A Conversation with Mormon Elders

by Jimmy Ferguson

Many of us have received a knock on the door from young men claiming to be “elders” in the Mormon Church. While we admire their enthusiasm, it saddens us that these young men have been led into error. Some time ago I had an opportunity to sit down with these Mormon “elders.” Perhaps the following information will benefit our readers who may be approached by Mormons in the future.

The Mormon church was begun in about 1827 by Joseph Smith who supposedly received a visit from Jesus Christ who told him to start this church and to translate the Book of Mormon from golden plates which were buried in about 400 A.D. The Mormons believe that Joseph Smith was a prophet and that the Bible and the Book of Mormon are equally inspired. However, it was not surprising that our conversation revealed that they put more stock in the Book of Mormon than they do the Bible.

As our conversation began I asked these young “elders” if they believed that the Bible was inspired. They answered, “Yes.” I asked if they believed the Book of Mormon was inspired. Again, they answered, “Yes.” I then told them I had some problems with that and asked them to explain some things to me if they could. The following are a number of contradictions and inconsistencies which I set forth to them.

  1. In Micah 5:2 and Matthew 2:1 the Bible says that Jesus was born in Bethlehem. In the Book of Mormon (Alma 7:10), it says He was born in Jerusalem. I asked them which one was true. One told me that if I prayed to the Holy Spirit with a sincere heart, He would reveal to my mind that the Book of Mormon was true. I asked, “What if He reveals to me that the Bible is true?” (Of course, the Holy Spirit does not reveal anything directly to our minds. The Bible is His revelation – II Timothy 3:16,17). No response was given to my question. I then reminded them that they had told me that they also believe the Bible is inspired.
  2. In Matthew 27:45 the Bible says that when Jesus was on the cross darkness covered the land for three hours. The Book of Mormon (Helaman 14:20) says that darkness covered the land for three days. Smith made the same mistake in 3 Nephi 8:3. No attempt was made to answer this contradiction.
  3. The Bible says that the disciples were called “Christians” first in Antioch (Acts 11:26). The Book of Mormon has the Lord’s people called “Christians” before the birth of Christ (Alma 46:13,15,16 and 48:10). Again, no attempt was made to explain this.
  4. Genesis 11:9 says that God confounded the language of all the earth; the Book of Mormon (Ether 1:35) says He did not. One of the young men said that God did confound the language of everyone except one tribe. I reminded him that the Bible says otherwise.
  5. The Book of Mormon (II Nephi 2:23) says that had Adam and Eve not transgressed “they would have remained in a state of innocence, having no joy, for they knew no misery; doing no good, for they knew no sin.” I pleaded, “Tell me how that in a state of innocence Adam and Eve would have no joy and do no good!” Again, no response.
  6. There are even glaring contradictions in their own material. Another of their books, The Pearl of Great Price (Moses 6:54-55) says that children are born in sin. But the Book of Mormon (Moroni 8:12,22) teaches the opposite.
  7. Mormons are baptized for their dead ancestors who may have been ignorant of baptism. However, the Book of Mormon (Alma 34:32-35) says that anything the dead might do in the spirit world or anything we might do here on their behalf will not change their condition.

I had listed several other contradictions but this is as far as we got. These young “elders” said that there was no need to talk any longer so they left. But the conclusion was irrefutable. If the Bible is true, then the Book of Mormon is false; and if the Book of Mormon is true, then the Bible is false. Furthermore, even the contradictions in their own books show that the Book of Mormon is not inspired and that Joseph Smith was a false prophet [teacher].

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