A Conversation for Mormonism - A Question and Answer Session

The Bible insufficient?

Post 1


The one thing I dislike about LDS Church (and the Roman Catholic Church) is the addition of books to the official canon. In my opinion, even the Bible has books in it that don't necessarily need to be there, mainly the Samuels through the Chronicles. But those contain nothing doctrinally important.

If the LDS are Christians as the Protestants are, then the Book of Mormon is rather superfluous. After all, the main things are in the OT prophets and the four Gospels. What need to tell of Jesus coming to the Americas? (Never mind the veracity of the BoM now.) If there was something important in the BoM, it would also be in the Christian Bible. I say that because I know God isn't cruel. He doesn't want people to go to hell; therefore He would give Eurasia and Africa all the information required to follow Him.

What about the veracity of the BoM? Well, I don't claim to be an expert, but I have read some of the BoM and more of the Bible. It would not be unlike Jesus to go to the Americas to spread the Gospel there as well, for the same reason that the Bible has all necessary information. Having died once, He obviously would not die a second time for the world's sins, and the BoM says that He did not, as I recall. So it's possible, even plausible, but I have no idea whether it really happened. I also don't think it really matters. I'd prefer to trust a text with original copies (well, from the first century after writing, at least) currently available for public study and translation, having been reviewed by many scholars, than trust a text seen by a handful of people and translated by an individual. So I'll go with the Bible if it and the BoM conflict.


The Bible insufficient?

Post 2

Researcher 192341

Yes it is insufficient as empirical evidence shows.

There are hundreds of different denominiations of Christian Churches who all claim to rely on the Bible and yet have different doctrine and interpretation of meanings.

Clearly something is missing.

The Bible insufficient?

Post 3


My problem is this:
The Old Testament (or the Jewish Scriptures) is a collection of documents written between 1500BC and about 300 BC which have been transmitted and preserved and recognised by the people of God as scripture.
The New Testament (the part written after and about Jesus) is a collection of documents written somewhere between 30 AD (when he died) and 100 AD (when we have copies of parts still preserved) and was recognised by the Christian community as Scriptural as early as its writing (for example see 2 Peter 3:16) and finalised around 300AD.
The Book of Mormon appeared, was seen by a handful of people, translated by one man, and everybody was told to accept it.

There are literally thousands of extant copies of the bible texts in thier original language, from which we can constantly compare our english translations (which is why good theological colleges require students to study greek and hebrew). The number, physical distribution and accuracy of these copies is a good testomony to the accuracy of transmittion.
The Book of Mormon is incapable of either defending itself or its translation in these ways.

Finally, there are many sects and theological differences within the Mormon community, so obviously the Book of Mormon has not clarified theological thought as claimed.

The Bible insufficient?

Post 4

Researcher 192341

I would challenge two of your statements:

"There are literally thousands of extant copies of the bible texts in thier original language, from which we can constantly compare our english translations (which is why good theological colleges require students to study greek and hebrew). The number, physical distribution and accuracy of these copies is a good testomony to the accuracy of transmittion."

Where are they? Why are they not reffered to and appropriately used to write a definitive translation. If they do so exist then surely as a matter of urgency (not to say record) they would and could be used in this way.

"Finally, there are many sects and theological differences within the Mormon community, so obviously the Book of Mormon has not clarified theological thought as claimed."

No there are not. There are a couple of groups that have splintered from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints and adopted their own doctrine. They are not members of the Church of Jesus Chirst of Latter Day Saints, or Mormons.

There is NO theological debate within the Church on matters of Doctrine. Revelation has strictly defined such things.

Nobody is "Told to accept.." the Book of Mormon. We are told to study it and pray about it with a sincere desire to know the answer. The Holy Ghost will testify6 to us of its truth.

On a personl level a couple of months ago I was called to teach the Gospel Doctrine Class on Sundays, and this year the study is of the Book of Mormon. I knew it was true before, but preparing my lesson has really strengthened that testimony. The is no way even the most experienced and brilliant novelist could have written it. There are too many intricacies and different styles enmeshed within it. It is a history of peoles in the Americas and has many interwoven stories and yet always has continuity.

And yet it was penned by a simple and uneducated farm boy in a matter of 90 days. It could only be written under inspiration from God.

The Bible insufficient?

Post 5


I support what researcher has said. Clearly, the modern compilation of books of the Bible, while inspired, is not the sum total of the word of God. There are passages of the Bible which make reference to other books of scripture which we have no knowledge of nor access to.

The Book of the Covenant: EX 24:7
Book of the Wars of the Lord: Num 21:14
Book of Jasher: Josh 10:13
Book of the Acts of Solomon: 1 Kings 11:41
Books of Nathan & Gad: 1 Chron 29:29
Prophecy of Ahijah and Visions of Iddo: 2 Chron 9:29
Book of Shemaiah: 2 Chron 12:15
Book of Jehu: 2 Chron 20:34
Acts of Uzziah: 2Chron 26:22
Sayings of the Seers: 2 Chron 33:19
An earlier epistle of paul to the Corinthians: 1 Cor 5:9
Another epistle of Paul to the Ephesians: Eph 3:3
An epistle of Paul to Loadicea: Col 4:16

What's more I was very interested to read in The Baptist times that other Christians are beginning to challenge the idea of a 'closed canon' that God is able to speak to whom ever he wants to in whatever way he wants to. The idea of a closed canon is humankind's idea, not God's.

'The idea of a closed canon is, he says, 'a nonsense'. 'It's very prohibitive of expression down through the ages. It's been implicitly said that no-one now can say anything new, because everything has already been said.'
Instead he believes, we should be prepared to treat as Scripture the sermons of Martin Luther King and the letters of Dietrich Bonhoeffer' Baptist Times July 1 2004

Furthermore, How would one define a Christian? Well if you are a Born Again Christian, In order to be considered a Christian and be saved you need to acknowledge that Christ is the Son of God and that it is only through him that we can be saved. He is God.

That being the case, then Mormons are most sincerely Christian. We certainly believe the above. We believe that Jesus was born of an earthly mother and a divine father in Bethlehem. He taught his gospel, established his church and began the apostolic order. He suffered for all of our sins. He was the only one who could do that. He offered himself as a willing sacrifice and submitted to the will of his father in utter, godly humility. He was killed upon the cross of calvary and on the third day he rose again from the tomb in glorious resurrection.
We eat easter eggs at easter, but up Christmas trees at Christmas, sing 'Hark the Herald Angels Sing' and buy presents.

Mormons are Christians. If you read the Book of Mormon, you would find that it is a very Christian document. I feel that any truly humble follower of Christ, who reads the book with an open mind and heart and with a prayerful attitude will find it a powerful witness of Christ and will certainly be hard pushed to find any doctrine that is disagreeable. That is the only thing I can suggest read it for yourself and find out.

You can pick up a copy at no cost to yourself from any meeting house if you ask.
A former epistle of Jude: Jude 3
Prophecies of Enoch Jude 14

The Bible insufficient?

Post 6


I am certainly not an expert on Mormonism; but what I have read and heard disturbs me greatly. According to Mormon doctrine, Jesus and Lucifer were spirit-brothers. That would make the Mormon doctrine of the nature of God completely unbiblical. Christ is the only begotten Son of God (many sciptures corroborating this) To claim that Lucifer and Jesus were brothers destroys the whole concept of the Trinitarian God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Lucifer was an angel who fell into sin -- a created being. Christ, as the Word of God ( see John 1:1,2) is pre-existent, not created and of course, not the brother of Lucifer (Satan).

Also, Jospeh Smith was an occultist who was known for his crystal-gazing. The " golden plates " which he apparently received from the angel Moroni, were never produced as evidence to those who challenged him. There were apparently a couple of witnesses who claimed they saw them, but these two later refuted their testimony. Thus Smith's claim of having translated the plates into English is to this day, unsubstantiated and highly-suspect.

There are several other tenets held by the LDS church that would clearly set them apart from orthodox Christianity.


The Bible insufficient?

Post 7


You are certainly not an expert on Mormonism.

Several witnesses saw not just the gold plates but also the angel Moroni. These men never recounted (or denied) their testimonies that they saw these things. How many people do you know that claim to see an angel introduce their friends to that angel?

Where did you read that Jesus and Lucifer were spirit brothers? Latter-day Saints don't speak or write that way.

The doctrine that we are literally the children of God and that Jesus Christ is literally the ONLY BEGOTTEN Son of God, though taught in the Bible, was restored to the earth through the Prophet Joseph Smith. The testimony that we are the children of God, created in His image and likeness, is the testimony of all those who learn to pray as Christ commanded: "Our Father who art in Heaven." I know that God is my Heavenly Father.

It is true that, as you said, "There are several tenets held by the LDS church that would clearly set them apart from orthodox Christianity." We have no desire to be another part of orthodox Christianity. Ours is a different message. Ours is the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. Only those who believe that God can speak, that angels can appear to men, that prophets can minister among men, and that additional scripture can be coupled with the biblical canon will open their hearts and minds to this message.

All can know. All can ask. Only God can answer. Why would those who believe the Bible deny that God can speak. If God can create his children he can communicate with them. Maybe it is time to ask Him. I promise you will receive.

The Bible insufficient?

Post 8


Dear gareis, you haven't thought this through.

Would you have disliked the church christ organised because his servants added to the canon of scripture? This is quite a common thing for true prophets to do - indeed it is one of the proofs that they are genuine prophets - they speak and write scripture. The problem you have is that the church preceeded and created the bible not the other way round.

You say: "If there was something important in the BoM, it would also be in the Christian Bible. I say that because I know God isn't cruel. He doesn't want people to go to hell; therefore He would give Eurasia and Africa all the information required to follow Him." It is true that God wants to speak to all nations but instead of showing that the bible is sufficient this shows the opposite. Not every nation in history has had the bible - indeed, no one in the bible had a bible! So in fact, if God is just, he would have to make known the same truths contained in the bible to nations that did not have that book. That is precisely what happened in the Book of Mormon and in ancient america.

Two other corrections: First, the bible does not contain all necessary information - where did you get that idea? Also there are no "original copies" of the bible - hence the multiplicity of modern translations! Scripture was not placed at the head of the church by christ - prophets and apostles were. Second, the BoM does teach things not (now) contained in the biblical record. Many plain and precious truths necessary for salvation have been restored to the earth in the Book of Mormon. Thus, that book is anything but "superfluous".

The bible predicts the appearance of christ to ancient america (and other lands) but the best way for you to know that the book is true is to ponder its message and pray to God to reveal its truth to you.
Then you will find that it will unlock your understanding of that beautiful book, the bible. I hope this is of help.

The Bible insufficient?

Post 9


Dear Mormonman

You are right; I am not an expert on Mormonism but I do read the writings of men who are. I have studied at least a dozen critical refutations of the claims of Joseph Smith and the LDS doctrines by eminent theologians, most notably the book " Kingdom of the Cults " by the late Dr. Walter Martin who was for many years, the Bible Answer Man on radio.

Martin and the others go to great lengths showing that the Book of Mormon was actually a revisionary re-writing of a book written years before -- and that the accounts described of the supposed settlement of North America by the migrants from Israel is pure fiction. But I leave Martin's analysis for you to discover for yourself. Furthermore, Smith was hardly a man to be trusted, having been in trouble with the law in upstate New York on a number of occasions.

Insofar as the golden plates are concerned, they were never produced for examination to those who sought validation of Smith's wild claims. Had they been produced and enshrined, then it is plausible to suggest that the LSD Church would today be the most populous religious body on the planet.

According to LDS doctrine, Jesus Christ and Lucifer are indeed, spirit brothers. Martin cites this from LDS catechism (I believe it is stated somewhere in Doctrines and Covenants but I will re-check and let you know when I pinpoint the source).

The Apostle Paul speaks at length concerning those who preach another gospel and not the gospel that he preached ( see Gal. 1:6-12 ). Paul declared that he received the revelation of Christ's redemptive work not from men, but from Christ, Himself. The writer to the Hebrews notes carefully that the final revelation to mankind from God is through His Son, Jesus Christ (see Heb. 1:1,2). When taken together, Gal. 1 and Heb. 1 point to the falsehood of any subsequent revelation by a so-called latter-day prophet. N.B. That would also discount post-apostolic writings from being accepted within the canon of Scripture, since only first-hand witnesses to the risen Saviour have their writings included within the Athanasian canon-- the canon finally accepted by the early church in the 4th century AD -- the one that Christian orthodoxy accepts today.


The Bible insufficient?

Post 10


re : Christ and Lucifer as spirit brothers

Dear Mormonman

I have researched my sources. The Mormon belief that Jesus and Lucifer are spirit brothers is outlined in " Doctrine and Covenants," having been extracted from " Pearl of Great Price "( Book of Moses, Chapter IV).

This is summarised in Walter Martin's " Kingdom of the Cults ", Bethany House Publishers, 1985 edition, p. 218.


The Bible insufficient?

Post 11


Dear Royalrcrompton,

Thank you for revealing the source of your knowledge... a well-known anti-Mormon Dr. Martin and his provocative book. I wonder if instead of reading the Bible itself, you only had occasion to read something written about Christ by Judas who betrayed him, or the Sanhedrin that condemned him to death, or Pilate who ordered his crucifixion, would you still consider him the Son of God and Saviour of the world? What you have done is read the testimony of his friends, those who knew him. When it came to Jesus you didn't let the devil have his say. Yet it is clear that you have never read the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants or Pearl of Great Price. Instead you have read the words (only) of enemies of the Church and of the Prophet Joseph Smith. No wonder your perspective is so one-sided. Shame it is on the wrong side!

Martin and others go to great lengths to show that Joseph 'fabricated' the Book of Mormon. Their arguments have been thoroughly refuted. There is overwhelming evidence of the ancient origins of the Book of Mormon. But the issue is resolved more easily than studying that evidence. The Book itself contains a promise that if I ponder its message and pray to God the Eternal Father in the name of Christ that God will manifest the truth of it to me. I have followed that course and KNOW that the book is the word of God.

You say Joseph cannot be trusted because he was in trouble with the law. Need I remind you that so was Jesus? Many of the ancient prophets were imprisoned including the ancient Joseph of Egypt! This only shows that the servants of the Lord have enemies who seek to destroy them and the work they establish by any means possible. Why does Joseph Smith attract such bitter opposition? The devil does not leave unopposed the work of the Lord.

You know very well that the golden plates had several witnesses. Many others saw these plates. Why are they not on the earth today? Why don't we have the tablets of stone upon which were written the Ten Commandments? Why didn't Christ appear to all men (especially his enemies) soon after his resurrection? The lord doesn't work that way. The answer for the absence of these things is because of the need to develop faith. Faith is not found in possessing religious 'relics' or some supposed physical proof - it is found in following the commands of Jesus Christ and his servants. Faith comes to those who obey. Faith by its nature is trust in things which are not seen but which are true.

You were unable to give a 'pinpoint' reference in LDS scripture for the claim that Jesus and Satan are spirit-brothers for the simple reason that prophets etc never speak or write that way. The scriptures teach that we are all children of God. The revelations of the restoration explain this doctrine in more detail. We existed with God (the father of our spirits) in a premortal existence. In that premortal state, God the Father presented his plan of salvation to all his spirit children. This is contained Abraham 3 and Moses 4. We would come to earth, gain mortal bodies, and be tested before we could return to Heavenly Father and dwell in his presence forever. Since each of us would sin in mortality, God called for a volunteer to be a saviour and his Son in the flesh. Lucifer, an angel in authority among the children of God, said he would go and "save all men" on condition that he could take the place of God himself while Jehovah, who was the Firstborn of all of Father's children, said he would go and the glory would go to the Father. The Father chose his firstborn and beloved Son to be our saviour and redeemer and his only begotten in the flesh. Lucifer rebelled, fell and was cast down to earth. He became the devil. He can never have a body and seeks to destroy those who follow Christ. The devil makes war with the saints. The devil and Christ are enemies. Christ, the creator of the earth, the God of the Old Testament, the Messiah of the New, the Only Begotten of the Father, the Sinless and Holy one, the great High Priest, the Light and Life of the world, and the Saviour is vastly superior to the devil. To say we believe they are brothers is not the full story... and you know that!

Hitler is a son of Adam just as you or I are - yet that does not reflect on me or you. It is a similar thing. The Evangelical world faces the question as to why God would create the Devil out of nothing knowing that he would commit such evil. Hence, God is responsible for creating all the evil in the universe! In the true conception of things, God creates his children and they can choose whether to do good or evil. That choice does not reflect on him.

It is obvious, that as the prophet of the restoration, Joseph Smith makes known things which are denied by the religions of the world. Indeed, many of these religions will be offended by some of the doctrines restored. All prophets face such a religious 'stigma'. But truth is truth. God is our father, Jesus is our Saviour and Lord, and the devil is our enemy. That is how Latter-day saints speak.

You show in your final paragraph how desperately you need the revelations of the restoration. You do not understand the Bible very well. Paul got his knowledge of the gospel by revelation. So any gospel that denies revelation cannot be the same gospel as his, but rather "another gospel". Paul (in Gal 1:6-12) is not saying angels can't appear, prophets can't speak or scripture can't be written. He is saying there is only one gospel and we measure every revelation (because revelations continue) by that gospel. Hence, this shows Paul believes in a speaking God.

Obviously, the writer of Hebrews (are we afraid to admit it was Paul or someone representing him?) couldn't mean that nothing could be added to the canon of scripture after the appearance of Christ since none of the New Testament was written till after he ascended to heaven! Jesus is the full and final revelation of God, but just as after his ascension apostles and prophets continued to teach and preach of him so they do today. Some of their number added to the canon of scripture. Hebrews 1:1-2 does not even mention the canon of scripture. Even Revelation 22:18-19 and 1 Timothy 3:14-16 are not saying the Bible is a closed canon. The Bible never once names itself or identifies what books should be included and which excluded. We have to be dishonest about the text or the history to distort the Bible in that way

Some say their religion is 'Bible Religion'! So called 'Bible' religion is not biblical since no one in the Bible had a Bible! They had a speaking God though!

I need to remind you that Joseph Smith was a first-hand witness to the risen saviour! Joseph's testimony of Christ was simply "He lives!" [See Joseph Smith History 1:17 & D&C 76:22 etc]. Joseph is similar to Paul the Apostle in this instance. Neither knew the saviour during the saviour's mortal ministry yet each saw him after his ascension into heaven. Why can one accept the testimony of Paul and not of Joseph? Why would God cease to speak to his children? And why should we believe the bible, and its claim that God does not change, if he has ceased to work among men as he used to do. It takes revelation to really understand the Bible.

I suggest you read the Book of Mormon. Then ask God if it is true. Until He answers you just don't know. Why should I trust someone who does not believe God can speak and answer my prayers when the most oft repeated invitation Christ gave was "Ask and ye shall receive"? I have asked and I have received.

The Bible insufficient?

Post 12


Dear Leadryl,

You write: "Finally, there are many sects and theological differences within the Mormon community, so obviously the Book of Mormon has not clarified theological thought as claimed."

I think this is an interesting claim. The Book of Mormon does not stand alone. The Book of Mormon cannot baptise people, give them the priesthood, send them on missions or seal them as families. This is why a Prophet, Seer and Revelator stands as the mortal head of the church on earth. On those issues that matter the Prophet is a clarifying and unifying voice. Only those who reject modern revelation begin to use the scriptures to distort or pervert the gospel of Jesus Christ. This has happened several times in history. The ancient Jews did it with the Old Testament (and hence rejected Christ when he came). The medieval Christians did it with the New Testament (hence producing many 'christian' churches). And modern "Mormons" did (and do) it with the Book of Mormon (producing apostate splinter groups). Hence, the need to accept more than scripture. The scriptures are never sufficient for the saints. We need to spirit of revelation and we need living seers. As long as we have a living God we can have a living gospel. But for that we need living prophets.

The Bible is not common ground it is battle ground! People have been fighting over the meaning of that book for generations. The Book of Mormon, coupled with other revelations and the voice of the living prophet, clarifies our understanding of the gospel so that there is a unity of the faith among true believers. Scripture alone cannot lead the church. There has to be priesthood. There has to be prophets.

Can you imagine going to a restaurant where only a menu was served? No meal was given. In many churches, only the menu of the gospel, the written word, is offered when people are literally starving to death. The gospel comes not just in word but in power! I believe the Bible (and Book of Mormon) when it is in the hands of those who have the same spirit as those who original wrote it. It takes the spirit of revelation to really read and understand scripture!

The Bible insufficient?

Post 13


Dear Mormonman

re : "...a well-known anti-Mormon..."

Dr. Martin's ministry was not anti-Mormonism as you seem to imply. He rather, stood against historical inaccuracies and unbiblical distortions-- some of which are propounded by the LDS Church as well as the Church of Scientology, the Dawn Millenialists (Jehovah Witnesses), and Christian Scientists, just to name just a few of the cults.

re "...revealing the source of your knowledge..."

I am only citing one source; there are several more that I could include. "

re " When it came to Jesus, you didn't let the devil have his say. "

The devil speaks through many mediums but I am not interested in hearing what Satan has to say through clairvoyants, crystal gazers (e.g. Joseph Smith ) and other necromancers.

re " There is overwhelming evidence of the ancient origins of the Book of Mormon."

Very well, then please provide scientific evidence (anthropological support) and DNA analysis to support your LDS contention that the migrating Lamanites ( a supposed Semitic people ) have a definite DNA link to the North American Indians. You can't find that link my friend!

re: " You say Joseph (Smith)couldn't be trusted because he was in trouble with the law...so was Jesus."

Joseph Smith was in trouble with the law because he was a counterfeiter of money -- a known criminal. Yes, Christ was deemed a criminal but He was never convicted of any crime. " Which of you convinceth me of sin? " to which there was no reply or charge laid. Even Pilate said " I find no fault in this man." -- sinless; quite a different individual than was Joseph Smith, don't you think?

You seem to believe that because the tables of stone containing the written Decalogue are no longer extant justifies some excuse for why these mysterious golden plates are no longer around. Keep in mind that the temple in Jerusalem was destroyed by fire in 586 BC by the Chaldeans-- the ark of the covenant presumably destroyed. That was more than 2,500 years ago. Does it not seem strange that these golden plates disappeared without explanation within months of their supposed discovery with no adequate explanation as to why? Your statement about witnesses validating their existense is shallow.

The issue of Jesus and Lucifer as spirit-brothers is clear enough. The LDS faith mistakenly believes Christ to be a created being i.e. a " first-born. " But Christ was not born. He was begotten i.e. He proceeded forth from the the Father( I recommend you read the Athanasian Creed -- Google it if you like). Christ had no brethren because He is pre-existent -- not a created being as was Lucifer. Christ is the logos, the Word ( John 1:1 ff).

I suppose I could go on and on but it seems pointless to argue theology with you. You have the right to hold to your beliefs and I respect that right; but I surely wouldn't base my theology and faith on the words and writings of a known scoundrel.


The Bible insufficient?

Post 14


Hello Royalrcrompton,

I noticed you were selective in your response to my post.

Dr Marin's opposition to other religions which he dubbed 'cults' was theologically motivated but it was not Bible based. It was based on the creeds, which are extra-biblical, as you well know. That is why you invite me to read the ‘Athanasian Creed’ instead of the Bible. By the way the common definition of ‘cult’ would mean that the religion Jesus organised was a 'cult'!

The Bible was written by believers in Christ - not his enemies. If you only read what his enemies had to say you would not believe in Him. Yet you have followed that course with Joseph Smith. Actually, Joseph is not “a known criminal” or “a known scoundrel” as you assert. Joseph was never convicted of any crime. However, even if he had been, that would not prove he was not a prophet. Joseph of Egypt was imprisoned, falsely convicted of “attempted rape”. Many Biblical prophets, including Peter and Paul, were imprisoned. Paul, in his early life, prior to his conversion was a known trouble maker but he repented. Have you based you faith on the teachings of Paul, “a known scoundrel”? My only point here is that God can use men that have sinned. That is not the real issue.

I never suggested Christ was guilty of any crime. But he was clearly in trouble with the law. Of course he was sinless. Joseph and other prophets are not sinless, as Christ was. No one is claiming that Joseph Smith is Christ. There is only one true Christ, just as there is only one true church. The question is which one is true and one can I know it?

You say “Does it not seem strange that these golden plates disappeared without explanation within months of their supposed discovery with no adequate explanation as to why?” This is simply false. They didn’t disappear. The angel Moroni took them back after the purpose for which they were given was accomplished. The gold plates themselves, like the Stone tablets, are not the most important thing. The message they contain is what is important. We don’t need the original copy as long as we have the message they contained. The message then becomes the measure by which we discern whether it was from God or not.

By the way, I did not say there was “scientific” evidence that the Book of Mormon is ancient. Where is the “scientific” evidence that Jesus was resurrected? Faith is not based on science. But that does not mean that there is no evidence. You can test the Book of Mormon… just as you can test any revelation from God.

You say: “The LDS faith mistakenly believes Christ to be a created being i.e. a "first-born." But Christ was not born. He was begotten i.e. He proceeded forth from the Father (I recommend you read the Athanasian Creed.”

This is an innocent mistake on your part. Of course Christ was born – that is the point of the Christmas story! Since when does “begotten” not also mean “born”? Interestingly, you say I should read the Creed instead of the Bible to find this doctrine. Christ is the Word, who was with God. He had a pre-earth existence. But this does not show he was not “born” into that pre-earth existence. He was, after all, “born” into this earthly existence. Maybe there is more you can learn about Christ from the spirit of prophecy. After all, “the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” Maybe you have misread the Bible, just as others have. Wouldn’t God want to clear up the confusion that contention over that book has caused? Wouldn’t a modern Moses makes things very plain? You accept the creeds which clearly shows you do not believe the Bible alone is sufficient.

The Bible insufficient?

Post 15


Dear Mormonman,

Yes, I was selective in my last reply. Not that I couldn't have spent more time in handling your many points, but that I didn't have the time or inclination to debate some of your comments that I perceive to be beliefs on which you and I hold intransigent positions.

Yes, the golden plates disappeared. How convenient that the angel Moroni took them back! For what reason would he/she do that? Unlike the Tables of the Decalogue which were brought back by Moses from the summit of Sinai, shown to the nation, then subsequently smashed by the prophet due to Israel's idolatry ( a replacement set then given by God and then set in the ark of the covenant), these golden plates were never left as a testimony of truth. So they remain pure speculation. Contrary to what you think, the visible proof counts far more than you think.

That Joseph Smith was never convicted of a crime is probably true, but he was a known counterfeiter as well as a crystal-gazer involved in the " black arts, " not to mention a digger of vast holes in and around Palmyra, NY in his search for what he claimed was buried treasure.

The Bible has a vast amount of corroborating historical evidence to support its writings, whereas the Book of Mormon has NO corroborating historical or scientific evidence.

You confuse Jesus Christ with the Logos (the Word as declared in John 1). Jesus Christ is the incarnation of the eternal and pre-existent Logos. I am not suggesting that you read the Athanasian Creed and dismiss the Bible (you put words in my mouth). The Athanasian Creed summarizes the vast array of Scripture that declares Christ's pre-existence. It does not add anything to what Scripture reveals, but only attempts to clarify the mystery of the Trinity. The Word (Logos)was made flesh -- denoting Christ's human conception; but as so many cultists believe, He did not come into existence at the moment of His incarnation. " Begotten " and " born " are two separate issues and have two distinct meanings within the nature of the second person of the Trinity i.e. the Divine Logos co-eternal within the Godhead as " begotten " ( proceeding forth from the Father ) and the subsequent taking on of an undefiled the human nature at His conception when the Word gave up His the glory He shared with His Father prior to the Incarnation ( see John 17:5 ; Phil. 2: 5-7).


The Bible insufficient?

Post 16


re : Joseph Smith not being convicted of any crime.

My research shows that Joseph Smith was brought to trial March 20, 1826 " New York vs. Joseph Smith. "
The court found him guilty of " money digging " (a euphemism for disrupting the landscape of private property in his quest to find buried treasure around Palmyra, NY )
While this was certainly not a heinous crime, it was still a criminal conviction.


The Bible is NOT sufficient!

Post 17


Dear RC,

Thank you for your post. It is not my purpose to pick a theological fight with you. Can I ask you some questions?

1. Have you ever read the Book of Mormon?
2. Have you ever prayed to ask if the Book of Mormon is the word of God?
3. How do you know the Bible is true?
4. How do you know which Bible is true?
5. How do you know that the story of Moses and the Decalogue is not “pure speculation”?
6. How do you know that Moses didn’t just carve the engravings on the Stone Tablets?
7. Does evolution constitute “corroborating historical evidence” that the creation account of Genesis is accurate?
8. What is the “scientific evidence” for the reality of the resurrection, angels, and heaven?
9. How is the testimony of Jesus the spirit of prophecy (Revelation 19:10)?
10. Why does Christ warn about “false” prophets unless there are also true prophets? Where are the true prophets?

There are many other questions I would like to ask you but these represent some key issues. The truth is there are few arguments against the Book of Mormon that do not cause as much (or more) damage when raised against the Bible. It takes faith to accept true religion. There is no way around that.

You consistently attack the character of the Prophet Joseph Smith instead of looking at the revelations he received. Do I need to remind you that Moses had committed manslaughter? The character assassinations are not attractive. Every man, excluding Christ, has flaws. But even Christ was accused of being a ‘devil’ and of working by the power of the devil!

We need to discern. We can know true prophets by the fruits. The message of the restored gospel, together with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, represents the fruit of the Prophet Joseph Smith. We must taste that fruit to know if it is good.

You allow that the creeds can “clarify” the biblical message. Yet the creeds were not written by prophets. The Book of Mormon was and it does a much better job of clarifying the Bible than any of the creeds do. What should be obvious from the confusion in the Christian world is that the Bible needs clarifying.

The Bible is NOT sufficient!

Post 18


Dear Mormonman

To answer your questions :

1. No, I've just skimmed some of the chapters

2. No, because it plainly isn't God's Word -- not corroborated by any historical or archaeological record/discoveries

3. I believe the Holy Bible is true because there is corroborating historical/archaeological evidence; besides, nothing related in the Bible has ever been disproved.

4. There is only one Bible -- not several as you seem to imply

5. because the Israelites did indeed, come out of Egypt and eventually settled in Canaan according to the Exodus account

6. If Moses had manually carved the tablets according to God's instruction, then I suppose the Scriptures would have stated so

7. evolution is neither historical nor scientific and thus cannot be used as a benchmark for truth

8. there is no scientific evidence for the resurrection -- it is historical (keeping in mind that the Bible is both a theological and historical document). Had there been no resurrection of Jesus Christ, there would have been no Gospels to peruse today and of course, by extension, no New Testament. Who would then have paid such unparalled attention to an ordinary man who claimed to be the Messiah but who landed in the grave and remained there just as do the rest of us?

9. The testimony of Jesus Christ is His fulfillment of the law and the prophets

10. Jesus is not the only one who spoke about false prophets ( also Paul, Peter and John ). The true prophets ended with Jesus Christ (again Heb. 1:1,2). The true prophets were those who spoke concerning the coming Messiah and exhorted the nation of Israel to prepare for their deliverer and King -- John the Baptist being the last mortal prophet (as forerunner of Jesus' ministry).

I believe that Joseph Smith was a charlatan and a false prophet. I make no apology for this assertion. Apart from his criminal record (and here I would include his certain involvement with the destruction of the Nauvoo, Illinios newspaper), I base this chiefly on the documented record of his plagiarism of Albert Spaulding's " Manuscript Found " (from which the Book of Mormon derives much of its content). That would certainly discount, in my mind, any Divine revelation from God being channelled through one Joseph Smith.


Do you REALLY believe the Bible?

Post 19


You show by your answers to these questions that you do not understand the Bible. The New Testament was written and compiled after the ascension of Jesus. It claims that we cannot know the things of God except by the spirit of God (1 Corinthians 2). I do not think you "know" the Bible is the word of God. Certainly, you do not know what it means.

I have much greater reason to both believe and understand the Bible than you do. Moses, as well as other ancient prophets actually appeared to Joseph Smith. By your own admission, you haven't even read the Book of Mormon, so how can you possibly know that it "derives much of its content" from that Spaulding manuscript? All of your arguments are circular - they assume what they seek to assert!!

You "believe the Holy Bible is true because there is corroborating historical/archaeological evidence; besides, nothing related in the Bible has ever been disproved." That is a very weak foundation for your faith. Especially when this supposed "corroborating" evidence cannot convince everyone. Some use evolution (which is a false notion) to discount the Bible. Some suggest that the historical Jesus differs from the Christ of faith. Many versions of the Bible, each different in some way, have been produced.

You rely on history and science to support your faith. A sandy foundation! True prophets are often rejected by those who claim loyality to the scriptural records of the past, and claim to believe in past prophets. Those rejecting Christ, etc, often quoted the Old Testament in support of their rejection. Those who rejected him argue that God couldn't or wouldn't add to the scriptural records of the past. In this sense, what is the difference between you and them?

Why would God stop speaking, especially when people cannot agree on what the Bible actually means? Why would God stop speaking even if people could agree on what the Bible actually means?

Hebrews 1:1-2 does not say what you want it to say. If you believe the Bible, at least read it right!

Of course you can claim Joseph is a false prophet. Your assertion is hollow since you 1) have not read his revelations and 2) you do not accept that there can be true revelations. All you mean is that anyone claiming to be a prophet can only be a false prophet - since there CANNOT be any true ones! Hollow. Circular. Shallow. I do not think you would have accepted Peter, James, John or Paul if you had lived in their time.

Jesus is only known by the spirit of prophecy. Those who deny that spirit cannot know Him or his gospel. The Bible does not replace the need for living prophets or the spirit of revelation any more that Peter's witness replaced the need for Paul's. God can send more witnesses. And He will continue to do so until the end of time.

The people of whom we read in the Bible got more than a book and so must we. Scripture is only black ink on white paper unless the spirit of the Lord makes it come alive for us. Your reliance on external "corroborating" evidence, together with yout misuse of fairly simple biblical scriptures shows that that spirit has not come alive for you.

You can claim that Joseph Smith is a false prophet but to claim that God does not have any prophets on the earth is surely opening yourself up to relying on your own wisdom instead of the word of the Lord. You cannot speak for God unless God speaks to you! That is the very essence of prophecy. The very essence of true religion is revelation.

Only the devil tells people that God does not answer prayers and that God does not speak. Many religions claim scriptural records. They cannot all be true. The best way to find out is to do as James directs, that is, "ask of God" (James 1:5). He knows. What is to prevent him from telling us?

External evidences?

Post 20


Dear Royalrcrompton,

If you are interesting in external evidences for the Book of Mormon as a scriptural record check out:


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