13 Articles Of Faith

Written by Beth Hrusch
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The 13 Articles of Faith is the document that expresses the most basic beliefs held by all of the Mormon faith. It was written by the founder of the Mormon religion, Joseph Smith. As a boy, Smith had a personal encounter with God as he pondered which religion to espouse. He claimed that God told him to restore His Church on Earth to what He had originally intended. The major religions of the day had fallen away from God's plan, and therefore Smith would have to create a new religion, one that took its inspiration from the early days of Christianity.

The 13 Articles of Faith of the Mormons

Thus was the Mormon faith born. Throughout his lifetime, Joseph Smith received many visions from God that instructed him to abandon the established religions and lead people to the faith that ultimately became the Mormon religion, also known as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS). He quickly saw that his followers needed a written document, or creed, to serve as a guide for their belief system. The 13 Articles of Faith is the Mormon creed, as well as an answer to the question, what do Mormons believe in?

The first article definitively states that all Mormons believe in God, Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost. Subsequent Articles express the Mormon belief in personal responsibility for one's sins and the need to emulate Christ's example of atonement for sin and willingness to suffer for sins. Affirmation of the Book of Mormon as the authority on religious matters and the right of all people to follow their consciences are also expressed in the Articles. The belief that God's Church will be restored in America is also a part of the Articles of Faith.

An understanding of the Mormon religion begins with the 13 Articles of Faith, as written by Joseph Smith. They are the most important document of the LDS, and they clearly outline what all Mormons believe in. In the sense that they were given to Smith directly from God, the Articles are akin to the Ten Commandments common to Christian faiths and Judaism.

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