SHEPHERD TO SHEEP
During the 1820s, Joseph Smith worked as a farm laborer and developed his religious ideas, inspired by supernatural encounters. After 1827, by his own account, he visited yearly a book written in a hieroglyphic script on golden plates buried in a nearby hill. The book’s location, he said, had been disclosed to him by an angel (Moroni). In 1830 he completed the “translation” of these plates and published the Book of Mormon, which he believed to be a religious record of the ancient inhabitants of North America. Smith said that Jesus informed him that he should join none of the churches, for they were all wrong, and that Jesus would use Smith to re-establish the true Christian religion to the earth. On April 6, 1830, he organized the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS).
With his newly published book, Smith obtained followers, and a few years later they all left New York for Ohio in the pursuit to find a home for the religion. Smith and his group were forced to move on from Ohio to Missouri, where they were pushed out by locals mostly due to politics and the fact that most followers of Smith were abolitionists, which went against the current view of most Missourians of the time. They moved on to Illinois, where Smith was killed by local militia in 1844. Brigham Young was chosen as the next leader, and he led the group to Utah where it is centered today. Membership today is 13 million and is considered the fastest growing and most successful cult in the history of the United States, and perhaps the world.
Some see Mormonism as a unique Christian denomination. Others see it as a dangerous Christian cult. Examine the following main beliefs and compare them to scripture to make your own decision:
GOD: Mormons believe after you become a good Mormon, you have the potential of becoming a god. The Bible says: (Deu 6:4) “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one!
TRINITY: Joseph Smith taught that Jesus Christ, God the Father and the Holy Ghost were “three distinct personages and three Gods.” The Bible teaches God is three Persons, yet one God. (Mat 28:19)…baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
JESUS: The Mormon church views Jesus and Satan as spirit brothers and sons of God. God put forth His plan of salvation for the world, and Satan proposed his own plan. Jesus accepted the Father's plan and offered to implement it as the Savior. The Bible teaches: (John 1:1-3) In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.
BIBLE: The Mormons believe that the canon of Scripture is not closed and that “modern revelation is necessary.” They have other books they deem authoritative. The Bible restricts inspiration to the scriptures of the historical Christian faith: (2 Tim 3:16) All Scripture is given by inspiration of God… Christians are to “…contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.” (Jude 1:3)
SALVATION: Jesus' sacrifice was not able to cleanse mankind from all sins and good works are necessary for salvation. The Bible says: (Eph 2:8-9) For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.
“If it’s true, it’s not new. If it’s new, it’s not true.” Don’t taint the paint. There aint no latter day saints.