Part One:
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. 
            James E. Gibbons
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