Fast Facts on Mormonism

Beliefs and Practices Overview

Latter-day Saints are distinguished especially by:

  • Active proselytizing by full-time volunteer missionaries
  • Belief in modern prophets, beginning with Joseph Smith, Jr., and continuing today with Gordon B. Hinckley
  • Acceptance of the Bible, the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and The Pearl of Great Price as works of scripture
  • A dietary code called the Word of Wisdom, currently requiring abstinence from alcohol, tobacco, coffee, tea, and illegal drugs; caffeinated soft drinks are left to individual discretion.
  • Belief in God the Father, the Son (Christ), and the Holy Ghost existing as three separate individual beings or personages
  • Belief in a form of theosis called exaltation or eternal progression
  • Formerly practicing polygamy (plural marriage)
  • Wearing ceremonial temple garments under their daily clothes
  • Performing baptisms for the dead, and other ordinances by proxy, in temples and doing attendant genealogical research.

Facts and Stats on Mormonism

Joseph Smith
Date founded
April 6, 1830
Place founded
Fayette, New York, USA
Modern headquarters
Salt Lake Ciy, Utah, USA
12.2 million worldwide, more than half outside the USA
Sacred texts
Christian Bible, The Book of Mormon, Doctrines & Covenants
Bishops, First President, Quorom of the Twelve Apostles
Places of worship
Temple, church


  1. "Facts and Figures," LDS Newsroom. Data as December 31, 2004.
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