In my (almost) twenty years of ministry, I have dealt with my fair share of eager, zealous and unfailingly polite young Mormon missionaries. I have also dealt with a handful of older, more seasoned representatives of the LDS organization. I have listened to the President address the General convention more than once. I have read some, but not all of the Book of Mormon. I have read part, but not all of Doctrines and Covenants. I have spent some time on the official LDS website as well as reading the personal writings of many current and former LDS adherents. Though not an expert I have , in my opinion had a more than adequate exposure to LDS theology and practices to understand what it is and what it is not. I will now lay out the 4 basic reasons why I am not a Mormon.
1. I do not believe the Book of Mormon to be inspired. Anyone can write a book that sort of sounds like the Bible. What no one other than God can do is to write a book that tells the future before it happens. This was given as the ultimate test as to the inspiration of the Bible, and how you would determine if what you had was the word of God or the word of Joseph. God openly challenges the spiritual forgeries of this world in Isaiah 41:23 when he says "Shew the things that are to come hereafter, that we may know that ye are gods: yea, do good , or do evil , that we may be dismayed , and behold it together. " The Bible says "the spirit of Jesus Christ is the spirit of prophecy." and for all it's 'thees and thous', the book of Mormon fails this very simple test. There is not a single bit of independently fulfilled prophecy contained therein.
2. I do not believe Joseph Smith was a prophet. The Bible says "When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass
, that is the thing which the LORD hath not spoken , but the
prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of
him."(Deut 18:22) When it comes to predicting the future, Joseph Smith couldn't find his way out of a wet paper bag. In fact, for a guy that happily took the title of Prophet, he has lots and lots and lots of ramblings to the contrary.
3. I believe LDS doctrine to be damnable heresy There are scores of examples, but I'll show a basic one. According to the rapidly changing LDS website , everybody gets some form of eternal life. In another place they say "Those who choose not to follow our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ will
receive a reward according to what they have done in this life, but
they will not enjoy the glory of living in the presence of God."
The Bible takes a very contrary position however, saying that "He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life" (1 John 5:12) John 5:24 says "Verily, verily, I say unto you , He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life"Jesus said in Matt 25:41"Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed , into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:" The idea that "everybody goes to heaven" or even the watered-down LDS idea of hell is unscriptural.
We could go on and on, but LDS alters their doctrine ( and updates their website) just often enough that it's sometimes hard to nail down exactly what the LDS position is.
4. I believe LDS teaches a false gospel. One afternoon I was approached by two Mormon representatives at a gas station. They told me they were out 'spreading the gospel'. I asked them what the gospel was. The young man gave me a long list of things that included repentance, and baptism and obedience to God's commandments. I repeated the list back to him and then asked him if that was all. He added another two or three things to the list like church membership and enduring until the end. By the time he was done there was a list of roughly 10 or so things that, when presented in entirety was 'the recovered gospel'. What his entire list had in common was that is was all works. I took this young man to 1 Cor 15 where the gospel is defined as the death burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.I showed him Ephesians 2 where it says that salvation is the free gift of God, "not of works lest any man should boast". LDS teaches a works-based salvation. A 'works' salvation is an accursed gospel according to Galatians 1.
At the end of the day it doesn't matter how polite they are, or how sincere they are. The LDS organization is a dangerous cult that teaches damnable heresy, and should be treated as such. whenever I deal with Mormons I try to be polite because for the most part, they don't really know what their church teaches, and they certainly don't know the history of their church. Most of them are very young men who have been raised in this doctrine so I don't blame them, but I am duty-bound to inform them, as much as I am anybody else, the way of true salvation; which the Bible defines as "repentance towards God, and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ"