It's A Cult!!!(Among the answers to problems with Mormonism I present the following --- about one of the most distinguished Mormons--- and responded to by an outstanding former professor at BYU and the University of Utah).
Among the problems that I see with Mormonism is the fact that intelligent, experienced qualified people (often even professors at BYU) now fired from their positions and excommunicated from their church, still hang onto its claims.
They question the claims for the Book of Mormon that it is historically true. Surely they realize that archaeologically, geographically and historically it fails every test-- but though they do not get along with the Apostles and Prophets, they still want to be Mormons.
If the claims for the Book of Mormon are not true then Joseph Smith was an outright fraud.
How can sincere, intelligent Mormons continue to argue on behalf of a "Mother God," or other distinctly Mormon teachings?
Surely one or Mormonism's greatest men was Brigham Henry Roberts. Roberts (1857-1933) was one of their most able and devoted men.
The Fall 1997 issue of Dialog: of Mormon Thought. vol. 30. No. 3 (a publication of men and women of whom I wrote in my first paragraph), contains an article by Brigham D. Madsen, a Professor Emeritus of History from the University of Utah) This is found on pages 87-97 of Dialogue.
Brigham D. Madsen. a graduate of Harvard in 1960, was a distinguished professor BYU, was editor of Defender of the Faith, the B.H. Roberts Story, published by the pro-Mormon press. Bookcraft in 1980 and editor of Robert's Studies of The Rook of Mormon published by the University of Illinois Press(1985).
Longtime President of BTU. Ernest L. Wilkinson, co-author of Brigham Young University School of Destiny (1976), not only mentioned Madsen approvingly but described him as an "experienced scholar' and a "popular author and lecturer on religious subjects." He mentioned that Madsen's "traveling and lecturing took him to 60 different college campuses during the first year" of his association with BYU" (pg 797) He also represented BYU in "a commuting professorship in Mormon Studies at the Graduate Theological Union at the University of California at Berkeley"
On page 856, Wilkinson and his coauthor reported that was "to establish broader contacts with other related organizations' and "religious groups throughout the world"
Now l will not take the time to more than mention that Roberts was the author of the six volume Comprehensive History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. My copy was published by Brigham Young University Press in 1965. It was revised by Roberts (and brought up to-date, April 6th.1930")
However, my immediate interest is provoked by the Dialogue Vol. 30, No. 3, pgs. 87-97 article by Brigham O. Madsen!
I've always heard that a genuine scholar-- let the chips fall where they may--places his scholarship above his personal desires, lifelong convictions, etc
Perhaps this is Madsen's Dilemma!
He relates that during the first 100 years of the Mormon Church's history (1830-1930) few members questioned the authenticity of the Book of Mormon. Those leaving usually left over disputes over leadership, concern over polygamy, discouragement about persecution and physical hardship, etc.
Archaeology, origins of natives found here by Columbus, etc. were not well advanced. Hardships of crawling over the plains, problems with the US Government over polygamy, etc. left little lime to be concerned with the historicity of The Book of Mormon.
B.H. Roberts, a member of the Counsel of the Seventy, was to be chief defender of this "new world document," at first he spent his time advancing what he considered the biblical proofs of the veracity or the Book of Mormon.
As a result he wrote his three volume New Witness for God in 1909. About this time(1902) Roberts mentioned that he found no conflict between archaeological science and the Book of Mormon.
HE dismissed "rather lightly," Madsen says. "any accusation that Joseph Smith could have used other works as a basis for a fictional account of the origin of the American Indians..." He "even dismissed Ethan Smith's 1823 edition of View of the Hebrews, an error that "he later acknowledged."
He assured his readers that later explorations would add proof to the historicity of Smith's work. Just 13 years later, he changed his mind. In 1921. Rogers asked Mormon leaders five pointed questions. He produced 141 type written pages entitled Book of Mormon Difficulties.
Among his questions were: How could so many Indian languages evolve over the relatively short period of 1,000 years? The Book of Mormon mentions steel when the Jews had no knowledge of it in 600 BC, the use of silk in America which was unknown at the time of Columbus. The real problem Robert's had. "what about the use of horses in the Book of Mormon times?"
In early 1922, Roberts brought his problems before his fellow "general authorities". They spent three days in study. Madsen reports (page 89) that the LDS authorities "seemed little interested in his (Robert's) investigation."
Robert's Studies of the Book of Mormon (pg 271) concludes that "The evidence is I sorrowfully submit, points to Joseph Smith as author of their (the Book of Mormon story) creator"
Madsen says (pg 89 of the Dialogue article). "One can sympathize with Roberts and his sorrow that, after venerating and admiring Joseph Smith for a lifetime, he now had concluded him as less than a prophet."
He then concluded that "If the Book of Mormon itself could be proved to be other than it claims to be... then the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, it's message and doctrines, which in some respects may be said to have risen out of the Book of Mormon must fall; for if that book is other than it claims to be; if it's origin is other than that ascribed to by Joseph Smith, then Joseph Smith says that which is untrue; he is a false prophet of false prophets; (and all he has taught and c!aimed) are not only vain but mischievous and wicked;...... (and) beyond human comprehending".
Madsen says (Dialogue, pg 91). " The overwhelming evidence of these finds during the last 5O years casts grave doubts, if not outright disbelief about the Book of Mormon as history".
The Lost Tribes theory have long since been discarded." He says "scientists today are firm that Native Americans are related to the people of Northeastern Siberia. (Oriental).
The writer of the article (Madsen) says "some investigation.... would have intrigued Roberts ".
Roberts spent more than half a century defending the Book of Mormon Dialogue. (pg 93).
Today, "over seventy years later, Loyal but questioning Mormons" have resulted in a number of independent "study groups." Madsen insists their questioning should not result in their rejecting the claims of Mormonism.
Edward H. Ashment in New Approaches to the Book of Mormon (pg 374). edited by Brent Lee Metcalfe, says: "Unfortunately there is no direct evidence to support the historical claims of the Book of Mormon----nothing archaeologically, nothing physiological.
"The Metcalf volume is sufficient to illustrate that some of them (recent books by Signature Books and the University of Illinois Press) cast serious questions on the Book of Mormon as history.` (Dialogue. pg. 94)
"Were there really gold plates and ministering angels or was there just Joseph Smith seated at a table with his face in a hat dictating to a scribe a fictional account of the ancient inhabitants of the Americas?' (Dialogue pg. 95)."
It is no wonder that Roberts wrote that if it were other than Joseph Smith claimed, then "he is a false prophet of false prophets; and all he taught. . . (was) not only in vain but wicked." (Studies of the Book of Mormon, pg 12).
The tragedy of it all is that when Mormons finally come to the truth that there is nothing to Mormonism, they often decide that all religion is a fraud. What a pity? I think I never saw a real atheist until I went to Utah nearly 57 years ago. There are many of them there! Mormonism (and the Devil) is the culprit!
MORMONS WON'T TELL YOU that they believe your Church is wrong, your Christian creeds are abomination to God, and you pastor or Priest is a hireling of Satan.
MORMONS WON'T TELL YOU that there is salvation only in their church and all others are wrong.
MORMONS WON'T TELL YOU that those who have been through their temples are wearing sacret underwear to protect themselves from "evil". This "evil" includes non-Mormon religions like yours.
MORMONS WON'T TELL YOU about their secret temple rites at all. If they did, you would spot them as non-Christians immediately.
MORMONS WON'T TELL YOU that they think "familiar spirits" are good, and that their Book of Mormon has a "familiar spirit". Leviticus 19;31 says familiar spirits defile one, and are to be avoided at all costs.
MORMONS WON'T TELL YOU that women receive salvation only through their Mormon husbands, and must remain pregnant for all eternity.
MORMONS WON'T TELL YOU that they intend to be gods themselves some day, and are helping to earn their exaltation to godhood by talking to you.
MORMONS WON'T TELL YOU that they intend to have many wives in heaven, carrying on multiple sex relations throughout eternity, until they have enough children to populate their own earth, so they can be "Heavenly Father" over their own planet!
MORMONS WON'T TELL YOU that you were once a spirit-child of their heavenly father, and one of his numerous wives before you were born on earth.
MORMONS WON'T TELL YOU that the Virgin Mary really wasn't a virgin at all but had sex relations with their heavenly father to produce the Mormon version of Jesus Christ
MORMONS WON'T TELL YOU that their leaders taught that Jesus had at least three wives and children while he was on this earth.
MORMONS WON'T TELL YOU that the "heavenly father" they ask you to pray to with them, is really an exalted man that lives on a planet near the star ba
MORMONS WON'T TELL YOU that Jesus was really Lucifer's brother in the spirit world, and it was only due to a "heavenly council" vote that Jesus became our redeemer instead of Satan!!
MORMONS WON'T TELL YOU that there are over one hundred divisions in Mormonism. They conveniently "forget" this while criticizing the many denominations within the body of Christ
MORMONS WON'T TELL YOU that all their so- called sc
MORMONS WON'T TELL YOU that the reason the Book of Mormon has no maps is because there is not one scrap of archaeological evidence to support it!
MORMONS WON'T TELL YOU that the state of Utah, which is predominately Mormon, has a higher than the national average of wife-beating, child abuse, and teenage suicide.
MORMONS WON'T TELL YOU that their prophet Joseph Smith was heavily involved in the occult when he founded Mormonism.
MORMONS WON'T TELL YOU that that they encourage visitations from dead relatives from the "spirit world", a practice forbidden in the Bible. (Deuteronomy 18:10- 12.)
MORMONS WON'T TELL YOU that there are many accounts of Joseph Smith's first vision besides he one they present to you, and all are different
MORMONS WON'T TELL YOU that their secret temple oaths are ba
MORMONS WON'T TELL YOU that for years they considered the Negro race inferior, and even one drop of Negro blood prevented a person from entering their temple.
MORMONS WON'T TELL YOU that they expect Christ to return to their temple in Missouri, but they haven't built the temple He's supposed to return to, because they don't own the property. (It is owned by the "Temple Lot Mormons" who have plans o of their own, and won't let the Salt Lake City group buy it).
MORMONS WON'T TELL YOU that they consider the Bible to be untrustworthy and full of errors.
MORMONS WON'T TELL YOU that Jesus' death on the cross only partially saves the believer.
MORMONS WON'T TELL YOU that that according to Anton Lavey's Satanic Bible, the demon god of the living dead is called "Mormo". Is it just a coincidence that the Mormons are so concerned with the dead?
MORMONS WON'T TELL YOU that on their Salt Lake City Temple they prominently display an upside-down star which is a Satanic symbol known as the Goat's head.. Why?
MORMONS WON'T TELL YOU that they believe the Archangel Michael came down to earth with several of his celestial wives, and became Adam in the garden of Eden.
MORMONS WON'T TELL YOU that that they believe the angel Gabriel came down to earth and became Noah in the days of the flood.
MORMONS WON'T TELL YOU that their Prophet Joseph Smith prophesied falsely many times. For example, he foretold the second coming of Christ for 1891. The Bible teaches that one false prophecy puts a prophet under death sentence. (Deuteronomy 18:20-22).
MORMONS WON'T TELL YOU that their Prophet Joseph Smith did not die as a martyr as they claim, but was killed during a gun battle in which he himself killed two men and wounded a third.
MORMONS WON'T TELL YOU about the Mountain Meadows Massacre in which they brutally murdered an innocent wagon train of settlers, of over one hundred men, women, and most of the children, traveling through Utah.
MORMONS WON'T TELL YOU that Joseph Smith taught that there were inhabitants on the moon, and Brigham Young taught there were inhabitants on the sun as well!
WHY WON'T MORMONS TELL YOU THESE THINGS?
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, the Mormons, are well aware that if these facts were known to the convert prior to baptism, they would have very few converts! The Missionaries are well trained to keep most of these facts from their potential converts.
Tragically, many Mormons may not even be fully aware of the doctrines and history of their own church. Every statement on this tract is true. Mormons are encouraged to check out their own publications for documentation of the above. After all, if the Mormon Church (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) has the truth, it can stand any amount of investigation.
Of course, there is even more, and in fact even worse things going on with them. There are numerous books available on the subject, if you feel the need to delve further into this. I also have a huge amount of personal experience with them and may be able to answer most questions.
Thank you for reading