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Zealous Mormon Elders seek to convince investigators that certain distinctives within Mormonism are supposed to be part of Biblical Christianity. If the Elders are right then Mormonism is wonderful; but if they are wrong, then Mormonism is an appalling error with eternal destinies at stake. I challenge you to consider their claims in the light of the Bible. Especially in this booklet I wish to consider a few of their distinctive doctrines and the key Bible texts upon which those doctrines supposedly are based.


A basic tenet of Mormonism is that they have Scriptural authority because of the priesthood. To support that claim they quote Hebrews 5:4, "And no man taketh this honor unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron." In over fifteen years of talking to Mormons, I have never met a man belonging to any tribe other than the tribe of Ephraim. How is it that these men think they have the real authority of the Aaronic Priesthood when they do not even belong to the right tribe? Furthermore, they are not of the right family!

By studying Numbers 16:1 and I Chronicles 6:1-3, one can see that Korah was a cousin of Aaron. He was a Levite (of the right tribe); but was not of Aaron's family, therefore had no right to the priesthood. In fact, God was so displeased when he sought the priesthood that He had the ground open up and swallow Korah and his company (Numbers 16:29,30). That unusual event happened to establish forever that only a descendent of Aaron has the right to hold the Aaronic priesthood. "To be a memorial unto the children of Israel, that no stranger, which is not of the seed of Aaron, come near to offer incense before the Lord: that he be not as Korah, and as his company. . ." (Numbers 16:40). How scriptural is the claim of the Mormons that they have priests of the Aaronic Order?

Those who are familiar with Mormonism realize that there is a claim of another priesthood in Mormonism with higher authority. I refer to that which they call the priesthood after the order of Melchizedek. Is such a claim valid?

First, it should be understood that the Mormon church has no High Priests in the Aaronic Order. In Mormonism the High Priests are all members of the Melchizedek Order. In the Bible, however, the high priest was the senior priest in the Aaronic Order (compare Lev. 16:2 and Hebrews 9:6, 7; see also Numbers 35:25, 28).

Furthermore, only one person other than Melchizedek himself is ever said to hold a priesthood after the order of Melchizedek, and that One is the Lord Jesus Christ.

The significance of Christ being a priest after the order of Melchizedek is that His ministry is permanent (Heb.7:3), never ended by death (Heb.7:16), and is intransmissible (Heb.7:23,24). (The word "unchangeable" is literally "intransmissable"). The Priesthood of Melchizedek cannot be passed from one to another.

I would like to ask some relevant questions about the supposed priestly authority in Mormonism:

How can men and boys who are supposedly members of the tribe of Ephraim hold the Aaronic priesthood? Since Aaron was a High Priest why do the Mormons not have High Priests within the Aaronic Order? Since the priesthood of Melchizedek is intransmissible, why is it passed from one to another within Mormonism?

How valid is the claim for priestly authority in Mormonism?


Latter-day revelation is another basic teaching of the Mormon church. Elders begin trying to establish the Book of Mormon as divine revelation by referring to Ezekiel 37:15-20. Their interpretation is that these sticks were sticks upon which scrolls were rolled, and that one scroll (or stick) was for the Bible (the people of Judah), and the other scroll (or stick) was the record as given in the Book of Mormon, which claims to be the record of the descendants of Joseph who migrated to the western hemisphere.

Observe several things about this passage.
  1. The divine explanation is given in verses 21 and 22. "And say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen, whither they be gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land: And I will make them one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel and one king shall be king to them all: and they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all." (Ezekiel 37:21,22).

  2. The object lesson will be fulfilled by two kingdoms or two nations becoming one, not by two books becoming one.

  3. This object lesson will be fulfilled only after the nation of Israel is regathered to the land of Palestine.

  4. This object lesson will not be fulfilled until one king reigns over all the twelve tribes of Israel. (That will become a reality in the personal reign of the Lord Jesus Christ when He sits upon the throne of God.
Once we understand the real meaning of this passage, we ask, "How stable is the 'relevation pillar' of Mormonism?"


"God has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man's" so Mormonism teaches (Doc. and Covenants 130:22). A favorite verse to substantiate that teaching is Genesis 1:26,27, "Let us make man in our God created man in His own image." Does that text really prove that God has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man's?

Even being consistent with Mormon theology does not allow that meaning to be attached to that verse. At the time man was created, which members of the Trinity had physical bodies of flesh and bones, according to Mormon theology? The Holy Spirit did not have. The Lord Jesus Christ did not have. He came into the world centuries later to receive a body (Hebrews 10:5). According to Mormon theology, at the time Adam was created only the Father had a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man's.

If God were referring to a physical likeness when He said, "Let us make man in our image", why didn't He say, "Let us make man in MY image," since according to Mormon theology, He was the only one with that physical image?

The truth is that the image was not a physical likeness, but a spiritual likeness. Col. 3:10 tells what happens when a person becomes a Christian and begins to develop after the IMAGE of Him that created him." That image of God, marred in the fall of Adam, is restored through regeneration. When a person becomes a Christian, however, he does not change physically. He does not get a new body or even a halo. The change is the renewing of that spiritual image of his Creator.

Another interesting observation is that in Hebrews 1:3 where it speaks of Christ being the express image of God, the Greek word for "image" is "charakter" from which we get our English word "character." That word has reference to the inner being, not the physical.

Furthermore, the Bible specifically states, "God is a spirit; and they that worship Him must worship him in spirit and truth" (John 4:24). The fact that God is a spirit means that He does not have a body of flesh and bones. I have a spirit, as does every human being; but I am not a spirit, for I also have a human body. Jesus, by definition, established that point in Luke 24:39, "Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself; handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have."

Really, how solid is the "physical God pillar" of Mormonism?


The pre-existence of man is another dogma that is almost taken for granted in Mormonism. Jer. 1:5 is the favorite proof text: "Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations."

Now IF God had said, "Before I formed thee in the belly YOU KNEW ME..." that would have proved the pre-existence of Jeremiah. That was not, however, the way God said it. The way He said it, does not prove the pre-existence of man. Rather if only proves the foreknowledge of God.

The foreknowledge of God is a fact solidly established by the Bible. "Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off." (Ps. 193:2). See also Isaiah 46:9, 10. Also every fulfilled prophecy of the Bible attests to God's knowledge of the future.

Another line of reasoning which Mormons use to establish that all men have a pre-existence is to conclude that such is true simply because Jesus had a pre-existence. In reality this does not prove man's pre-existence. Jesus pre-existed, not because He was a man, but because He was God before He became man. "They shall call His name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us" (Matt. 1:23).

Clearly Jesus pre-existed; but the Bible declares that He was unique in having a pre-existence. Jesus could say, "I am the living bread which came down from heaven..." (John 6:51). He also established that no one else came down from heaven when He said, "And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven." (John 3:13).

In the light of the Bible, is the "Pre-existence Pillar" very solid?


Baptism for the dead is a key teaching of Mormonism. They have built temples which have cost millions of dollars in order to have places to baptize living people by proxy for the salvation of people who have died without being baptized into Mormonism.

This key doctrine is based upon only one misunderstood Scripture: "Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? Why are they then baptized for the dead? (I Cor.15:29).

When Mormons challenge me with this verse I first ask a question: "Do you believe that the Apostle Paul practiced baptism for the dead?" They answer quickly, "Of course he did. He wrote about it, didn't he?" He wrote about it, but let us not be too hasty in concluding that he practiced it, or considered it a proper concept or practice. I have another question which to date remains unanswered. If Paul believed in and practiced baptism for the dead, why did he use a pronoun "they" rather than "we" or "ye?" Why did he ask "What shall THEY do...?" Why didn't he ask, "What shall We do...?" or "What shall YE do...?" If Paul believed in and practiced baptism for the dead, why did he use a pronoun that excluded himself and the believers to whom he was writing?

Naturally the question is asked, "What did Paul mean by 'baptism for the dead'?" One basic rule of interpretation is that we are to consider any verse in its context. The context is speaking of RESURRECTION, the future resurrection of Christians assured because of the past resurrection of Christ.

A careful study of I Corinthians 15: will show that Paul asked three questions that possibly might be raised by someone in Corinth who had embraced Christianity, yet who was confused about some details about the resurrection because he was not very well grounded. Paul was seeking to clear away three misconceptions or errors!

Question #1 is in v. 12. "How say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead?" Paul shows that it is completely illogical to deny the resurrection and at the same time embrace Christianity, for the doctrine of the resurrection is fundamental to Christianity.

Question #3 is in v. 35. "Some man will say, How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come?" The remainder of the chapter answers that question by showing that the resurrected body is like this mortal body, yet different. This terrestrial body is raised to be a celestial body. It is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption. It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body.

Question #2 is asked in v. 29. "Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if, the dead rise not at all? Why are they then baptized for the dead?" Paul's question is aimed at the same small group who had apparently inconsistently embraced Christianity, but who were questioning the fundamental teaching of the resurrection. If they did not believe in the resurrection, even Christ's resurrection, then to be baptized in His name amounted to being baptized for someone who was dead. In effect Paul was asking, "If you reject the teaching of the resurrection, why, oh, why were you baptized in the name of One whom you consider to still be dead?"

Do I baptize for the dead? No indeed: I baptize unto a living Savior, I baptize in the name of the One who said, "I am he that liveth, and was dead; and behold, I am alive for evermore." (Rev.1:18).

The entire doctrine of baptism for the dead is founded on only one Bible verse. Furthermore that verse uses a pronoun that excluded the Apostle Paul as practicing Baptism for the dead, and the verse ends with a question mark rather than a statement.

Doesn't the "Baptism for the dead pillar" look pretty fragile?


Closely related to the teaching of Baptism for the Dead is the doctrine of a second chance which means according to Mormon dogma that the Mormon Gospel is preached in a spirit prison to those who did not become Mormons before death, and that in the spirit prison they can accept the teachings of Mormonism. The supporting Bible passage used is I Peter 3:19-20. Mormon theology is that while the body of Jesus was in the grave, His spirit was in the spirit prison preaching. Repeatedly I've asked Mormons to tell me how many people in the spirit prison were given a second chance as Jesus preached to them. Without fail I get the answer, "Why all those there had a second chance, unless they had one earlier and deliberately and knowingly rejected it."

If that be the case, why does Peter say Christ preached only to those who were disobedient in the days of Noah? Why were not the disobedient in the days of Nebuchadnezzar given a second chance too? After all, those who lived in Noah's day had many fine opportunities, for Noah was a preacher of righteousness for 120 years. Obviously something is wrong with the Mormon interpretation.

The explanation of this text is that Christ was not preaching to disembodied spirits during the three days His body was in the grave. The Spirit of Christ in Noah was preaching to the people of Noah's time while Noah was alive and the people were alive when they heard the warning, but dead when Peter wrote of them.

Is it not dangerous to build an important doctrine upon such an obscure passage when such an interpretation runs contrary to clear statements of Scripture? Consider John 3:36 which says, "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him."

Would you really want to rest your soul on the wobbly "Second chance pillar?"


Perhaps the greatest confusion is over the subject of salvation unto good works, but without good works to obtain that salvation. The Mormons teach salvation by good works.

It seems to me that if any Mormon knows even one verse of Scripture, he knows the last part of James 2:20, "Faith without works is dead." From this verse they conclude that works are the prescribed way for obtaining salvation.

A study of the passage (the context) will show that James was teaching, rather, that a so-called faith that does not change the life is not saving faith. He was pointing out the difference between mere intellectual faith and true saving faith. The preceding verse points out that even the demons know and believe the facts. They have intellectual faith, but not saving faith. James was warning people who boast of faith, but who fail to show any change in their lives. Mere intellectual faith does not save the soul. Genuine faith saves the soul immediately, touches the heart and changes the life.

James continued by discussing Abraham. Abraham's faith enabled him to obey God and offer Isaac his son upon the altar. This act left no room for any man to question the reality of his faith. "The scripture was fulfilled which said, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness" (James 2:230. In what sense was the Scripture fulfilled? Strong's concordance gives the meaning of "pieroo" (fulfilled) as "complete," "fulfill" or "verify." When was the statement first made of Abraham? In Ge. 15:6 it says, "He believed in the Lord and he counted it to him for righteousness." That was about 40 or 45 years before he offered Isaac on Mount Moriah. You see, before Isaac was ever born God saw the faith in Abraham's heart and imparted righteousness to him without works. Forty years or so later the accuracy of that statement was verified, and all the world could tell by his works that Abraham truly trusted God. Then Abraham by his works was also justified before men. As I Samuel 16:7 says, "Man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart." Spurious faith never fools God, but He also sees genuine faith even before good works can be done.

A study of Paul's reference to the same quotation from Genesis 15:6 shows that in God's sight Abraham was justified before God by genuine faith without good works. Consider Romans 4:2-8, "For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God. For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. Now to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works, saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin."

Likewise the main thrust of many of the parables of the gospels is that repentant though undeserving sinners can be forgiven immediately by genuine faith. Consider the Publican (Luke 18:13, 14), the Prodigal (Luke 15:24) and the immoral woman (Luke 7:36- 50), to whom Jesus said, "Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace."

In view of this evidence doesn't the "Good works pillar" begin to topple?


Mormonism is unique in teaching that there are three heavens to which people may go when they die. I have before me the FREE AGENCY chart which I purchased in the Desert Book Store in Salt Lake City. In keeping with the Mormon doctrine, it specifies that those baptized into Mormonism who are faithful will enter the Celestial Kingdom or Heaven. The good and honorable, those not valiant in the testimony of Jesus, and those who died without the law will enter the Terrestrial Kingdom or Heaven, and the dishonest, liars, sorcerers, adulterers, and whoremongers will enter the Telesestial Kingdom or Heaven after a 1000 years detour in Hell.

Basically two Bible passages are used by Mormons to support their dogma that there are three Heavens. II Corinthians 12:2-4 says "I knew a man in Christ about fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth); How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which is not lawful for a man to utter."

Yes, when people die they go to the third Heaven if they are saved; but what are the first and second Heaven? Careful Bible study reveals where they are. The first Heaven might well be called the Atmospheric Heaven. Birds fly in the midst of heaven (Gen. 7:23; Daniel 2:38). Rain comes down from that heaven (Genesis 8:2). Clouds are in that heaven (Daniel 7:13; Matthew 24:30).

The second heaven might be called the Planetary Heaven. The sun, moon, and stars are in that heaven (Genesis 1:14, 15, 17; 22:17; Mark 13:25; Relevation 6:13; 12:4). That heaven declares the glory of God (Psalm 19:1).

The third heaven is where God is said to dwell, (Matthew 6:9), where angels are (Mark 12:25), and where the saved go when they die (Phil. 3:20).

Another favorite passage is I Cor. 15:40, 41, which speaks of the glory of the sun, moon, and stars. The Mormons interpret this as being representative of the Celestial, Terrestrial, and Telestial Heavens.

Note, however, that there is immediately a problem numerically. There are only two designations, the Celestial and the Terrestrial. A new Mormon word, Telestial, had to be coined. Furthermore, there is immediately the problem of definitions. "Terrestrial" has to do with earthly bodies, not heavenly. I have a terrestial body now. After the resurrection, I will have a Celestial body.

The teaching of the passage is answering the question raised in I Cor. 15:35, as to what kind of a body a Christian will have in the resurrection. The illustration of the grain teaches that it will be similar yet not the identical body. The illustration about different kinds of flesh teaches that it will be different from the mortal body we now have. Verse 40 states that the celestial bodies will differ from terrestrial bodies. The illustration of the different glories of the celestial planets further emphasizes this truth. The plain statement of what Paul means is given in verses 42-44. The whole contrast is between the mortal, corruptible body and the immortal, incorruptible body of the resurrection.

Sadly, the Mormons are offering three Heavens where people might go when they die, when the solemn truth is that if one misses the Heaven where God is, there is no other heaven for people. According to Jesus' words, if one misses the straight and narrow way, he is on the broad way that leads to destruction. "Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat. Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way which leadeth into life, and few there be that find it." (Matthew 7:13,14) Some people are in for a shocking awakening!

In view of the words of Jesus, does the "Three Heaven pillar" look very enduring?

Have the "pillars of Mormonism" crumbled as you have read this tract?
Then let me give you a few other words of exhortation.
Please do not make the mistake of "throwing out the baby with the bath water".

  • Please do not reject Christianity along with Mormonism.
  • Please do not cast aside the Bible along with the Book of Mormon.
  • Please do not make the mistake of turning from false deities to atheism.
  • Rather, place your entire confidence in the Bible, the Word of God. Of it Jesus said "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but only my word shall not pass away." (Mark 13:31)
  • Rather, place your full confidence in the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, not in your good works. Your best works can not save you, but the Lord Jesus Christ can.

"Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost.: (Titus 3:5)

"In whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace." (Ephesians 1:7)

"For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall ge saved." (Romans 10:13)

If you desire further information, or help concerning Mormonism, please write:

Watchman Fellowship
P.O. Box 19416
Birmingham, AL 35219