Sunday, April 27, 2014

Letter to CES, Follow-up

Update:  September 2014  FAIRMormon has expanded its responses to Jeremy Runnels quite dramatically.  I strongly recommend them, as they really cut through what I think is largely a false justification for his actions.  FAIRMormon truly devastates his arguments.

I had a nice conversation the other night with a friend of mine about my last post concerning the Letter to a CES Director.  I had mentioned in my original post that not all evidence is equal, but after discussing it with my friend, I realized I had failed to really make the point about the logical implications of the evidence.  So let's make the point a little more explicit:

It is a fact that in September 1827, Joseph Smith brought something home, and allowed everyone in the home to both hold and touch that something.  At least two of those present at that 1827 first encounter would later go on to become witnesses to the Book of Mormon.

So, what was this something?  That Joseph Smith actually had some real, tangible object is evident from the fact that critics, such as Dan Vogel, go to great pains to explain how Joseph Smith could have purchased tin from a local supplier, and crafted plates during his annual trips to Hill Cumorah. (Vogel, Joseph Smith, The Making of a Prophet, pages 98-99 and the corresponding footnotes on pages 599-600, #63, #64, #65 and #66.).  Vogel even speculates that Joseph's dislocated thumb occurred finishing the rods which were binding the spine of the plates (Vogel, pg 99 and footnote 66 on page 600).

Vogel therefore concedes that Joseph had something cut to the 6 x 8 inch plates, six inches thick and with rods holding the plates together.  While he makes a novice error in postulating the tin was "pure tin" in order to get to the approximate weight he believed they weighed, ("pure tin" is actually a powder, so his calculation based on the density of tin are wrong, but nice try), he is in any event contradicting the now popular line of attack which says that Joseph Smith was the world's first mass hypnosis master and caused everyone to hallucinate their experience of seeing the plates.

So what do we have?  We have everyone who is at least trying to reconcile the evidence acknowledging plates existed.  So now deal with the logic of the positions:  If Joseph bought the tin from a local source, or had used 60 pounds of tin from the Smith family stocks used in their coopering work, someone would have noticed.  During the time when E.D. Howe's "Mormonism Unveiled" was collecting statements from every neighbor and acquaintance of the Smith's, surely the first place they went was to the local blacksmiths and metal suppliers.  We don't have any direct evidence of Howe talking with the local craftsmen or suppliers, but if you were trying as Howe to pile disrepute on the reputation of the Smith's and to provide a naturalistic explanation, that would be the first place anyone would go.  The lack of such interviews actually silently speaks to a lack of support for a tangible alternative explanation.

But here is the problem for the alternative theories:  By Joseph allowing people to handle and feel the plates, it would be completely silly for the witnesses to be aware of their physical existence and then lie about actually seeing the plates.  In fact, the Eight Witnesses make it clear they saw and handled the plates in broad daylight.  And they maintained that position throughout their lives.  It is particularly unsatisfying to think they saw and handled gold painted tin plates, considering the quality of paints was such as to provide instant recognition the plates were painted, if that were Joseph Smith's attempt.

Therefore, the best evidence is that Joseph Smith had gold colored plates with inscriptions on them.

If this is true, and the best evidence is that it is true, then speculation about whether the stuff on the plates is real or correct is actually irrelevant.  There is only one way the story can go if the plates are real:  Joseph Smith received them from an angel named Moroni who helped to write the plates and lived in ancient America.

The only point Mormons should be arguing with non-believers is over the reality of the plates.  If the plates are real, then Joseph Smith was a prophet of God, and God's Church has been restored.  The alternative positions, that Joseph either manufactured the plates himself or with some help, or the plates never existed and he used some form of mass hypnosis or suggestion to trick a dozen folks into thinking they saw something they would then stake their lives on for the remainder of their lives, is illogical.  Such positions only exist in the desires of non-believers and detractors to not believe that God was in the founding of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  They don't want to accept the reality that God can and does actively work miracles on the scale we find in the Bible, and their unauthoritative self-serving interpretation of scripture and creation of false doctrines is not acceptable to the true God in heaven.

Wanting something to be false does not make it false.  Evidence and rational conclusions based on the evidence leads to the conclusion the plates existed.  Deal with that before you change the discussion to the content of the Book of Mormon or the character of LDS Church leaders.  If the plates existed, the Church is true.  Thus, as Dan Peterson said, the plates stand as a thumb in the eye of the critics, since failing to deal with how the plates came into Joseph Smith's possession after admitting he had some plates, is the same as conceding the plates came from Moroni, the prophet whose name and writings are in the Book of Mormon.


Anonymous said...

You have made a very good and logical point.

The list of theories,from the critics, of where the Book of Mormon came from just keeps getting longer, with no definite answer or concrete proof.

Anonymous said...

Any advice on how to deal with the anti's claims that Mormons believe in a "different" Jesus, and that the Mormon god is Satan, and the Mormon gospel is not the gospel of the Bible.

These claims get old. I know the anti's will not listen (because they resort to name calling), but I really do not know how to go about dealing with these outrageous and false claims. Thank you.

Worn Out and Frustrated

Bob said...

I have done three posts which deal specifically with Mormon's having "another" Jesus. You can find more than that if you do a search of the blog under "biblical jesus" but here are three:
and here:
and here:

Hopefully these help. Shoot me a note if you would like more info on these topics.

Anonymous said...

From Worn out and Frustrated:

Thank You Bob!

Anonymous said...


1) Pearl of Great Price has been proven to be fake. Josef Smith did NOT translate the Egyptian Papryi.
2) There is only 1 Bible needed, and no other translation is necessary. Galatians 1:8-9 tells us if anyone, even an angel from heaven, should preach another gospel different than the one Paul is teaching, he will be eternally condemned. It is apparent that I don't believe in the angel Moroni, and even if her were real, he would be presenting a false Gospel, therefore putting him under God's curse.
3) The Trinity is not pretend or made up and there is no doubt you believe in a different Jesus. My Jesus is much bigger than your jesus. My God is MUCH bigger than your god. For someone to believe that by working hard, we can become a god ourselves one day....Pretty far fetched.
4)It is so sad to see how you pick and choose which scriptures you want to use to "support" your "logic". I would recommend you actually try reading the whole Bible (NOT Mormon bible) in the NIV translation and allow the Word to actually speak to you.
5)I pray that you will allow the blinders to be removed and see that the false teachings you are believing is the work of Satan and that he is succeeding through the Mormon faith in taking the truth away from who Christ actually is.

Anonymous said...

Do not know if you are aware of this. MRM et al have gone ballistic over Glen Beck speaking at Liberty University convocation. How dareLiberty Univ. ask a "non Christian" and " follower of Satan" speak to Christians, and Beck had the audacity of of claiming, quote, "that he is one of us" (meaning Christian) unquote.

The (as Bob said so well) Pervangelicals sure have big sticks up their arses. I did not realize people had to get permission from all the anti Mormons to qualify as a Christian. Who made them the god pilice.

Bob said...

So, to the Anonymous from two comments up, let's just get this straight: My Jesus can beat up your Jesus.
Really. Cuz my Jesus is real, your Jesus is an incomprehensible concept which is the result of theological reflection.
Apologies to any offended by my crass humor, but I also believe Jesus has a sense of humor and he can see how silly these "other Jesus" arguments are.
BTW, with all due respect, I doubt you know enough about the history, background and content of the Book of Abraham to carry on a conversation about its origin or authenticity. I do not mean this as an insult. The anti-Mormon caricature of the Book of Abraham is so pervasive and perverse that many people think Mormons must be crazy to believe it. They are either uninformed on the Book of Abraham's background, or, for those who have some reasonable knowledge, they are unfair in their comparison to the text of the Bible to the Book of Abraham. Really, the inspired Book of Abraham is better in at least some lines of understanding, than the modern text of the Bible.

Anonymous said...


You are correct in saying I do not know enough about the history, background and content of the "book of Abraham" nor would I waste my time to "enlighten" myself. It is a false document and I already have the Bible as a true source for my life. You my friend do not understand Grace or the concept of Grace. It is NOT anything about what we can do. It is ALL about what Jesus Christ, who in very nature is God, and his work ON THE CROSS, not in the garden. By His death, burial and resurrection, we now have His Spirit living in us and God can now look upon us as favorable and we are redeemed. There is nothing else we must do and no works can give us favor in God's sight. It is all about Jesus and HIS work. And yes, I did just mention the Trinity and how the three are indeed One. And again, "The Book of Abraham" has been proven to be a hoax. Josef Smith did NOT translate the Egyptian papyri. Look it up.

Bob said...

Anonymous, you would make an excellent scholar in the days of Galileo and Copernicus. By that I of course reference your certitude of the unimportance of things you don't know or have not studied.

So let's take your non-knowledge of the Book of Abraham (BoA hereafter) first. Did Joseph Smith claim to have translated the text itself to create the BoA? No. The BoA scriptural text he claimed was delivered by revelation. Here are several contemporary quotes: John Whitmer said,
"Joseph the Seer saw these Record[s] and by the revelation of Jesus Christ could translate these records . . . which when all translated will be a pleasing history and of great value to the saints."
Warren Parrish said,
"I have set by his side and penned down the translation of the Egyptian Hieroglyphicks [sic] as he claimed to receive it by direct inspiration from Heaven."
And Wilford Woodreff said: "The Prophet translated the part of these writings which, as I have said is contained in the Pearl of Great Price, and known as the Book of Abraham. Thus you see one of the first gifts bestowed by the Lord for the benefit of His people, was that of revelation-the gift to translate, by the aid of the Urim and Thummim, the gift of bringing to light old and ancient records."
The LDS Church's official position is the BoA is an inspired translation, not a literal or physical one. Btw, but for your zeal to remain ignorant of the institution you attack, you could have located this information in 20 seconds at the FairMormon wiki, as I did. But that would require intellectual curiosity and an implied desire to seek out verification of the (erroneous) story you were told by someone you apparently trust more than is advisable. They are either ignorant themselves, and thus the blind leading the blind, or they are liars. In either case they are unworthy of the trust you have accorded them.
Second, the parts JS claimed were direct translations of the hieroglyphics is actually remarkably correct. Things like correctly identifying the crocodiles as the idolatrous gods of Pharaoh cannot be attributed to random "luck" or coincidence. I guess they can if you don't actually care about truth. Do you?
Lastly, most of the papyri which is described as the BoA is missing. How much? About 85% is missing. We have excellent historical observations by non-LDS visitors who saw the text and their descriptions, as well as information published in LDS scriptures for over 100 years before the rediscovery of the papyri bear this out.
So in short my friend you have shown up to a history class with a squeaker toy. You cause some noise, but you apparently would rather play then learn. Mormons hold the Glory of God is intelligence, or light and truth. You apparently have a zeal for ignorance in your beliefs. I will leave it to observers which view is more consistent with an ultimate being of truth.
Peace, Bob

Bob said...

So let us now turn to Anonymous' reasoning about knowing something is true.
How do you know? Did you study it out and draw the conclusion? If so, why doesn't everybody reach your conclusion who studies? Did some study more than you, and they have the real answer? Or maybe they studied different things, truer things, and got their answer? Maybe your starting point is false. Or maybe you don't understand what is "true" to God.

Objectively, only a being with absolute knowledge of all things can pronounce something unquestionably true or false. As a Mormon, I believe that is the purpose of the Holy Spirit, to communicate that truth which only God can completely know. There are conditions to that, such as searching things out and being willing to be instructed. But you have tagged those as unimportant. So, like the Bible says, you have not because you ask not.

Your application of circular reasoning to justify your complacency is why society as a whole thinks most people claiming to be religious are just bigots. They don't have any room to "waste time" learning new things.

Bob said...

I would like to know how Anonymous has decided which parts of the Bible are true? For most of the time since Christ, Christians accepted the Apocrypha as true, and so it is still printed in Catholic Bibles. Is it true? How did you decide? Tell us, which ending to the Gospel of Mark is correct? Please advise us, did an angel come to comfort Jesus and strengthen him in the Garden of Gethsemane? The earliest evidence of that passage is in the writings of Justin Martyr, which is 400 years earlier than the first manuscripts known to contain it. Yet most scholars believe it to be authentic, and that the earliest Bible manuscripts are in error. Help me to decide which of the versions of Isaiah should be accepted? There are over 1,400 important changes, not just spelling or word order, between the 2,200 year old Dead Sea Scrolls versions of Isaiah, and the 1,000 year old version found in the King James Bible or other scriptures using the Masoretic Text tradition.
You probably know there are somewhere between 400,000 and 1-million variations between the 5,000 earliest copies of the Greek New Testament. In fact, there are more variations than there are words. So how did you decide the Bible you are asserting is true is actually the TRUE Bible?

As a Mormon, we believe the Bible to be the word of God as it was originally given to the prophets. Variations are not important because living prophets provide direction in the event there are conflicts in the text, which of course there are. So how did you decide on the true Bible? And where does the Bible say revelation ends with the Bible? Of course, it doesn't. Which means you have effectively violated the warning in the Revelation of John, by adding to or removing from the Bible! Of course, John was not writing about the Bible, just his book, but I suspect you did not know that either. The world is not so black and white if you actually have the courage to seek for truth no matter where it leads you. No need to do that if you can't "waste" your time seeking after truth.

Bob said...

I have another question for Anonymous: How do you harmonize the statements where Jesus is next to God?
Trinitarian doctrine, as I understand it, describes the persons of the Trinity, each being full God without dividing the substance of God. Aside from being an illogical bit of blather whose sole purpose is to try to harmonize the false concept of monotheism with the obvious polytheism of the Bible's position around the true God, His Christ and His children, it is directly contradicted in the text of the New Testament. Explain two examples, and if you can, I will concede defeat:
Jesus is standing next to God, not the Father, in Acts 7:55-56. If God is there next to Jesus, then God cannot be Jesus, unless you concede the illogic of your position and say that something CAN be next to itself. There is no corollary in the physical universe to illustrate this problem. You can say it is a mystery, but it is not treated as such in the passage. God standing next to Jesus is as natural as them also being visible. God has location. He is not Jesus. Therefore Jesus is not God. As John 1:1 says, Jesus is a divine being just like God.

So explain that. Since this is clearly a theological passage in Luke's mind, as Stephen is dealing with the false notions of the Jews concerning their relationship to God, you can't say I am just picking at a tangential reading.

Second, and very squarely theological, is John 17:3. "This is life eternal, to know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou has sent." (from memory, so if I missed something, tough). Jesus is specifically saying he is not God. He is not saying he is not the Father, which would be correct from a Trinitarian view. He is not the True God. Unless words mean nothing to you, then these passages of scripture devastate your view of God as a Trinitarian being. The key aspect of any theory is it must deal with the evidence in a coherent manner. The Trinity does not. There are about a dozen verses in the NT which state Jesus is physically at the right side of God, not the Father. Deal with these two. Show us with your time you don't waste on studying other people's faith, how productive your studies of your own have been. Yes, I am calling you out. Got courage? If you would like me to put up your response in a new Post on the blog to give you more room, I would happily do so. I don't change what people write. No need, I have found.
Tell us now, you ready to invest your time in telling us about your Trinitarian beliefs and how they explain these issues?

Bob said...

I just realized I let you slide by on the topic of Grace. I have addressed it at length, but let's be clear. Grace is not "no strings attached" gift. If you don't understand the meaning of the word, and you don't seem to, then you don't understand the scriptures. So, to repeat earlier posts which are clearly beneath you and would be considered a waste of your time, here is what the best scholarship on the meaning of the word "Grace"(xaris,gr) tell us: "Almost a technical term in the reciprocity-oriented world dominated by Hellenic influence as well as by the Semitic sense of social obligation expressed in the Hebrew term (checed, Strongs H2617). In the active sense, that which one grants to another, the action of one who volunteers to do something not otherwise obligatory. Especially of the beneficent intention of God. Compare secular writings of xaris to denote beneficent dispensations of the emperor: and of Christ who give (undeserved)to people; (from BDAG, page 1079, entry Xaris, 2 and 2a. These definitions include Eph 1:6ff, Rom 3:24, etc. In other words the commonly used passages to describe the Evangelical understanding of "grace".)
So the point is that while grace is given without merit, the expectation of the giver to the receiver is the receiver is obedient, and the gift can be rescinded or cut off from further reception. Put bluntly, there is no such thing as "once saved, always saved".

Unless of course you consider it a waste of time to actually understand the meaning of the words in the Bible. I realize you have no trouble adding concepts such as the Trinity to the Bible, but do you feel strongly about wanting to know what the Bible actually teaches, without the lens of your teachers?


Anonymous said...


Thank you for your many responses. There is an old saying that says "the truth hurts". You are being introduced to the truth, and though it is hard for you to accept at this point, I pray that you find it one day.

You value a man that claims Jesus appeared to him. That looked into a hat at a stone. That was supposedly visited by the angel Moroni. That was chosen to carry on the Church of Christ. This man was quoted as saying:
“I have more to boast of than ever any man had. I am the only man that has ever been able to keep a whole church together since the days of Adam... Neither Paul, John, Peter, nor Jesus ever did it. I boast that no man ever did such work as I. The followers of Jesus ran away from Him; but the Latter-day Saints never ran away from me yet.” (History of the Church, 6:408–409.

This man is putting himself above Jesus Christ. You are literally worshiping the man, NOT Christ. And once again, we need to get our doctrines straight. My God, the God of the Bible, is a God that is so big that he is hard to define. He has always been and always will be. He is the beginning and the end. He is NOT a man that came from another universe and was given the earth to rule over. There are NOT many other gods out there. There is only ONE God, and this is the God of the Bible.

According to Ryrie (Basic Theology, pages 41-50), God is:
1) Eternity - He exists endlessly.
2) Freedom - He is independent of His creatures and His Creation.
3) Holiness - He is separate from all that is unclean and evil and also is positively pure and distinct from all others.
4) Immutability - He is unchangeable and thus unchanging.
5) Infinity - He has no bounds or limits.
6) Love - He is love (1 John 4:8).
7) Omnipotence - God is ALL-POWERFUL and able to do anything consistent with His own nature.
8) Omnipresence - He is everywhere present with His whole being at all times.
9) Omniscience - He knows everything.
10) Righteousness - this has to do with law, morality, and justice. With God, there is no law, either within His own being or of His own making, that is violated by anything in His nature.
11) Simplicity - In His essence, He is not a composite or compound being, which is not a contradiction to the revelation of the Trinity.
12) Truth - He is consistent with Himself, He is all that He should be, that He has revealed Himself as He really is, and that he and His revelation are completely reliable.
13) Unity - there is One God, who is indivisible.

Anonymous said...


Ryrie also goes on to say: "One important concluding thought about the perfections of God: they describe the only true God who exists. Man creates his own false gods whom he can manipulate and control. Christian people sometimes concoct a perverted or deficient concept of God for the same reason-to be able to manipulate Him or not to have to face up to the true living God. But the only actual God who exists is the One who is revealed primarily in the Bible and revealed by these attributes or perfections of His being. To be able to know this living and true God requires a miracle of the gracious revelation of Himself. To walk in worship with that living and true God is the privilege of all who know Him."

Your faith does not believe in this God. Mormons have belittled who God actually is, and yes, your rejection of the Trinity separates your faith from mine. You put way too much emphasis on what you do instead of what Christ did. I believe the Bible is inerrant. It is true and there have been no changes, despite your claims, to what has been written. 2 Timothy 2:16 states that "All Scripture is God-Breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work." Because of the attributes above and how big God is, Scripture is error free and we do not need a man who thinks more highly of himself than Jesus Christ to "translate" what the Bible is supposed to say. Joseph Smith is doing exactly what Ryrie said: making a god fit to what he wanted.

As far as who Christ is, He is God and claimed to be God (John 1:1-which says “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word WAS God”, John 10:30) and came to earth by being born of a virgin. Philippians 2:5-11 explains how Christ was in very nature God, and these verses explain the "kenosis" of Christ, which is the emptying. The kenosis does not mean He surrendered any attributes of deity, but that He took on the limitations of humanity.

The heart of the Gospel can be found in 2 Corinthians 5:21: "God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God."

Ephesians 2:8-9 says "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith - and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-not by works, so that no one can boast." Here is proof that it is all about Christ. We can do nothing nor should we do anything to gain favor with God. Christ paid it all. Christ was God but emptied Himself to come to this earth to save man from something he could not save himself from. Christ did it, was crucified, buried and resurrected so that now those who accept Christ in their heart will be saved. The Holy Spirit will enter the heart of the reborn Christian and now live a life according to the Spirit. Yes, the Trinity is alive and well and this life is all about glorifying God and accepting His grace and mercy for what He did. No baptism is necessary. No laying on of hands. No temple visit. It is Christ and Christ only (Romans 10:9-10).

Anonymous said...


There is such a thing as eternal security. Once you have accepted Jesus Christ as your savior, you are sealed and nothing can separate you from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:37-39). We are sealed with the Holy Spirit, as Ephesians 1:13-14 says "And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God's possession-to the praise of His glory."

Once saved, always saved and it equates to the love a parent has for a child. I ask you, Bob, if you have kids, will they EVER do something to you that will make you quit loving them? And even if they do something wrong, though you will be disappointed, will you ever stop loving them? How can God, or your god, stop loving us for anything we have done, throw us out of the faith and have us come running back to him? If you would not do this to your own child, why would God do this to us? I cannot stress Romans 8:37-39 enough.

Let me ask you another question Bob. If you think your faith is like Christianity, why do you send your young men out for a two year mission to convert a Christian like me to Mormonism? If we are the same, why are you trying to convert us? Also, am I going to go to Heaven? According to your faith, which "celestial kingdom" will I be in? Will you be in one higher than me? If so, I thought we were the same. You see, with Christ and Christianity of the Bible, we are all the same. There are no levels of "celestial kingdoms". There is only one heaven and the way to get there is through the one true Christ. We are all equal in Christ according to Galatians 3:26-29.

I see that you quote scripture but unfortunately, you are using them way out of context. I ask that you set aside your "book of Abraham". I ask that you set aside your mormon bible. I ask that you forget about your doctrine and covenants for a little while and read the one true source of truth found in the Bible. It is all you need to get to know the real Jesus Christ. It will open your eyes. You will be released from your bondage. I am not out to make you an enemy of mine. I am praying for you. And though right now the truth that I am writing here is hurting you and making you mad, it will eventually set you free.

Anonymous said...


You had misquoted scripture above regarding the Trinity so let me clear a few things up for you. Here are some scriptures backing up the doctrine of the Trinity:

Colossians 1:15-20
Colossians 2:8-9

Yes, Christ is sitting at the right hand of God:
Matthew 22:44
Luke 20:41-44
Psalm 110:1
If you were to actually read through these though and not just glance over as your mormon dialogue has trained you to do, you would actually understand that Christ was trying to make the Pharisees see that the Son of David was also the Lord of David, meaning that the Messiah was both David's human descendant and divine Lord.

In Matthew 9:2 and 9:5, Jesus is forgiving the sins of a paralytic and healing him and telling him to get up and walk. By saying that the man's sins are forgiven, he was asserting a right of God, who alone can forgive sins. If Christ is not God, how is He able to do this?

Not only is Christ claiming deity, in Luke 6:5 He is claiming sovereignty over the Sabbath day. He is saying He is "Lord of the Sabbath". He is asserting His right to interpret its laws without reference to the traditions of the Pharisees. These laws were established by God. Christ is claiming to be Lord over the Sabbath, which was a law God set, which therefore gives credence that Christ is God.

Your faith tries to maintain the old laws of God, which is found in the Old Testament, but you have to learn that we are no longer under the law, but under the law of grace. (Galatians 3:23-25)

Your faith says that in order to be saved, you must:
1) Be baptized by immersion and is only valid if performed by a mormon male with priesthood authority.
2) Be confirmed as a member of the church of LDS.
3) Must take the weekly sacrament during the Sunday sacrament service.
4) Receive conferral of Melchizedek Priesthood (for men).
5) Receive a temple endowment.
6) Be sealed to a worthy spouse in a mormon temple.

Anonymous said...


In Christianity, in order to be saved and sealed with the Holy Spirit, all you have to do is confess with your mouth "Jesus is Lord", and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved." (Romans 10:9-10). Yes, it is that simple. God's grace makes things so much more simple. Even further, grace is the unmerited favor of God. It is a free gift and we absolutely have to do nothing in return to earn this gift. I totally disagree with your belief on this and you are way off target with your interpretation.

The Jesus of the Bible is all you need to be saved Bob. You don't have to perform the steps above. You are very misguided when it comes to the scriptures. You have to set aside all of the additional mormon texts to really understand what the Bible is actually saying. God's wisdom is so much greater than all of us. Romans 11:33-36 states it beautifully. None of us have the mind of God and try as you may to out smart Him, you will never succeed.

Read Colossians 2:11-17. I am still praying that you will find the truth because as Jesus Himself said, "Know the truth, and the truth shall set you free." This world is all about Christ, and Christ is all we need.

I have risen to the challenge. Are you up to the challenge of setting aside your book of mormon, book of abraham and your doctrine and convenants and read the New Testament in the real Bible so you can gain a clear understanding of who God is, what He sent His son to do, and how beautiful grace really is?

Since you are a man of proof and evidence, I would like to hear your explanation on how there is no DNA evidence that the American Indians were of Jewish descent. I would like to hear your explanation on how there is no archaeological evidence on the great battle of which the nephites were destroyed. Where is the supposed Hill Cumorah? Please explain Paul's comments made in Galatians 1:8-9 mean about an men or an angel preaching another gospel being condemned. Your faith has perverted the Gospel of Christ so terribly, I am sure your response to this will just be that "man wrote the bible so therefore it is incorrect and Josef Smith is a true profit of god and has translated the message in order for the one true church to carry on." This would be a typical response since how mormon theology continues to change year by year.

Bob, it is sad that you have spent your whole life believing a lie and I am sure that it will be very hard once you realize what the mormon church really is. I will continue to pray for you and ask God to soften your heart so you can hear His words.

Bob said...

I must laugh at your attempts to avoid the issues. As you note, without further comment, Christ is sitting next to God.

Colossians 1:15-20 devastates the Nicene Trinity. Let's examine, something I suspect you don't do without your Trinity filtering glasses.
15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. 17 And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. 18 And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence.
19 For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell,
20 and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross.

OK,vs 15,image: Greek for outward form. The word is "eicon", meaning Jesus is the visible representation of God. So God must be separate from Christ. My Goodness, who messed with your head so you can't study this on your own?

Invisible, as in not seen by us. Check out both BDAG, the best Biblical Greek lexicon, and Liddell and Scott, the premiere general Greek-English Lexicon. It is not that God is not potentially visible, for we know from Acts 7:56 that God has a visible form, but rather that he is not visible to us while we are on Earth.

The statements of creation are about Christ re-birthing all things. Since Christ is the "first born of all creation", the problem for Trinitarians is this statement explicitly states Christ is a created being. The context of his "creation" is his status as the first being resurrected.

Or, anonymous, have you started believing that Jesus is a created being?

Bob said...

Tell me what "Jewish DNA" looks like. How about the wives DNA the sons of Lehi married? How about everyone's grand parents and great grand parents.

The issue is there is some middle eastern DNA found among the more ancient Native American samples we have found. I doubt your anti-Mormon handlers taught you that there is no coherent DNA type among people of Jewish descent.

Tell me, why did they not tell you that, hmm? My guess is they think you are too stupid to ask them the next logical question, which is if there is no one "Jewish DNA" profile, what do you expect to find? Next, did they discuss DNA extinction due to lack of female transmission.

Lastly, we know for an absolute fact there were Vikings living in North East North America. Yet there is zero genetic evidence of the Vikings among the Native Americans. Why? And they were 1000 years closer to our time than the BoM times.

It is a great sin to weigh with unequal scales.

Anonymous said...


It is apparent you are an educated man based on your big words and fancy sentences. However, you must understand you are Spiritually naive and Biblically irresponsible. Your comments remind me of Proverbs 1:7 which says -
"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline."

And again, your clearly misguided mormon beliefs can be related to what is said in Proverbs 18:2 -
"A fool finds no pleasure in understanding but delights in airing his own opinions."

I have been emphasizing the point Christ Himself makes in John 8:31-32 -
"To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."

Galatians 5:1 says -
"It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery."

And Galatians 5:13 says -
"You, my brothers, were called to be free."

In John 14:5, Thomas asked Jesus,
"Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?"

Jesus answered him in verses 6-7 by saying:
"I am the way, and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen Him."

Bob, it is apparent you don’t know Jesus. You know a fake and pretend jesus. Logically speaking, if you knew the real Jesus, then you would know the truth. You would understand the relationship between God the Father and God the Son and how they are one in the same. There is NOTHING I can say to make you understand this. But, there is nothing YOU can do to keep the truth of Christ from penetrating your heart if that is what God wants. I pray that I am a part of this by helping plant the seed so God can water it.

Anonymous said...

Continued -

In John 6, a crowd asks Jesus in verse 30 what miraculous sign Jesus will give them so they may see it and believe Him. They said that their forefathers ate the manna in the desert, and told Jesus that it was written that God gave them bread from heaven to eat. Jesus answered by saying in verse 32 and 33 -
"I tell you the truth, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world."

The crowd in verse 34 said they want this bread and Jesus told them in verses 35 through 38 -
"I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty. But as I told you, you have seen me and still you do not believe. All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me."

Of course, the crowd did not like Jesus saying that he is the bread that came down from heaven (verse 41). You, Bob, are like this crowd. You will not accept Christ for who He truly is. You have so much pride that you and your religion think you don’t need Christ and that you can be saved by your own works. You forget what James 2:10 says:
"For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it."

Have you ever sinned Bob? Have you ever lied? Have you every looked lustfully upon another women? You cannot tell me you don’t sin because I would then KNOW you are lying. You are a sinner Bob. There are no works you can ever do to justify your righteousness. YOU NEED JESUS!

Romans 3:20 tells us -
"Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin."

Now, lets get back to John 6 and the crowd, much like you, grumbling about how they did not believe who Jesus was. They asked the questions, much like you, in verse 42 of “Is this not Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How can he say “I came down from heaven?” You, like this crowd, are trying to make Jesus just the “son of Joseph” and denying that He, the Father and the Spirit are One. Your pride and foolishness is not allowing you to see the truth.

I love what Jesus says to these people and you can place yourself in their shoes and hope the Spirit can allow you to discern what Jesus says in verse 43 and 44 -
"Stop grumbling among yourselves. No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day."

Wow! Bob, is God the Father drawing you to the truth and the Christ of the Bible? If so, there is not any chance of you keeping God’s will from happening. Remember the attributes of God that I told you about in an earlier post that you so clearly dismissed? God is BIG, and MUCH bigger than you, bigger than your foolish opinions AND MUCH BIGGER than the mormon church. I pray to God that He is drawing you because you could do so much good with your blog spot teaching mormons about the truth.

Anonymous said...

Continued -

John, who was inspired by the Holy Spirit, said in chapter 3 verses 16 through 18-
"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son."

This is the truth. There is only one way to God and eternity in Heaven and that is through Jesus Christ. THIS is how you are saved. You need nothing else but Jesus. You believe in Jesus, you are saved and will go to heaven. You reject who Jesus is and do not believe in Him, you are condemned. And there is only one heaven and one hell Bob. Unbelief is the only unforgivable sin. Do you believe? Have you confessed with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believed in heart that God raised Him from the dead? This is all you have to do to be saved. If you don’t believe me, look it up in Romans 10:9-10.

I am praying for you. I have others praying for you. Is God drawing you in to understand who Christ really is? Not to add fuel to the fire but in the book of Galatians, there were Judaizers who were teaching a different Gospel than the one taught by Paul and the other Apostles. They were teaching Jesus AND circumcision meaning you can only be saved by accepting Jesus and being circumcised. Paul wrote the letter to the Galatians telling them this teaching is clearly wrong. He said all you need is Christ. You have still not answered my question regarding mormonism and Paul’s comments in Galatians 1:8-9. I believe you have not answered it because you have no answer to it.

I leave you with what Paul tells the Judaizers who are preaching Christ plus circumcision to do. This is found in Galatians 5:12. I would absolutely love to hear what Paul would tell the mormon religion to do with themselves today.

Anonymous said...

"If the plates existed the church is true". Phooey!!! If the plates existed, then the plates existed. You can't conclude "the church" is true. You can't conclude anything at all.

There is an unlimited way you can finish the sentence, "If the plates existed....." and none would be conclusive.

Bob said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bob said...

Actually, oh brave Anonymous, your logic is totally non-existent. We have two dozen witnesses who had a tangible experience with the Plates. They provide both a witness and an explanation. Clearly the plates existed, and they came with an explanation. If you cannot provide a viable alternative explanation, then the existence of the Plates in fact do PROVE the Church is true. It means a guy named Moroni appeared to Joseph Smith, oversaw his receipt and possession of the Plates, and then had a voice from Heaven testify the translation is correct. So...the existence of the Plates, absent a viable explanation, Proves the Church is true. And yes, it also proves the Plates existed, thank you for noting that. So if you refuse to accept the reality of the existence of the Plates, the one thing we know about you is that significant issues of truth are unimportant to you. Either step up and prove the Plates and the explanation for the plates are untrue, or acknowledge you can't explain them away. If the latter, and you refuse to accept the message of the Book of Mormon, then, sadly, you will have proved that you don't care about issues of truth and your own salvation. Because to know good and do it not is sin. And unrepentant sinners, sinners with no desire to improve their nature through the atonement of Christ, are going to hell.

So feel free to respond with something stronger than silly phrases that required less thinking power than a plant turning towards light. There is a commercial which has a character named Captain Obvious. The point of the commercial is deducing the obvious is only useful if people fail to see the obvious, otherwise it is just stupid. So you have stated the obvious, the Plates existed. What you do next is important for you. Intellectual laziness or taking the effort to seek truth.
I will hope for the best.

Anonymous said...

Ok Bob,just for the fun of it Let's say that the plates existed. Now bare with me as I try on a few alternative, equally non conclusive endings to that sentence;

If the plates existed then the Community of Christ (church) is true.
If the plates existed then (insert name of Mormon sect here) is true.
If the plates existed then JS must have gone to some trouble to make some plates.
If the plates existed then somebody went to the trouble of preparing and burying them and something other than the BOM was written on them.

I'll stop there for now.

I'm sure you are aware that when interviewed later the so called witnesses talked of seeing the plates with their "spiritual eyes" as opposed to the normal way one sees things.

You will also be aware that a large part of the witnesses were relatives of JS and of those who were not, most if not all were later excommunicated from the church.

Also, anything may have been on the plates. Judging from JS's track record of "translating" I.e Book of Abraham, Kinderhook plates, JS Translation of the Bible I wouldn't rate JS's translation skills.

Anyhow, whether the plates existed is totally irrelevant as JS didn't even use them when writing the BOM!! No, he used his magic stone with his head buried in his magic hat. Even has finally acknowledged this.

Shame really as I would have been very interested to know what was on the plates.

Best wishes


Bob said...

Thanks for playing, now let's see how this works.
No offshoot of Mormonism can be true but the Utah Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The reasons are pretty simple. Priesthood continuity and submission to Apostolic authority. The priesthood was restored during the translation. Joseph and Oliver were the first elders. Joseph publicly declared he had transferred all priesthood keys to the Twelve. Upon his death, the Twelve selected the new prophet, and, using common consent, Brigham Young was confirmed as the leader of the Church. All splinter groups claims to priesthood hinge on their right to rebel against the priesthood leadership of the LDS Church to create their own splinter group, a principal rejected at various places in the D&C, such as section 107, and in public statements. So while these other organizations can accept the BoM as true, the existence of valid priesthood leadership is the defining characteristic of the Church.
Plates + Priesthood = True Church

Second, you apparently think you know more than you do about the sham argument about the plates only being some kind of hallucination because they are "spiritually discerned". That simply meant they needed to be prepared spiritually for the event. Every witness who talked about the "spiritual" aspect of the event, noted they experienced it with their physical senses. Martin Harris was particularly upset about supposed quotes from him being twisted to make the plates a "non-physical" event. Again, degrading their experience doesn't explain what those people experienced who only handled the plates in the sack or in the box, or the explicit language of the Eight Witnesses who say they hefted and handled the plates and turned the individual leaves. What did they heft? Oliver Cowdrey said they were too poor to even afford tin for fake plates, which would still need to be painted gold, which would be obvious to any observer. What did Joseph have? It is not unimportant unless you must dismiss it to alleviate your personal emotional dissonance if you can't explain them.
Lastly, whether wearing the spectacles in a bow, a rock in a hat, or any other method, Joseph never claimed to personally translate the plates, and none of his contemporaries say he did either. He claimed it was done by the Gift and Power of God. The plates were the proof of the reality of the event. Unlike automatic writers or scientologists, here was tangible proof of the reality of the message of the plates.
A reality you still have not dealt with. Nice side stepping Henry, but next time have some theories about the plates. Because if you can't explain away the plates, you got nuttin'. All you did today is try to divert attention from the core proof element. "Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain" is probably how you should have started your comment.
Again, thanks for playing, but you did not even get to 1st base.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Bob, interesting and thought provoking breakfast reading.

Best wishes,


Anonymous said...

From articles I have read (non LDS) about Egyptology, there are disagreements among Egyptologist scholars about what symbols mean and the translation of some things because one symbol can represent many different things depending on the context of the story or message. People seem to think that scholars always agree with one another. They do not. All fields of study have scholars that never ageee with one another. They don't.
Jos. Smith did get some things right on the Book of Abraham. There have been ancient documents translated that speak about Abraham that matches what the LDS Book of Abraham says about Abraham. These documents were not available to Jos. Smith. Yet the critics convenienttly ignore this information.


Anonymous said...

Hi Bob,
I appreciate your blog. It is informative and I always learn something new.
I am impressed with your knowledge of the Bible.

Wanted to bring to your attention a blog critical to Mormons called Beggars Bread. Fred Anson runs it and he hassles Prof. Daniel Peterson on Dr. Peterson's site Sic Et Non.
Anyway Mr. Anson is doing a series where he is debunking FAIR's debunking of the CES letter. This series Mr Anson is doing is being put on other anti Mormon sites. Did not know if you were aware of this. Might be interesting to take a look and see if Mr. Anson's debunking can be answered. Mr. Anson feels he has Mormons over a barrel. Of course all Mormon critics always feel like they have the upper hand on Mormonism.

Take care and thanks!