What I believe:
- God, Christ and the Holy Spirit are three distinct beings but one God in purpose.
- Priesthood is necessary to perform ordinances like baptism.
- The priesthood is not necessary to heal the sick. The most important thing is faith.
- The Bible is not perfect but is the inspired writings of prophets and disciples of Christ.
- The Mormon Church is not perfect and in some areas has been and may continue to be mislead by the prejudices of its leaders, but on the whole continues to move in a positive direction.
- The Holy Ghost can lead us to truth through prayer and study.
- Polygamy is not a sin if sanctioned by God.
- The Christ of the New Testament is my Savior from sin and death.
- The Word of Wisdom is good advice but drinking beer, coffee or smoking is a personal choice and God isn’t really that preoccupied with it, if done in moderation.
- Abortion, if not murder, is close to it but is justified in very rare circumstances after careful thought and prayer.
- The Book of Mormon, Pearl of Great Price and Doctrine and Covenants (Mormon scriptures) contain many inspired words that can help people better themselves.
- The LDS Church is lead by men that sincerely seek guidance from God.
- As LDS members we should be knowledgeable and truthful about all parts of our history.
- God used evolution to create us.
What I don’t believe:
- Joseph Smith literally translated the Book of Mormon and Pearl of Great Price.
- Native Americans are Lamanites.
- The LDS priesthood ban was instituted by God.
- Blacks were ever or are inferior or more unworthy than other LDS members.
- Brigham Young ordered the Mountain Meadows Massacre.
- The Bible is perfect and should be read literally.
- The Ensign and talks of general authorities, even the prophet, are scripture.
- Drinking Coke is a sin.
- Tattoos and two sets of earrings (for guys or girls) will keep you out of heaven.
- Polygamy is required to enter the Celestial kingdom (a.k.a. Heaven).
- Christ’s atonement isn’t enough for some sins.
- The earth is 5,000 years old.
- The Holy Spirit can only be felt in Mormon meetings and other Christian denominations can’t have the Spirit of God present.
- That Mormons have any more access to the Holy Spirit than other Christians.
What I’m unsure of:
- The Book of Mormon is an actual historical account of Native Americans.
- A prophet can have major character flaws.
- The Pearl of Great Price contains the actual writings of Moses and Abraham.
- The manner in which Joseph and subsequent leaders practiced polygamy was appropriate.
- The current account of the first vision is accurate.
- LDS prophets have actual face to face communication with Christ.
I know there are probably many other things I could add to each of these lists. I’ve thought a lot about the wisdom of posting my personal beliefs, but I can say I’ve thought a lot about them and have come to my own conclusions based on my personal spiritual and life experiences. Some may think them crazy or naive, others may think they show a lack of faith. However, what really matters to me is that I can be honest with myself.