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Posts Tagged ‘Lehi’

Interesting Facts about the 3 in 1, pt. 5      

 The reason for this work and ministry is threefold.

     3-in-1The first is to bring honor and glory to our Lord God Jesus Christ in all that we do.  The second is to provide information from the LDS Church to its members in a cohesive manner to help answer their questions.  And the third is to provide our Christian readers with truthful information about the LDS Church they can use as an effective tool for witnessing to those caught in the lies of the evil one.

     I cannot begin to tell you, the reader, how many times we’ve cried for the situation the Mormons find themselves in because we were once there ourselves and know how desperate it feels.

     Oh if I could find a way to articulate to them how much Jesus truly loves them!  And how I pray our Lord will continue to lift our heads in encouragement for those who are lost.

     The series of articles “Interesting Facts about the 3-in-1” (or triple combination) are a simple tool to get a quick glance of how the Mormon Church deliberately chooses to confuse its members.

     As I write this there is a picture of some of my family members on my laptop and my heart breaks they cannot see these simple truths.  My mother and grandmother look beyond tired.  The dark circles under their eyes speak silently to the decades of disappointments and fears.  A cousin of mine that is three years my junior looks twenty years older than me.

     Heavenly Father tells us that His word does not come back void in Isaiah 55:11.  I pray each day they will remember the glorious message of God’s love for them I was able to share when they allowed me to take their pictures just a year ago.  Twenty-eight of them gathered for a family picnic last summer…that picture sits next to my open document on the desktop of my computer screen.

     I pray you’ll be able to use these discrepancies in their own sacred works to ask them what they think.  While a few of the items provided do not come from the Triple Combination they are easy enough to find on the web.

     All materials used come directly from LDS Church writings.

 With Love in Christ;

Michelle

Jude 1:24-25  …

 Born into Sin or Born Perfect?

 1 Nephi 20:8;Yea, and thou heardest not; yea, thou knewest not; yea, from that time thine ear was not opened; for I knew that thou wouldst deal very treacherously, and wast called a transgressor from the womb.

D&C 29:47;Wherefore, they cannot sin, for power is not given unto Satan to tempt little children, until they begin to become accountable before me.

Romans 3:23; For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.

 Ephraim, does he or does he not have descendants?

 2 Nephi 17:8-9; “For the head of Syria is Damascus, and the head of Damascus, Rezin; and within three score and five years shall Ephraim be broken that it be not a people.    9 And the head of Ephraim is Samaria, and the head of Samaria is Remaliah’s son. If ye will not believe surely ye shall not be established.” – BC 559 to 545

Answers to Gospel Questions 1:140; “Latter-day Saints pride themselves because they are of Israel; but they are also of the Gentiles. We are the descendants of those members of the house of Israel who were scattered among the Gentiles to be a blessing to the Gentile nations and make them of the blood of Israel through the gospel… The Book of Mormon came by way of the Prophet Joseph Smith, a descendant of Ephraim, yet it came “by way of the Gentile,” and in the time of the Gentiles.

Hosea 9:11-17;  As for Ephraim, their glory shall fly away like a bird, from the birth, and from the womb, and from the conception.12 Though they bring up their children, yet will I bereave them, that there shall not be a man left: yea, woe also to them when I depart from them! 13 Ephraim, as I saw Tyrus, is planted in a pleasant place: but Ephraim shall bring forth his children to the murderer. 14 Give them, O LORD: what wilt thou give? give them a miscarrying womb and dry breasts. 15 All their wickedness is in Gilgal: for there I hated them: for the wickedness of their doings I will drive them out of mine house, I will love them no more: all their princes are revolters. 16 Ephraim is smitten, their root is dried up, they shall bear no fruit: yea, though they bring forth, yet will I slay even the beloved fruit of their womb. 17 My God will cast them away, because they did not hearken unto him: and they shall be wanderers among the nations.

 Who is King?

D&C 38:21-22; But, verily I say unto you that in time ye shall have no king nor ruler, for I will be your king and watch over you. 22 Wherefore, hear my voice and follow me, and you shall be a free people, and ye shall have no laws but my laws when I come, for I am your lawgiver, and what can stay my hand?

Times & Seasons 5:618; “…to build up the kingdom upon the foundation that the prophet Joseph has laid, who still holds the keys of this last dispensation, and will hold them to all eternity, as a king and priest unto the most high God, ministering in heaven, on earth, or among the spirits of the departed dead, as seemeth good to him who sent him.

Improvement Era 1909, Vol Xiii, No. 1; Every man reigns a king over the kingdom of—self. He wears the crown of individuality that no hands but his own can ever remove. He should not only reign, but—rule. His individuality is his true self, his best self, his highest self, his self victorious…Man reigns over this miniature kingdom of self—alone. He is as much an autocrat as is God in ruling the universe. No one can make him good or evil but he, himself.

1 Timothy 1:17; Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.

 Baptism for Dead not Necessary

 2 Nephi 9:38; “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.

D&C 124:29-30; For a baptismal font there is not upon the earth, that they, my saints, may be baptized for those who are dead—30 For this ordinance belongeth to my house, and cannot be acceptable to me, only in the days of your poverty, wherein ye are not able to build a house unto me.

Isaiah 64:6; But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.

 Bible is Eternal

 2 Nephi 9:16; And assuredly, as the Lord liveth, for the Lord God hath spoken it, and it is his eternal word, which cannot pass away.

8th Article of Faith; “We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly; we also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God.”

Matthew 5:18; For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

Matt. 24:35; “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.

Prov. 30:5-6; “Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. 6 Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.”

 Mormon god cannot keep promise

Mosiah 27:13; “Nevertheless he cried again, saying: Alma, arise and stand forth, for why persecutest thou the church of God? For the Lord hath said: This is my church, and I will establish it; and nothing shall overthrow it, save it is the transgression of my people.”

Psalm 31:23; O love the LORD, all ye his saints: for the LORD preserveth the faithful, and plentifully rewardeth the proud doer.

Psalm 37:28-29; For the LORD loveth judgment, and forsaketh not his saints; they are preserved for ever: but the seed of the wicked shall be cut off.  29 The righteous shall inherit the land, and dwell therein for ever.

 Mormon Jesus Says No to Food Storage

3 Nephi 13:31; “Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?”

D&C 109:8; Organize yourselves; prepare every needful thing, and establish a house, even a house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith, a house of learning, a house of glory, a house of order, a house of God.

Matthew 6:31-32; Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.

 Biggest Lie (one of them anyway) in Mormonism

Ether 12:11-12; “Wherefore, by faith was the law of Moses given. But in the gift of his Son hath God prepared a more excellent way; and it is by faith that it hath been fulfilled. 12 For if there be no faith among the children of men God can do no miracle among them; wherefore, he showed not himself until after their faith.”

Matthew 5:45; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

Romans 3:3-4; For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect?  4 God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged.

 Honestly, how is this “inspired”?

Moroni 10:1; “Now I, Moroni, write somewhat as seemeth me good…”

Jarom 1:1-2; “Now behold, I, Jarom, write a few words according to the commandment of my father, Enos, that our genealogy may be kept.  2 And as these plates are small, and as these things are written for the intent of the benefit of our brethren the Lamanites, wherefore, it must needs be that I write a little; but I shall not write the things of my prophesying, nor of my revelations. For what could I write more than my fathers have written? For have not they revealed the plan of salvation? I say unto you, Yea; and this sufficeth me.”

1 Nephi 6:3; “And it mattereth not to me that I am particular to give a full account of all the things of my father, for they cannot be written upon these plates, for I desire the room that I may write of the things of God.”

Jacob 1:1-2; “Nephi gave me, Jacob, a commandment concerning the small plates, upon which these things are engraven. 2 And he gave me, Jacob, a commandment that I should write upon these plates a few of the things which I considered to be most precious”

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.”

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.

 Who Visited Joseph that Night – Moroni or Nephi?

Introductory page of D&C 1976, 3rd paragraph; This took place in the early spring of 1820.  In September, 1823, and at later times, Joseph Smith received visitations from Moroni, an angel of light, who revealed the resting place of the ancient record from which The Book of Mormon was afterward translated.

Joseph Smith History 1:32-33; The room was exceedingly light, but not so very bright as immediately around his person. When I first looked upon him, I was afraid; but the fear soon left me.  33 He called me by name, and said unto me that he was a messenger sent from the presence of God to me, and that his name was Moroni; that God had a work for me to do; and that my name should be had for good and evil…”

Times and Seasons, vol. 3 (November 1841 – October 1842): pg. 753; “The room was exceedingly light, but not so very bright as immediately around his person. When I first looked upon him I was afraid, but the fear soon left me. He called me by name, and said unto me that he was a messenger sent from the presence of God to me, and that his name was Nephi. That God had a work for me to do, and that my name should be had for good and evil…”

2 Cor. 11:13-15; For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.  14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.  15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.

 

 

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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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