The Truth About Mormonism
|By: Dave Hunt; ©1991|
|There are a number of parallels between Mormonism and the Roman Catholic Church. For example, both claim to be the only true church; both are works-oriented; and both rely on something other than the Bible as their primary source of authority.|
The Truth About Mormonism: Comparing Mormonism and Roman Catholicism
[A lecture given by Mr. Dave Hunt at the 1991 ATRI Apologetics Conference Orlando, Florida]
I thought we might start out this morning by giving you what I think are some of the interesting comparisons between Mormonism and Catholicism. If any of you have read my book, The Cult Explosion, you know that I take a little bit different approach. I don’t have a chapter on Mormons, a chapter on Jehovah’s Witnesses, a chapter on this cult and that cult, but it’s all woven in together because, as a matter of fact, they’re all basically the same. It’s interesting.
Turn to 2 Thessalonians 2. I’m sure you can all quote these verses, as I can, but we’ll turn there anyway. 2 Thessalonians 2:9–And we’ll be talking about the Antichrist later, I think, in our final session, but here it speaks of him. It says, “even him whose coming is after the working of Satan.” Satan has been at work since the very beginning. Isaiah 14 tells us where he said, “I will be like the Most High.” That’s the lie. And so finally, the culmination of this rebellion of Satan against God comes with the revelation of the Antichrist. “Him whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish because they received not the love of the truth that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion that they should”–here is says, “believe a lie.” Well, obviously, they’re all believing the same lie and the Greek scholars tell me it really says, “believe the lie.” There’s only one truth and there’s only one lie.
Satan’s lie has been very consistent because it counters the truth, which is very consistent. And Mormonism is a presentation of this lie. It’s the lie that all the cults have in common.
The next verse is very solemn: “that they all might be damned who believed not the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” If we refuse to be lovers of truth, we become lovers of the lie. And God eventually gives all the world…He helps them believe the very lie they want to believe. He gives them a strong delusion to believe the lie. And as you study cults and the occult, you can only conclude that these people are under a strong delusion. This delusion has already come upon them and that is very apparent in Mormonism. I don’t want to start out by ridiculing Mormonism, but it’s very hard to understand how an intelligent person could believe “the lie” as it is presented in the Mormon Church. But we’ll get into that.
But let me just give you–I’ve got about a dozen similarities because we have earlier said that the Roman Catholic Church is a cult. Well, if it’s a cult, then it must be like other cults. And, indeed, it is. It has the very same characteristics. So let me give you some comparisons between Mormonism and Roman Catholicism.
Number one: Mormonism claims to be the only true church. Sounds familiar to anyone who has been a Catholic. Now, it’s necessary for Mormonism to claim to be the only true church. The church is the focus because salvation and authority are in the church. This is where it happens. It’s not an individual relationship with God, but it’s something that comes about through the ministration of Joseph Smith and the apostles, the prophets, the temple ceremonies and so forth. All of this is contained within the church, and if this is not the true church, then we’ve got problems because salvation is in the church.
So the first thing they try to prove to you is that this is the one true church. Well, now you know that this is the claim of Catholicism as well. “This is the one true church.” Furthermore, you know the reason why is because salvation is in the Catholic Church. It’s exactly as it is in Mormonism; it’s through the ministration of the seven sacraments by this priesthood. And you are really dependent upon them. You can’t get to heaven without them.
Now, Mormonism also claims to have an infallible hierarchy. They have a prophet. The living prophet; the one and only living prophet on the earth today. He doesn’t prophesy but, anyway, he’s a prophet supposedly. And this is where the revelation comes from. This is where the authority resides. And I’ve already given you some quotes from Vatican II telling you that the Pope, he stands really in this place.
It’s really very interesting that Joseph Smith was very much down on the Catholic Church. Mormons are very much down on the Catholic Church. They really have duplicated Catholicism in another form. And so the Pope–he is the head and everything depends upon him; you must accept what he says.
Now, the Pope traces back, supposedly “apostolic succession” back to Peter. Well, in the case of the Mormons, apostolic succession is traceable back to Joseph Smith. And I can’t get into the details of that–the first vision and all the inconsistencies and the fact that his alleged baptism and the way that he received this was not recorded to begin with and it was only added later. But, nevertheless, this is the claim.
In Mormonism there is a hierarchy that alone can interpret the Bible. They can’t be questioned. And let me just give you a couple of quotes, and I’m reading out of some quotes that I have in the book, The God Makers. I’m quoting President Heber C. Kimball in an address to the priesthood. He said, “Learn to do as you are told, both old and young. Learn to do as you are told for the future. If you are told by your leader to do a thing, do it. None of your business whether it is right or wrong.”
Now, if you would get the writings of Ignatius Loyola, for example, the founder of the Jesuit order, you would find that Ignatius Loyola said, “If the pope says it’s black and it looks to you like it’s white, you say it’s black.” You cannot use your…see, that would be going against what the authority says. You must not use your own common sense. You dare not even look at the Bible and see what it says. And the same thing is true in Mormonism.
Brigham Young–well, this is Benson saying, “Brigham Young took the stand and took the Bible, The Book of Mormon and the Doctrine and Covenants and laid them down. Brother Brigham said, ‘When compared with the living oracles'”–that is, the new revelations that we have from these living prophets–“‘those books are nothing to me. Those books do not convey'”…in fact, Brigham Young confessed that he had not read the Bible for years. What’s the point of reading the Bible? “‘Those books do not convey the word of God direct to us now as do the words of a prophet or a man bearing the holy priesthood in our day and generation. I would rather have the living oracles than all the writings in those books.'” And Brother Joseph Smith said to the congregation, “Brother Brigham has told you the word of the Lord and he has told you the truth.”
Now, Elder S. Dilworth Young, an LDS general authority, one of the living oracles, was asked to define modern revelation and he responded in this way–very interesting. He said, “Modern revelation is what President Joseph Smith said unless President Spencer W. Kimball says differently.” So, it’s like the Worldwide Church of God. When the head of the church wanted to get new revelation, for example, when he wanted to marry a divorced woman and up to that time it had been against the rules to marry a divorced woman, then he got “new truth.” And the Mormons get new truth. Unfortunately, it contradicts what was said in the past. Same thing in Catholicism. If the Council of Trent decides something or if Vatican II decides something or if the pope comes out with a new declaration about the assumption of Mary or the immaculate conception of Mary–which has nothing to do with the virgin birth, by the way–but that she was conceived without sin. Even though you can’t find it in the Bible, it must be accepted at this point. So things gradually developed. In Catholicism, they gradually were changed, they gradually developed and became dogma. The same thing with Mormonism.
Now, another similarity. It’s a “works salvation” which is taught. You must earn eternal life, in spite of the fact that the Bible says, “the wages of sin is death.” Your wages–if you want to earn what you deserve–that’s death. But to be forgiven and to receive a free gift, “the gift of God is eternal life.” In spite of the fact that the Bible clearly says that “God has given to us,” 1 John 5, “this is the record: God has given to us eternal life; this life is in his Son.” The cults all teach that we must earn eternal life; we must earn this. You will find that all through all of the cults, whether it’s doing yoga in Eastern religions; attaining to a higher state of consciousness; vegetarianism; perambulating around the gods in Hindu temples–whatever the group is, it’s a “works salvation.” It’s a “works trip.”
And, of course, the same thing is true in Roman Catholicism. There are works that you must do. A large part of those works are the sacraments and they take place within the context of the Catholic Church and, of course, the biggest work that you do as a Mormon is in the temple. By the way, if you’re not aware of it, I think they’re going to have a temple here soon in Orlando. Is that not the case? They have the property and, I believe, the permits and so forth. A temple is not the same as a chapel, a church. A Mormon church is open to the public; the temple is where the secret ceremonies take place which really, to a large extent, came out of Masonry, Freemasonry. And as a Mormon you must take an oath to have your throat slit from ear to ear, your heart torn out, your vitals torn out and so forth if you dare to tell anyone what goes on in the temple and therefore you have to have, as I call it, a credit card to eternity. You know, a temple recommend that allows you to get in this temple and to go through these procedures for the dead. The temples are really temples of the dead, not of the living because there’s little if anything done in there for the living; it’s all done on behalf of the dead. But it’s a works salvation and the same is true in Catholicism.
It’s a long trip in Mormonism. Many Mormons are not aware of how long it is. In fact, nobody knows how long it will take to get there. Joseph Smith declared–and this was probably his most important sermon just a few weeks before his death. It was a conference held in Navoo near the temple and he said, “When you climb a ladder, you must begin at the bottom and ascend step by step until you arrive at the top. And so it is with the principles of the gospel.”
That’s a strange “gospel.” The Gospel, Paul said, was very simple, and it doesn’t even involve baptism. In 1 Corinthians 1 Paul said, “Christ sent me not to baptize but to preach the gospel.” In Romans 1:16 he said, “The gospel is the power of God unto salvation, to everyone who believes.” You are saved by believing the Gospel. It says, “It pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save those who believe.” So we are saved by believing a message, the Gospel. And what is that message? Well, 1 Corinthians 15, “How that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; that he was buried, he rose again the third day.” That’s the Gospel. It’s very simple, as they tried to argue last night with the Muslims.
It’s interesting–let’s take a similarity. I mentioned Muslims, so let’s just take the similarity between the Muslims, the Catholics, and the Mormons. I’m reading here that Joseph Smith–well, I should finish reading but anyway, we’ll get back to it. Joseph Smith is saying, it’s a long climb. It could take you eons. You don’t know. See, that’s one of the problems in Catholicism. We have some ex-Catholics, I see, sitting here. And as Catholics, you knew, you never knew when enough is enough. That’s the problem. How many masses did you have to say? How many rosaries did you have to say? How many prayers did you have to recite. How many indulgences did you have to get? How many days do you have to get knocked off? I mean, if you got a thousand years knocked off through indulgences, you worked at it, you didn’t know if that was enough! Because the Catholic Church could never tell you precisely what sins would make you spend so long, how long, each sin would cause you to be in purgatory. You didn’t know how long you were going to be there, so you didn’t know how many indulgences you had to have to get out of there! Or how many masses would have to be said. You never knew when “enough was enough.”
Same thing in Islam. They were talking about a “gracious God” last night. “Well, we believe and we try to live righteous lives.” Well, nobody lives a righteous life. I had a terrible shock recently. Never expected it. I was speaking to an audience and I said, “Now, you know, we’re all sinners and we all know that in our hearts. If anybody here has never sinned, please stand up and tell us about it.” To my amazement a little lady sitting in the front row here, she raised her hand and said, “I have never sinned. I don’t sin.” She was a Catholic lady. I said, “Oh, my goodness. We’re going to have to rewrite the Bible, then, because it says all have sinned and come short of the glory of God,” so I guess you must be the exception. No, in our hearts we know that we’re sinners. Now, the Muslims know they’re sinners. I’ve had Muslims tell me, when I was living in Los Angeles, “My heart is as black as LA smog,” was the way they put it. Where is the forgiveness? How gracious is God? If He’s gracious, as Islam says, how gracious is He? Is He gracious to forgive anything and everything? How much faith do you have to have and how sincere do you have to be? How many prayers, you know, how much do you have to do to get to paradise? You never know when enough is enough. In Catholicism you don’t never know when enough is enough, and in Mormonism, they can’t tell you when enough is enough.
Let me continue reading it. You must begin with the first–he’s talking about the principles of the Gospel–“You must begin with the first and go on until you learn all of the principles of exaltation,” whatever those are. “But it will be a great while after you have passed through the veil of death before you will have learned them all. It is not all to be comprehended in this world. It will be a great work to earn our salvation and exaltation even beyond the grave.” They’ve got a long trip! Spencer W. Kimball said, “After a period there would be a resurrection which would render us immortal and make possible our further climb toward perfection and godhood.”
Another quote: “Man is the child of God, formed in the divine image and endowed with divine attributes and even as the infant son of an earthly father and mother is capable in due time,” he doesn’t tell you when, “in due time of becoming a man so the undeveloped offspring of celestial parentage is capable by experience through ages and eons–this is in due time–“ages and eons of evolving into a God.” That’s the goal of every Mormon, to become a God. But you don’t know how long it takes to get there.
Now let me just give you a hymn from Masonry. It’s a Masonic crafting hymn and it tells, just as Mormons climb to godhood, it tells how the Masons are climbing up themselves. “Brothers, faithful and deserving, now the second rank you filled purchased by your faultless serving.” Whoever served faultlessly? “Leading to a higher still. Thus, from rank to rank, ascending, mounts the Mason’s path of love. Bright, its earthly course and ending in the glorious Lodge above.” And when the Mason gets there, he’ll be able to walk the golden streets and say, “You see, I did it. I made it because of my faultless serving and my good deeds.” No. No flesh will glory in His presence.
And we will never receive eternal life until we acknowledge we’re not worthy of this, because Christ Jesus came, He said, “I came not to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.” He said, “A healthy man doesn’t need a doctor but a sick man does.” And until, well, I think it was A. W. Tozer who said years ago, “We must believe everything that God has said about Himself, but we must also believe everything that God has said about us.” And he said, “Until we believe we are as bad as God says we are, we will never receive the remedy that God offers.” You go to a doctor and he tells you you have a ruptured appendix and unless you’re on the operating table within 30 minutes and you get that thing taken out you’re going to die, and you say, “Well, doctor, I’ll take all the aspirin you prescribe.” If you don’t accept the diagnosis, you can’t take the remedy. And Mormonism refuses to accept the diagnosis, as do all of the other cults. And until we acknowledge that we are as bad as God says we are, we are hopeless, that we’re sinners, that we’re corrupt. That “the heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked; who can know it?” God has to change our hearts. He has to give us new life. And we must be forgiven by Him because, on a righteous basis, the debt has been paid. The penalty has been paid. Until we believe that, we can’t receive the remedy that God offers.
Now, we talked a little bit in our discussion on Catholicism about purgatory. Purgatory is a place where the Catholic must go to be purged. Well, the Mormon has a purgatory. It’s called “spirit prison” and it’s very much like the Catholic purgatory. It’s a place where those guilty ones who have not attained quite to this status, they have to go through a period of suffering and some of that suffering sounds pretty horrendous.
Let me give you a quote from apostle Kimball. He said, “That is loving the wicked, to send them there to hell to be burned out until they are purified” or purged, like Catholic purgatory. “Yes, they shall go there and stay there and be burnt like an old pipe that stinks with long usage and corruption until they’re burned out, and then their spirits may be saved in the day of God Almighty. You’ve heard me speak about my kindred. Will they be saved? Yes, they will. But they will first go to hell and remain there until the corruption with which they are impregnated is burned out. The day will yet come when they will come to me and acknowledge me as their Savior and I will redeem them and bring them forth from hell to where I live and make them my servants and they will be quite willing to enter into my service.”
That’s very similar to Catholicism. You say masses, the survivors, and it’s pitiful that an elderly spinster dies and doesn’t have any family to, as it is in Mormonism, to search out, you know, and go through baptisms of the dead, etc., in the temple; and a Catholic dies and doesn’t have any relatives to say masses, have masses said and burn candles and prayers and rosaries and, in fact, the Council of Trent said, “We do believe that there is a purgatory,” and “We do believe that the dead there are aided by the suffrages.” You can suffer literally; you bear a cross and you redeem somebody. Not only must you suffer. The Council of Trent said, “If you dare to say that the repentant sinner is so justified by grace”–so you could say they believe in a repentant sinner being justified by grace, but if you dare to say that the repentant sinner is so justified by grace “that they are no longer under an obligation to suffer for their own sins.” In spite of what Christ did. I think of the hymn writer who said, “God will not payment twice demand, first at my bleeding Savior’s hand, and then again at mine.” No, He won’t. And Jesus said, “It is finished!” But Catholicism says, “It’s not finished. And you must suffer.” And they pronounce an anathema upon you if you dare to say that you have been forgiven to such an extent by faith in Christ that you no longer must suffer for your own sins and be purged in purgatory. And not only that but you can also suffer for others, for their salvation, in Roman Catholicism. That is a clear teaching of the Roman Catholic Church. Well, the same thing here. They’re not suffering for them, but they’re doing baptisms and maybe that’s a form of suffering–they’re going through rituals for the dead and somehow redeeming them and getting them out of this Mormon purgatory.
It’s the major purpose of the Mormon temple, and I’ll see if I can just find another quick quote here. “And now my dearly beloved brethren and sisters, let me assure you that these are principles in relation to the dead and the living that cannot be lightly passed over as pertaining to our salvation for there the dead’s salvation is necessary and essential to our, the living’s, salvation.” Joseph Smith said, “The greatest responsibility in this world that God has laid upon us is to seek after our dead.” And they get involved in endless genealogies and so forth, which the Bible forbids. But, nevertheless, and I’m taking too much time on this, there’s a similarity.
Then there’s a communion of saints in the Mormon Church as there is in the Catholic Church. There are appearances of the dead in the temples. One of the things that the Mormons boast about are the apparitions of the dead, the spirits of the dead, the presidents and great personages from the past have come. Or a relative appears. I’ve talked to Mormons who were converted to Mormonism because the spirit of a dead aunt or grandmother or something appeared to them and told them that this is the one true faith. Very similar to Catholicism.
And I would just mention one person, Padre Pio. Padre Pio, you know, who had the stigmata and supposedly was bleeding from it because he was suffering for the lost in purgatory. And Padre Pio, in fact, the monks who were with him in his monastery there in Italy, they said that at night they would hear voices talking with him. Hundreds of people. And Padre Pio said, “More people, more spirits of the dead came to visit him there in his cell there in the monastery than the living that came to his masses.” And he said, “The spirits of the dead continually,” he said, “I just didn’t just see them in my mind, I literally saw them with my physical eyes, and here they come. Spirit after spirit after spirit that I have suffered for and gotten out of purgatory and they’re on their way to heaven!” Okay? This is Padre Pio, honored by the pope and honored by the Catholic Church and so forth. And there is a communion.
If you go to Rio de Janeiro, say, on a holiday, you will find the Catholics in the cemetery on their knees praying to the spirits of their dead relatives along with the spirits of the saints. There is a glorification of Mary above Jesus. Mary is always depicted with a crown.
I remember, for example, being in a cathedral in France and on a beautiful stained glass window it says, “La purgatoir.” It’s going to tell you about purgatory and there’s Mary above and Jesus on a cloud in heaven and here are the souls in the flames of purgatory beseechingly depicted looking up at them. And down below it says, “Mere Marie, sovez nous,” “Mother Mary, save us.” Why are they appealing to Mary, instead of to Jesus? Because she’s got the crown. She’s the queen. She’s got the crown on her head. And how is Jesus depicted? He’s a little child between her knees. In heaven. This is my Savior, who is a 33-year-old mature man when He died on the cross who is in a resurrected, glorified body at the Father’s right hand; Conqueror of death and hell!–and He’s still depicted as a little child. When this little Jesus comes with “Our Lady of Fatima,” how does He come? Little child on a cloud of light. He’s still a little child. So now, the Catholics not only have no problem reconstituting the resurrected, glorified body of Jesus back into a flesh and blood, precrucifixion body to be offered again on the altar, but He somehow turns back into a little child and Mary is the one who really is honored and everything must go through her. Same thing. Very similar in Mormonism only it’s not Mary, it’s Joseph Smith, and let me just give you a couple of quotes, if I can find them here.
President Joseph Fielding Smith wrote, “There is no salvation without accepting Joseph Smith. If Joseph Smith was verily a prophet and he told the truth when he said that he stood in the presence of angels sent from the Lord”–well, he didn’t tell the truth and there’s contradictions in his testimony and so forth. But anyway, “and obtained the keys of authority and the commandment to organize the Church of Jesus Christ once again upon the earth, then this knowledge is of the most vital importance to the entire world. No man can reject that testimony without incurring the most dreadful consequences, for he cannot enter the kingdom of God.”
Brigham Young, the successor of Joseph Smith, said, “No man or woman in this dispensation will ever enter into the celestial kingdom of God without the consent of Joseph Smith.” Remember, I quoted you, if you were in the talk on Catholicism, the Catholic Church says “every person must pass through Mary as through a door to enter into heaven.” Now, not all Catholics know that that is the teaching, but, in fact, that is the teaching. You must pass…a Mormon must pass through Joseph Smith as through a door. You must have his approval. From the day that the priesthood was taken from the earth to the winding up scene of all things, every man and woman must have the certificate of Joseph Smith as a passport to their entrance into the mansion above where God and Christ are. And Brigham Young says, “I cannot go there without his consent. He holds the keys to rule in the spirit world and he rules there triumphantly for gained full power into glory his victory over the power of Satan while he was yet in the flesh.”
You ask yourself, “What happened to Jesus?” I thought He said, “All authority and power is given to Me in heaven and earth.” Sounds like Joseph Smith somehow has gotten a notch above Jesus and at least for the Mormons you have to go through him.
Again, another similarity. The claim to have replaced Israel. I like to tell my Jewish friends that if you go to Utah, you live in Utah, Jews become Gentiles because the Mormons are the true Jews. And all the rest of us are Gentiles, including Jews are Gentiles because all non-Mormons are Gentiles. And they even tried to say what tribe they’re from and so forth. But they claim to have replaced Israel; claim to be the true Israel and that they are taking over the world. And I’m taking too much time on this so I’m going to have to move on.
Zion is Independence, Missouri. Just like it’s become Rome instead of Jerusalem. And the Roman Catholic Church, you know, that to this day, Rome, the Vatican, has refused to acknowledge the right of Israel to exist. They do not acknowledge the right of Israel to exist! [Since this lecture, relevant changes have been made.] And they call for Jerusalem to be an international city, not a Jewish city. And it’s the same thing in Mormonism. They’re the true Israel now. They have replaced Israel, just as the Catholic Church claims.
Well, we saw that woman in Revelation 17 drunk with the blood of the saints, so the Mormon Church has killed non-Mormons and apostates, and they even believe in blood atonement. This is loving your neighbor, you know. Let me give you the exact quote, if I can find it quickly. From the Journal of Discourses, Brigham Young says, “I say rather than the apostate should flourish here I will unsheathe my bowie knife and conquer or die. Now, you nasty apostates clear out or judgment will be put to the line and righteousness upon it. If you say it is right, raise your hands.” And all hands go up and so forth, and he goes on and he talks about, you know, this is loving our neighbors as ourselves. If he wants salvation and it’s necessary to spill his blood on the earth in order that he may be saved, spill it. That’s the way to love mankind and so forth. Tragically, that was the way people were sent to heaven by some of the Catholic priests out here in America, South America, Central America and so forth. This is the way to send the natives to heaven. “If they won’t take our faith, we’ll kill them.” There are similarities, many similarities.
Another similarity–they don’t go by the Bible. Mormons don’t go by the Bible. If you go to a Mormon church, you very rarely find them reading out of the Bible. It’s always out of some other book. Doctrine and Covenants or Journal of Discourses or whatever it may be. The Catholic Church does not go by the Bible. They go by later tradition. In fact, you won’t find Mormonism in the Bible and you won’t even find Mormonism in the Book of Mormon. It was developed later. The Book of Mormon isn’t all that heretical. I mean, it is in many ways, but it’s no as far out as Mormonism is. That came with later revelations, and so it is with the Catholic Church. You can’t find Catholicism in the Bible. But it came from later revelations.
Now, one final, and I think there are other similarities, but I’ve spent long enough on this. But another similarity is that just as Evangelicals are beginning to work with Catholics, so Evangelicals are beginning to work with Mormons. Now, it begins in a nice area of combatting Communism, for example. Or, defending the Constitution, standing for Americanism with the Freemen Institute [Now National Center for Constitutional Studies], W. Cleon Skousen or whoever it may be. Or then it moves into, “Well, we’ll fight abortion with them.”
So, we have a compromise, with Mormonism as with Catholicism, unfortunately, and a growing cooperation among Evangelicals with this church.
Now, another similarity, as with Catholicism and other cults, and I’ve already alluded to this: Mormonism contradicts the Bible. I’ll just give you several instances. Christ, for example, said that the gates of hell would not prevail against His church. Joseph Smith claimed they had. He didn’t say it in so many words, but he was told that the church was in total ruin; there wasn’t a real Christian on the face of the earth. Finished! Nothing! And that he was called to restore it. That’s contradictory to the Word of God that says the gates of hell will not prevail. You go to the visitors center at the temple when it’s built here, they’ll pass out a pamphlet and it will say, quote: “In 1830 the Almighty God restored his church to earth again.” So the church was in total ruins; the gates of hell had prevailed; and it had to be started up again. It’s based upon Satan’s lie. That’s incredible.
And I think some of the most incredible statements here, Brigham Young, on the afternoon of June 8, 1873, preaching from the pulpit of the Mormon Tabernacle in Salt Lake City, said, “The devil told the truth. I do not blame mother Eve. I would not have had her miss eating the forbidden fruit for anything in the world.” President Joseph Fielding Smith, a few years later said, “The fall of man came as a blessing in disguise. I never speak of the part Eve took in this fall as a sin nor do I accuse Adam of a sin.” “As by one man sin entered into the world and death by sin, so death passed upon all men.” It’s a blatant contradiction of the clear teaching of the Word of God, the most basic teaching of the Word of God. It was Satan who was a liar from the beginning, John’s Gospel, Chapter 8, Jesus said. “No, he told the truth, the devil told the truth.” So, Mormonism, in fact, prides itself in saying it is based upon the lie of the serpent in the Garden of Eden that he told to Eve, but we say that it is the truth. Isn’t that wonderful? Everybody else thinks it’s a lie. The Bible says it’s a lie. But Joseph Smith has discovered that this is the great truth. What did 2 Thessalonians say? “…A strong delusion that they will believe the lie.” The Mormons are already believing it and, of course, it comes out of Eastern mysticism. The goal of all yoga is self-realization, to become a god and so forth.
“We can hardly look upon anything resulting in such benefits are being a sin.” Leading Mormon authority Milton R. Hunter says, “Mormon prophets have continually taught the sublime truth that God the eternal Father was once a mortal man who passed through a school of earth life similar to that which we are now passing. He became God, an exalted being, through the obedience to the same eternal gospel truths that we are given opportunity today to obey.” And then he goes and he says, “The mystery religions, pagan rivals of Christianity, taught emphatically the doctrine that men may become gods.” He quotes Hermes. Hermes declared, “We must not shrink from saying that a man on earth is a mortal god and the God in heaven is immortal man.” This thought very closely resembles the teachings of Prophet Joseph Smith, President Lorenzo Snow and so forth. Mormonism is, in fact, atheism. It is atheistic humanism. There is no real God in Mormonism. There are trillions of gods in Mormonism. Not real gods. Gods who always were God. The Bible says, “from everlasting to everlasting thou art God.” You can’t become God. If you’re not God you can’t become God. You can’t get out of something what isn’t in it. How are you going to become infinite if you’re finite? You can’t possibly do it. So there is…Mormonism is really a form of atheism, as is Hinduism.
In Hinduism you’ve got about 338 million gods. Mormonism has more gods than that. Now, if you accuse a Mormon of believing in many gods, which they have many gods. There’s not only…when Jesus prayed, “Our Father, who art in heaven,” well, His Father in heaven also has a father. So Jesus had a grandfather in heaven, and a great grandfather and a great great grandfather. Because Joseph Smith said that matter and intelligence are eternal. They had no beginning. So in Mormonism you have no creation; you have no creator; but matter and intelligence always existed. Okay, what are the Mormon gods? They are spirits and entities, intelligences, whatever that means, who became aware of these laws. Oh, there are laws without a law giver? Somehow the laws preexisted…predated the gods and these beings that were interested in becoming gods, they discovered that there were these laws permeating the universe, there were forces permeating the universe, and so the Mormon gods are really white magicians, as you would find in any form of magic from Hermetical occultism, you name it, on down the line. A Mormon god is a white magician. He’s some entity out here who became aware of these powers and forces and through levels of initiation and ascending knowledge he finally mastered the laws and became a god. Incredible. So they don’t have a real god; not one. There are trillions of gods but there’s not one real God who always was God, who is the beginning, the Alpha, the Omega, the beginning and the end; who is not created and who created all things but their gods somehow became gods. And so it’s the goal of every Mormon to become a god and the women to become goddesses. You have a bit of an advantage if you’re a Hindu because in Hinduism a woman can be reincarnated and become a man, you know, and eventually get a little higher. But in Mormonism you can’t do that. So the women in Mormonism, they look forward to eternal pregnancy. And because you’re going to people another planet, another earth, there will be another earth, another Jesus, another Adam, another Eve, another Fall, another redemption.
This has been going on forever because matter and intelligence have no beginning, therefore there is an infinite number of gods and goddesses out there and other worlds, other planets, other universes that were made by them and it’s the goal of every…I mean, what have you got? seven million Mormons? Let’s say that at least three million are men. You’re going to have…I mean, when they evolve…ascend up to this plane, you’ve got three million more earths with three million more Adams and Eves and Jesuses and so forth. This has been going on forever. So the Mormons have more gods than the Hindus. It’s a form of polytheism but it’s a form of atheistic humanism because there is no real God.
It’s very much into the New Age. And I have a picture here, you can’t see it, from a Mormon book shop, Deseret Bookstore, and you will see Cybernetics and Think and Grow Rich and all of the human potential, the New Age stuff, because Mormonism teaches that we have a potential within us to become gods. Let me just give you a quick quote here. This was Spencer W. Kimball, President of the Mormon Church, who, by the way, he was a very close friend of Norman Vincent Peale. Norman Vincent Peale was the keynote speaker at the 85th birthday party of Spencer W. Kimball. Norman Vincent Peale went to Spencer W. Kimball to receive the patriarchal blessing. We don’t have time to talk about that. A heavy occult trip. And Norman Vincent Peale said that when Spencer W. Kimball laid hands upon him for the reception of the Holy Ghost he had never felt the presence and the power of the Holy Spirit as he had on that occasion. That tells you a little bit about Norman Vincent Peale, who, at the 85th birthday party praised Spencer W. Kimball as a true possessor of spiritual power, a prophet of Jesus Christ and so forth.
Why don’t you write to Billy Graham and ask him why he said publicly that he knew of no one who had done more good for the Kingdom of God and the cause of Jesus Christ than Norman and Ruth Peale? A man who on the Phil Donahue Show said it is not necessary to be born again; you’ve got your way to God, I’ve got my way. I found eternal peace in a Shinto shrine and so forth. Anyway, he said, among his closest friends were the presidents of the Mormon Church. And President Spencer W. Kimball, who knows better now–he’s passed from this life into eternity–he said, “In each of us is the potentiality to become a god. Pure, holy, true, influential, powerful, independent of earthly forces, we were in the beginning with God. Man can transform himself. He has in him the seeds of godhood that can grow. He can lift himself by his very bootstraps.” Now, you know, you can’t lift yourself by your bootstraps. And it’s just as ludicrous to think that you have the potential to become a god. You can’t become a god. But that is the lie. That’s the goal of yoga. The whole human potential movement says that we have this infinite potential within us and we have this power of the mind and, well, we’ll talk more about that when we get into the New Age.
A lot of minor contradictions in the Book of Mormon. For example, Alma 46:15 says that the believers are Christians. It uses this term. In 73 B.C. But Acts 11:26 says that the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch and that was, I don’t know, about 50 A.D. So 120 years before they were called Christians you’ve got them called Christians over here in America, supposedly. It’s simply not historically true and I’ve got to really race now. There’s so much you could say about Mormonism. It’s based upon fantasy, lies, fabrications. The Book of Mormon, it’s mythology; they supposedly found some gold plates in 1843. Six bell-shaped, thin brass plates and Joseph Smith began to translate them. This was a few months before his death and he wrote that he was…this was very similar to the plates that he had translated for the Book of Mormon and he was going to come up with a true translation that was going to be nothing less than a sequel to the Book of Mormon and so forth. Well, after his death, I mean, it was a cheap scam. Somebody just manufactured them. So someone has said, “Only a bogus prophet translates bogus writings.” And if he didn’t know, you know, here we’ve put him to the test. We’ve never seen the golden plates but when he takes these brass plates and they’re phony and he says they’re genuine and he’s going to translate them, then it gives you some idea. There are more than 4,000 changes necessitated in the Book of Mormon to correct errors due to Joseph Smith’s changing of beliefs. For example, Christ was used throughout the Book of Mormon by Jews hundreds of years B.C. even. Why didn’t they use the word “Messiah.” Why would they use a Greek word, “Christ,” when these were supposedly Jews speaking Hebrew? The Book of Mormon was plagiarized from books at the time but also from…I mean, the Mormons will try to argue that. You can’t argue the fact that you’ve got King James English, including the italics, in 600 B.C., supposedly 600 B.C., in the Book of Mormon. Just some comparisons. Isaiah 2-14, chapters 2-14, compare with 2 Nephi 12-24. Isaiah 48 and 49 with 1 Zephi 20 and 21 and so forth. All in King James English, 1500 to 2000 years before the King James Bible was published. Somehow the prophet Nephi in 600 B.C. quoted Matthew, Luke, Peter, Paul verbatim. Centuries before they were written he quoted them in King James English, including the italics. Amazing. That book was copied out of the Bible by Joseph Smith as well as from other places. Peculiar doctrines in Mormonism. They don’t come from the Book of Mormon but they’re developed later. Although Joseph Smith said that the Book of Mormon was the most perfect of any book and that it contained the fullness of the everlasting gospel. Nevertheless, the everlasting gospel, the Mormon gospel, isn’t in the Book of Mormon. Most of Mormonism isn’t in the Book of Mormon in spite of the fact that Joseph Smith said it was the most perfect book and it contained the fullness of the everlasting gospel. A god who was once a sinful man, who had to be redeemed by a Jesus who died on another planet. He lives on a planet now near a giant star called Kolob and if you go to Utah you’ll find the Kolob Arches, you know, in Zion National Park and so forth. They really believe this stuff. Extraterrestrials came to this earth. Jesus wasn’t God.
They quoted last night, “Philippians Chapter 2, He existed in the form of God. He thought it not robbery to be equal with God and He humbled Himself and became a man.” No. Mormonism says He lived in the preexistent state. Amazing preexistent state. Well, you’ve got to be a polygamist. I’m sorry I spent too much time on other things but I’m rushing now. You’ve got to be a polygamist to be a god. Jesus not only had a father in heaven but a mother in heaven, and Satan also had a mother and Jesus and Satan were half brothers. Now, Jesus came to this earth not as God but He came to this earth as a spirit being to become a God because Gods have to have bodies and to become Gods you have to have a body, that’s why Mormons must have large families because you’ve got all these spirit beings up there in the preexistent state waiting for bodies to inhabit. Okay? And the strange thing is that when humans have babies they have babies; but when Gods have babies, although the Gods have bodies, the babies don’t have bodies. They just have spirits. So the babies of the Gods have to come to this earth and get born into a human family in order to get bodies so they can begin this long ascent up to godhood. It’s an incredible teaching. How anyone could believe it, it’s hard to believe.
Well, the problem is, oh, I wish I had talked about baptism for the dead. Let’s just end with it. Turn to 1 Corinthians 15:29: “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?” The Mormons say, “We baptize for the dead.” See, the Bible teaches it. No, he’s arguing the resurrection and he moves from “we”/”I” to “they.” What do they do who are baptized? Paul is saying, “Even the heathen baptize for the dead. We don’t.” In the next verse, “Why stand we in jeopardy?” Changes from they to “we.” So it’s a form of paganism, which is exactly what Roman Catholicism is. Paganism under a thin veneer of Christianity. It’s a false gospel. It will not save. It sends people to hell and therefore we need to love our Mormon friends and neighbors and acquaintances. We need to be concerned about them for their souls. They’ve been lied to. They’ve been deceived. And we need to have sympathy and compassion and concern and we need to try to bring the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The problem with Catholicism and all the cults, unless you make it clear what the lie is, you must compare the truth with the lie. You must show them what’s wrong. You can’t just preach the Gospel because they will interpret it according to their understanding. Do you understand what I’m saying? Therefore, you have to know something about it so you can pull the rug out from under them.
It was a great preacher way back years ago who said every sinner is like Adam and Eve hiding behind a tree in the garden from the voice of God. What we have to do is, chop that tree down, knock it down and expose them before God. And the only way you can really reach a Mormon or a Catholic or any other cult member, you’ve got to chop down that tree, that false gospel that they’re trusting in. Not brutally. Not just come right out and try to smash it down. A good way is to ask questions and inquire: How do you think you’re going to reach this goal? And so forth, and bring the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to them.