Sunday, November 18, 2007

Questions about Mormonism

The Pacific Northwest, and our neighbourhood in particular, has a high population of Mormons. Not long after moving here I was visited by Mormon missionaries. This gave me the opportunity to ask them many questions about their beliefs. Here are some of the questions I have been asking them, which others may find useful in dealing with this strange heretical sect.

Why do Mormons emphasize part of the Word of Wisdom and ignore the part forbidding the eating of meat except in winter, cold or famine? (Doc. & Cov. 89:12,13).

Why did the Nauvoo House not stand forever and ever? (Doc. & Cov. 124:56-60).

Is The book of Mormon more correct than the Bible? (History of the Church, 4:461.)

Did God have sexual relations with Mary to make the body of Jesus? If not, then does this make Brigham Young, the 2nd prophet of the Mormon church, a false prophet since he claimed that this was the case? (Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 4, p. 218, 1857; vol. 8, p. 115.) But if yes, then how was Jesus born of a virgin? ("Christ was begotten by an Immortal Father in the same way that mortal men are begotten by mortal fathers" Mormon Doctrine, by Bruce McConkie, p. 547. See also, Doctrines of Salvation, Joseph Fielding Smith, 1954, 1:18).

Do you really believe that God used to be a man on another planet? (Mormon Doctrine, p. 321. Joseph Smith, ‘Times and Seasons’, Vol 5, pp. 613-614; Orson Pratt, Journal of Discourses, Vol 2, p. 345, Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, vol. 7, p. 333. "God himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted man, and sits enthroned in yonder heavens!!! . . . We have imagined that God was God from all eternity. I will refute that idea and take away the veil, so that you may see…" Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 345. God the Father had a Father, see Joseph Smith, History of the Church, vol. 6, p. 476; Heber C. Kimball, Journal of Discourses, vol. 5, p. 19; Milton Hunter, First Council of the Seventy and Gospel through the Ages, p. 104-105.)

If there an infinite regress of Gods and no first cause, how could we have ever reached the present moment since that would involve traversing an actual infinite?

Is it true that God resides near a star called Kolob (Pearl of Great Price, pages 34-35; Mormon Doctrine, p. 428.)

Is it true that after you become a good Mormon, you have the potential of becoming a god? If so, then isn’t this idolatry? (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pages 345-347, 354. "Then shall they be gods, because they have no end; therefore shall they be from everlasting to everlasting, because they continue; then shall they be above all, because all things are subject unto them. Then shall they be gods, because they have all power, and the angels are subject unto them," (DC 132:20).

Isn’t Mormonism a form of paganism since it teaches polytheism (belief in many gods)? (“Then shall they be gods, because they have no end; therefore shall they be from everlasting to everlasting, because they continue; then shall they be above all, because all things are subject unto them. Then shall they be gods, because they have all power, and the angels are subject unto them…” (Doctrine and Covenants, 132:20; Mormon Doctrine, p. 163; "And they (the Gods) said: Let there be light: and there was light (Book of Abraham, 4:3. Mother goddess, see Articles of Faith, by James Talmage, p. 443; Mormon Doctrine, p. 516.)

What is the Mormon position on the Trinity? (The trinity is three separate Gods: The Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. "That these three are separate individuals, physically distinct from each other, is demonstrated by the accepted records of divine dealings with man." Articles of Faith, by James Talmage, p. 35. "Elohim is literally the Father of the spirit of Jesus Christ and also of the body in which Jesus Christ performed His mission in the flesh ..." First Presidency and Council of the Twelve, 1916, ‘God the Father’, compiled by Gordon Allred, pg. 150; “Many men say there is one God; the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost are only one God. I say that is a strange God [anyhow]--three in one and one in three. . .It is curious organization… All are crammed into one God according to sectarianism (Christian faith). It would make the biggest God in all the world. He would be a wonderfully big God--he would be a giant or a monster." (Joseph Smith, Teachings, 372).

Is it true that Mormon’s teach that if it had not been for Joseph Smith and the restoration, there would be no salvation? (Mormon Doctrine, p. 670.) If so, then doesn’t this contradict with Biblical teaching about the efficacy of Christ’s perfect sacrifice?

What is the Mormon view of salvation? ("One of the most fallacious doctrines originated by Satan and propounded by man is that man is saved alone by the grace of God; that belief in Jesus Christ alone is all that is needed for salvation." (Miracle of Forgiveness, Spencer W. Kimball, p. 206; "The first effect [of the atonement] is to secure to all mankind alike, exemption from the penalty of the fall, thus providing a plan of General Salvation. The second effect is to open a way for Individual Salvation whereby mankind may secure remission of personal sins…” Articles of Faith, by James Talmage, p. 78-79.)

Can Christians be saved without accepting Joseph Smith as a prophet of God? (According to Doctrines of Salvation, Vol. 1, p. 188, the answer is no.)

Why was Joseph Smith still preaching against polygamy in October 1843 after he got his revelation in July 1843 commanding the practice of polygamy? (Doc. & Cov. 132; and History of the Church Vol. 6, page 46, or Teachings of the Prophet, page 324).

If the Book of Mormon is true, then why has the Mormon church changed it? Examples are: 1 Nephi 11:21; 19:20; 20:1 and Alma 29:4. Compare these with the original Book of Mormon. (Gerald and Sandra Tanner have counted 3913 changes in the book of Mormon,
excluding punctuation changes.) Why was a section about Mormon’s living on the moon taken out?

For further reading, see my post 'Joseph Smith: Profile of a False Prophet'

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