- Why is the Seventh Day Adventist Church larger than the Mormon Church despite being 33 years younger?1
- Why do the Adventists have more humanitarian efforts than the Mormons?
- Why do the Adventists publicize their financial and church attendance numbers but Mormons do not?
Mormons have no clue how they’re doing with what they’ve been given (i.e. The Holy Book of Mormon) until compared to another church. Mormonism is far behind the Adventists and failing comparably. Why?
President Benson said:
And now grave consequences hang on our response to the Book of Mormon. “Those who receive it,” said the Lord, “in faith, and work righteousness, shall receive a crown of eternal life; But those who harden their hearts in unbelief, and reject it, it shall turn to their own condemnation-For the Lord God has spoken it.” (D&C 20:14-16.)
Is the Book of Mormon true? Yes.
Whom is it for? Us.
What is its purpose? To bring men to Christ.
How does it do this? By testifying of Christ and revealing His enemies.
How are we to use it? We are to get a testimony of it, we are to teach from it, we are to hold it up as a standard and “hiss it forth.”
Have we been doing this? Not as we should, nor as we must.
Do eternal consequences rest upon our response to this book? Yes, either to our blessing or our condemnation.
Every Latter-day Saint should make the study of this book a lifetime pursuit. Otherwise he is placing his soul in jeopardy and neglecting that which could give spiritual and intellectual unity to his whole life. There is a difference between a convert who is built on the rock of Christ through the Book of Mormon and stays hold of that iron rod, and one who is not. (Ezra Taft Benson, A Witness and a Warning: A Modern-Day Prophet Testifies of the Book of Mormon, Deseret Book Co., 1988, p. 7)
I have noted within the Church a difference in discernment, insight, conviction, and spirit between those who know and love the Book of Mormon and those who do not. That book is a great sifter. (“Jesus Christ-Gifts and Expectations,” Christmas Devotional, Salt Lake City, Utah, 7 December 1986; Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, pp. 60-61.)
Mormons are condemned for having neglected the Holy Book of Mormon:
D&C 84 – 1832
54 And your minds in times past have been darkened because of unbelief, and because you have treated lightly the things you have received-55 Which vanity and unbelief have brought the whole church under condemnation.56 And this condemnation resteth upon the children of Zion, even all.57 And they shall remain under this condemnation until they repent and remember the new covenant, even the Book of Mormon and the former commandments which I have given them, not only to say, but to do according to that which I have written- (D&C 84:54-57, 1832)
Benson – 1984 (152 Years Later)
Among the hallmarks of Ezra Taft Benson ‘s tenure as president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was his stirring summons to reemphasize the Book of Mormon.
“My beloved brethren and sisters,” he said during the October 1984 general conference, “for some years now I have been deeply concerned that we are not using the Book of Mormon as God intends. As I participated in the Mexico City Temple dedication, I received the distinct impression that God is not pleased with our neglect of the Book of Mormon. In the 84th section of the Doctrine and Covenants, the Lord decreed that the whole church was under condemnation, even all the children of Zion, because of the way they treated the Book of Mormon. ‘And they shall remain under this condemnation until they repent,’ said the Lord, ‘and remember the new covenant, even the Book of Mormon’ (Doctrine and Covenants 84:57).” (Dan Peterson, “Embracing the power of the Book of Mormon,” Deseret News, January 5, 2012.)
Benson – 1986 (154 Years Later)
“Unless we read the Book of Mormon and give heed to its teachings, the Lord has stated in section 84 of the Doctrine and Covenants that the whole Church is under condemnation: ‘And this condemnation resteth upon the children of Zion, even all.’ (D&C 84:56, 1832)”
“Why? The Lord answers: “That they may bring forth fruit meet for their Father’s kingdom; otherwise there remaineth a scourge and judgment to be poured out upon the children of Zion.” (D&C 84:58, 1832) We have felt that scourge and judgment!”
“We must first cleanse the inner vessel by awaking and arising, being morally clean, using the Book of Mormon in a manner so that God will lift the condemnation, and finally conquering pride by humbling ourselves.” (Ezra Taft Benson, Ensign, May, 1986, p. 4)
Oaks – 1994 (162 Years Later)
“As in that important first address, President Benson has often referred to the condemnation that section 84 of the Doctrine and Covenants describes as being imposed on the Saints for neglect of the Book of Mormon. This revelation was given to the Church in September 1832, just two and one-half years after the Church was organized.”
“Along with other General Authorities, I have a clear recollection of the General Authority temple meeting on 5 March 1987. For a year, President Benson had been stressing the reading of the Book of Mormon. Repeatedly he had quoted these verses from the Doctrine and Covenants, including the Lord’s statement that the Saints’ conduct had “brought the whole church under condemnation” (D&C 84:55).
In that temple meeting, President Benson reread those statements and declared, “This condemnation has not been lifted, nor will it be until we repent.” He also repeated his declaration of a year earlier that “in our day the Lord has inspired His servant to reemphasize the Book of Mormon to get the Church out from under condemnation.“
“Expressly and by implication, President Benson has affirmed that this subject is the most important of all. I believe that it was the neglect-the “treating lightly”-of this subject that brought the early Church under condemnation. I believe it is the neglect of this subject that has continued the condemnation in our own day.”
“May we follow the commandment to give diligent heed to these words of eternal life; may we follow our prophet’s challenge to remove the condemnation that comes from treating this new covenant lightly; may we be true to our sacred responsibilities…” (Dallin H. Oaks, Ensign, March 1994, p. 60)
Millet – 1994 (162 Years Later)
“In a broader sense, I believe the condemnation that rests upon the Latter-day Saints is a loss of spiritual power, a loss of blessings, a loss of perspective about eternal possibilities. Perhaps we have not enjoyed the revelations, the divine direction, the sweet promptings of the Spirit, that might have been ours. We have not been the recipients of the fruit of the Spirit–‘love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance’ (Galatians 5:22-23)–as we could have been. Surely we have not enjoyed the understanding, the light and truth, the lens of pure intelligence, that is so readily accessible. In too many cases our minds and hearts have not been shaped and prepared by the Book of Mormon, by its lessons and logic, testimony and transforming power, and thus too often the judgment and discernment so essential to perceiving the false doctrines of the world, and even the irrelevant, have not been as strong as they might have been. Because we have not immersed and washed ourselves in those living waters that flow from the Book of Mormon, we have not enjoyed faith like the ancients, that faith which strengthens resolve and provides courage and peace in a time of unrest. So much of the stress and fear and apprehension and exhaustion that now exist in society is so very unnecessary; ours could be the right to that lifting and liberating Spirit that produces hope and peace and rest. Though the light of the fulness of the everlasting gospel has begun to break forth into a world of darkness (see D&C 45:28), yet too often we walk in darkness at noonday, or at least we traverse the path of life in twilight when we might bask in the bright light of the Son.” (Robert L. Millet, The Power of the Word: Saving Doctrines from the Book of Mormon, 1994, p. 303)
Christianson – 2007 (175 Years Later)
[When will Mormons know their condemnation is over? When additional records come forth.]
“Evidently the sealed portion of the Book of Mormon contains a history of ‘all things from the foundation of the world unto the end thereof’ – even the answer to the nagging question about where the dinosaurs came from! Again, all the questions can be answered if we can lift the condemnation and receive all the teachings the Lord desires us to have.” (Jack R. Christianson, and K. Douglas Bassett, Life Lessons From the Book of Mormon, 2007, p. 31)
Do you know why 50% – 75% of the church members leave the Mormon Church? Or why church records in Brazil put membership at 743,182 while the 2000 Census put it at only 199,645?
Right now the LDS Church puts its membership at 12.5 million, but the true number is around 4 million. (Salt Lake Tribune) It could be said based on these numbers that the Mormon Church is the fastest shrinking church on earth. People join it because of The Book of Mormon, but leave it because of something else.
“Latter-day Saints lose 70 to 80 percent of their converts, while Adventists retain 70 to 80 percent of theirs.” (Ibid)
The world is indebted to Mormons for bringing the Nephite record to the public’s view, in sponsoring scholarly research, and for defending it over these many years.
Mormons should know there are big differences between what the Mormon Church practices, and what The Book of Mormon teaches. The following are some key differences that exist between the doctrine prescribed in The Book of Mormon and what the Mormon Church is practicing.
After reading these things, we would invite Mormons to consider the other doctrines listed on this site and realize the simplicity that The Book describes. We feel the public should know there are differences between what the Mormon Church practices and what The Book of Mormon teaches, that the two are different, therefore they should be held separate.
Key Things Every Mormon Should Know:
a. A person is baptized for the remission of sins after repenting. Eight year old children need no repentance. Eight year old children who are routinely being baptized in the Mormon Church for the remission of sins are doing so contrary to the teachings of The Book of Mormon. [See: Doctrine>Baptism>Children Don’t Need]
b. A person is baptized into the body of Christ, not a particular denomination. Many people were baptized during the time Joseph was dictating The Book of Mormon – before he started a church. Those baptisms were performed for the remission of sins, not for membership in a denomination.
c. Baptism and Denominational membership are two separate things. Most Protestant churches today understand this and hold the two separate. One Protestant church will respect the baptism of another.
d. Points of age, methodology, and authority are stated clearly in The Book of Mormon, and both Mormons and Christians could learn from them. [See: Doctrine>Baptism]
The Book of Mormon is very clear who is to receive the sacrament of the bread and wine – only those who have been baptized for the remission of their sins. Current Mormon and many Protestant churches are allowing the unbaptized, the unworthy, and even little children to partake. Such practices are making a mockery of the atoning power of Christ and the love of God. [See: Doctrine>Communion]
In the Summer of 1828, two full years before Joseph started a church, and prior to him dictating The Book of Mormon, the Lord defined for Joseph who his Church was:
Behold, this is my doctrine-whosoever repenteth and cometh unto me, the same is my church. (D&C 10:67 – dated Summer 1828.)
You will notice there is no mention of a denomination. In fact, in the same revelation Jesus said his Church was already present:
52 And now, behold, according to their faith in their prayers will I bring this part of my gospel to the knowledge of my people. Behold, I do not bring it to destroy that which they have received, but to build it up.
53 And for this cause have I said: If this generation harden not their hearts, I will establish my church among them.
54 Now I do not say this to destroy my church, but I say this to build up my church;
55 Therefore, whosoever belongeth to my church need not fear, for such shall inherit the kingdom of heaven.
56 But it is they who do not fear me, neither keep my commandments but build up churches unto themselves to get gain, yea, and all those that do wickedly and build up the kingdom of the devil-yea, verily, verily, I say unto you, that it is they that I will disturb, and cause to tremble and shake to the center. (D&C 10)
The Lord was clear that The Book of Mormon was sent forth to build up his Church, and this was two years before Joseph started his own. Even after Joseph started his own there was room for others to have their “own”:
Yea, I will open the hearts of the people, and they will receive you. And I will establish A CHURCH by your hand (Thomas B. Marsh); (D&C 31:7)
“Church” is nothing more than the community of believers as many protestant churches have correctly defined it.
In the Old Testament, the Lord’s people were known as “The House of Israel.” Today they may rightly be called “The House of Believers” a “Spiritual House” (1Peter 2:5), or simply – “The Church.”
A New World Religion
Mormons wonder why Christians continue to deny them the status of “Christian” so we thought we would hold up a mirror to help them out.
1. The concept of a “New World Religion” confirms what Christians have been saying all along – that Mormons think they are better than everyone else. This is even the subtitle for Terryl Givens book By the Hand of Mormon: The American Scripture that Launched a New World Religion (Oxford University Press, 2005).
Before Givens used the term, Stark used it in the early 1980’s and this is what he said:
In his essay entitled “The Rise of a New World Faith” (1984), Rodney Stark, a sociologist specializing in religion at the University of Washington, describes Church growth as a “miracle,” a “rare event” which his fellow sociologists have not fully recognized. Establishment and growth of the Church has constituted, Stark says, “the rise of a new world religion” which “will soon achieve a worldwide following comparable to that of Islam, Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism and the other dominant faiths. . Indeed, today they [Latter-day Saints] stand on the threshold of becoming the first major faith to appear on earth since the Prophet Mohammed rode out of the desert.” ( Rodney Stark, “The Rise of a New World Faith,” Review of Religious Research, Sept. 1984, pp. 18-19 as cited in the Mormon Church magazine Ensign, July 1987, p. 33; See also Martin Napersteck, “‘Rise’ revisits fastest-growing religion claim,” The Salt Lake Tribune – Book Review, Jan. 7, 2006 and the updated version in Rodney Stark, The Rise of Mormonism, Columbia University Press, 2005)
In fact, the subject matter received a full scholarly panel at An International Academic Conference at the Library of Congress entitled The Worlds of Joseph Smith, May 6-7, 2005. The panel of experts were:
Session 5: Joseph Smith and the Making of a Global Religion (1:30-4:00 p.m.)
Presenter: Douglas J. Davies, “World Religion: Dynamics and Constraints” (40 minutes)
Response: Gerald R. McDermott (20 minutes)
Response: Jan Shipps (20 minutes)
Response: Roger R. Keller (20 minutes)
Discussion and Q&A (40 minutes)
Mormons don’t think twice about how offensive these statements may be to Christians, rather, they embrace them. They can’t have it both ways however. They cannot claim it is unfair not to be embraced by Christians as Christian while at the same time claiming to be a “New” World Religion. That is an affront to all Christian denominations.
All Are Wrong
It is VERY harmful to interpret an early statement given by God ONLY to Joseph as being for everyone. God said the answers Joseph sought would not be found in other churches, but they would be in a forth coming book of scripture – The Book of Mormon.
The Book of Mormon defines The Church as those who believe in Jesus Christ (Mosiah 26:21-22); which was later confirmed by Jesus Christ in the Summer of 1828 (See D&C 10:67).
The Church is what you are, not where you go.
This is something the Mormon Church does not understand, nor did the denominations at Joseph’s time fully understand. Evangelical Christians today do understand this, so when they hear or read of Mormons saying that God said all others are wrong, they discard it, for they know that God would never say that.
This is why they choose to discard everything else the Mormon Church has to say – including The Book of Mormon – which should not be the case.
There is a statement by Joseph Smith which confirms that God does, and we all should, respect ANYONE who is sent by Him. This is the statement the Mormon Church shoud be using and not the other.
Read it here:
PBS – The Mormons
The recently aired program on PBS called The Mormons has a quote regarding how Evangelical Christians feel regarding the Mormon Church’s continuing use of the phrase “All others are wrong.”
The segment is by Richard Mouw – President of Fuller Theological Seminary:
Richard Mouw – Evangelical Theologian said:
My instinct is to attribute a sincerity to Joseph Smith, but at the same time, as an Evangelical Christian, I do not believe that the members of the Godhead really appeared to him and told him that he should start on a mission, that among other things, denouncing the kinds of things that I believe as a Presbyterian. I can’t believe that.
View for yourself here:
The definition of a Prophet is very clear and Mormon leaders should stop using the term.
According to the Bible, a prophet is a person who is called directly by God, through a vision or dream:
6 And he said, Hear now my words: If there be a prophet among you, I the LORD will make myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream. (Numbers 12:6.)
The prophet is then commanded to share that experience faithfully:
28 The prophet that hath a dream, let him tell a dream; and he that hath my word, let him speak my word faithfully. (Jeremiah 23:28)
Since the time of Joseph, not a single LDS “prophet” has shared how they were called directly by God; therefore they have no right to the title.
The same holds true for the call of Apostle. The original call was to testify of the resurrection of Christ:
21 Wherefore of these men which have companied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us,
22 Beginning from the baptism of John, unto that same day that he was taken up from us, must one be ordained to be a witness with us of his resurrection. (Acts 1:21-22)
1 Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God,
2 (Which he had promised afore by his prophets in the holy scriptures,)
3 Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh;
4 And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead: (Romans 1:1-4.)
Unless an LDS apostle was called by God to bear witness of the risen Lord by a personal visitation from Jesus Christ, they should not be using the title.
The title of apostle is not even used in The Book of Mormon.
“Exaltation” is a term Joseph used to justify his adultery:
And if he have ten virgins given unto him by this law, he cannot commit adultery, for they belong to him, and they are given unto him; therefore is he justified. (D&C 132:62)
D&C 132 IS the keystone of The Mormon Church – not The Book of Mormon.
What Mormons need to know is that “Exaltation” for a Mormon is the same as Salvation for Christians – to live with Jesus. Here is proof that exaltation means to be with Jesus:
…shall receive your EXALTATION; that where I (Jesus) am ye shall be also. (D&C 132:23)
Mormon temple ceremonies, and the multitude of requirements to get there are NOT required to get to Jesus.
The Book of Mormon contains the words of Jesus and he said none of that was required to get to him.