1. Don’t read the Book of Mormon. Indeed, this can only inform the anti-Mormon about its true content. Doctrines will be discovered, insights will be obtained, and most importantly, the spirit might be felt while reading it. If one does feel something divine within its pages, put the book down immediately, fight the feelings inside, and do something else. Make a loud noise, clap your hands, kick the dog; anything to avoid seeing something divine before you. Instead of reading the Book of Mormon and subjecting yourself to its childish 19th-century dogmatic interpolations, pick up a book or pamphlet about the Book of Mormon, especially if written by a non-Mormon, because of course only the non-Mormon can be totally objective about its message and content. By extension, don’t read the D&C or PofGP either. This will only add to the confusion and madness. Stay informed about the book, just don’t read it. Or just read your Bible. After all, the Bible is God’s word, and is a perfectly believable book with no strange stories, characters, or incredible situations, unlike that weird Book of Mormon (see #6 for more).
2. Avoid original sources. Why plough through thousands of pages of Joseph Smith’s journals, the Journal of Discourses, or other autobiographical sources when you can just pick up a perfectly decent abridgment of all this material by such noteworthies as Ed Decker or Jerald & Sandra Tanner? These folks are reliable and objective in their research, and after all, they were Mormons at one time! So that means that they undoubtedly know their stuff and have no malicious agenda whatsoever—they’re totally objective! Original sources cannot possibly reflect the reality behind the situations they describe, especially sources produced by the Mormons. Original sources will only slow you down and misdirect your research.
3. McConkie’s thoughts = everyone’s thoughts. First off, if you really want to know the ins and outs of Mormon doctrine, just buy the book by that very name! A book by any other name just isn’t the same. Surely a volume with such a name as “Mormon Doctrine” contains exactly what the title purports – an exhaustive and authoritative treatment of the doctrine of the Mormon church. And don’t be tricked into thinking that the ideas expressed in Mormon Doctrine are outdated, biased, or non-representative. Every Mormon reveres this guy (he was, after all, one of their apostles!), and they all adhere to this book like the Book of Mormon itself. This book should be your most valuable tool in learning about the Mormons. It’s handy, too. It’s arranged just like a dictionary. Just pick the doctrine you want to know about, turn to it, and voi-la, you’re an expert on Mormonism.
4. Don’t stay current. Avoid reading Journal of Mormon History, Dialogue Journal, or others. These works are mostly written by Mormon outcasts and gays who are well on their way to becoming Protestants or atheists anyway. They certainly have an ax to grind, so reading this material might actually lead you to think that Mormons think differently among themselves, which is surely not the case. They all conform to the “prophet,” dontchya know? Staying current might actually alert you to upcoming trends in defense of Mormonism, which should only be handled by experts (like your pastor or local “professional” counter-cultist). Staying current will also take time away from reading Mormon Doctrine or one of the Tanner’s books/pamphlets.
5. Consult outside sources. Never, ever ask a Mormon about Mormonism. They’ll only tell you what you want to hear, make themselves sound much less cultish than they really are, or try to pass themselves off as people who worship the same God that you do. This could lead to a friendly invitation to a church basketball game, barbecue, or a “family night” at the Mormon’s house. Avoid these activities, for there the Mormon will try to seduce you into their fold with nice words and a bowl of green jello. Always go to “professionals” for the answers.
6. Ignore hypocrisy. It’s best not to bring up beliefs or problems of faith that you share with the Mormons. Don’t mention difficulties in translating ancient texts. Don’t mention that the KJV, the long-time English language standard Bible, talks of anachronisms like steel bows, domesticated animals before they were domesticated, etc. Avoid discussing difficult aspects in any system of belief – the nature of God, revelation, life after death, etc. Don’t talk to the Mormon about the patristic writings, and how some of the early church fathers discussed such issues as a corporeal deity, eternal nature of souls, human deification, or a pre-mortal life. Don’t talk about how some of the writers of the New Testament used and abused Old Testament passages for their own exegetical agendas. Don’t talk about how the Christian Church has been manipulated by its leaders through the ages, especially such topics like the Crusades or the Inquisition, because for all it’s ugliness, the Christian Church is the imperfect perfection. Showing respect or “faith envy” for the Mormons leads to nowhere.
So there you have it. Becoming an “expert” anti-Mormon is much easier than one might think. Following these simple steps, you’ll be well on your way to becoming an “expert” anti-Mormon.