Most of these quotes are from the Old Testament. Their specific accuracy cannot be verified, especially regarding some of the controversial descriptions. In addition, The CES Letter ignores many evidences of God’s lovingkindness and longsuffering toward His children.
- Nephi explained:
Wherefore, thou seest that after the book hath gone forth through the hands of the great and abominable church, that there are many plain and precious things taken away from the book, which is the book of the Lamb of God.
And after these plain and precious things were taken away it goeth forth unto all the nations of the Gentiles; and after it goeth forth unto all the nations of the Gentiles, yea, even across the many waters which thou hast seen with the Gentiles which have gone forth out of captivity, thou seest--because of the many plain and precious things which have been taken out of the book, which were plain unto the understanding of the children of men, according to the plainness which is in the Lamb of God--because of these things which are taken away out of the gospel of the Lamb, an exceedingly great many do stumble, yea, insomuch that Satan hath great power over them. (1 Nephi 13:28-29.)
- The CES Letter ignores that the God of the Old Testament is a loving God whose hand was “stretched out” to unbelievers for extended periods of time. (See Isaiah 9:12,17, 21, 10:4.)
- Isaiah wrote: “I will mention the lovingkindnesses of the Lord, and the praises of the Lord, according to all that the Lord hath bestowed on us, and the great goodness toward the house of Israel, which he hath bestowed on them according to his mercies, and according to the multitude of his lovingkindnesses” (Isaiah 63:7.)
- It is true that God does not tolerate willful rebellion against Him and His word. Book of Mormon prophet Alma instructed: “Thus saith the Lord God--Cursed shall be the land, yea, this land, unto every nation, kindred, tongue, and people, unto destruction, which do wickedly, when they are fully ripe; and as I have said so shall it be; for this is the cursing and the blessing of God upon the land, for the Lord cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance” (Alma 45:16).
- Joseph Smith taught: “Our heavenly Father is more liberal in His views, and boundless in His mercies and blessings, than we are ready to believe or receive; and, at the same time, is more terrible to the workers of iniquity, more awful in the executions of His punishments, and more ready to detect every false way, than we are apt to suppose.” (TPJS 257).
- The list in The CES Letter seems more like a rant than a sincere inquiry into the nature of God: “A god who endorsed murder, genocide, infanticide, rape, slavery, selling daughters into sex slavery, polygamy, child abuse, stoning disobedient children, pillage, plunder, sexism, racism, human sacrifice, animal sacrifice, killing people who work on the Sabbath, death penalty for those who mix cotton with polyester, and so on.”
- The documentary hypothesis supports that the original texts have undergone redactions and modifications. One theory proposes four contributing texts with editorial changes.