The Gospel Observer

"Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations...teaching them to observe all that I commanded you, and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age" (Matt. 28:19,20).
June 24, 1990


1) Mormonism (Part Two) (Tom Edwards)


Mormonism (Part Two)
by Tom Edwards

Let us consider some other Mormon doctrines that clash  with  the sound teaching of the Gospel:

1. Young unmarried Mormon men are referred to as "elders"; yet the Bible shows that the elder must be a married man and with believing children (1 Tim. 3:2-5; Titus 1:6).

2. The Mormon church also appoints young boys (age 12) to the office of deacon. The Bible, however, shows that the deacon also must be married and have children (1 Tim. 3:12).

3. Mormons have used water instead of the fruit of the vine in the Lord's supper. According to Joseph Smith, it doesn't matter what one uses in the communion (Doctrine and Covenants 27:1-4). The Bible teaches that the two elements to be used are the bread and the fruit of the vine (Matt. 26:26-28). Which will you follow?

4. The Book of Mormon states that Jesus was born in Jerusalem (Alma 7:10). The Bible says Bethlehem (Matt.2:1). Which will you accept?  I believe Homer Hailey was right in his explanation as to why the Book of Mormon makes this incorrect assertion as to the place of Christ's birth; he states: "Bethlehem of Judaea is five miles south of Jerusalem...In the southern part of Jerusalem the Jebusites had a fortress which David captured, rebuilt, and called "the city of David" (1 Chron.  11:4-7). Bethlehem is also called the "city of David" (Luke 2:11) because it was the native town of David. The writer of the Book of Mormon was simply ignorant of the Bible teaching."

5. According to the Mormons, "The Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man's...." (Doctrines & Covenants 130:22). Jesus says, however, that "God is spirit....(Jn. 4:24), and "...a spirit hath not flesh and bones....(Luke 24:39).

6. The Book of Mormon refers to the name of the Lord as being "Jesus" hundreds of years before Christ's birth in that lowly manger (Mosiah 18:17). The first reference to this name being proclaimed to man is of the angel Gabriel's announcement to Mary (Luke 24:39), just months before the birth of the Lord.

7. In the Book of Mormon, Helaman 14:20, a "prediction" is made that there would be three days of darkness following the death of Christ. It reads: "But behold, as I said unto you concerning another sign, a sign of his death, behold, in that day that he shall suffer death the sun shall be darkened and refuse to give his light unto you; and also the moon and the stars; and there shall be no light upon the face of this land, even from the time that he shall suffer death, for the space of three days, to the time that he shall rise again from the dead." The only darkness the  Bible speaks of  near the death of Christ was the three hours of darkness that preceded His death: "...it was now about the sixth hour, and darkness  fell over the whole land until the ninth hour, the sun being obscured...." (Luke 23:44,45).   The "until" indicates that after that time the darkness had ceased.

8.  Jimmy Thomas made an illuminating remark about the writing style of the Book of Mormon; he exclaims: "Mormons say `the period covered by Book of Mormon annals extends from B.C. 600 to A.D. 421...About 421 it was supposedly sealed and hidden by Moroni and delivered it unto Joseph Smith in 1827. Smith then, `by the gift and power of God,' is said to have translated it into English. Yet the book contains many passages taken verbatim from the King James Version of the Bible which was not made until 1611 -- 1,190 years after the Book of Mormon was supposed to have been completely written and sealed. Practically all of Jesus' sermon on the mount is found in 3 Nephi 12-14, almost word for word as it appears in Matt. 5-7 of the King James Version.  Therefore, it is evident that the Book of Mormon was written sometime this side of 1611."

9.  One of the Mormon's "proof" texts for the Book of Mormon is Ezekiel 37:15-22. The passage refers to two sticks; on one was to be written: "For Judah and for the sons of Israel, his companions"; and on the other, "For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim and all the house of Israel, his companions." The Mormons have alleged that "the stick of Ephraim" is prophetic for the Book of Mormon and the stick of Judah for the Bible. Just a glance at the context shows, though, that the two sticks are simply representing the Northern kingdom of Israel and the Southern Kingdom of Judah. In verse 22, the Lord refers to them as "two nations" and "two kingdoms," but the "sticks" would be joined together which symbolize the reuniting of these kingdoms to become one nation in the land.

What does it take to twist the Book of Mormon out of this passage?  There is not even the slightest allusion to it. But another thing to realize is that the Book of Mormon is just one of the books the Mormons use. They also have Doctrine and Covenants and Pearl of Great Price that they believe to be equally binding. Even if Ezekiel 37 were speaking of the Book of Mormon, how could the Mormons show authority for these other two books?

Concerning the reference to "Ephraim" in Ezekiel 37, Unger writes in his Bible Dictionary: "...the ten tribes revolted, and established a different mode of worship...After this Ephraim was the main support of the northern kingdom, which came to be designated by its name, and the reunion of which with Judah was the hope of the prophets as the fulfillment of Israel's glory...Ezek. 37:15-22. After the captivity `children of Ephraim' dwelt in Jerusalem." According to the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, "Solomon's unwisdom and the crass folly of Rehoboam in the management of the northern tribes fanned the smoldering discontent into a fierce flame. This made easy the work of the rebel Jeroboam; and from the day of the disruption till the fall of the Northern Kingdom there was none to dispute the supremacy of Ephraim, the names Ephraim and Israel being synonymous."

Mormonism is not from God. As we have seen, many of its teachings are in direct opposition to God's divinely inspired word that He has delivered unto men. According to Jude 3, the faith (gospel) has been given once and for all. Therefore, there is no need to look for latter revelations. What we have in the Scriptures is everything that we need in order to be "perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works" (2 Tim. 3:16,17); and it provides us with "all things that pertain unto life and godliness" (2 Pet. 1:3).

May each person today learn to be content with the all sufficiency of God's word. The Scriptures are not to be tampered with, such as through omitting from it or adding to it (2 John 9). It is the only message that will clearly show us the way to God's eternal glory.

The Steps That Lead to Eternal Salvation

1) Hear the gospel, for that is how faith comes (Rom. 10:17;  John 20:30,31).
2) Believe in the deity of Christ (John 8:24; John 3:18).
3) Repent of sins (Luke 13:5; Acts 17:30).
4) Confess faith in Christ (Rom. 10:9,10; Acts 8:36-38).
5) Be baptized in water for the remission of sins (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; Rom. 6:3,4; Gal. 3:26,27; 1 Pet. 3:21).
6) Continue in the faith; for, if not, salvation can be lost (Heb. 10:36-39; Rev. 2:10; 2 Pet. 2:20-22).

First published for the Tri-state church of Christ in Ashland, Kentucky, at 713 13th Street.

evangelist/editor: Tom Edwards