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Monthly Archives: June 2015

Wake Up!

Wake-Up-Ready-to-Face-Your-DayI wrote this earlier, in a state of frustration, over a conversation I was having with an active Mormon. I wasn’t really sure I was going to share it. But then, without even looking for it, I happened across a particular series of blogs about how the LDS Church prepares its members for Atheism. And it struck me that I had just said, myself, that Mormons use the same tactics that Atheist do to discredit the Bible and promote Joseph Smith.

So I am going to share what I wrote and then provide a link to that series of articles.

WAKE UP!

Unbelievable!! Context just doesn’t matter to the LDS; it can be completely ignored, if it doesn’t agree with something Joseph Smith said, even when that something else wasn’t available to those who would have been reading the Book of Mormon at the time it was actually written. Not only that it’s also OK for Joseph Smith to come behind the inspired writers of the Old and New Testaments and completely change their words. Not only changing them, but making them say the complete opposite of what they wrote.

However, this should not be seen as correction but clarification, they say. And just because the words were changed to say exactly the opposite of what they previously said doesn’t mean that what was originally written was wrong. Somehow, making someone say the exact opposite of what they actually did say doesn’t change the meaning or the context of their words.

How is this supported, you might ask; it’s supported by their ability to cherry-pick other “contradictions” in the Bible – also regardless of context, which are not contradictions at all, when that context is taken into account. All to support this one man’s claims about himself!! All is spite of what the Bible says about those who bear witness of themselves!

I used to think that many Evangelicals were way too harsh in their characterization of the LDS as cult members. But isn’t this exactly the kind of mindset that leads people to follow people like Jim Jones, David Koresh, L. Ron Hubbard, even Adolph Hitler and the like? Once their views are accepted as “inspired,” they can do no wrong. They can add to, take away from, or even change the inspired word of God. And they do so by preying upon the same things Atheists do – issues with translations or interpretation, etc. And they prey upon the egos of men by instilling in their minds this sort of us vs them mentality; we are special, we are chosen, we are the elect of God!! Come be a part of us or remain on the outside, where there is no power or authority given to you by God. Indeed, you need us for that!!

These kinds of people cannot be convinced of the faults of their leaders, apart from some sort of intervention. May the Lord provide that intervention by shining the Light of Truth in these places of darkness!!

When has God ever had men prophesy concerning themselves? Never! Not even Jesus could be His own witness. That was the whole purpose of the Law and the Prophets! And to take it even further and have a man go back and rewrite the Bible to insert prophesies of himself into the historical record, after the fact, to make it appear as if they were prophesied about all along?? I’m sorry, it may seem harsh, but I do not see how anyone in their right mind could embrace such shenanigans as the work of God.

What are you thinking? WAKE UP!

Here are the links:

How the LDS Church Prepares Its Members For Atheism (Part 1)

How the LDS Church Prepares Its Members for Atheism (Part 2)

How the LDS Church Prepares Its Members For Atheism (Part 3)

How the LDS Church Prepares Its Members For Atheism (Part 4)

How the LDS Church Prepares Its Members For Atheism (Part 5)

 

Problems with the Book of Mormon

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Here I am going to discuss, rather briefly, some of the problems I have with the Book of Mormon.

1. The Book of Mormon claims that “the church of the Lamb of God” has “few” members.

1 Nephi 14:12 And it came to pass that I beheld the church of the Lamb of God, and its numbers were few, because of the wickedness and abominations of the whore who sat upon many waters; nevertheless, I beheld that the church of the Lamb, who were the saints of God, were also upon all the face of the earth; and their dominions upon the face of the earth were small, because of the wickedness of the great whore whom I saw.

This is not at all true, as the church (of Jesus Christ) is made up of the body of Christ. And, according to the Bible, ALL MEN were gathered together into Christ by being baptized into His death on the cross, where “our old man was crucified with Him”.

Jesus said: “I, if I be lifted up, will draw ALL MEN unto me.”

ONE NEW MAN has been created IN CHRIST – whether bond or free, male of female, Jew of Gentile. This is what Paul is speaking about when he writes: “And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. (Heb 10:24-25)

2. The Book of Mormon claims that book of Revelation, written by John, is about “the end of the world.”

1 Nephi 14:20-22 And the angel said unto me: Behold one of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. Behold, he shall see and write the remainder of these things; yea, and also many things which have been. And he shall also write concerning the end of the world.

This book is not about “the end of the world;” it is about “the revelation of Jesus Christ,” who IS, WAS, AND IS TO COME.

3. The Book of Mormon claims that the devil is a fallen angel who “became a devil”:

2 Nephi 2:17 And I, Lehi, according to the things which I have read, must needs suppose that an angel of God, according to that which is written, had fallen from heaven; wherefore, he became a devil, having sought that which was evil before God.

Though many believe the Bible says the same thing, this is not true. Jesus made it clear that the devil “was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him.” (John 8:44)

4. The Book of Mormon speaks of “eternal death”

2 Nephi 2:29 And not choose eternal death, according to the will of the flesh and the evil which is therein, which giveth the spirit of the devil power to captivate, to bring you down to hell, that he may reign over you in his own kingdom.

There is no such thing as “eternal death” in the Bible. Death is the last enemy to be destroyed (1Co 15:26), at which point there shall be “no more death.” (Rev 21:4)

5. The book of Mormon teaches that our flesh, our natural body that goes into a natural grave, is to be resurrected.

2 Nephi 9:8 O the wisdom of God, his mercy and grace! For behold, if the flesh should rise no more our spirits must become subject to that angel who fell from before the presence of the Eternal God, and became the devil, to rise no more.

First of all, the bible never speaks of the resurrection of our corpses, only the resurrection of “the dead.” Secondly, what kind of sense does it make to claim that if our flesh is not resurrected we must then be subject to the devil, as spirits, for all eternity? If we were not subject to the devil as spirits in the pre-existence, what would make us subject to him now just because we are spirits?

2 Nephi 9:12 And this death of which I have spoken, which is the spiritual death, shall deliver up its dead; which spiritual death is hell; wherefore, death and hell must deliver up their dead, and hell must deliver up its captive spirits, and the grave must deliver up its captive bodies, and the bodies and the spirits of men will be restored one to the other; and it is by the power of the resurrection of the Holy One of Israel.

This is not, at all, what “the resurrection of the dead” is about. It has absolutely nothing at all to do with physical death and rotting corpses of flesh buried in physical graves. The natural body is just that, natural. It came from dust and will return to dust. (Gen 3:19) The flesh is not counted for the seed of God. (Rom 9:8) That which is born of the flesh is flesh and that which is born of the spirit is spirit. (John 3:6) God is the father of spirits, not of the flesh. (Heb 12:9) We do not wait for our corpses to be resurrected one day. Paul tells us, very explicitly, that our desire is NOT to be unclothed, but to be clothed upon. And he makes it very clear that we should KNOW that “if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.” (2Co 5:1-4)

6. The Book of Mormon claims that the “first death” is physical death (from which we are saved “by the power of the resurrection of the Holy One of Israel” after physical death). It also places judgment after physical death and the resurrection of our bodies from their graves (and our spirits from hell).

2 Nephi 915-19 And it shall come to pass that when all men shall have passed from this first death unto life, insomuch as they have become immortal, they must appear before the judgment-seat of the Holy One of Israel; and then cometh the judgment, and then must they be judged according to the holy judgment of God. And assuredly, as the Lord liveth, for the Lord God hath spoken it, and it is his eternal word, which cannot pass away, that they who are righteous shall be righteous still, and they who are filthy shall be filthy still; wherefore, they who are filthy are the devil and his angels; and they shall go away into everlasting fire, prepared for them; and their torment is as a lake of fire and brimstone, whose flame ascendeth up forever and ever and has no end. O the greatness and the justice of our God! For he executeth all his words, and they have gone forth out of his mouth, and his law must be fulfilled. But, behold, the righteous, the saints of the Holy One of Israel, they who have believed in the Holy One of Israel, they who have endured the crosses of the world, and despised the shame of it, they shall inherit the kingdom of God, which was prepared for them from the foundation of the world, and their joy shall be full forever. O the greatness of the mercy of our God, the Holy One of Israel! For He delivereth His saints from that awful monster the devil, and death, and hell, and that lake of fire and brimstone, which is eternal torment.

Granted, this is also a very popular Biblical interpretation of death and judgment. But I have come to see it as untrue.

The Bible does not say that judgment comes after physical death; it says that judgment takes place “in the earth.” (Pro 11:31; Isa 65:6) Indeed, Jesus himself said; “now is the judgment of this world” almost 2000 years ago. (John 12:31). And what did that judgment coincide with? Jesus’ death on the cross (by which we are judged) and the pouring out of the Holy Spirit (through whom judgment comes). (John 16:8-11)

People isolate Heb 9:27 and claim that it states that judgment follows death, but the death being spoken of in that passage is the death of Jesus Christ on the cross!!

For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us: Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others; For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation. (Heb 9:24-28)

Judgment follows HIS DEATH, not ours!!

7. The Book of Mormon treats “the second death” as a post-mortem event that follows this post-mortem judgment.

Jacob 3:11 O my brethren, hearken unto my words; arouse the faculties of your souls; shake yourselves that ye may awake from the slumber of death; and loose yourselves from the pains of hell that ye may not become angels to the devil, to be cast into that lake of fire and brimstone which is the second death.

Again, though this is also a very popular Biblical interpretation of the second death, I do not believe it is an accurate view. I have come to see “the second death” as our baptism into Christ’s death, through which comes “the resurrection of the dead.”

While the Book of Mormon claims that the “first death” is physical and the “second death” is spiritual, the Bible tells us that we first died “in Adam,” due to sin. And it also tells us that it was while we were yet dead in sin that Christ died for us (Rom 5:8)… taking our old man with Him to the cross where he is “crucified with him” by being “baptized into His death” (Rom 6:3-6) …. as such, we are also made partakers of His resurrection, according to the “new man” created in Christ. (Eph 2:15)

This is how I see the second death and the first resurrection…. IN CHRIST! The second death destroying the first, in Him who IS “the resurrection and the life,” over whom death has no power. Fulfilling the words of Paul that: “As in Adam ALL DIE, even so in Christ shall ALL BE MADE ALIVE.”

8. The Book of Mormon says: “Men must follow Christ to avoid the lake of fire and brimstone.” (Introduction to Jacob 6)

I’d suggest that no one avoids the second death, for it is our baptism into Christ’s death, through which comes the resurrection of the dead. So while the Bible does say that those who overcome are “not hurt” by the second death, it never says that it is avoided by anyone. It says: “The fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.” (Rev 12:8) That is a perfect description of ALL MEN who are DEAD IN SIN…. before being “crucified with Christ.”

9. The Book of Mormon claims that the first resurrection is the resurrection of all of those who lived up until the time of Christ, who were raised from the dead when Christ was raised from the dead.

Mosiah 15:19-22 For were it not for the redemption which he hath made for his people, which was prepared from the foundation of the world, I say unto you, were it not for this, all mankind must have perished. But behold, the bands of death shall be broken, and the Son reigneth, and hath power over the dead; therefore, he bringeth to pass the resurrection of the dead. And there cometh a resurrection, even a first resurrection; yea, even a resurrection of those that have been, and who are, and who shall be, even until the resurrection of Christ—for so shall he be called. And now, the resurrection of all the prophets, and all those that have believed in their words, or all those that have kept the commandments of God, shall come forth in the first resurrection; therefore, they are the first resurrection.

While it is true that the first resurrection is connected to the resurrection of Jesus Christ, I think it is important to note that there is only ever ONE RESURRECTION counted in scriptures and that is THE FIRST! HIS!

As pointed out already, I believe this is because it’s the only resurrection that matters. It is the power of HIS RESURRECTION (the first) that we are to come to know (Php 3:10) because it is the one we must HAVE PART IN (Rev 20:6)… and we have part in it by first being “crucified with Him” (= second death), so that we can be “raised with Him” (= first resurrection). (Col 2:12)

When the Jews asked Jesus about the resurrection of the dead, they did so after a very carnal understanding (very much the same way believers look at it today). But what did Jesus say? He said they erred, not knowing the scriptures or the power of God. (Mat 22:29, Mar 12:24)

The prophets of old were NOT still in their graves waiting to be resurrected from the dead at the time of Jesus. Jesus points this out by telling them that God is NOT the God of the dead, but of the LIVING. And He said: “that THE DEAD ARE RAISED, even Moses shewed at the bush, when he calleth the Lord the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” (Luke 20:37-38)

So how can the dead already be raised, if Jesus had not yet died and been resurrected? Because HE IS THE RESURRECTION AND THE LIFE!! (John 11:25) Though Christ was MADE MANIFEST in the last days, He was always “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” (Rev 13:8) Where? IN A PLACE CALLED A SKULL!!! (Mat 27:33; john 19:17)

Calvary is not just a reference to a hill in the middle east! Paul tells us that it was IN OUR MINDS that we were MADE ENEMIES of God. (Col 1:21)

Paul wrote: “Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. (1Co 2:12-13) And: “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.” (2Co 4:17-18)

Those things which are seen are temporal. But they reveal to us those things which are not seem, which are eternal. So, perhaps, we are confusing the types and shadows for the spiritual realities that they are intended to reveal!

Given the way I have come to understand the Bible, the Book of Mormon comes across as having been written by someone who had a very carnal understanding of the Bible. Therefore, I cannot attribute it’s authorship to God or to someone inspired by God.

10. The Book of Mormon teaches the false doctrine of “eternal torment.”

1 Nephi 10:20-22 Therefore remember, O man, for all thy doings thou shalt be brought into judgment. Wherefore, if ye have sought to do wickedly in the days of your probation, then ye are found unclean before the judgment-seat of God; and no unclean thing can dwell with God; wherefore, YE MUST BE CAST OFF FOREVER. And the Holy Ghost giveth authority that I should speak these things, and deny them not.

1 Nephi 10:20-22 Therefore remember, O man, for all thy doings thou shalt be brought into judgment. Wherefore, if ye have sought to do wickedly in the days of your probation, then ye are found unclean before the judgment-seat of God; and no unclean thing can dwell with God; wherefore, YE MUST BE CAST OFF FOREVER. And the Holy Ghost giveth authority that I should speak these things, and deny them not.

1 Nephi 14:3-7 And that great pit, which hath been digged for them by that great and abominable church, which was founded by the devil and his children, that he might lead away the souls of men down to hell—yea, that great pit which hath been digged for the destruction of men shall be filled by those who digged it, unto their utter destruction, saith the Lamb of God; not the destruction of the soul, save it be the casting of it INTO THAT HELL WHICH HATH NO END. For behold, this is according to the captivity of the devil, and also ACCORDING TO THE JUSTICE OF GOD, upon all those who will work wickedness and abomination before him. And it came to pass that the angel spake unto me, Nephi, saying: Thou hast beheld that if the Gentiles repent it shall be well with them; and thou also knowest concerning the covenants of the Lord unto the house of Israel; and thou also hast heard that whoso repenteth not must perish. Therefore, wo be unto the Gentiles if it so be that they harden their hearts against the Lamb of God. For the time cometh, saith the Lamb of God, that I will work a great and a marvelous work among the children of men; A WORK WHICH SHALL BE EVERLASTING, EITHER ON THE ONE HAND OR THE OTHER—either to the convincing of them UNTO PEACE AND LIFE ETERNAL, OR UNTO THE DELIVERANCE OF THEM TO THE HARDNESS OF THEIR HEARTS AND THE BLINDNESS OF THEIR MINDS unto their being brought down into captivity, and also into destruction, BOTH TEMPORALLY AND SPIRITUALLY, according to THE CAPTIVITY OF THE DEVIL, of which I have spoken.

1Nephi 15:27-35 And I said unto them that the water which my father saw was filthiness; and so much was his mind swallowed up in other things that he beheld not the filthiness of the water. And I said unto them that it was an awful gulf, which separated the wicked from the tree of life, and also from the saints of God. And I said unto them that IT WAS A REPRESENTATION OF THAT AWFUL HELL, which the angel said unto me was PREPARED FOR THE WICKED. And I said unto them that our father also saw that the justice of God did also divide the wicked from the righteous; and the brightness thereof was like unto the brightness of a flaming fire, which ascendeth up unto God FOREVER AND EVERN, AND HATH NO END. And they said unto me: DOTH THIS THING MEAN the torment of the body in the days of probation, or FOTH IT MEAN the final state of the soul after the death of the temporal body, OR DOTH IT SPEAK OF the things which are temporal? And it came to pass that I said unto them that it was a representation of things BOTH TEMPORAL AND SPIRITUAL; for the day should come that they must be judged of their works, yea, even the works which were done by the temporal body in their days of probation. Wherefore, IF THEY SHOULD DIE IN THEIR WICKEDNESS THEY MUST BE CAST OFF ALSO, AS TO THE THINGS WHICH ARE SPIRITUAL, which are pertaining to righteousness; wherefore, they must be brought to stand before God, to be judged of their works; and if their works have been filthiness they must needs be filthy; and if they be filthy it must needs be that THEY CANNOT DWELL IN THE KINGDOM OF GOD; if so, the kingdom of God must be filthy also. But behold, I say unto you, the kingdom of God is not filthy, and there cannot any unclean thing enter into the kingdom of God; wherefore THERE MUST NEEDS BE a place of filthiness prepared for that which is filthy. And THERE IS A PLACE PREPARED, yea, even THAT AWFUL HELL of which I have spoken, and the devil is the preparator of it; wherefore THE FINAL STATE OF THE SOULS OF MEN IS TO DWELL IN THE KINGDOM OF GOD, OR BE CAST OUT BECAUSE OF THAT JUSTICE OF WHICH I HAVE SPOKEN.

2 Nephi 2:29 And not choose ETERNAL DEATH, according to the will of the flesh and the evil which is therein, which giveth the spirit of the devil power to captivate, TO BRING YOU DOWN TO HELL, THAT HE MAY REIGN OVER YOU IN HIS OWN KINGDOM.

2 Nephi 9:15-19 And it shall come to pass that when all men shall have passed from this first death unto life, insomuch as they have become immortal, they must appear before the judgment-seat of the Holy One of Israel; and then cometh the judgment, and then must they be judged according to the holy judgment of God. And assuredly, as the Lord liveth, for the Lord God hath spoken it, and it is his eternal word, which cannot pass away, that they who are righteous shall be righteous still, AND THEY WHO ARE FILTHY SHALL BE FILTHY STILL; wherefore, they who are filthy are the devil and his angels; and they shall go away into EVERLASTING FIRE, prepared for them; and their torment is as a lake of fire and brimstone, whose flame scendeth up FOREVER AND EVER AND HAS NO END. O the greatness and the justice of our God! For he executeth all his words, and they have gone forth out of his mouth, and his law must be fulfilled. But, behold, the righteous, the saints of the Holy One of Israel, they who have believed in the Holy One of Israel, they who have endured the crosses of the world, and despised the shame of it, they shall inherit the kingdom of God, which was prepared for them from the foundation of the world, and their joy shall be full forever. O the greatness of the mercy of our God, the Holy One of Israel! For HE DELIVERETH HIS SAINTS FROM that awful monster the devil, and death, and hell, and that lake of fire and brimstone, WHICH IS ETERNAL TORMENT.

2 Nephi 9:24-38 And if they will not repent and believe in his name, and be baptized in his name, and endure to the end, THEY MUST BE DAMNED; for the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, has spoken it. Wherefore, he has given a law; and WHERE THERE IS NO LAW GIVEN THERE IS NO PUNISHMENT; and where there is no punishment there is no condemnation; and where there is no condemnation the mercies of the Holy One of Israel have claim upon them, because of the atonement; for THEY ARE DELIVERED by the power of him. For the atonement satisfieth the demands of his justice upon all those who have not the law given to them, that they are delivered from that awful monster, death and hell, and the devil, and the lake of fire and brimstone, which is ENDLESS TORMENT; and they are restored to that God who gave them breath, which is the Holy One of Israel. BUT WO UNTO HIM THAT HAS THE LAW GIVEN, yea, that has all the commandments of God, like unto us, and that transgresseth them, and that WASTETH THE DAYS OF HIS PROBATION, for awful is his state! O that cunning plan of the evil one! O the vainness, and the frailties, and the foolishness of men! When they are learned they think they are wise, and they hearken not unto the counsel of God, for they set it aside, supposing they know of themselves, wherefore, their wisdom is foolishness and it profiteth them not. And THEY SHALL PERISH. But to be learned is good if they hearken unto the counsels of God. But WO UNTO THE RICH, who are rich as to THE THINGS OF THE WORLD. For because they are rich they despise the poor, and they persecute the meek, and their hearts are upon their treasures; wherefore, their treasure is their god. And behold, their treasure shall PERISH WITH THEM ALSO. And wo unto the deaf that will not hear; for THEY SHALL PERISH. Wo unto the blind that will not see; for THEY SHALL PERISH ALSO. Wo unto the uncircumcised of heart, for a knowledge of their iniquities SHALL SMITE THEM AT THE LAST DAY. Wo unto the liar, for HE SHALL BE THRUST DOWN TO HELL. Wo unto the murderer who deliberately killeth, for HE SHALL DIE. Wo unto them who commit whoredoms, for THEY SHALL BE THRUST DOWN TO HELL. Yea, wo unto those that worship idols, for the devil of all devils delighteth in them. And, in fine, WO UNTO ALL THOSE WHO DIE IN THEIR SINS; FOR THEY SHALL RETURN TO GOD, AND BEHOLD HIS FACE, AND REMAIN IN THEIR SINS.

2 Nephi 28:22-23 And behold, others he flattereth away, and telleth them THERE IS NO HELL; and he saith unto them: I AM NO DEVIL, FOR THERE IS NONE—and thus he whispereth in their ears, until he grasps them with his awful chains, from whence there is NO DELIVERANCE. Yea, they are grasped with death, and hell; and death, and hell, and the devil, and all that have been seized therewith must stand before the throne of God, and be judged according to their works, FROM WHENCE THEY MUST GO INTO THE PLACE PREPARED FOR THEM, even A LAKE OF FIRE AND BRIMSTONE, WHICH IS ENDLESS TORMENT.

2 Nnephi 31:16 And now, my beloved brethren, I know by this that unless a man shall endure to the end, in following the example of the Son of the living God, HE CANNOT BE SAVED.

2 Nephi 33:9-15 I also have charity for the Gentiles. But behold, FOR NONE OF THESE CAN I HOPE EXCEPT they shall be reconciled unto Christ, and enter into the narrow gate, and walk in the strait path which leads to life, AND CONTINUE IN THE PATH UNTIL THE END OF THE DAYS OF PROBATION. And now, my beloved brethren, and also Jew, and all ye ends of the earth, hearken unto these words and believe in Christ; and if ye believe not in these words believe in Christ. And if ye shall believe in Christ ye will believe in these words, for they are the words of Christ, and he hath given them unto me; and they teach all men that they should do good. And if they are not the words of Christ, judge ye—for Christ will show unto you, with power and great glory, that they are his words, at the last day; and you and I shall stand face to face before his bar; and ye shall know that I have been commanded of him to write these things, notwithstanding my weakness. And I pray the Father in the name of Christ that MANY OF US, IF NOT ALL, may be saved in his kingdom at that great and last day. And now, my beloved brethren, all those who are of the house of Israel, and all ye ends of the earth, I speak unto you as the voice of one crying from the dust: Farewell until that great day shall come. And you that will not partake of the goodness of God, and respect the words of the Jews, and also my words, and the words which shall proceed forth out of the mouth of the Lamb of God, behold, I bid you an everlasting farewell, FOR THESE WORDS SHALL CONDEMN YOU ARE THE LAST DAY. For what I seal on earth, shall be brought against you at the judgment bar; for thus hath the Lord commanded me, and I must obey. Amen.

Nephi makes other references that include things like:

“…cast off forever.”

“…cut off and destroyed forever.”

“…and become miserable forever.”

Mosiah writes of the same:

Mosiah 3:25-27 And if they be evil they are consigned to an awful view of their own guilt and abominations, which doth cause them to shrink from the presence of the Lord INTO A STATE OF MISERY AND ENDLESS TORMENT, FROM WHENCE THEY CAN NO MORE RETURN; THERFORE THEY HAVE DRUNK DAMNATION TO THEIR OWN SOULS. Therefore, they have drunk out of the cup of the wrath of God, which justice could no more deny unto them than it could deny that Adam should fall because of his partaking of the forbidden fruit; THEREFORE, MERCY COULD HAVE CLAIM IN THEM NO MORE FOREVER. And their torment is as a lake of fire and brimstone, whose flames are unquenchable, and whose smoke ascendeth up FOREVER AND EVER. Thus hath the Lord commanded me. Amen.

Mosiah 5:5 And we are willing to enter into a covenant with our God to do his will, and to be obedient to his commandments in all things that he shall command us, all the remainder of our days, THAT WE MAY NOT BRING UPON OURSELVES A NEVER-ENDING TORMENT, as has been spoken by the angel, that we may not drink out of the cup of the wrath of God.

Mosiah 15:26-27 But behold, and fear, and tremble before God, for ye ought to tremble; for THE LORD REDEEMTH NONE SUCH THAT REBEL AGAINST HIM AND DIE IN THEIR SINS; yea, even all those that have perished in their sins ever since the world began, that have wilfully rebelled against God, that have known the commandments of God, and would not keep them; these are they that have no part in the first resurrection. Therefore ought ye not to tremble? For SALVATION COMETH TO NO SUCH; FOR THE LORD HATH REDEEMED NONE SUCH; yea, NEITHER CAN THE LORD REDEEM SUCH; for he cannot deny himself; for he cannot deny justice when it has its claim.

The introduction to Mosiah 16 states: “Those who are carnal remain as though there was no redemption—Christ brings to pass a resurrection to endless life or to endless damnation.”

2… the Lord redeemeth them not.

11-12 If they be good, to the resurrection of endless life and happiness; and if they be evil, to the resurrection of ENDLESS DAMNATION, being delivered up TO THE DEVIL, who hath subjected them, which is damnation— Having gone according to their own carnal wills and desires; having never called upon the Lord WHILE THE ARMS OF MERCY WERE EXTENDED TOWARDS THEM; for the arms of mercy were extended towards them, and they would not; they being warned of their iniquities and yet they would not depart from them; and they were commanded to repent and yet they would not repent.
Alma 12:11-18 And they that will harden their hearts, to them is given the lesser portion of the word until they know nothing concerning his mysteries; and then they are taken captive by the devil, and led by his will down to destruction. Now THIS IS WHAT IS MEANT BY THE CHAINS OF HELL. And Amulek hath spoken plainly concerning death, and being raised from this mortality to a state of immortality, and being brought before the bar of God, to be judged according to our works. Then if our hearts have been hardened, yea, if we have hardened our hearts against the word, insomuch that it has not been found in us, then will our state be awful, for then we shall be condemned. For our words will condemn us, yea, all our works will condemn us; we shall not be found spotless; and our thoughts will also condemn us; and in this awful state we shall not dare to look up to our God; and we would fain be glad if we could command the rocks and the mountains to fall upon us to chide us from his presence. But this cannot be; we must come forth and stand before him in his glory, and in his power, and in his might, majesty, and dominion, and acknowledge to our everlasting shame that all his judgments are just; that he is just in all his works, and that he is merciful unto the children of men, and that he has all power to save every man that believeth on his name and bringeth forth fruit meet for repentance. And now behold, I say unto you THEN COMETH A DEATH, EVEN A SECOND DEATH, which is a SPIRITUAL DEATH; then is a time that whosoever dieth in his sins, as to a temporal death, SHALL ALSO DIE A SPIRITUAL DEATH; yea, he shall die as to things pertaining unto righteousness. Then is the time when their torments shall be as a lake of fire and brimstone, whose flame ascendeth up FOREVER AND EVER; and then is the time that they shall be chained down TO EN EVERLASTING DESTRUCTION, according to the power and captivity of Satan, he having subjected them according to his will. Then, I say unto you, THEY SHALL BE AS THOUGH THERE HAD BEEN NO REDEMPTION MADE; FOR THEY CANNOT BE REDEEMED according to God’s justice; AND THEY CANNOT DIE, seeing there is no more corruption.

As does Alma:

Alma 12:32 Therefore God gave unto them commandments, after having made known unto them the plan of redemption, that they should not do evil, THE PENALTY THEREOF BEING A SECOND DEATH, WHICH WAS AN EVERLASTING DEATH as to things pertaining unto righteousness; for ON SUCH THE PLAN OF REDEMPTION COULD HAVE NO POWER, for the works of justice could not be destroyed, according to the supreme goodness of God.

Verse 36 goes on to speak of “the everlasting destruction of your souls.”

I’ll stop here, though Alma goes on to talk about those whose soul “cannot be saved,” who are “consigned to a state of endless wo,” etc. And I am sure there are more passages, but this should be more than enough to demonstrate my point.

These condemnations are put into unequivocal terms, regardless of the fact that Joseph Smith tried to come back later, with D&C 19, to claim: “It is not written that there shall be no end to this torment, but it is written endless torment,” called such because God’s name is “endless” and these punishments are “God’s punishments.”

That in no way settles the issue, given the fact that the Book of Mormon doesn’t limit itself to only that kind of terminology. As we can clearly see, the Book of Mormon goes way beyond speaking of something called “endless torment.” It clearly asserts, time and time again, that there is “no end” to the damnation, the torment, the punishment of the wicked, saying they “cannot be saved,” and are “as if no redemption has been made,” remaining “in their sins.” Etc.

This list is not intended to be exhaustive. It’s simply the things that stood out to me today as I was doing some research in the Book of Mormon with regard to the topic of “eternal torment.”

Not only do these verses seem to clearly contradict the Good News – THE SALVATION OF ALL MEN FROM SIN AND DEATH THROUGH CHRIST OUR LORD – it’s quite difficult to reconcile most of these passage (particularly those about the state of the wicked) with LDS theology concerning salvation in lower degrees of glory, even when termed “damnation.”

Clearly only two kingdoms are presented in the Book of Mormon; the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of the devil.

Makes me wonder how I ever reconciled all of this with Joseph Smith’s personal revelations about such things not contained in the Bible or the Book of Mormon… and, seemly, contradictory to both.

 
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Posted by on June 21, 2015 in Mormonism

 

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