LETTER SENT TO MORMON CHURCH
P.O. Box 30700
Salt Lake City, Utah 84150
I read with much interest your attractive 8-page
advertisement in the October issue of Reader's Digest. Some of the
things I read in your advertisement immediately brought some questions
to mind on my part. I am no authority on the Mormon religion. However,
I have spent considerable time with the Bible. This is what prompts the
questions, and especially since you mentioned that the Bible was one of
the "Mormon's sacred books" and since you stated that the Mormons were
committed to spreading "the gospel of Jesus Christ to all people, everywhere."
First, my attention is drawn to what you call these
young men who are sent out, as you religiously call them "elders." As one
familiar with the Bible this is confusing to me. The word "elder" means
an older man (not a young man), and to qualify to be an elder in the Biblical
sense in the Lord's church (among other things), one must be married and
the father of children (1 Timothy 3:1-5; Titus 1: 5-7)
Then, I read on the fourth page of your advertisement:
"The Mormon doctrine of Eternal Marriage holds that Mormon marriages are
forever: Men and women, married in a Mormon Temple, form a holy relationship
that will endure beyond the grave, in reunion with each other, and in life
everlasting with God and the Savior."
This brings another question. Have you never read
the words of the Lord Jesus Christ in Matthew 22:23-30? Your teaching is
just opposite of what He taught in the Bible (and you claim the Bible as
one or your "sacred books"). Notice in detail: "The same day came to him
the Sadducees, which say that there is no resurrection, and asked him,
saying, Master, Moses said, If a man die, having no children, his brother
shall marry his wife, and raise up seed unto his brother. Now there was
with us seven brethren: and the first, when he had married a wife, deceased,
and, having no issue, left his wife to his brother: Likewise the second
also, and the third, unto the seventh. And last of all the woman died also.
Therefore in the resurrection whose wife shall she be of the seven? For
they all had her. Jesus answered and said unto them, "Yea do err, not knowing
the Scriptures, nor the power of God. For in the resurrection they neither
marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels in heaven…"
Furthermore, you continued in your advertisement
by speaking about "baptism by proxy" which the Mormon Church practiced
and saying that the deceased wife of this man could join him in his conversion
and in Eternal Marriage.
If I read the Bible correctly, it seems to me that
the nature and guilt of sin is personal (Romans 3:23, etc) and consequently
salvation must be on a personal basis. The great commission instructed
that the gospel be preached to every person, and "He that believes and
is baptized shall be saved…" (Mark 16:15, 16). "EVERYONE" was to repent
and be baptized (Acts 2:38). They were further admonished: "Save YOURSELVES
from this untoward generation" (Acts 2:40). Peter said, "Repent ye therefore,
and be converted, that YOUR SINS may be blotted out…"(Acts 3:19). Acts
17:30 states that "ALL MEN EVERYWHERE" are commanded to repent because
"ALL MEN" must personally face God in judgement. Paul says that in the
Day of Judgment "EVERY KNEE shall bow " and "EVERY TONGUE confess to God.
So then EVERYONE of us shall give account of himself to God " (Romans 14:11,12).
No one can accept Christ for us, be baptized for us, nor live our lives
for us. It is a personal matter. And when death comes, no one can die for
us, for each of us must "walk that lonesome valley."
Your advertisement in more ways than one leaves me
confused. You quote the great commission, "Go you therefore, and teach
all nations." And speak of the "commitment to spread the gospel of Jesus
Christ to all people, everywhere" by the Mormon Church. You call the Bible
a "sacred book." BUT THEN you speak of "the divine revelations that led
him (Joseph Smith) to establish the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day
Saints" (in the last century).
This seems like a great contradiction to me since
you claim to be working under the great commission and to be spreading
the gospel commissioned by Christ. The preaching orders involved preaching
what was revealed to them in the first century and it involved "teaching
them to observe all things whatsoever I HAVE COMMANDED you" (what Christ
commanded, Matthew 28:18-20). They were to preach the message that was
commissioned then (at that time) "unto the end of the world (age)." That
commission was not to preach a "revelation" that came along hundreds of
years later. Jesus had told his disciples that the Holy Spirit would guide
them into ALL TRUTH (John 16:13; 14:26). This the Holy Spirit did, and
it has been written down in the New Testament Scriptures. Jude wrote that
the faith had once and for all been delivered unto the saints (Jude 3).
We are warned that if we add to or take from the book of the Holy Scriptures
the plagues mentioned therein will be added to us and our names taken from
the book of life (Revelation 22:18,19). The inspired apostle Paul declared,
"But though we, or AN ANGEL from heaven preach any other gospel unto you
than that which we have preached unto you. Let him be accursed" (Galatians
1:8). It looks to me like all these Scriptures should tell us something.
Then to add to the confusion it is said that Joseph
Smith established the "Church of Jesus Christ" in the last century about
1900 years removed from Christ. I humbly say this doesn't make sense to
me for Jesus said in Matthew 16:18, "I will build my church; and the gates
of hell shall not prevail against it." Christ established his church in
the first century. From Acts 2:47 onward it is spoken of as a reality,
something in existence then (Acts 2:47; 8:1; Romans 16:16; 1 Corinthians
1:2; etc.). The "gates of hell" would not prevail against His church.
These are some things that caught my attention in
your ad in the October issue of the Reader's Digest. Like I said,
I don't' know much about the Mormon religion , but I have studied the Bible.
My knowledge of the Bible has prompted me to ask these questions. IF you
folks believe the Bible to be the Word of God, perhaps it would be good
to clear up the confusion. The Reader's Digest is read by millions
of people and the relationship of the Mormon religion to the Christianity
of the New Testament is not clear…especially to me.
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James E. Gibbons