Reason #21 — Multiple Versions of the First Vision of Joseph Smith

At the Nauvoo Christian Visitors Center in Nauvoo, Illinois, a nine-square quilt hangs that depicts each of nine different versions of that first vision.   Edmond C. Gruss and Lane A. Thuet have identified eleven versions.  Richard Abanes, in his comprehensive book, One Nation Under Gods:  A History of the Mormon Church, has provided two clear and helpful charts comparing the details of various versions of the visions. Even if this first vision””in whatever form it had””had really taken place, I think Joseph Smith as a prophet on whom doctrine depended should have been impressed enough with such an earth-shattering experience to remember the main details. Could he have made the whole thing up? LDS leaders deny it when they say he was only a...

Reason #20 — Problems with Joseph Smith’s “First Vision”

Joseph Smith’s own accounts of the first vision must be viewed with some reservations. No mention of his “First Vision” “”which supposedly took place in 1820″”was ever made in print, until twenty years later when Orson Pratt, a longtime friend of Joseph Smith, published an account of the vision in a book called Remarkable Visions. Then in 1842 Joseph himself published an account of the two gods who appeared to him in a grove and told him not to join any existing church. Why no hint of any kind concerning this first vision is found in any Mormon (or non-Mormon) literature published prior to 1840, I cannot understand. After all, this was supposedly a major event in human history! By comparison, look at the way that Peter and John...

Reason #19 — The Inordinate LDS View of Joseph Smith

Brigham Young once stated that Joseph”‘s consent was required for a person to be able to enter into the celestial kingdom of heaven, because Joseph was now reigning there, like God. He also said that Joseph “was a god to us” and that he himself was “an apostle of Joseph Smith,” saying that “every spirit that does not confess that God sent Joseph Smith and revealed the everlasting gospel to and through him, is of Anti-christ.” If you’d like the sources of these quotes in context (in the early LDS publication, Journal of Discourses), search for the exact wording of the quotes at UTLM.org, or in any search engine. For more information, see The Mormon Mirage 3rd Edition:  A Former Member Looks at the Mormon...

Reason #18 — LDS Resistance to Appraisal

“The callow chestnut of Mormonism that says if you want to know about Fords, then you don’t ask a Chevrolet dealer, and if you want to know about Mormonism, then don’t ask a non-Mormon, is both wrong and lacks critical judgment. Groups like Consumer Reports prove their maxim false. Some of the best information comes from outside investigation (like Ford’s exploding Pinto gas tank), which outside information can be life-saving.” –Kurt Van Gorden author, Mormonism (Zondervan) For more information, see The Mormon Mirage 3rd Edition:  A Former Member Looks at the Mormon Church Today (Zondervan, 2009). Also available as an audiobook and as an expanded-text E-book for Nook, Kindle and other reading...

Reason #17 — The Organization of the LDS Church

Many unwary church-goers have become Mormons after accepting the lie told them by Mormons: that the Latter-day Saint Church is organized just like Christ”‘s church as described in Ephesians 4:11. Since this verse mentions apostles, prophets, and (in some versions) patriarchs, many have falsely concluded that such offices are necessary in a New Testament-type church, not just in its historic foundation. However, the LDS church does not have only these offices, but has also added “stake presidents,” “Relief Society presidents,” “visiting teachers,” “ward clerks,” “high counselors,” and a host of other “callings” that never existed in the Bible ” The LDS Church of the 21st...