The Book of Mormon


Starting with the near year, members of the LDS Church will be studying the Book of Mormon in their adult Sunday School classes, aka Gospel Doctrine classes.  This is part of a set four-year curriculum.  You can purchase the teacher’s manual for this class for a few dollars at LDS.org.  Look for the Book of Mormon Gospel Doctrine Teacher’s Manual.

The lesson they will be studying this Sunday is entitled, “The Keystone of Our Religion”.  This refers to a statement Joseph Smith made about the Book of Mormon, a statement quoted in the Introduction to the Book of Mormon.  “I told the brethren that the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book.”  Sunday’s entire lesson explains and expands on this statement.

Calling it “the most correct of any book on earth” coincides with Mormonism’s low view of the Bible. After all the Book of Mormon itself claims that “many plain and precious things” were taken away from the Bible, (1 Nephi 13:28). Mormonism’s low view of the Bible has even been formalized in its Articles of Faith.  “We believe the Bible is 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.” (8th Article of Faith)

Although many different points could be made, I am going to restrict myself to just a couple.  The first is a reminder to both Mormons and Christians to use the word “scripture” carefully.  When Mormons and Christians talk with each other, confusion can easily arise if they aren’t careful with the term “scripture”. When Christians hear that word, they immediately think of the Bible.  Not so with Mormons.  They think of their four scriptures, only one of which is the Bible.  In fact, it has been my experience that many times the Bible is not what comes to their minds.  That is to be expected if you believe the Bible is faulty.  In fact one LDS manual states that the other scriptures should be given preference. (Life and Teachings of Jesus and His Apostles, p.3)

Secondly, I want to highlight how Mormonism’s high view of the Book of Mormon creates a huge divide in belief between Mormons and biblical Christians. I want to highlight that because so many today are claiming that that divide is quite narrow – sometimes almost to the point of being non-existence.  But how can this not create a wide divide?  On the one side you not only have people relying on multiple scriptures, but viewing as faulty the one that the other side holds dear.  On the other side you have people who rely on only one Scripture – who view it as God’s inerrant word and who, in addition, reject any other book claiming to be scripture.  From these two starting points, this divide in belief can only grow greater as individual doctrines are discussed.

The divide between Mormonism and biblical Christianity is huge.  It has been my experience that it is difficult to have any meaningful discussions between the two until that is openly acknowledged.  But once that is acknowledged, often an open and honest comparison of beliefs can be had.

33 Responses to “The Book of Mormon”

  1. 1 TJayT
    December 30, 2011 at 5:29 pm

    “It has been my experience that it is difficult to have any meaningful discussions between the two until that is openly acknowledged. But once that is acknowledged, often an open and honest comparison of beliefs can be had.”

    I agree with this 100%. It’s impossible to have any sort of meaningful interfaith dialog until we honestly know where our similarities and differences truly are.

  2. 2 Kent
    December 31, 2011 at 3:44 pm

    TJayT, that is what I often say that there are two belief systems to choose from here. One is using the Bible only as our source and the other is using the Bible but considering it isn’t accurately translated, using Mormon scriptures such as the Book of Mormon, The Pearl of Great Price, etc., and the teachings of Mormon leaders both past and present.

    But even still the terms in the Bible have different meanings to Mormons that they do to us even if they are just using the Bible.

    For example, I often clairify that when we say saved we mean having eternal life enabling us for sure we will be in the mansions where God is, what Mormons would call the Celestial Kingdom.

    So when we qoute, for example, Acts 16 where the jailer is asking, “what must I do to be saved,” that he isn’t just asking to have a chance to be with Heavenly Father and if he doesn’t make it he will be in a lower level of heaven, he is asking how he can for sure be with Heavenly Father.

    Acts 16:29-34

    29 Then he called for a light, ran in, and fell down trembling before Paul and Silas. 30 And he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”
    31 So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.” 32 Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house. 33 And he took them the same hour of the night and washed their stripes. And immediately he and all his family were baptized. 34 Now when he had brought them into his house, he set food before them; and he rejoiced, having believed in God with all his household.

  3. 3 Kent
    December 31, 2011 at 3:53 pm

    My question to Mormons is, if almost everyone goes to at least a lower level of heaven that is better than anything here on earth and is certainly better than outer darkness (Hell), then why would the jailer in Acts 16 even be concerned about whether he is saved or not?

  4. 4 choosethechrist
    January 1, 2012 at 9:53 pm

    TJayT said “It’s impossible to have any sort of meaningful interfaith dialog until we honestly know where our similarities and differences truly are.”

    The hard part is trying to figure out where our similarities and differences truly are especially since there are so many different teachings/doctrines in the LDS church (trying to nail that Jello to the wall). It reminds me of an open buffet where members get to pick and choose what they want to believe and what they don’t want to believe. Then you get to figure out which set of beliefs each individual LDS member has decided to ascribe to.

  5. 5 shematwater
    January 2, 2012 at 10:12 pm

    While I am all for admitting differences and comparing similarities, I think the divide is much narrower than most Christians what to believe. As I always say, it is a matter of perspective.

    Having said this I have to point out a few problems I have with what Mark says.
    First of these is his continual insistence that have a low opinion of the Bible. This ignores the fact that it is the first book of our scriptures and that two years are devoted to studying it (out of the four). It is based on the simply belief that after 2000 years and a lack of divinely guided prophets the words do not always carry their intended meaning. This means nothing in connection to how we esteem the work or how we use it.
    It is like reading a “modern” version of Shakespeare. They are still great plays, and he is still a genius, but something is lost in the translation (as they are no longer poetry). The same thing is true with the Bible. While what we have is still great, and it is still the word of God, something has been lost in the many translation. No, it is not as good as it was, but it is still as good as any other scripture.
    And, just to note, the Book of Mormon was written for the express purpose of proving the Bible, so anyone who claims it is greater is an idiot.

    On a related note, my second objection is his reference to the manual of “The teachings of Jesus and His apostles.”
    Mark says that “states that the other scriptures should be given preference,” citing the third page of the manual. As this is completely false I must assume that he either did not read the entire introduction or that he does not understand what it was saying. Here is the quote he is referencing:
    “When the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and Pearl of Great Price offer information relative to biblical interpretation, these should be given preference in writing and teaching. But when these sources of latter-day revelation do not provide significant information which is available in the Inspired Version, then this version may be used.” (Editorial, Church News, 7 Dec. 1974, p. 16.)”

    This quote is given in reference to the JST of the Bible, not the bible in general. When we study the Bible it is better to use the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, or Pearl of Great Price to clarify and interpret than the JST (known as the Inspired Version). It does not put preference on any of these scriptures above the Bible.
    In full context this quote, and the many others given in the manual, are guidelines for those writing or speaking and how they should give preference to the various volumes of scripture. The Bible (meaning the KJV) is still first, as can be clearly seen in the fact that it is Biblical truth we are seeking to interpret and understand. After the Bible comes the other three scriptures, followed by the JST.
    Of course there will be those who want to say that using these other scriptures to interpret the Bible is giving preference to them; I would simply point out that if that is the case than for them to use anything (like the various concordances, the writings of later Christian leaders, or even modern theologians would be giving preference to these sources over the Bible.


    I could say the same about any other Christian Denomination. You will always have variations in individual belief, and to try to claim otherwise is naive.
    However, just as with any other group, we have official doctrine, which is what I generally discuss. If I ever say anything that is not official doctrine I will always state that it isn’t.
    Now, if you want to determine if something is official the first thing to do is look in the standard works (or basic scriptures) as everything found in them is official doctrine. If it is not there then it is most likely not official. Of course, manuals, books and magazines that are published by the church (not just approved by it) are also going to be official doctrine, but most of this is found in the standard works.

  6. 6 markcares
    January 3, 2012 at 1:57 am

    Are you saying that the LDS Church gives preference to the Bible over the Book of Mormon even though the Book of Mormon is the “most correct of any book on the earth”? Are you saying that the LDS Church gives preference to the Bible over its other scriptures even though the Book of Mormon, the most correct book on earth, says that “many plain and precious things” have been taken away from the Bible? Are you saying that the LDS Church gives preference to the Bible even though its Articles of Faith accepts it only conditionally? Is that really what you are saying?

  7. 7 TJayT
    January 3, 2012 at 5:55 am

    Kent said, “My question to Mormons is, if almost everyone goes to at least a lower level of heaven that is better than anything here on earth and is certainly better than outer darkness (Hell), then why would the jailer in Acts 16 even be concerned about whether he is saved or not?”

    I’m not as well read as I should be in scripture and the “apologetic arguments” as I should be, so forgive me if my answers are unrefined. I’ve come to this and a few other blogs to try and learn from everyone, so please bare with me.

    I would imagine the answer to your question is the same reason that any Mormon would be worried about becoming saved, to be able to be with God for all eternity. Lds do believe that a man must be saved to live with God and Christ forever more. Your question also assumes that the idea of three kingdoms of glory isn’t a modern revelation. If that’s the case then neither he or Paul would have known anything other then Paradise and Spirit Prison.

    choosethechrist said, “The hard part is trying to figure out where our similarities and differences truly are especially since there are so many different teachings/doctrines in the LDS church (trying to nail that Jello to the wall).”

    I agree that we Lds as a people have very diverse beliefs, though I don’t see it as being “Cafeteria Christians” so much as the product of believing that most of the things we debate amongst friends and in church aren’t saving doctrine and don’t matter in the grand scheme of things. To take just one example I don’t subscribe to infinite regression. I think it’s unbiblical (and might I add I have an equal respect for ALL scripture from the Bible to the PoGP. None are better or worse in my book) and I’ve never heard an argument for it that made sense. That said I don’t think that those who disagree with me will be blocked from exaltation, so there’s not really any need to worry about it.

    I also have a side question, and I don’t mean this to be leading or an accusation at all. I’ve never heard the term “nail the Jello to the wall” until recently. Do you use Jello as a vague cultural slur against the stereotype of Mormons loving Jello, or is it just a coincidence?

  8. 9 TJayT
    January 3, 2012 at 4:26 pm


    Thank you for the information. Like I said before I wasn’t trying to accuse anyone of anything. It was just a term I wasn’t familiar with.

  9. 10 shematwater
    January 3, 2012 at 9:31 pm


    That is exactly what I am saying. The Book of Mormon was written for the express purpose to support and prove the Bible; as such it cannot take preference over it. The Doctrine and Covenants and the Pearl of Great Price, though great books, are also taken after the Bible. The Bible was the first, and is the foremost record of God’s dealings with man. The rest are supplemental, intended to expound and clarify what is in the Bible, and to fill in those areas that the Bible does not give full detail on.
    Notice that in our standard works the Bible is listed first. Also note that the index found with the other scriptures only references them, while the Topical Guide, published with the Bible, references all of them.
    The Bible may not have been perfectly preserved over the last 2000 years, but it is still the greatest of all the scriptures.


    To answer your question, the term saved in the Bible almost always refers to the Celestial Kingdom. As Jay says, if you are not saved in this sense you are not in the presence of the Father. However, in terms of this jailer, consider the circumstances. Paul and Silas were arrest on false charges and when they sang the prison doors were miraculously opened. The Jailer was afraid, and would have killed himself, but his hand was stayed by Paul.
    So, the Jail, having witnessed both a miracle and the mercy of Paul, saw something in him and Silas and wanted that same thing for himself. Since Paul was well known he didn’t have to ask what his faith was, or what he taught (the concept of salvation). He only asked how to achieve.
    So, you ask why he would ask. The reason is simple: while he would go to a kingdom of glory, which is better than this life, he saw something even greater and desired that.
    It is like the parable of the pearl of great price. The man saw a greater reward than he had ever hoped for, or would ever attain, and he was willing to sell all he had to obtain it.

  10. 11 choosethechrist
    January 6, 2012 at 3:11 pm

    Regarding your statement: That said I don’t think that those who disagree with me will be blocked from exaltation, so there’s not really any need to worry about it.

    Evangelicals would say the same about different beliefs within Christianity that don’t alter who God is, who Jesus is, who the Holy Spirit is, and the essentials for how one is saved (the Majors). There are often disagreements about other things that don’t affect our salvation (the minors).

    My view of Mormons as “being Cafeteria Christians” has to do with my experience in studying LDS scripture, teachings, and doctrine to gain an understanding of LDS beliefs and then presenting these doctrines to Mormons in order to have a discussion with them. This then usually backfires when the Mormon I am talking to proceedes to tell me they don’t believe that particular doctrine or teaching of the church.

    One example would be the contradiction between the Book of Mormon and Doctrine and Covenants regarding if murder can be forgiven. The Book of Mormon says King David was forgiven of murder. Marion Romney and the Doctrine and Covenants say King David was not forgiven of murder. Pick and choose what you want to believe.

    Another example would be the nature of God. There are Mormon teachings that say god was once a man and is of flesh and bone. The Bible teaches God has always existed, is spirit and says nothing on God having been a man. Some Mormons don’t believe god was a man. Pick and choose what you want to believe.

    The problem with picking and choosing what we want to believe is that pretty soon we are creating our own religion based on what we want to believe instead of accepting facts about the way things really are. Kind of like how the Mormon church has evolved into what it is today as compared to what it was when it started. You say these things don’t have an affect of your exaltation, but do they? Polygamy was once required for your exaltation. The church made a change to accomodate the law, but it is my understanding the doctrine regarding polygamy is still there. The Mormon church has been making endless changes since it began and has done so, in my opinion, to make an attempt to look more “normal” in the eyes of the world. I’m sure the Mormon fundamentalists would say none of you will be exalted.

    The way to salvation for Historical Chrisianity is the same as it was over 2000 years ago: Jesus is the only way. Pick and choose what you want to believe about the nature of God, Jesus, heaven, or hell and you just might find yourself in a very hot, uncomfortable place for all eternity.

  11. 12 shematwater
    January 6, 2012 at 8:04 pm


    Where in the Book of Mormon does it say that David was forgiven? I don’t remember ever reading that.
    However, I will say that he was forgiven, or eventually will be, and inherit the lowest kingdom. However, he has lost his salvation.

    Concerning your other examples, anyone who denies the nature of God, in that he is flesh and bones, denies the scriptures (D&C 130) and is thus knowingly believing a lie. This will cause them to loose their salvation is they do not repent.

    It seems to me that your problem is not that you can’t tell what out doctrine is, but that you seem to think that we believe all members are good, which is not the case. If a member professes a belief in a doctrine that is directly contrary to what is found in the scriptures they are wrong, and it is as simple as that. If they persist in that belief they will loose their salvation.
    In other words, don’t think that just because a person has been baptized they are free to believe what they want. That is not the case. However, as long as they are not actively teaching false doctrine the church will take no action against them, but reserves that judgment to God. It is when a member actively teaches false doctrine that the church takes action (like the women several years ago who was excommunicated for teaching her students to pray to their heavenly mother).

    As I said, if it states it directly in the scriptures it is doctrine, regardless of what anyone says. The same can be said concerning the official publications of the church, as long as they do not contradict the scriptures (which I don’t think has happened very often).

  12. 13 choosethechrist
    January 6, 2012 at 9:23 pm

    Shem, I was given the understanding from a Mormon that Alma 24:10,

    And I also thank my God, yea, my great God, that he hath granted unto us that we might repent of these things, and also that he hath forgiven us of those our many sins and murders which we have committed, and taken away the guilt from our hearts, through the merits of his Son,

    is saying that murderers who repent are forgiven and King David was forgiven according to this verse.

    Alma 24:10 seems to contradict this:

    “…And it shall come to pass, that if any persons among you shall kill they shall be delivered up and dealt with acccording to the laws of the land; for remember that he hath no forgiveness; and it shall be proved according to the laws of the land.” —Doctrine and Covenants 42:79

    18 And now, behold, I speak unto the church. Thou shalt not kill; and he that kills shall not have forgiveness in this world, nor in the world to come.

    19 And again, I say, thou shalt not kill; but he that akilleth shall die. D&C 42:18

  13. 14 TJayT
    January 6, 2012 at 11:29 pm


    I can relate to your experiences speaking to individuals. I’ve felt the same way at times talking to different Christians. Sometimes it’s hard to find exactly where people fall on certain issues that are acceptable in there theology. But I do feel it’s worth the time if we honestly want to talk with them because drawing attention to the differences they don’t believe is usually counterproductive to our end goal of bringing souls to christ.

    I think the main question of your post (and forgive me if I’m wrong) is just how much wrong theology can one hold and still live with God forever? Are some Mormons saved? Will some Christians be in the Celestial Kingdom? Does anyone that truly seeks God with all there heart gain his love, even if there not Christian, or are they lost forever? Can God, in his infinite wisdom, call a person to follow Allah, or Buddah, and if so are they lost? I don’t know, to be honest, though I know wiser men then I have tried. All I can do is put my trust in Christ, go where his spirit asks me to go and do what it asks me to do, and have faith he’ll guide me home.

  14. 15 choosethechrist
    January 7, 2012 at 4:16 pm


    You have made a good point with your question regarding how much wrong theology a person can hold and still be with God. There was a time when I also had many of the same questions you have stated regarding who will be saved, but I have realized over time that I can’t pick and choose what parts of the Bible I want to believe. I believe all of it, even the parts that say some of the people I love will not be with God when I die. The Bible is clear that we must put our faith in Christ alone for our salvation. The Bible is also clear that there is a Lake of Fire and that it is eternal. If a person has been called to Allah or Buddah, in my mind, it was not God who did the calling and they are lost. Can a person seek God with all his heart and have God’s love and not be a Christian? I think God loves us all which is why he sent Christ for us. They have God’s love, but they are not saved until they accept God’s offer of salvation. Are some Mormons saved? If a Mormon truly has put his faith in Christ alone for his salvation and understands that his salvation has nothing to do with the Mormon church or it’s requirements, then I think it is possible for a person to be saved, but I would have to question why they would choose to remain in a system that teaches one must be a member of the LDS church and complete certain requirements in order to be with God for all eternity.

  15. January 7, 2012 at 8:03 pm

    The key is not trusting anything we have done or might do, but trusting in Christ alone for our salvation. The moment works become a requirement for our salvation, we have lost faith in Christ and placed our faith in our works. Christ did everything for us and for our salvation. We simply rest in that fact.

  16. 17 shematwater
    January 7, 2012 at 10:34 pm


    Such an understanding does contradict these verses, and more directly D&C 132: 39, which says of David “in none of these things did he sin against me save in the case of Uriah and his wife; and, therefore he hath fallen from his exaltation, and received his portion.”
    We know that David specifically was not forgiven for this murder, and that this single act of unjustified killing has caused him to fall from his exaltation and cannot inherit this Glory.

    Alma 24: 10 is not speaking of Murder in general, but of the specific acts of these Lamanites who had been converted. Having lived in the darkness of Apostasy that was taught to them by their fathers they did not have an understanding of the truth. They were a violent people because they thought that was the proper way to be. When King Lamoni killed his servants for letting his flocks be scattered he thought this was a proper punishment. After receiving the truth he new that he was wrong, and that such was truly murder, and in the anguish of his soul he was able to gain forgiveness because he had not known previously.

    David was not forgiven for murder, nor will he ever receive a true and full forgiveness. He will pay the price of his sins in Hell; and when that price is paid he will be redeemed from hell and enter the lowest kingdom of heaven. This is the fate of all murderers, and truly all sinners who do not repent.

  17. January 8, 2012 at 2:31 am

    Shem said: “We know that David specifically was not forgiven for this murder, and that this single act of unjustified killing has caused him to fall from his exaltation and cannot inherit this Glory.

    We know that David specifically was forgiven for this murder…

    2 Samuel 12:13 ” Then David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the LORD.” Nathan replied, “The LORD has taken away your sin”

  18. 19 Kent
    January 8, 2012 at 5:56 am

    I never, ever say who is heaven or who is in Hell as it isn’t up to me, but I have a strong feeling that it would be Joseph Smith who would be in Hell and David who would be in heaven.

  19. 20 choosethechrist
    January 8, 2012 at 9:28 pm

    Given Echo’s quote from 2 Samuel 12:13, David’s sin was taken away, Shem’s comments don’t seem to give preference to the Bible in this case:

    “The Doctrine and Covenants and the Pearl of Great Price, though great books, are also taken after the Bible. The Bible was the first, and is the foremost record of God’s dealings with man. The rest are supplemental, intended to expound and clarify what is in the Bible, and to fill in those areas that the Bible does not give full detail on.” and “David was not forgiven for murder, nor will he ever receive a true and full forgiveness. He will pay the price of his sins in Hell; and when that price is paid he will be redeemed from hell and enter the lowest kingdom of heaven. This is the fate of all murderers, and truly all sinners who do not repent.”

    We know that David was repentant
    (see Psalm 51 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/search=Psalm+51&version=NIV)

    This is a very differen view between Mormonism and Christianity. The bible says “The LORD has taken away your sin”. In Christianity, we understand that having our sins taken away means there will be no punishment in hell for that sin. The sin is forgiven.

  20. 21 shematwater
    January 9, 2012 at 8:22 pm


    2 Samuel 12: 13 is a tricky verse, partly because the translation you use gives a different meaning than the KJV, which is the one we use. Here is the King James Version of this verse.

    “And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the Lord. And Nathan said unto David, The Lord also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die.”

    Notice that it does not say it is taken away, but that it is put away: the Hebrew would suggest more of a deferment of punishment. God had chosen not to punish David with death at that time, but reserved his punishment for a future time.

    As to his repentance, he did try, but as John tells us that “no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.” (1 JOhn 3: 15) we know that he could not truly repent, at least not fully; he could not have eternal life. But he did repent, which is why he received the promise that his soul would not remain in Hell (Psalms 16: 10).


    I don’t say who is in Heaven and who isn’t either. But God does, and since he has told us that David has lost his exaltation I will take his word over yours.

  21. 22 markcares
    January 9, 2012 at 10:59 pm

    Do you know Hebrew? I do. The Hebrew word means forgive.

  22. 23 choosethechrist
    January 9, 2012 at 11:34 pm

    Shem, looking at the KJV does not change the meaning. One thing I have learned about studying the Bible is that we must not take single verses out of context. Another thing I have learned is that it is a common thing in Mormonism to find single passages pulled out of the Bible (taken out of context) and used by the Mormons to support their doctrines. The emphasis of 1 John 3:15 is on this “Anyone who hates his brother is a murderer,……” The Bible is full of passages that show there is forgiveness for all sins. There are just too many to quote and I would encourage the reader to investigate this for themselves. King David was repentant. His punishment occured during this life for his sins as God said it would begining with the death of Bath-Sheba’s child (2 Sam.12-19) . There are many Bible passages that also show that hell is eternal. No one pays their due and then gets out of hell. King David was repentant. God is merciful and forgives for repentant sins.

    Proverbs 28:13 He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy.

  23. 24 shematwater
    January 10, 2012 at 4:49 pm


    I never said I did. I said I was talking the word of particular scholars over the words of people on this blog. No offense, but I trust them more than I trust you people.

    In the footnote of our Bible it makes this comment: “HEB hath caused to pass; i.e., he was not punished immediately by death; but he did not escape punishment.” So, while the literal translation would be “hath caused to pass,” and it is possible for this to be interpreted as forgiveness, these scholars felt the meaning implied more of a deferment. I will accept their rendering and explanation of the verse over that which you give.


    I have never denied that David will eventually gain a measure of forgiveness. In fact I have always maintained that he would, and have given Biblical quotes to support this. I also have never claimed that 1 John 3: 15 said that he didn’t gain it, only that he did not gain eternal life. This situation of David, taken with all the other verses of the Bible, is the perfect proof for the many levels of Heaven, as that is the only way to actually reconcile the various verses.
    1 John 3: 15 tells us murderers cannot have eternal life, and Psalms 16: 10 tells us that David’s soul would not remain in Hell.
    So it is obvious that, while Hell is an eternal place, the time one spends in it is not eternal, as David was to be brought out of it after a time. But, as he cannot have eternal life (being a murderer) where does he go? He goes to a lower degree of Heaven.
    So, he will gain forgiveness, just as all the wonderful verses you claim says he will. What he does not get is the reward that Christ will give to all men according to their works (Revelation 20: 12)

  24. 25 choosethechrist
    January 10, 2012 at 11:38 pm

    Shem, I am aware of what you have said. Your points show the contradictions between Christian doctrines and LDS doctrines. If you choose to adhere to LDS scriptures, you are not going to find the correct interpretations. Why would you go to LDS scholars to get Hebrew translations? Here is the bottom line, if you really want to know the truth, you need to get away from LDS scriptures and do some hermeneutic studies of the Bible and do some study of the early church and it’s history with an open mind and with an attitude of what if what these people are telling me is true? Can I afford to be wrong? If what they are telling me is true, will some people be spending eternity in hell? I did this with Mormon teachings and doctrines. I looked at them from the “what if” perspective and measured them against the Bible and Christian doctrines. In my mind, you can’t afford to be wrong. A “restoration” makes something look like the original. What exactly did Joseph Smith restore? At no time did the “church” which has been around for over 2000 years resemble the LDS church. Maybe this would be a good place for you to start: (theosis vs exaltation) http://www.reclaimingthemind.org/blog/2011/11/did-joseph-smith-restore-theosis-part-five-early-church-fathers-and-joseph-smith%e2%80%99s-doctrine-of-exaltation/.
    The next thing you should investigate is the LDS idea of 3 levels of glory. The jews believed in 3 heavens as explained here: http://carm.org/what-does-it-mean-when-bible-refers-third-heaven

  25. 26 shematwater
    January 12, 2012 at 7:12 pm


    I have no need to read anything further, for I have the truth. You think I don’t question my convictions at times, that I don’t ponder and wonder about certain phrases and doctrines. I have wondered “what if?” and it always come back to a simple fact: I know Joseph Smith was a prophet who was called of God to restore the true gospel to the Earth. I know that the Book of Mormon is true and divinely inspired, a companion to the Bible in proving the truth to the world. I know that Christ is the savior of the world and that he personally appeared to Joseph Smith in 1820 and various other times to establish his church and his gospel on the earth once again. And I know that Brigham Young and all those who have succeeded him have been the properly appointed leaders and prophets of this latter-day work. I know all this not because I studied and compared doctrine and decided that this was the best choice for me, or even that it was right. I know it because God has told me personally that it is true, and he continues to tell over and over again, reminding me of what I know.
    Beyond this I don’t need to know anything else. While I plan on reading the earlier Christian leaders eventually, they have nothing to offer in terms of the Gospel. It is simply interesting to me.

    As to the church not resembling the ancient church I would disagree. However, I really don’t care. The church is only the organization set up by God to conduct his affairs on Earth. Its structure is made to fit the time and place in which it is. Thus Adam and the ancient Patriarchs had a different system than that of Moses, which was different from that of the Apostles, which was different from that of our day. That does not make the gospel all less true.

  26. 27 Kent
    January 13, 2012 at 4:24 pm

    Shem, I am going to post a few posts in a row that show the gospel that we have been given I hope you or any other Mormons take the time to read them and take them to heart.

    In Acts 8 the Ethiopian eunuch is reading from Isaiah 53 and Phillip preaches Jesus to him, he becomes a believer after hearing and right away he was baptized. Notice how it doesn’t say any condition about following any commandments or ordinances.

    Isaiah 53

    1 Who has believed our report?
    And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?
    2 For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant,
    And as a root out of dry ground.
    He has no form or comeliness;
    And when we see Him,
    There is no beauty that we should desire Him.
    3 He is despised and rejected by men,
    A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.
    And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him;
    He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.
    4 Surely He has borne our griefs
    And carried our sorrows;
    Yet we esteemed Him stricken,
    Smitten by God, and afflicted.
    5 But He was wounded for our transgressions,
    He was bruised for our iniquities;
    The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
    And by His stripes we are healed.
    6 All we like sheep have gone astray;
    We have turned, every one, to his own way;
    And the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.
    7 He was oppressed and He was afflicted,
    Yet He opened not His mouth;
    He was led as a lamb to the slaughter,
    And as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
    So He opened not His mouth.
    8 He was taken from prison and from judgment,
    And who will declare His generation?
    For He was cut off from the land of the living;
    For the transgressions of My people He was stricken.
    9 And they made His grave with the wicked—
    But with the rich at His death,
    Because He had done no violence,
    Nor was any deceit in His mouth.
    10 Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise Him;
    He has put Him to grief.
    When You make His soul an offering for sin,
    He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days,
    And the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in His hand.
    11 He shall see the labor of His soul,[b]and be satisfied.
    By His knowledge My righteous Servant shall justify many,
    For He shall bear their iniquities.
    12 Therefore I will divide Him a portion with the great,
    And He shall divide the spoil with the strong,
    Because He poured out His soul unto death,
    And He was numbered with the transgressors,
    And He bore the sin of many,
    And made intercession for the transgressors.

    Acts 8:26-39

    26 Now an angel of the Lord spoke to Philip, saying, “Arise and go toward the south along the road which goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” This is desert. 27 So he arose and went. And behold, a man of Ethiopia, a eunuch of great authority under Candace the queen of the Ethiopians, who had charge of all her treasury, and had come to Jerusalem to worship, 28 was returning. And sitting in his chariot, he was reading Isaiah the prophet. 29 Then the Spirit said to Philip, “Go near and overtake this chariot.”
    30 So Philip ran to him, and heard him reading the prophet Isaiah, and said, “Do you understand what you are reading?”
    31 And he said, “How can I, unless someone guides me?” And he asked Philip to come up and sit with him. 32 The place in the Scripture which he read was this:

    “ He was led as a sheep to the slaughter;
    And as a lamb before its shearer is silent,
    So He opened not His mouth.
    33 In His humiliation His justice was taken away,
    And who will declare His generation?
    For His life is taken from the earth.”

    34 So the eunuch answered Philip and said, “I ask you, of whom does the prophet say this, of himself or of some other man?” 35 THEN PHILIP OPENED HIS MOUTH, AND BEGINNING AT THIS SCRIPTURE, PREACHED JESUS TO HIM. 36 Now as they went down the road, they came to some water. And the eunuch said, “See, here is water. WHAT HINDERS ME FROM BEING BAPTIZED?”
    38 So he commanded the chariot to stand still. And both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, and he baptized him. 39 Now when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught Philip away, so that the eunuch saw him no more; and he went on his way rejoicing.

  27. 28 Kent
    January 13, 2012 at 5:06 pm

    Mormons, I also hope you take the time to read these passages and take them to heart. Notice how they don’t say anything about keeping any commandments and oridinances and note especially that Romans 10 says that Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes. So having to keep commandments and oridiances is establishing our own righteousness.

    The choice is believe in Jesus


    Keep the commandments and oridinances.

    Romans 10

    1 Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved. 2 For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. 3 FOR THEY BEING IGNORANT OF GOD’S RIGHTEOUSNESS, AND SEEKING TO ESTABLISH THEIR OWN RIGHTEOUSNESS, HAVE NOT SUBMITTED TO THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD. 4 FOR CHRIST IS THE END OF THE LAW FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS TO EVERYONE WHO BELIEVES.
    5 For Moses writes about the righteousness which is of the law, “The man who does those things shall live by them.” 6 But the righteousness of faith speaks in this way, “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’” (that is, to bring Christ down from above) 7 or, “‘Who will descend into the abyss?’” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). 8 But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart”(that is, the word of faith which we preach): 9 THAT IF YOU CONFESS WITH YOUR MOUTH THE LORD JESUS AND BELIEVE IN YOUR HEART THAT GOD HAS RAISED HIM FROM THE DEAD, YOU WILL BE SAVED. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11 For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.” 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. 13 FOR “WHOEVER CALLS ON THE NAME OF THE LORD SHALL BE SAVED.”

    By the way, the Bible teaches that saved means eternal life that we who believe and trust completely only in who Jesus Christ is and what He did 2000 by dying on the cross and rising again from the grave three days later and not in anything we do will for sure get to forever be with God with Him in His mansions forever.

    So we can know now, this very moment, so you don’t ever have to worry about being worthy enough to progress as He is worthy enough for you.

    Notice below how the jailer believed and he was saved.

    Acts 16:25-33

    25 But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them. 26 Suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were loosed. 27 And the keeper of the prison, awaking from sleep and seeing the prison doors open, supposing the prisoners had fled, drew his sword and was about to kill himself. 28 But Paul called with a loud voice, saying, “Do yourself no harm, for we are all here.”
    29 Then he called for a light, ran in, and fell down trembling before Paul and Silas. 30 And he brought them out and said, “SIRS, WHAT MUST I DO TO BE SAVED?”
    31 SO THEY SAID, “BELIEVE ON THE LORD JESUS CHRIST, AND YOU WILL BE SAVED, you and your household.” 32 Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house. 33 And he took them the same hour of the night and washed their stripes. AND IMMEDIATELY HE AND ALL HIS FAMILY WERE BAPTIZED. 34 Now when he had brought them into his house, he set food before them; and he rejoiced, HAVING BELIEVED IN GOD WITH ALL HIS HOUSEHOLD.

  28. 29 Kent
    January 13, 2012 at 5:17 pm

    Again, here is the gospel we were given and, again, it doesn’t say anything about keeping commandments and oridinances.

    1 Corinthians 15:1-4

    1 Moreover, brethren, I DECLARE TO YOU THE GOSPEL WHICH I PREACHED TO YOU, which also you received and in which you stand, 2 BY WHICH ALSO YOU ARE SAVED, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.

  29. January 13, 2012 at 5:25 pm

    I know that Joseph Smith was a man who decided to start his own new religion during a time of restoration movement culture which was influenced by men such as Thomas Campbell, Alexander Campbell, Barton Stone and Sidney Rigdon. I know that Smith’s Book of Mormon represents his answer to major religious controversies of that time and is no prophecy. I know that there was no apostasy as taught by the LDS church and that early church history reveals that this did not happen. I know that Jesus did not need to restore His church to the Earth because Jesus said per Matthew 16:18 “18And 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.” and that Jesus was not a liar. I know that Jesus is “I AM” and that “I AM” is Eternal and I believe the Word of God: John 8:14 “If you do not believe “I Am” you will die in your sins; Exodus 3:14 “14And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.”; John 8:58 “58Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.”; Isaiah 43:10 “10Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.”. I know that Jesus is Eternal. Therefore, Jesus can’t be the 1st spirit child of a Mormon god who has a beginning and is thus not Eternal. I know that Grace is simple and not a complicated system of laws and ordinances. We work from our salvation through the power of the Holy Spirit because we are thankful for what Jesus did for us. We do not work for our salvation as if it were a reward for our good deeds i.e. Ephesians 3:8-10, Galatians 2:16, Titus 3:5. I know that satan is the father of lies, masquerades as “an angel of light” “tries to hide the actual truth about our God” “offers counterfeit promises he can’t fulfill” “twists Scriptures to fit his purposes” and “defies God and despises truth”. I know that the LDS church does not hold the truth, but that the LDS people can know the truth and that the truth can set them free John 8:32.

  30. 31 shematwater
    January 13, 2012 at 5:25 pm


    Acts 8: 35 “Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus.”

    You say there is no mention of commandments and ordinances, but I would simply point out that this doesn’t mention much. He taught him Christ, but what is included in this? We do not have a full account of the specifics taught, but I am fully confident that he did teach the ordinances and commandments. The reason for this is that the Eunuch immediately seeks baptism. (Acts 8: 36) So, it seems obvious to me that part of what Philip taught the man was baptism and the need for it, and that is why the man desired to be baptized. If it was not part of what was taught than why would the man make the request?

    The same thing can be said of Acts 16: 25-33. Notice that in verse 32 “they spake unto him the word of the Lord.” Again we are given no specifics, but I am fully confident that they did teach the commandments and the ordinances that are required for salvation, which is why they were all baptized immediately.

    As for Romans 10, what is Paul really saying? He speaks of the Law, which for Paul is always a reference to the Law of Moses. He also speaks of the Righteousness of Christ, or the righteousness of faith. It seems to me that he is simply applying a new standard. The Law of Moses is done away, and now we must live to the higher standard of righteousness exemplified in Christ and made possible through our faith. Just as he says in verse 10, “For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness” we are to have faith enough that we are constantly striving to live to the standard of righteousness set by Christ, who was baptized to fulfill all righteousness.

    None of the passages you give is contrary to LDS doctrine, but truly supports it beautifully. I hope all people read these things and come to know the true gospel of Christ which was restored to the Earth by Joseph Smith.

  31. 32 Kent
    January 14, 2012 at 4:20 pm

    The Mosiac law is the only the law the Bible speaks of so the law is not applicable at all for salvation.

    The additional temple ordinances of the Mormon church and temple and even the Mormon temple itself are not needed and ironically most of them, if not all of them, are not even mentioned in the Book of Mormon. If this book contains the fullness of the gospel, then how come they are not in there?

    Yes, Jesus did say we are to love god with all our hearts and love our neighbors as are ourselves, which in effect consolidated the law down to these two commandments, but if we are to rely on doing them for our salvation, then we have to do so for our whole lives without ever faltering.

    Grace given to us by us believing in who Jesus is, his dying on the cross to save us, sinners who cannot ever save ourselves, and His rising again on the third day is the only gospel we need and no it hasn’t been lost so it didn’t need to be restored as it can be found any time by just opening up the Bible and reading it.

    I normally would not point out disgreements that Christians have on particular subjects I will do so now to make a point.

    Some Christians believe that we can get everything we pray for, even prosperity and material things, because just like Jesus said to do certain things, what Mormons would interpret as having to keep the commandments, those Christians will quote Him saying that if we ask the Father for anything in Jesus’ name, those things will be given to us if we just have enough faith.

    However, Jesus taught us to pray this way, “Our Father who art in Heaven, thy Kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven”

    So while God can gives us anything we pray for he doesn’t have to if it isn’t His will or it doesn’t advance His Kingdom. But Jesus did say we can get anything if we ask the Father in his name didn’t He? But even though He did say these things, God’s will be done trumps everything else.

    Well just like God’s will be done trumps everything in our prayers, grace supercedes us having to keep the commandments even though Jesus said to do those things.

    By the way, even though the Christian prospertiy teachers and I don’t agree about getting prosperity through prayer there is one thing we do agree on and that is that we are saved by grace alone by Jesus saving work on the cross and that grace doesn’t come after all we can do.

  32. 33 shematwater
    January 14, 2012 at 11:02 pm


    The Law of Moses is not the only law mentioned in the Bible.

    1 Chronicles 16: 15-17 “Be ye mindful always of his covenant; the word which he commanded to a thousand generations;
    Even of the covenant which he made with Abraham, and of his oath unto Isaac;
    And hath confirmed the same to Jacob for a law, and to Israel for an everlasting covenant,”

    The Abrahamic Covenant was a law established with Abraham, sworn to by Isaac and confirmed with Jacob. It was given to all men (represented by the phrase 1000 generations).
    Thus, when Paul writes to the Galatians that “the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul,” (Gal. 5; 17) he is saying that the law given to Abraham through covenant is greater than the Law added by Moses through command. He refers to this as the “Law of Faith” in Romans 3: 27, being distinguished from the Law of Works (or the Law of Moses). He also speaks of the “Law of God after the inward man” in Romans 7: 22, which he delighted in. He speaks of the Law of the Spirit in Romans 8: 2. In 1 Corinthians 9: 21 he declares that he is “under the Law of Christ.” In Galatians 6: 2 he counsels us to “fulfill the law of Christ.”
    In James 1: 25 we are told to “looketh into the perfect law of bliberty, and continueth therein…being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work” In James 4: 11 he counsels us not to judge the law, as doing such means we are not doers.

    So, it is rather obvious that there are more laws than just the Law of Moses contained in the Bible, and the frequent admonition of the the apostles for us to obey the law and follow (being doers and not just hearers) proves that we are expected to obey this law.

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