10 Things You Didn’t Know About Mormonism and Their Beliefs

Thanks to the presidential candidacy of Mitt Romney, Mormon beliefs (Romney’s religious beliefs as a Mormon) was a popular subject. While most religions have their fair share of idiosyncrasies, most people don’t really understand the depths of certain quirky Mormon beliefs, a lot of people don’t even know that Mormons self-identify as Christians, however some of their beliefs differ from mainstream Christianity. They believe in the Bible but they also have their book of scripture called Book of Mormon, they have a unique view of cosmology and believe that all people are spirit-children of God. Just like Christians believe in, Mormons also believe that returning to God requires following the example of Jesus Christ, and accepting his atonement through ordinances such as baptism.

What do Mormons Believe in?

Perhaps the most glaring difference between Mormonism and Christianity is that Mormon doctrine asserts that God was once an ordinary human being who once lived on earth like me and you, Mormons also believe that God came from another planet, that God is a man with a body of flesh and bones and there’s a mother Goddess, God and his goddess wife are married and you can become gods Lets take a look at the few curious weird mormon beliefs that tops the list

1. Skin Color (Dark Skin Turns White)

Since people of darker skin, especially people of African descent are considered descendants of Cain and thus cursed according to Mormon doctrine or Mormon beliefs, dark skin is frowned upon in the Mormon faith. If, however, you convert to Mormonism and you have dark skin, the belief is that God will change your dark skin to become lighter in appearance. It wasn’t until 1978 that black men could be given priesthood in the Later Day Saints church. A number of people have accused Mormons of preaching white supremacy and racial discrimination, although not all Mormons believe or even know about this. “Not only was Cain called upon to suffer, but because of his wickedness he became the father of an inferior race” (The Way to Perfection, p.101) “It was well understood by the early elders of the Church that the mark which was placed on Cain and which his posterity inherited was the black skin. The Book of Moses informs us that Cain and his descendants were black” (The Way to Perfection, p.107) Mormon 9:6. “O then ye unbelieving, turn ye unto the Lord; cry mightily unto the Father in the name of Jesus, that perhaps ye may be found spotless, pure, fair, and white, having been cleansed by the blood of the Lamb, at that great and last day.”

2. Missouri is the Happening Place in Mormonism

It was in 1831 when Mormon founder Joseph Smith declared that the righteous would gather in Independence, Mo., to greet the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. Disputes with Missourians led to a very bloody Mormon War eventually ended after the state’s governor gave an “extermination order” to expel the then Smith’s followers Missouri is a fine place, but it holds special importance to Mormons. Most people consider Utah as the hub for the Mormon faith, and in Mormon doctrine, Missouri is where all the action is. Missouri claimed to be the home of the Garden of Eden, Missouri is also a key point in their belief of end time prophecies. This is one of the weird mormon beliefs and prophecies that estranged the mormon faith from traditional Christianity, as at today, At least 66,000 Mormons now live in the state

3. Stay Away from the Water – A Mormon Belief

The Mormon doctrine states that Satan has power over the water. This includes rivers, lakes and the ocean. Wandering into or around these areas puts you at risk of danger as you are now in Satan’s realm and away from God’s protection. That’s why Mormons are discouraged from going near the water and tend not to be the best swimmers. Water is usually used in the Sacrament (communion, Lord’s Supper) in place of wine or grape juice. Also, Church members avoid things like recreational boating, swimming and other water activities on Sunday, missionaries avoid it at all times unless absolutely necessary. Behold, I, the Lord, in the beginning blessed the waters; but in the last days, by the mouth of my servant John, I cursed the waters. Wherefore, the days will come that no flesh shall be safe upon the waters. And it shall be said in days to come that none is able to go up to the land of Zion upon the waters, but he that is upright in heart. . . . And now I give unto you a commandment that what I say unto one I say unto all, that you shall forewarn your brethren concerning these waters, that they come not in journeying upon them, lest their faith fail and they are caught in snares; I, the Lord, have decreed, and the destroyer rideth upon the face thereof, and I revoke not the decree. Wherefore, let those concerning whom I have spoken, that should take their journey in haste–again I say unto you, let them take their journey in haste. And it mattereth not unto me, after a little, if it so be that they fill their mission, whether they go by water or by land; let this be as it is made known unto them according to their judgments hereafter (D&C 61:14-22). This is another Strange Mormon belief you probably didn’t know

4. The Work of Creation

A popular Christian belief is that God created the universe but in fact Mormon doctrine tells a bit of a different story. Mormons believe that God didn’t actually create the world but he subbed out that work to Jesus and the Archangel Michael who coincidentally, they believe was also the first man created, the man that many others call Adam. Mormon teachings clearly deny the doctrine of creation ex nihilo (ie creation out of nothing), a belief that is held by the Christian faith, conventional Christians so to speak. According to Mormons, God did not necessarily create the world and everything in it, but instead organised the world. God discovered the world as a pre-existing but chaotic matter and decided to organise it into the world we have today. “Now the word create came from the word baurau, which does not mean to create out of nothing; it means to organize; the same as a man would organize materials and build a ship.  Hence we infer that God had materials to organize the world out of chaos—chaotic matter, which is element, and in which dwells all the glory.  Element had an existence from the time He had.  The pure principles of element are principles which can never be destroyed; they may be organized and reorganized, but not destroyed.  They had no beginning, and can have no end” (Teachings of Joseph Smith, pp. 350-352). “Behold, I am Jesus Christ the Son of God. I created the heavens and the earth, and all things that in them are. I was with the Father from the beginning” (3 Nephi 9:15).

More Controversial, Bizarre and Strange Mormon Beliefs

5. Multiple Heavens – 

Christianity believes there is only heaven, but according to Mormon beliefs, there are three categories of heavens  that are hierarchical based on how good you were as a human being, Heaven 1, Heaven 2 and Heaven 3, these are namely: Celestial Kingdom, Terrestrial Kingdom, and Telestial Kingdom, this doctrine is not even close to the doctrines of purgatory and limbo in Roman Catholicism. According to the Mormons, Celestial Kingdom is the highest heaven where God lives, only those that are good enough to follow all the laws laid down by God will go there, this is followed by the Terrestrial Kingdom or the second heaven, though this heaven is not as good the Celestial Kingdom, but it’s still heaven, it is reserved for those that followed the laws of Moses but didn’t live up to the laws translated by the founder, the last is the Telestial Kingdom, this is the least of the three heavens and is reserved for those that managed to follow “carnal law,” but not any of the religious laws. D&C 76: 94-98 94 They who dwell in his presence are the church of the Firstborn; and they see as they are seen, and know as they are known, having received of his fulness and of his grace; 95 And he makes them equal in power, and in might, and in dominion. 96 And the glory of the celestial is one, even as the glory of the sun is one. 97 And the glory of the terrestrial is one, even as the glory of the moon is one. 98 And the glory of the telestial is one, even as the glory of the stars is one; for as one star differs from another star in glory, even so differs one from another in glory in the telestial world;

6. Dinosaur Bones – A Weird Mormon Belief

Dinosaur bones are not an indication of how old the earth actually is according to this faith. In most instances, Mormons also believe that the earth is roughly around 7000 years old. The dinosaur bones that are unearthed which point to the earth being much older are simply recycled materials from other created and destroyed planets. The presence of these bones is not meant to point to the actual age of the planet but it is more to test our faith in God. This contains the Revelation given to Joseph Smith the Prophet, at Hiram, Ohio, about March 1832. Joseph Smith’s history states, “In connection with the translation of the Scriptures, I received the following explanation of the Revelation of St. John.”

Beasts have spirits and will dwell in eternal felicity; This earth has a temporal existence of 7,000 years; Various angels restore the gospel and minister on earth; The sealing of the 144,000; Christ will come in the beginning of the seventh thousand years; Two prophets will be raised up to the Jewish nation. [Learn More]
  The Book of Mormon, published in the late 1820s, states the following about a group of people who rebelled against God:

And God had caused the cursing to come upon them, yea, even a sore cursing, because of their iniquity. For behold, they had hardened their hearts against him, that they had become like unto a flint; wherefore, as they were white, and exceedingly fair and delightsome, that they might not be enticing unto my people, the Lord God did cause a skin of blackness to come upon them. And thus saith the Lord God; I will cause that they shall be loathsome unto thy people, save they shall repent of their iniquities.” (2 Nephi 5:21)

In the early Mormonism, anyone can be given the priesthood and other related duties, anyone but black people as they were not allowed to have the priesthood until 1978. Females are also not allowed to have the priesthood. D&C 107: 1-5 1 There are, in the church, two priesthoods, namely, the Melchizedek and Aaronic, including the Levitical Priesthood. 2 Why the first is called the Melchizedek Priesthood is because Melchizedek was such a great high priest. 3 Before his day it was called the Holy Priesthood, after the Order of the Son of God. 4 But out of respect or reverence to the name of the Supreme Being, to avoid the too frequent repetition of his name, they, the church, in ancient days, called that priesthood after Melchizedek, or the Melchizedek Priesthood. 5 All other authorities or offices in the church are appendages to this priesthood. Official Declaration – 2, 1978 The Book of Mormon teaches that “all are alike unto God,” including “black and white, bond and free, male and female” (2 Nephi 26:33). Throughout the history of the Church, people of every race and ethnicity in many countries have been baptized and have lived as faithful members of the Church. During Joseph Smith’s lifetime, a few black male members of the Church were ordained to the priesthood. Early in its history, Church leaders stopped conferring the priesthood on black males of African descent. Church records offer no clear insights into the origins of this practice. Church leaders believed that a revelation from God was needed to alter this practice and prayerfully sought guidance. The revelation came to Church President Spencer W. Kimball and was affirmed to other Church leaders in the Salt Lake Temple on June 1, 1978. The revelation removed all restrictions with regard to race that once applied to the priesthood. [Read More]

8. God in Space

The popular Christian belief is that God resides in heaven but according to Mormon doctrine, his place of residence is not in some unreachable heavenly realm. In fact, the Mormons believe God does not reside in heaven but actually resides on a planet located close to the star Kolob.

  1. Kolob, signifying the first creation, nearest to the celestial, or the residence of God. First in government, the last pertaining to the measurement of time. The measurement according to celestial time, which celestial time signifies one day to a cubit. One day in Kolob is equal to a thousand years according to the measurement of this earth, which is called by the Egyptians Jah-oh-eh.
  2. Stands next to Kolob, called by the Egyptians Oliblish, which is the next grand governing creation near to the celestial or the place where God resides; holding the key of power also, pertaining to other planets; as revealed from God to Abraham, as he offered sacrifice upon an altar, which he had built unto the Lord. (The book of Abraham)
[Read More]

9. No Virgin Birth – One of the Most Controversial Mormon Beliefs

Perhaps one of the most important aspects of Christian belief is the concept of the Virgin Mary giving birth to Jesus. While this may be the core of past and modern day Christianity, it is disavowed by the Mormon doctrine. Mormons still believe that God took human form and had sexual intercourse with Mary in order to impregnate her with Christ. Mormon apostle Bruce McConkie, in perhaps what might be described as the most explicit denial of the virgin birth, wrote,

“Christ was begotten by an immortal Father in the same way that mortal men are begotten by mortal fathers.” (Mormon Doctrine, 1966, p. 547)

10. God’s True Nature

While Christians believe there is one true God, that God is a spirit without flesh and bones, the Later Day Saints religion believes in God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit as separate entities. They also believe that God, Jesus and resurrected beings have bodies of “flesh and bone.” “The Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man’s,” (Doctrine and Covenants 130:22; Compare with Alma 18:26-27; 22:9-10). “Therefore we know that both the Father and the Son are in form and stature perfect men; each of them possesses a tangible body . . . of flesh and bones,” (Articles of Faith, by James Talmage, p. 38). D&C 129:1-5 1 There are two kinds of beings in heaven, namely: Angels, who are resurrected personages, having bodies of flesh and bones— 2 For instance, Jesus said: Handle me and see, for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have. 3 Secondly: the spirits of just men made perfect, they who are not resurrected, but inherit the same glory. 4 When a messenger comes saying he has a message from God, offer him your hand and request him to shake hands with you. 5 If he be an angel he will do so, and you will feel his hand.

Amira Daniel
Amira is a personal finance and entertainment writer by trade with several years of experience covering businesses, CEOs, and celebrity profiles, her favourite subjects include business and personal finance, entertainment, celebrities, and travel. When she's not writing, you can find her reading or catching up on any of her favourite series


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