When I was 20 years old…my religion was more about surfing and baseball than it was about anything else. For some odd reason…I still wasn’t happy. A couple important people in my life suggested that I ought to research Mormonism and determine whether it was true or not.
One of the most important decisions a person makes in their life is their choosing of a religion or church to join. It’ll shape the way they think, determine the things they do, and impact their overall happiness.
At 20, I began to seriously consider the doctrines of the Mormon Church. Those doctrines started making me a better person. That was the first real and tangible evidence for me. But lots of people challenged me to stop being delusional and look at the facts about the Book of Mormon, Joseph Smith, and the LDS Church. The Bible says “He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him.” (Proverbs 18:13) so I try to be open and consider the things that people have sent me. As I consider each of the various arguments against Mormonism, my mind always comes back to the many questions that Mormon doctrine seems to answer with ease. These questions….and their answers form what I consider to be a doctrinal “Mormon Superstructure”.
I haven’t found any other religion that can logically answer these basic questions. This fact alone keeps my interest in the Mormon faith piqued.
So here are 51 questions that have helped me form that superstructure. You don’t have to read them all. Pick one or two or ten…and it might just make you want to stop and talk with those missionaries just a little longer next time.
1. There are 50,000+ Christian denominations. Why are they not one church? (Ephesians 4:5)
2. If the Bible has obvious contradictions, then how can it be viewed as the final and infallible word of God by Christians? (Acts 9:7, Acts 22:9)
3. Does the Bible say anywhere in it that there will not be any more prophets or any additional scriptures?
4. There are various letters from Paul and others that were not included in the Bible. Who gets to decide what goes into the Bible and what gets left out?
5. Did we live as premortal spirits before we came to earth? (Jeremiah 1:5, Job 38:7)
6. Who was “God” talking to when He said “Let us” make man in “our” image and after “our” likeness? (Genesis 1:26-27)
7. Why do people believe God the Father and Jesus Christ are one being when Christ refers to himself and His Father as two men? (John 8:17-18)
8. The first Hebrew word for “God” renders the word “God” in the plural. Is there more than one god?
9. Why does Paul say that there are lots of gods? (1 Corinthians 8:5)
10. Why do so many of the “Early Christian Fathers” (those that were closest to the New Testament church) and respected Christian scholars such as C.S. Lewis speak of there being multiple gods?
11. The word “God” is a title. It’s not the actual name of Christ and it’s not the name of Heavenly Father. So could others like you and I be called using that same title someday if we are faithful children of a being with the title of “God”? (John 10:30-36) (Romans 8:16-17)
12. Christ tells us to become perfect. God is perfect. Does that mean we can become like God? (Matthew 5:48)
13. Why would Christ be resurrected with his actual body if he was only just a manifestation of the Father?
14. You must accept Christ in order to be saved. But what if you never even heard of the name of Christ while in your lifetime?
15. Would a just God condemn someone merely because of the space of time in which they lived on the earth?
16. If baptism is required for salvation as taught by Jesus Christ (John 3:3-5), what happens to those that never had the chance to be baptized such as infants that died near child birth?
17. Why would Paul speak to the Corinthians about baptism for the dead, and why is this concept overlooked in mainstream Christianity? (1 Corinthians 15:29)
18. Why would Christ preach to the dead if the people that had died without confessing Christ had no chance in the after-life? (1 Peter 3:18-19) (1 Peter 4:6)
19. Many pastors get paid big bucks to be pastors when Paul says we should minister for free. Should a church have a paid or unpaid ministry? (1 Corinthians 9:18)
20. What does Paul mean when he says we can become an heir of God and a joint-heir with Jesus Christ? (Romans 8:16-17)
21. Why do many Christians say that our works don’t matter, but Jesus says that we are required to repent and keep the commandments?
22. The Bible specifically says that we’ll be judged according to our works. Where is the cutoff line for heaven and hell? If you said 20 lies and I said 19, will you go to hell while I go to heaven?
23. Why do people believe in one heaven and one hell when the Bible teaches that there are various “degrees of glory” after the resurrection? (1 Corinthians 15:40-42)
24. What was Paul talking about when he said he saw in vision a “third heaven”? (2 Corinthians 12:2-4)
25. Why does Christ say that there are many “mansions,” or if you prefer the Greek, “residences, stopping places, degrees” in heaven? (John 14:2)
26. What does the scripture in Acts 3:19-21 mean when Peter talks about the need for a future restoration?
27. What was Christ teaching his apostles during the “40 day ministry”? Why did He need an entire 40 days for after he was resurrected when he was with them every day for the last 3 years? (Acts 1)
28. Why don’t Christian denominations build temples?
29. Revelation 7:15 say that in the last days, disciples wearing white clothes would be working “day and night” in the temple. What church does that?
30. The last chapter of the Old Testament seems kind of important. Does anyone have any idea what it means to “turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of the children to their fathers?” (Malachi 4:5-6)
31. The Jews prepare for Elijah’s return every year during Passover. On April 3, 1836 Elijah returned to the earth and appeared in the Kirtland temple on the exact day that Jews around the world had prepared an empty chair for Elijah at their Passover meal? Is that a coincidence? [More]
32. Why was there a sudden global interest in genealogical research and why were these genealogical societies formed immediately following Elijah’s appearance in the temple in 1836?
33. The New Testament apostles had the ability to bind and seal on earth and in heaven. Who today claims the ability to bind and seal things on earth and in heaven?
34. Will we know our family and friends in the after-life or do we lose our identities?
35. Joseph Smith “could neither write nor dictate a coherent and well worded letter” according to his wife and many others. Could he have written the Book of Mormon?
36. If he did write the Book of Mormon, where or how did he accumulate so much wisdom in under 22 years of life?
37. Could Joseph Smith have been capable of plagiarizing from other books to write the Book of Mormon?
38. If you say he plagiarized from a book that was popular and well known in his area, then how come no one called him out on it when he released the Book of Mormon?
39. Every scribe for Joseph Smith said he used no other manuscript or third party source material. Do you think Joseph Smith could have curated, memorized, and dictated Jacob 5 “The Allegory of the Olive Tree”, let alone the entire Book of Mormon?
40. Eleven plus people testified that they saw or handled the Book of Mormon plates. Many of these people became mad at Joseph Smith. Is it feasible that none of them would have “spilled the beans” if it was a calculated fraud in order to destroy Joseph Smith?
41. Who are the “other sheep that are not of this fold” referred to by Christ in (John 10:16) Hint: It’s not the Gentiles.
42. Why do so many ancient North, Central, and South American Indian traditions cite the appearance and ministration of a “Great God” that visited their ancestors many years ago and promised to return again?
43. Why do the explorers and conquistadors credit their ability to conquer the Indians of the America’s to their belief that the conquistadors were that “Great God” returning?
44. If the polygamous history of Mormonism is a deal breaker, then why do you still believe in the Bible? Remember Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, David, Solomon, and others who are esteemed from the Bible?
45. Joseph Smith was free and clear from the mob and on the other side of the Mississippi River when he was summoned to go to Carthage to die. If you were an evil villain imposter…would you go back to Carthage, or would you save your own skin?
46. They found the Book of Mormon that Joseph and Hyrum had in Carthage jail with the page turned down that they read from before they died. Hyrum, other than Joseph, would have known best if it was a fraud. If you were Hyrum, would you read from a fraudulent book in your last days?
47. Would there be that many people that would lie about Joseph Smith’s prophetic qualities and the many miracles that surrounded the restoration? If so…why?
48. Is God capable of sending a prophet to the earth today? If yes, how do you think that prophet would be received?
49. What Christian denomination most closely resembles the New Testament church of the Bible?
50. According to Christian beliefs, Mormons would be saved based on their confession of Christ. So…what is wrong with being Mormon?
Many of these questions have been asked by truth seekers over hundreds of years. It’s amazing to me that we live in a day that these questions can be answered. I personally go back to this “superstructure” whenever my faith is challenged intellectually. I can’t logically discredit the restoration of the gospel while the answers to these timeless questions have been given to me and are in plain view.
But then there’s question 51:
The Bible tells us that we should “ask God” and that the Holy Ghost will show us whether something is true or not. So after realizing that there is no other institution (that I know of) that answers these questions…I can do only one other thing to solidify my faith. I’ve got to ask the ultimate question.
51. “God…has Your church been restored?”
All of the previous 50 questions pale in importance to question 51. The Church of Jesus Christ in these latter days arose out of just one simple prayer to God from a small town farm boy in Palmyra New York.
So…I followed the Bible. I studied, I asked, I learned for myself that it’s true. I can only speak for myself.
A sermon could be given on each of these questions, but simply asking these questions is cause enough to at least give Mormonism a long stare down.