Full Text for American Religious Scene- Volume 26 - Book of Mormon and other holy books (Video)

No. 26. >> What are the Book of Mormon and other holy books? Wyoming may not have the diversity of Los Angeles and New Jersey but we do have Mormons in abundance. >>DR. THOMAS E. MANTEUFEL: There are a number of these so-called holy books which I consider additions to the Bible. There's first of all, of course the book of mob Monday which I was referring to earlier. And that contains the history of an alleged civilization in America to which prophets were sent by God. And the last two of these prophets were Mormon and his son, Moroni. This civilization's people were the descendants of immigrants from the Holy Land. And actually were part of the ancient people of Israel. When the prophet Mormon saw that his people, the Nephites, were going to be wiped out by their enemies, the Lamanites, he wanted to preserve the record of his people. And especially the writings of the prophets that had gone before him. So he gathered these prophetic books together and inscribed their contents upon golden plates in the language of the time. His son, Moroni, finished the work which he did. Mormon had added two books of his own. And Moroni then added a book of his own. And all of this was put onto the golden plates. Moroni also buried these golden plates in New York where he was living at that time in that ancient world. And then as we have noted before, much, much later he then appeared to Joseph Smith to reveal these books. The Book of Mormon tells how Jesus appeared to the people of that ancient civilization and established his church among them. The Book of Mormon contains many statements of doctrine and also many prophesies about the second coming of Christ about the millennial kingdom, for they are premillennialists, also. And about the restoration of the true church of Christ, which died out both in the ancient American civilization and also elsewhere in the world. And many other matters. The Mormons believe that the Lamanites, who wiped out the Nephites, actually then became the American Indians. And that they lost all knowledge that they had once had of the true church that had been established among them by Christ himself. Another holy book is called the Doctrine and Covenants, which is a collection of various revelations given to Joseph Smith. Besides this there is the Pearl of Great Price, which is a collection of various inspired documents. Such as the book of Abraham and the articles of faith of Joseph Smith. In addition to this, every president of the Mormon church is said to be a prophet who receives revelations, which are taught in the Mormon church and are printed in books. Many questions, of course, have been raised throughout the years about these alleged Mormon revelations. And numerous critics have argued that they are, in fact, hoaxes. We can see by an examination of them that these so-called revelations contradict the traditional Scriptures of the Christian church in many ways. For example, the Mormon revelations say that the church disappeared and needed to be restored. But the Bible says in Matthew 16:18: Upon this rock I will build my church. And the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. Those are the words of Jesus which says that the church would never perish, would never die out. The Mormon revelations say that there are many gods. But the Bible, of course, says that there is just one God. The Mormon revelations say that God has a body. But the Bible says that God is a spirit. The Mormon revelations say that salvation is by works. Whereas, the Bible teaches that we are saved by faith apart from the deeds of the law. The Mormon revelations say that Jesus was born at Jerusalem. And the Bible of course says in Luke 2 that he was born at Bethlehem. And so we could go on with a long, long list. Besides this, the Mormon revelations make many false predictions. Such as that the second coming of Christ would happen in 1891. And some of these predictions have then proven to be false. We don't hear the Mormons talk much about those, however. And also, these Mormon revelations, in fact, conflict with each other, if you examine them closely. The Book of Mormon says that there is only one God. Whereas other Mormon revelations say that there are many gods. And that holy men can, in fact, become gods. The Book of Mormon says that hell is an everlasting punishment. But other Mormon revelations say that there will be a release from hell, which all people will eventually experience. And so we could go on also with a long list of contradictions here. The Mormon revelations speak of two kinds of salvation. The lowest level of salvation is a general salvation, which comes to all people. And then there is a higher kind of salvation, which is also called individual or personal salvation, which only some people attain to. General salvation is the removal of the condition of death. Because they say Christ died for Adam's transgression. And this guarantees that everyone will be resurrected. Everyone will have his soul reunited with his body. And those who have only this level of salvation then will never enter the kingdom of heaven, which actually belongs to the higher kind of salvation, the higher level. This means that there are some people who must pay for their sins themselves on earth and in hell after death. And then at the last judgement, they will be resurrected. And those who have finished paying for their sins then will either live in a place called the terrestrial kingdom planet or in a place called the telestial kingdom planet. And then the very worst people will have to continue paying for their sins in a place called the outer darkness or the second death. Then there is what is called the personal or individual salvation. The higher level of salvation. And this is really life in the kingdom of heaven. Or the celestial kingdom as they call it. Personal salvation does not come automatically to people as general salvation does. But rather, it must be earned by people and only certain people attain to it. Like the general salvation, it is also made possible by the atonement of Christ. But it is only a special salvation that some people earn in what is called the kingdom of heaven. Baptism makes people members of this kingdom of heaven. And they say that a true baptism can only be administered and received in the Mormon church. Baptism they say is the beginning of repentance and of good works. And they say that good works are necessary for obtaining full forgiveness of sins. One must be in the kingdom of heaven in order to earn the forgiveness of sins, which is made available there. One of the past presidents of the Mormon church put it this way: God cannot forgive unless the transgressor shows a true repentance. The repentance that merits forgiveness. Now, not everyone who is in the kingdom of heaven will actually attain Godhood. That's only the highest level of the kingdom of heaven. Godhood must be earned by doing good works. By holding church office, by tithing, by doing mission work, by performing ceremonies in the Mormon temple. By other special works. Many people in the kingdom of heaven only earn partial forgiveness of their sins because their obedience is not good enough to earn the full forgiveness of sins. And only those who earn full forgiveness can actually then become gods. And all other people, even in the kingdom of heaven, will only have a lower degree of glory. It's often said that Mormons are under great pressure to be perfect, to be righteous. And that this leads often to psychological and emotional problems. Suicide and other tragedies. And that is to say if you're not fully forgiven and you're told that you're not fully forgiven, then you can't be sure whether God really accepts you or loves you. And you're really always a second class citizen in the kingdom of heaven. And justification by faith is very definitely rejected by the Mormon church. To be fully accepted by God, they say you must become worthy of rewards. And the more rewards, the better. A very famous authority in the Mormon church, a man by the name of James Talmage made this statement: The sectarian doctrine of justification by faith alone has exercised an influence for evil since the early days of Christianity.