The DAMING Danger of Mormonism
Heritage of Faith
December 6, 2004
It is important that Christians know the danger and deception of the cult group known as Mormons especially at a time like this. The Mormons have recently established a Mormon Temple in New York City. It is drawing great crowds of people, from what I understand.
Recently the internationally renowned evangelical speaker, Ravi Zecharias spoke at the Salt Lake Tabernacle in Salt Lake City Utah. He appeared with the Richard Mouw, the president of Fuller Theological Seminary. And Mouw had this to say: “Let me state it clearly. We evangelicals have sinned against you.” He apologized that evangelicals have “often misrepresented the faith and beliefs of the Latter-day saints.” He said that evangelicals have marginalized and simplified their beliefs.
I am here tonight to say that this is gross negligence, and as a fundamentalist, a Bible Believing Christian, I have nothing to apologize to the Mormon cult for by exposing their heresy.
Mormonism is a dangerous, damning cult, and I will prove it tonight.
First, let me break down some of the distinctives of a cult.
Their attitude toward Scripture is always a “mixture of apparent subjection to its authority and of arbitrary manipulation of its teachings.” Cults make the scripture say something it doesn’t.
The Mormons make this error with their Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and Pearl of Great Price.
Denial of justification by grace alone.
Mormons add work to Christ’s finished work in the Gospel.
Devaluation of the deity of Christ: It may not be a complete denial of His worth, but they shift the emphasis to who He really is. Mormons have many gods.
Now let me look at some of the key elements of MORMONISM.
We will see their beginnings, their books, and their beliefs.
1. The BEGINNINGS of Mormonism
Born in 1805 in Sharon, Vermont, Joseph Smith would begin just a few years later what would become one of the world's largest and fastest growing non-Christian religions.
According to the official story of the LDS Church, in 1820 Smith was visited by God the Father and God the Son after praying about which church he should join. He was told by Jesus, he should join none of them for they were "all wrong" and all the Christian church's doctrines "were an abomination" (Joseph Smith - History 19, Pearl of Great Price).
This First Vision was followed by several visits from an angel named Moroni (pronounced Ma-roe-nie) who, in 1827, allowed Smith to retrieve a set of Golden Plates which had been buried in a hill near Smith's home in Palmyra, New York.
Between 1827-1830, Smith, with the help of friends, translated the Golden Plates into the LDS scripture, the Book of Mormon. Published in 1830, this was to become the first of many scriptures for the Mormon Church. By this time, Smith had also officially organized the LDS Church and was gaining a following. Over the next ten years the church headquarters would move to Kirtland, Ohio; Independence, Missouri and Far West, Missouri. Finally it would find a resting place in Nauvoo, Illinois between 1839-1944.
It was in Nauvoo, that many of Mormonism’s more unique doctrines were to find their beginnings. Nauvoo grew to be the second largest town in the state. This growth, however, brought several problems with its neighboring towns. Problems which would eventually lead to the death of Smith at Carthage, Illinois on June 27, 1844 (Truth Restored, Gordon B. Hinckley, pp. 41-86).
After Smith's murder, several LDS leaders stepped forward to take control of the Church. Each claimed to have the authority to lead the Church, and some even claimed Smith had appointed them to be his successor. This fracturing of the Church has caused over 100 splinter groups throughout the movement's history (Divergent Paths of the Restoration, Steven Shields). The largest of these splinter groups is the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
The majority of the Mormons followed Brigham Young, who himself added several strange and unique doctrines to the LDS Church's repertoire after arriving in the Salt Lake Valley. Today the LDS Church is headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah with a network of worldwide outreaches.
Brigham Young took over and moved them to Utah in 1847. Young is second only to smith as Mormon prophet and authority. Courageous and ruthless, Young was the law in Utah. He once ordered Mormon Bishop John D. Lee to massacre 100 non-Mormon immigrants in a wagon train. Lee was tried and convicted, and he testified Young commissioned him to do it.
2. The BOOKS of Mormonism
The Bible, Old and New Testaments
Doctrine and Covenants
The Pearl of Great Price
The Book of Mormon
In the introduction to the The Book of Mormon are these words by Joseph Smith:
“I told the brethren that the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book.”
The Story of the Book of Mormon (briefly given):
It is a history of two ancient civilizations on the American continent. The first Civilization left Babel 2250 B.C., crossed into Europe and immigrated to Central America. This group, the Jaredites, was destroyed on account of their corruption. The SECOND civilization left Jerusalem 600 B.C. They were righteous Jews whose leader was Nephi. They were divided into two groups, the Nephites and Lamanites (American Indians). Christ appeared to the Nephites, preached the Gospel to them, and instituted both baptism and communion. The Nephites, however destroyed by the Lamanites near the hill Cumorah in Palmyra, N.Y. in 385 AD (This is where Smith found the "golden plates").
My question to a Mormon is this: If The Book of Mormon is the most correct book on earth, then why have the LDS church made thousands of corrections since the book’s first edition in 1830?
The introduction of the Book of Mormon makes an important claim: “After thousands of years, all (the white Hebrew descendants of Lehi) were destroyed except the (dark-skinned) Lamanites, and they are the principal ancestors of the American Indians.” When Joseph Smith was young, one of the popular mysteries of his day was the origin of the American Indian. Smith provided an answer, but now it can be proven with the science of the DNA proof that Smith and the Book of Mormon are wrong. It is now possible to trace a person’s DNA back through centuries to accurately determine one’s ancestry.
In a startling new video titled, DNA vs. The Book of Mormon. Among the featured scientists is Dr. David Smith, a molecular anthropologist who has studied Native Americans for 30 years, and whose lab is this country’s leading test center for Indian genetics. Here is his view, as well as the consensus of scientists in the field:
“If you look at the genes of Native Americans…they came from their ancestral populations…You can look for those genes in Jewish populations but you don’t find them…they don’t coincide at all. The homeland of Native Americans is East Asia.”
This video also shows anthropologist and Mormon scholar Thomas Murphy, who summarizes the LDS dilemma:
“We don’t have a single source from ancient American outside the Book of Mormon validating a single place, a single person, a single event. We don’t have any of that, so the problem that the DNA poses for the Book of Mormon, in a sense, exemplifies the difficulties that we already have…There’s never been any evidence that would show us that there had been an Israelite migration to the New World. Not in genetics or for that matter in any other source, historical, archaeological, or linguistic.”
If there was no Israelite migration, then there was no Nephite or Lamanite people, and Joseph Smith is a big fraud. It is damning heresy, and…
I WILL NEVER APOLOGIZE FOR SAYING THAT!
The Smithsonian Institution of Washington, D.C. has never found any direct evidence between the archeology of the New World and the subject matter of the book of Mormon. The Book of Mormon relates vast cities technology in building, machinery, and use of copper, brass, and steel (Jarom 1:8; 2 Nephi 5:15). The Smithsonian says that Iron; steel, glass, and true metallurgy was not in use before 1492.
• Anthropological Evidence
Book of Mormon teaches that American Indians are descendants of the Jew. Genetic experts relate there are vast differences in extraction; Indians are Mongoloid; Jews are of Caucasoid extraction with different characteristics.
• The Book itself is filled with corrections, contradictions and plagiarisms.
Over 4,000 word changes were made from the original book, supposedly inspired by God to J. Smith. This was not a translation, but Smith claimed to be the inspired spokesman.
Alma 7:10 states Jesus was born at Jerusalem.
The Book of Mormon contains 25,000 words from the King James Version (KJV). Some chapters are copied word for word from the KJV. These plates, supposedly written long before the KJV, yet quote verbatim from it, in old English. How could Egyptian hieroglyphics be translated into Old English unless it was copied?
Jesus for example quotes Peter's sermon in Acts 3:22-23 before Peter even preached it (supposedly). Further, Christ attributes Peter's words to Moses, "Behold, I am he of whom Moses spake. . ." and then he quotes Peter's paraphrase of Moses' words, and the wording is quite different.
Where did the Book of Mormon come from?
Dr. Walter Martin, E.D. Howe, and others believe that Smith reworked a book entitled 'Manuscript Story' by Solomon Spaulding. A retired minister, he wrote a number of romances with Biblical backgrounds. Mormons of course deny this. The Book of Mormon is of human origin, and cannot be proved otherwise.
3. The BELIEFS of Mormonism
Doctrine of GOD:
Mormonism is a polytheistic cult, believing in many gods, and they also deny the Biblical doctrine of the Trinity. No apologies here for stating the truth about the heresy of Mormons teaching about God!
Joseph Smith declared, "I will preach on the plurality of Gods. I have always declared God to be a distinct personage, Jesus Christ a separate and distinct personage from God the Father, and the Holy Ghost was a distinct personage and a Spirit: and these three constitute three distinct personages and three Gods" (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 370).
Mormon Apostle Bruce R. McConkie spoke about the Godhead in this way, "Plurality of Gods: Three separate personages: Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, comprise the Godhead. As each of these persons is a God, it is evident, from this standpoint alone, that a plurality of Gods exists. To us, speaking in the proper finite sense, these three are the only Gods we worship. But in addition there is an infinite number of holy personages, drawn from worlds without number, who have passed on to exaltation and are thus gods" (Mormon Doctrine, pp. 576-577).
GOD THE FATHER:
Joseph Smith explained, "I am going to tell you how God came to be God. We have imagined and supposed that God was God from all eternity. I will refute that idea, and take away the veil, so that you may see. He was once a man like us; yea, that God himself, the father of us all, dwelt on an earth, the same as Himself did" (LDS History of the Church, Vol. 6, p. 305).
Joseph Smith said, "God Himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted man . . . "God Himself, the Father of us all, is a glorified, exalted, immortal, resurrected man." The Father of us all dwelt on an earth the same as Jesus Christ Himself did."
Brigham Young said, "He is our Father. . . and was once a man in mortal flesh as we are now, and is now an exalted being. . . "
Mormon Apostle Orson Hyde said, "God, our heavenly Father, was perhaps a young child and rose step by step in the scale of progress, in the school of advancement; has moved forward and overcome, until He has arrived at the point where He is now."
They teach POLYTHEISM, as Lorenzo Snow, fifth prophet of the LDS Church said: “AS MAN IS, GOD ONCE WAS: AS GOD IS, MAN MAY BECOME.”
Brigham Young taught that Adam became "our father and God", and although a prophet who supposedly taught by inspiration, this teaching is denied by the Mormon church today.
They teach that God is not a Spirit, rather that he has physical body of flesh and bone.
What saith the Scripture? God is a Spirit (Jn. 4:24), from everlasting to everlasting He is the same. "There is no God beside me" (Is. 45:21) "Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like unto corruptible man" (Romans 1:22-23)
Joseph Fielding Smith, 6th President of the Mormon Church stated: "Joseph Smith taught a plurality of gods, and that man by obeying the commandments of God. . . will eventually reach the power and exaltation by which he also will become a god.”
Doctrine of Christ
They deny that Jesus is God manifest in the flesh, born of the virgin birth and who is the only begotten Son of the One True God. They teach that Jesus had multiple wives, was a spirit brother of Lucifer, and that he was conceived by a relationship with the Father God (ADAM??) and Mary. (This is not only heresy, it is disgusting.) Finally, they teach that his atonement on the cross only cleanses us of Adam’s transgression but that by your works you must atone for your own sins.
No apologies here for stating the truth!
Concerning Jesus Christ, Brigham Young stated, "The birth of the Savior was as natural as are the births of our children; it was the result of natural action. He partook of flesh and blood, was begotten of his Father, as we were of our father" (Journal of Discourses, Vol. 8, p. 115).
Mormon Apostle McConkie explained, "And was born into the world as a literal Son this Holy Being; he was born in the same personal, real, and literal sense that any mortal son is born to a mortal father. He was begotten, conceived and born in the normal and natural course of events (Mormon Doctrine, p. 742).
Jesus, according to Brigham Young, said: “He (Christ) was not begotten by the Holy Ghost…Jesus, our elder brother, was begotten in the flesh by the same character that was in the garden of Eden, and who is our Father in heaven” (he was speaking of Adam as the Father God!!).
Mormon Church prophet Ezra Taft Benson proclaimed, "I testify that was born into mortality with Mary as His mother and our Heavenly Father as His Father" (Ensign, Nov. 1988, p. 86). What does that mean?
In simple terms, the Apostle Bruce R. McConkie explains, "And was born into the world as the literal Son of this Holy Being; he was born in the same personal, real, and literal sense that any mortal son is born to a mortal father. There is nothing figurative about his paternity; he was begotten, conceived and born in the normal and natural course of events, for he is the Son of God, and that designation means what it says" (Mormon Doctrine, p. 742).
According to Milton Hunter of the LDS First Council of the Seventy, is the brother of . "The appointment of Jesus to be the Savior of the world was contested by one of the other sons of God. He was called Lucifer, son of the morning. Haughty, ambitious, and covetous of power and glory, this spirit-brother of Jesus desperately tried to become the Savior of mankind" (The Gospel Through the Ages, p. 15).
After growing to adulthood, according to several Apostles, Jesus was married to at least three women. As a scriptural proof-text for this doctrine, Orson Hyde, one of the original Apostles of the Mormon Church, cited the Gospel of John, Second Chapter.
“Jesus was the bridegroom at the marriage of Cana of Galilee, and he told them what to do. Now there was actually a marriage; and if Jesus was not the bridegroom on that occasion, please tell who was. I shall say here, that before the Savior died, he looked upon his own natural children, as we look upon ours" (Journal of Discourses, Vol. 2, p. 89).
Thus, according to Mormon doctrine, not only was Jesus married, be He also had a family.
Since Mormonism teaches that the Father had a father, therefore Christ is only a god, too.
Concerning the virgin birth they say that Christ was not conceived by the Holy Ghost, but "by actual sexual relations between an immortal or resurrected glorified Father (Brigham Young) and Mary a blasphemous view which takes its place beside the infamous mythology of Greece. . . " (Martin. p. 213)
Doctrine of the Holy Spirit
Joseph Fielding Smith states: "The Holy Ghost has size and dimensions. . . and cannot be everywhere present in person at the same time. . . I have never troubled myself about the Holy Ghost whether he will sometime have a body or not because it is not in any way essential to my salvation."
The WORK of Christ:
They reject the teaching that by His death, burial, and resurrection, man can be saved by grace alone through faith alone by Christ alone.
James Talmage, perhaps Mormonism’s greatest theologian, explained the atoning work on the cross by quoting from Orson Pratt, an original LDS Apostle. Talmage wrote, "We believe that through the sufferings, death and atonement of all mankind, without one exception, are to be completely and full redeemed [of] Adam's transgression" (Articles of Faith, p. 477).
Thus, the atonement and death of on the cross actually only forgives mankind of Adam's original sin. How then is man forgiven of his own personal sin?
In a Question and Answer section of the Improvement Era, an official Mormon periodical, Joseph Fielding Smith, tenth prophet, explained the solution. "Our Eternal Father would have every soul saved if that were feasible. , however, is based on merit and obedience to divine law and therefore is only obtained through compliance with divine commandments" (Nov. 1965, p. 962).
Thus, the first commandment on record is the commandment to Adam and Eve to be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth. Mormonism teaches this was a greater and more important commandment than the commandment not to eat of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil (Talmage, Articles of Faith, pp. 64-5).
In fact, according to Mormon doctrine, the two commandments stood in opposition to each other (McConkie, NWAF, p. 91). Notwithstanding the great importance of procreation to the purpose of earth life, when God made Adam and Eve, He supposedly made them in a condition where they could not procreate.
"There was as yet neither procreation nor death. These would enter the scheme of things only after the fall" (Ibid., p. 84). Adam and Eve had to break the lesser commandment, and incur the Fall, in order to fulfill the greater commandment (Ibid., p. 91).
According to Mormon scripture, Eve is supposed to have exclaimed, "Were it not for our transgression we never should have had seed, and never should have known good and evil, and the joy of our redemption, and the eternal life which God giveth unto all the obedient" (PGP, Moses 5:11).
The Book of Mormon (BM) says the same: "...if Adam had not transgressed.... they would have had no children; wherefore they would have remained in a state of innocence, having no joy, for they knew no misery; doing no good, for they knew no sin....Adam fell that men might be;" (BM, 2 Nephi 2:22-23).
In other words, Mormon doctrine teaches that Adam fell really in the right direction!
By mutilating the doctrine of sin, and mutilating the doctrine of the person and work of Christ, they make mincemeat of the very Gospel. This is a great heresy!
Brigham Young said this:
“Suppose you found your brother in bed with your wife, and you put a javelin through both of them, you would be justified, and they would atone for their sins, and be received into the kingdom of God. I would at once do so in such a case; and under such circumstances, I have no wife whom I love so well that I would not put a javelin through her heart, and I would do it with clean hands…
(In other words, Young can have as many wives as he wants, but his wife can only have him, and he can rightly kill her if she sleeps around like he can!)
There is not a man or woman, who violates the covenants made with their God, that will not be required to pay the debt. The blood of Christ will never wipe that out, your own blood must atone for it; and the judgments of the Almighty will come, sooner or later, and every man and woman will have to atone for breaking their covenants…
(Kingdom of the Cults, page 236)
From the foregoing one can see how important it was for man to "fall" - why, in Mormonism, "the Fall" is seen as a good thing, a great blessing. This has led some Mormon leaders to say things which may sound a little odd or even bizarre to Christians familiar with the Bible. For example:
Under the heading, "'TRANSGRESSION' NOT 'SIN' OF ADAM," Mormon apostle and prophet Joseph Fielding Smith, Jr. wrote, "I never speak of the part Eve took in this fall as a sin, nor do I accuse Adam of a sin" (Doctrines of Salvation, (DS), vol. 1, p. 114).
Mormon’s wrongly teach that Adam committed a transgression but not a sin! What confusing double speak!
Mormon teaching states this about Adam’s sin: "This was a transgression of the law, but not a sin in the strict sense, for it was something that Adam and Eve had to do!" (Ibid., p. 115).
"The 'fall' of Adam and Eve was not a sin but an essential act upon which mortality depends" (Smith, Answers to Gospel Questions, vol. 5, p. 15).
Bruce R. McConkie wrote, "We do not know how the fall was accomplished..." (NWAF, p. 85; emphasis added). He goes so far as to cast the Fall in terms of obedience rather than transgression: "After they had thus complied with whatever the law was that brought mortality into being,..." and "He [Adam] chose the Lord's way;" (Ibid., pp. 86, 91; emphasis added).
Assistant to the Twelve Apostles Sterling W. Sill spoke of Adam's fall: "Adam fell, but he fell in the right direction. He fell toward the goal.... Adam fell, but he fell upward" (Deseret News, Church Section, 31 July 1965, p. 7).
Since the mortal condition was essential to the Mormon plan of salvation, the act which introduced mortality of necessity becomes a great blessing. "We can hardly look upon anything resulting in such benefits as being a sin, in the sense in which we consider sin" (Smith, DS, vol. 1, p. 115). "Properly understood, it becomes apparent that the fall of Adam is one of the greatest blessings ever given of God to mankind" (McConkie, NWAF, p. 87).
Mormonism says we will not be punished for Adam's transgression because all mankind will be redeemed from the effects of the "Fall." That is, the consequences of Adam's action - physical, or temporal death, and spiritual death - are both overcome through the Atonement of Christ (Ensign, January, 1990, pp. 25-6). "Temporal death is the natural death; it occurs when body and spirit separate, thus leaving the body to return to the dust whence it came. Spiritual death is to be cast out of the presence of the Lord and to die as pertaining to the things of righteousness" (McConkie, NWAF, pp. 86-7). Since it was not our fault that either of these were introduced, they will both be removed by God's free grace. All mankind will be resurrected with immortal physical bodies, and all will be brought back into the presence of God, for judgment (BM, 2 Nephi 2:10). Those who are subsequently cast out are ejected for their own unrepented sin (BM, 2 Nephi 9:38, 45-6).
Doctrine of the Priesthood
Aaronic Priesthood: They believe it has been restored with these offices: deacons, teachers, and priests. Joseph Smith received it directly from the hand of John the Baptist.
Melchizedek Priesthood: Conferred upon Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery through Peter, James and John. Its offices are Elders, Seventies, High Priests, Evangelists, Patriarchs, Apostles, Prophets, and President.
What does the Bible teach?
The Bible clearly teaches that the Aaronic Priesthood was a part of the Mosaic Law. One had to be of the tribe of Levi to be a priest. This priesthood is clearly done away in this age of grace (Hebrews 7:12). It is impossible for anyone to be of the Aaronic priesthood today!
The Bible teaches that Jesus is a priest after the order of Melchizedek. Melchizedek was both a king and a priest. Jesus alone is a priest after this order because He is both a King and Priest. This priesthood is an ETERNAL PRIESTHOOD (Heb. 7:1-10), a SPIRITUAL PRIESTHOOD (Heb. 7:11-19),
a PERPETUAL PRIESTHOOD (Heb. 7:20-25), and a SUPERIOR PRIESTHOOD (Heb. 7:26-28).
Jesus Christ is the Great High Priest after the order of Melchizedek, and this is UNCHANGEABLE (v. 24). This means UNALTERABLE, and "not to be violated" (Thayer); not liable to pass to a successor.
Doctrine of Eternity
Mormon Beliefs: Mormonism believes that God the Father was once a man, and that man can become a god!
Intelligence's: Man is eternally existent; Smith said, "the mind of man is as eternal as God."
Spirit World: Those who were less valiant as spirit children become the black race. Blacks, also, were denied the priesthood at one time.
Telestial Kingdom: The full presence of the Father and Son. Eventually become a god.
Terrestrial Kingdom: Presence of "only" the Son.
Second Death: For the devil and His angels. There can be no advancement from level to level.
They also believe
1) All men and women who have ever lived on Earth are the spirit offspring of Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother. Every person was conceived and born in a pre-existent spiritual realm (Mormon Doctrine, p. 589).
2) Black people are black because of their misdeeds in the pre-existence (Three Degrees of Glory, LDS Apostle Melvin J. Ballard, p. 21).
3) Temple ceremonies include Baptism for the Dead, Washing and Anointing for the living and the dead (Mormon Doctrine, McConkie, pp. 72-74, 226-228).
4) Salvation or exaltation, whereby men become gods, is based on one's own good works or merit (Church News, October 8, 1988, p. 23 and The Religion of the Latter-day Saints, Lowell Bennion, LDS Institute of Religion Director, p. 160