Countercult ministries/Contender Ministries/Questions All Mormons Should Ask Themselves
Answers to Questions All Mormons Should Ask Themselves
A FairMormon Analysis of: "Questions All Mormons Should Ask Themselves"A work by author: Contender Ministries
Anti-Mormon literature tends to recycle common themes. One popular approach over the years is for critics to ask a series of "questions" under the guise of sincerity, but with the ultimate aim of casting doubt upon faith or tripping up members of the Church.
Such tactics are not new; Jesus repeatedly faced questioners from among critics during His earthly ministry.
One set of questions that has made rounds is found at Contender Ministries. Entitled Questions All Mormons Should Ask Themselves, the list consists of 58 questions detailed and answered on this page.
In the questions, there may be two items after each question: Scripture reference and Other reference. These references are given as references for the actual questions by Contender Ministries; they are not provided by FairMormon as part of the answer.
General remarks about the questions
There are a couple of interesting features to look for in this list. The first is that many of the questions don't just ask a question, they make an assertion. An example of this would be the question that person A asks person B: "Have you stopped beating your wife?" To answer "yes" or "no" is to agree to the assertion that at some point, you did beat your wife. This is the case with a question like question 15 below:
- "Why does the Mormon church teach that there is no eternal hell when the Book of Mormon teaches that there is?"
The assertion is that the Mormon church teaches that there is no eternal hell. Similarly, many of the questions start with a proposition - which must first be answered before the rest of the question has meaning. So, for instance, question 1:
- "If Gods are individuals who have passed through mortality and have progressed to Godhood, how ..."
Before the question can be meaningful, the first question must be answered in the affirmative. If you don't answer in the affirmative (as is the case with many of these questions that are actually assertions of LDS belief), then the rest of the question is largely meaningless. You can ask all sorts of things in this way without actually taking the responsibility for defending the implications of your questions.
A final point involves interpretation. When providing a biblical scripture as the backdrop for a question, these questions often assert or imply a specific reading or interpretation of the text. In many cases, the interpretation is bad. Isaiah, for example, lived at a time when Israelite religion was not strictly monotheistic in any sense. To read Isaiah's text as teaching some kind of strict monotheism does damage to the text, and if we (the respondents) disagree with the interpretation, it can change the question significantly (see for example questions 4 and 5).
Responses to individual questions
- Response to Questions 1-28 (Click here for full article)
- Response to claim: "1. If Gods are individuals who have passed through mortality and have progressed to Godhood, how has one person of the Trinity (the Holy Spirit) attained Godhood without getting a body?"
- Response to claim: "2. If Gods are individuals who have passed through an earth life to attain Godhood, how is it that one person of the Trinity (Jesus Christ) was God before He received a body or passed through earth life?"
- Response to claim: "3. If the Book of Mormon really contains the fullness of the Gospel, why does it not teach the doctrine of 'eternal progression'?"
- Response to claim: "4. God said, 'Is there a God beside me? Yea, there is no God; I know not any'. How can there be Gods who are Elohim’s ancestors?"
- Response to claim: "5. How can any men ever become Gods when the Bible says, 'Before me there was no god formed, neither shall there be after me'?"
- Response to claim: "6. If Adam is the 'only God with whom we have to do', did Adam create himself?"
- Response to claim: "7. Joseph Smith stated that without the ordinances and authority of the priesthood no man can see the face of God and live...How did he see God and survive?"
- Response to claim: "8. If a spirit is a being without a body (See Luke 24:39), why do Mormons teach that God the Father has a body of flesh and bones?"
- Response to claim: "9. If the Father is Elohim and Jesus is Jehovah (as the Mormons teach), how does a Mormon explain Deuteronomy 6:4, which in the Hebrew says, 'Hear, O Israel: Jehovah our Elohim is one Jehovah'?"
- Response to claim: "10. If the Book of Mormon contains the fullness of the Gospel, why doesn’t it teach that God was once a man?"
- Response to claim: "11. If Mormonism is the restored church, which is based upon the Bible, why are Mormon leaders so quick to state that the Bible is “translated wrong” when faced with some conflict between the Bible and Mormonism?"
- Response to claim: "12. If Jesus was conceived as a result of a physical union between God and Mary, how was Jesus born of a virgin?"
- Response to claim: "13. Why did Christ not return in 1891 as Joseph Smith predicted?"
- Response to claim: "14. Journal of Discourses Vol. 2, page 210 says Jesus was being married to Mary and Martha in Cana. Why then was he INVITED to his own wedding?"
- Response to claim: "15. Why does the Mormon church teach that there is no eternal hell when the Book of Mormon teaches that there is?"
- Response to claim: "16. How can Mormons teach that the repentant thief was not saved when the Book of Mormon states that Paradise is where the righteous go?"
- Response to claim: "17. 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?"
- Response to claim: "18. If the book of Mormon is true, why hasn’t a valid geography been established for the book?"
- Response to claim: "19. Why was Joseph Smith still preaching against polygamy in October 1843 after he got his revelation in July 1843 commanding the practice of polygamy?"
- Response to claim: "20. If Lehi left Jerusalem before 600 B.C., how did he learn about synagogues?"
- Response to claim: "21. If the Book of Mormon is true, why do Indians fail to become white when they become Mormons?"
- Response to claim: "22. What kind of chariots did the Nephites have in 90 B.C. some 1500 years before the introduction of the wheel on the Western Hemisphere?"
- Response to claim: "23. How do Mormons account for the word “church” in the Book of Mormon, about 600 B.C., which was centuries before the beginning of the Church on the day of Pentecost?"
- Response to claim: "24. How do Mormons account for the italicized words in the King James Version (indicating their absence in the Hebrew and Greek) being found in the Book of Mormon?"
- Response to claim: "25. How did the French word “adieu” get into the Book of Mormon?"
- Response to claim: "26. Was it right or wrong for Solomon to have many wives? (See Jacob 2:24; D & C 132:38,39) Which is it?"
- Response to claim: "27. If polygamy was a provision for increasing population rapidly, why did God give Adam only one wife?"
- Response to claim: "28. D&C 129:4, 5 says, “When a messenger comes saying he has a message from God, offer him your hand and request him to shake hands with you. If he be an angel he will do so, and you will feel his hand.” How can this test distinguish between an angel of God and a Jehovah’s Witness missionary...or a Mormon Elder?"
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- Response to Questions 29-58 (Click here for full article)
- Response to claim: "30. If children have no sins until they are eight years old, why are they baptized at age eight to wash away non-existent sins?"
- Response to claim: "31. How could the Garden of Eden have been in Missouri when the Pearl of Great Price declares that it was in the vicinity of Assyria and had the Euphrates and Hiddekel Rivers in it?"
- Response to claim: "32. Brigham Young said, 'The only men who become Gods, even the Sons of God, are those who enter into polygamy'. (Journal of Discourses, Vol. 11, page 269) Why did the Mormons yield to the pressure of the government and stop practicing polygamy?"
- Response to claim: "33. Heber C. Kimball stated, “We are the people of Deseret, she shall be no more Utah: we will have our own name”. Why did this prophecy fail?"
- Response to claim: "34. How did Joseph Smith carry home the golden plates of the Book of Mormon, and how did the witnesses lift them so easily?"
- Response to claim: "35. When Christ died, did darkness cover the land for three days or for three hours?"
- Response to claim: "36. If the Book of Mormon was translated by the gift and power of God, why have the Mormons changed it?"
- Response to claim: "37. If God speaks through a prophet, why do Mormons vote on whether or not to receive and authorize it?"
- Response to claim: "38. It has been established that the 'Sensen' manuscript was simply a common Egyptian burial papyrus. Why do the Mormons still accept the Book of Abraham which was translated from that manuscript?"
- Response to claim: "39. Why is it that no other writings have been found in the language of “Reformed Egyptian”, the supposed language of the Book of Mormon plates? Is there evidence that such a language really existed?"
- Response to claim: "40. Joseph Smith said that there are men living on the moon who dress like Quakers and live to be nearly 1000 years old. Since he was wrong about the moon, is it safe to trust him regarding the way to heaven?"
- Response to claim: "41. Why do Mormons not study Hebrew and Greek so that they can intelligently discuss the accuracy of the translation of the Bible?"
- Response to claim: "42. Joseph Smith prepared fourteen Articles of Faith. Why has the original No. 11 been omitted?"
- Response to claim: "43. According to Hebrews 7:24, the Melchizedek Priesthood is not transferable. Why do Mormons pass it from one to another?"
- Response to claim: "44. If Mormonism came as a revelation from God, why are the Mormon Temple Oaths almost identical to the oaths of the Masonic Lodge?"
- Response to claim: "45. Why did the Nauvoo House not stand forever and ever?"
- Response to claim: "46. If genealogies are important, why does the New Testament tell Christians to avoid them?"
- Response to claim: "47. The Bible says, 'The blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth from all sin'. Why did Brigham Young say that there are some sins which can be atoned for only by the shedding of ones own blood?"
- Response to claim: "48. God rejected the fig leaf aprons which Adam and Eve made. Why do Mormons memorialize the fall by using fig leaf aprons?"
- Response to claim: "49. Why do Mormons insist that Ezekiel 37:15-22 is about two books instead of about two kingdoms as god Himself explained in verse 22?"
- Response to claim: "50. If Acts 3:20, 21 is a prophecy about the restoration of Mormonism, why didn’t Jesus return in 1830?"
- Response to claim: "51. Revelation 14:6,7 is part of the body of prophecy about the future Great Tribulation. How could that passage have been fulfilled by Moroni in 1830?"
- Response to claim: "52. In light of Ezekiel 28:13-15 and Hebrews 1:5, how can Satan and Jesus be brothers (as the Mormons teach)?"
- Response to claim: "53. If no person ever receives the Holy Spirit before baptism or without the laying on of hands, how does a Mormon explain the case of Cornelius?"
- Response to claim: "54. If baptism for the dead was a Christian ceremony, why did Paul use the pronoun “they” rather than “we” or “ye”? Why did he exclude himself and other Christians when referring to it?"
- Response to claim: "55. Since the Bible says that a Bishop should be the husband of one wife, how can Mormons claim that polygamy is proper for New Testament Christians?"
- Response to claim: "56. Why does the Mormon church teach that the broad way leads to the Terrestrial Heaven when Jesus taught that it leads to destruction?"
- Response to claim: "57. Are you sincere enough about your personal salvation that you will carefully study the following Bible references to discover the Bible’s way to salvation?"
- Response to claim: "58. Are you courageous enough to personally receive the Lord Jesus Christ into your heart and follow the truth regardless of ridicule, antagonism or persecution?"
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