THE TRUTH ABOUT THE TRIPLE COMBINATION
There are so many subjects in this topic that people could write books about it; in fact a few of my good friends have! The contradictions within the writings of the LDS Church are vast so I am not going to go into much detail here. Suffice it to say that I highly recommend getting the Christian Companion to the Triple Combination written by Colleen Ralson, you can purchase this from our website or Personal Freedom Outreach; a subsidiary of Utah Missions.
It works as a great tool to emphasize to the ex-Mormon that LDS doctrine is indeed flawed. It also serves as assurance to the ex-Mormon the contradictory teachings weren’t their imagination. While they work through this workbook they are able to see for themselves the magnitude of the errors.
The 3-in-1 (also known as quad or triple combination) is what the Church considers to be their standard works or scripture. They are a compilation of the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and Pearl of Great Price. It becomes a “quad” if the Bible is in the same book. They believe that all the books but the Bible are inerrant. Their 8th Article of Faith states: “We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly; we also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God.”
Notice how they didn’t say; “we also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly”. There is obviously a difference in the way the Bible is a more deficient book of God. For a few ex-Mormons going through the exodus process, it may take some time before they truly believe the Bible is the inerrant word of God. Remind them of scriptures like
Isaiah 40:8; “The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.”
Another scripture that I prayed a lot when I got out was Mark 9:24 when the rich man asks Jesus to help him with his unbelief. Intellectually I believed in Jesus. In my heart, well that was sometimes “iffy”. Mark describes the man who came to Jesus and begged him for help. He told Jesus he knew God had sent Him; in his heart the old tapes kept playing the same old song…what if? Jesus won’t desert you in your hour of need! Also share with them factual information about the Bible mentioned in the previous section. And as always, if there is a favorite verse that you rely upon, share it with the ex-Mormon!
There are of course many good, reliable books and websites to use as tools for when there is doubt. The websites I’ve found over the years give verifiable truth to the issues raised and works through each scenario meticulously. While going through this life change there will be times when the ex-Mormon goes through a myriad of emotions and doubts all at the same time. One thing that is going to be there for sure is anger and hatred towards Joseph Smith. I haven’t been immune to the whole process and remember well what it felt like discovering the truth.
The emphasis of how important Joseph Smith was and still is to Church members cannot be overstated. His words still reverberates within the covers of their “scripture” and in the hallways of their ward buildings. The lies that the members have espoused are deep-seated in the hearts and minds of the believers. It’s no wonder the new Christian experiences a multitude of emotions all at once as they continue learning the truth about their heritage. Case in point is the following doctrine about the triple combination.
I’ve taken a speech from the Encyclopedia of Mormonism, pgs. 405-7 and listed it in sections below. The purpose in doing this is to show the general public the pages of doctrine that are soaked into the minds of these dear people. Anyone reading and listening to this year after year would have a difficult time staying focused.
After each section I have posted a few questions for the ex-Mormon. Allow them to read the paragraphs individually and ask them to list what problems they may see. Then show them the list of questions (add some of your own!) and compare. Encourage them as they begin to take control of their own thought life. You know the old saying: “Garbage in, garbage out”. The magnitude of lies they’ve been taught and have believed is incredible.
Don’t forget: 1. Prayer. 2. Bible.
“The Doctrine and Covenants is a compilation of revelations, most of which were received by the Prophet Joseph Smith for the establishment and governance of the kingdom of God in the latter days. It is a standard work of the Church… Its main focus is to build up the Church of Jesus Christ and to bring people into harmony with Christ’s kingdom… It is viewed as the capstone of the Church; its companion volume, the Book of Mormon, is seen as the keystone…” (pg. 405)
What or who is the capstone in the Bible, give proof. __________________________________________________
What or who should be the “keystone”, biblically speaking.
What is the purpose of the Bible? Compare that with what was said above in regards to the D&C and the BoM.____________
Whose “job” is it to edify and unite the true body of Christ? Show proof of your answer! _______________________________
Because of copyright laws I did not reprint all three pages of the example I am giving here. If the ex-Mormon wants to see it in full, (which is something I highly recommend), my quotes in the paragraph above to the end of this section came from the Encyclopedia of Mormonism, pages 405 through 407.
“The Book of Mormon was written to convince all individuals that Jesus is the Christ… the Doctrine and Covenants was given to organize and orient them according to God’s mind and kingdom.”
Where does it say (if it does at all) in the Bible that it was written to convince all individuals that Jesus is the Christ?
According to the Bible, who does the convincing of man’s soul?
Also, why is it they need to “organize and orient them to God’s mind and kingdom”? Wouldn’t the Bible already have served that purpose? These “further revelations” aren’t just simple additions to the Bible; they serve as replacements.
“Over the years after the first printing, other revelations were received and some earlier materials were deleted… In subsequent editions, more sections were added…” (pg. 406)
Stop the presses! The term “earlier materials” has jumped off the pages and captured my full attention! Why would you delete some earlier materials if they are revelations from God? Why does this god keep changing his mind?
What does Numbers 23:9 say about God? ______________
Is it okay with you if the god you worship changes his/her mind at their own whim? What does Malachi 3:6 say about God? ____________________________________________________
“Despite the fact that many of these revelations are personally directed to certain individuals or groups in nineteenth-century times and places, they contain principles that have eternal application and thus current value.” (pg. 407)
There has been a ton of “stuff” to dissect in just this little section but it will be well worth the study!
The first problem I see in the example above is applying revelations meant for specific people to the general population of today. The Bible has never operated in this fashion and neither should anyone else, biblically speaking and otherwise. An example of this philosophy would be the prophecy given to the elders of the LDS Church that they must build a temple in Zion.
How could prophesying that Zion would be found in Independence, Missouri, apply to someone like my mother who lives in Utah right now? My mother is in her sixties; she’s raising her grandchildren and lives across the street from her ailing parents. How can she take these “scriptures” and apply them to her daily life? D&C 57:1-3 says that the elders of the church should build a temple in Independence in 1831.
How does this failed prophecy help my mom in her walk with her Heavenly Father?
“The revelations include warnings of divine judgments upon the wicked; teachings about the progression of human souls toward exaltation and eternal life through the gospel of Jesus Christ; information about scripture, including the coming forth of the Book of Mormon and the translation of the Bible by Joseph Smith.” (pg. 407)
I would have the ex-Mormon look in the index of the D&C, BoM, and PofGP for a variety of subjects, look up the references and begin really looking into the claims and warnings. See if the warning to obey “such and such” is still a gospel law they have to obey or if they’ve received further revelation to discontinue that “law”, i.e. polygamy (new and everlasting covenant).
“ …instructions about the priesthood, its restoration, functions, offices, and ordinances; commandments and instructions to people of the Church regarding personal behavior, education, lands and property, buildings, and caring for the poor; and callings and counsel to preach and live the gospel.” (pg. 407)
What laws or ordinances are no longer required in the LDS Church and why? _________________________________________
In October of ‘06 Kirk and I participated in a live debate on a Christian radio talk show in Seattle. A local stake president that took part in the debate told me at the end of the show, off-air of course, that the Church never forbade the members from drinking caffeinated colas or coffee. I couldn’t believe what I had just heard! He said that I was trying to be “sensationalistic” just to get attention! Argh! He said; “Members listen to one thing and hear another; therefore they are the ones getting things all wrong”. In other words; “The 12.5 million members didn’t quite understand the prophecy that is now part of the Word of Wisdom”.
The Church will always have instructions for everything, and sadly enough the members’ understanding of each of those doctrines varies from person to person. If anything about this chapter sticks out for the ex-Mormon I pray it would be you won’t forget the truth about the “Standard Works”.
From the moment the first Book of Mormon was printed in 1830 to date, there have been over 4,000 changes made to the Book of Mormon – these do not include typographical or printing errors. All of the 4,000 plus changes are grammatical in nature. You can purchase or see proof of this from many reputable websites. There will be a list of recommendations in the Bibliography for Chapter 8. The Utah Lighthouse Ministry run by Sandra Tanner has a book she and her late husband compiled that shows a side-by-side account of the 1830 BoM and the latest edition printed in the nineties.
Joseph Smith said in TPJS, pg 299 that he didn’t use any Greek or Latin when translating the Book of Mormon.
“To the Editor of the Times & Seasons: Sir:—Through the medium of your paper, I wish to correct an error among men that profess to be learned, liberal and wise; and I do it the more cheerfully, because I hope sober-thinking and sound-reasoning people will sooner listen to the voice of truth, than be led astray by the vain pretensions of the self-wise. The error I speak of, is the definition of the word “Mormon.” It has been stated that this word was derived from the Greek word “mormo.” This is not the case. There was no Greek of Latin upon the plates from which I, through the grace of God, translated the Book of Mormon. Let the language of that book speak for itself.”
We recently completed a project counting how many time Greek or Latin words showed up in the Book of Mormon. After identifying over 60 words that derived from the Greek or Latin we stopped counting at 7,290 words.
The Book of Mormon holds many false prophecies; one of which is located very near the beginning. 1 Nephi 2:8 says that the river “Laman” emptied into the Red Sea. To date there has never been a river that has emptied into the Red Sea.
Jacob 2:25 says that polygamy is an abomination before God. That verse alone tells me someone is lying. Joseph Smith declared to Emma and the rest of the world in D&C 132 that unless you practice plural marriage you are damned!
Likewise the D&C contradicts itself and other sacred writings of the LDS Church. The writings in this can’t be trusted based on the passage listed above. Smith called plural marriage “the new and everlasting covenant”. If it’s everlasting then why did the US ban it from existence in 1890? If this was from God wouldn’t He have been able to do something about it?
D&C 114 is a false prophecy all unto itself. Smith prophesied that Patten would go on a mission the following spring – Patten was killed in a gun battle six months later, being unable to fulfill that prophecy for Joseph.
The Pearl of Great Price contradicts itself without even having to look at the other writings of the Church. For instance the creation story in Moses completely disagrees with the story in Abraham.
The false prophecies in Moses 7 place it in the same category as polygamy – a false prophecy. The prophecy is that the black people were to live under the “Curse of Cain” while here on earth. According to the LDS Church based on Smith’s prophecy here the blacks were not to hold the priesthood – ever.
In 1978 Spencer W. Kimball, then president and prophet of the LDS Church, received a new revelation from God allowing the blacks into the priesthood. So which prophet is right? If you say Kimball then what does that say about the beloved Joseph? No one ever speaks ill about him.
Lesson Plan for Chapter Eight
How many false prophecies does it take before you can safely say someone is not a true prophet of God? Show biblical proof. __________________________________________________
What must we as Christians do with the “Standard Works” of the LDS Church in light of your answer above? ________________
Read Galatians 1:6-9 and write down what you learn about other gospels.
Are you (the ex-Mormon) aware of what the book of Jeremiah is about? I cannot speed over to the counter of books fast enough with you so that you can find out! If you do know then write out your thoughts below as you compare Jeremiah and the story of the Book of Mormon. Who are these Israelites the BoM talks about that didn’t obey God’s warning to stay put?
© 2010 Life After Ministries, Inc.
Websites for further research: