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Mormons

 

  

Mormons believe Joseph Smith was a prophet and consider the Book of Mormon to be a sacred book, but how do their teachings differ from the Bible?

 

 

Foreword

 

As far as the Mormons, representatives of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, are concerned, they can also be seen in Finland from time to time. They are usually young American men who are dressed neatly, behave well, and visit homes. When visiting, the most important topics of conversation to them are the Book of Mormon and the life of prophet Joseph Smith. They usually bring these views forth as the first and most important when talking to people. These issues cannot be overlooked when discussing the issues that Mormons consider as the most important.

   But what should we think about the teachings of the Mormons and do they deviate from commonly accepted Christian doctrine? Are Mormon teachings in line with the message of the Bible or are they completely different? We are going to consider and clarify the following topics. If you are a Mormon, it is worth your while to study these chapters.

 

 

Sisällys:
1. The book of Mormon
2. The Pearl of Great Price
3. The priesthood of Aaron and Melchizedek
4. Polygamy
5. Heavenly marriage
6. Baptism for the dead
7. The connection with Freemasonry
8. The view on God
9. Was Joseph Smith a prophet of God?
 

 

 

1. The book of Mormon

 

When we begin to study the beliefs of the Mormons, a good approach is to start with their sacred books, which are, in addition to the Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants and The pearl of great price. These three books are not found in any other Christian sect and are the most important ones to the Mormons, besides the Bible.

   In this chapter, we are going to take a look at the Book of Mormon, which is the best known and most significant of these three books. Joseph Smith, the Prophet of Mormons, made this book known. He said that he found golden plates on the ground, and that these plates contained the story of the Book of Mormon in the reformed Egyptian language. Along with these plates, he also found a breastplate and the Urim and the Thummim, which he could use as assistance when translating this book into English. He also received help from other people when translating their text.

   What is inside the Book of Mormon? It tells a story about how the ancient tribes of Israel wandered to America, increased there, and how Jesus, after his death, appeared to them and established a church amongst them. The present-day Native Americans are believed to be descendants of these ancient Israelites.

   However, when we look at the background and contents of the Book of Mormon, we can find numerous problems and contradictions. We can mention at least the following:

 

The reformed Egyptian language. Regarding the text placed on the golden plates, Smith claimed that it was written in reformed Egyptian. However, why would Jews have written text in the Egyptian language when they had their own language, Hebrew? They could also have used Aramaic. Why would they have used another language – one that, generally speaking, they would not have been able to speak? It is unlikely that they would have done so.

   When the text that Joseph Smith copied from the golden plates was studied, it was observed that this language never existed. This suggests the presence of deceit. For example, Professor Charles Anthon – the same man whom Smith claims to have been convinced of the genuineness of the hieroglyphic text – explained in his letter dated 17 February1834 to E.D. Howe, who examined the origins of the Book of Mormon that he deemed the whole reformed Egyptian language a hoax:

 

The whole claim that I had said the Book of Mormon to be reformed Egyptian hieroglyphics is completely unfounded. I soon came to the conclusion that it was a pure swindle. (…) The paper included everything else but Egyptian hieroglyphs. (1)

 

Also, Uuras Saarnivaara gave a specimen of the text on the golden plates to an expert. The expert was not familiar with this reformed "Egyptian language":

 

The writer of this sent a copy of the text (Finnish Mormon magazine Valkeus, May 1956, p. 153) that Smith claimed to have come from the golden plates to the British Museum of London in the latter part of the year 1960, so that an expert in the field of ancient Egypt could study it, and asked if he could get a statement about whether or not the claims of Joseph Smith about this were right. An answer dated 9 January 1961 arrived, in which the head of the department (Keeper), I. E. S. Edwards writes, "I can only say that during my 25 years of experience in the Egyptian language, I have never seen any of these graphic characters anywhere in Egyptian memorials or papyrus documents. If this text is what Joseph Smith claimed it to be, "the reformed Egyptian language", it has been reformed in such a way that there is no possibility whatsoever to mistake it as being Egyptian.”(2)

 

The Breastplate, the Urim and the Thummim. When Smith was translating, he believed that he was using the breastplate and in it the Urim and Thummim as assistance. But how could Smith have gotten hold of those objects, since they belonged to the High Priest of Israel? How could these important objects have ended up on another continent? It would have been highly unlikely that someone found these objects several thousand years later, on another continent more than 10,000 kilometers (6,213.7119224 miles) from Israel, buried in the ground. 

 

- (Exo 28:30) And you shall put in the breastplate of judgment the Urim and the Thummim; and they shall be on Aaron’s heart, when he goes in before the LORD: and Aaron shall bear the judgment of the children of Israel on his heart before the LORD continually.

 

The length of text on the golden plates. The size of the gold plates and how much text would fit on them remains a mystery. If the total volume of the golden plates was about 15 x 18 x 20 cm (5.9 x 7 x 7.8 inches) and from this eventually only a third formed the text of the Book of Mormon, it is a mystery how the whole text could fit in such a small stack of plates. This seems impossible, since there are hundreds of pages of dense text in the present Book of Mormon. This many-hundred-page-text cannot fit into such a small space, because metal plates are considerably thicker than paper and because one must use larger symbols for carvings. Uuras Saarnivaara explained this mystery and problem:

 

The question of the weight and size of the plates of the Book of Mormon is handled in the Finnish Mormon Magazine (Valkeus, June 1960). According to Smith, the dimensions of the plate book were about 15 x 20 x 15 cm (5.9 x 7 x 7.8 inches). If the plates were eight-carat gold, they would have weighed more than 53 kilograms (116.8 pounds): a heavy load even for a man! The Finnish Book of Mormon has 545 pages and the pages are about 12.5 x 18 cm (4.9 x 7 inches). The English version contains 522 pages. According to Smith, the Book of Mormon includes about 1/3 from the whole text of the gold plate book. The whole weight of the gold plate book would have, therefore, been more than 150 kilos (330 pounds). How could Smith have carried it? And would it have been possible to engrave the text of the Book of Mormon on a pile of metal plates about 15 cm (5.9 inches) thick? When printed on paper, this book is almost 2 cm (0.7 inch) thick. When we take into account the facts that inscribing requires considerably larger characters and that the metal plates are considerably thicker than paper and do not fit together so well, it is apparent that inscribing the text of a book this size even on a pile of metal plates two times thicker is impossible in practice. (…)

   Even though we cannot say exactly how much space the same text in the Egypt language would require, it is sure that the text of the Book of Mormon would have needed about 300- to 400 metal plates. Lifting up a "book" like that would have called for an elephant! (Let alone the entire book which, according to Smith, was three times larger, since 2/3 of it was "sealed" and he was not allowed to translate it). (3)

 

Seeing the gold plates, and eyewitnesses. Many peculiarities are associated with the gold plates and eyewitnesses:

 

Revelation. Smith said he dug the plates from the ground in 1827 and held them to himself some years until he gave them to a messenger called Moron. In this respect, it is indeed strange that in 1829, when Smith had to show the gold plates to the first three eyewitnesses in the forest, he did not have them with him but instead, they all had to pray in order to get a revelation about this from God. This raises some questions; if the golden plates are real and Smith had them in his possession, why did they have to pray for revelation about it? Doesn’t this praying for a revelation prove that it was, after all, only a hallucination, and that the gold plates were not real? It is difficult to believe in the authenticity and realness of the golden plates if seeing them depends on prayer and the appearance of a spirit. 

 

Joseph asked the Lord and then informed these three that if they were to humble themselves, they would get the right to see the ancient chronicle and have the responsibility to testify to the world what they had seen.

   In the summer of 1829, Joseph Smith, Oliver Cowdery, Martin Harris, and David Whitmer retired to a forest close to the home of Whitmer in the southern part of the state of New York. In the bright daylight, they knelt to pray; Joseph prayed first and others followed him and prayed but even though all of them had prayed, no answer was received. They repeated their prayers but again without result. After the second failure, Martin Harris proposed that he should leave the group, for he thought he was an obstacle to receiving the revelation. With the consent of Joseph, he left.

   The other three knelt again to pray, and at that very moment they saw a light in the air above them, and an angel stood before them. He had the plates in his hand, and he slowly turned the pages before their eyes, so that they could see the engraving on the plates. Then they heard a voice above them say, "These plates have been informed by the power of God and they have been translated by the power of God. The translation which you have seen is right, and I command you to testify what you now are seeing and hearing." (Gordon B. Hinckley, Mitä on sanottava mormoneista?, p. 65)

 

The witnesses left. Regarding the plates and eyewitnesses, the testimony of Joseph Smith mentions two different groups of eyewitnesses who signed the testimony. First, there is the account of the three men and then the account of eight men about seeing the golden plates. Both of these groups got – according to their own statement – to testify the revelation of God and one of the most remarkable events in world history.

   But were these men very strong in their faith? Each one of the first three witnesses walked away, although two of them returned later; this does not give a very convincing view of the event. On top of this, three of the eight witnesses gave up the church completely and never came back.

   This raises more questions; if the gold plates were real and were God's revelation, why would the eyewitnesses have sacrificed their own eternity and their hope of salvation because of some small contradictions? Does this not strike you as odd? Shouldn’t they have expressed the strongest faith of them all? This abandonment by the alleged witnesses and their later indifference to the gold plates is difficult to use as a basis for considering the golden plates as real and an announcement from God to the world, as Mormons seem to believe the case to be.

 

Style. Since the Book of Mormon is supposed to have been written over the course of many centuries and by separate writers (more than ten of them), the style of several writers should also be seen in it, as is seen in the Bible. However, we can see a problem: this is not the case. The Book of Mormon seems to be, in its entirety, a text written by one and the same author. How is this possible if it came from the pens of several individuals? What a great coincidence it would be if ten different writers used the same style. Or could it be, as proposed by critics, that the Book of Mormon was written by one author only? This is highly probable. 

 

Quotes from the King James translation. Another peculiarity in the Book of Mormon is that it uses the very same wording as the King James translation of the Bible that was published in the 1600s. It has been estimated that there are about 25,000 words which are exactly the same as in the King James translation. In addition, there are direct quotes from the Sermon on the Mount (Matt, chapters 5-7/ 3. Nefi, chapters 12-14) and from the charisma catalogue written by Paul (1 Cor 12:8-11 corresponds with Moron 10:8-16).

   A good question to ask is how could the ancient writers on the continent of America have used exactly the same words as Matthew and Paul used, as they were recorded in a Bible translation that appeared centuries later? How could they have used exactly the same wording as was used centuries earlier?  Isn’t this impossible, since the New Testament did not come to America until more than a thousand years after these people had died? The next quotation will elaborate further. It also mentions how such theological and practical affairs related to congregation life, which were much discussed in the 19th century America, were added to the Book of Mormon.

 

People who have studied the origins of the Book of Mormon have different opinions regarding the sources from which the story frame of the book has been received. However, one thing is sure: the most important source is the Bible. The Book of Mormon contains many direct quotes from the Bible, and many accounts in the Bible are found also in the Book of Mormon, only in a modified format. The Book of Mormon translated by Joseph Smith contains quotes from the English language Bible, the King James. It is interesting that men of ancient times, who are claimed to have written on golden plates in Egyptian, used same expressions that appear in the King James version hundreds of years later. (…)

  In addition to this, there are hundreds of verses in the Book of Mormon that are almost direct quotes from the King James version that was in use in the beginning of the 1600s. Joseph Smith has also included a large variety of theological and practical matters of the life of a congregation that were common in America during the 19th Century. (4)

 

The Native Americans. As mentioned in the beginning, the Book of Mormon tells a story of how ancient Israeli tribes migrated to America, grew larger, and how Jesus after his death appeared to them – founding a church among them. Current Native Americans are believed to be descendants of these ancient Israeli tribes.

It is difficult to find any evidence for this notion that appears in the Book of Mormon, however.

   Firstly, all anthropologists generally think that Native Americans are descendants of the Mongol race, and they observe that Native Americans display no physical features in common with the Semites. Everyone can see that Native Americans’ appearance is very different from the people of the Middle East.

   In addition to their appearance, their customs are very different from the customs of the Jews. No archaeological findings support the existence of Jewish influences; there are no ruins of synagogues, no religious artifacts associated with Judaism (as found in Israel), and no physical indication that their social interactions were influenced by the teachings of Jesus as described in the Bible. If the claims of the Book of Mormon are true, shouldn’t the many archaeologists who have devoted their lives to uncovering Native American origins have found even a small evidence of such influence? Yet, no such objects have been found. Why not? Does this fact disprove the Book of Mormon?

 

Jesus in America. One thought that is brought out in the open by the Book of Mormon is that Jesus preached in America after his resurrection, and established a church there – and that he did it because he did not want to only let people from one country – Israel -- know about him.

   We might ask why God would have, in that case, disregarded Asia, Africa, Europe, and Australia, and chosen only America to visit. And did Jesus Himself not say that He was sent only to Israel and to preach only there? (The doctrine and covenants that is composed mainly of the visions of Joseph Smith, also claims that Adam did not live in the Middle East at all, like the Bible indicates, but in America! Cf. 107:53 and 116:1.) Why would He have changed His own words about this?

 

- (Matt 15:24) But he answered and said, I am not sent but to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

 

Another point worth noting is that Christian history does not record the establishment of any Christian churches by any other means than the labor of Christian missionaries. Churches have always been started in this way, as prescribed by God. Furthermore, Jesus gave to His disciples the task of preaching the Gospel to all the nations and there are no references found in other sources that suggest that He himself carried out such work after His resurrection. So, the account in the Book of Mormon contradicts our understanding of how God works in the world to establish His Church:

 

- (Mark 16:15) And he said to them, Go you into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.

 

The names of places. Many archaeological findings in countless excavations across modern Israel and the Middle East confirm that places mentioned in the Holy Bible did in fact exist. The names of biblical people have also appeared in other sources and stone tablets external to the Bible. We can fairly say that archeology and other research have repeatedly confirmed the historical accuracy of the Bible.

    On the other hand, there is no such evidence to support the existence of places, persons or events as described in the Book of Mormon.  Nothing similar has been found for geographic regions, or for rivers, towns, lakes, or mountains. No names are found that are similar to those described in the Book of Mormon, even though names generally remain unchanged for many centuries. No relics from Christian churches or ceremonies have been found, even though they should exist if the Book of Mormon’s account is true. These absences powerfully suggest that the Book of Mormon is not historically accurate. The following quotation will elaborate further and show how weak of a basis the Book of Mormon is from a historical perspective:

 

”None of the cities from the Book of Mormon have been located, none of the figures, locations, nations or names from the Book of Mormon have ever been found; not the artifact of the Book of Mormon, not the text in the Book of Mormon, not the inscriptions of the Book of Mormon… Nothing has ever been found, which would prove the Book of Mormon to be nothing but a myth and a hoax” (5)

 

 

 

 

2. The Pearl of Great Price

 

If we continue going through the holy books of the Mormons, one of them is the so-called Pearl of Great Price that comprises of the so-called Book of Abraham, the translation of Matthew, chapter 24 (did Smith, an uneducated man, also know Greek?), and the so-called Book of Moses containing visions and dreams that Smith received.

   The so-called Book of Abraham came about in this way: Smith and his church first got hold of found mummies and papyrus scrolls from Egypt, near the town of Thebes. When Smith studied these scrolls, he noted that they included writings by the father Abraham, written in his own hand! Then, Smith himself did the translation work on "Abraham's" scrolls and added these writings to the Pearl of Great Price to be a part of the holy scriptures of the Mormons.

   But just as there are numerous mistakes found in the background and contents of the Book of Mormon, there are also problems with the Book of Abraham. Among them we consider the following:

 

The discovery of Smith. The fact alone that one and the same person (Joseph Smith) gets hold of the Urim and the Thummim and a text written by Abraham himself, is a remarkable miracle. What makes it miraculous is that only the High Priest in Israel had the Urim and Thummim about 3,000 years ago, and Abraham lived 4,000 years ago, and nobody else has found preserved writings by Abraham. This alleged discovery by Smith ought to either be regarded as one of the most important in history, or as one of the greatest deceits. Which is it? Most qualified researchers would conclude it is deceit.

 

A part of the Book of the Dead. The second problem is connected with the contents of the scrolls. According to Smith, Abraham wrote these scrolls, but later (they were found again in 1967) it was noted that not a single word about Abraham was mentioned. Instead, it has been observed that these scrolls included names of Egyptian idols and were a part of the Egyptians' Book of the Dead – it was called the Book of Breathings. The purpose of this book was to give incantations to the deceased to protect them on their journey to the hereafter. This book had nothing to do with Abraham.

 

There is also a problem concerning the translation of the scrolls. In order to translate some Egyptian symbols, Smith needed as many as over a hundred words! These examples indicate that Smith, an uneducated man, did not possess the skills required, even though he claimed otherwise. His translation is, therefore, not consistent with the contents of the scrolls:

 

When the text on the papyrus and the translation are more closely studied, we can see that for translating a certain Egyptian symbol Joseph needed 76 English words; for translating another symbol 177 words, and for another 130 words. This information already arouses suspicions regarding the translation. Nowadays, we know that Egyptian writing was mainly word writing. One symbol or group of symbols corresponds to one word. Only a few abbreviations contain more than the symbols in question separately. Generally, an Egyptian symbol or group of symbols can be translated with a few words.

   A good example of the translation of Joseph Smith is an Egyptian symbol that is a definite article. In order to translate this symbol, Joseph needed 59 words in English, of which two are proper nouns. Or yet another symbol that means water and is a part of a word that means pond, for which Joseph needed 76 words with nine proper nouns among them in his translation – but the Egyptian symbol only consists four straight lines! And the whole group of symbols meaning pond requires 135 words in the English language! (6)

 

 

 

3. The priesthood of Aaron and Melchizedek

 

Mormons believe that Joseph Smith plays an important role in the restoration of the priesthood of Aaron and Melchizedek. As for the restoration of the priesthood of Aaron, Mormons say that a messenger (whose “true” name was John the Baptist) appeared to Smith and Oliver Cowdery and told them about the restoration of Aaron’s priesthood. The messenger told them:

 

For you, my fellow servants, I give in the name of the Messiah, the priesthood of Aaron that includes service of angels and Gospel of repentance and keys to the forgiveness of sins which takes place in water baptism; and it will never be taken away from Earth, so that the sons of Levi can finally sacrifice an offering again to the Lord in righteousness." (Profeetta Joseph Smithin todistus, p. 19)

 

The restoration of the priesthood of Melchizedek took place a little later when Smith and Cowdery were walking along the shore of the Susquehanna River. Peter, Jacob, and John appeared to them and gave them the keys of the priesthood of Melchizedek —representing authority -- and set them to be "apostles and special witnesses".

   However, does the Bible support these actions related to re-establishment of the priesthood as told by Mormon Church leaders, or does the Bible teach them in a totally different way? We shall study this issue in light of the following examples:

 

The descendant of Levi. In order for a person to enter into the priesthood of Levi, he had to be a native Jew, because historically only those people who belonged to the tribe of Levi were qualified to serve as priests. How many current members of the Mormon Church belong to this family? Is it not true that very few of them have a background like this? Therefore, the failure to meet the first requirement –  family lineage –  suggests that Mormons cannot enter into the priesthood of Aaron:

 

- (Hebr 7:5) And truly they that are of the sons of Levi, who receive the office of the priesthood, have a commandment to take tithes of the people according to the law, that is, of their brothers, though they come out of the loins of Abraham:

 

The ceremonial offerings. Another prerequisite for Levitical priesthood is that Mormons make ceremonial offerings in accordance with requirements recorded in the Pentateuch. However, the Mormon Church has failed to observe these practices up until now. This also suggests that their priesthood does not meet the conditions set out for the true priesthood.

 

- (Hebr 10:10,11) By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

11 And every priest stands daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins:

 

The priesthood ended. When Christ came, the priesthood of Aaron ended because He announced the new Covenant; offerings were no longer valid. If one still wanted to return to the priesthood of Aaron, it would mean returning to the Old Covenant that is no longer valid. It would also eliminate the significance of the atonement of Jesus because He took away our sins completely through His work:

 

- (Hebr 7:11,12,18) If therefore perfection were by the Levitical priesthood, (for under it the people received the law,) what further need was there that another priest should rise after the order of Melchisedec, and not be called after the order of Aaron?

12 For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law.

18 For there is truly a cancellation of the commandment going before for the weakness and unprofitableness thereof.

 

- (Hebr 8:13) In that he said, A new covenant, he has made the first old. Now that which decays and waxes old is ready to vanish away.

 

- (Hebr 10:12) But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;

 

No grades. If we presume that the priesthood of Aaron prevailed during the early church and there were different degrees within the priesthood (deacon at the age of twelve, teacher at the age of fourteen, and priest at the age of sixteen), surely it would have been mentioned in the Bible. Similarly, if the members of the early church served the priesthood of Melchizedek, the Bible would certainly have mentioned it, too.

   However, we find no references to such activities in the Bible. We find references to general priesthood, and everyone who receives Christ becomes a part of this priesthood:

 

- (1 Peter 2:9) But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that you should show forth the praises of him who has called you out of darkness into his marvelous light;

 

- (Rev 1:5-6) And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. To him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,

6 And has made us kings and priests to God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

 

Christ is the only high priest after the order of Melchizedek. As far as the priesthood of Melchizedek is concerned, the New Testament clearly states that it includes only Christ who is a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek. Therefore, ordinary people in our time cannot have it. This certainly includes the same Mormons who believe they have entered into this priesthood.

 

- (Hebr 5:5,6,10) So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he that said to him, You are my Son, to day have I begotten you.

6 As he said also in another place, You are a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.

10 Called of God an high priest after the order of Melchisedec.

 

- (Hebr 6:20) Where the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.

 

 

4. Polygamy

 

Polygamy has also appeared in the history of the Mormon Church. Nowadays, it is not allowed. It was forbidden in the late 1800s because of the pressure of society, but originally it had a significant place in the church. For example, Prophet Smith himself was very greedy for wives. It is known that he had at least 27 wives; estimates by some suggest that he had almost 60 wives. Smith also got a revelation concerning this matter on 12 July 1843 that confirmed that he was on the "right" way. Other leaders of the church had several wives in those days. The successor of Smith, Brigham Young, probably had about twenty wives.

   What is interesting about this polygamous activity is that it goes against the teachings of both the Book of Mormon and the Holy Bible:

 

-The Book of Mormon that Mormons regard as their holy book does not support polygamy at all. 

   On the contrary, the book condemns it, as indicated in the following excerpts. The understanding of the Mormons’ first leaders regarding their own holy book and this matter must have been very defective:

 

Wherefore, my brethren, hear me, and hearken to the word of the Lord: For there shall not any man among you have save it be one wife ; and concubines he shall have none; (Jacob 2:27)

 

Behold, the Lamanites your brethren, whom ye hate because of their filthiness and the cursing which hath come upon their skins, are more righteous than you; for they have not forgotten the commandment of the Lord, which was given unto our father—that they should have save it were one wife, and concubines they should have none, and there should not be whoredoms committed among them. (Jacob 3:5)

 

If we look at the teachings of the New Testament, we find that they are clearly different from the revelations Smith received. Even though we can see that during the Old Covenant some men had several wives, polygamy is not the original will of God. Instead, each man should have just one wife – like Adam and Eve. Both Jesus and the Apostles also confirmed this:

 

- (Matt 19:4-6) And he answered and said to them, Have you not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female,

5 And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall join to his wife: and they two shall be one flesh?

6 Why they are no more two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man put asunder.

 

- (1 Cor 7:1-3) Now concerning the things whereof you wrote to me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman.

2 Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.

3 Let the husband render to the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife to the husband.

 

In addition, we can see that according to the New Testament, servants and leaders of the congregation should be men with only one wife. So, the Mormons’ view on polygamy is in conflict with this idea:

 

- (1 Tim 3:2,12) A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behavior, given to hospitality, apt to teach;

12  Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well.

 

- (Tit 1:5-7) For this cause left I you in Crete, that you should set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed you:

6 If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly.

7 For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not self-willed, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre

 

 

5. Heavenly marriage

 

On the same occasion when Joseph Smith received a revelation about polygamy, he also received a revelation about heavenly marriage – a practice that is still observed, while polygamy is no longer practiced.

   There are still ceremonies in Mormon temples in which "lovers" are married to heavenly, eternal marriage. In addition, it is believed that these marriages have positive consequences. Firstly, if a person has gone through this wedding ceremony, he/she will get descendants and reproduce eternally, and secondly it will raise the status of the person; he/she can even become God. At least, this is what the Mormons believe. Joseph Smith explained this in the following way:

 

Unless a man and his wife step into eternal marriage and are married for eternity in this trial period through the power and authority of the holy priesthood, they will stop multiplying after their death. In other words, they will not get any children after resurrection. But those who have been married in this life, through the power and authority of the holy priesthood and live without sinning against the Holy Spirit will continually multiply and get children in celestial brightness. - D.H.C. 5:391 (Joseph Fielding Smith Senior, Tie täydellisyyteen, p. 193)

 

What does the Bible say? The thought of eternal marriage, which the Mormons teach, is certainly a beautiful one, especially if spouses love each other. (But what if they no longer love each other?) The only problem is that the Bible does not say anything about it. Jesus did not mention anything about it; neither did the Apostles write about it in their letters. If it were true, surely it would have been mentioned, but it was not, just as the wedding in the temple was not mentioned. As we know, the Bible does not say anything about these matters.  

   Instead, we find quite another picture of heavenly existence drawn by Jesus. He taught us that our present family relationships – marriages and children – will no longer exist; people will live like the angels in heaven:

 

- (Matt 22:29-30) Jesus answered and said to them, You do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God.

30 For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven.

 

 

 

6. Baptism for the dead

 

Baptism for the dead is another important ceremony performed in Mormon temples, in addition to eternal marriage ceremonies. It is based on the Mormon view that repentance is still possible after death while baptism is possible only in this lifetime; for this reason, substitution baptisms are needed and are performed by those people living on Earth. This stance has been justified by a few passages pulled from the First Letter of Peter:

 

- (1 Peter 3:18-20) For Christ also has once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:

19 By which also he went and preached to the spirits in prison;

20 Which sometime were disobedient, when once the long-suffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.

 

- (1 Peter 4:6) For this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.

 

It has also been supported with a brief mention in the Letter to the Corinthians, in which Paul writes:

 

- (1 Cor 15:29) Else 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?

 

As for the above-mentioned Mormon teaching about baptism for the dead, we can find several clear contradictions including these:

 

- If baptism for the dead was important as is thought, certainly the Bible would have spoken much about it and urged to it (the same problem also goes to other teachings of the Mormons). However, nothing like this can be found in the Bible. Instead, there is only one reference in which Paul briefly touches on the subject. However, Paul does not write about “us” – about himself and the congregation. He writes about “them” – strangers who practiced it. Baptism for the dead was surely not commonly practiced by members of the congregation. 

 

- When considering the view of Mormons that repentance is still possible after death, we find that the Bible teaches that a man is able to be saved only in this lifetime. After death we will be judged, we are not offered a new way to receive salvation. The view of the Mormons reflects the Catholic doctrine of purgatory in which people are still offered salvation after death. This is not taught in the Bible. 

 

- (Hebr 9:27) And as it is appointed to men once to die, but after this the judgment:

 

- When considering these verses in the First Letter of Peter as justification for preaching to the dead, one should note that the verbs in these verses are written in the past tense. They are not written in the present ongoing tense. They do not refer to a continuous practice, and do not refer to any other activity associated with the dead. Therefore, these verses do not apply to our present situation.

 

- Another view held by members of the Mormon Church is that the Apostles -- Peter, Paul, and all the others -- preached the Gospel in the spiritual world after their deaths.

    Is this supported by anything found in the Bible? Consider Paul. Did he not write that he would go directly to God after his death? He did not believe that he would be going to some temporary state or that he would start preaching again. He believed that he would go directly to God:

 

- (2 Cor 5:8) We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.

 

- (Phil 1:23) For I am in a strait between two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better:

 

- (2 Tim 4:5-8) But watch you in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of your ministry.

6 For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand.

7 I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:

8 From now on there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but to all them also that love his appearing.

 

 

 

7. The connection with Freemasonry

 

The practices of eternal marriage, and baptism for the dead, have been addressed in earlier chapters.  

   However, Mormon tenets of faith are also in some ways similar to those expressed by Freemasons. Joseph Smith was a high-level Freemason, and almost every member of the Mormon Church was also a member of this brotherhood. The foundation of the Mormon Church lies very deep in the occult Freemason organization.

  Next, we are going to list some things that Freemasonry and the Mormon Church share in common. It has been estimated that they share almost thirty points. The next things are among the most common ones:

 

- Secret ceremonies are carried out in secret temples in both of the movements.

 

- The temple ceremonies of the Mormons were initially carried out in Freemasons’ buildings.

 

- Oaths. Mormons and Freemasons take various oaths. In the past, the wording of these oaths was almost identical. In addition, there is a gesture made with the thumb that is used by both of the movements; it resembles the cutting of a throat. Its purpose is to promise not to reveal secrets to anybody at the risk of losing one’s own life.

 

- Secret handshakes.

 

- In both systems, people are given a new name kept secret from outsiders.

 

- Both Mormons and Freemasons wear an apron during their ceremonies.

 

- Mormons have a certain undergarment that carries the distinctive symbols of Freemasonry.

 

 

 

8. The view on God

 

If we consider the Mormons' view on God, we can see that it differs a great deal from the normal Christian view. If we study this issue in the light of the following examples, we can clearly see that Mormons are actually polytheists.

 

MORMONS HAVE MANY GODS                                                               

 

In the beginning, the main God of Gods called together the Council of Gods, and they gathered together and developed a plan for creating and populating the world – in all occasions in which I have spoken about God, I have taught polytheism. (Joseph Smith, History of the Church, part VI, pages 308, 474; translated from the Finnish text).

 

A time to come in which nothing shall be withheld, whether there be one God or many gods , they shall be manifest. …. According to that which was ordained in the midst of the Council of the Eternal God of all other gods before this world was, that should be reserved unto the finishing and the end thereof, when every man shall enter into his eternal presence and into his immortal rest. (The Doctrine and Covenants 121:28 32. The revelation of Smith 20 March 1839 in Liberty Jail, Clay County, Missouri)

 

In heaven where our spirits have been born, there are many Gods who each have their own wife or wives who have been given to them before their redemption when they still were in a mortal state. (Orson Pratt / The Seer I, 37. EA. 13) Translated from the Finnish text

 

“Is there more than one God?" The answer is, “Yes, many.”(Catechism for Children, p.. 13, WEB. 32). Translated from the Finnish text

 

The examples above about the writings of Mormons indicate very clearly that Mormons believe in many gods. These people are so supporters of polytheism – an issue that some Mormons do not necessarily even know in the beginning.

   Instead, if we look at the Bible, it speaks about there being only one God and no others besides Him:

 

- (Deut 4:35) To you it was showed, that you might know that the LORD he is God; there is none else beside him

 

- (Deut 32:39) See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god with me: I kill, and I make alive; I wound, and I heal: neither is there any that can deliver out of my hand.

 

- (Isa 44:6) Thus said the LORD the King of Israel, and his redeemer the LORD of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God.

 

- (Isa 45:5-6) I am the LORD, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded you, though you have not known me:

6 That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the LORD, and there is none else.

 

- (Isa 46:9) Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me

 

- (1 Tim 1:17) Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.

 

In addition, it should be noted that also the Book of Mormon speaks about one God only. The teachings and revelations of Smith and other leaders thus go against their own holy book:

 

And Zeezrom said unto him, Thou sayest there is a true and living God? And Amulek said, Yea, there is a true and living God. Now Zeezrom said: Is there more than one God? And he answered, No. (Alma 11:26- 29).

 

GOD WAS ONCE A MAN

 

"God himself was once as we are now, and he is now an exalted man - I say to you, that if you saw him in the form of a man - such as you are, in all mind and form he is like a man - He was once a man as we are; God, the Father of us all, really lived on Earth." (Joseph Smith, History of the Church, VI part, p. 305.). Translated from the Finnish text.

 

"What man is like now, God once was like, what God is like now, man can become like." (James Talmage: Articles of faith, p.430). Translated from the Finnish text.

 

The God of the Mormons was once a man as we are now.

   The Bible, instead, says that God has never been a man, and that He has been the same God from eternity to eternity:

 

- (Rom 1:22,23,25) Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,

23 And changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and four footed beasts, and creeping things.

25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.

 

- (Ps 90:2) Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, you are God.

 

- (Ps 102:25-27) Of old have you laid the foundation of the earth: and the heavens are the work of your hands.

26 They shall perish, but you shall endure: yes, all of them shall wax old like a garment; as a clothing shall you change them, and they shall be changed:

27 But you are the same, and your years shall have no end.

 

- (Hebr 13:8) Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.

 

- (Hos 11:9) I will not execute the fierceness of my anger, I will not return to destroy Ephraim: for I am God, and not man; the Holy One in the middle of you: and I will not enter into the city.

 

- (Num 23:19) God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: has he said, and shall he not do it? or has he spoken, and shall he not make it good?

 

ADAM IS GOD

 

When Adam came to the paradise of Eden, he came there in a heavenly body and brought with him Eve, one of his wives. He helped in making and arranging this world. He is our Father and God and only god whom we deal with. (A statement by the second president of Society, Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses VI, 50. EA. / 13. WEB.33, EHK.381). Translated from the Finnish text.

 

The statement by the second president of Mormon Society, Brigham Young, says that Adam is the God with whom they are in connection.

   The Bible, however, tells us how the God of Heavens himself created Adam:

 

- (Gen 1:27) So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

 

- (Acts 17:24-26) God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwells not in temples made with hands;

25 Neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he gives to all life, and breath, and all things;

26 And has made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;

 

THE FATHER GOD HAS A BODY

 

"The Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man's; the Son also..." (The Doctrine and Covenants: 130:22 the revelation of Smith 2.4.1843).

 

The Doctrine and Covenants reveals a revelation of Joseph Smith according to which the God our Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as our bodies.

   The Bible, on the other hand, points out that God is the Spirit:

 

- (John 4:24) God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

 

- (2 Cor 3:17) Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.

 

GOD HAS A WIFE OR WIVES

 

In Heaven where our spirits were born, there are many Gods, each of whom have their own wife or wives who have been given to them before their redemption when they were still in a mortal state." (Orson Pratt / The Seer I, 37. EA. 13) Translated from the Finnish text

 

The Mormons have lowered God almost to the level of a man; each of their gods has also his own wife.

   However, the Bible speaks nothing about the wives of God in a physical way.

 

MAN CAN BECOME A GOD

 

"… and they shall pass by the angels, and the gods, which are set there, to their exaltation and glory in all things, as hath been sealed upon their heads, which glory shall be a fullness and a continuation of the seeds forever and ever. …..Then shall they be gods, because they have no end; therefore shall they be from everlasting to everlasting, because they continue; then shall they be above all, because all things are subject unto them. Then shall they be gods , because they have all power, and the angels are subject unto them. (The Doctrine and Covenants: 132:19,20. The revelation of Smith, 12 July 1843).

 

Those who have obeyed the laws of the Gospel, received Holy Spirit, got priesthood and held it in the honour and lived righteously, can enter the heavenly brightness. There they will have thrones, power to rule, and endlessly multiply; they will be Gods who create and rule the worlds and populate those with their descendants (Manual 1901-1902, I, 52, WEB. 365.)

 

The Mormons believe in many gods but they have even taken this a step further and believe that men, too, can develop into gods who create and rule worlds and populate them with their descendants. However, the Bible teaches us that no-one can ever become God:

 

- (Isa 43:10-11) You are my witnesses, said the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that you may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.

11 I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no savior.

 

- (Eze 28:2) Son of man, say to the prince of Tyrus, Thus said the Lord GOD; Because your heart is lifted up, and you have said, I am a God, I sit in the seat of God, in the middle of the seas; yet you are a man, and not God, though you set your heart as the heart of God:

 

- (Acts 12:21- 24) And on a set day Herod, arrayed in royal apparel, sat on his throne, and made an oration to them.

22 And the people gave a shout, saying, It is the voice of a god, and not of a man.

23 And immediately the angel of the Lord smote him, because he gave not God the glory: and he was eaten of worms, and gave up the ghost.

24 But the word of God grew and multiplied.

 

JESUS AND SATAN ARE BROTHERS

 

Another aspect of the peculiar Mormon view of God is that Jesus and Satan were brothers.

 

"Before Jesus was named the Savior of the world, He fought for this position with another son of God. This other son was Lucifer – the spirit brother of Jesus who desperately tried to become the Savior of mankind." (Milton R. Hunter, The Gospel Through the Ages, p.15). Translated from the Finnish text.

 

In the Bible, however, we are instructed many times, very clearly and with great emphasis, that Jesus is the one and only Son of God and that He is Himself God. So this tenet of the Mormons yet again contradicts the Biblical message:

 

- (1 John 4:9-10) In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.

10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

 

- (John 1:1,14) In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelled among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

 

- (John 1:18) No man has seen God at any time, the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he has declared him.

 

- (John 3:16) For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

 

JESUS WAS NOT CONCEIVED FROM THE HOLY SPIRIT

 

Brigham Young, the second president of Society, taught that Jesus was not conceived from the Holy Spirit. 

 

When virgin Mary gave birth to baby Jesus, the Father had conceived Him as His kind. He was not conceived from the Holy Spirit. And who was the Father? He was the first of mankind; and when He took a (human body) abode, it was conceived from His Father in Heaven in the same way as Cain, Abel, and other sons and daughters of Adam and Eve." (Journal of Discourses, I, 50. WEB. 34. EHK.381, a statement of Brigham Young). Translated from the Finnish text.

 

However, if we look at the Bible, we see that it teaches exactly the opposite:

 

- (Matt 1:20) But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the LORD appeared to him in a dream, saying, Joseph, you son of David, fear not to take to you Mary your wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.

 

- (Luke 1:34- 35) Then said Mary to the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?

35 And the angel answered and said to her, The Holy Ghost shall come on you, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow you: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of you shall be called the Son of God.

 

JESUS WAS MARRIED

 

Another peculiar view that the Mormons have is that Jesus had wives.

 

Let us now study the question of the wives of Jesus: there were several holy women who greatly loved Jesus, and when He rose from the dead, He first appeared to these women or at least to one of them, namely Mary Magdalene. It is quite natural for a husband in resurrection first to appear to his own dearest wives." (Orson Pratt, The Seer I, 159. WEB.35). Translated from Finnish text.

 

Jesus was a bridegroom (fiancé) in the wedding at Cana in Galilee – we claim that Jesus Christ was married, so that He would see his seed. (Orson Hyde, apostle, Journal of Discourses, part II, p.82). Translated from the Finnish text.

 

However, the Bible does not speak about the marriage of Jesus. Furthermore, in the wedding at Cana, Jesus was only a guest:

 

- (John 2:1-2) And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there:

2 And both Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the marriage.

 

 

 

9. Was Joseph Smith a prophet of God?

 

Mormons believe that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God, of course. They may regard him as the most important man on Earth after Jesus.

   However, if we look at the life and teachings of Joseph Smith, we find several reasons to believe that he was wrong and a false prophet. This can be proven in the light of the following:

 

Deceased spirits. Firstly, Smith was repeatedly dealing with spirits of the dead that pretended to be John the Baptist, Jacob, John, Moses, or Elijah. They gave him the priesthood of Aaron and Melchizedek and various revelations.

   However, we are clearly warned never to deal with spirits of the dead. The Bible warns us about dealing with deceased spirits that are, as a matter of fact, evil spirits. Even if these spirits were to appear as apostles and good spirits, there is reason to believe that they are evil spirits. The Apostles of God would certainly not break His commandments, nor would they start giving new instructions. Instead, the deceased and seer spirits – in other words evil spirits with whom Smith must have been communicating  – would do such things:

 

- (Lev 19:31) Regard not them that have familiar spirits, neither seek after wizards, to be defiled by them: I am the LORD your God.

 

- (Deut 18:10-12) There shall not be found among you any one that makes his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that uses divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch.

11 Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer.

12 For all that do these things are an abomination to the LORD: and because of these abominations the LORD your God does drive them out from before you.

 

Doctrine. The teachings of Joseph Smith differ from the ordinary teachings of Christianity, which means that he has numerous teachings that have nothing to do with the Bible (polytheism, etc.). We have already proven this in the earlier chapters. One reason probably is that he was in communication with the above-mentioned evil spirits and angels, from whom he got his new teachings. One absolute characteristic of false prophets is just that they teach doctrines which differ from the word of God and receive revelations from angels who are not serving God:

 

- (Gal 1:8-9) But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than that which we have preached to you, let him be accursed.

9 As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel to you than that you have received, let him be accursed.

 

- (2 Peter 2:1) But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privately shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction.

 

- (1 John 4:1) Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.

 

The life of Smith. By studying the life of Joseph Smith, we come to understand that he could not have in any way served as a model of godly servant for others. For example, in the later part of his life he shot two men; he had a very bad reputation in his community -- in 1834, sixty-two residents of his hometown signed a petition in which they complained about the immoral behavior of his family and stated that his family should no longer enjoy the appreciation of society anywhere.

   The persona of Smith is described by the following statement he gave about himself. Has any prophet of God ever spoken like this? This statement clearly shows Smith’s pride and how he considered himself to be of great value:

 

I have more reasons to boast than anyone ever. I am the only man who has ever been able to keep the whole church together since the times of Adam. Most have stood by my side. Neither Paul, John, Peter, nor Jesus were able to do it. I boast that nobody has ever done such great work as I have done. The successors of Jesus left him, but the Latter-day Saints have never left me. (Joseph Smith, History of the Church, part VI. p.408-409). Translated from the Finnish text.

 

The unfulfilled prophecies. Joseph Smith is called a prophet, but it is a rather questionable term for him. If we read his prophecies, we see that his skills of foreseeing future events were not in any way very accurate. For example, Uuras Saarnivaara described in his book how Smith gave false prophecies on several occasions:

 

According to what standards can Joseph Smith be tested?

   The first one is this: Were his prophecies fulfilled?

   We have seen that this usually was not the case.

   Smith declared that the Mormon saints could get a region called Indepence in Jackson County, Missouri, "for everlasting inheritance" (the Doctrine and Covenants 57:5). However, they only got to be there for a few years. Smith predicted that wars would appear that would start in South Carolina and be shed over all nations (the Doctrine and Covenants 87:1-4). This prophecy did not come true. The civil war, caused by the question of slavery started indeed thirty years later, but the outcome differed a great deal from the prophecy of Joseph Smith.

   Smith prophesied in 1833 that Zion (in Missouri) will not shake in its grounds even though its members will be scattered by harassment of its enemies, and that those who remain – the ones pure at heart – will return and build the ruins of Zion (the Doctrine and Covenants 101:17). This never happened but "Zion" was forced to be moved elsewhere.

   In 1834, Smith predicted that the Mormons would immediately start gaining a victory over their enemies and that the scattered would return to their land of inheritance and build the ruins of Zion (the Doctrine and Covenants 103:5 13). This never took place. The Mormons lost and were forced to leave the land of "Zion".

   Smith announced in 1836 that Moses appeared to him and Cowdery, and left them the keys for the gathering of Israel from four parts of the world and for the leading of ten tribes from the Northern country (the Doctrine and Covenants 110:11). Cowdery was expelled from the Mormon Church and Smith lost his life without having anything to do with the gathering of Israel. This took place much later, without any help from the Mormons.

   The same year, Smith announced that the Lord will give the town of Salem into the hands of the Mormons and that there will be treasures of gold and silver in ample measure for them (the Doctrine and Covenants 111). Nothing of the kind took place.

   Smith received a revelation in Nauvoo in 1841 that in a house that will be built there will be a place for him and his descendants from generation to generation forever and ever (the Doctrine and Covenants 124:55 60). Partnerships were also promised to some others in the same house, "from generation to generation". However, they were only allowed to be there for a few years, Smith himself only a very short period.

  These were examples of how the prophecies of Smith, time after time, remained unfulfilled. Some of the things he predicted may also have come true: when someone predicts a lot, sometimes he will accidentally hit the nail on the head. (7)

 

Islamic prophet Muhammad and Joseph Smith. One peculiar aspect about Joseph Smith’s experiences is that they oddly resemble the experiences of Muhammad, an Islamic prophet. We are going to look at a few of those aspects here:

 

• Both were called prophets, but the way they lived does not attest to them having been prophets of God. Smith had several wives and he shot people in battle during his later years, similarly to Muhammad, who also had several wives and killed other people.

 

- (1 John 4:1) Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.

 

- (Matt 7:15,16) Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

16 You shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?

 

• Both left a spiritual book for later generations. Joseph Smith left the Book of Mormon and also other works, whereas Muhammad gave the Qur’an “through the angel Gabriel”. In the case of Muhammad, we are certain that it cannot have been the same angel of God that appeared in the Bible, because the Qur’an’s teaching differs so much with the Bible:

 

Say O Muhammad: "Whoever is the enemy of Jibra'el (Gabriel) should know that he revealed this Qur'an to your heart by Allah’s command, which confirms previous scriptures, and is a guidance and good news for the believers. Let them know that whoever is an enemy to Allah, His angels, His Messengers, Jibra'el (Gabriel) and Mika‘el (Michael); Allah is an enemy to such unbelievers. (2:97,98)

 

• Most spiritual movements have always begun through some kind of a revelation. An “angel” or a deceased person reveals themselves to someone. For example, many spiritual Japanese movements have begun like this, but Mormonism and Islam are the same, as well. An angel posing as Gabriel appeared to Muhammad, whereas dead spirits posing as the disciples appeared to Joseph Smith:

 

- (Gal 1:8) But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than that which we have preached to you, let him be accursed.

 

- (Col 2:18) Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he has not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind,

 

- (2 Cor 11:13,14) For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.

14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.

 

• Smith’s personal testimony tells how he met a “heavenly messenger” once every year (p. 14) before receiving the plates:

 

“According to the command I had gotten, I came every year and every time I met the same messenger there”

Muhammad also met his regular messenger once every year:

Gabriel used to recite the Koran once a year; this took place twice during the year he died (Muslim, Book 31, no.  6005).

 

• Joseph Smith’s testimony (p. 3) tells directly how Smith was taken over by a spirit right before receiving his first vision. It was because of this that he became mute and a power took over him. It is exactly the same as how the Bible describes bad spirits and demons to operate:

 

“I had hardly done so, when a power of sorts took a hold of me right then and there and it simply took over me, and it had a surprising effect on me, as it chained my tongue in a way that I couldn’t speak. A grim darkness surrounded me and for a moment I thought I had been doomed to a sudden demise.”

 

- (Matt 9:32) As they went out, behold, they brought to him a dumb man possessed with a devil.

 

- (Mark 9:17,18) And one of the multitude answered and said, Master, I have brought to you my son, which has a dumb spirit;

18 And wherever he takes him, he tears him: and he foams, and gnashes with his teeth, and pines away: and I spoke to your disciples that they should cast him out; and they could not.

 

It must be highly questionable to trust this kind of revelation, where a person, here Joseph Smith, has just been taken over by a silencing spirit. How reliable would Mormons consider such a teaching from another person who has just been possessed by a bad spirit and given a message, which brings about a new spiritual movement (this is how Mormonism was born)? They might take a little more skeptical approach.

What about the Islamic prophet Muhammad? It is interesting to see that he, too, had nearly the same experience as Smith. Muhammad was even afraid that he might be possessed by a demon, until “angel Gabriel” appeared to him. Moroni appeared to Smith:

 

At first, Muhammad was very restless about his supernatural meeting with the spirit. He “suffered a lot of pain and his face became ashen” (8). He wondered whether he was possessed by the devil, and he even contemplated suicide:

 

I will go to the top of the mountain and throw myself down so that I would die and thus get peace. So I went ahead with it but when I was halfway up the mountain, I heard a voice from heaven saying, “O Muhammad. You are an apostle of God and I am Gabriel.” I raised my head to the skies to see (who was talking) and behold, it was Gabriel in the form of a man – a man whose legs spread beyond the horizon. And he said, ”O Muhammad. You are an apostle of God and I am Gabriel.” (9)

 

• When we look at prophet Muhammad, we see that he received revelations that guaranteed the fulfilment of his desires. Qur’an’s chapter 33 goes over a few of such cases. In one of them, Allah permits him to marry his adopted son’s wife, Zainab. He had seen his daughter-in-law almost naked, which had awoken his desire.

Another part of the same chapter tells how Allah allowed Muhammad to take more wives than other Muslim men, who were only allowed to have four wives. Thus, Muhammad ended up having more wives than any other Muslim man. According to tradition, Muhammad’s youngest wife is said to have once bitterly scoffed: “your Lord makes haste to satisfy your needs!” This statement is believed to be associated with Muhammad receiving an announcement to take more wives. Aisha believed that Muhammad received perfect revelations to justify his actions.

 

O Prophet, remember when you said to the one (Zaid, Prophet's adopted son) whom Allah as well as you had favored: "Keep your wife in wedlock and fear Allah." You sought to hide in your heart what Allah intended to reveal; you were afraid of the people whereas it would have been more appropriate to fear Allah. So when Zaid divorced his wife, We gave her to you in marriage, so that there remains no hindrance for the believers to wed the wives of their adopted sons if they divorced them. And Allah’s Command had to be carried out. There can be no blame attached to the Prophet for doing what is sanctioned for him by Allah. Such has been the way of Allah with those who have gone before; and the decrees of Allah are preordained. Those who are charged with the mission of conveying the message of Allah are to fear Him, they are supposed to fear none but Allah; for Allah is sufficient to settle their account. Muhammad is not the father of any of your men (he is not going to leave any male heirs). He is the Messenger of Allah and the Seal of the Prophets. Allah has the knowledge of all things. (33:37-40)

 

O Prophet! We have made lawful to you the wives to whom you have given their dowers; and those ladies whom your right hands possess (from the prisoners of war) whom Allah has assigned to you; and the daughters of your paternal uncles and aunts, and the daughters of your maternal uncles and aunts, who have migrated with you; and the believing woman who gave herself to the Prophet if the Prophet desires to marry her - this permission is only for you and not for the other believers; We know what restrictions We have imposed on the other believers concerning their wives and those whom their right hands possess. We have granted you this privilege as an exception so that no blame may be attached to you. Allah is Forgiving, Merciful. (33:50)

 

What about prophet Joseph Smith? When Muhammad received announcements about his wives, and they were made into chapters in the Qur’an, the same can be said about Joseph Smith. He, too, received a permission through announcements to take multiple wives, but his wife Emma was not found of the idea. In announcement about polygamy Joseph’s wife Emma receives a commandment from God to accept the new wives:

 

Verily, I say unto you: A commandment I give unto mine handmaid, Emma Smith…And let mine handmaid, Emma Smith, receive all those that have been given unto my servant Joseph (The Doctrine and Covenants 132:51,52)

 

Both Joseph Smith and Muhammad were proud. This can be seen in their statements. Whereas, Paul’s journey was the kind, where he first considered himself as the cheapest of the apostles, then cheapest of the holy, and in the end greatest of the sinners. His mindset went through a constant change and his growth was the opposite to Muhammad and Joseph Smith. Paul also wrote (Phil 2:3): Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Similarly, the Bible also says (James 4:6) that “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.".

                                                             

Al Hadis, vol 4. p. 323 as told by Abbas. “The holy prophet got onto the pulpit and asked his listeners, Who am I? They replied, You are the messenger of Allah. Muhammad replied, I am Muhammad, son of Abdullah, the son of Abdullah Muttalib. Allah made his creations and made me the best of them. He divided them into two groups and placed me in the best of the two. Then He divided them into tribes and made my tribe the best. Then He divided them into families and put me in the best one. I am the best family member and my family is the best family.

 

Sahih Muslim. Book 004, no. 1062,1063,1066 and 1067. As told by Abu Huraira: The emissary of Allah said, I have been made supreme over other prophets in six venerable issues (respect): I have been given words that are understandable and versatile if brief; I have been assisted with terror in the hearts of adversaries, pillages have been made legal to me, the land has been made pure for me and a place of worship, I have been sent to all people and the chain of prophets is locked in me. 

 

I have more reasons to boast than anyone ever. I am the only man who has ever been able to keep the whole church together since the times of Adam. Most have stood by my side. Neither Paul, John, Peter, nor Jesus were able to do it. I boast that nobody has ever done such great work as I have done. The successors of Jesus left him, but the Latter-day Saints have never left me. (Joseph Smith, History of the Church, part VI. p.408-409). Translated from the Finnish text.

 

 

 

 

REFERENCES:

 

1. Saarnivaara, Uuras: Mormonit, s. 14.

2. Sama, s. 152.

3. Sama, s. 147,148.

4. Hannu Nyman: Toisenlainen evankeliumi, s. 128

5. John Ankerberg & John Weldon: The Facts on the Mormon Church. Eugene, Ore.: Harvest House 1991, 30.

6. Maljanen, Pentti: Pääsin irti mormoneista, s. 20.

7. Saarnivaara, Uuras: Mormonit, s.156-158.

8. Ibn Sa’d, vol. l. 489

9. Ibn Ishaq, 106

 

 

 

More on this topic:

About salvation. How do Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses understand salvation, and how their teaching differs from traditional Christian and biblical teaching?

Religiousness or faith? What is the difference between religiosity and saving faith in Jesus and God? They are not the same thing

Are you a foolish virgin? It is possible to be a member of the church and attend church, but still be a foolish virgin, or unsaved person. What are the characteristics of such religiosity?

Theoretical belief. Many have faith in God, having outward forms of Christianity, and some are even church workers, but they still do not know the matter of salvation.

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jesus is the way, the truth and the life

 

 

  

 

Grap to eternal life!

 

More on this topic:

About salvation. How do Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses understand salvation, and how their teaching differs from traditional Christian and biblical teaching?

Religiousness or faith? What is the difference between religiosity and saving faith in Jesus and God? They are not the same thing

Are you a foolish virgin? It is possible to be a member of the church and attend church, but still be a foolish virgin, or unsaved person. What are the characteristics of such religiosity?

Theoretical belief. Many have faith in God, having outward forms of Christianity, and some are even church workers, but they still do not know the matter of salvation.