A Marvelous Work and a Wonder? A Review by Dale Brown
Originally published in 1950 this Mormon book was written by LeGrand Richards to assist missionaries in their evangelism. Mr. Richards lived from 1886 to 1983 until his death at 96 years of age. He served as a member of the quorum of the seventy in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
On page 5 we read “We suggest the reader assume the position of judge and jury, withholding his verdict until the evidence herein presented has been fully considered.”
So in examining the Marvelous Work we will apply some critical thinking and see what we find.
It starts with the testimony of Joseph Smith a 14 year old lad who had issues with the churches of his day and claimed he had inquired of the Lord which church he should join. On page 9 we read, “I was answered that I must join none of them, for they were all wrong; and the Personage who addressed me said that...'they draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me, they teach for doctrines the commandments of men, having a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof.” This is a slightly revised version of what is usually found in Mormon literature. They usually claim “that all of their creeds were an abomination in his sight; that those professors were all corrupt.” So the Lord using King James English starts out attacking all of Christendom and its creeds claiming they have no power. Apparently he was unaware of Charles Finney and other evangelists who were changing lives by the power of God through the simple preaching of the gospel during this time.
On page 34 it is claimed that the gospel had been totally removed from the earth thus it was necessary in this “dispensation of the fulness of the times” for Joseph Smith to restore it to the earth. So, for over 1900 years there was no gospel. Now that sounds suspicious
So when Jesus said in Matthew chapter 16, upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades shall not overpower it” He was wrong. Smith obviously did not know who the rock was. The biblical Psalmist wrote, “My soul waits in silence for God only; from Him is my salvation. He is my rock and my salvation, my stronghold; I shall not be greatly shaken.” (Psm . 62:1&2) Smith was obviously shaken. “The Rock! His work is perfect”(Deu. 32:4)
The Mormons claim the church must have a prophet to lead it. The problem however is that the Bible records many prophets operating within the early church, and some of them are women, such as in Acts 13:1 and 21:9&10. So here the Mormons fail the biblical pattern once again as when they send out young kids with no life experience and give them the title “elder”. They fail not only the Biblical test but the mere definition of the words.
Unbeknown to many who would read the Marvelous Work and a Wonder they are not aware that the early Mormon gospel included much occult Masonic ritual. And today, as found on pages 172 the Mormon gospel includes proxy baptism for those already dead, neither of which are found in the gospels or even the Book of Mormon. They dream it up as they go along.
On pages 72 &73 we are told that the origin of the American Indians came from Lehi, a Jewish family that sailed to America about 600 B.C. Two of his sons, Laman and Lemuel were cursed because they sinned, and a skin of blackness came upon them. Through the modern science of DNA research however it has been proven that there is no Jewish connection to the American Indians. LeGrand's book fails to mention that the Book of Mormon in 2 Nephi 30:6 and 3 Nephi 2:15 also claims that blacks can become “white and delightsome” again through Mormon repentance. Has anyone ever seen such a thing?
This wild story Joseph Smith supposedly got from some gold plates found buried on the Hill Cumorah in New York. These golden plates however are nowhere to be seen, and the church has made the big stretch of pointing to the ruins thousands of miles away in Central and South America to validate such myths.
The Book of Mormon records many animals, coins, silk and other things in the Americas between 600 B.C and 400 A.D. which did not exist until they were brought here by European explorers after 1492 when Columbus sailed the ocean blue.
While Mormons claim their story a “Marvelous Work and a Wonder” it is more correctly labeled a “Ridiculous Work and a Blunder”.