Archive for the ‘Mormonism’ Category

Mormonism’s Golden Plates

Saturday, November 19th, 2011

When contemplating the credibility of Joseph Smith’s claims concerning the golden plates there are several insurmountable obstacles which makes this story unbelievable.

To begin with according to Lucy Mack Smith, who is Joseph’s mother, and LDS historians; Joseph Smith traveled 3 miles home from the secret place with these plates tucked underneath his arm while defending off several marauders, jumping over a log and running home despite his limp he incurred from a childhood surgery.

What makes this story that much more implausible is when you factor in the cumbersome weight of this additional baggage. If the plates he was toting were made of pure gold or even downgraded to jewelry grade material with a 10% air gap then this six inch thick book would have still weighed somewhere between 117 to 200 pounds. This calculation is based upon the dimensions which Joseph Smith provided stating that this volume was six inches wide and eight inches long containing pages that are comparable in thickness to common tin.

This may be a feat suitable for Samson but for the normal person or even a  strong man competition it is unthinkable how that Joseph Smith or anybody else could of just scurried off with this heavy load especially since there is no record of him being divinely enabled to handle such weight. To help establish this point a replica has been made  out of lead and is on display at the Utah Lighthouse Book Store in Salt Lake City to simulate the size and the weight of this object of which many found it difficult to lift and so can you imagine what it must of been like to handle this mass over a 3 mile trek?

Additionally the testimony of two of the three witnesses Oliver Cowdery and David Whitmer along with Lucy Mack Smith claimed that these plates were made of pure gold. This is consistent with other Mormon lore such as the engravings of the pure gold Jaredite plates as found in the book of Mormon “Mosiah 8:9” and which makes up the book of Ether. However, these witnesses and others probably never really saw these golden plates to begin with and it appears that it was only through prayer that they were able to receive a vision of them even though they were in the visible possession of Smith himself, Doctrine and Covenants 17:2.

Also the likelihood of this supposed text being engraved out of pure gold is doubtful because the material is too soft to work with and would also deform or distort over time once compressed underneath its own weight. Not only that but pure gold makes the burden of the weight that much more heavier due to the pages being pressed together which reduces any air pockets thus making it a solid block of gold.

Anyway I’ll let you be the judge but it appears that according to the testimonies of these witnesses that they were either misled or misleading in their assessment of the gold plates.

Moreover the tension of this story is also recognized among Mormon apologists as they have tried to lighten Joseph’s load in coming up with another solution or alibi. One theory they have postulated was that these plates according to Mormon metallurgist Read Putnam could of been made out of an alloy of gold and copper known as Tumbaga. Trick to this stuff is that if you use too much copper to reduce the weight then this causes electrolysis and brittleness which basically destroys the alloy. So to get the poundage down not only does the gold have to be impure but the air gap has to be adjusted to about 50% which lowers the weight of this codex to about 50 to 85 pounds which would still make it an arduous task in toting this parcel under ones arm.

Another difficulty to overcome is the discrepancy to deciphering these plates which according to Smith were translated into English by using some form of spectacles which reminds me of the fictitious storyline of National Treasure.

Yet according to the eyewitness accounts of Emma Smith who was Joseph’s wife and scribe along with David Whitmer, whose story was recounted by Mormon Apostle Russell M. Nelson, they claimed he observed an egg shaped seer stone that was placed in a hat in order to translate this mysterious language. So I am wondering what is the purpose of the engravings on the golden tablets to begin with if you have to use an intermediary source to interpret the script?

In conclusion many people headed out west for the gold rush and to proliferate the Mormon culture but I am wondering if the treasure they thought they found in moving to Utah was really only “Fools Gold” to begin with.

Furthermore how many of these dear and precious people have ever seriously or critically thought about the sketchy details of this organizations beliefs and practices? If you are interested I would offer you the challenge to read some more of my other posts which I have written on the subject of Mormonism which will perhaps decode and debunk this whole shenanigans .



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Copyright permission granted by Bill McKeever of the Mormonism Research Ministry

What the Hell

Monday, October 31st, 2011

When dealing with the subject of Hell it is often taboo to discuss unless it is dealt with in a dissociative manner with the mindset of an unrealistic outcome such as the seasonal horror flicks or an unscientific documentary. Sometimes Hell is downplayed and seen as an invention of preachers and Hollywood to elicit a scaring or frightening response to move the emotions of people for conversion or merely for the effect of an adrenaline rush.

For some Hell is regarded as a make believe place and if it does exist then it is reserved for the worst of the worst or perhaps its just a temporary residence but for the most part  their viewpoint is that the average Joe has nothing to worry about.

I have actually wrote a blog about the biblical perspective of Hell combined with some explanations concerning near death events which includes a video testimony from a medical doctor of people who have experienced this reality

Anyway in my first post I dealt more with the doctrinal and phenomenal experience of Hell and for the nature of this blog I am speaking more about the philosophical objections that people often use as a sedative to calm themselves in numbing their minds against the notion of such a place. Interestingly enough the fact that some people attempt to process their thoughts in a defensive matter regarding this subject is suggestive that our subconscious bears witness to a moral intellect which confirms a sense of judgment.


Romans 2:14-16

14 (Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law, 15 since they show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts now accusing, now even defending them.) 16 This will take place on the day when God will judge men’s secrets through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares.


Anyway some deal with this subject on the front end by just trying to repress or get rid of the God idea altogether while others just shrug their shoulders in response towards God in hopes that ignorance is bliss. However, according to the Barna Group 81% of Americans accept some form of afterlife and nearly two-thirds of them regard heaven as their final destination. Additionally, 71% affirm that there is a Hell but of this group only a half of one percent believe in a personal hellish outcome.

Many of us have no problem agreeing with the red letters of Christ when it comes to a heavenly abode but we don’t take seriously all His claims of Hell which apart from the popular sayings concerning “the kingdom of heaven”  Jesus refers more to Hell than to this heavenly realm. It’s not too hard for people to have a sense of expectation towards the narrow gate of the glorious afterlife but it is much more difficult to anticipate the broad way of its counterpart Matthew  7:13,14. After all if Hell is really irrelevant then this whole idea of suffering on the cross and the concept of salvation is meaningless. Recently while watching Dr. Frank Turek’s show on he brought up some interesting points when contemplating the intellectual and  emotional objections to this matter which I would like to further disclose.

The first question is why is there a Hell to begin with and who goes there? Originally Hell was designed for the devil and his angels and it would also include all the rebellious creatures against their creator Matthew  25:41, 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, Revelation 21:8 and Romans 1:21-32. It is a place where beings are quarantined from God and eternally judged for committing acts of cosmic treason and for suppressing the truth of Him in unrighteousness Romans 1:18 including the grace of His pardon John 3:18, Romans 2:4,5 and Hebrews 2:3. Furthermore, God does not just randomly send anyone to Hell nor does He desire than any should perish but that all should have everlasting life 2 Peter 3:9. Gods wants all people to be saved but not all people want to be saved and what is logically possible may not actually be achievable with free creatures. Therefore people just don’t haphazardly end up in Hell and He would not let them “go to Hell” if there was a chance that they would be saved.

We choose our final destination as free creatures and outside of heaven there is no other alternative. Amazingly many people want heaven but then they forget who is there and who they have tried to avoid all their life and if they didn’t want the Lord in the here and now then why would they want to spend an eternity with God?

Also Hell from a biblical perspective isn’t portrayed as some temporal place of punishment whether through annihilation or a purgatorial existence but rather it is described as everlasting and eternal Matthew 25:41 and 2 Thessalonians 1:9.

Additionally as surely as death is final so are the consequences of an afterlife as there is no hope for a reincarnated state. As a man is appointed to die once and then face the judgment Hebrews 9:27. We see an example of this in the parable of the rich man and Lazarus in which the rich man could not go back to save himself nor could Lazarus return to warn the rich man’s brothers, Luke 16:19-31.Hell is not a place for penance or repentance and if we could change our mind in Hell then what is the sense of this intermediary existence on earth as there must be some finality to life. Why have this life if choices can be made latter? There must be a point when there is a “final answer.”

Another matter we might question is regarding God’s justice on how He can eternally condemn sinners who have never heard about Jesus because the bible is explicit on the exclusivity of Christ.

As there is no other name given to men by which we must be saved Acts 4:12.  Jesus is the way and the truth and the life and no one comes to God except through Him, Jn 14:6.

We wrongfully assume within our finitude that it would be impossible for God to communicate such knowledge of Jesus due to logistical problems but with God all things are possible and if they can be saved then God will use every means to ensure they have the ability to receive the necessary information such as what is reported among Muslims who are coming to Christ in these restricted nations where they have no or very little exposure to the biblical concept of Jesus and yet it is through this unique medium of dreams and visions by which Jesus is appearing to them.

I have personally have met someone from Iran who had this experience and I don’t doubt his sincerity in breaking free of his cultural norms after all just to be a target or martyr for nothing is nonsensical.

Anyway God will give true seekers the truth about Jesus such as the biblical examples of Cornelius or the Ethiopian Eunuch as found in Acts. Also this is being accomplished exponentially today in this contemporary age of information and mass media in that it is becoming much more difficult to completely avoid this witness with the advent of TV, radio broadcasting, literature distribution, internet, video, or through the conventional methods of feet preaching.

So no one can claim total or complete ignorance to God’s truth of which there is no excuse Romans 1:18-20 and Romans 2:15,16.


Romans 1:18-20

18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and    unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness,

19 because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them.

20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.


If we don’t respond to the natural or general signs of creation and conscious then He is not obligated to give a fuller disclosure in regards to a special revelation so as to be saved.

Another reason why some may never hear of Jesus is because God so ordered the world so that those who never hear the gospel would have never believed it anyway, Acts 17:26-27

Therefore it seems that God prearranged the world both in time and space for those who would favorably respond to Him and for the majority who are reading this post this  isn’t the problem anyway.

Another objection to the concept of Hell and judgment is that an individual may think that it is unjust to be involuntarily cast in the play of this human drama in being subjected to sin under the influence of our common ancestry in Adam and yet Christ as the second Adam has become our regenerative representative therefore removing this curse by becoming a curse on our behalf, Galatians 3:13. According to the staging of life it is the heroic actions of God Himself who delivers us from the villainous plot of our own iniquitous nature  by making an entrance through the incarnation to rescue us through His salvific work.

Additionally we may also think it’s unfair for God to choose the methodology in which we are to be forgiven and yet by our reasoning we grossly underestimate the severity of sin and its “just” consequences which were placed on the sacrificial altar of the cross.

You may blow all this off and just say well I already have enough problems in this life to worry about the life thereafter and perhaps you have exaggerated your seemingly urgent  circumstances by declaring your protest as hell on earth which to a degree does speak of the curse nonetheless it is not an accurate or adequate depiction as being a proper frame of reference when relating to the biblical concept of Hell which uses such graphical imagery as unquenchable fire, outer darkness, fiery furnace where there will be wailing and gnashing of teeth along with torment and everlasting destruction.

The little wild fires that you are trying to put out today are manageable compared to the fire of eternity which will be unquenchable, Mark 9:43,44. Therefore in this life God’s blessing can still be obtained of which in Hell there is no hope, 2 Thessalonians 1:9.

When it comes down to it generally it’s not too difficult for some to think of a hellish existence  because we realize that if God exists and if He is supremely sovereign and just then there must be a means of reckoning His justice especially on those who have committed heinous acts of crime without receiving their due punishment here  on earth.

However I think the real objection comes when we consider God’s judgment in allowing unregenerate people to suffer eternally for temporal sins. After all isn’t Hell overkill? This may also lead into the another question about God’s love and His goodness which I have also written about at

Actually sin doesn’t necessarily stop at the grave as it continues perpetually. Thus sin and rebellion is just a continuum into the afterlife and likewise punishment continues for eternity as well. It isn’t about infinite punishment for finite sins as evil is perpetually resident in Hell.

We may wrongfully think that somehow we don’t meet the criteria for an eternal inferno as being in the camp of evildoers who deserve Gods wrath and yet all have sinned. Sin is simply classified as lawlessness in which all are counted worthy of eternal death, 1 John 3:4 and Romans 6:23. Also a person in their agnosticism cannot default on Hell in that Jesus states that if you are not for me then you are against me, Matthew 12:30. Also we can’t avoid it by thinking that somehow our good deeds cancel out our bad deeds with a payment towards our karmic debt. If we break the law we are guilty and likewise condemned, James 2:10.There is no middle ground or lukewarmness with God and either you are righteous and justified before Him or you are not. You are either alive to God or dead to Him.

Essentially all mankind is subject to moral failure as being under the federal headship of the progenitor of our race namely Adam who has imposed on humanity a nature of sin of which the bible supports in stating that we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God Romans 3:23 and that there is none righteous not even one Romans 3:10. You may consider your self a good person and your morality compared to others may be noteworthy in the same way a fruit inspector scrutinizes rotten apples but you are no  comparison with a holy God who demands moral perfection. The bible supports this view with such verses as “be perfect as God is perfect”; “be holy because I am holy”, Matthew 5:48, 1 Peter 1:16 . I believe this is confirmed in the very hearts of all who at one time or another has been burdened with a sense of guilt which confirms our inability to achieve perfection.

Part of this matter in dealing with sin is that we have an obscured perspective in respect to our visual acuity which overlooks the diagnosis of sin in having a log in the eye problem which further advances to macular degeneration as we fail to fully recognize our own sinful corruption resulting from a depraved mind, Romans 1:28.

On the other hand the positive aspect of being sensitive to sin is not meant to just leave us in a state of condemnation like putting a dog’s nose in its own mess but it is a redemptive act of God to intervene in our lives to make us more acutely aware of our transgressions by whom the Holy Spirit convicts the world of sin, judgment and righteous to come, John 16:8. We more vividly see this overwhelming sense of sin as recorded in the biblical narrative in which people who were suddenly and unsuspectingly ushered into the awesome presence of God where there was an invasive awareness of guilt and fear. Isaiah bears witness to this in Is 6:5 with his words “woe to me for I am ruined for I am a man of unclean lips and I live among a people with unclean lips.” Experientially we get a small foretaste of this when we come face to face with a pastor or even a cop at which point we become consciously aware of what we say and do as we recognize our human weaknesses which is susceptible to being exposed causing us discomfort as evidenced by the temporary change in our behaviors.

So how much more responsive would we be before a holy God who not only omnisciently knows our actions but also who can discern our hearts and thoughts in that  no flesh will be self justified in His sight, Romans 3:20 and Galatians 2:16.

Moreover we are not to be left in a paralytic state of fear when faced with the danger of judgment as we are summoned to respond to God’s saving provision. Our initial response may be like that of Peter who supernaturally wanted to run away from his guilt when he recognized the person of Jesus as Lord by which he awkwardly responded according to His spiritual state to “go away from me Lord for I am a sinful man. However we aren’t to distance ourselves from God when we come to discern our unregenerate condition but rather we are to posture ourselves like David who sought God’s mercy and grace, Psalm 51.

So when we come to the crossroads in life where we encounter God’s conviction along with a heightened sense of His drawing presence John 6:44 then we are called to respond to God in humility and submission so as to seek reconciliation with Him in accordance with His divine will and purpose, 2 Corinthians 5:19. Then as we become the benefactors of His grace and mercy we are then able to confidently and boldly approach His throne of grace Hebrews 4;16. This is because His perfect love drives out all fear because fear has to do with punishment, 1John 4:18.

As a child I was often forewarned  by my parents to behave otherwise I would be on the receiving end of the belt of discipline and in retrospect to my parents threats I am not completely confident  that they always had my best interest at heart yet I am reassured that God’s forth telling is motivated by perfect love so much so that He sent Jesus in my stead to take my due punishment thus consequently averting His just wrath and without this compensation what hope would any of us have.

Furthermore as benevolently serious as He is towards pursuing the redemption of those who believe; He is likewise just as zealous to exact His full wrath against those who mock His gracious provision by spitting on the Son, Hebrew 2:3 and John 3:18.

In conclusion there are other objections which are not covered in this post and some matters aren’t fully disclosed or handled according to the biblical record and even though this answer may not satisfy the skeptic this tension of not knowing is perfectly eased based on the nature of God who alone is supremely just and loving.

Lastly when contemplating this matter we shouldn’t think of Jesus as only a means to the end in obtaining fire insurance but the fact that a fire is inevitable should get you to begin to consider the coverage under God’s plan. Ultimately fear will not be the driving motivator to our decision regarding Christ because it is the kindness of Christ which leads us to repentance resulting in a reciprocation of love by which we acknowledge Him as both Lord and Savior, Romans 2:4.


Romans 6:23

23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.



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Born Again

Sunday, December 20th, 2009

You must be born again. These are the very words that were uttered by Jesus to Nicodemus in John 3 and it was a requirement for entrance into the kingdom of God. John 3:3 3 In reply Jesus declared, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.a

My concern in this blog is in the confirmation of this spiritual transaction which is observable based on the empirical evidence of experiential knowledge.

The word “Born Again” is also translated “Born from Above” and in John 3:8 this concept is further defined as one who is born of the Spirit.  This Spirit birth would be visibly portrayed through the characteristics of God’s power which can be identified through the means of renewal and regeneration. This reality is the very “Touchstone” of the faith or the proof to an individuals spiritual identify which is represented by a new nature.

So from a practical viewpoint what might this represent or look like? How is it identifiable? We see glimpses of this from under the prophetic lens of the Old Testament prophets who foresaw these things. For God does nothing without revealing his plan to his servants the prophets, Amos 3:7.

The OT concept of this process can be seen through such passages as Ezekiel 11:19-21, 36: 25-27  which describes God putting the “Spirit” in men which in turn manifests itself  as an undivided heart by displacing the heart of stone with a heart of flesh which consequently results through the inhabitation of the “Spirit”  enabling the individual to uphold God’s law.

In Deuteronomy 30:6 God is the “Mohel” or the one who circumcises the heart not through the outward covenantal sign of marking the flesh which is done by human hands but rather He cuts deeper affecting the very immaterial part of a persons being.

The former covenant of circumcision served as a foreshadow to the reality of a circumcised heart. One is a precursor while the other is the main event which would find its fulfillment under the New Covenant promise.

This is explained by the prophet Jeremiah in 31:31-33 where God, as the initiator, will put His laws in their minds and write them on their hearts which is in contrast to that of the outward ritual of lawful observance.

The New Testament is a continuum to this redemptive theme finding its ultimate reality in those  who would be classified as authentic believers.

So what is the evidence that the “Spirit” is a living reality in a person’s life and that this “Spirit” birth has taken place?

This spiritual birth is much like a natural birth in that it is a traumatic event in which a person breaks through into a new dimension of gaining entry into eternal life apart from the natural life in which we were given through paternal birth.

The natural birth is a necessary occurrence but it is inferior to the surpassing greatness and superiority of this supernatural birth of being “Born from Above.”

Being “Born of God” as stated in the epistle of John depicts this new birth which designates and ordains us as children of the light which is a paradigm shift from that which is described or attributed to those who are classified as the children of darkness.

When new birth has taken place it is an understood event that is clearly noticeable and unavoidable.

We don’t need to depend upon others and their institutions or doctrinal formulas and traditions  to establish this reality which is self evident and can not be argued against.

When a new birth takes place the burden of the proof is clearly identifiable because the child of God bears the image or likeness of his progenitor, 2 Corinthians 3:18.

The scripture testifies in Romans 8:16 that 16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.

In other words we don’t have to rely upon the testimony of  a religious body  to confirm us regarding our status with God because the inner witness of the Holy Spirit is final and conclusive.

New birth isn’t a matter of guessing whether or not we have been impacted by it because it is such a noticeable occurrence that it beckons for the attention of all.

It is often compared to the luminary essence of revelatory light which cannot be hidden against the backdrop of darkness in an evil society, Matthew 5:14-16.

Also this new nature is indifferent and hostile to the nature that we were innately born with as a part of original sin.

The bibles describes those born of the “Spirit”  as being a “New Creation”  which stands opposed to that of the “Old Creation” as in 2 corinthians 5:17 and Galatians 6:15.

Romans 8:1-17 contrasts the Spirit controlled life to that of the sinful mind and nature. Each nature is combative towards the other because the sinful nature has a mindset that is loyal to itself which wages war against the will of the Spirit.

Galatians 5:16-26 shows a comparison between these two natures depicting their fruitfulness or fruitlessness. In 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 we see the outcome of regeneration and sanctification that has taken place through the Spirit of God in bringing forth this new birth.

On a personal note I became “Born Again” over 20 years ago and as a result  I no longer thought, acted, or behaved exactly the same again. My heart was turned towards pleasing God rather than catering to the service of selfishness or self absorption. The course of my life was abruptly changed literally overnight and from that moment on I progressively walked with God.

Before I became born again I couldn’t resist sinful tendencies nor was their any desire to do so but now my attention is more toward an attitude of loving God with all my heart, soul, mind and strength.

I had been addicted to many things from nicotine to pornography and when the Spirit entered my life through this new birth he immediately begin to wash me on the inside and for the first time I felt clean. I received such refreshment from the Lord that I have never been the same sense.

This is my ongoing testimony and nobody can deny me the reality of this impact that was so vividly and graphically dynamic.

By stating all of this I am not taking this opportunity to boast over anything I have merited or accomplished through some type of works oriented program but rather I boast in the Lord who by the strength of His own divine initiative and intervention mercifully came to save my life Ephesians 2:1-10 .

Finally I would just like to leave you with one last thought regarding the words of Jesus who understood that a persons character or produce indicates the nature of the tree. Based on His analogy there are only two kinds of trees which are described as either good or bad.

In retrospect to this concept what fruit  is characteristic of your life? Remember don’t compare your apples to someone else’s but rather allow the bible to be your fruit inspector, Matthew 12:33, Hebrews 4:12,13.

My challenge to you is that you take the opportunity based on the leading of the scripture to examine your life and test yourself to see whether or not you are in the faith, 2 Corinthians 13:5.

Lastly I am giving you a link to a short and concise post on “How to have a relationship with God” which is simplistically foundational in scope regarding salvation and new birth.

Also the image that is portrayed on this link is a visual aid to what I have tried to describe to you verbally concerning being “Born Again”.


Four Spiritual Laws

How to know God

Mormon Resources

Wednesday, November 18th, 2009

1. This is a great website that is very informative.


2. This website contains testimonials of former Mormon’s


3. Four Spiritual Laws

Is Hell Real?

Thursday, October 29th, 2009

It is easier for people to generally believe in the reality of heaven while avoiding the contemplation of the pitfalls of a hellish realm of existence for departed souls. The hell factor is a controversial subject which people try to avoid discussing and it is often treated with skepticism when taken seriously. The negative aspect of viewing hell by avoiding a non personal view usually comes as a response of indifference due to the possibilities of our individual accountability therefore this reaction is a defensive mechanism of self preservation.

Some people deal with hell by playing the game of ignorance like Schultz on Hogan’s Heroes who would emphatically state “I know nothing” when it was his job to secure knowledge and yet by his statement he attempted to rid himself of responsibility by this claim of ignoring the obvious. This wouldn’t get him off  the hook with the commandant nor will it bring us innocence before an all knowing God likewise.

The other group perhaps they know but by silencing the static of judgement in tuning off or turning down any resources that represents  biblical christianity is only a way for them to cope temporarily by escaping in dealing with the inevitable. Just watch a group of guys squirm and how fast they change the channel if a religious program comes on that has any preaching about sin. You might think they were watching a “quick draw” western based on their efficiency in handling the remote.

Anyway when dealing with sin and judgment there are warning signals that have a clear and distinct alarm system that is to awaken our conscious towards God in alerting us to the danger of eternal punishment Romans 2:14-16, 1John 4:18.

Whether we try avoiding the  alarm by ignoring its erratic modulation’s or by throwing it across the room out of irritation, it still does not remove the fact that it is time to get up .

The alarm clock like the internal noise of our conscious resonates attempting to wake us up to our moral condition and eternal destiny. We may try to counter respond to these impulses through ignorance or resistance in trying to remove the annoyance of this persistent bong yet this chime     will not be completely silenced until we no longer wake up to this life.

People have  a difficult time in believing the biblical descriptions of hell as something that would accurately be portrayed as a horrendous place of eternal torment and condemnation and it has caused people to formulate their own reality to hell.

Individuals  have removed the concept of hell altogether by declaring its non-existence or by stating if it does exist then it occupants are Satan and his entourage of demons along with the Hitler’s of our societies.

Others downplay its horrific scenes as something to be desired like a  “big party.”

Some take  a less serious view of its recourse by seeing it as only a temporal realm of intermediacy such as a purgatorial existence or maybe as a flash fire of flesh such as annihilation.

I recently watched a documentary on this concept of heaven and hell as related to near death experiences and based on the testimony of some of these secular and religious researchers they agreed that these subjects that they viewed and interviewed where having real experiences based on their perception and this death event could not be conclusively explained by preconceived expectations of death or by the hallucinatory agents of brain chemicals.

One of the secular researchers ruled out psychological interference as well because he thought it was counterproductive to fantasize about hell when you were dying.

Most of these near death experiences are becoming more frequent now due to the technological advances of reviving people and it is said that there are about 12-15 million Americans alone who have had these experiences.

One commentator says that most people undergo a religious transformation after these close encounters with death and hallucinations alone can not account for for these kind of changes.

Another researcher had done his work internationally interviewing over 300 cases and his research had indicated a consistency of testimony of  both the hellish and the heavenly descriptions as one would find in the biblical text.

As we approach the pagan festival of Halloween many people treat death/hell like they treat this holiday. Sometimes people don’t understand or care to understand about the reality of the spiritual realm behind this Satanic celebration. For them it is just a harmless game of fun  and yet like death there can be a reality and a hidden demonic element that masks itself from our plain view and “tricks” us into being deceived by thinking that the realm of Satan, demons, and hell are only the inventions of Hollywood and preachers.

Hell becomes trivialized and commercialized and before to long it no longer haunts our minds but rather it morbidly becomes desirous in establishing these new evil role models making “Harry Potter” out to be a hero or a desirable character.

In spite of this there are some who want to seriously consider the knowledge of the after life or  at least they are curious about it and this has led to the releasing of the popular books, 90 minutes in heaven and 23 minutes in hell.

I personally know a couple of close friends that had a NDE in which they experienced heaven and one lady was so awestruck by the experience that she didn’t want to come back and I remember her telling me how that her husband could not understand why she didn’t want to return to her earthly life with him and this same testimony coincides with the other people that were being interviewed on this program likewise.

The other person that I know was a pastors wife who had visited  heaven and had seen and talked to Jesus.

In many of these spiritual encounters people have claimed to have seen things that were associated with the apocalyptical literature of both the Old and New Testaments.

One other bit of evidence that substantiates these Near Death Experiences is that these people are quite in touch to the details of what is going on around them in the room while they are in a  comatose state. They can even describe details of what is going on outside of the room as their spirit is leaving their bodies. Also they were seeing and experiencing things even beyond their own mindset and exceptions which was unexplainable as well.

The secular researchers were not conclusive in their findings on this matter as they were not able to explain or pinpoint  how these people had experienced these things when it went beyond their  human capacity for experience or perception. I believe this then leaves the door open to discuss the realm of the supernatural.

So in venturing forward on this quest of life after death lets see what the bible says about hell. The word for “hell” is the Hebrew word “sheol” as found in the Old Testament. This word can be used broadly and can generally apply to the grave, pit, and the natural realm of physical degradation. It can also be used to describe the abode of the dead or a shadowy or obscure kind of  existence.

More specifically what I am interested in describing to you is not just the physical process of death which we pretty much understand  but the spiritual plane which based on these researchers is a reality that is just as real for those who have experienced these NDE’s.

The Old Testament does not give us many clues as compared to the New Testament record which makes it more definable and descriptive in the way of terms.

The prophet Daniel sets the stage for the concept of the after life in Daniel 12:2 2 Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt.

So this speaks of not just the afterlife but of the concept of the “physical resurrection” which is beyond the scope of this blog but was believed by Jews and Christians as evidenced by the ossuary boxes that you find in ancient Israel which would contain the bones of the deceased. The resurrection is to be the final act of salvation of which Jesus himself has already participated in as a type of first fruits from the dead. Somehow mysteriously these resurrected bodies will be apart of our fixture of being at a final point in the consummation of human  history which for the Christian is one of the concluding acts of redemption.

Anyway back to Daniel what begins to emerge here is the concept of “eternal” life versus “everlasting” contempt. It may be easy to visualize an eternal home of bliss but the rules must equally apply bilaterally with the synonymous words of eternal and everlasting otherwise this scripture becomes a contradiction of terms.

Under the old covenant economy the view for sheol is seen as a habitation of both the righteous and the ungodly that are held in a state of being with a chasm drawn between these two existence’s. One is referred to as Abraham’s bosom where the righteous dwell and the other is a place of torment. This is best displayed with the description Jesus gives to us in the gospel narratives which describes  to a limited extent these eternal holding places which we will discuss more about later.

We get some secondary clues from the OT/NT that show some indication of the afterlife as quoted by Jesus in Matthew 22:32 concerning Exodus 3:6  where God says that I am the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and Jesus concludes that He is the God of the living and not the dead which shows that there is a continued state of existence beyond the physical boundaries of this life.

Also in the Old Testament it refers to God gathering people to their fathers at the moment of death such as in 2kings 22:20.

We see the prophet Samuel as one who had come up from the ground to address Saul in 1Samuel 28:11-15

Also there are references to the “book of life” as those who will enter into eternal life and those who were not written or had been removed “blotted out”  which referred to eternal damnation. We see these references in both the Old and New Covenant passages such as found in Psalms 69:28, Exodus 32:33,  Phillipians 4:3, Revelation 3:5,13:8, 17:8, 20:12-15, 21:27.

Now the New Testament develops a fuller expression to the concept of hell and the righteous abode in which Jesus gives us a preview of these habitations as related to the story about the “Rich man and Lazarus” as found in Luke 16:19-31.

The rich man and Lazarus are dwelling in two conflicting environments with a gulf fixed between them as a barrier that could not be crossed. One location was contrasted with the other as it describes the rich man as being in torment, thirst, and in the agony of fire while Lazarus’ state of existence was a place of comfort.

Other descriptive words that Jesus and His apostles speak of when referring to hell, which according to the greek language of the New Testament would also include the use of the words hades or genna, are referred to in Matthew 3:12 as an unquenchable fire,  Mt 8:11 it describes outer darkness, weeping and gnashing of teeth, Matthew 13:42 it is a fiery furnace, Mt 18:8 eternal fire, 2 Thessalonians 1:9 as everlasting destruction, Rev 14:10-11 as the torment that rises for ever and ever, Revelation 19:20 depicts a fiery lake of burning sulfur and in Revelation 20:10 they will be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

The concept of purgatory does not exist in any of the canonical books as recognized by Christians or Jews.

Nor does the bible speak of “reincarnation” as the scripture says that a man dies once and then he faces the  judgement Hebrews 9:27. Neither does the bible promote “soul sleep” which confuses the physical resurrection with the reality of a spiritual state at the moment of death 2 Corinthians 5:8 says that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.

These people in the NDE’s immediately went into a place or a presence as described as either heaven or hell rather than a state of nothingness and in addition to this they possessed a spirit type of body. Also these NDE’s say nothing about coming back in a reincarnated form either.

I think one of the main  problems we have in accepting the biblical references to Hell is that our God concept is mis-referenced. We reason that if there is a just God who is completely good then how can he allow people to suffer eternally which doesn’t seem logical or reasonable in making any kind of sense. Yet it is equally unbelievable to think of a person obtaining eternal life based on merely the mercy of God’s free gift of grace without merit in spite of our sinful but redeemed lives.

The original intent of this hellish habitation was to be an abode  for the Devil and his angels and it was never intended for human occupation but know it is given over to all of God’s avowed enemies in the afterlife Matthew 25:41. If God is unwilling to preserve the fallen angelic host, in which we are made a little lower than, then how will we fare if we rebel against God likewise.

If our personal goal to life is a Godless existence then shouldn’t we expect to get what we desire and shouldn’t this desire be consistent beyond the realm of  this life in experiencing the next.  Why should you want God to impose Himself on you in the sweet by and by when you don’t want his influence in the here and now.

One of the resounding themes off this semi-secular program on NDE’s is that you die like you live and I say that pretty much sums up the reality on the other side of the fence.

Satans domain is antithetical to  God’s rule. God is light and hell is darkness. Hell is sorrowful and in heaven sorrow is abolished. God is love while hell is full of hatred. In heaven there is peace while hell is filled with violence, suffering, and torment.

Its funny how we want the benefits of heaven without reciprocating thanks to Him as our creator Romans 1:21. Is God to be treated like a cosmic wh-re? Using Him for the benefit of our pleasure while avoiding the responsibility of a relationship or better yet maybe we feel God owes us one.

If a persons commitment here on planet earth is a Godless existence which is diametrically opposed  to God’s  heavenly rule and reign and presence then why should a person expect to have a heavenly outcome with a God that all of their lives they have purposely avoided. Why blame God for our own position and destination when we had a choice that was easily attainable.  In Matthew 11:28-30 Jesus says 28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

So what are these people like who will taste hell? Are they merely the dregs of society such as death row inmates, serial killers,rapists and pedophiles. Yes, but there is a much larger audience that  Jesus is addressing as  in Matthew 7:13,14 13 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it..

Rev 21:8 assigns hell to the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice the magic arts, the idolaters and all liars will have their place in the fiery lake of burning sulfur.

1 Corinthians 6:9-10 gives an another list of hells inhabitants stating;Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders 10 nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.

In spite of our transgressions this seemingly paradoxical situation involving sin and judgment has now evolved to the beautiful side of redemption which counteracts the effects of  these vile and wicked actions which ultimately would have earned them a spot  in the confines of hell but now these people have been gloriously translated by means of God’s forgiveness and a changed lifestyle apart from there previous way of life.

If you feel you haven’t crossed over the property line as trespassing on God’s righteousness then perhaps  we ought to look where we are standing as in Romans 6:23.

Sin is not categorized in this scripture and therefore sin is a common denominator in the equation of life as there are none who are righteous which seems to be pretty much an inclusive and universal statement.

We often trivialize our transgressions and therefore we underestimate the consequences of sin to be less than serious and critical and though everyone else’s mountain of sin may seem to dwarf our small pile of “mistakes”  your little stack may be insurmountable according to yet another person’s standard of trivial “accidents”.

Whether it is a little sin or a major sin it still carries the title of sin. Whether you steal a penny or a dollar it doesn’t matter because you are still a thief. Whether you tell one lie or million you are still a liar. We try to diminish our guilt by comparing ourselves to others.

Finally no matter what we do to showoff our “meritorious deeds” before a Holy God, He is the Judge of the universe as one who discerns mens hearts and thoughts. You can never earn justification through your acts alone and the bible compares our righteousness deeds to menstrual cloths as spoken of in Isaiah 64:6. Our works will never be good enough to keep from polluting God’s heavenly existence and dwelling. God has two realms for sin. One is the unregenerate earth and the other is hell and unless you are cleansed from sin you will in no way be allowed to hang your dirty laundry in heaven.

I don’t mean this disrespectfully but Jesus didn’t just die for the “H-ll” of it. His purpose for His incarnated state was to represent man by dieing on our behalf in taking the guilt and penalty of sin. If  we could of achieved it on our own merit by earning heaven then Christ died needlessly Galatians 2:21. A deeper look to the offense of condemnation is not only in our violation of God through sin but by shunning God’s redemptive work of salvation in the Messiah by rejecting His Son John 3:18.

One of the greatest crimes of all is to wave before God our works as a “morsel” offering versus the complete and efficacious offering of Jesus which fully satisfies God’s righteous requirements for a sacrificial offering and anything less is obscene in the eyes of a Holy God.

Remember it only took one “small” act of disobedience in the Garden to bring in a “great” flood of evil upon all of mankind thus bringing a curse to  all men. So how has your transgressions measured up to Adam’s “slip”. Are your transgressions “supersized” or “insignificant” in comparison. You be the judge.

Now getting back to the question of hell. Many people when they don’t agree or like the biblical text then they associate the content of scripture as being metaphoric thus trying to avoid its difficult application.

Yet Jesus speaks of hell in such a dramatic fashion that  He uses a hyperbole in trying to communicate to others its reality which should be avoided at all costs even if it would mean the extremes of dismemberment Matthew 5:27-30.

Based on the context of this scripture many would not take this literally nevertheless this shows a literal severity and seriousness towards the outcome of a spiritual state of existence that is more traumatic than the critical loss of even our physical components. Jesus would not say this flippantly as if there were not a hellish reality.

Finally I realize “Hell” should not be the motivation towards obedience or submission but rather “Love”.

There should be a sense of holy fear or respect for God with a balanced sense of  loving admiration.

One of the best analogies I can give you is that God is like a heavenly parent who sacrifices His  own life for the benefit of the child and even though the child is governed through the hand of correction it is for their well being and development that the “God” parent administers these actions.

Yet extending above these hands are the loving arms of God who embraces you to protect you and give you security. The hand and the arm work together to properly train the child and if done right the child should never see God’s hand as the enemy but as a means of bringing them salvation as a warning to stop.

A child who fully loves and trusts his parent understands this relationship and takes heed when the hand of God is raised knowing that it is done so only by the loving arms that are bearing its weight.

We would think it a crime for a parent to just nonchalantly just watch their child run out in the street in front of an oncoming car without saying or doing a thing. Yet would you despise a God who is trying to get your attention by yelling and pleading for your eternal soul . Would you see it as merely the fear factor or manipulation when he cries out to you “STOP” there is danger ahead.

A child would not question the urgency or the tone of a parental voice of concern and yet when God warns us about Hell then how do we take or respond to His entreaty for us to  repent.

God is calling and actually he is screaming to get our attention sometimes. Will you listen and learn to trust Him for He is a loving Father?

At the end of the blog I have a place on how to have a relationship with God and it will describe to you in fundamental terms on how to be saved and commit your life to God. It is simple process but is very profound in scope and application and it will be life changing .

Trust me I did this over 20 years ago and I will never go back to living a lie for the devil.

What life will you choose after death? Will you choice life after death or death after life?

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord, Romans 6:23.

A sobering video on “To Hell and Back”


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Mormon Doctrine

Friday, September 11th, 2009

When exploring the contents of Mormon teaching there is a conglomeration of various beliefs that are interposed between biblical Christianity and error leaving this movement with a distortion of syncretistic values.

This makes it difficult for a seeker to wade through the quagmire of thought especially if they don’t understand biblical orthodoxy and are ignorant or unaware of the cultish teachings associated with the Latter Day Saints movement.

When potential converts are approached by Mormon missionaries they may appear or come across as being like any other Christian denomination and they will avoid controversial subjects or anything blatantly aberrant to a Christian worldview.

Also they might  emphasize  morality and family values which are great assets but this should never be exchanged in supplanting the truth of God.

I have heard someone say that the best lie is 99% true but in this case the percentage would be much lower if a person was well acquainted with the facts. Falsehood can often be disguised and paraded as truth if a person knows how to properly conceal its controversy.

When I was confronted by Mormons they did not bring up anything that was questionable in nature and the deceptive part is that they used common biblical language while utilizing their own definitional approach and application to these terms of faith which are contrary to sacred usage.

This unsuspected approach of gullibility allows them to prey upon and victimize their entourage of new members.

To start with I am not going to assimilate an exhaustive and comprehensive list of all the false teachings of Mormonism. I have just picked a few select examples from some of their more extreme positions which are easily identifiable or discernible as being heretical by anybody who has an inkling of understanding concerning Christianity.

To begin with Mormonism has a unique position of authority and inspiration in regards to progressive revelation. For instance a new president or prophet can annul, overturn or overrule previous rulings made by former presidents or add new revelations to their portfolio of beliefs and these precepts are given the same level of authority and respect as scripture. Ironically enough these divine arrangements are sometimes altered on the basis of human opinion rather than through a direct order of God’s providential oversight.

So here is a short list of core beliefs circulated among Mormon theologians and laymen:

A. According to Mormon teaching God was once a man and therefore mankind can advance to the rank of being God or achieving Godhood therefore, they are polytheists in belief which is contrary to the central tenet of Judeo-Christian faith which expresses a monotheistic viewpoint of God based on the authority of scriptures, Deuteronomy 6:4.

B. God the Heavenly Father is viewed from a Mormon perspective as siring spirit children who in turn come to inhabit the earth as humans. So according to Mormon theology since mankind can attain or achieve the status of a God then they too will go on to populate their own planets and yet in Mark 12:24,25 the scripture discredits the notion of marriage in heaven.

C. Within Mormon teaching Jesus and Satan are related as brothers. Yet Jesus is definably God while Satan is a angelic being and these two personages are juxtaposed within the book of Hebrews.

D. Mormonism in the past has viewed “Blacks” and “Indians” as being cursed according to the “Cain” like mark of their skin color and “Blacks” were prohibited from entry into the priesthood. However, the bible claims that God is not a respecter of persons based on ethnicity, Galatians 3:26-29.

     The restriction to the priesthood has now been overruled by another president with a more contemporary ruling of inclusion.

E.  Mormon doctrine states that Jesus was a polygamist and married both Mary and Martha at the wedding in Cana and He likewise fathered children as well.

     There is no biblical data that would support this viewpoint or even suggest that Jesus was married. This sounds more like a precursor to the mythological production of the DaVinci Code.

F.  Mormons have a universalistic viewpoint of humanity as corporately inheriting eternal life while avoiding the pitfalls of the biblical definition of hell. Their concept of hell is a purgatorial existence of temporal suffering which ultimately will land the individual on one of lower tiers of heavenly existence unless of course you commit the unpardonable sin by apostating the movement at which point you would then inherit the hellish habitation of Satan.

  That would scare the hell out of anybody who thought about leaving the organization. Revelations 21:8 gives a more accurate definition regarding the concept of hell in contrast to the position of the LDS.

G. The teachings of the Mormons would disregard Jesus atoning death as being totally efficacious or sufficient in securing salvation.

     According to them in order for someone to achieve the upper realm or echelon of the Celestial Kingdom one must exercise certain rites to gain this privilege of entrance and to be counted worthy to possess ones own worldly rule and reign as an elitist.

     To be a benefactor of this privilege one must secure exclusive membership and baptism within the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Alongside of this you would have to tithe to the organization, attending weekly sacrament meetings, support the Mormon prophet, perform temple works, abstaining from alcohol, tobacco, and caffeine as well as playing an active role or part in the support of the organization.

   However, salvation according to New Testament theology is awarded on the premise of having faith in Christ alone regardless of works which are only an outworking of our salvation instead of the source. Ephesians 2: 8-10.

H. Also in addition to the King James Version of the bible  Mormonism recognizes the inclusion of several books or supplementary texts that are added to their library of gnosticism such as the “Book of Mormon”, “Doctines and Covenants”, and the “Pearl of Great Price.”

   Yet in Rev 22:18 and Deuteronomy 4:2 God warns about revisional changes made to the Word of God by either adding or subtracting from its content.

    Not only has Mormonism added their own edition to the Word of God but Joseph Smith took the liberty to manipulate the bible by making over 600 corrections.

I. You may wonder why the LDS has such great genealogical records and this has to do with the baptism of the dead by proxy which grants the deceased the benefit of becoming Mormons.

  The bible concludes that after a man dies then he is to face the judgment and there is no second chance beyond the boundaries of  the grave. Hebrews 9:27

Lastly these are just a few things when considering the helter skelter theology behind the LDS movement. I would encourage you before signing up for membership to do some serious research on this organization before you are willing to commit your eternal soul to the prophetic agency of its founders and protectors.

If you are already a member it would behoove you to reexamine the claims to your identity within this hodge podge of belief based upon the apostolic authority of Joseph Smith and his predecessors.

One last thing, I apologize if I have overstated my case through my pointed and direct language. Forgive me if I have ridiculed this institution of which you hold as being sacred. I just wanted to offer you a serious challenge to either reassert your position or  by proving me right regarding these allegations. I just hope and pray that you will commit yourself to follow the evidence wherever it may lead you.

Finally, 2 Corinthians 11 contains a teaching on false apostles and it is summarized in verses 13-15 by stating:

13 For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, masquerading as apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. 15 It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve.

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The Book of Abraham

Monday, September 7th, 2009

The “Book of Abraham” is another fraudulent work perpetrated by the self acclaimed prophet Joseph Smith as a part of his compilations in the formation of the cult of Mormon and is included within the writings of the “Pearl of Great Price”.

The “Book of Abraham” was acquired by Smith through a traveling mummy exhibition and once again Joseph went to work with his deceptive skills in interpreting the Egyptian papyri which included the images of 3 facsimiles.

This book, according to its contents, is said to have been written by Abraham concerning his life and his vision concerning the cosmos and at the time of this transliteration, Egyptology was just being developed and therefore Smith’s translation could not be readily challenged.

However, today there is not one Egyptologists that recognizes the credibility to Smith’s interpretation of this text.

In addition to this, these hieroglyphics never mention the name of Abraham at all and in actuality what this papyri was representing here were the funerary texts as outlined in the “Book of the Dead” and the “Book of Breathings.”

Another interesting aspect concerning this papyri is that this ancient document originated around the first century BC which postdates Abraham’s existence by about 1500 years.

In conclusion the evidence is overwhelming and yet today Mormonism has either refused the evidence by means of ignorance or deception in regards to these heretical teachings.

Finally in Ephesians 5:6,7 it says 6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient. 7 Therefore do not be partners with them.

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Book of Mormon

Tuesday, August 18th, 2009

The book ends of God’s word as represented in the Torah or as revealed to us in the final chapters of the apocalyptical book of John gives us a common warning that the inspirational content of scripture is not to be added to or subtracted from in regards to His commands and revelations Deuteronomy 4:2, Revelation 22:18.

This is why the book of Mormon should be viewed with suspicion. Even though it may make claims as being a recovered or restored revelation its appearance has only dug up a relic with a questionable past.

Some of its outlandish claims have resulted in making an association with the American Indians and the Middle Eastern Jews who are genetically dissimilar.

The American Indians are characterized as Mongoloid while the Jews are of a Semitic origin.

In addition to this there isn’t any evidence that the Pre-Columbian Indians had any knowledge regarding Jesus or the bible even though Jesus is said to have appeared to them.

Also another discrepancy is when considering the enormity of the cities and culture contained within the book of Mormon the likes of which none of these have produced any archaeological or anthropological evidence.

The book of Mormon which was supposedly written in reformed Egyptian was sent off to be validated by Professor Charles Anthon who classified it as a hoax.

Alongside of this other linguists have also referred to its content as being mythical.

Joseph Smith has made claims to the book of Mormon as being the most correct book yet it has undergone a change of 4000 words as recently as 1981.

Also those who are regarded as the three witnesses within the book of Mormon are Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer, and Martin Harris.

Remarkably all three of these men were labeled apostates, thieves and counterfeiters by the very organization of which they help to originate.

Some other inconsistencies to the validity of this text can be seen by the liberty that has been taken in plagiarizing 25,000 words from the 1611 King James Version of the bible. How could this “Old English” translation of the bible have been inspirational in its verbiage when the book of Mormon predates the use of this vernacular?

Another thing of which the book of Mormon is in error of is in regards to world history. The book of Mormon speaks of such materials as glass, steel, and compass of which none of these items existed at this time.

Lastly the book of Mormon has a striking resemblance to the romance novel “Manuscript Found” which was written by Spaulding.

How coincidental is this title compared to the recovery of the alleged text of the “Book of Mormon”.

In conclusion this romance of Mormonism has led many astray into an adulterous affair with the whore of religion.

I pray that you will not be seduced by its cultish trappings and that you will honestly seek the truth concerning its origins.

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The prophet Joseph Smith

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009

Joseph Smith who is the founder of Mormonism was inspired to begin a new religion. After consulting God in prayer over the truthfulness of different denominational beliefs he claimed that God the Father and Jesus appeared to him and told him that all churches were wrong and not to join any of them.

Three years later an angel called Moroni appeared to him and indicated that he was chosen to translate the book of Mormon and like buried treasure he was directed by Moroni in locating these golden plates that were unearthed in a hill near his home. These golden plates were supposedly inscribed in reformed Egyptian hieroglyphics , which would require the use of specialized glasses or crystals to translate the text into English.

During this translation period supposedly John the Baptist appears to Smith telling him to preach the true gospel and restore the true church. Once the book of Mormon was completed Smith claimed it to be the most correct book on the face of the planet.

I am going to stop here with this brief introduction to Mormonism and from this point on we will look at the credibility of Joseph Smith as a person who was supposedly given the privilege as the repository of God’s revelation.

I believe to a degree that a person can be strongly influenced through the cultural experience of “Family” or “Community”. To give an example of this we can see by  studying various religious movements that they often have an association based on geographical location. For instance the likelihood of someone being a Muslim in Saudi Arabia would be quite high given the statistics that about 93% of the population supports this view. This belief system has influenced the Saudi’s entire worldview from the family all the way up to the governmental institutions.

Again I do not want to be overly dogmatic on this point but I would encourage you to be mindful of the dynamics of what may have developed from Smith’s childhood experiences.

Now to give you a little bit of family background his father Joseph Smith, Sr  had the reputation of being a money digger and was seeking the buried treasure of Captain Kidd and his mother Lucy was a highly superstitious woman. These characteristics seem to be played out in the imaginative and adventurous spirit of Joseph Smith, Jr whether through self deception or a deceiver par excellence.

If the credibility of the movement comes down to the origin of the book of Mormon then perhaps upon observation we might find it less than credible or believable.

This blog is not intended to discuss content at this point and this post only gives a brief overview concerning the starting point of revelation working towards its compilation and completion as well as a biographical sketch concerning Mr. Smith’s character.

So how did Joseph Smith, after miraculously finding these golden tablets, begin the arduous task of translation?

To begin with when Joseph Smith Jr. was in his early twenties he participated in the “craze of treasure hunting” for profit by utilizing seer stones in an attempt to locate lost items and buried treasure. Smith would put a stone in a white stovepipe hat and would then see the required information in reflections given off by the stone. This all took place before he had his heavenly visitation and then afterwards Mr. Smith employed these stones as a means of translation for the book of Mormon.

Other early Mormons also had seer stones such as Hiram Page, David and Jacob  Whitmer, as well as James Strang who claimed to be Joseph’s Smith designated successor.

Later after his movement was formed he received a revelation that there was much treasure in Salem, Massachusetts and by using the seer stone he left and returned empty handed.

Early nineteenth-century Americans used the seer stones to gain revelations from God and for treasure hunting. The likes of which Mr. Smith was employing. However, many of his treasure hunts were mostly unsuccessful but nevertheless he never denied their power to find treasure and this magical culture stayed with him until the end.

One other thing I might add is that Oliver Cowdery who helped with the dictation of the Book of Mormon also came from a similar upbringing in treasure seeking and other magical practices likewise.

I guess its nor hard to miss the overtones of his parental influence. When I first heard of this and began to research this concept of the seer stone I found information related to it by doing a google search and found an association with the seer stone and the art of witchcraft. So from this perspective it appears that Joseph Smith was incorporating occultish practices in establishing the alleged “Book of Mormon”

In Old Testament times the validity of the prophet was very simple. If what the prophet said came to pass then he was considered a true prophet.

If you look at many of the prophecies of Smith you will see that he is proved to be a false prophet based on this criteria.

One of his prophecies included an incident when Smith tried to organize a military response after his group had been persecuted and forced to move to another location. Its at this point that he had another revelation that “the redemption of Zion must needs come by power” but the trek of what came to be called Zion’s camp ended without anything being accomplished.

Also another one of his failed prophecies would come when he had a revelation to build a temple in Independence Missouri during his lifetime which until this day has never happened.

Yet another failed prophetic revelation occurred  when the federal government  pressured the movements position on polygamy which resulted in the Mormon president to revise this model of marriage for the world to come.

In addition to failed prophecies other things that may indicate his questionable character was the printing and circulation of notes referred to as wildcat banking which after a month had failed which resulted in a warrant being issued for Smith’s arrest because of bank fraud which led to him fleeing Ohio for Missouri.

Another incident was around 1840 when Smith published the “Book of Abraham” and his translation turned out to be an “Egyptian Book of the Dead” that he had purchased from a traveling exhibitor in 1835. From this book came the doctrines concerning the plurality of gods, pre-mortal existence, and the concept that the earth had been organized out of preexisting matter.

Another questionable activity was Smith’s involvement as a “Free Mason” which is a whole other subject in and of it self relating to cultish activities. Many of the temple rites resemble his masonic influence.

One of Smith’s most controversial actions was the undertaking of polygamy or plural marriages. In 1841 he secretly wed Louisa Beaman as a plural wife and during the next two and a half years he may have married around thirty additional women, ten of them already married to other men. About a third of his wives were teenagers including two fourteen year old girls.

Smith allegedly told one prospective wife that submitting to plural marriage would ensure her of eternal salvation and exaltation as well as her fathers household.

In conclusion this is just a brief description to the character and ministry of Joseph Smith. Much of this information was obtained through Wikipedia as well as referring to or consulting  other source documents. I tried to be as fair as I could in my presentation and as a  matter of fact I left out some things that seemed questionable or would need further proof or clarification before validating. Some of these quotes and information came from Richard Bushman who is active member in Mormonism and who was a graduate from Harvard and has outstanding credentials as a reference, that is if he was quoted properly.

Anyway this blog doesn’t show the favorable side to Mormonism. However, the movement does have a positive influence based on their emphasis in supporting family values as well as upholding a high standard of morals. I was first introduced to Mormonism as a young Christian living in Wyoming as there are many  Mormons living in this particular area of the country. At this time I also viewed the video called the “Godmakers” which is a must see and a eye opener whether you are a practicing Mormon or a seeker. This may help you to perceive the organization for what it really is by giving you a  behind the scenes look.

One other thing I appreciate about Mormon culture is their zeal in their missionary endeavors yet my challenge to them is what good is zeal if it is misdirected. You can be sincere and yet be sincerely wrong and that is why I have wrote this post in order to  challenge the truth claims behind Mormon belief. No to maliciously slander but to expose error.

Finally, in all fairness when considering the character of Joseph Smith I am not looking for infallibility in an individual the likes of which only God can obtain. We understand that men are merely human agents and therefore have shortcomings in which the bible fully supports this view as is indictated to us through the many scriptural examples that are contained therein. I am not writing this blog with the intention to defame Mr. Smith or his successors yet upon doing my research I find his person to be strongly questionable and fraudulent.

After all he appears to have a questionable history and background which should warn you to seek further counsel beyond the sanctuary and the court room of the LDS rulings.

We do this everyday in a civil court of law in determining whether a person is a credible witness. My conclusion is that the testimony is only as credible as the person who has conceptualized it. Through this examination I would ask you to further seek for evidence as related to this matter and then let it direct your path towards a verdict.

In closing do not seek as your primary source of confirmation the emotional experience  of having a burning in your bosom but rather seek for objective truth that can be obtained through research. Finally ask the “Father” who is the source of truth and revelation to give you guidance versus trusting in the fallibility of human agency or an organization. This is a pivotal point whereby your eternal destiny hangs on and it would behoove you not to haphazardly dismiss these charges by stating “I don’t believe that” or worse yet “I don’t care.” I encourage and implore you to do otherwise out of a critical sense of necessity.

To sum all of this up I leave you with a new testament quote taken from Galatians 1:6-9 which reads 6 I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— 7 which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! 9 As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned!

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