Mormons Speak in Tongues?
“In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints the gift of tongues is manifested every day among the thousands of missionaries serving around the world. Missionaries learn foreign languages and the interpretation thereof with astonishing ease, and words come to them that they have not mastered.”
“Many Mormon missionaries have said that the Holy Ghost made it easier for them to learn a language they were struggling with. This is consistent with the Mormon doctrine that we must do all we can before God's grace will intervene (see 2 Nephi 25:23).” - https://www.mormonwiki.com/Spiritual_Gifts
Speaking in tongues in the New Testament did not mean learning a foreign language. The gift was miraculously bestowed as a sign for unbelievers. 1 Corinthians 14:21-25. On the day of Pentecost, when Galilean apostles spoke in the languages of the many nations gathered, those tongues were not learned by the apostles; they were miraculously bestowed in an instant by the Holy Spirit to help create faith among the Jews gathered – a sign that might help them to believe the gospel being preached so they could be saved eternally.
In the Law it is written, “By people of strange tongues and by the lips of foreigners will I speak to this people, and even then they will not listen to me, says the Lord.” 22 Thus tongues are a sign not for believers but for unbelievers, while prophecy is a sign not for unbelievers but for believers. 1 Corinthians 14:21-22
And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them
utterance. 5 Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven. 6
And at this sound the multitude came together, and they were bewildered, because each one was hearing
them speak in his own language. 7 And they were amazed and astonished, saying, “Are not all these who
are speaking Galileans? 8 And how is it that we hear, each of us in his own native language? 9 Parthians and Medes and Elamites and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, 11 both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabians—we hear them telling in our own tongues the mighty works of God” … 17 “‘And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams; Acts 2:4-11,17
And the result? 3000 souls called on the name of the Lord, were baptized and thus saved- the Lord adding those saved to His people: the church. Acts 2:21,37-47. In Acts 10, tongues helped Gentiles to be accepted.
Just as the signs Jesus frequently performed help hearers of the gospel to believe and receive eternal life, John 20:30-31, so tongue-speaking was but one of the miraculous signs confirming the gospel and helping to bring hearers all over the world to saving faith, Mark 16:15-20; Acts 10:34-38; Hebrews 2:3-4.
Just as Jesus’ miracles are not repeated today, so gifts like tongues were only available in the apostolic age, and not today, despite Mormons, various Pentecostals and the Catholic Charismatic Renewal all claiming they speak in tongues today in the 21st century.
However, the New Testament record of Jesus’ miraculous signs, as well as those apostolic wonders, is forever available to benefit seekers of the truth that God worked miracles through Jesus and the apostles.
God had never intended to keep on giving to his people, in every generation, miraculous spiritual gifts such as the gift of tongues or the gift of prophecy or the gift of healing. Paying attention to the written record of signs performed and witnessed in the 1st century is enough to see that the divine gospel was sufficiently confirmed. Note Daniel 9:24-27; Mark 16:15-20; Luke 16:27-31; John 20:30-31; 1 Corinthians 13:8-13.
Therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it. 2 For since the message declared by angels proved to be reliable, and every transgression or disobedience received a just retribution, 3 how shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation? It was declared at first by the Lord, and it was attested to us by those who heard, 4 while God also bore witness by signs and wonders and various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will. Hebrews 2:1-4.
In the 21st century we must pay attention to the message of salvation we hear and read from the New Testament record, and we pay attention to the record of those signs, wonders and various miracles – signs and wonders that confirmed that the message of salvation was from God. We do not any longer need to see Jesus performing miracles, but we can read in the New Testament what He did. It’s the same with the apostolic miracles. “… though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him …” 1 Peter 1:8; 2 Corinth 12:12
Therefore I intend always to remind you of these qualities, though you know them and are established in the truth that you have. 13I think it right, as long as I am in this body, to stir you up by way of reminder, 14since I know that the putting off of my body will be soon, as our Lord Jesus Christ made clear to me. 15And I will make every effort so that after my departure you may be able at any time to recall these things. 16For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. 17For when he received honour and glory from God the Father, and the voice was borne to him by the Majestic Glory, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased,” 18we ourselves heard this very voice borne from heaven, for we were with him on the holy mountain. 19And we have the prophetic word more fully confirmed, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts, 20knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation. 21For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit. 2 Peter 1:12-21
· That miracles would be performed in the time of Jesus was prophesied. See Isaiah 29:18; 32:3-4; 35:5-6; 42:6-7,16.
· Therefore the fulfilment of those predictions should be expected, and we should not be surprised when they were witnessed in the 1st century. Matthew 11:4-6; 15:30-31; John 5:8-9; 9:1-12,17-33,39-41.
· The miracles were therefore not cleverly devised myths. 2 Peter 3:16.
· The apostles made these miracles known through their inspired New Testament writing. John 20:30-31
· “And I will make every effort so that after my departure you may be able at any time to recall these things.” 2 Peter 1:15.
· Because of the witnessing of Jesus’ miracles by the apostles, 2 Peter 1:16; because the apostles themselves used miraculous signs to confirm Jesus’ message, Mark 16:15-20; 2 Corinthians 12:12; and because of their recording, under inspiration what they witnessed, and performed, the New
Testament stands as a permanent and true record of the gospel and the confirming wonders and signs.