You’re at home. You hear a rap upon the door. You look out and two young men in white shirts are standing there. You open the door, and find that they are from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. They are Mormons. You do not feel prepared for this. You feel that you could competently hold your own with most denominational groups, groups that at least claim to follow the same book. But, these people are different. They have other books , unfamiliar books. What do you do?
This study is not intended to be a thorough examination of their doctrine. But, I do want to give you a couple of pointers that’ll perhaps help.
First, a curious statement is found in the introduction to the Book of Mormon that ought to be brought to their attention, and pressed in any study. The introduction reads, in the opening paragraph – “It is a record of God’s dealing with the ancient inhabitants of the Americas and contains, as does the Bible, the fullness of the everlasting gospel” (emphasis mine). Watch the fact, that it does not say that the Bible + the Book of Mormon = the fullness of the gospel. Grammatically, this says that just as the Bible contains the term “fullness of the everlasting gospel,” so also, does the Book of Mormon. Now, the term “fullness” means to be filled full. If the Bible is filled full of God’s gospels, why do we need the Book of Mormon?
Do not misunderstand my point. The Book of Mormon and the Bible conflict with one another on numerous points. I am not suggesting that they teach exactly the same message. But, what I am saying is that by citing this introduction perhaps you should be able persuade them to study with you out of the Bible, and avoid their “scriptures” altogether.
Second, there are failed prophesies made Joseph Smith Jr. that should be pointed out, and pressed very firmly. For instance, consider Smith’s prophecy made on December 25, 1832. He believed that war would eventually come between the states. Things were heating up. Many foresaw this. However, Smith carried it a bit farther. He prophesied that not only would war come, but also this war would turn into a world war involving all nations (something which never happened), moreover, he prophesied that this war would cause the end of all nations (something which never happened). These things are recorded in their scriptures Doctrine & Covenants 87:1-6. Other examples such as this could be provided. But, let us remember what Deuteronomy 18:22 says, “When a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the thing does not happen or come to pass, that is the thing which the Lord has not spoken; but the prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him,” and verse 20 reads of such a one: “… that prophet shall die.” One of their own even said, “If Joseph Smith was a deceiver, then let him be exposed.” (Doctrines of Salvation, Joseph Fielding Smith, 1954, 1:188). Well said!
Third, let’s consider how incredible some of their writings are. Read the words of Ether 15:31 – “And it came to pass that after he had smitten off the head of Shiz, that Shiz raised up on his hands and fell; and after that he struggled for breath, he died” (emphasis mine). Please note, this not only mention that he raised up on his hands, but that after this he struggled for breath and then died. A body struggling for breath with no head! Or, was it the head struggling for breath without a body?
Fourth, they placed a good deal of emphasis upon being baptized for those who are already dead. Now, this is not taught in their scriptures. They get this doctrine by misinterpreting 1 Corinthians 15:29. The purpose of this article is not to deal with 1 Corinthians 15:29. We’ll save that for another time. But, the next time they want to discuss this with you, kindly point out that their understanding of this Bible passage contradicts their own “scripture.” Alma 34:35 reads, “For behold, if ye have procrastinated the day of your repentance even until death, behold, ye have become subjected to the spirit of the devil, and he doth seal you his; therefore, the spirit of the Lord hath withdrawn from you, and the devil hath power over you; and this is the final state of the wicked.” (emphasis mine). There is no second chance mentioned.
When the appear at your door. Don’t be intimidated. Don’t say, “I’m not interested.” Invite them into your home. You just might be able to plant seeds of doubt, or maybe even convert them. If nothing else, at least slowed their door to door campaign in your city.you keep them from going to many other people’s home.