the Mormon Claim
The title that I have chosen for this series of postings includes the word "claim". In reporting the results of my investigation into that "claim" I have been limited to a certain length for the sake of keeping these
postings reasonably succinct. If I can use an analogy based on the justice system (at least the American one...I know that other countries don't necessarily follow the same system), these postings have been more of an indictment than a prosecution. In other words, in these postings I have not proved the points that I have been making, but I have put out enough information to suggest that a more serious and in-depth look is needed into a variety of SUBSTANTIVE issues related to Mormonism.
The Mormons now number about 10 million members worldwide, and have a very active missionary and preaching program. In fact, by several measures they are the fastest-growing major religious body in the world. With this in mind, it is inevitable that we will come into more and more contact with the Mormons, and we should be prepared.
When it comes to dealing with most Christians (at least Protestants and in some ways the Catholics as well), on one level it could be said that we merely disagree about the interpretation of the book that we both believe is Scripture. But Mormons are different, and in these last few months I personally have come to realize that the "traditional technique" of examining the Bible is inadequate from the start precisely because the Mormon focus is upon their "newer Scriptures". While it is true that the unique theology of Mormonism can be proven false using nothing but the Bible, the fact is that Mormons can effectively "trump" such a presentation by merely claiming that their scriptures are newer and therefore more trustworthy, especially since Mormons believe that the text of the Bible has become seriously corrupted over time while the text of the BofM has not.
This forces us to take a look at the Mormon scriptures and other claims, such as recent visions and revelations, on their own terms. Most are completely unprepared to do this, and so I have put up these postings in the hope that we can be prepared. If ever a Mormon knocks on your door (or you knock on his!), or you hear that a brother or sister is looking into Mormonism, I hope and pray that somewhere in the back of your mind you might remember these postings. If you have been saving these postings on your hard drive, or printing them out and saving them, that's great. If not, I have collated them into a Word document that I can download to you upon request. As I have indicated during these postings, I also have a variety of Word documents on individual topics that I have been typing up during the course of my own studies that I can download to you upon request. At this point none of these are written in a quality book-like readable format, although Lord willing I hope to do so before too long.
I would also like to provide a list of suggested reading material and web sites, some of which I have mentioned in previous postings. As for web sites, I would recommend
www.utlm.org. This last one is run by Utah Lighthouse Ministry, which is a husband-and-wife team of ex-Mormons named Jerald and Sandra Tanner. Since the early 1960's, they have done far more than anyone else to expose and document the internal inconsistencies and cover-ups within the LDS Church, and they have
thoroughly documented their research. They generally have the best prices on most of the following suggested books, and for the few things they don't carry you can generally track down the other titles via internet searches on
amazon.com or other sites. I present the following suggested reading list in order of what I would recommend you purchase from first to last. For example, if your time-and-money budget only allows for four things, get the first four.
First, "An Address to all Believers in Christ" by David Whitmer ($3). Second, "Mormonism - Shadow or Reality" ($17 softcover/$22 hard) OR the more readable and condensed version called "Major Problems of Mormonism" ($8), which is still 256 pages of thick reading! [I heartily recommend getting at least these first two...between "Address" and "Major Problems" you have a tremendous amount of material for only $11, if you are at all inclined to getting anything, or want some stuff for your ecclesial library.] Third, "Studies of the Book of Mormon" by B.H. Roberts ($15). Fourth, "Falsification of Joseph Smith's History" ($2). Fifth, "Inventing Mormonism - Tradition and the Historical Record" ($19). Sixth, "By his own hand upon papyrus" ($12). Seventh, "Quest for the Gold Plates" ($13). Finally, if you want to spend about $200 you can get "New Mormon Studies CD-ROM". This CD-ROM has an unbelievable amount of stuff, all searchable. It includes original editions of the BofM, BofC, D&C, PofGP, various early and modern church magazines and newspapers, and about another 320 full-length books. In terms of bias, the selection of books on the CD-ROM is pro-Mormon to neutral, as virtually everything is either official Mormon documents and journals, or historical studies written by Mormon historians and scholars. Books written by "anti-Mormons" are not included, but even without such books and studies there is more than enough material written by Mormons to demonstrate the problems inherent with Mormonism. If you are considering spending the money for the CD-ROM, it does include some of the other recommended books, so you might not need or want to purchase those directly. But I wouldn't recommend getting the CD-ROM unless you are really very serious about researching Mormonism in-depth.
My hope and prayer is that these studies and postings might be of help in (a) preventing Christadelphians from becoming duped into accepting Mormonism, and (b) opening the eyes of Mormons who have contact with
us, that they might come to know the Truth. If you ever come into contact with a Mormon, please feel free to e-mail me and I will get back to you as soon as I can, and download my various studies to you. Read them and also pass them on, and consider the substantive issues raised. It is my conviction that no honest and open-minded person can look at these issues and accept the unique claims of Mormonism.
Avon, Indiana, USA