I Agree With Moroni 8:18 — Do Mormons?

Today is the first “I Agree With Moroni 8:18” day. Afterward it will be every August 18th.

If you’d like to participate, you can simply put on your Facebook wall today (the 18th), “I agree with Moroni 8:18”, or some variation.


“The only way to reconcile the 1844 Joseph Smith with the 1830 Joseph Smith is if the definition of ‘unchangeable’ has changed.” (Keith Walker)

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28 Responses to I Agree With Moroni 8:18 — Do Mormons?

  1. Dale says:

    This is such an important message and gets to the heart of why I couldn't be a Mormon. They ask you to read the Book of Mormon and pray about if it''s true, but much of what they believe doesn't agree with their own scripture.

    There are equal problems when it comes to the Godhead. The Book of Mormon doesn't teach that either. In fact, it refutes that particular doctrine in numerous places. (See Ether and Mosiah 15)

    How can they believe things their own scriptures clearly contradict? Whether the Book of Mormon is divinely inspired or a fraud, either way, they aren't following what it teaches despite their constant position that it contains "the fullness of the gospel."

  2. falcon says:

    Mormons have it all covered; they simply say that "progressive revelation" brought them to their current "truth" regarding the nature of God. So in Mormonism, using this approach, anything can change at any time. Mormons don't see the irony of a God who reveals Himself as eternal and everlasting in the Bible and confirmed by Joseph Smith when he wrote the BoM and then (God) changed His mind and His revelation.
    It's easier for Mormons to accept this inconsistency than it is for them to come to the conclusion that Joseph Smith was not only a little confused but really a false prophet. The only thing that I can figure out is that Joseph Smith's magic seer stone must have gotten a little cloudy as the years went by and the messages he received suffered for it.

  3. Violet says:

    My mom and my sister both lie. Not to boast, or to benefit themselves, but to avoid conflict. When I was little, after a trip to the grocery store, 'Mom? Where are the Hostess Ding Dongs?' 'That cashier lady. . . She must have taken them.' No conflict. I was mad at the cashier lady, not my mom. I believed every lie. And I know somehow, she was trying to protect me. Mormons change the story, history, doctrine, theology, (polygamy), and it is changing constantly, to avoid conflict and protect (the innocent.)
    I also know if I ever have a moral conflict, or disagreement on principle, with my beautiful, rich, successful sister, my mom looks at me with sorrowful eyes thinking, I must be jealous. All conflict ends with, I am jealous. The same with mormons. When all arguments fail, they look at us with sorrowful eyes knowing we are jealous that we do not have 'the fullness of the gospel', or 'I know the truth in my heart and no one can shake it from me.'
    Everlasting God to Everlasting God becomes, the King Follet Discourse and then all the religion must build upon that and that is where things get sticky, story upon story, prophet come in handy to give them the 'new truth'.
    That is why I like the Bible. It is unchanging, no one has to change anything and it is the Truth. I believe when a person lies, that is cowardly. Bravery is standing with the Truth, the biblical truth. I believe mormons believe they are being brave and loving when they stick to lies, avoiding conflict of debate and evidence.
    My mom and sister still tell fibs. Mormons do too. When my neighbor's child told my child on a walk (tapoles, temples, churches. . 'All other churches are Satan.') She said, 'We don't teach our children that.' But someone taught her child that (maybe a nursery teacher at her ward). But instead of having the conversation, she said, 'We don't teach our children that and was mad at me for thinking that.' (I could not have imagined a child would say that in a zillion years.) There is no discussion. Why don't you keep the sabbath? I give her my Luther's small cathechism, and say, 'We rest is Jesus.' And I get the sorrowful eyes, that I am taking the 'low road', and of course, lazy way out, with pity on me.

  4. falcon says:

    It must be remembered that while the nature of God was the most significant change in Joseph Smith's ever evolving theology, he also "progressed" when it came to marital relations. He went from one wife to at least thirty-three and the fact that some of the women were already married to other men, didn't really interfere with his progress.
    This is the problem with people who buy into any form of new revelation, especially that of a progressive nature. They have no solid foundation. They just flit from idea to idea grasping onto whatever happens to float through their minds at any given instant. And then they bless their ideas with the notion that God told them thus-and-such.
    It's easy to blame the false prophets, and they do deserve to have shame heaped on them, however the problem is that people don't have the confidence to shut these guys down. Some of Smith's early followers did question him and leave the group, but the problem comes with those who wouldn't hold him accountable. It's no different today in the Mormon church but thankfully the sect is bleeding members and my guess that those leaving far out reach those who are staying.

  5. falcon says:

    Very good observations regarding communication. The things you mentioned are handled extensively in the book I've referenced here several times: "The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse". The dysfunctional communication tactics have names attached to them like "the no talk rule". This is related to the idea that if someone brings up a problem, they become the problem (for bringing up the problem). It's all crooked communication. So in Mormonism if someone makes an unflattering, but accurate, observation about the culture, doctrine, or history of the sect, that person becomes the problem.
    One of the favorite tactics of Mormons is that instead of answering the criticism, they'll try to find an equivalent in the Bible. They're stuck, however, when it comes to the nature of God. Try as they do to pull some scripture out of context to "prove" the multiplicity of gods, the only people they convince are those who are similarly inclined.
    The Bible is clear regarding the nature of God. Early Mormonism supported the orthodox Christian view. There is no support for the restored gospel and Smith's changed view on the nature of God accept that Mormons want to assign prophet status to Smith. In their minds, if Smith's right then the Bible is wrong.
    Without the crooked communication and faulty twisted logic, Mormonism doesn't work.

  6. Matt says:

    Kudos on the social network activism, Aaron. I couldn't resist it myself — and I believe much less.

    It's interesting that Mormonism did this tangent early on and now struggles with it so much. They want to be unique and then they do not. Fascinating social phenomenon of our time.

  7. I just added Keith Walker's video and quote to the post:

    “The only way to reconcile the 1844 Joseph Smith with the 1830 Joseph Smith is if the definition of ‘unchangeable’ has changed.” (Keith Walker)

  8. f_melo says:

    The irony coming from a religion that claims that the Bible isn´t trustworthy because it has been "translated so many times".

  9. falcon says:

    Even if Mormons try to claim that Joseph Smith only had a part of the revelation in 1830 they've got trouble. What we see in 1830 is not "a part" but something entirely different to what he was propagating in 1844. The 1830 revelation can't be massaged in such a way as to get to the 1844 point-of-view on the nature of God. The Community of Christ Mormon sect stuck with the original "revelation". When Joseph Smith dumped his Book of Commandments and went with the new and improved Doctrine and Covenants, he also lost a bunch of folks and I believe they are now known as the Temple Lot group. This group didn't like how Joseph Smith was dealing with the authority structure within the Mormon church.
    In the end, Salt Lake City Mormonism amounts to little more than a personality cult. The personality is Joseph Smith. He's not nearly the big daddy in many of the Mormon sects as he is in the LDS fold.

  10. Verne Brown says:

    LOL Aaron, going WAY beyond whatever the meaning of "is" is.

  11. falcon says:

    So here's a thought and I'd like someone to give me an answer on this.
    Let me talk like a "reformed Mormon", a term I just made up.
    So I'm a reformed Mormon and I buy into Moroni's challenge or whatever it is, promise (?). I don't know.
    Well what is that challenge all about any way? Isn't it that a person's suppose to pray to get a sign that the BoM is true?
    OK so someone prays, get's the shakes, tingles, chills whatever and they think, "Eureka, the BoM is true." So doesn't that Moroni challenge just cover the BoM revelation. And doesn't that revelation give a whole different witness as to who God is as opposed to current SLC LDS teaching. So wouldn't any type of subsequent revelation not be covered by the Moroni challenge? The challenge covers the BoM from what I've been told.
    There's no escape clause here.

  12. wyomingwilly says:

    falcon, what you say is true, however the Missionaries use a very subtle reasoning as they try and sell
    the truth of " Mormonism " to a convert. It's been called , " the domino effect " [ I don't remember where
    I first heard it ] . Once the investigator is sold on the BM being of God, then he is told that since God
    used a prophet to bring forth the BM and restore the true Church, then what this Church teaches is
    the truth. So then the investigator is taught what the Church says . This really is'nt a valid argumenent.
    Even some of those who served in leadership under Joseph Smith came to testify that he had changed
    important doctrines which they said was wrong to do, yet they retained their testimony in the BM. In other
    words they felt he was a fallen prophet, but they still believed in the BM.

  13. falcon says:

    Well I guess what I would say is that as far as I know, the BoM doesn't establish a church or even a prophet for that matter. Joseph Smith used a magic rock to translate and produce the BoM, so we are told, so it really didn't have anything to do with him but had more to do with his rock. So I don't think that the missionaries can make the leap that the Mormon church is true etc. There's nothing in the BoM about Free Masonry rituals or magic underwear or polygamy (which the BoM condemns) and any of the other conventions of SLC Mormonism.
    Moroni's challenge says it's all about whether or not the BoM is true, period. So in regard to this thread, it's pretty clear what the BoM teaches about the nature of God. So any "doctrine" that emerges from the BoM, isn't consistent with SLC Mormonism.
    I remember Sandra Tanner saying that her and Gerald finally got it down to that they'd just go by the BoM (because they uncovered the truth about Joseph Smith). Eventually, of course, they got into the BoM and that fell a part also. It takes a while but as Mormons begin to question Mormonism the erosion starts and over time, it washes away.

  14. wyomingwilly says:

    falcon, When you think about it the BM is the perfect "bait" to offer to someone who is investigating
    the Mormon Church. Since the BM contains so many verses right out of the Bible it becomes an
    easier route to persuade someone that the Church is true rather than using the D&C or PGP.
    Moroni 8:18 is true. That sounds a lot better than trying to explain to an investigator about Gods
    and Goddesses, and how a man can be worshiped as a Almighty God one day .


  15. falcon says:

    What you are describing is "incremental-ism" or the "camel's nose under the tent" approach used in Mormonism. Taking a look at 8:18 the average Joe Doakes seeker wouldn't be offended because that verse portrays God in a very traditional orthodox Christian manner. I like what Grant Palmer says about the BoM. John Dehlin asked Grant what people are responding to when they get a warm feeling when reading the BoM. Mr. Palmer basically said that people are responding to the spirit of revivalism portrayed in the book. He also points out that the eight preachers in the BoM are characterizations of Methodist camp (preachers) of the early 19th century. These type of preachers would be very familiar to Joseph Smith.
    So Smith was pretty conventional in his doctrinal positions when he wrote the BoM but then went the way of the religious experimentation of his era. It's very interesting that off-shoot Mormon group(s) have the courage to call Smith a fallen prophet. They'll subscribe to his early "revelations" and then point to what came after the Book of Commandments (Doctrine and Covenants) on as bogus.

  16. setfreebyJC says:

    So, is there any place in the Book of Mormon, which contains the "fulness of the gospel" where it says that God was once a man?

  17. wyomingwilly says:

    falcon, we can see how important it is to take the warning by Jesus concerning false prophets
    seriously. These prophets can live moral lives, yet their teachings are inaccurate and since the
    claim is made by them that they received the teaching from God then that makes them a liar,
    since God never told them such. This is not new behavior, Jer.23:16 . In 1980 a official
    publication was placed door to door for the public to read. " WHOM CAN YOU TRUST " ? read
    a whole page article. It concerned dishonesty in all areas of society, from lawyers to clergy, to
    even Butchers who sold meat at a market. The aim of this article was in advertising an organization
    which could be trusted in spiritual matters because it was led by a modern day prophet, the only
    prophet Jehovah God uses today to lead His church. The claims of this organization was that it was
    the , " the singular channel of reliable spiritual guidance " from God to man. [ cont.]

  18. wyomingwilly says:

    cont… This exclusive authoritative claim by an organization of several million religious people
    is no different than that of the Mormon Church. It is claimed that Mormon prophets/apostles are
    the mouthpiece of God today, and thus are reliable spiritual guides: " There is at least one place
    we can turn for pure, unpolluted guidance. " [ 1998 Gen.Conf. " Come Listen to the Prophets voice ]
    Also, the source for the purest Word of God and the least apt to be polluted, " is that which comes
    from the lips of the living prophets who are set up to guide Israel in our own day and time . " [ Ensign
    11-1976 ] Yet despite these exclusive claims, doctrines implemented by these leaders after a short
    period of time are seen as what amounts to as only guesses on the part of religious men, because
    they are soon discarded . This serves as an indicator that these prophets are not getting their info
    from God. To convince their followers that they are not false prophets these men will lift a phrase from
    the Bible [ " line upon line " ] that has just enough truth in it that it can be used by these men as a excuse
    to justify their prophetic " counsel ". If that does'nt work to well then the use of fear tactics are utilized :

  19. wyomingwilly says:

    cont. the use of fear tactics to keep people submissive is used by the prophet in the first post above
    These sincere people are told to not try and pit their own understanding against the counsel of the
    prophet, to do so will bring God's anger. Likewise sincere Mormons are told : " It should be remembered
    that Lucifer has a very cunning way of convincing unsuspecting souls that the General Authorities of
    the Church are as likely to be wrong as they are right. This sort of game is Satan's favorite pastime…"
    [ Deseret News , Church section 5-26-1945 ] One Mormon Apostle said it this way , " it's time
    disbelieving people repented and got in line…" So when we see how a so-called modern day
    prophet ( J.S.) can suddenly teach that everyone before him got a vital truth about God wrong
    ( Psalms 90:2; Moroni 8:18 ) then we can see the need to take Jesus' warning seriously , Matt 7;15

  20. falcon says:

    Christians believe in a closed cannon of scripture which, of course means, there isn't any more! Mormons get all worked up about this and get all laddie dah thinking they're really special because they believe in on going revelation and an opened ended flow of scripture. They taut this as one of their special features since they believe they have a prophet who's connected to the Mormon god and is getting these super spiritual messages.
    Now the problem we see with the Mormon point-of-view is that there is no consistency to the Mormon message as far as basic fundamental doctrine is concerned. Even the doctrine of the nature of God, the most primary, basic doctrine that a religion can have, is subject to change. This is also true of the basic doctrine dealing with salvation. For several decades Mormons believed that in order to reach the highest level of their Celestial Kingdom, a man had to practice polygamy. This was fundamental to their change in doctrine regarding God; which now included many gods and man morphing to godhood. We also see the doctrine of God get slapped back and forth across the Mormon net with even a doctrine promulgated by BY that said that Adam was really God.
    All I can say is that somethings not right here, right? How can we have such divergent views on what is most fundamental in a religion? We're not talking about something like the correct mode of baptism after all. We're talking about who God is? If LDS aren't even sure who God is, what's the point of their religion?
    Feelings driven, open ended revelation and changing scripture contribute to a very murky and confusing religious faith. Mormon doctrine, it would seem, has a shelf life and the way Mormons just move on tells me that the "don't use after" label is quite applicable to their religious doctrine.

  21. wyomingwilly says:

    falcon, when one looks at the track record of Mormon General Authorities on their doctrinal teachings
    for the last 180 years what do we see ? Well , you stated it well. It becomes quite perplexing to read
    something like the following by a Mormon apostle then : " Mormonism supplies a consistent and
    positive theology…..It speaks with no uncertain sound. It utters the voice of authority….it is definite in
    it's revealments and doctrines…. Mormonism is certain and conclusive. " [ " Why I Am a Mormon ' p.2,
    5-6 . quoted in , " For any Latter-Day Saint, one investigators Unanswered Questions " p.209 ]

    That's an amazing statement by apostle Charles Penrose. I think Eph. 4:14 sums it up much better.
    The sincere, decent Mormon people are heading for a fall by following these spiritual guides, Matt 15:14

  22. Violet,

    What a fascinating observation.

    It rings true with my experiences with Mormons. I find it almost impossible to start a conversation with them about Mormonism at a meaningful level. Maybe they are genuinely not interested, can't be bothered, or they want to avoid the inevitable conflict (I try real hard to let them know that there's plenty in Mormonism that I don't like, without being confrontational just for the sake of it). Maybe they think I'm doomed and there's nothing they can do about it. So much for obeying Paul's command to "Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season…" (2 Tim 4:2).

    The confrontation-avoidance angle certainly explains a lot, as if all confrontation is evil. Where I see this leading is a place where each individual is left alone, without any confrontation of any sort, so that he or she can farm a sense of self-affirmation.

    "Self-affirmation, self-affirmation, self-affirmation. Leave us alone so we can work on our self-affirmation."

    Jesus Christ and the authors of the Bible have more than a few things to say about this kind of mind-set.

  23. Steve Redinger says:

    Mormonism uses the Islamic concept of "Taqiyy" Taqiyya is the Islamic practice of precautionary dissimulation whereby believers may conceal their Muslim faith when under threat, persecutionor compulsion. In Mormonism this practice extends even into its introductory scriptural records (the Book of Mormon).

  24. terceiro says:

    You ask in the title if Mormons agree, so I'll answer here that I'm an informed, practicing, believing Mormon and yes, I do agree with Moroni 8:18. I even agree with Mormon 9:9 (which is listed in the footnote of Moroni 8:18, so it isn't like you'd have to work very hard to find it): "For do we not read that God is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and in him there is no variableness neither shadow of changing?" And I agree with the King Follett discourse. Also with D&C 19, which is a pretty useful description of how God uses terms like "eternal" and "everlasting" and how Joseph Smith would have been equipped to interpret them in March of 1830.

    I heartily disagree with the assertion that Mormons are "in disarray and confusion" about basic doctrine. I'm not confused, though I am sometimes stymied in trying to describe basic beliefs in ways and with vocabulary which two parties with different approaches agree. I personally find comfort and faith in Lorenzo Snow's handy aphorism quoted in the video above.

    I also agree with Romans 8:17 about being a co-heir with Christ so that I may "share in his glory." I presume that I disagree with the rest of y'all on what it means to share Jesus' glory, but I presume that you'll have some disagreements between each other on that front as well, if only in the specifics.

  25. terceiro says:

    This is an interesting assertion, though I have never heard it taught. In fact, the story of Joseph F. Smith standing up boldly in the face of opposition is repeated often (Google's first link to the story is from a 1997 General Conference talk by M. Russell Ballard, but also in recent manuals for adults and children alike): "‘Are you a — — — Mormon?’ the stranger demanded. Mustering all the composure he could, Joseph answered evenly while looking the man straight in the eye, ‘Yes, siree; dyed in the wool; true blue, through and through.’"

    I can't find any evidence that Mormons are taught to lie, obscure their beliefs, or misconstrue doctrine. You can accuse Mormons of ignorance, perhaps, but dissimulation is a pretty bold one. And if your argument is with the institutional LDS church but not individuals, again I'll object since I have and continue to serve in leadership positions in the Church, and that's not a practice in which I participate.

  26. Violet says:

    You might be interested in Heart of the Matter's latest episode. McCraney explains how mormons do not worship Jesus. They worship Heavenly Father. He quotes scripture that you might be interested in. The first part of the show is a little rocky but its in there. hotm.tv Also you might find utlm.org interesting. There is no anti-mormonism on her site. All 'evidence' is from church history. And I do believe mormons are is disarray and confusion.

  27. Violet says:

    If my husband has a girlfriend, and does NOT tell me. That is a lie. Absence of truth is a lie. My mormon friend told me one thing. Her church was the ONLY true church on the earth. She has no idea about true Christianity, why would she? Her church is true. I have spent years studying mormonism and every day I learn something new. Every, single day. Its a combination of cult of christianity, denial, scripture twisting and what they do to family members that leave, is insidious. Shunning with disappointment. Please look at it from our point of view. You can tell us our church is wrong and walk away knowing you have the 'truth'. We witness to you our love of Christ by telling you our words mean different things, your Jesus is not the same as our Jesus, and we are 'evil.' Its not a fair fight. Mormons start the fight, 'all churches are an abomination, and her protestant daughter the wh**re of babylon' and then mormons wonder why we are defensive. Gee whiz. That's not Christian love at all. If your church is true, you just said 'mine is false.' That's not nice. See Heart of the Matter, hotm.tv, Utah Light House Ministry, utlm.org. All utlm.org makes the case for christianity using mormons own church history. Also, of course Mormon Research Ministry.com. The Bible vs. The Book of Mormon changes people's lives.

  28. parkman says:

    You teach that Jesus has always been God and that neither of them can change.
    By your logic, God cannot be God because when He was on the earth as Jesus He changed from a baby to a child to an adult. Jesus also changed when He died and was reborn. Jesus changed as he grew and since you say He is one with God then by your own logic Jesus cannot be God and that also means that God cannot be God because They have changed.

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