Tuesday, April 24, 2007

In Defense of Christianity

The Nauvoo Christian Visitors Center (NCVC) in downtown Nauvoo, Illinois, exists to defend Christianity against the charges made against it by ‘The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,’ more commonly known as ‘The Mormon Church.’ NCVC’s mission is to evangelize Mormons, educate both Christians and non-Christians about the teachings of Mormonism, and encourage those who have left Mormonism to come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, the Jesus of the Bible.
On the front cover of Newsweek, October 17, 2005, is a stain glass window depiction of the “First Vision” of Mormonism with the title “The Making of the Mormons,” subtitled “Beyond Prophecy and Polygamy: The Future Of a Booming Faith.” On page 58 is an interview with the current Mormon Prophet, Gordon B. Hinckley. The following question was asked, “Could you talk about religious intolerance and conflict around the world? It is a difficult age.” (Newsweek, Oct 17, 2005, pg 58). The following is President Hinckley’s response: “Hateful. Meanness. Bitterness. I don’t like it. We’re all sons and daughters of God, and therefore in a very literal sense, brothers and sisters. And we ought to treat each other that way.” (Newsweek, Oct 17, 2005, pg 58). After reading the rest of this article, ask yourself if the above statement is just a bit disingenuous when compared to the evidence listed below.
The very beginning of the Mormon Church was, and continues to be, an all out attack on Christianity. The foundational belief of Mormonism from its inception is that all Christian Churches are wrong, all Christian Creeds are abomination in God’s eye and all professors of Christianity are corrupt.
BACKGROUND: Mormonism begins with Joseph Smith, the founding prophet and the “First Vision.” The “First Vision” story, as now told by the Mormon Church, is that Joseph Smith, born in Sharon, Vermont in 1805, was living in Palmyra, New York in the year 1820. There was a great excitement concerning religion happening in the Western New York area and Joseph was confused on which church he should join. The “official” version of the “First Vision” states that Joseph was reading in his Bible in the Book of James, chapter 1 verse 5: “If any of you lack wisdom let him ask God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.” Joseph said “Never did any passage of scripture come with more power to the heart of man than this did at this time to mine.”
THE VISION: So, Joseph claims he retired to some woods near his home and knelt down and prayed. Joseph states that as he prayed a vision opened up to him:
16. …I saw a pillar of light exactly over my head, above the brightness of the sun, which descended gradually until it fell upon me.
17. It no sooner appeared than I found myself delivered from the enemy which held me bound. When the light rested upon me I saw two Personages, whose brightness and glory defy all description, standing above me in the air. One of them spake unto me, calling me by name and said, pointing to the other – This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him!
18. My object in going to inquire of the Lord was to know which of all the sects was right, that I might know which to join. No sooner, therefore, did I get possession of myself, so as to be able to speak, than I asked the Personages who stood above me in the light, which of all the sects was right – and which I should join.
19. I was answered that I must join none of them, for they were all wrong; and the Personage who addressed me said that all their creeds were an abomination in his sight; that those professors were all corrupt; that: “they draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me, they teach for doctrines the commandments of men, having a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof.” (Pearl of Great Price, Joseph Smith 2:16-19, 1977)
The above quote comes from one of the books of the “Official” Mormon Canon, The Pearl of Great Price. This quote is part of Joseph Smith’s recounting of the “First Vision,” which is day one, hour one, minute one, second one, of Mormonism.
So, the first moment of Mormonism is an all out attack on the last six thousand years of Judeo-Christian history. The above passages are further broken down in Mormonism to state that Joseph said that the “Personages” were none other than God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ; and that the “Personage” who answered him in verse 19 was Jesus Christ himself. The all out attack is as follows: (1) In that one sentence of verse 19, Joseph Smith destroys all of known Christianity. In that sentence prior to the semi-colon, three major points are made: first – that all Christian churches are wrong; second – that all their creeds are an abomination; and third – that all professors of Christianity are corrupt. This effectively destroys all of Christianity in one sentence: he eliminates all Christian Churches by stating they are all wrong; he eliminates all Christian Theology by pronouncing Christian Creeds as an abomination; and he eliminates all Christians by saying that as a professor of Christianity they are corrupt. (2) Joseph Smith redefines God. For six thousand years the Judeo-Christian belief was in one God. In this “First Vision” Joseph Smith and Mormonism say that God the Father is a distinct individual with a body of flesh and bones and Jesus also is a distinct individual with a body of flesh and bones.
ATTACKS ON CHRISTIANITY IN OTHER MORMON SCRIPTURE: The all out attack on Christianity only begins with the “First Vision.” Mormonism adds three additional books to their canon of scripture: The Book of Mormon, The Doctrine and Covenants, and The Pearl of Great Price; each of these additional books of Mormon scripture attack Christianity.
The recounting of the “First Vision” as previously listed is an attack from The Pearl of Great Price. The book The Doctrine and Covenants attacks Christianity in the very first section:
30. And also those to whom these commandments were given, might have power to lay the foundation of this church, and to bring it forth out of obscurity and out of darkness, the only true and living church upon the face of the whole earth, with which I, the Lord, am well pleased, speaking unto the church collectively and not individually—. (Doctrine and Covenants, 1:30)
This verse from Mormon scripture is clearly an attack on Christianity, stating that the Mormon Church was brought forth out of the “darkness” of Christianity and is “the only true and living church upon the face of the whole earth…” The Mormon Church being “the only true and living church upon the face of the whole earth” relegates all of Christianity to being false and dead.
The first additional book of Mormon scripture, The Book of Mormon, also attacks Christianity. It states that there are only two churches on the earth, “the church of the Lamb of God, and the other is the church of the devil.” As we’ve already seen, the Mormon Church defines itself as “the only true and living church upon the face of the whole earth,” that therefore relegates all of Christianity to the “church of the devil.”
10. And he said unto me: Behold there are save two churches only; the one is the church of the Lamb of God, and the other is the church of the devil; wherefore, whoso belongeth not to the church of the Lamb of God belongeth to that great church, which is the mother of abominations; and she is the whore of all the earth. (Book of Mormon, 1 Nephi 14:10)
As we have just defined from Mormon scripture, the Mormon Church is “the only true and living church upon the face of the whole earth,” and “whoso belongeth not to the church of the Lamb of God belongeth to that great church, which is the mother of abominations; and she is the whore of all the earth.” So, by definition from Mormon scripture, all Christian churches and all Christians, because they do not belong to the Mormon Church, are part of the “church of the devil” which is “the whore of all the earth.”
ATTACKS ON CHRISTIANITY BY MORMON CHURCH LEADERS: The following are quotes from Mormon Church prophets and apostles that attack Christianity. (All quotes are from Mormon Church source material – no “anti-Mormon” sources are used.)
A. ALL NON-MORMONS CALLED ANTI-CHRIST:
1. This quote is from Brigham Young: “…and he that confesseth not that Jesus has
come in the flesh and sent Joseph Smith with the fullness of the Gospel to this
generation, is not of God, but is Antichrist.” (Journal of Discourses, Vol 9 pg 312).
B. CHRISTIANITY AS A WHOLE ATTACKED:
1. This quote is from Brigham Young: “Brother Taylor has just said that the religions of the day were hatched in hell. The eggs were laid in hell, hatched on its borders, and kicked on to the earth.” (Journal of Discourses, Vol 6, pg 176).
2. This quote is from Brigham Young: “The people called Christians are shrouded in ignorance, and read the Scriptures with darkened understandings.” (Journal of Discourses, Vol. 7, p.333).
3. This quote is from Brigham Young: “The Christian world, so-called, are heathens as to the knowledge of the salvation of God.” (Journal of Discourses, Vol 8, pg 171).
4. This quote is from one of the original Mormon Twelve Apostles, Parley P. Pratt: “But returning to the general corruption that has prevailed nationally, politically, and religiously, under the name of Christianity, leaving out Christ and his Apostles, I do think there has been no idolatry in the world, under any form or system, that could surpass it. It is the mystery of iniquity, the great whore of all the earth. It has brought the whole earth under a lasting curse, having departed from the laws of God, changed the ordinances, and broken the everlasting covenant, in consequence of which the earth is destined to be burned, and few men left.” (Journal of Discourses, Vol 3, p. 41).
5. This quote is from Brigham Young: “Should you ask why we differ from other Christians, as they are called, it is simply because they are not Christians as the New Testament defines Christianity.” (Journal of Discourses, Vol 10, pg 230).
6. This quote is from Brigham Young: “Do the Christian world know whether God has eyes to see, ears to hear, or hands, or a body? They are as ignorant of the true God as are those islanders, and all whom we call heathen.” (Journal of Discourses, Vol. 6, p.195).
7. This quote is from the third Mormon Prophet, John Taylor: “What! Are Christians ignorant? Yes, as ignorant of the things of God as the brute beast.” (Journal of Discourses, Vol 6, pg 25).
8. This quote is from the third Mormon Prophet, John Taylor: “We talk about Christianity, but it is a perfect pack of nonsense….and the Devil could not invent a better engine to spread his work than the Christianity of the nineteenth century.” (Journal of Discourses, Vol 6, pg 167).
9. This quote is from the third Mormon Prophet, John Taylor: “What does the Christian world know about God? Nothing…Why so far as the things of God are concerned, they are the veriest of fools; they know neither God nor the things of God.” (Journal of Discourses, Vol 13, pg 225).
10. This quote is from President George Q. Cannon, while he was serving as 1st Counselor to Mormon Prophet John Taylor: “We belong, because of our obedience, to the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, to what is known as the Church of Christ, while those who have not embraced this Gospel and entered into covenant with God, belong to the other church—that is the church which is called in the revelations of God, the whore of all the earth, or the mother of abominations. That is the distinction which exists between the Latter-day Saints and the rest of mankind.” (Journal of Discourses, Vol 25, pp. 362-363).
11. This quote is from one of the original Mormon Twelve Apostles, Orson Pratt: “Thrones shall be cast down, and the Ancient of Days shall sit, and the body of the fourth beast (or Babylon) shall be given to the devouring flame, and then shall the remnant of the heathen know that the Lord is God, for they shall see and hear of his judgments, which he shall execute upon the corrupt powers of the earth under the name of modern Christianity, scripturally called "Babylon the Great"—"The whore of all the earth," with whom the nations for centuries have committed fornication, and have drank out of her filthy cup. O Babylon! thou hast decked thyself with costly ornaments! Thou has clothed thyself with the most gaudy apparel! Thy seminaries of learning, and thy theological institutions have been multiplied far and wide. Thy priests are polished with all the refinements of a profound and extensive education. Thy costly and magnificent churches have been erected in great numbers throughout all thy borders.” (The Essential Orson Pratt, p.109).
12. This is a quote from Mormon Apostle Hyrum M. Smith, at Conference October 1916: “In fact, my brethren and sisters, if the falsity of a religion can be measured in any degree by the amount of trouble and turmoil and strife and bitterness and hatred that it has engendered in the hearts of men, if it can be judged by the number of wars it has carried on and the rivers of blood it has shed, the amount of misery and sorrow, it has caused, or the extremes of impurity, found among its adherents, then Christianity, that which is known as Christianity, is the falsest of all religions in the world… The trouble is, as God declared to Joseph the Prophet, mankind have gone astray. Their religions are an abomination in his sight, and their professors are corrupt because they have turned away from the truth and have turned unto fables.” (Conference Report, October 1916, p.43).
13. This quote is from 12th Mormon Prophet, Spencer W. Kimball, who served as Prophet of the Mormon Church until his death in 1985: “Presumptuous and blasphemous are they who purport to baptize, bless, marry, or perform other sacraments in the name of the Lord while in fact lacking the specific authorization.” (The Miracle of Forgiveness, pg 55).
14. This quote is from Mormon Apostle Bruce R. McConkie in his monumental work, Mormon Doctrine: “Christianity is the religion of the Christians. Hence, true and acceptable Christianity is found among the saints who have the fullness of the gospel, and a perverted Christianity holds sway among the so-called Christians of apostate Christendom.” (Mormon Doctrine, 1958, pg. 123).
15. This quote is from Mormon Apostle Bruce R. McConkie in his monumental work, Mormon Doctrine: “Division and dissention, contention, confusion and discord – these are among the prevailing characteristics of the kingdom of the devil; and they are nowhere better illustrated than in the sects of Christendom.” (Mormon Doctrine, 1958, pg 630)
C. CATHOLICS ATTACKED:
This blistering quote is from Mormon Apostle Bruce R. McConkie in his epic work, Mormon Doctrine, under the heading “Church of the Devil”: “There are two scriptural senses in which the titles church of the devil and great and abominable church are used: 1. All churches or organizations of whatever name or nature—whether political, philosophical, educational, economic, social, fraternal, civic, or religious—which are designed to take men on a course that leads away from God and his laws and thus from salvation in the kingdom of God; and 2. The Roman Catholic Church specifically—singled out, set apart, described, and designated as being “most abominable above all other churches.” (1 Ne. 13:5).” (Mormon Doctrine, 1958, pg 129).
D. PROTESTANTS ATTACKED:
This quote is from Mormon Apostle Bruce R. McConkie in his epic work, Mormon doctrine, under the heading “Protestants.” You will notice how “Protestants” are identified as a “dead branch broken from a dead tree”: “Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are not Protestants, and the Church itself is not a Protestant Church. The true Church is not a dead branch from a dead tree; it is a living tree planted again by revelation in the vineyard of the Lord, and it shall grow and flourish long after the vineyard has been burned and every dead branch and vine has been consumed as stubble.” (Mormon Doctrine, 1958, pg 548).
E. CATHOLICS, EPISCOPALS AND BAPTISTS ATTACKED:
1. This quote is from President Charles W. Penrose, who served as a Mormon Apostle and as 1st and 2nd Counselors to the 6th and 7th Mormon Prophets: “That which is ordained of God will stand, and that which is not ordained of Him will be destroyed. Ordinances administered by men unauthorized of God—whether it be the sacrament, or pertaining to marriage—will have an end when men are dead; they will not pass beyond the grave. Every baptism of the Catholic Church, and of the Episcopal Church, and of the Baptist Church, or any other church, if God Almighty did not ordain and authorize the man who performed the ordinance even though he performed it in the right way and used the right words, is null and void and as though it had never been performed, with the exception that God will judge him who in administering it without authority took His holy name in vain.” (Journal of Discourses, Vol. 25, p.339)
F. METHODISTS ATTACKED:
1. This quote is from President Heber C. Kimball, 1st Counselor to Brigham Young: “Can you change these ordinances? No. They are eternal; they always were and always will be; and no man or woman upon earth can be saved without them. You may get a Methodist priest to pour water on you, or sprinkle it on you, and baptize you face foremost, or lay you down the other way, and whatever mode you please, and you will be damned with your priest. There is but one way, and that is to be buried in water, buried with Christ by baptizing in water, that your sins may be blotted out by one having authority, or else it will do you no good.” (Journal of Discourses, vol. 5, p.90).
G. LUTHERANS ATTACKED:
1. This quote is from one of the original Mormon Twelve Apostles, Orson Pratt, describing the Lutherans as the “harlot daughter of the Catholics”: “29. In the meantime another harlot daughter of the Catholics--the Lutherans, formed another canon, and rejected many books that the English daughter did not.” (Divine Authenticity of the Book of Mormon, p.40).
H. CATHOLICS AND PROTESTANTS ATTACKED:
1. This quote is from one of the original Mormon Twelve Apostles, Orson Pratt: “The European nations with the United States come more particularly under the dominion of the "great and abominable church," which includes all the churches of apostate christendom, both Catholic and Protestant.” (The Seer, Vol.2, No.4, p.246).
2. This quote is from President John Taylor, the third Mormon Prophet: “Babylon, literally understood, is the gay world; spiritual wickedness, the golden city, and the glory of the world, The priests of Egypt, who received a portion gratis from Pharaoh; the priests of Baal, and the Pharisees, and Sadducees, with their "long robes," among the Jews, are equally included in their mother's family, with the Roman Catholics, Protestants, and all that have not had the keys of the kingdom and power thereof, according to the ordinances of God.” (Times and Seasons, Vol.6, No.1, p.939)
3. This quote is from one of the original Mormon Twelve Apostles, Orson Pratt: “But we would inform the Catholics, that the Church of Christ has not ceased to exist, neither has Peter ceased his existence, but both the Church and Peter are in heaven, far out of the reach of the gates of hell, and far out of the reach of the abominable soul-destroying impositions of popery. The gates of hell have prevailed and will continue to prevail over the Catholic mother of harlots, and over all her Protestant daughters;…” (Divine Authenticity of the Book of Mormon, p.44).
4. This is also a quote from one of the original Mormon Twelve Apostles, Orson Pratt: “Dare any other societies in all the world make such a promise unto the believers in their respective systems? No, they dare not; they know full well that it would be the speedy downfall and utter overthrow of their vain, unauthorized, and powerless religions. O, what a wide and marked difference between the religion of Joseph Smith and that of Protestant and Catholic religion--between his authority and that of sectarian divines!” (Divine Authority, p.16).
I. ROMAN CATHOLIC, GREEK, AND PROTESTANTS ATTACKED:
This quote is from one of the original Mormon Twelve Apostles, Orson Pratt: “The Roman Catholic, Greek, and Protestant church is the great corrupt ecclesiastic power, represented by great Babylon which has made all nations drunk with her wickedness, and she must fall, after she has been warned with the sound of "the everlasting gospel." Her overthrow will be by a series of the most terrible judgments which will quickly succeed each other, and sweep over the nations where she has her dominion, and at last she will be utterly burned by fire, for thus hath the Lord spoken. Great, and fearful, and most terrible judgments are decreed upon these corrupt powers, the nations of modern Christendom; for strong is the Lord God who shall execute His fierce wrath upon them, and He will not cease until He has made a full end, and until their names be blotted out from under heaven.” (Divine Authenticity of the Book of Mormon, pp 84 – 85).
J. GREEKS, ROMAN CATHOLICS AND ALL OF CHRISTENDOM ATTACKED:
This quote is from third Mormon Prophet, John Taylor: “Shall we go to the Greek Church for the true authority? It is based pretty much upon the same principle as the Roman Catholic Church is, and all the sectarian bodies of Christendom are as destitute of the true authority of God as the mother church is.” (Journal of Discourses, Vol. 10, p.127).
K. PROTESTANT, CATHOLIC, PRESBYTERIAN, BAPTIST, METHODIST AND CONGREGATIONALISTS ATTACKED:
This is a quote from Mormon Apostle Hyrum M. Smith at the Salt Lake City Tabernacle, October 7, 1916, during Conference: “It would be just as consistent for the Latter-day Saints, who have come out of the Protestant churches or the Catholic church, or for the children of men and women who came out of the Presbyterian church or the Baptist, or the Methodist, or the Congregationalist, to take sides with those corrupt and apostate churches in their contentions and their quarrels among themselves. We, or our fathers who received the gospel of Jesus Christ, as it has been proclaimed by divinely appointed and authorized men in this dispensation, have been born again. We have forsaken the corrupt religions of the world, and we have foresworn all allegiance to these false churches. We have no interest in their contentions. At least the only interest we have in them is a desire that the adherents of these various churches may also see the light, come to a knowledge of the truth, and forsake evil and error and falsehood, and receive the gospel of Christ which is the power of God unto salvation.” (Conference Report, October 1916, pg. 41).
From day one, hour one, minute one, second one, of Mormonism, as we saw in the “First Vision” account, the continuous attacks down through time by Mormon Prophets and Apostles, to the attacks resident in the current canon of Mormonism, the Mormon Church leaders and their unique scripture have launched an all out attack on Christianity!
So what does God’s inerrant word, the Bible, say about these attacks against Christianity levied by the Mormon Church? In Matthew Chapter 16, verse 18, we read:
18. And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
According to Mormonism, Jesus must have lied, because that scripture, in my Bible is all in red letters. Matthew 16:18 is Jesus saying the gates of hell will not prevail against His church; but in Mormonism, the gates of hell did prevail and that is why Joseph Smith had to restore the “Church” back to the earth.
Mormonism teaches the “gospel” was lost to the earth and had to be restored; Joseph Smith being the vehicle of the restoration. How do we come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ? The Bible tells us in the 10th chapter of Romans, verse 17:
17. So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
What is God’s Word? It is the Bible. What does God’s Word say about God’s Word? In 1 Peter chapter 1, verse 25 we read:
25. But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.
It is clear from this scripture that God’s Word, the Bible, endures forever, and this very word is how the gospel is preached. So, was the Holy Spirit lying through Peter? According to Mormonism, that must be the case. Why else would a “restoration” through Joseph Smith need to be done? In Psalms 119, verse 89, we read:
89. For ever, O Lord, thy word is settled in heaven.
The Psalmist clearly tells us that God’s Word is forever settled in heaven and, as we just saw in 1 Peter 1:25, God’s Word endures forever and is the vehicle used to preach the gospel to us. Isaiah chapter 40, verse 8, reads:
8. The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.
I don’t think the Holy Spirit, speaking through Isaiah, could have said it any clearer: the grass withers, the flower fades, but the Word of God stands forever. It appears that according to Mormonism, the Holy Spirit lied through Isaiah as well.
The next scripture we’ll look at is all red letters as well. Let’s look at Matthew chapter 5, verse 18:
18. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
The “jot” and the “tittle” are the smallest marks in Hebrew script. Jesus was saying here that not the smallest part would be lost from His Word. Again, is Mormonism calling Jesus a liar?
Let’s look at the red lettering again in Luke chapter 21, verse 33:
33. Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.
In Mormonism, Jesus didn’t keep his word. In Mormonism, the Bible cannot be trusted and was corrupted; because of this, a restoration of the truth had to come through Joseph Smith. This isn’t just my opinion. Let’s let Joseph Smith speak for himself. In The Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith we read:
“…it was apparent that many important points touching the salvation of men, had been taken from the Bible, or lost before it was compiled.” (The Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pp. 10-11)
So, when Jesus said not one “jot” or “tittle” would be lost, and that heaven and earth would pass away, but His Word would never pass away, Joseph Smith just called Jesus a liar. Let’s let Mormon unique scriptures speak as well. This next quote says the Bible is not enough and is taken from the book of 2 Nephi, contained in the Book of Mormon:
6. Thou fool, that shall say: A Bible, we have got a Bible, and we need no more
Bible…” (Book of Mormon, 2 Nephi 29:6)
Mormonism says the Bible cannot be trusted and has been corrupted; again, contradicting the words of Jesus Christ. Orson Pratt, one of the original Mormon Twelve Apostles, clearly attacks the reliability of the Bible
“But the Bible has been robbed of its plainness; many sacred books having been lost, others rejected by the Romish Church, and what few we have left, were copied and recopied so many times, that it is admitted that almost every verse has been corrupted and mutilated….” (The Seer, p. 213).
Jesus said, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words shall never pass away,” while Mormon Apostle Orson Pratt says, “Almost every verse has been corrupted and mutilated.”
WHO DO YOU TRUST: JESUS CHRIST, OR MORMON PROPHETS AND APOSTLES?
We stand confidently at the Nauvoo Christian Visitors Center using God’s Holy Word, the Bible, to defend Christianity from the attacks made upon it from Mormon Doctrine and teachings!
Join with the Nauvoo Christian Visitors Center and be a Jude 3 Christian:
3.Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.

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Rocky and Helen Hulse

Rocky and Helen Hulse
Defending Christianity From Mormon Doctrine