OREI. THE ORIGIN OF THE MORMON CHURCH
The Mormon Church is officially known as: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The Mormon Church is commonly referred to by Mormons, simply as “LDS,” short for Latter-day Saints.
The Church was founded by Joseph Smith. Joseph Smith was born in Vermont in 1805. Somewhat confused as a young man about the disagreements between the denominational churches of his day, Joseph Smith says he took the verse found in James 1:5 to the Lord in prayer. That verse says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.”
As the story goes, Joseph Smith, lacking wisdom about which church to join, walked into the woods (behind his home) to pray. According to Joseph Smith, God the Father and Jesus Christ appeared to him there in the forest and supposedly informed him that…
Stop. Stop. Stop it right there.
This is one of the reasons it’s so important to know the Bible.
If someone comes out of the forest and says that God the Father has appeared to him visibly, in human form, you should immediately realize this is not to be believed. Why?
• God told Moses, “You cannot see My face; for no man shall see Me, and live” (Exodus 33:20).
• God the Father “alone possesses immortality and dwells in unapproachable light; whom no man has seen or can see” (1 Timothy 6:16).
• John wrote, “No man has seen God at any time” (John 1:18).
• Jesus said, “God is spirit” (John 4:24).
God the Father doesn’t have a body of flesh and bones (as the Mormon church, to this day, contends). Had people known their Bibles better, they would not have been misled by Joseph Smith’s outrageous claims. It’s so important to know the Bible!
Now, back to the story. According to Joseph Smith, God the Father and Jesus Christ appeared to him there in the forest and supposedly informed him that…
• the churches “were all wrong”
• “their creeds were an abomination”
• and “their professors were all corrupt”
Of course, this was an outrageous charge! There were lots of good churches in the early 1800s. But Joseph Smith was just getting warmed up.
In 1823, three years after supposedly being visited in the forest, Joseph Smith alleges that “a glorified resurrected being” named Moroni, appeared to him and told him of golden plates that were buried in a nearby hillside, in Cumorah, New York. These plates, as the story goes, were written by an ancient prophet-historian by the name of Mormon, and contained a record of an ancient people who had migrated from the near east to the Americas in 600 B.C. [See the Book of Mormon: Introduction]
In 1827 the angel Moroni supposedly again appeared to Smith. This time, he directed him to a location on a hill called “Cumorah” to unearth the plates and begin “translating” the “Reformed Egyptian” characters inscribed on them with “the gift and power of God.”
Joseph Smith said he was forbidden by Moroni from revealing these golden plates to anybody lest he be destroyed. [Joseph Smith, History of the Church, Vol. 1, 1:59-60]
Well, hello! You have to immediately suspect something fishy is going on!
Three men, David Whitmer, Martin Harris, and Oliver Cowdery, prayed with Joseph Smith that they might also get to see the plates. According to the introduction in the Book of Mormon, an angel of God came down from Heaven in June of 1829 and laid the plates before their eyes to see (not literally but in a vision).
According to the Mormon Church, some time after Joseph Smith was done translating the plates, the plates were removed by Moroni and to this day are not available for inspection.
It is interesting to note that all three of these individuals eventually left the church. [Source: Richard Abanes, One Nation Under Gods, p. 149-150]
In 1830, three years after having supposedly received the plates, Joseph Smith published his results. The name of the book?
THE BOOK OF MORMON
The Book of Mormon claims right on its cover to be: “Another Testament of Jesus Christ.” It claims to be an abridged account of God’s dealings with the original inhabitants of the American continent, between about 600 B.C. to 421 A.D. The Book of Mormon teaches that after his resurrection, Jesus came to the Americas, performed miracles, and chose 12 men from a people known as the Nephites to be His American disciples.
One month after publishing the Book of Mormon in 1830, Joseph Smith founded his church in Fayette, New York. As the church grew, so did public opposition, not only because of their doctrines, but also because of the polygamy Joseph Smith was espousing. This opposition forced the Mormons to move on to other areas. They settled for a while in Kirtland, Ohio; then in Independence, Missouri; then in Nauvoo, Illinois, where Smith became the mayor of the city. During this time, Joseph Smith’s continuing revelations yielded other Mormon “Scriptures”: Doctrine and Covenants and The Pearl of Great Price. [Concise wording here adapted from Ron Rhodes, Find It Quick Handbook on Cults and New Religions, p. 64]
By 1844, Joseph Smith, at the age of thirty nine, had nearly 35,000 followers.
In 1844 Joseph Smith was imprisoned in Carthage, Illinois, and charged with inciting a riot after his city council attempted to destroy the office and printing presses of a newspaper company that exposed the Mormon’s secret practice of polygamy.
Before Joseph Smith could be tried on these charges, a mob broke into his cell and killed both him and his brother.
Brigham Young (1801-77) took over leadership as the second president of the Mormon Church. It was under Brigham Young’s leadership that the followers of Joseph Smith’s teachings made the long journey west to relocate to Salt Lake City, Utah. And of course that is where the Mormon Church has been headquartered to this day.
Today, the Mormon Church has grown to 16.5 million members [source] and is officially known as: “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.” It’s unfortunate that they have attached our Lord’s name to it, for Mormonism is far from Christian (as I will go on to show!).
There are numerous teachings we disagree with the Mormon Church on. Let’s just consider four. This first one has to do with…
1. The Mormon Church’s View of God
Mormonism is a polytheistic religion (e.g.,The Pearl of Great Price, Abraham 5:1-21). That is, they believe in the existence of more than one god. Although Mormons believe in the existence of more than one god, they only worship one god, whom they call “Heavenly Father” or “Elohim.”
The Mormon Church says this god (“Elohim” or “Heavenly Father”) is just one of many gods in an eternal chain of gods that have been begotten by other gods. Because “Elohim” is the god over this planet, LDS leaders say we need not worship the other gods that were around before Elohim. Elohim is our creator and thus the god to whom we are accountable.
Well, you Bible students know that we disagree with them on their polytheistic view of God. Notice what God says in Isaiah 44.
“Thus says the LORD, the King of Israel, and his Redeemer, the LORD of hosts: ‘I am the First and I am the Last; Besides Me there is no God…I know not one.'”
If God—who is omniscient—does not know of any other gods, then surely there are no other gods. And this is something the Scriptures affirm elsewhere. For example, Paul writes in…
1 Corinthians 8:4
“There is no God but one.”
From beginning to end, the Bible teaches that there is only one God! Mormonism’s polytheism is completely at odds with this.
According to LDS doctrine, being born into this life here on Earth is something that we agreed to in Heaven. Mormons are taught that this life serves as a test and a means of obtaining exaltation one day to godhood. [Gospel Principles, 2010, p. 275]
Godhood? Humans can become gods? According to the Mormon Church…yes!
The Mormon Church says that humans are gods “in embryo” [Encyclopedia of Mormonism, “Christology,” 1992, p. 273] and may attain exaltation to godhood just as our Heavenly Father has.
Joseph Smith declared: “God Himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted man.” [Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 345-346]
Brigham Young, the church’s second president, said: “The Lord created you and me for the purpose of becoming Gods like himself…We are created to become Gods like unto our Father in Heaven.” [Journal of Discourses, 3:93]
The fifth president of the LDS church, Lorenzo Snow, coined the phrase:
“As man is, God once was: as God is, man may become.”
Now you might be wondering if the Mormon Church stands by this quote all these years later. They do. I went to the LDS.org website today just to make sure I could still find President Snow’s quote on their site. And it’s still there today. And with this comment…
“It is clear that the teaching of President Lorenzo Snow is both acceptable and accepted doctrine in the Church today.” https://www.lds.org/ensign/1982/02/i-have-a-question?lang=eng
Well! How does one become a God according to the Mormon Church?
According to Mormon theology, one achieves exaltation to godhood by living a life of obedience to Mormon teaching and practices.
Those exalted to godhood will get to inhabit a planet one day and procreate spirit children, continuing the cycle of gods begetting other gods. [Doctrine and Covenants 132:19-20, Gospel Principles, 1992, p. 14]
Well! For you Bible students, you know that this is all completely contrary to the Bible. The God of the Bible says this in Isaiah 43:10: “You are My witnesses,” says the LORD, “And My servant whom I have chosen, That you may know and believe Me, And understand that I am He. Before Me there was no God formed, nor shall there be after Me.”
There were no gods before God and there will never be another god after Him! This rules out any possibility that human beings have become or can become gods.
The Bible teaches that Jesus…
• is God (John 20:28)
• is the creator of all things (John 1:3)
• existed from all eternity (Micah 5:2)
• is equal in nature with the Father (John. 5:18, Hebrews 1:3)
Mormon teaching says that Jesus was one of many sons who were procreated in Heaven by Elohim and one of his many unnamed wives.
These sons, according to the Mormon Church, included Lucifer (Satan) himself.
[See: Pearl of Great Price: Book of Moses, Chapter 4, v. 1-4; Gospel Principles, 1992, p. 17-18]
Now, this isn’t something Mormon missionaries will tell you on your porch (for obvious reasons). But this is the official teaching of the Mormon Church. The church’s official website (LDS.org) even acknowledges this. For example, click here to see. In case they delete this page or change the link, it says there:
“On first hearing, the doctrine that Lucifer and our Lord, Jesus Christ, are brothers may seem surprising to some—especially to those unacquainted with latter-day revelations. But both the scriptures and the prophets affirm that Jesus Christ and Lucifer are indeed offspring of our Heavenly Father and, therefore, spirit brothers… Jesus was Lucifer’s older brother. (See Col. 1:15; D&C 93:21.)”
The Mormon Church also denies the Biblical account of the virgin birth. It teaches instead that the human body given to Jesus at His birth was the product of physical relations between God the Father who visited Earth and had relations with Mary (who was previously his spirit daughter in Heaven!). [For Mormon sources that teach this, see: utlm.org/onlineresources/ldsleadersconceptofjesus.htm and letusreason.org/lds10.htm]
So, the Jesus of Mormonism is a different Jesus than the one the Bible reveals and the One Christians have long loved and worshipped (the Son of God, uncreated, equal with the Father in nature and born of a virgin).
The Mormon Church teaches that Jesus’ death on the cross brings about a general salvation for all mankind. The result of this salvation, according to the Mormon Church, is that all mankind (including the worst of sinners) will be resurrected and given eternal life in 1 of 3 different levels in Heaven. [Gospel Principles, published by LDS, 1992, p. 74, 297-298]
3. Celestial (the highest, for faithful Mormons)
2. Terrestrial (the middle, for “less than valiant Mormons” and morally upright non-Mormons)
1. Telestial (the lowest, for those who were carnal and sinful throughout life )
To make it into the best of the three levels of heaven (the Celestial level), the Mormon Church teaches that a person must repent, be baptized in the Mormon Church, and live a life of obedience to the laws and teachings of the Mormon Church. To make it there and go on to become a god, one must also be married in a Mormon temple sometime in this life. [Gospel Principles, published by LDS, 1992, p. 297]
So to the Mormon, Jesus’ death on the cross is merely the beginning of salvation. Human works are needed to complete the process.
According to the Mormon Church, Hell is only a temporary place of suffering for the wicked. After their time of punishment they too will be accepted into glory. [Guide to the Scriptures, published by LDS, 2006, “Hell”]
Well, you Bible students know that all of these things are unbiblical. The Bible knows nothing of different, exclusive levels of Heaven. And the Bible clearly rejects the Mormon teaching that all people will be saved (e.g., read Revelation 20 sometime).
God has made provision for all people to be saved through Jesus’s death on the cross for our sins (John 3:16), but many people reject God’s offer of reconciliation. And in the end, the Bible assures us they will be judged for their sins and end up in a place called Hell for all eternity (e.g., Matthew 25:41-46).
You do not want to end up there! And you don’t have to, if you will place your faith in Jesus. If you haven’t done that, I encourage you to do it today! Click here for steps to peace with God.
So, that is a brief look at four unbiblical teachings of the Mormon Church: The Mormon church has a polytheistic view of God. They have a procreated Jesus who is equal in nature with Lucifer. They teach that man can progress to Godhood. They teach that all people will inherit eternal life in one of three different levels in Heaven.
Friend, that is not Christianity.
Now the question we were hearing a while back on the news was this…
A pastor down in Texas referred to Mormonism as a “cult” when talking about Presidential contender Mitt Romney. And the media––always on the lookout for some new controversy in the Presidential race––went crazy trying to turn it into a big story. So what’s our answer to this question?
It depends on how we define the word cult. If we define a cult to be any religious group that derives from a parent religion (like Christianity) but in fact departs from that parent religion by denying (explicitly or implicitly) one or more of the essential doctrines of that religion, then yes the LDS group is a cult of Christianity. The Nation of Islam is a cult of Islam. The Hare Krishna sect is a cult of Hinduism. There’s a problem though.
Our society today has largely abandoned that definition of the word cult. A cult to most people today is a group of people whose entire lives are controlled by a heavy-handed individual who has them sitting around in the dark participating in weird séances and drinking poisonous Cool-Aid. That’s what people envision when we say “cult.”
And so, when they hear Christians say “Mitt Romney belongs to a cult,” they think “You Christians are so foolish! Surely Mitt Romney doesn’t participate in séances!”
So then, it might be better to avoid the word “cult” and just tell people specifically what we think about Mormonism:
“Mormonism is a modern day, man-made, polytheistic, God-making, Jesus-demoting religion invented by Joseph Smith in the early 1800s that is made up today of very nice people who’ve been led to turn their back on the traditional, orthodox doctrines of Christianity as revealed in the Bible. Call it what you like, it’s not Christianity.”
Maybe that would be a more effective way of communicating what we think about Mormonism. (Of course, we need to speak the truth in love.)
All right, so first we considered the origin of Mormonism. Secondly, we considered four unbiblical teachings of the Mormon Church. Thirdly, I’d like to talk about…
There are lots of reasons to reject the Book of Mormon. Let me give you just six—six reasons you can be confident the Book of Mormon is not trustworthy. You can more easily recall these with this acronym…
1. It Contradicts Authentic Scripture.
God has given us a way of testing other so-called revelation…
“To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.”
In other words, Isaiah says, ‘Hold up any claims by a self-proclaimed prophet to the Word of God. If it contradicts the Bible, it can be rejected.’ Well, the Book of Mormon, in many instances, fails this test. It contradicts authentic Scripture. Here are some examples:
• The Bible says that Jesus was born in the town of Bethlehem (Luke 2:4, Micah 5:2). According to the Book of Mormon, Jesus was born in the city of Jerusalem (Alma 7:10).
• The Bible says believers were first called Christians after Paul’s ministry in Antioch (Acts 11:26). The Book of Mormon claims people were known by this title as early as 73 B.C. (Alma 46:15).
• In the Old Testament the only ones who could be priests were the descendants of Levi, one of the twelve sons of Israel (Numbers 3:9-10). The Book of Mormon claims that descendants of the tribe of Manasseh were made priests (Alma 10:3, 2 Nephi 5:26).
The Book of Mormon has many of these kinds of inconsistencies and contradictions. For more examples, click here.
Not one piece of evidence has ever been found to support the Book of Mormon––not a trace of the large cities it names, no ruins, no coins, no letters or documents or monuments, nothing in writing. Not even one of the rivers or mountains or any of the topography it mentions has ever been identified. [Dave Hunt, In Defense of the Faith, p.156]
Nothing which demonstrates that the Book of Mormon is anything other than an early nineteenth century piece of fiction, invented by Joseph Smith, has ever been found.
The National Geographic Society put out this statement regarding the Book of Mormon in 1998:
“Archaeologists and other scholars have long probed the hemisphere’s past, and the Society does not know of anything found so far that has substantiated the Book of Mormon.” –National Geographic Society (August 12, 1998)
The Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C. put out a three page statement regarding the Book of Mormon in 1996. They said:
“The Smithsonian Institution has never used The Book of Mormon in any way as a scientific guide. Smithsonian archaeologists see no direct connection between the archaeology of the New World and the subject matter of the book.”
In response to a question about the Book of Mormon in 1981, the National Geographic Society said:
“Neither the Society nor any other institution of equal prestige has ever used the Book of Mormon in locating archaeological sites. Although many Mormon sources claim that the Book of Mormon has been substantiated by archaeological findings, this claim has not been scientifically substantiated. However, several locations in the Bible have.” –National Geographic Society, Harry Palmer, September 29, 1981
Even some Mormon scholars such as Dee F. Green have conceded that this is the case. Green was formerly the editor of the University Archaeological Society Newsletter, published at Brigham Young University. He said:
“No Book of Mormon location is known with reference to modern topography. Biblical archaeology can be studied because we do know where Jerusalem and Jericho were and are, but we do not know where Zarahemla and Bountiful (nor any other location for that matter) were or are. It would seem then that a concentration on geography should be the first order of business, but we have already seen that twenty years of such an approach has left us empty-handed.” [Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, Summer 1969, pp. 77-78]
Or there was Thomas Stuart Ferguson, a Mormon archaeologist and apologist. He dedicated more than twenty years of his life to finding proof for the Book of Mormon. He founded the New World Archaeology Foundation at Brigham Young University, which was established for the purpose of unearthing archaeological evidence that would support the Book of Mormon. After utterly failing to find any evidence, he said this:
“With all of these great efforts, it cannot be established factually that anyone, from Joseph Smith to the present day, has put his finger on a single point of terrain that was a Book of Mormon geographical place. And the hemisphere has been pretty well checked out by competent people…I must agree with Dee Green, who has told us that to date there is no Book of Mormon geography. I, for one, would be happy if Dee was wrong…you can’t set Book of Mormon geography down anywhere—because it is fictional.” [Cited in Richard Abanes, One Nation Under Gods, p. 76-80 and footnotes]
Then why would he stay in the church? A year later, Thomas Ferguson wrote…
“Mormonism is probably the best conceived myth-fraternity to which one can belong.” –Thomas Stuart Ferguson, Founder of the New World Archaeology Foundation at Brigham Young University [Cited in Richard Abanes, One Nation Under Gods, p. 76-80 and footnotes]
Joseph Smith said he translated the golden plates from which he supposedly got the Book of Mormon, letter-by-letter and “by the power of God.” [History of the Church, i, p.54-55) see Saint’s Herald, November 15, 1962, p.16]
Joseph Smith said the Book of Mormon was: “the most correct of any book on Earth.” [History of the Church, 4:461; this is also stated in the Introduction in the Book of Mormon]
If that was true, there shouldn’t have been any need for any corrections––even spelling and grammatical errors. But, there have been changes. Lots of them.
MORE THAN 4,000 CHANGES
There have been more than 4,000 changes made to the Book of Mormon between the time that the original was published in 1830 and edition that is used today. This can pose a real problem to Mormons. Why? If the Book of Mormon is “the most correct of any book on earth,” as Joseph Smith said, and if the golden plates were truly translated letter by letter “by the power of God” by Joseph Smith, there would have been no need for any changes!
Here are a couple examples of the changes:
• The original version at 1 Nephi 11:21 says that Jesus is “the eternal Father.” Today’s version says (in the same verse) that Jesus is: “the Son of the eternal Father.”
• The original version at Mosiah 21:28 says that “King Benjamin had a gift from God, whereby he could interpret such engravings.” Today’s version says (in the same verse) that “King Mosiah had a gift from God, whereby he could interpret such engravings.”
To see more changes, click here.
We also recommend the book 3,913 Changes in the Book of Mormon by Jerald and Sandra Tanner. It is an exact photographic reproduction of the first edition of the Book of Mormon. And the authors, the Tanners, mark everywhere the wording has changed and in the margins tell you what the new edition of the Book of Mormon says. Now, a moment ago I said there were more than 4,000 changes. Why does the title of this book only say 3,913 changes? Because it was published before the 1981 and 2013 editions of the Book of Mormon were released, wherein hundreds of additional changes were introduced.
In other words, it contains extensive plagiarism. As you know, to plagiarize is to take ideas or writings from another and offer them as one’s own. Well, Joseph Smith did this hundreds of times in the Book of Mormon.
In addition to borrowing from other books* in print at the time Joseph Smith was alive, Smith borrowed thousands of words, verses, and paragraphs directly from the King James Version of the Bible. [*e.g., Ethan Smith’s View of the Hebrews published in 1823; Josiah Priest’s The Wonders of Nature and Providence Displayed, published in 1825. See Richard Abanes, One Nation Under Gods: A History of the Mormon Church, p. 68ff for details and examples of plagiarism from these extrabiblical sources]
In fact, even the italicized words in the King James Version have been plagiarized. The italicized words, as noted in the preface of the KJV, were added by the King James translators to add clarity. And yet, even those words ended up in the Book of Mormon! That’s odd.
Joseph Smith said that the golden plates he supposedly translated in 1830, were originally penned way back between 600 B.C. and A.D. 421. That raises a challenging question for our Mormon friends.
How could the Book of Mormon contain such extensive quotations from the King James Version of the Bible that was written in Old English and wasn’t even published until 1611, more than a 1,000 years later?
That is a question Mormons do not like to be asked. The answer to the question is that Joseph Smith plagiarized from the King James Version of the Bible. This is just another piece of evidence that the Book of Mormon is not authentic.
Dr. Thomas Key, a university biology instructor and author of the book The Book of Mormon in the Light of Science, documents numerous problems that exist in the Book of Mormon.
Among the problems he documents are the Book of Mormon’s:
• Geographical problems
• Botanical problems
• Zoological problems
• Language problems
• Microbiological problems
• Physiological problems
• Physical and Chemical Problems
• Technological problem
• Anthropological problems
• Historical problems
• Grammatical and Spelling Problems (in the first edition 1830).
I’ll walk you through one of the errors in the Book of Mormon and leave the others for you to investigate on your own.
The Book of Mormon claims that in 600 B.C. (about 2,600 years ago) there was a migration of Hebrew people to the Americas. The introduction to the Book of Mormon says that these people, whom Joseph Smith called Lamanites, “are the principal ancestors of the American Indians.”
LDS leaders have repeatedly stated that the Native American Indians trace their roots back to Book of Mormon people, Hebrews, who migrated to the Americas c. 600 BC. That foundational claim in the Book of Mormon has been disproved by a wealth of scientific DNA research.
Archaeologists, anthropologists, and now DNA experts, have reached a consensus: The Native American Indians were not descendants of the Hebrew people as the Book of Mormon claims.
Had there been a Hebrew migration to the new world in ancient times, as the Book of Mormon claims, there would at least be some evidence of this in the DNA of modern-day Native Americans. That is not the case.
There never was a Hebrew migration to the Americas in ancient times and there is no evidence there was ever a “Lamanite” people.
There is a great DVD documenting this DNA evidence called: DNA vs. the Book of Mormon. I suggest handing out this DVD to your Mormon friends and asking them, “Would you watch this and let me know what you think?”
6. It Was Published by a Deceitful False Prophet.
Joseph Smith, who was the publisher—and I believe author—of the Book of Mormon, made numerous false prophecies. For example:
In September of 1832 Joseph Smith claimed that the Lord told him that the latter-day Saints would build the New Jerusalem and its temple in Zion, Missouri, during his generation. Joseph Smith said:
“For verily this generation shall not all pass away until an house shall be built unto the Lord, and a cloud shall rest upon it, which cloud shall be even the glory of the Lord, which shall fill the house.…which house shall be built unto the Lord in this generation, upon the consecrated spot as I have appointed.”
Joseph Smith was in Kirtland, Ohio, at the time he made this prophecy. Little did he know that as he spoke his followers in Zion were being run out of town. Their printing presses were destroyed and some of their leaders were tarred and feathered!
Well, it’s been almost 200 years since this prophecy was made. Generations have come and gone since 1832 and the New Jerusalem has not been built in Zion, Missouri. A proven false prophecy. There are many.
On May 6, 1843, Joseph Smith made this prophecy:
“I prophesy in the name of the Lord God of Israel, unless the United States redress the wrongs committed upon the Saints in the state of Missouri and punish the crimes committed by her officers that in a few years the government will be utterly overthrown and wasted, and there will not be so much as a potsherd left . . .”
Well, the United States government did not redress (or rectify) any of the wrongs committed against the Mormons in Missouri and now, over 150 years later, the U.S. government is still standing. Here we have another example of a false prophecy. And there were many more.
What are we to think about a person who prophesies in the name of the Lord and his prophecies do not come to pass?
“When a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the thing does not come about or come true, that is the thing which the LORD has not spoken. The prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him.”
God says, “You shall not be afraid of him.” That word afraid in the Hebrew is the word guwr (Deut. 18:22). Beside meaning “afraid” it can also mean “to turn aside from the road.” In other words, God is saying, we are to have nothing to do with false prophets. There is to be no turning aside from the truth to follow after them.
So, this is another reason we do not trust the Book of Mormon.
Concise Recap of Problems (S.A.C.R.E.D.) with Book of Mormon:
1. The BOM contradicts authentic SCRIPTURE.
2. ARCHAEOLOGICAL verification ins absolutely lacking.
3. The BOM has undergone enormous CHANGE.
4. The BOM RIPS off thousands of words and phrases from other sources.
5. The BOM is permeated with scientific and historical ERRORS.
6. The BOM was published by a DECEITFUL false prophet.
Orson Pratt, a Mormon “apostle” of old, said the following in 1851:
“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 [burdens] ever palmed upon the world, calculated to deceive and ruin millions. . . if false, no one can possibly be saved and receive it.” [Orson Pratt’s Works, “Divine Authenticity of the Book of Mormon,” Liverpool, 1851, p.1-2]
Seeing that the Book of Mormon is false, we’ll allow Pratt’s own statement to summarize for us what the Book of Mormon is: “It is one of the most cunning, wicked, bold, deep-laid impositions [burdens] ever palmed upon the world, calculated to deceive and ruin millions.”
May the Lord help many Mormons to see that that is the case.
1. Be kind and compassionate with them.
The young men or women who come to your door are not purposely going door to door to deceive people. They themselves have been deceived (2 Cor. 4:4). Most of them have been raised in Mormon homes. They’ve never known anything other than Mormonism.
Jesus wept over the city of Jerusalem. God give us the same kind of love for those who are perishing!
2 Timothy 2:24-26
“And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will.”
So, remember that. They are not the enemy. They have been taken captive by the enemy. So, God’s Word says to be gentle with them.
2. Let them talk.
They will typically wrap up their talk by telling you that they know the Mormon Church is true. And then they will challenge you to read the Book of Mormon. That is their supreme goal for that first visit at your house, putting a Book of Mormon in your hands and challenging you to read it.
3. Tell them you have already looked into the Book of Mormon.
You’ve read some of it right here on this website. Say something like this (very humbly), “I have read a bit of the Book of Mormon.”
4. Say something like, “I ran into a few problems. Maybe you can help me out.”
I have found this approach to be much more effective than just coming straight out and saying:
• “I disagree with the Mormon religion and here’s why…”
• “The Book of Mormon contradicts the Bible…”
• “You believe in the existence of multiple gods…”
5. Excuse yourself for a moment and go pray.
Our battle, Ephesians 6 says, is not against flesh and blood but against unseen wicked spirits and forces who have deceived these people! So, knowing that the “fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much” (James 5:16) we pray!
6. Grab your list of questions.
What questions? Questions from this website (see no. 7 below). Questions that specifically address problems with the Book of Mormon. Asking questions is a great way to get people to think about things they may have never thought about.
Jesus often did this with His critics. They’d come to him with some challenge or criticism, and He’d say, ‘Let me ask you a question.’
7. Ask three or four of the questions you’ve prepared ahead of time.
Click here to open up a separate tab with a list of questions. As you ask these kinds of difficult questions, you are going to help Mormons see that the Book of Mormon is not reliable. This is important because Mormons will rarely consider leaving the Mormon church unless they begin to question the reliability of the Book of Mormon. So, print out some of these kinds of questions and stick them in the back of your Bible.
8. Suggest to them the idea of getting together again.
If they come back, have your second batch of questions ready. And the goal of course is not to stump them with questions but to get them thinking about the fact that they have been misled by the Mormon Church, with the hope that they might be more receptive to the true gospel found in the Bible.
Click her for additional helpful resources on Mormonism.
CHARLIE H. CAMPBELL
is the founder of the ABR Apologetics Ministry, a popular guest teacher at churches and conferences in the United States and internationally, and the author of several books and DVDs, some of which include:
• The Bible’s Scientific Accuracy and Foresight
• Archaeological Evidence for the Bible
• One Minute Answers to Skeptics
• Scrolls & Stones: Compelling Evidence the Bible Can Be Trusted
• Evidence for God
• The Case for Christianity
• Answering Atheists
• The Case for the Resurrection
• If God is Loving, Why is there Evil and Suffering?
• Homosexuality and the Bible: Answering Objections to the Biblical View
• Teaching and Preaching God’s Word
• Apologetics Quotes
WOULD YOU LIKE CHARLIE TO SPEAK AT YOUR CHURCH?
Charlie frequently speaks, free of charge, at churches, conferences, retreats, etc. If you are a pastor and would like to inquire about him speaking at your church or event, please contact ABR here and let us know the date(s) you'd be interested in, and someone will email you back shortly.