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As a follow-up to a previous question, I'd like to know: Does the LDS church disagree with or "reinterpret" any phrases in the Apostles' Creed?

Here's the context: I'm listening to an audio series in which the Apostles' Creed is used as the framework for "Christian theology," implying that those who believe the Apostles' Creed are orthodox. But in this series, non-trinitarians are not considered orthodox.

This makes me wonder – how do certain non-trinitarian groups understand the Apostles' Creed? Do they accept it as written, or simply reject it? Or perhaps they accept it, but interpret particular phrases in ways that trinitarians don't?

Here, I'd like to know how the LDS church handles this – answers will ideally cite official LDS sources, or at least theologians who are recognized members of the LDS.

Related: Same question for Christadelphians, Jehovah's Witnesses, Oneness Pentecostals, and Swedenborgians.

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Latter-day Saints reject the doctrines of the Trinity as taught by most Christian churches today. These creeds were canonized in the fourth and fifth centuries A.D. and do not reflect the thinking or beliefs of the New Testament church.1


That said there isn't too much with the Apostles Creed(in bold) that LDS beliefs differ from.

I believe in God, the Father almighty,

creator of heaven and earth.

The LDS believe:

Under the direction of Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ created the heavens and the earth2


I believe in Jesus Christ, God's only Son, our Lord,

The LDS believe Jesus to be the Only Begotten Son of God and that we, mankind, are all children of God.3

who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,

born of the Virgin Mary,

suffered under Pontius Pilate,

was crucified, died, and was buried;

he descended to the dead.

The LDS believe he went to Spirit Paradise(only some of the dead) to start missionary work to those in Spirit Prison.4

On the third day he rose again;

he ascended into heaven,

he is seated at the right hand of the Father,

and he will come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,

the holy catholic Church,

The biggest point of disagreement. The LDS believe:

After the deaths of the Savior and His Apostles, men corrupted the principles of the gospel and made unauthorized changes in Church organization and priesthood ordinances. Because of this widespread apostasy, the Lord withdrew the authority of the priesthood from the earth. This apostasy lasted until Heavenly Father and His Beloved Son appeared to Joseph Smith in 1820 and initiated the restoration of the fulness of the gospel.5


the communion of saints,

the forgiveness of sins,

the resurrection of the body,

and the life everlasting. Amen.

1 https://www.lds.org/ensign/1988/03/comparing-lds-beliefs-with-first-century-christianity?lang=eng

2 https://www.lds.org/topics/creation?lang=eng

3 https://www.google.com/search?q=lds+child+of+god&rlz=1C1GGRV_enUS754US754&oq=lds+child+of+g&aqs=chrome.0.0j69i57j0l4.2879j0j4&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8 and https://www.lds.org/ensign/2010/12/jesus-christ-is-the-only-begotten-son-of-god?lang=eng

4 https://www.lds.org/scriptures/dc-testament/dc/138.12,18-21?lang=eng#p12

5 https://www.lds.org/topics/apostasy?lang=eng

  • Is point number 4 really that much of a difference? Or did you just add it to clear up the doctrine or show the similiarity? – kutschkem Feb 23 '18 at 14:09
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    "Or to the LDS spirit prison." This isn't true. It's actually Mormon doctrine (in Doctrine and Covenants sec. 138) that Christ didn't personally visit spirit prison while He was dead, but rather he organized the spirits of those dwelling in paradise to go minister to the spirits in prison. Christ went to spirit paradise, not spirit prison. That being said, I agree with @kutschkem that this isn't any different than saying "he descended to the dead." – NeutronStar Feb 23 '18 at 15:18
  • @kutschkem not much of a difference just clarify that the LDS believe we are all children of God not just Jesus – depperm Feb 23 '18 at 16:15
  • @Joshua clarified the point, the first two are more of slight clarifications that may differ from those of other faiths – depperm Feb 23 '18 at 16:22
  • Thanks! I appreciate the clarification of the "descendit" clause, it is quite different than how trinitarians understand it. Great answer! – Nathaniel Feb 24 '18 at 2:20
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I think that the other answer you received, though it contains useful information, gives a misleading overall impression.

Latter-day Saints don't use the Apostles' Creed, simply because it's not part of the revealed canon of Scripture. Most LDS are unaware it exists. (There are some more 'traditional' Christian churches which take a similar position on the creeds, e.g. Stone-Campbell tradition 'Churches of Christ.')

Nonetheless, we affirm everything the Apostles' Creed says - if 'sanctam Ecclesiam catholicam, sanctorum communionem' is understood properly. That's the only part which isn't rather directly from the Bible, and we do believe the Bible to be the word of God. Of course Protestants can't accept a naive reading of that phrase either.

About the 'ecclesiam catholicam' clause: the idea of the 'church invisible,' which is a standard way many 'mainstream' Christians interpret this without making this about the Roman Catholic Church, is in good agreement with LDS doctrine. Basically, the idea is "whatever associations and divisions among people there may seem to be on the surface, ultimately people are assembled into two camps; either you're in Christ's camp or you aren't." This is precisely the point made in Nephi's vision early in the Book of Mormon. Even though the institutional church is authorized by God, there are undoubtedly some who have joined it who unfortunately aren't really in the 'Church of the Lamb' and most definitely others who really are in Christ's camp though they haven't (yet) joined His institutional church.

Overall, I think it's safe to say we affirm the content of the Apostles' Creed in a rather 'orthodox' way. Indeed, given that many others have altered their ideas regarding the resurrection of the flesh, we're likely more comfortable with the content than many Protestants. The situation is rather unlike the later creeds, each of which contains some doctrines (e.g. homoousion) we see as decidedly the uninspired word of man.

I think the 'clarifications' depperm made overemphasize perceived differences. We generally say the Father created the world, it's just that with a non-Nicean viewpoint there's new significance to Hebrews 1:2 "his Son ... by whom also he made the worlds." Because the Savior does the will of the Father, asking whether the Father or the Son created the world is somewhat like asking whether I chopped down the tree or my axe did - both are true. Mainstream Christians are used to the idea that though Christ is the only son of God in some sense there are other senses in which all people, or all the faithful, are His children (Acts 17:29, Eph 4:6, Heb 12:9, Rom 8:16); we are a little more specific about that. Similarly re 'descendit ad inferos' - though our doctrine about the intermediate state between death and resurrection is different from e.g. Catholic purgatory, the D&C 138 statement that Christ visited and freed the 'spirits of the just' is very much the same as e.g. the Catholic catechism or Aquinas. The part that's unique to D&C 138 is how the 'preaching unto the spirits in prison' (1 Pet 3:19) reaches beyond that via His commissioning others.

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