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Studying the Book of Mormon 12

 “To generalize is to be an idiot” – William Blake

 Mormon 5:7; “And it came to pass that we did again take to flight, and those whose flight was swifter than the Lamanites’ did escape, and those whose flight did not exceed the Lamanites’ were swept down and destroyed.

With those two things in mind, let’s take a quick look at what other people have said and done in history.

 389 AD – St. Patrick is born

400 AD – Niall is first man called king of Ireland

405 AD – Jerome completes the Vulgate

410 AD – Visigoths sack Rome

410 AD – trousers are introduced replacing togas and in China stirrups are invented making it easier to ride horses

413 AD – St. Augustine writes City of God

415 AD – Jews are expelled from Alexandria

September 30, 420 AD – Jerome dies peacefully in Bethlehem while working on his commentary of Ezekiel.

February 8, 421 AD – Constantius III becomes co-Emperor of Western Roman Empire

September 2, 421 AD – Constantius III dies

422 AD – The walls of The Colosseum crack during an earthquake

439 AD – Vandals conquer Carthage

 These events in fifty years of history around the time of Moroni can be verified with the assurance they surely took place.  Names of people, cities they lived in, inventions, and books they may have written can be verified through archaeological evidences or historical events documented through time. (1)

 Why is it we can’t find any archaeological evidence from the Book of Mormon?  Nothing, and I do mean nothing, has ever been found to authenticate the claims made by Joseph Smith.

 The past few months have proven themselves to be an interesting time of discovery during our studies.  What we have unearthed hasn’t cast a favorable light on the writings of Joseph Smith.

We’ve found that Nephi and Lehi’s claims of being persecuted by the Jews in Jerusalem in 600 BC were nothing more than a far-fetched story etched in the mind of Joseph Smith.

 The probability of the Jaredites actually sailing across the Atlantic in 2200 BC is virtually incalculable and the Tower of Babel story was off by more than a thousand years.

 One thing I wish I would’ve done is to count the number of false prophecies, alas; we’ll leave that for another day.  Suffice it to say there are more than a few.

 Moroni is the last prophet in the line of the Nephites and his book carries the title of his name.  In essence he is sharing a letter his father wrote to him of a long drawn out farewell to his son and other Nephites clearly stating he knew no one would see the sacred writings of his forefathers in the centuries to come.  It’s just a little too coincidental and convenient.

Smith has set up for himself a fail proof prophecy by trying to prove that he is the appointed one spoken of by Moroni some fourteen hundred years earlier.

 The book of Moroni reminded me of a self pity party gone bad.  Interspersed with the woe-is-me psyche, the first six chapters are filled with instructions of how to administer the elements, ordination procedures of priests/teachers, baptismal rituals and consequences for sin.

  Chapters 6 through 8 are filled with half quotes lifted from the Bible and in chapter 9 we see one of the hallmarks in Smith’s thought process.  It is clear after you’ve studied the Mormon religion that it’s been built upon two things.  Those two indicating factors are sex and godhood status.

 Moroni 9:9;

…For behold, many of the daughters of the Lamanites have they taken prisoners; and after depriving them of that which was most dear and precious above all things, which is chastity and virtue—

 Aside from the racist view of non-whites, this is the most offensive teaching found in the Book of Mormon.  How do you deprive someone of being chaste or virtuous?  You can’t force someone to lie, nor can you force someone to be an honorable person.  The only way one could interpret this verse is to understand your virginity is more important than all other things.  You are ruined and worthless in the eyes of God if you’re a victim of rape.  This is particularly bad for women in Utah.  The rate of rape in Utah is always higher than the national average and it’s been that way for decades now.  See our article on vital stats in Utah here http://www.lifeafter.org/stats2008a.asp

 Imagine how 33% of the women in Utah feel while sitting in a Sacrament meeting reading that.  Good job Mr. Smith.

 I cannot understand how any Mormon could find hope for their tired soul anywhere in Moroni, let alone the Book of Mormon.  Sadly, we’ve found that Mormons have a voracious appetite in defending this work and I’m left to wonder if they’ve even bothered to read it.

 One of the main problems with the Book of Mormon is the glaring lack of a dictionary enabling us to gain a full understanding of Reformed Egyptian.

 To complicate matters even further, the teachings from the last two chapters of Moroni don’t correspond with basic tenets found within Mormonism.  Grace, the Trinity and final judgment after death are all foreign concepts to the Mormon. It’s obvious these teachings and words have been incorporated into the text to confuse members, making it sound biblical.

 The infamous “burning in the bosom” passage is located in Moroni 10:3-5 which boldly contradicts what the Bible says in Jeremiah 17:9.

 Moroni 10:3-5; “Behold, I would exhort you that when ye shall read these things, if it be wisdom in God that ye should read them, that ye would remember how merciful the Lord hath been unto the children of men, from the creation of Adam even down until the time that ye shall receive these things, and ponder it in your hearts.  4 And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.  5 And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.

 Jeremiah 17:9; “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?

 Below you’ll find basic statistics about the book of Moroni pointing out errors, false prophecies, grammatical problems, Greek and Latin words in the Book of Mormon and noteworthy teachings.

 Think about this while you look at the statistical info below.

 If God is perfect, why would he use poor grammar in the Book of Mormon?

 If Joseph Smith was truly a prophet of God then why did he announce that he used no Greek or Latin words in the Book of Mormon?

 If the Book of Mormon is true when it states God is the same from everlasting to everlasting, how do you explain that God was once a man?

 If the Nephites truly lived in the fifth century, why were they using phrases from the Bible that was written on a different continent four hundred years earlier?

 If you’re a member of the LDS Church, know that we pray for you every single day.  My heart is heavy knowing the struggle it is to be a Mormon.  I lived that life for 30 years.  There are questions that need to be answered about the Book of Mormon and it’s your right to have your questions answered honestly.

 If the Book of Mormon doesn’t line up with basic common sense regarding historical, grammatical and biblical investigation then you need to know so that you can make an intelligent decision in what you want to do.  Worshipping the wrong god has serious consequences in the hereafter.

 With Love in Christ;

Michelle Grim

1 Cor. 1:18

 FALSE PROPHECIES

 5:2

8:10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 17, 18, 19, 22

9:4

10:3, 4, 5, 26

Noteworthy teachings

 Moroni 5:1 – elements are of wine, not water like the Church serves today

Moroni 6:6 – Wine served in communion – not water

Moroni 7:22 – God is everlasting to everlasting (contradictory to God once being a man)

Moroni 7:26 – saved by faith in God (this is not taught in Mormonism)

Moroni 8:8 – Christ is God, kids can’t sin, Jesus takes away Law of circumcision

Moroni 8:18 – God doesn’t change (contradictory to God once being a man)

Moroni 8:23 – Mockery before God to trust in dead works

Moroni 9:4 – Holy Spirit ceases to strive amongst men

 Moroni 9:9 – rape victims are not worthy in God’s eyes (see commentary by Ezra T. Benson in New Era, Jan ’88, pg.4, BYU Devotional of 10/87)

 Moroni 10:26 – no need for baptisms for the dead

Moroni 10:29 – Moroni doesn’t lie

 Plagiarism

 Moroni 6:1, 2, 4, 7 are lifted from Matt. 3:8; Ps. 51:17; Heb. 12:2 and Rev. 3:5 respectively

Compare Moroni 7:1 & 1 Cor. 13:13

Moroni 7:6 and 1 Cor. 13:13

Moroni 7:7 and Romans 4:3

Moroni 7:16 and 1 Cor. 12:7

Moroni 7:17 and Romans 3:12

Moroni 7:18 and Matthew 7:2

Moroni 7:26 and John 16:23; Matthew 21:22

Moroni 7:34 and Acts 2:38

Moroni 7:39 and Hebrews 6:9

Moroni 7:43 and Matt. 11:29

Moroni 7:44 and 1 Cor. 12:3, 13:2

Moroni 7:45 and 1 Cor. 13:4, 5, 6, 7

Moroni 7:46 and 1 Cor. 13:2, 8, 13

Moroni 7:47 (Charity is an old English word for love.  It seems odd that Smith would find it necessary to explain this)

Moroni 7:48 and 1 John 3:1, 2, 3

Moroni 8:3 and Acts 4:30

Moroni 8:4 and 1 Cor. 1:11

Moroni 8:6 – chastisement of the people like Paul in Corinthians

Moroni 8:8 and Matt. 9:12-13

Moroni 8:14 and Acts 8:23; 1 Cor. 13:13

Moroni 8:16 and Acts 13:10; Luke 13:3; 1 John 4:18

 Moroni 8:26 and John 14:16, 26 (the word Comforter is a Middle English word originating in 1300 AD.  Why is this word in the BoM if it wasn’t a word in 421 AD and in the KJV but wasn’t in the Vulgate? – also see our article about Greek and Latin words in the BoM here http://www.lifeafter.org/greeklatin.asp)

 Moroni 9:6 and Acts 13:10

Moroni 9:22 and Luke 13:3

Moroni 10:8 and 1 Cor 12:4-7

Moroni 10:9 and 1 Cor. 12:8

Moroni 10:10 and 1 Cor. 12:8

Moroni 10:11 and 1 Cor. 12:9

Moroni 10:12 and 1 Cor. 12:10

Moroni 10:13 and 1 Cor. 12:10

Moroni 10:14 and 1 Cor. 12:10

Moroni 10:15 and 1 Cor. 12:10

Moroni 10:16 and 1 Cor. 12:10

Moroni 10:17 and 1 Cor. 12:11

Moroni 10:19 and Heb. 13:8

Moroni 10:20 and 1 Cor. 13:13

Moroni 10:25 and Romans 3:12

Moroni 10:38 and Zech. 12:10

Moroni 10:31 and Isaiah 52:1

Moroni 10:32 and 2 Cor. 12:9

Moroni 10:34 and Acts 10:42

 Grammar Problems

 Moroni 1:4; “Wherefore, I write a few more things, contrary to that which I had supposed; for I had supposed not to have written any more; but I write a few more things…

 Moroni 9:24; “…write somewhat a few things, if thou art spared and I shall perish and not see thee…

 Moroni 10:1; “…and I would that they should know that more than four hundred and twenty years have passed away…

 Not Inspired

 Moroni 1:1; “Now I, Moroni, after having made an end of abridging the account of the people of Jared, I had supposed not to have written more, but I have not as yet perished…

 Moroni 7:1; “And now I, Moroni, write a few of the words of my father Mormon…

 Moroni 8:1-2; “An epistle of my father Mormon, written to me, Moroni; and it was written unto me soon after my calling to the ministry. And on this wise did he write unto me, saying:  2 My beloved son, Moroni, I rejoice exceedingly that your Lord Jesus Christ hath been mindful of you…

 Moroni 9:24; “…write somewhat a few things, if thou art spared and I shall perish and not see thee…

 Moroni 10:1; “Now I, Moroni, write somewhat as seemeth me good; and I write unto my brethren, the Lamanites…

 Greek and Latin Words in Moroni

 35 words used 250 times

 1. http://www.christianhistorytimeline.com/DAILYF/2001/09/daily-09-30-2001.shtml

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sack_of_Rome_(410)

http://www.enotes.com/peoples-chronology/year-5th-century-d

http://www.historyworld.net/timesearch

http://www.wordiq.com/definition/421

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Studying the Book of Mormon 11

 “The measure of a man’s real character is what he would do if he knew he would never be found out.” – Lord Macaulay

 If I were to rank the books in the Book of Mormon on the level of the most nefarious and cockamamie stories, Ether would be at the very top of my list.  It’s obvious from Joseph Smith’s paper trail that nothing was left to the imagination of what kind of man he was.

 One of the main problems with this story is the timeline.  According to reputable historians, the confounding of languages at the Tower of Babel took place circa 3,300 BC and through the Peleg continental division in 3006 BC.  Ether supposedly took place in 2200 BC.

 A very reliable and well written site on the historical, archaeological and biblical findings of this event in history can be found here:

http://ldolphin.org/babel.html

 The book of Ether contains so many impossibilities, false prophecies, plagiarisms, contradictions and flat out lies that we’re just going to jump right into the list this week.

 If the book of Mormon is true, it’ll hold up to the scrutiny and prove itself to be from God.  Thus far, history has proven otherwise.  If you’re a member of the LDS Church, do this for yourself; actually study it and see if I’m wrong.  This isn’t a time for feelings – this is a time for truth.

 We learn from scripture when we should and shouldn’t judge.  I was reminded of this while doing some research for a friend about another subject matter.  We are not to judge motives which are hidden because only God knows our hearts.  According to Paul we are not to judge what others eat or drink because those things are between that person and God alone.  Romans 14:1-4.  We must, however, judge public teachings and commanded to do this as Paul advised Timothy in 1 Timothy 4:6.

 False prophets teach messages that come from themselves, not from God.  Jesus tells us in John chapter ten that He is the door and robbers never go through the door of Jesus.  They always try to hoist themselves up through another way, to trick the sheep with another teaching and another belief.  They always have a secret or exclusive doorway and teaching they’ve privately been shown by God.

 We are to defend the gospel that has been delivered once to the saints (Jude 1:3) and hate even the garment that’s been tarnished (Jude 1:23).

 Here’s what the LDS Church has to say about Mr. Smith’s teachings; as you can see, they obviously don’t have a problem with what he did or said.

 “As guided by the Spirit, Joseph spent about three years going through the Bible, making thousands of corrections to the text and restoring information that had been lost. This restored information sheds marvelous light on many doctrines that are not clearly presented in the Bible as it exists today.

 http://lds.org/ldsorg/v/index.jsp?hideNav=1&locale=0&sourceId=c5a720596a845110VgnVCM100000176f620a____&vgnextoid=da135f74db46c010VgnVCM1000004d82620aRCRD

 Noteworthy teachings

 Jared says you can read about Sodom and Gomorrah as well as Jericho in the Bible, why would the Mormons do this if the Bible is corrupt? – Ether 1:4

Everyone’s language confounded but Jared, his brother & friends – Ether 1:35-7

Jared and brother along with families and friends of friends and their families went to the valley to gather animals – Ether 2:1

Sailing crew commanded to go no further than America – Ether 2:7

Circa 2,200 BC even before there were Israelites, Gentiles told to repent – Ether 2:11

God leaves when you sin – Ether 2:15

God forgot they needed air in the barge so Jared instructs God on how to build a seafaring vessel – Ether 2:16

Barge built tight just like a dish – Ether 2:17

Built the boat so they wouldn’t drown in the flood – ??? – Ether 2:20

Brother of Jared saw the finger of Jesus and was afraid Jesus would smite him because he found out God has flesh and bones – Ether 3:8

No one has greater faith than brother of Jared – Ether 3:9

There are a couple of problems with the verse listed below.

 Ether 3:13; “And when he had said these words, behold, the Lord showed himself unto him, and said: Because thou knowest these things ye are redeemed from the fall; therefore ye are brought back into my presence; therefore I show myself unto you.

 This story contradicts the Bible – no man has seen God.  Exodus 33:20

Knowing something doesn’t bring salvation – Eph. 2:8-9

 How can God be the father and the son? – Ether 3:14

VERY confusing verse –

 Ether 3:19;And because of the knowledge of this man he could not be kept from beholding within the veil; and he saw the finger of Jesus, which, when he saw, he fell with fear; for he knew that it was the finger of the Lord; and he had faith no longer, for he knew, nothing doubting.

 Why would God do this?  Only priests were allowed behind the veil.  What’s the deal with the faith statement?

Brother of Jared has perfect knowledge of God – Ether 3:20

Another VERY confusing verse –

 Ether 3:22;And behold, when ye shall come unto me, ye shall write them and shall seal them up, that no one can interpret them; for ye shall write them in a language that they cannot be read.

 Again, why would God do something like this?  Why would he have something written in a language no one could understand?

Jesus shows the nameless brother of Jared every single person on earth that had lived before him and even those who will ever live on the face of the earth after him – Ether 3:25

God can’t withhold anything – Ether 3:26

Textual change – Mosiah was Benjamin in 1830 version – Ether 4:1

Moroni seals up the interpreters – Ether 4:5

Jesus curses anyone that doesn’t believe the Book of Mormon – Ether 4:8

Either God is talking about his father in heaven or Jesus is his own dad – Ether 4:12

Circa 2,200 BC, before there were Israelites, Jesus calls upon the Gentiles to believe – Ether 4:13

Only 3 uneducated men will know how to translate plates – Ether 5:2-4

Was Orihah a polygamist?  He had 31 kids – Ether 7:2

Story of John the Baptist lifted with name changes – Ether 8:4

Why were these Jewish people eating pork? – Ether 9:18

Lots of big cities…no archaeological evidence – Ether 9:23

Many serpents poison lots of people – Ether 9:31

Poisonous serpents chase people – Ether 9:33

Oaths are bad – Ether 10:33

They rejected the prophets because of their secret societies (Mormons come to mind…) – Ether 11:22

In 2200 BC the Spirit of the Lord was inside of Ether – Ether 12:2

Christ showed himself after his resurrection to the fathers of Jaredites (remember this was written in 2200 BC) – Ether 12:7

By faith the Law of Moses was given – Ether 12:11

By faith the 3 disciples didn’t die – Ether 12:17

Many people saw beyond the veil because of faith – Ether 12:19

God can’t hide his finger from the brother of Jared – Ether 12:20

New Jerusalem in America – Ether 13:4

Wanted to write more but was forbidden – Ether 13:13

The curse of the vanishing tools – Ether 14:1

Fighting for the defense of his property and wives – Ether 14:2

One of the secret combinations murdered a high priest – Ether 14:10

Coriantumr invites Shiz to battle – Ether 14:28

2 million people died in war (this is 5x the number of Americans killed in WW2) – Ether 15:2

Headless Shiz rises up on his arms and breathes – Ether 15:31

 Things not invented yet OR not in America at that time

 Aquariums – Ether 2:2

Bees – Ether 2:3

Glass – Ether 2:23

Flocks & herds – Ether 6:4

Steel – Ether 7:9

Silks, grains – Ether 9:17-19

Flocks – Ether 9:31

Grains, flocks, gold – Ether 10:12, 23, 24

 Greek & Latin words found (small list) in BC era

 Apostles – Ether 12:41

Baptize – 4:18 (2x), 12:14

Christ – 4:1, 2, 3; 12:7, 16, 19, 38; 13:4

Cross – 2:6, 22, 25; 3:3, 4; 4:1; 6:3; 8:9

Disciples – 4:10; 12:17, 31

Epistle – 15:4, 5 (2x), 18

Exceedingly – This word was used 40 times in 15 chapters

 2:17

3:1, 9

6:28

7:1, 4, 7, 11, 19

8:5, 7, 8, 9

9:15, 16 (3x), 23, 26, 30

10:3, 4, 6, 9, 12, 13, 22, 27

11:4

12:19

13:27 (2x)

14:4, 16, 29

15:8, 9, 16

Gentile – God had not formed the nation of Israel at this point in history, but Ether seems to have already separated the people and made reference to Gentiles 10 times.

 2:11

4:6, 13

12:22, 23, 25, 28, 35, 36, 38

Gospel – 4:3, 18

Grace – 12:26, 27, 36, 41

Holy Ghost – 5:4; 12:14, 23, 41

Jesus – 3:17, 19, 20; 5:5; 12:39, 41

Jesus Christ – 2:12; 3:14, 19, 20; 4:7, 8; 12:22, 41

John – 4:16

Saint – 8:22

Son of God & variations – 4:7; 9:22; 12:18

 Use of the phrase “and it came to pass”

Ether has 433 verses and this phrase showed up 167 times in 156 of the verses.  That means 35% of the text contains this phrase.  Questions for the Mormon: how does this glorify God and how did this phrase add to the storyline of the text?

 1:35. 37, 38, 39, 40 – 5 verses

2:1, 4, 5 (2x), 6, 13, 14, 16, 18, 21 – 10x, 9 verses

3:1, 6, 21, 28 – 4 verses

6:2, 4 (2x), 5, 6, 7, 8, 13, 18, 21, 22, 25 (2x), 26, 27, 29, 30 – 17x, 15 verses

7:1, 3 (2x), 5, 7, 8, 11, 12, 14, 15, 17, 18, 24 (2x), 26 – 15x, 13 verses

8:1, 2, 4, 5, 6 (2x), 9, 11, 13, 14, 15, 18, 25 – 13x, 12 verses

9:1, 4, 5, 7, 9, 10, 14, 15, 23 (2x), 24 (2x), 25, 27, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 – 21x, 19 verses

10:1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 9, 12, 13, 15, 17, 18, 19, 29, 30, 32 – 15 verses

11:2, 5, 7, 9, 10, 12, 13, 14 (2x), 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 23 – 15x, 14 verses

12:1, 5, 36, 37 – 4 verses

13:15, 18, 19, 22, 23, 27, 28 (2x), 29 – 9x, 8 verses

14:4, 5, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 17, 19, 26, 29 (2x), 30 – 16x, 15 verses

15:1, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 15, 16, 17, 18, 20, 24, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32 – 23 verses

 Poor grammar

 Ether 3:2; “…and that we are unworthy before thee; because of the fall our natures have become evil continually…”

Ether 7:16; “And he gave battle unto Shule, the king…”

Ether 7:17; “And it came to pass that he gave battle again unto Shule, the king…”

Ether 7:19; “…nevertheless they did not gain power any more over Shule the king…”

Ether 7:21; “And Cohor, the son of Noah, caused that his people should give battle unto Shule…”

8:3; “And when he had gained the half of the kingdom he gave battle unto his father…”

Ether 8:5; “…they did raise an army and gave battle unto Jared.  And it came to pass that they did give battle unto him by night.”

Ether 8:8; “…daughter of Jared being exceedingly expert…”

Ether 10:9; “…Morianton, (he being a descendant of Riplakish) gathered together an army of outcasts, and went forth and gave battle unto the people…”

Ether 10:27; “…they did work all manner of work of exceedingly curious workmanship.”

Ether 10:34; “Now Com did fight against them much….”

Ether 11:15; “…and there arose a mighty man among them in iniquity, and gave battle unto Moron…”

Ether 12:6; “And now, I, Moroni, would speak somewhat concerning these things…”

Ether 13:16; “…wherefore he gave battle unto them who sought to destroy him”

Ether 13:23; “…Shared, and he also gave battle unto Coriantumr; and he did beat him, insomuch that in the third year he did bring him into captivity.”

Ether 13:29; “…Shared gave him battle again upon the plains…”

Ether 13:30; “…Coriantumr gave Shared battle again…”

Ether 14:3; “…the brother of Shared and he gave battle unto Coriantumr…”

Ether 14:4 “…the brother of Shared did give battle unto him in the wilderness of Akish…”

Ether 14:7; “…which he did receive great strength to his army.”

Ether 14:8; “…Gilead, also received great strength to his army, because of secret combinations.”

Ether 14:10; “And it came to pass that one of the secret combinations murdered him in a secret pass…”

Ether 14:11; “…Coriantumr came up unto the land of Moron, and gave battle unto Lib…”

Ether 14:12; “And it came to pass that he fought with Lib, in which Lib did smite upon his arm that he was wounded…”

Ether 14:13; “…and Lib gave battle unto him upon the seashore.”

Ether 14:16; “And when he had come to the plains of Agosh he gave battle unto Lib, and he smote upon him until he died…”

Ether 14:26; “…and there he gave battle unto Shiz for the space of three days”

Ether 15:2; “He saw that there had been slain by the sword already nearly two millions of his people…”

Ether 15:6; “…the people of Shiz did give battle unto the people of Coriantumr.”

Ether 15:16; “…so great were their cries, their howlings and lamentations, that they did rend the air exceedingly.”

Ether 15:17; “…they did rend the air with their cries, and their howlings, and their mournings, for the loss of the slain of their people.”

 False prophecies

Intro for Ether – God didn’t confound their language (Gen. 11:9)

Ether 1:35 – God didn’t confound their language (Gen. 11:9)

Ether 1:43 – This is a false prophecy. These folks were destroyed.

Ether 3:9-17 – Because of faith of Jared’s brother, God will become man & he showed himself unto the brother of Jared

Ether 4:6 – Gospel not given to Gentiles until they repent

Ether 4:15 – Those who don’t believe Book of Mormon are not saved

 Ether 6:11; “And thus they were driven forth, three hundred and forty and four days upon the water.

 I have a few questions about the verse above.  According to the website of Port World, sailing from Kuwait to Los Angeles is 11,551 miles.  Sailing along at 4 knots would take 121 days.  http://www.portworld.com/map

Most ships at the time of the Greco-Roman Empire could sail from 50-60 miles per day with 170 oarsmen.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trireme

 How many people were on that ship and why didn’t God know how to build the barge with the amount of people needed to properly navigate it?  Why did it take them 3 times longer than it should have?

 Ether 12:11 – By faith the Law of Moses was given and the Son came because of faith.  Jesus came to pay the price for sin, not because people had faith.

Ether 12:19 – by faith the ancient fathers saw behind the veil

Ether 15:19 – Spirit of the Lord went away because of sin (the Bible tells us He will never leave once He comes to us in John 14:16-17)

 Plagiarism

 Ether 4:18-19 – See Acts 2:38, Mark 16:16-17; Matthew 25:34

 Ether 8:10, 25 – See Matthew 14:6-11; John 8:44; 2 Cor. 11:3

 Ether 12:4, 6, 8, 11, 17, 19, 22, 26, 28, 32-35, 37, 41 – See Heb. 6:19; 2 Cor. 9:8; Heb. 11:1 (Compare rest of this passage with all of Hebrews 11 – “The Hall of Faith”; Hebrews 6:4, 2 Cor. 12:31; Heb. 11:30, Heb. 11:5, 6:19, 11:33, 2 Cor. 12:9; 1 Cor. 13:13; John 14:2, 10:17; Matt. 25:28-29; 2 Cor. 13:14

 Ether 13:9-10, 12 – See Rev. 21:1; 2 Cor. 5:17; Rev. 21:2, 7:14; Matt. 19:30

 Greatness of America

 America is great –

1:42, 43

2:7, 9, 10, 12, 15

 America is the Promised Land –

2:7, 8, 9

6:5, 8, 12, 16

7:27

 America is choice above all other lands –

2:7, 10, 12, 15

9:20

10:28

13:2

 New Jerusalem in America –

3:3, 4, 5, 6, 10

 America is land of inheritance –

13:8

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Studying the Book of Mormon 9 

Fourth Nephi

 Highlighting the Writings of Nephi, Amos, Amos, Jr., Ammaron, and Mormon

 My purpose this week is to show the basic facts of this book in addition to asking the Mormon people a few questions to mull over in their own private times.  Most of the verses in this book are so ridiculous that it’s hard to believe people are actually comforted or encouraged by God when they read through it.

 4th Nephi has 49 verses

 Verses with the phrase “And it Came to Pass”: 20

 4 Nephi 1:1; “And it came to pass that the thirty and fourth year passed away, and also the thirty and fifth, and behold the disciples of Jesus had formed a church of Christ in all the lands round about…

 1:1, 2, 4, 10, 13, 14, 15, 19, 21, 22, 27, 35, 36, 38, 40, 42, 45, 46, 47, 48

 Verses describing years that have passed: 19

 4 Nephi 1:6; “And thus did the thirty and eighth year pass away, and also the thirty and ninth, and forty and first, and the forty and second, yea, even until forty and nine years had passed away, and also the fifty and first, and the fifty and second; yea, and even until fifty and nine years had passed away.

 1:1, 2, 4, 6, 14, 20, 21, 22, 24, 27, 34, 35, 36, 40, 41, 44, 45, 47, 48

 Verses with grammar problems:  8

 4 Nephi 1:27; “…they did deny the more parts of his gospel…

 1:6, 22, 25, 27, 34, 40, 42, 48

 Verses with No Contentions/Peace:  6

 4 Nephi 1:2; “…and there were no contentions and disputations among them, and every man did deal justly one with another.

 1:2, 4, 13, 15, 18, 20

 Verses with partial sentences/phrases from the Bible: 3

 4 Nephi 1:3; “And they had all things common among them; therefore there were not rich and poor, bond and free, but they were all made free, and partakers of the heavenly gift.

 1:1, 3 (3x), 30

 See Acts 2:38, 44; Acts 4:32; Galatians 3:28; Hebrews 6:4

Questions for 4th Nephi

 If there were multiple authors of this book, why is the writing style of each so much alike?

 Why do they make the same grammatical errors?

 Why is the phrase “and it came to pass” used so much?  What purpose does it serve in “scripture”?

 If these folks are engraving their message upon plates of brass, why do they have so much time on their hands and materials to write long drawn out verses of how much time had passed?  Is it because there’s nothing else to write about?

 Is it possible for God to make grammatical errors?

 Fourth Nephi is a short little book emphasizing the lives of the Nephites and Lamanites living in peaceful times and then walking away from their god.

 This is exactly the opposite of what Jesus tells us in the Bible.  John 14:23 says He will come to tarry with us and make His abode with us.

 The most remarkable items of interest are:

 Every single person became a believer (vs. 2).  Really?  Again, the stories in the Book of Mormon are bigger and better than the Bible.

 In verse ten, Nephi tells us the Nephites did “wax strong and did multiply exceedingly fast and became an exceedingly fair and delightsome people”.

 Exceedingly is used exceedingly too much, don’t you think?

 Why did they become white when they believed God?

 If you’re a person of color and a member of the LDS Church, how do these types of verses make you feel about God?

 I have to tell you, when I was Mormon and read this stuff it made me feel less than a dog.  I was convinced God was less than pleased with me and my coloring was proof of his disdain.

 Ten verses later some of the people would revolt, and decide to become Lamanites (up to this time it was peaceful living and there were no more “ites” – vs. 17).

 Truth: real believers don’t revolt against God.

 Mormon also reports that people had multiplied exceedingly and became “rich because of their prosperity in Christ” (vs. 23).

 Moral to this story?  It seems that God only likes rich white people who have lots and lots of kids.  For the life of me, I saw absolutely nothing in this “work” that would provide hope for a Mormon or give a continued reason for faith in God.

 I can’t figure out what this story has to do with God.  If you do, let me know!

 A little over the halfway point in this story the Lamanites threw the Nephites into prisons which were “rent in twain”; Nephites were also thrown into furnaces of fire where they didn’t get burned and dens with wild beasts where the disciples of Jesus played with them “as a child with a lamb” (vs. 32-33).

 By the time this book ends, Amos had died and his brother Ammaron was keeping the records of Nephi.  People everywhere were living in sin, except of course, a few righteous Nephites.

 It’s 321 AD.

 And finally, why were these people using Greek and Latin words in addition to lifting phrases from the KJV while living in Mesoamerica speaking “Reformed Egyptian”?

 Why did the translation come out in Jacobean English which wasn’t part of the American English language used during the early nineteenth century?

 Confused yet?  That’s exactly where the LDS Church wants for their followers to be.

 I just returned from my niece Felicia’s funeral in Utah this week.  At that funeral the bishop quoted from the Book of Mormon, telling those of us in the audience that someday we’d all “return to our Heavenly Father” to become like him.  No one in the audience was placated, in fact my other niece Angie (Felicia’s sister), sobbed aloud at the end of his short talk.

 That scenario is what I think of when reading through these empty passages in Joseph Smith’s literary endeavors.  There is nothing of substance to any of this.

 Pray with us won’t you?  These dear people need our compassion and our ongoing desire to see them come to the real Jesus.

With Love in Christ; Michelle Grim

1 Cor. 1:18

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Studying the Book of Mormon 8

My Endless List of Questions in the Ongoing Saga of Nephi 

Plagiarism:  the unauthorized use or close imitation of the language and thoughts of another author and the representation of them as one’s own original work.

www.dictionary.com

3 Nephi 1:14; “Behold, I come unto my own, to fulfil all things which I have made known unto the children of men from the foundation of the world, and to do the will, both of the Father and of the Son—of the Father because of me, and of the Son because of my flesh. And behold, the time is at hand, and this night shall the sign be given.” 

If anyone knows what the verse above actually means and can explain it to me, I’d love to hear from you!  The quote comes from “the voice of the Lord”. 

The story of third Nephi opens up repeating some of the things Helaman told us about at the end of his book.  This particular book has been called “the holies of the holies of the Book of Mormon” (John Welch, Maxwell Institute) and looked upon as the best literary work of the Church, rivaling the writings of Isaiah. 

This time around we’re going to be listing the main events with a list of question at the end of each chapter for the Mormon to ask themselves in their private time.  I’m praying the questions will spark further investigation of what their god is all about and whether or not he’s worthy of their adoration. 

Chapter One Theme 

The main theme in the first chapter is undoubtedly the birth of Jesus Christ.  But there are glaring questions that need to be asked.

Where did the father of Nephi go and why did he leave his family?  What purpose does this serve in glorifying God or learning more about Him (1:3)?  Did his family go out looking for him?  If he was a man of God why would he do this?  The man is the only source of money to the family in ancient societies so why would he just up and leave his wife like this?

 Why Smith felt it necessary to tell his readers the dark people had to set aside a day to kill the white and delightsome people is very telling.  There’s really no reason for that verse as it doesn’t glorify God or promote a holy atmosphere.  (1:9)

 What it does promote is further mistrust and hatred for those who don’t think like you do.

 Why isn’t the focus of their scripture about the miracle of Jesus’ birth and how awesome it is their Redeemer has come to rescue them?  What about all the specific prophecies His birth fulfilled?  Since those Nephites supposedly had all the writings of their fathers, it shouldn’t be too difficult to drag them out and look, right?

 Who is the guy talking from the clouds in v. 14?  The Mormons don’t believe in the Trinity.  This verse has to be at the top of the list for the absurd.  Honestly people…

 Why are they baptizing people in 3 AD?  Jesus would’ve been about 7 yrs old around that time…  (1:25)

 Chapter Two Theme

 “And this ended the _____ year”…

 Most of the nineteen verses in this chapter are riddled with the repeated phrase of how many years had passed away.  How does this point to God and what does he want for you to learn from it?

 What is the doctrine of Christ spoken of in 2:2?  More contentions arose from the bad guys leading people away from the Lord.

 Is it reasonable that people living in Mesoamerica would be worried about their “liberties of their church and worship and their freedoms”?  (2:12)

 Do you honestly believe God would change the color of someone’s skin because they became righteous?  (2:15)

 If you’re African American, Mexican, Peruvian or Asian are you still dark now that you’re considered righteous?

 Chapter Three Theme

 Epistles of Governor Lachoneus’ and Giddianhi the Chieftain Robber

 How did the governor end up with a Greek sounding name in Mesoamerica in 15 AD?

 Do you really believe that a band of thugs are going to be sending the governor an detailed “epistle” and use vocabulary in this manner?

 “And behold, I am Giddianhi; and I am the governor of this the secret society of Gadianton; which society and the works thereof I know to be good…And I write this epistle unto you, Lachoneus, and I hope that ye will deliver up your lands and your possessions, without the shedding of blood, that this my people may recover their rights and government, who have dissented away from you because of your wickedness in retaining from them their rights of government, and except ye do this, I will avenge their wrongs. I am Giddianhi.”  (vs. 9-10)

 Lachoneus delivers marvelous prophecies to the Gadianton robbers to surrender and “so great” were his words that it caused fear to come upon the Gadiantons.  Really?  What all did he say that it caused so much fear and is this really believable?

 3 Nephi 3:22 lists most all of the things that didn’t exist in Mesoamerica at that time and claims they marched to the appointed place to wait for a battle with the robbers.  Chariots, grain, cattle, herds and horses were only existent in the mind of Joseph Smith.

 The other problem with this claim is how many people Smith claims was there.  Tens of thousands…yet not one single shred of any archaeological evidence has been found.

 Chapter Four Theme

 The Greatest Slaughter and Giddianhi’s Death

 Other than the slaughters being so great and the horrible grammar used in this chapter, the most remarkable event we learned of was the use of the word “scantiness”.  True story.  The etymology of this word only goes back to the early 17th Century.  Why is it in the Book of Mormon in 21 AD?  (4:19)

 The only other thing worthy of mention was the last two verses when the Nephites were victorious over the robbers.  The way this event is phrased makes it laughable if it wasn’t so sad.  Why do the Mormon people believe this?

 3 Nephi 4:32-33; “Yea, they did cry: Hosanna to the Most High God. And they did cry: Blessed be the name of the Lord God Almighty, the Most High God.  33 And their hearts were swollen with joy, unto the gushing out of many tears, because of the great goodness of God in delivering them out of the hands of their enemies; and they knew it was because of their repentance and their humility that they had been delivered from an everlasting destruction.

 Chapter Five Theme

 Supposed Allusion to the Gathering of Israel

 Is it reasonable to believe that not one single Nephite doubted the prophets?  Not one.  (5:1)

 Did every single Nephite really forsake all their sins (5:3)?  This claim would mean tens of thousands of people were perfect.

 If the Book of Mormon was really written on brass plates, how did Nephi have the room to write this in verse seven;

 “And thus had the twenty and second year passed away, and the twenty and third year also, and the twenty and fourth, and the twenty and fifth; and thus had twenty and five years passed away.

 The very next verse we’re told that so many things happened they couldn’t all be written.  Okay, so you have the time, space and energy to write the verse above, but you can’t tell us about the miracles?  It also used the phrase from the Apostle John again… “…this book cannot contain even a hundredth part of what was done among so many people in the space of twenty and five years.”  John wrote that circa 90 AD.

 In 5:13 Mormon tells us he’s a disciple of Jesus Christ but that’d be kind of hard to do since Jesus wasn’t out on the mission field yet.  It’s 21 AD.

 We find in 3 Nephi 5:18-19 how Mormon tells us that his work isn’t from God, but himself.

 “And I know the record which I make to be a just and a true record; nevertheless there are many things which, according to our language, we are not able to write.  19 And now I make an end of my saying, which is of myself, and proceed to give my account of the things which have been before me.

 The next verse makes it sound like he’s a breed of an animal or something.  What in the world is a “pure descendant”?

 “I am Mormon, and a pure descendant of Lehi…

 Is that opposed to a fake descendant?

 Chapter Six Theme

 The Pretended Appearance of God’s Presence

 If these prophets don’t have the time, space or materials to write everything down, why do they continually have to repeat themselves in their writings?  3 Nephi 6:2;

 “…and they did return to their own lands and their possessions, both on the north and on the south, both on the land northward and on the land southward.

  To back track one verse, you’ll see that they also have a problem remembering that cattle and horses still weren’t available to the Americas in 30 AD.

 1 John 4:4 says; “Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.

 I’m convinced Joseph didn’t understand how the Holy Spirit works in the hearts of true believers.  Smith’s obvious hatred for God shows up in the repetitive stories of how God failed the people time and again.  God doesn’t fail, people do. 

 John 14:16-18; “And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; 17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. 18 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.

 The building up of the church, the contentions and then continual peace times back and forth are proof that God did not exist with these people.  They only lived in the imagination of Joseph Smith’s mind.

 From verses 10 – 30 is one of many examples that Smith made this whole thing up.  The church broke up then got back together…

 Chapter Seven Theme

 Pathetically Uninspired

 My Book of Mormon chapter headings says this chapter contains Nephi’s powerful ministry.  I would find it difficult at best that Nephi could do anything if their god can’t deliver on his promises.  Be that as it may, there are also other uninspiring events to take a look at in this chapter.  3 Nephi 7:8 is plagiarized from 2 Peter 2:22, but with a twist of Smith’s grammar problem thrown into the mix.

 “And thus six years had not passed away since the more part of the people had turned from their righteousness, like the dog to his vomit, or like the sow to her wallowing in the mire.

 In 7:17-19 it tells us again too many things happened to write them in their books.  It also tells us of Joseph’s obsession with angels because angels administered to Nephi on a daily basis and then we’re told of Nephi’s power to raise someone from the dead.  Just out of the blue, no background, no recorded witnesses, no proof, no reason why the person died, nothing.  And then just as a reminder this is not an inspired work of God, the chapter ends with this;

 “And there were many in the commencement of this year that were baptized unto repentance; and thus the more part of the year did pass away.

Chapter Eight Theme

 Nephi’s Perfection and Three Days of Darkness with the Crucifixion

 3 Nephi 8:1; “And now it came to pass that according to our record, and we know our record to be true, for behold, it was a just man who did keep the record—for he truly did many miracles in the name of Jesus; and there was not any man who could do a miracle in the name of Jesus save he were cleansed every whit from his iniquity—

 

Somehow the Mormon god just can’t seem to get any good men but Nephi to serve in his army.  Additionally, notice how the prophet Mormon has to remind people that their writings are true.  Who was this meant for?

 3 Nephi 8:3; And the people began to look with great earnestness for the sign which had been given by the prophet Samuel, the Lamanite, yea, for the time that there should be darkness for the space of three days over the face of the land.

 Mark 15:33; And when the sixth hour was come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour.

 This is a classic example of how the Book of Mormon is not inspired of God.

See our article on Life After Ministry blog for 1,000 Reasons to Leave the Mormon Church.  Look under the topic of crucifixion for our insight above.

http://lifeafterministry.wordpress.com/2010/10/01/reasons-starting-with-c

 In 8:18 they use the term “rent in twain” again.  This time they were talking about their rocks.

 In 8:21-22 it says the darkness over the earth was so great they couldn’t even light campfires.  Nothing but continual weeping and how they could “feel the vapor of darkness (vs. 20).

 The majority of this chapter is filled with horrific events of God destroying the earth in cataclysmic earthquakes at the time of Jesus’ death some 5,600+ miles away.  Again they mention the earth was darkened for three days (8:23), people were killed and there were “thunderings and lightening”. 

 Some Book of Mormon apologists have claimed that as many as 70,000 to 90,000 people died during the three days of darkness and earthquakes that took place when Jesus was crucified.

 How do you explain John 10:10?

 “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

 Chapter Nine Theme

 Plagiarisms Abound in Jesus’ Travels to the Americas

 Just one question about 9:13.  If the survivors Jesus is talking to are more righteous than those who died why are they told to repent?  Wouldn’t they have already done that?

 Here’s a list of the bible verses they plagiarized and the verses from the Book of Mormon they used them in.

 3 Nephi 9:13 and John 12:40; “…and be converted, that I may heal you.”

 3 Nephi 9:15:Behold, I am Jesus Christ the Son of God. I created the heavens and the earth, and all things that in them are. I was with the Father from the beginning. I am in the Father, and the Father in me; and in me hath the Father glorified his name.

 John 1:2-3; “The same was in the beginning with God.  All things were made by him…

 John 14:11, 13; “Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me… that the Father may be glorified in the Son.

 3 Nephi 9:16; I came unto my own, and my own received me not. And the scriptures concerning my coming are fulfilled.

John 1:11; “He came unto his own, and his own received him not.

 3 Nephi 9:17; And as many as have received me, to them have I given to become the sons of God; and even so will I to as many as shall believe on my name, for behold, by me redemption cometh, and in me is the law of Moses fulfilled.

 John 1:12, 17; “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name…For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.

 Also see Luke 24:44; John 15:25; Matthew 5:17…

 3 Nephi 9:18; I am the light and the life of the world. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end.

 John 1:4, 8:12; “In him was life; and the life was the light of men… Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

 Revelation 22:13; “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end…

 Why were the Nephites speaking Greek?  Apha and Omega are the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet.  Joseph Smith said the Book of Mormon contained no Greek or Latin.  See our article about the Greek and Latin words in the Book of Mormon here:

http://www.lifeafter.org/greek.asp

 3 Nephi 9:19-20; And ye shall offer up unto me no more the shedding of blood; yea, your sacrifices and your burnt offerings shall be done away, for I will accept none of your sacrifices and your burnt offerings. And ye shall offer for a sacrifice unto me a broken heart and a contrite spirit. And whoso cometh unto me with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, him will I baptize with fire and with the Holy Ghost…

 Psalm 51:16-17; “For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering.  The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.

 And finally –

 3 Nephi 9:22; Therefore, whoso repenteth and cometh unto me as a little child, him will I receive, for of such is the kingdom of God. Behold, for such I have laid down my life, and have taken it up again; therefore repent, and come unto me ye ends of the earth, and be saved.

 Luke 18:16; “But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.

 John 10:18; “No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself…

 Isaiah 45:22; Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.

 Isn’t it ironic they’d quote this verse and not believe it?  How sad for those who trust in Joseph Smith.

 They plagiarized the bible 17 times in 8 verses.

 Chapter Ten Theme

 Jesus’ Repeated Saying of a Hen and Her Chickens

 Everybody hears a voice from the sky.  Really?

 3 Nephi 10:12 gives an outrageous story of how the earth and its inhabitants behave.  Check this out.

 “And the earth did cleave together again, that it stood; and the mourning, and the weeping, and the wailing of the people who were spared alive did cease; and their mourning was turned into joy, and their lamentations into the praise and thanksgiving unto the Lord Jesus Christ, their Redeemer.

 The above verse and the last verse of this chapter is the only thing worthy of mention.  In the last verse Jesus shows his resurrected body to the believers.

 Chapter Eleven Theme

 The Sky Voice Comes Again and a Multitude of People Thrust Hands into Jesus

 In 11:1 the voice from the sky makes another appearance but no one understands it this time around.  Just two verses later they still don’t understand the “small voice”.

 In verse four they heard the voice again and in verse five they heard it a third time.  I guess the third time’s a charm because they finally caught on in verse six and it just so happens that God is paraphrasing Matthew 17:5. 

 3 Nephi 11:7; “Behold my Beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased, in whom I have glorified my name—hear ye him.

 Hey, wait a minute…isn’t that what the exalted god told Smith in the grove of trees?

 Joseph Smith Testimony 1:17; “It no sooner appeared than I found myself delivered from the enemy which held me bound. When the light rested upon me I saw two Personages, whose brightness and glory defy all description, standing above me in the air. One of them spake unto me, calling me by name and said, pointing to the other—This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him!

 Hmmm…

 In verses 9-11 Jesus makes his curtain call and reveals to the people that he’s all that and more while paraphrasing John 1:4, 8:12 and 17:4.  Immediately afterwards the entire crowd falls to the earth from shock.

 For the second time we see another verse that would be hilarious if not for the fact that people like my own mother actually believes this stuff.

 3 Nephi 11:15; “And it came to pass that the multitude went forth, and thrust their hands into his side, and did feel the prints of the nails in his hands and in his feet; and this they did do, going forth one by one until they had all gone forth, and did see with their eyes and did feel with their hands, and did know of a surety and did bear record, that it was he, of whom it was written by the prophets, that should come.

 3 Nephi 11:25 “borrows” from Matthew 28:19 which is the Great Commission.  And two verses later they’re copying from 1 John 5:7, John 10:30 and John 14:11.

 3 Nephi 11:28 says that anyone who disagrees with the establishment is of the devil.  Don’t even think about having your own opinion.  You will obey.

 If you think that’s bad, just wait, there’s more.  From 11:32-40 you will find they’ve plagiarized the Bible 11 more times.  We’re listing only one example here.

 3 Nephi 11:39 plagiarizes Matthew 16:16 when it says;

 “Verily, verily, I say unto you, that this is my doctrine, and whoso buildeth upon this buildeth upon my rock, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against them.

 This chapter should be confusing for the Mormon people.  The text declares that Jesus is God and the gates of hell won’t prevail against the body of Christ.  Mormons emphatically denounce these two fundamentals of the Christian faith.  Why they’d use these verses is beyond me.

 Chapter Twelve Theme

 Sermon on the Mount in the Americas and the 12 Nephite Apostles

 This entire chapter with the exception of four verses is plagiarized from the Bible.

 Chapter Thirteen Theme

Plagiarizing Matthew 6

 This chapter is word for word from Matthew chapter six.  I just have one question.

 In 13:24 it says no man can serve two masters for he will hate the one and love the other…

 Hasn’t anyone in the Church figured this out yet?  Their love of Joseph has caused them to hate Jesus.

 All right, I changed my mind.  Why don’t they believe their own writings?  In 13:31 it says not to worry about food or clothing.  What’s up with the food storage?

 Chapter Fourteen Theme

 The Mormon Jesus’ Continued Plagiarisms – Matthew 7

 This chapter is twenty seven verses long and has been copied verbatim from Matthew chapter seven.

 I asked a Mormon once if they’d believe the Bible if it said exactly the same thing that the Book of Mormon did.  Their answer?  Absolutely not.  They’d only believe the teaching if it was in the Book of Mormon.

 Chapter Fifteen Theme

 The Other Sheep

 The main thing I’d want to convey to the Mormons in this chapter is to set the record straight about the other sheep that Jesus spoke of in the Bible.  The other sheep are not the Nephites, Jaredites, Lamanites or Zoramites in the Book of Mormon.

 The other sheep He was referring to in the Bible are the Gentiles.  Show your Mormon friends and loved ones the truth next time you have the opportunity.  John 10:16.

 3 Nephi 15:13 changes the whole scheme of things for the Jews.  America has now become the land of their inheritance.

 In 15:15 they repeat the lie about receiving a commandment from God to leave Jerusalem.  See Jeremiah 42:10-17.

 Chapter Sixteen Theme

 The Other Sheep are the Gentiles!

 Not much happens here but the rhetoric of the Mormon Jesus talking about the Gentiles who believe in him.  From 16:18-20 is the repeating of Isaiah 52:8-10.

 Chapter Seventeen Theme

 Jesus Heals the Children and Leaves to Search for the Lost Ten Tribes

 There are just a couple of things to look at here. 

 In 17:1 the Mormon Jesus tells the crowd his time was at hand.  As a clarification here – Jesus’ time was at the crucifixion.

 In verse four he tells them he’s gotta go talk to the lost ten tribes.  Nowhere in the Bible does it mention a “lost ten tribes of Israel”.  This theory was popular in the days of Joseph Smith.  Ethan Smith (no relation) wrote a novel called “View of the Hebrews”.  The premise of the story was that the Native American people were from the Israelites.

 Chapter Eighteen Theme

 Gorging on the Sacrament

 After filling themselves from the bread and wine a dark cloud came and overshadowed all the people.  When the cloud disappeared Jesus had vanished.  Maybe the dark ominous cloud was a sign they were doing things wrong?

 While plagiarizing the Bible on numerous occasions through this chapter it’s important to point out to the Mormon the significance of the elements taken at communion.

 The LDS Church has used water for the past 150 years or so and in doing so has watered down the true meaning of partaking the elements.  The other area that has dumbed down the thinking in this genre is believing Jesus paid the price for sin in the Garden of Gethsemane.  In 18:7 it says;

 “And this shall ye do in remembrance of my body, which I have shown unto you…

 Compare that to what Paul said in 1 Corinthians 11:24;

 “And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.

 Jesus’ body was broken and given for them and us – not shown to them.

 Chapter Nineteen Theme

 Raising the Dead and the Race Issue

 Wow!  They opened up this story with the news that every man took his wife and kids and went home.

 It wasn’t long after the “translation” when Joe started his polygamy practices – 1831 to be exact.

In 19:4 Smith uses the Greek names of Timothy (the guy who was raised from the dead) and Jonas which is the Greek form of Jonah.

 In verse 18 they’re praying to Jesus which is something the Mormons of today are forbidden to do.  See Bruce McConkie’s speech in March 1982 when he clearly states that praying to Jesus is wrong.

 Joseph’s “countenance” and obsession with white folks shines forth loud and clear when he describes the people who are righteous.

 3 Nephi 19:25; “And it came to pass that Jesus blessed them as they did pray unto him; and his countenance did smile upon them, and the light of his countenance did shine upon them, and behold they were as white as the countenance and also the garments of Jesus

 It’s repeated again in 19:30 that only the righteous are white.

 The very last verse is another bad habit of Joseph’s which he passed down to his believers.  No one has greater faith than they do.  No one has seen or heard the things they have…

 Chapter Twenty Theme

 Communion Problems…Again…

 This chapter makes Jesus sound like a magician.  The disciples were hungry again but had no bread or wine (vs. 6).  Lo and behold, in the next verse Jesus gave some to them.

 Just a few verses later we’re told that when they ate and drank they were filled with the Holy Ghost (vs. 9). 

 Unbelievers are those who don’t have the companionship of the Holy Spirit.  Why were they partaking of the elements?

 20:16-18 is taken from Micah chapter 5.

 20:18-20 is Micah chapter 4.

 20:23-26 is taken from Acts chapter 3.

 3 Nephi 20:38 says you can get saved without money.  In the Mormon Church of today that’s not possible.  At the end of each year the Mormons go to a “tithing settlement”.  If you don’t give at least ten percent of your gross income you can pay up in January or not get the needed temple recommend.

 The rest of the chapter from 20:32-45 is taken from Isaiah chapter 52.

 Chapter Twenty One Theme

 The Ongoing Grammar Problems of Joseph Smith…

 3 Nephi 21:11; “Therefore it shall come to pass that whosoever will not believe in my words, who am Jesus Christ…

 The verse above is just one example of the problem Joseph had with spelling, grammar and editing.  It’s also a sign of the other people he kept company with – no one was very educated.

 3 Nephi 21:2-7 should be pointed out to your Mormon friend.  It is one sentence.

 “And behold, this is the thing which I will give unto you for a sign—for verily I say unto you that when these things which I declare unto you, and which I shall declare unto you hereafter of myself, and by the power of the Holy Ghost which shall be given unto you of the Father, shall be made known unto the Gentiles that they may know concerning this people who are a remnant of the house of Jacob, and concerning this my people who shall be scattered by them; 3 Verily, verily, I say unto you, when these things shall be made known unto them of the Father, and shall come forth of the Father, from them unto you; 4 For it is wisdom in the Father that they should be established in this land, and be set up as a free people by the power of the Father, that these things might come forth from them unto a remnant of your seed, that the covenant of the Father may be fulfilled which he hath covenanted with his people, O house of Israel;  5 Therefore, when these works and the works which shall be wrought among you hereafter shall come forth from the Gentiles, unto your seed which shall dwindle in unbelief because of iniquity; 6 For thus it behooveth the Father that it should come forth from the Gentiles, that he may show forth his power unto the Gentiles, for this cause that the Gentiles, if they will not harden their hearts, that they may repent and come unto me and be baptized in my name and know of the true points of my doctrine, that they may be numbered among my people, O house of Israel; 7 And when these things come to pass that thy seed shall begin to know these things—it shall be a sign unto them, that they may know that the work of the Father hath already commenced unto the fulfilling of the covenant which he hath made unto the people who are of the house of Israel.

 The chapter consists of Jesus telling the Nephites he will save the Gentiles and gather the lost tribes of Israel that he dispersed out of Jerusalem.  Remember, in the Bible this is exactly the opposite of what God told the Israelites to do – Jer. 42:10-17.

 In 21:8-9 we find copying of Isaiah chapters 52 & 29 and in 21:12-19 are plagiarisms from Micah 5 again.

 Chapter Twenty Two Theme

 Plagiarizing Isaiah 54

 This entire chapter is Isaiah 54.

 Chapter Twenty Three Theme

 Jesus Wants Nephite Records to be Included

 3 Nephi 23:7-9 take the number one spot for stupid things to write.

 “And it came to pass that he said unto Nephi: Bring forth the record which ye have kept.  8 And when Nephi had brought forth the records, and laid them before him, he cast his eyes upon them and said: 9 Verily I say unto you, I commanded my servant Samuel, the Lamanite, that he should testify unto this people, that at the day that the Father should glorify his name in me that there were many saints who should arise from the dead, and should appear unto many, and should minister unto them. And he said unto them: Was it not so?

 Okay, so Jesus tells Nephi to bring him the records and sacred writings.  Nephi lays them at Jesus’ feet.  Jesus takes a look at them, and summarily tells Nephi he left out some parts so they needed to be added to their text about Samuel the Lamanite.

 Honestly…

 Chapter Twenty Four Theme

 Plagiarizing Malachi chapter 3

 This entire chapter is from Malachi 3.

 Chapter Twenty Five Theme

 Plagiarizing Malachi chapter 4

 This entire chapter is from Malachi 4.

 Chapter Twenty Six Theme

 Jesus  Plays the Part of a Courier and Delivers Scriptures from the Father

 So after they’ve quoted extensively from Malachi Jesus finally tells Nephi and company that he has scriptures God the Father wanted him to hand deliver?  This is so strange (26:2)…

 The rest of this chapter is more plagiarizing from 2 Peter, Revelations, 2 Corinthians, Acts and the gospel of John.  Nephi tells us that not everything can be written down and Jesus told them God will judge their works.

 26:7-8 was written to confuse.  I am convinced Satan used Smith to confuse these people of Mormonism and to dumb down the masses.  He played Smith like a fiddle.

 “But behold the plates of Nephi do contain the more part of the things which he taught the people.  8 And these things have I written, which are a lesser part of the things which he taught the people; and I have written them to the intent that they may be brought again unto this people, from the Gentiles, according to the words which Jesus hath spoken.

 In verse 11 God supposedly told Mormon not to write all the things they needed to know because he wanted to try the people and test their faith.

 If that verse isn’t scary enough to make you want to run the other way I don’t know what is.

 In verse 15 Jesus ascended for the 2nd time.  Does this mean no one was raptured???

 What do they think of Jesus’ real 2nd coming?

 Verse 18 can’t be spoken about.

 Chapter Twenty Seven Theme

 Jesus’ Third Appearance and the Name of the Church

 In 27:5 Jesus tells the Nephites they have to name the Church after him with his name in it.

 “Have they not read the scriptures, which say ye must take upon you the name of Christ, which is my name? For by this name shall ye be called at the last day.

 3 Nephi 27:6 is the martyr call for every single Mormon…“endure to the end….

 And the next few verses Jesus is reminding them again to name the church after him (vs. 7-9).

 3 Nephi 27:14 is a maze of lies.

 “And my Father sent me that I might be lifted up upon the cross; and after that I had been lifted up upon the cross, that I might draw all men unto me, that as I have been lifted up by men even so should men be lifted up by the Father, to stand before me, to be judged of their works, whether they be good or whether they be evil—

 The only people who were judged by their works were the Israelites before Jesus came to die for our sins.  Today if you don’t believe in Him you will be judged by your works.  That is why Jesus went to the Calvary and paid the price for our sin on the Cross.  You will not be judged by your works for salvation if you’re a believer.  The Mormons don’t believe Jesus died on the cross to draw mankind to himself.  They believe he paid that price in the Garden of Gethsemane.

 In 27:29 Smith has plagiarized Matthew 7:7.

 Smith shows again that he doesn’t understand how God operates.  In verses 31- 32 he tells the crowd that everyone in their generation is saved, but watch out because four generations after them they won’t be.  He tells them that the fourth generation will be selling him for silver and gold.

 How could this be?  How could they sell Jesus if He’s already risen and sitting on the right hand of God?

 Chapter Twenty Eight Theme

 Jesus Promises Life Until Age 72…for Most of Them

 This is the infamous chapter where Smith claimed the three Nephites didn’t taste death.  According to Mormon legend, they’re still wandering the earth somewhere.  If this were true, why was there a complete and utter apostasy?  Why weren’t those three Nephites out pounding pavement to see people saved?

 In verses 19-22 we find out the prisons can’t hold the Nephite believers, furnaces can’t burn them and wild beasts can’t tear them apart.  Again, the stories always have to be bigger and better than the Bible.

 In 28:26 Mormon tells us they’ve appeared to him but he’s not allowed to name names.  Ahh, that’s convenient…

 Chapter Twenty Nine Theme

 Mormon Warns Unbelievers they’re Like the Son of Perdition

 Remember, don’t think for yourself or have your own  opinion.

 Chapter Thirty Theme

 The Condemnation of the Gentile

 The only thing worth mentioning in the two verses of this chapter is that all Gentiles are damned.

 If you’re not a Mormon you’re a Gentile.

 Please, please pray for a Mormon today won’t you?

 With Love in Christ,  Michelle Grim

1 Cor. 1:18

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Studying the Book of Mormon 7

 Helaman, the Book of Questions

 Interpolate:  to alter (a text) by the insertion of new matter, esp. deceptively or without authorization.

 Many times in life we come face to face with God and still wonder why we never see Him.  God isn’t an exalted man as the LDS Church would have you believe, nor does He make personal appearances in human form like in the claims of Joseph Smith.  It’d be kind of difficult to do considering John 4:24 says He is spirit.  However, when people do meet Him it’s oftentimes in the form of a stranger, neighbor, loved one or even an enemy.

 That is what I learned when at the age of twenty, the words from a man I would soon consider an enemy challenged me and my heritage.  His name?  Ed Decker.  I’d never heard of him before that day, but his message stuck with me for another decade until I took him up on his challenge.

 His theory was that if the Book of Mormon didn’t hold up, the entire structure of Mormonism fell.  This beloved sacred cannon of the LDS Church was and still is so revered that young men and women are willing to drop everything for two years of their young lives to promote its message around the world.

 Part of their message is found in the book of Helaman, the seventh of twelve books in the Book of Mormon.  Overall, it’s filled with descriptions of unending wars and “contentions” that are much too vague, leaving their claims with no credibility.  The exposition in the prophecies of the unborn Messiah they mysteriously know about and the miraculous change in the hearts of the people are an obvious fabrication for the BC era.  The writings are proof that Smith was the epitome of an iconoclast.

 My major heartbreak as a teenager didn’t come as a result of a boy or not getting front row seats to my favorite band.  My heartbreak came from searching for the Jesus of the Bible in the Book of Mormon and never finding Him.

 I spent years trying to reconcile the non-descript Jesus in places like Helaman to detailed accounts found in the gospels.

 John 7:37-39;

 “In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.  38 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.  39 (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)

 My efforts were met with personal disappointment and bewilderment and when I’d voice my frustrations with the bishop, seminary teacher or MIA leaders, I was told we’d find out about “those things when we get there”.  Today, my answer to that is “yes, you definitely will”.  An example of the elusiveness in LDS writings can be seen in Helaman 3:15-18;

 “But behold, there are many books and many records of every kind, and they have been kept chiefly by the Nephites.

 16 And they have been handed down from one generation to another by the Nephites, even until they have fallen into transgression and have been murdered, plundered, and hunted, and driven forth, and slain, and scattered upon the face of the earth, and mixed with the Lamanites until they are no more called the Nephites, becoming wicked, and wild, and ferocious, yea, even becoming Lamanites.

 17 And now I return again to mine account; therefore, what I have spoken had passed after there had been great contentions, and disturbances, and wars, and dissensions, among the people of Nephi.

 18 The forty and sixth year of the reign of the judges ended.

 So did the records fall into transgression or did the people fall into transgression?

 How many wars and contentions took place before and during the time of Helaman?

 Specifically, what records had been passed down?

 How many people died and when did they die?

 What exactly was the aggravation for the wars?

 I only have one question for Helaman chapter 4.

 How in the world did these people walk from one ocean to the other in one day?  The shortest distance between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans is 2,362 miles.  (San Diego, California to Jacksonville Beach, Florida.)  Helaman 4:7.

In Helaman chapter 5 we’re met with a myriad of questionable events that go beyond the subtlety of injecting the gospel into the BC era.  In this chapter it’s 30 BC and we’re told salvation is only through the atoning blood of Jesus Christ; Jesus has been given power from the Father to redeem people from their sins; Jesus is the rock;  Christ is a sure foundation.

 Chapter 5 also includes the story of Helaman’s sons Nephi and Lehi preaching with great power and authority and to their astonishment 8,000 Lamanites were baptized.

 After this great scenario took place, they were imprisoned by the Lamanite army where they were subsequently encircled by fire.  When the Lamanites saw what happened, they were struck dumb, but Lehi and Nephi assured them it was safe when an earthquake struck.

 Along with the earthquake, came a dark ominous cloud and a voice emanating from it.  The voice “pierced” them to the soul telling people to repent and stop trying to destroy the servants of God who came to “declare good tidings”.  Immediately afterwards, another earthquake came along and for the third time the “still small voice” spoke.  Amazingly, the things God told everyone there cannot be uttered by man.

 The earth shook again, a natural born Nephite now dissenter, looked over and saw the missionaries who looked like angels.  They were “lifting their eyes to heaven and in the attitude as if talking or lifting their voices to some being whom they beheld”.  The one time dissenter, “Aminidab”, began telling those around him to repent while everyone stood looking at Nephi and Lehi who were by the way, still in the fire.

 We’re then told of how the Holy Spirit came down and entered the hearts of men as if they were “filled with fire”.  Just then another voice (a pleasant one this time) told them “peace” because of their faith in “my Well Beloved who was from the foundation of the world”.  It was at this time the heavens opened and angels came to minister to them.

 Three hundred people saw this and were told to go out and not doubt God.  The Lamanites went out and gave away their land to the Nephites because of their experience.

 So with all that behind us, my questions are many, as I’m sure yours are as well.

 Remember our grammar lesson from a few chapters ago?  “Good tidings” is an Old English term originating circa 1100 AD.

 Christ is a Greek word for Messiah…it’s 30 BC…I’m sure you’re also wondering why people who were speaking “Reformed Egyptian” in Mesoamerica were using this terminology.

 Why is this story of Nephi and Lehi so similar to that of Meshach, Shadrak and Abednego?

 Why was God’s voice in a dark and ominous cloud?

 Why was the Holy Spirit being poured out into people’s hearts before Jesus had appeared?

 Why are they told to lay up a treasure in heaven?  See Helaman 5:8 and Matthew 6:20.

 Why do they use the term “encircled about with fire”?  (5:23) This is what the Gentiles did when they sacrificed their children to their false god Molech.

 Why is the grammar in this “holy writ” so awful?  Helaman 5:36.

 Why were 8,000 people baptized in 30 BC?

 Why does it seem the Book of Mormon stories have to outdo the stories in the Bible?

 These tall tales say something about the god of the Book of Mormon.  His spirit isn’t very powerful if these guys can’t behave more than a few verses at a time.  I’ve had better luck with my Rottweiler behaving longer than these guys do.

 Helaman 5:32 claims the people need to repent for the “kingdom of God is at hand”.  The Kingdom of God is not a place or an entity of a ruler’s kingdom per se.  The Kingdom of God is not mentioned in the Old Testament.  In the New Testament it is referred to by Jesus for the first time in Matthew 13:24.  The kingdom of God is the rule or sovereignty of God.  It is not an organization, nor is it found exclusively within a predetermined denomination.

 Christians step into the kingdom of God and live under His rule when we belong to Him.  We cannot add to His kingdom – only He does that – and we cannot make any better or worse.  God rules the kingdom.  We are either subjects in His kingdom even here on earth or we are not.

 What exactly were the Nephites doing to become so hardened and entangled with the Lamanites and what did the Lamanites do to become worthy as it states in Helaman 6:2-3?  And why were there churches in 25 BC?

 “For behold, there were many of the Nephites who had become hardened and impenitent and grossly wicked, insomuch that they did reject the word of God and all the preaching and prophesying which did come among them.  3 Nevertheless, the people of the church did have great joy because of the conversion of the Lamanites, yea, because of the church of God, which had been established among them. And they did fellowship one with another, and did rejoice one with another, and did have great joy.

 The exchanges of power from one leader to another are rather meaningless and less than memorable when you factor in there were no less than 4-5 authors of Helaman.

 In Helaman 6:22 Smith showed us what he was personally involved with when he says the following;

 “And it came to pass that they did have their signs, yea, their secret signs, and their secret words; and this that they might distinguish a brother who had entered into the covenant, that whatsoever wickedness his brother should do he should not be injured by his brother, nor by those who did belong to his band, who had taken this covenant.

 This is part of the oaths a mason takes.

 Helaman 6:26 should be a real eye-opener for every single Mormon alive.  Pray that my mother sees it won’t you?  It says;

 “Now behold, those secret oaths and covenants did not come forth unto Gadianton from the records which were delivered unto Helaman; but behold, they were put into the heart of Gadianton by that same being who did entice our first parents to partake of the forbidden fruit—

 Compare this with Moses 5:11; “And Eve, his wife, heard all these things and was glad, saying: Were it not for our transgression we never should have had seed, and never should have known good and evil, and the joy of our redemption, and the eternal life which God giveth unto all the obedient.

 So Satan is the one that convinced Adam and Eve to partake of the forbidden fruit and Satan is bad, but in the Pearl of Great Price we see that Adam and Eve praised God they committed a sinful act.

 How can they both be right?

 On my Gospelink program it says this at the end of Helaman Chapter 6;

 “God threatens the people of Nephi that he will visit them in his anger, to their utter destruction except they repent of their wickedness. God smiteth the people of Nephi with pestilence; they repent and turn unto him. Samuel, a Lamanite, prophesies unto the Nephites. Comprising chapters 7 to 16 inclusive.

 Where in the Bible does God ever threaten His people?  God does not threaten.  www.dictionary.com says this about the word threaten:  “to utter a threat against; menace, to be a menace of source of danger to, to offer a punishment, injury by way of a threat, to give an ominous indication of…”

 The website also listed antonyms and synonyms of the word threaten.  Synonym:  endanger.  Antonym:  protect, defend.

 http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/threaten

 Is your god a source of danger to you or is he a protector and defender?  I always taught my kids that the book of Deuteronomy is a love letter from God to man.  He gives us the very best paths and ways to stay safe, both spiritually and physically.

 I don’t want my children to be so afraid of God they won’t go to Him for comfort and/or advice.  The Mormons have done this to their people.  How very, very sad.

 In Old Testament times the Israelites sacrificed through various blood atonements to make amends with God.  The sacrifices were a covering for their sin.  They repented corporately through the rituals of wearing sackcloth and spreading ashes or everyone participating in a fast.  God’s desire was for them to have a contrite heart during these times which would show they had a willingness to proceed in a new direction for their lives.  Typically just repenting as the New Testament portrays is something the Israelites in the BC era were not accustomed to.

 Where in the Book of Mormon does it give these descriptions of how to repent in the BC era?

 Chapter seven is a story of Nephi crying because he wasn’t born in the days his father was, he calls people out to repent (it’s now 23 BC).  His sermon on the tower is a lot like what John the Baptist did when he told people to repent for the time was at hand.  He used the word repent 8 times in 15 verses.  He also took the liberty to paraphrase heavily from the New Testament on several occasions through his lamentation on the tower.  Helaman 7:23 is another example of how the Book of Mormon is a fraud.  He quotes a  little from Jesus but changes the names and places around in his warning of destruction to the Nephites passing by on the highway.

 Helaman 7:23; “For behold, thus saith the Lord: I will not show unto the wicked of my strength, to one more than the other, save it be unto those who repent of their sins, and hearken unto my words. Now therefore, I would that ye should behold, my brethren, that it shall be better for the Lamanites than for you except ye shall repent.

 Luke 10:13-14; “Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works had been done in Tyre and Sidon, which have been done in you, they had a great while ago repented, sitting in sackcloth and ashes.  14 But it shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the judgment, than for you.

 Chapter 8 tells us Nephi spoke many things which couldn’t be written in verse 3 and in verse 14 he’s telling them that Jesus would be lifted up as Moses lifted up the brazen serpent.

In verse 17 he’s quoting Jesus when He was chastising the Pharisees.  Compare Helaman 8:17 to John 8:56.  It’s here Jesus told them that Abraham rejoiced to see his day, yet here is Nephi saying the same thing 20 years before Jesus was even born.  Then we see in verse 25 he warned them again about their “treasures in heaven”.

 In chapter nine he’s arguing with the people and said to them “o ye fools, ye uncircumcised of heart,,,”   The Jews had not been told of this yet – it’s 20 BC.

Helaman chapter 10 says that Nephi prayed long and hard to ask God to smite the earth with famine, pestilence and destruction.  This is what God told Jeremiah to warn the Israelites about when Jerusalem was about to be destroyed by the Babylonians.

 Jeremiah 24:10; “And I will send the sword, the famine, and the pestilence, among them, till they be consumed from off the land that I gave unto them and to their fathers.

 So God did this twice?

 Chapter ten is rather interesting.  Nephi was given power to smite the earth with famine, pestilence and destruction and then he was allowed to “rent the temple in twain”.

 It’s really too bad Smith didn’t study the Bible…the veil of the temple was rent in twain, not the temple itself.  Matthew 27:51.

 In chapter eleven Nephi plays a little bit of the part in the weeping prophet Jeremiah while pleading with God and takes a little bit of Peter asking God to “stir them to remembrance” and not smite the people, just starve them to death in 11:4.  See 2 Peter 1:13.  He used the phrase again in 11:34 after describing how the contentions were stopped except for when they went out to look for the band of Gadianton robbers on the hill.

 Helaman 12:3 serves as the theme for the entire Book of Mormon and the Mormon god.

 “And thus we see that except the Lord doth chasten his people with many afflictions, yea, except he doth visit them with death and with terror, and with famine and with all manner of pestilence, they will not remember him.

 Helaman 12:7 serves as an example of what the Church thinks of their people and how their god thinks of the Lord’s creation.

 “O how great is the nothingness of the children of men; yea, even they are less than the dust of the earth.

 An obvious false prophecy takes place in Helaman 13:17, 18, 23 when it claims God will curse the earth.  God promised Noah in Genesis 8:21 that He would never curse the earth again.

 Helaman 13:37 says they were surrounded by demons and angels of Satan.  I just can’t imagine why this would be a part of Holy Scriptures or how this could happen to a true believer.

 In chapter fourteen we find out the prophet Samuel the Lamanite also prophesied about things that couldn’t be written.

 This happened ONE TIME in the New Testament with the apostle Paul when God showed him a vision in the third heaven.  He was told he couldn’t even describe what he had seen.  The other allusions to this type of saying came in the gospel of John 21:25 when he said that if they wrote all the miracles of Jesus the world could not contain all the books.

 Yet, nothing is too grandiose with the people in the Book of Mormon is it?  How many times was this phrase used is a mystery to me at this point.

 Helaman 14:2-3 is one of two things.  It’s either the most precise prophecy of when Jesus would be born or this is just another outrageous lie of Joseph Smith.  How could they possibly know that five years from that day Jesus would be born?

 Do their past writings give this prophecy credibility?

 Was the night before Jesus’ birth completely light outside as if there was no night?

 Helaman 14:12 makes no sense at all.  How can Jesus be the Son of God and the Father of Heaven?

 Helaman 14:22 seems to have copied itself from a previous verse when the temple was rent in twain again.  And just three verses later they’re using the words of Matthew telling people how many will raise up out of their graves and everywhere there will be great destruction.  14:27 is a sign to the reader this is a false prophecy.  They say that there will be darkness over the whole earth for three days.  The Bible says it was three hours.

 Helaman ends his writings by sharing with us who they really believe in.  Helaman 16:23 says Satan got hold of their hearts.

 Unfortunately, that is the one verse I believe is true in the Book of Mormon.

 With Love in Christ; Michelle Grim

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Studying the Book of Mormon, Part 6(c)

The Continuing Confusion of Alma

Alma 46:39; “And it came to pass that there were many who died, firmly believing that their souls were redeemed by the Lord Jesus Christ; thus they went out of the world rejoicing.

In Alma 42 Mormons will tell you that the theme of the chapter was clearly “justice and mercy”.  While it may seem this is the case on the peripheral, we must look deeper into their theology and take it all into account to determine truth.  For me the entire chapter wraps itself around 42:5;

 “For behold, if Adam had put forth his hand immediately, and partaken of the tree of life, he would have lived forever, according to the word of God, having no space for repentance; yea, and also the word of God would have been void, and the great plan of salvation would have been frustrated.

 For the Mormon, sin is condoned and the world couldn’t have survived if it weren’t for man’s intervention.

 In Alma 43 we find that Alma couldn’t restrain himself and had to go out with his sons to preach the word of God.  I see no explicit details referring to why he felt so compelled to go.  Nothing from the Old Testament explaining why he had to point a particular teaching out to the Lamanites as Paul did in the New Testament on many occasions.

In 43:4 the Zoramites suddenly become Lamanites and descended upon the Nephites in the land of Jershon.  Suddenly, just two verses later the Amalekites, we’re told, were “more wicked” than the Lamanites and the chief of the Lamanites appointed chief captains over the army and they became Amalekites and Zoramites.  He did this “in order to preserve the hatred towards the Nephites”.  (vs. 7)

Alma 43:10 is quoting Jesus from John 4:24 (worshipping God in spirit and truth) while reminding us that the people of Anti-Nephi-Lehi wouldn’t pick up arms to defend themselves because of an oath not to kill anyone.  This meant their protection and liberty to worship God as they please fell into the hands of the Nephites alone.

I’m not a world history teacher, but this sounds too much like an American ideological concept.

As the war raged on, the Nephites were soon led by a new commander.  He was none other than the 25 year old named Moroni.  This new commander put breastplates, arm guards and helmets upon his ferocious Nephite army which scared the naked Lamanites away.

 Moroni sounded like he was a strategic thinker by sending his spies into the wilderness to watch the enemy and began searching out the desires of God through Alma.  In Alma 43:26 Moroni gathered all the people together to fight the Lamanites and defend their rights and liberties of their country.

 They finally surrounded the Lamanites completely and when Moroni saw the terror on their faces, he commanded the Nephites to “stop shedding their blood”.

 How do these descriptions point to the Lord?

 After many attempts at trying to take anything seriously in chapter 44 I resigned myself to reality.  This chapter is so kindergarten-ish.  The visual I get while reading this is that Moroni is a spoiled child who didn’t get his own way and with hands on hips he gives the Lamanites a what for.  These “Lamanites” have gone from being Zoramites to Lamanites to Amalekites and Zoramites in the space of one chapter with no definitive reason why or explanation of how people may have migrated, etc.

 Alma 44:12-16 is just about as ridiculous as you can get.  After one of Moroni’s soldiers scalped Zerahemnah,  Zerahemnah ran to the woods and the soldier then secured the scalp to the end of his sword which wasn’t in use in Mesoamerica at that time, and went with this to the soldiers of Zerahemna.  They promised to obey and not attack the Nephites anymore.

 Apparently this angered Zerahemna so he gathered his remaining soldiers and got them angry as well.  When he realized they were all surrounded he surrendered to Moroni again.  This chapter also gives an exaggerated example of people in Mesoamerica at that time.  Alma 44:21 would be laughable if not for the consequences of believing their lies.

 Alma 44:21; “Now the number of their dead was not numbered because of the greatness of the number; yea, the number of their dead was exceedingly great, both on the Nephites and on the Lamanites.

 Alma chapter 45 has a few significant false teachings we’re going to touch upon.  Two of those are found in Alma 45:16.  The first thing is the claim that God said he would curse the ground they were walking upon.

 According to Genesis 8:21 this is a lie.  God promised Noah He would never curse the ground ever again right after Noah came out of the ark.  The second item of interest is how they’ve quoted Revelation 14:6; “every nation, kindred and tongue”.  It’s supposed to be 73 BC.  John wrote the book of Revelation circa 90 AD.

 The last thing needing attention is their story of Alma and Moses.  They report that Alma was translated in 45:18, just as Moses.  The problem here is that Moses died and was buried.  See Joshua 1:1-2.

 Alma chapters 46 and 47 hold nothing of import except to say there were more wars and contentions along with the excessive use of the phrase “and it came to pass”.  This phrase shows up 24 times in chapter 47:1-36.  See our article about this phrase here

http://www.lifeafter.org/cametopass.asp

 Chapters 48 tells us the Nephites fought for their liberties and the “cause of the Christans”, but keep in mind it’s now 72 BC.

 How does this point people to God?

 Chapter 49 lets us know the church flourished in 72 BC and many were baptized.

From here until chapter 51 the fighting, “contentions” and wars went back and forth between Moroni Amalickiah died.

 Chapters 51-53 seem to have another obsession with the “and it came to pass” phrase, using it 46 times.  It looks like somebody was running out of ideas for their story line and needed filler words for their plot.  The entire book of Alma has 1,975 verses.  And it came to pass shows up 409 times in 401 verses.

 Does this really sound like something that comes from a Holy God?  Where is the devotion to Him that we learn about in the Bible?  Where are the sacrifices needed for our sin?  All we get are phrases that were plagiarized from the New Testament and filler words.

 In addition to the questionable phrases we’re also faced with the problem of Greek and Latin words making an appearance, along with the untimely use of swords, churches and Christians.  Alma 54:14 tells us that Moroni is going to close his “epistle” which in turn shows this simply cannot be from God.  The word “epistle” is Greek which means a formal letter, usually apostolic.  The next problem we see in the grammatical genre is found just a few verses later in 54:22.

 The words “devil” and “hell” are used incorrectly for the year specified, that being 63 BC.  These two words are part of what is known as “anachronistic concepts”.  These concepts were not part of the Jewish ideology and not in use until the post-exilic Jewish period.

 The word devil in pre-exilic times, show up in the Old Testament as a common noun, described as the being who opposes God.  See the Annotated Book of Mormon at 2Think here http://www.2think.org/hundredsheep/annotated/inep12.shtml#17

 In 56:29 we’re treated to the fun phrase of “sally forth” when referring to the Nephites.  This phrase is from the Middle French originating in the sixteenth century.  Do you really believe this is the language that Nephites were privy to in 64 BC?  Notice that we’ve gone backwards in time…

 The many battles, fearful armies, trading of prisoners and countless deaths all seem to meld into one another until we come upon a fantastic claim in Alma 56:56.  This verse claims that after 12 years of war not one single Nephite died.

 God has performed and will continue to perform many miracles in life but does this sound reasonable to you?

 Chapter 57 is interesting.  There is an exchanging back and forth of “epistles” in the opening statements of this section and in vs. 21 we see the author quoting from Matthew 9:29 (“according to your faith be it unto you”).  Further on in the chapter it mistakenly says

 “And behold, we are again delivered out of the hands of our enemies. And blessed is the name of our God; for behold, it is he that has delivered us; yea, that has done this great thing for us.

 Alma 58:12 poses the same unanswered questions as from before.  How did these people know about fighting for the cause of liberty and their religion?  The concept of humanitarian and personal freedom to worship wasn’t a universal part of the vocabulary for anyone before the early seventeenth century.  It was at that time the Puritans began their quest to worship God as they felt they needed and had a right to do.  (See Universal Human Rights in Theory and Practice by Jack Donnelly published by Cornell University Press.)

 Take notice in Alma 58:40 how they’ve quoted the apostle Paul from Galatians 5:1;

 Alma 58:40; “But behold, they have received many wounds; nevertheless they stand fast in that liberty wherewith God has made them free

 Galatians 5:1; “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.

 Alma 59 and 60 holds more stories of fighting back and forth with only a few things worth noting.  Again, we see the use of swords and cimeters long before they were employed by anyone in Mesoamerica.  By now it was only 62 BC.

 The last thing in this chapter worth mentioning is how they’ve used Jesus’ stern words to the Pharisees taken from Matthew 23:26.  This is solely a New Testament concept.

 “Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also.

 What I find interesting with using this phrase is how they also refer to Jesus.  It was Jesus who said these things and they’ve referred to Him as God.  Was this just an oversight or another sign of how Joseph Smith’s theology evolved over the years?

 Chapter 62 sounds a lot like the story of when Jericho was taken down by Joshua and it’s worthy noting how they’ve taken the opportunity to insert as many times as they could “and it came to pass”.  While not a record it’s worth mentioning they used it 26 times in 25 verses.  (FWIW, the record is in 1 Nephi 16 where it appears 31 times in 30 verses.)

 Alma closes with the announcement of Moroni’s death, then the strange blurb of how Hagoth built and ship and he along with many Nephites drowned while on their way to the land of Desolation.

 After this strange event we’re told that Shiblon along with Corianton died.  Shiblon passed the books along to Helaman’s son also called Helaman and yet another war began.

 Are you inspired yet?  The absolute depravity in this work should cause everyone who reads it to be very, very sad.  How lonely the Mormon people must be for the Lord and hungry for His truth.

 John 7:37-39 says; “In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.  38 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.  39 (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)

 Notice how Jesus said we can go to Him.  Only Jesus provides the refreshment we need and our hearts so long for.  He didn’t mention the Book of Mormon, Joseph Smith or the LDS Church.  Also take special note of how the text tells us the Holy Ghost had not yet been given.  When John wrote his letter it was around 85 AD, yet there were many times the text of Alma is found to be quoting from him in 65 BC and the surrounding years.

 Come alongside us and pray for the Mormon people won’t you?  We’ve seen so much fruit in what God is doing with setting the captives free!  Ask your Mormon friends and loved ones about the questions we’ve brought up here and see what they think.

 Our next study is on Helaman so stay tuned!

 With Love in Christ; Michelle Grim

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Studying the Book of Mormon 6b

The Confusion of Alma

When we left off in the first of three part series on the book of Alma we saw the king of the Lamanites promising up to half his kingdom if Ammon didn’t kill him.  But I have another question about this scenario. 

Why did Ammon cut off the arm of the king and threaten to kill him if he didn’t release his “brother from prison?  It doesn’t sound as if Ammon was patient as it claims if he was threatening to kill the king.  Isn’t the life of a true believer supposed to be totally sold out to God for the sake of the gospel, no matter the cost?  Why is your personal life more important than being a witness for God and His cause?  (See Alma 20:22, 29) 

Hebrews 11:35-37 tells us that people were sawn in half, put in animal skins with lions ready to tear them apart.  They were mocked, imprisoned, scourged, tormented, afflicted and went destitute, yet they didn’t fight back.  They knew that God would recompense them with a better country and an eternal salvation with Him.

With that in mind, we go into the next chapter where we find Ammon journeying towards the land of his fathers’ “nativity” which they called Jerusalem.  True story.  In case you’re wondering why the word “nativity” would be in the Book of Mormon, we just wanted to let you know, you’re not alone.  

Nativity is a French word which comes from Late Latin originating circa 1122 AD.  That would be700 years after the Book of Mormon people died.  So if this was a true translation written in Reformed Egyptian, how did this word make its way to those plates in 90 BC?  And why would they name their town Jerusalem?  Nothing they’ve done up to this point has indicated they were following the Law of Moses or anything Jewish for that matter. 

While Aaron was preaching to the Amulekites in their synagogues, they began asking him how he knew what God wanted.  He answered them in 21:9 by stating there could be no salvation if they didn’t believe in “the death and sufferings of Christ, and the atonement of his blood”.

A handful of verses later Aaron and his brethren were cast into prison, but later in the same verse Ammon and King Lamoni came and delivered them.  By verse twenty two King Lamoni decreed everyone had the liberty to worship as they please wherever they were in his province under his reign. 

While that sounds a lot like modern diplomacy, the real question that should be asked is what exactly Ammon taught the people of King Lamoni in the last verse of the chapter.  What exactly is righteousness to the Nephite people?  How do they define it and for what purpose does it serve? 

In the next chapter we find Aaron expounding to the king on the merits of believing in the Son of God and being forgiven for your sin.  Even though the king allowed synagogues to be built throughout his kingdom he was obviously unsure of how the whole thing seemed to work.  That’s rather odd… 

Alma 22:9 says the king is calling the God of the Bible “that Great Spirit” just as we saw several chapters earlier and worse yet, Aaron is agreeing with the king referring to God with the same name in 22:10.

 In 22:14 Aaron is plagiarizing the Apostle Paul’s defense of the resurrection to the Corinthians by telling King Lamoni about the fall of man.

Alma 22:14; “And since man had fallen he could not merit anything of himself; but the sufferings and death of Christ atone for their sins, through faith and repentance, and so forth; and that he breaketh the bands of death, that the grave shall have no victory, and that the sting of death should be swallowed up in the hopes of glory; and Aaron did expound all these things unto the king.

1 Cor. 15:54-55; “So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.  55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?” 

Now I hate to belabor our time in this chapter, but it’s worth pointing out verse eighteen.  It says King Lamoni prostrated himself on the ground and said in part the following;

O God, Aaron hath told me that there is a God; and if there is a God, and if thou art God, wilt thou make thyself known unto me, and I will give away all my sins to know thee,..” 

???????? 

How, why, or do I mean what?  What is this guy even saying?  He’ll give away all his sins?  Who would want them?  Why would God want your sins?  God doesn’t want your sins!  God sent His Son to die because of your sins.

We confess and repent of our sins because they’re ugly.  They’re a debasing thing when compared to the righteousness of God.  That verse is another proof this “scripture” is not from God.  My heart is sickened. 

Chapter twenty three is the story of how everyone but the Amalekites was converted.  Out of all the Amalekites who rebelled against the message of salvation, only one person believed (23:14).  In the last two verses of this chapter, we see a name change for their region and a curse of God taken away.  Notice the grammar.

Alma 23:17-18; “And it came to pass that they called their names Anti-Nephi-Lehies; and they were called by this name and were no more called Lamanites.  18 And they began to be a very industrious people; yea, and they were friendly with the Nephites; therefore, they did open a correspondence with them, and the curse of God did no more follow them.” 

My question about this is probably too simple, but here it is.  Did they turn white? 

Alma 24:10 is proclaiming a gospel again that is foreign to people like my mother who is a very dedicated member of the LDS Church.  D&C 42:79 says that murderers cannot receive forgiveness because they’ve shed innocent blood.  I recently wrote an article on blood atonement and the Mormon Church you can access here.  http://www.lifeafter.org/firingsquad.asp 

Alma 24:10; ““And I also thank my God, yea, my great God, that he hath granted unto us that we might repent of these things, and also that he hath forgiven us of those our many sins and murders whichwe have committed, and taken away the guilt from our hearts, through the merits of his Son.” 

D&C 42:79; “And it shall come to pass, that if any persons among you shall kill they shall be delivered up and dealt with according to the laws of the land; for remember that he hath no forgiveness; and it shall be proved according to the laws of the land.” 

Just when you thought you could get through the rest of the chapter without any other incidents, plagiarisms or contradictory teachings, we come upon the very last verse in Alma chapter twenty four. 

As Aaron was going along telling of all the people that were murdered for believing in Christ, we find that he’s plagiarized the author of Hebrews.

 Alma 24:30; “And thus we can plainly discern, that after a people have been once enlightened by the Spirit of God, and have had great knowledge of things pertaining to righteousness, and then have fallen away into sin and transgression, they become more hardened, and thus their state becomes worse than though they had never known these things.” 

Hebrews 6:4-6; “For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, 5 And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, 6 If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.” 

Also, in the middle of Alma chapter twenty five, you can see how Aaron doesn’t discriminate against those he plagiarizes.  Here’s what he says in 25:6;

For many of them, after having suffered much loss and so many afflictions, began to be stirred up in remembrance of the words which Aaron and his brethren had preached to them in their land…

Compare his words with what the Apostle Peter said in his second epistle to the Jewish believers not long before his death in 64 AD. 

2 Peter 1:13; “Yea, I think it meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting you in remembrance.” 

In Alma 25:16 we find a classic example as to why the people of Mormonism are so confused.  If this was truly the way God operated I wouldn’t want to be a believer.  Aaron is explaining the everyday life of a Lamanite.  Imagine the frustration and confusion of these people!

 “Now they did not suppose that salvation came by the law of Moses; but the law of Moses did serve to strengthen their faith in Christ; and thus they did retain a hope through faith, unto eternal salvation, relying upon the spirit of prophecy, which spake of those things to come.” 

In Alma twenty six we find Ammon rejoicing for the many blessings incurred because of the conversions of the Lamanites and again more plagiarisms (this time of the Apostle John) in verses five and seven respectively; 

Behold, the field was ripe, and blessed are ye, for ye did thrust in the sickle, and did reap with your might, yea, all the day long did ye labor; and behold the number of your sheaves! And they shall be gathered into the garners, that they are not wasted.” 

But behold, they are in the hands of the Lord of the harvest, and they are his; and he will raise them up at the last day.” 

What’s so sad about this example is that the phrase “thrust in your sickle” is from something that still hasn’t happened yet.  See Revelation 14:5.  The next one is from John 6:40 and how Jesus will raise up the believer on the last day.  Why are they using this terminology in Mesoamerica between 90 and 77 BC?

 As the chapter rolls along Ammon also picks up phrases from Paul about doing all things, his joy is full, and it is given to know the mysteries of God.  His spiritual high seems to be so grandiose that it overshadows the true message of the gospel.

The next chapter begins by telling us the Lamanites returned to the land of Nephi and this angered the Amalekites.  They apparently laid down their lives as the awful Amalekites came in to destroy them.

In 27:5 Ammon tries to tell the king they need to go to the Nephites for protection, but the king said the Nephites would destroy them.  After Ammon goes to the Lord for direction it is decided it’d be best if they go back to the Nephites.

As they get moving, Ammon literally passes out from so much joy in the Lord (27:18).   The people of God begin to make encampments to protect each other from the coming onslaught of the Amulekites.  At this time the new found believers in God (Lamanite believers) wouldn’t fight with swords because of their previous sin of murder so they protected themselves and others by fighting in the battle.

 The beginning of chapter twenty eight tells us there were more people killed in this battle than ever before.  In 28:11 it tells us that thousands were killed and heaped upon the earth, but people looked to Christ for their hope.  It was 76 BC.

 Interestingly, no archaeological evidence has ever been found of any civilization existing that these texts speak of.  There are no buttons, no pottery shards, no human or animal bones; nothing.  If thousands upon thousands of people died in a battle fought with swords of steel, horses and chariots, you’d think the archaeologists would find something. 

 Chapter thirty tells a story of an anti-Christ named Korihor roaming the earth in 74 BC.  (vs. 12)  Korihor tells the people they are delusional to believe in a coming Christ and led many away from their faith (vs. 18).  In 30:25 Korihor tells the high priest Giddonah, he and others were foolish to teach people they were “a fallen people because of the transgression of a parent”.

 I wonder if any Mormons have thought about this.  The LDS Church basically believes the same thing.  Does this mean they’re an anti-Christ?  The 2nd Article of Faith says;

 “We believe that men will be punished for their own sins, and not for Adam’s transgression.

 And what about Joseph Smith?  According to Brigham Young anyone not professing Smith has been sent of God is the anti-Christ.  If the Nephites were so descriptive about Jesus in the BC era, shouldn’t they have been as knowing of Smith as well?  Discourses of Brigham Young, pg. 435;

 “Whosoever confesseth that Joseph Smith was sent of God to reveal the holy Gospel to the children of men, and lay the foundation for gathering Israel, and building up the Kingdom of God on the earth, that spirit is of God, and every spirit that does not confess that God has sent Joseph Smith, and revealed the everlasting Gospel to and through him, is of Antichrist, no matter whether it is found in a pulpit or on a throne. 8:176.

 Two thirds through this chapter Alma is still having a conversation with Korihor trying to convince him there is a god and in 30:46 he tells Korihor he’s “grieved because of the hardness of your heart…”  Pulling these sayings out of the Bible makes me believe they do this intentionally in order to confuse the Mormon people.  See Mark 3:5.

 Also, why is the Book of Mormon filled with so many scriptures from the Bible if the Bible has been mistranslated?  See the 8th Article of Faith.

 After not accepting God into his heart, Korihor was struck dumb, was cast out and went from house to house begging for food (vs. 56).  Those who believed Korihor separated themselves and from then on known as Zoramites, led by a man named Zoram.  Korihor was eventually killed.

 Alma received “tidings” that the Zoramites were spreading a false gospel and the Nephites worried they would spread their lies to the Lamanites in Alma chapter thirty one.

 First of all, the word “tidings” is an Old English word from the twelfth century which means it was impossible for it to have been in the original writings of the Book of Mormon.  Secondly, if the Lamanites really were saved, God’s Holy Spirit would’ve prevented them from going into apostasy.

 But this is the problem with Mormonism.  They don’t understand how God works so they are left to an awful manmade speculation.  The Lord does a supernatural work in your heart when you accept Him as your Lord and Savior.  His Spirit protects you from desiring that which is not righteous.  He convicts us of sin, leads us to all righteousness and opens our eyes to truth.  (John 16:7-11)

 The Bible says that Jesus promised us He would send another Comforter who would live in our hearts forever (John 14:6).  He was given to us as compensation, until His return. 

 The Holy Spirit is a fruit-producer in our lives, prompting us to do good works.  Mind you, we are not doing this out of a need for salvation or to bring glory to ourselves.  Whatever “works” we do in this life are a result of His promptings in our heart and the result or the glory, if you will, is a proof to unbelievers that God exists.  God gets all of the glory, not man.

 The Holy Spirit can be lied to (Acts 5:3), tested (Acts 5:9), resisted (Acts 7:51), grieved (Ephesians 4:30), outraged (Heb. 10:29) and called upon (Ezek. 37:9).  He is God and knows the things of God (1 Cor. 2:10-11 and can pray for you (Ro. 8:26).  He teaches us to bring all things to remembrance (John 14:26). 

 (I retrieved the information for that paragraph from the God and Science website you can access here http://www.godandscience.org/discovery/chapter5.html)

 In addition to all these things and more, there is the one most important thing to remember about Him.  He will never leave you once you’ve invited Him into your heart.  (John 14:23)  If you say you’re saved and then turn the way the Book of Mormon claims the Lamanites did then you weren’t saved and you never knew the Father.  See John 14:17.

 This doesn’t mean the Christian is perfect.  You can be saved and still sin, but murdering, plundering, raping, etc isn’t going to be part of your repertoire.  When we sin, the Holy Spirit convicts us and we repent, we’re forgiven and we go on.

 This Book of Mormon business of churches and Christians existing in the BC era and then turning on each other with viciousness is not possible and not true.  When a person gets saved there is a marked difference in his/her life. 

 Before I got saved I was scum.  I wanted to be a good person – sometimes I tried, but not usually.  I really didn’t care about my fellow man, nor did I care about myself.  I thought I knew everything and truly believed I was a decent person.  I couldn’t understand why everyone in the world wouldn’t believe as I did and really didn’t give a hoot about your feelings, especially if you were a so-called “Christian”.

 The first thing I did as a born-again believer after repenting for my lack luster disposition was to repent for hating God’s people; the body of Christ.  From that day forward I have had the Holy Spirit’s direction in my life.  I can honestly say there hasn’t been a day in almost eighteen years that I haven’t heard His voice or felt His promptings in my life.  Every single day is new.  Every single day He shows me another truth of His and I am purposefully moving towards righteousness because of the supernatural work He performs in and through me.

 Every person that receives salvation from God on High can attest to the same thing.  Our stories are all different but that one denominator.  Where in the Book of Mormon can you find such a thing?  Sadly you can’t, because it’s not there.

 The rest of Alma chapter thirty one is the story of how the Zoramites had built synagogues proclaiming the coming Christ was a lie, yet with all the opposition facing him, that doesn’t deter Alma.  Once a week they went up in their towers to proclaim the same message to not believe in Christ.

 There are a few times they’ve plagiarized the Bible again.  Compare Alma 31:11 with Acts13:10; Alma 31:17 with Hebrews 13:8 and Alma 31:37 with Matthew 6:25.

 Chapter thirty two uses the term “poor in spirit” and its synonyms way too many times.  Basically, they’re trying to emphasize that because they were poor monetarily speaking, it caused them to become poor in spirit.  Alma introduces the idea they don’t have to go to the synagogues to worship their god and they don’t have to do this only once a week.

 In Alma 32:13, 15 Alma tells the people because they are compelled to be humble that sometimes it may cause you to repent and this is good because you’ll be blessed.  Aside from lifting Matthew 24:13 (enduring to the end) to fill in the empty pages of the Book of Mormon, I thought it less than inspiring for Smith to use the phrase “And now, because ye are compelled to be humble blessed are ye; for a man sometimes, if he is compelled to be humble, seeketh repentance…

 If a man is humble they sometimes seek repentance?  Really?  I’m in the middle of studying the Sermon on the Mount and part of this study is to dissect the Beatitudes.  This has been a real eye-opener for me personally.  It’s taken me on a journey into the Old Testament which I’ll be doing an article on after the study is completed.

 The term “humble” can be found in Matthew 5:5; “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth”.  The word “meek” in the Greek means to be humble.  It is the Greek word “praus” and it implies “to be gentle or humble”.

 Meekness is a fruit of the Spirit.  It produces a gentleness and respect towards others while having a total dependence on God.  Besides just using vocabulary from the New Testament, what else do you find in the textual content to show what they were specifically doing to be humble?  

 It is highly improbable these people were being baptized in 74 BC (Alma 32:18).  In 32:21 they take another try at using New Testament vocabulary this time from Hebrews 11:1, giving it a whole new meaning on having faith on things not seen…the rest of the chapter is filled with more plagiarisms, a too lengthy story of the seed that is good and how it can grow…

 The worst of their mistakes while plagiarizing came with the incongruous mixture of various verses and stories from the Bible they tried to put all together; all in Alma 32:41.  The fruit that supposedly is produced by your works was mixed with a statement by Jesus telling the woman at the well that He is the well of water that springs up into everlasting life.  See John 4:14.

 Apparently the Mormons can’t stand to think of anyone, let alone Jesus Himself, being the one that gives them salvation.  Their own works based righteousness and road to heaven will not and must not be paved with the mercy of God.

 Throughout chapter thirty three Alma preaches about the Son of God, his resurrection and asked his audience if they believed what the “prophets of old had written about” without going into any detail of what he was referring to.  In 33:23 he again used the phrase “springing up in you into everlasting life” with the wrong application.  John 4:14 says;

 “But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.

 Alma 34:15 actually preaches salvation because of Jesus’ spilled blood.  I can only imagine how much confusion this must cause those who have to read this.  I remember that as a Mormon I wanted so badly to believe in the Jesus of the Bible with the Jesus from the Book of Mormon and was never able to reconcile the two.

 Verse twenty eight is another proof Joseph Smith didn’t know the Holy Spirit.  It basically says that after you’ve prayed, etc and turn away the needy, your prayers are in vain.  If you’re truly following Him, you wouldn’t do this.  Verse thirty three tells the reader there are no works after death so I have to wonder why the Church says “you can’t be saved without your dead”.  (Doctrines of Salvation 2:145)

 Ecclesiastes 9:5-6 says; “For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten.  6 Also their love, and their hatred, and their envy, is now perished; neither have they any more a portion for ever in any thing that is done under the sun.

 Alma 34:36, 37, 38 each have plagiarized Rev. 7:14, Phil.2:12 and John 4:24 respectively.

 In Alma 35 it says the Zoramites became angry with the Nephites and basically talked the Lamanites into being angry with them as well.  Soon all the missionary work that Alma and the others did was all for naught.

 Alma recounted his conversion experience to his son Mosiah in vs. 6-10.  Again, this story is so similar to Paul’s that it’s very suspicious it could be truth.

 In Alma 36:17 we are given another example that Mormonism is not a Christian organization, nor is the Book of Mormon an inspired work of God.

 “And it came to pass that as I was thus racked with torment, while I was harrowed up by the memory of my many sins, behold, I remembered also to have heard my father prophesy unto the people concerning the coming of one Jesus Christ, a Son of God, to atone for the sins of the world.

 Jesus isn’t just a Son of God.  He is the Son of God!

 Alma 36:18 has copied two authors from the New Testament.  See Mark 10:47 and Luke in Acts 8:23.  And in Alma 36:28 I have to wonder if they ever get tired of inserting New Testament phrases into their text.  This time it comes from John 6:40.

 In Alma 37, Alma tells his son Mosiah to keep the brass plates safe and to be sure they are handed down to the next generation and while so doing he just had to quote Revelation 14:6.  Alma 37:13 is just one example that I’m convinced is the theme of the Book of Mormon.  If you don’t behave, God cuts you off from his presence.  This theme runs throughout the whole of the Book of Mormon and as you read through it you can understand why the Mormons have an unhealthy fear of God.

 In the 1830 version of the Book of Mormon Alma 37:21 used the word “directors”, but today’s version says “interpreters”.

 Later in the chapter (vs. 23-25), Alma warns that nothing should be held in secret.  If Alma was a real person in history I wonder what he’d think of the temple ceremonies that take place today.  In vs. 38 we’re told of a compass their fathers sought direction from. 

 Two things bother me about this particular subject.  One – this “ball” or compass sounds a lot like a magical charm if it ever existed.  Two – compasses weren’t invented at the time of this writing.  See our article here about the archaeology problem in the Book of Mormon.  http://www.lifeafter.org/artifacts.asp

 The opening verse in chapter thirty eight gives us the theme of the Book of Mormon again.  This time Alma’s giving directions to his son Shiblon.  If you don’t obey, God cuts you off.  Acts 4:12 somehow makes its way to 38:9 – remember, it’s 73 BC.  Amazingly, he quotes the Apostle John twice in this one verse.  See John 1:4 and 8:12.

 He briefly shared his conversion story with his son and told him that the only way we can be saved is to be born of God.  In verse thirteen he reminded him not to pray as the Zoramites do.

 Alma chapters thirty nine through forty two are an exhortation to his son Corianton to shape up.  Apparently he didn’t behave as well as his brothers did and forsook the ministry.

 Alma 39:3 uses a phrase that sounds a lot like the words God used to describe Israel in the book of Jeremiah just before they were taken into captivity by the Babylonians.  Additionally, the phrase “lust of the eyes” from 1 John 2:16 shows up in Alma 39:9.  What does it mean to cross yourself?  Is he referring to what the Catholics do when they’re done praying?

 The rest of Alma 39 is filled with non-descriptive commands “concerning the coming of Christ” as in vs. fifteen and more pleading with Corianton.  We’re still left to wondering how all these people received the gift of the Holy Ghost in 73 BC and why the word “tidings” shows up two more times in verses sixteen and nineteen.

 Chapter forty would be laughable if it weren’t so sad for the Mormon people who trust this today.  In this chapter alone the word “resurrection” is used 24 times.  Alma sees a need to explain why he’s using this particular phrase and seems a little too worried that he’s teaching something that hasn’t even happened yet.  Maybe he’s making excuses for the lies he’s telling???

 In 40:3 he’s explaining to his son that no one on earth knows about the resurrection except God and Alma of course.  He mentions that the only reason he knows about it is because he “inquired diligently of God that I might know…” 

 This chapter is so confusing because of the apparent lies and stories Smith made up along the way that it’s difficult at best to try and decipher the meaning of even one verse Alma tried to spew forth.

 The one thing that is discernible through this chapter is the number of times Alma lifted scripture from people who weren’t born yet.  Compare the following:

 Alma 40:2 & 1 Cor. 15:53

Alma 40:13 & Matt. 22:13

Alma 40:14 & Heb. 10:27

Alma 40:22 & Acts 3:21

Alma 40:25 & Matthew 13:43

 In the next chapter Alma’s moved on from resurrection to the “restoration”.  The restoration Alma’s speaking of in this chapter is the restoration of a man’s soul to his body at the time of judgment, so it’s not necessarily the restoration of the Church.

 Alma 41:3 poses a very interesting topic for discussion.  Alma said that men will be judged by their works and the intents of their hearts. 

 One of our volunteers, Melissa Grimes, reminded me of a quote by Brigham Young that contradicts what Alma said in this verse.  Brigham was giving a sermon on the gospel in addition to embracing the principles of Mormonism instead of the character of men on November 9, 1856 in Salt Lake City, Utah at the Tabernacle.

 Journal of Discourses 4:78; “I never preached to the world but what the cry was, “that damned old Joe Smith has done thus and so.” I would tell the people that they did not know him, and I did, and that I knew him to be a good man; and that when they spoke against him, they spoke against as good a man as ever lived.  I recollect a conversation I had with a priest who was an old friend of ours, before I was personally acquainted with the Prophet Joseph. I clipped every argument he advanced, until at last he came out and began to rail against “Joe Smith,” saying, “that he was a mean man, a liar, money-digger, gambler, and a whore-master;” and he charged him with everything bad, that he could find language to utter. I said, hold on, brother Gillmore, here is the doctrine, here is the Bible, the Book of Mormon, and the revelations that have come through Joseph Smith the Prophet.

I have never seen him, and do not know his private character. The doctrine he teaches is all I know about the matter, bring anything against that if you can. As to anything else I do not care. If he acts like a devil, he has brought forth a doctrine that will save us, if we will abide it. He may get drunk every day of his life, sleep with his neighbor’s wife every night, run horses and gamble, I do not care anything about that, for I never embrace any man in my faith. But the doctrine he has produced will save you and me, and the whole world; and if you can find fault with that, find it.

 With all that in mind let’s turn to what God says about these matters.  Matthew 7:13-23 says to watch out for false prophets and that not everyone who says “Lord, Lord” will be saved.  A good tree can’t bring forth evil fruit and neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.  If Brigham had known the word of God, he wouldn’t have been fooled with the likes of Joseph Smith.

 In 41:8 Alma declares that the laws of God are unchangeable.  If this is true, then Mormonism is false.  The Mormon god has changed his mind on several occasions.  In verse eleven he’s found quoting from the New Testament again.  See Acts 8:23 and Ephesians 2:12.

 The last verse in chapter forty one is very sad.

 “For that which ye do send out shall return unto you again, and be restored; therefore, the word restoration more fully condemneth the sinner, and justifieth him not at all.

 Alma 42:3 is a lie from the pit of hell.  The truth in the Garden of Eden is that Adam had a choice.  He could eat from the tree of knowledge or the tree of life.  Adam chose to sin and partake of the tree of knowledge.  God did not take Adam out of the Garden after he became “like God” in case he’d live like that forever.  His lot was already cast and God tossed him out based upon his sinful desire.

 In verse five it goes on to lie saying that if Adam would’ve just taken from the tree of life he wouldn’t have had opportunity to repent and the word of God would be void.

 Truth:  if Adam had taken from the tree of life there would be no sin, no death and no need for repentance.

 Alma 42:8 is subjective reasoning.  God gave Adam a choice and there are consequences based on the choice made.  That still hold true for us today.

 If Alma 42:23 is true, then Mormonism is a lie.  It claims that men are judged when they’re resurrected according to their works.  How can they be judged according to their works here on earth when Mormons can do proxy work for them after they die?

 Alma 42:27 is quoting the words of Jesus in Revelation 22:17 when Alma told his son to drink of the waters of life freely.  It seems Alma is making a last ditched effort to get Coriantor to behave and repent.

 The only thing I really learned from those 22 chapters of Alma was that events were taking place before they were supposed to which makes God out to be a liar.  If these things really did take place; knowing about the resurrection, the indwelling of the Holy Ghost, salvation through the merits of Jesus’ spilled blood, etc., then the entire Bible is a lie. 

 The more we read and learn from the Book of Mormon the sadder we become.  Pray that God will open the eyes of the Mormon people and they’ll be set free!

 With Love in Christ;  Michelle Grim

1 Cor. 1:18

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Studying the Book of Mormon 6a

The Confusion of Alma 

Alma 46:39; “And it came to pass that there were many who died, firmly believing that their souls were redeemed by the Lord Jesus Christ; thus they went out of the world rejoicing.

The verse above supposedly took place in 72 BC.  We’re using this verse as an example of what you’ll find throughout the book of Alma.  This time we’re dividing our study up into three parts because the book of Alma is rather large. 

My heart is heavy each time I read that verse.  People like my mother believe this stuff.  People like my nieces have been taught that it’s perfectly acceptable to believe in someone that wasn’t in existence in 72 BC. 

How could these people be redeemed when no sacrifice had been made for their sin?  It’s one thing to have a hope that God will deliver on His promises.  As Christians we take part in believing He will redeem us when we die and we look to the time when Jesus will return.  Neither of which have taken place yet. 

Keep in mind our sin has been taken care of because Jesus was crucified at Calvary.  At the time of the Alma passage, it was 72 BC; one hundred years before Jesus was crucified.  All of Israel at that time looked forward to the time God would provide for them.  The Israelites had mistakenly convinced themselves they would be given a political ruler who would give them an earthly freedom.  While looking over, around, past and through Jesus, they never stopped to look at or to Him. 

If the story in the Book of Mormon is true, their leader Alma did them a great disservice, much like what the modern day LDS Church is doing to its people today.  They practice a pseudo Law of Moses while believing in “Christ”.  In chapter one, we’re told that an overweight Nehor introduced apostasy into the church and died a humiliating death at Manti for murdering righteous Gideon (1:15).   At this time it is 91 BC

As the first chapter labors along we find that many in the church continue the false teachings while making fun of the others in the church.  Apparently there were many good people in the church who just took the abuse of the bad guys in the church.  Somehow the church grows through their afflictions and acquires an “abundance of all things whatsoever they stood in need…”

There are several things to take note of in this first chapter.  The use of Greek and Latin words used which Joseph Smith said were not in the Book of Mormon is obviously there.  The fact that churches were in existence in Mesoamerica in 91 BC is a problem.  We have to wonder why Smith would’ve used these words to begin with if they were speaking Reformed Egyptian.  Moreover, the horrible grammar issue is still plaguing the author of this book. 

We also have the problem of silk.  Silk was not in use in Mesoamerica in 91 BC, yet in 1:29 the people seemed to have an abundance of this as well.  See our article in full for more information – http://www.lifeafter.org/artifacts2.asp 

Five years later we’re in chapter two and Amlici comes onto the scene causing as much trouble as Nehor did.  According to Alma 2:4 it was Amlici’s intention to destroy the church of God.  In the very next verse it says that people were either for or against Amlici’s idea of instating a king over the land and the people would gather “having much dispute and wonderful contentions with each other”. 

I have to ask – honestly – how can anyone believe this is an inspired work of God????

What in the world is a “wonderful contention”? 

If Amlici is an evil man how can the arguments for him be wonderful?  Wouldn’t they be evil in the eyes of God?  Because of their divisions, the people who favored Amlici became known as the Amlicites and all others were called the people of God.  The Nephites and Amlicites begin warring against each other in the valley of Gideon and the Amlicites had grown in number so they were almost as numerous as the “sands of the sea”. 

With the strength of God behind him, we see that Alma killed Amlici in 2:31 and out of nowhere Alma begins fighting with the king of the Lamanites in the very next verse.  No explanation of where the king came from or how far away he must have lived from the constant battles, but there he was.

Just a few verses later we read that Alma and his guards killed so many Lamanites the Nephites were throwing their corpses into the river and using them as a means to cross the Sidon River. 

The beginning of chapter three tells us the numbers of the dead were so numerous they weren’t counted and miraculously not one single Nephite lost his life.  Amazing.  

Alma 3:3 says the bodies of the Lamanites and Amlicites who had been killed were “cast into the waters of Sidon and their bones are in the depths of the sea…” 

Was it a river or a sea?

 In Alma 3:6 we encounter a Yankee name of Sam and told of the curse the Lamanites had incurred from God being marked with a dark skin.  Apparently God wanted the Nephites to be able to distinguish who the rebels were.  (As a side note, I’m wondering why their behavior wouldn’t have given it away…)  The rule of not inter-mixing the races is instituted in 3:9 and the Amlicites decide to mark themselves with red paint on their foreheads, not knowing they were fulfilling the words of God. 

Alma was “afflicted” and didn’t fight in the next battle, but the Nephites fought both groups and pushed them out of their land.  In verse twenty six it says that thousands and tens of thousands were killed in one year and they went to meet their maker.

In chapter four the Nephites were greatly “afflicted” because of the loss of the Lamanites and because their land was trodden down by the Lamanites.  Yet even with the great losses, their church grew and within two years they saw about 3,500 people who were baptized.  This puts us at 84 BC

Apparently believing in Christ and having God’s blessing upon the church didn’t stop the people of God from sinning.  The church went south in a hurry while Alma continued to look forward to the day of “retaining a remission of their sins, being filled with great joy because of the resurrection of the dead, according to the will and power and deliverance of Jesus Christ from the bands of death” (4:15). 

Again, I have to ask – what is going on here?  Out of nowhere this verse pops up out of context. In verse seventeen Alma appointed Nephihah as chief judge of the people.  He did this so he could go out and preach to the people about their sinful lifestyles while maintaining the office of the “high priesthood of the holy order of God”. 

Since Alma wasn’t from the tribe of Levi, we have to wonder why he named himself a priest.  In chapter five Alma preached enough to bring people to their senses and in 5:14 he asked them if they had been “born of God” and uses the term “saved” repeatedly.  In verse thirty-three there is an invitation to accept the Lord and further on just a few verses later we read about the “good shepherd” calling for them to take upon the “name of Christ”.  In 5:48 he tells the people that “Jesus is the Son, the Only Begotten of the Father, full of grace, and mercy, and truth”.  It is he, says Alma, that “cometh to take away the sins of the world, yea, the sins of every man who steadfastly believeth on his name”.  It was 83 BC

Chapter six is more preaching and exhortation from Alma and the beginning of chapter seven sees much of the same in the land of Gideon.  Verse ten is one of the many infamous proofs that Joseph Smith is a false prophet. 

Alma 7:10; “And behold, he shall be born of Mary, at Jerusalem which is the land of our forefathers, she being a virgin, a precious and chosen vessel, who shall be overshadowed and conceive by the power of the Holy Ghost, and bring forth a son, yea, even the Son of God.” 

Alma 7:14 preaches a gospel that is foreign to Mormonism and remember, it’s 83 BC.  In chapter eight Alma travels into the land of Ammonihah to preach the gospel, but these people had become hardened in heart, all but Amulek that is.

Chapter nine gives us another glimpse into the mind of the false prophet Joseph Smith when Alma is found plagiarizing Jesus in 9:15.  Alma tells the people that it would be more tolerable for the Lamanites than it will be for them at the Day of Judgment if they don’t repent and return to God.  (See Luke 10:14 about Tyre and Sidon)

In chapter ten it looks like Amulek might be a polygamist when he said; “For behold, he hath blessed mine house, he hath blessed me, and my women, and my children, and my father and my kinsfolk…”  And if that wasn’t enough bad news, a few verses later we’re told that he could also read the minds of people while using vocabulary from the bible regarding evil people.  Compare Alma 10:17 with Luke 9:47 and Matthew 17:17.  

The eleventh chapter of Alma says that a half measure of barley was equal to a “shiblon” (whatever that was), but the important fact here is that barley wasn’t a staple in Mesoamerica during this time (See Alma 11:15). Columbus was the one that introduced barley to the North American continent in 1494, some 1,000+ years after the extinction of the Nephites in 421 AD.  http://www.lifeafter.org/artifacts.asp Later in the chapter we’re introduced to the evil lawyer Zeezrom who tries to tear apart the church of God and Amulek testified there is only one God.  

I thought that was rather interesting because according to Mormon theology this is not true.  The LDS Church teaches there are many gods, but they only worship the god of this earth.  (I like to refer the Mormons to 2 Cor. 4:4 which says the god of this earth is Satan.) 

Chapter twelve tells us the story of Zeezrom shaking in his boots from the message of salvation given by Amulek and Alma.  In 12:26 we see one of the biggest lies in all of Mormonism.  In essence the false prophet Alma teaches that God needed Adam and Eve to sin so the plan of salvation could be accomplished.  To introduce such a teaching is akin to not believing in God.  To further confuse the Mormons, a few verses later it is taught that God sent angels to converse with man and after that God spoke with them.  This in turn caused man to call on his name and God taught them to call on the name of his son (the plan of redemption). 

In chapter thirteen Alma wants the Nephites to “cite their minds forward to the time when the Lord gave these commandments…”  He goes on to say the Lord ordained priests “after the manner of his Son and the priests were sanctified and their garments were washed white though the blood of the Lamb”. 

If they have to “cite their minds forward” why is the rest of the sentence written in the past tense?  In 13:18 we see an outright lie about Melchizedek.  Claiming that he had a father is in direct opposition to what God tells us in Hebrews 7:2-3; 

To whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all; first being by interpretation King of righteousness, and after that also King of Salem, which is, King of peace; 3 Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually.

Chapter thirteen continues its barrage of lies by telling the people they can be led by the Holy Spirit in verse twenty eight and the next chapter doesn’t get much better.  In 14:2 there is another grammatical error when it says; “But the more part of them were desirous that they might destroy Alma and Amulek…” 

In Alma 14:8-11 we see children being thrown into the fires and the “holy men” of the Book of Mormon standing by to watch so others would go to hell.  

How is this righteous behavior?  To see more examples of this see our article on Interesting Facts about the 3-in-1 here http://www.lifeafter.org/3in1_ptIV.asp 

In 14:21 we read that people were gnashing their teeth upon Alma and Amulek, so my question is how does someone go about gnashing their teeth upon someone else?  The miracle of their escape from prison (Alma 14:27) mimics Paul and Silas’ escape in Acts 16:25-26, but of course the story in the Book of Mormon is more grandiose than the Bible.  Everyone in the prison died except for Alma and Amulek.  One other noteworthy item in the passage is how the prison was “rent in twain”.  Wasn’t the veil of the temple “rent in twain”?  See Matt. 27:51. 

Of course the story of people believing in Christ before He’s even born is ever prevalent in Alma chapter fifteen.  By this time it’s 81 BC.  Alma and Amulek travel to the valley of Sidom to establish a church and heal Zeezrom through the power of belief in Christ.  Wouldn’t it be Christ that healed them? 

And to end Alma chapter fifteen, there is a question that needs to be asked.  Alma 15:16-18 is one sentence.  How can this be?  It’s so long that it makes it hard to follow and doesn’t make sense.

And it came to pass that Alma and Amulek, Amulek having forsaken all his gold, and silver, and his precious things, which were in the land of Ammonihah, for the word of God, he being rejected by those who were once his friends and also by his father and his kindred; 17 Therefore, after Alma having established the church at Sidom, seeing a great check, yea, seeing that the people were checked as to the pride of their hearts, and began to humble themselves before God, and began to assemble themselves together at their sanctuaries to worship God before the altar, watching and praying continually, that they might be delivered from Satan, and from death, and from destruction— 18 Now as I said, Alma having seen all these things, therefore he took Amulek and came over to the land of Zarahemla, and took him to his own house, and did administer unto him in his tribulations, and strengthened him in the Lord.” 

In Alma chapter sixteen there is peace then war, then peace again and then we come upon these confusing verses in Alma 16:16 and 16:21;

And there was no inequality among them; the Lord did pour out his Spirit on all the face of the land to prepare the minds of the children of men, or to prepare their hearts to receive the word which should be taught among them at the time of his coming—” 

And now after the church had been established throughout all the land—having got the victory over the devil, and the word of God being preached in its purity in all the land, and the Lord pouring out his blessings upon the people—thus ended the fourteenth year of the reign of the judges over the people of Nephi.” 

First of all, God has never poured his Spirit on all the face of the earth in this manner.  This isn’t how God operates.  When God did send his Spirit, He came to dwell in the hearts of man when they accepted Him as their God and King.  However, Jesus said this could only happen after He goes back to the Father.  Secondly, if there was purity in all the land then why was Jesus crucified and why did people start misbehaving again?  If you have the Holy Spirit within you, you shy away from evil.  God’s Spirit does that work, not mankind.  One more thing about this passage.  If they preached from the word of God in its purity, why has the Book of Mormon had to go through 4,000 grammatical changes since it was first printed? 

As we move along to the next chapter, we see that the Nepites are using swords again (vs. 7).  Swords were not being used in Mesoamerica at this time.  Arrows and clubs, yes.  Swords, no.  See our article about steel in North America here http://www.lifeafter.org/artifacts2.asp 

In chapter eighteen we’re seeing the term “Great Spirit” being used which is a Native American name for one of their gods.  It’s interesting Smith threw this in from out of nowhere and in 18:9 the use of horses makes an appearance.  See our article on Book of Mormon artifacts (link above) for the truth about horses not being here until the Spaniards brought them to the Americas.

I can’t find any reference in the Bible of anyone referring to God as the “Great Spirit” as Ammon did in 18:28 which leads me to be suspicious of this passage.  And just when I think it can’t get worse with this particular passage, I find that I’m wrong… 

The king of the Lamanites dies.  For two days he lays in his bed and finally the       queen calls for Ammon to come in and bring him back because by now he “stinketh” as Alma 19:5 tells us.  (See John 11:39)  And then we find that Alma 19:9 is very similar to John 11:26; 

And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?” 

Just one verse later (19:10) Ammon is plagiarizing Jesus again some 120 years before Jesus even spoke the words as recorded in Luke 7:9; 

When Jesus heard these things, he marvelled at him, and turned him about, and said unto the people that followed him, I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.

Remarkably, we’ve gone backwards in time again.  It’s supposedly 90 BC.  Sadly, the Mormon people will believe the stories in the book of Alma and the people proclaiming they were being saved by the blood of Christ long before He was even born, let alone crucified.  

In Alma 20:6 we see the use of horses and chariots again and in 20:23 we see the king of the Lamanites promising up to half his kingdom if Ammon would spare his life.  This reminds me a lot of what took place with Herodias and the promise he made to his step-daughter in Mark 6:23…hmmm…

 Alma 20:23; “Now the king, fearing he should lose his life, said: If thou wilt spare me I will grant unto thee whatsoever thou wilt ask, even to half of the kingdom.” 

Mark 6:23; “And he sware unto her, Whatsoever thou shalt ask of me, I will give it thee, unto the half of my kingdom.”  

So that’s it for this week.  The more I know about Mormonism, the more thankful I am for my salvation.  It is unbelievable just how warped these stories are and how deceived my people have become.  Please, pray won’t you? 

With Love in Christ;  Michelle

1 Cor. 1:18  …

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Studying the Book of Mormon Part 5

The Rise and Death of King Mosiah

Instead of listing a verse from the text we have a question for the Mormon people to ponder.

Why would the Israelites choose to write in their enemies’ tongue and not use Hebrew?

One of the main problems in the Book of Mormon is how the repeated phrase of the “language of my fathers” is used and the reminder for the next generation that if it weren’t for the writings on the plates they wouldn’t have known God.  The Encyclopedia of Mormonism (pg. 1006) says it was the tradition of the Nephites to keep diligent records, but what do the records say?  These mysterious records are mentioned quite frequently, yet there are no absolutes regarding their context or location.

Being a history buff prompts me with a desire to dig into what was going on socially, economically, militarily and spiritually with the people group I am studying.  The stories in the Book of Mormon leave my heart sad with the continual need of wanting something more.  Something’s always missing. 

For instance I can go to libraries, encyclopedias, newspapers, living witnesses or military museums to further my studies about WW2.  Or I can go to Josephus’, Suetonius’ or Pliny’s writings to retrieve information about the socio-economic conditions in ancient Israel. 

Can we do this with the Book of Mormon?  No.  The Mormon Church is the only resource outside of the Book of Mormon itself to which we can turn for information.  That’s not exactly an independent resource now, is it?

Surprisingly, I’ve had Mormons tell me the Nephites weren’t a tribe of Israel, but followed the laws of their fathers in the “land of Jerusalem”.  I find this interesting because I grew up believing the Nephites were originally from one of the “lost ten tribes” of Israel or that they’re from the tribe of Ephraim – sigh – that’s a story for another time…if these guys weren’t Jewish what were they?  What laws were they following and to which god were they sacrificing to? 

The language of the fathers in the Nephite community supposedly spoke “Reformed Egyptian”.  To date no reputable Egyptologist has acknowledged such a language.

This is the scenario we encounter as we begin reading the story of Mosiah.  King Benjamin was delivering words of warning to his sons Mosiah, Helaman and Helorum.  King Benjamin writes that because he had been taught in the language of the Egyptians, he could read and understand what the plates said.  Oddly enough, the Book of Mormon never expounds on what the plates said.  

And again, with a heavy emphasis for his sons to obey what was written on the plates, he called for everyone to gather around for the next day he was going to crown Mosiah king over the land.  Now it would be Mosiah’s turn to tell everyone he had read the plates and remind people to obey the teachings on the plates.

I believe Mosiah 2:21, 24-25 gives us valuable insight as to how the Mormon god looks upon his people.  They in turn have no clue who the real God is and how much He loves them.  

I say unto you that if ye should serve him who has created you from the beginning, and is preserving you from day to day, by lending you breath, that ye may live and move and do according to your own will, and even supporting you from one moment to another—I say, if ye should serve him with all your whole souls yet ye would be unprofitable servants.  24 And secondly, he doth require that ye should do as he hath commanded you; for which if ye do, he doth immediately bless you; and therefore he hath paid you. And ye are still indebted unto him, and are, and will be, forever and ever; therefore, of what have ye to boast?  25 And now I ask, can ye say aught of yourselves? I answer you, Nay. Ye cannot say that ye are even as much as the dust of the earth; yet ye were created of the dust of the earth; but behold, it belongeth to him who created you.” 

Sadly, the Mormon teachings don’t promote this theology.  Brigham Young taught that he believed the story in the Bible about the beginning of man was a baby story created for childish minds.  (Journal of Discourses 2:6-7) 

King Benjamin also told the people in 2:39 that if they die before they repent then they would live in a “never-ending torment”.  What about baptisms for the dead?  Further on in chapter three, the king tells his subjects about an angel that appeared to him.  This angel told him how God would come to earth in a tabernacle of clay and be called Jesus Christ and his mother would be called Mary.  The problem with this scenario?  It’s 124 BC.

This isn’t the first, nor is it the last story in the Book of Mormon that tells of an event which rivals the same kind of scenario in the Bible.  The Bible “merely” tells of a prophecy Isaiah gave to the people in Isaiah 7:14 which is a glorious foretelling of what God would do seven hundred years in the future.  King Benjamin has an angelic being appear to him and gives him exact names of people involved, in addition to the Biblical information.  Shockingly, the Mormon people buy into this with no questions asked (Mosiah 3:8).

We are always praying the Mormon people will stop and think about these things in addition to holding Joseph Smith to his word.  Smith emphatically claimed there was no Greek or Latin upon the plates from which he translated the Book of Mormon (Times and Seasons, vol. 4 (November 1842-November 1843): pg. 194).  We found at least twenty Greek and Latin words just in Mosiah chapter three alone.  I wrote an article on this subject and found there are more than 7,000 Greek and/or Latin words in the Book of Mormon.  http://www.lifeafter.org/greeklatin.asp 

Mosiah 3:17-19 is one of the most confusing set of verses in the Book of Mormon.  I’m convinced this is one of the ways Satan keeps a blindfold over the spiritual life of the Mormon people.  In verse seventeen Benjamin says there will be no other name given whereby salvation can come other than “Christ”.  Never mind that Christ isn’t a name but a title, the following verses go on to say the natural man is an enemy to God and will continue to be an enemy unless you respond to the promptings of the Holy Spirit.

Let’s unpack this section.  The LDS Church emphatically teaches all other churches but their own are the whores of Babylon (1 Nephi 14:10) – there is no salvation outside of Mormonism.  (Ensign, July 1973, pg. 108)  If that’s true, their claim above is a lie.  (We’ll also forego the argument that he’s plagiarizing Luke in Acts 4:12 some two hundred years before it was written.)

The next problem is the claim that the natural man is an enemy to God.  How can they be an enemy to God if they don’t believe sin is automatically transmitted to mankind when they’re born?  (Encyclopedia of Mormonism, pg. 1052 & 2nd Article of Faith)  One more thing – how can you respond to promptings of the Holy Spirit if He hasn’t been given to mankind yet?  See John chapters 14-17. 

In chapter five King Benjamin tells the people because of their faith they are now spiritually begotten sons and daughters of Christ.  (vs. 5-7)  Ask your Mormon friend/loved one if we’re begotten of God or begotten of Christ.  Be sure you have a good verse to back up the truth when you share it with them.

In chapter nine we are reminded how the Lamanites are lazy, filthy, blood thirsty people always wanting a fight and looking for things to steal from the Nephites.  In chapter ten we’re told of another continual peace in the land, but then King Laman died and all bets were apparently off. 

In chapter twelve Abinadi is captured and taken before the king where he summarily begins quoting Isaiah 53 (vs. 21) and the Nephites confess to Abinadi they know the Law of Moses, but don’t obey it.   

Chapter eleven reveals to us that King Zeniff “conferred the kingdom upon Noah, one of his sons…who did not walk in the ways of his father”.  King Noah caused a myriad of problems for the Nephites and people of Zarahemla throughout the years.

When we get to Mosiah chapters thirteen, fifteen and sixteen we see again how the Book of Mormon claims that Christ is the Eternal Father. My question for these claims is why does the text keeps saying this?  If the LDS Church does not believe in the Trinity why does it say this?  If they believe they are three separate gods, then they must admit they are polytheists. 

In chapter seventeen the story of Alma fleeing for his very life comes into play and we’re told the righteous prophet Abinadi died in the fire King Noah’s priests had prepared for him.  King Noah was the father of Limhi and son of Zeniff who died off sometime earlier – the text is not clear when or how Zeniff died. 

Chapter eighteen opens up with Alma still on the run and secretly teaching the Nephites about the coming of Christ as he institutes the very first church.  Interestingly enough, he was baptizing people and we’ve gone backwards in time by about twenty years.  It’s now 147 BC.  In chapter nineteen we find Gideon climbing a tower to kill King Noah, but backs out when the king falsely claims he’s worried for his people.  Gideon’s men finally caught up to King Noah and burned him alive. (19:20) 

Two chapters later we see that the Lamanites were cruel task masters to the Nephites and would “smite them on their cheeks” to keep them in line (21:3).  With no other viable info on that subject I have to wonder why it’s there at all.  Verse four tells us these things were done “so the word of the Lord might be fulfilled”.  What did God say and why did he say it? 

By the end of chapter twenty one the people of Limhi were at war with the Lamanites.  In 21:33 we’re told Limhi and “many of his people were desirous to be baptized”, but no one had authority to do such a thing and Ammon refused because he considered himself to be unworthy. 

Because of the fervent prayers of others, Ammon had a conversion experience much like the Apostle Paul did in Acts chapter nine – the problem here is that it’s about 165 years before Paul and still 120+ years before Jesus was even born.  I find it interesting this Ammon fellow would have the same humble attributes our beloved Paul had in addition to having an eerily similar experience…could that really have happened in 122 BC?

In chapter twenty two the people of Limhi escaped into the wilderness “and joined Mosiah’s people and became his subjects”.  (22:13) 

In chapter twenty three Alma refuses to be the king and instead taught the people they should love their neighbors as they love themselves.  Isn’t this Shema, the two greatest commandments that Jesus spoke of in Mark 12:29 when He quoted from Deuteronomy 6:4?  (Also notice the BoM doesn’t offer any scripture from Torah to refer the readers to.)  This took place in 145 BC and within a few more verses into chapter twenty four, the righteous people were being threatened with death if they were found praying. 

By chapter twenty five the Mulekites of Zarahemla became Nephites.  The two clans joined forces because there weren’t very many Nephites and the people of Zarahemla who originally came from Mulek outnumbered them.  These two groups combined didn’t make up half of the number of Lamanites.  When King Mosiah explained to the people of Zarahemla the great affliction the Nephites had gone through at the hand of the Lamanites their hearts were troubled.  (25:9) It was at this time King Mosiah instructed Alma to institute another church.  By now it was 120 BC.

Not a lot of time passed by before many of the church members fell into apostasy and King Mosiah handed the judgment of those who were sinning into the hands of Alma.  (26:12) 

After a little confusion of whose side the sons of Mosiah and Alma the younger should be on, they finally came to their senses and supposedly dedicated their life to God.  They preached that mankind must be born again to be saved and by the end of the chapter was publishing good tidings of the Redeemer to all the people.  It was 92 BC

Chapter twenty seven begins by telling us none of the sons of Mosiah want to take over the kingdom, instead they have chosen to go and preach salvation by grace to their “brothers”, the Lamanites.  

In light of this new situation, King Mosiah took the plates of brass and the plates of gold and translated by the “power of the two stones which were fastened into the two rims of a bow”, the records of their fathers.  (28:13) After he translated the plates and shared his information with the people he announced in chapter twenty nine because no one was available to take over the kingdom he would be their king till he died.  After that time a panel of judges would watch over the people, the first of which was Alma the younger.  When Mosiah was 63 years old he died, as did “Alma the elder, the founder of their church”. 

I’m not sure what spiritual comfort any of these stories could bring to the Mormon people.  I realize they think highly of Ammon and Abinadi, but when I read their hero stories I can’t help but wonder why it doesn’t make them think of the true life heroes in the New Testament.

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Studying the Book of Mormon Part 4

The Letters of Jarom, Omni and Words of Mormon

Jarom 1:1; “Now behold, I, Jarom, write a few words according to the commandment of my father, Enos, that our genealogy may be kept.

Omni 1:1; “Behold, it came to pass that I, Omni, being commanded by my father, Jarom, that I should write somewhat upon these plates, to preserve our genealogy—

This time we’ve used two verses as our synopsis for this study.  The first thing that popped out to me for each book was the commandments given by fallible men to write scripture.  This means they weren’t written as they were moved upon by the Holy Ghost; they are not God-breathed – theopneustos.   A stark contrast to this is what the Apostle Peter describes to us in his second epistle to the Jewish believers.

2 Peter 1:20-21; “Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.  21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

We find that Jarom is the son of Enos and yet again nothing is shared with the reader about their relationship other than his father commanded him to write something.  Jarom tells us in the second verse there’s really nothing to share because everything’s already been said.  What he does share is compacted into one chapter.  On the surface it may seem there’s not a lot going on in the book of Jarom, but friends that’s not the case!

In 1:4, Jarom lets us know there “are many among us who have many revelations” and those who accepted them have communion with the Holy Spirit.  This obviously causes concern because at the time of his writing it’s 399 BC.  Unfortunately, there is nothing of substance giving us detailed descriptions of what the people are doing and why.

Maybe there’s nothing to share because nothing is there…

Just four verses later we’re again faced with the situation of inventions being in the wrong place at the wrong time.  In this particular verse Jarom claims his people were very skilled in the use of “machinery, iron, copper, and brass and steel”.  He also claims the Nephites were using “tools of every kind to till the ground and weapons of war…”  Ironically, he doesn’t tell us what they’ve made or why they needed tools to begin with.

Here is an excerpt from an article I wrote on the artifacts from the Book of Mormon.  I researched a total of eighteen questionable items and documented my findings. 

According to the Wikipedia website on the history of ancient steel it says;

“Some of the first steel comes from East Africa, dating back to 1400 BC.[10] In the 4th century BC steel weapons like the Falcata were produced in the Iberian Peninsula, while Noric steel was used by the Roman military.”  (22)

The article goes on to say this about modern steel making in America;

“The modern era in steelmaking began with the introduction of Henry Bessemer’s Bessemer process in 1858[20]. This enabled steel to be produced in large quantities cheaply, so that mild steel is now used for most purposes for which wrought iron was formerly used.

There doesn’t seem to be getting around this one!  How would the Nephites have the knowhow to make this type of steel here in America circa BC 420?  Another great website on the history of steel making can be found at the link below.

http://www.tf.uni-kiel.de/matwis/amat/def_en/kap_5/advanced/t5_1_4.html

Click here for the entire article http://www.lifeafter.org/artifacts.asp

Jarom claimed in verse ten the “prophets of the Lord did threaten the people of Nephi, according to the word of God”, and if they didn’t behave, they’d be wiped off the earth.

I don’t remember any place in the Old Testament where God “threatens” his people.  Does He warn and exhort?  Absolutely!  Threaten?  No, He does not.  As a matter of fact, the word “threaten” appears only two times in the KJV and they’re both found in the New Testament.  

I find the context of how this was used to be very interesting as well.  Notice in the first example that it’s those with hatred towards Jesus’ disciples who threaten and in the second example, it explicitly says Jesus didn’t threaten those who reviled Him.

Acts 4:21; “So when they had further threatened them, they let them go, finding nothing how they might punish them, because of the people: for all men glorified God for that which was done.

1 Peter 2:23; “Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously.

In each case we find both Jesus and the followers paying attention to nothing but God.  Our focus always is to be upon Him who loves us.  The Lord doesn’t threaten anyone.  He gives us commandments to obey and when we don’t then there are consequences. 

To threaten is “to be a menace or a source of danger”.  (www.dictionary.com)  

Is that how you see God?

One of the most important questions I have about the Book of Mormon is why God would allow a self proclaimed “wicked man” to author his holy writ.  Does it make sense a holy, righteous God would convey His thoughts through an evil person in this manner?  

Do the words of Omni’s son Amaron sound like they’re from God? 

Omni 1:5; “Behold, it came to pass that three hundred and twenty years had passed away, and the more wicked part of the Nephites were destroyed.

Here we see the Nephites grammar problem isn’t an isolated incident.  There are literally dozens of other examples of verses just like this that sound eerily similar.

After four verses Omni tells us he passed the plates on to his son Amaron and just four verses after that Amaron passes them on to his brother Chemish.  After Chemish wrote two verses the plates were then passed to his son Abinadom. 

Abinadom tells us he took the lives of many Lamanites before he passed the plates on to his son Amaleki. So in the course of thirteen verses a total of five people had written about the horrible Lamanites and many people had been killed.  No specifics on how the Nephites trusted in the Lord except they knew they were moved “by the arm of the Lord”.

Exactly, what is the “arm of the Lord”?

At some point the Nephites had been moved down to the wilderness into the land of Zarahemla and it was there they discovered another people group called “the people of Zarahemla”.  The text tells us nothing in particular about these people except that they “rejoiced exceedingly because the Lord had sent the people of Mosiah with the plates of brass which contained the record of the Jews”.

Finally, in Omni 1:15 the author tells us these people had escaped Jerusalem during the time of King Zedekiah and had also sailed across the “great waters” to settle in the Promised Land, yet didn’t believe in God.  These Jews apparently hadn’t taken any writings with them. 

They seemed to have the same problem the Nephites and Lamanites had incurred while in the Americas.  They too had a huge population growth with many wars, serious “contentions” and a language corruption.  While not stating what language these people of Zarahemla were using, the text tells us that Mosiah taught them his language. 

After learning the language of Mosiah, the people of Zarahemla told them of their genealogy, but it’s not written down anywhere.

This one thing alone should send loud siren like warnings to the Mormon people.  For the Jews one of the most important things in life was to know which tribe you came from.  Belonging to a certain tribe indicated what you’d be doing in life.  Ironically, living on this side of the cross means genealogy has no part in your life.  When we’re in Christ, there is neither Jew nor Greek.  With the way they keep ancestral records today, you’d think the Book of Mormon would say something about this.  Once again, they have things backwards.

Apparently “the people of Zarahemla” also discovered a people group who sailed over the oceans at the time of the tower of Babylon.  The Zarahemla people gave a stone to Mosiah that had engravings on it and he interpreted it for them (1:20).  The story on this engraved rock was about someone named “Corinatumr and the slain of his people”. (Omni 1:21)

Again, we see another grammatical problem.  Coriantumr lived with the people of Zarahemla for “the space of nine moons” after his first parents came from Babylon and the Lord confounded their language as a punishment for their behavior.  Don’t expect to hear anything else about these people because as abruptly as he appeared in this letter, his story is done.  There’s nothing else written about Coriantumr. 

The rest of the book of Omni is much like the book of Jarom.  There is a pleading to the Nephites they should come to Christ in 279 BC without explaining who He is and there’s no description of where these people lived or their daily routines. 

The next book is as small as the previous two, but with an added twist.  This book was written circa 385 AD.  The Words of Mormon is another “abridgement” written for the benefit of the readers to better understand how the original books flowed from one to the other.  Got that?  Here’s how the Mormon Church’s website describes the Words of Mormon;

http://www.ldsces.org/inst_manuals/bm-ssg/bm-ssg-04-jac.htm

A Book out of Time

The short book called the Words of Mormon was written by the prophet and record keeper Mormon about A.D. 385, more than 500 years after the last writer wrote in the book of Omni. It is Mormon’s explanation for his including the small plates of Nephi with his abridgment of the large plates of Nephi…

Not sure why this was needed or what purpose it served the people back in 385 AD, but it is what it is for the Mormons today.

The prophet Mormon seemed to have the same problem with proper grammar his predecessors were plagued with.  Here’s what he had to say in the beginning of 1:3; 

“And now, I speak somewhat concerning that which I have written…” 

Verse twelve is just as bad;

And now, concerning this king Benjamin—he had somewhat of contentions among his own people.

Here’s my grammatical take on that; Huh?

Why would this guy be writing these things if he knew his people were going to be annihilated?  Does this sound like an inspired word from the Lord?  What purpose does this serve for the Mormon people today in Brigham City or Kearns or Richfield, Utah?

In verse five he made the comment that he couldn’t write the hundredth part of the things of his people and I want to know why.  Why can’t he write even one thing about the Nephites to give us any insight about these people?  Something of substance, anything telling us specifically where they lived or in what manner they worshipped. 

What kind of clothing did they wear? 

What color was their hair? 

Did they sleep on mats or maybe blankets? 

Did they share in a daily communal meal as the Israelites did at the time of Jesus?

How were the false Christs punished for their crimes in 130 BC as it states in verse sixteen?  Or did he mean 385 AD when he wrote this abridgement?

Is there a deeper meaning to the word righteousness as there is in the Greek?  If not, then why?

We will continue to read through the Book of Mormon as Mr. Hinckley suggested, but honestly I just can’t see where any of this would give hope to the Mormon people.  Please, pray with us won’t you that members of the LDS Church will ask God to open their eyes?

With Love in Christ;  Michelle Grim

1 Cor. 1:18  …

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Studying the Book of Mormon Part 3

Musings of Jacob and Enos

Enos 1:23; “And there was nothing save it was exceeding harshness, preaching and prophesying of wars, and contentions, and destructions, and continually reminding them of death, and the duration of eternity, and the judgments and the power of God, and all these things—stirring them up continually to keep them in the fear of the Lord. I say there was nothing short of these things, and exceedingly great plainness of speech, would keep them from going down speedily to destruction. And after this manner do I write concerning them.

In our series of Studying the Book of Mormon we like to highlight one verse in the beginning to show the overall theme of the section.  As you can see from the verse above, the Book of Enos and Jacob doesn’t shine forth with much hope for any Mormon to hold on to for themselves in times of need.

The most glaring discovery from every book in the Book of Mormon is what isn’t in the text.  Where is the Law?  Where are the meticulous outlines of what God expects from His people and how they are to conduct their lives? 

Where are the rituals needing to take place in the temples that were supposedly built?  Why is there no mention of Passover or the other festivals?  These are the very things the Israelites lived their lives around.  The festivals “celebrated a historical action of God to deliver Israel” – (Holman Bible Dictionary).

Where are the artifacts?  If people were at war with each other for over 170 years by the end of Enos’ writing, where are the scribbled or carved notes on clay or rocks of invasions or even arrow heads? 

From 1937 to 1945 over 72,000,000 people were dead from the ravages of the Second World War.  As you can imagine they’re still finding artifacts some 65 years later.  Likewise, archaeologists are discovering multiple layers of destruction debris, vessels and organic materials from the late Iron to early Bronze Ages in Megiddo which dates back to 12th Century BC.  Most notably in the past one hundred years there have also been great discoveries of Jericho, the Dead Sea Scrolls as well as the Hittite community.  (http://www.tau.ac.il/humanities/archaeology/megiddo/2008_results.html)  Sadly, there have been no such discoveries anywhere in Mesoamerica of the wars alluded to, nor are there any housing, vessels, animal or human bones.  There is absolutely nothing.

The first chapter of Jacob informs us that only fifty five years had passed since the family had left Jerusalem and in that time there was already a division between the descendants of Nephi (1:13).  It also seemed that Jacob had a strong urge to repeatedly tell his audience how he magnified the office he held.  I’m left to wonder… why he didn’t magnify God and how did he go about magnifying the office he held?

The polygamy issue is something that has presented itself yet again in the e-mails we’ve received lately and the new explanations from the book of Jacob have me perplexed.  For the life of me I can’t find the reasoning they’ve tried to employ stating the Mormon god didn’t condemn polygamy.  The subject of polygamy begins in Jacob 2:15 and in 2:33, the Mormon god outright condemns it, so how do you justify it?

It seems the Lord is keeping to his story about people turning dark because of their sin and apparently the Lamanites were more righteous than the Nephites, including the observance of only having one wife, so why haven’t the Nephites turned dark?  And why would Jacob tell the Nephites he was afraid the skins of the Lamanites would turn lighter than the Nephites if the Nephites didn’t start behaving.  Really?  What kind of prophet would be concerned about skin color?

One big problem in the book of Jacob is their profession of Christ.  For goodness sakes it’s 400 BC!  Why would you be using this terminology? 

The word “Christ” is the Greek translation of the Hebrew word “Messiah”.  It appears in the New Testament 514 times and is the official title of the Lord Jesus.  It is not His last name, nor is it his given name.  How is it they can even command the trees to obey them in the name of Jesus?  (Jacob 4:6)

Another problem in this genre is the use of the words “Holy Ghost” and “Holy Spirit” in Jacob chapter six.  The term “Holy Ghost” never appears in the Old Testament and the first time He was instilled in the body of believers isn’t until the book of Acts.  And that leads us to the infamous use of the French word “adieu” at the very end of Jacob.

This book was supposedly written in 400 BC.  French was not a language until 700 AD.  Now the Mormons will tell you it was quite common for the early Americans to use the word “adieu” much like we use the term “later” when saying good-bye to someone.

If this was just a simple general term then why was Smith speaking in the outdated 1611 King James English in the nineteenth century?  There are so many complications in his text…

The next book doesn’t clarify anything for us about the concerns above, nor does it give any detail of the father and son relationship between Jacob and Enos.  We find that Enos went about prophesying the labors of the Nephites were all in vain (vs. 20).  Because of the blood thirsty Lamanites, there was no end in sight to a peaceful resolution between the two parties.  To compound the problem there seemed to be a gloomy outlook toward life in general.

He also preached that even though he must “go down to his grave” the people mustn’t worry because they too can go to the place prepared for them by the “Redeemer”.  My question is how do they do that?  If there’s no hope what type of redeemer is he speaking about and why shouldn’t you worry?

I found it more than a little interesting Joseph Smith would use this particular term in light of its translation.

According to Easton’s Bible Dictionary it means “one charged with the duty of restoring the rights of another and avenging his wrongs.  He redeems us from all evil by the payment of a ransom”.

First of all that flies in the face of the LDS phrase “endure to the end”, nor does it line up with the theory that you must atone for some sins Jesus can’t cover you for, i.e., murder (D&C 42:79), blasphemy (D&C 132:27) or if you’re an apostate (D&C 85:11).  See our article on interesting facts here http://www.lifeafter.org/3n1facts.asp

Enduring to the end has enabled the Mormons to clothe themselves in a martyr syndrome.  They are fed a steady diet of being told no one likes them because they are Mormon and here in their own scripture they find solace in the empty promises of this false god telling them to pick themselves up by their bootstraps.

When we’re troubled we need to go to the Lord, not just endure to the end!  We are victorious because of what HE has done for us, not because we slouched through another day of being picked on!

1 John 5:4; “For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.

It is through the transforming work of the Holy Spirit residing inside each believer that hearts are changed when we read scripture and understand it in a new light.  It is because of His redemptive work we mature in our faith to become Christ-like and begin to rest in the victory He has already fought for and gained.

1 Corinthians 15:57; “But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

With all that aside, remember what God told Lehi?  According to Lehi, God promised him the new land would be an eternal covenant and inheritance.  The land was supposedly a choice land above all other lands.  I have to ask:

Why are there wars in the new Promised Land? 

What happened to God’s promise of it being there as an everlasting covenant for future generations?  The Nephites died out in 421 AD.

Enos tells us that it’s been 179 years after the Israelites left Jerusalem (1:25), but makes no mention of any other individual Nephite or their life.  I just cannot imagine always fighting in malicious wars with no hope.  There’s no account of anyone at all coming to know the Lord. Trusting in this book is living without a god who keeps his promises and worshipping a god who might zap you into a “cursed” color if you don’t behave properly. 

In the Bible we see individuals coming to know God personally because of the miracles He performed through His prophets like Elisha.  Remember the lady whose son died and Elisha brought him back to life?  2 Kings 4:8-37.

So when Enos wrote his letter it had been 179 years that had passed and still there is no mention of anyone knowing the Lord personally and no mention of any sacrifices being made in a temple somewhere…

The god in the Book of Mormon is nothing like the God of the Bible.  He may use the same terminology the KJV used, but that language came from man, not God and doesn’t serve as proof this is “another testament from God”.  We’ll forego the whole “Reformed Egyptian” subject for now.

How were Enos’ sins wiped away after he prayed if no blood sacrifice had been made?  Remember it’s only 421 BC, Jesus hadn’t been crucified yet so animal sacrifices were still in effect.

Another noteworthy mistake is found in Enos 1:20.  The text tells us the Lamanites were using cimeters and eating raw meat which he obviously thought was a sin.  Cimeters are a type of sword and not around until after 500 AD.  Originally this sword was found to be used in the Middle East so how does Enos have this thing in the Americas several hundred years before it was invented?  http://www.lifeafter.org/artifacts.asp   This means there is a 900 year discrepancy.  It’s not quite as bad as the 1,100 year problem with French being used in Jacob, but still!

The problem with the raw meat episode is because of what was mentioned earlier in first Nephi.  Why wasn’t it a sin for Lehi and family to eat raw meat, but it was for the Nephites? 

Compare 1 Nephi 17:2 & Enos 1:20 with what God says in Leviticus 7:25-26.  Is it any wonder the Mormon people are confused?

Enos claimed that he prophesied about the truth of Christ, but not one single explanation about Christ is mentioned in his short chapter.  Nothing about the cross or the Paschal Lamb that would be sacrificed on Passover, and nothing specific about the fulfilled prophecies of God Incarnate walking this earth.  If this Christ was so important why wouldn’t he tell the readers why?

As an example of how little information there is let’s take another look at what Enos says. 

Enos 1:6-8; “And I, Enos, knew that God could not lie; wherefore, my guilt was swept away.  7 And I said: Lord, how is it done?  8 And he said unto me: Because of thy faith in Christ, whom thou hast never before heard nor seen. And many years pass away before he shall manifest himself in the flesh; wherefore, go to, thy faith hath made thee whole.

Honestly people.  My concern about this kind of thing is mainly for my mother.  Of course we pray for all Mormons and we truly do this with a sincerity of heart, but then I think of the average, every day Mormon like my mother Vickie.  How is she to glean any promise from Abba in Enos or Jacob?

If you are a member of the LDS Church we want for you to know God loves you!  He wants for you to come into a full relationship with Him instead of sitting on the outskirts just using His name.  If you want further info on Mormonism feel free to contact us!

With Love in Christ; Michelle

1 Cor. 1:18 …

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Nephi & Jacob

     In the first part of this study we looked at the reign of Lehi and his son Nephi.  This time we’ll look a little longer at Nephi and then switch over to studying the works and wanderings of his younger brother Jacob who was born in the years of Lehi’s journeys.

     The more I read the Book of Mormon, the more fallacies I see throughout its text.  For the second part of this short study I had originally planned to go straight to the legacy of Nephi’s younger brother Jacob.  However, after thumbing through the text of Second Nephi to convince myself to skip it, I became convicted it needs attention.

     When I go out to speak to youth groups in churches I typically begin my lecture by reading Isaiah 40:8 and then having the students repeat the verse after me.

Isaiah 40:8; “The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.”

     The one thing above all else I want those kids to remember is that one verse.  If they don’t remember anything that I taught them about Mormons, my goal is to have them memorize Isaiah 40:8.  Sure, I personally feel that it’s important everyone know the dangers of Mormonism.  However, as a Christian I am indebted to God that I teach on the infallibility of His word and His unchangeable ways.  Next year, or maybe in the next century there may not be any Mormonism, but rest assured there will certainly be another “ism” of some kind.

     When we as the body of Christ allow ourselves to slide into an existence of spiritual complacency we will also begin to rearrange and change the meaning of the word of God.  It’s our duty to teach the next generation of His ways else we are held responsible.  It’s also imperative that we “hold fast to that which is good” and remember the Apostle Peter’s exhortation from his second letter to the Jewish believers in Christ:

2 Peter 1:20-21; “Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.  For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

     With all that in mind let’s open the Book of Mormon to 2 Nephi 1:1 and take a good hard look at what Joseph Smith had to say.  This man is someone to take seriously and I mean that with every fiber of my being.  If we are to ignore or simply brush off someone like this then we endanger not only our eternal lives with God but the whole as well.  The following is what Joseph claims was on the plates of brass hidden in the hills of Cumorah. 

     In the beginning stages of this book we see that Nephi is praising the Lord that he and his family have made it safely to the Promised Land.  In 1:4 he says something that I find truly amazing.  It says; “For, behold, said he, I have seen a vision, in which I know that Jerusalem is destroyed; and had we remained in Jerusalem we should also have perished.”

     The reason this is fascinating is because of what we studied earlier – the reality of what happened to the Jews who did flee to Egypt.  The majority did indeed perish because of their disobedience.  God had issued His commandment through the prophet Jeremiah in chapter 42 verses 7 through 22.  There were only a few that went back to Jerusalem and they were the poorest of the poor Israelites.  None of them had the money that Lehi had. 

And why did Lehi need money if he was going to a place that didn’t have anyone else there, let alone someone who would consent to his form of money and goods?

     What is even more fascinating is what Lehi says in verse five;

But, said he, notwithstanding our afflictions, we have obtained a land of promise, a land which is choice above all other lands; a land which the Lord God hath covenanted with me should be a land for the inheritance of my seed. Yea, the Lord hath covenanted this land unto me, and to my children forever, and also all those who should be led out of other countries by the hand of the Lord.”

     Because they aren’t in Jerusalem anymore, this has to mean that God has changed His mind again or He has lied to all the Israelites, not to mention the rest of the world.  After more than 400 years of captivity and another 40 years wandering in the wilderness, God led His chosen people to the choicest of lands in Canaan.  He gave that land to them as their inheritance for their children’s children.  I dare any Mormon to go tell a Jew that God says the new land of His children is in Mesoamerica and see what kind of reaction you get. 

     I don’t mean any disrespect at all to the Jewish community, please understand.  I am good friends with many Messianic Jews and practicing Orthodox Jews and wouldn’t dream of such a thing.  I personally feel that it’s insulting to God’s chosen people!  This is just one example of why the story that Joseph Smith concocted is a lie. 

     As we go further into this study, we see that Lehi is teaching his son Jacob something that is diametrically opposed to LDS theology.  In 2 Nephi 2:21 it says;

“…For he gave commandment that all men must repent; for he showed unto all men that they were lost, because of the transgression of their parents.” 

     According to LDS doctrine this is what it says in the Second Article of Faith:

We believe that men will be punished for their own sins, and not for Adam’s transgression.

     So if you’re witnessing to a Mormon or if you are LDS I truly pray that you would see things like this and ask God to clear the mind of the Mormon.  God loves the Mormon people, of this I am sure!  The heart of the average Mormon loves Jesus, but it’s death to the soul because it’s the wrong Jesus.  The two examples I’ve just listed above are simple and straightforward.  You don’t have to hold a PhD in anything to understand those two things are contradictory to each other.  And to further confuse the Mormon here is what it says just four verses later in 2 Nephi 2:25;

Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy.

     Of course we know this is a lie because of what the Lord tells us in Gen. 1:27-28 and 2:24-5;

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.  And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.

     And then we see that it isn’t until Genesis chapter three when Adam and Eve have sinned.  God had sanctioned for the couple to become one flesh and multiply before they had been booted out of the Garden of Eden.  The above LDS doctrine is nothing but a hoax and made something that was created by God Himself into something that could only happen if we’re sinning!

If procreating could only take place while man was in a state of sin, why is it that salvation for the LDS comes only through the new and everlasting covenant of eternal marriage and having babies?

     As we dig still deeper into the cavern of lies, Joseph has revealed to people what was to become of the “Jaredites”.  Beginning in chapter five we’re told that righteous Nephi took a few of his siblings and in-laws with him to escape to the wilderness.  Never mind that God had promised him that particular spot of land forever if he was righteous, he has now packed up his things and they’re leaving.

     This chapter is when the people are separated into the two major people groups that being the Nephites and the dark and loathsome Lamanites.  Nephi’s brothers that continually railed against him were stricken with a “sore cursing” which turned their skin dark.  In addition to this development Nephi was also crowned as king against his own wishes.  2 Nephi 5:18, 21-24;

And it came to pass that they would that I should be their king. But I, Nephi, was desirous that they should have no king; nevertheless, I did for them according to that which was in my power.

And he had caused the cursing to come upon them, yea, even a sore cursing, because of their iniquity. For behold, they had hardened their hearts against him, that they had become like unto a flint; wherefore, as they were white, and exceedingly fair and delightsome, that they might not be enticing unto my people the Lord God did cause a skin of blackness to come upon them.  And thus saith the Lord God: I will cause that they shall be loathsome unto thy people, save they shall repent of their iniquities.  And cursed shall be the seed of him that mixeth with their seed; for they shall be cursed even with the same cursing. And the Lord spake it, and it was done.  And because of their cursing which was upon them they did become an idle people, full of mischief and subtlety, and did seek in the wilderness for beasts of prey.

     My list of questions and thoughts over the years about this particular passage is extensive as I’m sure the reader’s is as well.  However, I am mostly compelled to ask just one question for now:

Where in the span of the thirty years since they left Israel did the Nephites turn white?

    Generally speaking people from the Middle East aren’t white and delightsome.  Let me rephrase that, they’re usually not white.  And generally speaking from first hand experience, people who aren’t white and delightsome usually aren’t loathsome.  I’ve always been a hard worker, polite and giving to others.  The dictionary says the definition of loathsome is offensive, repellent, detestable, abhorrent and abominable.   I’ve known people much whiter than myself who could use a good scrub brush.  The inference of such remarks is nothing less than racist.  And I really don’t think making excuses for Joseph Smith being raised in the era of slavery is a good enough excuse in God’s eyes for clinging to that character flaw.

     Many times I’ll receive phone calls and/or e-mails chastising me for not understanding the social and political climate of the nineteenth century.  Actually I do understand it; it’s still alive and well in many places throughout the world.  Utah comes to mind pretty fast for me.  When people try to cover for Smith, I introduce them to my husband Kirk.  During the Civil War one of his ancestors took his wife and kids and fled for the north because he knew slavery wasn’t proper.  After settling in and changing his surname he fought for the north.  Don’t tell me Smith did it because he was from the “old school”.  Sin is sin.  It’s without excuse. 

     Moving along, we come upon another direct contradictory teaching within the doctrines of the LDS Church.  You see, I can’t stress enough to those who are investigating the Church for membership that it is vital you check these things out!  The Church has 124 operating temples on the day of this writing, April 27, 2007 –   

http://www.ldschurchtemples.com/operating  There are also six more under construction and another five that have been announced.  My question is:

Why? 

2 Nephi 9:38 says; “And, in fine, wo unto all those who die in their sins; for they shall return to God, and behold his face, and remain in their sins.”

     Why would you need temples if Nephi is exhorting his brothers to be righteous before they die so they can receive salvation?  Also read 2 Nephi 9:15-16 which says the same thing! 

Does this mean the Book of Mormon has been mistranslated?

Which book is correct – D&C or Book of Mormon?

 

     More importantly why do the Mormons go to the temples to be baptized for the dead if there are no second chances?  D&C 124:29-30 says that the saints have to baptize their dead.  If the saints have to do this but not the people before Jesus’ time then why didn’t God just say that to Nephi?

 For the following ten chapters you will notice that Nephi has written down the words of Isaiah.  Why Joseph Smith thought this would fit in with the agenda of LDS doctrine is beyond me, but it is what it is.  In Chapter 19:6 he has quoted verbatim what is in Isaiah 9:6;

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder; and his name shall be called, Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

  Isaiah 9:6; 

“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.”

     Here is where I think the LDS member should look very closely.  In our last look at the life of Nephi we read about Jesus telling the disciples that the Father would send them the Comforter in John 14:16-17.  Now take a good look at all the names given to that one “being” in Isaiah. This is obviously the Trinity, plain and simple.  Now why would Joseph Smith use a scripture out of Isaiah if he didn’t ascribe to the traditional Judeo-Christian view of that particular verse?  The answer is very simple my friends; to deceive.  The report from Nephi telling the people that God is coming in the flesh can also be seen in  2 Ne. 25:12-13.

     Those of us who have witnessed to the Mormon people will tell you that 2 Nephi 25:23 is one of the most contradictory statements in all of the Book of Mormon.  It says;

For we labor diligently to write, to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God; for we know that it is by grace that we are saved; after all we can do.

     When we read the words of Paul in Ephesians 2:8-9 we are comforted by his words about salvation and reminded of our blessings from the release of the Law;

 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”

     In the LDS doctrine listed above, the last part of the sentence is in bold type to point out the discrepancy between it and what the Bible says.  I implore the members of the Church to analyze that doctrine.  What does it mean to you?  Why does grace play a part in your salvation if you have any part in it?  It’d be like having to invite you to your own birthday party!  Grace is unmerited favor.  We receive grace even though we’re not worthy of grace or salvation for that matter but God in His mercy and love for us grants us that unearned favor.  It’s like a get out of jail free card!

     In 2 Nephi 26:32-33 Nephi is giving his people a list of commandments they are to obey.  Interestingly enough one of those commandments is to not murder because as he states, it is never from God.  Nephi said that God is plain in his commandments and easy to understand.

Why did God tell Nephi to kill Laban but give a commandment at a later time to say that it is a sin and you will die for it?

 

     The Bible is very clear about lies and God’s faithfulness.  In Malachi 3:6 it says that God doesn’t change; and in Titus 1:2 it says God cannot lie.  My last issue with this chapter has to do with the very last sentence.  It says;

…and he denieth none that come unto him, black and white, bond and free, male and female…

      While that in and of itself sounds great and lines up with the Bible, what about chapter five of this second book of Nephi?  Smith just got done telling us the Lamanites were cursed.  How are they able to approach the throne of God with a clear conscience if they’re cursed? 

     In 2 Nephi 30:6 we see one of the grammatical changes that have been made to the Book of Mormon.  In all there have been over 4,000 grammatical changes made.  Here is the 1980 and later version of this verse: 

And then shall they rejoice; for they shall know that it is a blessing unto them from the hand of God; and their scales of darkness shall begin to fall from their eyes; and many generations shall not pass away among them, save they shall be a pure and delightsome people.

     In sharp contrast here is what it says prior to the change in 1980;

And then shall they rejoice; for they shall know that it is a blessing unto them from the hand of God; and their scales of darkness shall begin to fall from their eyes; and many generations shall not pass away among them, save they shall be a white and delightsome people.

     Since we’ve already discussed the color issue let’s forego that part of it and focus on what the Bible says in regards to this type of thing.  In Deut. 18:20-22 God tells the Israelites that in order to trust a prophet there is a test the prophet must pass.  If that prophet gives even one prophecy that doesn’t come true you are to ignore him because he will die and he has not spoken for God.

     Now from the example above:

Since when does the word white also mean pure?

 

If the Lamanites were supposed to believe in Christ then why are there still dark Native Americans?

 

     One chapter later we have Nephi preaching the gospel; keep in mind Jesus hasn’t been born yet let alone crucified and resurrected – that’s another five and a half centuries away!  The Greek words are also of interest considering Jacob and Nephi were living on a different continent, separated by an ocean, and they weren’t speaking Greek or Hebrew.  Joseph claims they had been speaking “Reformed Egyptian” (which to this day has never been authenticated by any reputable outside Egyptologist.). 

Why were words such as baptized, baptism and Holy Ghost used some 550 years before it actually occurred?

 

Why did Nephi say virtually the same thing that Luke did in Acts 4:10 almost 600 years before Luke was born?

 

2 Nephi 31:21; “And now, behold, my beloved brethren, this is the way; and there is none other way nor name given under heaven whereby man can be saved in the kingdom of God. And now, behold, this is the doctrine of Christ, and the only and true doctrine of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, which is one God, without end. Amen.

Acts 4:12; “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”

And finally my dear friends from 2 Nephi 31:10 and 33:4;

 

How did Nephi know the name of Jesus before He was born?

 

Please know that if you’re a member of the LDS Church we are here not to bash you or any of the Mormon people.  Our hearts go out to you and we pray you will be set free from the confusion and lies of the doctrines of Joseph Smith.  We are convinced the Mormon people love Jesus and fear for them because this is truly not the Jesus of the Bible.  If you’d like more information you can contact us at Life After Ministries

www.lifeafter.org

Key words:  Lehi, Nephi, Jacob, Nephi’s brother, Lamanites, Nephites, Jaredites, Laban, Laman, Lemuel, Articles of Faith, Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, Joseph Smith.

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Nephi’s Reign

     The twenty-fifth Psalm of David is a heart cry to the Lord to forgive him of his sin as well as a profession of his faith in the Lord who always gives comfort and direction.  King David obviously made some mistakes in life, of this there is no doubt.  However, we also see there is hope in his life story because of the mercy of God, His forgiveness and the timeless lesson of obedience for us.  The main lesson I got out of this Psalm was to wait upon the Lord no matter how long I think its taking.  Our God doesn’t work in the manner of timelines.  He is not bound by the secondhand on the clock that ticks away at our very lives.  He’s not bound by the laws of man that have mostly been self-inflicted; much like a wound we won’t lance for fear of the initial pain.  We keep applying more laws to cover the mess of not upholding the ultimate of laws; that being the Law of God.

     When I say this to people many of them will say “but Michelle, Jesus did away with the Law of Moses”.   My response is always the same; “He did”?  I thought Jesus came to fulfill the Law, not get rid of it.  Jesus told the Pharisees on many occasions that while they were busy making their laws of not having extra-marital affairs they were already found guilty by just thinking of it.

     Jesus’ message of salvation should be a welcome relief to those who live to be right.  Your struggle is over my friend!  He came and did the job for you because whatever task you’ve imposed upon yourself is now accomplished thanks to our Lord.  Psalm 25 can be used as a comfort to us that while we are worshipping this Almighty God, He is ever faithful to show us how He loves and cares for us.  The main theme to this life:  wait on the Lord.

     I’m at the end of a Bible study that began last fall on the book of Jeremiah.  Never had I imagined how good of a study this was going to be!  I signed up on the premise that it would be good for me to learn more about Old Testament times and learn which order the books of the Old Testament are in.  Oh I know there is always something God wants us to learn and I don’t recall a time that He hasn’t provided that way.  This study though was one of the best Bible studies I’ve been in since I was saved 14 years ago.

     We begin learning about Jeremiah by reading that He’s been called by God to proclaim instructions to the Israelites during the takeover and captivity.  The Babylonian Empire was sweeping through countries and continents, plundering everything and everyone in its vicious path.  The Israelites had broken into two kingdoms that being Judah in the south and Israel in the north.  The Kingdom of Israel had already been taken captive by the Assyrians in 722 BC and dispersed.  By the time 612 BC came rolling around with the takeover of Nineveh by the Babylonians, the marching of the soldier’s feet became louder by the moment for the Kingdom of Judah.  The Israelites begged Jeremiah to go and receive instruction from the Lord so they would know what to do; stay in Jerusalem or flee to Egypt where it seemed there would be peace (Jer. 42:1-6).  The year was 605 BC.

     God’s word to Jeremiah came back with the explicit order to stay put.  The Israelites were not to move an inch, but to wait upon the Lord.  He was tired of having to punish them and wanted to just love them with blessings of comfort and sustenance, yet once again they would have nothing of it.  He promised them that the King of Babylon while being ruthless would have mercy upon the Israelites and allow them to live and stay where they were.  Instead the majority of Israelites packed their camels and headed south.  The consequence of their move was what God had promised – annihilation.

     With this story in mind let’s open the Book of Mormon to the very first book they call 1st Nephi.  The date and place are supposedly the same.  It was circa 600 BC and the first scene opens up in Jerusalem where the prophet Lehi has lived all of his life.  In the first chapter we read that Nephi being born of Lehi and Sariah; was living in war-torn Jerusalem and has become fearful.

     Now in order to understand who these people are let’s take a look at what the doctrines of the LDS Church have to say about them.  These particular people are supposedly part of the “ten lost tribes of Israel”.  When the tribes of Israel split in two, ten of the twelve tribes moved north.  The two remaining tribes, that of Benjamin and Judah, stayed in the south and the city of Jerusalem was in this region.

     LDS scholars have said Lehi and his family were part of these ten tribes that were scattered but they aren’t sure where they went initially- they claim Lehi’s an Ephraimite.  For the sake of the argument let’s say he fled from the north and settled in Jerusalem with his family.  Why then didn’t he obey the words of Jeremiah?

     Nephi tells us his father Lehi went to the Lord in prayer to seek guidance from God as to what he should do.  After witnessing a pillar of fire and “seeing many things” he went home to lie down on his bed.

     While lying in bed from being overcome by the Spirit, Lehi had a vision.  In his vision he saw the heavens open and “he thought he saw God sitting on His throne”, in addition to a “concourse of angels”. Then “he saw One descending out of the midst of heaven, and he beheld that his luster was above that of the sun at noon-day.”  All of this is in 1 Nephi 1:7-9.

     Now I am a regular, ordinary mom of two teen daughters, a housewife, and your average, everyday type of person.  I haven’t graduated from any Bible Seminary, nor have I engaged in any profoundly deep theological studies of Christian church history.  I’m all the things I listed above, but more than that, the most important of all is that I’ve been adopted by God as His child.  Because of this I know His voice and through study, I can discern when others are telling me something that isn’t true.  Case in point – the story about Lehi in Jerusalem circa 600 BC.

     The first thing I would have to question is the claim that this is a true account of historical facts that God has kept hidden until the 19th century when He revealed it to Joseph Smith.  Is it really a true word from God?  Throughout the Old Testament up until that time God had meticulously shared with His people who He was.  He had gone to great lengths to prove Himself time and again and really left no doubt as to how He would righteously judge and the consequence if they were to disobey.  God never beat around the bush; He didn’t give one rule to one child and another rule to the other son.  That’s not how our Father operates.  It might be how you and I as a parent or a boss might operate in life, but not the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.  I don’t know about you, but the older I get the more comforting this is to me!

     Now historically speaking, we have verifiable proof and evidence the King of Babylon began showing dominance over Judah (the southern kingdom) in 605 BC.  He took many Israelites captive at that time and sent them to Babylon on three different captures before the final destruction of Jerusalem in BC 586.  Still there were was a remnant God had intentionally left in Jerusalem that survived.  We see this in Jeremiah 42:7-22 when Jeremiah delivers the word of God to the Israelites after they had asked him to inquire of the Lord’s direction on their behalf.

     Remember, God said don’t move.

     In the book of Nephi it is written that Lehi, the patriarch of the family, received many visions and words from God, but Nephi said he wasn’t going to write down all of his father’s dreams.  He did however state he had received many visions and visits from angels as well and in fact would go ahead and write those things down.   It says in 1 Nephi chapter one those writings are an abridgement to the work of his father’s writings.

     We’re never told exactly how the Israelites sinned or what they were guilty of except they had committed abominations and would be destroyed if they didn’t escape.  When we make it to chapter two we read that Lehi had received another vision telling him that he needs to pack up the family and leave.  While wandering for a few days in “the wilderness” they come upon the river of Laman which supposedly emptied into the Red Sea.  While camping there Lehi has yet another dream and he instructs his sons to go back to Jerusalem and retrieve the brass plates which contain the writings of the Law and their family history as well as all the gold and other valuables they had left behind in their rush to escape.

     While on their journey to retrieve these items and after a few mess ups, Nephi encounters a drunken man sleeping on the ground outside the city walls named Laban.  Before Laban can wake up Nephi is instructed by the “Spirit of the Lord” to remove the sword of steel from Laban’s sheath and chop his head off.  After obeying this spirit he dresses in Laban’s clothing and then goes into the place where Laban kept the plates of brass that this Jewish family is after.  He tricked the servant into believing he was Laban and took the plates to give to his father.

     After they returned to the tent of their father he began to read all the stories that had been written by the holy prophets and even up to the time of Jeremiah.  1 Nephi 5:13.  It says that he also read about the genealogy of his father which told him they were related to Joseph who had been thrown into a well by his brothers and then sold to the Egyptians.  The sad part about this story…none of it is true.

     There are many things within the first five chapters of the Book of Mormon that give us warnings of impending danger when you place it as an addendum to the Bible.  If you’re a member of the Church I simply encourage and challenge you to look these things up for yourself.  Below is a chart that consists of dates, places, people and their references.  Now the Book of Mormon says in 1 Nephi 5:13 that even the records of Jeremiah are imprinted upon the plates so we can obviously say with a fair amount of certainty they’ve heard about him and acknowledge they are in the same vicinity at the same time.

Bible Book of Mormon
God said: Don’t go to Egypt. –Jer. 42:1-22 Escape to Egypt – 1 Ne. 2:2
Israelites actions: Left for Egypt –Jer. 43:1-7 Left for Egypt – 1 Ne. 2:3-6
Consequences: Most were killed –Jer. 43:8-44:14 Blessed/ obedience 1 N 5:20-22
Northern tribe lived: Nineveh/scattered Jerusalem/scattered
Southern tribe lived: So. Israel/Jerusalem Jerusalem 
Timeline: 605 BC Circa 600 BC

     Pressing forward we read in 1 Nephi chapter seven that Lehi thinks his boys should go back into Jerusalem and get themselves some wives.  They do as their father commands and go back to of all places, Ishmael’s house.

     Now regardless of what the Book of Mormon says, it was never a good idea to hang out with people named Ishmael.  Worshipping the god of Ishmael is what got the Kingdom of Israel taken into captivity by the Assyrians and scattered more than a century beforehand.  They were worshipping the god Milcom that Solomon had eventually built altars for because of his bad habit of liking women from the stranger’s tribes.  Nonetheless, here is Lehi receiving revelations from his god to send his sons to marry the girls of Ishmael and that’s exactly what they did.

     The Ishmael mentioned in Jeremiah 40:13 – 41:18 is one of the sons of the king and he went about making much trouble not only for the Jews, but for the Chaldeans as well.  The Bible tells us In Jeremiah 41:2 that Ishmael, along with his friends, murdered Gedaliah the governor of the Israelites, who were the leftover poorest of the poor that stayed behind in Jerusalem.  He also murdered ten others that were supping at a banquet that Gedaliah had invited him to that day in addition to the Chaldeans.

     Having an uncontrollable hatred for the Israelites, Ishmael and friends went out the next day to greet a company of eighty Jews, weeping as they approached the men.  These eighty men were bringing offerings for the Lord with shaven faces and torn clothing; a sign of submission.  Ishmael and his men bemoaned the horrible death of Gedaliah saying they had found him dead and led the group into the city.  When they all got inside the city walls Ishmael and his team slaughtered the eighty men and threw their corpses into the cisterns.  The news of his evil deeds spread throughout the region quickly and people began to get nervous.

     The few remaining Israelites begged Jeremiah to speak to God on their behalf – Jer. 42:1-7 which takes us back to the beginning of this article.  Did God really tell Lehi to leave and go to the wilderness or Egypt or stay where he was at?

     After all that, let’s skip on over to 1 Nephi 17 to see some of the workings of Nephi and company.  In this chapter there are many reasons to question and ask why Nephi, if he was born of godly Israelites, would say and do the things written about here.

     In this chapter there is the problem of how they are to eat meat.  The Bible tells us in Lev. 7:25-6; “Moreover ye shall eat no manner of blood, whether it be of fowl or of beast, in any of your dwellings.  Whatsoever soul it be that eateth any manner of blood, even that soul shall be cut off from his people.

     In contrast 1 Nephi 17:2 says;  “And so great were the blessings of the Lord upon us, that while we did live upon raw meat in the wilderness, our women did give plenty of suck for their children, and were strong, yea, even like unto the men; and they began to bear their journeyings without murmurings.”

      Further down in verse 12 we see that God reassures Nephi that He would make the meat sweet so there was no reason to cook it.  In verse 3 it said they obeyed the commandments of God, but which commandment is true; the commandment from the god of the Jaredites or the God of the Israelites?

     1 Nephi 17:44 reiterates that their god told them to leave Jerusalem; “Wherefore, the Lord commanded my father that he should depart into the wilderness; and the Jews also sought to take away his life; yea, and ye also have sought to take away his life; wherefore, ye are murderers in your hearts and ye are like unto them.

Why would the Jews be after him if he was an Israelite?

     The next area a problem arises is in verse forty-seven.  Nephi is having trouble with his brothers who are questioning his authority since he is younger than they are, just like the story we see in the Bible with Joseph and his older brothers in Gen. 37:1 – 45:28.  He tells his brothers not to do harm to him because he is filled with the Spirit of God.

     The reason we know this is a problem is because of what it says in the Bible.  In the three chapters of the gospel of John fourteen through seventeen we are taken to the last teachings of Jesus.  In John 14:16-17 Jesus was telling His disciples that if they love Him and keep His commandments then He will ask the Father and He will give them another Helper so that they would never be alone.

This had never happened before.

     In verse twenty Jesus tells them and us what it will be like when they are truly saved; “At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.”  In fact He goes on to tell them this in verse 26; “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

     Now if the Holy Spirit had never been in anyone why was Nephi the only person to ever have this happen?  Again, something’s fishy in Denmark!  After they had made it over the “great waters” and into the “promised land” the small group of adherents began their new lives, build great cities, fight in massive wars and eventually die out as a people altogether.

     This my friend is how the Book of Mormon begins.  There are many more facts throughout the rest of the Book of Mormon that cry out lies, false prophecies, absolute impossibilities and contradictions.  But we don’t want you to take our word for it, instead take it slowly, look at the evidence and determine for yourself what is right.  Your decision shouldn’t be based upon Moroni 10:4-6 alone.  That is no test at all; it’s subjective reasoning and futile.

     Above all know that we pray for the Mormon people daily.  We know that you love Jesus in your hearts and believe you are doing the right thing.  If you’ve been praying about what to do I’m here to tell you there is a way out!  If you’d like more information or simply want prayer, don’t hesitate to let us know!

With Love in Christ; Michelle Grim …

1 Cor. 1:18

    Overview and Facts to Consider from First Nephi

If it wasn’t the Spirit of God with and in Nephi then who might it be?

Why would everyone but Lehi’s group be killed for fleeing to Egypt?

Why would anyone who is following the original Law not abide by all of its commandments?  1 Nephi 17:2, 12.

Why did the sons of Lehi marry the daughters of Ishmael when God told His children not to mingle with the Egyptians and other foreigners?

Is it reasonable that Lehi and his family could have left Jerusalem and walk 210 miles in three days to get to the Red Sea?  1 Nephi 2:4-7.

Why would the destruction of Jerusalem be marvelous as Lehi said in 1 Nephi 2:18?

Key words to use in study and research:  Nephi, Lehi, Jaredite, Laban, Laman, Gedaliah, Milcom, Ishmael, brass plates, Joseph Smith, Mormon, LDS, Bountiful, Zoram, Zenock, Reformed Egyptian

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