When the Mormons Call
by Johnie Edwards
via Truth Magazine XXIII:
Part One (31, pp. 503-504, Aug. 9, 1979);
Part Two (32, p. 514, Aug. 16, 1979);
Part Three (33, p. 537, Aug. 23, 1979);
Part Four (34, pp. 552-553, Aug. 31, 1979)
Most communities have had a visit from young men calling themselves Mormon Elders. They teach that the Mormon Church is the only, true church. We believe that the doctrine they teach is false and needs to be exposed.
This material contains brief rejoinders to Mormon doctrine and would be good to give Mormons in exchange for their study with you.
The Mormon Church was established and exists today mainly because of their belief in continuous revelation. If men believed all the truth from God is contained in the Bible, then the Book of Mormon, as well as other modern revelations, would have to be rejected as being from God. One of the early Mormon "apostles" expressed it best:
"If it could be proved from scripture that God had revealed all that He ever intended to reveal, then a professed revelation would not require investigation; for it would be known at once, that everything of the kind was an imposition. It would be folly in the extreme to inquire whether a professed new revelation were true or false; for if God had declared in His word that no more was to be given, all writings or books purporting to be a new revelation could not be otherwise than false" (Orson Pratt's Works, p. 70). (D. & C. 124:129 -- Pratt an "apostle")
The Mormons teach that the Bible is not complete. If they thought the Bible was complete they would not have such books as the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants and The Pearl of Great Price. The Book of Mormon teaches that a person is a fool if he believes that the Bible is complete. "Thou fool, that shall say; `A Bible, we have got a Bible, and we need no more Bible...'" (II Nephi. 29:6). Again, "Wherefore because that ye have a Bible ye need not suppose that it contains all my words: neither need ye suppose that I have not caused more to be written" (II Nephi 29:10). Ask the Mormons to give you one thing essential to salvation which is not contained in the New Testament.
The Bible claims to be inspired and complete:
- Jesus promised to give all truth to the apostles (John 14:26; 16:13).
- Paul said that he had declared all the counsel of God (Acts 20:27).
- All Scripture is given by the inspiration of God (II Timothy 3:16-17; II Peter 1:21).
- We have all things that pertain to life and godliness (II Peter 1:3).
- The faith, which is the gospel of Christ, was once delivered (Jude 3). Once a thing has been delivered, it does not need to be re-delivered. The faith was once for all delivered and that, long before Joseph Smith came along.
- New Testament writings had already become a formulated body of doctrine delivered orally in the days of the Apostles. The New Testament writings were not introducing new truths, but simply bringing to the people's remembrance what they had already been taught (II Peter 1:12-15; I Corinthians 15:1-6; I John 1:1-4; Romans 6:17; II Timothy 1:13; 2:2; I John 2:21-17).
- Because the Scriptures are complete, there is a need to guard against change, addition, subtraction or going beyond them (Galatians 1:8-9; I Corinthains 4:6; II John 9; Revelation 22:18- 19).
- God promised that His revelation of Truth would not be corrupted or lost (Matthew 24:35; I Peter 1:23, 25).
- The criterion given for recognizing true prophets and teaching is that one accept that which had already been given as being true (I Corinthians 14:37; I John 2:21-27).
Since the apostles of Christ were never promised the Book of Mormon, never received the Book of Mormon, and never delivered the Book of Mormon, we must conclude that the Book of Mormon is not from God. It is the product of man's own thinking.
The Two Sticks Argument
One of the Mormon films teach that the book of Ezekiel prophesied of the book of Mormon. A careful reading of Ezekiel 37:16-24 will show that Ezekiel had no such thing in mind.
The Mormons say that the stick of Judah in Ezekiel refers to the Bible and the stick of Ephraim refers to the Book of Mormon. Neither application is correct.
The Mormons have at least three books: The Book of Mormons, Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price. They say all three of these are from God. It looks like Ezekiel would have mentioned four sticks instead of two had he had Mormonism in mind.
A background study of Ezekiel 37 will shed some light on the subject. When God led the twelve tribes out of Egypt into Canaan, He made them one nation. Israel became dissatisfied with God's way of ruling the land by Judges and desired a king to be like the nations about them.
God gave them a king in the person of Saul. Saul disobeyed God and was rejected from being king. After Saul came David and then Solomon. Because of the sins of Solomon, God decided to remove the people from Him, yet not all, for the sake of David. Therefore, when his son Rehoboam came to the throne, the people rebelled, all except Benjamin and Judah. These that continued allegiance to Rehoboam were called after "Judah" and the remaining tribes who turned to Jeroboam were called "Ephraim" (Isaiah 7:8-9; 9:8-9; Hosea 4:16-17; 5:3; 9:3).
Ezekiel is not referring to two books, but rather, two nations of people as he explains in the context. He said one stick was for Judah and one was for Joseph. He then said, "And join them one to another into one stick; and they shall become one in thine hand" (Ezekiel 37:17). He tells us that they would become one nation again."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).
There is no command in Ezekial to write a book. It is assumed that the word stick as used in this passage means book. In fact, book or books is not even mentioned in this passage. The word stick is from the Hebrew word "ets" and means, "wood, especially of a wooden post, stake, gibbett." This Hebrew word is used many times in the Scriptures. It is translated a number of times "tree" and several times "wood" -- but is never translated book! For the life of me, I cannot understand how the Mormons get the writing of a book out of this passage. There is no command to write a book or even a volume of words. He was to write on one stick for Judah and on the other for Joseph. Thus, the joining of the two sticks, signified that Judah and Ephraim, in returning from captivity, would not be two nations, but should become one again. This is exactly what Ezekiel said.
The Mormons teach that babies are sinners and are lost because
they inherited sin from their parents. "...For he gave commandment that all men must repent; for
he showed unto all men that they were lost, because of the
transgression of their parents" (II Nephi. 2:21). The false doctrine of inherited sin has given birth to many other false teachings and needs to be exposed.
The Bible does not teach that a person inherits sin from
his parents. The Bible teaches that little children are safe and are not
subjects of Bible conversion.
Jesus taught the disciples to become as little children
(Matthew 18:1-4). Subjects of conversion must be capable of being taught, of
believing, repenting, confessing their faith and being baptized
(Matthew 28:19; Acts 2:38; Mark 16:16).
The Bible teaches that men do not inherit sin from their parents but one is responsible for his own sins.
- Ezekiel 18:20 -- "The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him."
- Ezekiel 28:15 -- "Thou was perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee."
- I John 3:4 -- "Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law."
- Colossians 3:25 -- "But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons."
Instrumental Music in Worship
The Mormon Church uses instrumental music in worship. They claim to be the true church and have the truth. Let them defend the use of mechanical instruments of music in worship. It does them no good to ask, "Where does the Bible say that it should not be used." If they believe that it is scriptural to use instrumental music in worship, it becomes their responsibility to prove it.
The Bible only authorizes vocal music in worship:
- Matthew 26:30.
- Mark 14:26.
- Acts 16:25.
- Romans 15:9.
- I Corinthians 14:15.
- Ephesians 5:19.
- Colossians 3:16.
- Hebrews 2:12.
- Hebrews 13:15.
- James 5:13.
The organization of the Mormon Church is not taught in the Bible. They have in their organization: The First Presidency, Apostles, Evangelists, High Priests, Seventies, Ward and Presiding Bishops, Elders, Priests, Teachers, Deacons and the Aaronic Priesthood.
The Bible organization for the church is simple: Jesus Christ serves as head (Colossians 1:18; Ephesians 1:22-23). Each church is independent, having its own elders and deacons (Philippians 1:1; Acts 14:23; Titus 1:5). The oversight of the elders is over the local church where they have been appointed to serve (Acts 20:28; I Peter 5:2).
Young, unmarried Mormon men call themselves "elders." By no stretch of the imagination could they be elders in the Bible sense. A casual reading of the qualification for elders will soon show this to be true. One of the "musts" for a man to be an elder in the church is that he must be married and have children (I Timothy 3:2-5; Titus 1:6). They sometimes try to say that there is a difference in an elder and a bishop. The Bible makes no such distinction (Acts 20:17, 28).
Bible elders were to oversee the flock among them (I Peter 5:2; Acts 20:28). It would be interesting for the Mormon elders to tell us where the flock is that they are overseeing. How can these young men, who are not qualified and are constantly moving around, oversee the flock of God?
The Mormon Church appoints young boys (age 12) to the office of deacon. The Bible qualifications for a deacon is, among other things, that he must be married and have children (I Timothy 3:12). Mormon deacons do not meet these qualifications.
Social and Recreational Activities
The Mormon Church sponsors from its treasury, social and
recreational activities. This can be observed by the facilities in
Mormon meeting places.
The work of the Lord's church is spiritual, not social (Romans 14:17; John 18:36; I Corinthians 11:20-34). The Bible teaches that Christians should practice hospitality (I Peter 4:9). But these activities are of the home and not of the church.
The Lord's Supper
Mormons use water in the Lord's Supper instead of fruit of the vine. Joseph Smith says that it does not make any difference what we take in the communion (D. & C. 27:1-4).
The Bible teaches that the two elements to be used in the Lord's Supper are unleavened bread and fruit of the Vine (Matthew 26:26-28). Where is the authority for using water in the communion? One Mormon told me that it was Indian legend.
The Badge of Authority
The apostles of Christ in the New Testament performed miracles as a badge of authority for what they taught (Mark 16:15-20; Hebrews 2:1-4). Mormons claim to have apostles who can do just what the apostles did in the New Testament. It would be good for a Mormon to perform a miracle to prove that they are from God, if they really are!