Ten Questions about the Great Apostasy
In the 1830’s Americans were in the infancy stages of the public education system; the majority of Americans were part of the agricultural economy; four times as many immigrants came into the country in that decade than the previous one; Louisa May Alcott, Emily Dickinson and Mark Twain were all born in the early to mid 1830’s, the Alamo took place and TX became a state (1836); and the song Jesus Loves Me was written in 1837 by Anna Warner.
All of these events left an indelible mark upon America’s and the world’s history. In addition to these significant events taking place another person who added to the course of historical events would write a religious book some referred to as the “Golden Bible”. Eighteen-thirty is the year J. Smith published the first edition of the Book of Mormon, and formed the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. According to Smith a handful of major events had taken place in the previous years that caused him to act upon the revelation he said God had given to him.
The most incredible “revelation” came from Smith that we read about in the Pearl of Great Price under Joseph Smith Testimony. In it he claims that he went to a grove in the forest to ask God which church he should join and God appeared in the flesh with his Son Jesus Christ. They went on to tell him not to join any of the churches because they were all wrong and had become the “Whore of Babylon”.
Just think; Jesus’ spilled blood amounts to the worth of a whore. Isn’t that what God told Jeremiah the Kingdom of Israel and the Kingdom of Judah had become? In the third chapter of Jeremiah, God has the Weeping Prophet proclaim to the people that because they have chosen earthly creation and people their gods that He is about to forsake them if they don’t repent and return. How arrogant of Smith to call the bride of Christ a whore! Can you just imagine God providing the people with the wedding feast and calling His Son’s bride a whore?
The Lord told us through the apostle Paul that the Bible is God-breathed; 2 Tim. 3:16 says that it’s also good for reproof, doctrine and instruction unto righteousness. And God also tells us in Deut. 18:20-22 that if anyone comes along and says something that is shown to be false then you are to disregard that prophet and not be afraid because he is not speaking for God.
The claims that Smith made then and the LDS Church has since made for 177 years are remarkable when you think about it. There wasn’t anyone – no one on earth at all – who was speaking or teaching the true gospel of Jesus Christ and hadn’t been for almost 2,000 years?! There are approximately 6 billion people on the face of the earth today. The Church claims to have 12 million members. Out of 6 billion how can it be that there are only 12 million who are going to heaven? (The fact that their numbers are wrong is for another time.)
1 – What type of god would sacrifice his son to DIE if it were all for naught?
2 – What type of god would leave his believers without hope or help when the last messenger (meaning the apostles) died?
3 – Wouldn’t this mean that the believers were the ones responsible for their own salvation and not him?
4 – Why did the apostles waste their time going on missions if no one believed after they died?
5 – What happened to what Jesus told the disciples in John 14:23 that He would send the Comforter to abode with them? The word abode in the Greek is “mone” and it means; “to tarry, residence, a staying, and a mansion”.
6 – Did Jesus lie?
7 – Whatever happened to what Jesus told Peter and His other disciples in Matthew 16:18;
“Thou art Peter and upon this rock I will build my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it”?
Walter Martin once said; “The cults are the unpaid bill of the body of Christ”. I’m inclined to say that I must agree. We need to stand up and refute the obviously blatant lies and discrepancies of the evil one. To have blinded the minds of so many is not only remarkable but shocking.
The Church also has 13 tenets of their belief system which they call the “Thirteen Articles of Faith”. The 8th Article of Faith says the Bible is only correct as far as it is translated correctly. “We believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God…”
Joseph Smith said that the Book of Mormon is the most correct book ever written. Yet, to date the BoM has had more than 4,000 grammatical changes made to its text.
In HC 4:461 it quotes Smith as saying:
“— I told the brethren that the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book.”
8 – The Lord promises us in Isaiah 40:8 that His word endures forever. So my next question is; did God lie?
9 – Why is the Bible wrong too?
10 – Why read the Bible if the majority of it cannot be trusted?
In the coming weeks we’ll be looking at several core doctrinal teachings of the LDS Church so be sure to tune in and listen for tips on how to witness to and pray for the Mormon people.
With Love in Christ;
1 Cor. 1:18
Jesus’ Promises Kept
I’m here today to let everyone know how intoxicated I am by being around those in the body of Christ. I admit that I look at the church of Jesus Christ through rose colored glasses. And I’ll be the first to admit that when I think of the Christian people it’s easy for me to overlook the flaws each denomination and individual person really has. I am more inclined to treat them in the same manner a parent has for a favorite child.
Each time I go out to speak or answer the ministry line and e-mails, the above scenario and Jesus’ promises in the Bible are the things I think of every day of my life. Even after fifteen years of salvation (it’s 2008), I look out at the audiences and I’m still in awe by Jesus’ power and faithfulness!
Matthew 16:18; “And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”
Ironically enough, the verse above is what I used in my prayers as a Mormon child growing up in Utah. I prayed Heavenly Father would keep the Christians around long enough for me to see them after I left Utah. I literally pictured myself amongst the throngs of people who walked alongside of Him as the dust of Jerusalem surely must have touched His holy feet.
While we’re not living in the days of long robes and donkey rides in Western societies today, the everyday circumstances of life have stayed pretty much the same. We are beset with troubles we’ve brought on ourselves or caused by those around us. We are more inclined to be taken into a world of abyss and doom with our natural reaction to the onslaught of evil’s ugliness. Instead of seeking the Lord’s guidance who reminds us to be patient with verses like Habakkuk 2:3, we immediately think of our own indignation.
“For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.”
In the New American Standard the last part reads “….For it will certainly come, it will not delay.”
For the Mormon, being reminded of God’s infinite wisdom through the Bible just isn’t an option. They are taught from birth to mistrust it while not being given a reason why. It’s no wonder confusion abounds! I’ve not met a member of the LDS Church yet who knows how to read the Bible as personal message to them from God. This is one of the biggest jobs we have here at LAM.
Speaking of which, it’s been an incredibly busy time for us witnessing God’s mighty work as He calls those in darkness to come forth into Light. This obviously confirms the promise He gave not only to the disciples He spoke to in Caesarea Philippi, but to those of us who walk this earth today!
What is so disheartening for us who know the Lord and love the Mormons is to see the lack of a personal relationship between the Mormon and Jesus. This is a direct result of promulgating the lies when the LDS Church says that the Bible has not been translated correctly.
Instead of the Mormon opening his Bible to glean something for himself that day from God, the story has become a detached history lesson not holding much truth. It reminds me of what was going on in the schools in Germany years ago.
When Kirk and I lived in Germany from ’85 to ’88 school history books left out all incriminating evidence of what took place some 40 years earlier. It wasn’t until the past ten or so years that the history books from which the children glean information about their country even addressed the fact that their fellow German people were partially responsible for the deaths of six million Jews just a few generations previously.
No mention of why the Jewish population went from hundreds of thousands in Germany down to a measly thirty thousand. In fact when I was a tour guide there, it was illegal for me to mention the words “Nazi”, “Holocaust”, “Swastika” and “Hitler” in public while taking groups of tourists down on the economy.
There are a myriad of ways to pray for the Mormon people and one of the specific things I am always praying for is that they would begin to ask themselves simple questions and find the answers for those questions.
1 – Who exactly, mistranslated the Bible?
2 – What parts of the Bible are mistranslated?
3 – Are there any historical documents that could shed light on where the trusted translations are located?
4 – Why would Heavenly Father desert His creation and what purpose did that serve us and Him?
5 – Why do millions of people continue to use the Bible if it’s not translated correctly?
6 – Does anyone today speak the same languages the people from biblical days spoke?
7 – When did the Bible become corrupt?
8 – Where did the reputable translations go?
9 – How did everyone go the way of corruption when Jesus promised in the Bible that the gates of hell wouldn’t prevail?
10 – Can or should I trust this type of god?
You see, if you can trust the Bible enough to call Him Christ, then why don’t you trust the rest of it? Why not call your god by some other name?
I was on the phone the other day with Jean, a close friend of mine, who shared with me an experience she had some fifty years ago. Jean worked with a woman all those decades ago who claimed to be a Christian and after working with this woman for several months it became painfully obvious to Jean that her co-worker’s walk with the Lord was probably non-existent.
My friend told me that after months of struggling to get along with this woman she turned to an old friend to ask for insight. The friend asked her if Jean believed in the miracles and promises of God. When she replied yes, her friend told her to open the Bible to John 11:40.
“Jesus saith unto her, Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God?”
That was all my friend needed to say. We exchanged quick good-byes and promised each other a lunch date in person when we both got back into town after our busy schedules for the rest of the month.
I got to thinking about the advice she imparted to me for the situation I’d been struggling with and the Lord gently reminded me this verse wasn’t meant for just that particular situation some two thousand years ago or even fifty years ago! This verse is meant for you and me today as well as tomorrow and for those we’ve never heard of far into the future. The only viable way that could be is if God is who He claims to be in the Bible.
If you believe God could raise the dead two thousand years ago, then why can’t you believe He could keep His promises to you today?
(Picture on the left is a church in Bavaria that’s been in use since 1050 AD. People still go there to worship Jesus just as they did almost 1,000 years ago. We took the picture while on holiday for Christmas 2010 and I just couldn’t stop thinking of how trustworthy our Lord is for keeping His promises to us.)
T.R. McNeal’s contribution to Holman Bible Dictionary says this about miracles;
“Contemporary philosophical and theological arguments over the possibility and definition of miracle reflect the altered worldview of the last several centuries—from a theistic to a nontheistic concept of the universe. The perceived tension between the natural and the miraculous is a by-product of a naturalism that is intent on squeezing out the supernatural realm of reality.
The people of the bible did not face this problem. The biblical perspective on the universe is that it is created, sustained, and providentially governed by God.”
While I realize Jesus’ promise of keeping His church on the face of the earth without interruption may not seem like a miracle to the Mormon that’s reading this article, I am convinced it qualifies. Think about it…
Everyone who walks this earth has the same problem. Everyone’s main sin in life is pride. Pride is always the culprit when we believe we can work our way out of any situation without help. For you and me, that situation is the sinful nature we were born with.
Believing you can work your way to heaven is discarding God’s grace of salvation. I haven’t met a Christian yet who doesn’t believe it’s a miracle that they’re saved. Rejection of God’s grace is to reject Jesus.
Just this past weekend I spoke to a group of dedicated believers at a church here in the Puget Sound area. Every single person in that congregation humbly acknowledged the saving grace of God in their lives. In turn while looking out at that congregation I was speaking to, I was a witness to Jesus’ kept promises.
Check out what the author of Hebrews had to say about the glory of God in 2:10;
“For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things, and through whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to perfect the author of their salvation through sufferings.”
For the Mormon, the question of whether miracles and promises could be the same thing has to become an action instead of a simple item of reflection for the rest of us. Earlier this week I received and e-mail from a life-long member of the LDS Church who shared his story with me of how he got up and physically left one of the meetings he was attending at a General Conference.
While the prophet of the Church spent his time telling people there was no such thing as a fundamentalist Mormon, God opened the eyes and heart of this person and he became unable to do anything but get up and walk out. He started wondering what the role was of anyone calling themselves Mormon and the role of God. This man knew in his heart that he loved the Lord as much as he loved the church, but both couldn’t be right.
As we demonstrated in the scriptures above, the glory of God isn’t “intelligence” as millions of Mormons believe. The glory of God is the redeeming work He performs through many venues; salvation of men, raising the dead, healing the sick, holding His church together, His indwelling presence in each of His children, the virgin birth and His most glorious work, raising Jesus from the dead. As you can imagine the list is endless!
Instead of believing that you get to heaven because of God’s infinite mercy upon you, Mormons believe they can obtain the same intelligence God holds and in turn, salvation. We experience God’s glory by realizing and submitting ourselves to the proper place of humility. Mark 9:22-23 explains it this way;
“And ofttimes it hath cast him into the fire, and into the waters, to destroy him: but if thou canst do any thing, have compassion on us, and help us. 23Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.”
If you’re a Mormon take a day to wonder why the Christians are still here like Jesus said they would be. Also – why would Jesus lie to the disciples if there was a true full blown apostasy?
With Love in Christ; Michelle
1 Cor. 1:18