The Church of Jesus Christ
of Latter Day Saints (Mormons)
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, better known as the Mormon Church, was organized on April 6, 1830, at Fayette, New York, with six members by Joseph Smith, Jr.
Smith, following in the footsteps of his father as a roving water witch, became known as "Peep-stone Joe" because he claimed to have miraculously discovered a "peep-stone." At the age of fourteen he began to have visions and revelations. Being perplexed about the religious confusion of his day and the many conflicting denominations and their varied interpretations of the Scriptures, he said he received in the woods one day a vision of a great light. Instructions from God were not to join any of the sects, because God was about to restore the ancient gospel that had not been represented in its fulness by any of the churches existing at the time.
According to his statement, three years later he had a night vision in which Moroni, and angel, appeared before him and revealed to him the hiding place of certain plates of gold on which was inscribed the gospel. He was instructed by the angel to visit this place on the same date each year. September 22, 1827, he was permitted to receive the plates, at age 21.
He then translated the records, dictating the translation to Oliver Cowdery and others who wrote it down. It was completed in 1829 and placed in the hands of a printer in August 1829. In the same year, on May 15, Smith and Cowdery said that an angel (John the Baptist) appeared to them and conferred upon them the Aaronic priesthood and commanded them to baptize each by immersion. Later, three glorious personages (Peter, James and John) conferred the Melchizedek priesthood upon them and gave them the apostleship. These events were followed by the organization of the church at Fayette, April 6, 1830, with all its ancient gifts and powers.
Headquarters of the various churches that began to form was established in 1831 at Kirtland, Ohio. The Kirtland era ended in 1838, after a financial scandal rocked the church and caused widespread defections. Smith regrouped with the remaining church in Far West, Missouri,but tensions soon escalated into violent conflicts with the old Missouri settlers. Believing the Saints to be in insurrection, the Missouri governor ordered that the Saints be "exterminated or driven from the State". In 1839, the Saints converted a swampland on the banks of the Mississippi River into Nauvoo, Illinois, which became the church's new headquarters. They met with rigid opposition in many areas, and were expelled from the state of Missouri in the winter of 1838-1839. They then settled at Nauvoo, Illinois, but again hostility developed and Joseph Smith his brother were killed at nearby Carthage, Illinois by a mob, June 27, 1844. Joseph Smith was shot to death a jail, where he had been lodged on a charge of treason.
After Smith's death, Mormons split into several divisions. In 1847, the Council of Twelve near Omaha, Nebraska, elected Brigham Young as President of the church. The main body of followers emigrated westward and settled in Utah. There have been various divisions, and today two main bodies exist. The "Reorganized" branch has headquarters at Independence, Missouri. This group rejects polygamy and the name Mormon; they do their own publishing. The branch that settled westward erected a magnificent Temple at Salt Lake City, and there situated the church headquarters. They claim three books to be inspired: The Pearl of Great Price, Doctrines and Covenants, and The Book of Mormon. Six temples have been erected in the U.S.A., the largest having been constructed on a 25 acre plot in Los Angeles at a cost of six million dollars.
As early as 1908, a church publication stated that blacks could not receive the priesthood because their spirits were less valiant in the pre-existence. The founder of the Mormon Church (Joseph Smith) and the church's first president Brigham Young both reasoned that black skin was a result of the Curse of Cain or the Curse of Ham. They used their beliefs in these Biblical curses as justifications for slavery. Young believed that the curse made black people ineligible to vote, marry white people, or hold the priesthood. Successive church presidents continued to use their beliefs in these Biblical curses as justifications for excluding black men from the priesthood ordination and excluding black men and women from the church's temples.
To go a step further when Joseph Smith received his visions and "golden plates" the "angels" inspired writing stated that
the Book of Mormon speak of dark skin as a curse for sins, as opposed to the “white and delightsome” appearance of the righteous (2 Nephi 30:6, cf. 1 Nephi 12:23, 13:15, 2 Nephi 5:21, Jacob 3:8-9, 3 Nephi 2:14-15, Moses 7:8, 12, 22). A passage in the “Book of Abraham” (1:26–27), that spoke of the Egyptian pharaohs as having Negro ancestry, thereby disqualifying them from God’s priesthood, was used by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to deny the Mormon priesthood and temple privileges to anyone with any amount of Negro ancestry.
These passages in Mormon scripture served as the basis for every Mormon prophet since Smith to teach that blacks were cursed for their supposed sins before earthly birth. Brigham Young, Smith’s successor, also underscored the racist stand of Mormonism: “Shall I tell you the law of God in regard to the African race? If the white man who belongs to the chosen seed mixes his blood with the seed of Cain, the penalty, under the law of God, is death on the spot. This will always be so” (Journal of Discourses 10:109).
Throughout the civil rights movement in the 1950s and’60s, Mormon apostles continued to teach the LDS doctrine on people with African ancestry and other persons of color. Mark E. Petersen asserted that people are born black because of their inadequate performance in the pre-existence.
Bruce R. McConkie maintained “Negroes are not equal with other races” in spiritual matters and that this is God’s law, not man’s. The future prophet Spencer W. Kimball claimed that in just 15 years from the time of their conversion he had seen Indian people who accepted the Mormon gospel become “white and delightsome.”
But the civil rights movement had its effect the LDS Church. Black leaders urged boycotts of the state of Utah and all Mormon Tabernacle Choir products. The NAACP brought discrimination charges against the Utah Boy Scouts for prohibiting a black member from assuming a senior patrol position. College athletes refused to play Brigham Young University teams. Groups protested at the church’s twice-yearly general conferences in Salt Lake City.
Mormon leadership finally acknowledged that many, perhaps most, of the converts to the Church in Brazil had some degree of black ancestry. While their donations helped build the São Paulo Temple, they were not permitted to attend it.
By 1978, increased social repudiation of racism, coupled with Mormon evangelization in areas with large populations of racially mixed ancestry, led to one of the most drastic reversals in Mormon belief and practice: Those with Negro blood were allowed to attend the temple, and worthy black men could also hold the priesthood.
1. God gave revelations of truth to Joseph Smith.
Considered to be the Word of god, the Book of Mormon is held as a companion book toe the Bible. stated by Joseph Smith in Article 8 of "Articles of Faith": "We believe the Bible to be the word of God, as far as it is translated correctly; we also believe the Book of Mormon to be the world of God." In addressing the 12 apostles, Joseph Smith said, "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" (A Compendium of the Doctrines of the Gospel, p.273).
2. The man is a fool who say's the Bible is sufficient and that it contains all of God's revealed truth, according to the Book of Mormon. "And my words shall hiss forth unto the ends of the earth, for a standard unto people, which are of the house of Israel; and because my words shall his forth - many of the Gentiles shall say: A Bible! A Bible! We have got a Bible, and these cannot be any more Bible.
...Thou fool, that shall say: A Bible, we have got a Bible and we need no more Bible . Have ye obtained a Bible save it were by the Jews? ...Wherefore, because that ye have a Bible ye need NOT SUPPOSE THAT IT CONTAINS ALL MY WORDS; neither need ye suppose that I have not caused more to be written....(2 Nephi 29:2,3,6,10-12). Further, 2 Nephi 28:29 says "WO be unto him that shall say: We have received the word of God, and we need no more of the word of God, for we have enough!"
3. Translation of the Book of Mormon was "By the gift and power of God", hence not subject to human error.
a. "The prophet , scanning through the Urim and Thummim, the golden pages would appear in lieu of the strange characters thereon, their equivalent in English words. These he would repeat and a scribe, separated from him by a veil or curtain would write them down. ( Brigham H. Roberts, The History of the Church, pages 28).
b. "I will now give you a description of the manner in which the Book of Mormon was translated. Joseph Smith would put the seer stone into a hat, and put his face in the hat , drawing it closely around his face to to exclude the light; and in the darkness, the spiritual light would shine. A piece of something resembling parchment would appear, and under it was the interpretation in English. Brother Joseph would read off the English to Oliver Cowdery who was his principal scribe, and when it was written down and repeated to Brother Joseph to see if it was correct, then it would disappear, and another character with the interpretation would appear. Thus the Book of Mormon was translated BY THE GIFT AND POWER OF GOD, AND NOT BY THE POWER OF ANY MAN" (An Address To All Believers In Christ, pp. 17f).
4. Characters were of an ancient language.
The Egyptian hieroglyphics in 1833 had not been fully deciphered, and there was no way of proving Smith's work. However, in 1861 Smith's translation was shown to a scholar named Theodule Deverla of Paris, who declared the work was "entirely incorrect." So also attest eight other distinguished scholars in Egyptian lore (Snowden, Ibid., pp.76-79).
5. Some grammatical and language blunders and absurdities in the Book of Mormon:
p. 193 "the priests was"
p.192 "They was added"
p.290 "they did not fight against God no more"
p.351 "that all might see the writing which he had wrote upon the rent"
p. 506 "I have wrote them" "I were about to write"
"that to teach baptism unto they"
p. 582 "this thing had ought not to be"
p. 224 "and this he done"
Alma 14:6 - "his soul began to be harrowed up"
Alma 24:17 - "they did bury them up deep in the earth"
Ether 2:17 - "the length thereof was the length of a tree" (see verses 16-25).
6. Book of Mormon refutes any claim to inspiration.
I Nephi 1:3 - "I make it according to MY knowledge"
Nephi wrote what his knowledge led him to write, and only what "I think it to be sacred" (I Nephi 19:6).
Now let us hear Jacob: "I should write...which I considered to be most precious" (Jacob 1:2). He concludes saying, "I have written according to the best pf my knowledge" (Jacob 7:26). What they thought was true according to their knowledge, if they do not err!!!
Also see 3 Nephi 8:1-2 and Mormon 8:12 - "if there was
no mistake made by this man," and "because of the imperfections which are in it (this record)." They wrote "according to my memory" (Ether 5:1).
7. Some contradictions between the Book of Mormon and the Bible:
a. I Nephi 19:10 - Darkness at Jesus' death.
b. Jesus born at Jerusalem - Alma 7:10.
c. Disciples called Christians first 73 B.C. - Alma 46: 13-14
d. Church of Christ built about 147 B.C. - Mosiah 18:17
e. Seer is greater than a prophet. - Mosiah 8:15
f. The Lord's Supper is a common meal to "fill" participants - 3 Nephi 18:8. Followers of Book of Mormon do not obey it, for they take water and bread - 3 Nephi 18:13.
g. Priests outside the tribe of Levi - 2 Nephi 5:26. (yet, 2 Nephi 5:10 says they kept the Law of Moses "in all things.
h. Men have authority in the church - Mosiah 26:8, 37.
j. Melchizedek had a father - Alma 13:18.
8. The fall of Adam and Eve was "one of the great steps to eternal exaltation and happiness and one ordered of God." (Catechism for Children, p. 33.)
9 Joseph Smith contradicts himself on doctrine of polygamy.
a. Polygamy of David and Solomon "which things was abominable before me, saith the Lord."
Book of Mormon, Jacob 2:24.
b. God gave David all his wives and concubines "by the hand of Nathan, my servant, and others of the prophets ..." He sinned in none of these things except in the case of Uriah and his wife.
Doctrines and Covenants, 132:39.
10. Polygamy is a command to obey and if disobeyed, damnation is the penalty.
The Seer, Vol. 1 , p. 158. Doctrines and Covenants, 132:3, 4,6,61,62.
11. There are many gods, "a general assembly, quorum or grand council of the gods, with their president at their head, constitute the designing and creating power."
Key of Theology, p. 52.
12. Doctrine of God:
a. God in heaven "has flesh and bones. The Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man's."
Doctrines and Covenants, 130:22
b. He has sex and marries and multiplies His species. "God , angels, and men are all of one great family." Key of Theology, p. 41, 52.
The Seer, Vol. 1, p. 37
c. Adam is God, and Eve was "one of his wives."
Pearl of Great Price, p. 60.
Journal of Discourses, Vol. 6, p. 50
d. "God himself was once as we are now and is an exalted man."
Journal of Discourses, Vol. 6, p. 3, sermons by Joseph Smith.
13. Doctrine of Christ:
a. Christ is Adam's son by natural generation. "He was not begotten by the Holy Spirit. And who is the Father? He is the first of the human family."
Journal of Discourses, Vol. 1, p. 50, sermon by Brigham Young.
b. Jesus was a polygamist.
"...... there were several holy women that greatly 'loved Jesus, such as Mary and Martha her sister, and Mary Magdalene ; and Jesus greatly loved them...if all the acts of Jesus were written, we , no doubt, should learn that these beloved women were His wives."
The Seer, Vol. 1, p. 158-159.
14. Doctrine of The Holy Spirit:
Not a person, but ethereal substance , pure and refined.
15. Doctrine of Apostles:
a. Twelve apostles were appointed by David Whitmer and Oliver Cowdery:
T. B. Marsh, Parley Pratt, D. W. Patten, Luke Johnson, Brigham Young, Wm (William) Smith, H.C. Kimball, Orson Pratt, Orson Hyde, John Boynton, Wm. (William) M'Lellin, Lyman Johnson.
b. They maintain an apostleship in the church.
16. Doctrine of Salvation:
a. Salvation is the resurrection from the dead.
Doctrines and Covenants, 88:16
b. Salvation consists of 3 degrees : highest of celestial, terrestrial (deceived, etc.), and those who did not accept Mormonism, liars, sorcerers, etc.
Doctrines and Covenants, 76:51-112.
17. Baptism for the Dead:
The saints can be baptized for those who have died.
Doctrines and Covenants, 124:28.
Journal of Discourses, Vol. 6, p. 7-8, Joseph Smith.
18. "Every spirit that confesses that Joseph Smith is a prophet .... and that the Book of Mormon is true, is of God, and every spirit that does not is of "Antichrist."
Millenial Star, Vol. 5, p. 118, by Brigham Young.
9. The name "Mormon"
1. The Faith Was Once Delivered.
The question now before us is whether revelation was complete and perfect in the 1st century or if there was still a vacuum or void left after the New Testament was given which was to be filled by a latter revelation.
Jude 3: "beloved, while I was giving all diligence to write unto to write unto you of our COMMON salvation, I was constrained to write unto you exhorting you to contend earnestly for THE FAITH WHICH WAS ONCE FOR ALL DELIVERED unto the saints." THE faith, not just a faith or any faith; not gradually being given through 2,000 years or given in part in the first century to be delivered again in the 19th century! ONCE DELIVERED. (Greek word here is "hapax," defined in Thayer's Lexicon as: "once, one time....never need repetition," also, "once for all"). The same word is employed in these verse: 2 Corinthians 11:25; Hebrews 9:26-28; 1 Peter 3:18.
I Peter 3:18
2. The curse of heaven rests upon any man or angel or apostle who preachers any other gospel than that revealed in the New Testament (Galatians 1:8-9). Man is not to add to the words of the prophecy of this book as we read in Revelation 22:18-19, nor to "go onward and abide not in the teaching of Christ" as we read at 2 john 9. "Seeing that his divine power HATH GRANTED unto us ALL THINGS THAT PERTAIN UNTO LIFE AND GODLINESS, through the knowledge of him that called us by his own glory and virtue." (2 Peter 1:3) We must conclude that since the divine power did not grant them the Book of Mormon, that it therefore does not "pertain unto life and godliness!"
1. Deuteronomy 4:2; 12:32.
2. (See above passages)
3. "Every good work" is recorded in the Bible, the Scriptures available in the first century (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
4. The gospel was never "lost," hence absurd to speak of restoring its revelation. "My words shall never pass away," said Jesus (Matthew 24:35). What is new is not true; what is true is not new.
1. Fables and false prophets to be avoided. 1 Timothy 4: 1; 2 Timothy 4:3-4. Joseph Smith was a base impostor, and the Book of Mormon a colossal fraud!
2. All liars shall be punished. Colossians 3:9; Revelation 21:8, 27; 22:15.
3. Men today should preach the same things taught in first century. 2 Timothy 2:2.
There is only one conclusion: the translation into the English language was absolutely perfect, and the ONLY flaws must be typographical or printer's errors. It is an undisputed fact, however, that there are even in the current editions many grammatical, historical, and literary errors which cannot be attributed as typographical!
Notice: "The book passed into a fluid condition and assumed a different FORM with every edition. In 1842 an edition appeared bearing on its title page the announcement, 'Carefully revised by the translator,' and such corrections have continued and accumulated so that 'a comparison of the latest Salt Lake edition with the first has shown more than three thousand changes'." (J. H. Snowden, The Truth About Mormonism, p. 69).
1. Prove all things. I Thessalonians 5:21.
1. God is not the author of confusion. I Corinthians 14:33
Does this sound like the product of "the gift and power of God?" GOD IS NO SUCH IGNORAMUS!
.1. Those who "oppose themselves" should be corrected and instructed. 2 Timothy 2:25. The writers of the Book of Mormon claim they are inspired in one place, and not inspired in another.
2. James 2:18: Faith shown by works.
3. James 2:19: Faith alone characterizes devils
4. James 2:24,26: Faith only not enough.
5. Galatians 5:6 Faith working through love.
6. Mark 16:16: Faith plus baptism equals salvation
7. Read Hebrews 11: Faith in ACTION avails not just saying you have faith.
1. Matthew 27:45.
2. Matthew 2:1. In Bethlehem, about 7 miles out of Jerusalem.
3. Acts 11:26. Disciples first called Christians First in Antioch abut 45 A.D.
4. Matthew 16:18. Jesus died and built His church (the one church found in the Bible) 33 A.D. Centuries later men started building their churches.
5. I Corinthians 11:20-22. The meal was separate from Lord's Supper. Matthew 26:26-29. 3:9
6. Numbers 3:9, 10. Hebrews 8:4.
7. Ephesians 1:22-23; Colossians 1:18. Christ has all authority in the church.
8. Hebrews 7:3 Melchizedek had none
1. Genesis 3:19; Romans 5:12-18; Romans 6:1-2. Disobedience to God's law has never been His desire or "order."
1. Sinners and false teachers "oppose themselves."
1. Man is to cleave to his wife, not wives. Genesis 2: 18-25.
2. Man has one wife, Ephesians 5:23-33, the same as Christ has one church.
3. Elders must be husband of one wife. I Timothy 3:2. (This passage among others expose the error of those young "elders" (boys) / children that come around on bicycles knocking on our doors from the "Mormon" Church)
4. Lamech, a murderer, originated polygamy. Genesis 4:19-24.
1. Only one God. Genesis 1:26; Exodus 20:1-3; Matthew 28:19; John 1:1-3; 14: 25-26; 16:7-10.
1. God is spirit. John 4:24; I Corinthians 15:50.
2. A spirit has not flesh and bones. Luke 24:39
3. God is omnipresent . Psalms 139:7-11; Acts 17:28; I Corinthians 3:16.
4. God's only marriage relationship was spiritual was spiritual, with Israel. Jeremiah 3:14.
5. No marriage after death. Mark 12:25.
6. Adam is not God, but was created by Him . Genesis 1:27; 2:18-25; 3:8-11, 19; Exodus 20:1-3.
7. Man is a created being. Genesis 2:7.
8. Christ was like us only from his fleshly aspect after he came to earth. Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:20-23.
1. Jesus was conceived of the Holy Spirit . Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:18-23.
2. Christ is the one husband and head of his one bride, the church. John 3:29; Romans 7:4; Ephesians 5:23-33.
1. Holy Spirit is a person, one of the three persons in the godhead. Matthew 28:19; John 14:15-17; 16:13-14; Acts 5:3-4; 8:28; 10:19-20.
2. He is not a mysterious "it," but a personal "He."
1. Those claiming apostleship tried and "found them liars." Revelation 2:2.
2. Apostles had to be eyewitnesses of the Lord "from the baptism of John." Acts 1:25. Saul was "the last of all" chosen as apostle who "saw the Lord." Acts 9:6; 22:17-21; I Corinthians 15:8.
3. Apostles cannot exist today because none can do the signs of an apostle, and none living today has seen the Lord.
1. Both good and bad will be resurrected. John 5:28-29; Revelation 20:11-15.
2. Universal salvation is not taught in the Scriptures. Matthew 25.
3. Matthew 25:46. Only eternal life or eternal punishment.
4. Revelation 22:4.
1. Man must be baptized by his own faith and volition. Romans 6:3-4, 17-18; Acts 2:37-38.
2 Corinthians 5:10.
3. There is no second chance AFTER death. Luke 16:19-31; Acts 17:31.
1. Confess Christ, not Joseph Smith. Matthew 10:32-33; Romans 10:9-10.
2. Many false prophets. Matthew 7:15; 24:11; 2 Corinthians 11:13; 2 Peter 2:1; I John 4:1.
1. The name "Mormon" foreign to the apostles, early church and to the Bible. No disciple of Jesus Christ ever wore the name "Mormon". The disciples were called Christians (Acts 17:11))