Former False Prophet Andy Poland Talks about Mormonism and Feelings
I’m really grateful to be here. Every time I’m asked to come out and to share, I really love that opportunity and this topic is the most important topic to me because it affected my life and how I came out of Mormonism, and so that you get some context, I’m going to tell you my story and then we’re going to get into how to overcome the feelings objection that you have when you are talking with Mormons. To help you understand, when I was 14 years old, I went to a youth conference by the church– I was born and raised Mormon–and we went to Brigham Young University for our youth conference, and we had a speaker that challenged us at that conference to know if the current prophet and if Joseph Smith was a true prophet and the Book of Mormon was true. He wanted us to have our own personal testimony, and what that means is he wanted us to go and pray and ask God for a spiritual manifestation; we wanted God to tell us directly that Joseph Smith was a prophet. And so I decided to take him up on that challenge and that night I read a few passages from the Book of Mormon, and I prayed that night to know if Joseph Smith was a prophet and if the Book of Mormon was a Word of God, and I got this really good peaceful feeling, and I believe God told me that Joseph Smith was a prophet. And so from that point on, my life was defined by spiritual experiences; everything that I believed in was based upon those feelings that I received. And I started preparing for a mission. I start paying attention in seminary, and one one particular lesson that they were teaching that week was in Doctrine & Covenant section 132 about polygamy. And I was very distraught with the idea that Joseph Smith would practice that, and I thought well you know, I prayed to know if Joseph Smith was a Prophet and I can use prayer again to help me understand this, and so I decided I was going to pray about this. And so I prayed about it, and God told me, “Yes, Joseph Smith did receive a revelation that polygamy was of God.” And something else I received that I didn’t want to know, was that someday I would practice polygamy. And I was like, “Wait a minute! You know Church doesn’t practice polygamy!” But I thought, “You know, the millennium is coming,” and I’ve been taught my entire life as soon as Jesus Christ returns, polygamy will be brought back and so I thought, “Well I I was told that I was going to live here during the Millennium, and so that’s what it means. I’ll be practicing polygamy during the millennial period.” So I just kind of put that up on a shelf. So I went and I served a mission, and I went to the Ohio Columbus mission in one’s own conference, they challenged us to go home that night and commit ourselves to follow God no matter what, and I wanted to do that, and so that night I went and I prayed and I said, “God I’m going to follow you no matter what happenes.” And I got more of an answer than I wanted at that time; I got that again the same good, peaceful feeling and a thought came to my mind. “Andy, would you follow me if your first wife was going to die, because that’s what’s going to happen?” I was like, “Wow, that’s more information than I wanted to know!” But I said, “You know God must be preparing me for something that’s going to happen,” and so I told him, “Yes, I follow him no matter what happened, even if my first wife was going to die.” And so I get home from a mission; I start attending a singles ward; meet my wife, and we get engaged, and about two weeks before we’re going to go in the Mesa temple to be sealed together, I thought, “Well I should probably tell her what I received on my mission, so that she knows what she’s getting into.” And of course the discussion didn’t go very well. My wife didn’t like the idea that she was going to die, and so I said, “Well Lori look, I don’t know when you’re gonna die; I just know you’re gonna die before I do. You could live a long life and I just know you’re gonna die before I do.” And so she accepted that because I’m the priesthood holder and she’s a good Mormon woman, and and so we got sealed in temple even though I scared the living daylights out of her. So a couple years into our marriage, we’re expecting our second child. We were doing the good Mormon thing right off the bat and there was a friend of my wife’s family and she had lost her job; she lost her place to stay, and we had an extra room at our house at the time, and we thought, “You know, she could stay with us for a couple months, so she gets on her feet.” And we invited her into our house. And this is where some really strange things started happening as soon as this woman walked into my house. I got this same good peaceful feeling, and I thought came to my mind that this woman was supposed to be my next wife. And I was scared about that one! I was like, and I didn’t tell anyone that. I didn’t want to go there, okay, but then something else really freaky happened. In the in the temple when you go through for your endowments, you’re given a new name that you’re never supposed to reveal to anyone. And I never revealed my new name to anyone. My new name was Moses, and what was strange about it was soon as this woman entered my house, she did not call me Andy; she called me Moses everywhere I went. And I thought God must be trying to show me something–that she’s supposed to be my next wife–but again, I was scared about this and I didn’t tell anyone about what happened. And so the next day I’m driving down the street and again I get this good, peaceful feeling, and this thought comes to my mind that she’s supposed to be my next wife. And I just kept it to myself. I said, “I’m not telling anyone that!” And as soon as I had this revelation, she spoke out of her mouth of how she knew that she was supposed to be my next wife. And I was, my mouth just dropped open; I couldn’t believe that she spoke that. And so we took that as a sign from God, and long story short, we ended up committing adultery, and during this time I received another revelation that the reason why all of this was happening is because Lori, my first wife, was going to die in childbirth. And I didn’t tell Lori that I had had this second wife or anything. She was just living in our house so I was living it the way Joseph Smith lived it–didn’t tell Emma so to speak, and so I didn’t tell Lori. And time comes for Lori to deliver her baby, and I’m expecting her to die. And so we go to the hospital and everything goes wrong. Lori delivers a healthy baby boy and she doesn’t die! Now I’m sitting there going, “What the crud am I doing?” And so I’m walking down the hall of the hospital to my wife’s room, and I believe this is where God started working in my life. God, when I believed this thought came to my mind, it said, “Andy, you’re a false prophet; your prophecy did not come to pass.” And I said, “You’re right.” So I went to Lori. I told her everything that happened. I went back home, kicked the other woman out of my house. I went back to the church because I still believed it was true and I went through the repentance process and they disfellowship me for two years. But there was this nagging problem that no one could answer this question for me. I had two identical feelings; both of them felt good and peaceful. One I knew was not from God. The one that told me that Joseph Smith was a true prophet, I wanted to be true, but I had no way of telling whether or not that was from God or from the devil and I didn’t want to be deceived again. I I wanted to know how could I forestall this from happening in the future. And the best that bishops and state presidents could tell me was that if I kept reading the Book of Mormon and praying about it that somehow God would reveal that to me. And so I continued to attend church. I got my temple recommend back after two years of disfellowshipment. I was active for two more years, you know, going to the temple doing all the things that I’m supposed to do, paying my tithing, and the answer wasn’t coming. I couldn’t find it anywhere. And I kept feeling farther and farther away from everyone at church, because on the first Sunday of the month, they get up and they tell their testimonies, and they talk about these spiritual experiences that they have, and they tell about how they know that God told them. And I didn’t know. I didn’t know if that was God telling them. I didn’t know how to tell myself. And so I say, “You know, if I’m not finding my answer at church, I’m just going to stop going. What’s the point?” And so I just stopped going. And my wife, she continued to be active; she continued to take the kids to church without me. And after two years of inactivity, I reached a real low point in my life and I decided that God was not going to answer my prayer. And the reason why is because I committed such a grievous sin by committing adultery that the only way that I was going to make it up with God is if I shed my own blood or took my own life to be able to pay for that sin. And so I planned out how I was going to do it, where I was going to do it; I was even going to make it easy to clean up, so there wouldn’t be a big mess. And so that’s how far I was, and I set a date. It’s only a week away. And so it was at this time that my brother Matt calls me up on the phone. Now the same time that I went inactive, my brother Matt had left the Church and he had converted to biblical Christianity. And I thought, “You know, I have nothing to lose at this point. I have asked everyone else my question; I’ll see if my brother Matt has the answer for me.” And I thought, “If he doesn’t have the answer for me, I can still carry out my plan; I haven’t lost anything.” Okay. And so I go to my brother and I say, “Look Matt, I don’t know what comes from God and I don’t know what comes from the devil. I don’t know how to tell.” And I had this scripture that kept repeating in my mind at that time. Jesus said that when an evil spirit has gone out of a man, it roams the whole earth looking for a place to stay, and when he doesn’t find a place, he goes, “I’ll go back to the place where I started.” And when he comes back to the man, he finds that the man’s house everything’s in order and in its place. And the evil spirit goes finds seven other spirits worse than himself and the last state of the man is worse than the first. And I said, “Matt, that is me; that is my future. I’m not listening to that evil spirit, has left me, but I am empty. I don’t have God. I don’t have anything, and so that’s my future if I don’t find what the truth is. And so my brother, who’s much smarter than I give him credit for, told me about a book that I would like to read. And it was a early version of the false prophecies of Joseph Smith by Dick Baer, and in that version there was a letter in the very beginning of the book. And in that letter the first thing that he has to say on the pages–you can’t trust your feelings! And I was like, “Duh, I know that’s true!” But then what he did is he really surprised me. He quoted two scriptures from the Bible–Jeremiah 17:9, which says, “The heart is deceitful above all things who can know it?” Now I was really surprised that the Bible taught that you couldn’t trust your feelings, but I knew it was true. And then he said Proverbs 28:26–”He that trusteth in his heart is a fool,” and I said, “Wow! The Bible teaches you can’t trust your feelings.” So then he does something on top of that. He goes, “How you know a true prophet from a false prophet has nothing to do with the spiritual experience, has everything to do with whether or not his prophecies come to pass. And then he quotes Deuteronomy 18:19 through 22, which says basically one false prophecy makes a false prophet. I was like, “Wow! This is exactly what happened to me. I was a false prophet, because my prophecy didn’t come to pass and here is the Bible teaching that. And I was excited because it was a way to test what was from God and it didn’t rely on anything, no feelings, it was simply research. I could, I could look at what Joseph Smith said and find out if did it come to pass or did it not come to pass, and if it didn’t kind of pass, he was not talking to God and it is real simple. Then they’s a false prophet I don’t have to worry about whether those feelings are there or not. And so I went home because I wanted to share this with my wife; I was very excited about this. Now I found this one prophecy in there and I thought, “This is a slam dunk about the men in the moon. Joseph Smith said in man’s patriarchal blessing once, “Go and preach the gospel to the man living on the moon,” and I thought, “That’s a slam dunk. We’ve been to the moon; there’s no Quakers living there, you know, I’ll go home; I’ll share this with my wife. She’ll leave the church.” So I go home. I start sharing these scriptures. I found the scripture, scriptures that I have found, about what the tests were, and then I start sharing all these false prophecies. And I kept getting closer and closer to this men in the moon one. I think, “Here it comes. Here it comes.” And I get to that one, and my wife jumps up and she is so mad! She is so angry with me and she says, “Joseph Smith never said that!” And she jumped, stormed out of the room, and I chased after her and I said, “Well Lori, if I could show you the evidence, I could show you that he really did say that, would you then acknowledge that he’s a false prophet?” And she kind of reluctantly agreed to that. And so I went back to my brother Matt and I said, “Matt where can I find this stuff? Where can I do the research? How can I find this stuff? So he gave me his copy of “Mormonism: Shadow or Reality?” and then he said, “Go to Deseret Book and you can get the stuff there for what you’re looking up.” And so at this point, I did not trust evil anti-Mormons. I knew the Tanners were evil anti-Mormons and that they hated Mormons; that’s what they did. So I didn’t want to trust any commentary that they had in that book. So my criteria is real simple: I was going to look at the the references that they gave, and then I was going to go to the source and make sure it was in context and said what they actually said it was. So I in process of time, I was finding references that they would give and then I would go and look them up and then as I saw that they were in context, I would then share them with my wife. Well after doing this for about three months, I became convinced I knew that Joseph Smith was a false prophet. And I not only that I did know it, but I felt like I could prove it. And my wife during this time did not like what I was doing. There’s three things she kept telling me: I’m ruining her life, why can’t I leave this alone, and you’re going to outer darkness. Those are the three things she kept telling me over and over again. So after three months, I was tired of talking about how Joseph Smith was a false prophet and I wanted to know if Christianity had anything to offer. So I go back to my brother Matt and I said, “Hey, I want to go to a Christian Church somewhere, but I don’t want to be alone with any Christians, because I’ve heard a lot of weird stories about Christians, and so I don’t want to be with them alone. Can you take me somewhere?,” and he said, “Sure, show up here tomorrow and I’ll take you to Central Christian.” I said, “Okay, great I’ll be here.” Now my brother’s wife is still a Mormon. She was still mourning back then, and she heard about our plans to take me to an apostate Christian Church, and they were fighting about that this morning when I went there. And fortunately for me, my brother escaped with his life was able to take me to Central Christian Church. Now what I had learned on my mission or what the impression that I had gained about Christians from my mission was that they said that they believed in Christ, but then they didn’t try to keep the commandments. They didn’t try to live a Christian life, and so that was what I thought I was going to get into, but Pastor Cal got up that morning and what he taught that morning was, I think, just for me. He gets up and he says, “You know, if you’re a Christian, if you really believe in God, you say that you have God living inside of you, then you’re going to try to keep the commandments. That’s what Christians do.” And I was like floored; I couldn’t believe that Christians believe that they should try to keep the commandments. I just couldn’t understand that. So I went back next week by myself because my brother got in so much trouble that he could not be with me next week, and I went to the church library. Now at the church library they have a whole bunch of Christian apologetic books and that sort of thing, and I told the librarian that I was coming out of Mormonism and that I wanted to know if there’s someone I could talk to that I could ask questions, because I figured I had some pretty hard questions about the Bible and its reliability and about Christianity as a whole, and I didn’t want to shake anybody else’s faith. So I said, “I don’t want to go through a class, because I don’t want… if they want to be Christians, let them be Christians. I just want to know if there’s someone I could talk to or a book I could read so I could find out if there was answers for my questions.” Now there was a person that was returning a book at that time. It was called “A Ready Defense” by Josh McDowell, and she goes, “You need to read this book.” And so she makes me a library card right there on the spot, puts the book in my hand, takes my information, and she gives it to Jim and Judy Robertson and Concerned Christians for them to talk to me and so I could ask my hard questions. So the next day Jim calls up and tells me that they’re doing a senior’s conference at Central and that if I would come down, I could meet with him. And so I told him that I would be there. Now at this time, I still think that Jim Robertson is an evil anti-Mormon and his only motivation is to, because he hates Mormons, and but I don’t know for sure, because I’d study his materials, I knew what he was saying was true, but I didn’t know what his motivation was, but I thought I would at least give him the benefit of the doubt and find out. And so that’s kind of where I was when I talked with Jim. And so I go down the next day, and both Jim and Judy were there, and what surprised me about the conversation that we had Jim didn’t spend all his time lecturing me about how bad I had been for being a Mormon or describing all the problems with Mormonism. He didn’t do that. What he did is–the first question he asked me was how was my wife reacting to the fact that I was leaving Mormonism; was she going to leave me? How was our marriage doing? Next question he asked me is how my kids doing with the idea. And then the next question he had asked me is did I have a reason to believe in Jesus, to have a reason to believe in the Bible. And so after we discussed that for a while, he invited me to come down to the Thursday night meeting where a bunch of former Mormons get together and they talk about the Bible and invited me to be a part of that, and I said, “Well sure I’ll be there for that.” So by the time Thursday rolled around, I was reading that book from both ends that I’d received from the library, and what that book did for me is it helped me to understand that the Bible had not been changed over time. It showed me the manuscript evidence for the Bible and I began to believe that I really had the words of Paul and Peter and the Apostles and the early prophets and the Old Testament. And now it was just a question whether I believed what they had to say. So that Thursday, just before I go down there, there’s this little thing in the back of the book about how to become a Christian. And so I thought, “You know, I want that,” so I prayed the little prayer that was in there. And my good Mormon mind thought, “I wonder what else I need to do to be saved, because I know this is not it.” And so I go down that Thursday night and I explained to them that I am a Mormon coming out of Mormonism and that I’m in the process of getting saved, because I knew for sure there was something else I needed to do. And what they did that night is they opened up the scriptures to me, and they explained to me that salvation was not something that I did for God, but rather something God did for me, and if I believed in that, that I had eternal life starting right now at that moment. And it was the first time that I stopped fighting the Bible. I just believed it for what it said, and that’s when I got saved. That’s when I knew that I was going to heaven. So these good Christians, they prayed that my wife would be there the next week. Now I’m thinking, “You know, it’s really nice that they pray that my wife would be there next week, but I thought, “I’m ruining your life, I’m going to outer darkness, why can’t you leave us alone? Nope, she’s not going to be there. Okay?” So I drive home that night and something happened. My wife saw the guy that left home, who had all the weight of his sins on his shoulders. She saw the guy that came back, who was free, who knew he’s going to heaven, and I could see that she was hungry for that, but I was tired and I didn’t want to get into another argument. And so I said, “Lori, I just got saved tonight, but I don’t want to talk about it. I’m just going to go to bed and we’ll talk about it later.” So a couple days later I’m sharing some scriptures with my wife, and you have to understand my wife has a lot of respect for the words of Isaiah. Isaiah, she had painted pictures, you know, eagle soaring on wings, you know, and so when Isaiah spoke, she listened to what he had to say. And so I shared with her a couple scriptures from Isaiah. I shared from her Isaiah 43:10 and Isaiah 44 verse 8, and and it says there, “Before me, there was no god formed, neither shall there be after me,” and “I the Lord do not know any other gods.” And I said, “Lori, how could Jesus not even know any other–his father or any other gods besides him? I mean that’s impossible,” and then I also said, “Lori, this wipes out all of God’s fathers. If before me there was no God formed–God the Father did not have a father who was a God and who had a father who was God that wipes out all of God’s fathers. And if there’s no Gods going to be formed after him, that means that someday you and I, Lori, cannot become a god. Now after my wife read that, her Mormon bubble just popped and she starts crying and I just broke it, and I’m a guy, so I I leave the room and let her cry, ‘cuz I don’t wanna make it worse. So a couple days later I’m helping her make dinner and she’s very depressed because I’ve just ruined her life taken away Mormonism and she doesn’t know what to do about it. Right. Okay? So I said, well, Lori, look, it’s real simple. Either I’m right and you need to come with me to Concerned Christians or I’m wrong and you need to show me where I’m wrong and bring me back into Mormonism. It’s either one or the other. And after talking with her for a while she finally decided to come down with me to Concerned Christians. Now, as soon as she made that decision everything started coming out of her mouth of how she knew that Joseph Smith was a false prophet. Now behind my back and without my knowledge, during those three months that I was sharing all those things with my wife, she was going online and she was finding even more stuff that I didn’t even know about. And she knew that Joseph was a false prophet, but she didn’t want me to know that, because I was ruining her life. So long story short she was there the next week, which was the impossible thing. I never thought she would be there. And then three months later she accepted Christ and was saved. And so that’s how me and my wife came out of Mormonism. So this topic, feelings, is a very big deal to me. It’s about everything. It’s the reason why Mormons or Mormons. That Mormons are not Mormons because they have facts and evidence that say that Joseph Smith is a true prophet. That’s not why there are Mormons. They will never be convinced by facts and evidence that Joseph Smith is a non-mormon because they’re relying on their feelings. There over here in the feelings section. And so we have to address that directly. Now let me try and give you an insight into how Mormons think. Mormons believe that good feelings come from God. Bad feelings come from the devil. It’s really simple. So if they pray about something, or if they feel bad when they’re talking to you, they immediately perceive that as coming from the devil. And so that’s as simple as the test that it gets with Mormons. And the reason for this if you… (“So the guy on the right is Rob?”) Alright. I don’t even know how to go from there. If you take out these little sheets — I hope everybody got one — if you don’t have one raise your hand. We’ll make sure you get one. (“I love you, Rob.”) If you if you read Doctrine & Covenants section 9:8-9 this is what it says. And this is the reason why Mormons believe that good feelings come from God and bad feelings come from the devil. “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 not be right you shall have no such feelings.” And so that is the the simple Mormon test. Now I know that we like to make fun and we like to say that these things are not real. That these experiences that they have are Not — they don’t really happen, it’s all in their mind. I have two things in my life that I know for sure. I know that there’s a devil and I know that there is a God. And it’s embarrassing for me the real only reason why I kept looking for God is because I knew absolutely for sure there was a devil. I could never explain the idea of how she knew my new name. I could never explain how she spoke out of her mouth that she was supposed to be my next wife. Those were real experiences. Things that I could not explain. So I want to stress this these are real forces that we’re dealing with, not fake imaginary forces. And if you want an example from Scripture I would turn you to Exodus chapter 7. Remember Moses came. He threw down his staff. It turned into a snake. What was Pharaoh’s response? Did he run away? No, Pharaoh’s response was to call out the magicians. And they threw down their sticks and they also became snakes. The only way that they knew that Moses was from God is that his snake swallowed up the other two. There was a power on both sides. And so this is really important. Now, how do we determine truth? What we do is, we also have spiritual experiences, but we take those spiritual experiences and we test it with the Bible. We go, the Bible says this, and if it’s outside of what the Bible says, then we throw out whatever feeling we have. It can’t be from God it’s a real simple thing. So because we have these two different methods for determining truth: Mormons feel good it’s from God. Feel bad, it’s from the devil. We go, well I feel good about it, but is it really from God? And I go to the scriptures and test it to find out. That’s a different way of coming to the truth. I like to give them things that they can understand. When I’m talking with a Mormon I want things that they can relate to. And I love the Toronto incident. Now if you guys are not familiar with it, I have it written out on there and it quoted from where you can get it from. But I don’t use this as a false prophecy to beat him over the head with. It is a clear false prophecy, but I don’t stress that. Where I’m stressing is in a different area. So let me explain what happened and explain where I stress. Now, Joseph Smith, after he translated the Book of Mormon, needed a way to raise funds to print the Book of Mormon. He didn’t have the money for it. And so he gets this revelation from God saying that if he sends Hyrum Page and Oliver Cowdery to Toronto, Canada, that they would be able to sell the copyright to the Book of Mormon in Canada, and they would be able to raise all the money that they needed to print the Book of Mormon. So he sends them up there by direction from God. And they go up there. They try as hard as they can to find somebody that will buy the the copyright. And nobody buys it. And when it becomes evident that no one is going to buy it, they come back to Joseph but they have this nagging question for Joseph: Joseph how could you receive a revelation from God that we’re going to find all the money that we need in Toronto, and then it failed? So Joseph goes, I don’t know. I don’t know how that could happen. So he goes back and he gets another revelation. And in this revelation he’s told that some revelations are from God, some revelations are from the devil, and some revelations are from man. Or for yourself. And so they all assumed, ah, well, Joseph, it must have come from yourself. We don’t believe it was from the devil. But you know, obviously, you know, it didn’t come from God, because it didn’t come to pass. And so that’s how they went on with life. Now, there’s three things that I like to stress with the Mormon. First off, Joseph received a revelation to go to Canada. It’s real simple: Joseph’s revelation failed. There’s no question about those two events. The third thing I like to talk about is the fact that he learned that some are from God, someone from the devil, and some from himself. Now, we know that the way that you determine truth according to what it says in Doctrine & Covenants is through a feeling. So I would assume that Joseph had a feeling that told him that was good, and it was from God. And so my question for the Mormon is: If Joseph could not trust his feelings to determine what came from God, or what came from the devil, or what came from himself, then how am I supposed to use my feelings to determine what came from God or what came from the devil or what came from myself? And so that gives them a way that they can understand how feelings are not reliable. [Aaron talking] Right, well even still, the problem still persists because he sees another revelation later, and they all agreed that it failed. So it’s still a problem regardless of what they found. So, in my case, when I’m talking with Mormons, I can use my own personal experience. I can tell them about how I’d have feelings that lied to me. Now for you guys who have never had this happen, or maybe you have, you can use that. But if you haven’t, I’ve tried to think of ways that you can get around that. And I like to talk about other Mormons. And the way that you can do this, is you say, now I know that there are Mormons today that believe in the Book of Mormon. They believe Joseph Smith is a prophet. They believe in Doctrine and Covenants. But they believe that Thomas S. Monson is a false prophet. And they believe that Warren Jeffs is a absolutely true prophet. And the way that they know that this is true is because they have prayed about it and God has told them that Warren Jeffs is the only true prophet. Now we also have another case with Stephen Veazey– he is the prophet for the Reorganized Church, the Community of Christ. Now the Community of Christ people will tell you the same thing. They believe and know that Stephen Veazey is the true prophet of the world because they prayed about it and they received a revelation from God telling him that he’s a true prophet. And they also have prayed and received a revelation about Thomas S. Monson. Now the question I have for them is: How do you know that they’re not right, and you’re wrong? If both of you are using the same methodology for coming to the truth, why didn’t they get an answer, say, from God saying that Steven Veazey or Warren Jeffs or whoever other Mormon prophet is not a true prophet. It’s Thomas S Monson over here. No one ever talked to has ever had an answer for that. They always run away going, I don’t I don’t know how to deal with that issue, because it’s a real problem that no one has ever thought of before. Because these guys are using the same methodology. Now, another thing that we can do is we can logically work through it. Now if the devil always appears like this guy, right here? Anyone that’s trying to follow God would never be deceived by him, because if the devil went wha-ha-ha, I’m the devil, and made you feel bad about everything, then you would go, well, I’m try and follow God. Go away from me. But, Jesus, when he talked about this, he taught that the people that were not going to be following God would think that they were following God. And a good example of that is in John 16:2-3 “They shall put you out of the synagogues, yea the time cometh that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God’s service. And these things they will do unto you because they have not known the Father nor me.” So did these people believe they were following the devil? No, they believed that they were following God. And they believed that they were doing what was right. And so to see people think that they’re talking to a messenger from God. And it’s no wonder because it says in the Scriptures that the devil will appear as an angel of light. He’ll look good. he’ll feel good. He’ll make you think that you’re doing the right thing. And so otherwise you wouldn’t follow him. And so if the devil can look good, how do we know what is true. What does the Bible say about this? First off, the Bible tells us that our hearts are deceitful. Now I like to use the scripture from Jeremiah 17:9. The heart is deceitful above all things. Who can know it? Now, think about the most evil politician that you can ever imagine. You don’t have to say his name. Just think of an evil politicianm whoever he is. Liar. Backstabber. Your heart inside here is more deceitful than that guy. Okay? Deceitful above all things means something. He that believes in his heart is a fool. Now that’s what I love about Proverbs. Proverbs just doesn’t hold back. It’s simply saying that you’re stupid if you do that. You’re foolish. Jesus, when he taught about what comes out of our hearts, he gave a long list of things that are bad. And he said, “That which cometh out of a man, that defileth a man, for from within out of the heart of men proceed evil thoughts: adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within and defile the man.” So if we are looking for truth from our hearts, what we will find is a long list of evils things that will deceive us and bring us astray. So we can’t trust our feelings. Not at all. So there’s three tests that I love to use. And I’m just going to briefly mention them: Deuteronomy 18:19-22. Which is: one false prophecy makes a false prophet. Deuteronomy 13:1-5, which essentially says that if they are teaching another God, a god you have not known, and yet performs a sign or wonder that does come to pass, don’t follow that guy! Because he’s not teaching the true God. So you can have people come up to you perform miracles, but teach a different God, and lead you astray. And the reason why you believe is, well they it was miraculous. There’s something that happened. And a good example — I’m going to give you an example of what I like to use for this. Now I received a revelation last night. It’s a great revelation. God told me that we need to start a church, but we don’t have any money to start a church. Okay. But God has told me that the money to start the church is in the bank. And it’s his money. And so what he’s told us that we need to do, is we need to all dress up like clowns. aAnd we’re going to go over to the bank and God is going to — we’re going to rob the bank we’re going to take the money out of there. And God is going to deliver that, make it possible for us. Now the way that you’re going to know that this is true is: God told me to command this microphone to turn into gold. And so I command it, and it turns into gold. And so that’s the evidence and then it turns back. I say, there’s your proof, a miracle just occurred. Now, everybody, we got to go. Let’s get the clown suits on. Let’s go over and we’re going to rob the bank. And we’re going to start a church and God is going to protect us. Now, why am I a false prophet? The God of the Bible tells us that stealing is wrong. So what god am I preaching? I’m preaching a god that says that stealing is okay. That’s not the God of the Bible. Even if I perform a miracle it’s not from God. Well, that’s that’s an interesting thing. Actually the correct translation is not, not thou shalt not kill, but, thou shalt not murder. And there’s a difference. between capital punishment and murder. Killing and innocent. Now, 1 John 4:6 is the last test. 1 John 4:1 says, try the Spirits, because the many spirits have gone out of the world. 1 John 4:6 says that we are of God. Now the ones that are writing this is the apostles. He that is of God listens to us. He that is not of God does not listen to us. Hereby we know the Spirit of Truth. So if we have a prophet — somebody comes along and disagrees with the early prophets and says they’re wrong — then we know right away that they’re not listening to them. And so therefore they’re not from God. So that’s the last test that we can apply. Now what I love to point out about all of these tests: Notice there is no feelings, no spiritual experiences involved. It’s all about research, evidence, testing things out, making sure that you’re in the Word of God, learning what the truth is. Now, inevitably it’s going to come to this: Mormons are going to say, well, we can’t trust the Bible. It’s not reliable. Now, one of the things that we have that’s so great about Christianity is we have so much evidence for the Bible. I was completely unaware of the nearly 6,000 manuscripts that there were for the New Testament. I was unaware of the other languages that date from the same time period almost twenty thousand in other languages dating from about 450 AD to about 70 AD. All these manuscripts, when we bring them together, they say the same thing. We have strong evidence to show that we haven’t lost the words of Paul or Peter or any of the Apostles over time. In addition to that, we have the find, the Dead Sea Scrolls. If you guys have seen the new video, Bible vs.Joseph Smith, that video explains the evidence for the Bible, why we can lie on the Old Testament. They have this full Isaiah scroll in there. And the Isaiah scroll has none of the Joseph Smith Translation in it. It has none of the Book of Mormon interjections in Isaiah. And so what we have is we have a pure record. We can compare that Isaiah scroll with the Isaiah that we have now, and it says the same thing. That is wonderful evidence of God’s declaration about the Bible. In Matthew Jesus said, “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.” “Not” is a very important word. “Not” means never ever ever. “The grass withereth and the flower fadeth but the word of our God shall stand forever.” And that’s from Isaiah. And according to Old Testament law, the mouth of two witnesses is all you need to be able to confirm. And we have Matthew and we have Isaiah and they’re both saying the same thing: God’s Word shall not pass away. And so even God’s Word declares that it won’t pass away. And we have such wonderful evidence. God has preserved the Bible in such a miraculous way that we can actually test those words out and know that it is true. And then when we compare those tests, what I found is that Joseph failed every single test that I applied to him. He gave false prophecies. He taught a different God, gods that are not in the Bible. He taught — he disagreed with the whole entire Bible. He went through and rewrote it. So he was saying, Paul got it wrong, John got it wrong, the apostles, the Old Testament prophets, they got it wrong. He wasn’t listening to what they had to say. He’s saying: we need to do it all over. And so he fails all three of the tests. And so this is the importance that we’re bringing to them. We’re have to go from where they’re at with their feelings and then we have to walk them along the path to show them that God’s Word shows them a different way. And when we apply those tests, they can know the truth and be set free. Like me and my wife. Ad so I like that’s where I’d like to leave it. And I’ll turn it back over to Chip.