Mormonism and the Gospel

My name is Jody Ormond Morris. Like so many other names, it tells a story. Mine is of a fifth-generation Mormon who was converted to Christianity and is now serving the Lord with his family as a pastor in the OPC. I’d like to share my story with you. I’m named after my grandfather, William Ormond Morris, and my great-great-grandfather, Joseph “Jody” Smith Morris. He was named after the Mormon prophet, Joseph Smith. My dad gave me his nickname—Jody. From Wales to Utah My Mormon history began in Wales during the earliest days of the Mormon church (the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints). My dad tells a story about a missionary who was instrumental in our family’s conversion to Mormonism. Dan Jones was a steamboat captain on the Mississippi River and a friend of Joseph Smith. He was with Joseph in prison on the day before he was killed. Dan went from there to Wales to be a missionary during the time that my family was converted. They must have known him, and were perhaps ... Read more

The Book of Mormon: Fact or Fiction?

Ah! The majestic music of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir! We love their music. We are almost ready to embrace them. We are almost ready to remove the Mormons from our list of cults and welcome them into the Christian camp. But first, we ought to examine the issues. We ought to take this whole religious endeavor, with all its writings and moral trappings, before the throne of God. We need to be on guard, for there are many false prophets afoot and many religions that distort the truth of God. The Claim On September 21, 1823, outside the village of Manchester, New York, Joseph Smith lay in his bed, praying, musing, and meditating. Allegedly, an angel named Moroni, the son of Mormon, appeared in his room in a bright light and instructed him to wait four years and then dig up, on the highest hill in the region, “a book deposited, written upon gold plates, giving an account of the former inhabitants of this continent.” He would also find “two stones in silver bows … fastened to a breastplate ... ... Read more

John DeWaard: A Quiet Hero

In 1925 a fresh face appeared in the Presbyterian Church U.S.A. John J. DeWaard had recently graduated from Princeton Seminary and was being examined for ordination by the Presbytery of Milwaukee. Rather than continue his studies at Princeton, DeWaard pursued a call to the First Presbyterian Church in Cedar Grove, Wisconsin. Dr. Geerhardus Vos had recommended his young student, and the congregation in Cedar Grove was eager for his arrival. Initial impressions were altogether positive. One Presbytery examiner reported to the committee as follows: "I heartily recommend for approval all the parts of trial submitted to me: and bespeak for our brother a life of great usefulness in the ministry of the church, which in time I think will be in a professor's chair, perhaps the one once occupied by Dr. Charles Hodge." A second examiner was equally enthusiastic, saying, "I am personally glad that this young brother is seeking a part and place in the ministry of our Church." And so John DeWaard was ordained to the ... Read more

The Apostles' Creed, Part 4: I Believe in the Church and Things to Come

In this final study of the Apostles' Creed, we will look at what it has to say about the church, salvation, and things to come. J. I. Packer has rightly pointed out: It is by strict theological logic, that the Creed confesses faith in the Holy Spirit before proceeding to the church and that it speaks of the church before mentioning personal salvation ... and it is in the church, through its ministry and fellowship, that personal salvation ordinarily comes to be enjoyed. [1] Belief in the holy catholic church is essential. Cornelis Venema states that Christians confess belief in God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit and therefore [confess belief] in 'a holy catholic church.'... The church is never the object of our faith ... but no one can believe in the Triune God without confessing a holy, catholic church. [2] There is a lot of confusion about the church in our day. Some think that the church is a social club—somewhere to hang out when we don't have anything else better to ... Read more


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