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Do We Misrepresent Mormonism?

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever
The Truth Network Radio
February 1, 2021 8:33 pm

Do We Misrepresent Mormonism?

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever

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When one examines the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints from a biblical perspective view .1 limited sponsored by Mormonism research ministry since 1979 Mormonism research ministry has been dedicated to equipping the body of Christ with answers regarding the Christian faith in a manner that expresses gentleness and respect. And now, your host for today's viewpoint on Mormonism welcome to this edition of viewpoint on Mormonism. I'm your host, Bill McKeever, founder and director Mormonism research ministry with me today is Eric Johnson. My colleague at MRM. As you know, Mormonism research ministry has been around since 1979 and one of the accusations that we do take very seriously is when a Latter Day Saints states that we are misrepresenting their faith. It certainly is not our intention to misrepresent anyone and we actually think that's quite wrong to do that now. Eric you had an incident happened not too terribly long ago where you were interviewed with Sean McDowell and Shawn McDowell was the coeditor of the book sharing the good news with Mormons that came out in 2018 and this individual felt that you were misrepresenting Mormonism in the things that you said in that interview with Sean once you talk about that a little bit yeah on Wednesday, December 9, 2020.

I was interviewed on a live YouTube program by Sean McDowell and we were talking specifically about the gospel topics essay so we were getting in some a variety of topics.

Based on these essays that were written between 2013 and 2015 the next day after that live podcast. Sean writes me and he explained how a latter-day St. name Scott Adams contacted Sean and quote wanted to correct the record on some of the issues that we discussed and Scott gave his credentials that he was a high priest in the priesthood. He served in many various positions in the church, including a youth leader, a gospel doctrine teacher a stake high counselor and currently he's a counselor in his bishopric to stop you there because that might sound very impressive to a lot of people to show all the positions that you hold in the Mormon church but as far as I know a lot of those positions really are not based on how much in-depth knowledge you have of either biblical theology or even Mormon theology or even a good grasp of Mormon history. In other words, if you're faithful Latter Day Saints. It's not impossible that an individual can get a positions such as some of these in the LDS church and really not know a whole lot about the church that he belongs to and we've seen that in our personal experiences talking with Latter Day Saints will often say things I will item this in mind that Michael okay will what about this and they don't seem to have a clue what you're talking about, they'll come back with something like will I'm not a scriptorium that's a phrase that we used to hear a lot when talking with Latter Day Saints. So he gives you this long list and I would say that sounds pretty impressive for an average member in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. But does that necessarily guarantee that this individual really understands the depth of his own faith. I've talked with Mormon scholars before and sometimes I wonder if they even have the depth that's necessary to have that title of scholar. What is that really mean anymore so go ahead and explain what happened well. Sean asked if I would be willing to go on an additional show to have Scott on there as well and Scott Adams is a nice guy he really is he he he seems genuine.

He seems to be a very faithful latter-day St. I don't know.

Besides that, talking to him for an hour and 1/2 on the podcast, but I agreed. I don't normally like to get involved in debates and so I told Sean I'll do it as long as we don't call this debate and rather we deal with it as a dialogue and what I would like is to have Scott list the things that I said or that Sean may have said that needed to be corrected because he said that we were mischaracterizing what Mormonism taught and Bill. That's a very serious accusation because the type of ministry that we do is based on reaching out to the Mormon people and if we are taking Mormonism and making half-truths of it, then nobody should believe anything we have to say, so I want to say the integrity is very important.

So I agreed with Sean to do that. We did it on December 29 and we ended up going longer than the 60 minutes we went for close to an hour and 1/2 and I didn't feel that anything that he was saying was showing how I had mischaracterized Mormonism at the end of the show and I don't have the exact quote, but he said well many things you say are true is just that I don't like the way that you say them. They seem mean-spirited and I certainly don't intend to be mean-spirited.

I get very passionate about this, and right now I'm talking with a very high voice. Somebody might say well that's mean-spirited but I wanted to know what did you have that I should correct. I told him nothing of the show. I have nothing to correct and you can go on to our website. If you want to watch both of the YouTube videos that were done, but also I have responded to some of the things that Scott has written on what he felt I had mischaracterized and showed how I was actually very accurate in my presentation go to you can listen to both of the YouTube programs and you can see my articles I have written a lot on that page and so anybody who would like to learn more. It was it's important for me to defend what we say.

Mormonism teaches and I don't think it would do us any good to purposely try to misrepresent the LDS faith mean when you been around for over 40 years. You don't usually hang around that long. By constantly misrepresenting the people that you're trying to educate people about and even trying to reach in an evangelical way.

I think you're right.

Sometimes Mormons will hear things and because they disagree with what you're saying assumes subjectively that somehow you're trying to be mean because it may even offend them and what you brought out I don't know it. It's hard to know unless you have specific examples to go by, but you and I both have had those same experiences were. We have had people say we're misrepresenting my faith in many times what it is we might be misrepresenting their personal faith because I don't know what they believe is a latter-day St. because we know that we've talked to lots of Latter Day Saints.

You don't seem to believe the orthodox teachings of Mormonism that they probably should be believing they have their own personal type of belief will remember, folks, we are Mormonism research ministry and that word Mormonism has a meaning it has everything having to do with the subject of the Latter Day Saints movement. Excellent point Bill and the idea that individual. Latter Day Saints may not agree with Russell M. Nelson and the other leaders of the church. That's very much in play.

So as Christians, what are we to do to be able to understand Mormonism you and I are quoting regularly from the standard works. The four scriptures of Mormonism, as well as from the correlated curriculum.

The inside magazines and the other official publications of the church to be able to say this is what Mormonism teaches. Now you certainly as an individual Mormon may disagree. This is why you never want to tell latter-day St. what he or she believes rather always asked the question what do you believe about agency what you believe about the preexistence.

Let them tell you and if it's different from what the leaders have taught, then certainly you can say will that's not what they have said or it is what they have said but II think Mormonism has a meaning to it, and it can't just be individually interpreted by every single member and yet we do have Latter Day Saints that think we should be catering to their unique understanding of their own faith.

When we have to do that were going to be clear that we are talking about an individual's perspective is not necessarily something that I would say the first presidency. For instance, would get behind. Certainly some Latter Day Saints do have their own private understandings of their faith and I can't take that away from them are certainly allowed that right but it would be wrong for them to say well this is what I believe and so therefore your misrepresenting the LDS faith and that's not going to be true because we try very hard to stick very closely to what LDS books and sermons and conference messages. You might say, and things like that.

We are quoting from their own sources.

How in the world can that be faulted if we are citing the things that the leadership wants their people to believe we must understand that we don't have to make any of this up because that Mormonism stands on its own, and I think it would be easy for critics of ours to be able to show us exactly how we have misrepresented Mormonism. But when you take a look at what the church teaches, we want to be as accurate as possible.

What motive do we have two lie or to give half-truths or to give improper conclusions. Now I'm not saying that a latter-day St. will agree with our conclusions. Of course, are not going to agree because there Latter Day Saints and they want to hold onto whatever they think is true, but were saying well this is what this doctrine teaches and here is why it is not true will go to the Bible will go to to logic and logical reasoning to be able to show why we think Mormonism is wrong in this area and why biblical Christianity is true that I think we need to keep that in perspective, that when latter-day St. accuses you of saying something that's wrong that it's probably very pertinent to ask what specifically are you talking about. Why do you think that what I said is not really accurate. Now this is not to say that a Christian or anybody talking to a latter-day St. would be wrong on what they believe they could be. I don't think that's a habit we're trying to have, that's for sure were very critical of doing that, and we certainly would not want to do that and fortunately we don't get a lot of Latter Day Saints saying that we have misrepresented their faith. We just don't be quite honest with you folks. There are some who have said, we've done that. But when we responded to them.

They seem to understand that we had a good reference point for what we said that, I remember one latter-day St. years ago who was critical of me because I had said that Joseph Yuli Smith the 10th president of the church at said some very racist and derogatory things about Blacks being an inferior race. Will he came back and said will. That's not what Joseph Fielding Smith said because he says in this one reference that were not saying that they are an inferior race.

Will I responded to that quotation with another quotation from Joseph Fielding Smith where he very definitely calls them an inferior race. So what we have is not me being an inaccurate but actually we have a Mormon prophet. The 10th president of the church contradicting himself.

What can I do in a situation like that. He didn't say what I said even though he said with this gentleman said, I acknowledge that I said I know he said both things but he definitely did call Blacks inferior race real quick. Bill eight president George Albert Smith said in the Journal discourses, volume 14, page 216 F of faith will not bear to be investigated. If it's preachers and professors are afraid to have it examined their foundation must be very weak and another quote comes from the first presidency J.

Reuben Clark. He says if we have the truth cannot be harmed by investigation if we have not the truth, and to be harmed or just going off of what the leaders have said, if were wrong please show us specifically how her mischaracterizing Mormonism if were right on this thing you need to determine if what were saying when it gets come when the teaches get compared to what what the Bible teaches how we somehow are wrong and how you as a latter-day St. are right.

I think this is very important to be able to take a look at what Mormonism teaches and then determine is this something that ought to be followed. Thank you for listening you would like more information regarding this research ministry. We encourage you to visit our website you can request a free newsletter Mormonism research. We hope you will join us again as we look at another viewpoint is

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