Rob Sivulka and Aaron Shafovaloff outside a Brother Scott presentationResponding to “Brother Scott”
I have been attending “Brother Scott’s” lectures to give evidence of the Book of Mormon. I have written another critique on him. This time it was on his Session 2. I put these critiques up on top of JosephLied.com, and then after his presentations, I advertise my site to those leaving. I have felt burdened for these people who walk away from Scott’s presentations and think that they now have good external reasons for holding to the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. These people need to realize that Scott is misstating the case and the exact opposite is true. The Book of Mormon is rightly regarded as a fairy tale, and Mormons have a false hope.
Speaking in CA
On the 18th, we spoke to a Sunday school class at Calvary Church, Santa Ana, CA. Our good friend Laurie Molsberry, who spoke to our monthly fellowship in December, made the arrangements for us to share there. There were around 50 people there. I shared on “The Three Biblical Criteria for Testing the Prophet Joseph Smith,” and Tara shared her story of coming out of Mormonism and into a relationship with the Jesus of the Bible.
Rob lecturing at Calvary ChurchWe met some Facebook friends that we have never met in person, some old friends, and made some new friends.
Upcoming Temple Opening
On the 17th of this month, the Jordan River temple will be open to the public for six weeks. The temple has been in use before, but has gone through a refurbishment. Here are the details. This will be a very long outreach, but the good news is that it is only about 15 minutes from where we live! Please pray that many will open enough to visit MormonInfo.org/JosephLied.com, and that many will repent of Mormonism and come to know Christ!
Picture of Book Cover
The new book I contributed to, Sharing the Good News with Mormons, recently came up with a book cover. You can see a picture of it on its Amazon page. It’s scheduled to be released in early June.
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Brent Kunkle referred me to you as someone that may have some answers to a question I have about the early Mormons.
What I am after is information on what the beliefs of the earliest Mormons were prior to them becoming Mormons. I am thinking of people like Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, Oliver Cowdery. I am trying to find out if the revelations of Joseph Smith presented them with vast changes in the beliefs they already had or if it was more support to what they already believed. I know this was the period of the American Restoration so maybe that is what set them down the path they went. I don’t know but want to find out. The reason I am after this information is because part of the argument I use for the truth of the resurrection of Jesus is the vast change in beliefs of the disciples (their belief\teachings on resurrection and the messiah became vastly different than their Jewish roots). I want to see if Mormonism had the same kind of change – if not then Joseph Smith’s revelations may not have been necessary for Mormonism but the resurrection is central to Christianity – no resurrection, no Christianity.
Thank you for any information you may be able to provide.
[I replied:] If I understand your question correctly, Smith was from a Presbyterian and Methodist household and was also involved with folk magic, Cowdery was attending a Congregationalist church, and Young converted to Methodism in 1823 or 1824. When the 1830 Book of Mormon came out, it was modalistic. In 1835, Smith taught in the Lectures on Faith that there are only 2 persons in the Godhead (Father being a personage of spirit and the Son being a personage of tabernacle) and the Holy Spirit was the mind they shared. It was only later that it bottomed out in the polytheism it is today. This was all a gradual devolution of Smith's theology.
Hope that helps!
I am involved in the LDS church. I got in touble for reported something elders did and I got blame for it. I have been having doubt for awhile about it. It broken my heart the way I was talk to today. I don't what to about it.
[I replied:] I'm sorry you have to go through this, but if you end up really know God through it, then it will all be worth it. I hope these emails [from my online class] will be challenging and helpful to you.
Praying for your success!
At Cornerstone we have some core classes that rotate through the year. Our next one is on Sharing Your Faith. I am wondering what suggestions or references you might have that would address both the topic and how to teach people to do so without a lot of fear or insecurity. Many people are so reticent because perhaps they don't feel confident in their understanding of what specifically the core of their faith is and what specifically they should know in order to be confident in sharing their faith apart from the easy aspect of thinking their life habits and behaviors are enough.
What could you recommend?
[I replied:] Ray Comfort, Hell's Best Kept Secret [and] Mark Cahill, One Thing You Can't Do in Heaven
Thank you again, Rob for sending the weekly questions and all the helpful links. I think people are vulnerable and frightened and needy when they first encounter Joseph Smith and his teachings. Thank you for shining a very bright flashlight on the "lostness" of Mormonism.
You ask valid questions but I do not think you want answers. It would be to your benefit to seek out those answers and get to the bottom of it. If you pay attention, you can learn much from the people you disagree with if you take the interest to understand.
why are you people putting filthy garbage on this website? You should all be ashamed of yourselves. You have no right to condone the Mormon religion and Plagarize the book of Mormon to "Falsify" this church. Would god have you do this to other men? He commanded you to love your neighbor, not to point fingers at them. You should all be very, very ashamed of yourselves. Does polygamy even matter today? NO. THEN WHY EVEN BOTHER TALKING ABOUT IT, YOU MORONS!?Take a good, long look at what you are typing to these innocent believers of the true god and priesthood, not some conglomerate of such. You are tearing lives apart, reducing legacies, turning good into evil. You monsters. God will have you punished at the last day.
I am glad you checked out brother Scott. I tried posting a comment on the mormoninfo. I wish I would have known about it ahead of time. My bad if you mentioned it earlier. Bro, I could go on and on about how the BoM claims are so as the kids would say "problematic". The iron age thing is huge. The KJV related issues are even bigger. There are so many anachronisms it is hard to know where to begin.
I know Bill M. had a mock up of the plates. If people just knew a little about metallurgy and about how cool sounding yet wildly impractical golden plates are for a book then they might not be Mormon. Not only do I know that the fake plates Smith had were of a copper alloy - I even have a strong idea of which one. Navy Brass contains more zinc than most other types of brass. That means it is lighter. I am fairly sure it was around in the 1820's. Regardless, there is no way Smith or anyone else was running around with a book made of metal. Better you than me when it comes to dealing with this on the daily.
Hey Rob, thank you for this article. It is wonderfully written, and categorically dismantles "Brother Scott's" failed hypothesis. I appreciate you weaving in General Conference references, as well as the View of the Hebrews, Nibley's works, and providing a side-by-side view of FAIR's position on these subjects. Also, I agree with you that Joseph Smith had "demonic creativity." Smith had access to some things, but you're right, false prophets can give signs and wonders. And Joseph Smith did just that. Good work, Rob! Again, very insightful, and I hope that LDS readers will really take into consideration the fact that the Book of Mormon truly has nothing to do with North American history and/or archaeology. My prayer is that they look to the true God of the Bible, as we are saved by grace through faith alone.
Rob! Thanks for this resource. Love reading your stuff
Thank you for going out to share the Good News!
When are you coming down again? I so love to listen to you! Blessings to you and your family.