Don’t good feelings indicate the Book of Mormon must be from God?
Feelings are not always truth. If someone feels ugly, are they really ugly? Someone may feel unloved, but still be loved. A child may feel stupid, but actually be really intelligent. Drug addicts may feel good abusing drugs. People who have sex outside of marriage may feel good about it.
If you need to make a big decision in life, do you go by feelings or do you go by facts? If you are going to buy a car, do you do some research, or just go to the lot and pick the first one you feel good about? When you have a job offer, do you do some research on the job and company, or do you go by feelings alone? When picking a stock, do you go with your feelings or do you get advice and do some research? We would hope you don't go on feelings alone, because that would be very foolish. Similarly, it would be very foolish to simply get one side of the story. Open-mindedness in hearing both sides is valued for making the best, most informed decision.
But when it comes to religion, now all of a sudden it is supposedly virtuous to act irrationally. Cultists (read heretical groups) may feel good about their religion and think that this necessarily entails God is confirming that theirs is the true religion. They also advocate a certain closed-mindedness in only listening to their side of the story.
LDS are generally encouraged to stick their heads in the sand and choose to believe their feelings. For example, "When our leaders speak, the thinking has been done. When they point the way, there is no other which is safe. When they give direction, it should mark the end of controversy" (Ward teachers message, Improvement Era, June, 1945, p. 345). LDS also encourage investigators to simply get the story from Mormon sources.
The facts are that LDS believe in a religion that Joseph Smith--a known con-man--started. They trust the Book of Mormon, which has no historical backing. Even DNA discredits its claims (DNA has never shown that Native Americans are of Hebrew descent). Not to mention this so-called "most correct of any book on earth" has had over 3,913 changes. Supposedly God directed the later Church leadership to take care of the problems since He was not capable of taking care of them when He originally brought forth the Book of Mormon through Smith.
Mormons contradict Jehovah's Witnessess, and they both say the same thing about good feelings confirming their faith. Moonies and Muslims also say the same thing. Even Christians have good feelings that contradict these groups. Perhaps atheists are right, and these religions are all wrong; but given their contradictory beliefs, it is impossible for them to all be true.
Of course as children of Satan (John 8:44) or children of wrath (Ephesians 2:1-3), unbelievers naturally think that the good feelings they get confirm God's leading. But unfortunately they are lost, and thus cannot see straight.
Jeremiah 17:9: "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?"
Proverbs 14:12: "There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death."
Prov. 28:26: "He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool: but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered."
2 Thessalonians 2:11-12: "And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness."
Mormons are not alone in their misunderstanding of what constitutes "faith." The Enlightenment has given western civilization a skewed version of faith that unfortunately most hold to today. Kant famously said he "destroyed reason to make room for faith." But faith is the absence of sight, not reason (Hebrews 11:6). There are many things we have faith in that we do not see, but still hold on the basis of good empirical and non-empirical reasons (e.g., numbers, laws, thoughts, persons, causes, backs of objects, love, etc.). The Bible actually encourages reasons--both biblical and non-biblical--for faith (1 Peter 3:15).
Christians choose to follow their Master and believe the Bible as God's word. The Bible has stood the test of time and has evidence to back it up. The Bible is the best preserved book of antiquity. One can actually go back to the old Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek manuscripts and see that the Bible today is basically the same as it was in 100 AD. (See this file on questions and answers regarding the transmission and preservation of the Bible.) One can go to Jerusalem and see the places the Bible describes; one can walk where Jesus walked. One can actually see in museums the artifacts mentioned in the Bible. The Bible fits the facts of history, archeology, and science. The Bible also claims to be the word of God, and has prophecy and miracles which are themselves historically verifiable.
On this basis, we humbly tell Mormons and other members of false religions and philosophies that they must repent from their warped feelings and beliefs before it is too late. They must believe God's word. As Christians, our feelings align with the word of God by which we are held captive. God's word says that the Christ of traditional Christianity is true, and thus the LDS Christ is false. Don't take our word for it. We continually offer His word, because we love it. In answering theological disputes, Jesus said over and over again, "It is written." His testimony was never uncorroborated. If that were the case, Jesus taught it would be untrue (Jn. 5:31). Even His testimony of His own divine nature was corroborated by the Father performing miracles through Him (Jn. 5:36-37; 10:34-38; and 20:30-31).
Since the word of God stands forever as Isaiah 40:7-8 says, is truth (Jn. 17:17), and "cannot be broken" (Jn. 10:35), it doesn't contradict itself. Our misunderstandings might, but not God's word. Thus, there is a difference between apparent contradictions and contradictions. Inevitably, LDS offer the same apparent contradictions since they generally don't know the original languages of the Bible and they take things out of context. LDS have to disparage God's word in order to uphold their supposed latter-day revelations and burnings in their bosoms. God said that if any other revelation comes along which contradicts what is already given, then it is to be damned (Galatians 1:6-9). Mormonism contradicts what is already given; thus, it is to be damned. God has given us His word and His Spirit. He has not left us alone. His word is a light unto our path as the Psalms say.
We submit that unbelievers are not humble and open-minded enough to listen to and follow God. They are more in love with themselves, their good feelings, their families, friends, and their religions or philosophies than they are with God and His word. Unbelievers actually hate the God of truth, and that is why He allows them to freely avoid Him for eternity. They are junkies of sorts, who desperately need God through the real Jesus to give them brand new lives.
R and T Sivulka