Transcript: Is Mormonism True?

Is Mormonism True? Study Guide

“Mormonism, as it is called, must stand or fall on the story of Joseph Smith. He was either a prophet of God, divinely called, openly appointed and commissioned, or he was one of the biggest frauds this world has ever seen. There is no middle ground.” Bill McKeever, Answering Mormons Questions

The Mormon people should be admired and respected for their sincerity and zeal. In less than 200 years the Mormon church has grown to over 14 million members worldwide. With over 50 thousand full-time missionaries.

So why the controversy?

I. Is Mormonism True?

It really begins with a comparison of Mormon teachings with the Bible.

(A) Mormon Teachings that Contradict Biblical Teachings:
       (1) God has not always been God. He was once a man living on another Earth 
(cf. Numbers 23:19).

       (2) As an exalted man, God the father has a body of flesh and bone (cf. John 4:24).

       (3) Salvation, for worthy Mormons, includes the opportunity to one day become Gods themselves (cf. Isaiah 43:10; 44:8).

The god taught by Mormonism is very different from the traditional God of the Bible. These are not minor doctrinal differences . . . The Mormon understanding of God and salvation are so different than the God revealed in the Bible that it would really be inaccurate and misleading to define Mormonism as a form of Biblical Christianity.

The Prophet Joseph Smith said the Book of Mormon is the most correct of any book on Earth. So that means [we] can put the Book of Mormon to the test.

(B) Events of the Bible and Book of Mormon vis-a-vis the Archaeological Record. 

       (1) The Bible

              (a) Has a strong record of being dependable. It has been consistently corroborated historically, geographically, and archaeologically.

              (b) Coins mentioned in Bible (e.g. widow’s mite; denarius) have been found in abundance.

              (c) Cities mentioned in the Bible (e.g. Megiddo, Corinth, and Caperniam). . . have been located and excavated.

              (d) The Bible’s translation and transmission has been verified by the evidence of literally thousands of ancient manuscripts.

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Is Mormonism True? Study Guide 1

(1) The Book of Mormon

       (a) Says that silk, steel, iron, and coins were all used for almost a thousand years in America from 600 BC to about 421 AD, but . . . we can’t find them.

       (b) Not even one of the coins in the Book of Alma has ever been found. (c) Not one city or remains of a city in the Book of Mormon has ever been located.

       (d) Horses, pigs, donkeys, cows, and oxen, which are all mentioned in the Book of Mormon, were not introduced into the New World until after the arrival of Columbus in 1492. That’s over a thousand years after the close of the Book of Mormon. If these items actually were in America . . . would there not be some evidence uncovered by now

This is why no reputable archaeological organization has ever verified any historical or geographical statement found in the Book of Mormon.

(2) The Writings of the Mormon Church: 

      (a) Joseph Smith as Translator

              (i) Joseph Smith claims to have translated the Book of Mormon in the late 1820's from some sacred golden plates he unearthed near his home in Palmyra, NY. The plates were said to be inscribed in reformed Egyptian hieroglyphics and translated by Smith through the gift and power of God. Unfortunately, no one can examine the plates today. the golden plates were allegedly taken up into heaven.

              (ii) Joseph Smith’s skill as a translator can be tested however by examining another Mormon scripture called the Book of Abraham.
       (b) Joseph Smith claimed to translate this scripture from some Egyptian 
documents . . . Joseph Smith . . . claimed to be able to translate the documents through the power of God and he even prepared an alphabet and a grammar of the Egyptian language.

       (c) We now know exactly what Joseph Smith’s Egyptian documents said . . . Joseph Smith did not get one word right in the entire translation.

       (d) The Mormon Church has made over 4000 changes in the Book of Mormon since it was first written in 1830, including historical and doctrinal changes.

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Is Mormonism True? Study Guide 2: Testing the spirits

Mormons were encouraged to pray and trust the feelings and leadings of the Mormon Church.

In addition to the Holy Spirit, the Bible says there are also unholy spirits that can masquerade as messengers of God. That’s why the Bible warns of spiritual testimonies.

How do you test a spirit? By a comparison of scripture.

The Holy Spirit, who inspired the Bible, cannot be the same spirit who inspired Joseph Smith.

III. Salvation

The Prophet Joseph Smith said that we receive salvation from Christ through our own obedience to the laws and ordinances of the gospel. But the Bible teaches that we are not saved by our obedience to God’s law because . . . we are not obedient . . . no one except Christ was able to obey all the laws.

All of us break God’s law through sin.

This is precisely why we need a savior, because no one can make themselves worthy by their own obedience to laws and ordinances.

Jesus provided a way for us to receive forgiveness of sins based on his goodness and righteousness and not our own.

Mormonism begins when you make yourself worthy. Christianity begins when you realize you’re not worthy.

Salvation is a result of the grace of God because of His love for [us].

Jesus didn’t die so I would work harder. He died to pay the price for [our] sins.

Key Scriptures:

Numbers 23:19; John 4:24; Isaiah 43:10; 44:8; 1 John 1:4; Isaiah 43: 10; 44: 8; Matthew 11:28; Titus 3:5

Recommended Further Reading:

Mormonism Explained: What Latter Day Saints Teach and Practice, Andrew Jackson Answering Mormon’s Questions: Simple Biblical Explanations to the Most Common Questions that Mormons Ask, Bill McKeever
I Love Mormons: A New Way to Share Christ with Latter-day Saints, David L. Rowe Everything you Ever Wanted to Know about Mormonism, John Ankerberg & John Weldon Out of Mormonism: A Woman’s True Story, Judy Robertson 

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