Or is it a Testament of Another Jesus Christ?
Ed Decker, President, Saints Alive
Let's just test it by one simple test. What happened when Jesus went to Calvary in the Bible and in the Book of Mormon? The Testament should be the same!
Matthew 27:50-54: Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost. And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many. Now when the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, Truly this was the Son of God.
Mark 15:37: And Jesus cried with a loud voice, and gave up the ghost. And the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom. And when the centurion, which stood over against him, saw that he so cried out, and gave up the ghost, he said, Truly this man was the Son of God.
Luke 23:44-47: And it was about the sixth hour, and there was a darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour. And the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was rent in the midst. And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost. Now when the centurion saw what was done, he glorified God, saying, Certainly this was a righteous man.
John 19:30: When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.
The word, earthquake, is used here to state that the earth shook. It must not have been severe. John doesn't even mention it. Luke indicates that people stood by as the earth shook and the sun went into eclipse for three hours.
There is one clear thing. No one died. At His resurrection on the third day, graves were opened and some Saints were resurrected to walk into the city.
Matthew 28:1-6: In the end of the Sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre. And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it. His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow: And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men. And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.
Again, earthquake is not used in the destructive sense. The earth shook and the stone rolled away from the door. People were not killed.
Not quite the same story in the Book of Mormon:
In the Book of Mormon, Jesus brought death and destruction with him to the Cross. In 3 Nephi, Chapters 8 and 9, it details the events testifying of Christ's crucifixion. It describes the desolation of the great city of Zarahemla by fire, and the city of Moroni "did sink into the sea and the inhabitants thereof were drowned... the earth was carried up upon the city of Mornihah...there was great and terrible destruction in the land southward......terrible destruction in the land northward....the highways were broken up....many great and noble cities were sunk and many burned and many shaken till the buildings thereof had fallen to the earth.....all these great and terrible things were done in the space of three hours."
3 Nephi, Chapter 9, tells of further wrath as the Lord also destroyed the cities and inhabitants of Gigal, Onihah, Mocum, Jerusalem, Gadiandi, Gadiomnah, Jacob, Gimgimmo, Jacobugath, Laman, Josh, Gad, and Kishkumen (a total of 16 major cities).
Who did all this killing to testify of our Lord's atonement on Calvary? 3 Nephi 9:15 reveals the murderer of approximately 2 million innocent inhabitants of the Book of Mormon lands, "Behold, I am Jesus Christ the son of God. I created the heavens and the earth and all things that in them are." He adds, (in verse 21), "behold, I have come unto the world to bring redemption unto the world to save the world from sin."
I guess the easiest way was to kill almost every living creature; at least the vast majority of that portion of his "other sheep have I." This Jesus was a god of wrath, exercising some form of Old Testament Judgment by the one who was supposed to be the end of the law
The Biblical Jesus cried out to His Father, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing." Pretty simply, we see two different Jesus" here.
The Christ of Mormonism is not the same Christ of the Bible. 2 Cor.11:3-5 tells us that there will be those who would teach a different Christ. Paul says of them, "For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, masquerading as apostles of Christ". So there is a Biblical warning about those who would bring the doctrine of another Jesus and a simple test. Do the Mormons and the Book of Mormon pass that test? No.
The Mormons have a difficult time understanding what actually happened at Calvary. In the LDS pamphlet, WHAT THE MORMONS THINK OF CHRIST, we see the problem. In the section, The Blood of Christ (page 22 in the 1976 edition), we read:
"Christians speak often of the blood of Christ and its cleansing power. Much that is believed and taught on this subject, however, is such utter nonsense and so palpably false that to believe it is to lose one's salvation. For instance, many believe or pretend to believe that if we confess Christ with our lips and avow that we accept him as our personal savior, we are thereby saved. They say that his blood, without any other act than mere belief, makes us clean."
"What is the true doctrine of the blood of Christ? Salvation comes because of the atonement, and the atonement was wrought through the shedding of the blood of Christ. In Gethsemane Christ sweat great drops of blood from every pore when he conditionally took upon himself the sins of the world, and then the shedding of his blood was completed upon the cross."
The Mormon Church teaches, and professes in its statement of faith, Article 3, "We believe that through the atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the gospel (The laws and ordinance of the gospel, according to the LDS prophet.. ed) ."
The Bible clearly teaches another Christ from the one the Mormons teach ..... and another gospel...
Colossians 2:13-15: And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.
Ephesians 2:13-17: But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh.
Hebrews 10:11-20: And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;
From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified. Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before, This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin.
Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh.
In the early LDS church, there was a more orthodox Christ preached. But, when Joseph began to teach the strange doctrines of this different Christ, one without the redemptive powers, the church could no longer deal with the reality of the blood of Calvary and its full redemptive work, That was when the church removed the red wine from the communion table and went to water. This act literally washed away the reality of the blood from its basically Christen converts. The same holds true today. The cross and the blood have become strangers to the saints.
© 1998, 2000 Ed Decker
Contact Ed Decker at www.saintsalive.com