During 2016, LDS members will be studying the latest manual published by their church, Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Howard W. Hunter We will evaluate this book regularly, chapter by chapter, by showing interesting quotes and providing an Evangelical Christian take on this manual. The text that is in boldfaced is from the manual, with our comments following.
Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Howard W. Hunter, 2015
“The supreme achievement of life is to find God and to know that He lives.”
Under the portrait of Jesus on page 268: “The greatest quest is a search for God—to determine his reality, his personal attributes, and to secure a knowledge of the gospel of his Son Jesus Christ.”
To these quotes, I say, AMEN! Yet the Mormon Church has admitted that its version of God is different! According to a Gospel Topics Essay found on LDS.org,
Although the doctrine of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints differs from that of the many creedal Christian churches, it is consistent with early Christianity. One who sincerely loves, worships, and follows Christ should be free to claim his or her understanding of the doctrine according to the dictates of his or her conscience without being branded as non-Christian.
However, as apologist Greg Koukl has pointed out, “any old God won’t do.” Listing cultural examples of the concept of God—such as “a super-soft grandfather” or “a mutual back-scratching being”—Koukl shows that the God of the Bible is not the same. I encourage you to go through his notes and see if he doesn’t make sense.
Understanding the biblical portrait of God is crucial. As Christian thinker A. W. Tozer wrote,
A right conception of God is basic not only to systematic theology but to practical Christian living as well. It is to worship what the foundation is to the temple; where it is inadequate or out of plumb the whole structure must sooner or later collapse. I believe there is scarcely an error in doctrine or a failure in applying Christian ethics that cannot be traced finally to imperfect and ignoble thoughts about God. . . . Wrong ideas about God are not only the fountain from which the polluted waters of idolatry flow; they are themselves idolatrous. The idolater simply imagines things about God and acts as if they were true. (The Knowledge of the Holy, pp. 3-4).
When we try to imagine what God is like we must out of necessity use that which-is-not-God as the raw material for our minds to work on; hence, whatever we visualize God to be, He is not, for we have constructed our image out of that which He has made and what He has made is not God. If we insist upon trying to imagine Him, we end with an idol, made not with hands but with thoughts; and an idol of the mind is as offensive to God as an idol of the hand. (Ibid., p. 7).
Koukl and Tozer are correct. While the Mormon may not worship a physical stone idol, the misunderstanding of God and His nature is quite a serious problem. In chapter 1 of our book Mormonism 101 (Baker, 2015), available at mrm.org and bookstores all over, Bill McKeever and I listed some of the problems with the LDS God, including:
- He’s not eternally God
- He’s not immutable (meaning, God gradually progressed to the position and power he now holds)
- He’s not self-existent (meaning, He had been created in a previous realm by His “God”)
- He not transcendent (meaning God is nothing more than an exalted human being)
- He’s not omnipotent (meaning, the Mormon God is unable to create out of nothing—something Christians call ex nihilo—but rather is dependent on eternal matter, which is what he used to organize the universe)
- He’s not omnipresent (meaning, no member of the LDS
If Mormonism’s view of God is correct, we should pay full attention to it and accept it as true; if it’s incorrect, then we should reject it. The only way we can know for sure is understand what the Bible has to say about this vital doctrine. It is a study worth doing.
Teachings of Howard W. Hunter
Through faith, we can find God and know that He lives.
The supreme achievement of life is to find God and to know that He lives. Like any other worthy accomplishment, this can only be obtained by those who will believe and have faith in that which at first may not be apparent.
As man’s thoughts turn to God and the things that pertain to God, man undergoes a spiritual transformation. It lifts him from the commonplace and gives to him a noble and Godlike character. If we have faith in God, we are using one of the great laws of life. The most powerful force in human nature is the spiritual power of faith.
I admit that faith is necessary for a vibrant relationship with God. At the same time, we must ask what a particular faith is based on. Is it faith in a God who was once a human being in another realm and somehow graduated to become the God of the universe? Or is it faith in the God who was eteranlly God, the beginning and the end? When the doctrine is studied, the God of Mormonism does not resemble the God of Christianity.
The greatest quest is a search for God—to determine his reality, his personal attributes, and to secure a knowledge of the gospel of his Son Jesus Christ. It is not easy to find a perfect understanding of God. The search requires persistent effort, and there are some who never move themselves to pursue this knowledge. …
I encourage my LDS readers to search the Bible and see what it has to teach about God and His nature. For instance, read Isaiah chapters 43 through 46 and see how many times God states how He is the only God and that He knows of no others. If God had a God before Him, why wouldn’t He let people know that He once worshipped this other God? As far as this search taking “persistent effort,” I concur. If this is the case, where in the Bible does it describe the God as advocated in the Mormon religion? It doesn’t. The Book of Mormon also disagrees with this corrupt version, as detailed in Moroni 8:18!
Whether seeking for knowledge of scientific truths or to discover God, one must have faith. This becomes the starting point. Faith has been defined in many ways, but the most classic definition was given by the author of the letter to the Hebrews in these meaningful words: “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Heb. 11:1.) In other words, faith makes us confident of what we hope for and convinced of what we do not see. … Those who earnestly seek for God do not see him, but they know of his reality by faith. It is more than hope. Faith makes it a conviction—an evidence of things not seen.
Agreed. Yet reasonable faith is based on an understanding of the facts. It is not blind or require a jump into the dark. True faith has eyes more closely related to a jump into the light. There is a difference! Even though we cannot empirically experience God, the evidence shouts out, “There is a God!” And He is knowable. This is where study in the Bible is so very important.
The author of the letter to the Hebrews [the Apostle Paul] continues: “Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.” (Heb. 11:3.) Faith is here described as believing or having the conviction that the world was created by the word of God. Witnesses cannot be produced to prove this fact, but faith gives the knowledge that what we see in the wonders of the earth and in all nature was created by God. …
Most scholars do not believe that Paul wrote the book of Hebrews. Regardless, the evidence of the Bible shows how God indeed created the world. Christians have faith in this event, although it cannot be proven empirically.
I have a positive conviction that God is a reality—that he lives. He is our Heavenly Father, and we are his spiritual children. He created the heaven and the earth and all things upon the earth and is the author of the eternal laws by which the universe is governed. These laws are discovered bit by bit as man continues his search, but they have existed always and will remain unchanged forever.
In Mormonism, Jesus and Heavenly Father are separate gods. Here, Hunter says it is Heavenly Father who created everything, which is generally true but not technically. Tenth President Joseph Fielding Smith credits Jesus for creating the world:
Under the direction of his Father, Jesus Christ created this earth. No doubt others helped him, but it was Jesus Christ, our Redeemer, who, under the direction of his Father, came down and organized matter and made this planet, so that it might be inhabited by the children of God. …It is true that Adam helped to form this earth. He labored with our Savior Jesus Christ. I have a strong view or conviction that there were others also who assisted them. Perhaps Noah and Enoch; and why not Joseph Smith, and those who were appointed to be rulers before the earth was formed? (Doctrines of Salvation 1:74, 75. Italics in original. Ellipsis mine).
A church manual explains,
Jesus Christ created the heaven and the earth under the Father’s direction (see Moses 1:31–33; 2:1). Others were privileged to assist Him in the Creation, including Michael, or Adam. President Joseph Fielding Smith said: ‘It is true that Adam helped to form this earth. He labored with our Savior Jesus Christ. I have a strong view or conviction that there were others also who assisted them. Perhaps Noah and Enoch; and why not Joseph Smith, and those who were appointed to be rulers before the earth was formed?’ (Doctrines of Salvation, 1:74–75) (The Pearl of Great Price Student Manual: Religion 327, 2000, p. 7).
Apparently God the Father and Jesus were not the only ones participating in the creation. Apostle Bruce R. McConkie agreed with his father-in-law (Joseph Fielding Smith) when he said there were others who participated in the creation of the world, including Joseph Smith! He wrote,
Christ, acting under the direction of the Father, was and is the Creator of all things…That he was aided in the creation of this earth by ‘many of the noble and great’ spirit children of the Father is evident from Abraham’s writings….Joseph Smith, and many other “noble and great” ones played a part in the creative enterprise (Mormon Doctrine, 1966, p. 169. Ellipses mine).
To obtain knowledge of the reality of God, we must make a faithful effort, do His will, and pray for understanding.
In order to find God as a reality, we must follow the course which he pointed out for the quest. The path is one that leads upward; it takes faith and effort, and is not the easy course. For this reason many men will not devote themselves to the arduous task of proving to themselves the reality of God. On the contrary, some take the easy path and deny his existence or merely follow the doubter’s course of uncertainty. …
God exists, which is something agreed upon by Latter-day Saints and Christians. But, just as Christians disagree with the version of God propagated in Islam, Hinduism, and Zoroastrianism, so Christians disagree with Mormons on the attributes of God. The gods of all these religions are contradicted by the God as described in the Bible.
… Sometimes faith means believing a thing to be true where the evidence is not sufficient to establish knowledge. We must continue the probe and follow the admonition: “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.” (Matt. 7:7–8.) …
But careful here, Mr. Hunter. Of course, faith does not lend itself to having empirical evidence to support every facet. However, if the evidence goes against that faith, then it would be wise to reject it no matter how much a person wishes it to be true. The verses cited in Matthew are taken out of context in an attempt to support Hunter’s assertion. Jesus never insinuated we should just have blind faith. According to John 20:30-31,
And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.
John 5:36-37 says that the works done by Jesus was evidence to believe.
But I have greater witness than that of John: for the works which the Father hath given me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father hath sent me. And the Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me. Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape.
In Mark 2, Jesus healed a paralytic when the religious leaders scoffed that he could “forgive sins.” He used this as a sign to support his assertion. All in all, we don’t need to resort to blind faith, which seems to be what Hunter is suggesting. Rather, we just need to look at the Person of Jesus and consider His works, including His resurrection from the dead (1 Cor. 15:-15). These are standards by which Christians base their faith.
It is the general rule that we do not get things of value unless we are willing to pay a price. The scholar does not become learned unless he puts forth the work and effort to succeed. If he is not willing to do so, can he say there is no such thing as scholarship? … It is just as foolish for man to say there is no God simply because he has not had the inclination to seek him.
… In order for an individual to obtain unwavering knowledge of the reality of God, he must live the commandments and the doctrines announced by the Savior during his personal ministry. … Those who are willing to make the search, apply themselves, and do God’s will, will have the knowledge come to them of the reality of God.
Hunter brings up commandment keeping as a way to “have knowledge” “of the reality of God.” How is this supposed to work? Apparently blind faith is a requirement to believe Mormonism’s assertions through keeping the commandments of this church. By doing this, it is supposed to somehow show the existence of God. In Christianity, a person comes to God by believing in Him and not through works. (Eph. 2:8-9) Good works follow in a believer’s life, but faith takes place first; these actions cannot conjure up the existence of God. Living the commandments the way they were meant to be lived is impossible. After all, Galatians 3:10 says,
For all who rely on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, “Cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the Book of the Law, and do them.”
If you can’t keep all the law, then the law condemns you. Rather, as Paul adds in verse 11-14,
Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law, for “The righteous shall live by faith.” But the law is not of faith, rather “The one who does them shall live by them.” Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree”— so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith.
It is through an understanding of the Old Testament requirements (knowing that it is impossible to keep the law) that the gospel of Christ is able to make any sense at all.
Christ, during his ministry, explained the manner in which one could know the truth about God. He said, “If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.” (John 7:17.) The Master also explained the will of the Father and the great commandment in this manner: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.” (Matt. 22:37.) Those who will strive to do God’s will and keep his commandments will receive personal revelation as to the divinity of the Lord’s work in bearing testimony of the Father.
As always, the success of Mormonism comes down to obedience and keeping the rules of the Mormon Church. However, consider some of these regulations that are not biblical:
- Getting baptized in order to be saved
- No drinking hot drinks as a health law
- Listing do’s and don’ts for what a person can/can’t do on Sunday (the “Sabbath”) (i.e. not lounging or doing nothing breaks the Sabbath, according to Gospel Principles, p. 141)
- The importance of going to an LDS temple to do works that last for eternity, including those for the dead
More points could be added, but the Bible never insinuates that keeping commandments is the way to “receive personal revelation.” Rather, it’s by faith and faith alone that saves the believer that is revealed through “special reveation,” or the Bible. Galatians 2:16 says,
Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.
To those who desire understanding, the words of James explain how it may be obtained: “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 him.” (James 1:5.) It doesn’t appear that James was referring to factual knowledge in the sense of science, but rather to the revelation that comes from on high which answers men’s questions as the result of following this admonition to pray. …
James 1:5 is one of the most misused passages in the Bible when it comes to Mormonism. Yet this is the verse that Joseph Smith claimed he use to “pray” about which religion was true and then have this prayer answered when God the Father and Jesus appeared to Him in the First Vision. Check out this article on our website.
Thus we have the formula for the search for God and the tools to accomplish the quest—faith, love, and prayer. Science has done marvelous things for man, but it cannot accomplish the things he must do for himself, the greatest of which is to find the reality of God. The task is not easy; the labor is not light; but as stated by the Master, “Great shall be their reward and eternal shall be their glory.” (D&C 76:6.)
Do Christians believe in “faith, love, and prayer”? Absolutely. However, it’s not blind faith, absent-minded love, and unbiblical prayer disregarding the truth. Rather, our faith is informed by our love for truth and praying for wisdom in seeking God’s face. Let me add one more thing about prayer. Although it sounds spiritual, prayer is not a cure-all for every situation. For instance, we shouldn’t pray about stealing a neighbor’s car because the Bible already says this is wrong. We shouldn’t pray about winning the lottery (even if we would feed the world with the proceeds) or ask God for our sports team to win a game because this is akin to turning God into a gumball maching–put the quarter in and you get what you ask for. No, prayer is something sacred. In James 1:5, James speaks about praying for wisdom, not knowledge. These are two different things. When we are undergoing a trial, the Bible says we can approach the throne and ask God for guidance; according to James as well as the book of Proverbs, God will provide for the faithful believer who desires navigation through the storm. James 1:5 certainly has nothing to do about praying about whether or not a book (the Book of Mormon) or a religion (Mormonism) is true.
We must believe in order to see.
Thomas wanted to see before he would believe.
On the evening of the day of the resurrection, Jesus appeared and stood in the midst of his disciples in the closed room. He showed them his hands through which had been driven the nails and his side which had been pierced by the spear. Thomas, one of the twelve, was not present when this happened, but the others told him they had seen the Lord and that he had spoken to them. … Thomas was skeptical, and he said to the disciples:
“… Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.” (John 20:25.)
… In a sense, Thomas represents the spirit of our age. He would not be satisfied with anything he could not see, even though he had been with the Master and knew his teachings concerning faith and doubt. … Faith does not take precedence over doubt when one must feel or see in order to believe.
Thomas was not willing to stand on faith. He wanted positive evidence of the facts. He wanted knowledge, not faith. Knowledge is related to the past because our experiences of the past are those things which give us knowledge, but faith is related to the future—to the unknown where we have not yet walked.
We think of Thomas as one who had traveled and talked with the Master, and who had been chosen by him. Inwardly we wish that Thomas could have turned toward the future with confidence in the things which were not then visible, instead of saying in effect, “To see is to believe.” …
A week later, the disciples were again together in the same house in Jerusalem. This time Thomas was with them. The door was closed, but Jesus came and stood in the midst of them and said, “Peace be unto you.
“Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.” (John 20:26–27.) …
“Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.” ([John] 20:29.)
This occurrence stands as one of the great lessons of all times. Thomas had said, “To see is to believe,” but Christ answered: “To believe is to see.” …
I am unclear about what Hunter is saying here. “To believe is to see”? Of course, Thomas—being the ultimate empiricist—had the opportunity to touch Jesus, see Him with his eyes, and hear his words. In verse 29, Jesus says in a modern fashion, “Hey, it’s great you believe because you see, but blessed are those who have not had to experience me in an empirical way and still believe.” Although Hunter’s quip is cute—to believe is to see—that’s not what Jesus is saying. Rather, He is saying that those who believe, despite not seeing in a physical way, are more blessed for taking this leap of faith than someone (like Thomas) who had the opportunity to see Jesus and believe.
The classic example of faith is ascribed to the Apostle Paul in his Epistle to the Hebrews: “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Heb. 11:1.)
Notice how the verse says “the evidence of things not seen.” As I said before, Christians don’t need blind faith. Rather, the consideration of all the evidence helps a believer come to the conclusion that there really is a God (supported by arguments) and how there really was a Jesus as well as a resurrection. We may not be able to touch, taste, and see these things, but there is enough to get us to the cross with “the evidence of things not seen.” For Hunter to somehow assume that blind faith is required for belief misses the point made by the author of Hebrews.
The man born blind did not doubt; he believed in the Savior.
If we turn back to the ninth chapter of John, we read of another incident that took place in Jerusalem in which a man who had been born blind received his sight. It was the Sabbath day, and Jesus was apparently in the vicinity of the temple when he saw the blind man, and his disciples asked him:
“… Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?
“Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.
“I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.
“As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” (John 9:2–5.)
Jesus then spat on the ground and made clay of the spittle mixed with the dust of the earth. He anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay and told him to go wash in the pool of Siloam. If this had been Thomas, would he have gone as he had been commanded or would he have asked the question: “What good can come from washing in the stagnant waters of that dirty pool?” or “What medicinal properties are there in saliva mixed with the dust of the earth?” These would seem to be reasonable questions, but if the blind man had doubted and questioned, he would still be blind. Having faith, he believed and did as he was directed. He went and washed in the pool and came back seeing. To believe is to see. …
“Blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.”
The blind man believed and was permitted to see. Thomas refused to believe until after he could see. The world is full of Thomases, but there are many like the blind man of Jerusalem. Missionaries of the Church meet both of these every day as they carry their message to the world, the message of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. … Some believe, have faith, and are baptized. Some will not accept because they cannot see or feel.
Perhaps some skeptics of Mormonism do not believe because they have read the Bible, studied out the claims of this religion, and reject LDS teaching because of so many discrepancies. Many religions claim to be true. The blind man in the story referenced above had no other choice. He had tried everything else and nothing worked. Today we have plenty of options, all but one of them false. Many say, “Come our way and we will show you truth.” It is not wise to randomly pick a religion and choose to have faith when this could be like eating what appears to be wild mushrooms without testing them to see if they might be poisonous toadstools. Not checking could prove to be disasterous. First Thessalonians 5:21 says, “Test everything.” As Jesus warned in Matthew 7:15, “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.”
There is no positive, concrete, tangible evidence that God lives, yet millions have a knowledge that he does through that faith which constitutes the evidence of things unseen. Many say to the missionaries, “I would accept baptism if I could believe that Joseph Smith was visited by the Father and the Son.” For this fact there is no positive, concrete, tangible evidence, but to those who are touched by the Spirit, faith will stand in the place of such evidence of things unseen. Remember the words of the crucified Master as he stood before Thomas:
Those who believe through faith will see.
I add my witness to the testimonies of the thousands of missionaries that God does live, that Jesus is the Savior of the world, that those who will believe through faith will be caused to see.
Wait a minute, Mr. Hunter, this is a great point. Someone says, “I would accept LDS baptism if we could show that Smith was visited by the Father and the Son.” This First Vision account along with the Book of Mormon story are the centerpieces of the foundation of Mormonism. Fifteenth President Gordon B. Hinckley said,
Our whole strength rests on the validity of that vision. It either occurred or it did not occur. If it did not, then this work is a fraud… upon that unique and wonderful experience stands the validity of this church (“The Marvelous Foundation of our Faith,” Ensign (Conference Edition), November 2002, p. 80. Ellipsis mine).
Hinckley added that if this event didn’t take place, the whole religion of Mormonism is a “great sham”:
That becomes the hinge pin on which this whole cause turns. If the First Vision was true, if it actually happened, then the Book of Mormon is true. Then we have the priesthood. Then we have the Church organization and all of the other keys and blessings of authority which we say we have. If the First Vision did not occur, then we are involved in a great sham. It is just that simple (Teachings of Gordon B. Hinckley, p. 227).
He said Mormonism would be “engaged in blasphemy” if the First Vision turned out to be fiction:
I would like to say that this cause is either true or false. Either this is the kingdom of God, or it is a sham and a delusion. Either Joseph talked with the Father and the Son, or he did not. If he did not, we are engaged in blasphemy (Conference Reports, October 1961, p. 116).
I would agree! Study the First Vision for yourself and see if this is a historical or fiction event.
The First Vision
- Do the First Vision Accounts Coincide?
- The First Vision Account: Response to the LDS.org Essay
- First Vision: Fact or Fiction?
- Which First Vision Account Should we Believe?
- The First Vision’s Slow Entrance
- The Importance of Joseph Smith’s First Vision (Blog)
The historicity of the Book of Mormon is also in play. Apostle Orson Pratt said more than a century and a half ago,
This book must be either true or false. If true, it is one of the most important messages ever sent from God to man, affecting both the temporal and eternal interests of every people under heaven to the same extent and in the same degree that the message of Noah affected the inhabitants of the old world. If false, it is one of the most cunning, wicked, bold, deep-laid impositions ever palmed upon the world, calculated to deceive and ruin millions who will sincerely receive it as the word of God, and will suppose themselves securely built upon the rock of truth until they are plunged with their families into hopeless despair. The nature of the message in the Book of Mormon is such, that if true, no one can possibly be saved and reject it; if false, no one can possibly be saved and receive it (Divine Authenticity of the Book of Mormon, 1:1, Liverpool, October 15, 1850. Italics in original).
If the Book of Mormon is true, then it behooves everyone to become believers. If it is not true, then it must be rejected. There are no other options.
Acting on our faith leads to personal testimony.
As children we accepted as fact the things which were told to us by our parents or our teachers because of the confidence that we had in them. A little boy will jump from a high place without fear if his father tells him that he will catch him. The little fellow has faith that his father will not let him fall. As children grow older, they commence to think for themselves, to question and have doubts about those things which are not subject to tangible proof. I have sympathy for young men and young women when honest doubts enter their minds and they engage in the great conflict of resolving doubts. These doubts can be resolved, if they have an honest desire to know the truth, by exercising moral, spiritual, and mental effort. They will emerge from the conflict into a firmer, stronger, larger faith because of the struggle. They have gone from a simple, trusting faith, through doubt and conflict, into a solid substantial faith which ripens into testimony.
As one gets older, experience become a friend and not a foe. Someone who jumps from a high place and falls is able to say, “Gee, my father said it was safe to jump, but I guess I need him here to catch me.” That young person will learn and grow. The same is true with faith. As children, we may easily accept the faith of our parents. But as we get older and experience more of the world ourselves, we begin to ask more questions and determine where exactly we stand. If Mormonism is true, then it will do so by standing with the evidence. When the First Vision and Book of Mormon are considered, though, holes make appearnces; soon we realize that these events are not all that they were cracked up to be.
Students spend hours in scientific laboratories experimenting to find the truth. If they will do the same thing with faith, prayer, forgiveness, humility and love, they will find a testimony of Jesus Christ, the giver of these principles.
Hunter wants to take the things of science and separate them from the things of faith. Is this wise? In fact, should we separate the things of history and separate them from the things of faith? See, blind faith is not required by God. Rather, informed faith (and refusing to believe false prophets) is what is needed.