The Thrid Article of Faith

UNRELIABLE USE OF SCRIPTURE

            The Book of Mormon records,

And because my words shall hiss forth—many of the Gentiles shall say: A Bible! A Bible! We have got a Bible, and there cannot be any more Bible [emphasis added].  But thus saith the Lord God: O fools, they shall have a Bible; and it shall proceed forth from the Jews, mine ancient covenant people. And what thank they the Jews for the Bible which they receive from them? Yea, what do the Gentiles mean? Do they remember the travails, and the labors, and the pains of the Jews, and their diligence unto me, in bringing forth salvation unto the Gentiles?… Thou fool, that shall say: A Bible, we have got a Bible, and we need no more Bible. Have ye obtained a Bible save it were by the Jews? Know ye not that there are more nations than one? Know ye not that I, the Lord your God, have created all men, and that I remember those who are upon the isles of the sea; and that I rule in the heavens above and in the earth beneath; and I bring forth my word unto the children of men, yea, even upon all the nations of the earth?  Wherefore murmur ye, because that ye shall receive more of my word? Know ye not that the testimony of two nations is a witness unto you that I am God, that I remember one nation like unto another? Wherefore, I speak the same words unto one nation like unto another. And when the two enations shall run together the testimony of the two nations shall run together also.  And I do this that I may prove unto many that I am the same yesterday, today, and forever; and that I speak forth my words according to mine own pleasure. And because that I have spoken one word ye need not suppose that I cannot speak another; for my work is not yet finished; neither shall it be until the end of man, neither from that time henceforth and forever.  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 (2 Nephi 29:3-4, 6-10).

The problem which Joseph Smith faces when writing this is that he claims Second Nephi was supposedly written 550 – 545 B.C.  There was no “Bible” at that time since it had not been completed.  The reason Smith downplays it is because he did not want emphasis on the Bible.  The effort of Mormonism is to deter people from the Bible long enough to give the Book of Mormon the spotlight.

UNRELIABLE HISTORY

            Mormonism’s “history” of Christians is questionable at best.  The Book of Alma reads, “And those who did belong to the church were faithful; yea, all those who were true believers in Christ took upon them, gladly, the name of Christ, or Christians as they were called, because of their belief in Christ” (Alma 46:15).  While this seems adequate on the surface, it is actually inconsistent with Bible teaching.  The Book of Alma supposedly took place in 73 B.C., years before that term was even given proper credibility.  Luke writes, “…And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch” (Act 11:26).  There was not mention of any Christian in the Old Testament since Christ had not even begun His ministry yet.  The disciples who were called Christians were following the teachings of the Savior at that point, after His execution.  The Book of Mormon either overlooks this fact or deliberately ignores it.

Mormonism also has a skewed history of Christ’s church.  Joseph Smith claimed the reason the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints had to be “restored” was because of the Great Apostasy, in which everyone fell away from the truth.  James E. Talmage, one of the Mormon Apostles wrote,

The restored Church affirms that a general apostasy developed during and after the apostolic period, and that the primitive Church lost its power, authority, and graces as a divine institution, and degenerated into an earthly organization only.  The significance and importance of the great apostasy, as a condition precedent to the re-establishment of the Church in modern times, is obvious.  If the alleged apostasy of the primitive Church was not a reality, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is not the divine institution its name proclaims (Talmage Preface iii)

Perhaps he should have given more thought of some who were truly inspired by the Holy Spirit before making such a confident assertion.  Daniel informs, “And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever” (Dan. 2:44).  Isaiah writes, “The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever” (Isa. 40:8).  The Apostle Peter reiterates this years later by writing, “For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you”  (1 Pet. 1:24-25).  Jesus the Christ states, “…upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it” (Matt. 16:18, ASV).  Jesus in His parable called the seed that is to be planted the “word of God” (Luk. 8:11).  As long as that seed is here the Gospel of Christ is alive and thriving.

Even Joseph Smith himself claimed to have read from the book of James (Jas. 1:5), which allegedly led him to pray about which church he should join.  If he had access to the words of the New Testament, he had access to the New Testament church and its teachings.  Why not simply adhere to that?

Further, the Book of Mosiah located in the Book of Mormon states, “They were called the church of God, or the church of Christ, from that time forward.  And it came to pass that whosoever was baptized by the power and authority of God was added to his church” (Mosiah 18:17).  Smith asserts that this was written in 145 B.C.  However, the only church of Christ was not established until after His death on the Day of Pentecost (Act 2).  If the “great apostasy” is true then the word of the Lord did not endure.

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