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Section 7b ..
Sharing The Faith

 

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Sharing Your Faith with Latter-day Saints

By Sandra Tanner

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See Section on   Mormonism

One of the most important factors in sharing your faith with a Mormon (officially known as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) is your sincere friendship. Usually former LDS tell me that they had a close friend that talked to them about the Lord. This friend acted as a bridge between Mormon assumptions and explaining what the Bible actually says.

Usually Mormons will already view themselves as Christians and will accept you as one as well. However, they would see you as only having one fourth of the gospel while they have the whole package. Your faith in Christ, according to them, assures you of a place in heaven. However, in order to go to the highest part of heaven, the Celestial Kingdom (godhood, exaltation), you would need to have a Mormon baptism and a Mormon temple marriage. (See Road To godhood.) They believe that if you don't join the LDS Church during this life you will be given a chance to accept it during the millennium.

Remember that they view you as the one with the defective belief system. You have only the Bible (which accounts for your "limited" understanding) while they have additional light from their other scriptures, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants and the Pearl of Great Price. Beyond this, they also have the teachings of their prophets.

Keep in mind that we are part of a process. Paul wrote: "I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase." (1 Cor. 3:6) It may take several encounters with various Christians before the Mormon will seriously start re-evaluating his/her beliefs. Pray that God will continue to bring Christians into the Mormon's life.
 

Terminology Differences
It is important to learn how Christian terms have been redefined by Mormonism. If you went as a missionary to China you would learn their language and something about their customs. We should do the same with those embracing the LDS system. Don't assume the Mormon uses Christian terms the same as you do. Their definitions of God, salvation, eternal life, heaven, etc. are very different. (See Terminology Differences.)
 

Persecution?
When opportunities arise for you to talk with Mormons about their beliefs, remember to show them the same respect and courtesy you would expect from them. Be sure to display confidence (not arrogance) in what you discuss. Mormons tend to interpret any timidity as evidence that you do not speak with the authority of God.

Since Mormons tend to feel any challenge to their church is a form of persecution we must be careful how we approach them so that it will not reinforce this perception.

Joseph Smith claimed in his first vision which is printed at the back of their Pearl of Great Price, that God informed him all other churches were "wrong" and that "all their creeds were an abomination in his sight." Since Smith was the one who first attacked all other churches, we are simply responding to his charges. Merely comparing belief systems is not "persecution."
 

Importance of the Book of Mormon?
Mormons will often ask people if they have read the Book of Mormon and prayed about it. They assume that if someone believed it he would accept the rest of Mormonism. Here are a few questions to ask:

Since the Introduction to the Book of Mormon states that it contains "the fulness of the everlasting gospel" can you give me verses that teach the doctrines of pre-earth existence, plural gods with wives, temple marriage, chance to repent after you die, temple rituals for the dead, three levels of heaven, etc.?

    Where do I find your concept of eternal marriage in the Book of Mormon? (It isn't in there—it's in the D&C, sec. 132.)

    If you truly believe the Book of Mormon, doctrinally, how do you accept the Doctrine and Covenants or Pearl of Great Price since these books teach different concepts?

    Why do Mormons approach people with the Book of Mormon if it doesn't contain their most important doctrines? Why don't they give out copies of their other scriptures instead of the Book of Mormon? (See Joseph Smith Didn't Believe in the Book of Mormon, So Why Should Anyone Else?)

This gives us a chance to talk about the value of the Book of Mormon, as opposed to the Bible. Ask them:

    What specific doctrine of Mormonism is in the Book of Mormon that isn't in the Bible?
     

Which Bible?
The Book of Mormon declares that the Bible has been deliberately altered.  [See The Bible... Then and Now]

    26 And after they go forth by the hand of the twelve apostles of the Lamb, from the Jews unto the Gentiles, thou seest the formation of that great and abominable church, which is most abominable above all other churches; for behold, they have taken away from the gospel of the Lamb many parts which are plain and most precious; and also many covenants of the Lord have they taken away. 27 And all this have they done that they might pervert the right ways of the Lord, that they might blind the eyes and harden the hearts of the children of men. 28 Wherefore, thou seest that after the book hath gone forth through the hands of the great and abominable church, that there are many plain and precious things taken away from the book, which is the book of the Lamb of God. [1 Nephi 13:26-28]

Mormons will often point to all the different translations of the Bible as proof that it has been changed. You can ask them something like—

    Does translation always lessen scripture's value or change its teaching?

    What about the Book of Mormon? How many translations have been made of it? Is it less reliable in French or German?

    Does the church put a disclaimer on the Book of Mormon in other languages as they do with the Bible? If not, why not?

    If professional LDS translators can reliably take the English Book of Mormon into French, why can't professional translators take the Greek New Testament into English?

    If the Bible is in such bad shape, which verses are wrong, so I won't use them?

    Mormons will often claim the Bible is incomplete, that various books have been left out of our current Bible.

    Why doesn't your prophet restore the lost books or correct the translation?

    If your prophet has not felt the need to restore these missing books of the Bible how important can they be?

    Which books were left out? Which ones should be added?

    Joseph Smith did a revised version of the Bible, why doesn't the LDS Church print it? They print extracts from it at the back of their Bible—why not use the whole thing? Smith did not add any lost books to his revision. In fact, he left out the book Song of Solomon.

Remind them that even though we don't have all of the words of Jesus, John assured us that we have all that we need to know about gaining eternal life (see John 20:30-31). Also, Jesus promised "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away." (Matthew 24:35)

If Mormonism is a restoration of original Christianity they would need to demonstrate that LDS doctrines were originally in the Bible but later deleted. However, there is no manuscript evidence of revisions of the New Testament that eliminated cardinal doctrines. Also, the scripture quotes in the writings of the early church fathers show that there were no doctrinal changes. A good book on the reliability of the Bible is The New Testament Documents: Are They Reliable?, by F.F. Bruce. (See The Reliability of The New Testament)
 

Total Apostasy?
Mormonism asserts that in Smith's first vision he was told that there had been a total apostasy of the Christian church and that he was to be God's instrument in restoring it to the earth. While the Bible speaks of people falling away from the truth, it never indicates that there would be a total apostasy. Mormons often misuse 1 Timothy 4:1 which says that "in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils." Notice that the verse merely indicates "some" would depart from the faith, not that there would be a total apostasy. You might ask your friend something like this:

    How could there have been a total apostasy of the church since Jesus promised that "the gates of hell shall not prevail against it"? (Matt. 16:18) Jesus also promised, "lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world." (Matt. 28:20)

Another problem with the LDS claim of a total apostasy is their own teaching that John, one of Christ's twelve apostles, did not die...

    D&C 7:1-3  1 AND the Lord said unto me: John, my beloved, what desirest thou? For if you shall ask what you will, it shall be granted unto you.  2 And I said unto him: Lord, give unto me power over death, that I may live and bring souls unto thee.  3 And the Lord said unto me: Verily, verily, I say unto thee, because thou desirest this thou shalt tarry until I come in my glory, and shalt prophesy before nations, kindreds, tongues and people.

...but was to remain on the earth to "prophesy before nations." Besides John, three of the twelve disciples in the Book of Mormon were granted their desire to remain on earth, to "bring the souls of men unto me," until Christ's return. With four apostles remaining on the earth, how could there have been a total apostasy?

     6 And he said unto them: Behold, I know your thoughts, and ye have desired the thing which John, my beloved, who was with me in my ministry, before that I was lifted up by the Jews, desired of me. 7 Therefore, more blessed are ye, for ye shall never taste of death; but ye shall live to behold all the doings of the Father unto the children of men, even until all things shall be fulfilled according to the will of the Father, when I shall come in my glory with the powers of heaven. 8 And ye shall never endure the pains of death; but when I shall come in my glory ye shall be changed in the twinkling of an eye from mortality to immortality; and then shall ye be blessed in the kingdom of my Father. 9 And again, ye shall not have pain while ye shall dwell in the flesh, neither sorrow save it be for the sins of the world; and all this will I do because of the thing which ye have desired of me, for ye have desired that ye might bring the souls of men unto me, while the world shall stand. (Book of Mormon, 3 Nephi 28:6-9)

Mormonism also teaches that the true church will have the same structure as Christ instituted. Thus they argue that the true church will have twelve apostles at its head. However, the Mormons do not conform to their own standard as they have three apostles in their First Presidency as well as their twelve, thus making fifteen apostles at the head of their church. Also, Deacons were to be mature men, not twelve-year-old boys (see 1 Tim. 3:8-12).
 

True Church?
Mormons will often say that the Christian world is too divided to have the truth. Yet there have been over 100 different churches claiming Joseph Smith as their founder. (See the book Divergent Paths of the Restoration.) Many of them have totally different beliefs from the others. Obviously, LDS scriptures did not solve the problem of division.

However, the Christian looks to such verses as Matt. 18:20 where Christ promised that where two or three are gathered in His name, He is in the midst of them. The Mormon does not understand the Christian concept of all believers constituting the church. In Eph. 2:20-22 Paul points out that Christians "are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief cornerstone; in whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: in whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit." Thus the question is not whether you are member of the right denomination but are you trusting Christ's atonement to make you right with God?


A Prophet?
Another area for discussion is the need for a prophet. You might ask the Mormon:

    I've been told that LDS people believe God is continually giving new revelation to their prophet. How do you guard against false teachings?

    If your prophet gave a revelation that differed from church teachings in the past, how do you determine which to follow?

    Christians hold their ministers accountable to the Bible. (See Galatians 1:7-12 and 1 John 4:1) The early Christians compared Paul's teachings with the Old Testament in Acts 17:11-12. What is the standard for Mormons?

They may counter with something like: "God has promised he will never let the prophet lead us astray." Then why is there provision made in the Doctrine and Covenants Sec. 107:81-83 to replace a fallen prophet?

      81 There is not any person belonging to the church who is exempt from this council of the church.  82 And inasmuch as a President of the High Priesthood shall transgress, he shall be had in remembrance before the common council of the church, who shall be assisted by twelve counselors of the High Priesthood; 83 And their decision upon his head shall be an end of controversy concerning him. [D&C 107:81-83]

Jesus warned about false prophets in Matt. 24:11 and 24.

Mormons point to Amos 3:7 to prove that God will always have a prophet leading the church. However, this is taking the verse out of context. God promised that he would not send judgment without giving a warning first through a prophet.

    If only the president of the LDS Church can receive revelation for the church, why are the books of the New Testament written by different people? Even Mormons agree Paul was never the head of the church. Shouldn't the apostles of Mormonism be as authoritative as Paul?

    How many false prophecies could a prophet give and still be a true prophet? In Deut. 18:20-22 God declares that all his prophecies must come true. (See our sheet How Do We Test a Prophet? and a Sample of Joseph Smith's False Prophecies.)

    If Mormons don't accept all the doctrines of their prophets and apostles, how does one know which teachings to accept and which ones to reject? They usually counter that you know through prayer. But don't their apostles pray before preaching? How can a lay member expect to get greater discernment than those ordained by God? Can the Mormon cite an example of a doctrine that their prophet or apostles taught which they can openly reject?

 If you bring up a doctrinal issue like Brigham Young's Adam-God doctrine they will often counter that that was Young's personal idea and not official doctrine even though he taught it from the pulpit. Then what constitutes "official doctrine"? The Mormon will usually counter that doctrine must be voted on by the church and canonized. Doesn't this establish that one of their prophets could give a false revelation? Then couldn't he lead the people astray?

 Another question is why does the Doctrine and Covenants only have four sections by prophets other than Joseph Smith? Why has no revelation been added since 1978? Is God no longer giving revelation to their president as he did in the beginning?

If a Mormon says that their prophets still get revelations, ask where they are printed. Why don't they canonize them? Are they approaching a closed canon concept?
 

Need More Than Atonement?
 Mormons will often say, "Why can't you accept us as Christians? We believe in Jesus as our savior." However, there are problems with both their definition of "saved" and their concept of Jesus.

Mormonism limits the result of the Fall, saying that it brought mortality but not a sinful nature as man is supposed to be a god in embryo. They limit the atonement, saying it brought resurrection (or immortality) to all, but to go on to "eternal life" or "exaltation" one must be a faithful Mormon thus adding works to grace. They believe they commit sin but don't understand man's basic sin-nature.

They make a distinction between being "saved" (resurrected to some level of heaven) and having "eternal life" (exaltation, godhood). A good example of the Mormon concept of the atonement is found in a parable by Apostle Boyd Packer in Gospel Principles, pp.75-77, 1997 ed. According to his parable, Christ's atonement was like someone refinancing your huge debt. Your friend pays off the loan for you but you then must make payments to him. From this parable we see that Mormons do not see the atonement as a total payment for their sins, they must continue to make payments. Jesus has only refinanced the loan. Thus the atonement was necessary but did not fulfill all that was required for eternal life. Apostle Packer's story is helpful in contrasting the Mormon concept of the atonement with that of the Bible.

When discussing grace with them you could also ask about 2 Nephi 25:23, "by grace we are saved, after all we can do."

      23 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. [2 Nephi 25:23]

If grace only applies after all you can do, how do you know when you have done enough? Have you truly done ALL you could do? If not, then it would seem that grace would not apply. That is why a Christian rejoices in grace (unmerited favor) as presented in the Bible.

We need to explain that good works are a result of grace, not a way to achieve it (Gal. 5:22-23 and Eph. 2). One doesn't earn or pay for a gift. You will need to explain that grace is not a license to sin, that those who truly love God will want to please Him.

Since Mormonism teaches that almost everyone will be saved (resurrected) to some level in heaven, how do they reconcile that with Matt. 7:13-14? Jesus taught that only a few would gain heaven. They seem to have reversed the broad way and the narrow way.
 

Temples and High Priests?
There are over a hundred LDS temples around the world in which they perform their baptisms for the dead, endowments and eternal marriage ceremonies for both the living and dead. A question to ask your Mormon friend is:

    If a temple marriage is necessary for eternal life, why isn't it ever mentioned in the Bible (or the Book of Mormon)? Jesus taught that there would be no marriages in heaven (see Luke 20:34-35).

    Can you show me a verse in the Bible (or Book of Mormon) where baptisms or marriages were ever performed in the temple?

    Where in the Bible is the teaching that there are to be thousands of High Priests in the Christian church? Jesus fulfilled the Old Testament priesthood and is now the only High Priest in the Christian church. (See Heb. 4:14; 7:26; 9:11 and our sheet Bible Verses Relating to LDS Teachings on Temple Work.)
     

Eternal Life
Mormonism teaches that in order to gain eternal life (as opposed to merely entering heaven) one must be "worthy." It is achieved after a life of full activity in Mormonism, full tithing, temple marriage, etc. So a question to ask your friend is:

    What is required to achieve eternal life in Mormonism?

    Have you met all of those requirements?

    If you died today do you know that you will have eternal life?

    Point out that the Christian has the assurance of eternal life through faith in Christ, not church activity (see 1 John 5:13).
     

Nature of God
Mormonism teaches a totally different concept of God. However, rather than trying to explain the trinity to them, I focus on the basic nature of God the Father. Joseph Smith taught that God was once a mortal on some other world, which was ruled by yet another deity. (See Smith's sermon on the nature of God in History of the Church, vol. 6, pp. 302-317 [King Follet Sermon], or Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pp. 312, 342-354*, 370-373) Each god rose from mortality to immortality and earned the position of a god. He does not surpass the previous god, but is forever under his direction. It is sort of like an eternal pyramid system, or escalator, with each god answering to the one above him. If the Mormon denies this teaching ask him if he has read Smith's sermons on God. If Smith's doctrine of God is wrong he falls under the condemnation of Deuteronomy 13, a false prophet leading the people after a false god. (See our sheet LDS View of God Contradicts the Bible.) How do they reconcile Smith's doctrine of multiple gods with Isaiah 43:10-11 and Isaiah 44:8?

    *These pages are a reprint of the King Follet Sermon, which can found in History of the Church, vol. 6, pp. 302-317.
     

A Testimony?
The Mormon will often say that he knows the LDS Church is true from prayer and inner conviction. We need to point out that people all over the world have come up with different beliefs about God. Obviously sincerity and prayer are not enough to guard against false claims. That is why God has given us the Bible, so that we will have a standard measurement for truth claims. You might ask them:

    If you were lost in the woods would you trust your feelings or use a compass? Christians use the Bible to determine truth, not feelings.

We don't need to pray to know if we should rob a bank, or commit adultery, since God has already spoken on the issue. Thus we see that if someone claims a revelation contrary to what God has already spoken, we can know that it is a false teaching. Thus if Joseph Smith taught anything different from the Bible, like plural gods, he should be rejected. (Gal. 1:8-9 and Deut. 13)

While Christians value prayer and seek direction from God, this is not the Biblical method of testing a prophet. Every leader and doctrine must be examined in light of the Bible.


Conclusion
Remember that your life is already a witness to your LDS friends, one way or another. If they say you would make a good Mormon, take comfort. Your lifestyle is seen to be consistent with your claim to be a Christian, they just want to give you the rest of the gospel.

Challenge them to study the Bible (Acts 17:11-12). If Mormonism is a restoration of Christ's church, it will agree with what God has already revealed. Challenge them to think for themselves. Truth will stand up to investigation.

A Mormon quickly senses if you are talking from genuine concern and conviction, or if you just want an argument. Check your motives and attitude (see 2 Tim. 2:23-26 and Titus 3:2-9). As ambassadors for Christ we are to share His love and redemption.

"Always be full of joy in the Lord; ... Let everyone see that you are unselfish and considerate in all you do." (Philippians 4:4-5, Living Bible)

 

For more suggestions on sharing with Mormons see:

Reasoning from the Scriptures with the Mormons, by Ron Rhodes and Marian Bodine
Questions to Ask Your Mormon Friend, by Bill McKeever and Eric Johnson
Answering Mormons' Questions, by Bill McKeever
Bible and Mormon Doctrine, by Sandra Tanner
How to Witness to a Mormon Tract, by Jerry and Dianna Benson

Bible1-Bar

Gospel Principles References

Gospel Principles, pp.75-78
Elder Boyd K. Packer of the Council of the Twelve gave the following illustration to show how Christ's atonement makes it possible to be saved from sin if we do our part.

    "Let me tell you a story--a parable.

    "There once was a man who wanted something very much. It seemed more important than anything else in his life. In order for him to have his desire, he incurred a great debt. "He had been warned about going into that much debt, and particularly about his creditor. But it seemed so important for him to do what he wanted to and to have what he wanted right now. He was sure he could pay for it later. "So he signed a contract. He would pay it off some time along the way. He didn't worry too much about it, for the due date seemed such a long time away. He had what he wanted now, and that was what seemed important.
    "The creditor was always somewhere in the back of his mind, and he made token payments now and again, thinking somehow that the day of reckoning really would never come.  "But as it always does, the day came, and the contract fell due. The debt had not been fully paid. His creditor appeared and demanded payment in full.  "Only then did he realize that his creditor not only had the power to repossess all that he owned, but the power to cast him into prison as well.

    " 'I cannot pay you, for I have not the power to do so,' he confessed.

     'Then,' said the creditor, 'we will exercise the contract, take your possessions and you shall go to prison. You agreed to that. It was your choice. You signed the contract, and now it must be enforced.'

    " 'Can you not extend the time or forgive the debt?' the debtor begged. 'Arrange some way for me to keep what I have and not go to prison. Surely you believe in mercy? Will you not show mercy?'

    "The creditor replied, 'Mercy is always so one-sided. It would serve only you. If I show mercy to you, it will leave me unpaid. It is justice I demand. Do you believe in justice?'

    " 'I believed in justice when I signed the contract,' the debtor said. 'It was on my side then, for I thought it would protect me. I did not need mercy then, nor think I should need it ever. Justice, I thought, would serve both of us equally as well.'

    " 'It is justice that demands that you pay the contract or suffer the penalty,' the creditor replied. 'That is the law. You have agreed to it and that is the way it must be. Mercy cannot rob justice.'

    "There they were: One meting out justice, the other pleading for mercy. Neither could prevail except at the expense of the other.

    " 'If you do not forgive the debt there will be no mercy,' the debtor pleaded.

    " 'If I do, there will be no justice,' was the reply.

    "Both laws, it seemed, could not be served. They are two eternal ideals that appear to contradict one another. Is there no way for justice to be fully served, and mercy also?

    "There is a way! The law of justice can be fully satisfied and mercy can be fully extended--but it takes someone else. And so it happened this time.

    "The debtor had a friend. He came to help. He knew the debtor well. He knew him to be shortsighted. He thought him foolish to have gotten himself into such a predicament. Nevertheless, he wanted to help because he loved him. He stepped between them, faced the creditor, and made this offer.

    " 'I will pay the debt if you will free the debtor from his contract so that he may keep his possessions and not go to prison.'

    "As the creditor was pondering the offer, the mediator added, 'You demanded justice. Though he cannot pay you, I will do so. You will have been justly dealt with and can ask no more. It would not be just.'

    "And so the creditor agreed.

    "The mediator turned then to the debtor. 'If I pay your debt, will you accept me as your creditor?'

    " 'Oh yes, yes,' cried the debtor. 'You saved me from prison and show mercy to me.'

    " 'Then,' said the benefactor, 'you will pay the debt to me and I will set the terms. It will not be easy, but it will be possible. I will provide a way. You need not go to prison.'

    "And so it was that the creditor was paid in full. He had been justly dealt with. No contract had been broken. "The debtor, in turn, had been extended mercy. Both laws stood fulfilled. Because there was a mediator, justice had claimed its full share, and mercy was satisfied" (in Conference Report, Apr. 1977, pp. 79-80; or Ensign, May 1977, pp. 54-55).

Our sins are our spiritual debts. Without Jesus Christ, who is our Savior and Mediator, we would all pay for our sins by suffering spiritual death. But because of him, if we will keep his terms, which are to repent and keep his commandments, we may return to live with our Heavenly Father. [PLACE IN TEXT]

 

Teaching of the Prophet Joseph Smith References

Teaching of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 312
As the Father hath power in Himself, so hath the Son power in Himself, to lay down His life and take it again, so He has a body of His own. The Son doeth what He hath seen the Father do: then the Father hath some day laid down His life and taken it again; so He has a body of His own; each one will be in His own body; and yet the sectarian world believe the body of the Son is identical with the Father's.

Gods have an ascendancy over the angels, who are ministering servants. In the resurrection, some are raised to be angels, others are raised to become Gods.


Teaching of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pp. 370-373
Plurality of Gods
I will preach on the plurality of Gods. I have selected this text for that express purpose. I wish to declare I have always and in all congregations when I have preached on the subject of the Deity, it has been the plurality of Gods. It has been preached by the Elders for fifteen years.

I have always declared God to be a distinct personage, Jesus Christ a separate and distinct personage from God the Father, and that the Holy Ghost was a distinct personage and a Spirit: and these three constitute three distinct personages and three Gods. If this is in accordance with the New Testament, lo and behold! we have three Gods anyhow, and they are plural: and who can contradict it!

Our text says "And hath made us kings and priests unto God and His Father." The Apostles have discovered that there were Gods above, for Paul says God was the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. My object was to preach the scriptures, and preach the doctrine they contain, there being a God above, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. I am bold to declare I have taught all the strong doctrines publicly, and always teach stronger doctrines in public than in private.

John was one of the men, and apostles declare they were made kings and priests unto God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. It reads just so in the Revelation. Hence, the doctrine of a plurality of Gods is as prominent in the Bible as any other doctrine. It is all over the face of the Bible. It stands beyond the power of controversy. A wayfaring man, though a fool, need not err therein.

Paul says there are Gods many and Lords many. I want to set it forth in a plain and simple manner; but to us there is but one God—that is pertaining to us; and he is in all and through all. But if Joseph Smith says there are Gods many and Lords many, they cry, "Away with him! Crucify him! crucify him!"

Mankind verily say that the scriptures are with them. Search the scriptures, for they testify of things that these apostates would gravely pronounce blasphemy. Paul, if Joseph Smith is a blasphemer. you are. I say there are Gods many and Lords many, but to us only one, and we are to be in subjection to that one, and no man can limit the bounds or the eternal existence of eternal time. Hath he beheld the eternal world, and is he authorized to say that there is only one God? He makes himself a fool if he thinks or says so, and there is an end of his career or progress in knowledge. He cannot obtain all knowledge, for he has sealed up the gate to it.
 

Scriptural Interpretation
Some say I do not interpret the scripture the same as they do. They say it means the heathen's gods. Paul says there are Gods many and Lords many; and that makes a plurality of Gods. in spite of the whims of all men. Without a revelation, I am not going to give them the knowledge of the God of heaven. You know and I testify that Paul had no allusion to the heathen gods. I have it from God, and get over it if you can. I have a witness of the Holy Ghost, and a testimony that Paul had no allusion to the heathen gods in the text. I will show from the Hebrew Bible that I am correct, and the first word shows a plurality of Gods; and I want the apostates and learned men to come here and prove to the contrary, if they can. An unlearned boy must give you a little Hebrew. Berosheit baurau Eloheim ait aushamayeen vehau auraits, rendered by King James' translators, "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth." I want to analyze the word Berosheit. Rosh, the head; Sheit, a grammatical termination; the Baith was not originally put there when the inspired man wrote it, but it has been since added by an old Jew. Baurau signifies to bring forth; Eloheim is from the word Eloi, God, in the singular number; and by adding the word heim, it renders it Gods. It read first, "In the beginning the head of the Gods brought forth the Gods," or, as others have translated it, "The head of the Gods called the Gods together." I want to show a little learning as well as other fools.
* * *

The head God organized the heavens and the earth. I defy all the world to refute me. In the beginning the heads of the Gods organized the heavens and the earth. Now the learned priests and the people rage, and the heathen imagine a vain thing. If we pursue the Hebrew text further, it reads, "The head one of the Gods said, Let us make a man in our own image." I once asked a learned Jew, "If the Hebrew language compels us to render all words ending in heim in the plural, why not render the first Eloheim plural?" He replied, "That is the rule with few exceptions; but in this case it would ruin the Bible." He acknowledged I was right. I came here to investigate these things precisely as I believe them. Hear and judge for yourselves; and if you go away satisfied, well and good.

In the very beginning the Bible shows there is a plurality of Gods beyond the power of refutation. It is a great subject I am dwelling on. The word Eloheim ought to be in the plural all the way through—Gods. The heads of the Gods appointed one God for us; and when you take [that] view of the subject, it sets one free to see all the beauty, holiness and perfection of the Gods. All I want is to get the simple, naked truth, and the whole truth.

Many men say there is one God; the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost are only one God! I say that is a strange God anyhow—three in one, and one in three! It is a curious organization. "Father, I pray not for the world, but I pray for them which thou hast given me." "Holy Father, keep through Thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one as we are." All are to be crammed into one God, according to sectarianism. It would make the biggest God in all the world. He would be a wonderfully big God—he would be a giant or a monster. I want to read the text to you myself—"I am agreed with the Father and the Father is agreed with me, and we are agreed as one." The Greek shows that it should be agreed. "Father, I pray for them which Thou hast given me out of the world, and not for those alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word, that they all may be agreed, as Thou, Father, art with me, and I with Thee, that they also may be agreed with us," and all come to dwell in unity, and in all the glory and everlasting burnings of the Gods; and then we shall see as we are seen, and be as our God and He as His Father. I want to reason a little on this subject. I learned it by translating the papyrus which is now in my house.


Abraham's Reasoning
I learned a testimony concerning Abraham, and he reasoned concerning the God of heaven. "In order to do that," said he, "suppose we have two facts: that supposes another fact may exist—two men on the earth, one wiser than the other, would logically show that another who is wiser than the wisest may exist. Intelligences exist one above another, so that there is no end to them."

If Abraham reasoned thus—If Jesus Christ was the Son of God, and John discovered that God the Father of Jesus Christ had a Father, you may suppose that He had a Father also. Where was there ever a son without a father? And where was there ever a father without first being a son? Whenever did a tree or anything spring into existence without a progenitor? And everything comes in this way. Paul says that which is earthly is in the likeness of that which is heavenly, Hence if Jesus had a Father, can we not believe that He had a Father also? I despise the idea of being scared to death at such a doctrine, for the Bible is full of it.

I want you to pay particular attention to what I am saying. Jesus said that the Father wrought precisely in the same way as His Father had done before Him. As the Father had done before. He laid down His life, and took it up the same as His Father had done before. He did as He was sent, to lay down His life and take it up again; and then was committed unto Him the keys. I know it is good reasoning. [PLACE IN TEXT]

 

Verses for Sharing Your Faith with Latter-day Saints
Bible References (KJV)

Deut. 13   1 If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder,  2 And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them; 3 Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the LORD your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul. 4 Ye shall walk after the LORD your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him. 5 And that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams, shall be put to death; because he hath spoken to turn you away from the LORD your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt, and redeemed you out of the house of bondage, to thrust thee out of the way which the LORD thy God commanded thee to walk in. So shalt thou put the evil away from the midst of thee.

6 If thy brother, the son of thy mother, or thy son, or thy daughter, or the wife of thy bosom, or thy friend, which is as thine own soul, entice thee secretly, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which thou hast not known, thou, nor thy fathers; 7 Namely, of the gods of the people which are round about you, nigh unto thee, or far off from thee, from the one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth; 8 Thou shalt not consent unto him, nor hearken unto him; neither shall thine eye pity him, neither shalt thou spare, neither shalt thou conceal him: 9 But thou shalt surely kill him; thine hand shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterwards the hand of all the people. 10 And thou shalt stone him with stones, that he die; because he hath sought to thrust thee away from the LORD thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage.

11 And all Israel shall hear, and fear, and shall do no more any such wickedness as this is among you. 12 If thou shalt hear say in one of thy cities, which the LORD thy God hath given thee to dwell there, saying,
13 Certain men, the children of Belial, are gone out from among you, and have withdrawn the inhabitants of their city, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which ye have not known; 14 Then shalt thou enquire, and make search, and ask diligently; and, behold, if it be truth, and the thing certain, that such abomination is wrought among you; 15 Thou shalt surely smite the inhabitants of that city with the edge of the sword, destroying it utterly, and all that is therein, and the cattle thereof, with the edge of the sword. 16 And thou shalt gather all the spoil of it into the midst of the street thereof, and shalt burn with fire the city, and all the spoil thereof every whit, for the LORD thy God: and it shall be an heap for ever; it shall not be built again. 17 And there shall cleave nought of the cursed thing to thine hand: that the LORD may turn from the fierceness of his anger, and shew thee mercy, and have compassion upon thee, and multiply thee, as he hath sworn unto thy fathers; 18 When thou shalt hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, to keep all his commandments which I command thee this day, to do that which is right in the eyes of the LORD thy God.

Deut. 18:20-22 20 But the prophet, which shall presume to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die. 21 And if thou say in thine heart, How shall we know the word which the LORD hath not spoken? 22 When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him.

Isaiah 43:10-11 10 Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me. 11 I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no saviour.

Isaiah 44:8 8 Fear ye not, neither be afraid: have not I told thee from that time, and have declared it? ye are even my witnesses. Is there a God beside me? yea, there is no God; I know not any.

Amos 3:7 7 Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.

Matt. 7:13-14 13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: 14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

Matt. 16:18 18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

Matt. 18:20 20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

Matt. 24:11 11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.

Matt. 24:24 24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.

Matt. 28:20 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

Luke 20:34-35 34 And Jesus answering said unto them, The children of this world marry, and are given in marriage: 35 But they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage:

John 20:30-31 30 And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: 31 But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.

Acts 17:11-12  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. 12 Therefore many of them believed; also of honourable women which were Greeks, and of men, not a few.

Gal. 1:7-12 7 Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. 9 As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. 10 For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ. 11 But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. 12 For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.

Gal. 5:22-23 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

Ephesians 2 1 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; 2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: 3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. 4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, 5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)  6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: 7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. 11 Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; 12 That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: 13 But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. 4 For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; 15 Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; 16 And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: 17 And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh. 18 For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. 19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; 20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; 21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: 22 In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.

1 Tim. 3:8-12  8 Likewise must the deacons be grave, not double tongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre; 9 Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience. 10 And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless. 11 Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things. 12 Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well.

2 Tim. 2:23-26 23 But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes. 24 And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, 25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;  26 And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.

Titus 3:2-9  2 To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men. For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another.  4 But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, 5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; 6 Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; 7 That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. 8 This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men. 9 But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain.

Hebrews 4:14 Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.

Hebrews 7:26 For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens;

Hebrews 9:11 But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building;

1 John 4:1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.

1 John 5:13  These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.

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Sharing The Faith

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