This is the first in a series of posts on the Articles of Faith of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. To start this series I will introduce you to what the articles of faith are and why they are important to members of the church.
The Articles of faith are a statement of 13 core beliefs of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. They Serve to highlight the main and most important aspects of our faith that sets us apart from mainstream Christianity. They help to explain our core beliefs in simple concise way and help to clarify for members and non-members our faith and basic doctrines.
Joseph Smith the first prophet of this dispensation wrote the articles of faith in a Document called the wentworth letter in 1842 and they are now included as part of the Pearl of Great Price. John Wentworth was the Editor of the Chicago Democrat news paper and had inquired of Joseph Smith what the church believed. His response was a rather long letter now called the Wentworth letter which contained the 13 articles of Faith.
The articles of faith deal with different aspects of our faith and help us with a basic, yet important understanding of the basic doctrines of the Gospel. Through them we learn about 6 basic and fundamental truths.
1 The Godhead and basic doctrine of Christ (Articles of faith 1-4)
2 The proper organization and order of the priesthood (Articles of faith 5-6)
3 Eternal resources to help us in our mortal journey (Articles of faith 7-9)
4 Missionary work and the importance of member missionaries (Articles of Faith 10-12)
5 Attributes that we should aspire to have and develop as part of our daily lives (Article of faith 13)
6 Different spiritual gifts that we have access to and have been blessed with (Article of faith 7)
Primary children are taught the articles of faith and spend the year learning about them in there classes. They are taught these 13 articles of faith as a foundation to a life of learning the gospel. The articles of faith are an important part of the Faith in God award given to children who graduate from primary. The children’s hymn book has put each of the articles of faith to music. Elder L Tom Perry of the 12 apostles bore his testimony of the articles of faith in the October 2013 General conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
“I encourage you to use your bright minds to study and learn the Articles of Faith and the doctrines they teach. They are among the most important and certainly the most concise statements of doctrine in the Church. If you will use them as a guide to direct your studies of the gospel of Jesus Christ, you will find yourself prepared to declare your witness of the restored truth to the world. You will be able to declare in simple, straightforward, and profound ways the core beliefs you hold dear as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.”
The Articles of faith bring clarity to what otherwise may be confusing to some with regard to the doctrine of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. While they don’t speak of the deep theology of the church (though that is something of much interest to me) it certainly helps to simplify and give a basic understanding of the gospel.
I love the articles of faith. I love the simplicity of them. I love how they can help to explain and answer the most common questions about church. I have used them to help explain the gospel to those that have asked about the church in many circumstances. Their simplicity, and concise way of explaining the core beliefs of the church serves as a great foundation to gospel understanding and learning. I hope to bring greater understanding of each article of faith from my own unique perspective on each of the core doctrines they explain.
So stay tuned for regular post over the next couple of weeks covering each of the 13 articles of faith.