Revelation 7:4-8), and that Christ will return to the Mount of Olives in Israel (Zechariah 14:4,9) and rule the world in righteousness.

11.  We claim the privilege of worshiping the true and living God, according to the Scriptures, realizing that “the preaching of the cross is to them that perish, foolishness; but unto us which are saved, it is the power of God,” (1 Corinthians 1:18); because we are “not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth,” (Romans 1:16).

12.  We believe that “prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men; for kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty,” (1 Timothy 2:1,2); and “Let every soul be subject unto higher powers.  For there is no power but God: the powers that be are ordained of God.” (Romans 13:1); nevertheless, “we ought to obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29).

13.  We believe that “the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance” (Galatians 5:22, 23).  We believe the gospel preached by Paul, and others, who laid the foundation on which the real Church, or universal spiritual body of believers, is firmly established.  We believe that at any moment “The Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” (1 Thessalonians 4: 16, 17).


When Jesus Christ returns for His people, will you be left behind?  There is no neutrality.  If you do not ACCEPT Christ, or if you embrace a false gospel, that is the same as REJECTING Him, and there is only one thing remaining -- condemnation: “He that believeth not the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth on him,” (John 3:36).  Confess to God that you are a sinner.  If you believe that Jesus was the perfect sacrifice, paying fully for your sin, and you receive Him personally as your Lord and Saviour, then you ARE saved.  Yield your whole life to Christ, and by His grace serve Him faithfully, and acknowledge Him before others.

I was reared in the Mormon church, but now, by the abounding grace and mercy of God, I am a Christian, and I praise the Lord every day for calling me “out of darkness and into His marvelous light.”  I received Jesus Christ as my Saviour and was born from above according to the Scriptures.  I know the Bible is the true and faithful Word of God.
— — Carol J. Stoddard

Acknowledgement is made to LDS writers, Watchman of Ezekiel Ministries, and the Bible for information; to Utah Christian Tract Society, Ex-Mormons for Jesus, and Utah Missions, Inc. for encouragement in the faith, and to Geddes Press.  And thanks be to God who has given me the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.— Carol J. Stoddard.

2 comments: said...

I am Carol J. Stoddard and I am asking again that you remove my name from this publication. You can keep the content posted--I don't care--but please remove my name. I renounce everything I wrote regarding my so-called "testimony" and no longer wish my good name associated with religion in any manner. I am NOT a Christian. I am NOT religious or superstitious or insecure or gullible any more. Take my name off of this.

Glenn E. Chatfield said...


Well, you've never previously asked me to remove your name from this.

Secondly, I am giving credit to the author.

Thirdly, I have no way of knowing if you are the true author of this article; any Mormon wanting this removed can claim to be the author. I find it extremely difficult to believe that the author of this tract decided to renounce Christianity and suggest it is nothing but superstition.