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Please Note Well — It is not my intent to belittle, unduly criticize, or “bash” anyone who may hold religious persuasions or opinions other than my own. Even though I may absolutely and totally disagree with your opinion, I will defend to the death your God-given right to hold it. Since this website was originally launched in 1995, I have continually held the position that I am not “anti-”anybody; I am only pro-Truth [click here for the definition of “Truth”].

    I firmly believe that it can be proven with absolute certainty that the Bible, and the Bible only, is the revealed Word of God, and is the standard by which all knowledge and opinion must be judged. Information on this website that concerns non-Biblical religious beliefs is provided for the sole purpose of comparing those beliefs with the Revealed Truth of the Bible. I also attempt to demonstrate how far the Body of Messiah has drifted from its Jewish origins. We earnestly await the return of Messiah and the “Restoration of All Things” as promised by the prophets. If you disagree with my position, please click this link before emailing me.

Meet the Mormons[1]
by Grady L. Davis, MDiv, MCM, PhD
and Rickard (Ari) Levitt-Sawyer, ThM, ThD, DMin [SOURCE]

The Two Personages In the early spring of 1820 (or maybe 1819 or 1821), a 14-year-old boy (in his “fifteenth year” according to Mormon theology,[2],[3] although his handwritten account says he was in his “sixteenth” year[4]) named Joseph Smith, Jr. went into the woods to pray for divine guidance in the selection of a church to join. The rest of his family joined the Presbyterian church, but Joseph was still undecided between the Presbyterian, Baptist, and Methodist churches. While praying alone in the woods, young Joseph was suddenly seized by some dark power so intense that it had such an astonishing influence over him as to bind his tongue so that he could not speak. Thick darkness gathered around him, and it seemed to him for a time as if he were doomed to sudden destruction.

He exerted all his power to call upon God to deliver him out of the power of this enemy which had seized upon him, and at the very moment when he was ready to sink into despair and abandon himself to destruction by the power of some actual being from the unseen world, who had such marvelous power as he had never before felt in any being — just at this moment of great alarm, he saw a pillar of light above his head which was brighter than the sun, and which which descended gradually until it fell upon him.

As soon as the light appeared, he felt that he had been delivered from the unseen enemy which had held him bound. Then when the light rested upon him he saw two “personages,” whose brightness was beyond description, standing above him in the air. One of them spoke his name and pointed to the other, and said, “This is my beloved son. Hear him!”

When he asked which of the churches he should join, Joseph was told by one of the “personages of light” that he was to join none of them, that all Christian churches wrong and all Christians were corrupt, that all their creeds were an abomination to the “personage” who was speaking to him.[5]

When he told a local Methodist minister of his encounter with the supernatural, the minister told him that his experience had been “of the devil.” When he persisted in telling this story to the other church leaders in the community, these “men of high standing would take notice sufficient to excite the public mind against [him], and create a bitter persecution; and this was common among all the sects—all united to persecute [him].”[6]

On the night of September 21, 1823, Joseph, now 17 years old, looked up from his bed to see the angel Moroni floating in the air beside his bed. Moroni told the the boy where he could find “a book deposited, written upon gold plates, giving an account of the former inhabitants of this continent [North America], and the source from whence they sprang. He also said that the fulness [sic.] of the everlasting Gospel was contained in it, as delivered by the Savior to the ancient inhabitants” [of North America]. Moroni also said that in the box with the book he would find two stones, “what is [sic.] called the Urim and Thummim … and the possession and use of these stones were what constituted ‘seers’ in ancient or former times; and that God had prepared them for the purpose of translating the book.”[7],[8] Moroni then proceeded to misquote the prophet Mal'akhi (Malachi).

Malachi as Misquoted by Moroni Mal'akhi as it Appears in the Tanakh
After telling me these things, he commenced quoting the prophecies of the Old Testament. He first quoted part of the third chapter of Malachi; and he quoted also the fourth or last chapter of the same prophecy, though with a little variation from the way it reads in our Bibles. Instead of quoting the first verse as it reads in our books, he quoted it thus:  
“For behold, the day cometh that shall burn as an oven, and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly shall burn as stubble for they that come shall burn them,” saith the Lord of Hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.” “For the day is coming, burning like a furnace, when all the proud and evildoers will be stubble; the day that is coming will set them ablaze,” says ADONAI—Tzva'ot, “and leave them neither root nor branch.”
And again, he quoted the fifth verse thus: “Behold, I will reveal unto you the Priesthood, by the hand of Elijah the prophet, before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.” “Look, I will send to you Eliyahu the prophet before the coming of the great and terrible day of ADONAI.”
He also quoted the next verse differently: “And he shall plant in the hearts of the children the promises made to the fathers, and the hearts of the children shall turn to their fathers. If it were not so, the whole earth would be utterly wasted at his coming.”[9] He will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children and the hearts of the children to their fathers; otherwise I will come and strike the land with complete destruction.” (CJB)

The next day that boy, Joseph Smith, Jr., allegedly found the plates buried in a stone box in the side of a hill called Cumorah near his home in Palmyra, New York. But for some reason, Moroni would not let Smith have the plates until September 22, 1827.

Nine months before the plates became his, Smith eloped with Emma Hale. Smith claimed intense persecution on account of his frequent divine revelations.

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The Mormon Plan of Eternal Progression
(Click the picture for a larger view)
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 [1] Some of this material has been summarized from Fritz Ridenour, So What’s the Difference? Ventura, CA: G/L Publications, 1979, pp 127-138. [RETURN]

 [2] Joseph Smith, Pearl of Great Price (PGP), Joseph Smith - History (JS-H) 1:7. Salt Lake City: Church of Christ of Latter-Day Saints, 2002. [RETURN]

 [3] Smith, PGP, JS-H 1:22. [RETURN]

 [4] Smith’s handwritten record of the event [click here] says that he was in his “16th year.” [RETURN]

 [5] Smith, PGP, JS-H 1:1-20. [RETURN]

 [6] Smith, PGP, JS-H 1:21-23. [RETURN]

 [7] Smith, PGP, JS-H, 1:30-35. [RETURN]

 [8] Note that the “Angel Moroni” claimed that it was the “possession and use of” these two stones, and not the power of God, that gave the ancient Hebrew prophets their prophetic gift. The Bible (Exod. 28:30) indicates that the terms urim (“lights”) and thummim (“perfection” or “integrity”) were associated with the breastplate of the Cohen HaGadol [High Priest], and had nothing at all to do with the prophetic office in Israel. No actual description of any objects called “urim and thummim” appears in the Bible, whereas all the rest of the Tabernacle apparel and furnishings are described in great detail. This has lead many scholars to believe that the terms urim and thummim were not actually individual objects at all, but were rather used to describe the characteristics of the stones of the twelve tribes that were affixed to the breastplate, or that they were used to describe the characteristics of the office of Cohen HaGadol. See also Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary. [RETURN]

 [9]  Smith, PGP, JS-H, 1:36-39. [RETURN]

 


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