“Oh, the unspeakable greatness of that exchange,—the Sinless One is condemned, and he who is guilty goes free; the Blessing bears the curse, and the cursed is brought into blessing; the Life dies, and the dead live; the Glory is whelmed in darkness, and he who knew nothing but confusion of face is clothed with glory.” Trailady

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A person God turned around many times.

Monday, December 13, 2010

The Book of Mormon

Recently I had the opportunity to talk with two Mormon elders. They gave me a chance to explain some of Adventism’s doctrines. I immediately explained the sanctuary doctrine and how the earthly tabernacle revealed the whole plan of salvation. I explained other doctrines also and hoped to spark interest in the word of God as the only rule for faith and teaching. I hoped the Bible would appeal to them like it does to me. But alas, I finished my soliloquy and their facial expressions were as stoic and droll as ever. I guess they realized I wouldn’t become a Mormon.

But it gave me a chance to revisit the Book of Mormon. One thing that caught my attention and later struck me was the approximate dates printed at the bottom corner of each page. According to the Book of Mormon, it begins “about 600 b.c.” with a group of Jews leaving Jerusalem, traveling to America, wandering around as a tribe with many wars from close and distant relative tribes, and the book ends “about 421 a.d.”

How interesting these dates are! What does it all mean? This is what it means:

The history of sin is to close when Christ returns in power and glory, as the Bible declares. Just before this happens, God has raised up Adventism to preach the second coming of Christ to the world. In order to ensure its role would faithfully continue to the end, He also raised up a prophet, Ellen G. White, to keep the movement in the way of truth as it is in Jesus. He also gave this Advent movement other insights to protect it from the strong delusion which He would send to the world. “Because thou hast kept the word of My patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.
Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.” (Rev 3:10,11).

Among these insights was a clear understanding of the great Bible prophecies regarding the time of the end. These are found in Daniel and Revelation. The first prophecy of Daniel lays the foundation for the rest of the prophecies of Daniel and Revelation. Daniel’s first prophecy, found in chapter 2, features a high statue made of different medals and its interpretation delineates the four great empires from Babylon to Rome, details concerning Christendom, the final destruction of the world, the establishment of Christ’s eternal kingdom, and the end of sin.

Reassurance comes to the Bible student through this first prophecy because it so wonderfully revealed the God of the Bible and His perfect foreknowledge down to our day. The other prophecies pinpoint other developments in the history of Christianity and Protestantism and how the gospel protects God’s people and prepares them for His coming.

But look at what the Book of Mormon does to this preparation for Christ’s coming through Adventism. It takes its adherents on a journey to America, beginning around 600 B.C., right when the book of Daniel commences. So, before the Mormon or Mormon candidate could see the powerful attraction to Daniel’s earth-shattering prophecies and from those prophecies to a strenthened conviction of the rest of the word of God, they are drawn away into the world of what they call another testament.

And amazingly, this was put in place one year before the Advent movement began. Joseph Smith received his first visit by an angel in 1823, received golden plates in 1827 and finished their translation in 1829. He began his movement in 1830 and met a violent death in 1844; after that followed a period of confusion for the church, and then in 1847 Brigham Young was chosen as president of the church and led it to grow into a strong, isolated, and growing religion.

In 1831, William Miller began his public preaching of Daniel’s prophecies of the Second Advent. When his calculated date of the Advent passed in 1844, a period of confusion followed. But in December 1844 Ellen Harmon had her first vision, which concerned the people of God following Jesus on an upward path to the holy city. Later she married James White and, with a tiny core of ardent believers in Jesus’ soon coming, they garnered a small group of former Millerites to restudy the Bible and the prophecies. By 1848, after much prayer and study in barns and living rooms, the Advent movement picked up and moved on again under new leadership, the only Millerite group to accept the seventh day as the true biblical Sabbath. Ellen White remained the prophetic voice and guide of the Seventh-day Adventists for 70 years. She was 17 when she began her role as a prophet, and at the age of 87 she fell at her home, and broke her hip. She died soon afterward, widely known as a godly, loving, well-studied author and mother in Israel.

In the timing of its establishment, Mormonism is the most ingenious diversion from the preparation for translation and resurrection at the day of Jesus’ coming. But then add the fact that not only did it have a prophet, but also a health message similar to ours, a sanctuary (albeit an earthly one), the claim to be the latter day saints awaiting Jesus’ return; they are missionary minded toward the Protestant denominations and began in the same area of upstate New York. They also have an extra “divine” means to help understand the Bible.

What human organization could have devised this? Who on earth could appear in shining angel form to 14 year old Joseph Smith? At that early era, when the helpless Roman Papacy was still struggling to get out from under her demise which happened in 1798, just 25 years before the angelic visitor, Mormonism couldn’t have been the Church’s invention.

So the LDS church is an impersonation of the SDA church and was permitted by God to test Protestants in their profession of the truth and discernment of the gospel.

Both LDS and SDA have shared the name “cult” from their beginnings. The SDA church tried to placate the World Council of Churches (WCC) in order to lose the cult title, but we are still branded. This is because Christ led us to be utmost faithful with the Bible’s truths, including the Sabbath commandment. But I heard that the Mormon Church has lost its cult title and is accepted as a valid church of Christianity.

This makes me believe that the Roman Church is inspired by the same source of the Mormon diversion of Protestants. Since Mormonism keeps Sunday holy Rome accepts it. The pope chairs the WCC and Sunday is his child. And as long as the SDA’s keep the seventh-day Sabbath they will always be branded a cult.

But that’s not all bad. “Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man’s sake.… Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! For so did their fathers to the false prophets.” (Lk. 6:22,26).

In the meanwhile, the Advent message is successfully crowded out of Protestantism and our voice is muted by the clamor surrounding Mormonism or the acceptance of it, and by Mormonism’s subsequent diversion from Daniel’s prophecies.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting. I appreciate your thoughts, but there's an aspect of your analysis that I just don't understand.

You state that because the Book of Mormon timeline begins around the same time the book of Daniel begins, that Mormons are "drawn away" from the important prophecies of Daniel.

As a Mormon, I fail to see why it is that Mormons would be drawn away? Can we not study both the Book of Mormon and the Bible? Does the Gospel of Luke draw people away from the Gospel of Matthew, despite concurrent timelines?

Mormon Sunday School classes (which have an official church-wide curriculum) devote 25% of the time to the Old Testament, 25% to the New Testament, 25% to the Book of Mormon, and 25% to the Doctrine and Covenants (modern church history). As you can see, we spend twice the time in Sunday School studying the Bible as we do the Book of Mormon. Mormons would absolutely, 100% reject any implication that the Bible gets crowded out because of additional scripture. When it comes to the Bible and the Book of Mormon, it has never been an either/or issue. It has always been both. There simply is no Mormon "diversion from Daniel's prophecies." We study the Book of Daniel as we do all books in the Bible.

In my personal daily scripture study, I have been reading from the Old Testament. I'm not up to the Book of Daniel yet, but when I get there I have no plans to divert my focus over to the Book of Mormon! I will read the Book of Daniel (as I have in the past) and learn from it, again. In our family daily scripture study right now, we are reading from the Book of Mormon. Both books are important to me and I study from both of them.

One more thing: while it's true that there has been a LITTLE ecumenical progress in recent years, to say that "the Mormon Church has lost its cult title" is far from true. (Not that we like the "cult" title; I'm simply stating the reality of how most Evangelicals still view Mormons.) And it is also incorrect to say that Mormonism has been "accepted as a valid church of the Reformation." Mormons themselves do not consider themselves Reformationists, so it doesn't make sense that any ecumenical organizations would accept that, either. (We would consider ourselves Restorationists.)

Of course, I disagree with most of the article because it is simply of matter of your beliefs vs. mine. But I just wanted to put in my 2 cents on a couple of things and clarify what I believe needed clarifying. I'm not terribly knowledgeable about Adventists, but I certainly enjoyed reading your article!

12/14/2010 9:52 AM  
Blogger David said...

Thank you, sir.
I say that Mormonism has diverted Bible readers because the prophecies in Daniel are one of the essential aspects of the Bible that make it trustworthy. When the Bible reader can see that the God of the Bible knows the future so well as the prophecies of Daniel show, they will know that the rest of the scriptures can be depended on. The chapter two prophecy also shows that all the civilizations of this world will be destroyed when Jesus sets up His kingdom. I think this disagrees with the doctrines of the LDS.
On my visit with various Mormon missionaries, the emphasis has been on the Book of Mormon and away from the scriptures.

12/20/2010 8:20 AM  
Blogger David said...

I may have sounded emphatic in my blog post, but I didn't mean to sound offensive to Mormons.
Thank you again for your comment.

12/20/2010 8:22 AM  
Anonymous David said...

I have toned down some of the language I used, but I must remain firm on the idea of a Mormon diversion from the scriptures. I don't want to give unnecessariy offense. But we cannot serve two masters or two scriptures. The New Testament is founded upon the Old Testament, firmly and squarely. No New Testament writer ever referred to any event written of in the Book of Mormon, even if the Book of Mormon sounds like the Bible. I'm not attacking people, only a system of religion. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but we are commanded to wrestle against principalities and powers, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

12/28/2010 1:50 PM  

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