I am writing this with my LDS friends in mind but it should be an interesting read for all.
I was excommunicated from the church back in 1978 basically for believing in the principle of revelation. The problem was that many of the things I believed did not come through the prophet of the church. I was thus judged to be not in harmony and expelled, even though I had broken no church rules, had a temple recommend and seven jobs in the church at the time.
My nephew, Curtis, was similarly excommunicated and together we concluded that now with the shackles off we could openly teach the LDS some of the higher knowledge we had received. We were motivated by this scripture which said:
“For there are many yet on the earth among all sects, parties, and denominations, who are blinded by the subtle craftiness of men, whereby they lie in wait to deceive, and who are only kept from the truth because they know not where to find it.” D&C 123:12
Here are several things we attempted to teach.
(1) There are many truths and revelations available not recognized by the church.
(2) The importance of the gathering principle for the spiritual and physical salvation of the church and that the church had ceased to obey the commandments concerning it.
(3) The principle of reincarnation.
(4) The Molecular Relationship (See my book on this).
We thus figured that since the LDS were several steps above other Christian religions in truths perceived that there should be quite a few who would be open to “greater things.” All that would be necessary would be that we show them where to find it.
We labored diligently, and at great sacrifice, for about two years among the Mormons attempting to teach them that there were many truths and revelations available that were not recognized by the church.
The strange thing is we gained significant interested across the land, but almost all that interest came from non members. To our dismay and surprise we found that the LDS were the most closed minded of any people that we encountered. There seemed to be a vacancy of those who didn’t know the truth merely because they knew not where to find it. We presented the truth over and over in every approach possible and were rejected.
After two years of tireless work and almost zero results among the LDS we decided that we needed to retire to the real world and take care of our badly neglected material responsibilities.
Several years later a group showing the film called the Godmakers caught our attention. They were making the rounds in cities across the United States showing this film which distorted and mocked the teachings of Joseph Smith that we can eternally progress until we can become as advanced as the God that is over us and that there is a hierarchy of beings we call Gods.
Curtis and I went to see the film and were disgusted with its mockery, We wondered what the response of the church would be. We checked into this and to our dismay we discovered that the authorities were telling the members to do nothing. They basically said, don’t challenge the Godmakers, don’t confront them and basically act as if they do not exist.
We thought this was a new low for a church response and that the Mormons of this age were so much different than those who founded the church. In Nauvoo, for instance, members often challenged outsiders to public debates.
Then, a bright idea entered my head and I said something like this to Curtis:
“If the church will not defend Joseph Smith then we ought to do it. Let us challenge these Godmakers to a debate on whether or not the Bible supports the teachings of Joseph Smith on God.”
Curtis thought that was a great idea, but the question was how to go about it. After all, we were a couple unknowns who were not currently even associated with the church. It would seem that they would have little interest in debating us.
Then I had another bright idea. “We will embarrass them into debating us. We’ll run an ad in the Boise Statesman and challenge the Godmakers to a public debate.”
That sounded good to Curtis so we knocked our heads together and came up with an ad challenging the makers of the film, The Godmakers, to a public debate.
We ran the ad and sat back and waited for the phone to ring.
To our surprise one of the first calls we received was from an authority pretty high up in the LDS church, a Regional Representative. The conversation went something like this.
Authority: “Are you brethren aware that the Prophet has told us to avoid any conflict with this group?”
I received the impression that he figured we were just regular members who were over zealous, but ignorant of the decree from Salt Lake. I decided to set him straight.
“Yes, we are aware,” I said, “but the problem is that the prophet is disobeying the commandment from the scriptures on this matter. Someone has to obey it so we decided to.”
“And what commandment is that?” he asked with the realization that we were not regular members.
“Here, I’ll read it to you out of the Doctrine and Covenants. It says:
“Wherefore, confound your enemies; call upon them to meet you both in public and in private; and inasmuch as ye are faithful their shame shall be made manifest.
Wherefore, let them bring forth their strong reasons against the Lord. … keep my commandments; they are true and faithful. Even so. Amen.” D&C 71:7-11
“Here the scripture plainly says to ‘call upon’ these type of people and deal with their ‘strong reasons’ in public and private. Why do you suppose the Prophet is not obeying this commandment?”
There was somewhat of a gasp and a mumble. Then I said, “Someone needs to obey this commandment and stand up for Joseph Smith so we decided to and it matters not what the authorities in the church think. We care more about what God thinks.”
After that, he said something about the importance of following the prophet and hung up.
Following that incident we sat back and waited for the phone to ring. It did ring a number of times, but each person phoning asked the same question, “When’s the debate going to be? This sounds interesting.”
We told the callers that no one had stepped forward yet to debate us, but if we get some bites we would publish the details in the paper.
A couple days passed and to our disappointment we did not receive even one call accepting our challenge to debate.
As we sat together in contemplation it seemed at first that the best thing to do was to abandon the idea. After thinking about it I told Curtis that we were not done yet. What we needed to do was to run a second and bigger ad much more powerful than the first and embarrass them into debating us.
Curtis thought this was worth a try so we pooled together all the money we had and bought a much bigger ad. After we finished writing the ad we figured that if this didn’t get a response, nothing would.
Here is the wording of the ad:
On February 15, 1984 we issued a challenge through the Statesman to anyone who supported the film called:
to a public biblical debate on the teachings of Joseph Smith, the Mormon prophet, that man can become a god and the plurality of gods.
Public opinion supported us in this challenge and everyone wanted to know when the debate would be. Since none accepted our challenge, the response to all who called in was essentially the same: “Sorry, not one born again Christian has called in who is willing to defend his belief in God out of the Bible either In public or private.”
Is there not even ONE born again Christian out there who is willing to stand up for his beliefs??? The challenge went out not only to the Saints Alive, but to all who oppose the teachings of Joseph Smith.
There are plenty of people who publicly condemn the teachings of Joseph Smith. It takes no intelligence or faith to do that. But where are they to defend their accusations now on the day of reckoning when they are met with a challenge?
The Saints Alive refuse to debate us. Perhaps they are afraid. How about the rest of you God-fearing born again Christians??? There must be about 100,000 within the reach of this paper. Is there none that dare step forward and accept the challenge to debate us on the Biblical teachings of Joseph Smith? Are you defenders of the faith or accusers only?
Please call us at *** or check the appropriate box below and send it into us. We will publish the results of this survey in a future edition of the Statesman.
( ) Yes. I am willing to defend my faith before God and man and will accept the challenge to a public debate.
( ) I believe in one God, but am afraid to defend Him publicly.
( ) (No need to check this. Keep clipping in drawer.) I am not a concerned Christian and am not bothering to send this in.
( ) I want more information on man becoming a God and on the eternal nature of man.
Please clip and send to THE DEFENDERS OF JOSEPH SMITH; P.O. Box 8011; Boise, ID 83707
This time the response was overwhelmingly different. The phone rang constantly and everybody wanted to debate us. We got calls from 12 year old kids wanting to debate us, from old men, from housewives, from ministers… We received responses from almost every state in the United States. We just ran the ad in Boise, so how did this happen? Local people clipped out that ad and they sent it to people they knew outside of Boise. Many sent copies to various Christian ministers and we even received calls from famous ministers wanting to debate us.
We thought this was much better and we had a good time answering all those phone calls. So I said to Curtis, “lets pick the two best ones to debate us.” So we picked the two best responses. The most notable response we received was from the famous Christian author named Dick Hunt. He had a number of best selling books with millions of copies in circulation in 50 different languages.
Dick wrote us back and said he had “gotten several letters saying that you wanted to debate me about Joseph Smith out of the Bible. Is this is a Joke?” He did not think it was possible to defend Joseph Smith’s teachings about God out of the Bible.
He then said that if this is not a joke he would debate us. We then contacted him and informed him it was not a joke and we were willing to debate him.
Here is a LINK to Dave’s Amazon Page.
The other guy we picked was Wally Tope. He was a famous anti-Mormon guy and was the main guy leading protests and causing trouble whenever the church had a new temple opening or rededication. He would visit the area and pass out anti-Mormon literature. He traveled from temple to temple and he was perhaps the most famous and notorious anti-Mormon guy of the time and was totally focused.
So we picked these two guys and the local Christians were very enthused because they thought we were going to be totally humiliated. The Christian community picked up the ball and they did all the advertising and rented a big ballroom at Boise State University and arranged for us to be live on the radio. They encouraged their congregations to see this debate.
You would think the Mormons would have been interested in this but the Mormon authorities from Salt Lake City issued a command to the local people and it circulated all throughout the local regions that no Mormons were to attend this debate. They were just supposed to ignore us hoping we will go away.
So when the big day came we went into the big auditorium and the only Mormons that were there were Curtis’ Mom and Dad who reluctantly came to support their son. I think there were about 1300 people there and the place was full and sadly there were only two Mormons in the whole audience to see a defense of Joseph Smith, and as I said they were Curtis’ parents who had to be dragged to the event.
What was funny about this event though was whenever Wally Tope and Dick Hunt got up and shouted that Jesus is Lord and God, Hallelujah – the audience would rise up and repeat this and scream with approval. Then we would take our turn speaking and they would boo us. It was like Daniel in the lion’s den. I never felt so much negativity in my life. We were lucky to get out of there alive.
My friend Wayne came and another friend of mine came that was not a Mormon. I think we had about six people supporting us, and the rest of the 1300 people thought we had been belched right out of hell.
So it was a pretty interesting debate but we held our own. I made the mistake of over preparing. I don’t usually prepare when I make a speech but I prepared for that one because I thought it was important. The first segment of the debate I felt like I was not impacting anyone and then the second segment I threw away my notes and just talked off the cuff and this worked out a lot better.
It was interesting that we were the ones who used the scriptures and they hardly used any. They just rambled on about Jesus being lord and the audience cheered them along. They did not really have any good points in the debate but because they kept touching on what the audience believed in they had the audience on their side.
If you listened to the audience you would really think that they won the debate and they were convinced they won because a good portion of their debate consisted of the audience shouting praise to Jesus.
Christian catch phrases and the 1300 standard Christians in the audience cheering completely overwhelmed our six supporters. The cacophony made it sound like they were winning but if you listened to the words then we won the debate of reason. It was an interesting experience.
After the event was over we soaked in the fact that not a single LDS person came of his own initiative to support the defense of their prophet and founder, Joseph Smith. And they had no excuse. The event was widely advertised and the details widely circulated through the church. I would guess that nine out of ten active Mormons knew about it, but none, not one was curious enough to come.
On the other hand, the born again Christians in the area were happy to come and support their beliefs.
At that time Curtis and I were considering making another outreach, but this time we wrote the Mormons off as a lost cause for a focus and we decided to present teachings that would be of interest to seekers within all belief systems.
Since that time I have written numerous books and thousands of articles and the funny thing is that probably about a third of my readers have an LDS background. My greatest success among the LDS has come when I was not trying to reach them.
The Best Books
One of the reasons the Mormons were so difficult to reach with greater light and truth was they made the same mistake as did the Christians they often criticized.
And what was that criticism?
They quote the Book of Mormon to non Mormons which says:
“many of the Gentiles shall say: A Bible! A Bible! We have got a Bible, and there cannot be any more Bible.” II Nephi 29:3
Then they triumphantly teach that God has not ceased to give revelation, but has given us modern revelation in the Book of Mormon, The Doctrine and Covenants and the Pearl of Great Price.
They thus see a regular Christian who will only accept the Bible, and what his religious authorities say about it, as backwards and trapped in ignorance.
The problem is that the LDS of today are guilty of the same flaw that they see in regular Christians. This includes not only the orthodox church, but also many who have broken off from the mainstream and are following a different path.
How can this be asks the faithful follower? After all, we accept the revelations of Joseph Smith as well as the fact that more revelations are forthcoming. Some have even claimed to produce additional revelations. These surely would not be in the same closed minded situation as are the mainstream Christians.
I wouldn’t be so sure. Have you read your own scriptures which say?
“And as all have not faith, seek ye diligently and teach one another words of wisdom; yea, seek ye out of the best books words of wisdom; seek learning, even by study and also by faith.” D&C 88:118
And where do we find these “best books”?
The typical member will say that these are books of good clean literature, history, self improvement and the writings of the General Authorities of the Church.
But are these really the best books containing the “words of wisdom” members are commanded to seek?
Perhaps a hint as to where the best books lie is given in this scripture:
“For I command all men, both in the east and in the west, and in the north, and in the south, and in the islands of the sea, THAT THEY SHALL WRITE THE WORDS WHICH I SPEAK UNTO THEM; for out of the books which shall be written I will judge the world, every man according to their works, according to that which is written.
“For behold, I shall speak unto the Jews and they shall write it; and I shall also speak unto the Nephites and they shall write it; and I shall also speak unto the other tribes of the house of Israel, which I have led away, and they shall write it; AND I SHALL ALSO SPEAK UNTO ALL NATIONS OF THE EARTH AND THEY SHALL WRITE IT.” II Nephi 29:11-12
This scripture gives us some amazing knowledge that has basically been ignored by the LDS church since its infancy. We are told that God will speak to “all men, both in the east and in the west, and in the north, and in the south, and in the islands of the sea, that they shall write the words which I speak unto them … and I shall also speak unto all nations of the earth and they shall write it.”
Sounds like God will give us more “best Books” than just the Bible from the nation of Israel and three others in America through Joseph Smith.
Where are all these other writings from the east, the west, the north and the south – verily from all nations of the earth?
Is it possible that God has been speaking to many people on the planet since the death of Joseph Smith and the LDS have been closed to them just as the orthodox Christians are closed to the Book of Mormon?
Sadly, the answer is yes. They are caught up in a prison of their own ring-pass-not just as are the standard Christians. The only difference is their ring is just a little larger. Just as the regular Christian will not look outside the Bible and their authorities for additional inspiration the LDS stay focused on their Standard Works and the words of their authorities that stay within the ring of Mormon doctrine.
Outside the ring there is more, much more that has been overlooked by the members of the church.
Shortly after Joseph Smith died God spoke through the Bab and Bahaulla to establish the Bahai religion in Iran. Ironically, they were persecuted for preaching against polygamy whereas the Mormons suffered for preaching for it.
The next major revelation came through a Russian lady, Helena P. Blavatsky who produced the masterful work called The Secret Doctrine. She solved the mystery spoken of in the D&C 49:8 of the “holy men that ye know not of.” Because of her we know who these men are.
Next came a revelation to Levi Dowling giving the complete life of Christ including the missing years called The Aquarian Gospel of Jesus the Christ.
After this a great revelation came through an English lady named Alice A. Bailey. She wrote 24 inspired books containing the deepest knowledge ever revealed. Almost every paragraph turns on a light in the contemplating mind.
Other best books since the time of Joseph Smith containing inspired words are from Helena Roerich, Howard Percival, Lucille Cedercrans and Helen Schucman’s A Course in Miracles. There are other inspired works but this will suffice for now.
Just as Joseph Smith is controversial and has much evil and distortion spoken against him, even so, this is the case with these other modern day prophets. They are all flawed human beings, but if a seeker reads their writings in the light of the Spirit he or she will see that many truths from God are revealed in the words.
A good set of books containing some basic easy to read teachings that are a step up for a sincere LDS seeker are The Teachings of the Masters of the Far East. You can download them free here:
“A man is saved no faster than he gets knowledge.”
Joseph Smith DHC 4:588
Copyright by J J Dewey
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