Wednesday, 21 April 2010

The Mormon Adam/God Doctrine

This peculiar teaching from early Mormonism is referred to today by Mormons as the Adam/God theory as if it is some vague idea that is easily misunderstood and maliciously misrepresented by opponents of the Mormon Church. It was, however, a doctrine of the church for many years and taught by more than one "prophet". The key to understanding this doctrine is to understand the confusing nature of Mormonism.

Blind faith

A critic can come up with statements from Mormon leaders that clearly teach that Adam is God and a Mormon can come up with statements that contradict this view from the same, or similar sources because Mormonism contains statements that "prove" both views. To a Mormon there is no contradiction, simply a lack of understanding of the finer points of revelation. If they cannot fully explain apparent contradictions they simply accept "on faith" that it is only an appearance of confusion and that there is an explanation somewhere. This blind faith is perhaps the most important weapon in the Latter-day Saint's armoury, sadly not mentioned in Ephesians 6. A piece of missing scripture perhaps?

The standard quote used to show that this was Mormon doctrine is the following:

"Now hear it, O inhabitants of the earth, Jew and Gentile, Saint and sinner! When our father Adam came into the Garden of Eden, he came into it with a celestial body, and brought Eve, one of his wives, with him. He helped to make and organize this world. He is Michael, the Archangel, the ancient of days! about whom holy men have written and spoken--he is our Father and our God, and the only God with whom we have to do."

(Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, Vol.1, p.51)

The standard response to this charge is to accuse critics of taking Young out of context:

"President Brigham Young is quoted—in all probability the sermon was erroneously transcribed! —as having said: "Now hear it, O inhabitants of the earth, Jew and Gentile, saint and sinner! When our father Adam came into the Garden of Eden, he came into it with a celestial body, and brought Eve, one of his wives, with him. He helped to make and organize this world. He is Michael, the Archangel, the Ancient of Days, about whom holy men have written and spoken—He is our father and our God, and the only God with whom we have to do.

If the enemies of the Church who quote this wished to be honest, they could not help seeing that President Brigham Young definitely declares that Adam is Michael, the Archangel, the Ancient of Days, which indicates definitely that Adam is not Elohim, or the God whom we worship, who is the Father of Jesus Christ."

(Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation,Vol.1, p.97)

It seems clear enough. One quote is taken out of context and words are put into Young's mouth. But is this the case? Let's look at Adam in Mormon theology.

Adam in Mormon Theology

"The first man," Paul declared, "is of the earth, earthy" (1 Cor. 15:47; D&C 128:14). Adam was the first man on this earth (Moses 1:34). His mortal body was created from the "dust" of this earth or those elements that belong to this particular planet (Gen. 2:7; Moses 3:7; Alma 42:2; D&C 77:12). Upon his death, his body returned to the "ground" from whence it came (Gen. 3:19; Moses 4:25).

(Brewster, Hoyt W. Jr. Doctrine and Covenants Encyclopedia. Salt Lake City, Utah: Bookcraft, 1996.)

"I have learned by experience that there is but one God that pertains to this people, and He is the God that pertains to this earth--the first man. That first man sent his own Son to redeem the world, to redeem his brethren; his life was taken, his blood shed, that our sins might be remitted."

(Journal of Discourses vol.4:1, Prophet Heber C Kimball, June 29, 1856)

"Who was the Saviour begotten by?…Who did beget him? His Father, and his father is our God, and the Father of our spirits, and he is the framer of the body, the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Who is he? He is Father Adam; Michael; the Ancient of Days."

(Brigham Young, February 19, 1854, Brigham Young Collection, LDS Archives)

So you have the first man being identified as Adam and, according to Mormon prophet Heber C Kimball, that first man sending his son to redeem the world, and Brigham Young clearly shows Adam to be the Father of the Saviour, and our God. He also has no difficulty identifying the Father of Jesus and our God with Michael in the same breath. Therefore Joseph Fielding Smith's argument that Adam is Michael, a lesser being and mere "son" of God, holds no water at all.

Confusion not Consistency

Of course, Mormons no longer believe that Adam is God and Joseph Fielding Smith is correct in saying that modern Mormons believe Adam to be Michael, Jesus Jehovah, and Elohim God the Father. However it does not do to read what Mormons believe today into what was taught by leaders of previous generations in an attempt at portraying a consistency that clearly does not exist. This is dishonest and disguises the inconsistencies that so characterise Mormon doctrine. The honest approach is to consider what this teaching meant to the people who first received it.

Wilford Woodruff, later to become the fourth prophet, wrote:

"He [Brigham Young] said that our God was Father Adam. He was the Father of the Saviour Jesus Christ - our God was no more or less than Adam"

(Wilford Woodruff Journal, Feb.19,1854)

"President Brigham Young…said Adam was Michael the Archangel and was the Father of Jesus Christ and was our God."

(Wilford Woodruff Journal, Dec.16,1869)

So to both Young and those who heard him Adam was understood to be God the Father, the person whom modern Mormons identify as Elohim. Such inconsistency leaves the Mormons on the horns of a dilemma. If Young is correct then the modern church has strayed from his teaching and is, effectively, apostate. If Young was wrong then the early church, both their prophet who taught that Adam was God and his followers who clearly understood and believed this, were following false teaching. Either way the church is bringing confusion and error where it claims to be bringing light and truth. But this is what characterises Mormonism.

Remember in the first quote, from the Encyclopaedia referring to Adam being made of the dust of this earth? Here is Young on the same subject:

"You may read and believe what you please as to what is found written in the Bible. Adam was made from the dust of an earth, but not from the dust of this earth. He was made as you and I are made, and no person was ever made upon any other principle."

(Brigham Young, April 20, 1856, Journal of Discourses, 3:319)

"You believe Adam was made of the dust of this earth. This I do not believe, though it is supposed that it is so written in the Bible. You can write that information to the States, if you please - that I have publicly declared that I do not believe that portion of the Bible…"

(Brigham Young at General Conference, October 8, 1854, Brigham Young Papers, Church Historians Office)

(This brings us to a crucial part of Young's theology that clearly shows that, whatever name Adam goes by, Elohim, Jehovah, or Michael, he is God in Young's teaching.)

"I tell you more, Adam is the father of our spirits. He had lived upon an earth; he did abide his creation, and did honour to his calling and priesthood and obeyed his master and Lord, and probably many of his wives did the same and they lived, and died upon an earth and then were resurrected again; to immortality and eternal life…I reckon that Father Adam was a resurrected being, with his wives and posterity…"

(Brigham Young at General Conference, October 18, 1854, Brigham Young Papers, Church Historians Office)

Here we have a perfect description of the Mormon god who attained godhood through obedience, resurrection and eternal progression - and it is Adam. According to Mormon theology we lived with God in a pre-existence and God is the father of our spirits. According to Brigham that "father of our spirits" is Adam. But back to dust. Of which earth's dust was Adam made?

"The Book of Mormon, The Bible, The Doctrine and Covenants and The Pearl of Great Price all declare that Adam's body was created from the dust of the ground, that is, from the dust of this ground, this earth…We hear a lot of people talk about Adam passing through mortality and the resurrection on another earth and then coming here to live and die again…Adam had not passed through a resurrection when he was in the Garden of Eden…"

(Joseph Fielding Smith (Tenth Church President), Doctrines of Salvation, vol.1, pp.90-91)

Again inconsistency is exposed as subsequent prophets contradict earlier ones, as Mormonism tries to achieve an apparent consistency by hiding its past. In rejecting the Adam/God doctrine they are not simply explaining away a few possibly badly transcribed, poorly transmitted, and ill-represented quotes. They are jettisoning a well developed doctrine that has Adam as God, a resurrected and exalted being, bringing one of his goddess wives, Eve, to this earth which he will populate with his spirit children who will be saved by Adam/God's first-born son Jesus. All who would teach such a thing in today's church risk excommunication. All who rejected it then risked the same level of censure. Consider the following from the pages of an early Mormon publication, the Millennial Star:

"Concerning the item of doctrine alluded to by Elder Caffall and others, viz., that Adam is our Father and God, I say do not trouble yourselves…If, as Elder Caffall remarked, there are those who are waiting at the door of the Church for this objection to be removed, tell such, the Prophet and Apostle Brigham Young has declared it, and it is the word of the Lord."

(Millennial Star, Vol.16, p.534)

Clearly the objection has been removed, the word of the Lord has changed, and the door of the church is open even wider to an unsuspecting public with whom the Mormon hierarchy are being less than candid about early Mormon doctrine.

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Seminal Mormonism

Seminal – Pertaining to, or of the nature of, the germinating principle

The Mormon Church claims to be Restored Christianity and a growing number of people are beginning to think of Mormonism as a legitimate Christian denomination. And yet the seminal events, the germinating principles of the Mormon Church are rooted firmly on the American continent and in the life of Joseph Smith and not, as one might expect, in the Middle East and the first century accounts of Jesus Christ. But what are the seminal events of Christianity and where is the Christian faith, of which they claim to be a restoration, rooted? What does a Christian think about when he thinks about his faith and what does a Mormon think about when he thinks about his?

3:16

A seminal and most beloved Bible text for Christians is John 3:16

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whosoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

It encapsulates the Christian message that man is a fallen creature, hopelessly lost in sin, and in need of a Saviour, and that God provides a Saviour in His Son, Jesus Christ, through whom all who believe will be saved into the Kingdom of God. It brings repentant sinners to Jesus.

The seminal Bible text for Mormons, the Mormon equivalent of John 3:16, is James 1:5

“If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given him.”

Why would this be the key biblical text for Mormonism’s “Restored” Christianity and not the tremendous truth of John 3:16? Because it is the text that, allegedly, sent Joseph Smith into the Sacred Grove and from there to start the Mormon Church. It brings them back to Joseph.

That which we have seen, heard and touched

The seminal message of the Bible is that God the Son was born into this world, lived and worked amongst ordinary people, identified with their fallen state, went to the Cross to pay the price for sin, was raised the third day, breaking the bands of death, and was taken into heaven. The whole thrust of the New Testament is that witnesses saw these events and faithfully related them to others who passed them on until we have those same accounts today. The focus of that message is Jesus.

These things can be known and are attested to by many infallible signs:

“This Salvation was confirmed to us by those who heard him. God also testified to it by signs, wonders and various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will.” (Heb.2:3b-4)

These witnesses left ample testimony as to the reality of their message:

“That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched – this we proclaim concerning the Word of Life. The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life which was with the Father and has appeared to us. We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you may have fellowship with us.” (1 John 1:1-4)

The seminal message of Mormonism is that God and Jesus appeared to Joseph Smith in a Sacred Grove and, through a series of visions, dreams and revelations, restored (replaced?) almost every aspect of the message attested to by prophets, signs, wonders and various miracles and by the Holy Spirit. The focus of Mormonism’s message is Joseph. And to replace the message of those who proclaimed what they have seen and heard concerning the Word of life as inadequate Joseph wrote:

“And now, after the many testimonies which have been given of him, this is the testimony, last of all, which we give of him: that he lives! For we saw him, even on the right hand of God…” (D&C 76:22-23)

In light of “the many testimonies that have been given of him”, what was the purpose of this testimony? It brings them back to Joseph. Another self-proclaimed prophet springs to mind and the words “seal of the prophets”. It is a parallel that has not escaped the attention of some.

Good News!

The Good News for Christians is dramatically illustrated in Mark 15:37-38:

“With a loud cry, Jesus breathed his last. The curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.”

The consequence of that event is described clearly in Hebrews 4:14-16

“Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathise with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are – yet was without sin. Let us approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of trouble.”

And how will a Christian gain such access and with assurance approach the throne of Grace?

“In him [Christ] and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.”(Ephesians 3:12)

The “good news” of Mormonism is that temples are being built around the world at an increasing rate. In these temples the curtain is re-hung, and the barrier that was torn asunder to create a way, the Way (John 14:6), re-erected. Where Jesus opened a way through which we may confidently gain access to the throne of God another way has been devised.

“If you would become a son or a daughter of God and an heir of the kingdom, then you must go to the house of the Lord [temple] and receive blessings which there can be obtained and which cannot be obtained elsewhere; and you must keep those commandments and those covenants to the end.”(Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, V.2, p.40)

And how will a Mormon know when he or she has been faithful enough and gained access to such blessings as are promised by this “way”?

“No man or woman in this dispensation will ever enter into the celestial kingdom of God without the consent of Joseph Smith…every man and woman must have the certificate of Joseph Smith junior as a passport to their entrance into the mansions where God and Christ are…”(Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, vol.7 p.289)

It all comes back to Joseph Smith, who declared of himself,

“I have more to boast of than ever any man had. I am the only man that has ever been able to keep a whole church together since the days of Adam. A large majority of the whole have stood by me. Neither Paul, John, Peter, nor Jesus ever did it. I boast that no man ever did such a work as I. The followers of Jesus ran away from Him; but the Latter-day saints never ran away from me yet.” (Joseph Smith, History of the Church, vol.6, p.409.

As we encounter Mormons wishing to share with us the story of Joseph’s birth and encourage us to “follow the prophet” we must be prepared to share with them the reality of Christ’s finished work and continuing presence with the true saints of God and encourage them to know His true voice and follow the Way (John 10:4).

Monday, 5 April 2010

“Mormon” is Back (and no wonder)

Its a no brainer really. In the Internet world no one goes looking for “The Church of yada, yada, yada yada.” So, if Mormons go on styling themselves “The Church of yada, yada, yada yada” they will simply disappear from the ether – no bad thing in my view. But we don’t get rid of them that easily.

What I want to know is what are they going to find to whine and lecture us about now that they can no longer legitimately insist, “Mormon is a nickname actually, used by ENEMIES OF THE CHURCH; Grrrrr! The full name of the church is “The Church of yada, yada, yada yada. Please respect my religion by showing some subservience and deferring to everything I tell you. We control the vertical. We control the horizontal.”

After a decadelong moratorium, Mormon is back. The name, that is.

It will be on display everywhere this weekend as thousands gather for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' 180th Annual General Conference in Salt Lake City.

Where LDS leaders once were pushing members to call themselves Latter-day Saints, rather than Mormons, now the church-owned Deseret News has created the Mormon Times. "Mormon Messages" is on YouTube. The "Mormon Channel" is on the radio. And the faith's missionary Web site is mormon.org.

So what has changed for the nearly 14 million-member church? The Internet.

Last year, some 26.8. million people searched for the word "Mormon," 5.3 million hunted for "Mormons," and 1.3 million scouted for "Mormonism," noted Michael Otterson, managing director of LDS Public Affairs.

Although about 32 million searched for "LDS," church officials believe most of those were members. Few search for the official name.

"It's simply a reality that people think of Mormons, they don't think of Latter-day Saints," Otterson said Thursday. "Mormon is here to stay."

http://www.sltrib.com/portlet/article/html/fragments/print_article.jsp?articleId=14805624&siteId=297

Thursday, 1 April 2010

Special Witnesses or Enemies of the Cross of Christ? Php. 3:18

In my first study we looked at the questionable apostolic claims of Mormon leaders and the way Mormonism demotes Jesus to the status of “a God” in a pantheon. In the last study we looked at who Mormons look to for Salvation – Joseph Smith or Jesus Christ. In this third and final study we look at the Mormon denial of the full efficacy of the Cross and ask whether Mormons are truly Christians, as they claim, or “enemies of the Cross of Christ.”

The Biblical Apostle Peter first publicly declared the Good News of Christ's triumph at Pentecost saying,

“Men of Israel, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know. This man was handed over to you by God's set purpose and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross. But God raised him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him.”

(Acts 2:22-25)

From that time the theme of the cross has been another constant in the Christian faith. The Biblical Apostle Paul wrote,

For God was pleased to have all his fulness dwell in him (Christ), and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

(Colossians 1:19-20)

When you were dead in your sins and in the circumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having cancelled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.

(Colossians 213-15)

The Mormon Apostle Jeffrey R Holland, speaking from the Mount of Olives, declared, "It was here in the Garden of Gethsemane, on that last night in mortality, that Jesus left His Apostles and descended alone into the depth of agony that would be His atoning sacrifice for the sins of mankind." (p.14) So no one misunderstands the place of the cross in Mormon thinking let me quote thirteenth Mormon president, Ezra Taft Benson,

"It was in Gethsemane that Jesus took on Himself the sins of the world, in Gethsemane that His pain was equivalent to the cumulative burden of all men, in Gethsemane that He descended below all things so that all could repent and come to Him." (Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, p.14)

The cross is merely an afterthought, a fact clearly illustrated in the words of Mormon Apostle Bruce R McConkie,

"As He came out of the Garden, delivering himself voluntarily into the hands of wicked men, the victory had been won. There remained yet the shame and the pain of his arrest, his trials, and his cross. But all these were overshadowed by the agonies and sufferings in Gethsemane. It was on the cross that he 'suffered death in the flesh', even as many have suffered agonising deaths, but it was in Gethsemane that 'he suffered the pain of all men, that all men might repent and come to him'" (The Mortal Messiah, McConkie, pp 127-28)

What more subtle way could there be to empty the cross of its power with words of human wisdom (1 Corinthians 1:17) than to empty it into Gethsemane? While Biblical Apostles look to the cross (John 3:14) Mormon Apostles dismiss the cross declaring "he 'suffered death in the flesh' even as many have suffered agonising deaths".

But it is the cross not the garden - oh, yes, the cross not the garden. If they could but grasp the significance of the cross, the total loss and abandonment he suffered, the weight he bore, "My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?" Not the comforted and strengthened Jesus of the garden (Luke 22:43), but the abandoned and desolate Saviour of the cross. Not the garden where, in exquisite anguish, he anticipated his sacrifice in intimate association with heaven, but the cross where heaven looked away for the sin he bore. As far away as a man is from the cross, so far is he from Christ (Galatians 6:14).

I Will Build my Church

We have already observed that a new and unique category of revelation is experienced in the Son who is God's loudest and clearest expression of Himself. That His coming brings the kingdom of God and ushers in the Messianic age, the era of God's mercy and salvation. Having "endured the cross, scorning its shame [he] sat down at the right hand of the throne of God", and we are to "fix our eyes on [him], the author and perfecter of our faith" (Hebrews 12:2). Jesus' promise to all who look to him is that what he has established, will not be overcome, not even by hell itself (Matthew 16:18). What did he establish?

The Biblical Apostle Peter described the church as a "spiritual house" built of "living stones" (1 Peter 2:4-5). The Biblical Apostle Paul referred to Christians as "God's building" and "God's temple and that God's spirit lives in us" (1Cornthians 3:9&16) In his letter to the Ephesians he speaks of Christians as "fellow-citizens with God's people and members of God's household" (Ephesians 4:19). In the same letter he describes how someone becomes a member of that household,

And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God's possession.

(Ephesians 1:13-14)

Thus the church is not an organisation, but an organism; not a structure, but a body; not marked by offices and hierarchies, but by the life of the Spirit in true believers. And the "guarantee" is an eternal inheritance, that that life would continue unabated. The promise is that "the gates of Hades will not overcome [the church]"; that the church would endure as it looks forward to that city whose architect and builder is God (Hebrews 11:10-16).

Whichever way the church is organised it is always people, and not buildings or institutions, not formalistic. This living body consists of those who are alive to Christ, those who have died in Christ, and those who are yet to be born and believe in Christ. This is what might be termed the catholic, or universal, church.

The Lord Jesus warned His disciples, "In this world you will have trouble." (John 16:33). Down through the centuries the body of believers has experienced much trouble. As the church grew some turned away from the faith (1 Timothy 1:6-7; Galatians 1:6-9). Christians had been warned of this by the Biblical Apostle Paul, "Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them. So be on your Guard!" (Acts 20:20-31). The Biblical Apostle Peter warned that many would follow after false prophets and bring the way of truth into disrepute (2 Peter 2:1-3).

However Jesus, in John's gospel, went on to say, "But take heart! I have overcome the world". He promised that he had overcome the world and that the world would not overcome the church, and that "the gospel of the kingdom (which His coming established) will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come." (Matthew 24:14). Thus the agenda for the church, "until He comes" is set.

Technology Deficit Causes Apostasy – Read it Here!

The Mormon Apostle M Russell Ballard, in a remarkable and amusing comparison, declared, "When the Savior originally charged His Apostles, 'Go into all the world' (Mark 16:15) His Church was very small, with members scattered in the geographic region now known as the Middle East. His dynamic Apostles, James, John, and Paul, travelling mostly by foot or by ship, did everything they could to keep the little flock together. But the distance and the lack of communication made their work very difficult. They themselves knew that the future would bring "a falling away" (2 Thes.2: 3); they also knew that eventually there would come to the world a restoration of the fulness of the gospel…Today our labours are greatly enhanced by jet airplanes and remarkable technology that stretch the reach of our ministry to the furthest parts of the world…I testify to you that it is the will of our Father in Heaven…that this mighty work moves forward." (p.15, I didn’t make that up)

Mormon Apostle Thomas S Monson spoke of the unerring will of God in accomplishing the establishment of the Mormon Church. (p.19). This raises a serious question. Why was God so impotent to keep his promises in the first century yet so overwhelmingly capable in the nineteenth? A lack of technology? Really?

This is a picture of a God who is able to break the bands of death, reconcile sinful men and women to Himself, and authenticate the work of His Son by miracles, signs and wonders but is unable to stop the world overcoming His church for want of an aeroplane and modern technology. This ridiculous and farcical picture is contradicted by looking at the maps depicting missionary journeys found at the back of any good Bible.

The Oxford Companion to the Bible says of the "dynamic Apostle" Paul,

"In his travels Paul took advantage of the fine highway system built by the Romans and, in the course of three extended tours, he visited most of the key centres of Greece and Asia Minor…. Paul seems to have had a carefully designed strategy for evangelism. He aimed to establish churches in the largest population centres, which he could easily reach on the paved Roman roads. From there, local converts could take the message into more remote towns and villages. This was evidently successful. At least one of his letters (Colossians) was written to a church founded in this way, and later in the first century most of the areas he visited had many flourishing congregations."

(Oxford Companion to the Bible, p.577)

If the work of one Apostle could be so successful, producing "many flourishing congregations", what does it tell us when we multiply that by the number of apostles and evangelists scattered throughout the Roman world of the first century?

The success of early missionary efforts is evident from the fact that "converts were a typical cross section of Roman society. Many Christians were slaves, though the gospel attracted cultured, upper-class Romans. Some were clearly influential people (Romans 16:23), the kind who would take personal disputes to law courts (1 Cor.6: 1-11) and who could afford to make donations for good causes (2 Cor.8: 1-15; Rom.15: 25-33). Paul's co-workers also enjoyed the typical mobile lifestyle of the upper classes."

(Oxford Companion to the Bible, pp 577-78)

Let Him who Boasts Boast in the Lord (1 Cor.1:31)

Finally the Mormon Apostle and prophet Gordon B Hinckley, speaking from the "Sacred Grove" where Joseph Smith was supposed to have had the "First Vision", said, "Here is where it all began, the miracle of this great work which has spread over the earth". (p.20)

He speaks as though no vision had preceded it; as if 2,000 years of Christian history, drama, sacrifice and faithful devotion had never happened; as if the promises of Jesus and the founding success of His followers counted for nothing! Here is the true beginning of Mormonism, in a sacred grove where one man's vainglorious ambition negates all that has gone before in an effort to "make [himself] like the Most High" (Isaiah 14: 12-14)

Can you doubt it when Joseph Smith, the founder of Mormonism, said of himself,

"I have more to boast of than ever any man had. I am the only man that has been able to keep a whole church together since the days of Adam. A large majority of the whole have stood by me. Neither Paul, John, Peter, nor Jesus ever did. I boast that no man ever did such a work as I."

(Joseph Smith, History of the Church, Vol.6, p.409)

And who also declared,

"God himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted Man…Here then is life eternal - to know the only wise and true God; and you have got to learn how to be Gods yourselves, and to be kings and priests to God, the same as all Gods have done before you".

(Joseph Smith, Journal of Discourses, vol.6, pp.3-4)

This is a religion that has rejected the "foundation of Apostles and Prophets" laid by Jesus and, in their place has established it's own Apostles. A religion that has rejected the remarkable story of Christ's triumph and the establishment of His church as told in the Testaments of the Bible, and produced their own, "Another Testament of Jesus Christ", in the Book of Mormon. A religion that has rejected the stone that has become the capstone (Mark 12:10) and sought to lay a new foundation of their own. In great ways and small Mormonism takes and changes so much that is Christian, fooling the unwary with the familiar terminology while all the time hiding a meaning quite alien to true Christianity.

Thus the truth is subtly changed and pressed into the service of a religion that has appropriated to itself statements, acclamations, names and titles in such a manner as to give Mormonism pre-eminence over even the Jesus of whom they claim to be special witnesses.

Previously:

Special Witnesses of Christ

Who is the Way? Joseph or Jesus?