Christians, Pay Attention to Israel and Jerusalem in 2018

I have had a fascination with Bible prophecy since I was twelve, and have studied it immensely over the past 18 years (not in isolation, but through proven Bible prophecy scholars, such as Perry Stone, Bill Cloud, Rick Renner, Joel Richardson, Jonathan Cahn, Dwane Miller, Donald Perkins, Mark Casto, etc.), as well as being involved in Perry Stone’s Mentoring Institute for Ministry from 2012-2013.

Not all Christians are fascinated with biblical prophecy, and that is completely fine. Around 90% of Christians either do not care about it and/or simply do not understand the concept, patterns, and biblical cycles. Which is also completely okay! We need a diverse church in the sense that some teach the ‘common sense approach’ to God’s Word, some teach the linguistic (Hebrew/Greek) aspects of it, and some teach about Bible prophecy. We need a healthy dose of each. If we have all of one category, we are unbalanced. If we get so wrapped up in Bible prophecy, then we have a hard time relating to others what we are studying. If we only focus on the theological aspects of everything, such as Hebrew/Greek, then we will be filled with so much head-knowledge and can come off as out-of-touch to what people are struggling with in their own spiritual formation. If we only dig into the common sense application of the Word, then we miss out on digging deeper into expository studying of the Word.

It’s amazing to see prophecies being fulfilled in our day. The Bible pinpoints 3 major events that must happen before Jesus Christ returns to the earth.

  1. Israel must become restored as a nation (this happened in 1948)
  2. Jerusalem must again become Israel’s capital city
  3. The gospel must be present in every nation

We have 2 of the 3 fulfilled as of 2017: Israel has been restored, the gospel is present in every nation, though Jerusalem has not been recognized as Israel’s rightful capital city.

If you look at the Jubilee cycle on the Jewish calendar (every 50 years), Israel and the Jewish people get a breakthrough – it’s amazing. (see Lev. 25:1-4; 8-10) Take a look at 1917. It’s the year the Balfour Declaration was issued by the British, enabling Jews to start returning to their homeland. Fast-forward exactly 50 years and you get to 1967. What happened in this year? The Six-Day War, in which Israel was invaded by Egypt, Syria, Jordan, and Iraq. Guess what? Israel won. No surprise there. And, Israel reclaimed the city of Jerusalem. 1967 was another Jubilee year for Israel.

Fast-forward exactly 50 years. You get to the year 2017. That’s where we’re at right now. The start to the next Jubilee year! Can you think of anything significant that’s happened in 2017? I think you may be able to think of a few things…

To set the record straight, I hate politics. Really, I do. But when you deal with Bible prophecy, you deal with two inescapable things:

  1. Nations
  2. Leaders

The Bible has a lot to say about leaders. For example, In Exodus 1, there was a Pharaoh who arose that “knew not Joseph,” meaning, he didn’t understand the covenant that the Hebrew people had with God as a nation. The modern-day type-and-shadow of this is President Obama. He is the only U.S. president who said he wanted to “fundamentally transform America,” given in a speech he made on February 19, 2008. This means that you go to the foundation and rip it away. What was our foundation? The Bible and Christian freedom. As a leader goes, so does the nation (not the other way around). Saul became King over Israel because God handed the people what they wanted, even though Israel did not need a king. In 2008 and 2012, the people of the U.S. got what they wanted.

But it came with a price. Laws contrary to the Word of God have been passed. For the first time, we had a president who was against the nation of Israel, treading into dangerous territory. Now, it’s important to give a leader time, right? After all, you can’t really look at their presidency to get a full picture until it’s all over. Our pastor says that “People will remember how you exit more than they remember how you enter.” Look at the end of 2016, when President Obama promoted a U.S. abstention that allowed the UN to demand that Israel end settlement-building in their own land!

If that doesn’t shock you, think about this: On President Obama’s last day in office as president, he handed over $221 million dollars to the Palestinians. Talk about the way someone exits. The slaps in Israel’s face are not okay. Many Americans still remember the ‘high’ that came to America when Obama’s charisma wooed the Hollywood elite, actors, and celebrities, though starting in 2017 and especially in 2018, Obama’s legacy will begin to unravel. God takes seriously how we treat the nation of Israel. God will not be mocked.

In late 2016 before the U.S. Presidential election, Donald J. Trump announced that he planned to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv back to Jerusalem if he became president. Currently, no nation in the world recognizes Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, save Israel itself. This is significant because the U.S. was the first nation to recognize Israel’s independence in 1948, as President Harry Truman issued his recognition on an airplane the day after Israel declared independence.

We know from the Bible that God does bless those who bless Israel and God’s people. God also blesses nations who bless Israel (see Gen. 12:3). Now, I don’t believe that news stories create Bible prophecy, meaning, I don’t fish for news and then turn it into prophecy to try and fit a jumbled hypotheses – that’s not a sound hermeneutic.

However, it is important to notice the news when it does reflect what’s already mentioned in scripture and when things going on in the world actually do fit the biblical patterns and prophetic cycles.

The election of President Trump in 2016 signified a turning point in the United States for the better. To those Christians reading this, pay attention to what God does with the nation of Israel in 2018.

Why is 2018 important? Well, it is exactly 70 years from when Israel became a nation. 70 is the biblical number for perfection. There were 70 elders appointed by Moses (Num. 11:16). Israel spent 70 years in captivity in Babylon (Jer. 29:10). The number 70 is connected with Jerusalem, in that the city kept 70 years of Sabbaths while Judah was in Babylonian captivity )see Jer. 25:11). Also, a cycle of 70 7’s (seventy sevens – 490 years) were determined upon Jerusalem for it to complete its transgressions, in order to make an end for sins and for everlasting righteousness to enter into it (Dan. 9:24). Terah, Abraham’s father was 70 when he had his first male child. Cainan (a biblical patriarch) had his first son at age 70. The Hebrew people had a total of 70 Israelites that started a nation within a nation (while they were in Egypt) and they grew to over 2 million people by the time of the Exodus.

President Trump turned exactly 70 years, 7 months, and 7 days old on his Inauguration Day on January 20, 2017. This is significant, as we are entering a bracketed period of Rest in the United States. This rest is a specific rest for Christians, as the year 2017 is the year 5777 on the Jewish calendar. Hebrew letters have word meanings, similar to Greek. This is known as Geomatria. An example of this is found in Revelation, when the number of the beast is referred to as ‘666.’ In the Greek text, it doesn’t say 666, it lists the 3 Greek letters that represent those number values.

The year 5777 is a year that Christians need to be watchful and careful for what they say. It’s a year of “Light”, as the meaning of 5777 promotes. On the Jewish calendar, we entered the year 5778 in late September 2017. The year 5778 is a year for tremendous growth and breakthrough. Just watch.

Recently, President Trump announced to the Palestinian Prime Minister Abbas and King Abdullah II of Jordan that he will declare Jerusalem the capital city of Israel. According to the NY Times, President Trump “is expected to sign a national security waiver that would authorize the administration to keep [the U.S. Embassy] in Tel Aviv for an additional six months.” see here This is significant.

Why? 2017 is not the year for Jerusalem to be recognized. 2018 is. This is the Jewish year of 5778. A waiver to keep it in Tel Aviv for another 6 months would place the date in next year, exactly 70 years from 1948, when Israel was recognized.

Back before the election in 2016, I told my wife, “Christians really need to wake up and realize that when a man or woman blesses Israel, watch what happens. God will move on their behalf.”

President Donald Trump is in office for “such a time as this,” and is anointed for this task. Anointing in of itself does not designate that one is saved. It means that someone is called to a specific task that is pre-ordained of God. God called Nebuchadnezzar ‘My servant’ and King Cyrus “my anointed.” These were pagan kings, yet they fulfilled their purposes in Bible prophecy. Had the 2016 election gone the other way, many passive, leftist, and casual ‘Christians’ do not realize that America would have had another 30-40 years of heavy Leftist/Progressive laws against Christians and biblical principles in this nation, via the Supreme Court.

To be bold, as long as President Trump is in office as the U.S. President, we do have an “open window” of opportunity. God has given Christians another opportunity to stand for the Truth. Let it be known that we are not to look to a president or any other man as our hero or savior, however, we can and must understand that God is still on the move in the world and He uses people to bring forth His promises in order to fulfill His prophecies.

This window of opportunity will not last long. It will be for a few years; however, we need to be paying attention. It’s in windows of opportunities that revivals and awakenings occur. Think about what happened in the U.S. after Israel became a nation in 1948? You had healing revivals pouring out all over the United States, especially in the South with Oral Roberts, A.A. Allen, Billy Graham, etc.

Do not expect nations to be rallying in support of the U.S. decision to move their embassy to Jerusalem. A high majority will be against the move. But they are not on the right side of history. The news media complains that such a move will be detrimental to the Middle East Peace process. No, it will actually kick things into gear and prepare us for the Battle of Gog and Magog (Ezekiel 38 and 39 – still down the road) which happens prior to the Great Tribulation. If we diligently read the Bible, we as Christians know how this is going to pan out. Jerusalem does not rightfully belong to the Palestinian Authority, it belongs to Israel. The West Bank territory is the ancient ‘high places’ of the Bible, where Jericho, Bethel, Bethlehem and ancient Judea is located. It belongs to the Jews. Besides, Jerusalem will need to be united, as the Palestinians currently hold East Jerusalem. Pay attention to when Jerusalem unites as one city under the Israeli flag.

The Palestinians do not simply want the West Bank and Gaza, they really want Israel wiped off the map. Look at the Palestinian Authority UN logo and notice how it doesn’t simply display a map of the West Bank, it’s a map of all of Israel, including all Jewish lands:

As Jerusalem will soon be restored as Israel’s capital city, keep in mind that a revival and awakening will follow it. It’s only a matter of time.

Instead of bickering, complaining, whining, and getting offended at what we read in the mainstream media (which has a major anti-Christian bent), why don’t we as Christians start praying for our President? It’s amazing how we hear what the news media says about everything and we believe that it’s gospel truth! Its rather frightening to see so many nominal Christians reading the news as their scripture, then going to work in their Christian organization or workplace and go off on our President and go off on this or that. As we pray, may we be reminded that we do live in a wonderful nation, and we pray: “God, bless America.”

President Trump seems like an ‘extreme’ for many Christians, but the truth is, when someone extreme comes in to make a mess (President Obama), you need an extreme clean up. This is why the election went the way it did. Many Christians don’t realize that it was actually evangelical voters, especially the Amish and Mennonite communities that swung the State of Pennsylvania for President Trump. Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush, Ted Cruz, and Ben Carson would not have been able to have the rigor, authority, and consistent discipline needed to help turn this nation around. We needed a man who was bold, shrewd, wise, and yes, brazen.

It was always interesting for me to hear that there were so many Christians who were so confused as to which side of the aisle’s candidate to vote for. If we look to biblical principles and see how a nation’s laws that are passed can either bring or destroy God’s favor/blessing on our nation, we need to really look at what they stand for. When you boil it down, it’s not difficult to ascertain the answer to the past confusion.

Also, pay attention to Vice President Mike Pence. Keep in mind that the the President’s Evangelical Advisory Board had a lot of influence in President Trump’s campaign. From an source I know, Melania told her husband back in 2015 as they sat in front of the television one night, watching what was going on in the nation: Now is the time. If you run a campaign now, you will win. A high-up, national leader surrounding himself with strong Christians is something to pay attention to. Especially when the name of Jesus Christ was invoked several times by Christian ministers and pastors at the Inauguration in Washington earlier this year.

Christians, gear up.

Prepare.

Pray for repentance.

Seek ye first the Kingdom of God.

We are now seeing so much terrorism, crazy weather, wars and rumors of wars, famines, corruption, etc. Jesus says in Luke 21:28 (NIV): “When these things begin to take place [all at once], stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”

Brothers and sisters in the Lord, we must link arms in the faith. Our common Faith in the Lord is thicker than politics. Let us not be divided by politics. Let us look to the Word of God and let His Word be revealed to us so we can truly understand what is going on in the world around us that so desperately needs the Truth.

Truth comes in and through Jesus Christ alone. When we know the Truth, it is the Truth that sets us free.

(For study materials on this subject, I highly recommend the following books. Readers will be stunned to find that this information was published long before the 2016 Presidential election):

God’s Chaos Candidate: Donald J. Trump and the American Unveiling by Dr. Lance Wallnau (2016)

America’s Controversy with God’s Covenant: America’s Blessings are in Danger of Being Lost by Perry Stone and Bill Cloud (2015)

Prophecies Concealed Now Revealed, Perry Stone (2016)

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“An Ex-Mormon’s Version of the Good Samaritan” (Guest Contributor – Daniel, a former Mormon)

When I left the Mormon Church in October of 2016, my world flipped upside down. Everything I had known and believed about the church I had once revered and adored, albeit for only five years, melted away as the shroud of delusion fell. I felt cold and scared. Although I had only been a member for so short a time, I had done just about everything that a Mormon my age could do. I had advanced through both priesthoods, gone on a two year, foreign language mission to South America, left my family behind again to live in “Zion”- Utah, been a Sunday School teacher, and acted as an ordinance worker in the Provo Temple. Despite how my Evangelical friends and family felt about it, I had been one-hundred percent invested in the Church.

Over the years, I had had many try to sway me and help me see the “error of my ways”. It only made me dig my heels in deeper. Although I now appreciate their efforts at trying to warn me, at the time, it felt more like a personal attack not only against Joseph Smith and my religion, but against me! I just knew it was all true! I had my testimony, my experiences, and my warm, happy feelings as I read The Book of Mormon. Whenever I had any doubts, I would either ask the missionaries and usually be content with their answers, or I would simply ignore it for a time. I really loved being a Latter-day Saint!

It wouldn’t be until the latter part of my mission when things began to slightly unravel for me. I had been placed with a very spoiled and loud-mouthed companion who made short work of turning my district, zone, and mission against me. I literally wanted to die, he had made me so miserable. I began to ever so slightly doubt what the Church taught about Jesus Christ’s Atonement. It took me months to pull myself together, but the damage with the Church had already been done.

Upon returning home, I surprised my family by announcing that, once again, I would be leaving them to move to Utah. I set out in November of 2015, only a month after coming back from my mission. For me, it was like living in Zion… for a little bit, anyway. I slowly began to notice just how uptight and unfriendly many people came off. I often reflected at this, baffled that people living in the center of what I considered the greatest religion in the world could act so cold and far from the teachings of Christ. I became so disappointed in them, that, only a few months into my new ward in September of 2016, I went “inactive”- I quit going. I still believed in it all, but nobody was friendly there. What’s more, my more zealous Mormon co-workers adamantly rejected working on Sundays, leaving me to have to hold the fort. They didn’t care who had to break the Sabbath, as long as it wasn’t them. When I got home at 10 in the morning, dead tired from my shift, I just didn’t have it in me to attend with the people who acted so coldly. Meanwhile, I began to feel abandoned. Everyone who had once encouraged me to move out to Utah, and gave the impression of wanting to be close to me there, went silent. This manifested itself most poignantly at a mission reunion. We celebrated the Indepencence Day of the country we had served in. I had one of my childhood friends from back South visiting me. I had never noticed any racism in the Church until we went to the party. We stopped along the way to get him some cream soda, which he bought in bottles. When we arrived, absolutely nobody spoke to us, except one person from Ecuador. I quickly began to feel awkward, and the time ticked away. We waited until we’d eaten dinner and danced a bit. Suddenly my friend came up to me.

“I don’t feel comfortable here,” he said.

“Why?” I asked.

“Everyone’s glaring at me, and I think it’s because they think I’m drinking beer.”

We instantly left. That incident weighed on my mind for weeks after his departure, as well as why nobody wanted to speak to me. I began to think back to my mission and how my companion had poisoned the watering hole for me. I began to feel depressed. One day, out of curiosity, I Googled something along the lines of “LDS Missionary horror stories”, just to see if anyone else had gone through my experiences. That led me to r/exmormon. At first, I read objectively, not agreeing with their opinions with the church. But I discovered that I secretly agreed with them more than not, in regards to church culture and policies. It stunned me, but I almost felt addicted to the site. I came back for more, all the time maintaining my beliefs, but finding it therapeutic to have someone say what I’d low-key bottled up for years.

One fateful day in late September, I went on and found a huge document leak dumped by a man who had lost his testimony and been fired from the Church Office Building in Salt Lake City. I was so confused, but read the comments about each file. My heart sank, my shelf broke. Inside I found documents about expenditures and budgets of general authorities. They had allotted thousands of dollars for the best furniture for homes where the “Lord’s Anointed” would be staying in their travels. Laid out in spread sheets and registers were policies about how long a flight would have to be for them to fly first class. It discussed how the children of mission presidents would get full scholarships. Worst of all was a scale of how faithful members were considered to the higher-ups. It was based off of income. Despite all I had done for the Church, the sacrifices I had made, and how much effort I had made to be a “good Mormon”, according to their numbers, I was one of the weakest members.

I was done. I knew that I could never go back to be the Mormon I had been. Too much had been tarnished from these document leaks. I no longer saw the Quorum of the Twelve, nor Thomas S. Monson as the Lord’s spokesmen, nor even just good men. I kept thinking about Matthew 8:20, where Jesus said, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.” What made them think they deserved better than their boss? I thought also of how Jesus approached Jerusalem in His “Triumphal Entry” on a humble donkey. Yet these impostors get to fly first class? My mind swirled as I remembered living several months of my mission in what was called “the container”, an incomprehensibly small home with space only for two to live in. I felt angry and betrayed- and I would for a long time. I will never forget the day when someone on Facebook posted a picture of Thomas S. Monson and all I wanted to do was release my stinging tears and scream.

A few nights after the document leak, I had a panic attack at work. I got through it, but later tearfully tried to get a hold of one of my good friends for a blessing. He didn’t answer, so I called one of my old missionaries who lived relatively close by. I went over and gave him the whole spiel. He berated me, to my horror, for getting into “anti-Mormon sources”. He explained away the documents as being forgeries, and told me I knew better. I ended up getting the blessing, but I left his house knowing that things would never be the same. Shortly after that, someone on r/exmormon told me to read No Man Knows My History. Until that point, I had held out hope that Joseph Smith at least would be a good man, and the modern leaders had been the ones to lead the church astray. The book ended up acting as a cannon, aimed directly at the last of my testimony, and firing point blank. I was horrified at what I read, but understood that it was factual and the truth. I decided to quit paying tithing, quit wearing my garments, and quit being Mormon.

 

I felt almost gross and sticky, oddly enough. My eyes had been opened to the rotten core of that which I had put all of my belief and being into. I delved farther and farther into Mormon studies, and came across more and more relics of information that had been suppressed. I began to look into the sources I had once vehemently pushed away and disregarded. I had undoubtedly been lied to, and had inadvertently lied to yet others. I had to talk to someone, and badly. Up to that point, I had nobody to speak with about this catastrophic event. I reached out to two friends of mine who had been very good Christians. One was a missionary for the Baptist Church, the other a youth pastor at a Pentecostal Church. To my great disappointment, for all of their imploring and pleading for me to leave over the years, I found them either unequipped to deal with someone leaving the Mormon Church, or indifferent. Both gave me platitudes (“Oh, how terrible! I’m so sorry you’ve gone through this!”), but didn’t really do anything to help me or alleviate my suffering. In fact, it almost felt like they were saying, “Didn’t I tell you that being Mormon would only lead to heartache and betrayal?” Even my own family failed to offer any real help. All of them had been so focused on trying to get me out that they hadn’t thought about what I would need when I did.

When someone leaves Mormonism, the odds are against them. A survey conducted on r/exmormon a few years ago showed that a little over three quarters of those who leave the Mormon Church wander into atheism or agnosticism. Less than 11% find themselves in a Christian Church. On one occasion, I got to hear Lynn Wilder, of Adam’s Road Ministry, speak at the Utah Lighthouse Ministry. As she discussed her newest project, a book about professors and well-known degree-holders who left Mormonism and found the real Jesus, she bemoaned to us that so many had become at best agnostic. In all of her searching, she found only four others who had become Christians, one of whom declined her invitation to be a part of her project. It’s truly a sad epidemic.

I have considered my experience as something of a real-life version of the Good Samaritan, found in Luke 10:30-37. Here I was, the traveler, just going about my way. I had been robbed, beaten, and stripped of everything, including my identity, by the Mormon Church, whom I would obviously consider the robbers of the parable. Along the way came a Priest and a Levite, whom I would consider my family and friends in the ministry- people who should have been able to help me and pull me up, and could have, but failed to for whatever reason. Along would come some very important people that would act as the Good Samaritan.

After Elder Ballard threatened members of the church that they’d have nowhere to go and would be nothing without the church, I remembered having read about a woman who published many books on Mormonism, and had gotten heavy criticism from the Church. I found the address to the Utah Lighthouse Ministry, and set off immediately after work one day. I sat down with Sandra Tanner a mere two weeks after leaving. She was the first person I had talked to face to face about my departure from the church. I felt incredibly nervous going to speak to her, because her reputation certainly preceded her. However, once she sat me down at her desk, the hours flew by. I opened completely up to her, about all of my fears, my anger and feelings of betrayal, my doubts and criticisms of the church. Speaking with her was honestly better than any interview I had ever had with a bishop. Her wit calmed me down. She helped me figure out what I could do to start my life off fresh and free from the bondage of the LDS Church. I discovered from her that those tiny doubts I had had, but shelved years ago and on my mission, actually had solid reasoning and were in fact worth being concerned about. I ended up buying one of her books, Major Problems of Mormonism, and took several copies of her newsletters. I devoured them.

In short time after that, while searching for info on the temple, I clicked a link that took me to Latter-Day Sense Evangelism Ministry. I didn’t read any of the articles, but I did read the biography of Adam Dommeyer. I was impressed at his story, since I had been in his shoes but not backed out. I sent him an email, and a few weeks later, we chatted for a few hours on the phone. I cannot describe how healed I felt when I got off the line. He listened to me rant, tell of my story, doubts, he laughed with me, sympathized with me, and answered any questions I had, right down to what Bible translation would be a good one to get- and where to find one in Utah.

Both Sandra Tanner and Adam Dommeyer became my Good Samaritans. Had it not been for them and their subsequent conversations with me, who knows how things would have gone?

I feel strongly that Christians have every good intention. I have since gone to two non-denominational churches and found nothing but love and ready fellowship from the body of Christ. Christians understand the dangers and sad path that Mormonism presents to it’s adherents. However, I also feel that they’re unprepared to help them out.

At the risk of sounding like Elder Jeffrey Holland, who once told us in a devotional I attended that we were living in an unprecedented time… we’re living in an unprecedented time.  There are almost daily blows against the church now. From what I have seen, they are getting antsy and nervous. The game is up. More and more people are fleeing the church, and it’s a trend that I don’t think is going to end. As Christians, we need to be better prepared to receive them. We need fewer Levites and Priests, and more Samaritans- and you’d better believe that Mormons, though they’d never say it, feel the same towards you as ancient Jews did towards their neighbors. There are more and more innocent travelers, traversing this life, who have been beaten and robbed by the LDS church. If we leave them like the two aforementioned groups, the odds are likely that they’ll slip away.

This begs the question- how can we be Good Samaritans to those who make the excruciating decision to be true to themselves and leave the church? I think it would be good to answer that with examples.

What did the Utah Lighthouse Ministry and Latter-Day Sense Evangelism Ministry have in contrast to the missionary and youth pastor? In a word, empathy. Whereas I almost got the vibe that the former two couldn’t be bothered with my time, Tanner and Dommeyer understood where I had come from. They didn’t just yearn to yank another person from the Mormon Church, they took time to listen to my issues, console me (because, believe me, leaving Mormonism almost has to be treated like the passing of a loved one), and see to it that I would be alright- just as the Samaritan did for the traveler by cleaning his wounds, taking him to an inn, and making sure he’d be taken care of. Just as the Samaritan returned later to check up on the traveler, I would get occasional texts and calls from Adam to see how I was doing. When I’d return to Sandra’s book shop, we would converse as I perused the shelves. I never heard from the other two again. A while after, I told an Evangelical co-worker of mine about how I left, and she invited me to her church, introduced me to her pastor, and has given me a near-constant shoulder to cry on. She frequently passes me reading suggestions in the Bible and has become more scholarly with Mormonism, so she can help me and others.

It seems to be a retelling of the famous joke about the Jehovah’s Witness missionaries who knock on so many doors, only to be speechless when let in- they try and exhort, and do their best to help the Mormons see the truth, but don’t know what to do when they actually leave.

Be there for them! It’s that simple. Don’t assume that because they seem fine one day they’re past the trauma and heartache. It comes and goes. Help them along every step of the way to coming to the real, Biblical Gospel of Jesus Christ. Talk to them, share your love and appropriate Bible scriptures. Help them learn Christianity. Be their friend and confidant. Adam and my co-worker have been life-savers to me, because living in Utah has meant needing to live in near-silence about my situation. Often times, a person will go into the stages of grief. I was blessed to have people walk me through my anger stage, and lift me up enough to help other friends out as well. I am now ready to move back home in very short time, find myself a good, Bible-believing church, and put Mormonism completely behind me. That doesn’t happen to many people, and I suspect most of that is due to the majority of ex-Mormon circles essentially being psych wards being run by the patients. An Ex-Mormon has to restructure everything about themselves when they leave. I have been to both Christian and secular post-Mormonism meetups, and can say without a doubt that those who decided not to give up on the Lord after leaving seem to be much better guided, have more hope and optimism, and are better-grounded. They seem excited about life. An incredibly sad number in the secular circles seem to stay perpetually in the anger stage.

Please entertain the idea that, if you know anybody struggling with Mormonism, that the Lord has placed you in their path. Be the Good Samaritan that they so desperately need. You could be the one that helps them find the More Abundant Life. If you’re currently helping someone questioning the teachings and doctrine of the LDS church, please be patient with them, and be prepared to help them through every single step of the way. Help them understand that even if they have been betrayed by wolves in sheep’s clothing, the Lord is still there for them, ready to give them authentic love and rest. I am so incredibly grateful for the people that the Lord has placed in my path to be able to overcome the abuse, heartache, and fear from the church. I have been able to find real and true peace since leaving through Jesus Christ. I hope that more of those in my shoes may also know these feelings.

My List of 150 Serious Questions for Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

I try to keep my articles short. However, below is a list of questions that I have put together for Mormons to ask themselves. I urge any Latter-day Saint (Mormon) to read through this list of questions pertaining to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The LDS Church wants its members to only engage with “faith-promoting” questions, sources, and websites. However, to be well-rounded, it’s completely fine to ask the hard questions. We are not, as Elder Uchdorf once advised Mormons in the October Session of the 2013 General Conference, to “first doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith.” Doubting our doubts really means sweeping them under the rug. We should bring up our doubts and talk through them. Bring on the challenges! LDS President J. Reuben Clark once said, “If we have the truth, it cannot be harmed by investigation. If we have not the truth, it ought to be harmed.” LDS Prophet George Albert Smith said: “If a faith will not bear to be investigated; if its preachers and professors are afraid to have it examined, their foundation must be very weak.” Let that sink in as you read through these questions. In other words, if Mormonism does not have the truth, Mormon leaders say it ought to be harmed. As you let the list below sink in, think about the implications of what this really means. LDS leaders do not like when their members ask hard questions. They see asking questions as doubting. General Authorities likes to give the local administration (bishops and stake presidents) charge of answering questions, as they are not equipped to provide public answers to many disturbing questions that sincere Latter-day Saints are asking. This is not a list of three or four questions. This is a laundry list. There are so many problems with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. If the Mormon Church was really true, there wouldn’t be this many issues. Yet, there are many serious issues. My wife was shocked (though not surprised) that it only took a few days for me to put together a list of this many questions. The fact that it didn’t take long to draw up a list like this should say something. Mormonism is either 100% true, or 100% false. Read the list below, and you decide:

  1. How do you reconcile a “restored gospel” by the angel Moroni to Joseph Smith in light of Galatians 1:8-9 where the Apostle Paul says, “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. 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?”
  2. Why was the angel who supposedly appeared to Joseph Smith originally named the “Angel Nephi” and later changed to the Angel Moroni? What does this say about trusting the origins of Mormonism? (see Times and Seasons, 3:753)
  3. According to D&C 132:15-17, worthy people who marry for time and eternity receive godhood after they die. Ones who did not get married for time and eternity become angels. Verse 17 says, “For these angels did not abide my law; therefore, they cannot be enlarged, but remain separately and singly, without exaltation, in their saved condition, to all eternity; and from henceforth are not gods, but are angels of God forever and ever.” Why did God send Moroni, an angel, to Joseph Smith, someone who ‘did not abide [God’s] law’, rather than a mortal who became a God? Why are there statues of an angel on LDS temples of a being who did not abide in God’s law?
  4. Why is there no archaeological evidence in support of the Book of Mormon? There is no record of the city of Zarahemla, the Land of Lehi-Nephi, or any buildings, engravings, etc. that would suggest the Nephites or Lamanites actually existed. The Bible has so much evidence to back it up. We can go to the cities of Jericho, Jerusalem, Nazareth, and other places mentioned in the Bible, which helps to substantiate the Bible’s claims.
  5. If Joseph Smith started the LDS Church on April 6, 1830, why is there no record of priesthood authority being around until 1832, if authority was needed to establish the “Church of Christ” in 1830? What does that say about the ‘line of authority’ since then? It means it really didn’t come from Jesus, to Peter, James, John, to Joseph Smith, then all the way down. It was created by Sidney Ridgon, who influenced Joseph Smith to incorporate a priesthood system in the early 1830’s. Historian LaMar Petersen explained, “The important details that are missing from the ‘full history’ [of priesthood restoration] of 1834 are likewise missing from the Book of Commandments in 1833. The student would expect to find all the particulars of the Restoration in this first treasured set of 65 revelations, the dates of which encompassed the bestowals of the two Priesthoods, but they are conspicuously absent…. The notable revelations on Priesthood in the Doctrine and Covenants, Sections 2 and 13, are missing, and Chapter 28 gives no hint of the Restoration which, if actual, had been known for four years. More than four hundred words were added to this revelation [on priesthood] of August 1829 (Section 27 of the Doctrine and Covenants). The new material added the names of heavenly visitors and two separate ordinations. The Book of Commandments listed the duties of Elders, Priests, Teachers, and Deacons and refers to Joseph’s apostolic calling but there is no mention of Melchizedek Priesthood, High Priesthood, Seventies, High Priests, or High Councilors. These words were later inserted into the revelation on Church organization and government of April, 1830, making it appear that they were known at that date. But they do not appear in the original, Chapter 24 of the Book of Commandments three years later. Similar interpolations were made in the revelations known as Sections 42 and 68.” (Problems in Mormon Text, by LaMar Petersen, pp. 7-8. See also Gregory A. Prince, Power on High: The Development of the Mormon Priesthood, Signature Books, 1995. D. Michael Quinn, Mormon Hierarchy: Origins of Power, Chapter 1, “The Evolution of Authority.” The Changing Story of Mormonism, Chapter 16).
  6. D&C 84:21-22 says, “And without the ordinances thereof, and the authority of the priesthood, the power of godliness is not manifest unto men in the flesh; For without this no man can see the face of God, even the Father, and live.” Authority was supposedly given to Joseph Smith in 1829 by John the Baptist and Peter, James, and John, yet Joseph Smith claimed to see Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ in 1820 without this priesthood. Why didn’t Joseph Smith die in 1820, since v. 22 says no man can see the face of God and live? Since Joseph Smith really didn’t have any sort of priesthood until 1832, and v. 21 says that there’s no power of godliness without authority, that means that the founding of Joseph Smith’s church in 1830 did not have either authority or the ‘power of godliness.’ What does this mean if you’re a priesthood-holding male member? It means the authority you have did not really get passed down from Jesus. The good news is that the New Testament does say all believers in Jesus Christ have a “royal priesthood” and we automatically have access to God because we are a believer. The LDS priesthood is not real and is not authoritative.
  7. Why are there up to 11 versions of the First Vision, and why were these versions not made public in LDS circles until recently? What does this say about Joseph Smith’s trustworthiness when it comes to his claims? Why would the LDS Church hide this for so long from their members?
  8. Mormonism says that John the Revelator never died and is still alive today, according to D&C section 7. Why then does official LDS Church News say that John appeared to Joseph Smith as a “resurrected being”? You can’t be both alive-and-never-died and died-but-then-resurrected at the same time. (See Church News, October 6, 2007, pages 8-9)
  9. If the LDS Church is God’s restored church on earth today and claims that its practices are in alignment with the New Testament church, why is no evidence of baptism for the dead practiced by New Testament-era Christians? In 1 Corinthians 15:29, Paul uses third person when describing those who practiced baptisms for the dead, signifying that it was “they” practicing it, not “we” as in Christian believers.
  10. If bishops in the LDS Church use ‘discernment’ in writing temple recommends for ‘worthy’ Mormons, why are some written for members who are not active members or recommends that are forged, allowing those members to enter the temple? If bishops are supposed to be ‘Judges in Israel’ of their own wards, why do they allow some non-worthy Mormons to enter the temples? Even if the non-worthy member lies, should the bishop not be able to discern through those lies? What does this say about the discernment of LDS leaders on all levels? See Mike Norton’s (a.k.a “NewNameNoah” on YouTube) interview on John Dehlin’s Mormon Stories. See here: link
  11. In Mormonism, the Father and the Son are distinct and separate persons. Luke 10:22 notes this: “All things are delivered to me of my Father: and no man knoweth who the Son is, but the Father; and who the Father is, but the Son, and he to whom the Son will reveal him.” If this is the case, why does the Joseph Smith Translation (JST) of Luke 10:22 say the following: “…that the Son is the Father, and the Father is the Son…” ? Joseph Smith’s “restored” version of Luke 10:22 says that the Son is the Father and the Father is the Son. Even Mormons recognize this isn’t true. What does this say about Joseph Smith’s “translation” of the Bible? Joseph’s own re-translation does not line up with his own view of the Godhead.
  12. Why did LDS Apostle John Taylor (later to be the 3rd Prophet over the LDS Church) lie to Protestant ministers in a debate in France in 1850 when he quoted the D&C section 101 at the time which said men should only have one wife, and women should only have one husband, when he himself had 12 wives at the time? (see Orson Pratt’s Works, 1851 edition). He boldly denied Mormons practiced polygamy, when they had been for almost a decade. Why the deception?
  13. The Mormon Church was called “Church of Christ” from 1830-1834. Then, “The Church of the Latter Day Saints” from 1834-1838. Then, “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints” from 1838-present. Since Mormons believe the name “Jesus Christ” is essential to their church being the only true church, why was Christ’s name missing from the church’s official name from 1834-1838?
  14. If Mormonism is not a cult, then why does the “Strengthening Church Members Committee” (formed after 1985) exist and use big-brother tactics to let General Authorities know which members are publishing, posting, and in agreement with non-Mormon or anti-Mormon materials?
  15. Three LDS prophets have said that it’s better to die resisting a rapist than it is to be raped and then survive (what they consider losing one’s chastity). In Miracle of Forgiveness, LDS Prophet Spencer W. Kimball says, “It is better to die in defending one’s virtue than to live having lost it without a struggle.” The Prophet David O. McKay is quoted in President Kimball’s book as follows: ”…Your virtue is worth more than your life. Please young folk, preserve your virtue even if you lose your lives.’ The Prophet Heber J. Grant is also quoted in President Kimball’s book:’…There is no true Latter-day Saint who would not rather bury a son or daughter than to have him or her lose his or her chastity — realizing that chastity is of more value than anything else in all the world.’ Why is it better for a woman to die resisting a rapist than live?
  16. LDS leaders have taught that we should listen to a Mormon prophet even if he is wrong. Why? Apostle Marion G. Romney quoted Prophet Heber J. Grant as saying: “I was taken back in my thoughts a quarter of a century to an experience I had with President Heber J. Grant. We were discussing some criticism that had been directed against an action taken by him in his official capacity. Putting his arm across my back and resting his hand on my left shoulder, he said, ‘My boy, you always keep your eye on the President of the Church, and if he tells you to do something wrong, and you do it, the Lord will bless you for it.'” (“The Covenant of the Priesthood,” Ensign, July 1972. Also in Conference Report, October 1960, p. 78) Why should we follow a lie?
  17. Why did LDS Prophet Gordon B. Hinckley lie in his interview on Larry King Live? He said “We never speak negatively of other churches.” See this statement at 31:15 in the video on the following link. Prophet John Taylor said: “Christianity… is a perfect pack of nonsense… the devil could not invent a better engine to spread his work than the Christianity of the nineteenth century.”  (Journal of Discourses, v. 6, p. 167)  LDS Apostle Bruce R. McConkie said, “Believers in the doctrines of modern Christendom will reap damnation to their souls.” (Mormon Doctrine, pp. 45-46)  McConkie also said: “…the Book of Mormon remains secure, unchanged and unchangeable, …But with the Bible it was not and is not so….it was once in the sole and exclusive care and custody of an abominable organization [Christianity], founded by the devil himself, likened prophetically unto a great whore, whose great aim and purpose was to destroy the souls of men in the name of religion. In these hands it ceased to be the book it once was.” (The Joseph Smith Translation, pp. 12, 13) This is pretty damning.
  18. Why is it that the LDS Church does not make its financial records public and also what it does with its tithe money? If you walk into any church, whether Presbyterian, Lutheran, Methodist, Baptist, Catholic, or non-denominational church, they will give you a layout of where their funds go. Not the LDS Church. If there is nothing to hide, why not be transparent?
  19. Why don’t modern Mormon prophets actually prophesy? They give Joel Osteen-styled General Conference messages and talk about childhood memories and “be-the-best-you!”-type sermons, but as prophets and apostles, why not prophesy?
  20. From 1985-2011, the LDS Church has spent $1.4 billion on Welfare and Humanitarian efforts. (see link) Why did the LDS Church spend $1.5 billion on building City Creek Center shopping mall (which included a $50 million retractable glass roof) across from Temple Square? Why did they spend more money on a ritzy shopping center than they have on humanitarian efforts over the past 26 years? Look at the comparison. That’s sickening.
  21. Why couldn’t the Mormon General Authorities, including the First Presidency, not discern that Mark Hoffman forged supposed Mormon historical documents that the Church bought from him back in the 1980’s before they were told it was a fraud?
  22. Paul says in Ephesians 3:21: “unto Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.” Since we are promised Jesus Christ will be with His church “throughout all ages, world without end,” why do you believe in the Great Apostasy?
  23. If God showed up to Joseph Smith in 1820 and told him all other churches were false, why did Joseph Smith try joining a local Methodist Church in 1828, right at the time he was translating the Book of Mormon and two years before he founded the “Church of Christ” in 1830? Also, don’t you find it interesting that the Methodist church he tried entering denied him membership because he was a necromancer and practiced magic?
  24. Why did Joseph Smith use the same seer stone to ‘translate’ the Book of Mormon that he did when he deceived people by using the seer stone for money-digging on their properties?
  25. Why are Mormons who come from a Pioneer heritage or those who come from a multi-generational Mormon family oftentimes given a higher status than those who are recent converts to the church?
  26. Do you not see that it’s not a mere coincidence that Utah ranks high in anti-depressant use, pornography use, divorce rate, financial fraud, etc., and it’s implications that the stress of climbing toward perfection has on LDS members?
  27. Why does the LDS Church dance around controversial issues, rather than come out in support or against something? For example, in August 2017, the LDS Church publicly supported the pro-LGBT Love LOUD Concert held in Provo, Utah. Yet they do not allow children who live in LDS same-sex households to be baptized into the LDS Church until they are 18. The LDS Church has brought confusion. When will it be honest about what it really thinks?
  28. Why did Joseph Smith say there were no Greek words in the Book of Mormon, when the Book of Mormon is littered with Greek words and words that were derived from Greek origins, such as baptize and church?
  29. Why would Joseph Smith marry Orson Hyde’s living wife, Marinda Nancy Johnson, when Orson was away on a mission in Jerusalem?
  30. In the Old Testament, God rejected the fig leaf aprons which Adam and Eve created for themselves (see Gen. 3:21). Why do Mormons commemorate the Fall by using fig leaf aprons in LDS temple ceremonies, since fig leaf aprons symbolize man’s disobedience from God?
  31. Why did Joseph Smith preach against polygamy in October 1843 after he got his revelation in July 1843 commanding the practice? (See D&C 132 and History of the Church 6:46, and Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 324)
  32. Since the veil of the temple was ripped in two after Christ died on the cross (signifying we now have access to Jesus Christ, our only High Priest), why does the LDS Church put the veil back up in their temples?
  33. Why are there both masonic and satanic symbols on the Salt Lake Temple and the Nauvoo Temple (such as the pentagram, sunstones, moonstones, all-seeing eye, stars, hand-clasps, cloudstones)?
  34. If the Book of Mormon is against “secret combinations”, then why did Joseph Smith join the Masonic Lodge and become a Master Mason and incorporate Masonic ceremonies into the LDS temple that involve “secret combinations” such as handshakes/tokens and disturbing oaths?
  35. Is murder a forgivable sin in Mormonism? The Book of Mormon says yes (see 3 Nephi 30:2, Alma 39:6 and in the Bible at Matthew 12:31 and Jeremiah 33:8. See even Journal of Discourses 6:8). Doctrine and Covenants says no (D&C 42:18 and Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 339). Which is it?
  36. In JS-History 1:22-23, Joseph Smith says that his telling of the First Vision caused him great persecution “…my telling the story had excited a great deal of prejudice against me… all [the churches] united to persecute me.” However, Sidney Rigdon and Edward Partidge learned the following in Dec. 1830: “Upon inquiring among the neighbors concerning the Smith family, they found their reputation had been impeccable until Joseph had made known his discovery of the Book of Mormon [after 1823, at least three years later].” (see Church History In The Fulness of Times, 2000 edition, p 82). When, then, was Joseph Smith and his family persecuted, right after the First Vision, like the first reference, or right after his discover of the gold plates, three years later? Why was the Smith family’s reputation “impeccable” until the angel Moroni story, if Joseph Smith said he was heavily persecuted in 1820? Joseph Smith lied. This goes to show that the First Vision never occurred.
  37. Why does the LDS Church teach that God’s love is both unconditional and conditional? The First Presidency, Elder Ronald E. Poelman, and Apostle Marvin J. Ashton said God’s love is unconditional (see First Presidency Message: “With an Eye Single to His Glory,” Ensign, Dec. 1971, “God’s Love for Us Transcends our Transgressions,” Ensign, May 1982, p. 27, and “We Serve That Which We Love,” Ensign, May 1981, p. 22). Apostle Russell M. Nelson says God’s love is conditional. (See “Divine Love,” Ensign, Feb. 2003, p. 20)
  38. Why does Mormon 8:32 say that false churches will tell you that your sins are forgiven if you pay them money, yet D&C 64:23 says that those who pay tithing to the church will “not be burned” (presumably because their sins will have been forgiven)?
  39. Why does D&C 42:71-73 say that elders, high priests, and bishops should receive “remuneration” and support for their services, yet 2 Nephi 26:31, Mosiah 27:5, 18:24, Alma 1:2-3, 1:20, 30:32-35 (and Acts 20:33-34, 2 Cor. 11:9, 2 Thess. 3:8) say that ministers should support themselves?
  40. Why does Mormonism teach that the Garden of Eden was located both in the state of Missouri and in the Middle East? D&C 116 says that it was located at Adam-ondi-Ahman, near Spring Hill, Missouri (see also D&C 78:15, 107:53-57, and History of the Church 3:35), while Moses 3:10-15 (which agrees with Joseph Smith’s “inspired” translation of Genesis 2:10-15) says it was located in the vicinity of Assyria and Ethiopia, near the Euphrates River. So, which is it?
  41. Why does Joseph Smith teach that one of the tests of a false prophet and false revelation is that it contradicts an earlier revelation (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 215), yet Prophet Ezra Taft Benson said in his 19890 sermon “Fourteen Fundamentals” that: “Third: The Living Prophet is more important to us than a dead prophet… Beware of those who would pit the dead prophets against the living prophets, for the living prophets always take precedence.” Which is it?
  42. Joseph Smith taught that the temple ordinances can never be changed. “The order of the House of God has been and ever will be the same, even after Christ comes, and after the termination of the thousand years it will be the same;…” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 91). “Ordinances instituted in the heavens before the foundation of the world, in the priesthood, for the salvation of men, are not to be altered or changed.” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p 308) “…the ordinances must be kept in the very way God has appointed; otherwise their priesthood will prove a cursing instead of a blessing.” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 169) Why have LDS Church leaders made numerous important changes to the temple ordinances? For example:
    1. about 1912 – eliminated the “Oath of Vengeance”
    2. in the 1930s – softened the wording of the penalties
    3. in the 1960s – changed the garment pattern to be worn in the temple
    4. 1990 – removed the penalties entirely, changed the Second Sign of the Melchizedek Priesthood, removed the Five Points of Fellowship, changed the Law of Obedience for women
    5. 2005 – reduced the actual washing and anointing to a symbolic daubing on the forehead
    6. Hundreds of minor changes have also been made over the years. (see Richard Packham’s “Major Contradictions in Mormonism” for more details)
  43. Why does the Book of Mormon teach that “the Lord” dwells in the heart of a righteous person (Alma 34:36), yet D&C 130:3 says that the “idea that the Father and the Son dwell in a man’s heart” is false?
  44. Why does D&C 27:11 and the Endowment Ceremony in the LDS temples say that Adam and Michael are the same personages, yet Joseph Smith recorded in his diary from Jan. 21, 1836, that he “saw father Adam and Abraham and Michael…” naming all three of them as separate personages? This vision was included in the D&C as Section 137, but the reference to Michael was later deleted. What does this say?
  45. Why does Mormonism teach that God the Father and God the Son are separate personages, yet their scriptures also teach they are the same personage? D&C 130:22, JS-History 1:17, and Lectures on Faith, 5 say they are separate personages. Yes Mosiah 15:1, Ether 3:14, and the 1830 version of 1 Nephi 11:21 and 1 Nephi 13:40 say they are the same personage. Which is it?
  46. Mormon historian Richard L. Bushman said the following: “Now, most historians, Mormon or not, who work with the sources, accept as fact Joseph Smith’s career as village magician. Too many of his closest friends and family admitted as much, and some of Joseph’s own revelations support the contention.” (“Treasure-seeking Then and Now,” Sunstone, v. 11, September 1987, p. 5). Since Joseph Smith was a magician, how do you reconcile this with Deut. 18:10-12, Isaiah 47:12-14, and Lev. 19:31? Joseph Smith cannot be both a magician and a prophet of God simultaneously.
  47. The Bible warns of people who deal with familiar spirits and who “peep”. Joseph Smith used a seer stone, also known as a “peep stone.” What does this mean in light of Isaiah 8:19 that says “And when they shall say unto you, Seek unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto wizards that peep, and that mutter: should not a people seek unto their God?” We should not be accepting of someone who deals with familiar spirits.
  48. What are 1769 King James Version edition errors doing in the Book of Mormon, supposedly an ancient text? These errors are in the 1769 version of the KJV Bible that Joseph Smith owned. See Isaiah 9:1 and 2 Nephi 19:1. In these verses, the words “shall, be, was, and by” are italicized in the KJV and were not in the original manuscripts of the Bible, yet they are word-for-word in the Book of Mormon text. (see also Malachi 3:10 and 3 Nephi 24:10 – the words there shall, be room, to receive it, are not in the original text). If the Book of Mormon really is an ancient document, why does it have KJV errors in its text? It’s not a mere coincidence that Joseph Smith owned a 1769 KJV Bible and those errors happened to be in his Book of Mormon text. He copied the Bible into the Book of Mormon.
  49. What does it say about the Book of Mormon’s credibility when every single member of Joseph Smith’s family endorsed, joined, and sustained James J. Strang as a “Prophet, Seer, and Revelator” after Joseph Smith died? James J. Strang claimed to have brought forth more “ancient” plates, later to be found out as a fraud. What does this say about Joseph Smith’s family members and how they were easily duped, as well as their credibility when it comes to being Book of Mormon witnesses?
  50. Why did Joseph Smith marry 11 women who were currently married to other men at the time Joseph Smith married them?
  51. If the sealing power was not restored until April 3, 1836 (when Elijah appeared to Joseph Smith in the Kirtland Temple), why does LDS historian Richard L. Bushman say that “there is evidence that Joseph was a polygamist by 1835,” (Rough Stone Rolling, 323) when polygamous marriages were rooted in “sealing” for time and eternity? This means that Joseph’s marriages prior to 1835 did not have the “sealing” authority.
  52. Why did Joseph Smith threaten 3 girls (Zina Huntington, Almera Woodard Johnson, and Mary Lightner) by saying he would be slain by an angel with a drawn sword if they would not enter into a marriage with him?
  53. Why did Joseph Smith marry young girls who were living in his home as foster daughters? (the Lawrence sisters, Partridge Sisters, Fanny Alger, and Lucy Walker)
  54. In D&C 132, there is an emphasis on the first wife knowing about plural wives of her husband, and needing her consent. Why was Emma Smith, Joseph Smith’s first wife, clueless about most of Joseph’s marriages? This means that Joseph Smith violated D&C 132.
  55. Joseph Smith had taken over 30 plural wives by May of 1844. Why does he lie and make this denial in History of the Church 6:411 when he says, “…What a thing it is for a man to be accused of committing adultery, and having seven wives, when I can only find one. I am the same man, and as innocent as I was fourteen years ago; and I can prove them all perjurers”?
  56. Joseph Smith claimed to translate the Kinderhook plates. (History of the Church, 5:372). The plates turned out to be a hoax. (see Ensign, August 1981, “Kinderhook Plates Brought to Joseph Smith Appear to Be a Nineteenth-Century Hoax,” Stanley B. Kimball). What does this say about Joseph Smith’s translating abilities?
  57. Why are there thousands of changes made to the Book of Mormon, and even thousands more to Doctrine and Covenants? See the changes here: link
  58. Do you agree with Prophet Spencer W. Kimball who said the following: “It is an act of extreme selfishness for a married couple to refuse to have children when they are able to do so”? (Conference Report, April 1979, p. 6) As a married Mormon, are you okay without birth control, continuing to have more and more children even if you cannot financially afford to or do not even have the time and space to produce an endless amount of offspring?
  59. Why are the following animals in the Book of Mormon mentioned as being in North America between 2200 BC and 421 AD, when they had not come around until after the Middle Ages? These include: asses, bulls, calves, cattle, cows, domestic goats, and horses. John Sorenson, LDS Apologist says in a FARMS article: “The terms cattle, horses, sheep and so on are mentioned at several points in the Nephite record. And it is dismaying to some who wish to be dismayed, I believe and a few others who (honestly) wish an answer could be provided why there are not cows like we mean cows, horses like we mean horses, sheep like we mean sheep. The fact is that all the ancient studies say those animals simply were not present in the New World. Period. They were not here.” What does this say about the reliability of the Book of Mormon concerning these animals? LDS apologists say horses could have really been tapirs or deer. Really?
  60. Why does the LDS Church teach that Mormons fled Kirtland, Ohio because of persecution, when they really fled because of Joseph Smith’s failed banking ventures with his own Kirtland Safety Society bank?
  61. If Mormons all around the world viewed their Prophet in Salt Lake City as God’s mouthpiece, then why would German Mormons view Hitler as God’s instrument? Alan F. Keele and Douglas F. Tobler mention: “Some Church members even saw Hitler as God’s instrument, preparing the world for the millennium.” (“The Fuhrer’s New Clothes: Helmuth Hübener and the Mormons in the Third Reich,” Sunstone, v. 5, no. 6, pp. 20-29)
  62. The Apostle Paul teaches us in Romans 12:19, “Do not avenge yourselves, beloved, but leave room for God’s wrath. For it is written: ‘Vengeance is Mine, I will repay, says the Lord.'” Given that vengeance is the Lord’s, and not ours, why is it that LDS participants in the endowment ritual in the LDS temples (from 1845 until the 1930’s) would give an “oath of vengeance”, in which participants vowed to pray that God would avenge the blood of the Prophet Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum Smith, who were murdered by a mob in 1844?
  63. Why did Joseph Smith brag that he did a work greater than Jesus Christ? In History of the Church 6:408-409, Joseph Smith said the following: “Come on! ye prosecutors! ye false swearers! All hell, boil over! Ye burning mountains, roll down your lava! for I will come out on the top at last. 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. You know my daily walk and conversation. I am in the bosom of a virtuous and good people. How I do love to hear the wolves howl! When they can get rid of me, the devil will also go.” Also, what does it say to you when Joseph Smith says that when Mormons will get rid of him, the devil will flee?
  64. In 1963, LDS Prophet Joseph Fielding Smith said: “I would not want you to believe that we bear any animosity toward the Negro. ‘Darkies’ are wonderful people, and they have their place in our church.” (Look Magazine, Oct. 22, 1963, pg. 79). This is your ‘prophet’ speaking. How do you feel about his statement toward African Americans? Does it make you feel uncomfortable?
  65. In modern LDS circles, Brigham Young’s teachings are sometimes viewed as his “opinion.” Well, how many of his teachings promoted in General Conference at the time are really viewed as opinion, when they were clearly doctrine? How many excuses do you need to make, and how many free passes with the “opinion” card do you need to play before you consider Brigham Young a false prophet? How many of the following teachings from Brigham Young would it take for you to no longer consider him a true prophet? Consider that he taught ALL of the following:
    1. that the first man Adam was our Heavenly Father (Deseret News, June 18, 1873)
    2. Adulterers should have a dagger/javelin thrust through them (Journal of Discourses 3:247)
    3. Blacks will be servants in the Celestial Kingdom (JD 2:172)
    4. Blacks will never receive priesthood until every son of Adam is brought to the earth (JD 7:290-291)
    5. Polygamy will continue until Christ returns
    6. Men live on the moon and on the sun (JD 13:271)
    7. Interracial marriage is punishable by death and “this will always be so” (JD 10:110)
    8. Men should be happy to give their wives to the Prophet (JD 2:13-14)
    9. Marrying Native Americans will help their skin color change to white (The Abominations of Mormonism Exposed, pp. 58-59)
    10. His discourses were as good as Scripture (JD 13:264)
    11. Compared his sermons with Scripture (JD 13:95)
    12. We must confess Joseph Smith as a Prophet of God in order to be saved (JD 9:312)
    13. We must atone for some of our own sins. (JD 3:247; 4:53-54, 219-220)
    14. He had never given an counsel that was wrong (JD 16:161)
    15. You are damned if you deny polygamy (JD 11:269)
    16. You can’t get to highest level of heaven without Joseph Smith’s consent (JD 7:289).
    17. God progresses in knowlege (JD 6:120) (Yet according to “Chapter 3: God the Eternal Father” in Doctrines of the Gospel Teacher Manual (2011), pp. 7-8, it says:  “Does God progress in knowledge, light, and truth? No. He has a fulness of knowledge, light, and truth. See D&C 66:12; 2 Nephi 2:24).”
    18. God the Father had sex with Mary in order to produce Jesus (JD 4:218; 8:115)
    19. Jesus was not begotten by the Holy Ghost (JD 1:51) (even though Luke 1:35 says that Jesus was begotten by the Holy Ghost).
    20. Adam was born on another planet, and brought Eve to earth after he created this earth (Deseret Evening News, June 14, 1873).
  66. Why are references to Joseph Smith’s use of tobacco and alcohol-drinking omitted from Mormon history books? If Joseph Smith were living today, he would not be able to pass a worthiness interview or get a temple recommend. Consider the following: “Amasa Lyman, of the First presidency, related, ‘Joseph Smith tried the faith of the Saints many times by his peculiarities. At one time, he had preached a powerful sermon on the Word of Wisdom, and immediately thereafter, he rode through the streets of Nauvoo smoking a cigar. Some of the brethren were tried as was Abraham of old.'” (“Joseph Smith as an Administrator,” Master’s Thesis, Brigham Young University, May 1969, p. 161)
  67. If proxy baptism for the dead only gives the spirit the choice to choose the Mormon gospel in the afterlife, then why is every person who is given a proxy baptism confirmed a member of the LDS Church right after their proxy baptism? This would mean there is a 100% conversion rate for those who have passed. How is it that they really have a choice, and what are the chances that every single person who has passed will accept the LDS gospel in the afterlife, again, making a 100% conversion rate? Highly improbable. One of the objections from outsiders to this ritual is, “You’re forcing them to get baptized.” The LDS response is, “No, we are giving them a choice, since we all have free agency.” Yet they don’t have a choice, since 100% of them are getting confirmed as members after their proxy baptism.
  68. Why did Joseph Smith secretly marry 17-year old Sarah Ann Whitney in August of 1842 without Emma Smith’s knowledge or consent? Joseph Smith even wrote this to Sarah’s parents: “The only thing to be careful of is to find out when Emma comes, then you cannot be safe, but when she is not here, there is the most perfect safety… Burn this letter as soon as you read it.” (Mormon Enigma, p. 125) Why would Joseph Smith deliberately hide this from his first wife Emma? This is dangerous deception. If you are a Mormon parent, would you be comfortable with Joseph Smith being alone with your 17-year old daughter?
  69. Why did Joseph Smith circulate false stories that were designed to assassinate the character of people whom he considered to be enemies? MormonThink quotes the following: “In an article in the church publication, Messenger and Advocate (June 18, 1845) Sidney Rigdon acknowledged that Parley P. Pratt, advised church leaders how to support Smith, and advised that ‘we must lie to support brother Joseph, it is our duty to do so.'” How do you reconcile this lying from your founding prophet with what you’ve been taught about not lying?
  70. In 1835, Joseph Smith prophesied that the Lord would return in 1891. “President Smith then stated that the meeting had been called, because God had commanded it; and it was made known to him by vision and by the Holy Spirit… it was the will of God that they should be ordained to the ministry and go forth to prune the vineyard for the last time, for the coming of the Lord, which was nigh – even fifty six years should wind up the scene.” (History of the Church, Vol. 2, page 182). Why did Christ not return in 1891, fifty-six years after Joseph Smith said He’d return?
  71. Why did Joseph Smith’s prophecy in D&C 111 not come to pass? He prophesied they would find buried treasure (gold and silver) in Salem, MA in 1836. This never happened. (See History of the Church 2:465-466).
  72. Why did Joseph Smith’s prophecy about Congress breaking up as a government not come to pass? Joseph Smith said the following: “While discussing the petition to Congress, I prophesied, by virtue of the holy Priesthood vested in me, and in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, that, if Congress will not hear our petition and grant us protection, they shall be broken up as a government, and God shall damn them, and there shall be nothing left of them – not even a grease spot.” (Millennial Star, Vol. 22, p. 455. See also History of the Church 6:116) Why is it that when this prediction was incorporated into the official LDS Church history, Mormon leaders decided to omit the “grease spot” phrase?
  73. Why did Joseph Smith falsely prophesy that a temple would be built in Independence, MO in his own generation? (See D&C 84 and History of the Church 1:286-295.) This temple has never been built.
  74. Why did Joseph Smith falsely prophesy that Zion in Independence, Missouri cannot fall (even though it did fall)? See D&C 97:19.
  75. Why did Joseph Smith falsely prophesy that an army would come to redeem Zion (Independence, MO), when this never happened? See D&C 103.
  76. Why did Joseph Smith falsely prophesy that other nations would enter the American Civil War? Other nations did not enter that war. See D&C 87.
  77. Why did Joseph Smith falsely prophesied that the United Order would be an everlasting order in D&C 104:1? However, in v. 48 and v. 53 in the same section, it says that the United Order was dissolved and reorganized. Today, the United Order no longer exists. The United Order exists today in the FLDS Church. Does this mean that Warren Jeffs’ fundamentalist LDS Church is the true church, according to D&C?
  78. Why did Joseph Smith falsely prophesy that David Patten would go on a mission in Spring 1839? This is recorded in D&C 114. David was shot in October 1838. Wouldn’t God have known that David Patten was going to die in 1839 if He was the one who revealed this to Joseph Smith, (especially since David Patten remained a faithful LDS member up until his death)?
  79. Why did Joseph Smith falsely prophesy that a new gathering place and temple would be built in Far West, MO in D&C 115? Mormons were driven out of that land, and a temple was never built.
  80. Why is the population growth rate in the Book of Mormon not accurate? By 187 B.C., the Nephite growth rate was nearly 30-times that which existed in the world at the time during the same era. “For the Amlicite-Nephite war of 87 B.C., Alma 2:17-19 reports a total of 19,094 fatalities. On the basis of these figures John Sorenson, a professor of anthropology at Brigham Young University , estimated the total Nephite-Lamanite population to be over 600,000 at that time (about 200,000 Nephites-Amlicites and over 400,000 Lamanites). For an original band of thirty reproductive individuals in 590 B.C. to proliferate even to 19,094 by 87 B.C. would require an average annual growth rate of 1.3 percent sustained over the span of five centuries. To reach the 600,000 level Sorenson determined to have existed at that point, the growth rate would have had to be 2 percent, again maintained for five centuries. This is a level never reached on a global scale until 1960 and fifty times the actual world rate of the pre-industrial epoch. It is a rate that, even when attained, can only persist briefly.” (see 20 Truths about Mormonism)
  81. In D&C 89, the Word of Wisdom is given. Why is there such a great focus on abstaining from alcohol and tobacco, coffee and tea, but there is no focus on abstaining from meat, except during times of famine or winter? (see D&C 89:12-13)
  82. If the LDS Church was established because all other churches were wrong and there are hundreds of traditional Christian denominations and the LDS Church can be a beacon of the “One true church”, then why are there over 300 Latter Day Saint denominations in the Restoration Movement that splintered from the LDS Church? Which branch of Mormonism is correct?
  83. Why did LDS Apostle Heber C. Kimball say, “I think no more of taking another wife than I do of buying a cow”?  (Journal of Discourses 5:22)
  84. Why did Brigham Young say, “I have no wife whom I love so well that I would not put a javelin through her heart, and I would do it with clean hands”? (JD 3:247) This is Brigham Young’s response to what he would do if one of his wives was adulterous. Can you imagine President Thomas S. Monson saying something like this?
  85. In this video, Elder Oaks and Elder Ballard discuss what they would do about questions which come up that they can’t answer. This is in prep for a Face 2 Face event in November 2017. Watch the whole video, and pay attention to 2:20 and following. Elder Ballard says, “There may be some of these questions that there is no answer to. Those will be the ones we avoid.” Click here for link These men are supposedly apostles of the Lord, yet why would they avoid or not have answers to our questions?
  86. Why is there damning cover-up evidence of child molestation from within the LDS General Authorities? See video here.
  87. There were supposedly 2 large battles on the Hill Cumorah where 2+ million people died. Shields and swords were apparently used. In order for the LDS Church to build their Visitor’s Center on the west side of Hill Cumorah, the construction crew needs to dig deep in the Hill to lay the foundation for the building. Why didn’t they find any bodies, chariot wheels, steel swords, shields, etc.? This would have made national and world news if they would have found anything.
  88. Christian churches do not have ceremonies that incorporate Satan. Mormonism does. Satan is included in the LDS temple ceremonies. What is our Adversary doing in a ‘godly’ ceremony?
  89. Why are ministers of other churches depicted as agents of Satan in the LDS temple ceremony until 1990? If Mormonism is really tolerant of other religions like they accuse other religions of not being, why the harsh portrayal of Christian ministers as hierlings of Satan?
  90. If the First Vision actually occurred, why was it not taught to the Church membership and  the public until 22 years later?
  91. Why would LDS prophets teach and practice polygamy in the 19th century at a time when polygamy was illegal, when Article of Faith #12 says: “We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.”?
  92. Why was polygamy practiced during the time D&C 101 was in effect from 1835-1876 which stated marriage was one man, one woman? This provides a conflicting view of marriage. All D&C editions from 1835-1876 say that marriage is one man/one woman in section 101.
  93. Why did Joseph Smith run for president in 1844? Wouldn’t God have told him he wouldn’t win?
  94. If Joseph Smith believed in free speech and free agency, why did he command the Nauvoo Legion to destroy the Nauvoo Expositor press for printing factual information about him? LDS Apostle D. Todd Christofferson recently applauded journalists at a conference, saying they are “ambassadors of freedom” and that “society depends on” them. Would Joseph Smith have see them the same way? Also, would Elder Christofferson still see the reporters of the Nauvoo Expositor as “ambassadors of freedom” even though they printed something against Joseph Smith?
  95. In April 1842, Professor Caswell brought a Greek Psalter book before Joseph Smith and tested him, asking him what it was. Joseph said it was a Dictionary of Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphics. What does this say about the Prophet Joseph Smith’s seer abilities? If he translated the Book of Mormon from Egyptian, he should’ve known that the Psalter was not Egyptian.
  96. Colossians 1:16 says that Jesus created ALL things in heaven and on earth. “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.” How could Jesus create all things, including Satan, if the LDS Church teaches that Satan is a spirit-brother of Jesus?
  97. The LDS Church claims that the Book of Mormon contains the “fulness of the gospel”. In Doctrines of Salvation Joseph Fielding Smith, one finds the following definition: “By fullness of the gospel is meant all the ordinances and principles that pertain to the exaltation of the celestial kingdom” (vol. 1, p. 160). If the Book of Mormon contains the “fullness of the gospel”, then why are the core LDS doctrines pertaining to salvation missing? If the current practices are a restoration of what was practiced before, then why were these not recorded as being practiced by the Nephites in the Book of Mormon? Below is a list of important Mormon doctrines that are NOT found in the Book of Mormon:
    1. Baptism for the dead (Book of Mormon teaches there is no salvation after death. See 2 Nephi 9:15; Alma 12:13-14, 34:31-34, 42:22-23)
    2. The President of the Church holds keys to salvation
    3. Temple marriage is a requirement for exaltation
    4. Elohim populated the earth through sexually-begotten spirit children (the pre-existence)
    5. True salvation comes through polygamy
    6. Jesus was crucified for polygamy (JD 1:346)
    7. Jesus was a polygamist (JD 13:309)
    8. Jesus was married (JD 2:82, 2:210, 4:259-260)
    9. Jesus chosen to be the god of this world
    10. Jesus and Lucifer being spirit brothers
    11. Man is a god in embryo
    12. Men may become gods
    13. Three levels of heaven
    14. Council of Gods in the Beginning
    15. God had sex with Mary
    16. Eternal Progression
    17. God has a Father
    18. God has many wives
    19. God the Father has a body of flesh and bones
    20. God was once a man
  98. If God the Father has a body of flesh and bones and was once a man, then He had a Heavenly Father himself. Since he was once a man, that means that he may have sinned. Many Mormons believe this, though some don’t. See link here for video. Mormons believe that Jesus was sinless. If God the Father once sinned, and His Father before Him sinned before then, how could our own Heavenly Father produce a sinless Jesus Christ (through sexually relations with Mary)? Wouldn’t sin be transmitted to Jesus through Father God (who sinned) and Mary (a sinful mortal)?
  99. Since it takes the blood of Jesus to cleanse sins, how could Heavenly Father on a different world be the Savior of his own world without the blood of Jesus, especially in light of the teaching that Adam and Eve did not have blood until after the Fall of Man? Also, if the blood of Christ cleanses us from sin, why does LDS teaching hold that blood only entered Adam and Eve after the Fall as a sign of disobedience?
  100. Why was the reference to blood not being in Adam and Eve’s veins taken out of the LDS Bible Dictionary for the new 2013 version of the Standard Works but it was in the 1981 version?
  101. Why does an angel from heaven reveal to Amulek in the Book of Mormon that there is only one God in Alma 11:28-31, yet in D&C 121:28 the Lord says that it is about to be revealed “whether there be one God or many gods,” and then 4 verses later it says there is a “Council of the Eternal God of all other gods”? Why the flip-flopping? Does God have an angel reveal to men in the Book of Mormon that there’s 1 God, yet to reveal to Joseph Smith that He’s not quite sure if there is 1 God or many? Don’t you think that God would know if there are other gods? Actually, He does know. In Isaiah 43:10, God says: “You are my witnesses,” declares the LORD, “and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed, nor will there be one after me.” In Isaiah 46:9, God says, I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me…”
  102. Joseph Smith boasted the he was the only one ever able to keep a church together and that not even Jesus could do it (History of the Church 6:409). In light of this, Jesus Christ set up His apostles to lead the Christian church after His resurrection, which made for a smooth transition. Why did God not reveal to Joseph Smith who would lead the LDS Church after he was murdered? If it was the only True Church on the face of the earth, there should not have been confusion with the transition, yet there was a major succession crisis. There was a good 2 years of in-fighting between members of the Quorum of Twelve, Seventy, membership, etc. Some followed Brigham Young, some James J. Strang, Sidney Rigdon, Granville Hedrick, Alpheus Cutler, Joseph Smith III, Jason W. Briggs, Zenas H. Gurley, William Marks, and others.
  103. Why do modern Mormons blame the Mormon expulsion from Missouri on the State of Missouri when Mormons lit the fire to start the Mormon War in 1838? They often cite Missouri Governor’s Mormon Extermination Order of 1838 as persecution, yet they do not realize that Sidney Rigdon’s “July 4th Oration” in Far West, Missouri in 1838 actually prompted the drastic response by the Missouri Governor. Here is what Rigdon said in his speech: “…it shall be between us and them a war of extermination; for we will follow them till the last drop of their blood is spilled, or else they will have to exterminate us: for we will carry the seat of war to their own houses, and their own families, and one party or the other shall be utterly destroyed.—Remember it then all MEN…” Would God’s Church really function this way, saying that God’s true church would carry war to the enemy’s homes and even families? I can’t imagine modern LDS leaders being okay with this…
  104. In the Book of Mormon, Ether 2:3 claims that the Jaredites brought honeybees over to America around 2200 B.C. It’s a scientific fact that honeybees were first introduced to the New World by Spanish explorers in the fifteenth century A.D. Why the contradiction?
  105. Why is there no evidence that Jesus Christ visited America after His resurrection in the Holy Land?
  106. Since Leviticus 18:18 forbids a man from marrying women who are sisters, why did Joseph Smith marry 3 sets of sisters? (Sarah and Maria Lawrence, Zina and Presendia Huntington, and Emily Dow and Eliza Maria Partidge).
  107. Leviticus 20:14 says that it is an abomination for a man to marry both a mother and her daughter. Why did Joseph Smith marry a mother and daughter (Patty Bartlett Sessions and Sylvia Sessions Lyon)? These marriages were also polyandrous, as Patty was currently married to David Sessions and Sylvia Sessions was married to Windsor Lyon at the time Joseph Smith married the mother-daughter pair.
  108. Mormons do not like “anti-Mormons.” Yet, why do they harass anti-Mormons if they believe that everyone has free-agency, especially since Mormons believe that it’s necessary that the “true church” has an opposition? Why not let the opposition be the opposition?
  109. Why is it when the LDS has it’s top-of-the-top people do official studies on LDS foundation and truth claims, do the ones doing the research end up doubting and having serious questions about the church? Look at B.H. Roberts and his research on the Book of Mormon origins, John Sorenson and the Book of Mormon archaeology, the closure of FARMS, and the downward spiral of FairMormon.
  110. The LDS Church excommunicated Elder James J. Hamula of the Quorum of Seventy in August 2017. Normally, reasons for excommunication are private and kept within the disciplinary council. According to Deseret News, the LDS Church decided to say: “The church also confirmed that Tuesday’s action was not due to disillusionment or apostasy on the part of Hamula.” This leaves moral failure as the next option. The LDS Church threw Elder Hamula under the bus when they specifically said he wasn’t guilty of apostasy or disillusionment. This leaves a moral failure of some kind. Obviously, we may never know the real reason behind his excommunication. It may not even be moral failure. It’s interesting the LDS Church wants to say it doesn’t have to do with apostasy, given that we are in the age of rabid apostasy, and Mormons are leaving their Church by the thousands and tens of thousands. If the LDS Church said he was excommunicated for apostasy, then the LDS Church would have a crisis on their hands, as it would start making more and more Latter-day Saints question what they believe. Elder Hamula did not deserve having the LDS Church announce what they did – that’s character defamation. What does this say about LDS Church paranoia concerning apostasy?
  111. In Matthew 24:14, Jesus says, “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.” Notice that Jesus Christ’s gospel will be in all nations, and then the end will come (Second Coming). As of 2012, the LDS Church’s “restored gospel” does not have any presence in 35 countries and an additional 17 territories around the world. Given that the true Gospel of Jesus Christ will be in all nations of the world at the time He returns to earth (as the Christian gospel currently is), if Christ came back before Mormonism’s restored gospel is able to make it into every single country, what does this say about the validity of Mormonism’s gospel? What are the chances Mormonism will be allowed in places like Iran and Syria before the Lord’s return, when Christianity has been established there for some time?
  112. Why does the LDS Church pride itself on having no paid clergy, when it does on many levels? Why did Apostle John A. Widtsoe lie when he said: “Out of this body of priesthood, now great, were drawn, and are drawn the administrative workers of the Church: the First Presidency, the Council of the Twelve Apostles, the Council of the First Quorum of the Seventy; the Presiding Bishopric; the stake and ward officers, and the many others needed, but only for such time as they are needed. The Church has carried on successfully with such a voluntary, unpaid body of officers and teachers”? (John A. Widtsoe, Joseph Smith: Seeker after Truth, Prophet of God, 1951, 128) Apostle Boyd K. Packer also lied, saying: “Did they also tell you that we have no professional clergy? All of us contribute our time, our talents, our means, and travel—all to help the work. And we’re not paid for it in money.” (From a story told by Boyd K. Packer, found in Duties and Blessings of the Priesthood: Basic Manual for Priesthood Holders, Part B, Lesson 30: Tithes and Offerings, 251-256, 2000) MormonLeaks documents have revealed that members of the First Presidency, Quorum of the Twelve, the Seventy, and mission presidents are paid. A new leaked document showed a 2014 memo from the Church’s Presiding Bishopric, “noting the ‘base living allowance’ for all Mormon general authorities was being raised from $116,400 to $120,000” annually. See link here. Also, see Sharon Lindbloom’s article here for more quotes and LDS responses.
  113. When it came to the LDS Church’s new policy updated in the Church Handbook–1 that barred children living in same-gender parented homes to be baptized in the Church, there was confusion as to how it was handled by LDS leaders. I agree with the LDS Church’s stance on homosexuality and that it’s sinful. However, the way the LDS Church communicates things muddies the waters. Why is it that when the First Presidency receives a revelation, as in this case, they slip it into a policy book that almost nobody reads, and then send a junior apostle to handle any damage control when it is leaked, then write a letter claiming the clear-cut language in the policy isn’t what they meant after all, and then waited two months to allow another apostle (a senior one the 2nd time) speculate that it must have been a revelation rather than just a policy?
  114. Why do senior missionary tour guides who walk you through the LDS Conference Center have no idea that Joseph Smith used a seer stone to translate the Book of Mormon, and insist he used the plates, like the large painting shows in the Conference Center hallway? One senior missionary originally from Scotland who gave me a tour (and had been in the LDS Church for 47 years) had never heard of the seer stone in a hat. When I told her that Joseph Smith used a seer stone, she said it was an “anti-Mormon lie.” I took another tour a few days after that and a male senior missionary told me the same thing. What does it say when non-Mormons and Christians know about LDS Church History and what Joseph Smith actually did and a majority of LDS members do not? 47 years of Mormon membership without knowing about how the Book of Mormon was really translated? Wow.
  115. Why is it that sister missionaries at Temple Square won’t believe you when you tell them that the Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible (published by Herald House, the Community of Christ, formerly RLDS Church) is sold at Deseret Book store, right across the street from Temple Square? I have had 3 of them deny my claim, saying they didn’t believe me.
  116. Jesus Christ is known as the Good Shepherd. He even calls Himself the Good Shepherd in John 10:11. Why do Mormons believe Jesus is the Good Shepherd? Mormons believe that the church Christ set up went into a complete apostasy for about 1,700 years until Joseph Smith restored it in 1830. If that was the case, then Jesus was not looking out for His flock for 1,700 years. That means that from when the time Jesus came until now, Jesus was absent from His Church for 85% of Church History. This means He was a terrible shepherd. What kind of shepherd leaves his flock for that long? Yes, He will temporarily leave the 99 sheep to go after the 1 when it’s lost, but the complete Great Apostasy theory says he left the 100 altogether. Mormonism paints a terrible picture of Christ, one that is not biblical. In Mormonism, Christ is the Bad Shepherd. In Christianity, Christ is the Good Shepherd.
  117. Why are there ram-goat heads on the top of the torch basins in front of the LDS Administration Building in Salt Lake City? A goat is not symbolic of Christianity, but rather, of apostate Christianity.
  118. Why are there inverted pentagrams on the wood rotunda that faces the Christus statue on the 2nd floor of the North Visitors’ Center on Temple Square? Pentagrams are Satanic symbols. What are they doing associated with the “one true church”?
  119. Wine/grape juice and unleavened bread are used for Communion in Christian Churches. The wine/grape juice symbolizes the blood of Christ and the unleavened bread symbolizes Christ’s body. Why do Mormons use water and regular bread? Water and bread represent the meal of a prisoner in the ancient world. Look at the symbolism. In Christianity, the communion meal represents healing, freedom and forgiveness, whereas the Mormon sacrament meal represents a meal that a prisoner (someone who is bound) would eat. This is so symbolic!
  120. If having a physical body is a requirement for godhood in Mormonism, how did Jesus become a god before he had a body?
  121. Why are LDS temple ceremonies a secret to the public when Old Testament temple ceremonies were open to public knowledge?
  122. If the Adam-God doctrine is not true (Brigham Young’s teaching that Adam was our Heavenly Father), then why does D&C 27:11 call Adam the Ancient of Days which is obviously a title for God in Daniel 7:9-10?
  123. Why does the Mormon god in Abraham 2:24 encourage Abraham and Sarah to lie, when in this same story in the Bible, it was Sarah’s idea to lie (see Gen. 20:2)? What does this say about the LDS version of Abraham and Sarah when 2 Nephi 9:34 condemns liars to hell?
  124. How can our Heavenly Father be a man with a body of flesh and bones (D&C 130:22) when Numbers 23:19 in the Bible says that God is not a man?
  125. If the phrase “familiar spirit” in Isaiah 29:4 refers to the Book of Mormon, why are familiar spirits always referenced as occult practices that channel spirits and deal with necromancy, something that is altogether forbidden in the Bible?
  126. Why did the Apostle Paul say that it is good for a man not to marry (1 Corinthians 7:1) when the LDS Church requires marriage for salvation and eternal progression?
  127. Why does Joseph Smith in his King Follett Discourse (1844) say that God progressed to become God and was not God from all eternity, when Moroni 8:18 in the Book of Mormon says: “God is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and in him there is no variableness neither shadow of changing…”?
  128. Why do you believe that the two sticks in Ezekiel 37:20-22 refer to the Bible and the Book of Mormon when Ezekiel describes the sticks as representing two nations, not two books?
  129. Why does the Aaronic Priesthood in the LDS Church even exist when Hebrews 7:11-12 says that it was changed and replaced by a better priesthood?
  130. Why does the LDS Church have thousands of high priests when Jesus Christ is in the role of our only High Priest?
  131. Why did elders in the LDS Church practice the disturbing occultic Blood Atonement doctrine during the 19th century? An LDS member who was guilty of incest, adultery, murder, or sexual relations with someone of African descent had to pay for their sins with their own blood, and have it shed, as Christ’s blood was not enough to cleanse people of these sins, according to Mormonism. Many had their throats slit so their blood could run and atone for their sins. Consider the case of Rasmos Anderson, a Danish convert to the LDS Church who moved to Utah. The following is taken from John D. Lee, a leader in the LDS Council of Fifty: “Rasmos Anderson was a Danish man who came to Utah… He had married a widow lady somewhat older than himself… At one of the meetings during the reformation Anderson and his step-daughter confessed that they had committed adultery… they were rebaptized and received into full membership. They were then placed under covenant that if they again committed adultery, Anderson should suffer death. Soon after this a charge was laid against Anderson before the Council, accusing him of adultery with his step-daughter. This Council was composed of Klingensmith and his two counselors; it was the Bishop’s Council. Without giving Anderson any chance to defend himself or make a statement, the Council voted that Anderson must die for violating his covenants. Klingensmith went to Anderson and notified him that the orders were that he must die by having his throat cut, so that the running of his blood would atone for his sins. Anderson, being a firm believer in the doctrines and teachings of the Mormon Church, made no objections… His wife was ordered to prepare a suit of clean clothing, in which to have her husband buried… she being directed to tell those who should inquire after her husband that he had gone to California. Klingensmith, James Haslem, Daniel McFarland and John M. Higbee dug a grave in the field near Cedar City, and that night, about 12 o’clock, went to Anderson’s house and ordered him to make ready to obey Council. Anderson got up… and without a word of remonstrance accompanied those that he believed were carrying out the will of the ‘Almighty God.’ They went to the place where the grave was prepared; Anderson knelt upon the side of the grave and prayed. Klingensmith and his company then cut Anderson’s throat from ear to ear and held him so that his blood ran into the grave… As soon as he was dead they dressed him in his clean clothes, threw him into the grave and buried him. They then carried his bloody clothing back to his family, and gave them to his wife to wash… She obeyed their orders…. Anderson was killed just before the Mountain Meadows massacre. The killing of Anderson was then considered a religious duty and a just act. It was justified by all the people, for they were bound by the same covenants, and the least word of objection to thus treating the man who had broken his covenant would have brought the same fate upon the person who was so foolish as to raise his voice against any act committed by order of the Church authorities.”
  132. Why would a pure church of Jesus Christ have a vigilante paramilitary group called the “Danites”, that tracked down and killed Mormon dissenters?
  133. Deuteronomy 18:20-22 says we are to condemn false prophets if they falsely prophesy. What do you think about Joseph Smith and Brigham Young’s false teachings and them being considered true prophets in light of this?
  134. Since there are between 9-11 accounts of the First Vision, how did the LDS Church choose which account was the official account?
  135. Why does the Bible teach we are saved by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8-9), yet the Book of Mormon teaches we are saved by grace “after all we can do”? (2 Nephi 25:23)
  136. Why does the LDS Church insist we will be married in heaven when Jesus says in Matthew 22:30 that in the resurrection men neither marry, nor are given in marriage?
  137. Why does Mormonism teach that Jesus paid for our sins in the Garden of Gethsemane when 1 Peter 2:24 says He paid for our sins on the cross of Calvary?
  138. Why does the LDS Church teach that man first existed as a spirit in heaven when 1 Corinthians 15:46 says that the physical body comes before the spiritual?
  139. If the Book of Mormon is of ancient origin, why are there 19th century cultural influences in the Book of Mormon? For example, why is King Benjamin’s oratory like a 19th century camp meeting?
  140. The phrase “slippery treasure” is common talk when it comes to the folk magic in Joseph Smith’s day. Why is “slippery treasure” mentioned so much in the Book of Mormon?
  141. When asked about how the LDS Church started, why did the early prophets such as Brigham Young, John Taylor, and Wilford Woodruff all state that it started with an angel, rather than the First Vision? (See JD 2:171, 11:196, 10:127) The First Vision was hardly mentioned until the 1860’s. Why the omission if the First Vision was supposedly the greatest religious event since the Resurrection?
  142. Why does Elder George A Smith, a member of the First Presidency say: “When the holy angel appeared, Joseph inquired which of all these denominations was right and which he should join, and was told they were all wrong.” (JD 12:334) Didn’t Joseph Smith claim he found this out from God the Father and the Son in the supposed First Vision of 1820? Why is a Mormon apostle saying he learned this from the angel Moroni?
  143. When Christ died, the Bible says darkness was over the land for 3 hours (Luke 23:44 and the Book of Mormon says there was darkness over the land for 3 days (3 Nephi 8:19, 23). Which is it?
  144. Joseph Smith originally prepared his 14 Articles of Faith. Why has the original Number 11 been omitted?
  145. How do you account for the stunning parallels between the Book of Mormon and Ethan Smith’s View of the Hebrews?
  146. Why did most of the Book of Mormon witnesses leave the LDS Church? Brigham Young even says: “Some of the witnesses of the Book of Mormon, who handled the plates and conversed with the angels of God, were afterwards left to doubt and disbelieve that they had ever seen an angel.” (JD 7:164)
  147. How did the Book of Mormon characters get the priesthood when they were not from the tribe of Levi?
  148. Why are ‘cliched’ Native American phrases like “Nine Moons” (Omni 1:21) or “Great Spirit” (Alma 19:25-27) included in the Book of Mormon text?
  149. If the Great Apostasy really happened, then why does Jesus Christ say in Matthew 16:18 that the gates of hell would never prevail against His Church?
  150. LDS Apostle James Talmage wrote: “If the alleged apostasy of the primitive church was not a reality, the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is not the divine institution its name proclaims.” (The Great Apostasy, preface). B.H. Roberts, LDS Church Historian, said: “Nothing less than a complete apostasy from the Christian religion would warrant the establishment of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.” (History of the Church 1:XL). In light of all of these questions on this list and given that there was no Great Apostasy, what are you going to do moving forward, now that you know the LDS Church is not the ‘divine institution its name proclaims’? The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is not true, and Joseph Smith was a false prophet. When you leave the LDS Church, don’t leave Jesus Christ. Say with Christ. Follow Jesus Christ alone. Jesus says in John 8:31-32, “To [those] who had believed him, Jesus said, ‘If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.'” If we hold onto true teachings, then we will know the truth! Mormonism does not offer true teachings of Jesus Christ. Christ says in John 8:36, “So if the Son sets you free, you are free indeed!” May you be set free!

‘No Middle Ground’: Mormonism is Either 100% True or 100% False

Orthodox Mormonism is traditional Mormonism. This would include the belief that the Book of Mormon is a literal historical record, depicting the Nephites and Lamanites as real civilizations.

Since DNA has proved that the Native Americans are not descended from ancient Israelites, there is also no linguistic, archaeological, or monetary evidence that anything from the Book of Mormon story actually happened.

Same goes with the Book of Abraham, which is in the Pearl of Great Price, one of the 4 Standard Works of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Supposed “anti-Mormons” for decades have said that the Book of Abraham has nothing to do with the papyri Joseph Smith had. Well, they were right.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints posted an official Gospel Topics Essay entitled: “Translation and Historicity of the Book of Abraham.” Here is the link: Click Here. Mormons, I recommend you read through it.

Below is a snapshot of what the official LDS Gospel Topics Essay says:

“None of the characters on the papyrus fragments mentioned Abraham’s name or any of the events recorded in the book of Abraham. Mormon and non-Mormon Egyptologists agree that the characters on the fragments do not match the translation given in the book of Abraham, though there is not unanimity, even among non-Mormon scholars, about the proper interpretation of the vignettes on these fragments.27 Scholars have identified the papyrus fragments as parts of standard funerary texts that were deposited with mummified bodies. These fragments date to between the third century B.C.E. and the first century C.E., long after Abraham lived.

Of course, the fragments do not have to be as old as Abraham for the book of Abraham and its illustrations to be authentic. Ancient records are often transmitted as copies or as copies of copies.”

It is clear that the original documents Joseph Smith had really had nothing to do with the Book of Abraham, making it a fraud.

Above is a snapshot of the preface to the Book of Abraham. It says that the papyri were the writings of Abraham, written by his own hand. Clearly, this is not the case.

The LDS Church announced recently that Joseph Smith used a seer stone in his translation process of the Book of Mormon. Mormons who were active members in the 1970’s, 80’s, and 90’s may remember so-called ‘Anti-Mormons’ saying that Joseph Smith using a seer stone was just made up and not true. However, turns out that it was true. Why is it that non-Mormons knew the true LDS Church history and many active LDS members did not? This is especially true with LDS members who are outside of the United States and may not have access to all the documents.

Since Orthodox Mormonism has crumbled, Progressive Mormonism is not only on the horizon, but here in full-swing. This is the Mormon brand that believes the Book of Mormon is a giant allegory. Progressive Mormons may believe that the Book of Mormon is not real history, but is full of faith-promoting, allegorical stories that can help someone out. Progressive Mormonism also says that the Book of Abraham is still scripture, even though what Joseph Smith wrote was not from a document actually written by Abraham. It was just an ‘inspired’ translation. Following everything that modern-day LDS prophets say is not necessary in Progressive Mormonism. A desire to see women included in the all-male Aaronic and Melchizedek priesthoods is another facet of Progressive Mormonism.

The reason why Progressive Mormonism cannot stand is because of what Joseph Smith said. Several members in the Community of Christ (formerly known as the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints – RLDS) believe the Book of Mormon is an allegory and not literal. If you’re a Mormon, or part of another Latter-day Saint restoration denomination, you may know what Joseph Smith himself said of the Book of Mormon. He said that it was the most correct book.

The VERY Introduction to the Book of Mormon says:

“The Book of Mormon is a volume of holy scripture comparable to the Bible. It is a record of God’s dealings with ancient inhabitants of the Americas and contains the fulness of the everlasting gospel. The book was written by many ancient prophets by the spirit of prophecy and revelation.

Concerning this record the Prophet Joseph Smith said: ‘I told the brethren that the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book.'”

Think about that. Joseph Smith himself said it was a literal record. He believed it. If you, as a progressive Mormon, believe the Book of Mormon to be an allegory of great moral stories, you’re missing a big point. What the LDS Church and the Book of Mormon say about the Book of Mormon is that it is a true, literal record. If you believe it’s an allegory, then what you believe is in contrast with what your founding prophet, Joseph Smith taught. That creates a problem.

Either Mormonism is 100% true, or 100% false. There is no middle ground. LDS Prophet Joseph Fielding Smith said of Joseph Smith: “He was either a prophet of God, divinely called, properly appointed and commissioned, or he was one of the biggest frauds this world has ever seen. There is no middle ground.” (see Doctrines of Salvation, vol. 1, Pages 188-189)

President Gordon B. Hinckley said: “Each of us has to face the matter — either the Church is true, or it is a fraud. There is no middle ground. It is the church and kingdom of God, or it is nothing.”

An important quote for Mormon members to take a look at, LDS Apostle Jeffrey R. Holland said the following:

“Either Joseph Smith was the prophet he said he was, who, after seeing the Father and the Son, later beheld the angel Moroni, repeatedly heard counsel from his lips, eventually receiving at his hands a set of ancient gold plates which he then translated according to the gift and power of God—or else he did not. And if he did not, in the spirit of President Benson’s comment, he is not entitled to retain even the reputation of New England folk hero or well-meaning young man or writer of remarkable fiction. No, and he is not entitled to be considered a great teacher or a quintessential American prophet or the creator of great wisdom literature. If he lied about the coming forth of the Book of Mormon, he is certainly none of those.

“I am suggesting that we make exactly that same kind of do-or-die, bold assertion about the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ and the divine origins of the Book of Mormon. We have to. Reason and rightness require it. Accept Joseph Smith as a prophet and the book as the miraculously revealed and revered word of the Lord it is or else consign both man and book to Hades for the devastating deception of it all, but let’s not have any bizarre middle ground about the wonderful contours of a young boy’s imagination or his remarkable facility for turning a literary phrase. That is an unacceptable position to take—morally, literarily, historically, or theologically.” (“True or False,” Liahona, June 1996)

To deny the Book of Mormon as literal, historical scripture is to deny the words of Joseph Smith. Yet the evidence against The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints comes against the LDS religion, making the LDS Church false.

Since The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is false, I boldly proclaim that Jesus Christ alone is necessary for salvation. Joseph Smith was a false prophet, and he deceived millions of people. I pray for Elder Holland, as he is aware that it’s either true or false. He acknowledges the gravity and implications of what it could mean if his church is false, if Joseph Smith was wrong.

I was once deceived by Joseph Smith’s false gospel. I found my identity in Jesus Christ, and in Him alone.

Since Mormonism is not 100% true, it is 100% false.

Mormons, I implore you to ‘count the cost.’ Eternity is at stake.

 

 

What Jesus Says About People Getting Offended

“I’m offended!” We hear this phrase all over our nation. These are the days we are living in. This phrase has even crept into Christian circles: churches, colleges, and institutions. Anything is bound to offend someone these days. If you take a stand on an issue, you may ‘offend’ someone on the other side. Then again, if you take a stand on the other side of the same issue, you’re bound to yet ‘offend’ someone on the other side.

Close-up of annoyed entrepreneur Free Photo

Let’s go to the Bible. The word “offense” comes from the Greek word skandalon, which is where we get the word scandal from. Rick Renner, author of Sparkling Gems from the Greek, says that “The word skandalon originally described the small piece of wood that was used to keep the door of an animal trap propped open. A piece of food was placed inside the trap to lure the animal inside. When the animal entered the trap and accidentally bumped the skandalon, or the small piece of wood, the skandalon collapsed, causing the trap door to slam shut and the animal to be caught inside with no way to escape.”

Renner continues. “However, the New Testament also uses the word skandalon to refer to a stone or an obstacle that caused one to trip, to stumble, to lose his footing, to waver, to falter, and to fall down. In First Peter 2:8, the word skandalon is used to describe how unbelievers react to the Gospel when they don’t want to hear it or believe it. Peter said, ‘And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word….’ Rather than accept the message and be saved, these people stumble when they hear the truth, tripping over the message that could set them free.” (Sparkling Gems from the Greek, 327)

Luke 17:1 paints a picture of what Jesus said. “Then said he unto the disciples, It is impossible but that offences will come…” Meaning, in this life, it is impossible that people will not get offended! An offense is a trap that the devil sets to lure people in. This is why people get ensnared with their own subjective biases on whatever is spoken that supposedly offends them.

If you tend to get offended easily at things, I recommend reading You Can Get Over It: How to Confront, Forgive, and Move On (2002), by Rick Renner. Needless to say, this book starts off with chapter 1, entitled: “Everyone Has Opportunities to Get Offended or Upset.” Chapter 2 is entitled as “Offense is a Trap.” Rick Renner notes that getting hurt or offended is actually a temptation, and that you have to make up your mind if you are going to be the conqueror, rather than the conquered. (p. 10) He continues, “And the truth is, most grievances are more imagined than real. Most offenses result from a misunderstanding or miscommunication that is blown way out of proportion rather than a direct attack from others.” (p. 11)

“Millions of Christians,” Renner says, “are held captive by bitterness, resentment, and unforgiveness because they will not determine to do what is necessary to live free of offense. As a result, they have no joy, no peace, and no victory in their lives.” (p. 14) “As long as we live in this world, we’re going to have to deal with the potential of being offended. We can’t prevent offenses from happening, but we can avoid taking offense and getting bitter. Opportunities to get offended will always present themselves to each one of us.” (p. 19)

You see, bishops may be responsible for churches, but we are the bishops of our own hearts (Renner, pp. 34-35). This means that “we can’t blame someone else for what we allow to develop inside our own hearts; God will hold us accountable for it.”

Jesus says in Matthew 12:34 that “…Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh,” meaning – What is in a person will eventually come out of him. This says a lot! When people start to engage in becoming offended, they indulge themselves in a mindset of self-pity.

Rick Renner says very powerfully, “Remember, you can’t be offended without your own consent… You cannot be offended unless you take the offense to yourself. You always have a choice.” (p. 42)

We need to let go of the offense that has a grip on us by getting a grip on ourselves first!

Pulling the ‘I’m offended’ card is so common, that it is nearly inescapable to preachers who preach truth. I’m aware of several pastors who get hate emails from either a visitor or a member who was offended at their message, simply for standing up for the truth. Even hate messages written on doors of their churches. But guess what? Look at Revelation chs. 2-3. Notice the 7 churches of Asia listed. What Jesus Christ himself says about these churches is important. Look at what Christ commends them on. Look at what he said their flaws were. When you look at those 7 churches, notice how they each paint a picture of not only their local church setting in that city, but of a particular chapter/phase of church history between Christ and our present time. The following chart depicts this:

Read through a description of all the churches throughout the ages. Read Laodicea’s on the far right side. Read through that list. Notice how we are living under the Laodicea church age! This was the only church that Christ did not have anything positive to say about! What Jesus did say was that the church of Laodicea was lukewarm! Meaning, Christ would spew it out of his mouth!

What does lukewarm mean? Jesus says in Revelation 3:16 (NIV), “So, because you are lukewarm–neither hot nor cold–I am about to spit you out of my mouth.” Lukewarm in this passage is the Greek word chliaros, meaning, “the condition of a soul wretchedly fluctuating between a torpor and a fervor of love.” Think about this! We are now in the Church Age where Christians, even Christian pastors and ministers, fluctuate between torpor (lethargy) and a fervor of love! Christians need to have some backbone with the Truth and the Word of God, rather than apologizing for it.

Notice how there is not an 8th, 9th, or even 10th church category. There are only 7. We are currently in the 7th and final church age. What does 7 mean? It’s the biblical number for completion. Jesus Christ is coming back soon. His bride has been wearing rags for too long, compromising herself with the world, culture, and society, for the sake of “cultural relevance,” when she will soon slip off the rags and put a beautiful pure white dress on, reading for Christ’s return.

Jesus describes events leading up to His Second Coming. In Matthew 24:10, Jesus says that “many will take offense.” So now we have a setting. This describes the day and age we are living in and what will happen in this age. In Matthew 15:12, it says, “Then the disciples came up and told Him, ‘Do You know that the Pharisees took offense when they heard this statement?'”

Paul says in Galatians 5:11 that the cross itself is offensive! A preacher wisely said, “You know, the Gospel should offend the natural man, but never the spirit-man.”

Meaning, the Truth of the Gospel is at odds with the natural man. People who flow in the natural and live in the natural and out of their flesh, should be offended by the Gospel. This is a good thing! This is why we need to become born again! This is why there is a change that takes place in us! But when seasoned believers who are in the Spirit are offended, that’s another issue.

Too many ‘ministers’ have been feeding their congregations ‘cheese puffs’, when the church is hungry for a turkey dinner. We give a congregation enough to settle on for a little bit, only for them to not really remember what was said, go out for lunch or coffee after the service and say, “Well, where would you like to go to eat?” rather than stirring people up with biblical truths so that the Word may influence their life.

It doesn’t matter what style of preaching a minister has, as long as he or she flows in the anointing, that is what matters. Every solid sermon should both convict and encourage. We focus on the encouragement side so much that we get a society puffed up in ‘positive thinking,’ that they suddenly realize they no longer believe in conviction, repentance, or sin. After all, we often try to replace the anointing with education. We like to rack up our seminary degrees and tack on “Dr. Rev. Apostle, Bishop” in front of our names and “PhD, D.Min., Ed.D., and M.Div” behind our names, and count our formal education as the logic behind what we know on top of what someone else does. Don’t get me wrong: degrees in themselves are not inherently bad. Education is a great thing. I encourage it. But when we use it to puff ourselves up, this is dangerous. What did the apostle Paul think about his credentials? He said he was a Pharisee of Pharisees, as Hebrew of Hebrews, studied up in Jewish law, and he counted it all as “dung” (KJV) that he may win Christ.

We now have a generation of believers who are not impressed by how much knowledge and information someone says they have. It’s all about whether or not someone has a revelation on the information they know that counts!

Paul says in Galatians 1:10 (NIV): “Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.”

Examine your own life. Are you doing what you’re doing, saying what you’re saying, posting what you’re posting, preaching what you’re preaching, to win the approval of human beings, or of God?

We need to check ourselves of this. After all, “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” (Hebrews 10:21) We need to be obedient to God.

Rick Renner said this powerful statement: “When you’re concerned about what others think of you, you’ve exalted self-importance and public opinion above God’s opinion in your life” (p. 45)

We’ve gotten so concerned with how we market ourselves to the world and so concerned about what people are going to think of us, rather than simply standing on the Word of God and His truth. The blessing will come when we stand on His truth, not when we are so flustered with our appearance. The truth will defend itself.

What people, even Christians and some ministers cannot grasp is that the Truth is one-sided. I’ve heard this a handful of times: “You are so one-sided.” I would say, “Yes, I am so one-sided. No one comes to the Father, but through Christ.”

To ministers of the Gospel who have watered down God’s Word and cannot stand up for the Truth, I have some news for you: The Apostle Paul says that there is “one Lord, one faith, one baptism…” There is one way to heaven. It is through Jesus Christ.

Saying “I’m offended” is pretty much telling the world that you cannot control your own emotions, so everyone else should do it for you.

Take a look at the life of Apostle Paul. He said so many things that offended people. He was stoned, beaten, trodden down upon. By whom? Sinners? Those struggling and in need of the Word of God? No. The religious leaders of his day. Jesus ran into the same issue.

I find it interesting that when people get offended, the never go to the person who supposedly offended them. They go around them to others. They spread their gossip. Soon enough, people start believing in 2nd-string and 3rd-string and 4th-string opinions about what they were never present to witness in the first place!

If you are ‘offended’ with someone, go to them in person, privately. This is the Matthew 18 principle. See Matthew 18:15-17.

Leighton Ford, a prominent Evangelist under Billy Graham, once wrote:

Jesus came from humble parents. There was little in his lineage or early life to suggest the kind of power his peers found in him. In fact, as one of the ancient prophecies had said, God’s leader would be a ‘root out of dry ground’ (Is. 53:2). In years to come the people of his hometown who had known him as a boy would be offended at this background. When they saw his miracles or heard his gracious speech, they sniffed, ‘But isn’t this the carpenter’s son? Isn’t this Joseph’s son? Aren’t these his brothers?’ (All said with a wink, a sly elbow in the ribs, and perhaps the unspoken innuendo that his parents were not yet married when his mother became pregnant.) ‘We know his family.’ That was all that was needed to be said by those who dismissed his power. (Transforming Leadership, 124)

Jesus had a tough time in Nazareth. People had their opinions of him. He was in his own hometown! It can be hard for someone to do ministry in their own hometown because the people think they know your background. They may think you’re just starting out. They may think you don’t know much. They may think you don’t have it takes.

But they don’t know what the Lord knows. They don’t know your connections. They don’t know who you’ve sat under and been mentored under.

Don’t wake up tomorrow morning and make yourself a cup of coffee, only to go to your window, open the blinds and say, “Good morning, America! What can I be offended by today?”

Yet this is what America does every morning.

Let’s be the Church – the ekklesia of God – the called out ones.

People’s lives are at stake. Their lives hang in the balance of eternity.

I end this article with a sobering thought:

 

 

 

 

Reaching the Homeless with the Gospel in Arden Hills, Minnesota

Last Thursday, July 27, 2017 brought a unique opportunity to my day, one of blessing, and equally one of humility. While driving south on Lexington Avenue, I saw a homeless family-of-four on the side of the road — a husband and wife, along with a 13-year old girl and a little baby. The girls were sitting under the shade of an ash tree, while the husband/father was standing in the sun, holding a sign that read: “HOMELESS. LOST MY JOB. TRYING TO FEED MY FAMILY. ANYTHING HELPS.”

As I drove by, the Spirit of God told me, “Go back. You need to reach them.” In my head, I was thinking, “No. I’m on my lunch break. It would be so nice just to sit down in my office and eat.” God said, “Adam, go back. I’m trying to stretch you. You need to go back.”

I got to my office and sat down. My flesh told me, “They’ll say no. It’ll be awkward. You’ll be nervous. Don’t do it. You’ll only embarrass yourself. It’s not worth it.”

The Holy Spirit said, “Go now. You will miss out on the timing if you do not go right now!” I obeyed. I grabbed an outreach Bible, wrote a note in the front, grabbed 2 bottles of water, and some cash from my wallet. I drove back to the site and found a parking lot. Walking over to them, my fleshly thoughts tried to dominate my mind. I wouldn’t let them. As J.I. Packer says, “There’s a difference between knowing God and knowing about God. When you truly know God, you have energy to serve Him, boldness to share Him, and contentment in Him.”

I was convicted. God then told me, “If you don’t reach them, they will be 4 more souls who will say to me on the Day of Judgment, ‘No one ever told me!’ You are here in the right time to tell them, so that they will not be able to say no one reached them with the Gospel. Go tell them about me.”

I approached the husband/father, and greeted the rest of the family. I asked to hear his story and how he lost his job. His name was Vashrapali and he was a painter. He and his family were from India. He said they had no family in the U.S. He lost his job 2 months ago. I gave him the cash, and told them to use the money however they saw fit.

I asked, “Do you know of any organization or church in the area that could help you out?”

“No,” he said somberly.

I gave him a few options of places they could connect with, as well as churches in the area. I took out my blue outreach Bible, and opened it up.

“Have you heard about Jesus Christ?” I asked.

“Briefly, yes. But not too much,” he said. His family sat on the grass and listened. I could tell the wife/mother was really listening and holding onto every word I said.

“Well, I wanted to provide this Bible to you and your family. If you flip to the back, it has more information about different Bible verses that can help you out in your time of need.” I then proceeded to share the Gospel with him. “I haven’t been in your exact situation, but I know what it’s like to have less than enough in the material sense. If you put your faith and hope in Jesus Christ, knowing He is able to cleanse you from your sins, He will provide a hope for you through His grace, a hope for a future, and a hope for peace. You all were uniquely created by God in His image. Jesus, God’s Son, loves you and cares for you. If you receive Him as your Savior, He will rescue you from your sins. If you then receive Him as your Lord, then He will guide your life. I ask that you think on these things. I drove by earlier and knew I needed to come over.”

The wife/mother spoke up. “We are grateful for this gift; the money, water, and the book.” She handed the Bible over to her 13-year old daughter, who began to flip through the pages.

I spoke again. “You are very welcome. I testify that Jesus Christ is real, and He came to bring you hope. If you choose to give your life over to Him, He will not only be able to provide for your material needs, but your spiritual needs. He answers prayers,  and you can trust Him.” I told them more about the cross and salvation.

“I have never heard this before,” Vashrapali said.

I nodded and smiled. “Well now you have.”

“We have a lot to think about. What was your name again?” he asked.

“Adam.”

I looked at him. “May I pray for you and your family?”

“Yes,” he said, unhesitatingly.

After the prayer, Vashrapali shook my hand and thanked me for coming by.

As I left the parking lot, I noticed out of my window that the 13-year old daughter was flipping through the blue Bible as her mother looked on. I could tell she was genuinely curious.

If I were to have listened to my flesh, I would have never went through with talking to them. It took boldness. It took guts. It took me out of my comfort zone. It took me out of my routine. But their salvation was on the line. Think of it. John T. Lewis once said, “I would rather have thousands to say to me at the judgment, “We heard you preach, and you hurt our feelings,” than to have just one lost soul say, “I heard you preach, but you did not tell me the truth.” Wow. Just, wow. It may feel uncomfortable to reach people, but we need to speak the truth. It is the truth that will set us free. I had to listen to the Holy Spirit’s soft voice. Not only that, I had to act on it.

Pray for them. A seed was planted. The work of an evangelist can be challenging, as you often don’t see the fruit of the planted seed. You need to plant the seed, let others water it, and let God bring the increase. In 1 Corinthians 3:6 (ESV), Paul said: “I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth.” This is why we need to trust God and have faith in Him. All we are required to do is have faith in Him that He will bring forth His desires according to His pleasure. It is the Father who draws men and women to Him. We are the servants. We dare not attempt to make a name for ourselves, for we should boast in nothing but Christ and His cross.

We must reach the lost. If we don’t, who will? God already knows who will be saved even before the foundation of the earth, yet this does not mean we can just sit around and not tell people about Jesus. “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God,” Paul says in Romans 10:17. If we do not preach the Word, people won’t hear the Word. If people don’t hear the Word, more people go to Hell. This is the simple, yet hard truth.

Because I was obedient to hear God’s voice on that Thursday afternoon, there are four more people who will not be able to say one day before God, “No one told me about you…”

May this bring conviction to your hearts. Not everyone is called to be an evangelist. But, everyone is called to reach the lost. We must live our lives so people can see the Truth that lives inside of you, but there comes a time that we need to be bold and speak the truth. We need to use our mouths. The Gospel was meant to step on toes and bring uneasiness. The Gospel was meant to convict. The Gospel was meant to shine a light on the dark and dirty sin that every human has prior to coming into a relationship with Jesus.

If God speaks and directs you to speak to someone, follow that prompting. After all, we are not on this earth to promote our name and ourselves, or a title of a specific church (after all, we as believers are the church), but the only name under heaven which leads to the Father and to salvation: Jesus Christ. 

 

 

Authenticity: Why Today’s Youth Are Looking for Something Real

It’s not hard to see that things are different today in our world than they were say 10-15 years ago. Yes, time goes on. But as time goes on, the world changes. Societal norms shift, cultures change. Ideals and morals change with culture. What’s right and wrong yesterday are not exactly what’s right and wrong today. And what’s right and wrong today, may not be right or wrong 50 years from now. This is how culture flows.

Biblically, what’s right and wrong does not change. As Christians, we serve a God who does not change (Malachi 3:6). We should not be surprised that culture shifts and constantly changes, as we know that there is nothing new under the sun. Ecclesiastes 1:9 states:

“The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing underthesun.”

As we serve a God who does not change and live in a world that does change, the Apostle Paul says that though we live in the world, we are to not live of the world (John 17:14-15). Romans 12:2 (NIV) says, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Galatians 1:4 (NIV) teaches us that it is Jesus Christ “who gave himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father…”

In the day and age we live in, we are living in the end of the Church Age – the Dispensation of Grace. In other words, Jesus Christ is coming back soon. Since He came, He initiated our dispensation, so that we live under His grace – and if we have faith in Him and believe in Him, then by and through His grace, we are forgiven and have a new life (Gal. 2:8-9).

Jesus Christ compares the day of His return to the days of Noah. “As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man: They ate, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all” (Luke 17:26-27). He also compares the day of His return to the days of Lot by saying: “And the world will be as it was in the days of Lot. People went about their daily business–eating and drinking, buying and selling, farming and building–” (Luke 17:28) In other words, life will go on as usual, while the world tarries in their own sin, going about their business.

We as Christians are told to be watchful (1 Pet. 5:8). The Apostle Paul says the following: “But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good…” (2 Timothy 3:1-3). Is this not what is going on in the world today? Yes, and it is going on more than ever.

The direction many mainline liberal American denominations have headed is to be soft in their approach of the Word, forsaking biblical covenants and holy lifestyles. In our age of secular humanism and cultural relativism, our youth have been reared under the generation before them which came out of growing up in the 1960’s and 1970’s, where authority was questioned. Often times, I hear from parents these days, “What is wrong with today’s youth and this generation? They don’t want to work, they are lazy, they are this, that, and the other…”

Yes, this generation has it’s issues. But so does every generation. If anything, the parents who have raised this generation or partially to blame for the issues. The problem with the former generation (born in the 1960’s) is that it has placed the same generational expectations on our Millennial Generation, which has different challenges it faces than the former did. This has caused our Millennial Generation to be faced with a seemingly impossible challenge in front of them: a changing work marketplace and educational system with parental expectations that do not fit in to the current model of how fast the world and technology are going these days.

Though it may seem that our Millennials are questioning authority more and more, they are really searching for community at a rate we have not seen in previous generations. Though Millennials take pride in their zeal of youth, they must never forsake the wisdom of the older generations. In order to harness and direct passion, wisdom must be applied. 

In the face of the challenges that are Millennials are going through, what has been the answer from a number of churches? A watered down, seeker-sensitive message that forsakes sound doctrine for cultural relevancy. And our Millennial generation bought into it hook and sinker. For a while, it seemed to work – churches moved towards a more entertainment-based praise and worship team, the music was relevant, the preaching turned into short, 15-minute “be a better you” pep talk, and it drew thousands. Church attendance soared. But there was an emptiness. Yes, churches may have filled their pews, but at what expense? Soon, chastity and pre-marital relations were thrown out the window and seen as ‘out-dated.’ The existence of Hell was erased. Homosexuality was not only tolerated, but encouraged. Gender roles went out the window. Alcoholic abstinence was ruled out. Words like ‘sin’ and ‘repent’ are nowhere to be found. A co-existent ‘Kumbaya’ utopia had been created.

The problem with this? It doesn’t satisfy. Soon, congregants wonder what happened to true worship that brought glory to God. People wondered what happened to preaching that brought forth conviction of sin. This is why our youth today, after experiencing the SAME thing in the world that they do at several churches, are getting sick and tired of being fed a message that never satisfies. They feast on a snack,  but they don’t get a meal.

We have a youth today that are starting to wake up. Keep in mind, I was born in 1987 and I myself am a Millennial. I know that challenges our generation has faced. I have also seen the challenges faced by those born in the late 1990’s and afterward. Our young people are craving something real, and are at the point when we will see a generation fed up with being fed a false gospel of wish-washiness, of cultural relativism, and one that frankly lacks authenticity. To be authentic and real is to not only acknowledge who we are as a person, but to subject ourselves to Jesus Christ and His holiness as revealed in His Word, in order that we might live life and have abundant life.

This generation is a threat to Satan. Why? Before he fell from Heaven, Lucifer was in charge of the heavenly music and worship to God. When he fell from heaven, that position was lost. Ever wonder why our music and praise and worship experiences such an attack from the enemy? Wonder why there tends to be drama on different praise teams? Why there are issues with worship leaders and their retention? It’s because we as men and women are called to worship – we were created to worship. We are God’s replacement for what Satan did – that’s why our worship to God is a threat to the Devil.

Why is it that our generation is so musically inclined? There were other generations that had some music. But it wasn’t until the 1700’s and on where orchestras and music became prominent. Look at all the music all of a sudden that bubbled out of the 1900’s and the rate at which it inclined! In the 19th century church, you had maybe one organ player, and the early 20th century you may have had someone who played the organ and someone who sang, and now we have huge praise teams with bands that play every kind of instrument. There is a reason why our generation has really skyrocketed in its passion with music – it’s because we are nearing the return of the Lord! We are being called into our place as worshipers, and we are being called into our true identity.

What will we see over the coming years? People will start to flee the Emerging Church movement and experience an authentic revival that will shake the nation. The emerging church is all about confirming who you think you already are, but the true, authentic Christianity will confirm who you can and will be through a new life in Christ. Remember, a revival revives those who have already experienced church, and an awakening awakens the community who has never experienced the Lord or church at all! Soon, in the United States, we will experience both. Pockets of revival have occurred here and there, but we will soon see a national awakening.

Another reason why our Millennial generation is under attack is because we have been prophesied over by prophets in the Old Testament. Check this out: Joel 2:28-29 states:

“And afterward,
    I will pour out my Spirit on all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy,
    your old men will dream dreams,
    your young men will see visions.
Even on my servants, both men and women,
    I will pour out my Spirit in those days.”

When does this occur? Before the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. This is why we are having so many youth today experiencing the Holy Spirit, and prophesying. Southern West Virginia has been experiencing revivals, especially in their schools. Students have gotten saved and laid hands on other students and healings have occurred in lunch room cafeterias and at football practices. This doesn’t make the news, but it has been happening a lot. And this has been happening with our young people!

The reason why this generation has such an attack on it is because we are the generation that will conform to the image that we have been created to conform to – the image of God. This generation is called to reflect who God is. I think it’s interesting that as we are nearing the return of the Lord and Jesus’ Millennial reign for 1,000 years, we currently have a generation that are actually called Millennials! Just food for thought.

True, biblically-based churches have lost numbers in the past 10 years. American Christians have had a rough 8 years under the Obama Administration, and religious freedoms were squashed by laws. Now, we have an opportunity in front of us: it will come time when bibilcally-based churches will see revival. Numbers don’t matter. It’s not the number of congregants that a church congregation has – it’s how effective and committed they are to Christ that matters. Jesus says in Matthew 18:20, “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” That is His promise to His people.

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Over the past handful of years, the light bulbs have been off, even over a majority of Christians. They have been left hanging in the rain, disconnected to their power source – God Himself. Soon, the light bulbs will come on. Christians will become filled with the Holy Spirit. Youth will experience revival. Older generations will link arms with our young generation to fulfill Malachi 4:5-6:

“Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LordAnd he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.”

[I exhort the older generation to this statement]: Do not forsake today’s youth. They need you. They need your guidance. Teach them wisdom, not from man-made traditions, but from the Word. They may have purple hair and piercings, but looks don’t matter. God looks at the heart, not the outward appearance (1 Sam. 16:7)

[I exhort the younger generation to this statement]: You were made to have the passion that you do. Harness it, let it develop. Seek the older generation, and learn to pray how they pray. Seek their advice. Listen to their chastising. Don’t give up on your goals and dreams.

When revival and awakening occurs, it will spark in the younger generation. The older generation will join in. I thank God that authenticity hasn’t died. Again, to be authentic is not being who you were, it is who you are in Christ in the new life you now live. The Apostle Paul provides this promise given to those who have come out of every unclean lifestyle: “And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.” (1 Cor. 6:11)

We allow ourselves to be authentic when we are honest about who we were and willing to step into who we are willing to become. This is what our generation is really looking for – something real. You can’t get more real than Jesus. He is knocking, will you answer?

Not-So-‘Called-Out’: The Paradox of Mormonism’s Racist Societal Conformity and Denominational Exclusivity

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints prides itself in being the only true church on the face of the earth. Doctrine and Covenants 1:30 explicitly states:

“And also those to whom these commandments were given, might have power to lay the foundation of this church, and to bring it forth out of obscurity and out of darkness, the only true and living church upon the face of the whole earth, with which I, the Lord, am well pleased, speaking unto the church collectively and not individually–“

The word “church” in the Koine Greek language is “ekklesia,” meaning: “called out ones” or “an assembly.” In ancient Greece, an Ekklesia was a public assembly where citizens came out to discuss legal matters.

Jesus Christ said that His followers are in this world, but not of this world. (See John 17) We physically live in this world alongside everyone else, but we do not follow the world’s ways. If the LDS Church claims to be the only true church, then why is it not a called-out Church, more specifically, in regards to race and racism?

Blacks in the LDS Church were not allowed to receive the priesthood until 1978. The LDS Church has written a very polished Gospel Topics Essay on lds.org called “Race and the Priesthood” In this article, it says the following: “Over time, Church leaders and members advanced many theories to explain the priesthood and temple restrictions. None of these explanations is accepted today as the official doctrine of the Church.”

How were these former Mormon explanations simply theories, when it is clearly documented that racism played a role in the ban? Also, it was taught that black skin is a curse from God, according to Mormonism. Mormon Apostle George F. Richards, spoke in General Conference and said the following:

“The negro is an unfortunate man. He has been given a black skin.

“But that is as nothing compared with that greater handicap that he is not permitted to receive the Priesthood and the ordinances of the temple, necessary to prepare men and women to enter into and enjoy a fulness of glory in the celestial kingdom.

“What is the reason for this condition, we ask, and I find it to my satisfaction to think that as spirit children of our Eternal Father they were not valiant in the fight. We are told that Michael and his angels fought, and we understand that we stood with Christ our Lord, on the platform, “Father, thy will be done, and the glory be thine forever.” I cannot conceive our Father consigning his children to a condition such as that of the negro race, if they had been valiant in the spirit world in that war in heaven. Neither could they have been a part of those who rebelled and were cast down, for the latter had not the privilege of tabernacling in the flesh. Somewhere along the line were these spirits, indifferent perhaps, and possibly neutral in the war. We have no definite knowledge concerning this. But I learn this lesson from it, brethren and sisters, and I believe we all should, that it does not pay in religious matters, matters that pertain to our eternal salvation, to be indifferent, neutral, or lukewarm.” (Conference Reports, April 1939, Second Day-Morning Meeting: Elder George F. Richards, pp. 58-59)

Joseph Smith, the founder of the LDS Church said the following:

“Having learned with extreme regret, that an article entitled, ‘Free People of Color,’ in the last number of the Star has been misunderstood, we feel in duty bound to state, in this Extra, that our intention was not only to stop free people of color from emigrating to this state, but to prevent them from being admitted as members of the Church.” (History of the Church, 1:378-79)

“Had I anything to do with the negro, I would confine them by strict law to their own species and put them on a national equalization.” (History of the Church, Vol. 5, pp. 218-19)

Brigham Young, the 2nd prophet of the LDS Church, said the following about people with black skin:

“You see some classes of the human family that are black, uncouth, un- comely, disagreeable and low in their habits, wild, and seemingly deprived of nearly all the blessings of the intelligence that is generally bestowed upon mankind. The first man that committed the odious crime of killing one of his brethren will be cursed the longest of any one of the children of Adam. Cain slew his brother. Cain might have been killed, and that would have put a termination to that line of human beings. This was not to be, and the Lord put a mark upon him, which is the flat nose and black skin. Trace mankind down to after the flood, and then another curse is pronounced upon the same race – that they should be the “servant of servants;” and they will be, until that curse is removed; and the Abolitionists cannot help it, nor in the least alter that decree. How long is that race to endure the dreadful curse that is upon them? That curse will remain upon them, [p.291] and they never can hold the Priesthood or share in it until all the other descendants of Adam have received the promises and enjoyed the blessings of the Priesthood and the keys thereof. Until the last ones of the residue of Adam’s children are brought up to that favourable position, the children of Cain cannot receive the first ordinances of the Priesthood. They were the first that were cursed, and they will be the last from whom the curse will be removed. When the residue of the family of Adam come up and receive their blessings, then the curse will be removed from the seed of Cain, and they will receive blessings in like proportion.” (Journal of Discourses 7:290-91, October 9, 1859)

These were not just theories. This belief in the curse of Cain was spoken in LDS General Conference addresses by prophets and apostles of ‘God.’ If times have changed, as most Mormons would argue, the living prophet trumps the dead prophet. Well, how convenient does this become? How solid is a religion when you have to explain away teachings of a prophet from one-hundred years ago? Could you imagine people in the prophet Malachi’s day (425 BC) saying, “Well, whatever Isaiah said a few hundred years ago in 685 BC was for then, and we have a new word today, so what Isaiah said was just his personal opinion.” It doesn’t work this way. Yes, the law and prophets were fulfilled in Christ, but that’s a different story. That has to do with switching dispensations (in example, the levitical priesthood was fulfilled in Christ; circumcision was fulfilled in Christ)

If we are in the last dispensation, according to Mormonism, then why are prophets disagreeing with each other within one particular dispensation of time? Since Joseph Smith supposedly ushered in this Final Dispensation of the Fulness of Times, then why are prophets within this dispensation changing their minds on key issues within their own dispensation? Why have the policies on blacks and the priesthood changed? As you can see in the quote above, Brigham Young taught that blacks could not receive the priesthood until all the family of Adam received the first ordinances of the Priesthood first! This hasn’t happened yet since all the residue of Adam has not received the Priesthood. Therefore, according to Brigham Young, blacks should not have received the priesthood in 1978 – they should have waited until the end of the age.

Mormons treat Brigham Young’s teachings as though he lived back in the days of when Leviticus and Deuteronomy were written. The common saying among liberal Christians is, “Well, we’re in a new day and age, and what God said in Leviticus doesn’t apply to us today.” In that line of thinking, Mormons: Brigham Young only lived a little over one-hundred years ago, and you’re throwing away his ‘prophetic utterances’ as old and just his mere opinions? Since when did General Conference sermons become an LDS prophet’s opinion? If his opinion is very wrong, how many of an LDS prophet’s false opinions that are preached to the church membership does it take for him to be considered a false prophet? Joseph Smith’s statement that “A prophet is only a prophet when he is acting as such” is such a cop-out. This gives Joseph Smith and Brigham Young a free pass to preach within or without the Spirit of God’s guidelines and still hold a prophetic office. This is not what Deuteronomy 13:1-5 states about a prophet:

“If a prophet or someone who has dreams arises among you and proclaims a sign or wonder to you, and that sign or wonder he has promised you comes about, but he says, ‘Let us follow other gods,’ which you have not known, ‘and let us worship them,’ do not listen to that prophet’s words or to that dreamer. For the Lord your God is testing you to know whether you love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul. You must follow the Lord your God and fear Him. You must keep His commands and listen to His voice; you must worship Him and remain faithful to Him. That prophet or dreamer must be put to death, because he has urged rebellion against the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt and redeemed you from the place of slavery, to turn you from the way the Lord your God has commanded you to walk. You must purge the evil from you.

Isn’t it interesting that Joseph Smith, not long before he was murdered on June 27, 1844 taught the plurality of gods in his King Follett Discourse sermon on April 7, 1844? This warning in the Bible says that a prophet who leads the people to a path of other gods will be put to death. Joseph Smith did not die a martyr, innocent as a lamb – he died because he blasphemed the Lord God. The Lord took him out before he could do more damage, commit more spiritual abuse, and practice more pedophilia. King Herod Agrippa was struck dead by the Lord for receiving praise as a god. (Acts 12) Joseph Smith was struck dead for blaspheming God.

Brigham Young says that slavery is a divine institution and predicted that the Civil War would not end slavery. He was wrong.

“Ham will continue to be servant of servants, as the Lord decreed, until the curse is removed. WILL THE PRESENT STRUGGLE FREE THE SLAVE? NO; but they are now wasting away the black race by thousands…. “Treat the slaves kindly and let them live, for HAM MUST BE THE SERVANT OF SERVANTS UNTIL THE CURSE IS REMOVED. Can you destroy the decrees of the Almighty? YOU CANNOT. Yet our Christian brethren think that they are going to overthrow the sentence of the Almighty upon the seed of Ham. THEY CANNOT DO THAT, though they may kill them by thousands and tens of thousands.” (Millennial Star, Vol. 25, page 787; also published in Journal of Discourses, Vol. 10, page 250)

White, Protestant American southerners who believed in slavery were also wrong. The LDS Church followed along with the culture of the time. Why was this the case, if they are the only true and living church upon the earth today? Through Joseph Smith, an open heaven was supposedly given. Why did he not declare slavery wrong and ordain blacks to the priesthood?

Mormonism gave in to the changing culture, as pressure was placed on the LDS Church. Conveniently, the Mormon Church came to a ‘revelation’ in 1978 that allowed blacks to obtain the priesthood. This happened with polygamy in the 19th century. Mormons proudly lived out the polygamous lifestyle, and then caved in to cultural pressure in 1890.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints do not represent the “called out ones” that the ekklesia of God is supposed to be. Had it been, God would have been the leading instrument in social change from within Mormonism since the establishment of the LDS Church in 1830. Instead, what we have is an amazingly contradictory Church that deals with obfuscation in its public relations, fills the coffers of its upper echelon, and funnels lies to its lay membership. These are the marks of not only a cult, but a dangerous theological institution that perpetuates Joseph Smith’s lies and elevates his heretical writings as sound scriptural canon.

All races were created by God, as God himself is not a racist. Mormons, please think through this. It’s okay to ask questions. It’s okay to check out sources. When you receive the revelation that Joseph Smith was a false prophet, please don’t give up on Jesus Christ. Jesus never sent Joseph. Jesus sent his Holy Spirit to bear witness of Him – He lives, He reigns, and He can save you by grace through your faith in Him. Read the New Testament as a child, and you will see Christian teachings through untainted lenses.

 

 

 

 

 

 

65 Reasons Why the Mormon Church is Not True

In his book, “Mormon Crisis: Anatomy of a Failing Religion,” James A. Beverley, a Professor of Christian Thought and Ethics at Tyndale Seminary in Toronto, outlines in his conclusion 65 reasons why The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is false. Below is a summary of those points, listed from pp. 145-149 in his book:

  1. The 1838 First Vision account is a late fabrication of Joseph Smith.
  2. There is no reliable evidence for visitation of the embodied Father and Son to Joseph in 1820.
  3. The First Vision accounts contradict one another.
  4. There was no total apostasy in the Christian Church shortly after the New Testament period.
  5. Joseph Smith engaged in the fraudulent, superstitious, and criminal practice of money digging.
  6. Joseph Smith was arrested and fined in relation to money digging.
  7. Joseph Smith used the same seer stone in translating the Book of Mormon as he did for his money digging.
  8. Joseph Smith broke his wedding vows.
  9. Joseph Smith treated his wife in an abusive way over celestial marriage.
  10. Joseph Smith coerced women to marry him.
  11. Joseph Smith lied repeatedly over years about his plural wives.
  12. Joseph Smith pressured other Mormons to lie about polygamy.
  13. Joseph Smith coerced young women to marry him, including two who were his guardians.
  14. Joseph Smith pressured already married women to marry him.
  15. Joseph Smith made false prophecies about the return of Christ.
  16. Joseph Smith made false prophecies about gaining wealth in Salem, MA.
  17. Joseph Smith made false prophecies about his Kirtland bank’s success.
  18. Joseph Smith made false prophecies about the success of the LDS in Missouri.
  19. Joseph Smith (and Sidney Rigdon) fomented the conflicts in Missouri.
  20. Joseph Smith altered his own revelations.
  21. Joseph Smith fabricated the revelation on priesthood restoration in Doctrine and Covenants section 27.
  22. Joseph Smith’s translation of Scripture is biased, unlearned and contrary to the earliest and best Hebrew and Greek manuscripts.
  23. Mormon prophets have taught various major heresies throughout LDS history.
  24. Brigham Young taught the heretical view that Adam was God.
  25. Brigham Young taught the false doctrine of Blood Atonement.
  26. Brigham Young and other prophets often engaged in careless speculation and advanced erroneous views like claiming there were people living on the sun or that the earth has a spirit and needs to be baptized.
  27. Brigham Young was responsible in part for creating the environment that led to the Mountain Meadows Massacre.
  28. Brigham Young lied repeatedly about the Massacre.
  29. LDS Church leaders engaged in cover-up of the Massacre throughout history.
  30. LDS leaders have often misled Mormons through cover-up obfuscation, and lies about various topics.
  31. Ezra Taft Benson taught a dangerous, extreme and false view about the status of the LDS prophet.
  32. LDS Church members are naive and gullible because of their unwarranted adulation of Church prophets and apostles.
  33. Loyalty to God is not to be measured explicitly by obedience to the LDS authorities.
  34. The Book of Mormon was written by Joseph Smith, with the help of others. It is not an ancient document.
  35. The Book of Mormon is not a reliable historical account in relation to Central and North America.
  36. DNA evidence about Natives contradicts the dominant view in LDS history that the Indians were originally Jewish tribes.
  37. The Book of Mormon text was altered, occasionally in significant ways, after the first edition was published.
  38. The teaching on God in the Book of Mormon was basically repudiated by Joseph Smith later in his life.
  39. The revelations given in the 1833 Book of Commandments were altered in significant ways when they were reproduced in the 1835 Doctrine and Covenants.
  40. LDS leaders tampered with LDS scripture by removing the Lectures on Faith from the LDS canon of scripture.
  41. The Book of Abraham was written by Joseph Smith.
  42. The Book of Abraham is neither a regular translation nor an “inspired” translation of ancient Egyptian documents.
  43. LDS doctrine that arises from the Book of Abraham is basically rooted in a document invented by Joseph and passed off to LDS members from his uninformed, naive and false translation work on the papyrus.
  44. The Book of Abraham contains a wild, irrational and unscientific cosmology, rooted in Joseph Smith’s imagination and nineteenth century views.
  45. The LDS prophets have been wrong to teach there is more than one God.
  46. The LDS prophets have been wrong to teach God the Father is not eternal and used to be a man.
  47. The LDS prophets have been wrong to teach that humans can become God.
  48. Prophet Gordon B. Hinckley misled the public about the theory that God was once a man. He engaged in obfuscation with the media and then smoothed things over with the LDS membership through his General Conference remarks.
  49. The truth that there is one God is a total repudiation of LDS teaching that humans can become God.
  50. LDS prophets have been wrong to teach that Jesus went through a path of eternal progression.
  51. LDS prophets have been wrong to teach that Jesus is the product of sex between Elohim and the Virgin Mary.
  52. LDS prophets have been wrong to teach that Jesus and Lucifer are spiritual brothers.
  53. LDS leaders and Mitt Romney were wrong to engage in obfuscation when Mike Huckabee said that Mormons believe Jesus and Lucifer are spiritual brothers.
  54. The Temple endowment ceremony is an invention of Joseph Smith.
  55. The Temple endowment ceremony has some of its roots in the Masonic lodge. Masonic ceremonies go back to the seventeenth century and not to the time of Solomon.
  56. The Temple endowment ceremony has been altered by LDS prophets even though they claim it is the same ceremony throughout history.
  57. The Temple endowment ceremony minimizes salvation by grace.
  58. The LDS Church system and theology creates a works-righteousness.
  59. Secret oaths and secret signs of the priesthood are totally foreign to the New Testament.
  60. Wearing special temple garments is foreign to the New Testament.
  61. The LDS prophets are wrong to support LDS scripture that contain racist statements.
  62. The LDS prophets were wrong for decades to support racist theories.
  63. LDS leaders continue to engage in obfuscation on racism in order to hide the fact that various LDS prophets have been racist in their teaching.
  64. LDS leaders lied repeatedly about polygamy after the 1890 Manifesto.
  65. LDS leaders were and are wrong to link polygamy to exaltation.

I could understand maybe one or two minor issues with a religious group – but this many? I could list dozens, if not hundreds more. Not only are these issues many, but they are all across the board in several areas: polygamy, money-digging, racism, false doctrine, temple ceremonies, etc. The biggest thing that comes up are Joseph Smith’s teachings. A foundation has a founder. No matter how one may try to explain away some of these issues, what are the chances you can erase one or two and the others will fade away? These are the signs of not only a false religion, but a failing religion.

James Beverley notes that there are a few major realities that explain why LDS members don’t engage theses issues. “The first has to do with the instant and constant reinforcement of faith through focus on subjective feelings…” the second “reason most LDS members will not face all of the evidence against the basic integrity of Mormonism is simply the realization of the cost of leaving the LDS Church. It is impossible for many Mormons to even imagine walking away from the security of Mormon culture and the love they experience in the LDS Church. As well, ex-Mormon testimonies are replete with stories of the price endured in family break-up, dissolution of friendships, and even business loss upon resigning, dismissal, or excommunication.” (Beverley, pp. 149-150)

My Latter-day Saint friends, it really is worth it to follow Jesus, even if it’s at the expenses of what you hold dear, such as your family. Keep in mind that Jesus himself said, “He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.” (Matthew 10:37, KJV)

1 Corinthians 14:33 says, “For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace…”

Mormonism is tremendously confusing, and really brings confusion to the mind, heart, and spirit of an individual. If God’s peace came with the testimony of the “truthfulness” of the Book of Mormon, why are so many LDS Church members sad, depressed, filled with anxiety, and on anti-depressants? Look at the Utah statistics in these categories – the numbers are staggering. This is what a never-ending list of works does to a person, it creates an impossible climb towards an impossible godhood.

It is Jesus Christ who said that his yoke is easy and his burden is light. (Matthew 11:30)

A Season of Growth, Strengthening, and Pressing Forward

I write this article to inform all of those who read my website and follow my ministry that I am on a hiatus from article-writing until the coming Spring of 2017. I will resume writing articles around that time, and until then, I will be busy with many things.

My last article, written in July of this past summer, came at a time when I have been in the middle of going through much spiritual warfare and change in my life. This change is for the better. No one really has known the depth and gravity of what I have been going through, save God alone. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow once said, “Every man has his secret sorrows which the world knows not; and often times we call a man cold when he is only sad.” What a perfect quote to describe what I have gone through! Those who may think that despair is never-ending are wrong; for I know that I will fully come through the spiritual warfare. Never before have I been able to relate to the book of Job than now. Also, I hang on to what Jesus said in the gospel of John: “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” (John 14:27)

I am needing this time off from article-writing to focus on my family, my current role at work, and moving forward with things in my life. My wife, Hannah, and I are expecting another child! My wife is 15 weeks pregnant as of now, and our new child’s projected due date will be April 18, 2017. Our daughter, Ingrid, will turn 2 years old on Thanksgiving Day this year! During my time off of writing articles, I will be focusing on taking care of my family (as I have before), but there is so much going on in this season of life for me that I need to really hone in and get our house ready and rearranged for a second child.

Also, the Lord provided a new job for me on May 31, 2016 as an Enrollment Counselor here at Bethel University. I work in the Post-Traditional Admissions Office; meaning, I enroll students for our M.A. in Counseling and our M.A. in Marriage and Family Therapy program (the latter of which is a Bethel Seminary program). I am so excited to be in this role, and I have been blessed by so many divine opportunities and divine appointments while in this role.

Latter-Day Sense Ministry is not going away- definitely not. My calling is ministry, missions, and outreach to the Mormons, ex-Mormons, Mormons in transition, those thinking of joining Mormonism, and those who have been hurt and deceived by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. My calling will not change, for He has chosen me for this life of service. “For many are called, but few are chosen.” -Matthew 22:14. God has called, and I have answered that call. I have tried to run from it, looked at other options, the Devil has tried to make me give it up, and so on. But I will no longer run from my calling any longer.

Many that I know, including family members, do not understand what God has for me to do in this life on this side of the veil. Often those closest to us do not know how to respond when we share our desires, dreams, and call in life. Take a look at Jesus Christ himself: the Bible says that He was not accepted in His own hometown. (Luke 4:24) He couldn’t even perform miracles there because of the people’s unbelief. Why? Because people were familiar with him to the point where even one man said, “Isn’t this the carpenter’s son? Isn’t his mother’s name Mary, and aren’t his brothers James, Joseph, Simon and Judas?” (Matthew 13:55) This is because our families have seen us grow up- they know our shortcomings, our weaknesses, our spots of rebellion during our teenage years, our failures, our attempts, our losses, and they think they know what we are ‘supposed’ to be doing. After all, society says that once we graduate high school, we go to college, find a normal job, get married, have few kids, settle down in the suburbs, and lather, rinse, repeat. But my life is different from that- my calling is different. Yes, I am happily married; yes, I am a proud father; but I am meant to not just sink into a job routine in the long run- full-time ministry will take over my job one day, and I look forward to that day with patience now.

Usually family get-togethers for me can be filled with, “So what do you want to do?” And once I explain my calling to minister to Mormons and establish a ministry, I often get myriad responses. Some don’t know what to say. Some change the subject. Some say I won’t make enough money. Some deep down wonder when I’ll stop dreaming and instead sink into ‘reality’. Some just nod their head and say, “Oh… Okay…”

But then some are encouraging, which means the world. As my grandmother Lee has always said, “People often criticize what they don’t understand.” So true. If only people took a genuine interest, then they will understand.

It is often those who do not know us well or are meeting us for the first time who say, “Wow, that sounds amazing what you want to do!” If only this could come from family members, for often one close family member’s encouraging word can mean more than 1,000 confirming words from a stranger. I don’t pity myself for not having the support of every one of my family members, but what I am encouraged by is that I can use God’s calling and my life and run with it! For at the end of the day, it is not my calling, it is God’s. He gets the glory anyway, so I might as well attribute any success I have to Him.

Though I know that I am not supposed to reveal to everyone what my calling is and what my visions are for the future. After all, it can be dangerous to tell what is precious to you to just anyone. Jesus says in Matthew 7:6, “Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces.”

Many parents simply want us to fill their shoes, live close by for convenience, fulfill something that they didn’t get to fulfill. But when God shows up and says, “Go and do,” then I know that I know that I need to simply, “Go and do.” But “going and doing” is not that simple. Things take time. My character needs to develop. My patience needs to sharpen. My impatience needs to be eradicated.

Latter-Day Sense Ministry is not going away- it will one day expand, grow, and develop. But that time is still down the road, and I am okay with that now. I need to living where God wants me to live now. That doesn’t mean that I can’t plan for the future. After all, I am a visionary and a dreamer. This is how the Lord communicates with me. But I love the ways in which God brings an inner peace about where we are at along the journey, and I have known no one better at knowing and operating in this kind of communication with God than my wife, Hannah. We are in agreement together with what we will be doing in the future, and we know that we will be guided by God, with both God’s visions for our future, and for God’s plan for us in the here-and-now. Hannah balances me out. We balance each other out. Thank God for a wife as amazing as her! All we want is what God wants for us, and that is what we will do.

Pray for me during this time. There are a handful of Mormons who hold mid-level positions in the LDS Church who have emailed me with threats, bribes, rebukes, and even damnation over the past 3 years. One of them finally stopped after a year-and-a-half of harassing emails after my first interview out in Utah. This was after I had repeatedly told him to stop emailing me and it took him 18 months to stop emailing me. I reminded him that if Mormons believe in free agency, which is the God-given privilege for us to choose for ourselves and decide what we want to do, then he needed to respect my choice to have him stop emailing me. Things like this do not discourage me- they actually encourage me because I am on the right path and just when you start stepping into what God wants you to do, more challenges come your way! If we are not doing anything for God, we are not a threat to Satan. If we live a normal routine life, not serving the Lord, then the Devil already has us where he wants us; but if we step out in faith and serve the Lord, then we will go through things. After all, one thing that Jesus Christ promises His followers is this: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33) If we follow Him, it’s a guarantee- we will have tribulation/trouble. But He overcame the world so that we could overcome the world.

What the Devil has put me through internally in the past 5 months nearly cost me my life. What the Devil had in store for me is no more. Now, what the Lord has in store for me is more. What the Lord has in store for me cannot be stolen by any person or any dark spiritual being in the heavenly places and atmosphere. We live in a seen world. Though, there is an unseen world all around us that is veiled from our eyes, and really, for our protection. If we could visibly see into the spiritual realm, we would see a war going on between God’s angels/seraphim, and Satan’s demons/fallen angels. Ephesians 6:12 says, “ For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” High places means the lower part of our atmosphere beneath the mountains, meaning, the sky above us and the sky around us. Our battle isn’t with each other, our battle is with the Devil. But, this is God’s battle to fight, for He already won the war and Jesus Christ Himself holds the keys to death and Hell. (Revelation 1:18)

Thank God for the victory!

Since the Devil has not stopped me yet, with God’s grace, I know he will never stop me- for I know the Lord God, I know my personal relationship with His Son, Jesus Christ, and I have the Holy Spirit within me. I have been baptized with His presence- and I will always be in covenant with Jesus Christ, my King, and my God.

I will press on- I will move forward in His calling in my life, and I will always return to Him when I stumble.

I will press on- knowing that at the end of my life, as the Apostle Paul so plainly put it, I will also be able to say: “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”

-I declare this in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.-