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Thursday, December 29, 2011

Adam and Eve Part 1: Who is Adam?


Adam and Eve Part 1:  Who Is Adam?
By Connie Raddon

“And the Lord appeared unto them, and they rose up and blessed Adam,
and called him Michael, the prince, the archangel.”  D&C 107:53-54


Color Key:
Quotes from the Mormon Teachings in blue.
Quotes from the Bible in red.


First of all, remember that Christians believe that the Word of God is contained in the Bible alone. 
So what does the Bible alone teach us about Adam?

Genesis 2:7  “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.”

That “breath of life” kick-started humanity.  (That living soul started with Adam, and was passed on to every one of his descendants.) 

Then… God put Adam into the Garden of Eden (Gen 2:16). 

Then… God made woman from Adam’s rib (Gen 2:18; 21).

Simply put, God created Adam out of the earth, and brought him to life.

What does Mormonism teach about Adam?

In one of the Mormon scriptures, the Doctrine & Covenants, section 107 teaches how the priesthood began to be handed down… “Three years previous to the death of Adam, he called Seth, Enos, Cainan, Mahalaleel, Jared, Enoch, and Methuselah, who were all high priests, with the residue of his posterity who were righteous into the valley of Adam-ondi-Ahman, and there bestowed upon them his last blessing.  And the Lord appeared unto them, and they rose up and blessed Adam, and called him Michael, the prince, the archangel.”  D&C 107:53-54

In the book, “LDS Beliefs” (published 2011) Brent L. Top explains, “Adam was known as Michael, the prince, the archangel…  Undoubtedly, the archangel joined with the Father and the Son in governing the kingdom of heaven and preparing the earth.  President Brigham Young taught that ‘Father Adam came to assist in organizing the earth out of the crude material that was found’ (Journal of Discourses, 16:167).  Likewise, President Joseph Fielding Smith taught:  ‘It is true that Adam helped to form this earth.  He labored with our Savior Jesus Christ’…

Just as Michael helped prepare the earth, so will the postmortal Adam play a deeply significant role in preparing the earth for the Second Coming and the ultimate triumph of God’s kingdom.  He ministered to the Prophet Joseph Smith…”  pg. 21
Let me just point out here that the Bible teaches that angels are a different species from man, so Adam would have to be a hybrid of some sort- which the Bible says absolutely nothing about.

(If you are subscribed to this blog, you will the article on Angels when it comes out, and there will be more information on this subject.)

The LDS scriptures also teach that the term, “Ancient of Days” from Daniel chapter 7 refers to Adam.

“…it is the place where Adam shall come to visit his people, or the Ancient of Days shall sit, as spoken of by Daniel the prophet.”  (D&C 116:1)

“Daniel, in his seventh chapter speaks of the Ancient of Days; he means the oldest man, our father, Adam, Michael…”  (Joseph Smith, History of the Church 3:386)

“This is one of the laughable and lamentable mistakes of Joseph Smith because the Bible is clear that this revelation refers to deity; namely, and uniquely, first to the Father, and then the Son – not Adam.”1

The second president and prophet of the LDS Church, Brigham Young taught that Adam was none other than God the Father, Himself.

“How much unbelief exists in the minds of the Latter-day Saints in regard to one particular doctrine which is revealed to them, and which God revealed to me – namely that Adam is our father and God”  (Brigham Young, Deseret News, June 18, 1873, p. 308)

Although Brigham Young proclaimed this to be DOCTRINE, the LDS Church today discourages its members to believe it, calling it only a theory.  They chose to carry on with the belief that Adam is Michael the archangel, instead.

(More references about these beliefs can be found at www.utlm.org)



I know the Mormon Church REALLY wants people to consider them to be Christian.  However, like most of their beliefs, the LDS belief about the Adam is NOT Biblical, and therefore, NOT consistent with Christian beliefs.


On May 18, 1873 (as recorded in the Journal of Discourses, Vol. 16 p. 46), Brigham Young issued a challenge:  “Take up the Bible, compare the religion of the Latter Day Saints with it, and see if it will stand the test.”

I have accepted that challenge from Brigham Young.

On the subject of the Adam, the LDS religion FAILS this test.


1“Where Mormonism Meets Biblical Christianity Face to Face:  An A to Z Doctrinal Comparative between Mormonism and Biblical Christianity” by Shawn Aaron McCraney (2011)  pg. 7

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Aaronic Priesthood


The Aaronic Priesthood
By Connie Raddon

Color Key:
Quotes from the Mormon Teachings in blue.
Quotes from the Bible in red.


As with so many other Biblical terms, LDS leadership has taken “Aaronic Priesthood”, and created a completely different meaning for it.  They have twisted it and added to it so much that it’s not even recognizable as the Biblical priesthood it truthfully is. 

Let’s take a look at what the Aaronic Priesthood meant in the Bible…

First, the Aaronic Priesthood was hereditary and was non-transferable to anyone outside the descendants of Levi. 

In his book, “Where Mormonism Meets Biblical Christianity Face to Face”, Shawn McCraney explains this.

            “When Moses led the children of Israel out of Egypt, the ancient manner of “head-of-household” priests was still being observed by them.  But on Mount Sinai, a change in this ancient practice was made.  Exodus 28 teaches us that God had a hereditary priesthood take over.  The heritage assigned to the priesthood line was the tribe of Levi.

There are two important things to remember; first, there were priests in this hereditary priesthood; and second, there were high priests.  A man’s Levitical lineage determined the two.  You see, Levi had three sons whose names were Gershon, Merari, and Kohath (Genesis 46:11).  Kohath had a son named Amram (Exodus 6:18); and Amram had sons named Aaron and Moses (Numbers 26:59).

Got that?  ONLY those men who came from the Levi/Kohath/Amram/Aaron line could be high priests while the rest of the sons of Levi – the offspring of Gershon and Merari – acted as priests, subordinated to Aaron’s line in their temple duties.

How important were these hereditary lines in this priesthood?  Well, let me blow your  mind a bit here.  Not even JESUS himself, being from the tribe of Judah, could officiate in the Levitical priesthood duties as either a high priest or a priest.  Don’t believe me?   Hebrews 7:14   For it is evident that our Lord sprang out of Judah; of which tribe Moses spake nothing concerning priesthood.1


During the rebuilding of Solomon’s temple, some Aaronic priests returned from exile.  They could not find their family records to prove that they were in Aaron’s line, so they were excluded from the priesthood as unclean.  (Nehemiah 7:63-64)

So being in the correct line, and proving that lineage was absolutely essential for anyone to participate in the Aaronic priesthood.

Second, in the Bible, everything the Aaronic priests did was for the one and only purpose to point forward to the finished work of Jesus Christ.
           
“This leads us perhaps [to] the most important point relative to the misapplication of the Aaronic priesthood today by the LDS.  The Aaronic priests represented the people before God, and offered the various blood sacrifices which were all shadows of the coming Messiah!

Once a year, on the day of atonement, the high priest
·         Who came from the Kohath line of Levi,
·         Who had to be between 30 and 50 years of age,
·         Who had been purified ritualistically like no other,
·         Who had to be dressed in severely restricted and detailed ways,
·         And who would perform rites and rituals exactly as God commanded him…

…would enter the Holy of Holies alone and once a year offer sacrifice to God for the sins of the people as a type of the Messiah who was to come!  This was the reason it was on earth!  It pointed to the finished work of Jesus.”2


Now, what do the LDS say about the Aaronic Priesthood? 

In the LDS publication, “True to the Faith” says, “Joseph Smith… and his scribe Oliver Cowdery went into the woods to inquire of the Lord concerning baptism.  As they prayed, ‘a messenger from heaven descended in a cloud of light.’  This messenger was John the Baptist, the prophet who had baptized Jesus Christ centuries earlier.  John the Baptist, now a resurrected being, laid his hands on Joseph and on Oliver and conferred upon each of them the Aaronic Priesthood, which had been taken from the earth during the Great Apostasy.  With this authority, Joseph and Oliver were able to baptize one another. (See Joseph Smith – History 1:68-72)3

The LDS Church wants its members to believe that John the Baptist gave the Aaronic Priesthood to Joseph and Oliver without the slightest consideration as to whether or not they are descendants of Aaron.  In fact, the LDS Church doesn’t even pretend that Joseph and Oliver were in the lineage of Aaron, or even in the general tribe of Levi.  The Church acts like heredity doesn’t even matter anymore.

Not only that, but the Aaronic Priesthood had nothing to do with baptism, or any authority to baptize.  But according to Mormonism, it suddenly does?!?

“In the Church today, worthy male members may receive the Aaronic Priesthood beginning at age 12.”4

So any 12 year old boy who is considered “worthy” by his bishop can receive the Aaronic Priesthood.  (In Mormonism being worthy means you are keeping all the laws and ordinances of the Mormon Church – these include the 10 commandments, paying a full tithing, obeying the Mormon dietary laws called the “Word of Wisdom”, and supporting and sustaining all the LDS leaders, to name a few).

They believe that the Aaronic Priesthood is a “…lesser priesthood, which is a preparatory priesthood – preparing and training its worthy possessors to receive the Melchizidek Priesthood…”5

Remember that in the Bible, the sole purpose of the Aaronic Priesthood is to point forward to the finished work of Jesus Christ?  Well, in Mormonism the Aaronic Priesthood points forward to….the Melchizidek Priesthood – NOT CHRIST!  (More on the Melchizidek Priesthood coming up later this year in another article).

In the Bible, the Aaronic Priesthood had two positions – priest, and high priest – that’s all.  But in Mormonism, “the offices in the Aaronic Priesthood now include bishop, priest, teacher, and deacon…”6

Finally, in the book, “LDS Beliefs”, A.C. Skinner inserts the Aaronic Priesthood into a Biblical passage that has absolutely nothing to do with the priesthood.  He says, “The lesser priesthood was a ‘schoolmaster’ to bring or prepare Israel to understand and receive Christ (Galatians 3:24)7

Let’s take a look at Galatians 3:24-25… “Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith.  But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor.”

Some translations of the Bible use the word “tutor”, and some use the word, “schoolmaster”.  But either word refers to THE LAW – not the Aaronic Priesthood.  Even if “law” means “Aaronic Priesthood” (which it doesn’t), this verse says that it is a tutor to lead us to Christ where we are justified (made perfect) by FAITH.  Then once we have that faith, we no longer need the tutor!  So if the Aaronic Priesthood is this tutor, or schoolmaster, this verse says we no longer need it!  This is a perfect example of how the LDS Church inserts their own doctrines into the Bible without understanding what the Bible really teaches.  It just doesn’t make sense.

The LDS belief about the Aaronic Priesthood is NOT Biblical, and therefore, NOT consistent with Christian beliefs.


On May 18, 1873 (as recorded in the Journal of Discourses, Vol. 16 p. 46), Brigham Young issued a challenge:  “Take up the Bible, compare the religion of the Latter Day Saints with it, and see if it will stand the test.”

I have accepted that challenge from Brigham Young.

On the subject of the Aaronic Priesthood, the LDS religion FAILS this test.


1“Where Mormonism Meets Biblical Christianity Face to Face:  An A to Z Doctrinal Comparative between Mormonism and Biblical Christianity” by Shawn Aaron McCraney (2011)  pg. 460-1
2  Ibid pg 463-4
3 “True to the Faith: A Gospel Reference”  published by the First Presidency of the LDS Church in 2004  pg. 3
4 Ibid pg. 3
5 “LDS Beliefs: A Doctrinal Reference” by Robert L. Millet, Camille Fronk Olson, Andrew C. Skinner, and Brent L. Top.  (2011),  pg 4
Ibid pg 5
Ibid pg 5

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


Color Key:
Quotes from the Ensign in blue.
Quotes from the Bible in red.
All my own words are black.


Work First, Atonement Second?
By Connie Raddon

One of the monthly sections of the Ensign is “We Talk of Christ”.  In the December issue, this article is written by Michael D. Woodbury. 

Woodbury states, “Because of the Atonement, I will be resurrected and any physical pain will be wiped away.  My wife, children, and I are sealed together as an eternal family.  The Atonement made that possible too.”

This goes against what the Bible teaches.  The Sadducees were questioning Jesus. They posed a hypothetical situation about a woman who married each of seven brothers after the previous one died.  They asked who she would be married to after she was resurrected.  “Jesus said to them, "Is this not the reason you are mistaken, that you do not understand the Scriptures or the power of God? For when they rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven.” Mark 12:24-25

Woodbury goes on to say, IF we move forward with FAITH in our Savior as we pass through the TRIALS of life and ENDURE to the end, the Atonement will provide the path we need to follow, with the glorious promise of eternal life waiting at the end.”

Notice how all these things are based on what WE do.

WE have faith… WE pass through trials…WE endure to the end…

The “glorious promise of eternal life” that Woodbury refers to depends on…
1.      Moving forward with FAITH in our Savior. 
2.      Passing through the TRIALS of life.
3.      ENDURING to the end.

When the LDS leadership talk about “passing through trials” and “enduring to the end”, it’s not very clear what they mean.  When I was a Mormon, I understood that “enduring to the end” meant overcoming all the trials in life by remaining obedient to all the laws and ordinances of the Mormon Church.

The following paragraphs will explain what the Bible says about FAITH, passing through TRIALS, and ENDURING to the end.

FAITH: The Bible teaches that faith is something that we can’t get for ourselves.  It is a gift from God.  1 John 5:4  “For whatever is born of God overcomes the world.  And this is the victory that has overcome the world – our faith.”  Our faith is born of God.  We can’t even take credit for our faith because IT is a gift from God.

TRIALS: The article says that we must overcome our trials.  The Bible also teaches that we will have trials.  The difference is the LDS teach that you must overcome your trials in order to prove yourself worthy of the benefits of the atonement, and eternal life. The Bible, on the other hand, teaches that once you are born again, the Holy Spirit is with you always – renewing you and strengthening you.  All the glory and all the credit goes to God when you overcome a trial.  If you believe you overcome it on your own strength, all the glory and credit goes to YOU. 

Jesus is speaking to his disciples in John Chapter 15 about how we must rely on Christ.  John 15:5  “I am the vine, you are the branches.  He who abides in Me, and I in him bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.”  Trials are overcome with the power of God.  The glory is His.  We don’t deserve the credit, God does.

ENDURE:  Like I said before, most Mormons understand this to mean overcoming your trials on a continual basis by obeying all the laws and ordinances of Mormonism.  In the Bible, Paul speaks to the Philippians about how he has learned to be content no matter what happens.  Christ will give him whatever he needs.  Phil 4:13 “I can do all things through Chirst who strengthens me.”  We endure because God gives us every single thing that provides endurance.  To take any credit is to rob God of His glory.

So, this article explains that you must have faith, overcome your trials, and endure to the end FIRST.  THEN you will have earned, or been “worthy” to receive the benefits of the atonement.  And according to Woodbury, the atonement will provide the path.  This means your work is not finished.  The atonement only provides “the path we need to follow.” In Mormonism, following that path means to obey all the laws and ordinances of Mormonism, like going to the temple, paying a full tithing, obeying the Word of Wisdom (dietary laws), just to name a few. 

So let me point out that if the promise of eternal life comes to us after we have done all these things to earn it, then the credit and glory for this accomplishment would be ours.

The Bible says something very different:
Ephesians 2:8-9  “For by grace we are saved, through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, not of works, so that no one can boast.”  In the Bible, “saved” means the same thing as “eternal life”, or “exaltation” in Mormonism.  Paul is trying to teach the believers in Ephesis that they do not need to earn eternal life through obedience to laws.  He says that eternal life can’t come from works, because then people would be able to boast and take credit for it.

So once again, let’s review what Woodbury said.   “If we move forward with faith in our Savior as we pass through the trials of life and endure to the end, the Atonement will provide the path we need to follow, with the glorious promise of eternal life waiting at the end.”

He says the promise of eternal life comes after our trials, endurance, and obedience.  But the Bible says we can be saved right now… immediately… currently… in the present. 
John 5:24 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.”
This means that once you believe, or have faith, you have eternal life immediately.  You just happen to be spending the first few years of your eternal life here on earth. 

Notice how Jesus does not say that he who believes WILL HAVE everlasting life.  He says instead, he who believes HAS everlasting life, and HAS PASSED from death to life. 


The teachings in this article are NOT Biblical, and therefore,
NOT consistent with Christian beliefs.


On May 18, 1873 (as recorded in the Journal of Discourses, Vol. 16 p. 46), Brigham Young issued a challenge:  “Take up the Bible, compare the religion of the Latter Day Saints with it, and see if it will stand the test.”

I have accepted that challenge from Brigham Young.

In the December 2011 issue of the Ensign, the LDS religion FAILS this test.

Monday, November 28, 2011

October 2011 Conference Issue: Thomas Monson

Color Key:
Quotes from Thomas Monson in blue.
Quotes from the Bible in red.
All my own words are black.


Stand in Holy Places
By Connie Raddon

The November 2011 Ensign is entirely dedicated to the messages that were given in the October 2011 sessions of General Conference.  The leadership of the LDS Church give talks on different subjects that they feel the general LDS population needs to hear.  I would like to focus on what their prophet, Thomas S. Monson had to say in his talk entitled, “Stand in Holy Places”.


The article begins by explaining the moral decay that is going on in society today.  He says that “Behaviors which once were considered inappropriate and immoral are now not only tolerated but also viewed by ever so many as acceptable.”

The Bible also tells of societies which fell into moral decay – Genesis 18 and 19 tell of the wickedness of Sodom and Gomorrah.  In the book of Judges, the Israelites “did what was right in their own eyes” and were told by God how unrighteous they were.

Both the LDS Church and the Bible point out that immoral behavior and wickedness exist.  Monson, however, turns away from Biblical teachings when he explains that righteous “moral behavior” comes by way of us taking control of our lives, controlling our behavior and our environment.

“…there is nothing which can bring more joy into our lives or more peace to our souls than the Spirit which can come to us as we follow the Savior and keep the commandmentsThat Spirit cannot be present at the kinds of activities in which so much of the world participates.”

The Bible teaches that once the Holy Spirit dwells in us, He will never leave.  He is not limited to being present only when we are at the right kinds of activities.

John 14:16:  “And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever.” 

These were the words of Jesus.  He also said, (Matt.28:20) “…and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

“The apostle Paul declared the truth: ‘The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.’  The term natural man can refer to any of us if we allow ourselves to be so.”
We are all “natural man” until we accept Christ’s righteousness in substitute of our own and turn our lives over to Him.  Then the Holy Spirit moves in permanently and changes us.

2 Corinthians 5:17-18  “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.  Now all things are of God…”

God changes us.  We cannot take any credit.  We don’t have the power to “allow ourselves” to flip flop between having the Holy Spirit in us and not; between being a “natural man” and being a “spiritual man”.  That power is God’s alone.


ETERNAL LIFE:

The Bible teaches that eternal life in the kingdom of God is not ours to surrender – it is a gift from God. 
Ephesians 2:8-9 “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.”

John 3:36 “He who believes in the Son has everlasting life;…”

God’s grace is what gives us eternal life in the kingdom of God.  He gives that freely as a gift to those who believe. 

But Monson claims that moral behavior is necessary for eternal life in the kingdom of God.
“We must be vigilant in a world which has moved so far from that which is spiritual.  It is essential that we reject anything that does not conform to our standards, refusing in the process to surrender that which we desire most: eternal life in the kingdom of God.”


Monson’s teachings are NOT Biblical, and therefore, NOT consistent with Christian beliefs.

  

On May 18, 1873 (as recorded in the Journal of Discourses, Vol. 16 p. 46), Brigham Young issued a challenge:  “Take up the Bible, compare the religion of the Latter Day Saints with it, and see if it will stand the test.”

I have accepted that challenge from Brigham Young.

In the November 2011 issue of the Ensign, the LDS religion FAILS this test.


I sincerely thank my research partner, Art Haglund. 

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ

“The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ”
By Connie Raddon

The October 2011 Ensign magazine is dedicated entirely to the Book of Mormon.  One article is called, “The Book of Mormon: A Witness with the Bible”

I will test the Book of Mormon as a “witness”, as this article claims that it is.  The introduction to the Book of Mormon begins, “The Book of Mormon is a volume of holy scripture comparable to the Bible.”

In this article, I am going to take a look at the evidence for both the Bible and the Book of Mormon being witnesses of Christ.  Like in a courtroom, we will place them both on the stand and examine their evidence.  You are the judge.

Color Code:
Book of Mormon statements in blue
Bible statements in red


Questioner:  If you claim to be a witness of Christ, you must be accurate.  What proof do you have that you have been copied accurately?

Bible: My Old Testament can be compared to the Dead Sea Scrolls, which date back nearly to the time of Christ.  They contain the entire Old Testament with the exception of the Book of Esther.  Over 98% of today’s Bible is consistent with the Dead Sea Scrolls.  The inconsistencies are very insignificant, and don’t change words or meanings. 

My New Testament has more written manuscripts, earlier manuscripts, and more accurately copied manuscripts than any other book in the ancient world.  Since early forms of paper are not very durable, there are no complete individual copies of my entire New or Old Testaments, yet there are over 5,500 fragments that have survived and contain the totality of the New Testament. (The second book in the running is Homer’s Iliad, having 643 copies within 500 years of the original.)  If an error took place in copying one of those manuscripts, it would stand out like a sore thumb among all the other manuscripts. 

Book of Mormon: Unfortunately, there are no original manuscripts.  The plates that I was translated from are back in heaven.  The first publication was in 1830.  Since then there have been over 3,000 changes.  Only a few change the meaning of the text significantly. 

(The Book of Mormon was published in 1830. However in the next printing, in 1837, thousands of words were changed. While most of these changes were to correct spelling or grammar, a few definitely affected the meaning of the text.
In four places the phrase "the son of" was added to verses speaking of God.   For instance, on page 25 of the first edition is a prophecy of the coming Messiah: "the virgin which thou seest, is the mother of God, after the manner of the flesh." This was changed in 1837 to read, "... Behold, the virgin whom thou seest is the mother of the Son of God" (1 Nephi 11:18), thus altering the concept of God from Modalism to a more traditional Trinitarian view.)
(Additional changes have been made since Smith's death. In 1981 a change was made to obscure the racial teachings in the Book of Mormon. In the Book of Mormon story the Israelites who came to the Americas divided into Nephites (the followers of God) and Lamanites (those in rebellion against God). The Lamanites were given a "skin of blackness" due to their rebellion,  but in 2 Nephi 30:6 they were promised that at some future time, when they repented, they would become "a white and delightsome people." This verse was changed in 1981 to read: "a pure and delightsome people."   However, the book still retains its racial position of dark skin as a mark of God's displeasure.)
utlm.org/newsletter/116

Questioner:  If you claim to be a witness of Christ, your stories must be true.  Can you prove the geography of your stories?

Bible: Yes!  Today you can visit cities and rivers that existed when I was written.  For example, the Jordan River, Sea of Galilee, Dead Sea, Jerusalem, Jericho, and Bethlehem are all still in the same place.  Just look at all the maps in the back of any Bible.  I can show you exactly where the Land of Canaan was, where Jesus was born, lived, and died, and where Paul and the other apostles travelled. 

Book of Mormon: The LDS Church takes no official position on the geography of the Book of Mormon.

(I would like to point out that the general membership of the Church believes the Book of Mormon stories took place in Central America.  Many paintings, illustrations, and films produced by the LDS Church  show scenes from the Book of Mormon with Mayan temples, clothing, and artifacts that give the impression of the scene taking place in Central America.)

Questioner:  If you claim to be a witness of Christ, the people you speak of must have existed.  What proof do you have that you have they did actually live?

Bible: Many of my people still exist today – the Jews, Egyptians, Romans, Greeks.  There is much archeological evidence, as well as the written records left from these Empires. 

Book of Mormon: God promised that the Jaredites would become the greatest nation on earth.   Ether 1:43 “And there will I bless thee and thy seed, and raise up unto me of thy seed, and of the seed of thy brother, and they who shall go with thee, a great nation.  And there shall be none greater than the nation which I will raise up unto me of thy seed, upon all the face of the earth.”

(This verse is God speaking to Jared and his brother [Hebrew descendents], promising to send them to a promised land, which is the Americas.)

(In Ether chapter 15, the Jaredite nation is utterly destroyed – one a man named Coriantumr remains.  So the Jaredites did NOT become the greatest nation on earth)

Questioner: The DNA evidence proves that the American Indians are actually from Asian descent, and NOT Hebrew like you claim. 

Book of Mormon: You shouldn’t worry about those scientific or historical facts.  Just read my pages and pray to know if I’m true.  If you get a good feeling from the Holy Ghost, then you will know that I am true. 

Moroni 10:4-5 “And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.  And by the power of the Holy Ghost, ye may know the truth of all things.”


Questioner:  Tell me about the plants and animals that are recorded on your pages.

Bible: There is reference to lions, sheep, cows, doves, donkeys, and whales.  As for plants, there were palm trees, olive trees, and fig trees.  All the animals and plants can be proven to have existed at the time and place I said they did by evidence outside the Bible.  

Book of Mormon: My people also have cows, sheep, ox, and horses.  And my pages mention many plants - including grains like wheat and barley that my people used for food.

  Questioner:  Book of Mormon, horses did not exist on the American continent when you claim to have taken place.  They came much later when the Europeans arrived in America.   Neither was wheat or barley found there. 

  Book of Mormon: It’s really more important that you pray sincerely to know if I am true than it is to worry about animals and plants.

Questioner:  Are there any outside sources that make any kind of reference to the people or places found in your stories?

Bible: Absolutely.  The history of the Greeks and Romans mention Jesus, Pontius Pilate, and several of the King Herods.  

Book of Mormon: No.  There are no other writings of Jaredites, Nephites, or Lamanites.  Unfortunately, there is ZERO manuscript evidence of my truthfulness because the gold plates were never copied – only translated from Reformed Egyptian by Joseph Smith, and then returned to heaven. 

Question:  Wait, you said “gold plates”.  There was no technology available then to make plates of metal.  There was no mining done prior to the Spanish conquest.   Also, linguists today have never heard of such a language as “Reformed Egyptian”.

(In 1 Nephi Chapter 3, the story is claimed to take place in Jerusalem.  That would mean that these records of the writings of the Holy Prophets were part of the Jewish records, which we have still with us.  There are NO Jewish records, written on metal, as any part of the Royal (official) record, they are always, 100% of the time called scrolls).


Question:  Both of you have stories of great battles taking place.  Is there any evidence to support those stories?

Bible: Yes.  On the sites where these battles have taken place many arrowheads have been found from both the Assyrian and Babylonian Empires.  Also, many skeletal remains have been found.  The remains of horses and chariots are found in the Red Sea which supports the account found on my pages of the Israelites leaving Egypt.

Book of Mormon: No.  Millions died in a great battle on Hill Cumorah.  The LDS Church owns that site, and doesn’t want to excavate it for trinkets.  It’s a beautiful landscape. 
(There is no evidence to support the claims of a Hebrew family leaving the Holy Land and populating the Americas.)

So now I turn to you, the reader.  You be the judge.  Based on the evidence of places, people, materials, weapons, plants, animals, language, records, technology, and culture, is the Book of Mormon “a volume of holy scripture comparable to the Bible”? 

Is the Book of Mormon a credible “witness with the Bible”?

Are you willing to base your salvation on the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon’s witness of Christ?


God gave you a mind to search these things out. 

If you are interested in more information, I would recommend this one hour documentary on “The Bible vs. the Book of Mormon”




On May 18, 1873 (as recorded in the Journal of Discourses, Vol. 16 p. 46), Brigham Young issued a challenge:  “Take up the Bible, compare the religion of the Latter Day Saints with it, and see if it will stand the test.”

I have accepted that challenge from Brigham Young.

In the October 2011 issue of the Ensign, the LDS religion FAILS this test.


I sincerely thank my research partner, Art Haglund. 



Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Family

Color Key:
Quotes from the Ensign article in blue.
Quotes from the Bible in red.
All my own words are black.


Family
By Connie Raddon

Each Ensign Magazine has a section entitled, “What We Believe”.  In the August 2011 Ensign, this section has an article called “God Sends Us To Earth As a Member of a Family”.  This is an official message from the leadership of the LDS Church. 

For references, the article cites
1.      LDS teaching manual, “Gospel Principles 2009” pg 207-11
2.      M. Russell Ballard, ‘What Matters Most is What Lasts Longest’  Ensign Nov. 2005 pg 41-44


The article begins by saying, “Our Father in Heaven has a plan for us, and sending us to earth as members of a family is part of that plan… God wants His spirit children to receive a physical body.  When parents bring children into this world, they are helping our Heavenly Father carry out His plan of salvation.  They welcome into their family each new child as a child of God.”

The Bible does not teach that families are a part of God’s plan of salvation.  God’s plan for our salvation was “…that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” John 3:16   No family required – only belief.

The Bible does not teach that God had spirit children that needed to come to earth to get a physical body. 

The Bible does not teach that we need to “help” Heavenly Father carry out His plan of salvation.
All the work required for salvation was completed by Jesus on the cross.  “Therefore, when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, ‘It is finished!’  and He bowed His head and gave up His spirit.” John 19:30

Notice how Jesus didn’t say, “It is almost finished… now everyone just needs a family.”  That’s how ridiculous it sounds to say that we can do anything to “help” Heavenly Father carry out his plan of salvation.

The Bible teaches that we are NOT born as children of God, but BECOME children of God when we believe in Jesus Christ.  “…but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, ‘Abba! Father!  The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God,”  Romans 8:15-16

“But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name.”  John 1:12

The next paragraph says, “Our Heavenly Father knew that being a member of a family provides each of us the best opportunity to be loved and cared for while on earth.”

The Bible does not say anything like this. 

This statement comes from a myopic view that assumes children born into families are also born into a loving and caring environment.  Some children are much better off being born and placed immediately into an orphanage than they would be in a home that was full of addiction or abuse.

“As family members give encouragement and praise to one another, feelings of confidence and love grow.”

This statement teaches three things that are against Biblical truth:

1.       It teaches that love is a feeling.  Love might bring feelings with it, but it alone is NOT a feeling.  In Titus 2:4, we read that older women are to help younger women to love their husbands.  “so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands…”  Young women already have that “feeling” of being in love.  They must be taught, encouraged, and helped so that they can learn how to CHOOSE real love – as a behavior, not a feeling. 
2.      It teaches that we can expect our confidence and love to be built up by other people.  This is an “outside-in” perspective.  God changes us from the inside out.  All our trust and confidence should be in Him – not our families. 
3.      It teaches that our “feelings” matter.  We are commanded to love – not to feel love.  We are commanded to love no matter what other people may do.  Ephesians 5:2  “and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you…”  Christ loves us even when we don’t love Him back.  That kind of love is a choice about how to behave – not a feeling that can come and go based on the weather, our hormones, our schedules, and thousands of other factors.

The article also says, “Successful families show hope and persistence in sustaining each family member in individual needs and in helping each other learn and work together in love.  Their goal is to become a joyful, eternal family unit.”

This is an impossible standard for families.  I think it’s not only unfair, but unkind for the LDS leaders to suggest to their members what their family should be doing in order to be a successful family.  In other words, if your family does not help each individual member meet their needs, and help each other learn and work together in love, your family is not successful.  And what do you call an unsuccessful family (other than normal)?  UNSUCCESSFUL.   By this LDS created standard, I do not know one single family that  is “successful”. 

After I was divorced and re-married, I was part of a blended family. Some days it was all we could do to tolerate each other and the constant rotation of living arrangements.  His kids at our house sometimes, my daughter at her dad’s house sometimes, everyone at our house sometimes, no one at our house sometimes…   

Every Sunday it seemed like at least one thing was mentioned about eternal families.  It was like rubbing salt in my wound over and over and over.  My family was broken and “UNSUCCESSFUL”… with absolutely no hope for healing.  I didn’t even know what family I would be a part of if I made it to the Celestial Kingdom.  I felt like a failure and a disappointment to God because the LDS Church had always taught me that the FAMILY was the center of God’s plan of salvation.  

Well… not mine, apparently.

The article ends with, “marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God… The family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children.” 

The Bible says that the central plan for God’s creating us in the first place is for His own good pleasure and glory.

God will not share His glory with anyone or anything.  Isaiah 42:8 “I am the Lord, that is My name; I will not give My glory to another…”

Isaiah 48:11 “…And My glory I will not give to another.”

Making the family “central” to God’s plan is replacing God with the family unit.  It is giving God less glory, and giving the family unit more.  The family unit doesn’t deserve ANY glory – and to hold it up where God should be is blasphemy.    
   


On May 18, 1873 (as recorded in the Journal of Discourses, Vol. 16 p. 46), Brigham Young issued a challenge:  “Take up the Bible, compare the religion of the Latter Day Saints with it, and see if it will stand the test.”

I have accepted that challenge from Brigham Young.

In the August 2011 issue of the Ensign, the LDS religion FAILS this test.


I sincerely thank my research partner, Art Haglund.