Mitt Romney: Would the USA people elect a Mormon President?

Candidates have been competing for the spotlight in first debate between Republican USA presidential hopefuls in New Hampshire.

Who won the debate? Commentators tell us two people did.

One was former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney. Some republicans loath him for passing a healthcare reform programme that closely resembles “Obamacare”.  Some of his party call him a Rino – a “Republican in name only”.

The other winner was Michele Bachmann who far exceeded the low expectations most people had for her. She has been described as a Sarah Palin, and just as right-wing.

I find it puzzling that Mitt Romney is still in the race. A Mormon for USA President? Surely his religion will be a hindrance to his ambitions. Would not such a thing demean the US in the eyes of other nations? I can not see Christians in the USA voting for Mitt Romney unless they have no idea what Mormonism is.

It is possible of course that the Mormon leadership know he has little chance, but delight that they have a candidate. Perhaps they reason that after a few candidates the opposition to a Mormon president would fade.

I was brought up as a Mormon but left Mormonism as a teenager. Once I had became a follower of Jesus Christ I became interested in what Mormonism is, so did some research. Let me give you a run down of where they stand.

Name:
Mormons do not seem to mind being call Mormons though it is really a nick-name. The correct name of their organisation is THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS.

To a Mormon there is only one true church, theirs.

What is Mormonism?
Though claiming to believe their sacred book “The Book of Mormon” to be scripture of greater importance than the Bible, many Mormons will never have read the book. I think they may have found it to be both boring and badly written.

The Mormon Story
The Mormons give an account of their beginning which goes something like this:

In 1820 Joseph Smith, aged 14 started go get visitations from a being claiming to be God. In 1827 an angel called Moroni appeared to him in his bedroom and told him many things, eventually leading to the top of the hill, where under a large rock was a wooden box containing a book with pages made of gold (referred to by Mormons as the “golden plates”).

Mormons claim the writing on the golden plates was in Egyptian hieroglyphics and contained the history of America before Columbus. Smith translated the plates into English by means of a seer stone of crystals known as the Urim and Thummim.

Once the book was translated it became known as The Book of Mormon, it was published in 1830.

But… or Problems
Joseph Smith claimed to have seen the Father and the Son, which suggests that there is more than one God and that both Father and Son have bodies or appear in bodily form. This is not, and never has been, Christian doctrine.

Problem 1) The craze of treasure hunting
A result of his meeting with the Father and the Son Joseph was eventually shown some buried treasure, a book made of gold plates bound together.

Treasure hunting was a craze at this time, in the area where Joseph lived. An article in the Wayne Sentinel in Palmyra, reported that “a respectable gentleman” in Tunbridge had claimed to discover a gold chest with the help of a vision and a mineral rod. On March 2, 1825, the Sentinel carried the account of a wood chopper who said he had found gold in the trunk of a tree near Utica.

Problem 2) the origins of the Book of Mormon
Joseph and his friends, when telling their story, would have had no experience of gold and the weight of it. A book the size he described, made from sheets of gold, even if thin, would have weighed about 16 stone, or over 100 Kilograms.

Neither Joseph or his friends appear to have been very literate as there was almost 4,000 spelling and grammatical errors in the early version of the Book of Mormon until it was replaced by a later version. This is usually denied by Mormons but Ex-Mormons have embarrassingly published and made available copies of the older versions on the Internet

Problem 3) the contents of the book of Mormon
The stories of the Book of Mormon are such that Mormonism has a whole mythology all of its own. It claims to be the record of early migrants to America from Babylon and later from Palestine. It supposedly charts their history in America and included details of a visit Jesus Christ made to them during the period after His crucifixion and resurrection. These were supposed to be the “other sheep” he spoke of by Jesus and not the Gentiles that most people believe Jesus was referring to.

None of the claims of the Book of Mormon have been verified by archaeology. The Book of Mormon mentions 38 great ancient cities but none of them have left any remains at all. There has never been any archaeological support for the book of Mormon that has not turned out to be false or a forgery.

According to the Smithsonian Institute of Washington, D.C., USA, the following items (which, according to The Book of Mormon, existed in the Americas between 600 B.C. and 421 A.D.) have absolutely no evidence for existing in the America’s during the time in question: Silk, Horses, Steel, Iron, Coins, Donkeys, Cattle, Oxen, Pigs, Grain and Wheat.

What are the real possible sources for the Book of Mormon?
1) Book of gold
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has published many pictures of Joseph Smith supposedly dictating the Book of Mormon. Smith is shown seated at a table carefully examining the gold plates which are in front of him on the table.

The testimony of those who claimed they were eyewitnesses to Joseph Smith dictating the Book of Mormon tell of Joseph dropping a magical seer stone into his hat, then burying his face in the hat and proceeding to dictate the Book of Mormon from there. Joseph Smith claimed to see in the darkened hat the words he dictated.

Dropping a stone into a had and burying his head in it was not a new technique for young Joseph. In October 1825, Josiah Stowell (sometimes spelled Stowel or Stoal), a farmer from South Bainbridge, New York, came to ask Joseph to help him find a lost silver mine in the Susquehanna Valley. According to an eye-witness (Isaac Hale, later to become Joseph Smith’s father-in-law), it involved Joseph looking into a stone placed in a hat into which Joseph buried his face.

See:
ttp://www.irr.org/mit/divination.html
http://mormonstories.org/top10toughissues/peepstones.html
http://www.exmormon.org/mormon/mormon456.htm
http://www.algonet.se/~daba/lds/

2) The Westminster Confession
The Presbyterian church has, as basis for its constitution the Westminster Confession, a great statement of Biblical faith known as The Westminster Confession. Parts of the book of Alma (a book in the book of Mormon) may have been based on the Westminster confession.

3) Free Masonry
“Now in at least twenty-one chapters, in seven out of the sixteen books of the book of Mormon are to be found passages, varying from several to sixty three lines in length, plainly referring to Masonry under the guise of pretended similar organisations in ancient America.” (The American Journal of Psychology Vol. 28 1917 page 376)

4) The Authorised Version of the Bible
The AV Bible (known as KJV, or the King James Version) is used verbatim on hundreds of occasions. The AV is the one translation used which would have been available to Joseph Smith.

The passages from the AV version included in the Book of Mormon are included complete with the translation errors of that old version.

5) Shakespeare
In Shakespeare’s famous and often quoted “To be or not to be” passage in Hamlet we find this portion, “To grunt and sweat under a weary life, But that the dread of something after death, The undiscovere’d country, from whose bourn no traveller returns…”

Shakespeare invented many words never used before him. It is said that there over 1,700 of these Shakespearian words. An internet search will produce lists. One such word is ‘traveller’. There is no record of the word being used before Shakespeare used it, in England or anywhere else. It appears in the Book or Mormon (2 Nephi 1:14). See http://www.lds-mormon.com/shake.shtml for more info on this.

6) A Novel by Solomon Spalding
Although adding details from various sources (even including details from a dream that Joseph Smith’s father was supposed to have had) the main story of the Book of Mormon could be an expansion of a novel by Solomon Spalding.

Spalding was a retired minister who was known to have written a number of “romances” with Biblical backgrounds similar to the book of Mormon. A manuscript of a novel of his called “Manuscript Found” went missing from the printers (where Joseph Smith worked).

This claim of a lost novel called “Manuscript Found” was thorn in the side of the Mormons for many years. Mormons claim that one of Spalding’s manuscripts entitled “Manuscript Story” was discovered in Hawaii more than 100 years ago and differs in many respects from the Book of Mormon. Note the different titles here, the “Manuscript Story” was never claimed to be the novel on which the book of Mormon was based, but another one entitled “Manuscript Found“.

7) Joseph’s Imagination
Alongside the above possibilities, it seems Joseph Smith had a rich imagination. He was fond of making up stories as a boy. According to the book ‘History of Joseph Smith’ (page 85) by Lucy Mack Smith (Joseph Smith’s mother) we find the following:

“During our evening conversations, Joseph would occasionally give us some of the most amusing recitals that could be imagined. He would describe the ancient inhabitants of this continent, their dress, mode of traveling, and the animals upon which they rode; their cities, their buildings, with every particular; their mode of warfare; and also their religious worship. This he would do with as much ease, seemingly, as if he had spent his whole life among them.”

Did God write the Book of Mormon?
By that I mean could it have been inspired by the God of the Christians in the same way Christians believe the Bible was inspired?

See Deuteronomy 13:1-10
If a prophet, or one who foretells by dreams, appears among you and announces to you a miraculous sign or wonder, and if the sign or wonder of which he has spoken takes place, and he says, Let us follow other gods (gods you have not known) and let us worship them, you must not listen to the words of that prophet or dreamer. The LORD your God is testing you to find out whether you love him with all your heart and with all your soul.
It is the LORD your God you must follow, and him you must revere. Keep his commands and obey him; serve him and hold fast to him.
That prophet or dreamer must be put to death, because he preached rebellion against the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt and redeemed you from the land of slavery; he has tried to turn you from the way the LORD your God commanded you to follow. You must purge the evil from among you.
If your very own brother, or your son or daughter, or the wife you love, or your closest friend secretly entices you, saying, Let us go and worship other gods (gods that neither you nor your fathers have known, gods of the peoples around you, whether near or far, from one end of the land to the other), do not yield to him or listen to him. Show him no pity. Do not spare him or shield him. You must certainly put him to death. Your hand must be the first in putting him to death, and then the hands of all the people. Stone him to death, because he tried to turn you away from the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.

Galatians 1:8-9
But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned!

Revelations 22:18-20
I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book. And if anyone takes words away from this book of prophecy, God will take away from him his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book. He who testifies to these things says, Yes, I am coming soon. Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.

More websites:
Ex-Mormons for Jesus – http://www.exmormonsforjesus.org/
http://www.exposeromney.com/pages/InsidersPerspective.html
http://www.waltermartin.com/mormon.html – Author of The Kingdom of the Cults.
http://www.christiananswers.net/evangelism/beliefs/mormonism.html
htttp://www.lifeafter.org/
http://www.irr.org/mit/default.html

36 thoughts on “Mitt Romney: Would the USA people elect a Mormon President?

    • I have no problem with any of these arguments, because they are certainly not proving that the Mormon Faith is false. Whenever God’s priesthood was temporarily taken from the earth, He always restored it to a newly called prophet in a new dispensation as recorded in the Bible. Freemasonry does not prove that the Mormon Chruch is false..in fact the two have very little to do with each other. The Bible versus you quoted should not be taken out of context as yo have done here — specifically the verse from Revelations referring only to the Book of Revelation (the very word “Bible” means a collection of books), and there is in fact a great deal of Archeological evidence that supports the cultures discribed in the Book of Mormon, however the Mormon Church does not concern itself with this, because it seeks to convert new members with real faith, not simply an interest in archeological proof. But the funniest of all these arguments is the one about the word “traveler”. I actually laughed out loud when I read that. The Book of Mormon was translated from an ancient form of writing and language into the English language of today. It is completely ridiculous to propose that there were not words for “traveler” in other ancient languages, as it is probably one of the most common nouns in any language. If anyone is interested in learning about Mormonism…there is a very simple way to find out about it — go to the source. Read the Book of Mormon. Also, you should be ready for when the “Sisters come-a-knocking” not just “the boys” as you mentioned because a large portion of the approximate 60,000 current full time LDS missionaries are young women, just as I was when I served a mission for the Chruch of Jesus Christ of Latter Days Saints in Sweden 10 years ago.

      • That is so funny. You talk of a restored priesthood yet don’t mention Mormonism got it out of a HAT! Also, out of the same hat came passages from the King James Version of the bible, the Westminster Confession, etc.

        I assume you know that there is absolutely no archaeological evidence that supports the contents of the Book of Mormon. If so, it is mischievous to suggest it.

        • The Restored Priesthood Power was given back to earth at the hands of John the Baptist, who was acting under the direction of Peter, James and John, who held the keys of the Priesthood, never to be taken again from the earth, as this is the last dispensation before Christ returns to earth for the second and final time. The were conferred upon Joseph Smith by the laying on of hands at the sight of the beautiful Susquehanna River in upstate NY. (Not out of a hat.)

          Also, I have myself traveled to many ancient ruin sites of cites that would have been contemporary with the time period of the Book of Mormon all throughout Central America, and in speaking with experts have found archeological support to be astonishingly plentiful. But, again — this is absolutely not the focus of missionary efforts as we are greatly concerned with converts focusing on the teachings of Christ from both the Book of Mormon and the Bible.

          The Book of Mormon is another testimate of Jesus Christ and his role of the Savior of mankind. When anyone reads this scripture with an open mind and heart they can clearly see that it testifies of Christ and His mission on earth, which is why the Mormon Church is the fastest growing religion in the world, and currently has close to 13 million members, over half of them reside outside of the United States. The Church promotes a Christ centered life, an emphasis on strengthening family, and striving to live all of Jesus Christ’s teachings. Latter Day Saints do consider themselves Christian, and do regularly study the Bible in addition to the Book of Mormon’s teachings from prophets who lived in the ancient Americas.

          • Yes but Joseph Smith still got his doctrine from the Book of Mormon, which he got out of a HAT!

            You mention the numbers who claim to be Mormons. Just because someone is sincere does not mean they are right, they can be sincerely wrong. Again as for numbers, truth is not decided by how many believe it but whether it is true. I am a Pentecostal type of Christian, there are approx 600 million Pentecostals world-wide and growing. It is the fastest growing global movement. But I not claim that is the measure of truth.

            Sorry but I removed your link as that is my policy.

          • Mormons are taught to abide by laws, respect the Constitution, and live moral, Christ Centered lives. It would be a refreshing change to have conservative a president with such patriotic fervor and high moral standards, who also happens to be an economic wiz and was a highly successful governor. Romney never does anything half way.

            It is ok that you erased my link about the restoration in the priesthood. I can just summarize what it explained below. (Any questions can be answered on the Church’s official website.)

            Historical records and the testimony of Joseph Smith’s associates tell the manner, order, and pattern of priesthood restoration and indicate that the time of the restoration of the Melchizedek Priesthood was probably within the 13-day period of 16 to 28 May 1829.

            “The messenger who visited us on this occasion and conferred this Priesthood upon us, said that his name was John, the same that is called John the Baptist in the New Testament, and that he acted under the direction of Peter, James and John, who held the keys of the Priesthood of Melchizedek, which Priesthood, he said, would in due time be conferred on us” –Joseph Smith History

            “He [Joseph Smith] was ordained by the angel John, unto the lesser or Aaronic priesthood, in company with myself, in the town of Harmony, Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania, on Fryday, the 15th day of May, 1829, after which we repaired to the water, even to the Susquehanna River, and were baptized, he first ministering unto me and after—I to him. But before baptism, our souls were drawn out in mighty prayer—to know how we might obtain the blessings of baptism and of the Holy Spirit, according to the order of God, and we diligently sought for the right of the fathers and the authority of the holy priesthood, and the power to admin[ister] in the same: … the Lord … answered us out of the heavens, and while we were in the heavenly vision the angel came down and bestowed upon us this priesthood; and then, as I have said, we repaired to the water and were baptized. After this we received the high and holy [Melchizedek] priesthood.” –Account of Oliver Cowdery, from Joseph Smith History.

          • And you don’t think the story of Joseph Smith talking to the dead is fanciful?!

            I see the account you give is by Oliver Cowdery. The book of Mormon comes with a statement inside the front cover from three men claiming to be witnesses of the golden plates. Oliver Cowdery was one of them.

            There were originally eight men who claimed to have seen the golden plates and signed a statement to that effect. Most of them later left the Mormons, so I conclude they proved to be unreliable witnesses whose word must be discounted.

            I assume Oliver Cowdery thought better of his silliness in time as he later became a Christian and joined the Methodist church.

            What do yo think of the comment in my original post? “Neither Joseph or his friends appear to have been very literate as there was almost 4,000 spelling and grammatical errors in the early version of the Book of Mormon until it was replaced by a later version. This is usually denied by Mormons but Ex-Mormons have embarrassingly published and made available copies of the older versions on the Internet”

      • I though Biblos meant book. If the Mormon church doesn’t concern its self with the historicalness of the Book of Mormon; how does it seek to define itself as a (Christian?) faith without a concrete historical narrative concerning Christ?

        • John,

          What Lisa is saying is that, just like the bible, the book of mormon and the existence of Christ does not have to be proven through archeological means. Who can really prove the miracles of Moses, or that God provided a ram to Abraham, or that Abraham even existed? If science does prove it, great! But if not, it doesn’t disprove it. A testimony of spiritual truths is not given through the scientific method. It is given through searching the scriptures, putting them to the test in one’s life, and ultimately prayer and inspiration from the Holy Ghost.

          You also may be interested to know that the Book of Mormon fully embraces the bible (in as much as it’s translated correctly), and that it’s another testament of Christ. A testament of his followers living on the American continent. It further proves the truthfulness of the bible, the validity of Christ and his role as Savior, and that God is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

          And why not a Mormon for president? Orrin Hatch is LDS, Harry Reid is LDS. Many LDS members have faithfully served their country in office and in other areas of service. There is nothing to fear. LDS members are taught to love their country and uphold the laws. They have a reverence for the constitution and the founders of this country. They especially revere the idea that we should be able to worship as we please, so no other christians have anything to fear regarding an LDS politician. They should look critically at the political views of the candidate and make sure they are in line with what one would want in a political leader.

          As Lisa stated, go to the source for information. In this information age there’s no excuse for promulgating and believing in falsehoods and half-truths spun by ignorant people.

          • As your comment came in, referring to Lisa, before Lisa’s (above) was published I assume you are together.

            I will let John reply to the comment addressed to him. However, I hope you are not implying I am believing in falsehoods and half-truths spun by ignorant people, or that I am one of the ignorant people promulgating half-truths. I was brought up as a Mormon, baptised, visited the temple – a real one. You might not like the contents of my post but you have not challenged any of the contents.

            I say again, the Mormon religion originates from a young man with his face buried in his hat ‘looking’ at a peep-stone. A USA president who believed in that would demean the USA in the eyes of other nations and their leaders.

            I removed your link as all links to Mormon sites are against my policy.

  1. Will,

    Here is your reply. I will concentrate on the history as I think it is of fundamental import in understanding Christianity and therefore Christ.

    I agree with you when you say that about Moses and Abram. These stories in all likelihood were treated as they come in the 1st century. and indeed that is what we find when we read Josephus and because of the historical distance from us, it is hard to impossible to finger them out side of the Bible and other Jewish sources.

    However if we turn to the New Testament we are met with a text which is very much set in its context. On Jesus’ lips we hear words that we would expect to hear an early 1st century Christ say. So there we have a Jewish context, looking more broadly at the 1st cent, Rome was in charge of most of the know world, at the head of this massive empire was Caesar. This King of kings, prince of peace and Son of God. You will have noticed that all of the titles I have used for Caesar are used for Christ. This is because in the New Testament Christ is show as being the true King whereas Caesar is the parody of Christ’s truth.

    Christianity teaches that God came to man in a concrete way, the Bible and the relating documents agree that Jesus, for the most was fully human, and can place Jesus in the early 1st century.

    If we go down the road by saying history is unimportant, then we end up with some thing that is not Christianity but is in fact almost gnostic.

    For your second point, I think Graham answered that in his Blog, but to add if I copy a book into my own book and then say that both books agree. I think we should not be surprised of any such agreement.

  2. So the Book of Mormon exists – that is a fact right? No one is disputing that. It’s here we can hold it, we can read it, it’s physical.

    Mormon’s believe it to be an ancient record, miraculously translated by Joseph Smith. For others who are discrediting that then I have this challenge — you must explain how it came to be. It exists. If it wasn’t how Mormon’s said it is, then how did it come about?

    Joseph Smith was not educated and he didn’t live past his mid 30’s I believe. The Book of Mormon was not a life long project of his – it came to be in an incredibly small time frame. Yet, he managed to produced a book, that speaks of Christ (if you haven’t read it please don’t comment on it’s contents), faith, people, cultures, spiritual lessons, faith, God, the holy spirit, baptism, prayer, hope, charity, death, the atonement, resurrection and more. It is 500+ pages in length. It is a coherent record spanning some approx 1,000 years.

    Here’s my challenge – attempt to do the same yourself. Surely you can easily do this yourself right? I mean, all you have to do is start copying from other texts right? – the Bible, etc. Try it – I doubt you can write, copy or fill even one page. Now do it for 500+ pages. Now give that book power. Give that book the ability to change lives, to have people believe and profess that book to be truth. While you yourself are doing this also introduce new doctrines, new beliefs, clarify the muddled mess of “Christianity”.

    Obviously you don’t have to believe the Book of Mormon that’s everyone’s choice. But take a minute and think about how it came to be and the power it has has. Now explain how it came to be, beyond just saying some was maybe possible copied here and there.

    And if you’re going to cite other books like the Qur’an, etc. — there’s a big difference for Christians here — those books don’t speak of Christ as the Savior, Redeemer and the Son of God. So those books are out of the argument.

    • Thanks for your comment Jason. Your comment is a little odd however, as it appears that you have read the other comments but not the original post.

      I have already suggested some of the possible sources of the Book of Mormon. I think it is not that great a feat to use an existing novel that someone else has written (‘Manuscript Found’ by Solomon Spalding, having gone missing from the printers where Joseph Smith worked), and pack it out with texts such as The Westminster Confession, bits from Free Masonry books and rituals, huge passages copied verbatim from the Authorised Version of the Bible.

      I do not find it surprising at all that a group of teenagers could meet up and cobble it together. Don’t forget, neither Joseph or his friends appear to have been very literate as there was almost 4,000 spelling and grammatical errors in the early version of the Book of Mormon until it was replaced by a later version. Not surprising really for young men that seem to have given more time to treasure hunting than schooling. Teenagers still invent stuff in our day, it is just that now they are not normally so easily believed. Perhaps if he was around now Joseph Smith would be into computers and hacking?

      • Jason,

        My point is, the New Testament can be tied to concrete historical events- Jesus, it can be tied to a concrete theological debate- the good friday-easter sunday – pentecost event (what does it mean?). And lastly it can be tied to a political question, since the above event what should we think of Caesar?

        My question then is, what concrete historical event is the book of Mormon dealing with, and are there outside sources to add understanding, to its claims.

        Lastly you say the Son of God, what do you mean by that? and does what the son of god mean in the new testament mean the same as it does in the book of Mormon?

  3. Were there not some magic glasses involved in the translation of the book? If so can I have some because I’ve always wanted to read funny foreign languages.

    Or is that a different religion? I get Mormons, Jehovah Witnesses and Scientologists mixed up all the time. Which book was the one which magically disappeared before anyone else but the author, er I mean copier, could copy it?

    • Hi Matt

      I think one problem Mormons have is that they convince themselves that their religion is respectable and reasonable. They often don’t realise how bonkers it appears to outsiders.

      Mm, magic glasses. I think early Mormons started to get embarrassed about some of the documented things Joseph Smith got up to, so alternative stories about their origins started to arise. They started out with the story of Joseph Smith burying his head in a hat holding his ‘peep-stone’ and dictating. This may seem ridiculous to us but would probably not seemed so to Joseph and his friends having been accustomed to this behaviour for the purposes of treasure hunting. Though Joseph Smith had been arrested and convicted over a scam involving the use of a peep-stone and the claims he made over it.

      To to give a religious spin to their story these mischievous teenagers seem to have dropped the ‘head in hat’ story and started to talk about using a mysterious object called the Urim and Thummim. They probably didn’t have any idea what these things had originally been. The Urim and Thummim were of course the two stones mentioned in the bible used by the ancient Hebrew priests to decide an issue by lot – a simple yes or no. Mormonism adopted the story of Urim and Thummim as the better version for public consumption and said Joseph Smith used them in translation. Some Mormon accounts then go on to describe the Urim and Thummim as special spectacles. “What a tangled web we weave when at first we practice to deceive.”

      I personally think the whole thing was simply a group of teenagers thinking up a scam. I think they already had the manuscript of Solomon Spalding’s novel, they inserted chunks from other sources such as I have mentioned, then came up with the story of visits of angels and speaking the dead etc. They must have thought they had stuck gold when gullible people started to believe them! I find it incredible that people still do.

  4. You make a very good point – and although I digressed from the original article I felt I would share my angle.

    With the Book of Mormon being claimed to be a historical record just as much as a scripture, I don’t think that it is unreasonable at all what you have said – if various metals and animals and civilizations are mentioned throughout that claim to have been present in the Americas (specific but also quite vague in exact location) – I don’t think it’s unreasonable at all to wonder where these items are. I definitely agree with that – as a historical account, surely we would expect some evidence of this to be present. I think it’s only reasonable to agree with that 🙂 Now, perhaps it will be forthcoming or it is obscure, but I take your point(s) there on that.

    I understand as has been pointed out that there are similarities in other texts, etc. Mormons believe in and read the old and new testament. The Book of Mormon is supposed to support and enlighten on the doctrines and teachings of the Bible. So surely themes are going to be related between the texts. If Christ is the center, then certainly themes, principles, the gospel, etc. will be similar. However, from a content standpoint, the Book of Mormon is far different – containing completely different individuals, social dilemmas, stories, lessons, etc. This is where I ask you to really ponder on it. If you’ve read it you will understand that it would have been one heck of a work for a teenager or even a group of teenagers to pull off! It’s probably not the typical argument you hear for the Book of Mormon, but just speaking of it’s origin if you’ve read it then I think you need to give it a little more consideration then just theorizing that it was made up or borrowed a little from here and little from there. And if you have a lot of time on your hands try to do the same thing yourself and you will not make it far! 🙂 You just won’t.

    Finally, being that this is not just a historical record, but a religious text, you certainly cannot count out the supernatural, afterall, nearly all religions are professing to believe in a higher power and within Christianity alone there are countless tales of supernatural events – so all of this “out of a hat”, “special glasses”, “disappearing gold plates”, etc. don’t forget about the dead being resurrected, or the earth being covered in a flood, or the Christ himself being resurrected, and possessed bodies, and the destruction of sodam and gomorrah and the miracles that moses performed and all of the miracles of Christ – walking on water, multiplying bread and fishes, etc. So we really have no room here to discount supernatural events when it comes to religion because they are inseparable from the belief in a higher power.

    • Hi Jason

      You repeat your claim that the Book of Mormon would be “one heck of a work for a teenager or even a group of teenagers to pull off!”

      As I have said in a previous reply to Matt I do not think it a very clever feat at all and not hard to do. I think they already had the manuscript of Solomon Spalding’s novel that had gone missing from the printers where Joseph Smith worked, they simply inserted chunks, word for word, from other sources such as I have mentioned in my post, then came up with the story of visits of angels and speaking with the the dead etc.

      Their ignorance of religion would explain why the theology of the Book of Mormon bears no relationship to the theology of the bible and they ended up with different gods from the God of the bible.

  5. Now, boys, boys, play nice. Let’s drop all of these silly arguments and focus on the important questions.

    Now, first of all, do we all believe in God the Father, Jesus as our saviour (and wholly God, part of the Trinity, Son of God etc.), and the Holy Spirit living in us? Yes? We all do? Good. Well then, the first question is, why did God wait so long before revealing such an important work of scripture? We know why he waited before sending the revelation that we know as the New Testament: because it is an account of the New Covenant by Christ’s blood, so it would have to be written latter than the books under the Old Covenant.

    But why this third big revelation? Why the post-napoleonic era? And why America? Why not China, Russia or the Nordics? Was America just inexplicably blessed?

    Also, one of you made reference to the Babylonian Exhiles over the Atlantic as being Christ’s “lost sheep” (did I get that right? I can’t scroll up on this phone), does that mean that Christ didn’t say that Gentiles are covered by the New Covenant and that the covenant is still just for the Jewish people?

    Now, to the important point of the quotations from other texts. I take Lisa’s point about the word ‘traveller’ as being quite sensible. If Joseph Smith claimed to have found the book already written out in English and said that it was an ancient text, but it was full of modern words, then the ‘traveller’ argument would be pertinent. However, the claim is that he found the work in a foreign language and translated it into his own language, so it would be natural to use modern English, including the Shakespearian word ‘traveller’.

    The important point here is, even if he was translating into modern English, how did such exact phrases from other modern English documents find their way into an ancient text? Let’s take the Westminster Confession; how did it find it’s way into the book of Mormon? Was it a case of two people receiving the same revelation but at different times? In which case, what can we infer from the idea that rites and rituals native to Freemasonary appear in the book of Mormon? Does this mean that Freemasonary came about as a result of divine revelation? If so, what is the LDS church’s official stance on it?

    Now, as for Manuscript Found, what happened to the author and did he ever see the book of Mormon? Was it published after his death? And how literate was he? If the argument from the LDS church so far is that one would have to be very literate or divinely inspired to write such a book, then let’s ask, was the author of Manuscript Found the very literate man that we’re looking for. And what were the key themes of this man’s work? Did he seem particularly concerned with reclaiming a lost history of America? The author of this book (I’ll admit here that though I have great respect for LDS members, I do not accept the book as scripture) appears to have been someone who felt either an outsider in America, or dislocated from it because they knew nothing of it’s history, or, I feel most likely, felt guilt about occupying a land where it’s original inhabitants were oppressed and wanted to re-write history so that he himself became one of them through a bond of shared faith. However, this opinion is based on nothing more than my reading of the text through the eyes of my degree in English literature – hardly historical evidence.

    I notice that we haven’t had any in-depth discussion surrounding the exact location of archaeological evidence supporting the book. Without linking to websites, could you name some dig sites and their corresponding passages in the book of Mormon?

    Finally I should say that my grandmother was a member of the LDS church for many years and spoke very highly of the conviction, kindness, compassion and closeness of her fellow believers. However, she disagreed with their doctrine, and so do I. I don’t have a problem with a left-wing Mormon president (especially if he is the alternative to the Tea Party movement) because, frankly, a lot of things that Americans do and believe seem a bit odd to us foreigners, so the teachings of the LDS faith will not be incongruous.

    The only problem I have is whether or not this body of earnest, God-seeking, kind, compassionate, passionate, dedicated, organised, intelligent people are filled with the Holy Spirit. If the teachings passed down to them are false and they are following false gods then they are not filled with the Spirit.

    But what would happen to them if they were? What would happen if all 13 million of them turned from the LDS to join the established Christian church? Then I think they would be the making of us. Now that would be a book worth writing.

  6. One last thing; one of you earlier mentioned the “muddle of Christianity”. Eh hem, do think that one through for a minute. Does God create muddles and have to fix them years later? No? You don’t think so? Oh, you repeant of that one now? Mistaken? Yes, quite. Easily done. We all say things in the heat of the moment that we regret. Praise God we have a forgiving God, wot?

  7. I have studied the Mormon faith along with many other religions (including those outside of Christianity). There are plenty of “tough spots” when it comes to Mormonism. I must say however, this “article” was very poorly written, included many false or misleading lines and lacked any strong argument.

    Just a few examples: You started with the Mormon story which goes “something like this”. Why didn’t you actually tell the Mormon story the way it goes, and not just “something like” it? You start by saying Joseph begins receiving visitations by a being claiming to be God, then he is visited by Moroni. What is your source for him being visited by God before the angel Moroni? Everything i have read says no such thing. Or is it perhaps that this is the “something like” version, which isn’t actually based on anything other than your personal bias towards the religion?

    Second, you claim that seeing the Father and the Son presents a problem. Yes, many branches of the Christian world believe in the Trinity, however there are plenty of us that do in fact believe that God the Father and Jesus Christ were (and still are) separate beings. I base my beliefs off the Bible, and that is what i believe. Do i get kicked into the bucket with the Mormons because i interpret the Holy Bible differently than you? No where in the Bible does it teach about the doctrine of the Trinity. There are verses that when taken out of context might lead one (such as yourself) to this belief, but in the end we have the Nicene Council to thank for that gem.

    Next Treasure Hunting: What are you trying to say here? If you are actually looking to disprove something, you might want to stick with facts, and not try to make vague connections that are possibilities. There are plenty of “possibilities” that could be used with many arguments. I suppose this is personal preference. Try to stick with what you actually know, and not what could/might/possibly be.

    Next: Grammatical errors. Having read the personal account of Joseph Smith myself while studying “the Mormon Story”, i recall he openly admitted to being of very little learning. I fail to see why this would be embarrassing.

    Next: Lack of Archeological evidence. I suppose this depends on your source. I recall quite a few accounts dealing with this subject that were affirmations of historical “oddities” within the book of Mormon. Then again, religion never was based on such things, now was it? I am a firm believer in the Bible, however even that has to be taken with a grain of salt. Consider the original books that didn’t make it into the cannon we know today. Consider the many contradictions within Holy Book.

    Next: Seer stones. These are mentioned in the Old Testament. If you cast something that is unfamiliar into the light it will seem strange to anyone, however that does not discredit it. If you told a non-Christian who has never heard of Christ that partaking of the sacrament was eating someone’s flesh and blood who was nailed up to a wooden cross two thousand years ago, you would come off as a nut yourself.

    Next: Westminster Confession. I’ve never heard it. However, that you say “parts” are “based” off something, can only lead me to believe it is another one of those stretches. Christianity covers a nice core of morals and doctrine. Many “parts” of various sermons, speeches, teachings, are going to be “based” off the same thing some other sermon, speech, or teaching was about.

    Which brings me to the next Next: Quoting of the Bible. I actually found this to be quite ridiculous when i first discovered this bit about the Book of Mormon. However, as i began to study a bit more on the subject i found it quite interesting. These people had access to ancient scripture from the time of their original departure from Jerusalem , and in fact, their fervor in obtaining these “records” was quite remarkable. I believe you are referring to the Isaiah quotations.

    This also leads into the next Next: Using the argument that certain words or even quotations of a particular version of the Bible being used disproves anything is simply foolishness. Joseph Smith never claimed to have written the Book of Mormon, but rather translated it. I don’t know if you speak a second language or not, but i can tell you that there are certain words, phrases, idioms, etc that are unique to a particular language(s), yet they convey similar or even exact ideas being expressed in other languages. Therefore if Joseph came across a word, or idea that expressed a person who was on a journey, or trip, going through hardships, trials, etc, perhaps the best word in english he could think of was traveler. I suppose that shows either your complete lack of common sense and logic, or you are REALLY stretching for arguments on that one. Same with the quotations of the Bible. If what Joseph was reading was conveying the same exact ideas as chapters in the Old Testament, why wouldn’t he turn to those for exact wording?

    Ok, last point: If you are going to quote scripture, please don’t assume that none of us have actually read the Bible. For example, you quoted the end of Revelations, giving the impression that nothing should be added to the Bible (I am assuming that is why you quoted it, otherwise it has zero relevance to your argument).

    You do know that Bible is simply a collection of various, SEPARATE writings that were later put together into the “book” we know as the Bible? You know that chronologically Revelations was not the last book written ? You know that the book of Revelations begins with explicit instructions that there was to be a vision which should be written down in a book, and that is the “book” those last verses are referring to ? I guess we are back to square one with the Trinity, and you are just taking scripture verses out of context.

    Honestly, as a fellow Christian i am ashamed of you. If you really want to put up arguments against the Mormons you are only going to come to crossroads of faith. You wont be able to prove it with scriptures, or doctrines, or “evidence”. Do you know how many various Christian denominations there are? Do you k now why we have so many different denominations? It isnt because we all prefer different flavored bagels at Church. It because we all have different Doctrine.

    The Mormons claim to be the ONLY true church. Well, of course they do, their doctrine is unique. Just like Christian denominations all claim their own doctrine is the correct and right one. Or does it not actually matter? In which case who cares about the Mormons, they believe in the Bible as much as we do. Just because they interpret it differently you are going to hassle them but not any Christian denominations? What about Catholics?

    Either way your whole list of “arguments” was weak, misleading, and downright lazy.
    It is ok though, you are either completely ignorant, or intentionally trying to mislead (*cough* out of context Revelations quote * cough*).

    • As I replied to Matt’s comment on 2011/7/2: “I think one problem Mormons have is that they convince themselves that their religion is respectable and reasonable. They often don’t realise how bonkers it appears to outsiders.”

      That is still my main point. A Mormon president of the USA would demean the country in the eyes of other nations. It would make the US a laughing stock.

      Responding to some of your points:

      You say, “So who is to say your denomination is right over mine?”

      Let me be clear. Mormonism is not a denomination of Christianity, it is a religion all of its own. It is not a Christian denomination and is not even Christian at all. There is no Christian group or denomination on this planet that believes Mormonism is Christian. Mormonism believes in worshipping one minor god who is part of a huge family of gods. Mormonism teaches that their god was once a man and that Mormon men can eventually become gods themselves. This a completely different idea of god from the one God the Christians believe in and worship, the one who is the beginning of all things and of all of creation.

      Having read your comments I have to refer you back to my post for most of the replies. Such as the various sources for the Book of Mormon. Chunks of the KJV version of the bible (on hundreds of occasions throughout the B of M), Westminster Confession, etc have been copied verbatim – word for word. This even includes some of the errors in the translation of the KJV version of the bible.

      You think you spotted an error in my post that Joseph begins receiving visitations by a being claiming to be god, then he is visited by Moroni. You have misread it. I did not place those things in any chronological order. I saw no need to go into the detail of the different versions Joseph gave of the first of his so called ‘visions’ (I don’t believe he had any, I think it was all a scam by some teenagers, the ring-leader being Joseph Smith). I assume you are aware that the official version of the first vision that Mormons teach is very different from the first version in Joseph Smith’s own handwriting.

  8. p.s. Graham you claim the right to interpret the Bible one way, yet you are denying any other group of people to do the same?

    You say the Mormon’s God is different from the Bible’s God, but we don’t even need to go that far. My Bible God is different from your Bible God. If the Bible was so straight forward, why do we have THOUSANDS of Denominations all based off of the same book today? You and your daughter have mentioned the “established Christian church”. What church is that exactly? Unless you are Catholic, we are all at odds with one another when it comes to doctrine. All Christian denominations are offshoots of the Catholic Church, having found fault in their doctrines.

    So who is to say your denomination is right over mine? Of course you believe sincerely in what you believe, and i in what i believe, but at what point are you able to say that you are the definitive answer in what the Bible is trying to convey ?

    Now i am curious… Either you believe your interpretation of the Bible is the only possible interpretation, or you believe that we are guided by the spirit and, that that is the right interpretation. In which case, the thousands upon thousands of conflicting ideas all derived from the same passages somehow are all acceptable? Mmm, i liked what someone said above about the “muddle of Christianity”. Do you really think there is an “established” Christian church outside of the Catholic Church?

    I am asking these questions sincerely. I simply am amazed at your logic and thinking.

  9. @Alex You are right, God doesn’t create Muddles. He didn’t muddle up anything and have to flood the earth to start clean. And the THOUSANDS of Christian denominations is a very organized and effective system in bringing the good word to the earth.

    @graham You are right, using a hat to darken stones that possibly illuminate is a crazy notion… Who would believe in something as crazy as a man speaking with a “burning bush”, or in a religion whos prophet would be going into the mountains to converse with the Lord and after being mocked by children (who called him bald) uses his God-given power to call upon a She-bear that tears them asunder . (One of my Old Testament favorites). It would crazy to believe in a religion that for hundreds of years practiced sacrifice, and had specific rituals in how to kill, drain, and cook particular animals. Or to believe in a prophet whos daughters got him drunk enough to sleep with him in a cave so that they could have his children. Or if that doesn’t fit your taste, how about believing in a God who commands his people to take over a nation and slaughter every man , woman, child and beast. Or how about a religion that teaches that women shouldn’t speak during church meetings. For those Christians out there who haven’t read the Bible (Hmm, i take that back, the majority of them do read the bible… OH WAIT… ) these are all occurrences from the good book itself.

    I am sure you will mod my posts, as they are fairly critical in tone, but really, as long as you read them yourself i am entirely satisfied.

  10. @alex On a less sarcastic note: God doesn’t muddle up anything. Everything he does is for a purpose and a reason. The reference to the muddle of Christianity is a direct reference to thw handy work of MEN. God is not a God of confusion, but rather of truth. What MEN have done to the Bible over the years, what MEN have done in the “name of God and Christianity”, what every new offshoot since the establishment of the Catholic Church by MEN and every new church since then have done… is not the work of God. Inspired men and women such as Martin Luther, these i do believe were of God.

    I understand you take offense at the terms “muddle” and “Christianity” being used together. However, the sad fact is that MEN have indeed muddled what the world is currently starving for. Often we are so busy arguing and “muddling” the plain truths of the Gospel of Jesus Christ , that we render ourselves cloudy, obscure, and “muddled” to those who have not yet found Christ. How can we expect others to come unto Christ when we haven’t worked things out ourselves (and by ourselves, i mean us as a whole… the entire Christian community… Catholics, Reformed, and even Mormons included).

  11. Last Post: As there is no edit button, on my first, my initial argument was in reference to the word “visitations” being plural. I am of course familiar with what is described as the main vision, or first vision, that being of God and Jesus Christ, however saying that he received “visitations” from “A” being claiming to be God is in-congruent with anything i have read on the subject.

  12. Hi Guys,

    I stepped away from this site for a few days and it exploded! haha. In the end we all are going to believe what we believe 🙂

    Why haven’t we also mentioned the Doctrine and Covenants and Pearl of Great Price — two other books of scripture in the LDS church? Let’s not just stop with the Book of Mormon 🙂

    The only reason I repeated that it is really hard to do is because it is!! Especially in your case, no offense, but “learned” preachers/pastors that went to some kind of school or training — if it was so easy for a teenager or group of teenagers to scheme up some massive book book(s) of scripture — then try it yourself and you will see that you are very very wrong – it is not simple nor easy to do. In your “theory” it sounds easy — because kids these days can hack computers, etc. That can easily be replicated though — but not what Joseph Smith has done. If it was so simple and easy to do then surely anyone of us could do it and we should do be able to pull it off even better right? Because we’re educated and learned and know more and older, etc. But it’s simply not the case — no one can “pull off” what he did — and if you say that it can be done then do it.

    In religion as a whole — simply stated it’s this — Mormon’s believe more about Jesus Christ then any other Christian church 🙂 and that’s a true statement – whether or not you believe in the truthfulness of it is a separate issue, but I’ll reiterate that — Mormon’s believe in and claim to have more knowledge and more understanding than any other Christian church because they do not limit themselves to the Bible only, believe in ongoing revelation, further scripture, modern prophets and apostles. That is a very bold claim. Bolder than just about any other church is willing to make — again though, that doesn’t in of itself make it true simply for that reason, but you simply cannot compare the Mormon faith to any other traditional Christian faith because Mormon’s take it so much further.

    Unfortunately Christianity is muddled on some major principles and doctrines of the Gospel — the simple fact is that the Bible, left to man alone to understand in it’s fullest is not sufficient in understanding the “fullness of the Gospel” — if this were the case there would not be a dispute amongst the nature of the trinity or godhead, the practice of sacrament or communion, confirmation, baptism, the gift of the holy ghost, the gifts of the spirit, the atonement, the nature of heaven/hell and the afterlife, the nature and character of satan, the priesthood or power/authority to act in behalf of God, tithing, the structure and organization of a church, the issue of faith vs works, position on moral matters, prayer, etc.

    The fact is that Christian churches all share the Bible in common (as do Mormon’s — the Bible is scripture and for those who study and know the doctrines well many of Mormonism’s discerning doctrines are straight from the New Testament) – that aside, Christian church’s that rely on the Bible as their cornerstone are not in agreement on the above mentioned subject matter. With no other source to turn to, it’s nearly impossible to make clear sense of who is “right” and who is “wrong”.

    And please do not get me started on this issue — “that there is no right and wrong, as long as you live a good life you’ll be fine.” – if this is your stance then I’m sorry but you don’t understand the Gospel of Jesus Christ, you don’t understand the scriptures and you don’t understand the Atonement of Jesus Christ. God is just and the only way to be just is if there is a definitive “right” way. So unfortunately we can’t just say that all Christian churches provide the same path, etc.

    • I refer you to the bible passage quoted in my post. As the Mormon doctrine is very much a different gospel to that which we find in the New Testament I believe this is apt.

      Galatians 1:8-9
      But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned

      As I said to Lewk: Mormonism is not a denomination of Christianity, it is a religion all of its own. It is not a Christian denomination and is not even Christian at all. There is no Christian group or denomination on this planet that believes Mormonism is Christian. Mormonism believes in worshipping one minor god who is part of a huge family of gods. Mormonism teaches that their god was once a man and that Mormon men can eventually become gods themselves. This a completely different idea of god from the one God the Christians believe in and worship, the one who is the beginning of all things and of all of creation.

      Mormons may be sincere, but I believe them to be sincerely wrong. Again I say I think Mormonism began as a scam by a group of teenagers.

  13. @Alex (Graham’s daughter)

    To answer your question — or at least try to. Why did the children of Isreal wander 40 years in the desert? I mean, God’s timing is up to him and we don’t necessarily know why that is. It was predicted there would be falling away and a restoration. It wasn’t long after Christ left the earth that his followers were pursued, killed, corrupted and the truth fell away – by and large it was rejected and furthermore it was actually corrupted. (think of such practices as indulgences and other such corrupted practices of the truth, etc.) — I mean Martin Luther recognized something went amiss.

    When you ask why America and why not China and Russia? — It is naive to think that this country is on par with other countries around the world because it is not. Although we haven’t been perfect (slavery, etc.) but that aside, if God was going to restore his church he would need a place for that to take root and grow — that could never happen in a Russia, in a China or the Middle East, etc. America, I believe, was and is an inspired and sacred country because of the unique freedoms that we enjoy here in this country. We have the freedom to worship as we please. This was and is the perfect place for God to restore his church because I, as do many others, believe that his hand was in the forming of this country. That’s why it happened here.

    • “This was and is the perfect place for God to restore his church because I, as do many others, believe that his hand was in the forming of this country.”

      Laugh out loud!

  14. @Lewk “You and your daughter have mentioned the “established Christian church”. What church is that exactly? Unless you are Catholic, we are all at odds with one another when it comes to doctrine. All Christian denominations are offshoots of the Catholic Church, having found fault in their doctrines.”

    I happen to know that Graham is co-chair of an Ecumenical prayer group. He regularly meets with Ministers/Leaders of all sorts of Christian denominations (Anglicans, Baptists, Catholics, Methodists….etc) for fellowship and prayer. Perhaps you are not so aware of the English context Lewk but we are less divided (and more united) than you think. I know that all of the denominations represented at these ecumenical meetings would lump Mormons in the same category as Jehovah Witnesses i.e they are “pseudo-Christian.” This is a label Mormons will never get away from….not in a month of Sundays.

    The best thing to do is have all you Mormons commenting on this post join all us mainstream Christians for a big hot pot of coffee. How does that sound? We can talk things through over a steaming cup of joe? That’d be lovely wouldn’t it?

    • You meet to have Coffee with one another… and then? Well, then you continue to disagree about gospel Doctrine. Just because you meet in a social setting, or work together for public service causes, does not indicate that you are by any means more “united” as a common Establishment or Church, but rather a group of Churches TOLERATING one another.

      The Mormons work with Islamic aid organizations all the time, are they part of an Establishment?

      Graham your point that Mormonism sounds kooky to the rest of the World is very valid. Can you imagine what our world would be like without the zealous efforts of Monks and Ministers slaughtering whole civilizations and countries in the name of Christianity?

      In the end Mormons have a “valid” beginning, when compared to other religions. Right along with “main stream” (we can call them that… lots of different fishes all wanting to feel special by swimming down the same general area…) Christians, and Muslims.

      Mohammed was choked by an angel and wrote the Koran.
      Christians burned, pillaged, killed and misused their power hundreds of years in the name of God. There are plenty of Churches to this day that will “save your soul” for the cheap cheap price of $777! But only if you call now!
      Mormons had a teenage boy use seer stones to translate an ancient record.

      Pick your poison i suppose.

      • I think it is time I closed comments on this post now as the tone is getting less pleasant. Lewk I think you missed that John was simply joking about coffee, as I am sure he realises that Mormons don’t drink it. Jason, we call that xenophobic.

        Also Lewk, though I am a follower of Jesus I am not responsible for what others have done in the past who also have claimed to follow him, or the disgraceful things some of them still do now.

        I can tell you what I believe:
        I believe in God the maker of all things – not the Mormon god who is supposed to be one of million of gods, each with their own planet and their own wife. I believe in the God who was at the beginning of all things and is the beginning of all things, like it says in the beginning of John’s gospel and the beginning of 1 John. I believe there is one God. Christians are monotheists, not polytheists like Mormons.

        I believe this one God loves us all with an extravagant love.

        I believe there is some sort of depth to the one God that involves three personalities within that one which we can call God.

        I believe God came to earth in the form of a man we know as Jesus. I do not believe the Mormon version that God took human form and raped Mary to get her pregnant. I do not believe the Mormon teaching that Jesus was the brother of Lucifer.

        I am amazed that the one creator God should have been willing to die on the cross and to take the punishment I deserve for the sins that are mine. I am amazed that he was willing to experience torment, suffering and death because of his love for us.

        I believe the death of Jesus the Messiah on the cross was sufficient for us all. I do not believe the Mormon teaching that there are certain sins that are not dealt with by the death of Jesus on the cross. I therefore do not believe the Mormon teaching that for sins such as adultery or apostasy (leaving the Mormon faith) the guilty person should have their own blood shed in order to receive forgiveness.

        I delight in what the New Testament describes as the way we can all know this one God and Father of us all, through Jesus and his Holy Spirit.

        I do not believe the mission of Jesus the Messiah failed. I do not believe that his work on the cross was not enough or that his gospel was somehow lost. I believe in the New Testament gospel, that which was preached by Jesus and the Apostles. I have found that this gospel is not only true, but the New Testament gospel also works, it results in a life transformed. That is my experience and the experience of millions of people down the last two thousand years. There is no need for another gospel or a new one. Rather, we are warned not to accept any other.

        As I quoted before from Galatians chapter 1 verses 8-9
        But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned.”

  15. @graham says:
    July 7, 2011 at 10:06 am

    “Laugh out loud!”

    Hahaha — you’re right, Afganistan, Russia and China would be far better suited countries for something like this 🙂

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