Some Difficult Questions for Mormons to Answer
With an Amendment by
note: - Our amendment was inserted out for the benefit of Mormons who claim that these objections have been answered, when in actual fact they they have not been answered at all.
If the Book of Mormon is true, why do Indians fail to turn white when they become Mormons? (2 Nephi 30:6, prior to the 1981 revision).
[Catholic Apologetics] We do not deny that White need not refer to Skin color but the idea that black people are rejected people by God is often well understood by the Mormon Church which has a history of Racial discrimination as the tract points out : "If Mormonism isn't racist, why did it wait until June of 1978 to officiated a 'revelation' stating that blacks could then hold the priesthood, which only occurred after a serious of demonstrations held by Negroes against the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day. Deseret News, Jan. 10, 1970." You will note how this point is not answer by the Mormons.
If the Book of Mormon is true, then why has the Mormon church changed it? Examples are: 1 Nephi 11:21; 19:20; 20:1 and Alma 29:4. Compare these with the original Book of Mormon. (Gerald and Sandra Tanner have counted 3913 changes in the book of Mormon, excluding punctuation changes.)
[Catholic Apologetics] Mormons cliam that such adulterations are only minor however we must keep in mind such alteration to even the New Testament should be of no problem only if you're a "Catholic" since we don't believe in "Sola Scriptura" - (The Bible alone) but if you're a protestant such changes (which with regards to Sacred Scripture are in no way substantial but minor since the Catholic Church has thousands of Old Copies dating back to the second Century of Biblical Manuscripts which serve as a confirmation of what was originally intended) should cause you great concern as John Stoddard a former protestant points out in his book "Rebuilding a Lost faith" that " Catholics, as a rule, attach comparatively little importance to these textual discrepancies, for their theological system is built-up, not from dead manuscripts alone, but from the history of the doctrines, the traditions of the Fathers, and the infallible voice of the living Church. Protestants, on the other hand, who base their dogmas merely on conflicting texts, who have no other standard than the silent Book, and who acknowledge no authority but private judgment, are very seriously embarrassed by these differences, since many of their doctrines find their confirmation or refutation in the acceptance or rejection of a certain reading. Accordingly, it finally dawned upon me that the bible alone, without a competent interpreter, cannot explain all that is necessary for Religion" - pg 10, Tan Book.
Let us keep in mind that the Book of Mormon utterly lacks historical or archaeological support, and there is an overwhelming body of empirical evidence that refutes it. Secondly, the Book of Mormon contains none of the key Mormon doctrines. This is important to note because the Latter-Day Saints make such a ballyhoo about it containing the "fullness of the everlasting Gospel." (It would be more accurate to say it contains almost none of their everlasting Gospel at all.) Thirdly, the Book of Mormon abounds in textual errors, factual errors, and outright plagiarisms from other works.
One such example is found in Alma 7:10 where we read that Jesus "shall be born of Mary at Jerusalem, which is in the land of our forefathers" (Alma 7:10). But Jesus was born in Bethlehem, not Jerusalem (Matt. 2:1).
If you mention this to a Mormon missionary, he might say Jerusalem and Bethlehem are only a few miles apart and that Alma could have been referring to the general area around Jerusalem. But Bethany is even closer to Jerusalem than is Bethlehem, yet the Gospels make frequent reference to Bethany as a separate town.
Nevertheless to answer the problem with the changes to the book of Mormon, in such a case it seems only logical as it would constantly need to be updated to clarify (hide?) the apparent contradictions in found in it. Mormons need to ask themselves how can some Man claim to write another Gospel in the name of Christ when Public revelation ended with the death of the Last apostle (this fact is universally excepted by all who claim the name of Christians except the Mormans and perhaps the Watch Tower of the Jehovah Witnesses).
The Mormon Church asserts that the Church Christ founded became increasingly corrupted by pagan ideas introduced to it and over a period of years the Church lost all relationship with the Church Christ established. From that time onward there were no valid baptisms, no laying on of hands for the receipt of the Holy Ghost, no blessings of any kind, and no administration of sacred ordinances. Yet Mormons run into no small difficulty in reconciling the apostasy theory with Christ's promise in Matthew 16:18: "Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." How could it be that Christ, who should have known better, would promise that his Church wouldn't be overcome if he knew full well a great apostasy would make short shrift of it? Was Christ lying? Was he mistaken? Did he miscalculate things? (Obviously not).
How did Joseph Smith cary home the golden plates of the Book of Mormon, and how did the witnesses lift them so easily? (They weighed about 230 lbs. Gold, with a density of 19.3 weighs 1204.7 lbs. per cubic foot. The plates were 7" x 8" by about 6". See Articles of Faith, by Talmage, page 262, 34th ed.)
If Moroni devoutly practiced the Mormon Gospel, why is he an angel now rather than a God? (Doc. & Cov. 132:17,37)
If the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are actually three separate gods (according to Mormonism) why does the the book of Morman affirm that that there is only one God: Alma 11:28-31: "Now Zeezrom said: 'Is there more than one God?' and [Amulek] answered, 'No.' And Zeezrom said unto him again, 'How knowest thou these things? ' And he said 'An angel hath made them known unto me.'
If the book of Mormon is "fullness of the everlasting Gospel" why abounds in textual errors, factual errors, and outright plagiarisms from other works. Some examples are as follows: We read that Jesus "shall be born of Mary at Jerusalem, which is in the land of our forefathers" (Alma 6:10). But Jesus was born in Bethlehem, not Jerusalem.
Another problem: Scientists have demonstrated that honey bees were brought to the New World by Spanish explorers in the fifteenth century, but the Book of Mormon, in Ether 2:3, claims they were introduced around 2000 B.C.
When Christ died, did darkness cover the land for three days or for three hours? (Luke 23:44 and 3 Nephi 8:19, 23).
Mormonism says there are many gods yet the Bible says there is only one God (Isaiah 43:11; 44:6,8).
Joseph Smith said that there are men living on the moon who dress like Quakers and live to be nearly 1000 years old. Since he was wrong about the moon, is it safe to trust him regarding the way to Heaven? (The Young Woman's Journal, Vol. 3, pages 263-264. See repreint in Mormonism -- Shadow or Reality? by Jerald and Sandra Tanner, page 4.)
[Catholic Apologetics] Joseph Smith claimed to be guided by God regarding his revelations especially with regards to heavenly things. As our Lord himself declared to Nicodemus " If I have spoken to you earthly things, and you believe not: how will you believe, if I shall speak to you heavenly things? - John 3: 12 In like manner we may affirm that if Joseph Smith was wrong concerning earthly things which can be verified how can we trust him concerning heavenly things which can't be verified? Further we must note that no matter what excuss is made by his followers we must keep in mind that Joseph smith is error on a point that he could only have declared to have known by some sort of special revelation (unless the Mormons would like to admit that he was lying which I doubt they would) as at the time of the claim no Man had actually been to the Moon. If it was simply his opinion, what sort of a teacher or prophet is one who speaks with certitude on things he knows nothing about ? - That is indeed characteristic of Joseph Smith who founded a Church claiming Jesus Christ as his advocate, when in reality he knew nothing about Christ and His Church.
Joseph Smith prepared fourteen Articles of Faith. Why has the original No. 11 been omitted? (Joseph Smith Begins His Work, Vol. 2, three pages after page 160, among the photos.)
How do Mormons advocate a complete apostasy had taken place among the early Christians when Christ Himself had said: "I will ask the Father and he will send you another Advocate to be with you always, the Spirit of the truth, which the world cannot accept, because it neither sees nor knows it. But you know it because it remains with you, and will be in you. I will not leave you orphans"(John 14:16-18). If Mormons are right about a complete apostasy, Jesus did leave us as orphans for 1700 years!
Why did the Nauvoo House not stand forever and ever? (Doc. & Cov. 124:56-60).
We have records of many controversies that raged in the early days of the Church (we know in great detail what turmoil the early Church passed through as it fought off various threaths to its existence), Yet why is there no evidence--none at all--that Mormonism existed prior to the 1830s?
How can a man who is not a descendant of Aaron hold the Aaronic Priesthood? (Numbers 16:40; Heb. 7:13,14).
[Catholic Apologetics] -- The objection is well stated since it is clear for anyone who reads the O.T that according to the old Law all priests had to be of the tribe of Aaron. Further Mormons forget that the Priests and Levites mentioned in the Old Law are only according to figure (or type) of the True priesthood of Jesus Christ since as St. Paul mentions that the former things were mere "shadows of what was to come" - Col 2:17
Since Mormonism teaches that only God the Father had a physical body at the time Adam was created, why did God say, "Let us make man in OUR image"? Why didn't He say, "Let us make man in MY image?" (Gen. 1:26).
[Catholic Apologetics] - - The assertion that God the Father had a physical Body is a Mormon invention since it is not even mention in scripture, not to mention the fact that the Jewish Historians, Scholars, Theologians etc both prior to Christ and After Christ, nothing of this sort of Teaching nor do any of the early Christian teachings. It contradicts what all the Church Fathers and early Christians taught about God the Father. A novelity invented by The Mormon Church to sway the ears of the people.
Although Mormons will quote some bible verse in an attempt to prove God the Father has a physical body such as Ex. 33:11 etc. However one need simply quote Psalm 91:4 (" he will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler) and ask if God has the body of a bird, because wings are mentioned?
Further this novelity was refuted by a great number of the early Christians (Church Fathers), we shall list a few for example;
St. Justin Martyr,
In his Hortatory Address to the Greeks (Chapter XXXIV.-WHENCE MEN ATTRIBUTED TO GOD HUMAN FORM ) as he writes the following: "And if any person investigates the subject of images, and inquires on what ground those who first fashioned your gods conceived that they had the forms of men, he will find that this also was derived from the divine history. For seeing that Moses history, speaking in the person of God, says, "Let Us make man in our image and likeness," these persons, under the impression that this meant that men were like God in form, began thus to fashion their gods, supposing they would make a likeness from a likeness. But why, ye men of Greece, am I now induced to recount these things? That ye may know that it is not possible to learn the true religion from those who were unable, even on those subjects by which they won the admiration of the heathen, to write anything original, but merely propounded by some allegorical device in their own writings what they had learned from Moses and the other prophets. [italics added]"
"Our God has no introduction in time. He alone is without beginning, and is himself the beginning of all things. God is a spirit, not attending upon matter, but the Maker of material spirits and of the appearances which are in matter. He is invisible, being himself the Father of both sensible and invisible things" (Address to the Greeks 4 [A.D. 170]).
"I have sufficiently demonstrated that we are not atheists, since we acknowledge one God, unbegotten, eternal, invisible, incapable of being acted upon, incomprehensible, unbounded, who is known only by understanding and reason, who is encompassed by light and beauty and spirit and indescribable power, by whom all things, through his word, have been produced and set in order and are kept in existence" (Plea for the Christians 10 [A.D. 177]).
"Far removed is the Father of all from those things which operate among men, the affections and passions. He is simple, not composed of parts, without structure, altogether like and equal to himself alone. He is all mind, all spirit, all thought, all intelligent, all reason . . . all light, all fountain of every good, and this is the manner in which the religious and the pious are accustomed to speak of God" (Against Heresies 2:13:3 [A.D. 189]).
"The first substance is everything which subsists by itself, as a stone is called a substance. The second is a substance capable of increase, as a plant grows and decays. The third is animated and sentient substance, as animal, horse. The fourth is animate, sentient, rational substance, as man. Wherefore each one of us is made as consisting of all, having an immaterial soul arid a mind, which is the image of God" (Fragment from On Providence [A.D. 200]).
"Since our mind is in itself unable to behold God as he is, it knows the Father of the universe from the beauty of his works and from the elegance of his creatures. God, therefore, is not to be thought of as being either a body or as existing in a body, but as a simple intellectual being, admitting within himself no addition of any kind" (Fundamental Doctrines 1:1:6 [A.D. 225]).
"God, however, being without parts, is Father of the Son without division and without being acted upon. For neither is there an effluence from that which is incorporeal, nor is there anything flowering into him from without, as in the case of men. Being simple in nature, he is Father of one only Son" (Letter on the Council of Nicaea 11 [A.D. 350]).
"God is simple and of an incomposite and spiritual nature, having neither ears nor organs of speech. A solitary essence and unlimitable, he is composed of no numbers and parts" (The Holy Spirit 35 [A.D. 362]).
"First it must be remembered that God is incorporeal. He does not consist of certain parts and distinct members, making up one body. For we read in the gospel that God is a spirit, invisible, therefore, and an eternal nature, immeasurable and self-sufficient. It is also written that a spirit does not have flesh and bones. For these are the members of a body consist, and of these the substance of God has no need. God, however, who is everywhere and in all things, is all-hearing, all-seeing, all-doing, and all-assisting" (Commentary on the Psalms 129:3 [A.D. 365]).
"The operations of God are various, but his essence is simple" (Letters 234:1 [A.D. 367]).
"God is of a simple nature, not conjoined nor composite. Nothing can be added to him. He has in his nature only what is divine, filling up everything, never himself confused with anything, penetrating everything, never himself being penetrated, everywhere complete, and present at the same time in heaven, on earth, and in the farthest reaches of the sea, incomprehensible to the sight" (The Faith 1:16:106 [A.D. 379]).
"To those who accuse us of a doctrine of three gods, let it be stated that we confess one God, not in number but in nature. For all that is said to be one numerically is not one absolutely, nor is it simple in nature. It is universally confessed, however, that God is simple and not composite" (Dogmatic Letter on the Trinity 8:2 [A.D. 381]).
"But there is neither nor ever shall be such a dogma in the Church of God that would prove the simple and incomposite [God] to be not only manifold and variegated, but even constructed from opposites. The simplicity of the dogmas of the truth proposes God as he is" (Against Eunomius 1:1:222 [A.D. 382]).
"[Paul] knows [God] in part. But he says, 'in part,' not because he knows God's essence while something else of his essence he does not know; for God is simple. Rather, he says 'in part' because he knows that God exists, but what God is in his essence he does not know" (Against the Anomoians 1:5 [A.D. 386]).
"In created and changeable things what is not said according to substance can only be said according to accident. . . . In God, however, certainly there is nothing that is said according to accident, because in him there is nothing that is changeable, but neither is everything that is said of him according to substance" (The Trinity 5:5:6 [A.D. 408]).
"We are created in God's image and likeness, but that is not the way it would be, or indeed, much else would be needed, for we are myriads apart! We are not by nature simple; but the divine nature, perfectly simple and incomposite, has in itself the abundance of all perfection and is in need of nothing" (Dialogues on the Trinity 1 [A.D. 420]).
If Jesus was conceived as a result of a physical union between God and Mary, how was Jesus born of a virgin? (Journal of Discourses, Vol. 1, page 50).
How did Nephi with a few men on a new continent build a temple like Solomon's while Solomon needed 163,300 workmen and seven years to build his temple? (1 Kings 5:13-18 and 2 Nephi 5:15-17).
Why was Joseph Smith still preaching against polygamy in October 1843 after he got his revelation in July 1843 commanding the practice of polygamy? (Doc. & Cov. 132; and History of the Church Vol. 6, page 46, or Teachings of the Prophet, page 324).
[Catholic Apologetics] The truth of the matter is (and remains so) that Joseph smith did indeed preach in favor of Polygamy and this was indeed practiced by a fair number of Mormons in the early days until it was legally checked. Further the false assertion that one should have only one wife unless the lord declared otherwise is a clear disregard for the New Testament as Christ himself makes it clear " For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife, and they two shall be in one flesh. Therefore now they are not two, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let no man put asunder. They say to him: Why then did Moses command to give a bill of divorce, and to put away? He saith to them: Because Moses by reason of the hardness of your heart permitted you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so. " Matt 19: 5 etc. Further never in Christian history has polygamy even been considered as even possible even if one claimed that it was reveled to them by God to do so for as St. Paul put it "though we, or an angel from heaven, preach a gospel to you besides that which we have preached to you, let him be anathema. "
1 Cor.7:2; But because of the temptation to immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband. - Hence Mormonism is in clear contradiction to Sacred Scripture!
God rejected the fig leaf aprons which Adam and Eve made (Gen. 3:21). Why do Mormons memorialize the fall by using fig leaf aprons in the secret temple ceremonies?
Why does the Book of Mormon imply a seven day week (Mosiah 13:18) when this calendrical method was unknown in Ancient America?
Why is there is NO archaeological evidence to show the existence of any of the rivers, cities or towns mentioned in the Book of Mormon. Why is there is no evidence of any of the battles as mentioned in the book of Mormon?
Why is there is no trace of the iron implements that were supposed to have been used in the Book of Mormon?.
Why are the Lamanites presented (in the Introduction to the Book of Mormon) as the ancestors of the native American Indians when all the scientific evidence shows they are descendants of Asians who crossed over to North America from eastern Siberia.
Why are believers called Christians in 73BC by the book of Mormon (Alma 46:15), when believers were first called Christians in Antioch around the year 42 AD (Acts 11:26).
Why do Mormons condemn the use of wine when Sacred Scripture condones it?
The ancient Jews were a temperate people--temperate used in the right sense. They used light wine as part of the regular diet (1 Tim. 3:8). Jesus Himself was called a wine-drinker (Matt. 11:19), the charge being not that he drank, but that he drank too much.
Wine was used also at weddings and our Lord clearly approved of the practice of wine drinking since he made wine from water when the wine was depleted at Cana (John 2:1-11).
Something Mormons seldom refer to is wine's medicinal uses (Luke 10:34). Paul advised Timothy to take wine to ease stomach pains (1 Tim. 5:23). Such apostolic admonitions co-exist uneasily with Mormonism's strictures against wine.
Mormons practice tithing, yet would be shocked to learn that in a key Old Testament passage where tithing (the practice of donating 10% of one's incomee) is discussed, God says: "you shall turn [your tithe] into money, and bind up the money in your hand, and go to the place which the Lord your God chooses, and spend the money for whatever you desire, oxen, or sheep, or wine or strong drink, whatever your appetite craves; and you shall eat there before the Lord your God and rejoice, you and your household" (Deut. 14:26). We're also told, "Give strong drink to him who is perishing, and wine to those in bitter distress; let them drink and forget their poverty, and remember their misery no more" (Prov. 31:6-7).
Hence although the Bible does condemn excessive drinking (1 Cor. 5:11; Gal. 5:21; Eph. 5:18; 1 Pet. 4:3), but the key here is the adjective "excessive." This is why Paul says Church leaders must not be addicted to much wine (1 Tim. 3:8). This clearly condemns the Mormon view of Wine!