“…if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you…” The Bible calls God’s grace a gift; but Mormonism claims it must be merited: “…it is only after a person has so performed a lifetime of works and faithfulness—only after he has come to deny himself of all ungodliness and every worldly lust—that the grace of God, that spiritual increment of power, is efficacious” (Doctrinal Commentary on the Book of Mormon 1:295. Also, compare 2 Ne 25:23 and Eph 2:8-10).
“Keep my commandments continually,…except thou do this, where I am you cannot come.” The Bible tells us we are all under sin, unrighteous and unworthy of God’s favor. The apostle Paul even lamented that he desired to do what is right, but was unable to carry it out (Rom 3:9-20; 7:18-19). What Mormonism says God demands is impossible to achieve (see 1 Ne 3:7).
“…go your ways and sin no more; but unto that soul who sinneth shall the former sins return…” True repentance and forgiveness, according to Mormonism, is only achieved when we completely and forever abandon sin. As shown above (#5, #4), this is impossible–hopeless. But the Bible offers great hope: “He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities….so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us” (Ps 103:10-12).
“And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true;…he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.” This is unbiblical. The Bible never tells us to pray to know whether something is true; rather, we are to prayerfully search the revealed Word of God, asking for wisdom and guidance. Truth is brought to light by testing truth claims against God’s Word (1 Jn 4:1, 6; 2 Tim 3:16-17; 1 Thess 5:21. See Jer 17:9, Prov 14:12, 28:26).
“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with thy soul, and with all thy might.” This confession of true faith, known as the Shema, confirms the uniqueness of the Lord (Jehovah) and asserts that He alone is God (Elohim). It is a call for God’s people to stay true to Him.
The words from the Shema are echoed in Deuteronomy 13 when God directly addressed the problem of false prophets. God told the Israelites they were not to be deceived by miraculous signs or fulfilled prophecy; these things were not the standard by which to ultimately judge the dreamer of dreams. Instead, a foundational question was (and is) to be asked: Who is the God the prophet proclaims? Is He the one true God the people have always known? Or a different God? (“We have imagined and supposed that God was God from all eternity, I will refute that idea…” see #6)
Deuteronomy 13 is a test—not only to be applied to those claiming to speak for God, but also to determine the faithfulness of those who claim to follow God. “You shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams, for the Lord your God is testing you to know whether you love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul” (Deut 13:3).
I am not a Mormon—because I have committed to be faithful to the Lord my God, and to love Him with all my heart and with all my soul.