By Dr. Dean Helland
The following articles are translations of articles published in France in the Christian magazine La Vie Comblée (The Full Life). This is a publication for pastors and Christians throughout the French-speaking countries of the world. These approximately fifty countries have about one-half of one percent of their populations who are born-again Christians.
I spent fifteen years in Chile, a Spanish-speaking country of South America, working among the pastors and churches to establish a Pentecostal Bible Institute. When I asked the leaders what their greatest need was, they asked me to teach on the Christian cults from the United States that were invading their countries. They needed to learn how to defend their churches from these strange doctrines. I carried out a two-year project of pastoral seminars, and it was one of the high points of my missionary career.
When I learned of a gathering in the capital of the Ivory Coast of all the French-speaking Pentecostal and Charismatic church leaders from around the world, I knew I had to go. I spoke at a Full Gospel Businessmen's Dinner during the conference on "The Mormon Invasion of Black Africa." After meeting with the conference leadership, I received the same request as I had in South America. The request was quite specific: I was to write articles that were short and which clearly exposed the errors of the Christian cults from the United States that were invading their countries. Yves and Michele Gravet kindly offered their publication as the means to reach the churches with these teachings.
Since I had come out of a background of Mormonism, the material posted on this website will deal with that subject.
Table of Contents
1. The Mormon Invasion of Black Africa
2. Mormonism’s Problem With The Bible
3. Mormonism’s Problem With the Virgin Birth of Christ
4. Mormonism and the American Indian
5. The Smithsonian Institution and the Book of Mormon
6. Joseph Smith’s Reputation Among His Neighbors
7. Mormonism and Freemasonry
8. Joseph Smith and Witchcraft
9. Mormonism and Islam
10. Mormonism and Polygamy
THE MORMON INVASION OF BLACK AFRICA
Dr. Dean Helland
Until September 30, 1978, an official doctrine of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (The Mormon Church) was that their message should not be preached to the black African race.1 This doctrine was changed by the pressures of the 20th Century world followed up by a new revelation, and now the countries of Black Africa are experiencing the invasion of missionaries from that church, which has over 50,000 of them2 and an income estimated to exceed 5 billion dollars annually.3
Until 1978, the priesthood was denied to the black African.4 Mormonism's founder, Joseph Smith, by "inspiration of God", wrote that the seed of Ham "preserved the curse".5 Mormon Bruce R. McConkie, in his book Mormon Doctrine, wrote that the less valiant spirits in the pre-existence were condemned to be born into this world as the seed of Ham which preserved Cain's curse, that is, the black skin.6
Utah, where the Mormons immigrated, was the only Western territory which permitted slavery,7 and according to the Compromise of 1859, Utah was to be admitted to the United States as a slave state.8 During the civil war, the second Mormon president, Brigham Young, proclaimed that slavery of the black race was God's will, and therefore the North was not going to be able to halt the practice of slavery in the United States.9 Brigham Young, who was governor of Utah at the same time as being the president of the Mormon Church, also declared that the penalty for "mixing the blood" of blacks and whites was "death on the spot."10 John Taylor, the third Mormon president declared that the reason that God permitted the black race on the face of the earth was so that "the devil should have a representation upon the earth."11 Wilford Woodruff, the fourth Mormon president, said that a single drop of black blood disqualified one from holding the priesthood.12 The tenth Mormon president, Joseph Fielding Smith, declared that the black color of their skin symbolized "eternal darkness."13
When questioned about this change in their doctrine, modern Mormons reply that it was God who had a problem with the black race, not them; that they have always loved the black people and now they are happy that God has lifted from them the restriction there was concerning holding the priesthood.14 The bottom line is that the Mormon Church still has not honestly confronted its history on this issue.
1 Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, (1958,1972 printing) p. 477.
2 "Who are the Mormons?" LDS Church, 1995.
3 Ed Decker, President of Ex-Mormons for Jesus, telephone interview, July 12,1995.
4 Doctrine and Covenants, Official Declaration No. 2.
5 Pearl of Great Price, Abraham 1:24.
6 McConkie, 526-528.
7 James Boyd Christensen, A Social Survey of the Negro Population of Salt Lake City, Utah, unpublished Master's thesis, University of Utah, p. 11-12.
8 Christensen, p. 98.
9 Brigham Young, October 6,1863, Journal of Discourses, volume 10, p. 250.
10 Young, Journal of Discourses, vol. 10, p. 110.
11 John Taylor, Journal of Discourses, vol. 22, p. 304.
12 Mathias F. Cowley, Wilford Woodruff, p. 351.
13 Joseph Fielding Smith, The Way to Perfection, p. 102.
14 Ed Decker, Decker's Complete Handbook on Mormonism, 1995, p. 291.
MORMONISM'S PROBLEM WITH THE BIBLE
Dr. Dean Helland
"Prophet" Joseph Smith, Mormonism's founder, had a problem with the Bible. His arguments against it are found in the first hundred pages of the Book of Mormon. It explains that the Bible has been purposely corrupted throughout the centuries by the Roman Catholic Church (although it does not directly name it).1 Later, Joseph Smith added that the great number of translations of the Bible into the different languages further contributed to its deterioration. Of course, this evades the fact that nearly all are translated directly from the Hebrew, Greek and Aramaic, the languages the Bible was written in.
However, that is why in the Articles of Faith of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, verse 8 reads, "We believe the Bible is the word of God as far as it is translated correctly: We also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God."
It thus limits its affirmation of the Bible, but places no such limitations on the Book of Mormon. Not only did Joseph Smith thus seek to undermine faith in the Bible, but he attempted to transfer that faith to his own Book of Mormon, stating that it was "the most correct of any book on earth.”2 Regardless of this, however, the Mormon Church has found it necessary to make nearly 4,000 changes in it, so what is now distributed as the Book of Mormon is actually a heavily edited revision of the original!3
Joseph Smith wrote the Book of Mormon after being visited several times by an angel. He said that the angel showed him where there were golden plates with sacred writings on them which contained "the fullness of the everlasting gospel,"4 implying by this the need to restore the great doctrines which had been removed from the Bible. Smith translated them with the help of a pebble in the bottom of a hat.5 He did not even need to have the plates present while he translated them, as their script appeared in “reformed Egyptian” and the English translation appeared under each word. The Book of Mormon thus came into existence through a procedure explained to him by an "angel from heaven," something strictly forbidden by the Bible.
The words of St. Paul in Galatians 1:6-9 read:
6. I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:
7. Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and pervert the gospel of Christ.
8. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.
9. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.
(bold letters added by D. Helland)
1 Book of Mormon, 1 Nephi 13:20-32.
2 Joseph Smith, History of the Church, vol. 4, p. 461.
3 Sandra and Jerald Tanner, 3,913 Changes in the Book of Mormon.
4 Pearl of Great Price, Joseph Smith 2:34.
5 David Whitmer, An Address to All Believers in Christ, p. 12.
Mormonism's Problem With the
Virgin Birth of Christ
Dr. Dean Helland
The Church has always believed in the miraculous conception of Jesus Christ by the supernatural intervention of the Holy Spirit upon the consenting Virgin Mary. That is to say, she did not have sexual relations with a man, and remained as much a virgin after conceiving the Christ-child as she had been before that experience. The Holy Bible clearly says "that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost." (Matthew 1:20)
According to Mormonism, the Bible is mistaken.1 According to it, our Heavenly Father is an exalted man with a body of flesh and bone,2 and it is he, not the Holy Ghost, who personally and physically had sexual relations with the Holy Virgin in order to bring about the birth of Jesus Christ.3 In other words, Mormonism does not respect the clear teachings of the Holy Bible, but nevertheless claims to be a legitimate Christian religion.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has a lay clergy. In other words, one does not have to know the Bible or learn about Church history to be ordained a priest. The result is that its intellectual defenders for the most part are not informed on religious matters, but rather are persons educated in areas other than theology.4 Perhaps for that reason, a Mormon "theologian" dared defend Mormon doctrine by writing that what the Bible clearly states on this matter is merely the opinion of "various Pentecostal churches."5
The Bible warns: "For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him...."
"For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works." (2 Corinthians 11:4, 13-15)
1 Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, vol. 1, p. 51.
2 Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 1966, p. 250.
3 Joseph Fielding Smith, Jr., Doctrines of Salvation, 1959, vol. 1, page 18.
4 Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies, Review of
Books on the Book of Mormon, vol. 5, 1993, p. 389-390.
5 Louis Midgley, "Playing with Half a Decker: The Countercult Religious Tradition
Confronts the Book of Mormon," Review of Books on the Book of Mormon, vol. 5, p. 122.
Mormonism and the American Indian
Dr. Dean Helland
After the news about the Mormon God's pardoning of the black African race in 1978 for their behavior during the pre-existence and admitting them into the Mormon priesthood, it was not a great surprise to learn that during the month of August of 1981, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the Mormon Church) made an important decision with respect to the American Indian race. It decided to change its doctrine concerning their skin color, which was supposed to turn from red to white after their conversion to Mormonism.1
This bizarre doctrine came directly from the Book of Mormon. What actually happened was that the Book of Mormon underwent a textual change one more time. This time, the change was in 2 Nephi 30:6. The prophecy reads:
"3. And now, I would prophesy somewhat more concerning the Jews and the Gentiles. For after the book of which I have spoken shall come forth, and be written unto the Gentiles, and sealed up again unto the Lord, there shall be many which shall believe the words which are written; and they shall carry them forth unto the remnant of our seed, (i.e., the American Indians, D. H.).
4. And then shall the remnant of our seed know concerning us, how that we came out from Jerusalem, and that they are descendants of the Jews.
5. And the gospel of Jesus Christ shall be declared among them; wherefore, they shall be restored unto the knowledge of their fathers, and also to the knowledge of Jesus Christ, which was had among their fathers.
6. And then shall they rejoice; for they shall know that it is a blessing unto them from the hand of God; and their scales of darkness shall be begin to fall from their eyes; and many generations shall not pass away among them, save they shall be a white and delightsome people." (bold letters by D. Helland)
In fact, the Mormon Church changed the word white to pure in verse 6 of the English version of the Book of Mormon.
Even though the white Mormons may have been glad to receive this news, the American Indian Mormons underwent a profound feeling of betrayal, for they had been checking their skin daily to see if it was changing color. Their disappointment was certainly great, for the Book of Mormon described their dark skin as just part of the curse that came upon their ancestors for having rejected God. The rest of the curse was that they had become "loathsome, and a filthy people, full of idleness and all manner of abominations."2
In the past, according to the Book of Mormon, the American Indians lost this curse very quickly after their conversion to Jesus Christ.3 but the modern American Indians had waited a century and a half, from 1830 to 1981, without receiving this blessing. Now they were hearing their leaders proclaim that Joseph Smith, Mormonism's founder, had personally changed the word "white" to "pure" in the Book of Mormon, but Brigham Young, his successor as prophet, had changed it back to the original manuscript reading.4
1 Jerry P. Cahill, Salt Lake Tribune, September 30, 1981.
2 Book of Mormon, 1 Nephi 12:23 (see also 2 Nephi 5:21 and Alma 3:6).
3 Book of Mormon, 3 Nephi 2:15.
4 The Ensign, October 1981, pages 17-18.
The Smithsonian Institution
The Book of Mormon
Missionaries of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the Mormons) have the habit of implying that the Book of Mormon has scientific support. Some of them have even said that scientists have used the Book of Mormon as an archeological guide. These affirmations have caused a strong reaction by scientific community which everyone should be aware of. Mormon pressure within the U.S. government has caused the Smithsonian to stop sending out this declaration, but it still stands behind these affirmations, every one of them flying in the face of information found in the Book of Mormon. The following is its response:
"Your recent inquiry concerning the Smithsonian Institution's alleged use of the Book of Mormon as a scientific guide has been received in the Smithsonian's Department of Anthropology.
The Book of Mormon is a religious document and not a scientific guide. The Smithsonian Institution has never used it in archeological research and any information that you have received to the contrary is incorrect. Accurate information about the Smithsonian's position is contained in the enclosed "Statement Regarding the Book of Mormon," which was prepared to respond to the numerous inquiries that the Smithsonian receives on this topic.
Because the Smithsonian regards the unauthorized use of its name to disseminate inaccurate information as unlawful, we would appreciate your assistance in providing us with the names of any individuals who are misusing the Smithsonian's name. Please address any correspondence to:
Public Information Officer-Department of Anthropology
National Museum of Natural History-Smithsonian Institution
Washington, DC 20560
Prepared by the Department of Anthropology, Smithsonian Institution
Statement Regarding the Book of Mormon
1. The Smithsonian Institution has never used the Book of Mormon in any way as a scientific guide. Smithsonian archeologists see no direct connection between the archeology of the New World and the subject matter of the book.
2. The physical type of the American Indian is basically Mongoloid, being most closely related to that of the peoples of eastern, central, and northeastern Asia. Archeological evidence indicates that the ancestors of the present Indians came into the New World - probably over a land bridge known to have existed in the Bering Strait region during the last Ice age - in a continuing series of small migrations beginning from about 25,000 to 30,000 years ago.
3. Present evidence indicates that the first people to reach this continent from the East were the Norsemen who briefly visited the northeastern part of North America around A.D. 1000 and then settled in Greenland. There is nothing to show that they reached Mexico or Central America.
4. One of the main lines of evidence supporting the scientific finding that contacts with Old World civilizations, if indeed they occurred at all, were of very little significance for the development of American Indian civilizations, is the fact that none of the principal Old World domesticated food plants or animals (except the dog) occurred in the New World in pre-Colombian times. American Indians had no wheat, barley, oats, millet, rice, cattle, pigs, chickens, horses, donkeys, camels before 1492. (Camels and horses were in the Americas, along with the bison, mammoth, and mastodon, but all these animals became extinct around 10,000 B.C. at the time when the early big game hunters spread across the Americas.)
5. Iron, steel, glass, and silk were not used in the New World before 1492 (except for occasional use of unsmelted meteoric iron). Native copper was worked in various locations in pre-Columbian times, but true metallurgy was limited to southern Mexico and the Andean region, where its occurrence in late prehistoric times involved gold, silver, copper, and their alloys, but not iron.
6. There is a possibility that the spread of cultural traits across the Pacific to Mesoamerica and the northwestern coast of South America began several hundred years before the Christian era. However, any such inter-hemispheric contacts appear to have been the results of accidental voyages originating in eastern and southern Asia. It is by no means certain that even such contacts occurred; certainly there were no contacts with the ancient Egyptians, Hebrews, or other peoples of Western Asia and the Near East.
7. No reputable Egyptologist or other specialist on Old World archeology, and no expert on New World prehistory, has discovered or confirmed any relationship between archeological remains in Mexico and archeological remains in Egypt.
8. Reports of findings of ancient Egyptian, Hebrew, and other Old World writings in the New World in pre-Columbian contexts have frequently appeared in newspapers, magazines, and sensational books. None of these claims has stood up to examination by reputable scholars. No inscriptions using Old World forms of writing have been shown to have occurred in any part of the Americas before 1492 except for a few Norse rune stones which have been found in Greenland."
While the Smithsonian Institution no longer issues this detailed explanation due to the complaints of the Mormon Church and its influence within the U.S. government, it continues to maintain this position.
Joseph Smith's Reputation Among His Neighbors
The Bible has strict requirements for church leaders: "A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behavior,...not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous;...Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil." (1 Timothy 3:2, 3, 7)
Unfortunately, few people other than those who believed him to be a prophet respected him. When E. D. Howe visited the area where Joseph Smith had been reared, he found great anger and resentment among those who had formerly been neighbors to the Smith family. Below are some of the signed statements they were willing to publicly declare about them:1
Palmyra, December 4, 1833
We, the undersigned, have been acquainted with the Smith family, for a number of years, while they resided near this place, and we have no hesitation is saying, that we consider them destitute of that moral character, which ought to entitle them to the confidence of any community. They were particularly famous for visionary projects, spent much of their time in digging for money which they pretended was hid in the earth; and to this day, large excavations may be seen in the earth, not far from their residence, where they used to spend their time in digging for hidden treasures. Joseph Smith, Senior, and his son Joseph, were in particular, considered entirely destitute of moral character, and addicted to vicious habits.
Martin Harris was a man who had acquired a handsome property, and in matters of business his word was considered good; but on moral and religious subjects, he was perfectly visionary--sometimes advocating one sentiment and sometimes another. And in reference to all with whom we were acquainted, that have embraced Mormonism from this neighborhood, we are compelled to say, were very visionary, and most of them destitute of moral character, and without influence in this community; and this may account why they were permitted to go on with their impositions undisturbed. It was not supposed that any of them were possessed of sufficient character or influence to make any one believe their book or their sentiments, and we know not of a single individual in this vicinity that puts the least confidence in their pretended revelations.
Geo. N. Williams H. Linnell Thos. Rogers, 2nd Clark Robinson Jas. Jenner Wm. Parke Lemuel Durfee S. Ackley Josiah Francis E. S. Townsend Josiah Rice Amos Hollister Henry P. Alger J. Townsend G. A. Hathaway C. E. Thayer R. D. Clark David G. Ely G. W. Anderson T. P. Baldwin H. K. Jerome H. P. Thayer J. Sothington G. Beckwith L. Williams Darfee Chase Lewis Foster Geo. W. Crosby W. Anderson Hyram Payne Levi Thayer N. Beckwith P. Grandin R. S. Williams Philo Darfee L.Hurd P. Sexton Giles, S. Ely Joel Thayer M. Batterfield R. W. Smith E. D. Robinson S. P. Seymour P. West Asahel Millard D. S. Jackways Henry Jessup A. Ensworth John Hurlbut Linus North Isarel F. Chilson
Manchester, Nov. 3rd, 1833
We, the undersigned, being personally acquainted with the family of Joseph Smith, Sen. with whom the celebrated Gold Bible, so called, originated, state: that they were not only a lazy, indolent set of men, but also intemperate; and their word was not to be depended upon; and that we are truly glad to dispense with their society.
Pardon Butts James Gee Joseph Fish
W. A. Reed Abel Chase Horace N. B Hiram Smith A. Wentworth Silvester Worden
Alfred Stafford Moses C. Smith
1 Howe, E. D., Mormonism Unvailed, 1834, pages 261-262.
Mormonism and Free Masonry
Dr. Dean Helland
The Book of Mormon is full of warnings against "secret combinations." It even declares: "For the Lord worketh not in secret combinations, neither doth he will that man should shed blood, but in all things hath forbidden it, from the beginning of man." (Ether 8:19) Nevertheless, Hyrum Smith, the brother of Joseph Smith, Jr., the founder of Mormonism, became a member of a Masonic lodge in 1827, and many of the first Mormons were Freemasons.1
In June of 1838, in Far West, Missouri, the Mormons formed a secret band which took death vows to defend themselves from their enemies and to drive the dissidents (apostates) from among them.2 On March 15, 1842, Joseph Smith became a member of the Masonic lodge in Nauvoo, Illinois. The next day, he was promoted to the highest degree of Freemasonry.3 After a few months, the Freemasons from the other lodges in Illinois expelled the Nauvoo lodge from within its ranks charging them with introducing many changes in the ceremonies.4
To defend himself against accusations that he had incorporated Masonic ceremonies into his own secret Mormon temple ceremonies, Joseph Smith declared that Freemasonry was actually a corruption of the original true religion, and that he had restored it back to its purity by revelation from God.5 Even so, at the moment of their deaths, he and his brother were Freemason members-in-good-standing.6 When they were attacked in prison by the mob that killed them, Smith gave the Masonic cry for help: "Oh, Lord, is there no help for the widow's son?"7
The Masonic bloody oaths remained incorporated into the secret Mormon temple ceremonies until April 10, 1990. They were discontinued at that time due to the protests of many Christian groups.8 Evidence of Mormonism's historic ties with Freemasonry remains in the signs of the compass, square and ruler on the sacred under garment worn by every Mormon missionary.
1 Kenneth W. Godfrey. Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society, Spring, 1971, p. 81-82.
2 Harold Schindler. Orrin Porter Rockwell: Man of God, Son of Thunder, 1966, p. 44.
3 Joseph Smith, History of the Church, vol. 4, pages 551-552.
4 E. Cecil McGavin, Mormonism and Masonry, 1956, pages 89-92,
5 McGavin, page 199.
6 History of the Church, vol. 7, page 188.
7 McGavin, page 17.
8 Jerald and Sandra Tanner, Evolution of the Mormon Temple Ceremony, 1842-1990, pages 6-8. 9 Tanner, page 108.
Joseph Smith and Witchcraft
Question: “Was not Joseph Smith a money-digger?"
Answer: “Yes. But it was never a very profitable job for him, as he only got fourteen dollars a month for it."1
With that response, Joseph Smith indirectly confirmed two things about his past: (1) The reports about his involvement with necromancy (invoking the spirits of the dead) to look for buried treasure were accurate, and (2) his lack of success in finding buried treasure motivated him to turn to religion and the myth of the golden plates of the Book of Mormon as a more profitable vocation.
After having denied these things for over a century, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the Mormons) now tacitly recognizes that its founder did indeed necromancy and other forms of sorcery to look for hidden treasure.2 It does not accept, however, that these practices should in any way diminish his position as a true prophet of God.
His mother, Lucy Mack Smith, did not deny the accusations of witchcraft, but was very irritated by accusations saying that her husband and son (Joseph Smith, Sr. and Joseph Smith, Jr.) were lazy. She defended them with these words:
"Let not my reader suppose that because I shall pursue another topic for a season that we stopt our labor and went at trying to win the faculty of Abrac[,] drawing Magic circles or sooth saying [sic] to the neglect of all kinds of buisness.(sic)
[W]e never during our lives suffered one important interest to swallow up every other obligation but whilst we worked with our hands we endeavored to remember the service of & the welfare of our souls"3
One can see here that she was not denying that her husband and her son practiced sorcery, but only that they were lazy. In the book, Early Mormonism and the Magic World View, on the pages inserted between page 228 and 229, one may see photographs of all the magic paraphernalia used by the Smith family to search for hidden treasure: Divination rods, magic stones, astrological tables, Jupiter and Venus talismans, a triangle of Abracadabra, a magic dagger with which to make magic circles and magic parchments.
D. Michael Quinn, a Mormon historian, defends Joseph Smith by pointing out that he never practiced black magic, and that these things should not lessen the stature of Joseph Smith, Jr. as a prophet of God, since Roman Catholic publications as well as some Protestant publications have printed horoscopes and other things having to do with magic from time to time.4
That fact, however, does not annul the clear teachings of the Bible:
When thou art come into the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not learn to do after the abominations of those nations. There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer.
For all that do these things are an abomination unto the Lord: and because of these abominations the Lord thy God doth drive them out from before thee. Thou shalt be perfect with the Lord thy God.
For these nations, which thou shalt possess, hearkened unto observers of times, and unto diviners: but as for thee, the Lord thy God hath not suffered thee so to do.5
1 Joseph Smith, History of the Church, Volume 3, page 29.
2 D. Michael Quinn, Early Mormonism and the Magic World View, 1987, page 135.
3 Quinn, pages 54-55.
4 Quinn, pages 6-9.
5 Holy Bible, Deuteronomy 18:9-14.
Mormonism and Islam
Dr. Dean Helland
According to R. C. Evans, Joseph Smith, the founder of Mormonism, was very interested in the Koran during his adolescent years.1 A comparison of Mormonism and Islam reveals a number of doctrinal parallels which appear to be more than coincidences. Unlike Mohammed, however, Smith attempted to maintain a Christian veneer. For that reason, he camouflaged his Islamic doctrines.
Let us take Jacob 2:24 of the Book of Mormon as an example. It reads: "Behold, David and Solomon truly had many wives and concubines, which thing was abominable before me, saith the Lord." This verse would lead one to think that Joseph Smith did not believe in polygamy. However, within a year after the publication of the Book of Mormon, he took a second wife. In addition to his legitimate wife, Eva Smith, he ended up marrying at least forty-eight other women in secret ceremonies during his lifetime.2
In his "revelation" about polygamy in section 132:39 in the Doctrine and Covenants, he wrote: "David's wives and concubines were given unto him of me, by the hand of Nathan, my servant, and others of the prophets who had the keys of this power." Verse 62 reads: "And if he have ten virgins given unto him by this law, he cannot commit adultery, for they belong to him, and they are given unto him; therefore he is justified."
2. The Death Penalty for Apostates
Mormons believe that the shed blood of Jesus Christ is not sufficient to forgive all sins.3 Brigham Young taught that the blood of the apostate (one who leaves Mormonism) and of those who commit certain other sins must be shed in order that he or she may be saved.4 For this reason, the Mormons during the 19th century eliminated many people who left the Mormon religion. The "Danites" and the "Destroying Angels" left a horrible trail of death of people not submitting to the prophet's oracles.5
3. World Domination
Book of Mormon readers are surprised to learn that when Jesus Christ visited the American continent shortly after his resurrection, he prophesied that in the last days, shortly before his Second Coming, the Mormon Indians will exterminate all the American inhabitants who will not accept the message of the Book of Mormon and repent:
"12. And my people who are a remnant of Jacob shall be among the Gentiles, yea, in the midst of them as a lion among the beasts of the forest, as a young lion among the flocks of sheep, who, if he go through both treadeth down and teareth in pieces, and none can deliver.
"13. Their hand shall be lifted up upon their adversaries, and all their enemies shall be cut off.
"14. Yea, wo be unto the Gentiles except they repent."
3 Nephi 21:12-14a (see also 3 Nephi 16:13-15 and 20:14-17)
One of the great defenders of Mormonism expressed his surprise concerning this prophecy. He wrote:
All this might have seemed possible to men living in the early decades of the 19th century, 1820-1830, when Indian tribes of unknown strength but well attested ferocity occupied the greater part of the land over which the United States now extends its jurisdiction, but it is scarcely possible now to entertain such conceptions of native race terror, triumph, and domination over the Gentile nation of the United States. All reasonable expectation of such an event has passed.6
If the Mormon hope concerning its world dominion no longer rests on the American Indians, its objective remains the same. Joseph Smith declared that, "The time will come when the destiny of this nation is going to be suspended on a single thread. At that critical time, this people will make itself present and will save it from the threatened destruction."7
They believe that after the United States submits to Mormon leadership, the rest of the world will do the same in order to preserve the peace,8 and thus prepare the way for the return of Christ who will reign over the earth as head of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the Mormon Church). ________________
1 R. C. Evans, Forty Years in the Mormon Church—Why I Left It, page 32.
2 Fawn M. Brodie, No Man Knows My Story, Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 1978, p. xii.
3 Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 4, p. 53-54.
4 Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 4, p. 219-220.
5 John D. Lee, Confessions of John D. Lee, 1880, p. 282-283.
6 Brigham H. Roberts, Robert's Manuscript Revealed, A Photographic Reproduction of Mormon Historian B. H. Roberts' Secret Studies on the Book of Mormon, p. 177.
7 Joseph Smith, as quoted by Brigham Young in 1854, Journal of Discourses, volume 7, p. 15 (see also the Journal of Discourses, 12:204 and the Doctrine and Covenants, 103:5-7).
8 Hyrum L. Andrus, Joseph Smith & World Government, p. 116.
The Book of Mormon and Polygamy
Dr. Dean Helland
Mormonism is famous for having practiced polygamy (having more than one wife) until the U.S. government cracked down on it at the end of the 19th century. Few people are aware that the Book of Mormon clearly teaches against polygamy. In every passage where the Book of Mormon refers to polygamy, it condemns it.
The most hard-hitting references to it are found in Jacob 2:24, which reads: "Behold, David and Solomon truly had many wives and concubines, which thing was abominable before me, saith the Lord", and in Jacob 2:27, which reads: "...For there shall not any man among you have save it be one wife; and concubines he shall have none;"
In the same chapter, polygamy is described by God as "a grosser crime" (verse 22), "iniquity" (verse 23), "whoredoms" (verse 28), and "wickedness" (verse 31). This subject is also mentioned in other places in the Book of Mormon, and in each instance it is treated with total condemnation.1
How, then, can the Mormons still believe that polygamy is considered by God to be the ideal condition for mankind? It seems that after the publication of the Book of Mormon, many women followed "the prophet", and he began to change his ideas on the subject. He actually claimed to receive a "revelation" which commanded its practice. This "revelation" is still in one of the books of Mormon scriptures, The Doctrine and Covenants, in section 132.
The first verses of this "revelation" read as follows:
1. "Verily, this saith the Lord unto you my servant Joseph, that as you have inquired of my hand to know and understand wherein I, the Lord, justified my servants Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, as also Moses, David and Solomon, my servants, as touching the principle and doctrine of their having many wives and concubines—
2. Behold, and lo, I am the Lord thy God, and will answer thee as touching this matter.
3. Therefore, prepare thy heart to receive and obey the instructions which I am about to give unto you; for all those who have this law revealed unto them must obey the same.
4. For behold, I reveal unto you a new and an everlasting covenant; and if ye abide not that covenant, then are ye damned; for no one can reject this covenant and be permitted to enter into my glory."
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints justifies this contradiction on the basis of a single word which is found in the Book of Mormon in Jacob 2:30: the word "otherwise" which should read "in other words" in the context provided:
30. "For if I will, saith the Lord of Hosts, raise up seed unto me, I will command my people; otherwise (read in its place in other words) they shall hearken unto these things."
This single word provides a loop-hole in the Book of Mormon teaching against polygamy by completely changing the sense of the text! With this error which Joseph Smith made when he wrote the text, he was able to ignore all the teachings in the Book of Mormon against polygamy and command its practice! Mormonism still believes not only that polygamy is the marital state that God prefers for man, but also that Jesus Christ is going to re-establish that practice when he returns to reign over the earth.2 _______________________
1 See also Jacob 3:5-8; Mosiah 11:2, 14; and Ether 10:5. 2 Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, p. 578
Prayer of Salvation:
Lord Jesus, I thank you for your Holy Word, the Bible, which reveals the plan of salvation which is so simple. I repent for thinking that a church could save me when you only ask me to come to you in simple faith. Lord, I have heard your knock at the door of my heart. I open that door and ask you to come in. I believe that you lived a sinless life, took my sins upon you when you died on the cross, and are now at the right hand of the Father, praying for me.
I renounce Mormonism and everything associated it. I ask for release from all the spirits of deception I have allowed in my life by doubting your holy Word and following the teachings of men. Cleanse me with your shed blood. I believe. I receive you now as my Lord and Savior. I will seek out a church which teaches the Bible as the guide for my life. I will be re-baptized as a testimony of my new-found faith. I give you my life. Do with me what you will. I promise never leave you, with the help of the Holy Spirit.
Thank you, Jesus! Amen!
If you prayed this prayer sincerely, please contact Dr. Dean at the email address below and let him know about it. He will see that you receive the guidance necessary to keep you in the ways of the Lord. Of course, your name and email address will be kept confidential.
NOTE: All other correspondence with Dr. Dean is made with the understanding that it may be used in part or in whole on this website or elsewhere.