What is Mormonism? OR What do Mormons believe?
When Jesus Christ lived on the earth, He organized His Church so that all people could receive His gospel and return one day to live with God, our Heavenly Father. After Jesus Christ died, was resurrected and ascended to heaven, His Apostles continued to receive revelation from Him through the Holy Ghost on how to direct the work of His Church. However, after they were killed, members changed the teachings of the Church that He had established. While many good people and some truth remained, this Apostasy, or general falling away from the truth, brought about the withdrawal of the Church from the earth (2 Thessalonians 2:1-3; Acts 20:29-30). The Apostle Peter prophesied that Jesus would restore His Church before His Second Coming (Acts 3:19-21).
Jesus Christ began to restore His Church in its fulness to the earth through the Prophet Joseph Smith in 1820. It has grown to become a worldwide Church with over 13 million members. It has the same teachings and basic organization as the Church established by Jesus in New Testament times.