Book Review: A Reason for Faith

Book Review: A Reason for Faith – Navigating LDS Doctrine and Church History,
    editor: Laura Harris Hales

May 9, 2016 (4)

On February 26, 2016, Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles spoke to all Institute and Seminary teachers across the world. Noting the wonderful developments in CES over the past century, he then said that he is more keenly interested in the next century of training the young minds of the Church in religious doctrine and testimony. Elder Ballard then gave an important warning and guidance on the needs of the new century:

“Gone are the days when a student asked an honest question and a teacher responded, “Don’t worry about it!” Gone are the days when a student raised a sincere concern and a teacher bore his or her testimony as a response intended to avoid the issue. Gone are the days when students were protected from people who attacked the Church. Fortunately, the Lord provided this timely and timeless counsel to you teachers: “And as all have not faith, seek ye diligently and teach one another words of wisdom; yea, seek ye out of the best books words of wisdom; seek learning, even by study and also by faith.”

“This is especially applicable today because not all of your students have the faith necessary to face the challenges ahead and because many of them are already exposed through the Internet to corrosive forces of an increasingly secular world that is hostile to faith, family, and gospel standards. The Internet is expanding its reach across the world into almost every home and into the very hands and minds of your students.” (Elder M. Russell Ballard, An Evening with a General Authority)

Speaking of medical inoculations and treatments, he added:

“If that is the sensible course to take in finding answers for emotional, mental, and physical health issues, it is even more so when eternal life is at stake. When something has the potential to threaten our spiritual life, our most precious family relationships, and our membership in the kingdom, we should find thoughtful and faithful Church leaders to help us. And, if necessary, we should ask those with appropriate academic training, experience, and expertise for help.

“This is exactly what I do when I need an answer to my own questions that I cannot answer myself. I seek help from my Brethren in the Quorum of the Twelve and from others with expertise in fields of Church history and doctrine.” (Ibid)

This is a timely warning for instructors and parents alike. In fact, it was guidance that parents could have used even 20 years ago. Back then, some good friends of mine had a son, who was preparing for a mission. Waiting for his call, he attended one year at a prestigious science university. He returned an atheist, having seen evidence on evolution and other concepts that contradicted what he had learned in Church (even though the Church does not have an official position on evolution, many members still teach against it). Now, with the Internet and the ability of anti-Mormons, secular scholars and others to cast doubt on doctrines and histories, often with a negative slant, the world seeks to cast doubt on Christ and his Church. We live in the day “if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect” (Matthew 24:24).

I have been an apologist and serious student of the gospel since I joined in 1975. I’ve worked with FairMormon, written articles for the More Good Foundation, and blogged on the Sunday School lessons. For me, I can handle the many issues that cause young and old in the Church to struggle. Then again, I’ve spent decades studying and learning about these issues. Most parents and many seminary and Institute instructors do not have such luxury of time. When there are dozens of issues, most do not have the time nor energy to read dozens of scholarly books and long articles on those issues.

That is where “A Reason for Faith: Navigating LDS Doctrine and Church History” comes in. Laura Harris Hales (editor) realized that most members needed a basic, one-stop shop for all the biggest issues challenging the faith of our young people today. And that is exactly what we get: seventeen key topics, each covered in layman’s terms, most of the chapters 15 pages or less.

Laura Hales went to some of the biggest and brightest LDS scholars to write the chapters on topics like seer stones, translation of the Book of Mormon, polygamy, blacks and the priesthood, Freemasonry, women’s roles in the Church, homosexuality, DNA and the Book of Mormon, etc.

Authors include Richard L Bushman, Brant Gardner, Kent P. Jackson, Brian Hales, Kerry Muhlestein, Ugo A. Perego, and Neylan McBaine among others. These are top notch scholars in their areas of expertise. I noted that my friends Daniel C. Peterson and William Hamblin were not included in the list and — with tongue in cheek — thought that would help prevent anti-Mormons from discrediting the entire book. Seriously, the list of scholars is very impressive.

More impressive is that most of the articles are easy-to-follow and understand. Because of the technical level of some of the issues, there are moments where some of the articles bog down, but I can’t see how the authors could easily have avoided it, without leaving out key important information.

For example, Don Bradley and Mark Ashhurst-McGee write about the Kinderhook Plates. These were some metal plates “found” near Nauvoo and presented to Joseph to review. He gave some notes and a brief translation on some of them. Later, those involved in finding the plates claimed they had forged them. Recent testing shows they were made with techniques available in Joseph Smith’s day, but not anciently. Don and Mark show that Joseph’s translation effort was not attempted through revelation but rather through traditional translation methods, using an Egyptian alphabet he had developed while translating the Book of Abraham. So, a figure of a boat in the dictionary gave him the translation of a boat in the Kinderhook Plates. The work is more detailed than what I just described, but shows some excellent detective work done by Don and Mark. I should note that Don’s research is especially important to me, as he recently returned to the Church with a newly discovered, strong testimony, after being among those who doubted their faith over such issues in the past.

One of the nice things about the articles is they do not pretend to be what they are not. They do not have solutions for everything. On many articles, given the evidence available, the authors will provide possible solutions, or even say that certain parts of an issue are still left uncertain. It shows that even for scholars, it is okay to not have all the answers. However, the articles also show that we have enough quality information to give members a sound foundation upon which to build faith.

For example, Kerry Muhlestein, an Egyptologist, discusses the issues regarding the Book of Abraham. He notes two important components to why Joseph’s translation does not translate directly from the Facsimiles or the papyri we currently have. He points out that Joseph’s colleagues noted that the writings of Abraham were on a long scroll, known to have been destroyed in the great Chicago fire, and not on the papyri fragments that survived. He also discusses the Catalyst Theory, where Joseph’s form of translating is different from that used in normal translation means. We simply do not know whether one or both of these points correctly address the issue of papyri and the Book of Abraham, but they are valid possibilities. Kerry also points out that while anti-Mormons attack the problems they see in the papyri translation, none have ever discussed the connections the text of Abraham has with other ancient texts, unknown in Joseph’s day.

Many years ago, a friend of mine visited with a noted anti-Mormon that lives in Salt Lake, who owns an anti-LDS bookstore. He asked her, “If archaeologists were to find an ancient sign in Mesoamerica that said, “twelve miles to Zarahemla,” would that be enough evidence for her to believe?” She paused and then said, “It would be a point of discussion.” This book will likely not change many anti-Mormon hearts. However, it can “inoculate’ our youth and adults from the incessant attacks from the world around them.

The articles are simple enough for parents, instructors and bishops to read with their youth to situate them in a position to evaluate alternative narratives from an informed position. I would hope Institute, seminary and Sunday School teachers would add this book to their library, sharing the information as kids have questions or when those issues come up in the normal discussion of the lessons. This book will help our youth to do as President Uchtdorf encouraged, “doubt your doubts” and to start on a solid intellectual foundation when building their faith.

I personally wish I had this book decades ago, as I tried to help many struggling members with their questions regarding such issues. Perhaps there would be fewer losses in the Church, and fewer people drifting away from their faith.

So, what are you waiting for? Get the book and start using it!

You can find A Reason for Faith on major social media platforms.



Twitter: @areasonforfaith

Instagram: areasonforfaith

YouTube: A Reason for Faith

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About rameumptom

Gerald (Rameumptom) Smith is a student of the gospel. Joining the Church of Jesus Christ when he was 16, he served a mission in Santa Cruz Bolivia (1978=1980). He is married to Ramona, has 3 stepchildren and 7 grandchildren. Retired Air Force (Aim High!). He has been on the Internet since 1986 when only colleges and military were online. Gerald has defended the gospel since the 1980s, and was on the first Latter-Day Saint email lists, including the late Bill Hamblin's Morm-Ant. Gerald has worked with FairMormon, More Good Foundation, LDS.Net and other pro-LDS online groups. He has blogged on the scriptures for over a decade at his site: Joel's Monastery ( He has the following degrees: AAS Computer Management, BS Resource Mgmt, MA Teaching/History. Gerald was the leader for the Tuskegee Alabama group, prior to it becoming a branch. He opened the door for missionary work to African Americans in Montgomery Alabama in the 1980s. He's served in two bishoprics, stake clerk, high council, HP group leader and several other callings over the years. While on his mission, he served as a counselor in a branch Relief Society presidency.

22 thoughts on “Book Review: A Reason for Faith

  1. Thanks for the review. Just curious how these “essays” compare the essays?

  2. The articles in the book are about 15 pages long each, while the articles are 1 or 2 pages at best. So, these chapters are more in depth and deal more with the scholarly side of things, giving possible solutions, recognizing possible problems, etc.
    The articles on are not designed to really deal in-depth with these issues. A Reason for Faith is designed exactly for those who need more than a blurb at, but do not need to read a 450 page scholarly book on each topic.

  3. Ram, what is your current list of web sites for looking up faithful/apologetic responses to the common anti-mormon stuff?,
    and what others?

    When Runnell’s letter came out, I remember thinking “asked and answered” to all his points, but I didn’t have the specific websites handy.

    Are the old FARMS reviews (before it became Maxwell Inst, and before Dan P left) that had a lot of point by point rebuttals still online, and if so, where’s the new index?

  4. Rameumptom, thanks for the response.
    Bookslinger, I suspect you are not aware of the offensive labeling you are doing when you use the term “anti-mormon” when referring to challenging issues with our history, doctrine or policy. Many, if not most issues are not anti-mormon, but ARE Mormon–they are our history, our doctrines, our policies, our culture. To make sense of some of them is not always easy, or even possible with our current knowledge set. The term “anti-mormon” applied to “information” can also get applied to the person who is reading or wondering about these issues. That is unfair. Being called “anti-mormon” because one is reading what someone is labeling “anti-mormon” is offensive to honest seekers of truth and understanding who have legitimate questions. They don’t consider themselves “anti-mormon”, but believers with questions. Granted there are those who really are “anti-mormon”. Rameumptom’s Elder Ballard quote in the post and his statement I quote below illustrate that members have the right to ask sincere questions without being thought of or talked about as not dedicated or as studying “anti-mormon” material or labeled as “anti-mormon.” Maybe better phraseology would be to have said, “what is your current list of web sites for looking up faithful/apologetic responses to the common challenges in reconciling LDS history and doctrine, as well as claims by critics, etc.?”
    Elder Ballard: “When someone comes to you with a question or a concern, please do not brush the question off—do not tell him or her to not worry about the question. Please do not doubt the person’s dedication to the Lord or His work. Instead, help the person find the answers to their questions.” –Elder Ballard UT South Area Conference (235 stakes) Sep 13, 2015

  5. You may want to check out Mormon Central and Mormon Interpreter in conjunction with FairMormon. These are probably the best sites available right now.

  6. “Maybe better phraseology would be to have said, ‘what is your current list of web sites for looking up faithful/apologetic responses to the common challenges in reconciling LDS history and doctrine, as well as claims by critics, etc.?'”

    Yes, that does sound better. Thanks.

    The reason I may still continue to use “anti-mormon” is because most of the challenges are phrased in ways that indicate the original framer (not the believing questioner who repeats a question that he picked up somewhere) crafted the question in an accusatory and/or intentionally misleading way.

    In other words, even believing questioners asking sincere questions are being harmed or poisoned by the very phraseology and tone of the critical questions or assertions that they encounter online. That is intentional on the part of the critics/antis.

    The phraseology/tone often betrays the intentions and “anti” nature of the person who originally composed the question/assertion. And you are correct to remind me that believers who innocently pick up those poisoned and twisted questions/assertions do not necessarily (and actually, rarely) bear the same animus towards the church that the “antis” do.

    Like Geoff and Ram, I’ve been blogging long enough to recognize trolls. M* and Mormanity have attracted more than their fair share.

    “I’m just sincerely asking…” has been a hallmark of trolls and wolves in sheep clothing for years in the bloggernacle.

    IMO, One of the first faithful responses to a legitimately sincere questioner is to point out that the very _wording_ and _framing_ of most of such questions/assertions are in fact twisted (“wrested” in scripture-speak), or out of context, or materially misrepresented, and sometimes outright lies.

    Example: “You Mormons beleive Satan and Jesus are brothers!” That’s a twisting of the fact that we’re all Jesus’ brothers and sisters, and we’re all Satan’s brothers and sisters, because angels, fallen angels, and mankind are all spirit children of the same God. The accusation plays on the non-LDS christian view that angels and mankind are not the same species.

    I’m totally supportive of Millennial Star team, and Elder Ballard, in terms of apologetics. Believe me, I’m definitely _not_ one of the “don’t worry about it” brigade.

    But I still believe in calling out the wolves in sheep clothing, people who claim to be “just questioning”, when in fact they have already rejected the foundational truth claims of the church, and are attempting to lead people out of the church, or at least try to diminish faith and lead as many people as they can towards the door.

    When one is educated, even in a small degree, about the real history and doctrine of the church, the twistings, omissions, and misrepresentations of the majority of the “critics” becomes apparent. Untangling the intentional misrepresentations/omissions is a necessary part of a faithful answer.

    So no, I don’t use the word “anti” to describe a believing questioner or sincere questioner/investigator. The “anti” label applies to people who actively disbelieve, and actively work to harm the church, lead believers astray, and prevent investigators or portential investigators from finding the truth.

  7. KarlS: I just reread a few of your prior comments. i suppose that you must have been discriminated against “in real life” (ie, not online) for asking questions about church history and doctrine.

    The Bloggernacle (LDS blog world) that I’ve been involved in since about 2004 has been very open to answering sincere historical and doctrinal questions. In fact, most faithful blog responders to questions have cut too much slack (imo) and given too much deference to trolls posing as “sincere questioners”.

    From the bloggernacle it appears that Elder Ballard is about 12 or more years late to the party. (I thought “Raise the Bar” was 20 years late coming, but they are prophets, seers, and revelators, so I assume they are working on the Lord’s time-table, or at least as fast as general church membership can handle it.)

    If your questions have always been sincere, I can see how frustrating, and intellectually insulting it would be to be told “don’t worry about it.” I’m detail oriented, a former computer programmer, and I hate that too, in any field of inquiry. I just want to shout at those people “If you dont know, just say so, and I’ll ask someone else.”

    I have Asperger’s, and I also find it insulting as well as extremely frustrating when someone gives a non-answer response to my question. A testimony along the lines “I know that (insert standard mormon-speak here)” in response to a detail oriented question would drive me up the wall.

    Standard testimony in response to a detail-oriented question seems to be an artifact along the Wasatch Front and Intermountain West. I also understand it was common among full-time CES instructors.

    Also be advised, that the wording/framing of a question betrays the outlook of the person who composed the question. An honest beleiving member who merely repeats a “poisoned” question that was originally crafted by antis, gives the impression to his listener that he also holds the outlook of the person who originally composed the question.

    You and I may be offended by “don’t worry about it” responses, but sometimes we were the ones who offended the other person by the confrontational or defiant wording of the question. And that is sometimes the due to the evil intent of the anti who originally composed the question/accusation.

    Therefore, to avoid the “discrimination” I mentioned above, it behooves a sincere questioner to reframe the question to a faithful perspective, or at least to a neutral perspective.

    Another point to consider is that God’s ways are not our ways. God is perfectly intelligent, but His logic is not our logic. God doesn’t always make sense according to human logic. His ways often appear inneficient. God purposely hides truth in order that only those who seek for it humbly can find it. Paul said something like “spiritual truth must be spiritually discerned.” Therefore, some real and true answers are just never going to satisfy those who demand an intellectual human-logic-only type of response.

    A questioner really does have to know (at least to some small degree) “how God operates” before many of the answers to difficult questions can be understood.

    One of my challenges was the lost 116 pages. Why didn’t God just tell Joseph “No, because Martin will lose them” ? The answer is: because one of God’s standard operating procedures is to give us enough rope to hang ourselves.

  8. Bookslinger, Thanks for the thoughtful thorough reply. You brought up many valid points which I concur with and really appreciate your respectful considerate response. As you may have gathered, I am a believer, but not without many questions and I view things less in black and white and absolute certainty as I deal with making sense of apparent ‘facts’ that call into question some of my understandings. I recognize that for many issues I might be in this space for many years. Uncertainty is troubling, but I’m getting more used to it. What I am also concerned about is out faith community not wanting to allow a full space at the table for those such as me. Black and white dismissive comments by the ultra-orthodox (that may be a label needing amendment 😉 ) to sincere questions or clarifications at Church makes one feel like they’ve just labeled themselves as a pariah. Granted, one needs to be sensitive to the audience and the tender testimonies of all in the room, while still commenting and asking clarifying questions in a way that advances useful knowledge. I can suspect what others are thinking, because I felt the same way for years after my mission when anyone would ask questions that weren’t milk-toast and I thought they were more or less ‘evil’ trying to stir up contention. A few years later I was called into the EQ presidency and after a particular brother had made such comments over a series of weeks in EQ, in a moment of stupidity and blindness I blurted out in class, “If all you can do is cause contention, then maybe you shouldn’t attend class.” Yikes, that was a low moment for me. He didn’t come back. A month later all the 70’s in the ward were made HP’s and he and I were called as the two lone 70’s in the ward to do missionary work together. Karma for sure. Well, I got to know this brother and realized that his testimony of the Savior and restoration was greater than mine and that his mind just worked differently than mine did and he needed to process issues in a more direct, deep and nuanced way than my black and white mind.
    OK, I’m rambling. Thanks for the interchange.

  9. At a recent choir practice our director brought us in way too early. It was the first time she’d practiced the song with us, as she’d been out with sick everyone the prior week.

    Several of us blurted out that she was wrong.

    She stopped us and explained how that made her feel. Ultimately we all decided it was (in that instance) more important to sustain her leadership, even if once or twice we might think the composer’s intent was other than how our director conducted the piece.

    Ultimately the performance went off very well and we learned a great lesson.

    A while ago I made a comment in Sunday School about Peter, who denied Christ three times. I suggested that perhaps Christ had commanded Peter to deny him. The teacher treated this suggestion as heinous. Afterwards people who don’t think I am a heretic pointed out that Spencer W. Kimball had suggested this interpretation of the story.

    Ultimately, God wants us all to come back home. Our strategies to effect His will in this matter will change, if we are aligned with Him. Sometimes we need to be humble. Sometimes we need to accept that others might be harsh for reasons that have more to do with their journey than ours.

  10. Karl, egads, you were a local/stake 70? You’re at least as old as Ram! (I’m a little younger than he is.)

    I’ve found out that when you have one of those sticky questions, you can’t, or shouldn’t, ask someone who only knows the sanitized version of church history/doctrine.

    But really, all one needs to do is read or skim either the 6 volume edition or the 7 volume edition of “History of the Church” or “Journal of Discourses” to find out some of the real messy stuff! Even “Discourses of Brigham Young”, which if not in print can still be bought on ebay/Amazon, is eye-opening.

    When I joined the church I was blessed (or cursed) with a testimony with just enough strength that I could “put things on the shelf” at least for a while. The 116 pages, secret Nauvoo polygamy, and JS being sealed to some married women for “eternity-but-not-time” were things that I put on the shelf and have since found satisfactory answers.

    I knew it was wrong, or at least misleading, to say that JS “married” those women to whom he had eternity-only sealings. But that’s only part of the story.

    an essential part of those satisfactory answers is _knowing_ a little about how God operates and how mortal men can really mess things up. And how God _allows_ people to mess up. Apparently, the Lord didn’t tell Joseph that Emma was going to be disaffected from the church after his death, and take their kids with her. Maybe if He had, Joseph would have actually married those other women he was “supposed to” and would have had progeny that stayed in the church. I know that the biggest messes in my life have been when I’ve disobeyed commandments and especially promptings.

    I’m just now reading Meg’s new book. But one of the things she didn’t put in her online pre-publication version, but i think should have, is an insight about the nature of wicked people, especially adulterers. A wicked person will accuse their victim or “opposition” with the very same crime that they are committing. The adulterous man will accuse his innocent wife of cheating before his adultery is exposed. (You can also see this in the accusations of progressives versus conservatives. Yes, I believe those at the head of the progressive movement are wicked. It is the progressives who have “warred against women,” not conservatives.) A wicked person will make the first accusation, so that the true accusation against them can be more easily dismissed as mere retalliation.

    The very thing that took the Nauvoo polygamy/spiritual-wifery mess/conflation “off the shelf” for me was learning that those who had accused JS of adultery were the very ones fomenting and leading the effort to kill him, and had _their own_ adultery ring going! It all makes sense to me now.

    As an aside, I think Meg clears up the idea that the “eternity-only sealings” were Joseph’s attempt to make up for his procrastination in implementing polygamy. Had he not procrastinated, he could have actually married (at least some of) those women prior to them marrying other men. And had he done so, he likely would have had progeny that stayed in the church.

    It may take a while, but I sincerely believe that Meg’s connect-the-dots picture of Bennett, Law, the Higbees, the sex ring, the conspirators in his murder, Joseph’s “late” and “incomplete” implementation of polygamy (ie, the eternity-only sealings), will eventually be vindicated.

  11. Bookslinger,
    Not sure I understand your comment, ” (You can also see this in the accusations of progressives versus conservatives. Yes, I believe those at the head of the progressive movement are wicked. It is the progressives who have “warred against women,” not conservatives.) ” First off it would be good to define “progressive” and relative to what. Unfortunately the definitions of these terms, I feel, are still in a lot of flux.

  12. Did you know Joseph Smith generated a FAQ?

    I don’t know why, but my husband went looking for it. Joseph Smith Jr. published it on May 8, 1838. He said “I published the foregoing answers to save myself the trouble of repeating the same a thousand times over and over again.” Man, was he sassy!

    Recall reading these answers that he is writing in 1838 when the saints had mostly fled to (not from) Missouri. The state’s rights issues in Missouri must be understood to properly understand his answer regarding abolition. As for his answer regarding having more than one wife, it only seems duplicitous if you think he consummated the covenant with Fanny Alger, which I think he hadn’t.

    (from History of the Church, Vol.3, Ch.3, p.28-30)

    I answered the questions which were frequently asked me…

    First–“Do you believe the Bible?”

    If we do, we are the only people under heaven that does, for there are none of the religious sects of the day that do.

    Second–“Wherein do you differ from other sects?”

    In that we believe the Bible, and all other sects profess to believe their interpretations of the Bible, and their creeds.

    Third–“Will everybody be damned, but Mormons?”

    Yes, and a great portion of them, unless they repent, and work righteousness.

    Fourth–“How and where did you obtain the Book of Mormon?”

    Moroni, who deposited the plates in a hill in Manchester, Ontario County, New York, being dead and raised again therefrom, appeared unto me, and told me where they were, and gave me directions how to obtain them. I obtained them, and the Urim and Thummim with them, by the means of which I translated the plates; and thus came the Book of Mormon.

    Fifth–“Do you believe Joseph Smith, Jun., to be a Prophet?”

    Yes, and every other man who has the testimony of Jesus. For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.–Revelation, 19:10th verse.

    Sixth–“Do the Mormons believe in having all things in common?”


    Seventh–“Do the Mormons believe in having more wives than one?”

    No, not at the same time. But they believe that if their companion dies, they have a right to marry again. But we do disapprove of the custom, which as gained in the world, and has been practiced among us, to our great mortification, in marrying in five or six weeks, or even in two or three months, after the death of their companion. We believe that due respect ought to be had to the memory of the dead, and the feelings of both friends and children.

    Eight–“Can they [the Mormons] raise the dead?”

    No, nor can any other people that now lives, or ever did live. But God can raise the dead, through man as an instrument.

    Ninth–“What signs does Joseph Smith give of his divine mission?”

    The signs which God is pleased to let him give, according as His wisdom thinks best, in order that He may judge the world agreeably to His own plan.

    Tenth–“Was not Joseph Smith a money digger?”

    Yes, but it was never a very profitable job for him, as he only got fourteen dollars a month for it.

    Eleventh–“Did not Joseph Smith steal his wife?”

    Ask her, she was of age, she can answer for herself.

    Twelfth–“Do the people have to give up their money when they join his Church?”

    No other requirement than to bear their proportion of the expenses of the Church, and support the poor.

    Thirteenth–“Are the Mormons abolitionists?”

    No, unless delivering the people from priestcraft, and the priests from the power of Satan, should be considered abolition. But we do not believe in setting the negroes free.

    Fourteenth–“Do they not stir up the Indians to war, and to commit depredations?”

    No, and they who reported the story knew it was false when they put it in circulation. These and similar reports are palmed upon the people by the priests, and this is the only reason why we ever thought of answering them.

    Fifteenth–“Do the Mormons baptize in the name of ‘Joe’ Smith?”

    No, but if they did, it would be as valid as the baptism administered by the sectarian priests.

    Sixteenth–“If the Mormon doctrine is true, what has become of all those who died since the days of the Apostles?”

    All those who have not had an opportunity of hearing the Gospel, and being administered unto by an inspired man in the flesh, must have it hereafter, before they can be finally judged.

    Seventeenth–“Does not ‘Joe’ Smith profess to be Jesus Christ?”

    No, but he professes to be His brother, as all other Saints have done and now do: Matt. 12:49 , 50 , “And He stretched forth His hand toward His disciples and said, Behold my mother and my brethren; for whosoever shall do the will of my Father, which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.”

    Eighteenth–“Is there anything in the Bible which licenses you to believe in revelation now-a-days?”

    Is there anything that does not authorize us to believe so? If there is, we have, as yet, not been able to find it.

    Nineteenth–“Is not the canon of the Scriptures full?”

    If it is, there is a great defect in the book, or else it would have said so.

    Twentieth–“What are the fundamental principles of your religion?”

    The fundamental principles of our religion are the testimony of the Apostles and Prophets, concerning Jesus Christ, that He died, was buried, and rose again the third day, and ascended into heaven; and all other things which pertain to our religion are only appendages to it. But in connection with these, we believe in the gift of the Holy Ghost, the power of faith, the enjoyment of the spiritual gifts according to the will of God, the restoration of the house of Israel, and the final triumph of truth.

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