Did the New Testament Writers Record Fact or Fiction? Part 6

Post Author: Bill Pratt

From part 5, we are still examining whether the eyewitnesses who wrote the books of the NT are trustworthy.  Previously we noted that the eyewitnesses recorded embarrassing details about Jesus’ disciples.  We concluded that embarrassing details would not be included in a fictional work meant to emphasize the greatness of the first followers of Jesus.  But there are additional points to consider.

A second point to examine is that the NT writers included hard-to-explain details and sayings of their Lord and Messiah, Jesus Christ.  Again, if you were creating a new religion for selfish reasons, you would not include some of the following details about Jesus because they don’t portray a simple, straightforward version of Jesus, but a more complex version.

For example, Jesus’ family thought he was out of his mind (Mark 3:21).

Jesus was deserted by many of his followers (John 6:66).

Jesus was almost stoned to death several times because of what he said.

Jesus was accused of being a drunk in Matt. 11:19.

In John 6:53 Jesus encouraged his followers to eat of his flesh and drink of his blood.  This was difficult for many non-Christians to understand during the early years of the church (Jesus was speaking symbolically, not literally); some accused Christians of being cannibals!

To cap it all off, Jesus’ moral teachings were incredibly challenging.  He told his disciples to love their enemies (Matt 5:44-45) and he said that if a man just thinks seriously about adultery, then he is guilty of it.  Just our thoughts are enough to break the moral law.

Why include these facts about Jesus if you’re making up a new religion to gain power and wealth?

A third point about the NT writers is that they include divergent details about the life of Jesus.  Imagine that 5 teenagers attended a church retreat at a camp one weekend.  After the weekend was over, I asked each of them to write a one-page essay about what they did over the weekend.  All five gave me their essays and they were all virtually word-for-word identical.  Each teen wrote about the same events, included the same details about those events, commented on the same people they saw at the events, and even mentioned the color of the shirt worn by one of the counselors.

What should I conclude?  Obviously, the five teens all got together and agreed on the story before writing their essays (they colluded).  Probably one of them wrote down the events and the rest copied her.

Likewise, when a judge listens to several witnesses talk about one event, he is watching for collusion.  Witnesses that do this cannot be trusted, can they?  They don’t seem to be interested in telling the truth, but in getting their stories straight, in conspiring.

In fact, one way we know witnesses can be trusted is if their stories don’t match on all the details.  If the five teens mentioned the same general events of the weekend camp, but gave differing perspectives of those events and wrote about different details, then it is more likely they can be trusted to be telling the truth, and thus we have more confidence in the events they’re describing.

This is exactly the case we have with the NT writers.  They all talk about things like Jesus’ birth, his miracles, his crucifixion, and his resurrection, but they tell about all these events in different ways and they include different details.

For example, Matthew’s account of Jesus’ early years include his parents traveling to Egypt to escape King Herod.  Luke, in his gospel, does not mention the trip to Egypt.  Why?  Is it because Jesus never went to Egypt and Matthew made it up?  No, it’s probably because Luke was not so interested in the trip to Egypt while Matthew was.  Matthew was writing his gospel to Jews and he realized that the family’s move to Egypt fulfilled an Old Testament prophecy that would convince the Jews of Jesus being the Messiah.  Luke was not likely writing to a Jewish audience, but to a Gentile audience, so he left it out because it wouldn’t mean as much to them.

There are many other examples of divergent details in the gospel accounts, but they can be explained along these lines.  These different details actually serve to prove the integrity of the writers, not the other way around.

In the next post, we look at even more lines of evidence that bolster the trustworthiness of the NT writers.

  • Geoff456

    Hi, this is off topic, but I followed your blog address from Mark Care’s posting this morning. After reading your bio, I had a few questions.

    First, how do you explain the witnesses to Joseph Smith’s revelations and miracles? Maybe first should have been: Do you think Joseph just flat out lied? When you were a member of the Church how did you start to question everything? Were you a lifelong member or a convert?

    thanks,
    geoff

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  • Bill Pratt

    Hi Geoff,
    Darrell is out of town a couple days, but he will answer your questions when he returns. I spoke to him today and mentioned your comments. Thanks for your interest.

    Bill

  • Geoff,

    Thanks for your questions. I am happy to share a little more about my story. Feel free to ask anything you like. I joined the church at the age of 22. It was a genuine coversion and I served in the church for many years. I met my wife AFTER I joined the church and we now have 4 kids together. What started my questioning of the church were problems with it’s history. Through research I came to realize that the church, for lack of a better word, “whitewashes” it’s history. Upon discovering some of the problems I began to read The Bible with my Mormon colored glasses off. When I did that I came to an understanding of God and Christ that I did not find in Mormonism. The message of grace that I found within the pages of The Bible spoke to my soul in a way Mormonism was never able to. Another point that hit me like a ton of bricks was the doctrine of God. Mormonism and Christianity are light worlds apart on this. Through studying The Bible I came to see that there is absolutely only ONE God. However, in Mormonism I was taught tri-theism and theosis. This became a major issue for me.

    As for my opinion of JS… well that has changed over the years. I used to believe that JS simply made it all up. However, as I have read more about false religions I have changed my mind somewhat. I read a book last year titled Death Of A Guru by Rabi R. Maharaj. This book has absolutely nothing to do with Mormonism. It is the story of Rabi coming to Christ out of Hinduism. Rabi shares some really mind blowing stories about how demons operate through false religions. He shares some of his intimate encounters with these demons in Hinduism. It will really shake a westernized view of religion and the occult. I highly recommend it.

    I now believe that something DID happen to JS; however, I know it was not of God. He was involved in the occult prior to his “translation” of the BOM. In fact, although the LDS Church does not like to talk a lot about it, he did use the very occult “seer stone” that he used to hunt treasure with in his “translatation” of the BOM. In addition, Mormonism does have a spirit about it. I have seen the hold it has on people and how people’s eyes open to the truth. I can honestly say it is like scales falling off of their eyes when this occurs. You can almost see the spiritual power let go of people when they come to the truth. They are then able to look at the same scripture and see the truth that they were never able to grasp before. I have had numerous people say after leaving Mormonism “I can’t believe that I actually used to believe in that… what was I thinking!” IMO, Mormonism is one of the “other gospels” prophesied about in Galations 1:6-9.

    Feel free to ask anything else you like. Sorry it took me so long to get back to you. I was out of town for a couple of days and had limited access to the internet.

    Darrell

  • Geoff456

    Thank you, Darrell. What is your reference for the “seer Stone” story? I would like to read that. Also, I left a question for you on Mark Cares’ blog that you probably didn’t see: What is the reference for Gordon B. Hinckley’s talk about a “different Christ”.

    thanks, have a great day.

    geoff

  • Geoff,

    Sorry I missed your question over at Mark’s blog.

    JS’s use of the Seer Stone in the translation of the BOM comes from David Whitmer.

    “Joseph Smith would put the seer stone into a hat, and put his face in the hat, drawing it closely around his face to exclude the light; and in the darkness the spiritual light would shine. A piece of something resembling parchment would appear, and on that appeared the writing. One character at a time would appear, and under it was the interpretation in English. Brother Joseph would read off the English to Oliver Cowdery, who was his principal scribe, and when it was written down and repeated to Brother Joseph to see if it was correct, then it would disappear, and another character with the interpretation would appear. Thus the Book of Mormon was translated by the gift and power of God, and not by any power of man.” (David Whitmer, An Address to All Believers in Christ, Richmond, Mo.: n.p., 1887, p. 12.)

    There is also ample evidence to show that he used this same Seer Stone in treasure hunting and he was in fact arrested for this crime. An excerpt from the arrest record as noted in Fraser’s Magazine in 1873:

    STATE OF NEW YORK v. JOSEPH SMITH.

    Warrant issued upon written complaint upon oath of Peter G. Bridgeman, who informed that one Joseph Smith of Bainbridge was a disorderly person and an imposter. Prisoner brought before Court March 20, 1826.

    Prisoner examined: says that he came from the town of Palmyra, and had been at the house of Josiah Stowel in Bainbridge most of time since; had small part of time been employed by said Stowel on his farm, and going to school. That he had a certain stone which he had occasionally looked at to determine where hidden treasures in the bowels of the earth were; that he professed to tell in this manner where gold mines were a distance under ground, and had looked for Mr. Stowel several times, and had informed him where he could find these treasures, and Mr. Stowel had been engaged in digging for them. That at Palmyra he pretended to tell by looking at this stone where coined money was buried in Pennsylvania, and while at Palmyra had frequently ascertained in that way where lost property was of various kinds; that he had occasionally been in the habit of looking through this stone to find lost property for three years, but of late had pretty much given it up on account of its injuring his health, especially

    As for Gordon B Hinckley’s admission that the LDS Church teaches a different Christ… he did this while speaking to a group of about 2,400 Latter-day Saints in Paris, France. During this talk he made this amazing confession. “In bearing testimony of Jesus Christ, president Hinckley spoke of those outside the church who say Latter-day Saints ‘do not believe in the traditional Christ. No I don’t. The traditional Christ of whom they speak is not the Christ of whom I speak. For the Christ of whom I speak has been revealed in this dispensation of the fullness of times ‘. ” (LDS Church News, June 20, 1998)

    I am glad that GBH was so honest and forthright. This is the charge that has been made against the LDS Church for years… that they teach a “different Christ” and “different gospel” as prophesied in 2 Cor 11:4 and Galations 1:6-9.

    I am curious about your situation. If you don’t feel comfortable discussing please let me know and that will be fine. But, you are LDS correct? I have seen some of your posts on Mark’s blog and that is the impression I get. Do you still believe in the LDS Church? Are you having doubts?

    Darrell

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  • geoff456

    hi darrell,

    i finally have a minute. Yes, i am LDS. I have been a member for over 35 years. I, too, joined the Church in my twenties. I have a close family member who left the church and in an effort to understand his heart, I began searching. I came across the mark cares website “truth in love” which sent me to his blog. That is where I found you. My family member became disgruntled for completely different reasons than you did, but I think the process is probably the same.

    I read the information above by David Whitmer. Is that the reason you left the church? Did you think that having Joseph use a seer stone was ocult? I have read other testimonies by Emma Smith, Oliver Cowdery and Smith family members that also reference the urim and thummin, and say that as Joseph became accustomed to translating he didn’t even need the “translators” any more. this doesn’t bother me, after all he is a “seer”.
    I searched for the talk by Pres. Hinckley and though I didn’t find a talk in France, I found a talk in 2002 conference where he made a similar comment:
    “They say we do not believe in the traditional Christ of Christianity. There is some substance to what they say. Our faith, our knowledge is not based on ancient tradition, the creeds which came of a finite understanding and out of the almost infinite discussions of men trying to arrive at a definition of the risen Christ. Our faith, our knowledge comes of the witness of a prophet in this dispensation who saw before him the great God of the universe and His Beloved Son, the resurrected Lord Jesus Christ.”

    I think this is totally understandable. The nicean creed was convened by Constantine who was not even a Christian at the time. And the whole process was decided by a vote…not by inspired men or eyewitnesses to the original church and the Savior.

    thanks for your time. maybe if you get a minute you could answer the above questions.

    geoff

  • geoff456

    oh, and was Joseph convicted of those charges?

  • Geoff,

    No, those are not my only issues. There are MANY more. As I mentioned, the historical issues were, for me, just the beginning. I came to realize that the church only tells one side of the story and in many cases, the side they share is not very accurate. There was a presentation that was put together by John Dehlin last year titled “Why They Leave”… unfortunately, I can no longer find it on the internet. John quit hosting his website early this year. John is an active, believing LDS and he put this presentation together to list out most of the main “historical” reasons people leave the church. Although I do not agree with his conclusion I think his presentation was spot on.

    Just a quick list of some of my historical issues…

    1. multiple first vision accounts – extreme variance and time span between them
    2. major changes in the BOM since the 1830 version
    3. Kinderhook plates proved fraud on the part of JS when it comes to “translating”
    4. Book of Abraham is really a funeral text – again, fraud on JS’s part
    5. JS marrying other men’s wives – some while the men were on missions
    6. JS marrying 14 year old girls and promising their families eternity in The Celestial Kingdom if they “give him” their daughter(s)
    7. Adam-God doctrine taught by BY
    8. Blood Atonement taught by BY
    9. Poligamy is part of the New and Everlasting Covenant – it STILL IS part of it in fact.
    10. NO EVIDENCE to show the historicity of the BOM. This was major for me. Where is the proof?

    Once I saw all of these issues I decided to open The Bible and read it for what it says… not to prove or disprove Mormonism…. just to see what it teaches. Through my study I came to see that the concept of grace and the nature of God contained in The Bible and the doctrines of Mormonism are not the same.

    Your assertion that the Council of Nicea was not guided by God… why would you say that? What evidence is there that they were men acting of their own accord? Have you researched the Council (outside of what the LDS Church teaches)? Have you looked into the Nature of God that was taught within the early church? There is ample evidence that the doctrine of the Trinity was most certainly taught by Peter, Paul and the other apostles… it was not CALLED the Trinity but the doctrine that there is One God who eternally manifests Himself in three Persons IS contained within The Bible itself. Have you looked into this?

    The quote from GBH comes straight from the LDS Church News. Here is an excerpt:

    “In bearing testimony of Jesus Christ, President Hinckley spoke of those outside the Church who say Latter-day Saints ‘do not believe in the traditional Christ.’ ‘No, I don’t. The traditional Christ of whom they speak is not the Christ of whom I speak. For the Christ of whom I speak has been revealed in this the Dispensation of the Fullness of Times. He together with His Father, appeared to the boy Joseph Smith in the year 1820, and when Joseph left the grove that day, he knew more of the nature of God than all the learned ministers of the gospel of the ages.'” (LDS Church News Week ending June 20, 1998, p. 7).

    Darrell

  • Geoff456

    Darrell,

    thanks for all your effort. i know this takes you away from your family. That list you quoted from John Dehlin doesn’t phase me in the least. Many of those have been disproved over and over again.
    Some are “true” but out of context and some were NEVER even considered to be true….except by the Tanners. I hope you find happiness in your quest.

    sincerely,
    Geoff Jordan

  • Geoff,

    Thanks for coming over. I am not sure how you can claim that the items on my list have been “disproved” or found not to be “true”. Do you have any evidence to support your claim? I have spent years studying this information even going to the source documents for many of the claims and have found them to be absolutely true. It is easy to shrug something off as simply “not true” without researching it or providing evidence. Do you have any?

    Have a good night!!

    Darrell

  • Geoff456

    Darrell,

    To start with , there is plenty of evidence of the historocity of the Book of Mormon. You should read the books by Jerry Ainsworth. You can find him on http://www.mormonsites.com.
    Abraham lived polygamy, why should that be strange to you?
    As far as I have studied, the variance in the First Vision stories comes from outsiders. The Tanners, well known for their “discoveries” of LDS historical documents, have testimony from people that were not there at the time of the first vision. Joseph’s family and Joseph himself do not vary from the “story”. (are you referring to Brighams account that Joseph saw angels and not God the Father and Jesus Christ?)
    How many women did Joseph supposedly marry who were previously married? I have heard many wild claims, but there is nothing to back it up. I do know that he was sealed to many women, but did not “marry” them. There was one case inparticular that I remember, Sister Lightner, wife of Adam (a non-member) was sealed to Joseph in order for her to have a sealing that she needed to progress.
    As far as blood atonement, that isn’t even wierd to me. Not everything in the scriptures is pleasing and attractive to us….eye for an eye?
    That is all for now. I am off to work. Have a great day,Darrell.

  • Geoff456

    ooops, make that http://www.mormonsites.org.

    sorry.

  • Geoff456

    here is one of my favorite articles by Dr. Ainsworth:

    NAH – in the Book of Mormon

    by

    Jerry L. Ainsworth

    11 November 2007

    If you have read my posted Book of Mormon articles, you are aware that I have proposed there are remnants of the Maya language in the Book of Mormon. One of those remnants is use of the term “hah.” In Maya, this term denotes, “associated with water in some way.” Those who have vacationed in Cancun, may have seen such Maya places as Xel-Ha, or the Zazil-Ha, or Misol-Ha, etc, all meaning places in proximity to water.

    Such terms in the Book of Mormon, such as Moronihah, Nephihah, are shown to be close to, or adjacent to water.

    I wish to now consider another Maya term that is also found in the Book of Mormon, the term “nah.” In Maya the term “nah” conveys a variety of similar meanings, such as, Lord, number one, the chief, the head, the leader, the best, the biggest, etc. It is somewhat akin to the Spanish term “Jefe.”

    I decided to write this article, as I have been recently studying the events of the Nephite battle of 385AD, and while doing so, once again read the list of those who led cohorts of 10,000 and were subsequently killed in this battle. After addressing the 10,000 of he and his son, the next captain of 10,000 that was listed by Mormon, was a man named Gidgiddonah, who “fell in the midst, with his 10,000,” (see Mormon 6:13). The fact that his name ends in nah, and that he was the first captain mentioned, (excluding Mormon and his *son), led me to believe that this man was Mormon’s chief captain, his number one commander. (bold added)

    I then began to peruse the Book of Mormon for other possible names ending in nah, ideally those in the military. While doing so, I discovered, in Alma 43:44, the following reference to a Lamanite military leader:

    “And they were inspired by the Zoramites and the Amalekites, who were their chief captains and leaders and by Zerahemnah, who was their chief captain, or their chief leader and commander;…” (bold and italics added)

    Other Book of Mormon references using the term nah are:

    In Alma 10:2 we are introduced to a man whose name was Giddonah, “who was the son of Ishmael, who was a descendant of Aminadi…” (bold added)

    We learn more about this son of Ishmael, in Alma 30:23, where we are told, “Now the high priest’s name was Giddonah…” (bold added)

    Alma, during one of his missionary journeys encountered a man by the name of Antionah, “who was a chief ruler among them.” (see Alma 12:20) (italics added)

    In Alma 18:13 we read, “And one of the king’s servants said unto him, Rabbanah, which is being interpreted, powerful or great king…” (italics and bold added)

    One of the cities mentioned as being destroyed during the catastrophic events of the crucifixion, is named Gadiomnah. Although an interpretation of this name is not given, as with those personal names already mentioned, one could assume that this city was the major city in this locale, possible the “county seat,” so to speak. (bold added)

    It appears that the term nah is used to convey a “head” status, in more than personal or city names. Alma 11:5 and 11:10, while explaining the weights and measures of gold among the Nephites states:

    (verse 5) Now the reckoning is thus – a senine of gold, a seon of gold, a shum of gold and a limnah of gold. (verse 10) And a limnah of gold was the value of them all. (bold added)

    Once again, the largest and chief unit of gold, that which was over all the rest, was a limnah. (bold added)

    I don’t believe there is anything really earth shattering about this unique correlation between Book of Mormon terms and those of the Maya, but I do find it interesting that the closer we look, the more there seems to be a direct association between events, history and language in the Book of Mormon, and those among the Maya – a fact that the Prophet Joseph Smith would have had a hard time knowing in 1830.

    *Some may believe that Moroni would have been the second in command, at the war of 385AD around the Hill Cumorah. But a close look at Mormon 6:12 shows that Moroni was a “new comer” to the Nephite army. The 10,000 people that he led, were not his people, as was the case of the other twenty two captains of 10,000. The 10,000 that Moroni led belonged to his father, to wit: “and we beheld the ten thousand of my people who were led by son Moroni.” (italics added)

    A reading of Mormon 6:10-15 will show that all the ten thousand people led by the other twenty captains, were “their people,” whereas the ten thousand Moroni led, belonged to his father. This was probably Moroni’s first battle, and is why Gidgiddonah was probably the second in command to Mormon, and not Moroni.

    Moroni was probably called to the battle, as Mormon expected to be killed, and had prepared to turn the record he was working on, over to his son for completion – which is why Moroni showed up at this battle.

    Corrections to the above article:

    One of the nice things about writing a monthly article for this website, is that it provides the opportunity to have people better informed than myself, either correct what I write, or expand on it. That is the case with the article I posted for this month on NAH.

    One of the first responses I received, told me something that I did not know, that there are two people named Giddonah mentioned in the Book of Mormon. In my article I mentioned both references of these two, as if they were one in the same person. One of our readers, Greg, corrects this error in the following email he sent:

    “Unfortunately the Giddonah in Alma 10:2, Amulek’s father, died in the slaughter of Ammonihah in the eleventh year of the rein of the judges. Alma 15:16 makes it clear that Amulek was “rejected…by his father…” and therefore was left in Ammonihah when Alma escaped. He therefore died in the massacre that followed less than four months later, (Alma 16:1, 9). Giddonah, the high priest in the land of Gideon (Alma 30:21,23) questions Korihor in the seventeenth year of the reign of the judges (Alma 30:6,22) six years after Giddonah, the father of Amulek was dead.”

    I thank Greg for this clarification and correction.

    The second response was one that I knew, but did not address, but should have, and will at this point. There are over twenty different dialects of Maya, and the languages vary within these dialects. The term “nah,” is not used the same in all of the dialects. Plus, in some of the dialects, there are two possible meanings of the term. In Yucatecan Maya, the term nah means house. As Dave explains in his email to me, in some of the other dialects, “nah, when used as a noun means house, but when used as an adjective, it means first…”

    Obviously I was referring to its use as an adjective. Dave also suggests that there is a possibility that the uses of “nah” that I refer to in the Book of Mormon, could be viewed as “ah” instead, as “ah” also has a unique Maya meaning.

  • Geoff,

    Thanks for the information. I have read some regarding the Mormon Apologist stance that the BOM lands are in Mesoamerica. I appreciate what Dr. Anderson is attempting to do… devoting his time to try and “prove” his faith. Unfortunately, as he will freely admit, he is neither a anthropologist nor an archeologist. Therefore, the validity of his claims need to be backed up by someone with the professional credentials. He is attempting to do something that no archeologist (LDS or otherwise) has been able to do since the Mormon Church started funding this quest around 1950. There are LDS archeologists who have lost their faith in the quest he is on. They started out trying to prove the BOM true and after years of searching have concluded that there is no proof… some have since left the Church. I recommend a video titled “The Bible Versus The Book of Mormon”. It does a great job of laying this information out and even interviews some FORMER LDS Archeologists.

    Here is a list of just some of the many BOM anachronisms when looking at Mesoamerica:

    Horses
    Horses are mentioned fourteen times in the Book of Mormon, and are portrayed as an integral part of the cultures described. There is no evidence that horses existed on the American continent during the 2500-3000 year history of the Book of Mormon (2500 B.C. – 400 A.D.) Horses evolved in North America, but became extinct at the end of the Pleistocene. Horses did not reappear in the Americas until the Spaniards brought them from Europe. Horses were not re-introduced to Americas until they were brought to the Caribbean by Christopher Columbus in 1493, and to the American continent by Cortés in 1519.

    Elephants
    Elephants are mentioned twice in a single verse in the Book of Ether.[14] Mastodons and mammoths lived during the Pleistocene in the New World, however, as with the prehistoric horse, the fossil record indicates that they became extinct along with most of the megafauna about the end of the last Ice Age. The source of this extinction is speculated to be the result of human predation, a significant climate change, or a combination of both factors.[15][16] It is known that a small population of mammoths survived on St. Paul Island, Alaska up until 8,000 B.P., but even this date is thousands of years before the Jaredite record in the Book of Mormon begins.

    Cattle and cows
    There are six references to cattle made in the Book of Mormon, including verbiage suggesting they were domesticated. There has been no evidence recovered that Old World cattle (members of the genus Bos) inhabited the New World prior to European contact in the sixteenth century AD.

    Goats
    Goats are mentioned three times in the Book of Mormon placing them among the Nephites and the Jaredites. In two of the verses, “goats” are distinguished from “wild goats” indicating that there were at least two varieties, one of them possibly domesticated, or tamed.

    Domesticated goats are not native to the Americas, having been domesticated in pre-historic times on the Eurasian continent. Domestic goats were introduced on the American continent upon the arrival of the Europeans in the 15th century, 1000 years after the conclusion of the Book of Mormon, and nearly 2000 years after they are last mentioned in the Book of Mormon. The mountain goat is indigenous to North America, but it has never been domesticated, and is known for being very aggressive.

    Swine
    Swine are referred to twice in the Book of Mormon, and the narrative of the Book of Mormon suggests that the swine were domesticated. There have not been any remains, references, artwork, tools, or any other evidence suggesting that swine were ever present in the pre-entrada New World.

    Barley and wheat
    Grains are mentioned twenty-eight times in the Book of Mormon, including barley and wheat. The introduction of domesticated modern barley and wheat to the New World was made by Europeans sometime after 1492, many centuries after the time in which the Book of Mormon is set.

    Chariots or wheeled vehicles
    The Book of Mormon mentions the use of chariots as a mode of transportation five times. There is no archaeological evidence to support the use of wheeled vehicles in Mesoamerica. Many parts of ancient Mesoamerica were not suitable for wheeled transport. Clark Wissler, the Curator of Ethnography at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, noted:

    “…we see that the prevailing mode of land transport in the New World was by human carrier. The wheel was unknown in pre-Columbian times.”

    A comparison of the South American Inca civilization to Mesoamerican civilizations shows the same lack of wheeled vehicles. Although the Incas used a vast network of paved roads (see Inca road system), these roads are so rough, steep and narrow that they appear to be unsuitable for wheeled use. Bridges that the Inca people built, and even continue to use and maintain today in some remote areas, are straw-rope bridges so narrow (about 2-3 feet wide) that no wheeled vehicle can fit (see image and technology at Inca rope bridges). Inca roads were used mainly by chaski message runners and llama caravans.

    Steel and iron
    Steel and iron are mentioned several times in the Book of Mormon. There is no evidence of steel (hardened iron) production in North, Central, or South America.

    Between 2004 and 2007, a Purdue University archaeologist, Kevin J. Vaughn, discovered a 2000 year old iron ore mine near Nazca, Peru. The discovery demonstrated that iron was mined during the period of time covered in the Book of Mormon. There are also numerous excavations that included iron ore. He noted:

    “Even though ancient Andean people smelted some metals, such as copper, they never smelted iron like they did in the Old World…Metals were used for a variety of tools in the Old World, such as weapons, while in the Americas, metals were used as prestige goods for the wealthy elite.”

    Metal swords, which had “rusted”
    The Book of Mormon makes numerous references to swords and their use in battle. When the remnants of the Jaredite’s final battle were discovered, the Book of Mormon narrative states that “the blades thereof were cankered with rust.”

    Warriors in pre-Columbian Mesoamerica are known to have used wooden clubs with blade-like obsidian flakes, which being stone cannot rust.

    Cimiters
    Cimiters are mentioned about ten times in the Book of Mormon. The word “cimiter” (Scimitar) is considered an anachronism, since the word was never used by the Hebrews (from which the Book of Mormon peoples came from), or any other civilization prior to 450 A.D. As with swords, there is no evidence that native American peoples had metal blades.

    The word cimiter (scimitar) has at different times referred to a long curved sword used by the Persians and Turks, or a smaller curved knife, similar to the kopis of the Turks, or makhaira of the Greeks.

    System of exchange based on measures of precious metals
    The Book of Mormon details a system of weights and measures used by the societies described therin. However, the overall use of metal in ancient America seems to have been extremely limited. A more common exchange medium in Mesoamerica were cacao beans.

    Silk
    The Book of Mormon mentions the use of silk six times. Silk is a material that is created from the cocoon of the Asian moth Bombyx mori, and was unknown to the pre-Columbian Americas .

    Knowledge of Hebrew and Egyptian languages
    The Book of Mormon describes several literate peoples whose language and writing had roots in Hebrew and Egyptian. Archaeological evidence shows that the only people who ever developed a written language in America were the Mayans, whose written and spoken language has no resemblance to Hebrew or Egyptian.

    Additionally, linguistic studies on the evolution of the spoken languages of the Americas agree with the widely held model that the initial colonization of the Americas by Homo sapiens occurred over 10,000 years ago instead of during the time frame given in the Book of Mormon.

    Compass
    The Book of Mormon also states that a “compass” was used by Nephi around 600 B.C. The compass is widely recognized to have been invented in China around 1100 A.D., and remains of a compass have never been found in America.

    Windows
    The Book of Mormon describes that the Jaredite people were familiar with the concept of “windows” near the time of the Biblical Tower of Babel (presumably circa 2000 B.C. See Chronology of the Bible), and that they specifically avoided crafting windows for lighting in their covered seagoing vessels, because the windows would be “dashed in pieces” during the ocean voyage. It is claimed that transparent window panes are a more recent invention. The earliest known production of glass dates to 3500 B.C. in Egypt and Mesopotamia, though the specimens are non-transparent beads . The earliest known production of transparent glass panes is much more recent – dating to the 11th century A.D. in Germany which is many hundreds of years after the conclusion of the Book of Mormon record.

    In addition to the anachronisms, there are other points to consider:

    1. What about JS’s claim that the American Indians were the Lamanites? He even sent missionaries to preach to the indians in NORTH AMERICA in order to convert the Lamanites and to share with them the history of their ancestors (the BOM)… why the sudden shift to Mesomamerica? Was his “prophecy” not accurate?

    2. The church has stated in the past that the very Hill Cumorah in upstate New York is the Hill Cumorah spoken of in the BOM. If the church wants to prove the historicity of the BOM, the easiest way to do that would be to excavate the NY Hill Cumorah and find the 2.2 million bodies that died in the wars there during BOM times. Why won’t the church do that?

    3. There is absolutely no evidence of “reformed Egyptian”. I know that FARMS is clinging to the Anthon type writings as evidence… but you will find no linguist outside of the Mormon faith who will support their claims.

    4. There is no evidence among the Mayans or any other Mesoamerican culture of any Hebrew culture. The BOM claims the Nephites were living the Law of Moses… where is the evidence?

    That is all I have time for now… more later. Back to work!!

    Darrell

  • Geoff456

    my goodness, you sure went to a lot of trouble. i have faith in the Book of Mormon. period. I love the Prophet Joseph Smith and believe him. He sure went through a lot in his life to bring the Gospel forth. I don’t think he would have done any of it for the fun of it.

    thanks for all your time.

    Geoff

  • Geoff,

    No trouble at all. A lot of that information is readily available (I have a lot of it so I can copy and paste it). I understand how you feel about JS. I did myself at one time as well. Today I have chosen to place my trust in Christ alone… not in a church institution or a man. I do think that JS went through a lot in his life to bring forth the LDS Church. Unfortunately, people will most certainly suffer and die for a lie… thinking that it is the truth. The terrorists who die for their causes do it everyday. IMO, that is exactly what JS did… spent his life in the service of a lie.

    Darrell

  • geoff456

    Darrell,

    I did find a book (google is great) by Matthew B. Brown. Interestingly enough it refutes some of the very things you wrote about. (some are even in the same order, i.e. elephants, horses, etc)
    There is plenty of evidence for the Book of Mormon’s veracity. Maybe it just takes faith? You made a comment early on, “my coversion was a true conversion.” I have thought about that alot and have come to the conclusion that had yours been a TRUE conversion, you and that beautiful wife and 4 kids would be sealed together as a family and you would be a faithful priesthood holder. To say that Joseph promulgated a lie and put his family through hell on earth starting at the tender age of 14 is very interesting. He would have had to be as vile as the 9/11 bombers. He was not. You say you loved him once as I do now, (not worshipped, only loved) yet you have turned your back on all you once held dear. So I would have to say that your conversion was not true. It was short lived, it was maybe even heart-felt at the time, but “true” is special and saved for those who “stick with it”.

    ~Geoff

  • geoff456

    I forgot to give you the title of the Book. It is called “Evidences of the Restoration”.

    ~Geoff

  • Bill Pratt

    Geoff,
    I don’t mean to butt in on your conversation with Darrell, but I want to ask you to do something. If you look at the historical people, places, geography, languages. weaponry, etc. that are recorded in the Bible, you will find many volumes written by non-Christian sources corroborating that these things indeed existed in ancient history. Many secular historians will not concede the miracles in the Bible, but they virtually all agree that it gets most of its non-miraculous history right. They know this because of numerous historical documents and archaeological finds that consistently back up the historical facts of the Bible.

    I challenge you to find the same support among secular historians for the Book of Mormon. Of course you can find Mormon scholars who will claim the historical events happened, but I’m asking you to search out non-Mormon scholars who have used the Book of Mormon to study the history of the Americas and who will claim that it stands up as historical fact. Write the Smithsonian Museum and ask them if they use the Book of Mormon as a historical document. If you can find a number of non-Mormons who will say this, then your case is greatly strengthened. There has been plenty of time for historians to check out the BOM, so the evidence should be there.

    Thanks for reading this intrusion,
    BP

  • Geoff456

    Bill,

    The book i just referred to Darrell contains documentation from non mormon people. I did get the title wrong…it is “All things restored, evidences and witnesses of the Restoration”, by Matthew B. Brown.

    I would like to remind you that Jesus himself was not taken seriously in his own day. I don’t expect everyone to jump on the Book of Mormon bandwagon….only those with faith in God sufficient to believe in His Word. The Restoration was propesied for centuries. Now that it is here, many won’t believe. Pretty par for the course. The original apostles were stoned and crucified for their beliefs. I can take a hit for the Book of Mormon without much trouble!
    anyway, I don’t mind your intrusion one bit! BTW, The diagram of the Trinity was more confusing than the way you explained it! It just goes against the Bible and all laws of nature! Were you the one who said you used logic and reason…or was that Darrell? Anyway there is no logic or reason to that explanation! That was NOT taught to me as a child in the Methodist Church, or the Presbyterian, or the Nazerene or the Catholic. All of which i attended some time in my youth. It was NO stretch whatsoever when I joined the Mormon church to learn that Joseph Smith saw Jesus and God in the grove of trees and they had bodies. That is how I always pictured them as a child when i said my prayers. Having a body does not limit Jesus, why would it limit God? Why is that hard to understand? It says right in the Scriptures that Jesus is the express image of His father. It also says that Jesus didn’t do anything except what he saw his father do. Those 2 things right there tell me that God has a body like His Son.
    well, good night! thanks for reading all this!

    thanks,
    Geoff

  • Geoff,

    Thanks for the book reference. I spent years reading Farms’s and Fair’s explanations for the problems with the BOM (as well as all of their other work on Mormonism’s problems). In fact, I conversed via e-mail for several months with one of the scholars at FARMS. He was trying to help me with my faith struggle. Therefore, I am familiar with many of the arguments they make for the veracity of the BOM and I can appreciate what they are trying to do. Nevertheless, I must admit I find most of their explanations miss the mark. For example, one explanation for the anachronism of horses in Mesoamerica is to say that Joseph must have meant to say “deer”, as deer have been shown to be in Mesoamerica during BOM times. This is just utterly ludicrous on so many levels. First and foremost, JS claimed that the BOM is the most correct book on the face of the earth, yet he could not get the word deer right? It has been documented by David Whitmer that the transalation process did not allow for such errors. For it was not until they got the words written down exactly as they appeared on the seer stone that they could move on. Here is an excerpt:

    “Brother Joseph would read off the English to Oliver Cowdery, who was his principal scribe, and when it was written down and repeated to Brother Joseph to see if it was correct, then it would disappear, and another character with the interpretation would appear. Thus the Book of Mormon was translated by the gift and power of God, and not by any power of man.”

    In addition, just picture a man riding a deer into battle. War Deer… how crazy is that.

    I stand by my assertion that the easiest way for the LDS Church to prove the BOM would be to excavate Hill Cumorah in upstate NY. Past LDS prophets have prophesied that the Hill Cumorah in upstate NY is the very BOM Hill Cumorah where all of the battles took place. Based upon the numbers in the BOM there should be the remains of 2.2 million people in that hill. Find them and then you will prove the BOM true. The church owns the hill so they could easily do the excavation. Why won’t they do it?

    As for my conversion… well, I don’t know what to tell you. I genuinely believed in Mormonism at one time. You can choose not to believe me if you would like. I can understand your method of thinking as I thought that way one time myself. Your paradigm simply does not allow for someone to “lose faith in the only true church” and I can appreciate that. What I can tell you is this… since our conversion to Christianity… since we placed our faith in Jesus Christ alone and not in JS or a “church” our lives could not be happier. The work that Christ has done in my home is nothing short of miraculous. The peace and comfort of knowing that we have a relationship with God though Jesus Christ is amazing. I could never go back to the shallow legalism of false religion. All praise be to Christ!

    Have a good night!

    Darrell

  • Bill Pratt

    Hi Geoff,
    I would specifically ask you to seek out books written by non-Mormon historians, archaeologists, or anthropologists who have corroborated the history of the America’s recorded by Joseph Smith in the BOM. Again, the Bible can boast of libraries full of these kinds of books. If the BOM is historically accurate, you should find at least several dozen or so books written by non-Mormons who are only interested in the history of the book.

    God bless,
    BP

  • Geoff456

    Darrell,

    You are right, my belief only understands someone leaving the true church when they CHOOSE to not believe it anymore.(i.e. deny the Holy Ghost and the witness they recieved) Not because they found “another true church or religion”.
    Today I attended Church and thought about you, and about my brother in law who was one of the greatest friends I ever had. How someone can reduce ALL they felt and experienced in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to “legalism and false religion” is quite beyond me. I worship my Heavenly Father and my Savior Jesus Christ, I bear the Savior’s Holy Priesthood, I serve my fellowman through teaching, helping and caring about my neighbor. I took upon myself sacred covenants that bring me peace and power. I have faith in the Lord and His ability to bless my life as I am obedient to His commandments (commandments, not suggestions). I teach my children to love one another and to look forward to the day when the Savior comes to earth again. I research my family history so that my ancestors can have the blessings of the Gospel. I live my life in such a way that I may live with my Lord again someday. I am not perfect, but believe that I may become perfect by following the Savior of Mankind. I follow the Lord’s chosen servant, President Thomas S. Monson. He is a great, humble man who lovingly serves. I also have NO DOUBT that President Monson has had personal, private meetings with the Savior. This is the stone that was cut out of the mountain without hands, the marvelous work and wonder that Isaiah prophesied of. It is NOT going anywhere! My b-i-l has broken covenants and broken hearts. He will pay dearly for this decision, as I am afraid you will too.
    I think it is almost comical that you and my b-i-l have embraced a religion that has NO substance to it. Do you pay tithing? Were you baptised? Do you think that every OTHER religion is false or only Mormonism? (and what the heck is “legalism”?) I know Presbyterians, Catholics, Lutherans, Methodists, Church of the Brethren members, and even a Jew or two….they ALL believe differently than you. Are they saved? The bible says, “One Lord, one faith, one baptism”….not dozens of different kinds. Denying the Holy Ghost (since you say you once believed in the Gospel of Jesus Christ as taught in the LDS Church, I am assuming you have felt the spirit) is so serious. I am just shaking my head!!
    Sorry if this sounds preachy….but I can’t say these things to him, so you got the brunt of it today.

    The least you could do is NOT fight against the Church and divulge words of the temple ceremony. You are endangering your future not to mention showing an incredible lack of respect.
    Good luck in your future.

    ~Geoff

  • Geoff,

    I understand your perspective. I have felt the way you are feeling right now in the past myself. I was serving on the Stake High Council at a time that we disciplined a male member and I remember thinking to myself “How can he throw all of this away?” So believe me when I say I can understand and appreciate where you are coming from.

    You covered a lot of points in your comment. Rather than touch on each one separately I would like for you to consider something. Each and every point you conveyed (my denial of the Holy Ghost, the fact that I and your B-I-l have joined churches with no substance to them, all religions outside of Mormonism being false, etc) is dependent upon one thing being true… The fact that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is the only TRUE Church of God upon the earth today. If that one fact is wrong than every point you made must be reconsidered. So my question to you is this, how do you KNOW that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saint is true? By what method have you determined that it is true?

    Thanks for coming back and I look forward to talking with you about this point.

    Have a great night!!

    Darrell

  • Geoff456

    Hi again,

    Yes, I know the Church is true. By the power of the Holy Ghost and the experiences I have had. I feel like Jacob (Jacob 7:5-6) when he says, “I could not be shaken”. I have seen miracles by the power of the priesthood and I have had the spirit whisper to me that the Church is true over and over again. I have had the privilege of being in the Conference Center when the Prophet walked in. The feeling was electric! I do not go “ga-ga” over any kind of celebrity, so that was not it. I had a undeniable witness that he is indeed a prophet of God. (Actually it was Gordon B. Hinckley at the time)
    I know that miracles are possible for all people, and I know that the Lord answers prays for all people. But, I DO KNOW BY THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is true! I have asked (other than at the time of my conversion) and I have recieved answers. I LOVE the Gospel. That is why it pains me so much to see what my bil has done. Not only to his parents (my parents in law) but to his own children. They are the ones who will really pay. 3 out of 5 of them are staying strong, but the other 2 are wandering in the wilderness right now and it is awful. I see so much pride manifested in him. He is a celebrity right now…”the Mormon who has seen the light”. He loves trashing the Church and he is the favorite speaker and is surrounded by people wanting to “know’ all about what it was like “being a Mormon”. But the attention will fade, and he will be a nobody with nothing.
    I do know, without a single doubt that the Gospel is true. It all adds up. I have never, EVER seen anything in the Bible or history or archaelogical digs or whatever that gives me any problem. The Lord said all religion was an abomination in His sight….Not Joseph. He was a 14 year old boy! He had no agenda! He was persecuted all his life. He did not have anything to gain! If it were all made up he could have walked away, and no one would have been the wiser. He was fore-ordained to this position. I have NO DOUBTS! I love Joseph and so look forward to meeting him some day!

    ok, once again you got the brunt! sorry!

    better get back to work,

    Geoff

  • Geoff,

    Ok… to address your answer now – in response to my question about how you can know the LDS Church is true, you responded with:

    “By the power of the Holy Ghost and the experiences I have had.” and ” have seen miracles by the power of the priesthood and I have had the spirit whisper to me that the Church is true over and over again.”

    So, you know it is true by the power of The Holy Ghost answering your prayers and confirming the truthfullness of it to your heart. Now, for my next question.

    I have seen the same thing and witnessed the same thing OUTSIDE of the LDS Church. I have prayed with all my heart to know if the church is true and God has told me, by the power of the Holy Spirit, that the answer is no, it is not. I have seen ministers from Christian faiths perform miracles and prophesy to people (my brother who is not LDS had a personal experience himself in a Christian Church and it was amazing!!). In addition, I have 3 friends with similar answers to yours. One of my friends is Protestant Christian and he says that he has prayed and God has told him that his faith is THE ONLY true faith. He also has told me about miracles he has seen God perform in his life and around him. I also have a Jehovah’s Witness friend who has prayed to God to tell him if the JW Church is God’s true church on the face of the earth… he has received confirmation to his heart from God that yes, JW’s are THE true church. I had a conversation with a Muslim friend surrounding the same subject. He informed me that God (Allah) has told him, in answer to prayer, that Christianity is false and that Islam is the only true faith on the face of the earth.

    So, here you go, you have different answers to the same question of which “church” is true. You are telling me that God has told you Mormonism is the ONLY true Church on the face of the earth. However, God has told me, by the power of the Holy Ghost, that Mormonism is false. In addition, I have a Christian, JW and Muslim telling me that God has told them the exact same thing about their faiths… that their’s are the only true ones. Which answer from the Holy Spirit is right? Or, maybe a more important question might be, are all of them REALLY RECEIVING ANSWERS FROM THE HOLY SPIRIT? Could some of them be receving answers from a deceiving spirit? Logically, they cannot ALL be true because they each teach VERY DIFFERENT things. If Mormonism is right than Allah certainly isn’t God and Islam cannot be true as it teaches that Jesus was NOT the Savior but simply a good man. In addition, if Christianity is right and Jesus is God than Islam, Mormonism and JW’s are ALL wrong. So as I see it we have only 2 possibilites.

    1) All of their answers are wrong… none of them are true and they are all being deceived by a false answer from a false spirit

    or

    2) One of them is right and ALL THE OTHERS are wrong and are being deceived by a false answer from a false spirit

    I don’t think either of us would go with number 1. If they are ALL wrong that that would mean both you and I would have to admit right now that we are being deceived. We each believe we have the truth so I don’t think you or I would agree at this point that we are being deceived by a false spirit. That leaves only option 2… one of them is right and the others are being deceived by a false answer. If you can think of a third option please let me know and we can consider it as well.

    So, here is the question, if we agree that one of us is right and the others are wrong, how do we determine WHICH ONE is right? We can’t go back to saying “pray and the Holy Ghost will tell you which one is right”. That would be appealing back to the SAME SPIRIT THAT TOLD US WE HAVE THE TRUTH to tell us if the answer IT GAVE US is true. If one of us is right and the others are wrong than that would have to mean that the SPIRIT that is telling the ones that are ACTUALLY WRONG that they are right is lying. That cannot be The Holy Ghost, as The Holy Ghost cannot lie. In addition, it would be circular reasoning at it’s best – illogical. It would work out like this…

    1. I know this is true

    2. How?

    3. Because the spirit told me.

    4. How do you know that the spirit didn’t lie to you?

    5. Because the spirit told me.

    Illogical. There has to be something more concrete to appeal to…

    So how do we determine which answer is right?

    Darrell

  • Geoff456

    This is the same argument that I was bored to death with on Mark Cares blog. I don’t really care if anyone else gets an answer. I just know that MY answer came from the Holy Ghost. I know that the Spirit testifies of all truth. I have had MANY and VARIED experiences. I have had the spirit as my constant companion. I know that Joseph was and still is a true prophet. I told you that I don’t doubt that the Lord blesses and helps all mankind. I am glad that people can turn to Him no matter what their religion. That only verifies to me that we are all His children and He loves us all. (the Christians I know don’t believe that) He wants ALL of us to come unto Him and be sucessful in our quest for Heaven. I believe that through temple work and missionary work (both mentioned in the bible) that most of Father’s children will be saved. The Christians that I know have a very narrow view of who will be saved….and no plan for those who have not had the privilege to hear about Jesus in this life or who died without being “saved”. I KNOW the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is true. I (no offense) don’t care if YOU don’t believe my method, or if anyone else in the whole, wide world thinks THEY have the true gospel. I know what I know and that is good enough for me.

    ~Geoff

  • Geoff,

    Ok, I am going to push back a little now… so please don’t get offended. I mean this with all the love in my heart.

    You come on this blog and challenge me that because I have left the only true church and have “denied the Holy Ghost” I am in trouble. However, when I tell you that the Holy Spirit has told me Mormonism is NOT true and I challenge you as to why I should believe your answer over mine, all you come back with is that “YOU KNOW” the Holy Spirit answered you? You have got to give me more than that. As I have said, the Holy Ghost has told me that Mormonism is false and that Christianity is true. Why should one believe your answer is from the Spirit and mine is not? You cannot appeal back to the Spirit, as that is circular reasoning. If you want me to listen to you, you have got to give me more than “well, I just know I am right”.

    God bless!!

    Darrell

  • Geoff456

    Hi Darrell,

    I got a little chuckle about you possibly offending me….not possible. I have ALL non member family(my brothers and sisters) and everything that could have been said to me has already been said! but thanks….

    Next…..hmmmm.. how does someone testify of truth? Better yet, how does someone CONVINCE someone of truth. Fruits, of course, testify of truth. Witnesses, also. But is there any way to tell for SURE that someone has a witness of truth? Nope. That is the answer. “No”.

    You, however, have an even worse dilemma. You have been “fooled” once. I have a witness that the Church is true. Just one witness. You have two. Once you (I am assuming) received a witness to join the Mormon Church, and then you received the OPPOSITE witness to leave the Mormon Church. How do YOU know which one is true? That seems to be the most important question.
    Did you ever have a good experience as a Mormon…or was it all awful?
    If you did, and you have them now, then HOW do you know?
    I have the strength of an awesome Church. A Church that Jesus himself directs! A church that has AMAZING fruits! A church that blesses EVERY aspect of my life. My family that are protestants have NO support, their Church merged with another (First Methodists combined with United Brethren to form the United Methodist) which brought about strife and discordance. They are still trying to recover from that. Some of them quit their congregation at the drop of a hat because they don’t like the new pastor. The rules change every time the Church changes. Not much truth there!
    You may say that you worship Jesus and not the Church or “legalism”, but the Church is the vehicle and Jesus himself set up the church in his own day for such a purpose.
    BTW, I looked up legalism and had a question for you. What part of the LDS church did you think was legalistic? Temple recommend interviews? I find the Church to be just the opposite. Loving leaders, friendly members that reach out and accept anyone, missionaries that spend 2 years of their lives teaching poor, illiterate, underprivileged people ALL speak of the Church’s attitude that ALL are welcome. Of course there are some “rules”. Any organization has rules. And of course the Church teaches personal righteousness, but so did the Savior! (a little side note: I have always thought that if the Catholic Church understood personal righteousness, the Priests that abused children would have been booted out of the Church rather than just “transferred”)

    off topic: I have been having a little dialogue with Bill about the trinity. How do you go from understanding God and Jesus to believing that they are one like a triangle and have no form? I look forward to meeting my Heavenly Father and Savior and want to embrace them! How can I hug a cloud? How can I have a relationship with a puff of air? This all reminds me of the “Wizard” in the Wizard of Oz. A stern, disembodied head that barks out orders! My Father is a perfect, holy father who made us in His image. Our literal Father who sent us to earth to live and prove ourselves and learn to have faith and follow Him. Who set us up in families, just like our heavenly home. And who gives us the opportunity to return to Him with our families intact.

    anyway, there was LDS 101 for you! Have a great day, my friend,

    ~Geoff

  • Goeff,

    I am glad that you don’t take offense. One of the last things I want to do is push someone away. Unfortunately though, that is a risk that comes with witnessing and being honest with people.

    You said:

    “Next…..hmmmm.. how does someone testify of truth? Better yet, how does someone CONVINCE someone of truth. Fruits, of course, testify of truth. Witnesses, also. But is there any way to tell for SURE that someone has a witness of truth? Nope. That is the answer. “No”.” (Emphasis Mine)

    Based upon what you are saying, you believe there is no way to BE SURE which of us has the TRUE SPIRIT OF GOD answering us… do you realize that is what you are saying? You are virtually admitting that you could be deceived and not even know it. Therefore, how can you KNOW that the Spirit that is telling you the LDS Church is the true church, that JS was a prophet and the Priesthood of the Mormon Church is God’s Priesthood is the TRUE Holy Spirit of God and not a deceiving spirit?

    Do you think that God would put us here on earth with no way to KNOW that the Spirit we are listening to is true? The Holy Spirit has told me, as well as MANY other people I know that the Mormon church is false. I have prayed about it and God has told me my faith is true. I have the fruits of the spirit in my life on a daily basis… I feel them in Church each week… peace, longsuffering, patience, kindness, love, etc. You have the Holy Spirit telling you it is true and you say you have the fruits of the Spirit in your life. Which one of us is listening to the TRUE Holy Spirit? How can we know? Would God honestly leave us on the earth with nothing more than this subjective Spirit (which has told us each OPPOSITE THINGS) to guide us to the truth?

    Darrell

  • Geoff456

    Hey Darrell,

    No, don’t get your hopes up….I wasn’t saying that I can’t have a true witness for myself. I am saying that I can’t CONVINCE YOU that I have had a true witness from the Spirit. I don’t think that is possible. It is something that one must feel for himself. YOUR problem is that YOU have had TWO witnesses. So how DO YOU TELL which one is right? Did you have the “gifts of the spirit” when you were LDS?? So….how do you know?
    I personally think (now this is going to be blunt, hope you are not easily offended) that once you steeped yourself in Anti-Mormon literature and sought out every evil story written about Joseph, that you had NO chance of having the Spirit of the Lord with you. So, I think your witness is from the devil himself. He wants you to walk away from covenants and the priesthood. He wants you to delude yourself into thinking that ALL you need to do is believe in Jesus and you are saved. He will laugh and clap when you die and get a huge surprise. He won’t be there to support you then. Not that I think you are evil….not at all. But I do think that Lucifer uses good people to promote his agenda. He has taken you out of the Savior’s grasp as surely as if he got you addicted to alcohol or porn. I do believe there is hope for you. I think that someday you will come to your senses and play some catch up and eventually get back on track.
    I am glad you are happy. I am glad you have peace in your life. But don’t let pride keep you away from the Lord.

    I know that God has given His Spirit to guide us. I know that my witness is a true one. I trust that the Lord will someday make it known to you. He did once….you believed it once.

    thanks for listening,

    Geoff

    PS [I would really like to know how you descended into anti-mormonism from being an active member of the Church. Did you keep a calling while you questioned it? Did you go inactive and then walk away? Did you get any counseling? Or just surprise your Bishop with the news that you were done (my brother in laws method)?]

  • Geoff,

    You actually have it backwards…. Since I have seen both sides, I have an advantage over you. I have seen the counterfeit and the real thing and I can see the difference between the two. Do you know how the federal government trains it’s agents to be able to tell if money is counterfeit? They study the real thing very carefully… thus they are able to see what the counterfeit looks like. I have now seen the real thing… so I can tell what the counterfeits look like and Mormonism is among them.

    Going back to what I have asked you as you have not answered it. You keep bearing your testimony but have not told me HOW you know the spirit you have listened to is true. You said:

    “I know that my witness is a true one.”

    How? The experience you have described for your spiritual confirmation is not any different from what people from many faith traditions describe. I have a witness and I believe it is a true one. My Muslim, JW and Protestant friends all claim, just as you do, that they have a TRUE witness from God that their religions are true. So, how do you know that your witness is from The Holy Ghost and theirs in not? The Bible tells us in 1 John 4:1:

    “Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.”

    How have you tested the spirit you have received to make sure that it is from God and is not the result of a false prophet?

    As for your other questions, I will be happy to answer all of them. However, before we get sidetracked onto other things I think it is important to finish this conversation out. I don’t want the other subjects to cause this one to get lost in the shuffle.

    Darrell

  • Geoff456

    Hi Darrell,

    I HAVE told you how I know. I have told you of the feelings I had when, for example, I saw President Hinckley in the Conference. I have told you that I know from the experiences I have had when the Spirit has born witness to me that the Priesthood is true and other aspects of the Gospel that are singular to Mormonism. I have also told you that I DON”T CARE if someone else gets those feelings too, or not. That does NOT change MY experience. I don’t even know what you want me to tell you. I KNOW the Gospel is true. That is ALL THAT matters to me. HOW DO YOU KNOW your witness was from God?? Did you get some engraved announcement from on high? or….do you “know” the same “way” that I know? I thought I made the point that it is a personal thing and I can’t know if what you felt is true, and you can’t know if what I felt is true. It just is not possible. I also think IT DOESN’T MATTER. Truth is Truth and I am confident (I am literally staking my LIFE on it) that what I believe is true. You might say I know too much to ever deny it! And you might have forgotten that I HAVE SEEN BOTH SIDES, TOO. I was a member of a protestant church for over 25 years before I joined the LDS Church. I had MANY, MANY experiences that left me wanting and searching…..and that is why I sought out the truth. One reason was the life after death thing. My best friend in High School was a Mennonite. He believed that he wouldn’t even KNOW his family in heaven….and he was alright with that! My church was pretty hazy about it and then I heard about the beliefs of the LDS Church and that felt so, so right. It took awhile (8 years) before I got around to joining the church …after I went to MANY other churches. Nazerene, Pentacostal, Catholic, Presbyterian…..all a little different and all EMPTY. I recognized the Spirit with my first missionary lesson! I had an almost instant answer when I prayed about it. And many, many experiences and years later I AM SURE OF THE TRUTH OF THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST as taught by the LDS Church.

    This will probably not be the answer you want. I don’t believe YOU know what you want. So, why don’t you tell me HOW YOU KNOW and then I might be able to help further.

    thanks,
    Geoff

  • Geoff,

    You said:

    “I have told you of the feelings I had when, for example, I saw President Hinckley in the Conference. I have told you that I know from the experiences I have had when the Spirit has born witness to me that the Priesthood is true and other aspects of the Gospel that are singular to Mormonism.”

    The problem is every single one of the experiences you describe are not unique to Mormonism. I have a Catholic friend who described an experience he had while encountering The Pope. His experience was almost IDENTICAL to the one you described while being in the Conference Center with GBH. I have heard many, many Protestants describe similar experiences while being around Billy Graham. To make things even more scary and creepy… listen to what many Cult members say about their experiences while being around their Cult Leaders. They describe feelings and experiences VERY SIMILAR to your’s. So what is unique about your experience in Mormonism? The Spirit has told you it is true… well, The Spirit has told me (and many others) that it is false. You can’t count on that. Your experiences are not unique… so you can’t count on those. What can you count on?

    You say:

    “I have also told you that I DON”T CARE if someone else gets those feelings too, or not.”

    Well, my point is this… YOU SHOULD CARE!! The Bible has TOLD YOU TO CARE…

    1 John 4:1: “Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.”

    You have been commanded to test The Spirit you hear from yet have shown me NO TEST that you use for the Spirit. You simply describe your experiences as if they are ASSURANCES that The Spirit is true. Unfortunately, as I have shown you, your experiences ARE NOT UNIQUE and therefore, they logically CANNOT be used to show that The Spirit you are listening to is true. For I could use similar experiences to say Catholicism, Protestantism, Islam, etc. are all true.

    You said:

    “Truth is Truth”

    I agree with you on this point.

    You said:

    “I am literally staking my LIFE on it”

    Yes, you are… and that is why I ask you… HOW CAN YOU KNOW THAT IT IS TRUE? Since God expects us to stake our very lives on what we believe and live, don’t you think He would provide something a little more UNIQUE and OBJECTIVE than a Spiritual Witness (WHICH IS NOT UNIQUE AT ALL)? Don’t you think He would provide something certain… almost like a signpost that says “Here is the truth”? You don’t have that in Mormonism.

    Darrell

  • Geoff456

    Oh, so YOU DID get an engraved announcement from heaven???

    Very interesting!
    You NEVER answer MY questions! How do YOU know? Your method for “discovering” ‘Mormonism is false’ is apparently faulty like the one I USED to discover it is true!!

    I have a magnificant church that has grown and spread across the globe, doing good (I know you might want to compare Islam…they spread evil, LDS spreads GOOD!) I have the FULFILLED prophecies of MANY prophets. I have the priesthood of God and have seen the fruits of that Priesthood. I have the Book of Mormon…something that has withstood years and years of scholarly shredding and it still can’t be explained (Joseph, an unlearned man, translated it in 65-75 working days) other than to be what it is purported to be! If the Church was not true, it would dwindle like the Protestant Churches have. It would be a joke like the Catholic church is.

    and BTW, just because YOU say it is true that I CANT KNOW by the Spirit, does NOT MAKE IT TRUE. You have to fight tooth and nail to MAKE your case because YOU BLEW IT! you probably don’t think you can go back, humble yourself and re-join the Church, so you will fight against it and DIG YOURSELF A BIGGER HOLE!

    There is TONS of information about the historicity of the Book of Mormon…you choose not to believe it.

    There is TONS of evidence that Joseph was who he said he was…you choose to ignore it.

    There is TONS of evidence that our Prophet and leaders are righteous, good men who ARE WHAT THEY SAY THEY ARE…and you choose to ignore it.

    You want to believe the evil men and women who have tried through lies and perversions to blacken the name of Joseph and the history of the Church…..which is, interestingly enough, a fulfilled prophecy!

    You believed it once…..and now you have turned on the truth.

    Just because you are a non-believer, doesn’t mean your silly premises hold any water. I CAN KNOW FOR MYSELF that the Church is true.

    So, which Church DO YOU THINK IS TRUE?? The Church WAS important to Jesus. You belong to a dead branch off of a dead tree.
    Talk about LOSER traditions!! The Catholic Church was filthy and then the protestants broke off, knowing they had NO authority (if the mother tree has none, the branch has NO CHANCE of having any). Those good men (Wesley, Locke, Luther, etc) have had their good works high-jacked! They were waiting for the restoration!

    Actually, I knew it was futile to try to reason with you. I thought I might get some insight into my b-i-l’s heart and I got a sickening wake up call to the black hole he is in.

    I HAVE had the spirit witness to me. I can say with all the confidence in the world that YOU have had the devil witnessing to you, as have all the goofy friends you have accumulated.

    -Geoff

  • Geoff,

    “Your method for “discovering” ‘Mormonism is false’ is apparently faulty like the one I USED to discover it is true!!”

    It is good to see that perhaps you are seeing the faultiness of the method by which you have obtained a testimony in the LDS Church. I have asked you repeatedly HOW you know it is true and you continue to talk about feelings and experiences… none of which are unique to the LDS Church. Therefore, am I correct in saying…

    1. There is NO OTHER WAY by which you have tested the Spirit that has spoken to you as commanded by 1 John 4:1?

    2. The feelings and experiences are the only ways by which you can say you “know the church is true“?

    “You NEVER answer MY questions!”

    As I mentioned in my post above… I will gladly answer ALL your questions. However, prior to doing so I want to make sure we have addressed this. I think we have just about gotten to the bottom of it and then I will address each and every one of your questions. Please address my two points above as I want to make sure there is NOTHING ELSE that you can point to that tells you the church is true…

    “I can say with all the confidence in the world that YOU have had the devil witnessing to you, as have all the goofy friends you have accumulated.”

    I have yet to attack you personally in any manner. It is perfectly ok for you to say you think I have the spirit of the devil witnessing to me… however, why are you now attacking my friends… whom you have NEVER MET OR SPOKEN TO? For one who claims to be a member of the only true church on the face of the earth, this really seems like a poor way to show it.

    Darrell

  • geoff456

    Hi Darrell,

    I didn’t intend the word “goofy” to be offensive…sorry. I guess I didn’t even know these people were “friends”.

    you said:

    1. There is NO OTHER WAY by which you have tested the Spirit that has spoken to you as commanded by 1 John 4:1?

    I have “tested” the Gospel as taught by the LDS church in many ways. I think the teachings are entirely logical for one.
    2. I was immediately drawn to the history of Joseph and I have walked the streets of Nauvoo and I KNOW WHAT he said is true. I have researched his life and I BELIEVE HIM. The Spirit has borne witness to me that he was and is a true prophet.
    I know that the teachings of the Church make me a better person than I was without them. I have likewise seen the teachings bless peoples lives as they join the Church. I have seen and witnessed many experiences that tell me that the Church and the Gospel are true.
    There are things in the Bible that only make sense in light of the restored Gospel..i.e. baptisms for the dead, the priesthood offices and duties, the 3 degrees of glory, the Angel flying through the heavens proclaiming the everlasting Gospel, the Apostacy, laying on of hands, baptism, the nature of God and His Son, the return of Elijah, tithing, the revelations of John and many, many more.
    I also believe that the LDS church does a great job of confessing Jesus (1 John 4:3). I have tested THE SPIRIT, not “every spirit”. I have had a witness from the Holy Ghost. I have learned to recognize Him and his influence. The Church teaches goodness and personal righteousness. Reading and practicing what is in the Book of Mormon has enriched my life. How do you explain the stars to a blind man? I don’t know what it is you are looking for, but I AM SURE THAT my “answer” and continual affirmation comes from the Spirit of God. Once again I will ask you: You were fooled once……How did that happen? I contend it was your leaving the Church that was wrong…I imagine that you think otherwise. How DO YOU account for being fooled?
    YOU ARE THE ONE WHO HAS BEEN “FOOLED” BY THE “SPIRIT”, either to join the LDS Church or to leave it……HOW DO YOU KNOW which spirit was correct???

    2. The feelings and experiences are the only ways by which you can say you “know the church is true“?

    Yes. As of this time, I have not received an engraved announcement from heaven. I do not require a miracle. Only wicked and slothful servants require a sign. I would be an ungrateful loser if I required a sign after all the Lord has blessed me with. Time after time He has answered my prayers and confirmed doctrine to my heart. I wouldn’t DREAM of asking for more.

    Saturdays belong to my kids and I have taken too much time already. I don’t imagine this will satisfy your curiosity. I don’t think there is an answer that will satisfy you. Oh and did you ask these same questions to your inter-denominational friends?

    later,
    Geoff

  • Geoff,

    Ok… now I think we are getting somewhere. You talked a lot about feelings and experiences (which again ARE NOT unique to the LDS Church) but in your last post you said something that I think is key… you said…

    “There are things in the Bible that only make sense in light of the restored Gospel…”

    Are you saying that we should compare what a supposed “prophet” says with what is taught in The Bible? What if the Spirit which is testifying to you contradicts The Bible?

    Darrell

  • Geoff456

    yes, I have every confidence in the world that the restored Gospel does NOT conflict with the Bible. YOU may pick and choose doctrine that YOU thinks conflicts, but that does not make it true. That is one of the MAIN reasons I joined the Church……I had too many questions about the loose ends in the Bible and the different interpretations by different denominations. (my brother joined the Lutheran church because they drink beer and play bingo!….which of course the Methodists and Nazerenes frown on)

    And just because a test is not “unique” to the LDS church does NOT mean it is negated.

  • Geoff,

    You didn’t really address my question or perhaps I did not make it clear.

    If a Spirit witnesses to you or if someone who professes to be a prophet delivers to you a message that conflicts with what The Bible teaches what do you do? Is The Bible right or is the Spirit or supposed prophet right? Which one has authority?

    Darrell

  • Geoff456

    Darrell,

    Doctrine remains the same, no matter what. But other things change according to the times. Covenants are sometimes “time specific”….i.e. we are not commanded to circumcise anymore. The Prophets of the Bible and of course other Prophets taught what the Lord commanded them to teach. It all comes from the same source. There are false prophets, no doubt. I have not EVER had a problem with what is taught in the Bible and what is taught by the LDS church. The Book of Mormon is a KEY to understanding the Bible. It enhances it, not detracts from it.
    So with all of that in mind: If the Spirit of God reveals truth to you, it is truth. If a true Prophet of God reveals truth to you, it is truth. I know that the Prophet today is speaking what the Lord has commanded him. There is no conflict with the Bible.
    The Gospel of Jesus Christ as taught by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is true. THERE IS NO CONFLICT. It is a true restoration of Christ’s Church. It is also a FULNESS of the Gospel, containing ALL the teachings of all the dispensations.
    You have lost the spirit of God. You DO see things differently now….that is why. You have broken your covenants (I am astonished that you would post the temple ceremony) and you have NO access to the Spirit of God. You have a veil pulled over your eyes and you can’t see anymore. It is as simple as that.
    You are fighting against God and Jesus Christ. You will wake up someday, but for now you are hopelessly blind!

    AND, You STILL have not answered my questions!

    a little humility would go a long ways! (you come off pretty arrogant sounding)

    ~Geoff

  • Geoff456

    One more comment:

    IF THE “Spirit” reveals something to you that goes against true doctrine, RUN! Too bad you didn’t know that before you left the Lord’s own Church.

  • Geoff,

    OK… you didn’t answer my question. I understand that you do not think the LDS teachings contradict The Bible… that is a debatable point but it is not what I am asking right now.

    I want to find out where you think authority lies.

    If a spirit or one claiming to be a prophet reveals something that contradicts The Bible, which one has authority? Do you abide by the teachings of The Bible or the “prophet/spirit”?

    Getting back to your questions… I want to answer each one of them… you have asked a lot of them. As I mentioned earlier, prior to moving on to other things I wanted to make sure that we finished this point out as it is very important. I didn’t want to muddy it with other stuff that is not relevant to the issue of spiritual witnesses and authority.

    I am at work right now and don’t have time to type much until later today. Please answer my above question and then when I get home later today (or if I have time this afternoon at work) I will address your answer and see if I can go back through your questions and get to everyone of them.

    Thanks!! Have a great afternoon!!

    Darrell

  • Geoff456

    My questions about your personal life and decisions were only out of curiosity….kind of comparing to my b-i-l….

    The one question I really wanted to hear the answer:

    How do you explain that you were “fooled” by the Spirit at least once?

    To answer your question:

    I firmly believe that the Spirit ONLY bears witness of the truth. Truth does not change. Covenants, procedures, etc, may change, but truth does not change or God would not be God. God is the source for the scriptures and the power behind the Prophets. The Prophet will never disagree with God. The Doctrine of God will never disagree with the Spirit. That is a “test”, I suppose. YOU might want to say that Joseph did something that disqualified himself as a Prophet….or Brigham, etc. I HAVE NEVER seen any proof of that. EVERY thing that comes from the Prophet is of God. There are many people who want to say differently. Many evil men have tried and tried to trash Joseph’s reputation without success. I simply have not seen ANY credible evidence of any of their claims. There is no way that a 14 year old boy conjured this up. He has had dozens and dozens of witnesses and lived a life time under extreme scrutiny. He was an honest man and the Lord’s anointed prophet.
    Bottom line: The buck stops with the Prophet of God. He won’t disagree with the Lord, and won’t disagree with doctrine and “surely the Lord God does nothing except He reveal it to His Prophets”. I trust the Lord. I trust that this is His kingdom on earth. Thomas S. Monson has ALL the keys to the Priesthood that ever were available. He is the Lord’s own representative on earth. What a wonderful blessing he is to the world!
    (And about your latest post about consecration: You are dead wrong about idolatry. The Church is only the vehicle to build up the Kingdom of God on earth. God is organized. He has created a Church and put the Priesthood in place to administer the laws and ordinances. Jesus Christ himself organized a Church and put the priesthood in place in His day.
    The Church provides a place to pay our tithes and offerings, a place to learn, a place to serve, a place to meet with others and worship and feel the Spirit. It is NOT a man-made institution. And the LORD is the author of those temple covenants…I guess HE can choose where and how we consecrate ourselves….IT IS HIS CHURCH!!
    You are either ignorant of the meaning of the word “idolatry” or you are dishonest….because YOU should know better. The fact that while you were a member (and had access to the Spirit) you had no problem with this covenant tells me that you are simply trying to stir up controversy and are being disingenuous. People who leave the Church have a “score to settle”. It reflects poorly on you.)

    ~Geoff

  • Geoff,

    You did not address my question…

    If someone who professes to be a prophet or if a spirit who tells you something disagrees with The Bible who or which one has authority? Who do you listen to? The Bible or the prophet/spirit who disagrees with it?

    Your post said NOTHING ABOUT THE BIBLE. You talk about how The Spirit will not disagree with the “doctrine of God” but the Bible TELLS US that there will be spirits and prophets who will come bringing FALSE DOCTRINES. So IF a Spirit or supposed Prophet teaches something which violates The Bible, which one is true? The spirit/prophet OR The Bible?

    There are MANY MEN who have claimed to be prophets… David Koresh comes to mind. There are several groups who claim to be following JS and that THEIR LEADERS are the true prophet of God NOT Thomas S Monson. What if a person, who claims to be the prophet of God, disagrees with The Bible? Who do you follow? The Bible or the person claiming he is a prophet of God?

    If the spirit tells you to believe something that CLEARLY VIOLATES THE BIBLE, do you listen to the spirit? There are many instances throughout history where people have claimed that “God” told them to do things which violated The Bible. So, should they have listened to the Spirit or followed The Bible?

    My question is very straightforward…

    If a person who professes to be a prophet or a spirit who witnesses to you tells you something that VIOLATES THE BIBLE, which one do you listen to? Which one has authority?

    This only requires you to tell me a simple answer… it is either

    1. The Spirit/Prophet

    2. The Bible

    Which one?

    You keep telling me that you don’t think that JS violated the doctrine of God… I understand that is what you believe. That is not what I am asking you about right now.

    Please answer this question and in response to it I will answer your question about the witness I received to join the LDS Church.

    Darrell

  • Geoff456

    Hi Darrell,

    I said a True Prophet will not violate the Holy Spirit. I didn’t say there wouldn’t be false prophets. yes, there will be false prophets. There are all sorts of kooks out there. I would always follow (as the Lord has admonished) the Prophet of God. I would test out his words and stick with the Quorum of 12 and the main membership of the Church. the Lord will never allow the Church to be led astray, or allow the membership records to fall into the hands of wicked men. The Bible is not infallible. It has many errors due to wicked men, translation errors, etc. I would ALWAYS stick with the Prophet knowing that HE WOULD ALWAYS stick with the scriptures and doctrines of the Church. You will never hear OUR prophet changing doctrine or going out on a limb like David Koresh or Jim Jones. Those other offshoots of the LDS church LEFT the main membership of the Church. They have as much authority as the Protestants….none.

    ~Geoff

  • Geoff,

    Thanks for the comment. I think I understand where you are coming from – although (surprise, surprise as Gomer Pyle would say) I disagree with you. 🙂

    You said a true prophet will not violate the Holy Spirit… but how do you know if the prophet IS a true prophet or not? Do you listen to what the Holy Spirit says? That would be circular reasoning…. saying the prophet will not deny the Holy Spirit but using the Holy Spirit to attest to the truthfullness of the prophet! My head is spinning!!

    In addition, how do you know that the spirit that is saying he is a prophet is not a false spirit? As 1 John 4:1 tells us THERE WILL BE FALSE SPIRITS and we should test the spirit to make sure they are not false. When I asked you earlier HOW you test to see if the spirit is true you never answered the question with any definitive test. You kept pointing back to the fact that you have feelings and experiences that testify to you. The problem is NONE OF THE EXPERIENCES OR FEELINGS YOU DESCRIBE are unique to Mormonism. There are people from many different faiths who describe experiences and feelings with their faiths just as rich and real as your’s. The feelings you describe, to me, are not a valid test of the spirit or prophet you follow… for those same feelings are felt about OTHER RELIGIONS AND PROPHETS by other people.

    This brings me to the point I have been trying to come to all along… we have a disagreement over what “yardstick” to use to test and judge our beliefs and the spirit we follow by. You use your feelings and experiences whille I use The Bible. Let me explain…

    When I first researched the LDS Church and made the decision to join it, I knew very little about The Bible. To be honest, I had never read more than a few passages outside of those the missionaries shared with me in the discussions. I prayed to ask if the Mormon Church was true, The Book of Mormon was the word of God and JS was a prophet. A spirit (note I did not say THE SPIRIT) told me yes. Unfortunately, I never compared the teachings of the LDS Church to anything OTHER THAN the feelings I got from it. The yardstick I used to judge the truthfullness of Mormonism and spirit that answered me were MY FEELINGS.

    Later in life, when I started closely studying The Bible I began to realize that Mormonism does not agree with the teachings of The Bible in many areas. (Note: I don’t expect you to agree with me about this and I will be happy to discuss the specifics with you.) I looked at numerous things that shocked me. The biggest two issues for me were:

    1. The Nature of God – Tri-Theism of Mormonism vs. Monotheism of The Bible
    2. Mormonism’s teachings on Theosis compared to The Bible’s teaching on the nature of God and the nature of man

    After more research I came to the conclusion that the differences between the Mormon Church and The Bible were so big both of them could not be true at the same time. There were only three possibilites as I saw it…

    1. Mormon Church is true
    2. The Bible is true
    3. NEITHER of them are true

    After more study I was shocked to find a few more things. First, The Bible actually warns us about trusting in our feelings and hearts alone (Jer 17:9). I was relying on my feelings to tell me whether or not the LDS Church was true and those feelings that were given to me by a spirit. When I came accross 1 John 4:1 I then learned the possibility existed that the spirit I was listening to could be a false spirit. How was I to know whether it was true or not? It’s teachings did not line up with The Bible. I studied Galations 1:6-9 which told me that ANGELS would come and deliver false gospels. It is very interesting that in JS’s first 1st Vision claim he did not say that God and Jesus appeared to him… he said that AN ANGEL appeared to him. He then later changed the first vision by claiming that God and Jesus Christ appeared to him… but that was not until several years later. Could Paul’s prediction in Galations 1:6-9 be about JS? I was really shocked when I discovered all of this.

    I also began to study the history of The Bible… wow…. it is amazing. I learned that we can know with confidence that The New Testament is 99.5% PURE to the original text. This is a far cry from the LDS Church’s claim that it is riddled with errors (noted in your previous post). Compare this to the BOM which has been changed over 500 times (some in MAJOR WAYS). I ordered an 1830 copy of the BOM and compared it to the one the LDS Church publishes today… there are major differences. I did a post on the reliability of The New Testament here.

    During this time in my life I was in deep, deep prayer to God to tell me the truth. I kept asking Him to tell me and guide me to the truth… to help me work all of this out in my mind. My prayer was “God, if the LDS Church is true, take away my doubts and tell me in my heart that it is true. I want to go WHEREVER you want me to go. If this is your church keep me in it. If it is not, guide me to the truth!!” To be honest it was very, very hard to learn the things I learned about the LDS Church. All of my friends and my wife’s family were LDS. But the more I prayed, the more I realized that God was guiding me and testfying to my heart, through the Holy Spirit, that Mormonism is not true. The fact is that it’s teachings are different from The Bible and The Bible is backed up by evidence and fact… something that is severely lacking in the LDS Faith. There is little to no evidence for any of the claims in the BOM. No one outside of the LDS Church looks to it for any historical value whatsoever. The Bible, by contrast, is backed up by numerous extrabiblical sources and evidences… in literature, archeology and anthropology.

    After years of study and prayer, the Holy Spirit led my wife and I to place our trust in Christ and Christ alone. His Word is the Bible and it is true. It is now the yardstick that I judge truth, spirits and prophets by. If a person comes along claiming to be a prophet I compare their teachings against those of The Bible. If they don’t line up… the PERSON is not who they claim to be.

    I don’t expect you to agree with me. I will be happy to discuss specifics with you if you would like. But in short… I was fooled the first time because I was not knowledgeable of God’s Word, The Bible. Now I am knowledgeable of it and I am certain I have the truth. The Spirit has told me so and what the Spirit has told me lines up with God’s revealed Word, The Bible.

    Thanks!!

    Have a great afternoon!

    Darrell

  • Geoff456

    Thanks for all your time. This has been fun. Of course I disagree with you 100%….no surprise there.

    I am sticking with the Prophet of God. I am sticking with the Book of Mormon and the Prophet Joseph. Wow, I love saying that. You, IMO, are in spiritual darkness and just might remain there.
    The Bible and the Book of Mormon do NOT disagree. The Bible has many errors in DOCTRINE, maybe not in “history”, which of course is the ONLY thing that scholars can tell you. (Even the dead sea scrolls back up the Book of Mormon). Thus the promised restoration!

    I will stand by my Savior and His Gospel!

    ~Geoff

  • Geoff,

    It has been fun… feel free to drop by anytime. A couple of comments…

    “The Bible and the Book of Mormon do NOT disagree.”

    I will agree that they agree in many areas. But there are areas they disagree. In fact, there are also areas where the BOM disagrees with modern day LDS teachings.

    Nevertheless, most of Mormonism’s key doctrines ARE NOT in the BOM. They came from JS and in some cases violate the teachings of the BOM itself…

    1. Tritheism
    2. Theosis
    3. NT Temple worship
    4. Endowment
    5. Polygamy
    6. New and Everlasting Covenant

    etc, etc, etc

    “The Bible has many errors in DOCTRINE…”

    Evidence please.

    “…maybe not in “history””

    You are correct here. Historical research has vindicated The Bible many, many times. Unfortunately for Mormons, Historical research has done nothing but damage the claim that the BOM is a real historical document. There is even a movement within the LDS Church to just admit that the BOM is a work of fiction. Check out Dialogue and Sunstone.

    “Even the dead sea scrolls back up the Book of Mormon.”

    I am curious as to what you are talking about. My research of the Dead Sea Scrolls has not shown this. In fact, I remember reading something that was contained in one of the Isaiah scrolls that directly contradicted the teachings of the LDS Church. I will have to go back and find that.

    Have a good afternoon.

    Darrell

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