Continuing from Book of Mormon problems-Title Page with my reading through the Book of Mormon, highlighting problems that occur to me and presenting them in question format.
[Above: The Hill of Cumorah (color added -presumably as it was in Smith's day), from "Church History in the Fullness of Times," Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1989: Sandra Tanner. Here, according to the Book of Mormon, "the Nephite and Lamanite nations ... allegedly waged large-scale wars with each other for hundreds of years, culminating in a conflict in which hundreds of thousands of people were killed in A.D. 385 ... (see Mormon 6:9-15). If all this really happened, you would think we'd find archaeological evidence to support it. But no evidence has ever surfaced." (Rhodes & Bodine, 1995, pp.125-126]
As previously explained, there are no page numbers in the introductory pages of my copy of the Book of Mormon, so page numbers "p.iv" and "p.v." are assumed. To save scanning the text, I will use the online Book of Mormon (hereafter abbreviated "BoM") , assuming it is the same as my 1981 copy. Words from the BoM are in bold. Unless otherwise indicated, Bible references are to the King James Version..
The Book of Mormon is a volume of holy scripture comparable to the Bible. Why then is there no archaeological evidence for the Book of Mormon's "cities, persons; animals, fabrics, metals, wars and war implements, kings, palaces, or crops" but "the archaeological evidence for the Bible is so convincing that even a former skeptic such as the great archaeologist Sir William Ramsay became converted to Christian belief" (Ankerberg & Weldon, 1991, pp.38-39)? See also (Martin, 1977, pp.161-162).
It is a record of God's dealings with the ancient inhabitants of the Americas ... Why then did: 1) anthropologist Prof. Michael Coe state that "nothing, has ever shown up in any New World excavation which would suggest ... the Book of Mormon ... is a historical document," and "I have seen no archaeological evidence ... which would convince me that it [Book of Mormon] is anything but a fanciful creation" (Abanes, 2002, p.75)? 2) archaeologist Dr. Bradley Lepper a specialist in American Indian history, agree that, "There is no archaeological evidence for Old World culture in the Americas. Where the Book of Mormon makes specific claims around that, it's found wanting" (Abanes, 2002, p.75)? 3) the Smithsonian Institution issue an official statement that, `Smithsonian archeologists see no direct connection between the archeology of the New World and the subject matter of the book." (Abanes, 2002, p.75)? 4) Mormon archaeologist Dee F. Green, concede that, "The first myth we need to eliminate is that Book of Mormon archaeology exists" and "no Book of Mormon location is known with reference to modern topography" (Abanes, 2002, p.75)? 5) prominent LDS scholar, B.H. Roberts admit of features of the Book of Mormon that, "The evidence I sorrowfully submit, points to Joseph Smith as their creator" and the golden plates "were not objective but subjective with Joseph Smith" (Abanes, 2002, pp.75-76)? 6. Mormon archaeologist Thomas Stuart Ferguson admit that, "it cannot be established factually that anyone ... has put his finger on a single point of terrain that was a Book-of-Mormon geographical place ... to date there is no Book-of-Mormon geography," "Mormonism is myth-fraternity" and "'he was working on a project, a manuscript which would (according to him) expose Joseph Smith as a fraud" and "the Book of Mormon was produced through Joseph Smith's own creative genius and through his use of contemporary sources." (Abanes, 2002, pp.76-78).
... and contains, as does the Bible, the fulness of the everlasting gospel. If "the Bible" "contains" "the fulness of the everlasting gospel," then why do we need the Book of Mormon? And since the Bible teaches that salvation is by grace through faith alone (Eph 2:8-9 KJV), but Mormonism denies this teaches that salvation is by faith plus works, then why is it not "another gospel," indeed brought by "an angel from heaven," and so should be rejected as "accursed" (Gal 1:18 KJV)? (see Ankerberg & Weldon, 1991, pp.28-30; Martin, 1977, p.193; Reed & Farkas, 1992, pp.89-90; Rhodes, 2001, pp.10-11; Rhodes & Bodine, 1995, pp.49-50).
See `tagline' quotes below (emphasis italics original, emphasis bold mine). To be continued in Book of Mormon-Introduction #2.
"But the most damaging strike against the BOM is the lack of any archeological evidence to support it. In 1973 distinguished anthropologist Michael Coe-Professor Emeritus of Anthropology and Curator Emeritus of Anthropology at the Peabody Museum-unequivocally stated: `The bare facts of the matter are that nothing, absolutely nothing, has ever shown up in any New World excavation which would suggest to a dispassionate observer that the Book of Mormon, as claimed by Joseph Smith, is a historical document relating to the history of early migrants to our hemisphere.' [Coe, M., "Mormons & Archeology: An Outside View," Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, Summer 1973, Vol. 8, p.46] In 1993, Coe reiterated his position, saying: `I have seen no archaeological evidence ... which would convince me that it [Book of Mormon] is anything but a fanciful creation.' [Coe, M., letter to William McKeever, Aug. 17,1993, in McKeever, W., "Yale Anthropologist's Views Remain Unchanged," Mormonism Researched, Winter, 1995, p.6] Dr. Bradley Lepper-Curator of Archaeology at the Ohio Historical Society, and Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Denison University (Granville, Ohio)-has extensively researched American Indian history and agrees with Coe: `There is no archaeological evidence for Old World culture in the Americas. Where the Book of Mormon makes specific claims around that, it's found wanting.' [Lepper, B., in Fulton, B., "Burden of Proof," Weekly Wire, October 6, 1997] Even the Smithsonian Institution has issued an official statement refuting any claims of BOM historicity, explaining: `Smithsonian archeologists see no direct connection between the archeology of the New World and the subject matter of the book.' ["Statements Regarding the Book of Mormon," Smithsonian Institution, 1996] Some Mormon scholars, such as Dee F. Green, have conceded that there exists no such thing as BOM archeology. [Green stated: `The first myth we need to eliminate is that Book of Mormon archaeology exists... no Book of Mormon location is known with reference to modern topography. Biblical archaeology can be studied because we do know where Jerusalem and Jericho were and are, but we do not know where Zarahemla and Bountiful (nor any other location for that matter) [from the Book of Mormon] were or are. It would seem then that a concentration on geography should be the first order of business, but ... years of such an approach has left us empty-handed" Green, D.R., "Book of Mormon Archeology: the Myths and the Alternatives," Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, Summer 1969, Vol. 4, pp.72-80, p. 78] (Abanes, R., "One Nation Under Gods: A History of the Mormon Church," Four Walls Eight Windows: New York NY, 2002, pp.75, 515 n.78).
"A similar conclusion forced two of the most prominent LDS scholars, B.H. Roberts (1857-1933) and Thomas Stuart Ferguson (1915-1983), to abandon their faith in the Book of Mormon.This shocking turnabout in their perspectives still haunts LDS church officials who adamantly declare that the two icons of Mormon scholarship never repudiated their testimonies. But private letters and various other manuscripts written by Roberts and Ferguson indicate otherwise. [Tanner, J. & S., "B. H. Robert's Doubts," Salt Lake City Messenger, #84, April 1993] B.H. Roberts, described as `one of the [LDS] church's most valiant writers and speakers in defense of the Book of Mormon, ' began having doubts about the authenticity of the BOM after studying Ethan Smith's View of the Hebrews. He subsequently wrote two highly sensitive manuscripts that severely challenged the veracity of the Book of Mormon. [Walters, W.P., "An Examination of B.H. Roberts' Secret Manuscript," Utah Lighthouse Ministry: Salt Lake City UT, 1979] Both of these works were suppressed until long after his death, when they were acquired and published in 1980 by Jerald and Sandra Tanner under the title Roberts' Secret Manuscripts Revealed.The manuscripts were eventually published in 1985 by the Illinois of University Press as Studies of the Book of Mormon. In these manuscripts Roberts acknowledges that Joseph Smith could have indeed written the BOM using his own talents and creativity. [Roberts, B.H., "Studies of the Book of Mormon," Madsen, B.D. & McMurrin, S.M., eds., University of Illinois Press: Urbana IL, 1985, p.243] Roberts' writings reveal that he grew especially doubtful about the divine origins of the BOM after comparing it to the works of Josiah Priest (The Wonders of Nature, 1825) and Ethan Smith (View of the Hebrews, 1823). His final conclusion diametrically opposed his former stance as one of Mormonism's staunchest defenders: `The evidence I sorrowfully submit, points to Joseph Smith as their creator. It is difficult to believe that they are the product of history, that they come upon the scene separated by long periods of time, and among a race which was the ancestral race of the red man of America. [Roberts, 1985, p.271] Shortly before his death in 1933, Roberts told Wesley P. Lloyd that he had come to believe the Book of Mormon was a non-historical document. Lloyd wrote in his diary that Roberts said the plates `were not objective but subjective with Joseph Smith, that his exceptional imagination qualified him psychologically for the experience which he had in presenting to the world the Book of Mormon.' [Lloyd, W.P., "Private Journal of Wesley P. Lloyd," August 7, 1933] Lloyd also recorded: "These are some of the things which has made Bro. Roberts shift his base on the Book of Mormon. Instead of regarding it as the strongest evidence we have of Church Divinity, he regards it as the one which needs the most bolstering." [Ibid.] (Abanes, 2002, pp.75-76).
"Thomas Stuart Ferguson, even more than B.H. Roberts, dedicated his life to finding objective proof for the Book of Mormon. He founded the New World Archaeology Foundation at Brigham Young University, which was established specifically for the purpose of unearthing archeological evidence supporting the BOM.In One Fold and One Shepherd, he explained his hopes and dreams: `The important thing now is to continue the digging at an accelerated pace in order to find more inscriptions dating to Book-of-Mormon times. Eventually we should find decipherable inscriptions... referring to some unique person, place or event in the Book of Mormon.[Ferguson, T.S., "One Fold And One Shepherd," 1962, p.263, in Tanner, J. & S., "Ferguson's Two Faces," Salt Lake City Messenger, #69, September 1988] In 1962, Ferguson excitedly announced: `Powerful evidences sustaining the book are accumulating.' [Ibid] But by 1972, his expectations had been all but utterly destroyed, writing: `Ten years have passed... I sincerely anticipated that Book-of-Mormon cities would be positively identified within 10 years-and time has proved me wrong in my anticipation.' [Ferguson, T.S., letter to Harold Hougey, June 5, 1972, Larson, S., "The Odyssey of Thomas Stuart Ferguson," Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, Spring 1990, Vol. 23, p.76] In 1975 Ferguson finally prepared a 29-page report in response to papers written by Mormon apologists John Sorenson and Garth Norman, both of whom were claiming that archeological evidence for the BOM existed. Ferguson pulled no punches in criticizing his fellow Mormon scholars: `With all of these great efforts, it cannot be established factually that anyone, from Joseph Smith to the present day, has put his finger on a single point of terrain that was a Book-of-Mormon geographical place. And the hemisphere has been pretty well checked out by competent people... I must agree with Dee Green, who has told us that to date there is no Book-of-Mormon geography. I, for one, would be happy if Dee were wrong.' [Ferguson, T.S., "Written Symposium on Book-of-Mormon Geography: Response of Thomas S. Ferguson to the Norman & Sorenson Papers," 4, 7, 29, in Tanner, J. & S., "Ferguson's Manuscript Unveiled," Utah Lighthouse Ministry: Salt Lake City UT, 1988] Ferguson, however, explained in a February 20, 1976 letter that he had decided it to keep relatively quiet about his findings because to do otherwise could destroy the faith of others. He suggested that like minded Mormons do the same thing, noting that `Mormonism is probably the best conceived myth-fraternity to which one can belong' and that Joseph Smith `can be refuted-but why bother... It would be like wiping out placebos in medicine, and that would make no sense when they do lots of good.' [Ferguson, T.S., letter dated February 9, 1976] He further explained : `Why not say the right things and keep your membership in the great fraternity, enjoying the good things you like and discarding the ones you can't swallow (and keeping your mouth shut)? ... [W]hy try to be heroic and fight the myths-the Mormon one or any other that does more good than ill? Perhaps you and I have been spoofed by Joseph Smith. Now that we have the inside dope-why not spoof a little back and stay aboard? Please consider this letter confidential-for obvious reasons. I want to stay aboard the good ship, Mormonism... Kindly do not quote this letter and please do not cite me. [Ibid] In February 1983, Ferguson told Pierre Agrinier Bach, a longtime friend and archaeologist, that 'he was working on a project, a manuscript which would (according to him) expose Joseph Smith as a fraud.' [Bach, P.A., in Larson, S., "Quest for the Gold Plates: Thomas Stuart Ferguson's Archaeological Search for the Book of Mormon," Freethinker Press: Salt Lake City UT, 1996, p.158, in Tanner, J. & S., "Quest for the Gold Plates: Stan Larson's New Book," Salt Lake City Messenger #91, November 1996] Ferguson said that when his manuscript was completed, it would be a real `bombshell' on the Book of Mormon, `showing both positive and negative evidence from Mesoamerican archaeology, but concluding that the Book of Mormon was produced through Joseph Smith's own creative genius and through his use of contemporary sources, including Ethan Smith's View of the Hebrews.' [Ibid] Just before publishing his volatile study, Ferguson unexpectedly died in 1983-his manuscript mysteriously disappeared and has never been recovered." (Abanes, 2002, pp.76-78).
"From its inception, the Mormon Church has consistently and adamantly opposed the clear biblical teaching of justification by grace through faith alone (Ephesians 2:8,9; Philippians 3:9). In fact, few religions are more hostile to the biblical teaching of salvation by grace than Mormonism. Talmage refers to `a most pernicious doctrine-that of justification by belief alone.' [Talmage, J.E., A Study of the Articles of Faith, 1974, p.107] Joseph Fielding Smith taught that `mankind [is] damned by [the] "faith alone" doctrine.' [Smith, J.F., Doctrines of Salvation, Vol. 2, p.139] McConkie complained, `Many Protestants ...erroneously conclude that men are saved by grace alone without doing the works of righteousness.' [McConkie, B., Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, Vol. 2, p.229] Because salvation by grace is thoroughly rejected, Mormonism forcefully teaches a system of salvation by works of righteousness and personal merit. Both the Book of Mormon and Doctrine and Covenants teach `works salvation.' Further, virtually every Mormon authority of past and present has emphasized the absolute necessity of salvation by works and personal righteousness. ... But, again ... the Bible teaches only one way of salvation-by grace through faith alone. `Of Him [ Jesus], all the prophets bear witness that through His name everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins' (Acts 10:43). Jesus Himself taught that salvation was secured by faith alone. For example, `Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life' (John 5:24). `Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes has eternal life' (John 6:47). `Jesus answered and said to them, `This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent' (John 6:29). ... As early as Genesis we read, `Abram believed the Lord, and he credited it to him as righteousness' (Genesis 15:6 NIV). The apostle Paul comments on this verse when he asserts, `What does the Scripture say? "Abraham believed God and it was credited to him as righteousness"' (Romans 4:3 NIV). ... Paul confessed that even though he was a righteous man according to the law, he counted it `but rubbish in order that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith' (Philippians 3:8-9). ... Paul repeatedly emphasized salvation was secured by grace through faith in Christ alone, as the following Scriptures prove: `For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law' (Romans 3:28). `By grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast' (Ephesians 2:8,9). `But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace' (Romans 11:6). `I do not nullify the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died needlessly' (Galatians 2:21; see also Romans 4:5,6; 10:4; Galatians 3:11; Titus 3:5). Mormonism, because it teaches a religious system of salvation by good works and personal righteousness, comes under the condemnation so clearly expressed by the apostle Paul in Galatians 1:8 (NIV): `But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned!'" (Ankerberg, J. & Weldon, J., "The Facts on the Mormon Church," Harvest House Publishers: Eugene OR, 1991, pp.28-30).
"Another problem for the Book of Mormon is archaeology, a major embarrassment to the Mormon Church. Mormon missionaries continue to claim that the science of archaeology substantiates the Book of Mormon, but whether we consider the alleged cities, persons; animals, fabrics, metals, wars and war implements, kings, palaces, or crops, all the evidence points to their nonexistence. ... No Book of Mormon cities have ever been located, no Book of Mormon person, place, nation, or name has been found, no Book of Mormon artifacts, no Book of Mormon scriptures, no Book of Mormon inscriptions, no Book of Mormon gold plates-nothing that demonstrates the Book of Mormon is anything other than myth or invention has ever been found. By contrast, But the archaeological evidence against Mormon claims is so devastating that prominent Mormon archaeologist Thomas Stewart Ferguson ... repudiated its prophet." (Ankerberg, J. & Weldon, J., 1991, "The Facts on the Mormon Church," Harvest: House Publishers: Eugene OR, pp.38-39).
"Archeological Evidence The Book of Mormon purports to portray the rise and development of two great civilizations. As to just how great these civilizations were, some excerpts from the book itself adequately illustrate: `The whole face of the land had become covered with buildings, and the people were as numerous almost, as it were the sand of the sea' (Mormon 1:7). ` . . fine workmanship of wood, in buildings, and in machinery, and also in iron and copper, and brass and steel, makings [sic.] all manners of tools ... ` (Jarom 1:8 and 2 Nephi 5:15). ` ... grain ... silks ... cattle ... oxen ... cows ... sheep ... swine ... goats ... horses ... asses ... elephants ... ` (See Ether 9:17-19). `... did multiply and spread ... began to cover the face of the whole earth, from the sea south to the sea north, from the sea west to the sea east' (Heleman 3:8). `... had been slain ... two millions' [Jaredites] (See Ether 15:2). ... their shipping and their building of ships, and their building of temples, and of synagogues and their sanctuaries ...' (Heleman 3:14. See also 2 Nephi 5:15, 16 and Alma 16:13). ` ... there were ten more who did fall ... with their ten thousand each...' (See Mormon 6:10-15). ... swords ... cimeters ... breastplates ... arm-shields ... shields ... head-plates ... armor' (See Alma 43:18, 19; 3:5 and Ether 15:15). `... multiplied exceedingly, and spread upon the face of the land, and became exceeding rich ...' (Jarom 1:8). See 3 Nephi 8:9, 10, 14 and 9:4, 5, 6, 8: where cities and inhabitants were sunk in the depths of the sea and earth. In addition to the foregoing statements from the Book of Mormon which indicate the tremendous spread of the culture of these races, there are some thirty-eight cities catalogued in the Book of Mormon, evidence that these were indeed mighty civilizations which should, by all the laws of archeological research into the culture of antiquity, have left vast amounts of `finds' to be evaluated. But such is not the case as we shall show. The Mormons have yet to explain the fact that leading archeological researchers not only have repudiated the claims of the Book of Mormon as to the existence of these civilizations, but have adduced considerable evidence to show the impossibility of the accounts given in the Mormon Bible." (Martin, W.R., 1977, "The Kingdom of the Cults: An Analysis of the Major Cult Systems in the Present Christian Era," Bethany Fellowship: Minneapolis MN, pp.161-162).
"The Christ of the Mormons cannot save, for he is as the Apostle Paul describes him, `another Jesus,' the subject of `another gospel,' and the originator of a `different spirit,' whose forerunner (the angelic messenger, Moroni) was anticipated by the Apostle (Galatians 1:8 and 9) and who along with the entire revelation is to be considered `anathema' or more literally from the Greek, `cursed' by God. It may be difficult for some to grasp what is in fact an incredible concept, but Mormonism fits perfectly into the descriptions given by the Word of God. The greatest of the apostles, in his second letter to the Corinthian church, after mentioning a counterfeit Jesus, gospel and spirit, goes on to state that such occurrences should not come as a surprise to the Christian church: `For such are false apostles, deceitful workmen, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ, and it is not surprising, for Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. It is therefore no great marvel if his servants also transform themselves as servants of righteousness whose end will be according to-their works' (II Corinthians 11:13-15, Greek). This is harsh language indeed, but it is the language of God's choosing and it cannot be ignored by anyone who takes seriously the revelations of Scripture and apostolic authority. Mormonism, with the apostles, priesthood, temples, secret signs, symbols, hand shakes and mysteries, quite literally masquerades as `the church of the restoration'; but at its heart, in its doctrine of the Messiah, it is found to be contrary to every major Biblical pronouncement." (Martin, W.R., "The Kingdom of the Cults: An Analysis of the Major Cult Systems in the Present Christian Era," Bethany Fellowship: Minneapolis MN, 1977, p.193).
" Galatians 1:8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. Although this verse is more often used by Christians to challenge Mormonism, Mormons themselves will sometimes quote it in connection with their claim that the church set up on earth by Jesus Christ soon became apostate, teaching `another gospel,' and so needed to be restored. The Protestant Reformation of the sixteenth century did not accomplish this, they assert, because the church was beyond reform. A total restoration was required, and this took place in 1830 when Joseph Smith founded the LDS Church. It is true that another gospel was introduced early in the history of Christianity; that is what the apostle Paul wrote the Galatians about and warned them against (Gal. 1:6). From the rest of Paul's letter it appears that the other gospel being taught in Galatia had to do with salvation through works (compare Gal. 3:1, 2). Actually, there were a number of `other' gospels taught by persons who sought to `pervert the gospel of Christ' (Gal. 1:7). Some of these are mentioned specifically in the Bible: `the doctrine of Balaam,' `the doctrine of the Nicolaitans,' and the `doctrine' of `that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess' (Rev. 2:14, 15, 20-24). The epistles of Paul, Peter, James, Jude, and John are full of warnings against false teachers and false teachings working their way into the church. But, did those other gospels succeed in penetrating the church to the point that the true gospel of Jesus Christ was lost and forgotten? No. In combating the counterfeit gospels, these Bible writers left us their inspired epistles outlining and defending the true gospel. Thousands of early manuscripts have survived to this day, preserving what they wrote. Controversies continued to disturb the church in the centuries that followed, but those disputes, too, are well documented with writings pro and con surviving for our examination. With church history so well preserved, it is possible for us today to trace the development of doctrines and practices over the years. ... Yet, in the mountains of manuscripts dating back nearly two thousand years, nowhere do we find evidence that the church originally taught anything resembling the `restored gospel' of Mormonism. If it were true that the church founded by Jesus Christ originally taught such LDS doctrines as the plurality of Gods, men becoming Gods, celestial marriage, and God the Father having once been a man, and if it were true that those doctrines were later set aside in favor of what is now considered orthodox Christianity, there would certainly be some record of this. There would be very ancient Bible manuscripts containing those teachings that could be compared with later manuscripts leaving them out. And there would be writings pro and con debating those teachings, dating to the time when they were allegedly repressed. But no such evidence is available. ... But, instead of ancient manuscripts, Mormons rely on the writings of Joseph Smith, who claimed to have received his information by direct revelation. The evidence actually points to Mormonism being the `other gospel' and orthodox Christianity being the historically verifiable original gospel of Christ. Regardless of whether Joseph Smith received his information from an angel or from other sources, it still differs from what is recorded in the Bible. So the Scripture applies: `But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed."' (Reed, D.A. & Farkas, J.R., "Mormons Answered Verse by Verse," Baker: Grand Rapids MI, 1992, pp.89-90).
"The Bible does not prophesy a total apostasy in the early church. ... Galatians 1:6-8 `I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel-which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned!' This passage records the apostle Paul's warning against believing a different gospel. Notice that there is no indication that there would be a total apostasy of the entire church throughout the world. The local church in Galatia was the focus of these statements by the apostle Paul. The Galatians had apparently succumbed to a gospel that added works to faith. Certain Jewish Christians, unhappy with the way Paul freely invited Gentiles to come to God, had begun to visit the churches he had established. Their purpose was to `Judaize' these Gentile believers-to persuade them that after believing in Christ they needed to take the additional step of getting circumcised.' This effectively added `law' to the `grace' Paul had been preaching. Galatians 3:1,3 says, `You foolish Galatians!...After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort?' Paul responded by emphasizing that any gospel that contradicted the gospel of grace already authoritatively handed down to them is to be rejected. He even held himself accountable to this standard (see Galatians 1:8; 1 Corinthians 15:3). A Counterfeit Gospel The gospel of Mormonism is one of works, which contradicts the gospel of grace taught by Paul (Ephesians 2:8,9). The Mormon gospel falls into the category of `a different gospel' (Galatians 1:8)." (Rhodes, R., "The 10 Most Important Things You Can Say to a Mormon," Harvest House: Eugene OR, 2001, pp.10-11).
"Another Gospel ... In Galatians 1:6-8 we read, `I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel; which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.' The Mormons often cite this verse in their attempt to prove that the early church became completely apostate (believing `another gospel') and was thus in need of restoration. This restoration allegedly came through the Mormon prophet Joseph Smith. ... First you will want to make clear what Galatians 1:8 does not say. The text does not even remotely hint that there would be a total apostasy of the entire church. Mormons are reading something into the text that is not there. By allowing Galatians 1 to speak for itself, a person would never come to the conclusion that it is referring to a complete apostasy of the entire church. You will then want to clarify the nature of the false gospel the Galatians had bought into: It was a gospel of legalism, which added works to faith. This was not the same gospel Paul had preached and by which the Galatians had been saved. Apparently false teachers had been at work confusing the Galatians (see Acts 15:24; 20:29-30). ... This, in effect, added law to the grace Paul had been preaching. It is clear, then, that the `other gospel' being taught in Galatia had to do with salvation through works (see Galatians 3:1-2). There are numerous other so-called `gospels' that pervert the true gospel of Christ (Galatians 1:7). These include the `doctrine of Balaam,' the `doctrine of the Nicolaitans,' and the `doctrine' of `that woman Jezebel; which calleth herself a prophetess' (Revelation 2:14,15,20-24). No matter what kind of gospel it is and no matter who it comes from (even an angel), if it goes against the authoritative gospel already handed down, it is to be rejected and is accursed by God. ... Measuring the `gospel' of Mormonism against that expressed in Galatians and the rest of the New Testament (a gospel of grace, not works), it becomes abundantly clear that the LDS works-gospel is in fact `another' gospel that must be pronounced anathema-accursed by God, and deadly to people seeking to enter His kingdom." (Rhodes, R. & Bodine, M., "Reasoning from the Scriptures with the Mormons," Harvest House Publishers: Eugene OR, 1995, pp.49-50).
"Archaeology and the Book of Mormon Down through the years, Mormons have claimed that archaeological finds have proven the veracity and reliability of the Book of Mormon. But is there support for such claims? We must keep in mind that according to the Mormon Scriptures, the Nephite and Lamanite nations had huge populations that lived in large, fortified cities. They allegedly waged large-scale wars with each other for hundreds of years, culminating in a conflict in which hundreds of thousands of people were killed in A.D. 385 near Hill Cumorah in present-day New York State (see Mormon 6:9-15). If all this really happened, you would think we'd find archaeological evidence to support it. But no evidence has ever surfaced. While there is massive archaeological evidence to support the people and places mentioned in the Bible, such evidence is completely missing in regard to the Book of Mormon and other Mormon Scriptures. [Tanner, J. & S., "Major Problems of Mormonism," Utah Lighthouse Ministry: Salt Lake City UT, 1989, pp.162-165]" (Rhodes, R. & Bodine, M., 1995, "Reasoning from the Scriptures With the Mormons," Harvest House Publishers: Eugene OR, pp.125-126).