Four Cornerstones of the Gospel

L. Tom PerryReading an article in the January 19, 2008 edition of the LDS Church News I was struck by an evident disparity between Mormonism and traditional Christianity. In an article titled “Bearing down in pure testimony,” a missionary training seminar talk by LDS apostle L. Tom Perry was described for readers. Speaking of the impact mission presidents and visitor center directors can have on young missionaries, the newspaper reported:

“…[Elder Perry] said[,] ‘You’re going to have the opportunity to touch their lives, to teach them the gospel of Jesus Christ. I want to be certain when they leave you, either serving with you in the visitors center or when they leave to go out in the field, they have a firm testimony of the four cornerstones of the gospel.’

“These he identified as, first, Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior; second, belief in the calling of the Prophet Joseph Smith; third, the Book of Mormon as tangible proof of the mission of the Prophet Joseph; and fourth, the restoration of the priesthood.”

In trying to understand just what Mr. Perry was teaching, I looked up the definition for “cornerstone.” My dictionary said, “An important quality or feature on which a particular thing depends or is based.”

If that definition is correct, then Mr. Perry was saying that the gospel depends on–or is based on–Jesus Christ, Joseph Smith, the Book of Mormon, and the LDS priesthood. Clearly, this is a different gospel than that which has been embraced and proclaimed by Christians throughout redemptive history.

If I were to identify the four cornerstones of the Gospel from the Bible, they would be the life, death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ.

CornerstoneLife: But the testimony that I have is greater than that of John. For the works that the Father has given me to accomplish, the very works that I am doing, bear witness about me that the Father has sent me. (John 5:36)

Death: God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. (Romans 5:8-10)

Resurrection: [Abraham’s] faith was “counted to him as righteousness.” But the words “it was counted to him” were not written for his sake alone, but for ours also. It will be counted to us who believe in him who raised from the dead Jesus our Lord, who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification. (Romans 4:22-25)

Ascension: In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. (John 14:2-3)

Rather than the LDS gospel which is based on Jesus Christ plus Joseph Smith, the Book of Mormon, and the LDS priesthood, the Good News (Gospel) proclaimed in the Bible rests completely on Jesus Christ.

As Jesus taught His disciples regarding His future ascension, He said,

“And you know the way to where I am going.” Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:4-6)

About Sharon Lindbloom

Sharon surrendered her life to the Lord Jesus Christ in 1979. Deeply passionate about Truth, Sharon loves serving as a full-time volunteer research associate with Mormonism Research Ministry. Sharon and her husband live in Minnesota.
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89 Responses to Four Cornerstones of the Gospel

  1. Michael P says:

    I look forward to the responses saying one of two things: Mr. Perry didn’t mean what he said and/or we are to see that Jesus is the first item on the list.

    My responses would be that is a common explanation and that the trouble lies that you include the next three cornerstones.

    Good day to all.

  2. Michael P says:

    Ralph, the trouble lies in that you do these things with the belief that if you do them enough you can achieve godhood. Loudly or not, this is indicative of a heart in the wrong place.

    I have no problems with someone who relies on works (rituals/ordinances) to keep them concentrating on God. It is when, though, these things become more important than God and when personal gain is expected from them. By definition, expecting godhood is expecting personal gain.

  3. Michael P says:

    Sorry for the out of context post. Somehow I ended up in the wrong thread for the second, which should go into the fruits of the spirit discussion.

  4. falcon says:

    The Mormon gospel is about a whole lot of things that have nothing to do with Jesus Christ. It is my opinion that in practice Jesus is a rather subordinate figure in Mormonism. Mormonism is all about Joseph Smith from beginning to end. He conceptualized the Mormon gospel with it’s errant view of the nature of God. It would be as if Catholics said that the four cornerstones of their religion were Jesus, Our Lady of Fatima, Lourdes and St. Patrick.

  5. Ronald says:

    falcon, I agree. At the end of most sacrement meetings we hear the following….I know the Church is true, I know Jospeh Smith is a true prohet of God etc. I know the Book of Mormon is the word of God. I know that (current prophet name) is a true prohet of God. Small children are whispered in the ear what to say. others say it by memory. Most dont even feel what they say.

    What ever happened to Jesus Christ?

  6. Ralph says:


    Yes, Jesus is first on the list, as it says in the Bible Jesus is the CHEIF cornerstone – it does not say He is the ONLY.

    I agree with Elder Perry’s comment, and it is something that the missionaries have taught for years, but not using that exact vernacular. The LDS church stands or falls on Joseph Smith being a true prophet, the BoM being scripture and the true and proper authority of the priesthood. If any one of those are incorrect, then the LDS church is incorrect.

    But then the LDS church AND Christianity stands or falls on the Bible being scripture and the word of God, so Sharon I would propose that the Bible is a cornerstone of Christianity (and LDS since you don’t like to include us as Christian) as well as what you have written. This is because if the Bible isn’t true scripture or the word of God, then those other 4 things you mentioned are not true. Yes there is evidence outside the Bible that Jesus was a living person, but it is only the Bible that describes Him as the Son of God and our Saviour and Redeemer, as well as it is the only evidence of His miracles and resurrection. Besides, the 4 things you have listed are Jesus Christ and His life so they can be ‘grouped’ as Jesus and classed as one cornerstone.

    MichaelP, I have given an answer to your other comment on the proper site to keep things in context.

  7. mikeb says:

    Joseph Smith was not a true prophet of God because he failed the biblical test of a true prophet put forth in the Bible.

    “But the prophet who shall speak a word presumptuously in My name which I have not commanded him to speak, or which he shall speak in the name of other gods, that prophet shall die.’ 21 “And you may say in your heart, ‘How shall we know the word which the Lord has not spoken?’ 22 “When a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, if the thing does not come about or come true, that is the thing which the Lord has not spoken. The prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him,” (Deut. 18:20-22).
    Here a list of some of Joseph Smith prophecies that didn’t come true.
    1) Prophecy about Jesus return within 56 years
    2) Prophecy that the temple would be built in Missouri within Smith’s Generation
    3) All Nations would be involved in the American Civil War
    4) Prophesy that the earth will tremble and the sun be hidden in “not many days”
    5) Prophecy that Isaiah 11 was about to be fulfilled
    We’re not talking about the character of the person (prophet) but whether or not their prophecies were true. The great prophets of the Bible pass the test. Trust the Bible!
    2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,

  8. Ralph says:


    Here is a website from an atheist/skeptic group of Biblical prophecies that have not happened. Are all these prophets false prophets? One of the big one is found in Ezekiel where Ezekiel prophecies about the destruction of Tyre and how it would be made desolate that no one could live there again. Well it’s still a big city so that prophecy has not come to pass. Yes Aaron, I know you have shown me a web site arguing about this prophecy but I do not agree with the last argument of that web site.

    In the NT, Jesus was talking about His Second Coming when He prophesied Matt 24:34 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled. I think after 2000 years we can be assured that that generation has passed away. Does this mean that Jesus Himself made a false prophecy, or that the person recording it wrote it down wrong?

    There are many web sites which show that some of the prophecies made within the Bible did not come to pass. So how do you explain that? If you wish to hold the LDS prophets to the ‘Biblical’ standard you have written, then will you hold the Bible prophets to that same standard? If so then how much of the Bible is true, because if one prophecy is enough to make a false prophet, then Moses, Ezekiel, amongst others are false.

  9. falcon says:

    OK Ralph “This generation shall not pass away”; what “this generation”? The generation at the time of Jesus’ coming maybe? Your method of trying to prove Mormonism right Ralph, always comes down to trying to prove the Bible wrong. And yet you folks say that you respect the Bible. I don’t think so. That’s why Mormons aren’t considered Christian but a hybred religion invented by Joseph Smith for his own purposes.

    So this is the deal on Joseph Smith. He was a known practioner of magic arts who used a seer stone to hunt for buried treasure. He proclaims that all religions are false except for his religion. This new religion is contrary to orthodox Christianity (doctrine) including the doctrine on the very nature of God. This in and of itself qualifies JS as a false prophet with a false gospel. His book (BoM) has been proven a total fabrication and another one of his attempts at translation (BoA) has also been proven totally false. Now, you’re going to believe this guy? I don’t! I could go on but I know the Mormon test for truth is that the Mormon god revealed it to you and confirmed it with a spiritual feeling. All the evidence that can be cited is solid but from the Mormon perspective it is from men not from god. So despite the fact that the evidence is irrefutable it doesn’t count. I’m getting the Mormon line down pretty well.

  10. mikeb says:


    I think it sends a huge message when a Mormon sends a Christian to a web site run by Atheists to try to validate their message. I actually find it very funny but it is also very typical. It shows you don’t have any real source to refer to. Have you ever asked yourself why there is such an effort to discredit the Bible? Maybe just maybe it is because it’s true. The Bible has survived attack after attack and I’m glad to say it will continue just the same (literally…just the same).

  11. Jacob5 says:

    I see the use of cornerstones as a way to define the area of a structure. Yes the first cornerstone is the basis for the rest of the building. But eventually you do need to set other cornerstones as well. But none of the other cornerstones can exist without the placing of the first.
    Without Christ there is nothing. There is no purpose for the existence of anything, because the plan of God could not have been carried out.
    But Christ’s church is not a disorganized church. It has definition, structure, form. So, whereas we may have different ideas on what those other cornerstones should be, the fact still remains that there needs to be other defining prinicples, otherwise your church has no foundation so-to-speak.

  12. falcon says:

    There’s a huge difference here. Christ is the cornerstone on which Christianity stands. As Christians sending out missionaries we wouldn’t tell the missionaries that Paul or Luke, for example, are also cornerstones of the Christian faith. This points out a big difference between Mormonism and Christianity. Mormonism is built on the cornerstone of Joseph Smith and his conceptualized religion. That is why he is so important to Mormonism. Joseph Smith is the cornerstone of that religious system. He developed, packaged and marketed it as an alternative to Christianity which he declared an abomination.

  13. chuck5000 says:

    Mikeb, Have you ever asked yourself why there is such an effort to discredit the Book of Mormon? It IS because it’s true. Ralph is merely pointing out that by the use of the same methodology used to disprove the Book of Mormon, one could say the Bible isn’t true by holding it to the same standard. You are so blinded by trying to defend your positions, you all cannot see the parallel being used.

    falcon, there is no such evidence of fabrication. These are things unbelievers have made up and sold as truths, and you believe them, but they are far from the truth. And that’s the beauty of God’s plan. You are given the agency to believe the lies you hear or reject them. That’s your choice. We cannot force you to open your eyes to the truth. I know it can be difficult when Satan has someone trapped in his snares. So I can understand why someone wouldn’t accept it. But simply because Traditional Christianity says it isn’t true only means that the wisdom of the “men” who invented Traditional Christianity does not compare to the wisdom of God who has established his truth through His prophets since the beginning. He lives and he continues to communicate through a living prophet. You shouldn’t simply rely on “learned” men to acquire your understanding of God.

    The way Sharon has described the foundation of the Gospel is merely the first cornerstone, all of which applies to Jesus Christ. I’m not certain why you all continue to attempt to discuss things you know nothing about. It’s getting old.

  14. Rick B says:

    I wonder how lds can even bother being lds and claim they believe the bible, but then go onto say it is so full of false prophecys that it cannot be trusted.

    Then to make it worse, you believe some God hating pagan athiest and believe he/she is also correct in saying the bible is false.

    this topic is not about the prophecys in the bible, maybe a topic can be done on that issue, but I can assure you it is a matter of you either refuse to understand or you want to believe the bible is false, but those prophecys you list have been fufilled and are accurate. rick b

  15. Ralph says:

    Falcon, My point exactly about “this generation”. Have you read the Joseph Smith comment in their entirety to see the context within which he has said those words? Or have you just found those words and decided to say that Joseph Smith only meant his generation? And I can ask the same question about all the other revelations that you have listed. They have all been answered on other LDS websites if you are wanting to research the truth about them.

    Flacon and RickB, As for referencing a non-Christian site for false prophecies, I thought it best because if I referred you to an LDS site you would say that that is only the LDS interpretation of those verses. There are LDS sites that do discuss these prophecies from the Bible that did not come to pass as well as athiest sites. As Chuck5000 said, I am only showing that some of the arguments you use to try and disprove the LDS church CAN be used to discredit the Christian faith. If the Bible has as much proof as you say, then why are so many scientists, archaeologists and historians are athiest and believe that the Bible is only Jewish myths?

    RickB, where does it say that the prophecy of the complete distruction of Tyre so no one can or will ever inhabit it again has been fulfiled? Tyre is still a city in this day and age, but Ezekiel prophesied in the name of God that it would not. Does this not constitute a flase prophecy?

  16. falcon says:

    I don’t find you a credible source regarding the veracity of the BoM. You base your convictions on dubious personal revealed information and feelings. You reject historical and scientific evidence as being from “man”. There isn’t any historian or scientist outside of Mormonism that would support the notion that the BoM is real history. If you want to believe it, that’s your choice, but don’t claim that the BoM is more than it really is. And please, all the evidence are nothing more than lies? Jet airplanes didn’t bring down the Twin Towers. It was a government plot and cover-up. We didn’t land on the moon. Elvis is alive and working as a beautician in Detroit.

  17. Ralph says:

    Falcon said “Your method of trying to prove Mormonism right Ralph, always comes down to trying to prove the Bible wrong. And yet you folks say that you respect the Bible.”

    I was thinking about this comment because I see it very often on this site and it is a comment that is not true. Can’t you see, we do believe in the Bible as being the word of God, albeit we believe that there are errors in it. But we also believe that there are errors in the BoM and we still believe that it is the word of God. Why? Because we know that men wrote the books and men translated the books and men kept the books over the ages and men are fallible. So if I attack the Bible then I am also attacking my own faith, which is a contradiction isn’t it.

    So NO, I am not attacking the Bible, I am attacking your faith in and interpretation of the Bible. But I am doing it in a loving way, so hopefully none of you will get offended.

  18. falcon says:

    Excellent Ralph,
    Your statement regarding the Bible basically explains it all. Any of the Christians who regularly write here know that the Christian faith is generally attacked by the enemies of the Gospel of Jesus Christ on the essential elements of the faith. It begins with attacks on the veracity of the Bible then moves to the nature of God, the person/nature and work of Jesus Christ, the virgin birth of Jesus, salvation provided by God’s grace through faith, and generally to the judgment seat of Christ. Joseph Smith followed a time honored tradition of false prophets in doing this. We are talking about “cornerstones” of faith here and I would say that one of the basic cornerstone principles of antichristians is to declare the Bible as error filled while Christians declare the Bible inerrant. Now, as I have often said, I could care less what Mormons believe, but just don’t pass yourselves off as a Christian religion. You don’t pass the test. In fact the goal of Joseph Smith was to replace Biblical Christianity with his religion. In order to do that he had to degrade orthodox Christianity. Thus we get the view of the Bible which you have expressed. This is why Mormonism is viewed as an antichristian cult. This is especially so when you consider Joseph Smith’s well documented foray into the occult.

  19. Michael P says:

    I am finding it ever more important to be explicitly clear when talking about definitions, so here goes:

    Cornerstone– Unabridged (v 1.1) – Cite This Source – Share This
    cor·ner·stone /ˈkɔrnərˌstoʊn/ Pronunciation Key – Show Spelled Pronunciation[kawr-ner-stohn] Pronunciation Key – Show IPA Pronunciation
    –noun 1. a stone uniting two masonry walls at an intersection.
    2. a stone representing the nominal starting place in the construction of a monumental building, usually carved with the date and laid with appropriate ceremonies.
    3. something that is essential, indispensable, or basic: The cornerstone of democratic government is a free press.
    4. the chief foundation on which something is constructed or developed: The cornerstone of his argument was that all people are created equal.

    Seems a cornerstone is something which all pieces rest upon, and if that were not there, it would fall apart.

    Perhaps Perry is correct. If any of those falls, so does Mormonism. But we are correct to point out the differences and the important of them.

    We have but one cornerstone, and since Mormons add some new ones, it is fair to say they are of a completely different faith. If a cornerstone cannot be removed without it all falling apart, they rest their faith on things other than Christ.

  20. Rick B says:

    It is impossible to accurately determine the actual site of the original city of Tyre on the mainland because it was so totally devastated and destroyed by the dirt even being scraped and cast into the sea. We can only guess that this area which is barren rock today was no doubt somewhere in these perimeters, and in this area was the ancient city of Tyre. But there are no ruins, no walls, nothing to indicate where the city itself might have been. And so the place of it has never been found or discovered, nor can we ascertain it with any certainty at all. Which, of course, is another fulfillment here.

    But because the dirt was scraped, the rocks are an excellent place for the fishermen to dry their nets. And if you go to that area today, you will find even today fishermen drying their nets on these rocks which were once the great city of Tyre, the nemesis of the ancient world because of the power of their navy. A city that was great in glory and power. But God pronounced His judgment because they rejoiced in the judgment of God upon Jerusalem.

    Thus saith the Lord GOD [verse 15] to Tyrus; Shall not the isles [or the coasts] shake at the sound of your fall, when the wounded cry, and when the slaughter is made in the midst of thee? Then all the princes of the sea shall come down from their thrones, and lay away their robes, and put off their broidered garments: they shall clothe themselves with trembling; they shall sit upon the ground, and shall tremble at every moment, and be astonished at thee (Eze 26:15-16).

    And so the great fear that did come into the other neighboring cities and areas.

  21. Rick B says:

    And they shall take up a lamentation for thee, and say to thee, How art thou destroyed, that wast inhabited of seafaring men, the renowned city, which was strong in the sea, she and her inhabitants, which cause their terror to be on all that haunt it! Now shall the isles tremble in the day of thy fall; yea, the isles that are in the sea shall be troubled at thy departure. For thus saith the Lord GOD; When I shall make thee a desolate city, like the cities that are not inhabited; when I shall bring up the deep upon thee, and great waters shall cover thee; When I shall bring thee down with them that descend into the pit, with the people of old time, and shall set thee in the low parts of the earth, in places desolate of old, with them that go down to the pit, that thou be not inhabited; and I shall set glory in the land of the living; I will make thee a terror, and thou shalt be no more: though thou be sought for, yet shalt thou never be found again, saith the Lord GOD (Eze 26:17-21).

    Such is the case. We can’t tell exactly where the city was because it was so totally devastated and all you have is barren rock in that area where Tyre once existed.

    Now, there is a modern city of Tyre which is a Palestinian stronghold in southern Lebanon. However, it is a few miles from the site of the ancient city. So though it bears the name of Tyre, it has not been built again in the area where the original Tyre once existed. There is however a spring there in Tyre known as Ras El Ain, which the engineers have measured a water flow of ten million gallons a day. So it would be a very likely spot for a city to be built because of this abundant supply of fresh water. And yet in spite of that, the city has never been built on that site again.

  22. Ralph says:

    I’d like to know your reference for this because Tyre was an island city, in which case your view does not make sense. Here is another archaeological page which states that Tyre is still on the same site it was originally built on.

    As I said earlier, Christianity should count the Bible as another cornerstone besides Jesus. This being that the Bible, for Traditional Christianity, is the only testimony that Jesus is the Son of God and the Saviour of the world and that the Christian God is the only true God. If the Bible is false then so is Christianity. And since the LDS church believes in the Bible, if the Bible is false so is the LDS church, DESPITE the BoM and the prophets.

    You said ”This is why Mormonism is viewed as an antichristian cult”. From what I have seen and heard, it is ONLY the Christian community that describes us in this manner. Most (not all) other creeds/religions class the LDS church as Christian because we believe in the NT and Jesus Christ. And I have said it before, the term Christian was originally used in the Bible by non-believers to describe those who followed Jesus’ teachings, and they did not discriminate against how one believed in Jesus and God. So in truth, it should be left to the ones who coined the term to delineate its meaning, in which case the LDS church can be classed as Christian. Yes, here we go on the “Christian – not Christian” argument, but we believe in Jesus Christ, so what are we? True we believe differently, but so do other Christian religions – some you do not want to class as Christian, others you do. But according to the BIBLICAL definition, the LDS church does fit into the classification. If you want to change the meaning to a non-biblical definition to exclude others, then that’s your prerogative, just make it known that you have changed the Biblical definition.

  23. Just for Quix says:

    I really struggle as a Christian with a fundamentalist concept of biblical inerrancy being used as the antithesis to the way that Mormons (dis)regard and use the Bible.

    I know some Christians consider inerrancy to apply to the Bible as an infallible historical and universal cosmogony. This is an ignorant position, untenable, in my opinion, with what we know of the intent of Jewish oral faith tradition, cultures quite apart from our post-Enlightenment world, record keeping methods, etc., in addition to the hard evidence we can actually examine.

    I’m not saying this is the perspective from which Falcon is arguing. The discussion at hand just makes me want to throw out a cautionary critique to Mormons who think the way to strengthen their position is to draw from materialists (historical Jesus-only types) or, at worst, athiests, as they cast doubt upon the word of God.

    By applying the many tools at our disposal: intra-biblical interpretation, textual evaluation, language studies, source document examination, etc., I think a valid inerrancy of faith and doctrine can still be interpreted, understood and defended, especially if one also allows the Spirit to accompany this discipline. You find this willingness to thoughtfully and deeply study and respect the Bible a norm within Christian worship and faith more than you will in Mormonism.

    My issue with Mormonism isn’t saying that the Bible can have issues of the sort Ralph cites (duh!) but that the church doesn’t do the hard work to understand and believe the doctrine and faith that permeates the Bible. The church doesn’t demonstrate a willingness to doctrinally conform, to respect tradition, to study in context. It picks and chooses. Smith re”translated” the Bible by merely rewriting where he chose. Just as there is no source for the Book of Mormon to go back to, this specious reality only goes hand in hand with a general mistrust of relying upon and conforming to the great body of Bible evidence we _do_ have.

  24. falcon says:

    I don’t accept your premise regarding who should define what is Christian. Mormonism has been around since 1830 not since the first century like Christianity has. Mormonism has to spin some pretty tall tales to conclude that their doctrine was present in the first century. Anyone with a thimble full of knowledge of Christian history can spot this deception a mile a way. Quite abit of intellectual dishonesty on the part of Mormons when it comes to this. One of the challenges Christian apologists have when dealing with cults is the definition of terms. Mormonism borrows heavily from Ev. Chrisitain terms while rejecting the standard Christian meanings. This gives the impression that Mormonism is just like the First Baptist Church down the street. This sowing of confusion is purposful and pretty typical of the standard approach used by cults.

  25. chuck5000 says:


    A little long winded in this one, but I hope you consider my point of view.

  26. Jacob5 says:

    I reject your precepts. I reject your definition of Christianity. I claim that you are engaged in intellectual rejectionism. You do not hold the monopoly on Christianity. Please use the bible that specifically defines the term “Chrisian” and not your church’s definition. Now remember, I am asking for specific Biblical scripture that specifically defines Christian and using those terms, define in what way we are different than that church. I propose to you that it doesn’t. Now, prove me wrong.
    Note: only 3 scriptures actually use the term Christian.

  27. Lautensack says:

    You define Christian as what, one who follows Christ? Not to follow Christ is to know who Christ is correct? Therefore if Christ is defined as St. John defined Him, the eternal Word of God become flesh, is this what you believe? Is your Christ the very WORD of God the Father become Flesh? If not, then you are not a Christian. It would be as if you claimed to be a Christian yet said that Jesus wasn’t actually raised in a physical body. If that were the case you’d be a gnostic not a Christian though they claimed to be. As for you claim that Falcon is engaged in intellectual rejectionism, how do you reject his definition of Christianity accept on the same grounds of intellectual rejectionism. You intellectually disagree with him, therefore if he errs you partake in the same error as him.

    To define Christianity based upon the Biblical texts that speak of it Acts 26:24ff, we are to believe as Paul believed, including passages such as Philippians 2:5-11, Colossians 1:13-17;2:9, Romans 8:9, Romans 9:5, Titus 1:3-4 which surly proclaim Jesus is God, and Ephesians 2:8-9, Romans 4:-8, Titus 3:3-8, Galatians 2:15-16 which clearly state justification by faith alone, apart from works.

    Also according to Peter in 1 Peter 4 we are not to be ashamed of the title Christan but rather Glory in it, however for the first 160 plus years of Mormonism Mormons distanced themselves from this title and have only recently made a bid to be accepted into Christianity.


  28. Michael P says:

    Your argument about the cornerstones is splitting hairs. We learn about Jesus from the Bible, which is inspired by him. God wrote the Bible through the hands of those who penned it. But Jesus is greater than the Bible. It is not the Bible who lives in us, but Jesus, whom we learn about in the Bible. Thus, Jesus, not the Bible, is our cornerstone. Without the Bible we could still know Jesus, but without Jesus, we cannot understand the Bible.

    This is not what you claim. You claim not only Jesus, but also Joseph Smith, The Book of Mormon, and the priesthood as your cornerstones. Notice the Bible is not in it, so if you argue we cannot know Jesus apart from the Bible– which you did– the Bible must make your cornerstones, too. Since you lack the Bible as a cornerstone, you must not believe in Jesus, right? And since Joseph, the BoM and the preisthood must be true for your faith to be true, if any one of those falls, your faith will crumble, right?

    Jacob5, OK, so if someone believes Jesus Christ came from Pluto, riding on a comet, and is really a green-headed alien, can that person be a Christian? If so, the title doesn’t mean much, for me, or for you. Surely, there has to be a tighter definition.

  29. falcon says:

    I love this! Intellectual rejectionism. The Mormon thought process has been well captured by our Mormon contributors here. Mormonism is based on the twin concepts of progressive revelation confirmed by “spiritual” feelings. When solid, substantiated evidence is provided here regarding the BoM, JS, and the history of Mormonism we are told that this is not real evidence because it comes from “man”. In-other-words, evidence is only evidence if the Mormon can put it in the realm of Mormon “revealed” knowledge accompanied by “spiritual” feelings. Talk about intellectual rejectionism? I’d call it intellectual suicide.

    Now if you want a definition of what Christianity is, based on NT teachings, I would suggest you read the NT. It really isn’t very difficult. It’s jammed packed with specific information none of which includes Kolob, Jesus being the product of a mother/father god union, plural marrage, God being an exhalted man, men becoming gods, Jesus and Satan being brothers, temple rituals…….you see these things don’t fit into the definition of Christian. Christians don’t believe these things because they don’t appear in the Bible. This is why Mormonism is not Christianity but another gospel developed and promoted by a false prophet. Please supply three Scripture references from the Bible for each of these things.

  30. chuck5000 says:

    What I find interesting is that you are more concerned about intellect than you are the will of God for his children today. The other thing I find ironic, is that if the LDS Church was not in existence, this blog would have absolutely nothing to discuss. The intent here is very clear: attack the LDS Church. Not out of love, not out of concern, but out of the hardness of your hearts. In all of the methods described above for acquiring “evidence” the most important sources are not listed: God and prayer. Why? Because you would rather rely on what learned men teach you about their findings in history and science. Why would you rely on and give that much trust to a “man”? Why can’t you trust in God more? You all rely to much on the arm of flesh.

    One cornerstone a foundation does not make.

  31. woenigma says:

    Amen Chuck!
    Why do EV damn themselves from learning more? (Damn-Stop) You stop at grace and want NO more. You can’t learn from the past that all generation fail to maintain and live the entire gospel. Falcon since you brought it up lets look at plural marriage. Do you really think Mary was the first and only wife of Joseph? She was 14 and he was in his 30 . Jesus had brothers and sisters. Why would the 12 tribes of Israel be from 4 women and 1 man if Plural marriage is so heinous in Gods eyes. Did God change this way of life or did man change it?
    Side question-Is Jeremiah Wright more a Christian than a Mormon?

  32. Just for Quix says:

    Here we go, the tired ol’ LDS anti-intellectual bait. I’ll bite.

    After reading dozens and dozens of books on Christian history, I actually can see the point of materialists and athiests who question the veracity the Bible. What makes me choose to be a creedal Christian, and what persuades me there is a vibrant core of doctrinal purity that has been preserved within the word of God, is faith. Yes, faith, hope and inviting the Holy Spirit to tarry with me. But it is true that I also invite intellectual pursuit and try to apply study and rigor to also help me understand that which can be relied upon and that which diverts. I find the LDS use of the Bible as mere doctrinal “proof text” diversionary. The church is not willing to apply intellectual rigor. It is also not willing to conform to the core doctrines and faith that have been preserved from the apostles and prophets.

    This does not mean I have it “all figured out” but I do think the core creedal doctrines upon which Christianity rests are solidly biblical. Where I think sociable debate is needed is to shed light upon the unwillingness among so many mormons to apply the rigorous tools of contextual study, etc., as well as respecting traditions of both faithful and intellectual study of the Bible.

    Ephesians 2 lines out the foundation of the household of God. It is apostles and prophets, with Jesus Christ the chief cornerstone. One needn’t take the analogy so far as to speculate the other “three cornerstones”. We can rely on the Bible as to what that foundation is, with it solidly built around Jesus Messiah. Just because Mormonism, like many Christian terms it has co-opted and redefined, claims to have prophets and apostles as its foundation does not make it so. Its extra “cornerstones” of Joseph Smith, BoM, and priesthood are easily examined issues whose evidence relies on Smith, not of Jesus Christ, nor the Bible. I frankly don’t find good intellectual reason nor faithful reason to put stock in such LDS claims

  33. falcon says:

    Here we go again. The LDS claim of being attacked. So we have two more aspects of the Mormon approach. If what is said does not support Mormonism, it is a lie and an attack. If a Mormon can’t provide solid evidence in answering , give your testimony. Way too much of this “I prayed and God revealed it to me” goes on within various religious systems. The technique is used to deceive, manipulate and control people. The Bible provides countless examples of false prophets and their messages. The gift of the Holy Spirit to ferret this out is called discernment. God also expects us to use our intellect. A good example of this is when Paul preached the Gospel to the Berean’s and they daily searched the scriptures to see if these things were true. The Berean’s are called “noble” for exercising their intellect. Mormons have to spend a lot of time explaining away the prophetic utterences of their prophets. I would think the faithful would figure it out at some point.

  34. Rick B says:

    tyre was an island city, but the had a small little island about 1/2 a mile out that they moved onto when they were being attacked, after that Alexander the great tore down the city and even scrapped the dust to use as morter and threw great stones into the water to walk right to the door of the castle on the island.

    if you want some very excellent teaching on this, go to, in the search box at the top of the page type in (tyre) a link for an mp3 download by Chuck Missler will come up. I buy and use much from Chuck M. that guy is part of the mensa group and really knows his bible. Rick b

  35. chuck5000 says:

    Just for Quix, you mention that part of the foundation includes apostles and prophets. If you claim to have the same foundation Christ established, where are the Apostles and Prophets within your organized religion? I find no where in scripture that states they are no longer needed or have been removed from the original foundation.

    falcon, intellect is a valuable asset, accept when you use it to attempt to govern God or to limit God.
    1 Cor. 8
    1 Now as touching things offered unto idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth.
    2 And if any man think that he knoweth any thing, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know.
    3 But if any man love God, the same is known of him.

    Doctrine & Covenants 121
    26 God shall give unto you knowledge by his Holy Spirit

    Alma 12
    10 And therefore, he that will harden his heart, the same receiveth the lesser portion of the word; and he that will not harden his heart, to him is given the greater portion of the word, until it is given unto him to know the mysteries of God until he know them in full.

    You have to be willing to accept the influence of the Holy Ghost to increase your knowledge of God. Otherwise you are limited to your own understand which is weak in comparison.

  36. Just for Quix says:

    The apostles and prophets of the foundation are those of the Bible. Paul was plainly referring to the Tanakh (the Hebrew scripture) when he was referring to the prophets, as the collected prophets, great and minor, were a most important part of Jewish oral and written religious instruction, and formed the holy record that Paul, time and again, referred to in asserting proof of the Messiahship of Jesus. The apostles are those special witnesses of Christ of his day whose testimony lives on in the Bible record. However, important as the apostolic witness is, none of them asked believers to just take their word for it; they referred to the scripture record to establish the truth and authority of their words. Even explaining this makes me wonder if you have even studied seriously the historical tradition and history of the Tanakh, as well as Christian history and the New Testament. (That may be a rhetorical question.)

    Again, just because a Mormon leader claims to be a prophet or apostle does not make it so. While I can respect a Mormon’s right to believe their leaders are as they claim, I find their record of non-biblical and anti-biblical doctrinal teachings, and the paltry evidence supporting their claim to special revelation as evidence enough to consider them no more than well-intentioned, pious men. But apostles and prophets of which Ephesians testifies? Christianity has that foundation more strongly laid than does Mormonism. That is my intellectual conviction, and my faith.

  37. Ralph says:


    From your comments, especially this one “Without the Bible we could still know Jesus, but without Jesus, we cannot understand the Bible” I understand that you mean that to be a Christain you do not need the Bible. Am I corrrect in this, or can you explain yourself better?

    But I stand with what I said, without the Bible, Jesus would be just an ordinary person in history because there is nothing outside of the Bible that testifies of His miracles, His divinity and His atonement. This is why many historians, archaeologists and scholars are non-believers, because they disregard the Bible as Jewish myths, becasue there is not much evidence outside of the Bible to support its divine authenticity – ITS A BOOK OF FAITH, that’s all.


    So we have 2 pieces of information about Tyre that states 2 differing things. Which one is correct? The one from a university archaeological department or the one from a Christian who wants to prove the Bible correct? Its all the same to me at this point because there will always be an argumetn about the historical correctness of the Bible, as I said above, its a book of faith. As for you saying that the bloke is in mensa – what’s that got to do with the argument? My daughter (13 yr old) and I as do most of the people I work with fit the criteria for mensa as well, but we do not belong to it, don’t really see the need, and at least half are non-believers. So using his ‘qualifications’ for the argument proves nothing, if that was your intent.

  38. Ralph says:

    Falcon said

    I love this! Intellectual rejectionism. The Mormon thought process has been well captured by our Mormon contributors here. Mormonism is based on the twin concepts of progressive revelation confirmed by “spiritual” feelings. When solid, substantiated evidence is provided here regarding the BoM, JS, and the history of Mormonism we are told that this is not real evidence because it comes from “man”. In-other-words, evidence is only evidence if the Mormon can put it in the realm of Mormon “revealed” knowledge accompanied by “spiritual” feelings. Talk about intellectual rejectionism? I’d call it intellectual suicide

    Many have echoed these sentiments about LDS and their testimonies vs ‘solid evidence’. You know its funny, I was doing a bit of reading on the internet and I found this comment –

    Bible-believers are full of clever (and some not so clever) rationalizations. The crucial question, however, is not whether “answers” can be generated in response to Bible difficulties but whether credible answers can be produced. What is the best explanation? Bible-believers seem to think that any loophole, however improbable, that gets the Bible off the hook has solved the problem. Thus, it is not surprising that different, conflicting answers are often presented side by side. It never seems to occur to these people that such logic will also support the story of Goldilocks and the three bears! Or the Koran. Or, anything else. Once we abandon the probable in favor of the improbable–or even the less probable–we have abandoned objectivity. Without objectivity, there is not much hope of finding the truth; we only succeed in confirming our own prejudiced views–even as a group of flat-Earth folks in California did for years in their newsletters.

    Looks like someone else holds the same view of Christianity as you EVs do for the LDS. Your arguments against us can be used against you.

  39. Michael P says:

    Actually, Ralph, you demonstrate my point. The HAVE the Bible, and they reject it. It is this precise reason I say that the Bible is not in and of itself a cornerstone: you can have the Bible and not believe.

    Our faith rests on Christ, and not the Bible. Sure we learn of Christ through the Bible, and I do not wish to minimize the book, but our faith is in Christ, not in the Bible.

    And Ralph, if you keep using arguments such as the last to falcon, we will find ourselves arguing away God. And I think lost in your rebuttal is this: a simple comparison of evidence for the Bible and for the BOM produces wildly different results. One is credible, if not conclusive, the other is nowhere near credible and resembles a made up world in the vein of Tolkein.

  40. falcon says:

    I’ve discovered a theme that runs through your support of the LDS religion. That theme is to try and find holes in Biblical Christianity in order to support Mormonism. Your reasoning is pretty typical Mormon and goes like this…..There are errors in the BoM, there are errors in the Bible…….therefore……What? There is no archelogical evidence to support the civilizations in the BoM, there is not archelogical evidence to support everything in the Bible……therefore……What? This is the kind of reasoning found in Mormonsim and usually ends with……therefore Mormonism is true. I have a book here entitled “The Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties”. You may want to get a copy. The bottom line, however, is that you can’t prove Mormonism right by attempting to prove Biblical Christianity wrong. Christian believers don’t try and prove Biblical Christianity right by proving Mormonism wrong. Because Mormonism attempts to establish itself as the true Christian faith, it is our task to point out the distinct differences in the doctrine between the two. It is also our task to point out the flaws in the historical, archelogical, linguistic and scientific claims of Mormonism. As long as Mormons insist that they are the true restored church of Jesus Christ, the spiritual battle will wage on.

  41. falcon says:

    I need to spell “archaeological” at least ten times. This is probably why I didn’t get very far in the school spelling bee when I was a kid.

  42. Lautensack says:

    Michael P wrote:

    “One is credible, if not conclusive, the other is nowhere near credible and resembles a made up world in the vein of Tolkein.”

    Comparing the works of Joseph Smith Jr. to the Works of J.R.R. Tolkien is a bad example. Tolkien has the original languages of the Dwarves, Elves, Orcs, etc., and we can actually translate them. Also it should be noted that he could actually translate them, Joseph Smith couldn’t translate what he claimed to be able to, see Book of Abraham, Kinderhook Plates,. Tolkien also provides us with maps of locations of the places his books describe. In fact Tolkien is a far more credible source than Joseph Smith, so please don’t insult Tolkien by putting Smith in the same vein of writing, as Tolkien actually admits his writing is fiction, be it far more credible than Smith’s.
    If you feel the urge to describe Smith’s writings they seem much more at home with Dan Brown’s writings, as both claim to be true or somewhat true, both attack the bible, both say Christianity is corrupt, both lack credible evidence, outside of conspiracy theory.


  43. chuck5000 says:

    It’s interesting how Christians continue to say the Book of Mormon lacks credible evidence. If we start from the very beginning. How can you say they did not exist when 12 people saw them, actually lifted them with their own hands? Is this not evidence that the plates existed? Even after leaving the church, they continued to support the Book of Mormon as the word of God and never once denied the existence of the plates.

    Or are you saying that because YOU didn’t get to see them there’s not evidence?

    Besides handling the plates, the voice of God spoke to them saying they are from God and an angel appeared to show them the plates.

    Now this is where faith is required and a true definition of faith. The hope for things that are true which are not SEEN. Either you believe the witness and the testimony (with faith) or you do not (no faith). If you are saying that you need further proof, then you truly have no faith.

    So let’s just stop all the rhetoric and lies about the Book of Mormon. You can say that YOU do not believe, but that does not change the evidence that is provided by God. So regardless of what other “MEN” have said about the Book of Mormon in terms of historical, archaeological, or other evidences, it does not matter; the book came from God as the witnesses of the Book of Mormon have testified. If not, then why when they fell away from the church did they not go back on their testimony and say it was a sham if it is as you claim, a work of fiction?

    It’s because they fear God more than they fear man. They know it is true. They know it came from God. It’s too bad that none of you fear God. You lean more to and rely more on your own understanding and that is why you err. God knows more than all men combined, why can’t you trust him?

  44. Ralph says:

    Falcon and MichaelP,

    Yes I am attacking your faith (just as you do mine), you got that right. But you are missing my main point. I am NOT trying to prove the LDS church true by pointing flaws in your faith. I am answering one of your big questions – How can we as LDS still believe in something and dismiss all of the so called evidence against it? I am showing you that you do the same with your belief. Its easy to show this as there are many athiest and skeptic sites out there that are from scientists, archaeologists and historians who have evidence that disproves many parts of the Bible. That last quote I mailed says it all – Bible believers do not look at the facts and evidence against the Bible, they just blow it off so they can keep their faith. Yes there is some evidence of the Bible, but if we look at Forrest Gump, many of the names, places and events are factual, in fact some of the movie was archive footage with Tom Hanks digitally edited in making it look real. So does this make Forrest Gump true? NO. So just because they can find some names, places and events does not make the Bible true becasue no one can prove the whole thing – it is a book of faith. Nothing more.
    Now do you understand my point?

    As for no evidences of the BoM, I have said a number of times, a couple of groups have gone on trips through the Middle East through to the Yemen Rep. and have verified that the trip in the BoM can be true, including the name Nahom (NHM), which can be found. So there is some evidence available that has been verified.

    BTW Falcon archaeology = English; archeology = American

  45. Rick B says:

    one quick thought here.if the book of mormon is true, then why do we not read accounts in the bible of Jesus, the Apostles or even prophets of old quoting the bible?

    please do not give the lame excuse of the people in the book of mormon were in a country to far away. here is why that excuse cannot hold water.

    we read in the BoM the account of the tower of babel, so if people from both books were around in the same time, place and country, then they knew each other.

    then we read verse, word for word lifted right from the king James bible, if we cry plageriousm, then LDS simply say, know LDS prophets were quoting the bible, so which is it.

    lastly, Jesus quoted from many O.T. prophets going all the way back to the garden before the flood.

    so if Jesus quoted from many sources, even before the flood, then we can both trust the OT, If Jesus trusted it I think we can, Plus, before the flood it was one giant land mass, no oceans to seperate us.

    then from the accounts we read, not every one Jesus or the Apostles quoted lived in the same area and next door to each other, were talking, 66 books by 40 different authors over 1,000’s of years. Rick b

  46. Just for Quix says:

    I reject the BoM witnesses’ testimony because the words have been changed to make it seem like a physical time-space experience rather than the visionary or transcendant experience it was, if it even happened at all. It’s just like the changes made to how it is taught that Joseph “translated” the plates, when in reality he peep-stoned, never actually having any physical plates in proximity, if any existed at all. Why the change? It _could_ be that we as post-Enlightenment people are more willing to grant visions to biblical times and just find it too silly to believe in the modern age, especially when so loaded with folk magic practices, and hence “testimonies” were later rewritten to make them seem more real and physically verifiable, if we could have just been “flies on the wall” to witness ourselves. Possible.

    Nevertheless the reason I’m more inclined to think the witnesses’ experience was simply a made-up experience is not out of possibilities, but probabilities. The trustworthiness of Joseph is nil. He has a clear record of deceit, manipulation, criminal behavior, and changing things as he went, not to mention his doctrines were anti-biblical. It just doesn’t seem a reasonable leap of faith to put trust in him nor his collaborators, most of whom, including later “prophets” like Young and Taylor were vehemently anti-Christian. And the record of the BoM “translation” itself is so full of internal inconsistencies, historical anachronisms, among other issues, that it doesn’t seem a reasonable leap of faith to me to put trust in it like I am willing to do for the Bible. We have verifiable proof to examine how Smith went about “translating” the BoAbraham and the “Inspired” Bible translation. It seems to me that the jury is in as to veracity of the Book of Mormon. I feel quite comfortable “taking my chances” as an unbeliever of the foundational claims of Mormonism.

  47. Ralph says:

    MichaelP, You still have not answered my question about your earlier comments. You have said Without the Bible we could still know Jesus, but without Jesus, we cannot understand the Bible.” So does this mean that to be a Christian one DOES NOT NEED the Bible? If so then why defend the Bible at all? Does anyone else here accept MichaelP’s postulate? What does this then say about those who accept Jesus as a person in history but do not accept the account in the Bible about His divinity? Are they Christian? For example the lady who wrote the book “Jesus The Man”.

    RickB, So with your logic, the Bible is true because it says its true. That makes sense. In fact that is what you are accusing us LDS of saying about our various scriptures and church. Thanks for making our case.

  48. Jacob5 says:

    Here is a question. Do you believe in the prophets of the bible? Yet we do not see all the things they spoke of or taught, do we. How many other books were not placed in the bible during its canonization?
    We are very fortunate to live in a day and age where almost every message given to us is written down and recorded for the world to see.
    But I put to you that as not every single word of the prophets were written down, yet we can assume that more was spoken than was put into the bible, that not everything that was spoken was considered prophecy. So, then we have the modern day of the printed word, and mass media. Even in the time of Joseph Smith we have a vast amount of records, yet not every word spoken by Joseph Smith, or any prophet since then was set in official church cannon. This is the same idea. Just as then whomever made the records that became canonical was in a position of determining what was prophecy or not we have the same situation.
    A prophet is a tool of God, but tools are not always used. So, how do we determine what is prophecy or not. That is why we have continued prophecy as well as determinates.
    How is that for “intellectual” study.

  49. Rick B says:

    you are incorrect. I am not saying that the Bible is true simply because it says so. Many various religious groups claim to have the truth, look at the Muslim suicide bombers. their prophets tell them, kill in the name of Allah and you will have virgins waiting in heaven. they believe it, so they blow them selves up.

    their is over whelming evidence to prove the Bible to be the Word of God, zero evidence for the BoM.

    I read in the Bible about the Jews, I read about Israel, guess what, I can go over to Israel and talk with the Jews. their are over 300 prophecys just about Jesus alone. Jesus quoted the OT and many Prophets, but never quotes the BoM or the BoM prophets. Jesus trust the OT, But not the BoM.

    read the book, (The Lost Shipwreck of Paul)it tells the story about Chuck Missler and Robert Cornuke reading the account of Pauls Shipwreak in the Book of Acts, they used the Bible and went to Malta, went diving in the ocean and found the 2 anchors and gave them as a gift to the President of the island.

    Yet we read about over 2 million being killed at the battle of hill curmoh, yet Zero evidence ever found. I have heard many LDS claim that is modern day New york, yet LDS are now saying they might be wrong about it being new york and changing the battle site. 2 anchors in the ocean verses 2 million dead on a battle field.

    I can talk to Jews even here in St Paul MN where I live, they can provide so much evidence for the Bible that it is mind blowing, yet I cannot talk to the 3 disaples from the BoM who were told they will never die, but live and preach the Gospel, where are they? how come they do not come forward to share the truth.

    I read in the Book or revelation about the 2 witnesses that the whole world will see and even try and kill, they will rejoice world wide for 3 days after they are killed, and even give gifts to each other because of the great joy over their death. If God allows the entire world to see them, I am guessing Via CNN

  50. Rick B says:

    or some other news net work. If God allows the two witnesses to be see world wide and they cannot be harmed for the first 3 and a half years, then why not bring out the 3 disaples? worse yet, the BoM teaches these 3 witnesses are to remain alive to share the gospel and see people come to Christ. If that is true, millions could hear the truth if they simply came forward and spoke in public and meet openly with the LDS prophets. But that can never happen because the BoM is pure fiction and bad fiction at that. Rick b

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