Doug asked me to post this email I sent out about a meeting I had last night with 2 Mormon missionaries:
This is a long post, but worth it if you’re interesting in understanding how Mormon Missionaries operate…
Last night, Jason St. Jean, Rob Merchant, and myself had the opportunity to listen to 2 Mormon missionaries.
Please pray for Elder Haslett and Elder Clark (they wouldn’t give us their first names.)
These “elders” were about 18-20 years old, dressed very nicely, and were quite cordial.
They told us that God created us, loves us, and we are the most important thing to Him, just like our earthly families are the most important things to us.
They told us that in Biblical times God gave prophets to guide His people and the prophets were often rejected. God also gave apostles to teach.
Because God loves us, he sent Jesus, the Son of God, to die for our sins so we can be saved.
This all sounded nice, except that I know that when they say “God” what they mean is a being who was once a man and became God by performing good works. That this God lives today on a planet near the star Kolob with his Mother God wife (one of his many wives).
I also know that when they say Jesus they mean the first created being of the Father and is Satan’s brother. Jesus performed good works and became a god. So can we.
And when they say that Jesus died so that we can be saved, what they mean is that because of Jesus’ death, everyone gets resurrected and has the OPPORTUNITY to become God through good works.
I asked them if they were saved, and they said they don’t know. But through ordinances of the church, they might reach the highest level of heaven.
I asked them what those ordinances were and they said that some things that are necessary for us to do to reach the highest level of heaven are: baptism, receiving the Holy Ghost, and marriage. They were reluctant to give me those examples and would not give me any more. They said I could know all the answers once I joined their church and was faithful for years.
I asked them if God was always God. They said “yes.” I told them that the Mormon prophet Lorenzo Snow said “As man is, God once was. As God is, man may become.” I asked them if they believe that, and they said that if a Mormon prophet said it, they believe it. So I asked them how they can on one hand say that God was always God, but on the other hand say that God
was once a man like us?
At this point they wanted to leave because they said they didn’t think we were “open to learning” and “wasting their time.”
But I explained that if someone questioned me on my beliefs and said “How can you believe the Bible when it says the earth was made in 6 days, but science proves otherwise?” I wouldn’t say, “Oh, you’re not open to learning, so I’m going to leave.” I would never react that way! I’d listen to their question and try to give them an answer.
The Mormons did not want to give answers to any of the questions I asked. They only wanted to go through and tell us what was so. Often when I asked a question, they questioned whether I was “open to the things of God” and willing to “listen and trust the Holy Ghost.”
I asked them when the Book of Mormon was written. They said it was finished about 400 A.D.
I asked them if they knew that it contained word-for-word quotations from the 1611 King James Bible, which didn’t exist for 1,200 years after the BOM was allegedly written.
They told me if I joined their church and was faithful for years then I would understand how that could be.
I told them that the Book of Mormon contains italicized words of the KJV which are words the 1611 KJV translators added for clarification but weren’t in the original language. Yet these italicized words ALSO appear in the Book of Mormon. How then could they claim the BOM was written in 400 AD?
They told me if I joined their church and was faithful for years then I would understand how that could be.
I asked them about Joseph Smith if they believed he was a prophet. They said they did. I asked them how one is supposed to test if a prophet is a true or false prophet. They said you tell by praying about it.
I asked them if they pray about whether or not they should be Muslims, or whether or not they should rob a bank? Of course not! You don’t pray about something that has been revealed in the scriptures.
I told them that God gave us a way to test prophets. It’s in Deuteronomy 18:20-22. I asked them if they’re familiar with that passage. They said no. So I asked them to read Deuteronomy 18:20-22 aloud. They reluctantly did, but they were uncomfortable.
I asked them how they read and understand that passage.
Elder Clark said that the passage seems to be saying that if a prophet prophecies something that didn’t come true, then he’s a false prophet.
Exactly! This is the Biblical test of a prophet.
So I asked them if they were aware of anything that Joseph Smith prophesied that didn’t come true?
They quickly retreated to the standard Mormon line of “Prophets don’t have to be right about everything all the time – only when they are prophesying. So Joseph Smith may have said some things that were wrong, but he never officially prophesied things that were wrong.”
So I asked them how you can tell what is Joseph Smith just talking his opinion, and what is official prophecy. They said if it is in scripture, then it is an official prophecy.
So I asked them to read “Doctrine and Covenants 84:3-5.” This is scripture for a Mormon. It is one of their inspired works. He read it and I asked him what it said. He said that Joseph Smith prophesied in the name of the Lord that a Temple would be built in Missouri in his generation.
I asked them if that happened (which it didn’t!) and they got up and left.
Before they left they had the audacity to go through their prepared memorized “testimony” which goes something like, “I bear you my testimony that I know the Book of Mormon is true and that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God. I know this because I have asked God in prayer and He has revealed it to me.”
They told us that we were not open to the things of God.
I wanted to ask him about Doctrine and Covenants 87:1-2 where Joseph Smith prophesied that the US Civil war would be spread to all nations, and Doctrine and Covenants 111:2,4-5 where he prophesied that the residents of Salem MA would give Joseph Smith gold when he visited them (even though they didn’t.)
So truth to them was by “praying about it.” I told them the Bible tells us:
“Prove all things; hold fast that which is good” (1 Thessalonians 5:21)
“These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.” (Acts 17:11)
“Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.” (1 John 4:1)
The Mormon Missionaries are not interested in answering questions or objections. They want to find people who will listen to them and not question their use of words like “God” and “Jesus.” They use Christian words with different meanings with the intention to deceive.
They want to find a woman whose husband just died and is feeling sad so they can say “Our Church can give you purpose and meaning.” They don’t want someone who has questions about false prophesies of Joseph Smith.
I was chatting with my wife about this, and if a group of Orthodox Jews called me and said, “We’re Orthodox Jews and we don’t believe in Jesus. Can you come over so we can hammer you with hard questions?” I’d be like: Bring it on! I’d LOVE that opportunity! But these Mormons want people who have no critical questions and no concerns (even legitimate ones.)
I didn’t expect these Mormons to repent of their idolatry, but perhaps seeds were planted that God can water. I don’t know how they can say they have “prayed about” whether something is true when the Bible contradicts what they teach. These people deceive many many people.
Thank you to everyone for your prayers about the meeting. I believe that Rob, Jason and I faithfully and firmly and lovingly presented the truth to them, and that pleases and glorifies our God. Our success is not measured in their response – only in our faithfulness.
God bless you!
in Christ and for His gospel,
P.S. I wrote a document outlining Mormon beliefs and what the Bible has to say about them. It’s called Letter to a Mormon: Testing the Claims of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
This document was written with 2 purposes in mind:
- To train Christians in what the Mormons actually believe (but might not tell you)
- To have something tangible that you can give to a Mormon as a witnessing tool.
This document contains a gospel message and an overview of doctrines that the LDS church teaches. All of them list quotations from actual LDS sources, citing where these can be found. In addition, each doctrine has what the Bible teaches on the subject. You should print out at least 2 copies to have near your door since the Mormons always come in 2’s. Give this to the Mormons. It contains material that they may not even know about.
You can download it by clicking here.
You can also find notes and other files from a Cult class I am teaching at: http://cults.sohmer.net
77 Replies to “Meeting with 2 Mormon Missionaries”
Mark, thank you so much for posting this. It’s a helpful and valuable resource.
My pleasure! 😉
Wow! Actual tools we can use to crack the exterior of these smooth operators. Nice! Every time I meet them I want to do battle with them (spiritually speaking of course) and share the TRUE gospel with them. Now I can. Thank you!
The best defense is knowing the truth. When my son was approached recently by a Hare Krishna at LAX and was challenged about what the Bible supposedly said, Tim took out his Greek New Testament and began showing the man what the Bible actually did say (NOT what the Hare Krishna had been trying to make him believe). The guy actually ran away! It was not a matter of his wanting to know the truth!
Mark, Jason & Robb did a good job. For the life of me I cannot understand why anyone would want to become involved with anything that isn’t up front about what they believe. That’s the first clue to distrust them! I always target my comments to Jehovah Witnesses who come to my door to the “new” JW who is accompanying the more experienced member. There may still be hope for them if you can get them examining God’s Word for themselves.
I served as an LDS missionary, and I was always upfront about the things I taught about the Mormon Church. Never had I the intention of being deceitful in any way.
Those questions are fair and I heard and addressed many of them as I taught people who were sincere in their search for truth and knowledge.
1 Cor. 11: 16
“But if any man seem to be contentious, we have no such custom, neither the churches of God.”
Maybe those missionaries didn’t know how to respond to you. They are very young men, as you noted. It can be a challenge to be twenty-years-old, talking to people twice your age about religion.
More likely, they didn’t want to waste their time with somone who just wanted to contend, who is already hardened in his convictions.
Those missionaries are having one of the most rewarding and wonderful experiences of their lives serving the people they meet. My advice to you is to enjoy your beliefs and your life, and stop trying to waste time, energy, and probably money unsuccessfully trying to destroy something that has and will continue to bless many lives.
I applaud your willingness to add your comments! Thank you. 🙂
I can appreciate that it may be intimidating for 20-year-olds to have discourse with men twice their age (though I’m not twice 20 yet!) 🙂
But this doesn’t seem like an excuse not to hear valid concerns. Young Timothy was instructed in 1 Timothy 4:12 to be an example to his elders, despite age.
Also, these LDS missionaries have had training at Church Missionary Training Centers (MTCs). I find it hard to believe that in their training, the church would be remiss about what to say about doctrines such as the nature of God, the nature of Jesus, salvation, prophecy, et cetera. And if the MTC didn’t train them in that, then one must wonder about the audacity of the LDS Church to send out representatives without such basic training!
Your reference to 1 Corinthians 11:16 isn’t appropriately interpreted. The very next verses say:
The context demonstrates that 1 Corinthians 11:16 is in regard to believers who are being contentious, and is not a mandate for how to do evangelism.
How did Paul deal with contentious people? He reasoned with them. This is seen all through the book of Acts!
Now I will grant you that there comes a point when someone is so closed that talking more is like throwing pearls to swine, (Matthew 7:6), but asking legitimate questions about the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith’s false prophesies does not constitute being closed. It means I am testing the claims of the church the way the Bible tells me to in Deuteronomy 18:20-22:
As I said before, according to the Bible, truth is not found in subjectively “praying about it” but by testing it:
When we test the book of Mormon, we find:
I have real questions about the Book of Mormon:
Why, if the Book of Mormon was miraculously translated by God one word at a time, have there been major changes in the Book of Mormon at:
For a complete side-by-side list of significant changes in the Book of Mormon, click here.
If the book of Mormon was allegedly written in 400 AD by Mormon, then why does it contain italicised words that didn’t exist until the King James translators put them there 1,190 years later? To see this for yourself, compare III Nephi 24:10 with Malachi 3:10, “that there shall not be room enough to receive it.”
When we test the Book of Mormon, as the Bible tells us to, we must conclude:
And then there is the issue of false prophecies of Joseph Smith.
Remember Deuteronomy 18:20-22:
Some prophecies of Joseph Smith:
And Brigham Young prophesied:
And in case you say that not all of these are scripture, many are found in Mormon Scriptures, (i.e. Book of Mormon, Pearl of Great Price, Doctrines and Covenants.)
Also, in regard to his words and sermons, Brigham Young said:
Brigham Young compared his sermons with scripture.
Also, the LDS official website says that prophets speak Godâ€™s words:
See also the LDS 6th Article of Faith.
Given the facts presented here, it would be unloving of me NOT to warn Mormons and those with whom they come into contact.
These LDS missionaries “bless many lives?” How, by teaching a false gospel and getting people to trust a false prophet?
Would you go up to the Apostle Paul at Mars Hill in Acts 17 and say, “Hey, let those Pagans live the way they want to.”? Of course not! Paul extended “time, energy, and probably money” because he was an ambassador for Christ and a committed Christian. This is what we Christians do. We preach the gospel, and we warn those about heresy.
I have no way of saying this other than that Exodus 20:3 says emphatically “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.”
The 10 Commandments also orders us not to create a “god” to suit ourselves.
The Mormon Church presents a god who is one of an infinite number of deities. The LDS god was once a man, and became God through good deeds, and who calls us to strive to become a God too.
This is not the God of the Bible.
The Bible Teaches, “Thus saith the LORD the King of Israel, and his redeemer the LORD of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God… Is there a God beside me? yea, there is no God; I know not any” (Isaiah 44:6,8)
Can we progress to godhood as the Mormon Church teaches? The Bible says, “before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.” (Isaiah 43:10)
Is God the Father one God among many, as Joseph Smith Jr. taught in the Follett Discourse? The Word of God answers this conclusively. “I am the LORD, and there is none else, there is no God beside me” (Isaiah 45:5) “I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like meâ€ (Isaiah 46:9)
Be warned: to believe in the god of Mormonism is to put another god before the True and Living God of the Bible. Anyone who does this has broken the 1st and 2nd commandment, and will be found guilty on Judgment day. “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27).
Acts 17:31 warns us that God “hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness.”
On that day, those who follow the LDS god will be found guilty of transgressing the 1st and 2nd commandments. And God will be just in casting that person out forever. “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Hebrews 10:31).
The most important question everyone must answer is: “If you were to die today, do you know that you have eternal life? Are you certain that you will spend all eternity with God the Father?”
Despite the impressive zeal and devotion of many, many Mormons, following the wrong god is a serious matter. Romans 10:2 tells us it is possible to have zeal without knowledge of the True God. This is the case with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
The Biblical gospel is that we are all guilty of transgressing the Law of the One True God. All our works are like filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6). If we try to reach God on our merits, we will fail every time.
But in Godâ€™s great love and mercy, He came down in the form of a man and died on the cross, not just to offer us a resurrection, but to offer us salvation! “For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified” (Hebrews 10:14). “For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God” (1 Peter 3:18).
I invite you to repent of and forsake all false gods, and turn to and worship the True and Living God, who offers salvation and full atonement because of what Jesus Christ has accomplished.
Ben, I implore you to download and read Letter to a Mormon: Testing the Claims of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, which you can download by clicking here.
It’s obvious you’ve done a whole lot of research and thinking about the LDS Church.
I just have one thought: Say that if you put the Bible under the same scrutiny you have put the Book of Mormon and the Prophet Joseph Smith under. You could cause, by your reasoning, that foundation from which you have derived all of those point-proving scriptures, to crumble.
Now we both know that the Bible is true. My point is, anyone can take something said or written that is true and make their minds reason it into falsehood. It is still true, but we’ve proved, at least to ourselves, that it is not.
The questions you raise are not new.
I am not a leader in the Church, nor am I a Church scholar, so I won’t be the one to address those questions.
You are right. The missionaries are trained in the MTC where basics of Mormon doctrine are learned, however their stay there is brief (3 weeks if they are going to speak their native tongue). Their two years in their missions are made up of one learning experience after another.
It wasn’t my intent to excuse the Elders. Honestly, they probably wanted to go somewhere else in which their time could be better spent.
But hopefully you did get them thinking, so they can study and learn how to better address those concerns.
I refer you to the Church website: http://www.lds.org, and recommend using the search engine to read talks on “doctrines such as the nature of God, the nature of Jesus, salvation, prophecy, et cetera” given by the past and present leaders of the Church. May I quote one such leader, Boyd K. Packer. This is on the Book of Mormon.
“The Book of Mormon is an endless treasure of wisdom and inspiration, of counsel and correction, â€œadapted to the capacity of the weak and the weakest [among us]â€ (D&C 89:3). At once, it is rich in nourishment for the most learned, if they will humble themselves (see 2 Ne. 9:28â€“29).
From the Book of Mormon we learn about:
The plan of salvation or â€œthe great plan of happinessâ€ (Alma 42:8; see also Alma 42:5, 8, 12, 30).
The doctrine of Christ and the Atonement (see 2 Ne. 31:2â€“21; 2 Ne. 32:1â€“6; 3 Ne. 11:31â€“40; 3 Ne. 27:13â€“21).
Why death is necessary (see 2 Ne. 9:4â€“6; Mosiah 16:8â€“9; Alma 12:25â€“27).
Life after death in the spirit world (see Alma 40:11â€“14).
The workings of the evil one (see 2 Ne. 2:27; Alma 28:13; 3 Ne. 2:2).
The order of the priesthood (see Mosiah 29:42; Alma 4:20; Alma 5:3, 44; Alma 13:1â€“10).
Sacramental prayers (see Moro. 4:3; Moro. 5:2).
A sure way to judge between good and evil (see Moro. 7:16).
How to retain a remission of your sins (see Mosiah 4:26).
Clear, prophetic warnings and many, many other things pertaining to the redemption of man and to our lives. All are parts of the fulness of the gospel (see D&C 20:9).
The Book of Mormon confirms the teachings of the Old Testament. It confirms the teachings of the New Testament. It restores â€œmany plain and precious thingsâ€ (1 Ne. 13:28) lost or taken from them (see also 1 Ne. 13:20â€“42; 1 Ne. 14:23). It is in truth another testament of Jesus Christ.
This year we celebrate the 175th anniversary of the organization of the Church and the 200th anniversary of the birth of the Prophet Joseph Smith. In the Church, much will be written and said to honor him.
As usual, there will be much said and written to discredit him. There always were, are now, and ever will be those who stir into 200-year-old dust, hoping to find something Joseph is alleged to have said or done in order to demean him.
The revelations tell us of â€œthose that shall lift up the heel against mine anointed, saith the Lord, and cry they have sinned when they have not sinned before me, saith the Lord, but have done that which was meet in mine eyes, and which I commanded themâ€ (D&C 121:16). They face very stern penalties, indeed.
We do not have to defend the Prophet Joseph Smith. The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ will defend him for us. Those who reject Joseph Smith as a prophet and revelator are left to find some other explanation for the Book of Mormon.
And for the second powerful defense: the Doctrine and Covenants, and a third: the Pearl of Great Price. Published in combination, these scriptures form an unshakable testament that Jesus is the Christ and a witness that Joseph Smith is a prophet.
And I join the millions of others who have that testimony, and bear it to you in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.”
I have that testimony. Thank you for your time.
There are Church scholars such as Hugh Nibley who have written many books about the Book of Mormon, stating evidence of it’s divinity that I would recommend.
And if you are into the science part…
At Brigham Young University, there is an organization called F.A.R.M.S (Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Study), which is a great source for those interested in the archeological and scientific research going on about the Book of Mormon.
I see you have been schooled well. I like to keep my comments brief, so here goes. Mark raised some extremely important questions that you MUST know the answer to. Saying that “if the Bible were held under the same scrutiny as the book or Mormon, it would not hold up” is a weak defense of the book of Mormon and related scriptures. We are citing concrete examples of flaws in Mormon scripture. Please provide us with concrete examples also of errors in the Bible.
Mark pointed out a couple of instances where Joseph Smith, by his own words, was shown to be a false prophet. This is a BIG deal. Refer to Deut 18, and see what the law commanded be done with false prophets. You said “Now we both know that the Bible is true. My point is, anyone can take something said or written that is true and make their minds reason it into falsehood.”
Joseph Smith declared in D&C 84:1-4 the following: 1 A REVELATIONâ€¢ of Jesus Christ unto his servant Joseph Smith, Jun., and six elders, as they united their hearts and lifted their voices on high. 2 Yea, the word of the Lord concerning his church, established in the last days for the restoration of his people, as he has spoken by the mouth of his prophets, and for the gathering of his dsaints to stand upon Mount Zion, which shall be the city of New Jerusalem. 3 Which city shall be built, beginning at the temple lot, which is appointed by the finger of the Lord, in the western boundaries of the State of Missouri, and dedicated by the hand of Joseph Smith, Jun., and others with whom the Lord was well pleased. 4 Verily this is the word of the Lord, that the city New Jerusalem shall be built by the gathering of the saints, beginning at this place, even the place of the temple, which temple shall be reared in this generationâ€¢.
Clearly, this has not happened. According to verse 1, this is a REVELATION. Based on this false prophecy alone (and there are many others), Please help me to know why this is acceptable. How have I “…reasoned it into falsehood” I’m stumped.
One other Scripture, found in Revelation 22:18-19. “I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book. And if anyone takes words away from this book of prophecy, God will take away from him his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.”
That’s it, the end of God’s revelation to man. According to this Scripture, I do not believe that God allowed for “another testament of Jesus Christ” Infact, there’s a severe penalty for doing so. I don’t know where you live, Ben, but I would love to share with you the truth of Jesus Christ. Feel free to email me any time at jasonkst (at) adelphia (dot) net.
This will be it for me. I appreciate those who took their time to view and respond to my comments.
I said a couple of times that you’re questions are fair and deserve answers. I also said that they are not new, and I gave you resources where you can go and read from those who are authorized to speak on behalf of the Church to answer those questions. I am not, so I won’t. Go to LDS.org and look up Missouri, or Joseph Smith, or prophecy, or that scripture at the end of Revelation you referenced. Go find books written by LDS leaders and scholars on those and many other topics.
I have no doubt that you are good Christian men and women, and have I nothing but love for you and the good that you do. Despite our differences, I hope that we can all find common bonds and work together to serve those around us in the spirit of goodwill and love, AKA the Spirit of Christ.
You said “this will be it for me,” but I hope you will at least come back to read this.
In comment # 7, you said:
I whole-heartedly reject this. I invite you to put the Bible under the same scrutiny – and it will and has stood.
The Book of Mormon is rife with inconsistencies (compare Alma 34:36 with Doctrine and Covenants 130:3), historical anachronisms (like horses, steel, silk, etc.), plagiarism (contains italics and translation errors from the KJV that didn’t exist until 1,190 years later!), and false prophecies (which I have listed before.)
The Bible suffers from no such problems.
The Bible is internally consistent, self-authenticating, and true. Not one of the many specific prophecies have been proven false. Not one.
And what kind of an argument is that? If you really believe that the Bible would fail being tested (which it doesn’t) then you should throw all of it out!
If the Bible crumbled under the same test as the Book of Mormon, then none of us should believe any of it.
I am pleased to proclaim that the Bible is the very trustworthy, very Word of God!
Ben, I have to say that you’re either being disingenuous here, or deceiving yourself.
Mormons do not believe the Bible is true. What they actually believe is:
First Nephi 13:26 says:
And the Mormon Apostle Orson Pratt said:
The Mormon prophet Joseph F. Smith said:
Finally, the Mormon prophet Joseph Smith Jr. himself had this to say about the Bible:
So I just can’t believe you when you say “Now we both know that the Bible is true.” And you allegation that the Bible would crumble under testing is further proof that you do not believe the Bible.
If Mormon’s did believe the Bible, then they wouldn’t be able to believe that there are many Gods:
If Mormon’s did believe the Bible, then they wouldn’t be able to believe that God is not eternal:
If Mormon’s did believe the Bible, then they wouldn’t be able to believe that humans can become a God:
If Mormon’s did believe the Bible, then they wouldn’t be able to believe that Christ’s church had apostatized:
I also find it interesting that you ended your correspondence by saying:
Ben, again, I have to ask if you’re being genuine here. Aren’t you aware of what your Church has to say about non-Mormons?
How can you call us “good Christian men and women” when the Prophet Brigham Young calls us “anti-christ?”
I also find it ironic that now you think we’re “good Christian men and women,” when, in comment #5 you used 1 Corinthians 11: 16 (out of context) to suggest that we might be contentious.
Ben, Mormon Missionaries routinely use deception and half-statements to say one thing, but mean another. It would be unloving of me to mention that you yourself have been guilty of that on this BLOG, as I have pointed out.
As a Christian, and as someone who takes my role as “ambassador for Christ” seriously, I try hard never to deceive anyone. I am forthright when tell people what the Word of God says about the Bible, evolution, salvation, election, Christ, Hell, et cetera, without saying things like, “Oh, that’s too hard for you to understand unless you become a member of my church and study for years.”
In regard to F.A.R.M.S., I am well acquainted with them and have found their scholarship to be backwards. They want to believe the Book of Mormon, so they look for ways to defend it. Perhaps F.A.R.M.S. gives comfort to those in a false system, but that comfort is not unlike someone sleeping peacefully in a burning building. It is temporary comfort, and there will be a severe wake-up when the flames hit. I do not mean to be trite here. God will judge us. As I have stated already:
The Book of Mormon is undefendable. It is not another testament of Jesus Christ, despite what any “burning in your bosom” tells you. Joseph Smith is clearly a false prophet. Joseph Smith isn’t even close to being in league with the perfect accuracy of Isaiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, et cetera.
I will pray for you, Ben, that you seek out the truth and trust not your burning or “testimony” which is subjective and not different than how Muslims and Jehovah’s Witnesses and Christian Scientists feel, but trust the true Word of God. I pray that you will trust in the eternal unchanging and only God, and that you will repent of the false and demonic system known as Mormonism that so firmly has hold of you.
You can email me or Jason or Doug anytime for help from the Bible on how to proceed. God bless!
Mark e-mailed me that last very long reply.
First, I was being genuine.
I don’t believe in arguing points of doctrine and throwing scriptures at people until I’m blue in the face.
One turn-off for many about Christians (and religion in general), is that we’re so uptight and disagreeable with each other. We teach about love, understanding, forgiveness, judging not, but we sure believe those Catholics, or Mormons, or Baptists, etc. are deceived and going to hell. Isn’t that ironic?
Man, I don’t care if you don’t believe in my Church. I’d still come help you out in a good cause if you called me up. That’s what we need more of. That’s what the Church teaches. Just read some of President Gordon B. Hinckley’s talks about it.
You don’t have to agree with me, but don’t call me deceitful, don’t call me ungenuine, don’t tell me what I believe and don’t believe, don’t call an organization that has helped so many people (members and non-members alike) demonic, and don’t disrespect spiritual experiences that I’ve had.
Whether you think I’ve been “schooled well” or deceived, that testimony that I have is personal, real, and sacred to me. I received it through a lot of study and by praying to a loving Father in Heaven.
I do believe the Bible to be the word of God, as far as it is translated correctly, for the Bible has been through, what, 6,000 years worth of translation.
I didn’t say I believed it would crumble under scrutiny. My point was, there are many people that are doing to the Bible what you are doing to the Book of Mormon. Go to Yahoo! and type ‘flaws in the Bible.’ People can use reason to prove anything they want.
But we don’t learn of spiritual things through man’s wisdom and reason do we? You believe the Bible is true. Why? Was it because you studied every verse looking for flaws or contradictions or unfulfilled prophesies? I doubt it. You came to know by reading it’s wonderful teachings and having faith that it is true. You don’t care about the perceived “flaws” man has found, no matter how “concrete” people say they are.
I believe the Book of Mormon is true and that Joseph is a prophet, because I’ve read it’s wonderful teachings and have faith that it is true. I don’t care what your perceived “flaws” are, no matter how “concrete” you say they are.
Go read what the leaders of the Church say on any topic you want http://www.lds.org.
You might want to start with our belief about God.
Now I’m guessing you’re going to find ways to refute what I wrote. I’ll expect it and accept it. This has really been a faith builder for me, but I got to be done. I have schoolwork to do.
You disagree with me and I with you. I won’t yield. You probably won’t yield. So I’ll just wish you the best. Perhaps, and I sincerely hope, some day we’ll be standing side-by-side helping someone in need.
We won’t even know, nor will we care, that we had this discussion or that we disagree on religious matters.
That was genuine.
Not ironic at all. It means we believe the first commandment, that there is one God and we ought not have any others. It means we believe the Bible when it says “he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God” (John 3:18.) It means we believe the Bible when it calls those without Christ “by nature the children of wrath” (Ephesians 2:3.)
A wrathful judgement is coming, and it is loving to tell people about it. Wouldn’t it be unloving NOT to say anything? I believe I have been patiently and lovingly pointing out the inconsistencies and problems with Mormon doctrines because I desire to see your salvation. This is loving.
Have you considered that some of the harshing things said in the name of religion were said by Mormon leaders?
“Anti-Christ” is pretty harsh, and it was Brigham Young who said it. I wouldn’t begrudge him for saying it if it were a true statement. But given his many false prophecies and un-Biblical positions, he has no standing to make such a proclamation.
For the record, I did what you suggested (only I used google instead of yahoo).
I did a google search for “flaws in the Bible” and went to a few of the websites.
Here are a sampling of the “flaws in the Bible” I found:
The love we have for Christ is to be so strong that our feelings for everyone else is like hate in comparison. This is hyperbole, and anyone with a 3rd grade reading level can understand what’s going on here.
Another site shows scriptures that teach us to love God. Then shows scriptures that show that we are to fear God. Then shows scripture that says there is no fear in love.
Again, any 3rd grader can understand what’s going on here. If these are the “flaws in the Bible” then my faith is on a solid rock.
These are not even in the same realm as the anacronisms, plagiarisms, and errors in the Book of Mormon.
I gave you specific, serious, troubling points to consider. You can continue to believe in the Book of Mormon if you’d like, but no reasonable person should.
Faith is not the ignoring of facts.
Ben, I do not mean this rudely, but you’ve made a great case for why not to be a Mormon. Throughout our dialog, you have consistently shown your strong reliance on “feelings” “emotions” and “subjectivity.” This is no different than why a Bhuddist feels the way he or she does.
I have shown you specific and verifiable reasons to reject the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith. Your answer has been “you have good points but F.A.R.M.S. or someone else has the answers (and I won’t write those answers here) and I’ll still believe in the Book of Mormon despite the glaring reasons not to.” I do not envy your “don’t confuse me with the facts!” attitude about your faith.
I don’t see how you can consider us “good Christians” if you really believed there was a hell and a judgement and that we will be made accountable to the Mormon gospel.
Ben, I do believe in hell and judgement and that we will be made accountable to the Biblical gospel. That is why I do what I do. I plea to people to flee from their sin and flee to the Jesus of the Bible. I implore you to do this soon. You may not have tomorrow.
There is no greater way to help someone lovingly than to lead them into the truth.
I went to the LDS.org website as you suggested. I looked over the “Basic Beliefs” section but didn’t find any of my questions answered; instead, at the end of each section, I was advised to meet with a Mormon missionary if I had further questions. (Sounds like we’ve come full circle, as the Mormon missionaries were not able to answer Mark and Jason and Rob.) There is a great deal of information under their “Gospel Library”. However, I was unable to find, for instance, a treatment of the scripture Revelation 22:18-19, where God specifically instructs that the Bible is complete. (Precluding the writing of “Another Testament.”)
I believe you are sincere in your beliefs, Ben, and I bet you’re a great guy who loves his family. I have never met a LDS that was not a great family man or woman. This does not mean that they are not sincerely deceived.
I would be thrilled if you or anyone took it upon themselves to scrutinize the Bible. Believe me, the Bible can stand up to the harshest scrutiny. In fact, I have several Bible believing friends who first approached the Bible with a goal of discrediting it: far from being open and willing to receive it in faith, they were skeptical, cynical and more than ready to reject it. (Mark, you were once one of those people, weren’t you?) When I was in college, I studied the New Testament under a non-believer. He told us repeatedly that the Bible was “full of contradictions.” When I asked that he name one specific example, he said, “The Virgin Birth”. He said that the Virgin Birth contradicted SCIENCE. Apparently he could not accept any miracles at all and called them all “contradictions.”
But if by contradictions you mean places where the Bible contradicts itself or places where prophecy was clearly not fufilled or turned out to be false — then find me some. I don’t believe you can find any mistakes like that in the Bible. Subject the Bible and the Book of Mormon to the same scrutiny and I assure you, you will find that the Bible is a flawless book, and no other book on earth comes even close to it.
I don’t think what is happening here is wrong at all, and I’m thrilled for my small part in providing this forum for discourse.
I have not studied Mormanism to the extent Mark has, but there are striking contrasts with how the LDS Church wants to be portrayed now versus its historical positions.
Isn’t polygamy rather interesting in this respect? Why wouldn’t Mormons also embrace a single wife having many husbands? Or might the original teaching have been an example of “turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness,” designed to provide large families and sexual opportunity to Mormon men? Isn’t the ultimate goal of a good Mormon man to receive his own planet in the afterlife to repopulate with the help of his spirit-wives? (I realize that most ordinary Mormans do not exepct to reach this level of godhood, but the teaching is there nonetheless.)
Isn’t teaching that anyone can obtain godhood “denying the only Lord God”? Isn’t the belief that Jesus and Satan were brothers denying “our Lord Jesus Christ”?
What about the history of racism in Mormanism? Should we ignore the history that Africans and those of African descent were considered accursed? This is what the Mormon prophets taught! There is no Mormon-scripture-supported means for these doctrines to have changed.
I found the reading at the F.A.R.M.S. site to be fascinating, although sparse on content. One of the most interesting transitions is how the North-and-South American continental locations described in the Book of Morman are now being reinterpreted to mean a tiny area in Central America. This was not, the teaching of the LDS Church throughout its history, and one would think that the inspired prophets of Morman history—if they were being directed by God—would have known this.
Paul’s warning to the Galatians applies to Mormonism:
We ought to, as the Apostle Paul commanded, “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good” (1 Thes. 5:21).
I found an interesting review of F.A.R.M.S. by James White. You can read it by clicking here.
For some reason, the font size is really small, so you may want to increase it in your web browser. You should be able to do that under “View:text size.”
Anyhow, if you don’t read the whole article, DEFINITELY read the section entitled “ABOUT THOSE SWORDS, DR. HAMBLIN.” It exposes the false scholarship of FARMS for what it realy is.
I post this with no glee or spite. I post this out of loving concern for those who are trusting F.A.R.M.S. with answers of eternal weight. It is vital to flee from the false, but captivating system of Mormonism.
The Bible is internally consistent, self-authenticating, and true. Not one of the many specific prophecies have been proven false. Not one.
Seems to be a rather broad statement. As you’ve demonstrated with regard to Joseph Smith, the fulfillment of prophecy is, most of the time, in the eyes of the beholder. Some folks would disagree with your absolutist statement concerning biblical prophecies. See, for instance, here:
I don’t necessarily agree with everything at this Web site, but it does list 190 instances where the biblical statements or prophecies were wrong.
Life is full of all sorts of choices. One of those choices is what one will believe in and what one won’t. To make absolute statements based on subjective interpretations of scripture is flimsy, at best, and puts you into the same boat as some of the Mormons you consign to damnation.
Welcome to the foray! 🙂
Your doubts are worth answering.
Why not start here:
God bless you!
I have no doubts, but thanks for the links. I am always interested in learning.
You seemed to miss my point, however… You used absolutist language when it comes to biblical prophecy, and used that in a way that was dismissive of scripture that you do not believe in. Others, not sharing your faith in the Bible (this does *not* include me), are equally as dismissive of your certitude regarding biblical prophecy.
My comment was a suggestion more than anything else–that you not use absolutist language for what you believe in and dismissive language of others who disagree with you.
Should I absolutely not use “absolutist” language? 😉
Yep. That’s the idea. Because when you say things like “Not one of the many specific prophecies have been proven false. Not one.” you are leaving no room for the validity of anyone else’s personal interpretation.
Of course, you may not feel that anyone else has the capability to interpret scripture correctly.
How would you feel if I said, “I think you’re contentious and not open to the Holy Spirit, therefore I won’t address your concerns?”
When I originally posted this, I expressed regret that the Mormon missionaries wanted to label me contentious rather than answer my valid concerns.
If you’re really interested, I’ll try my darndest to answer yours, which is much more than the Mormon missionaries did for me.
I did notice a number of the Annotated Bible alleged contradictions were silly. Like when God says that Adam will die in the day he rebelled, yet he lived 900+ years. The context clearly tells us that it was spiritual death, separation from God, that was introduced that day. Paul elaborates on that in 1 Corinthians 15:21-22: “by man came death… for as in Adam all die”
And the fact that God says He’ll call Jacob “Israel” but continues to call him “Jacob.” This is a misunderstanding of what names meant to Biblical Hebrews. Jacob clearly went by both names, not unlike Joseph, who was renamed “Zaphnathpaaneah” in Genesis 41:45, but continued to be called “Joseph.”
Personally, I think “Joe” is the easiest! 😉
There were other contradictions of that calliber, and it looks like they’re dealt with exhaustively at the websites I suggested.
These “problems” are not in the same league as the anachronisms, plagiarisms, and errors in the Book of Mormon.
And unlike the shoddy scholarship of F.A.R.M.S., the Bible talks about actual places and actual events and actual people who actually existed. I’m not sure if you know too much of what the Book of Mormon claims, but it claims that American Indians are descended from Hebrews and had swords and animals that didn’t exist in the Americas at the time. Mormons call this fiction “scripture” and “another testament of Jesus Christ,” so as a Christian, I take offense at that.
It would be like if you loved the Red Sox passionately, and someone said that the Yankees and the Red Sox are basically the same. You’d take offense at that because it would drag your beloved Red Sox in the mud.
Well, the claim that the Book of Mormon is “another testament of Jesus Christ” is an infinitely more audacious statement than my poor baseball analogy.
If you have any more questions, please don’t hessitate to ask! God bless!!! 🙂
I posted comment #22 before I read your comment #21.
In regard to comment #21, of course I believe people have the ability to interpret the Bible.
But I stand by my statement that not one prophecy has proven false.
I noticed another alleged false prophecy is that God said that Abraham’s descendents would be as numerous as the stars in the sky, yet there aren’t actually that many Jews. This is silly. Of course a 2nd grader can tell that “as numerous as the stars in the sky” is poetic metaphor, similar to when I tell my 6-year-old that I love her “to the moon and back.”
This isn’t the same as the failed prophecies of Joseph Smith, which I have listed in comment #6.
I just did some quick googling and stumbled across this site that looks interesting:
This highlights some of the amazing Bible prophesies that came true.
I found page 8 very interesting! Perhaps you will too.
How would you feel if I said, â€œI think youâ€™re contentious and not open to the Holy Spirit, therefore I wonâ€™t address your concerns?â€
When I originally posted this, I expressed regret that the Mormon missionaries wanted to label me contentious rather than answer my valid concerns.
I don’t think I was commenting on your feelings at all. Besides, I couldn’t comment on them since I only have your side of the conversation to go on, and not the missionaries’ side; they were, no doubt, in a better position to determine whether you were being contentious or not. (I’m not saying they were right, just that they were there and I wasn’t. Therefore their determination would immediately carry more weight than any comment I may make afterwards.)
I did notice a number of the Annotated Bible alleged contradictions were silly.
Agreed. But they apparently weren’t silly to the writer. To draw an analogy to that and your experience with the missionaries, it may be that what appears a “slam dunk” to you is not such to them. Our beliefs are all based on different experiences and different interpretations.
These â€œproblemsâ€ are not in the same league as the anachronisms, plagiarisms, and errors in the Book of Mormon.
Again, your statement is based entirely on your perceptions. You accept the Bible as the word of God, and therefore you minimize the problems that others see therein. You don’t accept the Book of Mormon as divine, so you are quick to dismiss it as anything but divine. A Mormon on the other hand, believing the Book of Mormon to be just as divinely inspired as the Bible, minimizes the problems that you see. That doesn’t make the Mormon any more “wrong” or “deceived” than you are–in the eyes of a third-party athiest, both you and the Mormon are wrong and deceived.
And unlike the shoddy scholarship of F.A.R.M.S….
I’m interested in knowing how much of FARMS’ scholarship you have read and evaluated in order to dismiss it entirely as shoddy. (Or were you referring to only a subset of their total scholarship as being shoddy? Your comment could be interpreted either way.)
…it claims that American Indians are descended from Hebrews and had swords and animals that didnâ€™t exist in the Americas at the time.
You are talking about anachronisms in an ancient text as if they “disprove” the veracity of the text. If that was the case, then the Bible would have likewise been disproved and dismissed years ago. It has many anachronisms in it, as well, but Christians tend to dismiss most of them just as Mormons dismiss apparent anachronisms in the Book of Mormon.
(I’m not trying to disprove or disparage the Bible here; I’m trying to point out that you apply a different standard to the Bible than you do to other supposed-divine works because you already accept the Bible as divine.)
I just did some quick googling and stumbled across this site that looks interesting…
You are right; that is an interesting site. But, again, the “fulfillment” of prophecy is in the eye of the believer. I, too, did some googling in relation to Joseph Smith and prophecies. You may beinterested in this page:
I don’t expect that you will agree with the author there; after all, you are not a believer. However, just as you can dismiss that author’s claims to prophetic fulfillment, a non-believer in the Bible can dismiss your claims to 100% fulfillment of all biblical prophecies.
Part of critical thinking is to recognize the biases under which we labor. 😉
Well, it seems to me that your entire purpose for having the missionaries to your home was to try and school them, not to learn from them. I find your manner quite disingenuous in that you seem to take pride in confounding rather than understanding or being understood. Quite honestly, I could answer pretty much any question you put forth, but I would not waste my time. Your desire is not to learn, but to contend. You do not look for common ground, but differences.
I might suggest that you re-evaluate your motives sincerely and change your approach if you hope to really learn. If you can change your attitude, and want answers to even the most difficult questions you can contend with, then go to http://www.fairlds.org and to http://www.farms.byu.edu. There is ample information for you to find.
I suspect that you won’t do this, or if you do, you will do so with the intent of finding error and not common ground. I hope I am wrong, but I do not believe you are sincere. I believe that your attitude reflects contention and an unrighteous pride that boasts in your own supposed knowledge. You are forever learning and never able to come to a knowledge of the truth. If I were the missionaries, even with the answers I have, I would not have given them to you. Not because I don’t have them, but becuase your attitude would make you incapable of receiving them.
Try some humility. You may begin to learn if you do.
I don’t think this is the place to hold an extensive discussing on the issues you raised, both because they are too numerous and the formatting here isn’t too conducive to such discussion. Why don’t you try http://www.fairboards.org/ Either way, might I suggest to you and others that you learn more about what *is* and *is not* LDS doctrine, as many of your concerns could be answered with that (not all, granted, but many). I would suggest the following:
“When Are the Writings or Sermons of Church Leaders Entitled to the Claim of Scripture?” by J. Reuben Clark
“What Is Our Doctrine?” by Robert Millett
“What is Official LDS Doctrine?” by Mike Ash
One of your “complaints” was that Satan is the brother of Jesus. If both Jesus and Satan were sons of God, then that would make them brothers. If Satan was NOT a son of God, then where did he come from? Did God create Satan as an evil being? – that seems a stupid… God creating Evil. If God created Satan that that would make him God’s son would it not. The LDS theology on the origin of Satan is the only one that makes any sense.
Wow, talk about a setup. Reminds me of the idea of a person lying to test if someone else is lying…. Kind of missing the ethical point. If you wanted to learn something then why were you trying to prove something?
This is a truely sad example if you were trying to be an example of a good christian.
We have a problem—There is no common standard of truth. According to Robert Millett’s “What Is Our Doctrine?”, the Bible is not authoritative, and the Mormon leaders are not authoritative. (Is Robert Millett’s document authoritative?) What is the basis for Mormon doctrinal authority?
Can we take the Book of Mormon at face value as illustrative of Mormon teaching? What about Doctrines and Covenants? If we want to continue this discussion and profit from it, what can we accept as foundational for the two sides?
I can easily argue from the Bible that Jesus and Satan could not have been brothers, because it stomps on the deity of Christ. However, it appears that Mormonism is free to simply say, “Oh, well, all those parts of the Bible (such as John 1:1) that talk about the deity of Christ were just mistakes.
In addition to determining the authoritative source for Mormon doctrine, I also need some defintions to be agreed upon. What is meant, for example, by the word revelation as used in Mr. Millett’s document?
There is further paradox expressed in Millet’s document, which is especially clear in the attempt to explain the fact that blacks were not allowed to join the Mormon priesthood until 1978:
Essentially, he is saying that “all ‘old’ revelation by LDS church leaders can be ignored if something new supercedes it.” Eliminating all of Mormon historical teaching from the study of Mormonism may answer a lot of questions, but it does nothing to allow a real analysis of Mormon doctrine. The teaching against blacks joining the priesthood, for example, persisted for 148 years, and has been revoked only for 27 years. When the next revelation shift occurs, anything we discuss today is completely open to revision. This seems like the error of those who attempt to negate the Apostle Paul’s teaching against homosexuality: “Yes, it’s in the Bible, but we know better now what God meant.”
Essentially, he is saying that â€œall â€˜oldâ€™ revelation by LDS church leaders can be ignored if something new supercedes it.â€ Eliminating all of Mormon historical teaching from the study of Mormonism may answer a lot of questions, but it does nothing to allow a real analysis of Mormon doctrine. The teaching against blacks joining the priesthood, for example, persisted for 148 years, and has been revoked only for 27 years. When the next revelation shift occurs, anything we discuss today is completely open to revision.
But there is biblical precedent for new revelation superceding old ways of doing things. Think about Peter receiving the revelation that the gospel was to be preached to the gentiles. The belief/revelation that they were operating under was that they should not be taught. It took a revelation from God to change the old ways and replace it with a more open way of carrying the gospel to others.
This seems like the error of those who attempt to negate the Apostle Paulâ€™s teaching against homosexuality: â€œYes, itâ€™s in the Bible, but we know better now what God meant.â€
Apples and oranges, really. “Those” who say what you are saying are not saying that their new way of doing things is based on a revelation from God. If they were, then we could compare apples to apples. However, for man to say “we [man] know better because we now read the bible with different eyes” is not revelatory but evolutionary. Revelation comes with authority of God; evolution seeks to impose man’s understanding on what “God must have meant.”
Whoah, I’ve been away for the weekend. Lots of activity! I’ll do my best to answer the concerns…
Allen said (comment #31):
New revelation must never change old revelation. If God says in the Bible that there is only one true God, then it is foul for Joseph Smith to appear in 1930 with “revelation” that there are many many gods.
There was never any “revelation” telling the apostles not to preach to the Gentiles. God’s revelation to Peter was not changing something that He had said previously as fact.
Many of the Mormons’ “revelations” contradict prior revelations, and therefore, the newer ones must be discounted.
Matthew said (comment #29):
Matthew, I’m sure you know that Jesus commanded us to lovingly share the Biblical gospel. This is something I take very seriously, because of my love and devotion to Christ. Of course I wanted to share the Biblical Jesus with these missionaries. Because of my love for Jesus and concern for those who do not know Him, I want to share Jesus with everyone I can.
Rob Merchant setup the meeting and told the missionaries, “We want to hear what you have to say.” And we did.
There was no deception on our part. We were very open about the fact that we had studied Mormonism and had issues, like:
We told the missionaries that we wanted to know what they believed about these things. They used deception and word games to get around the issues.
As an example, they said that they believed in the Bible, as many Mormons on this BLOG have said. But what they mean is that they believe in the Bible when it is translated correctly. So when the Bible doesn’t agree with Mormonism (in many essential areas) they say, “translated badly.”
In practice they do not believe the Bible. We’ve seen statements like Ben’s in comment #7:
I responded in comment #11 with:
I honestly did want to hear what the Mormon missionaries had to say, and they said things like “We believe in the Virgin birth,” “we believe in salvation by grace” and “We believe in the Bible.”
When I pressed them for what they mean by the “Virgin birth,” “salvation by grace,” etc., they said I’d have to be a member of their church for years to understand it.
Beware of any salesman who won’t tell you what he’s selling up front.
What do you want to know about what the Bible teaches? I’ll tell you anything up front.
I see a lot of arguing back and forth about motives, etc, but none of you Mormon apologists has offered any explanations for the issues raised by Mark. If I am to believe that Evangelical Christianity is nonsense and Mormonism is the “way to go” then explain for me how you rationalize the problems with the false prophesies of Joseph Smith.
Mack said (in comment #28):
Mormons seem to misunderstand the meaning of the term “son of” when used in reference to Jesus.
It is true that JFK Jr. is the “son of” JFK, but the Bible does not use the term “son of” the same way in reference to Jesus and God.
You seem to be making the false assumption that the Bible only uses the phrase “son of” the same way we use it today of a human father-son relationship. I invite you to ask this question: does the Bible use the phrase in any other way?
So how does the Bible use the term “son of?” The answer is found by reading the New Testament. How far? One verse. The very first verse in the whole New Testament teaches us how God used the term “son of.”
This one verse, this first verse in Matthewâ€™s gospel, silences the idea that â€œson ofâ€ in the Bible is only used the same way the JFK Jr. is the â€œson ofâ€ JFK.
I ask anyone to honestly read Matthew 1:1 and truthfully and objectively find out how the term â€œson ofâ€ is used in the Bible (particularly in reference to Jesus Christ).
Here Jesus is both the â€œson of Davidâ€ AND â€œthe son of Abraham.â€ Putting aside that Jesus was NOT the physical son of either of these men, it is still impossible for someone to be a son of TWO people. At least it is impossible if one narrowly defines the term â€œson ofâ€ in the same way one would say that JFK Jr. is the â€œson ofâ€ JFK. Matthew 1:1 teaches that the Bible does not use the term â€œson ofâ€ that way.
This first chapter of Matthew also records for us Jesusâ€™ genealogy. Verse 17 shows clearly that Jesus was far removed from both David and Abraham. Yet the Bible calls Jesus both the â€œson of Abrahamâ€ and â€œson of David.â€ This is just one example of how we can fall into error when we fail to allow the Bible to define itself. Based on Matthew chapter 1, we learn early on in the New Testament that the term â€œson ofâ€ is used to mean â€œin the order of.â€ Matthew wanted his audience to know that Jesus was the Messiah because he was â€œin the order of Davidâ€ and â€œin the order of Abraham.â€ That is what the context teaches.
The whole point of Matthew chapter one is to show Matthewâ€™s Jewish audience that Jesus was of the order of David and Abraham. The Biblical definition of the phrase â€œson ofâ€ means â€œof the order of.â€ That is why Jesus can be called both the â€œson of Davidâ€ and the â€œson of Abrahamâ€ when neither one of these men were his physical father. Jesus is also the â€œson of Godâ€ and the â€œson of man.â€
As Bible-believing Christians, we deny the Greek idea that gods go around impregnating people to produce non-eternal offspring. Jesus is not the â€œson of Godâ€ in that Pagan sense. When Jesus called himself the â€œSon of God,â€ he was not claiming to be a physical offspring as JFK Jr. is a physical offspring of his father. This example shows how easy it is to be lead astray and fall into error when we depart from the definitions the Bible gives for itself.
So I deny that Satan is a “son of God” in the same sense that Jesus is. Jesus is God. Satan is a created being. Jesus is not a created being. Jesus is Creator.
Jesus created Satan. Jesus and Satan are not brothers according to the Bible. You can believe otherwise if you wish, but please don’t insult our intelligence by saying you believe something unbiblical but yet still believe the Bible. This is a quandry for the Mormon.
Fortunately you can repent of your false doctrine and false teachers and cling to the true and Living God! Jesus offers forgiveness of sin and a true relationship with His Father based on what He did.
John said (in comment #26):
So now we’re back to the name-calling and charges of being contentious.
I said in my original post:
John, you’ve helped prove this point.
This from the same person who said:
Christians are called upon to “waste time” explaining patiently and defending Biblical truths.
So I’m waiting to hear how Joseph Smith can be a true prophet when he taught that God was not always God, that men can become a god, and that there are infinite gods.
Kevin said (in comment #27):
Ah, the ol’ “you can’t hold this heresy against us because it’s not in the standard works argument!”
This is how many Mormons try to skirt around the fact that LDS prophets and apostles have taught such things as:
Unfortunately for the Mormon, Brigham Young said that his sermons (where much of this comes from) ARE scripture:
In regard to his words and sermons, Brigham Young said:
Brigham Young compared his sermons with scripture:
So Kevin, what “*is* and *is not* LDS doctrine”? I found the answer to that by reading the sermons of LDS prophets, the words of LDS apostles, and the standard works.
If anyone wants to know what the LDS church believes, you can either ask a missionary and become a member for years before you’ll hear about these things, or you can download my essay, Letter to a Mormon: Testing the Claims of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
You can also find notes and other files from a Cult class I am teaching at: http://cults.sohmer.net.
God bless you!
I am still looking for an answer to my question about the source of Mormon doctrine.
If I were to ask, “What do you born-again Christians mean when you talk about the blood atonement?” I would be presented with dozens of Scripture verses and numerous book references. I would be told that the Scripture is sufficient to know the doctrine, but that a historical analysis of the doctrine, as well as the teaching of other Christian leaders is appropriate and often enlightening, so long as it does not conflict with the Bible. This is accepted even though those Christian leaders are not speaking with the authority of a prophet, because their teachings can be verified against the Bible.
For further analysis: If my pastor were to get up in church and say, “The Red Sox will win the World Series this year,” we would understand that he is not speaking as a prophet, merely offering his opinion. If he were to say, “The Bible says the sons of Ham were cursed by Noah, and that means they all had black skin,” we would understand that he was attempting to teach authoritatively, but we would have the responsibility to say, “No! That is not Biblically supported, and to claim the Bible teaches so is heresy,” and then remove him from his position as a leader.
When I ask, “What is the source of Mormon doctrine?” I do not get a satisfactory answer. I can infer from what has been written so far that the Bible, past Mormon teachers, Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, current Mormon teachers, the official historical teachings of the LDS Church (backed up by the historical actions of the LDS Church), and so on, cannot be considered authoritative. I have been referred to (and read) a number of documents, but those documents rely on sources that have been ruled extraauthoritative. Indeed, those documents to which I have been referred cannot be considered authoritative, either. What can?
That was a very telling string of replies wasn’t it.
I’d comment that the LDS folks represented here would have been better served to offer some explaination as to why their Prophets have been wrong so often and why that isn’t an alarming concern for them; puzzling to say the least. If you want to question my beliefs in a sincere way as the christian folks did….have at it…I’d be glad to share my faith without saying “your not ready to hear it”
Just for the record; I’m an “ex-LDS” member who is now a follower of Jesus Christ.
This group appears to be a good representation of studied non-LDS who are familiar with the challenges presented to LDS. Would you entertain a question from an LDS? It is: why is there so much discussion about â€œReformed Egyptianâ€?
The source text in the Book of Mormon reads:
â€œ32 And now, behold, we have written this record according to our knowledge, in the characters which are called among us the reformed Egyptian, being handed down and altered by us, according to our manner of speech.
â€œ34 But the Lord knoweth the things which we have written, and also that none other people knoweth our language; and because that none other people knoweth our language, therefore he hath prepared means for the interpretation thereof.â€ (Mormon 9)
Here we see that the Book of Mormon does not say that it was written in a special language called Reformed Egyptian, but that it was written in Egyptian characters that the people had reformed, altered through the centuries in their new land.
The characters Joseph Smith copied from the golden plates are similar to hieratic and demotic Egyptian characters. (See Ariel Crowleyâ€™s comparisons in the 1942 and 1944 â€œImprovement Eraâ€)
Dictionary definitions of demotic and hieratic include:
Merriam-Webster gives us this:
Demotic: â€œ1 : of, relating to, or written in a simplified form of the ancient Egyptian hieratic writingâ€
Hieratic: â€œ1 : constituting or belonging to a cursive form of ancient Egyptian writing simpler than the hieroglyphicâ€
America Heritage has this:
Demotic: â€œOf, relating to, or written in the simplified form of ancient Egyptian hieratic writing.â€
Hieratic: â€œConstituting or relating to a simplified cursive style of Egyptian hieroglyphics, used in both sacred and secular writings.â€
The Encyclopedia of the Orient says (illustrations of these writing styles are given in these articles):
â€œDemotic is a development of hieratic script. It has a more cursive form, signs are more flowing and joined and the signs themselves are more similar to one another, and therefore slightly more difficult to read.â€
(Itâ€™s interesting to note the coincidence that this source says Demotic Egyptian was used from 660 BCE to 425, almost exactly the beginning and ending dates of the Book of Mormonâ€™s narrative, except for the Jareditesâ€™ history.)
â€œHieratic script was in the first phases written vertically, but this changed to horizontal writing with a direction only from right to left. Hieratic script never had any instances of writing from left to right, which sometimes occurred with hieroglyphs.
â€Hieratic script’s development from hieroglyphs was so that the signs were altered in order to make them quicker to write. Generally, the pictures of the hieroglyphs were lost in hieratic script. One or two signs could be written in one stroke. There were also diacritical additions so that near identical signs to be distinguished.â€
So, in just these examples, hieratic and demotic are described and explained with terms as â€œsimplified,â€ â€œcursive form,â€ â€œmore flowing and joined,â€ â€œchanged to horizontal,â€ â€œsigns were altered,â€ â€œquicker to write,â€ â€œpicturesâ€¦ lost,â€ and â€œdiacritical additions.â€
Is there ground here for argument? I understand that we have many points of disagreement between us, but are the differences between the Book of Mormonâ€™s descriptions as â€œreformedâ€ and â€œalteredâ€ and these other descriptions so great as to be worth anyoneâ€™s time to discuss them? Can’t we just move on to something of substance?
Thanks in advance for your response.
For anyone who’s overlooked it, the preceding comment seems to be addressing this observation in Mark’s original post:
Thanks for noting the tie to reformed Egyptian earlier in this thread. I was asking generally: why the fuss about “reformed Egyptian” regarding LDS beliefs, when the Book of Mormon doesn’t claim any such distinctive language per se. (BTW, this begs the issue you noted — â€œThere never was a reformed Egyptian language.â€ There may have been such somewhere that we haven’t yet discovered, but that’s beyond the ken of this discussion.)
Last night, I omitted the intermediate verse of the source text. However, I realize now that it may be useful, so here’s the complete passage:
“32 And now, behold, we have written this record according to our knowledge, in the characters which are called among us the reformed Egyptian, being handed down and altered by us, according to our manner of speech.
“33 And if our plates had been sufficiently large we should have written in Hebrew; but the Hebrew hath been altered by us also; and if we could have written in Hebrew, behold, ye would have had no imperfection in our record.
“34 But the Lord knoweth the things which we have written, and also that none other people knoweth our language; and because that none other people knoweth our language, therefore he hath prepared means for the interpretation thereof.”
Again, thanks in advance for your response.
In comment #40, you said:
I agree with you that our difference over “Reformed Egyptian” is not so great as to be worth a lot of time.
Honestly, my reason for not being a Mormon is not because “they’re wrong about Reformed Egyptian.” It’s a very small issue. Maybe you’re right and there was such a thing, (but I still wonder why ancient Hebrews would write in any form of Egyptian) but it means very little ultimately.
But I don’t think I spent a lot of time on that topic.
When you read through my posts and this whole thread, I spend a LOT more time testing the Mormon Church in regard to the following:
So, yes, I do have concerns about “Reformed Egyptian,” but they pale in comparison to my concerns about the LDS doctrines of polytheism, eternal progression, the origins of Black people, plagiarism in the BOM, false prophecies, and many many more.
You can read about these concerns in the document, Letter to a Mormon: Testing the Claims of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. In it you will see the many many problems with the claims of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
Jason St said:
October 11th, 2005 at 8:29 pm
One other Scripture, found in Revelation 22:18-19. â€œI warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book. And if anyone takes words away from this book of prophecy, God will take away from him his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.â€
Thatâ€™s it, the end of Godâ€™s revelation to man. According to this Scripture, I do not believe that God allowed for â€œanother testament of Jesus Christâ€ Infact, thereâ€™s a severe penalty for doing so. I donâ€™t know where you live, Ben, but I would love to share with you the truth of Jesus Christ. Feel free to email me any time at jasonkst (at) adelphia (dot) net.
Pretty strong and condeming on your part wouldn’t you sat Jason St.? It’s funny that we see your interpretation of the scripture here and really see the total lack of understanding on your part. Let’s understand a few things here. #1 what does the word bible mean. It comes from the greek word Biblia…meaning small library or collection of books. #2 the bible is a collection of 66 total books….not one. #3 The book of revelation is one seperate book added to 65 other books. John is refering to the book of revelation as lot being added to and taken away from. Read the scripture.
#4 many books were written after revelation…such as the Book of John…was John condemning himself? According to your thinking he is.
So, your reasoning to condemn the book of mormon is flawed. Each one of the books in the bible was compiled hundreds of years after the they were written and place into what we now have as the bible. P.s. Mosses in the Book of Duet. ch. 4 says the exact same thing. Again using your logic, we should only have 5 books of the old test. because everything from duet on was added to. NIce try though, but that is the weakest argument anyone has tried to place on the book of mormon.
I’ll have to agree with you regarding Revelation 22:18-19.
But even so, the argument against the Book of Mormon does not rest on Revelation 22:18-19.
There are many many other problems with the Book of Mormon, and the doctrines of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
Some of them include:
OK, so we can disregard the weak attempt of adding to the bible? How about the attempt to discredit Joseph Smith and his prophecies? The Bible is infallible as you all state here are just a couple of examples of prophets prophecies not being fullfilled. One obvious example is the story of Jonah, who was told by God to prophecy to the people of Nineveh. Jonah prophesied that the people would be destroyed in 40 days (Jonah 3:4) – no loopholes were offered, just imminent doom. God changed things, however, when the people repented and He chose to spare them – much to the chagrin of that imperfect (yet still divinely called) prophet, Jonah. Jonah, in fact, was “displeased … exceedingly” and “very angry” (Jonah 4:1) about this change from God, perhaps because it made Jonah look bad. In spite of an “incorrect” prophecy and in spite of the obvious shortcomings of Jonah, he was a prophet of God and the Book of Jonah in the Bible is part of the Word of God.
Another problematic prophecy is found in 2 Samuel 7:4-17, where Nathan the prophet tells David that his royal house and kingdom will “be established forever” (v. 16). No conditions are given. The Babylonian invasion later overthrew the throne of David and that kingdom, and it certainly is not in place today. However, we do find conditions in a related prophecy in I Kings 9, given when the Lord appeared to Solomon (v. 2 – one of many reminders that God does appear to some of His prophets, in spite of some anti-LDS claims to the contrary). The Lord told Solomon that He would “establish the throne of thy kingdom for ever, as I promised to David thy father” (v.5) – IF Solomon would walk in the ways of the Lord (v. 4). Solomon failed to follow the Lord and committed terrible sins. Soon the house of David lost the northern kingdom of Israel, and later the throne of David was overthrown. But what Nathan spoke in 2 Samuel 7 was not tempered with any explicit conditions and thus could be branded as an incorrect prophecy. Whatever the case, 2 Samuel 7 is problematic.
So again, your ways of scrutinizing the BofM and Joseph Smith can be used the same way against the Bible. I believe the Bible to be the word of God as I do the BofM, but I do not believe it is the final authority on all things….God is.
Lets go with the other weak attempt of trying to discredit the BofM for having errors. These errors were mostly all printing and grammitcal errors. But of course anti’s like to use the # of errors around 3,000 to 4,000 as something worth noting. But where are they when it comes to finding out about Biblical errors? There are quite a few. Chronoligical, numerical, translations. You name it, its in there.
There is no question that some parts of the text have been corrupted. Of the thousands of early Greek and Hebrews manuscripts and fragments that scholars have to work with, there are many small and some serious differences that make it impossible to propose one single, standard text that one might hope to be free from errors. In fact, Leon Vaganay and Christian-Bernard Amphoux, two non-LDS writers, say that there are over 5,000 Greek manuscripts or fragments to work with, containing roughly 250,000 variants among them. They say that “it would be difficult to find a sentence, even part of a sentence, for which the rendering is consistent in every single manuscript. That certainly gives plenty of food for thought.” (Leon Vaganay and Christian-Bernard Amphoux, Initiation a la critique textuelle du Nouveau Testament [An Introduction to New Testament Textual Criticism], translated by J. Heimerdinger, New York: Cambridge University Press, 1991, p.2,
Wow, I never would of thought it would be that much. But again, using the same scrutinizing tactics you use can be used the other way as well.
Mormons claim that American Indians are descended from Hebrews and had swords and animals that didnâ€™t exist in the Americas at the time of the Book of Mormon
Ok, so what is your point here? Can you tell me where to find remains of a horse dated 500 bc? How about a raccoon or a turkey? I would assume they were all here prior to pre columbian times. Can you show me this evidence?
The same sword that critics use to attack the Book of Mormon slices the Bible just as nicely. The lack of physical evidence for many animals mentioned in the Bible has long perplexed Bible scholars. In the case of lions, for example, there is textual evidence of their existence in Israel throughout ancient times and even as late as the 1500s, but it appears that no lion skeletons or remains of any kind have ever been found.
The case of the horse bones, found years ago but ignored by all the archaeologists, tells us that we must constantly scrutinize the adequacy of “current” scientific beliefs. The Eurasian sheep is not supposed to have been in pre-Columbian America either, yet real sheep’s wool was found in a burial site at Cholula, Puebla, Mexico, in an archaeological setting that gave no other indication of dating after the Spaniards arrived [Linne, Mexican Highland Cultures, p. 156]. This lone specimen doesn’t take us far toward a literal reading of the Book of Mormon term sheep, but perhaps we should keep this door too ajar a little.
OK, here are answers to those points you have made.
As for using passages from the bible in the book of mormon…….Plagiarism is the act of deceitfully using someone else’s words as one’s own. So what about the Book of Mormon version of the Sermon on the Mount? Well, here we have Christ speaking to some Book of Mormon people, using words very similar to those that Christ spoke earlier in Jerusalem. Thus, the Book of Mormon claims that the words of Christ were given by – can you guess who? – yes, Christ. Oh, the shame! Has Joseph Smith no decency?
The argument is also made the use of the specific style of language found in the King James Version is improperly borrowed. Specific language found in the King James Bible was obviously used in many cases when Joseph translated passages that quoted the Old Testament (several Isaiah chapters, for example) or translated passages that expressed ideas nearly identical to passages of the Bible. Besides the Isaiah chapters, the most obvious example occurs when the Resurrected Christ, during His brief but powerful ministry to the Nephites and Lamanites in the Book of Mormon, repeated the Sermon on the Mount. Most of the language in that section follows the King James version of the Bible. Using the language style or even specific language of an existing translation for quoted passages of the text is not improper at all.
So, I really do not see the point of trying to discredit here since the early inhapitants of the Book of Mormon brought with them the old testement and taught from it, and prophesied Of Christ and his coming to them why they would not have this. Nice try though.
Mark states…..Not one piece of independent, non-Mormon archeological evidence supports the Book of Mormon.
Can you prove this statement? Thats a pretty broad stroke you have painted with no wiggle room at all if evidence is proved. I think I lay this one on your shoulders to prove since you are making the alligation.
It’s impossible to prove something doesn’t exist. (One cannot prove, for example, that Santa Claus does not exist.)
However, Mark’s claim can be easily refuted if independent archeological evidence of the New World history as described in the Book of Mormon actually exists, especially if it was so abundant in the Great Plains states that all Joseph Smith needed to uncover it was a few minutes and a shovel.
The, “Oh, that wasn’t North and South America, that was just a tiny area of Central America,” put forth by FARMS is simply ludicrous, and an obvious attempt to reinterpret Mormon historical teaching. Wouldn’t the prophet Joseph Smith have a clue about the locations mentioned in the new scripture he was being given, especially since he wrote about digging up the evidence?
I could claim with just as much credibility that Jerusalem was just a nickname for a particular neighborhood in Tanzania, where descendents of the Sumerians lived 2000 years ago, speaking modern Castillian Spanish, and that a translation of one of their ancient texts just happens to coincide word-for-word (right down to the translator’s notes) with Edith Grossman’s English translation of Cervantes Don Quixote.
I am still waiting for an answer to my challenge to define the source of authoritative Mormon teaching.
You said in comment #46:
There is a principle that you are missing here. The God of mercy told the Ninevites that doom was imminent, but repentence is always an option to those facing judgement.
When we consult the whole councel of God’s Word, we find this principle very clearly in Jeremiah 18:7-8:
The Ninevites clearly understood what God meant: repent or be destroyed.
And that’s exactly what happened:
Nineveh repented, and so God spared them.
This is not even to be compared to the blatently false and ridiculous “prophecies” of Joseph Smith:
God would give the gold of Salem Massachusetts into Smithâ€™s hands to pay debts, (Doctrine and Covenants 111:2,4-5.) This never occurred.
And Brigham Young prophesied:
Let an open-minded person judge for him or herself whether Joseph Smith and Brigham Young and Jonah are in the same category. Only someone who is already convinced ahead of time that he or she is going to believe in the Mormon prophets would associate them with Jonah.
Unlike Jonah’s prophecy, Joseph Smith’s and Brigham Young’s prophecies were not conditional. “Jesus will return by 1891 (period.)” “David W. Patten would perform a mission for him (period.)” “A temple will be built in Missouri in Smith’s generation (period.)” “God would give the gold of Salem MA to Joseph Smith (period.)” “The Civil War will not free the slaves (period.)”
So Jonah’s conditional prophecy should give no comfort to the Mormon wrestling with the many unfulfilled unconditional prophecies of the LDS prophets.
The problem with Joseph Smith is that many of his prophecies failed to come to pass even when the conditions were met, or when there were no conditions.
We would do well to heed the Apostle’s warning:
I will pray that you will see the Mormon prophets for the false prophets that they are.
Mike, in comment # 46, you said:
Mike, I am excited to proclaim that Jesus Christ of Nazareth, the true Jesus of the Bible, is the fulfillment of this prophecy!
Mike, in comment #46, you said:
Mike, I just can’t believe Mormons anymore when they say they believe in the Bible, or that they believe that the Bible is the Word of God. This is deceitful on your part, because what the Mormons actually believe about the Bible has been covered exhaustively in comment #11.
Mormons do not believe the Bible is true. What they actually believe is:
First Nephi 13:26 says:
And the Mormon Apostle Orson Pratt said:
The Mormon prophet Joseph F. Smith said:
Finally, the Mormon prophet Joseph Smith Jr. himself had this to say about the Bible:
Your allegation that the Bible would crumble under testing is further proof that you do not believe the Bible.
If Mormonâ€™s did believe the Bible, then they wouldnâ€™t be able to believe that there are many Gods:
If Mormonâ€™s did believe the Bible, then they wouldnâ€™t be able to believe that God is not eternal:
If Mormonâ€™s did believe the Bible, then they wouldnâ€™t be able to believe that humans can become a God:
If Mormonâ€™s did believe the Bible, then they wouldnâ€™t be able to believe that Christâ€™s church had apostatized:
Mike, you said in comment #47:
“Printing and grammatical errors?”
There are significant changes at:
For a complete side-by-side list of significant changes in the Book of Mormon, go to:
Mike, in comment #47, you said:
Yet more evidence that you don’t really believe the Bible is the Word of God. You believe it has errors. You believe it has been poorly translated. You believe it has mistakes.
See? You’re being disingenuous when you say that you believe the Bible.
I say that I do believe the Bible, and I mean it.
Are there variants and other texts? Sure. But I discount them.
God said that He would supernaturally preserve His Word, and I believe Him.
Yes we can trust the Bible we have today to be supernaturally preserved by God, and we can discount the fakes and the phonies put forward by the Catholic Church and others through the years.
If you cannot, like me, say that you trust the Bible to be God’s perfect inerrant Word, then throw it out and please don’t patronize us with deceitful statements like that you “believe the Bible.” At least have the decency to be honest like an atheist who says he doesn’t believe any of it.
If you remember, the reason I started this thread was to point out the deceitfulness and deception of the Mormon missionaries. You have demonstrated that sadly their trickery was not unique to them.
Mike, in comment #49, you said:
You misunderstand a critical point.
I was not acusing Jesus of plagiarizing Jesus.
I was and am accusing Joseph Smith of plagiarizing the Bible when he said he had received the words through divine guidance.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints alleges that the Book of Mormon was written in the 5th Century AD.
They furthermore claim that it was translated one word at a time by God’s supernatural help.
In 1844 Joseph Smith declared that the Book of Mormon was “the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts than by any other book” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 194, and History of the Church, 4:461).
Remember, this book was written in the 5th century, and translated one word at a time by supernatural means.
Then why does it contain words that DID NOT EXIST IN THE 5TH CENTURY?
I do not begrudge a writer of scripture to quote previous scripture, but all of us should object to anyone claiming to have supernaturally translated new scripture when it can be demonstrated that in fact he had merely copied his words from a book freely available to him at the time and called it new scripture.
Mike, you said:
I might buy that they would have the Old Testament, but they WOULD NOT HAVE a version that contained italicized words that were added by the King James translators 1,190 years later. They also would not have a version with translation errors unique to the King James version. One must wonder how these 17th century anomolies crept into the Book of Mormon that is claimed to be from the 5th century.
It is clear the Book of Mormon is not a 5th century work, as claimed by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, but a 19th century work of fiction written by a zealous farmer from New York.
in comment #44, you were talking about not adding to the book of Revelation:
In comment #45, I agreed with you that Revelation 22:18-19 refers to John’s Revelation only.
Interestingly enough, though, Joseph Smith violated even this narrow interpretation.
So no matter how you interpret Revelation 22:18-19, Joseph Smith has violated the warning.
I want to post an example of the deception in the Mormon Church.
I was looking at the FARMS website, the apologetic arm of the Mormon church. No doubt you’ve seen many LDS members suggest that I look for my answers at FARMS.
Anyhow, there was a link to an article about God being “from everlasting.” You can read the article by clicking here.
The article asks the very good question: “How, then, do Latter-day Saints reconcile the scriptural description of God as being “from everlasting to everlasting” with the idea that he has not always been God?”
So the Mormons say out of one side of their mouth that they agree with us that God was from everlasting, but out of the other side they say, “Because [God] has held his exalted status for a longer period than any of us can conceive, he is able to speak in terms of eternity and can state that he is from everlasting to everlasting.”
Mormons use words with a different dictionary!
So apparently “everlasting” means “longer than anyone else.”
Be careful when a Mormon says they believe that God is eternal, that Jesus is Savior, that you are saved by grace, or a host of other terms.
Make sure you have them define specifically what they mean by that. Of course they likely will tell you that you’ll only be able to understand if you become a member of their church and study for years.
In contrast to Mormonism, Biblical Christianity teaches that God truly is from everlasting to everlasting and has always been God, and when we use the term “everlasting” we mean “everlasting.”
Wow. For those of you who find the 1830 Book of Mormon Comparison Machine a bit unweildy, here are a few selections to show the differences Mark has described. (It took me three tries to figure it out, and I’m a Web application developer.) The emphases in boldface were added by me.
1830 Book of Mormon, 1 Nephi 11:18, 21, 32:
1830 Book of Mormon, 1 Nephi 11:21:
1830 Book of Mormon, 1 Nephi 11:32:
1830 Book of Mormon, 1 Nephi 13:40:
Thanks Doug for pointing them out specifically.
Clearly these changes were made because of changing LDS doctrine, not because of grammatical or spelling errors.
There are more as well.
This quotation from Mormonism Research Ministry touches upon a subject that is dear to my own heart.
Read the larger article, White and Delightsome or Pure and Delightsome?—A Look at 2 Nephi 30:6 by Bill McKeever and Eric Johnson.
Doug, that’s a FANTASTIC article!
Mormons will now-a-days say that “white and delightsome” never meant that dark people will actually turn lighter, but their history says otherwise.
Some of my favorite quotations from that article:
And another meaningful passage:
The LDS church out to be ashamed. Members of the LDS church must repent and leave this church that has such a strong hold on them, and come to the real Jesus of the Bible.
Yes we can trust the Bible we have today to be supernaturally preserved by God, and we can discount the fakes and the phonies put forward by the Catholic Church and others through the years.
This is laughable since it was the catholic church that compiled the scriptures into the bible you condemn by the catholic church. WHat churches were around after christ and the apostles were killed? Do you really not have any clue as to the history of how the bible came about? Or have they just convieniently ignored that fact from your anti websites you frequent? The catholic church pretty much rose out of the Roman empire when constantine was emporer. You may have heard of the council of Nicea in the 320AD range in which many of your beliefs were voted on…..by whom else….catholic priests and monks. As the years went on scribs translated over and over the scriptures into english versions…..by whom? Catholic priests and monks. As time went on…Martin Luther and others saw many things taught in Christs original church that were not in the catholic church, hence a break off or a branch…..many others over time folloew suit. All of which stem back to the catholic church you condemn. Funny the comment you make has all of your core beliefs coming from the organiztion you condemn.
Which Bible is the correct verion to follow? I believe there are many different versions. Which version is the most correct? I can place an NIV next to a KJV and get different meanings from the same scripture, wheather it is one or two words changed it can make a big difference in the meaning. SO please tell me which one. Also, I believe there are over 20,000 to 30,000 different christian organizations in the world today…..all of which have the bible….not the same bible, but a bible…..they take that bible and I really dont’t believe they all believe the exact same thing. So, again, please tell me why having all these different versions of the bible in which none of these organiztions totally agree on the same things, which one is correct? Remember, eph 4. one lord one faith one baptism. I believe there are many off chuts of this in which there are many ways of being baptised….not all are in harmony with one faith. God is not the author of confussion, yet there are so many people out there offering their interprtation of the scriptures. I could share your interpretation with another born again and get a totally different spin on it. SO which born again is right?
The LDS church ought to be ashamed. Members of the LDS church must repent and leave this church that has such a strong hold on them, and come to the real Jesus of the Bible.
I’m just glad Jesus is my judge and not you. You are very judgemental and condemning…..just remember the way you judge others you will be judged yourself.
Also, I appreciate how the first few questions you ask, I provide answers, you then go into a rant and start pulling up more questions that “supposedly disprove” the church. Typical born again tactics of not discussing but condemning and clogging the issues with so many other “contadictions.” I really do not have the time or patients to just sit here and go through 50 thousand points you make. If you want to discuss an issue, how about one at a time? How about you answer my questions, and how about having a civil dicussion of ideas and beliefs with out you telling me I am dishonest just because I don’t agree or believe the same way you do. Is this how true Christianity is supposed to be? Condemn, call names, slam a thousand topics on someone then go back and say they were never answered? I don’t believe anything can be accomplished if this is your agenda…….just as you claim the missionaries “manuvered” around topics why do you do the same thing? If you truely wanted an answer you would ask and wait for one. I am not going to try and answer all of your questions just to have you throw out 20 more questions.
Not a single one of my questions has been answered, including the all-important one of the authoritative source of Mormon doctrine.
Your question of authority is found in comment #30, for anyone who wants to scroll up and re-read it.
Mike, in comment #64, you said:
I do not agree. The Roman Cahtolic Church (RCC) has propogated their own NT Greek texts, Codex Vaticanus and Codex Sinaiticus, and have their own translations, (i.e. New American Bible, New Jerusalem Bible, Douay-Rheims, etc.), but these are not the only options.
The Bible I use, the King James, is from the received text, or Textus Receptus, and has been preserved apart from the RCC. In fact, the RCC persecuted and tortured many people for using that text. But that’s for another discussion.
The point of this thread is to highlight deceptive practices of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Arguing textual criticism is outside of that scope, though a worthy topic.
The Bible I use is not a RCC Bible, nor do I recommend any RCC Bible to anyone.
Answer: Christ’s true church! The RCC did not start until Constantine. Christ’s Church existed before that and continued alongside the RCC. The Reformation did not start with Martin Luther. There has been a True Church made up of believers in Jesus who were saved by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone long before Martin Luther, before John Calvin, and beforethe Emporer Constantine.
Remember, Jesus said that He would build His church, “and the and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” (Matthew 16:18)
As I’ve pointed out before, this verse does NOT say:
“and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it, except between AD 100 and AD 1830.”
Jesus also commissioned his church and gave them authority here: “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” (Matthew 28:19-20)
This does NOT say:
“lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world, except between AD 100 and AD 1830.”
So the answer to your question: “WHat churches were around after christ and the apostles were killed?”
The answer is: the Biblical Church, as promised by Jesus Himself and recorded in the Bible. This is not the Roman Catholic Church.
The Nicene Creed was not drafted to create Christianity. It is more correctly thought of this way:
Imagine a small club made up of close friends. There’s a secret handshake, a secret code, a secret password, et cetera. Everyone is of like mind and agreement, and there is very good communication among the group. But then imagine they decide to open membership to everyone. As a result, more and more people join, unconcerned with the integrity of the original handshake, the original code, et cetera. Very soon, the club is in serious danger of changing forever into something unlike what it started.
The answer is to get together the ones who are from the original group, or as close as possible, and have them study the original intentions of the founders, writing down clearly a short creed so that the club can go back to the original form.
This analogy is not a bad one to explain the purpose for the Nicene Creed. The Christian church was becoming splintered with its rapid growth due to its legalization.
Walter Martin says it this way:
In short, Nicea merely put into words what was already known to be true.
Mike, you wrote:
God promised to supernaturally preserve His manuscripts, and I believe Him at His word. Though there may have been some altering by scribes, the Bible we have today is not from that line.
Let’s say that some anti-Mormons changed the Book of Mormon, that would not make the real BofM at BYU suspect. You would say, “Hey, these people may have their own changed version, but I’m sticking to mine.”
It’s the same thing here.
That’s why I do not use any Bible derived from Codex Vaticanus or Codex Sinaiticus, nor do I endorse the New American Bible, New Jerusalem Bible, Douay-Rheims, et cetera.
Mike, you wrote:
Praise God for the Reformation! But as stated earlier, the Reformation did not re-establish Christ’s Church. It merely brought into the mainstream what had been going on alongside and apart from the Catholic Church for years. Groups like the Waldenses, Anabaptists, and more had died at the hands of the RCC for teaching salvation by grace alone by faith alone on Christ alone years and years before Martin Luther ever nailed his thesis to the door in Wittenberg.
Remember, the Bible teaches at places like Matthew 16:18 and Matthew 28:19-20 that Christ’s Church would always exist and not apostatize.
This shows a misunderstanding of church history on your part. Biblical beliefs do not come from the RCC. They come from the Bible, and many men and women have died at the hands of the RCC defending those truths.
Mike, in comment #64, you said:
I wanted to post a separate comment just for this because this is important.
Chrust’s church has been around for 2,000 years, and in those 2,000 years, it has pleased God to use fallible men. Fallible men make mistakes and quarrel and disagree. So there are different denominations.
Yet the overwhelming # of them agree on salvation by grace alone through faith alone because of Christ alone. Perhaps we differ on whether to sprinkle, dunk, or pour.
And many of the denominations are due to geography. Before email and BLOGS, it was hard for the church in England to communicate with the church in the Netherlands, or Israel. So it’s natural that there would be some diversity due to not communicating with one another.
But let’s look at the Mormons. You’ve been around a mere 175 years or so, and you’ve already got many splinter groups yourselves, and you have an infallible prophet to guide you!
There is the “Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints” in Utah, which believed that Brigham Young was the rightful successor to Joseph Smith. As you know, their website is: http://lds.org/
There is the “Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ,” also known as “The Community of Christ” in Missouri, which believed that Joseph Smith’s son was the rightful successor to Joseph Smith. Their website is found at: http://www.cofchrist.org/
There is the “Church of Christ (Temple Lot)” which is the only Mormon denomination that actually owns the property where Joseph Smith falsely prophesied that a temple would be built in his generation. Their website is: http://www.churchofchrist-tl.org/
There is the “Remnant Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints” in Missouri. Members of the Remnant Church believe in the doctrine of Lineal Succession. The Prophet of the Remnant Church, President Frederick Niels Larsen, is a direct descendent of Joseph Smith Junior. Their website is: http://www.theremnantchurch.com/
There is the “Church of Jesus Christ (Bickertonite)” which believes that Sidney Rigdon, Joseph Smith’s “right-hand-man” was the rightful successor to Joseph Smith. Their website is: http://www.thechurchofjesuschrist.com/
There is the “Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints“, also known as the “Strangite church” which believes that James J. Strang was the rightful successor to Joseph Smith. Their website is at: http://www.strangite.org/
There is the “Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints“, which disagrees with the great accomodation and still practice plural marriages today.
There is the “True & Living Church of Jesus Christ of Saints of the Last Days” started by James D. Harmston. Their website is: http://www.helpingmormons.org/TLC_Manti/index.html
There is the “Latter-day Church of Christ” or “Kingston Clan,” whith broke from Brigham Young’s flavor of Mormonism in 1876.
All these splits in under 200 years. I bet Christ’s Church didn’t have all these by 200 AD. If the Lord should tarry, I wonder how many Mormon denominations there will be in 1,800 years!
Why should I believe that your particular Mormon denomination is the right one? Beause you have a prophet? They all do! Because you have a “burning in your bosom?” They all do! Because you’re the largest of them all? The RCC is larger than you – perhaps you should be Catholic.
The Mormon church has splits for the same reason that Christ’s true church has splits – it’s headed on earth by fallible sinful people. At least we don’t claim we have infallible prophets heading us.
Jim Spencer writes about his thoughts when he learned about these splinter groups:
Mike, in comment #65, you said:
Mike, if I were to say, “Scott Peterson killed his wife and he should be ashamed of himself,” I am not judging. Scott Peterson was found guilty by a court of law and jury of his peers. I’d merely be reporting what the verdict was. I’d be repeating the judgement that was already made.
In the same way, as Christians, we are called upon to preach the gospel, and part of that is reporting what the Righteous Judge, God Himself, has already judged to be so. When I say that those who reject the gospel must repent and leave their idolatry, I am not judging. I am merely repeating the judgement of the Righteous Judge.
I would think you’d understand that principle since the Mormon Church also tells people they must repent and change.
Mike, in comment #66, you said:
Mike, I think we’re reading a different BLOG. The great majority of the questions I have been “pulling up” are questions I already asked at the beginning and have been re-stating because there has been no answers.
Similarly, Doug has been asking over and over again about authority. We’re not bringing up new questions, but asking the same ones that have not been getting an answer.
As I said in comment #33:
I still have not received an answer to how Joseph Smith could be a true prophet since he was wrong so many times.
I still have not received an answer to how the Mormon Church can say they believe the Bible when they reject so many fundamental Biblical teachings, like: there is one God, He was always God, no one else gets to be God, et cetera.
I am not bringing up new questions, but re-asking the same ones that have not been answered.
If anything, I have been patiently answering all the objections you’ve been raising, including:
I have been doing this because, as a Christian, I am called upon to patiently help people find the true faith.
As I said in comment #13:
Mike, in comment #66, you said:
I never called anyone dishonest for not believing like I do.
I called people dishonest for:
I called people dishonest for:
I called people dishonest for:
This whole thread was started to display the deceptive tactics of the Mormon missionaries, not because they disagree with us, but because they intentionally use words and tactics to deceive. I’ve highlighted them and Ben, Mike, and others have been exposed doing the same thing.
I was wiring up my sisters house in Braintree Essex England on a sunday and had a note poked through the door fom a nearby neighbour who was mormon / plymouth bretheren/ quaker or even conventional christian – about working on the sabbath – I was incensed -grabbed a bible and through gods guidance, my own phsychic ability or just luck -found the passage that says ‘ no man has the right to judge another’ noted the reference(sorry I cant remember it)ie mark 2 chapter 3 line 38 -and poked this thro’ their door…….no more criticism…
Sorry I took so long to respond to this. I don’t check on this thread very often anymore because there hasn’t been any activity for some time.
I think I understand your point. If I understand you, you are saying that we shouldn’t judge others.
I agree with this, but this point is often misapplied, and I believe you have misapplied it as well.
It is not “judging” to point out the errors of a false religion. In fact, to not do so would render one criminally neglegent in failing to help our fellow man.
If you see someone about to ingest poison, you’d have to be a devil to say “Oh well, I won’t judge his or her choice of drink.” No! You’d warn them! You’d do what you could to tell them that if they swallow that, they’re going to die. To stand back and allow them to drink it would be horrible.
In the same way, we are told in scripture to warn/rebuke/contend for the faith, especially when dealing with false teachers.
The Mormon Church is a false church, as I have pointed out with ample evidence throughout this BLOG thread.
I have also pointed out the disingenuousness and contradictions in the LDS arguments many times.
Back to your story… Yes, it is judging to give someone grief for working on the Sabbath. But it is not judging to warn someone of the dangers of a false teacher/false prophet.
Please remember that the purpose of this thread is not to attack individual Mormons. We are interested in Biblically understanding the stated doctrines of the church and testing them against the Bible.
The Apostle John told us:
The same Apostle said:
That is exactly what we are after: the truth. It is a joyful thing to learn, know, and follow the truth.
The Apostle Paul no doubt was accused of being intolerant in his day, else he would not have said to the Galatian church:
The fact is that we are commanded in scripture to “contend for the faith” (Jude 3).
The context shows that the reason we must “contend for the faith” is because of false teachers!
It was not unloving or divisive of Paul to lovingly point out the errors of the Galatian church, or the Pagans at Mars Hill, or for Jesus to show the errors of the Pharisees.
The loving thing is to correct/warn/rebuke.
I hope that helps. God bless you!
Typical ‘Christian’ response. Your just as bad as the Mormons ignoring the main teachings of Christ i.e. faith, tolerance, love, and instead choose to preach intolerance. Give me a break. Why not focus on the similarities? Intolerance is the gate way to ‘hate’
Look again. You won’t find tolerance—especially as defined by Postmodernism—in the teachings of Christ.
You will find love. Love first and foremost of truth, defined by God in Scripture. It’s not loving—nor was it the example of Christ—to allow people to be deceived by false teachers, and that exactly defines Mormonism.