Misguided by Mormonism

This series teaches Christians how to share their Christian beliefs with Mormons by contrasting the teachings of Mormonism with Biblical Christianity.

Misguided by Mormonism

Have you ever considered sharing your Biblical Christian faith with a Mormon friend, coworker or neighbor?

Within the past few years, the basic relationship between the Mormon and the Christian, has changed forever. For the first time in the history of the Mormon Church, authentic and realistic Mormon doctrine and history are now available to you through the Mormon Church's official website.

We speak from personal experience, and we desire to help guide you in bringing the Mormon people to an accurate knowledge of Mormon doctrine and their Church's history of deception so that they can come to know Jesus Christ in simplicity and truth as He is taught in the Bible.   Learn how to use the Mormon Church's official website and scriptures to present the differences between Mormonism and Biblical Christianity to your Mormon (LDS) loved-ones.

Witnessing to Mormons Using Their Own Church History
Mormon Church Gospel Topics Essays on Polygamy
Essay on Mormon Violence
Essays on Blacks and Women
Essays on Unique Mormon Beliefs
Essays on the Joseph Smith Story and LDS Scriptures

Did Joseph Smith See God the Father?
Are Feelings the Proper Way to Determine Truth?
Did Joseph Smith Lead the Church Astray?
Did Joseph Smith Change God’s Revelations?
Is Black Skin a Curse from God?
Where Did the Book of Mormon Come From?
Is the Book of Mormon Against Mormonism?
Did Joseph Smith Translate Fraudulent Plates?

Was God Once a Man? 
Are We in the Process of Becoming Gods?
Is God’s Image Human?
Did Jesus Teach Men Can Become Gods?
Is God a Trinity?
Do Mormons Believe Jesus and Lucifer are Brothers?
Did Humans Preexist in Heaven?
Will Families Be Together Forever in Heaven?

No Need for a Prophet Today
No Need for a Restored Gospel
No Need for a Restoration of Gospel Authority
No Need for a Restored Priesthood
No Need for Restored Temples
No Need for Baptism for the Dead
No Need for a Restored Bible

By Faith Alone
By Grace Alone
In Christ Alone
By Scripture Alone
To The Glory of God Alone

Counting the Cost
The Testimony of Bev Wilhelm
The Testimony of Phillip and Cheryl Naugle
The Testimony of Rob and Laura Butterfield
The Testimony of Chuck Matteson

After Mormonism, What? ~ Chuck Matteson’s Experience
Writing Your Resignation Letter
How Do We Know We Can Trust the Bible?
Leaving Mormonism ~ A New Life Awaits You!

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Essays on the Joseph Smith Story and LDS Scriptures

FIRST VISION ACCOUNTS - November 20, 2013

This essay declares that there are “four different accounts of the vision” recorded by Joseph Smith and his scribes and an additional “five accounts written by contemporaries who heard Joseph Smith speak about the vision.”

While this essay discusses some of the variations between these nine accounts and tries to provide justification for significant differences, we believe that these differences raise questions as to the credibility of the First Vision story.

For example: Did Joseph Smith see “two personages”[1], or did he see “the Lord of glory”[2] or a company of “angels”[3]? Did Joseph Smith learn of the apostasy of Christianity through the First Vision or was it through reading the Scriptures?  Was Joseph Smith 14, 15 or 16 years old? Did the angel Moroni or Nephi visit Joseph Smith in his bedroom?  These are some of the discrepancies between the various accounts of the First Vision that raise doubt as to the credibility of this story.  This essay admits to another fact:

The earliest known account of the First Vision, the only account written in Joseph Smith’s own hand, is found in a short, unpublished autobiography Joseph Smith produced in the second half of 1832.”

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Essays on Unique Mormon Beliefs

ARE MORMONS CHRISTIAN? - November 20, 2013

This essay admits that Mormonism rejects the foundational creeds that have historically defined the “Christian” faith. As such, a Mormon claiming to be a “Christian” while rejecting the foundational beliefs that make Christians who they are, is no different than a Christian claiming to be “Mormon” while rejecting the Book of Mormon and the teachings of Joseph Smith that are foundational to Mormonism.

If we allow the Mormon Church to redefine Christianity to whatever new set of beliefs they decide to accept while rejecting the historic teachings of the Christian church, that word can be applied to nearly all religions because at least most religions of today claim some sort of “belief in Jesus,” that he was a “good teacher,” or a “prophet” of God.  Obviously, there is more to being a Christian than merely claiming belief in Jesus Christ.

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Essays on Blacks and Women

RACE AND THE PRIESTHOOD - December 6, 2013.

This essay declares:

“...for much of its history—from the mid-1800s until 1978—the Church did not ordain men of black African descent to its priesthood or allow black men or women to participate in temple endowment or sealing ordinances...

“In 1852, President Brigham Young publicly announced that men of black African descent could no longer be ordained to the priesthood. ...Following the death of Brigham Young, subsequent Church presidents restricted blacks from receiving the temple endowment or being married in the temple. Over time, Church leaders and members advanced many theories to explain the priesthood and temple restrictions. None of these explanations is accepted today as the official doctrine of the Church. ...The justifications for this restriction echoed the widespread ideas about racial inferiority that had been used to argue for the legalization of black ‘servitude’ in the Territory of Utah. According to one view...blacks descended from the same lineage as the biblical Cain, who slew his brother Abel. Those who accepted this view believed that God’s ‘curse’ on Cain was the mark of a dark skin. ...

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Essay on Mormon Violence


This essay declares that 19th century Mormon leaders taught that certain sins are unforgivable unless the sinner’s blood was shed to atone for their sin.  They admit,

“Drawing on biblical passages, particularly from the Old Testament, leaders taught that some sins were so serious that the perpetrator’s blood would have to be shed in order to receive forgiveness. Such preaching led to increased strain between the Latter-day Saints and the relatively few non-Mormons in Utah, including federally appointed officials.”

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Essays on Polygamy


This essay declares that polygamy (a man married to more than one woman) is not the “standard” that God has given for marriage. Within this Gospel Topics Essay, the LDS Church says,

“The Bible and the Book of Mormon teach that the marriage of one man to one woman is God’s standard, except at specific periods when He has declared otherwise.1

Footnote 1 for this paragraph reads,

Jacob 2:27, 30. For instances of plural marriage in the Bible, see Genesis 16:3; 25:1; 29:21-30; 30:3-4, 9. See also D&C 132:34-35.”

As you can see, this footnote 1 lists the Book of Mormon reference, Jacob 2:27, 30, for God’s standard being one wife for one man. But next, after trying to justify the practice by listing biblical scriptures, it gives Joseph Smith’s revelation on polygamy in Doctrine and Covenants 132.

Note that while the LDS Church references the Book of Mormon passage of Jacob 2:27, which condemns marriage to more than one wife, they fail to mention verse 24 which is even stronger in its condemnation of polygamy found in the Bible. The whole passage reads as follows:

Jacob 2:24, 27-28: “Behold, David and Solomon truly had many wives and concubines, which thing was abominable before me, saith the Lord. ...Wherefore, my brethren, hear me, and hearken to the word of the Lord: For there shall not any man among you have save it be one wife; and concubines he shall have none; For I, the Lord God, delight in the chastity of women. And whoredoms are an abomination before me; thus saith the Lord of Hosts.”

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MG-30 - Counting the Cost

Quite often when we are presenting the problems of Mormonism to an active member of the LDS Church, we find that they are not really asking if the evidence we are presenting is true but whether or not they are willing to risk losing their family, job or spouse over this information.” Because Mormonism is a culture of its own, leaving the Mormon Church often has a significant cost attached to it that may seem to outweigh the benefits of leaving for the truth.

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MG-29 - Where Did the Book of Mormon Come From?

Joseph Smith said he translated the Book of Mormon from gold plates he found in New York. He said these plates contained the records of ancient inhabitants of America who migrated from Israel in about 600 B.C.

Yet, not a single coin, city, or battle field mentioned in the Book of Mormon has ever been identified in any archeological dig in America. Animals mentioned in the Book of Mormon such as the cow, horse, ox, ass, and goat as well as commodities such as wheat, barley, silk, steel, brass and the compass were either unknown in Book of Mormon times or did not exist in Pre-Columbian America. DNA evidence for a Jewish migration to America is also lacking.

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MG-28 - Did Joseph Smith Translate Fraudulent Plates?

In History of the Church, volume 5, page 372, we read about six small bell-shaped plates, unearthed in Kinderhook, Illinois with inscriptions on them. When these plates were presented to Joseph Smith in 1843, he said, “I have translated a portion of them, and find they contain the history of the person with whom they were found. He was a descendant of Ham, through the loins of Pharaoh, king of Egypt, and that he received his kingdom from the Ruler of heaven and earth.”

Later, two individuals, W.P. Harris and Wilbur Fugate, admitted their involvement in the conspiracy of forging these bogus plates to test Joseph Smith’s translation abilities. Then, in the August 1981 edition of the LDS magazine titled the Ensign, the Mormon Church admitted that recent metallurgy performed on one of the plates shows that the “Kinderhook Plates Brought to Joseph Smith Appear to Be a Nineteenth-Century Hoax.”

While Joseph Smith did not translate more than this, no one can deny that he was impressed with them and thought they were authentic. Although this fact should raise doubt as to Joseph Smith’s translation abilities, even more troubling is the Book of Abraham that Joseph Smith translated from fragments of an Egyptian burial text.

Regarding this Mormon Scripture from the Pearl of Great Price, the LDS Church now admits, “Mormon and non-Mormon Egyptologists agree that the characters on the fragments do not match the translation given in the book of Abraham.” So how can we trust Joseph Smith when the evidence proves he was a charlatan and not a prophet of God?



Mormons often try to excuse the evidence against the Book of Abraham by claiming that we do not possess the portions of the papyrus scrolls which Joseph Smith translated into his Book of Abraham.   Yet, as pointed out in our discussion of the Mormon Church essay in chapter one of this book, this argument fails on the fact that Joseph Smith copied the image of the papyrus fragments into his translation of the Book of Abraham, and this is the very same image identified on the fragments of the papyrus scrolls discovered.

The Church now admits that Joseph Smith’s translation of this image does not match the translation given by Egyptologists. Likewise, the date these manuscripts were written proves that they were not in existence during Abraham’s lifetime. So, even if we could find the missing fragments, these couldn't contain Abraham’s words as translated by Joseph Smith.


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MG-27 - Did Joseph Smith Change God's Revelations?

Did Joseph Smith change the very revelations that he claimed God gave him? The Mormon Scripture called Doctrine and Covenants records revelations Joseph Smith received directly from God. Joseph Smith originally printed these revelations in 1833 in the Book of Commandments. Later, in 1835, these very same revelations were published in the Doctrine and Covenants.   While there is no indication that these revelations were redelivered to Joseph Smith by God, he took the liberty to make significant changes to these revelations, when they were reprinted, that included the deletion and addition of several words, sentences and paragraphs.

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MG-26 - Did Joseph Smith Lead the Church Astray?

When I was growing up in Mormonism, I was taught that God would never allow a prophet to lead the church astray.[1]

Yet, recent statements from the Mormon Church seem to contract this teaching when they say, “... we must be worthy and receive inspiration from the Holy Ghost in order to know when the Brethren speak by the power of the Holy Ghost...” The Church manual, Teachings of the Living Prophets, then says, “In a way, this completely shifts the responsibility from them to us to determine when they so speak” by the Holy Ghost.”[2] So, if it’s up to us, individuals, to determine if a prophet is speaking from God, then what’s the point of having a living prophet leading the Church in the first place?

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MG-25 - Are Feelings the Proper Way to Determine Truth?

How do we know if a prophet has truly been sent from God? Was Marshall Applewhite, the Heaven’s Gate cult prophet, speaking from God when he encouraged his followers to commit suicide to join the Hale–Bopp Comet in 1997? Or what about the Branch Davidian cult prophet David Koresh, whose followers perished in the Waco Texas fire in 1993?

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MG-24 - Will Families Be Together Forever in Heaven?

Mormons believe that after death, all good people will end up in one of three kingdoms of glory: the celestial kingdom, for the most faithful Mormons, the terrestrial, for good people who were not as worthy, and the telestial kingdom for people who refused the gospel.

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MG-23 - Did Humans Preexist in Heaven?

Did we preexist as spirits in heaven before we were born on earth as Mormonism teaches?

When we left Mormonism, we learned that the Mormon doctrine of premortal life is not found in the Bible and that it is not even taught in the Book of Mormon. The only real support for the Mormon belief in a preexistence is found in the Mormon Scripture, the Book of Abraham, which Joseph Smith created from an Egyptian burial manuscript.

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MG-22 - Do Mormons Believe Jesus and Lucifer are Brothers?

Mormons teach that Jesus is the brother of Lucifer. They believe that the spirits of Jesus and Lucifer were first born to Heavenly Father in heaven that Mormons call the pre-existence. According to Mormon Scripture, Jesus was the first one born and Lucifer was the second one and then all the other spirits of humans and angels were born.

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MG-21 - Is God a Trinity?

A distinct difference between Mormonism and Christianity is how the character and nature of God are defined. Mormons deny the Christian doctrine of the Trinity of God being three distinct persons in One Being, and they teach, instead, that the Godhead is comprised of three separate gods.

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MG-20 – Did Joseph Smith See God the Father

Mormonism stands or falls on the story of its founder, Joseph Smith. Did God the Father and Jesus Christ really appear to Joseph Smith telling him that all the churches and creeds of Christianity are wrong?

Many inconsistencies in the story of Joseph Smith’s First Vision led us to question the historical validity of his claims.   If God did appear to Joseph Smith in 1820, why did he wait 12 years before he even wrote it down in his 1832 Diary? Did Joseph Smith learn about the apostasy through reading the Scriptures as he says in his Diary account or did God reveal it to him directly in the vision as he claimed later? And who did Joseph Smith see? Was it the Father and the Son, the Lord Jesus alone, or was it a company of angels?

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Leaving Mormonism ~ A New Life Awaits You!

Coming out of Mormonism was the single most significant, emotional and spiritual event that we had ever gone throughWe felt ALONE!  We knew of NO ONE who had left the Church! We had absolutely no one to talk to. We did not realize that there were thousands of Mormons who had left Mormonism after they had discovered that the Mormon Church was not what we had been taught it was.

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MG-19 – No Need for a Restored Bible

Did you know that Mormons believe that the Bible that Christians read today is not accurate?  The Mormon Church's 8th Article of Faith states, “We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly.”  So convinced was Joseph Smith that the Bible had been incorrectly “translated,” that he created his own translation of the Bible called the “Inspired Version” or “Joseph Smith Translation” where he added and revised whole sections of the Bible without any support from the ancient manuscripts.

One change Joseph Smith made to his version of the Bible is at Genesis chapter 17 where God makes a covenant with Abraham, requiring circumcision at “eight days” old. Although this covenant was performed for centuries by all Biblical prophets up through the time of Christ, Joseph Smith changed it from “eight days” to “eight years” and this change forms the basis of the Mormon practice of baptism at “eight years,” even though the context of the passage speaks of circumcision, and not baptism.

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MG-18 – No Need for Baptism for the Dead

Have you ever been baptized for your dead relatives?

A Christian can't answer this question because baptism for the dead is not something that is practiced within the churches of Christianity, but in over 150 Mormon temples worldwide, faithful Mormons are being baptized vicariously for their dead relatives in the hopes of increasing their chances of salvation in the next life.  But is Baptism for the Dead a Biblical practice? What about 1 Corinthians 15:29 where the Apostle Paul says, “Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead...?”

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MG-17 - No Need for Restored Temples

Have you ever wondered why the Mormon Church, builds temples throughout the world? What exactly do the Mormons do in their temples?  Mormons believe that they must perform secret temple rituals in order to gain eternal life. These rituals include temple workers washing and anointing specific body parts of the person going through the temple, the giving of secret names, handshakes, and temple garments which Mormons are expected to wear under their clothing for the rest of their lives.

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MG-16 - No Need for a Restored Priesthood

Does Mormonism restore the Aaronic and Melchizedek Priesthoods mentioned in the Bible?  Joseph Smith claimed that he was ordained to the Aaronic and Melchizedek Priesthoods through a special visitation of the Biblical patriarchs who gave him these Priesthoods to be passed down to the male members of the Church through ordination.

When I was ordained as a Bishop of the Mormon Church, I took pride in the fact that my Priesthood Line of Authority went back to the former Mormon Prophet Thomas S. Monson with only one man between me and him! What I did not realize was that it was all a lie. No man in the Bible ever held both Priesthoods, and I wasn't even qualified, under Biblical standards, to hold these Priesthoods. Even Jesus Himself was not qualified to hold the Aaronic Priesthood. So how could I claim to hold something that Jesus could not hold?


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MG-15 - No Need for a Restoration of Gospel Authority

By what authority do you or your Christian pastor perform Gospel ordinances, such as baptizing new believers or laying hands on someone to receive the Holy Spirit? Mormons often challenge Christians with this question because they believe that Gospel “authority” was lost when the Apostles died and that it had to be “restored” through their Prophet Joseph Smith. But what does the Bible say?

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MG-14 - No Need for a Restored Gospel

What is the Gospel or Good News? 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 says that the Gospel consists of belief in Jesus Christ's death for our sins, His burial and His Resurrection. But did you know that most Mormons today think that this simple Gospel taught in the Bible is incomplete?  The Mormon Church claims that when the first-century Christian Apostles died, many “plain and most precious” truths of the gospel were lost and that Joseph Smith was called by God to “restore” what was missing in the Christian Gospel.  So what exactly makes the Mormon “restored” gospel different from the Biblical Gospel?


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MG-12 - To The Glory of God Alone

Soli Deo Gloria” which is Latin for “To the Glory of God Alone” is an essential teaching of the Christian faith that Mormonism distorts. Christians live for the glory of God alone, and not for building themselves up or exalting their own kingdoms as Mormonism teaches.  The Apostle Paul said at Galatians 6:14: “...may it never be that I would boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ...”

Yet, Joseph Smith, the founder of Mormonism, boasted that he did more than Jesus. Joseph Smith said: “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... Neither Paul, John, Peter, nor Jesus ever did it. I boast that no man ever did such a 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, May 26, 1844, Vol. 6, pp. 408-409

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MG-11 - By Scripture Alone

Sola Scriptura” which is Latin for “Scripture alone” is a fundamental doctrine of the historic Christian faith that is completely rejected by the Mormon Church. “Scripture Alone” means that Christians regard the teachings of the Bible as the final authority for determining the doctrines and practices of the Christian faith. The Bible says at 2 Timothy 3:16 that “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine... for instruction in righteousness.” But the Book of Mormon rejects this truth when it mocks Christians who trust in the Bible Alone, saying at 2 Nephi 29:6: “Thou fool, that shall say: A Bible, we have got a Bible, and we need no more Bible.”  

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MG-10 - In Christ Alone

Solus Christus” which is Latin for “In Christ Alone” is another essential doctrine of the Christian faith that is completely rejected by the Mormon Church. “In Christ Alone” means that Christians trust in Jesus Christ Alone for salvation and do not put faith in any other person to stand between them and God. The Bible teaches at 1 Timothy 2:5, “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” But the Mormon Church rejects this truth when they add their prophet Joseph Smith to the redemption plan of Christ.

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MG-09 - By Faith Alone

“Sola Fide” (Sola Fe-day), “By Faith Alone” is one of the essential doctrines of the Christian faith that cannot be found within the Mormon Church. To a Christian, “By Faith Alone” means that you are saved by your belief in the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ Alone, excluding any works of your own for your salvation.

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MG-08 – By Grace Alone

“Sola Gratia” which is Latin for “By Grace Alone,” is one of the Five Solas, or five essential doctrines, of the Historic Christian faith that is completely distorted within Mormonism.

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MG-07-Did Jesus Teach That Men Can Become Gods

Did Jesus teach the Mormon doctrine that men can become “Gods” of their own universe?

In the Mormon Church Gospel Topic Essay on “Becoming like God” they claim that Jesus taught that humans are in the process of becoming gods when he quoted Psalm 82:6 at John 10:34 saying, “Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods?” 

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MG-06 - Does Genesis Teach the Mormon Belief that God's Image is Human?

The Mormon Church claims in their Gospel Topic Essay on “Becoming like God” that this doctrine is taught in the first chapter of Genesis where “God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.” (Genesis 1:26-27). But every Mormon needs to consider the irrationality of that argument.

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MG-05 – Is the Book of Mormon Against Mormonism?

Did you know the Book of Mormon which Joseph Smith claimed is the "most correct of any book on earth" and the "keystone" of the Mormon religion does not contain any of the unique doctrines of Mormonism?

Examples of key Mormon doctrines that are NOT taught in the Book of Mormon are:

1.) The Spirit World, Preexistence, or Premortal life (the Mormon idea that mankind existed as spirits before coming to earth).

Not in the Book of Mormon.

2.) The 3 Kingdoms of Heaven: The Telestial Kingdom, the Terrestrial Kingdom and the Celestial Kingdom.

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MG-04 - Do Mormons Believe They Can Become Gods?

Do Mormons Believe they can become "Gods" like God, the Father of this Universe?  The Headquarters of the Mormon Church has just issued an Official statement in their "Becoming Like God" Gospel Topic Essay on their church website that describes how you can become a God… with a Big “G”.

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MG-03 - Does Mormonism Teach that God was Once a Man?

Mormons often wonder why anyone would feel the need to question if Mormons are Christian when even the name of their Church reflects their belief in Jesus Christ as members of "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints." Yet, at its core, Mormonism teaches a different Jesus Christ. To the Mormons, Jesus Christ is our Elder Brother and the Brother of Satan. He is truly and literally the Son of God, but not the God of the Bible.

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MG-02 - Is Black Skin a Curse in the Book of Mormon?

Did you know that the Book of Mormon, that is in print today, and given away free by the Mormon Missionaries, is the most Racist set of Scriptures of any Religion in the World?

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MG-01 - Witnessing to Mormons Using Their Own Church History

Have you ever considered sharing your Christian Faith with a Mormon friend, coworker or neighbor? For the first time in the History of the Mormon Church, authentic and realistic Mormon Doctrine and History are now available to you and the Mormon People on the Gospel Topics' section of the Mormon Church's official website.


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