So, to catch everyone up to speed, in our last visit with the Elders, we focused in on contradictions that I found in regard to the book of Mormon and Joseph Smith. The bottom line was, although the Elders would essentially admit these contradictions – or false prophesies – it was just chalked up to continued revelation.
As it was getting closer to our next visit, my wife asked me what I planned to discuss with the elders. I was thinking that I might examine the call and anointing of the prophets and leaders in Israel as well as does Joseph Smith align and/or measure up with God’s chosen prophets of the past…
The next day I jumped on the computer and was doing a little surfing online. Really by accident, I came across a Mormon apologetics web site that focused specifically on continued revelation. As I read what the Mormons believe, in regard to continued revelation, I was fascinated and befuddled. So, I figured that this would be where I would plant to see if I could drill down and see if their beliefs would hold water.
As the Elders came in and sat down, we wrapped up our small talk and niceties. Honestly, they are both really nice guys! I began sharing with them the definition that I had found that morning, which is: The concept of continuing revelation clearly implies that no mortal knows it all yet. Continuing revelation is needed to correct past ignorance, overcome human errors, and provide new truth and knowledge when the Lord sees fit to give it. As long as there are mortal leaders in the Church, their knowledge and views will not all be based on revelation from God, meaning that they inevitably will have their own human views. The Church fully recognizes this! …according to the Encyclopedia of Mormonism
They were seemingly thrilled! “You got it!” they said. “That’s it!”
“Great,” I said. “at first glance this seems to make a lot of sense. I mean Noah was a drunk, Elijah was depressed, David was a murderer and adulterer, Abraham was a coward and a liar, the list goes on and on”.
“Right, you got it!” they exclaimed again. For a brief moment, we all just looked at each other and smiled. Silence. Next, I explained that I was sorry. I was going to have to break some bad news to them.
“You see, this seems similar because all these men were absolutely sinners, that’s true. But that is where the similarities stop”. I continued to explain, the Bible is the ruler in which we measure truth. Mormonism lacks a ruler. The thinking of Mormonism is circular – at best. Joseph Smith, it turns out, was shown to be a prophet by revealing a supposed truth; however, this truth is not really a truth since it is changing. Yet, according to Mormonism belief, in continued revelation, this confirms his position and anointing because his revelation changed.
One of the elders said, “the Bible reveals the same sort of revelation doesn’t it?”
“No, you see, there is a huge difference in God demonstrating increased clarity in the same revelation and a contradictory revelation. We see in the Old Testament a continued increase in clarity in the Redeemer, His role, His identity and His purpose. Never was there a change in Christ’s purpose. In Mormonism, on the contrary. There are definite changes in core beliefs, and tenants”, I said.
Now, this is the first time that things started getting a little heated throughout our visits. I actually had thought maybe we were actually getting somewhere. They shot back at me saying, “No, you are wrong. Continued revelation is necessary.” I prompted them to point out an example of changing revelation from the Bible, and they couldn’t.
“Let back up a little here, again I have to ask, what is your ruler here?” They had both admitted that prophecy was measured by the results of the specific prophesy; although it did not discredit the prophet in entirety, but just in the prophesy stated. “Well, what about doctrine? I know that Brigham Young said that he was his own measure. He stated that he would proof his own teaching and establish if it was ordained doctrine or not. Is this the standard?” They answered that it was one way of establishing doctrine; another would be a group of the prophets agreeing that the new doctrine or revelation was of God. Again, this is circular in reasoning and it denies absolute truth.
“Do you believe in absolute truth I asked?”
“Yes” said the Elders…
“What is it?”
“Current Mormon Doctrine!”
“Are you sure?”
“What if there was new revelation that absolutely contradicted the current Mormon doctrine. Would you believe it?”
(Wow, I think we are getting somewhere here)
“Yes you would, and I can prove it”. At this point, I have to be honest – I wasn’t even sure what I was going to say. Then it hit me… “I am sure you are both familiar with the problems that have occurred with mitochondrial DNA testing and the southern Asia lineage that this points to with the Native Americans” they said they were. “Well, what if a Mormon prophet stood up and said that they received a new revelation that explained the discrepancy. Imagine 1500 years before Christ, a portion of a tribe of Israel traveled to Asia to proclaim the message of the “Heavenly Father” and as these people were proselytized, their DNA was mingled… Then it was these people after hundreds of years that migrated to the Americas”.
It was like I punched the older Elder in the stomach. The younger of the two just started laughing.
“Yes,” the older Elder said.
“Yes, I would believe that.”
“Great, that took me two minutes to make up, just by me being willing to twist your beliefs to meet current political and scientific thinking, yet there is no measure of truth to judge it. There has to be a measure — an absolute reliable truth”.
“The thinking of the Mormon Church just doesn’t hold water. Throughout history, God’s message has stayed the same, yet your perspective is that, due to people’s willfull disobedience, God would scrap or disregard His OWN truth. Ever since then, God has not been able to get His own beliefs and thoughts straight. According to your beliefs, God could once again start over with a new Gospel and make both yours and my current beliefs void”.
“No, we don’t believe that God would do that” they said.
“What? No, God would never do that”, said the older of the two.
“But according to Mormonism, God did that very thing with Joseph Smith” I continued.
“Stop your confusing me!” the older said.
The younger missionary laughed.
“I’m sorry if I am confusing you, let’s review”. I went on… “You are saying that God, who says He is the same from everlasting to everlasting, has changed. That the God of decency and order is confused and disorganized”…
Below are a few of the many contradictions we re-established and reviewed.
|The Book of Mormon||Mormon Doctrine|
|There is only one God
Mosiah 15:1,5; Alma 11:28; 2 Nephi 31:21
|Mormonism teaches there are many gods.
Joseph Smith, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 6, p. 5
|The Trinity is one God
Alma 11:44; Mosiah 15:5; 2 Nephi 31:21
|The Trinity is three separate gods.
James Talmage, Articles of Faith, p. 35. 1985.
|God is unchanging
Mormon 9:9,19; Moroni 8:18; Alma 41:8; 3 Nephi 24:6
|God is increasing in knowledge.
Joseph Smith, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 6, p. 120.
|God is spirit
Alma 18:24,28; 22:9,11
|God has the form of a man.
Joseph Smith, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 6, p. 3.
Jacob 3:11; 6:10; 2 Nephi 19:16; 28:21-23.
|Hell is not eternal.
James Talmage, Articles of Faith, p. 55.
Jacob 1:15; 2:23,24,27,31;3:5; Mosiah 11:2,4; Ether 10:5,7
|Polygamy was taught and practiced.
Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 3, p. 266
12 Essential Mormon Doctrines not Found in the Book of Mormon
If the Book of Mormon is the “most correct book of any on earth” (History of the Church, vol. 4:461), then why does it not contain essential Mormon doctrines such as…
- Church organization
- Plurality of Gods
- Plurality of wives doctrine
- Word of Wisdom
- God is an exalted man
- Celestial marriage
- Men may become Gods
- Three degrees of glory
- Baptism for the dead
- Eternal progression
- The Aaronic Priesthood
- Temple works of washings, anointing, endowments, sealing.
Or the 60 plus false prophesies that come from Joseph Smith.
Here is a quick aside: It is funny — I asked, if there is new revelation opposed to the Book of Mormon, why is the Book of Mormon the only Book that the missionaries would give me? I even asked if I could buy a Doctrine & Covenants. They said I would have to come to the church.
This is when it happened — the older Elder said, “OK I give.”
“What?” Said I…
“I give up. What do you think is truth?”
I laughed. “First, it is not what I think is truth, that matters. What matters is what the Bible says is truth.”
We took about 45 minutes to an hour walking through God’s complete revelation from Genesis to Revelation, the promise and fulfillment of the Redeemer, establishing Jesus’ identity as God and his purpose as the perfect sacrifice and mediator. Then the older Elder says with his voice quivering, “I believe” and the younger laughs again and says “me too”.
Then I had the amazing privilege of leading the two amazing and courageous young men in prayer, thanking Jesus for revealing Himself to them and for these men to turn their lives over to Jesus.
I have to say both of these guys have an amazing amount of guts to make this proclamation.
By the way, here are some great sites to reference: