180 Movie

Watch one of the most shocking documentaries ever produced. Are you pro life? Pro choice? Watch, and be ready for an intense challenge.

The Blood of Jesus + Anything = a Different Gospel

In Mormonism, this equation of, “grace plus”, is echoed throughout all of its scriptures, teachings, church publications, and prophets.

Is What We Have Now What They Had Then?

Is what we have in our Bible's now, what the original authors really said? Does the difference in the Bible Versions mean we cannot trust the Bible at all? Do textual variatians give validity to the mormon claim that the Bible is corrupt, and needed the restoration of Joseph Smith, so much so that we have a whole new book? Listen in as Dan Wallace provides an intense and astounding look at the reliability of the New Testament, looks at textual variations, and through evidence, and reason, builds an amazingly strong case for the validity of the Bible.

Dr. John MacArthur, Making a Case for the Authority of the Bible

Listen to this audio series as Pastor John MacAurthur presents a 5 part teaching series for the reliability of the Bible

Mormonism: Understanding the History and Heresies

Listen in as Dr. Phil Fernandes presents a 3 part audio teaching on Mormon history and heresy. Learn how to answer Mormon missionaries from one of the leading apologists in cults.

Friday, December 31, 2010

Why Respond to Mormon Claims?

"In apologetics, the concern is not with those who throw rocks but rather with their publicized attacks against Christianity that, if left unanswered, are potentially deceiving to multitudes of people."

If you decide to take a stand for Biblical Christianity, and take the claims of the cults head on, one question you can expect to have asked of you is, "why are you trying to tear down someone else's religion? Why can't you just believe what you believe, and let others believe what they think is right."?

Often times, this question can come from a close friend, or a family member. It is easy to be taken off guard by this sort of an accusation. Our defenses are usually raised immediately, and we either respond to the person face to face angrily, or if you present the claims over social media sites, such as Facebook, we hammer out an angry message back to the person. While this might make us feel good for a moment, we typically are still left angry, and hurt. And secretly, maybe you wonder if it really is your place to speak up against someones beliefs. "After all," we reason, "I have no shortage of my own problems, and I don't have everything figured out...perhaps I will just stop witnessing to this person".

While this is in part true, that each of us have our own problems, and we are all sinners, and far from perfect, it does not mean that we should not contend for the faith that we have given our lives to. What's more, you can be assured that the enemy does not cease to pit itself against the truth of the Bible. While we may decide to stop witnessing to people, or providing an apologetic defense for Biblical Christianity, those who raise themselves up against the truth of the scripture are still on the offense, proclaiming that the message of the cross is foolishness.

Recently, I was reading in a book, entitled, "Reasons for Faith" by Norman Geisler and Chad V Meister, this statement from apologist Kurt Van Gorden, who has participated in debates against leading Mormon apologists, which says, "In apologetics, the concern is not with those who throw rocks but rather with their publicized attacks against Christianity that, if left unanswered, are potentially deceiving to multitudes of people."

From this statement, we see that we as apologists, do not defend Christianity, as if Christianity cannot withstand the attacks leveled against it, but that those who are attacking Christianity, choose public forums, to level their attacks against Christianity. So if Christians do not provide a defense against the claims these groups make, they could potentially deceive a large number of people. Please note, as I said, the attacks being leveled against Biblical Christianity, are often leveled in a highly publicized arena. Facebook is quickly becoming just such an arena, where we see groups forming that attack Biblical Christianity's claims. In a response to this, people, such as myself, have formed our own groups to defend Biblical Christianity against the various claims of the cultists.

So why should we respond to the claims made? Why are we "attacking others beliefs"? Well, that question is not altogether truthful. First, let us remember, that Mormon doctrine itself attacks Biblical Christianity. Joseph Smith, the founder of the Mormon church, says that in his vision, he was told that all of the churches are corrupted, and its members, and that they are all an abomination before the Lord. And that the Bible to has become corrupted, and the gospel itself was in need of full restoration.

Remember, Mormon missionaries come to your house, knock on your door, talk with your family, with the message that the Mormon church is the only true church on the face of the earth, that the book of Mormon is the most correct of any on earth, and attempt to convert you. They are on the offense, and they are in your area, promoting their gospel. Isn't the least that we as Christians can do, be prepared to give an apologetic defense against those who claim that our beliefs are in error?

Jude 1:3 says, "Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints." Notice, we are to contend for the truth of our faith.

Again in Galatians 1:9, we read, "As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed!". This means that the gospel that Paul received, and preached in his epistles is the true gospel of our Lord. So if anyone was to be out preaching a gospel contrary to this, they are giving you a false gospel, and they are accursed!

However, 1 Corinthians 13:1 says, "If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.". It is possible to refute someone, and tear the argument apart, and lose the soul. Which one of these has eternal consequences? If you are a Christian reading this, remember that you too, were lost, and the message of the cross was also foolishness to you. Those who willfully reject the message of the Gospel, are in spiritual darkness. Let us not mock, tear down, or ridicule. Let us remember we are hear to give an answer for the reason of the hope that is within us, with gentleness, and respect. Do not become a noisy gong. 

Whether you are a Mormon reading this post, or a Christian who has stayed on the side line a little to long, I encourage you to become active. We are commanded to be ready to give an answer for the reason of the hope that is within us, with gentleness and respect, and to be ready to do so, in season, and out of season.

In Him,

Jamie Pellew

Refuting Mormon Proof Texts for Polygamy in the Bible Being Commanded, Part 1

The following were proof texts used by a Mormon to try to show from the Bible that God approved of polygamy.

  • 2 Samuel 12, 7-8
7 And Nathan said to David, Thou art the man. Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, I anointed thee king over Israel, and I delivered thee out of the hand of Saul; 8 And I gave thee thy master’s house, and thy master’s wives in...to thy bosom,

  1. [After this, they were his concubine wives that lived in his estate. Only until he murdered to take upon a woman he lusted after was he punished and chastised by the Lord, later]

  • Exodus 21
 1 Now these are the judgments which thou shalt set before them. [each verse in between lists other charges to follow] 10 If he take him another wife; her food, her raiment, and her duty of marriage, shall he not diminish.

  1. [The Lord was okay with the Israelites having plural wives]

Now, here is the refutation:

Lets look at these in context, so that we may see if the Lord is contradictory, or if He is truth.

You said, "7 And Nathan said to David, Thou art the man. Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, I anointed th...ee king over Israel, and I delivered thee out of the hand of Saul; 8 And I gave thee thy master’s house, and thy master’s wives in...to thy bosom,

[After this, they were his concubine wives that lived in his estate. Only until he murdered to take upon a woman he lusted after was he punished and chastised by the Lord, later]"

  • "Gave thee thy master's house, and thy master's wives-The phraseology means nothing more than that God in His providence had given David, as king of Israel, everything that was Saul's. The history furnishes conclusive evidence that he never actually married any of the wives of Saul. But the harem of the preceding king belongs, according to Oriental notions, as a part of the regalia to his successor." (James commentary)

Also, it appears it was a duty to care for the wives and look after them, period.

Theres one down

  • "Exodus 21

1 Now these are the judgments which thou shalt set before them. ...[each verse in between lists other charges to follow] 10 If he take him another wife; her food, her raiment, and her duty of marriage, shall he not diminish. [The Lord was okay with the Israelites having plural wives]"

Lets look at this in context. I love how you quoted verse 1 and 10 only.

  1. Now these are the ordinances which you are to set before them:

2“If you buy a Hebrew slave, he shall serve for six years; but on the seventh he shall go out as a free man without payment. 3“If he comes alone, he shall go out alone; if he is the husband of a wife, then his wife shall go out with him. 4“If his master gives him a wife, and she bears him sons or daughters, the wife and her children shall belong to her master, and he shall go out alone. 5“But if the slave plainly says, ‘I love my master, my wife and my children; I will not go out as a free man,’ 6then his master shall bring him to God, then he shall bring him to the door or the doorpost. And his master shall pierce his ear with an awl; and he shall serve him permanently.

7“If a man sells his daughter as a female slave, she is not to go free as the male slaves do. 8“If she is displeasing in the eyes of her master who designated her for himself, then he shall let her be redeemed. He does not have authority to sell her to a foreign people because of his unfairness to her. 9“If he designates her for his son, he shall deal with her according to the custom of daughters. 10“If he takes to himself another woman, he may not reduce her food, her clothing, or her conjugal rights. 11“If he will not do these three things for her, then she shall go out for nothing, without payment of money.

A proper reading of this text, one that a person with the ability to not read something into the text, can see extremely clearly, the Lord never once says it is ok. God, knowing the evil and sin that man does, simply says not to reduce her food, her clothing, or conjugal rights. Where does this at all anywhere say God was ok with it or commanded it? No where, not even close

Deuteronomy 17:17 says, "He must not take many wives, or his heart will be led astray. He must not accumulate large amounts of silver and gold. "

You need to understand the difference between temporarily tolerating a sin, such as polygamy, and commanding a sin. For God to say marriage is between one man and one woman, and to set those guidelines on the leaders of the church, then Go back and command it, is a contradiction of His Holy nature.

God tolerated the sinful actions for a time, never did He condone these actions. He may tolerate our sins, but that does not mean that He approves of them, or condones them.

When you try to discredit the Bible or make it say something it never did, you will run into these kinds of problems, and get weird doctrines.

Refuting Mormon Proof Texts - Can Man Become God?

Mormon doctrine teaches that man can become a god. In fact, mormon theology tells us that god was once a man, and "as man is, God once was, as God is, man may become" as mormon Lorenzo Snow put it. They deify man, and bring god down to mans level. Sometimes they will use John 10:34 as a proof text in support of this false doctrine. The following is a good way to take the steam out of their argument, and put the verse back into context, where it belongs!

"This text should not be used to support the view that we (or anyone can become) little gods, for such an interpretation is contrary to the overall context. Jesus is not speaking to pantheists (who believe that God is everything and everything is God) or polytheists (who believe in many gods). Rather, He is addressing strict Jewish monotheists who believe that only the Creator of the universe is God. So, His statement should not be wrenched out of this monotheistic context and given a pantheistic or polytheistic twist.

Jesus' statement must be understood as part of Hid overall reasoning here which is an "a fortiori" argument: "If God even called human judges gods, " then how much more can I call myself the Son of God." Christ had just pronounced Himself one with the Father, saying, "I and My Father are one" (10:30). The Jews wanted to stone Him because they thought Christ was blaspheming, making himself out to be equal with God (vv. 31-33). Jesus responded by quoting Psalm 82:6 which says, "I said, you are gods." So Jesus reasoned, if human judges could be called "gods," then why can't the Son of God be called "God"?

Note that not everyone is called "gods" but only a special class of persons, namely, judges about whom Jesus said, they are those to "whom the word of God came" (v. 35). Jesus was showing that if the Old Testament Scriptures could give some divine status to divinely appointed judges, why should they find it incredible that he should call himself the Son of God?

These judges were "gods" in the sense that they stood in God's place, judging even life and death matters. They were not called "gods" because they were divine beings. Indeed, the text Jesus cites (Psalm 82) goes on to say that they were "mere men" and would "die" (v.7). It also affirms that they were "the sons of the Most High," but not because they were of the essence of God himself.

It is possible, as many scholars believe, that when the psalmist Asaph said to the unjust judges, "You are gods," he was speaking in irony. He was saying, "I have called you "gods," but in fact you will die like the men that you really are." If this is so, then when Jesus alluded to this psalm in John 10, he was saying that what the Israelite judges were called in irony and in judgment, he is in reality. Jesus was giving a defense for his own deity, not for the deification of man." (Geisler and Rhodes, Correcting the cults)


Thursday, December 30, 2010

Why the Bible? Ravi Zacharias at the University of Illinois

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Missing Gospels MP3 Audio Interview

Listen in as Darrell L. Bock, W. Hall Harris III, Daniel B. Wallace, and Mark Yarbrough discuss the impact of the Gnostic Gospels on Christianity in the early church, the church today, and contemporary culture.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Dr. Walter Martin - Part 1 of 2 - Maze of Mormonism

Saturday, December 25, 2010

What Every Mormon should know: Walter Martin part1

What Every Mormon should know: Walter Martin part2

What Every Mormon should know: Walter Martin part3

What Every Mormon should know: Walter Martin part4

What Every Mormon should know: Walter Martin part5

What Every Mormon should know: Walter Martin part6

Living Waters University: Oscar the Mormon

Monday, December 20, 2010

The 3 Biggest Errors Cultists Make

Dr. Ron Rhodes, on the 3 Biggest Errors Cultists Make. Fantastic 72 minute audio!

Click HERE to listen

Why We Believe the Bible: MP3 Series by John Piper

This is another amazing 5 part audio on the reliability, and trustworthiness of the Bible. John Piper speaks directly about the authority, inspiration, and inerrancy of scripture.

The Bible and Apologetics Mp3 Series by R.C. Sproul

In this 5 part series, Dr. R.C. Sproul talks about the trustworthiness of the Bible!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Dr. Phil Fernandes - 4 Part Teaching on Understanding Mormonism

This is an absolutely awesome audio on what Mormonism teaches, and why it goes against the Bible! Click the link below to listen to this apologetic teaching!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Why We Trust the Bible, Dr. Darrell Bock

This is a fantastic,  72 minute audio clip by Dr. Darrell Bock on the trustworthiness of the Bible.

Reasons for Faith, audio by Walter Martin

Debate - Is Mormonism Christian?

Early Testimony for the New Testament - Dr. Frank Turek

Lee Strobel - Is the Bible Reliable as a Historical Document

Friday, November 26, 2010

Book of Mormon Translation, and The Logical Conclusion

"The details of this miraculous method of translation are still not fully known. Yet we do have a few precious insights. David Whitmer wrote: "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 exclude the light, and in the darkness the spiritual light would shine. A piece of something resembling parchment would appear, and on that appeared the writing. One character at a time would appear, and under it was the interpretation in English. Brother Joseph would read off the English to Oliver Cowdery, who was his principle scribe, and when it was written down and repeated to Brother Joseph to see if it was correct, then it would disappear, and another with the interpretation would appear. Thus the Book of Mormon was translated by the gift and power of God, and not by any power of man" (Apostle Russell M. Nelson, "A Treasured Testament," Ensign, July 1993, p. 61. Citing David Whitmer, An Address to All Believers in Christ p

The story regarding the translation of the Book of Mormon as we have just read, is from a first hand account of what happened. And in this account of the translation process, there are several things to notice.

  1. Joseph Smith used his seer stone in part during the translation process
  2. In the darkness of his hat, a "spiritual light" would shine, and something like parchment would appear
  3. On the parchment would appear the character, and underneath that was the English translation
  4. The translation was told to Oliver Cowdery who would write it down
  5. Oliver Cowdery would then repeat what was written back to Joseph to see if it was correct
  6. Then, and only then, would the character disappear, and the next character appear

Those six points are not a disputed fact, they are not presented from a source that is biased against mormons, but from a mormon apostle, and recently. This was then published in the mormon magazine, "Ensign" and distributed.

So, since we read that Joseph Smith would see the reformed Egyptian character in his hat (which as a side note, no reformed Egyptian has ever been found to date), he would get the English translation underneath the character, and  he would then tell Oliver Cowdery, his scribe, and it was then repeated back, and since we read that this was by the power of God, the translation process of the Book of Mormon should be the most accurate translation process for any sacred book. This account indicates strongly that this was very much a word for word translation.

One more item to note is, while the writers of the Bible were moved by the Holy Spirit to write the words which they were given down, Joseph Smith was simply translating a record that was already there, and God Himself was supposed to be giving Joseph Smith a word for word translation. Remember, only when the word was written down by Smith's chief scribe, Oliver Cowdery, and repeated back to Joseph to ensure its accuracy, was the character to disappear, and the next one to appear.

If we couple this account, with the statement made: ""I told the brethren that the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion,..." -- Joseph Smith (as quoted in HC 4:461)", we can see that this should absolutely be true. In fact, this account leaves no room for error in the translation process.

So if we take this account seriously, and take Joseph Smith at his word, what is it that we find?

1830 Edition of the Book of Mormon
1 Nephi 11:18
"And he said unto me, Behold, the virgin which
thou seest, is the mother of [. . . . ] God, after
the manner of the flesh

1981 Edition of the Book of Mormon
And he said unto me: Behold, the virgin whom thou
seest is the mother of the Son of God, after the manner of the flesh."

1830 Edition of the Book of Mormon
1 Nephi 11:21
"And the angel said unto me, behold the Lamb of God, yea, even the [. . . . ] Eternal Father!..."

1981 Edition of the Book of Mormon
"And the angel said unto me: Behold the Lamb of God, yea, even the Son of the Eternal Father!..."

1830 Edition of the Book of Mormon
Mosiah 21:28 changed in 1964 ed.
"...king Benjamin had a gift from God, whereby he could interpret such engravings;..."

1981 Edition of the Book of Mormon
"...king Mosiah had a gift from God, whereby he could interpret such engravings;..."

1830 Edition of the Book of Mormon
3 Nephi 22:4
"...for thou shalt forget the shame of thy youth, [. . . . ] and shalt not remember the reproach of thy widowhood any more."

1981 Edition of the Book of Mormon
"...for thou shalt forget the shame of thy youth, and shalt not remember the reproach of thy youth, and shalt not remember the reproach of thy widowhood any more."

1830 Edition of the Book of Mormon
3 Nephi 16:10
"and thus commandeth the Father that I should say unto you at that day, When the Gentiles shall sin against my Gospel, and shall subject the fulness of my Gospel, and shall be lifted up..."

1981 Edition of the Book of Mormon
"And thus commandeth the Father that I should say unto you: At that day when the Gentiles shall sin against my gospel,[. . . . ] and shall be lifted up..."

1830 Edition of the Book of Mormon
1 Nephi 13:40
"...and shall make known to all kindreds, tongues, and people, that the Lamb of God is [. . . . ] the Eternal Father and the Savior of the world..."

1981 Edition of the Book of Mormon
"...and shall make known to all kindreds, tongues, and people that the Lamb of God is the Son of the Eternal Father, and the Savior of the World..."

This is but a small number of over 3,900 changes that have been recorded in the Book of Mormon. As you can see, these changes made by the church later, begs the question: Was it God who got it wrong when He was telling Joseph Smith the translation process? Or was it Joseph who got it wrong during the translation process?

The problem is, either of these two answers present huge problems for mormonism. If it was God who got the story wrong, then God is a God who is full of error, and mistake. A God who cant get even the simplest of details correct, and a God who contradicts His own nature which is to be perfection.And a god who is imperfect, is not all powerful, or all knowing, otherwise he would know he was making a mistake.

If it is Joseph who got it wrong, then how is it that the characters disappeared after being written down and repeated by his scribe, Oliver Cowdery? And if Joseph got these wrong, where did he get them wrong from? It cant be God if He is perfect, and if it is Joseph, this is the work of a man, and not of the power of God. So, which is it?

It also cannot be explained away that this account is not accurate, as it has been promoted by the apostles of the mormon church as a, "precious insight" into the translation process. Remember also, this has been published into mormon publications, such as the "Ensign" church magazine.

In conclusion, the mormon is faced with a serious dilemma. Do they trust an imperfect God? Or a man who obviously did not translate anything by the power of God, as he demonstrably is shown to have made numerous errors? Either conclusion is devastating, and no doubt a painful choice. Perhaps, this is the first time you have questioned anything from your church, or maybe for you this is just another inconsistency that you cannot answer.

My mormon friends, the answer will undoubtedly hurt, and be painful, but remember that even though the truth can be terrifying, and brutally hurtful, it is still truth, and we are told in the one and only Holy Inspired text, the Bible, that, "and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free." John 8:32

I pray that you will take seriously these questions, and that you will turn to the God of the Bible, the one and true living God, and that He will draw you to Him.


(changes taken from utlm 3,913 changes)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Ezra Booth Letters, Letter 4

Ezra Booth is a former Methodist preacher who was fooled into believing mormonism. He considered it his duty to exspose this delusion. Booth's nine letters produced a sensation when there were published in the fall of 1831 and were later included in E. B. Howe's Mormonism Unvailed (1834), from which these texts are taken.

(Letter #4) 

From the time that Mormonism first made its appearance upon the stage, until the grand tour of the Missouri, an expectation universally pervaded the church, that the time was not far distant, when the deaf, the dumb, the maimed, the blind, &c. would become the subjects of the miraculous power of God, so that every defect in their systems would be entirely removed.This expectation originated from, and was grounded upon [188] a variety of premises, included in a number of commandments, or verbal revelations from Smith, or, as he is styled "the head of the church."

As the 4th of June last was appointed for the sessions of the conference, it was ascertained, that that was the time specified, when the great and mighty work was to be commenced, and such was the confidence of some, that knowledge superceded their faith, and they did not hesitate to declare themselves perfectly assured that the work of miracles would commence at the ensuing conference. With such strong assurances, and with the most elevated expectations, the conference assembled at the time appointed. To give, if possible, energy to expectation, Smith, the day before the conference, professing to be filled with the spirit of prophecy, declared, that "not three days should pass away, before some should see their Savior, face to face." Soon after the session commenced, Smith arose to harangue the conference. He reminded those present of the prophecy, which he said "was given by the spirit yesterday."

He wished them not to be overcome with surprise, when that event ushered in. He continued, until by long speaking, himself and some others became much excited. He then laid his hands on the head of Elder Wight, who had participated largely in the warm feeling of his leader, and ordained him to the High Priesthood. He was set apart for the service of the Indians, and was ordained to the gift of tongues, healing the sick, casting out devils, and discerning spirits; and in like manner he ordained several others; and then called upon Wight to take the floor.Wight arose, and presented a pale countenance, a fierce look, with his arms extended, and his hands cramped back, the whole system agitated, and a very unpleasant object to look upon. He exhibited himself as an instance of the great power of God, and called upon those around him "if you want to see a sign, look at me."

He then [189] stepped upon a bench, and declared with a loud voice, he saw the Savior: and thereby, for the time being, rescued Smith's prophecy from merited contempt.—It, however, procured Wight the authority to ordain the rest. So said the spirit, and so said Smith.The spirit in Smith selected those to be ordained, and the spirit in Wight ordained them. But the spirit in Wight proved an erring dictator; so much so, that some of the candidates felt the weight of hands thrice, before the work was rightly done.Another Elder, who had been ordained to the same office as Wight, at the bidding of Smith, stepped upon the floor. Then ensued a scene, of which you can form no adequate conception; and which, I would forbear relating, did not the truth require it.

The Elder moved upon the floor, his legs inclining to a bend; one shoulder elevated above the other, upon which the head seemed disposed to recline, his arms partly extended; his hands partly clenched; his mouth partly open, and contracted in the shape of an italic O; his eyes assumed a wild ferocious cast, and his whole appearance presented a frightful object to the view of the beholder.—"Speak, Brother Harvey" said Smith. But Harvey intimated by signs, that his power of articulation was in a state of suspense, and that he was unable to speak. Some conjectured that Harvey was possessed of the devil, but Smith said, "the Lord binds in order to set at liberty." After different opinions had been given, and there had been much confusion, Smith learnt by the spirit, that Harvey was under a diabolical influence, and that Satan had bound him; and he commanded the unclean spirit to come out of him.It now became clearly manifest, that "the man of sin was revealed," for the express purpose that the elders should become acquainted with the devices of Satan; and after that they would possess knowledge sufficient to manage him. This, Smith declared to be a miracle, and his success in [190] this case, encouraged him to work other and different miracles.

Taking the hand of one of the Elders in his own, a hand which by accident had been rendered defective, he said, "Brother Murdock, I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to straighten your hand; in the mean while endeavoring to accomplish the work by using his own hand to open the hand of the other. The effort proved unsuccessful; but he again articulated the same commandment, in a more authoritative and louder tone of voice; and while uttering with his tongue, his hands were at work; but after all the exertion of his power, both natural and supernatural, the deficient hand returned to its former position, where it still remains.But ill success in this case, did not discourage him from undertaking another. One of the Elders who was decriped in one of his legs, was set upon the floor, and commanded, in the name of Jesus Christ to walk.

He walked a step or two, his faith failed, and he was again compelled to have recourse to his former assistant, and he has had occasion to use it ever since.A dead body, which had been retained above ground two or three days, under the expectation that the dead would be raised, was insensible to the voice of those who commanded it to awake into life, and is destined to sleep in the grave till the last trump shall sound, and the power of God easily accomplishes the work, which frustrated the attempts, and bid defiance to the puny efforts of the Mormonite.** That an attempt was made to raise the child, is denied, of course, as every other attempt has been, after its entire failure was obvious to all. The parents of the deceased child, however, state, that they were prevented from procuring medical aid for the child, by the representations of the elders, that it was in no danger—that it would certainly be restored.

The father had no other idea but that the child was to be raised; neither did his faith fail him till preparations were made for its interment. He then awoke from his dream of delusion, and dissolved his connexion with the imposters.[191] Under these discouraging circumstances, the horizon of Mormonism gathered darkness, and a storm seemed to hang impending over the church. The gloom of disappointed expectation, overspread the countenances of many, while they labored to investigate the cause of this failure. To add, if possible, to their mortification, a larger assembly collected on the Sabbath, in order to hear preaching. In the midst of the meeting the congregation was dismissed by Rigdon, and the people sent to their homes. He was directed to do this, he said, by the spirit.

But it was generally believed, that he was directed solely by fear; and that he had mistaken the spirit of cowardice, for the spirit of the Lord. Several of the Elders said they "felt the spirit to preach" to the congregation: and Rigdon felt the spirit to send the people home: such was the unity which then prevailed among them.You will doubtless say, can it be possible that the minds of men, and men who possess the appearance of honesty, can be so strangely infatuated, as still to adhere to a system, after it had occasioned so much agitation, and so much disappointment. One reason which can be assigned for this, is, the adherents are generally inclined to consider the system so perfect, as to admit of no suspicion; and the confusion and disappointment, are attributed to some other cause. Another, and principal reason is, delusion always effects the mind with a species of delirium, and this delirium arises in a degree proportionate to the magnitude of the delusion. These men, upon other subjects, will converse like other men; but when their favorite system is brought into view, its inconsistencies and contradictions are resolved into inexplicable mystery; and this will not only apply to the delusions now under consideration, but in my view, to every delusion, from the highest to the lowest; and it matters [192] not whether it carries the stamp of popularity or its opposite. Yours affectionately, EZRA BOOTH.

Ezra Booth Letters, Letter 3

Ezra Booth is a former Methodist preacher who was fooled into believing mormonism. He considered it his duty to exspose this delusion. Booth's nine letters produced a sensation when there were published in the fall of 1831 and were later included in E. B. Howe's Mormonism Unvailed (1834), from which these texts are taken.

(Letter #3)
October 24, 1831 Ohio Star (Ravenna, Ohio), Oct. 27, 1831, Mormonism unvailed, 183–187. Mormonism has in part changed its character, and assumed a different dress, from that under which it made its first appearance on the Western Reserve. Many extraordinary circumstances which then existed, have vanished out of sight; and the Mormonites desire, not only to forget them, but wish them blotted out of the memory of others. Those wonders, which they wish to have forgotten, stand as the principal foundation of the faith of several hundred of the members of their church. With the wonders of Mormonism, or some of them, I design to occupy your attention in this letter; and I wish you to observe here, and hereafter remember, that the evidence by which all my statements are supported, is derived from my own experience and observation, or from testimony of persons who still adhere to Mormonism; and I hold myself responsible to any tribunal, whether on earth or in heaven, for the truth of what I write, or at least for an intention to write the truth, and nothing but the truth.

"Being carried away in the spirit" and "I know it to be [184] so by the spirit," are well known phrases, and in common use in the Mormonite church. We will first notice the gift of tongues, exercised by some when carried away in the spirit. These persons were apparently lost to all surrounding circumstances, and wrapt up in the contemplation of things, and in communicating with persons not present.— They articulated sounds, which but few present professed to understand; and those few, declared them to be the Indian language. A merchant, who had formerly been a member of the Methodist society, observed, he had formerly traded with the Indians, and he knew it to be their dialect. Being myself present on some of these occasions, a person proffered his services as my interpreter, and translated these sounds, which to me were unintelligible, into English language. One individual could read any chapter of the Old or New Testament, in several different languages.

This was known to be the case by a person who professed to understand those languages. In the midst of this delirium, they would, at times, fancy themselves addressing a congregation of their red brethren; and mounted upon a stump, or the fence, or from some elevated situation, would harangue their assembly, until they had convinced and converted them. They would then lead them into the water, and baptize them, and pronounce their sins forgiven. In this exercise, some of them actually went into the water; and in the water, performed the ceremony used in baptizing. These actors assumed the visage of the savage, and so nearly imitated him, not only in language, but in gestures and actions, that it seemed the soul and body were completely metamorphosed into the Indian.

No doubt was then entertained but that was an extraordinary work of the Lord, designed to prepare those young men for the Indian mission; and many who are still leaders of the church, could say, "we know by the spirit that it is the work of the Lord." And now [185] they can say, "they know it is the work of the devil." Most of those who were the principal actors, have since apostatized, and the work is unanimously discarded by the church. The limits which my want of time to write, as well as your want of patience to read compel me to prescribe for myself, will allow me only to touch on some of the most prominent parts of this newly invented and heterogeneous system.

A new method for obtaining authority to preach the Gospel was introduced into the church. One declared he had received a commission, directly from Heaven, written upon parchment. Another, that it was written upon the palm of his hand, and upon the lid of his Bible, &c. Three witnesses, and they were formerly considered persons of veracity, testified, that they saw the parchment, or something like it, when put into the hands of the candidate. These commissions, when transcribed upon a piece of paper, were read to the church, and the persons who had received them, were ordained to the Elder's office, and sent out into the world to preach. But this also sunk into discredit, and experienced the fate of the former.

Visions, also, were in high credit, and sounded abroad as an infallible testimony in favor of Mormonism. The visionary, at times, imagined he saw the City of New Jerusalem; unlocked its gate, and entered within the walls; passed through its various apartments, and then returned, locked the gate, and put the key into his pocket. When this tour was finished, he would entertain his admiring friends, with a detailed description of the Heavenly City.

The condition of the ten tribes of Israel since their captivity, unto the present time, has excited considerable anxiety and given rise to much speculation among the learned. But after all the researches which, have been made, the place of their residence has never been satisfactorily ascer-[186]tained. But these visionaries have discovered their place of residence to be contiguous to the north pole; separated from the rest of the world by impassable mountains of ice and snow. In this sequestered residence, they enjoy the society of Elijah the Prophet, and John the Revelator, and perhaps the three immortalized Nephites.—

By and by, the mountains of ice and snow are to give way, and open a passage for the return of these tribes, to the land of Palestine. About this time, the ministration of angels was supposed to be frequent in the church. The Heavenly visitants made their appearance to certain individuals: they seldom made any communication, but presented themselves as spectacles for the beholder to gaze upon, with silent admiration.
Smith is the only one at present, to my knowledge, who pretends to hold converse with the inhabitants of the celestial world. It seems, from his statements, that he can have access to them when and where he pleases. He does not pretend that he sees them with his natural, but with his spiritual, eyes; and he says he can see them as well with his eyes shut, as with them open. So also in the translating. The subject stands before his eyes in print, but it matters not whether his eyes are open or shut; he can see as well one way as the other. You have probably read the testimony of the three witnesses appended to the Book of Mormon. These witnesses testify that an angel appeared to them, and presented them the golden plates, and the voice of God declared it to be a divine record. To this they frequently testify, in the presence of large congregations.

When in Missouri, I had an opportunity to examine a commandment given to these witnesses, previous to their seeing the plates. They were informed that they should see and hear these things by faith, and then they should testify to the world, as though [187] they had seen and heard, as I see a man, and hear his voice: but after all, it amounts simply to this—that by faith or imagination, they saw the plates and the angel, and by faith or imagination they heard the voice of the Lord.

Smith describes an angel as having the appearance of a "tall, slim, well-built, handsome man, with a bright pillar upon his head." The devil once, he says, appeared to him in the same form, excepting upon his head he had a "black pillar," and by this mark he was able to distinguish him from the former. Hidden treasures for church It passes for a current fact in the Mormon church, that there are immense treasures in the earth, especially in those places in the state of New York from whence many of the Mormons emigrated last spring: and when they become sufficiently purified, these treasures are to be poured into the lap of their church; to use their own language, they are to be the richest people in the world. These treasures were discovered several years since, by means of the dark glass, the same with which Smith says he translated the most of the Book of Mormon. Several of those persons, together with Smith, who were unsuccessfully engaged in digging and searching for these treasures, now reside in this county, and from themselves I received this information.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Ezra Booth Letters - Letter 2

Ezra Booth is a former Methodist preacher who was fooled into believing mormonism. He considered it his duty to exspose this delusion. Booth's nine letters produced a sensation when there were published in the fall of 1831 and were later included in E. B. Howe's Mormonism Unvailed (1834), from which these texts are taken.

(Letter #2)

Were there none but myself interested in the exposition of Mormonism, I can assure you my time would be otherwise employed than in writing upon a subject which has heretofore been to me one of deep interest, and at times has occasioned a painful anxiety of mind. I could wish, if possible, to bury it in oblivion; and to remember it no more forever. But as this is a thing which cannot be accomplished in a moment, for the sake of others, who may be exposed to the delusion, from which, through the mercy of God, I have been recovered, and others who are at present involved in it: and also in compliance with your request, I will, as far as I have ability, unfold a system of darkness, fraught with glaring absurdity, and deceptive as falsehood itself.

This system, to some, carries the face of plausibility, and appears under an imposing form. It claims the Bible for its patron and proffers the restoration of the apostolic church, with all the gifts and graces with which the primitive saints [180] were endowed. It is called the fullness of the gospel of both Jew and Gentile: and is the test by which every man's faith is to be tried. Judgments are denounced against the sinners of this generation; or in other words, all who reject the Book of Mormon, are threatened with eternal damnation. Great promises are made to such as embrace it, signs and wonders are to attend them, such as healing the sick, the blind made to see, the lame to walk, &c.; and they are to receive an everlasting inheritance in "the land of Missouri," where the Savior will make his second appearance; at which place the foundation of the temple of God, and the City of Zion, have been laid, and are soon to be built.

It is also to be a city of Refuge, and a safe asylum when the storms of vengeance shall pour upon the earth, and those who reject the Book of Mormon, shall be swept off as with the besom of destruction. Then shall the riches of the Gentile be consecrated to the Mormonites; they shall have lands and cattle in abundance, and shall possess the gold and silver, and all the treasures of their enemies. The Mormonite preachers go forth proclaiming repentance and baptism for the remission of sins, and the laying on of hands for the reception of the Holy Ghost. The form of baptism is similar to other orders; only it is prefaced with—"having authority given me of Jesus Christ;" also, the laying on of hands—"In the name of Jesus Christ, receive ye the Holy Ghost." Many of them have been ordained to the High Priesthood, or the order of Melchisedec; and profess to be endowed with the same power as the ancient apostles were. But they have been hitherto unsuccessful in finding the lame, the halt, and the blind, who had faith sufficient to become the subjects of their miracles: and it is now concluded that this work must be postponed until they get to Missouri; for the Lord will not show those signs [181] to this wicked and adulterous generation. In the commandment given to the churches in the State of New York, to remove to the State of Ohio, they were assured that these miracles should be wrought in the State of Ohio; but now they must be deferred until they are settled in Missouri.

As the Mormonite church depends principally upon the commandments, and as most of them are concealed from the world, it will be necessary to make some statement respecting them. These commandments come from Smith, at such times and on such occasions as he feels disposed to speak, and Rigdon or Cowdery to write them.
Their exact number I have never taken pains to ascertain. I have the "27th commandment to Emma my daughter in Zion;" and should presume there are betwixt fifty and a hundred.— They received the addition of five or six while in Missouri; and these are considered a miracle in themselves, sufficient to convince any rational mind. But none but the strong in faith are permitted to witness their origin. I had an opportunity of seeing this wonderful exhibition of the wisdom and power of God, at three different times; and I must say, that it bore striking marks of human weakness and wickedness. They are received in the church as divinely inspired, and the name of the Lord is substituted for that of Smith.

They are called "The Commandments of the Lord." They are considered "The mysteries of the Kingdom;" and to divulge them to the world, is the same as casting pearls before swine. When they and the Scriptures are at variance, the Scriptures are wrongly translated; and Smith, though totally ignorant of the original, being a translator or an alterator, can easily harmonize them. Every thing in the church is done by commandment: and yet it is said to be done by the voice of the church. For instance, Smith gets a commandment that he shall be the "head of the church," or that he "shall rule the Conference," or that the Church [182] shall build him an elegant house, and give him 1000 dollars. For this the members of the church must vote, or they will be cast off for rebelling against the commandments of the Lord.

 In addition to the Book of Mormon, and the commandments, there are revelations which are not written.—In this department, though Smith is the principal, yet there are others who profess to receive revelations; but after all, Smith is to decide whether they come from the Lord or the devil. Some have been so unfortunate as to have their revelations palmed off upon the latter.

These revelations entirely supercede the Bible, and in fact, the Bible is declared too defective to be trusted, in its present form; and it is designed that it shall undergo a thorough alteration, or as they say, translation. This work is now in operation. The Gospel of St. Matthew has already received the purifying touch, and is prepared for the use of the church. It was intended to have kept this work a profound secret, and strict commandments were given for that purpose; and even the salvation of the church was said to depend upon it. The secret is divulged, but the penalty is not as yet inflicted.—Their revelations are said to be an addition to the Bible.—But instead of being an addition, they destroy its use; for everything which need be known, whether present, past or future, they can learn from Smith, for he has declared to the church, that he "knows all things that will take place from this time to the end of the world." If then, placing the Bible under circumstances which render it entirely useless, is infidelity, Mormonism is infidelity. Joseph Smith, Jun., Sidney Rigdon, Oliver Cowdery, and Martin Harris, may be considered as the principals in this work; and let Martin Harris tell the story, and he is the most conspicuous of the four.— He informed me, that he went to the place where Joseph resided, and Joseph had given it up, on account of the opposition of his wife and [183] others: but he told Joseph. "I have not come down here for nothing, and we will go on with it." Martin Harris is what may be called a great talker, and an extravagant boaster; so much so, that he renders himself disagreeable to many of his society. The money he has expended, and the great things he has done, form a considerable topic of his conversation; he understands all prophecies, and knows every thing by the spirit, and he can silence almost any opposer by talking faster, and louder than he can: or by telling him, "I know every thing and you know nothing: I am a wise man and you are a fool;" and in this respect, he stands a fair sample of many others in the church. Yours affectionately,E. BOOTH

Ezra Booth Letters

Ezra Booth is a former Methodist preacher who was fooled into believing mormonism. He considered it his duty to exspose this delusion. Booth's nine letters produced a sensation when there were published in the fall of 1831 and were later included in E. B. Howe's Mormonism Unvailed (1834), from which these texts are taken.

(Letter #1)

Rev. Ira Eddy

Dear Sir: I received yours of the 2d inst. and heartily thank you for the favor. It revives afresh in my recollection the scenes of past years, upon the remembrance of which, I dwell with a mixture of pleasurable and painful sensations. I arrived at my home on the 1st of the present month, having finished my tour to the west; since which time the scenes and events in the history of my life, for the last few months, have passed in review before my mind.

You are not, it is probable, ignorant of the designs of my most singular and romantic undertaking: sufficient to say, it was for the purpose of exploring the promised land—laying the foundation of the city of Zion, and placing the corner stone of the temple of God. A journey of one thousand miles to the west, has taught me far more abundantly, than I should have probably learned from any other [176] source. It has taught me quite beyond my knowledge, the imbecility of human nature, and especially my own weakness. It has unfolded in its proper character, a delusion to which I had fallen a victim, and taught me the humiliating truth, that I was exerting the powers of both my mind and body, and sacrificing my time and property, to build up a system of delusion, almost unparalleled in the annals of the world. If God be a God of consistency and wisdom I now know Mormonism to be a delusion; and this knowledge is built upon the testimony of my senses. In proclaiming it, I am aware I proclaim my own misfortune—but in doing it, I remove a burden from my mind, and discharge a duty as humbling to myself, as it may be profitable to others.

You had heard the story of my wanderings, and "was induced to believe that I had been visited with a species of mental derangement," and therefore, you "had given me up, as one among those friends of early association, who in the lapse of time, would be as though they had not existed." You had concluded that the magic charm of delusion and falsehood, had so wrapped its sable mantle around me, as to exclude the light of truth and secure me a devoted slave. But thanks be to God! the spell is dissipated, and the "captive exile hasteneth that he may be loosed, and not die in the pit." When I embraced Mormonism, I conscientiously believed it to be of God. The impressions of my mind were deep and powerful, and my feelings were exerted to a degree to which I had been a stranger. Like a ghost, it haunted me by night and day, until I was mysteriously hurried, as it were by a kind of necessity, into the vortex of delusion. At times I was much elated; but generally, things in prospect were the greatest stimulants to action.

On our arrival in the western part of the State of Mis[177]souri, the place of our destination, we discovered that prophecy and vision had failed, or rather had proved to be false. This fact was so notorious, and the evidence so clear that no one could mistake it—so much so, that Mr. Rigdon himself said that "Joseph's vision was a bad thing." This was glossed over, apparently, to the satisfaction of most persons present; but not fully to my own. It excited a suspicion that some things were not right, and prepared my mind for the investigation of a variety of circumstances, which occurred during my residence there, and indeed, to review the whole subject, from its commencement to that time.

My opportunities for a thorough investigation, were far greater than they could have been, had I remained at home; and therefore, I do not regret that I made the journey, though I sincerely regret the cause of it. Since my return, I have had several interviews with Messrs. Smith, Rigdon and Cowdery, and the various shifts and turns, to which they resorted in order to obviate objectors and difficulties, produced in my mind additional evidence, that there was nothing else than a deeply laid plan of craft and deception. Joseph's titles The relation in which Smith stands to the church, is that of a Prophet, Seer, Revelator and Translator; and when he speaks by the Spirit, or says he knows a thing by the communication of the Spirit, it is received as coming directly from the mouth of the Lord.

When he says he knows a thing to be so, thus it must stand without controversy. A question is agitated between two Elders of the church—whether or not a bucket of water will become heavier by putting a living fish into it. Much is said by each of the disputants; when at length, Smith decides it in the negative, by saying—"I know by the Spirit, that it will be no heavier." Any person who chooses, may easily ascertain by actual experiment, whether the Prophet was influenced in this decision, by a true or false spirit.

It is not my design, at this time, to enter into particulars relative to the evidence upon which my renunciation of Mormonism is founded. This evidence is derived from various sources, and is clear and full, and the conviction which it produces, at least on my mind, is irresistible. You are not aware of the nature of this deception, and the spirit that uniformly attends it; nor can you ever know it, unless you yield to its influence, and by experience learn what it is to fall under its power: "from which my earnest prayer is, that you may ever, ever escape."

There probably never was a plan better suited to lead the sinner and the conscientious, when in an unguarded hour they listen to its fatal insinuations. The plan is so ingeniously contrived, having for its aim one principal point, viz: the establishment of a society in Missouri, over which the contrivers of this delusive system, are to possess unlimited and despotic sway. To accomplish this, the Elders of the church, by commandment given in Missouri, and of which I was both an eye and an ear witness, are to go forth to preach Mormonism to every creature; and now, said Mr. Rigdon—"The Lord has set us our stint; no matter how soon we perform it— for when this is done, he will make his second appearance."

I do sincerely, and I trust in deep humility, return unfeigned gratitude to the God of infinite mercy, who, in condescension to my weakness, by a peculiar train of providences, brought me to the light, enabled me to see the hidden things of darkness, and delivered me from the snare of the fowler, and from the contagious pestilence which threatened my entire destruction. The scenes of the past few months, are so different from all others in my life, that they are in truth to me "as a dream when one awaketh." Had my fall affected only myself, my reflections would be far less painful than they now are.

But to know—that whatever influence [179] I may have possessed, has been exerted to draw others into a delusion, from which they may not soon be extricated, is to me a source of sorrow and deep regret. They are at this moment the object of my greatest anxiety and commiseration. I crave their forgiveness, and assure them, that they will ever have an interest in my addresses to the throne of grace. It shall be my endeavor to undo, as far as possible, what I have done in this case, and also to prevent the spread of a delusion, pernicious in its influence, and destructive in its consequences to the body and the soul—to the present and eternal interests of all men. I am, through restoring mercy and grace, as in former years, though unworthily, yet affectionately yours in Christ, EZRA BOOTH.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Does Mormonism teach that Jesus was Born of a Virgin?

In Christianity, whether we read the Old Testament, or the New Testament  one these is clear, a Messiah is prophesied to redeem a people for Himself. This is true if we look in the Old Testament as a foreshadow of what is to come, and how this person will come, and what He will accomplish, and it is also true in the New Testament as we see Jesus Christ as the ultimate fulfillment of all that was written of Him from the prophets of old. What is even more remarkable is that we are not just told that a king will come, but we are told specific things about this king such as where he is born, how he will be treated, and even his death. 

These prophecies include but are not limited to: 

  • The Messiah would be born in Bethlehem  
  • The Messiah would be born of a virgin  
  • The Messiah would be a descendent of King David 
  • The Messiah would be rejected 
  • The Messiah would be from the tribe of Judah 
  • The Messiah would be preceded by a messenger  
  • The Messiah would enter Jerusalem on a donkey  
  • The Messiah would be betrayed by a friend  
  • The Messiah would have His hands and feet pierced  
  • The Messiah would have his garments gambled over by casting lots  
  • The Messiah would not have any bones broken  
  • The Messiah would be ressurected  
  • The Messiah would ascend to the Father

In fact there are over 400 direct prophecies in the Old Testament alone that the Messiah must fulfill, which Jesus being the only Son of God, does. 

These fulfilled prophecies of the Old Testament are proofs that Jesus was and is who He claimed to be, the Son of God. In fact, if you look at what the probability of one man fulfilling just 8 of the prophecies surrounding Jesus of Nazareth, you get a number 1 in 10 to the 17th power.
That is 1 in 100,000,000,000,000,000

This shows how carefully the birth, life, and death of Christ was orchestrated by God, and how amazingly accurate His word has been kept, a great defense to those who claim His Holy Word has been corrupted. Truly it is incomprehensible that our God loves us so much, He would send His Son to die on this earth for our redemption. 

However, what if Jesus did not fulfill all of these prophecies? What it Jesus was not born in Bethlehem, what if He was not crucified? What If Jesus failed to be born of a virgin? Would He still be Messiah? Could He be? Truly His life would have been amazing, but would He still be the promised Messiah from the Old Testament?

The answer is simple, absolutely not. If Jesus did not fulfill every prophecy written of Him, then we are still waiting for our Messiah. Otherwise, God is a liar, for it was He who moved the prophets of old to write the prophetic signs to watch for, and the specific prophecies surrounding the birth, life, and death of Jesus. 

So when we see Mormon doctrinal teachings such as this, we need to understand that the Mormon concept of God is completely contrary to the Biblical teaching, and they have put their faith in a false God:

"Now, remember from this time forth, and forever, that Jesus Christ was not begotten by the Holy Ghost," (Journal of Discourses, vol. 1, p. 51).

“And Christ 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,...Christ is the Son of Man, meaning that his Father (the Eternal God!) is a Holy Man.” Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 1966, p. 742 

"The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints proclaims that Jesus Christ is the Son of God in the most literal sense. The body in which He performed His mission in the flesh was sired by that same Holy Being we worship as God our Eternal Father. Jesus was not the son of Joseph, nor was He begotten by the Holy Ghost. He is the Son of the Eternal Father!" President Ezra Taft Benson, Come Unto Christ, p. 4 

"Now we are told in scriptures that Jesus Christ is the only begotten Son of God in the flesh. Well, now for the benefit of the older ones, how are children begotten? I answer just as Jesus Christ was begotten of his father ... Jesus is the only person who had our Heavenly Father as the father of his body." Prophet Joseph F. Smith, Family Home Evening Manual, 1972, pp.125,126 

"The man Joseph, the husband of Mary, did not, that we know of, have more than one wife, but Mary the wife of Joseph had another husband." Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, 11:268

Now obviously as we read through these teachings, we see a myriad of problems, but for this post we will stick to the virgin birth. If these doctrines are real, than Jesus can in no way be the Messiah, and is disqualified from being the Son of God. Not only this, we are left with a Jesus who is a product of incest, and adultery on the part of both Mary and God, who would then be a sinner, and again, not God. So what does the Bible teach us regarding the conception of Mary?

Isaiah 7:14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.

Luke 1:35 The angel answered, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most... High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.

Matthew 1:22 Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet
Isaiah 9:6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

As Norman Geisler said, "The spiritual danger of believing a lie is even more serious - it has eternal consequences! To die while believing in the Jesus of ... Mormonism is to die believing in a counterfeit Jesus who preaches a counterfeit gospel which yields a counterfeit salvation (which, in fact, is no salvation at all)."

For the Mormon to believe that Jesus was not born of a virgin, but through a sexual relationship between God the Father and Mary is to believe in a counterfeit Jesus, who is not the foretold Son of God, and who preaches a counterfeit Gospel, which finally, yields a counterfeit salvation.

We end up with a Jesus who was not born of a virgin, a God who had a sexual relationship with His own daughter, as Mormonism teaches we are literally the offspring of God, which results in incest. Not only this, Mormonism teaches God has a wife, so this would make God an adulterer, and Mary was betrothed to Joseph which would make her an adulterer as well. In short, we end up with Jesus as the product of an adulterous incestual relationship between God the Father and His own creation, and in the process, nullifying the prophecies needing fulfillment for the Son to be the Messiah. 

I pray you will take some time to search through the Bible regarding the miraculous birth of Jesus, and why the Mormon concept of the virgin birth is a lie with eternal consequences if it is believed!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Lost Book of Abraham (full video, low quality)

Friday, September 24, 2010

A look at Mormonism

Monday, September 6, 2010

Exploring Dan Peterson (A look at his recent Mormon times article entitiled, Dan Peterson on Exploring Universal Christian Beliefs) Part 1

(This is part 1 of 2)

A recent article caught my eye the other day. Dan Peterson, known for his work with FARMS, published an article on the Mormon Times website, Exploring Universal Christian Beliefs. After reading the article, I found myself confused, and annoyed at the blatant deception contained within the article.

The article title made it sound as if Dan would be looking into, "Universal Christian" beliefs. (I suspect his definition of Christian is quite different from mine.) The article begins with the following statement from Dan:

"Glenn Beck has been in the news lately and, not surprisingly, so has his religion. Some have warned Christians to be wary of Beck, not because of his political views but because of his religious affiliation. He is, they say, not a real Christian. I'm betting, though, that he is. I don't know Mr. Beck personally, but he belongs to the same church I do, and I'm a pretty mainstream member. I'll wager that his beliefs resemble mine."

From the opening statement, confusion sets in for me. His example of exploring universal Christian beliefs, begins and ends with Glenn Beck. He mentioned Beck who has been in the news due to his 8/28 rally, and his attempt to bring all faiths under one banner. 

Mr. Peterson, I do not know if I missed something, but it is not new to most that Glenn Beck is a Mormon. In fact if you listen to his radio program, and if you know what to watch out for, it's pretty obvious. Beck himself is not silent about his beliefs, or the sponsors he chooses. While 8/28 was not suppose to be political, Beck himself is extremely political. Not that this is wrong, but he is in the news far more for his political views than for his position as a Mormon.

As far as people who say Glenn Beck is not a real Christian, I have two responses. The first is, I don't know that there has been many people who have done that, and the second response is, to those who say Glenn Beck is not a Christian, they are right. If Mr. Beck holds to the same view as his church does on the doctrines of God and of salvation, he is not a Christian.

Mr. Petersen continues on to say that he is willing to bet that Mr. Beck is a Christian. Why? Because he belongs to the same church that he does, Dan says.

At this, Mr. Petersen lays out what he believes. And the deception begins, pay close attention to where he adds his commas:

I believe in God, the Father Almighty, the creator of heaven and earth. I also believe in Jesus Christ, his only-begotten Son, the Lord of all humankind, who, before being born to the Virgin Mary, was the Jehovah of the Old Testament. I believe that Jesus Christ suffered under Pontius Pilate, that he was crucified, died and was buried. While his body lay in the tomb, he descended into the realm of the spirits of the dead and preached the gospel there. On the third day, Jesus rose, physically, from death. He ascended into heaven, where he sits at the right hand of the Father. He will return, however, in power and great glory, to judge the living and the dead. In the meantime, we can receive guidance from the Holy Spirit, the third member of the Trinity.

I believe that Christ founded a church in order to teach his doctrine and administer the ordinances of salvation to all humanity and that the fellowship of the Saints, Christ's disciples, transcends not only all ethnic, cultural and national divisions but even death itself. I believe in the forgiveness of sins and the resurrection of the body, which are made possible only through the gracious Atonement of Jesus Christ, in whom we have our only hope of salvation. And, finally, I believe in everlasting life.

To those of you who might be thinking this sounds familiar, there is a reason. Mr. Peterson rewrote the Apostles Creed. He changed it to fit his church's beliefs. It is a bold move to rewrite something that so beautifully describes the beliefs of Christianity and has been around for so long. Not only does Dan Peterson rewrite the creed, he also has no problem whatsoever leaving the Christian words intact, but changing their meaning. Mr. Peterson of course does so without informing his reading audience of what he is doing. Since he obviously refuses to define his terms, I will do it for him.

  • I believe in God, the Father Almighty:
Mormonism does teach that God is called Father. Most often, God is referred to as, "Heavenly Father". While Christianity teaches that we are God's children by adoption, (Gal. 4:5, Eph. 1:5) Mormonism teaches that we are all LITERALLY the very offspring of God. Also, while the Bible teaches that God is eternal, (Romans 1:20), Mormonism teaches that, "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. ... "These are incomprehensible ideas to some, but they are simple." (LDS President Joseph Smith, History of the Church, Vol.6, Ch.14, p.305-6). The God we worship, to Mormons was once a man. He is merely an exalted man who had to go through all of the ordinances and follow the law in order to become God. In Mormonism, God is a married man, who along with whomever His wife(wives) is/are, the procreate spirit children. The God of Mormonism is a man, with a body of flesh and bone. Doctrine and Covenants 130:3 says, "The Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man's." While the Bible is clear that God is a spirit (John 4:24)

  • The creator of heaven and earth
This is another area confusing to me. According to Mormonism, God did not create anything. The Mormon concept of creation tells that the council of gods saw matter unorganized, and merely reorganized already created matter. In Mormonism, matter must be eternal. Look at the Mormon book of Abraham 4:1, "And then the Lord said: Let us go down. And they went down at the beginning, and they, that is the Gods, organized and formed the heavens and the earth." In fact, Brigham Young said, "God never made something out of nothing; it is not in the economy or law by which the worlds were, are, or will exist. There is an eternity before us, and it is full of matter; and if we but understand enough of the Lord and His ways, we would say that He took of this matter and organized the earth from it. How long has it been organized it is not for me to say, and I do not care anything about it." (Brigham Young, May 14, 1871, Journal of Discourses 14:116)

This is absolutely contrary to what the Bible teaches. The Bible is clear that God created the heavens and the earth. Not reformed pre-existent matter, but created Ex Nihilo, which means, out of nothing. We see this in Genesis 1:1. Even in the New Testament,  we are told of the fact of creation. John 1:1-3 says, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being."

Mark 10:6 says, "But from the beginning of creation, God MADE THEM MALE AND FEMALE."

Romans 1:20 says, "For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse."

Not only that, but it is logically an impossibility for us to assume that matter is eternal and self created. If something was eternal and not created, it itself would then become "god". We can use the same logic when we look at what Mormons call an infinite regression. This is the doctrine in Mormonism, that there was never a time without gods being gods. They teach exaltation has always occurred, and if that is the case, how did the very first man become a God without having a planet, temple, etc to do his works and become a god. It is logically an impossibility.

  • I also believe in Jesus Christ, his only-begotten Son
While Mr. Peterson does believe in Jesus Christ, is it true that Mormons believe that Jesus Christ is the only begotten son of God?  Mormons do believe that Jesus Christ is God's son, but not His only Son. LDS.ORG says that, "Jesus Christ is the only begotten son of God in the flesh." Now that last statement changes things quite a bit. As we looked at before, Mormonism teaches that we are the "literal" children of God. So if we are literally the children of God, Jesus cannot be the only begotten son of God. In fact, Mormonism teaches that Jesus and Lucifer are spirit brothers, and they are both actually our elder brothers. So truly, what Mr. Peterson should have said, is that he belies that Jesus Christ is a son of God, not the one and only Son. Joseph Fielding Smith said, "We accept Jesus as the Only Begotten Son of the Father in the flesh, although we are all his offspring in the spirit and therefore his children" (Conference Reports April 1921, pp39-40)

  •  Who, before being born of the virgin Mary
This section will likely raise some eyebrows. Some LDS may have thought of this, some may not even know the official church stance. But we absolutely need to look more closely at this statement. The question truly is, do Mormons believe in a "virgin birth"? Lets take a look. The 6th president of the LDS church, Joseph F. Smith says, "Now, we are told in scriptures that Jesus Christ is the only begotten Son of God in the flesh. Well, now for the benefit of the older ones, how are children begotten? I answer just as Jesus Christ was begotten of his father. The difference between Jesus Christ and other men is this: Our fathers in the flesh are mortal men, whoa re subject unto death: but the Father of Jesus Christ in the flesh is the God of heaven...So you see Jesus is the only person who had our Heavenly Father as the father of his body." (Family Home Evening Manual 1972, pp 125,126)

Joseph Fielding Smith also states, "Christ was begotten of God. He was not born without the aid of Man, and that Mas was God!" (Doctrines of salvation 1:18)

Ezra Taft Benson, the 13th president of the Mormon church says, "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints proclaim that Jesus Christ is the Son of God in the most literal sense. The body in which He performed His mission in the flesh was sired by that same Holy Being we worship as God, our Eternal Father, Jesus was not the son of Joseph, not was He begotten bu the Holy Ghost." (The teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, page 7)

Mormon apostle Bruce R. McConkie said, "Christ was Begotten by an immortal Father in the same way that mortal men are begotten by mortal fathers." (Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 1966, page 155)

McConkie also said, "Jesus was begotten by his Father as literally as he was conceived by his mother." (Bruce McConkie, Doctrinal New Testament Commentary 1:144)

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 fathers." (Brigham Young, July 8 1860, Journal of Discourses 8:115)

Perhaps one of the most telling quotes from Brigham Young. He said, "The man Joseph, the husband of Mary, did not, that we know of, have more than one wife, but Mary the wife of Joseph had another husband. On this account infidels have called the Savior a bastard, This is merely a human opinion upon one of the inscrutable doings of the Almighty. That very babe that was cradled in the manger, was begotten, not by Joseph, the husband of Mary, but by another Being. Do you inquire by whom? He was begotten by God our heavenly Father. This answer may suffice you - you need never inquire more upon that point". (Brigham Young, August 19th, 1866. Journal of Discourses 11:268)

All I can says is, WOW! Talk about a doctrinal issue. This belief has so many problems associated with it, that it is difficult to know where to start. Remember, Mormons teach God was married. And Mary and Joseph were in their engagement period. They were to remain pure for the one year engagement period. When Mary was found to be with child, the law actually gave Joseph the right to have Mary put to death for adultery! The Bible tells us that Joseph did not want this to happen, since he was a righteous man.
Not only that, but remember, we are according to Mormonism, the LITERAL children of God.

So in this doctrine, we have God who is married, coming down and having sexual relations with His own daughter, who is also married ... am I the only one who can see problems? This makes God guilty of not only adultery, but also incest with His own daughter. Not only that, Mary is not a virgin if it was a natural action, and also was an adulterer, by cheating on her husband Joseph, and also is guilty of incest. This would make Jesus not only a product of incest, but also not born of a virgin! If Jesus was not born of a virgin, he did not fulfill the prophecies in the Bible about being born of a virgin, and is therefore not the Son of God, and not the Messiah!

Not only that, Ezra Taft Benson directly contradicts the Bible in teaching that Christ was not born by the Holy Spirit! 
  • Matthew 1:18 - Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: when His mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit.
  •  Matthew 1:20 - But when he had considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for the Child who has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.

  •  Luke 1:35 -  The angel answered and said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy Child shall be called the Son of God. 
 So far, we have learned quite a bit from just a couple of sentences from Dan Peterson. This is part 1 of exploring his language of what some might call, "twisty-anity". We will continue to look at the rest of his creed he purports as Christian and Biblical.

In Him,
Jamie Pellew