Confused by the Book of Mormon - 11/23/2003
Hello, I'm a born again Christian. At least i think thats what I would be called. I'm 16 and during the summer I really began to discover my faith . A few months ago some mormon missionaries came by my house and talked to me a few times. They even gave me their book, The Book Of Mormon. I told them that I wasn't interested but I kept the book. I've been reading it a couple times and its really bothering me. I dont know what to believe now. It seems true, but many people and even this website tell me that its a false religion. I'm young and can be convinced easily of many things. I really want to follow God's way, but I am confused. I dont know if he really appeared to Joseph Smith or not. What should I do?
CONTENDER MINISTRIES RESPONSE:
Hi! Thanks for writing to us. This is so important that you undertake some serious study and prayer. The missionaries are not telling you the whole story. The Book of Mormon does not tell you the whole story. The fact is, the majority of LDS Doctrine isn't found in the Book of Mormon; it's found in the Doctrine and Covenants and in the continual "revelation" of the LDS prophets. In fact, many LDS doctrines are actually contradicted by what's in the Book of Mormon. I encourage you to read every article on our site concerning Mormonism. The root question is this: was Joseph Smith a true prophet of God? If the answer is 'yes', then Mormonism is true. If the answer is 'no', then Mormonism is false, and that entire religion has been based on a lie. With that in mind, please read the following articles:
The Bible gives a test of whether a man is a true prophet of God, or a false prophet - like those who Jesus and Paul warned us about. In Deuteronomy 18:21-22 it tells us that if even one prophecy is shown to be false, then the person who gave that prophecy is a false prophet. In other words, someone could get nine prophecies right out of ten, but they would still be a false prophet according to the Bible. As you will see, Joseph Smith had several prophecies that were false. Biblically, he is a false prophet. Therefore, the Mormon Church is a false gospel based on a false prophet. Jesus and Paul warned us about this, and it's so important that you understand this point.
I know it can get confusing. For one thing, the real problems with Mormonism will never be discussed by the LDS missionaries, and the Book of Mormon does not mention Mormonism's most heretical doctines. Also, there are so many wonderful and decent Mormons. My wife and I grew up in Idaho, and knew many wonderful Mormons. In Mormonism, it is taught that we will eventually be gods of our own worlds. Some Mormons call this a beautiful doctrine. In reality, it is such blasphemy! The Bible clearly teaches that there is only one God, and we will never become Gods. Another area (among many) in which the LDS are wrong is in their priesthood. They have two priesthoods - the Aaronic and Melchizadek. Yet if you read the book of Hebrews (especially chapters 4-7), you'll see that such a priesthood is unbiblical, as Jesus is the one and only priest now.
Paul said it well in Galatians 1:6-9: "I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel--which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned!" What is it that the Mormons call the Book of Mormon? "Another Testament of Jesus Christ." In other words, a different gospel. Just the very thing Paul warned us about!
When the Mormon missionaries left you the Book of Mormon, they no doubt told you to pray to see if it's true. Did they tell you what the sign would be? Most Mormons testify of a "burning in the bosom" they got after praying about the Book of Mormon, and that feeling convinced them of its authenticity. Well, Jesus said some very important things we must consider. First, He told us not to put the Lord our God to the test (Matthew 4:7). When you pray about the Book of Mormon and await a sign attesting to its truthfulness, you are putting God to the test. This is a sin according to Jesus Himself! Also, Jesus said that a "wicked and adulterous generation" asks for a sign (Matthew 12:39). Why is this so important? Because even Satan can cause signs and feelings, if he feels it will deceive people. Jesus said false Christs and false prophets can cause miraculous signs to "deceive even the elect" (Matthew 24:24). As a born again Christian, you are the elect. Please don't be deceived. In 2 Corinthians 11:14, Paul tells us that even Satan can masquerade as an "angel of light." Jesus and Paul gave us these warnings because they know that Satan is the master deceiver. We have an antidote, though. The Bible is the game plan. If it's not biblical, then it's not of God. You can be assurred of that. I would never discourage you from praying for wisdom - the Bible says we should do just that! But don't pray to put God to the test, and don't accept something unbiblical based on a sign or a feeling.
In spite of the fact that Mormonism is such a fast-growing religion, and many of its followers are nice, wonderful people, the fact remains that it is a false religion. I haven't the space in this email to go through all the falsehoods, so I repeat my plea that you read through all our Mormonism articles. If you have any questions on what you hear or read, PLEASE don't hesitate to email us immediately. You are already in our prayers, and I encourage you to pray as well - first for yourself, and then for those who are currently being deceived by Mormonism. May God bless and keep you, and give you wisdom.
Ben and Jennifer Rast