What do Mormons believe?
The Mormon religion is approximately 150 years old, having been found in the middle 1800's in the United States. Mormonism was founded by Joseph Smith, an American who was born and raised in the Northeast United States. The church's headquarters moved West to Salt Lake City, Utah a few decades after it was founded.
The formal name for the Mormon community is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (i.e. LDS). As their name suggests, Mormons profess to follow Jesus Christ of the New Testament, and some adherents even accept the label "Christian."
Mormon doctrines, however, are often very different from orthodox Christian teaching. For example, Mormons don't believe in the Trinity, they do believe that God the Father has a physical body (this is different than Christian teaching), and furthermore they deny the eternal nature of Christ and the deity (or "Godhood") of the Holy Spirit.
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Basic Mormon beliefs are expressed in the "Thirteen Articles of Faith," which were listed by Joseph Smith when he was asked about the basic beliefs of the Church.
Unlike Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant Christianity, Mormonism does not include belief in a Trinity, in which the one God consists of three persons.
Mormonism is unique, however, in its belief that God has a physical body.
Mormonism departs from mainstream Christianity in teaching that the Holy Spirit is a "one in purpose with the Father and the Son, but is a separate being" rather than an aspect of God or part of a Trinity.
Because Mormons believe that people originally lived with God as spirits before being sent to this world, salvation in Mormonism means returning to God after this life.
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