What is the 'final authority' of the Mormon church?
(*abbreviations: BOM = Book of Mormon; JoD = Journal of Discourses; DN = Deseret News)
The Mormons' Article 8 states: "We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly; we also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God." They claim to accept the authority of the Bible, stating that the Book of Mormon is "another testimony of Jesus Christ" - but notice how they differentiate between their two "supposed" authorities and clearly downgrade the Bible. Mormons need to be asked: "Which book has the final authority in ALL matters?"..."If the Bible says one thing and the Book of Mormon another, which will you accept as the truth?"..."Where are ALL your doctrines found?" The answers you receive need to be considered carefully, for there are things they will not want you to know now, or even after you join the Mormon church, e.g.:
1. The ORIGINAL 1830 edition of the Book of Mormon contains spelling, grammatical, textual & doctrinal errors, plagiarisms, and historical inaccuracies and anachronisms.
2. their main doctrines are not even in the *BOM or the Bible and are too bizarre and unacceptable to share with you before you are in their web, i.e. as a baptised member; but many leave the church when they discover the truth!
3. they DO NOT accept the Bible or the Book of Mormon as their final authority;
4. their "living prophet, seer, and revelator" is their final authority; a quote by Ezra Taft Benson makes this clear: "Beware of those who would pit the dead prophets against living prophets, for the living prophets always take precedence." (Ezra Taft Benson, "14 Fundamentals in Following the Prophet." Press Copy, p.5). It is clear that there is no point in arguing about the accuracy of the Bible versus the *BOM, or the Mormons defending any writings that they consider "Scripture," because their so-called "living prophet" can turn over any past revelations as it suits him. It is clear from reading their "sacred books" - such as the Book of Mormon & Doctrines and Covenants - that this HAS happened!
5. even their doctrines that appear orthodox are thinly disguised heresies;
Do Mormons believe Christ's shed blood is the only basis for the forgiveness of sins?
Why did the Mormons practice Blood Atonement through the "Avenging Angels"?
Mormon's will make it appear that they rely on Christ's atonement: "...it stands as the fundamental doctrine of all scripture, the very essence of the spirit of prophecy and revelation, the most prominent of all the declarations of God unto man." (James E. Talmage, Articles of Faith, P.77). The *BOM declares that "there could be no redemption for mankind save it were through the death and suffering of Christ, and the atonement of His blood" (Alma 21:9). Mormons will agree that the direct effect of the Fall of Adam resulted in all men facing physical death and all men are born with a natural inclination towards evil with its consequent guilt and condemnation, and they believe that all will be raised from the dead because of Christ's atonement. But when their doctrines are examined thoroughly we find that the early leaders taught that the fall was really a "fall UPWARDS" (they say that God wanted us to sin so that we may become "gods" - Genesis 3v4 actually shows this to be a lie from the Devil!). Far from believing that Christ atoned for all sin they really believe that "salvation from sin is only obtainable through obedience....to the prescribed laws and ordinances of the Gospel" (Talmage, The Philosophical Basis of Mormonism, p.15-17)
Orthodox Christians will agree that obedience to the commandments of God are very important - it was Christ's own loving request that stated: "If you love Me you will keep MY commandments" (John 15v10-17). For Mormons, Christ has made only a down payment - they must work for the rest of their lives always hoping, hoping, hoping that they have done enough to reach highest exaltation - but convinced that they will at least achieve the "lowest heaven" (another un-Biblical doctrine!).
Statements by Mormon authorities make it clear that they really believe that the atonement was not completely provided by Christ: "Christians speak often about the blood of Christ and its atoning power. Much that is believed and taught on this subject, however, is such utter nonsense and so palpably false that to believe it is to lose ones salvation. Many go so far, for instance, as to pretend, at least, to believe that if we confess Christ with our lips and avow that we accept Him as our personal Saviour, we are thereby saved. His blood, without other act than mere belief, they say, makes us clean." (What the Mormons think of Christ, Bruce R. McConkie, p.27)
Mormons fail to realise that keeping laws has never been the basis of anyone's righteousness in the sight of God: "By the deeds of the law shall no flesh be justified in His sight; for by the law is the knowledge of sin" - the Bible teaches that righteousness is "without," or apart from the law (Romans 3v20-21), for believers are justified "freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: whom God hath sent forth to be a propitiation through faith in His blood" (Romans 3v24-25). The Bible teaches different doctrine from that brought to your door by Mormons who fail to realise that the faith that justifies is also the faith that works in love (Galatians 5v6) and only after this free gift is accepted can we do any works that will please God (Ephesians 2v8-10; Galatians 3v15; Titus 3v5).
Because Mormons err so badly in doctrines inspired by their corrupt founders it should come as no surprise to find that they indulged in the heretical doctrine of Blood Atonement which denies the Almighty efficacy of Jesus Christ's sacrificial death at Calvary. The "Death Society" - which carried out these killings in the last century - was also known as "Daughters of Gideon," "Avenging Angels," "Destroying Angels," or, in Brigham Young's reign, as "Sons of Thunder," "Sons of Dan," or "Danites" (from Genesis 49v17) and began its work in the midwest in the days of Joseph Smith and continued its work in Utah. Young can clearly be shown to have directed their attacks when, armed with the promise that they would be "gods," they assumed the power to avenge and take the lives of opponents or disobedient members, leaving their bodies littered on the ground - and inviting revenge attacks. Today only "Mormon fundamentalists" - who still believe in these doctrines which the "official Mormon church" wishes we didn't know about - occasionally carry out this blasphemous doctrine in the USA today. How can the Mormons deny the following statements of their leaders?:
QUOTE: "Joseph Smith taught that there were certain sins so grievous that man may commit, that they will put the transgressors beyond the power of the atonement of Christ. If these are committed, then the blood of Christ will not cleanse them from their sins even though they repent. Therefore their only hope is to have their own blood shed to atone, as far as possible, on their behalf...Man may commit certain grievous sins - according to his light and knowledge - that will place him beyond the reach of the atoning blood of Christ. If then he would be saved he must make sacrifice of his own life to atone - so far as in his power lies - for that sin, for the blood of Christ alone under certain circumstances will not avail." (Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, I, p.134-135)
What does their present Article of Faith say about atonement - "We believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel?" So who decides when a sin is so heinous that it requires the alternative kind of blood atonement? Are the LDS still practicing this doctrine! If not, why did they stop when they claim this to be a doctrine of God? What deficiency in the sacrifice of Christ makes it inadequate to atone for such sins? Read 1 John 1v7-9 (see right).
QUOTE: (Brigham Young) "I could refer you to plenty of instances where men have been righteously slain in order to atone for their sins. Now, now when you hear my brethren telling about cutting people off form the earth, that you consider it strong doctrine; but it is to save them, not to destroy them. All mankind love themselves; and let these principles be known by an individual, and he would be glad to have his blood shed. That would be loving themselves even unto eternal exaltation. This is loving our neighbour as ourselves; if he needs help, help him; if he wishes salvation, and it is necessary to spill his blood upon the ground in order that he may be saved, spill it. Any of you who understand the principles of eternity - if you have sinned a sin requiring the shedding of blood, except the sin unto death -would you not be satisfied or rest until your blood should be spilled, that you might gain the salvation you desire? This is the way to love mankind. It is true the blood of the Son of God was shed for sins through the fall and those committed by men, yet ye men can commit sins which it can never remit. As it was in the ancient days, so it is in our day; and though the principles are taught publicly from this stand, yet the people do not understand them; yet the law is precisely the same. Will you love your brothers and sisters likewise, when they have committed a sin that cannot be atoned for without the shedding of their blood? Will you love that man or woman well enough to shed their blood? That is what Jesus Christ meant." (Deseret News, April 16th, 1856 and Journal of Discourses, 4, p.219-220)
QUOTE: "There is not a man or woman who violates covenants made with their God that will not be required to pay the debt. The blood of Christ will never wipe that out. Your own blood must atone for it, the Judgements of the Almighty will come sooner or later, and every man and woman will have to atone for breaking covenants." (JoD, 3, p.247)
Examples of sins they considered worthy of this "atonement?" - adultery (JoD, 3, p.247) and theft (JoD, 1, p.108-109). These statements are supported by "Apostle" Orson Pratt in "The Seer," p.223) and "Apostle" Orson Hyde (JoD, 1, p.73). These horrendous statements fare badly when compared with the true gospel. How did Jesus deal with the woman caught in adultery - entirely differently, for He told her to go and to sin no more (read John 8v1-11)! The LDS church teaches of "another Jesus" who can only take away some sins - 2 Corinthians 11v4. Why revere, immortalise, and affirm faith in Mormon men and their vile "revelations?"
QUOTE: (Brigham Young) "Some of our old traditions teach us that a man guilty of atrocious and murderous acts may savingly repent when on the scaffold and upon his execution will hear the expression: 'Bless God, he has gone to heaven to be crowned in glory through the all redeeming merits of Christ the Lord!' This is all nonsense. Such a character will never see heaven." (Discourses of Brigham Young, p.157; cf. JoD, 8:61)
Again, contrast these statements with the words of the dying Lord Jesus to the thief on the cross who had expressed FAITH ALONE: "Today thou shalt be with me in paradise" (Luke 23:39-43)! Mormon leader Brigham Young increased the sins which required shedding of sinners blood to: taking the name of the Lord in vain, covenant breaking, and apostasy in general (JoD, 1, p. 83) and stated further:
QUOTE: "If the white man who belongs to the chosen seed mixes his blood with the seed of Cain (black people), the penalty under the law of God is death on the spot. This will always be so." (JoD, 10, p.110) Joseph Smith's own brother, William, testified in court in 1893 that, as early as 1845, in Nauvoo, his life was in danger: "....if I remained there, because of my objections and protests against the doctrine of Blood Atonement and other new doctrines that were brought into the church." (Temple Lot Case, p.98)
The Mormons still attempt to masquerade as the "only true Church of Jesus Christ on earth today." Their lies and heresies say otherwise - do not be fooled by their modern front! (see also Page 61 and other pages here).