FAQ: "Why do you attack the Mormons?"

"Why do you hate the Mormons?"
"Why do you attack the Mormons?"
"Don't you have anything better to do with your time than to attack someone else's faith and beliefs?"

I do not hate Mormons. Many of my family and friends are Mormons, and most of them are kind, loving, devout people. One cannot hate them, because they are not hateful. I do not hate the Mormons, nor am I attacking them. They are victims, not the perpetrators.

As many Christians say that they "love the sinner, hate the sin," so I "love the Mormons, hate the Mormonism."

And I believe that such a limited hate is justified: I hate a lie, and I hate liars. And Mormonism is a lie, and many of its founders and many of its present leaders are liars. And it is by means of these lies that Mormonism attracts and keeps innocent people ensnared in its system. (For a few of the many examples of Mormon leaders' lies, see Mormon Lying.)

The Mormon missionary message is a sanitized, incomplete and therefore inaccurate picture of its doctrines and its history. If Mormon missionaries and Mormon leaders would be completely honest about informing the public and prospective converts about the less attractive aspects of church history and church doctrine, then websites such as mine would be unnecessary. But they do not make "full disclosure" (as a seller of a house is required by law to do, in most states) because that would turn many people away. I find such conduct dishonest, and the moral equivalent of a lie.

I am "attacking" Mormonism only in the sense that I am presenting facts that indicate that its claims are false. I am presenting the "other side of the question." Is that immoral? It would be immoral only if I knew that what I was saying was false. But what I present on my website is not false. Everything I say there is backed up by what I (and many others) believe to be accurate and true. I continually invite Mormons or others to show me if any of my facts or conclusions are false or illogical. (See my "friendly challenge".)

In fact, I am doing nothing basically different from what Mormon missionaries are doing (and have done since the founding of the church). The church has now over sixty thousand full-time missionaries working around the world. They go from door to door, like salesmen, trying to engage people in conversations about religion. Their message is fundamentally this: "Your present religion is false. We have the true religion. You must be baptized by a Mormon elder in order to be saved, because any other baptism is ineffective. If you join our church you will go to the Celestial Kingdom. If you do not, you are rejecting God's message, which we are bringing to you." My message to the Mormons, and to those who are investigating Mormonism, is: "Mormonism is false." My message, however, is not accompanied by implied threats of eternal punishment or divine rejection for failure to heed it.

Joseph Smith was the first Mormon, and he was the first to attack other religions. In his autobiography (now a part of Mormon scripture, in the Pearl of Great Price, and included in the pamphlet "The Testimony of Joseph Smith" as distributed by the church to all investigators) he says:

"I asked the Personages [God the Father and God the Son] who stood above me in the light, which of all the sects was right (for at this time it had never entered into my heart that all were wrong)--and which I should join. I was answered that I must join none of them, for they were all wrong; and the Personage who addressed me said that all their creeds were an abomination in his sight; that those professors were all corrupt;..." (Joseph Smith - History 1:18-19, "The Testimony of the Prophet Joseph Smith", p. 3 emphasis added)
In the Book of Mormon we find the assertion that anyone who does not belong to the "true" church (i.e., the Mormon church) belongs to the "church of the devil":
"And he [God] said unto me: Behold there are save two churches only; the one is the church of the Lamb of God, and the other is the church of the devil; wherefore, whoso belongeth not to the church of the Lamb of God belongeth to that great church, which is the mother of abominations; and she is the whore of all the earth." (1 Nephi 14:10, emphasis added; see also 13:6, 14:3, 9; Alma 5:39)
Brigham Young said the following about other churches:
"...the religions of the day were hatched in hell. The eggs were laid in hell, hatched on its borders, and then kicked on to the earth. They may be called cockatrices, for they sting wherever they go. " (Journal of Discourses 6:176, January 17, 1858)

"Whosoever confesseth that Joseph Smith was sent of God to reveal the holy Gospel to the children of men, and lay the foundation for gathering Israel, and building up the kingdom of God on the earth, that spirit is of God; and every spirit that does not confess that God has sent Joseph Smith, and revealed the everlasting Gospel to and through him, is of Antichrist" (Journal of Discourses 8:176, September 9, 1860)

Until 1990, the Mormon temple ceremony (the "endowment"), one of the most sacred religious rites in Mormonism, included a dramatization in which a Protestant minister was portrayed as a servant of Lucifer (Satan) and mocked certain orthodox Christian beliefs as being absurd.

Now, I do not think that any fair person can say that I have said such terrible things about the Mormon church as the Mormon scriptures and prophets have said about other churches. Compared to these official Mormon statements, my comments about Mormonism must look fairly mild.

I consider my efforts to tell the truth about Mormonism to be worth the time and effort, just as I am sure Mormon missionaries consider their efforts justified. I have been thanked many times by people who have seen my materials on Mormonism. They tell me that I have helped them, that I have enriched their lives, that I have contributed to their happiness - in short: I have had a positive effect on many people. I say this not to boast, but to put the lie to anyone who accuses me of "tearing down" or "destroying" or "doing evil" or wasting my time.

In fact, Mormon leaders and Mormon scripture invite such examination and criticism. The Doctrine and Covenants sees such criticism as an opportunity to "shame" the critics of the church:

"Wherefore, confound your enemies; call upon them to meet you both in public and in private; and inasmuch as ye are faithful their shame shall be made manifest. Wherefore, let them bring forth their strong reasons against the Lord. Verily, thus saith the Lord unto you--there is no weapon that is formed against you shall prosper; And if any man lift his voice against you he shall be confounded in mine own due time." (D&C 71:7-10).

A recent president of the church said:

"If Joseph [Smith] was a deceiver, who willfully attempted to mislead people, then he should be exposed, his claims should be refuted, and his doctrines shown to be false." (Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, vol. 1 pp 188-189)

An early apostle of the church and one of its leading theologians said:

"The Book of Mormon must be either true or false. If true, it is one of the most important messages ever sent from God. If false, it is one of the most cunning, wicked, bold, deep-laid impositions ever palmed upon the world, calculated to deceive and ruin millions. The nature of the Book of Mormon is such, that if true, no one can possibly be saved and reject it; If false, no one can possibly be saved and receive it. If, after a rigid examination, it be found imposition, it should be extensively published to the world as such; the evidences and arguments on which the imposture was detected, should be clearly and logically stated, that those who have been sincerely yet unfortunately deceived, may perceive the nature of deception, and to be reclaimed, and that those who continue to publish the delusion may be exposed and silenced by strong and powerful arguments by evidences adduced from scripture and reason." (Orson Pratt's Works, Divine Authenticity of the Book of Mormon, Liverpool, 1851, pp. 1,2)

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©  2000 Richard Packham    Permission granted to reproduce for non-commercial purposes, provided text is not changed and this copyright notice is included

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paranoia, n.    delusions of persecution     - American Heritage Dictionary