February 4, 2015

Why I’m Not A Mormon

by Eric Davis

TempleLiving where I do, the topic of the Mormon faith often arises. It’s a religion which is gathering quite a few adherents, especially outside the USA. But if you were to ask me why I do not ascribe to Mormonism, I would begin by giving these three reasons:

  1. Mormonism deviates from the sufficiency of the Bible.

Mormonism teaches that the Book of Mormon is holy Scripture, on equal standing with the Bible, and is, therefore, the word of God. The assertion is that it was recorded on gold plates long ago in an ancient Egyptian-type language. In 1823, Joseph Smith claimed to have been directed by the angel, Moroni, to discover and translate the contents, which became the Book of Mormon.

The_Hill_Cumorah_by_C.C.A._ChristensenMormonism teaches that Smith was a prophet in the ranks of biblical prophets like Moses and Isaiah, chosen by God to restore the true Church of Jesus Christ using the text from the plates.

translating-the-book-of-mormonThe content of the Book of Mormon also rebukes the idea that Scripture alone is sufficient: “Thou fool, that shall say: A Bible, we have got a Bible, and we need no more Bible” (2 Nephi 29:6).

Along with the Book of Mormon and the Bible, Mormonism affirms the canonicity of two other works, The Doctrine and Covenants, and Joseph Smith’s work, The Pearl of Great Price. New revelation is also permitted, which, similar to papal authority in Roman Catholicism, can arise from the Prophet, or President of the Church.

This violates the clear teaching of the sufficiency of Scripture: “Every word of God is tested; He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him. Do not add to His words or He will reprove you, and you will be proved a liar” (Prov 30:5-6). “I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book, and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book” (Rev 22:18-19).

  1. Mormonism deviates from the biblical teaching of the deity of Jesus Christ.

The language on Christ in Mormon teaching appears similar to that of biblical Christianity. Christ is said to be the Savior of the world, our Redeemer, and the Son of God. However, all is not as it seems.

mormon-temple-Idaho-Falls-Idaho3The deviation begins here: Mormon teaching denies one of the most important biblical teachings, that God is a Triune God; one God and three Persons, God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Instead, the Persons of the Trinity are claimed to be three separate gods. God the Father is an exalted man who “…has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man’s; the Son also; but the Holy Ghost has not a body of flesh and bones, but is a personage of Spirit” (Doctrine and Covenants, 130:22). The Father was once a mortal being who dwelt on an earth and eventually ascended to his current god-like status.

Mormonism teaches that he is the father of human spirits (before creation, all humanity were spirits who lived with God the Father), among whom were Christ and the Holy Ghost. The god-like status of Christ and the Holy Ghost was something that became rather than something eternally possessed. By virtue of being children of God the Father, like all human spirits, they rose to their status of deity. Like Christ, humanity has the potential to work themselves into this god-like standing. This renders a different Christ than that of Scripture; one who is less than eternal God, and, therefore, not God.

Mormonism violates the clear teaching of Scripture that, among other things, Christ is God; the uncreated, eternal, second Person of the Triune Godhead, who has eternally possessed all the attributes of God (John 1:1-2, 8:58, 10:30, Col 2:9, Titus 2:13).

  1. Mormonism deviates from the true gospel of Jesus Christ.

As with the deity of Christ, the wording on salvation appears similar to biblical Christianity. However, any belief that deviates from the deity of Christ thereby espouses an unsavable Christ. A Christ who is not the eternal God of the Bible cannot effectually save and propitiate sin for men who are not sinless. A being who is not the God of Scripture, whether having ascended to divinity or not, is unable to ascend to a moral finesse necessary such that his substitutionary death would be sufficient to placate the wrath of God for sinners. Humanity is depraved. Unless we have an individual who is fully God and fully man, humanity remains under the wrath of God because no created individual can arise out of Adam to atone for our sin. This, sadly, is where Mormonism is void of any saving power for depraved humanity.

Furthermore, since Christ is not the eternal God of the Bible, the justice of God in forgiving sinners is called into question. If God the Father is going to justly justify the unjust, then he must do so through the biblical Christ. Christ must be eternal God or we may not have eternal life.

noMormon doctrine teaches that atonement is made effectual in our lives through faith in Christ, repentance, baptism, receiving the Holy Ghost, and choosing to follow Christ’s teaching for the rest of our lives. In addition to faith in an unsavable Christ, this is a works-based righteousness, which contradicts the teaching of Scripture (Gal 2:16, Eph 2:8-9).

Also, in Mormonism salvation is less about Christ’s penal substitutionary atoning work, and more about trying hard to follow Christ’s example and develop god-like attributes.

Mormonism also teaches a form of offered salvation through vicarious baptism. A deceased individual can have a baptism performed in the Temple on their behalf. The deceased then have the opportunity to embrace that vicarious work.

Tragically, Mormonism is an unsavable system that was off from the start. No angelic apparition, no matter how convincing, is to be embraced who suggests another gospel, as did Moroni to Joseph Smith: “But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed!” (Gal 1:8).

Sometimes well-meaning individuals have responded to me, “Well, I know some wonderful people who are Mormons.” I, too, know some kind people in the Mormon faith. However, the issue here is not on the kindness of a system’s adherents, but the truthfulness of its doctrine. Despite the outward morality which may exist within Mormonism, because its teaching deviates from the sufficiency of Scripture, the deity of Christ, and, therefore, the gospel of Christ, it is an unsavable system, and, thus, a false religion altogether.

We must lovingly appeal to Mormons to turn from their erroneous teaching and submit themselves to the word of God in the 66 books of the Bible alone. Therein they will find the saving knowledge of the Person and finished work of Jesus Christ for right standing with God.

 

Eric Davis

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Eric is the pastor of Cornerstone Church in Jackson Hole, WY. He and his team planted the church in 2008. Leslie is his wife of 14 years and mother of their 3 children.
  • Robert Sakovich

    Mormons are among the lot of some of those in the saddest and most dangerous places in the world. They are comfortable and self-righteous in their morality and good works. Yet, if they die with their current beliefs in place, they will hear “I never knew you”. How sad that is…they don’t believe in the Jesus of the Bible. They believe in a system that a young man came up with because he hated Christianity.

    • Richard

      “he hated Christianity,”? Haven’t heard that before. Do you mean Joseph Smith? And do you know why he hated Christianity? Just curious.

      • Robert Sakovich

        I should say he hated Christian doctrine…which is basically the same as hating Christianity. This is why he invented his own religion with doctrine that he liked better and said that it was what God told him to do.

        • Richard

          Interesting, Robert. Kinda like today’s false teachers who hate Christian doctrine and invent or promote all kinds of atheistic, heretical religions. The religion of evolution comes to mind, for example.

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  • Casey Ballard

    Thanks Eric for the great article. Thankful for you brother. The reason I am no longer a Mormon is because God called me out of that hideous false teaching religion.

    • Eric Davis

      Thank you, Casey, and praise God for his grace in your life.

  • pearlbaker

    Eric, it was discreet of you to strictly stick to the Mormon doctrinal errancy issues, but just as Catholicism still has plenty of strange practices “on the books” so to speak, such as the issue of indulgences, which is all but unknown to the lay Catholic, there are outrageously bizarre beginnings to Mormonism, not all of which have been denounced by the Mormon “church”, just swept under the rug. I, too, will not go into these things, but they are readily researched on line and other places. These outlandish tales rival and overreach anything invented by L. Ron Hubbard. Once one is aware of the very weird beginnings of Mormonism, it almost seems pointless to give this cult any credence by comparing it to true Christianity, but since it now parades as a true religion, I concede that it is necessary to refute the lies. Therefore, I thank you for making these important distinctions between the false religion of Mormonism and true Christian faith.

    • Eric Davis

      Pearl – There certainly are more ways that Mormon doctrine differs significantly from biblical Christianity than what I touched on above. Hopefully these serve as a starting point to see the differences. Thanks

  • This is a pretty decent summary but as a former mormon saved by the sovereign grace of God I would steer away from the Revelation 22:18-19 argument as it is not speaking (at least not specifically) about the Bible as a whole but Revelation in particular. Most mormons will know this and respond to that by pointing that out. Hebrews 1:1-2 is a better place to turn as it utterly undercuts the idea of a unique prophetic role as a mouthpiece of new revelation.

    • Eric Davis

      Thanks for the insight Arthur.

    • FredWAnson

      I concur with Mr. Sido. In fact, I wrote an article that addresses this often used but fallacious argument: http://beggarsbread.org/2014/08/26/weak-arguments-1-revelation-2218-closed-the-canon-of-christian-scripture/

      Fellow Christians, please don’t use this argument – it erodes our credibility whenever we do. My article suggests some stronger arguments, please consider using them instead.

      Thank you and Coram Deo.

      • Eric Davis

        Fred, Arthur: As I mentioned below in a different comment, I think that the argument from Revelation 22 is valid.

        The prohibitions of adding to inspired Scripture, whether Rev 22, Deut 4, or Prov 30, for example, do not strictly apply to those respective books only, but God’s word in general. The point is less about, “Do not arbitrarily add/subtract from Deuteronomy or Proverbs or Revelation,” and more about, “Do not add man-originating, man-sourced, words to God’s inspired, inerrant, infallible word, and do not take away from them either.” So, those warnings could apply to, not only those books, but Scripture as a whole; anything that is God-breathed (the 66 books of Scripture).

        • Rev. 22 certainly is only about Rev. That is the context of the passage, and the rest of the N.T. wasn’t assembled yet. Mormons have long ago picked that up from solid biblical teachers. However, it can certainly be used in conjunction with similar passages, such as Deut. 4:2 (also not about the Bible in general), and Deut. 12:32 (also not about the Bible in general) as examples of God’s attitude towards adding to what He says, and then use as the coup de grace the general statement of Prov. 30:5-6.

          • Eric Davis

            Hi Glenn, Fred: Thanks for the follow up. I understand what you are saying here. Thank you. Again, I would encourage further research on the inspiration of Revelation, as evidence suggests it was closer to mid A.D. ’90’s. It would not be eisegesis to conclude that this statement seems to indicate the closing of the canon. And I understand that this is less the issue, as we are talking more about the meaning of Revelation 22. In addition to indicating the close of the canon, I would say that the application of Deut 4, Prov 30, and Rev 22, for example, would permit the case for prohibiting man’s tampering with special revelation. And, further, the deeper issue here pertains to what is special revelation vs. what is not. That is the point I am attempting to make. My apologies for not making that more clear, as I should have.

            I think in my post above, for clarity’s sake, it would have been profitable to include a blurb on the idea of inspiration and special revelation.

        • FredWAnson

          Let’s look at the text in question shall we?

          “I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.

          And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.

          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.

          He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.

          The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.”
          – Revelation 22:16-21 (KJV)

          “Now therefore hearken, O Israel, unto the statutes and unto the judgments, which I teach you, for to do them, that ye may live, and go in and possess the land which the Lord God of your fathers giveth you.

          Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you.”
          — Deuteronomy 4:1-2 (KJV)

          Mr. Davis, the text is quite clear that the command to neither add or subtract to the words apply to very specific things: The “the words of the book of this prophecy” and “this book” in the case of Revelation 22 and “the statutes and unto the judgments, which I teach you” in Deuteronomy 4.

          Your hermeneutic depends on things that are external to the text and therefore is, IMO, eisegesis.

          And THAT’s the biggest problem that I see with Christians using this argument with Mormons – it demonstrates hypocrisy by engaging in exactly the same type of eisegesis that Mormons employ in inserting their doctrine into the text of the bible.

          Again, this is at the very least a weak argument and I encourage Christians not to use it in any form or fashion.

          • FredWAnson

            And I just noticed that someone factored in Deuteronomy 12 too, so here we go again . . .

            “These are the statutes and judgments, which ye shall observe to do in the land, which the Lord God of thy fathers giveth thee to possess it, all the days that ye live upon the earth…

            What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it.”
            — Deuteronomy 12:1,32 (KJV)

            Again, verse 32 (as well as verses 2-31) is given within the context of “the statutes and judgments, which ye shall observe to do in the land” in verse 1. The text is quite clear and specific.

      • Eric Davis

        And I would also disagree w/ the late A.D. ’60’s date on the inspiration of Revelation. I think the evidence better points to mid A.D. ’90’s, though that is less relevant to the argument.

        • FredWAnson

          The text itself makes all this irrelevant. It simply doesn’t matter when the text was produced. See my comment above.

  • Daryl Dupre

    Jesus Christ wouldn’t give a crap whether you were Mormon or Catholic or Jehovah’s witnesses. Because he died on the cross for your sins. And your comments.

    • pearlbaker

      And for your language, as well? I am most humbled and grateful that Christ died for my sins, but I respectfully disagree with the majority your assertion about whom and what Christ died for.

    • Eric Davis

      Hi Daryl-

      I see that you are exercised about this issue. I understand that it can be uncomfortable, as I have friends who ascribe to unsavable ideas about Christ. But your comment illustrates something important.

      I chose to leave your comment up b/c it shows the tragic and common line of thinking in our day which de-Gods Christ. Specifically, the idea that Christ cares little what we believe about him. Even more, perhaps, he has no particular attributes such that he would be concerned that we think anything in particular about him. Instead, we, fallen, finite, sinful humanity, can ascribe whatever propositions and ideas to him that we wish, which, in effect, puts us in a position of supremacy over him. We define him. Man’s arbitrary definition of Christ is acceptable. Man, then, dictates the who and what about God. God, then, accepts our definition. But this is not the God of the Bible. He is a God with certain, glorious attributes and workings which are dictated by him in Scripture. That’s one reason that he took the time to give us the wonderful gift of special revelation. And so man’s job and privilege is to come to him, our Creator, repent, see, understand, and embrace the specific who and what of God. If God’s attributes do not matter, then we re-make God, and, therefore, we worship an idol, which is an affront to God.

      • Daryl Dupre

        Just take it down. You don’t get it.

        • Robert Sakovich

          Daryl, he gets it. I think the problem is that you don’t get what he is saying here or you just don’t care what Jesus says about Himself. The doctrine of Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons defines Jesus as somebody different than Who Jesus says He is. Do you think that we can have faith in a person without believing and knowing Who He is? God took the time to communicate with us about Himself…if we don’t care what He says, do we really have faith in Him or follow Him or just do what we want and make it up as we go along?

      • MR

        Amen! Very nicely put. It all comes back to that question put to Eve thousands of years ago, “Did God really say?”

    • Jane McCrory Hildebrand

      Sorry Daryl, but as a Jehovah’s witness for 22 years, I was not taught that Jesus died on the cross for my sins. If you’re taught wrong, you believe wrong. It’s called being deceived.

    • 4Commencefiring4

      I think I’ve got (perhaps) what you’re saying: Just as the thief on the cross didn’t have any appreciable or full knowledge of who this Man on the cross next to him really was, he was nevertheless granted eternal life in his dying hours. Yes, that’s true–his understanding of Christ’s true nature or person was incomplete and, perhaps, even wrong; yet he became saved. He merely said, “Lord, remember me…” And it was enough.

      I’m not entirely sure what lesson we glean from that episode–if it’s fair to conclude that even incomplete or erroneous knowledge of Jesus can still be compatible with salvation. But the fact is, we in this age have in the Scriptures the entire description of the real Jesus, and are instructed to embrace Him as He truly is. To do any less is to have no excuse for making Him less than He is.

      • pearlbaker

        Amen to what you have said, but I would add that the thief did display an essential understanding of Christ’s true nature and person, as evidenced by the first word in Your quote, “Lord……” Of course this knowledge of Christ was not something the thief innately understood, it was imparted to him by Christ Himself. Such is the case with any of us, who through no merit of our own, and despite considerable demerits, have been shown the unspeakable mercy and grace of our Father, to save us from the condemnation into which we were born, and from which we have no escape but through Christ, and Him crucified.

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  • Tony

    4. Mormonism is predicated on the notion of a “Great Apostasy” that allegedly happened sometime in Church history (usually purported to be under Constantine in the 4th century, although other scenarios are sometimes suggested). This negates the very promises of Christ: that He would be with us until the end of the Age; that He would send us the Spirit who will lead us into all Truth; and that the gates of hell will NOT prevail against the Church! So, to suggest as Mormonism does, that the Church fell into error or somehow lost its way is to deny Jesus’ own words and accuse Our Lord of being a liar.

    • Eric Davis

      Yes, thank you for that addition, Tony. Great point.

  • David

    I was involved with Mormons for a few years. 1st involvement was with the missionaries, I shared a common stairway to 2 upstairs apartments, one mine and the other housed missionaries from the Mormon church. Over the few years there I became friends with many missionaries, and always shared the gospel from the bible with them. We had many “discussions” along the way about our differences but always remained friends, for the most part. Then I moved into a house and had Mormons living beside me. I learned a lot from ministries based in Salt Lake City who were only there to witness to the Mormons. The Tanners and a pastor Smith. I would like to point out that in one of the pictures above you depict Joseph Smith sitting with the Golden Plates open and another writing down what he is translating, I believe that picture is not correct. The golden plates were never seen by anybody and Joseph Smith used a seer stone in a hat to dictate the book of Mormon, if I am remembering correctly. Other than that I find your article interesting and well done.

    • Eric Davis

      David, thank you for the comment and sharing a bit about your experience. As far as the picture goes, I got it from the mormon.org website on their explanation of what the book of Mormon is (http://www.mormon.org/beliefs/book-of-mormon).

      • Eric, the picture is used by the LDS as propaganda. Smith never “translated” directly from the plates. They were often covered in another location as he looked into his hat with his “seer stone” to make the “translation.” That is indeed well-known outside of Mormonism.

        • Eric Davis

          Yep, thanks Glenn. I understand that Smith claimed to use the urim and thummim through the hat to decipher the plates. But, 1) We might be better off discussing, “What plates? What urim and thummim?” and 2) I wanted to feature some of LDS’s own propaganda on the issue.

      • David

        Eric, thank you for responding. This only goes to show that the Mormons are trying to hide the truth about their history, and what really happened with Joseph Smith and the Golden Plates/Seer stone in the hat method of translation he used. On another note this reminds me of another part of their history that they would rather not have the rest of the world know, found in http://www.lifeongoldplates.com/2009/10/mark-hofmann-and-salamander-letter.html

        • Eric Davis

          Thank you, David.

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  • DearThey

    Eric, unfortunately I had to stop reading after point 1, where you quote scripture completely incorrectly. The admonition in Revelation does not apply to the Bible as a whole but rather the Book of Revelation itself. As Revelation was written before several other books of the New Testament, your biblically illiterate reading of the text would require us to discard those books as violations of Biblical sufficiency.

    Not to mention Moses’ similar admonition in Deut 4, which would require us to toss out most of the rest of the Bible.

    The word Bible translates to library; which is actually what the book is, a collection of individual books of scripture, given to us over time, not one complete and self contained volume. The fact that you’re a pastor and either don’t know this or choose to ignore it so you can lead others astray makes me worry for your flock.

    • Eric Davis

      DearThey- Thanks for stopping by and commenting. I would disagree with a few statements here.

      First, the majority evidence suggests that Revelation was actually the last of the canonical books inspired, most likely sometime mid A.D. ’90’s.

      But, that would not change things much. The prohibitions of adding to inspired Scripture, whether Rev 22, Deut 4, or Prov 30, for example, do not strictly apply to those respective books, but God’s word in general. The point is less about, “Do not arbitrarily add/subtract from Deuteronomy or Proverbs or Revelation,” and more about, “Do not add man-originating, man-sourced, words to God’s inspired, inerrant, infallible word, and do not take away from them either.” So, those warnings could apply to, not only those books, but Scripture as a whole; anything that is God-breathed (the 66 books of Scripture).

      Also, while I understand the Greek meaning of the word, “Bible,” that has no bearing on determining inspiration, if I understand your point correctly. That the word “Bible” has the idea of collection does not supersede the fact of inspiration when it comes to recognizing what is Scripture and what is not. What does regulate inspiration, then? Inspiration itself. In other words, that something is actually God-breathed, special revelation. It is not up to us to make something inspired/canonical, but to recognize what is. The content of the Scriptures, the origin/source of Scripture, and the theology in Scripture, along w/ being indwelt by the Holy Spirit, is how God providentially ensures that his people recognize what is and is not the word of God.

      And as far as the flock I get to shepherd, certainly their pastor is riddled w/ imperfection. That’s w/o doubt. Please pray 1 Pet 5:2-3 for me, among other things, as you think of it. Cheers

      • Eric, the context of the Revelation passage is indeed only about the book of Revelation. It speaks of the “book” which has not been assembled as the NT, but only as that one book. That is the facts of life. I am continually embarrassed for Christians who use that passage out of context. You meant Deut 4 and it is also about a specific context rather than the Bible. Prov. 30:5-6 is really the “go to” passage because it is an overall general statement, while the others can be used to show God’s attitude.

        • Eric Davis

          Glenn, agreed that Prov 30 is key here. I also added a few things above. Thanks

  • Brad Neff

    Thank you for the thought provoking piece. Please allow me to respond with a brief explanation of a few of the reasons I love being a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Later-day Saints.

    1. The Bible itself testifies of a God who revealed truth again and again, generation after generation, through His prophets. And, of a God who doesn’t change. The Bible is true, but God has not left us alone to figure it out for ourselves.

    2. Christ taught “Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.” (Matt 7:20-21) To forsake all and follow Jesus (Luke 5:11), as He invites us all to do, requires action and yields real, observable results. My strivings to following Christ and His teachings have yielded countless blessings in my life.

    3. Christ came to save that which was lost (Luke 19:10) and all things are possible with God (Luke 1:37). I readily admit that I am lost, as are we all and as are all who have ever lived on the earth. I believe Christ’s power to save reaches all mankind, even to the unborn and those beyond the grave (as we once were and will be someday).

    The prophetic records have been debated for ages, most notably by the religious factions in Jesus’ day as witnessed by the Bible itself. This collective history of religious debate (often leading to mortal conflict) over different interpretations of the Bible (and pre-biblical records) bares overwhelming evidence to Joseph Smith’s observation that “the teachers of religion of the different sects understood the same passages of scripture so differently as to destroy all confidence in settling the question by an appeal to the Bible.” So he did as the Bible instructs in James 1:5. He took his question directly to God. All Joseph Smith ever asked anyone else to do was that, ask God.

    I have asked God and continue to do so whenever I have questions or doubts. God’s answers to my prayers is the real reason I have chosen to remain faithful to The Church of Jesus Christ of Later-day Saints.

    • Nou toe nou

      Why should we believe Joseph Smith’s fantasies and not Muhammad or Charles T. Russell’s since they also, as do many others, claim devine revelation from God. Only their’s are slightly less absurd, none of them would claim Satan is the brother of Christ for example.
      2 Timothy 3:16 ASV
      “Every scripture inspired of God is also profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for instruction which is in righteousness.”
      As you can see the Bible is sufficient that is why the Berean Christians were praised by Paul since they did not just believe what he said but first went to check the scriptures. It would have been wise for the first followers of Joseph Smith to do the same then they would have easily discerned his folly.
      Lastly which god are you referring to, according to the LDS church there are thousands of gods?

      • Brad Neff

        I don’t understand the animosity focused against the Church of Jesus Christ of Later-day Saints or its members by those of other Christian faiths. My intent was not to create conflict between us.

        I suggest that anyone with questions about the beliefs of the Church of Jesus Christ of Later-day Saints seek out the missionaries to learn more. They have been ordained to teach our beliefs to those of other faiths. They will invite you to pray to God. (The first article of our faith clearly states our belief in God, the Eternal Father. Only one, and it is only to Him that we are taught to pray.) You can also peruse the LDS scriptures, which contain an extensive topical guide and numerous cross references between the Old and New Testaments (largely the King James Version); The Book of Mormon, Another Testament of Jesus Christ; The Doctrine and Covenants; and The Pearl of Great Price, and hear messages directly from today’s church leaders at http://www.lds.org.

        Learning about the LDS faith from someone of any other faith would be similar to learning about the Buddhist faith from a Muslim. Therefore, if you have questions about those faiths, or others, I suggest you seek out those qualified by those faiths to teach the tenets of their faith. Then ask God if what they have taught is true.

        I will also take my own advice. In my prayer tonight I will ask God if the cannon was closed with the Bible, as you suggest. The scripture you quote doesn’t make that point clear to me, but I have faith that God will respond to me–one sinner worth saving.

        • Jim Swindle

          Brad Neff, thank you for speaking with kindness. I’d point out that compared to Christianity (and compared to the Bible), the LDS have a different definition of God the Father, a different definition of Jesus the Christ, and a different definition of salvation. The LDS doctrine of what happened in the garden of Eden doesn’t match what the churches believe. On all of these things, the LDS are in disagreement with virtually ALL of the historic churches, including the Orthodox, the Roman Catholic, the Lutherans, the Baptists, the Presbyterians, the Assemblies of God, and so on.

          Yes, Joseph Smith told people to pray to God to see whether what he said was true. Most Christians would say that we’re to use both our heads and our hearts; that what our hearts tell us should match historic truth. Quite simply, the LDS version of history doesn’t match the evidence.

          Jesus said, “You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” I pray that you and many other LDS people will find truth.

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