By Dennis and Rauni Higley
Former leaders and teachers in the Mormon church
H.I.S. Ministries International
Thank you for writing about The Chosen series. We are so pleased to see it. We hope you do not mind that we’ll suggest that all our warnings about The Chosen need to start from the beginning – i.e. from the Triune God!
Christians or Mormons who are somewhat familiar with the Book of Mormon think it is similar or closely related to what the Bible teaches about God, for it does teach that God is One and that He is Spirit. But when compared to today’s actual Mormon teachings about God and Jesus, they do not teach the same.
Mormons do not believe in the Trinity. They do not believe that Jesus is God, the Son (Matt. 1:23; John 1:1-3,14; 8:24), but instead they believe in three gods for this Earth (and multitudes of gods elsewhere), and they believe that their Jesus is just one son among many sons of their god, and that he was chosen (over Lucifer) to become a savior.
Only very few Mormons know either the Book of Mormon or the Bible but only trust and believe LDS teachings found in other Mormon “scriptures.”
There are many even practicing Mormons who do not know how huge the difference between Mormonism and biblical Christianity is and that it begins with who the real God is. Almost all Mormon converts come from various Christian denominations where they have not been taught who the Triune God is; and because Mormons use Christian terms and words, unsuspecting people investigating Mormonism assume that Mormons believe the same as what the words mean to them, not knowing that Mormons have given these words and terms a different meaning.
Likewise, pastors who have not studied in depth what Mormonism teaches about God (but only think they know because they have read the Book of Mormon) are as confused as are the Mormons for they assume that the God of Mormonism today is the same as what the Book of Mormon teaches about when it is not so!
The Book of Mormon is just a “fish-bait” to bring converts to Mormonism for it is looking and even sounding similar to the Bible but is totally “another.”) We have experienced during our 38-year ministry to Mormons (www.hismin.com ) that until a Mormon gets it that there was no preexistence of mankind, and that Jesus is not their spirit brother, or a brother of Lucifer either, they will continue to cleave to their false beliefs that they all are sons and daughters of God. They do not even begin to understand that until they know that Jesus is God (Matt. 1:23; John 8:24b) and that only God can forgive sins (Mark 2:7b). When we learn who the Triune God is, we learn that Jesus is God the Son who became a man. He is not a man who became a god, as all Mormons hope and believe that they too will become!
Mormons and others who have been attracted to Mormonism’s outward goodness are now (through The Chosen series) being assured that there is no real important differences since Dallas Jenkins, an evangelical Christian, says that the Mormon-Jesus is the same as the Jesus of the Bible. If that is true, then there is no reason to witness to Mormons! Why would any Mormon want to leave Mormonism if his Jesus is the same, and the Bible says that Jesus alone gives salvation!? (John 14:6; Acts 4:12)
If we do not begin our warning about The Chosen series by teaching who the Triune God of the Bible is and who the real Jesus Christ is (Matt. 1:18-23; John 1:1-3, 14:8:24b), people will accept and even share with others Mormon teachings about Jesus, and that will lead many more millions into hell.
We are seeing it here already. Even some former Mormons who had left it and become Christians are now starting to turn back to Mormonism—and why not if the Mormon Jesus and the biblical Jesus are the same; there was no need to leave their Mormon family and heritage after all.
But learning that “God” of Mormonism is not God of the Bible could awake them up! False God(s) or “another Jesus” cannot save anyone.
Reminder: Joseph Smith started his church (1830) with the Book of Mormon that teaches there is only One God who is Spirit and that Jesus is His Son. But it was 14 years after he had started his church, when he, in April of 1844, changed who his “God” is and said, “For I am going to tell you how God came to be a God. We have imagined and supposed that God was God from all eternity. I will refute that idea . . . God himself was once a man as we are now, and is an exalted man . . . you have got to learn how to be Gods yourselves . . . same as all Gods have done before you . . . ” (Teachings, pp, 345-346.)
Of course, the Mormon Church is thrilled by an announcement from “evangelical Christian, Dallas Jenkins” who says he believes in the same Jesus as Mormons do.
Question: Does Dallas Jenkins believe that “this same LDS Jesus” is also his spirit brother and that he, with all “his Mormon brothers and sisters,” grew up with him and them in the preexistence? Does he also believe that Jesus was not begotten by the Holy Ghost (as Mormonism teaches) and that Jesus was “begotten” in the flesh by their heavenly father (former mortal man) as the Mormon Church’s prophets teach about Jesus’ birth? (By the way, Dallas Jenkins is a son of a famous Christian author of Left Behind books and movies. This is perhaps one of the reasons why they approached Dallas to become their “salesman” for The Chosen?)
As former Mormons, we are devastated seeing how this movie is affecting Christians who now say, “there is no need to witness to Mormons since their Jesus is the same!” The Mormon Church, and Mormons in general, see The Chosen as a vessel that has brought them “to be nearly” accepted into Christianity by many famous pastors and leaders [such as Jack Hibbs, Greg Laurie, and Kirk Cameron].
We say all this because we believe these pastors and leaders, who proclaim to know who the real God, the Triune God, is, should withdraw their promotion of The Chosen videos, and of the entire “movement”; for this is leading so many away from God and toward eternal lostness. We say this also for those who do not know the Triune God of the Bible and pray they will start re-evaluating their beliefs!
Dennis and Rauni Higley are the authors of The Truth About Mormonism, a small book published by The Berean Call, which Lighthouse Trails now carries. The Higleys were both leaders in the Mormon Church prior to their conversion to the Jesus Christ of the Bible.
- Read Mike Oppenheimer’s booklet, Did Jesus Identify Himself as God? (read free online at: https://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog/?p=19180) and also Mike’s astounding book on the Trinity.
- The Chosen Exposen—The Full Documentary (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9LI484mywHU)
- Video Critique: The Chosen—Calling John the Baptist “Creepy John” and Jesus and John the Baptist Arguing About Herod
- Letter to the Editor: Former Mormon Distressed About Promotion of The Chosen by Prominent Figures Jack Hibbs and Kirk Cameron
- See Spiritual Research Network’s collection of information and resources on The Chosen series.
(photo from bigstockphoto.com; used with permission)
An update, I was forward information yesterday that I missed concerning my episode of Allie as it pertains to her prior episode with Lynn Wilder, an ex-Mormon Christian who is speaking out against Mormonism.
For reference, the link to Allie’s episode is at the end of this comment. Around the 49:29 mark in that episode, Lynn Wilder warns about Mormonism couched in Christian language within media and about The Chosen. Allie then mentions not too long after that how she had not watched the series.
So you can see how this is incredibly deceitful by Allie Beth Stuckey to then turn around in the very next episode with Dallas Jenkins and give a blanket statement of “Mormon theology is not influencing The Chosen, it is Scripture” after Lynn Wilder point blank gave her warning on the prior episode. This was deeply disrespectful to Lynn Wilder who took the time to appear on Relatable to provide clarity to Christians. The Christian community at large is going out of its way to dismiss and ignore their ex-Mormon Christian brothers and sisters.
I did a video on my YouTube channel about Allie Beth Stuckey’s interview with Dallas on the 12/19/22 Relatable episode. In the middle of the interview, Allie states “Mormon theology is not influencing The Chosen. It is Scripture.”
Apart from how blatently false her statement was, I cannot express my disgust at those who have painted themselves as Berean type Christians on YouTube who are largely ignoring the warnings from ex-Mormons that former Mormons are turning back to Mormonism because of the show in stark contrast to what Dallas says.
The Christian community has largely ignored them and they are helping people be comfortably entertained into Hell.
I am so saddened that Jack Hibbs does not or cannot see the danger and apostasy replete in The Chosen…I had to quit at the end of session 3…Really? this Jesus asking for input on his sermon on the mtn from Mathew? who is presented as a savant??? One of the christian ladies watching with me said that whenever she feels down or discouraged she watched The Chosen…I tried to lovingly say “Why are you looking at man’s creation, instead of going into the book of Psalms, Proverbs, the Gospel of John?” For years, I have had concerns about Greg Laurie…I remember His Jones Beach NY concert; the music seemed to be the main offering, not biblical teaching…The “musicians” pranced around the stage in tattered, crazy black clothing and it was all so sad. I couldn’t image Jesus there AT ALL…He came to rescue us and pull us out of this sinful world/environment —-yet Pastors are bringing in worldly teachings, keeping their church members ignorant by preaching the Good News as missionary works, and being silent on a solid disciple making program with seasoned christians teaching the newer converts…music at ear shattering volumes; to work up the crowd… their answer? use the ear plugs we have in the entrance hall…Many songs use repetition to work up the crowd to “feel” holy…One person I know in music ministry looks at the number of hands raised to indicate how successful that song is/was…shear lunacy, and yet, I could cry. I avoid the “worship” times at all the churches I have attended over the years (was in the military), and I come in for the teaching, which more often than not, is simply pablum to keep the christian sitting in the pew ignorant of the wonders and glory of Him…Stay away from the Chosen; a challenge today in these end of the End Times is to recognize the deceptive practices of the satan—he was a liar from the beginning and if people knew their bibles they would NOT be watching the Chosen.
Wow! I watched 2 episodes and the Holy Spirit convicted me it was lies. I never watched it again. I did not know Hibbs and Kirk were promoting it!!!
I recommend The Jesus Film Project to those who want to watch a portrayal of the life of Christ.
Jesus said of John the Baptist…. I tell you, among those born of women , there is not a prophet greater…
This is so concerning, because for so many this show will be the only source of information that they will learn as their Biblical theology. Many will never crack open a Bible to see if the things in this show are the truth. I am a former Catholic, and just like the Catholics the Mormons teach a different Jesus. It really upsets me when true Bible believing Christians line themselves up with false teachers.
It looks like the majority of that response from Jack Hibbs/his team was copied and pasted from GotQuestions.org.
The entire response from Jack Hibbs’ team is (for lack of a better description) bipolar. It literally swings from one side to the other and back again. It doesn’t even make sense and is, indeed, troubling.
Lighthouse Trails Editors
Sharon, however, Satan comes as an angel of light. It would make sense that our adversary (the devil) would use something seemingly good and “positive” in a time of such darkness throughout the world to deceive the masses. And we must not forget that the Bible frequently warns about deception as well as false christs. We will be addressing Jack Hibbs’ team’s letter soon because it concerns us deeply.
Millions of people watch TV shows with violence, language, sex, etc. I know my Lord and am not deceived by Mormon theology. The Chosen is a much better choice than the previously mentioned options. I agree the doctrinal differences should be addressed and what better platform than watching The Chosen to open up conversations with your family. I agree with Jack’s Team. Use discretion and listen to The Spirit’s leading.
Lighthouse Trails Editors
Thank you for posting this Jamie. Here is the full response from Jack Hibbs and his ministry team regarding The Chosen. This was emailed to another person in response to concerns:
he Chosen is television show about the life of Christ. Season 1, released in 2019 (with a pilot episode on the birth of Christ released in 2017), garnered attention for several reasons: it is the first TV show of its kind, presenting the life of Christ over multiple seasons (it plans seven seasons total); it was crowd-funded, bringing in more donations (over $11 million).
The show’s creator, Dallas Jenkins (son of Left Behind co-author Jerry Jenkins), has a degree” in Biblical Studies. In creating the show, Jenkins put together a panel of “expert consultants” to ensure biblical and historical accuracy in the script he was co-writing for the show. On the panel were a Messianic Jewish rabbi, a Catholic priest, and an evangelical professor of biblical studies. This is part of the problem with the series!
Jenkins’ goal in creating the show was to help people know Jesus better and love Scripture more. To reach that goal, he and the other scriptwriters took the gospel accounts and added plausible details about the lives of the biblical figures found there. They added backstories to well-known characters and fleshed out other characters who might receive only a passing mention in Scripture.
As with all storytelling based on historical events. some artistic license is evident and when it comes to the word it needs to be spot on 100% In telling the gospel accounts, remember a little levin, leavins the whole lump as the writers have inserted or modified some characters, storylines, and details of the inspired original. No one is claiming that the show is God’s Word and that too is a problem! The Bible, is the Bible they have stated license is acceptable which is unacceptable especially for believers who know the truth and those who don’t are lured in.
We have great concern that members of the Mormon Church are involved in the production of The Chosen and that resources owned by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are used to film the show. In fact, the distributer of the show, VidAngel, was founded by two Mormons. Also of concern are some statements made by Dallas Jenkins that seem to embrace Mormons as his brothers and sisters in Christ. Are these concerns enough to keep us from viewing The Chosen? We need to really ask; “Is this a Mormon show?” Anything unique to Mormon doctrine, or Catholic, is suspect.
The show’s evangelical creators still retain full control over the content of the show. As long as that doesn’t change, and The Chosen keeps producing a faithful retelling of the life of Christ, all is well. If elements of Mormon (or Catholic) theology begin creeping into the show itself, then they will have betrayed their viewers and the truth of the gospel. Until that time, watching The Chosen is a matter of conscience. Some Christians will appreciate the retelling of Jesus’ life. Others will balk at the involvement of Mormons, even if Mormon theology is not promoted on the show. “Each of them should be fully convinced in their own mind” (Romans 14:5). If it betrays any portion of the true word of God, it should be label as such. Anything else is deceptive. We know the author of deception.
Trusting in Him,
Your Real Life Ministry Team
jamie in Illinois
PS, if you guys would like the full reply, let me know. No doubt Pastor Jack didn’t write the reply to my friend but his “team”. At any rate….
jamie in Illinois
I could not put the total reply from Hibbs in here, there was not space. But this is the last two paragraphs of their reply to a friend who wrote to him. Truth mixed with error (artistic license) is all error, in Charles Spurgeons humble opinion!
We have great concern that members of the Mormon Church are involved in the production of The Chosen and that resources owned by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are used to film the show. In fact, the distributer of the show, VidAngel, was founded by two Mormons. Also of concern are some statements made by Dallas Jenkins that seem to embrace Mormons as his brothers and sisters in Christ. Are these concerns enough to keep us from viewing The Chosen? We need to really ask; ”Is this a Mormon show?” Anything unique to Mormon doctrine, or Catholic, is suspect.
The show’s evangelical creators still retain full control over the content of the show. As long as that doesn’t change, and The Chosen keeps producing a faithful retelling of the life of Christ, all is well. If elements of Mormon (or Catholic) theology begin creeping into the show itself, then they will have betrayed their viewers and the truth of the gospel. Until that time, watching The Chosen is a matter of conscience. Some Christians will appreciate the retelling of Jesus’ life. Others will balk at the involvement of Mormons, even if Mormon theology is not promoted on the show. ”Each of them should be fully convinced in their own mind” (Romans 14:5). If it betrays any portion of the true word of God, it should be label as such. Anything else is deceptive. We know the author of deception.
Trusting in Him,
Your Real Life Ministry Team