Follow Christ’s example to know if the Book of Mormon is true!

As a Mormon I never understood why so many “anti-Mormons” tried to prove the Book of Mormon was false. Now, as a Christian, I still don’t understand the majority of arguments used as evidence against it. When asking the question “Is the Book of Mormon true?” one needs to clarify “in what way?” Is it a “true” historical account of peoples who lived in the Americas, or, are the beliefs expressed in it “true” to God’s Word? It is apparent that some apologetics are merely trying to prove that the Book of Mormon is a false historical account. They claim the Book of Mormon can’t be true because horses, steel or silk weren’t supposed to have yet arrived in the Americas during the time the Book of Mormon peoples lived. Or they claim that DNA testing of Native Americans is proof that the Book of Mormon is false. But, even if one could prove the Book of Mormon is a true historical account, this proof does not make the beliefs expressed in it God’s Word.

In the Bible God promised that there would be false Christ’s, false prophets and apostles, and false spirits. We have been warned about such deceivers many times by the Prophets of the Old Testament as well as by Jesus and His Apostles. Thankfully, God told us how to determine if a prophet, spirit, or in this case, a book, is truly from God. We are told to “test” their fruits. The “fruit” of anyone, or, any book for that matter, claiming to speak for God is their words. The “test” is to compare their words with already revealed scripture. Do they agree with it? Even if an angel appears to us and preaches another gospel than the one taught by Christ’s Apostles, we are not to believe him (Galatians 1:6-9). We are to use revealed scripture to test any new words.

Jesus is a shining example of using scripture to test if words are false. He quoted from the Old Testament many times. Here are just a few examples: In the dessert Satan tried to tempt Him by twisting scripture. Jesus used scripture to test Satan’s words by saying “It is written…”. He used the same words with the false money changers who bought and sold in the Temple. When the Pharisees accused His disciples of breaking the Sabbath, Jesus said “Have ye not read…” to prove them wrong. He also used these words with them when they tested Him about divorce. When the Sadducees asked him a doctrinal question about marriage in Heaven, Jesus said “Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures…

There is another shining example of using scripture to test a person’s words in the book of Acts. Luke tells us that the Bereans used scripture to test if Paul and Silas’ words were true. He claims that they “were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.” (Acts 17:11) I am sure that during the time following Christ’s death many Israelites would have “tested” the words of the Apostles to see if they were true. Today, every Christian should use this “test” on anyone claiming to speak God’s Word.

Using God’s method for testing the Book of Mormon, we find that it fails the test! One simple example can be found by going to 2 Nephi 25:23b, which reads: “for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do.” Compare this Book of Mormon verse with the Bible verse found in Ephesians 2:8-9: “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.

Both books claim that a person is saved by grace. But, the Book of Mormon claims a person is saved by grace, plus works. The Third Article of Faith summarizes this LDS doctrine: “We believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel.

Comparing this Book of Mormon verse with already revealed scripture, we find that it fails the test! God’s truth claims that a person is saved by grace, through faith, and not works. Scripture also explains that you can’t add your “works” to God’s “grace”. Romans 11:6: “And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.

I plead with you to follow Jesus’ example! Test the Book of Mormon with God’s already revealed scripture—the Bible. When you do you will find that the Book of Mormon fails the test! Using God’s method of testing proves it is not from Heavenly Father!

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15 Comments

  1. fern12 said,

    January 21, 2009 at 6:34 pm

    Funny how you left out some very important Biblical scripture about Faith and Works. How about reading James chapter 2? Read especially from verse 9 to the end.

    Verse 26 reads: “For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.” So, yes “by grace are ye saved through faith…” but you must have works to have true faith, as pointed out in James 2. Therefore, your argument falls apart. The Book of Mormon does not fail the test like you do.

    Maybe reading the scriptures daily will help.

  2. latterdaysaintwoman said,

    January 21, 2009 at 7:46 pm

    I agree completely that faith without works is dead. Please read my post from December 20th titled “The Three Witnesses: Faith Without Works is Dead”.

    However, your words: “you must have works to have true faith, as pointed out in James 2” are wrong.

    This is not what James points out! You actually have it backwards! You must have faith to have works. Works do not produce faith, faith produces works! James tells us that a person’s works are merely evidence that they have true faith.

  3. fern12 said,

    January 22, 2009 at 10:10 am

    I did not say that works produce faith. Of course, they do not. Yes, James says that a person’s works are evidence that they have true faith, but he doesn’t say “merely.” The whole message is that faith is defined by works.

    There is nothing in the Book of Mormon or in LDS doctrine that even suggests that anyone could ever be “saved” by works alone.

    The twist that seems to come across with the “faith alone” doctrine, is that you are in serious trouble if you attempt to keep any of the commandments as found in the Bible. To me, that concept is a serious misunderstanding of the scriptures.

    The problem many of the Jews had, was that they thought you could be saved by works alone.

  4. royaltonmd said,

    January 22, 2009 at 6:29 pm

    God will force no one to accept the gospel- He will force no man to heaven. You can frame your “test” however you choose. It doesn’t change whether the book is true. You may choose to worship the Bible and Paul and reject Christ and revelation- that is your choice.

    You reject Christ’s modern prophets and revelation for the same reason the Jews of Israel rejected Christ. It is oh so much easier to believe in a dead prohet than a living prophet.

    Your seem to twist the whole “by their fruits shall ye know them” idea.

    Here are some fruits of Joseph Smiths life and work:

    1. Book of Mormon- has convinced millions that Jesus Christ is their personal Savior. No other book mentions Christ or His atonement more frequently. Millions of people have read the book and claim personal revelation that it is true and has changed their lives for trememdous good. Over 100 million copies have been distributed throughout the world.

    2. Upwards of 60,000 full-time missionaries around the world from the church testifying of Christ and His gospel. They dedicate a portion of their time each week to perform public service without badges or recognition. One million individuals from the church have dedicated 1-3 years of their lives in such full-time service. AND they pay for this themselves!

    3. The church has given hundreds of millions of dollars to feed the non-LDS poor, vaccinate children, rebuild communities, and rescue efforts after natural disasters.

    4. Welfare program- this has been recognized as a shining example by private and government organizations for decades. The church has an extremely efficient and effective program for taking care of its own people and promoting industry and thrift. This includes its employment program.

    5. Established a church that has steadily grown to over 13 million members in over 150 countries.

    6. One of the biggest fruits is the individual lives of those who live the gospel that was restored through Joseph. Of course there are plenty of examples of members who have done bad things, but all in all, if you look at those people who are active in the church you wlil find the great strength of the church. The gospel motivates these folks to live lives of service, selflessness, and honesty. Whether it is helping home-teaching families, teaching children, working in the church canneries, or helping with an eagle scout project, the church instills the principle of selfless giving and loving other people.

    7. Active members pay 10% tithing. The church is on great financial ground and has never had a financial scandel. Each new property, temple, chapel, is paid for before construction begins. Name one other organization for which this is true.

    8. The church has been the clear leader in geneology work. It has dedicated significant funds and time to developing over decades an impressive system of collecting family history information and making all this accessible to any interested persons.

    9. Studies have shown that active LDS live 11 years longer than the average U.S. citizen.

    10. Active members observe a comparitively strict law of nutrition and health- word of wisdom. Yes- there are fat mormons, but active members do not drink alcohol, smoke, etc.

    Could go on, but you get the idea. I know you can pick one of these and show that other groups have also resulted in such a fruit. But adding them all up, I think, is an impressive achievement and “fruit” for anybody. These are undebatable, but you would never know any of this listening to critics of the church.

  5. royaltonmd said,

    January 24, 2009 at 10:31 am

    fern12 and latterdaysaint woman,

    Actually, faith both inspires works and results from them. Yes, our faith is increased as we obey God! That is the way we “exercise” faith. What other way is there to grow a person’s faith? There isn’t.

    LDS woman- I find your statement that someone’s fruit is their words to be frankly wrong. A person can talk all the righteousness they want, but if they do not DO the works of righteousness, it is spitten’ in the wind. Christ pointed this out several times. In other words, talk is cheap.

    The Book of Mormon is true, but the only way a person can know that is by following the method that God outlined for coming to that truth. All the intellect in the world will not suffice. Setting up an algorithm based on interpretation of the Bible simply will not do either. That reduces the whole process to something like bickering among lawyers.

    “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” 1 Corinthians 2:14

    Every page of the Book of Mormon testifies of Christ and encourages, even pleads with man to love God and follow Him. It contains eternal truth everywhere you look. But again, the person who opens it only to find fault or condemn it will never see any of that.

    royalton

  6. latterdaysaintwoman said,

    January 27, 2009 at 6:35 pm

    You wrote: “LDS woman- I find your statement that someone’s fruit is their words to be frankly wrong. A person can talk all the righteousness they want, but if they do not DO the works of righteousness, it is spitten’ in the wind. Christ pointed this out several times. In other words, talk is cheap.

    I’m sorry, you misunderstand what I wrote. Words are specifically the fruit of a Prophet, not a Christian in general. A Prophet’s calling from God is to speak God’s Words to mankind. His specific role is to tell mankind the things that God has told him to speak. This is what specifically distinguishes a Prophet from other people. Because of that, a Prophets fruits are his words.

    As far as a Christian in general, I agree with you one hundred percent. Christians will show their faith by their works (as well as by their words). If they don’t do anything for God, they are just “spitten in the wind“. Faith without works is dead.

  7. royaltonmd said,

    January 28, 2009 at 7:33 pm

    LDS woman,

    I disagree again. The “fruit” is what is seen when one does what the prophet says. Like Christ said “If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself. The word is the seed, not the fruit!

    But even judging by your criteria of fruit- Look at the fruit of the Book of Mormon- millions converted to Christ and dedicating their lives to Him. What is the message on every single page of the Book of Mormon- accept Christ and follow Him.

    Thanks,

    royalton

  8. latterdaysaintwoman said,

    January 28, 2009 at 8:55 pm

    You wrote: “The “fruit” is what is seen when one does what the prophet says. Like Christ said “If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.

    As always, I like to read God’s Word in context. If you read the entire thought, we see that the Jews were questioning how Jesus knew doctrine, since he had not been formally taught. Jesus explained that His doctrine wasn’t His own, it had actually come from God who had sent him.

    Here are the passages in context: “15 And the Jews marvelled, saying, How knoweth this man letters, having never learned? Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me. 17 If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself. 18 He that speaketh of himself seeketh his own glory: but he that seeketh his glory that sent him, the same is true, and no unrighteousness is in him.

    The “fruit” of Jesus’ Words, whether they were His or God’s, could be found in how a person reacted to them. Someone sincerely set on doing what God wishes, will embrace Jesus’ teachings and believe His words.

    This is similar to the “fruit” of a Prophet. Anyone who knows God’s will can test the prophets words (his fruit) and determine if they agree with the doctrines of God.

  9. latterdaysaintwoman said,

    February 10, 2009 at 1:32 pm

    fern12:
    You wrote: “The twist that seems to come across with the “faith alone” doctrine, is that you are in serious trouble if you attempt to keep any of the commandments as found in the Bible. To me, that concept is a serious misunderstanding of the scriptures.”

    Why does a Mormon have to keep the commandments? The reason Mormons are in serious trouble for attempting to keep the commandments is because they believe their eternal destination hangs in the balance of how well their attempts are.

    I attempt to keep God’s commands every minute of every day but I am not in trouble. The reason is because my works are all done out of thankfulness to my Jesus. I don’t have to do works to be saved because I have already been saved. I get to freely serve my Lord and Savior because I love Him so much!

    Mormons are in serious trouble because they believe they are saved by their obedience to God’s commands. Because they believe their eternal destination hangs in the balance of how well they keep God’s commands, what they believe is actually true! And, Jesus told us we have to be as perfect as our Heavenly Father. This is why Jesus had to come to save us–we could not meet the requirements. A Mormon’s attempt to keep the commandments actually angers God because it shows Him that this person rejects what His Son already did for them.

    On Judgment Day, anyone who points to their own works as a reason why they should be allowed eternal life will be rejected: “Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity” (Matthew 7: 22-23).

  10. fern12 said,

    February 12, 2009 at 4:44 pm

    I am sorry, if you believed “[you] are saved by [your] obedience to God’s commands” when you were a Mormon. I don’t think most of us think that, though. When I think of being “saved by grace, after all we can do,” I think of it as not being saved at all, without the grace and mercy of our Lord, Jesus Christ, who atoned for our sins.

    We believe the scripture you quoted [Matthew 7:21-23.] There are other scriptures I think go right along with it:

    “Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men: Therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a marvelous work among this people, even a marvelous work and a wonder: for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid.” [Isaiah 29:13-14.]

    “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.” [2 Timothy 3:1-5.]

    “15 If ye love me, keep my commandments. 21 He that hath my commandments and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.” [St. John 14:15, 21.]

    “5 Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him? 10 For whomsoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.” [James 2:5,10.]

    So, clearly, Matthew 7:21-23 refers to those who pretend to have faith, pretending to have done works in the Lord’s name (but without His power.) Obviously, the Lord does not accept the things that men teach without His authority, even when they do “many wonderful works,” and that is, also, no substitute for failing to keep “the whole law.” But we are to show true faith and real love for our Savior by keeping His commandments.

  11. latterdaysaintwoman said,

    February 12, 2009 at 6:16 pm

    Fern, You wrote: “I am sorry, if you believed “[you] are saved by [your] obedience to God’s commands” when you were a Mormon. I don’t think most of us think that, though.

    You don’t believe in your own Prophet Joseph Smith’s words? You don’t believe in the basic LDS beliefs found in the Articles of Faith which are Mormon scripture? The third Article of Faith claims “We believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel.

  12. fern12 said,

    February 12, 2009 at 7:42 pm

    I believe in all scripture which includes the Third Article of Faith. You chose, for some reason, to emphasize the last half while seemingly ignoring the first half. The scriptures, including the Bible, clearly teach that obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel are important alongside the Atonement of Christ. Without the Atonement, no one could ever be saved. We all depend mightily on Jesus and his “grace,” but you can’t just ignore the fact that Jesus wants us to keep his commandments. Why is that so hard to understand? It is true that works alone will never save anyone, but since when does the Mormon Church teach that? Clearly it does not.

  13. latterdaysaintwoman said,

    February 14, 2009 at 12:49 pm

    Fern,
    I have never stated that the LDS think they are saved by works alone. However, it is your works-your obedience, which will determine where you will spend eternity. Mormon Prophets claim that your obedience to God’s commands is required to gain eternal life. LDS doctrine states that your faith in Christ’s atonement and your own righteousness gains you eternal life:

    Gospel Principles, the basic teaching manual for converts of the Church, tells exactly what is required to gain eternal life, pages 302-305:
    Exaltation is eternal life, the kind of life God lives. He lives in great glory. He is perfect. He possesses all knowledge and all wisdom. He is the Father of spirit children. He is a creator. We can become like our Heavenly Father. This is exaltation. If we prove faithful to the Lord, we will live in the highest degree of the celestial kingdom of heaven…

    Requirements for exaltation: The time to fulfill the requirements for exaltation is now (see Alma 34:32–34). President Joseph Fielding Smith said, “In order to obtain the exaltation we must accept the gospel and all its covenants; and take upon us the obligations which the Lord has offered; and walk in the light and understanding of the truth; and ‘live by every word that proceedeth forth from the mouth of God’ ” (Doctrines of Salvation, 2:43). To be exalted, we first must place our faith in Jesus Christ and then endure in that faith to the end of our lives. Our faith in him must be such that we repent of our sins and obey his commandments. He commands us all to receive certain ordinances:
    1. We must be baptized and confirmed a member of the Church of Jesus Christ.
    2. We must receive the laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost.
    3. We must receive the temple endowment.
    4. We must be married for time and eternity.
    In addition to receiving the required ordinances, the Lord commands all of us to—
    1. Love and worship God.
    2. Love our neighbor.
    3. Repent of our wrongdoings.
    4. Live the law of chastity.
    5. Pay honest tithes and offerings.
    6. Be honest in our dealings with others and with the Lord.
    7. Speak the truth always.
    8. Obey the Word of Wisdom.
    9. Search out our kindred dead and perform the saving ordinances of the gospel for them.
    10. Keep the Sabbath day holy.
    11. Attend our Church meetings as regularly as possible so we can renew our baptismal covenants by partaking of the sacrament.
    12. Love our family members and strengthen them in the ways of the Lord.
    13. Have family and individual prayers every day.
    14. Honor our parents.
    15. Teach the gospel to others by word and example.
    16. Study the scriptures.
    17. Listen to and obey the inspired words of the prophets of the Lord.

    Finally, each of us needs to receive the Holy Ghost and learn to follow his direction in our individual lives.
    Discussion
    • Why are faith in and obedience to Jesus Christ necessary to become exalted?
    • What ordinances must we accept in order to become exalted?
    What laws does the Lord give us that we must obey to become exalted?
    • Why must we learn to follow the direction of the Holy Ghost to become exalted?
    After We Have Endured to the End: What happens when we have endured to the end in faithful discipleship to Christ? The Lord has said, “If you keep my commandments and endure to the end you shall have eternal life, which gift is the greatest of all the gifts of God” (D&C 14:7). President Joseph Fielding Smith said, “If we will continue in God; that is, keep his commandments, worship him and live his truth; then the time will come when we shall be bathed in the fulness of truth, which shall grow brighter and brighter until the perfect day” (Doctrines of Salvation, 2:36).

    Link:

  14. fern12 said,

    February 14, 2009 at 1:35 pm

    The whole point is that the Bible says you cannot be saved by Works alone, but clearly demonstrates that Faith alone doesn’t work either. However you twist Biblical passages to say otherwise, it doesn’t come across to me as being at all an accurate understanding of the Bible.

    What we believe concerning personal righteousness and salvation is perfectly consistent with what is taught in the Bible. So the purpose of your original post falls flat in attempting to show that the Book of Mormon teaching is somehow different from what is in the Bible.

  15. ladonnamorrell said,

    February 15, 2009 at 8:08 am

    LDSW,

    you make obedience sound like a bad thing! i don’t know how you think you can get around the fact that is repeated over and over and over again through out the Old and New Testament…..we must obey God!
    It is a Plan of Salvation! it is a Plan of Happiness! God knows that obedience makes us happy. It brings us closer to Him and His Spirit. Why do you fight it? You need to take a good hard look at the “Second Chance Theory” in Mormon Doctrine. NOW is the time to prepare to meet God and honey, you are blowing it!


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