RSS

Tag Archives: Joseph Smith

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.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on December 6, 2015 in Mormonism

 

Tags: , , ,

The Law and the Prophets were until John

til john

The LDS Church claims that one of the things “restored” by Joseph Smith was the way in which the church was originally organized.

“You will find in His church the same officers ministering among men: namely, prophets, apostles, bishops, seventies, elders, priests, teachers, and deacons. The Church will be directed on earth by a prophet of God.” (Delbert L. Stapley, General Conference, 1977)

One of the passages of scripture most often quoted to support this organization of the church is found in Ephesians.

Eph 4:11-13 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:

Another is found in 1 Corinthians:

1Co 12:28 And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.

The first thing that stands out to me is the fact that the apostles come first, not the prophets (which are plural, not singular). Another thing I find noteworthy is that here, as elsewhere, the “church” is equated with “the body of Christ.” (v27)

So while the LDS Church treats “the church” as an individual, easily identifiable “organization”, to which believers should be joined, that is not how the scriptures treat the subject. In the scriptures “the church” is “the body of Christ”. This means that “the body of Christ” is “the church”. And it is within this body that God has set “first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers” for “the edifying of the body”, as we see in Ephesians. And, clearly, not all are apostles or prophets or teachers of workers of miracles. (v29) Notice also, that Paul does not say that there already exists “a unity of the faith”, but that these are given “till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.”

Let us look at what Jesus said of the prophets, as it relates to those whom God sent to be mediators between man and God until the time of reformation spoken of in Heb 9:10..

Mat 11:11-15 Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force. For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John. And if ye will receive it, this is Elias, which was for to come. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.

Here, Jesus says “all the prophets and the law prophesied until John.” Recorded, again, by Luke.

Luk 16:16 The law and the prophets were until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it.

The law and the prophets were until John and since that time the kingdom of God is preached. Preached by whom? Wasn’t the gospel given to the Apostles to preach, that they might make disciples of all men?

And didn’t Jesus say that the blood of the prophets would be required of that generation?

Luk 11:46-52 And he said, Woe unto you also, ye lawyers! for ye lade men with burdens grievous to be borne, and ye yourselves touch not the burdens with one of your fingers. Woe unto you! for ye build the sepulchres of the prophets, and your fathers killed them. Truly ye bear witness that ye allow the deeds of your fathers: for they indeed killed them, and ye build their sepulchres. Therefore also said the wisdom of God, I will send them prophets and apostles, and some of them they shall slay and persecute: That the blood of all the prophets, which was shed from the foundation of the world, may be required of this generation; From the blood of Abel unto the blood of Zacharias, which perished between the altar and the temple: verily I say unto you, It shall be required of this generation. Woe unto you, lawyers! for ye have taken away the key of knowledge: ye entered not in yourselves, and them that were entering in ye hindered.

Notice that when Peter speaks of the prophets he is referring to those who came before.

2Pe 3:1-2 This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance: That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour:

It is to “the law and the prophets” that Jesus appealed when he preached the gospel of the kingdom of God. So did Paul. This is consistent throughout the New Testament. The Apostles consistently referred to that which was written, which carries the words of the Prophets who prophesies of Jesus Christ!

We even see the same in the OT with Jeremiah and Hananiah, both called prophets, both of whom spoke before the people. But Jeremiah, referring to the prophets that came before him to establish the validity of his words, proved Hananiah to be a false prophet, whose end was destruction or death.

So while it is true that God gave some apostles and some prophets and some evangelists and some pastors and teachers, the only Prophet leading the church today is Jesus Christ (Col 1:18), who is “the Apostle and High Priest of our profession.” (Heb 3:11)

When it comes to prophets and apostles today, Paul said: “Ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted.” (1Co 14:31) We are to let two or three speak and let the others judge. (1 Co 14:29)

And how are we to judge that which others speak?

2Ti 3:16-17 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

We are to do just as the Bereans did!! We are to “search the scriptures” to see whether or not what they say is true.

Act 17:10-11 And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews. These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.

We are to study to show ourselves approved of God, workman that need not be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth!

2Ti 2:14-19 Of these things put them in remembrance, charging them before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers. Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness. And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus; Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some. Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.

The foundation has already been laid and there is NO OTHER FOUNDATION upon which man can build!!

1Co 3:9-11 For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building. According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.

Paul did not come preaching some new revelation (nor did any of the other Apostles of Jesus Christ). They were not coming with some new word, but were sent to unveil that which had already been revealed through the prophets who came BEFORE them.

Just as Jesus opened up the scriptures to those two men walking on the road after His resurrection, so did Peter and Paul (and all of the apostles of Christ) open up the scriptures and reveal “the mysteries of God.”

Many of the things “restored” by Joseph Smith are things that have long since been fulfilled in Jesus Christ. And many of the things “revealed” by Joseph Smith are things for which there is no prior witness in the law and the prophets. Therefore, Joseph Smith is proven to be a false prophet.

Let us not forget that every word of God is pure!! And if we add to His words He shall reprove us and we shall be found “a liar”

Pro 30:5-6 Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.

The LORD says for those who have His word to speak His word faithfully!

Jer 23:28 The prophet that hath a dream, let him tell a dream; and he that hath my word, let him speak my word faithfully. What is the chaff to the wheat? saith the LORD.

Jesus said that those who do not love him will not keep his sayings (which words are not His, but the Father’s). And just as we are told to prove all things, we are told how He proves us!!

Duet 13:3 Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the LORD your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.

And He is, here, speaking even of those who come with signs and wonders!!

Recall that Paul speaks of “him whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders.” We are not to go after them!!

Speaking one’s own words and attaching “the Lord saith” to them is rebellion, which is “as the sin of divination” (or witchcraft), as we see in 1 Sam 15:23. Paul even speaks of those who have been “bewtiched” by those who lead them away from the truth and back under the law.

When it comes to those who preach the gospel, we are to PROVE THEM for God uses them TO PROVE US, to KNOW whether or not we love the LORD our God will all our heart and with all our soul!!

Let us not be deceived!! And let us not go to a prophet asking for confirmation of that which we have already set in our own hearts as an idol. For the scriptures say that God will answer us according to the idols of our own heart, even by sending us strong delusion that we might believe a lie, if we believed not the truth and take pleasure in unrighteousness.

If we reject the word of the LORD, he will reject us and we will be turned over to satan.

So, let us not put our trust in men or the words of men.

If we are to be justified in OUR SAYINGS the words that we speak must be HIS WORDS (Rom 3:4) because it is “by our words” that we will either be justified or condemned (Mat 12:37). Let us be justified! Let us stick to His words, for “the words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.” (Psa 12:6)

There is no need to add to His words, which is something the apostles and prophets of the LDS Church have done repeatedly and unapologetically.

This is another reason I believe Mormon Doctrine fails.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on January 17, 2015 in False Doctrine, Mormonism

 

Tags: , , ,

The Prophesy of Malachi Concerning Elijah

Elijah appearing to JS

The LDS Church teaches the prophesy made by Malachi in Mal 4 concerning the coming of Elijah was fulfilled in the days of Joseph Smith when Elijah appeared to Joseph Smith in the Kirtland Temple in 1836.

To examine the truthfulness of this claim, let’s first take a look at the prophesy in Mal 4:1-6:

For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the LORD of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall. And ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the LORD of hosts.Remember ye the law of Moses my servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments.Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD: And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.

So what we know from this prophesy is that a day is coming that shall burn as an oven and before that day comes Elijah the prophet will come. We also know that this prophesy was given about 400 years before the coming of the Messiah. We also know that the Jews, who are still waiting on the coming of the promised Messiah are also still waiting on this coming of Elijah because the two were connected.

Yet, in the Book of Mormon, Third Nephi Chapters 24 and 25, we have Jesus quoting Malachi in about 34AD. And according to the chapter headings this is a prophesy to be fulfilled “at the Second Coming” of Jesus Christ.

On the LDS Church’s website, this article, titled “Old Testament Prophets: Malachi”, also makes the same claim concerning this prophesy, saying it was a prophesy that would be fulfilled before the second coming.

In a study guide on the Church’s website, titled “3 Nephi 24-25: The Prophecies of Malachi”, we read how and when this prophesy was fulfilled:

“In fulfillment of this promise of the Lord through Malachi, Elijah returned to the earth in 1836 in the Kirtland Temple and committed keys of the priesthood making it possible to perform saving ordinances for those who have died (see D&C 110:13–16). He restored what is sometimes referred to as the sealing power of the priesthood. It is this power whereby families are sealed together for eternity.”

Further, this General Conference speech given in 1971 on “Elijah the Prophet”, tells us that the true meaning of turning the hearts of the children to their fathers and the hearts of the fathers to their children is genealogy and temple work or the redemption of the dead. And Mr. Hunter seems to imply that Malachi’s prophesy was always about the second coming of Christ. I find that interesting given Jesus himself tells us that this prophesy was fulfilled by John the Baptist.

Mat 17:10-13

And his disciples asked him, saying, Why then say the scribes that Elias must first come? And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things. But I say unto you, That Elias is come already, and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed. Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them. Then the disciples understood that he spake unto them of John the Baptist.

Again we read in Mark’s account:

Mar 9:11-13

And they asked him, saying, Why say the scribes that Elias must first come? And he answered and told them, Elias verily cometh first, and restoreth all things; and how it is written of the Son of man, that he must suffer many things, and be set at nought. But I say unto you, That Elias is indeed come, and they have done unto him whatsoever they listed, as it is written of him.

There is not a shred of ambiguity in either of these statements. Jesus clearly identified John as the fulfillment of the prophesy made by Malachi. But if you ask a Mormon about this they will point to the wording found in Matthew, with a bit of a twist, and claim that John would have been the fulfillment “if” they would have received him… but since they did not receive him, he was not the fulfillment.

They may quote Mat 11:14, which says: “And if ye will receive it, this is Elias, which was for to come” and claim that Jesus is saying: “if they had received him” THEN John would have been the fulfillment. But that is not what Jesus is saying at all.

Let’s take a look:

Mat 11:13-14:

For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John. And if ye will receive it, this is Elias, which was for to come.

Jesus does not say that if they would have received John he would have been the fulfillment. He is clearly saying that “all the prophets and the law prophesied UNTIL JOHN” and “if ye will receive it” [THE TRUTH ABOUT JOHN], “this is Elias, which was for to come”.

John was the one sent to prepare the way for the Lord!! He was this ELIJAH which was to come!! So what does that say about “the great and dreadful day of the Lord”?

In Luke, we see Jesus in the synagogue reading from Isaiah:

Luk 4:17-29

And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written, The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord. And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him. And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears. And all bare him witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth. And they said, Is not this Joseph’s son? And he said unto them, Ye will surely say unto me this proverb, Physician, heal thyself: whatsoever we have heard done in Capernaum, do also here in thy country. And he said, Verily I say unto you, No prophet is accepted in his own country. But I tell you of a truth, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elias, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, when great famine was throughout all the land; But unto none of them was Elias sent, save unto Sarepta, a city of Sidon, unto a woman that was a widow. And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Eliseus the prophet; and none of them was cleansed, saving Naaman the Syrian. And all they in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath, And rose up, and thrust him out of the city, and led him unto the brow of the hill whereon their city was built, that they might cast him down headlong.

Sounds almost like what Jesus said when he said: “I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” Doesn’t it?

Turning back to Isaiah, chapter 61 tells us that “the acceptable year of the Lord” is connected to “the day of vengeance of our God” and Jesus, reading from Isaiah 61 says: “This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.

So not only does the LDS Church deny that John was the fulfillment of this prophesy, as so stated by Jesus himself, they also deny “all the prophets and the law prophesied until John”, who was sent to prepare the way for the Lord, who is the one through whom God now speaks to mankind.

They tell us that God has “restored” to us living prophets and apostles, just as in the days of old, and ignore the fact that God no longer speaks to us through imperfect and fallible men. He no longer speaks to us through the law and the prophets, but now speaks to us “by His Son”. This is the very first thing we read in the book of Hebrews, a letter sent to those who were under the law and the prophets, those to whom the oracles of God were committed until the fulness of time was come – for God to send forth His Son.

Heb 1:1-4

God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high; Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.

Paul speaks of Israel’s redemption from under the law in Galatians:

Gal 4:1-6

Now I say, That the heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all; But is under tutors and governors until the time appointed of the father. Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world: But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.

Again, please note that the coming of Christ in the flesh also pertains to the coming of “the fulness of the time”, which is something else the LDS Church claims has to do with days of Joseph Smith and the “restoration” which, supposedly, took place less than 200 years ago through him – almost 2000 years after the coming of Elijah, the preaching of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and the ushering in of the Kingdom of God.

They say we need modern-day prophets and apostles, for God does not speak to the church except through his prophets and apostles. They refuse to see the Truth! God is no longer sending SERVANTS. He has sent us HIS SON. Just as the parable of Jesus speaks in Mat 21. He is the stone that the builders rejected and “is become the head of the corner” and “whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.”

There is but ONE GOD and ONE MEDIATOR between God and man, the man Jesus Christ, who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time:

1Ti 2:1-7

I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time. Whereunto I am ordained a preacher, and an apostle, (I speak the truth in Christ, and lie not) a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and verity.

As I stated in my previous blog entry, though the LDS Church does embrace a more liberal understanding of the Father’s plan of salvation with regard to its scope, they still do not preach the true gospel of Jesus Christ because they do not preach that Jesus Christ is the Saviour of ALL MEN, in the fullest sense.

1Ti 4:9-11

This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation. For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe. These things command and teach.

Not only do they not preach Jesus Christ as the Savior of all men, they do not even have a proper understanding of just exactly who the Messiah, their Redeemer, is.

These are just a few more ways in which the doctrines of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints fail.

 
17 Comments

Posted by on January 1, 2015 in Elijah, Mormonism

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Our Father’s Plan—Big Enough for All His Children??

planofsalvation

The above is a depiction of the Plan of Salvation according to the LDS Church. To the far right it depicts three different kingdoms of heaven: the Celestial Kingdom, the Terrestrial Kingdom, and the Telestial Kingdom. It is into one of these three kingdom that most will go after final judgment. Then, of course, there is Outer Darkness which awaits Satan and his angels… and the most vile of men.

I think this is actually the primary appeal of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which is addressed in this speech from 2009 which I was just listening to earlier this morning:

Our Father’s Plan—Big Enough for All His Children

To borrow the words of Elder Cook’s great-great-grandfather Phineas Wolcott Cook, the LDS Church teaches “a more liberal salvation for the family of man”. And in this respect, and this respect only, do I believe that the LDS Church approaches the true doctrine of Jesus Christ.

The problem is that Joseph Smith doesn’t even come close to being the person through whom this gospel truth has been restored in recent times. In fact, I believe that Joseph Smith borrowed a great deal from those men who lived in his day who were already believing in and preaching Jesus Christ as the Saviour of all men, some of whom joined the LDS Church, including Joseph Smith Sr.

For more on that you can read this article from BYU’s website:

Universalism and the Revelations of Joseph Smith

Where I believe the LDS Church fails in this regard is that while it embraces a more liberal view of salvation it still DENIES the salvation of ALL MEN. It also teaches DIVISION in the kingdom of God. And it teaches its members to cling to a very legalistic view of salvation very reminiscent of Old Covenant Law. This is not surprising since this is exactly what the Church claims needed to be “restored” – a very Old Covenant view of the gospel with all of it’s touch not, taste not laws.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints teaches a very high mixture of law and grace. And many of the things which they claim needed to be “restored” are the very things that Christ came to destroy in order that a New (or Renewed) Covenant might be established, one in which Jesus Christ is our one and only High Priest.

So despite their more liberal view of salvation, their view of salvation is not completely universal in scope. While they believe that the gospel will be preached to all men – to many after their death – giving all men the opportunity to accept the gospel and inherit all of the blessing associated with it, they are also quick to point out that there is a hell, a place of eternal torment to which some men will go and from which there is no escape. As one member put it recently: “It’s [that is, Hell is] described all through the Bible too.” This was said in response to someone else pointing out to them that the Book of Mormon cannot be used to support the doctrine of Universal Salvation because it speaks of “eternal torment” and does so in a way which speaks explicitly of the fact that such torment has “no end” to it, despite the claim made in D&C 19 that: “It is not written that there shall be no end to this torment.

Doctrine & Covenant 19 is clearly an attempt to borrow a Christian Universalist argument against the teachings of “eternal torment”, an argument that is absolutely true when applied to the Bible but which fails miserably when applied to the Book of Mormon. This is because the torment of the wicked is written exactly in this way in the Book of Mormon. In fact, the Book of Mormon speaks of those whose “final state” will be one of “endless misery”, from which there is “no redemption”.

So while the salvation of all men can be argued from a correct translation/interpretation of the Bible (which NOWHERE contains those types of assertions with regard to the lost), the same cannot be argued from the Book of Mormon. In fact, the same LDS person who said the above also said: “I don’t know what a “Universalist” is…, but there is plenty of hell in Mormon belief.” And while he does go on to point out that he sees hell not as a place but as a state or condition of the human soul, he clearly believes that such a state, for some, will never end.

So, on this count, I say the LDS Church comes close to the truth but it still falls short of the whole truth.

 
17 Comments

Posted by on January 1, 2015 in Eternal Torment, Hell, Mormonism

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,