Discussions of Mormons and Mormon life, Book of Mormon issues and evidences, and other Latter-day Saint (LDS) topics.

Sunday, June 20, 2004

Have Anti-Mormons Won the War?

It is a common myth that anti-Mormon attacks have completely overwhelmed the intellectual position of Latter-day Saints, leaving us with nothing but blind faith in our "warm feelings" about the Church. The portrayal of Mormons as idiots without any intellectual foundation in our religion is a common caricature based on deceptive marketing. With the flood of anti-Mormon arguments, books, pamphlets, movies, and Web sites, it is easy to think that Mormonism would be completely devastated if a tiny fraction of the things said against us were true.

For example, I once met a new convert, a college student, in my town of Appleton, Wisconsin, who showed me a couple of thick books loaded with accusations against the Church. She was upset and angry and planning to leave the Church. I tried to calm her down, and one by one, we discussed the arguments that were bothering her. Once one attack was diffused, she raised another, and another, and I think I helped her see that there was little merit to what she had raised so far, and that the bulk of the anti-Mormon material was truly deceptive. Then she just dug in her heels and said, "Well, it doesn't matter. If only 10% of all the things in here are true, that's enough to destroy the Church!" She left the Church, and if she had lived 2,000 years ago as an early Christian convert, I'm sure she would have left the Church then, too. After all, if only 10% of the things that the anti-Christians said were true, then that would be enough to destroy Christianity, right? (Oh, how I wish modern education would help people understand that critical thinking means more than just accepting the criticisms that others think up.)

Anti-Mormon literature is amazingly ignorant of what Latter-day Saints really believe and especially ignorant of LDS authors have written in response to anti-Mormon attacks. Many of the common attacks against the Church are regurgitated arguments from the nineteenth century, arguments which have been thoroughly and carefully treated by responsible LDS writers who do much more than just talk about some warm feeling in their hearts. But the anti-Mormon writers and speakers of today make it sound as if no Mormon has ever dared to respond to their awesome arguments, and that the Church can only retreat and hide when faced with an intellectual battle.

But many anti-Mormons are not simply ignorant of our response. Some have entered into debates and discussions with Latter-day Saint scholars and have had their intellectual fallacies soundly exposed, yet they continue saying the same things and acting as if there has never been a response. This form of intellectual dishonesty, based on the common anti-Mormon attitude of "the end justifies the means," does great disservice to the cause of Christianity. Even if our position is wrong, the tactics of some of our professional anti-Mormon opponents reveal whom they really follow.

The intellectual weakness of the standard anti-Mormon position has been pointed out by a number of non-LDS writers. In one interesting example, two evangelical critics of the Church, Carl Mosser and Paul Owen, presented a paper at the 1997 Evangelical Theological Society Far West Annual Meeting, April 25, 1997 that warned the evangelical community about the impressive efforts of LDS scholars and criticized the blind approach of typical anti-Mormon literature. Their article, "Mormon Scholarship, Apologetics, and Evangelical Neglect: Losing the Battle and Not Knowing It?" (later published in Trinity Journal, Fall 1998, pp. 179-205), is one of the most intriguing non-LDS articles I've ever encountered from critics of the Church. (One of several copies of it on the Web can be found at ComeToZarahemla.org or Cephas Ministry.)

Mosser and Owen note that anti-LDS writers have ignored the significant work of respected LDS scholars who are providing "robust defenses" of the LDS faith. In preparing their paper, Mosser and Owen did something that few critics have done: they have actually read a wide variety of LDS scholarly writings. As a result, they came to the following five conclusions:

The first [conclusion] is that there are, contrary to popular evangelical perceptions, legitimate Mormon scholars. We use the term scholar in its formal sense of "intellectual, erudite; skilled in intellectual investigation; trained in ancient languages." Broadly, Mormon scholarship can be divided into four categories: traditional, neo-orthodox, liberal and cultural. We are referring to the largest and most influential of the four categories--traditional Mormon scholars. It is a point of fact that the Latter-day Saints are not an anti-intellectual group like Jehovah's Witnesses. Mormons, in distinction to groups like JWs, produce work that has more than the mere appearance of scholarship. The second conclusion we have come to is that Mormon scholars and apologists (not all apologists are scholars) have, with varying degrees of success, answered most of the usual evangelical criticisms. Often these answers adequately diffuse particular (minor) criticisms. When the criticism has not been diffused the issue has usually been made much more complex.

A third conclusion we have come to is that currently there are, as far as we are aware, no books from an evangelical perspective that responsibility interact with contemporary LDS scholarly and apologetic writings. In a survey of twenty recent evangelical books criticizing Mormonism we found that none interact with this growing body of literature. Only a handful demonstrate any awareness of pertinent works. Many of the authors promote criticisms that have long been refuted; some are sensationalistic while others are simply ridiculous. A number of these books claim to be "the definitive" book on the matter. That they make no attempt to interact with contemporary LDS scholarship is a stain upon the authors' integrity and causes one to wonder about their credibility.

Our fourth conclusion is that at the academic level evangelicals are losing the debate with the Mormons. We are losing the battle and do not know it. In recent years the sophistication and erudition of LDS apologetics has risen considerably while evangelical responses have not. Those who have the skills necessary for this task rarely demonstrate an interest in the issues. Often they do not even know that there is a need. In large part this is due entirely to ignorance of the relevant literature.

Finally, our fifth conclusion is that most involved in the counter-cult movement lack the skills and training necessary to answer Mormon scholarly apologetic. The need is great for trained evangelical biblical scholars, theologians, philosophers and historians to examine and answer the growing body of literature produced by traditional LDS scholars and apologists.

(Further analysis based on the paper of Mosser and Owen has been provided by Justin Hart in "Winning the Battle and Not Knowing It," in MeridianMagazine.com, an article in five parts: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, and Part 5. For an interesting example of the issues that Owen and Mosser have raised, see Paul Owen's rebuttal of anti-Mormon John Weldon's response to the original article of Mosser and Owen. Owen appears to be appalled at the "head-in-the-sand" approach of John Weldon, who has demonstrated the very problems that Mosser and Owen speak against in their paper and says that Weldon's anti-Mormon "intellectual narrow-mindedness" is "astounding."

Latter-day Saints who study the responses of LDS writers to anti-Mormon criticisms know that there are many excellent resources which completely refute or at least defuse many of the arguments hurled against us. These resources, found at places like FARMS, The Foundation for Apologetic Information and Research (FAIRLDS.org), SHIELDS, and even my little Web site (including my Mormon Answers section), do not rely on blind faith and emotional feelings to deal with the critics, in my opinion. In fact, Mosser and Own are correct in observing that there are "robust defenses." In fact, many of the defenses turn the tables on the critics and leave them in intellectually untenable positions. In fact, we could turn around and ask them a few tough questions of our own (though never with the nastiness and "any-lie-will-do" approach that we see from many critics)--something I have gently tried to do on my page, "My Turn--Questions for Anti-Mormons."

21 comments:

Dave said...

I think misrepresentation abounds on both sides of the apologetic divide. What I find is that most of the apologetic material, while presented as an argument directed at "the other side," is generally consumed by one's own fellow believers. I think Mormonism 101 is read primarily by Evangelicals and FARMS material primarily by Mormons. For all the fuss, anti-Mormon writings, even the tracts that are actually "anti-Mormon," have surprisingly little impact on 99% of members of the Church.

Mormanity said...

The impact of anti-Mormon attacks may not seem that great among the 99% we see coming to Church every Sunday, but at least in my neck of the woods the antis have led many souls away from the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Perhaps even a majority of Americans have been influenced by critical rumors and attacks on the Church stemming from anti-Mormons, and I think a majority of investigators and new converts have to face some kind of anti-Mormon attack on their growing faith.

One acquiantance who left used to be a faithful member and was the First Counselor in the Bishopric of our local ward in Appleton, Wisconsin. He left, apparently over the alleged "fraud" of the Book of Abraham, and went on to become the Webmaster of one of the most popular anti-Mormon sites today. Now the refutation of those attacks that so bothered him, and the amazing evidence for the Book of Abraham, is of no interest to him, but had such resources been known to him before he faced and lost the trial of his faith, perhaps the outcome would have been different. Perhaps not. But there are people who are honest in heart who are blinded by the craftiness of men, who would embrace the truth or stay true to the faith if they had the information they needed to pierce the mists of darkness the adversary puts up before them. So, let's keep trying to follow the admonition of Peter in 1 Peter 3:15, to be ready always to give an answer to those who ask.

Anonymous said...

i just want everyone to know that i am a 15 year old girl. and i have been to the pagents in NY, the joseph smith home, and the sacred grove along with many other spiritually uplifting events. and i know for a fact that the LDS religion is the real thing. Anti-Mormons have not won any battle. in my opinion, they have no clue what they r talking about. they wont listen to what is right. they r set in there selfish ways. and i know for a fact that The Book Of Mormon is true! i know because i had a very overwhelming feeling come over me that i know that this book is true. how can someone that has read this book with real intent not know its true. well all i have to say is that if u r interested in looking into our religion(LDS) then to go and visit our church and give it a chance. u will regret it if u dont. and if you r just trying to bash our religion, get a new hobby. u wont tear the LDS saints down by trying to persuade us in anyway. thank you.

Doug Forbes said...

The intellectual level of some very prominent anti-Mormons is surprising. Rick Ross was diagnosed with a learning disability by one doctor who evaluated him in conection with a criminal conviction. On the other end of the spectrum, Rich Deem has a Masters Degree in Microbiology. Yet his web page on the DNA issue contains references to research with conflicting conclusions, as well as misrepresentations.

Anonymous said...

It seems to me that people involved with the Mormon religion are quite happy to follow blindly when the obvious facts regarding the religion point to it being a huge scam. The whole concept of the religion is ignorant, and unaccepting, something which most forms of christianity are trying to distance themselves from. The LDS church seems unable to look at the comical account of events from Joseph Smiths time the claims are quite frankly ridiculous and there are so many indications that it is lies that anyone who can think otherwise is kidding themselves.
Its one thing to have faith, another to be so stupidly ignorant.
History will look at the LDS Church as a huge hoax that sucked in a lot of lost, ignorant people.

Anonymous said...

The mere phrase 'Mormanity' has to send chills up normal people's spines. There are reasons proponents of the so-called 'religion' of Mormonism were expelled from points East of the Missouri River in the 19th century...it was recognized as a CULT! Yet, here we are, in the 21st century - and they have grown from cult to 'religion'...I ask you to compare this to Scientology. Really look into the stupid beliefs of both of these 'religions' and then, look at ancient Egyptology. I guarantee you will be impressed.

The connection to Mormon and Egyptology is closer than anything involving Scientology... just citing examples of unbridled imagination gone wild.

Mormanity said...

Now that's good. And there was a reason Christians were slaughtered by Rome: they were recognized as a CULT!! And being the tolerant neighbors that they were, the Romans who did not agree with that new religion did the logical thing and tortured the Christians. So, as our anonymous "Christian" friend points out, it's OK to exterminate those who belong to a different religion - you know, a "CULT" - meaning a religion that is different from your own.

But I can understand why the ROmans would be so insanely angry at Christianity: just look at all its ties to Egypt and Egyptology. Belief in an afterlife, belief in immortality, belief in judgment and resurrection, belief in heaven, belief in the soul of man, the use of a cross (ankh) as a symbol of conquering death, the use of temples and shrines for cultic practices, ceremonies of washing, an etablished priesthood, belief in the Creation by a supreme being, etc. Man, that's spooky - and so similar to "Mormonism." In fact, early Christianity and Mormonism have dozens of things in common - things that are no longer part of mainstream Christianity - so much so that it's really frightening. In addition to driving out Mormons, perhaps we should also go after early Christians as well, once we find them.

Aquila said...

Well, I'm Johnny-come-lately to this thread, but obviously I'm not the only one with an interest in a 3 year-old post.

The post is about evangelicals who have woken up to the fact that LDS apologetics has gotten serious. Ironic that the anonymous postings of January and May can both be summed up as, "Nah-nah, you're stupid cultists." I guess that 10 years after the original presentation on the state of LDS scholarship, not much has changed.

I want to thank you, Jeff, for what you have been doing on your sites. A recent grad of law school, I've struggled because legal education teaches us to shred irrational arguments. Unfortunately, I let that spill over into some of the more "untidy" aspects of the Church. Emotionally I never lost faith, but intellectually I faced some deep challenges. The you and others in the "bloggernacle" have helped to work me out of that doubt. Eternal thanks.

Anonymous said...

I think both sides have made good points but I think it is amazing that we are still argueing about it almost 200 years latter. Joseph Smith was not as educated as Luther and other founders of religion. He announced religious concepts tied to antiquity and therefore opened himself up to being proved false. The amazing thing is we are still argueing about it. Pretty impressive for someone who supposedly was a fraud. Yes it is hard to believe in Mormonism but it is equally hard to believe in the explanations that anti Mormons give for things Joseph Smith came up with. Mormonism does not answer all questions but it gives Mormons and amazing paradym that nobody can seem to explain where it came from. I would said the church was divinely inspired but not infallible.

Anonymous said...

I have been a mormon for 25 years and actually have never believed the hoaky stories of Joseph smith. I think mormons take a 'head in the sand' approach and this will be the demise of the Mormon church. Mormons are dropping like flys out here in California and I noticed from an article in the Salt Lake Tribune, they are dropping in Utah as well. We did not have the technology a few years ago and now the LDS church will come crashing down amongst all the facts that are being found. I really feel bad for everyone because we have all been duped. It is very sad. If we leave the church, according to he Book of Mormon we will go to the terrestrial kingdom, if we stay and we have followed a false prophet we are doomed. I would rather go to the terretrial kingdom with all the rest of the people then be doomed to hell. It really is a simple choice.

MG said...

The last post is very revealing. First of all, the Book of Mormon says nothing about the terrestrial kingdom. That's in the Doctrine and Covenants. This actually shows that the last poster, in his 25 years as a member, has spent very little time actually reading the Book of Mormon.

Ironically, the very article that initiated this blog was by evangelicals who stated just the opposite of the last poster--that the LDS apologists are winning the scholarship war, not losing. I believe if the church were going to fall, it would have happened when Joseph Smith was killed. Note that the periodicals of the time made the same claim that the recent poster claimed--"Thus Ends Mormonism". 160 years later the church is still here.

The "head in the sand" comes from those who never do a serious study of the actual Book of Mormon (not those who write commentaries on a book they've never read).

Mike said...

IT IS UNFORTUNATE IN THIS DAY AND AGE THAT I HAVE TO HIDE THAT FACT THAT I AM A PRACTICING MORMON IN NORTH GEORGIA. I AM A BUSINESS OWNER AND A PRACTICING PHYSICIAN AND HAVE BEEN ASKED A NUMBER OF TIMES WHAT CHURCH I ATTEND ON SUNDAY? WHEN I REPLY, I ALWAYS GET MIXED RESPONSES. I HAVE HAD MANY PATIENTS NOT RETURN FOR FUTURE TREATMENT BECAUSE OF THIS FACT.

Carlos said...

There is negligence in both sides, I've seen it first hand while talking to the average evangelical and LDS member. But among educated people who have earnestly looked into the claims of both traditions, and after looking at the claims rationally and empirically, there is no logical proof for either, only convictions based on what each side believes to be authoritative revelation, which is highly subjective.

Many evangelical anti-mormon "apologists" are not scholarly, and most LDS missionaries aren't either. However, many LDS missionaries are educated to say their faith is authenticated by the witness of the Holy Ghost, and refuse to look at the claims rationally and empirically (I say this not as an attack, but from every instance in which I've spoken to LDS missionaries, and understand that there is Mormon scholars and apologists)

Jim said...

Greetings Jeff! Due to the fact that you do such a fantastic job of communicating, an email to you with much appreciation was in order. I converted to the church at 18 years of age in rural Mississippi after 3 years of trying to disprove the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, because that is what my preacher wanted me to do, and so I dug in and studied all the lit I could get my hands on. I found that when harmonized, the scriptures indeed testify of him and his church..... The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. The testimony I gained at age 17, by reading, pondering and praying about the Book of Mormon and than getting baptized just before my 18th birthday led me to serve a highly successful mission in Japan. Think of it, the worst educational state in the union, where I hated Spanish class, Mississippi, from a Southern Baptist Family, to still being fluent in Japanese and the Gospel today some 34 years later, some 7 kids later, and now living in Utah....well it just is hard to imagine. I had to tell you since reading your eloquent words and fine research that it has given me even more ammo for testifying. Thanks!

Just to give you a hint of what a young kid in 1972 had to face from loving parents that thought I wanted to join a cult and no, a girl was not driving the issue, it was hard. I remember specifically and as vivid as it was yesterday when my Mom spoke with me and said well Jim, if you are bent on trying to join the Mormons, would you please speak with our Pastor and Preacher as he has helped many get out of the cult of Mormonism. I said sure Mom, if he has some new info, some exciting revelations and I laughed, bring it on. We had great relationship and my Dad was sort of non committal, so that I could joke around and not feel threatened. The preacher wanted to prep me by giving me some anti-Mormon lit a week in advance, you know, Adam God Theory, Polygamy doctrines, to being saved by grace etc.etc.etc.

The day came and we invited him in. Me and the Preacher! He had graduated from Seminary, University and me a senior in High School, gave great fire and brimstone sermons, and invited many to come to Christ....and by the way, pass the offering plate and you don't want to go to the other Baptist Church down the road he would say as they don't have a real good youth program.

For some reason, even today, I remember listening to his pleas, and hearing the nasty things he said about the Church, and how that they don't even believe in Jesus, and that there was no need for Prophets today as we have the Bible....and as the conversation continued and me smiling, as I absorbed all that he had to give and I had a rebuttal for each and everyone . He said in finality....you know Jim, when the Mormon Missionaries tell you about a burning in your heart....well that is of the devil....and that we should never, never let the missionaries in your home again.

I had a bright light go on in my head and had the Preacher turn to Luke 24 in his KJV Bible.


13And, behold, two of them went that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was from Jerusalem about threescore furlongs. 14 And they talked together of all these things which had happened. 15 And it came to pass, that, while they communed together and reasoned, Jesus himself drew near, and went with them. 16 But their eyes were holden that they should not know him. 17 And he said unto them, What manner of communications are these that ye have one to another, as ye walk, and are sad? 18 And the one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answering said unto him, Art thou only a stranger in Jerusalem, and hast not known the things which are come to pass there in these days? 19 And he said unto them, What things? And they said unto him, Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, which was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people: 20 And how the chief priests and our rulers delivered him to be condemned to death, and have crucified him. 21 But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel: and beside all this, to day is the third day since these things were done. 22 Yea, and certain women also of our company made us astonished, which were early at the sepulchre; 23 And when they found not his body, they came, saying, that they had also seen a vision of angels, which said that he was alive. 24 And certain of them which were with us went to the sepulchre, and found it even so as the women had said: but him they saw not. 25 Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: 26 Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory? 27 And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.
28 And they drew nigh unto the village, whither they went: and he made as though he would have gone further. 29 But they constrained him, saying, Abide with us: for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent. And he went in to tarry with them. 30 And it came to pass, as he sat at meat with them, he took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and gave to them. 31 And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight. 32 And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?

Jeff, the look on his face was priceless! I felt sorry for the man! He couldn't say another word and did not say much. Of course I was baptized the next week.

Well, just a couple days ago, my Mom from Mississippi called and she said that she had a couple of things for me. My 35th year high school reunion invite came in the mail as all they(reunion committee) had prior was my BYU address from late 70's. She said that there was one other thing that she wanted to say or read to me. Oh yeah she said, I have the local Sun Herald paper for Gulfport and Biloxi that had a letter to the editor and she started to cry. It went something like this as she read it. To our LDS friends! We want to send our condolences to all of you in regards to your great loss of President Hinckley. As Hurricane Katrina was so devastating to our community, it was the LDS (Mormons) with truckload after truckload of relief for our community that arrived first on the scene. You surely showed Christlike love to our community and we want to thank you! My Mom wept through the whole thing and I was just paraphrasing. Than the moment of truth! Jim, you are in the right place! The feeling of love and testimony came all over me! Your testimony comes through that way as well and I thank you.

Sincerely,

Jim Ray

Anonymous said...

"At 5:48 AM, May 31, 2007, Mormanity said...
Now that's good. And there was a reason Christians were slaughtered by Rome: they were recognized as a CULT!! And being the tolerant neighbors that they were, the Romans who did not agree with that new religion did the logical thing and tortured the Christians. So, as our anonymous "Christian" friend points out, it's OK to exterminate those who belong to a different religion - you know, a "CULT" - meaning a religion that is different from your own.

But I can understand why the ROmans would be so insanely angry at Christianity: just look at all its ties to Egypt and Egyptology. Belief in an afterlife, belief in immortality, belief in judgment and resurrection, belief in heaven, belief in the soul of man, the use of a cross (ankh) as a symbol of conquering death, the use of temples and shrines for cultic practices, ceremonies of washing, an etablished priesthood, belief in the Creation by a supreme being, etc. Man, that's spooky - and so similar to "Mormonism." In fact, early Christianity and Mormonism have dozens of things in common - things that are no longer part of mainstream Christianity - so much so that it's really frightening. In addition to driving out Mormons, perhaps we should also go after early Christians as well, once we find them."
________________________________
LMBO (laughing my butt off..) that is the best response since i've been battling anti's and that's almost as many years as i've been a newscaster in radio! love kittywaymo.. thank you for some original thought and intelligence

kittywaymo said...

kittywaymo'smormonmindspace FYI :)

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Siskiyou said...

I lived in Utah for seven years and the most convincing anti-Mormons I knew were the ex-Mormons. Most of the evangelicals didn't have clue what they were talking about.

I'm Catholic, and I admittedly moved to Utah to join the LDS religion, but I didn't like what I saw in the culture -- and I ultimately left Utah and moved back to California. It was strange I ended up in conflicts with the very same people I was trying to be friends with. I felt that they kind of turned on me -- for a number of reasons.. And I think that some of the frustration that drives the ant-Mormons has to do with just trying to resolve differences with the Mormons -- and get along as friends. The LDS religion can be a very tight group that strongly reflects the leadership at the top of the church. I wasn't a big fan of President Hinkley.. I felt he was a bit too much of a pragmatist. But I really like President Monson. And I think that he's possibly one of the best Presidents the Church has ever had. He's not so much a politician as just a really principled good guy. So I think that "Anti-Mormonism" may decrease significantly now.

Anonymous said...

Going from Catholic to mormonism is to degrade yourself. Mormonism is a sect with too many dark secrets.

Anonymous said...

So how many Lamanites have been found? How many Nephite city sites have been found? How many Nephite Horses have been found? How many Scimitars have been found? How many writings in 'reformed egyptian' have been found?

Joseph Smiths drawing of the facsimilies on the Papyrus that he 'translated' as the Pearl of Great price have been confirmed. He said the writings were directly by Abraham and other early Biblical leaders yet testing shows the papyrus to be way too new for that. How come?
How come Joseph did not seal his wife Emma to him until after more than 20 other women? Polygamy was commanded to 'raise up seed' for God. Where are all of Joseph Smiths kids from these marriages? D&C 132 says 'espouse a virgin'.... how come Joseph married Orson Hydes wife while Orson was on a mission in Palestine?
Why did Joseph use a magic peepstone in a hat instead of the Urim & Thummum included with the Gold Plates?

Anonymous said...

In Response to this:
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So how many Lamanites have been found? How many Nephite city sites have been found? How many Nephite Horses have been found? How many Scimitars have been found? How many writings in 'reformed egyptian' have been found?

Joseph Smiths drawing of the facsimilies on the Papyrus that he 'translated' as the Pearl of Great price have been confirmed. He said the writings were directly by Abraham and other early Biblical leaders yet testing shows the papyrus to be way too new for that. How come?
How come Joseph did not seal his wife Emma to him until after more than 20 other women? Polygamy was commanded to 'raise up seed' for God. Where are all of Joseph Smiths kids from these marriages? D&C 132 says 'espouse a virgin'.... how come Joseph married Orson Hydes wife while Orson was on a mission in Palestine?
Why did Joseph use a magic peepstone in a hat instead of the Urim & Thummum included with the Gold Plates?

7:54 AM, April 03, 2010


Can't you come up with some meaningful points. these tired old questions and accusations is getting very old. what testimony of truth have you provided other than questions you can easily find answers to by going to the source instead of relying on the deceit of others. truth is truth and it stands if you believe it or you don't. just as you cannot change the existence of god by merely not believing in him. if you refuse to see than fine. put the same magnifying glass on the bible as well as your own doctrines and see what you find. creeds of trinity not taught by Biblical prophets or Christ, missing books from the prophets, Roman leaders not trying to unify beliefs of Christ, but adapting pagan etc... just to have control and not for the glory to the kingdom of god they claim to worship. after Jesus died, everything he taught was twisted and changed, yet does that make the books of the bible untrue? just because man implies what he thinks it should mean? be sure you know the origins of your doctrine and test them against Christs teachings. but to know the truth you must first investigate the truth from the source including LDS.. and then ask god in faith and nothing wavering for god will not answer the man seeking to destroy or disprove any other belief. god will not answer a man who is contentious. god will only answer if it is a righteous cause for the individual. remember judge not lest ye be judged, to help you understand that, if you make judgments, prepare to be examined and judged in the exact same way. just because you have swarms of people believing the same you do, or all different religions uniting against another does not make them of god. look at the facts and prepare yourself and be willing to be wrong. that is how true investigation is done. test your own beliefs along with the ones you are investigating. discard the propaganda and "buzz" words that are used to describe people or beliefs in the negative. be impartial and look for facts. treat it like you don't know either side and see what makes sense. don't be beguiled by the negativity others profess about anyone for they are not of the spirit of Christ. Finally once you have all the evidence and see it for what it is, you still need to pray to god for the truth of it. for your own righteous desire to know the truth, not to use as a tool to bring your brothers and sisters down. that is not God's intent for us.

-an LDS Member.