{Catholic Video} How to Refute Mormons in 4 Points

Ding dong. The Mormon missionaries are standing at your front door wearing ties and white shirtsleeve shirts. Do you:

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A) ignore them?
B) hear them out?
C) try to convert them?

Take up the challenge. Choose (C). Bring them into the truth. But what do you say? Here’s how you refute them in four points and open up the conversation to embracing orthodox Christianity:

Below is a free sample video refuting Mormonism in 4 quick points. It’s taken from our “How to Convert People from Cults and Eastern Religions” Module from the New Saint Thomas Institute. Every week we send our NSTI student-members new videos, audios, and written resources to aid them in apologetics and evangelization of family, friends, and coworkers. Here’s our most recent video on Mormonism:

If you don’t see the video in your RSS feed or email, please click here to watch it.

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  • Phyllis Cory

    My ancestors are Spauldings. Solomon Spaulding’s manuscript, according to his widow and his brother, formed the basis for the Book of Mormon. See “Spaulding Manuscript” on Wikipedia.

    • Wow! So interesting.

    • Vicente de la Paz

      Phyllis Cory:
      Some critics of the LDS Church have claimed that Joseph Smith used the manuscript to write the Book of Mormon. This claim has been discredited many times by people inside and outside of the LDS Church. The Book of Mormon was translated from ancient records by the gift and power of God. It has no connection with the Spaulding manuscript.

      Have you read the Book of Mormon, Phyllis?

  • Steve Lauhoff

    Dr. Marshall, one question about the pre-existence of souls before incarnation in the human womb. There are some scriptures that actually seem to point to the validity of the belief in the existence of the soul prior to incarnation, no? I am thinking of Jeremiah 1:5 – Before I formed thee in the bowels of thy mother, I knew thee: and before thou camest forth out of the womb, I sanctified thee, and made thee a prophet unto the nations. (Douay-Rheims).

    Also Psalm 139:15-16 – My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body;
    all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. (NIV)

    I have always thought that these two quotes were foundational counter-arguments to pro-abortion advocates as it indicated that the purpose of the child extended even before conception and thus to intervene in the process in any way is a direct affront to the plan of God for that child. I agree that the Mormon doctrine of infusion is incorrect. In fact, I wonder if there aren’t Mormons who are pro-abortion because they subjectively determine the moment when the soul is infused into the fetus. I just wonder how the Magisterium reconciles what you described (soul creation at conception) with the texts cited above. Not a big deal either way as either position contravenes a pro-abortion mindset but it is an interesting explanation of those parts of our existence that are so hard for our human minds to grasp.

    Thanks for your thoughts on this.

    • Great questions:

      1) Jeremiah 1:5 “God foreknows us before we are conceived. This does not mean that we exist as souls *before* we are conceived.” It is Catholic teaching that Jeremiah, John the Baptist, Joseph, and Mary were sanctified in the womb – Mary being perfectly sanctified at the first moment of her immaculate conception.

      2) Psalm 139:15-16 refers to the formation of a human in the womb and tehre is no reference to the soul pre-existing.

      3) These quotes are key counter-arguments to pro-abortion arguments.

      4) Catholics reject pre-existing souls. We do accept souls at conception. So the argument against abortion holds.

      5) The Mormon pre-existence argument is actually less “pro-life” because it sees the soul as not requiring the body for initial existence. So an abortion, for the Mormon, is simply just ejecting a soul from a body that had started out without a body anyway.

      • Steve Lauhoff

        Thanks for the clarification. Who have been the Catholic theologians who have plumbed the depths of the issue of the soul and its creation? I deeply appreciate the Magisterium and the writings of the fathers. I find their writings useful to help in explaining Catholicism to non-Catholics in terms that are less ‘preachy’, so to speak. If you can recommend any resources on the subject, I would be grateful.

      • Vicente de la Paz

        Mormons are more prolife than catholics. We see catholics perform more abortions against their religions. Of course there’s hypocrites everywhere, but the catholics tops it all.

        • Erin M

          Vincente, I also want to add that sometimes tone on the internet is hard to discern! I hope that you’ll seek out an in person relationship with a Catholic who loves and lives the teachings of our rich, authentic faith. I’m certain by having face to face discussions with a true friend will be much more helpful in understanding the teachings of the Catholic Church than online debates. I’ll pray you find a joyful, sincere Catholic friend 🙂 God bless you abundantly!

        • As a Catholic I would be the first to admit – the majority of Catholics in America are hypocrites. American Catholics approve of abortion, homosexuality, and pre-marital sex at a higher rate than the general population. They would do well to study the parable of vine. The primary reason is that the Catholic preachers and teachers have failed the laity and taught them little about Christ and His teachings.

        • Ed Graveline

          Mormons are not more pro-life than Catholics. Catholics ban contraception and Mormons don’t. Just because we have heretics doing what is condemned by the Church does not mean that the teachings of the Church are false. Mormons all abortion in certain circumstances too and Catholics don’t ever. All life is precious to us – and that is why we have Catholic Charities for ANY religion, not just Catholics. We help feed and educated more the the marginalized than any other religion or even country in the world. We also have organizations that help adoption agencies. I support a Catholic lady who has two homes for pregnant teens and she lets them have their babies and keeps them for six months afterwards. Mormons are for Mormons only. I have seen it in action..

          • Vicente de la Paz

            Yeah Catholic are less pro-life than Mormons. They even work for Planned Parenthood.

    • Vicente de la Paz

      Steven Lauhoff:

      Perhaps a little correction to the misrepresentations of dr. marshall in his video. Mormons don’t believe in a so called “infusion of a soul into a fetus”. We believe that the spirit of man (soul) existed prior to physical birth. That spirit was created by our Father in Heaven out of existing matter that is more refine than physical matter. But the intelligence of that soul is eternal and cannot be created nor infused. Thus spirit intelligence (soul) is not created at conception nor prior to conception in the pre-existence.

      Here is what was revealed by the Lord today similar to Jeremiah 1:5:

      “22 Now the Lord had shown unto me, Abraham, the intelligences that were organized before the world was; and among all these there were many of the noble and great ones;

      23 And God saw these souls that they were good, and he stood in the midst of them, and he said: These I will make my rulers; for he stood among those that were spirits, and he saw that they were good; and he said unto me: Abraham, thou art one of them; thou wast chosen before thou wast born.”

  • Thomas Ormon

    I don’t know whether those 2 Mormon ‘elders’ at the top are posers or the real deal, but the one on the right looks eerily similar to the one I used to invite into my house 8 1/2 some-odd years ago! (Elder Sare according to my BoM.)

  • Ray921

    A fifth point that strikes at the root of Mormonism’s very revelation was given to me by a close friend who practiced Mormonism for several years until the weight of this Scripture reproved him:

    “I am amazed that you are so soon deserting him who called you in accord with his gracious design in Christ, and are going over to another gospel. But there is no other. Some who wish to alter the gospel of Christ must have confused you. For even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel not in accord with the one we delivered to you, let a curse be upon him!”
    — New American Bible (Gal 1:6-9)

    • Vicente de la Paz

      So-called “christians” (catholics/protestants) quote this verse in galations most often when they encounter truths in Mormonism. They take this verse out of context and leave out v. 11-12 where Paul makes it a rule that anyone, angels or humans, cannot preach the gospel without direct revelations from Jesus Christ. And since catholics and protestants today don’t have direct communication (revelations) from Jesus today (they believe heaven is closed), they are the ones whose gospel is received from Man instead of from Jesus. Thus they’re the ones who have the “other gospel”.

      PS. Angels can preach the gospel when they’re authorized. John the Revelator says so.

      • KristinLA

        You should start at the beginning and read Dr. Marshall’s 3 book set on the early Church. I think you need this for historical perspective.
        The Crucified Rabbi: Judaism & the Origins of Catholic Christianity
        The Catholic Perspective on Paul: Paul & the Origins of Catholic Christianity
        The Eternal City: Rome & the Origins of Catholic Christianity

        • Vicente de la Paz

          No need to read his books. He’s just capitalizing on those who know nothing about Jesus and his true gospel.

  • LTB

    I’m not a biblical expert, but since God is omniscient, He can see a soul before it’s made. He is timeless but his creation, in this case, the human soul, occurs in time where there is a before and after. I see in these verses, composed by human beings inspired by the Spirit, a marveling at God’s omniscience and eternality, and gratitude for having been created by Him.

  • LTB

    Posted this in the wrong place. Reposting as was intended as a reply to Steve L:

    I’m not a biblical expert, but since God is omniscient, He can see a soul before it’s made. He is timeless but his creation, in this case, the human soul, occurs in time where there is a before and after. I see in these verses, composed by human beings inspired by the Spirit, a marveling at God’s omniscience and eternality, and gratitude for having been created by Him.

    • Steve Lauhoff

      Good point, LTB. I hadn’t thought of it that way. I love pondering the concept of time and its role in creation. Your point brings new perspective. Thanks for sharing.

    • Vicente de la Paz

      The idea of “Pre-existence of human soul” before their physical birth on earth has been taught by early true christians. Due to the influence of the Adversary, such doctrine was taken out of christian teachings in one of these man-made councils. No wonder for the longest time, this concept is missing from all churches today.

      Truth stands independent regardless of man-made councils expunging this doctrine of pre-earth life. It is an absolute truth that humans pre-existed as souls (spirits) prior to being born. The concept completes one of the questions of where we came from, why are we here and where we are going after this life.

      • David Bates

        > The idea of “Pre-existence of human soul” before their physical birth on earth has been taught by early true christians

        Can you offer any proof of this? Any documents from the Early Church?

        • Vicente de la Paz

          Somehow the admin didn’t want to post my reply with a link to a website. Perhaps he doesn’t want you all to learn the Truth. In either case,

          The idea of a “pre-existence” was voted out in a man-made councils contrary to what the Bible teach that Jesus Christ himself “was with God” (in the preexistence).

          The Apostles also understood the concept when they asked the Lord “which of them sinned that he was born blind? the parents or the child”? Embedded in that line of questioning is the idea that someone (parents or child) must have done something so wrong prior to the birth of the child that the child would be born blind. They were referring to the events that must had happened in the preexistence. Jesus didn’t correct them in that concept. Instead he answered that none of them did anything wrong “prior” to the child being born blind. In other words, the parent or the child didn’t sin in the preexistence for the child to be born blind. Thus the concept of pre-existence of the souls of men is taught by the early true Christians.

          And Jesus would not have asked us to call His Father also our Father if he didn’t know that we existed with God the Father before we were born to have such as relationship with Him to rightly call him our Father.

          • David Bates

            Somehow the admin didn’t want to post my reply with a link to a website. Perhaps he doesn’t want you all to learn the Truth.

            They’re blocked on most sites. Bloggers don’t want their comment sections flood with links to other sites.

            The idea of a “pre-existence” was voted out in a man-made councils contrary to what the Bible teach that Jesus Christ himself “was with God” (in the preexistence).

            Please cite the Council and the canon which addressed this.

            It also sounds like you’re a little confused as to Trinitarian theology. We do believe that the Son was with the Father from all eternity. However, we don’t believe that *we* were too.

            Embedded in that line of questioning is the idea that someone (parents or child) must have done something so wrong prior to the birth of the child that the child would be born blind. They were referring to the events that must had happened in the preexistence

            There are a few problems with this:

            1. Preexistence was not believed by Jews at the time of Christ. Can you name any groups who did? Can you point to anything in Rabbinic teaching? Talmud? Dead Sea Scrolls etc?

            2. If sin could cause a man to be born blind then that means his parents could have done something sinful prior to his birth, or he did something *himself* himself somehow while he was still in his mother’s womb. Even if we assume the disciples’ statement was correct, it doesn’t necessitate preexistence. You’re bringing that to the text from Mormon doctrine.

            Jesus didn’t correct them in that concept.

            Jesus side-steps their entire framework of sin and punishment and speaks of the plans and purposes of God, bypassing their broken worldview.

            Also, if you applied the same logic to John 6, you’d have to conclude with the Catholic (and historic) understanding of the Eucharist. After all, at no point in the “Bread of Life” discourse, does Jesus try to correct the interpretation of his words. His flesh is true food and His blood true drink…

            Thus the concept of pre-existence of the souls of men is taught by the early true Christians.

            Aside from your own interpretation of this passage, can you point to anyone else in Early Christianity? Clement? Ignatius? Tertullian? Justin?

            And Jesus would not have asked us to call His Father also our Father if he didn’t know that we existed with God the Father before we were born to have such as relationship with Him to rightly call him our Father.

            This is a non sequitur. Calling God “Our Father” absolutely in no way necessitates preexistence! If so, please explain why.

            Taylor has a whole bunch of kids who’d describe him as “Our father”. However, that doesn’t mean that they preexisted with him in some fashion. No, it’s descriptive of their relationship to him. This relationship began at their creation, at conception.

            I know other people who have been adopted who do the same. This relationship began not at their conception or birth, but at the point of adoption.

          • Vicente de la Paz

            //2. If sin could cause a man to be born blind then that means his parents could have done something sinful prior to his birth, or he did something *himself* somehow while he was still in his mother’s womb. Even if we assume the disciples’ statement was correct, it doesn’t necessitate preexistence. You’re bringing that to the text from Mormon doctrine.//

            Perhaps you should read the disciples’ question again:

            “And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth. (Here Jesus and the disciples both understood the fact that the man was blind from his birth” (nothing caused it after birth))

            “And his disciples asked him, saying Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?”

            Here the questions was who sinned?
            “this man” — If he did, what was the sin and when and more importantly “where”. Because sinning could not occur in the womb for this man to be born blind. It’s either he sinned BEFORE he was born blind –which begs the question — exactly where and when? The disciples didn’t asked whether “this man” sinned while in the womb. That would be a ridiculous question that the Lord would have caught it immediately and would have corrected it.
            The question was where? Did this man sinned (prior to birth in the preexistence–since there is no other place for this to take place, not even in the womb) that he was born blind? The Lord sensed their understanding of the preexistence that he answered “none of them sinned”. In other words, this man didn’t sin while in the womb (that’s preposterous). “this man didn’t sin in the preexistence either. Although he could have. Just like Lucifer sinned before the foundation of the world (in the preexistence) and rebelled against God even before Adam and Eve was created..

            “or his parents” — here this implied that they sinned during their time as husband and wife BEFORE conception of the blind man and at a place before actual birth. If they did sin, it would have been during their lifetime (or perhaps before their own births as well–again the begging question when and where?” But the parental sin didn’t happen at all before the blind man’s birth as we know from Jesus’ reply. The parents didn’t sin that he was born blind. This doesn’t negate preexistence either.

            The question of whether the man sinned prior to being born blind imputes the idea of a preexistence (where the sinning can occur) because no sinning occurs while in the womb during conception or during gestation period.. It had to happen somewhere else. Preexistence is the only viable solution to this question.

          • David Bates

            Perhaps you should read the disciples’ question again…

            I didn’t suggest that any sin that happened after his birth. Perhaps you need to read my response again?

            Because sinning could not occur in the womb for this man to be born blind.

            Why?

            The disciples didn’t asked whether “this man” sinned while in the womb. That would be a ridiculous question that the Lord would have caught it immediately and would have corrected it.

            Is it any more ridiculous than suggesting that he sinned in some previous existence?! Again, this idea was to First Century Judaism. In my previous comment I asked for proof (Talmud, names of teachers/groups etc.) that Jews believed this. I didn’t see anything presented in your answer.

            Like I said in my previous comment, if you are going to use the logic that “the Lord would…immediately…correct [misconceptions]”, then you have no choice but to accept the Catholic interpretation of the Bread of Life discourse.

            The question of whether the man sinned prior to being born blind imputes the idea of a preexistence (the only logical place where the sinning can occur) because no sinning occurs while in the womb during conception or during gestation period.. It had to happen somewhere else. Preexistence is the only viable solution to this question.

            The problem with your logic here is that you assume that the disciples’ question expressed a clear understanding of the truth of things, when there is ample evidence in Scripture of them asking dumb questions which betray their poor understanding.

            You also assert (without any explanation why) sin is impossible within the womb, bypassing the very strong OT notion of election, such as with Isaac and Ishmael. Instead you reach for the far harder solution of a pre-existence, something not believed by the Jews of antiquity.

            I also didn’t see any attempt to answer my challenge to prove your assertion that “The idea of a ‘pre-existence’ was voted out in a man-made councils contrary to what the Bible teach”. Can you name that council?

            (This question of councils also begs the question of how an apostate Church can both correctly discern the canon and preserve the texts of Scripture for 2,000 years, but that’s an aside…).

          • Vicente de la Paz

            //… we existed with God the Father before we were born to have (such as relationship with Him to rightly call him our Father.
            This is a non sequitur. Calling God “Our Father” absolutely in no way necessitates preexistence! If so, please explain why.//

            We recognized and know that Jesus’s Father (ie, God the Father) is also our Father. Why do we call Jesus’s Father as our Father? Because he says so? No, not just because he says so, because it is so.

            Hebrews 12:9
            “9 Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?”

            The distinction between earthly father and Heavenly Father is clear in this verse. But who are these spirits whom God is the Father of? It is us. We lived as spirit children of our Father in Heaven before our mortal birth. He is literally the Father of our spirits. We are his spirit children. We lived with him in Heaven as spirits. God the Father knew us personally before we were born (Jeremiah 1:5), We were with God before we were born (Job 1:6, 2:1) We rejoiced and we “shouted for joy” (Job 38:7) when we found out that God has prepared a plan for us his spirit children to become like Him.
            Part of that plan was for us to be sent here on earth to be tried and tested and to prove Him if we are willing to do all that God has commanded us to do. If we live with true Faith in Christ and follow His commandments, we can return back to God (Ecclesiastes 12:7) and be exalted/glorified/resurrected as He is through the atoning sacrifice of His only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ.

            It’s worth nothing in Ecclesiastes 12:7

            “Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.”

            that when we die, our spirits return to God where we came from. Returning to a place where we’ve never been to before is illogical. How could something return to a point it had never been to before? We lived in the preexistence before we were born on earth. Life didn’t begin on earth.

            More info here:

            en”dot”fairmormon”dot”org”slash”Plan_of_salvation

          • David Bates

            But who are these spirits whom God is the Father of [Hebrews 12:9]? It is us. We lived as spirit children of our Father in Heaven before our mortal birth.

            Says who? From where do you get that in the text?

            God the Father knew us personally before we were born (Jeremiah 1:5)

            This is speaking about the foreknowledge of God, not the pre-existence of the soul. Can you quote a single rabbi from antiquity who interpreted the passage in this way?

            We were with God before we were born (Job 1:6, 2:1)

            I think you’re assuming that “sons of God” refers to pre-existent souls rather than angelic beings, which would make sense given that this passage narrates the challenge given to God by a fallen angelic being (Satan). Again, please provide some evidence that any Jews interpreted the passage in the way you describe.

            …when we die, our spirits return to God where we came from. Returning to a place where we’ve never been to before is illogical.

            What does orthodox, historic Christianity say about the soul and the body? Our body comes through our parents and the soul comes from…God.

          • Vicente de la Paz

            //But who are these spirits whom God is the Father of [Hebrews 12:9]? It is us. We lived as spirit children of our Father in Heaven before our mortal birth.
            Says who? From where do you get that in the text?//

            Says Who? God through his authorized true prophets and apostles today. (Amos 3:7)

            //We were with God before we were born (Job 1:6, 2:1)
            I think you’re assuming that “sons of God” refers to pre-existent souls rather than angelic beings, which would make sense given that this passage narrates the challenge given to God by a fallen angelic being (Satan).//

            “sons of God” are not simply “angelic beings”. They are divine beings who preexisted before they were born. Again this has now clarified and revealed unmistakably by God through his authorized true prophets today (Amos 3:7). We existed as spirit sons and daughters of our Father in Heaven BEFORE we were born on earth. Here’s one of the text:

            “22 Now the Lord had shown unto me, Abraham, the intelligences that were organized before the world was; and among all these there were many of the noble and great ones;

            23 And God saw these souls that they were good, and he stood in the midst of them, and he said: These I will make my rulers; for he stood among those that were spirits, and he saw that they were good; and he said unto me: Abraham, thou art one of them; thou wast chosen before thou wast born.

            24 And there stood one among them that was like unto God, and he said unto those who were with him: We will go down, for there is space there, and we will take of these materials, and we will make an earth whereon these may dwell;

            25 And we will prove them herewith, to see if they will do all things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them;

            26 And they who keep their first estate shall be added upon; and they who keep not their first estate shall not have glory in the same kingdom with those who keep their first estate; and they who keep their second estate shall have glory added upon their heads for ever and ever.”

            //God the Father knew us personally before we were born (Jeremiah 1:5)
            This is speaking about the foreknowledge of God, not the pre-existence of the soul.//

            Similar to Abraham, God personally knew Jeremiah and ORDAINED him a prophet BEFORE Jeremiah was born on earth. This was not simply God’s foreknowledge but an actual real personal event in the preexistence before earth’s creation that He conversed with Jeremiah and knew him personal enough to have confidence in Jeremiah that he would chose to perform his fore-ordination. Beside’s God’s foreknowledge, there was an actual ordination (as in a laying on of hands to set apart a person to the office of a prophet). This ordination could not occur in the womb but happened prior to the womb — in the preexistence.

            We don’t simply rely in the Hebrew text or on a lone CF about the concept of preexistence. God has revealed these secrets and truths through his authorized true prophets today. We believe in direct communication (“divine revelation”) between God and his servants the prophets today just as He did in the past (Amos 3:7). “God does nothing but He revealeth his secrets to his servants the prophets.” That is God pattern in manifesting truths to us–by revealing it to his trusted servants the prophets.

          • Vicente de la Paz

            //Aside from your own interpretation of this passage, can you point to anyone else in Early Christianity? Clement? Ignatius? Tertullian? Justin?//

            Read Origen’s writing on “preincarnation”. Though the concept has LDS flavors in it. We don’t derive our teachings from early church fathers, nor do we derive our doctrines form early councils. We believe preexistence to be true doctrine of Christ because Christ has revealed it to his prophets and apostles today.

            reluctant”dash”messenger”dot”com”slash”origen10

            This non-LDS scholar agreeing with our understanding of (John 9:1)

            He said:
            “The disciples ask the Lord if the man himself could have committed the sin that led to his blindness. Given the fact that the man has been blind from birth, we are confronted with a provocative question. When could he have made such transgressions as to make him blind at birth? The only conceivable answer is in some prenatal state. The question as posed by the disciples explicitly presupposes prenatal existence. It will also be noted that Christ says nothing to dispel or correct the presupposition. Here is incontrovertible support for a doctrine of human preexistence.”

            — Quincy Howe, Jr., Ph.D., Professor of Ancient Languages,

          • David Bates

            Read Origen’s writing on “preincarnation”.and how he was anathemized by the apostate church for believing in such novel concept

            So, out of the entire length and breadth of the Early Church, you can point to only a single person who conjectured about the pre-existence of the soul? That’s not very good, is it? I’m curious as to how your view of history explains the presence of a single, lone voice. If the doctrine taught by Christ and the apostles included preexistence, why do we not see more writings from the Early (“Apostate”) Church condemning the belief? Why does it take a few centuries first of all and then limited to one guy? We see extensive writings against Gnosticism, Modalism etc. Why do we not see lots of early stuff that condemns what we would today know as Mormonism?

            I also find it strange that you describe his idea being condemned “by the apostate church”, as though Origen was a proto-Mormon. However, you only have to glance at his writings to see that he’s infinitely closer to Catholicism than Mormonism. I think it is also problematic that Origen got this idea of preexistence, not from apostolic Christianity but from his training in Greek philosophy, the source of virtually all his innovative ideas.

            This non-LDS scholar agreeing with our understanding of (John 9:1)

            I’m intrigued, do you know anything about this man at all? Is he an authority in his field, or is he simply being marshaled because he happens to agree with something close to your position (he actually agues for reincarnation)? It’s not very impressive to cite the former professor of Scripps College…

          • Vicente de la Paz

            //Taylor has a whole bunch of kids who’d describe him as “Our father”. However, that doesn’t mean that they preexisted with him in some fashion. No, it’s descriptive of their relationship to him. This relationship began at their creation, at conception.
            I know other people who have been adopted who do the same. This relationship began not at their conception or birth, but at the point of adoption.//

            Irrelevant and strawman. Mormons don’t claim to have preexisted from earthly or adoptive parents. We preexisted as spirits and our preexistence came from our Father in Heaven who created our spirits.

          • David Bates

            Irrelevant and strawman. Mormons don’t claim to have preexisted from earthly or adoptive parents. We preexisted as spirits and our preexistence came from our Father in Heaven who created our spirits.

            It’s not irrelevant. You argued the truth of preexistence from the fact that we call God “Our Father”. I was providing two concrete examples (natural generation and also adoption) where people call someone “our father” but which in no way indicates a preexistence.

          • Vicente de la Paz

            We call someone “our father” because not only there was a relationship, in case of our mortal fathers, but also a true spiritual relationship, in the case of our Heavenly Father. That spiritual relationship didn’t begin at conception. It started way before that in the preexistence.

          • David Bates

            We call someone “our father” because not only there was a relationship, in case of our mortal fathers, but also a true spiritual relationship, in the case of our Heavenly Father. That spiritual relationship didn’t begin at conception. It started way before that in the preexistence.

            If you recall, you made an argument for preexistence based on the fact that Jesus told us to call God “Our Father”. I have given two concrete examples of fatherhood (natural generation and adoption), neither of which require any form of preexistence, thus disproving your argument.

            I’m afraid your latest comment is pure assertion. You are asserting that spiritual relationship didn’t begin at conception, but you’re not *proving* it from the text.

            Looking back through my previous comments, I’m seeing an awful lot of questions not being answered. If you decide to reply again, I’d suggest that you answer some of them. Here would be a good place to start:

            So, out of the entire length and breadth of the Early Church, you can point to only a single person who conjectured about the pre-existence of the soul? That’s not very good, is it? I’m curious as to how your view of history explains the presence of a single, lone voice. If the doctrine taught by Christ and the apostles included preexistence, why do we not see more writings from the Early (“Apostate”) Church condemning the belief? Why does it take a few centuries first of all and then limited to one guy? We see extensive writings against Gnosticism, Modalism etc. Why do we not see lots of early stuff that condemns what we would today know as Mormonism?

          • Vicente de la Paz

            The idea of pre-existence is known even before the “Christian Era”. Moses, Abraham and all the true prophets of God knew that we existed before we were born. It was revealed to them these secrets (Amos 3:7). And they wrote about it in the text. These texts can be read both in the OT, the NT, The Book of Mormon and especially today in New Scriptures given to us by God that confirms that God is our Father in Heaven. He is the Father of our spirits. We were sent here on earth to obtain a physical body and to be tried and tested to see if “we will do all that the Lord has commanded us to do”. The plan of salvation or the “Plan of Happiness” as we called it was explained to us in the pre-existence, when we were yet spirit sons and daughters of our Father in Heaven. We understood His plan to send us here on earth to have a body and to go through life to and to progress to become like Him (Matt. 5:48). Jesus was also sent from the preexistence to become our Savior and Redeemer. If we follow Christ and His commandments we will be judge and be assigned to His Kingdom in Heaven in the Highest degree of Glory (the Celestial Kingdom). If we only haphazardly keep his commandments and continue to be blinded by the philosophies of roman catholic teachings, we will be assigned to the next degree of Glory (the Terrestrial Kingdom) away and separate from our Father in Heaven.

            So it’s your choice. Accept the restored gospel of Jesus Christ and be united with our Father in Heaven, or reject the prophets and apostles whom God has called in these latter days and be judged to the lowest degree of his Kingdom in Heaven. Your choice.

          • David Bates

            The idea of pre-existence is known even before the “Christian Era”. Moses, Abraham and all the true prophets of God knew that we existed before we were born. It was revealed to them these secrets (Amos 3:7).

            Erm…proof? Your entire post is just assertions, zero evidence is presented to support your claim.

            You also continue to fail to answer a single question I asked above… :-/

          • Vicente de la Paz

            The proof will be given to you directly by God through the power of the Holy Spirit if you ask Him sincerely and with real intent having faith in Christ. If you do this, you will get your “proof”. For now, do educate yourself and read what Mormons believe about the preexistence, then get down on your knees one night and pour your soul in repentance to God our Father in Heaven in the name of Christ to reveal to you the truth of all things by the power of the Holy Ghost. This is the only way you can get your proof. There is no other way.

          • Vicente de la Paz

            The proof will be given to you directly by God through the power of the Holy Spirit if you ask Him sincerely and with real intent having faith in Christ. If you do this, you will get your “proof”. For now, do educate yourself and read what Mormons believe about the preexistence, then get down on your knees one night and pour your soul in repentance to God our Father in Heaven in the name of Christ to reveal to you the truth of all things by the power of the Holy Ghost. This is the only way you can get your proof. There is no other way.

          • David Bates

            The proof will be given to you directly by God through the power of the Holy Spirit if you ask Him sincerely and with real intent having faith in Christ. If you do this, you will get your “proof”.

            So you’re unable to offer rational explanation of the doctrine? All you can do is simply assert that it’s true and then tell me that if I pray really hard that I’ll get a feeling that’ll tell me it’s true? Do you understand how unconvincing that sounds? As a Catholic I believe in “fides et ratio”, faith and reason. My faith is not blind faith, but faith which support by reason.

            How about any of my questions about the Great Apostasy? Are you able to answer any of them? If not, why not?

      • Thomas Ormon

        Not meaning to be a philosophical prude, Vicente … but since you belong to a religion which maintains that new revelation can nullify old revelation (and likewise doctrine), did it never occur to you that the doctrines being negated by “new light” were “man-made”? (… And ergo the org that proclaimed these eventually negated doctrines weren’t getting their messages from God, nor from messengers of God?)

        The only other option is that God made numerous mistakes … or the messages somehow got muffled in a “staticy” communication channel.

        Either way, it seems rather ironic that an adherent to such an organization would lecture us Catholics concerning “man-made” this (& “man-made” that.) Just a thought. 🙂

        • Vicente de la Paz

          Absolutely not, Thomas. Revelations coming from God do in some occasions replace (negate) older revelations. There is nothing wrong with God giving new revelations replacing old ones. It didn’t mean he makes mistakes. His thoughts are higher than yours. His plan is better than yours.. Take the example of the revelations when Christ commanded his apostles to preach only to the House of Israel, then negated that and commanded (starting with Peter & Paul) to preach now to the gentiles and to all the world.

          See, God works with imperfect beings like us according to our willingness to accept new light and understanding a step at a time, here a little there a little, line upon line, precept upon precept.

          And when God gives revelations that seem contradictory to our sensibilities, we ought to humble ourselves and let God work in our lives instead of rejecting his instructions that he gave to his true prophets and apostles today.

          Now this is entirely different from an organization whose doctrines originate from “man-made councils” who voted among themselves what sort of doctrine they should propagate; where the idea of direct communications from Heaven (through prophets and apostles) or from heavenly messengers is entirely foreign to them.. Such happened in the council of Nicaea in 325 AD wherein these unauthorized bishops changed the true doctrine and nature of God into something that Christ himself never taught such as the idea of a “homoousios” Jesus.

  • Erin M

    As a former member of the LDS church, this is a great tool. Well played Dr. Marshall, well played!!! These are actually the points that I started to question, eventually leading me out of the church. I actually look forward to seeing the missionaries because I desire to help plant seeds for the Holy Spirit to work with! I’ve found having a copy of the succession of popes is a great tool. Many are shocked to see an unbroken line of authority all the way back to Christ.

    • Eric,

      That’s great to hear from an ex-Mormon!! Thanks for the encouragement.

    • Vicente de la Paz

      There is no unbroken line of authority all back to Christ in the Catholic Church. Bishop Linus wasn’t ordained an apostles nor did he succeed anyone.
      Relying on a “succession list” doesn’t cut it.

      • Darran McDonnell

        Even though we have several ancient writers attesting to the fact that he was a bishop and a successor to St Peter.

      • Erin M

        Good morning, Vincente. Thank you for your comment, I won’t pretend to be an expert on the early Supreme Pontiffs, so could you please give me the source of your claim about St. Linus. I can ask someone who knows more than me to address this concern. However, I do know that early Church Fathers, theologians and historians do teach the truth that Jesus Christ has endowed the Pope and bishops in communion with him to teach His truth. You can read more about this in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. I hope you have a beautiful Tuesday! May you be blessed by God who is Truth and Mercy.

        • Vicente de la Paz

          Jesus never endowed any popes. Papacy didn’t start until after Jesus ascended to Heaven, many centures later. Jesus never ordained any popes. He ordained apostles and prophets. That’s what he called them. Apostles (A special Witness of Christ).

      • Linus (second pope) was ordained by St Paul and succeeded St Peter in Rome.

        • Vicente de la Paz

          Linus never succeeded Peter. Linus was not an apostle. He was no successor. The pattern of succession can be read in Acts 1:23-26 wherein the quoroum of apostles gathered and prayed and asked the Holy Spirit to guide the apostles to select a NEW Apostle. There’s no record of Linus going through the process that Matthias went through being selected as an apostle. Thus LInus was no successor.

          • Jared Clark

            Do you believe that Paul, Barnabas, Silas, Apollos, Timothy, and Titus were selected the same way?

          • Vicente de la Paz

            They were selected by the Christ himself, yes.
            When Christ ascended to Heaven, he left his quorum of Apostles to govern his Church. His pattern of calling apostles and revealing His will to these apostles was the mind and will of God. Since the apostles died and no succeeding apostles were selected by Christ, the keys of the Kingdom were no longer on earth to govern the whole church and protect/create doctrine. What was left was faithful local bishops, But local bishops don’t govern the whole church. That role is reserved to the Apostles.

            When people rejected and killed all the apostles (except one), there was no longer a governing priesthood authority (the apostles) that is the foundation of the very church Christ established (Ephesians 2:20). False doctrines crept in and saving ordinances were changed.

            But God in His knowledge and mercy knew that an institutional apostasy would occur. He respected the free agency of man. He also promised that a restoration of all things will happen. That he will restore that lost priesthood authority once again back on earth.

            Learn more about the restoration of priesthood keys to the Prophet Joseph Smith at mormon dot org.

          • Jared Clark

            So what was the principle difference between the ordinations of, say, Timothy and Ignatius of Antioch?

          • Vicente de la Paz

            These are local bishops. They only govern the local church they’re assigned to. They are not apostles who govern the whole church. Thus not successors.

            Apostles hold the “keys of the Kingdom” that “whatsoever they bind on earth is bound in heaven”. In other words, whatever act they do (ie, ordinances of ordinations, baptisms, laying on of hands, etc) is recorded in heaven and is binding on the person they acted upon. In addition to having the keys of the kingdom, they are the “foundations of the church” in receiving revelations (instructions) from Heaven to:

            12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:

            13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of theknowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:

            14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; (Ephesians 4)

            Apostles make and protect doctrines given to them by Christ Himself. Bishops don’t have this privilege.

          • Jared Clark

            But how do you know when the Apostles stopped having successors?

          • Vicente de la Paz

            They never had one in the first place.

            They tried to duplicate Acts 1:23-26 whenever they can gather as a quorum of Priesthood holders. But the persecution was so great that they were all killed (except 1).Once they were all killed off, there was no apostle left to govern the whole church. What was left was local bishops (bless their heart) who tried as hard as they could to stem the tide of Apostasy. Not one of these local bishops ever claimed to have direct communication with the resurrected Christ. None. Thus they were left on their own volition to protect the fledgling church. Corruption crept into the church, doctrines changed, ordinances replaced, etc. Apostasy as was prophesied and foreseen by the Lord Himself continued and became the norm.New doctrines were introduced into a now Hellenized Christianity that was more inline with philosophical ideas of the day than in line with the true doctrine of Christ. Apostasy was full blown by the time the council of Nicea of 325 AD appear on the scene.

            But by the grace of God, the Lord promised a restitution of all things in the latter days (our day). God would one day restore his true Church complete with prophets and apostles and priesthood authority who would have the ability to govern the whole church with priesthood power and authority directly from God. God would send Angels and Heavenly messengers again to restore the keys of the Kingdom, and as part of the restoration of the gospel of Christ, He would give new light and understanding by giving us New Scriptures like The Book of Mormon – Another Testament of Jesus Christ.

          • Jared Clark

            Just to clarify, do you believe that only the twelve (and Matthias) were apostles? Or do you also include Paul, Barnabas, Silas, Apollos, Timothy, and/or Titus?

            If so, do you believe each of them received a miraculous encounter with the risen Christ when they were chosen for the apostolic ministry?

      • Feed the Hungry

        Vicente – you sound angry and your comments are adding nothing of value to this discussion. Someone says “X” and your response is just “Not X.” If you want to troll against Catholics with this kind of rhetoric then you’d be better off going someplace where everyone agrees with you, because all you are doing here is making Mormons look incapable of engaging in meaningful dialog.

        • Vicente de la Paz

          I have engaged catholics all over for many decades now. All they say is “Soy catolica apostolico romano, pero no voy a la iglesia. “naci catolico, morire catolico”. They have nothing else to say. They usually refer us to their priests to debate them. They can’t defend their own doctrines. The video created by this dr marshall (which contains misrepresentations) is proof that catolics (bless their heart) are incapable of engaging in any meaningful dialog without resorting to adhomenim or obfuscation.

          • Evelyn Lanzon Feltoe

            Guessing by your name, you were probably born Catholic too. Obviously you were looking for something more, to become a Mormon, it’s just unfortunate that you didn’t look for real teaching of the Catholic doctrine and have it explained to you properly, because contrary to what your name implies, you do not sound like you have peace, just angry. I will keep you in my prayers.

          • Vicente de la Paz

            Not angry at all. I love catholics and their susceptibility to false doctrines taught by a so-called “magisterium.”

            Yes I was born catholic. I’ve read much about catholic doctrine. I don’t seem to be convince that catholic doctrines come from God, at least most of them. But don’t misunderstand me, I like catholics. I just don’t like their false doctrines and practices such as:

            — infant baptism (Jesus nor his apostles never taught such)
            — a “homoousios” Jesus (Jesus never taught that he and his father is “consubstantial”)
            — worship and prayers to saints and mama mary. (saints and mary are not our intercessors, Jesus is).
            — canned, recited prayers, in general that have not heart at all.
            — transubstantiation
            — false doctrine of indulgences, etc.

          • Elantoe

            Angry, patronizing and obviously ignorant. Look all of the things mentioned above in the Catechism of the Catholic Church and you will find the answers. Jesus said to the apostles – Matt 18:18 ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven’ thus forming the magisterium.

          • Vicente de la Paz

            Elantoe, perhaps you can explain what that verse in Matt.18:18 really means and how the magisterium supposedly have the “keys of the kingdom” when no one appointed them the apostleship?

  • geekborj

    The challenge is actually when their head comes back the next time. 🙂 Perhaps the next time we offer them a catholic pamphlet in return. 🙂