What it Means to be Mormon According to Joseph Smith

What it Means to be Mormon According to Joseph Smith February 17, 2015

Joseph Smith, Jr.

Joseph Smith embraced a dynamic religious view: freedom to believe; freedom to question; freedom to pursue intellectual truth:

“One of the grand fundamental principles of Mormonism is to receive truth let it come from where it may.” Joseph Smith in Words of Joseph Smith pp. 229.

“The first and fundamental principle of our holy religion is, that we have the right to embrace all, and every item of the truth, without limitation or without being circumscribed or prohibited by the creeds and superstitious notions of men.” Joseph Smith in The Personal Writings of Joseph Smith, pp. 420.

“I never thought it was right to call up a man and try him because he erred in doctrine, it looks too much like Methodism and not like Latter day Saintism. Methodists have creeds which a man must believe or be kicked out of their church. I want the liberty of believing as I please, it feels so good not to be tramelled.” Joseph Smith in The Words of Joseph Smith, pp. 183-184,

“I cannot believe in any of the creeds of the different denominations, because they all have some things in them I cannot subscribe to, though all of them have some truth. I want to come up into the presence of God, and learn all things; but the creeds set up stakes, and say, ‘Hitherto shalt thou come, and no further;’ which I cannot subscribe to.” Joseph Smith, Discourse to Saints, October 1843; DHC 6:57.

“..I stated that the most prominent difference in sentiment between the Latter-day Saints and sectarians was, that the latter were all circumscribed by some peculiar creed, which deprived its members the privilege of believing anything not contained therein, whereas the Latter-day Saints … are ready to believe all true principles that exist, as they are made manifest from time to time…” Joseph Smith, January 1843, History of the Church, 5:215; from “History of the Church” (manuscript), book D-1, p. 1433, Church Archives.

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