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Why I Am Not A Mormon

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Why I Am Not A Mormon

By 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 God.


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 God’s 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 Christian’s 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 Adam’s Creator said, “Beside me there is no Saviour.”


In contradiction to this, I find that Mormonism’s 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 fraughtwith heavenly wisdom, and their directions leading tothe 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 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.




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 man’s 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.




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 question—the 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 priest’s 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 Aaron’s 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 Aaron’s work, were reached in Christ, and Aaron’s 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 Mormon.




This work of Aaron’s, which ended when the priesthood of Jesus began, was simply an object lesson to teach the Jews of Christ’s priesthood (Hebrews 8:1-5), and Aaron’s priesthood had to cease before Christ’s 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?




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 if it 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 is dead. (Matthew 14:3-11). His body is in the grave awaiting the great day of the resurrection. Till then, he cannot come back to appear to Joseph Smith or anyone else. The same applies to the apostles Peter, James and John (John 21:19,23; Acts 12:2).




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 angels—just 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.” Matthew 24:23-27.


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 me 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) 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 God.



NOTE:This article has been edited by RM Kane. The original author, Walter H. Bradley, was a Seventh Day Adventist and some of those views have been edited out of this article on Mormonism.


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