Difficult Questions for Mormons to Answer

by Matt Slick

  1. If the principle of "progression" is eternally true, why is it that Jesus and the Holy Spirit are not gods of their own worlds?
    1. First Presidency, “Now, we are not ashamed of the glorious doctrine of eternal progression, that man may attain the position of those to whom came the word of God, that is, gods,” (Anthon H. Lund, Conference Reports, October 1902, p. 81).
    2. “The principal purpose of the gospel of Jesus Christ and the ultimate goal of eternal progression is to receive eternal life, i.e., to become as God is. It is thoroughly understood, however, that a vast majority of the human family will never become gods, because to do so they must accept the true gospel, receive all of the ordinances-including celestial marriage-and obey all of God's commandments faithfully to the end," (Milton R. Hunter, Christ in Ancient America, p. 168).
  2. If it is necessary to have a body in order to become a God, then how did the Holy Spirit, who does not have a body, attain the status of godhood?
    1. “One distinctive principle is a true concept of the nature of the Godhead: ‘We believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost.’ (A of F 1:1.) The Godhead consists of three separate, distinct personages who are one in purpose. The Father and the Son have tangible bodies of flesh and bone while the Holy Ghost is a personage of spirit,” (Joseph B. Wirthlin, “Fruits of the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ,” Ensign (Conference Edition), November 1991, p. 15).
  3. If the angel Moroni was a devout follower of the Mormon gospel, then why is he an angel right now and not a god?
    1. DC 132:17, “For these angels did not abide my law; therefore, they cannot be enlarged, but remain separately and singly, without exaltation, in their saved condition, to all eternity; and from henceforth are not gods, but are angels of God forever and ever.”
  4. If the book of Mormon is the most correct book of any on earth and contains the fullness of the gospel, then why does it not contain the essential Mormon doctrines of eternal progression, the priesthoods, the plurality of gods, that God is an exalted man, and the 3 degrees of glory?
    1. Joseph Smith, "I told the brethren that the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book," (History of the Church, Vol. 4, page 461).
  5. Isn’t the Book of Mormon in English inspired? If so, can you trust the French, German, Spanish translations, etc., as being correct?
  6. Why does the Book of Mormon say that Jesus was born in Jerusalem (Alma 7:10) when the Bible says He was born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2)?
    1. Alma 7:10, “And behold, he shall be born of Mary, at Jerusalem which is the land of our forefathers, she being a virgin, a precious and chosen vessel, who shall be overshadowed and conceive by the power of the Holy Ghost, and bring forth a son, yea, even the Son of God.”
  7. If the book of Mormon was transmitted to us by the power of God, why does it have thousands of changes in it?
    1. 1 Nephi 11:18 (1830 edition), "And he said unto me, Behold, the virgin which thou seest, is the mother of [ . . . . ] God, after the manner of the flesh." VERSES (1981 edition), "And he said unto me: Behold, the virgin whom thou seest is the mother of the Son of God, after the manner of the flesh."
    2. 1 Nephi 13:40 (1830 edition), " . . . and shall make known to all kindreds, tongues, and people, that the Lamb of God is [ . . . . ] the Eternal Father and the Savior of the world . . . " VERSES (1981 edition), " . . . and shall make known to all kindreds, tongues, and people that the Lamb of God is the Son of the Eternal Father, and the Savior of the World . . . "
    3. 1 Nephi 20:1 (changed in 1964 ed.), "Hearken and hear this, O house of Jacob, which are called by the name of Israel, and are come forth out of the waters of Judah, [ . . . . ] which swear . . . " VERSES (1981 EDITION), "Hearken and hear this, O house of Jacob, who are called by the name of Israel, and are come forth out of the waters of Judah, or out of the waters of baptism, who swear . . . "
    4. Alma 29:4, (1830 edition), " . . . yea, I know that he allotteth unto men, yea, decreeth unto them decrees which are unalterable, according to their wills . . . " VERSES (1981 edition), " . . . yea, I know that he allotteth unto men [ . . . . ] according to their
      wills . . . "
    5. 3 Nephi 22:4 (1830 edition), " . . . for thou shalt forget the shame of thy
      youth, [ . . . . ] and shalt not remember the reproach of thy widowhood any more."
      VERSES " . . . for thou shalt forget the shame of thy youth, and shalt not remember the reproach of thy youth, and shalt not remember the reproach of thy widowhood any more."
  8. Why does the book of Mormon say that black skin is not "enticing" to God's people in 2 Nephi 5:21? “And he had caused the cursing to come upon them, yea, even a sore cursing, because of their iniquity. For behold, they had hardened their hearts against him, that they had become like unto a flint; wherefore, as they were white, and exceedingly fair and delightsome, that they might not be enticing unto my people the Lord God did cause a skin of blackness to come upon them.”
  9. Why does the Mormon Church still claim the book of Abraham is inspired Scripture when it has been demonstrated that it is not but is instead an Egyptian burial papyrus?
  10. Why does DC 42:18 say that a murder will never be forgiven, yet 3 Nephi 20:2 says that he can be forgiven?
    1. DC 42:18, “And now, behold, I speak unto the church. Thou shalt not kill; and he that kills shall not have forgiveness in this world, nor in the world to come.”
    2. 3 Nephi 30:2, “Turn, all ye Gentiles, from your wicked ways; and repent of your evil doings, of your lyings and deceivings, and of your whoredoms, and of your secret abominations, and your idolatries, and of your murders, and your priestcrafts, and your envyings, and your strifes, and from all your wickedness and abominations, and come unto me, and be baptized in my name, that ye may receive a remission of your sins, and be filled with the Holy Ghost, that ye may be numbered with my people who are of the house of Israel.”
  11. How could the Garden of Eden be in Missouri (according to Mormonism) when the Pearl of Great Price 3:10-14 tells us it was the area of Assyria when it mentions the rivers of Eden located there?
    1. “That the Prophet actually taught that the Garden of Eden was in or near Independence, Missouri, is amply testified by many who knew and heard him,” (John A. Widtsoe, Evidences and Reconciliations, p. 396).
    2. 2nd President Brigham Young, “In the beginning, after this earth was prepared for man, the Lord commenced his work upon what is now called the American continent, where the Garden of Eden was made. In the days of Noah, in the days of the floating of the ark, he took the people to another part of the earth,” (Discourses of Brigham Young, p. 102).
    3. 10th President Joseph Fielding Smith, “GARDEN OF EDEN AND CITY ZION SAME PLACE. In accord with the revelations given to the Prophet Joseph Smith, we teach that the Garden of Eden was on the American continent located where the City Zion, or
    4. “The world has not seen the last of Father Adam. He is coming again--coming as the Ancient of Days, to fulfill the prophecy of Daniel concerning him. And he will come to the very place where, bowed with the weight of his nine centuries (men kept the Word of Wisdom in those days), he will bless his posterity before the close of his earthly career. In the Valley of Adam-ondi-Ahman, now in Western Missouri, almost within hailing distance of the ancient site of the Garden of Eden, where the New Jerusalem is to rise, will sit the Ancient of Days, counseling his worthy children and preparing them for the second coming of the Son of God,” (Orson Whitney, Conference Reports, April 1927, p. 99).
    5. Moses 3:10-14, “And I, the Lord God, caused a river to go out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted, and became into four heads. 11 And I, the Lord God, called the name of the first Pison, and it compasseth the whole land of Havilah, where I, the Lord God, created much gold; 12 And the gold of that land was good, and there was bdellium and the onyx stone. 13 And the name of the second river was called Gihon; the same that compasseth the whole land of Ethiopia. 14 And the name of the third river was Hiddekel; that which goeth toward the east of Assyria. And the fourth river was the Euphrates.
  12. Mormonism teaches an infinite regression of Gods. But an infinite regression of gods means that there is no first god by which his subjects were exalted to godhood. If there is no first God, how can there be a second and a third and thus there be the Mormon doctrine of eternal progression?
  13. If Elohim, which is God the Father in Mormonism, was a man, then he changed from being a man-to-man God. How is this possible when the Bible says in Psalm 90:2, that God is God from everlasting to everlasting?
  14. Joseph Smith said that he saw God the Father (and Jesus) in the first vision in 1820. Smith said that he received the priesthood in 1829. In the Doctrine and Covenants 84:21-22, Smith said that you cannot see the face of God and live without the authority of the priesthood. How did Joseph Smith see God when he didn't have the priesthood?
    1. DC 84:21-22, And without the ordinances thereof, and the authority of the priesthood, the power of godliness is not manifest unto men in the flesh; 22 For without this no man can see the face of God, even the Father, and live.
  15. Joseph Smith said that he saw God the Father (and Jesus) in the first vision in 1820. But the Bible says that the Father cannot be seen (1 Tim. 6:16). So which account is not true?
    1. 1 Tim. 6:13-16, "I charge you in the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who testified the good confession before Pontius Pilate, 14 that you keep the commandment without stain or reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 which He will bring about at the proper time—He who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, 16 who alone possesses immortality and dwells in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see. To Him be honor and eternal dominion! Amen.”
    2. John 6:46, “Not that anyone has seen the Father, except the One who is from God; He has seen the Father."
  16. How did Joseph Smith carry home the Golden plates when the weight of the plates, if they had been pure gold, would have been over 200 pounds and no supernatural help was ever said to be involved?
    1. Some later Mormon apologists are theorizing that the Golden Plates were not pure gold but an alloy weighing as little as 50 pounds. There is no mention by Joseph Smith receiving any supernatural help carrying the plates. How is it possible for Smith to run with 50 pounds of metal plates under his arm for three miles while being pursued and attacked three times?
  17. In Mormonism, the father is called Elohim and Jesus is called Jehovah. But in 1 Kings 8:60 it says that “The Lord is God." Literally in the Hebrew, it is “Jehovah is Elohim." How do you explain this passage that says Jehovah is Elohim?
  18. In Mormonism, God and his wife are exalted beings from another world. We know that life forms from another planet are called aliens. Therefore, isn't it true that Mormons worship an alien from another world who they call their god?
  19. Brigham Young, the second prophet of the Mormon Church, said that the birth of Jesus was "the result of natural action," (Journal of discourses, volume 8, page 115). He also said, "When the time came that His first-born, the Saviour, should come into the world and take a tabernacle, the Father came Himself and favoured that spirit with a tabernacle instead of letting any other man do it," (Journal of Discourses, vol. 4, p. 218). In light of this, how was Jesus born of the Virgin Mary?
  20. In light of the previous question and Mormon doctrine saying that we are all literally the children of God, then wasn’t Brigham Young teaching that God had relations with his spirit daughter?
  21. According to Mormonism, Jesus was the one being married to Mary and Martha at the wedding of Cana in John 2. If this is so, then why was Jesus invited to his own wedding? Also, why was it not a temple marriage?
  22. If the book of Mormon is true, why have both National Geographic and the Smithsonian Institute rejected it as being archaeologically reliable?
    1. In a letter from the National Geographic Society dated August 12, 1998 to Luke Wilson of the Institute for religious research in Grand Rapids Michigan, the National Geographic Society said, “Dear Mr. Wilson: we appreciate the interest that prompted your letter. The book of Mormon is clearly a work of great spiritual power; millions have read and revered its words, first published by Joseph Smith in 1830. Yet Smith’s narration is not generally taken as a scientific source for the history of the Americas. Archaeologists and other scholars have long probed the hemispheres past, and the society does not know of anything found so far that has substantiated the Book of Mormon.”1
    2. “Information from the National Museum of Natural History Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.  20560. Statement Regarding the Book of Mormon. 1. The Smithsonian Institution has never used the Book of Mormon in any way as a scientific guide. Smithsonian archaeologists see no direct connection between the archaeology of the New World and the subject matter of the book.”2
  23. Why is it that there have been no archaeological discoveries at all that demonstrate what Joseph Smith said is "reformed Egyptian"?
    1. “Perhaps paramount to his accomplishments was that ‘through the gift and power of God and the Urim and Thummim’ he translated the Book of Mormon into modern English from an ancient unknown language called Reformed Egyptian,” (Milton R. Hunter, Conference Reports, October 1968, p. 37).
  24. What is the book of Mormon contain the word "church" in 1 Nephi 14:3, 9, 10, 12 which was set around 600 BC, yet the word church was not used until the time of Jesus (Matt. 16:18)?
    1. 1 Nephi 14:3, “And that great pit, which hath been digged for them by that great and abominable church, which was founded by the devil and his children, that he might lead away the souls of men down to hell—yea, that great pit which hath been digged for the destruction of men shall be filled by those who digged it, unto their utter destruction, saith the Lamb of God; not the destruction of the soul, save it be the casting of it into that hell which hath no end.”
    2. 1 Nephi 14:9, “And it came to pass that he said unto me: Look, and behold that great and abominable church, which is the mother of abominations, whose founder is the devil.”
  25. Why is the French word "adieu" in the book of Mormon in Jacob 7:27?
    1. Jacob 7:27, “And I, Jacob, saw that I must soon go down to my grave; wherefore, I said unto my son Enos: Take these plates. And I told him the things which my brother Nephi had commanded me, and he promised obedience unto the commands. And I make an end of my writing upon these plates, which writing has been small; and to the reader I bid farewell, hoping that many of my brethren may read my words. Brethren, adieu.”
  26. Why should I become a Mormon if when I die, I go to the middle level of heaven when that is where most Mormons will go anyway?
  27. If the veil is rent by God after Jesus was crucified (Matt. 27:51), why do the Mormons put it back in their temples?
  28. If Mormons can become gods why does Isaiah 43:10 say, “You are My witnesses,” declares the LORD, “And My servant whom I have chosen, So that you may know and believe Me And understand that I am He. Before Me there was no God formed, And there will be none after Me."
  29. Why do Mormons emphasize part of the Word of Wisdom and ignore the part forbidding the eating of meat except in winter, cold or famine? (Doc. & Cov. 89:12, 13).
  30. Why did the Nauvoo House not stand forever and ever? (Doc. & Cov. 124:56-60)
  31. How did Nephi with a few men on a new continent build a temple like Solomon's while Solomon needed 163,300 workmen and seven years to build his temple? (1 Kings 5:13-18 and 2 Nephi 5:15-17)
  32. Why was Joseph Smith still preaching against polygamy in October 1843, after he got his revelation in July, 1843, commanding the practice of polygamy? (Doc. & Cov. 132, and History of the Church, vol. 6, p. 46, or Teachings of the Prophet, p. 324)

 

 

 

 

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  • 1. http://mit.irr.org/national-geographic-society-statement-on-book-of-mormon
  • 2. http://www.mrm.org/smithsonian
 
 
About The Author

Matt Slick is the President and Founder of the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry.