Preface

While serving as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the year 1995, some well-meaning members of the Jehovah's Witnesses gave me one of their magazines. In that issue, every article was devoted to some aspect of Mormonism. Upon reading it, I was offended by the lack of research and the abundance of untruths and misinformation. I marked up the magazine with scriptures and quotes, hoping to again see the people who gave it to me, but I never did. I kept that magazine for several years, and then threw it away one day, thinking I would never get a chance to clarify its teachings and LDS beliefs. A few months later, as fate would have it, this magazine came up in conversation with a co-worker, another Jehovah's Witness, and she got me another copy.

I have carefully preserved the text of the original magazine in gray boxes like this one…

…which are followed by my own comments and helpful links where applicable.

Quotations from the scriptures and other sources appear in blue and white boxes like this.

All of my comments are documented, with over two hundred footnotes that I hope the reader will pay close attention to. Many of the original source documents are now available, online, for the first time in over 150 years!

I take responsibility for all contents, and remind the reader that my comments are just that–mine! Although I have been a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for more than four decades, served as a full-time missionary, stake missionary, ward missionary, and teacher of Sunday School for children and adults (including many years in my current calling, teaching the class for investigators and new members), and although I have tried to document all of my comments, I am not an official spokesman for the LDS Church, nor is this an official website of the LDS Church. All Bible quotes are from the King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

This article has been updated from its original paper form to include relevant links, videos, and additional information. Due to the original method of distribution, the massive reach of its distribution, the narrative nature of the magazine and its current unavailability1, and the fact that this 1995 magazine is still being used as a teaching tool almost twenty years later2, I have felt it necessary to include the article in its entirety. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the copyrighted work incorporated herein is distributed under the fair use clause, without profit or payment, for non-profit research and educational purposes only.

Notes

  1. Awake! is only available online back to 2010, as can be seen here: http://www.jw.org/en/publications/magazines
  2. “They Wanted Me to Prove the Truth to Myself.” Luis Alifonso, Watchtower, Feb. 2013. http://www.jw.org/en/publications/magazines/wp20130201/prove-truth-to-myself