Closer Look at the Faulty Criticism of SpainardVII

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

SpainardVIII published a post A Closer Look at the Cult of Mormonism at his website. The author opens with this statement:

The religion of Mormonism is very dangerous. It preaches another Jesus that is foreign to the Scriptures for the sole purpose of deceiving people—taking them to a different Jesus, one made up by Joseph Smith’s imagination. Joseph Smith is the founder of Mormonism.

He then quotes from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint’s website regarding the question: What is the Book of Mormon?

The writer follows up their introductory statement with this:

The Scriptures clearly warns us about believing in another gospel or “Testament of Jesus Christ” which, ironically, is the exact thing that the Mormons claim to believe.

Followed by the oft quotation from Galatians 1:6-9.

One will be hard pressed to find any Biblical text’s making such warnings. Not Galatians 1:6-9 or the other oft quoted text of Revelations 22: 18-19. Despite this, individuals like SpaniardVIII continue to perpetuate the idea that the Bible declares any new revelation or teaching to be anathema to what God has already revealed.

The writer further claims the following:

Joseph Smith taught that he received another testimony of Jesus Christ from an angel named Moroni who came to him. He told him that Jesus Christ came to the Indians in the Americas after His resurrection 2000 years ago. Of course, you won’t find any such account in the Scriptures because it is all made up. But that is not the only book which is called the Book of Mormon. They have other “holy” books that say demonic things about God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

This statement is faulty when compared to what actually transpired regarding the visitation of the Angel Moroni to the young farm boy Joseph Smith. This account relays the revelation of Joseph Smith’s calling to receive and translate what is to become the Book of Mormon.

In 1823 an angel named Moroni appeared to Joseph Smith and told him of the existence of an ancient record engraved on plates, buried in a hill near his home. Moroni, the last ancient record keeper to inscribe his teachings on the plates, appeared to Joseph on a number of occasions between 1823 and 1829, guiding and mentoring Joseph as he obtained the plates and translated them. Though others produced fanciful or sensationalized accounts of the angel’s visits, Joseph Smith’s own accounts are simple, sober, and consistent. Joseph’s preparation to become a prophet began with his First Vision, but his early followers typically spoke of Moroni’s visit as marking the beginning of Joseph’s calling.

See Joseph Smith History 1:27-50

The second false assertion is a false assumption in that there is not enough evidence to show either way. Fortunately, there is a particular interesting correlation between the account of Jesus Christ visiting the inhabitants of the New World (as described in 3 Nephi 11) and what Pedro de Cieza de Leon records in his Second Chronicles of Peru.

A third false assertion is one of scathing judgment in declaring that the additional sacred scriptures (Pearl of Great Price and the Doctrine and Covenants) say demonic things about God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

There seems to be no supporting evidence regarding such a statement. Instead, the writer appears to quote a chapter heading of Doctrine and Covenants Section 27 regarding Joseph Smith receiving revelation to substitute wine with water for the emblems of the Sacrament.

As one continues reading, the writer circles back to their assertion and expounds a bit more on a pedestrian straw man argument:

As you can see, Joseph Smith received a new revelation or gospel of Jesus Christ from an angel, which in Galatians 1:8-9 says not to believe in another gospel even if an angel from heaven should tell you. I guess Joseph Smith forgot to read that portion of the Bible giving the warning. I say this because it is too blatant where the Scriptures says as a warning that if this or that happens, know that it is not from the Lord. Joseph Smith does exactly the opposite of what the Scriptures warn us not to believe and he goes right ahead and believes the fallen angel’s false gospel.

Galatians was not referring to “receiving new revelation” and instead was a hyperbolic statement used by the Apostle Paul to help the members of the Church in Galatia to identify the false teaching concerning the ritual process of circumcision as part of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

No, Joseph Smith did not do opposite, nor did he “forget to read” that portion of scripture. How does the writer know exactly what Joseph Smith did or did not read regarding the contents of the Bible? It appears to be an arrogant and ignorant statement to make.

The post continues with a citation from D&C 27 and then a comment on Paul warning Christians in Corinth to be careful not to fall into the devil’s trap and believe in a false Jesus, gospel, and spirit. This appears to be based on a loosely interpretation of 2 Corinthians 11:3-4 as a means of supporting such assertion stated above. Here is what John Darby’s commentary on 2 Corinthians 11 has to say:

In chapter 11, jealous with regard to his beloved Corinthians with a godly jealousy, he carries yet further his arguments relating to false teachers. He asks the faithful in Corinth to bear with him a little, while he acts like a fool in speaking of himself. He had espoused them as a chaste virgin to Christ, and he feared lest any should corrupt their minds, leading them away from the simplicity that is in Him. If the Corinthians had received another Christ from the teachers lately come among them, or another Spirit, or another gospel, they might well bear with what these teachers did. But certainly the apostle had not been a whit behind in his instructions, even if they compared him with the most renowned of the apostles. Had he wronged them by receiving nothing at their hands (as these new teachers boasted of doing), and in taking money from other assemblies, and never being a burden to them?-a subject for boasting, of which no one should deprive him in the regions of Achaia. Had he refused to take anything from them because he loved them not? God knew-No; it was to deprive the false teachers of a means of commending themselves to them by labouring gratuitously among them, while the apostle received money. He would deprive them of this boast, for they were false apostles. As Satan transformed himself into an angel of light, so his instruments made themselves ministers of righteousness. But again let them bear with him while he spoke as a fool in speaking of himself. If these ministers of Satan accredited themselves as Jews, as of the ancient religion of God, consecrated by its antiquity and its traditions, he could do as much, a Hebrew of the Hebrews, and possessing all the titles to glory of which they boasted. And if it was a question of christian service-to speak as a fool-certainly the comparison would not fail to shew where the devotedness had been. Here in fact God has allowed this invasion of the apostle’s work by these wretched judaising men (calling themselves Christians) to be the means of acquainting us with something of the indefatigable labours of the apostle, carried on in a thousand circumstances of which we have no account. In the Acts God has given us the history of the establishment of the assembly in the great principles on which it was founded, and the phases through which it passed on coming out of Judaism. The apostle will have his own reward in the kingdom of glory, not by speaking of it among men. Nevertheless it is profitable for our faith to have some knowledge of christian devotedness, as it was manifested in the life of the apostle. The folly of the Corinthians has been the means of furnishing us with a little glimpse of it.

The Apostle Paul constantly spoke out, specifically, concerning those of the Jews who ascribed the demand of ritual circumcision as part of the Gospel of Christ. Over at Bible Study Tools we come to understand who these Judiazers were and how they operated in various churches Paul established and ministered to:

The term “Judaizer” has come to be used in theological parlance to describe the opponents of Paul and Barnabas at the Jerusalem Council (Acts 15) and those who sought to preach “another gospel” in the churches of Galatia ( Galatians 2:4 Galatians 2:12 ; 6:12 ; cf. Php 3:2 ). In this sense, “Judaizers” refers to Jewish Christians who sought to induce Gentiles to observe Jewish religious customs: to “judaize.” It appears that these individuals agreed with much of the apostolic kerygma but sought to regulate the admission of Gentiles into the covenant people of God through circumcision and the keeping of the ceremonial law. Insisting that “Unless you are circumcised … you cannot be saved” ( Acts15:1 ), these “believers who belonged to the party of the Pharisees” ( Acts 15:5 ) posed a serious threat to the gospel of grace and the universality of the Christian mission.

In fact, reviewing various commentaries on 2 Corinthians 11 does not appear to bode well for support in the writer’s assertion as a warning toward the teachings of the Latter-day Saint Christian Faith.

The article under question continues with some brief sentiments concerning the Book of Moses. Quoting Moses 4:1, the writer expresses their disdain in almost an apparent tone of arrogant mockery:

Look how twisted the Mormon’s book called “Moses” In Chapter 4 verse 1 is.

Moses 4:1 (one of the Mormon books) “1 And I, the Lord God, spake unto Moses, saying: That Satan, whom thou hast commanded in the name of mine Only Begotten, is the same which was from the beginning, and he came before me, saying—Behold, here am I, send me, I will be thy son, and I will redeem all mankind, that one soul shall not be lost, and surely I will do it; wherefore give me thine honor.”

Here, it has Satan wanting to be the savior of the world and also to be the son of God. The Mormons make it so evidently clear that they have absolutely no clue why Jesus has to be the Savior of the world. It seems that the Mormons think that anyone can become the savior. But, as you will see, only God can be the Savior of the world.

What this writer fails to comprehend, and lacks in apparent understanding, is that Moses 4 reveals the nature of a Divine Council that is evident within the Old Testament scriptures, as well as the New Testament Scriptures. There is significant scholarly evidence and discussion concerning the Divine Council in Ancient Near Eastern Religious Studies. Such information is contrary to what the writer attempts to argue against.

Another aspect, that appears to be intellectually dishonest on the writer’s part, is the cherry picking of Moses 4:1 without actually going into the full context. Namely, the writer lifted the passage and then attempted to make a reasonable argument by stating that Latter-day Saint Christians make it so evidently clear that they have absolutely no clue why Jesus has to be the Savior of the world.

It is arguably evident that SpaniardVIII makes it so evidently clear that they have absolutely no clue as to what they are attempting conclude.

Here is the full context of Moses 4 – and the evidence and reason for Christ being the Savior of humanity. As one reads the context it refers back to the fall of Adam and Eve in Genesis 3. It sets forth the scriptural truth as to the reason for the Savior and the purpose behind the infinite atonement of Jesus Christ. And yet the writer of the article in question claims such teaching is demonic.

The reality is that the writer of the post appears to be ignorant of what the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints actually believe. The failure to produce any significant, sound, and reasonable argument against the teaching of the Church, and presents false information to the readers of their website.

I welcome SpaniardVIII’s thoughtful commentary to show forth any reasonable explanation for such faulty information posted.

Yes, we all need to heed the warning so that we are not deceived. This includes recognizing and calling out such false teachings and information that has no basis of truth.