What do Mormons REALLY Believe?

I’ve read about some really wacky things that Mormons are supposed to believe. And I’ve read about how Joseph Smith was really a con man.

But then again I’ve read about some really wacky things that CATHOLICS are supposed to believe, and about how the pope is the antichrist.

Is there an official LDS site, or an unbiased non-LDS site I can go to that will tell me what these folks REALLY believe?

Aside from polygamy, what do people who are talking about your faith most often misrepresent or misunderstand?


That’s their own main site, check it out! :thumbsup:

or on the flip-side you can check out exmormon.org

Just be aware that LDS.org is mainly a PR site and the Mormons do not publicly disclose their deepest doctrines. They like to appear very mainstream so as not to scare off potential converts and will couch their public discourse so as to appear that way.

Forewarned is forearmed.


The Mormons won’t tell you what they really believe. I suggest this website:


The best thing to look at on their own website is their “Gospel Principles” manual they use in Sunday School for new converts:


Especially look at chapters 45-47.

Thanks for the replies.

Any practicing Mormans want to weigh in? What is it that we don’t know about your faith that you think we should know?

That the Book of Mormon is true!


which version/edition?

All of them!


Please tell me why you believe this.

What is your understanding of how the Book of Mormon was discovered and translated?

What leads you to believe that Joseph Smith was trustworthy? I understand that he “read” the golden tablets with the use of a “seer stone” in his hat? Do you believe this to be true?

Reportedly during the “translation” of the Book of Mormon, the gold plates were not even in the room. And though Joseph later claimed to have discovered the urim and thummim (which Joseph supposed to be seer stones) along with the gold plates, he never used them. Instead he used the green seer stone that he found while digging a well.

Just Joseph peering into the seer stone in his hat. That is a strange way to translate an ancient document.

Why bother digging up the gold plates and the urim and thummim if he wasn’t going to use them to translate? Could it be that there were never any gold plates at all? :hmmm:


I believe it because the Holy Spirit witnesses to me that it is true.

What is your understanding of how the Book of Mormon was discovered and translated?

The Book of Mormon is the record of an ancient people who lived on the American Continent many centuries ago, which was made known to Joseph Smith by revelation, and delivered to him by an angel, and translated by the gift and power of God.

What leads you to believe that Joseph Smith was trustworthy?

There are many way. When I read the Book of Mormon, and the Spirit of the Lord witnesses to me that it is true, that is proof to me that he was trustworthy. Another way is to read his own personal writings, biography, and history. When I do that, I find that his sincerity shines through them. When you read any book, how do you know the author is sincere, and is telling you the truth? Apparently there is a way that you can know. Well, it is also possible to know that about Joseph smith.

I understand that he “read” the golden tablets with the use of a “seer stone” in his hat? Do you believe this to be true?

The precise manner in which the Book of Mormon was translated was never described in detail by himself personally. In fact, he stated that it was not the will of God that it should be made known. Such descriptions come from secondary sources whose accuracy cannot always be trusted. What we know is that it was a miraculous event, and took place by the power of God and the gift of the Holy Ghost.


"Relative to the manner of translating the Book of Mormon the Prophet himself has said but little. “Through the medium of the Urim and Thummim I translated the record by the gift and power of God,” is the most extended published statement made by him upon the subject. Of the Urim and Thummim he says: “With the record was found a curious instrument which the ancients called a Urim and Thummim, which consisted of two transparent stones set in a rim of a bow fastened to a breastplate.”

Oliver Cowdery, one of the Three Witnesses of the Book of Mormon, and the Prophet’s chief amanuensis, says of the work of translation in which he assisted: “I wrote with my own pen the entire Book of Mormon (save a few pages), as it fell from the lips of the Prophet Joseph Smith, as he translated by the gift and power of God, by the means of the Urim and Thummim, or, as it is called by that book, 'Holy Interpreters.”’ This is all he has left on record on the manner of translating the book.

Another account of the manner of translating the record purporting to have been given by David Whitmer, and published in the Kansas City Journal of June 5, 1881, says: He [meaning Joseph Smith] had two small stones of a chocolate color, nearly egg-shape, and perfectly smooth, but not transparent, called interpreters, which were given him with the plates. He did not see the plates in translation, but would hold the interpreters to his eyes and cover his face with a hat, excluding all light, and before his eyes would appear what seemed to be parchment on which would appear the characters of the plates in a line at the top, and immediately below would appear the translation in English, which Smith would read to his scribe, who wrote it down exactly as it fell from his lips. The scribe would then read the sentence written, and if any mistakes had been made, the characters would remain visible to Smith until corrected, when they would fade from sight to be replaced by another line.

It is evident that there are inaccuracies in the above statement, due, doubtless, to the carelessness of the reporter of the Journal, who has confused what Mr. Whitmer said of the Seer Stone and Urim and Thummim. If he meant to describe the Urim and Thummim or “Interpreters” given to Joseph Smith with the plates—as seems to be the case—then the reporter is wrong in saying that they were chocolate color and not transparent; for the “Interpreters,” given to the Prophet with the plates, as we have seen by his own description, were “two transparent stones.” If the reporter meant to describe the “Seer Stone”—which is not likely—he would be right in saying it was of a chocolate color, and egg-shaped, but wrong in saying there were two of them.

Martin Harris’ description of the manner of translating while he was the amanuensis of the Prophet is as follows:

By aid of the Seer Stone, sentences would appear and were read by the Prophet and written by Martin, and when finished he would say “written,” and if correctly written, that sentence would disappear and another appear in its place, but if not written correctly it remained until corrected, so that the translation was just as it was engraven on the plates, precisely in the language then used.", Roberts, BH, New Witnesses for God, Vol 2, Deseret Book Company, 1909

(B.H. Roberts was an LDS Church Historian, an official church calling, from 1901-1933)

PaulDupre previously provided an article showing compelling arguments that Sidney Rigdon created the Book of Mormon out of the Soloman Spaulding Manuscript, with his own Campbellite beliefs mixed in. He certainly seems to have had access, opportunity, and a thirst for “power”. If you missed the article, here it is again. Thanks Paul.


I remember when I first got involved in the Mormon church. The Book of Mormon didn’t ring true to me, right from the start. But I didn’t see or want to see the real problem that ultimately comes along with falling for it, since it seemed to contain so much writing about Christ.

If you fall for the Book of Mormon, and therefore Joseph Smith as a Prophet of God, it leads to a completely different gospel than what is in the Bible and what Jesus and his Apostles taught. It just does, and there is no denying the fact. Compare for yourself. You can’t have it both ways.

If I had found some golden plates, upon which was written things that would be extremely important to all mankind for eternity…I think I would be very careful and not lose them…don’t you?

The whole of the Mormon issue can be boiled own to one important issue, at least for me. Was Joseph Smith a prophet of G-d, or not? A little historic detective work should give an objective investigator the answer and then some. A book banned by Mormans entitled " The Godmakers" is also interesting but not in a flattering way.:shrug:

The reason why I don’t think Mormonism was inspired by God is the actions of Brigham Young. He had 15 wives and said race mixing was punishable by death. To me, a holy man who followed Jesus wouldn’t behave like this.

I also reject the notion that we will become Gods when we die.

But I don’t think that Mormons are evil people. I just don’t agree with their theology.

Hi Matt,

What do you think about David’s and Solomon’s hundreds of wives? Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob had several each. Could they have been inspired by God?

You might reply that they were just going along with the culture of their times, but all that racial stuff that BY said was right out of the Protestant culture of the times he lived in. And really, he never did actually have anyone offed for race-mixing, did he? So the worst that can be said about that was that he picked up some racist beliefs from his culture, but didn’t go around lynching people.

But here’s the most important question. What do you think about the Popes who had their predecessors murdered to get into office? Were they “holy men who followed Jesus”? If not, how could God let them be Popes? (I think Patrick Madrid’s “Pope Fiction” has some good Catholic answers for questions like these, FYI. I only bring it up because I would like you to try to judge other religions more fairly–i.e., without the double standard.)

FYI, if you want to know what LDS would say about the more “controversial” topics, try:


If you compare the arguments at FAIR and some of the anti-Mormon sites already mentioned, it should give you a reasonably complete picture.

It’s hard to find an “unbiased” approach to many religious topics, though. Sometimes you have to take a side, after all. However, I think it’s not a bad idea to compare pro and con arguments, and sometimes this is more enlightening than reading someone who is trying to be “unbiased.”

first of all the law was different in the OT than the NT. things changed when Jesus came and perfected the law. secondly, the examples you give all show us the great harms of polygamy. evil popes did not change the doctrine of the catholic church to justify their evil acts. nor did any pope claim to prophesy as if his words were gods. the roles are very different.

BY claimed to be leading by direct revelation. he asked what to do and God allegedly spoke to him in very clear terms what to tell the people. he wrote scripture something no pope since peter has presumed to do. BY contradicted his own scriptures in what he was teaching the people to do not just his own personal sin.

i think you better off just chatting with a mormon than going to FAIR. they have a bad habit of using fallacious logic to create “possibilities” and seem more propaganda than real LDS belief. at least the rank and file members will tell you what THEY believe and why. i would suggest reading up on your questions at lds.org in their library. the lesson manuals are all in there and are in my opinion a far more accurate resource for LDS teachings than FAIR. on the “anti” side i recommend UTLM as they at least document verifiable sources that you can research yourself.

the closest to unbiased i’ve seen are the signature books like compton, bushman, etc.

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