An article of faith is a foundational belief, a core assumption which forms the basis for other beliefs and practices. In 1842, Joseph Smith wrote a letter to John Wentworth, editor of the Chicago Democrat, summarizing the events associated with the establishment of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. (See Times and Seasons (Nauvoo, IL), 1 Mar. 1842, vol. 3, no. 9, pp. 703–718.) Joseph ended the letter with thirteen concise statements of belief. Those statements are known today as the Articles of Faith.
Here are some lessons I’ve learned from some of the Articles of Faith, with related blog posts:
- Article 3: We all need God’s grace to become pure and holy: Salvation Doth Not Come by the Law Alone – Mosiah 13:28.
- Article 4: The principles of faith, repentance, baptism, and receiving the Holy Ghost are interconnected and interdependent: Jesus Had Expounded All the Scriptures in One – 3 Nephi 23:14.
- Article 5: We should be careful whom we trust to be our spiritual leaders: He Consecrated All Their Priests and All Their Teachers – Mosiah 23:16-18.
- Article 7: The Holy Ghost can help us communicate more effectively: “All Kinds of Tongues” – Moroni 10:15.
- Article 8: God will compensate for deficiencies in the transmission of gospel principles: That Awful State of Blindness – 1 Nephi 13:32.
- Article 10: We can contribute to the building of a holy society that is prepared to meet Jesus when He comes again: What Is the New Jerusalem?
- Article 12: We must honor the law, even if we disagree with some parts of it: Amlici Did Stir up Those Who Were in His Favor – Alma 2:7-10.
- Article 13: We should strive to develop the following attributes: expansive belief, relentless optimism, and a willingness to submit to everything required by God: What Does It Mean to Believe, Hope, and Endure All Things?
The last two documents in the Doctrine and Covenants are called “official declarations.” Both of them announced significant changes in Church policies and practices. In both cases, those changes were rooted in principles taught in the Book of Mormon (Jacob 2:27 and 2 Nephi 26:33). Here are some principles and blog posts relating to those changes:
- Official Declaration 1: If we want to have strong marriages which can endure eternally, we need God’s help: Marriage.
- Official Declaration 1: We must carefully protect our most intimate relationships: Ye Have Broken the Hearts…and Lost the Confidence – Jacob 2:35.
- Official Declaration 2: God loves all of His children, and He wants us to value each other as He values each of us: What Does the Book of Mormon Teach About Racism?
- Official Declaration 2: Each of us can contribute to helping others feel welcome and accepted: What Does the Book of Mormon Teach About Inclusiveness?