Moroni, Other Sheep, and Two Sticks add up to Zero
The reason the Mormons interpret the Bible the way they do is to find some validation from it to approve their own doctrines. After all it is supposed to be ANOTHER Testament of Jesus Christ.
The Mormon’s claim the Bible as we have it was corrupted by the Gentiles, who “have taken away from the gospel of the Lamb many parts which are plain and most precious... that they might pervert the right ways of the Lord,” so that the gospel had to be restored through the Book of Mormon (1 Nephi 13:26-27, cf. 13:20-42) written by a modern day prophet.
This accusation is without any factual proof but accepted by all Mormons and those they can convince of this unsubstantiated claim. It actually goes against all the manuscript proof that the New Testament has today that proves its accuracy was handed down from the Apostles. Yet this is this same Bible they conveniently use to prove their book of Mormon is prophesied of. Now if they were honest about their approach they would have to admit a logical inconsistency of how they arrive at their conclusions for doing this.
Galatians 1:8: “But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.” Did the angel named Moroni or Nephi (in 600 b.c.) preach the same gospel that Paul and the apostles did? This is a question every Mormon needs to ask them-self. If these did preach the same message as Paul did, there would be no need for the Book of Mormon correcting the Bible and giving a restored gospel. However if it is a different message (which Mormons readily admit) then we have exactly what the Apostle Paul warned of -- a different gospel from an angel from heaven (Moroni). Isn’t this amazing how Biblical truth and logic work together! And it is even written in bold letters on the cover of their own book “Another Testament of Jesus Christ.” You would think with this warning in Scripture and finding it on their own cover they would get it, but they don’t. And unfortunately neither does many others whom they proselytize throughout the world.
A Mormon must find out what kind of angel this was that spoke to the prophet Joseph Smith. We find from their own writings he is a man who died came back as resurrected being; who is angel. Doctrine and Covenants 2:0 Words spoken by Moroni, the Angel, to Joseph Smith the Prophet, while in his father's house at Manchester, New York, on the evening of September 21, 1823. (History of the Church, vol. 1, p. 12; JSH 1:29-49; D&C 128:20). Moroni was the last of a long line of human historians who had made the record that they claim is the Book of Mormon and he first appeared with a light in Smiths room and continued to appear to Joseph Smith at least twenty times. Moroni claimed “I have seen Jesus, and…he hath talked with me face to face,…even as a man telleth another in mine own language, concerning these things” (Ether 12:39). Moroni is seen with a trumpet because of their interpretation of the prophecy of John the Revelator (Rev. 14:6-7). The Church had placed a statue depicting him as a herald of the Restoration of the gospel atop the Salt Lake Temple. And Moroni with a trumpet is the official emblem put on grave markers of American Mormon servicemen.
Smith says “He called me by name, and said unto me that he was a messenger sent from the presence of God to me, and that his name was Moroni; that God had a work for me to do; He said there was a book deposited, written upon gold plates, giving an account of the former inhabitants of this continent, and the source from whence they sprang.” (Joseph Smith History, verses 33-34)
He knew Joseph by name, because he was a familiar spirit. Smith was already practicing necromancy, communication with the dead. Moroni is not an angel sent from God in heaven but a man who once lived on earth. Moroni was a leader (chief captain of all Nephite armies) of the Nephites who had previously lived in the Americas. The Bible teaches that angels are different species of creature than man and they were created before man. Men don’t become angels and angels don’t become man. But according to Mormon teaching, all men are angels (spirit offspring of heavenly Father and Mother) before they come to earth and then afterwards (unless they become a god. Michael the archangel is Adam - who was also called the ancient of days). After Moroni, other angels appeared to Joseph Smith (History of the Church 4:537; cf. Journal of Discourses 17:374; Petersen, Ancient Prophet, Modern Messenger, 1983, p.131). Visitations of the apostles Peter, James and John came next. By 1836, Elijah, Moses, and Christ had all appeared to Smith.
On this and many other supernatural experience we are told by Mormons, “the Spirit bears witness to the truth.” This is correct but where is this truth found? It is not found in our heart but in the already revealed revelation of Jesus Christ that happens to be what they are challenging. For the Spirit wrote the Bible through God’s chosen prophets and apostles, therefore we must listen to these writings above any man that comes 2,000 years later. Keep this in mind as we read what the Bible says and they say the Bible says. It is not just a matter of Interpretation.
The Book of Mormon says that Jesus Christ came to America after His resurrection (2 Nephi 11). LDS claim that Jesus' visit to America fulfilled John 10:14-16. Instead of the Mormons believing the truth according to the Bible they go outside it to prove what they want it to say.
Lets look at the Bibles account to see if there is any validity to their exclusive interpretation. Acts 1:11 two angels - said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.” Jesus left after being with the disciples for 40 days (Acts 1:3). So we can see from the Bible Jesus was in Israel the whole time after His resurrection. Hebrews 10:12 “But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God, which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places.” Hebrews 1:3 when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, (also Eph. 1:20). So Jesus went to heaven and nowhere else on earth.
1 Pet 3:22 who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, angels and authorities and powers having been made subject to Him.
Nowhere does the Scripture teach that after Christ was teaching the disciples for 40 days after His resurrection that he went anywhere else but up to the Father in heaven. He stayed with the apostles for 40 days after the resurrection and went straight to heaven where he came down from, so he may send the Holy Spirit to begin the Church. And He is staying there until He comes back for His church.
There are two main cults that claim to have exclusivity by restoring the true Church. This is the Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Mormons. Both make use of the statement Jesus that he has “other sheep.” Is their use of this scripture accurate in what they state it means?
One of the Mormon apostles explains “By considering the apostolic ministry in immediate sequence to our study of the Lord's ascension from the Mount of Olives, we have departed from the chronological order of the several personal manifestations of the risen Savior to mortals; for very soon after His final farewell to the apostles in judea He visited His “other sheep,” not of the eastern fold, whose existence He had affirmed in that impressive sermon concerning the Good Shepherd and His sheep. Those other sheep who were to hear the Shepherd's voice and eventually be made part of the united fold, were the descendants of Lehi who, with his family and a few others, had left Jerusalem 600 B.c. and had crossed the great deep to what we now know as the American continent, whereon they had grown to be a mighty though a divided people” (Jesus the Christ James Talmage -one of the twelve apostles of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Deseret Book Company, salt Lake Utah, 1972, p.721)
He goes on to say on p.724, Christ had risen; and following Him many of the righteous dead on the western continent rose from their graves, and appeared as resurrected, immortalized beings among the survivors of the land-wide destruction; even as in Judea many of the saints had been raised immediately after the resurrection of Christ.” On p.725 (the Nephites) “ the people beheld a Man, clothed in a white robe, who descended and stood among them. He spake, saying: “Behold, I am Jesus Christ, whom the prophets testified shall come into the world; and behold, I am the light and the life of the world…” “Moved to adoring utterance, with one accord they cried: “Hosanna! blessed be the name of the Most High God!” then, falling at the feet of Jesus, they worshiped Him.”
This is found in 3 Nephi 11:1-10 where Jesus shows himself to the people on the American continent, 2,500 people come one at a time and put their hands in his side and cry out hosanna.
Sounds great except there is no evidence of any Jewish remnant, culture words in Central America or America at this time. Yet these people were existing form 600 B.C.?
Their book also says that the Apostle John and the three Nephite apostles never died (Book of Mormon 3 Nephi 28; Doctrine of Covenants 7:1-8).
But there were no apostles prior to Christ's ministry. Jesus himself picked the original first 12. So this position is untenable according to the Bible.
In 3 Nephi 12 Jesus gives a sermon on the Mount teaching (found in the KJV Bible) and personally established His church in America commissions twelve more apostles. But according to the Book of Mormon the church must be built upon “apostles and prophets” but which ones? Oh well, there are always exceptions. Is there any evidence to their claims outside their book?
Jesus said Matthew 15:22-24 “And behold, a woman of Canaan came from that region and cried out to Him, saying, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David! My daughter is severely demon-possessed.” But He answered her not a word. And His disciples came and urged Him, saying, “Send her away, for she cries out after us.” But He answered and said, “I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” Of course Jesus didn’t deny her for she came to him, but he did not go to her.
Luke 2:30-32 “For my eyes have seen Your salvation Which You have prepared before the face of all peoples, A light to bring revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of Your people Israel.” This light would be brought by the disciples he commissioned not Christ himself. For this reason Paul was chosen Acts 9:15 But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen vessel of Mine to bear My name before Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel.
If Jesus was married as they claim, he left his wife and children went traveling to America and then up to heaven? Why did Jesus give the great commission to the apostles in Matt. 28:19-20 and Mark 16:15, telling them to go out to all the world if He was going to this. Here is what the Bible says on this matter Acts 13:47-48 “For so the Lord has commanded us: 'I have set you as a light to the Gentiles, that you should be for salvation to the ends of the earth.’ “Now when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad and glorified the word of the Lord. And as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed.”
In 3 Nephi chapter 16 Jesus says “I have other sheep, which are not of this land, neither of the land of Jerusalem…” v.2 “For they of whom I speak who have not heard my voice; neither have I at any time manifested myself to them. “ Seems contradictory to me from what he previously said that he did.
Latter-day Saints claim that Jesus' visit to America fulfilled John 10:14-16. But, the context shows Jesus was talking to Jews (v. 19), so the “other sheep” were non-Jews or Gentiles, since the Jews recognized only those two kinds of people. The Jehovah Witnesses say it means the 144,000, the Mormons say it means those that were in Central America. The Bible context shows Jesus was talking to Jews (v. 19), so the “other sheep” were non-Jews or what we call Gentiles. The Jews recognized only those two kinds of people (clean and unclean). Jesus said He came to the lost sheep (the house of Israel). There are other sheep (non Jews that he would call into one fold and he would be the shepherd of both.)
The Bible refers to this in Eph. 2:14-16: “For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity.”
Notice the wall mentioned which separated the Jews and the gentiles was broken down. The concept is from the tabernacle where gentiles could only come into the outer court. Both are put in the one body (the fold) by the cross. Mormons do not believe the cross bought their redemption only by repenting of their beliefs and come the way Christ said, admitting they are sinners and that Christ paid it all on the cross and accept it by faith can they will be included as the other sheep like everyone else.
How did Christ’s personal visit to Central America through the Mormon Jesus work? According to the Book of Mormon, in less than 500 years they had buried and forgotten their scripture and all the “Christians” were destroyed! The fact is, not until European missionaries came to the Americas with a Bible, that the Native Americans learned about Christ! It was not through the book of Mormon. There is no evidence of this and if they insist on this then their own church became apostate from the 12 disciples Jesus appointed.
Two Sticks - a Matter of Interpretation
From Ezek. 37:15-17 where the Lord talks about combining the stick of Judah with the stick of Joseph the LDS church put the Bible and Book of Mormon together, saying they are two witnesses of the same message. They use 2 Cor. 13:1 and Duet. 19:15 to teach that everything must be established “in the mouth of two or three witnesses.”
“Until someone can explain where the record of Joseph is, the Book of Mormon stands unrefuted in its claim to be “the stick of Joseph.” (A MARVELOUS WORK AND A WONDER, pp. 65-69)
According to Mormonism the stick of Joseph is the Book of Mormon, the history of his other sheep who migrated to the Americas. This is a command to make, or write these two records, and at a later date, they will be combined into one record; the joining into one stick refers to bringing the Bible and the Book of Mormon together.
Where the Lord talks about combining the stick of Judah with the stick of Joseph. This, they say, is a clear prophecy that the Bible (“the stick of Judah”) is to be joined with the Book of Mormon (“the stick of Joseph”) to comprise the full revelation of God. They ignore, of course, the context itself in which God actually gives the interpretation (v. 21), which has nothing at all to do with the Book of Mormon.
They claim the Bible is one witness and the Book of Mormon is a second later witness for Christ. But these BIBLE scriptures are not referring to books but to witnesses who speak in front of others! Even though the Bible can't be trusted, it is supposed to be corrupted they believe these verses are acceptable and translated properly; of course it is to their advantage or they wouldn't be quoting from it.
The Bible is composed of 66 books written by over 40 different witnesses, over 1500 years so the gospel of Christ already has many more than two or three “witnesses. If the fullness of the gospel was proclaimed by Paul in the Bible (as stated in Rom. 15:19), there is no need for the Book of Mormon. But, the Mormons have doctrines not found in the Bible and they try to discredit it in order to show the Book of Mormon, is needed and absolutely necessary.
To do this the Mormon Church teaches that the sticks are scrolls. These two scrolls, they say, represent the Bible and the Book of Mormon. One stick, of Judah is the Bible, the other stick, of Ephraim represents the Book of Mormon and they are one in God's hand.
At the time of Ezekiel writing this, the Jews were split into two kingdoms, called Judah (the northern) and Israel (1 Kings 12:16-24), each with their own king. Ezekiel is prophesying the return of Israel to their land after the captivity (Chapters 34 to 48). The passage on the two sticks is right in the middle of that segment.The Lord also told Ezekiel precisely what to write on the two sticks, and it was not the “Bible” and the “Book of Mormon.” He was told to write the words “for Judah” on one stick and “for Joseph ' on the other. The Bible speaks of books and scrolls in many verses, such as: Is. 8:1; 34:4; Jer. 36:2; Ezek. 2:9; 3:1-3; Rev. 6:14. It also speaks of sticks in Num. 17:1-8; 15:32; 1 Kings 17:12. But God never use these words interchangeably.
Ezekiel 37:16-18 God speaks to his prophet “As for you, son of man, take a stick for yourself and write on it: 'For Judah and for the children of Israel, his companions.’ Then take another stick and write on it, 'For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim, and for all the house of Israel, his companions.’ “Then join them one to another for yourself into one stick, and they will become one in your hand. “And when the children of your people speak to you, saying, ‘Will you not show us what you mean by these?’
The question is answered in the next few verses, when the Lord declared the two Kingdoms of Israel would be brought together as one nation with one King again. In fact, the entire chapter is a prophecy of the restoration of Israel to her own land after her captivity. If we look more carefully it was Ezekiel who wrote on both sticks. Did Ezekiel write both the Bible and the Book of Mormon? If not, the Mormon interpretation is wrong. Surprised? God never used the word for stick to mean anything but a piece of wood.
The Hebrew word used here for stick is `ets, meaning wood, tree or stick, pieces of wood, the gallows, firewood, cedar-wood, woody flax. In the Old Testament, this Hebrew word or similar derivatives are used 300 times. It is translated “stick” only 14 times in the entire Old Testament, 8 times it occurs in Ezekiel’s passage. It is the only word that is translated stick in the Bible, but it is also translated “planks.” 100 times it means “wood” or “timber” It is translated “planks” in Ezek.41:25 and as “timber” in Ezek.26:12. It is mostly translated “tree” 163 times as it is in Ezek.36:30. But it is never translated as “scroll.” The Hebrew words for scroll, roll, book, or writing, include Sepher, Dabar, Sephar, and Siphrah, megillah. Their interpretation is based solely on the English, and has no support from the Hebrew scripture. God never interchanged these words. Nowhere in the Bible is a stick used to symbolize a scroll. Ezekiel surely knew the difference between a scroll and a stick! “A roll of the book,” (megillah a roll) in Chapter 2:9, is the common Biblical phrase for a scroll.
God, Himself interprets the prophecy for us. “And the sticks on which you write will be in your hand before their eyes. “Then say to them, 'Thus says the Lord GOD: “Surely I will take the children of Israel from among the nations, wherever they have gone, and will gather them from every side and bring them into their own land; “and I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king over them all; they shall no longer be two nations, nor shall they ever be divided into two kingdoms again” (Ezekiel 37: 20-22)
The Lord told Ezekiel to write on both sticks. Since Ezekiel did not write the Book of Mormon, nor did he write the whole Bible this cannot mean what Mormons want it to mean; one is the Bible the other their book of Mormon. The Mormons ignore the fact that God Himself gave the meaning and they are trying to use it by changing it. It’s all a matter of interpretation and we don’t seem to know anything, they seem to know it all. After all they have the 12 apostles.
Besides all this, if a Stick is a Scroll as the Mormons claim, and the Book of Mormon was supposedly written on gold plates not on scrolls, they have a problem. If a stick is a scroll, then the Book of Mormon is not the other stick.
Ezekiel clearly defined the meaning of the prophecy and we have the historical evidence for its fulfillment. God said that both sticks are there, at that time, in Ezekiel's hands. The Book of Mormon after the time of Christ. So, the stick could not be the Book of Mormon. For one to hold the interpretation to be the book of Mormon it would have to be a nation, to do this one would have to change some more words. There is no external evidence from the Bible of a future set of scriptures such as the Mormons claim. The LDS effort to fit the Book of Mormon into biblical context has no point of reference. Neither do we find inside the Book of Mormon calling itself the stick of Joseph
Rabbi Leffler who has co-written a book with a Mormon called Jews and Mormons 2 houses of Israel. Leffler came to some interesting conclusions. I attended his lecture at the Jewish Temple in Hawaii on Mar.23, 2002, in it he said that he discovered certain words they both used were used differently for example the word true. That the Mormon did not use this word in a non focused fashion.
The frames of reference of how the 2 religions operate were very different that the scholarship was a threat to their faith. Of course the biggest difference would be to hold there is only on eternal living God. Of course the Mormons who attended protested his conclusions, after all it’s a matter of INTERPRETATION.
This all adds up to another gospel as everything is changed from the Bible. Well there is a simple solution to all this convoluted thinking, believe The Bibles testimony. Oh, but that’s a matter of Interpretation. Is it?