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Problems with

The Book of Mormon

If the Blind Shall lead the Blind...

If you have ever played hide and seek with a very young child you will know they have a delightful habit of covering their eyes so they cannot see you. To them, because they cannot see you - you cannot see them, as far as they are concerned they are hiding from you.
The ostrich has gained the reputation of burying its head in the sand when being pursued, in the belief that it cannot be seen, just as very young children cover their eyes - though I doubt if the ostrich lives long enough to grow out of the habit.
It is easy to understand the thinking behind the small child's behaviour. The ostrich, although a very powerful bird which can stand over eight foot high, has a very small head and an even smaller brain, so we can excuse them.
But what about fully grown, intelligent, human beings; why should some people bury their head in the sand instead of facing reality? I want us to look at one of the beliefs of the Mormon Church, and the Bible passages which they use to justify that belief.
Mormons will tell you that the Bible foretells the coming of their scripture, the Book of Mormon, they will refer you to Ezekial 37:15-17 where it reads:

The word of the Lord came again unto me, saying. Moreover, thou son of man, take thee one stick, and write upon it, For Judah, and for the children of Israel his companions: then take another stick and write upon it, For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim, and for all the house of Israel his companions: And join them one to another into one stick; and they shall become one in thine hand.

Mormons teach that the sticks mentioned are really scrolls, and that the teaching of this passage is that one day these two scrolls will be joined together. The stick of Judah being the Bible and the stick of Joseph being the Book of Mormon. This is believed even though the word 'stick' in that passage is from the Hebrew word 'ets' [pronounced, ates], which can be translated into English as follows:
The same Hebrew word is used in other places in the Old Testament; for example, the woman with whom Elijah stayed was gathering sticks at the gates of the city when he first met her, 1 Kings 17:10.
If Ezekiel had meant 'scroll' he would have used the Hebrew word 'cepher' [say-fer] which, translated into English can be:
However, there is no need to delve into the meaning of the words used by Ezekiel, all we need do is read the next few verses. In verse 18 the Lord tells Ezekiel that the people will want to know what all this means, verses 19 to 22 explain the Lord's intentions - the sticks represent the two halves of the divided nation. In verse 22 the Lord says: And I will make them one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king to them all; and they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all: Ezekiel 37:22
We can see quite clearly by reading God's word, that the position taken by the Mormon Church is incorrect. From our vantage point, being able to look back at history, we know that God's people were divided, and God did reunite them, but why can the Mormon people not see the truth recorded in, what is, a very clear portion of scripture?

The answer is simple.

Spiritual Blindness

He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them. John 12:40

There is one other portion of God's word which the Mormon Church seeks to use in their attempt to have the Bible prophesy about the Book of Mormon. The fact that they use this passage shows just how much ignorance exists within Mormonism regarding the Bible.

And thou shalt be brought down, and shall speak out of the ground, and thy speech shall be low out of the dust, and thy voice shall be, as one that hath a familiar spirit, out of the ground, and thy speech shall whisper out of the dust. (Isaiah 29:4)

Because of the reference to 'speaking out of the ground' Mormon leaders have claimed this is a reference to the Book of Mormon. If you read the chapter you will see that Isaiah is speaking about a city - Ariel [another name for Jerusalem].
But the Mormon leaders really show their ignorance by likening the Book of Mormon to -
"one that hath a familiar spirit".

Mormon Apostle, LeGrand Richards, speaking of the above verse said:

Now, obviously, the only way a dead people could speak 'out of the ground' or 'low out of the dust' would be by the written word, and this people did through the Book of Mormon.
Truly it has a familiar spirit for it contains the words of the prophets of the God of Israel. (A Marvelous Work and a Wonder p. 69.)

The Bible speaks of familiar spirits a total of 16 times. In every case it is referring to mediums involved in witchcraft; and witchcraft is of the Devil, so, considering the fact that Joseph Smith is known to have been involved in witchcraft, LeGrand Richards' statement is very interesting.

The references to familiar spirits can be found at: Lev. 19:31; 20:6. Deut. 18:11. 1 Samuel 28:3; 7 (twice); 8; 9. 2 Kings 21:6; 23:24. 1 Chron. 10:13. 2 Chron. 33:6. Isaiah 8:19; 19:3; 29:4.

Jim Cowen
Good Tidings Ministry.