How are Mormons and Catholics different?

Key points of our teaching: Why and how do Mormons differ from other churches?

Latter-day Saints Church of Jesus Christ are often asked whether as time goes on, the Church has not moved toward the mainstream recognized by society.

If "mainstream" means that members are increasingly seen as a meaningful part of the society in which they contribute - especially in the US, which now has around six million members - the answer is of course "yes". The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, founded in New York State in 1830 with only six members, is now the fourth largest church in the United States, according to independent estimates.

It follows that its members can be found in every class of society - in business and agriculture, in education and science, in political parties and in government, in the entertainment industry and in the media. Very often people know individual members of the Church. You are friends with them or know them as neighbors or work colleagues. But the organization or teachings of the Church are generally far less known. This is also true in many other countries outside of the United States.

But if “mainstream” means that the church is losing the distinctiveness of the beliefs that are at the center of its message, the answer is different. While we respect the different views of other believers, Church leaders make it clear which beliefs make up a Latter-day Saint.

The following are some of the key differences in how the beliefs and practice of Latter-day Saints of Jesus Christ differ from those of other Christian churches.


Because Church members believe that the divine authority of the ancient apostles was withdrawn from the earth after their death, restoration of that authority was necessary. Church members believe the Restoration began with the revelations to Joseph Smith in the early 19th century.


One of the most important differences from other Christian churches concerns the nature of God and Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. Together they form what is commonly referred to as the Trinity in many churches and the Godhead by Latter-day Saints.

Modern prophets, ongoing revelation, and new scriptures

Members of the Church believe that God still speaks to people, that He called new apostles and prophets, and that revelations continue to be given today as before. In addition, many of these revelations have been formally incorporated into new scriptures. These include the Book of Mormon, another witness for Jesus Christ; the Doctrine and Covenants, a collection of revelations to Joseph Smith and later Presidents of Latter-day Saints Church of Jesus Christ, and The Pearl of Great Price, which contains the writings of Moses and Abraham, and the modern day writings of Joseph Smith.

Plan of salvation

Church teaching sums up what Mormons call the "plan of salvation." This term encompasses the premortal state of all human beings, the reason why God created the world, the nature and purpose of our life here, and what awaits us in the next life.

templeand their purpose

The main purpose of the temple is to “seal” families, that is, to unite families in the hope that these relationships will continue after death. The temple ceremonies can also be performed for the dead. There is nothing in other Christian churches that conforms to temple ordinances.

Mission program

The difference here is more in practice than in faith, for many Christian churches send out missionaries to preach the gospel. However, the missionary program of the Church is distinctive and recognizable by the number and presence of missionaries, the length and variety of their ministry and appearance, and the fact that they preach the restored gospel.

Lay priesthood

The Church of Jesus Christ has no full-time professional clergy in its congregations. In addition, those in the highest echelons of the Church who serve as apostles all day are leaving well-paid positions to serve as “special witnesses of Jesus Christ” for the remainder of their lives and to lead the Church around the world.

Health rules

Alcohol abstinence from faiths is not limited to Latter-day Saints alone. However, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are expected to completely abstain from alcohol, including tobacco, tea, and coffee.