4 Times Mormonism Changed Its Doctrine

By pintswaquinas August 24, 2023

There are many good Mormons out there doing their best to follow their consciences. But their doctrines show a disturbing trend — they change over time! How can this be?

Unlike Catholics, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS) believes in ongoing public revelation. Members believe there are still prophets who are revealing new beliefs from God. Conveniently, they often change their church’s teachings to match the political and cultural zeitgeist.

Here are four major cases of the LDS leadership changing their official doctrines.

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Polygamy
Early Mormons justified their polygamy on religious grounds. Joseph Smith, the founder of the LDS church, had dozens of wives. Later, God supposedly revealed to His people that He no longer wanted them to practice this.

Racial diversity in LDS leadership
For a long time, Mormons denied women and black men full access to the church on doctrinal grounds. In 1978 — when the Civil Rights Movement was making strides — they received a revelation that it was time to allow black men into their priesthood and temple.

Blood atonement
Brigham Young was the second prophet and president of the Mormon church. He taught several things that were later considered unorthodox by Mormons. One such belief is blood atonement. According to Young, some sins — such as adultery — require the shedding of the sinner’s blood in order for him or her to receive forgiveness. If a man found his wife in bed with another man, Young believed the husband should slay them both to save their souls.

Adam the Lord
Young also speculated that Adam — the first man — was the true God and creator of this world. Mormons were to worship Adam alone. Mormon leaders later deemed this belief heretical.

Christ made it clear that His teachings would often contradict the wisdom of the world. It’s no surprise that the world hates the Catholic Church for adhering to supposedly “out-of-date” teachings. We don’t have the convenience of changing doctrine to suit our age because we know that the eternal truths of God transcend time.

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