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

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?

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.


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.

______________________________________________

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.

Mormonism’s Bigfoot.

I recently published an article on one of Mormonism’s wild claims about big, black, hairy Cain still roaming the earth in the post Mormon Prophet Lends Credibility to a Wild Claim. And, of course, the first response that post received from a Mormon apologist was:

The real shame is that it is simply a waste of time as no self-respecting person would really care enough to take the time to right [sic] about such meaningless prattle. Such a pity.

This was an interesting response considering the fact that it was important enough to Mormon President Spencer W. Kimball to write about it in his book The Miracle of Forgiveness. Evidently it’s only prattle when a non-Mormon discusses the matter.

And apparently one Mormon didn’t get the memo because he’s still talking (and writing) about the Cain/Bigfoot (and racism) matter. Blogger Doug Gibson has risked not being self-respecting because he’s been wasting his time by writing about such prattle when he recently published the post Awareness of Racism Eased Mormon Folk Tales Regarding Cain, Bigfoot. According to Gibson’s article, President Kimball wasn’t the only one in Mormon history to report claims of Cain/Bigfoot sightings.

Although some Mormon apologists would have you ignore such “prattle,” I highly encourage you to read Gibson’s article. And be sure to read all the enlightening comments afterward, like this sample from a commenter named Mikeasell:

Here is the deal: the church likes to teach what they call unchanged, revealed doctrine. When said doctrine becomes unpopular and threatens the church financially, the doctrine gets downgraded quickly to a “teaching” or a “guideline”, then a further downgrade to a “practice”, it is then removed from manuals and books (hence why people of different generations heard or did not hear the stories). Then the practice can simply be “discontinued”. They begin with the Lord has said X because Y is a true principle, live by it or go to hell, then they begin saying well we have been taught in the past that X=Y, then they begin with the “we don’t understand, but we are sure there is a mysterious purpose as to X is somewhat related to Y, but it is not for us to question the Lord”, then the blatant downgrade: we no longer “practice X, X practice has been discontinued, it is not really tied with Y”.

The reality is that the LDS church had inclusion criteria based on race. When it became apparent that the NCAA would allow teams like Stanford to avoid playing BYU and therefore the Church was having their non-profit status reviewed by the IRS, then suddenly (within a month) God changed his mind. Same with polygamy, it went from we will die before we give it up, we will break the law cuz God is a higher law, to sending ppl to Mexico to practice it to eventually pretending it really did not happen for that long or that it was because it was just a trial, there were too many men, etc. . . . .It is amazing to me, shocking really, that people are gullible enough to believe that a never changing restored gospel needs changing all the time, and surprisingly to accommodate cultural pressures. I cannot believe that people that believe in prophets can also believe that those prophets can not agree on basic doctrine, to the point that Joseph Smith, if he were to come back, would be excommunicated from the church he founded because of his beliefs and practices.