Some Unanswered Questions ofthe Mormon Gospel
1.We are taught that the Book of Mormon is the "most correct book" and that it contains the truth, the Word of God and the fullness of the gospel (D& C 19 26, 20:9, D: 5, 42 12 ~ 136:3). Exactly where in the Book of Mormon are the following doctrines or concerts taught:
God has a body of flesh and bones.God is an exalted man.
God is a product of eternal progression.
The plurality of Gods.God "organized" the world rather than "creating" it.
There is no eternal hell and punishment.
Men can become gods.
"Intelligences" are eternal.
Pre-existing spirits of Man.Marriage for eternity.
Polygamy is not an abomination in the sight of God.
Three degrees of glory.
A "mother" in heaven.
A Melchizedek priesthood consisting of the offices of Elder, seventy and High Priest.
An Aaronic priesthood consisting of the offices of Deacon, Teacher and Priest.
Blacks were ever to be denied the Priesthood.
The functions and offices of Evangelist, Bishoprics, Stake Presidency,Assistants to the Twelve, a First Presidency and a President of the Church.
The Book of Mormon is the "Stick of Joseph."
2. How could Nephi and just a small handful of men build a temple like Solomon's when it took Solomon 70 years using more than thirty thousand workers to complete the temple in Jerusalem (1 Kings 5: 13)?
According to 2 Nephi Chapter 5, the Nephites completed their temple in less than 20 years In addition, were precious ores used by Solomon available to Nephi or not? In verse 15 it says that they wore in great abundance, but in the very next verse (5:16) he says they were not to be found upon the land?
3. If the Book of Mormon is true and God is at least consistent (if not unchanging) why then don't the disobedient turn black 12 Nephi 5:21-23?
More importantly, why don't Lamanites turn white and delightsome within one year after accepting the gospel as they did in 3 Nephi 2:11-16? Why has the Book of Mormon been quietly changed to read "pure and delightsome" now ?
4. Jacob 4:1 tells us that only a little of the words can be written because of the difficulty of engraving the plates. Why then did God inspire the Nephite prophets to be so wordy? There are numerous examples. Many sentences are 200 to 300 words long. There are 2000 "and it came to pass" phrases. But the best example has to be in 4 Nephi 1:6 where 57 words are used to merely say that 59 years had passed by.
5. Apostle James Talmage said the Book of Mormon contained no absurdities and nothing unreasonable (Articles of Faith, page 504). If that is true, what about Jared's barges? Ether, Chapter 6 tells us that a "furious" wind propelled the barges to the Promised Land. It took the furious wind 344 days to blow the barges to the new world. Even if the furious wind could only push the barges at 10 MPH, the distance traveled would have been 82, 560 MPH or enough for more than three trips around the globe! Is that reasonable?
6. What is the explanation for the current teaching that there is no eternal hell when the Bible and the Book of Mormon both teach that there is? 11 Nephi 14:3, 2 Nephi 9:16 ~ 28, 21-23, Mosiah 3:25, Alma 34:35, Helaman 6:28 ; 13:2, 26)
7. The "Law of Eternal Progression" teaches that Gods are men who have passed through an earth life, obeyed the "laws of the gospel" and have received their exaltation. How can the Holy Ghost be a God without a body? How could Christ have been a God since He too was without a body until 2000 years ago? If God the Father was once a man, why isn't that fact clearly spelled out in the D&C? Since it is clear that only God the Father had a body at the creation, why didn't he say "Let us make man in MY image" rather than "our " image?
8. Since the Book of Mormon does not teach that God has a body, the Mormon usually goes to the Old Testament to prove that God has a body. (Moses speaking "face to face" etc.) But, we are taught that it is Jehovah (Jesus Christ prior to the incarnation) who deals with Man exclusively after the Fall. Therefore, all the verses used in the Old Testament after Genesis 31 to prove that God has a body of flesh and bone cannot be used because Jesus did not receive his body until after the completion of the Old Testament. What is the answer to this theological paradox?
9. If Jesus Christ wasn't conceived by the Holy Ghost, but is instead the literal "only begotten" of the Father, how could He have been born of a virgin as is required by the Old Testament and is taught in both the Bible and the 800k of Mormon (Alma 7:7:10)?
10. If murder is an unpardonable sin (D8C 42:18;79, 132: D) how could Moses appear in glory on the Mount of Transfiguration? (Exodus 2:12, Matthew 17:3)
11. If the President of the Church receives revelations why hasn't there been any additions to the canon of scripture since 1847, especially since the church now has in its possession the original papyri to complete the translation of the Book of Abraham?If the supposed answer to this question is that the "revelations" consist of the teachings of the General Authorities (especially at conferences) why then do the current leaders of the church repudiate the concepts of Adam-god, individual blood atonement; re-baptism of the membership, and ignore the many false prophecies given in the last century by the (then) General Authorities?
A final thought on the subject comes from Orson Pratt who continually taught in many of his speeches and written works, that the prima facie evidence of the Christian Church's apostasy was the fact that they hadn't added any more books to their canon of scripture. Well, neither has the LDS Church for almost 130 years, which is 89% of the time that the church has existed. By analogy, doesn't this tend to bring an indictment of apostasy against the church?
12. Everyone talks about the "Angel Moroni" but if he was a great prophet and leader of the Nephites and was a righteous and devout man of God, why hasn't he attained godhood along with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob? (D&C 132:17;37)
13. Why wasn't there a published revelation for the filling of the First Council of the Seventy? This is especially important since it has laid dormant all these years (an aside question -- why?) and is not being filled according to the pattern set down by the original revelation. D&C 107:95 clearly states that the seven presidents of the first quorum are to be the ones to select the other 63 members, not the President of the Church.
14. What is the explanation for the fact that Oliver Cowdery wrote eight letters in the Messenger and Advocate beginning in 1834 which contained well over 15,000 words dealing with Joseph's and Oliver's baptism by an angel, yet he didn't once identify the angel as being John the Baptist? Yet in later years, both he and Joseph said that they knew at the time (1829) that it was John the Baptist.
15. Why aren't there any references in the Book of Commandments concerning the First Vision, the identity of Moroni, restoration of the priesthood, the identity of Peter, James and John, or of John the Baptist?
16. If the First Vision was supposed to be generally known at the time it happened and if it was the cause of "Great persecution" of Joseph (JS 2: 22), why aren't there ANY references to it prior to 1831? Nothing is mentioned in any known LDS sources (private journals, letters, sermons, revelations, or other church publications) or even in "unfriendly" sources such as gentile newspapers, magazines, etc.
17. Joseph had a "revelation of Jesus Christ" in D&C, Section 84 wherein Jesus said in verses 21 and 22 that no man can see the face of the Father and live unless he has the priesthood. Joseph didn't receive any priesthood until 1829, yet he said that he saw both the Father and the Son in 1820. Where is the error -- in Section 84 or in Joseph's story of the Vision?
18. Why do the Times & Seasons, Millennial Star, Lucy Mack Smith's biography on Joseph all/ agree that the angel who appeared to Joseph in 1823 was named Nephi?
19. D&C 104:1 has Jesus saying that the United Order was an everlasting order until "I come" yet the United Order failed and has been disbanded: and the Lord hasn't come yet. Why?
20. The Book of Mormon declares that nobody can read "Reformed Egyptian" because it was "altered." (Mormon 9:32-34) Yet, Joseph related the Story of Martin Harris (JS 2:62 64) visiting Prof. Anthon who supposedly said that the translation of the characters was "correct." How would Anthony know if they were correct, if the Book of Mormon is true? Also, what is the reconciliation with the fact that Prof. Anthon publicly denied the details of the story as related by Harris and went on to say that he told Harris that the whole thing was a hoax?
21. The importance of the Urim and Thummin in effecting the translation of the Book of Mormon is greatly stressed today. What is the explanation for the fact that the principals involved with the translation process (Emma Smith, Martin Harris, Oliver Cowdery and David Whitmer) agree that most of the translation was accomplished with Joseph having his face buried in his hat with a stone in it and that the golden plates were usually not even present?
22. The LDS claim that Peter, James and John were the original First Presidency of the Church, but they were numbered among the Twelve. Why is there now 12 apostles plus 3 in the First Presidency? Also, some years ago, President McKay expanded the First Presidency until it had a total of six members (without the benefit of a change in the scriptures) with the statement that the need was because of the increased workloads and growth of the church. Yet, Joseph Fielding Smith returned the number to the original three where it remains to this day, even though the numbers in the church today far exceed those of 10 years ago. What is the explanation?
23. What is the scriptural basis (Latter-day or otherwise) for the office of "Assistant to the Twelve" being a General Authority?
24. How could there be a total apostasy when there was at least one apostle, John (and possibly four if one considers the 3 Nephite "disciples" as holding the office of apostle, as some in the church do) when the current teaching is that as long as one Elder remains alive he has the power to re-organize the church and all its structured systems?
25. There isn't a single LDS produced standard work that hasn't undergone hundreds and even thousands of changes, additions deletions and corrections, many of which are of greater nature than a typographical correction, and all of which were done without indications or acknowledgment of the actions taken. Even granting Joseph the "right" to revise what God had told him before (even though it is difficult to do so when we are talking about cases involving historical facts), why is there the deception associated with these changes?
None of the dates are moved up to the time that the revelations were revised, there is not a single heading in the D&C, PGP, or Book of Mormon that indicates a revision, nor is it acknowledged openly by the church leaders that there were such changes made. Some church leaders have even lied in public about these situations. Why?
26. If baptism for the dead is a 'suppressed'` Christian doctrine dating from the Apostolic age, why did Paul use the pronoun "they" instead of the personal "we" or "ye" when referring to the practice? In the same light, if the apostatized Christian Church is responsible for stopping the practice, and is also guilty of removing "many plain and precious things" from the Bible, and Paul's reference refers to a Christian group baptizing for the dead, why then did this reference remain in the Bible, especially in a chapter fully devoted solely to doctrinal arguments for the resurrection?
27. If nobody can receive the Holy Ghost without the laying on of hands by one "having authority," how can the cases of Cornelius (Acts 10:11 t7), Joseph and Oliver (JS 2:73), the Nephite 12 disciples (3 Nephi 9:13), and Adam (Moses 5:9-10) be properly explained? (Especially in the case of Cornelius' household, for they were even unbaptized.
28. If the bible isn't correctly translated, and even granting that Joseph "didn't complete" the translation (although, DHC V1/324 B368, the Times and Seasons V5/802, and the LDS Church Chronology all agree that the New Testament was finished on 2 Feb. 1833 and the Old Testament was finished on 2 July 1833) why haven't any of the following Presidents of the Church finished the job?
This is especially important because there are 18 sections of the D&C, which contain the Lord's commands and specific instructions relating to the revision of the Bible and its publication to the world. (See D&C 73:4, 93:53 6~ 124:89 as examples) Haven't all the Presidents been sustained as "Prophet, Seer and Revelator" of the church?
29. Why didn't Joseph know that Esaisasis the Greek name for Isaiah? (D&C 76:100) Why didn't he know that Elias is the Greek name for Eliloh (D&C 110:12-13) and couldn't possibly be the name of a Hebrew prophet at the time of Abraham?
30. D&C 84:4 said the New Jerusalem and the temple would be built "in this generation" by the gathering saints. It has not been built yet. More than 143 years have gone by since that prophecy was given. Even granting the extended (and unprecedented) concept of 100 years in a generation (4 Nephi 18 B22), the time for completion is long overdue.
The gathering of the saints to Zion has stopped and Brigham Young, Orson Pratt, and other General Authorities of the time all taught that "this generation" clearly meant the generation alive in 1832. But they have all passed away. The question is how can one escape the conclusion that Joseph was a false prophet as is required by the test of a true prophet found in Deuteronomy 18:20-22 unless Brigham is the one who is the false prophet?
31. How could Joseph carry the golden plates around so easily, and how could the witness have "hefted" the plates without (a recorded} difficulty when the plates had to weigh at least 230 pounds? (The plates are said to have been 7" X 8" X 6" high and gold weighs 1204.7 pounds per square foot -- figure it out for yourself)
32. Brigham said, "the only men who became gods, even the sons of god, are those who enter into polygamy" (JOD V11/269). Now that the church has yielded to government pressure and suspended the practice of polygamy how can Mormons hope to become Gods?
33. If genealogy is so important why does the New Testament twice condemn seeking after genealogies and the Book of Mormon is silent on the subject altogether? (I Timothy 1:4, Titus 3:9)
34.Throughout the New Testament we are taught that the blood of Jesus pays the debt for our sin and cleanses us. The Book of Mormon also confirms this doctrine (Mosiah 4:2-3). Why did Brigham Young (and others) teach that there were sins that the blood of Jesus could not wipe out and that could only be atoned for by the shedding of our own blood? (JOD V3/247, V4/49, 53,54 for examples)
35. Why does the Book of Abraham conflict with the Book of Moses in the terminology "the gods', as opposed to "I, God" when referring to the creation?
36. God rejected the fig leaf aprons that Adam and Eve had made (Genesis 3:21). Why is the fig leaf apron used in the temple ceremony to memorialize the Fail?
37. When the Metropolitan Museum of Art gave the church the original papyri in 1967, why didn't the President of the Church undertake the task of completing the translation of the Book of Abraham instead of turning the papyri over to Dr. Nibley for "further research and study?" John Taylor said that Joseph promised to furnish the church with "further extracts from the Book of Abraham" (JOD V4/95) but we know that he didn't accomplish what he promised, but what is stopping the incumbent Seer from completing Joseph's work? Dr. Nibley hasn't given us the further extracts; in fact, the First Presidency has disavowed any sanction of approval of what Nibley did do! (Letter to John L. Smith, 22 August 1975)
38. Much is made of the name of the church by the missionaries. They claim that there was no church on the face of the earth called "The Church of Jesus Christ" when the church was restored in 1830. What is the explanation for the fact that the church changed its name twice in the first eight years of it's existence? According to the Book of Mormon (3 Nephi 27: 7-8) it was to be called after Christ's name and for the first four years it was called "Church of Christ." In 1834 the name was changed to "Church of the Latter-day Saints." Then finally, in 1838 it became 'The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints."
Wouldn't one think that there was a serious problem of contradiction here, because Jesus made a point to instruct the Nephites on what the church should be named, and one should reasonably assume that Christ would have informed Joseph in 1830 exactly what he wanted the church to be called, but yet He didn't speak to the point until 1838 -- after two different names had been used already?
39. If the church is a restoration of the New Testament church organization how can a boy of 12 be a deacon? (I Timothy 3:8-12) The argument that "times have changed" cannot be used, since Brigham Young very strongly agreed with Paul that a deacon's calling was not the business of young boys. (JOD V2/89)
40. Was Enoch 430 years old when he was translated (D&C 107:49, Moses 8:1) or was he 365 years old (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith / 170, Genesis 5:21-23)?
41. According to the teachings of the church, the Negro race has been denied the priesthood and that all those who have "one drop" of Negro blood shall not hold the priesthood in this life. We are told that the black skin is the mark of the curse (not the curse itself, though). What then is the rationale for giving the priesthood to members of the Negro race who come from the Polynesian Islands? I have seen pictures of priesthood holders from this area of the world who are clearly from the Negroid race (remember there are only three to choose from). They don't have the flat nose or large lips of the African variety, but they do have the mark itself -- the black skin.
42. Time and again we are told that Joseph "sealed his testimony with his blood," went "like a lamb to the slaughter, " and died a martyr's death." Yet, the specifics of the dastardly murder of Joseph as related in the DHC (V6/xli, 618 -620; and V7/102) clearly reveal that he died in a blazing gunfight -- John Wayne style -- and he is reported to have killed a couple of the Mobocrats in the fracas. Lambs do not fight to the death with six-shooters.
How can the LDS Church insist that Joseph was a martyr, knowing that Joseph fought for his life when the universally accepted definition of a martyr is one who dies willingly and without resistance? Even the church's definition of "martyr" excludes Joseph from consideration. (See McConkie's Mormon Doctrine" under Martyr.)
OF THE FIRST VISION-
...the Lord heard my cry in the wilderness end while in the attitude of calling upon the Lord in the 16th year of my age a pillar of light above the brightness of the sun at noon day come down from above and rested upon me and I was filled with the spirit of god and the Lord opened the heavens upon me and I saw the Lord and he spake unto me saying Joseph my son thy sins are forgiven thee.
Go thy way walk in my statutes and keep my commandments behold I am the Lord of glory I was crucified for the world that those who believe on my name may have Eternal life behold the world lieth in sin at this time and none doeth good no not one they have turned aside from the gospel and keep not my commandments they draw near to me with their lips while their hearts are far from me and mine anger is kindling against the inhabitants of the earth to visit them according to their ungodliness and to bring to pass that which hath been spoken by the mouths of the Prophets - and Apostles behold and lo I come quickly as it was written of me in the cloud clothed in the glory of my Father...
Above is Joseph Smith's Strange Account of the First Vision. It is taken from Brigham Young University Studies, Spring 1969, page 281. The Mormon Church for suppressed this account over I30 years until Modern Microfilm Co. finally published it in 1965. The reason for its suppression is very plain: it differs drastically from that Published by the Mormon Church in the Pearl of Great Price. The most important difference being that it mentions that only one person (Christ) appeared in this vision.
The official account says that both God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ appeared to Joseph Smith. This early account of the First Vision is in Joseph Smith's own handwriting. Dean C. Jessee, of the Church Historical Department, " (Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, Spring 1971, page 86) This is also the earliest known account of Joseph Smith's First Vision-it was written about six years before the official account.
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