Hey guys, Dave here. Hi, how are ya, hello. This is the second video of a new segment of the show we’re calling “Faith and Beliefs” where we’re going to explain some of the basic beliefs of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in a bit of a more straightforward way than we do on the regular show. If you missed the introductory video to this new segment, check it out here. As for the rest of us, let’s jump right in.
In 1842 Joseph Smith, the first prophet and president of the Church of Jesus Christ, wrote down 13 short statements that outline fundamental Latter-day Saint beliefs. Number 11 says the following:
“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.”
In other words, some people are going to be deeply drawn to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but if you’re not, that’s chill. You’re still probably gonna have our missionaries knocking on your door from time to time because we want to share our beliefs with you, and we think we’ve got some great stuff to offer you. But if you’re not interested, you do you, bro. Differences of opinion make life interesting.
But hopefully, Catholics, Protestants, Jews, Agnostics, Atheists, Muslims, Wiccans, Sikhs, and anyone else can all watch these videos without feeling criticized for their beliefs or the need to criticize. The God we believe in loves you no matter which religious group you affiliate with, and He commands us to love you no matter which religious group you affiliate with. The two great commandments (Matthew 22: 35 – 40) are to love God and love thy neighbor. That second commandment is not conditional on how similar your beliefs are to mine.
The fact of the matter is that we’re all God’s children, and we’re all in this together. Jesus Christ didn’t just pay for the sins of Latter-day Saints. He paid for the sins of all mankind. And if Christ loves you enough to die for you … imma love you, too. We’re not too overly concerned with the whole heaven and hell thing, because we believe that essentially all of mankind is going to end up somewhere in heaven, but we’ll get into that more when we talk about the Plan of Salvation.
Because sometimes it’s more important to just love people rather than trying to prove them wrong about something (we’ve all seen how effective the comments sections are at changing people’s minds).
In 1842 a newspaper editor named John Wentworth wrote to Joseph Smith wanting to know more about what Latter-day Saints believed. In response, Joseph sent him the “Articles of Faith.” He wasn’t trying to convert Wentworth, and Wentworth wasn’t trying to debunk Joseph. Hopefully, these videos will have a similar spirit to them. So if you’re curious about what Latter-day Saints believe, welcome. Subscribe to the channel, leave a comment below if you’ve got questions. We’ve got 12 more Articles of Faith to look at, so look forward to number one coming out soon.
The earliest immigrants to America from Europe were mostly Christian. But the different Protestant sects battled each other and Protestants and Catholics battled each other. The Pilgrims and Puritans we learned about in school did not tolerate ideas that weren’t in line with their beliefs. They left England because they were persecuted by the Church of England, but when they got to America, they only wanted their own form of worship to prevail. Catholics and other non-Puritans were banished from their colonies.
Once America became a country, every state had its own law regarding freedom of religion. A Catholic could not hold public office in Massachusetts unless he renounced the authority of the Pope. In Maryland, Catholics had full rights, but Jews did not. By 1790 after a whole lot of controversy between some of the most famous statesmen in American history, America became a secular country, meaning it wouldn’t require its citizens to belong to any certain religion or favor any certain religion. Joseph Smith was born in 1805, so this idea was not only new, many Americans didn’t believe it yet.
The attitudes in America were slow to change. There were many Americans who were anti-Catholic, because they were Protestants who had rebelled against the authority of the Pope. About the same time a few Catholic churches were burned,
…Joseph Smith founded a new American religion—and soon met with the wrath of the mainstream Protestant majority. In 1832, a mob tarred and feathered him, marking the beginning of a long battle between Christian America and Smith’s Mormonism. In October 1838, after a series of conflicts over land and religious tension, Missouri Governor Lilburn Boggs ordered that all Mormons be expelled from his state. Three days later, rogue militiamen massacred 17 church members, including children, at the Mormon settlement of Haun’s Mill. In 1844, a mob murdered Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum while they were jailed in Carthage, Illinois. No one was ever convicted of the crime (Smithsonian Magazine).
So, Joseph Smith’s statement as the 11th Article of Faith looks pretty peaceful and loving.
In Current Events:
Latter-day Saints are really concerned about religious freedom and our church leaders work hard to try to make sure it exists and continues. Not only do we want people to have freedom to worship, we want to be friends. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints partners with other religions and churches all the time for humanitarian aid projects and emergency relief. In 2017, the Church of Jesus Christ worked with 1,800 partners. Here are some examples of Latter-day Saints and their respect for people of all faiths:
Religious Freedom page at LDS.org
What is Religious Freedom from MormonNewsroom.org
Latter-day Saints and the NAACP
Latter-day Saints and Islamic Relief