Joseph Smith Wives: Official Declarations 1 and 2 (Part 3)

Todd Noall

Todd Noall

Source Expert

Todd Noall is an author and religious scholar at Mormonism Explained with a focus on the history and theology of religion.

Fact Checked by Kevin Prince

Joseph Smith Wives: What are the Articles of Faith?

The Articles of Faith were prepared by Joseph Smith and published first in the Church newspaper, The Times and Seasons. Joseph Smith was working off some earlier drafts that people may have written like Orson Pratt to summarize the beliefs of the Church for an audience of people that weren’t members of the Church. A topic included may have been Joseph Smith wives. Originally this letter was sent to John Wentworth, the publisher of the Chicago Democrat for a history that one of his friends was writing about the religions in America. We don’t have the original letter, and John Wentworth never published the letter that Joseph was sent, but Joseph himself decided to publish it in the Church newspaper.

What Was in the Letter?

It contained 13 brief statements that are today known as the Articles of Faith. Later members of the Church took these Articles of Faith and put them into the scriptures as a great little summary of what Latter-day Saints believe now. Not everything the Latter-day Saints believe is contained in the Articles of Faith. For instance, it doesn’t necessarily mention the temple or the ordinance of the temple, which is still really important to us. These Articles of Faith are intended primarily for our friends of other faiths to introduce them to who we are and what we believe. 

It starts out with the most basic of our beliefs – that we believe in God the Eternal Father and of his son Jesus Christ, in the Holy Ghost and then it moves into some more peculiar beliefs. For instance, when it comes to the view of the fall, we don’t use the word sin or original sin. Instead, Joseph Smith said we believe that men will be punished for their own sins and not for Adam’s transgression. In other words, we don’t believe that Adam and Eve’s sins or transgressions were transferred onto us. We still suffer the effects of the fall but those effects are overcome through the atonement of Jesus Christ and we have to reckon with our own sins. 

Article of Faith number three expresses a really important principle – that we believe through the atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel. 

The Articles of Faith cover a lot of ground in a short period of time. From the first principles and ordinances of the gospel to our belief in scripture, to our belief in the return of Jesus Christ, to Earth, and the city of Zion, one of the most important principles taught in the Articles of Faith is the idea of continuing revelation.

Article of Faith number nine says we believe that god has revealed all that he does now reveal, and we believe that he will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God. Now that’s maybe the most important thing to remember, is that we live in a living Church that’s led by a living Christ through living revelation. 

Official Declaration One, Official Declaration Two, and the Articles of Faith are all great reminders that the Lord is continuing to direct his Church. He didn’t just set things up and then leave us to our own devices and he’s still an active force directing, correcting, and guiding us down the path that we need to go. 

Joseph Smith ended the Articles of Faith by saying, “If there is anything virtuous, lovely or if good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.” That’s exactly what we should do. We always seek to know the lord’s will but we also see the good in the world around us and find the ways that we can help add to the good and make the world a better place.

What Do Mormons Believe Insights Official Declarations One and Two can be found near the end of the Doctrine and Covenants. While not revelations themselves, these declarations acknowledge that the Church President received revelations, and they hold crucial importance in understanding the context of both Joseph Smith Wives and the subject of race within Mormonism.

By Todd Noall, Source Expert

Todd Noall is an author and religious scholar at Mormonism Explained with a focus on the history and theology of religion.

Fact Checked by Mr. Kevin Prince, Source Expert

Kevin Prince is a religious scholar and host of the Gospel Learning Youtube channel. His channel has garnered over 41,000 subscribers and accumulated over 4.5 million views. Mr. Prince also created the Gospel Learning App, a reliable platform where individuals seeking truth can access trustworthy answers to religious questions from top educators worldwide.

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