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Why I, as a Latter-day Saint, am Helping Evangelicals Create the Hit TV Series THE CHOSEN

Why I, as a Latter-day Saint, am Helping Evangelicals Create the Hit TV Series THE CHOSEN

“Why are you, as a Mormon, helping on The Chosen?” This is the question Rabbi Jason Sobel posed to me as I sat across from him and Dallas Jenkins, the director of THE CHOSEN, in the hotel lobby in Jerusalem.

I am a faithful member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (we don’t use “Mormon” anymore). And I have devoted the last 3 years of my life to helping an Evangelical, Dallas Jenkins, create his vision of the hit TV Series, THE CHOSEN. I have no control over the content of the show. And I don’t want any control.


the chosen

This isn’t just a question I have gotten from Rabbi Sobel, but many members of my own faith community, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (or “Mormons” as our critics want everyone to label us), have challenged me and my brother (who is also a Latter-day Saint) with similar questions. Here are just a few things we have heard about THE CHOSEN from our Latter-day Saint brothers and sisters:

  • “I won’t watch a show about Jesus Christ that doesn’t come from [our] Church.”
  • “How can you let an Evangelical have full control of the story? Evangelicals hate us.”
  • “I am worried that the Evangelicals will twist the scriptures to meet their view of the Bible.”

Dallas has received similar questions and addresses them beautifully in this video.

There are significant differences in doctrine between The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and Evangelicals.

We have differing beliefs regarding the Trinity, or Godhead.

Evangelicals believe in the Bible like we do, but not our other scriptures like The Book of Mormon.

We have 12 Apostles and Prophets whom we believe receive modern revelation for the world, Evangelicals do not.

Evangelicals believe in salvation ONLY by the grace of Jesus Christ like we do, BUT they do not believe in ancient temple covenants, eternal marriage, or exaltation the way we do… the list goes on.

Many Evangelicals see our doctrinal differences as enough to even make the claim we believe in a “different Jesus”.

So why am I helping an Evangelical on THE CHOSEN?

I was introduced to Dallas Jenkins through his now-famous short film “The Shepherd”. It was a dry, hot August afternoon in 2017 when I received an email from VidAngel’s head of public relations, Matthew Faraci.

The email subject read only: “short film”. The body of the email was void of text, just a Vimeo link. Nineteen minutes later I was blinking away tears as I watched the credits roll on my old MacBook.

Over the next few hours, a flood of crazy ideas poured into my mind. Novel ideas that no film production had used before, ever. Without even having met Dallas, God had already inspired the basic path to raise the money we needed to turn this short film into a high budget TV series.

The next day I told my co-founder and brother, Neal, about The Shepherd. He dismissed it immediately, “shows about Jesus Christ are for churches to produce, not VidAngel.”

“Just watch it,” I responded.

Nineteen minutes later he pulled off his headphones and said “This is why we made VidAngel.”

Three years later we have received hundreds of messages and letters from people upset that “Mormons” are part of this world-changing project. Likewise, we receive lots of skepticism from Latter-day Saints deeply concerned that we have given full creative control to Evangelicals, who they think hate us.

To both Latter-day Saints and Evangelicals I reply: if Jesus can call his ancient apostles from a range of backgrounds including an apostate tax collector on the one hand to stubborn, illiterate fisherman on the other, why can’t he call Evangelicals, Catholics, Jews, and even Latter-day Saints to the creation of a TV series about his life and ministry?

And if you’re still skeptical, I say the same thing I told my brother three years ago: “Just watch it”.

This is why we made VidAngel.

I will probably see a thousand more messages from people telling me I am a “cultist” and that I believe in a “different Jesus”. I will certainly have many more Latter-day Saints refuse to trust the show because the message is controlled by Evangelicals.

But one thing can be certain, they can’t diminish MY relationship with Jesus. He has redeemed me. And it won’t take away MY love for Him or THE CHOSEN. Hate or love, I am offering the gifts God has given me to help THE CHOSEN reach a billion people worldwide.

the chosen tv series

Jesus during the wedding at Cana in episode 5 of The Chosen

THE CHOSEN’s central image is a school of fish. Interestingly, Rabbi Sobel also once compared the series to a net, one that could gather all kinds of people (Matthew 13:25). In addition, John 10:16 states, “And other sheep I have which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and there shall be one fold and one shepherd.” God is going to “gather all kinds of fish.”

A Fulfillment of Prophecy

Finally, a unique quick thought from a Latter-day Saint perspective: I believe THE CHOSEN may well be, in small part, the fulfillment of a little-recognized Book of Mormon prophecy. Let me explain.

Eighteen years ago as a missionary in Cork, Ireland, I was studying the Book of Mormon when 1 Nephi 14:14 jumped off the page with intensity. Since then, I have studied this scripture so much that the page is falling out. I believe this verse prepared me to meet Dallas Jenkins.

NOTE: This is my view on this and it shouldn’t be interpreted as official doctrine.

“And it came to pass that I, Nephi, beheld the power of the Lamb of God, that it descended upon the saints of the church of the Lamb, and upon the covenant people of the Lord, who were scattered upon all the face of the earth; and they were armed with righteousness and with the power of God in great glory.” 1 Nephi 14:14.

This verse was written by a Jewish man named Nephi who fled Jerusalem just before Nebuchadnezzar II laid siege in 589 BC.

Nephi and his father both had stunningly prophetic visions. In the vision Nephi sees the events that transpire — from Jesus Christ’s birth, to the death of the apostles, to the discovery of the new world, to the American Revolution, and finally touching on our day.

When Nephi sees today, he sees two contending churches: 1) “the church of the Devil”, consisting of all the people who fight against Jesus. 2) “the church of the Lamb” which isn’t specific to any organized religion, but instead the broader group of believers from around the world.

In the last days, the church of the Devil gathers globally to fight against the Lamb. But in verse 14 we see the “power of the Lamb of God” descend onto TWO GROUPS of believers as they unite in the “power of God in great glory”.

GROUP ONE: “The saints of the church of the Lamb”. Again, this does NOT appear to be talking about “Latter-day Saints”, BUT instead ALL BELIEVERS that defend the Lamb, and I believe Evangelicals fit this group exceptionally well.

GROUP TWO: “And upon the covenant people of the Lord…” In April, Russell M. Nelson (the current leader and prophet of my faith), referenced group two in this way:

We live in the day that “our forefathers have awaited with anxious expectation.”1 We have front-row seats to witness live what the prophet Nephi saw only in vision, that “the power of the Lamb of God” would descend “upon the covenant people of the Lord, who were scattered upon all the face of the earth; and they were armed with righteousness and with the power of God in great glory.”

You, my brothers and sisters, are among those men, women, and children whom Nephi saw. Think of that!

the chosen

I believe that eighteen years ago, God pressed 1 Nephi 14:14 on my heart and mind to prepare me to be open to embracing THE CHOSEN without reservation or control.

Ever since watching the short film The Shepherd, I’ve felt the confirming peace of the Spirit that this is where God wants me right now, united in a global effort to bring this show to the world.




Tuesday 28th of February 2023

I love The Chosen series! I personally am grateful to all those who are bringing Jesus to the world! Everything in the show might not be exact to how I as a latter-day-saint know it to be but this is perfect for those who want to get to know more about Jesus! I myself know when something comes up that isn’t correct to my beliefs but I have also learned so so much from this show! Every once in awhile a phrase will be said that really resonates with me and makes me want to try harder and do better each day! It has really brought my Savior to life for me in a good way! I personally don’t worry about what the faith of Dallas Jenkins is. He is doing a great job with this show. The important part is that we need Jesus in our lives and learn to love and forgive and serve and treat others as He did during His life’s ministry and continues to in heaven! To be Christ-like is the one thing that Christian’s of all faith can have in common to help make the world a better place! I have watched through the three seasons probably 20 times! I love and enjoy watching this series so much! I’m very grateful for all who are involved!


Friday 6th of January 2023

In the beginning of the Book of Mormon, right before the table of contents, in "A Brief Explanation about the Book of Mormon," it says, "About this edition: Some minor errors in the text have been perpetuated in past editions of the Book of Mormon. This edition contains corrections that seem appropriate to bring the material into conformity with prepublication manuscripts and early editions edited by the Prophet Joseph Smith." There are actually around 4,000 of changes to the Book of Mormon (see the Tanner's "3,913 Changes in the Book of Mormon"). For example, consider the rather significant change from "King Benjamin" to "King Mosiah" (cf. the 1830 edition p. 200 with the current Mosiah 21:28 and also cf. the 1830 edition p. 546 with the current Ether 4:1).

Of course even the Book of Mormon claims there are imperfections in the record. Mormon 8:12 says: "And whoso receiveth this record, and shall not condemn it because of the imperfections which are in it." So perhaps God finally fixed the problem in the modern version of the Book of Mormon and now it is more of the word of God than it was previously. That seems possible even though a simpler explanation is that men are fixing it and making the story more coherent as they go along.

However, consider the change from "the mean man boweth down" to "the mean man boweth not down" (2 Ne. 12:9 was changed from the 1830 edition p. 87). Here you have the word of God certainly going to the word of man. Why? The beginning of this chapter affirms that this is the "word that Isaiah, the son of Amoz, saw." The end of 2 Nephi 11 says, "I write some of the words of Isaiah." 2 Nephi 12:9 is quoting from from Isaiah 2:9... and in King James, 17th century English no less! (Recall that the Book of Mormon was published in the 19th century.) The original 1830 edition of the Book of Mormon got it right, because Isaiah always read that "the mean man boweth down." How do we know that? Because there is no Old Testament Hebrew manuscript (or any other ancient text in any other language for that matter), early Church father citing, or early lectionary that says what the Book of Mormon now says in 2 Ne. 12:9. These sources all say the exact opposite! That demonstrates that there is no good reason to buy the Book of Mormon here and there are all sorts of reasons to reject the Book of Mormon here. The Book of Mormon cannot claim to be the word of God. At best, the Book of Mormon contains some of the word of God, namely the part of Isaiah that it faithfully copied!

Keep in mind that if one adds to the word of God, Proverbs 30:6 says that he will be proven to be a liar. Well, I just proved it! Once again, one should not trust the LDS Church.


Friday 6th of January 2023

The LDS Church is the only true church.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the only true church (Doctrine and Covenants [D&C] 1:30); all other churches (Presbyterians, Baptists, and Methodists are specifically mentioned in Joseph Smith, History 1:9, Pearl of Great Price) are "wrong," "all their creeds were an abomination," and "those professors were all corrupt" (Joseph Smith, History 1:19). Those of creedal or traditional Christianity have adopted "pagan beliefs" and are part of "false Christianity" (Gospel Principles [2009], 92). One either belongs to "the church of the Lamb of God" or to "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).

Joseph Smith taught that everybody but faithful Mormons will be damned (History of the Church 3:28). Brigham Young, second prophet of the LDS Church, taught that "[t]he Christian world, so called, are heathens as to the knowledge of the salvation of God" (The Journal of Discourses 8:171), and also said, "With regard to true theology, a more ignorant people never lived than the present so-called Christian world" (Ibid., 8:199). Apostle John Taylor preached, "We talk about Christianity, but it is a perfect pack of nonsense. ...[I]t is corrupt as hell; and the Devil could not invent a better engine to spread his work than the Christianity of the nineteenth century" (Ibid., 6:167). Apostle Orson Pratt taught, "But who in this generation have authority to baptize? None but those who have authority in the church [sic] of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints : all other churches are entirely destitute of all authority from God ; and any person who receives Baptism or the Lord's supper from their hands will highly offend God ; for he looks upon them as the most corrupt of all people. Both Catholics and Protestants are nothing less than 'the whore of Babylon'... any person who shall be so wicked as to receive a holy ordinance of the gospel from the ministers of any of these apostate churches will be sent down to hell with them, unless they repent" (The Seer, 255). This is why LDS scripture teaches that there is no forgiveness for breaking the oath and covenant of the priesthood even if one follows Christ in some other church (D&C 84:40-1).

"The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is absolutely indispensable to our salvation. No supposed personal relationship with Jesus, no commitment to the gospel, no high level of Christian conduct in society can compensate for what is to be found in the Church" (Robert Millet, Alive in Christ: The Miracle of Spiritual Rebirth [Salt Lake City: Deseret, 1997], 140).

The Church is a body of various believers and groups of believers.

The one true Church is the universal Body of Christ in heaven and on earth made up of all those true believers from various local denominations or churches (historically represented as Orthodox, Catholic, and Protestant). The body is an organism, not an external organization.

Unity in this body does not demand complete uniformity in its various manifestations. God loves diversity. Yet the Church's unity is in Christ, who is the vine.

People in various denominations who are committed to the Vine are the branches; no one particular manifestation of the Church is the vine (Matthew 16:18; 15:5; Acts 15:35-41; 20:28; 1 Corinthians 11:19; 12:13ff.; and Ephesians 4:1-13). These branches at least all hold to what C. S. Lewis popularly referred to as "Mere Christianity." This is "the belief that has been common to nearly all Christians at all times... that there is one God and that Jesus Christ is His only Son" (Lewis, Mere Christianity [N.Y.: Collier, 1960], vi).

As such, the Church has every right to defend itself (it is even commanded for this end in Jude 3) and to state through its creeds what it believes. The following statement from Church history ought to be kept in mind: "In essentials unity, in non-essentials liberty, but in all things charity."

Great Apostasy? There was a complete and universal apostasy.

There must have been a complete and universal apostasy where the gospel and authority of God was lost from the earth in order to justify the claim that the LDS Church is the only true Church "restored" on the earth for these latter days (Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 42-46; Doctrines of Salvation 3:265-326; and History of the Church 1:XLII-XLIII).

There was never and never will be a complete and universal apostasy.

Though there are obviously times of apostasy in its history, the Church, the gospel, and the authority of God continue throughout all generations. Thus, though there may be times of reformation, there will never be a time of restoration for the Church (Psalm 12:6-7; Isaiah 9:6-7; 40:8; Mat. 16:18; 24:35; John 10:35; Eph. 3:20-1; and 1 Peter 1:25).

What happens after death? Individuals go to more places than either with Christ or with the devil and his angels.

Depending on how good non-LDS members are in this life and the next determines their place in one of two lower heavenly kingdoms or "degrees of glory"--the telestial and terrestrial kingdoms--both of which are still outside the presence of God in His celestial kingdom (D&C 76). Both of these lower kingdoms are an eternal damnation of sorts, since, as certain general authorities have taught, there is no progression among all the kingdoms throughout eternity (Apostle Bruce McConkie, The Seven Deadly Heresies, Spencer W. Kimball, The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, 50, and Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation 2:31).

The Book of Mormon teaches that if an individual doesn't repent in "this life," then one is sealed to the devil and "this is the final state of the wicked" (Alma 34:32-5). For LDS, this passage typically means that individuals who willfully deny Christ and His Church after given an opportunity to be a part of it end up forever excluded from the presence of God in His kingdom. McConkie said that only those who never had the opportunity in this life to be part of God's celestial kingdom, and who would have received it, are the ones who will have that opportunity in the next life (The Seven Deadly Heresies, cf. D&C 137:7-8). Nonetheless, all children who die before the age of accountability go to the celestial kingdom (D&C 137:10).

Prior to the final judgment, all individuals go to one of two places: paradise or spirit prison. LDS go to the former and non-LDS go to the latter. LDS will go and preach to those in spirit prison (Alma 40:12-4 and D&C 138:30). Spirit-prison is a temporary hell. For those here who repent, they go to one of three degrees of glory after the judgment. For those here who don't repent, they go to a permanent hell or outer darkness ("Hell," Guide to the Scriptures).

Within the celestial kingdom, there are also three degrees of glory. The highest is reserved for those who are sealed in marriage for time and all eternity (D&C 131:1-4). McConkie was also clear that simply having this celestial marriage is no guarantee of exaltation (The Seven Deadly Heresies).

Finally, there are angels who worship before the throne of God, who never received a celestial marriage and are thus single (D&C 76:21 and 132:15-17).

Individuals go to be either with Christ or with the devil and his angels.

Those who are part of the body of Christ should know they have eternal life (1 Jn. 5:10-13). They are in Christ's and the Father's hand, and no one can pluck them out of it (Jn. 10:27-30). Christ went to prepare a place for them in His Father's house, but until then the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit take up residency in their lives (Jn. 14:1-3, 23-6). For believers, to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord (2 Cor. 5:6; and Philippians 1:21-5).

The Bible is clear that paradise is the third heaven--the dwelling of God (2 Cor. 12:1-4). The first heaven is the earthly atmosphere (Acts 14:17) and the second heaven is outer space (Jeremiah 8:2).

At the judgment, there are those who go with the devil and his angels, and there are those who go to life eternal (Mat. 25:31-46).

What is divine salvation? Divine salvation is unconditional for resurrection and conditional for eternal life.

In one sense, salvation is universal immortality and resurrection to live in one of three degrees of glory and this is by grace alone. It is given to everyone except certain apostates who really knew better. In another sense, salvation is making it into the highest kingdom--the celestial kingdom. The latter is dependent on grace through faith and one's works (2 Ne. 25:23; D&C 76:40-4; and Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 669-71, and 746).

Divine salvation is always conditional.

Divine salvation is always from sin and its consequence of separation from God. This salvation is always conditioned upon faith. Until this occurs, God considers the individual dead. When this salvation occurs, one has eternal life and there is nothing separating the believer from God's fellowship (Jn. 5:24; Romans 5; Eph. 2:1-10; and 1 Jn. 5:10-3).

What role do good works play with our standing before God? Good works are meritorious for right standing before God only after all one can do.

Good works of all one can do are a necessary requirement before one receives God's full salvation and right standing before Him (1 Ne. 3:7; 2 Ne. 25:23; Alma 5:27-8; 11:37; 34:33-5; Moroni 10:32; D&C 1:24-33; 25:15-6; 42:18-29; 58:34-43; 82:5-7; and 3rd Article of Faith). There is no initial justification through simple faith alone in this life, since, according to late LDS President Spencer W. Kimball, true repentance is a perfected process of not only faith, but sorrow, confession, restitution in so far as possible, and total abandonment of sin (including any urges to sin) in keeping the commandments. "Nor is repentance complete when one merely tries to abandon sin" (Spencer W. Kimball, The Miracle of Forgiveness, 164). "The forsaking of sin must be a permanent one. True repentance does not permit making the same mistake again" (Kimball, Repentance Brings Forgiveness) and it "spreads to all areas of [one's] life" (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Spencer W. Kimball, 43).

He also taught, "This progress toward eternal life is a matter of achieving perfection. Living all the commandments guarantees total forgiveness of sins and assures one of exaltation through that perfection which comes by complying with the formula the Lord gave us. ...Perfection therefore is an achievable goal" (The Miracle of Forgiveness, 208-9).

Further, in describing "the repentance which merits forgiveness[,] the... transgressor must have reached a 'point of no return' to sin wherein there is not merely a renunciation but also a deep abhorrence of the sin–where the sin becomes most distasteful to him and where the desire or urge to sin is cleared out of his life" (Ibid., 354-5).

Joseph Fielding Smith said, "Therefore the words of James are true. Unless a man can abide strictly in complete accord, he cannot enter there, and in the words of James [2:10], he is guilty of all. In other words if there is one divine law that he does not keep he is barred from participating in the kingdom... So in the celestial kingdom, we must be worthy in every point, or we fail to receive the blessing. The kingdom of God must exist in absolute unity. Every law must be obeyed, and no member of the Church can have a place there unless he is in full accord" ("Answers to Gospel Questions," 3:26-7).

"[G]race is an enabling power that allows men and women to lay hold on eternal life and exaltation after they have expended their own best efforts. ...[G]race cannot suffice without total effort on the part of the recipient. Hence the explanation, 'It is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do' (2 Ne. 25:23) ("Grace," LDS Bible Dictionary, 654).

Exaltation into the presence of God must be earned (Thomas S. Monson, "An Invitation to Exaltation," Ensign [May 1988], 56; Richard G. Scott, "First Things First," Ensign [May 2001], 9; and James E. Faust, "Dear Are the Sheep That Have Wandered," Ensign [May 2003], 62). Prophet Joseph Fielding Smith clearly taught, "The Father... through his Son, made known to us the plan of salvation. ...We were told that many would fail because they would yield to sin and would reject the councils of the Father, for their exaltation could only come on merit. ...The Savior, in presenting the plan, said... '[A]nd they who keep their second estate shall have glory added upon their heads for ever and ever.' – Abraham 3:24-26" (The Way to Perfection [1935], 30-1).

Good works are not meritorious for right standing before God only after all one can do.

Salvation is a free gift that must be received through faith, not of works, since no one is good enough to earn it from an all-holy Judge. Using good works to redeem from all the evil we have done are as filthy rags. Salvation occurs before and after all one can do. The believer has been saved, is being saved, and will one day ultimately be saved (Mat. 10:22; 24:13; Rom. 5:9; 8:30; 1 Cor. 1:18; 15:2; 2 Cor. 4:17; Eph. 2:8-10; 1 Tim. 4:16).

If this is genuine faith, then it is automatically demonstrated by the overall good life produced by it (Ibid.; Isa. 64:6; Rom. 3:23-28; 4:5; 11:6; Gal. 3:11, 23-6, and 5:6; and James 2:14-26, NAS). Where is the cross? The symbol of the cross is absent.

Since the Savior lives, LDS focus on his life rather than his death. Though He suffered for our sins on the cross, the greater pain was in the Garden of Gethsemane where the atonement was initiated. Ezra Taft Benson taught that “it was in Gethsemane that Jesus took on Himself the sins of the world, in Gethsemane that His pain was equivalent to the cumulative burden of all men, in Gethsemane that He descended below all things so that all could repent and come to Him" (Come Unto Christ [1983], 7.) D&C 19:16-8 claims that the suffering for the sins of the world took place in the garden where he bled from every pore prior to drinking the bitter cup of death. The emblem of the cross is not to be revered, and its display is "very strange" (Gordon B. Hinckley, "The Symbol of Our Faith," Ensign, Apr 2005, 2-6; McConkie, "The Purifying Power of Gethsemane," Ensign [May 1985], 9; Mormon Doctrine, 172 and 555; The Promised Messiah, 337 and 552; The Mortal Messiah, 127-128; Joseph Fielding Smith, Answers to Gospel Questions, 4:15-8; "Cross" and "Atonement of Christ,"

The symbol of the cross is central.

Simply because Jesus lives forevermore is no reason to minimize the means by which He paid for our sins. The Bible never teaches that the atonement began in the garden. Rather, it teaches that the atonement happened on the cross (1 Pet. 2:24).

Just because Luke reported that Jesus' sweat in Gethsemane "was as it were great drops of blood" (22:44) is no reason to think an atonement happened then. Regardless of whether that is to be taken literally like hematohidrosis or not, the Bible is clear where the atonement took place. Jesus could have and probably did bleed at some other point in His life. That doesn't entail that an atonement happened every time He bled.

The cross is foolishness to the perishing, but the power of God to them being saved (1 Cor. 1:18). There is nothing else that deserves boasting except the cross of Christ (Galatians 6:14). The cross symbolizes a way His followers are to live (Luke 9:23).

Even the first century Christians used the symbol of the cross as archeology has revealed.

Did Christ die for all sins? Christ did not die for all sins.

Christ did not atone for the murderer, since there is no forgiveness for him "in this world, nor in the world to come" (D&C 42:18). Late Apostle Bruce McConkie taught a murderer "cannot join the Church by baptism; he is outside the pale of redeeming grace" ("Murderers," Mormon Doctrine, 520). Christ also did not pay for more than a one-time offense of adultery, since such violators cannot be forgiven either (D&C 42:25-9).

Actually, according to one apostle, Christ atoned simply for Adam's sin, and left "us responsible only for our own sins." This apostle goes on to quote the 2nd Article of Faith that claims "men will be punished for their own sins, and not for Adam's transgression" (Le Grand Richards, A Marvelous Work and a Wonder [1976], 98).

Other LDS prophets have taught that there are certain "sins" that one may commit that are beyond the atonement of the Son of God, and one's own blood must be shed in such cases (Brigham Young, The Journal of Discourses 3:247; 4:53-4; 4:219-220; and Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation 1:133-6).

Christ did die for all sins.

With the exception of blaspheming the Holy Spirit (which is probably the persistent state of being in absolute rebellion against the Spirit's work in drawing people to the Lamb of God, e.g., Mark 3:28-30), Christ atoned for all sins--Adam's as well as everyone else's. The Lord Jesus took the punishment of everyone on the cross. The debt we could never pay has been completely paid by the Lamb of God, and to those who receive this gift, they are declared "justified" or "not guilty." This is the good news (the gospel) for everyone, including the adulterer and the murderer (2 Samuel 12:13; Isa. 53:3-12; Mt. 18:21-2; Rom. 3:24; 4:5; 5:1-2; 1 Cor. 6:9-11; 15:3; 2 Cor. 5:14-21; 1 Pt. 2:24; and 1 Jn. 1:8-2:2).

What is the New and Everlasting Covenant? The New and Everlasting Covenant is the fullness of the gospel of Jesus with all its external laws and ordinances.

Even though the covenant is popularly known as temple marriage (Spencer W. Kimball, “First Presidency Message Temples and Eternal Marriage,” Ensign, Aug 1974), it is "[t]he fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ (D&C 66:2). It is new every time it is revealed, especially following a period of apostasy. It is everlasting in the sense that it is God’s covenant and has been enjoyed in every gospel dispensation where people have been willing to receive it” (“New and Everlasting Covenant,” The Guide to the Scriptures).

It incorporates all the external laws that must be kept in order to gain salvation and exaltation. As such, “The temple ordinances become the crowning blessings the Church has to offer” (Gordon B. Hinckley, "New Temples to Provide 'Crowning Blessings' of the Gospel," General Conference, 1998).

The Old Covenant was given through the prophets prior to Christ, but has had “plain and precious truths” taken from it. As such, the New and Everlasting Covenant was long before the law of Moses (“Old Testament,” The Guide to the Scriptures; “New and Everlasting Covenant” and “Old Testament,” Encyclopedia of Mormonism; Gib Kocherhans, “Reflections on the Law of Moses: Old Testament Apostasy in Context,” Ensign [June 1981]; and "Set Your Sights," New Era Poster [May 2002]).

The New and Everlasting Covenant is being completely forgiven through Jesus' blood without submission to external law. Rather, this covenant is based on an internal relationship, namely, the love of Jesus and His presence in one's life.

It is a series of divine promises regarding the forgiveness of sins through the sufficient and worthy blood of the Lamb of God. The covenant is accepted simply through faith which expresses itself through love, not of obedience to an external law of stone as was the case through the Old Covenant.

This Old Covenant was good in that it informed us of the difference between right and wrong, but it could never justify us, since we all fall short of keeping it; we are all guilty. As such, the point was to drive us to Christ for mercy.

The New Covenant naturally desires to please the One who is loved. The Old Covenant was the first covenant, and the prophesied New Covenant was second and final one. It was not a restoration of the Old Covenant, but a new arrangement of fulfilling it and replacing the law of Moses (Gen. 22:18; Isa. 55:3; Jer. 31:31-34; Mat. 5:17; 26:28; Lk. 24:44-47; Acts 13:32-39; Rom. 3:10-23; 8:9-11; Gal. 3:16-29; 5:6; Eph. 2:8-10; Col. 2:10; Heb. 8-10:22; and "Looking Unto Jesus").

Can marriage be eternal? Marriage may be eternal through the New and Everlasting Covenant.

Marriage may be sealed for "time and all eternity" for those who are worthy enough to go through the temple. This is so families may be populated in other worlds. This sealing is provisional on individuals continuing to live worthy and keeping all their covenants (Spencer W. Kimball, "First Presidency Message Temples and Eternal Marriage," Ensign [Aug 1974]; The Latter-day Saint Woman: Basic Manual for Women, Part A, Lesson 10: Eternal Marriage; and D&C 132).

Marriage is only until death.

Even though husbands and wives may continue to be together in the after-life, they no longer function as husband and wife, since the Bible has never taught eternal marriages and our Lord expressly taught that marriage was only for this life. If there were eternal marriages, then He could have very easily answered whom of the seven brothers was going to be married to the woman in the afterlife.

Further, the Bible never teaches that temples were used for marriages anyway. Their purpose was already clearly defined in the law of Moses (Mat. 22:23-30 [cf. D&C 132:17]; and Rom. 7:2-3).

Baptism for the dead? Baptism for the dead is required.

Baptism in place of the dead is an essential ordinance done in LDS temples on behalf of those who died not receiving the benefit of LDS baptism (D&C 128 and Gospel Principles [2011], 233-9). Prophet Joseph Smith said, "The greatest responsibility in this world that God has laid upon us is to seek after our dead" (Fielding Smith, The Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith [1977], 356). Prophet Joseph Fielding Smith said, "[I]f we willfully neglect the salvation of our dead, then also we shall stand rejected of the Lord, because we have rejected our dead; and just so sure their blood will be required at our hands. ...But the greatest and grandest duty of all is to labor for the dead. ...[B]ecause we cannot be saved without them" (Doctrines of Salvation 2:145 and 149).

Baptism for the dead is not required.

The only biblical passage that mentions baptism for the dead was most likely done by those outside of Christianity, since the Apostle Paul made a contrast between what "they" do and what "we" do. Paul said that even those who do baptism for the dead believe in the resurrection. How much more should we, who do not baptize for the dead and are led by apostles who were eyewitnesses of Christ's resurrection, believe in the resurrection (1 Cor. 15:29-30).

Even if some of the Corinthians were performing baptisms for the dead, there is no reason to think the practice was understood to be a means of salvation. Further, even though baptism is normal and a believer should be baptized, it is not essential for salvation since individuals have obviously been saved without it (e.g., Lk. 23:32-43; Acts 10:44-8; and 1 Cor. 1:17).

Finally, there is no second chance for salvation to those who reject it in this life (Lk. 16:19-31; and Hebrews 9:27).

Are there other Gods? There are many Gods for other worlds, and each God is equal to the God of this world in terms of His nature.

Even though God created "worlds without number" (Moses 1:33), there are many gods who create and rule over other worlds, and on those worlds, worship excludes the God of our world. So there is only one God for us, and this God is typically referred to as the Heavenly Father. Mormons may also speak of the term "God" in reference to "the Godhead," which is a team or council of separate Gods (McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 576-7; Joseph Fielding Smith, ed., The Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith [1977], 346-7; Abraham 4:1, Pearl of Great Price; and "God," LDS Bible Dictionary). Prophet Joseph Smith put the matter this way: "In the beginning, the head of the Gods called a council of the Gods; and they came together and concocted a plan to create the world and people it" (The Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith [1977], 349).

There is only one God for all worlds.

There is only one God who created and rules over everything in existence. LDS simply devalue and weaken God when they think that He did not create something like some other world (Genesis 1:1; Deuteronomy 4:39; 10:14; Nehemiah 9:6; Ps. 96:5; Isa. 40:12-26; 43:10; 44:6, 8, and 24; Jn. 1:1-3; and 17:3).

The Trinity? The Trinity means three separate Gods, who are one in their nature and become one in purpose.

The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are three separate gods, who are one in purpose and nature, but not in a being they share eternally (Ibid; Fielding Smith, The Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith [1977], 372). There was a time when the person of the Father (Elohim) was without the person of the Son (Jehovah) as His Son. Thus, there was a time in which Elohim was not the Father.

The Trinity means three inseparable Persons, who are eternally God in purpose, nature, and being.

The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are three distinct or different persons, who are eternally and inseparably one in purpose, nature, and being (Ibid.; Isa. 48:12-7; Mt. 3:16; 4:10; and 28:16-20). So the Father is not the same person as the Son, and the Son is not the same person as the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit is not the same person as the Father, but nonetheless, each Person eternally makes up the only Being of God there is.

Are humans and God the same nature or species? Humans and God are of the same nature or species.

The nature of these gods is identical to the nature of man, and as such, these humans had to become gods; they haven't always been gods (Fielding Smith, The Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith [1977], 345; Thomas C. Romney, The Life of Lorenzo Snow, 46; D&C 76:23-4; and Abraham 3:18-28).

Humans and God are not of the same nature or species.

God has His own unique nature that man, a created being by definition and not the originator of literally everything else, cannot ever have. God is God by nature, and not by obtainment (Numbers 23:19-20; Ps. 90:2; Ezekiel 28:2 and 9; Hosea 11:9; Acts 14:15; Gal. 4:8; and 2 Pt. 1:3-4).

Does God in His nature have flesh and bones? God is an exalted man with flesh and bones.

God the Father and Jesus Christ have tangible bodies of flesh and bones, but the Holy Ghost is a personage of spirit. Personages of spirit are still material with a certain form or shape, but they are not as tangible as the bodies of those who are sent to a mortal planet (Ibid.; D&C 130:22; 131:7-8; and "Spirit" in the LDS Bible Dictionary).

Apostle James Talmage taught that "the Father is a personal being, possessing a definite form, with bodily parts. ...It has been said, therefore, that God is everywhere present; but this does not mean that the actual person of any one member of the Godhead can be physically present in more than one place at one time. ...His powers of transferring Himself from place to place are infinite; plainly, however, His person cannot be in more than one place at any one time. ...If God possesses a form, that form is of necessity of definite proportions and therefore of limited extension in space. It is impossible for Him to occupy at one time more than one space of such limits" (Articles of Faith, 41-3). Prophet Brigham Young made a similar, but more succinct statement when he said, "Some would have us believe that God is present everywhere. It is not so" (Journal of Discourses 6:345).

God is not an exalted man with flesh and bones.

Since He is the Creator of all things outside of Himself (e.g., the entire material universe), God is not limited to a body. He created matter, and does not need a body or anything else to operate anywhere in all of creation. He is all powerful, and as such, He can take any type of form or nature to show up any way He wants to (1 Kings 8:27; Jer. 23:24; Luke 3:22; and Jn. 4:21-4).

Can humans become Gods for other worlds as God is God for this world? Humans may become Gods for other worlds as God is God for this world.

Worthy Mormons may become gods to create, rule over and receive worship from their own worlds some day. They will do this exclusively as the god or the team of gods for that world or that set of worlds (like the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are for this world or this set of worlds), and thus the God of this world will not perform those functions there (Ibid; D&C 76:50-8 and 95, 132:15-23, 29, and 37; The Latter-day Saint Woman: Basic Manual for Women, Part A, Lesson 10: Eternal Marriage; Becoming Like God; and Gospel Principles [1997], 302).

Prophet Joseph Smith taught, "When men begin to live by faith they begin to draw near to God; and when faith is perfected they are like him; and because he is saved they are saved also" (Lectures on Faith 7:8). Apostle Bruce McConkie taught, "This Holy Man, the Father of us all, who reigns supreme and is a saved being, ordained and established a plan of salvation so that his Firstborn and all his spirit children might advance" (A New Witness for the Articles of Faith, 704).

Humans cannot become Gods for other worlds as God is God for all worlds.

When all believers become what some Christians such as C. S. Lewis call "gods" in heaven (although the Bible never uses this language of glorified individuals), they are still dependent and human "gods," and not God by nature, who alone is eternally the Author and Sustainer of literally all that is outside Himself. He is the only God in this fundamental sense of the term (Ibid.; Lewis, Mere Christianity, vi, 160, 172; and Robert M. Bowman, Jr., Ye are Gods? Orthodox and Heretical Views on the Deification of Man).

Was the God of this world once a man who became God? The God of this world was once a man who became God.

God is an exalted man, who needed to do certain things in order to become God for this world (Ibid.; and James Talmage, Articles of Faith, 430). Prophet Joseph Smith clearly taught, "God himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted man, and sits enthroned in yonder heavens! …I say, if you were to see him today, you would see him like a man in form--like yourselves in all the person, image, and very form as a man; ...I am going to tell you how God came to be God. We have imagined and supposed that God was God from all eternity. I will refute that idea, and take away the veil, so that you may see (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith [1977], 345).

The God of this world is the God for all worlds, so He never was a man who had to become God.

God has always been God, and thus is not so needy (Ibid.).

Does the Father have a Father? The Heavenly Father has a Heavenly Father before Him.

Prophet Joseph Smith clearly taught that God the Father has a Father whom He followed as Jesus had followed His Father in order to become a god (Fielding Smith, The Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith [1977], 373). Apostle Orson Pratt said, "We were begotten by our Father in Heaven ; the person of our Father in Heaven was begotten on a previous heavenly world by His Father; and again, He was begotten by a still more ancient Father and so on, from generation to generation, from one heavenly world to another still more ancient. ...But why does man seek for a first, when revelation informs him that God's works are without beginning? ...[W]hy, then, do you seek for a first personal Father in an endless genealogy ? or for a first effect in an endless succession of effects?" (The Seer, 132).

There was no Heavenly Father before the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

There is no other God before God. He is not so weak that He needed to serve and receive counsel from some other God in order to become God; He always was God (Ps. 90:2; Isa. 40:12-26; 43:10; and Rom. 11:33-6).

Does God need a wife to become God? God needs a wife to become God.

God the Father has at least one wife that He needed in order to become exalted to Godhood, and by at least one wife we on this world were all literally born as spirit children prior to taking on our tangible bodies of flesh and bones via our mortal parents (McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 516-7; Young, The Journal of Discourses 1:50; Gospel Principles [2011], 8-12; Mother in Heaven; and the popular hymn "O My Father").

God does not need a wife to become God.

Since God is not a man by nature it is impossible for Him as the eternal God to even enter into a human marital relationship that He would need to become God and sexually produce us. It is just as impossible for God to lie. He does not need anything, let alone a wife, to become God.

If it were even possible for the Father to strive to exaltation, then we would expect God's courtship and marriage to be a perfect one in which He received counsel from the other partner(s). But what kind of God would this be? As the All Perfect Being by nature, it is also impossible for God to receive any counsel (Ibid; 1 Kings 8:27; and Heb. 6:18).

Did humans exist prior to this earthly life? Humans existed prior to this earthly life.

Humans were all born to heavenly parents in the celestial kingdom prior to this earthly life (Abraham 3:22–6).

Humans did not exist prior to this earthly life.

With the exception of Jesus, humans are not from heaven or from above, but from the earth or below, and have never seen the Heavenly Father (Jn. 1:1-3, 14-18; 3:13, 28-31; 6:38-46; and 8:23).

Is there anything that the Father did not create? There are things that the Father did not create.

Thus God the Father did not create the planet that His Father had already created. No God for any world created all worlds. No God for any world created intelligence, matter, or the laws that govern them. These are eternal. Any person, including a God for any world, eternally existed as intelligence, and not as God (Fielding Smith, The Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith [1977], 373; D&C 93:29-35; 131:7-8; and Abraham 3:18-28). This is why the Prophet Joseph Smith taught that "God never had the power to create the spirit of man at all. God himself could not create himself. Intelligence is eternal and exists upon a self-existent principle. It is a spirit from age to age, and there is no creation about it" (The Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith [1977], 354).

There is nothing that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit did not create.

There is only one Being who created and rules over everything in existence. LDS simply devalue and weaken God when they think that He did not create something like some other world (Gen. 1:1; Deut. 4:39; Isa. 40:12-26; 43:10; 44:6, 8, and 24; Jn. 1:1-3; Acts 17:24-8; Rom. 11:36; and 1 Cor. 8:6).

Is there anything that the Son did not create? There are things that the Son did not create.

Jesus being the literal son of exalted human gods obviously did not create all things either. For example, He did not create the planet He was born on as a spirit child (Ibid.; Gospel Principles [2011], 13-6; and 22-5).

There is nothing that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit did not create.

Prior to becoming man, Jesus existed as "the only begotten God" (Jn. 1:18, New American Standard [NAS] and in the best Greek manuscripts). As such, He created everything that was ever created from the very beginning (Jn. 1:1-3, 14 and 1 Cor. 8:6).

When LDS relativize His creation to only concerning the things of this world or this set of worlds--i.e., not literally all worlds, this devalues and cheapens Jesus, who has not only the nature of man (1 Timothy 2:5), but also the nature of "God over all blessed forever" (Rom. 9:5, emphasis added).

Are Jesus and Lucifer spirit-brothers? Jesus and Lucifer are spirit-brothers.

Jesus was the first one born of heavenly parents, and Lucifer was a younger sibling. Jesus is referred to as Lucifer's, as well as our, elder brother in the pre-earth life. They are both sons of God (Ibid.; Milton R. Hunter, The Gospel through the Ages, 15; Abraham 3:22-8 with Moses 4:1-4; The Pearl of Great Price Student Manual/The Book of Moses [2000], 1:12-22; and Jess L. Christensen, “I Have a Question,” Ensign [June 1986], 25-6]).

Jesus created Lucifer.

For LDS to think that Christ is simply our and Lucifer's elder brother in some supposed pre-earth life is blasphemous devaluing of Christ's divine nature. Christ may rightly be referred to as a brother in our humanity, but in addition to that, He is our Creator... and not simply of our bodies (Ibid.; Colossians 1:13-8; Heb. 1:2 and 6-14; and 2:6-18).

Has Jesus always been God? Jesus has not always been God.

Jesus, like all other gods before Him, had to become a God. He is the literal Son of God like we are children of God, but He's without sin (Fielding Smith, The Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith [1977], 346-7).

Jesus has always been God.

Jesus has always been the only God there is along with the Father and Holy Ghost (Ibid; Isa. 43:10; Mt. 28:19; Jn. 1:1-3 and 14; and 8:56-9).

Should the Son receive the same worship as the Father? The Son should not receive the same worship as the Father.

Jesus is not worshiped equally with the Father, since Jesus is not our begetter. Jesus is not even directly prayed to. Prayer is directed only to the Father in the name of Jesus (Gospel Principles [2011], 34-8; McConkie, "Our Relationship with the Lord," BYU Devotional [March 2, 1982], 17, 19, and 20).

The Son should receive the same worship as the Father.

Since Jesus is God by nature, He is worshiped equally with the Father. Jesus receives both worship and prayer, and we are commanded to do so (Mt. 4:10; 28:16-20; Jn. 5:18-23; 14:14, NAS and in the best Greek manuscripts; Acts 7:59; 1 Cor. 1:2; and 1 Jn. 5:13-5).

Was Jesus born of a virgin? Jesus may not have been born of a virgin.

Even though Mormons are usually quick to say they don't know how the conception of Jesus took place and allow for the possibility of something like artificial insemination, they all claim that Jesus had the Heavenly Father and Mary as parents. So the Father's seed was somehow implanted into Mary, His spirit-daughter.

Mormon general authorities on the other hand have claimed that the conception of Jesus was perfectly natural despite the Book of Mormon teaching that Mary was a virgin when Jesus was born (1 Ne. 11:18-21; Alma 7:10; The Complete Discourses of Brigham Young 1:321; Young, The Journal of Discourses 1:50-1; 8:115; Heber C. Kimball, 211; Orson Pratt, The Seer, 158-9; Family Home Evening Manual [1972], 126; and McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 546-7, and 742-3).

Jesus was born of a virgin.

Just because Jesus was eternally the Son of the Father does not entail that Jesus was not the Son of the Holy Ghost when He was born of Mary. The act of conception was of the Holy Ghost, and not of a man. Mary was with child and still a virgin (Mt. 1:18-25; and Lk. 1:26-35).

Who is the Holy Ghost? The Holy Ghost is a man and son of God.

"The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints teaches that the Holy Ghost is a spirit man, a spirit son of God the Father. It is fundamental Church doctrine that God is the Father of the spirits of all men and women, that Jesus is literally God's Son both in the spirit and in the flesh, and that the Holy Ghost is a personage of spirit separate and distinct from both the Father and the Son. The Holy Ghost is the third member of the Eternal Godhead, and is identified also as the Holy Spirit, Spirit of God, Spirit of the Lord, and the comforter" (Encyclopedia of Mormonism 2:649; cf. D&C 130:22-3; "Holy Ghost" in the LDS Bible Dictionary).

The gift of the Holy Ghost is only given to those who have been baptized and are confirmed by the laying on of hands (Gospel Principles [2011], 120-4).

The Holy Ghost is God by nature.

Since the Holy Ghost is the inseparable third person of the only Being of God there is, He is not a man by nature that became exalted into a separate god for a Godhead team (2 Samuel 23:2-3; Mt. 28:19; Acts 5:3-4; and 13:2).

Gentiles clearly received the gift of the Holy Ghost prior to being baptized. They simply believed and spoke in tongues without the laying on of hands (Acts 10:44-8).

Racism? God curses certain individuals with dark skin.

Up until recently, the races were thought to be determined by how worthy individuals were prior to this mortal life. Blacks were not as faithful in their first estate (Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation 1:61-7; McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 527-8; 1st Presidency Statement, August 17, 1949).

The Book of Mormon still teaches white superiority. Here God cursed certain Israelite American Indians with dark skin, and this was meant to keep them from interbreeding with their white brethren. This scripture also teaches that God blessed some who repented with white skin (Alma 3:6-9; 1 Ne. 12:23; 2 Ne. 5:21-4; Jacob 3:8; and 3 Ne. 2:14-6).

The Book of Moses in the Pearl of Great Price teaches that the curse of Cain was a seed of blackness. This seed was excluded from Zion, the future abode of God (Moses 7:8, 21 and 22).

The Book of Abraham in the Pearl of Great Price teaches that the curse in the land of Egypt kept the people there from having the priesthood (Abraham 1:21-7).

Nothing concerning the LDS "revelation" in 1978 to give "all worthy males members" the priesthood invalidates these beliefs. However, (the official website of the Church) now states, "Today, the Church disavows the theories advanced in the past that black skin is a sign of divine disfavor or curse, or that it reflects unrighteous actions in a premortal life; that mixed-race marriages are a sin; or that blacks or people of any other race or ethnicity are inferior in any way to anyone else. Church leaders today unequivocally condemn all racism, past and present, in any form" ("Race and the Priesthood").

God does not curse anyone with dark skin.

God blesses humanity with different colors of skin, and no skin color is more favorable to Him than another. Race is not the real issue anyway, for we are all one in Christ (Gal. 3:28). "God is no respecter of persons: But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him" (Acts 10:34-5). Since this is true, there was no good reason to not allow blacks to attend BYU in the 1960s or exclude blacks from holding the priesthood until 1978.

The mark of Cain was not a curse, but a blessing. It was for his good to protect him from anyone who wanted to kill him. Nothing is said about this mark being passed onto his descendants, nothing is said about it being a color of skin, and nothing is said about it barring him or his seed from Zion, the future abode of God (Gen. 4:15).

Finally, dark skin is never changed into white upon repentance (Jer. 13:23).

Polygamy? God approves of polygamy in the Old and New Testaments, but has temporarily suspended the practice.

Holy men were allowed to practice plural marriage in times past only upon the Lord's command (Fielding Smith, The Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith [1977], 346-7; and Jacob 2:27-30). These who kept this command, as well as other commands, became gods in the celestial kingdom (D&C 132).

Brigham Young taught that the only ones who became gods are those who enter into polygamy (The Journal of Discourses 11:269). This explains why early leaders of the LDS Church were all polygamists. Joseph Smith had 34 wives, 11 of whom were currently married to living husbands at the time he took them as wives (; and

Even though the Salt Lake City based Mormon Church suspended the practice in 1890, the late General Authority Bruce McConkie said it would obviously "commence again after the Second Coming of the Son of Man" (Mormon Doctrine, 578).

However, temple-worthy LDS widowers may still practice plural marriage today by getting sealed for "time and all eternity" to another temple-worthy woman who is not sealed to another. So it's still practiced today with only 1 living wife (e.g., LDS Prophet Russell M. Nelson and Apostle Dallin Oaks).

God always disapproves of polygamy even when He allowed it.

Simply because something is the case doesn't entail that it ought to be the case. So just because individuals were polygamists in the Bible doesn't entail that they should have been. People murdered in the Bible, but that doesn't justify murder.

The ideal of the one-flesh unit was given from creation (Gen. 2:24), and there are various indications in the Old Testament against polygamy. Nonetheless, God may have at times accommodated Himself to a temporary, fallen Near Eastern social structure (Paul Copan, Is God a Moral Monster?: Making Sense of the Old Testament God [Grand Rapids: Baker, 2011], 58-62, and 110-7). Similar to Jesus' teaching on divorce, it was given due to the hardness of their hearts (Mat. 19:8).

Regardless of the Old Testament practice, the New Testament is clear that the church leaders, who we are called to emulate, are to be husbands of one wife (1 Tim. 3:2, 12; and Titus 1:5-6). We are still in the New Testament, and thus, there is no excuse for Mormon Church leaders entering into polygamy.

Finally, Jesus taught that we won't be married in the afterlife anyway, but will be like the angels (Mat. 22:23-30).

The Priesthood? The Aaronic and Melchizedek priesthoods are offered to worthy male members.

There are two forms of the priesthood: the Aaronic (the lesser one) and the Melchizedek (the greater one). Without the authority of the priesthood, no man can see God and live.

It is available for all worthy male members of at least a certain age, who desire to act legally in the name of the Lord. This was extended to those males with black ancestry in 1978 (D&C, Official Declaration--2; 84:6ff.; and Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation 3:80).

The Aaronic priesthood was done away at the cross and the Melchizedek priesthood is unique to Christ.

The Aaronic priesthood was done away at the crucifixion of Christ, since He has become our permanent high priest. There is no more need for Levitical priests to offer imperfect sacrifices on behalf of the people in the temple.

Jesus alone is worthy to hold the Melchizedek priesthood. He is our great High Priest that continues to intercede for us before the Father.

Any believer today who has been called out of darkness into the light, regardless of age, race, or sex, is a member of the holy and royal priesthood. The believer operates in the highest authority that is offered today, viz., that of being a child of the Lord Omnipotent. Christians have the true priesthood, since they have the true God who gives it to them (Jn. 1:12; Gal. 3:26-9; 1 Tim. 2:5; Heb. 4:14; 5:9-10; 7:11-8:2; 9:24; 1 Pt. 2:5 and 9; and Rev. 1:6; 20:6).

The Temple? The temple functions today.

"The temple, or the house of the Lord, is the place where we go to prepare for exaltation in the celestial kingdom. There we learn more about Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. We make covenants with Them, and They promise wonderful blessings to us. ...Today, the members of the Church are counseled to become worthy to attend the holy temple" (Endowed from on High: Temple Preparation Seminar Teacher's Manual).

Temple rites include washing and anointing of each patron, clothing them in the temple garment to be worn "night and day" (Temple Recommend Questions), and participation in an endowment ceremony to learn tokens (handshakes), oaths, and names at the veil. In addition to these rites, special ceremonies are offered, which include baptisms for the dead (see above), eternal marriages, and eternal sealings of parents to children. The temple does not function today.

The function of the temple was for the Old Covenant and no longer applies in the New Covenant. In the latter, the Body of Christ, which is made up of believers, is the temple of God (1 Cor. 6:19-20 and 2 Cor. 6:16).

God tore the veil in the temple ("top to the bottom" in Mat. 27:51), which represented the completion of the Old Covenant sacrificial system. The point of this system was to foreshadow the Lamb of God who would take away the sin of the world (Heb. 9-10).

There was only one temple, the work was always for the living, not the dead, there was no endowment ceremony, nor were there any marriages or sealings. Christ's death put an end to the law for those who believe (Rom. 10:4). As a result, He did not institute a new external law of temple requirements.

The Bible? The Bible is unreliable and incomplete for faith.

The Bible is the word of God only as it is translated correctly (8th Article of Faith). Evidently, it was not translated very well since Joseph Smith's translation (JST) is quite a bit different from all other versions (also cf. 1 Nephi 13:23-42 where the Bible is corrupted after the founding 12 apostles).

Smith arrogantly said, "I believe the Bible as it read when it came from the pen of the original writers. Ignorant translators, careless transcribers, or designing and corrupt priests have committed many errors" (The Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith [1977], 327). Apostle Orson Pratt proclaimed, "But the Bible has been robbed of its plainness ; many sacred books having been lost, others rejected by the Romish Church, and what few we have left, were copied and re-copied [sic] so many times, that it is admitted that almost every verse has been corrupted and mutilated to that degree that scarcely any two of them read alike. The original manuscripts of the books of the Old and New Testament are no where to be found ; all we have left are mutilated copies containing an incredible number of contradictory readings. From these, uninspired men have translated by their own human wisdom our present version of the Bible, which is so indefinite that it leaves room for different opinions, clashing one against the other" (The Seer, 213). Nonetheless, LDS use the King James Version.

Smith taught that the Book of Mormon, not the Bible, "was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book" (Introduction to the Book of Mormon).

In addition to the Bible and the Book of Mormon, LDS have two other books of Scripture--the Doctrine and Covenants and the Pearl of Great Price. The Book of Mormon calls those "fools" who claim they have a Bible and "need no more Bible" (2 Nephi 29:3-14).

Despite these claims that the Bible is unreliable and incomplete, Smith taught that only LDS believe the Bible and "all other sects believe their interpretations of the Bible, and their creeds" (History of the Church 3:28). However, Brigham Young said that we are to use the Bible to see if the LDS Church stood the test (Journal of Discourses 16:46).

The Bible is reliable and complete for faith.

The Bible claims to be the word of God, and the Bible promised that it would be faithfully preserved. The general consistency of the Septuagint, the Dead Sea Scrolls, the thousands of other ancient manuscripts, lectionaries, and citations from early church fathers all attest to this fact.

Just because we don't have the original writings of the biblical authors doesn't entail they can't be trusted today. They are trusted on the basis of the proximity from the originals to the earliest manuscripts as well as the general consistency of all the manuscripts. Both these components are far better than any other ancient work where the originals are missing (e.g., Illiad, Odyssey, Nicomachean Ethics, etc., etc.). This is why the Bible is by far the best attested work of antiquity. So if you want to throw out the Bible since we don't have the originals, you also have to throw out all other ancient works which don't have original writings from their authors. Dr. Corey Miller and Dr. Lynn K. Wilder put it this way with regards to the New Testament (NT),

"The Greek manuscripts and ancient versions alone consist of nearly twenty-five thousand manuscripts. Further, if all of the NT manuscripts were destroyed, the NT could still be reconstructed merely by the thirty-two thousand citations from early second- and third-century church fathers, who quote from all but eleven verses of the NT. It is widely known among scholars in the field that the manuscript evidence of the NT is proven to be more numerous, earlier, more widely distributed, better copied, and written by more people who were closer to the events than for any other piece of ancient history, which provides scholars the opportunity for virtual reconstruction of the original text. To reject the NT is to reject all of ancient history by comparison. ...In conclusion, the Bible that we have today is essentially the same as what they had in the generation that walked with Jesus" (Leaving Mormonism: Why Four Scholars Changed Their Minds [Grand Rapids: Kregal, 2017], 297).

The Bible is archaeologically, historically, prophetically, and scientifically accurate. Jesus was the smartest person who ever lived, and He believed the scriptures were accurate and would be faithfully preserved (Mat. 5:18; 24:35; Jn. 10:35; 14:26; and 17:17). He fulfilled prophecy and the best case of history demonstrates that He rose from the dead. As such, He ought to be believed. Consequently, since the Bible contradicts all the other scriptures of the LDS Church, including Joseph Smith's translation, they should all be damned (Ps. 12:6-7; Proverbs 30:6; Isa. 40:7-8; and Gal. 1:6-9).

There is absolutely no objective reason to trust Smith got his translation right and all sorts of objective reasons why he got it wrong.

For answers to LDS critiques that support their faith, see our Frequently Asked Questions. For reasoned defenses of the Christian Faith, see J. Warner Wallace's Cold-Case Christianity, Dr. Hugh Ross' Reasons to Believe, Dr. John Lennox, Dr. J. P. Moreland, and Dr. William Lane Craig's Reasonable Faith. Also see a dozen reasons "Why Christianity Is True but Mormonism Is Not" by the Institute of Religious Research, and for more detail, see Dr. Robert M. Bowman Jr.'s "Jesus' Resurrection and Joseph's Visions: Examining the Foundations of Christianity and Mormonism."


Friday 6th of January 2023

The Chosen has a gross disregard for Christ and makes light of Him throughout the show. If there were no other point, this would be enough to discard it as a grave and dangerous error. Yet there are dozens of such points. Where the Bible leads us to salvation, The Chosen leads us to lightly regard truth, repentance, and Christ's sacrifice for us, while seeing Him as a common man. Portions of Scripture that are essential and reveal conversion are twisted to amuse and entertain.

There is no light in this satanic portrayal and twisted humanist production. Those who care about preparing for Jesus' coming should shun the works of darkness.


Friday 6th of January 2023

My first concern is the subtle (or not-so-subtle) Scriptural inconsistencies. The most blatant one is the way the show pushes a feminist agenda. We first glimpse this when Jesus asks Mary Magdalene to lead in prayer and Scripture reading before a sabbath dinner. This is a historically impossible scenario and totally inconsistent with first century Jewish culture. Mary Magdalene is also seen throughout the show as “the 13th disciple” and travels around with Jesus and His disciples. It would have been both culturally and morally inappropriate for a single woman to travel around with a bunch of men. And if she had, her virtue and the intentions of Jesus and the disciples would have been called into question. And finally, in episode 6, we see Tamar and Mary Magdalene carry the paralytic man through the crowd. This is in direct contradiction to the story in Luke 5 where it clearly states “some men” carried the paralytic man (see verse 18). The writers are clearly trying to appease the feminist American culture even at the expense of changing the words of Scripture.

Another error is found when Jesus is conversing with Nicodemus and asks him, “what does your heart say?” I can tell you– beyond a shadow of a doubt–Jesus never would have said that (Jeremiah 17:9). They also portray Matthew as having Asperger’s Syndrome. You can’t find any proof for this scripturally and, again, it feels as though they’re simply pandering to the current American culture.

My second concern is that this show will affect the way people approach Scripture. The writers obviously take a lot of liberties with the story of Jesus, the disciples, and other biblical characters to create a multi-season series. You might think it’s not a big deal; that it’s just entertainment. But this show adds details, attributes, and circumstances that aren’t in the Bible to Bible characters and Bible stories. Don’t you think that those things might paint an inaccurate picture that will affect the way you read God’s Word?

Quotes like “I came to know Jesus better through this show” and “I feel like I’ve been reading my Bible in black and white all these years and now it’s in color” have been circulating on social media by both the creators and fans of the show. The creator says he’s “trying to tell God’s stories in a fresh way” and “enhancing Scripture”. Those are all incredibly dangerous statements. Do you need something other than God’s Word to know Jesus? No. In fact, God’s Word is the only way we can know Jesus. Do we need anything to enhance God’s stories or tell them in a fresh way? Absolutely not. Only the Bible is the inspired Word of God and it needs no enhancing or modern re-telling by fallible men.