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On Being Contentious — Part 2

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever
The Truth Network Radio
December 27, 2019 5:31 am

On Being Contentious — Part 2

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever

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Point is, the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints from a 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's contention always of the devil.

Welcome to this additional viewpoint on Mormonism on your host, Bill McKeever, founder and director Mormonism research ministry with me today is Eric Johnson. My colleague at MRM yesterday.

We began looking at an article that was in the April 2017 & magazine titled the war goes on. It was written by Larry R. Lawrence, who is of the LDS 70 and in it he talks about Satan's strategies and we've been focusing on what he has listed as point number three. And that is contention. Mr. Lawrence is of the opinion, as he says that the devil has learned from centuries of experience that where there is contention, the spirit of the Lord will depart.

I think this needs to be qualified, because obviously all contention is not bad when we find in the New Testament where Jude says in verse three that we are to earnestly contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints what is being contentious. It's basically having a different position a different point of view, there is a disagreement between two humans and that has to be discussed so discussing differences even though, technically, that could be considered contention is not always wrong, but he's given the impression that it seems to be always wrong and this is probably why Eric that you and I when discussing some of these thorny issues with Latter Day Saints when they start getting uncomfortable with some of the information that we have to offer. They fall back and punt using this word contention. What's the famous phrase that we often hear contention is of the devil. And I feel a spirit of contention but yet often times when we hear that accusation we've been having nothing but very calm good conversations with an individual, so are we showing anger are we getting heated are we upset were just merely disseminating some information that the individual probably does not agree with.

It seems to be a statement sometimes that, for instance, missionaries will use when they don't know what to say. I just had that happened not long ago when a pair of missionaries. We were having a great conversation and then maybe about halfway into the conversation are low later than one missionary said I feel a spirit of contention we had said nothing in the last five minutes that could have brought that on except he was having to struggle trying to find out what he was going to say so. It was his way to say I think I'm done with this conversation. Fortunately, we continued for another five or 10 minutes before we did end this may sound a little bit quote unquote contentious.

Whenever I hear a Mormon use that line.

I feel the spirit of contention. I interpret that is I give up. I'm on the ropes.

It's kind like when a Mormon gives his testimony when a Mormon has to revert to his testimony and start insisting that he knows the church is true despite the evidence is just been discussed showing that it probably isn't. That tells me that individual has run out of arguments and that's the best they can come up with, which of course you and I would feel that that's not a very good place to run to. But in this article we were discussing this yesterday. He says almost all anti-Mormon literature is based on lies about the character of Joseph Smith. He says the enemy works hard to discredit Joseph because the message of the restoration hangs on the prophets account of what happened in the sacred Grove.

Now he's referring to what Mormons understand to be the first vision when he claimed that he went out to some woods to pray as to which church was true was visited by both God the father and Jesus Christ and was told by these beings that all the churches were wrong all the creeds were an abomination and all the professors are corrupt now. Eric the problem with that account that he gives in his 1838 account which is the official account. Most Mormons are familiar with. He puts in their some details that cannot be verified. In fact they can be refuted. He talks about a religious excitement in the area where he lived in the spring of 1820. There was no religious excitement that he describes their work multitudes being added to the churches at that time so there's a lot of spurious information that he gives in this account that Mormons want to believe to be true when the facts speak otherwise. The next sentence says the devil is working harder today than ever before to make members question their testimonies of the restoration and the reason he says that is if you take away an historical event like the first vision along with the book of Mormon to then you're going to destroy the whole context of what Mormonism is here for to restore gospel truth that was lost soon after the death of the apostles. This is what 15th Pres. Gordon B.

Hinckley said in this is found in teachings of Gordon B. Hinckley on page 227 he says that becomes the hinge pin on which this whole cause turns if the first vision was true. If it actually happened in the book of Mormon is true, then we have the priesthood, then we have the church organization and all the other keys and blessings of authority which we say we have which is interesting because he says if that's true then Mormonism is true, but if the first vision did not occur, then we are involved in a great sham. It is just that simple. Well if what Hinckley is saying is correct, then we ought to go and look at the other side because truth will pan out, and we should not be scared to take what we believe to be our theory that the first vision is true, and compare that to what others have said, and if you're really on the true side should have no worries about what anybody else could say including anti-Mormon literature as they describe it, and I think you're absolutely correct because if in fact you are believing a sham. If the evidence doesn't go in that direction. Wouldn't you want to know that as a latter-day St. It's like I will. I often preface my conversations with Mormons by asking them if there was the slightest chance you could be wrong. Would you want to know you be sperm as I've had more than say no, they don't want to know how honest of an individual in my dealing with at that point, and why should I really take my time to try and talk to an individual who doesn't want to hear what evidence might present in a particular case.

Now Mr. Lawrence goes on in his article to talk about how he was a convert to the Mormon church and he was baptized a member when he was 23 years old and he says he was impressed with the way that many of those that he saw in his youth, conducted their lives. He said I made the decision to learn more about the church but I did not want to tell anyone I was studying Mormonism. What did he do in light of that, he said, to avoid pressure for my friends. I decide to make my search.

A private investigation. This was many years before the Internet.

So I went to the public library. I found a copy of the book of Mormon in a book called a marvelous work and a wonder by Elder LeGrand Richards of the quorum of the 12 apostles.

I began to read these books with great desire and I found them inspiring and he goes on and says while my spirit was yearning to learn more. Satan began to whisper in my ear.

He told me that in order to be completely objective. I needed to read what was written by the critics of the church.

Also I went back to the public library and began to look around and sure enough, I found a book that discredited the prophet Joseph, let me inject something here. He says while my spirit was yearning to learn more. Satan began to whisper in my ear. He told me that in order to be completely objective.

I needed to read what was written by the critics of the church also wait a minute don't Mormons believe in practicing free agency. How can you practice free agency as its defined in Mormonism without hearing both sides of the issue you think any lawyer is going to going to court and say I only want to know my side of the issue in a study it up and I'm not gonna look at the other side is going to be surprised when the defense comes up with what is going to come up with in the same way when I taught high school for many years at a Christian school taught Bible to the students I wanted to hear the very best in the arguments of atheism and Islam and Hinduism and the other religions I wanted my students to be exposed to that I didn't want them to hear about Jehovah's Witnesses for the first time when they were knocking on their door. I wanted them to know about it from a Christian worldview so they might be able to know how to respond if you're going to be a latter-day St., and you want to do any kind of evangelism you better know what the arguments are. You bring up a good point, though, how many Mormon attorneys here in Utah go into court. Stand up and say, Your Honor, I think we can solve this case rather quickly. I think we just need to pray about it. I don't know of one that would ever have the audacity to even attempt to do something like that. Most Mormon attorneys at least understand the value of evidence. So when he says that it was the devil telling him to be more objective I would say wait a minute, maybe that was God telling you to be more objective and you need to hear the other side of the issue.

Can you imagine if he's wrong and I believe he is he just maybe credited the Holy Spirit with being the devil why with the Holy Spirit, be afraid of letting you be more objective when he supposed to lead you into all truth if what you were reading was making you feel bad.

Maybe it was wrong, but if it wasn't wrong, but in fact truthful than what you do with that. You just ignore it and go on believing what's an error.

I would hope not. Lawrence goes on and says reading this anti-Mormon book confused me.

I lost that sweet spirit and influence that had guided my investigation, I became frustrated. One is about to abandon my search for truth.

I was praying for an answer. While reading anti-Mormon literature. Do you see the dichotomy here.

You either have to go after anti-Mormon literature and do the wrong thing. You just need to pray about it but again if Hinckley is correct. The first vision did not occur than we are involved in a great sham. It is just that simple. That's serious stuff there and that I think this is the problem that praying about an answer is not going to help.

I think it bothers me also that once again he uses that phrase anti-Mormon in this context, anti-Mormon literature when I hear Mormons use that I often want to politely stop them and say wait.

Could you give me a definition of what an anti-Mormon is and then of course what anti-Mormon literature is the answer that I received from Mormons of been varied, but I have heard many Mormon say will and anti-Mormon who was is someone who is critical of the church. If that's the case, then wouldn't a Mormon who is critical of Christianity be an anti-Christian use that as a definition. It goes both ways. Is it someone who merely writes things about the church that are lies perhaps in is it right to print lies about someone or some organization know it's not right. What if the information is true, the Mormon churches we would talk about the gospel topics essays just started doing that a few years ago right where were they all the years prior to that we have a lot of the information contained in the gospel topics essays were being reported by folks like us, long before the Mormon church was owning up to a lot of this how many Latter Day Saints have we met who are leaving or have left the church because they found out Joseph Smith had 30 to 40 wives that was hidden for many years you didn't see that out writes in in the manuals and other places where Mormons would be reading in all of us and they come up with this essay and paper going all my goodness or they learned about the book of Abraham and the problems with that.

It wasn't a literal translation. These are serious problems that Mormons when they find out with little background knowledge are going to kill them. I think better the church I do say you better know what the other side is and let's show how those other theories are not true and you and I both experience talking with Latter Day Saints when it came to the polygamy issue. Were they would insist know he only had one wise drama we've heard that for many people that's starting to change a little bit now with these gospel topics essays starting to trickle down among the masses, but still it has to make you wonder how many Latter Day Saints only know a faith promoting side to the Mormon church. And if that's all they know is that safe. Thank you for listening you would like more information is research ministry. We encourage you to visit our website at you can request a free newsletter. Mormonism researched this again, as we look at another viewpoint is

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