So it isn't 2012 anymore, but there are a a couple of threads floating around that have raised the issue of what Mormons believe. The conversation is off topic for the original post, so I thought I'd open up the floor in its own thread. With some caveats, I thought I'd offer to share my perspective, and let others share theirs, in discussing who we are. Caveat 1: While there is a lot of information, and we consider the teachings of modern prophets to be revelation from God, there are only four books that make up our canon. Teachings outside of scripture can and will also contain the personal views of those men. As a result, you may reference material or a quote that I am unfamiliar with or disagree on the authority of. Caveat 2: Maybe it's just my greater exposure to the culture, but Mormons are strongly encouraged to learn principles and doctrine, and then let personal revelation full in gaps and answer questions. Later teachings from the prophet may supercede your personal view on the matter - kind of like a lot of the Star Trek novels. As a result, my answer to a question or discussion point may be different than another's. Caveat 3: I'm interested in conversation and the exchange of ideas. I'm not interested in jerks. It was a major reason I walked away from MR for years, and it's a major reason I've ventured back. Challenge and engage in an idea, and I'm happy to discuss it. Attack a person or show no interest in anything more than trading scripture, and I've got better things to do. Still, I might miss a question or comment, for which I can only apologize. As a result, be cool and everything is cool. Anyway, as a bit of background, I'm what I'd call a a first and a half generation member. I mostly grew up in the church, as my father converted when I was about 5. I don't have the history of others, but I'm more familiar than recent converts. I am a minority, which makes me an even greater minority at church. I was a missionary in Chile for two years. Some call their mission the "best two years" of their lives. I disagree. I think they were the in the running to be the most important and foundational two years (challenged by 0-2 and 3-5), but no way could they have been the best. I lean moderate right. I consider myself a Maryland Republican or a Utah Democrat. I think Orrin is too far to the right and Harry is too far to the left. I believe a strong welfare system (preferably private, but public must be there to make up the difference) and the right to own darn near any firearm you want. I believe baking a generic wedding cake without putting any company identifier on it or the box isn't a violation of your religious beliefs and that God set up the dominos of evolution. Also, in sixth grade, I wanted to become President and my first act would have been to abolish religion. And I believe the United Order could work...someday. So, where do you want me to start?