“I have more to boast of than ever any man had. I am the only man that has ever been able to keep a whole church together since the days of Adam. A large majority of the whole have stood by me. Neither Paul, John, Peter, nor Jesus ever did it. I boast that no man ever did such a work as I.” Bold words? You bet! If you’re like most of us, you’d be hard pressed to identify who spoke them… and you might be surprised to discover that they are found in an official account of a sermon delivered by Joseph Smith, Jr., founder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Like many of the prophet’s teachings, these words come not from hearsay or the accounts of those who seek to destroy the LDS church, but from the records of the church, itself… in this case, History of the Church, Vol. 6, p. 408, 409
For many, claims like this, are sufficient to elicit suspicion. After all, how many leaders of Christian churches would be so bold as to claim themselves capable of that which Christ, Himself was not? Unfortunately, many modern members of the LDS church are unaware of the teachings of their founder and his early successors, choosing, instead to simply repeat the line that the Mormon church is Christian… merely a denomination of a larger faith.
It is for the purpose of addressing this claim and others like it that the Utah Lighthouse Ministry was established. Created in 1983 by Jerald Tanner (a great-great grandson of John Tanner) and his wife, Sandra (a great-great granddaughter of Brigham Young), UTLM seeks to make teachings such as these readily available to both members and non-members of the LDS church in the hope of encouraging careful analysis of the doctrine of the prophets upon whose teaching the church was established.
Visit their website, and you’ll find a multitude of useful resources starting with Jerald Tanner’s testimony of his own journey out of Mormonism. View the stories of others who have left the LDS Church, then take a look at what they found to be a compelling case for their departure as you examine 3,913 Changes to the Book of Mormon as well as an extensive list of places in which the Book of Mormon directly contradicts the teachings of the Bible and view a few of the contradictions which exist within the LDS Scriptures. Explore LDS Theology in-depth as you tackle topics from the test of a prophet to church teaching on the role of Lucifer.
Then, learn to effectively share your faith with your Latter-day Saint friends and family. Check out a variety of FREE gospel tracts including Jesus and Joseph Smith, Testing the Book of Mormon, and The Fall of the Book of Abraham. And when your friends are ready to leave, check out the comprehensive explanation of the process for removing your name from the church rolls.
The site is full of great resources from audio interviews and video clips to a selection of online books, so take your time. Read the resources carefully and you’re sure to be ready to address the claims of the LDS church with your Mormon friends in a way that reflects both gentleness and respect!