|Overview||God the Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost are three separate individual beings who are one in purpose (the "Godhead"). The Father and Jesus Christ have physical bodies. After death, souls receive instruction before being reunited with their bodies. Good Mormons live forever in Heaven with God and their families, good non-Mormons are rewarded but do not have the presence of God, and those who reject the Godhead even after instruction go to Hell.|
|Religious Authority||Bible, Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, Pearl of Great Price (all equally); continuing revelations|
|God(s)||God the Father, the Son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost are three separate individual beings|
|Meaning of Life||Return to God by faith in Christ, good works, ordinances, and evangelism.|
|Means of Salvation||faith in Christ, good works, baptism, and temple ordinances (for entrance to the celestial kingdom; all are saved from hell)|
|Afterlife||All return to spirit world instruction before resurrection. Then Mormons to heaven with God and families; others rewarded apart from God; hell for those who still reject God.|
Mormon beliefs are based on the divine revelations recorded by Joseph Smith in the 1800s, which confirmed many traditional Christian teachings but also corrected many doctrines that had been corrupted or forgotten since the time of Jesus. Thus Mormons share many beliefs in common with mainstream Christianity, but have many distinctive beliefs as well.
In 1838, Joseph Smith was asked, "What are the fundamental principles of your religion?" He replied:
The fundamental principles of our religion is the testimony of the apostles and prophets concerning Jesus Christ, “that he died, was buried, and rose again the third day, and ascended up into heaven;” and all other things are only appendages to these, which pertain to our religion. But in connection with these, we believe in the gift of the Holy Ghost, the power of faith, the enjoyment of the spiritual gifts according to the will of God, the restoration of the house of Israel, and the final triumph of truth.
Joseph Smith also summarized Mormon beliefs in the 13 Articles of Faith.