Mormon History: Here a blip, there a blip…

Latter-day Saint Melissa Inouye writes, “Mormonism isn’t like a string of Christmas lights.” She would rather liken Mormonism to a loaf of sourdough bread, and here’s why.

Each light in a string of Christmas lights is dependent on the other lights in order to function properly. If one light is broken (in her example), the entire string will not light. Ms. Inouye applies this analogy to Mormons who have their faith shaken, becoming disillusioned when they are first exposed to Mormon Church history that has not been “sanitized.” While she says she can empathize with those who are upset over these issues, she disagrees with Mormons who allow the historical facts to put out their whole string of lights. She writes,

“The logic behind this loss of faith — Joseph Smith was a fraud, therefore the religion that he founded is bogus, and one’s entire experience as a Mormon is bogus — is actually just the reverse of how many Mormons approach their faith. If the Book of Mormon is true, the thinking goes, then everything Joseph Smith did or said was divinely inspired. And if Joseph Smith was divinely inspired in everything, then everything about the church is just how God wants it.

“…Human flaws are painfully apparent throughout the history of every major religious tradition — including Mormonism — but that doesn’t negate the experience, motives, or morals of all Catholics, Anglicans, Buddhists, Jews, Muslims — or Mormons.”

Suggesting that the Christmas-lights view of religion is “too easily manufactured and too easily broken,” Ms. Inouye proposes something different:

“So if the Christmas lights approach to faith doesn’t work, we need something else. Something like sourdough bread.”

For this new analogy Ms. Inouye describes sourdough starter as “sour on the verge of stinky, fermented bordering on decayed.” It would seem that she is applying this description to the foundation or “starter” of Mormonism, though she does not say so outright. At any rate, Ms. Inouye writes that adding the proper balance of additional ingredients to this bacteria-laden stew “results in heavenly bread” or “goodness.”

Ms. Inouye appears to be saying that she likes the way Mormonism has turned out–and that’s good enough for her. She likely agrees with Mormonism’s 15th Prophet/President who advised, “don’t worry about those little flicks of history…Now, there will be a blip here, a blip there, a mistake here, a mistake there. But by and large the work is wonderful, and vast good is being accomplished…” (Gordon B. Hinckley, interview with Mike Wallace on 60 Minutes, April 1996)

You know, the same thing could be said, for example, about the Olympics or modern medicine. Both have had their fair share of failures and triumphs and both accomplish good in their respective spheres. But neither of them claims, as does Mormonism, to be the only authorized arbiter of eternal life.

Ms. Inouye likes the “experience, motives, [and] morals” Mormonism provides, but according to LDS leaders, the Mormon Church’s purpose involves much more than what happens in this life. Mormon apostle Dallin Oaks said, “The ultimate mission of our Savior’s Church is to help us achieve exaltation in the celestial kingdom…” (Ensign, 11/2005, 27). Mormon apostle Jeffrey Holland explained, “This Church is the Lord’s vehicle for crucial doctrines, ordinances, covenants, and keys that are essential to exaltation” (Ensign 5/2004, 32). Indeed, Mormon apostle Marion Romney taught, “This Church…is the way, the truth, and the life” (Book of Mormon Student Manual Religion 121 and 122, 26). So this is not just about experience and morals; it is about eternity. Mormonism must be what it claims to be; otherwise it cannot deliver on its eternal promises.

When speaking to his congregation and not on national television, Gordon B. Hinckley made a very definitive statement. He said, “Each of us has to face the matter—either the Church is true, or it is a fraud. There is no middle ground. It is the Church and kingdom of God, or it is nothing” (Ensign, May 2003, 60). And determining whether the Mormon Church is true–or a fraud–rests first of all upon history. That is, did God actually speak to Joseph Smith in 1820 as recorded in Mormon scripture (the “sanitized” version of the Mormon history), or not (as suggested by other historical evidence)?

Again, Mr. Hinckley said,

“To you, this day, I affirm my witness of the calling of the Prophet Joseph, of his works, of the sealing of his testimony with his blood as a martyr to the eternal truth. Each of you can bear witness of the same thing. You and I are faced with the stark question of accepting the truth of the First Vision and that which followed it. On the question of its reality lies the very validity of this Church.” (Ensign, 11/2007, 86)

Almost 130 years before Mr. Hinckley’s challenge, Mormonism’s third Prophet/President said something similar. John Taylor reasoned,

“… if God has not spoken, if the angel of God has not appeared to Joseph Smith, and if these things are not true of which we speak, then the whole thing is an imposture from beginning to end. There is no halfway house, no middle path about the matter; it is either one thing or the other.” (Journal of Discourses, 21:165)

Therefore, though Ms. Inouye chooses to believe differently, Mormonism is like a string of Christmas lights, and each historical bulb on the string matters.

If God did not call Joseph Smith to restore the true church, the Mormon Church is a fraud.

If the Book of Mormon did not come forth in the way Joseph Smith said it did, “It is a ‘sudden death’ proposition. Either the Book of Mormon is what the Prophet Joseph said it is, or this Church and its founder are false, a deception from the first instance onward.” (Mormon apostle Jeffrey R. Holland, quoted in Ensign, 9/2002, 14)

If the priesthood was not restored “under the hands of John the Baptist and Peter, James, and John,” Mr. Hinckley said, “we have nothing” (Ensign, 8/1998, 72).

And on it goes, like dominoes, until you’re left eating your bread in the dark.

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 Early Mormonism, Mormon History and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

69 Responses to Mormon History: Here a blip, there a blip…

  1. falcon says:

    I remember, before I retired, facing some major challenges in my work, and commenting to one of the other administrators, “I guess we’re going to have to figure out a way to put some lip stick on this pig!” The idea of course was that we were handed a really bad situation and we had to make it look better but it was still going to be a pig.
    So it appears that Ms. Inouye realizes that she’s stuck with a situation that is not real good and she has to come up with some sort of explanation, by way of analogy or metaphor, to salvage something from it.
    It’s just another take on the Mormon slogan, “The church might not be perfect, but it does a lot of good.” To this, former Mormons scoff, not finding the “good” to out weigh the bad in their experience.
    I have a different application of Ms. Inouye’s “sour dough” analogy. Try this. Jesus said that He was the bread of life. He said if you eat of this bread you will not be spiritually hungry. Jesus said He was the bread that came down from heaven. Jesus also said He was living water. Drink of the spiritual water that is Jesus and you will not thirst again.
    Mormonism is a fraud, a sham and a mockery of the living God and His Christ. Trying to re-frame Joseph Smith, who rejected the revealed Gospel, for a gospel of his own invention, will indeed give the “sour dough” Mormon eaters eternal indigestion.

  2. Mike R says:

    It seems we’re going to seeing more and more of the type of rationalizing exhibited
    by Mormons like Ms Inouye because so many Mormons are coming face to face with
    certain about their history and doctrines that have become more available and are
    being discussed publicly . The Mormon hierarchy no doubt still has much locked up in
    the Church archives or First Presidency’s vault . Ms Inouye finds it necessary to
    downplay the fact that Mormon leaders have issued the authoritative claim
    to be reliable guides in spiritual truth since their alleged appointment by Jesus in 1830
    to relay such truths from Him to mankind. She mentions the “logic” of believing that
    if Joseph Smith was a fraud then that would relegate the entire experience of a Mormon
    in their religion as bogus etc. Their “entire experience ” as a Mormon ? How? There
    is much in Mormonism that is good , a moral lifestyle being just one example , so how
    is that “bogus” ? Obviously living a moral lifestyle is’nt enough to gain entrance to
    God’s presence/ eternal life (exaltation) , but by her reasoning she seems
    to be resorting to a red herring because she goes on to mention that
    “human flaws” are apparent in all religions so that does’nt ” negate the experiences ,
    motives, or morals of Mormons or other religious people. But ” human flaws ” are not
    the point here , obviously Mormon leaders are human, but they have declared
    that we can trust their doctrinal teaching as being accurate , trustworthy counsel
    because they are receiving continuous on going communication from God to so teach.
    That’s the whole point.

  3. Mike R says:

    Considering more and more people are beginning to see how that Mormon leaders have
    exhibited a unstable pattern of doctrinal teachings ever since they supposedly “restored”
    Jesus’ gospel , it’s know wonder that Mormons like Ms Inouye would seek to divert
    attention to something else like when see mentioned about how courageous Mormon
    women were when crossing the plains pushing their hand carts. That proves that these
    women were in the one true religion ? Hardly. Sadly, what Ms Inouye may not realize is
    that many Mormon women did endure much hardship because they submitted to the teachings
    of their leaders by entering into plural marriage because it was taught to be the gospel of
    Jesus Christ , “restored” ! Sadly these women were misled by false prophets.

  4. Ralph says:

    You are talking about 2 different histories here. One is the doctrinal history (eg the BoM being translated from gold plates by the power of God) and the other is the ‘world’ history (eg JS seen smoking and drinking). One is true and the other can be true or it could be changed by anyone. What the church authorities and Mrs Inouye are saying is to make sure you know which is which before jumping to any conclusions.

    As I like to say, if the doctrine is true then the church is true no matter how much one wants to disagree with it, including the members who disagree with one or two little points of doctrine or ‘advice’ from the prophet (eg the issue of ear-rings and tattoos).

    But to summarise a point made by William Lane Craig – if the Spirit has witnessed the truth of the doctrine to you, it is true no matter how much worldly evidence can be used to ‘prove’ it is wrong.

  5. falcon says:

    Yea Ralph,
    The witness of the Spirit. In Mormonism the “witness of the Spirit” is how you feel about something regardless of the evidence. If, for example, the BoM makes you feel good i.e. the “burning in the bosom” then it is true. Not only that but then everything is true in Mormonism. So with a true believer such as yourself, finding out for example that the witnesses to the gold plates saw them with the “eyes of faith” rather than their physical eyes, will make no difference.
    I have the witness of the Spirit that Mormonism is false. So where would you like to go with that?
    This whole “deny the facts, listen to your heart” is a perfect set-up to keep people in the fold. Mormons are depending on the idea that the Spirit has spoken to them and what do you do when the facts and evidence are contrary to what you think the Spirit has witnessed to you? Some begin to question if the Spirit actually spoke to them. Once these folks deduce that the Spirit did not speak to them, then it’s out the door and fast.
    BTW, who is the “Spirit” in Mormonism. Well this is how it works in Mormonism. There is the Holy Ghost and then there’s the Holy Spirit. The latter is an energy force likened to electricity in Mormon dogma. The Holy Ghost is “a god” and is “a god” despite the fact that he never had a body.
    No Ralph, the reality is that Mormon historic truth as well as doctrinal truth have some major holes in them. I’m sure Brigham Young thought the Spirit was witnessing to him about all of those dandy doctrines he proclaimed that the church now denies. I bet he even got the requisite bosom burning.

  6. falcon says:

    So what happens if the “witness of the Spirit” technique isn’t sufficient to hold a member of the LDS church in the fold?
    Or what happens when a Mormon begins to study Mormonism, its history and doctrine, and simultaneously they begin to compare Mormonism with orthodox Christianity, and they leave Mormonism and become Christians?
    Well one of the ploys in Mormonism is that any doubts about Mormonism are from Satan. And if the person leaves Mormonism they are going to Mormon hell. Now figure this, these folks leave the Mormon religious system and come to a relationship with Jesus Christ and according to Mormonism, they are cast into outer darkness for leaving the Mormon system.
    I’ve put my full confidence in Jesus Christ and His sacrifice on the cross to save me and provide eternal life. Mormons have to put their confidence in Joseph Smith. OK, all you who want to depend on Joseph Smith for eternal life raise your hands. All of those who want to depend on Jesus for eternal life raise your hands.
    See this is the problem Mormonism now faces. They can’t hide information from people any more. That’s why they are trying to come up with all sorts of alibis, excuses and lame explanations for things that just blow huge holes in Mormonism. There comes a point where a Mormon either has to walk away and maintain some personal integrity or do the Mormon mind snap and become comfortable with the cognitive dissonance that the knowledge (of Mormonism) brings.
    The Mormon leadership has to keep hustling to stay a head of the information game. Once Mormons learn that they can have eternal life through Jesus Christ and that Joseph Smith wasn’t what the LDS church advertised him as being, it’s lights out.

  7. SR says:

    if the Spirit has witnessed the truth of the doctrine to you, it is true no matter how much worldly evidence can be used to ‘prove’ it is wrong.

    I’ve heard similar things from Mormons I know personally as well. It boggles my mind how fact — literally see it touch it taste it fact — can be discarded in favor of the Spirit witnessing truth. It’s illogical and, to be frank, completely ignorant.

    If God didn’t want us to have an intelligent faith, we wouldn’t be intelligent. To discard fact in favor of a feeling or belief is, in my opinion, exactly what Satan wants. And it’s one of the reasons I’m certain that Mormonism is not true.

  8. Rick B says:

    Ralph said

    As I like to say, if the doctrine is true then the church is true no matter how much one wants to disagree with it, including the members who disagree with one or two little points of doctrine or ‘advice’ from the prophet (eg the issue of ear-rings and tattoos).

    Where do I begin with the problems with what you said and think?
    If Muslims claim their church is true, and their doctrine is true, or the JW’s or the Buddhist, or the FLDS, or the RLDS, or pick any religion out their. If they claim to be the true church, and their doctrine is true, then tell me Ralph, How can Mormonism be true? Because you said so? Because you believe it to be true? According to YOUR SCRIPTURE, the BoM their are only two church’s, The True church and the church of the devil.

    So by default, all religions I listed and the ones I did not are false. But they claim to be true, so Ralph, Like it or not we need to look into evidence.

    Ralph said

    if the Spirit has witnessed the truth of the doctrine to you, it is true no matter how much worldly evidence can be used to ‘prove’ it is wrong.

    This also goes along with what I said, these other religions believe the spirit has witnessed to them that what they believe is true. So who are you to say they are wrong? Your Scripture claims they are. But why can your scripture claim others are wrong, and we cannot claim you are? I know, It’s because it’s ok to offended others, just not Mormons. Mormons can offended us, but we cannot offended them. Get a life.

  9. falcon says:

    Mormons like Ralph are holding on for dear life to Mormonism because its been refuted up and down the line on any number of issues. So the last thing they can do to try and preserve faith in Joseph Smith, his vision and his church is to claim direct revelation from God confirming Smith et al.
    I heard someone once say in regards to a certain flavor of Christian, “When a fellow tells you that God told Him so, that pretty much ends the argument.” In-other-words nothing you can do, say or provide in terms of reasonable evidence will curtail someone who earnestly wants to believe that God communicated with them.
    This is pretty standard stuff in certain Pentecostal sects/movements. That’s why I get a kick out of Mormons thinking they’re really on to something with revelation and apostles and prophets. Any number of Christian sects claim these offices as part of their belief system as do they regarding on-going revelation. The difference with Mormons of course is that these Christian groups are fairly orthodox when it comes to the basic doctrines of the Christian faith and they recognize the Bible as God’s ultimate revelation.
    Sharon’s article is bringing forth a topic that’s been bubbling not so under the surface within Mormonism for some time. It’s the easy access to knowledge of Mormon beginnings, history, doctrinal flip-flops and outrageous behavior by Smith and company that runs contrary to what Mormon leadership wants its members to know and believe that’s the threat.
    I believe that the truth is the best antidote to a lie. The “God told me so” approach to maintaining faith in Mormonism just won’t work for all Mormons nor will the nonsense answers that are provided by LDS leadership.
    Wanting something to be true will work for a while for some.

  10. Ralph says:

    Falcon, SR and RickB,

    William Craig Lane is an evangelical Christian, not LDS. So your attacking someone of your own ilk when you tear shreds off my last statement. But regardless of what you say, it stands. If the Spirit witnesses to you that something is true, regardless of the worldly evidence against it, it is still true. Else science and religion would complement each other in every way, or history and religion, or archaeology and religion. But they dont, so which one is correct when it comes to a discord between what you (and I am now talking about you who believe that you are in the true path) believe and what science/history/archaeology have shown to be true?

    As far as which is true, well you have your evidences and I have mine. You believe that I am following a false God and therefore a false Spirit is witnessing to me, I believe that you are following a false God and a false spirit is witnessing to you. Heavenly Father is going to ultimately sort this mess out, and we are all hoping that we are on the right side.

  11. falcon says:

    The problem is that the evidence is over-whelming that Mormonism is false and that you are following a false spirit. It’s really a no brainer. However you have this penchant for making up farfetched excuses for what is obviously a religion based in the occult.
    We’ve been over all of this with you before and your desire to believe Mormonism over-rides not only the available evidence but common sense. I’m not going to list it all again.
    God the Father has all ready done the sorting-out. He’s revealed who He is and what He’s done to reconcile mankind to Himself. You’ve chosen to reject it and follow after a man who decided he’d invent his own god and his own gospel.
    It’s not going to get it done for you Ralph. You’ve chosen Joseph Smith over Jesus.

  12. falcon says:

    See Ralph……………..the problem is that your listen to the spirit technique is not fool proof. You propose ignoring facts and evidence and believe what “the spirit” is telling you even if it contradicts the evidence at hand. All I can say is, you’re a false prophets dream of a follower. You even discount the possibility that you may not be hearing from “the spirit”.
    So Joseph Smith comes up with this bogus book, “The Book of Abraham”. It’s been proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that what he “revealed” that the manuscript says, doesn’t say that at all. So the spirit you’re following obviously is telling you to ignore that evidence and believe the BoA anyway.
    What does the spirit tell you about Joseph Smith marrying thirty-three women some of whom were married to other men?
    What does the spirit tell you about other Mormon sects who reject Salt Lake City style Mormonism? The spirit is telling them, in some cases, that they need to practice polygamy to reach the highest level of the Celestial Kingdom. Other Mormon sects like the Community of Christ and Temple Lot don’t believe in the multiplicity of gods and that men will become gods.
    They’re all Mormons but the spirit is obviously testifying to something else in their regards.
    What does the spirit tell you about the Joseph Smith version of the Bible? We could compare what he wrote with the Hebrew and Greek manuscripts to see if he had any idea what he was talking about.
    But OOPS I forgot. Evidence means nothing. It’s what the spirit tells you.
    Just think of all those prophets running around, past and present who are hearing from the spirit. I guess it must all be true since evidence doesn’t count.

  13. Kate says:

    I just have one scripture for you:

    1 John 4:1
    “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.”

    God’s word tells us not to believe every spirit. We need to test everything against God’s Word and if it doesn’t line up, it’s to be rejected. Mormonism doesn’t line up with God’s Word. That’s why Joseph Smith had to make the Bible untrustworthy to his followers. How else could he get people to throw it under the bus at every turn? This scripture tells me that not everything we feel comes from the Holy Spirit, but from other sources as well. Just because it feels good, doesn’t mean it is. God also gave us a little something called common sense. Look up Matthew Gill, he claims to be a prophet just like Joseph Smith, the Book of Jaraneck came to him in much the same way as the BoM came to Joseph Smith. He has followers, but what do YOU think about him? Is he a prophet of God like Joseph? Is he a false prophet? A crazy person? I bet you don’t believe in his BoJ do you? He and his followers believe that the burning in their bosom is the Spirit whispering to them that it is all true. Would you be applying common sense and “evidence” to decide whether his revelations and claims are true? Or would you just ask God and whatever feeling you have is what you go with? If God wanted us following blindly, he wouldn’t have given us his Word to test the spirits against.

  14. falcon says:

    For Ralph’s benefit, I guess it’s time to revisit the Book of Acts Chapter 17:2-3. The key words here are “explaining and giving evidence”. What Mormons, like Ralph, want people to do is ignore evidence and trust their feelings. Feelings in Mormonism is communication from the spirit. The Mormon motto could be “go with your gut”.
    I very much believe in hunches and the innate ability some people have to read a situation and be able to come to correct conclusions.
    The whole premise and approach of Mormon missionaries, however, is to get people “feeling” early on. The MM trade on the emotions to manipulate the person into accepting Mormonism.
    The MM certainly aren’t going to “reveal” the truth about Mormonism, especially its founder Joseph Smith.
    In Acts 17:11 we see where the Berean’s are called “noble minded” in comparison to the Thessalonians because the (Berean’s) did what? “examined the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so.” They were looking for evidence using the standard by which to judge spiritual things, the Bible.
    There is a branch of Christianity where the adherents are taught to deny reality and go by faith. This is a recipe for disaster.
    What Ralph is doing is creating his own reality also. All that matters is what “the spirit” is telling him. There is no possibility, to Ralph, that the message that is floating through his brain and the accompanying feelings, might not be true. This is a way, however, to reconcile all of the holes in the Mormon narrative; just deny the evidence and believe your feelings and the voice in your head to create an acceptable personal reality.

  15. Rick B says:

    Ralph, I really feel sorry for you, You say you believe the spirits and could care less about Evidence if it goes against what the spirit says.

    Well the Bible says

    1John 4:1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits , whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.

    You cannot just assume every spirit is honest, loves you and has your best interest at heart. God has proven he is God by Giving us around 1,8000 prophecies to prove he is God. Then when John the baptist was in Jail, shortly before he was beheaded, He asked if Jesus was who He said He was, Jesus responded with, Just believe what the spirit tells you and believe with all your heart and it will be true.

    O-wait, that’s what Joseph Smith said, Jesus said, The Blind see, the dead come back to life, The lame walk, Etc. Jesus proved He was God by the things He said and Did. No place in the Bible ever says, Just believe everything you read and hear.

    The Bible talks about false prophets, wolves in sheeps clothing, False teachers.

    How do we know who is who? The Bible tells us to test them, look at the evidence, what do they say and teach.

    What do you say? If I like what they teach and say, I will believe they are from God. It will be a long eternity if you keep rejecting the truth in favor of false teaching.

  16. falcon says:

    I think it would be a good idea if Ralph and any other person so inclined, would do a study of messages from the “spirit”. Over the years, I’ve made a point of listing links folks could go to and review what some people say are spiritual messages they have received.
    I have observed that in the Mormon world, Mormons have painted themselves into a corner because they have no defense if someone claims a revelation or confirmation from the spirit. We had a former Mormon by the handle of fmelo who posted here for a while and he was an expert, by experience, in the Mormon “spirit” device. He lived it. He figured it out and out of Mormonism he went. He saw the fallibility of the practice. We’ve had other former Mormons testify to the same thing here, Aurthur Sido comes to mind.
    If Mormons catch on to the parlor game that’s going on with their spirit revelation game, their faith crumbles.
    We’ve pointed out here also numerous times how Mormonism resembles the Wizard of Oz. Remember the curtain the old man stood behind as he pulled all sorts of levers making people believe he was this great and powerful Oz. The curtain was opened and their stood this pathetic man who realized the jig was up and he pleaded, “Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.”
    This is a picture of Mormonism and the Mormon people are asked to ignore the obvious and just keep on believing in OZ.

  17. Mike R says:

    Concerning Ms Inouye’s attempt to address some of the teachings and historical events in
    her Church’s history , things that many Mormons have been surprised to hear and find
    troubling, Sharon comments : ” Ms Inouye appears to be saying that she likes the way
    that Mormonism has turned out— and that’s good enough for her.” If this is Ms rationale
    then I find that it raises some interesting questions . On one hand it is good that Mormon
    leaders don’t teach some of the doctrines they once did , on the other hand this only casts
    a cloud over the claims of these “modern-day” apostles because they have claimed all along
    that they’re duty is to insure their followers that only pure and accurate spiritual truths
    would be offered to them . Yet , the track record of these apostles as safe guards against
    false teachings has revealed that they cannot be consistently relied on to provide such safety .
    The error of Mormonism is that it’s leaders have added additional doctrines/necessities
    to the gospel of salvation as preached by Jesus’ original apostles in the New Testament. This
    mixing in of additional “ingredients ” the precepts of men , to the true gospel renders it
    only another gospel —Gal 1:8 — not endorsed by Jesus . Adding new ingredients to sourdough
    bread may help it to be nourishing , but adding to the gospel message preached by those men
    Jesus sent out in the New Testament only changes their gospel . Far from offering the “restored
    gospel ” of Jesus, Mormon apostles have only created a revised gospel . So Beware. Rev2:2

  18. Ralph says:


    It has not been proven beyond a shadow of doubt that what we have is the Book of Abraham manuscript. All the evidence points to the fact that we only have at maximum one eighth of manuscript that JS had. And the description of the manuscript that JS said contained the BoA was red and black lettering in a neater style than the other manuscripts. All that we have are fragments of 2 of the 5 manuscripts and both have just black writing on them, no red. So the jury is far from convinced, you are just ignoring what we keep telling you because you want to prove your point.

    OK Falcon, you got me there with Act 17 – I guess I will have to go back to the OT and use that as my only scriptures because that is all they had in those days. They were comparing the new teachings about and from Jesus to the teachings they had in the OT. If we were to follow their example as you say then we must use only the OT.

    You said –

    What Ralph is doing is creating his own reality also. All that matters is what “the spirit” is telling him. There is no possibility, to Ralph, that the message that is floating through his brain and the accompanying feelings, might not be true.

    What an ad hominem attack here. You did not answer my question in my last post about what you do when your faith from the Bible was not in congruence with science/archaeology/history. If you answer that what you believe in is true and that science/archaeology/history is false then you are doing exactly what you are accusing me of now.

  19. Ralph says:


    All it states in that verse is that we should test the spirits to see if they are from God, not to check with what has been written. What did Jesus say to do to see if His teachings were from God? Go check John 7:16-17 – here He taught that we should do the will of the Father and then we will know if what is being taught is true. In other words, the proof is in following (doing something) the teachings, not comparing them to writings.


    See my response to Kate about 1 John 14.

    As far as John’s disciples, they went, they saw Jesus do many miracles and then Jesus said that that is all they need for their faith. I have seen many miracles performed in my church in my life time, is that enough for my faith as you say is implied in these scriptures?

    But let’s look at another of Jesus’ teachings in John 20. Tomas was not there when Jesus met with His apostles the first time, so he did not believe them. When Jesus met with them for the second time, Thomas was there and then believed. What did Jesus teach them after this in verse 29?

    And then the very definition of faith given in the Bible is – Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

    These 2 scriptures tend to indicate that physical evidence is not a necessity for full and proper saving faith.

  20. falcon says:

    You obviously have forgotten the in depth series Andy Watson did here on the BoA some months back. What I found the most interesting was the facsimile from the manuscript that Joseph Smith said was a picture of “god”. It turns out that this “god” was an Egyptian god Minn who is sitting on a throne exposing himself. Minn was a fertility god if my memory serves me right. This is the god that Joseph Smith put forth for you to follow. Ah what’s a little evidence when it can be so easily denied and explained away.
    …….and I see you have to pull out the old persecution card and claim I’m attacking you. All I’m doing Ralph is reading what you write and drawing obvious conclusions. What you’ve told us in the past is that you would kill or steal if ordered to by the Mormon prophet. You are now telling us that evidence doesn’t matter, you’re going to listen to what the “spirit” tells you. This is not a pretty picture Ralph. You are painting the picture of a religious zealot who denies reality. Pretty scary stuff!

  21. falcon says:

    Ralph thinks he’s uncovered some golden nugget of information from Acts 17:2-3 where it references the OT that the Berean’s were searching to see if Paul’s claims about Jesus was true.
    Quite frankly I don’t get his “gotcha” point regarding just referencing the OT. I’m guessing he’s trying to score some points implying that there is on-going Scripture i.e. the NT and then of course all of the other “scripture” that has come along in the last 2,000 years that various false prophets have proclaimed.
    See this is what happens when folks want to promote another testament, revelation, word from the Lord, vision, miracle and on and on to claim an additional or new gospel.
    As I have pointed out continually, I can provide links to all sorts of these prophets.
    Ralph is demonstrating how little he knows about the NT and OT and how one compliments the other. The OT contains the covenant God made with Israel. It was the giving of the Law. The NT is the fulfillment of the promise. On the night before He died Jesus took the cup and the bread and said this is the sign of the NT given in my blood. Jesus’ completed the promise. He fulfilled the requirements of the Law.
    Jeremiah 31:31-34 is the OT promise or the New Heart Covenant. This is what Jesus was referencing.
    So now false prophets come along and want to proclaim their own god and their own gospel message and in so doing they don’t complete, expand or demonstrate anything new but instead they “replace” the OT promise and the NT fulfillment of that promise.
    The BoM was Joseph Smith’s pathway to creating his own religion.
    So Ralph, you’ve signed on to a false prophet with a false god and a false gospel.

  22. Kate says:

    My goodness Ralph, did you not read all of my post? A big part of this scripture 1 John 4:1 is “Beloved, do not BELIEVE every spirit….” I know a LDS couple who have to pray to get a feeling about absolutely EVERYTHING. They wanted to buy a camp trailer and they just kept on praying and praying about it until they got a burning in the bosom. It took awhile, but the good feeling came one day. Seriously??? What about common sense? There have been so many false doctrines taught by the LDS church over the years, Adam/God, polygamy, blood atonement come to mind. I’m sure the good LDS people of the day got the burning in the bosom over these teachings from their prophets, but today these doctrines are swept under the rug and dismissed as “just his opinion” never mind the FACT that these doctrines were taught for years from the pulpit of the Mormon Tabernacle! By a LDS prophet even! Where are these people Ralph? Brigham Young preached a false god when he said God is Adam. People died worshiping a false god. Are they in Heaven? Did they receive the Salvation as promised in the NT? The way the LDS just “dismiss” these doctrines is sickening to me. People’s Salvation was at stake here. They were led astray by a false prophet with false teachings. These were REAL people Ralph. I guess since it was in the past, these people don’t matter huh? If these people would have just turned to the Word of God (Bible) they could easily have figured out that Mormonism is a lie.

  23. Kate says:

    What is the will of the Father? John 6:40. The will of the Father isn’t to pray about something until you get a burning in the bosom which the LDS believe is the Holy Spirit testifying or just following the teachings. The will of the Father is that everyone look to the Son, believe in him and be raised up at the last day. This is one HUGE reason why I have a problem with Mormonism. Mormons are not taught to look to the Son, they are taught to look to their prophet. A false prophet by the definition Jesus gives us in the Bible.

  24. falcon says:

    Ralph said that I didn’t answer one of his points/questions so I’ll do that now.

    Basically what Ralph is asking is, “What hope do I have within me?” In-other-words if something comes along to challenge my faith what do I do?
    Well what I do always, and the way I lead my life, is to depend on the Cross of Christ. Jesus is the hope that is within me. Knowing Him personally and what He did for me is the foundation of my spiritual experience. Add to that the Baptism of the Holy Spirit as occurred on the day of Pentecost and I have all that’s sufficient to sustain my faith.
    The premise for my belief system is:
    (1) God is holy, righteous, loving and merciful.
    (2) I am a down in the dirt, totally depraved sinner. There is nothing in me worth saving. I am completely without any merit, and by myself, without hope.
    (3) God is just. His justice demands payment for the offense(s) I have committed against Him.
    (4) God satisfied His requirement for justice by taking the penalty for my sin on Himself in the person of Jesus Christ at the Cross.
    (5) I have received the gift of eternal life that God is offering me through faith in Jesus.

    So that’s the hope that’s within me and what I stand on for the foundation of my faith. I don’t have to get a burning in the bosom about it. I believe it. It does make me feel good, I’ll admit that. It’s like a condemned man getting his sentence commuted. More-to-the point, it’s like someone else stepped in and paid a debt I could never pay.

    Who do Mormons like Ralph have to depend on? They have to depend on Joseph Smith. Bad choice.

  25. Mike R says:

    Ralph, what Kate said was spot on when she said that : ” God’s Word tells US not to believe
    every spirit, we need to test everything against God’s Word, and if it does’nt line up , it’s to
    be rejected.” She cites 1Jn4:1 , she said ” US” , i.e. you, her, me, everyone today.
    What does John teach in the context of 1 Jn 4:1-3 ? Is it not to compare any prophet’s
    teachings with the Apostle John’s ? For us that would mean the Bible , especially the
    New Testament . Is 1 Jn 4:1-3 a valid criteria to test any prophets in the latter days? Absolutely.
    How can we today test any prophet/apostle ? By the Bible . That should be where we start , and
    if they fail that test then we should be cautious in going any further . A Mormon church published
    pamphlet , ” Apostasy and Restoration” p. 15 says : ” we invite all men to test our claims…”
    Another Church publication wants us to consider this valid criteria to test their message :
    ” Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of LDS …believe the Bible. Indeed, so literally and
    completely do their beliefs and practices conform to the teachings of the Bible that it is not
    uncommon to hear informed persons say, ‘ If all men believed the Bible, all would be Mormons.’
    Bible doctrine is Mormon doctrine , and Mormon doctrine is Bible doctrine.” [ What Mormons
    Think of Christ p2]
    So we test Mormon apostles by comparing their teachings with Biblical prophets/
    apostles . Kate, and us here have followed John’s counsel, Mormon leaders fail that test.

  26. Mike R says:

    Ralph, you cited John 7:16-17 to Kate as the way Jesus said to see if His teachings were from
    God. No problem . But is that all He recommends His followers to do to ascertain true doctrine
    from that taught by counterfeit /false teachers ? When His apostles warned of false prophets
    coming to mislead what counsel did they to relay to those they taught in their missionary
    travels? We can learn this by reading Acts-Rev .

    Also , you missed a very good point about Acts 17 :11 in your reply to Falcon.
    What Paul preached about Jesus the Jewish people needed to hear , naturally they wanted to
    know what the former prophets said on this [ Lk 24:25-27] . Paul’s preached the gospel of
    salvation for all to know and embrace . This is so clear that any other “gospel” preached by
    religious teachers must agree with what Paul taught about Jesus and about how a person can
    receive eternal life —-the gospel message —1Cor.15:1-4 ; Col.1: 23. Therefore Gal.1:8-9 is the
    benchmark criteria for evaluating any prophet or apostle teachings in Paul’s day and in our day.
    Mormon apostles have claimed to restore the very gospel of salvation that Paul preached.
    WE have the mandate from Jesus to test , to compare , their “restored” gospel with the gospel
    as preached in the New Testament . Comparing Jesus’ original apostles gospel message of
    salvation with that of Mormonism’s latter-day apostles restored gospel , what do we find ?
    The same gospel , or a replaced gospel ? Rev2:2

  27. falcon says:

    The subject of this article could be “What Do Mormons Do When They Discover The Church Isn’t True?” Or it could be “What Do Mormons Do When They Discover What They’ve Been Told About The Church Isn’t True?” The latter question is the first step and the former question is the final step in leaving the church.
    I’m sure some leave or drift away simply because they get sick of the LDS church. They just aren’t that into it. Others actually take the time to investigate the church and when they discover the truth, they take the step of leaving.
    No amount of excuse making can hold a member who realizes that his “inner witness” or “burning in the bosom” will cover the information that the LDS church is a false organization, with a false god, false gospel and false prophet. Perhaps some can be frightened or intimidated into staying but their view of the LDS church is never the same.
    Just think about the statistic we site often here. Two-thirds of those on the membership rolls of the LDS church are inactive. If we look at the one-third that are active, it’s just a small percentage of those who are really into the full blown program; temple Mormons.
    It’s not going to get any better for the LDS church. Recruitment and retention of new members won’t make up for those leaving. Mormons really have a fit about those who pack up and leave the church.
    In Christianity it’s the relationship with Jesus that’s the main thing. What a particular group someone belongs to isn’t that critical. The credibility and honesty of the LDS church is questioned by those inching their way out the door. Fear mongering, threatening, pleading and stalking aren’t real effective retention techniques. Hounding and shunning won’t make it either.

  28. Rick B says:

    I know a lot of people replied to you, so I will be brief. The Bible says that if a prophet gets a prophecy wrong he is a false prophet and we are to reject him. So how many prophecies must JS get wrong before you reject him?

    From what I can tell, JS got every prophecy wrong, but even if he only got one wrong, that still makes him a false prophet. So why do you keep trusting him?

  29. falcon says:

    What the Mormon church is going to be facing, is an increase of people finding the evidence that Mormonism is a sham and emotional manipulation won’t be enough to hold them in the fold.
    The “burning in the bosom” as a test for truth just isn’t enough to hold people who have integrity and can’t abide by cognitive dissonance.
    Mormonism is first and foremost based on a false premise which contends that after the death of the apostles the “gospel was lost”. The second part of the folly is that the reason that Mormonism isn’t in the Bible is due to a conspiracy that resulted in it (Mormonism) being left out. Now tell me, what intellectually honest person is going to buy such a tale? There’s going to have to be a whole lot of bosom burning going on to get someone to buy such an obvious self-serving claim.
    I don’t see much of a future for a religion that is sold on the basis of a feeling and then has to be maintained in many cases by fear, intimidation, psychological manipulation and explanations that only the emotionally immature could accept.
    One of my favorite things to do is to ask people why they left Mormonism. I remember one man telling me that it was his trip through the temple that provided the impetus for him to study Mormonism more closely and realize it wasn’t what he, a convert, had been told it was. The only feelings he had at that point were disgust and contempt for a religious system that had been dishonest with him. People don’t liked to be manipulated and taken advantage of.

  30. Mike R says:

    Some more on the relevancy of 1 Jn 4:1-3 and prophet testing . Ralph in his response to Kate
    seems to not have much use for taking the Apostle John’s recommendation seriously to scrutinize
    any would-be prophet by subjecting that prophet’s teachings to the written word of God. At least
    that’s how he came across to me. In any event we need to realize some important facts about
    what the Apostle John taught his flock about evaluating false prophets/teachers. I agree with
    Kate that this whole scenario affects us today as their are , as Jesus warned, many false prophets
    vying for our attention today . Since we are concerned that the Mormon people are
    following a false prophet(s) by embracing many of the doctrines of their leaders, we need to
    look at what the Bible says about the coming of false prophets /apostles. Our Standard is the
    Bible, especially the New Testament , can we glean pertinent information about identifying
    false prophets from it today ? Thankfully yes. Since the leaders of the Mormon church claim
    to be “latter-day” prophets that have been appointed by Jesus to teach His spiritual truths , we
    then can evaluate their teachings with what Jesus taught His original apostles concerning
    identifying true prophets vrs false ones. The apostle John mentioned one doctrinal test for
    identifying false prophets — they would deny Jesus came in the flesh [ 1Jn 4:2-3]. Some false
    prophets do teach that Jesus came in the flesh so we must utilize other scriptures available to
    us in our evaluation , thankfully God did not leave us with too little information in which to
    start testing . So may the Mormon people open their Bible and test, why? Matt7:15

  31. Mike R says:

    It’s interesting to note that Mormon hierarchy excommunicated Brian David Mitchell,
    a Mormon who claimed to receive new revelation, new spiritual truths from God , as
    a prophet . His beliefs ( and lifestyle ) were deemed by Mormon leadership to be contrary
    to the written standards of the Mormon Church . This scenario is similar to what we are
    saying in evaluating false prophets/apostles today , namely they must be in accord with the
    truths taught by prophets/ apostles written down in the Bible —Jn 17:20; Gal.1:8; 2Cor11:4,13.
    Look again at the statement about Mormons and the Bible that I cited yesterday , the Mormon
    people should use the Bible in examining their prophets teachings . It’s really the safe thing
    to do because of the presence of false prophets today more than ever —Matt 24: 11.

  32. grindael says:

    You are talking about 2 different histories here. One is the doctrinal history (eg the BoM being translated from gold plates by the power of God) and the other is the ‘world’ history (eg JS seen smoking and drinking).

    This plays into this excuse: It’s not evidence, it’s “worldly” evidence.

    What is “doctrinal history”? Only what a bunch of people voted on to make official. And the vote is rigged. Try dissenting when they sustain any “authorities”. That is not allowed. I believe they have security now that would throw anyone out that tried it. Yes, that is how God runs His church. All Mormonism has (if they discount evidence) is someone “feeling” that something is right. Feeling, and a devotion to who they swear allegiance to follow. (The Brethren).

    When Jesus met with them for the second time, Thomas was there and then believed. What did Jesus teach them after this in verse 29?

    Thomas believed the second time because he saw Jesus. If it was so important that he not see him, why did Jesus appear to him? Jesus caveat to Thomas was given because he knew he was going to go away. But he still appeared (what we have written of in the Word) to 12 groups of people, one a group of 500. Moses didn’t give back the stone tablets.

    There’s an old Texas story that goes like this:

    A new school marm in a prairie schoolhouse asked a little boy, “If there were twelve sheep in a field and one jumped over the fence, how many would be left?” The pupil said, “None.” The teacher said, “You don’t know arithmetic, do you?” “No, ma’am, but I know sheep.” One goes over the fence, the other eleven blindly follow. Sheep are stereotyped as creatures who blindly, uncritically follow their leader. They do not ask questions. They do not consider outcomes and current conditions. They naively stand in the line that leads to their sheering or their slaughter.

    Jesus taught us to question the way things are, to reject the way of the world and to follow his Way, not blindly but only after soberly considering the alternatives. Count the costs, said Jesus, then follow me. Here is what he said about counting the costs:

    For which one of you, when he wants to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, to see if he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation, and is not able to finish, all who observe it begin to ridicule him, saying, “This man began to build and was not able to finish.” Or what king, when he sets out to meet another king in battle, will not first sit down and take counsel whether he is strong enough with ten thousand men to encounter the one coming against him with twenty thousand? Or else, while the other is still far away, he sends a delegation and asks terms of peace. So therefore, no one of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possessions. (Luke 14:26-33)

  33. grindael says:

    As far as John’s disciples, they went, they saw Jesus do many miracles and then Jesus said that that is all they need for their faith. This brings us back to sheep, because Jesus said in John 10:

    “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father —and I lay down my life for the sheep.

    He then gets in a debate with some “Jewish opponents”, the Pharisees, and says,

    “Do not believe me unless I do the works of my Father. 38 But if I do it, even though you do not believe me, believe the miracles, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father.”

    Jesus didn’t want his sheep to blindly follow him. Paul had some problems with the Corinthians, with those of the “Circumcision Group”, and those he called “Super Apostles”, Paul told them,

    3 But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ. 4 For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the Spirit you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough.

    12 And I will keep on doing what I am doing in order to cut the ground from under those who want an opportunity to be considered equal with us in the things they boast about. 13 For such people are false apostles, deceitful workers, masquerading as apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. (1 Corinthians 12)

    What did Paul do?

    “I persevered in demonstrating among you the marks of a true apostle, including signs, wonders and miracles.”

    Here is where Smith’s history comes into play. We have a foundation of Jesus and his apostles, yet 1800 years later along comes another self styled “super-apostle”. He teaches a different Jesus, and a different gospel. It was so important to test those that called themselves apostles that the risen Jesus said,

    “I know that you cannot tolerate wicked people, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false.” And, “you have this in your favor: You hate the practices of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.” (Revelation 2)

  34. grindael says:

    Joseph Smith has been shown to be a fraud not only by “the world”, but by his own followers who have researched his history and found his claims false.

    But to summarise a point made by William Lane Craig – if the Spirit has witnessed the truth of the doctrine to you, it is true no matter how much worldly evidence can be used to ‘prove’ it is wrong.

    How do you know the Holy Spirit has ‘witnessed the truth of the doctrine to you’? And yes, almost all Christian Faiths have some kind of Holy Spirit Caveat in their declarations like the Westminster Confession of faith:

    “Nevertheless, we acknowledge the inward illumination of the Spirit of God to be necessary for the saving understanding of such things as are revealed in the Word” (Westminster Confession of faith, 6:6)

    Limiting how to recognize the truth is simply naïve. For example, it doesn’t take the Holy Spirit to understand the Ten Commandments. It is the Holy Spirit that convicts us to live what we read and understand. A few examples:

    “that by revelation there was made known to me the mystery, as I wrote before in brief. By referring to this, when you read you can understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, which in other generations was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed to His holy apostles and prophets in the Spirit” Ephesians 3:3-5

    Our conscience testifies that we have conducted ourselves in the world, and especially in our relations with you, with integrity and godly sincerity. We have done so, relying not on worldly wisdom but on God’s grace. For we write nothing else to you than what you read and understand, and I hope you will understand until the end” 2 Corinthians 1:12-13

    “from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.” 2 Timothy 3:15

    “For the heart of this people has become dull, With their ears they scarcely hear, And they have closed their eyes, Otherwise they would see with their eyes, Hear with their ears, And understand with their heart and return, And I would heal them.” Matthew 13:15

    “And the one on whom seed was sown on the good soil, this is the man who hears the word and understands it; who indeed bears fruit and brings forth, some a hundred-fold, some sixty, and some thirty.” Matthew 13:23

    We have the Revelation of God, Jesus Christ and his Word, and the teachings of his chosen apostles. That is the Foundation, revealed to them by the Holy Spirit (Jesus Christ after his resurrection).

  35. grindael says:

    “Thy Word is Truth” (John 17:17).

    “Mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them” (Romans 16:17).

    “And when they shall say unto you, Seek unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto wizards that peep, and that mutter: should not a people seek unto their God? for the living to the dead? 20 To the Law and to the Testimony: if they speak not according to this Word, it is because there is no Light in them” (Isaiah 8:19-20).

    “Then said the prophet Jeremiah unto Hananiah the prophet, Hear now, Hananiah; The LORD hath not sent thee; but thou makest this people to trust in a lie” (Jeremiah 28:15).

    “But the prophet, which shall presume to speak a word in My Name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die” (Deuteronomy 18:20).

    Is Mormonism free?

    “Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price” (Isaiah 55:1).

    Mitt Romney said yesterday: “But don’t forget nothing is really free.”

    That could not be farther from the truth.

  36. Ralph says:

    More people have written since I last looked t this site and wrote these answers so I am only going to post these now.


    What can I say? The Bereans only had the OT to test the new teachings against, not the words of Paul. It was the word of Paul they were testing against the OT. That is the context and history. As far as Gal 1:8-9, read my answer to Falcon for the full context, but I have compared the LDS teachings to the Bible and have found my answer. You are following the false gospel, not me.

  37. Ralph says:


    You pointed to 1 John 4:1 and said that we need to follow that advice and compare what we are told to God’s Word. I am saying that you have mis-read/used the scripture because it says nothing there about comparing it to God’s Word. It just states to prove each spirit to see if they are from God or not. Either way, I have done both, I have proved the ‘spirit’ (teachings) that I have received to the Bible and to what I know/understand of the Holy Spirit and found it to be good and true. See my answer to Falcon for more explanation.

    The prophet gives us the word of God, that is why we are taught to look to him. But we are not to follow him in blind obedience. We are taught always to gain a knowledge that he is a prophet and that he will tell us the will of God.

    Yes I know that there are some LDS that think they need to pray about everything. This is covered in the scriptures where it states that a person that needs to be commanded in everything (in this case told what to do every time) is a slothful servant. So we do need to make decisions for ourselves, especially if they are the mundane everyday things. Oh well, that is their problem, not mine.

  38. Ralph says:


    No, I am not pointing out that there is on-going revelation, I am just commenting that your example is pointing to the OT, not the whole Bible as they did not have it all then. But I have read the whole Bible and compared my beliefs to it and can reconcile them together. I have told you this a number of times. The last time I did thorough research was 14 years ago when my son died. I questioned every aspect of my faith going through anti- and pro-LDS sites and my past experiences. It is not just a ‘burning in the bosom’ that has converted me but the scriptures and many experiences.

    Now to paraphrase your answer to my question – when science, archaeology and history have evidence contrary to your beliefs, you totally disregard that evidence and believe that God will explain it away, or not, later. That is exactly what you are accusing me of. Meaning that you are creating “your own reality. And all that matters is what “the spirit” is telling you. There is no possibility, to you, that the message that is floating through your brain and the accompanying feelings, might not be true.”?

    What do I have to depend upon? I have the promises of God that if I believe in Jesus and His atonement and I am faithful to Him to the end I will be able to live with Him for all eternities and gain all the promises that He has readied for me. I do not follow JS because I believe in him, I follow the church that Heavenly Father has restored to this earth through JS. My hope and faith are grounded in Jesus and Heavenly Father and their promises.

  39. Rick B says:

    Ralph said

    As far as Gal 1:8-9, read my answer to Falcon for the full context, but I have compared the LDS teachings to the Bible and have found my answer. You are following the false gospel, not me.

    Ralph, LDS claim they are Christians, And LDS go crazy when I or others claim they are not Christian, so how can they/you claim to be christian, yet you claim we have the false gospel? It stand to reason if your saying your a christian, then we must believe the same thing.

  40. Mike R says:

    Ralph , the reason that we cite Acts 17:11 so much is that beautifully depicts the important
    principle in evaluating any teacher claiming to be sent by Jesus with vital spiritual truths .
    The Bereans did have only the O.T. , and they did the proper thing by comparing what Paul
    was teaching since it was new to them . This is similar to what is written in Isa.8:20. Since
    Jesus had sent Paul to declare the gospel of salvation then for us today we react to any new
    “gospel” teaching just like the Bereans did with Paul . The criteria utilized in both cases
    involves the written word of God , the O.T. for the Bereans, the O.T. and N.T. for us today.
    It’s not that complicated , and many Mormons understand it clearly . Same for Gal.1:8-9.
    Since Mormon leaders claim to have restored the gospel , the same gospel that Paul preached,
    then we are fully justified to compare gospels . This is only logical . You seem to quick to shift
    the context of how to identify a false gospel to how the Bereans sought to , i.e. using the
    scriptures they had available then. But if you expect anyone to embrace your “restored”
    gospel then the N.T. testimony at Gal. 1:8-9 is to be used and it would be foolish to down-play
    it in favor of some “inner witness” . I understand your belief that living a righteous lifestyle
    in accordance with Jesus’ word’s in the N.T. will result in the Holy Ghost helping you to discern
    between what is accurate spiritual teachings and what is false doctrine etc. Your leaders have
    stated this , and yet they have taught or allowed false doctrine to their flock . [cont]

  41. Mike R says:

    Relying to the extent that most Mormons do on an “inner witness” to evaluate spiritual truth
    is dangerous. Living a righteous life style won’t guarantee you of not being misled by false
    prophets, good , honest, sincere, people are misled all the time . Paul knew what takes priority
    and so should we , hence Gal.1:8-9. The criteria expressed here in the N.T. at Gal 1:8-9 is how
    we today are to test the teachings of any apostles of these latter-days who come advertising that
    they have been appointed by Jesus to teach His gospel of salvation. You mentioned that you
    have compared the LDS teachings to the Bible and have found your answer . I won’t judge your
    sincerity , but several key doctrines that Mormon leaders have taught are simply foreign to the
    Bible , many Mormons are finding that out every day .

    About your statement to Kate where she simply stated that ” God’s word tells us not
    to believe every spirit . We need to test everything against God’s Word and if it does’nt line up
    it’s to be rejected . Mormonism does’nt line up with God’s Word.” She cited 1 Jn 4:1 .
    You responded by saying that , ” All it states in that verse is that we should test the spirits to
    see if they are from God, not to check with what has been written.” Ralph , you’re being way
    to picky here. Was Kate really wrong ? Consider : ” We are told to ‘ Try the spirits’, and I know
    of no better way than to do so by the Word of God.” [apostle Orson Pratt,JofD v18 p270].

  42. falcon says:

    Well Ralph isn’t it interesting that despite all of your studying you come to the conclusion that Joseph Smith is a prophet and has the real gospel that was lost in the great apostasy.
    I would have loved to have done your study with you. The reason is that Mormons are so absolutely miserable at applying solid Biblical interpretation principles for finding the truth in God’s Word.
    You did all of this study (I’ll take your word for it) and came to the same conclusion because you did it through the lens of Mormonism. I would contend that you found what you already believed because under intense emotional stress, you didn’t need one more stress related event in your life. Coming to the conclusion that Joseph Smith was not a prophet and the Mormon church wasn’t true would have cost you your whole family.
    I understand totally why someone in your circumstance would gravitate to the known, the comfortable and the familiar.
    I would suggest you watch the video on the first thread on this blog, posted yesterday. How do you account for the young man who was on his Mormon mission, studied the Bible intensely and came to the conclusion that that the Mormon church wasn’t true and that eternal life through Jesus was his answer.
    He also talks about losing his entire family because he left Mormonism to follow Jesus. He paid a huge price but was willing to do it in order to devote his life to serving Christ.
    I can’t share your grief at the loss of your son nor do I discount it or judge you for your decision to stay in Mormonism at that time of intense personal loss and suffering.
    I’m just saying that it would be difficult to suffer one more loss.

  43. falcon says:

    In the video on the first thread of this blog, which I would recommend everyone watch, one thing will jump out at the viewer. That is that the young man is totally focused on Jesus and that was the driving force in the conclusions he came to regarding the Mormon church.
    He shares how he came to the conclusion that his life in Mormonism, with its emphasis on works related activity in order to achieve personal righteousness, was diametrically opposed to what the Bible teaches.
    The Bible teaches that personal righteousness isn’t achieved through anything we can do but it is achieved through what Christ has done for us. I believe he references Ephesians 2:8-9 as verses that got his attention immediately and stood in stark contrast to what Mormonism teaches. He also references Philippians 3:7-11 to show how a works related religious life isn’t a substitute for knowing Jesus in a personal way.
    Again, the young man is totally focused on Jesus, what He did at the Cross, and what the result of putting confidence in Him results in; that is eternal life.
    Mormons are putting their trust and confidence first and fore most in a religious system that they hope will deliver a false promise, personal deification. Secondly it’s how well someone performs within this religious system that will provide them with this false promise.
    Mormonism would love folks to believe that the Good News of redemption through Jesus Christ was lost in a fictitious apostasy. Doesn’t that serve the devil well? False religions and false prophets have as their goal the pulling away of people from the truth of God’s Word, salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ.
    Being enslaved to a religious system that is built on the false promises of false prophets will not end well.

  44. Rick B says:

    Ralph said


    What can I say? The Bereans only had the OT to test the new teachings against, not the words of Paul. It was the word of Paul they were testing against the OT. That is the context and history.

    Ralph, Everything that is in the OT Is found in the NT revealed. And everything in the NT is found in the OT concealed.

    Paul was not teaching some new doctrine, Jesus was Just fulling everything taught and revealing everything from the OT. Thats where your missing everything.

  45. Kate says:

    I quoted 1 John 4:1 for the ” Beloved do not believe every spirit” part. The rest of it I have thrown in from what I believe. God gave us his Word for a reason. It’s a way to test not only false teachings against, but also false prophets. Speaking of false prophets, when does your prophet Thomas Monson share God’s Word with anyone? He’s pretty quiet. In fact many past LDS prophets sat quietly the entire time they were the prophet. Christianity is all about Jesus and what he did on the Cross. It’s about Jesus and it’s Jesus that we are to look to, not man. You don’t need a “next in line” prophet/man standing between you and Jesus. You can go to him yourself. You can have a personal relationship with Him, pray to Him, believe Him when He says He is “the way the truth and the life.” What do Mormons claim is the way the truth and the life Ralph?

    “This CHURCH is the ensign on the mountain spoken of by the Old Testament prophets. It is the way, the truth, and the life” (Marion Romney, Conference Report, April, 1961, pg. 119).

    “The prophet gives us the word of God, that is why we are taught to look to him. But we are not to follow him in blind obedience. ”

    Yes you are, and so was I. I was taught since 3 years old that when the prophet speaks the thinking has been done. I followed a prophet blindly for 38 years because that was what I was taught. Everyone Mormon I know follows blindly and looks to the LDS prophet as sort of a god himself. Compare your prophet against the Word Ralph.

  46. grindael says:


    Mormon “prophets” since about 40 years ago, are nothing like those from the past. (with their public statements and published works and constant “prophesying.). They are much more subdued, and cautious. They answer nothing. They simply manage a large corporate empire, and only stay within the “safe” zones of doctrine. What they do not agree with, is “folklore”. What former “prophets” taught, they have no answers for. They act like they never speak to God, like it’s such a big deal to ask questions about anything. They act like they are only called as “prophets” and “apostles” to watch over the corporation, do the best they can, and if God sees something wrong, he might or might not communicate that to them. Yet, they can’t “lead the church astray” but they can belt out “opinion” and “folklore” and pass it off as the “word of God.” They are no longer living “oracles”, they are corporate managers that hire PR Firms to market the corporation. God has nothing to do with Mormonism, and they will never reveal anything about anything that might be classed as supernatural, or prophecy. We will not see the Lamanites become a great people that helps build the New Jerusalem (as was “prophecied” over and over again in the past) we will see perhaps, the corporation buy up land, and then build as many temples as they can, all the while proclaiming that it is God doing it. But they still uphold those former lying, racist, misogynist former “authorities” as great men of God, and so the lies continue.

  47. falcon says:

    There’s a couple of problems that I see with Ralph’s testimony regarding the death of his son at birth, his crisis of faith and his eventual recommitment to Mormonism and the deepening of his faith as a result of this life tragedy. I don’t doubt the story, the pain, or the crisis of faith. I’m in no way minimizing or marginalizing the event by saying that I could relate similar stories of people I have known who have gone through very similar situations. Without going into details, I have a Christian friend who, over time, lost three children and a future son-in-law under tragic circumstances. He told me, “Without the Lord we (he and his wife) would never have made it.”
    So what I want to ask is, “Did Ralph find the truth as a result of his tragedy?” Here’s the problem as I see it. Let’s say that Ralph encounters someone going through the tragedy of losing a child. Ralph relates his story with the underlying theme that Mormonism is true. The person, impressed with Ralph’s sincerity and willingness to share a deep personal and painful life event decides to join the Mormon church. What is the basis of their conclusion to join Mormonism? Does Ralph’s life story generate proof that Mormonism is true? No, it simply means that at a time of crisis, he reaffirmed his faith in Mormonism.
    The friend I mentioned previously told me that the day of his son’s funeral he was walking “Having it out with God” when in his mind’s eye he saw a vision of the back of his son and Jesus, Jesus having his arm around the boy. Jesus looked over his shoulder and said to my friend, “Would you call him back?” My friend said “No”.

  48. falcon says:

    Now does my friend’s life story and his vision provide evidence that Christianity is true? We could say that at a time of great personal loss, Jesus comforted my friend. I know I get encouragement from my friend’s account because the basis for it is the Lord Jesus Christ, who is revealed to us as the Savior in the New Testament.
    Did God send the vision? Did my friend imagine it much like a day dream? I don’t know.
    What’s interesting about Ralph’s story is that it doesn’t end with him telling us that as a result of this challenge to his faith and his reading of the Bible he came into a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ. The end-game of his search was, yes indeed, Mormonism is true.
    I could pull the Mormon game here and say that Ralph just wasn’t sincere or humble enough when he did his search. This is generally what Mormons say when someone reads the BoM and says they had no revelation of truth as a result of the reading. I could also tell Ralph what Mormons generally say when someone reads the BoM without any bosom burning………..”keep reading it until you feel something”. And in the event that none of this works, just keep at it until you believe (in Mormonism).
    So would Ralph be willing to do the same thing regarding the NT? The young man in the video on the first thread kept reading and studying the Bible searching for the truth. He found it.
    He learned that salvation comes through a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ. Quite frankly, I don’t see how Ralph could miss the message that permeates the entire NT.
    We can only hope that he keeps trying!

  49. falcon says:

    Ralph’s testimony about coming to a crisis of faith as a result of a personal family tragedy and then upon study reaffirmed his faith and commitment stands in stark contrast to former Mormons who post here.
    Most recently we have had grindael and Kate post where by they affirm, either directly or indirectly, their decision to leave the Mormon church. They both did extensive study, grindael in the archives at BYU.
    So what’s going on here? There are all kinds of websites which feature the testimonies of former Mormons who did the research and left Mormonism. Many of these folks did not reject religion but came to an understanding of who Jesus is and what He did for them personally.
    So why is Ralph different. Ralph would tell us it’s the witness of the spirit that confirmed for him that Mormonism is true. Former Mormons would claim the same thing in their case.
    So we have a battle of the testimonies based on research and personal experience.
    I told Andy Watson recently that the more I’m involved in this work, the more I get pushed to a Calvinism approach to theology. I guess it really doesn’t matter whether we’re talking about election or free will, some folks when faced with the prospect of considering who Jesus is get it and some don’t.
    As I’m fond of saying lately, it’s all part of the mystery.

  50. falcon says:

    I believe that Ralph said that he had Mormonism affirmed/confirmed to him through his reading of the Bible. The thing that I find so strange about this is I can’t find Mormonism in the Bible. Besides this, the Mormon company line is that Mormonism was left out of the Bible by some sort of conspiracy. So I don’t know how Mormonism could be confirmed by reading the Bible. Are the basics of Mormonism in the Bible? No! In fact the OT points towards Jesus and the NT confirms Him as God. The whole point of the Bible is God reconciling man to Himself through faith in Jesus.
    So will a reading of the Bible lead someone to believe that:
    *There are millions perhaps billions of gods.
    *That these gods were all once sinful men who by obedience to the principles of Mormonism became gods.
    *That these gods have female partners that they have in polygamous relationships and with whom they procreate spirit children.
    *That the Mormon god of this planetary system lives on or near the planet Kolob.

    Now that’s just a few points and I could go on of course. Has anyone found these things in the Bible as they have been reading it?
    The contrast between Mormonism and orthodox Christianity is striking. Christianity is what the Bible is all about because it’s about Jesus. Someone could torture the Bible and not find Mormonism in it. This is where the Mormon witness of the spirit breaks down badly. There is nothing in Scripture to sustain it.
    A person would have to be spiritually deaf and blind to miss the focus of the NT. Even an unbeliever could figure it out.

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