Cults - Mormonism

2 - Mormonism's Deconstruction of Scripture

By Dr. Paul M. Elliott
A Christian need not become an expert on Mormonism to understand its dangers. All you must do is ask essential questions about Mormon teachings and compare the answers with authentic Scripture.

From the TeachingtheWord Bible Knowledgebase

Part 2 of a series. Read part 1.

A Christian need not become an expert on Mormonism to understand its dangers.

A Bible-believing Christian need not become intimately familiar with the complex web of Mormonism's falsehoods to understand how wrong and dangerous it truly is. All a believer must do is to ask and answer essential questions about the nature of Mormonism and its teachings, and compare the answers with the Bible.

The first essential question we must ask is this: What does Mormonism teach about the Bible itself? We must understand the answer to this question in order to see whether or not Mormonism has a valid standard of truth.

God's Commands Concerning Scripture

We must begin, then, by seeing what Mormonism's attitude is toward God's own commands concerning Scripture. We find four specific commandments or declarations from God in which He tells us how we are to approach and to regard His Word. In Deuteronomy 4:2 and 12:32, Proverbs 30:6, and Revelation 22:18-19, God commands that no man shall add to His Word or take away from it. In Isaiah chapter 8 beginning at verse 19, God commands that no one who claims to speak in His name may speak anything that contradicts His Word. In John 10:35, the Lord Jesus declares that "the Scriptures cannot be broken."

The word for "broken" in John 10:35 (Greek luthenai) is used in a number of passages in the New Testament to denote physical disassembly or destruction. In context, what Jesus is saying is that the Scriptures cannot be broken in the sense of being taken apart. You cannot deconstruct that which has been compacted and built together by God in His Word. You cannot, you must not, take that which God has placed into a coherent and unified whole and treat it in a way that would destroy that fundamental integrity. Man has no authority to do this. If man does do this, by definition he is seeking to break Scripture. He is seeking to subvert it, invalidate it, or deprive it of its authority.

To summarize: God gives us four vital commands concerning Scripture. You must not add to it. You must not take away from it. You must not contradict it. You must not undermine it. In every case, God pronounces His curse upon those who do these things.

Mormonism Violates God's Commands

But as we test Mormonism against God's commandments concerning Holy Scripture, we find that Mormonism violates all of them.

Mormonism adds to Scripture. The Mormons have added three other books to the body of what they call "authorized Scripture". They have added the Book of Mormon, another book by Joseph Smith called the Pearl of Great Price, and yet another called the Doctrine and Covenants.

Mormonism also takes away from Holy Scripture. The Mormon church has its own edition of the King James Bible. In their version they have added numerous footnotes which both add to and take away from Holy Scripture. In the book of Revelation, for example, they have included no fewer than forty-five footnotes in which Mormon founder Joseph Smith added to and took away from the words of the book of Revelation. These footnotes are identified as being the "Joseph Smith translation".

In fact, these footnotes are not translations at all. They are changes to the text of the Bible in order to bring God's Word in line with Mormon theology. What audacity, to change and twist the very words of God, in order to conform them to that which Scripture plainly calls "doctrines of demons."

In First Timothy chapter four beginning at verse one, we read this:

Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron...

That certainly describes the depraved attitude of Joseph Smith, and his followers in the present day, toward the inspired, infallible, inerrant Word of God.

So dear friend, if Mormon missionaries come to your door with a Bible in their hands that says it is the King James Version, keep in mind that it is not the King James Bible with which Bible-believing Christians are familiar. It is a perversion and a distortion of that faithful translation of Scripture.

Mormonism also openly contradicts Holy Scripture. Mormonism teaches that there are many gods, and not one true and living God as the Bible teaches.

Mormons also teach that their founder Joseph Smith and another man named Oliver Cowdery were inducted into the Aaronic priesthood by John the Baptist in May of 1829. But the book of Hebrews makes it absolutely clear that the priesthood of Aaron was long ago finished. It was a type and symbol of the high priesthood of the Lord Jesus Christ. The priests of Aaron's line could not take away sin forever.

Jesus Christ, who the book of Hebrews tells us is a "priest forever after the order of Melchizedek" and not of the order of Aaron, did what the priests of Aaron's line could not do by offering His own perfect blood as the full and final atonement for sin. And in so doing, the book of Hebrews tells us, Jesus did away with the priesthood of Aaron forever. For the Mormons to say that the priesthood of Aaron has been reinstituted through Joseph Smith is blasphemy against the person and work of Christ.

Even worse than this, Mormonism teaches that the priesthood of Melchizedek - the priesthood of Christ - was conferred upon Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery through the ministration of Peter, James, and John, in that same period in the 1800s, shortly after John the Baptist supposedly inducted them into the priesthood of Aaron.

According to the Mormon book called the Doctrine and Covenants, there is no distinction between the priesthood of Aaron and the priesthood of Melchizedek. They say that through this priesthood alone, the officials of the Mormon church alone speak and act in the name of God for the salvation of humanity.

Dear friend, if you have even the most basic understanding of the Word of God, if you read and understand the plain and straightforward sense of the teachings that we find in the New Testament, you will understand that the men of Mormonism, and the other books that that they call "scripture" but are not Holy Scripture, openly contradict the plain teachings of the Bible.

Mormonism Seeks to "Break" Scripture

Through all of this - by adding to God's Word, taking away from God's Word, by contradicting it repeatedly - Mormonism seeks to "break" Holy Scripture, to destroy its fundamental integrity. Mormonism subverts the Word of God, depriving it of its rightful and unique authority.

Mormonism, like every other cultish religion, seeks to take the authority that God reserves for Himself and His Word alone and to place that authority - to say what is true and what is not true - in the hands of sinful men who claim the name of Christ and claim to speak in the name of Christ, but are among those to whom Jesus will say on the Day of Judgment, "I never knew you; depart from Me..." (Matthew 7:23).

Let no Bible-believing Christian ever think - as some in the post-evangelical church are saying today - that Mormonism is a legitimate branch of Christianity. No religion that savages the Word of God as Mormons do can possibly deserve that recognition.

Next: Joseph Smith and the Occult

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