WHY I AM NOT A MORMON
We have the greatest respect for the members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Mormons are known for their honesty and devotion to family. They are industrious, honest, quiet, non-drinkers and pleasant to deal with. One could not ask for a better neighbor than a Mormon!The Mormon faith considers the Bible a Holy Book. Using that as common ground, we will show why, according to the Bible, their particular religion did not originate with God.
In his letter to the church at Galatia Paul wrote:
There are several differences between the gospel of Christ and Mormon teachings. This concerns us and makes us question who was really the author of the Book of Mormon.
KEEP THE FAITH
There are quite a few verses throughout the New Testament that admonish followers to not change anything in the Bible, to “keep the faith,” and to maintain Scripture as delivered. We have been warned there will be ungodly men who want to add, change or delete from what has been written. Here are three of the many verses that admonish future writers to not change anything. [emphasis added]
We read statements throughout the New Testament that there should be no changes to the text already delivered. (See ‘KEEP THE ORDINANCES’ under ‘Special Topics’ on this website.) In Galatians 1:6-9 (above) Paul notices that some members of the church at Galatia are leaning towards a completely new gospel. He cautions them that even if an apostle or an angel from heaven preaches any other gospel than what they already have he is to be accursed! In spite of such a clear warning, altered gospels have been offered by counterfeit angels and accepted by millions!
2 Cor 11:13-15 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.
The apostle Paul warned the Corinthians – and us, by the way – that Satan is devious and capable of seeming righteous, while turning himself into an angel of light. If that is possible, and we have no doubt it is, then the messages provided by the angel Moroni needs to be carefully examined (more to come on him in the following paragraphs).
1 John 1:3
The criteria for legitimate “God Breathed” New Testament Scripture, called for the writings by an apostle or the student of an apostle, which, after AD 100, is no longer possible. Acts 1:21-22 specifies, when voting for a replacement apostle, he must have traveled with Christ from his baptism to his resurrection. Thus, if anyone were to come along and offer a seemingly God-inspired book, we can reject it because the existing Bible is complete and self-protecting. There has been no one alive since the first century who traveled with Christ, and therefore subsequent books with new gospels cannot be from God.
Note: The only exception would be Paul. He was not voted in but Jesus Christ personally selected Saul/Paul (Galatians 1:1). With his exceptional talents (Roman citizen; spoke several languages, including Greek; educated as a Pharisee) he was a useful addition. His legitimate apostleship was further confirmed by the Apostle Luke when he recorded Paul’s activities in the Book of Acts.
To enjoy fellowship with those in the kingdom of God one must read and obey that which has been declared in Holy Scripture. Accepting false gospels prevents fellowship with God!
Di’a’bol’i’cal (adj.) 1. of devil; connected with the devil or devil worship; 2. Evil; extremely cruel or evil.
Anything leading souls away from salvation is of the devil, the Prince of Confusion, The Father of Lies! He walks the earth, as a roaring lion, searching for whom he may devour! We need to be aware of what we are reading lest we are led astray!
As you may know, Joseph Smith was founder and prophet of the Latter Day Saint movement in the 1820s. In 1823 Smith said an angel directed him to a buried book written on golden plates containing the religious history of an ancient people. Smith published what he said was a translation of these plates in March 1830 as the Book of Mormon. It was named after Mormon, the ancient prophet-historian who compiled the original story inscribed on the golden plates.
Smith announced the founding of a restored Christian church and proclaimed himself a “seer, who is a Translator, a Prophet, an Apostle of Jesus Christ and Elder of the Church.” Quite a heady statement! We are cautioned when we remember Jim Jones and his 906 followers who blindly drank the Kool-Aid in Jonestown. They too followed a self-proclaimed prophet.
Mormons believe a different gospel! They believe Peter, James, John, and John the Baptist and others appeared to Joseph Smith in the form of angels and bestowed various priesthood authorities on him. Mormons believe that their church is the “only true and living church” because of the divine authority restored through Smith.
Smith taught several erroneous doctrines. Mormons believe in a pre-mortal existence where people were literal spirit children of God, and that God presented a plan that would allow his children to progress and become more like Him. The plan involved the spirits receiving bodies on earth and going through trials in order to learn, progress, and receive a “fullness of joy”
This pre-mortal existence fails when compared with God’s Word:
God tells us we came from dust, Smith tells us we existed before that. As for me and my house, we will believe the Lord.
THIS CHURCH IS TRUE
Galatians 1:6-9 states that if anyone preaches any other gospel he must be accursed! When we mention this to Mormon Elders they point out that the Book of Mormon agrees in every respect with the Bible.
If that is true, we welcome their teachings. On the other hand, if there are discrepancies, we condemn their teachings for misleading their millions of followers!
“Elder” is not “just a title, but a position of great responsibility. The Bible calls for an older, experienced man (with children old enough to be members themselves), experienced in Scripture to be able to lead others. Young, single men 18 to 20 years old hardly qualify as elders.
The Mormon teaching that “Elder” is “just a title” contradicts the Bible which outlines how “Elder” is a man qualified to teach the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Moving on, we examine some of the doctrines introduced by Mormonism.
These verses are not evidence of a kingdom in heaven with people preparing to live on earth. Many fathers have plans for their sons long before they are born, often to play a favorite sport or to take over a family business, ex. Carpenter & Son. Earthly fathers have no powers to guarantee their goals but, our Heavenly Father did see that His plans for Jeremiah came to fruition.
The doctrine of a previous existence does not agree with…
If the Mormon version is true why does it not say, “The first man is from heaven, as is the second?”
Paul tells us the first body was natural (from dust) and afterward (after the resurrection) it is a spiritual body. Nothing is said about a pre-earthly existence or the natural body being used in heaven. It doesn’t say, “First there was a spiritual body, then a natural and afterward a spiritual.”
There is evidence of the earthly body and soul coming together for the first time here on earth.
Became: verb intransitive: to come to be. It doesn’t indicate a change or transfer but a beginning.
“Return unto the ground” tells me we originated in the dust. I don’t see any convincing evidence we were alive as souls in heaven before our physical birth.
Why was the Fall necessary?
We are specifically interested in verse 22-23:
22 And now, behold, if Adam had not transgressed he would not have fallen, but he would have remained in the garden of Eden. And all things which were created must have remained in the same state in which they were after they were created; and they must have remained forever, and had no end. 23 And they would have had no children; wherefore they would have remained in a state of innocence, having no joy, for they knew no misery; doing no good, for they knew no sin. [emphasis added]
According to v22-23 if there had been no fall mankind would have remained in the Garden of Eden, they would have had no children, no joy or misery, doing no good and no sin. However this conflicts with:
Notice in the very first chapter of Genesis they were told to populate the earth BEFORE the fall. Also, they were not restricted to the Garden of Eden but told they would have dominion over every living thing on the earth.
Examples of man having dominion over living things are farmers raising cattle, pigs and chickens for food, and horses and donkeys as beasts of burden. All this was ordained by God 5000 years ago.
The Mormon teaching that man was to remain in the Garden of Eden (before the fall) contradicts the Bible which states in the very first chapter that man would populate the earth.
Jesus Visits South America
The Book of Mormon teaches that Christ visited America after his death and resurrection. He had announced his travels in John 10:16 when he told them he would visit “other sheep.”
The Aztecs have a tradition of a god visiting them, leaving and promising to come back. It is believed he was a feathered serpent who arrived around 900 B.C. They named him Quetzalcoatl.
Because the Book of Mormon teaches that Jesus visited the American natives after his resurrection, Mormon scholars seized this legend and teach that Quetzalcoatl’s return, now as a white, bearded God, was actually Jesus Christ. (We know Jesus was a Jew, having light brown skin and black hair. Yet, for some reason, the Mormons depict him as a blond, blue-eyed white man.)
However, Holy Scripture reveals Christ, after his death, had work to do here on earth, and then went directly to heaven. He first walked among the people for forty days (Acts 1), after which he went directly to heaven and is sitting at the right hand of God (Acts 2:33-34; 7:55-56). Thus, there was no time during which he could have traveled to the Americas.
The “other sheep” referred to are the gentiles of the world, not just of America. Jn 10:16 reads: And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.
He came to save the world, not just the Jews. To do that he needed to open his kingdom to the gentiles. He first offered the kingdom to the Jews, who turned him down. The door was then opened to others when the first gentile, Cornelius, became a Christian in Acts 10.
That Jesus traveled post resurrection is a popular myth which encourages mystery. Often referred to as the “missing 40 days” there is wild speculation about his “post resurrection” travels. Some say he went to India. Mormons claim he went to South America. During his lifetime there was no opportunity for his personal travel outside of Israel. After his resurrection he was in Israel for forty days, seen by about 500 people, then he went directly to heaven. So it appears there was no travel to South America.
Rather than visiting his “other sheep” in South America we offer a better explanation. The Jews, being religious, recognized only two kinds of people: Jews and Gentiles (non-Jews). You were either a member of God’s chosen people or you were not.
Where he talks about “sheep of this fold” he means those who are members of the Chosen people. The Jews had the first chance to hear his message.
Sheep of the other fold are the Gentiles. He must bring them into the fold of believers. Christ came to save the world, not just the Jewish nation. The way to salvation must be open to all.
In Acts 10 the first Gentile was converted. Eventually Christ planned on one church with everyone in agreement (One Lord, one faith, one baptism. Eph 4:5). I consider myself one of those that heard his voice, have entered his fold of believers, had my sins washed away and am now in his kingdom.
Some Mormon scholars believe that Quetzalcoatl, as a white, bearded God who came from the sky and promised to return, was actually Jesus Christ. According to the Book of Mormon, Jesus visited the American natives after his resurrection. However the legend of Quetzalcoatl began around 900 BC. To manipulate the events to show he traveled shortly after his death fails to consider the original visit was long Before Christ.
We conclude any story involving Jesus visiting “other sheep” outside of Israel is a fabrication, and not worthy of serious consideration.
10. Behold, I am Jesus Christ, whom the prophets testified shall come into the world. … 12. And it came to pass that when Jesus had spoken these words the whole multitude fell to the earth; for they remembered that it had been prophesied among them that Christ should show himself unto them after his ascension into heaven. … 14. Arise and come forth unto me, that ye may thrust your hands into my side, and also that ye may feel the prints of the nails in my hands and in my feet, that ye may know that I am the God of Israel, and the God of the whole earth, and have been slain for the sins of the world.
We have several questions about this conversation:
These are the words Jesus spoke to a skeptical Thomas to prove who he was (John 20:27). Was the author plagiarizing to convince readers this is a holy book?
Certainly the Aztecs had no foreknowledge of nail prints in his hands or feet. They didn’t even know what or where Israel was nor the need for someone to be slain for the sins of the world. These are the words of someone who is familiar with the Bible and expects his readers to know and agree with the sentiment. This is a clever ruse to place the reader in the position of agreeing with the Book of Mormon. But these are not the words Jesus would speak to people unfamiliar with Jewish history.
Why did he announce his name first? Where is the evidence of any prophet announcing the coming of Christ to the Aztecs? If this were Jesus, announcing his name in this way would have been contrary to his usual method. In the gospels, he asked them to tell who he is, not the other way around.
Matthew 16:15 He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?
Mark 8:27 And Jesus went out, and his disciples, into the towns of Caesarea Philippi: and by the way he asked his disciples, saying unto them, Whom do men say that I am?
Mark 8:29 And he saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Peter answereth and saith unto him, Thou art the Christ.
It was not like Jesus to announce who he was. He performed miracles, gave God all the credit and expected believers to see what he could do, and recognize his relationship with God based on Old Testament prophecy. He did not proudly announce his identity at the outset.
Old English in New America
This book is a poor counterfeit contrived to fool the unwary. Most people are not that familiar with the Bible and can be easily influenced by Old English terminology. Old English was not used in North America in the 1800s. It was used in 1620 in the King James Version and was copied into the Book of Mormon.
What is the spirit world? What happens there?
Here we see the real disposition of those who pass on – they are asleep, knowing nothing, awaiting the return of Christ to take his kingdom to heaven. But the Book of Mormon tells it differently.
Always wanting sinners to repent, the gospel is preached to those who are alive and need it the most. The Mormon teaching that Jesus visited the deceased contradicts Holy Scripture which emphasizes righteousness is preached to those who are dead to the gospel (alive but unbelievers).
Perhaps Smith was confused by the verses that advocated preaching to the dead. However we note that the phrase “dead” has two meanings. Initially we think of those who have passed on. But often the “dead” are those who have not accepted Christ as the Messiah. They are “dead” to the gospel. Or, as someone might say, “You are dead to me!” Preaching to the dead (unbelievers) is the best use of the gospel. Conversion of unbelievers is always the goal. In this case the gospel was preached to the dead (living but unbelievers) so they would convert and live in the spirit, according to the wishes of God.
Here are some verses that show “dead” is not always for those who passed on.
1 Peter 4:6
Note: 1 Peter 4 discusses living sinners, those who “walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries”
As we mentioned above, preaching to the dead (unbelievers) is the best use of the gospel. Conversion of unbelievers is always the goal. In this case the gospel was preached to the dead (living but unbelievers) so they would convert and live in the spirit, according to the wishes of God. To teach that the gospel was preached to those who have physically died is misleading and disingenuous. We have to ask, who would do such a thing? A godly prophet? An apostle? A disciple of Jesus? The Father of Lies?
What does it mean to be resurrected?
2 Nephi 9:13
According to the Biblical account, resurrection is defined as being brought back to life, reborn if you will, with an immortal body (not your earthly one). Only the righteous will be restored. Then comes the judgment for the others.
We know the human body cannot exist in outer space. Nor will it be able to exist in heaven, a spiritual realm far different from earth. That is why we need a new, spiritual, body.
According to Alma 11:42-45 the body will be restored, every limb and joint as they were from the start of our mortal life. This restoration will come to all – the good and the evil – with not a hair of their heads being lost.
However, according to 1 Cor 15:35-44, God gives a new body. The soul will assume a spiritual body.
God’s Word is so clear – from dust you were, to dust you will return.
1 Cor 15:50
We learn from this that the sinful natural body cannot enter heaven; there must be a new, spiritual, body without stain or blemish! Fortunately, our Heavenly Father provides us with one! Thank God or we would be stranded!
Remember, the Book of Mormon is supposed to teach the same gospel as the Bible. The Book of Mormon claims we will regenerate our natural bodies prior to entrance into heaven; this contradicts the Bible which says we will be given a new, spiritual body.
Levels in Heaven
As discussed above, the bodies are those of the people in heaven. It is not talking about celestial/terrestrial places but bodies. Apparently someone (Smith? Moroni? Latter Day Prophets?) misunderstands what Paul was writing about.
We can better understand when we read the preceding verses:
1 Cor 15:50
Clearly Paul is discussing how the dead are raised up. He points out that there are different kinds of flesh (beast vs fish, etc.) just as there are heavenly (spiritual) bodies and earthly (human) bodies. And natural bodies are corrupt and we need a new body qualified to enter the presence of a sinless God.
Not to mention, human bodies would be unable to survive in the heavenly environment. The ethereal conditions would be lethal to a natural body.
Where was Jesus born?
The Book of Mormon says Jerusalem.
The Bible says Bethlehem.
Perhaps this discrepancy is due to the fact that in the late 1820’s the celebration and knowledge of Christmas was not as universal as it is today, so it is possible Joseph Smith was confused when the wise men visited Jerusalem. But that would indicate Smith was not inspired by the Holy Ghost when he wrote “Jerusalem!” Or perhaps the Angel Moroni was confused when he helped Smith translate the book into English?
If the Book of Mormon says Jesus was born in Jerusalem and the Bible says he was born in Bethlehem, can we still say the Book of Mormon agrees with the Bible?
But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.
Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints tell us the Book of Mormon doesn’t preach another gospel, therefore Paul’s warning does not apply. I suggest their lack of serious Bible study results in their missing numerous inconsistencies.
There is another explanation for why they cannot see these inconsistencies. Often people are so attuned to their own long-held opinions that they cannot comprehend an alternative because it would mean all they have worked for and believed in was in vain. Few people are so open minded that they can accept being wrong in their religious thinking.
Feelings are Paramount
“We believe we know the truth by our feelings. We do not rely on and we will disregard any facts that contradict what our feelings tell us is true. If something feels bad, like someone telling us that Joseph Smith was a fraud, then we know that Smith must have been a prophet since falsehoods create bad feelings and it feels bad when someone tells us that we have been duped. In other words, if we get a bad feeling we are hearing bad things which must be lies. We feel good when we read the Book of Mormon, therefore it is true. Archeology, genetics, science, metallurgy, agriculture and animal studies are irrelevant since our feelings tell us it is a true book revealed by God. This good feeling applies to all aspects of our lives. We determine if we should do something or know the truth of something if we have prayed about it and have a good feeling about it.”
In other words, science, agriculture and animal studies are facts. Facts are irrelevant since feelings take precedence.
I cannot begin to understand how reasonably intelligent people can actually believe this.
This is an insidious and clever devil’s lie! He lies to you then convinces you that anyone telling the truth is lying and not to be believed. He is indeed the recognized king of liars.
We are diametrically opposed to this belief. Many people in other religions, as well as atheists, feel good about what they do. Do they all have the “truth” because they feel good about what they do?
Mormons, be aware, if anything here makes you feel bad, remember the 4th of the 14 Articles of Beliefs. If you have been duped and someone tells you that you have been duped you will feel bad. This bad feeling tells you the person is lying and you have not been duped.
In the same vein, if I tell you your house is on fire that would make you feel bad so you should ignore what I have to say and remain seated and continue with what you were doing.
Feelings are what get a lot of people in trouble. From the hippie mantra of the 1960s, “If it feels good, do it” we learned drugs and free sex are not beneficial to a civilized society. The Bible tells us our personal feelings and desires are to be placed secondary to what God wants.
The concept of truth being determined by feelings is one of the 14 fundamental beliefs of Mormons. Also among them we find:
All fourteen can be seen at:
Baptism for the Dead
Is Baptism for the dead is taught in 1 Cor 15:29?
A careful examination of the verses preceding this one shows Paul was using this as an example, not for baptism of the dead, but to prove that others also believe in the resurrection of the dead.
Some baseball players cross themselves just prior to batting. If we wanted to prove the cross of Christ existed we might point to them and say, “Why else would they do that if the cross didn’t exist?” We are not saying the act of crossing oneself is important, only that the people doing it also believe Jesus died on the cross, as we do!
Similarly, in Paul’s day there were some who were baptized for the dead. Paul was not saying baptism for the dead was important, only that these people also believed that the dead were resurrected. Why else would they do that if they didn’t believe in the resurrection?
The Bible does teach that baptism is essential for salvation. However, it also teaches that a person must repent of their sins and confess Christ in public before they can have their sins washed away.
Further, it is appointed to men to die and after death is the judgment (Hebrews 9:27). Mormons would like it to say, “It is appointed to men to die and after death is a period of self-adjustment followed by the judgment.” But that is not what the Bible says!
Once you die, there will be no more opportunities. Solomon makes this clear in Eccl. 9:10: “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.”
This next paragraph won’t make the Mormons feel good but we ask them to use some common sense and logic in determining whether God would allow a class in redemption when there is no way for some of the students to obtain salvation. As much as they try the Mormons will not get baptized for everyone. They will miss at least one, if not thousands or millions (what about 3 billion Chinese?). Billions will die, go to class, accept the teachings but never got baptized. What happens then? Why have the class at all?
The Bible makes no mention of a period of schooling after death. Anyone who teaches that you can put off repenting, and confessing your sins until after death is jeopardizing your salvation. Such a doctrine could only come from the Father of Lies!
I can imagine the Devil, the originator of this doctrine, is enjoying a good laugh at the expense of these foolish mortals!
The Mormons have a solution for that problem. They simply allow men to marry and marry and marry. No divorce involved! And since you are “married” to the woman you cannot be guilty of adultery.
If you believe an angel from heaven authorized Joseph Smith, then you also have to believe this strange doctrine was sanctioned as part of the “restored gospel of Jesus Christ.” We feel compelled to warn them that God will not be mocked. A man will reap what he sows (Gal 6:7).
As the result of intense public pressure, polygamy has been (publicly) cancelled and is no longer official policy. Nevertheless, many Mormons still practice polygamy, principally in Utah (Where Mormonism is universally practiced, from the farm to the statehouse.).
We are reminded of Jesus defending his view to the Pharisees. He refused to back down because he had the truth. Where polygamy was concerned, the Mormons did not have the truth and vacillated.
The Mormon explanation for this apparent discrepancy is that Bible translators left out the part where God’s plan changes and marriage is now allowed in heaven.
How Many Gods
We can understand how leaders of the Mormon Church would cling to their beliefs. Any member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints would be reluctant to lose their co-equal position with God. For a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles to deny Mormonism would be eternal, as well as social, suicide! Members who have been elevated to the High Council, Mission President, President of the Church, President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, Presiding Patriarch, Prophet, seer or revelator or even Temple president, would be loath to give up their exalted position and lose their eternal godship.
(Note: “godship” is not in your dictionary. But, as used here, I think the meaning is clear.)
Paul asked us if we seek to please other men or to please God? He points out that if someone preaches to please men he is not a servant of Christ. He admonishes us to stand up for God and not for manmade gospels. We stand for the gospel of Christ as reported by his apostles. We do not support the Gospel of Joseph Smith.
The Bible tells us that the gospel of Jesus Christ is all we need for salvation and anyone offering something else should be condemned.
No my friend, God is not the author of confusion and the Book of Mormon is not from God.
We are to keep the faith as delivered and condemn the claims of an angel offering a new, improved gospel.
The assertion that an angel from heaven was involved in providing a holy book that disagrees with the apostolic gospels should be toxic to anyone familiar with Christian Scripture.
Knowing mankind’s propensity for ignoring the Bible, the Father of Lies offers perverted gospels. Appealing to man’s pride, he convinces him he is a god himself and there is a new and better version of the Bible story. However, according to the apostle Paul, Mormonism is a diabolical detour leading to perdition! That is why I am not a Mormon.
preach any other gospel unto you
than that which we have preached unto you,
let him be accursed.
We welcome comments and questions. CONTACT THE AUTHOR: BRAD COOK