WHY I AM NOT MORMON
Walter H. Bradley
The day that Christ came
into my heart, I covenanted with Him to accept the Bible as a
guide in all things. I take for granted that my reader, if a
Christian, has done the same. It was from the standard of the
Word that I investigated Mormonism, seeking further light from
I have no tirade to direct
against Mormonism as a national menace, as do some. I am not
jealous of her growing political power. I have no quarrel with
her vast wealth and mercantile pursuits. I care not to hale forth
the skeletons that may linger in the closets of her past. To the
Christian, the question is not, how faulty are the lives of poor
erring men? But, how closely are they trying to follow the Bible?
Be their lives as faulty as they may, if they love the truth of
Gods Word, that truth will eventually sanctify their lives,
and make them like the divine pattern. (John17:17). Judas was
among the twelve, but that does not condemn Christianity. Satan
and his host are transformed into ministers of righteousness (2
Corinthians. 11:14, 15), still his teaching is false.
The Christians sole
question must be, "What saith the Scripture?" If they
speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light
in them." Isaiah 8:20. It is the Scripture alone that is
"profitable for doctrine." 2 Timothy 3:15-17. In
mentioning a few of the things that the Bible contradicts and
condemns in Mormonism, I trust I may help some, and offend none
but the son of perdition.
The Bible is plain in
portraying the super humanity of God. When the Almighty spoke to
Moses from the burning bush, He proclaimed Himself to be Jehovah,
the Self-existent One. This fundamental fact He reiterated and
emphasized in many Scriptures. "Before Me there was no God
formed, neither shall there be after Me. I, even I, am the Lord:
and beside Me there is no Saviour." Isaiah 43:10, 11.
"I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is
no God. . . Is there a God beside me? Yea, there is no God; I
know not any." Isaiah 44:6, 8.
Then, as God, the Deity stands
alone. Apart from the Godhead, no one ever was divine. God is the
Creator, man the created, absolutely dependent upon God for every
phase of his being. Any attributes of divinity man might ever
have would only be imputed to him by God. Man did not have the
power of creation (Psalm 100:3), and his very existence was
conditional (Genesis 2:17). By sinning, Adam and all his family
became mortal, subject to death, (Romans 5:12). The same as you
and I, Adam had to experience a spiritual rebirth, and receive
from Christ all he might ever hope to have or to be (1
Corinthians 15:22); and Adams Creator said, "Beside me
there is no Saviour."
In contradiction to this, I
find that Mormonisms highest authority makes God a mere
man, the man Adam; and makes Adam the creator, the father of his
own Saviour. I submit as proof of these startling teachings of
the Latter-day Saints, only what may be found in the writings of
the first presidency and the twelve apostles of the Mormon
Church. That this is to the Mormon the highest of authority,
witness the following:
"It would seem altogether
gratuitous and uncalled for on our part, to write a commendatory
preface to the discourses of the First Presidency and The Twelve
Apostles of this church. To the Saints their words are the words
of God, their teaching fraught with
heavenly wisdom, and their directions leading to the
salvation and eternal lives.
. . . The choicest fruit
that can be culled from the tree of knowledge, suited to the
taste of all who can appreciate such delicious
food."Preface to "Journal of Discourses,"
volumes 2, 4.
Then surely I can gain a
correct view of the doctrines of Mormonism by comparing the
writings of these men with the Bible, which to me is the Word of
SAYS ADAM IS GOD
Place before you the
Bible and the "Journal of Discourses." Open the Bible
and read prayerfully the scriptures I have given. Now open the
"Journal of Discourses," volume 1, page 50. Compare
with the Bible what follows:
"Now hear it, O inhabitant
of earth, Jew and gentile, saint and sinner! When our father Adam
came into the Garden of Eden, he came into it with a celestial
body and brought Eve, one of his wives with him. He helped to
make and organize this world. He is Michael, the archangel, the
Ancient of Days about whom holy men have written and spoken. He
is our Father and our God, and the only God with whom we have to
do. Every man upon the earth, professing Christian or
non-professing, must hear it, and will know it sooner or
later." (Italics and capitals as in text).
There can be no mistake here.
Whereas God declares His superhuman divinity, Brigham Young
declares the human divinity of the man Adam as the sole God of
the human race. Not only does this teaching exalt a sinful man
into the seat of God, but it hurls the Bible Jehovah from His
heavenly throne. "God Himself was once as we are now and is
an exalted man, and sits enthroned in yonder heavens! This is the
great secret.""Compendium," page 190, or
175. This comparison of Mormonism and the Bible is disastrous. No
one can deny that the God Mormonism is a man, a created man, a
man who sinned! And this is one reason why I am not a Mormon.
ADAM IS JESUS'
That Adam is the father
of his own Saviour must follow logically from such teaching, and
is unblushingly preached by the same prophet, seer, and
revelator. Denying the Bible statement that "that which is
conceived (margin "begotten") in her is of the Holy
Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call His
name Jesus" (Matthew 1:20, 21; Luke 1:35). President Young
teaches: "When the Virgin Mary conceived the child Jesus,
the Father had begotten him in His own likeness. He was not
begotten by the Holy Ghost. And who is the Father? He is the
first of the human family. Now remember from this time forth and
forever that Jesus Christ was not begotten by the Holy
Ghost." And that he, in his position as prophet, seer, and
revelator, and first president of the Mormon Church, considered
this teaching as of utmost importance, Brigham Young continues,
"Now let all who may hear these doctrines pause long before
they make light of them, or treat them with indifference, for
they will prove their salvation or
damnation.""Journal of Discourses." Volume
1, pages 50, 51.
God forbid that I should treat
this with indifference, or pass it by lightly; for not only does
it make the man Adam the creator of his own
Saviour, but without question, it teaches that Jesus was not the
pure and Holy Son of God, but was the illegitimate offspring of
an adulterous liaison between the man Adam, the first of the
human race, and Mary, the lawful wedded wife of Joseph. This is
another reason why I am not a Mormon.
Not content with so degrading
our blessed Lord in His birth, this system we are studying makes
Him a lawbreaker in His life. The law that Jesus gave Moses, and
which He kept on earth (Leviticus 18:18; John 1:1-3; 15:10),
forbade a mans having two sisters as wives at the same
time. President Hyde, of the Mormon church, asks himself the
following question: "Then you really mean to hold to the
doctrine that the Saviour of this world was married? Do you mean
to be understood so? And if so, do you mean to be understood that
He had more than one wife?"
His answer follows on page 82:
"We say it was Jesus Christ who was married (at Cana) to be
brought into the relation whereby He could see His seed before He
was crucified. . .I do not despise to be called a son of Abraham
if he had a dozen wives; or to be called a brother, a son, a
child of the Saviour if He had Mary, Martha, and several others
as wives." "Journal of Discourses," Volume 2,
pages 81, 82.
THE DOCTRINE OF
THE HOLY PRIESTHOOD
Even more derogatory to
the glory of Jesus, and yet of paramount importance to the Mormon
system, is the doctrine of the holy priesthood. It is to them
what the sun is to light. Without it, the gospel has no virtue,
the dead cannot be resurrected, the living baptized, or men and
women be married in the sight of God. Witness the words of
Charles W. Penrose, first counselor to Heber J. Grant, first
president, prophet, seer, and revelator of Mormonism today:
"The ordinances of the
gospel referred to in the previous tracts of this series, cannot
be effectually administered without divine authority. . .
.Baptism, even if solemnized according to the form and pattern
followed by the Saviour and His appointed servants, will be of no
avail and will not bring remission of sins, unless the
officiating minister has received authority from the Deity to act
in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. .
. . This Divine Authority was called the Holy Priesthood. . .and
was established in the Christian Church by the Saviour
Himself.""Rays of Living Light," page 17.
"There are in the church two Priesthoods, namely the
Melchisedec and the Aaronic. . . All other authorities or offices
in the Church are appendages to this Priesthood. . . .The Latter
Day Saints have this Priesthood, with its authority, ordinances,
and blessing. How they have obtained it is a very important
question.""Compendium," page 64, 65.
Even if their own estimate of
the absolute necessity of this priesthood to their system is
accepted, yet that priesthood is found to be strictly
anti-biblical and anti-christian. I shall deal with three aspects
of the questionthe Aaronic priesthood, the Melchisedec
priesthood, and the authority of both.
The Aaronic priesthood,
beginning with the calling of Aaron himself, was distinctly
limited as to both duration and place. "Thou and thy sons
with thee shall keep your priests office for everything of
the altar, and within the veil." Numbers 18:7. There they
were to minister. They were not anointed priests until after the
sanctuary had been anointed. As long as God had on earth a temple
or a sanctuary, they were to be priests there, and no one else
could have any right to priesthood. Any other than a son of Aaron
coming near would be put to death.
In this sanctuary, they were to
offer the sacrifices of "bulls and goats" (Hebrews
9:1-4), for "every high priest is ordained to offer gifts
and sacrifices (Hebrews 8:3)." Without these sacrifices,
they could not be priests. If the time should ever come when God
should remove His presence from the Aaronic temple and sanctuary,
and the blood of bulls and goats should cease to have sacrificial
value, then Aaron, with no ministry, no temple, and no sacrifice,
would no longer be a priest.
The Bible surely declares that
time to have been at the first advent of Jesus. The Aaronic
sanctuary "was a figure for the time then present,"
"imposed on them until the time of reformation"
(Hebrews 9:9, 10), "till the seed should come to whom the
promise was made" (Galatians 3:19). Christ is the Seed.
(Galatians 3:16) The Seed came. (Galatians 4:4). The true
sacrifice was offered. (Hebrews 9:14) No longer had the blood of
bulls and goats any value. (Hebrews 10:8-14). The veil that had
hidden Aarons sacred priesthood from common eyes was rent
in twain. (Matthew 27:51). The time of reformation had come,
"Christ being come an High Priest." (Hebrews 9:11).
"When that which is perfect is come, then that which is in
part shall be done away." 1 Corinthians 13:10. The limits,
as to both time and place, that the Bible had prescribed for
Aarons work, were reached in Christ, and Aarons
priesthood had to cease by limitation. Thus to claim now to have
the Aaronic priesthood, is to deny the coming, the death, the
sacrifice, and the priesthood of Christ. Hence I cannot be a
PRIESTHOOD ONLY AN OBJECT LESSON
This work of Aarons,
which ended when the priesthood of Jesus began, was simply an
object lesson to teach the Jews of Christs priesthood
(Hebrews 8:1-5), and Aarons priesthood had to cease before
Christs could even begin (Hebrews 9:8). "We have a
great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son
of God." Hebrews 4:14. "If therefore perfection were by
the Leviticus priesthood. . . .what further need was there that
another priest should rise after the order of Melchisedec, and
not be called after the order of Aaron." Hebrews 7:11.
"The priesthood being changed." Hebrews 7:12. It was
not continued subordinate, not perpetuated on earth in a lesser
degree, but changed; changed because we must have a priest, and
Aaron was a priest no longer. Christ, our new priest succeeding
Aaron, is the "one mediator between God and men, and not
priests. As there could, therefore, be but one Melchisedec
priest, and as Christ, on the oath of God, was that one forever
(Hebrews 7:21), it follows with inexorable logic "this man,
because He continueth ever, had a priesthood that passeth not
from one to another." Hebrews 7:24, margin. Then in their
claim to have the Melchisedec priesthood on earth today,
Mormonism tacitly declares that Christ has again died, and is
still dead, and that His priesthood has passed to them! Do you
wonder why I cannot be a Mormon?
JOHN THE BAPTIST
Now on the third aspect,
the "authority," as Counselor Penrose says, "How
they have obtained it is a very important question." It is
indeed a very great question. I will grant their premise that the
holy priesthood is all in all to Mormonism, and that without it,
there could be no Mormonism. I will grant that if they have not
the priesthood they claim, the whole movement is an imposture. I
will even grant that if they do have this priesthood from God
(which I have already proved cannot be), they are the true church
of God, and all others are false. Surely I will; for the Bible
clearly teaches that by no possibility could the authority, even
of if did exist, have come to them
in the way they claim.
"Joseph Smith received a
visitation from John the Baptist, who held authority in ancient
times to preach and administer baptism for the remission of sins.
He came as a ministering angel, and ordained Joseph Smith and his
companion Oliver Cowdery, to that Priesthood and authority."
Thus endowed, these young men baptized each other, and at a later
date were ministered to by the Apostles Peter, James, and John,
who ordained them to the apostleship with the authority to lay
hands on, baptize believers and confer the gift of the Holy
Ghost, also to build up and organize the Church of Christ
according to the original pattern.""Rays of
Living Light," page 27.
In the face of this assertion,
the Bible tells me that John the Baptist, Peter, James, and John
were dead. (Matthew 14:3-11; John 21:19, 23; Acts 12:2). For a
complete Bible study of the condition of man in death, I refer
you to another
link on this web site. I
cannot take space here to cover such a subject. I shall, however,
quote enough Scripture to show that the Word of God teaches that
dead men, good or bad, cannot come back to earth.
"The dead know not
anything." Ecclesiastes 9:5, 6, 10. "In death there is
no remembrance." Psalm 6:5. "The dead praise not the
Lord." Psalm 115:17. "His sons come to honor, and he
knoweth it not." Job 14:21. "Man lieth down, and riseth
not: till the heavens be no more, and they shall not awake."
Job 14:14. "If I wait, the grave is my house." Job
17:13. Until our Lord Jesus Christ calls forth the dead in the
resurrection, no one can be made alive. "In Christ shall all
be made alive. But man in his own order; Christ the firstfruits;
afterward they that are Christs at His coming." 1
Corinthians 15:21-23. The resurrection has not yet taken place.
(1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17).
John the Baptist, Peter, James,
and John are dead. They know not anything. They have no
remembrance. They are in the grave awaiting the great day of the
resurrection. Till then, they cannot come back. They did not
appear to Joseph Smith.
Then who did? For I
believe Joseph Smith to have been inspired by some superhuman
power. Would good angels in lying deceit have impersonated these
dead apostles? The Christian says No; so does the Bible. Who did
come to him and deceive him? There can, to the just, be but one
conclusion. Paul says that "Satan himself is transformed
into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his
ministers also be transformed as the ministers of
righteousness." 2 Corinthians 11:13-15. As God could not
deceive, nor would the holy angels do so, doubtless some of the
evil angels transformed themselves into ministers of
righteousness, and imposed on the Mormon prophet Joseph Smith.
Counselor Penrose said, in the extract quoted, that they came as
ministering angelsjust as Paul said the devil would come.
We might well expect this; for Jesus warned us that in these very
times, "There shall arise false Christs, and false prophets,
and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were
possible, they shall deceive the very elect. . Wherefore if they
shall say unto you, Behold, He is in the desert; go not forth:
Behold, He is in the secret chambers; believe it not."
This same Bible truth of life
only in Christ at the resurrection, also brands their baptism for
the dead as spurious. A careful study of 1 Corinthians 15:12-29
will convince the truth seeker that it is the dead, resurrected,
and ascended Christ for whom, or into whom (see lexicon or
concordance), all believers are baptized. Any theory of a second
probation, the Bible condemns as a Satanic potion that lulls the
unwary past probationary repentance, into the vortex of the
second death. The Bible also clearly shows God to be the Creator
and not the begetter of mankind. Jesus is the only begotten. And
it shows that Adam at creation, and his sons at birth, had their
first existence; and that the Mormon doctrine of pre-existence is
contrary to Scriptural teaching. Such evidence, you see, prevents
my being a Mormon.
But it does not prevent my
pitying and loving the Mormon people. Can you not, Christian
reader, love them and pray for them? Pray that "the faith
which was once for all delivered unto the saints" (Jude 3,
A.R.V.) may dawn upon the minds of these poor children of Adam,
and that they may embrace "the lamb of God, that taketh away
the sins of the world;" our High Priest, Jesus, the Son of