Biblical Reasons Ministry

“I say to the whole world, receive the truth, no matter who
presents it to you. Take up the Bible, compare the religion
of the Latter-day Saints with it, see if it will stand the test.”
2nd LDS president, Brigham Young – Journal of Discourses, Vol. 16, p. 46

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The story behind the Jesus Christ/Joseph Smith DVD

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Randy Gavin was a speaker at the Miracle Pageant training sessions in June 2013. He is a former Mormon and former Stake Mission President for the Salt Lake City stake.

At 27:40 in the video, he describes how the Search For Truth: Jesus Christ/Joseph Smith DVD project came to be. Watch it for free here: http://www.goodnewsforlds.com

Enough DVDs were produced to provide one DVD to every home in Utah. That’s a lot of money. The DVDs were distributed in other states too. I mention the amount produced to cover Utah to give you an idea of how many were produced.

One wealthy man put up all the cash. One man.

He almost became a Mormon, but for the fact that one woman handed him a tract about Mormonism as he was going to Temple Square to get baptized into the Mormon church.

God used one woman standing on a sidewalk to hand information to one man. That one man found out that Mormonism is false and it snowballed from there. Hundreds of people have come out of Mormonism because of this project and more are still coming out because of it.

Praise God!

 

Watch other videos from the 2013 evangelism at the
Mormon Miracle Pageant here:

https://www.youtube.com/user/MormonDoctrinedotnet/videos

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Review of Brett Kunkle’s
“Ambassador’s Guide to Mormonism”

Kunkle’s booklet has as its primary focus the consequences of eternity. Kunkle’s booklet clearly avoids any such methods intended to bash-the-Mormons. As a Christian involved in apologetics and witnessing to Mormons, I very much appreciate Kunkle’s direction.

Stand To Reason’s thoughtful methods such as “Columbo Tactics,” i.e. ask questions such as “What do you mean by that?” lead to dignified conversations where respect for the individual comes well before merely winning an argument. Sadly, too many on both sides of religious debate are guilty of desiring to win the argument. We’re all guilty of that at times. Kunkle’s booklet is a good reminder to avoid such ill-fated strategy.

Read more >

 

The contingent God of Mormonism – dependent on the Mormon priesthood

In Mormonism, God (called “Elohim”) was once a man on another planet who wasn’t God. “As man is, God once was. As God is man may be.” -5th LDS president Lorenzo Snow.

Since Elohim was found obedient to what Mormons call eternal laws and principles it naturally follows that Elohim isn’t the author of said laws but rather a being whose advancement to Godhood was contingent (dependent) upon something outside himself.

Elder M. Russell Ballard said in the April 2013 LDS General Conference, “The same priesthood power that created worlds, galaxies, and the universe can and should be part of our lives to succor, strengthen, and bless our families, our friends, and our neighbors—in other words, to do the things that the Savior would do if He were ministering among us today.”

This is not the God of the Holy Bible. This is a different God.

In Christianity, God spoke and everything was made, including even things invisible such as space/time. “For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him.” -Colossians 1:16

God spoke, and then Joseph Smith spoke something else.

Determining Truth When Questions Arise

A review of Elder Holland’s LDS General Conference speech titled “Lord, I Believe” on April 7, 2013, Salt Lake City, Utah

Elder Holland opened his speech with the comment, “Honestly acknowledge your questions and your concerns, but first and forever fan the flame of your faith, because all things are possible to them that believe.”

Some questions immediately come to mind.

•    Believe in what? Will a man who calls himself a prophet of God proceed to the core of the gospel message which is belief and trust in Jesus and forgiveness of sins?

•    Or will his talk be designed to soothe the minds of those who are questioning their faith in the Mormon Church?

It was not unexpected nor surprising that the thrust of Holland’s speech focused on the latter. The Mormon Church is currently experiencing an exodus from its ranks unparalleled in the Church’s history since the Kirtland Bank failure. It naturally follows that an address to all Mormon believers would seek to reassure the faithful that all will be well if faithful Mormons will heed the counsel of the prophets.

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Comparison of LDS Doctrine with the Bible

  • Is God body or spirit?
    Mormonism
    :  God is body.  Doctrine and Covenants, 130:22;  Book of Mormon, Ether 3:8-9.
    Christianity:  God is spirit.  John 4:24;  1 Timothy 1:17;  Matthew 16:17 (and, in the Book of Mormon, Alma 18:26-28). Spirit has not flesh and bone: Luke 24:39
  • Is marriage eternal?
    Christianity
    :  No.  Matthew 22:23-30;  Luke 20:34-36.
  • Is there more than one God?
    Mormonism:  Yes.  “I will preach the plurality of Gods….” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 370.) “Gods exist, and we had better strive to be prepared to be one with them.”  (Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses,* vol. 7, p. 238.)
    “How many Gods there are, we do not know.  But there never was a time when there were not Gods.”  (Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, vol. 7, p. 333.)
    Christianity:  There is only one God.  Isaiah 43:10;  Isaiah 44:6 (and, in the Book of Mormon, Alma 11:28-31, 44;  Mosiah 15:1-4).

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Examining the Mormon Concept:
How Did God Become God?

The following are pertinent Mormon quotations demonstrating the Mormon belief that God was once a man like us who later progressed to godhood. Such a belief runs contrary to the Bible which states:

Psalm 90:2 Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.

Christian scholar and apologist Francis Beckwith writes:

“The modern Mormon concept of God can best be grasped by understanding the overall Mormon world view and how the deity fits into it. Mormonism teaches that God the Father is a resurrected, “exalted” human being named Elohim who was at one time not God. Rather, he was once a mortal man on another planet who, through obedience to the precepts of his God, eventually attained exaltation, or godhood, himself through “eternal progression.”

Beckwith’s perception is understandable in light of LDS leaders’ statements. For example,  Milton R. Hunter, a member of Mormonism’s First Council of the Seventy, wrote in The Gospel Through the Ages, p 104:

“Mormon prophets have continuously taught the sublime truth that God the Eternal Father was once a mortal man who passed through a school of earth life similar to that through which we are now passing. He became God – an exalted being – through obedience to the same eternal Gospel truths that we are given opportunity today to obey.”

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C.S. Lewis and Mormonism

Some years ago, I wrote to one of the many C.S. Lewis Societies (which one, I don’t recall) inquiring about Lewis’ views on human deification. I did so after reading several Mormons claim that Lewis’ views on the topic closely matched the LDS view on the subject. I received a response from the Society, but I failed to preserve the author’s name – this I regret. Nor have I been able to find the author via Google search. The response clears the air in no uncertain terms. C.S. Lewis didn’t see things in a Mormon way – at all. If you’re the author, please contact me. Thanks.

-Russ Bales

Begin article:

An increasing number of Mormon writers(1) have attempted to quote Lewis, just as they have quoted early Church fathers to support their doctrine of man progressing to godhood. These attempts can altogether be explained by the recent trend within the Church of the Latter-Day-Saints: the effort to gain acceptance as a Christian denomination.(2)

An example of this effort to gain acceptance, especially through the method of associating Christian writers and Mormon doctrine, is Stephen Robinson’s book Are Mormons Christians? In it he argues that Christians have, at one time or another, believed in self-deification.

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He Gave You Jesus!

Some Mormons say that evidence destroys faith and that salvation is for everyone, but “exaltation” {ultimate Mormon salvation} is for those who’ve been baptized and have received secret handshakes (tokens and signs) to get there, so who needs evidence?! For this God gave you the book of Romans.

Mormonism would have us believe that one must be baptized in water by the proper authority, and this same authority is the only one to give you the Holy Spirit. For real baptism God gave you the book of Acts.

To receive Him, God gave you John 3.

All of these books, chapters and passages boil down to one thing…. He gave you Jesus.

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Examining the LDS Concept of Forgiveness

“But into the terrestrial will go those who do not measure up to the celestial”
LDS president, Spencer W. Kimball, The Miracle of Forgiveness, pg. 315.

The concept of what it means to be forgiven in the LDS Church becomes a great burden to “be perfect.”

The Christian, however, views salvation and forgiveness in a very different light. The Christian understands that his salvation is not contingent upon sinless perfection. The Christian understands that the very reason Christ was crucified, buried and resurrected is  for the remission of our sins. A propitiation. A payment. A ransom. We have been redeemed by God’s grace, a gift that no one can earn.

The righteousness of Christ is imputed to the Christian believer through grace through faith rather than through works and obedience to the laws, ordinances and principles of the LDS Church.

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The Law, Works and James 2

Works are an important issue, and it is the difference between true Christianity and false religion. It was important in the 1st century between Jesus and the Pharisees and Judaizers. It was important in the 4th century between Augustine and Pelagius. It was important in the 16th century between Luther, and Erasmus and the Roman Catholic Church.

And it remains important today between Christians and Mormons….

Jesus and the Law

If one uses the Bible simply as a “proof-texting” source, without understanding or addressing the context, one can “prove” just about anything they want. It’s kind of like kidnappers cutting headlines out of newspapers and arranging them into their own ransom messages. If one doesn’t understand (or else ignores) the history of the OT and the Law, or Jesus’ intention, they can get Jesus to teach two contradictory messages, either salvation by law, or salvation by grace:

Salvation by Law: Luke 10:26, John 7:19, Matt. 5:19, 19:17, Mark 10:19, Luke 18:20

Salvation by faith, through grace: John 3:15,16,18, 3:36, 5:24, 6:47, 11:26

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Is Baptism For the Dead a Christian Practice?

Mormons believe that water baptism by immersion “is the first saving ordinance of the gospel…All who seek eternal life must follow the example of the Savior by being baptized and receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost.” (True to the Faith, 2004, p. 21) Baptism, according to Mormonism, is the prerequisite to receiving the “gift of the Holy Ghost” and is a necessary step in the process of being exalted to the highest level of heaven. Believing that non-Mormon dead relatives will have an opportunity to receive the Mormon “restored gospel” in “spirit prison.” Latter-day Saints take it upon themselves to help “save” them by engaging in proxy baptism on behalf of their dead ancestors. Mormon Apostle Bruce R. McConkie explains:

“…though held captive in the spirit prison, these prisoners of hope looked forward with desire and expectation to their redemption…a redemption that would be complete only after baptism for the dead had been performed for them in this mortal sphere where there is water.” –Mormon Doctrine, p. 601

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Sincerity of Belief Can Never Create Truth