Unbiblical LDS Doctrines

By Mark Swarbrick

I have found that many Mormons are not aware of all that the Mormon church teaches. Many of the LDS doctrines are contrary to what the Bible teaches. This articles shows what they teach and why it is contrary to Biblical Christianity.

Polytheism

One of the central tenants of Mormon doctrine that separates Mormonism from Christianity is the LDS teaching of a plurality of Gods. Christianity has always been monotheistic. Technically speaking, Mormonism is henotheism, a form of polytheism that emphasizes a central deity. Mormon literature teaches that there is only one god over this planet, but that there are other planets that have other gods ruling over them. Joseph Smith wrote, “In the beginning, the head of the gods called a council of the gods; and they came together and concocted a plan to create the world and (the) people in it.[1] But this is what God’s Word says:

“Declares the LORD…Before me no god was formed, nor will there be one after me. I, even I, am the LORD, and apart from me there is no savior.” (Isaiah 43:10-11)

“This is what the LORD says—Israel’s King and Redeemer, the LORD Almighty: I am the first and I am the last; apart from me there is no God.” (Isaiah 44:6)

“Is there any God besides me? No, there is no other Rock; I know not one.” (Isaiah 44:8)

“There is no God but one.” (1 Co 8:4)

“For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (1 Timothy 2:5)

Holy Scripture, God’s written infallible word, is very clear: There is only one God. And He is not just a god over this earth. The Bible declares Him to be God and Creator of the heavens and the earth. He is God of the entire universe and the only God. So one has to choose between Mormonism and Christianity, between the written Word of God and a “different gospel.” Joseph Smith himself said:

“If any man will prove to me by one passage of holy writ, one item I believe to be false, I will renounce it and disclaim it as far as I have promulgated it.” [2]

Holy writ has proved him wrong. There are not many gods. There is only one. Either Joseph Smith didn’t know the Bible, or he went back on his word. In any event – what will you do with this?  Will you believe God’s Word, or will you believe in the words of a mere man?

Polygamy

In Doctrine and Covenants, Section 132, Joseph Smith wrote that God said that plural marriage was to be an everlasting covenant and law. Verse 4 has God calling plural marriage a “new and everlasting covenant” and that whoever didn’t live it “shall be damned.” He didn’t say it was a temporary law. He said it was permanent. This is bad news for today’s Mormons, since the Mormon Church has disavowed polygamy. So who is right?  Was the Mormon Church wrong for forsaking polygamy or was Joseph Smith wrong when he said one must live it or be damned? The Mormon Church and the Mormon prophet’s writings teach opposite things. This is a conundrum for LDS followers.

Brigham Young repeated the warning in the Deseret News on November 14, 1855:

“Now if any of you will deny the plurality of wives and continue to do so, I promise that you will be damned . . .”

Section 132 of Doctrine and Covenants also has God (conveniently for Joseph) threatening damnation to Emma, Smith’s legal first wife, by saying that she would be destroyed if she did not accept her husband’s polygamy. Imagine how poor Emma felt. Her husband is having secret illicit sex with 14-year-old girls and if she doesn’t agree with this she is threatened with destruction from the Almighty!  Imagine how Mormon women, who had this immorality forced upon their families, must have felt.

On August 18, 1842 Joseph Smith wrote a letter to Sarah Ann Whitney, a 17-year-old girl who was one of his secret wives. In this letter to this underage child Josephs says:

“I am now at Carlos Grainger’s…..all three of you can come and see me in the fore part of the night, let Brother Whitney come a little ahead, and knock at the south east corner of the house at the window; it is next to the cornfield; I have a room entirely by myself….it is the will of God that you should comfort me now in this time of affliction….the only thing to be careful of; is to find out when Emma comes, then you cannot be safe, but when she is not here, there is the most perfect safety….Only be careful to escape observation as much as possible….burn this letter as soon as you read it; keep all locked up in your breasts…”[3]

What sort of man slinks around in the night, sneaking a 17-year-old girl to his window and cautioning her to beware of his wife? Is this the behavior of a true prophet of God? Historical accounts show that Joseph Smith tried to keep his polygamy secret. He slowly introduced it to his trusted top leadership while trying to hide it from the church congregation as a whole. This is another mark of a false prophet:

“But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies…”(2 Peter 2:1)

This is exactly what Joseph Smith did – he secretly introduced the destructive heresy of polygamy into Mormonism. Although Joseph Smith wrote “scripture” that was supposed to make all this okay, we know from our conscience and from real scripture that it is not, to wit:

“Deacons must be husbands of only one wife…” (1Timothy 3:12)

“An elder must be blameless, the husband of but one wife…” (Titus 1:6)

“Jesus said to them…’from the beginning of creation, God made them male and female. For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother, and the two shall become one flesh; so they are no longer two, but one flesh.'” (Mark 10:5-8)

According to the Word of God, Joseph Smith wasn’t even qualified to be a deacon or an elder, for elders and deacons could only be the husband of one wife, so that they would set a proper example for the church. Jesus didn’t say that two or three or more become one. No, but he said the two become one. God did not create a Mary, Sarah, Rachael, and Martha for Adam. No, God created but one woman for Adam.  Although God may have tolerated polygamy by some in Old Testament times, He never commanded it. The New Testament and the teaching of the Lord Jesus Christ make clear God’s original intention for marriage: One man, one woman.

Blood Atonement

Blood Atonement was taught and practiced in the early Mormon Church and it is by far the most abominable doctrine ever taught. Not only does it deny the efficacy of Christ’s atonement on the cross, but it teaches that murder will save people. This teaching has led to the untold murder of hundreds, perhaps thousands of innocent victims. The doctrine of blood atonement was used to justify the massacre of 120 innocent and defenseless men, women and children by Mormons at Mountain Meadows, Utah, on September 11th, 1857.

Speaking in the Salt Lake Tabernacle on February 8, 1857, Brigham Young taught:

“There are sins that men commit for which they cannot receive forgiveness in this world, or in that which is to come, and if they had their eyes open to see their true condition, they would be perfectly willing to have their blood spilt upon the ground, that the smoke thereof might ascend to heaven as an offering for their sins, and the smoking incense would atone for their sins, whereas, if such is not the case, they will stick to them and remain upon them in the spirit world … Now take a person in this congregation who has knowledge with regard to being saved in the kingdom of our God and our Father and being exalted, one who knows and understands the principles of eternal life, and sees the beauty and excellency of the eternities before him compared with the vain and foolish things of the world, and suppose that he is taken in a gross fault, that he has committed a sin he knows will deprive him of the exaltation he desires, and that he cannot attain to it without the shedding of his blood, and also knows that by having his blood shed he will atone for that sin, and be saved and exalted with the Gods, is there a man or woman in this house but would say, `shed my blood that I might be saved and exalted with the Gods?’ All mankind love themselves, and let these principles be known by an individual and he would be glad to have his blood shed. That would be loving themselves, even unto an eternal exaltation. Will you love your brothers or sisters likewise, when they have committed a sin that cannot be atoned for without the shedding of their blood? Will you love that man or woman well enough to shed their blood?”   — Journal of Discourses 4:210

Mormon Leader John D. Lee in his book Mormonism Unveiled, published in 1877, tells of the atrocities committed in the name of blood atonement. He recounts the beatings, robberies, castrations, and assassinations that culminated in the Mountain Meadows Massacre. At Mountain Meadows a wagon train en route to California was attacked by Mormons.[4] The men of the wagon train fought valiantly. They circled the wagons and held off the attackers. But after a siege lasting five days they were running out of ammunition and the people of the wagon train were dying of thirst.

On the fifth day John D. Lee approached the wagon train and made pretense that it was the Indians who were attacking them, and that if they would surrender their arms, the Indians would leave them alone. This was a ruse to get the people out of their stronghold so they could finish them off. Having no other choice, the people did as they were told, thinking that they were at last saved from the Indians. As the people were being marched away under guard, upon the command of “Mormons – Do your duty,” each Mormon then shot the man he was guarding. The rest — men, women and children — were all shot, stabbed and hacked to pieces, stripped naked and left to rot in the sun. Their clothing, livestock, wagons and gold all became the property of the Mormons. Only children thought to be too young to talk were spared. But the Mormons miscalculated. Such horrendous trauma was remembered, as Mrs. Sallie Baker Mitchell related:

“Last November, I passed my 85th birthday and at the time of the massacre I wasn’t quite three years old. But even when you’re that young, you don’t forget the horror of having your father gasp for breath and grow limp, while you have your arms around his neck, screaming with terror. You don’t forget the blood-curdling war-whoops and the banging of guns all around you. You don’t forget the screaming of the other children and the agonized shrieks of women being hacked to death with tomahawks. And you wouldn’t forget it, either, if you saw your own mother topple over in the wagon beside you, with a big red splotch getting bigger and bigger on the front of her calico dress.” [5]

According to court records the attack was ordered by Mormon Bishop William H. Dame and Isaac C. Haight, Mormon Stake President at Cedar City Utah. Fifty-two Mormons took part in the massacre, along with a force of Indians who were directed by the Mormons to assist in the killing in exchange for some of the booty from the wagon train. Mormon Prophet Brigham Young said afterwards, “God has shown me that the massacre was right.”[6]

This was all done at the orders of the Mormon hierarchy and the evidence is overwhelming that it was done by the express order of Brigham Young,[7] and the justification for this atrocity was the doctrine of blood atonement. Those commissioned to commit the murders were told that they were “saving” these Gentiles by shedding their blood.[8]

In Wife No. 19: A Life In Bondage,[9] Ann Eliza Young, Brigham Young’s 19th wife tells of the terrible times when blood-atonement was the order of the day in the Utah Territory:

But twenty, fifteen, even ten years ago, an apostate’s or Gentile’s life was worth absolutely nothing. It was difficult to tell which of the two they hated with the most deadly hatred. The doom of either was irrevocably fixed, and it came, swift and sudden, often before he knew that danger menaced him. It did not need actual knowledge of a man’s defection from the church, or that his disapprobation of the course pursued by leaders should be openly expressed; it was enough that he should be merely suspected, and his fate was just as certain, coming swift and sure, before he had even an opportunity of defending himself. A strict surveillance was kept over the movements of any stranger in the city, and if his words or actions displeased the Mormon spies, he never got far beyond the city limits on his onward journey before some sad accident befell him, which left him lying dead by the road-side.”

The Mormon leaders referred to these frequent murders with euphemistic phrases. You will find them recorded in their sermons of the day. Unwelcome Gentiles or any Mormons wishing to leave the church, or a Mormon who so much as disagreed or grumbled were to be, “put out of the way,” “hewn down,” “used up,” or “saved.” All nice ways of saying that they would have their throats slit.

Even Brigham Young’s own son had his soul twisted by this bloody doctrine. Historian William Bagley reports:

“These obsessions had devastating consequences for Young’s own family. In New York in 1902, William Hooper Young, the prophet’s grandson, slit the abdomen of an alleged prostitute and wrote the words “Blood Atonement” in his father’s apartment.” [10]

The Ten Commandments say: “Thou shalt not kill.” The Mormon prophet taught otherwise, another clear disparity between Mormon teaching and God’s word. Fortunately, blood atonement by killing is no longer taught in Mormonism, but it was in the past. The remnants of the teaching linger. In Utah those given the death penalty have the option of choosing death by firing squad, so that their blood may be shed upon the ground as an atonement.[11]

Deification of Man

In June of 1840, fifth LDS President and Prophet Lorenzo Snow declared:

“As man is, God once was; as God is, man may become.”

LDS Apostle Bruce McConkie, in Mormon Doctrine, Page 237 says:

“Thus those who gain eternal life receive exaltation … They are gods.”

The LDS Journal of Discourses and Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith record Joseph Smith as saying:

“First, God himself, who sits enthroned in yonder heaven, is a man like one of you…Here then is eternal life – to know the only wise and true God; and you have got to learn how to be Gods yourselves, and to be kings and priests to God the same as all Gods have done before you.” [12]

“The Lord created you and me for the purpose of becoming Gods like Himself” (Journal of Discourses 3:93).

We have already seen that the Bible teaches unequivocally that there is only one God. In Genesis we see that Satan was the first one to teach the lie that men can become gods:

“For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God…”  (Genesis 3:5)

In point of fact, wanting to be like God was Satan’s original sin:

How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning!  How art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!  For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell… (Isaiah 14:12-15)

Whereas Joseph Smith and Brigham Young encouraged Mormons to “learn to be Gods yourselves,” [13]  Holy Scripture contradicts this, for it records God’s severe judgment falling upon a man who accepted the accolade of godhood:

“On the appointed day Herod, wearing his royal robes, sat on his throne and delivered a public address to the people. They shouted, “This is the voice of a god, not of a man.” Immediately, because Herod did not give praise to God, an angel of the Lord struck him down, and he was eaten by worms and died.” (Acts 12:21-23)

If becoming a god was a good thing, as Mormonism claims, then why does God kill this man in such a horrible way?  Being eaten alive by worms is not a good way to go! This dramatic event shows the abhorrence God has for any man aspiring to godhood. It is antithetical to the humble attitude that Jesus told us we should have. Jesus said:

“Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at all.” (Mark 10:15)

One cannot be as a humble child reverencing the Almighty, while at the same time pretending that God is merely an exalted man and one day you will get to be God also. Notice also how Paul and Barnabas reacted when the crowd wanted to recognize them as gods:

“When the crowd saw what Paul had done, they shouted in the Lycaonian language, “The gods have come down to us in human form!” Barnabas they called Zeus, and Paul they called Hermes because he was the chief speaker. The priest of Zeus, whose temple was just outside the city, brought bulls and wreaths to the city gates because he and the crowd wanted to offer sacrifices to them. But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard of this, they tore their clothes and rushed out into the crowd, shouting: “Men, why are you doing this? We too are only men, human like you. We are bringing you good news, telling you to turn from these worthless things to the living God, who made heaven and earth and sea and everything in them.” (Acts 14:11-15)

Nowhere do we find the apostles teaching that men can become gods. The apostles didn’t say, “Yes, we are gods and you can become gods also.” Neither did they say, “Well, thanks, but we are not quite gods yet, but we’re working on it.” On the contrary, they tore their clothes in a display of public anguish and declared, “We too are only men, human like you.” If Mormonism is true, and if it is really so that men can become gods, why didn’t the apostles ever say it?  Why instead do we find them denouncing the deification of man whenever the occasion arises?

The answer is clear. The deification of man is heresy and again we see that Mormon teaching is contrary to God’s written word.

The Mormon veneration of man is evident in the manner in which Mormons adore Joseph Smith. In a recent broadcast on the Brigham Young University Cable Channel (BYU-TV), a program on Joseph Smith was aired. With a background of glorious music, Smith was exalted with a quote from Brigham Young:

“No better man ever lived, or does live upon the earth. I feel like shouting hallelujah all the time when I think that I ever knew Joseph Smith the prophet.”

Was Brigham Young correct?  Was Joseph Smith the best man that ever lived? What does the historical record say? Let us examine the facts and see if this is so. Was Joseph Smith better than any man?  Was he better than Jesus Christ?

Jesus lived a perfectly sinless life. Jesus is God Himself. Jesus walked on water, raised the dead, gave sight to the blind and rose from the dead. Did Joseph Smith ever do any of these things? Jesus died on the cross and said, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.”

In contrast, Joseph Smith broke the law, rebelled against the government, destroyed personal property, committed adultery with other men’s wives, had sex with 14 and 15- year-old girls and killed two men moments before he died.

When Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt and was trapped against the Red Sea, Moses stretched out his hand over the sea. In broad daylight for all to behold the sea was divided and the Israelites crossed through with a wall of water on their right and on their left. In like manner both Elijah and Elisha struck the water of the Jordan River with a cloak and it parted to the right and left as they crossed on dry ground. When Joshua commanded the priests to enter the Jordon and cross to the Promised Land, once again the river parted. In the New Testament we read that Jesus walked on water and the Apostle Peter walked on the water with Jesus.

Did any similar miracle happen in Joseph Smith’s life? When Joseph Smith desired to flee west into Iowa to escape the governor of Illinois, the Mississippi River was an obstacle in his path. The “Mighty Mississippi” was in flood stage, the worst flood anyone could remember.  Did the great Joseph Smith part the waters?  No?  What did this man do? This man that the LDS Church hails as the best man who ever lived upon the earth, what miracle did he perform? How did he cross the river? Did he walk across on top of the water as Jesus and Peter? No, he used a rowboat — humiliating means indeed for the greatest man to ever walk the earth! Under the cover of darkness and in pouring rain Joseph Smith secretly fled across the Mississippi in a leaky rowboat, all the while frantically bailing out water with his boots to keep from sinking.[14] Joseph Smith: Better than any man who ever lived upon the earth?  Think again.

Jesus said “there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist.” Yet John himself did not promote himself but humbly said of Jesus, He must become greater; I must become less. (John 3:30) How different this is from Joseph Smith’s proud attitude. Smith instituted his own self adulation with such megalomaniacal statements as:

“Neither Paul, John, Peter, nor Jesus ever did it. I boast that no man ever did such a work as I.”  (History of the Church, Vol. 6, p. 408-409)

Joseph Smith – the greatest man who ever lived?  Hardly. Yet Joseph Smith thought so of himself and to this day such hyperbole is typical of the fabled histories put forth by the Mormon hierarchy. A comprehensive study of the history of Mormonism, done in comparison to modern Mormon dogma, depicts an unambiguous conclusion:  Whenever the truth would not do, the Mormon Church invented its own story, a version designed to perpetuate its own legends. Unbiased factual histories are branded as the work of apostates and all effort is expended to forbid Mormonism’s adherents from reading them. Scholastic dishonesty, relative to its own history, is an inherent aspect of Mormonism that is symptomatic of a religion that can’t handle the truth.

The story of Fawn Brodie is a prime example of the disingenuous nature of the leaders of the Mormon Church. Mormon historian Fawn Brodie, professor of history at UCLA, wrote No Man Knows My History, an impartial and historically accurate biography of Joseph Smith that was based entirely upon, as she put it, “true source books to which one must go for first-hand accounts of Joseph Smith’s activities.”[15] The LDS Church ordered her to omit and alter the facts before publishing her book. Refusing to sacrifice truth upon the altar of Mormondom, she published her work as is.  Her candid honesty was rewarded by the Church with a swift reprisal. On May 23, 1945, she received a summons from the Church:

“You are hereby requested to appear before the Mission Court of this Mission at 96 Brattle Street, Cambridge, Massachusetts, on the first day of June, 1946 at two o’clock P.M. for investigation of alleged wrong-doing and to show cause, if any you have, why you should not be excommunicated from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for apostasy, in this among other matters: That in a book recently published by you, you assert matters as truths which deny the divine origin of the Book of Mormon…” [16]

On June 19, 1946, she received this terse notice:

“Please be advised that you have been officially excommunicated from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.” [17]

With one sentence, Fawn Brodie, daughter of Thomas Evans McKay, the ninth president and prophet of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, was “hewn down” and “put out of the way,” although in a less severe manner than the church employed in days of old.

To sum up: The Mormon deification of man finds its ultimate fulfillment in the hero worship of Joseph Smith.  Because the life and times of the real Joseph Smith are so utterly dishonorable, a make-believe patchwork of truth and error has been fabricated to perpetuate the religious legend of Joseph Smith the Prophet.

The Bible clearly teaches that there is only one God over all creation in heaven and earth. It speaks just as clearly that worshipping or recognizing other false gods is a grave sin. The pagan idea of men becoming gods has its root in Satan’s rebellion against God and is a concept that is unmistakably condemned in scripture. Satan’s original sin was fierce pride that caused him to exalt himself as a god. Mormonism teaches there are many gods and that good Mormons will become gods. Mormonism is thus encouraging the same sin that Satan is known for and is leading its people into the gravest of sinful errors.

Dear Mormon friend, turn these things over in your mind. Will you trust your eternal soul to a religion founded by a prideful man who claimed he was better than the Lord Jesus Christ?  Does it not trouble you that the LDS Church has so often tried to bury the truth?  Does it not concern you that Mormon doctrine contradicts the Holy Bible? As you read the scriptures that reveal how God abhors the idea of men becoming gods, and when you read that God struck a man down so that he was eaten alive from the inside by worms because he received tribute that he was a god, does it not cause you to fear to follow a man who was obsessed with becoming a god?

A Different Jesus

My Mormon friend, you may have a high regard and perhaps even an accurate understanding of Jesus, but LDS prophets have described an entirely different personage than the Lord Jesus Christ of the Holy Bible. Mormon prophets from the past have written that the Mormon Jesus is a created being, the elder brother of Lucifer, one of many gods, who was conceived by a physical act of sex between the “father god” of this world and Mary[18]; thus not a true virgin birth. Mormon writings speak of a Jesus that was once a sinful and imperfect man, but obtained godhood by his own efforts. The Mormon Jesus was a polygamist[19] and was born, not in Bethlehem but in Jerusalem. My dear friend, it is likely you do not view Jesus this way, but you must consider that many of the writings of the LDS Church describe him in this fashion. If you doubt me, please research it for yourself.

The Biblical Jesus, on the other hand, is eternally God, eternally perfect and sinless, uncreated and unique, being the second person of the Godhead. His physical body was born of the Virgin Mary, being miraculously conceived by the Holy Spirit who supernaturally overshadowed her, thus a true virgin birth. The real Jesus of the Bible never married and was born in Bethlehem, not Jerusalem.

Bruce R. McConkie, a recent Apostle of the Mormon Church, wrote:

Christ was begotten by an Immortal Father in the same way that mortal men are begotten by mortal fathers…And Christ was born into the world as the literal Son of this Holy Being; he was born in the same personal, real, and literal sense that any mortal son is born to a mortal father. There is nothing figurative about his paternity; he was begotten, conceived and born in the normal and natural course of events, for he is the Son of God, and that designation means what it says.” (Mormon Doctrine, p. 547 & 742).

This is saying that the Mormon father god of this planet came to earth with a body of flesh and bones, complete with genitals, and engaged in a physical act of sex with Mary.[20] This is clearly not Biblical teaching. Surely you do not believe such a thing as this. But you must ask yourself a question: Why have LDS prophets taught this?

Such a thing is impossible because the Bible teaches that God the Father is a spirit and does not have a physical body. John 4:24 says, “God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” and Luke 24:39 says, “A spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.” There you have it from the mouth of the Lord Jesus Christ: God is spirit and a spirit does not have flesh and bones. Yet Joseph Smith’s teachings contradict Jesus! How can this be if Joseph Smith were really a prophet of God?

Furthermore, scripture teaches that Jesus was born of a true virgin and that he was God:

The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel—which means, ‘God with us.'” (Matt 1:23)

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6)

“Jesus said to him, ‘Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how can you say, Show us the Father?’” (John 14:9)

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us…” (John 1:1,14)

The Jesus of Mormonism is a different Jesus from that of the Bible, different from the Jesus of history, another Jesus that is unknown to Christendom. Do you see how often Mormon doctrine is wrong and that the LDS Church is therefore unworthy of anyone’s blind trust?

Knowing Christ – The Key to Salvation

In Philippians 3:8 the Apostle Paul says:

I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus…”

Repeatedly the New Testament emphasizes that knowing Jesus is fundamental to salvation. Paul also warns about knowing the wrong Jesus:

But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ. For if one comes and preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted, you bear this beautifully.”  (2 Co 11:3-4)

Because the Bible teaches that knowing Jesus accurately is of prime importance, let’s take a close look at the Jesus of the Bible and at the Jesus which is presented by the teachings of the Mormon Church.

The Real Jesus

The real Jesus of the New Testament is eternally God – one God, the only God, who is all powerful, all knowing and has existed as God Almighty for all of eternity. The Eternal Son of God became a man: Jesus, miraculously born of a virgin and conceived by the Holy Spirit. He died on the cross so that your sins and my sins could be forgiven. He rose from the grave and ascended into heaven where he intercedes on our behalf to the Father, who is not another god, for there is one triune God of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. These are not three gods, as Joseph Smith taught, but they are one God. The correct understanding of the Triune God is correctly recorded in the introduction to the 1830 edition of the Book of Mormon, where it reads:

And the honor be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost, which is one God.”

This introduction is signed by three men, one of which is David Whitmer, who wrote in 1887 these words of warning to all who would follow Joseph Smith:

“The people of the church put too much trust in him — in the man — and believed his words as if they were from God’s own mouth. They have trusted in an arm of flesh. (Jeremiah XVII:5) “Thus saith the Lord: Cursed be the man that trusted in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord.” They looked to Joseph Smith as lawgiver; we look to Christ alone, and believe only in the religion of Jesus Christ and not in the religion of any man.”[21]

This David Whitmer, whose signature lives in the Book of Mormon, had a correct understanding of the Trinity and comprehended the error of abandoning scripture to follow a mere man. Jesus said:

“Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for unless you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.” (John 8:24)

Herein Jesus is claiming that He is the Eternal God and whoever does not believe this will die in their sins. The Christian Jesus of the Holy Bible is Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, and Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6). The Jesus of Christendom is the Eternal God Almighty. He is the only God. He has always been God. He became a man and lived a perfect sinless life and rose from the grave. He calls us to become as little children, submit our lives humbly to his lordship over us, repent of our sins and surrender our hearts to him. Then He can save us from an eternal fiery hell and open the gates of eternal heaven to us. He will come into our hearts and lives and make himself real. He will lead, guide and instruct and be with us, even to the end of the age. This is the Jesus of Christianity. How wonderful to have a Savior like this!  One who is eternally perfect, forever powerful, intimately loving and merciful!

The Mormon Jesus

As I peruse the writings of LDS church prophets, I find that the Jesus described is distinctly different from the Jesus of the Bible. For example. Mormon writings describe a Jesus that has not always been the eternal God of creation, but rather a Jesus that was, in eons past, a mere human, who later earned godhood.[22] Mormon writings tell of a man who became a god, one of many.

Conversely, the Biblical Jesus is the eternal God who became man. The Jesus of Mormon literature is the reverse, a man who became a god. Both cannot be true and it is only the real Jesus that can truly redeem a person. I am sure you agree that only the real historical Jesus of the Bible can come into your life and change you, commune with you, and quench the thirst of a soul that desires to walk with the true and living God. Can you see that the Jesus described in some of the writings of LDS prophets is another Jesus presenting another Gospel?

The Bible calls us to humble ourselves as a child and submit to the real Jesus, the only Lord our God. Many Mormon writings, I would think, would tend to fill one’s heart with the pride of becoming a god, which is certainly not conducive to humbly surrendering one’s self at Jesus’ feet and exclaiming as Thomas did – “My Lord and my God!” (John 20:28)

LDS Deemphasizes Christ

As I have talked with Mormon missionaries I have noticed a familiar pattern. The Book of Mormon, Joseph Smith and the LDS Church are elevated to a prominent position above the Lord Jesus Christ. Although the Lord’s name is in the Church’s title – The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints – we must remember that Jesus warned that any church can be dead, regardless of its name.

You have a name that you are alive, but you are dead.” (Revelation 3:1)

I note that in LDS services, hymns are sung to Joseph Smith. Testimonies in LDS services are not so much about what Christ has done, but rather how you know by a feeling that the Book of Mormon is true and that the LDS church is the one true church. It is repeated like a mantra. Compare this to the Apostle Paul’s testimony:

“I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord…I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection…” (Philippians 3:4-10)

Thus compare how the Bible exalts Jesus Christ above all, and then compare that to how Mormonism exalts Joseph Smith:

No man or woman in this dispensation will ever enter into the celestial kingdom of God without the consent of Joseph Smith…every man and woman must have the certificate of Joseph Smith, junior, as a passport to their entrance into the mansion where God and Christ are… [Joseph Smith] reigns there as supreme a being in his sphere, capacity, and calling, as God does in heaven. Many will exclaim—’Oh, that is very disagreeable! It is preposterous! We cannot bear the thought!’ But it is true.” (Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, vol. 7, p. 289-91)

“He (Joseph Smith) is the man through whom God has spoken… yet I would not like to call him a savior, though in a certain capacity he was a god to us, and is to the nations of the earth, and will continue to be.” (Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 8:321)

“If we get our salvation, we shall have to pass by him [Joseph Smith]; if we enter our glory, it will be through the authority he has received. We cannot get around him [Joseph Smith]” (President George Q. Cannon as quoted in 1988 Melchizedek Priesthood Study Guide, p. 142).

I tell you, Joseph holds the keys, and none of us can get into the celestial kingdom without passing by him. We have not got rid of him, but he stands there as the sentinel, holding the keys of the kingdom of God; and there are many of them beside him.” (Apostle Orson Hyde, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 6, p.154-155)

“There is no salvation without accepting Joseph Smith. If Joseph Smith was verily a prophet, and if he told the truth…no man can reject that testimony without incurring the most dreadful consequences, for he cannot enter the kingdom of God.” (Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, vol. 1, p.190)

“It is because the Lord called Joseph Smith that salvation is again available to mortal men…. If it had not been for Joseph Smith and the restoration, there would be no salvation…” (Bruce McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, p. 396, 670)

Joseph Smith himself even had the audacity to elevate himself above Jesus Christ:

“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 . . .”  (History of the Church, Vol. 6, p. 408-409)

This exaltation of a mere man to the status of Jesus is an abominable heresy. It is blasphemy. I am not accusing you of doing this my friend. But I am asking you to consider that what the LDS Church has taught may be blasphemous. The Bible clearly tells us:

“For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” (1 Timothy 2:5)

Mormon writings says there are two mediators – Jesus Christ and Joseph Smith. Either the Bible is right and Mormonism is wrong, or Mormonism is right and the Bible is wrong. A choice must be made. Will you choose God’s truth, or Mormonism?

LDS Deemphasizes the Holy Bible

Although the Bible is recognized by Mormons as God’s word, it is with the caveat that it is God’s Word, only insofar as it is translated correctly. This effectively brings the whole Bible into question, for if you can’t believe parts of it, which parts? Thus the mind wonders, can I trust any of it? The result is that the Bible is not studied, read, trusted and believed as it should be.

The fact is, Jesus promised that his words would never pass away. If the Bible is corrupt, then Jesus lied when he said His words would not pass away, because that is the record of his words. But God has providentially preserved His Word and we do have accurate translations. Not only that, we have the scriptures in the original languages and we can compare any translation to the original.

We have fragments of the New Testament dating back to within 25 years of the original and there are over 5,000 extant copies of the Greek New Testament. In addition to the actual Greek manuscripts, there are more than 1,000 copies and fragments of the New Testament in Syrian, Coptic, Armenian, Gothic, and Ethiopic, as well as 8,000 copies of the Latin Vulgate, some of which date back almost to Jerome’s original translation in 384 A.D. The manuscript evidence for the New Testament exceeds any other ancient literature, including Plato, Tacitus, Caesar, Pliny, Sophocles, Aristotle or Shakespeare.

The discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls revealed a copy of the Old Testament one thousand years older than any in existence at that time. When that older copy was compared to the former oldest copy, guess how many copying or translation errors were found to have crept into the text over that one thousand years of time?  Virtually none! As the scripture says:

The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever. (Isaiah 40:8)

Yes, today’s Holy Bible is an exact rendition of what the prophets and apostles wrote. It is accurate and it can be trusted. And the Holy Bible warns us over and over to beware of any teaching that is contrary to what it contains:

“Now I urge you, brethren, keep your eye on those who cause dissensions and hindrances contrary to the teaching which you learned, and turn away from them.” (Romans 16:17)

“I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel; which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed!” (Galatians 1:6-8)

“I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues which are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his part from the tree of life and from the holy city, which are written in this book.[23] (Revelation 22:18-19)

“But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves.” (1 Peter 2:1)

“For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect.” (Matthew 24:24)

“Contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints.” (Jude 1:3)

“Every word of God is tested…Do not add to His words or He will reprove you, and you will be proved a liar.” (Proverbs 30:5-6)

In direct violation of this, the Mormon Church puts the words of their prophets above those of the Holy Bible. As evidence of this I quote Ezra Taft Benson, the LDS 13th President and Prophet.

“The living prophet is more vital to us than the standard works.[24]

The standard works of course include the Holy Bible. Benson elaborated on this point by reading from some Mormon history recorded in Conference Report, October 1897, pp. 18-­19. This is the quote Benson read:

“I will refer to a certain meeting I attended in the town of Kirtland in my early days. At that meeting some remarks were made that have been made here today, with regard to the living oracles and with regard to the written word of God. The same principle was presented, although not as extensively as it has been here, when a leading man in the Church got up and talked upon the subject, and said: ‘You have got the word of God before you here in the Bible, Book of Mormon, and Doctrine and Covenants; you have the written word of God, and you who give revelations should give revelations according to those books, as what is written in those books is the word of God. We should confine ourselves to them.’

When he concluded, Brother Joseph turned to Brother Brigham Young and said, ‘Brother Brigham, I want you to take the stand and tell us your views with regard to the living oracles and the written word of God.’ Brother Brigham took the stand, and he took the Bible, and laid it down; and he took the Book of Mormon, and laid it down; and he took the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, and laid it down before him, and he said: ‘There is the written word of God to us, concerning the work of God from the beginning of the world, almost, to our day. And now,’ said he, ‘when compared with the living oracles those books are nothing to me; those books do not convey the word of God direct to us now, as do the words of a Prophet or a man bearing the Holy Priesthood in our day and generation. I would rather have the living oracles than all the writing in the books.’ That was the course he pursued. When he was through, Brother Joseph said to the congregation: ‘Brother Brigham has told you the word of the Lord, and he has told you the truth.'”

Therefore, according to official Mormon dogma, whatever any LDS prophet says takes precedence over Holy Scripture. This is a very dangerous teaching and it has led to the LDS Church adopting many unbiblical ideas.

 The One True Church

The LDS claims to be the one and only true church upon the earth. My own experience and that of countless others, who have had their lives changed by Jesus Christ apart from Mormonism, belies this LDS belief. There is no man-made organization upon earth that can rightfully be called the one true church. The wonderful change Christ made in my life did not happen because I joined any particular church or “got religion” or performed any outward religious works of my own. All of it was a free gift from God when I put my faith in Christ Jesus. One of the things I have learned as a Christian is that God does not inhabit any one denomination created by man as his sole method of operating. God is bigger than that.

It is Jesus that saves, not religion. I realize this may sound strange to anyone raised in the Mormon faith.[37] So even though this concept that Jesus saves – not a church or religious organization – might be foreign to you, please bear with me while I explain. Perhaps if you consider these scriptures you will see where I am coming from.

It is written in scripture:

“However, the Most High does not live in houses made by men. As the prophet says: ‘Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool.’” (Acts 7:48-49)

This teaches us that man cannot build a church (whether a building or an organization) that God inhabits. Scripture quotes Jesus as saying:

“I will build My church…” (Matthew 16:18)

This tells us that only Jesus builds His church. Man does not build it. Jesus does. And who belongs to that church?

The Bible promises:

“Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”  (Acts 2:21)

Not just Baptists or not just Catholics or not just Pentecostals or not just Mormons. Everyone who calls on the Lord. Jesus Christ saves people regardless of where they attend church if they put their trust solely in Christ to save them. In Acts 11:14 we read:

“And he will speak words to you by which you will be saved…”

Here we see that salvation doesn’t come through a church, or by membership in any earthly religious organization, or even by religious works, but rather it comes through hearing and accepting the message that Jesus is the one and only Almighty God, that He became a man, died for our sins, rose from the grave, and that repentance and faith in His name is the only means of salvation. These are the “words by which you will be saved.”

If any group had a right to claim they were the one true church, it would have been Jesus and the apostles, yet it is written in scripture:

“John said to Him, ‘Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons in Your name, and we tried to prevent him because he was not following us.’ But Jesus said, ‘Do not hinder him, for there is no one who will perform a miracle in My name, and be able soon afterward to speak evil of Me. For he who is not against us is for us.'” (Mark 9:38-40)

So we see that Jesus forbids the kind of exclusive sectarianism that would claim that there is only one true denomination or church. The fact is, the True Church is comprised of all Christians of all denominations who have put their faith truly in Jesus Christ. The fallen hearts of men have often conceived the idea of building an exclusive church for God. But God’s Word says:

What kind of house will you build for me?’ says the Lord. Or where will my resting place be? Has not my hand made all these things?'” (Acts 7:48-50)

Christ has built only one church. It is His church and Jesus said his kingdom is not of this world. A religious organization is of this world. Christ’s true church is a spiritual entity composed of all Christians from all denominations. Many men have tried to build their own kingdom by creating an organization and calling it the one true church but the Word says “the Most High does not live in houses made by men.” Jesus said,

“The kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed;  nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or, ‘There it is!’ For behold, the kingdom of God is in your midst.” (Luke 17:20-21)

God says you can’t point to this building or that organization and say, “Look, that’s God’s true church and kingdom.” No, the kingdom of heaven is much bigger and far more spiritual than some puny organization built by man. Anyone of any denomination who puts their faith in the Jesus of the New Testament and surrenders their heart to Him is a member of the one true church built by Jesus. The real church is described in Hebrews and it is an awesome spiritual unity of believers of all time and all places:

“But you have come to Mount Zion, to the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the living God. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the judge of all men, to the spirits of righteous men made perfect, to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant…” (Hebrews 12:22-24)

Trusting in Church or Trusting in Christ? 

If anyone had a right to claim he was “in the right church,” it was the Apostle Paul. What he says is impressive:

“If anyone else thinks he has reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for legalistic righteousness, faultless. But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith. I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection…” (Philippians 3:4-10)

What is noteworthy here is that Paul does not exalt his lofty religious position or associations. Instead he says all that religiosity is rubbish compared to knowing Christ.

I was raised as a preacher’s kid. I was taken to church and Sunday School every week for my entire childhood. I was baptized into the Lutheran Church when I was a baby. As a teenager I received three years of catechetical training and was then confirmed into the Lutheran Church. I received a diploma in Ministerial Studies from the Berean School of the Bible, Global University, an accredited college affiliated with the Assemblies of God and was ordained a minister by the same denomination. For five years I was a full-time pastor of an Assemblies of God church in Arizona. Although I am grateful for the doctrinal training I received, all of that pales to insignificance compared to the glorious wonder of knowing Christ! All my religious works and background are not what ultimately saved me, nor did they provide the power needed to bring about a fundamental change in my character. I had to come to a point where I realized that I could put no confidence in any outward religiosity to save me. I had to personally put all my trust in Christ to save me. When I surrendered to Christ and invited him into my heart and life – that’s when the miracle happened!  Church attendance, membership or ministry is not something I must do to try to be saved; rather it is something I get to do – something I enjoy doing – because I am saved.

To trust a church to save you is to deny that Christ is your savior. It is to turn your back on a savior that wants a real living personal relationship with you. No religious organization can provide living water for a thirsty soul. Only Jesus can do that. Trusting in church membership is the same as trusting in your own religious works to save you, and whoever does that is not fully trusting Christ for salvation.

Many Christians of the first century were deceived by people teaching that certain ordinances had to be followed by Christians in order to be saved. Circumcision was one of those religious rules that they were insisting on. Here is what the Apostle Paul says about that:

“Mark my words! I, Paul, tell you that if you let yourselves be circumcised, Christ will be of no value to you at all. Again I declare to every man who lets himself be circumcised that he is obligated to obey the whole law. You who are trying to be justified by law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace.” (Galatians 5:2-4)

This principle applies today to any religious work we might do. If we put our trust into believing we are a member of the one true church and if we believe that following that religious organization saves us, then we are putting our faith in something other than Christ, and if we do that, the scripture tells us that we are alienated from Christ!

So my testimony is not that my church is better than anyone else’s church. No one needs to go to my church to be saved or find the truth. The truth is found in any church that teaches the truth of God’s word found in the Bible – the truth that centers on the person of Jesus Christ and which tells us:

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)

The claim of the Mormon Church that their church is the One True Church and the many statements by Mormon leaders that there is no salvation without accepting Joseph Smith is contrary to the express teaching of scripture that salvation is by grace through faith in Christ. It is also contrary to the experience of countless Christians who have experienced the redeeming life-changing power of God in their lives apart from Mormonism. The Mormon emphasis upon salvation by virtue of being part of the supposed “One True Church” is in fact a method of salvation by works, which is a denial of grace.

My dear Mormon friend, please think about this: Who do you love more – Jesus or the Mormon Church?  Who would you rather trust your soul to – Jesus who died on the cross for you, or to an earthly religious organization created by man?

 Please don’t feel like I am attacking your church. I am only pointing out that when your church claims that all other churches are false, then it is the LDS Church that is assailing other churches with a statement that is false and contrary to Biblical teaching. I am sure you are a Mormon because you want to serve God and do what is right. So as you prayerfully draw close to God, remember to put your trust in Jesus alone. Remember that no human institution is infallible. Compare every teaching your church promotes to God’s Infallible Word – The Holy Bible. If it doesn’t agree with that, it is wrong.

Everyone is different. Every Mormon is different. Perhaps what I have said does not apply to you. Perhaps you do not trust the LDS church to save you. Perhaps you don’t think that only the LDS church has the truth. Perhaps you really are trusting solely in Jesus to save you. I hope all of that is true. So if I have mis-characterized anything you believe, please forgive me, but please consider and pray about the things you have read here.

 

[1] Joseph Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, Deseret Book Company, Salt Lake City, 1976, p.349.

[2] Scott H. Faulring, eds., The Diaries and Journals of Joseph Smith, p. 420

[3] Letter written by Joseph Smith in Nauvoo, August 18th 1842. For a facsimile image of the handwritten letter, along with typewritten text of the entire letter, see: http://ldsfreedom.org/PAGES/TOPICS_PAGES/Polyandry_Data/STRANGE_MARRIAGES_of_sarah_ann_whitney.htm. Accessed 2 January 2009

[4] Mormonism Unveiled, John D. Lee, 1877

[5] The American Weekly, August 25th, 1940. This article can be viewed at: http://www.olivercowdery.com/smithhome/1850s/MMMchild.htm. Accessed 2 Jan 2009

[6] Mormonism Unveiled, John D. Lee, 1877

[7] http://www.salamandersociety.com/interviews/willbagley/. Accessed 2 January 2009

[8] The recently released movie, September Dawn, available on DVD, gives an excellent and historically accurate dramatization of the Mountain Meadows Massacre.

[9] Wife No. 19: A Life In Bondage, Ann Eliza Young, 1875

[10] Blood of the Prophets, Will Bagley, p. 379. Also see The New York Times, Sept 19, 20, 21, 1902

[11] http://www.abc.net.au/worldtoday/content/2003/s879371.htm. Accessed 2 January 2009

[12] Journal of Discourses 6:4 & TPJS p. 346

[13] Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pp. 345-347

[14] No Man Knows My History: The Life of Joseph Smith, Fawn Brodie, p. 384.

[15] Ibid, p. 489

[16] http://www.salamandersociety.com/interviews/fawnbrodie/  Accessed 2 January 2009

[17] Ibid

[18] Mary was engaged to Joseph at the time. The Mormon story of Mary’s conception makes the Mormon “father god” an adulterer having physical sex with someone else’s fiancée.

[19] Journal of Discourses, volume 4, p. 259

[20] See also Doctrine and Covenants, 130:22; McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, p. 471; Orson Pratt, The Seer, p. 158-159.

[21] An Address to All Believers In Christ, David Whitmer Richmond, Missouri 1887, p. 4. Available online at: http://www.utlm.org/onlinebooks/address1.htm   Accessed 2 January 2009

[22] The Mormon practice of referring to Jesus as their “elder brother” reflects this low view of Jesus. This is a departure from the reverence given by Thomas who said to Jesus, “My Lord and my God!” (John 20:28).

[23] Mormons argue this only applies to the book of Revelation. However it is no accident, but rather it is divine providence, that the books of the Bible are bound together with Revelation at the end. Furthermore, if it is sinful and punishable to add or detract from one book of the Bible, would not the other books be just as sacred and unalterable?  Finally, similar commands are found elsewhere in the Bible to teach nothing contrary to God’s written word; thus the principle applies across the board to the entire Bible.

[24] Fourteen Fundamentals in Following the Prophet, by Ezra Taft Benson – A devotional address given at Brigham Young University on 26 February 1980. Available at: http://speeches.byu.edu/reader/reader.php?id=6751 Accessed 2 January 2009

[25] Mormonism Unveiled, John D. Lee, 1877,  p. 17

[26] Mormonism Unveiled, John D. Lee, 1877. p. 257

[27] “Put out of the way,” in the 1800s was Mormon-speak for murdering anyone displeasing to church leadership. .

[28] Mormonism Unveiled, John D. Lee, 1877 pp. 241-243

[29] Mormonism Unveiled, John D. Lee 1877

[30] The Blood of the Prophets, William Bagley, pp. 378-380

[31] Mormonism Unveiled, John D. Lee, 1877,  p. 179

[32] An “apostate” is what the Mormons would call anyone, at that time, who recognized the errors of Mormonism and tried to leave the state of Utah. They were hunted down and killed by order of the leadership of the LDS Church.

[33] Notarized Letter of Brigham Young to Mormon Bishop William H. Dame, 1857 In Mormonism Unveiled, John D. Lee, p. 321. To view the letter online, see: http://www.utlm.org/onlinebooks/meadows1.htm

[34] Wife No. 19: A Life In Bondage, 1875, Ann Eliza Young

[35] I highly recommend the book Stolen Innocence by Elissa Wall, the 14-year-old forced by Warren Jeffs to marry her first cousin.

[36] Mormons refer to anyone not a member of the LDS church as a Gentile. I use the term here as the Mormons use it; however this is actually  a misnomer. Proper use of the term Gentile refers to anyone who is not Jewish. By the correct definition all Mormons are actually Gentiles.

[37] Bruce McConkie, who was a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of  the LDS Church, stated in his book Mormon Doctrine: “If it had not been for Joseph Smith and the restoration, there would be no salvation. There is no salvation outside The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints” (Mormon Doctrine, p.670).