Monday, June 25, 2007

Annoying Mormon Encounter

I sooo wish I had the gift of the word of knowledge or the word of wisdom or the gift of healing. Something! Something which would help me in these encounters. Human reasoning doesn't help in the face of indoctrinations. That's why ST Paul said, we don't preach out of vain philosophy but we preach with power. The evangelist T L Osborn said when he went to preach to muslims he held up the Bible and said, "this is God's book." A Muslim man held up his book (the koran) and said this is God's book. And my book says your book is not the true book. T L was upset and left unable to preach the gospel to anyone in that land. He prayed for the holy spirit and received the gift of healing. When he got it, he went back and preached the gospel with signs following...healing the sick, curing lepers, healing the lame, blind, deaf, casting out devils etc. Then the conversions began. Mere words and religious discussion isn't going to change some people. They must see the power of the gospel.

Anyway, here is just a small record of what happened in my encounter. Aargh.

I said, "Jewish DNA doesn't match Native American DNA"

The elder said, "yes it does."
LIE
I said, "The linguistics of Hebrew doesn't match Native American DNA."

The elder said, "Yes it does. In fact we have had this book studied by Israeli students and they said it was right." (What the heck does that mean?)
LIE


I wanted to say, "How can the Israeli students say the Mormon translation is right when there is no original parchment or writing? All we have is the English translation? Isn't that kinda odd that you have translations of a document but the original document is totally lost to history? How do we know Joseph just didn't write the "translation" and make up this entire thing? The Book of Mormon is awfully large. Lots of stories. How could someone simply misplace the original document?"


I said, "The book of mormon has people in the western world on horses, using silk, and having steel sword. None of those were on the western hemisphere before the Europeans brought them here."

The elder said, "Yes it was. In fact we have found steel foundries here in the Western Hemisphere"
BOLD-FACED LIE
I said, "Jewish Communities in China, Ethiopia, India all have the SAME Jewish Tanakh with only a few grammatical changes. Even the Dead Sea Scrolls show that the Book of Isaiah is pretty much the same as the one we have now...with some little grammatical issues. How can you say that the Bible has been corrupted when it has this long trail of evidence. And when the Book of Mormon has been changed at least four or five times."

The elder said, "I've read the first and the last version of the Book of Mormon and it's the same except for grammatical and punctuation errors."
SUBTLE LIE
I said, "The Mormon story is very much like the Islam story. Two guys with many wives who were told by angels that God had given them the true version. Both men create holy cities, both men share many things in common. God allowing the Jewish people to be deceived for 3000 or so years with the wrong book? And then allowed the Christians to be deceived for another amount of time? Only to give the truth to people who two prophets? Didn't the Bible tell us that if anyone came with another gospel he should be accursed?"

They said, "This is not another gospel, this is the recovered gospel. And Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob had more than one wife."


They said, "Did you know that much of the Book of Isaiah was recorded in the Book of Mormon?"
I said, "Tell me why the angel helped Joseph Smith translate the Book of Mormon into King James English, using the exact King James Version of the Isaiah passages. They were in 18th century American but he chooses to translate it into Elizabethan English from a country across the sea, in a language two hundred years old. Nah, Joseph Smith simply swiped the passages."
They said, "There are always newer and newer versions of the Bible because the Bible is corrupted and badly translated."

I said, "Oh come on! Version doesn't mean a new interpretation of the Bible. It means translating it in the tongue of the people. For heaven's sake, the American Bible Society just made a gullah translation of the Bible. Something like...."Inna de beginning a time De Lawd mek de hebben and de ert." That's not a different interpretation; it's merely a different dialect. All the different versions of the Bible had different educational styles and used different synonyms. A child's translation of the Bible is not a different interpretation: it just uses simpler words, simpler synonyms."



He said, “There are whole sections in the Book of Mormon that are exactly the same as in the King James Version. Some chapters in the Book of Mosiah for instance.”

I said, “And you don’t think that’s kinda weird? I have NEVER said the exact same thing in the exact same order to anyone and you believe that two people on separate continents can come up with the same exact words in the same exact order? No two situations are ever that alike! Especially situations on two different continents. Same exact idolatry, same exact prophecy.”

He said, “When God is doing something anything is possible.”

I thought, wow, this guy is slick! I said, “I want you to compare those exact sections in the Book of Mormon with their exact counterparts in the Bible and read slowly to see if Joseph Smith really knew what he was doing when he wrote the Book of Mormon.”

He said, “Joseph Smith didn’t write the Book of Mormon. God did.”

I said, “Then why did God use the King James Version to write the Book of Mormon?”

He said, “He didn’t.”

I said, “In the KJV, there are italicized words. The KJV translators, when they were translating the Bible from the original Hebrew, used italics when they weren’t sure of the meaning of a phrase or word.” For instance, they say, ‘Joseph had a coat of many colors.’ And they italicize the word “many” because they didn’t know what the real word was. Now, after a lot of research into linguistics and archeology, translators know that the meaning of the word is not “many” but “embroidered.” So the newer translations might translate it as “Joseph had an embroidered coat with long sleeves.” Or they might paraphrase it “Joseph had an embroidered long-sleeved coat which was like the coat the ruling class used to wear.” Joseph and his coat aside, when one compares the passages in the Book of Mormon that are exactly like the passages in the Bible, you’ll notice that the Book of Mormon uses those italicized words the King James translators put in when they didn’t know what the meaning of the word was. For instance, if we were talking about the Joseph story, we would see “many” instead of embroidered. Now, it’s weird, don’t you think that the Book of Mormon should use the exact same “I-don’t know what word this is” word as the KJV. Why should the Book of Mormon imitate even the KJV words – -especially when some of those words weren’t even in the Hebrew. And especially if those italicized words were the translators saying, “I might not be right.” In this case, The Book of Mormon duplicates the KJV tooo tooo tooo much. Don’t you think that’s kind of odd?

No answer. So he changed his tack. He said, “Haven’t you seen in the Bible where they mention other history books and we don’t see them in the Bible?”

I said, “Just because the writers of the book of Kings and Chronicles mention other history books doesn’t mean that God intended those other history books to be included in the Bible. There are tons of history books out there. And you know what? What exactly is the name Mosiah supposed to mean? What are all those names of ethnic groups and people supposed to mean? Linguistically, Mosiah and the Lamanites make no sense. Hebrew names for people and places usually had some meaning. For instance Moab and Amnon both mean “son of my father.” Moses means “child” in ancient Egyptian Mose/mes (as in Tutmoses, Rameses, Ahmose) and it means “Drew out” (mosheh) or deliver (masheh) in ancient Hebrew. And Isaiah means “Salvation of Yahweh.”

No answer.

So I said, "promise me that you will do some objective comparison of the Bible. Check out what I'm saying and you will see that those areas of the text which are changed from the KJV shows Joseph Smith didn't really understand what the prophet Isaiah was talking about."

They said, "we don't need to do that. We know our book is true. Why are you picking on our religion by saying the Book of Mormon is wrong?"

I said, "Excuse me, I and other Christians were just walking along being normal and then you come and tell us our religious book is wrong and when we defend our faith, you say you are being spiritually attacked?"

Then they showed me a picture of Joseph Smith meeting Father God and Jesus and said, "Joseph Smith met Jesus and Holy Father."

I said, "Jesus said, 'I and the Father are one!' And are you telling me that God appeared in a human body? God doesn't have a body...and there shouldn't be a picture of two people here."

Then I said, "Honestly, I believe in one God who created all things in the universe -- seen and unseen, physical and spiritual, known and unknown.The Alpha and the Omega beside whom there is no other"
They said, "We believe in a God that created this universe....."

I said, "Don't be slick! You guys believe there are many universes and many gods who were created by other gods who were created by other gods. And when you die --if you're lucky-- you create your own planet with your own gods and your own saviors if necessary."

I think I kinda made them think when they said, "We all will become children of God."

I answered, "No, the Bible says we ARE already children of God. We have authority to heal the sick, cast out demons. As the apostle said, 'as Jesus was so are we in this world.'"

That kinda made them look like they were a bit confused.


Ah Joseph Smith's plates and the angel Moroni. First of all, ONLY Joseph Smith saw those plates. Second of all, there is no such language as reformed Egyptian.

Second his idea about how the Urim and Thummin worked was totally wrong.

Joseph Smith found the so-called plates by divination and the Mormon church's temple services are almost a duplicate of the Masonic temple.

The Book of Mormon has been so changed so many times. If it's the true book from God, why has it been changed? I mean, Mormonism was very anti-African and anti-Indian. Yet many Mormon converts nowadays don't know this history. Black people are descended from Cain and dark skin was a cursed. Brigham Young taught that anyone who married a black person should be executed on the spot. Young taught that it would always be so. There was no place in the Mormon's highest heaven for black people.


As Christ was, so are we in this world.

God tells us that even our best works are as filthy rags.

The Bible tells us that we have already passed from death into life. By Grace. You don't "merit" grace. You don't work up to a point where God gives you grace. Salvation is by grace ALONE.

Isa 44:8,
Isa 8:19,
Eph 2:8, 9, 20
John 5:24 -- We HAVE eternal life
Romans 9:3

God says "beside me, there is no other."

If you examine a Temple Recommend closely, you will see that it comes with an expiration date. God's grace doesn't.

I suggested they read some of the older Mormon books to see how much the Mormon church's teachings have changed, the Journal of discourse volume one, page 50 for instance where Brigham Young says that God and Adam are the same. I suggested they read some of the older Mormon theology books where the Mormon church states that God had literal sex with Mary. They didn't believe any such thing. So, I guess the good thing is that the Mormon church used to be a bit farther off from Christianity than it used to be.

I said, the first lie in the Bible was that man could become a God. It is the main deception in all false religions. Once you accept that anyone can be a god then you can accept the fact that you can become a God. But there is only one God.

They said there are other gods. And each god was created by a previous god."

I said, "Then who created the first God?"

They said, "the God before him."

I said, Isaih 43:10 says, "Before me was no god formed, nor shall there be any after me. I, I am the Lord, and besides me there is no savior....and you are my witnesses, says the Lord."

That's an answer to Mormons and to Jehovah's witness who think there are other gods and that Jesus is not God. Trinity. And One God.


What a day! At some point in the conversation, I actually felt as if I was going to get a panic attack.

There was no talking to these guys. Once they lied about history and linguistics and archeological finds, I should have given up. I mean...how can one counter this kind of dishonesty and indoctrination? Only a gospel of power will be able to convince them that perhaps they are wrong. I kept hoping the holy spirit would give me some great word of knowledge about them. And I kept kinda "listening" and "listening" to hear what the holy spirit would say to them. Ah well. I think I perplexed one of the elders though. (the silent one who looked as if he had never heard any objective analysis of the mormon faith.) I was so nervous because i just hate discussions but when mormons approach you in the middle of the street and start telling you how wrong you are about your faith, you do kinda want to scream.

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