Dr. David Thiessen is an educator, writer, pastor, and speaker. He has authored several books on a variety of topics including Archaeology
The questions are not original with me. So I take no credit for them. On the other hand the answers are original with me. Because the answers are of a religious nature, there may be similarities with other Christians who answer the same questions.
#1. Why won’t you accept Mormons as Christians?
The answer to that question is actually very simple. The Mormons bring a different gospel than the one Jesus and the disciples brought. There is no biblical book or ancient manuscript attesting to Jesus and the disciples teaching what the Mormons teach. For the Mormons to be Christian, Jesus would have to be wrong.
#2. Do you think we are a cult?
Yes. Both Paul and Peter talked about false teachers and Mormons belong in that group. They are not teaching true biblical doctrine.
#3. Why won’t you let us define our own doctrine rather than telling us what we believe?
First, Mormons are free to define their beliefs any way they want. They have the freedom to believe what they want. Second, no one is telling them what they believe. What is being told them is that their doctrine is false and does not line up with scripture or history. Third, they should not expect any true Christian to accept their definitions because the Mormons distort biblical and Christian terms to appear to be Christian in nature.
#4. Aren’t evangelism efforts aimed at Mormons just another act of persecution?
Mormons may consider those strategies an act of persecution but they are not. They are attempts to bring the truth to the lives of Mormons and rescue them from sin and destruction. Perspective can distort intent and it is intent that is important. Persecution usually involves hindering of the practice of any faith and forcing people to stop following their beliefs, some times by force. Evangelism does none of those things. Evangelism strategies usually leave the choice up to the Mormons if they will continue to practice their faith or not.
#5. If Mormonism is wrong, why is it one of the fastest growing churches?
There are several verses that answer these question. Only a couple will be quoted here. First, men love darkness rather than light. Second, people want to hear what they want. Mormonism is very appealing to the unwary and those who do not want the truth.
#6. What about the fruit of Mormonism?
What kind of fruit do you get when you teach nothing but false ideology, false doctrines and lie? It isn’t biblical fruit. This question also provides an example of the distorted use of biblical terms.
#7. Why do so many people equate our church to splinter groups when we no longer practice polygamy?
First, the dropping of the doctrine of polygamy was not done because it was wrong and sinful. It was dropped so Utah would be allowed by the secular government to become a state in the union. There was no true repentance of the practice of polygamy. Second, dropping the practice of polygamy does not mean the belief in it was dropped. Third, those splinter groups hold to most if not all Mormon doctrines save polygamy, thus they have not strayed very far from the Mormon tree.
#8. If Mormonism is not true, which church is?
If you want a specific denomination, then you would be out of luck. There are many good true christian churches and they belong to a variety of fundamental and evangelical denominations. There are Christians found almost everywhere. They are the true church. The following short list of points are found in their lives
- The one that follows the Bible correctly,
- The one that does not add additional scriptures to the Bible and call them sacred.
- The one that truly believes God and obeys his word.
- The one that does not compromise their beliefs for any reason.
- The one that speaks the truth in love
- The one that does not teach false doctrines
- They do not lie one to another
- They do not kill their wounded
- and much more
#9. Didn’t the Bible predict the apostasy of the Christian faith?
No. it predicted that many people would fall away from the church and stop following Jesus and the truth. Mormonism would fall into that category and even if the Bible did predict the apostasy of the Christian faith, it did not indicate that the Mormon faith would be the next true one. If there is to be an apostasy of the faith, this does not mean that the Mormon beliefs are the correct ones to follow.
Also, the Mormon faith did not start till the 19th century. What about all those people who lived and died before that event? How fair and just is the Mormon faith? Since no one had access to the supposed golden plates or the Mormon doctrine for thousands of years what happens to those people who did not believe? Ceremonial baptisms done by Mormons cannot save billions of anonymous people who lived prior to Joseph Smith’s supposed revelation.
Also, why did the angel Moroni, the Mormon god and Jesus wait for years between first contact with Smith and the revealing of the Mormon doctrine? How many people died during that gap? What will happen to them? Then since no ancient religion, extant mss., or any ancient inscription, et al, even refer to, hint at or mention the Mormon doctrine in their eras, it can only be concluded that Smith lied and there was no ancient religion waiting to be restored as the true faith.
#10. Why not just promote what you believe and not judge our faith?
First, we believe Mormonism is wrong so we can state that since that is promoting our belief. Second, saying a faith is wrong, teaching false doctrine and not of Christ is not judging that particular faith. It is describing its true nature. We are allowed to point out which faith is what Jesus and the disciples taught and which one belongs to the category of false teaching.
#11. Why are your clergy members paid?
It is biblical. The Bible tells us that the worker is worthy of his hire. God paid his priests maybe not with money but they got remuneration for their service. There is also no command or instruction in the Bible that Christian workers go unpaid and must be volunteers. Sadly too many Christians take advantage of clergy, missionaries and other christian workers by paying them too little or forcing them to raise their own support.
#12. Where do you get your authority?
From Jesus Christ. Matthew 28: 18-20 NASB
And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20teaching them to observe all that I commanded you;
© 2018 David Thiessen
David Thiessen (author) from Philippines on December 12, 2019:
But I am not wrong. mormonism enjoys no historical, archaeological or scriptural support. it is a man made religion started in the 19th century and has no ancient roots to it at all.
you cannot prove one of smith's claims as true
Mark Richardson from Utah on December 12, 2019:
Just as strongly (if not more) as you are convinced "Mormonism" is not true, i am convinced that it is true. What if you're wrong? You have listened to others lies. What if you deceive others who take your word for it instead of finding out on their own? You will be held accountable.
David Thiessen (author) from Philippines on November 09, 2019:
Yes i realized my mistake about Hubbard later. Just too tired at times. As for the rest of your post everything Smith said was a lie and evil. Pick any words you want they are all wrong.
Mark Richardson from Utah on November 09, 2019:
I appreciate your brevity. You are logical and may not understand how I think as feeling/intuition/perception often governs my thoughts. What makes sense to me does not make sense to you. I think what you mean is you want me to defend what a believe with the Bible, so that is what I intend to do.
I next want to say that I should apologize for being a little harsh. In my defense, your 2 articles about "Mormons" I perceived as an attack on my faith/religion/church. You should anticipate some who would oppose your opinions.
Going back on a prior comment (because you said I have not been "ponying up"...You think the Bible is perfect. But look at all of the confusion due to so many denominations who cannot agree. I should point out that in any other context, appeal to authority would be a fallacy. But, to your credit, with Christianity, the Bible is a valid appeal to authority.
Also, to "pony up", going to #7 from this article...consider that thou shalt not kill, but Abraham was commanded to kill Isaac. David and others practiced polygamy, but it was just temporary. We believe as part of our church, there was a restoration of all things.
In reference to you saying that the Bible was written when Jesus was around...The Gospels were written years later: Mark is believed to be the first gospel written around A.D. 60. Matthew and Luke follow and were written between A.D. 60-70; John is believed to have been written between A.D. 90-100.
I know that revelations of Joseph Smith are of God because they have helped me to live the Gospel of Jesus Christ and come closer to God.
I know that Joseph Smith is not a con because of his teachings. I would be interested in any quotes from him that taught anything evil. He did not claim to be the Messiah. If so, that would have made him a con. If you want to understand my belief in him as a prophet, see: Matthew 7:16-22. Matthew 12:35, Luke 6:43, John 3:20, John 7:17., John 12:35-36. Acts 5:38-39. 1 Cor. 1:27.
Scientology came from L. Ron Hubbard. Armstrong was with another church. I have heard of him and I think many of his ideas were contraversial.
Many of your concerns, I would say are valid because much of what believe cannot really be proven. You are like Thomas the Apostle. While you choose to believe in Christ, you want to figuritively be able to see/feel the golden plates instead of taking it on faith as the other Apostles did (John 10:29). And that is human nature. You must find out what is good or evil for yourself. Consider the fruits of the spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). I encourage you to focus on what we have in common instead of our differences.
David Thiessen (author) from Philippines on November 07, 2019:
I already know that there is no archaeological evidence for the book of Mormon. Even Mormon archaeologists cannot find any.
Also, with nothing to prove you are on the right track,how do you know those revelations are from God? You have nothing to guide you to their validity
Also, Jesus was seen by thousands if not hundreds of thousands of people. His book was written by a few of those eye witnesses who could easily be corrected if they got something wrong.
The supposed angel Moroni was seen only by Smith. There are no eye witnesses to fact check him and his writings. How do you know he got it right and didn't pull a con job like Armstrong with Scientology?
Mark Richardson from Utah on November 07, 2019:
I really appreciate your brief and direct responses.
I’m not sure what you mean when you ask “what is wrong?”
I do not see how additional revelation that clarifies the gospel would negate the belief in Jesus. Wouldn’t you say that faith in Christ could overcome anything? My beliefs ARE supported by scripture. I was blessed to serve a mission in the Southern United States where I was able to show how my faith can be supported even by looking at the Bible only.
I would be very interested in what the Book of Mormon says that you think contradicts the Bible.
If you want physical evidence of the Book of Mormon from the ancient world, feel free to google “Evidence of the Book of Mormon Archaeology” or something similar. You will find those who seek after those type of evidences, unless, of course, it is from critics who are like politicians who attack the ideas from the other side of the aisle (such as Republicans vs Democrats), regardless if it is a good idea or not.
David Thiessen (author) from Philippines on November 07, 2019:
@Richardson-- what is wrong? You claim to believe in Jesus yet you have too many other beliefs that negate that claim and are not supported by scripture. Also, the Book of Mormon contradicts many biblical teachings.
You put the book of Mormon above the Bible even though its contents are not attested to anywhere in the ancient world
Mark Richardson from Utah on November 06, 2019:
Thanks for your reply. Ah, so at least you knew some "Mormons". Many do not know any of our faith and they are ignorant or go by hearsay. Hopefully they lived their faith. I'm sorry that you feel that we are off the mark and do not have the truth.
I read your other article and commented on it.
I will restate that I respect you are sharing how you see the Gospel of Jesus Christ and how you believe. The perception I have is that those who say they are "saved" do not think they are accountable and can sin all they want because Jesus has taken care of everything. I accept Jesus Christ as my savior, I know that Jesus Christ is the only way and that I am a sinner. So what is wrong with how I live my faith? What is wrong with me choosing to do more than recite a few lines? Consider salvation as a check for million dollars. I must endorse it. I must take it to the bank. If I do not, what good is the million dollars? In this and your other article, you are judging me as not Christian or that I will go to Hell. Jesus Christ is my judge and I am confident in my choices. Being a follower of Jesus Christ is a way of life. I would say it is part of my DNA. Not just an event.
David Thiessen (author) from Philippines on November 06, 2019:
@Richardson- I worked for a Mormon, lived with a Mormon and knew an ex mormon.You guys are off the mark and do not come close to the truth.
Also, you should read my article Can a Loving God send people to hell
Mark Richardson from Utah on November 05, 2019:
I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (formerly nicknamed Mormons). Thank you for your opinions. While you do not accept me as a Christian, I accept you as one and I appreciate and respect that you are boldly sharing your faith to help others to believe in Jesus Christ.
I appreciate you saying that all can believe what they want and that we have freedom.
Have you read the Book of Mormon, attended one of our services or met with our missionaries? If you were to read the Book of Mormon, you would know that it is another testimony of Jesus Christ. It clarifies teachings that many Christian denominations disagree on. As you mentioned, we believe that there was an Apostacy (falling away), so the Church was no longer on the earth after the apostles were killed and it needed to be restored. We believe that the teachings of Christ were distorted over time (such as the Nicean Creed in 325 AD).
I disagree with your criticisms. If you look at the gospels only, all Christians have very similar beliefs. In my opinion, Paul's teachings are where most disagree. People in Jesus's day could have said he was part of a cult.
We believe that all will have a chance to accept or reject the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. Not as a type of deathbed repentence, but because God is merciful. I do not believe that a loving God would send people to a burning Hell just because they do not find out about the true church. I am concerned that you may be going by what you have heard instead of finding out for yourself.
Years in between contact was to allow Joseph Smith to learn and grow.
The Holy Ghost has witnessed to me that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the Lord's restored church. It has helped me to be a better follower of Jesus Christ. I know that Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior and it is through Him that I will be saved.
David Thiessen (author) from Philippines on December 21, 2018:
I will try to do the same for the JWs once I find good questions they ask
Liz Westwood from UK on December 21, 2018:
You have answered a lot of questions in this article and in part 2. In the UK we have Jehovahs Witnesses who knock on people's doors in the hope of converting them.