Founder: Joseph Smith
Date Founded: April 6, 1830 at Fayette, New York
Actual Name: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
Headquarters: Salt Lake City, Utah
Major School: Brigham Young University
Current President: Joseph Fielding Smith
Church Organization: The administrative structure is as follows:
1. The First Presidency:
a. The president of the church (overall).
b. The president's four counselors.
2. The Council of Twelve Apostles: This group makes church decisions and policies. They are ordained ministers.
3. First Council of Seventy: This group is divided into seven men, a bishop, and his two counselors. They work and deal with the churches.
1. Stake: Large grouping of churches in one area.
2. Ward: A local organized church.
3. Independent Missions: A beginning church with a president and missionaries.
1. In the temple are two major functions: celestial marriage and baptism for the dead.
2. Two orders of priesthood:
· The lesser priesthood
· A male at least twelve years old
· The greater priesthood
· A male at least nineteen years old
· Given to all ruling members
· Tithing: all members must give 10% of earnings annually.
· Mormon young men dedicate two years to missionary work at their own expense
· Mormons are not permitted to use tobacco, hot drinks, liquor, or cokes.
· Genealogy Library: a vault in the mountain of genealogies for the baptism of the dead.
· Storehouse and Farms: these are to prepare for end times.
A. The Book of Mormon: This particular book is the main book of study in the Mormon cult. This is the book that was supposedly translated by Joseph Smith, Jr. from the two golden plates as shown to him by the Angel Moroni. This book is held by Mormons to be equal to the Bible, or greater if needed. The original language is one of “Reformed Egyptian” and there are no original or early manuscripts to study.
The book is a writing of two early civilizations located on the American continent. The first civilization, the Jaredites, left the town of Babel (2,250 BC according to the Mormons) and came to Central America where they were destroyed due to corruption's. The second group, the Nephites, came to South America about (600 BC). This group was the righteous Jews. This group divided into two warring groups, the Nephites and Lumanites, which were eventually destroyed also. The Lumanites were given a curse for their evil deeds, the curse took the form of dark skins. The Lumanites defeated the Nephites in Palmyra, New York.
B. The Pearl of Great Price: It is a writing put out by Joseph Smith, containing four major sections:
1. The book of Moses
2. The book of Abraham
3. Writings of Joseph Smith, Matthew 23:39; 24 and Smith's history
4. The Articles of Faith.
C. Doctrines and Covenants: This book contains in verse form 136 revelations given to Joseph Smith and Brigham Young. The revelations are for specific incidents during the Mormon history.
D. The Inspired Version of the Bible: The book contains additions or Mormon corrections to the Bible.
The Leaders: Joseph Smith , was born December 23, 1805 in Sharon, Vermont and at the age of approximately ten, his family moved to Palmyre, New York. Four years later, after moving to Manchester, New York, a great religious excitement began with the Methodists and eventually all other groups. The religious excitement was centered on getting people converted. What sect or church you went to after conversion was not important, only the conversion. However, after many joined one sect or left another, the priests and ministers began to contend and fight against each other thus proving this “Love” to be hypocritical and not real. This created great confusion in the area.
Joseph Smith, not willing to commit himself to one particular sect at such an early age, was greatly confused over which sect was right. They all claimed to be right and proved the others to be in error, so Smith began to question: “How can I know who is right?” One day while laboring under the confusion of the churches, Smith read James 1:5. (Look this verse up in the Bible). This verse was the answer from God to his problems, and he decided to ask God for wisdom.
On a spring morning in 1820, Joseph Smith retired to the woods to kneel and pray for wisdom. As he prayed some power came over him that bound his tongue and darkness gathered about. This power he alludes to is Satan. Exerting all his power in prayer, a pillar if light fell upon him and he was delivered from the enemy. He then saw two figures standing above him in the air. One called him Smith, by name, and then pointed to the other and said, “this is my beloved Son, hear him!”
After gaining his composure, Smith then asked which of the sects were right. The answer he received was that they were all wrong, and part of II Timothy 3:5 was quoted to him. Again he was told not to join, and after gaining his strength, he left for home. When Smith told his vision to a Methodist preacher and others, he received much persecution and ridicule. Many said that what he had experienced was of Satan, but Smith puts it, “like Paul he persevered.” Still he stayed with his so-called truth and continued working for three years, suffering persecution all the while.
During this period of three years he, by his own admission, lived in a great deal of sin. As a consequence of this, after retiring to bed on September 21, 1823, Smith asked God for forgiveness and an answer to his standing. He claims to have had full confidence in obtaining a divine manifestation. Suddenly the angel Moroni appeared and told him that God had a message for him.
He was told of a book written on golden plates gave the account of this continent's inhabitants and their source and also had the everlasting gospel. Also the Urim and Thumin, a special set of eyeglasses, were with the book to translate it. He was not to show them to anyone except those to whom he was commanded or he would be destroyed. The angel appeared twice more in the same night letting Smith know that Satan would try to tempt him into using the plates for personal gain, and also to show Smith the location of the plates.
The next day, upon fainting from exhaustion in the field, Moroni appeared again and told Smith to relate the incident to his father. His father instructed him to do as Moroni said. Upon finding the plates, the angel told Smith to visit this place once a year for four years and then he could have them. Finally the day came and Smith was instructed to guard them till Moroni called for them back. However the persecution was so great, Smith, and now his wife, moved to Pennsylvania where he began translating the plates.
A man, who had befriended Smith, named Martin Harris, took some of his translations to New York City to get an approval on the translations that he received. The man, who supposedly said these were legitimate characters, later made a statement in a letter that this was a lie. Later, John the Baptist supposedly appeared to Smith and a companion, Oliver Cowdrey, and he ordained them as elders of the Priesthood of Aaron. Upon baptizing each other, the Holy Spirit came upon them and gave them the spirit of prophecy. Later, Peter, James, and John gave them the Priesthood of Melchizsedeck.
Smith now took a total of eleven witnesses to substantiate his claims and continued to write and prophesy. One of his visions told him that Jackson County, Missouri, was to be given to the Mormons. However, due to great opposition here and other places, Smith settled down in Mauvoo, Illinois. The “Mauvoo Expositor” wrote many unfavorable stories about Mormonism, and Smith ordered the press destroyed. He was imprisoned, and on June 27, 1844, a mob attacked the jail and killed Joseph Smith. This, however, martyred him for the Mormons.
After the assassination of Joseph Smith the leadership of the Mormon church went to a 43 year old man, Brigham Young, a follower of Joseph Smith. In 1846, Young and his followers left Mauvoo and settled in the state of Utah in Salt Lake City. (The movie made of this journey is false in many places.) Young led the group for more than 30 years, and gave it a firm establishment in the new land. He became Mormon theology, and the cult grew to a membership of 140,000.
Young, however, was a questionable character himself-details not needed here-as his great zeal to control Utah expressed itself in fits of anger. One incident that Mormons would like to forget forever was the Mountain Meadows Massacre in which Young ordered 150 non-Mormon immigrants to be killed. A man named John D. Lee led the assault, and was later executed by the government. Lee's book, The Confessions of John D. Lee, remains a thorn in the Mormon's side. He depicts not only the questionable leadership of Young, but of the Mormon cult as a whole as well. Brigham died in 1877.
The Witnesses: After completing the Book of Mormon, Joseph Smith took three witnesses with him to the woods to observe the golden plates. At the beginning of each book the Mormons go to special effort to record the testimony of these witnesses. The original three were Oliver Cowdry, David Witmer, and Martin Harris. Two of the witnesses were shortly charged by their fellow Mormons as thieves and counterfeiters, and Harris later changed his testimony to the following: “I saw them by faith as they were covered.” All three were at one time banished as apostates from the church.
Smith decided later that three was not enough, so he called eight more to witness the plates. Four of these were relatives of David Witmer, another married a Witmer daughter, and the other three were members of the prophet's own family. Three of these left the church. However, an interesting point is that Smith was supposedly told in Esther Chapter 5 that only three were to be used as witnesses, not eight. Why did he get eight more?
Various Mormon Inconsistencies:
1. The Urim and Thumin (Numbers 27:21 & I Samuel 28:6) were mentioned as a means of ascertaining God's will in judicial matters, not to translate plates.
2. Joseph Smith, Sr. was a “mystic” who spent most of his time digging for treasure by the use of magic means. He was also a counterfeiter, and he is on record in the County Court of Windsor, Vermont as such.
3. Shortly after Joseph Smith's vision, he continued to dig for treasure. This he denied even though court records show he was proven guilty and fined various times for fraud and deceptive dealings. His claim of supernatural powers to find treasure was also proven a fraud.
4. His mother, Lucy Smith, wrote a book that proves her son's life was one of questionable character.
5. In writing the Book of Mormon, Smith claimed it was inspired of God, yet it has been edited, changed, and re-edited many times (2,000 times in 131 years) to try and take out all contradictions in the various writings of Smith.
a. In the book of Mosiah 21:28, it is declared that “King Mosiah had a gift from God,” but in the original edition of the book, the name of the king was Benjamin.
· Either God made a mistake when He inspired the record, or Joseph made a mistake when he translated. The Mormons will admit to neither.
b. I Nephi 19:16-20:1, when compared with the edition of 1830, reveals more than 50 changes in the “inspired Book of Mormons,” words having been dropped, spellings corrected, and words and phraseology added and turned about.
c. In the book of Alma 28:14-29:11, more than 30 changes may be counted from the original edition, and on pg. 303 of the original edition the statement, “Yea, decree unto them that decrees which are unalterable, ” has been expunged.
d. On pg. 25 of the edition of 1830, the Book of Mormons declares, “And the angel said unto me, Behold the Lamb of God, even the eternal Father.” Yet, in Nephi 11:21, the later editions of the book read, “And the angel said unto me: 'Behold the Lamb of God, yea even the son of the eternal Father!'”
e. Also, on pg. 25 of the original edition is “Behold, the virgin which thou seest, is the mother of God.” I Nephi 11:18 now reads: “Behold, the virgin whom thou seest, is the mother of the son of God.”
6. Archaeology, even though the Book of Mormons claims of vast civilizations, animals, etc., there cannot one shred of evidence be found to substantiate its claim.
7. Smith claims the plates were in Reformed Egyptian characters, written by Mormon, a Nephite general and buried in Palmyra, New York. There is no evidence of this language through any history.
8. In Walter Martin's book, a letter from Professor Charles Anthon of Columbia University, of whom Smith claims authentication of his translation, states, “this is a fraud to only get the money from Martin Harris. It is true that I authenticated them and those writings are not what they are claimed…”
9. The Bervian collection in the New York public library gives various accounts written by Mormon people of Smith's immorality and fraud.
10. Polygamy was abolished to meet government laws. It is unusual that a church doctrine would bend to man's law.
11. In a book, The Original, Rise and Progress of Mormonism, is a collection of Smith's New York neighbors who testify to his exaggerations, lies and the fact his word was not to be believed.
12. In a book, Mormonism Unveiled, Mr. E. D. Howe, who is hared and banned by the Mormon church, writes a great deal about Smith's questionable character. These charges are still today ignored and unanswered by Mormonism.
13. Plagiarism from the King James Bible:
a. A comparison of the following shows that Joseph Smith made free use of his Bible to supplement the alleged revelation of the golden plates.
· Moroni 10 with I Corinthians 12:1-11
· Nephi 14 with Isaiah 4
· II Nephi 12 with Isaiah 2
· Mosiah 14 with Isaiah 53
· III Nephi 13:1-18 with Matthew 6:1-23
b. The Mormons claim that when Christ allegedly appeared on the American continent after His resurrection and preached to the Nephites he quite naturally used the same language as recorded in the Bible.
c. They also maintain that when Nephi came to America he brought copies of the Hebrew scriptures, which account for quotations from the Old Testament.
· It is quite miraculous how these plates on which the scriptures were inscribed, somehow or another, under translation, came out in perfect King James English without variation approximately 1,000 years before the 1611 KJV was written.
Founder: Joseph Smith