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Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is One Lord

This morning I started out thinking I was going to write about something else, something completely unrelated to Mormonism, but as soon as I started to prepare my notes they began to go in a completely different direction. This isn’t really about Mormonism, but it’s related, so I felt this was still an appropriate venue for this subject. It’s about Monotheism and the deity of Jesus Christ and I am only going to post 3 key verses of scripture from the New Testament that relate to the first of all commandments: 

Hear O Israel: The LORD our God is One LORD. (Deu 6:4)

I’ve written on this subject before, but I really don’t think this can be stressed too much, especially as it relates to Mormon Doctrine concerning the Godhead.

One God One Lord 4

I have colored the words in the verses, in the image above, to correspond to the Greek and Hebrew words being used in each verse, so we can look at how they related to each other. These passages tell us:

The Lord (Jehovah) our God (Elohim) is one Lord (Jehovah)!

Thou shalt worship the Lord (Jehovah) thy God (Elohim), and him only shalt thou serve!

To us there is ONE GOD (Elohim), the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and ONE LORD (Jehovah) Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.

So what does all of this mean?

Jesus Christ is LORD!

He is the manifestation of God in the flesh: Emmanuel, God with us.

God (Yahweh/Jehovah) Himself is the REDEEMER/SAVIOUR of His people. (Isa 43:10-12; Isa 45:20-21; Hos 13:4)

Mankind is redeemed/saved from sin and death by the Spirit of God that dwells IN THEM, of which Jesus serves as the perfect pattern and our blessed assurance.

He is the pattern Son and the one into whose image we are to be conformed as sons of God and joint-heirs with Christ.

He is the Head of a many-membered body.

This is why all power and authority was given TO HIM; why all things were put into HIS HANDS; why the Spirit was given TO HIM WITHOUT MEASURE; why He had the power to lay down His own life and take it up again; why He has preeminence over ALL MEN, being THE HEAD of the body of Christ, whose Head is God; why we are called by HIS NAME, just as He is called by the Father’s name.

The Gospel of Jesus Christ is not just about one individual man named Jesus, though in all things He will always have the preeminence. It is about the ONE NEW MAN “created” IN CHRIST, the only begotten Son of God. It is about one Son bringing many sons to glory, as the captain of their salvation.

This is why we are to know NO MAN after the flesh, not even Christ. We are to see ALL MEN as ONE MAN through Christ Jesus! We are to see ALL MEN as GOD’S ONLY BEGOTTEN SON… ONE MAN: ONE HEAD, ONE (many-membered) BODY. One man whose Head is God: the ONE God and Father of all.

We are ONE, just as they are ONE, because we are all joined together by ONE SPIRIT, which is THE SPIRIT OF GOD.

God is Spirit! And that which is born of the Spirit is spirit!

We are God’s offspring and because we are united in, by and through the ONE SPIRIT that IS GOD there can be ONLY UNITY in the Kingdom of God, where God is ALL IN ALL.

We are ONE! One with God and one with each other!

I wanted to keep this as simple as possible, trying to stick with just the three passages of scripture highlighted in the image. However, the temptation is to list every verse that immediately comes to mind with regard to this topic, so I did end up going beyond the three I wanted to focus on, though I did curb my desire to add so much more.

I also had to fight the temptation to make this all about Mormon Doctrine, in particular, though this is a blog dedicated to Mormon topics. This topic, however, reaches beyond Mormonism, as I believe so much is missed (by Mormons, by Jehovah’s Witnesses, by anyone else with an incorrect understanding of the Godhead) when we do not fully understand who Jesus Christ is as the mediator between God and man. If we do not properly understand their oneness, we cannot possibly understand our own.

Let God be true, but every man a liar…

 

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Posted by on July 18, 2017 in Godhead, Sons

 

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Terryl Givens on Mormon Universalism

Mormon UniversalismI came across another article on “Mormon Universalism.” I have not listened to the interview yet, and maybe I should before I comment, but I don’t have the time right now and I think there is enough in the article to comment on without hearing the interview.

I will grant Mr. Givens that Mormonism is very inclusive when it comes to salvation, much more so than traditional/mainstream Christianity, but let’s not lose sight of the fact that even Mr. Givens has to exclude the “Universalist Unitarians,” by which I think he probably means the Christian Universalists, since he was speaking of “the Christian world.” Let’s also not lose sight of the fact that salvation as defined by Mormonism is not the same as salvation defined by the traditional view of Christianity. In Mormonism “all are saved” based solely on the fact that all receive immortality through the resurrection of the dead, whether they are subsequently damned (sent to outer darkness or obtain a lesser degree of glory) or not. Either way you look at it, though, there is no true “universalism” in Mormonism.

Mr. Givens also makes some very false claims about the universalism that existed in Joseph Smith’s day, particularly Christian Universalism (which goes all the way back to the first century and the gospel preached by the Apostles and Disciples of Jesus Christ). Anyone who has ever read the writings of the Universalist preachers of that time (look them up, many of them are available for free on the internet) can tell you that it is an absolute falsification of the truth to claim that “they didn’t know how to reconcile the need for a Savior with that desire to universalize salvation,” until Joseph Smith conveniently came along, after receiving a vision, and provided those answers.

There was and is absolutely no uncertainty whatsoever as to how God provided for the salvation of all men among those who are Christian Universalists. His name is Jesus Christ. And if God actually did provide for the salvation of all men through the gospel of Jesus Christ, as He did, then Mormonism is proven false, categorically; as it denies (among many other things) the FULL salvation of ALL men.

While it certainly would be nice to see Mormonism get out of the “only true church” business, that is only the tip of the iceberg that is Mormonism. That they are more inclusive than traditional Christianity, in the sense that they do not damn most of humanity to endless torment in hell, is a good thing; but it doesn’t make up for everything else Mormon doctrine lacks. Truth.

It’s not even, truly, all inclusive.

But the true gospel of Jesus Christ is!

P.S.  For another interesting take on Mormon Universalism you can check out this website.

 
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Posted by on July 16, 2017 in Mormonism

 

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Mormonism and Universalism

punish1I was looking into the connections between Mormonism and Universalism, again, and happened across this blog which speaks of “a universali[s]m that existed in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries” in the LDS Church, which this member seems to believe has gotten, at least somewhat, lost in current years. I’m not sure how lost it is, as many members of the LDS Church, even today, will be quick to point out that, according to LDS Doctrine, salvation is “universal” in its scope. What they mean by that, however, is something very different from true Christian Universalism, as they only mean that all men will be resurrected from the dead, to immortality. They do not mean that all men will return to the Father or even that all men will enter into any of the various “degrees of glory,” as taught in LDS Doctrine.

That said, some of the quotes provided do seem to allow for the possibility of movement between these degrees of glory, by way of “eternal progression,” and that would seem to allow for someone to receive a greater degree of glory over time. I think this is something which current Mormons do still allow for, at least as a possibility, even if they cannot explain how that might look in practice, especially as it might relate to the highest degree of glory, for which there are certain requirements that must first be met, including the everlasting covenant of marriage.

But, as to the quotes provided, saying that truth can be found in all places, inside or outside of the church, among both believers and non-believers (as any Christian, LDS or not, would allow for), is not the same thing as teaching true “Universalism,” the belief that salvation will come to all men and all men will be united with God, the Father.  So I don’t see “Universalism” being the message of most of those quotes, though a couple of them do seem to speak to that possibility, even if not the guarantee, especially as it relates to “eternal progression” (and not just the fact that all men will be “resurrected from the dead” to a state of immortality). It’s not clear that such pertains to those who are termed “sons of perdition,” however.

But there can be no doubt that Joseph Smith and, therefore, Mormon Doctrine was heavily influenced by Universalism or the Universalist beliefs of Joseph Smith’s father and grandfather. Anyone familiar with Universalist arguments will immediately recognize the argument made in D&C 19 with regard to “eternal punishment,” etc., as a Universalist argument. The only problem is that D&C 19, while true when applied to the Bible, is not true when applied to the Book of Mormon because in the Book of Mormon it is written that there shall be “no end” to this torment – quite unequivocally.

So we have the expression “endless torment”, which is made in relation to the punishment of the wicked/unrepentant and another way to say “endless torment” would be “torment that has no end”.

However, in D&C 19 we read: “it is not written that there shall be no end to this torment” and if it is not written that there shall be “no end” to this torment then there must need be AN END.

In D&C 19, Joseph Smith seems to be explaining why something that is called “endless” HAS AN END !!

He explains that it is not “endless torment” (or “endless punishment”) because it “has no end” but because this torment/punishment comes from the hand of God, whose NAME is ENDLESS (and ETERNAL)

Therefore ETERNAL PUNISHMENT = GOD’S PUNISHMENT

And ENDLESS PUNISHMENT = GOD’S PUNISHMENT

Signifying from whom it comes, not how long it lasts.

I would have absolutely no problem with this IF, in fact, it wasn’t written that “there is no end” to the punishment/torment of the wicked. The problem is that it is written, at least in the Book of Mormon.

In the Book of Mormon we find many references to “that hell which has no end.”  to those who “cannot be saved,” to that which says: “the final state of the souls of men is to dwell in the kingdom of God, or to be cast out,” to those who are “cast off forever,” where they are “destroyed forever,” from where there is “no deliverance,”  to “a flaming fire, which ascendeth up unto God forever and ever, and hath no end,” wherein the wicked will be “miserable forever” (you get the picture).

None of that sounds to me like torment/punishment that has “no end.” And we can’t blame it on “translation errors,” like we could if we were discussing the Bible which was actually translated by fallible men, since the BoM, we are to believe, was not translated but was simply transcribed by Joseph Smith directly into English as dictated by God himself.

And the fact that there are so many references to the fate of the wicked, which is clearly said to have “no end” (in more ways than one), completely disproves the statement that “it is not written that there is no end to this torment” (even if, in fact, this could be proven to be true by addressing translation or interpretation error in the Bible).

It IS written that there is NO END (no redemption, no salvation, no deliverance, no end to the misery) of the wicked MANY TIMES, in MANY WAYS throughout the Book of Mormon.

And I certainly don’t know how else you can understand the statement “it is not written that there is no end to this torment.” The fact remains that it is written, but only in the book produced by Joseph Smith. It is not written in the Bible.

Here are just a few references:

2 Nephi 1:17  My heart hath been weighed down with sorrow from time to time, for I have feared, lest for the hardness of your hearts the Lord your God should come out in the fulness of his wrath upon you, that ye be cut off and destroyed forever;

2 Nephi 2: 5  And men are instructed sufficiently that they know good from evil. And the law is given unto men. And by the law no flesh is justified; or, by the law men are cut off. Yea, by the temporal law they were cut off; and also, by the spiritual law they perish from that which is good, and become miserable forever.

2 Nephi 2: 28-29  And now, my sons, I would that ye should look to the great Mediator, and hearken unto his great commandments; and be faithful unto his words, and choose eternal life, according to the will of his Holy Spirit; And not choose eternal death, according to the will of the flesh and the evil which is therein, which giveth the spirit of the devil power to captivate, to bring you down to hell, that he may reign over you in his own kingdom.

Note that if “eternal life” is that life which comes from God who is “eternal” and “eternal punishment” is that punishment which comes from God who is “eternal,” then by the same token this passage attribute “death” to God.  Note also that this is not an expression one will ever find in the Bible.

2 Nephi 9:16-24 And assuredly, as the Lord liveth, for the Lord God hath spoken it, and it is his eternal word, which cannot pass away, that they who are righteous shall be righteous still, and they who are filthy shall be filthy still; wherefore, they who are filthy are the devil and his angels; and they shall go away into everlasting fire, prepared for them; and their torment is as a lake of fire and brimstone, whose flame scendeth up forever and ever and has no end. O the greatness and the justice of our God! For he executeth all his words, and they have gone forth out of his mouth, and his law must be fulfilled. But, behold, the righteous, the saints of the Holy One of Israel, they who have believed in the Holy One of Israel, they who have endured the crosses of the world, and despised the shame of it, they shall inherit the kingdom of God, which was prepared for them from the foundation of the world, and their joy shall be full forever.  O the greatness of the mercy of our God, the Holy One of Israel! For he delivereth his saints from that awful monster the devil, and death, and hell, and that lake of fire and brimstone, which is endless torment. O how great the holiness of our God! For he knoweth call things, and there is not anything save he knows it. And he cometh into the world that he may save all men if they will hearken unto his voice; for behold, he suffereth the pains of all men, yea, the pains of every living creature, both men, women, and children, who belong to the family of Adam. And he suffereth this that the resurrection might pass upon all men, that all might stand before him at the great and judgment day. And he commandeth all men that they must repent, and be baptized in his name, having perfect faith in the Holy One of Israel, or they cannot be saved in the kingdom of God. And if they will not repent and believe in his name, and be baptized in his name, and endure to the end, they must be damned; for the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, has spoken it.

2 Nephi 28:22-24   And behold, others he flattereth away, and telleth them there is no hell; and he saith unto them: I am no devil, for there is none—and thus he whispereth in their ears, until he grasps them with his awful chains, from whence there is no deliverance. Yea, they are grasped with death, and hell; and death, and hell, and the devil, and all that have been seized therewith must stand before the throne of God, and be judged according to their works, from whence they must go into the place prepared for them, even a lake of fire and brimstone, which is endless torment. Therefore, wo be unto him that is at ease in Zion!

While Joseph Smith was clearly influenced by and even incorporated, in some sense, “Universalism” into his doctrines, there also seems to be quite a bit in the Book of Mormon that seems like a deliberate attempt to refute that same doctrine. It’s quite the paradox, so just one more place where Mormon Doctrine seems to fall apart.

 
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Posted by on July 16, 2017 in Book of Mormon, Hell, Mormonism

 

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Baptism in the Book of Mormon

… it is solemn mockery before God, that ye should baptize little children.

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Moroni

Chapter 8

8 Listen to the words of Christ, your Redeemer, your Lord and your God. Behold, I came into the world not to call the righteous but sinners to repentance; the whole need no physician, but they that are sick; wherefore, little children are whole, for they are not capable of committing sin; wherefore the curse of Adam is taken from them in me, that it hath no power over them; and the law of circumcision is done away in me.

9 And after this manner did the Holy Ghost manifest the word of God unto me; wherefore, my beloved son, I know that it is solemn mockery before God, that ye should baptize little children.

10 Behold I say unto you that this thing shall ye teach—repentance and baptism unto those who are accountable and capable of committing sin; yea, teach parents that they must repent and be baptized, and humble themselves as their little children, and they shall all be saved with their little children.

11 And their little children need no repentance, neither baptism. Behold, baptism is unto repentance to the fulfilling the commandments unto the remission of sins.

12 But little children are alive in Christ, even from the foundation of the world; if not so, God is a partial God, and also a changeable God, and a respecter to persons; for how many little children have died without baptism!

13 Wherefore, if little children could not be saved without baptism, these must have gone to an endless hell.

14 Behold I say unto you, that he that supposeth that little children need baptism is in the gall of bitterness and in the bonds of iniquity; for he hath neither faith, hope, nor charity; wherefore, should he be cut off while in the thought, he must go down to hell.

15 For awful is the wickedness to suppose that God saveth one child because of baptism, and the other must perish because he hath no baptism.

16 Wo be unto them that shall pervert the ways of the Lord after this manner, for they shall perish except they repent. Behold, I speak with boldness, having authority from God; and I fear not what man can do; for perfect love casteth out all fear.

17 And I am filled with charity, which is everlasting love; wherefore, all children are alike unto me; wherefore, I love little children with a perfect love; and they are all alike and partakers of salvation.

18 For I know that God is not a partial God, neither a changeable being; but he is unchangeable from all eternity to all eternity.

19 Little children cannot repent; wherefore, it is awful wickedness to deny the pure mercies of God unto them, for they are all alive in him because of his mercy.

20 And he that saith that little children need baptism denieth the mercies of Christ, and setteth at naught the atonement of him and the power of his redemption.

21 Wo unto such, for they are in danger of death, hell, and an endless torment. I speak it boldly; God hath commanded me. Listen unto them and give heed, or they stand against you at the judgment-seat of Christ.

22 For behold that all little children are alive in Christ, and also all they that are without the law. For the power of redemption cometh on all them that have no law; wherefore, he that is not condemned, or he that is under no condemnation, cannot repent; and unto such baptism availeth nothing—

23 But it is mockery before God, denying the mercies of Christ, and the power of his Holy Spirit, and putting trust in dead works.

 

Questions:

  1. If saving one child because he was baptized and not saving another because he was not baptized makes God “a partial God” and “a respecter of persons,” why cannot the same be said of God when it comes to adults, where He (according to the LDS) requires the baptism of all, which is why the LDS Church teaches the need for vicarious baptism for the unbaptized dead? Saving an unbaptized child, but not an unbaptized adult doesn’t make a God a partial God or a respecter of persons?
  2. Since the LDS Church does teach the need for baptism and does practice baptism for the dead, why would there even be any concern for children who died without baptism, since those ordinances need not be performed before death by anyone – in fact, for most, will not be? Wouldn’t baptism for the dead rectify the problem just as easily for unbaptized children as it does for unbaptized adults?
  3. Why does Moroni 8:13 claim that if baptism were necessary for the salvation of little children that those who had not been baptized would, necessarily, have gone straight to hell? In other words, why do the Book of Mormon Prophets know nothing of baptism for the dead?
  4. If little children are completely innocent and unable to sin, why does saying that they do need to be baptizes “set at naught the atonement of him and the power of his redemption,” since they have no sin that needs to be covered by the atonement? (This passage doesn’t seem to suggest that they are without sin because of the atonement but because little children have never been capable of sinning.)
  5. Who are those “without the law,” for which baptism also avails nothing, but is considered “dead works,” given the LDS teaching on the necessity of baptism for all over the age of 8 and their practice of baptism for the dead? Again, why does the Book of Mormon seem to not know anything about the LDS gospel doctrine of baptism for the dead?

 

Just some things I was thinking about today when looking at this passage in the Book of Mormon on baptism…

 

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AFTER THIS THE JUDGMENT

Heb927_short.png

Alma 12:27 “… it was appointed unto men that they must die; and after death, they must come to judgment, even that same judgment of which we have spoken, which is the end.”

This seems to be a clear reference to Heb 9:27 “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:”

The problem with this is that this verse from the Book of Mormon actually supports an incorrect, though very common, misinterpretation of Heb 9:27.

Most of the time when people quote Heb 9:27, that is all they quote – that one verse. And they do just as is done in the Book of Mormon, they leave out the “as” and simply make it a declarative statement; “IT IS appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.” That certainly does make it sound like men die and after their death they face judgment. And it is exactly how most Christians use this verse and seems to be exactly how it was being used in the Book of Mormon. But if we take the time to read the whole passage and put verse 27 back into its proper context, we can see that this is not what this passage is talking about at all.

This passage is talking about the death of one man, Christ, and the judgment (upon all men) that follows HIS DEATH. Let’s take a look:

Heb 9:23-28 It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. For CHRIST is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us: Nor yet that HE should OFFER HIMSELF often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others; For then must HE often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but NOW ONCE in the end of the world HATH HE APPEARED to put away sin by the sacrifice OF HIMSELF. And (((AS IT IS APPOINTED UNTO MEN))) ONCE TO DIE, but AFTER THIS THE JUDGMENT: So CHRIST WAS ONCE OFFERED to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him SHALL HE APPEAR THE SECOND TIME without sin UNTO SALVATION.

Yes, it is appointed unto all men that they shall die. But this passage is not talking about the deaths of all men, it is talking about the death of Christ and that which followed His death, which is judgment.

This world is judged by the cross of Christ, by His death. For He came into the world, coming unto His own, and the world received Him not.

Joh 1:10-11 He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and THE WORLD KNEW HIM NOT. He came unto his own, and HIS OWN RECEIVED HIM NOT.

Jesus himself told them:

Joh 12:30-31 Jesus answered and said, This voice came not because of me, but for your sakes. NOW IS THE JUDGMENT OF THIS WORLD: NOW SHALL THE PRINCE OF THIS WORLD BE CAST OUT.

And when did He say this? Wasn’t it right before he went to the cross?

And what was to followed His death?

Joh 16:5-11 But NOW I GO MY WAY TO HIM THAT SENT ME; and none of you asketh me, Whither goest thou? But because I have said these things unto you, sorrow hath filled your heart. Nevertheless I tell you the truth; IT IS EXPEDIENT FOR YOU THAT I GO AWAY: FOR IF I GO NOT AWAY, THE COMFORTER WILL NOT COME UNTO YOU; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. And WHEN HE IS COME, HE WILL REPROVE THE WORLD OF SIN, and OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, and OF JUDGMENT: Of sin, BECAUSE THEY BELIEVE NOT ON ME; Of righteousness, BECAUSE I GO TO MY FATHER, AND YE SEE ME NO MORE; Of judgment, BECAUSE THE PRINCE OF THIS WORLD IS JUDGED.

Jesus said:

Joh 9:39 And Jesus said, FOR JUDGMENT I AM COME INTO THIS WORLD, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind.

Jesus even told them that the time of harvest had come!

Joh 4:34-38 Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and TO FINISH HIS WORK. Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? BEHOLD, I SAY UNTO YOU, LIFT UP YOUR EYES, AND LOOK ON THE FIELDS; for THEY ARE WHITE ALREADY TO HARVEST. And HE THAT REAPETH RECEIVETH WAGES, AND GATHERETH FRUIT UNTO LIFE ETERNAL: that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together. And herein is that saying true, ONE SOWETH, AND ANOTHER REAPETH. I SENT YOU TO REAP that whereon ye bestowed NO LABOUR: OTHER MEN LABOURED, and YE ARE ENTERING INTO THEIR LABOURS.

Surely the “other men” who had already been laboring in the field were the Prophets who sowed the seed, which is the word of God! (Luke 8:11) And now the Apostles would be sent to reap, to harvest the field!!

Have you ever notices that Jesus said that THE REAPERS “are” THE ANGELS?

Mat 13:37-43 He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man; The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one; The enemy that sowed them is the devil; THE HARVEST IS THE END OF THE WORLD; AND THE REAPERS ARE THE ANGELS. As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world. THE SON OF MAN SHALL SEND FORTH HIS ANGELS, AND THEY SHALL GATHER OUT OF HIS KINGDOM ALL THINGS THAT OFFEND, and them which do iniquity; And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. THEN SHALL THE RIGHTEOUSNESS SHINE FORTH AS THE SUN IN THE KINGDOM OF THEIR FATHER. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.

Did you notice that this all happens “at the end of the world”? Let’s go back to verse 26 of Heb 9:

Heb 9:26 For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: BUT NOW ONCE IN THE END OF THE WORLD HATH HE APPEARED TO PUT AWAY SIN BY THE SACRIFICE OF HIMSELF.

And Jesus told His disciples: “I SENT YOU TO REAP!”

Do you have the ears to hear?

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints claims to be the only true Church of Jesus Christ in this world. They claim to be led by modern-day Prophets and Apostles, who are the ones chosen by God to lead His Church. But do they teach these things?

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints claims that the Book of Mormon is “another testament of Jesus Christ,” that it “contains the fullness of the gospel.” Does it contain these things?

Of the Book Mormon, Joseph Smith said: “I told the brethren that the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book.” (History of the Church, 4:461.)

The LDS Church confirms: ““The most correct of any book on earth” was a bold statement to make in Joseph Smith’s day, let alone in our day of sophisticated publication. The statement is still applicable, for the Lord has never rescinded it nor cast doubt upon it.”

Though the LDS may believe it, this bold declaration is as false as it is bold. Presented here is just one of the many flaws the book contains, proving to all who are capable of discerning the truth that the Book of Mormon is not the word of God, but the words of a man (or men) who were not as acquainted with God or His Word as they pretended.

May the Lord open the eyes and the ears of those who believe the false doctrines of the LDS Church, so they can come to the Truth and see who Jesus Christ really is.

 

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The Book of Abraham

BoAWell, It’s been many years since I’ve read the Book of Abraham (BoA). Many years. In fact, I guess I had completely forgotten about all the references to “the Gods.” So much so that it was almost like I had never read it before at all. I just kept thinking to myself:

How in the world did this ever sit right with you?

How in the world did this not ever raise a single red flag?

What in the world were you thinking?

Were you thinking??

I not only wept, I began to feel physically ill. The only answer: I was raised in the church by my parents. My only consolation: I never gained a testimony of Joseph Smith or the LDS Church. Which only begged one more question:

Why did it take you so long to leave? 

I don’t know the answer to that question, but I trust the Lord does. And I trust that every part of my journey, even that which took me to and through and out of the LDS Church is what makes me who I am today and is exactly what prepared me for the relationship with Christ that I now have.

MY THOUGHTS ON THE BOOK

Besides the fact that it’s clearly polytheistic, with all its references to the Gods and counsels of the Gods, albeit with one God who is more intelligent than all the rest, to me it shows a clear lack of spiritual insight in several places and a few oddities.

I’ll start with the oddities:

1. Abraham is Abraham throughout and never mentions God changing his name from Abram to Abraham.

2. Abraham calls his wife Sarai throughout, never referring to her as Sarah, nor ever mentioning that her name was changed from Sarai to Sarah.

3. Abraham takes credit for seeing that he needed to leave the home of his father, wherein he sought the Lord, rather than the Lord seeking him.

4. Abraham claims to be a High Priest, which he claims is a right that belongs to the firstborn, even all the way back to the first man – Adam. (Several references to the Priesthood, but I don’t even want to get into that, though I will be coming back to the right or blessing of the firstborn and the claim that it belonged even to “the first man, Adam.”)

5. The text itself claims that the hieroglyphics that accompany the BoA were provided by Abraham himself, despite the fact that we now know that these Egyptian papyrus have nothing at all to do with Abraham.

6. Abraham claims that the Lord told him to tell the Egyptians that Sarai was his sister, rather than his wife.

7. Abraham claims to have had the Urim and Thummim. (Not really going to discuss this either, but it’s certainly worth noting, as this was part of the garment of the High Priest under the Law of Moses. I guess Abraham has it because he claims to be a High Priest.)

8. Abraham is shown the sun and the moon and the stars, etc, and told all about Kolob, the star nearest to the throne of God and is told how the Lord’s time is reckoned differently – “according to the reckoning of Kolob,” – which is one day being one thousand years.

9. Abraham claims that “the Gods” all came together to organize the world, etc, etc, etc… the Gods, the Gods, the Gods….

10. Abraham claims that time here was originally reckoned according to the Lord’s time or the time of Kolob (one day = one thousand years). I assume that is to account the fact that Adam was supposed to die “in the day” that he partook of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil… and he lived for 930 years. We are not told how or when or why time ceased to be reckoned according to the time of Kolob.

I’m not sure all of these things require explanations for why they are listed. I think it’s probably obvious to anyone who is familiar with the Bible why some of these things made my list. They contradict the Biblical record outright or they can, in no way, be supported by the Biblical record.

Now for the lack of spiritual insight:

1. The blessing or birthright of the firstborn: while it is true that the Bible also speaks of the blessing or the birthright of the firstborn, it must have escaped Joseph Smith’s attention that when it comes to spiritual blessings the “firstborn” is the firstborn of God, not the firstborn of man. We see this pattern repeated over and over again in the OT where the firstborn son, according to the natural order, doesn’t receive the father’s blessing. It goes to a younger child, who serves as a figure for the second man or the Last Adam. This is the reason Ishmael had to be born before Isaac, the child of promise through whom the Promised Seed was to come.

2. Adam serves as a figure of Him who was to come. And he also serves as figure for all mankind and the process by which man is being “created in the image of God” – that image being seen/found in “the Last Adam,” into whose image we are being conformed. And what we see in Gen 2 is not God placing the pre-existent spirit of Adam into a body created for Adam to house that spirit, we see God sending forth “His Spirit” (the breathe OF LIFE) into a man He “first formed” out of the dust of the ground, who is not “created in the image of God” until God “sends forth His spirit” and “reneweth the face of the earth.” (See Psa 102:18 and 104:30 and Isa 48:7.)

3. If Joseph Smith understood the true meaning of a thousand years being as one day and one day being as a thousand years to the Lord, he would not have taken that so literally and claimed that it’s how the Lord reckons time where He is and is how time was once reckoned even here, in the beginning. It’s not meant to be taken literally. If we study the scriptures we can see this “thousand years” which is as “one day” to the Lord is associated with one day that has been divided into two, just as God divided “the light” (which he called THE DAY – also called TODAY) from “the darkness” (which He called THE NIGHT – also called YESTERDAY, but only once the night/darkness IS PAST) in Gen 1. God made a covenant with both (Jer 33:25 and others), which is why we see this “thousand years” associated with both (being “twice told” – Ecc 6:6). David speaks of this in Psa 90:3-4: “Thou turnest man to destruction; and sayest, Return, ye children of men. For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night.” This is why Jesus is said to be “the same YESTERDAY, TODAY, and FOREVER.” This is why Jesus said, to the thief on the cross who asked to be remembered when he came into His kingdom, “TODAY shalt though be with me in paradise.” This is a spiritual truth which is why the true Sabbath is not observed on the seventh day of the week, as it was given to the Jews in a figure, but on a day called “today” (when we hear His voice and harden not our hearts and enter into His rest!). God dwells in THE LIGHT, in THE DAY, where there is NO DARKNESS. This is why it is ALL “one day” to the Lord, who is the great “I AM.”

4. It was not the Lord who feared what the Egyptians would do to Abraham if they knew Sarah was his wife. It was not the Lord who told Abraham to tell them that Sarah was his sister. That was all Abraham’s doing! And, in the Bible, we are told why. When Abimelech asked Abraham why he had done this, Abraham did not say God told him to do it, he said: “Because I THOUGHT, SURELY THE FEAR OF GOD IS NOT IN THIS PLACE; and they will slay me for my wife’s sake.” Well, if it wasn’t, God sure took care of that by putting the fear of God into that place when He came to Abimelech in a dream and told him he was “a dead man” if he touched Sarah and did not return her to her husband. God did not tell Abraham to pass Sarah off as his sister instead of his wife just so He could appear to Abimelech in a dream to tell him the truth. He fixed what Abraham did by making sure there was a “fear of God” in that place and he could have protected Abraham just as easily had he not first tried to take matters into his own hands due to his own fears.

So much more could be said about this book, but this is more than enough to prove to me that (1) the Book of Abraham is not only false, (2) Joseph Smith is a false prophet.

This is not the work of God.

 
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Posted by on December 6, 2015 in Mormonism

 

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Wake Up!

Wake-Up-Ready-to-Face-Your-DayI wrote this earlier, in a state of frustration, over a conversation I was having with an active Mormon. I wasn’t really sure I was going to share it. But then, without even looking for it, I happened across a particular series of blogs about how the LDS Church prepares its members for Atheism. And it struck me that I had just said, myself, that Mormons use the same tactics that Atheist do to discredit the Bible and promote Joseph Smith.

So I am going to share what I wrote and then provide a link to that series of articles.

WAKE UP!

Unbelievable!! Context just doesn’t matter to the LDS; it can be completely ignored, if it doesn’t agree with something Joseph Smith said, even when that something else wasn’t available to those who would have been reading the Book of Mormon at the time it was actually written. Not only that it’s also OK for Joseph Smith to come behind the inspired writers of the Old and New Testaments and completely change their words. Not only changing them, but making them say the complete opposite of what they wrote.

However, this should not be seen as correction but clarification, they say. And just because the words were changed to say exactly the opposite of what they previously said doesn’t mean that what was originally written was wrong. Somehow, making someone say the exact opposite of what they actually did say doesn’t change the meaning or the context of their words.

How is this supported, you might ask; it’s supported by their ability to cherry-pick other “contradictions” in the Bible – also regardless of context, which are not contradictions at all, when that context is taken into account. All to support this one man’s claims about himself!! All is spite of what the Bible says about those who bear witness of themselves!

I used to think that many Evangelicals were way too harsh in their characterization of the LDS as cult members. But isn’t this exactly the kind of mindset that leads people to follow people like Jim Jones, David Koresh, L. Ron Hubbard, even Adolph Hitler and the like? Once their views are accepted as “inspired,” they can do no wrong. They can add to, take away from, or even change the inspired word of God. And they do so by preying upon the same things Atheists do – issues with translations or interpretation, etc. And they prey upon the egos of men by instilling in their minds this sort of us vs them mentality; we are special, we are chosen, we are the elect of God!! Come be a part of us or remain on the outside, where there is no power or authority given to you by God. Indeed, you need us for that!!

These kinds of people cannot be convinced of the faults of their leaders, apart from some sort of intervention. May the Lord provide that intervention by shining the Light of Truth in these places of darkness!!

When has God ever had men prophesy concerning themselves? Never! Not even Jesus could be His own witness. That was the whole purpose of the Law and the Prophets! And to take it even further and have a man go back and rewrite the Bible to insert prophesies of himself into the historical record, after the fact, to make it appear as if they were prophesied about all along?? I’m sorry, it may seem harsh, but I do not see how anyone in their right mind could embrace such shenanigans as the work of God.

What are you thinking? WAKE UP!

Here are the links:

How the LDS Church Prepares Its Members For Atheism (Part 1)

How the LDS Church Prepares Its Members for Atheism (Part 2)

How the LDS Church Prepares Its Members For Atheism (Part 3)

How the LDS Church Prepares Its Members For Atheism (Part 4)

How the LDS Church Prepares Its Members For Atheism (Part 5)