The Catalog of Antimormon Accusations
Its Foundations Are Protestant
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: Mormonism is not a Protestant church, but its foundations are Protestant in the sense that its founder depended upon his own divinely assisted interpretation of Scripture, saw traditional churches as apostate and condemned their individual members for professing the historical creeds.
<=== Found on p. 22
70% of the way down the page

Bennett's got a couple of doozies here, along with some genuine truths, which I suppose he didn't intend. Mormonism does not have a Protestant foundation, certainly not in the ways that Bennett lists – some of which are not even real. It might (sort of) have a Protestant style, but this is debatable.

  • Joseph Smith understood the Bible better than anyone in 14 centuries, because of divine assistance, as Bennett notes! But this does not equate to a Protestant foundation. Augustine knew the scriptures very well, and he got this gift from heaven; was he therefore a Protestant? Peter and Paul knew the scriptures well, were they Protestants? It's kind of silly to define the term Protestant as anyone who knows the scriptures with divine assistance.

  • That would imply that Catholics do not study the scriptures (not true) and they don't have divine assistance to understand them (also not true.) It seems to be true for Bennett.
    The real definition of Protestant is the movement that began with Martin Luther in the 1500's. He also was a very astute scholar of the scriptures. He was disgusted with Catholic abuses and rebelled, forming his own church (named after him.) Calvin and others followed suit. They are considered to be part of the Protestant movement. It is certain that they were inspired from heaven to do that, as part of the Lord's long-term preparations for the Restoration.

    But 500 years later, if someone just wants to worship Jesus, and they pray and study the Bible, and get divine assistance to understand it – that is a real thing that does happen – it makes little sense to simply lump them in with the Protestants.

    I think that Bennett is trying to appeal to Catholic fear of outsiders, tacitly defining a Protestant as anyone who isn't a Catholic. That's bogus, I've never been either, and I study the scriptures and often get divine help to understand them.
  • It is true that traditional churches are apostate. But this includes all Protestant churches as well as Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, and in fact every religious organization on earth as of 1820. It was the Lord Jesus Christ who informed mankind of this fact, Joseph Smith was just the messenger. If Joseph Smith be therefore a Protestant, then Jesus must be a Protestant, too!

  • Joseph did not "condemn their individual members for professing the historical creeds." He simply never did this. He did condemn the creeds themselves, which are generally false doctrine. But he did not condemn people for being members of other churches, where they get the false creeds riveted on their hearts, thru no fault of their own.

  • DC 123:7-8) ...murder, tyranny, and oppression, supported and urged on and upheld by the influence of that spirit which hath so strongly riveted the creeds of the fathers, who have inherited lies, upon the hearts of the children, and filled the world with confusion... It is an iron yoke, it is a strong band; they are the very handcuffs, and chains, and shackles, and fetters of hell.
    Very few of the early Mormons were former Catholics. Most were Protestants, either American or British. So some of the style might be somewhat Protestant-like. However, to modern Protestants, Mormonism seems highly organized and structured, with a definite priesthood, etc. - in other words, Catholic-like.

    What's going on? All these people are looking at the Lord's own church, and not seeing it for what it is, like the six blind men describing the elephant.

    To early researchers of the Dead Sea Scrolls, it seemed that the community at Qumran were like the Latter-day Saints... one scholar even said that would be a good name for them, if it hadn't already been in use.

    One blind man said the elephant was like a pillar. Another said it was like a wall. The third said like a blanket. The 4th, like a spear. The 5th, like a snake. The last one had found only the tail and said the elephant is like a rope.

    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.