Articles and Outlines - Cults / Occult - Mormonism - An Outline


Mormonism - An Outline

Author: Russ Wise
Date: 6/11/2003 9:31:02 PM


MORMONISM 
                                
I.  Introduction


    A.  The cult of Mormonism was founded by Joseph Smith on April 6,
          1830
in Fayette, NY.  It was known as he Church of Christ.  Later,
          the church became officially known as The Church of Jesus Christ
          of Latter-day Saints in 1834.


    B.  According to the LDS Church, Joseph Smith was visited by God
         the Father and God the Son after praying about which church
         he should join. He was told that he should join none of them
         because they were all an abomination to God. It was after this
         event in 1820 that young Joseph was led by the angel
Moroni
         to discover the Book of Mormon and later establish the Mormon
         Church. 


     C.  The Mormon Church now has a membership of over ten million
           and is growing at an unprecedented pace, doubling in size every
           ten years. 


          1. Church membership world-wide: U. S., over 4,800,000;
             
Mexico, 760,000; South America, 2,100,000; Europe,
              380,000;
Asia, 610,000; and several hundred thousand
              elsewhere in other countries.


         2. The Church projects membership to be 23 million by year
             2020, and 52 million by 2040.


         3. The Mormon Church has a missionary force of over 40,000
             members made up of young men, and more recently, older
             retired couples who serve in 200 missions around the world.


        4. Mormon Temples: There are fifty temples around the world
            with more than a dozen additional ones being planned.


       5. Temples are utilized for endowment ceremonies, sealing of
           men and women together for eternal marriage, and baptism
          for the dead.  Ninety-eight percent of the activity in the
         
Mormon Temple is related to baptism for the dead.
          (Note:  this is the reason why discovery of one's ancestry
          is so important to Mormons.)


        6. Priesthood: The Mormon Church confers two different
            priesthoods on its male membership.


           a.  Aaronic Priesthood:  This priesthood is for young men twelve
               years of age. The young priest is allowed to baptize and assist
               in sacramental service.


           b.  Melchizedek Priesthood:  This priesthood gives the mature
               Mormon male the authority to govern the church and impart
               the "gift of the Holy Ghost" by the laying on of hands.


         7. Church structure. 


             a.  Branch:  a local congregation of fewer than 200 Mormons led
                 by a branch president.


             b.  Ward:  a congregation with a membership of as many as 800
                  members and led by a bishop.


             c.  Stake:  a Stake is the combining of five to twelve Wards in a
                  given area that is defined by geography.


             d.  Area:  an Area comprises all of the above mentioned
                  congregations within a given district.


         8. Church government.


             a.  First Presidency:  is made up of the Prophet who holds the
                 highest rank in the Church and two other men as counselors.
                All three men are considered to be living oracles of God.


             b.  Council of the Twelve Apostles:  these men administer the
                  affairs of the Church throughout the world.  The senior
                 Apostle is the President of the Church and is believed to
                 actively exercise all the keys of the
Kingdom of God on earth.


            c.  First and Second Quorums of the Seventy:  these men preside
                over the international Church and are assigned to a specific
                geographical area.


            d.  Presiding Bishopric:  consists of three men who oversee the
                Bishops worldwide.  They conduct the temporal affairs of
                the Church.


II.   The Foundation of Mormonism


         A.  The Vision of Joseph Smith.


               Joseph Smith is believed to have had a vision after a spiritual
               revival in the early 1820's where he sought the counsel of the
               Lord to direct him. There is much confusion regarding this
               vision because there are several differing accounts of it.
               These varying accounts offer conflicting dates of Joseph's
               vision, his age (whether he was 14 or maybe 16 years of age) ,
               and conflicting accounts of who the spiritual personages 
               were who spoke to Joseph (God the Father and His Son 
               Jesus, or an Angel).


        B.  Mormon Doctrine


             1.   Doctrine is received through two differing sources:  the
                   living prophet and the Standard Works.  The Standard
                   Works are The Bible, The Book of Mormon, The
                   Doctrine and Covenants, and The Pearl of Great Price


            2.   The living prophet is the first line of authority for the
                  Mormon. The present prophet can overturn any prior
                  teaching of a past prophet, including Joseph Smith. 


            3.   The Book of Mormon is considered to be "another Testament
                   of Jesus Christ".   Surprisingly, The Book of Mormon is
                   the most doctrinally orthodox.  It also contains many quotations
                   from the King James Version often without any attribution. 
                   It teaches that the Godhead is one God, whereas other
                  Mormon writings teach that the Father, Son, and Holy
                  Ghost are three distinct deities.  (See Mormon Doctrine,
                  by McConkie, Pp. 119-121)


           4.   The Doctrine and Covenants was written after the Book of
                 Mormon.  According to their beliefs it contains latter-day
                 revelation, and therefore has greater truth than does the
                 earlier publication. Most of their bizarre beliefs that
                 diverge from traditional Christianity come from The Doctrine
                 and Covenants.
            
            5.   The Holy Bible is used by the LDS, but it is believed to have
                  serious problems of interpretation along with the omission
                  of "precious truths" (see the 8th Article of Faith)
                  Therefore, the more correct Scriptures should be used 
                  (see Standard Works #1).


         C.  Why Mormons reject the Bible


               1.   Mormons insist that they do not reject the Bible since
                     they so often refer to it as Scripture. However,
                     they consider it to be only partially complete.


               2.   The Church News, a Mormon newspaper, carried this
                     statement concerning the Bible:  "It is the Word of God.
                     It is not perfect.  The prophet Joseph made many
                     corrections in it."


               3.   First Nephi 13:26 from the Book of Mormon, states the
                     following about the Christian Church:  "A great and 
                     abominable church which is most abominable above
                     all other churches; for behold, they have taken away 
                     from the gospel of the lamb many parts which are
                     plain and most precious."


              4.   This Mormon view of the Christian Church gives us insight
                    into how they have come to disregard the Bible.  The
                   Mormon apostle, Orson Pratt, in his book, The Seer, says
                    this about the Christian community: "Both Catholics and 
                    Protestants are nothing less than the 'whore of Babylon'
                    whom the Lord denounces by the mouth of John the
                    Revelator as having corrupted all the earth by their
                    fornications and wickedness."


              5.   Orson Pratt also stated that, "No one can tell whether even
                    one verse of either the Old or New Testament conveys the
                     ideas of the original author."


              6.   Joseph Smith makes an attempt to give credibility to the Book
                    of Mormon in his fourth volume of the History of the Church
                    when he says: "I told the brethren that the Book of Mormon
                    was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone 
                    of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by
                    abiding by its precepts, than by any other book."  


III.   Some observations:


       A.  The Mormon Church is not within the realm of Christian
             orthodoxy.  Indeed it is a cult based on the teachings of
             a mystic who participated in a variety of occult behavior.
             Its message of salvation is based on a doctrine of
             works-salvation.  It teaches that Satan is the brother 
             of Jesus and that God the Father is an exalted man. 
             (See our briefing outline #10 on the Characteristics
             of Cults).


      B.  The secret temple rituals of Mormonism have been borrowed
           largely from the secret rites of the Masonic Lodge.
           (See: What's Going On In There?  by Chuck Sackett). 


      C.  The Mormon Church makes every attempt to discredit the Bible
            as God's infallible Word and to establish Joseph Smith as 
            God's spokesman presenting another gospel.  Joseph
            Smith fails every Biblical test of a true Prophet.


       D.  The Word of God stands alone as God's Truth, the Standard
            Works of the Mormon Church, excluding the Bible, have no
            credibility whatsoever.  We find in Scripture that God's word
            will stand forever (Isaiah 40:8), that it will never pass away
            even though heaven and earth will someday pass away
             (Matthew 24:35).


         E.  The Book of Mormon does not correspond to what we know
               God has already revealed in His Word. The inconsistencies, 
               the changes in the Book of Mormon, and the heavy
               plagiarism of the King James translation bring serious
              doubt as to the trustworthiness of the text.


              Some examples of plagiarism:


             1.   1 Nephi 20:21   Isaiah 48:49
             2.   2 Nephi 7:8     Isaiah 50:51
             3.   2 Nephi
12:24   Isaiah 2:14
             4.   Mosiah 14  Isaiah 53
             5.   3 Nephi
12:14   Matthew 5:7
             6.   3 Nephi 22 Isaiah 54
             7.   3 Nephi 24:25   Malachi 3:4


         F.  The Book of Mormon, in contradiction to the Bible, teaches that
              God has a body of flesh and bone, and is an exalted man.  They
               believe the god they worship is Adam.  Brigham Young says:
               "He is your Father and our God and the only God with whom 
               we have to do." Orson Pratt says: "...our Father in Heaven
               was begotten on a previously heavenly world by His Father;
               and again, He was begotten by a still more ancient Father
               and so on, from generation to generation, from one heavenly
              world to another still more ancient, until our minds are wearied
                and lost in the multiplicity of generations and successive 
               worlds, and as a last resort, we wonder in our minds,
               how far back the genealogy extends, and how the first
               world was formed, and the first Father was begotten."


              Mormons are polytheists pure and simple!


         G.  They also believe that there is no eternal hell; man can 
               become a god;  there are three levels of heaven,  and
               that marriage is for eternity.  When a man becomes a
               god he is given his own planet to populate.  Hence 
               Mormons believe there are humans on other planets
               in the universe.  Is it just a coincidence that most
               UFO sightings are in the Mormon populated states
               of
Utah and Nevada?


         H.  In spite of the convoluted teaching of the Mormon 
               Church we find them in the same camp with
               evangelicals on many moral and social issues.   The 
               outward appearance is may be good but the
               Mormons perpetuate a false and even pagan worldview 
               contrary to the orthodox teaching of the Old and
               New Testaments.


For Further Study:


Books:


Brodie, Fawn M. NO MAN KNOWS MY HISTORY: THE LIFE 
        OF JOSEPH SMITH.
Cowdrey, Wayne,  Davis, Howard A.,  and Scales, Donald.  WHO
         REALLY WROTE THE BOOK OF MORMON.
Decker, Ed.  Decker's COMPLETE HANDBOOK OF MORMONISM. 
Decker, Ed, Hunt, Dave. THE GOD MAKERS.    
Greer, Thelma. Mormonism, Mama, & Me.  
Martin, Walter. The Maze of Mormonism.
Reed, Farkas. MORMONS ANSWERED VERSE BY VERSE.  
Scott, Latayne C. The Mormon Mirage.  nner, Jerald and Sandra.  THE
         CHANGING WORLD OF MORMOMISM.


Web Sites:


http://www.serve.com/larryi/lds.htm


http://www.watchman.org/mormonm.htm
 


 




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