November 8, 2017
Dear Brothers and Sisters of the Restoration,
Nothing stirs the heart of the Saints more than the Book of Mormon. Recently, in Blue Springs, Missouri, at the Zarahemla Restoration Branch, Bob Moore and Joseph F. Smith presented testimonies about the Book of Mormon which have captivated the minds and hearts of many people. On October 22 and October 29, 2017, these brethren testified of activities in Brazil that included angel visitations, the Book of Mormon plates, the Sword of Laban and the Interpreters.
Their testimonies have created both hope and concern in the hearts of many. Some are experiencing a confusion of spirit as they have attempted to discern the Lord’s testimony regarding these things.
We, the Quorum of Restoration Apostles, met together on November 4 and 5, 2017, with prayer and fasting, to seek the Lord’s will about the matter presented by Brother Moore and Brother Joseph F. Smith. We carefully reviewed the matter in the light of scripture and history.
Many aspects of the Brazilian testimonies are exciting and stimulating. The reappearance of the Book of Mormon plates and other artifacts associated with the plates, the reports of Moroni actively teaching men on the earth, the promise of the words of the Sealed Portion of the Book of Mormon all stir the hearts of the Saints with hope.
Based on the information presented in the testimonies of Bob Moore and Joseph F. Smith on the dates given above, we warn the Saints to use extreme caution before acknowledging the hand of God’s blessing on these testimonies. We have received no evidence of divine affirmation that these testimonies are from God or that the Saints should exercise faith in the promises and prophecies declared. There are indications of spiritual deception in the revelations received by the men in Brazil as they are described in the testimonies of Brothers Moore and Smith. We cannot recommend this testimony to be the word of the Lord.
Every person will need to judge for himself/herself the merits of these testimonies. Each of us will need to give an account to the Lord for where we place our faith. We remind the Saints of the Lord’s warning in Matthew 24:
And again, after the tribulation of those days which shall come upon Jerusalem if any man shall say unto you Lo! here is Christ, or there; believe him not, For in those days, there shall also arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if possible, they shall deceive the very elect, who are the elect according to the covenant. Behold, I speak these things unto you for the elect's sake ... And whoso treasureth up my words, shall not be deceived (Matthew 24:22-24, 39 I.V.).
God has given us clear instruction that his word, the Rod of Iron (see 1 Nephi 3:68) is able to guide us safely through this life to our rest with God and all of our holy fathers. Nephi also wrote that our hope and strength lie in placing our reliance wholly upon the merits of Jesus Christ, who is mighty to save. We must, therefore, press forward, feasting on the words of Christ, because they will tell us everything we should do.
Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life. And now behold, my beloved brethren, this is the way; and there is none other way nor name given under heaven, whereby man can be saved in the kingdom of God. And now behold, this is the doctrine of Christ, and the only and true doctrine of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, which is one God, without end. Amen ... Wherefore, I said unto you, Feast upon the words of Christ; for behold the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do. Wherefore, now after I have spoken these words, if ye can not understand them, it will be because ye ask not, neither do ye knock; wherefore, ye are not brought into the light, but must perish in the dark. For behold, again I say unto you, that if ye will enter in by the way and receive the Holy Ghost, it will shew unto you all things what ye should do (2 Nephi 13:29-32,14:4-6).
We offer this counsel to help you to choose wisely by seeking the Lord’s wisdom, relying on the things written in the revealed word of God and in Jesus Christ, the very word of God made flesh and who lived among us. We plan further prayerful consideration and discussion of the specifics regarding the difficulties we discern in the testimony of these brethren which we will publish later.
Your Servants in the Lord Jesus Christ,
The Quorum of Restoration Apostles Gary R. Whiting, President of the Quorum