Overview of LDS Theology

  • “Standard works”

    • Bible (Old and New Testament)

    • Book of Mormon

    • Doctrine and Covenants

    • Pearl of Great Price

  • Some or all of previous revelation may be superceded by the current “prophet”

  • This presentation uses the official LDS teaching book Gospel Principles

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Slide 4 of 56

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints uses five "standard works" - New Testament, Old Testament, Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and Pearl of Great Price. The use of the Bible is limited, since the church accepts only parts that are "properly translated." Previous revelation, including scripture, can be superceded by revelations of the current prophet. One example is the everlasting covenant of eternal marriage and plural wives given by Joseph Smith in 1843.1 The plural marriage part of the covenant was rescinded by president Wilford Woodruff in 1890.2

References Top of page

  1. Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet, at Nauvoo, Illinois, recorded July 12, 1843, relating to the new and everlasting covenant, including the eternity of the marriage covenant, as also plurality of wives. HC 5:501-507. Although the revelation was recorded in 1843, it is evident from the historical records that the doctrines and principles involved in this revelation had been known by the Prophet since 1831. (D&C: Section 132:Heading)


    To Whom it may Concern:

    Press dispatches having been sent for political purposes, from Salt Lake City, which have been widely published, to the effect that the Utah Commission, in their recent report to the Secretary of the Interior, allege that plural marriages are still being solemnized and that forty or more such marriages have been contracted in Utah since last June or during the past year, also that in public discourses the leaders of the Church have taught, encouraged and urged the continuance of the practice of polygamy-- 
    I, therefore, as President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, do hereby, in the most solemn manner, declare that these charges are false. We are not teaching polygamy or plural marriage, nor permitting any person to enter into its practice, and I deny that either forty or any other number of plural marriages have during that period been solemnized in our Temples or in any other place in the Territory. 
    One case has been reported, in which the parties allege that the marriage was performed in the Endowment House, in Salt Lake City, in the Spring of 1889, but I have not been able to learn who performed the ceremony; whatever was done in this matter was without my knowledge. In consequence of this alleged occurrence the Endowment House was, by my instructions, taken down without delay. 
    Inasmuch as laws have been enacted by Congress forbidding plural marriages, which laws have been pronounced constitutional by the court of last resort, I hereby declare my intention to submit to those laws, and to use my influence with the members of the Church over which I preside to have them do likewise. 
    There is nothing in my teachings to the Church or in those of my associates, during the time specified, which can be reasonably construed to inculcate or encourage polygamy; and when any Elder of the Church has used language which appeared to convey any such teaching, he has been promptly reproved. And I now publicly declare that my advice to the Latter-day Saints is to refrain from contracting any marriage forbidden by the law of the land. 
    President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. (D&C: Official Declaration Heading-1:8)

Last Modified June 14, 2008


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