|Volume 24 Number 6 June 2022
A past advertising campaign by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons) alleged that the Book of Mormon is another testament of Jesus Christ. Advertisements in the TV Guide and commercials on television made this unsubstantiated and remarkable claim. When challenged to defend these assertions, however, the Mormon local district president responded but declined to defend the Book of Mormon. Also of note was the letter itself, which both misrepresented our correspondence and Mormon doctrine. Consider the following observations regarding a letter addressed to him and his reply.
(1) We did not challenge the Mormons to debate “the differences between our churches” (though we could have). We asked them to defend their public assertion that the Book of Mormon is another testament of Jesus Christ. (2) Though the Mormons claim they do “not engage in public debates,” at one time they did (e.g., Gatewood-Farnsworth Debate). It is easy to make baseless assertions, and it is no wonder the Mormons refuse to defend their claims – because they are unable to do so. (3) The Mormons say they prefer to preach “the Gospel of Christ” instead of debate, yet they reject the Gospel (New Testament) in favor of the Book of Mormon. (4) The empty claims of Mormonism are directed only to those who “would listen and accept” Mormon “precepts.” Others who hedge or question blind surrender to Mormonism are refused an explanation. The apostle Peter, though, wrote that we should be ready with answers regarding the Christian faith. “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear” (1 Peter 3:15 NKJV). (5) In the final paragraph his response, the Mormon district president unwittingly surrendered his belief that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the only church with which God is pleased. Further, he wished the churches of Christ “much success in bringing good news,” referred to us as the children of God and wished God’s blessings on us for all our “righteous endeavors.” It is doubtful the Mormon church hierarchy concedes that the churches of Christ are satisfactory with God.
Certainly, the general public needs to be made aware of the false claims of Mormonism (e.g., the Book of Mormon is not another testament of Jesus Christ). Too, Mormons need to be taught that there is one true church of the Bible, even as there is but one Gospel. However, neither the Mormon church nor the Book of Mormon qualify, respectively. “Test all things; hold fast what is good” (1 Thessalonians 5:21).
The Mormon Spoof
Doubtless, many Mormons are sincere and morally good people. However, there are several critical matters of which Mormons and the public need to be apprised. Truly, with only kindness in my heart and the best interest of others I submit the following evidence for consideration.
Origin of the Book
of the Mormon
In 1812, Solomon Spaulding took his fictional manuscript entitled, The Manuscript Found, Or the Book of the Mormon, to a Pittsburgh printer, Sidney Rigdon. Rigdon declined to publish the book but made a copy of it before returning it to Spaulding, who died shortly thereafter. In 1829, Rigdon met Joseph Smith and introduced him to the manuscript, The Book of the Mormon. In 1830, Rigdon and Smith began the Mormon Church based on The Book of the Mormon (M’Clintock and Strong 801). Other resources doubt this origin of the Book of the Mormon and simply relegate it to flagrant plagiarism from various sources by Joseph Smith. A good case can be made for this origin of the Book of the Mormon, too. In either case, the presentation of the Book of the Mormon by Joseph Smith, from which he molded a new religion, was the work of a deceiver. It is not of divine origin!
Joseph Smith, founder of Mormonism, and other Mormon prophets have made numerous prophecies and statements that contradict The Book Of Mormon, other Mormon teachings, the Bible and reality. Just this one subject, following, from Mormon writings themselves illustrates the unreliability of the founder of Mormonism and its earliest leaders. The following two references cite Joseph Smith.
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. (Huntington, Journal of Oliver B. Huntington 166)
As far back as 1837, I know that he said the moon was inhabited by men and women the same as the earth, and 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. (Huntington, The Young Woman’s Journal 263-264)
The second president of the Mormon Church, Brigham Young, stated on July 24, 1870:
Who can tell us of the inhabitants of this little planet that shines of an evening, called the moon? …when you inquire about the inhabitants of that sphere you find that the most learned are as ignorant in regard to them as the ignorant of their fellows. So it is in 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.” (271)
Contradicts the Bible
Mormon teaching often contradicts the Bible, one illustration being the obvious difference between the Mormon usage of the term “elders” versus the Bible usage – or even common English usage. The world “elder” refers to an “older” person, as it does throughout the Bible. In the New Testament, the term “elder” refers to a religious position of responsibility to which one is appointed over a local congregation – after he has met qualifications listed in Titus 1:5-9. One of those qualifications is “…the husband of one wife, having faithful children…” (Titus 1:6). Mormon elders, however, are young unmarried men with no children.
The New Testament Is
God’s Final Revelation
The inspired apostle Paul taught that the Gospel or the New Testament portion of the Bible is God’s final revelation to mankind. He placed a curse on anything else unlike it or additional to it.
I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. 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. As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed. (Galatians 1:6-9)
The Book Of Mormon is unlike and additional to the Gospel. Jude wrote that the Christian system of faith – the Gospel or the New Testament – was finalized in the first century – nearly 1,800 years before the time of Joseph Smith and the Book of the Mormon. “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” (Jude 3).
Below are three Mormon quotations for the reader’s reflection; I heartily concur with them. The third president of the Mormon Church, John Taylor, stated, “…if God has not spoken, if the angel of God has not appeared to Joseph Smith, and if these things are not true of which we speak, then the whole thing is an imposture from beginning to end. There is no half-way house, no middle path about the matter; it is either one thing or the other” (Journal of Discourses, 21:165 emphasis added).
The tenth president of the Mormon Church, Joseph Fielding Smith, said, “Mormonism, as it is called, must stand or fall on the story of Joseph Smith. He was either a prophet of God, divinely called, properly appointed and commissioned, or he was one of the biggest frauds this world has ever seen. There is no middle ground” (Doctrines of Salvation, 1:188-189).
Mormon Apostle Orson Pratt stated, “…convince us of our errors of doctrine, if we have any, by reason, by logical arguments, or by the word of God, and we will be ever grateful for the information, and you will ever have the pleasing reflection that you have been instruments in the hands of God of redeeming your fellow beings from the darkness which you may see enveloping their minds” (The Seer 15-16).
Unfortunately, though, Mormons, today, absolutely refuse the proposition of Orson Pratt. They recoil at the invitation to defend their doctrine in honorable discussion. The uninformed public and unaware Mormons desperately need the opportunity to review a dispassionate perspective of Mormonism. An appeal to largely Mormon writings is of itself sufficient ammunition to torpedo this spoof called Mormonism.
Huntington, Oliver B. Journal of Oliver B. Huntington, Vol. 3. Salt Lake City: Utah State Historical Society, 1895.
Huntington, O.B. The Young Woman’s Journal. Vol. 3. Young Ladies’ Mutual Improvement Associations of Zion, 1892.
M’Clintock, John, and James Strong. “Rigdon, Sidney.” Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological, and Ecclesiastical Literature, Vol. XII. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1887, 1891, reprinted 1970.
Pratt, Orson. The Seer.
Smith, Joseph Fielding. Doctrines of Salvation. Vol. 1, 1959.
Taylor, John. Journal of Discourses, Vol. 21.
Young, Brigham. Journal of Discourses, Vol. 13.