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Dear Mormon Friend,
As you spend time in this neighborhood please take a moment
to consider a few important matters...
As I'm sure you know, the Bible repeatedly warns us about
the battle between truth from God and lies from Satan. How
can I know what is truth from God and what is a lie from Satan?
How can you know? Jehovah's Witnesses teach that Jesus Christ
is Michael the Archangel who became a man. As a Mormon, you
teach that Jesus Christ was a man who became God so that we
can follow in His steps and become gods also. And Christians
teach that Jesus Christ is no other than God Himself who became
a man to take away the separation between man and God.
What is the truth about Jesus Christ? In order to find the
truth we need a sober realization that the world is filled
with lies that originate from the "father" of lies,
as Jesus called him (John 8:44). We have to be like detectives
and recognize Satan's fingerprints. We have to be like the
Bereans and "search the Scriptures..." (Acts 17:11)
to find the clues.
Where did the idea that we can become gods come from? Long
before Joseph Smith taught this idea, Adam and Eve came across
a similar idea:
3:1-5: "Now the serpent was more cunning than any
beast of the field which the LORD God had made. ... And
the woman said to the serpent, "We may eat the fruit
of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree
which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, 'You
shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.'"
Then the serpent said to the woman, 'You will not surely
die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your
eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing
good and evil.'"
You will be like God... sounds similar to the Mormon
doctrine of becoming a god. Was the one who is the "father"
of lies and a "murderer from the beginning" (John
8:44) telling Eve the truth?
Given the fact that 1 John tells us, "do not believe
every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God;
because many false prophets have gone out into the world..."
(1 John 4:1) and the fact that "Satan transforms himself
into an angel of light" (2 Corinthians 11:14), could
it have actually been Satan or a messenger from Satan who
appeared to Joseph Smith in a pillar of light?
Joseph Smith was told that all churches were corrupt and
that the true church had completely fallen away and ceased
to exist, and that he was the person chosen to restore the
true church. If we have to earn our salvation by good works,
as Joseph Smith also taught, then maybe it would be possible
for the entire church to fall away. For if we have to earn
salvation by our good works then we could lose our salvation
by our lack of good works. But how is this possible when the
Bible states that salvation is a "free gift"? (not
simply the salvation of eternal life, as Joseph Smith taught,
but the salvation of eternal life in the presence of God)
The apostle Paul was ready to "depart and be with Christ"
in heaven (Philippians 1:23), but he wasn't basing His future
with Christ in heaven on his own good works – "not
having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that
which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which
is from God by faith..." (Philippians 3:9) The gospel
that Paul taught is that our entrance to heaven is a free
gift, based on "the righteousness of God apart from the
law... through faith in Jesus Christ" (Romans 3:21-22),
the righteousness of Jesus Christ that is "credited"
to our account when we place our faith in Him (Romans 4:3-8;4:23-24).
Furthermore, the apostle Paul warned, "But even if we,
or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than
what we have preached to you, let him be accursed..."
(Galatians 1:8) Did the heavenly messenger who visited Joseph
Smith preach "any other gospel"? 1 Timothy 4:1 states,
"Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some
will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits
and doctrines of demons." Was it actually Joseph Smith
who fell away – "depart[ing] from the faith"
– when he listened to the angel that told him the entire
church fell away? The Bible warns about a partial "falling
away" but it never states that the entire church would
fall away. Jesus declared that "the gates of Hades shall
not prevail against" the church. (Matthew 16:18) It is
true that the church has struggled with many problems, but
that is because the church is made up of imperfect people,
people who are a "new creation" in their spirit
(2 Corinthians 5:17, Galatians 6:15) but in their flesh are
still the "old man" (Romans 6:6). That is why Paul
wrote, "we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that
the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us."
(2 Corinthians 4:7)
Good works are an important byproduct of salvation, but they
are not the basis of salvation. "For by grace you have
been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is
the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For
we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works,
which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them."
The spiritual body of people that is the true church (Ephesians
2:19-22) is "His workmanship" (Ephesians 2:10) that
He has "sealed with the Holy Spirit..." (Ephesians
1:13-14). Far from being lost for nearly 2000 years, that
which is His workmanship and sealed with the Holy Spirit has
been "hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed...
persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed."
(2 Corinthians 4:8-9)
The true church is "built on the foundation of the apostles
and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone."
(Ephesians 3:19-20) This massive foundation is verified by
the 66 books of the Bible written over 1500 years by 40 authors
and extensive archaeological evidence rooted in the center
of world history (for example, the ruins of ancient Israel
in the heart of Jerusalem today). Yet the Mormon church is
built on the foundation of one isolated person (Joseph Smith)
and a supposed ancient civilization of the American continent
for which there is no solid evidence.
You may say that the Book of Mormon is true because you prayed
about it and had a "burning in the bosom". The problem
here is that nowhere in the Bible are we told to pray about
new revelation. Neither Jesus nor the apostle Paul ever told
people to pray about their message to determine whether or
not it was true; rather, they always pointed back to Scripture
as the rock-solid means of determining what they taught was
true. (Luke 24:27; Acts 3:24, 18:28, 24:14, 26:22, 28:23)
The apostle Paul explained that he taught "no other things
than those which the prophets and Moses said would come."
(Acts 26:22) The Bereans were commended because they "searched
the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things [what
Paul taught] were so." (Acts 17:11) One reason we need
the objective confirmation of Scripture is because "the
heart is deceitful above all things, an desperately wicked..."
(Jeremiah 17:9) The burning in the bosom you felt may simply
be a confirmation that God exists and that He loves you, and
you can know that this is true because it is clearly confirmed
This letter was not written out of a desire to attack but
out of love for you and a desire to help you find the truth.
Please don't be afraid to think on your own and take a stand
for the truth, regardless of the peer pressure you may face
in your church or family. The only acceptance you need is
from God and what matters to God is the truth!
If you'd like further information to help you sort through
the issues, two great websites are www.mrm.org
God bless you.