.:TESTING TRUTH – HOW CAN I KNOW THIS IS TRUE?
- Moroni’s challenge does not prove the LDS Church is true.
- Joseph Smith admitted that personal “revelation” is able to come from Satan.
- Beliefs must be tested. Wisdom cannot reveal truth.
“ ‘I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.’ Book of Mormon, Moroni 10:4 …Feelings from the Holy Ghost are personal revelation to you that confirm the truth of the Book of Mormon and the gospel of Jesus Christ as restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith.”
WHAT MORMON.ORG DOES NOT TELL YOU ABOUT HOW TO KNOW TRUTH:
If one takes Moroni’s challenge to “pray” about the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon and receives a personal “testimony” about the Book of Mormon being true, this does not prove the Mormon Church (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) is also true.
There are over 100 splinter groups of Mormonism that have broken away from the mainline LDS Church, but all still hold to the Book of Mormon as Scripture and Joseph Smith as a Prophet of God. If taking Moroni’s challenge proves the LDS Church is true, why do all the other members of these splinter groups of Mormonism have the same personal testimony from the Holy Ghost that their churches are “true” simply by taking Moroni’s challenge? How can the Holy Ghost reveal to each person that his or her different church is “true” and yet all of these splinter groups disagree amongst themselves as to what the truth really is? Remember, “God is not the author of confusion” (1 Corinthians 14:33).
Many doctrines of the Mormon Church either disagree with the teachings of the Book of Mormon or are completely missing from the text. Since the Book of Mormon disagrees with the LDS Church, how can a personal “feeling” (testimony) that the Book of Mormon is true prove that the LDS Church itself is also true? The following is a brief chart of LDS teachings that are missing from the text or are in conflict with the Book of Mormon’s teachings:
Mormon Doctrine Book of Mormon There are many “Gods” and God the Father had a Father God before Him. (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 370) There is only “one true and living God.” (Alma 11:26-29, 44; 2 Nephi 31:21; 3 Nephi 11:27, 36) God has not always been God from all eternity. He was a man who grew to become God. (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pp. 345-346) God is unchangeable and has always been God. (Mosiah 3:5; 3 Nephi 24:6; Mormon 9:9, 19; Moroni 7:22; 8:18) God is an exalted Man and has a “body of flesh and bones.” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pp. 345-346; Doctrine and Covenants, 130:22) God is a “Spirit.”
(Alma 18:24-28; 22:9-11; 31:15)
God is married in heaven and families are forever in heaven. (“Our Heavenly Family” chapter 2 of Gospel Principles, pp. 11-15; Doctrine and Covenants, 132:19-20) This doctrine is completely missing from the Book of Mormon. Temple participation including the receiving of endowments and marriage for time and eternity is essential for exaltation into the highest level of glory. (Gospel Principles, pp. 297, 303-304) These doctrines and practices are completely missing from the Book of Mormon.
“Verily, verily, I say unto you, that this is my doctrine …and whoso shall declare more or less than this, and establish it for my doctrine, the same cometh of evil…”—3 Nephi 11:39-40, Book of Mormon
Joseph Smith admitted that personal “revelation” not only comes from God, but can also come from Satan and one’s deceptive heart. When the Prophet Joseph Smith received a failed revelation to sell the Book of Mormon copyright in Canada, he is quoted in David Whitmer’s book, Address to All Believers in Christ, as saying:
“ ‘Some revelations are of God: some revelations are of man: and some revelations are of the devil.’ ”—Address to All Believers in Christ, 1887, p. 31
The Bible agrees with Joseph Smith on this when it warns us not to trust one’s heart because feelings of the heart can be deceptive.
JEREMIAH 17:9: “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?”
Beliefs must be tested. “Wisdom” cannot reveal truth and knowledge. James 1:5 states: “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.” Joseph Smith claimed that when he prayed for “wisdom” according to James 1:5, he received the revelation that “all” the churches were “wrong” and that God had a plan for him to be used in restoring the alleged lost “gospel” from the earth (Joseph Smith – History 1:11, 13, 19). Using this passage, Mormons often admonish potential converts to follow Joseph Smith’s example in praying for “wisdom” to determine the truthfulness of Mormonism. However, wisdom cannot reveal truth. Nelson’s New Illustrated Bible Dictionary, gives the following definition for wisdom:
“WISDOM — ability to judge correctly and to follow the best course of action, based on knowledge and understanding.”
Since wisdom is merely the application of knowledge, wisdom without facts and knowledge cannot lead anyone to the truth. Truth is based upon objective facts, not subjective personal “feelings.” Thus, to determine truth, one must test ideas and prove them to be true or false by the objective standards of logic reason and through the study of the Bible. Take note of the following quotes from former Mormon Prophets and Apostles. You will see that Mormon leaders used to emphasize the importance of using objective, logical study and analysis to determine if Mormonism is true:
“Take up the Bible, compare the religion of the Latter-day Saints with it, and see if it will stand the test.” —Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, vol. 16, p. 46
“If Joseph Smith was a deceiver, who wilfully attempted to mislead the people, then he should be exposed; his claims should be refuted, and his doctrines shown to be false, for the doctrines of an impostor cannot be made to harmonize in all particulars with divine truth. If his claims and declarations were built upon fraud and deceit, there would appear many errors and contradictions, which would be easy to detect. The doctrines of false teachers will not stand the test when tried by the accepted standards of measurement, the scriptures.”—Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, 1954, vol. 1, p. 188 5.
“If we cannot convince you by reason nor by the word of God, that your religion is wrong, we will not persecute you… we ask from you the same generosity… convince us of our errors of doctrine, if we have any, by reason, by logical arguments, or by the word of God, and we will be ever grateful for the information.” —The Seer, Orson Pratt, 1854, p. 15
Indeed, the Bible agrees with these statements as the following passages illustrate:
1 THESSALONIANS 5:21: “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.”
ACTS 17:11: “These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.”
ISAIAH 8:20: “To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.”
5. Emphasis is in the original.
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