1-Minute Questions for Mormons

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Do Mormon Gospel Additions Subtract from Grace

Christy (Harvey) Darlington, Christy Darlington

Mormons often argue that the Christian belief that faith in Christ alone being sufficient for salvation is not enough. They believe they must add their personal "righteous" deeds, like temple works and sacraments, to Christ's righteousness in order to obtain God's favor for salvation. But the Bible states clearly that if we try to add our righteousness to Christ's righteousness, we will fall from grace (Galatians 5:4, Eph 2:8-9) because all our personal works of righteousness are nothing but "filthy rages" in God's eyes. We must either trust Christ alone, that He alone is sufficient for our righteousness or we trust ourselves and "fall from grace" (Gal. 5:4).

Do Mormons Believe Jesus Lied in Matthew 24:35?

Christy Darlington

Jesus said: "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away." (Matt. 24:35), but Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon claim Christ's teachings were lost from His gospel (1 Nephi 13:40) and that is why the Mormon Church claims to have "restored" the gospel through Joseph Smith's additional teachings and "scripture." So who do you believe? Jesus or Joseph Smith? Were Jesus' gospel teachings preserved or lost? Was Jesus telling us the truth or do you believe He lied about his words not passing away? View the Full Video: Mormon Gospel - Restoration or Reinvention?

Why Don't Mormons Believe the Book of Mormon on God?

October 1, 2023 • Bob Pilch, Christy Darlington

Mormons claim their Book of Mormon corrects teachings of the Bible that they claim were lost, yet Mormons don't believe their own book of Mormon when it comes to the nature of God. The Book of Mormon teaches the Trinity, that the Father, Son and Holy Ghost are one God (2 Nephi 21:31), but Mormons believe they are 3 separate gods, also known as tritheism. If you get God wrong, you're wrong for all eternity.

Book of Mormon Jesus - Where Was He in America?

October 1, 2023 • Bob Pilch, Christy Darlington

Mormons claim that after Jesus resurrected from the dead in Israel, he traveled to American and setup his church in America (3 Nephi), yet we can't find a single evidence of his visit in America? Where are the Nephites he allegedly ordained with priesthood authority He promised would live forever (3 Nephi 28)? Where is the apostle John (D&C 7) who was supposed to never die? Where is the archeological inscriptions that "Jesus was here" like the ones we find in Israel? In this interview where a Mormon interviewed us Christians on the street during the Mormon General Conference of October 2023, we responded to the question of what we think of the Book of Mormon claims regarding apostacy and restoration. We explained that not only is the archaeological evidence lacking for Jesus visiting the Americas and planting His church here (3 Nephi), but if Mormonism's teachings are true that the 3 Nephites who Jesus ordained here lived forever, then there was no need for a restoration as the priesthood authority because it was never lost from the earth.

Does the Book of Mormon Claim Hebrew Origins for the Native Americans?

The Mormon Church tries hard to deny the fact that the Book of Mormon teaches that most of the Native Americans descended from ancient Israelites. The reason for this is due to DNA studies that point to an Asian origin for these people groups instead of a Hebrew one. This has created huge problems for the Church, so they now try to discount the evidence by denying the fact that the Book of Mormon claims that “this land” was “kept … from the knowledge of other nations” (2 Nephi 1:8). If other nations were prevented from inhabiting America prior to the migration of the Book of Mormon people, how could DNA evidence for a Hebrew origin be so lacking in the genetic record of the Native Americans? Is the Book of Mormon wrong?  History shows Joseph Smith’s Book of Mormon, published in 1830, was not the only book to espouse a Hebrew origin for the Native Americans. View of the Hebrews, espoused as a non-fiction book but is fiction, also did as well and it was published before Joseph Smith claimed to have received the gold plates for the Book of Mormon. Could it be that Joseph Smith got his ideas from that book?

Does the Book of Mormon Teach the Bible Was Preserved in Purity?

1 Nephi 13:24-26 - “Thou hast beheld the book … and when it proceeded forth … it contained the fulness of the gospel ... these things go forth from the Jews in purity … And AFTER they go forth by the hand of the twelve apostles of the Lamb, from the Jews unto the Gentiles, thou seeth the formation of that great and abominable church … for behold, they have taken away from the gospel of the Lamb many parts which are plain and most precious.” If the Book of Mormon admits that the Bible was at least preserved until the formation of the Catholic Church, and the evidence proves that the Catholic Church could not have corrupted the Scriptural manuscripts as the Church could not obtain all of the copies of the text of Scripture available at the time they came into power, then shouldn’t we believe Jesus’ words over the words of Joseph Smith? “Heaven and Earth will pass away but my word will never pass away” (Matthew 24:35).

Was the Apostle Paul Saved by Grace or by Works?

Since Paul was saved without ordination to the Melchizedek priesthood, without temple endowments or marriage for time and eternity and without baptism for the dead, why do we need temple works and other activities required by Mormonism to be worthy of salvation? Ephesians 2:8-9 - “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” Romans 11:6 - “And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace.” Philippians 3:9 - “And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith.” Galatians 5:4 - “Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.” Romans 4:5 - “But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.”

Did Joseph Smith Translate the Characters in the Book of Abraham Papyrus

“None of the characters on the papyrus fragments mentioned Abraham’s name or any of the events recorded in the book of Abraham. Mormon and non-Mormon Egyptologists agree that the characters on the fragments do not match the translation given in the book of Abraham. … Scholars have identified the papyrus fragments as parts of standard funerary texts that were deposited with mummified bodies. These fragments date to between the third century B.C.E. and the first century C.E., long after Abraham lived.” (Translation and Historicity of the Book of Abraham)   Mormon skeptics might excuse away the lack of connection between a real translation of the Book of Abraham papyrus and that of Joseph Smith’s translation by claiming he translated fragments that are no longer available today, but even that argument doesn’t work because Joseph Smith drew pictures of the fragments he claimed to translate and those are the exact images we have on the fragments that have been translated by Egyptologists today. Even though Joseph Smith wrote an “Explanation” for each of the figures in the images and gave his translation, he got everything wrong in those translations. So, when you put this evidence together with the fact that the papyrus fragments date back to several centuries AFTER Abraham lived, it is clear that this text of Mormon Scripture was completely fabricated by Joseph Smith. 

Where Did the Book of Abraham Come from?

The Mormon Church admits in their essay called “https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/manual/gospel-topics-essays/translation-and-historicity-of-the-book-of-abraham?lang=eng,” posted on July 8, 2014, that “None of the characters on the papyrus fragments mentioned Abraham’s name or any of the events recorded in the book of Abraham.” Thus, they admit that Joseph Smith’s so-called “translation” of the manuscripts was completely wrong. Joseph Smith said this book was written by Abraham, but nothing could be farther from the truth. This manuscript didn’t even exist in Abraham’s time. They go on to admit:   “Mormon and non-Mormon Egyptologists agree that the characters on the fragments do not match the translation given in the book of Abraham. … Scholars have identified the papyrus fragments as parts of standard funerary texts that were deposited with mummified bodies. These fragments date to between the third century B.C.E. and the first century C.E., long after Abraham lived.”   Then, they admit to the fact that Joseph Smith continued to try to convince his followers that he could properly “translate” the Egyptian language by creating a “grammar” book, but this too has been proven to be completely bogus as well!   “Some evidence suggests that Joseph studied the characters on the Egyptian papyri and attempted to learn the Egyptian language. His history reports that, in July 1835, he was ‘continually engaged in translating an alphabet to the book of Abraham, and arranging a grammar of the Egyptian language as practiced by the ancients.’ This ‘grammar,’ as it was called, consisted of columns of hieroglyphic characters followed by English translations recorded in a large notebook by Joseph’s scribe, William W. Phelps. … Neither the rules nor the translations in the grammar book correspond to those recognized by Egyptologists today.”   So what does the LDS Church do now with all this evidence that Joseph Smith made up his translations to deceive his followers? They blame Jesus for his fake translations by claiming that “God” gave Joseph Smith his translation.   “Speaking of the translation of the Book of Mormon, the Lord said, ‘You cannot write that which is sacred save it be given you from me.’https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/manual/gospel-topics-essays/translation-and-historicity-of-the-book-of-abraham?lang=eng#note2 The same principle can be applied to the book of Abraham. The Lord did not require Joseph Smith to have knowledge of Egyptian. By the gift and power of God, Joseph received knowledge about the life and teachings of Abraham.”   This the idea that God gave Joseph Smith a “revelation” of the life of Abraham, even though this so-called “translation” is completely unconnected to the manuscripts Joseph Smith claimed to “translate,” is nothing but a cover-up for Joseph Smith’s frauds! There is no way that the Lord of the universe would have inspired Joseph Smith to create a fake translation in His name. Joseph Smith’s translations are so bad that in many instances where he draws the Egyptian characters of the papyrus in his translation, he completely gets the people wrong in his “Explanations,” even calling a “resurrection” a “sacrifice”!     There is absolutely no way that the Jesus of the Bible would have inspired Joseph Smith to make up such a fake translation of those images in the Book of Abraham papyrus. Also, neither would Jesus have inspired Joseph Smith to make up his fake grammar to fool his people into thinking he was actually translating Egyptian! This dancing for Joseph Smith that the LDS Church does to cover-up his frauds must be exposed. Jesus had NO connection to Joseph Smith’s fake translation games. And as long as this church continues to blame Jesus for Joseph Smith’s fake translations, there can be no doubt that the Jesus of Mormonism is NOT the Jesus of the Bible!  

Joseph Smith’s Seer Stone - Is Mormon Ignorance Excusable?

In his 1954 book, Doctrines of Salvation, volume 1, former LDS Apostle Joseph Fielding Smith noted, “Mormonism … must stand or fall on the story of Joseph Smith.” Thus, the subject of Mormon history, especially as it relates to the character of Joseph Smith and the fraud he perpetrated on his followers, can be very difficult for Mormons to consider because these facts strike at the heart of their Mormon testimonies. The idea that God will judge you, not only on the basis of what you know, but on what you choose not to know, can be very uncomfortable for your Mormon friends to consider. But Scripture is clear that we must “test” the fruits of a prophet to determine if he is true or false (see Matt. 7:14-16).  1 Thessalonians 5:21 also teaches us to “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.” You can’t do that if you simply rely on your feelings to lead you, for “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9). So we must consider these uncomfortable facts of Joseph Smith’s history that prove he is not a true prophet of God: -       Joseph Smith translated gold plates by looking at illuminous letters appearing through a “seer stone” in a hat. He didn’t need to consult the plates directly to get his translation.  -       He was charged with a misdemeanor because “glass looking” was an occultic method of translation, forbidden as sorcery condemned by God (Galatians 5:20). Other frauds of Joseph Smith to consider when evaluating his prophetic claims were his fines for running a “fraudulent bank,” the Kirtland Safety Society (KSS), which closed and left numerous LDS followers bankrupt who invested in it. He also claimed the fraudulent Kinderhook plates were valid when later it was revealed those plates were made up to “test” Joseph Smith. It is obvious that he failed, as he didn’t detect the hoax. Another fraud Joseph Smith perpetrated on his followers was his claim to translate the Book of Abraham from an Egyptian papyrus, because the translation he produced bears no resemblance to the original text. He didn’t even get one character right in his “translation.”  He then also created a so-called “grammar” book of the Egyptian language to prove to his followers that he really did understand the Egyptian language, but that was a complete joke as it, also, has nothing to do with the actual Egyptian language. So, he made everything up and called those books a “translation.” Whatever excuse a Mormon might bring up for Joseph Smith’s translated inspiration of the text, it doesn’t excuse his obvious dishonesty to call something a “translation” that has no connection to the original manuscripts. His dishonesty didn’t end with his fake translations and fraudulent bank. He married 34 wives, most of whom he married behind the back of Emma, his first wife, as even the LDS Church admits in their “Plural Marriage in Kirtland and Nauvoo,” essay that Joseph Smith’s wife “Emma likely did not know about all of Joseph’s sealings.” Even if Mormons try to excuse away his polygamy by pointing to polygamy in the Bible, there is no comparison, since Smith’s wives included a mother and daughter pair, four pairs of sisters, ten teenagers, and 11 wives taken from living husbands. This is NOT at all like polygamy in the Bible. In fact, Joseph Smith’s version of polygamy is condemned in the Bible (See Leviticus 18:17-18; 1 Timothy 3:2; Titus 1:6).

Do Mormons Follow the Instructions of Satan in Their Temples?

Mormons often excuse away the clear evidence of Satan’s inspiration behind the men-becoming-gods doctrine of Genesis 3:5 by claiming that God made mankind in His image, so Satan’s offer to Eve to become “as gods” was really true and the lie was that men would die once they ate of the fruit. But this argument is flawed on three accounts. First, Satan is a liar. John 8:44 explains, Satan does not tell the truth because there is no truth in him, so you cannot take part of Satan’s statements and make them true statements. Everything he says is twisted lies from the pit of Hell.  Second, Scripture is clear that God would never put his children in a position where they would have to have to break one law (eating the forbidden fruit) in order to follow His plan (to bear children). Again, Scripture explains that God would never trap his children into transgressing his laws like that. James 1:13 explains, “God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man.” [NASB says, “God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone.”] Third, the Mormon argument that humans are “gods in embryo” because we are made in “God’s image” is flawed because the image of God is not a physical human image, but rather a spiritual image. When Mormons try to argue that God’s image is a human or bodily image, it’s important to note that the text in Genesis 1:26 says, “Let US make man in OUR image” and then it says that God made man in “HIS OWN image” in Genesis 1:27. So how could that image be a human body? Even Mormons understand that Jesus, at that point, didn’t have a human body and neither does the Holy Ghost have a physical body. So obviously, God’s image cannot be referring to possessing a human body.  Yet, some Mormons may try to argue that the image of “us” that God created mankind in is referring to God the Father creating humans after His and His so-called wife or “Heavenly Mother.” But even that Mormon argument has a problem with the text of Genesis because it says that God made man in “HIS own image,” not “their” own image. So the image of God the Father that He gave to males and females (Genesis 5:1-2) cannot be a reference to, and image made from, God and one of His so-called spirit wives. So, what is the image of “US” that God was referring to? It is a spiritual image, “the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the IMAGE of him that created him,” as Colossians 3:10 states. If that image in which God created mankind was a reference to the human body, it would be impossible to “renew in knowledge.” Obviously that terminology of “image” must transcend basic humanity into something much more spiritual in nature, and this aligns with the image of “us” that God the Father possesses along with the Holy Ghost and the Son.

Did Joseph Smith Know Book of Mormon Stories Before He Received the Plates?

“During our evening conversations, Joseph would … describe the ancient inhabitants of this continent … as if he had spent his whole life among them.” (History of Joseph Smith by His Mother, page 83) Mormons claim Joseph Smith didn’t have the ability to invent the stories in the Book of Mormon, but we disagree with that claim. Joseph’s mother, Lucy Mack Smith, explained how Joseph Smith had a vivid imagination and would often entertain his family with detailed stories he would imagine about the native Americans (the “ancient inhabitants of this continent”) which form the basis of the Book of Mormon stories. His retelling of these imagined people would be so explicit he would describe “their dress, mode of traveling … their cities, their buildings with every particular; their mode of warfare; and also their religious worship. This he would do with as much ease, seemingly, as if he had spent his whole life among them.” (History of Joseph Smith by His Mother, page 83) Since Joseph Smith clearly had the ability to imagine such detailed stories about the Native Americans before he received the Gold Plates for the Book of Mormon, it would not have been difficult for Joseph Smith to make up the stories in the Book of Mormon without divine inspiration.

Does God Approve Changes in the Mormon Temple Ceremony?

If God inspired Joseph Smith to come up with the first version of the Mormon temple ceremony, why would the Mormon Church modify and remove so many key aspects of it after the public became aware of these offensive and questionable practices? Not only were these rituals completely absent from the temple in Jesus’ day, but they were strikingly similar to Satanic and Masonic rituals readily available in Joseph Smith’s day. If Joseph Smith were truly inspired by God, why did he copy so much of the ceremony from these questionable religious groups? How can the temple be considered a “restoration” of the Biblical temple, if nothing in the Mormon rituals today resembles the rituals done in the ancient Jerusalem temple?

Is Freemasonry in the Mormon Temple?

If the temple rituals that Joseph Smith created were inspired from God, why do they so closely resemble Satanic symbols and Masonic rituals? If secret rituals in the Mormon temple are so “sacred,” why didn’t Jesus practice them? Rather than practicing secret rituals in the Jerusalem temple, Jesus did the opposite. “Jesus answered him, I spake openly to the world … and in the temple … in secret have I said nothing” (John 18:20, KJV).

Are Mormon Temples Biblical?

In the Biblical temple, there were no baptisms for the dead, no secret handshakes, no marriage sealings and no priesthood Masonic handshakes. The rituals in the Biblical temple concerned the offering of animal sacrifices to atone for sin until Jesus’ blood permanently atoned for our sins. There is nothing in the Mormon temple today that even remotely resembles the Biblical temple. Yet, the Mormon Church claims that their temples “restore” the Biblical temple. That is simply a lie!