21 Questions Answered About Mormon Faith

Published December 18, 2007

| FoxNews.com

Mitt Romney’s run for president has put his Mormon faith in the spotlight, but the religion remains a mystery to most.

FOXNews.com compiled a list of 21 questions representing some widely held beliefs and misconceptions about Mormonism and posed them to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The Church objected to answering some of the questions on the grounds that they misrepresent the basic tenets of the Mormon religion.

"Many of these questions are typically found on anti-Mormon blogs or Web sites which aim to misrepresent or distort Mormon doctrines," the Church said in a statement. "Several of these questions do not represent ... any serious attempt to depict the core values and beliefs of its members."

Here are the questions and how the Church responded:

Q: Why do some call the Church a cult?

A: For the most part, this seems to stem from a lack of understanding about the Church and its core doctrines and beliefs. Under those circumstances it is too easy to label a religion or other organization that is not well-known with an inflammatory term like 'cult.' Famed scholar of religion Martin Marty has said a cult means a church you don't personally happen to like. We don't believe any organization should be subjected to a label that has come to be as pejorative as that one.

Q: Does the Mormon Church believe that Jesus Christ is the son of God?

A: Mormons believe Jesus Christ is literally the Son of God, the Savior and Redeemer, who died for the sins of humankind and rose from the dead on the third day with an immortal body. God, the Father, also has an immortal body.

Q: Does the Church believe in the divinity of Jesus?

A: Mormons believe Jesus Christ is literally the Son of God, the Savior and Redeemer, who died for the sins of humankind and rose from the dead on the third day with an immortal body. God, the Father, also has an immortal body.

Q: Does the Church believe that God is a physical being?

A: Mormons believe Jesus Christ is literally the Son of God, the Savior and Redeemer, who died for the sins of humankind and rose from the dead on the third day with an immortal body. God, the Father, also has an immortal body.

Q: If so, does the Church believe that God lives on a planet named Kolob?

A: 'Kolob' is a term found in ancient records translated by Joseph Smith. Joseph Smith did not provide a full description or explanation of Kolob nor did he assign the idea particular significance in relation to the Church’s core doctrines.

Q: Where is the planet Kolob? What significance does the planet have to Mormons?

A: 'Kolob' is a term found in ancient records translated by Joseph Smith. Joseph Smith did not provide a full description or explanation of Kolob nor did he assign the idea particular significance in relation to the Church’s core doctrines.

Q: Does the Mormon Church believe that God and Mary had physical sex to conceive Jesus?

A: The Church does not claim to know how Jesus was conceived but believes the Bible and Book of Mormon references to Jesus being born of the Virgin Mary.

Q: Does the Mormon Church believe Jesus appeared in North America after his crucifixion and resurrection?

A: The appearance of Jesus in the Western Hemisphere shortly after his resurrection is described in the Book of Mormon. Mormons believe that when Christ told his disciples in the Bible He had other 'sheep' who should receive his message he was referring to those people in the Western Hemisphere.

Q: If so, when did this happen? And under what circumstances?

A: The appearance of Jesus in the Western Hemisphere shortly after his resurrection is described in the Book of Mormon. Mormons believe that when Christ told his disciples in the Bible He had other 'sheep' who should receive his message he was referring to those people in the Western Hemisphere.

Q: Does the Mormon Church believe its followers can become "gods and goddesses" after death?

A: We believe that the apostle Peter’s biblical reference to partaking of the divine nature and the apostle Paul’s reference to being 'joint heirs with Christ' reflect the intent that children of God should strive to emulate their Heavenly Father in every way. Throughout the eternities, Mormons believe, they will reverence and worship God the Father and Jesus Christ. The goal is not to equal them or to achieve parity with them but to imitate and someday acquire their perfect goodness, love and other divine attributes.

Q: Does the Mormon Church believe that women can only gain access to heaven with a special pass or codewords?

A: No.

Q: Does the Mormon Church believe that women must serve men on both Earth and in heaven?

A: Absolutely not. Mormons believe that women and men are complete equals before God and in relation to the blessings available in the Church.

Q: Is there such a thing as Mormon "underwear"? if so, are all Mormons required to wear it? What does it symbolize?

A: Like members of many religious faiths, Latter-day Saints wear religious clothing. But members of other faiths — typically those involved in permanent pastoral ministries or religious services — usually wear religious garments as outer ceremonial vestments or symbols of recognition. In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, garments are worn beneath street clothing as a personal and private reminder of commitments to God.

Garments are considered sacred by Church members and are not regarded as a topic for casual conversation.

Q: Does the Mormon Church believe in the existence of another physical planet or planets, where Mormons will "rule" after their death and ascension?

A: No.

Q: What specifically does the Mormon Church say about African-Americans and Native Americans?

A: Mormons believe that all mankind are sons and daughters of God and should be loved and respected as such. The blessings of the gospel are available to all.

Q: What are or were the "Golden Plates"?

A: The Book of Mormon was translated by Joseph Smith from records made on plates of gold, similar to metal plates that have been found in other ancient cultures. It contained a history of peoples in the Western Hemisphere including an appearance by the Savior to them. As such, the Book of Mormon is considered a second testimony of Jesus Christ.

Q: Are consumption of alcohol and tobacco prohibited or simply discouraged?

A: It is against the teachings of the Church to use alcohol and tobacco or to drink tea and coffee.

Q: Does the Church also ban the consumption of "hot drinks"? And does that apply specifically to caffeinated drinks?

A: It is against the teachings of the Church to use alcohol and tobacco or to drink tea and coffee.

Q: Why do Mormons go from door to door?

A: Christ admonished his disciples to take the gospel to the world. The Church follows that admonition and sends missionaries throughout the world.

Q: What do the Mormons believe about the family?

A: Mormons believe that the family is the foundation for this life and the life to come.

Q: Can someone who may never marry in life have eternal marriage?

A: God will not withhold blessings from any of his children who may not have the opportunity to marry in this life.

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