Why Mormonism is not a cult

Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. -Matthew 5:15
Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. -Matthew 5:15

It was made apparent to me at a very early age that the religion I grew up with was looked upon with vast indifference among other denominations of Christianity. I recall some kids at school catching wind of the fact that I was a Mormon and a small group of them approaching me. "Are you really a Mormon?" one of them asked. I was a little confused and afraid to answer them. "Yeah, what religion are you?" I said, then they all started to list off their various religious affiliations.

It was nothing really, just a little exposure to my mind that something about my family was different than other people, and I did not like that thought. I let it fester for a few years and afterwards I did not want to go to church. Regardless my loving mother dragged me there kicking and screaming every Sunday.

As I was going into high school I recall a particular kid who always wanted to debate me about Mormonism. He showed me a book titled "why Mormonism is a cult" and thought he could trip up my faith by dissecting the book of Mormon and the history of the LDS church. I was amused by this young man's passion and utter disregard for the fact that I was completely uneducated about my own religion, nor did I have any desire to be educated about it. In fact I halfheartedly despised it. Even the shop teacher knew more about my religion than I did. He said Mormons believe that Jesus came to America. That was news to me. It just shows how much I paid attention in Sunday School.

I recall taking that kid's little anti-Mormon pocket book, tearing it up, and throwing it in the trash. If anything he sparked a little more passion in me to retain my beliefs. It's interesting how that had a reverse effect to what he intended. Even if I were to reject Mormonism I most definitely would not be joining his religion. It reminds me of all those little anti-Mormon articles or videos I see on the internet every now and then. Sure you can show them to some people and you might have a little success pulling them away from one religious organization, but all you are really doing is building a testimony against religion in of its self.

That is the trending phenomenon, to say that you don't have to go to church to believe in God, or to resonate in their minds the false notion that Jesus was against organized religion. But you cut off your nose to spite your face in that the influence of God is broadened by the strengthening of his church, and pulling them away from the very walls that lift them up effectively weakens his influence on the world. Seeking after this new age embodiment of inner religion devoid of outward influence leaves the world in a state of disarray, without Baptism, sacraments, priesthood blessings, or any other holy ordinances that uplift and sanctify the soul.

Utah beats every other state in charitable contributions per capita by a huge margin.
Utah beats every other state in charitable contributions per capita by a huge margin.

As it stands Christianity has the monopoly on charities in the world, but where would those charities be without organized religion? They would dwindle as people fail to live up to biblical standards, and invent their own image of what they think God should be like. You could rationalize away things like tithing, charitable contributions, and service to others.

Charity alone can stand as a forthright evidence against the claim that Mormonism is a cult.

"He that giveth unto the poor shall not lack: but he that hideth his eyes shall have many a curse." -Proverbs 28:27

incidentally most of the blue states who voted down God at their national convention this year give the least.

So if we are to abandon our churches and pursue only inner faith we would be hiding the candle under the bushel rather than setting it upon a hill, don't you think? It would seem to me that by the standard of charity prescribed in the bible every other religion that is prevalent in every other state on the chart seems to suffering from a small case of cult like reclusveness when it comes to being charitable.

Culturally Mormons are resilient and self sustaining. recently a dam in Utah broke which caused devastation to the town of Santa Clara. The people of Utah sent FEMA packing that day because they speak religiously about preparation for such events. They were calm and organized, and focused on what needed to be done to restore the town. Contrast that to the disgraceful events that occurred in Louisiana when the levy broke in New Orleans, the looting, the violence, the wasteful spending, and the fraud that ensued in the aftermath.

Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. -Matthew 7:20
Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. -Matthew 7:20

So now there's something I just can't wrap my brain around, because I grew up in the crazy world of Mormonism I am astounded to this day at the accusation from other religions that the LDS church is a cult. By the way another name for Satan is "the accuser" and I've seen several churches blatantly disregard the commandment not to falsely accuse their neighbor in this regard.

But having grown up in one of the most somber and mellow churches, where people wouldn't so much as clap in a chapel after a masterful piano concerto was delivered, out of respect for the sacredness of that room does not evoke an iota of fanaticism or mindless zealotry, or even a hint of unusual worship or practices. Yet people scrape through the barrel to find something that somebody said a hundred years ago for the sake of polarization and demonizing simply because they disagree with how we define our faith.

People of the Mormon faith know exactly what their values are and are not afraid to stand up for them. The divorce rate among us is low, the people are healthier than average Americans, and they have a longer life expectancy. So if you are a practicing Mormon chances are you will have a long and happy life.

As I said in the beginning, it was made apparent to me that my religion is different than the rest of Christianity and it most definitely is. The main difference is the abundance of good fruits it produces.

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Comments 59 comments

WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 3 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

I think it's probably the fact that other Christians believe in one God and only one God, so they reject the notion of millions upon millions of other gods.

That's a major difference, and probably the driving reason. In fact, it may be the reason Obama was reelected...many people just could not vote for a Mormon.

But I did!


Onusonus profile image

Onusonus 3 years ago from washington Author

That's cool Will, but Mormons do not worship millions upon millions of Gods, only one.


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 3 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

"That's cool Will, but Mormons do not worship millions upon millions of Gods, only one."

Oh, I know, but it's the belief that there are millions of other gods in other universes, and that Mormons themselves will become gods that other Christians reject.


Onusonus profile image

Onusonus 3 years ago from washington Author

I understand, although the Idea that everyone has the potential to be like God is laid out in several biblical passages.

"Ye are gods, and children of the most high" -Psalm 82:6- John 10:34

"Be ye therefore perfect even as your Father in heaven is perfect" -Matthew 5:48

"that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature" -2 Pet 1:4

These among several other passages, while I would say are left up to interpretation as with anything in the bible, otherwise there would be only one denomination of Christianity, this is not an unheard of concept in the history of Christianity.

The early Greek church called it Deification. Certainly it is not the mainstream interpretation but easily debatable.


ssaville profile image

ssaville 3 years ago

Interesting hub. I am always fascinated by Mormonism. But I have some other Bible quotes for you:

"See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god beside me" (Deuteronomy 32:39)

"Before me no god was formed, nor shall there be any after me" (Isaiah 43:10)

I believe it is safe to assume that while other verses are deemed as possibly meaning one thing if "left up to interpretation", If one or more verses strictly say another thing, your interpretation of those loose verses must be erroneous.

While the verses in Isaiah and John are interesting anecdotes that can be feasibly left to interpretation, the verse from Mathew is an instruction on how to live, not what to be after you die. Oh, and the Isaiah one states that people are already gods, but they are going to die anyways because God isn't happy with them. Again, not what they are going to be after they die. If you want to interpret that as actual "Gods" rather than a fancier word for a tyrant, why did they die?

By the way: Mormonism is considered a cult because it is completely and wildly different than Christianity, and adds an entire book which it values over the original in the case of conflicting passages. Unlike an actual denomination, which simply adds a few rules here and there.


Onusonus profile image

Onusonus 3 years ago from washington Author

Well while you may assert that "there is no God beside me" is irrefutable evidence that there is no possibility that God could make one of his creation like him, I would assert that the words "ye are gods" is pretty hard to misinterpret as well. There is also in Genesis a plurality used when God says "let us make man in our image".

So clearly Isaiah's words can be interpreted to assert the supremacy, authority, and superiority of Yahweh not only over false idols but over all else, including real gods. Thus we can conclude that "there is no other God beside me" in essence is saying that there is no other God equal to him. There are several instances in the book of Isaiah where he uses that exact wording for that very purpose.

Note also that adding books to Gods word has been a consistency over the ages, so a prophet adding books to Gods words should be expected. Otherwise you could use the same argument to disprove Christianity, as such a long period of time passed before suddenly twelve guys came along and decided to change all the rules.


Wakerra profile image

Wakerra 3 years ago

Millions of Gods is Hinduism.

Are we not children of God? If children of a King, then heirs.


Onusonus profile image

Onusonus 3 years ago from washington Author

You are right, and Hinduism has absolutely nothing to do with Mormonism. Mormonism is, the worship of the one and only creator of the heavens and Earth. No other being in the universe has power unless that power is delighted from him. The Savior said; "all power is given unto me in heaven and in earth".


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 3 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

So Mormons do believe there is only one God, and that they will never be gods themselves?

If so, I have been misinformed.


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 3 years ago from Southern Georgia

Wow! If they'd just had some Mormons in New Orleans during Katrina.......


Onusonus profile image

Onusonus 3 years ago from washington Author

Just in the biblical sense Will.


Onusonus profile image

Onusonus 3 years ago from washington Author


Wakerra profile image

Wakerra 3 years ago

Will: Not entirely. Not to argue any opinions, because debates go nowhere fast. Put simple, this is what we believe: Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit are three seperate beings, that make up one Godhead. We Worship Christ as our Savior, master, and through Faith, we are adopted in as his Children, and he our father. Heavenly Father is the literal father of our spirits, and Christ's literal father in both flesh and spirit. The Holy Ghost is a personage of Spirit, who testifies of truth, warns us of danger etc. To get to God the Eternal Father, we go through Christ, who is the advocate, and provides mercy

We have the POTENTIAL to all become Gods, however, that requires an eternal Temple Marriage, keeping and following covenants and commandments, while enduring to the end. Not everyone will be a God because of Agency and choice, those who do not make and keep sacred covenants will be as Ministering Angels


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 3 years ago from Southern Georgia

Then what was the problem? They should have sponged up that mess in a few days if they are so efficient. I'm sorry, I know you have faith in your cult but it is simply unbelievable if you look at how it began.

I'm not saying the Mormons are bad folks--of course all religious cults have their share--just out of all the major religious cults yours is harder to buy into historically. Not that I buy into any of them, yet.

SSSSS


Wakerra profile image

Wakerra 3 years ago

Egypt didn't build itself over night either you know. Honestly I think that is the most foolish thing I've ever heard. "Sponge up Katrina in a few days"? Ok, well let me just wave my magic wand and make everything back to normal. we're talking billions of dollars worth of damage! The fact of the matter is that we were THERE. Getting down and doing HARD LABOR when no one else was.


Onusonus profile image

Onusonus 3 years ago from washington Author

Randy, always with the inflammatory verbiage. A cult is a small group of people who cut themselves off from society, and brainwashes the people whom they dupe into joining them to live and act by the whims of a charismatic leader. They are sometimes violent or suicidal, and the LDS church along with many other denominations of Christianity posses none of these characteristics.


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 3 years ago from Southern Georgia

Er...wasn't there a massacre you guys were famous..er...infamous for? A wagon train of settlers heading west in which all or most of the male passengers were slaughtered and the women and female children...how do I put this...acquired? It seems as if I remember something about such an occurrence, but perhaps you'll tell me what really happened?

SSSSS


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 3 years ago from Southern Georgia

@Wakerra--No, you've heard many more foolish things than that. You merely accept it as truth.

SSSSS


Wakerra profile image

Wakerra 3 years ago

arguing goes nowhere. I will just state that common belief, gossip, and rumors aside, what I've come to find for myself, through personal confirmation from on high, is truth.


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 3 years ago from Southern Georgia

Sure, Wakerra. Jim Jones' bunch used the same excuse. Facts mean nothing to the religiously indoctrinated. Y'all have a nice day now, ya heah?

SSSSS


oceansider 3 years ago

Hello Onusonus:

The reason that Mormonism is called a cult, is because of its use of another book, the "book of Mormon", and also because Mormons think that they can themselves become "gods", and also, because they feel they have to "perform" to be good enough to get into heaven.....These are the main reasons it is called a cult, however, in the book I read, written by a former Mormon, turned Christian.....there are certainly other reasons as well.

In this book, the former Mormon writer stated that he became a Christian....The Lord showed him that he needed to leave the Mormon church....and the writer also stated that in the Mormon religion, they had the belief that men could become "gods"....In addition to that, he mentioned that the Mormons have an extra book..."the book of mormon"...Jesus warned us that we should never add or take away from the scriptures, because the Holy Bible contains the Living Word of God.....we cannot and must not change or add anything to God's Word.....

This man and his wife both became Christians years ago, and decided to live in Salt Lake City....They have since preached the Gospel of Jesus Christ to Mormons, telling them about their lives as Mormons, and about what led up to their conversion to Christianity.....If I can find the name of the book, I will get back to you with it. ( I had read this aproximatley 10 years ago.

May you know the Love of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, as we celebrate His Divine Birth....and I do hope you understand, that Jesus was sent down from heaven by God the Father, and was born of the Virgin Mary and lived here on earth as fully God and fully man....He came down here to earth, to save us of our sins and give us eternal life, by dying on the cross in our place....He forgave us of our sins by His precious Blood and we were washed whiter than the snow.....He has sealed every believer's soul until the day of redemption, by His Holy Spirit of Promise......Jesus will return very soon, it could be any moment now....to take us, His saints, home to paradise with Him & we will forever be with our Lord in heaven!


Onusonus profile image

Onusonus 3 years ago from washington Author

Randy, the Mormon pioneers were chased out of three states and their leader was murdered, along with many others. They were being constantly harassed by the US Government simply for wanting to exercise their constitutional right to religious worship. What happened during that massacre was inexcusable and the perpetrators acted on their own merits contrary to the orders that they were given. Some of those men escaped imprisonment and, some were caught. They were excommunicated from the church and at least one of them was sentenced to death.

What is foolish is nitpicking at the honorable actions of the people who took the time to help hurricane victims. What did you do to help them?


Onusonus profile image

Onusonus 3 years ago from washington Author

Oceansider, as I have said before becoming like God is a biblical assertion and even a commandment of Jesus Christ. If Mormons are to carry the lable of "cult" simply for adding a book to scripture then all of Christianity is guilty of this offence for adding the new testament to the old. There is no such doctrine as to "performing" to get into heaven in LDS doctrine, only that which has been described consistently through prophetic council since the beginning of man and his walk with God.

The argument that God can not add to his own books of prophecy is a very loose interpretation of the book of revelations which was compiled with several other prophetic writings that make up the bible which was compiled nearly three hundred years after the book of Revelations was written.

Laastly I hope that one day you will come to know the love of our lord and savior Jesus Christ the mediator and advocate with the father who died on the cross as a vicarious sacrifice for the salvation of the world. He rose the third day and overcame death so that we all may return to our father in heaven and experience eternal salvation.


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 3 years ago from Southern Georgia

I wasn't nitpicking at those who helped during Katrina, Onus. You brought up Katrina in this hub comparing it to a broken dam in Utah when there is a big difference in the two disasters.

As for your definition of a cult:

" A cult is a small group of people who cut themselves off from society, and brainwashes the people whom they dupe into joining them to live and act by the whims of a charismatic leader. They are sometimes violent or suicidal, and the LDS church along with many other denominations of Christianity posses none of these characteristics."

I think you have to admit your faith started off with merely a few people led by a very charismatic leader--which historical documents characterize as a common con man--who liked the ladies and so did his main proponents and backers. There are plenty of episodes of both violence and, of course, people being duped into believing Smith actually got his info from an angel.

The definition of a cult, given by yourself in the above comment, matches your religion to a tee. Don't feel like you are being picked on. I feel the same way about all religious cults.

And the reason they were chased out of the states was because they promoted bigamy. If Smith said it was God's will then you guys should still follow his wishes if you truly have faith.

SSSSS


ssaville profile image

ssaville 3 years ago

I don't doubt that actions of the Mormon church are indeed honorable, and I believe the Christian church could learn a thing or two about service from them. However, my main beef with Mormonism is it's founder. Joseph Smith claimed to be a prophet. The Mormon church considers him to be the greatest prophet to ever live. The bible clearly states that if a prophet is wrong on so much as ONE of his prophecies, he should immediately be killed. Claiming that God says something he doesn't is an extreme affront to Him. So... Why has Smith erroneously prophesied over 50 times?

http://www.exmormon.org/prophet.htm

There's a comprehensive list if you don't believe me. How do you dismiss that?

This doesn't even touch on the facts of his origin story. How many times did he change his story before he came up with the angel Moroni? I'm pretty sure it was a glowing salamander at one point.


Lady Guinevere profile image

Lady Guinevere 3 years ago from West Virginia

In my article here: http://wizzley.com/cults-of-the-religious-kind-don...

there is a list of characteristics of what a cult does to the people. If you cannot leave your religion without being hounded, threatened or put on guilt trips or told that you are going to hell, then you are in a cult.


Onusonus profile image

Onusonus 3 years ago from washington Author

Not even close Randy. The violence always came from those who opposed the LDS church. Any church will start off small but the fruits of the tree is what distinguishes a true religion from blind fanaticism. You are merely lumping Mormons in with crazies like Jim Jones and Chuck Manson for the purpose of polarizing.

If you have faith in nothing that is certainly your God given right, but to tear down the legitimate faith and service of devout Christians is low in character.


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 3 years ago from Southern Georgia

"The violence always came from those who opposed the LDS church."

157 men, women and children were captured under a flag of truce and guaranteed safe passage by the Mormon militia after a 5 day siege of the Arkansas settler's wagon train. These people posed no threat to the Mormons. 140 of these pilgrims were summarily executed with only those 8 years and under spared.

But perhaps you have a different meaning of the word "violence."

I have "faith" in my ability to discern superstition from facts, to research history, to read the words of con men and false prophets, and to decide for myself whether their ramblings have any basis in fact.

Perhaps in your world, " to use the sense a god gave me." I have no wish to destroy anyone's faith, but outdated silly superstitions have no place in a modern society and certainly shouldn't be pushed on the gullible.

And I can give more examples of Mormon violence if you wish.

SSSSS


Onusonus profile image

Onusonus 3 years ago from washington Author

That's very nice Randy and yet you persist to rail against the beliefs of the LDS church, and minimize their valiant efforts to serve their fellow man. Again, what did you do for the hurricane victims?


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 3 years ago from Southern Georgia

I contributed in a monetary manner to the hurricane victims Onus, and I didn't have to use a god as an excuse to do so. I have no problem with people believing what they wish as long as it doesn't harm another individual. However, when they start trying to convince others to take part in their delusions they invite criticism. But you know that already.

As long as you keep your beliefs to yourself no one will bother you. By the way, do you believe Joseph Smith was wrong when he advocated for Mormon men having multiple wives when the cult was originally founded?

SSSSS


Onusonus profile image

Onusonus 3 years ago from washington Author

ssavile, several of those assertions are posed to make one believe that there is an expiration date on a prophecy, for instance "the wicked will burn and all prophecies will be fulfilled." for no apparent reason the authors decided to put a 160 year expiration date on that prophecy. Some are commandments rather than prophecies and are left up to the faith and abilities of man, if they go unfulfilled it is because the people did not fulfill the commandment.

What is interesting is the fact that several times in the bible commandments of God go unfulfilled by the people and yet you have no problem with it. Sampson not fulfilling his prophetic obligations, or unfulfilled prophecies of Isaiah, and John the revelator who very often used phrases such as "will shortly come to pass" and their words are yet to be fulfilled. It seems to me that you are holding Joseph Smith to a higher standard than even Biblical prophets.


Onusonus profile image

Onusonus 3 years ago from washington Author

That's all you did Randy? You should have been over there sponging up the water showing up those lazy Mormons if you're so much more efficient.

Not using a god as an excuse to do nothing is not only non productive, but you're pretty much advertising the fact that a whole lot of criticism and do nothingness is worth as much as it weighs. How much does all that hot air weigh anyhow?


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 3 years ago from Southern Georgia

That's right Onus, infer I said Mormons are lazy when I did no such thing. I assume they are just as industrious as any other religious cult, whether they be Muslim, Jew, Christian, Moonies, Scientologists(sic), etc.

"How much does all that hot air weigh anyhow?" As much as 1,000,000 angels Maroni. Ask a silly question......LOL!

You avoided the last question in my previous comment . On purpose, or will you give the pat cult answer of my not being worthy of one?

SSSSS


Onusonus profile image

Onusonus 3 years ago from washington Author

Actually I think I just completely blew your mind. What state are you from?


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 3 years ago from Southern Georgia

From the land of many other religious cults, unfortunately. All equally as ridiculous as yours but without the documentation to prove it. The last question is hard for you, isn't it? If you answer Smith wasn't wrong to recommend bigamy then you have to admit the church went against his teachings. If you answer he was wrong, then you open the door to his being wrong on everything else. Decisions , decisions!

Let's see whose mind is blown when/if you answer. LOL!

SSSSS


oceansider 3 years ago

Dear Onus,

I am sorry if what I wrote earlier was hurtful....I didn't want it to be...I respect you and my only motive for making the comments that I did, was to be helpful....but, I have to admit that because I am always straight forward about things, what I said may have sounded cold....and I apologize to you if this was the case..... Because Jesus wants me to love everyone, I try to always be loving, and I ask Him to make me more like Him every day, and I also ask Him to show me how I can bring glory to His name.

I guess I am not always the best at smoothly saying what I want to say, but I never meant to hurt you, and if I did, I feel terrible, so please forgive me if this was the case.....May God bless you and your loved ones.....in Christ, Helen


Onusonus profile image

Onusonus 3 years ago from washington Author

You first Randy, tell me how it is that the secularists are the ones who set the bar on what constitutes true humanity based on peoples actions. Yet atheists and humanists (the ones who profess to be more in touch with reality), have so much trouble applying their own philosophy of what should and should not be humane, and every attempt they make to be charitable gets completely blown out of the water by religious charities.

Then laughably instead of trying to apply a true principle of charity they resort to force and cohesion through the implementation of socialist programs that are always a miserable failure! You guys just don't seem to understand the fact that charity is a Christ like attribute, counter intuitive to the desires of the natural man. It's okay, I know it never will sink in that being part of a religious organization is more valuable than belonging to nothing, and just having your own internal thoughts about what spirituality should be.


ssaville profile image

ssaville 3 years ago

Onus, you really need to stop dodging. It's becoming aggravating. Randy is getting irritated, and I am losing interest in you. You hold on to little things, fight back with them and other gross extrapolations, and completely avoid the major points. Please, address all the things you've avoided.


Onusonus profile image

Onusonus 3 years ago from washington Author

Oceansider, I promise you that I was never offended by your comments. I want you to know that I have many friends who are of a diverse group of christian denominations and we always go back and forth about our religious views without malice ever entering the conversation, and I want you to feel comfortable in commenting here knowing that it takes a lot to offend me. If I came back at you with too much sarcasm do what I do. Just blame Randy. ;)


ssaville profile image

ssaville 3 years ago

In one of his prophesies, he claimed that the world would end in 56 years. Since we are still standing, I think it's safe to say that it didn't happen. And I don't think you can use the argument, "the people didn't make it happen" for the end times. There were plenty of others like this one that you outright avoided to complain that some of them weren't fair. Well played.


oceansider 3 years ago

Onus,

I am relieved that you were not offended!....Have a blessed Christmas as we celebrate Jesus Christ our Lord!.......take care, Helen


Onusonus profile image

Onusonus 3 years ago from washington Author

Saaville, It is important to realize that while Jesus Christ resided on the earth he stated that no mortals or angels would know when He would return:

But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only" (Matthew 24:36).

Because we do not know, we need to constantly be ready for his return, for "in such an hour as ye think not the Son of Man cometh"

However, Joseph Smith did make several interesting statements about seeing the Savior. B.H. Roberts in History of the Church notes the Prophet's remark in 1835 when he is reported to have said that,

...it was the will of God that those who went Zion, with a determination to lay down their lives, if necessary, should be ordained to the ministry, and go forth to prune the vineyard for the last time, or the coming of the Lord, which was nigh—even fifty-six years should wind up the scene.[2]

In Feb 1835, fifty six years in the future was February 1891. This would be shortly after Joseph's 85th birthday (he was born 23 December 1805).

Joseph made continuous reference to this date in light of a revelation which he reported. It is recorded in DC 130:14-17, and it is clear that the revelation leaves the exact date of Christ's second coming much more uncertain. Whatever Joseph meant or understood by "wind up the scene," it must be interpreted in light of the revelation as he reported it, and the conclusions which he drew from it.

This particular revelation is a favorite of anti-Mormon critics. They have misquoted it, misreported it, misinterpreted it and misexplained it. Most often they simply do not complete the quote, making it appear that the Prophet said something he didn't.

The revelation is reported in abbreviated form, and Joseph acknowledged as he recorded it that he didn't understand its meaning or intent:

I was once praying very earnestly to know the time of the coming of the Son of Man, when I heard a voice repeat the following: Joseph, my son, if thou livest until thou art eighty-five years old, thou shalt see the face of the Son of Man; therefore let this suffice, and trouble me no more on this matter. (DC 130:14-15).

Many critics end the quote at this point, and then they hope the reader will assume that the statement is a prophecy that the Savior would come in the year 1890 or 1891, since the Prophet Joseph was born in 1805. (Other critics do not even bother to cited D&C 130, and simply rely on the quote from the Kirtland Council Minute Book of 1835, reproduced in History of the Church.)

However, if the reader will continue further in that passage, they will see how Joseph Smith himself understood the revelation, unfiltered through note-takers or critics who wish to explain his meaning:

I was left thus, without being able to decide whether this coming referred to the beginning of the millennium or to some previous appearing, or whether I should die and thus see his face (DC :130).

The actual content of Joseph's prophecy--if personal opinion can be said to be prophecy--does not occur until the next verse:

I believe the coming of the Son of Man will not be any sooner than that time.(DC 130:17.)

Without a doubt, Joseph's belief proved correct. The Lord did not return to the earth for His Second Coming before that time.

But there are other aspects of fulfillment that should also be considered. We do not know when it was that the Prophet earnestly prayed to know the time of the Lord's coming. The context, (verse 13), shows that it may have taken place in 1832 or earlier. At least twice, as is recorded in the Doctrine and Covenants, Joseph saw the face of the Son of Man. DC 76:20-24 and DC 110:2-10 both record appearances of the Lord Jesus Christ, either of which may constitute fulfillment of the Lord's prophetic promise. He may also have seen the Lord's face at the time of his death in 1844, as he pondered in D&C 130:16.

Joseph made reference to the incident on at least two other occasions, and indicated that his belief was not that the Lord would come by the time of his 85th birthday, but rather that the Lord would not come before that time, which of course was a correct prophecy.

In the History of the Church:

I prophesy in the name of the Lord God, and let it be written--the Son of Man will not come in the clouds of heaven till I am eighty-five years old.

Again, Joseph Smith doesn't say the Lord will come then, but that He will not come before that time. The return to his age 85 shows that all these remarks derive from the same interpretation of his somewhat opaque revelation from the Lord, who seems determined to tell his curious prophet nothing further.

Later, Joseph Smith again prophesied on the subject of Christ's coming:

I also prophesy, in the name of the Lord, that Christ will not come in forty years; and if God ever spoke by my mouth, He will not come in that length of time. Brethren, when you go home, write this down, that it may be remembered. Jesus Christ never did reveal to any man the precise time that He would come. Go and read the scriptures, and you cannot find anything that specifies the exact hour He would come; and all that say so are false teachers.

This remark was made on 10 March 1844. It echoes a teaching given through Joseph in the Doctrine and Covenants in March 1831:

And they have done unto the Son of Man even as they listed; and he has taken his power on the right hand of his glory, and now reigneth in the heavens, and will reign till he descends on the earth to put all enemies under his feet, which time is nigh at hand—I, the Lord God, have spoken it; but the hour and the day no man knoweth, neither the angels in heaven, nor shall they know until he comes. (DC 49:6-7, emphasis added)

Thus, from the beginning to the end of his ministry, Joseph Smith denied that a man could or would know the date of the second coming of Christ. (Joseph's remarks may have been instigated by the intense interest among religious believers in William Miller's prophecy that Christ would return by 1843.)

I hope this helps your faith in Mormonism, I know it helped mine and I would not have been able to answer such a question unless being relentlessly provoked by naysayers such as yourself. So thanks!


Onusonus profile image

Onusonus 3 years ago from washington Author

Merry Christmas Helen!


ssaville profile image

ssaville 3 years ago

I love how you spend an exorbitant amount of time on that statement and still avoid all the much more interesting topics. Like the fact that Joseph Smith intentionally started out as a fraud, as I have stated earlier, and you ignored. This is a well documented fact. How do you explain this?


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 3 years ago from Southern Georgia

@ssaville--This is nothing new as I've tried to pin Onus down before and he always talks around or avoids the questions. The same goes for any other member of their cult I've conversed with on the subject.

I suppose in a way I don't blame them as there are just too many contradictions in Smiths claims to explain coherently. He was a common con man before he came up with the religious scam which made him rich and famous. And duh, there were plenty of men who loved the idea of having several women at their beck and call so he used this ploy to get followers right from the start.

And yes, his past is well documented but the Mormons fool themselves into believing it's all merely propaganda. What else can they do? No, Onus will not answer these type questions, he never has.

SSSSS


Onusonus profile image

Onusonus 3 years ago from washington Author

Ssaville, I spent the time to give you a well thought out answer to your question and, like Randy always does, you dismissed it and moved on to the next accusation. This is exactly why I don't need to answer his questions and now yours as well.

It doesn't matter what I say to you. I could spend the next week going back and forth with the two of you over who said what and why I believe what I believe, neither of you have any intention of converting to Mormonism and I will never convince you that my beliefs are true. Much like the average nonbeliever you two require empirical evidence to prove any religious beliefs when they are based on faith in God and inspiration through the guidance of his Holy Spirit.

By the way, I can very easily answer every accusation you two throw at me about the LDS church because you have asked me the same questions that people have asked me throughout my life, and I've got to say they just kind of get old after a while.

I'm truly sorry that you can't come to terms with the fact that Mormons believe Joseph Smith was a wonderful, benevolent, and genuine prophet of God, and you don't. Lots of people didn't believe in Jesus when he came around, and like Joseph Smith and most of God's other prophets, they have been reviled and falsely accused by naysayers through out history. It's nothing new.


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 3 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

The most basic tenet of Christianity is the absolute belief in one God and only one God. That belief is beyond compromise, and that is the reason that traditional Christianity do not recognize the LDS as a 'Christian' religion.


Onusonus profile image

Onusonus 3 years ago from washington Author

Actually the main reason that traditional Christianity does not recognize Mormonism as "Christian" is due to the fact that we do not subscribe to post biblical trinitarian, and reformationist theology.

I agree that our beliefs are not in sync with traditional Christianity, there is no question about that, hence we are non traditional restorationists.

We believe in the father, the son, and the holy Ghost, and that the only path to eternal salvation is through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. This is what is central to our beliefs, and is what every Christian in the world shares with one another. You won't find it in Islam, Buddhism, Paganism, Hinduism, or judiasm, but you will find it at the forefront of Mormonism should you decide to walk into a real LDS church rather than wading through the plethora of pros and cons, truths and untruths found on the internet. I'll leave it to your good judgment Will, as I know that you are an honest truth seeker.


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 3 years ago from Southern Georgia

The way I seek truth is to ask questions, Onus. If something seems outrageous or impossible, I cannot make myself believe it isn't. And no, you haven't answered these questions before. You've used artifacts from Native American cultures in an attempt to say they were made by the supposed civilizations the Mormons claimed existed here long ago.

Nothing concrete, noting at all. But I'll leave you alone now.

Shalom.

SSSSS


Onusonus profile image

Onusonus 3 years ago from washington Author

As I said, I debunk it, you dismiss it.

Have a good one Randy.


ssaville profile image

ssaville 3 years ago

You're dang right I require empirical evidence. I'm betting my soul here. I'd better know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I'm right.

I believe in following the truth wherever it takes me, even if I dislike it. Which is why I believe in Christianity, an old earth, Newtonian physics, and micro evolution. Evidence for all those is overwhelming. I do not however, believe in macro evolution, flat earth, astrology, Gnosticism, Mormonism, Jehova's Witness...ism? Or any other heresy. Evidence for those things being true is anecdotal at best, and evidence to the contrary of all those cases is alarmingly prevalent.

The reason I dismiss your debunks is because I am either unsatisfied with your debunking, or giving it to you. Sure, I'm wrong sometimes. It happens. Your knowledge of your faith is impressive.

No matter how much you argue that Mormonism is a cult, you can't dodge the fact that that the Mormon beliefs blatantly contradict Christian beliefs(which are formed from scripture), science and history.

Mormonism says that a great apostasy happened. The bible says that there will never be one.

In Ether 9, the book of Mormon states that all manner of livestock were in America prior to Columbus' arrival. None were.

Also in ether, there is talk of bees. Guess what else wasn't in America before it was colonized?

1 Nephi 4:9 claims that Laban's sword was made of steel. No one in america had that technology before Columbus. They hadn't even made bronze yet.

History: 3, Mormonism: 0

Your move.


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 3 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

OK, here is why I see the Mormon church as a cult:

My brother-in-law was recruited as a young man by Mormons. He later left, and although it has been years ago, and he is now a Baptist, the Mormons still hound him to return.

Since he stayed with us a few months after a divorce, the Mormons still come here looking for him, because this is his last known address. They also send him mail here.

I know who they are and what they want as soon as I see them on my front porch, and no matter how many times I tell them he has no interest in them anymore, and to stop bothering me, they still come.

My wife and I came home once and found two of them going through our trash looking for clues on where to find him. I should have called the police and had them arrested.

Mormons are relentless, and their recruitment methods followed by hard indoctrination (read: brainwashing) and their relentless searches for anyone who leaves is the very definition of a cult.

I have lots of Mormon friends, but they know better than to even broach the topic. And the word is out on the dangers of knocking on my door. They no longer send boys. They send big, burly adults. They stand way back from my door, and it takes about ten seconds for me to express my displeasure at their presence and they leave in a hurry.


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 3 years ago from Southern Georgia

I agree, Will. I see those poor kids out riding their bikes from door to door "paying their missionary dues" as it were, and feel bad for them having to interject themselves in other peoples lives and homes.

You can tell they don't really want to be there at all. Yes, sorta like the Moonies used to be at the airports. Sad.

SSSSS


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 3 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

All I know is my personal experience, and similar stories from others.

I went to another brother-in-law's Mormon baptism many years ago in Mesa Az., and was set upon by members who insisted that I listen to their appeals to join.

I resent being pushed and harassed.

BTW, that brother-in-law now lives in Salt Lake City and is some sort of big wheel in the church.


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 3 years ago from Southern Georgia

Probably promoted to a prophet of some sort by now. If so, ask him what the lottery numbers are going to be. :P

SSSSS


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 3 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

I hope I have not offended my good friend, Onusonus. I certainly did not intend to offend. That was just my experience.


Onusonus profile image

Onusonus 3 years ago from washington Author

Ssaville it seems to me that you are randomly picking and choosing the things you require empirical proof for. You are implying that the Bible adheres to known science when there are many defiances against science which can only be explained as miracles by believers and lies by unbelievers.

The Bible says in Thessalonians 2:3 there will be a falling away or "apostia" to use the Greek.

North American Indian traditions which recount legends of giant stiff-legged beasts which would never lie down, had a big head and large leaf-like ears, round footprints, forward bending knees, and had a fifth appendage coming out of its head. In addition to the legends, five elephant effigies have been found in ancient Mexico and two

in Arizona.

There have been a number of horse bones discovered in America that might date to Book of Mormon times. The surviving remains from such finds are currently undergoing testing to determine their antiquity. Although these discoveries are recent, it proves that what we know about ancient America is in a state of constant change. Denying the possibility of an animal existing in preColumbian America simply because there is limited evidence is based on lack of research. It does not mean that it isn't possible.

Scientists have also recently discovered historical evidence of bees in America. Bruce Warren, for instance, notes that there “are many references in the Maya region to honey bees in ancient times, and these references occur in ritual contexts, i.e., are of native or pre-Spanish origin." Other New World scholars have observed that “not only was the domesticated bee in ancient America but that there were gods of bees and beekeepers . Honey was considered a real treat for the Indians. Equally important was black wax taken from the hives which was often traded for other commodities.

I'm not keeping a tally between history and Mormonism, but I would say that Mayan history seems to be anachronistic to some presuppositions in modern science.


Onusonus profile image

Onusonus 3 years ago from washington Author

Will, I have to say that if I found out about people rooting through my trash I'd be pissed. That is something I would never condone, and I think that pushy missionaries work counter intuitively to their goals.


Wakerra profile image

Wakerra 3 years ago

Pushy either is derived by passionate, motivated, or greedy purposes. I will not say the church members are without flaw, because lets face it, we're ALL human here. I can't defend that, but I also won't go nit-picking everyone else's flaws from other religions/companies and such, because that'll get no where fast.

Its not so much about the people, as it is the doctrine. Church is for the sinners, not the perfect people. Don't judge me because I sin differently than you

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