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Mormonism is the title of the eighth episode from season three of Way of the Master.

Episode Synopsis

The episode begins with a new intro, with outlines of Kirk and Ray asking several questions that reflect the are you a good person? tactic.

Episode Walkthrough

History of Mormonism

(0:19 - 2:38)

  • Kirk begins with "A teenage boy named Joseph Smith Jr said he had a vision while he was praying in the woods. According to the official account, he said that he visited in the 1820s by God the Father and Jesus Christ who told him the Christianity had been corrupt, that all the churches were wrong, their creeds were an abomination and he should not join any of them."

Sounds like good advice and everyone should listen. Do not join the church. However, it did not just say the creeds of Christianity were an abomination, but ALL religions. For that matter, do not join any religion.

  • Ray "Three years later, Joseph was visited by an angel named Moroni, who told him where to find some buried golden tablets that would explain the true gospel and tell him the history of the Native Americans. These plates were supposedly written in a form of Egyptian, so he had to translate them to English. And the result came to be known as the Book of Mormon, another testament of Jesus Christ."

Joseph Smith Jr. began his career as a charlatan (like televangelists) and a treasure hunter (a failed one). He practiced dowsing to finding Indian treasure, Spanish gold, and silver mines rumored to be in the area. He was also used a crystal ball and was considered a seer, others called him "a disorderly person and an impostor." The Smiths were unsuccessful in their diggings for treasure, until Joseph found the gold tablets that later became the Book of Mormon. It seems after being unsuccessful and humiliated, Joseph made up the claim he found gold, but his real treasure would come from starting his own religion for profit -similar to what Ron L. Hubbard did.

  • Kirk "Mormonism began in Palmyra, New York in the 1820s. Joseph Smith said that God choose him to restore the true church in North America and officially launched the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. His followers are known as Mormons and they have taught some very interesting things, such as if it were not for Joseph Smith nobody would be saved." The episode then provides a quote,

"If it weren't for Joseph Smith and the restoration, there would be no salvation. There is no salvation outside the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints."

  • Kirk continues with "Mormons get their beliefs from five main sources. The book of Mormon (which Joseph Smith said was the most correct book on earth), The Doctrine of Covenants (a book mostly about theology), the Pearl of Great Price, the King James Bible (in so far as it is translated correctly -which means to the average Mormon the Bible cannot be trusted entirely), and finally the ultimate authority in the Mormon church comes from the living Mormon Apostles and Prophets, especially the President (who is considered to be the voice of God on earth. Kind of like a Mormon Pope. The president can over turn any teaching of a previous president, which is not uncommon). Lets now look at what they teach about God."

This program only shares it's tenets that seem to contradict other popular forms of Christianity. Neither Kirk or Ray discuss some of the other "interesting" things Mormons believe; such as magic underwear, baptizing dead people, caffeine is evil, the Native Americans are a lost tribe of Israel (making the Native Americans Jewish), the garden of Eden was in Missouri (also the new Jerusalem will be there), dark skin is a curse from god and only through righteousness can his skin turn white (take this time to get all the jokes about Michael Jackson out of the way), God lives on a planet called Kolob, Jesus was conceived by God and Mary who had ACTUAL sex, and after Jesus died and Resurrected he came to North America to preach to the American Indians. Perhaps the greatest part of Mormonism is the idea that Christianity is somehow American. As Mormon President Birmingham Young once said "this isn't an easy religion." But honestly ask yourself, is this any more crazy and unbelievable than beliefs in talking snakes, a flat young earth, a man walking on water, speaking in tongues, exorcisms, Eucharist, and a creator of the entire universe would take interest and offense in a bunch of insignificant bits of carbon organisms living on a rock in some dark corner of the universe so much that he would be willing to sacrifice himself unto himself to please himself for the crime he created and the price he demanded.

Interview with James White

(2:39 - 5:58)

James White is a Christan creationist and director of alpha and omega ministries. James explains that Joseph Smith said in his last teaching course that the then Christians believed God to be eternal, but Joseph and Mormons are to accept that he is not. James says "when he [Joseph Smith] refuted the idea that God had eternally been God, he forever separated his followers from biblical Christianity. Until Mormonism can repudiate that belief, there is no way Mormonism can even begin to consider biblical Christianity." He says Mormons believe Jesus was a god (specifically Jehovah), which is a different God then Elohim. James says that biblical Christianity teaches God is eternal and not created. Mormonism limits Jesus to this planet, whereas his creator takes care of another, and so on. Mormons believe that Elohim organized (James emphasies organize, because the Mormon God did not create it "ex nihilio") another planet according to the gospel, was deemed worthy, resurrected and had many wives and begats spirit children. The first of his spirit children was Jehovah (Jesus) and each one of us on earth is the spirit brother of Jesus. Another offspring of Elohim was Lucifer, meaning Jesus, Lucifer, and all human beings are brothers. Ray and Kirk interview several Mormons and ask "Was Jesus and Lucifer brothers?" They say yes, as you are their brother as well. We are all children of our Heavenly Father. The program then provides a quote from Joseph Smith,

In the primordial spirit life, Jesus, Lucifer, and all of us were the spirit children of God and his wives."

What is biblical Christianity? There are over 30,000 different denominations with various views of God, Jesus and the Bible. Was God three people in one? Maybe more? If God is eternal with no creator, then thy can't we save a step and say the universe does not require a creator (which the actual empirical evidence confirms). James White hints that he does believe God created the world from nothing (ex nihilio), Ray and Kirk hold the same position, but it is impossible.

Lesson

(5:59 - 6:56)

  • Kirk says "The Bible clearly warns against preaching another Jesus, and Satan himself can appear to us as an angel of Light. Remember when Joseph Smith said that it was an angel clothed in Light who gave him another Testament. According to the Bible it is crucial that we have the true Jesus and the true gospel." They quote Galatians 1:5-9.

If Kirk and Ray can paint Moroni as an devil in disguise, the same can be used to paint the angel that visited Mary, Paul, Moses, Abraham, Peter, and such. Perhaps the devil fooled Mary, impregnated her with a false prophet who would later deceive the world with lies as he deceived Eve. As Christianity has indeed divided man and raised more violence than racism and tribalism, perhaps it would be a gift from the devil.

The Mormon Afterlife

(6:57 - 9:19)

Kirk asks what does the Mormon church teach about Heaven and Hell? A lady, Sandra Tanner, tells that Mormonism is a universal salvation, that practically everyone goes to Heaven. Only a few people go to Hell. There are different degrees of Heaven and different degrees of Hell. Kirk sums it up as follows "In a nutshell, the Mormons believe that almost everyone goes to some form of Heaven. There are three levels of Heaven, which Mormons believe they will go to the top where they can become their own god, have wives and produce lots of spirit babies. The bottom level is for non-Mormons, such as Hitler, murderers, child molesters, rapists, liars and thieves. Ray asks is it true that Hitler gets to go to some form of Heaven? If so, then who goes to Hell? Kirk answers Mormons call Hell "outer darkness" that is preserved for the devil and his angels and a few apostate Mormons. Kirk says that Hitler may apply for the low level of Heaven, which Joseph Smith said was such a wonderful place a person may be tempted to commit suicide to get there.

If all one has to do is convert and repent in Jesus Christ, then Hitler too can go to Heaven. Many forms of Christianity paints Heaven as a wonderful place, some sects do order their followers to follow them and commit suicide.

Next they provide a quote,

"For we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do."

  • Ray says "when it comes to salvation, there is a big difference of what the Bible says and what the Book of Mormon says." Kirk points out Second Nephi 25:23. Ray asks Kirk to repeat it. Ray says that is not what the Bible says, it says in Ephesians 2:8-9 that by grace through faith and not of your selves. Salvation is through faith, not by works. Titus says that not by works of righteousness, but according to God's mercy.

If we are saved by grace, then that means that all we have to do to be saved is to convert and repent, no matter what kind of evil we have committed. Murderers, rapists, child molesters can be saved if they repent. Does the Bible say that salvation is by grace alone and not by works? Psalm 62:12 says "For you render to each one according to his works."

Jeremiah 17:10 says "I the Lord ... give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings."

Matthew 5:20 says "Except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven." Btw, the Pharisees followed over 613 laws.

Matthew 16:27 spells it out nicely "For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works."

Philippians 2:12 says "Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling."

James 2:14 asks "What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him?" Later on in James 2:17 it says "Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead." Near the end, James 2:21-25 "Was not Abraham our father justified by works? You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only. Likewise, was not Rabab the harlot also justified by works? For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also."

1 Peter 1:17 says "The Father, who without partiality judges according to each one's work."

Revelation 2:23 says "I will give unto every one of you according to your works."

It seems both Ray and Kirk either do not know their Bible, or purposely cherry-picked one side of the discrepancies to make the Mormons appear foolish in this program to give their side more credibility. Other branches of Christianity believe that both works and faith is required, some believe God has already predetermined where you end up in the afterlife.


James White opinion

(9:20 - 10:17)

James explains salvation comes through grace of God, not be our works and Mormonism got it completely wrong.

Seems that James White is just as knowledgeable of the Bible as these two ignorant clowns. It seems so because White denies evolution and is just as scientifically illiterate as both Ray and Kirk.

Interview with a Mormon

(10:18 - 11:33)

The Mormon asks how can you be saved by grace and not your works? He says that salvation must come through service, sacrifice, praise, and such. Ray quotes Ephesians 2:8-9, but the Mormon points out there must be two means since it was said twice. The Mormon uses an analogy of being awarded a gift on your birthday, but the Heavenly Father is not going to give us a gift for disservice and you do not ever get something for nothing. Ray says you have a choice, either the teachings of the gospel or that of Mormonism and Ray pleads him to consider his view of Christianity.

Without nothing intellectual to counter the Mormon with, Ray responds with a simple form of Pascal's Wager. Too bad we could not see the full interview, because it seems that Ray was having difficulty with this young person.

(11:34 - 12:30)

  • Ray "The Bible could not be any clearer. We are saved by God's grace through faith and not by works. Salvation is a gift from God and we cannot do anything to "

Not according to all the Bible verses listed above. No wonder that Christians leave Christianity, because "genuine" (as they call themselves) cannot agree on simple matters such as this. There are over 30,000 denominations of Christianity who each think they know how to interpret the Bible correctly while the others dont. The Amish think you must live a certain way, the Christian Scientists believe you should not use medicine, Jehovah's Witnesses deny blood transfusions, and such.

  • Kirk "Listen to what this quote from a Mormon Prophet and President, Spencer Kimwolt. "One of the most fallacious doctrines originated by Satan and impounded by man is that man is saved alone by the grace of God and that belief in Jesus Christ alone is all that is needed for salvation." Ray asks "How can he get away with that? Don't Mormons read their Bible, that is a direct opposition of what the Scriptures say. The Bible says we are saved by grace and NOT by works." Kirk agrees, however some Mormons do not read their Bibles, but the ones who do have been taught to filter what they read through the rest of the Mormon books, so by the time the words get to their brains the meanings are changed."

Direct opposition of the what the Scriptures say? Again, read the verses provided above. The Bible seems to be clear that works are required, and Ray should know this since he always asks people "have you kept the Commandments?" If all you need is repentance why bother working hard to keep the Commandments? If Ray continues to claim the Bible says salvation comes through grace alone, then he is further admitting the Bible is self-contradictory.

Interview with Dennis Higley

(12:31 - 13:01)

Dennis Higley explains the Christians and Mormons believe salvation is through grace, but the Mormon do not know the true meaning what it means to be a born-again believer.

(13:02 - 15:19)

The scene switches back to Kirk Cameron, who discusses that it is often frustrated to have a conversation with a Mormon who uses the same words you do, but they have an entirely different set of meanings, making the conversation difficult to finish. So Kirk tells the audience to use this tactic: if the Mormons are right I go to a level of Heaven, but if the Mormon is wrong he goes to Hell. Ray points out to be careful and know what you are talking about, otherwise you risk being sucked into Mormonism yourself. Kirk asks what can the average Christian do to reach the Mormons? Kirk uses what the Apostle Paul said "The gospel is the power of God to salvation to everyone who believes." Ray points out it is also useful to know the flaws in the teachings of the LDS church, which is why Ray says they made this program so you do not have to become familiar with Mormonism, read the Book of Mormon or live among them in Utah for several years. Ray says the Mormons are no different than the Jehovah's Witnesses, the Roman Catholics, the Jews, and such. It is just "a sinful man trying to wash himself clean with a different brush." Kirk points out that many Mormons may seem confident, but internally they are struggling because they do not know if they are perfect or worthy of God's salvation.

Kirk uses a simple form of Pascal's Wager but it is based on a false dichotomy. It is not just between Mormons and Born-agains, but also over 30,000 different denominations of Christianity. So the odds Kirk and Ray are right is about 1/30,000 but that is not including all other modern religions (and their dozens to hundreds of denominations within themselves) and every religion/belief/faith known to man throughout all of history AND any of the infinite number of god(s) that could theoretically exist. What is one divide by infinity? Nearly absolute zero.

It seems the reason why Ray and Kirk made this program was not to show the flaws of Mormonism, but to paint them as non-Christian. Ray uses the same sort of thinking that he does not have to become an "expert" to understand evolution, and knowing how very little and willfully ignorant Ray is on evolution may hint how ignorant he is of Mormonism or the nature of reality.

Interview with an Ex-Mormon

(15:20 - 16:39)

Ray interviews an ex-Mormon to find you why she left the Mormon church to "become a Christian." The lady that said she left because she sought Jesus and slowly fell away from Mormonism because they made her "work" and she had certain "jobs" to get into Heaven. She wondered when was "enough?" Ray asks is there no hope for the Mormon? She answers no, it is like an endless pit to reach perfection to be rewarded with Heaven. She says most of the Mormon women are over burdened and struggling. Ray asks her how can they reach the Mormons, she answers with love and the truth.

If seems this lady is rather lazy. Life is complicated and not meant to be easy. Trying to be the best person you can be takes work, but instead she chose the path of doing whatever and little as possible and still getting the full prize.

(16:40 - 17:46)

Ray tells the audience to let the Mormons know they are far from being perfect or worthy and therefore headed for Hell. Ray says their leap to get into Heaven is 100 times wider than the widest gap in the Grand Canyon. Ray says this is good, because it strips the Mormon of their false hope and opens the door to the gospel. Kirk says if you have difficulty debating the Mormon doctrine, you can set it aside and speak "directly to the conscience." Kirk says the Mormons must realize they are morally bankrupt and unable to please God with his own moral achievements, and then they will stop believing in themselves to be good enough and then fully trust Jesus Christ alone. Ray then tells the audience to start with the are you a good person? routine.

Given the comment earlier that Ray's odds of entering Heaven is nearly absolute zero, his leap of faith alone seems immeasurable.

Street Interview with Mormons

(17:52 - 23:07)

Ray asks a couple of Mormons several questions. First he wanted to know what is the benefits of becoming a Mormon than just being a Christian? He wanted to know what is the difference of being Christian and Mormon. The man says Mormon IS Christian, just a different pattern of beliefs. Ray says the belief that Lucifer is Jesus' brother is NOT Christian, but the Mormon says "well aren't we all brothers and sisters?" Ray says "Not with Lucifer." The Mormon ask "Did God create him?" Ray says "Yes. When you die where will you?" The Mormon says if depends it you have repented and such, but does not know. He is open to the possibility of ending up in Heave or "outer darkness." They both say believing in Christ is their belief they will not go to "outer darkness" but they do not fit the criteria of going to "outer darkness" (which is a place for people who know Christ by deny him). Ray uses a verse from Revelation 21:8 that all liars have a place in the lake of fire. Their first response is that is fire synonymous with "outer darkness?" Next Ray uses the are you a good person? tactic. Ray says that Jesus died for our sins "once and for all and the moment you trust in him you are completely justified and made right with God, you are made perfect by God's grace. That has nothing to do with living a good life, pleasing God because you can't because you a lying, thieving, adulterer at heart. The only thing you can do is repent and trust in him. The minute you do, in a heartbeat God justifies you. Cleanses you of your sin and you are born again. God gives you a new heart with a new set of desires and you know you are going to escape death and damnation."

Listen carefully to Ray's last comment. He just admitted that any person can be saved and clean of sin the second that you repent, making Christianity a "Get out of Jail Free Card." Hitler, murderers, rapists, or anyone can be just as wicked as they want their whole life to their last minute. In that last minute, all they have to do is become 'born-again" and God forgives them.

(12:08 - 12:28)

Ray tells the person to pray for the Mormon, but remember that a Mormon who leaves the church is not just leaving the church but their friends, family, job, and way of lief. But Ray says Jesus said what good is it to keep everything dear to you if you lose your eternal salvation?

This is the same for most Christians. Some lose their friends, family, jobs, and such no matter which denomination they previously belonged to. But they are by no means alone, and they need not religion nor faith in irrational concepts as God to live a happy fulfilling life.

(12:29 - 15:50)

Scene switches back to Dennis Higley, who gives his story of his life in Mormonism. He married his Mormon wife in the church, but back then the only way to leave the church was to be excommunicated. Once they did, negative rumors started to spread. The President announced to all Mormons to boycott Higey's business, and Mormons being 85% of the population basically threw Higley out of business.

Leaving a faith is difficult, and most religions make apostasy seem impossible. In some Muslim countries, the punishment for apostasy is death.

(15:51 - 15:58)

Ray tells the audience to keep planting the "seeds of truth" into the Mormons.

What they will continue to do is plant seeds of deception from one lie to another lie.

(15:59 - 17:23)

An interview is given by an old ex-Mormon about the importance of trying to reach out to Mormons. She says that Christians did not try to reach her because they thought she was happy as a Mormon. She says that was wrong, and she wonders why Christians did not reach out to her sooner.

(17:24 - 17:51)

Ray asks Mormons to look up their website, while Kirk asks Christians to do the same.

Do yourselves a favor, do not listen to these shameless liars. Think about your beliefs critically and realize that religion is man-made, most of man's important questions has been answered by science, and realize that skepticism is okay and virtuous.

IronChariot Comments on this Program

For more information on Mormonism, see Main article: Mormon

This program was poorly made with feeble and flawed arguments, but the failures of Kirk and Ray does not give any credibility to Mormonism. There still exists many flaws in Mormonism, and just like every other religion it is wrong. It flawed scientifically, historically, and philosophically. For instance, we are not the products of spirit babies. Yes we are all related, due to evolution and biology not spirit offspring.

This WOTM program was mainly for a Christian audience on how to reach out to and convert Mormons, but it does not reveal much about Mormonism. It does not share the evils of Mormonism (such as the Mountain Meadows Massacre) nor does it reveal much about Joseph Smith (such as frequently using pseudoscience or being considered a "disorderly person and an impostor").

What about fundamentalists like Ron and Dan Lafferty? Dan and five brothers, one of them was Ron. Dan converted all his brothers into fundamentalism and made them practice polygamy. They had all their wives from being treated like queens to slaves. Only Brenda, the wife of the youngest brother, did not submit. Ron was a chiropractor (pseudoscience is very common in Mormonism; Joseph and his father practiced dowsing and used crystal ball) and became a Saint and a student of Onias. Ron would over time have many revelations from God himself. One of them was instructs to kill several people to further progress of God's plan. The target was Brenda and her baby, and the revelation specifically instructed Dan to do the killing. After prayer and much preparation, Ron and Dan set off to find her. When they did, Dan beat Brenda with his fists while Ron watched. When she failed to escape and fainted, Dan strangled her with a vacuum cord. Then Dan got a knife, went to the babies room and found her standing in the corner of her crib. As Dan described it in his cell:

I spoke to her for a minute. I told her, "I'm not sure what this is all about, but apparently it's God's will that you leave this world; perhaps we can talk about it later." And then I set my hand on her head, put the knife under her chin like this, and I just...'

He virtually decapitated her. After cleaning the blade, he then returned to Brenda's corpse and slit her throat, and returned to Ron who was waiting for him and said "Okay, we can leave now." They drove around looking for their next targets, but were apprehended on August 7. Dan and Ron were tried separately. Dan received two sentences of life imprisonment after his jury was not unanimous on the death penalty. Ron refused insanity as a defense and was quickly found guilty, but was later was countered by theologians and others because it implied anyone who talks to God is crazy (since the whole Mormon faith relies on talking to God they could be considered legally insane). After going through months of psychotherapy, it was later ruled he was competent to stand trial although the countering continued to try to show that Ron's delusions were different from the billions of people around the world. On April 10, 1996 the jury convicted Ron of first-degree murder and he choose the death sentence of four bullets through the heart at close range. He is still on death row. Dan, on the other hand after all these years in prison, considers himself the "new Elijah" designated by God to recognize Christ when he instigates the thousand-year kingdom of God.

External Links


The Way of the Master
Season One Episodes:

1. The Firefighter   2. The Mirror of the Ten Commandments   3. The Motive of the Sinner   4. The Summary of Salvation   5. Practice What You Preach   6. Idolatry—The Darling Sin of Humanity   7. The Beauty of a Broken Spirit—Atheism   8. WDJD?   9. Blasphemy, Sabbath, Parents   10. Murder   11. Adultery   12. Theft   13. Lie and Covet

Season Two Episodes:

1. God's Wonderful Plan   2. Conscience   3. Alcatraz, Al Capone, Alcohol   4. True and False Conversion   5. When Things Go Wrong   6. The Satanic Influence   7. How to Witness to Someone Who's Homosexual/Gay   8. Evolution   9. How to Witness to a Loved One   10. The Fear of God   11. Ice Breakers—Gospel Tracts   12. The Greatest Gamble  13. How to Get on Fire for God

Season Three Episodes:

1. Battle for the Lost   2. Where Has the Passion Gone?   3. Joe Average   4. Caught in a Lie   5. The Divine Butler   6. Why Christianity?   7. Jehovah's Witness   8. Mormonism   9. Are You A Genius?   10. Last Words of the Rich and Famous   11. How to Find God's Will   12. What Scares You   13. Hollywood Be Thy Name

Cast
Ray Comfort — Kirk Cameron

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