Monday, January 31, 2011

WHO DO YOU TRUST: JESUS CHRIST, OR MORMON PROPHETS AND APOSTLES?

In Defense of Christianity

Mormon Mission Midwest Outreach 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.' MMMOs 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.

BACKGROUNDMormonism 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 VISIONSo, 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:
  1. 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:
  1. 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:
  1. 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:
  1. 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:
  1. 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 Mormon Mission Midwest Outreach using God’s Holy Word, the Bible, to defend Christianity from the attacks made upon it from Mormon Doctrine and teachings!
Join with the Mormon Missions Midwest Outreach 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.
by Rocky Hulse
January 2006



© 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.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

"Just Another Bad Theory"


Over at "Darwin's God" is a link to a "survey of failed evolutionary predictions" - the website DarwinsPredictions.com. The featured article is a lengthy explanation of some predictions inherent in Darwin's Theory of Evolution, and how they have failed. The logical premise of the argument is that the simplest explanation is usually the correct one. A theory which becomes too complicated with modifications and falsifications should be scrapped in favor of a better and more parsimonious model.  Such is the case with (Macro-)Evolution, according to article author, Cornelius Hunter.

I'm not going to rehash Hunter's article; I leave it to the reader to enjoy the reading firsthand. What I want to do here is to use the same argument with the Mormon faith.

Man-made religion is and has always been an attempt to explain the overall picture and gain a correct worldview. Who we are, why we are, where we are going, and who or what put us here... there are factual answers to these questions. Each religious theory put forth by men will eventually fail because we human-beings are just too limited in our understanding. God must GIVE US the true religious model because He is the only one who knows everything.

Now, the LDS Church believes itself to be the one true church on earth, restored from fallen Christianity. If it is what it claims to be, we can then expect that its set of predictions will hold fast. If it is not the one true church, we can expect to see its predictions fail. Did God give Joseph Smith, Jr. the truth, or did Joseph build his church upon his own religious hypotheses? This is something we can know.  Let's look at some of the inherent predictions, and their outcomes.

If Mormonism were true...

1. ... Joseph Smith would have been able to consistently, accurately, remember his visit from two separate supernatural beings, God the Father and Jesus the Son. We now know that is not the case (for more info, see here, here, and here).

2. ...the LDS "truth" that there are at least two gods, our Heavenly (spirit) Father, whose name is Elohim, and Jesus (Elohim's son), whose spirit-name is Jehovah, would have been consistent since Mormonism's beginnings. Instead, the Book of Mormon, Joseph Smith's first work, preaches that there is only one (modal) God (see Alma 11:26-31, 2 Nephi 31:21, Mosiah 15:1-5 for example). Joseph Smith originally taught that Jesus' father's name was Jehovah, and Brigham Young, Mormonism's second prophet, taught that Heavenly Father was actually Adam, the first man on earth. Joseph also originally taught that of the three members of the "Godhead," only Jesus had a body. That of course is no longer Mormon belief.

3. ...the Book of Mormon, a book that is supposed to contain the "fulness of the gospel," would teach on the plurality of gods, man's potential for godhood, eternal marriage in Mormon temples, baptism for the dead, three degrees of heaven, and the other beliefs that separate Mormonism from orthodox Christianity. Not only does the Book of Mormon not teach these things, it and the other LDS scriptures frequently contradict current Mormon truths, and each other.

4. ...there would be evidence of a large battle on or around the Hill Cumorah in New York, and other archeological evidence to support the notion of Book of Mormon life on this continent. Instead, LDS apologists are still struggling to locate and identify possible Book of Mormon geography sites (see also here and here).

5. ...the Book of Mormon would not contain Greek and French words like "adieu" and "Jesus" and "Alpha" and "Omega." It would not speak of things that had not yet been invented. It would not contain quotes from the KJV Bible, including KJV mistakes. It would not abuse the phrase "it came to pass" in all of its books but two. It would not contain country-boy vernacular. But it does.

6. ...when portions of the papyri used to create the Book of Abraham were recovered and translated, the text would be very similar to what Joseph had written. Instead, just as you would expect if Joseph Smith had bought merely a couple of random mummies that had been found in an ordinary catacomb from a man with many mummies and scraps to sell, the papyri has been discovered to be common Egyptian funerary documents.

I could continue making this list, but I think I've made my point.  If Joseph Smith did not actually have the "First Vision," if he personally wrote (instead of translated from ancient golden plates) the Book of Mormon, if he personally wrote the Book of Abraham... these things are Mormonism's foundational blocks. Are they missing? The failed predictions indicate that they are, indeed, missing. Thus the "restored" doctrine of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is a bad religious theory, and should be scrapped.



© 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.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Mormonism: The Religion of NO!


Joseph Smith

     When we look at Mormon teachings in comparison to the teachings of Christianity, we find that Mormonism truly is the religion of NO! Christianity states truths about the teachings of the Bible, and Mormonism says NO!  In my book When Salt Lake City Calls, I compare Mormonism to the Eight Essential Fundamentals of Christianity, let’s begin looking at the Religion of NO there and then look at some of the other teachings of NO in Mormonism.
The Religion of NO, and the Eight Essential Fundamentals of Christianity
     On page 49 of When Salt Lake City Calls, I list the The Eight Essential Fundamentals of Christianity:
  1. The Deity of Christ
  2. The Trinity
  3. Bodily Resurrection
  4. Salvation by Grace
  5. Sufficiency of Scripture
  6. Universality of Sin
  7. The Atonement
  8. The Virgin Birth
     Mormonism says NO to all of these fundamental teachings of Christianity.
The Deity of Christ

1. CHRISTIANITY: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, an the Word was God.” (John 1:1) “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14)
    MORMONISM: “Jesus is man’s spiritual brother. We dwelt with Him in the spirit world as members of that large society of eternal intelligences, which included our Heavenly Parents and all the personages who have become mortal beings upon this earth or who ever shall come here to dwell. In that spirit-creation, when we became children of God, Jesus was the “first born,” and so He is our eldest brother.” (The Gospel Through the Ages, pg 21.)
So, the Religion of NO says Jesus isn’t God, he’s our elder brother. Really?
The Trinity
2. CHRISTIANITY: Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name [singular] of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:”. [bracketed word added] (Matthew 28:19)
     MORMONISM: “The Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man’s; the Son also; but the Holy Ghost has not a body of flesh and bones, but is a personage of Spirit.” (Doctrine and Covenants 130:22)
So, the Religion of NO says the Trinity can’t be true because God isn’t Spirit, God has a body, and the Holy Spirit is a “personage of Spirit.” Seriously?
Bodily Resurrection
3. CHRISTIANITY: “And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.” (John 6:40)
     MORMONISM: “Contrary to the views found in the uninspired teachings and creeds of modern Christendom, there are in eternity kingdoms in glory to which all resurrected persons (except the sons of perdition) will eventually go. These are named: celestial, terrestial, and telestial—the glory of each being beyond comprehension.” (Mormon Doctrine, pg 420).
So, the Religion of NO says the view of the resurrection as taught by Christianity, as found in the Bible, is uninspired and they must add a man-made, non-Biblical definition to it. They’re joking right? Sadly, they’re not.
Salvation by Grace
4. CHRISTIANITY: “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)
     MORMONISM: “One of the most fallacious doctrines originated by Satan and propounded by man is that man is saved alone by the grace of God; that belief in Jesus Christ alone is all that is needed for salvation.” (Mormon Prophet Spencer W. Kimball in The Miracle of Forgiveness, pg 206)
So, the Religion of NO says that “Salvation by Grace” is a fallacious doctrine from Satan.” Ridiculous!
Sufficiency of Scripture
5. CHRISTIANITY: “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.” (Matthew 24:35)
     MORMONISM: “Who, in his right mind, could, for one moment, suppose the Bible in its present form to be a perfect guide? Who knows that even one verse of the Bible has escaped pollution?” (Mormon Apostle Orson Pratt in Divine Authenticity of the Book of Mormon. From a series of pamphlets. Liverpool, England: np., 1851)
So, the Religion of NO says that the Bible cannot be trusted; in fact, no one knows that even a single verse has been transmitted to us in our day without being polluted. Jesus says His words shall not pass away; the Religion of NO says they did. They can’t possibly believe this – oh, but they do!


Universality of Sin
6. CHRISTIANITY: “Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.” (Ephesians 2:3)
     MORMONISM: “Some may regret that our first parents sinned. This is nonsense. IF we had been there, and they had not sinned, we should have sinned. I will not blame Adam or Eve, why? Because it was necessary that sin should enter the world; no man could ever understand the principle of exaltation without its opposite; no one could ever receive an exaltation without being acquainted with its opposite. How did Adam and Eve sin? Did they come out in direct opposition to God and His government? No. Dut they transgressed a command of the Lord, and through that transgression sin came into the world. The Lord knew they would do this, and He designed that they should.” (Brigham Young in Journal of Discourses, Vol 10, pg 312.)
So, the Religion of NO, says that the sin in the Garden of Eden was not “in direct opposition to God and to His government;” NO – “it was necessary that sin should enter the world.” The Religion of NO says it was God’s plan for Adam and Eve to sin. In fact in this quote, Brigham Young says one cannot be exalted without knowing sin; so, Jesus was a sinner? Only in the Religion of NO! Blasphemous!
The Atonement
7. CHRISTIANITY: “But if we walk in the light, as his is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.” (1 John 1:7)
     MORMONISM: “Joseph Smith taught that there were certain sins so grievous that man may commit, that they will place the transgressors beyond the power of the atonement of Christ. If these offenses are committed, then the blood of Christ will not cleanse them from their sins even though they repent. Therefore, their only hope is to have their own blood shed to atone, as far as possible, in their behalf. This is scriptural doctrine, and is taught in all the standard works of the Church.” (italics in the original, 10th Mormon Prophet, Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, Vol 1, pg 135)
So, the Religion of NO, says that the Blood of Jesus Christ does not cover all sin – in fact, the Religion of NO, says that the blood of the sinner has more cleansing power than the blood of the unblemished Lamb of God! Double Blasphemy!!
The Virgin Birth
8. CHRISTIANITY: “Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.” (Matthew 1:18)
     MORMONISM: “I have given you a few leading items upon this subject, but a great deal more remains to be told. Now remember from this time forth, and for ever, that Jesus Christ was not begotten by the Holy Ghost.” (Brigham Young in Journal of Discourses, Vol 1, pg 51) “These name-titles all signify that our Lord is the only Son of the Father in flesh. Each of the words is to be understood literally. Only means only; Begotten means begotten; and Son means son. Christ was begotten by an Immortal Father in the same way that mortal men are begotten by mortal fathers.” (Mormon Doctrine, pp. 546-547)
So, the Religion of NO, says that God being an exalted man with a body of flesh and bones fathered Jesus’ body the same way as all mortal men are fathered. The ultimate blasphemy!!

Other Statements of NO from Mormonism
   Mormonism so strays from the teachings of the Bible that many unique teachings of Mormonism will be presented here, adding to the comparison between Mormonism and the Eight Essential Fundamentals of Christianity.
Jesus Died on the Cross for Our Sins
9. CHRISTIANITY: “Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;” (Col 2:14). “Who his own self bore our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness; by whose stripes ye where healed.” (1 Pet 2:24)
MORMONISM: On page fourteen of his book, “Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson,” the Thirteenth Prophet of the LDS Church stated it was in the Garden of Gethsemane that Christ “suffered as only God would suffer, bearing our griefs, carrying our sorrows, being wounded for our transgressions, voluntarily submitting Himself to the iniquity of us all, just as Isaiah prophesied.”   He further states on the next page: “It was in Gethsemane that Jesus took on Himself the sins of the world, in Gethsemane that his pain was equivalent to the cumulative burden of all men, in Gethsemane that He descended below all things so that all could repent and come to Him” (Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, pg 15).

So, the Religion of NO says NO to the Cross and moves the Atonement to the Garden of Gethsemane.
There is only one God
10. CHRISTIANITY: 4.  Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD:   (Deut 6:4)
MORMONISM: “I will preach on the plurality of Gods.  I have selected this text for that purpose.  I wish to declare I have always and in all congregations when I have preached on the subject of the Deity, it has been the plurality of Gods. (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pg. 370)
So, the Religion of NO says that there isn’t one God, rather there are a plurality of Gods. The pagans of the world teach the same thing. Birds of a feather, flock together.
Creation Ex-Nihilo
11. CHRISTIANITY: “Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.” Heb 11:3
     MORMONISM: “You ask the learned doctors why they say the world was made out of nothing; and they will answer, ‘Doesn’t the Bible say He created the world?’ And they infer, from the word create, that it must have been made out of nothing.  Now, the word baurau, which does not mean to create out of nothing; it means to organize; the same as a man would organize materials and build a ship. Hence we infer that God had materials to organize the world out of chaos—chaotic matter, which is element, and in which dwells all the glory. Element had an existence from the time he had. The pure principles of element are principles which can never be destroyed; they may be organized and reorganized, but not destroyed. They have no beginning, and can have no end.” (The Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pp. 350-352)
So, the Religion of NO says that God did not create the heavens and the earth from nothing. Instead Mormonism teaches that elements always existed and God only had the power to organize that which was already there. In Mormonism God is not all powerful!

by Rocky Hulse


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Rocky and Helen Hulse

Rocky and Helen Hulse
Defending Christianity From Mormon Doctrine