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What Mormons BelieveThe thirteenth Article of Faith is an excellent overview of what Mormons believe.

We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul-We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things. (Articles of Faith 1:13)

The thirteenth Article of Faith is the last of the articles of faith penned by Joseph Smith Jr. as a way to explain the beliefs of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Joseph Smith wrote these thirteen statements of faith a few years before his death in a letter to a newspaper editor named Mr. Wentworth, who had inquired about the beliefs of the church. These Articles of Faith were later adopted as scripture in the book known as the Pearl of Great Price. Latter-day Saints still use these statements to help clarify and share their faith.

The thirteenth Article of Faith outlines the code of conduct for the Latter-day Saints. We believe in being honest in the words we speak, the work we do, and all of our other actions. We believe in being true to each other and to the commandments of God and the covenants that we make with Him. We believe in being chaste, which is to say that we treat our bodies as temples for our spirits and do not defile them. This means remaining sexually pure, and saving sexual relations for our spouse and remaining completely true to him or her.

We believe in being benevolent, giving of our time, talents, and energy to help those in our community and those we love. We believe in being virtuous, which means being a good example of staying away from the temptations of the world.

We believe in doing good to all men, not just to those who are good to us. This concept follows the Savior’s teachings in the Sermon on the Mount.

Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. (Matthew 5:43-46)

The thirteenth Article of Faith also mentions the admonition of Paul. Paul was a missionary to the Gentiles during the time following the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. He preached the gospel throughout the ancient world, and Paul periodically sent letters to various congregations he had established, providing them counsel and direction. This admonition is found in one of those letters. ” Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things” (Phillip 4:8).

This admonition challenges each of us to try harder to seek out the best things in life. We are to seek out goodly companionship, to be around people who help us uphold our values. We are to seek out virtuous and lovely things to put into our minds and enjoy education, enlightenment, and that entertainment which is uplifting and not at odds with the standards of God.

We are to use all of these positive influences in order to help us endure the trials we have from day to day, with the hope that we will be able to endure all things so that we might be worthy to return to live with our Heavenly Father after this life, in a place where all things are virtuous, lovely, of good report, and praiseworthy.

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