The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints has been known for its unique doctrines and teachings. During my own conversion, there were things that I personally had trouble with and found very different from my own Catholic background. It took a lot of prayer and research to learn these things for myself and in the end, a lot of trust in God.
So, here are a list of five uniquely Mormon doctrines.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is well known for building temples world wide. There are currently 141 temples around the world, including one in Chicago, and 15 under construction. But what are temples? Temples are the house of God. They are places where faithful and worthy Latter-Day Saints go to perform ordinances and to make covenants with God. Some of these ordinances (such as endowment and sealing) are required for salvation. According to the current President of the Church, Thomas S. Monson,
“The temple provides purpose for our lives. It brings peace to our souls—not the peace provided by men but the peace promised by the Son of God…’”
4. The Pre-Existence
An extremely unique LDS teaching, one that I have never heard of before learning of the Church, is the doctrine of the pre-existence (or the pre-earth life). According to LDS doctrine, everyone who has ever lived on earth is a literal son or daughter of God. We lived with God in the pre-existence. The scriptures say that “Man was also in the beginning with God” (D&C93:29).
In this pre-earth life we lived with God as his spirit children, however, there was no possibility for us to advance. Out of love for His Children, God decided to send us to Earth. While on Earth we would receive bodies and be put through trials. If we navigate through this life successfully using our free will, following God’s plan and commandments, we would be able to return to Him and receive the fullness of joy. This is known as the plan of salvation.
3. The Restoration
The LDS Church is known as a restorationist church. Meaning that through its founding, something was restored. But what exactly was restored?
Latter-Day Saints believe that God and Jesus Christ came to Joseph Smith and told him that none of the churches on earth were right. Instead, Joseph Smith would be in charge of bringing back God’s Church on Earth.
Through the founding of the Church, Joseph Smith was restoring the original Church of Jesus Christ.
Latter-Day Saints believe that the keys of authority were given to Joseph Smith when he received the priesthood. From then on, the priesthood authority, which had been lost since the early Church, were brought back to earth.
2. Living Prophets
We thank thee, O God, for a prophet,To Guide us in these latter days.
“If the Book of Mormon were false, little or nothing that is distinctive to our faith would stand. Joseph Smith’s prophetic mission and all of the other revelations that came through him would be called into question….the Book of Mormon, if true, stands as a witness that God lives, that he is active in the issues of human life and history, and that Jesus is the redeeming Christ, the Son of God. Nothing, no fact or conclusion, could conceivably be more important.”