Eight Mormon Myths

By Bill McKeever

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Myth #1: The Mormon Church is the fastest growing religion in the world.

The sheer number of adherents to Catholicism and Islam make them far and away the fastest growing religions in the world by birthrate alone.

Myth #2: The LDS Church doesn't have a paid ministry.

All General Authorities serving the LDS Church in Salt Lake City are offered a living allowance for their full-time service. While it is true that those who minister in the LDS Church on a local level (such as the bishop) are not remunerated, Doctrine and Covenants 42:71-73 says they should be.

Myth #3: Reading the Book of Mormon will tell you all about Mormon doctrine.

The Book of Mormon fails to teach the unique doctrine Latter-day Saints feel is necessary to believe and practice in order to become Gods.

Myth #4: All of Joseph Smith's prophecies came to pass.

If that was true Jesus would have returned in 1891 (Documentary History of the Church (DHC) 2:182), The Civil War would have poured out upon all nations (D&C 87:1-3), the wicked of Smith's generation would have been "swept from off the face of the land" (DHC 1:315), and a temple would have been built in Independence Missouri by the generation living in 1832 (D&C 84:4,5).

Myth #5: Brigham Young never taught Adam was God.

Not only did Brigham Young teach that Adam was Michael the Archangel, the Ancient of Days; he also taught that Adam was "our Father and our God, and the only God with whom we have to do." He finished this message by saying, "Now, let all who may hear these doctrines, pause before they make light of them, or treat them with indifference, for they will prove their salvation or damnation" (Journal of Discourses 1:50,51). Notice Young called this teaching a "doctrine," not a "theory" as most Mormons like to refer to it today.

Myth #6: The Book of Mormon has been proven by archaeology.

To date, nothing has been found to verify Book of Mormon sites. In fact, many within the Mormon Church are beginning to abandon the idea that the Book of Mormon is a book of verifiable history. No credible archaeologist outside of the Mormon Church considers the book to have any New World archaeological value.

Myth #7: Polygamy was necessary in early Utah because there were more women than men.

The fact is, there were more men than women in early Utah when polygamy was being practiced. Mormon Apostle John Widtsoe wrote on pages 390-391 of his book entitled Evidences and Reconciliations,

"The most common of these conjectures is that the Church, through plural marriage, sought to provide husbands for its large surplus of female members. The implied assumption in this theory, that there have been more females than male members in the Church, is not supported by existing evidence. On the contrary, there seem always to have been more males than females in the Church... The theory that plural marriage was a consequence of a surplus of female Church members fails from lack of evidence."

Myth #8: Joseph Smith died as a "lamb led to the slaughter."

The fact is, Joseph Smith died in a gun battle*using a pistol that was smuggled to him while incarcerated at Carthage jail. According to The Documentary History of the Church (published six years after the fact), Joseph Smith pulled this six-shooter from his pocket "and snapped the pistol six successive times; only three of the barrels, however, were discharged. I afterwards understood that two or three were wounded by these discharges, two of whom, I am informed, died" (John Taylor, vol. 7, pp. 102-103).

*Some Mormons have objected to the use of the term "gun battle." A "battle" can be a fight between as few as two persons. Add a gun and you have a gun battle. Journalists have seen no problem using this phrase to descibe all sorts of armed conflict be it large or small.

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