Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Mormons and Straight Answers


Today many Mormons in the public eye answer theological questions using phrases that sound evangelical. Such as referring to Jesus using phrases like "personal Saviour" as Mormon presidential candidate Mitt Romney did in a recent press conference. This has caused at least one uninformed mega-church leader, Joel Osteen, to say he accepts Mormons as Christians. The scariest part about Osteen is the massive influence he has. Language used like this just seems to be a way of hiding one's true beliefs whether intentional or not.

When researching the faith of Mormons some common objections are their belief about who God is. Some of the most common questions are about who God (Father, Son & Holy Spirit) is and about Jesus and Lucifer being spirit brothers. IMO, we don't often get straight answers as seen with Romney and some of his defenders.

I came across a reply to Christian apologist Dr. Rob Bowman by a Mormon. BTW, Dr. Bowman has some great recent articles on Mormonism at the Reclaiming the Mind blog.

I found some straight answers from an LDS blog which I quote below.
We reject the Nicaean Creed and the non-biblical concept of the Trinity (non-biblical word) as a 4th-century fabrication. We do believe in the Bible's teaching of the God Head which is comprised of God the Father and The Son Jesus Christ; both with tangible, perfect, glorified, bodies of flesh and bone (no blood), parts, and righteous passions. The Holy Ghost is a personage of spirit whose image is in the likeness of a man which is in the express image and likeness of God. These 3 beings are 1 in purpose, but we only pray to and worship God the Father in the name of Jesus Christ. We do not pray to or worship Jesus and we do not pray to or worship the Holy Ghost. We interpret the "God is spirit" verse figuratively because the Bible speaks of God's corporeal nature in nearly every other instance.

We do not believe that God the Father and Satan are brothers. We believe that Jehovah (Jesus Christ, the Son of God) and Lucifer were spirit brothers. Lucifer (son of the morning) is our spirit brother who fell from heaven for rebellion at the grand heavenly council, where we were present and "shouted for joy" and overcame Satan by our love, faith, and testimony for Christ.

I really appreciate this type of straight forwardness. I understand it's not easy to be this bold. I do wish we all would be more bold, Mormons, Christians and religions in general. This would make interfaith apologetic dialogue much more fruitful.

Now if we could just get our politicians to follow suit.



FM483 said...

Here is an excellent book debunking the myth of Mormonism:

Who Really Wrote the Book of Mormon?
by Cowdrey, Wayne L.; Davis, Howard A.; Vanick, Arthur

Was The Book of Mormon given to Joseph Smith by an angel or
created from a work of fiction?

Who was Solomon Spalding and did he have a connection with Joseph Smith?

This book critically examines key historical documents, personal testimonies, and records of 19th-century Mormon history concluding that The Book of Mormon is an "adaptation of an obscure historical novel" written by Revolutionary War veteran Solomon Spalding during the War of 1812.

In twelve chapters, the authors lay out the evidence for the assertion that Sidney Rigdon, Oliver Cowdery, and Joseph Smith Jr. adapted and embellished the Spalding manuscript to create The Book of Mormon. Although based on public records and solid research, the book reads like "investigative history," demonstrating that Mormon claims to the "supernatural" revelation and transcription of The Book of Mormon are fraudulent.

Jason said...

...we only pray to and worship God the Father in the name of Jesus Christ. We do not pray to or worship Jesus and we do not pray to or worship the Holy Ghost.

Wow, that's a new one on me. I knew about the "three beings/one purpose" and "two beings of flesh and bone/one personage of spirit" thing, but I didn't realize that they didn't worship Christ or the Spirit.

You can learn something everyday, I guess.

Starting To Learn said...

Excellent book?

Evidently these authors haven't taken time to research very much of the Spaulding Theory.

The charge that the Book of Mormon was somehow related to a book by Solomon Spaulding was first made in 1834 by a man named Philastus Hurlburt, who had been excommunicated from the Mormon Church a year before for immoral conduct.

The Spaulding theory has been refuted numerous times since it was proposed including being rejected by the main anti-Mormon groups.

This book appears to be an attempt to make new money off of an old, discredited theory.

Also, a quick search of Mormon writings indicates that the term "Personal Savior" started showing up in the early 1920's and has been used continuously since then.

FM483 said...

To Starting To Learn and any other interested reader:

The reader can listen to an interview with the authors of the book "Who Really Wrote The Book Of Mormon" on KFU archives for Sept 4 2005(

The back page of this 558 page book reads as follows:

"Explore letters, personal testimonies, and historical documents to discover who really wrote the Book Of Mormon.

Wayne L Cowdery, E A. Davis, and Arthur Vanick have conducted extensive research into the origin of the Book Of Mormon. As members of Spaulding Research Associates, they have investigated documents in historical societies, libraries, and consulted with personal historians.

I would advise you to at least review the book before rendering judgment on it. I would encourage all those interested in debunking the myth of Mormonism to read it.

Rhology said...

This is a fine vid on the Book of Abraham.

Funny - I'll be talking over polytheism in B of A 3 vs Isaiah 43 with some LDS missionaries this Saturday. Should be fun.

David Waltz said...

Here are a few resources to assist those with interest in a bit more substantive articulation of LDS doctrine/s:





FYI, I am currently engaged in a multi-installment series concerning Mormonism and Margaret Barker on my blog: BLOG

The Beachbum

David Waltz said...

>>Wayne L Cowdery, E A. Davis, and Arthur Vanick have conducted extensive research into the origin of the Book Of Mormon. As members of Spaulding Research Associates, they have investigated documents in historical societies, libraries, and consulted with personal historians.>>

Hmmmm…I have read the book, and IMHO it is little more than a rehash of this previous work:


And BTW, Dan Vogel (a very vocal and published anti-Mormon critic) tears apart the “Spaulding Theory” at length in this thread:


Risking the charge of being a bit pithy: “next time, do a little research.” [grin]

The Beachbum

David Waltz said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Arthur Vanick said...

To all at this forum,
Evidently "starting to learn" hasn't, and David Waltz is still waltzing - around the truth about the Spalding authorship claims, that is. Dan Vogel hasn't come close to debunking Spalding, nor has the LDS leadership, inspite of all of the claims otherwise. Not only that, Mr. Waltz can't even give Mr. Davis' correct name for some reason. It is H. A., not E. A. Davis., and I doubt seriously that you read the 1977 book. Anyone who goes to the url you cite can see that only a few pages are offered. Is that what qualifies as your "reading" of the 1977 book? Anyone with moderate intelligence can see that the two books are quite different. As for Vogel, isn't he a member of the flat earth society? It would appear so from his "logic".

Mr. Waltz, I would invite you to cite specifically what evidence has been debunked in the 2005 book by Cowdrey, Davis, and Vanick.

Matthew Roper of BYU/FARMS tried to debunk the 2005 book and failed miserably, and Dan Vogel hasn't even done as good a job as Roper.

Arthur Vanick, co-author,
"Who Really Wrote the Book of Mormon? - The Spalding Enigma".

jwl said...

To all at this forum,

Vanick still holds firm to the fraudulent, deceitful nature of his co-author, Cowdery, who claimed erroneously to be a descendant of one of Joseph Smith's scribes and boastfully claimed to be a "former" Mormon. He was the fraud and he was the one claiming goofy things happening in seances with things being thrown around the room. No, Mr. Vanek, it has been debunked and your co-authors falacy of claim along with it. Ironically, your citing someone only reading a few pages of your diatribe is the self-same thing you and your co-authors are guilty of. You know nothing of Joseph Smith and you know nothing of the Book of Mormon. I highly doubt you have read any of its chapters in their entirety. Shame on you. Promote faith a bit. Even Christ when he threw out the money changers from the temple didn't tarry there the rest of his life writing books as to why they were frauds and continue trying to show where faith and truth wasn't located. He went about his Father's business saying "peace to you" not "piss on you." So, where's Christianity??? In what Christ did and our becoming as much like Him as we can. Therein lies your falacy. And by the way, a spelling problem with E. A. Davis as H. A. Davis. That's just one simple letter. How about Cowdery versus Cowdrey. That's a transposition but pales in comparison to your co-authors deceitful claim as being a descendant of Oliver Cowdery, Joseph Smith's scribe. The "former Mormon" only joined the Mormon Church to add supposed validity to his and your claims. That's pretty disingenuous. He was preparing the venom spewing before he even aligned himself with the Church for a month along with affidavits written to portray his exodus out within days after joining. Therein lies the fraud. Forget about your words, the book's authors are frauds ... ironically as you have portrayed Smith! Excellent book???? Only to the committed anti-Mormons trying to justify THEIR erroneous positions.

adrian2277 said...

JWL is a victim of his own church. He is the victim of church tactics. JWL I listened to you, now you listen to me. I have never claimed to be a descendant of Oliver Cowdery. I have never come out publicly when
speaking and claimed to be a descendant Oliver Cowdery and I personally challenge you to prove that I did so, or any other Mormon for that matter. I know you can't because I never did. While it is true that it says that on my first book, "other people" put it there and never told me anything it before is was published. They (Walter Martin and his secretary) made arbitrary decisions and probably didn't understand the term "descendant". The main concern back in that time was the handwriting issue, not my family tree. This is what the Mormon church does to defend itself. It "creates a non issue" and attacks it in order to make itself look good. JWL is simply another one of its victims. For those of you who are interested in my family tree Oliver Cowdery (and Joseph Smith Jr.) are second cousins related to my great grandfather's side via my direct ancestor Jacob N Cowdrey Sr., who was a brother of Oliver Cowdery's grandfather, William Cowdery Sr.
Oh by the way, "Cowdrey, Cowdery, or Cowdray" is correct spelling for the name. It's also interesting to note that Joseph Smith was a cousin to Oliver Cowdery, but I seriously doubt that you would know that JWL.
Now on the subject of fraud, I never said I was attending seances. Mormon people I know were telling me about their mysteries of life. In the conversion with them nothing was said about seances. See how people get thing mixed up? Its ironic how you accuse me of fraud when Joseph Smith (your "profit of "God") was engaged in fortune telling by means of stones into which he would gaze into and claim to see hidden treasure and other things desired by his clients. Published court records from that time show that Smith was convicted
on March 20, 1826 in Bainbridge, Chenango County, New York. He had used fraudulent means (glass looking) to make money. The implications of this is he was suppose to be receiving "divine revelations" from God, while he was conning innocent people out of their money. It is quite clear that Joseph Smith Jr. was a fraud. Only a fool would think otherwise.
Also JWL the real reason I left the Mormon church was because "they lied". They said there was "no similarities" between Manuscript Story by Solomon Spalding and The Book of Mormon. Well I found scores of similarities. It's too bad you JWL believe in church that is a "pack of lies" and "a fraud". Now that you have been refuted, I say "forget about your words" since it is obvious you don't know what your taking about! I suggest you go back to square one and start over and stop cherry picking.

Arthur Vanick said...

This is an update on the Spalding research. Since "Who Really Wrote..." was published, more evidence has come forward that reinforces the claims made in our book. By the way, "Starting to Learn" and "Waltz", it wasn't Hurlbut who first made the Spalding claims. Hurlbut was the first to conduct a thorough investigation into Mormonism. Also, about the only similarities between the 1977 and 2005 books are the title and the fact that both mention Spalding and the fact that he more than likely wrote at least the "historical" portions of what is now known as the Book of Mormon. The Book of Mormon is based on lies: Smith's lies about golden plates that never existed, that his "witnesses" only REALLY saw with the "eyes of faith", Rigdon's lies about not being in Pittsburgh before 1822, lies about not knowing Smith before 1830, about not having anything to do with the writing of the Book of Mormon, lies about the American Indians being descended from the Book of Mormon peoples, who were allegedly the "lost tribes of Israel", and we certaily can't leave out the lies about that famous old language known as "reformed Egyptian", that all legitimate linguists have confirmed is a fraud. No, the Spalding authorship claims have been anything but destroyed, as you claim. How about this little tidbit? There was a newspaper called the Hudson Ohio Observer and in one of the issues from 1834, there was an article called "Mormonism No. 4". In that article, the editor writes about how he interviewed the people known as the Conneaut witnesses, people who knew Spalding very well and who were very familiar with his work. It has been claimed by Mormon apologists and others, like Fawn Brodie, who was ex-communicated from the Mormon church, that the Conneaut witnesses were given "leading questions" or were basically coerced somehow by Hurlbut to give testimony about the Book of Mormon. The article came out shortly after Hurlbut's excommunication from Mormonism and nearly six months before Howe's "Mormonism Unvailed", and as thus it was the first actual mention of the testimony of the Conneaut witnesses, and it vindicates Hurlbut because the testimony given the newspaper is the same as they gave to Hurlbut, and it also vindicates the witnesses because of the same reason. By this I mean that if indeed Hurlbut had "put words into their mouths", they would have had the perfect chance to rebut those words or even make them worthless by telling the newspaper something different, and since it preceded Howe's book by about six months, it would have made Howe look ridiculous.

Another piece of information that has come our way is about a man named George Wilber who taught school in the building next door to Sidney Rigdon's house when Rigdon lived in Bainbridge, Ohio in 1827. Wilber and Rigdon became good friends and they spoke to each other several times a week. According to Wilber, Joseph Smith visited Rigdon in 1827 and stayed for several days, aftwr which Rigdon and Smith left on a journey together, possibly to Pittsburgh, and then returned. Smith left Rigdon's house shortly after that and then Rigdon became somewhat of a recluse. When Wilber managed to see Rigdon, ne noticed that Rigdon was working on a rather large manuscript and it got significantly bigger each time he visited Rigdon. When he asked Rigdon what it was, Rigdon would only give vague descriptions, claiming that it was some sort of theological treatise or whatever.

So who's being deceitful? Does it possibly come under the heading of "lying for the Lord"?