There are many Doctrine and Covenants passages I like to use when I am witnessing to Mormons. Here are the 10 of the most common passages I cite regularly. After referencing the verse(s), I will, in about 100 words, explain how each can be used. Verses are cited in their order as found in the Doctrine and Covenants.
- D&C 1:30-32: “And also those to whom these commandments were given, might have power to lay the foundation of this church, and to bring it forth out of obscurity and out of darkness, the only true and living church upon the face of the whole earth, with which I, the Lord, am well pleased,speaking unto the church collectively and not individually—For I the Lord cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance; Nevertheless, he that repents and does the commandments of the Lord shall be forgiven.”
The first part of this passage says that there is only one “true and living church upon the face of the whole earth.” If there is only “one true” church, then by definition all other faiths are wrong–although my LDS friends don’t want to say I’m “wrong.” Verse 31 says that God “cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance.” According to the Bible, this is very true. In Mormonism, the way to fix this dilemma is repent and then do the commandments of God. Yet how many Mormons who weekly covenant with God at the sacrament service promise that they will keep the commandments and later need to repent because they failed to do so? The Mormon gospel is impossible to keep.
- D&C 7:1-3: “And the Lord said unto me: John, my beloved, what desirest thou? For if you shall ask what you will, it shall be granted unto you.; And I said unto him: Lord, give unto me power over death, that I may live and bring souls unto thee. And the Lord said unto me: Verily, verily, I say unto thee, because thou desirest this thou shalt tarry until I come in my glory, and shalt prophesy before nations, kindreds, tongues and people.”
The section heading says that “John the Beloved will live until the Lord comes.” It’s not clear why Jesus would have said this to Joseph Smith when John 21:23 said that the rumor during biblical times suggesting John would never die was said to not be true. Which account is wrong? The Bible or the Book of Mormon? If the Book of Mormon is correct, then it would appear that there could not have been a “Great Apostasy”—the hallmark of Mormonism—since there was at least one person on the earth who had authority. If John is still alive today, why doesn’t he appear to the LDS Church leaders and give guidance?
- D&C 25:15-16: “Keep my commandments continually, and a crown of righteousness thou shalt receive. And except thou do this, where I am you cannot come. And verily, verily, I say unto you, that this is my voice unto all. Amen.”
It doesn’t get more clear-cut than this! According to the section’s heading, “this revelation manifests the will of the Lord to Emma Smith, the Prophet’s wife.” While verse 15 was specifically given to Emma, verse 16 says that “this is my voice unto all.” The heading says, “Principles of obedience in this revelation are applicable to all.” It’s appears quite simple, then. If a person hopes to receive the “crown of righteousness” (assuming this means the celestial kingdom), then all commandments must be kept “continually.” The question is, how many Mormons are doing this? Christianity says that forgiveness of sins only comes through faith, not by keeping commandments.
- D&C 42:71-73: “And the elders or high priests who are appointed to assist the bishop as counselors in all things, are to have their families supported out of the property which is consecrated to the bishop, for the good of the poor, and for other purposes, as before mentioned; Or they are to receive a just remuneration for all their services, either a stewardship or otherwise, as may be thought best or decided by the counselors and bishop. And the bishop, also, shall receive his support, or a just remuneration for all his services in the church.” (Also see D&C 52:13-14)
Many Latter-day Saints think that paying a ministerial leader for his services is somehow sinful. For many years in the temple (before April 1990), the actor who played Lucifer in the Endowment ceremony made an offer to the Christian pastor, saying “I will pay you well.” What is ironic is the Doctrine and Covenants says that bishops and other leaders should be paid (“a just remuneration”) for their work. This begs the question: Why doesn’t the LDS Church follow its own scripture? While other leaders may not receive “paychecks,” many do have their expenses paid, including mission presidents, area seventies, and general authorities.
- D&C 58:42-43: “Behold, he who has repented of his sins, the same is forgiven, and I, the Lord, remember them no more. By this ye may know if a man repenteth of his sins—behold, he will confess them and forsake them.”
Repentance in Mormonism is very important. Many Mormons are led to believe that as long as they keep repenting, somehow this is sufficient to qualify for exaltation according to the rules of their religion. One leader who fought against this attitude was Spencer W. Kimball (The Miracle of Forgiveness). He cited this passage as the reason to stop repenting and start doing what God commanded. According to D&C 58, a person has not truly repented from a sin unless he or she confesses it and stops doing it. Someone who repents for the same sin twice must not have truly repented the first time around.
- D&C 82:7: “And now, verily I say unto you, I, the Lord, will not lay any sin to your charge; go your ways and sin no more; but unto that soul who sinneth shall the former sins return, saith the Lord your God.”
This verse has caused many Latter-day Saints to leave the Mormon religion. According to this, a person needs to end sin completely. For those who sin that same sin again, past sins come back to condemn. In conjunction with D&C 58:42-43, true repentance means the sin stops. So many Mormons believe repentance is the cure-all, but according to God, it’s just a Band-Aid. Spencer Kimball wrote, “It depends upon you whether or not you are forgiven, and when…. That depends on your humility, your sincerity, your works, your attitudes.” (The Miracle of Forgiveness, p. 325)
- D&C 84:21-22: “And without the ordinances thereof, and the authority of the priesthood, the power of godliness is not manifest unto men in the flesh; For without this no man can see the face of God, even the Father, and live.”
According to this passage, a person cannot see God without the Melchizedek Priesthood, which is given routinely to 18-year-old men in the LDS Church. Yet Mormonism maintains that Joseph Smith was able to see God the Father and Jesus in an event called the First Vision. If Joseph Smith really did see God the Father and Jesus Christ in 1820 and yet he did not receive the Melchizedek priesthood until 1829, then how was it possible for him to see God? Or did this rule (D&C 84:21-22) not come into existence until after Joseph Smith?
- D&C 88:22: “For he who is not able to abide the law of a celestial kingdom cannot abide a celestial glory.”
Mormonism teaches that there are three laws: the telestial, terrestrial, and celestial laws. D&C 88:22 says that a person must “abide the law of a celestial kingdom” in order to attain “a celestial glory.” Orson Pratt explain that celestial law “does not mean any one thing; it means all things. It is the fullness of obedience; it is living by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God” (Conference Reports, October 1910, p. 53). For those who are honest, it will be admitted that it’s impossible to keep celestial law as defined by the LDS leadership. Instead of trying to earn God’s favor, the only way to receive forgiveness is by grace through faith (Eph. 2:8-9).
- D&C 107:16: “No man has a legal right to this office, to hold the keys of this priesthood, except he be a literal descendant of Aaron.”
Boys who turn 13 are able to become Aaronic priests in the Mormon Church. This authority (along with the Melchizedek priesthood) is necessary for a male to hope to attain the celestial kingdom and for him to get married to a qualified woman in a Mormon temple. The problem is that the Aaronic priesthood was created for those who belong to the tribe of Levi (literal descendants of Aaron). The Bible never tolerated anyone to ever hold the priesthood who was not a Levite. If this is the case, then what right do Mormons have to claim they have the Aaronic Priesthood? Besides, the Aaronic priesthood played no role whatsoever for believers in the New Testament.
- D&C 132:54: “And I command mine handmaid, Emma Smith, to abide and cleave unto my servant Joseph, and to none else. But if she will not abide this commandment she shall be destroyed, saith the Lord; for I am the Lord thy God, and will destroy her if she abide not in my law.”
According to D&C 132, which taught on the topic of polygamy, Emma Smith—Joseph’s wife—was warned that if she did not accept polygamy, she would be “destroyed.” Emma never approved of polygamy, which can be proven by history. In fact, after Joseph was assassinated in the Carthage Jail, she denied until her death that he ever participated in marrying more than thirty additional wives–even though the evidence overwhelmingly disagrees. What’s fascinating is that Joseph, not Emma, was destroyed less than a year after this “revelation” was given.
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