By Robert Hines
Peter said to “be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you.” This positive defense, the strong, reasoned “yes ” to the question of the truth of Christianity also has a negative side; this is the equally strong “no” to false teaching concerning God and His revelation to man. Such an opportunity came recently when two young Mormon “missionaries” came by the house and left a list of questions titled “The Testimony of Two Nations.” These questions were to be an introduction to their beliefs as well as an opener for discussions we might possibly have later. Let us look at their questions and reply with Bible-based answers
Q. “Do you believe in the teachings of the Bible?”
A. Yes; the Bibles message is the message of God, written 4″not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit.” (I Cor. 2:13). And these words make up “the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.” (2 Tim. 3:15). The Bible has what I need!
Q. “In your opinion is the Bible understood today, as the Jewish Prophets intended it to be?”
A. Yes, by those who would study it; no, by those with “itching ears.” But this situation faults no one but man, and in no way makes an additional revelation necessary to explain or clarify the Bible, whether it be “The Book of Mormon,” “The Doctrine and Covenants” or “The Pearl of Great Price.” The Bible interprets itself. “Obscure” or “thorny” passages are clarified by other more easily understood passages on the same subject. Many troublesome problems would be solved problems if men would only follow this basic principle in Bible study. Let the Bible explain itself; and being Gods all-sufficient word, it can do this. In the Bible “His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness.” (2 Pet. 1:3).
Q. “Have you ever considered why the record of God speaking to men came from only one people?”
A. Because of the way the next question is phrased, the answer wanted here is that “God only spoke to one group of people.” To the Mormons, “one group of people” seems to mean a group of people in one area as is suggested by the title of their questions. But the Bibles “one group of people” includes all men throughout the world: “And opening his mouth Peter said, I most certainly understand now that God is not one to show partiality, but in every nation the man who fears Him and does what is right is welcome to Him” (Acts 10:34, 35). As to why then the record of God came from only a group of people in one area: the one record was and is enough, for it shows the way of salvation to all mankind.
Q. “Now, God being a just God, would He speak to one group of people, or would He speak to more than one?”
A. Now, you Latter Day Saints, claiming to be a people obedient to Gods will, would you put yourselves above God and call Him wrong or unjust because He does not meet your standards of justice? “Rather, let God be found true, though every man be found a liar.” (Rom. 3:4). Secondly, and again, God speaks through the one revelation not only to “more than one” people, but to all people. Jesus told His apostles, “but you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be my witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth” (Acts 1:8). Their testimony has gone to the remotest part of the earth. The Bible is enough for every man who would save his soul through obedience to the will of God.
Q. “If He had spoken to another group of people, would He make it known to us?”
A. Yes: in the Bible! If this is not the case then Paul would have said something other than “learn not to exceed what is written.” (I Cor. 4:6). The Bible is Gods final revelation to man until the Day of Judgment, and it is not to be tampered with. Its words are the words of God and “if anyone adds to them, God shall add to him the plagues which are written in this book.” (Rev. 22:18).
Q. “Would the witness of two nations be more valuable than one?”
A. No, if the one is sufficient and the reliability of the second is doubtful.
Q. “Another people have left us their witness that God spoke to them, as recorded in the Book of Mormon. May we invite you to examine their testimony?”
A. Yes; may I invite you to examine the testimony of Gods commentary on the Book of Mormon? You tell me that Galatians 1: 8-9 does not apply to you as your gospel is that of Christ, yet you deny this by your church organization, your ideas of man and of God, your distorted plan of salvation … in short, your refusal to adhere solely to the will of God as fully revealed in His holy word, the Bible. So again I quote: “But even though we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to that which we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to that which you have received, let him be accursed.”
TRUTH MAGAZINE, XVI: 36, pp. 9-10
July 20, 1972