The Errors of Mormonism
By Pastor D. S. Calkin
About the year 1812, Rev. Solomon Spaulding (1761-1816), a worn out Presbyterian preacher in Ohio, wrote an imaginary history entitled: "The Manuscript Found in the Wilderness of Mormon." He offered it to a printer who kept it in his printing shop, but never was printed. Sidney Rigdon, a disappointed preacher, saw the manuscript and realized it would make a good foundation for a new religion. Rigdon showed it to Joseph Smith and together they thought up Mormonism.
Let us look at this fanciful piece of fiction written by Spaulding who was nicknamed "Old Came to Pass" because he used that phrase so often in his book. It is a fantastic and foolish story of two imaginary families; Lehi, and Ismael who supposedly left Jerusalem about 600 B.C. They landed on the south western coast of South America. A little later two of the sons of Lehi, Nephi and Laman by name, got into a mix-up and the people took sides and commended to fight it out. Then God took a hand in it. He showed his displeasure with the Lamanites by cursing them with a black skin and they became the ancestors of the American Indians. But God showed Himself favorable to the Nephites. They began to migrate northward and about the time of Christ settled in Central America. Just after His crucifixion, Christ came to America and the population of both continents were converted, Lamanites as well as Nephites.
For about two hundred years, according to the tale, things went along splendidly and then apostasy came and everyone who left the faith was called a Lamanite. About one hundred and fifty years later these irreligious Nephites "hit the war path" again, with the result that in 384 A.D. the Nephites were wiped off the face of the map and the infidel Lamanites were left in possession of the land, where Columbus discovered them when he landed on these shores in 1492.
Now the commander-in-chief of the Nephites was a prophet and priest by the name of Mormon. When he saw that his people were about to be defeated, he gathered up all the records of his predecessors, made an abbreviated history, wrote in on some golden plates and gave this to his son Moroni. Moroni hid them in a hill near Palmyra, New York, and fifteen hundred years later appeared as an angel to a visionary, fortune-telling money-digging by the name of Joseph Smith and told him where to find the plates. In the box that held the plates was also found a huge pair of spectacles - one glass was called Urim and the other was called Thummin - and by the help of these spectacles this ignorant fellow was able to translate the hieroglyphics into English. And so we have the speculative and imaginative story of the Book of Mormon and how it got into the hands of Joseph Smith.
Joseph Smith tried to derive the name "Mormon" from the Egyptian "me" meaning "good" and "mor" a contraction of the English "more". The Greek word "mormon" means a hideous "she monster," a "bugbear". No wonder Joe's father-in-law is quoted as saying: "The whole Book of Mormon is a silly fabrication of falsehood and wickedness, got up for speculation."
What became of the golden plates? Smith said that God took them and hid them from human sight. It was easy to see that Smith was anxious to get rid of something that never really existed.
Joseph Smith, ignorant and illiterate, hardly able to read until he was a grown man, organized his Mormon Church with six members on April 6th, 1830, using the just-published Book of Mormons as his thesis. Here was Smith with the brains of Rev. Sidney Rigdon, deposed Campbellite, beginning to propagate their dishonest scheme with avaricious cunning . In 1834, they took the name, "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints." When a Mormon called, not so long ago, upon one of the ladies of our Immanuel congregation, he said, "We are of the Church of the Latter Day Saints." "Oh," this clever woman replied, "but I belong to the Church of present day saints - the Baptist Church."
1. Mormons believe in many gods. The earth has its god and the other planets have theirs. The god of this world is Adam. In a Mormon Catechism you find the question, "Are there more Gods than one? Answer, "Yes, many." Joseph Smith said, "The head of the gods appointed one god for us" (June 1844, Millennial Star, pg. 108). Brigham Young, successor to Smith, said, "How many gods there are I do not know, but there never was a time when there was no gods and worlds" (Journal of Discourses, vol. 7, pg. 33). In "Pearl of Great Price," we are told 48 times that the "gods" did this and that. Well, this is unadulterated heathenism; the very contradiction of God's Truth as seen in Exodus 8:10; Deuteronomy 6:4; Isaiah 44:8; Mark 12:32; Hebrews 6:13.
Further, Mormonism hold that God is a "tangible thing." "The Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man's" (Doc. and Cov. 130:22). Brigham Young is recorded in Journal of Discourses, vol. 1, page 50, as saying, "Now hear it, O inhabitant of earth, Jew and Gentile, saint and sinner! When our father Adam came into the Garden of Eden, he came into it with a celestial body and brought Eve, one of his wives with him. He helped to make and organize this world. He is Michael, the archangel, the Ancient of Days! about whom holy men have written and spoken. He is our Father and our God, and the only God with whom we have to do." Joe Smith said: "The idea that the Father and the Son dwell in a man's heart is a sectarian notion and it is false" (Doctrine and Covenants 130:3).
Such nonsense is pure paganism. More nauseating still, "Each God through his wife or wives raises up a numerous family of sons and daughters...for each father and mother will be in a condition to multiply forever and forever." The Seer 1, 37. This comes from the Doctrine and Covenants 132:37: "Abraham received concubines, and they bore him children; and it was accounted unto him for righteousness, because they were given unto him. And he ... Isaac ... and Jacob ... have entered into their exaltation... and sit upon thrones, and are no angels, but are gods." This is not according to God's Word: "There is none other God but one." (1st Corinthians 8:4). "I am the Lord and there is none else, there is no God besides me" (Isaiah 45:5a).
2. What is their teaching about Christ? Brigham Young taught that Christ was the natural son of Mary and Adam (Adam as God of this world). They teach that Christ (may He forgive the words) was a polygamist, wedded at Cana of Galilee to Mary and Martha (sisters of Lazarus) and then later to Mary Magdalene. Apostle O. Hyde in a sermon said, "We say it was Jesus Christ who was married at Cana to the Marys and Martha, whereby He could see His seed before He was crucified." They further hold that Christ was simply a superior man who, by His devotion and faithfulness in His generation, was exalted to Deity and is now a god, second in glory to Adam.
What shameful blasphemy! God's Truth declares: "I and my Father are one" (John 10:30), "For in Him (Christ) dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily (Colossians 2:9). "God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory" (1st Timothy 3:16).
3. What has Mormonism to say about salvation? Mormonism teaches that to be saved you must believe in Joseph Smith, his book and his revelations. Brigham Young declared: "Every spirit that confesses that Joseph Smith is a prophet and that he lived and died a prophet, and that the Book of Mormon is true, is of God and every spirit that does not is of anti-Christ" (from Millennial Story vol. 5, p.118). He further declared: "Will all the people be damned who are not Latter-Day Saints? Yes, and a great many of them except they repent speedily" (Journal of Discourses, vol. 1, pg. 339).
Then, Mormonism teaches that the atonement of Christ, covered original sin only; that is, the sin of Adam. Sin committed now, they say, are to be pardoned on the basis of the good works of the sinner. The third article of faith written by Smith declares: "We believe that through the atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel."
Mormons will not say that they are saved; they think salvation is future and its final attainment dependent on works. And chief among its works is baptism. So thoroughly do Mormons believe in baptismal regeneration that they have been rebaptized after each backsliding and a good Mormon is supposed to be baptized once a year. Their Catechism says: "No person has arrived at the years of accountability and has heard the Gospel can be saved without baptism."
Work for the dead can be done vicariously by their living relatives. This may be done by baptism for the dead and it is often performed.
But God's precious Word says: "What must I do to be saved? Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved" (Acts 16:30,31).
Joseph Smith gradually assumed the status of one of the gods, standing next to Jesus Christ. Brigham Young affirmed, "What God was once, we are now; what God is now, we shall become." Prophet Smith had many wives and concubines. His successor, Brigham Young, died in Salt Lake City in 1877 leaving two million dollars, 17 wives, 56 children and an unknown number of grandchildren.
We need to beware of this insidious religion of Mormonism. They send their missionaries to call at our home. Remember the words of John: "Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God; because many false prophets are gone out into the world" (1st John 4:1).
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