Book Review


I recently received and started reading a new LDS book called "The Biblical Roots of Mormonism" 
by authors Eric Shuster and Charles Sale (ISBN 978-1-59955-4-6-8).  The publication date is 
2010.

Last modification date:   Wednesday December 15, 2010

From the back cover, "The Biblical Roots of Mormonism explains how the Bible sustains Mormon 
theology and practice
."

Is this statement really true or do the authors practice "eisegesis," i.e., they inject their own 
ideas into the text and ignore the biblical context?

Let's investigate together.

Some of the comments I make are taken from my book, Who are Latter-day Saints?  It
was originally published in 2004 and revised in 2010.  It can be downloaded free of charge.


Chapter 1 - Premortal Life

God the Father is the father of all spirits, including the spirits of everyone who has born or ever will 
be born on earth
(page 7).

The author does not reference LDS Church magazine articles showing the Mormon belief in a 
Heavenly Mother.  In fact, none of the author supplied biblical passages teach the idea of a Heavenly 
Mother. Remember, Adam and Eve were created on earth without a mother.

It is recorded in the Old Testament that the sons of God, Satan among them, presented themselves
to the Lord in a time and place not of this earth (Job 1:6; 2:1)
(page 8).

Some believe these sons of God are those angels who left their estate and mingled with the 
daughters of men (Genesis 6:4).

John the Revelator told how Lucifer gathered unto himself one-third of the stars of heaven (spirit
children of God) and organized them to destroy the child (Jesus), who would be delivered through 
a revered woman (Mary) (Revelation 12:1-4)
(page 9).

Mormon theology has this great war taking place near when the world was created.  The identity
of the woman is taken to be Mary, possibly as a result of Eric's original faith as a Catholic.  I could
not find any LDS Church teaching to confirm his belief.

Michael the Archangel led the fight against Lucifer.  Lucifer and his followers were defeated and cast
down to earth as bodiless spirits
(page 10).

In Mormon theology, Michael the Archangel is none other than Adam.  I'm not sure why the author
refers to Satan as a bodiless spirit.  After all, didn't the spirit children of God in the premortal life
have spirit bodies?

When they encountered Jesus on earth, they recognized him as the only begotten Son of God (the
only spirit offspring of the Father who is also the mortal offspring of the Father, through Mary) 
before Jesus intended to proclaim this publicly
(page 11).

Every person born in the flesh on earth was first born in the premortal realm as a spirit offspring of
God the Father
(page 11).

The author did not elaborate on whether one needs to be involved with a woman to have offspring.

To fulfill this purpose and continue to progress eternally, each must choose freely to leave the
premortal realm, take on a physical body, and live in mortality, with all its joys, sorrows, forgetting,
and death
(pages 11-12).

The author does not elaborate on how spirits in the premortal world could progress there when they
did not possess a physical body.  There is no scriptural evidence to show people choosing to leave
the premortal realm.  Neither does the author mention whether the spirits in the premortal realm
had joy without them possessing a physical body.

Those in the premortal realm who choose not to enter mortality must remain in the premortal realm,
where their bodiless state prevents them from progressing further
(page 12).

This is a rather strange statement to make for several reasons.

1. Take a look at the tense of the word implying choice. "Those who choose (present tense)."  In 
Mormon theology, the choice was already made in the past when they decided between Christ's 
offer of salvation and Lucifer's offer of salvation.  In Mormon theology, Satan also wanted to save 
mankind.  Those who chose to follow Jesus are said to have down to earth to obtain a body of 
flesh and bones.  Those who chose to follow Lucifer do not obtain physical bodies.

2. Some clarification is warranted.  Those who chose (past tense) to follow Satan (about 1/3) were
cast down to earth.  They cannot change the original choice they made.  The word "choose" (present
tense) is inappropriate to use.  There are not ongoing choices right now being made as to whether
someone wants to come to earth.

3. According to LDS theology, spirit children could progress in the premortal world without a physical
body.  In fact, the LDS Church's version of Jesus actually progresses to become a God before he 
came to earth.


Chapter 2 - Satan

The Savior's disciples cast out devils during their missionary work (page 19).

There is no casting out of devils in the Book of Mormon.  I don't recall if this was ever recorded in 
even the other LDS scriptures.

The ultimate punishment of Satan and his underlings is eternal separation from Heavenly Father with 
no possibility of forgiveness
(page 20).

But in Mormon theology, every one who does not progress into becoming a god or goddess suffers 
punishment because they are eternally separated from living with Heavenly Father.  These punishment 
people go to the two lower celestial kingdoms, the terrestrial kingdom, and the telestial kingdom.

Satan uses all means - some garishly blatant, others profoundly subtle - to deceive mankind. He hints 
that disobedience of God's laws is freedom, even a pathway to godhood
(page 20).

Interestingly, the LDS Church teaches (in a profoundly subtle way) that disobedience to God's law in 
the Garden of Eden set Adam and Eve on a pathway to progression to godhood.  They were not able 
to progress without the Fall.

Satan and the evil spirits that follow him suffer constantly from a grinding awareness of their loss  
(page 21).

The author did not provide a scriptural reference.

During the thousand-year reign (known as the Millennium) of Christ before the final judgment, Satan 
will be bound by the righteousness of human beings on the earth
(page 21).

A similar teaching is found on page 284 of the 1998 edition of Gospel Principles.  "Because of the 
righteousness of his (God’s) people, Satan has no power; wherefore he cannot be loosed."

However, the Bible says an angel cast Satan into the bottomless pit and he had no power thereafter. 
It was not because of the righteousness of God’s people that Satan had no power. It was because 
the angel cast him into the pit and sealed it (Rev. 20:3).


Chapter 3 - Adam and Eve

God the Father worked through Jesus Christ to create the earth, and together they created man
(page 22).

This is not in line with what the LDS Church teaches.

Religion 430-431 – Doctrines of the Gospel Student Manual says, “We know that Jehovah-Christ, 
assisted by many of the noble and great ones did in fact create the earth and all forms of plant and 
animal life. But when it came to placing man on earth, there was a change in Creators. That is, the 
Father himself became personally involved” (p. 18).

After the fall, God would not allow Adam and Eve to eat of the fruit of the tree of life because they 
would then live forever in a state of transgression
(page 23).

There is much contradictory information in LDS theology as to whether the Fall was a sin.  See the 
section on Original Sin.

After eating of the tree, they lost their innocence, felt shame in nakedness, and were cast out of the 
Garden of Eden
(page 25).

Chapter 6 of the 1998 edition of Gospel Principles says that great blessings resulted on account of 
the Fall.

After being cast out of the Garden, Eve conceived their firstborn son, Cain (page 25).

The Book of Mormon and the Pearl of Great Price say that Adam and Eve gained the ability to 
procreate after the Fall.  That was one of their blessings according to the LDS Church.

In the first three chapters of Genesis, God is referred to as "Lord God." Thereafter, God is referred 
to as "Lord." It is the Lord God
[God the Father] who speaks directly to Adam and Eve in the Garden. 
It is the Lord
[Jesus] who speaks to them outside the Garden (page 27).

Genesis 4:6 - And the Lord [Jesus Christ as denoted by the use of "Lord" only] said unto Cain, Why art
thou wroth? and why is they countenance fallen?
(page 27).

It seems that the Lord God is a reference to Heavenly Father.  

Interestingly, the Book of Mormon says that Jesus is the Lord God in 2 Nephi 6:9 - "Nevertheless, the 
Lord has shown unto me that they should return again. And he also has shown unto me that the Lord 
God, the Holy One of Israel, should manifest himself unto them in the flesh; and after he should 
manifest himself they should scourge him and crucify him, according to the words of the angel who 
spake it unto me."

Another place in the Book of Mormon has Jesus [Lord God] speaking. "But behold, thus saith the Lord
God: When the day cometh that they shall believe in me, that I am Christ, then have I covenanted 
with their fathers that they shall be restored in the flesh, upon the earth, unto the lands of their
inheritance" (2 Nephi 10:7).

Had he not made this choice [Adam chose to eat of the forbidden tree], he would have remained 
alone in the Garden, separated from Eve
(page 28).

Adam would not have remained alone. He was with God.

He [Adam] would have been incapable of producing offspring, and therefore unable to obey God's
first commandment
[to be fruitful and multiply] (page 28).

But the animals were given the same blessing. They did not have to disobey God to get their 
blessing.

Mormons speculate that God would not have created a new woman for Adam.  If it were me, I 
would have preferred to have been separated from Eve and joined to God.

Adam chose mortality and with it offspring (page 28).

The author speculates here. The Mormon version of Adam did not know he would gain the powers 
of procreation.

Adam and Eve took their first steps in fulfilling Heavenly Father's plan of salvation. They were not
compelled in this: they willingly accepted their roles in the plan
(page 28).

In LDS theology, the devil should also be congratulated for him accepting his role in the plan.  
Without disobedience, the plan of the Mormon Heavenly Father would have been frustrated.

Spiritual death is separation from God (page 28).

Those in the two lower divisions of the celestial kingdom, and those in the terrestrial and telestial
kingdoms also suffer spiritual death because they are separated from God.

The Fall was part of Heavenly Father's plan of salvation (page 28).

The Mormon Heavenly Father needed Adam and Eve to fall, otherwise his plan would have been
frustrated.  That is why some Mormons do not regard the Fall as sin.

Adam and Eve are accountable for their transgression and the Fall; their offspring are not. 
However, their offspring do inherit the consequences of the Fall, including all the blessings and 
hardships of mortality
(page 28).

The Book of Mormon refers to these consequences as a punishment (Alma 42:1-22).


Chapter 4 - God the Father

Every mortal human being has a biological  father and mother, and through them acquires a 
body of flesh and bones. As the sons (and daughters) of God (Hosea 1:10), the spirits of men 
and women were created by God the Father in heaven through a process that is unknown
 
(page 29).

The author does not mention that the LDS Church teaches that in the premortal life on earth, 
men and women were procreated with spirit bodies to a Heavenly Father and a Heavenly Mother 
(who have physical bodies of flesh and bones).  One could say that these spirit children had a 
biological father and mother in heaven too
. Also, Hosea 1:10 does not imply a Heavenly Mother.

God's body is physical (Genesis 9:6), although perfected and glorified beyond all human compre-
hension (Hebrews 1:1-3)
(page 30).

Genesis 9:6 does not imply God's body is physical.

The LDS training manual Religion 430-431 - Doctrines of the Gospel Student Manual teaches
"Three glorified, exalted, and perfected personages comprise the Godhead or supreme 
presidency of the universe. . . . They are: God the Father; God the Son; God the Holy Ghost"
(chapter 3, p. 8).

But Latter-day Saints do not attribute a physical body to the Holy Spirit.

God the Son, Jesus, and God the Father have form and substance and are both seen by 
Stephen
(page 31).

I wonder if the LDS sons and daughters of Heavenly Mother and Father were visible or invisible 
to each other when they are said to have spirit bodies in the premortal life?  Did they have any
form or substance as spirits?

That which can be seen or shown directly to the senses must have form and substance (page 
32).

Seems like spirits have form and substance too.

God provides for his children the experiences needed to reach their full potential as his sons
and daughters
(page 33).

The LDS God wanted Adam and Eve to disobey him in the Garden of Eden so they could begin
to reach their full potential (to become gods and goddesses).

Despite God's admonition that the Israelites should marry their own, Samson was led to marry
a Philistine to fulfil God's purposes
(page 35).

I would say Samson was allowed by God, not led by God.

The importance of family is reflected in the emphasis on order of birth and lineage throughout
the Bible
(page 35).

The author omitted mention of his family (Heavenly Mother and Father) in the premortal life.

Also, the tribe of Ephraim takes the pre-eminent stage in Mormon theology. The LDS training 
manual Religion 430-431 - Doctrines of the Gospel Student Manual teaches  "It is Ephraim, today, 
who holds the priesthood. It is with Ephraim that the Lord has made covenant and has revealed 
the fulness of the everlasting gospel. It is Ephraim who is building temples and performing the 
ordinances in them for both the living and for the dead ... The great majority of those who have 
come into the Church are Ephraimites. It is the exception to find one of any other tribe, unless 
it is of Manasseh" (chapter 24, page 66).

God the Father, who is a divine personage ... Jesus Christ, who is a divine personage with ... 
The Holy Ghost, who is a personage of spirit ...
(pages 35-36).

For some reason the author did not refer to the Holy Ghost as a divine personage.

Adversity, joy, suffering, and death are encountered in mortality (page 36).

I wonder if spirit bodies had joy in their premortal state before the LDS Church says they came
to earth?

His [God's] purpose is for men and women, by their own choice, to progress towards perfection
(page 36).

The Mormon version of Adam and Eve could not progress without disobeying God first.

God the Father ... is willing to bequeath the power of eternal increase (eternal progression) to
those of his children who are willing to pass through the trials necessary to become worthy of
this power
(page 36).

The author should have clarified this term a little further. In LDS theology, eternal increase means
you and your wife (as both god and goddess) will be able to procreate your own spirit child on 
some other planet.  Apparently they will then designate their own Jesus, Adam, Eve, and Lucifer 
on this world and the cycle will repeat again.


Chapter 5 - Jesus Christ

Jesus Christ is not the firstborn in the flesh (that would be Adam), but he is the firstborn of
every creature of every creature, meaning the firstborn spirit offspring of God the Father
(page 
37).

Notice how the author uses the context of firstborn incorrectly even though using the same
word to apply to both Jesus and Adam. Adam is considered firstborn without being created
through the involvement of a mother, but Jesus is.

It should be worth noting that Israel, David, and Ephraim were called the firstborn (Ex. 4:22; 
Jer. 31:9; Ps. 89:27). They were not first born, nor created first.  The author did not mention
these biblical passages because he was not willing to entertain the thought that the LDS 
Church has created a false Jesus by using a false context. A procreated Jesus who progressed 
to being a god is not the Jesus of the Bible.

God the Son (Jesus Christ), acting on direction from ... the Father, created the earth and worlds
without end
(page 38).

The Mormon prophet Joseph Smith taught Jesus created other worlds: "That by him, and 
through him, and of him, the worlds are and were created, and the inhabitants thereof are 
begotten sons and daughters unto God” (Doctrine and Covenants 76:24).  

Would you believe in the "extraterrestrial" Jesus if you lived on these other worlds?

The Atonement began in the Garden of Gethsemane. His sweat became as drops of blood (page
40).

More clarification is given in the 1998 edition of Gospel Principles on page 67.  "In the Garden of 
Gethsemane Jesus bled blood at every pore."

But Jesus was sweating in Gethsemane–he wasn’t bleeding.  "And being in an agony he prayed 
more earnestly, and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground" 
(Luke 22:44).

He [Jesus] told them that a spirit did not have flesh and bones as he did (page 41).

This would mean that the Mormon Jesus, as the first spirit child of Heavenly Father and Mother,
was not created in the image of the Father because this Father is said to have a body of flesh
and bones.

He [Jesus] also shares names that are usually reserved for the Father. The choice of names or
labels for Jesus is usually based on delegation. Names, then, can also signify function or esteem

(page 44).

In the Book of Mormon, Jesus is called both the Father and the Son. Jesus was called the Son
because he dwelt in the flesh (Mosiah 15:2-4).

Without his Atonement ... no man or woman could return from mortality to the presence of God
the Father
(page 45).

In Mormon theology, only those humans who become gods and goddesses will return to the
presence of the Father.

In that moment, at his ninth hour upon the cross, Jesus sensed what it was like to die a
spiritual death, to be separated from God
(page 47).

This is an interesting thing the author teaches. Being separated from God is equated to a 
spiritual death.  This means that all Mormons who don't become gods will suffer spiritual death 
because only gods will be in the presence of God.

Joseph Smith taught similarly.

"Therefore, I must gather together my people, according to the parable of the wheat and the 
tares, that the wheat may be secured in the garners to possess eternal life, and be crowned
with celestial glory, when I shall come in the kingdom of my Father to reward every man 
according as his work shall be; While the tares shall be bound in bundles, and their bands made 
strong, that they may be burned with unquenchable fire" (D&C 101:65-66).

The tares (those who don’t inherit eternal life–who don’t become gods) will be burned.

One finds a similar teaching in the Book of Mormon.

Alma 5:21 says, “no man can be saved except his garments are washed white; yea, his 
garments must be purified until they are cleansed from all stain, through the blood of him of
whom it has been spoken by our fathers, who should come to redeem his people from their 
sins.” 

In verse 24, we see that the saved people “have a place to sit down in the kingdom of God, 
with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob, and also all the holy prophets, whose garments 
are cleansed and are spotless, pure and white” (see also Alma 7:21, 25). These people are 
in the highest division of the celestial kingdom with God because they have reached godhood 
(D&C 132:30, 37).

If one doesn’t have a place in the kingdom of heaven with Abraham and Jacob, “they shall 
be cast out for they are the children of the kingdom of the devil” (Alma 5:25). “Behold ye 
must prepare quickly; for the kingdom of heaven is soon at hand, and such an one hath not 
eternal life” (v. 28). 

If you don’t have eternal life in the kingdom of heaven with God, your kingdom is of the devil.
There are only two choices: eternal life or eternal death (2 Nephi 2:27-29)–“Wherefore, men 
are free according to the flesh; and all things are given them which are expedient unto man. 
And they are free to choose liberty and eternal life ... or to choose captivity and death, 
according to the captivity and power of the devil ... look to the great Mediator ... be faithful
unto his words, and choose eternal life ... and not choose eternal death ... which giveth the 
spirit of the devil power to captivate, to bring you down to hell, that he may reign over you in 
his own kingdom.”

Those who don’t choose eternal life and become gods end up choosing eternal death–to go 
to hell and to remain miserable with the devil in his kingdom (vv. 18, 27-29).

During the three days before his Resurrection, his spirit entered the spirit world to organize
and commence the teaching of his gospel to those who had died before him and would die
in the future without the gospel
(1 Peter 3:18-20) (page 47).

But when did Jesus actually preach to the spirits in prison?  There is a better explanation from
the Bible.

"Which sometime were disobedient when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of 
Noah, while the ark was a-preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water"
(1 Pet. 3:20). 

The answer is given by the word "when."

The spirits of those men, to whom Noah had preached, were in prison because they had 
rejected his message. They were awaiting judgment–they were lost. But Christ did not preach
to them after he died on the cross. He preached through Noah “when once the longsuffering 
of God waited in the days of Noah.” 

Noah had preached the Word of God for 120 years. He saved his family and no one else. It 
was the Spirit of God (of Christ) who spoke through Noah in those days.

Following his Resurrection, Jesus appeared to many individuals and groups, including his
apostles in Jerusalem and people in the Americas, who were his other sheep (John 10:16)

(pages 47-48).

There is no biblical support that this refers to Nephites or Lamanites in the Americas.

"And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall 
hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd."

These other sheep most likely refers to Gentiles. The Jews and Gentiles will one day be united
as one fold.


Chapter 6 - Holy Ghost

Unlike the other two personages of the Godhead, he does not occupy a glorified physical body
(page 49).

"Three glorified, exalted, and perfected personages comprise the Godhead or supreme 
presidency of the universe. . . . They are: God the Father; God the Son; God the Holy Ghost" 
(Religion 430-431 - Doctrines of the Gospel Student Manual, chapter 3, p. 8).

I suppose you could say the LDS version of the Holy Ghost has a glorified spiritual body.

Satan is the great deceiver, he offers counterfeit gifts of the spirit that may seem divine in
nature but arise from the powers of darkness to fool and entrap the children of God to their
destruction (Exodus 7:11-12, 20-22)
(page 54).

I'm not sure why the author choose Exodus 7 to prove his point. The magicians of Pharaoh
were only confronting Moses and Aaron. They were not trying to fool and entrap the children
of God to their destruction
.

Insulting deity, showing a lack of reverence for sacred things, or false claiming to possess
the attributes of deity is blasphemy
(page 55).

This is an interesting teaching.  

A magazine published by the LDS Church says, “Relief Society helps each sister learn that ... 
she has a divine nature” (“Emphasizing the Divine Worth of Each Sister," Ensign, April 2006, 
p. 64).   “Man has in himself the seeds of godhood, which can germinate and grow and develop. 
As the acorn becomes the oak, the mortal man becomes a god” (Spencer W. Kimball, Doctrines 
of the Gospel, 1986, p. 52).

The Mormon Jesus and Heavenly Father "acorns" became oaks.

A former president of the LDS Church taught, “We are gods in embryo, and thus have an 
unlimited potential for progress and attainment ... I want an America which cherishes the spark 
of celestial fire–freedom, faith, conscience–which has been planted in the heart of every one of 
us” (Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, pp. 21, 584).

Sounds blasphemous to me.

The gift of the Holy Ghost–his constant companionship–is available only to those who have 
been baptized and confirmed in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints by the authority 
of the priesthood of God.  Confirmation can take place immediately following baptism, later the 
same day, or a few days later
(page 56).

Its odd that you don't find the ordinance of confirmation in the Bible or Book of Mormon or that
confirmation must follow baptism.

The Mormon Church teaches that it is the only true church on the earth.

The Gifts of the Spirit include: ... the Gift of Knowing that Jesus Christ is the Son of God ... Satan
has his own imitations of these gifts, usually exaggerations, and hopes to use these imitations
to deceive the children of God
(page 56).

I wonder how Satan imitates the gift of knowing that Jesus Christ is the Son of God to deceive
the children of God?

Interestingly enough, Joseph Smith revealed that all members of The Church of Jesus Christ of 
Latter-day Saints do not know Jesus is the Son of God: “I would that ye should always remember, 
and always retain in your minds what those gifts are, that are given unto the church. To some it is 
given by the Holy Ghost to know that Jesus Christ is the Son of God” (Doctrine and Covenants 
46:10, 13).


Chapter 7 - The Godhead

Nowhere is God described in this testament as the mystical union of three divine persons or
personalities in a single divine being
(page 58).

"I have always declared God to be a distinct personage, Jesus Christ a separate and distinct 
personage from God the Father, and the Holy Ghost was a distinct personage and a Spirit: and 
these three constitute three distinct personages and three Gods” (Teachings of Presidents of 
the Church – Joseph Smith, 2008, pp. 41-42).

Nowhere in the Bible is there 3 Gods.

"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! … He would be a wonderfully 
big God–he would be a giant or a monster" (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 1938, 
p. 372).

The Book of Mormon even says Father, Son, and Holy Ghost is one God, not 3 Gods.  Apparently
this God is a monster to Joseph Smith.

One God - The oneness shared by the Godhead ... one in purpose ... This perfect oneness is
described by Jesus ... that his disciples would be one just as he (Jesus) and God the Father
are one
(page 61).

Take careful note here. According to the author, one God = oneness = one in purpose =
disciples being one = just as Father and Son are one.

The disciples were not "one God" when they were one in purpose with Jesus and the Father.
They were not members of the Godhead.

Jesus was with God in the beginning, was and is in perfect purpose with God, and can be called
God
(page 61).

Jesus is God.

Jesus Christ was the firstborn spirit offspring of God the Father (page 63).

The author omits Heavenly Mother again.

The council majority came up with a compromise conception, declaring that there were indeed
persons - Father, Son, and Holy Ghost - but that these persons were not separate entitles, not 
persons in the usual sense, but instead persons who were without substance, essence, or 
individual existence. These newly defined persons combined to form one essence, the Triune 
God (the Trinity) ... Because of this abundance of unambiguous biblical evidence for the divine 
individuality of God the Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost, Latter-day Saints cannot 
accept the findings of the Council of Nicaea
(page 74).

"The Council of Nicea took place in 325 A.D. by the order of the Roman Emperor Caesar Flavius 
Constantine. Nicea was located in Asia Minor, east of Constantinople. At the Council of Nicea, 
Emperor Constantine presided over a group of Church bishops and leaders with the purpose of 
defining the true God for all of Christianity and eliminating all the confusion, controversy, and 
contention within Christ’s church. The Council of Nicea affirmed the deity of Jesus Christ and 
established an official definition of the Trinity—the deity of The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit under 
one Godhead, in three co-equal and co-eternal Persons 
(http://www.gotquestions.org/council-of-Nicea.html)

"The main purpose of the council was to attempt to heal the schism in the church provoked by 
Arianism."  See http://mb-soft.com/believe/txc/nicaea.htm for more in-depth information.  

Arius proposed the heretical teaching that Jesus was a created being.  This heresy still exists
in the Mormon Church today.

The author failed to mention these important points.


Chapter 8 - Mary

Mary bore testimony of Jesus Christ and his celestial commission (see Luke 1:46-55), demonstrating
her prophetic faith
(page 76).

The word celestial has special significance to Latter-day Saints.

The book of Genesis contains the earliest prophetic scriptural reference to Mary. I will put enmity
between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed [Jesus]. The seed of the 
woman is Jesus
(page 78).

If the woman is Mary and Jesus is her seed, then why did the author fail to mention who the seed 
of the devil is?  Does he use two different contexts?  

Didn't the devil put enmity between his seed and Eve's seed or did he wait thousands of years 
until Mary arrived on the scene?

Thus, God the Father became the father of Jesus, bringing him into mortality through the body of
Mary by processes not disclosed in scripture
(page 79).

There have been a range of opinions on how Jesus was conceived in Mary’s womb but all seem to 
attest she was a virgin before Christ was born.

A few notable Mormon teachings follow:

"His unique status in the flesh as the offspring of a mortal mother and of an immortal, or resurrected 
and glorified, Father. Jesus Christ is the Son of Elohim both as spiritual and bodily offspring; that is 
to say, 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" (Teachings of Presidents of the Church – Joseph F. Smith
p. 356).

This seems to imply Heavenly Father had some form of sexual relations with Mary to conceive Jesus’ 
physical body; as it is believed by some that he had some form of sexual union with Heavenly 
Mother to produce the spiritual body of Christ.

The Mormon god probably needed to get married to Mary otherwise he would have committed 
adultery. But afterwards he needed to divorce Mary so she could marry Joseph. If true, Heavenly 
Father committed incest with his own daughter Mary–since Mormons believe all humans on this 
planet are his offspring.

"That Child to be born of Mary was begotten of Elohim, the Eternal Father, not in violation of 
natural law but in accordance with a higher manifestation thereof; and, the offspring from that 
association of supreme sanctity, celestial Sireship, and pure through mortal maternity, was of 
right to be called the Son of the Highest” (Religion 430-431 – Doctrines of the Gospel Student 
Manual
, p. 9).

This teaching seems to have its roots in the Book of Mormon where an angel is reported to have 
said, “Behold, the virgin whom thou seest is the mother of the Son of God, after the manner of the 
flesh” (1 Nephi 11:14-18; Alma 5:48).

“The condescension of God, of which the scriptures speak, means that the Immortal Father–the 
glorified, exalted, enthroned ruler of the universe–came down from his station of dominion and 
power to become the Father of a Son who would be born of Mary, after the manner of the fl sh” 
(Bruce R. McConkie, A New Witness for the Articles of Faith).

Latter-day Saints must ponder that the Mormon god (believed by some to have a body of flesh 
and bones) needed to come down from his station to earth to become the father of Jesus
Christ.

Chapter 9 - Scripture

Ezekiel foretells of the stick of Judah (the Bible) and the stick of Ephraim (the book of Mormon)
coming together to become one stick or one in thine hand
(Ezekiel 37:15-20) (page 83).

This is a doctrinal error.

The Bible says the two sticks are representative of two nations: “And join them one to another 
into one stick; and they shall become one in thine hand. And I will make them one nation in the 
land upon the mountains of Israel [not in America]; and one king shall be king to them all: and 
they shall be no more two nations [not two books], neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms 
any more at all” (Ezekiel 37:17, 22).

Notice that the author stopped at verse 20, so he does not understand the true meaning.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints uses the King James Version of the Bible without
content editing or revision of any kind
(page 87).

This needs to be qualified by what the author says on page 88.

The Pearl of Great Price ... The writings of Joseph Smith include a portion of Joseph Smith's inspired
translation of the Bible
.

These writings of Joseph Smith are included as footnotes in the King James Version of the Bible
that they print. His writings on certain New Testament passages DO contain content editing and
revision from the KJV.

Mormons revere the Bible as they do the Book of Mormon (page 87).

I don't believe this is entirely accurate.  The eight article of faith of The Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter-day Saints states, "We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated
correctly; we also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God."  

Notice the disclaimer attached to the Bible but not to the Book of Mormon.

The Book of Mormon testifies of the Bible, and the Bible testifies of the Book of Mormon (page 87).

See "Comparing the Bible and the Book of Mormon - do they have the same divine author?"

The subtitle of the Book of Mormon stresses that it is Another Testament of Jesus Christ
(page 87).

The caption “Another Testament of Jesus Christ” has not always been in the Book of Mormon. 
You can verify this by looking for editions dating pre-1981. This was probably done to make it 
appear more Christian and to boost its acceptance in the mainstream population.

The prophet Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon into English from the original
reformed Egyptian text on these gold plates
(page 87).

Into King James English I might add.

The way Joseph Smith did the translation is not clearly taught in their Gospel Principles training
manual.

The Pearl of Great Price ... It contains insights and information on the Creation ... and the nature
of God
(page 88).

The Book of Abraham says the Gods created the earth and then they rested on the seventh
day (Abraham 4:9-10). 

Sincere scholars and clerics study painstakingly and write prolifically on matters of interpretation.
They often reach far different conclusions from the same evidence
(page 91).

That is why we can safely say that Mormon scholars and clerics are sincerely wrong in some of
their teachings.

The best ancient manuscript is no match for the still small voice of the Spirit or the teachings of
a living prophet
(page 91).

The 2008 version of Teachings of Presidents of the Church - Joseph Smith reveals some startling 
things when it comes to the acceptance of scriptures in LDS theology:

"We are differently situated from any other people that ever existed upon the earth; consequently 
those former revelations cannot be suited to our conditions."

At a meeting in Kirtland, Ohio, Joseph Smith said, “Brother Brigham, I want you to take the stand 
and tell us your views with regard to the [living] oracles and the written word of God." Brigham 
Young said, "When compared with the living oracles those books [the previous revelations] are 
nothing to me; those books do not convey the word of God direct to us now, as do the words of a 
Prophet or a man bearing the Holy Priesthood in our day and generation. I would rather have the 
living oracles than all the writings in the books."

Joseph Smith said to the congregation, “Brother Brigham has told you the word of the Lord, and he 
has told you the truth" (Teachings of Presidents of the Church - Joseph Smith, chapter 16, 2008, 
pp. 198-199).


If the Lord tarries, I suppose even the Book of Mormon will become irrelevant to Mormons in a 
few hundred years since it cannot be suited to their conditions.


Chapter 10 - Apostasy and Restoration

The author wrote a lot in this chapter but he never proves a total apostasy.  But of course,
there was some apostasy.

He told the Thessalonians that before the Second Coming there would be a falling away (2
Thessalonians 2:3)
(page 94).

Again, the author stops short and does not read the rest of the chapter.

“Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering 
together unto him, That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor 
by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. Let no man deceive 
you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that 
man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition” (2 Thess. 2:1-3). 

This man of sin has not been revealed yet.

“Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that 
he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God” (v. 4). The man of sin 
has not set himself up showing that he is God yet.

“For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be 
taken out of the way” (v. 7). This is indicative of when the restraining power of the Holy Spirit
will be taken away and then the man of sin will be revealed.

“And then shall that wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his 
mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming. Even him, whose coming is after 
the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders. And with all deceivableness 
of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that 
they might be saved” (vv. 8-10). 

The man of sin will begin a series of events that will result in the culmination of the great 
apostasy. Latter-day Saints may argue that this is not a literal temple, but what of the one 
which is planned for Jackson County, Missouri? Will it be a literal or figurative temple? I 
admonish you to carefully interpret the scriptures and not to mold them to fit your own 
opinion.

The Bible reassures its readers that this apostasy would be followed by a restoration and
that the everlasting gospel would be brought to all the people of the earth (Revelation 14:6)

(page 96)

A similar teaching is found on page 267 of the 1998 edition of Gospel Principles:

"Prophets of old foretold the restoration of the gospel. The Apostle John saw that the gospel 
would be restored by an angel (Revelation 14:6-7). In fulfillment of this prophecy, the angel 
Moroni and other heavenly visitors brought the gospel of Jesus Christ to Joseph Smith
.

Read the passage carefully.  

The angel Moroni did not fly in the midst of heaven preaching to those which dwell on the 
earth. The angel is preaching a message of “Fear God, and give glory to Him” and that 
judgment is coming, not a restoration of the gospel. Also, five other angels followed this one. 
They do not bring the gospel to Joseph Smith. They are bringing judgment instead (Rev. 
14:8-20).

Again, the author does not understand the correct context of Revelation.

The Catholic Church, the largest Christian sect that has endured since the Ascension of
Christ
(page 101).

There was no Catholic Church in the days of Christ.

It was upon continuous revelation from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ that the
Church of Jesus Christ would be built (page 101).

This is incorrect.  Please study the passage.

He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?  And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art 
the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, 
Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.  
And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the 
gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
 

The church is founded on the fact that Jesus is the Christ, not on continuous revelation to
Peter.  After all, he had only received this one key revelation.


Chapter 11 - Revelation and Prophets

According to his will and purpose, he communicates directly to individuals, or through the
scriptures, or through prophets and others he has chosen
(page 104).

Makes sense.

God will not leave men in darkness; he will always send his prophets (plural) because he
desires clarity over confusion and peace over strife among his people
(page 105).

But the Mormon Church teaches there was a total apostasy from the first century until
1820 ... since they believe God did not send any prophets.

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints ... are blessed to be led by living
prophets - inspired men called to speak for the Lord
(page 109).

In Mormon theology, women are not prophets.

The author fails to consider the biblical teachings.  There were female prophets in the Old 
Testament (Exodus 15:20, Judges 4:4, 2 Kings 22:14, 2 Chronicles 34:22, Nehemiah 6:14, 
Isaiah. 8:3). We find a similar thing in the New Testament. Anna was a prophet (Luke 2:36). 
Philip had four unmarried daughters who prophesied (Acts 21:7-9). And women prayed and 
prophesied (1 Corinthians 11:5)

Modern prophets have made important predictions about his Second Coming (page 110).

I am not aware of any modern Mormon prophet predictions.

Prophets of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints address the world during semi-
annual conferences, regular firesides, weekly appearances across the world, and through a
wide variety of official Church publications
(page 110).

LDS president Spencer W. Kimball taught Eve was not literally created from Adam’s rib. He 
said, “The story of the rib, of course, is figurative” (Religion 327 – Pearl of Great Price
Student Manual
, p. 11; “The Blessings and Responsibilities of Womanhood,” Ensign, March 
1976, p. 71).

This official Church publication shows a teaching error.

The President of the Church is the presiding high priest. Only he holds the keys to the
kingdom with the power to loose or bind in all temporal and spiritual matters of the Church
(Matthew 16:19)
(page 111).

The office of high priest was not held by the apostles.  This was an office of the Levitical
priesthood.

But Jesus gave these keys to all the disciples. Let’s look at Matthew 18:1-18 very closely: 
“Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatsoever ye shall
loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” Jesus is addressing the disciples that were 
present, not just Peter.

The Lord has established a pattern in which the most senior member of the Quorum of
the Twelve becomes the prophet of the Church upon the death of the current member

(page 111).

This was not the pattern of the early church.  Plus, the early church did not have a quorum.

He does not leave his people to stumble blindly through empty and darkened hallways
(page 111).

But the Mormon Church teaches there was a total apostasy from the first century until
1820 ... thus the people stumbled blindly for centuries.


Chapter 12 - Joseph Smith

The author went to great lengths in an attempt to show that it makes sense to view Joseph 
Smith as a prophet.

He has a section called Angels Appear and Speak.  Another is called Angels Take Action.

But other men also claimed to have seen and interacted with angels, or to be have called by 
God to establish the true church.  William Miller went on to establish the Seventh Day 
Adventist, while Charles Taze Russel would found the Jehovah's Witnesses organization.

The Lord is never pleased with sin - he detests it and abhors the transgressions of men
in all their wickedness
(page 119).

But the Mormon god blessed Adam and Eve for their transgression in the Garden of Eden.

Joseph Smith used the Urim and Thummim.  The Urim and Thummim is described in the
Old Testament as a combination of objects used for spiritual purposes by priests, prophets,
and other men called of God
(page 121).

The apostles did not use the Urim and Thummim. It was reserved for use by high priests
of the Levitical priesthood.  And don't you find it interesting that the Urim and Thummim
made its way from Israel to America?  

Some historical accounts show that Joseph Smith wore some form of spectacles to
translate the Book of Mormon. Others have him staring into a dark hat with some peep
stone.

Joseph Smith had a message. He talked like a prophet ... suffered like a prophet, and died
like a prophet
(page 123).

Joseph Smith was not killed for his faith in Christ. He was killed by a mob.  Apparently they
were angry that Smith had destroyed a printing press which published an article which
criticized him. Also, the men of the town were getting angry that Joseph Smith and other 
Mormons were getting involved in polygamous relationships with their daughters.

Joseph Smith - like Noah, Moses, Ezekiel, Isaiah, Peter, Paul, and others ... was a prophet 
of God
(page 125).

Joseph Smith is highly praised by Latter-day Saints, despite the fact that no bonafide
miracle was ever performed by him.

Joseph asked them [Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ] which of the churches then
competing for his devotion he should join. He was instructed to join none of them
(page
125).

The churches must have been pretty pathetic if they wanted the devotion of a 14-year
old boy.

In regards to this purported vision, some clarification is warranted. Mormons claim that in 
this visitation, Heavenly Father (or Jesus) told Joseph that he must not join any of them
because ALL their creeds were an abomination.

From ... at age fourteen to the time of his martyrdom at age thirty-eight, Joseph Smith was 
rigorously engaged in the work assigned to him by Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. This 
work included the mundane and the miraculous
(page 127).

Joseph (said to be like Moses) performed no miracles.

These anti-Mormon forces hoped that the Mormon Church would die with the Mormon
prophet. But the Church did not die, nor did it fade away; indeed, it surged ahead with
renewed vigor. This is a reminder of the counsel given by Gamaliel to the Jewish leaders
to leave the Christian movement alone because "if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it;
lest haply ye be found even to fight against God" (Acts 5:34-34-39)
(page 128).

Gamaliel's context was not Latter-day Saints, but of the early Christian church. This
church is not the Mormon Church.

I can understand that the author wants to take Gamaliel's words and apply it to his
church, but then so will Seventh Day Adventists and Jehovah's Witnesses.  In fact,
the organization of Jehovah's Witnesses is younger than Mormonism and yet it has more
members - JWs have comparatively more vigour than Mormons. 

Other religious groups can also take Gamaliel's counsel to apply it to them too - Muslims 
for example.  Mormonism has only grown to 13 million in about 190 years.  Islam has 
grown to over 1 billion in about 1400 years.  And notice the ratio of converts per year.

Latter-day Saints, then and now, take the persecution and martyrdom of the prophet
Joseph and the persecution and murder of other Church members over the years as
powerful evidence for Joseph
(page 129).

Jehovah's Witnesses and Seventh Day Adventists do exactly the same thing.  But, being
persecuted does not mean that you are being persecuted for the truth.  And besides, it 
is still debatable that Joseph Smith died a martyr.  He was not killed for his faith in 
Christ and he was not in jail for his faith in Christ (whom he believed was the first spirit
child of Heavenly Mother and Father ... and spirit brother of Lucifer).

Latter-day Saints do not believe Joseph Smith was a god (page 129).

Below are some excerpts from an LDS hymn #27, called "Praise to the Man". It was in 
the 1997 version of Gospel Principles, but all the hymns are now removed from the 2009 
version.

Stanza 3 says "Great is his glory and endless his priesthood, Ever and ever the keys he 
will hold."

Stanza 4 says "Earth must atone for the death of that man."

I would say Jesus atoned for the earth, but the earth will not atone for Joseph Smith,

The chorus says:

"Hail to the Prophet, ascended to heaven!
Traitors and tyrants now fight him in vain.
Mingling with Gods, he can plan for his brethren;
Death cannot conquer the hero again."

Joseph Smith mingling with Gods?  Which Gods?

Seems like too much praise for Mr. Smith. Apart from the praise Roman Catholics bestow on 
Mary, I am not aware of any other religious group that bestows this much praise on one of 
their prophets.

I wonder if the Catholic doctrine of Mary's assumption had any bearing on this part of the 
song. In Catholic theology, she is viewed as co-mediatrix.


Chapter 13 - Priesthood

The priesthood is the power and authority of God. God has delegated this power and
authority to certain men at certain times
(page 130).

Mormon women do not have this power and authority because they are not priests.

The priesthood was well established during the time of the apostles. Peter spoke of a "holy 
priesthood" (1 Peter 2:5) and a "royal priesthood"
(1 Peter 2:9) (page 131).

Yes he did.  Christians believe men and women are priests offering spiritual sacrifices to God.  
Mormons do not believe this.

The ordination and setting apart of a priesthood holder is accomplished by the laying on of 
hands by those in authority (Numbers 27:18-19). Christ and his apostles continued this 
method of ordination and setting apart
(page 133).

The author did not provide one biblical reference, or even one from his very own Book of
Mormon, to show that Jesus ordained or set apart a person by laying his hand on him.

The author also fails to mention the way Aaron and his sons were anointed and consecrated.  
See Exodus chapter 29.  They were anointed with oil and they wore holy garments (vv. 7, 29).
However, young male priesthood holders in the Mormon Church do not wear any special 
garments until they are worthy enough to participate in the Temple Endowment Ceremony.

Also, it should be noted that there were several garments worn by the Aaronic priests (Leviticus 
6:10-11).  They had to eat certain food and there were seven days of consecration (Numbers 27:
33-35; Leviticus 8:33).

If you look at the record of Jesus and the disciples, they did not wear special garments ... for 
this is not applicable to the Royal Priesthood of believers (including men and women).  That is
why orthodox Christians do not wear any special garments in or outside of the church.

Acting for the Lord on earth, priesthood holders cast out devils and lay hands upon the 
sick to heal
(page 134).

There is no record in the Doctrine and Covenants (said to be modern day revelations and 
history of the Mormon Church) of any miraculous healings.  There is in the New Testament.

I could not find one reference in the Book of Mormon describing a believer in Christ 
casting out a demon. Not in Doctrine and Covenants and Pearl of Great Price either.

One does not even find an equivalent of a Mormon Day of Pentecost verified by non-
believers.

Priesthood authority is required to perform ordinances such as baptism, confirmation,
blessing and passing the sacrament
... (page 136).

Mormon women are not allowed to baptize people.

The Levitical priesthood was passed on by lineage to members of the tribe of Levi
(page 136).

Despite Joseph Smith not being a Levite, he was said to have been ordained into the
Levitical priesthood.

Christ established the Royal Priesthood, which came to be known as the Melchizedek
Priesthood
(page 136).

I have seen no official Mormon teaching about this, so it appears to be the author's
opinion.

The Royal Priesthood includes both men and women.

Offices with the Melchizedek Priesthood include elder, high priest, patriarch (evangelist),
seventy and apostle
(page 137).

In Christian churches, all women are called to be evangelists.

In the early church, there was no office called seventy, high priest, or quorum.

It [the priesthood] is not passed on as a birthright or by lineage (page 137).

Despite what the author says, the LDS Church places great importance on birthright and
lineage.  Gospel Fundamentals (another training manual) even has some peculiar teachings 
about the priesthood.

All of Jacob’s sons are said to have had the priesthood (p. 90).  You can give the Aaronic 
priesthood to others (p. 108). The Bible says the Aaronic priesthood was based on lineage. 
A deacon in the LDS Church (an ordained worthy male at least 12 years of age) is not 
allowed to preach the gospel or baptize anyone (pp. 108-109). How different this is from 
the Bible.  A Mormon priest (at least 16 years of age) is only allowed to baptize with the 
permission of a bishop or branch president (p. 112). One does not find this permission-
seeking in the Bible.

In regards to lineage, Doctrine and Covenants 86:8 says, “Therefore, thus saith the Lord 
unto you, with whom the priesthood hath continued through the lineage of your fathers.”

Joseph Smith said about the priesthood, “He had reference to those whom God should 
call in the last days, who should hold the power of priesthood ... and to put on her strength 
is to put on the authority of the priesthood, which she, Zion, has a right to by lineage” 
(D&C 113:8). Priesthood holders are literally the lawful heirs according “to the flesh” 
(D&C 86:8-9).

Since Latter-day Saints are believed to come from Abraham and non-Abrahamic peoples, 
what lineage of Zion has a right to this priesthood? Zion is said to have the power and the
authority of the priesthood but this new definition of Zion excludes women (and excluded 
negro males before 1978).

From http://scriptures.lds.org/en/gs/e/28, it appears the LDS Church attaches the 
possession of the birthright to having the priesthood. In addition, she elevates Ephraim 
above all tribes.

“The tribe of Ephraim: Ephraim was given the birthright in Israel (1 Chr. 5: 1-2; Jer. 31: 9). 
In the last days their privilege and responsibility is to bear the priesthood, take the message
of the restored gospel to the world, and raise an ensign to gather scattered Israel (Isa. 
11:12-13; 2 Nephi 21:12-13). The children of Ephraim will crown with glory those from the
north countries who return in the last days (D&C 133:26-34).”

The Bible reveals the birthright was given unto the sons of Joseph, not only to one son 
(1 Chr. 5:1-2).

If Latter-day Saints believe the priesthood has anything to do with the birthright, they 
should consider verse 2: “For Judah prevailed above his brethren, and of him came the
chief ruler, but the birthright was Joseph’s.” Ephraim did not prevail over Judah.

Also, see the blessing of Israel on his son Judah.

"Judah, thou art he whom thy brethren shall praise: thy hand shall be in the neck of 
thine enemies; thy father's children shall bow down before thee. Judah is a lion's whelp: 
from the prey, my son, thou art gone up: he stooped down, he couched as a lion, and as 
an old lion; who shall rouse him up? The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver 
from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be" 
(Genesis 49:8-10).

Like was stated before ... Ephraim did not prevail over Judah.

But the Mormon Church continues to put the pre-eminence on Ephraim.

"The great majority of those who have come into the Church are Ephraimites. It is the 
exception to find one of any other tribe, unless it is of Manasseh. It is Ephraim, today, who 
holds the priesthood. It is Ephraim who is building temples” (Religion 430-431 – Doctrines of 
the Gospel Student Manual
, p. 66).  "Temples are not new. Whenever the Lord has had a 
people on the earth who will obey his word, they have been commanded to build temples” 
(“Young Adults and the Temple,” Ensign, February 2006, p. 12).

Seems like all Latter-day Saints are only from two tribes according to this. But it is unclear 
why only Ephraim is considered to be God’s people and building temples.


Chapter 14 - Church Organization

There was a priesthood that ministered in bread and wine ... and managed tithing in the
time of Abraham (Genesis 14:18-20)
(page 138).

I read the passage of Genesis.  Bread and wine was brought, but there is no indication
of a religious ceremony. It was most likely for food and drink as nourishment.  This is the
only record of Abraham paying tithes, and there is no indication that it was ongoing between
him and Melchizedek.

Men could not reach their full spiritual potential through the Levitical Priesthood alone (page
138).

Only the tribe of Levi in the Old Testament had the Levitical Priesthood.  And besides that,
there were female prophets in the Old and New Testaments.

The early apostles of Christ held the priesthood. Peter wrote of a royal and hold priesthood
during his public ministry (1 Peter 2:5,9)
(page 138).

This was not the Levitical nor the Melchizedek priesthood.

He [Jesus] set the ecclesiastical example for all men to be ordained to the Melchizedek
Priesthood (Hebrews 5:1)
(page 139).

"For every high priest taken from among men is ordained for men in things pertaining to God, 
that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins."

The was only one high priest at a time in the Old Testament. There were no high priests in
the New Testament church. Jesus is the only high priest.

The ordination and setting apart of a priesthood holder is accomplished by the laying on of
hands by those in authority (Numbers 27:18-19)
(page 139).

I will quote verse 20 too as the author failed to mention it.

"And the LORD said unto Moses, Take thee Joshua the son of Nun, a man in whom is the 
spirit, and lay thine hand upon him; And set him before Eleazar the priest, and before all 
the congregation; and give him a charge in their sight. And thou shalt put some of thine 
honour upon him, that all the congregation of the children of Israel may be obedient."

Notice that?  No ordination.  Also, he laid his hand on him, not hands.  I have never seen
any LDS literature that speaks about putting some of one's honour on someone else.

Jesus ordained twelve apostles. It was important that there be twelve (page 139).

There are 15 apostles in the LDS Church, not 12. At the 178th General Conference, the 
current LDS President (Thomas S. Monson) said, 

"On Saturday, February 2, 2008, funeral services for President Hinckley were 
held in this magnificent Conference Center—a building which will ever stand 
as a monument to his foresight and vision. During the funeral, beautiful and 
loving tributes were paid to this man of God.

The following day, all 14 ordained Apostles living on the earth assembled in 
an upper room of the Salt Lake Temple. We met in a spirit of fasting and 
prayer. During that solemn and sacred gathering, the Presidency of the Church 
was reorganized in accordance with well-established precedent, after the 
pattern which the Lord Himself put in place
." (Looking Back and Moving 
Forward).

When Mr. Hinckley was alive, he was one of the 15 apostles.

Jesus appointed a Quorum of the Seventy to go out among the people to preach, teach,
and administer in the affairs of the church (Luke 10:1,17). This quorum was subordinate
to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and was responsible for the small geographical
area where the Lord conducted his public ministry
(page 139).

"After these things the Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two 
before his face into every city and place, whither he himself would come. And the seventy 
returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy 
name." 

A few things here.

The were not subordinate to the twelve apostles. They had not gone into an area where
Jesus had conducted a ministry. They were sent to prepare the way when Jesus would
eventually go. They did not administer in the affairs of the church. There was no church
where these seventy went.

It would help tremendously if the author gets the context right.

The eight quorum was established in April 2005 (page 139).

There were no quorums (with seventy in each group) in the New Testament church.

The commitment of the Church to restoring and maintaining the same ecclesiastical
structure as that which existed during the time of Christ on earth is stated in the sixth
article of faith
(page 141).  The Church has ... the same organizational structure as the
early church
(page 142).

The Institute of Religious Research has produced several documents that fully address
this LDS error (Church Organization and Apostasy  /  Restoration and the LDS Church).

The Church is often referred to as "the Mormon Church" or "the LDS (Latter-day Saint)
Church" ... Church members are counselled to use the full name of the Church ... "Latter-
day Saint" is likewise formally preferred, but "Mormon" is commonly used today, even
among members of the Church
(page 145).

Odd. You would think "Christian" would be preferable to "Latter-day Saint."

Christ and his apostles did not accept financial compensation for their ministry, and
neither did their followers
(page 143).

But they did accept financial donations for help in the ministry.

The global leadership of the Church consists of ... a total of 575 ministers.  All qualify
for a modest stipend for living expenses
(page 144).

Despite what the author said before. he now admits they are paid (ie. they receive) a 
financial compensation for this service. You say toe-mah-toe (tomato), I say toe-may-toe.

The Church employs and provides monetary compensation to a number of people in
non-ecclesiastical roles (page 144).

This is what we call Mormon double-speak.  Saying one thing and then attempting
to give it a different meaning. Compensation = some form of payment or support when
you really look at it.

Chapter 15 - Church Practices

To fast is to abstain from food and drink for a specified purpose and usually for a specified
time (see Nehemiah 9:1, 1:4; Jonah 3:5; Zechariah 7:5; Joel 2:12,15)
(page 145).

I checked those passages but it does not instruct the people of God to fast for a certain
number of days.

The Sabbath - New Testament ... The apostles observed the Sabbath during their public
ministry (Acts 13:44)
(page 146).  After the Ascension of Jesus, the Sabbath day was
observed by his followers
(page 147).

Yes. Saturday.

The early priests of Israel were admonished to refrain from drinking alcohol in order to
keep themselves clean in the service of God (Leviticus 10:9-10)
(page 147).

The early Latter-day Saints drank wine in their sacrament meetings (Doctrine and
Covenants 20:75). According to D&C 27:2-3, the Mormon Jesus told the Latter-day Saints
that it didn't matter what they ate and drank during the sacrament.  Wine was not
prohibited by Jesus.  According to the introductory notes of Doctrine and Covenants 89,
"As a consequence of the early brethren using tobacco in their meetings, the Prophet was 
led to ponder upon the matter; consequently he inquired of the Lord concerning it
."

Imagine that.  Smoking or chewing tobacco in their meetings. Apparently they were not
aware of the Levitical teaching.

Giving to the Lord ten percent of one's time and substance is an eternal principle (page
150).

The author did not clarify whether this is 10% of the gross or net. Also, he did not 
give an example of how one would tithe 10% of his time.  Is this 10% of 24 hours each
day or %10 of your free time.

A biblical test of favor in the Lord is whether the work of a man or a church bears good
fruits
(page 152).

The author does not mention whether he considers false doctrine as false fruit.

On at least one Sunday of each month, the Saints fast (page 153).

The bible does not designate Sunday as a fast day.

Latter-day Saints observe the Sabbath on Sundays (page 154).

The early church observed the Sabbath on Saturday.

As in the early Christian church, the Sabbath today is also observed by Latter-day Saints
as a remembrance of the Atonement of Christ
(page 154).

No.  In the early church, Saturday was the Sabbath.

Because the Sabbath is given for these purposes, Latter-day Saints do not buy, sell, or
labor for profit on this day
(page 154).

Supposedly Mormon football players are excluded from his law because they work for their
salary on Sundays.  

"Our prophets have told us that we should not shop, hunt, fish, attend sports events, or 
participate in similar activities on that day
" (Gospel Principles, 2009, chapter 24).  I wonder 
how many Mormons watch football and baseball on television that day.

A family can be exalted in heaven and endure forever in the eternities. The key purpose
of the Church is to assist families in achieving this goal
(page 156).

Getting someone saved in the kingdom of God is not the key purpose of the Mormon Church.
Instead, her key purpose is to assist its members to become gods and goddesses so that
they can live as celestial families with the ability to have spirit children and populate their
own worlds.  This is called "eternal increase."


Chapter 16 - Missionary Work

Jesus called and set apart his missionaries to go out two-by-two to harvest the souls of
the ripened field and exercise dominion over unclean spirits (Luke 10:1-2; Mark 6:7)
(page 
158).

One time I was talking with Mormon missionaries and 3 (maybe 4) came to my house once.  
I don't think Jesus would view it as sinful if you preached the gospel alone or with more 
than 2 missionaries.

The author seems to want to lock in a special significance of the number 2. He also does not 
reference other verses in this passage that Jesus gave as an example of the way these 70 
were to go 2 by 2.

"Carry neither purse, nor scrip, nor shoes: and salute no man by the way" (verse 4).

Do Latter-day Saints really follow this example?

"And in the same house remain, eating and drinking such things as they give: for the 
labourer is worthy of his hire. Go not from house to house" (verse 7).

But Mormon missionaries go from house to house.  If they do stay in a home for food, they 
normally leave afterwards.  The passage that Jesus talks about is an extended stay.

"And heal the sick that are therein, and say unto them, The kingdom of God is come nigh 
unto you" (verse 9).

There is no record of these healings in the modern day revelations of the LDS Church. There 
are in the New Testament church.

Let's look at the 70 when they return.

"And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us 
through thy name" (verse 17).

There is no record of casting out demons in the modern day revelations of the LDS Church.

Let's look at reference to Mark chapter 6 that the author made.  Again, the author misses some
key verses.

"And they went out, and preached that men should repent. And they cast out many devils, and 
anointed with oil many that were sick, and healed them" (vv. 12-13).

There is no record of casting out devils or healings in the modern day revelations of the LDS 
Church.

All followers of Christ are called to assist in the missionary effort. Just as he was sent by the
Father, Jesus sends all his followers to teach and give service
(John 20:21) (page 159).

The 1997 Gospel Principles teaches similarly - "The missionaries are given the responsibility to 
preach the gospel to all people, to baptize them, and to teach them to do all things that the 
Lord has commanded (see Matthew 28:19–20) (chapter 33, page 213).

But female LDS missionaries are NOT allowed to baptize anyone because they don't have the
priesthood according to the Mormon Church. 

Missionary work is the work of men and angels and is not geographically limited (Revelation
14:6)
(page 159).

Wait a moment. Isn't missionary work the work of women too, even if they are not allowed
to baptize people into the Mormon Church?

Also, the missionary role of the 70 was geographically limited to the cities that Jesus would
go to.

I looked at Revelation 14:6 and only ONE angel is mentioned.  Where does the author see
more?

Missionaries are commissioned to baptize the repentant "in the name of the Father, and of
the Son, and of the Holy Ghost" (Acts 2:38; Matthew 28:19)
(page 161).

Mormon female missionaries are NOT commissioned to baptize anyone because they do not
hold the priesthood.  "We must have priesthood authority to act in the name of God when 
performing the sacred ordinances of the gospel, such as baptism, confirmation, administration 
of the sacrament, and temple marriage. If a man does not have the priesthood, even though 
he may be sincere, the Lord will not recognize ordinances he performs" (Gospel Principles, 
1997, chapter 13, page 81).

In fact, Mormon males holding the Aaronic offices of "Deacon" and "Teacher" are not allowed
to baptize.  Only when they become an Aaronic "Priest" are they allowed to baptize (see
Gospel Principles, chapter 14, pages 88-89).  And the office of "Bishop" tells a priest to 
baptize (page 87).

Missionaries spend much of their time proselyting door-to-door or in public venues (page
162).

Since the author likes to follow the example of two-by-two in his reference to the seventy
of Luke 10, why not follow the example of not going door to door.  The seventy did not go
door to door (when I looked at those passages).  They did not preach in public venues
either.

The main proselyting missionary effort is carried out by two cooperating groups of people:
> Full-time missionaries who serve for eighteen to twenty-four months in places typically
far away from where they live and
> Church members in local communities who prepare family and friends to receive the full-
time missionaries.

Working together, the full-time missionaries and local Church members work in the same
structured and methodical way as written about in the New Testament
(page 163).

In the New Testament, all believers are considered missionaries.  There was no structured
and methodical way in the New Testament that describes local members (believers)
preparing their friends so that full-time missionaries could visit their home.  After all,
all believers have the ability to teach and baptize people in the body of Christ.

We recognize the good in all churches. We say to everyone: live the teachings which you
have received from your church
(page 165).

It seems like the author is not willing to acknowledge how the LDS movement started. 
According to Joseph Smith, the Mormon Jesus told him that all the creeds of the Christian 
churches were an abomination to Him.  The true church of Jesus Christ would never tell 
people to live abominable teachings that you have received from your church


Chapter 17 - Ordinances and Covenants

In Mormonism, an ordinance is a formal ritualistic act ... performed by the authority of the
priesthood
(page 166).

LDS women do not perform many acts because they do not have the priesthood in the
LDS Church.

Confirmation, receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit, follows baptism. A confirmation is carried
out through the laying on of hands (Acts 8:17; 9:17) by those in authority holding the
Melchizedek Priesthood
(Acts 8:18-20).

The author omits any mention of Peter's visit with Cornelius and his group.  They received
the Holy Ghost before baptism and without anyone laying hands on them.  See Acts 10.

Jesus often demonstrated the ordinance of the healing of the sick, typically by the laying
on of hands
(page 172).

The author seems fixated on the theme of the "laying on of hands."  He omits mention of 
Jesus healing those without even touching them. There was even an example of a woman 
being healing when she touched him instead.

Jesus gave the authority of the priesthood to his apostles who then went forth to perform
the ordinance of the healing of the sick (Matthew 10:8; Mark 6:13, Acts 28:8). The apostles
passed on the authority to perform this ordinance, each time by the laying on of hands
 (page 172).

Let's examine the passages the author uses in his text.

"Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, 
freely give" (Matthew 10:8)

There is no record of cleansing lepers, raising the dead, casting out devils, or healings in the 
modern day revelations of the LDS Church.

"And they cast out many devils, and anointed with oil many that were sick, and healed them"
(Mark 6:13).

There is no mention of the apostles passing on the authority to perform the ordinance of 
healing by laying on of hands. Also, there is no mention of these specific healings occurring 
through the laying on of hands.

"And it came to pass, that the father of Publius lay sick of a fever and of a bloody flux: to 
whom Paul entered in, and prayed, and laid his hands on him, and healed him" (Acts 28:8).

True, but people brought their sick into the streets for healing in the shadow of Peter (see
Acts 5:15).  No laying on of hands.

The author also omitted some special miracles wrought by God through Paul.  

"And God wrought special miracles by the hands of Paul: So that from his body were brought 
unto the sick handkerchiefs or aprons, and the diseases departed from them, and the evil 
spirits went out of them" (Acts 19:11-12).  No laying on of hands.

Jesus loved children and instituted the ordinance of blessing them (page 173).

Apart from this event, I do not recall any time in the Bible or any of the Mormon scriptures
where infants are blessed through some ritualistic act.

Moses laid hands upon Joshua to ordain him to the Aaronic Priesthood (Deuteronomy 34:9)
(page 173)

"And Joshua the son of Nun was full of the spirit of wisdom; for Moses had laid his hands 
upon him: and the children of Israel hearkened unto him, and did as the Lord commanded 
Moses."

Joshua could not hold the Aaronic Priesthood because he was from another tribe.

In the Book of Numbers, I don't see an ordination, but rather some kind of change in 
leadership.  "And the Lord said unto Moses, Take thee Joshua the son of Nun, a man in 
whom is the spirit, and lay thine hand upon him; And set him before Eleazar the priest, and 
before all the congregation; and give him a charge in their sight.  And thou shalt put some 
of thine honour upon him, that all the congregation of the children of Israel may be obedient" 
(Numbers 27:18-20).   He laid his hand on him, not hands. Joshua was not made a priest.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints accepts the biblical teaching that saving
ordinances are required for exaltation (entry into the Kingdom of God)
(page 176).

This is an odd statement for the author to make, for if true, then only those who reach
exaltation (godhood) can enter the Kingdom of God.

According to the example set by the Savior, the sacrament is usually received each week
(page 177).

According to the Bible, Jesus did not set the pattern of once a week on Sunday for the
sacrament.

Latter-day children must wait until age eight to be baptized. At that age, they are considered
capable of repentance and of making a free and informed choice to be baptized
(page 178).

There is no set age in evangelical churches because children mature at different rates. There 
may be cases where a child is mature enough to make an informed choice when six years 
old.

Doctrine and Covenants 29:47 says, "Wherefore, they cannot sin, for power is not given unto 
Satan to tempt little children, until they begin to become accountable before me."

So if a child is informed enough to kill someone or steal something at the age of six, this is
not regarded as a sin. Apparently the number 8 is critical.

There is no biblical teaching on the age of accountability being eight.

Bishop is the highest office in the Aaron Priesthood; bishops also hold the Melchizedek
Priesthood
(page 178).

So, in Mormon theology, a person can hold two priesthoods at the same time.


Temple Ordinances

Among the most sacred and important of all ordinances are those administered in the temples
of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. These include washing and anointing, the
endowment, and the sealing of families for eternity.  These ordinances are also performed
vicariously for the dead
(page 178).

The author failed to mention the temple ordinance of baptism for the dead in this passage.
His book discusses these four "most sacred" ordinances a few pages back so let's discuss
them further.  I will add emphasis with the bold font.

Baptisms for the Dead [a temple ordinance]

Paul refers to baptism for the dead in his dissertation to the Corinthians (1 Cor. 15:29).
(page 174).

This biblical passage has nothing to do with a temple ordinance.  The early church did not 
baptize living or dead people in the temple in Jerusalem.

I'll refer you to two articles that explain this doctrine more fully:
- Did Jesus Establish Baptism for The Dead? 
- Does the Bible Teach Salvation for the Dead?

The molten sea upon the twelve oxen that Latter-day Saints use to baptize for their dead 
was really used in the Old Testament Temple as a ceremonial washing basin for the priests 
and not something to baptize living or dead people in (see 1 Kings 7:23-26; 2 Chronicles 
4:2, 6).

Washing and Anointing  [a temple ordinance]

The ordinances of washing and anointing (or purification) ... continued in the New Testament
both before and after the Ascension of Jesus (John 13:5; Acts 21:26; 24:17-18)
(page 174)

This biblical passage has nothing to do with a temple ordinance.  Jesus did not wash his disciples 
feet in the temple.  The disciples did not even wash each other's feet in the temple.

When the authors mention purification, I wonder if they ever consider the teachings in Leviticus 
15:18,24,32.  Men and women who had engaged in sexual activity were unclean for a certain 
time and were not permitted to enter the tabernacle.  The penalty for defiling the tabernacle in 
this way was death (v. 31).  I wonder if Mormon men and women consider this when they go to 
their wards and temples throughout the week.  I would say they don't.

Endowment [a temple ordinance]

And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem,
until ye be endowed with power from on high
(page 175).

This biblical passage has nothing to do with a temple ordinance.  The endowment happened in 
the house where the disciples had gathered.  See Acts 2:2.

If you look at page 79 of the October 2010 edition of the church's magazine called Ensign, it 
speaks about the endowment in the question and answer section.

"When should I receive my endowment?

Most likely you will receive your endowment shortly before you
serve a full-time mission or before you are married in the temple.
Single members in their late teens or early twenties who have not
received a mission call and are not engaged to be married in the temple
are generally not recommended to receive their own endowment.

New members wait at least one year after their baptism and confirmation 
before receiving their endowment. Receiving your own endowment is an 
important matter. Discuss it with your bishop. Pray and ponder to know 
when you are ready."

As you can see, this teaching on the "endowment" is an invention of the Mormon Church, 
without a biblical foundation.


Sealing [a temple ordinance]

The crowning ordinance of the sealing of families comes through the power of the priesthood
to bind on earth and in heaven as given by Christ to Peter and his successors (Matthew 16:19)

(page 175).

A few notable things to mention here.

This biblical passage has nothing to do with a temple ordinance.  Jesus gave the keys of 
binding and loosing to his disciples, not just one person (see Matthew 18:1-2, 18).

Jesus did not give these "keys" to the disciples in the temple.  Jesus spoke the words of 
Matthew 16:19 while at the coasts of Caesarea Philippi (verse 13).  There was no temple 
there.  Assuming Matthew 18 is an immediate continuation of chapter 17, this mention of 
the giving of the keys was in Capernaum.  There was no temple there.

The author seems to infer "sealing" with eternal marriage, but this is not the context of the
biblical passages he is using. There is no context of a temple ordinance.

These are just 4 major examples of how the author commits eisegesis in just one chapter.
There are more examples spread throughout his book.

And ... which of the 4 so-called temple ordinances are performed vicariously for the dead?  
Baptisms? Washing and anointing? Endowment? Sealing?  Or was this an inadvertent error 
by the author?

I don't recall any LDS literature where dead people are washed for, where dead people go 
through a temple endowment ceremony like the living do, or where dead people are sealed 
in a "forever-family."  While I cannot find an accurate source, it is rumoured that living LDS
women were sealed to Brigham Young so that they could be married to him in the resurrection.
It is rumoured that he had fifty wives.


Chapter 18 - Faith, Grace, Works

By exercising faith through works, men and women are saved through the Atonement of
Christ
(page 180).

The May 1998 edition of Ensign magazine reveals six different meanings for the word "salvation."

I will discuss some of the main definitions.

(a) Salvation is the free gift of resurrection that Christ’s atonement provides to everyone
(whether atheist, Christian, or Muslim, etc) so that they may have their souls (spirits) and
bodies reunited to appear before God for judgment.

(b) Salvation means escaping the punishment in the spirit world to inherit some degree of glory
in God’s lesser kingdoms.

(c) Salvation is one’s exaltation to godhood (with eternal life). This is the context of the Mormon 
prophet in 2 Nephi 25:23 – "For we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can 
do."

The children of God are judged on earth and in the afterlife for their works in mortality (page 
189).

But the author, earlier, said that the 4 sacred temple ordinances (baptisms, endowments, 
washings, and sealings) vicariously performed for the dead (i.e. they are not living in a mortal 
state) can help them get saved.

While salvation (immortality) is assured through acceptance of the Atonement of Christ, the Lord
records works in the book of life
(page 189).

This would cover definition A and B above. Even someone who rejects Christ in mortality will
attain salvation (immortality as the author defines it).

The rewards that flow from rendering good works in the glory of God include ... becoming a
"ruler over many things" (Matthew 25:21)
(page 190).

In Mormonism, the ultimate reward is eternal life (i.e. living life as a god or goddess).  In the 
Bible, eternal life is a gift.

Latter-day Saints disentangle from this either-or construct and embrace faith, works, and grace
as a perfect unity. In this unity, a new life in Christ becomes possible, and fear of damnation is
replaced with the joy of divine labour under the protection of grace
(page 191).

In Mormon theology, those who don't become gods or goddesses are considered damned. They
will experience misery because they will never live in the Kingdom of God with Heavenly Father. 
See the section "Who is saved? Should Latter-day Saints be afraid? in What is Salvation?  If I
were a Mormon, I would be afraid.

Latter-day Saints are seekers. They ... trust the grace of God through the Atonement of Jesus
Christ will erase whatever deficit may remain
(page 192).

In Mormon theology, Mormons are taught that they must pay Jesus back for their debt. See
A Free Gift Or A Debt To Repay?


Chapter 19 - Temples

Before the public ministry of Jesus, temples were built as houses of worship and dwelling places
of the Lord
(page 193).

God directed the building of only one temple. This was in Jerusalem.

These same temples were defended and cleansed by Jesus (Mark 11:15-17; Matthew 21:12-
13) and preached in by his apostles following his Ascension
(Acts 2:46-47) (page 194).

Jesus only cleansed one temple.  There was only one temple designated by God in the Bible.
The apostles did not preach in temples.

Jesus commenced the preach of the gospel to the dead (1 Peter 4:6) (page 196).

This was discussed in a previous chapter.

There is no giving or taking of marriage in heaven (Matthew 22:30-32), but rather all such matters
related to marriage upon the earth
(page 198).

And in the spirit world ... if you factor in the proxied work.  According to LDS theology, those in
the spirit world must accept the sealing ordinance done for/to them voluntarily.  

Ordinances are associated with temples (page 198).

This was discussed in a previous chapter.  There is no biblical teaching in the New Testament.

In ancient times there were porters at the gates of the temple to check the worthiness of 
patrons before they entered (2 Chronicles 23:19)
(page 199).

Yes.  These porters were of the tribe of Levi (1 Chronicles 9:17-26). They had watch over the
gates of the temple (one) in Jerusalem.  You don't have Levites monitoring the gates (east,
west, north, and south) of Mormon temples.  There were no temple recommends in the Old
Testament.

The followers of Jesus Christ are called to by holy ... in order to ... enter into the temple of the
Lord
(page 199).

Peter and Paul did not have temple recommends enabling them to enter the temple in
Jerusalem. 

In the days of Moses, the priests were given specific garments to wear (page 200).

Yes. Only the Levites were priests. They were visible garments, no undergarments.  It is
interesting to note that male priests who have not received the Temple Endowment do NOT
wear these special garments.  On the other hand, women who have received the Temple
Endowment (who do NOT hold the priesthood) do wear the special undergarments.

During the millennial reign of Christ, temples upon the earth will be filled day and night for
the glory of God (Revelation 7:15; 11:1; 15:8)
(page 201).

These passages reference one temple, not more.

Latter-day Saints are a temple-building people (page 202).

Correction. Only the tribe of Ephraim is the LDS group building temples.  "It is Ephraim, today, 
who holds the priesthood. It is with Ephraim that the Lord has made covenant and has revealed 
the fulness of the everlasting gospel. It is Ephraim who is building temples and performing the 
ordinances in them for both the living and for the dead. When the "lost tribes" come — and it 
will be a most wonderful sight and a marvelous thing when they do come to Zion — in fulfilment 
of the promises made through Isaiah and Jeremiah, they will have to receive the crowning 
blessings from their brother Ephraim, the "firstborn" in Israel" (Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, 3:
252–53; Religion 430-431 - Doctrines of the Gospel Student Manual, page 66).

Because moral agency is an eternal principle, the deceased are completely free in the spirit
world to accept or reject a baptism, confirmation, or another other temple ordinance performed
on their behalf
(page 203).

Theoretically, a person in the spirit world may not even show up to one of these supposed
proxy baptisms and the living person on earth would never even know about the absenteeism.
This reminds me of Catholic purgatory. Faithful Catholics could spend their entire lives paying for 
masses to ease one's suffering in purgatory not even knowing if the person left purgatory one 
week after entering.

The endowment is an ordinance in which the participant learns about the Creation, Heavenly
Father's plan of salvation, and the sacred covenants necessary to fulfill this plan
(page 203).

This is definitely not the endowment described in the Bible.  See a previous chapter.

Only Church members who hold temple recommends may enter the temple (page 204).

This is not the biblical teaching.

Worthiness is determined through two brief interviews (page 204).

This is not the biblical teaching.

Some clarification is warranted here.  In the interview, the candidate is examined to see if he
or she follows these 7 things:

(1) Have faith and a testimony of God the Eternal Father, his Son Jesus Christ, and the Holy 
Ghost. Have a firm testimony of the restored gospel.
(2) Sustain the President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as the Prophet, 
Seer, and Revelator. Recognize him as the only person on earth authorized to exercise all 
priesthood keys.
(3) Live the law of chastity.
(4) Pay a full tithe.
(5) Keep the Word of Wisdom. You cannot drink coffee, tea, or smoke.
(6) Be honest in your dealings with others.
(7) Strive to keep the covenants you have made, to attend your sacrament and priesthood 
meetings, and to keep your life in harmony with the laws and commandments of the gospel.
(Source: Gospel Principles, 1997, page 245).

A temple recommend last two years for adults and one year for youth if worthiness is
sustained
(page 204).

This is not the biblical teaching.

There was no segregation between Christians.  All were allowed to meet in the temple. They
even met in homes -- without being separated based on whether one had a piece of paper or
not.

Endowed members of the Church covenant to wear a special temple garment night and day
for the rest of their lives. These garments are in the form of comfortable underclothing that
bears simple symbols of the covenants made in the endowment
(page 205).

Peter, Paul, and the other disciples did not wear temple garments. In the Old Testament, only
the Levites wore garments, and they were not undergarments.

Interestingly enough, the symbols that appear on garments worn by Mormons in some temple 
ceremonies have their origins in Freemasonry.  The undergarment worn in the Creation story 
(based on accounts of former Mormons) are in the form of "fig leaf aprons" ... remember them?
... the very thing God rejected in the Garden of Eden.  Mormons wear what God has rejected
instead of the animal skins that God replaced them with.  Its amazing that Mormons don't
understand this symbolism.

The entire October 2010 edition of the church's magazine (Ensign) is devoted to the topic of
temples.

"Why is symbolism used in the temple?

During His earthly ministry, the Savior often taught in parables
to represent eternal truths symbolically. He has directed that we
be taught in a similar way in the temple. There is symbolism in the
temple ordinances and covenants, their presentation, the physical
setting, and the clothing worn"
(page 80).

Jesus and the disciples did not wear any special clothing when they went to the temple. In 
fact, most, with the exception of a few, of Christ's teachings and presentations happened 
outside of the temple.

It should be noted that some symbols and ceremonial words/gestures used in the Mormon 
temples have their origins in Freemasonry. This is not surprising when you consider that 
several key members in the early Mormon Church were Freemasons (including Joseph Smith). 

The Ensign article counsels members to avoid discussing the temple ordinances and the 
words used. 

The article states, "However, temple covenants and ordinances, including the words used, are 
too sacred to be discussed in detail outside the temple. By avoiding discussion of these sacred 
things outside the temple, we protect them from mocking, ridicule, or disrespect
."

But this is the way that Freemasonry works in their masonic lodges.  The LDS Church does
not want its members to know about this connection.

There is a book called, "Sacred, Not Secret." It was written apparently by a former Mormon. It 
contains a word by word re-enactment of some temple ceremonies and an indication of how 
they have changed over the years.


Chapter 20 - The Afterlife

When Saul sought the help of a sorceress, it was revealed through a visitation by Samuel
that those who who have passed into the spirit world are in adult form and dwell (as spirits)
upon the earth (1 Samuel 28:13-15)
(page 207).

The sorceress talks about an old man coming up, but she doesn't say all are in adult form.
Besides, how could a ten-year old child who dies be regarded as an adult in the spirit
world?

Isaiah and Peter called the more perilous level of the spirit world a "prison," where both
punishments for the wicked and preaching to the open-hearted take place (Isaiah 24:21-22;
1 Peter 3:19-20)
(page 208).

According to Doctrine and Covenants 138:18-19, those in the LDS version of "paradise"
have the gospel preached to them by Jesus.

Doctrine and Covenants 138:35 says, " And so it was made known among the dead, both 
small and great, the unrighteous as well as the faithful, that redemption had been wrought 
through the sacrifice of the Son of God upon the cross."

It is unclear why those in the Mormon version of paradise need to re-learn that redemption
was made possible by the cross of Christ.

Jesus prophesied of the opening of the spirit prison (John 5:25) where the dead would 
hear the gospel and by proxy have the opportunity to be redeemed in Christ (1 Peter 4:6)

(page 208).

John 5:25 does not specifically focus on those in some form of "spirit prison" as opposed
to "paradise."  1 Peter 4:6 does not mention proxy work.

Jesus revealed that there is a great gulf between those in paradise and this in spirit
prison
(page 208).

Yes.  The parable also teaches that people cannot travel between these two divisions.

But Doctrine and Covenants 138:58 says, "I beheld that the faithful elders of this 
dispensation, when they depart from mortal life, continue their labors in the preaching 
of the gospel of repentance and redemption, through the sacrifice of the Only Begotten 
Son of God, among those who are in darkness and under the bondage of sin in the great 
world of the spirits of the dead."

LDS theology says that the righteous spirits can preach among (after traveling to) those
spirits residing in darkness.  They bridge this gulf, ignoring the teaching of Christ's parable.

Peter spoke of the temporary "hell" that exists in the spirit prison where souls are left only
for a time and have the opportunity for life in the eternities (Acts 2:25-31)
(page 209).

According to the Book of Mormon, the dead cannot be saved after they have died. There is 
no second chance after death (1 Nephi 10:21, 2 Nephi 2:27-29, 2 Nephi 9:38, Alma 34:32-
35, Alma 40:11-14, Helaman 13:38).

Such souls in this hell [spirit prison] will be delivered up at the Final Judgement (Revelation
20:13-14)
(pages 208-209).

"And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death 
and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they 
were judged every man according to their works. And death 
and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second 
death."

Yes. They are delivered for judgment -- their judgment is the second death.  But it
seems like the author mistakenly interprets these verses to mean that those in 
spirit prison are delivered (that is, saved) from the lake of fire and thus an empty 
"death" and an "empty" hell are cast into the lake of fire.

Revelation 21:8 says,

"But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and 
murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, 
and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth 
with fire and brimstone: which is the second death."

To me, it looks like the author does not agree with Revelation 21:8.

Isaiah and Ezekiel describe the earth as becoming like the Garden of Eden during
this thousand-year period (Isaiah 51:3; Ezekiel 36:35)
(page 211).

Taking a look at those 2 references does not mention that it occurs during the
Millennial period.  The passage in Ezekiel for instance is not talking about the
Earth, but rather Israel.  The author should have read a few verses before and
after v. 35.

Heaven

There will be three kingdoms (2 Corinthians 12:2) (page 214).

There are 5 kingdoms in LDS theology.  Three of them of a celestial order, the
terrestrial, and the telestial.

It will be those, even a few, who will journey the narrow path ... (in the
greatest place, the celestial place) in the kingdom of heaven
(page 215)

The author should have clarified things here. In LDS theology, the greatest
place is technical only in one division of the celestial kingdom (where Mormons 
believe they will live as gods and goddesses with Jesus and Heavenly Father).

Interestingly enough, those in the two lower divisions of the celestial kingdom
will never live with Heavenly Father.  Also, the LDS Church teaches Jesus will 
visit those in the terrestrial kingdom, but they too will never live with Heavenly 
Father either (Doctrine and Covenants 76:77).

Joseph Smith referred to this as the damnation of the mind, a great misery for
all these "saved" people to endure.

"God has decreed that all who will not obey His voice shall not escape 
the damnation of hell.  What is the damnation of hell? To go with that 
society who have not obeyed His commands ... A man is his own 
tormentor and his own condemner. Hence the saying, They shall go 
into the lake that burns with fire and brimstone [see Revelation 21:8]. 
The torment of disappointment in the mind of man is as exquisite as 
a lake burning with fire and brimstone. I say, so is the torment of man 
... Some shall rise to the everlasting burnings of God, for God dwells in 
everlasting burnings, and some shall rise to the damnation of their 
own filthiness, which is as exquisite a torment as the lake of fire and 
brimstone
” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church – Joseph Smith, 
2008, p. 224).

Exaltation, or becoming exalted, comes to those who keep the Lord's way
(page 216).

The author seems shy to reveal the true meaning of exaltation in LDS
theology - becoming a god or goddess (a deity).

Being "like Christ," or like a god, was introduced early in the Old Testament
(page 219).

LDS theology teaches that some will become gods, not just "like" a god.

Paul wrote to the Galatians that man is a son of God (page 219).

But this does not mean that man is a "god in embryo."  Also remember that
Jesus referred to some as being the sons of the devil.

The one-third of the host of heaven who joined Satan in rebellion against God
kept not their first estate (rejected their life with the Father in the premortal
realm) and were cast to the earth
(page 221).

I have never seen any teaching by the LDS Church where they state that 1/3
of God's spirit children did not want to live with him before coming to earth.
After all, weren't they cast out of earth for solely accepting Lucifer's way of how
agency would be carried out?

Certain work can only be accomplished in mortality. Other work can only be
accomplished in the afterlife
(page 221).

Jesus did not teach that you can proxy save someone.

All the spirits in paradise and the spirits in spirit prison who are not confined to
temporary hell learn and work to prepare for the first resurrection
(page 223).

This is contradicted by the Book of Mormon.

The Second Coming and the First Resurrection

In the morning of the first resurrection will come up those assigned celestial
bodies. In the afternoon of the first resurrection will come up those assigned
terrestrial bodies
(page 223).

The second resurrection is sometimes called the resurrection of the damned,
since this resurrection includes spirits out of Spirit Prison and the sons of perdition

(page 225).

Please note that the second death has no power over those in the first
resurrection (Revelation 20:5-6).

The author fails to mention from which resurrection those of a telestial order come
out of.  Maybe he believes in a third one?

Those who will enter into the telestial kingdom are those who made a free and
fully informed choice on earth and in the spirit world to reject Heavenly Father's
plan of salvation and the Atonement of Christ but whose rejection and evil deeds
do not warrant consignment to outer darkness
(page 227).

An LDS training manual speaks about these telestials:

"These people did not receive the gospel or the testimony of Jesus 
either on earth or in the spirit world. They will suffer for their own 
sins in hell until after the Millennium. These are they who are liars, 
sorcerers, adulterers, whoremongers, and whosoever loves and 
makes a lie
." (Gospel Principles, 1997, page 298).

Compare this with what the Bible has to say: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, 
and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and 
idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire 
and brimstone: which is the second death” (Rev. 21:8). This is the same place 
where the devil is (Rev. 20:10).

The LDS Church calls the telestial kingdom a place of glory whereas the Bible 
calls it a place of everlasting torment.

The sons of perdition will dwell in outer darkness and have no hope of 
forgiveness. They are eternally separated from God. They are made fully aware
of this separation, and this awareness causes them great suffering
(page 227).

Oddly enough, those in the two lower sections of the celestial kingdom, those
in the terrestrial kingdom, and those in the telestial kingdom will also be
eternally separated from Heavenly Father. I would say this causes them
great suffering too.  The Mormon prophet Joseph Smith referred to this as a 
torment of the mind, as exquisite as hell.


Chapter 21 - Plural Marriage

The Bible recognizes plural marriage and regulates it, but neither encourages
nor discourages it
(page 228).

I think the fact that God made only one woman for Adam shows that God's
way for a marriage relationship is monogamy.

King David, ... was admonished for his sin of adultery and murder, but not for
taking multiple wives
(page 228).

I'm not sure on what point the author is attempting to make.  God did not
praise David for taking multiple wives either.

The teaching about plural marriage is found in Doctrine and Covenants, chapter
132. 

Verily, thus saith the Lord unto you my servant Joseph,
that inasmuch as you have inquired of my hand to know
and understand wherein I, the Lord, justifi ed my servants
Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, as also Moses, David and
Solomon, my servants, as touching the principle and doctrine
of their having many wives and concubines
” (D&C 132:1).

This is called the new and everlasting covenant of marriage.  Joseph Smith said, 
“In the celestial glory there are three heavens or degrees.” You must enter 
into this covenant to obtain the highest place there (D&C 131:1-4; 132:4).
Joseph Smith revealed Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and many others were justified 
by God to take many wives and concubines. All people to whom God reveals this 
law must obey the same (vv. 3, 37-38).

The Bible teaches monogamy is God’s standard since Adam and Eve. The doctrine 
of multiple wives and concubines is revealed to be a new and everlasting covenant 
because The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believes the gospel was 
restored, and this particular doctrine also needed to be restored–thus it would 
appear to be new to people who never had it before. It should be worth noting that 
a monogamous marriage has always been the standard.

You are damned if you reject the covenant of polygamy. It is unclear how many 
wives Joseph Smith was married to. Some put the number at over thirty. Brigham 
Young was sealed to more. The purpose of a man taking many wives and 
concubines was so God could give him many blessings (vv. 4-6).

The prophets also had the keys of this power–the power to take either wives or 
concubines, or the power to solemnize polygamous marriages (v. 7). The Mormon 
Abraham would be blessed in taking many wives and concubines to procreate
much offspring (v. 30).
This same promise is given to some Latter-day Saints if they
obey God. 

Joseph Smith revealed the Mormon god is a polygamist who glorified himself in 
much the same way:

This promise is yours also, because ye are of Abraham, 
and the promise was made unto Abraham; and by this 
law is the continuation of the works of my Father, wherein 
he glorifieth himself
” (v. 31).

The Mormon Lord issued a strong commandment to certain Latter-day Saints to 
do the same as Abraham did: “Go ye, therefore, and do the works of Abraham; 
enter ye into my law and ye shall be saved” (v. 32).

If you don’t do what Abraham did when you are commanded, you cannot receive 
God’s promise: “But if ye enter not into my law ye cannot receive the promise of 
my Father, which he made unto Abraham” (v. 33).

LDS theology teaches it was righteous for Abraham to take concubines–for he 
abided in God’s law.

Abraham received concubines, and they bore him children;
and it was accounted unto him for righteousness, because
they were given unto him, and he abode in my law; as Isaac
also and Jacob did none other things than that which they
were commanded; and because they did none other things
than that which they were commanded, they have entered
into their exaltation, according to the promises, and sit upon
thrones, and are not angels but are gods
” (v. 37).

Speaking of the time in or around the millennial reign of Christ, the prophet Isaiah
wrote of seven women who will "take hold of one man" (Isaiah 4:1) 
(page 229).

I found no indication of this being related to the Millennial period. I would suggest
reading some good biblical commentaries about this passage. Most likely it refers
to the calamities of chapter 3.

At various times throughout biblical history, the Lord looked favorably on men and
women who were living in plural marriages
(page 230).

It would help if the author supplied some examples to back his claim.

The Old Testament does not condemn the many men who married multiple wives.
(page 230).

The Old Testament does not condone the many men who married multiple wives

In fact, the polygamist David was said to be a man after God's own heart (page 
230).

The author should note that this same David was a "murderer."   Does this mean 
that God condoned the murder of Uriah?

While God clearly stated his displeasure with some of David's actions, he did not
condemn David for having multiple wives
(page 230).

Here we go again.

Neither did God condone David for having multiple wives.

The Lord revealed his desire to build his Church with righteous souls raised in strong
families. One way ... was to call specific individuals to plural marriage
(page 231).

The author seems to believe that God is interested in the large families produced by
polygamy.  He should consider that the early apostles did not teach this.  The early
church was built through conversion, not through bearing many children.

The revelation establishing eternal marriage and the plurality of wives was given in
1843
(page 231).

This revelation is found in Doctrine and Covenants 132.  But Joseph Smith was already
involved in polygamy before this time.  One of Joseph's wives (Emma Smith) would be 
destroyed if she did not accept Smith's polygamous marriages (verses 51-54).

With the passage of federal laws targeting polygamy, there arose a clear conflict
between the laws of the land and the laws of God. While torn on this issue, Latter-day
Saints continued practicing polygamy ...
(page 231).

Why would Latter-day Saints be torn by rejecting the laws of man and accepting 
polygamy if it really was a command of the Lord?   After all, we should obey God 
instead of man. This is a no-brainer.

Many chose family and what they firmly believed was a commandment of the Lord
and went into hiding
(page 232).

Are there other commandments (like baptism) that God wants you to hide yourself
so that you will not suffer persecution or even death?

Utah became a state, and the Church began a new chapter in its long struggle for
acceptance and the safety of its members
(page 232).

The early church (with Peter, Paul, and the rest of the believers) did not struggle
for acceptance and the safety of its members in the Roman Empire.  To live is Christ, 
to die is gain.  Read Hebrews 11:35-40 for examples. Their primary focus was to
preach the gospel.

It should be noted that the FLDS Church still practices polygamy in accordance with
the revelation supposedly given to Joseph Smith.  This church believes it is the true
church and that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the apostate
church.


Chapter 22 - Special Concerns

Abortion

The Bible refers to the human embryo as a person (page 234).

The author failed to mention what a former president of the LDS Church taught: "We 
are gods in embryo, and thus have an unlimited potential for progress and attainment"
(Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, pp. 21, 584).

So, in LDS theology, the human embryo is actually a god.  A god in embryo is still a god.

The Bible emphasizes repeatedly the "begetting" (procreating as a father) of "sons" and
"daughters"
(page 234).

In LDS theology, Jesus is the first spirit child procreated by Heavenly Mother and Father.

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints must not submit to, perform,
encourage, pay for, or arrange for an abortion. If you encourage an abortion in any way,
you may be subject to Church discipline
(page 236).

You "may" be subject to Church discipline?  I figured that one would always be disciplined
for encouraging someone to murder an innocent baby.

Church leaders have said that some exceptional circumstances may justify an abortion,
such as when pregnancy is the result of incest or rape
(page 236).

I would suggest that giving up the baby for adoption is better than murder.  As a man,
I can't understand the anguish of being in her position, but I think the mother who undergoes
an abortion in this case may suffer more as time passes by when she comes to this
realization.

Discrimination

The doctrine of moral agency (the power to choose) is precious to Latter-day Saints
(page 240).

Ask a Latter-day Saint if Adam and Eve chose wisely or poorly in disobeying God in the
Garden of Eden. 

Equal Accountability

Faithful Latter-day Saints take the law of chastity very seriously (page 240).

According to page 251 of the 1997 Gospel Principles training manual "unchastity is next to 
murder in seriousness."

Marriage Between a Man and a Woman

As a doctrinal principle, based on sacred scripture, we affirm that marriage between a man
and a woman is essential to the Creator's plan for the eternal destiny of His children
(page 
241).

According to the teachings of Jesus, even an eunuch can serve God in the kingdom (Matthew
19:12). Besides, God is not married.


Chapter 23 - Beyond the Bible

The Magnificent Bible

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints reveres the Bible and encourages everyone to
feast upon its pages and apply its teachings to their lives
(page 244).

To be honest with you, I don't believe the LDS Church believes all the King James Version of the
Bible to be inspired.  The church has as one of her article of faith: "We believe the Bible to be the 
word of God as far as it is translated correctly; we also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of 
God
."  But she is not willing to admit which parts are translated correctly and which parts are 
translated incorrectly.  Ask this of a Mormon (which part is correct and which is incorrect) and 
you'll stump them.

Notice that no such disclaimer is placed on the Book of Mormon.

On the other hand, the Community of Christ (formerly called the Reorganized Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter Day Saints) does not use the present day version of the King James Version.
They use the "modified" version composed by Joseph Smith.  That's correct. Joseph Smith did
not believe the Bible was entirely correct so he set out to modify it.  For some reason, the main
LDS Church does not use this new translation, but they incorporate some of it into the version
that they do use.

The Ancient and Modern Combine

The ancient scriptural record of the Bible comes together with modern scriptures to form a new
record, which Latter-day Saints call the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ
(page 244).

The author should really look at the introduction page of the Book of Mormon sometime. It refers
to the Bible, as well as the Book of Mormon, as containing the fulness of the everlasting gospel.

Interestingly, the Book of Mormon does NOT contain key Mormon teachings and practices.  So
one really has to wonder how it could even be considered as containing the fulness of the gospel.

The Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and Pearl of Great Price harmonize with the Bible
(page 245).

They share some common teachings, but being in harmony is stretching things quite a bit.  Check
a brief comparison between the Bible and the Book of Mormon. It will open your eyes.

God still lives and speaks to his children. He has given mankind modern scriptures ... and other
writings of modern prophets
(page 245).

These "other writings" include General Conference speeches and the words printed in such 
magazines as Ensign and Liahona.

New Scripture Reveals

New scriptures reveal new doctrines ... This is necessary because man is always being called by
God to live a higher law
(page 247).

This is a subtle way of saying that the Book of Mormon is a higher law than the Bible and that
Doctrine and Covenants is a higher law than the Book of Mormon.  In fact, the words of the modern
LDS prophets are even more important than previous scriptures.

The 2008 version of Teachings of Presidents of the Church - Joseph Smith reveals some startling 
things when it comes to the acceptance of scriptures in LDS theology:

"We are differently situated from any other people that ever existed upon the 
earth; consequently those former revelations cannot be suited to our conditions
."

Brother Brigham, I want you to take the stand and tell us your views with 
regard to the [living] oracles and the written word of God." 

Brigham Young said, "When compared with the living oracles those books [the 
previous revelations] are nothing to me; those books do not convey the word 
of God direct to us now, as do the words of a Prophet or a man bearing the Holy 
Priesthood in our day and generation. I would rather have the living oracles 
than all the writings in the books."

Joseph Smith then said, "Brother Brigham has told you the word of the Lord, 
and he has told you the truth
" (chapter 16, 2008, pp. 198-199).

If the Lord tarries, I suppose even the Book of Mormon will become irrelevant in a few hundred 
years to Mormons since it cannot be suited to their conditions.

Christians have much more reverence towards the Bible. 

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