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Dear Mormon Missionary.

Would you please explain...

Since the early 1980s I have been studying the subject of Mormonism. Its scriptures, its doctrine and its history. In spite of all my reading and studying there are a number of inconsistencies which I have been unable to resolve. Perhaps, with your greater knowledge, you can explain the following for me.

Book of Mormon. - Ancient Apostles

In the Book of Mormon, 3 Nephi 28:7, the Lord promises three of His Nephite disciples that they shall never die but shall remain alive on earth until He returns in glory. The same promise is made to the apostle John in Doctrine and Covenants 7:3. These four men are to spend their time on earth bringing souls of men unto the Lord, and John is specifically told that he shall:

"prophesy before nations, kindreds, tongues and people."

I have problems with both these portions of Mormon scripture - 3 Nephi 28:7 and D&C. 7:3. First there is the obvious problem: where are these four men? Somewhere on earth there are supposed to be four ancient men, aged about 2000 years old. Do you know where they are? How many souls have they won for the Lord in their 2000 years of preaching? Where exactly have they been preaching? Why are they not world famous?

Just think what an impact it would have on the lives of people if these four men came on television, announced who they were, declared that they had walked and talked with the Lord Jesus Christ, and that He had permitted them to remain alive all this time. It would destroy the arguments of those who oppose the Mormon Church, and all who do not believe in Christ.

The other problem is not so obvious. The Mormon Church has always taught that before John the Baptist restored the Priesthood, through Joseph Smith, there was no one living on earth with Priesthood authority. Why would the Lord permit these four men to remain on the earth and preach, if they did not have authority? Would you please explain?

Malachi misplaced.

Still in 3 Nephi. The Lord is visiting America and has told His people that He wants them to write down some scripture which they "do not yet have" (3 Nephi 23:6). He then proceeds to quote Malachi to them, this takes up most of Chapters 24 & 25.

Was the Lord unaware that this scripture had been known by the people for hundreds of years? The same scripture is used in 1 Nephi 22:15. The Book of Mormon even has a cross reference between 3 Nephi 25:1 and 1 Nephi 22:15.

Even more confusing is this use of the words of Malachi in 1 Nephi 22. That part of the Book of Mormon is dated as between BC 588 and 570. Verse 15 starts by saying "for behold, saith the prophet", then it quotes Malachi 4:1. But Malachi was not born as early as that. Please explain.

Peter or Moses?

Again in 3 Nephi, this time to Chapter 20. Please read verses 23-25, the speaker is the Lord Jesus Christ. Each verse opens with the superfluous words -

v23, "Behold";

v24, "Verily I say unto you";

v25, "And behold".

If we ignore those words (which will not alter the context in any way) we are left, basically, with Acts 3:22-25 which is Peter paraphrasing Moses (compare Deuteronomy 18:18-19). But this Book of Mormon passage has the Lord Jesus making yet another mistake, because He starts the passage by saying "... I am he of whom Moses spake, saying:..."

But Moses did not say the words which Jesus then quotes - it was Peter! Proof?

Notice in verse 24, mention is made of the prophet Samuel. The apostle Peter lived long after Samuel and therefore could, and did, mention him; but Moses lived before Samuel and therefore could not, and did not, mention him. The book of Mormon dates this passage as AD 34 when the Lord is supposed to have visited America, but the passage which the Lord is actually quoting, as we have seen, is from Acts chapter 3. The book of Acts was written AD 65, thirty one years after the Lord is supposed to have quoted it... Would you please explain?

These are just a few, there are a great many more problems which I see in the Book of Mormon.

Pearl of Great Price.

One of the four standard works of the Mormon Church. The Pearl of Great Price is a small book. It consists of :

The Book of Moses (8 Chapters)

The Book of Abraham (5 Chapters)

Joseph Smith - Matthew. (this is Smith's version of Matt. 24) and

Joseph Smith - History. An account of Smith's early life; his, so called, First Vision Story, and the beginnings of Mormonism.

We are only going to compare a few verses from Moses and Abraham.

And I, God, said: Let there be light; and there was light. And I, God, saw the light; and that light was good. And I, God, divided the light from the darkness. And I, God, called the light Day; and the darkness, I called Night;... (Moses Ch. 2, vvs. 3, 4, 5a)And they (the Gods) said: Let there be Light; and there was light. And they, (the Gods) comprehended the light, for it was bright; and they divided the light, or caused it to be divided from the darkness. And the Gods called the light Day, and the darkness they called Night... (Abraham Ch.4 vvs.3,4,5a)

The parenthesis used in Abraham (the Gods) are as printed in the book.

Within a few pages of each other, these Mormon scriptures presents totally different versions of the creation story. In Moses chapter 2 there are 31 verses; 21 of these begin with the words "And I, God," and the same expression occurs many more times throughout the chapter. Like Moses Chapter 2, Abraham Chapter 4 also has 31 verses, of these, 23 start with the expression; "And they (the Gods)" or "And the Gods". One verse starts: "So the Gods".

Again, throughout the chapter, there are other references to "the Gods"...
Would you please explain this?

Earlier, when we looked at "Moses or Peter", we referred to Deuteronomy Chapter 18, I feel we should look at what God has to say there:

But the prophet, which shall presume to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die.

 And if thou say in thine heart, How shall we know the word which the LORD hath not spoken?

 When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him. Deut. 18:20-22

I hope any Mormon - be they missionary or otherwise - reading that passage from God's word, the Bible, will give it some very serious thought. The last verse above, verse 22, leads us nicely into the next subject I would like to ask you about.

It says that if a prophet makes a prophecy in the LORD'S name and the prophecy "follows not" then it was not from the LORD.

God demands 100% accuracy from His true prophets.

Not one of Joseph Smith's prophecies stand up to close investigation - not even his much acclaimed 'Civil War prophecy'.

Joseph Smith Junior, the first Mormon Prophet, made lots of prophecies "in the name of the Lord". Many of these prophecies are recorded in the Mormon scripture:

Doctrine and Covenants

One such "revelation" is recorded as "Section 27" this revelation opens with the verse:

"Listen to the voice of Jesus Christ, your Lord, your God, and your Redeemer, whose word is quick and powerful". Doctrines and Covenants 27:1

It then goes on to give instructions for the sacrament of the Lord's supper.

In verse 5 the Lord tells Joseph that the day is coming when He shall drink of the fruit of the vine with Joseph on the earth. Not only will the Lord drink wine with Joseph, but with other prophets of old, for He continues:

First problem. It was not Elias who visited Zacharias to deliver God's promise of a son, it was the Angel Gabriel (Luke 1:19). Gabriel did say that John would preach with "the spirit and power of Elias" and thus prepare the way for the Lord. Would you please explain to me how Jesus, who is God (D&C 27:1), could make a mistake like that?

Second problem.

Elias - V - Elijah

But that is not the only problem with this portion of Mormon Scripture; notice two of the people Jesus says he will drink wine with; verse 6 - Elias and verse 9 - Elijah.

This teaching, that Elias and Elijah are two different men, is also taught in "A Marvelous Work and a Wonder" by Apostle Le Grand Richards, page 246 (last page of Chapter 17), and "Doctrines of Salvation" by Joseph Fielding Smith, the 10th. President of the Church, (Volume 3 page 126. 1956 edition).

In the New Testament Noah is called Noe, (Matt.24:37,38) and Jonah is called Jonas, (Matt.12:40). That is just two of the many different name spellings between the Old and New Testaments. The reason for this is that the Old Testament was written in Hebrew; and the New Testament in Greek, so the Greek spelling of the Hebrew name is applied throughout the New Testament. This change to the spelling of names applies to places as well as people.

Open your Bible, or better still, two Bibles, one at Luke chapter 4, (and James 5) the other at 1 Kings 17.

Now all you need to do is compare:

You could also compare 1 Kings 19:13, 14 and 18, with Romans 11:2, 3 and 4.

Having completed this little Bible study you should, by now, realize that Elias is just the Greek way of writing the Hebrew name, Elijah. Only one man is in view here, not two as claimed by Doctrine and Covenants.

Please explain to me how the Lord Jesus Christ could make a mistake like that.

Esaias - V - Isaiah

We have seen that either, God did not know that Elias and Elijah were one person, or, as I believe, Joseph Smith did not know that Elias and Elijah were the same person. Whoever it was, they made the same mistake again, this time with Isaiah (Hebrew name) who, in the New Testament, is called Esaias (Greek name).

If you will turn to Doctrine and Covenants, Section 76 you will discover that Smith, along with Sidney Rigdon, is issuing yet another revelation. This one is based on the words of the Apostle Paul, though of course, in Joseph Smith's 'revelation' the real meaning of this biblical text is altered in order to give Smith's opinion of what Paul means.

The text in question is 1 Corinthians 15:40-41 where Paul is likening our present bodies (terrestrial, meaning earthly), to the bodies (Celestial, meaning heavenly), which we will have following our resurrection; or translation if we are still alive when the Lord returns, (see 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17).

Before continuing, since we are speaking of things terrestrial and celestial, I should mention Paul's reference to "the third heaven" (2 Cor. 12:2). As a Mormon Missionary you will be aware your church 'latches' unto this verse to support its teaching regarding Telestial, Terrestrial and Celestial kingdoms. Well, it doesn't.

The Apostle Paul was a Hebrew, and the Hebrews believed in three distinct heavens, as do Christians, but don't get excited, let me explain.

The first, or if you like, the lowest heaven, is the atmospheric heaven, the heaven in which birds fly and clouds form - and rain on us. (Deut. 28:12 ; Psalms 147:8)

Above that is the heaven where God placed the sun, moon and stars. (Genesis 1:17)

The third heaven, or the highest heaven, is where God dwells. (Isaiah 66:1)

Back to our subject.

Our title was, 'Esaias versus Isaiah', and we had mentioned D&C. Sec. 76.

Please turn to verse 100 where Joseph Smith is listing different people who, Joseph claims, some people followed, (this is based on 1 Cor.1:12 - compare with D&C 76:99).

100. These are they who say they are some of one and some of another - some of Christ and some of John, and some of Moses and some of Elias, and some of Esaias, and some of Isaiah, and some of Enoch. - Doctrine and Covenants 76:100
Joseph Smith believed he was listing seven people in this verse, beginning with Christ and ending with Enoch. But the writer was unaware that the name Esaias is just the Greek version of Isaiah.

Time for another short Bible study.

Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but there heart is far from me. Matthew 15:7,8.
That piece of scripture is also recorded in Mark 7:6, notice, it is speaking of a prophecy made many years before - and the prophecy had just come to pass! The prophecy in question can be read in Isaiah 29:13.
Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men: Isaiah 29:13
Compare also Isaiah 40:3 with Matthew 3:3 which is to do with the prophecy concerning John the Baptist, and the fulfilment of that prophecy. But in Matthew the prophet Isaiah is called Esaias.

Earlier we looked at Matthew 15:7-8, and we noted that the same scripture is repeated in Mark 7:6. If we now look at the verse which follows each of them, i.e. Matthew 15:9, and Mark 7:7 we have Jesus saying:

In vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. Matt. 15:9 ; Mark 7:7
I wish to finish by asking you to be absolutely honest, at least with yourself. We have only looked at a few of the many mistakes which exist in all Mormon Scriptures.

Do you really believe these can be attributed to God?

If your answer is, "No". Then the only alternative is that the Mormon Scriptures have got nothing to do with God, but everything to do with Joseph Smith who was well known for his tall stories and vivid imagination.

I urge you to look closely, not only at the problems with Mormon Scriptures, but at all the other abuse of power that goes on within your church; for example, the recorded history of the church has been tampered with in order to remove anything which the church leaders do not want revealed, whether it be something Joseph Smith said, or did, if they don't want you to know it - they remove it. At all costs they try to protect the Church, but you know, the Church will not save your soul.

Salvation is not to be found in Church membership, and I don't care which Church that may be. Nor is salvation to be found in trying to please God by good works. In God's opinion all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags (Isa.64:6)

There is only one way to be saved and it is not by works, all the work of salvation was carried out by the Lord Jesus Christ. How then are we to be saved?

Then said they unto him, what shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent. John 6:28-29
You will notice there is only one work required from us and that is to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ - not a head belief, even demons have that (James 2:19). We are required to have a heart belief.

Ask Jesus to come into your life as your Lord and Saviour and He will, for He said:

Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and sup with him, and he with me. Revelation 3:20
The Lord will not force His way into your life. He waits outside and knocks at the door, the choice is yours. If you don't open the door and let Him in then you must live, and die, with the consequences of your decision.
He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. 1 John 5:12

Jim Cowen
Good Tidings Ministry.