I just watched the short (just over a minute) film "How Can I Know This is True?" It is available for download, free of charge, at mormon.org
In the streaming film a woman, a very hot woman by the way, is talking about how she was always so rational. Then she reads the Book of Mormon and prays about it. She then admits, as though this were a good thing, that when she was trying to decide if it (the Book of Mormon) is true, is the word of God, that she "wasn't thinking about it-she was feeling."
And you know, that is a really remarkable statement. I wasn't thinking about whether the Fermat's last theorem was true, I was feeling (that would have saved an awful lot of time and effort don't you think?). I wasn't thinking it was a good idea to drill a hole in my head, I was feeling. I wasn't thinking that I should join Hitler's genocide, I was feeling. I wasn't thinking it was good to fly a plane into the twin towers, I was feeling.
I can remember very clearly speaking with some Mormon missionaries. I would continually ask them, "why should I believe what you are proclaiming?" I always got the same answer, "just pray about it and you'll feel it's right." Well, maybe I am missing something, but to totally base one's life-and afterlife-on feeling does not seem very wise to me.
I am a man. Men are rational creatures. Even by male standards, though, I tend to be exceptionally rational. I can see the evidence for biblical Christianity and perceive it as compelling. But Mormonism? I mean, feelings are certainly a valuable part of the human psyche so I am in no way anti-feelings. And yet, everything has its proper purpose. Is it the purpose of inductive science to establish deductive mathematics? Is it the purpose of a sewing machines to feed babies?
Again, it is the epitome of folly, it seems to me, to base an entire religion, an entire worldview, an entire life on feeling that something is true unless I have badly misunderstood the sense in which "feeling" is traditionally used in LDS testimony.
To be fair, in the video, the woman also says that God told her that Joseph Smith is a true prophet. So this is more than just a feeling perhaps. But there is a real problem here because God has told me that he (Smith) is not a prophet of God. It is too bad there wasn't some objective court to appeal to when considering competing religious claims. Oh wait-there is. And this is precisely what Christian apologists down through the ages have appealed to in their rational defences of the faith.
How can we know that Mormonism is false? I suggest we use our minds instead of our hearts in determining truth. It is an easy matter to see that Mormonism is not biblical Christianity (though they strongly affirm it is). All we have to do is examine what the Bible teaches then place that side by side with their own teachings. If the two systems are mutually exclusive, why then, quad erat demonstrandum.
One glaring example of contradiction, perhaps the most glaring, is that Mormons are polytheists and the Bible, I think very explicitly, says there is only one God. It is a well-known saying, well known in LDS circles anyway, that, "as man is, God once was; and as God is, man may become." In other words, if you are a good Mormon, you will someday become a god so, therefore, for the Mormon, there are many gods. And this is polytheism. In contrast, in the Bible, if one has spent five picoseconds reading the Old Testament then one sees that the major problem there, was getting everybody to agree that there was only one deity. And that lesson was a very hard one for the Jews to learn but learn it they did by New Testament times. And that is part of the reason why to this day some Jews do not accept their messiah Jesus. How could a man be God when only Yahweh is God?
And strict monotheism is not absent from the New Testament either though, of course, it also teaches that Jesus is God. So if you read on the official LDS website that Mormons are Christians too, don't you believe it for a minute-if by Christian they mean biblical Christianity. And when the Mormon missionaries come to your door and ask you to pray about the Book of Mormon there is no need for it is already manifest that it cannot be true (the reasons not all being discussed in this post).
So then, you can know that biblical teachings are true through good evidence (not here discussed) or you can feel that Mormon teachings are true. I think it is clear which side of the debate I, for one, fall on. All that being said, I would not like to give a fair hearing to the other position. Any Mormons in the blogosphere are encouraged to leave comments to this post setting the record straight. As a matter of fact, I'd love to have the opportunity to have a formal and friendly debate with you on this blog. Please let me know if you are interested.