From Amy Hall of Stand to Reason:

Mormons often argue that because they live good lives, they pass the test given by Jesus in Matthew 7:15-23 to determine whether or not a person is following a true prophet of God:

“A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. . . . So then, you will know them by their fruits.”

This single test of behavioral fruit (they limit this passage to actions, to the exclusion of doctrine) proposed by many Mormons is necessary (since it’s true that we ought to see a change in behavior over time in those who truly love Jesus and His words), but it’s not sufficient. The Bible explicitly gives two doctrinal fruit tests for false prophets:

1. Do they teach the truth about God as revealed in the Bible? Deuteronomy 13:1-3 – “If a prophet or a dreamer of dreams arises among you and gives you a sign or a wonder, and the sign or wonder comes true, concerning which he spoke to you, saying, ‘Let us go after other gods (whom you have not known) and let us serve them,’ you shall not listen. . . .”

2. Do they teach the true Gospel as revealed in the Bible? Galatians 1:8 – “If we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed!”

Read the rest.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

18 comments
  1. JSYK (Just so you know) I’m a Mormon, but I’ve never heard anyone of my faith make that argument before. I think it is kind of a straw man to start something with “Mormons often argue…” because without citations it is meaningless.

  2. JSYK (Just so you know) I’m a Mormon, but I’ve never heard anyone of my faith make that argument before. I think it is kind of a straw man to start something with “Mormons often argue…” because without citations it is meaningless.

  3. JSYK (Just so you know) I’m a Mormon, but I’ve never heard anyone of my faith make that argument before. I think it is kind of a straw man to start something with “Mormons often argue…” because without citations it is meaningless.

  4. Far enough, it isn’t my post I’m just referencing Amy Hall. I’ll see if I can find out her basis for that statement.

    But I can’t consider your experience as definitive proof either. Stand to Reason does have experience in debating Mormons, so I’m going to assume it is probably from their personal experience, but I will try to confirm that.

  5. Far enough, it isn’t my post I’m just referencing Amy Hall. I’ll see if I can find out her basis for that statement.

    But I can’t consider your experience as definitive proof either. Stand to Reason does have experience in debating Mormons, so I’m going to assume it is probably from their personal experience, but I will try to confirm that.

  6. Far enough, it isn’t my post I’m just referencing Amy Hall. I’ll see if I can find out her basis for that statement.

    But I can’t consider your experience as definitive proof either. Stand to Reason does have experience in debating Mormons, so I’m going to assume it is probably from their personal experience, but I will try to confirm that.

  7. Ok – Now that I think about what she said I think I know and recognize what she is saying. However, we usually don’t quite put it that way. Personally speaking, I wouldn’t hold myself up as being a sign that Joseph Smith is a prophet.

    I would give examples of other people who are members of my church maybe, such as President Hinkley, but I think most members wouldn’t point to their own lives because most of us recognize we are imperfect. I would say, however, that living the principles of the gospel restored by Joseph Smith have enriched my life, so maybe that it more how I would interpret the test.

    I think Mormons usually use the “by their fruits” argument (and now here I go speaking for all Mormons) to encourage people to read the Book of Mormon. Since we believe it to be a “fruit” of Joseph Smith, a translation of ancient scripture, we hope people will taste it for themselves, i.e. read it individually, before they make a judgment of whether he is a prophet.

  8. Ok – Now that I think about what she said I think I know and recognize what she is saying. However, we usually don’t quite put it that way. Personally speaking, I wouldn’t hold myself up as being a sign that Joseph Smith is a prophet.

    I would give examples of other people who are members of my church maybe, such as President Hinkley, but I think most members wouldn’t point to their own lives because most of us recognize we are imperfect. I would say, however, that living the principles of the gospel restored by Joseph Smith have enriched my life, so maybe that it more how I would interpret the test.

    I think Mormons usually use the “by their fruits” argument (and now here I go speaking for all Mormons) to encourage people to read the Book of Mormon. Since we believe it to be a “fruit” of Joseph Smith, a translation of ancient scripture, we hope people will taste it for themselves, i.e. read it individually, before they make a judgment of whether he is a prophet.

  9. Ok – Now that I think about what she said I think I know and recognize what she is saying. However, we usually don’t quite put it that way. Personally speaking, I wouldn’t hold myself up as being a sign that Joseph Smith is a prophet.

    I would give examples of other people who are members of my church maybe, such as President Hinkley, but I think most members wouldn’t point to their own lives because most of us recognize we are imperfect. I would say, however, that living the principles of the gospel restored by Joseph Smith have enriched my life, so maybe that it more how I would interpret the test.

    I think Mormons usually use the “by their fruits” argument (and now here I go speaking for all Mormons) to encourage people to read the Book of Mormon. Since we believe it to be a “fruit” of Joseph Smith, a translation of ancient scripture, we hope people will taste it for themselves, i.e. read it individually, before they make a judgment of whether he is a prophet.

  10. I find the LDS test lacking on a few levels – here is my critique of it.

    (1) That explicit passage has nothing to say about following a prophet – but more about following teachings that lead us towards God and the inevitable outcome (ie: good actions and such).

    (2) Those explicit ideas about a prophet – well (a) seems to point that even a prophet from not amongst the congregation of Israel can give a legitimate claim but they are not to lead you to another foreign god.

    (B) is Paul addressing the gospel and if someone else preach contrary to that which has been presented by Paul – let them answer for their claims (likely that whole circumcision thing and the gospel again). But even if not, this idea can be levelled quite cleanly against our own faith on many levels of Christian denominations that one might claim do not truly teach the focus of the gospel…nevermind the Mormons.

  11. I find the LDS test lacking on a few levels – here is my critique of it.

    (1) That explicit passage has nothing to say about following a prophet – but more about following teachings that lead us towards God and the inevitable outcome (ie: good actions and such).

    (2) Those explicit ideas about a prophet – well (a) seems to point that even a prophet from not amongst the congregation of Israel can give a legitimate claim but they are not to lead you to another foreign god.

    (B) is Paul addressing the gospel and if someone else preach contrary to that which has been presented by Paul – let them answer for their claims (likely that whole circumcision thing and the gospel again). But even if not, this idea can be levelled quite cleanly against our own faith on many levels of Christian denominations that one might claim do not truly teach the focus of the gospel…nevermind the Mormons.

  12. I find the LDS test lacking on a few levels – here is my critique of it.

    (1) That explicit passage has nothing to say about following a prophet – but more about following teachings that lead us towards God and the inevitable outcome (ie: good actions and such).

    (2) Those explicit ideas about a prophet – well (a) seems to point that even a prophet from not amongst the congregation of Israel can give a legitimate claim but they are not to lead you to another foreign god.

    (B) is Paul addressing the gospel and if someone else preach contrary to that which has been presented by Paul – let them answer for their claims (likely that whole circumcision thing and the gospel again). But even if not, this idea can be levelled quite cleanly against our own faith on many levels of Christian denominations that one might claim do not truly teach the focus of the gospel…nevermind the Mormons.

Comments are closed.

Get CT In Your Inbox!

Don't miss a single update.

You May Also Like

What Does A Healthy Church Look Like?

There are a variety of answers, I can definitely tell you what…

Reason…

#599 why my children are home schooled. Source: Fox News Technorati Tags:…

Ah yes, football season is here.

I love it! My alma mater, Hoover High School won its first…

Celebrity Collages

Here’s mine – pretty scary that Elton John & Dustin Hoffman are…