Tuesday, 21 of November of 2017

Mormon

Mormonism is amazing in its fabrication and in its following. A Mormon deeply believes what he or she was taught and it takes a deep love of the truth to overcome much of the indoctrination. My book, “What Is Life All About?” discusses many religious groups and Mormonism is one of them. This an excerpt from the book, Chapter 16.5 that asks the question, “What Is Seriously Wrong with Mormonism?” Like so many religions of men it has no substance and like so many religions it has as its basis what Joseph Smith knew from the bible.

What Is Seriously Wrong with Mormonism?



jossmith1

Joseph Smith portrait (1842)


I do not know Joseph Smith’s motivation for fabricating what became “Mormonism, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints” but his work was massive, like writing several long, complicated novels. Only one thing rivals his incredible storytelling, and that is why some people to this day still believe it and follow it as if it were the truth.
The Koran (Qur’an) was written with a good knowledge of the Bible, so the Book of Mormon was likewise conceived with a close hand on the Bible. Joseph Smith claims God the Father and the Son came to him when he was fourteen years old. About three to four years later on September 21, 1823, an angel named Moroni appeared to him. Then on September 22, 1827, Moroni directs Smith to a hill in Palmyra, New York, where he finds golden plates. Smith translates the plates into the Book of Mormon (first printing in 1830). Smith’s original translation claimed to be errorless nonetheless differs from the 1964 edition by some 3,900 changes. Mormons also hold the Bible to be true and have a great deal of problems with many scriptures. Especially those scriptures indicating man has all he needs within the New Testament to do God’s will.

2 Peter 1:3

3 as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue,

Jude 1:3

3 Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.

The Mormons hold three books as inspired, namely, The Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and The Pearl of Great Price. Of course, even though Mormons as mentioned hold the Bible to be true, there is great conflict between their inspired books and the Bible. The extent that people will go to keep what they believe as viable is amazing and never more remarkable than in the case of Mormonism. All these religious organizations started by a man or a woman or men or women, creating their own special books or creeds are false. How brazen are these people to make claims about that which is holy.


Joseph Smith was not happy with any of the organized religions of the time, and in this regard, he was generally “on the right track.” Joseph Smith knew he made the whole thing up and in the process changed the Gospel message.

Galatians 1:6-8

6 I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, 7 which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed.

It is sad to think so many people are followers of such a fraud. God has provided you a “great salvation” and carefully confirmed it with His stamp of approval.

Hebrews 2:3,4

3 how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him,
4 God also bearing witness both with signs and wonders, with various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to His own will?

Joseph Smith—priest?

Joseph Smith had a poor understanding of God, Christ, and the church as well as many fundamental Bible principles. Thus, he wrote a book that was contradictory to the Bible. At one point, he reestablishes the Aaronic priesthood claiming on May 15, 1829, to have received along with Oliver Cowdery the Aaronic priesthood from John the Baptist. Smith disregarded God’s requirement for being from the tribe of Levi and the fact there was only one high priest at a time throughout the record of the Aaronic priesthood.

Numbers 18:21-23

21 “Behold, I have given the children of Levi all the tithes in Israel as an inheritance in return for the work which they perform, the work of the tabernacle of meeting.
22 Hereafter the children of Israel shall not come near the tabernacle of meeting, lest they bear sin and die.
23 But the Levites shall perform the work of the tabernacle of meeting, and they shall bear their iniquity; it shall be a statute forever, throughout your generations, that among the children of Israel they shall have no inheritance.

Hebrews 7:5

5 And indeed those who are of the sons of Levi, who receive the priesthood, have a commandment to receive tithes from the people according to the law, that is, from their brethren, though they have come from the loins of Abraham;

2 Chronicles 26:16-19

16 But when he was strong his heart was lifted up, to his destruction, for he transgressed against the LORD his God by entering the temple of the LORD to burn incense on the altar of incense.
17 So Azariah the priest went in after him, and with him were eighty priests of the LORD—valiant men.
18 And they withstood King Uzziah, and said to him, “It is not for you, Uzziah, to burn incense to the LORD, but for the priests, the sons of Aaron, who are consecrated to burn incense. Get out of the sanctuary, for you have trespassed! You shall have no honor from the LORD God.”
19 Then Uzziah became furious; and he had a censer in his hand to burn incense. And while he was angry with the priests, leprosy broke out on his forehead, before the priests in the house of the LORD, beside the incense altar.

In addition, in the Bible, we learn that when the law changed, the priesthood was also changed.

Hebrews 7:14-28

14 For it is evident that our Lord arose from Judah, of which tribe Moses spoke nothing concerning priesthood.
15 And it is yet far more evident if, in the likeness of Melchizedek, there arises another priest
16 who has come, not according to the law of a fleshly commandment, but according to the power of an endless life.
17 For He testifies:
“ You are a priest forever
According to the order of Melchizedek.”
18 For on the one hand there is an annulling of the former commandment because of its weakness and unprofitableness,
19 for the law made nothing perfect; on the other hand, there is thebringing in of a better hope, through which we draw near to God.
Greatness of the New Priest
20 And inasmuch as He was not made priest without an oath
21 (for they have become priests without an oath, but He with an oath by Him who said to Him:
“ The LORD has sworn
And will not relent,
‘ You are a priest forever
According to the order of Melchizedek’”),
22 by so much more Jesus has become a surety of a better covenant.
23 Also there were many priests, because they were prevented by death from continuing.
24 But He, because He continues forever, has an unchangeable priesthood.
25 Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.
26 For such a High Priest was fitting for us, who isholy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and has become higher than the heavens;
27 who does not need daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the people’s, for this He did once for all when He offered up Himself.
28 For the law appoints as high priests men who have weakness, but the word of the oath, which came after the law, appoints the Son who has been perfected forever.

Jesus entered once for all into the holy place, heaven, and His priesthood is unchangeable in that He continues to intercede for Christians.

Hebrews 7:17-25

17 For He testifies:
“ You are a priest forever
According to the order of Melchizedek.”
18 For on the one hand there is an annulling of the former commandment because of its weakness and unprofitableness,
19 for the law made nothing perfect; on the other hand, there is thebringing in of a better hope, through which we draw near to God.
Greatness of the New Priest
20 And inasmuch as He was not made priest without an oath
21 (for they have become priests without an oath, but He with an oath by Him who said to Him:
“ The LORD has sworn
And will not relent,
‘ You are a priest forever
According to the order of Melchizedek’”),
22 by so much more Jesus has become a surety of a better covenant.
23 Also there were many priests, because they were prevented by death from continuing.
24 But He, because He continues forever, has an unchangeable priesthood.
25 Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.

There is no purpose for the priesthood today or at the time of Joseph Smith. In addition, no one could replace the high priest being both God and man and the only mediator between God and man today.

Hebrews 8:1

1 Now this is the main point of the things we are saying: We have such a High Priest, who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens,

1 Timothy 2:5

5 For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus,

Smith goes on to say that he and Oliver Cowdery were promised the Melchizedek priesthood. The Bible would indicate that these two types of priesthoods, Aaronic and Melchizedek, would not exist at the same time since one replaced the other. One would represent the perfect and the other representing the imperfect priesthood and sacrifice. The claim of being able to receive the Melchizedek priesthood is truly much more than ridiculous; it is an abomination to God. Only Jesus fulfilled the requirement of being king first, then priest (Hebrews 7.1-3). Hailey covers the Smith problems with the priesthood in detail, concluding that this alone proves Joseph Smith an impostor and all of his claims to be fraudulent.

Joseph Smith—prophet?

A close look at the life of Joseph Smith would indicate he was essentially a writer of fiction and not a prophet. Prophets of God make no mistakes in their declarations.

Deuteronomy 18:20-22

20 But the prophet who presumes to speak a word in My name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or who speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet shall die.’
21 And if you say in your heart, ‘How shall we know the word which the LORD has not spoken?’—
22 when a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the thing does not happen or come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him.

One of the silliest things said by Smith as early as 1837 relates to his belief the moon was inhabited by men and women. He describes their life span as one thousand years, their height as six feet, and gives details of their dress. This can be found in The Young Woman’s Journal (1892, p. 263, by O. B. Harrington). Years before this article, Brigham Young confirmed this teaching of Joseph Smith by the Mormon Church in the Journal of Discourses (vol. 13, p.271) on July 24, 1870. God’s prophets are 100 percent accurate. Joseph Smith would prophesy about numerous things with about 5 percent being accurate and perhaps another 10 percent that could still happen. These are just my rough numbers based on reading various records. You should do your own research, but one thing is clear, namely, Joseph Smith was no prophet of God.
There is a long list of fabrications created by or simply misunderstood
by Joseph Smith. This includes the following:

  • Jesus in America.
  • Moroni.
  • Gold tablets.
  • Many Bible contradictions, like Jesus said to be born in Jerusalem (Alma 7.10 versus Matthew 2.1).
  • Baptism for the dead requiring genealogies.

    1 Timothy 1:4

    4 nor give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which cause disputes rather than godly edification which is in faith.

    Titus 3:9

    9 But avoid foolish disputes, genealogies, contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and useless.

  • The Jaredites “tight, dish-shaped barges” made the “length of a tree” with no light or air.
  • The massive changing of the Gospel of Christ, as though what Jesus had done and left for His apostles to continue was not sufficient. and on and on.

The church belonging to Christ began on the day of Pentecost following the death of Christ. During the first century, the word of God was completed and the church defined. These things occurred as Jesus indicated by the Holy Spirit leading the Apostles into all truth. Jesus perfectly completed what God required of Him.

Matthew 5.17,18

17 “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.
18 For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.

John 19:28-30

28 After this, Jesus, knowing[a] that all things were now accomplished, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, said, “I thirst!”
29 Now a vessel full of sour wine was sitting there; and they filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on hyssop, and put it to His mouth.
30 So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.

Luke 24:25-27

25 Then He said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken!
26 Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory?”
27 And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.

There would be no reason for Jesus to appear in America since He had completed His work and all was fulfilled. We have the New Testament and in it the plan of God to reconcile man. Jesus died to establish that Testament. He would not add to or take away from existing scripture.

Revelation 22:19

19 and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away[a] his part from the Book[b] of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

It would be the church over which He was the head having suffered, died and fulfilled the scriptures that you and I might benefit from His testament. Jesus did not fulfill anything from the Book of Mormon but instead fulfilled the Old Law.
Mormons claim the Book of Mormon to cover the years between 600 BC and AD 421. There are so many problems with the Book of Mormon that it is difficult to select a few for examples. Moroni sealed and hid the Book of Mormon about AD 421. In 1827, Moroni delivered the book to Joseph Smith, who then “by the gift and power of God” translated it into English. Unfortunately, for the Mormons, the Book of Mormon contains many verses taken directly from the King James Version of the Bible (AD 1611). An example would be the chapters of 3 Nephi 12-14 compared to Matthew 5-7. I could go on to point out the hundreds of absurdities in the Book of Mormon, but this is one of the things best left to the reader.


The Bible is simplistic, comprehensive, and consistent. The Book of Mormon especially the original “perfect English” translation is poorly written, indicating deficient English from the writings of someone with very limited understanding of grammar, like Joseph Smith. The book is repetitious, ambiguous, and at times very ridiculous. If I were a Mormon, I would be studying the Bible, which Mormons also believe, and not the Book of Mormon or Doctrine and Covenants or the Pearl of Great Price. Compare the Bible to the original version of the Book of Mormon, the one translated “perfectly” by Joseph Smith; then as
quickly as you can get as far away from Mormonism as possible.

Joseph Smith—getting some things right

The strength of a false doctrine like Mormonism lies in some truth, which other religions have seriously misunderstood. The group can then rally around that doctrine. Unlike most of his family, who chose to worship with the “Calvinistic” Presbyterian Church at Palmyra, Smith tended to associate with the “non-Calvinist” Methodists. Smith would see various problems with Calvinism, some of which had answers in Methodism. The extent of Smith’s dislike for Calvinism is not certain in my mind, but I expect if I were able to obtain all his diaries and letters, there would be some strong and specific dislike for the “elect, predestination, depravity and the subsequent need for infant baptism.” Following the vision of the Father and Son” that occurred in the spring of 1820 in a grove near Palmyra, New York, Joseph returns home. After relating to his mother, he was fine in answer to her question, he says, “I have learned for myself that Presbyterianism is not true”. Only a minority of Protestants at that time was anti-Calvinistic; of course, this included some Methodists. Such people would not see infants as born in sin or with a “totally depraved nature” and thus in need of being baptized for that reason. This is a correct conclusion easily arrived at from scripture (see Original Sin Total Inherited Depravity). So when Joseph Smith pens the Book of Mormon (Moroni, chapter 8), we see a reasonably correct, although very long and repetitive rebuttal of infant baptism. Therefore, a group like the Mormons can look to Moroni 8 and see that original sin and total depravity are not true. They can then go to the Bible and find no support for such a doctrine. Then they can
look to the Catholic and Protestant worlds and see their practice of these things that are so obviously wrong. This can be very powerful in providing false support for the teachings of Mormonism. Joseph Smith, seeing corruption and error in all the churches of his time, “believed there was no society or denomination that was built on the gospel of Christ as recorded in the New Testament.”
This of course was the cry of the restoration movement, which was very well known at that time. Unfortunately, Smith went about to restore the church according to his own ideas. Eventually, it would become clear that he saw the restoration as a new revelation from God, called the Book of Mormon. In fact, many people prior to his time and also contemporary with Joseph Smith in the United States were teaching and successfully debating the error of inherited sin and total depravity as just one of the things involved in restoring the church belonging to Christ. Such people as Thomas Campbell (born 1763), Elias Smith (born 1769), Abner Jones (born 1772), Barton Stone (born 1772), Alexander Campbell (born 1786), Walter Scott (born 1796), Jacob Creath (born 1799), D. S. Burnet (born 1808), Tolbert Fanning (born 1810), and Benjamin Franklin (born 1812) were not inventing a new religion. They were carefully handling scripture, overcoming the various “Christian” errors of the time and restoring the Gospel of Christ.


If one were to do a serious study of the character of these men versus that which we know of Joseph Smith, just in terms of morality, carefulness of speech, and concern for accuracy in the use of scripture, I believe you would not choose to follow Joseph Smith. I am sure these men had faults, but if you examine the characteristics God is looking for there is a striking difference between Smith and these men. God has repeatedly emphasized the careful handling of the Word, and these men respected the will of God. In the eyes of men, these men were nothing special. Joseph Smith became a man of some fame even until this day, but whoever heard of Jacob Creath or Abner Jones? Men of truth want God’s acceptance. They realize they must deeply respect and not alter God’s message.

Joseph Smith—confused young man

I have tried to emphasize understanding God because God has revealed so much about Himself that can help us. As you study what God provided in His Word, there is an understandable, logical pattern from Genesis to Revelation. There is no longer a mystery. There is nothing in that pattern relative to Mormonism. There is no need for such, and God completed in Christ the reconciliation. Man has all he
needs to be spiritually successful. About 1,760 years after the mystery of God has been perfectly unveiled, here comes Joseph Smith with a new and complicated mystery. Even though I have read a great deal about Joseph Smith, I do not know why he did what he did. I do see the following: a dreamer and inventive person, a selfish person, a person unfaithful in marriage and a promoter of polygamy, a person of vengeance, a generally intelligent person but poor in grammar, and most significantly, I see a person who really stopped caring about the truth. I do not know the accuracy of all that I’ve read about Joseph Smith’s life, but if history, not the Mormon Church history,
has it correct, he suffered under a wide range of moral dilemmas. I tend to believe the account of history because it is consistent and includes many people with no prejudice against Smith and, in fact, many who liked or even loved Smith. Many people that wrote about Joseph Smith outside the guarded “walls” of Mormonism were not flattering. I feel some sympathy for all those fooled by Joseph Smith. It is my personal belief that Joseph Smith, having told people about the initial vision of the Father and the Son, changed his goal of finding the truth to one of creating the truth. The Smith family would have visions or dreams that they believed were from God, so Joseph also had his vision. Sadly, in telling others, it caused an uproar that resulted in true prejudice and bitter persecution against Joseph Smith. The extent of the violence against Joseph Smith as recorded was extreme. Truly, this changed
Joseph Smith from the young boy who suffered terribly from age seven to ten with serious infections to a hardworking young man interested in truth, to a bitter young man who would create his own religion. The problem began with his fabricated vision and the pride of being someone special, as it does with so many people who today and throughout history have claimed to hear from God. As it is so many times in life, Joseph Smith was wrong, and so were those who violently persecuted him.
Upon Joseph Smith your soul resides. Mormonism has built an entire system of faith on one dubious person. God would never leave man with such a problem. Now, on Jesus you could build a system of faith. That faith based on His life,
His teachings, His obedience, those things He gave us as witnesses, the miracles He performed, the detailed fulfillment, and the logical, complete plan of God and how Jesus fit that perfectly, albeit as an unspeakable act of love from God. Joseph Smith claims eleven witnesses saw the golden plates. It turns out that eight witnesses testified to have seen and handled plates that had the appearance of an ancient work. Those eight witnesses were not present when the angel delivered the plates. The three witnesses claimed to be present when the angel delivered the golden plates and heard the voice of the Lord were Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer, and Martin Harris. Each of these men eventually rejected Mormonism and aligned with other churches. Whitmer, stating that he had not actually seen the angel but by the eye of faith, saw the angel and the plates. Cowdery died as a member of a Methodist group. Cowdery made various statements against LDS (Latter-Day Saints) including that later he realized that the voice he heard was someone known to him and Smith. Harris left the LDS and in fact went on a mission with another group in 1836. After their deaths, Mormon records indicate that both Cowdery and Harris returned to the LDS. This is very doubtful as in Cowdery’s case, we
know a Methodist preacher provided the sermon at his funeral, and there is no Mormon record of their (Cowdery or Harris) return until many years after their deaths. It is not God’s way to leave man’s eternity at the mercy of unreliable witnesses.

Mormons are not Christians

Now it is time to get very serious. You should not believe that you can be both a Mormon and a Christian—you cannot! You will never please God unless you are in the church of His Son. When the end comes, Jesus will be handing over His church to the Father. It will not be the Mormon Church. Let us use the intelligence provided to us by God. I just indicated you could not be a Mormon and a Christian and please God similarly:
You could not be a Jew, worship Baal, and please God (1 Kings 18.20-40).
You cannot serve God and riches and please God (Matthew 6.24).
You cannot live with one foot in the world and the other foot following Christ and please God (Luke 18.18-23).
God will not share your allegiance with anything or anyone. Again,
let us use our God-given intelligence. God is not the author of confusion
(1 Corinthians 14.33). Yet God would be the god of total confusion if you needed to be a Mormon to please Him, having established about 1760 years earlier that you had to be a Christian. It turns out you cannot be a Baptist and a Christian and please God because about 1,644 years before there were any Baptists, there were Christians. You cannot be a Catholic and a Christian and please God because about 350-450 years before there was a Catholic Church, there were Christians. Let me clarify, it is not fundamentally (although these are not scriptural names) the name Mormon or Baptist or Catholic, but the name is just a symptom of the root-cause problem that these groups do not have the doctrine of Christ. Many times the situation we are born into seems very reasonable.

Proverbs 14:12

12 There is a way that seems right to a man,
But its end is the way of death.

In the case of Mormonism,something over 185 years has passed since the beginning of Joseph Smith’s story. The influence of family and friends, the magnitude of the organization, the surrounding grandeur, much of the Salt Lake City, Utah grandness, all impress and give a strong sense of correctness. This is where I believe many live in their religious safety net their entire life. Despite the true origin of their faith, in this case one Joseph Smith, they never really consider if what they believe makes sense. This may be more comfortable but it is not a place for truth seekers. Anyone who desires truth will find under investigation of LDS many, many fundamental problems.


Note: The following is a good reference (albeit quite old) for those wanting to better understand the truth about Mormonism. Otis Gatewood provides considerable detail “derailing” the “Mormon” doctrine in the “Gatewood-Farnsworth Debate on Mormonism” of August 17-21, 1942, in Salt Lake City, Utah.


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