Would I leave the Mormon church if you could show me proof it isn’t true?

A brief discussion between my friend and I, taken from a longer discussion of various anti-Mormon ideas.

Q: One time I asked a Mormon Elder if something came up that definitely, without a doubt, showed that the BOM and/or the LDS Church was wrong, would he still remain an LDS member. His answer was YES, he would remain LDS even if it was unequivically disproved.

That is one step away from DRINK THE COOLAID status.

A: I heartily disagree with that elder. If someone could show me unequivocal evidence that the church was false I’d leave in a heartbeat. It’s way too much work to be a Mormon if it isn’t true. But of course as you’re finding out it’s hard to show me evidence that is “uniquivocal” :)

Q: Over 3000 changes without footnote. I’d be gone in a flash!

A: Would you if God had already told you the book was true?

Q: Thats just the point. God doesn’t make 3000 changes without footnote.

A: You got a biblical reference for that? :)

Q: its just common sense. you got a biblical reference for Jesus and Satan being brothers?

A: Nope, but for us the Bible isn’t the end of God’s words to man. We see the Bible as being God’s word to a select group of men in a small part of the world. But we believe God has spoken to a lot of other people. The BofM is just one other book, but for all we know there may be hundreds of others like it. Maybe there were prophets in China 2,500 years ago and someday we’ll find what God said to them and it will confirm what’s in the Bible and help us understand it better. Maybe there were prophets in Russia, Africa, India, or Greenland thousands of years ago and they’ve all written books similar to the Bible. We don’t see the Bible as containing everything God ever spoke to man, just a small part of it, although obviously it’s of tremendous importance due to the firsthand accounts of the Savior’s life. But we believe God has said more than what’s in the Bible and that he will continue to say more through his living prophets to give us further knowledge about his plan for us.

Q: I will add this. If I found out that the Bible had over 3000 changes to it without footnote, I would punt my Christian faith like it was 4th down and 20.

Comments

  1. My question is this—

    Why, if the Book of Mormon is so important, was it NOT written until the early 1800's?

    I just don't get that one. I had a couple of mormon elders into my home last summer and they really couldn't tell me what the Book of Mormon is all about, and why its so important. They seemed very lost and confused. (maybe because i wasnt a jerk to them, and didnt slam the door in their faces??)

    Also a couple of years ago a couple of mormons lived in the same building as me and my husband, and we would talk to them about God, and Jesus, yet they still wanted to watch a LDS video with us…? Why? Isn't JESUS the point? Isn't HE the point?……. Why is Joseph Smith relevant?

    No Mormon has ever been able to give me a straight answer on that one. And I've had a lot of them in my life.

    • Those are both great questions.

      1. The short answer is "It was God's will" but that only leads to the question "Why was it God's will?" This is where we enter the realm of speculation, but I enjoy speculating so here's my answer–it all has to do with free will. God never forces anyone to do anything. He may reward them if he does what he wants them to, and he may punish them if they don't, and he may lead them along a certain path, but he won't make their choices for them nor take away from them prematurely the ability to make their choices and reap the consequences thereof.

      If Joseph Smith had been born in Vladivostok, Russia in 1259 AD and had gone about telling everyone that he went in the forest to pray and God and Jesus Christ appeared to him, how long would he have lived? Probably not until sundown. He likely would have been killed on the spot for blasphemy. The same goes for just about any other location in the world. In fact, I just read a book on the Mayflower and pilgrims and if Joseph Smith had told his story to the pilgrims I have no doubt they would have killed him within 24 hours. They killed other people for much less.

      Even if these people hadn't killed Joseph, the gospel most likely wouldn't have taken hold. The culture wasn't right for it to flourish. It took the founding of the Unites States and the establishment of the US Constitution, with its protections for religious belief, to create a society in which someone could do what Joseph did and have a chance at it taking hold before he was killed. I think it's interesting that Joseph Smith was born just on the heels of the formation of this country. I also think it's interesting that no other country in the history of the world had ever been formed with a written constitution like ours, although today hundreds of nations have written constitutions, many of them based in large part on the US Constitution. I think God was excited to get Joseph down here on earth and re-establish his church, and that he was working as quickly as he could to bring it about, but that the constraint of not violating the freedom of his children meant that it took quite a while to orchestrate things.

      You can have a lot of fun researching this theory and the surrounding facts and events. Now on to the second question…

      2. Joseph Smith is no more relevant today than Moses was in his day. Just as the will of God was revealed to the Israelites through Moses, God's will was revealed to us through Joseph Smith and continues to be revealed to God's church through a living prophet today. Christ is the point of it all today, as it was in Moses' day (although any straightforward mention of Christ was stripped from the Old Testament), but there's a lot of confusion about Christ. People "follow" Christ in all sorts of different and contradictory ways. The Bible clearly isn't sufficient to get people to agree with one another or there wouldn't be more than one church.

      But there was just one church in Christ's day. Christ was the head of it, and after his death and resurrection he put Peter in charge of it, with James and John as his counselors and with the 12 apostles. The church was guided by revelation, or communication between God and his church leaders. The church grew for a while, but as it grew it became the target of persecution, and the apostles were imprisoned and killed off. Eventually the church was rejected and destroyed. Christian teachings were still believed by many, but the church itself, along with the authority to administer ordinances like baptism were gone. Around 300 AD, the Roman emperor Constantine had a problem. He was trying to keep his kingdom together, which was formed of different countries and people with different languages, religions, customs, cultures, etc. He decided to make Christianity the state religion and force everyone to join as a mean of managing all these people and giving them a common bond. The trouble is, by this time many of the doctrines of Christianity had been lost, and so this new religion was based on "Christianity" only inasmuch as people could remember it.

      Constantine convened the Council of Nicea in 325 AD, wherein his religious officials essentially voted on what type of being God was, whether Jesus and God were the same person, and various other doctrines. It was almost decided that God and Jesus were separate beings, but in the end the vote went the other way. Of course, this seems all bit ridiculous. After all, God and Christ either are the same being or they aren't, and just because a group of people vote on it being one way or the other doesn't make it so. But if you understand that the point of the Council of Nicea wasn't to find out the truth, it was to unite disparate peoples, then it doesn't really matter what the truth was. The point of it all was to get rid of differences of opinion so that everyone could be united. Unity was the goal, not truth.

      Out of the Council of Nicea we got the Nicene Creed, and virtually every Christian religion today, whether Catholic or Protestant, can trace its roots and teachings back to that Council of Nicea. The LDS Church is different. We believe that Adam and Eve were taught Christianity, that every Old Testament prophet from Abraham to Moses to Jeremiah was well aware of Christ's mission. We believe those ancient prophets had the authority to baptize and perform other ordinances. We believe Christ and his apostles had that authority and taught the same doctrines that were known since Adam and Eve. The LDS Church is not a new church, it's the original church. It's the same religion Adam and Eve practiced. It's the same religion Moses practiced. It's the same church that Christ led, and the apostles after him. It is the only church that teaches about Christ accurately, and with authority. All other churches, although they do many good things and their members may have the best of intentions, are living with only part of the truth, and without authority to perform the saving ordinances God has said we need in order to be purified so that we can return to live with him after we die.

      To know that Jesus is the point is great, it narrows things down to Christianity, but where do you go from there? Which church is the right church to join? That's why Joseph Smith is relevant. Either he saw God and Christ and they spoke to him, or he didn't. Either the Book of Mormon is true, or it isn't. But if Joseph Smith was a true prophet, and if the Book of Mormon is true, then the LDS Church is the true church, and then you know which church to join. And God has given us a scientific method for finding out the truth for ourselves. We just have to study and then ask. Read the Book of Mormon, and then pray and ask God if it's true. If you pray sincerely, you'll get your answer. By the way, asking "sincerely" means you intend to act upon the answer. God's not going to give you an answer just to satisfy your curiosity. He's only going to give you an answer if your intent is to join the LDS Church and be an active member. If you're praying but not willing to take those steps if you receive a positive answer than there's no reason for you to get an answer.

      Hope this helps, let me know if you have any other questions.

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