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The Church of Joseph Smith of Latter-day Saints

The Church of Joseph Smith of Latter-day Saints

What an incredible opportunity we as evangelical Christians have been given at this very time in the history of our nation! The Lord has allowed the Mormon religion to come under the national spotlight. This allows us to spend a few weeks or a few months helping people, including Mormons, to understand the true nature of the religion of Joseph Smith as compared to the true nature of the Gospel. It is a rare opportunity that must not be missed!

Since souls are at stake, we cannot commit the error of viewing these discussions about Mormonism as a means of political posturing. The fact that candidate Romney simply ignited the discussion does not mean that Christians should put politics above their mission to "go and make disciples." (Matthew 28:19)

Our first allegiance is always to King Jesus and not to a political party. Souls that will be snatched from darkness and from false religion are a higher priority than trying to advance the cause of a political candidate. If we are labeled as intolerant for making the most of this opportunity to "snatch others from the fire and save them," (Jude 23) then so be it. We do so unashamedly for the sake of our Savior and His kingdom and for the salvation of souls.

This nationwide evangelistic "teaching moment" must be carried out with plenty of tact and with much love for Mormons and for all people. Name calling or judging others is never acceptable. To judge others is to look down of them because of their beliefs. Christians are no better than Mormons or anyone else. We are all sinners in need of God's grace.

The New Testament church of Jesus Christ began 2000 years ago. The church of Joseph Smith began less than 200 years ago. The New Testament church of Jesus Christ has been made up of Christians for 2000 years. The church of Joseph Smith has been made up of Mormons for less than 200 years.

Jesus Christ was born in Bethlehem 2000 years ago. Joseph Smith was born in Sharon, Vermont, in 1805. Jesus Christ was born of a virgin. Joseph Smith was conceived like every other human being. Jesus Christ is the eternal God with no beginning and no end. Joseph Smith was a religious leader who died.

Joseph Smith ran for President of the United States in 1844. Jesus Christ said, "My kingdom is not of this world." (John 18:36) What is the significance if your prophet and the founder of your religion runs for President of the United States? What does that say, if anything, about his motives and qualifications to begin a new religion?

Joseph Smith published "The Book of Mormon" in 1830 to advance his new religion. The Bible was written by more than 40 authors over 1500 years. Jesus Christ did not get married. Mormon historians admit Joseph Smith married 34 women, including 10 teenagers and 11 women taken from living husbands. Helen Mar Kimball was 14 years old when she married Joseph Smith.

The many wives of Joseph Smith remind some people of polygamist sect leader Warren Jeffs and his underage wives. Jeffs was the prophet of his own Latter-day Saint organization. In 2005, Jeffs was put on the FBI's most wanted fugitive list. What made Joseph Smith any more qualified to start a new religion than Warren Jeffs? Did Christians for the first 1800 years of Christianity get it wrong as Joseph Smith taught? Was Joseph Smith sent by God to help people finally get it right?

In 1841, Joseph Smith claimed that "The Book of Mormon" was "the most correct of any book on earth." He claims that an angel from God gave him this new religion by leading him to dig up some golden plates that were buried in the ground. Did the angel also tell him to marry 34 women and to run for President? What makes this one man right about his new religion and the 40 authors of the Bible wrong regarding historic Christianity?

"The Church of Joseph Smith of Latter-day Saints" is an accurate way to describe the Mormon religion. No other religious denomination recognizes Joseph Smith as a prophet from God. A Mormon stakes his soul on the belief that Joseph Smith was a true prophet and not a false prophet.

The last chapter of the Bible contains a warning for anyone who attempts to add anything to the Word of God. We are told in Revelation 22:18,19: "I warn everyone who hears the words of prophecy of this book: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book. And if anyone takes words away from this book of prophecy, God will take away from him his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book."

Joseph Smith wasn't the first person to ever add words or take away words from the Bible, and he won't be the last. There have been many false prophets over the centuries. Joseph Smith just happens to be one of the most successful ones in getting millions of people to follow his religion long after his death.

Dan Delzell is the pastor of Wellspring Lutheran Church in Papillion, Neb. He is a regular contributor to The Christian Post.