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Mormonism, Latter Day Saints, Joseph Smith, Book of Mormon

Mormonism, Latter Day Saints, and the Bible:
Was Joseph Smith a True Prophet? Is the Book of Mormon from God?

Mormonism, Latter Day Saints, and the Bible: Was Joseph Smith a True Prophet? Are the Book of Mormon and Doctrine and Covenants from God? How does Mormonism compare to the Bible and Christianity?

Should we accept Joseph Smith as a prophet, the Book of Mormon and Doctrine and Covenants as the word of God, and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints as the true church? How does Mormonism compare to the Bible, Christianity, and Christian doctrine? Do their apostles and priesthood agree with the gospel? What tests does the Bible reveal for determining whether or not a prophet or a revelation are from God? Should we pray for a "burning in the bosom," or should we expect miracles and fulfilled prophecy? 

Introduction:

Many Scriptures instruct us that, to determine what is true, we should compare doctrines and practices to the Bible.

2 Timothy 3:16,17 - The Scriptures are inspired by God, instruct us in righteousness, and provide us to every good work. [2 Tim. 2:15; 1 John 2:3-5]

1 John 4:1,6 - However, there are many false prophets, so we must put them to the test. We do this by comparing their teachings to the teachings we know are from God. [Cf. 1 Cor. 1:13]

Galatians 1:8,9 - Any man, even an angel, must teach the same gospel taught by inspired men. Any who teach different gospels are accursed. See 2 John 9-11.

Acts 17:11,12 - The Bereans were able to determine what was or was not true by searching the Scriptures daily.

God intends for us to determine the validity of any doctrine we hear by comparing it to what we know to be His revelation. If it does not agree, then it cannot be from God, and those who teach it are not pleasing to God.

True teachers will encourage listeners to compare their teaching to Scripture. If teachers belittle Scripture and object when people compare their teachings to Scripture, you can know those teachers are not from God.

The purpose of this study is to examine some particular teachings and compare them to Scripture, as the above passages teach.

The doctrines we will examine are those taught by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (the Mormons). Mormons claim to agree that the Bible is from God (Article of Faith #8). We do not accept their claim that their Mormon "Scriptures" are from God, but we agree that the Bible is from God. Since Mormons and we agree that the Bible is from God, then we can determine the truth of Mormon teaching by comparing it to the Bible.

The goal is not to harm Mormon people but to help them obey the teachings of the above Scriptures. They need to see whether or not the teachings of their leaders agree with Scripture.

A second goal is to help people who talk with Mormons, so they can know the truth about Mormonism (1 Peter 3:15).

A third goal is to illustrate the concept of comparing doctrines to the Bible to show how, by doing this, we can determine truth from error.

Note that the material in this study has resulted from personal examination comparing Mormon authorities to the Bible. To avoid misrepresenting Mormon teaching, we will cite authoritative Mormon literature. 

Consider how Mormon teaching and practice compares to the Bible in the following areas:

Part 1: Mormon Revelations Compared to the Bible

Part 2: Distinguishing True Prophets and Revelation from Fakes

Part 3: Mormonism and Bible Prophecies

(C) Copyright 1998, 2007, David E. Pratte
Local churches and individuals may, within limits, distribute this Bible study guide for free, but not for sale.  Web sites may link to this page but not reproduce it. For details click here for our copyright guidelines.

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Topics for further Bible study

Evidences for God, Jesus, & the Bible
Direct Revelation & Miracles for Today?
The Inspiration of the Bible
The Preservation of the Bible
Why So Much Religious Confusion and Disagreement?
The Importance of Bible Knowledge

Photo credit: Bjørn Graabek distributed under GNU free documentation license, via Wikimedia Commons

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