The first in a series of article explaining basic beliefs of the restored gospel, doctrines unique to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
I have read a few things lately where people a criticizing the Church for trying to be too mainstream. I haven't noticed such a trend, but it's not out of the realm of possibility. I wonder if the brethren have heard this criticism and are trying to emphasize a little more that we are a church with unique doctrines with this new series of articles.
I wanted to highlight a few passages in this article. The article opens with a quote from Dallin H. Oaks;
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has many beliefs in common with other Christian churches, but we have differences, and those differences explain why we send missionaries to other Christians, why we build temples in addition to churches, and why our beliefs bring us such happiness and strength to deal with the challenges of life and death.
I agree with this emphasis. I think it's important to note that we do have many similar beliefs with other religions. This should be an important part of our dealings with other people. Rather than trying to contend with others regarding our differences, we should embrace our similarities. On the other side of the coin, while sharing similarities, we should always remember that we do have differences. We should not hide these differences, but we should proclaim them.
If Joseph Smith had restored the Gospel on the Earth, but had not received the Book of Mormon, how would we convert new members? If we went door to door with a Bible, people would have nothing to convert to, because they know that the Bible is true already.
The article emphasizes that the Church believes that the Godhead are three separate and distinct beings. It also talks about the understanding that God has a body of flesh and bones. This doctrine is key to everything we believe. How can we truly have faith in a being that we don't have at least a rudimentary understanding of?
The last part of the article talks about the nature of man and has this quote;
In the theology of the restored church of Jesus Christ, the purpose of mortal life is to prepare us to realize our destiny as sons and daughters of God -- to become like Him.
Detractors of the church often attack us for the belief that we can become "Gods", fundamentally, this may be true, but this is probably not the most reverent way of talking about it. The important thing to remember is that the purpose of this life is to become "like him".