First printed in the Nauvoo publication Times and Seasons on March 1, 1842, the Articles of Faith are a concise and beloved summary of Latter-day Saint beliefs. Here are five interesting facts you may not have known about the Articles of Faith.
The Articles of Faith as were originally written as a response from the Prophet Joseph Smith to John Wentworth, the editor of the Chicago Democrat. Wentworth sent the inquiry on behalf of his friend George Barstow, who was writing a historical book about New Hampshire. Joseph wrote what is now known as “the Wentworth letter,” which contained a message of the Restoration, the First Vision, the Standard of Truth, and the Articles of Faith. There is no evidence Wentworth or Barstow ever published any part of the letter.
Previous lists and summarizations of the LDS faith had been made prior to Wentworth Letter. Authors of such lists include Joseph Smith, Oliver Cowdery, Parley P. Pratt, and Joseph Young. Multiple lists of LDS belief continued to be created even after the Wentworth Letter was published.
The Articles of Faith were included in the 1851 pamphlet, The Pearl of Great Price, which was compiled Elder Franklin D. Richards to be used in the British Mission. Also included in the pamphlet were sections from the current Doctrine and Covenants, selections from the Books of Abraham and Moses, and a church hymn.
While members used the Articles of Faith as a popular way to share their faith, they were not officially adopted as part of the standard works of the Church until 1880 during a general conference of the Church.
Today, the Articles of Faith are used today by millions of members around the world. Missionaries share them with those interested in our faith. Primary children memorize them. Adults recall them as a reminder to do good. They have been placed on many interesting products; here are just a few examples:
- Articles of Faith Bookmark
- Articles of Faith Children’s Poster
- Articles of Faith Adult Posters
- Young Women’s Pocket Card
- Young Men’s Pocket Card
While not a formal creed, the Articles of Faith are loved for their simple and powerful declarations of belief.