My husband is a member of the RLDS church. He is not currently active in that church, because he is now a spirit filled Christian. The BOM has been an ongoing debate for us---what is the major differences between the two churches? Are the RLDS teachings okay?
I'm concerned about other members of his family, at this time. My husband still states that he believes Joseph Smith was a prophet and the Book of MOrmon is the Word of God. He will also state that he believes that the Bible has mistakes in it. Please help me locate more information on the what the major differences are between the two churches.
One statement that I've heard quite a bit, is that Brigham Young changed many things, including the BOM. THe BOM that we have is a new addition, and many things have changed? Is this typical. Please send any and all information and web site information to me via e-mail.
Yours In Christ
The Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (RLDS) is very different from the Utah Mormon Church. Doctrinally the RLDS Church is much closer to orthodox Christian doctrine than the Utah Church.
However, the fruit of Mormonism can be found within RLDS circles. I know, for instance, that the acceptance of the Book of Mormon (BOM) does injury to them, because the Book of Mormon, while it is not as bad as the worst in Mormonism, is far from doctrinally solid. It teaches, for example, a theology about God which does damage to the Trinitarian theology of the Bible. Beyond that, it is so internally inconsistent and so doctrinally ambiguous as to cause those who believe it to be scripture to have set themselves up to receive something which clearly is not scripture.
Likewise, Joseph Smith, if considered to be a Prophet of God, introduces other doctrinal material besides the Book of Mormon. Many of the "prophecies" he supposedly received are still venerated by the Reorganized Church. Again, this leads to problems.
It is true that Brigham Young expanded upon the errors of Joseph Smith. For instance, the doctrines of polygamy and "plurality of gods" were developed under Young. But Joseph Smith introduced those ideas, in spite of the fact that the RLDS refuse to admit it.
Your husband is not saved or damned based on whether or not he believes Joseph Smith is a prophet, not if he believes the Book of Mormon is from God. He is saved if he is saved! In other words, we all come into the world under judgement. We are under penalty of death and we must come to Christ to be saved. If he has done that, he is saved, if he has not he isn't.
That does not mean that it is unimportant or irrelevant to discover that Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon are false. It is important. Because if he believes that, it can either prevent him from coming to true and accurate faith in Christ or it can prevent him from fully developing his relationship with Christ.