This sermon is number 3 in a series of 14
Strongholds Shaken - Part 3
"Mormonism - The Latter Day Saints"
by David Legge | Copyright © 2004 | All Rights Reserved | www.preachtheword.com
Mormonism - The Latter Day Saints
First Timothy chapter 2, and I only want to read one verse, but it's a very vitally important one - 1 Timothy chapter 2 and verse 5. Paul says to Timothy: "For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus".
Now so far in our series entitled 'Strongholds of Satan', we have dealt in our first study with the Jehovah's Witnesses, last week we looked at the cult of Christian Science and the Scientology which is so popular in our world today. This week we're looking at the cult of Mormonism, or as they call themselves: 'The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints'. This cult is one of the wealthiest cults that there is in the world today, not that we deduce anything from that, but just for your information to know that between 25 and 30 billion dollars is theirs in assets alone. The Mormon Church controls, as we speak, in our world at least 100 companies or businesses, and comprising that is the Marriott chain of hotels - and you can see their logo on the screen just now. Also within their great hoard and treasury of wealth is included 300 million dollars a year in media conglomerates, they're big into media. Then also 3 million dollars a day is generated in the Mormon Church purely by the tithes and offerings of those who are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. A very interesting fact is that when you join the church, it is compulsory to give a tithe of all your income.
There are, as far as the figures I could get today up to date, about 11 million members in the Mormon Church; and it is growing at a rate of over 1500 members a day - staggering! Baptisms occur in the Mormon Church one every 1 minute 55 seconds. During the past quarter of the century the Mormon Church has moved, if you like in the top ten 'Top of the Pops' place in American church bodies, to seventh place - bypassing the Presbyterians, Episcopalians and Lutherans. That's due to many factors: partly the advertising push on television and in periodicals such as the Reader's Digest, but chiefly because of their aggressive evangelism - their missionaries all around the world who propagate the Mormon Gospel. The BYU - that is, the Brigham Young University president, Merrill Bateman, on the year 2000 he predicted that by 2025 the number of Mormon missionaries converting people will be more than doubled, rising from about 60,000 in the year 2000 to 125,000.
At the minute Mormon missionaries are in over 150 countries, and during the year 2000 alone, during those 12 months alone at the turn of this century, there were 35 Mormon temples dedicated. If you look at the next slide, you can see down in the bottom left-hand corner the very beautiful Cincinnati Temple, and also on the right-hand side here in the UK the Preston Temple, and up above is a sight that many Mormons never see - and that is the Celestial Room, that is almost like the Holy of Holies in the temple, and very few Mormons ever actually get into it - it's a great privilege to enter such a place.
We tonight want to consider the claims of the Mormon Church under two headings mirrored by the word of God. The first heading is: the origins and the originators of Mormonism. Then the second heading later on will be: the teachings and writings of Mormonism. Now I'm sure that some of you will disagree with what I'm saying tonight, I'd be surprised if you didn't, and I would invite you to question me afterwards and have a chat, but please don't interrupt me as I go through this message tonight - just for the sake of continuity and for others in the building who are listening very intently, wanting to hear what the word of God has to say. I'd be very willing, and it would be a pleasure to me, to speak to you afterwards if you will.
We'll look first at the origins and the originators of Mormonism. On the next slide you will see the originator of Mormonism, the founder of Mormonism, Joseph Smith - who is heralded as the Mormon prophet, and God's supreme revelation to mankind today. Joseph Smith was born in Vermont in 1805. He was the fourth child of Lucy and Joseph Smith, and Joseph Smith Snr. was a man who searched for buried treasure, and he was known as a 'money digger' - now that is no reflection on Joseph Jnr., but I'm just trying to portray to you the home from which he came. His mother was also described by biographers as being a very superstitious person. Joseph Smith was interested, from his youth, in religion - that is Joseph Smith Jnr. He was very disturbed by all the different denominations there were in so-called Christendom, and he thought that all of them could not be right, and he questioned whether any of them were true at all.
Now we may find that we can commend him in a sense, because he read the Holy Scriptures and he testifies himself that he read James chapter 1 and verse 5 where God says: 'If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraids not'. So Joseph Smith decided that he would ask God if any of the present-day denominations in Christendom were true and, if there was any true, which he should join. He did that in the year 1820 at the age of approximately 14 years old. One day he went into the woods in New York State to pray concerning this very matter, that God would reveal to him the truth of which denomination had God's true revelation. Joseph Smith, at 14, claimed that at that moment, when he began to pray to God upon this verse, James 1 verse 5, that God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ appeared to him and told him not to join any denomination. In fact the words that were used, he quotes saying that 'all the denominations were abominations in the sight of God'. As one Christian writer on Mormonism has said, Harold Berry, 'Thus Mormons', from that very inception of their religion, 'would have us believe that with one vision given to a 14-year-old boy, God wiped out eighteen centuries of historic Christianity'. That is what they claim: that God was giving to Joseph Smith a new revelation of Jesus Christ.
So, upon that revelation, Joseph did not join any of the present-day Christian denominations; but incidentally - at his own admission - he did not draw near to God from that moment in time, in fact he confessed later in his life that during the next three years he frequently, I quote 'Fell into many foolish errors and displayed the weakness of youth and the foibles of human nature'. In fact, some of his own contemporaries would later list that treasure hunting, using divining rods, ritual magic and other occultic practices were among some of those errors of Joseph Smith's youth. It is also significant, I would have to add, that there are over six - at least - versions of the vision that Joseph had with God at that moment when God warned him not to join any of the Christian churches. There are many discrepancies between those six or more visions, in fact one discrepancy being that in 1832 Joseph Smith said that only Christ appeared to him in the woods in New York State. Then, between the years 1838 and 1839, the version changed and he said that 'both God the Father and the Son appeared to him there in the forest' - and there are many other discrepancies other than those.
Now if you look at the next slide, Joseph Smith claimed that three years later in 1823, when he was 17 years of age, an angel appeared to him - an angel by the name of 'Moroni'. This angel, supposedly, was the son of a man called 'Mormon' who was the leader of the people called 'the Nephites', who had lived in America many many years ago. Joseph Smith claimed, allegedly, that Moroni appeared to him and told Joseph that he was chosen to translate the sacred book of Mormon, which was written by Moroni over 1000 years earlier. Within that book of Mormon, detailed was the history of the people of the Nephites and the ancient American race, and also - and this is very important to note - Joseph Smith claimed that the angel told him that within the book of Mormon was the fullness of the true everlasting gospel.
You will see on the next slide the golden tablets that Joseph Smith claimed to begin to translate. He was instructed to translate them through Urim and Thummim - those of you who are familiar with the Old Testament will know what those jewels are - and he used the Urim and Thummim to translate what he called 'reformed Egyptian characters' in language. Now most, if not all, the linguistic scholars and Egyptologists will tell you that there is no such thing as reformed Egyptian characters, nevertheless this is what Joseph Smith claimed. He used this Urim and Thummim like seer-stones, or spectacles, whereby God supposedly revealed to him the characters in English of these reformed Egyptian characters on the golden pages.
The book of Mormon was originally, he said, written on these golden plates. The angel told him that the book was hidden near where he was presently living in New York. Now there are many other claims that Joseph Smith makes, and I can't deal with them all this evening they're too numerous to do such, but during the process of translating these golden plates Joseph Smith claimed that during that process John the Baptist himself appeared to him. John the Baptist ordained Joseph Smith to accomplish, he said, the divine work of restoring the true church of Jesus Christ by the preaching of the true gospel which allegedly had been lost from the earth.
Now could we just pause for a moment, because any of you who have been here on previous studies these Monday nights, and will be with us on subsequent studies, will note that here is a chief characteristic of the cult and the false religion: they claim to be the restoration of the true gospel that has been lost in present-day Christianity. It begs the question, what did the Lord Jesus Christ mean in Matthew 16:18 when He said that He would build His church, and the gates of hell would not prevail against it? Well, Joseph Smith had a different revelation, and the Mormon Church does not hide the fact that it is different than true Christianity - although they might try to persuade you that they are as Christian as any other church, but the fact of the matter is the modern day Book of Mormon also has as a subtitle on it: 'Another Testament of Jesus' - another revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ that you will not find anywhere else but in the Book of Mormon.
Not only did John the Baptist tell him to preach the true gospel, but he also, Joseph claimed, conferred upon him the Aaronic priesthood that we know of in the Old Testament Scriptures. Later Peter, James and John appeared to Joseph Smith and conferred upon him now the priesthood of Melchisedec; and of course Joseph Smith himself claimed to be a human descendant of the Lord Jesus Christ. Of course, Joseph then went on to claim that the golden plates were taken away from him again by the angel, and they have not been seen since. So we cannot check the claims of the true Book of Mormon. If you look at the next slide you will see the Book of Mormon as it is today, and some of the other writings from the Mormon Church.
The Book of Mormon claims to cover a period of 600 AD through to 400 AD, and is supposedly an account of the people, the Jaredites, who migrated, apparently, from the Tower of Babel in the Middle East to Central America where they perished because of their own immorality - but it also describes the migration of some of the Jews, who were led by a man called Nephi. This book of Mormon describes how, led by Nephi, these people fled from Palestine to America, and as a result of persecution in Jerusalem they went to the new-found land. Those Jewish people were divided into two groups, the Book of Mormon claims, the Nephites and the Lamanites, and these two groups began to fight one another. Now, having defeated the Nephites in 428 AD, the Lamanites lived on and are known, they claim, today as the American Indian people. The Book of Mormon makes no secret of this. The Book of Mormon is an account of the Nephite leader, Mormon, concerning their culture, their civilisation and - wait for it - the literal bodily appearance of the Lord Jesus Christ in Central America.
Now I don't expect you to remember everything that I've just shared with you, but what I do want to show you just now is an animation on video of a little clip of what the Mormon doctrine is in a nutshell. If we could comprise it into a few minutes of animation, this is what it would be:
[Begin video transcript]
Narrator: "Mormonism teaches that trillions of planets scattered throughout the cosmos are ruled by countless gods, who once were human like us. They say that long ago on one of these planets, to an unidentified god and one of his goddess wives, a spirit child named Elohim was conceived. This spirit child was later born to human parents who gave him a physical body. Through obedience to Mormon teaching in death and resurrection, he proved himself worthy and was elevated to godhood, as his father before him. Mormons believe that Elohim is their heavenly father, and that he lives with his many goddess wives on a planet near a mysterious star called Kolob. Here the god of Mormonism and his wives, through endless celestial sex, produce billions of spirit children. To decide their destiny, the head of the Mormon gods called a great heavenly counsel meeting. Both of Elohim's eldest sons were there: Lucifer, and his brother Jesus. A plan was presented to build planet earth, where the spirit children would be sent to take on mortal bodies and learn good from evil. Lucifer stood and made his bid for becoming saviour of this new world - wanting the glory for himself, he planned to force everyone to become gods. Opposing the idea, the Mormon Jesus suggested giving man his freedom of choice as on other planets. The vote that followed approved the proposal of the Mormon Jesus, who would become saviour of the planet earth. Enraged, Lucifer cunningly convinced one-third of the spirits destined for earth to fight with him in revolt. Thus Lucifer became the devil, and his followers the demons. Sent to this world they would forever be denied bodies of flesh and bone. Those who remain neutral in the battle were cursed to be born with black skin. This is the Mormon explanation for the Negro race. The spirits that fought most valiantly against Lucifer would be born into Mormon families on planet earth. These would be the lighter skinned people, or 'white and delightsome' as the Book of Mormon describes them. Early Mormon prophets taught that Elohim and one of his goddess wives came to earth as Adam and Eve to start the human race. Thousands of years later Elohim, in human form once again, journeyed to earth from the starbase Kolob, this time to have sex with the Virgin Mary in order to provide Jesus with a physical body. The Mormon apostle, Orson Pratt, taught that after Jesus Christ grew to manhood he took at least three wives: Mary, Martha and Mary Magdalene. Through these wives the Mormon Jesus, from whom Joseph Smith claimed direct descent, supposedly fathered a number of children before he was crucified. According to the Book of Mormon, after his resurrection Jesus came to the Americas to preach to the Indians - who the Mormons believe are really Israelites. Thus the Jesus of Mormonism established his church in the Americas as he had in Palestine. By the year 421 AD the dark skinned Indian Israelites, known as Lamanites, had destroyed all of the white Nephites in a number of great battles. The Nephite records were supposedly written on golden plates and buried by Moroni, the last living Nephite, on the hill Cumorah. 1400 years later a young treasure-seeker named Joseph Smith, who was known for his tall tales, claimed to have uncovered these same gold plates near his home in upstate New York. He is now honoured by Mormons as a prophet because he claimed to have had visions from the spirit world in which he was commanded to organise the Mormon Church, because all Christian creeds were an abomination. It was Joseph Smith who originated most of these peculiar doctrines which millions today believe to be true. By maintaining a rigid code of financial and moral requirements, and through performing secret temple rituals for themselves and the dead, the Latter Day Saints hope to prove their worthiness, and thus become gods. The Mormons teach that everyone must stand at the final judgment before Joseph Smith, the Mormon Jesus and Elohim. Those Mormons who are sealed in the eternal marriage ceremony expect to become polygamous gods in a celestial kingdom, and rule over other planets, and spawn new families throughout eternity. The Mormons thank God for Joseph Smith, who claimed that he had done more for us than any other man, including Jesus Christ. The Mormons believe that He died as a martyr, shed His blood for us so that we too may become gods".
[End video transcript]
Now you can see there that there's a great deal of doctrine, indeed false doctrine, that we could not possibly begin to deal with tonight. There is a plethora of what we could only say, in the light of our knowledge of the Scriptures, is absolute blasphemy. That Elohim, the Mormon god, is nothing but an exalted man who has got to 'god status', and therefore the salvation of all of us being gods is an opportunity for all. Not only that, but Satan is the brother of the Lord Jesus Christ; that the Lord Jesus Christ's way of salvation was chosen, and so Elohim, this exalted man, went and - as Brigham Young claimed - in a natural way, just as naturally as you were conceived, Jesus was conceived through Elohim the exalted man and the Virgin Mary - no longer a virgin. It goes on, claiming that the Lord Jesus Christ appeared in the Americas; Joseph Smith claiming to be the one sole prophet; claiming that on one day, the day of judgment, we will stand before the Mormon Jesus, Elohim, and Joseph Smith.
Now after the publication of the Book of Mormon, Mormonism began to grow - probably because of the deviant nature regarding it, as opposed to Christianity, it was so different. Anybody reading the word of God could see very clearly that it is different: there is a plurality of gods - Elohim is only one god in this particular universe; the doctrine of polygamy made it very unique. So the Mormons, and I don't justify their persecution, but nevertheless, persecution soon forced them to move from New York State to Ohio, and then to Missouri, and finally to Illinois. From the inception of the Mormon Church upon the basis of the revelation, so-called, of the Book of Mormon, trouble continually followed this religious organisation. There were atrocities committed upon them, but historians clearly tell us that there were also atrocities committed by them. On one occasion Governor Lilburn Boggs of Missouri issued an order to militia stating that because of, I quote 'the attitude of open and avowed defiance of the laws, and of having made open war upon the people of this state, the Mormons must be treated as enemies and exterminated or driven from this state'. You will see there a portrait of what has been known as one of the greatest massacres, the Mountain Meadows massacre of 1859, in modern American history. In fact, not too long ago, on Wednesday February 27th 2002 in the Daily Telegraph, there was a recent article - the claim was, I quote 'A confession etched on a newly discovered lead sheet has shaken the Mormon Church by linking its revered leader, Brigham Young' - who you see now on the screen - 'with one of the worst massacres in American history'. The note claims that Brigham Young ordered the massacre, although Mormons up until then avowed and claimed that it was the American Indians who were guilty for it. Eventually John D Lee, who you will see on your next slide, a militia man who was Brigham Young's adopted son, was tried, having been given over by the Mormons, and executed for the massacre of 120 settlers, mostly women and children, who had thrown down their weapons after being given the promise of safe passage. Now Mormons have tried to cover this up in bygone days, but the fact of the matter is that there is now a confession etched and signed by John D Lee, claiming that upon the orders of Brigham Young he carried out the massacre. To this day, schoolbooks in Utah don't mention it, it is airbrushed history because it doesn't fit in with the doctrine, they still will not face the facts.
Trouble also dogged the Mormons, not just because of civil unrest, but also rumours regarding polygamy - and not all the Mormons were even happy themselves with polygamy that was going on. In fact we know, and the Mormons even admit, that Smith himself was definitely a polygamist. The number of wives that he had is unknown, estimates range between 28 to 84, one being as young as 14 years of age. In fact, his true first wife Emma was very hurt and angry when she found out about his polygamous relationships - but guess what happened? Joseph got a word from the Lord to the effect that the Lord would kill Emma if she would not submit and cleave to Joseph.
Now by 1842 some dissident Mormons were so unhappy with the apparent immorality that a newspaper was published by these excommunicated Mormons detailing their grievances against Joseph Smith in particular. The first edition of that newspaper happened to also be the last, because days later Joseph Smith and the city council decided to destroy the printing office of the paper. Because of that Joseph and his brother Hiram ended up in jail, and on June 27th a mob broke into the jail and killed Joseph and his brother. It would have to be added that that was not before Smith used a six-shooter to wound a few of them on his way out in a blazing gun battle. After that the church divided into two groups - you may think that there is one Mormon Church, there is not, there are several, but there are two particularly strong influences in Mormonism. Right there at the very beginning, after Smith's death, one was led by Joseph Smith's widow which went back to Missouri and were called 'The Reorganised Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints'. They maintained that they were the true Mormon Church, and they laid claim to the legal succession of Church Presidency which was bestowed upon Joseph's son, Joseph Smith Jnr, Joseph Smith III. The other group, which we know today as 'The Church of the Latter Day Saints' was led by Brigham Young, and it went not to Missouri but to Utah, and eventually ended up at Salt Lake, and of course in 1847, not long after that, it became Salt Lake City.
So I hope you see the origins and the originator of Mormonism, and all the claims that I have made can be proven. But we want to move on to examine a little bit more in the light of God's word the teachings and the writings of Mormonism, the teachings and the writings of Mormonism. Let me say before I go on any further: the strongest anti-Mormon literature around is their own literature! I will quote many truths that they believe in, and I can give you the references for them - I will give you some of the references tonight, it would be impossible to give them all, but I have many more with me this evening if you want any more - but you will find, when you begin to read Mormon literature, that there are discrepancies within their own writings alone. For instance, the Book of Mormon disagrees on occasions with contemporary teaching of the Mormon Church today.
Let me give you two examples at least, I have several more, but we've only time to consider two. The first is this, if you read the Book of Mormon, you will find that in places it does teach that there is only one God, whereas the doctrine evolved to say that there are many gods and gods many, as they falsely quote the statement from 1 Corinthians, and they even claim that we can be like Elohim and exalt ourselves to the state of godhood, marry goddesses, and procreate throughout eternity populating planets forever and ever, because we can achieve god-status as well. But the Book of Mormon does teach that there is only one God, and that He is not a man, He is not flesh and blood as the Mormon Church claims, but He is unchangeable spirit. There are the quotations - 'Only one God, an unchangeable spirit' (Alma 11v26-31; II Nephi 31v21; Mormon 9v9-11,19; Moroni 7v22; 8v18) - read them for yourselves!
A second claim that the Book of Mormon correctly makes is that eternal glory or eternal punishment is inevitable to all men and women, and that there is no second chance after death - 'Eternal glory or punishment, no second chance' (III Nephi 27v11-17; Mosiah 3v24-27; II Nephi 28v22-23; Alma 34v32-35). Now the Mormon Church teaches us today that baptism is necessary for the dead, they base that upon a verse that we may have time to look at tonight in 1 Corinthians 15:29 - but they state that we can actually engage in proxy baptism for those who have already died, in order to exalt them to another layer in eternity of glory. So they become obsessed with baptism for the dead, yet the Bible teaches, and even the Book of Mormon in III Nephi 27:11-17; Mosiah 3v24-27; II Nephi 28v22-23; and Alma 34v32-35 that there is glory and punishment for men.
Now I could give you many more discrepancies, we don't have time tonight, but at least search and see for yourself whether these things be. But other men have done detailed studies of the Book of Mormon - one, an ex-Mormon scholar by the name of H. Michael Marquart (sp?), looked at the Book of Mormon and saw that there are over 200 quotations that are literally plagiarised from the Authorised Version of the English Scriptures - that is a fact. Although some may claim it, even in Protestantism, the Authorised Version of the Scriptures was not inspired as a direct translation from God. The original Greek and Hebrew manuscripts were the only inspired pieces of literature that God gave to His Church. So how come the Mormons have just lifted, it would seem, Joseph Smith, the quotations from the Authorised and put them straight into the book of Mormon - it would seem very strange, wouldn't it? In fact, the Mormon Church claims that the Book of Mormon, I quote 'is the most correct book on earth' - even more correct than the Bible! It is so correct that an angel made 15 visits from the throne of God to Joseph Smith in the process of translation to make sure that the book of Mormon was correctly printed and translated as it was.
Now the facts do not bear out the claim that it is the most correct book on the earth. You can check out what I'm saying tonight and you will find that it is true, because from the first publication of the Book of Mormon, and the first Book of Mormon was only published about 150 years ago - that's not an awfully long time - but from that first publication there have been 4000, almost, changes in it!
What about the Book of Mormon and archaeology? Well, you would think if there was an ancient people called the Nephites and the Lamanites who inhabited Central America, and they had the way of life that the Book of Mormon portrays - and coins are even mentioned within the Book of Mormon - you would think that by now American archaeologists, even Mormon archaeologists, would have excavated some of the evidence - but to date, this evening, there is no evidence for the people in the Book of Mormon, there is no evidence for the places mentioned by the Book of Mormon, there is no evidence for any of the events claimed by the Book of Mormon. Chiefly, there is no evidence to say that the Red Indians descended from the Israelites, that they belong in the genetic sense to the Jewish nation. In fact, on the contrary there is evidence to prove categorically today that they do not descend from the Jew.
Now this is very technical stuff, but it's important that we understand the facts not only of history and the Bible, but of science proven today. In this next clip you will see how DNA technological advances have proven that the claims of the book of Mormon, even Mormon scientists are admitting that the claims of the Book of Mormon cannot be substantiated in the light of modern evidence.
[Begin video transcript]
Narrator: "Recently new inroads into research on human DNA has allowed scientists to determine the relatedness of different populations around the world. Children inherit a mixture of their parent's DNA, which is a mixture of their grandparents DNA, and so forth. With each subsequent generation that DNA becomes increasingly mixed and blended with DNA from other ancestors. However, small or isolated amounts of DNA exist in the cells of both fathers and mothers that do not mix when passed to their children. The father's Y-chromosome DNA remains intact as it is passed down to his son, and to his son's son, and so on through multiple generations. In the same way the mother's mitochondrial DNA also remains intact as it is passed down to both her sons and daughters from one generation to the next. Scientists are then able to trace these intact DNA markers back through hundreds of generations to determine ancestry. When the Y-chromosomes or mitochondrial DNA are tested in hundreds or even thousands of individuals from two different populations of people, the results can be compared to see how similar or dissimilar these intact DNA markers are between people groups. Dr David Glen-Smith has spent more than 30 years studying Native American genes. He has dozens of publications to his name, his lab at the University of California Davis is one of the country's leading test-labs of Native American DNA".
Dr. Glen-Smith: "If you look at genes in Native Americans, they came from the ancestors, they had to come from their ancestral populations - those ancestors lived somewhere. You can look for those genes in Jewish populations, but you don't find them. If you look at genes that are commonly, most commonly, found in Native American populations, and those that are most commonly found in Jewish populations, they don't coincide at all".
Researcher 1: "Recently I've been involved in a number of research projects that have examined DNA variation in ancient populations in the Americas. I don't know of any data that suggests particular similarity of Native American populations to any population of the Middle East".
Archaeologist: "Archaeologists and physical anthropologists have not found any evidence of Hebrew origins for the people of North, South and Central America".
Researcher 2: "Currently on the available evidence there is nothing to suggest any relationship whatsoever with Israelites".
Researcher 3: "The overwhelming evidence negates the Book of Mormon claim that the American Indian represents a genealogical descendant from Israel".
Narrator: "Thomas Murphy is a Mormon scholar and the chair of the Anthropology Department at Edmonds Community College in Linwood, Washington. He is working on his doctorate at the University of Washington on the DNA issue that faces his religion".
Murphy: "We are in a dilemma now. The genetic evidence shows clearly the American Indians are not Hebrews, they're not the Israelites".
[End video transcript]
That clip is from a video entitled 'The Book of Mormon vs DNA', or 'DNA vs The Book of Mormon', and we could show you many other claims and follow on through to show you that categorically it has been proven that the American ancient indigenous people do not come from Israelites, rather they come from a gene pool which was spawned somewhere in the eastern part of North Asia, somewhere near Siberia. A friend of mine was talking to a couple of Mormons the other day in the centre of Belfast, and he pointed out that statement to them, that the original American people came from somewhere near Siberia up in North Asia, and they said 'Oh yes, Jerusalem comes from Asia' - but it is North Asia, Asia is a big continent, it's North Asia near Siberia. The Mormon Church, in some parts, is trying to discredit this gentleman Thomas Murphy because he as a Mormon is now proving the Book of Mormon wrong, and many other Mormons are trying at least to reinterpret the Book of Mormon, staying in the church, because of the categorical evidence that they face.
We go on to talk about the book of the Doctrine and Covenants, how Mormon Scriptures change and writings are transformed to suit the present-day. When the 137th section of the Doctrine and Covenants book was canonised - that means it became holy writ for the Mormon Church - there were over, research this, 200 words of the original revelation of Joseph Smith given to him by God that were omitted from it. The reason why? It contained three blatant lies, one of which was that men live on the moon. You can research it for yourself.
The difference between Christianity and the Church of the Latter Day Saints is that the Church of the Latter Day Saints reworks, rewrites, covers up and deletes its scriptures; but the church of Jesus Christ founded on the word of God goes back to the most ancient manuscripts it can find in order to placate and show that God's word is still here. There is a great difference, because one stinks of cover-up, and the other testifies of seeking after the truth.
Now the best thing I can do for anyone here tonight that is a Mormon, I could argue all night and I don't want to do that, but could I encourage you to read the word of God. Read the holy Scriptures and you will find first of all that God is described in Deuteronomy chapter 4 and verse 35 - you should note these down - He is described as being the only one and true God, I read: 'Unto thee it was showed, that thou mightest know that the LORD he is God; there is none else beside him'. Now I know that Elohim is a Hebrew word that is in the plural, but that is because within the Old and New Testament Scriptures there is the Triune Godhead, and it is not three separate gods as the Church of the Latter Day Saints teaches, but it is one God in three persons, one essence. John chapter 4 and verse 24 states very clearly that God is not a man, He is not flesh and blood, God is the spirit; and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth.
We read this evening at the beginning of our meeting 1 Timothy 2:5: 'There is one God' - why does the church of the Mormons teach us that there are many gods? 'There is one mediator between God and man' - not Joseph Smith, not Brigham Young, not any other prophet, not any other twelve apostles, but there is one mediator: the man Christ Jesus. In Malachi 3:6 in the Old Testament, God says: 'For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed'. God never changes, he does not become exalted to a heavenly status from a man. That's what the word of God testifies of God Himself, but you know a cult can be detected a mile off by one question - and all of them are the same - if asked the scriptural question: 'What think ye of Christ? Whose son is He?', they deny the deity of our Lord Jesus Christ, that He is God manifest in flesh. In fact, you heard the words of the prophet Pratt, who claimed that the Lord Jesus Himself was a polygamist married to Mary and Martha at the marriage feast at Cana in Galilee. Yet the Scriptures teach in John 1 and verse 1 that our Lord was much more than a man: in the beginning was the Word, the logos, He was with God and He was God. We read on in verse 14 of John 1: 'And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth'. 'For the law', verse 18 of chapter 1 of John, 'was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ' - not by Joseph Smith. 'No man hath seen God at any time, the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him'. In Matthew 1:18, the angel was heard to speak - 'Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost' - and He would be called, the angel said, 'Emmanuel, God With Us, the Son of the Highest', not the son of some Adam that had been exalted to God, or Elohim that was in flesh and slept with the Virgin Mary. In Isaiah 7:14 God's word said prophetically: 'Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel' - a virgin.
The Bible speaks about the atonement, that it is complete and it has got nothing to do with either you or me. Yet the mantra of the Mormon Church is, as one of its prophets taught: 'As God once was, man is; and as God is, man may become'. In other words, just as Elohim used to be a man, you can be a god just like him, you can achieve your own salvation by following the laws and the ordinances of the Mormon Church. Yet the fact of the matter is in Hebrews 9 and 22 it says that without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sin. In fact, Brigham Young said that the blood of Christ was not enough to cleanse our sins, there are some sins that need the shedding of our own blood! In John 1:29, John the Baptist said of Jesus, not Joseph Smith: 'Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world'. First Peter 2:24 testifies that Christ Himself 'bore our sins on his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed'.
We do not get to heaven or to salvation by our own works. Paul's epistle to the Romans 3:20 says, and following: 'Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace', unmerited favour, 'through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God'. Hebrews 10:12 clearly states: 'This man', Jesus Christ, 'after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God' - it was finished completely! Hebrews 7 testifies very clearly: 'this man, because he continueth ever', that means He is risen again, 'hath an unchangeable priesthood' - He is in the order of the priesthood of Melchisedec. Do you see that word 'unchangeable' in the Greek language in the New Testament? It is translated also as 'untransferable' priesthood - there is only one priest after the order of Melchisedec, and it is the man that died and rose again, and Joseph Smith never rose again! Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the world, has the only claim to that.
What does the Bible have to say about salvation? Well, Brigham Young said: 'He that confesses not that Jesus has come in the flesh, and sent Joseph Smith with the fullness of the Gospel to this generation, is not of God but is antichrist' (Journal of Discourses, Volume 9, page 312) - but God's word says in Romans 10 and 9 that if we confess with the mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe in our heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, we shall be saved! But Brigham Young still says in Journal of Discourses, Volume 3, page 266: 'If any of you will deny the plurality of wives' - that is polygamy - 'and continue to do so, I promise that you will be damned'. Now there are some Mormons here tonight, perhaps, and I would ask you the question: I know that your Church has changed its teaching of polygamy, but does that mean you're all damned according to one of your revered prophets?
Friends, weigh up with the Scriptures what it teaches on salvation, that it is by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone - Ephesians 2 and verses 8 and 9: 'For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast'. Romans 4 and verse 5: 'But to him that works salvation is not given, but to him that believeth on him that justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness'.
What about the future state of the soul? Well, the Mormon Church teaches that by continual baptism by proxy for the dead, that we in some way can redeem those that are lost. But the Bible teaches in Hebrews 9:27: 'it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment'. There is no second opportunity, the Lord Jesus told in Luke 16 - I know that the Mormons will say it is a parable, but nevertheless what does it teach if it even is a parable, when it says that there is a great gulf fixed so that they which would pass from hell to heaven could not? Revelation 20:15 says that: 'whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire' - not given a second opportunity, not baptised and given another chance.
1 Corinthians 15:29 poses a problem for many: baptism for the dead. I could spend a long time tonight even espousing some of the Christian beliefs in this which are many and varied, it is a difficult verse, I'll give you that, I'll admit it freely right away - but I'll tell you this: one of the principal rules of hermeneutics, which is the interpretation of the word of God, is this is: you do not interpret the clear passages of God's word by obscure ones. There is nowhere else in Scripture that talks about baptism for the dead, and there was a Greek practice not far from Corinth, a pagan practice of baptising dead people - and Paul, could it be, was illustrating by this: if they're even doing that in paganism, how can you Christians not believe in the resurrection from the dead? What he certainly was not claiming, was that in contradistinction to everything else in the Scriptures that you get a second chance after death.
The claims of Joseph Smith are astounding. Can I give you one - now listen, use your conscience if God still can see it in your mind just tonight, and ask yourself what kind of a man this sounds like. This is a direct quote from History of the Church, volume 6, page 408-409, he says: 'God is in the still small voice. In all these', affidavits that were put against him, 'these indictments, it is all of the devil - all corruption. Come on! ye prosecutors! ye false swearers! All hell, boil over! Ye burning mountains, roll down your lava! For I will come out on the top at last. I have more to boast of than ever any man had. I am the only man that has ever been able to keep a whole church together since the days of Adam. A large majority of the whole have stood by me. Neither Paul, John, Peter nor Jesus ever did it. I boast that no man ever did such a work as I. The followers of Jesus ran away from Him; but the Latter Day Saints never ran away from me yet...'.
That man is the nearest I've ever come to a devil incarnate. Revelation 22 tells me that if anyone takes away or adds to God's revelation, God will take away his name from ever being in the book of life - that is anti-Christ if ever there was. That is anathema that Paul speaks of! The Christ of Mormonism is not the Christ of the Bible, and Paul says if any man - or an angel! - preach another Christ unto you, let him be damned! That can only come from Satan. It's not my intent to offend anyone, if you only knew the love that is in my heart tonight for you, and the prayers that have been prayed by me for you - but I must tell the truth.
I don't advise you to do this, but if you were to take down what you'll see on your next slide - Anton LaVey's Satanic Bible - and under the lists within it of infernal names, you will see a god named called the 'King of the Gods', and his name is 'Mormo, the god of the living dead', whose followers are Mormons - people obsessed with genealogies, with temple rites, with proxy baptism for the dead visiting the living, converting dead even in the grave. Do you know that Mormons in China have had to change their name, because in Chinese it means 'the gates of hell'?
When I meet Mormons at times, I face them with some of these facts, and the answers that come back break the heart. They say: 'I have prayed to God over the book of Mormon, and He has given me a burning in my bosom that it is true', and they invite me to read the Book of Mormon, and ask God to reveal and He will give that burning in the bosom as well. Can I say to you tonight: examine the evidence, don't rely on a subjective burning in the bosom, but look at the objective facts of the word of God, the evidence that is there - and you will be convinced, and remember that the Holy Spirit does not lead us just into abstract truth - 'He will testify of me', Jesus said!
Listen to some of those, as we close, who found that salvation is not in a church - and it's not in this church, I'll tell you that - but it's found in Jesus Christ, and Jesus Christ alone:
[Begin video transcript]
Speaker 1: "The motivation for many of them is that Mormonism is a nice place to raise your family, it's the easy road. If you're already here and you're already in it, then why upset things?"
Speaker 2: "The biggest danger was that they took me in, and I was thinking it was a Christian church - and it wasn't a Christian church, it was a cult".
Speaker 3: "Instead of going back to one of the standard works of the church, I went to the Bible. I started reading and made up my mind that I was going to go from cover to cover, and in the second chapter of Genesis I studied how Eve was convinced by Satan to eat the fruit, that she could become a god. Then in the 14th chapter of Isaiah, Lucifer was cast out of heaven because he too wanted to be equal to or greater than God".
Speaker 4: "I began studying the Bible, I became aware of the real Jesus, the real God, and began to understand that the god of Mormonism was not the God of the Bible".
Speaker 5: "We lived the word of wisdom, we attended meetings, we paid our tithing, we had family home evening, we did all the things we were supposed to do. When I became a Christian I suddenly was not the good person I thought I was, because God revealed to us our inner pride, our inner problems, the things that had not been in focus before because we were so concerned in the outward things, we were so happy with the outward things we were doing that that made us rest, thinking we were OK".
Speaker 6: "I was lonely as a child in the church, I was lonely as a married person in the church, I was lonely as a single person in the church - but when I met the Lord, I knew that there was someone that would be with all the time".
Speaker 7: "I remembered that I should ask Jesus into my heart, I remembered hearing my Christian friends say that. So I got down on my knees one day when I was all alone, and asked Jesus to come into my heart. I didn't know what I was doing, but when I got up I had been born again, I found out that Jesus was the way, the truth and the life - and not an organisation".
Speaker 8: "I had been looking all my life for something in the Mormon Church, and I couldn't put my finger on what I was looking for. Then when my mom accepted Christ into her life, she shared it with me, and I saw a joy in her life that I had never seen before in all of her activity in the Mormon Church. This is what I needed!"
Speaker 9: "I feel very grateful to God that our whole family, my wife and myself and seven lovely children, have come out of the Mormon Church and know Jesus Christ in a very personal way".
[End video transcript]
I'm finished, but I would say to all of you tonight: beware of false doctrine, and if you belong to the Mormon Church tonight we love you in the Saviour, and we would ask you to search the Scriptures and see if these things are so, and may you find the Lord Jesus Christ of the Bible as your Saviour and your Lord.
Lord, we thank You that our Saviour said that in the Scriptures we have life, for they testify of Me. Lord, may someone go away from this place tonight and search the Holy Scriptures and find Jesus. Lord, we love You, and we love, we hope, all men; and we pray that all men in this place may come to love You too for Thy glory. Amen.
Preach The Word.
This sermon was delivered at The Iron Hall Assembly in Belfast, Northern Ireland, by Pastor David Legge. It was transcribed from the third tape in his Strongholds Shaken series, titled "Mormonism - The Latter Day Saints" - Transcribed by Andrew Watkins, Preach The Word. The inclusion of Images and diagrams in this transcript is done without intention to breach any copyright restrictions. If this has been done in any instance, please contact us and we will willingly remove the offending item.
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