The Catalog of Antimormon Accusations
Not Attested by Outward Miracles
by Woody Brison

This is one leaf of a review of "Inside Mormonism: What Mormons Really Believe" by Isaiah Bennett
Back to the main page of the review

Bennett's statement: The Smith family based its understanding of the Lord's ways on visionary experience and personal enlightenment. They generally avoided organized religion, depending instead upon direct divine instruction - personal impressions not subject to independent verification since they were not attested by outward miracles, as was biblical revelation.
<=== Found on p. 22
20% of the way down the page

Many long centuries the earth spun in its orbit: the church of Jesus had been lost, wickedness reigned, superstition prevailed. At last the time came when God had determined to restore the church. He began by preparing the world to receive it. Some of those advances were:

  • The Renaissance
  • Scientific progress in general
  • The discovery and colonization of the Americas
  • The Renaissance Humanist movement
  • The Protestant Reformation
  • The Age of Enlightenment
  • The American Revolution
  • The United States Constitution
  • Valiant souls held back for centuries, now sent to the earth
  • Dreams and visions given to many

    Many of the principal early Mormons received dreams and visions about the Restoration. Joseph Smith Sr., Wilford Woodruff, Parley Pratt, John Taylor, Oliver Cowdery, and others had visions, dreams, and whisperings by the Spirit that the gospel of Jesus Christ was about to be restored on the earth.
  • "Our Lord unlocked my mind, sent me upon the sea, and gave me fire for the deed. Those who heard of my [enterprise] called it foolish, mocked me, and laughed. But who can doubt but that the Holy Ghost inspired me?" -Columbus

    Acts 2:17-18) And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy...

    Bennett's idea here is that the Smiths should not have trusted divine instruction. This is deep black falsehood. It is bluntly contrary to God's doings.

    His other idea, that all divine instruction should be accompanied by outward miracles - apparently brought in to support the first idea - is also false. God is not required to supply tangible miracles when he gives forth a revelation.

    This seems to be one of these rules Bennett makes up when he sees one of his arguments collapsing under its own weight. God and the Bible never seem to agree with these rules.
    John 4:48) Then said Jesus unto him, Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe. Obviously, Jesus would have preferred that people believe him, because of being instructed from heaven, not requiring signs or proof. John the Baptist, John's father Zacharias, his mother Elizabeth, Jesus' mother Mary, Joseph, Simeon, the shepherds, the wise men, and many others were so taught.

    Is all biblical revelation really attested by outward miracles? Let's look at a few.

  • Peter's revelation that the Gospel was to go to the Gentiles - there was no outward miracle, just a vision which only Peter saw. There were miracles later, confirming it, such as the Holy Ghost falling on the Gentiles; but Peter had to act on that revelation alone. If it was right for Peter to do, why not for the Smiths?
  • Acts 10

  • The entire Revelation of St. John - no one saw it but him. Where's the miraculous verification? Thousands of years later, in our time, not recorded in the Bible at all. Yet I don't think Bennett would claim it should be deleted (see Rev. 22:19).
  • Revelation of St. John

  • Pharaoh's dreams, which no one saw but him, and Joseph's interpretation of them, which God gave to him alone, had to be acted upon, without verification, in order to save all Egypt and indeed the house of Israel. After they gathered up the food and stored it over seven good years, then and only then came the verification via outward miracle, seven years of famine. Had they waited for the verification, millions of people would have died and God's covenant people, the Israelites. would have been snuffed out.
  • Genesis 41+

  • Elijah's vision on the mountain - nobody there but him and that still small voice.

    The important thing to understand here is that God gives people revelations - to them personally. They should believe him, not be forever insisting on miracles and signs and proof. The idea that God no longer gives out revelations is dead false. He did anciently, and he does now; because he does not change.

  • 1Kings 19:11-12

    Luke 1:5-22 I sense just the slightest hint of indignation in the Angel.
    Luke 1:26-38 God sent a message to Mary, to her alone.
    Judges 6:11-24 Gideon asked for a sign, but regretted the result afterward.

  • The king of Babylon's dream, and Daniel's interpretation of it; both given as divine guidance to lone individuals; no miracle; and not verifiable until thousands of years would pass.

  • Daniel 2. The king's dream statue had a head of gold, representing his own kingdom, which God used to rescue the Jews from the total wickedness they'd gotten themselves into. The silver arms represented the kingdoms of Media and Persia, not quite as excellent. The brass body represented the Greek Empire of Alexander. The legs of iron represented the Roman Empire, which was split into two, east and west. The ten toes of clay and iron mixture represent the modern nations of Europe, which are a mingling of the old Roman Empire and the new, profane world. Finally comes the stone, cut out of the mountain without hands, which breaks all the others to pieces: the Kingdom of God, the restored Church of Jesus Christ. Every bit of this revelation was as true when it was first given as it is today, when it's all being verified.
  • Should we doubt Paul's vision on the road to Damascus, since his companions didn't see Jesus, only heard his voice? (Or, maybe they saw a light but didn't hear the voice.) These contradictory accounts are verified by outward miracle - Paul going blind.
  • Acts 9, Acts 22

  • Everything taught by Paul. For he learned the Gospel by direct revelation, while he communed with the Lord in Arabia. There was no outward miracle to verify those revelations at all.

    A dozen other examples could be easily cited, these should suffice to prove the point. When Bennett wants to shore up a shaky argument, he invents a rule. He doesn't think these rules thru. They are flaky. He's not a reliable guide!

  • Galatians 1:15-17

    1. Woody Brison is an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but this website is not affiliated with the church. It may be thought of as an additional, somewhat independent witness.

    2. I want this page to be as accurate as I can make it. If you have a correction, please email me.

    3. All biblical quotations are from the King James unless otherwise noted.

    Copyright 2013 Woody Brison. All rights reserved.