Warm Fuzzy Feelings!

The Mormon Test for Truthfulness

Mormons often challenge people to pray with sincerity concerning the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon, citing a verse in its closing book:

  • "And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost" (Moroni 10:4).

Many sincere seekers fall for this ploy, being ignorant of the warnings set forth by the Bible. Nowhere does the Bible ever direct the believing Christian to take any religious book and pray about the truthfulness of its contents. While we are told to ask God for wisdom (James 1:5), the clear Biblical directive and pattern to follow includes more than this:

  • "do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world" (1 John. 4:1).
  • "If anyone advocates a different doctrine and does not agree with sound words, those of our Lord Jesus Christ, and with the doctrine conforming to godliness, he is conceited and understands nothing" (1 Tim. 6:3-4).
  • "Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves" (2 Cor. 13:5).
  • "you put to the test those who call themselves apostles, and they are not, and you found them to be false" (Rev. 2:2).
  • "Prove all things, hold fast that which is good" (1 Thess. 5:21).
  • The Apostle Paul knew the gospel he preached was true because Christ's resurrection was historically verifiable (1 Cor. 15:1-8). Is the Book of Mormon historically verifiable? No.

Why is this the better method? Because not every self-proclained prophet is from God; many present a false gospel:

  • "You are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel... even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed!" (Gal. 1:6-8).
  • "if one comes and preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted... (2 Cor. 11:4).
  • "Thus says the LORD of hosts, Do not listen to the words of the prophets who are prophesying to you. They are leading you into futility; They speak a vision of their own imagination, not from the mouth of the LORD" (Jer. 23:16).

How can we determine if a prophet is speaking from God? First, the prophecy must be 100% accurate. Second, the Bible says to use God's previous revelation through Biblical authors as a standard of comparison, because no new revelation will contradict God's previous words:

  • "If a prophet... arises among you and gives you a sign or a wonder, and the sign or the wonder comes true, concerning which he spoke to you, saying, "Let us go after other gods (whom you have not known) and let us serve them [i.e. contradicting the ten commandments],' you shall not listen to the words of that prophet ...but that prophet ... shall be put to death" (Deut 13:1-5).
  • "When a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the thing does not come about or come true, that is the thing which the LORD has NOT spoken. The prophet has spoken it presumptuously" (Deut 18:22).
  • "If anyone advocates a different doctrine and does not agree with sound words, those of our Lord Jesus Christ, and with the doctrine conforming to godliness, he is conceited and understands nothing" (1 Tim. 6:3-4).
  • Paul commended the Bereans for objectively investigating the things he taught them: "Now these were more noble-minded...for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily, to see whether these things were so" (Acts 17:11).

Even Mormon leaders advocate investigation:

  • "convince us of our errors of doctrine, if we have any, by reason, by logical arguments, or by the word of God, and we will be ever grateful for the information, and you will ever have the pleasing reflection that you have been instruments in the hands of God of redeeming your fellow beings from the darkness which you may see enveloping their minds." (Orson Pratt, The Seer, p. 15-16, 1853).

Therefore, it is NOT BIBLICAL to pray about the Book of Mormon to determine its truthfulness; one must TEST what it has to say. If it contradicts what God has already revealed, it fails. If you have "gained a testimony of the Book of Mormon" by praying Moroni 10:4, then you must seriously question whether or not you have been deceived.

Why should subjective feelings be suspected? Because we are sinful creatures and can be swayed by our emotions and sinful desires:

  • "The heart of man is desperately wicked and cannot be trusted" (Jeremiah 17:9).
  • "There is a way which seems right unto a man, but the end is death" (Proverbs 14:12).

Should you pray whether to commit adultery or steal? Of course not, because the Bible already speaks out against such sins. God has already revealed His will regarding such matters, and no amount of prayer will change that fact. No matter how sincerely you may believe otherwise, to claim that God gave you permission to steal, or commit adultery proves that you did not hear from God (1 Tim 6:3-4; Deut. 13:1-2; Deut. 18:20-22; Jer. 23:16, 30-36; Zech. 13:2-3).

To believe that something is true merely because you feel it to be so or because you are sincere in your belief does not make it true 11. Instead, the Bible warns that feelings can be deceptive and that the sincere truth-seeker must base decisions on more objective means. A standard Mormon response is to resort to the subjective. He insists that he knows the Book of Mormon is true because he has a 'burning in the bosom'. God, he claims, has proved it to him in his heart, so it can't be untrue. He may also claim that to challenge him in this way only makes him stronger in this faith. A "burning in the bosom," no matter how sincere, is no proof of historicity or authority. If evidence goes against the Book of Mormon to prove it false, then to ignore or avoid that evidence is not sincere faith but rather dishonesty and deceitfulness.

The test of Moroni 10:4 is a trick. When you are challenged, you must accept Book of Mormon as true or your integrity is placed under suspicion. If you accept the challenge (even though unbiblical) but conclude that the Book of Mormon is not from God, Mormons will say that you either did not have a sincere heart, real intent, or genuine faith; otherwise the test would have revealed positive results. According to Mormon thinking, it is not possible for their book to be wrong, so you must be wrong.

Mormons may also say that the Book of Mormon is latter-day revelation from God that supercedes the authority of the Bible. This cannot be true because written, inerrant, authoritative revelation ended with Jesus and his apostles:

  • The apostles spoke on God's behalf: "Paul, according to the wisdom given him, wrote to you, as also in all his letters, in which are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do also the rest of the scriptures..." (2 Peter 3:15-16). "You should remember the words spoken beforehand by the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord by your apostles" (2 Peter 3:2).
  • But the Apostle Paul warned the Galatian church: "if anyone should preach to you a gospel contrary to that which we preached, let him be accursed" (Gal. 1:8-9).
  • "Do not add to His words Or He will reprove you, and you will be proved a liar" (Prov. 30:6).
  • "You shall not add to the word which I am commanding you, nor take away from it" (Deut. 4:2).
  • "I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God shall add to him the plagues which are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the tree of life" (Rev. 22:18-19).

This is the standard that must be used. If you investigate carefully the differences between Mormon doctrine and orthodox Christian doctrine, and compare Mormon 'scriptures' with the Bible, you will come to the conclusion that the Book of Mormon and Mormonism are not from God.

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1 comments:

Godhead September 29, 2010 at 2:11 PM  

The Mormon Test for Truthfulness. This is exactly what they asked me to do, interesting that they would want to resort to feelings rather then logic in this matter. I had a good feeling about them because I could have been a part of a group that accepted me. Socially it would have been good for me. I am not good at making friends. This would have been a stable and sustainable social outlet for me. Nice girls, strong social focus. But I could not do that based on something that was a lie. I could have easily played the Mormon, for the social benefits and I do not doubt that many do.

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