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April 6, 2020 8:58 pm
Point is, the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints viewpoint when Mormonism is 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.
So glad you could join us for this additional viewpoint on Mormonism of your host, Bill McKeever, founder and director Mormonism research ministry and with me today is Eric Johnson. My colleague at M are yesterday we introduced a series that we are going to be covering over the next several broadcasts that deal with a set of books that were given away by the first presidency to various people within the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. This took place between the years of 1981 and 2017 each Christmas during those years. The first presidency of the church gave away a specially bound book that was in many cases either part of the Scripture, or a book that was written by one of their presidents or other general authorities in the church and they would give these books to various general authorities, lesser authorities, no doubt, as well as some employees in the church we don't know exactly how far the down the chain went for the employees that were given copies but basically that's who receive these books you could not buy them in a bookstore because these were specially printed just for those individuals. If you would like to find out more about that series and go to our website MRM.org/books employee gift with a hyphen between books, employee and gift and we have a list of the 37 books.
It started in 1981 and go all the way to 2017.
It starts with the triple combination in 1981, and it ends with the Bible in 2017 and all the books that will be talking about in this series are listed there. If you're interested, you probably heard me say many times on this show that having dealt with the subject of Mormonism.
For as long as I have. I have a pretty good handle of what Latter Day Saints are supposed to believe but I've also learned from experience that not every Latter Day Saints believes what they're supposed to believe you would think that if the citations that we are going to be going through in the next several broadcasts were given the stamp of approval by the first presidency of the church that this would be something that members should pay attention to. Another words, members should believe what is written in the books that their first presidency feels are important enough to put in the specially bound volume and given away as a gift.
And that's a great point because yes, many of these books are written hundred years ago hundred 25 years ago, but for the church to reprint them and put them in the special leather cover and to give them to all the general authorities and other employees means that they thought these books were very valuable enough. As you mentioned in yesterday's broadcast. If the general authorities such as the president of the church was to give you a book wouldn't you want to read it and I think every Latter Day Saints is listening to us right now should want to go out and maybe get some of these books and read them for themselves. So what were going to do in the next few broadcasts that leases were going to pick a topic and then were going to go through these books showing what these books said on that given topic. The first topic we decided to examine would be the topic of truth what is truth that we know Pilate asked that very question in Latinate squid Veritas.
You can find that in John 1838 Pilate asked this of Jesus himself. He has the way the truth and the life standing before him and he asked that question what is truth.
I think that's a great question. And so the first book were going to examine is the book written by John Taylor who became the third president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints after the death of Brigham Young.
It was a book he wrote called the gospel kingdom.
This citation can be found on page 236 of the gospel kingdom of one of those books that was given as a gift for Christmas by the first presidency and that book was given in 1996 and this is what Taylor says Tessa Mormonism, I have generally taken the liberty of applying the word of God to principles of religion, whether taught by the Methodist Church of England Roman Catholics or any others, and when Mormonism was presented to me. My first inquiry was is it Scriptural is it reasonable and philosophical.
This is the principle I would act upon.
Today, no matter how popular the theories or dogmas preached might be. I would not accept them unless they were strictly in accordance with the Scriptures, reason and common sense. I believe it is good to investigate and prove all principles that come before me prove all things hold fast that which is good and reject that which is evil no matter what guys, it may common. I think if we as Mormons hold principles that cannot be sustained by the Scriptures and by good sound reasoning, philosophy, the quicker we part with them the better. No matter who believes in them or who does not. In every principle presented to us.
Our first inquiry should be. Is it true, does it emanate from God if he is its author. It can be sustained just as much, as any other truth. The natural philosophy, if false, it should be opposed and exposed just as much, as any other air.
Hence, upon all matters. We wish to go back to first principles and he said that on March 14, 1869. Now here's what I think we have here. Eric I think we have in the case of John Taylor a bit of equivocation. In other words, he's going to use a word in this case it's the word either scriptural or Scriptures, but I think he's using it in a different manner when he cites that word and this is what I mean by that. When he starts this quote he says I have generally taken the liberty of applying the word of God to principles of religion, whether taught by the Methodist Church of England that would be the Anglican church to Roman Catholics or any others, and when Mormonism was presented to me. My first inquiry was is it Scriptural now. How is he using the word scriptural in that context it seems like he's using it as applying only to the Bible.
The 66 books that make up the old and New Testament, and the reason why is because he's not a Latter Day Saints so he has not yet read the book of Mormon or the other scriptures in the canon of the church and that's exactly why draw that conclusion. He must be referring to in this context is speaking only to the Bible, but as he goes on, he says, is it reasonable and philosophical. This is the principle I would act upon. Today, no matter how popular the theories or dogmas preached might be and then he says I would not accept them unless they were strictly in accordance with the Scriptures, reason and common sense. My question now becomes, is he using the word Scriptures in a more broader sense, meaning not only the Bible but the book of Mormon, the doctrine and covenants, and perhaps even the pearl of great price, which came out in 1851 I think he's probably doing that because here's here's why say that when he asked the question later on in this paragraph is it true, does it emanate from God. The only way he's going to be able to defend a lot of the non-biblical teachings that are found not only in the book of Mormon, but especially in the doctrine and covenants, and even more so in the pearl of great price. The only way he could defend those statements to be true is if he's expanded the word Scriptures now and here lies the problem. When he asked the question will do these teachings emanate from God.
That's the million-dollar question that has caused the controversy ever since Mormonism began because Joseph Smith came up with teachings that clearly are outside of the parameters of the Bible.
So it all depends on how you define Scripture when he starts off and says I have generally taken the liberty of applying the word of God to principles of religion, you and I bill would say we agree with that, we think you ought to apply the word of God. But what you mean when you say word of God. Excellent point Eric and this is what I think I'm hearing you say and I agree with you totally.
If in fact the word Scriptures or scriptural role is referring to the 66 books of the Bible.
I don't think any evangelical, any New Testament Christian could read what he says here in this paragraph that we just cited, and disagree with it. I can't find anything looking at this that I would disagree with.
If in fact he's using the word Scriptures to refer to the Bible, which at the beginning of the quote sound like that's what he's doing now. If he means that consistently I would argue that John Taylor would have a terrible time trying to defend as true the many teachings of Mormonism which outright conflict with what the Bible has already revealed to us.
There's no way that you could do that and this is why Mormonism has never been embraced as part of the Christian fold because coming out of the gate. When Mormonism was founded by Joseph Smith in 1830 he was already teaching things that a lot of Christians were suspicious of because what he was saying could not be confirmed by the Bible as we see it today as the Bible was at the time of Joseph Smith because it wasn't really any different at that time he was using the King James Bible, the same King James Bible that many are using today and so this becomes the whole quest. You might say if you're going to say you can justify Mormonism by the Scriptures as John Taylor seems to imply from the citation. I would say go ahead, do it. I don't think you can I would assume you are going to have to go outside of the pages of the Bible and go to some extra biblical source in order to justify the teaching that a Latter Day Saints is supposed to hold see that's the whole controversy that is the date so even though I might agree in principle to what John Taylor has said in this citation called the test of Mormonism from his book the gospel kingdom he's going to have to equivocate on what he means by scriptural or what he means by Scriptures. He's not going to be able to defend the positions of the LDS church from the Bible alone will that citation is found in a PDF document that we would like to send to our listeners who would like to get that that document as well as the PDF of your book in their own words.
We were talking about it yesterday, a comp violation of citations from a variety of LDS leaders and others are available.
We will send that to you if you would like to help her radio ministry with a generous gift of any size. All you have to do is go to MRM.org and on the right side there's a button that says donate click that it will take you to PayPal it will ask you for the amount you put the amount in and under the added notes put down the letters PDF and that way we will send you with the gift of any size will send you both of those PDFs and then if you would do us a favor where it says add a note give us the call letters of the radio station you listen to, or podcast if that's how you listen to us or you can just tell us which state you are listening to us, that will help us immensely and we will get that out to within a week. And so if you would like to have those two documents. Please help us in our radio ministry.
Tomorrow were going to continue looking at this very important word that is described in many of these books that we are talking about the word truth.
Thank you for listening. If you would like more information regarding his research ministry. We encourage you to visit our website at www.mrm.org you can request a free newsletter Mormonism research. We hope you join us again as we look at another viewpoint is prepared to engage Mormon missionaries when they knock on your door.
Perhaps the book is in 101 Wilhelm Mormonism 101. Published by Baker available at your favorite Christian bookstore