The Mormon Moment? Religious Conviction and the 2012 Election

To vote or not to vote…that is the question. At least it has been the question at Defending. Contending. for many months now. We have all discussed whether a Christian should or can vote for a Mormon candidate…or if we should or can vote for a pro-abortion, pro-gay marriage candidate, or if we should just stay home and not vote at all. Previous articles: Mormon President?, Vote for Mormon?

I don’t have a solution for the good readers of DefCon, as this is split along many different lines of conviction. However, I do offer this interesting video of a round table discussion at Southern Seminary this week. The title tells the story:

“The Mormon Moment? Religious Conviction and the 2012 Election”

The roundtable discussion features Albert Mohler, Russell Moore, Greg Gilbert, and Mark Coppenger. This video contributes to the conversation and helps each of us think through the issue from several angles. The panel discusses what Mormonism is, where they have appeal to our society, how it is a false gospel, and what impact a Mormon President of the USA might have on the world stage.

 

(you may have to press “play” twice)

**** This video is in no way an endorsement for either candidate or an endorsement for not voting, but a contribution to the discussion.****

Southern Seminary Resources Website

Panel Discussion MP3 Download

Old Mormon vs New Mormon.

I created these videos and posted them on DefCon back in September of 2010. Since then, we’ve received many new readers to the blog that may have missed them. So I’ve decided to dust them off and re-post them here so that our new readers can see what happens when a 19th century Mormon meets a 21st century Mormon.

Enjoy!

Celestial Marriage

The Missouri Prophecies

Free cult flyer and gospel tract download.

Back in 2008, I made a cult flyer/gospel tract combo available to the readers of this blog to download for free. Since then, this flyer/tract combo has undergone refinement and is now in its fifth printing.

This flyer/tract combo was drafted as a way to inform the public about the truths of the Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons, and to provide them with the true gospel of Jesus Christ. It was originally designed to hang on doorknobs in the area where I live and was in response to the constant canvasing of neighborhoods by these two cults. But since its inception, this flyer/tract combo has also found its way into the hands of numerous people throughout America and has even found its way to the shores of Africa (with another box full currently en route to Liberia as I write this).

The cult flyer is a single tri-fold (printed on the front and back). The tract comes three to a page (printed on the front and back). Each tract fits nicely inside the cult flyer as an insert.

Please feel free to download, print, and make as many copies of each of these items as you wish to distribute as you see fit. You can even put your church name, website, or other personal information on them to help in your evangelistic contacts if you so desire.

The Great Exchange

Who’s Really Knocking at Your Door?

Book recommendation: “Under the Banner of Heaven” by Jon Krakauer.

I recently finished Jon Krakauer’s book, Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith. I found the book to be very revealing of early Mormon history (much of the stuff modern day Mormons prefer you didn’t know about). Namely this book tackled Mormonism’s twin doctrines of polygamy and Blood Atonement (and detailing the hellish results those unbiblical doctrines wrought on Mormons and non-Mormons alike).

Although this work was a scathing revelation of Mormonism’s twisted and violent history, I could not help but detect the author’s occasional sympathetic bent toward Joseph Smith and the Mormon organization as a whole.

Sympathy or poor research in some instances (I am not certain which), but one example of less-than accurate reporting is when Krakauer said that when Joseph Smith fired his gun at the angry mob (the gun that was smuggled into the Carthage jail), he wounded “at least one.”

However, Mormonism’s own History of the Church cites that Jospeh Smith actually “snapped the pistol six successive times; only three of the barrels, however, were discharged. I afterwards understood that two or three were wounded by these discharges, two of whom, I am informed, died.”

I must say that there’s a chasm of difference between “wounding at least one” and “two or three were wounded . . . two of whom . . . died.”

Another instance in the book where the author would have done well to have done better research is when he writes that Calvinists teach that God is “bent on making humans atone for Adam’s original sin.”

If Krakauer did his homework he would have known that that is not the historic Calvinist position (and never has been). Calvinism teaches that God’s Son (and Him alone) is the only One able to atone for mankind’s sin that was inherited through Adam and for the sins man commits daily. It is actually the belief of Mormonism (and Roman Catholics, and Jehovah’s Witnesses, and Seventh Day Adventists, and Muslims, etc.) that man can atone for or add to Christ’s atoning work on the cross; and this in direct opposition to Galatians 5:4.

In all, although the author was incorrect on a few points, I found the book to be a fascinating look into both the mainstream LDS organization (the one’s who broke away from the original teachings of Joseph Smith and Brigham Young) and the varios fundamental LDS organizations (the one’s who still follow the original teachings of Joseph Smith and Brigham Young) with the Lafferty brothers’ murder of Erica Lafferty and her baby, Erica, on July 24, 1984, as the back drop of the book.

The book, although containing a critical overtone toward all religion, horrifyingly exposes the results of following Joseph Smith and Brigham Young’s teachings faithfully, showing that Mormonism (much like Islam) is a violent religion full of lies, deception, adultery, sexual immorality, and forever marked by the bloodshed of innocent men, women, and children.

Like a lamb to the slaughter? The final moments of Joseph Smith.

The following article from the Mormonism Research Ministry was written by Bill McKeever:

“The events leading to the death of Mormon founder Joseph Smith are much like the events surrounding his life—full of contradiction. To hear Mormons tell the story, Smith did no wrong; for others, he did no right. Like most stories, the truth lies somewhere in the middle.”

Continue reading here.

A video on the LDS by the BBC.

This was a well done piece on Mormonism by the BBC.

Although the impetus for the documentary was presidential candidate Mitt Romney, this video uses his potential presidency as a springboard to delve into Mormonism’s seedy underbelly (unfortunately they never mention such morsels as Mormonism’s racism and blasphemous doctrines like Blood Atonement, paying for your own sins in Hell, and their god having physical relations with Mary to conceive Jesus . . . just to name a few).

Mitt Romney, Brigham Young, and the historic racism of Mormonism.

While some professing Christians are busy blurring the lines between Christianity and Mormonism (see here and here for example), at least the secular media isn’t being hoodwinked by Mormonism’s slick PR campaign.

Case in point: The following video that aired on MSNBC. I do not know who Lawrence O’Donnell is, but hats off to him for his courage to peel back the facade of Mormonism on national television.

And in the event that the inevitable Mormon apologist comes along and attempts to obfuscate Mormonism’s long history of racism with that was just Brigham Young’s opinion, or the LDS church never taught that, or this was an isolated remark taken out of context, or the myriad of other lies used to hide Mormonism’s history, I simply direct your attention to this post where many more racist quotes from Mormon leaders can be read.

Mormonism isn’t Christianity, even if the president of Fuller Theological Seminary says otherwise.

Richard J. Mouw wrote an astounding article for CNN in which he used the subject of presidential candidate Mitt Romney in an attempt to legitimize Mormonism.

Mouw, the president of Fuller Theological Seminary who claims to “know cults” and has “studied them and taught about them for a long time,” for some reason seems utterly incapable of spotting one right in front of him.

God gave us a means by which to identify a false prophet, false teacher, or cult. Through the pen of Paul He told us in Galatians 1:6-9 to watch out for anyone (even an angel from Heaven) that preaches “another gospel.” If anyone (which includes religious organizations) preaches “another gospel,” they are anathema! Mr. Mouw, however, is actively directing us away from Scripture and toward human reasoning by advancing his own means of how to identify those that are accursed. From Mouw’s article:

[A cult’s] adherents are taught to think that they are the only ones who benefit from divine approval. They don’t like to engage in serious, respectful give-and-take dialogue with people with whom they disagree. Nor do they promote the kind of scholarship that works alongside others in pursuing the truth. Jehovah’s Witnesses, for instance, haven’t established a university. They don’t sponsor a law school or offer graduate-level courses in world religions. The same goes for Christian Science. If you want to call those groups cults I will not argue with you. But Brigham Young University is a world-class educational institution, with professors who’ve earned doctorates from some of the best universities in the world. Several of the top leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have PhDs from Ivy League schools.”

You read that right (I actually had to read it twice). The Jehovah’s Witnesses and Christian Science are cults because they have not established a university, sponsored a law school, or offered graduate-level courses in world religions, but Mormonism is not a cult because they founded Brigham Young University and several of their top leaders have earned degrees from Ivy League schools.

Is the Watchtower organization taking notes?

So, according to Mr. Mouw, is there anything else that differentiates a cult from biblical Christianity besides whether or not they’ve established colleges? How about the person and work of Christ?

Nope.

“Cults do not engage in . . .  self-examining conversations. If they do, they do not remain cults.”

Really?

Well, what about the presence of a works righteousness theology being the hallmark of a cult? Surely that is something Mr. Mouw would recognize as error, right?

“These [Mormon] folks talk admiringly of the evangelical Billy Graham and the Catholic Mother Teresa, and they enjoy reading the evangelical C.S. Lewis and Father Henri Nouwen, a Catholic. That is not the kind of thing you run into in anti-Christian cults.”

So, an apostate organization only needs to pay lip service to Graham, Lewis, Teresa, and Nouwen to no longer bear the status of a cult?

Mormons have been very successful at disguising their true beliefs by adopting Christian terminology with radically different definitions (it has obviously worked to pull the wool over Mouw’s eyes), but now they’re taking the deception a step further. By appealing to two prominent Protestant icons (both with arguably suspect theology) and two Romanist icons, they have now been able to convince Mouw that they are no longer a cult and that their false gospel is somehow no longer a threat to a man’s soul. (Whatever happened to discernment?) 

Continue reading

Joel Osteen and (Mormon) Mitt Romney believe in the same Jesus?

Toward the end of this video Joel Osteen says that he’s heard that Mormon presidential candidate Mitt Romney “believes in Jesus as his savior just like I do.”

This is inevitable result of having absolutely no doctrinal foundation other than “God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life.”

When you place so little value on understanding doctrine (the very thing that defines who Jesus is) and instead spend so much time trying to live your best life now and becoming a better you, the line between truth and error become so blurred that black and white becomes gray, and countless souls perish because of it.

The first vision.

Two brief videos on Joseph Smith’s varied first vision accounts by LDSvideo.org.

See also:

The various first visions of Joseph Smith

and

Dear Mormon: Which version of the first vision do you believe?

It’s NOT official!

Too true . . . too funny. A classic.

Quotes (931)

Mormons do not take criticism of their faith lightly; sadly, many [of them] have followed the path of our culture in assuming that disagreement is akin to bigotry.

– Bill McKeever

The source of LDS lunar life discovered?

Those who have studied Mormonism’s history have seen that much of the Book of Mormon was written largely in part thanks to other sources that were available to Joseph Smith at the time he lived.

The two most notable examples are Joseph Smith’s plagiarism of the King James Bible, and Joseph Smith’s not-so-unique tales of native American Indians being ancestors of Israelites. The former was the standard translation of the Bible used in America at that time, and the latter was a popular notion advanced in numerous books during Joseph Smith’s time.

Even Mormons (including LDS general authority member and apologist B.H. Roberts) have had to concede the uncanny similarities between the Book of Mormon and other works of men available to Joseph Smith at the time.

In fact, there’s been much discussion about writings by Solomon Spaulding and Ethan Smith which are eerily similar to that of the Book of Mormon and predate the Book of Mormon. 

 You can read more on Solomon Spaulding’s manuscript here, and view the numerous similarities between Ethan Smith’s work and Joseph Smith’s Book of Mormon here.


But the Indians-are-Hebrews stories aren’t the only tales that were circulating during Joseph Smith’s time

There is another Mormon teaching that was espoused by early Mormon leaders that–like the Indian/Hebrew theory–was also not original to Mormonism. I’m speaking of the Mormon teaching that the moon was inhabited by men.

Oliver B. Huntington, who was a close associate of Joseph Smith and remained a faithful Mormon his whole life, said:

Astronomers and philosophers have, from time almost immemorial until very recently, asserted that the moon was uninhabited, that it had no atmosphere, etc. But recent discoveries, through the means of powerful telescopes, have given scientists a doubt or two upon the old theory. Nearly all the great discoveries of men in the last half century have, in one way or another, either directly or indirectly, contributed to prove Joseph Smith to be a prophet. As far back as 1837, I know that he said the moon was inhabited by men and women the same as this earth, and that they lived to a greater age than we do, that they live generally to near the age of a 1000 years. He described the men as averaging near six feet in height, and dressing quite uniformly in something near the Quaker style. In my Patriarchal blessing, given by the father of Joseph the Prophet, in Kirtland, 1837, I was told that I should preach the gospel before I was 21 years of age; that I should preach the gospel to the inhabitants upon the islands of the sea, and–to the inhabitants of the moon, even the planet you can now behold with your eyes. Young Woman’s Journal, Volume 3, pages 263-264, 1892

Huntington also said the following of Joseph Smith’s teaching regarding  moon people:

The inhabitants of the moon are more of a uniform size than the inhabitants of the earth, being about 6 feet in height. They dress very much like the quaker style and are quite general in style, or fashion of dress. They live to be very old; coming generally, near a thousand years.” This is the description of them as given by Joseph the Seer, and he could “see” whatever he asked the father in the name of Jesus to see. The Journal of Oliver B. Huntington, Volume 3, Page 166

William A. Linn had this to say about Martin Harris, one of the three Witnesses to the Book of Mormon:

Daniel Hendrix relates that as he and [Martin] Harris were riding to the village one evening, and he remarked on the beauty of the moon, Harris replied that if his companion could only see it as he had, he might well call it beautiful, explaining that he had actually visited the moon, and added that it “was only the faithful who were permitted to visit celestial regions.” William A. Linn, The Story of the Mormons, Page 35,  1902

Of, course, not to be outdone by all the grandiose claims, Mormon Prophet Brigham Young went even farther by alleging that there are solar inhabitants as well:

We are called ignorant; so we are: but what of it? Are not all ignorant? I rather think so. Who can tell us of the inhabitants of this little planet that shines of an evening, called the moon? When we view its face we may see what is termed “the man in the moon,” and what some philosophers declare are the shadows of mountains. But these sayings are very vague, and amount to nothing; and when you inquire about the inhabitants of that sphere you find that the most learned are as ignorant in regard to them as the most ignorant of their fellows. So it is with regard to the inhabitants of the sun. Do you think it is inhabited? I rather think it is. Do you think there is any life there? No question of it; it was not made in vain. It was made to give light to those who dwell upon it, and to other planets; and so will this earth when it is celestialized. Journal of Discourses, Volume 13, Page 271, 1870

So where did early Mormon leaders devise such tall tales about moon people and sun dwellers?

Well, all of the above quotes from Mormonism arose after 1835, the year when a tale of lunar habitation by humans was being spun by a paper called the New York Sun. A tale that later became known as The Great Moon Hoax.

In August of 1835 (just two years before Oliver B. Huntington said Joseph Smith began talking about inhabitants of the moon) the New York Sun (a paper from Joseph Smith’s own home state) reported that British astronomer Sir John Herschel discovered people living on the moon (as well as unicorns and hut-dwelling, fire-wielding bi-ped beavers).

Of course, thanks to advancements in astronomy, we now know for certain that men do not live on the moon (or the sun) and modern Mormons have since back-peddled from these teachings (painting over them with a veneer that these were only their leaders’ “opinion”). But even though they recognized the foolishness of these teachings, they still believe in extra-terrestrial habitation on other planets . . . just not on our moon or sun.

Mormon prophet Brigham Young said:

Mankind are here because they are the offspring of parents who were first brought here from another planet, and power was given them to propagate their species. Journal of Discourses, Volume 7, Page 285, 1859

Joseph Fielding Smith, tenth prophet/president of the Mormon organization, said:

We are not the only people that the Lord has created. We have brothers and sisters on other earths. They look like us because they, too, are the children of God and were created in his image, for they are also his offspring. Doctrines of Salvation, Volume 1, Page 62

Recognizing the prophets’ errors of claiming the moon and sun are inhabited is honest and the right thing to do, but why still cling to the idea that other planets are inhabited?

I’m still waiting for LDS apologists to finally concede that the Book of Mormon was just Joseph Smith’s “opinion” as well since advancements in archeology have not revealed one city, town, sword, shield, coin or other artifact or location in Book of Mormon history; advancements in DNA science have proven that American Indians are not descendants of ancient Hebrews as the Book of Mormon claims; that there is not one ancient manuscript to support the authenticity of the Book of Mormon; that the “Reformed Egyptian” language Joseph Smith supposedly translated the Book of Mormon from has never existed; and that the Book of Mormon (called “the most correct of any book on earth”), has undergone 3,913 documented changes, corrections, and alterations since it’s original 1830 publication.

But I suppose, even in the face of all that evidence, the odds of Mormons admitting that the Book of Mormon was a fabrication is as slim as finding Quakers living on the moon.


Walter Martin vs Van Hale debate: “Is Mormonism Christian?”

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van-hale

Christian apologist Walter Martin takes on Mormon apologist Van Hale in a debate entitled Is Mormonism Christian? It is another fine job by Walter Martin in defending the faith from those who would seek to pervert it.

Years after this debate, Van Hale publicly announced (in 2005) that he cannot accept the Book of Mormon as real history about real people (see here). I’m not sure if his debate with Dr. Martin helped bring him to that point, but it is an interesting piece of history.

You can download all three parts of this debate here:

Is Mormonism Christian? (Part One)

Is Mormonism Christian? (Part Two)

Is Mormonism Christian? (Part Three)

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Check out another great debate between Walter Martin and anti-theist Madalyn Murray O’Hair here.

A Case for the Pre-Existence of the Son of God

A Case for the Pre-Existence of the Son of God

Defining Who is the Son of God and Proving His Eternal Existence

INTRODUCTION

            Over two-thousand years ago in the small village of Bethlehem, made famous as the boyhood home of King David (1 Sam 16:1, 17:12, Luke 2:4), a baby was born. Only a few miles from Jerusalem, the epicenter of the Jewish religious culture of the time, this baby would grow up amidst swirling controversy regarding who he was. Who is this child? He would be called many things, however, one title condemned him for blasphemy by the High Priest Caiaphas and the Council of scribes and elders who arrested and tried him and led to his execution (Mt 26:37, Mt 26:62-66, Jn 19:7). The question came from Caiaphas, “I adjure you by the living God, tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God.” Jesus answered directly, “You have said so.”You have stated the truth. Caiaphas tore his clothes[1] – a forbidden act by the High Priest – as a display of extreme grief for blasphemy.[2] Jesus claimed to be the Son of God and he was executed for it.

            We have the advantage on this side of the cross, two-thousand years later, with the aid of Holy Scripture to see that Jesus was in fact the Son of God (Jn 1:1-14) and was wrongly executed by the council in a purely legal point of view. However, Jesus is God and his mission was to come to earth and be executed as a sacrifice for the sins of the children of God (Ephesians 1-2, Phil 2:5-8, Col 1:11-22, 1 Pet 1:2). Although we now have great hope in Christ, the Son of God, controversy still swirls around who he is. Several religions that claim the name of Jesus do not consider him to be God, such as the LDS and Jehovah Witnesses, but they consider Him to be a created being. Within the orthodox Christian circles Jesus is known to be God, but there is disagreement on whether or not he has been God for all eternity. Did the Son of God exist eternally, outside time and space, as the Son before he was born in the form of man before born as the baby Jesus, born of Mary? Or was it at the incarnation that Jesus came into being by becoming man generated by the Father?

            I propose that the evidence proving the Son of God’s pre-existence before the incarnation is overwhelming and inarguable for not only LDS and Jehovah Witnesses[3], but also for all within the Christian faith. Before proposing the evidence supporting the pre-existence of the Son of God, a brief description of the opposition is in order.

 

OPPOSITION TO THE PRE-EXISTENCE OF THE SON OF GOD

            The opposition to who Jesus is and what it means for Him to be the Son of God has been argued since Jesus was born in Bethlehem. Many false doctrines were found in the early church, towards which Jesus’ beloved disciple John wrote his entire Gospel and epistles to refute (John 20:31), the Apostle Paul worked diligently to correct through his many epistles and missionary journeys (Rom 8:1-4, Col 1:15-20), as well as Peter and the writer of Hebrews (1 Peter 1:20, 2 Peter 1:16-21, Heb 1:1-3). The eternality of the Son, as the second person of the Trinity was so hotly contested a few hundred years after the incarnation that the Nicene Council developed the Nicene Creed to establish a proper view on the Son and to distance themselves from the modalistic theology of Sabellianism[4] and the argument by the Arians[5] of the day that insisted that the Son of God was a created being.

            Centuries later new religions arose which claimed the name of Jesus Christ, yet they did not attribute deity or pre-existence to him. In the early 1800’s, Joseph Smith founded the Church of Jesus Christ and the Latter Day Saints, claiming that the Son of God was merely a created being and Lucifer’s brother.[6] In the 1870’s Jehovah Witnesses arose who teach Jesus is no more than the archangel Michael[7], another created being. The LDS and the Jehovah Witness religions are rightly consider by professing Christians to be cultic and not a denomination within the protestant faith.

Another high profile stream of incorrect teaching regarding the Son of God has invaded the charismatic denominations. In particular, the televangelist T.D. Jakes with his “oneness” Pentecostal faith, author of over 30 books many of which have been on the NY Times Bestseller List, has had a worldwide stage for many years and teaches that Jesus is the Father, Jesus is the Son, and Jesus is the Holy Spirit and that the doctrine of the Trinity is in fact a polytheistic heresy[8]. Although no credible theologian would give Jakes theology thirty seconds of consideration, the average Christian is easily fooled by the TV shows, bestselling books, and charismatic personality. These fallacies are as important to refute as what the Fathers of the Nicene Creed were fighting against 1700 years ago.

            More interesting even yet, and much closer to home, is the change that John MacArthur has transitioned through only a decade ago. MacArthur, one of America’s greatest teachers and preachers, released an article in 2001 stating:

“…I want to state publicly that I have abandoned the doctrine of ‘incarnational sonship.’ Careful study and reflection have brought me to understand that Scripture does indeed present the relationship between God the Father and Christ the Son as an eternal Father-Son Relationship. I know longer regard Christ’s sonship as a role He assumed in His incarnation.”[9]

MacArthur’s abandonment of this doctrine through careful study of the Scriptures signals to us that there is a vital need for careful study and reflection on the Scriptures by every believer, even for every respected teacher, preacher, and theologian. Let us now turn to carefully considering what the Bible says about the relationship between God the Father and God the Son.

EVIDENCE OF THE PRE-EXISTENCE OF THE SON OF GOD

            Ten proofs regarding the pre-existence of Jesus Christ as the Son of God and second person in the Trinity need careful consideration.

Proof (1): I Am. The most basic proof of Jesus Christ’s pre-existence as the Son of God, and an assumption that must be made at the outset, is his divinity. Jesus being fully God implies his eternality. We see from the “I am” (egō eimi) statements found in Jesus’ own words, that He is claiming to be equal to God, the Father. In chapter 8 of John’s gospel, Jesus provides a direct claim to deity and pre-existence through the most notable “I am” statement.  Jesus tells the Jews, “If anyone who keeps my word, he will never taste death,” (Jn 8:52, ESV). The Jews fire back at Jesus by asking if he is greater than Abraham. After all, Abraham died and so did all the other prophets of God. So how can this man claim to have power over death? How can he speak with authority regarding Abraham as if he knows him? Jesus, they argue isn’t even fifty years old, how can he have seen Abraham?[10] Jesus then makes the claim to deity and pre-existence: “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am,” (Jn 8:58, ESV). Continue reading

“The more I studied the more evidence of a cover-up I discovered.”

As a follow-up to yesterday’s post (found here), and as a testament to the legacy of Joseph Smith (who was born 206 years ago today), I wanted to direct your attention to the resignation letter of former LDS stake bishop, Steve Bloor.

Here is an excerpt:

“I didn’t realise for instance that Joseph Smith practised polygamy, and was married to 33 women, most under the age of 20, one as young as 14. That some of Joseph’s wives were already married to other men when he married them; a practice called polyandry. All of these facts can be confirmed by a simple look at the church’s own website, familysearch.org. . . . There are many other issues, like; there are several accounts of the First Vision and Joseph Smith’s initial personal journal entry about the First Vision didn’t include seeing God the Father and Jesus Christ, but an angel. Then over the years the story got embellished till it changed to what we have today. Yet I was told it was the most momentous event to occur in this dispensation. Why didn’t Joseph initially record it correctly?  And there are so many other things that have just dissolved my faith to the point I can no longer bear a testimony of the truthfulness of this church or even God. Can you imagine how I now feel? It’s like my whole world is crumbling around me. I no longer know what I believe, or who I can trust. I don’t even know who I am, it is a most frightening experience. At the moment it feels like a death in the family. My death!”

“If the [Mormon] church is not true would I want to know?”

Steve Bloor penned a letter to his congregation after resigning from his position as Bishop in his LDS stake.

What he did took much courage and I commend him for not only being willing to investigate his organization’s history, but also for acting upon what he discovered and not putting the problems of Mormonism on the proverbial Mormon shelf.

Here’s an excerpt from his letter:

I realise this will shock you. It has truly shocked me how quickly a testimony of the Church can unravel when Joseph Smith’s divine calling as God’s prophet is undermined by learning the truth about him.

I have come to believe over the last month that there are so many inconsistencies and problems with the historicity of the Book of Mormon, as well as the divinity of Joseph Smith’s calling as prophet, that I can no longer, in good faith, fulfill my calling as Bishop of Helston Ward.

You can read his entire letter here.

Yet another ten quick questions for Mormons.

You’ve enjoyed Ten (very) quick questions for Mormons, Ten more (very) quick questions for Mormons, and Another ten (very) quick questions for Mormons. DefCon now brings you ten more questions from Keith Walker of Evidence Ministries.

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A Roman Catholic on Chuck Colson on Mitt Romney on Mormonism.

I just read an excellent article from NCR on Chuck Colson’s position on the issue of Mitt Romney’s Mormonism and its pertinence in American politics. Although the author of the article is Roman Catholic (which leads him to some erroneous conclusions like suggesting that Romanism is Christian), he does make some great points about this issue that Evangelical Christians should be cognizant of, while simultaneously pinpointing some of Chuck Colson’s poor misuse of Scripture.

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

Mormons are polytheists. They believe that the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are three different gods,that there are countless other gods besides, and that somewhere there is a “God the Mother” with whom the Father celestio-biologically reproduced Jesus.

Further, they believe that we are the same species as the gods and that by being a good Mormon you can grow up to be a divinity with your own planet of billions of people worshipping you.

Worse, they claim that actual Christianity is a false and degraded, apostate Christianity. That they are the true, restored Christianity.

They are therefore polytheists of a type that goes way beyond ancient paganism. Back then apotheosis was reserved for the emperor or the pharaoh, but more importantly polytheists did not claim to be Christians, much less to be the only true expression of Christianity with actual Christianity being a theological perversion.

Mormonism thus subverts the core doctrine of Christianity (the doctrine of God), passes off true Christianity as a counterfeit, and holds itself out to the public to be the genuine article.

You can read the entire article here, and as usual, the Mormons have flooded the comment section of the article.

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See also:

Should a Christian vote for Mitt Romney?

Should Christians vote for the lesser of two evils?

A shocking realization if a Mormon becomes president of the United States.

That’s where I’ve read that before!

The following is a great chart from 20 Truths About Mormonism showing the “similarities between the Book of Mormon and View of the Hebrews as summarized by [Mormon] Elder B. H. Roberts.”

This is a followup to Where Have I Read that Before?

Book of Mormon View of the Hebrews
Gives an Israelitish origin of the American Indian. Pleads for an Israelitish origin of the American Indian on every page.
Deals with the destruction of Jerusalem and the scattering of Israel. Deals with the destruction of Jerusalem and the scattering of Israel.
Deals with the future gathering of Israel and the restoration of the ten tribes. Deals with the future gathering of Israel and the restoration of the ten tribes.
Emphasizes and uses much of the material from the prophecies of Isaiah, including whole chapters. Emphasizes and uses much of the material from the prophecies of Isaiah, including whole chapters.
Makes a special appeal to the Gentiles of the New World–esp. the people of the United States to become nursing fathers and mothers unto Israel in the New World, holding out great promises to the great Gentile nation that shall occupy America, if it acquiesces in the divine program. Makes a special appeal to the Gentiles of the New World–esp. the people of the United States to become nursing fathers and mothers unto Israel in the New World, holding out great promises to the great Gentile nation that shall occupy America, if it acquiesces in the divine program.
The peopling of the New World was by migrations from the Old World. The peopling of the New World was by migrations from the Old World.
Migrating Jaredites are taken into “that quarter where there never had man been”. Its migrating people are taken into a country where “never man dwelt”.
The colony enters into a valley of a great river. Peoples journeyed northward and encountered “seas” of “many waters” in the course of their long journey. The motive of their journey was religious. Ether is prominently connected with recording the matter. The colony enters into a valley of a great river. Peoples journeyed northward and encountered “seas of many waters” in the course of their long journey. The motive of their journey was religious. Ethan is prominently connected with recording the matter.
Nephites divide into two classes, the one civilized, the other followed a wild hunting and indolent lifestyle that ultimately led to barbarism. The lost tribes divide into two classes, the one fostering the arts that make for civilization, the other followed a wild hunting and indolent lifestyle that ultimately led to barbarism.
Long and dismal wars break out between the Nephites and Lamanites. Long and dismal wars break out between the civilized and barbarous divisions of people.
The Lamanites utterly exterminate the Nephites. (The same thing occurs with the Jaredite peoples in the exact place the Nephites would later be exterminated). The savage division utterly exterminates the civilized one.
Civilized people develop a culture of mechanic arts; of written language; of the knowledge and use of iron and other metals; and of navigation. Civilized people develop a culture of mechanic arts; of written language; of the knowledge and use of iron and other metals; and of navigation.
Unity of race–the Hebrew race and no other is assumed for the inhabitants of ancient America. Unity of race–the Hebrew race, and no other is assumed for the inhabitants of ancient America.
Book of Mormon peoples are assumed to occupy the whole extent of the American continents. With the possible exception of the Eskimos of the extreme north, this race of Hebrew peoples occupied the whole extent of the American continents.
The original language of the people was Hebrew. The Indian tongue had one source–the Hebrew.
Joseph Smith used an instrument in translating the Book of Mormon called Urim and Thummim which he described as two stones and a breastplate. View of the Hebrews describes an instrument among the mound finds comprising a breast plate with two white buckhorn buttons attached, “in imitation of the precious stones of the Urim.”
Admits the existence of idolatry and human sacrifice. Admits the existence of idolatry and human sacrifice.
Prophets extol generosity to the poor and denounce pride as a trait of the people. Polygamy is denounced under certain conditions as in the practices of David and Solomon. Generosity to the poor is extolled and pride is denounced as a trait of the American Indian. Polygamy is denounced
Lost sacred records would be restored to the Lamanites along with the return of their lost favor with God in the last days. Indian traditions of a “Lost Book of God” and the promise of its restoration to the Indians, with a return of their lost favor with the Great Spirit are quoted.
Sacred records were hidden or buried by Moroni, a character that corresponds to this Indian tradition in the Hill Cumorah. Ethan Smith’s sacred book was buried with some “high priest,” “keeper of the sacred tradition.”
Reports of extensive military fortifications erected throughout large areas with military “watch towers” here and there overlooking them. Reports of extensive military fortifications linking cities together over wide areas of Ohio and Mississippi valleys, with military “watch towers” overlooking them.
Reports of prayer or sacred towers. Describes sacred towers or “high places,” in some instances devoted to true worship, in other cases to idolatrous practices.
Some Book of Mormon people effect a change from monarchial governments to republican forms of government. Part of Ethan Smith’s ancient inhabitants effect a change from monarchial governments to republican forms of government.
Civil and ecclesiastical powers are united in the same person in Book of Mormon republican people. Civil and ecclesiastical powers are united in the same person in Ethan Smith’s republics.
Lehi, first of Nephite prophets taught the existence of a necessary opposition in all things–righteousness opposed to wickedness–good to bad; life to death, and so following. Some of Ethan Smith’s peoples believed in the constant struggle between the good and the bad principle by which the world is governed.
The gospel was clearly preached among the ancient inhabitants of Americas. Ethan Smith’s book speaks of the gospel having been preached in the ancient America.
The Book of Mormon brings the risen Messiah to the New World, gives him a ministry, disciples and a church Ethan Smith’s book gives, in considerable detail, the story of the Mexican culture-hero Quetzalcoatl–who in so many things is reminiscent of the Christ.

They conclude this list with the following quote from Mormon apologist, historian, and member of the LDS general authority, B.H. Roberts, from his work Studies of the Book of Mormon, (University of Illinois Press, 1985, p. 242):

“Can such numerous and startling points of resemblance and suggestive contact be merely coincidence?”

And 20 Truths About Mormonism also reveals:

“Joseph even appears to have plagiarized his father. For many years his mother cherished the details of several of her husband’s dreams, and one of these was incorporated wholesale into the Book of Mormon as a vision by Lehi, the father of Nephi.”

The Vision of Lehi
(Book of Mormon (1830), pp. 18-20)
Dream of Joseph Smith, Sr.
(Lucy Smith: Biographical Sketches, pp. 58-59)
…me thought I saw a dark and dreary wilderness… I thought I was traveling in an open and desolate field, which appeared very barren…
I beheld a tree, whose fruit was desirable, to make one happy…most sweet, above all that I ever had before tasted…I began to be desirous that my family should partake of it also… …a tree, such as I had never seen before…I found it delicious beyond description. As I was eating, I said in my heart, “I cannot eat this alone, I must bring my wife and children.”…
And I beheld a rod of iron; and it extended along the bank of the river, and led to the tree… I beheld a beautiful stream of water, which ran from the east to the west…I could see a rope running along the bank of it…
…a great and spacious building…filled with people, both old and young, both male and female; and their manner of dress was exceeding fine, and they were in the attitude of mocking and pointing their fingers towards those which had come at, and were partaking of the fruit. I beheld a spacious building…filled with people, who were very finely dressed. When these people observed us in the low valley, under the tree, they pointed the finger of scorn at us.