It's been great fun to read all the comments on yesterday's post. (My response to one email is here.) I'm not going to turn this into a blog on all things Mormon, but I wanted to wrap up the topic with a few final thoughts.
I'm just one of 13 million LDS people in 160 countries. Obviously we are a varied lot. The church teaches that members should let faith, study and reason work together, then pray for a personal conversion, so I am recording my own beliefs based on my experiences.
We have many aspects to our religion that are fascinating to study and discuss, but not all of these are considered to be doctrine. Not every statement made by one of our church leaders, past or present, necessarily constitutes doctrine. Isolated statements are often taken out of context, leaving their original meaning distorted. Some doctrines are more important than others and might be considered core doctrines. A frequent mistake is taking an obscure teaching that is peripheral to the Church's purpose (like where was the Garden of Eden,) and placing it at the very center.
The fundamental principle of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is that Jesus Christ is the son of God, born of Mary, that He taught us how to live, that He died for our sins, and was resurrected. That's what I believe.
And thus it was written....AMEN!