Response to a Mormon Statement of Faith

Helen Setterfield

January 3, 2004, some edited additions November, 2008

 

 

 

 

I was sent a note by an old friend of mine, a girl I went to high school with.  We have maintained contact through the years, although she is a Mormon and I am not.  During the course of these years some interesting letters have been exchanged.  Last summer, the summer of 2003, I received a short note from her and enclosed was something she wanted me to read.  It was entitled “The Living Christ, The Testimony of the Apostles, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.”  It is dated January 1, 2000, signed by the Quorum of the Twelve, and has no copyright on it. 

Although it took me several months to get the time to answer in full, the following was my response.  The document is quoted in full, word for word, in red print.  My personal responses are in plain black and Bible quotes in bold and mostly indented where they are not part of a paragraph. 

This, then, is my response to the Mormon statement of faith signed January 1, 2000, by the Quorum of the Twelve, entitled “The Living Christ.”  Please watch how they will insert words into seemingly correct statements, make claims about what the Bible says which are simply not true (and not referenced), and take material out of context.  There is also a matter of the plagiarism indulged in by Joseph Smith which is quoted with impunity here.  Watch for it.

It is for this reason I urge people to read their Bible.  Know it.  Know it well.  Know what it says and what it does not say.  There is no other way to be protected from those whose doctrines depend on your lack of knowledge of it.

 

 

I  want to take the Mormon statement of faith “The Living Christ” and compare it bit by bit to what Bible says.  I am hoping you will be interested. The statement of faith is in red.

Mormon statement: "As we commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ two millennia ago, we offer our testimony of the reality of His matchless life and the infinite virtue of His great atoning sacrifice.  None other has had so profound an influence upon all who have lived and will yet live upon the earth."

I certainly have no quarrel with this! 

 

Mormon Statement: "He was the Great Jehovah of the Old Testament, the Messiah of the New.  Under the direction of His Father, He was the creator of the earth.  “All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made” (John 1:3)"

I agree that He is the Jehovah (YHWH) of the Old Testament.  However that makes Him also having the same basic identity as the Father: 

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given;
And the government shall be upon his shoulder;
And his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor,
The mighty God,
The everlasting Father,
The Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end…

(Isaiah 9:6-7a)

 

Mormon Statement:  "Though sinless, He was baptized to fulfill all righteousness." 

 The Bible clearly states,

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23)

Logically, then, if Jesus was NOT God, then He was a sinner.  Therefore, if He was sinless (and He was), then He was by nature, God.  We, by nature, are not.  Nor was/is He “a” god, for we read in Isaiah

“To whom will you compare me?
Or who is my equal?” says the Holy One.
Lift your eyes and look to the heavens:
Who created all these?
He who brings out the starry host one by one
And called them each by name.
Because of his great power and mighty strength,
Not one of them is missing. (Isaiah 40:25-26)

This is what God the Lord says –
He who created the heavens and stretched them out,
Who spread out the earth and all that comes out of it,
Who gives breath to its people,
And life to those who walk on it… (Isaiah 42:5)

“You are my witnesses,” declares the Lord,
“and my servant whom I have chosen,
so that you may know and believe me
and understand that I am he.
Before me no god was formed,
Nor will there be one after me.
I, even I, am the Lord,
And apart from me there is no savior." (Isaiah 43:10-11)

“This is what the Lord says –
Israel’s King and Redeemer, the Lord Almighty:
I am the first and I am the last;
Apart from me there is no God.” (Isaiah 44:6)

“I am the Lord, who has made all things,
Who alone stretched out the heavens,
Who spread out the earth by myself.” (Isaiah 44:24)

“It is I who made the earth
and created mankind upon it.
My own hands stretched out the heavens;
I marshaled their starry hosts.” (Isaiah 45:12)

And on and on it goes.  Christ, the only God, created men, they were not begotten in some heavenly realm before birth on earth.  We are created beings responsible to our Creator, Jesus Christ, the One and Only God from all eternity past and into all eternity future.  He claims to have stretched out the heavens as well.  He is the Creator of everything that is, as your paper quotes.  Not just of everything on earth or even in our solar system, but of everything in all creation.  Period.  

He was/is not and never has been a sinner because sin is defined by Him as rebellion against Him.  He was not a glorified man in the incarnation.  He was, is, and always shall be, God.  The only God.

 

Mormon Statement:  "He 'went about doing good' (Acts 10:38), and was despised for it."

He was NOT despised for doing good!  He was despised for calling Himself God, and equal to God.  This is what infuriated the Pharisees.

Again, the Jews picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus said to them, “I have shown you many great miracles from the Father.  For which of these do you stone me?”

“We are not stoning you for any of these,” replied the Jews, “but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God.”

Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your Law, ‘I have said you are gods’?  If he called them ‘gods,’ to whom the word of God came – and the Scripture cannot be broken – what about the one whom the Father set apart as his very own and sent into the world?  Why then do you accuse me of blasphemy because I said, ‘I am God’s Son’?  Do not believe me unless I do what my Father does.  But if I do it, even though you do not believe me, believe the miracles,  that you may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I am in the Father.”

Again they tried to seize him, but he escaped their grasp.

John 10:31-39

Please note that He defined the term ‘gods’ as those “to whom the word of God came.”  It has nothing to do with being a deity.  It refers to being an authority of some kind. The word "elohim" in Hebrew is a generic plural (meaning three or more) and is also translated as "judges" and "powers" in the Bible. Because the Jews had the law, they represented the authority of God.   The fact that they abused this incredible privilege is what Jesus said would result in severe judgment.   The LDS idea of gods is therefore totally unbiblical. 

 

Mormon Statement:  "His gospel was a message of peace and goodwill."

Hardly. 

“Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth.  I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.  For I have come to  turn
‘a man against his father,
a daughter against her mother
a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law –
a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.’
Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me.  Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” (Matthew 10:34-39)

“If the world hates you, keep in mind it hated me first.” (John 15:18)

It should be mentioned here that the prime purpose of all Mormon men who are serious about their faith is to ‘find life’ as a future god.  They are truly living for their own sakes and not for Christ’s.

 

Mormon Statement:  "He entreated all to follow His example."

No, He didn’t.  He entreated all to believe on Him.  It is only then that it is even remotely possible to do as He showed us to do. That is because, as He told Nicodemus, we must be born again of the Spirit.

“The work of God is this:  to believe in the one he has sent.” (John 6:29)

“I am the Resurrection and the Life.  He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die.” (John 11:25-26)

Then Jesus cried out, “When a man believes in me, he does not believe in me only, but in the one who sent me.  When he looks at me, he sees the one who sent me.  I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.” (John 12:44-46)

“Believe in me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves.  I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing.” (John 14:11-12)

Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book.  But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name. (John 20:30-31)

After much discussion, Peter got up and addressed them:  “Brothers, you know that some time ago God made a choice among you that the Gentiles might hear from my lips the message of the gospel and believe.” (Acts 15:7)

We CANNOT follow Jesus under our own power.  It is the power and responsibility of God and of God alone to complete the good work He has begun in us (Phil. 1:6), and to transform us into the image of Christ Himself (Romans 8:28-30), using discipline when necessary when we are stubborn and/or wandering (Hebrews 12:5-11).   Any works we try to do on our own are counted as filthy (menstrual) rags (Isaiah 64:6) and are totally unacceptable to God (Romans 8:8).    Being a Christian is NOT following anyone’s example.  It is dying to self completely and being born again spiritually in the image and power of Christ through the gracious Holy Spirit.  It is only then we have the power to follow – and not His example.  We follow Christ Jesus, Himself.  For the born again Christian, it is Christ Jesus Himself who is living through us, for we are dead to ourselves and alive to Him, our Righteousness.

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.  The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20)

 

Mormon Statement:  "He walked the roads of Palestine

OK

Mormon Statement:  "Healing the sick, causing the blind to see, and raising the dead."

Yes

 

Mormon Statement:  "He taught the truths of eternity,"

He taught the truth, both of time and eternity, but the prime message was that He Himself IS THE Truth..

“I am the way, the truth  and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me.  If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well.  From now on, you do know him and have seen him.” (John 14:6-7)

 

Mormon Statement:  "The reality of our premortal existence"

Totally untrue.  The Bible teaches start to finish that we are created beings, created by Christ.  The concept of a premortal existence is Satanic to the core and is a primary doctrine of such religions as Hinduism and Buddhism.  In fact, Rabi Maharaj, who was born into the Brahmin Caste of Hinduism and later converted to Christianity mentions in his book Death of a Guru, that when he first came in contact with Mormonism, he thought it was an Americanized form of Hinduism.

 

Mormon Statement:  "The purpose of our life on earth"

Just to make sure it is straight biblically, our purpose here is to glorify God.  That’s it, sum and total.  We glorify Him by worshiping Him and Him only, by protecting the truth and His reputation with the way we live our lives, and by caring for others at least as well as we care for ourselves. 

So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do,  do it all for the glory of God. (1 Cor. 10:31)

It is written: “I believed; therefore I have spoken”  With that same spirit of faith we also believe and therefore speak, because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you in his presence.  All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God. (2 Cor. 4:13-15)

And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation.  Having believed, you were marked I him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession – to the praise of his glory. (Eph. 1:13-14)

And this is my prayer:  that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ – to the glory and praise of God. (Phil. 1:9-11)

 

Mormon Statement:  "And the potential for the sons and daughters of God in the life to come."

The Bible differs sharply from the Mormon view of the future, as exemplified in Christ’s high priestly prayer in John 17:

“Father, the time has come.  Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you.  For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him.  Now this is eternal life:  that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.  I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do.  And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.” (John 17:1-5)

Jesus defines eternal life not as being gods and goddesses anywhere, but as being with Him in intimate communion.  This is the meaning of the word “know” as used by Jesus here.

 

Mormon Statement:  "He instituted the sacrament as a reminder of His great atoning sacrifice."

I assume Holy Communion is being referred to here.  Nor is it technically to remember the sacrifice, but in His words, to remember HIM, Himself:

“This is my body, given for you.  Do this in remembrance of me.” (Luke 22:19)

For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you:  The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, ‘This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.’  The same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.”
For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes. (1 Cor. 11:23-26)

It is interesting, isn’t it, that when Christ spoke, He simply put the emphasis on Himself.  It was Paul, later, who mentioned that Holy Communion would always be a proclamation of the Lord’s death.  But the question I would pose to you, a Mormon, is this: "Who are you remembering? Are you remembering a person that your theology teaches is the brother to Satan, or are you remembering the one God of all eternity, the Creator of everything that is, who is also our Redeemer and Judge?"

 

Mormon Statement:  "He was arrested and condemned on spurious charges, convicted to satisfy a mob, and sentenced to die on Calvary’s cross."

Remember the mob itself was acting in response to the goadings of the Pharisees and teachers of the law.  Mobs are easily swayed.

It is also important to remember that the Jews who had proclaimed Him king on Palm Sunday expected, as a matter of fulfilled prophecy (as they interpreted it) that their Messiah would gather an army, take up arms, and conquer Rome. When Jesus did not do this, the Jews turned violently against Him, considering Him an imposter and blasphemer, as He had called Himself by the divine Name (in Greek, 'ego eimi,' which is recorded by John in his Gospel as being used by Jesus at least four times. It translates "I am I am." In calling Himself the "I AM" of the Old Testament, Jesus was identifying Himself as God).

 

Mormon Statement:  "He gave His life to atone for the sins of all mankind."

Which is why no man goes to hell for his sins – except for the one which cannot be forgiven:  refusing the truth that is clearly set before him (Romans 1).  In the long run, The Truth is Christ Himself, and all truth will point to Him.  Atonement is a legal satisfaction, and all the sins of all men for all time were legally taken care of by Christ on the cross. This paved the way for those who believe to be able to go to heaven. As John 3:16-18 states:

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For god did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to sve the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son.

 

Mormon Statement:  "His was a great vicarious gift in behalf of all who would ever live upon the earth."

While the sacrifice was vicarious, the gift was not. A gift cannot be vicarious -- it is either given to the person or it is not. The gift was and is direct and personal to every person ever alive. It was the sacrifice that was done in place of each of us. It was the sacrifice that was vicarious.

[Note: please do not confuse atonment, which is legal justification, with forgiveness, which is a personal thing between the individual and God. Atonement paved the way, but after that each individual must decide to go for the truth, which ends up being Christ Himself, or preferring the lie. If the person chooses the truth, he has the choice of totally submitting to Christ and thus being born again of the Holy Spirit, or trying to do it his own way, which, in the long run, is another form of the lie.]

 

Mormon Statement:  "We solemnly testify that His life, which is central to all human history, neither began in Bethlehem nor concluded on Calvary.  He was the Firstborn of the Father, the Only Begotten Son in the flesh, the Redeemer of the world."

Amen to the first sentence.  However He was the only begotten of the Father, period ('firstborn' also translates into 'preeminent').    Nor is He the Redeemer of the world, for this world will be destroyed and there will be a new creation.  Thus it is only the believers who stand redeemed, the rest, along with the world, go to destruction.

But the day of the Lord will come like a thief.  The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare.  (2 Peter 3:10)

If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. (Rev. 20:15 - 21:1)

Then he will say to those on his left, “Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels…Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life. (Matthew 25:41,46)

 

Mormon Statement:  "He rose from the grave to “become the firstfruits of them that slept” (1 Corinthians 15:20). "

While that was one of the effects of His Resurrection, that was not the reason for it.  The reason for it was us. 

He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification. (Romans 4:25)

 

Mormon Statement:  "As Risen Lord, He visited among those He had love in life. "

Yes. Keep in mind that since He said He IS the life, that this has a double meaning. He visited among those who were believers in Him.

 

Mormon Statement:  "He also ministered among His “other sheep” (John 10:16) in ancient America."

This is a total misuse of this verse.  The other sheep were the Gentiles, as Paul explains:

Surely you have heard about the administration of God’s grace that was given to me for you, that is, the mystery made known to me by revelation, as I have already written briefly.  In reading this, then, you will be able to understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, which was not made known to men in other generations as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to God’s holy apostles and prophets.  This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus. (Ephesians 3:2-6)

In other words, the other sheep were the Gentiles.  It is always better to let Bible explain Bible. The Jews already knew that they were ‘sheep’ – see Isaiah 53:6:

We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
Each of us has turned to his own way;
And the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

Also

Then we, your people, the sheep of your pasture
Will praise you forever;
From generation to generation
We will recount your praise. (Psalm 79:13)

Come, let us bow down in worship,
Let us kneel before the Lord our Maker;
For he is our God
And we are the people of his pasture,
The flock under his care. (Psalm 95:6-7)

Therefore the other sheep were simply the non-Jews, or the Gentiles.  It is also impossible, biblically, for Christ to have gone to America after the Resurrection.

At daybreak the council of the elders of the people, both the chief priests and the teachers of the law, met together, and Jesus was led before them.  “If you are the Christ,” they said, “tell us.”
Jesus answered, “If I tell you, you will not believe me, and if I asked you, you would not answer.  But from now on, the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the mighty God.” (Luke 22:66-69)

Since then you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. (Col. 3:1)

That power is like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. (Eph. 1:19b-21)

And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins.  But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God.  Since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool. (Hebrews 10:10-13)

Repent then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord, and that he may send the Christ, who has been appointed for you – even Jesus.  He must remain in heaven until the time comes for God to restore everything, as he promised long ago through his holy prophets. (Acts 3:19-21)


Who is he that condemns?  Christ Jesus, who died – more than that, who was raised to life – is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.
(Romans 8:34)

The point of what we are saying is this:  We do have such a high priest, who sat down at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven, and who serves in the sanctuary, the true tabernacle set up by the Lord, not by man. (Hebrews 8:1-2)

In other words, to say that Jesus went anywhere but Heaven after the Ascension, or has interrupted His work there as our intercessor and High Priest, until He comes again in glory (Rev. 19:11 on) is to openly contradict the Bible.  This is fine if you don’t believe the Bible is the Word of God.  But if it is the Word of God, and if Jesus spoke the truth, then He has been, and remains, seated at God’s right hand, interceding for us who are His.

 

Mormon Statement:  "In the modern world, He and His Father appeared to the boy Joseph Smith, ushering in the long-promised “dispensation of the fullness of times” (Ephesians 1:10]"

By claiming this verse to be fulfilled in and through Joseph Smith, the Mormons are blithely ignoring all the evil in the world from that time on.  All of a sudden Hitler, Pol Pot, Saddam Hussein, etc. are all under the headship of Christ!  If this is the Christ of the Mormons, then he is extremely ineffectual in his rule, or simply does not care about justice, mercy, right and wrong.  This is not the Christ I know and worship. 

The following should also be noted, in view of the claim by Smith that he saw the Father and the Son in his vision(s):

No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only, who is at the Father’s side, has made him known. (John 1:18)

Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.”
Jesus answered, “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time?  Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father.  How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?  Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? (John 14:8-10a)

In addition, of course, is also the material noted above referencing that Christ has been and remains seated in heaven until His return as prophesied in Revelation 19. 

 

Mormon Statement:  "Of the Living Christ, the Prophet Joseph wrote: 'His eyes were as a flame of fire; the hair of his head was white like the pure snow; his countenance shone above the brightness of the sun; and his voice was as the sound of the rushing of great waters, even the voice of Jehovah, saying:

“I am the first and the last; I am he who liveth, I am he who was slain; I am your advocate with the Father' (D&C 110:3-4)"

Usually when something is lifted from another source, the lifter does not attempt to plagiarize, but will give reference.  Please note:

I turned around to see the voice that was speaking to me.  And when I turned I saw seven golden lampstands, and among the lampstands was someone “like a son of man” dressed in a robe reaching down to his feet and with a golden sash around his chest.  His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and his eyes were like blazing fire.  His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of rushing waters.  In his right hand he held seven stars, and out of his mouth came a sharp double-edged sword.  His face was like the sun, shining in all its brilliance.

When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead.  Then he placed his right hand on me and said, “Do not be afraid.  I am the First and the Last.  I am the Living one; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever!  And I hold the keys of death and Hades.” (Rev. 1:12-18)

John, of course, like all who were presented with heavenly visitations in the Bible, had the reaction of total fear, even though he was the beloved disciple.  It is interesting that Joseph Smith never seemed to have that reaction.

 

Mormon Statement:  "Of Him the Prophet also declared:  'And now, after the many testimonies which have been given of him, this is the testimony, last of all, which we give of him:  That he lives!'"

This is already the testimony of Christ Himself and needs no other man to confirm or verify it.

I AM THE LIVING ONE (Rev. 1:18)

 

Mormon Statement:  “For we saw him, even on the right hand of God; and we heard the voice bearing record that he is the Only Begotten of the Father –

'That by Him and through him, and of him, the worlds are and were created, and the inhabitants thereof are begotten sons and daughters unto God'” (D&C 76:22-24)

It is true that Jesus Christ is the ONLY begotten of the Father, which contradicts part of the Mormon statement of faith above.  It is just as true, then, that we are not begotten children of God the Father. 

There are a couple of other points in that last sentence:

1. No worlds and nothing in creation were created OF Christ.  All was created BY Him.  To say “OF” Him is saying that there is divine essence in every part of creation.  He no more created OF Himself than a builder would put parts of his body into a house he builds!  Christ is absolutely separate from His creation.  He is God.

For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. (Colossians 1: 16-17)

2. Creation was finished after Creation week, thousands of years ago. No more worlds are being created by Him, or by anyone else, until this creation is completely destroyed and a new creation made -- by Him. “Thus the heavens and the earth were created in all their vast array.” (Gen. 2:1), and “For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day.” (Exodus 20:11)  In short, although formation, such as of stars, or babies, or pansies, still takes place, the creation itself has long since been finished, declared so by God.

3. Human beings and angelic beings are created.  Only God is uncreated and only the incarnation of Jesus Christ, God Himself, was a conception God did as a miraculous overshadowing of Mary and not a human sexual act.  There is no such thing as ‘spirit children’ of God or any god in any ‘pre-life’.  This is pure fantasy, and a demonic fantasy at that.

 

Mormon Statement:  "We declare in words of solemnity that His priesthood and His Church have been restored upon the earth – 'built upon the foundation of…apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone' (Ephesians 2:20)."

These words are meant to say that the LDS church is that church.  But if this is true, then Christ was lying when He told Peter and the Disciples that the gates of Hades would not overcome His church (Matthew 16:18).  For evidently, as far as the implications of the above quote from the Mormon document indicate, for almost 2000 years the gates of Hades very much overcame His church!  Now, if Jesus Christ was a liar, who would want to build a church with Him as a cornerstone?

But He is THE Truth.  He did not lie.  The gates of Hades never did overcome or prevail.  Despite Roman Catholicism, despite Deism and various intellectual movements through the ages, there has ALWAYS been a remnant of the faithful believers, in every time and every age.  We remain.

It might also be good to see the LDSverse quoted above in context in the Bible:

Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called ‘uncircumcised’ by those who call themselves ‘the circumcision’ (that done in the body by the hands of men) – remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world.  But now, in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ.

For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by abolishing in his flesh the law, with its commandments and regulations.  His purpose was to create in himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace, and in this one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. 

…CONSEQUENTLY, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household, build on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone.  In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord.  And in him you, too, are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit. (Ephesians 2:14-16, 19-22)

The church here is spoken of as established on THOSE apostles and prophets, and flourishing, joining both Jew and Gentile believers into one body, one dwelling for God.  It has nothing to do with something in the future, let alone in America, but with something already established by Christ and growing. This is far, far different from the Mormon claim of some kind of ‘restoration’ through anyone else.

 

Mormon Statement:  "We testify that He will someday return to earth.  'And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together'” (Isaiah 40:5)

This is already a matter of prophecy in the Bible and needs no other ‘support.’

 

Mormon Statement:  "He will rule as King of Kings and reign as Lord of Lords, and every knee shall bend and every tongue shall speak in worship before Him."

That is a very clever twist on the verse, but it is not what the Bible actually says.  Not all will worship.  All will confess that He is the I AM of all eternity, but not all will worship. 

“Turn to me and be saved,
All you ends of the earth;
For I am God, and there is no other.
By myself I have sworn,
My mouth has uttered in all integrity
A word that will not be revoked:
Before me every knee will bow;
By me every tongue will swear.
They will say of me, ‘In the Lord alone
Are righteousness and strength.’”
All who have raged against him
Will come to him and be put to shame. (Isaiah 45:22-24)

It is written:
“’As surely as I live,’ says the Lord,
‘every knee will bow before me;
every tongue will confess to God’” (Romans 14:11)

…that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:10-11)

No, not everyone will worship, but all will end up confessing, or acknowledging, the truth.

 

Mormon Statement:  "Each of us will stand to be judged of Him according to our works and the desires of our hearts."

That is not what the Bible says.

If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire. (Revelation 20:15)

It does not matter what they have done or thought or desired. What matters is what they did with the Truth, with Christ.

Blessed is the man
Who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked
Or stand in the way of sinners
Or sit in the seat of mockers.
But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
And on his law he meditates day and night.
He is like a tree planted by streams of water,
Which yields its fruit in season
And whose leaf does not wither.
Whatever he does prospers.

Not so the wicked!
They are like chaff that the wind blows away.
Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
Nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.
For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous,
But the way of the wicked will perish. (Psalm 1)

In other words, while the saved believers are judged according to their works and words, and awarded the ‘prizes’ or ‘crowns’ in accordance with that judgment, the wicked will never even get to that judgment.  They are eliminated from the beginning, as the tares which are burned even before the harvest. 

 

Mormon Statement:  "We bear testimony, as His duly ordained Apostles – that Jesus is the Living Christ, the immortal Son of God.  He is the great King Immanuel, who stands today on the right hand of His Father.  He is the light, the life, and the hope of the world.  His way is the path that leads to happiness in this life and eternal life in the world to come.  God be thanked for the matchless gift of His divine Son."

While I also praise and thank God for His Incarnation as Jesus Christ, and agree that Jesus is the living Christ, the eternal Son of God (a little different from just ‘immortal’, as He has been always and there was never a time when He wasn’t), and agree that He is Immanuel, there are some points in the above paragraph which are contradictory to Bible:

  1. Jesus is sitting at the right hand of the Father, not standing.
  2. He grants us joy and peace, but not necessarily happiness as the world defines it.  If that were true, then all the martyrs tortured and killed for His sake through the ages were badly misled!
  3. Eternal life is, according to Jesus as quoted in John 17:3 above, a matter of knowing God, not a matter of living out some other life in some other world.  We are told we shall reign with Him.  I do not know over what, but I do know that creation is complete and that we shall understand more when we see Him face to face.

My friend, the document of faith you sent me is contradictory to the Bible in so many areas that I am stunned anyone who has read the Bible would put their name to it.  So I can only ask you to read the Bible.  Front to back.  Without a commentary, without notes from anyone else, and with prayer to God Himself for wisdom in understanding it.  Let it be between you and God, please. 

 

 

 

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