Evangelism to Mormons

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113 Responses to Evangelism to Mormons

  1. grindael says:

    The text of the Book of Mormon says that Nephi and his brothers “went up unto the land of Jerusalem” to get the brass plates from Laban. After being rejected, they “went down unto the land of their inheritance” to get their precious things to exchange for the plates. This failed, and Laban cast them out. The fled “into the wilderness” and later came back to the walls of the city. It really makes no sense for Nephi and his brothers to leave Laban’s house “unto the lands of their inheritance” and still be within the walls of the city Jerusalem. This really strains credulity. But almost all of your arguments do as well.

    Let’s just go to the BOM along with some common sense commentary:

    In Chapter 1 it says that Lehi “returned to his own house at Jerusalem” where he “lived all the days of his life.”

    Not “at Bethlehem”, “at Mizpah”, or any other town, but “at Jerusalem”. Ancient documents found are specific. FOF wants us to believe that the BOM is an ancient document — but not specific like the ones he likes to quote.

    2 And it came to pass that he spake unto me, saying: Behold I have dreamed a dream, in the which the Lord hath commanded me that thou and thy brethren shall return to Jerusalem.

    Here Smith refers to the City of Jerusalem, where they came from. It is not “the land of Jerusalem”. Again FOF can’t take the words for what they actually say.

    3 For behold, Laban hath the record of the Jews and also genealogy of my forefathers, and they are engraven upon plates of brass. 4 Wherefore, the Lord hath commanded me that thou and thy brothers should go unto the house of Laban, and seek the records, and bring them down hither into the wilderness. 5 And now, behold thy brothers murmur, saying it is a hard thing which I have required of them; but behold I have not required it of them, but it is a commandment of the Lord.

    They must bring the records “into the wilderness” which is to Lehi by the shores of the Red Sea where they made their camp. Where is the house of Laban? In the city of Jerusalem.

    9 And I, Nephi, and my brethren took our journey in the wilderness, with our tents, to go up to the land of Jerusalem. 10 And it came to pass that when we had gone up to the land of Jerusalem, I and my brethren did consult one with another. 11 And we cast lots—who of us should go in unto the house of Laban. And it came to pass that the lot fell upon Laman; and Laman went in unto the house of Laban, and he talked with him as he sat in his house.

    Here they “went up” to the “land of Jerusalem”. But where is this talking about? The CITY. Why, because they consulted who would knock on Laban’s door when they got there. Did they do this in the wilderness? No, they cast lots outside of the house and Laman “went in”.

    12 And he desired of Laban the records which were engraven upon the plates of brass, which contained the genealogy of my father. 13 And behold, it came to pass that Laban was angry, and thrust him out from his presence; and he would not that he should have the records. Wherefore, he said unto him: Behold thou art a robber, and I will slay thee. 14 But Laman fled out of his presence, and told the things which Laban had done, unto us. And we began to be exceedingly sorrowful, and my brethren were about to return unto my father in the wilderness.

  2. grindael says:

    They don’t flee the city, they don’t go back to “the wilderness” by the Red Sea. Laban thought that Laman was a robber! He obviously didn’t know him.

    15 But behold I said unto them that: As the Lord liveth, and as we live, we will not go down unto our father in the wilderness until we have accomplished the thing which the Lord hath commanded us.
    16 Wherefore, let us be faithful in keeping the commandments of the Lord; therefore let us go down to the land of our father’s inheritance, for behold he left gold and silver, and all manner of riches. And all this he hath done because of the commandments of the Lord.

    What do they do? They “go down” to the land of their inheritance. Funny, if they are going to another “land”, how can they, when (as you say FOF) they are already IN the land of their inheritance, which is the Kingdom of Judah? They are already IN the “land of their inheritance” so how can they go to it? This is silly. This was Smith’s way of saying that they went to their house, which sat upon the land Lehi had inherited. They obviously went from one place to another, like it is described in the Bible:

    Go up and down the streets of Jerusalem, look around and consider, search through her squares. If you can find but one person who deals honestly and seeks the truth, I will forgive this city. (Jeremiah 5:1)

    We also see the Bible using the phrase “go up”, when someone is in the city:

    Hezekiah had asked, “What will be the sign that I will go up to the temple of the LORD?”

    Hezekiah was in the lower part of the city (where the palace was) and wanted to go to the Temple, which was at a higher point in the city on Mount Moriah. See map.

    It is entirely credible to say “go up” to my house (or lands) or “go down” to my house (or lands), terms Jo could have gotten from the Bible itself, because Jerusalem is built on four “mountains”. Some parts of the city are lower than others, and separated by walls. It is a tiered city.

    17 For he knew that Jerusalem must be destroyed, because of the wickedness of the people. 18 For behold, they have rejected the words of the prophets. Wherefore, if my father should dwell in the land after he hath been commanded to flee out of the land, behold, he would also perish. Wherefore, it must needs be that he flee out of the land.

    Again, Jerusalem must be destroyed, not LAND OF Jerusalem. If Lehi stayed he would be destroyed. (But not if he was a real prophet like Jeremiah who was not). So, Nephi persuades them to go get their riches,

    22 And it came to pass that we went down to the land of our inheritance, and we did gather together our gold, and our silver, and our precious things. 23 And after we had gathered these things together, we went up again unto the house of Laban.

    Nothing about leaving the city. Again, FOF wants there to be, but it says NOTHING about them leaving the city. They simply “went down” to a different part of the City, their house on their land.

    24 And it came to pass that we went in unto Laban, and desired him that he would give unto us the records which were engraven upon the plates of brass, for which we would give unto him our gold, and our silver, and all our precious things. 25 And it came to pass that when Laban saw our property, and that it was exceedingly great, he did lust after it, insomuch that he thrust us out, and sent his servants to slay us, that he might obtain our property. 26 And it came to pass that we did flee before the servants of Laban, and we were obliged to leave behind our property, and it fell into the hands of Laban. 27 And it came to pass that we fled into the wilderness, and the servants of Laban did not overtake us, and we hid ourselves in the cavity of a rock.

    Now, when they flee, it is “into the wilderness”, but NOT back to Lehi, only outside of the City (finally) to some caves. Why didn’t they just return to their empty house if it was so far outside the city? Again, nothing about Laban knowing who Laman was, in fact remember he called him a robber! But they didn’t go back to their empty house, instead they go hide in some caves. Caves that they mention are outside of the city, “in the wilderness”. Moving on,

    1 And it came to pass that I spake unto my brethren, saying: Let us go up again unto Jerusalem… 4 Now when I had spoken these words, they were yet wroth, and did still continue to murmur; nevertheless they did follow me up until we came without the walls of Jerusalem. 5 And it was by night; and I caused that they should hide themselves without the walls. And after they had hid themselves, I, Nephi, crept into the city and went forth towards the house of Laban.

    Back into the City again. This scenario is very plausible and historically accurate, since Jerusalem was a tiered city. Even if Jo didn’t know that, he got the language of “go up” and “go down” straight from the Bible and since he love to use “land of” as an analogy for nearly everything… “land of the Lord,” “land of bones”, “land of liberty”, land of the Anti-Lehi-Nephi-Lamanite” whatever …

    We have Jesus being born AT JERUSALEM. If FOF wants to have it his way, Jo should have said “land of Jerusalem”, which is the “land of our forefathers”. But … he doesn’t. He says AT JERUSALEM, where Lehi lived, in the city. The Bible gets it right, the BOM gets it wrong.

    Ta ta.

  3. faithoffathers says:


    As always, you conflate and ignore much of the text in trying to squeeze out of and push into the text what you want. You are simply really bad with quotations and texts.

    First- you claim that the passage you cited shows that Nephi, Laman, and Lemuel did not flee out of the city after Laban refused to give them the plates. Upon what are you basing this conclusion? You are acting as if just outside the walls of the city was “the wilderness.” Do you think that there is land between “the wilderness” by the Red Sea and the city wall of Jerusalem? Because you seem to be refusing to acknowledge that the land surrounding Jerusalem, outside its walls was not “the wilderness.” And you are, of course, making a huge, unfounded assumption here.

    Further, you are trying to conclude that since Nephi, Laman, and Lemuel decided to “go down unto [their] land of inheritance” after being rejected by Laban, that somehow that shows their “land of inheritance” was within the walls of the city. I can conclude nothing but that you are extremely confused, my friend. Do you think their “land of inheritance” was the entire Kingdom of Judah? Really? You think they were in a position to inherit the whole kingdom? Wow. I suggest some classes in logic.

    The referral to their “land of inheritance” is a reference to their property. You are jumping all over the place and flipping back and forth in your argument. In case you were unaware, Jerusalem sits upon a hill. Hence, the terms “Hill of the Lord” and “Mount Zion,” etc. So if these three men decided to “go down unto the land of their inheritance,” does that not suggest they intended to travel down a hill? It very much suggests they intended to leave the city proper. Do you think Jerusalem consisted of farmland at that time? Because it didn’t. The “land” would have been outside the city walls.

    As I have shown multiple times, “Jerusalem” was synonymous with “Judah” in those ancient times. Hence, when “Jerusalem” was destroyed, that destruction included many town outside the walls of Jerusalem. You have made a straw man argument by insisting that other towns were not destroyed because there remained inhabitants after the Jews were carried away to Babylon. What a weird thing to argue. Using this logic, I suppose Jerusalem was not destroyed since there remained inhabitants after its destruction. I mentioned Mitzpah, but there are others like Lachish, a very important Jewish city. It was destroyed at the same time Jerusalem proper was destroyed. And there were others. But all of this is included under the umbrella of the “destruction of Jerusalem” because “Jerusalem” was synonymous with “Judah.” Maybe you are not aware of the definition of “synonymous.” It means that the two words or terms were interchangeable and often meant the same thing.

    You whole argument contradicts what the scholars have stated very clearly and which I quoted previously. I understand that you think you know more than them since you have been looking into this with your completely unbiased and objective position for the last two days. But they know a lot more than you and disagree with you. You are attempting to make a distinction between “Jerusalem” and “land of Jerusalem.” But you are intentionally ignoring the fact that “Jerusalem” as a single word was synonymous with “Judah” or the “kingdom of Judah.”

    Stating that Jesus would be born “at Jerusalem in the land of [their] forefathers” was perfectly accurate in the time period in which the statement is made in the Book of Mormon. No amount of spinning and squirming is going to change that. But I understand that the devoted critic can never concede one single point. And this is actually something that undermines their credibility.

    You have also refused to deal with my other points. But this is the typical critic maneuver. Pick the one thing you think you can spin and string it out as far as possible.

    You have tried to show from other passages in the Book of Mormon that “Jerusalem” refers specifically to the city proper. But you have ignored the most obvious references that provide appropriate context in the Book of Mormon.

    Of Christ’s ministry, the Book of Mormon states:

    “Yea, I know that ye know that in the body he shall show himself unto those at Jerusalem, from whence we came; for it is expedient that it should be among them; for it behooveth the great Creator that he suffereth himself to become subject unto man in the flesh, and die for all men, that all men might become subject unto him. 2 Nephi 9:5

    “But because of priestcrafts and iniquities, they at Jerusalem will stiffen their necks against him, that he be crucified. “ 2 Nephi 10:5

    “That it is not reasonable that such a being as a Christ shall come; if so, and he be the Son of God, the Father of heaven and of earth, as it has been spoken, why will he not show himself unto us as well as unto them who shall be at Jerusalem?” Helaman 16:18

    “And not at any time hath the Father given me commandment that I should tell it unto your brethren at Jerusalem. “ 3 Nephi 15:14

    “And I command you that ye shall write these sayings after I am gone, that if it so be that my people at Jerusalem, they who have seen me and been with me in my ministry…” 3 Nephi 16:4

    “For I perceive that ye desire that I should show unto you what I have done unto your brethren at Jerusalem, for I see that your faith is sufficient that I should heal you.” 3 Nephi 17:8

    So the Book of Mormon states repeatedly that Christ’s ministry, miracles, and life occurred in or at “Jerusalem.” Using your logic, we must conclude that Christ never left the city walls of Jerusalem. In reality, He traveled Palestine fairly extensively, visiting towns and staying for extended periods in many of them. Are we to exclude those events and periods of His life that occurred outside Jerusalem proper? This is silly and ridiculous. The Nephites consistently referred to Christ’s mortal life and ministry as having occurred “at Jerusalem.” And this provides the context in abundance. And the “Jerusalem” to which they referred included Bethlehem. And this is perfectly consistent with the ancient practice.

    You are wrong. And I think you know it. But you can never concede one single point. The experts disagree with you. And so does the context of the Book of Mormon, something you and McKeever get completely wrong.


  4. grindael says:

    Do you think their “land of inheritance” was the entire Kingdom of Judah? Really?

    No genius. But your construction and context forces that conclusion. I knew you had no comprehension skills. That confirms it.

    You are wrong. And I think you know it. But you can never concede one single point. The experts disagree with you. And so does the context of the Book of Mormon, something you and McKeever get completely wrong.

    I’m not wrong. Everything he said took place IN THE CITY OF JERUSALEM. This is explained by Bill,

    Four other examples are allegedly the words of Jesus Himself (3 Nephi 15:14; 16:4; 17:8). Third Nephi 10:5 records Jesus virtually repeating what he said in Matthew 23:37. It reads in part, “O ye people of the house of Israel, ye that dwell at Jerusalem, as ye that have fallen; yea, how oft would I have gathered you as a hen gathereth her chickens, and ye would not.” In the New Testament we have two occasions where Jesus is credited with using the phrase “at Jerusalem” (Luke 24:47 and John 4:21). In both cases we have no reason to believe that it is anything but another reference to the city itself. Luke, John, and Paul all use the phrase at Jerusalem, and in every case it speaks directly to the city.

    The specific “at Jerusalem” which is the land of our fathers (Alma) means in the city. It makes no sense to say in the land of our forefathers which is the land of our forefathers, because that is what the sentence would say if it is constructed by your ill logic.

    I’ve easily proven that Lehi lived in the city. Your argument is ill logical.

    You are wrong, you know it, you can never concede that you are and you still and never will understand context or common sense.

    Have a nice day.

  5. faithoffathers says:

    The Book of Mormon statement dating to roughly 100 B.C. that Christ would be born “at Jerusalem” is in agreement with what scholars say regarding appropriate phraseology and definitions for “Jerusalem” at that time.

    As always, Grindael has tried to turn the argument into something it is not. Even the argument he makes which claims to use the various passages that refer to Jerusalem fails when a person looks at the definition of “Jerusalem” in the passages that include a very clear reference- that is the ministry of Christ.

    He bases his entire argument on a line of reasoning from Bill McKeever which fails very obviously. It is claimed that the text of the Book of Mormon can be used to define what “Jerusalem” really meant. But when we do that, we see that that line of reasoning actually supports the scholars and contradicts Grindael and McKeever.

    Grindael’s argument has been so mixed-up and confusing, it is really hard to follow. I don’t think a rational person could restate or summarize his argument coherently because the argument itself is so scattered and illogical.

    The ancient documentary evidence, the opinions of the scholars, and the context given in the Book of Mormon all show that Alma 7:10 appropriately identified where the Savior would be born within the context of a person living in ancient times.


  6. grindael says:

    My argument is only hard to follow for those that don’t understand context nor have common sense. Therefore, what other response would FOF give? Remember, this is the guy who has to misquote his most sacred holy book to make his points.

  7. grindael says:

    The Saviour was born AT Bethlehem (correctly predicted by the Bible) not AT Jerusalem incorrectly applied by Jo Smith. Let’s all remember this. No amount of Mormon posturing can change that fact.

  8. Old man says:

    I’m back again, albeit briefly, to give my thoughts on what’s been said by Grindael & FofF.

    First a brief response to FofF where he said this
    “The ancient documentary evidence, the opinions of the scholars, and the context given in the Book of Mormon all show that Alma 7:10 appropriately identified where the Savior would be born within the context of a person living in ancient times.”

    I fail to see how that argument can hold water; surely the comment ‘within the context of a person living in ancient times’ means the O/T should use the same terminology as was used by Smith in Alma 7:10. Are we to believe that Micah got it wrong & Bethlehem should NOT be referred to as the birthplace of our Lord?

    However that may be, I didn’t come in to debate the issue, Grindael can do that far more expertly than I ever could so instead I’ll talk briefly about what I believe is the real issue here.

    Almost all of the places mentioned & described in both Old & New Testaments can be Physically (archeologically) proven to have existed. Many of the historical events can also be proven by various means & that includes contemporary non-biblical evidence. But, when it comes to proof of ANY kind for the BofM there simply is NONE, it doesn’t exist in any way or in any place in the Americas & that flies in the face of all logic & common sense. A continent wide tribe of Hebrews numbered in the millions (probably far more than lived in the entire middle east at that time) has totally disappeared leaving no trace. So where does that leave Mormon apologists? It leaves them with egg on their faces unless they can find & use NON-physical proof that the BofM is a true record. Non-physical proof includes for example, the use of chiasmus (a non starter) & attempting to show that Smiths knowledge of such things as ‘the land of Jerusalem’ must have been divinely inspired as he could not possibly have known those things of himself, therefore (say the apologists) the book has to be true.
    So there we have it, that’s the real reason for this debate. Showing that Smith wrote of things he could not have known unless it was divinely revealed is the ONLY way left for LDS apologists to bolster their belief in the truthfulness of the BofM. No matter how overwhelming the evidence is to the contrary it can never be accepted. If it were the last vestiges of ‘evidence’ would be gone & LDS Mormonism would have gone with it.

    Ps. for anyone interested, whilst helping my son over the last couple of weeks I also had the opportunity to speak to my LDS ex- wife. She told me clearly that she no longer believes what she has been taught & has come to realise the ‘church’ is a fraud. She is definitely on her way out.

  9. cattyjane says:

    Old Man,
    That is awesome news about your wife! Glad to hear it!

  10. MJP says:


    You still don’t get it. I am not discounting your argument that the wording was not unusual in ancient times. I am, however, discounting that argument as the silver bullet you make it out to be.

    What you say could be true, but it is also just as possible that is mere coincidence. It is clear that it is something you latch onto because it helps make your point.

  11. Old man says:

    Thank you catty, I agree 🙂

  12. Mike R says:

    Old man , I will be praying that your ex wife will come to discover the difference
    between the religion of Joseph Smith and a saving relationship with the Lord Jesus.
    Good to hear from you again .

  13. Rick B says:

    Old man, That is awasome. Keep us updated.

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