Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Did They Really Say That?!?

"The greatest responsibility in this world that God has laid upon us is to seek after our dead.  Those saints who neglect it in behalf of their deceased relatives, do it at the peril of their own salvation."
Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 193

Let's see if I get this straight:

1.  According to the Bible, what is often known as the "great commission" is, "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you."  (Matthew 28:19-20a)

2.  Hebrews 9:27 says, "And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment"

3.  Romans 10:9 reads:  "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."

From these three passages we find that the "greatest responsibility" God has give us is to make disciples, that those who are dead have no other chance for salvation but are reserved for judgment only, and that the only thing required for salvation is faith in Jesus Christ.

According to Smith, one's salvation is based on seeking after one's dead relatives, and being baptized for them.  This is in direct contradiction to everything the Bible teaches.  Nowhere in the Bible does it mention researching dead relatives and being baptized for them to be saved, and yet Smith claims that God gave this as the "greatest responsibility."  I would think that if this was so, there would be at least  ONE passage in the Bible mentioning it.

This is just another example of blatant false teaching from a false prophet.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Community of Christ Avoids History

The following short article was published in the August 2003 Mormonism Research Ministry "Update" newsletter.  Author's initials were posted at the end -- WJM.  The article demonstrates the embarrassment of the Community of Christ and their connection to the LDS, all the while still accepting the Book of Mormon and the Doctrine & Covenants as true and Joseph Smith as a prophet of God!  The CofC wants to be more like the mainstream liberal churches, preaching a social gospel.


Community of Christ leader vows not to make his church's past "its theology"

Of the many groups that trace their roots to Joseph Smith, on would rather leave its past behind.  The Community of Christ, formerly known as the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, headquartered in Independence, Missouri, has for years been trying to distance itself from its perceived connection to the Salt Lake City based Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  CoC President W. Grant McMurray calls this an "identity crisis" that has always been "at the heart of our movement."

Like the Mormons, the Community of Christ uses the Book of Mormon, and for the most part both groups value the Doctrine and Covenants, although neither edition reads exactly the same.  The Mormons have continually made corrections to their Book of Mormon while the Community of Christ  has added more revelations to its Doctrine and Covenants.  Doctrinally, the two groups are world apart.

The Community of Christ denounces any notion of a plurality of Gods and denies that men have the ability to become Gods.  It also denies that God has a body of flesh and bones as the Utah Mormons believe and teach.

Whereas Mormon temples are places where only a select few can go to perform works for the dead, marriage for eternity, and participate in endowment ceremonies that they believe prepares members for godhood, the two temples owned by the CoC (one located in Kirtland, Ohio and the other in Independence, Missouri) are open to the public.

Still, the two groups can't seem to divorce themselves from each other -- at least from a public perspective.  An article in the Deseret News ("Ex-RLDS church revising its image," 5/24/03) states that President McMurray has been "plagued" with this "identity crisis" ever since he took the position in 1996.  According to the article, "the Community of Christ is going through a revision process that focuses not on founder Joseph Smith's history, but where a prophetic vision might take the faith in the future."

A very telling comment in the article read, "During his tenure as president, McMurray has purposely steered the church away from historical focus and toward a vision of peace, justice, ecumenism.  he tells members that any group that believes in 'prophetic leadership ought to be very questioning and judicious about it.'  Seeking God's will for the church today 'is a task for all, not one person locked alone in one closet."  This is certainly not how the Mormons do things as it is definitely a "top down" organization.

Though not wishing to entirely dump his church's history, McMurray did say he hopes members will get away from what he calls "sappy sentimentality," and that members would "resist the temptation toward stifling literalism" that is much of its past.  Much of the dissent regarding recent changes in the church he feels are the result of making their past their theology.

The article did not give any clear indication how McMurray's goals would be met.

As a sidebar, I have noticed in my personal dealing with members of the CofC that they are much more forthright in discussing troublesome issues regarding Joseph Smith and early LDS teachings.  Tour guides at sites owned by the CofC are often very open to any type of question you may ask.  Mormons, on the other hand, rarely admit to anything that may be even remotely negative about their faith.  Canned answers are the rule of the day.

A good place to test my conclusion is Nauvoo, Illinois where the historic area (known as the "Flats") is divided up between sites run by the LDS and those operated by the Community of Christ.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Lifting of the Priesthood Ban

Now that I've posted the article, OOPS -- THERE GOES THE PRIESTHOOD, I thought it should be followed up with this article published in the July 2003 issue of "Mormonism Research Ministry Update," which reviews some of the history behind the racist teaching and how the ban was lifted.


On June 8, 1978 President Spencer Kimball made a significant course correction when he announced that the Aaronic and Melchizedek priesthood was to be offered to all worthy male members regardless of race.  Until this time the discrimination was aimed primarily at those who are known in the Mormon theology as the "seed of Cain," or those of African descent.

According to an article in the Deseret News (5/25/03), Darius Gray, the president of a group of black LDS known as Genesis, is quoted as saying, "The prohibition was not put in place by God, but it was removed by God."  No doubt many Mormons would disagree.  Actually, LDS leaders have always placed the blame for this prohibition on God Himself, thus sidestepping charges of racism on the part of the leaders.

For instance, on August 27, 1954, Mormon Apostle Mark E. Petersen gave a speech titled "Race Problems -- As They Affect the Church."  In it he said, "When He placed the mark upon Cain, He engaged in segregation.  When He told Enoch not to preach to the descendants of Cain who were black, the Lord engaged in segregation.  When He cursed the descendants of Cain as to the Priesthood, He engaged in segregation." (p.15)

In a 1967 conference message, Ezra Taft Benson stated, "The arm of flesh may not approve nor understand why God has not bestowed the priesthood on women or the seed of Cain, but God's ways are not man's ways." (Conference Report, October 1967, pp.34-35).

Ninth LDS President David O. McKay said this teaching was found in canonized LDS scripture.  "I know of no scriptural basis for denying the Priesthood to Negroes other than one verse in the Book of Abraham (1:26)"  (The Church and the Negro, p.91).

According to the Book of Abraham, the first government of Egypt was established by a Pharaoh who was the eldest son of Egyptus, the daughter of Ham.

Tenth President Joseph Fielding Smith gives us this reasoning:  "We see that the wife of Ham was named Egyptus, which name signifies 'that which is forbidden.'... So it appears very probable that Egyptus was so named because she partook of the curse of her fathers.  Moreover, this thought is strengthened in the statement that from Ham sprang the race which preserved the curse in the land" (The Way to Perfection, p.104).

Mormon leaders have argued that this prohibition covers even those who are remotely related to the seed of Cain.  In his journal, Wilford Woodruff stated that it was Brigham Young who said, "Any man having one drop of the seed of Cain in him cannot receive the priesthood. . . ." (History of Wilford Woodruff, page 351.)

On page 168 of Decisions for Successful Living, 11th President Harold B. Lee warned members, "Surely no one of you who is an heir to a body of more favored lineage would knowingly intermarry with a race that would condemn your posterity to penalties that have been placed upon the seed of Cain by the judgments of God."

LDS leaders have also attributed this prohibition to what took place in what Mormons call the "preexistence."  Abraham 3:27 tells us that there was what is described as a "Grand Council" in heaven that met to determine who was to be the savior of mankind.  Two volunteered for the position, Jesus and Lucifer.  When the decision fell to Jesus, Lucifer led one third of God's spirit children in open rebellion against their father Elohim (God).  Another third fought valiantly for the cause of God, while another third did not fight valiantly.  For their punishment, those in the latter group would not be allowed to hold the priesthood when they finally attained a mortal existence here on earth.

In order to distinguish who was not eligible for the priesthood, God allegedly marked the guilty ones.  Brigham Young taught that "the Lord but a mark upon him, which is the flat nose and black skin" (Journal of Discourses 7:290).

Having priesthood authority is essential for Mormon males, for without it, it is impossible to gain exaltation in the kingdom and become a God.  Said Petersen, "If that Negro is faithful all his days, he can and will enter the celestial kingdom.  He will go there as a servant, but he will get a celestial resurrection." (p.17)

Why 1978?

According to Declaration 2, the official statement from the LDS Church found at the back of the Doctrine and Covenants, the lifting of the ban was a result of a revelation given to 12th LDS President Spencer W. Kimball.  In a statement to all general and local priesthood officers in the church, the decision was a result of "promises and presidents of the Church" that at some time God would eventually open the doors for all worthy male members.  The statement, signed by the First President, stated "that the long-promised day had come."  The statement fails to quote any specific promises, perhaps because there are none that would have supported such a change in 1978.

The fact is, Mormon leaders had promised that eventually the ban would be lifted, but only after the "seed of Abel" were all redeemed.  On page 106 of his book, The Way to Perfection, 10th LDS President Joseph Fielding Smith wrote, "President Woodruff, in his journal, records the words of President Young as follows: 'The Lord said, I will not kill Cain, but I will put a mark upon him, and that mark will be seen upon the face of every Negro upon the earth; and it is the decree of God that that mark shall remain upon the seed of Cain until the seed of Abel shall be redeemed, and Cain shall not receive the Priesthood, until the time of that redemption.'"

Smith goes on to cite a statement by Young from the Journal of Discourses 11:272: "Why are so many of the inhabitants of the earth cursed with a skin of blackness?  It comes in consequences of their fathers rejecting the power of the holy Priesthood, and the laws of God.  They will go down to their death.  And when all the rest of the children have received their blessings in the holy Priesthood, then that curse will be removed from the seed of Cain, and they will then come up and possess the Priesthood" (The Way to Perfection, p.107)

Brigham Young declared, "When all the other children of Adam have had the privilege of receiving the Priesthood, and of coming into the kingdom of God, and of being redeemed from the four quarters of the earth, and from the dead, then it will be time enough to remove the curse from Cain and his posterity." (Journal of Discourses 2:143)

From these statements we see that Declaration 2 is misleading people into thinking that somehow the ban on the seed of Cain could have taken place prior to the resurrection.  However, LDS public relations could not wait for such a future event.  The Mormon Church was taking significant heat for this teaching, thus making a policy change a matter of urgency.  Rather than wait for the resurrection, the church leadership decided to lift the ban, and in doing so, they have also had to misrepresent their history.

Sunday, December 28, 2014


The following is copied from the tract booklet, “OOPS — THERE GOES THE PRIESTHOOD,” which was published by the Utah Christian Tract SocietyUtah Christian Tract Society was founded in 1956 and continued until 1990, when UCTS merged with Mormonism Research Ministry, who gave me permission to post it here.


On June 1, 1978, the Presidency and the Twelve Apostles of the Mormon Church voted to permit Negros to hold the Priesthood.  The Priesthood is regarded as the ultimate authority by which they are empowered to carry on their ministry here on earth.  Mormons maintain that without it, none of their ordinances would have any value with God.

Previously, no Negro was allowed to hold the Priesthood because he was under a curse.  The Mormon Prophet, Brigham Young, declared that one drop of Negro blood was sufficient to bring a person under the curse and bar him from the Priesthood.

Brigham Young, in true prophetic style, anticipated the day when the Church would reverse itself on this matter.  He declared that if the time ever came when the Presidency and the Twelve Apostles should meet and CONFER THE PRIESTHOOD ON THE NEGROES, immediately THE PRIESTHOOD WOULD BE TAKEN FROM THE CHURCH AND THE CURSE BE GIVEN IN ITS PLACE.  Prophet Young declared:

“. . . the first presidency, the twelve, the high counsel, the Bishopric, and all elders of Israel, suppose we summon them to appear here, and here declare that it is right to mingle our seed with the black race of Cain, that they shall come in with us and be partakers with us of all the blessings God has given to us.  On that very day, and from the hour we should do so, the priesthood is taken from this Church and kingdom, and God leaves us to our fate.  The moment we consent to mingle with the seen of Cain, the Church must go to destruction, — we should receive the curse which has been placed upon the seed of Cain, and never more be numbered with the children of Adam who are heirs to the Priesthood until that curse be removed.”  (Brigham Young Address, Feb. 5, 1852, Ms d 1234, Box 488, Folder 3, L.D.S. Archives).

President Young further taught that the curse would remain on Cain until the last of Adam’s seed had received the Priesthood.  “I tell you what I know . . . the Lord told Cain that he should not receive the blessings of the priesthood nor his seed . . . until the redemption of the earth,” “the curse on them was to remain upon them, until the residue of the posterity of Michal (Adam) and his wife receive the blessings . . . and hold the keys of the priesthood, until the times of the restitution shall come.”

Even more recently, Mormon President Joseph Fielding Smith in his book, “The Way to Perfection” made this positive statement:  “Not only was Cain called upon to suffer, but because of his wickedness, he became the father of an inferior race.  A curse was placed upon him and that curse has been continued through his lineage and must do so while time endures.”

Also Mormon Apostel Bruce R. McConkie stated: “As a result of his rebellion, Cain was cursed with a dark skin: he became the father of the Negroes, and those spirits who are not worthy to receive the priesthood, are born through his lineage.” (Mormon Doctrine, pg. 109, 1966 edition).

Were the prophets Brigham Young and Joseph Fielding Smith correct?  Could they, as Prophets of the Church be misled and mistaken?  Or, are the present Church Authorities in error?  How can one know which Mormon leadership to follow?

One thing is certain — Mormons today CAN NOT BE SURE ANY LONGER THAT THEY HOLD THE PRIESTHOOD, the professed key to their authority.

Praise God, there is something MORE AUTHORITATIVE THAN THE MORMON PRIESTHOOD, however.  Those who have come to Jesus Christ as He presents Himself in the Bible, find that He has a Priesthood that can never be lost.  It is based upon the authority of His resurrection and the fact that He lives forever and can never be touched by death (“the power of an endless life” Heb. 7:25).  The Bible declares He can never lose it to another for His priesthood is “unchangeable” (Heb. 7:24).

By His priestly authority, He can cleanse from the guilt of sin (Heb. 9:14; 10:22) — something the Mormon priesthood never claimed the power to do.  By His Priesthood, He was able to offer one sacrifice for sins forever to pardon your life-time of sins (Heb. 9:26, 28; 10:12).  That sacrifice was the offering of Himself upon the cross (Heb. 7:27; 10:5-10).  By it, He rescued us eternally from sin’s condemning power, obtaining for us eternal redemption (Heb. 9:12).

By His power, He opened heaven to us, having torn away the veil or curtain that kept us out (Heb. 10:19-22).  He invites us to come boldly to His heavenly throne where He mercifully hears our prayers and graciously sends us help and forgiveness (Heb. 4:16; 10:22).  He can completely identify with all our heartaches, sorrows and sufferings because He too suffered in this world (Heb. 2:10, 17-18; 4:15; 5:8).  He earnestly wants to rescue you from perishing (Heb. 2:3).

Come boldly to Him in prayer and ask Him to forgive you, and by the power of His Priesthood, to rescue you from the power of sin and Satan (Heb. 2:14, 15).  He is able to save you completely — “to the uttermost” (Heb. 7:25) if you come to God through Him. 

Depend upon Him to be true to His Word — His promise, to rescue you when you ask Him to save and forgive you.  When you trust Him, you can be absolutely sure that He will never fail you.  After all, HE CAN NEVER LOSE HIS PRIESTHOOD AND HIS POWER TO SAVE!

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Can You Believe?

The following is copied from the tract booklet, “Can You Believe,” which was written by Carolyn J. Sexauer, and published by the Utah Christian Tract SocietyUtah Christian Tract Society was founded in 1956 and continued until 1990, when UCTS merged with Mormonism Research Ministry, who gave me permission to post it here.


This is written with the sincere hope and humble prayer that it may cause some of you to stop and think - to search deep into your hearts and into God's Word.... Consider the following questions based on Mormon doctrines, together with the Bible's answers to them.  If you are a God-fearing, truth-seeking person, interested in the eternal destiny of your soul ----

1.  Can you believe that the Bible in its present form is not the authentic, inspired Word of God - that it is probably not translated correctly, therefore cannot be wholly depended upon as the divine guide for mankind? ("Articles of Faith," James E. Talmadge.   "Divine Authority of the Book of Mormon," Orson Pratt.)

Answer:  "Thy word is truth" - John 17:17.  "Thy word is true from the beginning" - Psa. 119:160.  "Thy word is very pure therefore thy servant loveth it." - Psa. 119:140.  "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness" - 2 Tim. 3:16.  "Prophecy
came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost" - 2 Peter 1:21.

As to the correctness of the translation of the Old Testament, hear the testimony of Professor Robert Dick Wilson of Princeton Theological Seminary.  There is no greater authority on Hebrew and other ancient languages.  He says, "You can be absolutely certain that we have the text substantially of the Old Testament that Christ and the apostles had, and that was in existence from the beginning."

As to the correctness of the translation of the New Testament, the recognized authorities are Messrs. Westcott and Hort, compilers of the standard Greek New Testament.  They say, "If comparative trivialities, such as changes of order, the insertion or omission of the article with proper names and the like, are set aside, the words in our opinion, still subject to doubt, can hardly amount to more than a thousandth part of the New Testament." [See also the book, "Evidence That Demands A Verdict," by Josh McDowell]

 2.  Can you believe that the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, Pearl of Great Price, and the writings of Joseph Smith are the inspired Word of God? ("Articles of Faith, " Joseph Smith)

Answer:  "Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it" - Deut. 4:2.  "Add thou not unto His words, lest He reprove thee, and thou be found a liar" - Prov. 30:6.  "For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this Book, if any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this Book; And if any man shall take away from the words of the Book of this  prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the Book of Life, and out of the Holy City, and from the
things which are written in this Book" - Rev. 22:18-19.

3.  Can you believe that "As man is, God once was; as God is, man may become"? (Couplet by Lorenzo Snow.  Accepted as doctrine.) That there are many gods - and that they are polygamous? ("Gospel Through the Ages," Milton R. Hunter.  Also "The Seer," Vol. 1, Orson Pratt).  That "you must learn how to be a God yourself, the same as all other gods have done before you?" ("Gospel Through the Ages," Hunter.  "Journal of Discourses," Vol. 6, Brigham Young).

Answer:  "There is none other God but one.  For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many), but to us there is but one God." 1 Cor. 8:4-6.

Part of this cited scripture is quoted by Mormons to prove that there are many gods.  But a careful examination of the passage, and its context, shows that the meaning is exactly opposite of what Mormonism makes it out to teach.  The apostle here is contrasting the heathen belief in many gods with the Christian revelation that, "There is none other God but one." 
"For all the gods of the people are idols; but the Lord made the heavens" - 1 Chron. 16:26.  "I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God" - Isa. 44:6.  "I am the Lord and there is none else, there is no God beside me" - Isa. 45:5.  See also Isa. 43:10-11.  "God is not a man, that he should lie, neither the son of man, that he
should repent" - Num. 23:19.  "I am God and not man" - Hos. 11:9.  "From everlasting to everlasting, thou art God" - Psa. 90:2.

Satan was the first being who became ambitious to be God.  He said, "I will be like the Most High."  God said concerning him, "Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell" - Isa. 14:15-15.

The first lie of Satan was, "Ye shall be as God" - Gen. 3:5.

God did not become God - but always has been, and always will be God!  He is perfect and changeless, therefore cannot "progress" as Mormonism teaches.  See the following Scriptures - Gen. 1:1; Malachi 3:6;
Matthew 5:48.

Now, how can you reconcile these Bible truths with the doctrine that men may become Gods - and that God was at one time mere man? 

Space will not permit a thorough treatment of this subject.  But I beseech you - study your Bible, with prayer for enlightenment.  You will discover that doctrines such as these are foreign to Scripture.

4.  Can you believe that "Adam is our father and our God, and the only God with whom we have to do? (Journal of Discourses" Vol. 1, Brigham Young.)

Answer:  Compare these words of Brigham Young with the Bible truth concerning our Creator.  "I am the LORD thy God... Thou shalt have no other gods before me.  Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image,
or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.  Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them; nor serve them; for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God..." Exod. 20:2-5.  See also Deut. 33:27; 1 Kings 18:39; Isa. 44:8, 45:22; 46:9-10.

“The first man Adam was made a living soul" - 1 Cor. 15:45.  "In Adam all die." - 1 Cor. 15:22.  "And unto Adam He (God) said, 'dust thou art, and unto dust thou shalt return'" - Gen. 3:17, 19. 

5.  Can you believe that God is not a Spirit, but an exalted man? ("Gospel through the Ages," Hunter)

Answer:  "God is a Spirit" - John 4:24.  "Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty" 2 Cor. 3:17.  God is omnipotent - See Gen. 17:1; Exod. 6:3.  God is Omniscient - See Psa. 139:1-6; Prov. 5:21.  God is omnipresent - See Psa. 139:7; Jer. 23:23.

6.  Can you believe that the "Mormon priesthood has divine authority to act for God; that men holding this priesthood possess part of God's power and are in reality part of God; that to reject this authority is to reject God?" (Gospel Through the Ages," Hunter.  "Articles of Faith," Talmadge.  "A New Witness for God," B.H. Roberts).

Answer: The Bible teaches that the Lord Jesus Christ is the one and only mediator (priest) between God and man.  "There is one God and one mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus" - 1 Tim. 2:5.  He is our eternal High Priest.  "But this man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood.  Wherefore he is able to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them" - Heb. 7:24-25. (See also 1 Pet. 2:9; Rev. 1:6; Heb. 13:15)

7.  Can you believe that "Jesus Christ was not begotten of the Holy Spirit"?  That He is the son of Adam-God and Mary?  That the "Father had begotten Him in His own likeness" (And who is the Father? He is the first of the human family)". ("Journal of Discourses,:" Vol. 1, Brigham Young.  "Discourses of Brigham Young, " arranged by John A. Widstoe).

Answer:  "The angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife; for that which is conceived in her id of the Holy Ghost" - Matt. 1:20.  Read this entire passage dealing with the conception and birth of our savior - Matt. 1:18-25.  See also Luke 1:27-38.
As to Jesus Christ, if He was not virgin born, He is not both God and man, and therefore He is wholly disqualified to act as man's substitute.  Not only because He cannot represent God, but because He is a mere creature, and does not have the disposal of His own life.

Right here, I should like to draw your attention to the genealogy of Jesus found in the first chapter of Matthew.  Note the changed expression in verse 16.  This is important.  It is no longer "who begat," but "Mary, who whom was born Jesus."  Jesus Christ was not "begotten" by natural generation.

8.  Can you believe that Jesus Christ was married at Cana, to the Marys and Martha, whereby "He could see his seed" before He was crucified? ("The Seer," vol. 1, Orson Pratt).
Answer:  I should like to quote the late Franklin G. Huling in the support of the Christian's belief that Jesus Christ was not married.  He says, "His divine Person, and His mission - coming into the world to be the divine Sacrifice for sins of all who will accept Him, are utterly incompatible with the idea of marriage.  The Lord Jesus Christ was, and is, God incarnate and the thought of His marriage to a human woman is wholly incongruous.  If Christ was married, then the silence in the Bible about that important matter is inexcusable.  The fact that the Bible is silent about Christ being married is decisive.  Christ was not married.  His 'seed' and 'generation' and 'increase' are solely spiritual."  See Isa. 53:8, 10.

9.  Can you believe that the Holy Spirit is an "ethereal substance diffused through grace"?  That this substance (Holy Spirit), like all others, is one of the elements of material or physical existence, and therefore subject to the necessary laws which govern all matter? ("Key to Science of Theology," Parley P. Pratt)

Answer:  The Holy Spirit is a divine Person - the third Person of the Holy Trinity.  "Howbeit when HE, the Spirit of Truth, is come, HE will guide you into all truth for HE shall not speak of HIMSELF, but whatsoever HE shall hear, that shall HE speak; and HE will show you things to come" - John 16:13.

Acts that can be attributed to only a person are ascribed, in the Bible, to the Holy Spirit.  He knows - 1 Cor. 2:11; He wills - 1 Cor. 12:11; He loves - Romans 15:30; He can be grieved - Eph. 4:30.

10.  Can you believe that there is only one mode by which the Holy Spirit  is conferred upon mankind - "the laying on of hands of those men who have themselves received it and are called of God to administer it"? ("Gospel Through the Ages", Hunter.  "The Scrap Book," vol. 1, Charles W. Penrose)

Answer:  The Holy Spirit came into the hearts of the disciples at Pentecost (Acts 2) and on Cornelius and his household at Caesarea (Acts 10), because they had accepted Christ.  No hands were laid on them.  The Holy Spirit comes to dwell in the hearts of everyone who becomes a son of God by receiving the Son of God as their own Saviour.  See 1 Cor. 3:16; 6:19, 20; Eph. 1:13-14.

11.  Can you believe that God is a party to the sin of man - that it was His plan that man should fall?  That it was necessary for Adam to partake of the forbidden fruit, "else he would no have known good or evil - neither could he have had  mortal posterity?"  That the sin of Adam and Eve was the cause of great rejoicing? (Book of Mormon, 2 Nephi 2:22-25; also "Catechism," John Jacques)

Answer:  Man did not need to know evil by experience.  Nor was it necessary for him to partake of the forbidden fruit in order to have mortal posterity.  The plan for peopling the earth could be safely left in God's hands.  Remember, His command to Adam and Eve in the garden, before the fall, was, "Be fruitful, and multiply and replenish the earth" - Gen. 1:28.  Man needed only to obey God.  As to their sin being cause for rejoicing - consider the following passages of Scripture, "And Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.  And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?  And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid" - Gen 3:8-10.  "The wages of sin is death" - Rom. 6:23.  "He
hath made him (Christ) to be sin for us, who (Christ) knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him" - Cor. 5:21.  "And being in agony He (Christ) prayed more earnestly; and His sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground" - Luke 22:14.  CAUSE FOR REJOICING?

12.  Can you believe that Christ's sacrifice atoned only for the sin of Adam: That man will be punished for his own sins? ("Articles of Faith," Talmadge).
Answer:  The consequences of Adam's sin was that "many were made sinners" - Rom. 5:19.  "Sin" therefore, is the nature.  "Sins" are the manifestation of that nature. Compare 1 John 1:8 with 1 John 1:10, where this distinction appears.  Now please read the whole 5th chapter of Romans.  Note especially the following verses.  "Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned" - Rom. 5:12.  "Therefore, as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the
righteousness of one, the free gift came upon all men unto justification to life." - Rom. 5:18.  See also Rom. 3:21-28.

13.  Can you believe that “redemption from personal sins can be obtained only through obedience to the requirements of the Mormon church and a life of good works?” (“A Compendium,” F.D. Richards.  Also “Articles of Faith,” Talmadge.)  That the grace of God is a system of rules by complying with which, salvation may be gained?  That “justification by faith alone is a pernicious doctrine”? (“The Scrap Book,” Vol. II, E.F. Parry.  “Art. of Faith,” Talmadge.)

Answer:  There is a great gulf between Mormonism’s answer to these questions, and the true answers found in the Word of God.  Consider the following quotations from the Bible.

The gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” - Romans 6:23.  “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast” - Eph. 2:8,9.  “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His Mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and the renewing of the Holy Ghost, which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our saviour”- Titus 3:5,6.  “Christ died for our sins” - 1 Cor.15:3.  “Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this name (Jesus Christ) is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins: and by Him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses” - Acts 13:38,39.

Now look at the inspired word of the Bible concerning Justification by Faith.

“For God so loved the world, the he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him (Christ) should not perish, but have everlasting life” - John3:16.  “He that believeth on him (Christ) is not condemned; but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God” - John 3:18.  “What must I do to be saved?  Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved” - Acts 16:30, 31.  “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” - Romans 5:1. “Being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” - Romans 3:24.  “But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness” - Romans 4:5. 

14.  Can you believe that plurality of wives is an “eminent means of grace” - that the number of man’s wives and children increase his honor and glory in the world to come”? (Notice “his glory,” what about the glory of women in the world to come?). (See “Doc. & Cov. Section 132.  Also “The Real Mormonism,” Robert C. Webb).  That there will be marriage and the begetting of children in the next world? (See prev. refs.  Also “Gospel Through the Ages,” Hunter. “The Seer,” Vol. 1, Orson Pratt).

Answer:  Where in the Bible can anything be found to justify such beliefs?  In fact, everything in Scripture that deals with these subjects absolutely refutes them.  Let us look to the Word.  In the first place - the Bible tells us that marriage belongs to this world only.  In Matthew 22:30, we read, “For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven.” (See also Mark 12:25; Luke 20:34-36).

Secondly, God’s Word has never sanctioned plurality of wives.  Polygamy in the Old Testament days was always punished.  The Bible teaches very plainly that in the beginning God intended the union of one man and one woman in marriage.  Remember, He gave to Adam not many wives, but ONE. (See Gen. 2:23, 24; Deut. 17:17; Matt. 19:4-6; Eph. 5:31, 33; 1 Tim. 3:2-12).

15.  Can you believe that it is scriptural for the living to be baptized for the dead, that it is the duty of living saints to trace back their genealogies that their ancestors may have vicarious baptism? ("Teachings of Joseph Smith," Compiled by Joseph F. Smith).

Answer:  You will find as you prayerfully study God's Word that water baptism is not essential to salvation.  It is an ordinance enjoined upon us after we have been saved - after we have believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, and have been "born again."  (John 3:6).  When we believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and are born again, we receive the baptism of the Spirit, which is the true baptism of salvation (See 1 Cor. 12:13)

Upon 1 Cor. 15:29 the whole structure of Mormon ordinance of baptism for the dead is built, but there is not a trace of Scripture in Corinthians or any other part of the Bible to substantiate such a perversion of the truth.  I can find no better words to refute the erroneous interpretation of this text than to quote from the writings of Dr. Louis T. Talbot, Chancellor of the Bible Institute of Los Angeles.  He says, "Paul's argument all through 1 Corinthians 15 is that Christ is risen from the dead; and because he lives, we too shall live.  The resurrection of Christ is the foundation stone of Christianity.  Without it our faith is vain, and we are still in our sins.  In the resurrection of Christ God demonstrated the sufficiency and the efficacy of the redemption price that our Lord paid when He died on Calvary.   Baptism is a picture of our association with Christ in His death and resurrection.  It speaks not only of death, but also of our being risen with Him.  But if Christ is not risen from the dead, as some evidently contended, then, as Paul asked, 'What shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all?  Why are they then baptized for the dead?' (1 Cor. 15:29).  In other words, if Christ be not risen from the dead, then we have been baptized unto a dead man, and of what significance or value could that be?  Baptism speaks of resurrection as well as death; but if
Christ be not risen, the ordinance of baptism loses all its significance; for then we should have been baptized for (i.e. "unto") the dead (or "a dead man") which would have no meaning at all.  The whole trend of the argument Paul follows in 1 Corinthians 15 makes it conclusive that this is what Paul is talking about, for he says in verse 20; ' But now IS Christ risen from the dead, and became the first-fruits of them that slept.'" (Now read 1 Tim. 1:4; Titus 3:9; 2 Tim. 3:7).

16.  Can you believe that "Gods, angels and men, are all one species, one race, one great family, widely diffused among the planetary systems?" ("Key to Science of Theology," Parly P. Pratt).

Answer:  Let us segregate the different items contained in the question.  Look to the Bible for enlightenment:
GOD - (gods?) "There is none other God but one.  For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven, or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many), but to us there is but one GOD" - 1 Cor. 8:4-6.  "For all the gods of the people are idols; but the LORD made the heavens" - 1 Chron. 16:26.  "I am the LORD and there is none else; there is no God beside me" - Isa. 45:5.  (See also Hosea 11:9; Num. 23:19; Psa. 90:2; Deut. 33:27; Isa. 44:6-8)
MAN - "The first man Adam was made a living soul" 1 Cor. 15:45.  "In Adam all die" - 1 Cor. 15:22.  "And unto Adam he [God] said... dust thou art and unto dust shalt thou return" - Gen. 3:17-19.  (See also Job 33:12; Psa. 90:3; John 1:18; 1Cor 2:11)
ANGELS - Angels (messengers) are an order of created spirit beings whose chief attributes are strength and wisdom.  To quote, in part, Dr. C. I. Schofield, "The word 'angel' is always used in the masculine gender, though sex, in the human sense, is never ascribed to angels (Matthew 22:30; Mark 12:25).  They are exceedingly numerous (Matt. 26:53; Heb. 12:22; Rev. 5:11)  Their power is inconceivable (2 Kings 19:35).  Their place is about the throne of God (Rev. 5:11; 7:11). Their relation to the believer is that of 'ministering spirits' sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation, and this ministry has reference largely to the physical safety and well being of believers (1 Kings 19:5; Psa. 34:7; 91:11; Dan. 6:23; Matt. 2:13, 19; Luke 22:43)."

17.  Can you believe that there is no salvation outside the Mormon church?

Answer:  There is only one True Church in the Bible.  It is an organism, not an organization.  It is spoken of as the body of Christ, which He loved and purchased with His own blood. (Eph 5:25; Col. 1:24; Acts 20:28).  Christ is the Head of the church and all believers are the members (Col. 1:18; 1 Cor. 12:12, 27).  Local churches are merely groups of these believers gathered together for worship and the study of God's Word (Acts 2:47; 20:28)

For entrance into this true church, the Body of Christ, you must receive the Lord Jesus Christ as your own Saviour; Trusting Him alone for your salvation.

"But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name" - John 1:12.  "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life" - John 3:36.  

Read again these wonderful salvation verses.  (John 3:16; 5:24; Eph. 2:8-9; Rom. 6:23)

There is nothing about denominations here .  The Lord Jesus Christ says, "Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out." - John 6:37.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Did They Really Say That?!?

The garments worn by those who receive endowments must be white and of the approved pattern.  They must not be altered and mutilated and are to be worn as intended, down to the wrist and ankle, and around the neck.  Admission to the temple will be refused those who do not comply with these requirements.  The Saints should know that the pattern of endowment garments was revealed from heaven, and the blessings promised in connection with wearing them will not be realized if any unauthorized change is made in their form or in the manner of wearing them.

Joseph F. Smith, “Temple Instructions to Bishops,” Messages of the First Presidency 5:110.

The first time I ever saw temple garments was in 1970, and they were short-sleeved and short-legged above the knee.  So if God revealed the design to be down to the wrist and ankle, does that mean no Mormon has been receiving the blessings connected with the garments since the changes were made?  Or do they have another revelation from God giving them a new pattern?

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Deception in the Latter-day Saint Church

The foundation of the Mormon Church is the “First Vision” God gave to Joseph Smith.  Of course, as we have seen in previous articles, there are many versions of this “First Vision,” so one really has to doubt the honesty of Joseph Smith in relation to this “vision.

Problems with Smith’s honesty are found throughout the history of the Mormon Church from his starting of it until his death.  Mormon Coffee had a pretty good article examining Smith’s lack of honesty.

Yet the LDS continues in their attempts to prove Smith was a man of integrity — by leaving out important facts!  This only shows the deception of those defending Smith, which is what Mormon Coffee demonstrated in this article.

Joseph Smith was a dishonest man — period.  From this beginning, the whole history of the LDS is rife with dishonesty, especially when they are doing damage control for past false teachings.  If they don’t like a past teaching, they simply say, “That’s not official doctrine.” Well, with the LDS, determining what is official is like trying to make Jello stick to the wall.  It’s official sometimes, but then it isn’t, but then it is, but then it isn’t.

Let’s look at some more current examples of where the LDS church, and its members, practice gross deception.  We can first look at the lies told by members while giving tours.   (I’ve taken tours in Nauvoo and encountered similar examples.)

Glenn Beck was caught lying for the LDS church by perpetuating various myths as truth.  Perhaps he didn’t realize the mythological nature of his claims — I don’t think he really understands the Mormon church any better than he understood the Catholic Church.

I was unaware that the members of the LDS were denying their foundational teaching about eternal progression, in which those Mormons who reach exaltation will be gods of their own planets.  They claim that this is nothing more than folklore.  I think they are embarrassed about this teaching, because it is one of the many LDS doctrines which prove they are not Christian.

Lastly, I was pointed to a great link which has many, many examples of the deception in the Mormon Church, and how the leaders lie about — um — just about everything Mormon! It isn’t a quick read, but one I think it is a very necessary read!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Random Things About Mormonism

Back in April 2014 I read the book, “An Insider’s View of Mormon Origins,” by Grant H. Palmer.  Palmer is a die-hard Mormon, yet he proved that the Book of Mormon is fraudulent, as well as all the claims behind it.  He proved Joseph Smith was not a prophet, that the BOM witnesses never really saw it, that the first vision never happened, etc.  And yet he always gave these things a pass because of the culture of the time.  The saddest thing — and the perfect example of cult-think — is that it doesn’t matter because Joseph Smith taught that the main focus was Jesus Christ and how we are to follow him.  He ends the book with this: “As Latter-day Saints, our religious faith should be based and evaluated by how our spiritual and moral lives are centered in Jesus Christ, rather than in Joseph Smith’s largely rewritten, materialistic, idealized, and controversial accounts of the church’s founding.  I hope that this study contributes in some way to that end.”  What Palmer doesn’t seem to understand is that the false Jesus of Mormonism has little in common with the Jesus of the Bible, and a false savior can bring no salvation no matter how much you honor him.

Also back in April 2014, I read an article by Matt Walsh which demonstrated that Jesus was not all about “just getting along.”  Mormon Coffee read that article also, and has directed it against Mormons with these questions:
“Does it offend you, Mormon friends, to be shown that you are following a false prophet? Does it upset you when we demonstrate that your church is not the kingdom of God on earth as it claims? Does it hurt your feelings when we point out that the Bible says all your so-called works of righteousness are but filthy rags before our holy God? Or when we warn you that the Christ of Mormonism is a “different Jesus”? Or when we proclaim that your only eternal hope is to trust in the true Christ, and to trust in Him alone? So be it. It may not sound especially nice, but we implore you on behalf of Christ: Be reconciled to God.”
They have links in that paragraph directing the reader to various articles backing up their statements.

Mormon leadership is beginning to crack me up.  They now have a new policy in how they will answer difficult questions - go ask God!  This is just pitiful.

A video posted at Mormon Coffee shows the very sad teachings of works-based salvation in the Mormon Church.

The Mormons are always making changes to their doctrines, and then they turn around and say we misrepresent them!  I want to know how they can change theirArticles of Faith” without consulting Joseph Smith!

If you really want to see how the LDS changes their teachings - or hides the older versions - take a look at this article about what Mormons believed in 1900 Utah.

An interesting article suggests that the core of the Mormon faith is actually the temple and the temple ceremonies.

Mormons claim to believe in the Bible, “as far as it is translated correctly.”  Of course this is a smokescreen, because their claims against it have been proven totally erroneous for decades — especially since discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls, which proved the accuracy of the transmission of the Old Testament.  Well, this is another one of those beliefs that they obfuscate about when asked.

For more understanding of Mormons, this will take 36 minutes of your time, but will give you a good insight as to how well the average Mormon doesn’t know their own belief system!  If they did, they’d have to leave their church!

Over the years I have stayed in various Marriott brand motels, and enjoy trading the ever present Book of Mormon in the rooms with one I have annotated.  Well, I’m not staying in their motels any more, unless that’s all I can find.  Unlike real Christians who avoid pandering to homosexuals, Marriott is pandering to them to enrich himself.  Of course the Mormon church won’t excommunicate the Marriotts because that would be a huge loss of money for them.

Aaaaannnndddd finally, did you know that it has been only fairly recently that people have claimed that the Mormon Church is not Christian?  Neither did I; having studied the LDS for 40 years now, I’d say they were pointed out as a false belief system from the start.  What’s funny is that the LDS didn’t used to want to be called Christian.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

More About Racism in the LDS Church

I have previously written an article about racism in the Mormon Church, and the truth of what they taught about blacks/Negros; however, I thought it would be even better to provide more information about this blight on Mormonism so that one could have good responses when confronted with a Mormon who wants to pretend their church doesn’t teach this.

Last year about this time the Mormon church was doing damage control in regards to their doctrine against blacks being in their priesthood, claiming that it was just Brigham Young’s ideas, as well as it just being cultural. They don’t want to admit that their belief system was racist from the beginning, and they don’t want to admit that this was embedded in Joseph Smith’s teaching about “Eternal Progression,” which claims the poor performance in the pre-existence led to having black skin now.  Mormonism Research Ministry’s blog had an excellent article exposing that claim.

Not being content with refuting the LDS claim, in February 2014 Mormon Coffee posted a two part article absolutely exposing Joseph Smith as the origin of racism in the LDS (found here and here).  They then followed up with an article about just how recent such racism was reinforced by the leadership.

Finally, one more article I’d like to direct you to:  The “curse of Cain” and how it played out in LDS doctrine, rather than just being “folklore” as claimed by Mormon apologists.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Total Apostasy? Joseph Smith’s First Vision

The following is transcribed from a tract I acquired about a decade ago, and I have no idea where it came from.  The Internet contact points no longer exist.  The name on the tract with the contact points is Marshall Almarode, who I assume is the author.  The tract approaches the LDS faith from an angle I’ve never thought of, and actually haven’t seen any where else!  But I really like it, and would like any Mormon reading this to explain to me a solution to the problem.


The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (the LDS Church) claims the Christ’s authority vanished from the earth some time after His apostles died.  The LDS Church calls this a total apostasy because they claim that there was not one person left who could act with the authority of God.  According to the accepted version of Joseph Smith’s first vision, Jesus came back to earth to tell Joseph Smith to “restore” the true gospel again to the earth.  We will explore this topic by studying what the official LDS scriptures say.  Joseph’s first vision is found in The Pearl of Great Price.

1)  The Pearl of Great Price - Joseph Smith History 1:19
“I was answered that I must join none of them, for they were all wrong; and the Personage who addressed me said that all their creeds were an abomination in his sight; that those professors were all corrupt; that: ‘they draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me, they teach for doctrines the commandments of men, having a form of godliness but they deny the power thereof.’”

Establishing a Total Apostasy
We are to establish all things (including teachings) on the testimony of two or more witnesses.  According to Joseph Smith’s testimony, recorded in The Pearl of Great Price, he went out in the woods alone to pray. (Verse 15)  According to Joseph Smith, the second voice he heard was the voice of the Lord of Mormonism (Verse 17).  This Lord said (verse 19) that all the existing churches were wrong.  All their creeds and professors (professors of their faith - evangelists/preachers) were also wrong.  So, we have this total apostasy on the authority of the Jesus of Mormonism by the testimony of only one witness, Joseph Smith!  Today the LDS Church claims it has the right to exist because Joseph Smith claimed he was called by this Jesus to restore the true church on the earth.

2)  The Book of Mormon - III Nephi 28
The Book of Mormon tells of Jesus visiting the American continent.  He picks out twelve more disciples to spread the LDS gospel.

The heading for Chapter 28 says: “…Three Nephites are given power over death so as to remain on Earth until Jesus comes again…and they are now ministering among men.”   Verses 6-9: “…ye have desired the thing which John, my beloved, who was with me in my ministry, before that I was lifted up by the Jews, desired of me.  Therefore, more blessed are ye, for ye shall never taste of death; but ye shall live to behold all the doings of the Father unto the children of men, even until all things shall be fulfilled according to the will of the Father, when I shall come in my glory with the powers of heaven.  And ye  shall never endure the pains of death; …for ye have desired that ye might bring the souls of man unto me, while the world shall stand.”

Fountain of Youth - Three Nephite Apostles
The Jesus of The Book of Mormon has stated that He will not allow these three Nephite Apostles to suffer death, but they will continue living until Jesus’ second coming.  Jesus gave these Nephites full apostleship with all the authority to act in His name, the same as the apostles of the Old World (Moroni 2:2).  They are presently ministering among men to bring their souls unto the Jesus of The Book of Mormon.  This means that three apostles, who are nearly two thousand years old, are still today doing evangelism for Jesus’ true Church.

3)  Doctrine & Covenants (D&C) Section 7
The heading for D&C section 7 says, “John the beloved shall live until the Lord comes.”  Verses 1-7:  “John my beloved, what desirest thou? …And I said unto him; Lord, give unto me power over death, that I may live and bring souls unto thee.  And the Lord said unto me; verily, verily, I say unto thee, because thou desirest this thou shalt tarry until I come in my glory, and shalt prophesy before nations, kindreds, tongues and people.  And for this cause the Lord said unto Peter: …my beloved has desired that he might do more, or a greater work yet among men than what he has before done. …therefore I will make him as a flaming fire and a ministering angel; he shall minister for those who shall be heirs of salvation who dwell on the earth.  And I will make thee to minister for him and for thy brother James; and unto you three I will give this power and the keys of this ministry until I come.” 

John the Beloved Apostle Still Lives!
We find here that John the Beloved, one of the original apostles, was allowed to stay alive on the Earth winning souls to Christ until Jesus’ second coming.  Thus according to The Book of Mormon and the D&C, we have three Nephite apostles and one original apostle who will never die.  Two LDS scriptures agree, making a total of four full-fledged apostles staying alive evangelizing until Jesus’ second coming.  If these apostles could not bring souls to Christ, the Jesus would have done a vain work by allowing them to stay alive all this time only attempting to win souls without having any real success.

Total Apostasy?
On that very day in 1820 when Joseph Smith went out in the woods to pray, these four were hard at the Lord’s work bringing souls to Christ.  If Jesus was successful at starting his true church on two continents, one in the Old World and one in the New World, these four apostles could be successful at keeping them going with all their converts.  After being personally trained by Jesus himself, they should be pretty effective.  Can you imagine how many new members these four experts would have made if they only converted one person each month in their extended lifetime of full time service (even if none of their converts converted anybody else)? (How does this compare to a two year mission?).  Starting with only these four men, in one hundred years, there would be forty-eight hundred new believers (and at least some of their children and their children’s children)!  Of course Christ’s apostles would make sure their converts joined Christ’s true, established church to learn to be obedient to the ordinances and commandments of God and for fellowship.  As these churches grew they would have to build other buildings to house the new members.  As the apostles went on missionary journeys, they would establish Christ’s true church in other countries.  Thus there would be many local churches in many places.

Which Church Should Joseph Join?
But even if there were only these four apostles in existence on that very day that Joseph went out alone to pray, Jesus would have known about them.  The Jesus of Joseph’s first vision doesn’t seem to know anything about these men.  How could he forget his promise to his apostles?  He should have answered that Joseph should join none of them except the church led by John the Beloved (in Jerusalem?), or Nephite #1 (now in Australia?), or Nephite #2 (in Mexico?), or Nephite #3 (in New York?).  The Jesus of the First Vision has a memory problem!

Who do yo believe?

Do you believe the Jesus of the First Vision, who says there was a total apostasy?  Or … do you believe the Jesus of The Book of Mormon and The Doctrine & Covenants who says there can never be a total apostasy because he has guaranteed, on his word, that there will always be a minimum of four full-fledged apostles on the earth?  Which Joseph Smith do you believe?  The one who wrote The Book of Mormon and The D&C by inspiration?  Or the one who told us of his “First Vision” encounter with a Jesus who can’t remember what he has done?