The Bible and the Book of Mormon

  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size
Home Anti-Mormonsm pages Mormon defenders

Mormon defenders

E-mail Print PDF
User Rating: / 0

“Mormon Defenders” is a book which tries to provide evidence refuting the beliefs of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Instead what the author of this book has done has actually some remarks in. In his foreword that is quite favorable toward us. He wrote: "For more than a decade I have watched new Latter-day Saints apologists emerge into public dialog. I have witnessed LDS scholars gain and hold prestigious academic positions in non-LDS institutions. I have observed an increasing sophistication in their advocacy and in their responses to their critics. The seriousness of our situation became urgently clear when InterVarsity Press published an interfaith dialog between Dr. Craig Bloomberg (Denver seminary) and Dr. Stephen Robinson (Brigham Young University) entitled , How Wide the Divide?”

From these comments, it’s clear that the writer wasn't satisfied with what Dr Craig Bloomberg presented and perhaps thought that Dr. Robinson won the argument because he continued: "I was disappointed that Dr. Bloomberg was not more aware and critical (practically is saying   that Dr. Bloomberg didn't understand much of what was going on) of Dr. Robinson's less-than-mainstream (or less-than-candid) presentation of his Mormon faith.” He continued by saying, “With the publication (sic) of the Mormon defenders my hopes have been reigneted.” What he is actually trying to say is, “Praise the Lord that I am here to rescue the truth!" In fact he further proclaimed: "You have in your hands the work of someone WELL ACQUAINTED with LDS arguments and rhetoric, and familiar with the Bible and current biblical scholarship.”

In his introduction he also states, “Richard and Joan Ostling, in `Mormon America: The power and the promise,’ report that with over ten million members worldwide, and projections of a membership exceeding 265 million by 2080. Mormonism is on its way to becoming the newest world religion since Islam.” He continues, saying, “ A key to this growth has been the Mormon effort to portray their faith as a genuine heir of the Christian tradition, for as Ostling notes, `The bulk of converts’ to Mormonism `come from conventional Christians backgrounds’”

In my personal opinion if people leave their “conventional Christian background” to convert to the LDS faith that would seem to be strong evidence that they didn't feel their old church had the real truth, since obviously they were looking for something that had more than what their church was offering.

The author continued by writing: "In the past, there have been several effective responses to the claim made by the Latter-day saints that Mormonism is an authentic variant of orthodox Christianity.”

Perhaps this author hasn’t really taken the time to think about what he had just written in the two previous lines because if he did he wouldn’t be making such a claim. If what he says is true, then why are so many people leaving their churches to convert to the LDS faith?

A little later on in his introduction he continues by saying “the need to develop a better scholarship was apparent in 1997, when the InterVarsity Press published `How Wide the Divide?’ This book concluded that the divide between Mormonism and Christianity was not as significant as was commonly believed. In 1998 Carl Mosser and Paul Owen warned: `The sophistication and erudition (thanks) of the LDS apologetics has risen CONSIDERABLY while evangelical responses have not (sic), the need is great for trained evangelical biblical scholars, theologians, philosophers and historians ( practically the whole army) to examine and answer the growing body of literature produced by traditional LDS scholars, if we do not take this threat seriously we will needlessly lose the battle without even knowing it.’"

Even better the writer continues: "Mosser and Owen also noted that, AS FAR AS THEY WERE AWARE, there were no books from an evangelical perspective that responsibly interact (ed) with contemporary LDS scholarly and apologetics writings."

Here, the author admits that until 1998 the evangelical church hadn’t written any books worthy of being compared to those written by the LDS apologists. What they are admitting is that after spending 160 years criticizing what the Mormons believe, they concede that all their writings had not been effective.

I have to admit that just this information alone was worth to the price of the book, and I was almost going to stop reading any further in it but I thought that maybe this book could reinforce my testimony even more, so I decided to take a closer look at what it had to say.

On the cover of his book, after the title, it says: "How Latter-day Saint apologists misinterpret the Bible.” When people disagree about what the Bible teaches, the most common accusation made is to declare that it is the other person who is misinterpreting or misunderstanding what the Bible is telling us. But this a fallacious argument. First of all, if there is a disagreement between two people over what the Bible teaches, it’s clearly apparent that they are both interpreting the Bible differently. To make such a claim is to state the obvious. But the second, and most important point is, who is it that decides which side of the debate is doing the misinterpreting? Since there is no authoritative judge to settle the matter, it is left up to each individual to decide for themselves, - based on their own level of knowledge, and their own preconceived ideas and opinions - who they want to believe is correctly interpreting the Bible. Thus, there really is no way to settle the argument. So why even make the accusation in the first place?

The first chapter is about Deity and deification. A fundamental point of contention between LDS doctrines and Christianity is expressed in D&C 130:22 which reads, “The Father has a body of flesh and bones.” Addressing this issue, the writer explains: "For our purposes, we will pursue one question: Does the Bible teach that God has a body of flesh and bones?” He concludes, "LDS apologists cite instances of divine incarnation from the Bible and assume that human form is God's usual state of being, but nothing in the text indicates that God resides permanently in a body of flesh.”

The operative word here is “permanently”. The writer seems to imply that God manifested Himself as man just on a few occasions, but such an idea can not be found anywhere in the scriptures. Thus, what we see in this book, as with most Christian commentators, in trying to make his point, the author has to bend what the scriptures actually say in order to make them say something different than what is clearly stated. To show what I mean, in Genesis 1:26, 27 the Bible tells us, “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.”

Mainstream Christians typically interpret this passage to mean that we are made in the image of God' s attributes, such as His personality and rationality. They say that this verse is not meant to be interpreted as meaning that man was made in the express image and likeness of God’s form. And yet the Bible contradicts this very idea when it tells us in Genesis 5:3 “And Adam lived an hundred and thirty years, and begat a son in his own LIKENESS, after his IMAGE; and called his name Seth.”

I really didn't  need to use genesis 5:3 to support the lds idea but

Genesis 3:22
22 ¶ And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us,

This clearly means that before of fall Adam and Eve were in the Physical image and likeness because only after partaking of the forbidden fruit God Himself declared man is become as one of us, referring to mental rationality and personality and therefore.....

To further explain his point, the author of this book next talks about Theophanies. He quotes Exodus 33:11 which reads “And the LORD spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend,” and then writes: "This verse is representative of passages called upon by LDS apologists to prove the doctrine of divine embodiment. Christians maintain that the language here is not anthropomorphic. Instead, God is metaphorically described in terms of human traits.”

If that is so, then my question is: Where in the Bible does it say that? The answer is: NOWHERE!!! Thus we see that in order for them to maintain their doctrine, they have to bend the straightforward, simple statements of the scriptures to make them say something they don’t. But then he admits: "Christians acknowledge that God has OFTEN TEMPORARILY assumed human form to come among men." Again I ask: Where in the scriptures is this idea found? And again the answer is: NOWHERE!!!

This brings up another problem for the writer because Christians also believe the scriptures teach that “no man hath seen God at any time” (1 John 4:12). So, if Christians believe that God has “OFTEN TEMPORARILY” assumed human form to appear before men (as the writer claims), yet Christians also believe that “no man hath seen God at any time,” how do they know whether God has a permanent or temporary body if no man has ever seen him?

However, the Bible does clearly tell us that men have seen God. In Exodus 24:10, 11 we read, “And they saw the God of Israel: and there was under his feet as it were a paved work of a sapphire stone, and as it were the body of heaven in his clearness. And upon the nobles of the children of Israel he laid not his hand: also they saw God, and did eat and drink.” In Genesis 32:30 it tells us, “And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.”

In an effort to explain these passages of scriptures the author writes: "The elders expected that judgment would take place (he laid not his hand). The reaction of Jacob and the elders satisfies Hopkins request for an `indication’ that God is something other than what He appears to be in these passages.”

This is pure speculation! The fact is that the Bible plainly states that they saw God face to face. There is nothing mystical about these verses of scripture, and I’ll show you why. In Exodus 33:11 we read, “And the LORD spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend.” This is a clear comparison which helps us understand what the scriptures means.

As proof that no one has seen God, mainstream Christians point to Exodus 33:20-23 which reads, “And he said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live. And the LORD said, Behold, there is a place by me, and thou shalt stand upon a rock: And it shall come to pass, while my glory passeth by, that I will put thee in a clift of the rock, and will cover thee with my hand while I pass by: And I will take away mine hand, and thou shalt see my back parts: but my face shall not be seen.”

Although this does talk about God’s face not being able to be seen, what Christians fail to mention is that God did show Moses His HAND and HIS BACK, thereby validating the fact that God does have a human form. This fact is further pointed out in Numbers 12:6-8 which reads, “And he said, Hear now my words: If there be a prophet among you, I the LORD will make myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream. My servant Moses is not so, who is faithful in all mine house. With him will I speak mouth to mouth, even apparently, and not in dark speeches; and the similitude of the LORD shall he behold: wherefore then were ye not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?”

Take a look at these scriptures Numbers 12:6-8 John 1:18  John 6:46 III John 1:11  Colossians 2:9

Even Jesus referred to Himself many times as “the son of Man.” Since Jesus is also the Son of God, by also calling Himself the Son of Man, He is also declaring that God, His Father, is a Man. Consider this: in John 10:31-36 we read, “Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him. Jesus answered them, Many good works have I shewed you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone me? The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God. Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods? If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken; Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God? “

What Jesus meant by saying "the scriptures cannot be broken" is that what the scriptures say is the truth and therefore cannot be denied. And the scriptures say we are gods. Jesus was the Son of God, and Paul tells us in Acts 17:29 “For as certain also of your poets have said, For we are also his offspring. Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man's device.”

Both Paul and Jesus have made it clear that all of us are offspring of God. He is a real Father in the most common sense of the word for each one of us. The word “offspring” means “to come out or to spring forth from something.” Thus, to be an offspring of God means that we’ve come out of or sprang forth from God

To make clear those two points

Acts 17:26
26 And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;

Acts 17:27
27 That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us:

Acts 17:28
28 For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.

Acts 17:29
29 Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man's device.

Paul was giving this simple explanation to the Greek (heathen) and said :"as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.

Acts 17:29
29 Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, "

John 20:17
17 Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and [to] my God, and your God.

See Paul and Jesus made clear that every man is an offspring of God and He is a real Father in the most common sense for each one of us. Offspring means to come out or spring out from something and to be from the same kind in fact the words of Paul "Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man's device. " are clear, he was just using common sense. Simplicity shows reality complexity is the necessity to hide something, God is simple in His ways, philosophers are very troubled in explaining what they assume to believe because they have no the truth

I accept and believe the words of Jesus. If He said He was the Son of Man and that He was the Son of God, then I have to believe that God is a Man, otherwise the Bible doesn’t mean what it says. It was God, in the beginning who commanded that every fruit should reproduce according to his kind. Man didn’t spring forth from a cow. If the scriptures refer to mankind as being the offspring of God, then that means the Bible teaches that God is our Father in a real and literal sense. And if that is so, then we look like our Father, because we are His offspring. Also, if Jesus is God (as Christians believe) then the bodily resurrection and ascension to heaven of Jesus is yet another proof that God has a human form.

Also the resurrection of Jesus and his ascension in heaven in a body is another proof of this point, especially considering that Protestants believe that Jesus Himself is in the Father. Jesus did eat in the presence of the disciples just to prove this point, just to prove that he was not a spirit. He used common a simple ideas to teach his disciples. to end this topic I suggest you to take a look at this talks on my page Is God spirit? Law of witnesses The Mormon Illusion

In chapter two of this book the writer talks about the Sonship of Jesus. Here he becomes even more complicated with his explanation, mixing scriptures from different books of the Bible in an attempt to prove his point. I am always amazed at how people avoid common sense and the simple things by continually trying to make the Bible say something different than what it actually says.

When trying to explain Colossians 1:15 where Jesus is referred to as the firstborn over all creation, the author claims that what this means is that Jesus became God's wisdom. In other words, we are not supposed to take this statement literally. According to the writer this is clearly meant to be FIGURATIVE in meaning.

Unfortunately he is not aware that in Genesis there are two different account of creation and therefore he is as usual a little bit confused, in fact he says that Jesus is declared to be the creator of all things in Jonh 1:1 and therefore he can't be the firstborn over all creation Colossians 1:15

Since the writer doesn’t understand that we are the offspring of God in a pre-existent life, he doesn’t understand how Jesus can be the first born of all creation and still be the creator of the earth. Therefore, he has to bend and twist the scriptures in order to make them agree with his erroneous ideas. But even here we have the clear words of Jesus when He told the apostle John, “And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen [Jesus], the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God” (Revelation 3:14). It seems to me that everything this writer says is contradicted by the very Bible he himself claims to believe in. The writer spent 52 pages trying to make his point by claiming that the Bible didn’t mean what it actually says. What a waste! It seems to me that everything the writer says is contradicted clearly from Jesus Himself.

In chapter three he talks about the LDS belief in our pre-mortal life. He quotes Job 38:4 which reads, “Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding.” The author claims that when God asked this question, He was using sarcasm rather than indicating that Job was alive when God created the earth. But the writer has made a major error with this interpretation because, despite his attempt to critically analyze the meaning of words to verify his theory, he never quotes the crucial answer which God Himself gave to His own question. He said, “Knowest thou it, because thou wast then born or because the number of thy days is great” (Job 38:21).

After this he quotes Ecclesiastes 12:7 which reads, “Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it,” and Jeremiah 1:5 which says, “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.”

Regarding the first scripture the writer says: "This concept must be read into the text. There is no indication as to what the condition or `age’ of the spirit was at the time it was given." Here he is just playing with words because it doesn’t matter what the condition or age of the spirit was at the time it was given.

His second explanation is even more outlandish. He writes, "Under perfect foreknowledge and omniscience this verse indicates an IDEAL preexistence of the person. It could also allow for a creation of the soul (prior to the formation of the body) for a period of anywhere from a few seconds to thousands of years to eternity."

Even if we say that he is right, he has just contradicted his own argument because even if Job existed only a second before the world was created, that would still imply the idea that Job had a pre-existent life, which he claims the Bible doesn’t teach!

He then discusses John 9:2,3 which reads, “And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind? Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned.”

The author has no answer to why the disciples of Jesus believed that a man born blind from birth could have sinned prior to his being born. When Jesus answered their question He made it clear that He understood what his disciples meant. However, Jesus did not disagree with them. He merely said that neither the man nor his parents had sinned. If it was not possible for a man to sin before being born, Jesus would have corrected their erroneous idea, but He didn’t.

Even though the author has no defense against this scripture, still he declares: "This comment relates to the `rabbinic’ discussion over whether infants could sin while still in the womb.” But such a remark misses the point in fact Jesus was talking to his disciples no to a Rabbi. So what we see is that the author wants to talk about tangerines while we are talking about watermelons.

In chapter four the author talks about baptism for the dead. He writes, "The Mormon church has built an interpretative superstructure upon this verse (1 Corinthians 15:29) that defies its setting as a singular statement that offers no hints about how `baptism for the dead’ was performed or what purpose it served."

Such a statement shows a lack of understanding about what the LDS church teaches on this subject, or even what the Bible itself has to say. The doctrine of baptism for the dead is a part of God’s plan to take the gospel to all people, including the dead, as Peter clearly explained when he wrote, “For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison; Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah” (Peter 3:18-20).

When Peter explains that the gospel was preached to the people who lived before Christ' time, he is also telling us that the dead are very much alive but living in another dimension. Since he refers to these people as “spirits,” then obviously, they must be living in a spirit world, otherwise how could Jesus preach to people who are non-existent, and how could they live according to God in the spirit?

Peter also wrote, “For for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit” (1 Peter 4:6). The idea of our souls going to a spirit world after death and of the gospel being preached to them is the very reason why we do baptisms for the dead. Despite what this author is trying to show, we see that the idea behind baptism for the dead is based on what the Bible clearly tells us.

But there is more to this doctrine than what the author wants to admit. It ultimately has to do with the mission of Christ. Therefore, to better comprehend why we do baptisms for the dead, we need to gain a better understanding of what the gospel is all about. In Isaiah 61:1 we read, “The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound.”

When Jesus began His ministry, He quoted this scripture and said that it was fulfilled in him. The question we need to ask is, What is the “good tidings (which is what the word “gospel” means) that Jesus preached? According to what the Bible tells us, before Jesus even began His ministry, he first was baptized. But why was He baptized? He Himself gave the answer when He said “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God” (John 3:5 ). The reason why Jesus Himself needed to be baptized is because baptism is necessary to enter into the kingdom of God.

Later on in His ministry Jesus said, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live” (John 5:25). Even Jesus confirmed what Peter said that the gospel would be preached to the dead. But how can the dead be preached to if they cannot hear it? Obviously they are alive as spirits. Therefore, when Jesus said, “and they that hear shall live” he is talking about being “alive” in the gospel sense. But, if baptism is necessary to enter the kingdom of God, then how can they be made “alive” if they cannot be baptized? This is what Paul was saying in 1 Corinthians 15:29.

The author goes on to declare that the LDS church champions genealogical research because we believe that baptism is a required ordinance, implying that he believes it is not necessary for salvation. However, as we have just seen, it was Jesus Himself who told us the importance of baptism, both by word and by deed. But where the author is really wrong is that it was the Jews who were the champions of genealogical research. All throughout the Bible we see how well they kept their own genealogy, even going back to Adam! Even Mormon genealogists aren’t that good.

Unfortunately for the writer of the book even the Gospels point out how important they are just starting with the genealogy of the Lord and after with the ministry of the Lord.

At this point the writer of the book asks two questions: 1) What did Paul mean by baptism for the dead? And 2) Was baptism for the dead an approved church practice?

The problem with the answer the author gives to his first question is that he has to change the meaning of Paul’s words to reach his conclusion. Even so, he still says, "most commentators agree that 1 Corinthians 15:29 refers to a practice of vicarious baptism for the dead, but other explanations have been offered and we will examine several of them.”

I find it interesting that instead of talking about what the Bible says, this author has to rely on the words of other commentators. I thought that one of mainstream Christianity’s principle doctrines is that the Bible is to be our only source of divine information. And it is for this very reason that they condemn the LDS church because we have more scriptures than the Bible (Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and Pearl of Great Price). If we are condemned for using other inspired writings of God, how can he justify himself for relying on the uninspired writings of men?

In answer to his second question, the author writes: "Christians apologists have claimed that this practice was LOCAL to Corinth and a diversion from church policy.”

If we put Paul’s remarks in their proper context, we see that he makes his comments about baptism for the dead in reference to what he is saying about the resurrection. In other places, the Bible tells us that baptism is symbolic of the resurrection (Colossians 2:12). The definition of the resurrection is where our dead body comes back to life, as happened with Jesus. Therefore, if the living are baptized as a symbol of their own resurrection, and the gospel is preached to the dead, why shouldn’t the dead also take upon themselves this same symbolism? Since Paul is speaking to people who have been baptized after Christ's resurrection, this is clear evidence that baptism was being performed by the living Christians for those who were dead.

Continuing his explanation of 1 Corinthians 15:29, the author writes: "Christians point out that Paul mentions the practice in passing, and offers no opinion on the subject, positive or negative.” Although this may be true, we do have some clues that can shed light on this subject. First it doesn’t seem appropriate that Paul would use an invalid practice to support a valid principle. Secondly, it is clear that this practice was well known to the church, otherwise the people he was writing to would not have understood what he meant by his comment.

Even so, the writer of the book insists on saying: "This verse is insufficient to bear the weight of the LDS doctrine." And he is totally correct! This verse should only bear the weight of what it claims and that is that there were people in the church at Corinth who were being baptized for the dead. Furthermore, Paul did not feel this was scandalous behavior on their part, otherwise he would have condemned this practice as he had done with other practices on other occasions. Even if we argue that the Bible doesn’t specifically condone this practice, we have to also admit that neither does it condemn it.

The writer goes on to declare: "One response to this argument is that baptism for the dead was not a widespread practice, and therefore cannot have been a true rite of the church.” This is pure speculation on his part. But even if this practice was not "widespread" as the author states, he is admitting that in some places this practice was used. In which case, he cannot deny that Christians practiced it and that Paul didn’t condemn the practice.

But let me add another thought to this topic. In 1 Corinthians 15:19 Paul wrote, “If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.” To me, this verse seems to indicate that Paul was referring to the preaching of the gospel to the dead and how it isn’t only we the living who have hope in Christ. This fact is borne out by the words of Jesus when He said, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live” (John 5:25).

The author of the book continues saying: "If baptism for the dead was a normal church's practice like baptism of the living, then Paul would have made a point based upon baptism as A WHOLE rather than singling out its use for the dead.” What he is forgetting is that Paul is talking about the resurrection of the dead, therefore it is perfectly reasonable for him to reference their practice of baptism for the dead. It doesn’t make sense for Paul to use baptism for the living when he’s talking about the dead coming back to life.

But the author is not content to leave the matter alone. He continues his argument by writing: "Paul asks why the Corinthians BAPTIZED for the dead, not why they CONTINUED to baptize for the dead. If the Corinthians had been baptizing for the dead BEFORE the resurrection controversy, then Paul would have asked why they were still doing it, not merely why they were doing it.”

Now he is playing games of semantics in order to show that the Corinthians used to practice baptism in the past but now they were no longer doing it. Since he wants to get into grammatical semantics, then it is only fair that we take a closer look what 1 Corinthians 15:29 actually says and see if he is right. It says: “Else what shall they do which ARE baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? why ARE they then baptized for the dead?” Even in my Italian version it seems to me that Paul is speaking in the present tense, not in the past tense as this author claims. This is evidenced by the fact that he uses the word “are” which indicates the present tense. In other words, Paul asks the Corinthians, “Why ARE you still continuing to practice baptism for the dead if the dead are not going to rise from their grave.” But according to this author, he claims Paul is saying, “Why ARE you practicing baptism for the dead in the past.” Grammatically, this sentence makes no sense, and neither does this author’s argument.

Even he himself admits this when he later writes, "But Paul is not using baptism for the dead as an evidential proof of the resurrection, as this argument requires; he is using it to expose an inconsistency between what the Corinthians ARE DOING.” So we see he contradicts himself by now claiming that they ARE still doing it! However, he is wrong when he says that Paul is trying to expose an inconsistency between the resurrection and what the Corinthians are doing. He states that if this were a valid practice, Paul would be “using [the practice of] baptism for the dead as evidential proof of the resurrection, as this [kind of] argument requires.”

Yet, if we read this verse in context with the whole sermon Paul is giving about the resurrection, we find that is EXACTLY what Paul is doing when he talks about baptism for the dead. His purpose for making this comment is precisely to give further evidence to his argument that the dead will rise. He begins his sermon by emphatically stating that if the dead don’t rise, then all of his preaching and all of our faith is in vain (verse 14). And it is upon this premise that he then clearly states, “Why ARE you baptizing for the dead if the dead aren’t going to rise from the grave?”

But the fallacy of the author’s argument is further highlighted when we realize that the reason why Paul is giving this sermon is because there were some Christians in Corinth who were teaching that there was not going to be such a thing as the resurrection. Therefore, we could ask this author the same question that Paul asked the Corinthians. If, as this author claims, the Corinthians were performing baptism for the dead in the past, then why were they doing it if they didn’t believe that the dead would rise? When we study what the Bible actually says, we find that rather than Paul showing the inconsistency of this practice with the resurrection, Paul is actually illustrating how both beliefs compliment and go hand-in-hand with one another. Baptism for the dead further explanation

Then he claims: "The rules of Greek-Roman rhetoric indicate that 1 Corinthians 15:19 is not evidential proof for the resurrection.” I was shocked that he would even make such a comment! Paul was a Hebrew not a Greek. But more importantly, there’s no evidence that he was engaging in “Greek-Roman rhetoric” as though he were in a debating contest. Quite the contrary. He was trying to plainly teach correct gospel principles to Christians who were confused about the doctrine of the resurrection.

It seems certain to me that this author not only doesn't understand our belief concerning baptism for the dead, but it’s clear he doesn’t understand the words of Jesus and Peter when they talked about preaching the gospel to the spirits who have died. The reason why Mormons practice baptism for the dead is to provide an opportunity for those who have died without the chance to hear the gospel in this life and be able to inherit the kingdom of God the same as us. It’s obvious that the author of this book doesn’t understand why Mormons practice baptism for the dead, and yet he spent nearly 20 pages explaining why we are wrong for doing it.

Hebrews 11:40
40 God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.

In chapter five, the author continues with his topic of the dead. He writes, "The Christians may agree with Bickmore that `God is merciful and just’ and we may ASSUME that WHATEVER THE FATE of those who have never heard the gospel might be, it will be fair and just.”

I guess that  this is just another way to say: We do not know and we don't care!

He then goes on to explain away the literalness of the scriptures which talk about the gospel being preached to the dead (John 5:25; 1 Peter 3:20; 1 Peter 4:6). He claims that these verses of scripture are being misinterpreted by LDS scholars. Instead of taking them for what they say, the author of this book uses all sorts of intellectual reasoning to convince the reader that what the Bible says is not really what the Bible means. If he is right, what he is saying is that in order for us to understand what the Bible really is trying to tell us, we need to have a Master degree in ancient language and history. Yet, I thought that Christians believed the Bible was written for the common man, not for scholarly professors.

His explanation seems to contradict the words of Paul which he wrote in 1 Corinthians 2:1-6 which says, “I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.” This certainly is not the approach the author of this book used.

. The Bible is clear on this point

1 Corinthians 2:1
1 ¶ AND I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God.

1 Corinthians 2:2
2 For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.

1 Corinthians 2:3
3 And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling.

1 Corinthians 2:4
4 And my speech and my preaching [was] not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:

1 Corinthians 2:5
5 That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.

1 Corinthians 2:6
6 ¶ Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought:

1 Corinthians 2:7
7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, [even] the hidden [wisdom], which God ordained before the world unto our glory:

1 Corinthians 2:8
8 Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known [it], they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.

1 Corinthians 2:9
9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.

Surely the writer of the book never took this approach but he will need to do it some day.

Chapter six Requirements or results

To be brief I suggest you to read these articles Faith and works What is the grace?

When talking about the need for baptism, the author claims that John 3:5 is not referring to baptism when it talks about being “born of water.” He explains: "While many see an allusion to baptism here that later Christians readers would recognize, there is a serious problem with seeing a reference to baptism that cannot be controvert, and that is that Nicodemus would not have the slightest idea what Jesus was referring to. How could Nicodemus understand a reference to an as yet non existent sacrament?"

Here, the author shows his lack of knowledge concerning Jewish history. Baptism was certainly known to the Jews of Christ's time. We see this clearly pointed out in John 1:19-27 where it tells us “And this is the record of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, Who art thou? And he confessed, and denied not; but confessed, I am not the Christ. And they asked him, What then? Art thou Elias? And he saith, I am not. Art thou that prophet? And he answered, No. Then said they unto him, Who art thou? that we may give an answer to them that sent us. What sayest thou of thyself? He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Esaias. And they which were sent were of the Pharisees. And they asked him, and said unto him, Why baptizest thou then, if thou be not that Christ, nor Elias, neither that prophet? John answered them, saying, I baptize with water: but there standeth one among you, whom ye know not; He it is, who coming after me is preferred before me, whose shoe's latchet I am not worthy to unloose.”

When the Jews asked, "Why baptizest thou then, if thou be not that Christ, nor Elias, neither that prophet? " this clearly shows that they were not surprised to see John performing this ordinance, otherwise their question would have been: "What are you doing?" Rather than questioning the rite of baptism, they were only concerned about his authority to perform baptism.

This was the same question they put to Jesus. In Matthew 21:23-26 we read, “And when he was come into the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came unto him as he was teaching, and said, By what authority doest thou these things? And who gave thee this authority? And Jesus answered and said unto them, I also will ask you one thing, which if ye tell me, I in like wise will tell you by what authority I do these things. The baptism of John, whence was it? from heaven, or of men? And they reasoned with themselves, saying, If we shall say, From heaven; he will say unto us, Why did ye not then believe him? But if we shall say, Of men; we fear the people; for all hold John as a prophet.” If the Jewish priestly leaders didn't know about baptism they would not have said it was something which was from heaven, but would have readily admitted it was from men.

And the reason for this is because baptism was something they knew of and understood the word of God taught. In the Old Testament it makes reference to this rite when it says in Isaiah 1:16: “Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil.” Even the apostle Paul made reference to the ancient need for baptism when he wrote in 1 Corinthians 10:1-2: “MOREOVER, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea.” So we see that the practice of baptism was understood and performed long before the time of John the Baptist.

Next, the author quotes Acts 2:37-38 which reads, “Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men [and] brethren, what shall we do? Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” This is the verse which mainstream Christians use as evidence that baptism is not necessary for salvation. However, they conveniently ignore the words of Jesus at His baptism when “John forbade him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me? And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him” (Matthew 3:14-15).

If it was necessary for even Jesus to be baptized, how can it be said that we don’t need to follow the example of our Savior? However, if baptism isn’t necessary for salvation, then why did Jesus, just before He ascended into heaven, and therefore the last thing He commanded His disciples to do was to “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost” (Matthew 28:19)?

He concludes his book by talking about the apostasy. He claims: "LDS apologists produce a flurry of citations from the New Testament proving that an apostasy was predicted, claiming that Paul spoke of this apostasy. Yet it is always assumed, not proved, that any reference to a false teaching, or a rebellion, or to an apostasy, is the facto evidence of `the’ apostasy that Mormon apologists claim took place.”

What the author is trying to say is that there is no Biblical evidence of an apostasy. Rather, we take veiled references to doctrinal problems within the early church and claim that this is proof of an apostasy. This is not the reason why the LDS church believes in an apostasy. History itself provides ample proof that it actually did happen. In fact, the Protestant movement started precisely because they claimed the Catholic church had apostatized from the true teachings of the Bible. Their doctrines were seen as a PROTEST against the established religious teachings of their day. If they didn’t believe there had been an apostasy, there would have been no reason for them to protest in an effort to reform the church. I find it amazing that the very people whose church came into existence because of a belief in an apostasy now refuse to admit that there ever was such a thing as an apostasy. The leaders of the Protestant movement are known as “reformers.” Yet, if there wasn’t an apostasy, there would have been no reason to reform the church.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has been criticized for claiming that they have “restored” the original teachings of the apostles. However, in principle, this is what the Protestant leaders claimed they were doing with their reformation movement. Thus, we see that we are criticized for doing the very thing which mainstream Christianity praises the Protestants for doing. --

Chapter seven Reckonings and rewards

Since I have written many things on this topic I suggest you to read them and they are Mormon Illusion 3

An interesting remark from the writer is at pag 124 when he says:" God speaks to the assembly in verse 2 and ask them (Psalm  82:2,6), how long will ye judge unjustly, and accept the persons of the wicked?" Were such activities occurring in the pre-existent life among unembodied spirits?

Well first of all the first verse is a declaration and ends there and the second verse is clearly an invitation to the readers there is no connection between the two verses. In my Italian Bible, Protestant, there is a full stop after the first verse, but trying to make our friend happy I will remind him that even though he might be right, but it is not, he should keep on mind that Lucifer

Isaiah 14:12
12 How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! [how] art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!

Isaiah 14:13
13 For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:

well Lucifer was right there in that council.

other topics of interest are Family God once a man

Since it seems to the words of the author that his church is going down and the Church of Jesus Christ is going up I suggest to him to reconsider the prophecy of Daniel

Daniel 2:45
45 Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream [is] certain, and the interpretation thereof sure.

It is clear then that this prophecy is for the last days and it is clear that the stone cut out of the mountain without hands will fill the whole earth destroying the other kingdoms.

According to the prophesy of Daniel this missionary work would have given an expanding church which would have filled the earth.

On the back cover of the new book "The new Mormon challange"

over 11 million members

over 60.000 full time missionaries, more than ANY OTHER SINGLE missionary sending organization in the world.

more than 310.000 converts annually.

as many as eighty percent of converts come from Protestant background. (In Mormon circle, the saying is"We baptize a Baptist church every week)

Within 15 years, the number of missionaries and converts will roughly double.

Within 80 years, with adherents exceeding 267 million. Mormonism could become the first world religion to arise since Islam

Missionary work is the life for the church, our church is pumping oxygen every day in his heart and is growing, the other churches with an obsolete missionary work are just dying. so if you are aware that just one church is going up while the other ones are going down think about Daniel's prophecy and ponder it because it is fulfilling right now.

I suggest to read "the danger of Mormonism" on this page to better understand why the Protestants are so bad with the lds church.

Last Updated on Monday, 17 May 2010 10:04  

site info

Members : 13602
Content : 381
Web Links : 6
Content View Hits : 828632

Who is online

We have 9 guests online

Adam's progenitors

Massimo Franceschini Adam's progenitors?

Secret paradise

Massimo Franceschini Secret Paradise

Hidden truths in the Bible. Volume 1

Hidden truths in the Bible. Volume 1