Source of Truth

The African Ex-Mormon Foundation recently published an article in The Inquirer Online newspaper (Liberia, West Africa). Seeking to address the question, “Is Mormonism The Same As Biblical Christianity?,” the article forms an interesting argument:

“The most important issue with any religion is ‘Is it the true religion?’ How can we determine that? By investigating, studying and comparing the foundation and core issues of each faith. Here are three foundational keys to all religions. This foundation actually forms the backbone of any faith that makes each one distinctly different. They are as follows:

  • “Key #1 Source of Truth
  • “Key #2 Who is God?
  • “Key #3 How are you saved?”

The author notes that number one above, the source of truth, is the most important key to understanding the different faiths. That’s because the source of truth determines any given faith’s understanding of both the nature of God and the way to be reconciled to Him.

Biblical Christianity accepts the written Word of God, the Bible, as its sole source of spiritual truth and authority. Developing the answers to “Who is God?” and “How are you saved?” from this source of truth provides a firm and comprehensive faith system that has flourished to the glory of God for over two thousand years.

Mormonism is built on a different source of truth. Accepting the Bible as a book containing the word of God, but problematic and insufficient as the sole source of truth, Mormonism turns to additional books, and men regarded as living prophets, to find the answers to “Who is God?” and “How are you saved?” Consequently, the developed faith system of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints “differs drastically” from biblical Christianity.

Mormonism suggests that by accepting such a wide source of truth it is able to do away with doctrinal confusion, but that has not actually been the case. In the relatively brief period of the LDS Church’s existence (since 1830) many important teachings of Mormonism’s living prophets have come and gone, deemed imperative to true faith one day, false and irrelevant the next.

Biblical Christianity’s perspective on the prophetic office in the latter-days (as promoted in Mormonism) is found in the book of Hebrews. Ken Jones explains,

“What is expressed in Hebrews 1:1-4 is illustrated in the gospel accounts of Jesus’ public ministry. He is superior to the prophets of old in His position of preeminence, His person, and His prophetic utterances. But the writer of Hebrews is not just making the point that Jesus is qualitatively superior to the prophets of old. There is also an eschatological dimension to be considered. The former days consisted of types, shadows, and promises that pointed to the coming prophet-priest-king of a new covenant. The death, burial, resurrection, and ascension of Christ have brought an end to those elements, practices, and offices that pointed to Him. This includes the prophetic office. Jesus’ death on the cross has brought animal sacrifices to a close, and His high priestly functions have abrogated the need for human high priests. Likewise, as the consummate prophet of God, Jesus has brought an end to the need of lesser prophets as the means of divine revelation.

“The finished work of Christ and the completion of the canon of Scripture have brought an end to the office of prophet in the Old Testament sense of the term.” (Ken Jones, “God Speaks Through His Son,” Tabletalk, Volume 34, Number 2, February 2010, page 53)

Mr. Jones concludes,

“In short, there is no new revelation apart from Christ. He is the prophet that has come as the fulfillment of the long awaited promise [Deuteronomy 18:15-18]. As the Son of God, Jesus not only declared the Word of God but manifested God to us as the Word of God in the flesh. What more do we need than what God has declared and manifested through His Son?”

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.
This entry was posted in Authority and Doctrine, Christianity, Mormon Scripture, Salvation, Truth, Honesty, Prayer, and Inquiry. Bookmark the permalink.

21 Responses to Source of Truth

  1. falcon says:

    Excellent article Sharon!
    Without the Bible as the definitive source of truth, anyone with a religious idea to sell and the persuasive ability to do it, can lead a merry ban of men and women in any direction he/she wills to take them. But it’s not only seeing the Bible as the source of truth for our faith that’s important. Also important is having a tried and true test for Biblical interpretation and exegesis.
    Claiming to be a “prophet” with a message from God that makes people “feel” good is a prime manipulative tactic. Once a person accepts something emotionally, they will fight like crazy to maintain and defend that belief. Of course ignorance is a prime enemy of truth. Aberrant and heretical religious movements are born in ignorance and nourished by it. Mormons have a very poor understanding of the history of the Christian Church, the writings of the Church fathers and even a poor knowledge of the history of their own religion.
    However, once a crack in the personal testimony of a Mormon appears, the truth trickles and then floods through.

    John 6:44

  2. falcon says:

    One of the first things I learned about Mormonism is that truth (in Mormonism)is an elusive thing. I believe it was Walter Martin who labeled Mormonism a “maze”. I read the article cited above and it identifies three separate doctrines regarding the nature of God that have been promoted in Mormonism. This is what happens when folks think they are receiving progressive revelation from “a god”. What we have basically, in Mormonism, is truth as a moving target. Their past president and prophet even denied the Mormon concept of men becoming gods on national television.
    Joseph Smith himself was a stranger to the truth. In fact deceit is a foundational feature of Mormonism. Keeping the truth about what Mormonism believes from prospects is a basic tactic employed by the Mormon missionaries.
    Of course which sect of Mormonism has the truth is also a subject open to debate within Mormon circles.

  3. Enki says:

    I am not sure that LDS missionaries keep LDS belief away from prospects. I would say that its veiled, and presented very, very subtly.

  4. falcon says:

    I fail to see the difference. When I was a student in Catholic school way back when, we were taught about sins of commission and sins of omission. Commission are those things we do that are sin and omission are those things we fail to do that are sin. When a prospect is not given a “full disclosure” regarding the most fundamental aspect of a religion (Who is God?), that’s dishonest and is a sin. I’ve read and heard of way too many incidences of people joining the Mormon church and not knowing the entire story, especially men becoming gods.
    The Mormon church also publishes pictures of Joseph Smith hunched over the golden plates, guill pen in hand, “translating” the document. The reality is, he put his magic rock in his hat, shoved his face down in it, and wholla like magic, words appear. It’s the Mormon church deliberately with holding information because it’s embarrassing and as ridiculous as it sounds.
    The Mormon church has earned a reputation for being dishonest because they are.

  5. MJP says:

    I like this line: “Likewise, as the consummate prophet of God, Jesus has brought an end to the need of lesser prophets as the means of divine revelation.”

    And that is found in the Bible, indeed.

    The Bible is also the beathed word of God, ie God’s breath.

    If it is God’s breath, it is not likely to get too corrupted (why would God allow his word to be corrupted as Mormons claim?)

    If it is not corrupted, and it is from God, it should be trusted.

  6. Free says:

    Falcon…in regards to your post to Enki….

    I dare say I don’t think the young mormon missionaries even know about all the hidden twists and turns in mormonism. Do you really think the instructors at the MTC go over that with these youngsters? No way…it would get way too complicated.

    The general rule of thumb (“can’t do too much damage with that now can we?” – Boondock Saints) is




    These kids are so young they’re having a hard time just learning to use an oven to cook up some corndogs and some frenchfries…they don’t know about all that hidden crap.

  7. falcon says:

    Good point. Andy Watson was telling me yesterday that he has noted a trend in the last 18 months that Mormon missionaries aren’t engaging prospects in discussions if they (missionaries)are asked specific questions. In-other-words it appears that missionaries are looking for “soft” targets rather than interacting with people who have some knowledge of Mormonism. I suppose this tactic serves two purposes. One, to qualify prospects and two, to insulate the boy missionaries from hearing the truth about Mormonism.
    The Mormon church has probably awoken to the idea that something must be wrong if 50% of returning missionaries eventually go inactive.

  8. Bill Cadwell says:

    Christianity is a realtion with Christ, Not a religion. The relationship begins when you accept Christ as your Savior.

  9. Rick B says:

    Free, You get bonus points from me for (“can’t do too much damage with that now can we?” – Boondock Saints). Thats was great. Rick b

  10. setfree says:

    Nice to meet you Bill. Hope you’ll stick around and comment some more 🙂

    Mormon missionaries (sorry, read the post days ago, and now just going off the comments) going for “soft” targets — serves another purpose, I think, falcon. Keeps them keeping their numbers up. I mean, I think the missionaries themselves help the church insulate them from hearing the truth and finding prospects who’ll be duped — because ultimately, they are expected AND WANT TO PROVE THEIR ABILITY by keeping the baptisms coming.

    Don’t forget that the average Mormon missionary knows/cares next to nothing about the religion until they get the crash course at the MTC and go out to prove their temple/missionary worthiness. That’s not a starting point that gets them looking for people who know anything. What would they do in that situation? Look stupid. Look unworthy. Look like they were trying to invite the evil one into their mind. lol. sorry. It’s just so sad

  11. Janet says:


  12. grindael says:

    The Mormon source of truth: PERFECT KNOWLDEGE OR JUST A GOOD FEELING?

    Is Perfect Knowledge FAITH?

    ”And now as I said concerning faith—faith is not to have a perfect knowledge of things; therefore if ye have faith ye hope for things which are not seen, which are true.” –Alma 32:21

    According to Smith’s character Alma, it is not. So, what could PERFECT KNOWLDEGE BE THEN? And how can Mormon’s honestly say they KNOW the BOM is true?

    Is it TESTIMONY? Mormon Leadership would have you think so. Here is Boyd Packer sharing his ‘testimony’:

    “I know by experience too sacred to touch upon that God lives, that Jesus is the Christ, that the gift of the Holy Ghost conferred upon us at our confirmation is a divine gift. The Book of Mormon is true! This is the Lord’s Church! Jesus is the Christ! There presides over us a prophet of God! The day of miracles has not ceased, neither have angels ceased to appear and minister unto man! The spiritual gifts are with the Church. Choice among them is the gift of the Holy Ghost!” –New Era, Jan 2007

    Where are any modern accounts of angels appearing to the Mormon leadership today? Again, a strange silence. In fact the ONLY spiritual gift the church claims is the gift of the Holy Ghost as a good feeling. Packer then relates an account of how he ‘never doubted’ the church was true and had to struggle to get up and ‘testify’ he KNEW that it was. Here is his ‘campfire’ experience:

    “I finally decided that I would bear my testimony, and as I did a warm feeling came over me so much so that I felt a burning in my bosom. I had a fire inside my heart.” (source above)

    He was by a campfire at the time… perhaps…he got too close? Packer relates an experience of ‘getting a revelation’ & ‘stumping’ someone on a plane, buy asking them to describe salt. The (arrogant & derisive) man could not, so Packer said this is the same as trying to describe a ‘testimony’.

  13. grindael says:

    Packer’s stellar reasoning: it is not necessarily NOT TRUE because you can’t describe it. (notice you have to use double negatives to describe this)

    Gee, what a difference when you read what Paul said about his SACRED experience before Agrippa:

    “I was going to Damascus with the authority and commission of the chief priests.About noon, O king, as I was on the road, I saw a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, blazing around me and my companions. We all fell to the ground, and I heard a voice saying to me in Aramaic, ‘Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.’ “Then I asked, ‘Who are you, Lord?’ ” ‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,’ the Lord replied. ‘Now get up and stand on your feet. I have appeared to you to appoint you as a servant and as a witness of what you have seen of me and what I will show you. I will rescue you from your own people and from the Gentiles. I am sending you to them to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.’ “So then, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the vision from heaven. First to those in Damascus, then to those in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and to the Gentiles also, I preached that they should repent and turn to God and prove their repentance by their deeds. That is why the Jews seized me in the temple courts and tried to kill me. But I have had God’s help to this very day, and so I stand here and testify to small and great alike. I am saying nothing beyond what the prophets and Moses said would happen — that the Christ would suffer and, as the first to rise from the dead, would proclaim light to his own people and to the Gentiles.” – Acts 26:12-23

    Before the world, Paul BOLDLY declares he has SEEN JESUS. THIS IS WHAT TRUE APOSTLES DO. Would this be ‘PERFECT KNOWLDEGE?”

  14. grindael says:

    Look at the rest of Paul’s life and you decide. This seems to be the trend with Mormon GA’s now, everything’s TOO SACRED or it’s ONLY GOOD FEELINGS. What is ‘so sacred’ that Packer can’t relate it? What is telling is that Packer boldly affirms:

    “You cannot force spiritual things. Such words as compel, coerce, constrain, pressure, and demand do not describe our privileges with the Spirit. “ (source above)

    But how does Packer say you should ‘gain’ your testimony? Packer again:

    “Oh, if I could teach you this one principle: a testimony is to be found in the bearing of it!”

    Isn’t Packer here pressuring Mormons to ‘bear their testimony to find it?’ Of course, he says if you bear it, THEN the Holy Ghost will confirm what you said was TRUE because you will ‘feel good’. But how can you stand up and say I KNOW Joseph Smith is a Prophet, when you do not really KNOW? It would be like saying” I know there are space aliens” and then it HAS TO BE true because you bore your testimony that is was & got a good feeling afterwards. Watch the History Channel and see the many who do believe it. They also say they KNOW Roswell happened. Does it make it TRUE? Did the experience give you PERFECT KNOWLEDGE that it was? Another interesting ‘pressure’ added by the church is this:

    “For a testimony of the restored gospel to be complete, it MUST include a testimony of Joseph Smith’s divine mission. The truthfulness of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints rests on the truthfulness of the First Vision and the other revelations the Lord gave to the Prophet Joseph. President John Taylor, the third President of the Church, wrote, “Joseph Smith, the Prophet and Seer of the Lord, has done more, save Jesus only, for the salvation of men in this world, than any other man that ever lived in it” (D&C 135:3).

  15. grindael says:

    So it all goes back to Smith. But is Smith like others who claimed to be prophets? Here is an excerpt from the 1994 book by Martin Weber: Who’s Got the Truth?

    Yesterday morning I spoke with the sister of David Koresh’s top lieutenant and most trusted associate. She described how her brother, while yet an Adventist, spent hours in his bedroom reading about the life of Christ. She remembers his as loyal to the church and loving his family – qualities that the Davidians manipulated. She recalls how Koresh and his crew preyed upon his fear of offending God by bombarding him with quote after quote from Ellen White & text after Bible text. With powerful spiritual persuasion they lured him to their lair in Waco, Texas. You know the rest of the story.

    What was DK’s secret of success in entrapping Adventists? His basic approach was that our church had become lukewarm and desperately needed a reform message from the Lord. He implied that the Bible wasn’t enough to accomplish this; what was needed was a straight testimony of a modern prophet. Ellen White admirably served that role in her time, he acknowledged respectfully – even glowingly. But she was dead and gone. With eyebrows raised in concern he inquired: Who was filling that indispensable prophetic role today? Who would guide the remnant through the perils of Armageddon?

    During hour after hour of high-octane brainwashing, his answer became obvious. God’s final prophet was none other than David Koresh.

    …The deceptive strategy of David Koresh [in]… targeting Adventists, [was that] he won their assent that the Bible was important but not good enough; it needed interpretation from a modern prophet.

  16. grindael says:

    His conclusion?

    ‘Our ONLY SAFEGUARD against another Waco is restoring the Bible to its proper place. Testing times are coming; of that we may be sure. David Koresh is dead and gone, but more like him are waiting in the wings.”

    Here we see Koresh using the classic cult formula. The Bible is not good enough. Former prophets were not enough and the Church needs a ‘reform message’. Hour after hour of brainwashing [like missionary lessons] then FOLLOW THE NEW PROPHET, & rely on a man, NOT on the Bible & Jesus as sole Authority for Doctrine. I’m sure Koresh’s followers claimed they had the Holy Spirit, just like Mormons do. They probably had ‘good feelings’ to boot, even when he was molesting underage girls & committing adultery like Smith did.

    Mormons use the BOM like Koresh used the writings of Ellen White to lure people in with the ‘milk’ before giving them the ‘meat’. But the BOM fails it’s test BEFORE BEING READ BECAUSE SMITH FAILS THE TEST OF A PROPHET. How many would join the church if they knew IN ADVANCE about peep-stones, money-digging, adultery, adam-god, the mormon god progressing in knowledge, their racist doctrines, the lying & failed prophecies & you can only believe the BOM without any historical evidence? How many missionaries LIE that the ruins in Central America are evidence of the BOM?

    So what is Mormon PERFECT KNOWLEDGE? Smith says this:

    “Search the scriptures – search the revelations which we publish, and ask your Heavenly Father, in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, to manifest the truth unto you, and if you do it with an eye single to His glory nothing doubting, He will answer you by the power of His Holy Spirit. You will then know for yourselves and not for another. You will not then be dependant on man for the knowledge; nor will there be any room for speculation. No; for when men receive their instructions from Him that made them, they know how He will save them.” (T.P.J.S. p. 11-12)

  17. grindael says:

    Whoops! It’s that SAME FORMULA again. Ok, well – lets keep searching and see what we can find. How about Smith’s ‘revelations? Perhaps THEY can tell us how to get ‘perfect knowledge’. Here is one I found in the D&C:

    “And this greater priesthood administereth the gospel and holdeth the key of the mysteries of the kingdom, even the key of the knowledge of God.” (D&C 84:19)

    Ahhh, so you need the Priesthood to get the ‘key of the knowledge of God! But, but…how do I get the priesthood if I don’t know the church is true? Snap. Well, back to the beginning again. How about Smith again, he said A LOT about knowledge, like this:

    “A man is saved no faster than he gains knowledge, for if he does not gain knowledge, he will be brought into captivity by some evil power in the other world, as evil spirits will have more knowledge, and consequently more power than many men who are on the earth.” (TPJS p. 217)

    OH MY! Evil powers! This sounds like David Koresh and his preying on my fears! But we all know what happened when men followed him. I know! I know! I’ll read ALL the Books on Mormonism and become LEARNED and KNOWLEDGEABLE and then the evidence will show it all is TRUE!… But Dallin Oaks tells us that will not work for the Book of Mormon:

    “In fact, it is our position that secular evidence can neither prove nor disprove the authenticity of the Book of Mormon. Its authenticity depends, as it says, on a witness of the Holy Spirit.” –Historicity of the BOM, Provo, Utah 1993

    What is ‘scholarly or what he calls secular evidence’? Knowledge. Dang. So without THE FORMULA, I can’t know the BOM is a true historical book? A HISTORICAL record with no historical proof? So what is perfect knowledge then, and how do you get it? Well, Smith’s character Moroni says:

  18. grindael says:

    “For behold, the Spirit of Christ is given to every man, that he may know good from evil; wherefore, I show unto you the way to judge; for every thing which inviteth to do good, and to persuade to believe in Christ, is sent forth by the power and gift of Christ; wherefore ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of God.”

    Maybe I found it. The Spirit of Christ! But, but it says it is given to EVERY MAN. So I already HAVE perfect knowledge? Then how come I don’t know? But David Koresh told us HE KNEW he was a prophet, didn’t he? Didn’t he have the spirit of Christ? The BOM says he did, so how do I know? Maybe some other revelations from Smith can tell me:

    ”The Light of Christ “proceedeth forth from the presence of God to fill the immensity of space.” It is “the light which is in all things, which giveth life to all things, which is the law by which all things are governed” (D&C 88:12)

    But how does this apply to me? Ok, here we go. The Official Mormon website tells me: “One manifestation of the Light of Christ is what we call a conscience.”

    My Conscience? My conscience is PERFECT TRUTH? So all those Fundamentalist Mormons who still believe in polygamy and practice it because their consciences tell them so, they do it by PERFECT KNOWLDEGE? How about David Whitmer who believed in the BOM but said Smith became a false prophet? Was his ‘conscience’ wrong too? Yikes, this sure is a big maze I seem to be in.

    Daniel K. Judd in the Liahona, tells us:

    “Many of the world’s great leaders, scientists, artists, and philosophers have been blessed by the influence of the Light of Christ. In 1978 the First Presidency stated that great religious leaders “such as Mohammed, Confucius, and the Reformers, as well as the philosophers including Socrates, Plato, and others, received a portion of God’s light … to enlighten whole nations.” –May 2001

  19. grindael says:

    But what about all those who truly, sincerely believe in Christ already? Are their consciences wrong? Don’t they have PERFECT KNOWLEDGE because they believe in Jesus? Then what do they need the BOM for? My conscience tells me that blood oaths in the temple vowing to ‘avenge the blood of the prophets’ is WRONG. So why should I join a church that endorsed it? It is DIRECTLY against the teachings of Jesus. Is my ‘conscience’ wrong about this? Well, we have a great example of exactly what to do in the Bible”

    “Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.”

    If we examine most of Smith’s ‘revelations’ why are they not in the Bible? How do we reconcile this with not being scholarly? Once again, Mormons want men to accept the BOM on feelings, not evidence. Is this rational? How about examining the man who wrote the BOM? Well, that’s a topic for another time now, isn’t it? But perfect knowledge? Seems all Mormon perfect knowledge is, is circular reasoning that makes little sense. The Bible tells us all we need to do is have faith & BELIEVE in Jesus & accept Him as our Saviour, repent and live like HIM. The Mormon criteria reminds me of this story:

    “Once there was a stage magician and hypnotist, who used slight of hand and suggestion to perform fantastic illusions. One could almost believe that he had found the Alchemists stone, as his act was so good. Then one day, when out riding with his agent, their car had a flat tire and the spare was flat as well.

    The agent turned to the magician and said, “why don’t you use your powers, and fix the tire.”

    The magician replied, “There is only one problem. You see, I can hypnotize you into believing the tire isn’t flat, I can hypnotize myself into believing that the tire isn’t flat. But the problem is I can’t hypnotize the tire into believing it is not flat.

  20. grindael says:

    One correction on the above. It should be the only spiritual gift in operation in the Mormon Church today is their ‘gift of the holy ghost’, because they do claim more, but they are strangely not evident.

  21. Mike R says:

    That was a interesting post. It’s amazing that
    there’s such a clear thread that is common to
    these latter-days prophets we see today who are
    all vying for people’s attention, namely, God
    has restored His truths through them.

    You cited David Koresh. I’m reminded how another
    church/organization also has this authoratative
    claim.Ruling over the lives of several million
    sincere Jehovah’s witnesses, the Governing Body
    of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, claims
    to be the sole mouthpiece of Jehovah on earth
    today, as His prophet, they alone dispense the
    truth of the scriptures.The second president of
    JW’s even used the word, “restored” to refer how
    God picked the founder of the Watchtower organiza-
    tion to restore the fundamental truths of God,
    long hidden, to mankind.

    Like other modern day prophets, leaders of this
    church/organization convientently had their own
    version of “line upon line”, only they call it
    “new light”(Prov.4:18).Predictably, they soon
    had to “adjust” or dispose of the truths that
    their first president “restored”. After all,
    they were hearing from God on a regular basis
    concerning His unfolding plan for mankind.


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