A Critical Examination of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (a.k.a. "The Mormons")

Mormon temple

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Introduction:

The following is a look at the history, beliefs and practices of the religious sect known as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, commonly referred to as the Mormons. At the conclusion of the critical evaluation we will also give attention to the best and most effective ways to witness to Mormons according to those who are knowledgeable and very active in that ministry.

Why is it important for us to devote the time needed to investigate this group?

One reason is that they claim to be the only authentic Christian church in existence. One of their four sources of authority, Doctrine and Covenants, refers to its believers as "...the only true and living church upon the face of the whole earth,..." (Section 1:30). Their "prophets" and leaders have echoed this declaration quite forcefully. Such a claim needs to be examined.

Second, and related, that belief causes them to be quite active in proselytizing all sorts of people including those who already attend or belong to other churches. The truth, then, needs to be revealed about who they really are and what they really believe so that more Christians do not succumb to their erroneous teachings.

Third, it cannot be denied that the Mormon church has enormous influence in the world today. Members of their organization have held posts such as Secretary of Agriculture and Treasurer of the United States and have been on the Federal Reserve Board and the Securities and Exchange Commission. They have been elected to the United States Congress, have been state governors and one recent Republican nominee (Romney in 2012) for President of the United States is Mormon. They are involved with and head many corporate giants such as Marriot Hotels, Max Factor and Standard Oil. They send out around 30,000 missionaries per year who succeed in converting some 200,000 new members worldwide. Their revenues are about $1.3 billion per year with total assets conservatively estimated at $8 billion. Total membership worldwide is around 7 million (as of 1991). To ignore such a religious organization whose goals are totally adverse to those of true Christianity would not be wise.

My sources for this study include but are not limited to The Kingdom of the Cults by Walter Martin, Cult Watch by John Ankerberg and John Weldon, Handbook of Today’s Religions by Josh McDowell and Don Stewart, Reasoning from the Scriptures with the Mormons by Ron Rhodes and Marian Bodine, The Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, The Pearl of Great Price and other Latter-day Saints materials and pamphlets, as well as other articles by various authors. I will endeavor to present their views as fairly as possible without distorting them to favor my positions. Further, I would encourage the interested reader to obtain the above and other materials for himself to evaluate the validity of what the Mormons claim.

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