The following is help for doubting Mormons. After a complete reading and note-taking on every section of the Book of Mormon, Doctrines & Covenants (D&C), and the Pearl of Great Price, the following is to help those doubting the Mormon faith and the LDS church.
The Gospel and the Accursed
Foremost, the Christian must have believe and confess the Gospel — the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ (1 Cor 15:1–4). The believer must die with Christ, be buried in baptism with Christ, and rise with Christ into the newness of life (Rom 6:1–7; Col 2:12–13). While most Mormons recognize this gospel, they do perceive the effect of additional beliefs about Jesus being another God or that God gave another testament to humanity.
One must become aware of subtle ways that some drastically change the gospel. Altering the nature of Jesus’s resurrection affects one’s view of the mission of Jesus coming to earth, Jesus’s sinless nature, Jesus’s deity, the infallibility of Jesus’s words and the whole Bible, the bodily resurrection of Jesus, and the nature of the afterlife. The apostle Paul revealed,
But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed. (Gal 1:8–9)
This passage is a point of struggling of the Mormon faith. How can an angel bring another testament? Should a Mormon become concerned knowing that Satan appears as an angel of light (2 Cor 11:14)?
Options and Consequences
The Mormon faith leads to four possible options: (1) If the LDS church is right, then a believer would go to the highest Heaven. (2) However, if someone were just a Christian who rejected the LDS church and was wrong, then that individual would go to the third level of Heaven. (3) If the LDS church is wrong, then the New Testament affirms that person would go to Hell (Gal 1:8–9; 2 John 9). (4) If someone were a New Testament Christian and that church was right, then this person would live with God and Christ for eternity.
Doubts and the Mormon Faith
This plea to Mormon friends is that if any Mormon has the slightest of doubts, they should at best become a New Testament Christian and only be a part of the church of Christ as presented in the New Testament. They should seek to restore the church that Christ built and obtained by his blood by following the words of Christ (Matt 16:18; Acts 20:28). The devotion of their families can increase in simple and deep faith by relying on Christ and His words to His apostles. This is an exhortation to all believers in Christ to diligently seek salvation in the gospel of Jesus Christ. Mormons are certainly putting their souls at stake for accepting a different gospel and disregarding that Jesus declared, “my words shall not pass away” (Matt 24:35; Mark 13:31; Luke 21:33).
Those doubting the Mormon faith should study the theology and apologetics of the LDS church. The website fairmormon.org presents an apologetic defense of the Mormon faith. This site addresses the apparent weaknesses of Mormon beliefs. The Fair Mormons website for Mormon apologetics is the very good for demonstrating how Mormons should turn to become simply New Testament Christians. However, this is not the official site of the LDS church. If someone seeks to help a Mormon friend or relative, then they can hand them a printed article from Mormon theological and apologetic literature.
[Update 10/5/19: Another site to consider is the official site of the LDS church and its teachings on theology: https://churchofjesuschrist.org/study/manual/doctrinal-mastery-core-document-2018/doctrinal-topics and https://churchofjesuschrist.org/study/manual/gospel-topics/intro.%5D
They can find articles addressing the following concerns:
The LDS scriptures assert that followers of Christ have mistranslated and changed the traditional-apostolic Scriptures (1 Nephi 13:26–34). However, the Christian Scriptures with its numerous manuscripts throughout the centuries reveal that Christ’s followers did not alter His words or the Apostles’ doctrine.
- Jesus revealed that His words would never pass away (Matt 24:35; Mark 13:31; Luke 21:33). His words will judge the world on the last day (John 12:47–48), and only His words are spirit and life (John 6:63). Jesus gave these words to His Apostles who wrote them in the Bible (John 15:20; 17:8). The Bible is written so that someone can know that one has eternal life, can become complete, and remain equipped to do every good work (2 Tim 3:16-17; 1 John 5:13).
- Note the condition of the OT and NT Scriptures. The OT Scriptures are affirmed by the fourth-century-BC Septuagint and by the Dead Sea Scrolls of second century BC that present how believers delivered the tenth-century Mesoretic text in pristine condition. Concerning the NT Scriptures, there are more than six thousand Greek manuscripts of the New Testament Scriptures and fifteen thousand manuscripts in other languages ranging from the time of the late first century to the fifteenth century AD (Metzger).
- Note the previous post about the formation of the apostolic collection of the New Testament in the first century, “The Formation of the New Testament Scriptures,” or the academic source Systematic Theology by Grudem.
Joseph Smith stated that he is to take God the Father’s place and that he is better than Jesus.
- D&C 112:15 affirms that God will always be with Joseph Smith Jr. and n one can take the keys from him. D&C 132:46 affirms that Joseph Smith has the authority to set doctrine and that what he binds is eternal. D&C 132:59 affirms that Joseph Smith will not sin in everything that he does in the name of God.
- Joseph Smith Jr. asserted, “God made Aaron to be the mouth piece for the children of Israel, and He will make me be god to you in his stead, and the Elders to be mouth for me; and if you don’t like it, you must lump it” (History of the Church, Vol. 6, pg. 319–320).
- While preaching against allegations against him on Sunday May 26, 1844, Joseph Smith stated, “God is in the still small voice. In all these affidavits, indictments, it is all of the devil–all corruption. Come on! ye prosecutors! ye false swearers! All hell, boil over! Ye burning mountains, roll down your lava! for I will come out on top at last. I have more to boast of than ever any man had. I am the only man that has ever been able to keep a whole church together since the days of Adam. A large majority of the whole have stood by me. Neither Paul, John, Peter, nor Jesus ever did it. I boast that no man ever did such a work as I. The followers of Jesus ran away from Him; the Latter-day Saints never ran away from me yet…” (History of the Church, Vol. 6, pg. 408–409).
- The “revelation of God” in D&C 47 commanded the writing of the History of the Church (“HC”).
- In HC 1:28, Joseph Smith said that he was very sinful from age 14 to 18 and that one called of God like him should have such sins though he clarifies that these sins were not great sins. This statement along with Joseph’s statement above present greater sins as he portrayed himself as greater than Jesus. Are these the words of a prophet of God?
LDS Scriptures declare that there are many gods yet it also declares that there is only one God while the Bible always taught that there is only one God.
- D&C 121:32 and 132:18–20, 37 affirm the plurality of gods while Alma 11:27–39, 44; 2 Nephi 31:21; 3 Nephi 11:27; Mormon 7:7; D&C 20:28; and Moses 1:6 affirm that there is only one God who is the beginning and the end — the first and the last — and none other besides Him. These passages also declare that God is one who consists of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
- The Bible affirms that there is only one God and that there is no other before or after Him and that there is none like Him (Isaiah 43–45).
The LDS church usurps Joseph Smith’s authority as revelation.
- D&C 132:46 asserts that Joseph Smith has the authority to set doctrine and that what he binds is eternal, and in this very chapter, Joseph presented that men have a right to have a plurality of wives as long as they are given to him by God (v61–62).
- D&C 134:7 also affirms that the government of the state does not have the right to take away any of the rights and privileges of their religious belief.
- The Official Declaration 1 of D&C commands by the president of the LDS church, Wilford Woodruff, that polygamy should not be practiced, encouraged, or even taught. The president commanded this as the highest authority of the LDS church on behalf of God.
The acceptance of Muhammad having inspiration from God, and that his text, the Qu’ran, is also a revelation from God. The Qu’ran teaches against the historical fact that Jesus died, was buried, or rose from the dead.
- On September 2, 1883, LDS Apostle George Q. Cannon professed, “I believe myself that Mahomed, whom the Christians deride and call a false prophet and stigmatize with a great many epithets – I believe that he was man raised up by the Almighty, and inspired to a certain extent by Him to effect the reforms which he did in his land, and in the nations surrounding…I believe many men were inspired who lived after him and before him, who, nevertheless, did not have the Holy Priesthood, but were led by the Spirit of God to strive for a better condition of affairs and to live a purer and higher life than those by whom they were surrounded were living. But while this was the case, it was the Spirit of God that did it” (Journal of Discourses, 18:371).
- On February 15, 1978, Spencer J. Palmer of the First Presidency stated, “The great religious leaders of the world such as Mohammed, Confucius, and the Reformers, as well as philosophers including Socrates, Plato, and others, received a portion of God’s light. Moral truths were given to them by God to enlighten whole nations and to bring a higher level of understanding to individuals…Consistent with these truths, we believe that God has given and will give to all people sufficient knowledge to help them on their way to eternal salvation, either in this life or the one to come.”
Other significant instances where there are contradictions between the Bible and the LDS scriptures.
- LDS Scriptures state that polygamy is right before God and promotes the practice: D&C 132:1–4, 38–39, 61–62. Other LDS passages teach that polygamy is wrong before God: Jacob 2:23–24, 26–28; Jacob 1:15; Ether 10:5; and D&C 49:16.
- In the Book of Mormon, 3 Nephi 29:6 gives warning unto those who believe that “miracles” will someday cease though Mormon 9 states that miracles and revelations will cease because of the greatness of sin.
- In the Bible, Matthew 27:45, Mark 15:33, and Luke 23:44 states that there were three hours of darkness at Jesus’s crucifixion, but in the Mormon book, Helaman 14:20 and 27 state that the darkness lasted for three days over the whole earth.
- In the Mormon writing of Ether 1:34–35, the Jaredites had their own language at the tower of Babel when not yet confounded, but in the Bible, Genesis 11:1 states that “the whole earth was of one language” at the time of tower.
- In the Bible, 1 Samuel 9:9 says that seers and prophets are the same, but in the Mormon book of Mosiah 8:15, a seer is greater than a prophet.
In conclusion, everyone must seek out the truth and Mormons would live in comfort by becoming simply New Testament Christians. Everyone must start with Christ and follow Him to His Church.