Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Articles of Faith

A friend of mine at work asked me, "What can you tell me about The Articles of Faith? Its history / purpose, etc?"
I really like the Articles of Faith, and I think there is logic and a pattern to the statements which not everybody notices. I've mentioned this to several people verbally but never written my observation down, so I think I will quote my response to him here on the blog just to get my thoughts on record, even if I turn out to be wrong. : )

The Wikipedia article is pretty decent. Originally written in 1840 or so as part of a response to someone who was writing a book on Illinois history or something and wanted information for include a chapter on Mormons. The fellow didn't end up using the information in his book but it's still a pretty good capsule description of the gospel. I might loosely paraphrase it thusly in my own idiom:


"We believe in God the Father, and also that Jesus Christ is his Son, and that the Holy Ghost testifies of both. We believe that sin brings punishment to the sinner, but that through the Atonement of Christ any man may receive forgiveness of sins which are past, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the gospel, which are: faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, repentance, baptism, and receiving the Holy Ghost. These ordinances must be received from the Lord's authorized servants, called by revelation. The church exists to organize those servants, now as in ancient times, and includes prophets, apostles, pastors, teachers, etc. as set forth by Paul the Apostle in Ephesians 4. We believe in miracles and in the Bible; we also believe in the Book of Mormon, and in everything else which God has revealed or will yet reveal, which is much. We believe in the literal fulfillment of Biblical prophecies regarding Israel and Christ's return. We believe in freedom of religion for ourselves and for those not of our faith, and in obeying the laws of the land. If there is anything which is true and good we also believe in it, no matter where that truth is found."
Be pretty if you are,
Be witty if you can,
But be cheerful if it kills you.
If you're so evil, eat this kitten!

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