|1-11 | 12-19 | 20-32 | 33-38 | 39 | 40-55 | 56-70 | 71-79 | 80-86 | 87-101|
The Teachings of the Early Apostles
Left: 2 Thessalonians 2:3, one of many passages about the Great Apostasy.
Predictive prophecies are in red. Other prophecies (teachings) are in black.
87. The restitution of all things in the last days
Acts 3:21: speaking of the last days before the Second Coming of Christ, Peter referred to "the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began". It must be pretty important if every prophet has spoken of it. Yet the Bible we have only refers to it a few times, so someone must have tried hard to keep the rest of those prophecies out of the Bible that has come down to us. That restitution, or restoration, began in 1830, and is called the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but other people call it "Mormonism".
88. The Mormons have the gifts of the spirit
1 Corinthians 12: gifts of the spirit. The Mormon Church has the gifts of the spirit (for example, just about every Mormon elder has probably seen a healing by the laying on of hands, for example - see James 5:14-15). But unlike many churches which are known for their charismatic displays, the Mormon church has the Biblical attitude. For example, concerning the gift of tongues, Paul said, "I had rather speak five words with my understanding... than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue" (1 Corinthians 14:20). Mormon missionaries frequently testify of being given understanding of languages beyond their ability, and the gift of unknown tongues is also known (one example is mentioned in the audiotape "Logan temple stories" and there are others in nineteenth century church history). The Mormons have the gifts of the spirit, and have them in the way that the Bible records and encourages.
89. The name of the Church
Romans 8:38-39: where is the name "Mormon" in the Bible? (See also - where to find the name of Joseph Smith in the Bible)
Mormon was just the name of the man who edited the sacred history of one group in the Americas. No-one knows for sure what the equivalent name would be in Hebrew or Greek, but we can guess. In Egyptian, "Mor" means "love", and "Mon" can be interpreted as "established forever". So "Mormon" can mean "love established forever". Mormon's name reminds us of the words of Paul: "neither death, nor life ... nor things present, nor things to come... shall separate us from the love of God". This does not of course mean that the apostle Paul knew the name of that American prophet (just as the exact name "Jesus" is not in the Old Testament). But he did prophesy of the things that were of most concern to the Book of Mormon - the love of God, which was not restricted to the Eastern half of the ancient world.
Some people joke that "Mormon" sounds like "Moron." Indeed, the "land of Moron" was the first place the Jaredites settled when they arrived in America (e.g. it was the first Book of Mormon land). The name "Moroni" probably just means "from Moron." (Collected Works of Hugh Nibley, Vol.5, p.244). I am not saying that there is a link between the ancient Jaredite language and Greek, but the New Testament does say that true Christians should become "morons."
1st Corinthians tells us that "the foolishness of God is wiser than men," "God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise," "If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise," and "We are fools for Christ's sake." In each case, the word translated as "fool" is literally "moron." Note that the modern use of the word is not its ancient usage. ("Moron," indcidentally, is allegedly the only word ever to be voted into the English language, and means a weak minded person.) The New Testament Greek word is "moros," which means "foolish, impious, or godless." Here "foolish\" does not mean "weak" but "wrong" - but from who's point of view? The word "godless" is the clue. Paul apparently uses this word in the sense of not following the gods of the Corinthians (worldly wisdom, position, appearances, etc.). "Moros" comes from the same root as "musterion" (the word for Biblical mysteries - the hidden knowledge of God). This in turn, according to Strong's concordance, is a derivative of "muo," meaning "to shut the mouth."
In other words, a "moron" in 1st Corinthians was someone who did not follow the intellectual fashions of the world. He did not join in the arguments, but kept his mouth shut. Why? Because he had found something which the Corinthian intellectuals were too proud to understand. In this sense, then yes, I am proud to be called a "Moron!"
"The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints"
While on the subject, where is the name "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints" in the Bible? If it was there in black and white, one of the imitation churches would have hijacked the name. So it could no longer distinguish the true church. But this is the most natural possible name from a Biblical point of view. It is the Church of Jesus Christ, it is restored in the Latter Days, and the members are of course called Saints. It has even been suggested (by non-Mormon scholars) that, due to their us of the word "saint" and their belief that it was the "last days", the (Dead Sea Scrolls) Qumran community should be referred to as "Latter-day Saints", except that another church already used that name!
90. "The fullness of the Gentiles"
(This is about Romans 11:25 - "the fullness of the gentiles". The history of the Gentiles is covered in more depth here.)
The Old Testament reveals how he gospel was given to the house of Israel. The record of this important time became scripture.
The New Testament reveals the beginning of the times of the Gentiles (an important change of policy - the gospel was to go to the gentiles as well.) The record of this important time became scripture.
Here Paul speaks of a third major period of sacred history - when the times of the Gentiles will have been fulfilled. Where is the sacred record of this momentous time?
Come to that, given that such great things were promised for these last days, where is the sacred record of any of its fulfillment? Did God really intend to leave us alone at the time we need him most? The pat answer is that now we have the Holy Spirit. But they had the Holy Spirit in New Testament times as well - and they still needed new scripture!
There has to be new scripture in these last days. And only the Mormons have it.
91. A paid ministry? Our only motive should be the glory of God
1 Corinthians 9:18 (see also 1 Peter 5:2): preach without pay. Can you imagine Jesus considering teaching as a career path, planning for his retirement, encouraging the poor to donate money then spending it on himself? Is it wise to make money from religion (see Acts 19:24-28)? Paul was a tentmaker and supported himself (Acts 20:34).
The Old Testament used even stronger language. Preaching for money was a clear sign of apostasy, a sin to be loudly condemned. See Micah 3:11-12
It is the same today. Every Mormon leader has an occupation outside the church, receiving no money from the church for his or her work. The Mormon Church demands a great deal from its members. It is not a Sunday church, or a "sit on the back row and listen to the minister" sort of church. It is not a church where you can easily be lukewarm (see Revelation 3:15-16). It is a "100% dedication" sort of church, and the rewards are those that Jesus offered: peace, joy, salvation, and everlasting life.
92."if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle?"
(1 Corinthians 14:8). Who speaks for Christians today? Where is the clear unambiguous voice of the Christian Church? Who can say "this is what God wants today" without fear of contradiction for someone else with equal claim to authority? In the Mormon church, the prophet holds a clear position as the prophet for the whole world. Where else can you find that clear authority, aside perhaps from the Pope in Rome?
(But even the Pope today does not claim the same authority as the ancient apostles, or else he would have to admit that the canon is not closed and his words deserve to be bound in as new books of the Bible.)
In the same chapter of Corinthians, the apostle Paul gives a perfect example of where a clear message is needed today - a message of equal authority to the apostles:
Above: many of these prophecies deal with authority. How should we decide what to do? By debating in a meeting? Who has the authority to say "this is right" and "this is wrong" for the world?
By what authority?
1 Corinthians 14:34-35: who has the authority to say "this no longer applies"?
Paul says that women should not speak in church, and if they have any questions they should ask their husband when they get home. This is an important matter, as it seriously affects at least half of humankind. Most churches (but not all) assume that these uncomfortable teachings do not apply to us today.
But what authority does a church have to make such a decision? To go against the Bible? Jesus had that authority - he said that huge parts of the Law of Moses were fulfilled. Peter had that authority - he announced a major change in policy in Acts 10. But what modern church claims that kind of authority? Only two that I know of - the Catholics and the Mormons. And only the Mormons would go further and claim that God has the right to reveal entirely new revelation on a matter. So once again, if we are looking at a church that is same as the New Testament church, the list has only one entry: the Mormon Church.
Another example where authority is ignored
Another example is Sabbath keeping. Churches like the Seventh Day Adventists (and others) make a big deal of the fact that the Sabbath in Bible times was a Saturday. If you look at the scriptures carefully, you will find that they are right. Nowhere does the Bible say "change it to Sunday". So anybody who claims to use the Bible as their only authority had better keep the Sabbath on a Saturday. Yet the vast majority of Christians keep it on a Sunday. (And many Christians do not keep it at all, thinking that the Ten Commandments no longer apply!!)
If you are a Latter-day Saint, you know that God has revealed to modern prophets have Sunday is perfectly acceptable as the Sabbath. End of problem. But if you do not accept the modern prophets, you have no right to keep Sunday as the Sabbath. As usual, those who do not listen to the modern prophets do not listen to the ancient prophets either.
In my opinion, authority is the single biggest strength of the Mormon church, seen from an unbeliever's point of view. It is in complete harmony with the ancient scriptures, yet is not restricted by them. The Mormons have the best of both worlds!
93. Baptism for the Dead
1 Corinthians 15:29: the New Testament church practiced this - baptizing living people on behalf of those who have died without hearing the gospel, so that they have a chance to accept or reject this physical ordinance. This is a simple matter of justice. God is just. Yet so many churches teach that a good person, who through no fault of their own does not hear about Jesus in this life, will have a disadvantage in the next life. Is that just? Justice demands that these people have an equal opportunity to accept the gospel - including baptism. The Bible teaches this. The Mormon Church teaches this. No other "Christian" church does.
And here's another Biblical teaching that every other church has lost
1 Peter 3:18-20; 4:6: the gospel preached to the dead. (See also baptism for the dead, mentioned above.) The doctrine of Jesus teaching the spirit world is one of those things that is clearly taught in the Bible yet is not found in any major church - except for the Mormon Church.
(Hidden teachings were discussed in relation to the last verses in Mark.)
94. God is Just
1 Corinthians 15:39-42: the three degrees of glory (see also 2 Corinthians 12:2). Here is another wonderful "Mormon" doctrine, straight from the Bible, that other churches seem to have missed. The resurrection of the dead leads to three different levels of glory, and possibly many sub-levels also. The idea that when we die we either go to heaven or hell, with nothing in between, is plainly unjust. What about the righteous person who does not believe in Christ? What about the believer who is good but nowhere near as good as he could be? Justice demands that the next life will have different degrees of glory. Only the Bible and the Mormon Church clearly teach that.
95. Which is the true gospel?
Galatians chapter 1: "another gospel". Modern day critics sometimes quote one part of this chapter - "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." But they never quote the rest of the chapter. Why? Read the whole chapter and you will see why. Then read it again. Paul is contrasting the gospel of man made churches with the gospel of Christ. The true and original gospel begins with new and life-changing revelation - a literal vision of Jesus Christ. The "other" gospel is the one taught by the established churches, based on centuries of studying the dead prophets.
|Galatians 1: Which gospel do you follow?|
|verse||The gospel of Christ||The gospel of man|
|1||Is of the resurrected Christ
(Paul, like Joseph Smith, began contradicting established churches after seeing the risen Christ)
|Is of men.
(The established churches base their belief on schools, books, and tradition)
|8||Is exactly as preached by the apostles||Is not exactly as peached by the
(how could it be? Their ancestors had killed the prophets and apostles, and not all the original writings survived)
|10||Does not please man||Pleases man (especially those trained in theology)|
|12||Taught directly by God (through a vision)||Taught by man (through studying dead prophets)|
|13||Is persecuted by the traditional churches||Persecutes the true church|
|14||Contradicts the religious traditions||Is based on religious traditions|
|14-16||Is preached to foreign nations||Stays in its own nation|
|14-16||Does not require human training||Requires human training|
96. You are living in the fullness of times
Ephesians 1:10: "the dispensation of the fullness of times", when the saints receive their inheritance (Ephesians 1:11).
This concept is spelled out in more detail in the Book of Revelation. It is happening now! The church is finally in a blessed period of strength building on strength, ready for the Second coming of Jesus Christ. The New Testament church did not see the fulfillment of this, as they suffered tremendous persecution and the apostles were all killed. The traditional Christian churches of today are not seeing the fulfillment of this, with their numbers static or dwindling. But the "Mormon" church, the Church of Jesus Christ in the Latter Days, is seeing the fulfillment of this as the church grows and strengthens year after year, and the final Second Coming comes closer by the day.
|97. Only the Mormons have the Biblical priesthood!|
Hebrews 7:11 - the order of Aaron and the order of Melchisedec:
The Mormons are almost unique for having two priesthoods: the Aaronic priesthood (dealing with more physical matters like baptism) and the Melchizedek priesthood (dealing with more spiritual matters like the gift of the Holy Ghost). No other church has this. In fact, the only other place you will find it is in the Bible!
In Acts 8:5-17, we see that some saints had the authority to baptize with water only, and some had the authority to baptize with water and baptize with fire (i.e. give the gift of the Holy Ghost). So two levels, or orders, of priesthood existed simultaneously in the early Christian church.
What are the two divisions?
John the Baptist made clear that he could baptize with water, but Jesus could baptize with water and also with fire. John's father was the high priest, so we are probably talking about a distinction between the Levitical priesthood and the priesthood that Jesus held.
Hebrews 7:11 gives us the appropriate names: the order of Aaron and the order of Melchisedec. Today, the only church where you will find both priesthoods together is in the church of Jesus Christ.
What kind of priesthood is the Melchisedec priesthood?
The Melchisedec priesthood is the higher priesthood, according to the book of Hebrews. What is it all about? Hebrews tells us a great deal about Jesus as a fulfillment of the Old Testament High Priest role, but he tells us little about the ordinary members with that priesthood (see below).
Hebrews frequently refers to the "order" of the priesthood. In the Greek, this refers to the organization of the priesthood. But the original reference was Psalm 110:4, where "order" had an important and unexpected meaning: fishing! The priesthood means fishing. The only other use of the word in the Old Testament is Jeremiah 16:16, referring to the gathering of Israel. This recalls Jesus' call to Peter and Andrew (Matthew 4:19): "And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men".
Mormon apostles are missionaries hold the Melchisedec priesthood, and are the latter day fishers of men.
But didn't Hebrews say that only Christ had the Melchisedec priesthood?
This is a simple misunderstanding, due to the fact that Paul only talks about one aspect of the priesthood. Remember, Hebrews is a letter to members who already know the gospel. It is not an instruction manual for beginners. Paul talks a great deal about Christ as the high priest, fulfilling and ending the role of blood sacrifice. He had to stress this, as he was writing to the Hebrews - the Jews. The ending of blood sacrifice was a colossal change for them.
It is a fallacy to assume that if Jesus was unique in one way, he was unique in every way. He is the only high priest who is needed to shed blood for our sins. But that does not mean that he is the only member of the Melchisedec priesthood.
In the same way, Jesus is also described as "the apostle and high priest of our profession" (Hebrews 3:1), but this does not mean that there are not other apostles in a lesser capacity. Paul himself was an apostle! Likewise, there could be others in the order of Melchisedec. The only part of the priesthood that is definitely reserved for Christ is the role of the high priest who atones with his blood.
In a similar way, Hebrews 1:1-3 makes the contrast between the old times (prophets looked forward to an absent Christ) and the new times (Christ was present). Because Hebrews 1:1-3 only refers to a certain group of prophets (those before Christ), it might seem that there are no other prophets anywhere. Yet prophets still existed - Paul himself was a prophet (he prophesied, called repentance, revealed God's word, and even foretold the future).
The priesthood was not just Christ. It was an entire order
Compare Hebrews with 1 Corinthians 15:44-48. In both letters, Paul contrasts the old earthly way with the new spiritual way. In both, Christ is compared with an important figure of the past. In 1 Corinthians, Jesus is referred to as a second Adam. But in Hebrews, Jesus is not called the "second Melchisedec". Six times, Paul is careful to refer to the order of Melchisedec, (as compared with the order of Aaron in Hebrews 7:11).
The church had an organized priesthood
Paul refers to church leaders (Hebrews 13:7, 17, 24). If that wasn't a priesthood, what was it? But was it the Melchisedec priesthood? Well, the Melchisedec priesthood was just the priesthood of Jesus Christ. If the church of Jesus Christ did not have the priesthood of Jesus Christ, what was it doing?
The priesthood is to be like the priesthood of Jesus.
How were the believers to think of their priesthood. As a small part of Christ's Melchisedec priesthood, or as something different? According to Hebrews, believers are to be followers (literally "imitators") of Christ (Hebrews 6:12). In entering the heavenly temple and becoming a high priest of the Melchisedec Priesthood, Christ was our forerunner (literally the one who scouts the way ahead for us) - (Hebrews 6:20) We are partakers of the heavenly calling, partakers (literally partners, or sharers) with Christ (Hebrews 3:1,14). Jesus is special because he is a son (Hebrews 1:4-5). But believers are also sons (Hebrews 2:13; 12:5-6). Jesus became just like us in order to be glorified (chapter 2). He then brings his sons to glory (2:10). Jesus, a son, became perfect by what he suffered (Hebrews 5:8). We have to do the same (Hebrews 6:1 for perfection, chapter 12 for enduring trials).
The message is clear. The New Testament church had two priesthoods. One was Aaronic, but the other - the priesthood of Jesus Christ - was called the priesthood after the order of Melchisedec. Only the Mormon church has both priesthoods.
While on the subject of Hebrews, it is worth noting Hebrews 5:4, speaking of priesthood office - a true minister does not just feel he has been called. He has to be called by God in the same way Aaron was. Aaron did not wake up one day and decide he wanted to be a minister. It would have made no difference whether he wanted to or not. He was called and set apart by someone with genuine authority, who chose him under inspiration. That is how it works today in the Mormon church. How many Christian ministers can make the same claim?
98. The most famous "lost book of the Bible" - and only the Mormons have it!
Jude 1:14: the book of Enoch is not in the Bible - it is one of the "lost books". Yet it is quoted as scripture in the book of Jude. Where is the Book of Enoch today? The world has several different versions, thanks to the Dead Sea Scrolls and other discoveries, but all of them (probably including the one used by Jude) have signs of being changed from the original. Only the Mormon Church has the original, contained within the re-revealed Book of Moses in the collection called the "Pearl of Great Price".
(Hidden teachings were discussed in relation to the last verses in Mark.)
99. Revelation 14 - one of the greatest prophecies of the Latter-day Church
For more about the book of Revelation, see The book of Revelation made simple,
Revelation made very simple,
The second Beast
The mark of the Beast.
The number of the Beast.
The Whore and Babylon
After giving us an account of "the Beast", covering the history of western civilisation and the great apostasy from the truth up to modern times, John continues with describing the state of the true church just before the Second Coming.
Verse 1: 144000 - this number represents 12000 from each of the twelve tribes of Israel (see Revelation 7:3-8). How many Christians today can tell you which tribe of Israel they belong to? Only the Mormons.
Verse 1: the name of God in their foreheads - how many churches today teach that believers can have the title of "god"? Only one - the Mormons.
Verse 2 - the voice of Christ. How many churches today teach that Christ speaks today as he did in Bible times, and are prepared to write it down as scripture? Only one church - the Mormons.
Verse 3 - no man could learn what they sang - how many major churches teach that Jesus has teachings that are too sacred, or secret, to be shared with the world? Only one - the Mormons.
Verse 4 - they were not defiled with women - does this mean that they were not married? No, as forbidding to marry is a mark of the false church (1 Timothy 4:3). It therefore must refer to a higher and purer form of relationship (see 2 Corinthians 11:2 for how Israel, though married with children, can be described as a virgin). How many churches place a higher standard of marriage as essential to exaltation? Only one - the Mormons.
Verses 6-7 - an angel peaches the gospel - how many churches preach a gospel that was delivered by an angel in modern times? Only one - the Mormons. The angel Moroni, who brought the Book of Mormon, is depicted in gold on statues that stand on top of temples throughout the world, holding a trumpet and calling the world to "fear God, and give glory to him, for the hour of his judgement is come".
And so it goes on. Revelation is plain and simple. It shows the history of God's dealings with his people, from the New Testament church (chapter 12), through the apostasy from the truth (chapter 13), to the restoration in the last days (chapter 14). Every particular has been fulfilled. The Bible is a true witness.
100. The Mormon church is the only church where man does not add to scripture
Revelation 22:18: The book of Revelation states that man cannot add to the Book of Revelation in any way. So how are we supposed to understand it? All the commentaries, all the interpretations by every church on this earth, al the theories by Bible scholars, are doing just that - adding to the Bible by saying "this is what it really means". They claim that they are simply reading what the Bible says, yet they disagree ad contradict each other. So they are all just interpreting - which means adding their own ideas. All, that is, except one. Because Mormon doctrines are revelations from God, and not from man. Only a prophet can interpret a prophet with any authority (see 2 Peter 1:20-21). That is the way it happened in the Bible. That is how it happens in the Mormon Church.
Some people seem to think that Revelation 22:18 means that God cannot add to scripture, but they obviously have not read the Bible. Moses said the same thing in Deuteronomy 4:2 (do not add to or take from his words). Then Moses went and added many new words that God gave him.
|101: Don't take my word for it!|
I have left this one for last. Its probably the most powerful Biblical argument for the truth of the latter day gospel. It is this:
Why do you believe in the Bible?
If you have read this far, then it is likely that you do believe in the Bible. Why? Some people have wonderful spiritual experiences to tell, but in my experience most people do not. Most people seem to believe the Bible is special simply because it has always been there. Nobody questions it. In other words, most people believe in the Bible because of tradition. If you don't believe me, just look in a Bible commentary. It will either avoid the issue of "why" entirely, or it will refer to such things as "the Bible is true because it teaches of Jesus" (a circular argument), "the Bible is true because of archeology" (many archeologists would disagree), or "the Bible is true because it has always been believed". Without living prophets, the only proof that can be offered is tradition.
That is why faith in the Bible has been in decline over the past hundred years. When faced with hard choices, most people do not know why they believe in the Bible, and so it seems less and less relevant. This is also why the restored church, miraculous though its growth has been, is not growing even faster. People do not appreciate the power of the new scripture because they never appreciated the power of the old scripture. Once people take a serious and critical look at the Bible, they find that every reason for believing it also applies to the Book of Mormon, and often more so. (This theme is developed in the "Book of Mormon Evidence" download).
The strength of the Mormon position
The Mormon church is so strong not only because it answers life's greatest questions, but because its people have real and powerful reasons for believing the Bible. They are the same reasons that applied in Bible times.
The Mormon church is the one church where answers to prayers are the first and last proof. People are not just encouraged to study these things, or to just trust the experts, or to go along with what everyone else believes. Missionaries teach that the only route to knowing for yourself is direct revelation from God to each individual. As James 1:5 puts it, "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". God can speak to you in many ways. Many people experience something like in Luke 24:13-32: "did not our hearts burn within us?" Others have feelings as described elsewhere in scripture. This is direct revelation. This is the way that anyone can know of the truth of God's work. This is the evidence that every Mormon missionary points to. This is the Biblical test of truth. This is the Mormon test of truth. It works!
A footnote to this website
My inspiration for creating this web site was the feeling I got when reading the old tract "The Strength of the Mormon Position" by Orson Whitney. It has been out of print for decades, but part of it is quoted in the book "A Marvelous Work and a Wonder". It is a wonderful and inspiring booklet. It was written back in the days when the church was small and persecuted, with practically no money and no academic support. The only tools the missionaries had were their scriptures, and their faith in Christ and his latter day work. And that was all they needed. "The Strength of the Mormon Position" is a wonderful booklet, and if you ever get a chance to read it I heartily recommend it. The Spirit will do the rest.
101 Bible prophecies: 1-11 | 12-19 | 20-32 | 33-38 | 39 | 40-55 | 56-70 | 71-79 | 80-86 | 87-101