THE TRUTH OF MORMONISM
By Dr. P. Bradley Carey
From his book
The Darkness In The Light
(c) 1992, 1996
Originally Posted: June 1996
"We believe the Bible to be the word of God insofar as it is translated correctly." This is one of the Articles of Faith of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, commonly referred to as the Mormon Church. The above statement sounds very Christian and appears to be harmless, but as you will see, appearances can be deceiving.
The Mormons are taught to believe that the Bible is full of errors that have crept in during the translation process. They also believe that Joseph Smith Jr., was a prophet of God, and when his writings contradict those of the Bible, they accept his because they were revealed later than those of Biblical times.
To overcome the great number of outright discrepancies between the teachings of the Bible and his own, Joseph Smith simply rewrote the entire Bible and made it what he thought it should be.
In the fly-leaf of this inspired version appears the words, "The Holy Scriptures, Translated and Corrected by the Spirit of Revelation by Joseph Smith Jr., the Seer" (1927 edition). If you ask a Mormon about the inspired version of the Bible as corrected by Joseph Smith Jr., a majority of them will act as if they don't know what you are talking about. Some of them may be perfectly sincere, and some of them just don't want the nonmember of their church to know about it. There are others who may even tell you that it was begun but was never finished.
Andrew Jensen, an official Church Historian, says in the book, CHURCH CHRONOLOGY, edition of 1899, p. 9, under the date of July 2, 1833, "Joseph Smith the prophet finished the translation of the Bible." Joseph Smith himself published the same statement in HISTORY OF THE CHURCH, vol. 1, p. 368.
When you read it, you will see some of the changes right away. In Genesis, chapter 50, you will find seventeen extra verses. After speaking about the coming and work of Moses (his birth and life actually begin in Exodus) it speaks of a Seer who will bring knowledge and salvation in the latter days. Verse 33 says, "And that seer will I bless, and they that seek to destroy him shall be confounded; for this promise I give unto you, for I will remember you from generation to generation; and his name shall be called Joseph, and it shall be after the name of his father, and he shall be like unto you, for the thing which the Lord shall bring forth by his hand shall bring my people unto salvation."
PROPHET JOSEPH SMITH JR., FRAUD
- Joseph Smith willfully and deliberately deceived his followers when he pretended to translate some Egyptian scrolls into English in 1835. He proclaimed that one of them had been written by the hand of Abraham while he was in Egypt. Joseph Smith evidently did not know that the language of ancient Egypt had been revived in 1822 when the Rosetta Stone was deciphered by Jean Francois Champollion in France. Joseph Smith did not translate one single hieroglyphic character correctly. He made copies of the original hieroglyphic characters and numbered them, then he wrote out his English translation.
The original Egyptian scrolls were found in a museum in New York in 1967. The Mormon Church now has them, and admits that they are the originals, from which the "Book of Abraham" was translated; for there are notes in the margins in Joseph Smith's handwriting, and some with his initials attached. Today there are scholars around the world who can read and translate ancient Egyptian, and every one of them shows that Joseph Smith to be a willful deceiver.
- Would a true prophet of God illegally print money, sign the bills with his own hand and pass it out as legal tender? Some of these bills are still in existence today.
- Harold Schindler, a "High Priest after the Order of Melchizedec" of Salt Lake City reveals how Joseph Smith and Porter Rockwell drowned a woman over 70 years of age in the Mississippi River for talking too much about Joseph Smith's celestial marriage ceremonies in the Nauvoo Temple. This incident is referred to on page 112 of Harold Schindler's book, ORRIN PORTER, MAN OF GOD, SON OF THUNDER.
- Joseph Smith's prophecies failed. He made 64 prophecies and 58 of them failed to come about. Only 6 of them came true. In the book, DOCTRINE AND COVENANTS, section CXI, verse 4, it says concerning Salem, Massachusetts, "And it shall come to pass in due time, that I will give this city into your hands, and that they shall not discover your secret parts; and its wealth pertaining to gold and silver shall be yours." Section CXXX, verse 15 says, "Joseph my son, if thou livest until thou art 85 years old, thou shalt see the face of the Son of Man." That would have been in 1890.
The Bible has something to say about Joseph Smith and his prophecies. "When a prophet speaketh in the name of the Lord, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the Lord hath not spoken..." (Deuteronomy 18:22).
- Joseph Smith claimed to receive communications from the dead. In Isaiah 8:19 and 20, we see what God has to say about it, "And when they shall say unto you, seek unto wizards that peep and that mutter; should not a people seek after their God? For the living to the dead? To the law and to testimony, if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them." In Leviticus 19:31, we see what else God has to say upon the subject, "Regard not them that have familiar spirits, neither seek after wizards to be defiled by them: I am the Lord your God."
- In 1837, Oliver B. Huntington, a devout Mormon follower of Joseph Smith, who wrote several articles that were published by the Mormon Church, including one entitled, "The Inhabitants of the Moon," wrote the following statement, "The inhabitants of the moon are more of a uniform size than the inhabitants of the earth, being about six feet in height. They dress very much like the Quaker style and are quite general in style or the fashion of dress. They live to be very old: coming generally near a thousand years." A copy of this can be found at the Utah State Historical Society (vol. 2, p. 166).
MORMON DOCTRINES ARE UNSCRIPTURAL
- Mormonism teaches that everyone existed in the Spirit World before being born into this world. The Bible says that only Christ pre-existed not man (John 8:58; Colossians 1:17) and that we didn't have a spiritual existence prior to earth (1 Corinthians 15:46).
- Mormonism denies that Jesus was begotten by the Holy Ghost. Brigham Young preached, "Now remember from this forth, and forever, that Jesus Christ was not begotten by the Holy Ghost" (JOURNAL OF DISCOURSES, vol. 1, p. 51). In the book DOCTRINES OF SALVATION, vol. 1, p. 19, we find the following statement made by Joseph Fielding Smith, who was the tenth president of the Mormon Church, "They tell us the Book of Mormon states that Jesus was begotten by the Holy Ghost. I challenge that statement. The Book of Mormon teaches no such thing! Neither does the Bible." This deception must be deliberate, he was one of the Mormon Church's foremost theologians. The BOOK OF MORMON does teach it (Alma 7:10) and so does the BIBLE (Matthew 1:20).
- "Adam is our father and our God and the only God with whom we have to do. When He came to earth, He brought Eve, one of His wives with Him." Brigham Young preached this in the tabernacle. You can read the entire sermon on the subject in JOURNAL OF DISCOURSES, vol. 1, starting on page 50.
- Mormonism teaches that we must have approval from Joseph Smith to enter the kingdom of heaven. Brigham Young preached, "If I ever pass into heavenly courts, it will be by the consent of Prophet Joseph" (JOURNAL OF DISCOURSES, vol. 8, p. 224).
- Mormonism teaches that there are sins too great for the blood of Christ to make atonement for. In such a case, a Mormon should ask one or more of his fellow Mormons to cut his throat and let the blood run onto the ground to make atonement for his sins. This practice is advocated and referred to several times in the sermons recorded in JOURNAL OF DISCOURSES. Brigham Young stated the following on the subject, "I know when you hear of brethren telling about cutting people off from the earth, that you consider it strong doctrine, but it is to save them, not to destroy them...And furthermore, I know that there are transgressors who, if they knew themselves, and the only condition upon which they can obtain forgiveness, would beg for their brethren to shed their blood, that the smoke thereof might ascend to God as an offering to appease the wrath that has kindled against them" (JOURNAL OF DISCOURSES, vol. 4, pp. 53,54).
- "Christ was begotten of God. He was not born without the aid of man and that man was God" (DOCTRINES OF SALVATION, vol. 1, p. 18). The Bible says, "God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of a man that he should repent..." (Numbers 23:19) and "God is a spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth" (John 4:24).
- Mormonism teaches in having baptism for the dead, in which those who have died can be redeemed, and enter into heaven. The Bible says, "Else what they do which were baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all" (1 Corinthians 15:29) and "None can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him" (Psalm 49:7).
OTHER INTERESTING FACTS
- Joseph Smith claimed to of had a vision in which the following occurred; "When the light rested upon me I saw two personages...one of them spake unto me calling me by name, and said, pointing to the other 'This is my beloved Son, hear Him!' I asked the personages who stood above me in the light which of all the sects was right, which should I join. I was answered that I must join none of them, for they were all wrong...all of their creeds were an abomination in His sight, that those professors were all corrupt" (PEARL OF GREAT PRICE, JS2:17-19). The Bible tells us, "And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness..." (2 Corinthians 11:14,15). The Bible also tells us, "No man has seen God at any time..." (John 1:18) and "...for there shall no man see me, and live" (Deuteronomy 33:20).
- This is what the Bible has to say about Joseph Smith and his inspired changes in the Bible, "For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, if any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book. And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book" (Revelation 22:18,19).
- Here is what the Bible has to say about the preaching and spreading of the BOOK OF MORMON and other Mormon doctrine, "I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach another gospel unto you than ye have received, let him be accursed" (Galatians 1:6-9).
- Mormonism teaches that after Joseph Smith translated the gold plates that the BOOK OF MORMON are said to have come from, that an angel came and took them to heaven with him. Whenever someone that the Mormons are trying to convert say, "it's to bad that the plates aren't here to prove that the Book of Mormon and Mormon Church are true." That's when the Mormons quote the Bible, "...blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed" (John 20:29). When read with the other verses before and after it, you will see that it is referring to the resurrected Christ. The Mormons also forget to tell you what else the Bible has to say, "Prove all things; hold fast to that which is good" (1 Thessalonians 5:21).
- Since the gold plates were supposedly taken back to heaven, what ever happened to the stone box that they were found in? Surely this would prove that at least part of the story Joseph Smith told is true.
- Mormonism teaches that in order to get to heaven, there are several deeds that you must perform (i.e., follow their Word of Wisdom (no alcohol, tea, coffee, or tobacco, be married in one of their temples, be baptized into their church, receive their priesthood, and many more). The Bible says, "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast" (Ephesians 2:8,9).