Anti-Mormons love “shotgun” attacks. That’s where they have a list of questions prepared to which they have no interest in listening to the answers. They fire off question number one, and before the Mormon barely starts to answer, they fire off the second, then the third, and so on. The idea is to make people think that these questions can’t be answered, which is not the case. The answers are reasonable, scriptural, and consistent, if they’d just take time to listen. That’s not the purpose of the questions however.
They also love lists on the Internet. They waste the time of the people reading them, fill their heads with questions that have ready answers, if they’d just ask and listen to a latter-day saint. One of the more “popular” lists is the “50 Questions to Ask a Mormon” list. Sometimes you see it in a more condensed version, such as the one featured in this article. In fact, about half the 13 questions below were copied word for word from the “50 questions.” In almost 200 years, anti-Mormons have never been known for originality.
The Society for the Prevention of Anti-Mormonism (S.P.A.M.) has already dealt with most of these. If they were smart enough to actually read and understand a Bible or use a search engine the answers are there. However, the purpose of the list is not to actually get an answer. It’s to destroy faith and confidence. This list was one that I found posted by “CondoleezaProtege” on FreeRepublic a couple of days ago.. Let’s begin.
Questions to Ask Mormons
1. Can you find me archeological and historical proof from non-Mormon sources that prove that the peoples and places named in the Book of Mormon are true?
“Tree of Life” stele in Izapa, Mexico, shown below, has many striking similarities to the Book of Mormon account of Nephi’s vision of the tree of life. Tree is plain to see. There are six figures, representing Lehi, Sariah, Nephi, and his three brothers. There is a boat and water seen in the bottom of the picture. The figures of Laman and Lemuel are facing away from the tree, as indicated in the vision of Nephi. There are many other very detailed similarities to those who are familiar with this passage of the Book of Mormon.
The name of place “Nahom” in the Book of Mormon has been linked by scholars and archaeologists to a location on the Arabian peninsula. The video below discusses it.
Here’s another video that discusses correlations of Mesoamerican cultures and the Book of Mormon
There are many correlations with the ancient legends and traditions of Native Americans. The “Pahana” is just one of these. The “lost white brother” or “true white brother” came to the ancestors of the Hopi, taught them to live in peace and harmony and promised to return. When he returns he will be dressed in red apparel, which is a belief shared by latter-day saints. Pahana will return with a document–the Tiponi Tablet. There will be only one person who will have power to read the tablet. There are many such interesting correlations between the Book of Mormon and Native American oral traditions that are to be discovered by those with open minds.
That’s four “proofs.” They just asked for one. There are lots more! The real question is whether salvation is to be based in faith or “proof.” If you have proof, you have no need for faith. The Bible doesn’t teach, “by proof ye are saved.” It’s faith!
Christians have no “proof” that Jesus was resurrected. Like us, they have faith in that event, but there is no scientific or archaeolgical evidence that proves Jesus Christ rose from the dead. We have the testimonies of witnesses who saw him. Likewise, Mormons have eleven witnesses of the Book of Mormon. This video compares the nature of faith and the way God gives “proof.”
2. Why does the Book of Mormon state that Jesus was born in Jerusalem (Alma 7:10) when history and the Bible state that he was born in Bethlehem (Matthew 2:1)?
See the linked article below for a detailed answer.
3. I’ve read where Joseph Smith said that he translated the golden plates (from which he got the Book of Mormon) letter-by-letter, “by the power of God” and that it was “the most correct of any book on earth.” If that’s true why has the Mormon Church had to make more than 4,000 changes to the Book of Mormon that was originally published in 1830?
There are two false premises in the question. First, it assumes a text must be “inerrant” to be inspired of God. It can be shown very easily that the Bible is not inerrant, but Mormons believe it to be the word of God so far as it is translated correctly.
The second false premise is that the questioner presumes that the Bible has been forever unchanged. There are not only many differing Bible translations, but there is no universal agreement among Christian sects on what books constitute the canon of the Bible. The Catholic Bible has many books that are rejected by Protestants. The Ethiopian Church and the Syrian Church, both of which are ancient Churches accept such books as the Book of Enoch, the Shepherd of Hermas, the Gospel of Thomas, the Apocalypse of Peter, etc. The present day Bible was made up of thousands of texts, none of which are identical.
Traditional Christian sects assert that the Bible is inerrant and sufficient, but the text of the Bible itself and its history do not substantiate this claim. If it has been acceptable to edit, retranslate, and reinterpret God’s word, among Christian sects, why is it not permissible for Mormons to make minor improvements and edits to the text of the Book of Mormon?
The minor changes made in the Book of Mormon are primarily punctuation, the rules for which are considerably different today than they were nearly two centuries ago. None of the changes were substantial in any measure, except to make the book more readable. The Book of Mormon contains the fullness of gospel teachings necessary for salvation, independent of the Bible. It was translated not by man’s learning, but instead by God’s power. It’s message points to the kingdom of God on earth, the whereabouts of the keys of authority, and the source of Divine revelation without which no person can have a testimony of Jesus. For more on the Book of Mormon, please use the following links:
4. Why do the Bible verses quoted in the Book of Mormon contain the italicized words from the King James Version that were added into the KJV text by the translators in the 16th and 17th centuries?
The English used in the translation of the Book of Mormon sought to preserve the reverence and respect that should be given God’s holy word. This is a sign of respect for the Bible. It inspires and uplifts in a way that would be less effective in a more modern vernacular.
A more pertinent question would be “How did an uneducated frontier farm boy translate a nearly 500-page book in under two months, have it agree with the Bible, have it published to every nearly every nation and language on earth, and have scientist and archaeologists actually find supporting evidence (like the videos of Nahom and Bountiful above) generations after the publication of the work? How did a farm boy write a book with examples of then unknown scriptural-literary forms like chiasmus and Semitic poetry called “qafa?” How did a boy with no more than two years formal education successfully write a book in “perfect 1611 King James Version English?” I can only conclude that he did all this with God’s help.
5. Isaiah 43:10 says, “Before Me there was no God formed, and there will be none after Me.” In Isaiah 44:6, God says, “There is no God besides Me.” In light of what is said here, how can worthy Mormon males become Gods in the afterlife when God already said that before him no God was formed, nor will there be any Gods formed after Him?
Why then did Jesus say “ye are gods? (John 10:35) The Psalmist tells us that as “children of the most High,” we are already “gods. ” (Psalm 82:6) Paul calls us the offspring of God. (Acts 17:29) Is there any life form in the world that has offspring that doesn’t become what its parent is? Do the offspring of chickens become alligators? Do the offspring of cats become elks? What then are the offspring of God? Jesus promised that the faithful will receive all that the Father hath. What does that mean? As John said, it means we will be “like him.” (1 John 3:2)
Inasmuch as our spirits are co-eternal with God, we have always existed and will always exist. In that sense no gods precede our Father and, since he is eternal, none shall be formed after him. Plain. Simple. Easy. Scriptural.
6. Why do Mormons say that Jesus and Lucifer are spirit brothers when both the first chapter of John 1:1-3 and Colossians 1:16 teach that Jesus is the creator of all things, including Lucifer?
This question is based in the false premise that the Triune Godhead is biblical. It can be shown from the scriptures that the Father and the Son are separate and distinct beings, not just two manifestations of the same personage. When Jesus appeared to Mary shortly after his resurrection, he told her that he would ascend to “my God and your God.” He said “the Father is greater than I.” The God Jesus worshiped is the same God we worship. His Father is our Father. Inasmuch as all spirits are the “offspring of God,” we are all brothers and sister, including the fallen spirit, Lucifer or Satan. Read more below:
7. I read where Brigham Young, the second president of the LDS Church, taught that both the moon and the sun were inhabited by people (Journal of Discourses, 1870, v.13, p.271). Has the Mormon Church ever found scientific evidence of that to be true?
8. I read in Doctrine and Covenants 84:1-5 where Joseph Smith prophesied that the New Jerusalem and a temple would be built in Zion, Missouri in his generation. Does the Mormon Church still teach that Joseph Smith was a true prophet of God after he made a false prophecy?
9. I read where Brigham Young taught that Adam is “our Father and our God” (Journal of Discourses, Apr. 9, 1852, vol.1, p.50). How can that be true when both the Bible and the Book of Mormon (Mormon 9:12) say that Adam was a creation of God?
10. If Brigham Young was a true prophet, why would one of your later prophets overturn his declaration which stated that the black man could never hold the priesthood in the LDS Church until after the resurrection of all other races (Journal of Discourses, Dec. 12, 1854, 2:142-143)?
Situations change according to God’s will. Did Jesus or a Bible prophet ever give different instructions at different times? For example, Jesus told his apostles, “…Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” (Matthew 10:5-6) Later he rescinded that prohibition when it came time for the gospel to go Cornelius’ family and the rest of the Gentiles, as recorded in Acts chapter 10.
In Luke 10:4, Jesus told the disciples to carry “neither purse nor scrip.” Later, in Luke 22, he told them “But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one.”
Moses was told “Thou shalt not kill.” (Exodus 20:13) Later, the prophet Samuel gave King Saul the word of the Lord, Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.” (1 Samuel 15:3) Was Samuel a false prophet because God told him to do something different than what he told Moses in an earlier time?
Regarding the inference in the question that the Church is a racist organization, please see the following links:
11. Read Deuteronomy 18:20-22. Since the Bible’s test to determine whether someone is a true prophet of God is 100% accuracy in all his prophecies has the LDS Church ever reconsidered its teaching that Joseph Smith and Brigham Young were true prophets?
The question assumes that Joseph Smith or Brigham Young were inaccurate or prophesied falsely and provides no supporting evidence. On the contrary, we assert that they were just mortal men, like all of us, but there is no error in the revelations given to them. Usually this claim comes from non-Mormons who are unfamiliar with our history, not seeing the fulfillment of a prophecy, not understanding its context, or that the prophesy pertains to events yet future. There were prophecies made by both Jesus and the apostles that have not yet come true yet, but surely will in the future. Likewise, Joseph and other latter-day prophets have done the same.
12. In the last couple of years, Mormon scholars, and scientists have discovered powerful DNA evidence that has proven that the American Indians are not descendants of the Jewish race (as the Book of Mormon claims in its introduction), but the Asian race. How does your church respond to this scientific evidence?
There are two false premises in this question. First is it assumes that DNA for all descendents of Mesoamerican peoples have been tested for a match with Hebrew DNA. This is not the case. Second, Hebrew DNA has been found! On May 12, 2008, Mormon Times and Deseret News reported:
“According to Scott R. Woodward, executive director of Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation, a DNA marker, called the “Cohen modal haplotype,” sometimes associated with Hebrew people, has been found in Colombia, Brazil and Bolivia.”
Anti-Mormon critics are intent on jumping the gun to make a point that science has not yet had the chance to study fully. Their conclusions are in error and are not supported by science.
Nevertheless, our religion is based in faith, like that of sectarian Christians. I propose that the author of these questions provide verifiable archaeological and scientific evidence of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. There isn’t any. There were eleven witnesses of the resurrection that first Easter morning. None of them were scientists. If sectarians are going to require Mormonism to pass a scientific “sniff test,” they should be prepared to offer evidence for their beliefs as well.
Mormons accept the resurrection of Jesus Christ as a matter of faith, just like we accept the First Vision and the Book of Mormon. The Holy Ghost bears witness of those things when one has faith.
13. Why did Joseph Smith condone polygamy as an ordinance from God (Doctrine and Covenants 132 [see v. 38-39]) when the Book of Mormon had already condemned the practice in the book Jacob 1:15 and 2:24?
This argument shows that our accusers haven’t actually read the Book of Mormon. In Jacob’s writings, following verse 24 referred to above, Jacob extols the blessings of virtue and monogamous marriage, but he qualifies it with the following statement in verse 30:
“For if I will, saith the Lord of Hosts, raise up seed unto me, I will command my people; otherwise they shall hearken unto these things.”
From this we learn the purpose of plural marriage and why it has been permitted by God at various times. If God wishes to raise up a righteous seed unto himself, he will at times permit righteous men to have many wives so a covenant people can be established in a relatively short time. Abraham, who was called the “friend of God” had multiple wives. Jesus even referred to heaven as the “bosom of Abraham.” Isaac, Jacob, Moses, and other Biblical prophets had multiple wives. In each case, God was raising up a new generation under a patriarch-prophet. The same conditions existed at the beginning of this gospel dispensation. When the Lord willed it, the practice of plural marriage was sanctioned for a time. the practice has been discontinued in accordance with God’s revelations. Our adversaries don’t know what’s in the Book of Mormon and they don’t do any better job understanding it than they do the Bible. For more information on the doctrine of plural marriage, please read:
I hope you will take time to peruse these links and find the real answers. Those who seek to undermine faith and truth would have you believe there are no good answers to these questions. A sincere seeker of truth will understand that it takes time to learn all the facts. The Spirit bears witness of truth. I encourage the reader to ask of God for guidance and a personal witness of the veracity of my answers.