Monday, June 10, 2013

Book of Mormon Single Word Change


I was born and raised as a 6th generation Mormon. My family was completely active in the “Church.” We attended all of our meetings and were active in all facets of the Church. I was spoon fed that the Book of Mormon was the most perfect book on the face of the earth and could be completely trusted as scripture. The Bible, on the other hand I was told, was littered with errors. The Book of Mormon was, with a few minor corrections for punctuation and spelling, just as it rolled off the pen of the scribes as Joseph translated this divine work. One of the key moments in my departure from Mormonism came when I found changes were made from the 1977 edition my parents gave me and the 1981 edition that I bought for Helen when I was trying to convert her to Mormonism.

Joseph Smith, the founding “Prophet” of Mormonism made the following claim concerning the Book of Mormon: “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 its precepts, than by any other book.” (History of the Church, Vol 4, p. 461)

Mormon Apostle Orson Pratt declared: “The Book of Mormon claims to be a divinely inspired record.... If false, it is one of the most cunning, wicked, bold, deep-laid impositions ever palmed upon the world, calculated to deceive and ruin millions ...if true, no one can possibly be saved and reject it: if false, no one can possibly be saved and receive it...

If, after a rigid examination, it be found an imposition, it should be extensively published to the world as such; the evidences and arguments on which the imposture was detected, should be clearly and logically stated....

But on the other hand, if investigation should prove the Book of Mormon true ... the American and English nations ... should utterly reject both the Popish and Protestant ministry, together with all the churches which have been built up by them or that have sprung from them, as being entirely destitute of authority” (Orson Pratt's Works, "Divine Authenticity of the Book of Mormon," Liverpool, 1851, pp.1-2).

The above statement is quite a strong one by Orson Pratt, one of the original Mormon Twelve Apostles. I believe I’ll accept his challenge.

Who are the Book of Mormon Peoples?

For those who may not know, the Book of Mormon is claimed by the Mormon Church to be an account of two groups of people who came to the Americas and are the ancestors of all the peoples of the Americas (American Indians, Mayans, Aztecs, Toltecs, Olmecs, Eskimos, etc.) According to Mormon beliefs, the first group, the Jaredites, came to America at the time of the Tower of Babel. They had killed themselves off by the time the second group arrived from Jerusalem around the year 600 BC.

This second group was the family of a devout Jewish man/prophet named Lehi. He had five sons. The primary ones were Nephi and Laman. These two sons would become the patriarchs of the two people groups of the Book of Mormon, known as the Nephites and the Lamanites.

I was brought up in the Mormon Church being told that the Nephites were the “good” guys and had white skin; the Lamanites were the “bad” guys and God had cursed them with a dark skin because of their sin. I was also told that the American Indians, in fact all of the original peoples found here in the Americas when it was discovered by Christopher Columbus, were the descendants of Laman, and were in fact Lamanites.

The founding prophet of Mormonism, Joseph Smith repeatedly called the American Indians Lamanites. In an additional book of Mormon scripture called the Doctrine and Covenants, which is purported to contain the revelations of God given to Joseph Smith, in Section 28:8 is a revelation directed at sending Oliver Cowdery on a mission to the Indians, it says “And now behold, I say unto you that you shall go unto the Lamanites and preach my gospel unto them…” This same terminology, Lamanites, is again used in a revelation to Joseph Smith in Section 32:3 “And that which I have appointed unto him is that he [Parley P. Pratt] shall go with my servants Oliver Cowdery and Peter Whitmer, Jun., into the wilderness among the Lamanites. In section 54:8 of the Doctrine and Covenants Joseph Smith said in a revelation supposed to have been from God, that the “borders of the Lamanites” are near the “land of Missouri.” This time frame is in the 1830’s. In the 1830’s Missouri was the Western edge of the frontier. Anything west of Missouri was unsettled Indian territory. There is simply no question that the prophet Joseph Smith is sending his apostles “Cowdery, Whitmer and Pratt,” to the edge of civilized territory, Missouri, which is the “borders of the Lamanites.” This can only mean the American Indians. There simply is no other possible explanation.

In another of the additional books of Mormon scripture, the Pearl of Great Price, are the writings of Joseph Smith. In Chapter 1 Verse 34 Joseph describes a supposed vision from the angel Moroni that would eventually deliver the “gold plates” to Joseph to be translated into the Book of Mormon. Joseph says Moroni said the following: 34. "He [Moroni] said there was a book deposited, written upon gold plates, giving an account of the former inhabitants of this continent, and the source from whence they sprang. He also said that the fullness of the everlasting Gospel was contained in it, as delivered by the Savior to the ancient inhabitants ..."

There is no question that Joseph Smith and the early Mormon Church believed the American Indians were the descendants of the “ancient inhabitants” described in the Book of Mormon.
So did Brigham Young: "There is a curse on these aborigines of our country who roam the plains, and are so wild that you cannot tame them. They are of the House of Israel; they once had the Gospel delivered to them, they had the oracles of truth; Jesus came and administered to them after his resurrection, and they received and delighted in the Gospel until the fourth generation when they turned away and became so wicked that God cursed them with this dark and benighted and loathsome condition." (Discourses of Brigham Young, compiled by John A. Widtsoe, pages 122, 123.) The statement that Jesus came and administered to them is explicitly a Book of Mormon teaching.

Let’s fast forward a few years to modern Mormon leaders. President Spencer W. Kimball, the 12th Mormon Prophet said: “The term Lamanite includes all Indians and Indian mixtures, such as the Polynesians, the Guatemalans, the Peruvians, as well as the Sioux, the Apache, the Mohawk, the Navajo, and others. It is a large group of great people.” (“Of Royal Blood,” Ensign, July 1971, p. 7) I don’t think you can get more specific than this explanation by the 12th Mormon Prophet; nor do I think this statement leaves much wiggle room. Why would the only true church on the face of the earth today, the Mormon Church, need wiggle room?

DNA disproves the Book of Mormon peoples as being of Jewish descent!

Thomas Murphy is a Mormon Anthropologist who was featured in the excellent video put together by Living Hope Ministries, DNA vs The Book of Mormon. In this video Thomas Murphy states: “As a Mormon anthropologist I have a serious problem with the Book of Mormon representations of American Indians, not only does it claim that Lamanites are principal ancestors of the American Indians but throughout the text it repeatedly refers to them as Israelites, descendants of Joseph, as descendants of the biblical patriarchs, of Abraham, those repeated references to an ancient Israelite connection have been clearly invalidated by scientific research into the genes of American Indians. … What is most significant about the genetic research and its applicability to the Book of Mormon is that it validates what we already knew from other scientific disciplines. From biological anthropology more generally, we knew a long time ago that American Indians resembled Asians and particularly the people from the regions around Mongolia, and Siberia more than they did any other peoples. Archeologically we knew that there were similarities between the cultures of north east Asia and those of the early Americans … We also knew based on the linguistic evidence that American Indians shared a common ancestry with at least some of the north east Asians and Siberians so we had all this other evidence from scientific disciplines as diverse as linguistics, archaeology and human biology all showing us an Asian origin of the American Indians. Now the genetic data confirms what we already knew from that other material.”

Without question, DNA shows that the native peoples of the Americas are NOT of Jewish descent as the Mormon Church has taught since it was first founded in 1830. This fact destroys the foundation of the Book of Mormon and the clearly shows Mormon Prophets that have extolled this as false prophets.

The single word change:

So what is this single word change, and why is it so significant. The following is an excerpt from the introduction page to the Book of Mormon: “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.” I guess you can tell the “principal” is the key word here – let’s see how changing this word changes this sentence: “This group is known as the Jaredites. After thousands of years, all were destroyed except the Lamanites, and they are among the ancestors of the American Indians.”

Changing “principle” to “among” is huge – huge! This changing of words now allows the Mormon Church wiggle room for their apologists to try and explain away the fact that science has disproved that the Native American Peoples are not of Jewish descent, but are of Asiatic descent. This fact is an absolute contradiction of Mormon doctrine. “Among” vice “principle” moves from an “absolute” word to a “possible” word. This single word change simply shows that the leaders of the Mormon Church have had to admit that science has disproved the Book of Mormon as it has been taught by the Church since its beginning and they have had to once again “wordsmith” their teachings to try and make them compatible with the real world – how sad that 13 million people are placing their very eternity in a religion that cannot stand up to scrutiny. Christianity doesn’t have to run from the Bible, but Mormonism does have to hide from the Book of Mormon!

Article by Rocky Hulse, February 2008

Thursday, June 6, 2013

MMMO's Free Monthly Newsletter May Issue 'The Midwest Expositor' is on our website.


By Rocky Hulse                                                                                                     May 2013

     If you were to ask a Mormon if they believed in grace, their response would be: “Of course we do.” Ask your Mormon friend: “Does this verse reflect your belief of grace?”

2 Nephi 25:23 “For we labor diligently to write, to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God; for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do.”

     The above verse is from the Book of Mormon, they will have to say yes. Then ask, “Does this verse also reflect your belief of grace?”

Moroni 10:32 “Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind, and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you.”

     Once again, the above the verse is from the Book of Mormon, so they’ll have to agree it reflects their view of grace.
     Then ask, “Would you agree that to “deny one’s self of all ungodliness, is to show forth one’s personal righteousness?” This is a very straightforward and difficult statement to deny.
     Then ask, “What does the Bible teach us about our own righteousness?”

Isaiah 64:6  “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.

        Ask, “What does the Bible teach us about seeking righteousness?”

Matthew 6:33 “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness;”

     Ask, “Whose righteousness is expressed in 2 Nephi 25:23?”:

“For we labor diligently to write, to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God; for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do.”

     The only answer that they can give is self, or personal righteousness.
     Ask, “Whose righteousness is expressed in Moroni 10:32?”:

“Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind, and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you.”

     Again, the only answer that can be given is self, or personal righteousness. Ask your Mormon friend: “Have you done all you can do? Have you denied yourself of all ungodliness?” If they say “no,” which they should, your reply is: “Then His grace isn’t sufficient for you, and you will die in your sins.”
     Ask your Mormon friend: “What does Mormonism teach about dying in your sins?”

1 Nephi 10:21 “Wherefore, if ye have sought to do wickedly in the days of your probation, then ye are found unclean before the judgment-seat of God; and no unclean thing can dwell with God; wherefore, ye must be cast off forever.”

     The answer is very clear: you will be cast off forever. Ask, “What does the Bible say about law and sin?”:

James 2:10 “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.”

     So, ask your Mormon friend: “Do you keep the whole law?” They can only truthfully answer: no. Then say, “If you offend in one point, you’re guilty of it all. If you don’t keep the whole law ‘ye must be cast off forever.’”
     What did Jesus teach about the law and sin?

Matthew 5:48 “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.”

     “Be” is in the present tense. It means “right now” in this “present moment, be perfect.” Ask your Mormon friend: “Are you right now, in this present moment, perfect?” They will have to answer: “No.” Then your comeback is: “As a Christian, ‘right now, in this present moment,’ I am perfect; not in my person, in His!”
     Do not let the discussion get away from you at this point. Make it clear that you view yourself as a sinner saved by His grace; however, according to the Bible, as a Christian, you are perfect in His righteousness.
     I believe this is the most beautiful verse in the Bible:

II Corinthians 5:21 “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”

     As a Christian, God does not see my sin. He sees the cloak of Jesus’ righteousness wrapped around me. As a Christian, I am sinless; not in/of myself, but in the saving grace of Jesus Christ.
     Mormons don’t get this – they don’t understand this. They are taught from infancy, that they must “work out their own salvation”; that they are saved by grace “only after all we can do.”
     Let your Mormon friend hear from you the wonderful fact that because of your belief in the finished work on the Cross, that you are free from the weight of your sin. Yes, you know, and are aware of your own sin:

Romans 3:23 “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;”

     God knew we would all sin. He showed his love for us by providing the perfect sacrifice, Jesus Christ, to take our sin upon Himself, therefore, providing a way for us to be perfect, in Him. So, right now, in this present moment, as a Christian, by believing on the name of Jesus Christ, I am perfect in Him.
     Ask your Mormon friend: “Do you know, right now, in this moment, that you have eternal life?”

I John 5:13 “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.”

     Say to your Mormon friend: “As a Christian, I know I’m saved, right now, in this present moment because I’m not depending on me; I’m depending on Him! When I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, His righteousness became my righteousness. So when God looks at me, he doesn’t see my sin, He sees the cloak of Jesus’ righteousness wrapped around me.”
     Continue with your Mormon friend: “Unlike you my friend, I am free in Jesus Christ. I’m saved, and in this very moment I know that I have eternal life in Jesus Christ, unlike you my friend, who must depend on your own personal righteousness. You know you fail each and every day. You have no assurance of eternal life. That must be very difficult for you? How do you deal with the “not knowing?”

     Christianity = Jesus’ Righteousness
     Mormonism = Personal righteousness
     The Bible clearly addresses those who believe in their own righteousness:

Romans 10:3-4 “For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.”

     Only one person ever fulfilled the Law: the God-man, Jesus Christ (Mt 5:17). Tell your Mormon friend: “Jesus Christ fulfilled the law for me because I have placed my faith in Him. He is the ‘end of the law for righteousness’ for me; but He is not the ‘end of the law for righteousness’ for you, because you are trying to ‘establish your own righteousness.’”

     The Bible clearly addresses someone who trusts in his own righteousness:

Ezekiel 33:13 “When I shall say to the righteous, that he shall surely live; if he trust to his own righteousness, and commit iniquity, all his righteousnesses shall not be remembered; but for his iniquity that he committed, he shall die for it.”

     Ask your Mormon friend: “Do you know that you have everlasting life?”

John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

     Tell your Mormon friend, “That’s me. I’m a “whosoever.” I believe on Him and he gives me everlasting life!
     Your Mormon friend may accuse your belief accordingly: “Your salvation, your grace, is just a license to sin!” Simply tell them, “No it is not. I understand my awful sinful state and that I am the reason the nails were driven through his hands and feet. Overwhelmingly I understand the debt I owe my Lord and Savior and it makes me want to serve him. He went to the Cross freely for me. How could I now make His sacrifice my license to sin? I can’t!
     Ask your Mormon friend: “Do you live a more Godly life than Paul, the greatest missionary the world has ever known? Are you spiritually stronger. Is your faith stronger, than he who was beheaded for his faith in Jesus of Nazareth?” Your friend must answer: No.
     Then quote them the following scriptures by Paul: Romans 7:19 “For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.” Also: Romans 7:24-25 “O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.”
     Paul, he who the Holy Spirit used to write two thirds of the books of the New Testament, struggled with his sin nature. Are we any different? The omniscient Father knew from the foundations of this world, that we would need a Savior and he provided. He knew that we could not master our flesh and provide our own righteousness before him (filthy rags).
     When Jesus was in the Garden of Gethsemane He made the following statement to his apostles that exactly reflects the state of mankind: Matthew 26:41 “Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
     Simply tell your Mormon friend the truth: “I am so thankful that my salvation rests in His righteousness not mine! What about you?”

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Rocky and Helen Hulse

Rocky and Helen Hulse
Defending Christianity From Mormon Doctrine