Friday, March 04, 2005

Conclusion to the Series on Mormonism

Well friends we finally made it. After a little over a month of studying the claims of Mormonism we have finally come to the end of our series. I want to conclude this series by taking a brief look at where we’ve been.

First we looked at what Mormons believe and how they view the beginning of their religion. We studied the history of Joseph Smith’s visitation by the Angel Moroni as a 17 year old in the woods of New York and how he was given the history of the America’s by God as a means of restoring the “true church.” Looking towards their beliefs we learned they believe we all pre-existed as spirit children and were sent to this earth to work out our salvation so that when we die we can go to one of three levels of heaven.

We then began to examine the claims of Joseph Smith. We saw how both the Bible and the book of Mormon require all prophecies of a prophet to come true in order to know that person is a true prophet of God. We then looked at a few of the 60+ prophecies of Joseph Smith that didn’t come true. In other words, Joseph Smith couldn’t live up to the requirements of either the Bible or the book of Mormon.

Next we looked at the Book of Mormon. We studied it using some basic techniques of textual criticism. We learned that not long after Joseph Smith received his golden tablets, many of the original eyewitnesses denied the event ever took place. We saw that although the book of Mormon claims to record the history of the Americas, not one piece of archaeological evidence can be presented to support it. In fact, the Smithsonian has even published a document stating so. We finished up our study of the book of Mormon by looking at some of the changes made to it, as well as some of the plagiarizing that took place.

We then looked at the doctrine of salvation according to Mormonism. We learned that Mormons believe in a general salvation and an individual salvation. Individual salvation is dependent upon your good works and the doctrine of salvation by grace, as Christians believe, will, according to Joseph Fielding Smith, lead one into damnation.

We closed out our series by comparing Christianity and Mormonism side by side in areas of essential doctrine. We saw that at no time do Mormons and Christians believe the same thing in the areas of God, Jesus, the Bible, and Salvation. All of which are doctrines at the foundation of one’s faith.

When I set out on this series, I realized I would probably step on many people’s toes, especially those who are members of the Mormon Church. That was never my intention. My intention was to force Mormons to take a good, objective look at the teachings of their faith. I quoted from different Mormon texts as well as great Mormon leaders and provided references for anyone to investigate it for themselves.

I know there are literally thousands of resources on Mormonism available. Some are good others not so good. If you would like to learn more about Mormonism I would encourage you to look into the following resources:

Click Here to go to Christian Apologetics Research Ministry. This website will provide a good starting ground for learning more about Mormonism.

Click Here to go to This site is run by many ex-Mormons and provides a tremendous amount of information.

Click Here to visit perhaps the best resource available to those investigating Mormonism. This is the online version of a book written by Jerald and Sandra Tanner, two former Mormons. It is easy to use and very informative.

For those of you who prefer to read books, there are two books I really recommend. For those who want an easy book to understand I recommend Clicking Here to purchase a great book by Ron Rhodes.

For those who like a little more meat in their reading. Click Here to order a fantastic new book that is making waves in the Academic Community.

Again, thank you for your time in staying with me through this series. This series was done at the request of someone who sent me an email asking me my thoughts about Mormonism. If you have other topics, series or not, you’d like to see addressed here, you can send me an email requesting so. My email address can be found by clicking on “View My Complete Profile” located on the column on the left side.

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