Alpha & Omega Ministries Apologetics Blog
A Comment on Yesterday's Line of Fire Radio Program
04/29/2010 - James WhiteThe following comment was posted in reference to my appearance on the Line of Fire radio program with Dr. Michael Brown yesterday. My response follows.
I usually enjoy your program, but today was an exception. Hearing Dr White speak, I was reminded of the Jews during the ministry of Jesus, those who would mock Jesus because He was not what they had expected. They didn’t believe Jesus was who He said He was because they didn’t have eyes to see or ears to hear.
What if The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is true??? That would mean that Jesus Christ and God the Father did appear to Joseph Smith and the true Church was restored. It would mean that God speaks through a living prophet today.
I want to ask you and Dr. White a question… Are you and Dr. White really about what you profess, or are you in it for the money, fame or power of your position??? Your anti-LDS attitude truly makes you suspect. The LDS Church never cuts other faiths down— they invite others to come and see for themselves if what they have to offer is true or not. They encourage their members to come to their own conclusions. Does that same philosophy threaten you in any way?
I have investigated many different faiths in my lifetime. I’ll never forget the strong spirit I felt during a special Easter program held in a Baptist church I attended years ago. Over the years I’ve loved hearing people express their honest, heartfelt testimonies of Christ in many different religions. I don’t think there is one religion only that can lead a person to a belief in Christ —and neither does the LDS Church. Belief in Christ comes by hearing and applying God’s word in our life.
I came to know God as my Savior, almost 22 years ago, after reading His words. I was truly born again, something people who knew me then and now can testify of. My life has never been the same and my love of the scriptures has only increased since then!
Ever since I was born again, I have loved reading the Bible and Book of Mormon daily and I love hearing truth wherever it is spoken! My favorite movie to this day is, “Facing the Giants”, written by a Baptist. I love that movie because it is my story in many ways. I went from the depths of despair because of infertility, to the heights of being born of God in the Spirit and experiencing a love, peace and joy I had never known before.
I don’t understand the need you have to make others believe the LDS Church is following a false Christ. Evil may confess that Jesus is the Christ, but evil doesn’t cause anyone to come to Christ and live by His teachings! I and millions of others like me have found faith in Christ and are now faithful members of the LDS Church. If the LDS Church were proven to be false I would never regret the person it has helped me become. Isn’t that the ultimate test of truth???
Thank you for writing. Having spoken with many thousands of LDS over the years, I have heard your objections many times. Before I spoke on the subject of Mormonism publicly I took the time to study it carefully (even your own Scriptures require this: "But, behold, I say unto you, that you must study it out in your mind; then you must ask me if it be right, and if it is right I will cause that your bosom shall burn within you; therefore, you shall feel that it is right." D&C 9:8). I read the LDS Scriptures, and such books as A Marvelous Work and a Wonder, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, Articles of Faith, Jesus the Christ, and Mormon Doctrine. I obtained the Documentary History of the Church and the Journal of Discourses, etc. It is improper for anyone who loves the truth to respond to someone else's beliefs sheerly out of emotional attachment to our own faith.
You liken me to the Pharisees who rejected Jesus. May I suggest the parallel is to the Apostle Paul who, upon encountering false teachings about Jesus, said,
“But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ. For if one comes and preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted, you bear this beautifully.”
(2 Corinthians 11:3–4 NASB)
You asked, "What if The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is true???" Well, that's the issue, isn't it, Debbie? I have examined the claims of the LDS Church. I find 1) Joseph Smith fails the tests of a prophet, for he not only proclaimed a god beside Jehovah, but he gave forth false prophecies (D&C 114 as one good example); 2) the Book of Mormon is not a historical document and it proclaims false teachings (2 Nephi 25:23, Moroni 10:32, etc.); 3) the Doctrine and Covenants contains numerous false prophecies and tremendous contradictions to the inspired Scriptures (D&C 84, 130:22, 132 etc.); 4) the Pearl of Great Price contains amazing examples of Joseph Smith not being a prophet, the most glaring being the entirety of the Book of Abraham, which not only presents a gross polytheism (using "the gods" more than 45 times), but which has been proven beyond a shadow of a doubt to be a fraudulent "translation by the gift and power of God" of an Egyptian funerary document called the Book of Breathings (see Charles Larson's tremendous book, _By His Own Hand Upon Papyrus_); and 5) Joseph Smith's entire foundational story, known as "the First Vision," is utterly fallacious, a story that developed over time, but which is contradicted by numerous facts of history, not the least of which is the fact that there was no revival in Palmyra in 1820--the exact revival Smith notes, even mentioning men who participated in it (such as Rev. Lane) who were not even *in* Palmyra at the time (the revival took place in 1824).
Now Debbie, I would strongly encourage you to examine these facts for yourself, fairly and openly.
You wrote, "Are you and Dr. White really about what you profess, or are you in it for the money, fame or power of your position??? Your anti-LDS attitude truly makes you suspect." Money fame and power? Goodness, Debbie, what makes you think ministering to Mormons gives you any of that? In our world today anyone who would say, "This is truth, this is error," is shunned as a narrow-minded bigot, so surely you cannot possibly believe this kind of argumentation is valid or sound. Besides, given all of the statements made by LDS leaders over the years critical of historic Christian faith, are you being consistent to think in this fashion? Does Joseph Smith's claim that God called all the Baptists and Methodists and Presbyterians "false" in their beliefs make him "anti-Christian" and therefore suspect as well? If not, why not?
You wrote, "The LDS Church never cuts other faiths down— they invite others to come and see for themselves if what they have to offer is true or not." May I direct you to this article I wrote years ago that fully refutes this claim from LDS documents themselves?
Debbie, the Jesus taught by the LDS Church may sound a lot like the Jesus of the Bible, but they could not possibly be more different. Over twenty five years ago I wrote a tract that we have distributed to thousands of Mormons over the decades. I would like to share it with you, Debbie, and ask you to seriously consider what it says.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, also known as the Mormon Church, speaks often of Jesus Christ. To most people it would seem that Mormonism is just another Christian denomination that teaches Jesus Christ. Is that true? What do the Mormons really teach about Jesus? Following is a list of some of the major points about Jesus as taught by the LDS Church. The references to Mormon scriptures, Mormon apostles, and prophets and their books will be found at the conclusion of this tract.
Is God the Father’s firstborn spirit-child in heaven.1 Since, according to the LDS Church, each one of us was begotten in the same manner, the difference between us and Jesus is simply one of degree.
Is the spirit brother of Lucifer, also known as Satan.2
Was begotten here on earth by God the Father by natural means – just like any other man – and not by the Holy Ghost.3
Sweat his blood for our sins in the Garden of Gethsemane,4 and his blood cannot cleanse from all sin.5
Is now one amongst many millions of other gods.6
You may be shocked at these things. We invite you to look these references up for yourself. A lot of Mormons may not be familiar with one or two of these points, but most will admit them to be true. The vital question, then, is this: is the Jesus of Mormonism the Jesus of the Bible? The answer to that is an emphatic, NO!
Here, briefly, is what the Bible says about Jesus:
Is eternal.7 He never had a beginning; nor will He have an end. He is one with the Father,8 the only true God.9
Created all things.10 Everything that exists, Christ created, including Lucifer, who became Satan.11
Was begotten on earth by the Holy Ghost.12 His earthly mother was the Virgin Mary.
Is able to cleanse from all sin through the blood He shed on the cross of Calvary.13
Rose from the dead and has returned to heaven, from which He will return to judge the earth.14
Where does the Bible say that God has a wife, and that He begets children? The Bible says that God creates the spirits of men, not that He begets them.15
Since the Bible says Christ created all things, how can the Mormon Church teach that God the Father was once a man who lived on another planet?.16 Who created that planet? Remember, Jesus created all things, which would include every single planet in existence anywhere in the universe. If Mormonism is right, how could Jesus create a planet before he was even begotten and before his father had become a god?
The Bible teaches the virgin birth of Christ. The miracle of the virgin birth is that Mary was a virgin at the time of the birth. The Mormon Church denies the virgin birth by saying that God the Father in a physical body begot Jesus in the same way we are begotten by our fathers.17 How can this blasphemous teaching be reconciled with the Bible?
The Mormon Church says Jesus is a god, one among many, and that we, too, can become gods, just like Jesus is.18 Why then does God say, “Before me there was no God formed, and neither shall there be after me.”? (Isaiah 43:10).19 Which would you rather believe – a man-made church or God Himself??
Why did Brigham Young, the second Prophet of the Mormon Church say, “It is true that the blood of the Son of God was shed for sins through the fall and those committed by men, yet men can commit sins which it can never remit….they must be atoned for by the blood of the man.”20
How can a sinful man’s blood be more effective than the precious blood of Christ? Listen to this recent Mormon teaching contained in a widely distributed pamphlet:
“Christians speak often of the blood of Christ and its cleansing power. Much that is believed and taught on this subject, however, is such utter nonsense and so palpably false that to believe it is to lose one’s salvation.
For instance, many believe or pretend to believe that if we confess with our lips and avow that we accept him as our personal Savior, we are thereby saved. They say that his blood, without any other act than mere belief, makes us clean.”21
Is it possible that when this pamphlet refers to the “many” who believe this, it is referring to the Apostle Paul when he said, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” (Romans 10:9)? Or when he said, But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. (Romans 4:5). Certainly, the Mormon teaching concerning the blood of Jesus is not Christian.
The Jesus of the Bible, the true, living Lord Christ, is like the Mormon Jesus in name only. Other than name, the Jesus of Mormonism is totally and completely different than the Christ who is worshipped by the Christian Church. As you can see, it was teaching like that of the Mormon Church that Paul warned the Corinthians about in 2 Corinthians 11:4 when he spoke about those who “preach another Jesus,” or when he warned the Galatians about those who would “preach another gospel.” (Galatians 1:8-9).
Don’t be fooled! Some may try to tell you that these things are not pertinent to your salvation. Since salvation is only in and through Jesus Christ (John 14:6), isn’t it essential that we believe in the real Lord Jesus Christ? Can we be saved by a false Jesus?
The true Jesus wants to give you the free gift of eternal life if you will only turn your life over to Him (John 5:24). Read the following verses, and meet the real Jesus of the Bible, and make Him Lord of your life! John 3:16-18, 5:23-24, 14:6, Romans 3:23-28, 4:4-5, 5:1, 10:9-13, 11:6, Acts 16:31.
1) “What the Mormons Think of Christ.” 1982, pages 6-7, 22. (Hereafter referred to as WMTC). Mormon Doctrine by Bruce R. McConkie, page 281, Jesus the Christ by James Talmage, pages 8-9. Doctrines of Salvation, volume 1, by Joseph Fielding Smith, page 18. Doctrine and Covenants 93:21.
2) Moses 4:1-4, Mormon Doctrine, pages 192, 281, 590. Gospel Through the Ages, by Milton Hunter, page 15.
3) WMTC, page 6, Doctrines of Salvation, volume 1, page 18, Mormon Doctrine, pages 546-547. Answers to Gospel Questions volume 5, by Joseph Fielding Smith, pages 126-127. Journal of Discourses volume 1, page 50 (1:50), 4:218, 11:268. The Seer, by Orson Pratt, pages 158-159.
4) WMTC, page 20. Doctrine and Covenants 19:17-18, Jesus the Christ, pages 613-614.
5) Mormon Doctrine, pages 92-93, Doctrines of Salvation, volume 1, pages 134-135, Journal of Discourses volume 2, page 345.
6) Journal of Discourses volume 2, page 345.
7) John 1:1, John 8:58, Hebrews 13:8, Revelation 22:13, Micah 5:2.
8) John 10:30, John 17:5.
9) John 17:3, Titus 2:13, 2 Peter 1:1, Revelation 1:8.
10) John1:3, Colossians 1:16-17, Hebrews 1:3.
11) Ezekiel 28:13-15, Isaiah 14:12-15.
12) Matthew 1:18-20, Luke 1:35.
13) Colossians 1:19-20, 2:13-14, 1 Peter 1:18-19, 1 John 1:7.
14) Matthew chapter 25, Revelation 20:12-15.
15) Zechariah 12:1.
16) Joseph Smith, “The King Follett Funeral Discourse,” quoted in Journal of Discourses volume 6, page 3, or Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, by Joseph Fielding Smith, pages 345-346.
17) Journal of Discourses volume 8, page 115. The Promised Messiah by Bruce R. McConkie, pages 467-468.
18) Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith pages 346-348, Articles of Faith by James Talmage, page 430.
19) See also Isaiah 44:6-8, 24, 45:5-6, 14, 18, 21-22, 46:9.
20) Journal of Discourses volume 4, page 54, from September 15, 1856.
21) WMTC, pages 19-20.