Answering Mormon Bible Challenges
The following scripture verses are the main ones that I have been challenged with by Mormons. The list is nowhere near all-inclusive as Mormons have many other verses that they will throw at you to prove their theology. In some cases, I have not only answered the Mormon challenge but have attempted to turn the challenge around into a witnessing opportunity for you to use on them. Again, the list is somewhat short, so if you do not see the verse you are looking for, please contact us and we will work on providing an answer for you.
Mormon missionaries like to use this verse when introducing you to the Book of Mormon. They will encourage you to pray to God for wisdom to know if the Book of Mormon is true. I like to answer this a few different ways.
1. Ask, “Can you show me where the Bible says to pray about it to see if it is true? Suppose I were to pray to God for wisdom to determine if the Bible is true and he said no? What if I prayed to God for wisdom to know whether the Muslim Quran is true and he said yes; how would I know for sure what to believe?” You may then want to state that the Bible never prompts its readers to pray to determine whether or not it is the Word of God. Rather, it says that we must “believe not every spirit, but try [test] the spirits whether they are of God” (1 John 4:1). You may also remind them that the Bereans were commended, in Acts 17:11, because they did not immediately believe everything the Apostle Paul said, but they tested Paul’s message by examining it in light of the available scriptures.
2. I also quote Proverbs 14:12 to them which states: “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” I then tell them that by failing to practice the Biblical test to determine truth opens us up to believing in deceptive, changing feelings of man. In addition, we may also open ourselves up to the influence of deceiving spirits since Satan and his angels are well known to transform themselves into angels of light (2 Corinthians 11:14-15). Therefore, what we believe to be truth from God may really be a satanic trick to fool you into believing a lie.
3. You may also want to explain to the Mormon the difference between wisdom and knowledge. Knowledge is based on known facts. Wisdom is based on the application of those facts. I often ask a Mormon missionary, “Do you think I should pray to see whether 1+1=2”? Obviously the answer is no because that is an established fact. The Book of Mormon can be treated in the same way. Since, by testing it in the light of Scripture, we already have knowledge that it contains information that contradicts the established facts of the Bible, hence, we need not pray about its authenticity as coming from God.
Mormons will often use this verse to prove that a prophet is needed on earth today and that without a living prophet, God cannot communicate to man.
1. It is true that in the Old Testament days of Israel, God communicated to the Jews through prophets. However, since we are now living in the days of the New Testament and have God’s complete revelation (the Bible) available to us we no longer need a living prophet. Since the coming of Jesus Christ, revelations of God spoken through prophets began to cease and are no longer necessary. Hebrews 1:1-2 backs this up by stating: “God, who at sundry times and divers manners spake in times past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken to us by his Son…” You may want to ask a Mormon to read Hebrews 1:1-2 and ask him: “Do you see that believers in the New Testament age are no longer required to seek revelation from living prophets, but have been given all we need to know in the person of Jesus Christ and His final revelation in the pages of the Bible?”
2. Secondly, for fun, let’s just give the Mormons the benefit of being correct in stating that mankind does need a living prophet who communicates God’s oracles to us. Since the test to determine if a prophet is from God is 100% accuracy in the outcome of his prophecies (Deuteronomy 18:20-22), let’s see if Mormon prophets pass the test. Ask your Mormon friends if they know that:
- Joseph Smith prophesied that the United States government would be overthrown in the 1800's. (History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1973, 5:394)
- Joseph Smith prophesied that the New Jerusalem would be built in Missouri within his generation. (Doctrine and Covenants 84:1-5)
- Brigham Young prophesied that the Civil War would fail to end black slavery. (Journal of Discourses, 1854-56, 10:250)
- Brigham Young said that the moon and the sun were inhabited. (Journal of Discourses, 13:271)
Mormons are fixated on becoming perfect. They will tell you that Christ would not give us a commandment that we are unable to attain to. Although they may not say it, all of their works and church activities are done to help them to achieve perfection and subsequent exaltation to Godhood. Although Christians should strive to be all we can be in Christ, the context of this statement by Jesus is important. It was made by Christ during the Sermon on the Mount. The Sermon on the Mount was given to show men how their outward acts of religion and self-righteousness were not enough to earn them a place in God’s Kingdom. Jesus was setting up a standard of righteousness that no man can possibly attain to. The idea was to show men the impossible standard of outwardly attaining to God’s perfect law and lead them, by faith, to Himself as the only way one can become righteous enough to enter heaven.
This verse can be flipped on the Mormon and is one of the best verses you can use to witness to them about Jesus. Ask them, “Are you perfect, right now”? Of course they will say no. Tell them that Matthew 5:48 says to be perfect, not become perfect. The verse is in the present tense. We are not commanded to get it right in the future but to be perfect, right now! Just like your boss telling you to “be on time” doesn’t mean to be on time a month from now, but immediately. Once you get the Mormon to understand this (it may take a while), tell him that you are perfect, right now! Let it sink in. After they look at you with blasphemous eyes, have them read Hebrews 10:14: “For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified”. Notice the past tense. Jesus has already made those perfect who come to Him by faith, trusting in His finished work of redemption. I have had very good success with this verse. Some Mormons were even stunned by it. It is at this time that you must give them the gospel. They need to know that Jesus did it all for them on Calvary and that eternal life is not earned. Follow it up with Ephesians 2:8-9.
Mormons will use this verse as a proof text for their doctrine of the pre-existence. That is, that man existed as a spirit child in heaven before coming to earth in a physical body. However, this is not what is meant here. Mormons are reading into the text something that is not there. It has nothing to do with pre-existence, but pre-ordination. God was simply telling Jeremiah that before he was even born, God had called him and determined that he would be a prophet. A similar verse in the New Testament would be Galatians 1:15 where Paul said that God “separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by his grace…”. The issue here is God’s foreknowledge enabling Him to “calleth those things which be not as though they were” (Romans 4:17).
Since the Mormon doctrine of the pre-existence states that a man is first formed spiritually before physically, a good verse to use to refute it is 1 Corinthians 15:46: “Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual”.
1 Timothy 4:1-2 – “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron.”
Mormons will use this verse to prove that there was a complete falling away of the true church on earth and a need to have it restored by Joseph Smith. Again, Mormons are reading words into the text instead of reading the text as is. The verse says that “some” shall depart from the faith, not everyone. There is no mention of a complete apostasy here. Nor is there in any other verses that they use such as Acts 20:30 and 2 Thessalonians 2:3. It is important to the foundation of Mormonism that they can demonstrate a total apostasy of the church. The LDS teaching is that there had to be a complete falling away to necessitate the establishment of the Mormon Church. Even if this teaching could be proven to be true from the Bible, there still would remain a great contradiction within the pages of Mormon scripture. The first being that The Book of Mormon claims that there are three faithful Nephite disciples who never died (3 Nephi 28:1-8). And, secondly, according to Doctrine and Covenants 7:1-8, the Apostle John never died either. The presence of these faithful Christians on earth would mean that true Christianity must have still existed.
However, the Bible is clear that the Christian church will remain on the earth. Although we will see a great apostasy during the end times, Jesus said that the gates of hell will not prevail against His church (Matthew 16:18). Added to that, Ephesians 3:21 says, “Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.” Ask your Mormon friend, "if your leaders are correct about the complete falling away of the true church on earth, how could Jesus be glorified through His bride throughout all ages, world without end?"
Mormons will use this verse to prove that there are a plurality of Gods in the universe. It is amazing to see how a religious group can pull one verse right out of the text to establish a doctrine and blatantly ignore the immediate context. If they were to read verse 4 they would see that it clearly states “that there is none other God but one”. How can we reconcile this seeming contradiction? Easy. Paul was writing to the Gentile believers regarding food sacrificed to idols. The idea is that although idols are called gods by their Pagan worshippers, they are not true Gods, but false ones. There is only one true God.
Here are a few scriptural beauties that you want to have in your arsenal when dealing with a Mormon on the subject of Polytheism:
-Isaiah 43:10 – “Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.”
-Isaiah 44:6 – “Thus saith the Lord the King of Israel, and his redeemer the Lord of Hosts; I am the first and I am the last; and beside me there is no God.”
-Isaiah 44:8 – “….Is there a God beside me? yea, there is no God; I know not any.”
I like to ask a Mormon, “What if God told you that you can’t become a God; would you believe him?” Have him then read Isaiah 43:10. Also, “if God had a father who was a God, would he know him?” When he says yes, let him read Isaiah 44:8.
Ezekiel 37:16-17 – “Moreover, thou son of man, take thee one stick, and write upon it, For Judah, and for the children of Israel his companions: then take another stick, and write upon it, For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim, and for all the house of Israel his companions: And join the one to another into one stick; and they shall become one in thine hand.”
This verse is often sited to prove that there is Biblical evidence for the Book of Mormon. They will say that the stick of Judah is the Bible, and the stick of Joseph is the Book of Mormon. However, the two sticks mentioned here have nothing to do with the Bible or the Book of Mormon. The two sticks are clearly explained in verses 21 and 22 as representing two nations. These are the Southern Kingdom of Israel, which is named Judah since this tribe occupied the bulk of the southern land, and the Northern Kingdom, which is named Joseph here to represent the two tribes who occupied the majority of the northern land, Ephraim and Manasseh, the sons of Joseph.