This group is officially known as The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. As we shall see, they are neither the Church of Jesus Christ nor are they saints.
The beginnings of the Mormons date back to 1820, with a man named Joseph Smith, Jr. Smith was born in Vermont, but his family moved to New York State when he was still young.
In 1820, when Smith was only fifteen years old, he claimed that as he was praying in the woods, God the Father and Jesus Christ appeared to him. He tells us that these heavenly visitors told him to not join any church because all churches were wrong and not one church on earth was teaching the truth about God.
In later visions Smith claimed that an angel guided him to certain "golden plates which were buried near his home. Smith further contended that it is from these plates that the Book of Mormom was translated. Unfortunately for those of us interested in seeing these plates Smith tells us that the angel came and took them away after he was through translating them.
The early years of Smith were controversial to say the least. ln 1826, Smith was accused of being a "disorderly person and an imposter", in Bainbridge New York. During his trial, Smith admitted that he was frequently involved in magical arts and hunts for buried go1d. He was found guilty of disturbing the peace.
By the time Smith died in 1844 he had forty eight known wives and possibly twenty more undocumented wives. Smith died in Carthage Illinois. He was killed when a mob stormed the jail in which he was being held for destroying the printing press of an anti-Mormon newspaper. This act can in no way be excused, it was a vicious act of murder. Furthermore such an act only guaranteed Smith’s going dawn in history as a Mormon martyr.
Following this series of events, the Mormon movement was well on its way to becoming one of this country’s famous movements. Soon alter Smith's death, the Mormons were led by Brigham Young to what is now Salt Lake City, Utah (except for a portion of the group who saw the next leader of the movement as being of linear descent from Joseph Smith. This group is known today as The Re-organized Church of Jesus Christ Of Latter-Day Saints. They are not in union with the SaIt Lake Mormons. To this day, their leader is a descendent from Joseph Smith. They are headquartered in Independence, Missouri).
Coupled with this unusual Mormon history, the theology 0f the Monmons is just as peculiar. Their teachings are completely the opposite of Christianity Their doctrines are so garbled and contradictory that they have been commonly referred to as a "maze".
We must understand that it was the Mormons who contended with Orthodoxy. When Joseph Smith claimed that no church teaches the truth about God , he immediately brought to bear the whole might of God’s Truth as contained in the Orthodox Church, upon himself. It is critical to realize that, for the most part, the Mormons are not fully aware of the teachings of the Orthodox Church. When members of this group are confronted with the claims of Orthodoxy they are left without an adequate response. Either they must accept the Truth of Orthodoxy, or they can, because of intense family and church social pressure ignore it. But one thing is certain after a Mormon has been exposed to the Orthodox Church; he or she will never have the same outlook on Church history again. For those Mormons who find it more important to know the Truth, as opposed to the social pressure, they have found their way into the Orthodox Church.
Among the heretical doctrines of the Mormons are the following: Please note that this is only a partial list of the Mormon deviations. We are here only dealing with the major falsehoods, those which pertain especially to the Orthodox. An attempt to treat all the Mormon teachings would require volumes.
To properly understand Mormon teachings, we should have a basic understanding 0f their sources of authority. In addition to the Bible, the Mormons claim three other books considered equal to, If not greater than, the Bible. These are The Book Of Mormon, The Pearl Of Great Price, and Doctrine and Covenants. The Book Of Mormons is thought by Mormons to be much more accurate than the Bible since, according to Mormon reasoning, the Bible has undergone numerous translations and distortions through the centuries. Therefore, when contradictions occur between the two books, and they do occur regularly, it is at this point where an "incorrect" translation has been rendered. This is no less than mere absurdity. The Mormons hesitate to admit that their own Book Of Mormon has undergone over three thousand alterations since its publication. Add to this the fact that Joseph Smith claimed that an angel took the plates away, from which The Book Of Mormon was allegedly translated and it is apparent that the Mormon suspicion of the Bible is totally without basis. This becomes especially clear when one considers the scholarship which has consistently proven the Bible to be amazingly accurate.Also considered authoritative to the Mormons are the words of their President, or "Prophet." Every living Mormon President is considered God’s "Prophet" on earth. He alone Is God’s mouthpiece and by him does God make His will known to man. The "Prophet" can at any time, claim a revelation and whatever he says will be regarded as the unquestionable will of God. If any Mormon "Prophet" claims a revelation which is in contradiction to a previous Presidents revelation, the latest utterance is considered to be the updated will of God.
There are also a number of Mormon theologians whom the Mormons consider authoritative. Among them, one of the most respected Mormon theologians is Talmage.. Outside of Mormonism, Talmage, who is deceased, enjoys little, if any, exposure.
Reading some of Talmage's works will enlighten anyone as to why this is so. Concerning the Nicene Creed, Talmage once wrote: "It would be difficult to conceive of a greater number of inconsistancies and contradictions expressed in words as few."
Now we let Mormonism speak for itself:
Further complicating the Mormon teachings are some rather embarrassing contradictions and inconsistencies within their own sources. included below is a list of certain quotes from Mormon sources which contradict their own beliefs." For example:
1. Mormons believe that God was a man who gradually attained godhood through his works. But this is what the Book of Mormon says:
2. Mormons believe In many Gods. But this Is what the Book of Mormon says:
3. Mormons believe that God has a body of flesh and bones. But this is what the Book of Mormon says:
4. Also of very extreme embarrassment to the Mormons is the following quotation from the Book of Mormon. In Alma 7:10 the prophecy of Christ’s birth is recorded: "And behold, he shall be born of Mary, at Jerusalem which is the land of our forefathers." Obviously, even the most basic Sunday School course makes it clear that the Bible relates to us many times that Jesus was born at Bethlehem. Those who would still see the Book of Mormon as greater than the Bible should think again before they question the Bible.
Needless to say, Orthodox Truth completely denounces the distorted assertions of Mormonism. To call them blasphemous would not be unfounded. At the beginning of this section on Mormonism, It was seen how Joseph Smith claimed Heavenly vision as support for the validity of his new church. It is of interest to note that in Galatians 1:8, St. Paul tells us: "But even though we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to that which we have preached to you, let him be accursed." Also in II Corinthians St. Paul further tells us that "even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light."