Friday, May 30, 2014

Evolving Restoration?

Mormon Semi-Annual Conference April 5th-6th 2014, President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, 2nd Counselor (right)  to Mormon Prophet/President Thomas S. Monson (center) 1st Counselor President Henry B. Eyring (left).
By Rocky Hulse                                                                 May 25, 2014

     Being born and raised in the Mormon Church, I took notice of a statement in a talk given at the recent Mormon Semi-Annual Conference held over the April 5th-6th weekend. President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, 2nd Counselor to Mormon Prophet/President, Thomas S. Monson, gave an address at the “Priesthood Session” titled “Are you sleeping through the Restoration.”

     “In his priesthood session address of the general conference, President Dieter F. Uchtdorf referred to the character RiP Van Winkle, who slept for 20 years and awoke to find he had missed the American Revolution.
          ‘Today, I would like to take the same theme and propose a question to all of us who hold God’s priesthood: Are you sleeping through the Restoration?’ said President Uchtdorf, second counselor in the First Presidency.
     Rather than being complete at the time of Joseph Smith, the Restoration is an ongoing process, he noted.”

     That statement that “the Restoration is an ongoing process” struck me as odd considering that I was never taught that the “Restoration” was ongoing; rather, I was taught that as a Mormon I was a member of the “Restored” Church. There’s a huge difference between “Restored” and an “ongoing Restoration.”
     My last newsletter was about activist Mormon women challenging the status quo in Mormonism that only males, 12 years and older may hold the Mormon Priesthood. Also, with the status of marriage being challenged in courts across the nation, it may soon be the case that polygamy is ruled “constitutional.”
     What came to my mind was: Is this member of the “First Presidency” leaving the door open to capitulate to social changes going on in America today? By stating that the “Restoration” is an “ongoing process” allows the Mormon Leadership to change the position held since the Mormon Church was first organized that only men may hold the priesthood. “Ongoing Restoration” would allow a “new revelation” to be received that reverses the previously held position and would give the Mormon Leadership the ability to once again explain away changes to their doctrine that had been previously instituted by a “revelation” from God through one of their prophets.
     In 1978 the Mormon Prophet Spencer W. Kimball had a revelation that blacks, which had previously been denied the Mormon Priesthood, could now be ordained into its offices. This monumental change has been explained away in various fashions, but now is being promoted as the failing prejudices of the Church Leaders. Changes now though, could be explained away as just “ongoing Restoration.”

The Restored Church!

     In the Mormon Church, a daily high school class is taught, usually before the regular high school classes begin, which is called “Seminary”. Quite unlike “seminaries” in the Christian world, which are established college institutions with college degree programs of study, Mormon “seminary” is just a one hour class, normally taught at one of their local meeting houses, called a “ward.” One of the four year study courses when I was in high school and attended seminary was Church History and our text was “The Restored Church” by William E. Berrett. I still have the copy I used in my seminary class.
     I was taught as a young Mormon boy that I was a member of the “restored” church, “…the only true and living church upon the face of the whole earth…” (Doctrine and Covenants, 1:30). I was taught that all other churches were false and the original church of Jesus Christ had been lost to the earth after the death of the apostles and had been restored through Joseph Smith.

“The Gospel Restored” by Mormon Apostle Bruce R. McConkie

     The following are excerpts from an article titled “The Gospel Restored.” It was taken from the “lds.org” website. It was a talk delivered by Mormon Apostle Bruce R. McConkie at an area conference held in Tahiti on March 2, 1976:

     “We have a glorious message for the world. It is the most wondrous proclamation of the last 2,000 years. It compares with the message of Peter, James, and John of 2,000 years ago. They went forth to proclaim that Jesus had risen from the dead. They testified that the resurrection was a reality.
     We come in this day with a proclamation of equal proportions. We announce boldly that the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ has been restored in our day….[notice this is a past tense statement “has been” instead of present tense “is being”]
     …We have received again every key and power and right that the ancient saints had. [notice this is a past tense statement “have received” not present tense “are receiving”] Once again the voice of God has been heard. Once again angels have ministered from his presence. Once again the Church and kingdom of God has been set up. [notice this is past tense “has been set up” not present tense “is being set up”]
     All of these wondrous things were predicted by the prophets of old. Their occurrence in our day began in the spring of 1820. The person chosen of God to be his prophet was named Joseph Smith. This young man desired to know which of all the churches was right. He poured out his soul to God in humble prayer. The hour had come for the opening of the new dispensation. The veil was rent. The heavens were opened. Messengers from eternity appeared. The young man was told that if he were true and faithful, he would be the instrument in the hands of the Lord for restoring again the fulness of the everlasting gospel. He was true to the trust given him.
     In process of time, line upon line, the gospel was restored. [This statement is past tense “was restored” not present tense “is being restored”] The Lord had to restore the knowledge and doctrines that the ancient saints had. [This statement is past tense “had to restore” not present tense “is restoring”] In large measure, he did this by giving a new volume of scripture…. we have another great volume of scripture. This volume is named the Book of Mormon. The Book of Mormon is a history of God’s dealings with the ancient inhabitants of the Americas. In it is recorded the plan of salvation. It tells what men have to do to be saved. It is in perfect and complete harmony with the Bible. It expands and clarifies many doctrines. It is a volume of holy scripture. It was given to men in our day by the ministering of angels .… As part of the great restoration the Lord sent many angels to minister to men. These angels gave priesthood and keys. Revelations were received. Arrangement was made to set up again the same organization had by the primitive saints. The name of that organization is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. [These last statements identify the Mormon Church as the “great restoration”] We hold the holy priesthood. Apostles and prophets have been called again upon the earth….The second great truth that men must believe is this: God has in these last days restored the fulness of his everlasting gospel; [The “restored fulness” is a finite statement, not an “ongoing restoration”] …come and take the added light and truth that God has restored in our day [“restored” not “restoring”] ….We testify that there has been a glorious wondrous restoration.” [This “talk” given by Mormon Apostle Bruce R. McConkie, was a statement of finality, it is restored, not a statement of the “ongoing restoration”]

“The Gospel Restored” by Mormon Seventy Hugh W. Pinnock

     Hugh W. Pinnock, was selected to be a Mormon General Authority, a Seventy, October 1, 1977. He was selected to be in the Presidency of the Seventy, October 4, 1986. During the October 1980 General Conference of the Mormon Church, Hugh Pinnock gave a talk titled “The Gospel Restored.” Even the title of this talk states the past tense, “Restored” position of Mormonism, not this new twist of “ongoing restoration.”
     I downloaded this talk from www.lds.org. Here are excerpts from that talk that clearly show the finality of the “restoration” rather than this new theme of an “ongoing restoration”:

      “As we study this reinstitution and the theological basis of the Church, we will find ourselves thinking about the questions that so many others have asked. What is the explanation for the growth and the amazing influence of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints? What does make Mormons different? Perplexed scholars, social critics, religionists, and cultural observers have given many answers. Their

responses have ranged from describing the Church as a social abnormality that appeals to accomplishment-oriented people to such a simplistic idea as a  conservative church always generates interest during troubled times.
     However, the more deeply one wonders what makes us different from our nonmember friends and neighbors, the more certain is the answer: the Redeemer and other heavenly messengers personally restored the everlasting gospel to the earth. [“restored” is finite – no wiggle room] That is why we are here….Fortunately, the Restoration gives us the panacea that mends, directs, corrects, and heals; but if we don’t conform to this great God-given system, we will be like those unwise maidens who did not trim their wicks and fill their lamps with oil. We as a people areaction-oriented and work-inclined. Conformance to this eternal system of energy expenditures does provide the only complete set of answers, which the world so desperately needs.”

     Notice that this last few sentences are absolute in that this Mormon General Authority unequivocally states that “conformance to this eternal system [Mormonism]…does provide the only complete set of answers…” [this finite statement “complete”, leaves no room for flexibility, nothing pertaining to an ongoing restoration]
     As a born and raised Mormon who had it indelibly etched on their brain that Mormonism is the “restored Gospel,” I can’t help but wonder if this new “ongoing” twist is just a way to gloss over upcoming socially driven changes to their doctrine.


 © Copyright 2002-2014  Mormon Missions Midwest Outreach, Inc. All Rights Reserved. —Permission is granted to reproduce, provided content is not changed and this copyright notice is included.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Like a Lamb to the Slaughter?

by Rocky Hulse

April 12, 2010

I was invited to be a speaker at the Capstone Conference at Calvary Chapel Salt Lake City, Utah, March 12th and 13th; so, Helen and I made the trip to Salt Lake City and visited old friends and met and made many new ones (especially “Facebook” friends). My presentation was titled “Like a Lamb to the Slaughter; Joseph the Martyr?” This topic was received very well and so I thought I would share it here. The topic is also quite large so it will take two newsletters to cover it. Next month, I’ll cover the belief by Mormons that Joseph Smith died as a martyr.
Blasphemous Mormon Scripture
The Mormon Church puts forward three additional books besides the Bible as scripture: The Book of Mormon; The Doctrine and Covenants; and The Pearl of Great Price. These four books are called “The Standard Works” and are the reservoir from which Mormon Doctrine flows. The Doctrine and Covenants is touted by the Mormon Church to contain 134 revelations given to Joseph Smith.  Since his death 6 other revelations have been canonized. Section 135, written by John Taylor, Third Prophet of the Mormon Church, is now their scripture lauding the “martyrdom” of Joseph Smith. Verse 4 reads as follows:
4. When Joseph went to Carthage to deliver himself up to the pretended requirements of the law, two or three days previous to his assassination, he said: “I am going like a lamb to the slaughter; but I am calm as a summer’s morning; I have a conscience void of offense towards God, and towards all men.”… D & C 135:4
We are told by Mormons “If it is not in the STANDARD WORKS, it is not doctrine.” So, lets analyze this verse of Mormon scripture that they consider to be doctrine. There are four points here that I will cover:
1. Pretended requirements of the law
2. I am going like a lamb to the slaughter
3. I am calm as a summer’s morning
4. I have a conscience void of offense towards God and towards all men
“Pretended Requirements of the Law”
The first point of this Mormon Scripture is that Joseph was taken to Carthage Jail illegally by “Pretended” requirements of the law. Did Joseph Smith break the law? The answer is resoundingly: YES!
Joseph Smith ordered the destruction of the newspaper, the “Nauvoo Expositor.” The “Nauvoo Expositor” was founded by dissenters of Mormonism and only printed one issue before Joseph Smith, acting as Mayor of Nauvoo, declared the newspaper to be a nuisance and ordered its destruction.
I have written articles over the years where I stated that Joseph Smith violated the 1st Amendment – Freedom of the Press, refuting Mormon claims that Joseph was jailed illegally. A few months back I was challenged on our website blog by a Mormon who finally identified himself as David Young. He said that Joseph did not violate the 1st Amendment. His position was that even though the 1st Amendment was ratified on December 15, 1791, it did not apply to the States, but only to the Federal Government.
David hounded me on our blog concerning this point. I finally sat down and did the research on this issue, and he was right; however, as Paul Harvey used to say: “Now, the rest of the story.”
In Barron v. Baltimore (1833) the Supreme Court ruled the Bill of Rights (1st 10 Amendments) did not apply to the States. So, when Joseph destroyed the Nauvoo Expositor in June of 1844, the protection of Freedom of the Press under the 1st Amendment did not apply. Not until the 14th Amendment was ratified on July 9, 1868 did the “Bill of Rights” become applicable to all the States. So, Joseph Smith, in 1844, was not in violation of the 1st Amendment; however, he was in violation of the Illinois State Constitution.
Illinois became a State on December 3, 1818. Part of the process of Statehood requires a State to provide to Congress a copy of their State Constitution for its approval; so, Joseph was bound by the Constitution of the State of Illinois that was in force as of Statehood, December 3, 1818, when he ordered the destruction of the Nauvoo Expositor, June 8, 1844.
Illinois Constitution ART VIII Para 7 reads:
7. That the people shall be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and possessions, from unreasonable searches and seizures; and that general warrants whereby an officer may be commanded to search suspected places without evidence of the fact committed, or to seize any person or persons not named, whose offenses are not particularly described and supported by evidence, are dangerous to liberty, and ought not to be granted.
Illinois Constitution ART VIII Para 22 reads:
22. The printing press shall be free to every person, who undertakes to examine the proceedings of the general assembly or of any branch of government; and no law shall ever be made to restrain the right thereof. The free communication of thoughts and opinions is one of the invaluable rights of man, and every citizen may freely speak, write, and print on any subject, being responsible for the abuse of that liberty.
The above excerpts from the Illinois State Constitution provide clear evidence that Freedom of the Press was an Illinois Constitutionally guaranteed right and that Illinois residents were also guaranteed the right of protection from illegal searches and seizures without supporting evidence.
Article VIII Paragraph 22 is quite specific about the right “to examine the proceedings of the general assembly or of any branch of government; and no law shall ever be made to restrain the right thereof. The free communication of thoughts and opinions is one of the invaluable rights of man, and every citizen may freely speak, write, and print on any subject, being responsible for the abuse of that liberty.”
What was the “offense” according to Joseph Smith? He declared the newspaper to be a “nuisance.” Why? Because it was reporting on what he was doing clandestinely. As can be clearly seen, the Illinois Constitution expressly protects the examination of government and the right to “freely speak, write, and print on any subject.” So, when Joseph ordered its destruction and was subsequently arrested for that act, was he arrested on the “Pretended Requirements of the Law?” No. Joseph Smith was in clear violation of the law and was rightly arrested for that violation. The Mormon Church continues to this day to falsely portray Joseph as the innocent victim of false charges. RUBBISH!!
“I am going like a lamb to the slaughter”
Point number two is a clear reference to the Messianic Prophecy concerning Jesus:
7. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he opened not his mouth. Isaiah 53:7
In the Book of Acts 8:32, we see the story of Philip and the Ethiopian Eunuch:
32. The place of the scripture which he read was this, He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth:
In vs. 34 the Eunuch asks: ‘Of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man?’ Philip then explains to him that it is Jesus.
There is no question this is a Messianic Prophecy of Jesus Christ. It is also quite clear that in this Mormon Scripture, Doctrine and Covenants 135:4, the Mormon Church is comparing Joseph’s death to Jesus’ death. This comparison is so blasphemous it defies any and all possible explanations that can be promoted by this modern day cult!
Let us clearly dispel this blasphemous comparison by looking at Jesus vs. Joseph:
Jesus = God
•Jesus committed no crime
•Jesus went willingly
•Jesus never spoke in His defense
•Jesus was crucified saying: “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me” as he took upon Himself the sins of the world
Joseph = sinful man
•Joseph did commit crimes
•Joseph fled to Iowa, then demanded an escort from the Governor of Illinois
•Joseph petitioned Gov. Ford on his behalf
•Joseph died with the Masonic call of distress on his lips: “Oh Lord my God” – (is there no help for a widow’s son)
Masonic signal and call of distress – Elder Heber C. Kimball, 1st Counselor to Brigham Young, confirmed in “Mormonism and Masonry” pg 16.  Zina D. Huntington, Joseph’s wife #7, affirmed this as well on pg 17: “I am the daughter of a Master Mason; I am the widow of the Master Mason who, when leaping from the window of Carthage jail, pierced with bullets, made the Masonic sign of distress, but those signs were not heeded except by the God of Heaven.”
“but I am calm as a summer’s morning;”
Point number 3 is the statement “but I am calm as a summer’s morning:” The evidence doesn’t bear out this statement. The initial arrest warrant for the destruction of the Nauvoo Expositor was illegally discharged by the Nauvoo City Council on a writ of habeas corpus (I will expound on this in the next issue of the Midwest Expositor). Joseph and his brother, Hyrum, immediately fled across the Mississippi River to Iowa to avoid the jurisdiction of the Illinois Courts. Only when berated by the comments of the Mormons that Joseph was abandoning his flock and the pleas of his wife Emma, did Joseph return to Nauvoo.
Upon his return Joseph Smith sent emissaries to Governor Ford to accept the armed escort by the Nauvoo Legion of Joseph to Carthage. Jesus went willingly to be tried before the Courts of Jerusalem. Joseph initially fled the state and then required of Governor Ford an armed escort.
Jesus willingly allowed Himself to be tried, convicted and executed for you and me. Joseph Smith was killed in a gun battle. Joseph Smith was wrongfully killed by a mob in the Carthage Jail; however, he was in possession of an illegally smuggled in revolver with which he killed some of the mob:
“Elder Cyrus Wheelock came in to see us, and when he was about leaving drew a small pistol, a six-shooter, from his pocket, remarking at the same time, ‘Would any of you like to have this?’ Brother Joseph immediately replied, ‘Yes give it to me,’ whereupon he took the pistol and put it in his pantaloons pocket.” (History of the Church, Vol 7, pg 100)
When the mob rushed the jail and Joseph’s brother Hyrum had been shot, the following is recorded in History of the Church, Vol 7, pg 102-103:
“He, however, instantly arose, and with a firm, quick step, and a determined expression of countenance, approached the door, and pulling the six-shooter left by Brother Wheelock from his pocket, opened the door slightly, and snapped the pistol six successive times; only three of the barrels, however, were discharged. I afterwards understood that two or three were wounded by these discharges, two of whom, I am informed, died.”
Jesus went to his death willingly and died for us; Joseph went to his death unwillingly and died in a gun battle where he killed at least two men.
We also know that Joseph Smith sent a message to the acting General of the Nauvoo Legion to attack Carthage and rescue the prisoners:
“The morning of 27 June, Smith sent an order (in his own handwriting) to Major-General Jonathan Dunham to lead the Nauvoo Legion in a military attack on Carthage “immediately” to free the prisoners.” (The Mormon Hierarchy Origins of Power, pg 141)
Jesus on the other hand said in Mt 26:53 “Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more that twelve legions of angels?” A legion was 6,000 soldiers, which means Jesus says he could have called up 72,000 angels in His defense. Did He? No. Did Joseph attempt to call up the Nauvoo Legion in his defense? Yes! Who went to their death willingly?
“I have a conscience void of offense towards God and towards all men”
For Joseph Smith to make such a statement was for him to completely ignore his lawbreaking actions and his moral failures. While denying it publicly, there is no question that Joseph Smith was practicing polygamy privately which was a violation of Illinois Law. “An 1833 Illinois state law provided two years’ imprisonment and a $1000 fine for the married man who married another woman and one year’s imprisonment and a $500 fine for the unmarried woman who knowingly entered into a marriage ceremony with an already married man.” (LDS Church Authority and New Plural Marriages 1890-1904 by D. Michael Quinn).
In her book “No Man Knows My History, The Life of Joseph Smith” Fawn Brodie lists his 49 wives. Of these wives ten were teenagers (2-15, 1-16, 4-17, 3-19). Six of these women were once wards in his home and instead of protecting them, he seduced them. Twelve of these women were married to living men. This is called “Polyandry,” defined as: “the state or practice of having two or more husbands at the same time.” This was a despicable practice where Joseph Smith used his position as the “Prophet” to convince these men to give their wives to him. Joseph pressured many of these women to marry him by saying that if they didn’t God would slay him.
Joseph ordered the destruction of the Nauvoo Expositor because he knew the newspaper would expose his diabolical acts.
There is no doubt that the only way Joseph could make a statement of a clear conscience was because he had a seared conscience.
Nauvoo Expositor
Having done this research, I now believe that the real reason Joseph had the Nauvoo Expositor destroyed was because Joseph had secretly organized the “Council of Fifty,” designed to bring forth the “Kingdom of God” on earth with the Mormon Church as the governing body and Joseph Smith as the earthly king. The Council of Fifty had ordained Joseph as “King of the Earth” and the Nauvoo Expositor was going to print that in their 2nd Edition.


© Copyright 2002-2014  Mormon Missions Midwest Outreach, Inc. All Rights Reserved. —Permission is granted to reproduce, provided content is not changed and this copyright notice is included.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

'Ordain Women' protest their exclusion from the Mormon Priesthood

By: Rocky Hulse                                                                                              March 2014

“Ordain Women” protest their exclusion from the Mormon Priesthood

     A female Mormon activist organization calling itself “Ordain Women” is creating a stir surrounding the April 2014 184th Mormon Church’s General Conference. They made the news on March 6, 2014 when they tried to get tickets to the Priesthood Session of the Mormon General Conference. They were denied as only males 12 years and older may attend this meeting.
     On the “Ordain Women” website, they have posted the following statement:

“Ordain Women aspires to create a space for Mormons to articulate issues of gender inequality they may be hesitant to raise alone. As a group we intend to put ourselves in the public eye and call attention to the need for the ordination of Mormon women to the priesthood.”

     Often I find when discussing Mormonism with Mormons, that they don’t know their own teachings. These women are way out in left field with their desire to hold the “Mormon Priesthood.” These women either do not know, or choose to ignore, the Mormon teachings concerning the role of women in the Mormon Church.

Mormon Doctrine on women is complicated!

     The Mormon Doctrine concerning women is woven through many controversial doctrines that are contrary to universal Biblical Christian Doctrine. I’ll have to take this in several steps in order to make sense of it for you. In short, Mormonism teaches that everyone was born in a pre-existent world to exalted God parents; we then came to earth to get a mortal body and prove ourselves worthy so that in the resurrection we will be exalted and can then continue our progression after death to eventually become Deity ourselves and eventually men who become gods will create their own earths and populate them through their goddess wives bringing forth celestial spirit offspring.

    •    PRE-EXISTENCE

     Mormonism teaches that all human beings were first born as spirits into a pre-mortal existence: The Spirit World. They were born to God, an exalted man of flesh and bones, and one of his wives, an exalted Goddess woman.

“Pre-existence is the term commonly used to describe the pre-mortal existence of the spirit children of God the Father. Speaking of this prior existence in a spirit sphere, the First Presidency of the Church (Joseph F. Smith, John R. Winder, and Anthon H. Lund) said: ‘All men and women are in the similitude of the universal Father and Mother, and are literally the sons and daughters of Deity’; as spirits they were the ‘offspring of celestial parentage.’ (Man: His Origin and Destiny, pp. 351, 355.) These spirit beings, the offspring of exalted parents, were men and women, appearing in all respects as mortal persons do, excepting only that their spirit bodies were made of a more pure and refined substance than the elements from which mortal bodies are made.” (Mormon Doctrine, p. 589)

     2. MORTAL LIFE

     “We had an existence before we came to this world. We lived in the spirit, and were in the presence of our Father in heaven, who is the Father of the spirits of all men; and there we walked by sight, for we were in his presence.
     It was necessary, in order that we might receive a fulness of blessings and opportunities and become like unto our Father, for us to pass through this mortal probation. Hence, this earth was prepared; and we were sent down here to receive bodies of flesh and bones and to be quickened by blood; and to partake of all the vicissitudes of life as we find them here on this earth, that we might, through obedience to the principles of the gospel, know good from evil….
   We are subject to temptation; but the Lord never intended that we should yield to it and thus become subject unto sin, and fall and lose the reward that otherwise would be ours. He knew that on no other terms, only through our free agency and the opportunities which would come to us in this life by knowing good from evil when we no longer walk by sight but by faith, would we be able to come back into his presence and be worthy of exaltation.” (Doctrines of Salvation , Vol. 2, pps. 1-2).

    3. ETERNAL LIFE/EXALTATION

     “As used in the scriptures, eternal life is the name given to the kind of life our Eternal Father lives. The word eternal, as used in the name eternal life, is a noun and not an adjective. It is one of the formal names of Deity (Moses 1:3; 7:35; D. & C. 19:11) and has been chosen by him as the particular name to identify the kind of life he lives. He being God, the life he lives is God’s life; and his name (in the noun sense) being Eternal, the kind of life he lives is eternal life. Thus: God’s life is eternal life; eternal life is God’s life—the expressions are synonymous.
     Accordingly, eternal life is not a name that has reference only to the unending duration of a future life; immortality is to live forever in the resurrected state, and by the grace of God all men will gain this unending continuance of life. But only those who obey the fulness of the gospel law will inherit eternal life. (D. & C. 29:43-44.) It is ‘the greatest of all the gifts of God’ (D. & C. 14:7), for it is the kind, status, type, and quality of life that God himself enjoys. Thus those who gain eternal life receive exaltation; they are the sons of God, joint heirs with Christ, members of the Church of the Firstborn; they overcome all things, have all power, and receive the fulness of the Father. They are gods.” (Mormon Doctrine, p. 237.)

     4. ETERNAL PROGRESSION

     “Endowed with agency and subject to eternal laws, man began his progression and advancement in pre-existence, his ultimate goal being to attain a state of glory, honor, and exaltation like the Father of spirits. During his earth life he gains a mortal body, receives experience in earthly things, and prepares for a future eternity after the resurrection when he will continue to gain knowledge and intelligence. (D. & C. 130:18-19.) This gradually unfolding course of advancement and experience—a course that began in a past eternity and will continue in ages future—is frequently referred to as a course of eternal progression.” (Mormon Doctrine, p 238.)

     5. ETERNAL INCREASE

     “Those who gain eternal life (exaltation) also gain eternal lives, meaning that in the resurrection they have eternal ‘increase,’ ‘a continuation of the seeds,’ a ‘continuation of the lives.’ Their spirit progeny will ‘continue as innumerable as the stars; or, if ye were to count the sand upon the seashore ye could not number them.’ (D. & C. 131:1-4; 132:19-25; 30, 55.)
     ‘Except a man and his wife enter into an everlasting covenant and be married for eternity, while in this probation, by the power and authority of the holy priesthood,’ the Prophet says, ‘they will cease to increase when they die; that is, they will not have any children after the resurrection.’ Then with reference to those who have been properly sealed in marriage and who have thereafter endured in righteousness until their callings and elections were made sure by the revelation he adds: ‘But those who are married by the power and authority of the priesthood in this life, and continue without committing the sin against the Holy Ghost, [their callings and elections having been made sure through perfect devotion to the truth, they] will continue to increase and have children in the celestial glory.’ (Teachings, pp. 300-301.)” (Mormon Doctrine, p. 238.)

     “Those who attain to the exaltation in the celestial kingdom shall have the power of eternal increase of posterity, and they shall be ‘above all, because all things are subject unto them.’ Children born to parents who have obtained, through their faithfulness, the fulness of these blessings, shall be spirit children not clothed upon with tabernacles of flesh and bones. These children will be like we were before we came into this world. We are taught in the scriptures that we are the offspring of God in the spirit, Jesus Christ being the Firstborn Son of our Eternal Father in that spirit world.” (Doctrines of Salvation, Vol 2, pp. 68-69)

6. PRIESTHOOD

     “Priesthood is divine authority which is conferred upon men that they may officiate in the ordinances of the gospel. In other words, priesthood is a part of God’s own power, which he bestows upon his chosen servants that they may act in his name in proclaiming the gospel and officiating in all the ordinances thereof. All such official acts performed by these duly authorized servants are recognized by the Author of our salvation.
     Man cannot act legally in the name of the Lord unless he is vested with the priesthood, which is divine authority.”

(Doctrines of Salvation, Vol 3, p. 80.)

     “As pertaining to eternity, priesthood is the eternal power and authority of Deity by which all things exist; by which they are created, governed, and controlled; by which the universe and worlds without number have come rolling into existence; by which the great plan of creation, redemption, and exaltation operates throughout immensity, it is the power of God.” (Mormon Doctrine, p. 584.)

7. PRIESTESSES

     “Women do not have the priesthood conferred upon them and are not ordained to offices therein, but they are entitled to all priesthood blessings. Those women who go on to their exaltation, ruling and reigning with husbands who are kings and priests, will themselves be queens and priestesses.” (Mormon Doctrine, p. 594.)

8. CREATION

      “This earth was not the first of the Lord’s creations. An infinite number of worlds have come rolling into existence at his command. Each is an earth; many are inhabited with his spirit children; each abides  the particular law given to it; and each will play its part in the redemption, salvation, and exaltation of that infinite host of the children of an Almighty God. The Lord has said that his work and glory is to bring to pass immortality and eternal life for his children on all the inhabited worlds he has created….” (Mormon Doctrine, p. 169.)

 9. CLOSING

     Mormon Doctrine will never allow women to hold the priesthood. Why? It is the goal of every Mormon male to achieve Godhood and then create his universes, through his priesthood power, each with its own earth, and then populate those earths with his harem of polygamous wives.

© Copyright 2002-2014  Mormon Missions Midwest Outreach, Inc. All Rights Reserved. —Permission is granted to reproduce, provided content is not changed and this copyright notice is included.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Was it necessary to attack the ministry Mormon Outreach and Rocky Hulse personally for having a difference of opinion?



I agree with Moroni 8:18": No. No, I don't!


by Rocky Hulse

August 2011

With the best of intentions, there are a few ministries today that set out using a verse of Mormon scripture (Moroni 8:18) to get Mormons to question one of their foundational beliefs: That God was not always God. I would not argue with the use of the verse to make that point; I believe Moroni 8:18 does make this point when compared with the Mormon doctrinal position of God today compared to the time the Book of Mormon was printed. The problem with these well meaning individuals is that they have labeled this approach as: “I agree with Moroni 8:18.” From the perspective of agreeing with Mormon scripture, I take exception. I believe it is wrong to agree with that which is known to be false. Spiritual truth is not contained in any Mormon scripture. Period!
The foundation upon which Christianity is built is God’s inerrant word, the Bible. From the Bible, we are repeatedly warned to beware of false prophets (1) and false teachers (2).  Is there any question within the community of ministries that witness to the Mormon people that Joseph Smith was a false prophet? Without question, the answer is: No! Is there any question within the community of ministries that witness to the Mormon people that Joseph Smith was a false teacher? Without question, the answer is: No! Is there any question within this same community that the Book of Mormon is an additional book of inspired scripture. Without question, the answer is: No, it is not scripture; it is a book of fiction.
The Title Page of the 1830 edition of the Book of Mormon lists the following statement: “BY JOSEPH SMITH, JUNIOR, AUTHOR AND PROPRIETOR.” There is no question that Joseph Smith produced the Book of Mormon and he is known to be a false prophet and false teacher. Why then, would I agree with anything that he wrote purporting to be spiritual truth? The supporters of the “I Agree With Moroni 8:18 Campaign,” then chime in with, “What about Paul’s use of the Greek poets in Acts 17.” The creators/supporters of “I agree with Moroni 8:18” are following this premise: “There are those today who use Acts 17, Paul’s Mars Hill encounter with the Greek philosophers to prove that truth is found elsewhere, and the Bible is not the only place that contains spiritual truth.” (3)  This approach is flawed on two major counts in that they are saying: (1) Paul believed truth was found in the Greek philosophers; (2) spiritual truth is contained in Mormon scripture. They are wrong on both counts.
I encourage you to go and read the full article, Paul’s Mars Hill Appeal, written by “Let Us Reason Ministries,” provided in footnote (3). It is well written and I agree with the writer. I will provide some excerpts from that article to support my position; however, my minor quotes do not do justice to the complete article.
(1) Paul believed truth was found in the Greek philosophers:
In Acts 17:28, Paul quotes the Greek poet Epimenides, in his work, Cretica: “for in Him we live and move and have our being,”. He also quotes the Cilician poet, Aratus, in his work, Phaenonlena 5: “for we are also his offspring.”
Quoting from Paul’s Mars Hill Appeal: Paul used another pagan source to confirm the truth of the Bible, not the reverse, he was showing them how their own poets had some knowledge (though corrupted) of the God he is speaking to them of that they do not know. If he was saying their poet spoke truth then he would be endorsing Zeus a false god, the very thing he was trying to prove to them….What he quoted  was directly opposing the view of the Epicureans. Here Paul is citing poets who they respected and brilliantly turned it on their idolatry they now practiced. Paul has made a case that as men we have a necessary dependence on this God they do not know or see. He inserted their own poet’s statements as an added incentive to consider that their worship was wrong. He juxtaposed what was said in the past for what is being practiced in the present. If Paul meant they were actually God’s offspring He would be agreeing with the gods of Greek philosophy. He did not! This is poetry quoted, not doctrine, nor Scripture….He uses their poets point for a similarity of what he is conveying that is wrong, not what is right. Paul is using their own poet against their idolatry. He is not condoning their poet’s words as truth equal with the Bible’s revelation but dismantled their own view by using it as a similar point to present the Bible’s revelation.” (emphasis mine).
The attempt that proponents of the “I Agree With Moroni 8:18 Campaign” use to validate their use of Mormon scripture and saying they agree with it as Paul agreed with the Greek poets, is an improper exegesis of the Acts 17 text.  Using Moroni 8:18 to show that Mormon doctrine is false is a worthwhile tactic; however, to agree with Moroni 8:18, giving it the validity of spiritual truth is wrong and is directly opposite of Paul’s use and intention at Mars Hill.
(2) Spiritual truth is contained in Mormon scripture:
Believing that spiritual truth can be contained in Mormon scripture is to believe that truth can come from error; it cannot. “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?” (2 Co. 6:14). Mormonism is a false teaching. Period! We are repeatedly warned as seen in footnotes (1) and (2) concerning those who would bring forth false teachings. There is no question that Joseph Smith, and all he produced, fits those Biblical warnings.
Part of the problem with the  “I Agree With Moroni 8:18 Campaign” is a foundational ignorance that is sometimes displayed by those who are involved in ministry outreach to Mormons, but were never members of the Mormon Church themselves. Those who were never Mormons themselves, have studied greatly, and have done a great work in the Mormon community; however, all the reading and studying in the world cannot replace the first hand experience of having lived Mormonism. I spent 33 years on active duty in the United States Navy, 20 years of that time riding Navy ships at sea. Reading every available book or periodical about life at sea cannot bring a person to the reality of what it is like to sail aboard a modern naval vessel at sea.
These well-meaning individuals supporting the “I Agree With Moroni 8:18 Campaign” fail to consider the basic reality that Mormonism uses a different dictionary than the rest of the English speaking world. Mormonism’s definition of many religious terms does not match that of Mainstream Christianity. This failure stem’s from not having a Mormon indoctrination foundation. They approach the words of Moroni 8:18 from their English definition, vice their Mormon definition; this is a flawed baseline position. Even though the premise of this is to show that Joseph Smith’s concept of God in 1830 was more closely aligned with Christianity, and definitely doesn’t align with his later pluralistic teaching of multiple gods, and God being a changeable being, non-exMormons do not take into account the indoctrination aspect of the cult culture, nor the misuse of words.
The word “God” used in Moroni 8:18 does not reflect the God of the Bible. The word “God” in Mormonism, really means “Heavenly Father,” and is an exalted man who once lived on another planet in another universe and lived, died, was resurrected, and was exalted to Godhood and eventually became the God of this universe. That corrupted concept contains no spiritual truth as contained in the Bible.
The words: “changeable, unchangeable, and eternity,” all have a time component tied to them that does not exist in Christendom. Since Mormon doctrine has Heavenly Father existing in a previous world where he rose through the concept of “Eternal Progression” through eons of time to achieve Godhood and then create this universe for the “exaltation” (meaning the achievement of Godhood by those who are deserving Mormons) of his children he procreated to inhabit this earth, the words: “changeable, unchangeable, and eternity” only pertain to the dispensation (timeframe) of this universe, not time immemorial.
Understanding these two concepts helps to better understand where those of us who disagree with the “I Agree With Moroni 8:18 Campaign” are coming from. In our modern English vernacular, it appears that Moroni 8:18 reflects Biblical teaching. From the dictionary of Mormonism, it does not. So, to agree with Moroni 8:18, as if it were spiritual truth, is blasphemous.
In a local context, using the  “I Agree With Moroni 8:18 Campaign” may cause some Mormons who are not fully indoctrinated to question their concept of God, and may appear to be a victory; however, in the bigger picture, to agree with the Book of Mormon is to pour fuel on the fire of the Mormon Public Relations machine that is trying its best to morph Mormonism in the minds of Christendom as just another Christian denomination; it is not.
Do not misinterpret my support of using Mormon scripture, the writings or sermons (talks, as they are called in Mormonism) of Mormon Prophets and Apostles, Mormon periodicals (Ensign, Era, Young Woman’s Journal, etc.), or Mormon Church produced materials (Sunday School manuals, Priesthood Manuals, Relief Society Manuals, BYU Religion course manuals, etc.), to counter the false teachings of Mormonism. I fully support the use of these materials, and I certainly quote from them on a regular basis in all facets of our ministry (Mormon Missions Midwest Outreach (MMMO)). What I will not do is agree with any quotation from Mormonism as being spiritual truth on par with the Bible. No part of Mormonism, even if plagiarized from the Bible, has a foundation of spiritual truth. Mormonism’s foundation is centered in Joseph Smith, a known false prophet and false teacher that the Bible gives us stern warnings about, as seen in footnotes (1) and (2). Anything therefore that emanates from Mormonism cannot, and is not, spiritual truth!
Another point that those who were never Mormon have no exposure to, and a true ignorance of, is the dogmatic indoctrination points that are spewed out upon family members when they dare to challenge Mormonism and attempt to share with their family the truth of God’s word as found in the Bible. Until you’ve stood toe-to-toe with your father, your mother, your brothers or sisters, and had them emphatically regurgitate the Mormon doctrinal points and proof texts, and call you a “Son of Perdition” if you don’t come back to the fold of Mormonism, you truly don’t “get it.” Believe me, “I get it!” I’ve been there, done that.
The bonds of Mormonism are so strong, so all encompassing, that reason, especially in the “family member leaving Mormonism” context, does not exist. In an emotional setting, a family member discussing why Mormonism is false with a Mormon family member, reason and good judgment are usually left by the wayside. In this type of setting, to use the phrase “I Agree With Moroni 8:18”, would be the equivalent of saying “I agree with the Book of Mormon.” It matters not that the context was to use Moroni 8:18 to disprove the current Mormon concept of the Godhead, all that is heard in the diehard Mormon is an agreement with the Book of Mormon. The indoctrinated Mormon brain shuts down and no reasoned, thoughtful argument can, or will be heard. I’ve been there more times than I care to remember, and only those who have been there can understand this awful predicament; nor have suffered the heartbreak the eventual end of the discussion/argument brings.
IN CONCLUSION:
Using any verse in the Book of Mormon to disprove Mormonism is a worthwhile venture and a tactic I approve of and use myself. However, to use a verse of Mormon scripture, or a quote from a Mormon leader, or quote from a Mormon periodical, stating that you agree with that statement by placing it on par with the Bible as spiritual truth, is BLASPHEMOUS!
Use Moroni 8:18 all you like to disprove the false teaching of Mormonism. However, to agree with Moroni 8:18, is to give validity to Mormon scripture as equal with God’s Scripture, the Bible, and that is something that only those ignorant of the full scope of Mormonism would do. They do not understand the damage they are doing to those of us who are trying to witness to Mormon family members.

1 De. 13:5; 18:22; Is. 9:15; Je. 2:8; 5:31; 14:14; 23:16; Eze. 13:2; 22:28; Ho. 9:7; Mi. 3:5; Zep. 3:4; Zec. 13:3; Mt. 7:15; 24:11; Mk. 13:22.
2 Mt. 5:19; 15:9; 1 Ti. 1:7; 4:2; 6:3; 2 Ti. 4:3; Tit. 1:11; 2 Pe. 2:1.
 Mormon Outreach - Topical Index

Read and compare the two articles and the tone displayed in each article.  Not once did I name another ministry or person in my article above. I expressed my opinion based upon my research. 

Rob Sivulka, on the other hand in his article below found it necessary to attack us personally and use a captured photo from our TV show 'Truth Outreach' (the Elizabeth Smart kidnapping) which is found on our MMMO copyrighted website: Mormon Outreach TV shows.


Responding to Rocky Hulse's Critique of the Moroni 8::18 Campaign

Introduction

My screen shot of the Hulses from one of their videos
My screen shot of the Hulses from one of their videos
Rocky Hulse of Mormon Missions Midwest Outreach has written an explanation of why he disagrees with Christians claiming they agree with the Moroni 8:18 campaign on his Facebook page called “'I agree with Moroni 8:18': No. No, I don’t!” Moroni 8:18 is a passage in the Book of Mormon (BM) that simply says, “For I know that God is not a partial God, neither a changeable being; but he is unchangeable from all eternity to all eternity.” Many Christians, whether they claim to agree with it or not, have jumped on this to ask LDS why they don’t agree with their own scripture. Current LDS teaching is that “God himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted man… I am going to tell you how God came to be God. We have imagined and supposed that God was God from all eternity. I will refute that idea, and take away the veil, so that you may see” (Joseph Fielding Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 345 [pre-2002 editions]).

On August 18th, 2011 (8:18), many Christians used this date to post on their Facebook walls and other places that they agree with Moroni 8:18, and wonder why Mormons do not. The intent was to open up some dialogues with Mormons concerning the nature of God, and how they need to repent of their God who is an exalted man. The call is to trust, not simply the unchanging God of the Book of Mormon, but ultimately the God of the Bible. This We Agree with 8:18 campaign was the brain-child of Aaron Shafovaloff, who works with Mormonism Research Ministry and is also a board member for our ministry—Courageous Christians United.

Since Shafovaloff asked for some defense, I am writing this response to Hulse. This article will demonstrate that Hulse’s attack on the 8:18 campaign is inconsistent with his own practices, lacking biblical basis, is an appeal to authority, a confusion on the nature of truth, and divisive to the Body of Christ. I have been grieved at the un-Christlike statements being leveled at Shafovaloff, my brother in the Lord, by many individuals, and Hulse’s article fuels that fire. This is a fire that needs extinguishing.

Inconsistency

Hulse claims that one can use LDS sources to show how Mormons are inconsistent. So when he uses LDS sources, he simply uses them to his own advantage. For example, when he started each of his TV shows on Mormonism, he favorably quoted Brigham Young. Husle said, “As always on this program we like to give a couple quotes that we think legitimizes what we do here. And the first one is from Brigham Young, and he said, 'I say to the whole world, receive the truth, no matter who presents it to you. Take up the Bible, compare the religion of the Latter-day Saints with it, and see if it will stand the test'” (e.g., see here). Hulse continued to use that passage from the LDS Journal of Discourses (JD) 16:46 (which by the way, Young thought of his own sermons as scripture in 13:95) to get LDS to do what he wants them to do. Hulse claimed, “We believe these quotes justify what we do.”

On the surface, anyone would naturally think that Hulse agrees with what Young said. However, Hulse is quite emphatic that he will not agree with any Mormon scripture. He says, “From the perspective of agreeing with Mormon scripture, I take exception. I believe it is wrong to agree with that which is known to be false. Spiritual truth is not contained in any Mormon scripture. Period!” Later he says, “There is no question that Joseph Smith produced the Book of Mormon and he is known to be a false prophet and false teacher. Why then, would I agree with anything that he wrote purporting to be spiritual truth?”

So at this point, one has to wonder, first of all, was Brigham Young’s statement a “spiritual truth”? If not, why not? Should it be called a natural or false truth? What in the world would that be? I will return to this point latter under the discussion of the nature of truth.

Second of all, how is what Hulse uses for his purposes in the JD deemed false if he uses it to “justify what we do”? It seems pretty clear that Hulse is caught in an inconsistency. He implicitly agrees with the JD quote--that we should agree with the truth wherever we find it--but he cannot agree with what the 8:18 crowd is doing.

Lacking Biblical Basis

Hulse critiques the support for 8:18 on the basis of Paul debating the Epicureans and quoting the pagan writers in Acts 17. Hulse argues, first of all, that Paul used their writings not to prove the truth of what they wrote, but to confirm the truth of the Bible. Then Hulse claims that if Paul were to claim they spoke the truth, then he would be endorsing the false god Zeus. Hulse implicitly agrees with a quote from a Let Us Reason Ministries article called “Paul’s Mars Hill Appeal”, which said, “What [Paul] quoted was directly opposing the view of the Epicureans. Here Paul is citing poets who they respected and brilliantly turned it on their idolatry they now practiced. …If Paul meant they were actually God’s offspring He would be agreeing with the gods of Greek philosophy. He did not!”

In response, just because Paul’s ultimate goal was getting his crowd to believe the Bible doesn’t entail that he did not also agree with what the pagans had written. Hulse simply begs the question that agreeing with some statement is equivalent to endorsing their false god. How does that follow? For Paul to endorse the pagan truths--“for in Him we live and move and have our being” and also “for we are also his offspring”--simply points out that making graven images is inconsistent with these truths. But in Hulse’s mind, they can’t be truths, since they are from pagan sources. Again, there is no good argument here why individual statements in pagan sources cannot be true. Hulse just has an immediate emotional reaction against anything pagan. There is nothing wrong with emotional reactions against paganism, but when that takes the place of good reason, then we don’t have any reason not to agree with the pagan statements.

Similarly, the 8:18 crowd also wants to confirm the truth of the Bible. They are not content to simply let LDS work out an inconsistency between the BM and current teaching all by themselves. The 8:18 crowd wants LDS to see that the BM is true when it agrees with what the Bible has always taught (e.g., Psalm 90:2). Just like Paul did not endorse his current audience’s false god, the 8:18 crowd doesn’t endorse the current LDS false god. Both Paul and the 8:18 crowd are drawing on truths from non-biblical sources that their current audiences should accept, and those truths are consistent or “on par” (to use Hulse’s language) with the Bible.

Next, Hulse argues,“Believing that spiritual truth can be contained in Mormon scripture is to believe that truth can come from error; it cannot. “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?” (2 Co. 6:14). Mormonism is a false teaching. Period!” The argument is extremely weak. “[T]ruth cannot come from error,” seems to be a reference to an errant source. But that is commonly known as the genetic fallacy. But just because I learned 2+2=4 from a witch doesn’t entail it is not true or that there are not any good reasons to believe it. Similarly, just because an individual like an LDS may come to hold 8:18 doesn’t entail that it is not true or there are no good reasons to believe that truth.

As for 2 Corinthians 6:14, legalistic fundamentalists often like throwing this verse out when they want other Christians to stay away from something they don’t like (e.g., music, democrats, clothing, dancing, certain scientific theories, etc.). Hulse uses this verse to scare people away from discovering any truth in the BM. Recall that the same author of this 2 Corinthians passage was the same individual who agreed with pagan sources in Acts 17 as well as 1 Cor. 15:33. Further, Matthew 5:45 is clear that we have at least the sun and rain in common with the unjust, so I don’t think that Hulse is being fair in using this passage. The context of the 2 Corinthians passage is simply talking about purity and not being corrupted by that which is unclean (cf. vs. 17). The passage has nothing to do with abstaining from seeking truth or wisdom outside the Bible, including pagan sources. I am not being unequally yoked if I believe or agree with the Satanic Bible that “dogma… is necessary (50),” for example, since Satan can go to hell as far as I am concerned.

Finally, the Apostle Paul was in agreement with the Prophet Amos who used and agreed with moral principles found within nature that the Gentiles were held responsible with. Amos preached to the Gentile nations that did not have the Old Testament. Nonetheless, they, like the pagans Paul addressed, should have known better. This should not surprise us, since Psalm 19 and Romans 1 is very clear about the knowledge of God revealed clearly to all in nature and outside the Bible. God is omnipresent, and His truth lightens everyone that comes into the world (Jn. 1:9). Proverbs tells us that wisdom cries out from the streets (1:20) and we are instructed to go and learn a lesson from the ant (6:6). It is simply beyond belief that unbelievers could not codify some of these natural principles into false scriptures or at least authoritative writings (e.g., the Code of Hammurabi).

Appeal to Authority

Having been LDS himself, Rocky seems repulsed by the idea of agreeing with anything Mormon. As a result of this baggage, he assumes that there is no truth in anything Mormon that he could agree with. To do so in his mind is to give validity to the Mormon Church. Further, he seems to generalize the 8:18 crowd as never living as Mormons, who obviously don’t know how to really deal with the LDS mindset. He says,

“Part of the problem with the ‘I Agree With Moroni 8:18 Campaign’ is a foundational ignorance that is sometimes displayed by those who are involved in ministry outreach to Mormons, but were never members of the Mormon Church themselves. Those who were never Mormons themselves, have studied greatly, and have done a great work in the Mormon community; however, all the reading and studying in the world cannot replace the first hand experience of having lived Mormonism. I spent 33 years on active duty in the United States Navy, 20 years of that time riding Navy ships at sea. Reading every available book or periodical about life at sea cannot bring a person to the reality of what it is like to sail aboard a modern naval vessel at sea.

These well-meaning individuals supporting the ‘I Agree With Moroni 8:18 Campaign’ fail to consider the basic reality that Mormonism uses a different dictionary than the rest of the English speaking world. Mormonism’s definition of many religious terms does not match that of Mainstream Christianity. This failure stem’s from not having a Mormon indoctrination foundation. …[N]on-exMormons do not take into account the indoctrination aspect of the cult culture, nor the misuse of words.”

Hulse goes on to tell us that he knows that Mormons really won’t have a problem anyway with 8:18, since it becomes reinterpreted according to the Mormon lens. This lens simply imposes current Mormonism onto 8:18. In effect, Hulse is claiming that given his insider knowledge, no Mormon is going to struggle with fitting 8:18 into their worldview.

In logic, we call this the fallacy of appealing to authority. Hulse is the enlightened one, since he has been on the inside and he knows better than all the rest of those in the 8:18 crowd.

There are at least three problems here. First, I personally know a number of former Mormons who have participated with or at least approve with the 8:18 campaign (including no less than Sandra Tanner of Utah Lighthouse Ministry). Are they now not as competent as Hulse? They have insider knowledge as well, but they think that 8:18 may be valuable for at least some LDS, including those who have been fully indoctrinated family members. Second, the 8:18 crowd is not as ignorant as Hulse paints them. One doesn’t need insider knowledge to realize the heavy indoctrination LDS go through. Third, Hulse’s authority is not on par with the Prophet Amos and the Apostle Paul, and we have already seen how they believed God could use truths from outside the Bible (regardless of the immediate source) that unbelievers should believe.

Confusion on the Nature of Truth

Hulse, as already stated, has said, “Spiritual truth is not contained in any Mormon scripture. Period!” He goes on to affirm that he uses LDS sources all the time for his purposes, but says, “What I will not do is agree with any quotation from Mormonism as being spiritual truth on par with the Bible. No part of Mormonism, even if plagiarized from the Bible, has a foundation of spiritual truth.” In fact, Hulse says that “to agree with Moroni 8:18, as if it were spiritual truth, is blasphemous.”

I agree with all the passages in the BM directly quoted from the King James Version of the Bible. I put those on par with the Bible, since they are actually from the Bible. So according to Hulse's logic, I am doing something "blasphemous."

Further, what is really meant by putting 8:18 on par with scripture? Does it mean that we think 8:18 is really scripture? No. But we still think it is a divine truth, since all truth is God's truth. 2+2=4 is not scripture, but it is still truth. John 1:1 is not more true than 2+2=4, and Ps. 90:2 is not more true than Moroni 8:18. So in that metaphysical sense, they are all on par. They are all truths that ultimately come from God, who is the giver of all good things. The Bible is the written revelation foundational for our judgments concerning other so-called later revelations. Galatians 1:6-9 is clear about that. This is an epistemic sense of priority.

So we do in fact put 8:18 on a metaphysical, not epistemic, par with the truth in the Bible, and we also put the KJV direct quotations in the BM on metaphysical par with the Bible. Hulse confuses a metaphysical sense of priority with an epistemic one, and then claims that those who put any LDS source on par with the Bible are “blasphemous.”

Further, he even claimed that simply agreeing with Moroni 8:18 is giving “validity to Mormon scripture as equal with God’s Scripture, the Bible.” Again, “equal” in what sense? As truth (metaphysically) or as the means by which to judge whether the Bible or any other revelation is true (epistemically)? Hulse doesn’t seem to be aware of this distinction, and as a result, he falsely assumes the worst of those involved in the 8:18 campaign when they put 8:18 “on par” with what is revealed in the Bible.

All truth is God’s truth. Every truth is ultimately a divine truth, regardless of the immediate source. If you doubt that, then what truth isn’t God’s truth? So if I find truth from an unbeliever, I thank him or her, but more importantly, God gets the ultimate thanks. That does not entail everything the unbeliever believes is true, and thus it is also not an endorsement of him or her. The unbeliever still needs to repent and submit to Christ.

Divisiveness

Calling the 8:18 crowd “blasphemous” for agreeing with the spiritual truth contained in the BM and putting, not the BM, but that particular verse on par with Bible is really not conducive for unity among the brethren, let alone giving one’s brothers and sisters in Christ the benefit of the doubt. The 8:18 crowd are sincere believers who want to make a difference for the cause of Christ, and see more Mormons in the kingdom of God. The 8:18 crowd hardly even uses this method. They simply utilize it as a tool on particular occasions where they think it is warranted. They don’t even demand that everyone has to confront Mormons like they do. It is simply a different method of reaching the lost.

Unfortunately, as is often the case, micro-managers want to tell everyone how to do things. These guys want to regulate and promote their preferred method of reaching out to Mormons. As a result, these regulators end up putting God in a box. They assume God can’t work in some way they are not comfortable with. This means it is either their way or the highway… even going so far as to call one’s brethren “blasphemous” if they do things they don’t like!

This sows discord among the brethren. I cannot even begin to tell you how much controversy this has caused among those that utilize “stranger” or “confrontational” evangelism with Mormons! Confrontational evangelists have had in-fighting before, but never have I seen anything like this, and I have been a missionary to Mormons for almost 30 years now! Typically, the in-fighting is not among confrontational evangelists, but the in-fighting is within the Church—between the confrontational evangelists and those who evangelize exclusively within the confines of established friendships.

Since God’s ways and thoughts are higher than ours (Isaiah 55:9), and since the Body is made of various members, each gifted in various ways (1 Cor. 12-14), it should not surprise us that God oftentimes works in ways we are not used to. Given that there are many well-respected believers who claim to utilize 8:18 for the glory of God (including former Mormons), given that we are to walk in humility, knowing that we often don’t see as clearly as we think we do, and given that the arguments against 8:18 are “straining at the gnat,” we ought to be more gracious toward our brothers and sisters who support 8:18.

Conclusion

Since LDS are still people made in God's image, they still partake of common everyday truth and grace. Again, Mat. 5:45 says, "[H]e maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust." So we should expect that Mormonism gets it right in some areas. Even a broken clock is right at least twice a day. Mormons are right to hold we shouldn't abuse our children, for example. That truth doesn't originate from them. It originates from God from who is the Truth. But suppose I came to learn that truth from a Mormon, being raised by them. Am I no longer entitled to believe it is true? Or am I somehow validating Mormonism if I agree with them? Of course not! So the source of my immediate knowledge of a particular truth is quite different from the ultimate source of truth itself or my ultimate source of knowledge, since all good things ultimately come from God. God can use whatever immediate source to bring about whatever He wants (e.g., think of Baalam’s jackass or using King Cyrus as an anointed one).

So I think a reaction to even that statement about LDS and child-care shows how overly sensitive some of these in the anti-8:18 crowd are. I get that and I sympathize with that, especially with those like Hulse who used to be Mormon. My ex-Mormon wife tends to think in this overly reactive way, but she would never tell others that they could not use 8:18. Unity is more important for her.

Nonetheless, we are called to be charitable to LDS and respect them. It is just difficult to do that if one thinks there is nothing of value to them, including all their beliefs.

So I will extend grace to my overly reactive brothers and sisters, letting God take His time with them, and not forcing them to witness like I do. But I ask these brothers and sisters for the same grace to trust God with the way we use truth from not just the Bible, but also outside it. We both have the same goal, viz., we want Mormons to repent. Let’s pray for each other and focus our energies on getting people to come to heaven with us, particularly since people are going to hell every minute. Let’s not give the devil a foothold to waste anymore time on fighting amongst the brethren.

R. M. Sivulka
President, Courageous Christians United
August 29, 2011




© Copyright 2002-2014  Mormon Missions Midwest Outreach, Inc. All Rights Reserved. —Permission is granted to reproduce, provided content is not changed and this copyright notice is included.


Sunday, December 8, 2013

Keystone of our Religion

Book of Mormon
By Rocky Hulse                                                                                            December 2013


     During this Christmas Season, may all Christians everywhere reflect that the “Cornerstone of our Faith, is Jesus Christ.” He is the reason for the season. The Bible is His Word, left for us to know He is God and He came to hang on the Cross of Calvary for us, bearing our sins. Nothing is more important than Jesus Christ and Him crucified. Anything that adds to that message is false! 
     On the back page of the August 18, 2013 issue of the “Church News”, which is a weekly publication of the Deseret News, which is owned and operated by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, better known as the Mormon Church, is an article titled: “Keystone of our religion.” This is an article about the Book of Mormon from which the Mormon Church derives its nickname. The title of this article is finite in its statement: Keystone of our religion. The article from the Mormon Church, about the religion it espouses, Mormonism, vividly demonstrates what we have said since we first began in ministry: Mormonism isn’t Christianity.  Mormonism is a complete separate religion; it is not a different Christian denomination. Christianity is centered in Jesus Christ and derives its teachings concerning Him from the Bible.


Keystone

     The first five paragraphs of the article clearly set the “Book of Mormon” as the structural element that bears the weight of, and supports the whole fabric of Mormonism. 

   “A keystone is a wedge-shaped piece of masonry at the crown of an arch that locks the other pieces in place, allowing the entire structure to bear weight. Once the keystone is set in place, all the other pieces become stronger.
     The term is also used figuratively to refer to the central supporting element of any structure, such as a theory or an organization. Without, “the keystone” the whole structure would collapse.
     After translating the Book of Mormon, the Prophet Joseph Smith explained: ‘I told the brethren 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’ (History of the Church, 4:461; Book of Mormon introduction)
     Indeed, the Book of Mormon is the keystone of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
     President Ezra Taft Benson, the 13th president of the Church, called the Book of Mormon ‘one of the most significant gifts given the world in modern times.’” (Church News, Week of August 18, 2013, pg 16)


What about the work of Jesus Christ?


     What did Jesus Christ do for us? He died on the Cross for our sins. He died for you and me; He took the rightful penalty of yours and my sins upon himself. The Apostle Paul laid out the gospel of Jesus Christ very plainly in I Corinthians 15:1-4:
    •    Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;
    •    By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.
    •    For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
    •    And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:

     This article, “Keystone of our religion,” is 1056 words, more or less, in length. The article mentions Jesus Christ, but not in His Christian role. The article mentions Him in the formal name title of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and in praying unto the Father through the name of Jesus Christ. The article mentions “faith in Christ” but only as a way to know the “promises” of the Book of Mormon, and that it is “Another Testament of Jesus Christ.”
     This article reflects what Mormonism does, it glorifies everything about Mormonism, but leaves out where all glory truly resides – In Jesus Christ and Him crucified.


The importance of the Book of Mormon! Doesn’t this tell us something about how the Lord views this sacred work?


     ‘“A…powerful testimony to the importance of the Book of Mormon is to note where the Lord placed its coming forth in the timetable of the unfolding Restoration. The only thing that preceded it was the First Vision,’ said President Benson in his October 1986 general conference address. ‘In that marvelous manifestation, the Prophet Joseph Smith learned the true nature of God and that God had a work for him to do. The coming forth of the Book of Mormon was the next thing to follow.
     ‘Think of that in terms of what it implies. The coming forth of the Book of Mormon preceded the restoration of the priesthood. It was published just a few days before the Church was organized. The Saints were given the Book of Mormon to read before they were given the revelations outlining such great doctrines as the three degrees of glory, celestial marriage, or work for the dead. It came before priesthood quorums and Church organization. Doesn’t this tell us something about how the Lord views this sacred work?”’ (Church News, Week of August 18, 2013, pg 16)

     These two paragraphs from this article truly point out that Jesus and His work are not the center of Mormonism; the center of Mormonism is its non-Christian doctrines (degrees of glory, celestial marriage, work for the dead) and the “organization” of the “Church.”
     Mormonism claims that it is the: “…only true and living church on the face of the whole earth…” (Doctrine and Covenants 1:30). Mormonism brings forth doctrines that are not found in the Bible and are not found in history, which the doctrines of Christianity truly are. So, Mormonism, to substantiate its claim to be the only “true” church on the face of the earth, being birthed through Joseph Smith, its first “Prophet,” in 1830, promotes its unique doctrines, and its unique book, the Book of Mormon, as proof it is the “Restored Gospel.” It’s all about these claims, it’s not about Jesus.


The promises, the promises, the promises!


     “President Thomas S. Monson, today’s prophet and Church president, said the pages of the Book of Mormon come precious promises, including promises of truth, peace, freedom and blessings.
     ‘From its pages comes the promise of ‘never ending happiness’ to ‘those that keep the commandments of God. For behold, they are blessed in all things, both temporal and spiritual’ (Mosiah 2:41).
     ‘From its pages come the promise of ‘incomprehensible joy’ to those who become ‘instrument[s] in the hands of God’ in rescuing His precious sons and daughters (Alma 28:8; 29:9).
     ‘From its pages comes the promise that scattered Israel will be gathered – a work in which we are engaged through our great worldwide missionary efforts (3 Nephi 16:21-22).
     ‘From its pages comes the promise that as we pray unto the Father in the sacred name of Jesus Christ, our families will be blessed (see 3 Nephi 18:21). …
     ‘And from the pages of the Book of Mormon comes Moroni’s promise that through prayer, real intent and faith in Christ, we may know the truth of these promises ‘by the power of the Holy Ghost’ (Moroni 10:4-5).’” (Church News, Week of August 18, 2013, pg 16)

     Notice the promises are: “never ending happiness”; “incomprehensible joy”; “scattered Israel will be gathered”; “families will be blessed”; “know the truth of these promises” and all of these “promises” require the Mormon to: “keep the commandments of God”; “become ‘instrument[s] in the hands of God’”; “through our great worldwide missionary efforts”; “pray unto the Father in the sacred name of Jesus Christ”; “through prayer, real intent and faith in Christ”.
     Jesus Christ is an after thought in Mormonism. Gaining the Mormon concept of eternal life, which is becoming a god and creating endless universes that the male god populates through his goddess wives, comes through one’s own efforts, work and personal perfection.


What about the Bible?


     The above subject article is 1056 words, more or less, in length. Not one time does this article mention God’s inerrant Word, the Bible. The object of this article is to promote the Book of Mormon above all things. Notice that I said “all” things. That would include Jesus Christ.
     As already discussed, the first paragraph of this article defines the “keystone” as that object that holds everything together. Jesus Christ is the “Chief Cornerstone” (Mt. 21:42;
Ac. 4:11; Ep. 2:20; 1 Pe. 2:6), the foundation that Christianity is built upon. Where do we find this out? Where do we find out who Jesus Christ is? The answer of course it the Bible. The “keystone” of Christianity is that book that was left for us to know who Jesus is: The Bible.
     Yet, this article, published by the Mormon Church owned and published, “Church News” makes no mention of the Bible – none, nada, nothing!!


Silence!


     Why does the Mormon Church set the “keystone” of its “religion” as the Book of Mormon? The answer is quite simple actually: It is the silence of the Bible; the silence on all of the “unique” doctrines of Mormonism that cannot be found in the Bible. The Bible tells of Jesus Christ; who He was and what He did for us. The Bible does not identify the unique doctrines of Mormonism that Joseph Smith brought forth: men becoming gods; women becoming goddesses; celestial marriage (marriages where in eternity gods and goddesses will continue to have children in order to populate future planets); baptism for the dead; sealing ordinances for the dead; second anointing; Aaronic and Melchesidek Priesthoods; ordaining 12 year old boys as “Deacons”; 14 year old boys as “Teachers”; 16 year old boys as “Priests”, and 18 year old boys as “Elders”; building temples all around the world and requiring all humans to have their “work” done in one of them in order to have eternal life; 3 degrees of glory (celestial, terrestial, and telestial).  The Bible doesn’t mention these “doctrines” because they are the fabrication of Joseph Smith’s imagination. What is truly noteworthy with respect to the Book of Mormon being the “keystone” of the Mormon Church: It doesn’t mention these unique doctrines either!



© Copyright 2002-2013  Mormon Missions Midwest Outreach, Inc. All Rights Reserved. —Permission is granted to reproduce, provided content is not changed and this copyright notice is included.

 

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Those who have never known nor been in intense conflict, will never understand what it means to take a stand.


 
The truth can handle scrutiny, but unfortunately some people can't handle truth.


Most of what passes for tolerance today is not tolerance at all, but rather intellectual cowardice. Those who hide behind it are often afraid of intelligent engagement. Unwilling to be challenged by alternate points of view, they don't grapple with contrary opinions or even consider them. It's easier to hurl an insult – "you intolerant bigot" – than to confront the idea and either refute it or be changed by it. In the modern era of semantic mysticism, "tolerance" has become intolerance. 

Proverbs 20:19 He that goeth about as a talebearer revealeth secrets: therefore meddle not with him that flattereth with his lips.
Proverbs 24:21 My son, fear thou the LORD and the king: and meddle not with them that are given to change:

Psalms 101:1-8 A Psalm of David. I will sing of mercy and judgment: unto thee, O LORD, will I sing. I will behave myself wisely in a perfect way. O when wilt thou come unto me? I will walk within my house with a perfect heart. I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me. A froward heart shall depart from me: I will not know a wicked person. Whoso privily slandereth his neighbour, him will I cut off: him that hath an high look and a proud heart will not I suffer. Mine eyes shall be upon the faithful of the land, that they may dwell with me: he that walketh in a perfect way, he shall serve me. He that worketh deceit shall not dwell within my house: he that telleth lies shall not tarry in my sight. I will early destroy all the wicked of the land; that I may cut off all wicked doers from the city of the LORD.
Do you know Him?  








© Copyright 2002-2013  Mormon Missions Midwest Outreach, Inc. All Rights Reserved. —Permission is granted to reproduce, provided content is not changed and this copyright notice is included.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Malta and “The Book of Mormon”


by Rocky Hulse

January 2005

     What possible relationship could there be between Malta and “The Book of Mormon”?
    
     I left Mayport, Florida, Monday morning June 7th 2004 for an overseas deployment onboard the USS JOHN F KENNEDY (JFK) CV-67, heading for the Persian Gulf in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom. On June 26th the JFK pulled into Valletta, Malta for five days of liberty (rest and relaxation). 
USS John F Kennedy CV-67
While there, I took a tour of the “National Museum of Archaeology” in Valletta.  There I found out some of the fascinating history of the small island nation of Malta.

Malta is in the center of the Mediterranean Sea just below Sicily and above Libya (see above).

     Malta consists of three small inhabited islands in the center of the Mediterranean Sea: Malta, Gozo and Comino.  These three islands together boast a land area of only 122 square miles.  How small is that?  Well, Rhode Island, the smallest state is only 1045 square miles in size; thus, Rhode Island is 8 ½ times larger than Malta.
     For me the history of Malta from the Phoenicians to the Byzantine era was particularly interesting.  The Phoenicians came to Malta in 750 B.C., and the Byzantine era lasted through 870 A.D. when the Arabs overran the island.  The Roman Empire occupied the island from 218 B.C. through 535 A.D. when the Byzantine era began. This timeframe, 750 B.C. – 870 A.D., overlaps the prominent declared period of the Book of Mormon, 600 B.C. to 421 A.D.  “The main part of the work deals with the period from 600 B.C. to 421 A.D. during which the Nephite, Lamanite, and Mulekite civilizations flourished.” (Mormon Doctrine, pg 93.)
     The complete timeframe of the Book of Mormon is from 2247 B.C. to 421 A.D.  “It contains the fullness of the everlasting gospel (D. & C. 20:9; 42:12; 135:3) and an abridged account of God’s dealings with the ancient inhabitants of the American continent from about 2247 B.C. to 421 A.D.” (Mormon Doctrine, pg 92.)  Only one book in the Book of Mormon, the Book of Ether, deals with the years prior to 600 B.C.  As previously stated, the majority of the Book of Mormon deals with the years 600 B.C. to 421 A.D., which timeframe is covered by the Phoenician to Byzantine Era in Malta’s history.

ARCHAEOLOGY IN MALTA

     While walking through the “National Museum of Archaeology” in Valletta, I stopped and viewed with great interest the displays of coins recovered from the archaeological digs on the islands of Malta and Gozo.  These coins, beautifully preserved, begin in the Phoenician era and continue on through the entirety of Maltese history.  Two tiers of coins where displayed for the Phoenician timeframe: one labeled Melita and the other labeled Gaulos.  Melita and Gaulos are the ancient names of the islands of Malta and Gozo respectively.
     I found this display simply fascinating.  Here I was on the tiny island nation of Malta looking at coins left by the Phoenicians from their reign on Malta, circa 750 B.C. to 218 A.D.  Not only were coins displayed, but extensive information about the archaeological digs and information these digs have yielded; things such as the names of kings and rulers from the Phoenicians to modern time.  A very clear and colorful history of this small island nation was there to be discovered in this museum.
     These discoveries made me reflect on the claims of Mormonism with respect to the Book of Mormon.  What archaeology do we have with respect to the Book of Mormon?  Answer: None!

CLAIMS ABOUT THE BOOK OF MORMON

     Mormonism claims that the Book of Mormon is an historical record of an ancient civilization on this, the American Continent, which had its beginning in a group of Jews who fled Jerusalem in the year 600 B.C., and built boats by which they migrated to the Americas.
     “The Book of Mormon is a volume of holy scripture comparable to the Bible.  It is a record of God’s dealings with the ancient inhabitants of the Americas and contains, as does the Bible, the fulness of the everlasting gospel.
     The book was written by many ancient prophets by the spirit of prophecy and revelation.  Their words, written on gold plates, were quoted and abridged by a prophet-historian named Mormon.  The record gives an account of two great civilizations.  One came from Jerusalem in 600 B.C., and afterward separated into two nations, known as the Nephites and the Lamanites.  The other came much earlier when the Lord confounded the tongues at the Tower of Babel.  This group is known as the Jaredites.  After thousands of years, all were destroyed except the Lamanites, and they are the principal ancestors of the American Indians.” (INTRODUCTION, Book of Mormon, 1981.)


BOOK OF MORMON CLAIMS ABOUT COINS

     The introduction to Chapter 11 of the book of Alma in the Book of Mormon says “Nephite coinage set forth.”  Versus 4-19 of Alma 11 layout this monetary system:

  1. Now these are the names of the different pieces of their gold, and of their silver, according to their value.  And the names are given by the Nephites, for they did not reckon after the manner of the Jews who were at Jerusalem; neither did they measure after the manner of the Jews; but they altered their reckoning and their measure, according to the minds and the circumstances of the people, in every generation, until the reign of the judges, they having been established by king Mosiah.
  2. Now the reckoning is thus—a senine of gold, a seon of gold, a shum of gold, and a limnah of gold.
  3. A senum of silver, an amnor of silver, an ezrom of silver, and an onti of silver.
  4. A senum of silver was equal to a senine of gold, and either for a measure of barely, and also for a measure of every kind of grain.
  5. Now the amount of a seon of gold was twice the value of a senine.
  6. And a shum of gold was twice the value of a seon.
  7. And a limnah of gold was the value of them all.
  8. And an amnor of silver was as great as two senums.
  9. And an ezrom of silver was as great as four senums.
  10. And an onti was as great as them all.
  11. Now this is the value of the lesser numbers of their reckoning—
  12. A shiblon is half of a senum; therefore, a shiblon for half a measure of barley.
  13. And a shiblum is a half of a shiblon.
  14. And a leah is the half of a shiblum.
  15. Now this is their number, according to their reckoning.
  16. Now an antion of gold is equal to three shiblons.

BOOK OF MORMON CLAIMS ABOUT METALLURGY IN THE AMERICAS

     The book of Mormon speaks of swords, steel swords, in the first group of peoples, the Jaredites, which came to the new world at the time of the Tower of Babel:

     9.  Wherefore, he came to the hill Ephraim, and he did molten out of the hill, and made swords out of steel for those whom he had drawn away with him; and after he had armed them with swords he returned to the city Nehor, and gave battle unto his brother Corihor, by which means he obtained the kingdom and restored it unto his father Kib. (Ether 7:9.)

     The second group, the Nephites and Lamanites, which migrated to the new world around 600 B.C., also were well versed in metallurgy:

     15.  And I did teach my people to build buildings, and to work in all manner of wood, and of iron, and of copper, and of brass, and of steel, and of gold, and of silver, and of precious ores, which were in great abundance.
     16.  And I, Nephi, did build a temple; and I did construct it after the manner of the temple of Solomon save it were not built of so many precious things; for they were not to be found upon the land, wherefore, it could not be built like unto Solomon’s temple.  But the manner of the construction was like unto the temple of Solomon; and the workmanship thereof was exceedingly fine.  (2 Nephi 5:15-16).

     I left verse 16 in above, just to show how it immediately contradicts verse 15.  Verse 15 says there was silver and gold and precious ores in great abundance; and, then along comes verse 16 immediately after it and says the temple couldn’t be built like Solomon’s because precious things could not be found upon the land.
     Ah, the Book of Mormon is its own worst enemy!  As can be clearly seen from the quotes above from the book of Mormon, it says of itself that the people were well versed, in fact instructed, in iron, brass, copper, steel, gold, silver and precious ores.

WHERE ARE THE BOOK OF MORMON COINS AND SWORDS?

     The simple answer to this section is: there aren’t any.  They don’t exist.  No Book of Mormon coinage, swords or any advanced metallurgy artifacts have ever been found. 
Gift from Watchman Fellowship  ---  "Bible Coins"Left  - "Mormon Coins" Right

ARCHAEOLOGY OF THE BOOK OF MORMON









ARCHAEOLOGY OF THE BIBLE

     The blank space above in the section marked “ARCHAEOLOGY OF THE BOOK OF MORMON” is not a mistake.  The blank space is equal to all the archaeology that has been found that supports the Book of Mormon; which is zero, none, nada, zilch, squat, zippo.   No matter what Mormon apologists have said over the years, there is absolutely no archaeological evidence to support the Book of Mormon claims, not only in metallurgy, but in anything.  NONE!
     On the other hand, the archaeological evidence to support the Bible is overwhelming.  The archaeological excavations in Biblical lands continue to yield rich finds everyday.  The Bible speaks of coins and Biblical archaeology has provided them by the thousands.  The implements of war in the Biblical lands have been found in great abundance. 
     How can it be that the Bible is supported by archaeology in the most robust way, yet the Book of Mormon archaeology is silent?  The answer is quite simple: The Bible is real, it’s God’s Word; it was left as a testament to you and me.  The Book of Mormon is fiction, and was the fantasy of Joseph Smith.  There is not one shred of archaeological, historical, geological or any other kind of hard evidence to back up the claims of Mormonism. 
     Why would God give us His Word in two volumes, one documented to the extreme, the Bible, and the other, the Book of Mormon, with absolutely nothing to support it except the claims of its author?  Why would God do such a thing?  It’s this writer’s belief that God didn’t.   God gave us his Word, the Bible, and left us ample evidence that it is true, and is in fact His Word.  There is no documentation of the Book of Mormon, because it’s not God’s Word, it is Joseph Smith’s fable.

COINS SPOKEN OF BUT ONCE 

     While researching this topic, I opened Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance and looked up some Biblical coins: the shekel, the penny and the widow’s mite.  The shekel is mentioned in 16 different books of the Bible, 136 times; the penny in 4 different books, 9 times; the widow’s mite in 2 books, 3 times.  When looking up this information, something struck me: Why are coins mentioned throughout the Biblical scriptures, yet in only one book, Alma, and in small set of successive scriptures in the Book of Mormon?  The answer is quite simple: The Bible is truly God’s Word and is correct.  It was written by different authors over the years.  They wrote as God led them, and they wrote of the times, places and events that surrounded them.  The references to coins fell where they naturally fell; and thus they are scattered throughout the text.  The Book of Mormon was written by one author, and when something stimulated his thought process, he felt the need to expound on a monetary system; however, while dictating the
remainder of the text, since the events didn’t happen naturally, but rather were the conjectures of his mind, no other mention of coinage is ever found.

THE LITTLE ISLAND OF MALTA

     Malta, only 122 square miles of land, yet it yields rich archaeological finds that support it’s fascinating and colorful history.  On the other hand, the Americas which comprise over 16,240,000 square miles of land, and is 133,115 times as large as the tiny island nation of Malta, has never yielded a single shred of evidence to validate the claims of Mormonism concerning the Book of Mormon. If that doesn’t raise a question in your mind as to the validity of the Book of Mormon, I don’t know what will!


© Copyright 2002 Mormon Missions Midwest Outreach, Inc. All Rights Reserved. —Permission is granted to reproduce, provided content is not changed and this copyright notice is included.

Rocky and Helen Hulse

Rocky and Helen Hulse
Defending Christianity From Mormon Doctrine