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One member is examining the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints from a biblical perspective 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 can be with us for this edition of your point all Mormonism. I'm your host, Bill McKeever, founder and director Mormonism research ministry with me today is Eric Johnson. My colleague at MRM we are going through a book titled immersion in Mormonism, especially for new members and also teens and members who struggle gain and retain a stronger testimony. It was read by Robert actually says that on the front cover of Carver by the name of Charles Abbott who is an attorney. He lives in Provo, Utah, and I'm sure that this book was probably written as a labor of love to help those who might not have some ready answers to many of the criticisms that are circulating out there right now when it comes to the teachings of the LDS church. However, I got to be quite honest folks. The problem I find with some of these books that are supposed to help members who struggle is if it doesn't really answer the specific questions that are often being asked or if it gives you an answer that is not an adequate answer. In other words, an answer that over the years has been debunked, and maybe Mr. Abbott's not aware of that giving those kind of answers is only going to have perhaps a short-term lasting affect but not in long term because eventually those hard questions are going to be asked in a book like this, not answering them. Is it really going to help an individual at that point so I can understand why a book like this may be written in there been many books like them written, especially in recent years, with all the information that is floating around on the Internet and such and there are a lot of Mormons who are struggling and so I think it's important to look at what he has to say.
And again I want to preface this study this series in saying no. Mr. Abbott is not a general authority in the Mormon church. But where this helps all of us who were trying to minister to LDS people. It does give us somewhat of a handle of what the lay people sometimes believe that in this case with Mr. Abbott when I got this book and I started to read it. There were two things that intrigued me the most number one.
As you mentioned on the cover. He's a convert from a Protestant Christian denomination. So that was fascinating for me. I always enjoy hearing what somebody he used to belong to a Christian denomination then joins the Mormon church. Find out why in the number two he was a lawyer. I mention this yesterday. And yet, as I look at a lot of the argumentation and the reasoning that he gives.
I'm not impressed with exactly how he came to be a Mormon and it comes down to what every Latter Day Saints has and that's called the testimony and even sites on page 21 Moron I 10 form five which talks about what a person needs to do in order to become a latter-day St., and he says this on page 21 he says it's important to have a spiritual conversion instead of just an intellectual conversion. As you continue your activity in the church you will find that there are many who seek to destroy your testimony by presenting what might seem to be good intellectual arguments. After I began to believe in a purely intellectual sense that the church was true. I followed Moron eyes instructions and committed the matter to prayer. He goes on and says over the years as I have been immersed in the church. The truth of its teachings has been confirmed, and my testimony strengthened many times over, and the Holy Ghost has raised his voice above a whisper, and even shouted at me more than once, and what that tells me Bill. Like many Latter Day Saints. They pray this prayer which sounds very spiritual.
They get the good feeling the burning in the bosom is the doctrine and covenants, puts it, and therefore they are going to become a latter-day St., and believe it to be true and I'm just wondering if those feelings as well as as we mentioned yesterday a young lady who was a latter-day St. whose affection he was trying to win. I'm wondering if those things combined was the major impetus for him to become a latter-day St. even though he says he does study and he does a lot of research. He says into what the other churches are saying but here in this book he comes the conclusion that Mormonism is true in the elusive fact that in the beginning he was using evidence. I'm not saying that he didn't use any evidence later on. But he is trying to find out what is the proper historical understanding of the Christian faith. And as we discussed yesterday. He was talking about the Trinity will I don't know how many books he actually read about the Council of Nicaea. I don't know from what viewpoint he was reading. I have no idea, but one thing I do know from what he's written here. He doesn't seem to understand what went on. Historically, he doesn't seem to understand what the arguments really were at the Council of Nicaea. He doesn't seem to really understand what the conclusion was that the Council of Nicaea and right there. He has some faulty information that is working on perhaps maybe that faulty information is what led him to go on further to start trusting more and more the Mormon accounts of alleged Christian history. He seems to have a lot of respect for LeGrand Richards book a marvelous work and a wonder of folks LeGrand Richard make some a lot of horrible arguments in that book. A lot of bad ones. And unfortunately, even some of the current leadership in the Mormon church uses some of those bad arguments that Mormon scholars won't even use today that has to be taken into account as he goes on is on page 15. He's going to switch gears from the Trinity now to his assumption that the Mormon church must've been true because there had to be what's known as a complete apostasy. What is a say on page 15.
From the Scriptures. I also learned that a great apostasy from the teachings of Christ had been predicted long before the Council of Nicaea. Paul said he's quoting second Timothy 43 and four for the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned in the fables," and then he also quotes from acts 2029 through 34.
I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Now let's go back and look at that passage that that is cited here. Second Timothy 43 and four. If you look at the context of it is Paul instructing a young pastor by the name of Timothy preparing him for what he could face as a young minister. Now, if a Mormon bishop was to get up in church on a Sunday morning in front of an LDS congregation and warn the congregation that a time will come when let's say as Mr. Abbott is writing in his book that you're going to receive criticism and you find people who are going to not endure sound doctrine would any Mormon sitting in that congregation assume that because they are being instructed to look out for people who might not like sound doctrine would they assume that somehow there's going to be an eventual complete apostasy of what they believe. I would say absolutely not, so why would you assume or any other Latter Day Saints assume that because Paul is instructing a young pastor here on watching out for what could eventually happen or will happen when people come along who will not endure sound doctrine, but after their own lusts, they're going to keep on themselves teachers, having itching ears.
Why would you automatically assume that that is talking about a complete apostasy could he possibly have gotten this with his reading of Richards book a marvelous work and a wonder because there's a whole chapter in this book from chapter 4 called false doctrines and universal apostasy.
And this is how it starts out on page 24.
Apostasy from the truth.
A second great truth was revealed to the visitation of the father and the son to the Prophet Joseph Smith through the announcement made by the Savior of the world. In answer to just dismiss question as to which of all the churches he should join and then he cites from Joseph Smith to 19 which says that he should join none of them, for they were all wrong and the person that you address me said that they draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They teach for doctrines the commandments of men having a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof. Richard says this pronouncement brought to Joseph Smith the information he so much desired for more than anything else he wanted to know which of all the churches he should join and it was to obtain this information that he went to the Lord in prayer. You're not gonna get it. As you said from the passage that was just read in second Timothy, so if you can't get it from there. You're going to have to get it from somewhere, and I think perhaps that as he read this book. He's being drawn in the Mormonism because he's learning things from this Mormon apostle telling him the things that Mormonism teaches, and it seems to work out well for him, especially again since he's trying to court this young lady. Well, let's also look at acts 20 that he cites verses 29 through 34.
I noticed that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. We know that this is Paul's farewell address he speaking to the elders in Ephesus and he is going to be going back to Jerusalem and he's basically warning them of what's going to happen once he leaves again, I would challenge you are listeners and I would also challenge Mr. Abbott should he be listening if nothing else, go back and read the context of what Paul was saying in that passage next chapter 20.
He's merely warning them to look out for these things.
Where do you draw the conclusion that somehow this means in Paul's mind that Christianity is they all knew it. At that time was going to stop. He certainly didn't quote first Timothy chapter 4 the first verse says that is now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons. I hit the print some is there. It doesn't say all exactly in as you mentioned that verse is not cited by Mr. Abbott on page 15 that one is left out.
Perhaps if he had looked carefully at what first Timothy 41 is saying he would've realized Paul was ever trying to imply that Christianity, as the first century Christians understood it was somehow going to go through some complete apostasy.
It's not to say that apostasy's plural would not happen but to draw the conclusion that all of Christianity would become at some point, basically worthless and without any type of authority. Teaching false doctrine. That's quite a leap will think about it to buy the great apostasy you make Jesus into a liar because he said that I am with you always, even to the very end of the age. You also make deceivers of the apostles, who were frauds because why couldn't they have kept this going. They somehow lost the ability to appoint new apostles and so therefore they should be blamed for not doing something to keep it going again. I think it's it's quite a stretch. And often times when I have Mormons pull universes on me because I've had more insight. The spirit same verses to me when I'm talking to them on the streets or perhaps in an email response is very simple. How do I know that these verses are not describing members of the LDS church and because I would say your teachings are certainly unique and all your major doctrines we can't find any historical evidence to show even though Mr. Abbott seems to think that Athanasius believed, perhaps in tritheism to a certain extent, but we see no evidence of this whatsoever. So I would say since the Mormons are the unique ones here and they can't back up what they believe from the Bible.
I noticed many times Mr. Abbott has to say that it's in the restoration of what Joseph Smith was telling them in order to get this.
That's why we would say that these verses that you think apply to all of us could very well apply to the LDS church. Thank you for listening. If you would like more information is research ministry. We encourage you to visit our website www.mrm.org you can request our free newsletter Mormonism research. We hope you will join us again as we look at another viewpoint is