The Articles of Faith outline 13 basic beliefs of members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Joseph Smith wrote the Articles of Faith as a letter to a newspaper after John Wentworth asked him for information about his church. Modern church members use the Articles of Faith to explain their beliefs to people outside the church. Members consider the Articles of Faith to be scripture, and the verses are published in "The Pearl of Great Price."
The first Article of Faith explains that church members believe that God, Jesus and the Holy Ghost are three separate beings. The second Article of Faith states that people are punished for their own sins rather than for Adam's original sin, and the third expands on that idea by stating that all people can be saved through Christ's atonement.
The fourth Article of Faith lays out the ordinances of the gospel, which are faith, repentance, baptism by immersion, and laying on of hands to receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. The fifth further explains that the laying on of hands gives someone called by God the authority to administer appropriate ordinances.
The sixth through ninth Articles of Faith lay out church beliefs. The church uses the primitive church's organizational structure. The church believes in gifts of the Spirit. The Bible and Book of Mormon are the word of God, who continues to provide revelations in modern times.
The final Articles of Faith state that the church believes in the literal gathering of Israel and that Christ will reign on Earth again. The church allows people to worship according to their own conscience, obeying the laws of the land, doing good and seeking after good things.