Truth is not only
violated by falsehood;
it may be equally
outraged by silence.
Spiritual deception is designed to be more attractive than the truth. That’s why it’s so easy to fall prey to it. It suggests that we are far better, more righteous and more able (spiritually speaking) than we really are. And because we tend to justify our faults and weaknesses, this sounds reasonable to us.
Joseph Smith maintained that we are more inclined to good than evil, that we are of the same race as God; and that just as He did, we too can earn forgiveness of our personal sins and exaltation to godhood through obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Mormon gospel. To justify the fact that his doctrines did not fit in with Gods’ Word, the Bible, he claimed that it had been incorrectly translated and that large sections were missing.
But this sounds like a replay of what happened in the Garden of Eden. God had told Adam and Eve not to eat the fruit of the tree of good and evil as it would result in their death. But the deceiver convinced Eve that what God had said was not true, and that rather than dying they would become like Him.
However, Genesis 3 reveals that the deceiver was the one who was lying, and that God had spoken the truth.
When Adam and Eve partook of the fruit of sin, the spiritual link between themselves and their Creator was severed. They died to the things of the Spirit and lost their fellowship with God. Their bodies began the process of decay and physical death was inevitable. After pronouncing judgment on them, God put them out of the Garden. Whereas they had previously known only peace, joy and togetherness with Him, after the fall everything changed. Anxiety, distrust, suffering and sorrow began to intrude into their lives, along with all the other effects that are brought about by sin.
The Bible teaches us that the fall was a tragedy that brought about the ruination of the entire human race. But Mormons have been taught to look upon it as a benefit and a great blessing to mankind (c/f The Mormon Version of the Fall).
Truth is eternal. It never changes.That’s why we can rely upon it.
Just as the biblical God is truth, so is His written Word and His Word made flesh:
“ … a God of truth and without iniquity, just
and right is He.” (Deuteronomy 32:4, KJV)
“Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.” (John 17:17, KJV)
“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6, KJV)
Unlike truth, Joseph’s deceptions did not stand the test of time. Shortly after he claimed to have restored the “true” gospel to the earth, he began changing it so that it fitted in with his latest ideas. And twelve years down the line, on the 6th April, 1844, he did the unthinkable: He announced to his followers that God was not the being whom they had previously imagined Him to be, and radically changed his doctrines on deity (c/f Mormon Gods, Past and Present). From that date on Mormons worshipped a different and completely unbiblical God of eternal progression, who is a married man with a body of flesh and bone, and is exclusive to Mormonism alone (c/f Mormonism’s Doctrine of Eternal Progression).
Current Mormon doctrines bear little, if any, resemblance, to what they did at the start. And we ask ourselves how could their “true gospel” change?
“But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this
is the word which by the gospel is preached unto
you.” (1 Peter 1:25, KJV)
“For ever, O Lord, thy word is settled in heaven.” (Psalm 119:89, KJV)
“Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.”(Matthew 34:25, KJV)
“The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.” (Isaiah 40:8, KJV
There have always been counterfeits and imitations of Christianity, but you can tell the true Christian church from the false by its doctrines. The true church still teaches and follows exactly the same gospel that was taught by Christ’s apostles, as recorded in the New Testament. Their teachings have never changed simply because truth never changes.
Should you wish to make an unbiased, in-depth study of the Bible so that you can find out for yourself what it teaches, here is a site that will get you started in that direction: http://www.intothyword.org/pages.asp?pageid=56850
Mormons are taught that truth can be verified by their feelings after prayer (c/f The Mormon Testimony and Its Purpose). But the Bible warns us not to trust in our feelings as our hearts deceive us (Proverbs 28:26, Jeremiah 17:9). Truth is verified by facts, not feelings. For instance, Christ’s love for me cannot be verified by whether or not I get a warm feeling after praying about it, no matter how sincere my prayer may be. But I know without a doubt that He loves me because He displayed His love (not just for me, but for the whole of mankind), for all to see, on the cross at Calvary (c/f The Glory of God in Christ Jesus).
The fact that Jesus, who had no sin, took all of my sins, for all time, upon Himself and bore the full penalty of the law for those sins in my place so that I, the guilty one, could go free, reveals a love so deep that it is unfathomable.
His resurrection proved that He was whom He had claimed to be and that He had done what He had said He would do. After His resurrection He appeared and spoke to many witnesses. At one time he appeared before a group of five hundred. These witnesses were also familiar with the history surrounding His ministry and the establishment of the primitive church after His ascention to heaven. And the majority of them were still alive when the New Testament was written. Yet neither they nor anyone else ever questioned its accuracy. That was because the New Testament was a factual record. Nothing connected to Christ, His church or the gospel was ever done in secret, but right out in the open, for all to see. It is only that which is wrong or deceptive that needs to be hidden, not the truth.
Mormons need to ask themselves why their church and their missionaries do their utmost to conceal their major doctrines from prospective members (and from the general public) until after baptism and indoctrination have taken place. Their excuse that these folk aren’t ready for meat and must be given milk doesn’t ring true. Everybody deserves to know the truth about what they are letting themselves in for, particularly when it has eternal consequences.
Instead of explaining their exclusive doctrines, they relate the official version of Joseph Smith’s first vision … without mentioning that there are a total of nine contradictory versions. Furthermore they maintain that Joseph Smith had established their church as a direct result of this vision. But the official version that they use for this story only became known for the first time in 1840, which was at least ten years after the church had been established and twenty years after the vision was supposed to have occurred. In the interim eight other contradictory versions had been provided, including one in Joseph’s own handwriting (c/f The Controversy Surrounding Joseph Smith’s First Vision).
The fact that disclosure of the exclusive God they worship (and their other major doctrines) is deliberately withheld in an evasive manner, cannot be seen as anything other than a form of deception.
Everywhere we look concerning the claims of Joseph Smith we find evidence of deception. How could deception ever give birth to truth?
The Lord Jesus Christ is the central figure in Christianity. But Mormons also claim that He is central in Mormonism. And they also insist that their Jesus is the Jesus of the Bible. However, this is not the case, as the biblical Jesus was both God in the beginning (meaning before everything else), and God manifest in the flesh:
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with
God, and the Word was God.” (John 1:1, KJV)
“[Christ] who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men.” (Philippians 2:6-7, KJV)
“And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.” (1 Timothy, 3:16,KJV)
On the other hand, the Mormon Jesus was our biological brother in a prior existence. Furthermore, their leadership admits that the Mormon Jesus is not the historical, biblical Christ (c/f The Mormon Jesus).
I was born into Mormonism, and never knew a thing about Christianity until I was in my forties. Some time after I had left the LDS, I attended a Christian church service for the first time ever. But within a short while I began to feel out of place, as they kept harping on Jesus. It appeared to me as though they were worshipping Him. Amongst other things, they prayed about Him, as well as praying in His name. Then for about half an hour they sang hymns of praise and worship, many of which glorified Him. After that the sermon kept centering on Him too. The closing hymn and prayer kept to that same pattern.
I had never experienced anything like that in Mormonism, in spite of their claims about His being central in Mormonism. Yes, when they say a prayer they always tack on the little bit about praying in His name at the end, and they do mention Him from time to time in their talks. But I had never heard a Mormon talk devoted solely to glorifying Him, linking everything else in the Bible to Him or going into detail about what He has done for us and how He is our all in all.
Although it is true that they have sacrament every Sunday, their teaching is that Christ’s death only earned universal resurrection, and that we have to earn the right to forgiveness of our own personal sins (c/f Different Types of Mormon Salvation).
My impression during all my years in the LDS was that Joseph Smith, their church history, their exclusive doctrines and the many reasons why they claim to be the only true church, are the things that are central in Mormonism, not Jesus.
I have an older sister who is a devout Mormon. She had been on mission for the LDS and was in the habit of promoting Mormonism at every possible opportunity. It was her life. Because she lived in a different town to me, she always spent her annual leave with me, even after I had left the LDS. Then, after I became a Christian (by trusting in the biblical Jesus Christ), I realized the extent of what He had done for me. Consequently I too wanted to praise Him constantly. So I got into the habit of playing Christian music softly in the background whilst I did my housework. This raised a problem the next time my sister spent her leave with me. She became very agitated and said she couldn’t stand listening to that music a second longer. When I asked her why, she said “Because it’s Jesus, Jesus, Jesus all the time and I can’t take it any more.”
Would a Mormon feel that way if she’d been accustomed to the biblical Jesus being central to Mormonism?
Maybe Mormons think that He is central to their religion because they are told that He is.
Robert L. Millet, the well known Mormon apologist and former Dean of Religious Education at Brigham Young University, confirms that:
“… the Bible is not the source of our doctrine or our authority, nor is much to be gained through trying to “prove” the truthfulness of the restored gospel from the Bible.” (Getting at the Truth: Responding to Difficult Questions about LDS Beliefs, Kindle version, by Robert L. Millet, well know Mormon apologist and former Dean of Religious Education at Brigham Young University.)
And he is right. The Bible is not the source of Mormon doctrines on God, Christ or the gospel. It is concerned with only two religions, Judaism under the Old Covenant, and Christianity under the New. Mormon doctrines will not be found anywhere within its pages.
So we are puzzled as to why Mormonism presents itself as biblical Christianity (c/f The LDS’s Claim to be a Christian Denomination).
We generally choose what we want to believe. And today I am asking you to choose between deception and truth.
Copyright © 2017 by Yvonne Gibbs. All rights reserved.