Is Mormonism just another kind of Christianity?

Mormon Temple In San Diego

(Mormon Temple, San Diego, public domain)

By Spencer D Gear

I have noticed that the Christian church in Australia, where I live, does not do a very good job in equipping God’s people to deal with the cults who come to our doors.  As a result, we most often do not engage them because we don’t know what they believe and we are not confident in presenting the Christian gospel to them.

Evangelical Christians, who ought to treat a religious door-knockers, whether Jehovah’s Witnesses or Mormonism, as opportunities for evangelism, do not interact readily with these cultists because, I believe,

(1) They don’t know what the cults believe;

(2) They don’t know their own orthodox theology very well, and

(3) We in the evangelical church are not equipping God’s people for the ministry of apologetics and polemics – defending the faith against secularists and defending orthodox doctrine against liberals and cultists.

It is 25 years this year (2008) since God got a hold of me in regard to this ministry of apologetics.  I was sitting in a university classroom in pursuing doctoral studies, when a professor responded to my comment on creation, “Your views are b-s” (and he didn’t abbreviate).  I did not know how to respond.  That was the Holy Spirit’s jolt to me to become equipped to defend my faith in a secular, antagonistic culture like Australia.

Baptist Press’s (USA) articles on Mormonism

The Southern Baptists in the USA produced (in late 2007) an excellent series of short articles on the Mormons that I hope you will read, imbibe and use when you share the Gospel with those Mormon missionaries who come to the front door.

For pastors, I ask that you use this and other material to equip your people to answer the Mormon who knocks on the door. All Mormons that I have met confirm that the Book of Mormon is the foundation of their religion.If the Book of Mormon were found to be false, how could Mormonism possibly survive as a religion?Isn’t that a reasonable question?Take a read below of information concerning the truth or otherwise of the Book of Mormon.

To give you a taste of some of this excellent material, here’s an excerpt from the article (below) “Archaeology & the Book of Mormon.”

Take these comments by Mormon archaeologists:

“The first myth that we need to eliminate is that Book of Mormon archaeology exists. Titles on books full of archaeological half-truths, dilettante on the peripheries of American archaeology calling themselves Book of Mormon archaeologists regardless of their education, and a Department of Archaeology at BYU devoted to the production of Book of Mormon archaeologists do not insure that Book of Mormon archaeology really exists” (endnote 21).

“What I would say to you is there is no archeological (sic) proof of the Book of Mormon. You can look all you want. And there’s been a lot of speculation about it. There’ve (sic) been books written by Mormon scholars saying that ‘this event took place here’ or ‘this event took place here.’ But that’s entirely speculative. There is absolutely no archeological (sic)evidence that you can tie directly to events that took place” (endnote 22).

Non-Mormon archaeologists state:

Earlier we read from the Smithsonian Institution’s statement “The Bible as History.” We saw that archaeology confirms much of the Bible and that professional archeologists use the Bible in their work. The Smithsonian also has a “STATEMENT REGARDING THE BOOK OF MORMON.” This statement can be requested at the same address. Every one of the statements are damaging to the reliability of the Book of Mormon. Here is the first of eight statements: “The Smithsonian Institution has never used the Book of Mormon in any way as a scientific guide. Smithsonian archeologists see no direct connection between the archeology of the New World and the subject matter of the book.”

In 1989, Michael Ammons wrote to the National Geographic Society requesting information on the Book of Mormon and archaeology. The Society replied in a letter dated April 26, 1989:

“Neither the Society nor any other institution of equal prestige has ever used the Book of Mormon in locating archaeological sites. Although many Mormon sources claim that the Book of Mormon has been substantiated by archaeological findings, this claim has not been verified scientifically.”

Also in 1989, Linda Hansen wrote to the Department of Archaeology at Boston University with a similar request. In a reply letter dated April 5, 1989, Julie Hansen of the department responded:

“The Archaeological Institute of America has never used the Book of Mormon as a scientific guide in locating historic ruins on the Western Hemisphere…. Over the past 30 years The New World Archaeological Foundation, located at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, has conducted numerous scientific excavations in Mesoamerica, originally with a view to confirming the claims in the Book of Mormon. They have discovered no evidence that supports the Book of Mormon in any way. Nonetheless, they have published in full detail the results of their excavations in Papers of the New World Archaeological Foundation, Volumes 1-55, 1959 and following…. They are accepted by the Archaeological Institute of America and the Society of American Archaeologists as legitimate scientific investigations and the New World Archaeological Foundation is to be commended for publishing the results of their work that essentially refutes the basic beliefs of the Mormon Church on which the Foundation is based” (endnote 24).

This article concluded: “Therefore, there is a consensus from professional archaeologists, Mormon and non-Mormon alike, that there is no specific confirmation of the Book of Mormon from archaeology.”

Here are the articles:

1. INTRODUCTION: When Mormons come

2.   Is Mormonism Christian? (Part 1)

3. Is Mormonism Christian? (part 2)

4.   Is Mormonism Christian? (part 3)

5.   Christian & Mormon doctrinal differences

6.   PART 1: About the Mormons

7.PART 2: Mormons & the Bible

8.   PART 3: Archaeology & the Book of Mormon

9.   PART 4: Mormonism & its Book of Abraham

10.  PART 5: Mormon evidence?

Enjoy and please distribute the links.

Some other resources

1.I located another site that includes content by some ex-Mormons who are not evangelical Christian believers, “What is Mormonism?

2.I highly recommend the ministry out of Salt Lake City, UT, right in the heart of Mormon territory, Mormonism Research Ministry.Here you will find excellent articles on:

a. Introductory Articles

·“We’re Christians just like you!”

·Eight Characteristics of a Counterfeit Christian Church

·Eight Mormon Myths

·Has Mormonism Criticized Other Churches?

·Some Questions for our LDS Friends

·Fooling the Prophet with the Kinderhook Plates

·The Book of Abraham

b. Some other articles

·The Relationship Between Jesus and Lucifer in a Mormon Context, by Bill McKeever. When recently asked if Jesus and the Devil are brothers, LDS spokesperson Kim Farah gave anything but a clear answer. What have LDS leaders taught about the relationship between Jesus and Lucifer?

·What is the Status of the First Half of the Lorenzo Snow Couplet in Mormonism?, by Aaron Shafovaloff.

·Luke Wilson, our good friend from the Institute for Religious Research, passes away.

·Trouble in Palmyra, Rescue the Prophet, and Time Travelers in Church History. Two reviews by Sharon Lindbloom in one article.

3.For more information on evangelising Mormons or countering the Mormon missionary who knocks on your door, I invite you to check out these apologetics websites and use their search facilities for “Mormon”:

Watchman Fellowship

Let Us Reason

Christian Research Institute

Christian Apologetics & Research Ministry

Probe Ministries.On this website you’ll find an article, “As an ex-Mormon, how can I find a church that is not a cult?“Good question!Take a read.

I’m reminded that the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of truth (see John 14:17; 15:26; 16:13).God does not lie (Heb. 6:18); he is the God of truth (Isa. 45:19) who hates lies (Ps. 101.7).

Jude vv 3-4 reminds us: “Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints. For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ” (ESV).

It has been necessary throughout Christian history to “contend for the faith,” but this is even more so in the later days, according to First Timothy 4:1, “Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons” (ESV).

The God of truth calls all Christians to a ministry of discernment, with regard to false doctrine, and a ministry of contending for the faith.Will you be an active evangelical Christian contender for the faith?

Copyright © 2014 Spencer D. Gear. This document last updated at Date: 29 January 2014.