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Mormonism: Introduction to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints
Transcript of Mormonism: Introduction to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints
HISTORY OF MORMONISM
1. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints
Headquarters in Salt Lake City, Utah
Excess of 10 Million members (adherents.com)
2. Community of Christ or The Reorganized Church of LDS
Reject the name Mormon
Courts claim this group is the true church of LDS
Certainly not the largest group of LDS and not the focus of our analysis
There is a fundamental problem with denominations in Mormonism!
1. Born in Vermont on December 23, 1805
Joseph Smith Jr.
2. Grew up in Palmyra New York
3. Accepted James 1:5-6 as a message to seek God's wisdom in the woods of Palmyra, NY.
4. At age 14, spring of 1820, the Father and the Son appeared to Smith and told him not to join any Christian denomination because they are all abominations. Smith was instructed to wait for further directions on receiving the truth.
5. At age 17, in 1823, Smith received golden plates from angel Moroni at Mt. Comorah. Smith was prohibited from taking the plates at this time.
6. Four years later, 1827, angel Moroni granted Smith permission to remove the plates from Mt. Comorah.
Translation of the Golden Plates
Joseph Smith Jr. (continued)
On September 22, 1827, Smith began translating the golden plates from reformed Egyptian into English.
In June 1829, the translated documents became "The Book of Mormon", published 1830.
April 6, 1830 -- The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints was established in Layette, NY and Smith was named prophet and apostle.
In 1839, Smith moved the Mormons to a site on the Mississippi River he named, Nauvoo.
People in Nauvoo opposed Mormonism and printed anti-Mormon articles.
Smith was arrested for ordering the burning of the articles.
Smith was arrested and released and re-arrested with his brother Hyrum.
Smith and his brother were killed by a mob in jail.
Mormons believe it was martyrdom.
February 1846, headed west from Nauvoo
Brigham Young (1801-1877)
Successor to Joseph Smith
July 24, 1847 -- arrived at Salt Lake City, Utah: "Headquarters of Mormonism"
Mountain Meadows Massacre - September 11, 1857
Young had Bishop John D. Lee annihilate a wagon of helpless non-Mormon immigrants who were attempting to settle in the area as they traveled from Arkansas to California.
20 years later, Lee was tried, imprisoned, and executed for his crimes.
Lee admitted his part in the crime in his book, The Confessions of John D. Lee, where he stated that he acted under direct orders of Young.
When Young died in 1877, there were 140,000 Mormons
Organization & Leadership
large groupings of churches
about 4,000 people per stake
comparable to a local church
about 400 members per ward
new organization (church plant)
about 50-200 people per branch
The first Presidency
One President (aka "The Prophet") and two Counselors
The Council of the 12 Apostles
elects the President
an unanimous vote equals a rule of the President
The Bible (King James Version only)
FOUR STANDARD WORKS
"in so far as correctly translated by Joseph Smith"
See Genesis 50:33, "the seer will I bless and his name will be Joseph, and it shall be after the name of his Father."
The Book of Mormon
original edition 1830
current edition 1981
Joseph Smith referred to the Book of Mormon as the most correct of any book on earth, the keystone of our religion (History of the Church,4:461) .
1830-King Benjamin and 1981 - King Moisiah
more than 18 changes between 1830 and 1981 editions
1 Nephi 11:21
1830 - even the father/1981 - even the Son of the Father
Book of Mormon continues
4 STANDARD WORKS continued
Story of 2 ancient civilizations moving to the American continent after the tower of Babel (Genesis 11).
Group 1 -- Jaredites
left Tower of Babel in 2,250 BC
Group 2 -- Nephites/Lamanites
led by Nephi and Lehi
Left for America 600 BC
Lamanites received dark skin for evil deeds (2 Nephi 5:21)
The Book of Mormon is a summary of two civilizations who settled in American from Israel and Christ preached to them after his ascension into heaven from Israel.
Doctrine & Covenants
4 Standard Works continued
originally published as a book of commandments in 1833.
Pearl of Great Price
The story of how Joseph Smith found and translated the Golden plates.
originally published in 1851
Contradiction between Pearl of Great Price and The Book of Mormon
Pearl of Great Price, History 1:33, 1851 edition -- Nephi appeared to Smith to give him the Golden plates
Book of Mormon, Moroni appeared to Smith
MORMONISM'S VIEW OF GOD
Rejection of the traditional Christian view of the Trinity
God the Father was on another planet called Kolob who lived a worthy life and became the God of this planet earth.
The father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man (Doctrine and Covenants 130:22)
He (God) named Elohim was begotten by an infinite series of gods who were once men
"Where was there ever a son without first being a father? And where was there ever a father without first being a son?" (Documentary History of the Church)
The plural (Elohim) in Hebrew in Genesis 1:1 means many gods created the heavens and the earth.
God was married, died, and resurrected to be the God of Heaven
Mormon Theology continued ...
Joseph Fielding Smith, "the father has a mortal body, died, and resurrected."
God has a goddess wife "Mother God" and has millions of spirit children in the pre-existence
Joseph F. Smith, "man as a spirit, was begotten by and born of heavenly parents; human beings have a heavenly father as well as a heavenly mother." (Encyclopedia of Mormonism)
The image of God in man proves God is a man
God created man in the image of his own body, male and female he created them (Book of Mormon, Moses 6:8-10).
"Males were made in the image of the heavenly father and females in the image of the heavenly mother" (Pearl of Great Price Commentary).
Read Genesis 1:26-27, What does it mean to be created in the image of God?
CHRISTIAN REFUTATION OF MORMON THEOLOGY
Numbers 23:19, "God is not a man, that he should lie; nor a son of man, that he should change his mind."
Hosea 11:9, "For I am God and not a man."
John 4:24, "God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth."
What about ... Luke 24:39, "Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see that I have."
Scripture teaches monotheism (one God) not polytheism (many gods)
CHRISTIAN REFUTATION OF MORMON THEOLOGY (cont.)
An infinite series of gods (fathers begetting sons) succumbs to the logical fallacy of infinite regression
Genesis 1:1 actually teaches "in the beginning God" not "in the beginning gods." So, how should the Christian monotheist explain the Hebrew plural elohim?
The image of God in man is not physical but spiritual
John 6:46, "No man has seen the Father."
Theophanies are appearances of God in the Old Testament
(Exodus 3:1-4; Judges 6:22; Genesis 18:1-2)
Was not God seen face to face in the OT?
(Genesis 32:30; Exodus 33:11)
Anthropomorphism: description of the reality of God in physical terms or analogy understandable to men
Exodus 34:23, "hand and back"
Psalm 109:27, "hand of God"
1 Samuel 6:9, "hand of God"
KEY TOPICS TO DISCUSS WITH MORMONS
-- "And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost."
Mormons use this verse to prove that Mormonism is true.
They claim they KNOW Mormonism is true by the burning of the bosom which is an intense passion and belief that Mormonism is true.
CHRISTIAN RESPONSE TO MORONI 10:4 "PRAYER CHALLENGE":
Ask, "Do I need to pray about committing adultery? or other sins that the Bible condemns?
Read Galatians 1:6-8 - condemns accepting a message different than what the Apostles preached and what is recorded in Scripture.
Acts 17: 11 -- Bereans were praised for testing what Paul taught and believing blindly.
If your Big brother Jesus told you not to trust your heart, would you believe him?
Read Matthew 15:18-20, "But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these make a man unclean. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. These are what make a man unclean ..."
See, even Jesus says we should not follow our hearts because our hearts are evil!
Demonstrate the circular reasoning of the argument: One must assume the Book of Mormon is true before one prays about it being true so that he may have the truth revealed.
This is Circular Reasoning or Assuming the Conclusion! Classic Fallacy!
"You anti-Mormon" .... "I feel a spirit of contention."
KEY ISSUES (cont.)
Jude 3, "Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt I had to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints."
Ask, "Don't you want to be obedient to Scripture?"
Ask, "Are souls not worth arguing over?"
Why must there be a Book of Mormon?
Mormonism is the restored Church
Joseph Smith restored the true Church (Mormonism) after being told by God that all Christian denominations were abominable.
Total apostasy: the view that there were no true believers on earth after Apostles died
Matthew 16:18 disproves Total Apostasy
from Acts- AD 33-62 to 2 Tim - AD 67;
Polycarp (Disciple of John)-- AD 70-150;
Ireneaus - AD 130-200
No place in history where the teachings of Jesus are lost!
Book of Mormon refutes itself
KEY ISSUES (cont)
Total apostasy means that there are NO true believers on earth after the disciples died until Joseph Smith restored true Christianity
Read 3 Nephi 28 introduction:
"The Three Nephites desire and are given power over death so as to remain on the earth until Jesus comes again."
Read 3 Nephi 28:7-8
Therefore, more blessed are you for ye shall never taste of death; but ye shall live to behold all the doings of the Father unto tyhe children of men, even until all things shall be fulfilled according to the will of the Father, when I shall come in my glory with the powers of Heaven. And ye shall never endure the pains of death; but when I shall come in my glory ye shall be changed in the twinkling of an eye from mortality to immortality; and then ye shall be blessed in the kingdom of my Father."
Problem of the Three Nephites
If the Book of Mormon is true, there is no need for the restoration of the truth that Joseph Smith claims to perform because 3 Nephites (true believers) are on the earth since the time of Jesus to the present.
If the vision Joseph Smith had with the Father and the Son is true and there was total apostasy, then 3 Nephi 28:6-8 is false and Smith is a false prophet.
Like the Three Nephites, Mormons believe that the Apostle John never died and is still on the earth today!
Problem of Apostle John
In support of their view, Mormons had to create a mystery Bible character named John the Elder.
In Mormonism, Apostle John - author of the Book of John is a different person than John the Elder - author of 1,2,3 John letters.
Apostle John v. John the Elder
Letter from the Department of Anthropology to R. Odell Brown
NO Archaeological Evidence
Thomas Stuart Ferguson, former BYU professor
No Archaeological Evidence (cont)
"There is not a single thing of value concerning the pre-history of the Amertican Indian in the Book of Mormon and I believe that the great majority of American archaeologists would agree with me. The book is untrue biblically, historically, and scientifically."
"What possible bearing Egyptian hieroglyphics have on either the Book of Mormon or the pre-history of the American Indian I do not know."
Wm. Duncan Strong
Department of Anthropology
Columbia University, New York
Led two non-profit organizations determined to find archaeological evidence for the Book of Mormon
The New World Archaeological Foundation & The Society For Early Historic Archaeology
After 25 years of searching, Ferguson found nothing!
In a paper published in 1975, Ferguson calls the geography of the Book of Mormon, fictional!
In Ferguson's Manuscript Unveiled, published in 1988, he shares a wealth of insight on the sheer non-existence of the Book of Mormon antiquities.
Mormonism is a cult of Christianity!
Mormonism claims to be Christian but differs from the doctrine taught in traditional Christianity and the 66 book of the Bible.
Mormonism is doctrinally, historically, and biblically false.
The Bible warns against false teaching.
Even false teaching proclaimed by an angel of light (as in Moroni's proclamation to Joseph Smith)
I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel -- which is really no Gospel at all. Evidently, some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the Gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel of heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned!"
John 21:22 states, "
Jesus answered, 'If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is it to you? You must follow me."
Mormons take this verse to support the belief that Apostle John is still alive today. Like the 3 Nephites, roaming the earth and ministering to people until Jesus' second coming.
John 21:23 states, "Because of this, the rumor spread among the brothers that this disciple would not die. But Jesus did not say that he would not die; he only said, 'If I want him to remain until I return, what is it to you?'"
Also see 3 Nephi 28:6, Book of Mormon; and D&C 7
Yes, Mormons believe that Native Americans are Israelites: Clearly disproven by anthropology and archaeology!
1. Flaw of order
IS THE BOOK OF MORMON CREDIBLE?
The Book of Mormon plagiarized from the KJV Bible
However, the Golden Plates from which the Book of Mormon was translated from Reformed Egyptian Hieroglyphics are said to have been the original work of angel Moroni and his father Mormon predating the KJV by 1,000 years.
No archaeological evidence for Reformed Egyptian
Flaw of archaeological (continued)
No archaeological proof for the Book of Mormon
Dr. David Johnson, Professor of Anthropology, Brigham Young University, "There is no archaeological proof of the Book of Mormon. You can look all you want. There is absolutely no archaeological proof that you can tie to events that took place."
What is the Book of Mormon about?
Contradiction: D&C 131 (May 16, 1843) reveals that
no one can enter the highest level of heaven without
But, in September 1890, Prophet Wilford Woodruff received and issued a new revelation relegating polygamy to the afterlife.
Splinter Groups of LDS -
Strangites, Bickertonites, Cutlerites, and FLDS or Fundamentalist LDS
THE PRIESTHOODS OF JOSEPH SMITH
1. Aaronic Priesthood:
John the baptist allegedly appeared to Joseph Smith on May 15, 1829 and ordained him an Aaronic Priest.
2. Melchizedekian Priesthood:
Not long thereafter, apostles Peter, James, and John also appeared to Smith and conferred on him the Melchizedekian priesthood on behalf of Jesus Christ.
Evaluation of these claims:
1. The Levitical priesthood:
a) No evidence that John the Baptist or Joseph Smith qualified for the title because there is no evidence that either was a descendent from the tribe of Levi.
b) Even Jesus did not hold the Aaronic priesthood on such grounds
c) The Levitical priesthood was rendered obsolete because Jesus came in the order of Melchizedek (see Hebrews 7:11,12,18,19)
2. The Melchizedekian Priesthood
a) Only Jesus held the Melchizedekian priesthood
b) Because Jesus lives forever, it was a permanent priesthood with no successor (see Hebrews 7:24)
These are enough to show the B of M is not the most correct book on earth
PROBLEM OF ANTHROPLOGY
"We are in a dilemma now. The genetic evidence shows clearly that American Indians are not Hebrews, they are not Israelites. "
- Dr. Thomas Murphy, anthropologist and scholar
PROBLEM OF ARCHAEOLOGY
"The archaeological evidence shows that the Book of Mormon is not true. We have based our beliefs upon the Book of Mormon, which we thought was an accurate, ancient, historical record. The genetic evidence has conclusively shown that this is not possibly the case. Because we gave it the status of the Word of God, we have to change what we mean by the Word of God. That's a dangerous prospect for any religion to do and I don't know that many Mormons would accept that as a possibility. But there isn't an alternative." -- Dr. Thomas Murphy, anthropologist, scholar
Now we know why Mormons rely on emotion "burning of the bosom" rather than evidence to support their claims.
1. Does Luke 24:39 contradict the other above verses? 2. Does Luke 24:39 support Mormon theology?
There is NO evidence from Church History of an early, Total Apostasy
"The Book of Mormon is the most correct Book in all of history" (History of the Church, 4:461)
In traditional Christianity, the Apostle John is John the Elder.
The same person with different titles wrote the Gospel of John, 1,2,3 John letters, and Revelation.