5. “Faith Without Works Is Dead” (James 2:20)
In reply to the chapter, “The Mormon Dilemma”
Page 49, line 12
“Jerald and Sandra Tanner are former Mormons who have established an international reputation for their impeccably accurate and thorough research,” claim the authors.
Lawrence Foster, an associate professor of American history at Georgia Institute of Technology, a scholar who is non-Mormon and who has spent a decade in intensive work on Mormonism, has said of the Tanners: Until they “are prepared to abide by accepted standards of scholarly behavior and common courtesy, they can expect little sympathy from serious historians,” and “the Tanners’ own work falls short of history.” Foster also stated, “The Tanners have repeatedly assumed a holier-than-thou stance, refusing to be fair in applying the same debate standard of absolute rectitude which they demand of Mormonism to their own actions, writings, and beliefs.” Foster gives the Tanners credit for publishing old LDS documents, “but criticizes them for using unauthorized materials which” have been acquired leaving “much to be desired, ethically speaking.” The Tanners often publish “scholarly works of living individuals without their permission,” because “the end (destroying Mormonism) justifies the means.” Foster continues, “The Tanners seem to be playing a skillful shell game in which the premises for judgment are conveniently shifted so that the conclusion is always the same — negative.”
Foster also quotes from another Tanner critic who said,
Jerald and Sandra Tanner have read widely enough in the sources of LDS history to provide that [larger] perspective, but they do not. Although the most conscientious and honest researcher can overlook pertinent sources of information, the repeated omissions of evidence by the Tanners suggest an intentional avoidance of sources that modify or refute their caustic interpretation of Mormon history (“Career Apostates,” Dialogue, Summer 1984, pp. 35-60).
However many faults the Tanners have, the authors of The God Makers have outdone them by far. Much of The God Makers is based on the Tanner material, including wrong interpretations.
Some anti-Mormon charges which the Tanners published have turned out not to be true.[∗] For example: For years one of their star witnesses was “Dr.” Dee Jay Nelson who claimed to be an Egyptologist. He did not get a degree or even attend the Oriental Institute at the University of Chicago as he alleged, nor did he ever—as he claimed—attend or get an M.S. in Egyptology from the University of California at Berkeley. For a thorough analysis of the background and tactics of Dee Jay Nelson, see Robert L. and Rosemary Brown, They Lie in Wait to Deceive, Vol I, and Vol II pp. 165-213.
Page 50, lines 19-23
” ‘All is well; All is well’ [is justification for LDS] brainwashing . . . par excellence” claim the authors.
They must be aware that these words are from a hymn written to give pioneer refugees hope and cannot honestly be applied as a motto to promote an image that the LDS Church is better than it is. In fact the Book of Mormon warns, “Wo be unto him that crieth: All is well! ” (2 Nephi 28:25).
If there ever was an organization that warned against an “all is well” mentality, it is the LDS Church.
Page 50, line 31
“When one is convinced that he is really a god-in-embryo, denial of human weaknesses becomes an unconscious habit.”
My observation from a lifetime in the LDS Church is just the opposite. Serious Latter-day Saints are often too hard on themselves and are constantly trying to overcome their faults. There seems to be an end less supply of self-help books sold in LDS bookstores.
Elder Boyd K. Packer has said: “Since every living thing follows the pattern of its parentage, are we to suppose that God had some of he strange pattern in mind for His offspring? Surely we. His children, are not, in the language of science, a different species than He is” (Ensign, November 1984, pp. 65-66).
Page 50, last line, also page 52, lines 1-21
“Something radical and hard to describe takes place in one’s self-image when he believes he is destined to become a god . . . .”
Mormons teach just the opposite. It will require a perfect character and this is opposite of being destined.
Page 51, line 8
“[The Mormon woman] will be privileged to bear millions and perhaps billions of . . . ‘spirit babies,’ “
Again the book offers no reference. See page 22, line 17 for earlier response to the same charge.
In LDS doctrine it is unknown how eternal spirits are created.
Page 51, line 24
“Truth is synonymous with the teachings of The Brethren guiding the Church; error is all else.”
This is not true. Except on official doctrine the “Brethren” don’t agree on everything.
Are the authors unaware of the thirteenth Article of Faith which says, “If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things”?
I’ve lost track how many times the book repeats this same erroneous point. Page 43, line 16, and page 28, line II, and page 9, line 19 are some previous examples.
Page 52, line 29
“Though it sounds godly, the ambition to become a god is merely a ‘saintly’ expression of the same basic human selfishness that lies at the root of all evil.”
Not too often do I even find the idea of becoming gods and goddesses mentioned in Church lessons or talks by general authorities. I sometimes find members even saying they don’t desire that kind of responsibility. I seldom find a Mormon who has an “ambition” to reach this goal. A more typical attitude is that “it is considered a challenging possibility and it would maybe be an honor to qualify, but I’ll just do the best I can here and now and strive to be a good parent, citizen and Church member. Whatever rewards and leadership responsibilities come my way in the eternities I’ll worry about later.” This seems to be closer to the way Mormons look at possible godhood. (See page 24, line 18 for biblical teachings that godhood is attainable.) Latter-day Saints are much more likely to find joy in the thought of having an eternal family and that a beautiful relationship between husband and wife and parents, grandparents, children and grandchildren can continue forever. That is where real joy comes in this life and in the eternities.
There are certainly some inherent dangers in the deification of man concept, such as arrogance, etc., but the LDS doctrine of “works” keeps such a negative tendency in check. This could be a problem if one is seeking God’s power and not his other attributes. I will never forget Dr. Joe Christensen (the Associate Commissioner of the Church Educational System) casually mentioning the Mormon idea of the possibility of men becoming gods when he was a guest in a philosophy class at the University of Arizona. After the class the professor asked Dr. Christensen, “Do you Latter-day Saints actually believe a person can become a god?”
When Dr. Christensen answered “Yes!” the professor pondered for a moment and then replied, “That’s the greatest idea I’ve ever heard.”
Page 52, last line, page 53, line I
“In 1980 . . . Utah ranked thirteenth in child abuse among the fifty states.”
However, the authors omit that this same Associated Press story they cite said, “There is no evidence that the abusers are active Latter-day Saints.” The article continues by pointing out what the LDS Church is doing to try to keep this growing “worldwide” evil from spreading and the article quotes D&C 121:19: “Wo unto them; because they have offended my little ones . . . ” (Sunstone Review, October 1982, p. 5).
For every thousand residents, Utah had 4.0 reports of child abuse or neglect in 1981. The next best Mountain West state was Montana with 6.7 (Deseret News, April 5, 1984, p. A-4). Yet Utah has one of the toughest child abuse reporting laws in the nation.
Page 53, line 36, and page 54, first few lines
“The Bible doesn’t tell us to become perfect, but to be perfect” (Matt. 5:48). The authors then interpret this biblical verse by adding, “which would indicate that whatever this ‘perfection’ is, it can be had immediately and is not something that is eventually attained in a future state.”
The Greek word “be” in “be ye perfect” is in future tense, hence “become perfect.”
If God intended “be ye perfect” to mean “immediate perfection” as the book asserts, then why did God go to the trouble of giving commandments? Even Christ was offended when a ruler called him “Good Master.” Jesus replied, “Why callest thou me good? None is good, save one, that is, God” (Luke 18:19). Do the authors really believe immediate perfection is possible?
If ever there was a principle that was clearly taught in the Bible, it’s the need to “work” at one’s faith. “Faith without works is dead” (James 2:26) and “He that doeth truth cometh to the light” (John 3:21). The accompanying list gives dozens more scriptures on the need for good works.
When Christ said, “Be perfect,” he did not want us to procrastinate repentance. He wanted us to get started. The very idea that instant perfection is possible is unbelievable.
|Gen. 26:5(4-5)||because. ..Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my. ..laws.|
|2 Chr. 15:7||be ye strong, ..for your work shall be rewarded.|
|Ps. 28:4||give them according to their deeds, and according to|
|Ps. 62:12||for thou renderest to every man according to his work.|
|Eccl. 12:14(13,14)||God shall bring every work into judgment, with every|
|Isa. 1:17(16-17)||learn to do well…relieve the oppressed, judge the|
|Jer. 17:10||to give every man according to his ways, and|
|Jer. 32:19||to give every one according to his ways, and according|
|Micah 6:8||do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with|
|Matt. 5:6||they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness|
|Matt. 5:16(14-16)||that they may see your good works, and glorify your|
|Matt. 7:12||whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye|
|Matt. 7:16(15-16)||ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather|
|Matt. 7:21(21-27)||he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven|
|Matt. 13:23||which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an|
|Matt. 16:27||he shall reward every man according to his works.|
|Matt. 25:40(31-46)||as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my|
|John 3:21(20-21)||he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deed|
|John 7:17(16-17)||if any man. ..do his will, he shall know of the|
|John 8:39(37-40)||Abraham’s children, ye would do the works of Abraham.|
|John 9:4||I must work the works of him that sent me, while it|
|John 14:15(15,21)||if ye love me, keep my commandments.|
|Acts 10:35(34-35)||he that…worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.|
|Rom. 2:6(5-11)||who will render to every man according to his deeds|
|Rom. 2:13||but the doers of the law shall be justified.|
|2 Cor. 5:10(9-10)||receive…according to that he hath done, whether it|
|Gal. 6:4||let every man prove his own work, and then shall he|
|Gal. 6:7(7-10)||whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.|
|Eph. 2:10||created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God|
|Eph. 5:9||the fruit of the spirit is in all goodness and|
|Philip. 2:12||work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.|
|2 Tim. 3:17(16-17)||perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.|
|Titus 3:8||be careful to maintain good works, these things are|
|Heb. 13:21||make you perfect in every good work to do his will|
|James 1:22(22-25)||be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only|
|James 1:27(26-27)||pure religion, ..is this, to visit the fatherless and|
|James 2:22||and by works was faith made perfect|
|James 2:26(14-26)||faith without works is dead also.|
|James 4:17||him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him|
|1 Pet. 1:17||the father.. .judgeth according to every man’s work|
|2 Pet. 1:5(5-8)||add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge|
|I Jn. 3:18||let us not love in word…but in deed and in truth.|
|I Jn. 3:22||we receive…because we keep his commandments, and do|
|Rev. 20:12(12-13)||dead were judged…according to their works.|
|Rev. 22:14||blessed are they that do his commandments, that they|
|1 Ne. 15:32(30-33)||they must be judged of their works, yea, even the work|
|2 Ne. 25:23||by grace that we are saved, after all we can do.|
|Jacob 2:19(18-19)||riches…seek them for the intent to do good- to cloth|
|Mosiah 2:17||when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye|
|Mosiah 3:24||they shall be judged…according to…works, whether|
|Mosiah 4:26||ye should impart of your substance to the poor, every|
|Mosiah 5:15||always abounding in good works, that Christ, the Lord|
|Alma 5:41(41,42)||if a man bringeth forth good works he hearkeneth unto|
|Alma 7:24(24-27)||then ye will always abound in good works.|
|Alma 9:28(27-28)||all men shall reap a reward of their works, according|
|Alma 13:3(2-7)||called and prepared…exceeding faith and good works|
|Alma 26:22||bringeth forth good works, and prayeth continually|
|Alma 33:22||all men shall…be judged…according to their works.|
|Alma 34:28||if ye do not…these things…your prayer is vain, and|
|Alma 34:32||this life is the day. ..to perform their labors.|
|Morm. 9:29||see that ye do all things in worthiness, and do it in|
|Moro. 9:6||if we should cease to labor… under condemnation; for|
|D&C 6:13||if thou wilt do good… thou shalt be saved in the|
|D&C 6:33||fear not to do good, my sons, for whatsoever ye sow|
|D&C 18:38(37-38)||by their… their works you shall know them.|
|D&C 19:3||judging every man according to his works and the deeds|
|D&C 58:27(26-29)||do many things of their own free will, and bring to|
|D&C 64:33(33-34)||be not weary in well-doing, for ye arc laying the|
|D&C 76:17(16-17)||they who have done good in the resurrection of the|
|D&C 76:111||they shall be judged according to their works, and|
|D&C 81:4||do the greatest good…and wilt promote the glory of|
|D&C 98:11||forsake all evil and cleave unto all good, that ye|
|D&C 105:24(24-25)||neither boast of faith nor of mighty works, but|
|D&C 112:34||to recompense every man according as his work shall|
|D&C 121:25(24-25)||a time appointed for every man, according…his works|
|A of F 1:13(12-13)||We believe in being honest, true…and in doing good|
|JFS-V 1:59(57-60)||reward according to their works, for they are heirs|
Source: A Topical Guide to the Scriptures of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, pp. 164-165
Page 54, line 31
“The Bible offers eternal life to everyone who is willing to admit he can’t earn it, and accepts it as a free gift of God’s grace . . . . “
Actually God, not the Bible, offers eternal life. The authors claim that the concept of grace is not part of LDS doctrine, yet the Book of Mormon says, “It is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do” (2 Nephi 25:23). The Book of Mormon uses the word grace at least thirty-five times; the D&C twenty-eight times.
Page 55, line 14
“Only 50 percent . . . of Mormons are considered active. “
Isn’t this pretty good compared to most religious groups? This is impressive when one considers the high expectations the LDS Church urges upon its members: chastity, tithing, no smoking or drinking, honesty, good works, etc., etc.
Page 55, lines 17-20
The assertion is made that relatively few Mormons attend the temple.
Yet the LDS Church sets new records in temple attendance from time to time.
There is no mention in the book of the Church having built a second temple in the Salt Lake City area because one was not enough. No mention is made that twenty-five more temples are in the process of being planned, constructed or recently dedicated. As expected, five LDS temples will be dedicated each year for the next four years. The facts belie the assertions of inactivity. In 1978, 3,807,000 endowments were completed in LDS temples. By 1983 the annual number had climbed to 4,417,044 [Church News. April 22, 1984, p. 9).
If so few Mormons attend the temple as the authors claim, how could it have the profound influence on Latter-day Saints as claimed earlier?
Page 56, line 4
It is impossible to meet the standards of [Mormon] personal righteousness.
Shouldn’t we get credit for trying? I take this as a compliment from the authors. What are the “impossible” standards the authors have in mind? If they mean honesty, prayer, chastity, tithing, love, forgiveness, mercy, etc., the authors should attack the Bible or God. God speaks of his commandments with the expectation that we strive to keep them.
Ironically, the main purpose of the book is to discredit Mormons by linking them with Satan, and yet it criticizes Latter-day Saints for striving to live biblical lives of righteousness. This seems inconsistent.
The book next strives to show that the LDS quest for works is futile with a number of negative statistics which were also quoted earlier. It is my experience, having been a bishop and member of a stake presidency, that it’s not the temple-going Mormons who have many of the problems the authors list, but those who have turned their backs on the faith.
Page 56, lines 5-17
“Mormonism, in spite of the bright smiles and happy image projected in magazine ads and TV commercials, creates a growing feeling of guilt and frustration that festers just beneath that manicured facade.”
A few statistics without documentation are cited. It has also been my observation that it’s not the temple-going Latter-day Saints who have the frustrations the book lists. Real frustration comes from unrepented sin. Some guilt feeling is good if it causes us to repent of sins against God and man.
Page 56, line 17
” . . . and abortion is a serious problem” (for the third time!)
Utah’s abortion rate is the lowest in the nation. However, the book is right; any abortion is a serious problem.
Page 57, line 4
“More than 50 percent of the women in Utah work, which is above the national average. “
Is it 51 percent or 99 percent? Are these LDS women? Why isn’t the book specific?
In any case, the U.S. rate of working women has reached a new high of 51 percent in 1984. Utah is about the same.
Page 57, line 8
“Swearing an oath of total obedience to her husband in the Temple ritual, [the wife] must be perfect.”
This is not true. Temple promises do not require human beings to be perfect, but to strive for perfection as Jesus taught (Matt. 5:48). Actually, both husband and wife pledge to be faithful to each other and to live the commandments of the Lord.
Page 57, line 28
Most of a busy psychiatrist’s patients in a major city were Mormon women.
Why no documentation? Does the one example given of a doctor who had mostly LDS women patients, if true, prove anything? Maybe this psychiatrist happened to have mostly LDS patients for a number of reasons. Was it a predominantly LDS area? Were the LDS clients temple-going members? Many righteous people too have problems caused by genetic factors. Some women suffer from menopause, premenstrual syndrome, and other physical problems which require professional help.
Page 57, line 32
In talking about “oppressed Mormon women,” reference is made to a Utah Holiday article, “Loving in Violence — The Betrayal of Battered Wives” (July 1980, pp. 32-44) and the book claims this article gives examples of “problems the Mormon Church is unwilling to admit and face. ”
The book fails to mention that this article refers mostly to people who are obviously not keeping any religious standards. Only one LDS and one Catholic example is identified as such in the entire article. No mention is made that the writer of the Utah Holiday story, when she referred to the LDS example, made it clear that “this was not to imply that this was a typical LDS situation.”
There is no mention of the many efforts the LDS Church is making with talks in conference and even adding a temple interview question covering child and wife abuse.
Page 58, line 16
“From log cabins to massive skyscrapers, from handcarts to jumbo jets,” is a term used to describe the growth of the LDS Church.
If the LDS Church really owns jumbo jets, they must be hiding them well.
Page 59, line 29
“About twenty-five percent of the missionaries are abandoning their mission before the end of their term.”
The actual figure is under .4 percent according to a church official. This figure includes those released for health and other legitimate reasons which makes the use of the word “abandon” unfair.
Page 60, line 14 and page 137, lines 19-27
“There are only two religions in the world: Christianity and Hinduism (paganism). “
As it does often with Mormonism so now the book makes a generalization about world religions. It’s true that Sikhism, Buddhism and Jainism are offshoots of Hinduism. However Jews, Moslems, Confucianists, Taoists, Shintoists, and Zoroastrians will be offended by such a statement. Jews, of course, believe that Christianity and Islam are offshoots of Judaism.
Most scholars of world religions today do not categorize Hinduism as a pagan religion. There are certainly some parallels with paganism in both Hinduism and Christianity.
The book on page 137, lines 19-27, quoting from one of the world’s leading occultists. Manly B. Hall, says:
The ideals of early Christianity were based upon the high moral standards of the pagan Mysteries, and the first Christians who met under the city of Rome used as their places of worship the subterranean temples of Mithras, from whose cult has been borrowed much of the sacerdotalism of the modern church.
We must give credit to the authors for admitting at least some pagans had high moral standards and that the Christian church borrowed much from the pagan cult of Mithras.
What seems strange is that throughout the book there are repeated criticisms of paganism in the LDS Church, yet the book documents that there were high ideals in paganism that Christians borrowed from. Actually, all of what are considered today’s living religions of the world have both many similarities and many differences. The similarities can be accounted for by the LDS belief that Christianity was not born nearly two thousand years ago as almost everyone, including most other Christians, maintain, but was the religion practiced in the days of Adam and Eve. This would explain to some extent the similarities in all religions since these beliefs would remain in one form or other in most religious groups. Another explanation is that God can inspire all of his children with that portion of knowledge as he sees fit. The LDS leaders have taught this. (See the accompanying reproduction of the First Presidency statement of February 15, 1978, as quoted in part by Elder James Faust in his April 1980 general conference talk, as reported in the Ensign, May 1980, p. 12.)
STATEMENT OF THE FIRST PRESIDENCY
GOD’S LOVE FOR ALL MANKIND
Based upon ancient and modern revelation. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints gladly teaches and declares the Christian doctrine that all men and women are brothers and sisters, not only by blood relationship from common mortal progenitors but as literal spirit children of an Eternal Father.
The great religious leaders of the world such as Mohammed, Confucius, and the Reformers, as well as philosophers including Socrates, Plato, and others, received a portion of God’s light. Moral truths were given to them by God to enlighten whole nations and to bring a higher level of understanding to individuals.
The Hebrew prophets prepared the way for the coming of Jesus Christ, the promised Messiah, who should provide salvation for all mankind who believe in the gospel.
Consistent with these truths, we believe that God has given and will give to all peoples sufficient knowledge to help them on their way to eternal salvation, either in this life or in the life to come.
We also declare that the gospel of Jesus Christ, restored to His Church in our day, provides the only way to a mortal life of happiness and a fulness of joy forever. For those who have not received this gospel, the opportunity will come to them in the life hereafter if not in this life.
Our message therefore is one of special love and concern for the eternal welfare of all men and women, regardless of religious belief, race, or nationality, knowing that we are truly brothers and sisters because we are sons and daughters of the same Eternal Father.
The Book of Mormon also makes this clear:
For behold, I shall speak unto the Jews and they shall write it; and I shall also speak unto the Nephites and they shall write it; and I shall also speak unto the other tribes of the house of Israel, which I have led away, and they shall write it; and I shall also speak unto all nations of the earth and they shall write it (2 Nephi 29:12).
The Lord doth grant unto all nations, of their own nation and tongue, to teach his word, yea, in wisdom, all that he seeth fit that they should have (Alma 29:8).
The authors have completely ignored this basic concept of Mormonism.
Again on page 115, lines 21-24, the book repeats similar charges.
Page 60, line 26
“The Biblical Christ came to save sinners, ” the book quotes Paul (I Tim. 1:15).
In the same epistle Paul also said, “Be rich in good works” (I Tim. 6:18). (See also I Tim. 2:10, 5:10; and 2 Tim. 3:17.)
Page 60, lines 30-31
“Like Krishna, the Mormon Jesus saves only the righteous.”
This the book says places Latter-day Saints in the same dilemma as Hindus. The authors are comparing apples with oranges. For Hindus who believe in reincarnation there is no dilemma, because Hindus believe you have as many lifetimes as needed to reach Moksha (perfection). Latter-day Saints do not believe in reincarnation. It is the “Christ” of many non-LDS Christians that saves only Christians. (See page 60, line 33 for correct LDS doctrine.)
Page 60, line 31
In Mormonism there is no forgiveness of sin without righteousness.
The authors’ view must be that Christ would forgive without righteousness. This is completely unreasonable. Since God’s desires are for man’s righteousness, how could He possibly forgive without requiring effort on our part? There are numerous scriptures in the Bible stressing righteousness including the beatitude, “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled” (Matthew 5:6). See also the accompanying list of scriptures on righteousness.
|Gen. 15:6(1-6)||and he counted it to him for righteousness.|
|Gen. 18:26||if I find in Sodom fifty righteous. ..I will spare all|
|Lev. 19:15||in righteousness shalt thou judge thy neighbour.|
|Deut. 6:25(24-25)||it shall be our righteousness, if we observe to do all|
|Deut. 9:5(4-6)||not for thy righteousness…dost thou go to possess|
|I Sam. 26:23||the Lord render to every man his righteousness and his|
|1 Kgs. 8:32||to give him according to his righteousness.|
|2 Chr. 6:23(22-23)||by giving him according to his righteousness.|
|Job 27:6||my righteousness I hold fast, and will not let it go|
|Job 29:14||I put on righteousness, and it clothed me: my judgment|
|Ps. 1:6(1-6)||the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way|
|Ps. 9:8(7-8)||he shall judge the world in righteousness, he shall|
|Ps. 11:7||for the righteous Lord loveth righteousness; his count|
|Ps. 17:15||I will behold thy face in righteousness: I shall be|
|Ps. 23:3||he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his|
|Ps. 33:5||he loveth righteousness and judgment: the earth is|
|Ps. 37:16(16-40)||a little that a righteous man hath is better than the|
|Ps. 45:4(4-7)||ride prosperously because of truth.. .righteousness|
|Ps. 72:7(1-7)||in his days shall the righteous flourish; and|
|Ps. 128:1(1-4)||blessed is every one that…walketh in his ways.|
|Ps. 132:9||let thy priests be clothed with righteousness; and let|
|Ps. 145:17||the Lord is righteous in all his ways, and holy in all|
|Prov. 4:18||the path of the just is as the shining light, that|
|Prov. 10:2||but righteousness delivereth from death.|
|Prov. 11:18(18-19)||to him that soweth righteousness shall be a sure|
|Prov. 12:28||in the way of righteousness is life; and in the|
|Prov. 14:34||righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach|
|Prov. 15:9||Lord…loveth him that followeth after righteousness.|
|Prov. 29:2||when the righteous are in authority… people rejoice|
|Isa. 3:10(10-11)||say ye to the righteous, that it shall be well with|
|Isa. 45:8||let the skies pour down righteousness: let the earth|
|Isa. 60:21(21-22)||thy people also shall be all righteous: they shall|
|Jer. 23:6(5-6)||he shall be called, the Lord our righteousness.|
|Ezek. 3:20(20-21)||when a righteous man doth turn from his righteousness|
|Ezek. 18:20(19-23)||the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him|
|Ezek. 18:24(24,26)||when the righteous turneth away from his righteousness|
|Ezek. 33:18(18-19)||when the righteous turneth from his righteousness, and|
|Dan. 9:7||righteousness belongeth unto thee, but unto us|
|Dan. 12:3(1-3)||they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for|
|Hosea 10:12||sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy|
|Amos 5:24(7,24)||let judgment run..and righteousness as a mighty stream|
|Zeph. 2:3||seek righteousness, seek meekness: it may be ye shall|
|Matt. 3:15||thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness, then|
|Matt. 5:6||they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness|
|Matt. 5:10||persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the|
|Matt. 5:20||except your righteousness shall exceed the|
|Matt. 6:33||seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his|
|Matt. 9:13||I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to|
|Matt. 13:43||then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the|
|Matt. 13:49||angels shall…sever the wicked from among the just|
|Matt. 21:32||John came unto you in the way of righteousness, and|
|Matt. 23:35||from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of|
|Matt. 25:46||but the righteous into life eternal.|
|Luke 23:47||certainly this was a righteous man.|
|John 16:8(8-10)||reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and|
|Acts 10:35||he that…worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.|
|Acts 13:10||child of the devil, thou enemy of all righteousness|
|Rom. 4:3(3-13)||it was counted unto him for righteousness.|
|Rom. 5:18(18-19)||by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon|
|Rom. 5:21||might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal|
|Rom. 6:13(13-20)||your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.|
|Rom. 8:10||but the spirit is life because of righteousness.|
|Rom. 9:30(30-31)||even the righteousness which is of faith.|
|Rom. 10:6(3-10)||righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise|
|Rom. 14:17||righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.|
|2 Cor. 6:7(3-10)||by the armour of righteousness on the right hand and|
|2 Cor. 9:10(8-10)||increase the fruits of your righteousness|
|Gal. 3:6(5-6)||it was accounted to him for righteousness.|
|Eph. 4:24(20-25)||created in righteousness and true holiness.|
|Eph. 6:14(13-18)||having on the breastplate of righteousness|
|Philip. 1:11(9-11)||filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by|
|Philip. 3:9(8-11)||the righteousness which is of God by faith|
|Philip. 4:8||whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure|
|1 Tim. 6:11||follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love|
|2 Tim. 3:16(16-17)||for correction, for instruction in righteousness|
|Titus 2:12||we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in|
|Titus 3:5(4-7)||not by works of righteousness which we have done, but|
|Heb. 1:9(8-9)||thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; the|
|Heb. 7:2(1-3)||by interpretation king of righteousness, and after|
|Heb. 11:7||Noah. ..became heir of the righteousness, ..by faith.|
|James 2:23||imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called|
|James 3:18||fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that|
|I Pet. 3:12||the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his|
|I Pet. 3:14||if ye suffer for righteousness* sake, happy are ye|
|1 Pet. 4:18||and if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall|
|2 Pet. 2:5||Noah…a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the|
|2 Pet. 2:21||not to have known the way of righteousness, than|
|2 Pet. 3:13||a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.|
|I Jn. 2:29||every one that doeth righteousness is born of him.|
|I Ne. 14:14||armed with righteousness and with the power of God|
|1 Ne. 17:35(33-38)||he that is righteous is favored of God. But behold|
|1 Ne. 22:17(15-26)||he will preserve the righteous by his power, even if|
|1 Ne. 22:26||because of the righteousness… Satan has no power|
|2 Ne. 1:23(19-23)||put on the armor of righteousness. Shake off the|
|2 Ne. 2:13(11-13)||no righteousness nor happiness there be no punishment|
|2 Ne. 4:33(32-35)||encircle me around in the robe of thy righteousness|
|2 Ne. 9:14(14,49)||shall have a perfect knowledge of.. their righteousness|
|2 Ne. 9:18(18,46)||the righteous, ..shall inherit the kingdom of God|
|2 Ne. 30:11(9-11)||righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and|
|2 Ne. 31:5(5-6)||baptized by water, to fulfil all righteousness, 0 then|
|Jacob 4:5||law of Moses… is sanctified unto us for righteousness|
|Mosiah 2:37||becometh an enemy to all righteousness; therefore, the|
|Mosiah 3:4||the Lord hath.. .judged of thy righteousness, and hath|
|Mosiah 4:14||evil spirit…he being an enemy to all righteousness.|
|Mosiah 23:18||nourish them with things pertaining to righteousness.|
|Mosiah 27:25||state of righteousness, being redeemed of God|
Source: A Topical Guide to the Scriptures of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, pp. 386-387.
Page 60, line 33
“Mormon doctrine declares that without righteousness there is no forgiveness of sin; and without forgiveness of sin, there is no personal salvation.”
This is partly true. For Mormons, repentance and forgiveness of sins are vital: There is no other way to increase in righteousness. The Bible teaches this and the book ignores this teaching.
Again there are many scriptures supporting the LDS view including Luke 24:47: “Repentance and remission of sins should be preached in [Christ's] name among all nations.”
In Mormon concept, salvation actually is extended to all mankind through the infinite atonement of Christ. The kind of salvation one merits is determined by responsible behavior and performance, a definite need in an age of irresponsibility.
Page 61, line 4
“There is not a just man upon earth that doeth good,” the authors quote from scripture to try to prove that working for perfection, as Mormons do, is futile.
Is the book trying to say the Albert Schweitzers and the Mother Teresas of the world are wasting their time? The reference used, buried in the footnote in the back of the book, is Eccl. 7:20 from the Old Testament. This scripture actually portrays the sad conditions at that particular wicked period in history and was not intended to serve as an excuse not to try to improve one’s character. Chapter 8 verse 2 of Ecclesiastes also counsels to keep commandments. “The preacher”[∗] concludes his sermon: “Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment” (Eccl. 12:13-14). The scriptures also say Noah was a just man (Gen. 6:9), and God created man just a little lower than the angels (Ps. 8:5).
Pages 61 and 62
Every few pages the book departs from at least trying to give the appearance of objectivity and launches into completely emotional and undocumented statements such as:
- “The Mormon Church is full of hurting people . . . . “
- “According to a number of reliable sources, . . . “
- “We were not made to become gods.”
- “The Bible says living righteously is impossible. “
- “Mormonism simply doesn’t work.”
- “I’ve talked to a Mormon bishop who told me he didn’t believe Mormonis at all” and
- “[Thousands of] Mormons need help desperately.”
[∗] “The Tanners themselves have also had to publish retractions. Two documents that they and others considered to be evidence of Oliver Cowdery denying his testimony they have admitted lack evidence of being authentic, and that Oliver Cowdery was at Council Bluffs in Iowa in 1848 as LDS accounts state.