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Mormons will tell you that you can know that Mormonism is the true Christian Church by just praying to God and asking Him. At that time, they say, you will experience a burning sensation in the chest accompanied by feelings of peace which they call the Burning Bosom. This, say Mormons, is proof that the Mormon Church is the true Christian Church and the true church of God. Here is an LDS member saying so on the official LDS website.

This is despite the fact that Joseph Smith himself said he had made incorrect decisions based on such a Burning Bosom experience and the senior leader Boyd K. Packer in the 1983 LDS Ensign magazine in an article titled “Candle of the Lord” admitting that relying on the Burning Bosom can easily lead to following Satan or one’s own emotional impulse. Packer wrote as as follows:

Be ever on guard lest you be deceived by inspiration from an unworthy source. You can be given false spiritual messages. There are counterfeit spirits just as there are counterfeit angels. Be careful lest you be deceived, for the devil may come disguised as an angel of light.

The spiritual part of us and the emotional part of us are so closely linked that it is possible to mistake an emotional impulse for something spiritual. We occasionally find people who receive what they assume to be spiritual promptings from God, when those promptings are either centered in the emotions or are from the adversary.

Boyd K. Packer, “The Candle of the Lord,” Ensign, January 1983. Mr. Packer in his address offered no way to discern between the emotional, Satanic and Godly witnesses.

To assist Mr. Packer, the best way to discern between the Godly, Satanic and emotional impulses is to evaluate your proposed course of action against The Bible. Because The Bible was produced by The Holy Spirit, any advice from the Holy Spirit will never contradict The Bible because The Holy Spirit will never contradict Himself.

In my opinion it is very easy to tell that the Mormon Church is not a Christian church. And that is because in the First Vision of Joseph Smith in which he received his first messages from the spirit world he was told to reject all the Christian Churches and all Christian belief.

Later accounts say that when the personages appeared, Smith asked them “O Lord, what church shall I join?”[10] or “Must I join the Methodist Church?”[27] In answer, he was told that “all religious denominations were believing in incorrect doctrines, and that none of them was acknowledged of God as his church and kingdom.”[30] All churches and their professors were “corrupt”,[31] and “all their creeds were an abomination in [God’s] sight.”[15]

Here then is the basis of Mormonism: Reject all Christian Churches and all Christian belief. Would that message come from Jesus ?

Existing Christian belief would be replaced with a message which would later be given to Smith. This became The Book Of Mormon and associated other Mormon teachings.

The ninth president of the Mormon Church, David O. McKay, said that “the appearing of the Father and the Son to Joseph Smith is the foundation of the Church.” (Gospel Ideals, p. 85).

Given the foundation of Mormonism, it is easy to see that the Mormon Church is not Christian, but Anti-Christian.

Mormonism was Satan’s attempt to replace American Christianity with a counterfeit. Joseph Smith lived in an area which was in the peak of a major Christian revival. Mormonism was Satan’s attempt to undermine that revival and distract Americans from following the true Jesus.

Add to this the Satanic nature of Mormon’s core message – which is that Humans can become Gods by following Mormonism – plus the consideration that its major spiritual practice, Baptism for the Dead, is a means of occult interaction with the deceased – and I think it is clear that Mormonism is exposed as a Satanic enterprise.

I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ. For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the Spirit you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily…. And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. (2 Corinthians 11:3-14)

I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospelwhich is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse! As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let them be under God’s curse! (Galatians 1:6-9)



  1. This is fun, but I have to say very inaccurate and very misleading.

    First, the church never claimed that all one has to do is pray and the truth will be confirmed. They must first read, study, ponder, and then pray. It takes works, and must been done with a sincere desire to know the truth. Thus your entire article here is based on a faulty understanding of the church.

    Second, no leader of the church has ever denied the possibility of being deceived through our own emotions, our by Satan. We have been warned many times, and thus we are also counseled to compare all inspiration with what has been revealed from God. So, yes, we are to compare everything with the scriptures and if there is a contradiction we reject the new idea in favor of that which was revealed. Again, not a new concept.

    Lastly, Joseph Smith’s first message was not from the spirit world, but from Heaven, and he was not told to reject all Christian beliefs. He was told that all churches then in existence were rejected by God, as were their creeds, but not all their doctrine. If that were true he would not have used the Bible, would not have taught the atonement of Christ, the truth of His mortal ministry as well as His godhood, or any of a plethora of doctrines that the LDS church has in common with the rest of the Christian world.

    Given such inaccuracies, I don’t think you are a proper authority to declare the church to be Christian or not, despite how well you can write.

    • baraholka1
    • Posted April 30, 2017 at 11:15 am
    • Permalink

    Burning Bosom #1

    Hi Shem,

    Thanks for taking the trouble to comment. I appreciate it.

    With respect, I have accurately understood the Mormon position on how to know whether or not the Mormon Church is the true church of God, which is to pray and ask God and then receive a so-called testimony from God via the experience known to Mormons as the Burning Bosom.

    It is true, as you say, that the Mormon Church says to read the Book Of Mormon, or at least part of it, before praying. But it is the Burning Bosom experience which Mormons say authenticates the truth of the Mormon Church. Here is an LDS member saying so on the official LDS website.

    In fact, your argument is circular because the supposed scriptures which are meant to validate the Burning Bosom experience are the Mormon scriptures. One knows that the Book Of Mormon is true by receiving a Burning Bosom experience and one knows the Burning Bosom experience is authentic and not from Satan because the Burning Bosom testifies to the Book Of Mormon.

    You talked about sincerity in seeking the truth. Unfortunately sincerity does not protect truth-seekers. All deception is performed against sincere truth-seekers. That is why it is called deception. Satan will deceive truth seekers by validating a false gospel in any way he can – by false miracles, angels of light, or by impersonating the Holy Spirit by falsely Burning your Bosom. Mormons and Investigators are not immune from any of these deceptions.

    The only protection against deception, as you have correctly noted, is the true word of God. The question is, where is the true word of God ? Mormons consider the Bible faulty and unreliable and hence, in practice, reject it. In doing so, Mormons have rejected the Word Of God and opened themselves to a false gospel. That’s why you have a new book – in fact three new books.

    Take a moment to consider: How could Satan most effectively render a people or nation defenceless against a false Gospel ? By getting them to reject and doubt the true Gospel of course. By rejecting The Word Of God Mormons have left themselves defenceless against deception. This was Satan’s first trick against humanity, the same one he pulled on Eve in The Garden Of Eden. Satan induced doubt in the Word Of God by saying to Eve Has God really said ? Once the Word Of God was doubted, then followed the first temptation to be like Gods. Sound familiar ?

    I think it is quite clear that Mormonism is an obvious repeat of Satan’s Modus Operandi. I’m amazed you guys fell for it.

    In regard to your assertion that Joseph’s messages were from heaven and not the Spirit World, that is the very point in question. All evidence shows that the source of Joseph’s message is Satanic.

    Finally, Joseph did indeed reject all Christian doctrines along with creeds and churches. As I quoted Joseph in the Blog Post above, He said that God Himself specifically told him to reject all Christian creeds, doctrines, ministers and churches. I reproduce Joseph quoting God here “all religious denominations were believing in incorrect doctrines, and that none of them was acknowledged of God as his church and kingdom”. Smith, Joseph (1 March 1842a), “Church History [Wentworth Letter]” as recorded in Times and Seasons Volume 3(9) p.707; and Pratt, Orson (1840), A Interesting Account of Several Remarkable Visions, and of the Late Discovery of Ancient American Records, 1840, p. 5. As you know, these are both Mormon sources.

    Mormonism has Christian vocabulary, but redefines that vocabulary. What Joseph means by God, Salvation, Grace, Heaven, Jesus, Atonement, Gentile, Priesthood, Temple and almost everything else is completely different to what The Bible teaches. Because Mormons in practice reject The Bible (even while paying it lip-service), they have replaced Biblical doctrine with a false doctrine, the Biblical Jesus with a false Jesus and the Biblical Gospel with a false gospel.

    Take a look at The Book Of Galatians in The Bible. The Apostle Paul wrote this book to people who believed in God, Jesus, His Gospel, Atonement, Baptism, Salvation By Grace through Faith and who believed Jesus to be YAHWEH, part of the Godhead, their Blessed Saviour, Redeemer and Lord. They had the same vocabulary as Mormons. What does Paul say to them ? He says they are quickly deserting the Gospel and victims of teachers who are throwing them into confusion, causing the Galatians to accept a perverted Gospel

    Shem, having a Christian vocabulary doesn’t make you a Christian.

    Mormonism looks nice on the outside, just as the Tree of Knowledge Of Good and Evil and its fruit look pleasing to the eye and desirable for gaining wisdom, so also does Mormonism: nice families, nice people, good works. But just as the Tree and its fruit were deadly, so is Mormonism. In the day you eat of it you will surely die.

    Mormonism is a poisoned apple.

    So now you need the antidote. And the antidote to Mormonism is the true Jesus and His true gospel.
    Start by taking The Bible seriously. Use the KJV if you must, but personally I find the Shakesperean English a bit difficult to understand, so I use a more modern translation, the NIV. But the important thing is to simply
    read The Bible with a listening heart.

    Read it in small chunks and ask yourself these questions:

    1. What does this passage teach me about people.
    2. What does this passage teach me about God.
    3. How can I obey or implement this passage in my life.

    Let The Bible speak to you.
    Because The Bible is Spirit-Breathed, The Bible is the voice of The Holy Spirit who is The Lord God.

    He really loves you, Shem.
    Let Him speak to you.

    Best Regards,

  2. Burning Bosom #2

    Thank you for the reply. I will reply in three parts so that no single post is too long.

    First, you were in error. In your original article to said that “Mormons will tell you that you can know that Mormonism is the true Christian Church by just praying to God and asking Him.” By using the word ‘just’ you were implying that nothing else had to be done, and that is not accurate. Now, you last post, in which you state that “it is the Burning Bosom experience which Mormons say authenticates the truth of the Mormon Church” is accurate, but that authentication, or that witness of the spirit does not come by just praying. Even in the video you cite the young man speaks of a process and that he read and questioned the Book of Mormon before he took it to prayer. It is not ‘just’ praying that brings the witness of the spirit, but yes, it is the witness of the spirit that testifies and confirms the truth of it, after one has gone through the process of searching, reading, pondering, questioning, and then praying. When describing this process it is inaccurate to leave out any part of it.

    “One knows that the Book Of Mormon is true by receiving a Burning Bosom experience and one knows the Burning Bosom experience is authentic and not from Satan because the Burning Bosom testifies to the Book Of Mormon.”
    Your reasoning here doesn’t really make sense. For this to be circular it would need to say that the burning authenticates the book and the book authenticates the burning. However, in both your statements you have the burning authenticating the book.

    In either case you are wrong. The idea of a burning in the bosom is found in the Bible. Now, what the Book of Mormon actually states is that the truth will be manifest by the power of the Holy Ghost, and by that power you may know the truth of all things (Moroni 10: 3-5). The Bible also teaches this (John 15: 26; 16: 13). The Book of Mormon speaks to a burning in the bosom only once, and that is when the Nephites are hearing the words of Jesus when he visited them (3 Nephi 11: 3). It is also spoken of directly only once in the Bible, when the disciples listened to Christ on the Emmaus Road (Luke 24: 32). But, the Bible also tells us that those who listened to Peter preach were pricked in their heart (Acts 2: 37). For a more complete analysis of this you can read my blog at

  3. Now, again, no one has ever denied the possibility of being deceived, and it is true that studying the word of God and being familiar with it is one way of divining this deception. However, I never said it was the only way. You, the problem with this being the only way is that it leaves it in our rather flawed hands. By this we can only know the truth is we are clever enough to be able to come to a right understanding of the scriptures. If we are not clever, and by our flaws misunderstand the scriptures, than we have fallen into error just as surely as if we were deceived through false inspiration. So, there must be more than one way, or, better yet, a system by which truth can be rightly divided from error and we can be assured that our lives are in harmony with the Lord.
    That system is simple. We have prophets that speak directly for God, and their words we can take as scripture. However, we also have the standard works, or the written word that we can go to and learn from. Both of these serve to clarify and enhance the other. Lastly, we have direct and personal revelation from God to us to help us stay on the path. When all three parts are in harmony we know we are in a good way. When one or more is out of harmony then we must be cautious and seek to bring them back into harmony. After all, God has said that by two or three witnesses He would establish the truth (2 Corinthians 13: 1).

    “The question is, where is the true word of God?”
    That is a good question. So, how did you determine that the Bible was the word of God?

    “Mormons consider the Bible faulty and unreliable and hence, in practice, reject it.”
    Here you have compounded error with more error. We do not reject the Bible, nor do we view it as unreliable. While we do believe it is incomplete, and thus insufficient to revealing the full gospel and organization of the church, we do not find what it does contain to be unreliable in any substantial way. We study it more than any other scripture in our church meetings, and the leaders quote from it at least as often as other scripture, if not more. You can again read a more complete response to this here

  4. “How could Satan most effectively render a people or nation defenceless against a false Gospel ? By getting them to reject and doubt the true Gospel of course.”
    I would disagree. The most effective way is to convince them that they already have the true gospel, when what they have is a false imitation. Just rejecting or doubting the truth is not enough, as that still leaves the person seeking the truth and doubting any false gospel you may try to teach them. But if you believe you already have the truth then you will reject everything else. And, if you accept a false gospel as the true gospel than you will not try to defend against the damaging doctrine and practices that it teaches.
    Thus, by accepting a false gospel the rest of Christianity has embraced the deceptions of Satan as truth, and in this way they are not dragged down, but descend with joy, always believing that they are actually going up.

    “All evidence shows that the source of Joseph’s message is Satanic.”
    Wrong. What you really mean is that all evidence that you accept as credible has persuaded you that this is the truth, but is hardly the same thing.

    “Joseph did indeed reject all Christian doctrines along with creeds and churches.”
    Again you insist on perpetuating a lie. Joseph Smith did not reject all Christian doctrine, and nowhere in the quotes you give does it say this. Yes, he did say that all denominations were believing in incorrect doctrine, but this does not say that all their doctrine was incorrect. After all, if even two points of doctrine were wrong and all the others correct, then this statement would still be true.

    “Mormonism has Christian vocabulary, but redefines that vocabulary.”
    We have not redefined anything. We use the words are they are meant to be used in the language, and as they have been defined in the language for hundreds of years.

    “What Joseph means by God, Salvation, Grace, Heaven, Jesus, Atonement, Gentile, Priesthood, Temple and almost everything else is completely different to what The Bible teaches.”
    What you really mean here is that we understand doctrine differently than you do. You continued errors as to our beliefs only show your own ignorance. We reject your doctrine in many cases, but that is because we do not see it in the Bible. We do not reject the Bible, or what it teaches, just your interpretation of the Bible. The difference here is huge, and needs to be acknowledged.
    Simply put, rejecting your doctrine does not equate to rejecting the Bible.

    “Start by taking The Bible seriously.”
    I love the arrogance of this statement, which is so frequently repeating when talking to members of the LDS church. Your assumption that anyone who doesn’t agree with you has not read the Bible seriously is rather insulting. I have read the Bible, several times. I just finished the Old Testament and am now reading the New. I love the Bible. My favorite scriptures are from the Bible. I study it frequently. And everything I have read and studied has only served to strengthen my testimony of Joseph Smith and the LDS church. The Bible is truly the greatest witness to the truth of this work, and in end all people will acknowledge that Joseph Smith was prophet, called by Christ to restore the gospel in the last days.

    • baraholka1
    • Posted May 4, 2017 at 10:47 am
    • Permalink

    Burning Bosom #3

    Hi Shem,

    Welcome back and thanks once again for taking the trouble to reply.

    With respect, on Burning Bosom being the mechanism which authenticates Mormonism, it is plain that the LDS teaches this. The LDS member on the Mormon website has plainly said so and that testimony has been validated by the LDS by placing it on the official website.

    Yes, he did read the Book Of Mormon as well as pray about it, but the mechanism of Divine authentication for Mormonism is the Burning Bosom. And that is received by prayer. I am surprised you challenge this. Here are the words of the LDS member:

    I just said, help me figure this out within a week. I got up off my knees, finished the prayer, and then just an overwhelming feeling came over me.

    Please note that the member did not validate the Mormon scriptures by any means except the Burning Bosom. He did read the Book Of Mormon but was completely confused as to whether or not it was the truth. Where did he find Divine authentication ? The Burning Bosom and that alone. What bought him out of confusion ? Reading ? No. Pondering ? No. Burning Bosom ? Yes.

    You say there is a process with a series of steps which an Investigator needs to traverse in order to authenticate Mormonism. While the Mormon church pays lip-service to that process (read, ponder, Burning Bosom) in fact only one experience is validated by the Mormon church as reliable and that is the Burning Bosom. This is because, as you have stated elsewhere in your three-part reply, that human investigation is fallible and only Divine communication is reliable. Human reasoning (i.e. read, ponder) is always rejected in favour of Divine communication (Burning Bosom) and Burning Bosom always validates Mormonism. True knowledge is given by God directly. When an LDS member or investigator receives this direct communication from God they have certainty beyond human limitations to reason

    “God Himself—the Lord of Hosts who knows all truth—has given His children the promise that they can know truth for themselves. …

    “He will speak to them in dreams, visions, thoughts, and feelings.

    “He will speak in a way that is unmistakable and that transcends human experience. He will give them divine direction and answers for their personal lives.”

    President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, “Receiving a Testimony of Light and Truth,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2014, 21.

    In Mormonism, reason is subordinated to The so-called witness of The Holy Spirit, which includes the Burning Bosom. Your senior leader Keith B. McMullin was explicit on this in your 1996 General Conference. Here is his talk entitled “Ye May Know”

    But amidst differing views on spiritual matters, there comes to us from scripture the wonderful and comforting promise “Ye may know.” Though our backgrounds are different, we are all children of the same Heavenly Father. He has provided a way to bridge our differences, a way each of us may know. This way is through the power and sure witness of the Holy Ghost.

    The Holy Ghost … teaches and testifies with divine power and clarity. His witness may go unheard or unheeded, forsaken or denied, but it is never misunderstood. …. His message is conveyed with absolute certainty. This revealed knowledge constitutes a personal testimony and witness of the truth. (See Bruce R. McConkie, Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, 3 vols. [1966–73], 1:756.)

    Mr McMullin went on to explain that it is this transcendent Divine knowledge that settles in the mind. i.e. the Burning Bosom, the witness of The so-called Holy Spirit communicates to the mind that Mormon teaching is true.

    Said the Lord through the Prophet Joseph Smith:

    “Yea, behold, I will tell you in your mind and in your heart, by the Holy Ghost, which shall come upon you and which shall dwell in your heart.

    “Now, behold, this is the spirit of revelation” (D&C 8:2–3; emphasis added).

    Thus Mormon so-called Holy Spirit revelations do not confirm the mind, but transcend, bypass or over-rule it. One’s ponderings and study are overtaken, not confirmed.
    This is, of course, the testimony of the LDS member in the video referred to above.

    Now let’s imagine an Investigator turns up to a Mormon church and says:
    ‘I didn’t read the Book Of Mormon, but I prayed and felt a Burning Bosom and I want to become a Mormon’
    Is that investigator accepted as a Mormon ? Yes. No human reasoning-based reading or pondering is required. The Burning Bosom has bought undeniable, infallible, divine authentication of truth. By itself. No process required.

    The reasoning behind the Burning Bosom experience is indeed circular.
    You can know Mormon scriptures are true, says the Mormon church, because you will receive a Burning Bosom experience.
    How do you know you will receive a Burning Bosom experience ? Because the Mormon scriptures say so.
    What constitutes a valid Burning Bosom experience ? The experience will testify to the truth of the Mormon scriptures.

    My friend, that’s a circular argument.


  5. Burning Bosom #4

    How can you quote so eloquently, and yet have no understanding?

    It is not lip service, it is the process. It is not a series of step, but a formula that must be followed, having all parts present at all times. This is stated in scripture.
    “Behold, you have not understood; you have supposed that I would give it unto you, when you took no thought save it was to ask me. But, behold, I say unto you, that you must study it out in your mind; then you must ask me if it be right, and if it is right I will cause that your bosom shall burn within you; therefore, you shall feel that it is right. But if it be not right you shall have no such feelings, but you shall have a stupor of thought that shall cause you to forget the thing which is wrong; therefore, you cannot write that which is sacred save it be given you from me.” (D&C 9: 7-9)

    So, no, just asking is not sufficient, for God will not give to those who do nothing save ask. And, God does confirm the ideas and thoughts of men. He does not override or supersede our reasoning. He either confirms or denies our conclusions. That is the most common revelation.
    As to the video, you again misrepresent the young man. You try to place the final experience as being separate from the rest of his story, as if he is talking of two different events. He is not. Everything he said is connected. He went through the process, which he himself states. But, after a while, he came to the realization that his previous prayers had not been with real sincerity, and it was only after he added this real intent to his prayers that the process bore fruit. So again, it is exactly as I have said.

    You have also misrepresented me. You claim that I stated “human investigation is fallible and only Divine communication is reliable.” I never said this. I stated that there are three means by which we confirm the truth, and any one them can be fallible by themselves. The burning in the bosom cannot be trusted unless it is accompanied by human reasoning, and both are confirmed through the words of the prophets. We need all three, and your insistence that we ignore two of them in preference to the third is your most egregious error.

    You again compound the error with your hypothetical. If a person came to any congregation and declared that they had not read the Book of Mormon but had prayed and believed, they would be welcomed, but would still be required to be taught by the missionaries, and would be required to read the Book of Mormon. Then they would be given the baptismal interview, and only after they affirmed their belief in the church, the Book of Mormon and other scriptures, and the leaders of the church as prophets would they be accepted into baptism. This process must be followed by all who seek baptism, and unless you are baptized you are not counted a member of the church. As it says in the scriptures –

    “All those who humble themselves before God, and desire to be baptized, and come forth with broken hearts and contrite spirits, and witness before the church that they have truly repented of all their sins, and are willing to take upon them the name of Jesus Christ, having a determination to serve him to the end, and truly manifest by their works that they have received of the Spirit of Christ unto the remission of their sins, shall be received by baptism into his church.”

    And how shall anyone take upon them the name of Christ except they learn of Christ, and how can they learn except they be taught. (Romans 10: 14)

    Actually what you describe is must more common in the rest of Christianity. A person only need to enter a church and Confess that they believe in Christ and they are accepting into the church. Nothing else is needed. This is usually accompanied with a story about some event that brought them to faith, but it is not required.

    • baraholka1
    • Posted May 6, 2017 at 1:33 pm
    • Permalink

    Burning Bosom #5

    Hi Shem,

    With respect, it is not me that is misrepresenting the LDS member whose testimony ‘How I Know The Book Of Mormon Is True’ appears in the LDS-endorsed video, but you.

    I have said, and enormous quantities of LDS literature also say, that the LDS says that someone can know that the Mormon church is true simply by praying about it and then receiving a Burning Bosom experience i.e. supernatural feelings of peace, certainty and confidence that Mormonism is true.

    You say that, no, the Mormon church teaches that one can know the Mormon church is true only after first reading and pondering with the intellect. This will provide a personal intellectual conclusion that Mormonism is true which is then merely confirmed by the Burning Bosom experience which comes with sincere prayer.

    Unfortunately the LDS member in the video cited and your own church leaders disagree with you.

    First, the LDS member did not come to any conclusion that Mormonism was true prior to the Burning Bosom. On the contrary he was uncertain
    He said

    During that [six-month] process of reading the Book of Mormon after the Bible, I just kept up regular prayers and just saying, help me to figure this out.

    He then prayed a determined, sincere prayer, received the Burning Bosom experience and therefore knew that Mormonism was true.

    I just said, help me figure this out within week. I got up off my knees, finished the prayer, and then just an overwhelming feeling came over me.

    Please note Shem that after six months of reading and pondering the young man was uncertain. He hadn’t formed any conclusion about the validity of Mormonism. It was the Burning Bosom which bought certainty.

    Second, let’s look at the comments of your Church leaders.

    Your Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Mormon Apostles at your 2008 General Conference taught you how to acquire a Testimony that Jospeh Smith was a Prophet and therefore how Mormonism was true. He taught you that knowledge of the truths of Mormonism does not come through intellectual reasoning, study or pondering. He said:

    One of the greatest things about our Heavenly Father’s plan for His children is that each of us can know the truth of that plan for ourselves. That revealed knowledge does not come from books, from scientific proof, or from intellectual pondering. As with the Apostle Peter, we can receive that knowledge directly from our Heavenly Father through the witness of the Holy Ghost.

    Really, the LDS couldn’t be plainer.

    In his talk Oaks says that knowledge of the truth of Mormonism is not acquired by scientific means, not acquired by personal, subjective means, not acquired intellectually and not acquired by pondering. Knowledge of the truths of Mormonism is acquired directly from God.

    Shem, your argument is with your Mormon Apostles, not me.

    Naturally, Mr. Oaks would encourage you to read the Book Of Mormon, but he has taught you plainly that you cannot know that Mormonism is true in your own mind. It is only by Holy Spirit revelation (a.k.a Burning Bosom) that you can acquire the knowledge that Mormonism is true.

    Oaks gives a number of proof texts for Mormon epistemology, the key ones being:

    The Book of Mormon teaches that God will manifest the truth of spiritual things unto us by the power of the Holy Ghost (see Moroni 10:4–5). In modern revelation God promises us that we will receive “knowledge” by His telling us in our mind and in our heart “by the Holy Ghost” (D&C 8:1–2).

    Mr. Oaks also provides a process for knowing that Mormonism is true. It is different from your process specifically in that reading, pondering,studying and human conclusion are omitted from it.

    Mr Oaks’ process for knowing Mormonism is true is this: desire to know, pray and receive revelation directly from God i.e. get a Burning Bosom.

    How can we come to know and testify that what Joseph Smith said was true? How does one gain what we call a testimony?

    The first step in gaining any kind of knowledge is to really desire to know. In the case of spiritual knowledge, the next step is to ask God in sincere prayer “If thou shalt ask, thou shalt receive revelation upon revelation, knowledge upon knowledge” (D&C 42:61).

    Here is what Alma wrote about what he did: “Behold, I have fasted and prayed many days that I might know these things of myself. And now I do know of myself that they are true; for the Lord God hath made them manifest unto me by his Holy Spirit” (Alma 5:46).

    The LDS member did exactly as Mr. Oaks recommends: desire to know, pray sincerely and receive a Burning Bosom. There was no personal intellectual conclusion of truth on the member’s part and Mr. Oaks would consider it irrelevant anyway.

    Mr. Oaks also says that a good way to come to know that Mormonism is true is to simply say that it is true even you aren’t really sure just yet.

    Another way to seek a testimony seems astonishing when compared with the methods of obtaining other knowledge. We gain or strengthen a testimony by bearing it. Someone even suggested that some testimonies are better gained on the feet bearing them than on the knees praying for them.

    I am amazed that a so-called Apostle’s conscience can cope with asserting personal witness to things of which they aren’t really sure they believe just yet and also extends to recommending it to others as good and Holy practice.

    Shem, you use D&C 9:7-9 as your basis for saying that the Burning Bosom follows personal study and intellectual conclusions. Official LDS materials are contradictory on the correct understanding of this passage, the LDS manual saying that this passage teaches that one should NOT use when mind when seeking sacred knowledge, but two paragraps later saying that the mind is necessary when seeking sacred knowledge. As you know the passage refers to the withdrawal of Oliver Cowderey’s permission to supposedly translate the Mormon texts into English.

    The Lord assigned Oliver’s failure to translate to the fact that he did not translate according to that which he desired of the Lord.
    Oliver had to learn that translating as Joseph Smith was doing was by the gift and power of God. Evidently, Oliver had received sufficient instruction, but instead went his own way, using his own wisdom. He was therefore stopped from translating (see v. 5).

    Let’s assume that the passage does mean what you say and that D&C 9:7-9 does mandate personal study in acquiring sacred knowledge.
    The passage is given in the context of a Mormon disciple seeking more knowledge of Mormonism; not an Investigator trying to determine whether or not Mormonism is true. I am sure that Mormons are encouraged to study Mormonism and validate their conclusions using Burning Bosom.

    Nevertheless this process is not necessary. Copious Mormon materials tell Mormons and Investigators that they can know sacred things without study. Specifically, in seeking to know whether or not the Mormon Church is true You have been instructed by your First Presidency that the Burning Bosom transcends human knowledge, which of course means that human knowledge is not necessary to the process of acquiring sacred knowledge. According to official LDS publications this is in answer to the specific question ‘How Can I Know The Church Is True’.

    I have said that the Mormon Church teaches that you can know that Mormonism is true just by praying about it and receiving The Burning Bosom.
    Your scriptures agree, your Apostles agree, your First Presidency agrees, your official publications agree and your members agree.

    Really, it couldn’t be plainer.

  6. Burning Bosom #6


    You claim that “enormous quantities of LDS literature” teach that “that someone can know that the Mormon church is true simply by praying about it and then receiving a Burning Bosom experience” and yet you have provided only two examples. So let us look at them more closely.

    You quote President Uchtdorf saying “God Himself—the Lord of Hosts who knows all truth—has given His children the promise that they can know truth for themselves…He will speak to them in dreams, visions, thoughts, and feelings. He will speak in a way that is unmistakable and that transcends human experience. He will give them divine direction and answers for their personal lives.” This is from his talk in General Conference, “Receiving a Testimony of Light and Truth,” Ensign, Nov. 2014, 21.
    Yet, the link you gave is to a questions and answer page. So, let us set aside that almost every quote from the link you provide says exactly what I am saying, and look at what President Uchtdorf said in its context with his talk, which I linked to above.
    Just a few paragraphs after the quote you give President Uchtdorf states the following:
    “My dear friends, here is a fairly straightforward experiment, with a guarantee from God…
    First, you must search the word of God. That means reading the scriptures and studying the words of the ancient as well as modern prophets…
    Second, you must consider, ponder, fearlessly strive to believe, and be grateful for how merciful the Lord has been to His children…
    Third, you must ask your Heavenly Father, in the name of His Son, Jesus Christ, to manifest the truth…unto you…
    …fourth…when you are trying to verify the truth of gospel principles, you must first live them…”
    So much for simply praying.

    As to your second quote, where you draw from the words of Bishop McMullin, you again fail to see the context.
    He opens his talk with this: “Accompanying [the testimonies of the other speakers], I raise my voice as yet another witness. This process is referred to as the law of witnesses.”
    So, the context of his comments is that of witnesses. His talk is focused around the story of a man who had been taught by the missionaries and was skeptical that anyone could know that the church was true. Bishop McMullin says that “His reaction is similar to that of many when first hearing such a testimony…” Later in his story he tells the man “If you wish to take issue, pray and talk with Heavenly Father about it.” But, you should notice, that it is only after the man had heard the testimony of the witnesses (including the scriptures, as they were cited) that he is told to take it up with Heavenly Father in prayer.
    So, once again, the Spirit does not overrule our reasoning, nor is prayer the only thing required. Once must first learn the gospel, come to an understanding of what it is, and then they must go to God in prayer. When this is done then the Spirit will confirm that what they have learned is true. But if one has learned nothing of God or the gospel, what are they praying about, and what truth is the Spirit to testify of.

    So, your claim that LDS literature supports what you has in no way been proven, or even supported.

    Getting to the rest of your post, you again do not understand me and you do not understand the doctrine of the church.
    You claim I said “the Mormon church teaches that one can know the Mormon church is true only after first reading and pondering with the intellect. This will provide a personal intellectual conclusion that Mormonism is true which is then merely confirmed by the Burning Bosom”
    Wrong. I said you have to have an intellectual understanding of what you are praying about. You don’t need to conclude that it is true, but you have to know what it is you are praying about. Without knowing what you are praying about you cannot expect to have an answer. And yes, the church agrees with this, for the scriptures say that “It is impossible for a man to be saved in ignorance.” (D&C 131: 6)

    So, when we fully understand each other and the truth of the doctrine, the video becomes perfectly clear.
    First, almost everything you say here is dependent on the idea that we have to first conclude what the truth is and then have it confirmed. As that was never meant, your comments have no bearing. Yes, the young man was uncertain, and remained so even after reader the Book of Mormon. But that does not mean he did not understand what he was reading, only that he was uncertain as to whether it was true.
    By his own words he knew “the Book of Mormon [was] true because [he] took the time to question it. And I took the time to ask my Heavenly Father.” So, first he questioned, and he couldn’t have questioned without first reading and understanding, at least in part.
    So, again, the video confirms exactly what I have been saying. Learn the gospel through reading and study, and then pray about it. That is the way.

    So, let us consider the rest of your references.

    You reference Elder Oaks and claim that he “taught you that knowledge of the truths of Mormonism does not come through intellectual reasoning, study or pondering.”
    This is a misrepresentation of his words. Our knowledge of the truths comes through studying and reading. However, our knowledge that they are, in fact, true comes through the spirit. Do you see the difference?
    For instance, just before the first quote you give Elder Oaks references the promise in Moroni. What does Moroni say. “Behold, I would exhort you that when ye shall read these things, if it be wisdom in God that ye should read them…and ponder it in your hearts. And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God…” (Moroni 10: 3-4)
    See, it is after you have read and pondered them, having reach an understanding of what they are, you then ask God, and then He will give you the sure knowledge that they are true through the Spirit.
    So, again, knowledge of what the gospel is, and what it teaches, comes through study and intellectual reasoning. Knowledge that it is true comes from the Spirit. The one must come before the other. That is what Elder Oaks is teaching, and what the church has always taught.

    You then quote a later part of the talk in which Elder Oaks speaks of how we gain a testimony. Of course you ignore most of what he says in order to make your point. Just two paragraphs after your next quote he states “As we desire and seek, we should remember that acquiring a testimony is not a passive thing but a process in which we are expected to do something. Jesus taught, “If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself” (John 7:17).”
    So, again, you have missed the entire point.

    You continue to misunderstand all of these passages because you fail to comprehend the explicitly implied condition that one must first understand what they are asking about. When we say to pray about the church, it is with the understanding that the person has at least a basic understanding of what the church is and what it teaches. You cannot pray about something that you do not yet have knowledge of.
    Your arguments are dependent on ignoring this logical inference, and thus your arguments fail.

    When it comes to D&C 9: 7-9, I have no clue what you are talking about. The link you give states very clearly that our own effort is required, and I can’t find a single sentence that even indicates that we should not use our mind when seeking sacred knowledge. It does say that if we rely solely on our own mind and wisdom we will fail in finding sacred knowledge, but that is not the same as saying we shouldn’t use it at all.

    Now, you have failed to provide even one reference that says you can gain a knowledge of sacred things without personal effort in studying and pondering and even following what you have learned. You have tried, but not a single reference you have given has actually said that.
    I agree things couldn’t be plainer, which is why I find it so amazing that you cannot see the truth.

    [Under The Milky Way Moderator – My answer to Shem is in the reply labelled Burning Bosom #7, below]

    • Mr Nobody
    • Posted May 10, 2017 at 7:17 am
    • Permalink

    Mormonism is just Freemasonry with different clothes on.

  7. Mr. Nobody

    That clearly shows that you are ignorant regarding either group.

    • baraholka1
    • Posted May 13, 2017 at 1:27 pm
    • Permalink

    Burning Bosom #7

    Hi Shem,

    Thanks for your reply. Your comments are very helpful insofar as they have helped me to clearly understand your position.

    As you say, Mormon teaching on the Burning Bosom does not require the Investigator to make a personal, intellectual conclusion as to the truth of Mormonism prior to receiving the Burning Bosom experience. All the investigator is asked to do is understand what they are praying about, e.g The Mormon proposition that human beings may become Gods, and then pray. The Mormon Spirit then provides a Burning Bosom experience which confirms the supposed truth of Mormonism.

    This is what I have said all along.

    Mormonism teaches that one can know that Mormonism is true by simply praying and receiving the Burning Bosom.

    Reading and pondering, while of course encouraged by the Mormon Church, do not provide knowledge of truth, only of Mormon propositions. Its only the Burning Bosom that can authenticate what is true. The Burning Bosom is how an Investigator can know Mormonism is true.

    I am glad we agree.

    That’s why Investigators are instructed that they should convert to Mormonism after receiving a Burning Bosom experience. Because the Burning Bosom provides incontrovertible truth that Mormonism is true.

    I am sorry we got sidetracked on what is the exact Mormon Process for truth-seeking. The point of my post is to say that Mormonism teaches that an Investigator can know that the Mormon Church is the true church by receiving a Burning Bosom experience.

    Of course an Investigator needs some kind of information on which to base their prayer. That information may come from reading the Book Of Mormon.

    Reliance on the Burning Bosom experience is a certain way to fall into spiritual error This is the reason that the Mormon Spirit promotes the Burning Bosom as the way to know what is true as it desires Investigators to fall into the error of Mormonism.

    Any false angel, false prophet or false religion can provide a Burning Bosom. All Spirits testify. Surely that is obvious. The Mormon Spirit testifies to Mormonism, the Buddhist Spirit testifies to Buddhism and the Holy Spirit testifies to Christianity. So, contrary to Mormon teaching, the testimony of a Spirit does not prove of itself that it is The True Spirit Of God, The Holy Spirit.

    Shem, the words of The Holy Spirit in 2 Corinthians 11:3-4 are for you:

    But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astrayFor…if you receive a different spirit from the Spirit you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough.

    Shem, The Bible teaches us that the way to protect ourselves from a false gospel is to compare it with the true Gospel, and that we should not accept the testimony of any Spirit that one should happen to encounter. Even if that Spirit says that it is Christian. Even if that Spirit comes with convincing power, great miracles, spiritual light or beauty.

    Even if that Spirit makes you feel good or peaceful or wise or teaches family values or moral precepts, or brings with it a phalanx of spiritual personages, or a divine-looking being that says its Jesus or Elohim, or even if it tells tells you things heretofore unknown to human beings.

    The Corinthians, like the Galatians, were in danger of doing exactly that – accepting a Gospel that says that it is Christian when it was not even though supported by amazing spiritual visions of “super-apostles” like this man, when it was not. Mormonism presents a Gospel which it says it is Christian, but is not, founded on visions and angelic visitations of a man who said he exceeded Paul, Peter and John and who was even in one respect better than Jesus. A super-apostle.

    President Brigham Young taught you:

    “no man or woman in this dispensation will ever enter into the celestial kingdom of God without the consent of Joseph Smith…every man and woman must have the certificate of Joseph Smith, junior, as a passport to their entrance into the mansion where God and Christ are…He holds the …the keys to rule in the spirit world; and he rules there triumphantly

    Wow. Joseph Smith super-apostle and then some. The blasphemy is incredible.

    How could the Corinthians tell the difference between the false gospel they were presented and the true Gospel ?

    Joseph Smith would have counselled the Corinthians to seek a Burning Bosom.
    The Apostle Paul told them to return to the Gospel he delivered to them.

    How would you have counselled them ?
    Pray with sincere desire and real intent ?

    My advice to the Corinthians would be, like Paul advised them, to return to the true Gospel.

    The real question to be answered is ‘Where is the true Gospel ?’ This will enable you to test the Spirit of Mormonism and indeed any Spirit.


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