When the Mormon is confronted with scripture from the Bible that refutes the teachings of the Mormon Church, or when he is faced with documentation proving the unreliability of the Mormon books of scripture, or when you have shown him a dozen absolute contradictions from Mormon sources, you will probably be treated with "THE MORMON TESTIMONY."
"I TESTIFY TO YOU, I KNOW THE BOOK OF MORMON IS TRUE. I KNOW JOSEPH SMITH WAS A PROPHET OF GOD. I KNOW THE MORMON CHURCH IS TRUE."
Almost all Mormon testimonies are identical. If you ask the sincere Mormon, "How do you know these things are true?" He will probably respond, "Because I've prayed about it and the Holy Ghost has manifested the truth of these things to me."
This manifestation which the Mormon believes is of the Holy Ghost is actually an "INNER FEELING." To support this FEELING, Mormons often refer to the "TEST" in their book of scripture, the Doctrine and Covenants, Section 9:8:
"But, behold, I say unto you, that you must study it out in your mind; then you must ask me [pray sincerely] if it be right, and if it is right I will cause that your BOSOM SHALL BURN WITHIN YOU; therefore, you shall FEEL that it is right."
Upon this same basis, literally millions of prospective converts are challenged each year to read the Book of Mormon and to pray about its truthfulness.
According to Moroni 10:4, which is printed in the front of every Book of Mormon, the "TEST" for the truth of this book is given:
"And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intest, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost."
NO WAY OUT
If you have followed the instructions and prayed sincerely, will the Holy Ghost manifest to you the Book of Mormon is true or false? By this test "he will manifest the truth of it unto you." What if the Book of Mormon is false? No provision has been made for this conclusion.
What if you didn't get a "FEELING OR TESTIMONY?" According to this test it would have been because you had not been "sincere" enough or because you didn't have "real intent," or because you didn't have "faith in Christ." Read it again . . . and again . . . and again. Are you sincere? Do you have real intent? Don't you have faith in Christ?
Perhaps you really did experience a FEELING. The question is, "Is this feeling from God?"
FEELINGS, FEELINGS, FEELINGS
In the Mormon Missionary handbook in the mid 1980's, "The Uniform System for Teaching Families," instructions were given to the missionary on how to "bring the people you teach to a knowledge and conviction of the truth" effectively. (Page A-l) "Keep in mind how you want the family to FEEL... help them FEEL GOOD ABOUT THE GOSPEL." (Page A-l, No. 4)
Further instructions encouraging this FEELING were given:
"As the Spirit confirms to you that those you are teaching are receiving a witness of the Spirit, pause in the discussion and say, 'Mr. and Mrs. Brown, what you are FEELING right now is the Spirit of the Lord testifying to you that we are teaching you the truth. You are beginning to receive YOUR OWN TESTIMONY of the truthfulness of this message." (Page A-3, No. 4)
NO LESS THAN 84 DIFFERENT TIMES in the series of missionary lessons given to "Mr. Brown," the missionaries were instructed to "TESTIFY" of the truthfulness of their message. Over and over and over again, they reinforced virtually every point they make of a personal assurance that it is true--that the Book of Mormon is true, that God did speak to Joseph Smith, that the true church was restored, etc., etc.
Although modern missionary handbooks have removed these embarrasing statements, they are still encouraged to "bear withness" to the truthfullness of their message as they feel the spirits prompting.
To the Mormon, the ultimate test for truth is an "INNER FEELING" or a "BURNING IN THE BOSOM" which tell him that every facet of Mormonism is true.
WHERE CAN FEELINGS COME FROM?
Certainly the ALL-POWERFUL GOD can cause good feelings: "...the Lord God OMNIPOTENT reigneth." (Revelation 19:6)
That great deceiver and father of lies could cause good feelings.
"...Satan with all power and signs and LYING wonders." (II Thessalonians 2:9)
". . . some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to SEDUCING SPIRITS, and DOCTRINES OF DEVILS." (I Timothy 4:1)
3.) YOUR OWN HEART...
is definitely capable of producing good feelings.
There is a way which SEEMETH RIGHT unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death." (Proverbs 14:12)
"The HEART is DECEITFUL above all things, and desperately wicked .... " (Jeremiah 17:9)
"Take heed to yourselves, that your heart be not DECEIVED .... " (Deuteronomy 11:16)
Since our eternal destiny is dependent on what we put our trust in now, shouldn't there be something more trustworthy than feelings? What does the Bible say?
TEST, PROVE, SEARCH
Nowhere in the Bible are we told to pray for a feeling if a book is from God, if a prophet is a true prophet, or if a teaching is a true teaching. THE BIBLE WARNS:
" . . . believe not every spirit, but TRY the spirits whether they are of God: Because many FALSE PROPHETS are gone out into the world." (I John 4:1)
The Bible also commands: "PROVE ALL THINGS; hold fast that which is good." (I Thessalon5:21)
The faithful Bereans," . . . SEARCHED THE SCRIPTURES daily, whether those things were so." (Acts 17:11)
No amount of prayer, despite the degree of sincerity, will ever convince God to change his mind concerning matters about which he has already clearly spoken.
The zealous Mormon will probably insist the true test for truth is found in James 1:5:
''If any of you lack WISDOM, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him."
A careful examination of this verse reveals that WISDOM--not KNOWLEDGE-is asked for. In context, the verse indicates that James is writing to believers who are experiencing various trials and afflictions (vv. 2,3). These trials are necessary to produce patience (w. 3,4). Thus, if anyone doesn't understand the divine purpose in these hardships, he is to ask in faith without doubting, and God will give him the necessary wisdom (vv. 5-7).
Nowhere in the context is there an indication that a prayer for wisdom is to be equated with receiving an "inner testimony" that something is true.
God has given TESTS for a true prophet as well as TESTS for sound doctrine. If these tests are disregarded and one prays instead for an "inner confirmation,'' the door is left wide open fto the powers of darkness:
"For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the RULERS OF DARKNESS of this world, against spiritual WICKEDNESS in high places. "(Ephesians 6:12).
WHAT ARE SOME BIBLICAL TESTS?
1.) Galatians 1:8--"But though we or AN ANGEL FROM HEAVEN, preach ANY OTHER GOSPEL, unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed."
Mormonism has its origin from AN ANGEL FROM HEAVEN (Moroni), bringing another gospel, The Book of Mormon.
The Gospel that Paul and the other apostles preached is summed up in Ephesians 2:8,9:
"For by GRACE are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the GIFT of God; not of WORKS, lest any man should boast."
The Book of Mormon says--" . . . for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, AFTER ALL WE CAN DO." (2 Nephi 25:23)
2.) Deuteronomy 13:1-5--A TRUE PROPHET will not teach a conflicting doctrine of God.
Joseph Smith proclaimed:
"We have imagined and supposed that God was God FROM ALL ETERNITY I WILL REFUTE THAT IDEA ... he was once a man like us; yea, that God himself, the Father of us all, dwelt on an earth, the same as Jesus Christ himself did .... you have got to learn how to be GODS YOURSELVES... the same as all GODS have done before you .... "(Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pp. 345-47)
THE BIBLE: "... FROM EVERLASTING TO EVERLASTING, thou art God." (Psalms 90:2) and "...I am he: BEFORE ME THERE WAS NO GOD FORMED, NEITHER SHALL THERE BE AFTER ME." (Isaiah 43:1 O)
3.) Deuteronomy 18:22--A "true prophet" will not give any FALSE prophecies.
Among the many false prophecies of Joseph Smith are several on the Second Coming of Christ:
"There are those of the RISING GENERATION who shall not taste death till Christ comes . . . I prophesy in the name of the Lord God, and let it be written--the Son of Man will not come in the clouds of heaven till I am 85 years old." (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 286).
Smith made this prophecy in 1843. No one of the "RISING GENERATION'' is alive today. Smith died at the age of 38. The Lord did not come in his lifetime as he predicted.
Mormon history books document further:
". . . and go forth to prune the vineyard for the last time, or the COMING OF THE LORD, which was nigh--even 56 years should wind up the scene." (History of the Church, vol. 2, p. 182)
Over a century and a half have come and gone since Smith made this prophecy, and the Lord still hasn't returned.
4.) Isaiah 8:20--The teachings of a "true prophet" must be in harmony with past prophets.
The Book of Mormon: Jesus was to be born at JERUSALEM. (Alma 7:10)
The Doctrine and Covenants: God the Father has a body of FLESH AND BONES. (Section 130:22)
The Pearl of Great Price: An account of the creation is given in the book of Abraham (ch. 4,5). The "GODS" are mentioned 48 times (i.e., the GODS said.., the GODS organized.., the GODS went... the GODS formed ... the GODS commanded ... etc.)
MORMONISM FAILS EVERY TEST!
Why not put your trust in the Bible alone which says:
"The grass withereth ... but the WORD of our God shall stand FOREVER." (Isaiah 40:8)
"... the WORD that I HAVE SPOKEN, the same shall judge him in the last day." (John 12:48)
"He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the son of God hath not life." (I John 5:12)
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