In the spring of 1842, the Prophet Joseph Smith sent a letter to John
Wentworth, who was editor of a newspaper called the Chicago Democrat.
This letter contained an account of many of the events of early Church
history. The document also contained thirteen statements outlining
Latter-day Saint beliefs. These have come to be known as the Articles of
Faith, which are given below.
The Articles of Faith are official doctrine of the Church and have been
canonized as a part of latter-day scripture. They are clear statements
of belief that help members understand the basic beliefs of the Church
and explain these beliefs to others. They are not, however, a complete
summary of Church doctrine. Through living prophets, the Church is
guided by continuous revelation and inspiration.
1. We believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ,
and in the Holy Ghost.
2. We believe that men will be punished for their own sins, and not for
3. We believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be
saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel.
4. We believe that the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel
are: first, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; second, Repentance; third,
Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; fourth, Laying on of
hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost.
5. We believe that a man must be called of God, by prophecy, and by the
laying on of hands by those who are in authority, to preach the Gospel
and administer in the ordinances thereof.
6. We believe in the same organization that existed in the Primitive
Church, namely, apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists, and
7. We believe in the gift of tongues, prophecy, revelation, visions,
healing, interpretation of tongues, and so forth.
8. We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated
correctly; we also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God.
9. We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal,
and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things
pertaining to the Kingdom of God.
10. We believe in the literal gathering of Israel and in the restoration
of the Ten Tribes; that Zion (the New Jerusalem) will be built upon the
American continent; that Christ will reign personally upon the earth;
and, that the earth will be renewed and receive its paradisiacal glory.
11. We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the
dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege,
let them worship how, where, or what they may.
12. We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and
magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.
13. We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and
in doing good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the
admonition of Paul--We believe all things, we hope all things, we have
endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there
is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek
after these things.