Isaiah 24:5: The Great Apostasy?

Isaiah 24: 5 says, “The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant.” According to some Latter-day Saints, this refers to an event called the Great Apostasy. The everlasting covenant described here is certainly a reference to the Mosaic law, which would have … Read more

Will the LDS Church ever overturn the ban on hot drinks?

By Eric Johnson (Revised 7/2/2019) Prior to the April 2019 General Conference, there were many who were speculating about a possible change in Mormonism to allow coffee and tea, both of which are banned in the Word of Wisdom. Imagine the rejoicing of retail establishments such as Starbucks and Beans and Brews throughout Utah, Idaho, Arizona and Wyoming if … Read more

Quotes from The Discourses of Wilford Woodruff (Edited by G. Homer Durham)

The following quotes come from the book The Discourses of Wilford Woodruff, which were citations from the fourth president of the church and edited by G. Homer Durham, originally printed by Bookcraft, Inc. in 1946.  This was an employee gift by the First Presidency in 1997. To visit the site with all of the books … Read more

The Teachings of Howard W. Hunter

The following quotes come from the book The Teachings of Howard W. Hunter (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Company, 1997). This was an employee gift by the First Presidency in 2002. To visit the site with all of the books and quotes from these, go here. Agency “Agency played an important part in the premortal world. … Read more

Selections from Doctrines of Salvation: Sermons and Writings of Joseph Fielding Smith

The following quotes come from the book Selections from Doctrines of Salvation: Sermons and Writings of Joseph Fielding Smith, authored by tenth President Joseph Fielding Smith. This was an employee gift by the First Presidency in 2001. To visit the site with all of the books and quotes from these, go here. Introduction: “Included are classic … Read more

Wo sind die Goldplatten jetzt?

Das Buch Mormon, endet mit der Beschreibung des Niedergangs des nephitischen Volkes, durch die Hand ihrer Widersacher, der Lamaniten. Jahrzente lang, führten die Nachkommen Lehis, die hellhäutigen Nephiten, und die dunkelhätigen Lamaniten gegeneinander Krieg bis sie sich zu einer Entscheidungsschlacht im Land Cumorah trafen. In Mormon 6:6 heißt es: Und es begab sich: Als wir … Read more

TEMPLE

The following are sections out of Bill McKeever’s book In their Own Words: A Collection of Mormon Quotations. The full book of 400 pages is available at Mormonism Research Ministry or Amazon.com. Standard Works “And this I know, because the Lord hath said he dwelleth not in unholy temples, but in the hearts of the righteous doth he dwell” … Read more

SALVATION

The following are sections out of Bill McKeever’s book In their Own Words: A Collection of Mormon Quotations. The full book of 400 pages is available at Mormonism Research Ministry or Amazon.com. Standard Works “For we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do” (The Book of Mormon, 2 Nephi 25:23). 2nd … Read more

SACRAMENT

The following are sections out of Bill McKeever’s book In their Own Words: A Collection of Mormon Quotations. The full book of 400 pages is available at Mormonism Research Ministry or Amazon.com. Standard Works “See that ye are not baptized unworthily; see that ye partake not of the sacrament of Christ unworthily; but see that ye do all things … Read more

REVELATION (MODERN-DAY)

The following are sections out of Bill McKeever’s book In their Own Words: A Collection of Mormon Quotations. The full book of 400 pages is available at Mormonism Research Ministry or Amazon.com. Joseph Smith “Some revelations are of God; some revelations are of man; and some revelations are of the devil” (David Whitmer quoting Joseph Smith, A Comprehensive History … Read more

Repentance

The following are sections out of Bill McKeever’s book In their Own Words: A Collection of Mormon Quotations. The full book of 400 pages is available at Mormonism Research Ministry or Amazon.com. Standard Works “Wherefore, do the things which I have told you I have seen that your Lord and your Redeemer should do; for, for this cause have … Read more

Priesthood

The following are sections out of Bill McKeever’s book In their Own Words: A Collection of Mormon Quotations. The full book of 400 pages is available at Mormonism Research Ministry or Amazon.com. Standard Works “No man has a legal right to this office, to hold the keys of this priesthood, except he be a literal descendant and the firstborn … Read more

Preexistence/Premortality

The following are sections out of Bill McKeever’s book In their Own Words: A Collection of Mormon Quotations. The full book of 400 pages is available at Mormonism Research Ministry or Amazon.com. 7th President Heber J. Grant “We of this Church have been told of the Lord that before we came to this earth we had a life running … Read more

Polygamy (Plural Marriage)

The following are sections out of Bill McKeever’s book In their Own Words: A Collection of Mormon Quotations. The full book of 400 pages is available at Mormonism Research Ministry or Amazon.com. Standard Works “Behold, David and Solomon truly had many wives and concubines, which thing was abominable before me, saith the Lord. Wherefore, thus saith the Lord, I … Read more

PLATES OF GOLD (BOOK OF MORMON)

The following are sections out of Bill McKeever’s book In their Own Words: A Collection of Mormon Quotations. The full book of 400 pages is available at Mormonism Research Ministry or Amazon.com. Standard Works “And for a testimony that the things that they had said are true they have brought twenty-four plates which are filled with engravings, and they … Read more

OBEDIENCE

The following are sections out of Bill McKeever’s book In their Own Words: A Collection of Mormon Quotations. The full book of 400 pages is available at Mormonism Research Ministry or Amazon.com. Standard Works “I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of … Read more

MARRIAGE

The following are sections out of Bill McKeever’s book In their Own Words: A Collection of Mormon Quotations. The full book of 400 pages is available at Mormonism Research Ministry or Amazon.com. Standard Works “And again, verily I say unto you, that whoso forbiddeth to marry is not ordained of God, for marriage is ordained of God unto man” … Read more

JESUS

The following are sections out of Bill McKeever’s book In their Own Words: A Collection of Mormon Quotations. The full book of 400 pages is available at Mormonism Research Ministry or Amazon.com. Standard Works “Now Zeezrom saith again unto him: Is the Son of God the very Eternal Father? And Amulek said unto him: Yea, he is the very … Read more

Grace

The following are sections out of Bill McKeever’s book In their Own Words: A Collection of Mormon Quotations. The full book of 400 pages is available at Mormonism Research Ministry or Amazon.com. Standard Works “For we labor diligently to write, to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God; for … Read more

FIRST VISION

The following are sections out of Bill McKeever’s book In their Own Words: A Collection of Mormon Quotations. The full book of 400 pages is available at Mormonism Research Ministry or Amazon.com. Standard Works “And he said unto Moses, Thou canst not see my face at this time, lest mine anger is kindled against thee also; and I destroy … Read more

EXALTATION

The following are sections out of Bill McKeever’s book In their Own Words: A Collection of Mormon Quotations. The full book of 400 pages is available at Mormonism Research Ministry or Amazon.com. Standard Works “Therefore, I must gather together my people, according to the parable of the wheat and the tares, that the wheat may be secured in the … Read more

ETERNAL PROGRESSION

The following are sections out of Bill McKeever’s book In their Own Words: A Collection of Mormon Quotations. The full book of 400 pages is available at Mormonism Research Ministry or Amazon.com. 2nd President Brigham Young “Brother Kimball sometimes brings up the figure of the potter putting fresh clay into the mill and grinding it to use in his … Read more

DOCTRINE

The following are sections out of Bill McKeever’s book In their Own Words: A Collection of Mormon Quotations. The full book of 400 pages is available at Mormonism Research Ministry or Amazon.com. Standard Works “O the wise, and the learned, and the rich, that are puffed up in the pride of their hearts, and all those who preach false … Read more

CHRISTIANITY

The following are sections out of Bill McKeever’s book In their Own Words: A Collection of Mormon Quotations. The full book of 400 pages is available at Mormonism Research Ministry or Amazon.com. 2nd President Brigham Young “The people called Christians are shrouded in ignorance, and read the Scriptures with darkened understandings” (Brigham Young, October 8, 1859, Journal of Discourses … Read more

BOOK OF MORMON

The following are sections out of Bill McKeever’s book In their Own Words: A Collection of Mormon Quotations. The full book of 400 pages is available at Mormonism Research Ministry or Amazon.com. Standard Works “BY JOSEPH SMITH, JUNIOR – AUTHOR AND PROPRIETOR” (Title Page, The Book of Mormon, 1830 ed.). “Wherefore, it is an abridgment of the record of … Read more

BIBLE, THE

The following are sections out of Bill McKeever’s book In their Own Words: A Collection of Mormon Quotations. The full book of 400 pages is available at Mormonism Research Ministry or Amazon.com. Standard Works “And because my words shall hiss forth—many of the Gentiles shall say: A Bible! A Bible! We have got a Bible, and there cannot be … Read more

BAPTISM FOR THE DEAD

The following are sections out of Bill McKeever’s book In their Own Words: A Collection of Mormon Quotations. The full book of 400 pages is available at Mormonism Research Ministry or Amazon.com. Standard Works “And again, in connection with this quotation I will give you a quotation from one of the prophets, who had his eye fixed on the … Read more

AUTHORITY

The following are sections out of Bill McKeever’s book In their Own Words: A Collection of Mormon Quotations. The full book of 400 pages is available at Mormonism Research Ministry or Amazon.com. Standard Works “Wherefore, meaning the church, thou shalt give heed unto all his words and commandments which he shall give unto you as he receiveth them, walking … Read more

APOSTASY, THE GREAT

The following are sections out of Bill McKeever’s book In their Own Words: A Collection of Mormon Quotations. The full book of 400 pages is available at Mormonism Research Ministry or Amazon.com. Joseph Smith “What is it that inspires professors of Christianity generally with a hope of salvation? It is that smooth, sophisticated influence of the … Read more

Another Harmful Mormon Myth Refuses to Die

by Sharon Lindbloom 17 September 2018 An interesting article appeared in the Springfield (Missouri) News-Leader this month. It seems that columnist Steve Pokin became intrigued after an LDS acquaintance told him “that it was once legal to kill a Mormon in Missouri.” Because this claim sounded implausible to Mr. Pokin, he decided to do some … Read more

Exploring Mormon Racism: The All-Are-Justified-the-Same Approach

By Joel B Groat Summary In June 1978, Spencer W. Kimball, the LDS Church’s twelfth president, lifted the church’s century-long ban on men of African descent holding the LDS priesthood. It wasn’t until 2013 that the church addressed the underlying racism inherent in that ban. Although this is not a topic to be used in … Read more

On the Death of the Mormon Prophet

by Sharon Lindbloom 8 January 2018 On January 2, 2018 Mormonism’s 16th prophet and president died. Thomas Monson was 90 years old and had served in the leadership of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for nearly seven decades. He was known for his focus on individuals and their individual needs, and was … Read more

Which painting of Joseph Smith translating the gold plates should you trust?

By Eric Johnson For many years, Latter-day Saints were led to believe that Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon by looking directly at the gold plates that he supposedly dug up out of the ground that had been buried by Moroni, the last living Nephite, in the fifth century AD. This same Moroni is said … Read more

Whatever happened to Emily and Eliza Partridge?

By Bill McKeever Note: The following was originally printed in the September/October 2017 edition of Mormonism Researched. To request a free subscription, please visit here. In early Mormonism, you might say some of  the women who became plural wives were kept as a set. Several Mormon leaders, including Joseph Smith and Brigham Young, married sisters. When Edward Partridge, Mormonism’s first … Read more

Book of Mormon Graphic Leaves out Important Detail

Note: The following was originally printed in the April 2017 edition of Mormonism Update. To receive this publication every other month, you must be a financial support of $25 or more per month. By Bill McKeever An illustration in the February 2017 issue of Friend magazine, an LDS publication geared toward Mormon children. left out an important portion of … Read more

The First Vision: Key to Truth? A Review of Seventy Richard J. Maynes’ June 2017 Ensign article

By Eric Johnson There are two cornerstone events in the history of the Mormon religion that are as important as the literal resurrection of Jesus is to Christianity. Remember how the apostle Paul testified to the historicity of the raising of Jesus from the dead? He claimed in 1 Corinthians 15:3-8: 3 For I delivered to you as … Read more

Inaccurate Presentations of Mormon History Persist

By Sharon Lindbloom 16 May 2017 On Sunday (7 May 2017), LDS General Authority Kim B. Clark of the Seventy addressed young adult members of the Mormon Church in a Worldwide Devotional. Within his talk, Elder Clark spoke a great deal about the history surrounding the Book of Mormon translation. To augment his talk, Elder … Read more

Unexplaining the Mormon Priesthood Ban on Blacks

Note: This article first appeared in the Christian Research Journal (Vol. 39 No. 01, 2015). By Bill McKeever Synopsis For much of its history, leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints had a fairly standard explanation as to why those of African heritage were prohibited from holding any priesthood office in the church. … Read more

Chapter 1: The Restoration of the Gospel—The Dawning of a Brighter Day

During 2017, LDS members will be studying the latest manual published by their church, Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Gordon B. Hinckley. We will evaluate this book regularly, chapter by chapter, by showing interesting quotes and providing an Evangelical Christian take on this manual. If you would like to see the church manual online, go … Read more

Quotes that didn’t make the cut in the manual Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Gordon B. Hinckley

By Eric Johnson For a review of the church manual Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Gordon B. Hinckley, click here. Check out the 5-part podcast series that originally aired January 9-13, 2017  Part 1   Part 2  Part 3   Part 4   Part 5   Since 1998, the LDS Church has published a church manual for the membership to … Read more

Sidney Rigdon: A Portrait of Religious Excess: A Review

By Richard S. Van Wagoner Reviewed by Eric Johnson For years Sidney Rigdon was the right-hand man to Joseph Smith, the founder of the Mormon religion. Much of what the Mormon religion is about is directly connected with Rigdon, a former Disciples of Christ minister. While most Mormons are probably not familiar with this man, understanding who he … Read more

Robert D. Hales (1932-2017)

Robert D. Hales (1932-2017) was an apostle of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He died on October 1, 2017 soon after the morning fall General Conference session. He was 85. Hales, who spent four decades as a general authority, including 23 years as an apostle, passed away at 12:15 p.m. Senior apostle Russell M. Nelson … Read more

Thomas S. Monson (1927-2018)

Thomas Spencer Monson (1927-2018), the sixteenth president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints died of natural causes on January 2, 2018 at the age of 90. Except for a short stint in the military, Monson was employed for his entire life by the LDS Church. He will be replaced by senior-ranking Apostle … Read more

The Transfiguration of Brigham Young: Mormon Folklore?

By Sharon Lindbloom For a two-part Viewpoint on Mormonism that aired July 21-22, 2016, click here  Part 1  Part 2   When Joseph Smith died in June of 1844, the Mormon Church faced a succession crisis. Mormon historian Richard S. Van Wagoner explained, “Despite frequent kidnapping and assassination attempts, Joseph Smith established no firm policies regarding presidential succession … Read more

Jeffrey Holland and the “Tempe Rescue”

Note: The following is a transcript from “Jiminycricket” (RFM) of a speech that Apostle Jeffrey R. Holland gave to single adults 31+ in age on Tuesday evening, April 26, 2016. Stay tuned for Viewpoint on Mormonism’s take on this talk. TRANSCRIPT of Jeffrey R. Holland’s “Tempe Rescue” devotional in Arizona “THE TEMPE RESCUE” Speaker: ELDER … Read more

The Church History Museum: A Tour through the Main Floor

By Eric Johnson Listen to a 3-part podcast that aired Mon-Wed, Oct. 19-22, 2015.  Part 1   Part 2   Part 3 Temple Square in downtown Salt Lake City is the number-one tourist site for all of Utah. More tourists come here than Zion. More than Bryce. And even more than Moab. Fly into Salt Lake City’s International Airport and, with few … Read more

Peace and Violence among 19th-Century Latter-day Saints

By Eric Johnson This particular Gospel Topics essay was published in May 2014 under the Gospel Topics section on the LDS Church website. The original full article is underlined, with my response following. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is founded on the teachings of Jesus Christ. The virtues of peace, love, and forgiveness are at the center … Read more

Plural Marriage and Families in Early Utah

By Eric Johnson More attention has been given to the topic of polygamy (plural marriage) than any other in the Gospel Topics essay series. This particular essay was published in December 2013 under the Gospel Topics section on the LDS Church website. The original full article is underlined, with my response following. The Bible and the Book of Mormon … Read more

Do the First Vision accounts coincide?

By Eric Johnson and Bill McKeever Mormons are taught that, as a fourteen-year-old young man, Joseph Smith was visited by both God the Father and Jesus Christ during the spring of 1820. This visitation is known in Mormonism as the First Vision. According to the official LDS version, Smith was perplexed by the behavior of certain Christians in the area … Read more

“Mormonites.” Evangelical Magazine and Gospel Advocate (Utica, New York) 2, no. 15 (9 April 1831): 120.

The following is an article titled “Mormonites,” which was written by A.W. Benton and printed in the Evangelical Magazine and Gospel Advocate (Utica, New York), vol. 2, no. 15 (9 April 1831): 120. MORMONITES. Messrs. Editors—In the sixth number of your paper I saw a notice of a sect of people called Mormonites; and thinking … Read more

Mormonism 201 (Apostasy): Response to Barry R. Bickmore

Response to Barry R. Bickmore Rejoinder by Sharon Lindbloom In order to make this review easier to read, all original quotes from the Mormonism 201 rebuttal are boldfaced and italicized to separate these from the rest of the rejoinder. Joseph Smith, the first Mormon prophet, said, I have more to boast of than ever any … Read more

In the Line of Duty: The Mountain Meadows Massacre

by By Sharon Lindbloom “There was a massacre in these hills.…” (Stewart Lee Udall, The Mountain Meadows [1990], from a poem written by Udall, a descendant of John D. Lee, and read at the reinterment of victims bones at Mountain Meadows, September 1999) It was spring of 1857. Promises of a bright future in the … Read more

LDS leader quotes on banning blacks from the priesthood

LDS Quotes on the ban on blacks receiving the priesthood before 1978 Standard Works “And Enoch also beheld the residue of the people which were the sons of Adam; and they were a mixture of all the seed of Adam save it was the seed of Cain, for the seed of Cain were black, and … Read more

Did Emma Smith approve of polygamy?

By Eric Johnson Some Latter-day Saints may rationalize Smith’s behavior. After all, some might think, his wife Emma must have been a believer in this practice. Actually, Emma Smith approved of plural marriage for only a short time–maybe a few weeks–but she otherwise always despised polygamy and her husband’s involvement with this practice. In their book Mormon … Read more

Did Emma Smith ever approve of polygamy?

By Eric Johnson Some Latter-day Saints may rationalize Smith’s behavior. After all, some might think, his wife Emma must have been a believer in this practice. Actually, Emma Smith approved of plural marriage for only a short time–maybe a few weeks–but she otherwise always despised polygamy and her husband’s involvement with this practice. In their book Mormon … Read more

Review of Blacks and the Mormon Priesthood: Setting the Record Straight

By Marcus H. Martins, Ph.D. Reviewed by Eric Johnson Note: The month of June 2015 marks the 38th anniversary of Spencer W. Kimball and the members of the First Presidency deciding to allow those with black skin to begin receiving the priesthood. Let’s take a look at a book written with the intention of “setting … Read more

Which First Vision Account Should We Believe?

By Lane Thuet According to LDS scripture, when Joseph Smith was 15 years old, he was confused as to which church was true. He claimed this confusion was sparked by an 1820 religious revival in his neighborhood. His heart was powerfully impressed one night when he read James 1:5, and subsequently he went into the … Read more

"Adam-Gott" – Brigham Young’s Theorie oder göttliche Doktrin?

Von Bill McKeever Übersetzt von Wolfgang Schneider (Translated by Wolfgang Schneider) Am 9. April 1852 stieg Brigham Young, der zweite Präsident der Kirche Jesu Christi der Heiligen der letzten Tage, auf die Kanzel des Salt Lake City Tabernakels und verkündete: “Es ist meine Absicht, diesen Abend mehrere Predigten zu halten, wie viele, weiß ich nicht.” … Read more

Boyd K. Packer (1924-2015)

Boyd K. Packer (1924-2015), the senior apostle of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, died of old age in Salt Lake City at about 2 p.m. MST on July 3, 2015. He was 90 years old. Packer, who died just 33 days after fellow apostle L. Tom … Read more

Proclamation of the First Presidency and Twelve, October 21, 1865 (rebuke of Orson Pratt)

From James R. Clark, comp., Messages of the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 6 vols. (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1965-75), 2:, p.235-240 1865-October 21-MS October 21, 1865 § PROCLAMATION of The First Presidency and Twelve. In an article entitled “The Holy Spirit,” published by brother Pratt in the Millennial … Read more

Brigham’s Young 1852 Speech on Slavery

Introduction The following is a speech given by LDS President Brigham Young to the Joint Session of the Legislature in Salt Lake City, on Thursday, February 5, 1852. The following was found under Brigham Young addresses, Ms d 1234, Box 48, folder 3, dated Feb. 5, 1852, located in the LDS Church Historical Department, Salt … Read more

Painesville Telegraph (Dec. 8, 1832)

Introduction Many members of the LDS Church have looked to Doctrine and Covenants 87 as one of many proofs for the divine calling of Joseph Smith as a latter-day prophet. This section, said to be given to Joseph Smith on Christmas Day in 1832, seemingly prophesies the coming War Between the States; a war that … Read more

Review of Massacre at Mountain Meadows

Written by Ronald W. Walker, Richard E. Turley Jr., and Glen M. Leonard Reviewed by Eric Johnson The “Mountain Meadows Massacre,” as it has been called, has intrigued historians and laypeople alike for more than a century and a half. The story involves a group of southern emigrants to California on September 11th, 1857 (the … Read more

Nauvoo Polygamy

Nauvoo Polygamy: “…But We Called It Celestial Marriage”   By George D. Smith Reviewed by Eric Johnson Polygamy (or plural marriage as it is also called) was a major issue for the LDS Church in 2014, as three different Gospel Topic essays on this topic were published. For many Latter-day Saints, the information disseminated by the church—including … Read more

The 1838 Mormon War in Missouri

Not everyone likes history, especially Mormon history. But if there is a particular year that ought to be understood for a better comprehension of Mormonism, the year would have to be 1838. For those who have heard of “Gov. Boggs,” the “Salt Sermon,” and the Hahn’s Mill massacre, this is the book that must be read.

Review of Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling

A book on Joseph Smith written by a Latter-day Saint that we would recommend.  Yes, the author does accept more than he should, but overall I think this is an important read for everyone interested in the topic of Mormonism. Find out why.

Review of In Sacred Loneliness: The Plural Wives of Joseph Smith (Signature Books, 1997)

Although many Mormons know that second LDS President Brigham Young was a practicing polygamist, some may not realize that Joseph Smith had many wives as well. When this issue is broached, I have heard it said more than once that we were connocting nothing more than an anti-Mormon lie. What LDS writer Todd Compton does in this book is explain details about each of Joseph Smith’s 33 wives. Reading it may cause you to forever change your opinon about the founder of the LDS Church.

American Crucifixion: The Murder of Joseph Smith and the Fate of the Mormon Church

Boston Globe columnist Alex Beam’s new 2014 book may be very helpful to many readers who may not know very much about Mormonism, let alone the facts surrounding the death of Mormonism’s founder Joseph Smith at the hands of an angry mob at the Carthage Jail in 1844. See the review of American Crucifixion here.

First Vision Accounts: Response to the LDS.org Essay

A good Mormon will be able to explain Smith’s supposed vision of God the Father and Jesus. As part of the Gospel Topics Essay, Joseph Smith’s First Vision account is described and defended by the LDS Church. But what about the different accounts that provided contradictory details? Did Smith see angels or did he see God the Father and God the Son? This response to the church’s essay goes along with 10 Viewpoint on Mormonism radio shows (podcasts) that will air beginning June 3, 2014.  Along with  our podcasts as aired on Viewpoint on Mormonism, this article provides our response to the church’s essay. For any Paypal gift to MRM during the month of June, receive a PDF version of Wesley Walters’ booklet “The Palymra Revival & Mormon Origins.” See article for details.

The Joseph Smith Translation: An improvement over the original? Or ‘Much Ado About Nothing’?

An article published in the April 2014 Ensign (“The Atonement of Jesus Christ: Insights from The Joseph Smith Translation,” written on pages 52-57, with no attribution to its authorship) explains that “Joseph Smith’s translation of the Bible enhances our understanding of the Savior’s suffering, death, and Resurrection.” To prove this point, the article covers five different events during the last two days of Jesus’ life leading to His death on Calvary. Is the Joseph Smith Translation beneficial to readers today of the Passion Week accounts?

 

When it comes to the plates, there was no miracle

For the past several years Bill McKeever has been bringing a replica set of “gold plates” to the Mormon Miracle Pageant held annually in Manti, Utah. By encouraging Mormon visitors to lift the plates, it gives Bill an opportunity to explain the many problems he sees with the official account of how Smith allegedly retrieved the plates back in 1827. What are those problems? Check out this article to see.

The Elijah Abel Controversy

Sweeping the past under the rug as something immaterial to the LDS Church today is a strategy that is leaving many people dissatisfied−Mormons included. In an effort to rescue their church from the charge of racism, Mormons like to bring up the earliest black Mormon priesthood-holder, Elijah Abel. What’s the story behind this man? Find out here.

Was Joseph Smith an Abusive Husband? A review of Mormon Enigma

Was Joseph Smith an Abusive Husband? A review of Mormon Enigma

By Bill McKeever

The following was originally printed in the Sept-Oct 2009 edition of Mormonism Researched. To request a free subscription, please visit here

Were Mormons ever expelled from the United States?

By Sharon Lindbloom The following was originally printed in the March-April 2009 edition of Mormonism Researched. To request a free subscription, please visit here.  Mormonism has a history of changing history. From the written history of the LDS Church to its recorded revelations, changes are ever-present. Today a new spin on a historical LDS event is in the … Read more

The Danger of Historical Apathy

The Danger of Historical Apathy

By Eric Johnson

The following was originally printed in the February 2011 edition of MRM’s update, a special edition mailed to financial supporters who also receive the publication Mormonism Researched. To request a free subscription of Mormonism Researched, please visit here

Should LDS Church art coincide with the facts?

For many years the LDS Church has used staff artists to provide illustrations for its church manuals and magazines. Book of Mormon and Bible stories are commonly depicted, as well as historical church events.  One favorite scene for LDS articles is Joseph Smith’s translation of the Book of Mormon. For example, the front cover of the Feb. 2001 Ensign magazine shows Smith looking at the gold plates and translating them by running his finger over them. Is this really how the Book of Mormon was translated? 

Acts 1 and the issue of “12” apostles

Acts 1 and the issue of “12” apostles

 By Eric Johnson

 When faithful Latter-day Saints are asked about their church’s authority, they will very often point to Ephesians 2:20, which says, “And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone.” According to Mormonism, the “Great Apostasy” caused the ancient church to lose its authority.

Does 2 Thessalonians 2:3 Support The Great Apostasy?

2 Thessalonians 2:3 says, “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first . . .” This verse is sometimes used to support the idea of a Great Apostasy. However, the context is not explaining that there would be a complete apostasy.  As … Read more

Were the reasons behind the priesthood ban on blacks based on "theory"?

During the week of January 6, 2014, Bill McKeever and Eric Johnson spoke on Viewpoint on Mormonism about issues related to the ban on black males to the priesthood. Here are some quotes in response to an article on www.lds.org titled “Race and the Priesthood.” Is it really true that the ban was based on nothing more than “theory” and that second Mormon President Brigham Young is really to blame? Are other leaders who concurred with Young and continued to enforce the ban less culpable?

 

A Doctrine that was to always be

On December 6, 2013, the LDS Church published an article (“Race and Priesthood“) that contradicted the facts from earlier church history. Was the banning of blacks holding the priesthood originated by Brigham Young and perpetuated for more than a century? Or was this teaching truly a “doctrine” originated by Joseph Smith as claimed by a number of church leaders?

Problems with the Gold Plates in the Book of Mormon

Just what exactly were the gold plates made from. In this article that first appeared in Christian Research Journal, volume 34, number 02 (2011), Bill McKeever considers the possibilites and shows why it is impossible that Joseph Smith was given plates made of real gold.

Book Review: Mormon Enigma: Emma Hale Smith

Emma Smith (1804-1879) may not be as well-known as her husband, Joseph Smith, Jr.Cover for NEWELL: Mormon Enigma: Emma Hale Smith but understanding this woman is important for anyone who desires a more complete picture to the Mormon story. In this 1994 book, two female historical researchers—Linda King Newell and Valeen Tippets Avery—tackled the life of the first wife to the founder of the Mormon religion. This review takes a closer look at the book and sheds an interesting light on the woman whose deepest conflict with her husband involved his plural marriages to many of her friends and their daughters.

Review: "The Restoration and Early Christian Teachings"

LDS Church apologist Michael Ash wrote an article in the April 2013 church magazine Ensign (“The Restoration and Early Christian Teachings,” pp. 60-65). His article explains that teachings such as premortality, work on behalf of the dead, and exaltation can be found in the writings of the Early Church Fathers. There are several problems with this view, including the fact that Mormonism teaches in a “Great Apostasy” that surely took place before these men ever wrote on these topics. In addition, the author pulls quotes from obscure sources to support his view that Mormonism must be true because it restored these lost teachings via the life of Joseph Smith and other prophets. 

 

Journal of Discourses Gems

The Journal of Discourses provides an excellent window into the actual Mormonism of 19th century Utah. Whether or not you agree with their views of Brigham Young, John Taylor, and many other LDS general authorities, there is no doubt that what they believed and taught, authoritatively, was believed by the vast majority of Latter-day Saints. The information found in this article was used in radio broadcasts by Bill McKeever and Eric Johnson from August into October 2012. For access to these broadcasts, please check out our podcast page.

Ezra Taft Benson’s “Fourteen Fundamentals in Following the Prophet”


“The Fourteen Fundamentals in Following the Prophet” was a devotional talk that was given by Mormon Apostle Ezra Taft Benson (1899-1994) on Tuesday, February 26, 1980 at Brigham Young University. Benson became Mormonism’s 13th President on November 10, 1985 after the death of Spencer W. Kimball. When Benson gave this speech LDS Church was membership was less than 4.5 million. What that means is that the great majority of modern members were probably unaware of this speech until October, 2010 when two LDS General Authorities, Seventy Claudio R.M. Costa, and Kevin R. Duncan, highlighted Benson’s speech point-by-point in their general conference addresses. Since all conference messages are vetted, this demonstrated that Benson’s “14 Fundamentals” in following the Mormon prophet are approved by the current First Presidency.

Why the Priesthood Ban for the African Race?

Introduction: The following are notes used by Bill McKeever and Eric Johnson on several broadcasts of Viewpoint on Mormonism that aired from March19th through March 29th. The purpose of the series was to demonstrate that the leadership of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has been less than honest when it comes to the history and reasons behind a ban that prevented members of African heritage from holding either the Aaronic or Melchizedek Priesthood. This guiding principle was in effect until 1978 when it was rescinded “by revelation” under 12th LDS President Spencer W. Kimball.

Surviving Apostles?

By Bill McKeever

B.H. Roberts, an LDS Seventy and LDS Church historian, in his introduction to the History of the Church, stated that the LDS Church is founded upon this very premise. He wrote, “Nothing less than a complete apostasy from the Christian religion would warrant the establishment of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints” (vol. 1:XL). If however, the Book of Mormon or the Doctrine and Covenants were true, it would be difficult to arrive at such a conclusion.

Is This Bigotry? A Response to Latter-day Saints Who Say, "We Never Criticize Christian Churches"

When Dr. Robert Jeffress, the senior pastor of the 10,000-member First Baptist Church of Dallas, Texas referred to Mitt Romney’s Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as a cult, he caused a firestorm among Mormons and those in the media. Sadly, even though Dr. Jeffress carefully explained that his comment was within the context of theology, he has been accused of bigotry, a typical accusation used by our culture when someone expresses disagreement. What has been virtually ignored in this controversy is how the LDS Church has historically viewed traditional Christianity. It is no secret that the LDS Church claims that it alone represents true Christianity and that God is only pleased with the church Joseph Smith started in 1830. LDS leaders have used words like, whoremaster, apostate, heathens, ignorant, fools, idolators, and blasphemous to describe professing Christians outside of the LDS faith. All things being equal, should they not also be considered bigots, and if so, when is the LDS Church going to apologize for these comments?

Where are the Gold Plates Now?

By Bill McKeever

According to Mormon lore, Smith claimed to receive the “few plates” from Moroni in 1827 and from them translated the Book of Mormon. When he was finished translating the plates he gave them back to the angel who he claimed “has them in his charge” (Joseph Smith History 1:60). Many ask, “Where are the gold plates now?” “And what of the many other records that were supposedly “hid up” in the Hill Cumorah?

What Every Mormon (and Non-Mormon) Should Know: Examining Mormon History, Doctrines and Claims

Reviewed by Eric Johnson

Former Mormonism Research Ministry associate Lane Thuett has teamed with Edmond Gross to put together a well-documented 500+-page book on the subject of Mormonism. The authors have pitched a winner as they utilize a great number of authoritative sources to show that Mormonism is truly much different than historical Christianity.

The book is fully documented, with more than a hundred pages of footnotes included in the back. (It would have been nice if these notes had been incorporated as footnotes, but that’s not the way most publishers work.) Broken down into 13 chapters, the book deals with such issues as the Book of Mormon, Joseph Smith, the Godhead, priesthood, and salvation. Utilizing more than a thousand quotations—honestly, I didn’t count, but there were at least this many and probably many more—the authors use boldface type to highlight certain parts of each quote. This feature helps attract the reader’s eye to the most important element of the longer quotes, which the authors usually provided with the surrounding context.

Persecution and Polygamy: How Many Mormons Actually Died as a Result of 19th Century Persecution?

By Bill McKeever

Listen

It is rare to hear a Mormon tell of his church’s history without a reference being made to the persecution the Mormons faced in Missouri and Illinois during the 1830s and 1840s. That Mormons were mistreated is a matter of actual history, and I certainly have no intention to downplay any atrocities against the LDS people during that period (despite the fact that some LDS historians have admitted that the Saints were not always without blame when it came to conflict between them and their “Gentile” neighbors).

The First Vision’s Slow Entrance Into the LDS Story

When addressing the subject of Joseph Smith’s personal encounter with God the Father and Jesus Christ, Gordon B. Hinckley, the fifteenth president of the LDS Church, stated, “There’s no other event in all recorded history that compares with it, not even at the baptism of the Savior” (“Testimony of the First Vision,” Church News, July 1, 2006, p.2). This event, known to Mormons as the “First Vision,” is one of the most extraordinary tales told by Mormonism’s founder. However, if this event plays such a major role in Mormonism’s history, why do we find no mention of it among the writings of early LDS leaders or members, including Joseph Smith?   

The Demise of the LDS Church in Kirtland

Mormonism began in 1830 in a sleepy township in upstate New York. After Mormon missionaries realized great success gaining converts in Ohio, the religion’s founder, Joseph Smith, moved his fledgling church 250 miles west to the little town of Kirtland. Within months, Joseph sent a number of Church members farther west to Missouri to begin to establish the Church there as well. Though this division of resources resulted in two centers of Mormon activity, the LDS Church headquarters remained in Ohio. With few laborers and little money in Kirtland, the Mormons completed their first temple in 1836. Just two years later the Mormons abandoned their homes and their temple and moved west to Missouri.

The Attempt to Sell the Book of Mormon Copyright

 Copyright SymbolText of Revelation (link)

A Revelation given to Joseph Oliver [Cowdery] Hyram [Hiram Page] Josiah [Stowell]
& Joseph Knight given at Manchester Ontario C[ounty] New York
Behold I the Lord am God I Created the Heavens & the Earth
& all things that in them is wherefore they are mine & I sway
my scepter over all the Earth & ye are in my hands to will &

Proclamation of the First Presidency and Twelve October 21 1865 (Rebuke of Orson Pratt)

From James R. Clark, comp., Messages of the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 6 vols. (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1965-75), 2:, p.235-240

1865-October 21-MS October 21, 1865

§

PROCLAMATION of The First Presidency and Twelve.

In an article entitled "The Holy Spirit," published by brother Pratt in the Millennial Star of October 15th, and November 1, 1850, pages 305-309, and pages 325-328, it is stated, among other things, in relation to the Holy Spirit, that,

Hearken O Ye Latter-Day Saints August 23 1865 (Rebuke of Orson Pratt)

From James R. Clark, comp., Messages of the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 6 vols. (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1965-75), 2:, p.229-235

1865-August 23-MS 27:657-663 (October 21, 1865)

§

HEARKEN, O Ye Latter-day Saints, and all ye inhabitants of the earth who wish to be Saints, to whom this writing shall come.

(From the Deseret News)

Facing the Judgment

The following is an excerpt from pp. 80-89 of Understandable Religion, by John Widtsoe, Mormon apostle and popular church educator. In it he teaches that getting what we earn is “a universal principle, valid from economics to religion, on earth or in heaven… The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is in full opposition to any doctrine which does not require man, and provide him with the means, to earn his way daily, to earthly and heavenly joys.”

Wer ist der, den die Mormonen den "Erretter" nennen?

Von Bill McKeever

Übersetzt von Wolfgang Schneider (Translated by Wolfgang Schneider)

" Zum Zeugnis für Jesus Christus, sprach Präsident Hinckley zu denen
außerhalb der Kirche, die sagen, die Heiligen der Letzten Tage (im
Folgenden 'HLT' genannt) glaubten nicht an den überlieferten Christus.
Nein, das tue ich auch nicht. Der überlieferte Christus, von dem sie
sprechen, ist nicht der Christus, von dem ich spreche" (LDS Church
News, 20. Juni 1998, Seite 7)

Mormons to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the "Priesthood Revelation"

In June of 1978, the LDS-owned Deseret News newspaper printed an announcement by the LDS First Presidency stating that God, by revelation, would now allow all worthy male members in the LDS Church to receive the priesthood as well as “blessings of the temple.” (Deseret News, 6/9/78, 1A). This “revelation,” known as Official Declaration 2, can be found in printed form at the end of the Doctrine and Covenants.

To understand why this announcement was of such extreme importance, it is necessary to go back in time to what Mormons refer to as the”pre-existence “. According to LDS theology, the God of Mormonism, Elohim, resides near a star called Kolob where he lives with his many heavenly wives. Together they are producing millions upon millions of spirit children.

Aliens? LDS Leaders Insist "We are Not Alone"

For whatever reason, science fiction has definitely made a comeback in American culture. Filmmakers have found that movies depicting aliens from space are big money makers. Interestingly enough, Hollywood is not the only one touting the phrase, “We are not alone.” Long before black and white film captured plastic rocket ships hanging by a string, leaders of the Mormon Church were declaring that life existed on other planets. The big difference lies in the fact that Hollywood likes to portray life in outer space as creatures with big, oval-shaped heads and skinny torsos. Mormon leaders, on the other hand, have insisted that life on other worlds is made up of literal human “brothers and sisters.”

The Great Apostasy

Since the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was founded in 1830, it has maintained that Christ’s church fell into what has been described as a complete apostasy. Though LDS leaders cannot agree as to when this actually happened, they do agree that it must have happened. Many LDS leaders have made reference to this so-called apostasy — Mormon Apostle James Talmage even wrote a whole book on the subject!

B.H. Roberts, an LDS Seventy and LDS Church historian, in his introduction to the History of the Church, stated that the LDS Church is founded upon this very premise. He wrote, “Nothing less than a complete apostasy from the Christian religion would warrant the establishment of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints”(vol. 1:XL). If however, the Book of Mormon or the Doctrine and Covenants were true, it would be difficult to arrive at such a conclusion.

An American Garden of Eden?

The passage of time has probably made it impossible to know exactly where the Garden of Eden was located. While admitting that no theory comes without difficulties, Dr. Roland K. Harrison, professor of Old Testament at Wycliffe College, Toronto, writes, “On the basis of currently available information it would appear that the one that locates Eden near the head of the Persian Gulf combines the greatest number of probabilities of every kind”( International Standard Bible Encyclopedia 2:17).

The general consensus of conservative Christian scholars point to the Mesopotamian Valley area. The fact that Genesis 2:14 speaks of the Euphrates River, a river still in existence, gives credence to this. Joseph Smith, the founder of Mormonism, and many of his successors have disagreed with such a view and point instead to present-day North America.

Joseph Smith and the Origins of The Book of Mormon

A Review by Eric Johnson 

David Persuitte, a technical writer from Virginia, wrote the first edition of this book in 1985. Now, a decade and a half later, Persuitte has added many more facts in this, the 325-page second edition. This is extremely worthwhile reading for any serious student of Joseph Smith and the religion he founded in 1830.

Under the Banner of Heaven

 By Jon Krakauer
Reviewed by Eric Johnson

Well-known author Jon Krakauer (Into Thin Air, Into the Wild) originally wanted to write a book titled History and Belief that would focus “on the uneasy, highly charged relationship between the LDS Church and its past.” In this not-yet-written book, he planned to see “how does a critical mind reconcile scientific and historical truth with religious doctrine? How does one sustain belief when confronted with facts that appear to refute it?”

Bruce McConkie’s Letter of Rebuke to Professor Eugene England

Introduction

The following is a letter written by LDS Apostle Bruce R. McConkie and sent to a BYU Professor by the name of Eugene England. The purpose of McConkie’s letter was to let Dr. England know that he was very displeased with certain ideas he was espousing publicly. These included teachings taught in the past by leaders such as Brigham Young. McConkie admits in the letter that Brigham Young was guilty of teaching things that were “out of harmony with the gospel” (p. 6). In fact, McConkie

The King Follett Discourse

Introduction 

The King Follett Discourse was a funeral sermon preached by Joseph Smith on behalf of Elder King Follett, an early convert to Mormonism, who, on March 9, 1844, was crushed to death when a bucket of rocks fell on him as he was walling up a well. According to the “Documentary History of the Church” (6:249), “Brother King Follett was buried” on March 10 “with Masonic honors.”

Brigham Young’s 1852 Speech on Slavery

Introduction

The following is a speech given by LDS
President Brigham Young to the Joint Session of the Legislature in Salt
Lake City, on Thursday, February 5, 1852. The following was found under
Brigham Young addresses, Ms d 1234, Box 48, folder 3, dated Feb. 5,
1852, located in the LDS Church Historical Department, Salt Lake City,
Utah. Spelling has been left intact. In the book, The Teachings of Brigham Young, compiled by Fred C. Collier, the same speech is reproduced with corrected spelling.

Painesville Telegraph – Friday, December 21, 1832

Introduction

Many members of the LDS Church
have looked to Doctrine and Covenants 87 as one of many proofs for the
divine calling of Joseph Smith as a latter-day prophet. This section,
said to be given to Joseph Smith on Christmas Day in 1832, seemingly
prophesies the coming War Between the States; a war that would not take
place for almost another 30 years. Taken out of its historical context,
it does seem incredible that Smith could make such a prediction;
however, what many Latter-day Saints fail to realize is that rumblings

Violence in Early Mormonism – Was It All Unjust Persecution?

By Bill McKeever

Members of the LDS Church often make a big issue of the fact that their ancestors faced terrible persecutions during the early years of the LDS movement. To most people, Missourian sites like Independence, Liberty, Far West, and Caldwell County mean very little. Yet to the faithful Latter-day Saint, these places carry a great amount of significance.

Was There a "Miracle" of the Seagulls?

Located east of the Assembly Hall on Temple Square is a golden monument recognizing the 1848 “miracle of the seagulls.” LDS tradition tells how tens of thousands of seagulls miraculously appeared to devour millions of crickets that were attempting to destroy the crops of the Mormon pioneers who had arrived a year before.

However, because this event receives virtually little attention at the time it supposedly happened, some students of Mormon history have concluded that this account may be nothing more than folklore. For instance, David H. Bailey noted in his review of Samuel W. Taylor’s book The Kingdom or Nothing that Taylor “blandly points out that nowhere in the journals of John Taylor or Parley P. Pratt, or in other reliable sources for that time, is mentioned any instance of a spectacular crop rescue by cricket-eating seagulls.”

History of Wayne County – How the Locals Viewed Joseph Smith and His Family

The History of Wayne County New York (1789-1877) gives both a “historical and descriptive” look at the area where Joseph Smith lived as a young man and where Mormonism began. As the title implies, it is a look at the history of the entire county and is not at all intended to elaborate on the intricate details surrounding Mormonism’s beginnings. In fact, only a very small portion of the book is dedicated to Mormonism and its founder.

White and Delightsome or Pure and Delightsome? – A Look at 2 Nephi 30:6

By Bill McKeever and Eric Johnson 

For much of its history, the Salt Lake City-based LDS Church edition of the Book of Mormon taught that dark-skinned Lamanites (Indians) would eventually experience a change in the color of their skin should they embrace the Book of Mormon. Except for a single edition (1840), 2 Nephi 30:6 has read:

“…their scales of darkness shall begin to fall from their eyes; and many generations shall not pass away among them, save they shall be a white and a delightsome people.”

How Heavy Were Those Gold Plates?

Paramount in the story of the Latter-day Saints is the account given by Joseph Smith of a visitation he received from the angel Moroni on September 21, 1823. He stated that after he retired to bed, his room became filled with light. At his bedside stood an angel who called Smith by name and told him that God had a work for the young boy to do. Smith claimed to have been told how, “there was a book deposited, written upon gold plates, giving an account of the former inhabitants of this continent, and the source from whence they sprang” (Joseph Smith –

History

1:34).

John Taylor’s 1886 Revelation on Celestial Marriage

By Bill McKeever

As the nineteenth century was coming to a close, the United States government was putting more and more pressure on the Mormon Church to stop the practice of plural marriage. Several Mormon leaders brazenly defied federal intervention into what they believed was a divine doctrine, and several went to prison for their convictions.

Masonic Influence in the Endowment Ceremony

By Bill McKeever

Although Doctrine and Covenants 124:41 says that the LDS temple ordinances were “kept hid from before the foundations of the earth,” they are suspiciously close to those used in Freemasonry. Signs, grips, oaths, and tokens used in Mormonism are so similar that one can’t escape the suspicion Smith “borrowed” these Masonic practices, especially since he became a Mason on March 15, 1842 (Documentary History of the Church 4:550-551).

Blood Atonement – If It Was Never Taught, Why Do So Many Mormons Believe It?

By Bill McKeever

In a 1994 article entitled “Concept of Blood Atonement Survives in Utah Despite Repudiation,” Peggy Fletcher Stack, staff writer for the Salt Lake Tribune, wrote, “In the past decade, potential jurors in every Utah capital homicide were asked whether they believed in the Mormon concept of ‘blood atonement'” (11/5/94, p.D1),

"Adam-God" – Brigham Young’s Theory or Divine Doctrine?

By Bill McKeever

On April 9, 1852, Brigham Young, the second president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS), rose to the pulpit of the Salt Lake Tabernacle and announced, “It is my intention to preach several discourses this evening, but how many I do not know.” During his speech President Young explained that he was going to speak on the character of the “well-beloved Son of God, upon which subject the Elders of Israel have conflicting views.”