Christians, Don’t Misuse Revelation 22:18

Bill McKeever urges Christians not to misuse Revelation 22:18 when dealing with the issue of an open or closed canon.

1920×1080 MP4, 640×360 MP4

This entry was posted in Bible and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

116 Responses to Christians, Don’t Misuse Revelation 22:18

  1. Arthur Sido says:

    I would echo that sentiment. That is just a lazy way to refute mormonism. As Bill points out, there are plenty of ways to show that the BoM is false. But Rev 22 is not one of them,

  2. SteveH says:

    I would comment that using Revelation 22:18 as a proof text against the Book of Mormon is not only lazy but rather uniformed. The same wording found in Revelation 22:18 can be found in Deuteronomy 4:2 wherein Moses states:
    Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you.

    Using the same logic commonly applied by evangelicals to Revelation 22:18 to Deuteronomy 4:2 we would have to reject everything subsequent to the writings of Moses. Hmmm.

    I have never understood why evangelicals are so insistent that the cannon of holy writ is closed. I have always found that theological stance to be very presumptuous. It is as if such theologians would put a muzzle on God and declare that HE cannot or will not communicate to mankind in this day and age. If there was ever a time in the history of mankind that we needed the guidance and direction of God it is now.

    The 11th chapter of the Book of Revelation we read about John’s detailed prophecy concerning the ministry two prophets of God who shall in the last days be sent to Jerusalem to bear witness of God with great power and authority and ultimately will be slain because of their testimony of the Lord.

    This great prophecy of John in Revelation 11 irrefutably contradicts the errant notion that the Bible is closed and that God will not speak to mankind through His divinely anointed prophets.

  3. rick b says:

    The Time that I use Rev 22:18 with LDS is when I speak of the J.S.T.
    I point Out Rev 22:18 and then say JS did add to and remove from the Word Of God when he re-wrote Rev in the J.S.T.
    I believe in that case it does fit. Rick b

  4. Arthur Sido says:


    A couple of points.

    “This great prophecy of John in Revelation 11 irrefutably contradicts the errant notion that the Bible is closed and that God will not speak to mankind through His divinely anointed prophets.”

    First, the Bible itself tells us very clearly that God no longer reveals Himself to us by prophets in Hebrews 1: 1-2. His Revelation to man is complete in the person and work of His Son. Joseph Smith, Brigham Young or Thomas Monson hardly fit the profile of the witnesses proclaiming the Gospel in Revelation 11.

    Second, what mormonism claims to have revealed does not support the Scripture, it contradicts it. The Bible and mormonism cannot simultaneioulsy be true because what they teach about God, Jesus Christ, man, sin, justification, etc. are mutually exclusive. We have no need of furher Scripture, because everything God has desired to reveal to us has been declared in the Bible and everything a sinner in this life needs to know about his own sin and the great proptitiation of Christ are contained in those same words.

  5. SteveH says:


    A few comments,

    1. The argument that you put forth that: “the Bible itself tells us very clearly that God no longer reveals Himself to us by prophets” and using Hebrews 1:1-2 is baseless. By your flawed reasoning one would have to discount the entire New Testament because most of the text of the NT was written by Prophets and Apostles.

    2. I cited Revelation 11: 1-19 precisely because it clearly and irrefutably demonstrates that God does and will reveal Himself by His prophets. Revelation 11:1-19 clearly and irrefutably demonstrates that God’s revelation to man is not complete or finished but indeed it continues and there is yet much more for God to reveal to man through His prophets.

    3. Having been commissioned and ordained of Christ to be His prophets Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, and Thomas S. Monson most certainly do fit the profile of being Prophets of God. However, I have in now way mentioned or suggested that these individuals are the prophets mentioned in Revelation 11. If you should take to time to actually read Revelation 11 you will see that this prophecy of John refers to two prophets ministering in Jerusalem in the Last Days. Thus obviously Joseph Smith, Brigham Young and Thomas S. Monson are not the individuals John the Revelator is prophesying about. The big question is: who will be these two prophets mentioned in Revelation 11: 1-19? I can assure you that they will not be Protestant evangelicals.

    4. What Mormonism has revealed is certainly supported by scripture and it points out the errors of the philosophies of men (aka evangelical theology).

    5. You claim: “We have no need of further Scripture, because everything God has desired to reveal to us has been declared in the Bible”.
    What an incredibly presumptuous statement! You are essentially telling God to shut up.

    6. If you should be around when the two prophets mentioned In Revelation 11:1-19 are carrying out their ministry in Jerusalem in the Last Days are you going to say we do not need to listen to these prophets of God because “We have no need of further Scripture {or prophets}, because everything God has desired to reveal to us has been declared in the Bible”? That is preposterous!

    I would hope that anyone professing to be a Christian would want to know about what the Lord has to say to us in this day and age. I would hope that anyone professing to be a Christian would not be so spiritually blind as to deliberately shut out any message that the Lord has to share with us today.

    The Jews of Palestine rejected Christ as the Messiah because His teachings did not conform with their faulty understanding of the scriptures. Likewise today people confessing to be Christians are rejecting Christ and His anointed prophets because the Lord’s teachings do not conform with their faulty understanding of the scriptures.

  6. Ralph says:


    This verse in Rev does not say that God cannot add to or take away from that book does it? Do you believe that God is able to do that if He wanted to?

    I know you do not believe that JS was a prophet but if (and I say if just for you and others that do not believe) he was a prophet and he was acting under the inspiration of God to make the changes he did, then it was God doing the rewriting, not JS. If this is the case then your argument falls down – which is why we LDS have no problem with your accusation about JS.

    PS almost PLUM near forgot to say something about that shirt ! 🙂

  7. Linda says:

    StevenH says: flawed reasoning…errors of the philosophies of men (aka evangelical theology)…incredibly presumptuous…telling God to shut up…preposterous! ..faulty understanding of the scriptures…rejecting Christ and His anointed prophets.

    Where’s the love in all this? Is this how you become exalted?

  8. Linda says:

    I don’t mean that in a mocking way. Toning down the negativity will help keep things civil. Speaking for myself as a non-mormon, I’m not here to disprove your faith or be hateful. I sincerely believe LDS has a very powerful and unhealthy hold over its members.

    I don’t believe Jesus had to teach his disciples to give only part of his message, the way LDS missionaries censor their words when they come to your door. That is deceptive recruitment. Joseph Smith took extra wives in secret before he told Emma that polygamy was “revealed” to him. Men have been known to lie to get with women but never mind that; let’s not hold him accountable. No archeological evidence of the great civilizations that lived in the America’s; that’s okay. Have faith. DNA proves American Indians were not of Jewish descent; let’s value burning in the bosom over objective facts. And don’t dare show any disagreement or disloyalty to current prophets. You could be ostracized or ex-communicated and lose your chance to see the celestial kingdom. LDS temples are not holy and set apart for God as in the OT; they are for secret ceremonies. But that’s just how JS was instructed to set it up. Let’s let his unprovable visions and translations, which are a living and ever changing gospel, impose more and more restrictions and commandments upon us. We will never waver from his words.
    To me those are all signs of a bad organization.
    Again, I don’t mean this in a mocking way. Just look at how you have set yourself up to be instructed in what to think and say.

  9. SteveH says:


    “Where’s the love in all this?”

    Seriously, It really amazes me how easily Mormon “critics” can hurl all kinds of vicious verbal abuse at the LDS Church, its leaders, and members (such as calling the LDS Church a demonic cult or braying about how all Mormons are going to hell, etc.). Yet, when I respond by questioning the flawed reasoning behind such remarks you have the audacity to ask “Where’s the love in all this?”

    Now that is hypocrisy!

  10. SteveH says:


    Judging by your rather inane comments it is readily apparent that you are very ignorant about even the basic aspects of LDS doctrine, history, or culture. You should really try to tone down the negativity of your remarks.

    Lets examine some your more inane comments. You stated:

    “No archeological evidence of the great civilizations that lived in the America’s”

    Are you kidding???!!! Haven’t you ever heard of the Aztecs, the Maya, the Inca, the Olmecs???

    You stated:
    “DNA proves American Indians were not of Jewish descent”

    Since when can DNA demonstrate one’s religious belief? There is no such thing as a “Jewish” gene!

    You stated:
    “LDS temples are not holy and set apart for God as in the OT; they are for secret ceremonies.”

    That is absolute baloney! If LDS temples and their ceremonies are so secret why is it that the entire planet can learn all about them with just the click of a mouse? No secrets here!

    You write about Joseph Smith’s “unprovable visions”.
    However, the simple fact is that there were many witness to these visions, to wit:
    The Three Witnesses, the Eight Witnesses, the hundreds of individuals who witnessed the outpouring of the Spirit of God and ministering angels at the Kirtland temple dedication, Oliver Cowdery was with Joseph Smith when John the Baptist conferred the Aaronic Priesthood in May 1829 and when the Apostles Peter, James, and John conferred the Melchizedek Priesthood in June 1829. The list of others who witnessed and participated in these divine visions is long.

    Notwithstanding the many witnesses who corroborate Joseph Smith’s divine visions, visitations, and other manifestations of God Mormon “critics” dismiss such eyewitness accounts as being “of the devil”.

    To me, your comments are the sign of a deep-seated insecurity in your own faith.

  11. Enki says:

    Steve H,
    Some christians do believe that the christian text is sealed. I was suprised a number of years ago when a christian said he was open to the idea that there could be a modern prophet. He actually said that. However, in saying that he was quick to state that did not mean he endorsed the LDS faith, and that he was very skeptical about authentic new revelations. People are afraid of new things that are not familiar to them, or contradict their understanding. Here are a few examples.

    What are your thoughts about the Bahai faith? Baha’u’llah authored thousands of books, tablets, and letters that today comprise the sacred scripture of the Baha’i Faith. The teaching contained in them are quite different from traditional christianity. Are you skeptical that these are inspired scripture?

    Christian Science has “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures”. Their webpage makes this statement, “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures is the Christian Science textbook written by Mary Baker Eddy. A companion to the Bible, it explains the scientific system of Christian healing.” If you read this and found it to not fit your understanding of the Bible, wouldn’t you be skeptical?

    Jehovah’s Witnesses have their own particular translation of the Bible, “New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures”. There are some particular points in the translation that people say are not correct, but the Jehovah’s Witnesses say that they are correct and up to date.

    The LDS faith has the BOM, D&C, pearl of great price, and current leadership by the general authorities. Many Non-LDS christians do not agree with most of the teachings and many of the practices as they don’t see them square with their understanding of scripture. Its reasonable to be skeptical of things you don’t understand and what contradicts your understanding.

  12. Enki says:

    Steve H,
    You worte the following:
    ‘Since when can DNA demonstrate one’s religious belief? There is no such thing as a “Jewish” gene!”

    Anna C Need, Dalia kasperaviciute, Elizabeth T Circulli and David B Goldstein all disagree with you. There probably isn’t a particular gene, but probably a set of associated genes in the jewish ancestry. There is a statistically definable signature of jewish ancestry in individuals with even only one jewish grandparent.

    Genome Biology 2009, 10:R7

    I do not know what exactly LDS people claim in reguards to Native Americans. Are they supposed to be all purely of a lost tribe? Or have they mixed with other people who may have been living there? Isn’t there some mention of people living in the americas prior to the arrival of nephi and his family? If they are mixed with other peoples, the unique jewish signature may be more difficult to find. So it may be unanswerable using science.

  13. Ralph says:


    there are two main schools of thought on the ancestry of the American Indians. Some believe that they are only of the Israelite origen, but NOT Judah (ie Jews) as many try to say, but Joseph through his son Manassah. Some believe that there were other people living in the Americas and the Nephites and Lamanites mixed in with them.

    I do not know which I subscribe to as of yet but it is irrelevant to both my salvation and to the DNA argument. Gundeck has been trying to tell everyone to be intellectually honest’ with our research and ‘accusations’. To be intellectually honest about the DNA evidence not supporting the BoM then one also has to admit that the DNA evidence does not in any way or form support the Bible either. So its a mot point if they try using that argument as they are shooting themselves in the foot as well.

    Please see that I am not singling you at for the ‘DNA evidence’ Gundeck. I am just making a point about the ‘intellectual honesty’ that you want all to adhere to when I used your name.

    When I have finished grant writing Aaron and I were thinking of having another discussion about DNA. I am looking forward to it and it should be soon.

  14. Linda says:

    I’m not the one in the grips of a church that uses paranoia and control to oversee members. Aside from what you have been spoon fed by your leaders, what original thoughts to you get from God? Is that how he tells you to treat me?

  15. SteveH says:


    Judging by your disjointed and often incoherent, spiteful babblings, it is you who is suffering from paranoia and general dementia.

  16. Linda says:

    Maybe I do over simplify my faith. To me, God is love. He loves us, we honor him and share His love with others. There’s no room for authority from men driven by control and fear. What do you stand to lose if you quit going to church and tithing? Will you lose your job, your family, your friends? I believe many LDS would, and that’s not healthy. Does your stake president know you’re here conversing this way?
    So the way you talk to me doesn’t exactly make me want to run and check out LDS. Because I’d have to start looking down on my Christian friends because of their flawed reasoning, I’d have to profess JS as a prophet, throw away my coffee pot and get out my check book. Otherwise I could never even hope for a temple recommend. A temple where I would not be honoring and worshiping God, but rather working to exalt myself to a god.
    No thanks. I’d rather keep it simple.

  17. SteveH says:


    The sources you cited would certainly agree with me on the fact that the DNA marker is not faith based. There is considerable scientific debate over veracity of applying DNA markers to ancient societies and groups. Given that the land of ancient Israel has always been a cultural crossroads of the many surrounding civilizations it would be impossible to determine the DNA marker of two families and a servant who fled Jerusalem around 600 B.C.

    With reference to Mormon “critics” charges that DNA disproves the Book of Mormon this is a flawed argument on a number of levels. It is clear from the Book of Mormon that many peoples from different regions settled the Americas. The Book of Mormon provides a record of one group (the Jaredites) who came to the Americas around the time of the fall of the Tower of Babel (about 2,000 B.C.) It would be assumed that the Jaredites were of Asiatic origin. This could be one source of the Asiatic DNA that is predominant in North and South American Indians.

    The tiny colony of two families from Jerusalem (Lehi and his family) arrived in the Americas populated by people of Asiatic descent. Without doubt some genetic co-mingling occurred (this is probably the origin of the Lamanite “curse”).

    Given the genetic diversity of the people inhabiting the Americas the application of DNA analysis to prove or disprove the Book of Mormon has no statistical validity.

  18. SteveH says:


    I know a couple of people who are of the Ba’hai faith. They are very kind people. I have had colleagues who are Jehovah’s Witnesses and likewise they are good people. My grandmother was a Christian Scientist and was one of the most spiritual people I have ever known. I have no problem with other people worshiping as they see fit. In general this is the attitude of most Latter-day Saints. As is proclaimed in the 11th Article of Faith:

    “We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.”

    I do however have a problem with certain militant / fundamentalist evangelicals who feel that it is their God-given right to viciously attack every other faith.

  19. Let’s tone it down so we can focus on the issues. Remember, people are watching.

    Steve, the validity of religious criticism is an assumption at this blog. If you don’t agree with that assumption, you’re not making a strong case by criticizing the criticism.

    Grace and peace,


  20. Linda says:

    Sorry, I “kicked the beehive.” My bad.

  21. gundeck says:

    I don’t see how anyone can so easily dismiss Hebrews 1:1, 2 as showing an end to extraordinary prophesy. In this part of Hebrews the writer is trying to show the Lord Jesus Christ is supreme. The incarnation as revelation, the Word made flesh, is the supreme and defining revelation for all ages. Christ is superior to the angels, priest, prophets, or any of the old covenant institutions. This is not an out of context proof text, the Author of Hebrews is saying that Christ’s, revelation is superior and negates the need for future prophets in the OT since of the word.

    The argument that Hebrews 1:1, 2 would negate all of the NT writing needs to be dealt with. The apostles and writers of the NT were not just Prophets in the OT since of the word; they were personal witnesses of Jesus Christ and to the work that he accomplished on this earth, his death and resurrection. They had a unique role as the foundation of the Church as Paul tells us in Ephesians 2:19, 20. Part of this role was the writing of the NT.

    I understand that SteveH is not claiming that Joseph Smith is one of the Prophets spoken of in Revelation 11, but I don’t think Revelation 11 is a clear cut a prediction of future prophets in the OT since of the word. First if you take it literally as some think we should there are only 2 prophets predicted not a series of prophets. Second this book was written after the destruction of the temple, so it brings up questions about what temple John is talking about, many think this temple is referring to the Church itself. If you take this passage symbolically then we should remember (Just as the original readers would have known) that the OT requires 2 witnesses for any testimony to be valid (Deut 9:15), the number 2 may in fact be an allusion to that. Some think that this text is pointing to the Church and the Saints and this coincides with the parallel passages Rev 11:7 and Rev 13:7.

    The argument equating a closed canon to being presumptuous and muzzling God is a two way street and can easily be turned around. Dealing with facts, I do not know any Protestants that say God cannot or will not communicate to mankind in this day and age, but he will do it in His own way not ways demanded of Him. It can be considered equally presumptuous to demand that God continue miraculous revelation after the apostolic age. This demand on God for more revelation seems to either completely ignore the importance, or at least greatly restrict, the Gift of the Holy Spirit given to the Church at Pentecost. In ages past God gave his Spirit to Prophets as was necessary for them to fulfill their offices, now he has given his Spirit to the faithful, as was prophesied (Joel 2:28, 29). To demand that God give more canonical books and maintain an open line of extraordinary revelation seems to belittle the importance of the supreme revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ, which the Author of the book of Hebrews was writing about.

  22. Don’t worry about it Linda. The way SteveH layed into you with essentially accusations of vicious hate was inappropriate.

    Gundeck, thanks for bringing it back to the heart of the topic.

  23. WORD FROM THE TOP (Bill McKeever):

    SteveH is no longer welcome to comment at Mormon Coffee.

  24. rick b says:

    Ralph said<I know you do not believe that JS was a prophet but if (and I say if just for you and others that do not believe) he was a prophet and he was acting under the inspiration of God to make the changes he did, then it was God doing the rewriting, not JS. If this is the case then your argument falls down – which is why we LDS have no problem with your accusation about JS.

    Ralph, The problem with what you said is this,
    Lets just say JS was a real Prophet, lets assume God Really Did speak to JS and SD and tell them to “Correct” or even re-write the Bible, then why is it the LDS do not use it?

    I mean I know LDS claim the RLDS or the FLDS own the rights to it, and since LDS do not view those guys as real LDS, Then that tell me God really screwed up by having JS and SR “Correct” the Bible to only allow it to fall to an apostate group less than 50 years later. Rick b

  25. faithoffathers says:


    Hebrews 1:1-2: “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds.”

    Where in this statement does it say that God will not call Prophets after Christ? It does not. You are stretching these verses my friend.

    Paul is saying essentially that God has spoken through prophets throughout history. Today He has spoken through His Son. He makes no statement regarding future prophets. I respectfully disagree with your interpretation.

    Your interpretation suggests that Christ and the prophets are mutually exclusive in time i.e. that once Christ arrived, the need for prophets ceased. But this is clearly not the case.

    Ephesians 4:11 “And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers.” The word “he” in this verse of course refers to Christ. So Christ “gave” or called some prophets during His life. Christ’s mission does not remove the need for prophets.


  26. gundeck says:

    How you look at this entire topic is going to depend on how you answer the following question. What is the purpose of revelation? It is not to grant us knowledge of our individual fortunes and other invalid quests for knowledge. It is simply a sovereign and graceful act of God to reveal himself and, “to give that knowledge of God, and of His will, which is necessary unto salvation” (WCF1:1). If you are looking for the knowledge of Gods will and what is necessary for salvation you must conclude that it is made known most perfectly in the incarnation, death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.

    Redemptive history as shown in the bible, does not lead us to the conclusion that we should expect a continuing succession of prophets from generation to generation. The period of the Exodus under Moses was soon followed by the period of Judges where God raised his Judges in his own time and for his own purposes. The books of Kings and Chronicles show us again distinct gaps in time that God gave His prophets.

    When these gaps in prophetic periods are considered in the context of the revelation of the Son of God, it seems logical to conclude that the requirements for prophets and further canonical books/statements are over with the conclusion of the apostolic age. It is impossible for a prophet to be mutually exclusive of Christ, the prophet’s role is to deliver the revelation of God. John Calvin said, “Whoever is not satisfied with Christ alone, strives for something beyond perfection.” While he was speaking of justification it speaks clearly to those who look for revelation above and beyond that of Christ and the Scripture.

  27. Gundeck says:

    One area that is instructive concerning prophets and prophesies is 1 Corinthians 14:26-33. When reading these verses you have to question what is meant by prophesy and prophets. Do you suppose that the Church in Corinth had such an abundance of prophets in the OT “thus sayeth the Lord” type of the word that Paul had to tell them to only let 2 or 3 prophets speak at a time? Was each of these prophets making doctrinal revelations, prophesying future events, and seeing God revealed? Or could Paul mean that these people inspired by the Holy Spirit were under His prompting, to teach, refute, reprove, admonish, comfort others” a perfectly acceptable Greek and Hebrew meaning for prophesying.

    To often people are looking for the gifts of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor 12:8-13) and ignoring what is arguably more important, the fruit of the Holy Spirit, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:19-23).

  28. Ralph says:


    This is what the LDS Bible dictionary (it’s online if you want to look it up) says about prophets –

    “The work of a Hebrew prophet was to act as God’s messenger and make known God’s will. The message was usually prefaced with the words “Thus saith Jehovah.” He taught men about God’s character, showing the full meaning of his dealings with Israel in the past. It was therefore part of the prophetic office to preserve and edit the records of the nation’s history; and such historical books as Joshua, Judges, 1 and 2 Sam., 1 and 2 Kings were known by the Jews as the former Prophets. It was also the prophet’s duty to denounce sin and foretell its punishment, and to redress, so far as he could, both public and private wrongs. He was to be, above all, a preacher of righteousness. When the people had fallen away from a true faith in Jehovah, the prophets had to try to restore that faith and remove false views about the character of God and the nature of the Divine requirement. In certain cases prophets predicted future events, e.g., there are the very important prophecies announcing the coming of Messiah’s kingdom; but as a rule prophet was a forthteller rather than a foreteller. In a general sense a prophet is anyone who has a testimony of Jesus Christ by the Holy Ghost, as in Num. 11: 25-29; Rev. 19: 10.

    It talks mainly about THE Prophet (ie the person we see ass the head of our church), but the last sentence I have emphasised as this shows how we consolidate the ‘many prophets at one time’ with our faith.

  29. gundeck says:

    This is what J. van Genderen and W. H Velma have to say about New Testament prophets in “Concise Reformed Dogmatics” recently translated into English from the original Dutch.

    “Prophets are sometimes mentioned immediately after the apostles (1 Cor 12:28; Eph 4:11). New Testament prophesy does not exclusively and not even primarily relate to the future. It constitutes a speaking that edifies, admonishes and encourages, instructs and exhorts (1 Cor 14:3, 31).” Page 736

  30. mrgermit says:

    Gundek: Great posts on what posts are and do, in the traditional sense of the word. I’m very much ok with that. I think the two sides largely talk past each other when the topic of “prophets” or ‘prophecy” comes up because we use the words differently (what a shock, when has that ever happened ?? 🙂

    Ev’s very much believe in prophets and prophecy, but they play a much different role than that of the LDS prophet.

    Nice work, again.

  31. gundeck says:


    Thank you for the compliment. I think that this thread of comments can go in a number of directions and have tried to point out that a closed canon does not mean that we believe that God is not speaking.

    Lewis Berkhof said that “We start the study of theology with two presuppositions namely (1) that God exists and (2) that he revealed Himself in His divine Word.” It humbles me to think that His Word has been studied for 2000 years and we are given the privilege to do the same.

  32. Ralph says:


    isn’t that what it says in my quote from the LDS Bible dictionary? A prophet PRIMARILY tells us what God’s will is and to testify of Him and Jesus, and only SOMETIMES prophesies the future? I think this is where some confusion comes in when many of you ask what have our prophets prophesied lately. They have often prophesied, especially when they testify of Jesus and God – they do not have to foretell events.

    In answer to one of your earlier comments, it says that the prophets edited the history of the people and that “Joshua, Judges, 1 and 2 Sam., 1 and 2 Kings were known by the Jews as the former Prophets”. So there were possibly prophets all through the OT times, just not referred to in the scriptures all the time thus making it look like there were periods without them as you have pointed out.

  33. gundeck says:


    I think you are correct that there are similarities between the two difinitions. That is why I posted it. I think that the distinction that I would have to make is that extraordinary prophesy has ended (1 Cor 13:8) with the apostolic era.

  34. Rick B says:

    Here’s a thought since were talking about Prophets.

    I have the original D and C with the lectures of faith bound in to it. Back in the day, the lectures were Doctrine because they were part of the D and C. In the Lectures it tells us that JS wrote these teachings because he was teaching school for the prophets.

    Seems to me JS is a false prophet since he claims he heard from God to “Correct” the Bible and that failed, then he was teaching School for up and coming prophets, but then we never heard of them again, and those teachings were pulled because they no longer line up with currant LDS doctrine, even though LDS will state another reason for pulling the lectures from the D and C. Rick b

  35. Linda says:

    I have a question. I think we can agree on what a prophet is and what they do. I have the baptismal interview questions in front of me that I kept from when I was meeting with LDS missionaries. #2 says: Do you believe the Church and gospel of Jesus Christ have been restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith? Do you believe that (current Church President) is a prophet of God? What does that mean to you?

    Since LDS believe Joseph Smith restored the gospel of Jesus, isn’t that a much higher calling than a prophet? Shouldn’t there be another more exalted title for him?

    I was in a seminar at church just this morning where we learned about our gifts, and the guy next to me has the gift of prophesy.

    Why do potential converts have to profess prophets exist in LDS if we agree there are still prophets today? Isn’t LDS implying that its prophets are more enlightened or powerful, gifted, or something.

  36. Linda says:

    And I don’t mean these questions as a trap. I’ll admit that I want LDS to profess that God did not oversee the preservation and recording of His Word, that when Jesus said on the cross “It is finished,” it wasn’t really finished, that Jesus failed in his mission to teach what God intended him to teach, and finally that God needs to keep trying to get His Word correctly revealed. Even now, doesn’t LDS believe doctrine can be authoritatively changed through the current prophet?

  37. faithoffathers says:


    Thank you for your honesty. We do see a little differently. Can you tell me the names of the people who transcribed the manuscripts through all the different versions of the Old and New Testaments? Can you tell me the languages used and where all the work took place? The real answer is no.

    Your take on the Bible is based on the assumption that God intervened to perfectly “preserve” His word for our day. But I think this assumption has to be examined further. When has God taken away man’s agency? He has allowed whole nations and societies to fall away and be destroyed. He will not coerce man to do what is right. Where does it say God would personally use His power to perfectly preserve the Bible? No where. Yes, His word is eternal. But then we must define the word “word.”

    Claiming God would of necessity intervene to perfectly protect the Bible is like claiming that God would also protect all of His prophets. This of course did not happen as many, many prophets were killed by the wicked.

    I believe we will one day learn that what we have today is the tip of the iceberg of holy writ. Think of the thousands of years in history with great and holy prophets (Adam, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Melchizedek, etc) for which we have almost nothing to show as far as scripture. To say the Bible is all of the word of God is severely limiting Him and what He can do and say.


    When Jesus said “it if finished,” he referred to His atoning sacrifice. A person can take this brief statement too far. I could ask “if it really were ALL finished, why didn’t the earth and all its inhabitants just end?” Did He mean that literally everything was finished? Of course not. And neither did He mean that man’s responsibility to follow God and keep His commandments ended.

  38. Linda says:

    What is the relevance of knowing the names of the people who transcribed manuscripts? If they were no good and God didn’t intervene to perfectly protect the Bible, how do we know for sure that Joseph Smith got it right? If God won’t coerce men to do what is right, then there’s no authority in Joseph Smith’s writing either.
    You say “To say the Bible is all of the word of God is severely limiting Him and what He can do and say.” I say saying that the Bible needed to be restored is severely limiting Him.

  39. Ralph says:


    If you read the quote from the LDS Bible dictionary about prophets you will see that there are 2 types described. We LDS also acknowledge 2 types of prophets. The Prophet (ie capital ‘P’) is the one and only person who can receive revelation from God to lead and direct the LDS church on this earth. No one else has the authority to do this. He also has the responsibility to call all to repentance and be a witness of Jesus Christ and His redeeming work.

    Other prophets (small ‘p’), are those who have a testimony of Jesus Christ through the Holy Ghost. Their ‘task’ is to testify of Jesus.

    That is what I thought of when you mentioned the baptismal interview and the question about prophets.

    As far as JS goes, God called him a prophet and that is good enough for me. I will not give JS a ‘more exalted title’ than what God has given him.

    I think Fof has answered most of your other questions. You did ask “Even now, doesn’t LDS believe doctrine can be authoritatively changed through the current prophet?” It’s almost correct. The Prophet receives revelation from God to ‘change’ doctrine – so really, it’s God making the changes, not a man (or prophet).

    And just remember Linda, there are a number of verses that have been shown to be inclusions in the Bible – ie, they have been added into the text and are not in the original. One of these inclusions has been ‘dated’ back to the original manuscript (ie a possible marginal note rather than body text) and its debated if it was the original writer who added it or one of his contemporaries. Regardless of which, it is still an inclusion and not in the original. Knowing that an inclusion happened so early and that there are other inclusions, can you be 100% sure that there are no more that we do not know about that have been added into or close to the original manuscripts? BTW this inclusion is the 2 verses when Paul says that women should keep silence in the church. It can readily be found on the internet.

  40. Enki says:

    I think Linda has a point. The work of restoring a religion is much more than a person keeping the faith going. However, from an outsiders point of view, Joseph Smith started his own religion, kind of like Islam. Although I believe that both view their religion not as a new one, but a correction for curruption which crept in. Muslims believe that there is some degree of corruption of the O.T. and N.T., otherwise there would be no reason for the Koran. For a muslim, at best the Bible is a dialog between god and man, whereas the Koran is viewed as being completely god’s word alone.

    A foundation for Islam is the believe that there is no god but allah, and Mohammad is his prophet. Logically this means accepting the Koran as scripture. It sounds similiar to what Linda said about the baptismal questions. During LDS fast and testimony meetings there is usually a statement about not only Jesus being christ, but also Joseph smith being a prophet, and the Bom being the word of god.

    Doesn’t the LDS body place a greater weight of doctrinal accuracy on the Book of Mormon over the Bible, and possibly any other scripture?

    “…I told the brethren that the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book….” Joseph Smith on November 28, 1841(history of the church)

    Doesn’t this make the LDS faith its own religion? Kind of like Islam with the Koran?

  41. Enki says:

    Steve H,
    He brought up some good points. Although he is banned I hope to continue some of the points of our discussion. Please Mormons and non-LDS christians feel free to add your input, and altough at this point he may not be able to respond, I hope that someone will address these interesting points.

    “It would be assumed that the Jaredites were of Asiatic origin. This could be one source of the Asiatic DNA that is predominant in North and South American Indians.”
    How do LDS members make this assumption? What is the basis for it?

    “The tiny colony of two families from Jerusalem (Lehi and his family) arrived in the Americas populated by people of Asiatic descent. Without doubt some genetic co-mingling occurred (this is probably the origin of the Lamanite “curse”).
    I personally find the idea of dark skin as being a curse offensive. I am assuming he was refering to statements in the BOM to that effect.

    I find it curious that evangellical christians have gotten on the genetic signature bandwagon. I saw some televangelist marketing a book promoting that god was reproducing the ‘chosen people’ in non-jewish christians, which have the same genetic features as jewish people. Isn’t there something in the LDS faith about god changing the blood of the gentile people? Isn’t that part of the program of creating a new people, using polygamy? I know these aren’t directly on topic, but sort of side issues which came up. I find them interesting. Its entirely possible that any set of belief systems could create a particular ethnicity. Someone told me that there is already a distinct genetic signature for mormons. So is it possible to be an ethnic mormon?

  42. Enki says:

    To LDS Member,
    I brought up the topic to Steve H about other religions and their scriptural additions to the O.T. and N.T. He sort of answered the question, but not directly. How do you view other additions made by Bahais, Christian science? And also the retranslation of the Bible by Jehovah’s witnesses?

    He quoted the 11th article of faith:
    “We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.”

    I am assuming the LDS body follows this is within certain boundaries, as long as it doesn’t conflict too much with LDS concepts and teachings. I would also note this is a statement about belief, and not disbelief. Does this mean that the LDS people feel at liberty to hinder atheists or agnostics? what about phenomena which is not particularly associated with religion, but conflicts with LDS ideals?

    I will take his overall statement that scripture outside of the LDS cannon is not accepted, but that people of other faith can have virtue and goodness. Any input from other LDS church members about any of these ideas?

  43. Jonas says:

    Just found this site, and I’m happy to see the dialogue going on.

    Many of our ideas about God’s “Word” come from our own interpretation of what the English usage means. Those of you that have learned another language — to the point where you could actually converse with a native of another country and read relatively fluently in that language — know that at times it is impossible to fully convey the meaning of a word without long explanations of what is meant. Of course, such explanation is impossible in the middle of a text and must therefore be left for additional commentary. I can’t tell you how many times I have heard entire sermons (or at least large portions) dedicated to ideas that actually originate in the readers’ understanding of the phrasing chosen in ENGLISH to render a concept originating in the Hebrew or Greek. At such times I am secretly amuzed (not condescendingly so) that the particular phrase being emphasized can only mean what the speaker claims if the text were originally in English. Checking the translation of the same phrase in another language will almost always add additional clarification.

    In so saying, I am not claiming to know either modern or ancient Hebrew or Greek. I am talking about simply comparing a Bible in another modern language. My point is just that we at times apply particular significance to specific words that obviously were not in the original text—since the original was in a different language. Since very few of us can claim to be able to read ancient Hebrew or ancient Greek, we rely on experts to translate the text for us, and then we interpret the translator’s interpretation.

    (Incidently, not even today’s Jews and Greeks could read these texts without special study/training. For example, most of us have a hard time understanding Shakespearean English. Just think of trying to read the language being spoken in England in the first century AD. Don’t over-analyze this statement — this isn’t a perfect analogy, just trying to illustrate the problem. A further point: Hebrew actually died as a language — it is the only language we know of that disappeared from usage, yet was “resurrected.” A complication of this fact is that we don’t actually know how “Jehovah” was procounced in Hebrew, since the name was generally not spoken anciently, and none of the modern speakers of “resurrected” Hebrew was alive when the pronunciation was known. But I digress…)

    I would argue that even the very usage of the term “Word” that we all know and love that opens John’s Gospel is misunderstood by virtually all of us. It is true that “word” is the literal translation of the original greek term, but it only very weakly represents the concept that the writer almost certainly intended. To explain, I refer to Gregory Hays, the translator of “Meditations” by Marcus Aurelius. The translator explains that, although Marcus Aurelius was Roman, he wrote his meditations in Greek, since this was the language of philosophy. He explains it this way:

    “Serious philosophical investigation required a fimiliarity with the language [the Greek philosophers] wrote in and the terminology they developed.”

    Just as technical or industry-specific language cannot be understood without “insider” knowledge, some of the allegories of the scriptures are hidden from those of us who did not move within that sphere in the first century A.D.

    So back to “Word.” I again quote from Gregory Hays:

    “Of the doctrines central to the Stoic worldview, perhaps the most important is that the world is organized in a rational and coherant way. More specifically, it is controlled and directed by an all-pervading force that the Stoics designated by the term ‘logos.’ THE TERM HAS A SEMANTIC RANGE SO BROAD AS TO BE ALMOST UNTRANSLATABLE. [emphasis added] At a basic level it designates rational, connected thought–whether envisioned as a characteristic (rationality, the ability to reason) or as the product of the characteristic (an intelligible utterance or a connected discourse). ‘Logos’ operates both in individuals and in the universe as a whole. In individuals it is the faculty of reason. On a cosmic level it is the rational principle that governs the organization of the universe. In this sense it is synonymous with ‘nature,’ ‘Providence,’ or ‘God.’ (WHEN THE AUTHOR OF JOHN’S GOSPEL TELLS US THAT ‘THE WORD’—LOGOS—WAS WITH GOD AND IS TO BE IDENTIFIED WITH GOD, HE IS BORROWING STOIC TERMINOLOGY).” [emphasis added]

    So…all that explaination for the term “word” which is essential to understanding the book “Meditations.” Actually, the translator goes on further about ‘logos’ for several more pages so that the reader has some concept of what is meant. In the end, he utilizes the original term ‘logos’ rather than the translation ‘word’ to convey its complex meaning.

    My point? Language often gets in the way of our thoughts, intentions, and reception by others. The mainstream Christian world may describe things differently than the Mormon world because of cultural and historical norms. Add to this the fact that we are interpreting ancient texts, and we have a lot of ‘interpreting’ to do. A respectful dialog, critical thinking, introspection, and humility are essential to finding the truth, no matter its source.

  44. Ralph says:


    I stand by what I said in answer to Linda’s question about JS’s title. She asked if he should have a more exalted title than prophet because he restored the gospel in this day and age. He was called as a prophet by God – if that title was good enough for God to give to him then it is good enough for me to call him that and nothing ‘more exalted’.

    We do revere him over other prophets in a manner, I guess, if you look at how many LDS programmes centre around JS and his life in comparison to other prophets of our church. Which is what I think you are referring to. But his title was prophet.


    If a prophet (small ‘p’) is someone who has a testimony of Jesus Christ from the Holy Ghost, then I think the school of prophets was aptly named because it was teaching the ‘pupils’ about Jesus Christ and His gospel and I am sure many of them would have received a testimony of Him from the Holy Ghost while learning in this school.

    As for the journal of Discourses I will refer you to an ensign article availablr online – Gerald E. Jones, “I Have a Question,” Ensign, Aug. 1978, 31–32.

    Some quick quotes from this article –

    “The original intent of their publication was to provide income for George D. Watt, their stenographer and publisher. Many Church members in England desired to read the sermons delivered by the General Authorities of the Church in Utah, and Brother Watt’s books filled that need. He obtained clearance from the First Presidency 1 June 1853. Addressed to Elder Samuel Richards, missionary printer in England, and to “the Saints abroad” this statement introduced volume one:

    “Dear Brethren—It is well known to many of you, that Elder George D. Watt, by our counsel, spent much time in the midst of poverty and hardships to acquire the art of reporting in Phonography [shorthand], which he has faithfully and fully accomplished; and he has been reporting the public Sermons, Discourses, Lectures delivered by the Presidency, the Twelve, and others in this city, for nearly two years, almost without fee or reward. Elder Watt now proposes to publish a Journal of these reports, in England, for the benefit of the Saints at large, and to obtain means to enable him to sustain his highly useful position of Reporter. You will perceive at once that this will be a work of mutual benefit, and we cheerfully and warmly request your cooperation in the purchase and sale of the above named Journal, and wish all the profits arising therefrom to be under the control of Elder Watt.” (Signed by Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, and Willard Richards.)

    Though the First Presidency endorsed the publication of the Journal, there was no endorsement as to the accuracy or reliability of the contents. There were occasions when the accuracy was questionable. The accounts were not always cleared by the speakers because of problems of time and distance. This was especially true during the persecution of the 1880s which finally forced the cessation of publication.”

    So as you can see, although they may have been co-published with the D&C, they were NEVER considered doctrine.

  45. Enki said “Doesn’t this make the LDS faith its own religion? Kind of like Islam with the Koran?”

    I think Enki is right on target here. The similarities are so striking, I’m inclined to think of Mormonism as the Islam of North America.

    The similarities are not just in the mechanics (a 14 year old boy gets a divine visitation telling him that the current religions have got it wrong, the Bible is corrupted, Jesus is not as divine as Christians claim, we need clarification on ordinances and commandments etc etc) but in the trajectory, which is to believe in the prophet.

  46. I’ve said this to Mormons before; I don’t have a problem with the idea of modern-day prophets. If someone came along claiming to be God’s representative (if they came in His name), I’m one of those who might actually take notice.

    However, there are two tests that I’d apply;

    1 How does the message align with what God has already shown us in the Bible?

    2 Looking at that person’s life, is he (or she) someone who can be trusted?

  47. Linda says:

    Ralph: Wow. There’s so much unreliable information out there. Yet you hold so fast to the Book of Mormon. All because Joseph Smith said you should. You believe he was correct, accurate and speaking for God. But remember, he restored the gospel so in essence he’s giving himself the authority.
    That’s a lot of authority and I believe it’s so unhealthy to fall in line behind that. God is so much bigger than that. He doesn’t need one man to change the course of His Word.

  48. Linda says:

    So LDS, please keep your minds and ears open because to follow behind the “authority” of Joseph Smith automatically leads to other things. You have to constantly do the following: You have to discount outside sources, defend and revere Joseph Smith, and accept the excuses your leaders will make for his behavior and inaccuracies. Please keep your minds and ears open because these are tactics of a bad organization that will continue to direct you and guide you where ever they need to in order to protect the organization.

  49. Jonas says:

    I respect your desire to clear up misunderstandings that may be held by the Mormon faith–but I’m puzzled by your use of language such as “accept the excuses your leaders will make for his behavior and inaccuracies,” or “tatics of a bad organization.” Language such as this does not lend itself to understanding, openness, and dialog, but rather causes people to dig in their heels. If you are truly concerned for the welfare of the LDS people, then I respectfully request that you please find another way of expressing your concern.

    In my request, Linda, I do not mean to single you out personally, you just happened to be the last person to comment and I was struck by the language in what was the last entry I read. My comments are really directed to everyone on both sides of the discussion.

    May God be with each one of us in the search for truth.

  50. Amanda says:

    Martin, sorry so long…

    I’m sorry I wasn’t able to get to your last post…I was gone for the better part of the weekend. I appreciated your change of tone-with this change of pace, I believe in the future, we will have more meaningful exchanges.

    “…actually, I’m pointing out what seems obvious to me. If I claimed to be a prophet, would it make you more or less inclined to listen to me?…”

    I would have to inquire of the Lord whether that was true or not. But once that witness has been acquired–no doubt I would trust the mantle of a prophet. Not without that witness, though.

    I said in previous post,

    “Jesus commanded that all must be baptized in order to receive eternal life (John 3: 3-5).. and this baptism is done through priesthood AUTHORITY by the laying on of hands (Acts 8:17-20)”

    You responded, “…so there is more than one mediator between God and man (1 Tim 2:5) ?…”

    You misunderstand that these two realities do not contradict each other. Just like my searching for a PERSONAL witness of whether the prophet is what he says he is–doesn’t mean that when I receive that witness that he IS a prophet–that he no longer has a purpose simply because I have a personal relationship with God. The prophet’s authority (if a true prophet) does not contend with the authority of God because it IS God’s authority–so our personal revelations will not contradict the direction of a prophet.

    When you accept that the prophet is acting in the name of Christ (priesthood)–you have no problem accepting that what a true prophet says is authoritative for your own life. And the converse is also true, that the authority I have to direct my own personal life through prayer and personal revelation–will also sustain the veracity of a living prophet! But the mistake seems to be assuming that anyone claiming to be a prophet is a false prophet–instead of at least intellectually accepting that the theoretical existence of a prophet (much like OT times) does not negate a personal relationship with God.

    ” I don’t claim any more authority than the authority afforded to me by you or anyone else…Amanda, I don’t know you personally… My concern is that the picture of Jesus that LDS paint is mostly fictitious, but that’s a concern I have for any christianism, including my own…”

    I can respect this approach, Martin because I relate entirely to what you are saying. However, when you refuse to refer to us as Christians, you are in effect claiming authority to make personal determinations for me. It seems as if you would have your cake and eat it too…You are willing to say that the LDS religion is a ‘false Christ’ ‘ and that the BoM is the work of the devil–yet also acknowledge that you cannot claim that I am not Christian. This is directly contradictory because the differences between Satan and Christ are substantively clear (sin vs. righteousness, darkness vs. light).

    I garner my faith from the restored gospel! I accept ALL OF IT! Because ALL of it is the fullness of the doctrine of Christ. So, if you fully reject the restored gospel–then you HAVE to reject my testimony as in DIRECT opposition to yours (much like Satan is in direct opposition to Christ). Rejections of the ‘restored’ truths can be logically sound–but not the argument that we believe in a ‘false Christ’–or a ‘different Jesus’ or that Joseph Smith was doing the devil’s bidding. If you still feel you are able to make those statements–then you cannot make them without easily claiming that I have no relationship with Christ!

    In my opinion, this website really fosters a contentious atmosphere because it is not Christ-centered–it is ‘LDS are not Christian-centered’. That is problematic.

    “… I thought it would have been apparent that I studiously avoid questions along the lines of “is Amanda a Christian?” It doesn’t diminish my concern that the LDS movement diverts people who want to follow Jesus into something other than what he intended…

    So really, you are just UNWILLING to state what you personally believe about my standing with God–but you obviously have an opinion. If not, then there are blatant contradictions within this statement. I am LDS, and I faithfully attend every Sunday with a humble heart anxious to learn…and I do. Every week I feel the spirit of God–and know what I am being taught is true. I have also felt a direct witness that Joseph Smith WAS a prophet of God! AND I feel closer to my Savior. If LDS ‘movement’ diverts people AWAY from Christ–how do you explain this phenomenon that is not only true of my experience but millions of others?! If you fully reject the ‘movement’–then you HAVE to reject the faith of millions upon millions of people who believe in Christ BECAUSE OF this ‘movement’!!

    “You obviously feel that you need to defend your church, but where do your ultimate allegiances lie? Would it not be more appropriate to defend the Christ of the Bible, to whom your church claims to answer?”

    There you go again, questioning my allegiances! First of all, of COURSE I defend the Christ of the Bible! When have I said otherwise? What you really mean is ‘why do I not accept YOUR interpretations of the bible’? Which brings me full circle about authority. You reject the authority of a living prophet while simultaneously claim that you have authority to interpret scripture for me!

    “If I can re-phrase my last question…”How much reliance do you put on your church to sustain your relationship with God?…I guess my alarm bells start to ring when the answer is “all” or “mostly” because it would signal to me that your faith is somewhere other than in Christ himself.”

    The paradigm under which I am functioning is that Christ’s gospel has been restored. So your question reads like THIS to me, “How much reliance do you put on Christ to sustain your relationship with God?” And the answer is that I FULLY trust Christ.

    “I suppose we can test this by asking how your relationship with God would be if you were cut off from the church?”

    That reads like this to me, “How would your relationship with God be if you were cut off from Christ?” I would be cut off from Christ for my own personal decisions…and I am ALWAYS able to repent and return to Him.

    “I’m not disputing the importance of the Church, by the way. But its our faith in Christ that gives legitimacy to our claim on the Church; its, not our membership of the Church that gives legitimacy to our claim on Christ.”

    True. It is important to understand your statement in the context of baptism. Those who are baptized in HIS NAME…are members of HIS church. So the church is a function of organizing His sheep and directing them through His name by HIS priesthood with denotes authority to act in His name.

    “If you think about it, we’re back to that old faith-works thing. ”

    My faith in Christ relies SOLELY on my willingness to act by submitting my will to His. Christ was the perfect example when His will in the garden of Gethsemane was to let the cup pass from Him–yet He said, ‘not my will, but thine (God the Father)’. Having faith in Christ is necessary to live with God again. We submit our will to Christ as a token of our faith–much like He submitted His will to the Father. Christ has mandated baptism in His name. Faith is walking the talk. Until you are willing to walk the talk, you have no faith. So how does one walk the talk when it comes to Christ–first principle of faith is BAPTISM! 🙂 So when you suggest one must only have faith in Christ in order to be saved–you understand that one must be baptized in order to be saved because that is what Christ has asked. The same is true of the fullness of Christs’ purposes regarding submitting our will to His through works, baptism, endowment, and sealings. baptism is only part of His purposes–the rest was restored in this dispensation.

    “…so, if the Jesus of the Bible is the true temple (see Rev 22 etc), why do LDS need to build their temples all over the place?”

    Because the Lord asked us to! THAT is the purpose of our temples- acting in faith.

Leave a Reply