Dear Latter Day Saint
An Open Letter
Like so many, I have encountered Latter Day Saints who want to discuss their views on the way to heaven. This has sometimes been a result of my seeking their company in the hope of an open dialog. Too often, Mormon missionaries have knocked on my door to deliver a one-way message about their views on God, the Bible, and the Book of Mormon. In order to ensure the door is open in both directions, I finally wrote a letter that I can share in exchange. Here I have opened that letter for all to consider.
I appreciate the opportunity to share with you some of my concerns with regard to your involvement in Mormonism. First of all let me say that it has been my experience that most Latter Day Saints share their religious beliefs out of a sincere desire to be helpful to others. I am assuming this is the case with you as well. I likewise have a sincere desire to be of service to others in regard to their relationship with God. Because of this I have decided to write down a few things, which should be of vital importance to you.
First of all, I am Christian, which means that I have given my entire life over to Christ in faith that he has saved me from the judgment due for my sins, by dying on the cross for me, and so that he can help me to be all that he has created me to be. I do not count myself as having arrived at the end goal he has for me, but I believe, "that he who began a good work in [me] will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." (Philippians 1:6).
Second from what I have learned from the foundational documents of the Latter Day Saints, I don’t believe it is possible to be faithful to the most basic tenets of Mormonism and at the same time be a Christian. This may be hard for you to accept, but please allow me to offer several reasons for my conviction. What I would like to share with you are the irreconcilable differences between Biblical Christianity and the teachings of the Latter Day Saints. They are as follows:
1. The Nature of God.
A. LDS teaching: There is more than one God. This is illustrated by the teaching of the past LDS president, Lorenzo Snow. He said, "As man is, God once was. As God is, man will one day become." The Mormon religion undeniably teaches that the god of this earth was once a man, and further that you may become a god yourself. Even though Mormons may believe that there is only one god of many that we should worship, which is the definition of henotheism, this is simply is not the same thing as Biblical monotheism.
B. Biblical Doctrine: God is One. There is only One God: past, present, and future throughout the entire universe.
Isa. 43:10b,11, "Before me no god was formed nor will there be one
me. I, even I am the Lord , and apart from me there is no savior." See
also: Isa. 44:6b,8; 45:5-6,12 (God of the entire universe); 45:18-22; 46:8-9.
Then read Titus 3:3-8.
When Mormons claim that Jesus is an individual, separate from God the Father, based on the Biblical references to Jesus "at the right hand of the father," they reveal a misunderstanding of this figure of speech. This Biblical statement is best understood as being similar to modern references to a "right hand man." No one thinks that a right hand man is literally standing at the right hand of the one using this phrase. The phrase simply means that a person has the confidence and authority of the one that says, "he is my right hand man." Your effort to localize the Father, Son, or Holy Spirit in order to prove there is more than one God is a contradiction of the clear Biblical teaching that God is omnipresent (everywhere present, Psalm 139:7-12). When we recognize how great is the being of God, our confusion about the nature of God disappears.
2. The Book of Mormon
A. The Book of Mormon describes a culture in America (600 B.C.-400 AD) that includes cities populated by thousands and people groups numbering in millions. These people are claimed to have had the technology to forge steel, mint coins, and make glass. They supposedly kept elephants, horses, and livestock. By any standard of measure, they would have been a very advanced culture. And yet there is not one genuine ancient artifact that can be used as evidence that any of the events described in the Book of Mormon ever occurred. There is not one coin, shield, or inscription that can be legitimately identified with anything described in the Book of Mormon. Now, Mormons have claimed for years that the ancient Mayan and Aztec cultures were related to those described in the Book of Mormon, however the mere existence of those cultures can not be taken as support when no legitimate connection has ever been made. Until a single bit of evidence is found for the Lamanite or Nephite people, you simply cannot claim that the story of these cultures is anything but fiction.
B. The Bible is a book which contains only genuine history.
The Bible is the single most corroborated book of ancient history. It is possible today to visit the ruins of cities that are described in the Bible in great detail and see inscriptions that not only describe the people groups but which also refer to specific individuals mentioned in the Bible. Archaeological evidences are often found in the ruins of nations that were antagonistic toward Israel and who sought to wipe out the very memory of them forever. The history described in the Bible is far more ancient than that of the Book of Mormon and yet it is continually reaffirmed in modern archeology. Please consider the archaeological supplements found in a common, every-day Bible and contrast these with the evidence given by apologists for Mormonism.
3. The Nature of Revelation.
A. The Mormon view of revelation is based on subjective experience. This is illustrated in Moroni 10:3-5 where we are told that a "sincere heart" is all that is required for those who seek truth. But what about all the sincere people who have been led astray? A Mormon will often speak of a “burning in the bosom" or a kind of "knowing" that is not testable by any standard. In contrast to this, the Christian recognizes the problem of the deceitfulness of the human heart and allows God to use the Bible to test our sincerity. For example, the scriptures say; "The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?" (Jeremiah 17:9). When the Holy Spirit uses the Bible to test our hearts we can finally be free from self-deception. We must all have our hearts examined by God's Word as the sole objective standard we can trust; "For the Word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to the dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart." (Heb 4:12).
B. The Biblical view of revelation has at least two measures for what may be called Truth from God.
1) Former revelation judges latter revelation.(Dt 13:1-3).
When it is clear that God has already revealed a truth, then any later claims of “truth” must be judged by what came first. For example, since God clearly revealed the sixth commandment, “Thou shalt not commit adultery,” (Ex 20:14), when a supposed "prophet" comes along and says that it is now good to commit adultery, it doesn't matter what bold claims, or even what miracles he may do, that prophet is a false prophet. Based on what Joseph Smith and other so-called prophets of the Latter Day Saints taught about there being any more than One God, they are false prophets. (Please read Gal 1:8).
prophecies of a true prophet of God must be 100% correct. (Dt
In conclusion, I want you to know that it is not my desire to attack you personally, but only to make you aware of the grave implications of your association with the false religion of Mormonism. It is my hope that you would know Christ who died for your sins so that you may live faithfully for the One and Only True God. May he knock at the door of your heart through His Word.
"Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me." Revelation 3:20.
Sincerely, in Christ,
June 24, 2012
Excerpt from Have You Witnessed to a Mormon Lately, by James Spencer, 1986, pp154, 155.
Failed and False Prophecies and Revelations
The study of false, failed, and just plain inane prophecies is a field itself. In Beyond Mormonism I listed these:
—Joseph Smith said that men live on the moon, are tall, about six feet, dress like Quakers, and live to be 1,000 years old .26
—Brigham Young said men inhabit the sun. 27
—Joseph prophesied that Jesus would return by 1891.28
—Brigham said the Civil War would not free the slaves.29
—Brigham said the earth was alive.30
—Orson Pratt said that before men and women are born on earth as babies, their spirits are adult-sized in heaven. When they are born, their spirits are compressed, which causes a loss of memory.31
—Orson also said vegetables have spirits, are the offspring of male and female vegetable spirits, and are capable of being happy.32
As you speak with Mormons these subjects probably won't come up unless you bring them up. They are not listed here so that Mormons may be wounded or ridiculed, but so that you will have information to use to shake them out of their complacency. I pray that you use wisdom, compassion, yet unfailing determination to rescue Mormons from the insanity of Mormonism.
25. Tanner, Mormonism—Shadow or Reality, "The Fall of the Book of Abraham," pp. 294-369.
26. The Young Woman's Journal, Vol. 3, p. 263.
27. Journal of Discourses, Vol. 13, p. 271.
28. History of the Church, Vol. 2, p. 182.
29. Journal of Discourses, Vol. 10, p. 250.
30. Journal of Discourses, Vol. 6, p. 36.
31. Journal of Discourses, Vol. 16, pp. 333-334.32. Pratt, pp. 33-34.