Skip to comments.Books on Mormonism show change
Posted on 03/03/2010 11:02:58 AM PST by Colofornian
The LifeWay Christian Store on South State Street in Salt Lake City has a shelf of LDS literature. These are books, however, that probably not one Mormon in a million will ever read. Basically, they are "defense manuals," handbooks for helping Protestants deal with this ambitious, upstart religion that's out to perform a baptism for every soul who has ever set foot on earth.
Last Monday, I spent about an hour thumbing through the books on the Mormon shelf at LifeWay. The books range from "kind and honest" to "kind of honest." The best remind me of the volume "I (heart) Mormons," published a couple of years ago by my Bountiful friend, Dave Rowe. Other volumes reminded me of a bathtub filled with water -- not only were they shallow, but also narrow.
Still, I did enjoy a lot of the titles: "Speaking the Truth, in Love, to Mormons," "Reasoning from the Scriptures with Mormons," "Mormonism 101," "The Mormon Puzzle," "Fast Facts on Mormons."
I even liked the folksy style of some of the prose.
This, for instance, from Mark J. Cares, who wrote "Speaking the Truth, in Love, to Mormons."
"Speaking Mormonese means making our witness personal -- or 'bearing our testimony.'
"This is important because Mormons think non-Mormons have a very sterile relationship with God."
Well, not all Mormons think that, though I will say sometimes we Mormons get so excited and moved by our own experiences we sometimes minimize the spiritual experiences and miracles in the lives of those from other faiths. And I had to wonder, does Cares believe Mormons have a "sterile relationship with God?"
Still, I was pleased that a sea change of sorts has taken place. Almost all the books I read through take a more elevated tone than similar books have taken in the past. The collection of LDS books even featured "How Wide the Divide?" co-authored by BYU's Stephen Robinson.
Yes, there will always be some "Mormonism Unmasked" tracts for sale, but the feeling now is more "Come, let us reason together." The hissing and snapping of yesteryear have been replaced by the notion that the best approach isn't to "unmask" Mormons, but to minister to them. The tone of Cares, Rob J. Rhodes and other authors is non-threatening. They seem to believe that Mormons, for the most part, are decent, rather earnest folks who simply lack information.
The plan now is to "reach," not "preach."
And I can live with that. It beats those old "Trapped by the Mormons" videos that used to circulate.
Give me conversation over confrontation anytime.
Besides, "decent, rather earnest folks who simply lack information" is pretty much how a great many Mormons have always seen them.
I recommend that Lds do what this Mormon columnist did: go visit a Christian bookstore & thumb through (& perhaps purchase) a book or two on what Christian authors have to say about Mormonism.
“Yes, there will always be some “Mormonism Unmasked” tracts for sale, but the feeling now is more “Come, let us reason together.””
You cannot “reason” with someone in a cult. Particularly one
who rests their spiritual belief on a feeling or experience.
That is not a rationale foundation, so reasoning is not
Just take a look around FR and you will see that mormons are
immune to reason.
I am speaking in a spiritual sense. As fellow conservatives,
they are very open to reason.
What a condescending little twerp.
The author still seeing everything through the lens of Smithian lies.
I love both of these books: “Speaking the Truth, in Love, to Mormons,” “Reasoning from the Scriptures with Mormons,”
Some of the newer ones, however, are TOO much ‘let us reason together’ and too focused on the similarities rather than telling the LDS the truth about how their faith conflicts with the Bible.
Also, BORN AGAIN MORMON is a great book for those in the LDS who are looking for ‘more’.
Yea ... that’s what the Pharisee’s said about the original Christians!
SVCW, you see it as condescension...it actually goes beyond that. It's willful ignorance -- ignorance as in ignoring his own unique "scriptures." He tries to portray the current Mormon apologetic that Lds only think we as Christians are "incomplete" -- when his own unique "scriptures" don't allow him that kind of fudge margin.
According to the First Vision of Joseph Smith, Joseph Smith - History, v. 19 -- there isn't one single Christian sect creed that the Mormon god honors amongs Christians. He said ALL of them (not most) were an "abomination" to him. "Abomination" literally means "putrid."
Let's take a "worst-case" scenario where a "Christian" was hostile in tone, attitude, and content toward a Mormon. What are we to conclude of that? Well, he's giving a mere opinion. That opinion may be wrong or right; and the attitude & tone may stink up a storm; but it still comes down to an opinion expressed in a poor manner.
But let's assume a Mormon who has the absolute BEST manners, best attitude, best tone, and then he cites "scripture" and says, "Yea, oh, yea, this is God's opinion of you spoken in the canonized word throught the 'prophet' Joseph Smith -- You, oh, Christian are ALL 'corrupt professors' saith the 14 or 15 yo Joseph Smith as spoken from the unnamed Mormon personage appearing unto him...thee are 100% wrong creedally and NONE of thy churches are worth joining, and thee lack any true power...oh, and BTW, thine are ALL apostates, too." [Source -- see Smith's first vision, which the Lds church has enshrined as "scripture" in the Pearl of Great Price, Joseph Smith, vv. 18-20]
What bothers me is that instead of saying this critique originates in their own mind, heart, or tongue, they claim my Creator has this opinion of our interpretations. And what's worse, is they claim my Creator has this opinion of ALL of our important interpretations.
You know what? I'd rather have...
...a Christian condemn me to hell in word, tone, and attitude than...
...a Mormon who is exemplary in tone, attitude & manner -- yet quotes me His "scripture" -- labeling me with this huge kind, nice, smiley-face grin to be some...
...abominable apostate heart-drifter...
...who teaches only human precepts...
...not part of the only true church on the face of the earth (D&C 1:30)
...and is ALL wrong...
...all while conveying that this is God's exact assessment of me & every other Christian, Christian church, Orthodox church, Catholic church, etc!!!
AND EVERY TITHING MORMON HAS ENGAGED IN THIS LABELING BECAUSE THEY HAVE PAID FOR HUNDREDS OF TRANSLATIONS OF THESE 'SCRIPTURES' & CURRICULA & ENSIGN MAG ARTICLES & LDS WEB SITES & MISSIONARY LESSON PLANS & OFTEN MISSIONARIES THEMSELVES!!!!
So my final Q is: When are Mormons going to take responsibility for what their $ has published worldwide -- by printing press, by Web site, by missionary vocal chord?
“Yea ... thats what the Pharisees said about the original Christians!”
Oh, really. I think I missed that in the Bible. Would you
please post those verses here for me to read in the presence
I saw a presentation by an expert on Mormonism from a California Christian University about one year ago. He believes that over time Mormons have gradually turned away from some of their more ridiculous beliefs. Basically their method is to have the Mormon President declare a new revelation and then quietly place the “old” belief up on the back of the bookshelf, never to be looked at again, sort of like, out of sight out of mind. He stated that over time Mormons may shift their theology to a closer allignment with Christianity, and then maybe to a mainstream approach eventually.
He stated that over time Mormons may shift their theology to a closer allignment with Christianity, and then maybe to a mainstream approach eventually.
First and foremost lds will need to jettison joseph smith and if they do that, then they will have to jettison the bom, D&C and POGP.
This would need to be like what happened to armstongism when Herbert died. His successor publically repudiated the cultic teachings and embraced the core beliefs of Christianity.
No, what I actually see is the Christian speak of lds is a tool to gain more members. The 'see we are just like Christians' line will lower the defenses of those not smart enought to recognize the snake oil being offered. just MHO though.
Well the RLDS break-off shoot of Mormonism has tried this approach theologically to some degree (although socially, it resembles more of a liberal approach). The RLDS changed their name to get 'Christ' in the title...
...never embraced some of the temple rituals like necro-baptism.
...nor "celestial marriage" (eternal marriage/eternal polygamous marriage)...
...nor that God was once a man...
...or that man can become a god...
...They also ignored some of the latter revelations Mormons have added to Doctrine & Covenants.
They've tried to play up grace/faith more & play down works a bit.
But the reality is, once you have someone like Joseph Smith, you have ALL of his lack-of-character, false prophecies, outrageous claims baggage.
The "other problem" with waiting for Mormon theological shifts is
(a) there'd just be too much to jettison from their history & historical theological statements;
and (b) the culture itself. While there's been tension within Mormonism from emphasizing their unique "scriptures" (McConkie & Co.) vs. trying to reach across the divide with more Biblical citations (BYU's Stephen Robinson & Rbt Millet & James Toronto & others), the culture itself reinforces that it's the only true church on the face of the earth (Doctrine & Covenants 1:30).
It doesn't treat "apostates" very well & this is the basic problem with restorationist movements. (It also labels ALL the rest of us beyond Mormonism as "apostates" -- so the other Q is, "Why would they want to become like the 'apostates?'")
That is exactly the example I had in mind. but the WCG became ugly and the are many out there still following 'ol Herbert's doctrines.
It would be the same for mormons, expecially the temple mormons, since they are vestied in all the ordiances and works in order to become a god. With all their reliance upon the additional scriptures, the 'voice' of the prophets and the ingrained teaching that Christianity isn't 'Christian' any similar move by lds llc would cause the wheels to come flying apart really quick.
this ambitious, upstart religion that’s out to perform a baptism for every soul who has ever set foot on earth.
What was that again about the mormons wanting to be considered “christian”
Mormons are obsessed with the dead of the ages that will NEVER be identified...
and to dead dunk them in a pagan ritual that was never endorsed in the Bible as a necessary part of Christian salvation nor a way to gain entrance to the bottom level of the mormon after life...as a slave of the mormon “worthies”
While mormons cling to their heathen practice of “atonement” after death...and try in vain through subtefuge and threats to be accepted as a main stream “christian denomination”
Christians continue to believe that only during this lifetime before death is it possible to hear the Gospel of saving Grace through the shedding of the Blood of the Holy sacrificial Lamb, Jesus upon the cross and the resulting death of jesus upon the Cross and the Resurrection, and to choose to believe that same Gospel to be saved and go to Heaven to be with God...
While the doctrines of mormonism have continually evolved over less than 200 years since its invention to avoid legal action and disapproval by a shocked and virtuous Western Hemispheric population, the message of Chrsitianity has remained the same for the 2,000 years since Jesus first founded His Church..
Foer those 20 centuries Chrsitian men and women have preached that Jesus shed His blood on the Cross of Calvary which was outside the gates of Jerusalem in the dung heap, and died there on the Cross in our place to pay the penalty for our sins, and redeemed us from the curse and won for us life everlasting with God...
What a wonderful message and nobody has ever improved on it and nobody ever will...
this ambitious, upstart religion that’s out to perform a baptism for every soul who has ever set foot on earth.
Plus Jesus Himself said “Forget about the dead. Let the dead bury the dead. Leave them and go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” Luke 9:60
Now right there is a commandment from Jesus not to dead dunk those who are dead...
Leave them its TOO LATE for them...
dont fool around worrying about the dead and spending millions of tithe money making fool lists of pretend names and dates of fictious people and real people who have happily died as Jews or Christians for brownie points towards temple recommends....but tend to the living...
What do they do to dead dunk the dead ??? The mormon idea of a pagan ritual of water baptism for dead people.
What does water baptism in the Bible represent ??? REPRESENT I said ...its only a symbol...water baptism doesnt save anyone...
Water baptism represents you dying to your own self, your old man dying and being resurrected to new life...
we are baptised into His death and Resurrection...
The death of Jesus on the Cross and His Resurrection three days later...
Paul said “don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.” Romans 6:3, 4
and you have to be ALIVE to do that for YOURSELF...there are no grandchildren in the Kingdom of God..YOU have to make the decision to be born again...and AFTER that you get water baptised...the mormons have it backwards...twisted logic...
Good preaching Nana...
Carry on ...
First and foremost lds will need to jettison joseph smith
And Joey smith didnt want to be a Christian...he hated Chrisianity...
he wanted to be another Mohammad...
I Will Be a Second Mohammed
In the heat of the Missouri Mormon War of 1838, Joseph Smith made the following claim, I will be to this generation a second Mohammed, whose motto in treating for peace was the Alcoran [Koran] or the Sword. So shall it eventually be with usJoseph Smith or the Sword! 
It is most interesting that a self-proclaimed Christian prophet would liken himself to Mohammed, the founder of Islam. His own comparison invites us to take a closer look as well. And when we do, we find some strikingand troublingparallels.
Consider the following.
Mohammed and Joseph Smith both had humble beginnings. Neither had formal religious connections or upbringing, and both were relatively uneducated. Both founded new religions by creating their own scriptures. In fact, followers of both prophets claim these scriptures are miracles since their authors were the most simple and uneducated of men.
Both prophets claim of having angel visitations, and of receiving divine revelation to restore pure religion to the earth again. Mohammed was told that both Jews and Christians had long since corrupted their scriptures and religion. In like manner, Joseph Smith was told that all of Christianity had become corrupt, and that consequently the Bible itself was no longer reliable. In both cases, this corruption required a complete restoration of both scripture and religion. Nothing which preceded either prophet could be relied upon any longer.
Both prophets claim they were used of God to restore eternal truths which once existed on earth, but had been lost due to human corruption.
Both prophets created new scripture which borrowed heavily from the Bible, but with a substantially new spin. In his Koran, Mohammed appropriates a number of Biblical themes and charactersbut he changes the complete sense of many passages, claiming to correct the Bible. In so doing he changes many doctrines, introducing his own in their place. In like manner, Joseph Smith created the Book of Mormon, much of which is plagiarized directly from the King James Bible. Interestingly, the Book of Mormon claims that this same Bible has been substantially corrupted and is therefore unreliable. In addition, Joseph Smith went so far as to actually create his own version of the Bible itself, the Inspired Version, in which he both adds and deletes significant portions of text, claiming he is correcting it. In so doing he also changes many doctrines, introducing his own in their place.
As a part of their new scriptural spin, both prophets saw themselves as prophesied in scripture, and both saw themselves as a continuation of a long line of Biblical prophets. Mohammed saw himself as a continuation of the ministry of Moses and Jesus. Joseph Smith saw himself as a successor to Enoch, Melchizedek, Joseph and Moses. Joseph Smith actually wrote himself into his own version of the Bibleby name.
Both prophets held up their own scripture as superior to the Bible. Mohammed claimed that the Koran was a perfect copy of the original which was in heaven. The Koran is therefore held to be absolutely perfect, far superior to the Bible and superceding it. In like manner, Joseph Smith also made the following claim. I told the Brethren that the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding its precepts, than by any other book.
Despite their claim that the Bible was corrupt, both prophets admonished their followers to adhere to its teachings. An obvious contradiction, this led to selective acceptance of some portions and wholesale rejection of others. As a result, the Bible is accepted by both groups of followers only to the extent that it agrees with their prophets own superior revelation.
Both Mohammed and Joseph Smith taught that true salvation was to be found only in their respective religions. Those who would not accept their message were considered infidels, pagans or Gentiles. In so doing, both prophets became the enemy of genuine Christianity, and have led many people away from the Christ of the Bible.
Both prophets encountered fierce opposition to their new religions and had to flee from town to town because of threats on their lives. Both retaliated to this opposition by forming their own militias. Both ultimately set up their own towns as model societies.
Both Mohammed and Joseph Smith left unclear instructions about their successors. The majority of Mohammeds followers, Sunni Muslims, believe they were to elect their new leader, whereas the minority, Shiite Muslims, believe Mohammeds son was to be their next leader. Similarly, the majority of Joseph Smiths followers, Mormons, believed their next prophet should have been the existing leader of their quorum of twelve apostles, whereas the minority, RLDS, believed Joseph Smiths own son should have been their next prophet. Differences on this issue, and many others, have created substantial tension between these rival groups of each prophet.
Mohammed taught that Jesus was just another of a long line of human prophets, of which he was the last. He taught that he was superior to Christ and superceded Him. In comparison, Joseph Smith also made the following claim.
I have more to boast of than ever any man had. I am the only man that has ever been able to keep a whole church together since the days of Adam. A large majority of the whole have stood by me. Neither Paul, John, Peter, nor Jesus ever did it. I boast that no man ever did such a work as I. The followers of Jesus ran away from Him, but the Latter-day Saints never ran away from me yet. In light of these parallels, perhaps Joseph Smiths claim to be a second Mohammed unwittingly became his most genuine prophecy of all.
 Joseph Smith made this statement at the conclusion of a speech in the public square at Far West, Missouri on October 14, 1838. This particular quote is documented in Fawn M. Brodie, No Man Knows My History, second edition, (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1971), p. 230231. Fawn Brodies footnote regarding this speech contains valuable information, and follows. Except where noted, all the details of this chapter  are taken from the History of the [Mormon] Church. This speech, however, was not recorded there, and the report given here is based upon the accounts of seven men. See the affidavits of T.B. Marsh, Orson Hyde, George M. Hinkle, John Corrill, W.W. Phelps, Samson Avard, and Reed Peck in Correspondence, Orders, etc., pp. 579, 97129. The Marsh and Hyde account, which was made on October 24, is particularly important. Part of it was reproduced in History of the [Mormon] Church, Vol. III, p. 167. See also the Peck manuscript, p. 80. Joseph himself barely mentioned the speech in his history; see Vol. III, p. 162.
 John Ankerberg & John Weldon, The Facts on Islam, (Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers, 1998), pp.89. Eric Johnson, Joseph Smith & Muhammed, (El Cajon, CA: Mormonism Research Ministry, 1998), pp. 67.
 Documentary History of the [Mormon] Church, vol.4, pp.461.
 Documentary History of the [Mormon] Church, vol.6, pp.408409.
(The account is in his book “Roughing It”)
when they got to Utah territory Mark Twain bought a copy of the Book of mormon
After he read it he said it was “Chloroform in print” he went on to say if they took out all the “and it came to pass” es, there would just be a pamphlet left...
From the title I thought that there were MORMON produced books that showed CHANGE in their practices and/or beliefs.
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