How to Witness to Mormons

Remember that we are not to argue over doctrine or Scripture. The authority of Joseph Smith as a “prophet” of God is the real issue.

Establish the following points:

Step No. 1: Joseph Smith was only one of many 19th century “prophets.” There was nothing unique about his claims.

Step No. 2: He was a part of a movement called “Restorationism” in which many people claimed to be “restoring” a gospel that had been “lost” since the first century: Alexander Campbell, Charles Russell, Ellen G. White, Joseph Smith and many others claimed to be “God’s latter-day prophet.”

Step No. 3: Down through the ages, thousands of people have claimed to be “God’s prophet.” Either they are all false or only one is right. How can we know if someone is a false prophet?

  1. Circular reasoning proves nothing:
    • Mormon: “Joseph Smith was a prophet of God.”
    • Christian: “How do you know that?”
    • Mormon: “Because God spoke to him.”
    • Christian: “But how do you know that?”
    • Mormon: “Because he was a prophet of God.”

  2. Subjective feelings prove nothing:
    • Mormon: “Joseph Smith was a prophet of God.”
    • Christian: “How do you know that?”
    • Mormon: “Because I feel it in my heart.”
    • Christian: “But do not all religions claim that?”

  3. We need a way to find out the truth that is:
    1. objective, not subjective.
    2. neutral, not biased.
    3. based on facts, not circular reasoning.
    4. found in historic documents, not speculation.

Step No. 4: Deut. 18:20-22 gives us the answer.
If someone claims to be a prophet,
Examine his prophecies.
If they failed to happen,
Then he is a false prophet.

Step No. 5: Since Joseph Smith claimed to a prophet, there are only two options:
  1. He was a false prophet. Thus he was either a liar or a nut.
  2. He was a true prophet. Then we must join one of the Mormon denominations. But which one? All of them claim to be the “true” followers of Joseph Smith!

The only way to know is to examine his prophecies.

The following are only five of the many prophecies made by Smith. Just one false prophecy is enough to discredit him. These prophecies come from such Mormon documents as Doctrine and Covenants, The Pearl of Great Price, History of the Church, Journal of Discourses, and Mormon newspapers, magazines, sermons, diaries, etc.

  1. Smith prophesied that people live on the moon, dress like Quakers, live to be a thousand years old and are six feet in height. Brigham Young also claimed that people live on the sun!
  2. Smith prophesied that the ten lost tribes of Israel are living in a tropical valley at the North Pole. The Apostle John is still alive and lives with them there.
  3. Smith prophesied that the Second Coming of Christ and the end of the world would take place in 1891.
  4. Smith prophesied that a temple would be built on the “temple lot” in Independence, Missouri, within the generation of those living in 1832.
  5. Smith prophesied that he would return from Salem, Massachusetts, with “many people” and “much treasure.”
These are only five of 64 false prophecies given by Smith.


Step No. 6: Be prepared for the following tricks.
  1. I do not care what you show me. Smith could not have said these things, because he was a prophet of God.”
  2. So what if Smith did say these things! Moses, Jonah and Jesus were ‘false’ prophets, but we still believe in them.”
  3. But I have a burning witness in my heart.”


Fact No. 1: Smith claimed to be a prophet.
Fact No. 2: His prophecies were false.
Therefore he was a false prophet.

From The Encyclopedia of Practical Christianity, Ch. 194