Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for October, 2010

Originally posted a couple of years ago we think it’s important to highlight the spiritual dangers of this holiday!

To Trick or Treat or Stay Home

By Melissa Grimes

As most of us know this is the time of year when many people celebrate Halloween by dressing their children and maybe even themselves in sometimes “ghoulish” costumes to go door to door asking for candy. On the outside this may sound like a timid affair, anyone who doesn’t want to participate can keep their little ones home and the porch light out. With the holiday upon us I’ve been wondering if this is something a Christian should participate in or just stay away from.

(more…)

Read Full Post »

For more information, please visit http://www.CapstoneConference.com

 

Read Full Post »

Today my pastor gave an outstanding sermon on finding our identity in Christ.  He based his sermon on the passage of four definitive miracles found in the gospel of Mark 4:35-5:43.  

This sermon reminded me of a conversation I had with a Mormon a few years back.  A Mormon woman who is a professor at a prestigious university in the States told me that she is “Mormon doctrine”.  When I asked her if she’d do a debate with me about this on radio she declined saying all I needed to know is that she could be defined in this “Mormon doctrine”. 

The key here is who we make our identification with.  When we identify ourselves we have a tendency to label ourselves as a mom, dad, single person, husband, wife, doctor, teacher, policeman, engineer, attorney, etc.  While these things are all admirable, they don’t define us as individuals. 

Let’s go back to when Jesus was having that famous conversation with His disciples.  He asked Peter in Matthew 16:15; “Who do you say that I am?”  Remember Peter’s response?  “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God!”  What better way to make an identification of Jesus other than declaring Him the Messiah? 

In turn, our identification isn’t what we do, but who we are.  We are not rules and regulations that have been written down on a piece of paper.  We are not a “restored gospel” anymore than we can morph ourselves into a dog.  Can the doctrines of the Mormon Church come to your aid in the midst of a storm as Jesus did for the apostles in Mark 4:37-41?  And I’m not talking about the Church’s welfare system.  But can they sustain you spiritually during the storms in your life? 

And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full.  38 And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish?  39 And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.  40 And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?  41 And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?” 

If it’s the Church you’re looking to for protection and guidance then you are not a Christian.  A Christian goes to Jesus for the peace they need during a storm.  They fall at His feet to have Him cast out the demons they fight with day in and day out.  Christians know they can’t fight the inner struggles without Him, no matter how big or small they may be. 

Mark 5:2-6, 12-15; 

And when he was come out of the ship, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit, 3 Who had his dwelling among the tombs; and no man could bind him, no, not with chains: 4 Because that he had been often bound with fetters and chains, and the chains had been plucked asunder by him, and the fetters broken in pieces: neither could any man tame him.  5 And always, night and day, he was in the mountains, and in the tombs, crying, and cutting himself with stones.  6 But when he saw Jesus afar off, he ran and worshipped him…And all the devils besought him, saying, Send us into the swine, that we may enter into them.  13 And forthwith Jesus gave them leave. And the unclean spirits went out, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the sea, (they were about two thousand;) and were choked in the sea.  14 And they that fed the swine fled, and told it in the city, and in the country. And they went out to see what it was that was done.  15 And they come to Jesus, and see him that was possessed with the devil, and had the legion, sitting, and clothed, and in his right mind: and they were afraid.” 

They bypass all others for help because they know Jesus is God incarnate and can perform miracles as He did for Jarius and his young daughter. 

Mark 5:21-23. 35-43; 

And when Jesus was passed over again by ship unto the other side, much people gathered unto him: and he was nigh unto the sea.  22 And, behold, there cometh one of the rulers of the synagogue, Jairus by name; and when he saw him, he fell at his feet,  23 And besought him greatly, saying, My little daughter lieth at the point of death: I pray thee, come and lay thy hands on her, that she may be healed; and she shall live…While he yet spake, there came from the ruler of the synagogue’s house certain which said, Thy daughter is dead: why troublest thou the Master any further?  36 As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, he saith unto the ruler of the synagogue, Be not afraid, only believe.  37 And he suffered no man to follow him, save Peter, and James, and John the brother of James.  38 And he cometh to the house of the ruler of the synagogue, and seeth the tumult, and them that wept and wailed greatly.  39 And when he was come in, he saith unto them, Why make ye this ado, and weep? the damsel is not dead, but sleepeth.  40 And they laughed him to scorn. But when he had put them all out, he taketh the father and the mother of the damsel, and them that were with him, and entereth in where the damsel was lying.  41 And he took the damsel by the hand, and said unto her, Talitha cumi; which is, being interpreted, Damsel, I say unto thee, arise.  42 And straightway the damsel arose, and walked; for she was of the age of twelve years. And they were astonished with a great astonishment.  43 And he charged them straitly that no man should know it; and commanded that something should be given her to eat.” 

They run to Him for healing when fighting a debilitating disease as the woman did who was hemorrhaging for twelve years.  Just to touch the hem of His cloak… 

Mark 5:24-34; “And Jesus went with him; and much people followed him, and thronged him.  25 And a certain woman, which had an issue of blood twelve years, 26 And had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse,  27 When she had heard of Jesus, came in the press behind, and touched his garment.  28 For she said, If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole.  29 And straightway the fountain of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of that plague.  30 And Jesus, immediately knowing in himself that virtue had gone out of him, turned him about in the press, and said, Who touched my clothes?  31 And his disciples said unto him, Thou seest the multitude thronging thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me?  32 And he looked round about to see her that had done this thing.  33 But the woman fearing and trembling, knowing what was done in her, came and fell down before him, and told him all the truth.  34 And he said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague.” 

Let me tell you something, if you don’t go to Him in the deepest, darkest times of your life you’re in a boatload of trouble.  Miracles don’t just take place on the outside where everyone can see.  Sometimes those miracles take place inside of your heart as it did for the disciples while out on their own boatload of troubles.  The main problem was not understanding at first whom they had on board with them. 

Maybe they thought He was a prophet or just a good guy who loved God and knew scripture.  It’s obvious from the passage in Mark they didn’t realize that God Himself was on that boat.  What they soon realized is that it had to be God.  Only He can control the air, water and storms.  Only the creator of those things can control them. 

The hemorrhaging woman, the rich leader Jarius, and even the crazy guy knew the only way they’d find relief for the pain is through Him.  They all had one thing in common and that was to make sure they were totally and unabashedly devoted to Him.  They knew whom to call on and where to place their faith.  Oswald Chambers said this about our identity with Jesus (Feb. 13); 

If I am united with Jesus Christ, I hear God all the time through the devotion of hearing. A flower, a tree, or a servant of God may convey God’s message to me. What hinders me from hearing is my attention to other things. It is not that I don’t want to hear God, but I am not devoted in the right areas of my life. I am devoted to things and even to service and my own convictions. God may say whatever He wants, but I just don’t hear Him…If I have not developed and nurtured this devotion of hearing, I can only hear God’s voice at certain times. At other times I become deaf to Him because my attention is to other things—things which I think I must do. This is not living the life of a child of God. Have you heard God’s voice today?” 

Ask yourself; what does His identity mean to you?  When there’s evil around you, who do you run to, the Church or Jesus?  When there’s disease in your body on whom do you call for a cure?  Where my friend is your devotion? 

As my pastor said today “You need a God for the calamities in your life.  We’re lost in our own identity but are found in His.” 

I can debate and know all there is to know about Mormonism but I have a confession.  My greatest source of joy comes in witnessing a Mormon when they come to know the Lord of Hosts.  I pray that if you’re a Mormon you will open your bible and look to Him who can save you today. 

With Love in Christ;

Michelle Grim

Jude 1:24-25; “Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, 25 To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.

Read Full Post »

     As is usually the case, I came across something interesting in the Book of Mormon while looking for something else.  This time I was reminded of what the Nephites thought of Jesus and His skin color in 3 Nephi 19:30;

And when Jesus had spoken these words he came again unto his disciples; and behold they did pray steadfastly, without ceasing, unto him; and he did smile upon them again; and behold they were white, even as Jesus.” 

(more…)

Read Full Post »

ROMANS ROAD

The ROMANS ROAD is a pathway you can walk.

It is a group of bible verses from the book of Romans in the New Testament.

If you walk down this road you will end up understanding how to be saved.

Romans 3:23

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

We all have sin in our hearts. We all were born with sin.  We were born under the power of sin’s control.

Admit that you are a sinner. 

(KJV For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;)

Romans 6:23a

“…The wages of sin is death…”

Sin has an ending. It results in death. We all face physical death, which is a result of sin.

But a worse death is spiritual death that alienates us from God, and will last for all eternity.

The Bible does plainly teach that there is a place called the Lake of Fire where lost people will be in torment forever.

It is the place where people end up that remain spiritually dead.

Understand that you deserve death for your sin.

Romans 6:23b

“…But the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

Salvation is a free gift from God to you!   We can’t earn this gift, but we must reach out and receive it.

Ask God to forgive you and save you. 

(KJV23For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.)

Romans 5:8

“God demonstrates His own love for us, in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us!”

When Jesus died on the cross He paid sin’s penalty.  He paid the cosmic price for all sin, and when He took all the sins of the world on Himself on the cross, He bought us out of slavery to sin and death!   The only condition is that we believe in Him and what He has done for us, understanding that we are now joined with Him, and that He is our life.

Because He loved us and gave Himself for us!

Give your life to God… His love poured out in Jesus on the cross is your only hope to have forgiveness and change. His love bought you out of being a slave to sin. His love is what saves you. Not religion, or church membership.

God loves you! And reaches you right where you are.

Romans 10:13

“Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved!”

Call out to God in the name of Jesus!

Romans 10:9,10

“…If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Jesus from the dead, you shall be saved; for with the heart man believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.” 

If you know that God is knocking on your heart door,

ask Him to come into your heart.

Jesus said,

Revelation 3:20a

“Behold I stand at the door and knock, if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him…”

Is Jesus knocking on your heart’s door?

Believe in Him.  Ask Him to come in to your heart by faith, and ask Him to reveal Himself to you. Open the bible to the gospel of John and read what God says about Jesus, about you, and about being born again.

God will help you.  Just talk to Him.  He loves you.

You need to look for a local church where God’s word is preached. The bible says that we are to desire God’s word like a newborn baby desires mother’s milk.

Aren’t you hungry to know the truth?

Water baptism is one of the ways you first show that you have been joined to Jesus. The symbolism is this: When you go down in the water you show that you have been crucified and buried with Him, And when you come up out of the water you show that you have been raised to walk with Him in newness of life.   (See Romans chapter 6)

You have been born again.   (See John chapter 3)  Your body has become God’s temple.  Your heart is where He lives.  Forgiveness is yours in Jesus.  And you belong to Him.  You were sin’s slave.   But now…You are a child of GOD!

John 1:12

“As many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God,

even to those who believe in His name.”

Well dear ones, that’s it!  We are praying for each of you and our hearts go out to all those who are ensnared in the lies of Mormonism.  I am sure you the mentor, as well as the ex-Mormon, will have thought of subjects we didn’t touch on.  In that regard we would love to hear from you!  Also keep in touch to let us know how your new lives in the Lord are coming along!

We praise our God for you the mentor and express our deepest gratitude for your undying service to Him! 

Jude 1:24-25; “Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.

1 Corinthians 1:18-19; “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.  For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.”

Read Full Post »

THE INFLUENCE OF JOSEPH SMITH 

To say the Mormons worship Joseph Smith in every sense of the word would be an understatement.  There are many subject matters within the doctrines of Mormonism that warrant a closer look and this is definitely one of those times.  The influence Joseph Smith has had on people is mind boggling.  His name alone throws my own mother into another frame of mind every time his name is mentioned.

Joseph Smith-History 1:33; “He called me by name, and said unto me that he was a messenger sent from the presence of God to me, and that his name was Moroni; that God had a work for me to do; and that my name should be had for good and evil among all nations, kindreds, and tongues, or that it should be both good and evil spoken of among all people.” 

For my research on Mormonism I use the computer program “Gospelink”.  It’s sold through the LDS owned company Deseret Books.  In that program I have a file of no less than 106 quotes containing titles and/or descriptions of Smith made by leaders in the Church or Smith himself.  I can assure the reader that I’ve merely scratched the surface.

The following is an excerpt from an article I wrote after visiting my mother in Utah in the summer of 2005:

“The False Prophet Joseph Smith”

I asked my mother a couple of weeks ago which prophet of all time that she liked the best.  She replied by asking me which one I liked.  I told her I couldn’t pick but have a tendency to turn to Isaiah time and again.  I told her that his words are comforting to me when he prophesied about Jesus in chapter 53, or when he spoke of the ‘Highway of Holiness’ in chapter 35.  She had never heard of Isaiah then told me that Hinckley and Joseph had to be her favorites.  I found it interesting that Mormons refer to Joseph Smith by just his first name and everyone knows who you’re talking about.  Yet I can’t recall the last time my own mother referred to Jesus without calling Him by His title instead of by His given name.

The above scenario is typical of any Mormon you might meet.  Another phenomenon you may encounter while mentoring is when the new Christian has stories from the Bible confused with Joseph Smith.  This is caused from Smith and others using scripture to describe the greatness of Smith.  In their eyes he is superhuman.  Below are some of the descriptions of Smith.

Foreordained from foundation of the world  

DS 1:184; “Joseph Smith was chosen to stand at the head of the work of the Lord in the last days, and his work was assigned to him through the fore-knowledge of our Eternal Father in the eternities before he was born. He came in the spirit of Elias to prepare the way for the coming of our Lord. No prophet since the days of Adam, save, of course, our Redeemer, has been given a greater mission.

God to all 

TPJS, pg. 363;God made Aaron to be the mouthpiece for the children of Israel, and He will make me be god to you in His stead, and the Elders to be mouth for me; and if you don’t like it, you must lump it. I have been giving Elder Adams instruction in some principles to speak to you, and if he makes a mistake, I will get up and correct him. (April 8, 1844.) —DHC 6:318-320.

Controls minds of believers

TPJS, pg. 341; “President Joseph Smith again arose and said—In relation to the power over the minds of mankind which I hold, I would say, It is in consequence of the power of truth in the doctrines which I have been an instrument in the hands of God of presenting unto them, and not because of any compulsion on my part.

Holds endless priesthood 

LDS Hymn #27 & Joseph Smith, the Prophet, the Man, pg. 3; “Great is his glory and endless his priesthood.  Ever and ever the keys he will hold.  Faithful and true, he will enter his kingdom, Crowned in the midst of the prophets of old.  (“Praise to the Man,” Hymns #27)” 

His name will never perish

 

Gospel Doctrine, pg. 479; “God lives, and Jesus is the Christ, the Savior of the world. Joseph Smith is a prophet of God—living, not dead; for his name will never perish.” 

Genius with no education 

Divine Authority or the Question, Was Joseph Smith Sent of God?, pg. 4; “How came Mr. Smith, if a deceiver, to think of all this? Did Martin Luther, Wesley, Whitfield, Swedenborg, or Irving think of this? Whence his superior intellect, his depth of understanding, his extensive foresight, that he should so far surpass all former impostors for 1700 years? John testifies that when the everlasting gospel is restored to the earth it shall be by an angel. Mr. Smith testifies that it was restored by an angel, and in no other way. This is another presumptive evidence that he was sent of God.” 

People studied at the feet of Joseph 

Joseph Smith, The Choice Seer, Preface #3; “In assessing the marvelous impact of the Choice Seer’s work on this dispensation, we will turn first and foremost to the doctrinal teachings of Joseph Smith as set forth in his sermons, letters, revelations, translations, and narrations. In addition, we will rely occasionally on the clarifications and expansions of those who knew Brother Joseph firsthand and studied at his feet, as well as those apostolic and prophetic successors to whom is given the divine mandate to build on the doctrinal foundation he laid.” 

Joseph had more followers than Jesus 

 JD 14:202-203; “…this personage whom we call the Savior of the world, there were not, strange to say, as many persons believed on him as have believed on Joseph Smith in the latter days. Not that Joseph was the Savior, but he was a prophet.” 

Reverence for Smith’s name advised 

Neal A. Maxwell Quote Book, pg. 181; “Whenever we speak of the Prophet Joseph Smith … it should be in reverent appreciation of the Lord who called him and whom Joseph served so well. (“‘A Choice Seer,’” p. 113.)” 

Confessing spirit of Smith is of God 

Discourses of Brigham Young, pg. 435; “Whosoever confesseth that Joseph Smith was sent of God to reveal the holy Gospel to the children of men, and lay the foundation for gathering Israel, and building up the Kingdom of God on the earth, that spirit is of God, and every spirit that does not confess that God has sent Joseph Smith, and revealed the everlasting Gospel to and through him, is of Antichrist, no matter whether it is found in a pulpit or on a throne. 8:176.” 

Joseph defies world to refute him

 

 TPJS, pg. 372; “The head God organized the heavens and the earth. I defy all the world to refute me.” 

Joseph is Heaven’s Gatekeeper

 

 JD 7:290;Should not this thought comfort all people? They will, by-and-by, be a thousand times more thankful for such a man as Joseph Smith, junior, than it is possible for them to be for any earthly good whatever. It is his mission to see that all the children of men in this last dispensation are saved, that can be, through the redemption. You will be thankful, every one of you, that Joseph Smith, junior, was ordained to this great calling before the worlds were.

Joseph’s name known for good and evil 

Joseph Smith History 1:33; “He called me by name, and said unto me that he was a messenger sent from the presence of God to me, and that his name was Moroni; that God had a work for me to do; and that my name should be had for good and evil among all nations, kindreds, and tongues, or that it should be both good and evil spoken of among all people.”

Set aside some time to go through each description with the ex-Mormon. There are three reasons why you’d want to do this!

1.  Allow them to share their thoughts on what they’ve read and understood about that description.

2.  Help them to find a scripture to refute each example.

3.  If the person believed these things about Joseph Smith lead them in a prayer of repentance.

© 2010 Life After Ministries, Inc.

Link for Chapter 20

 Chapter 20. The Romans Road

http://lifeafterministry.wordpress.com/2010/10/22/mentoring-handbook-chapter-20/

Read Full Post »

The Authority & Priesthood Issue

Who Holds the Keys of Authority?

If you were to ask a Mormon the question listed above, they would tell you that only the LDS Church holds the proper authority to preach, baptize and be called the children of God.  The following is a synopsis of why.  They believe that it was absolutely necessary a “restoration” take place.  This means it is their belief that all of Christianity was wrong and therefore needed to be brought back from whence it came.  In order to do this, God needed a “chosen prophet” whom he authorized to carry out his “plan of salvation”.

Because God does not vary, nor does He change His order of things, it is understood by the LDS members there must be ordinances performed and rituals observed to gain true salvation which to the Mormon is godhood.

Smith taught that just as in all the ages before Christ, there would be a “chosen people” to whom the gospel was given.  According to Smith it had been pre-determined and foretold this last dispensation was to take place through Joseph Smith.  He in turn would “ordain” members of the Church with the priesthood, which is what carries the authority to preach and administer the laws of God.  The Encyclopedia of Joseph Smith’s Teachings, pg. 56 says;

We believe that no man can administer salvation through the gospel, to the souls of men, in the name of Jesus Christ, except he is authorized from God, by revelation, or by being ordained by some one whom God hath sent by revelation, as it is written by Paul, Romans 10:14, “and how shall they believe in him, of whom, they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent?” and I will ask, how can they be sent without a revelation, or some other visible display of the manifestation of God.

Smith received a revelation from God in Kirtland, OH on March 8, 1833 telling him that he (Smith) would hold the keys to the kingdom of heaven and hold all authority for all time and eternity.  History of the Church 1:329-31 and in D&C 90:1-4;

Thus saith the Lord, verily, verily I say unto you my son, thy sins are forgiven thee, according to thy petition, for thy prayers and the prayers of thy brethren have come up into my ears. Therefore, thou art blessed from henceforth that bear the keys of the kingdom given unto you; which kingdom is coming forth for the last time. Verily I say unto you, the keys of this kingdom shall never be taken from you, while thou art in the world, neither in the world to come; Nevertheless, through you shall the oracles be given to another, yea, even unto the church.”

Here’s what Doctrines of Salvation 3:80 has to say in regards to authority:

Man cannot act legally in the name of the Lord unless he is vested with the priesthood, which is divine authority. No man has the power or the right to take this honor to himself. Unless he is called of God, as was Aaron…The Lord has said his house is a house of order….”

It is vital that the ex-Mormon understands he/she is not under this “authority” any longer, but has been commanded by Jesus to go out to the nations and spread the gospel as Jesus told us to do in Matthew 28:18-20.  While not everyone is going to become preachers or

oversee ministries, it is important the authority topic is acknowledged.  It serves its purpose in placing the spiritual loyalty where it belongs; that being Jesus of course!  Notice also how they’ve stripped Jesus’ authority of being God from His very hands.

Addressing this issue emphasizes that the One True God has been in control of the church throughout the last 20 centuries and isn’t in “need” of anyone or anything!  It also helps the new Christian to understand that they, along with the true God, are the ones in charge of their lives, not the church.  The authority the early Christian church received came from four sources.

1-The Old Testament (keep in mind it was referred to as scripture then).  It was their ultimate authority in all matters and they also learned by seeing Jesus use scripture to correct and teach.  Paul and Peter both quoted from the Hebrew “Bible” in their epistles to the churches.

2 – The early church treated Jesus’ words, parables and everything He said with absolute authority.  His words outweighed everything and everyone.  Yes, Jesus accepted the Hebrew Scriptures as having absolute authority, but His power extended beyond that.

3 – The apostles’ teachings held authority.  Proof of this is found throughout the book of Acts. The amount of people that listened and believed because of the power of the Holy Spirit manifested through them was a miracle.  Acts 5:11-14.  This shows they had received authority to preach Jesus’ name and build the church.  They were able to give a full explanation of Jesus’ teachings after He had been crucified.

4 – The letters of the apostles and disciples.  There is absolute authority in the written letters by the apostles and they hold as much authority as their oral teachings.  No one disputed any of the writings when the letters were written and were being passed around from one church to the next.  The witnesses of the events they wrote about were still alive and could attest to the validity of them!

In the first chapter of Acts we can see with clarity the instructions and promises that Jesus gave to the Apostles.  Acts 1:8 serves as both a promise and instruction!  It is with authority that we are expected to preach the word of God because of the power we have received from the Holy Spirit.

Acts 1:8; “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”

While I don’t wish to belabor this topic I truly feel this handbook wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t have the help of some good friends of mine.  The following contribution came from my dear friend Ed Decker.

Ed Decker 

Joseph Smith & his priesthoods 

Mormonism’s Claim to have the full and only authority to act in the name of God on Earth needs to be looked at, not only from the revelation of it from LDS scripture, but also from the Bible.

DOCTRINE AND COVENANTS
OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS
 SECTION 13

Ordination of Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery to the Aaronic Priesthood along the bank of the Susquehanna River, near Harmony, Pennsylvania, May 15, 1829. HC 1: 39–42. The ordination was done by the hands of an angel, who announced himself as John, the same that is called John the Baptist in the New Testament. The angel explained that he was acting under the direction of Peter, James, and John, the ancient apostles, who held the keys of the higher priesthood, which was called the Priesthood of Melchizedek. The promise was given to Joseph and Oliver that in due time the Priesthood of Melchizedek would be conferred upon them. See also Section 27: 7, 8, 12.

Keys and powers of Aaronic Priesthood are set forth.

Upon you my fellow servants, in the name of Messiah I confer the Priesthood of Aaron, which holds the keys of the ministering of angels, and of the gospel of repentance, and of baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; and this shall never be taken again from the earth, until the sons of Levi do offer again an offering unto the Lord in righteousness.

Later, in Chapter 27, we read:

8 Which John I have sent unto you, my servants, Joseph Smith, Jun., and Oliver Cowdery, to ordain you unto the first priesthood which you have received, that you might be called and ordained even as Aaron;

9 And also Elijah, unto whom I have committed the keys of the power of turning the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to the fathers, that the whole earth may not be smitten with a curse;

10 And also with Joseph and Jacob, and Isaac, and Abraham, your fathers, by whom the promises remain;

11 And also with Michael, or Adam, the father of all, the prince of all, the ancient of days;

12 And also with Peter, and James, and John, whom I have sent unto you, by whom I have ordained you and confirmed you to be apostles, and especial witnesses of my name, and bear the keys of your ministry and of the same things which I revealed unto them;

Joseph himself described the visitation of John the Baptist in the Pearl of Great Price, Joseph Smith History, verse 72 when he said:

“The messenger who visited us on this occasion and conferred this Priesthood upon us, said that his name was John, the same that is called John the Baptist in the New Testament, and that he acted under the direction of Peter, James and John, who held the keys of the Priesthood of Melchizedek, which Priesthood, he said, would in due time be conferred on us, and that I should be called the first Elder of the Church, and he (Oliver Cowdery) the second. It was on the fifteenth day of May, 1829, that we were ordained under the hand of this messenger, and baptized.

Now, let’s step away from what the LDS Scripture and Joseph himself, has said and look at it a bit more carefully, from a Biblical perspective.

Joseph’s claim that John the Baptist descended and restored the Levitical priesthood of Aaron can only lead one to believe that he had little or no knowledge of the Bible or Jewish tradition at the time.

John the Baptist never held the Levitical priesthood, and could not restore something he never had, even in Mormon theology.  John wore the skins of an animal and ate food that was considered unclean to the Levitical priesthood.  He functioned in the streets and by-ways, proclaiming Jesus Christ, calling people to repent and be baptized.  The priesthood functioned within the temple at the altar.  It doesn’t match up.

If he were a member of the priesthood of his day, its leaders knew nothing of it.  When challenged by Christ regarding this very subject, they were ignorant of John’s authority 

23 Now when He came into the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people confronted Him as He was teaching, and said, “By what authority are You doing these things? And who gave You this authority?  24 But Jesus answered and said to them, “I also will ask you one thing, which if you tell Me, I likewise will tell you by what authority I do these things:  25 The baptism of John — where was it from? From heaven or from men?”  And they reasoned among themselves, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ He will say to us, ‘Why then did you not believe him?’ 26 But if we say, ‘From men,’ we fear the multitude, for all count John as a prophet.” 27 So they answered Jesus and said, “We do not know.”  And He said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things. Matt 21:23-27 NKJV 

Further, the Mormon priesthood that Joseph Smith claimed was a restoration does not deal with the key functions of the early Aaronic priesthood, the offering of gifts according to the law.

3 For every high priest is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices. Therefore it is necessary that this One also have something to offer. 4 For if He were on earth, He would not be a priest, since there are priests who offer the gifts according to the law; 5 who serve the copy and shadow of the heavenly things, as Moses was divinely instructed when he was about to make the tabernacle. For He said, “See that you make all things according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.”   6 But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, inasmuch as He is also Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises. Heb 8:3-6 NKJ 

Jesus has given us a better Covenant, established upon better promises and has made the old to vanish away. Why would Jesus want to restore what He had come to put an end to?

Joseph Smith claimed that Peter, James and John came and restored the Melchizedek priesthood.  This declaration, like each before it, cannot meet the test of Scripture, or logic.

In Mormonism, no man can hold the Melchizedek priesthood without first holding the Aaronic priesthood.  Those great Apostles of the Lord most obviously were not operating as Levitical priests.  Everything they did within the record of the Word of God places them totally outside that dead priesthood.

The true Melchizedek priesthood was always a priesthood of only one!   It existed before the law was given (Genesis 14:18) and after the law was ended (Hebrews 7:11-17).  It sprang forth with the first offering of bread and wine. (Genesis 14:18)  It reappeared only when the final offering of the broken body of Christ and His shed blood ended the penalty of the law as He became our sin offering by the sacrifice of Himself (Hebrews 9:12-14).

© 2010 Life After Ministries, Inc.

Link for Chapter 19:

Chapter 19. The Influence of Joseph Smith

http://lifeafterministry.wordpress.com/2010/10/22/mentoring-handbook-chapter-19/

Read Full Post »

BEARING YOUR TESTIMONY

From the LDS series of books entitled; Answers to Gospel Questions; there is a question asked by a member of the Church, (vol. 3:28) which says:

Question: “Will you kindly tell me what is a testimony of the gospel, and what must one do to obtain one?”

Sometimes when I pray for the Mormons the only thing I pray is for the Holy Spirit to reveal that it is okay to be an individual and have personal experiences with the Lord that doesn’t include the Church or one of the prophets.  This is how Joseph F. Smith defined a testimony:

…In relation to the gospel, a testimony is a revelation to the individual who earnestly seeks one by prayer, study, and faith. It is the impression or speaking of the Holy Ghost to the soul in a convincing, positive manner. It is something which is far more penetrating than impressions from any other source, but it cannot fully be described.”

After this he quotes Moroni 10:4-5 that says if you ask with a sincere heart the Lord will reveal truth to you with a sign of a “burning in the bosom”.  And then the prophet says;

However it should be kept in mind that the person seeking for this knowledge will not have the privilege of repeated manifestations. He is not entitled to the continual guidance of the Holy Ghost. The Lord will reveal the truth once; then when this testimony has been given, the person should accept the truth and receive the gospel by baptism and the laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost.

The Encyclopedia of Mormonism, pg. 1472 says this about testimonies;

The essence of a testimony is a personal inward assurance of Jesus Christ’s divinity, and it provides the fundamental basis for a Christian life. One becomes a disciple of Christ in the fullest spiritual sense only when a personal testimony of Jesus is receivedTo have such a testimony is to be conscious that God has borne witness within one’s soul by the power of the Holy Ghost that Jesus is the Christ (D&C 46:13).

This almost sounds “Christian” doesn’t it?  If you were to see just that part of their definition you’d be wondering why there’s a problem.  That is why I included “rest of the story”.

As I was participating in a debate with a stake president recently, someone asked him if he knew for sure that he was saved.  After a very pregnant pause, he answered “Oh, now you’re testing my humility.  I would hope that I’m doing all right, I mean I certainly do try hard but I am hoping that I have another thirty or so years to try and perfect it.”

After he said that he let out a big breath and continued on to say he believes the Church is true, he knows Joseph Smith is a prophet of God as is Gordon Hinckley, he also knows that nothing would come between him and the Church.  My heart breaks for the man who sat in that chair with his shoulders slumping over and looking very tired.

Make sure you’re generous with your time when sharing your testimony with the Mormons and ex-Mormons!  Hearing that someone actually has a personal relationship with God and His Son Jesus is an eye opener for many lost in the dark of Mormonism.

Lesson Plan for Chapter 17

1.  Using an English dictionary describe the word “testimony”.

___________________________________________________

___________________________________________________

2.  What is necessary to “gain a testimony” according to the LDS Church?  What about Christianity?  ________________________________________

___________________________________________________

___________________________________________________

___________________________________________________

3.  What did Jesus say in John 14:23 and how does this disagree with the LDS prophet’s answer?  _________________________________________

________________________________________________

________________________________________________

________________________________________________

4.  What is necessary to truly become a disciple of Christ?  See Romans 10:9.  _______________________________________________

_______________________________________________

_______________________________________________

© 2012 Life After Ministries, Inc.

Link for Chapter 18:

Chapter 18. The Authority and Priesthood Issue

http://lifeafterministry.wordpress.com/2010/10/22/mentoring-handbook-chapter-18/

Read Full Post »

GETTING BAPTIZED…AGAIN!

By the time I left Utah and stopped getting baptized for dead people I was sure I could have webbed feet.  I don’t recall how many times I went to the temple (more than five times, less than twenty) I do know it seemed like a lot!  For me, Saturday mornings as a young teen meant a drive with the bishop to downtown Ogden to do works for the dead.

Not long after I was saved the Lord made it apparent to me that I needed to be baptized…again, yet it was for the first time!  I remember waking my poor husband up in the middle of the night after the Lord had impressed it upon my soul that He wanted me to do this.  Kirk said; “that’s nice dear” and quickly went back to sleep as I sat up the rest of the night talking to my Lord.  It was one of the sweetest times I’ve ever had with God.

It is in obedience that we are baptized and not because we “have to”, but because we desire to please our Lord and God.  It is an honor to follow Him and make that public proclamation of our devotion to Jesus.  Even today I still can’t believe He got me of all people, out of Utah!

Jesus is always our example whenever there is any doubt or confusion about what we should do in matters such as these.  We want to emphasize that baptism is not necessary for salvation and we can use the thief on the cross as one of the proofs, as well as Eph. 2:8-9.  However, when we make Jesus our Lord and not merely our Savior, then we will heed the promptings of the Holy Spirit.  He will never contradict what the word says, so we can use this as our measure of truth.

At the beginning of Jesus’ ministry Matthew gives us the account of when Jesus went to the Jordan to be an example of righteousness fulfilled.  Matthew 3:13-7 says;

Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him.  But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me?  And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him.  And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

Getting baptized unto the Lord also serves as another way of denouncing the evil one!  Just as when we consider renewing our wedding vows and our public confession of believing Jesus, being baptized helps the ex-Mormon to spiritually make that break.  The Mormon Church maintains that “true believers” have to be baptized and then have the “laying on of hands to receive the Holy Ghost”.  Make it clear to the ex-Mormon this is not the case by showing them the thief on the cross and also how being baptized for dead people is not scriptural.

Explain in full what 1 Cor. 15:29 really means and also take another look at how Luke 16:19-31 tells us that there is no chance of being able to do things like this either from the grave or for those already in the grave.  The Encyclopedia of Mormonism, pg. 92 says;

The fourth article of faith of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints declares that “baptism by immersion for the remission of sins” is one of the “first principles and ordinances of the Gospel.”…It is a primary step in the process, which includes faith, repentance, baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end, whereby members may receive remission of their sins and gain access to the Celestial Kingdom and eternal life… Baptism must be performed by one who has proper priesthood authority.”

To this I say; work, work, work, work, work… 

© 2010 Life After Ministries, Inc.

Link for Chapter 17:

17. Bearing Your Testimony

http://lifeafterministry.wordpress.com/2010/10/22/mentoring-handbook-chapter-17/

Read Full Post »

THEY NEED A CHURCH

Life After Ministries is a para-church evangelical organization.  We do not sanction one denomination over another, nor do we endorse sole propriety of salvation within one denomination.  However, we strongly encourage the ex-Mormon to get involved in the body of Christ through the means of a local church in their own neighborhood, city or town.  The following small list of questions is merely our suggestions when looking for a good church.

Does this church believe that Jesus is God incarnate?

Does this church believe the Holy Spirit indwells each believer?

Does this church believe that Jesus was born of a virgin through the miracle of God?

Does this church believe that Jesus was fully God and fully man?

Does this church believe in salvation by grace through faith and not by works?

Does this church believe that Jesus was crucified for man’s sin and raised on the third day?

Does this church believe that Jesus is the only way to heaven?

Does this church believe the Bible to be the inerrant word of God?

Can this church provide a financial statement for the year?

Can this church provide a concise constitution of beliefs?

If the answer is “no” to any of these questions then it’s time to move on and look for another church.  We ask our mentors to encourage the ex-Mormon to try attending a good Bible based church.  If they are not comfortable with the style of worship at the church you attend, perhaps you could accompany them to a service at a different church if they’re scared.  While that may seem a bit odd to the non-Mormon, it is a real experience for the ex-Mormon or soon to be ex-Mormon.  We’re not asking you to change churches, just accompany them for one service!

Share your personal experiences with them of what your church life has been like.  They will soon realize that what goes on in the Christian world is much the same even while being drastically different.  Seeing children run around inside the church building and women wearing pants in church can be quite alarming to the new Christian; but if they are encouraged along the way you’ll soon find out there is a highly dedicated new member amongst the ranks!  Now with all this being said let me also state that belonging to a man made religion does not bring you salvation.  Acts 4:12 says;

Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”

It is not uncommon at all for the ex-Mormon to be “gun shy” about joining any church.  I wandered around from the age of 18 to 30 before accepting the Lord into my life while being an inactive Mormon.  When I did get saved and began attending a church I refused to join on the day I was baptized.  Now this particular church usually had the members officially join at the time of baptism, but for me they made this exception which was very kind of them.  I realize now the circumstances were different from that of the LDS Church, but at that time what I needed was to be baptized without “having” to join as a member.  The unfortunate thing about what I did is that it was prideful sin.  To ease the mind of the new ex-Mormon explain why the Christian church does both of these things at the same time.

If you are an ex-Mormon the reason we encourage church membership is so that you can have a safe place for fellowshipping with others who love the Lord.  They can serve as mentors for you, while you in turn help them to understand Mormonism.  God will use you wherever you are and no matter what “stage” you’re in with Him!  However, church membership is not necessary for salvation.  The thief on the cross is proof of that!  Luke 23:39-43 says;

And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us.  But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation?  And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss.  And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom.  And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.”

This simply means that if you accept Jesus into your heart right this moment and something happened that you died in the next minute, you would go to heaven my friend!  No good works are necessary, no church membership, no tithe, nothing but your heart.  The other topic in this department is the subject of denominations.

As mentioned earlier we do not advocate one denomination over another, but it is important to keep in mind that most Mormons do not understand the concept of how they work; why there are different denominations; and sometimes they’ve never been taught the differences between Catholics and Protestants.  Most of the Mormons I’ve mentored had never heard of Martin Luther or what happened in the sixteenth century.  This would be a good time for a short history lesson!

Many times this subject is going to be a tough one for the new ex-Mormon.  You may encounter a sense of uneasiness on their part created by distrust they’ve been taught to harbor in their hearts.  They’ve been taught the different denominations are living proof that a restoration was needed and that the Christian church was no longer in existence on the earth.  Joseph Smith said this in his personal testimony: Joseph Smith 1:18-9;

My object in going to inquire of the Lord was to know which of all the sects was right, that I might know which to join. No sooner, therefore, did I get possession of myself, so as to be able to speak… then I was answered that I must join none of them, for they were all wrong; and the Personage who addressed me said that all their creeds were an abomination in his sight; that those professors were all corrupt…” –

Now compare that with what Jesus said in Matthew 16:18;

And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

In the book of Acts we are given an historical account of the beginnings of the works of the Church.  We see the martyrdom of Stephen, James, and a few other apostles; the indwelling of the Holy Spirit at the first Pentecost; the conversion of Paul on the road to Damascus, the miracles performed, and the missions of the new Church.

The Good News spread rapidly and even the Gentiles were being grafted in to the people of God, just as Jesus had promised His disciples.  Why would these things all go to waste and not continue?  Have the ex-Mormon think about this for some time.

1. What were some of Joseph Smith’s excuses as to why the “Restoration” was needed?  (Give your understanding, not necessarily exact documentation of this).  __________________________________________________

__________________________________________________

__________________________________________________

__________________________________________________

The apostle Paul traveled more than 3,600 miles in his missionary journeys while proclaiming the word of God to the Gentiles.  Some of the apostles stayed behind in Jerusalem while still others went with Paul or spread out in other areas.  There were many trade routes opened at this time because of the expansion of the Roman Empire.

Jerusalem was totally destroyed circa 70 AD by the Roman Empire in retaliation of the Jewish uprising and the Jews were scattered all over the earth as they fled for cover.  With the fall of Jerusalem another historical even took place.  Can you name it?

2.  ______________________________________________

Gently explain to the ex-Mormon how these things are not just a coincidence; using scripture of course!  Why was it that Jerusalem fell, the Jews were scattered, there were no more temple sacrifices and the Redeemer had prepared His children for all of it.  He went with them (believers) as they scattered and spread the gospel throughout the world.  In Luke 4:18 it says;

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.”

If the theory of a restoration in 1830 is correct, then Jesus’ deliverance of the captives was a lie as is 1 John 3:8b;

For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.”

These are just some of the basic things that need to be shown to the ex-Mormon.  Of course there is no way to teach them everything there is in the Bible, thus a solid Bible believing church is needed.  These few examples show the ex-Mormon how God did sustain His church and His people.

Teaching them that scriptures are meant to be used as personal promises to them from God is a blessing they’ve not yet encountered in life.  For example Philippians 1:6 is an assurance from God to us that the body of Christ will never perish.

“Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.”

Now that you know what they need, it’d probably be helpful to understand why.  As we’ve mentioned before, Joseph Smith claimed in his vision that God appeared to him and said that all Christian denominations were wrong, thus the need for a restoration.  Throughout the history of the LDS Church the members have been taught to hate, mistrust and fear anyone who is not LDS and who claims to be a Christian.  The leadership of the LDS Church has toned down their abhorrence towards us in the past twenty or so years, but the damage has been done.  Incidentally, their “Standard Works” still contain the position of division.  The following are some examples of the true feelings they harbor towards the body of Christ.

D&C 1:30; “And also those to whom these commandments were given, might have power to lay the foundation of this church, and to bring it forth out of obscurity and out of darkness, the only true and living church upon the face of the whole earth, with which I, the Lord, am well pleased, speaking unto the church collectively and not individually”

For more examples see the end of this chapter.

One of the most important things to remember is again the mindset of the former Mormon.  From the examples we’ve given of the LDS doctrines it’s easy to see why they might have to work on their dispositions towards the Christians or attending a new church.  Pray with them asking God to reveal what may be hidden deep in their hearts in this matter.

HC 5:389; “Compare this principle once with Christendom at the present day, and where are they, with all their boasted religion, piety and sacredness while at the same time they are crying out against prophets… Why, they are just ripening for the damnation of hell. They will be damned, for they reject the most glorious principle of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and treat with disdain and trample under foot the key that unlocks the heavens and puts in our possession the glories of the celestial world.” 

Messenger & Advocate Vol. 1, Oct. 1834 No. 19; “Messenger & Advocate Vol. 1, Oct. 1834 No. 19; “That principle which actuates the children of men to revile, ridicule, calumniate and destroy the peace of one another, because they take the liberty to think for themselves in matters of religion, is certainly from beneath, and not from above…They are of their father, the devil, and his works they will do; and unless they repent, they must inevitably perish in some of the calamities that shall be poured out upon the ungodly.” 

Elder Orson Pratt, JD 18:172; “But as there has been no Christian Church on the earth for a great many centuries past, until the present century, the people have lost sight of the pattern that God has given according to which the Christian Church should be established…” 

Elder John Taylor 6:167; “There is not nation now that acknowledges that hand of God; there is not a king, potentate, nor ruler that acknowledges his jurisdiction. We talk about Christianity, but it is a perfect pack of nonsense. Men talk about civilization; but I do not want to say much about that, for I have seen enough of it…It is a sounding brass and a tinkling symbol; it is as corrupt as hell; and the Devil could not invent a better engine to spread his work that the Christianity of the nineteenth century.” 

Brigham Young, JD 6:176; “Brother Taylor has just said that the religions of the day were hatched in hell. The eggs were laid in hell, hatched on its borders, and then kicked on to the earth. They may be called cockatrices, for they sting wherever they go. Go to their meetings in the Christian world, and you will hear them remark, “Our ministers dictate our souls’ salvation;” and they are perfectly composed and resigned to trust their whole future destiny to their priests…” 

Orson Pratt, JD 14:346; “How long is it since Zion ceased? For everybody will admit, among all Christian denominations, that there has been no revelation for some seventeen hundred years,—among all the Protestants of the present day, among all the Catholics that lived before them and that now live, and among all the different peoples and nations and tongues that have received the doctrines…They all admit that, they all testify and acknowledge that God has had no inspired men on the earth since the days of the Apostles…” 

EM, pg. 470; “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints does not see itself as one Christian denomination among many, but rather as God’s latter-day restoration of the fulness of Christian faith and practice. Thus, from its earliest days LDS Christians sought to distinguish themselves from Christians of other traditions. Other forms of Christianity, while bearing much truth and doing much good under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, are viewed as incomplete, lacking the authority of the priesthood of God 

George Q. Cannon, JD 24:185-186; “…no thinking man can admit that Christianity so-called—I call it a false Christianity, untrue to its name—…You look in vain for those features that distinguished it, and that gave it power in the earth, and that made it the foe of Paganism and false religions existing in those days, and which gave it the wonderful success it achieved. It is destitute of these features… it nevertheless is destined to tumble with Babylon the great…” 

© 2010 Life After Ministries, Inc.

Link for Chapter 16

Chapter 16. Getting Baptized…Again!

http://lifeafterministry.wordpress.com/2010/10/22/mentoring-handbook-chapter-16/

Read Full Post »

FUNDAMENTALS:  IS IT A LIE OR IS IT BIBLICAL? 

[a] You can resign from the Church and still love Jesus

An ex-Mormon once told me that it didn’t dawn on her that she could love Jesus and leave the Church too.  Hearing this broke my heart and prompted me to add a few sections to the mentoring program – so this particular segment is dedicated in her honor.  The ministry was actually created because I am totally convinced the Mormon people love Jesus – it’s just the wrong jesus and I cannot in good conscience sit around knowing this without doing something about it!

This lovely woman was convinced by the Church that she was evil and there was no plausible way that anyone could love Jesus and go to heaven without being a member of the Church.  It was only after she had resigned from the Church that she began thinking she could know about God!

I am absolutely appalled by the blatant lies the Church has either told or implied to these dear people.  The most wonderful thing in my life that has ever happened to me was to begin my new life with Jesus!  I never would have been able to have the relationship with Him by staying in the Church.  Yes, I lost some friendships and relationships with family members but as the apostle Paul said;

But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.  Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ.” – Philippians 3:7-8.

It didn’t take me long after I left the Church to realize that everything I knew was a lie.  I’ve never found one LDS doctrine that is biblically correct.  From the nature and character of God, salvation, our existence as humans to the war in heaven; all of it is a lie.

When we think of it in those terms it is quite overwhelming at times so I encourage the ex-Mormon to just focus on the things of today.  (Depending on who the ex-Mormon; just one subject a week will be sufficient for study.)

What would Jesus want for you to learn today?  Has there been something on your heart that keeps presenting itself to you?  This is probably the Holy Spirit prompting you to learn more about Him and the truth!

Quite frankly, when I left and realized the enormity and magnitude of the consequences from being a Mormon, I walked around in a state of shock for almost five years.  Literally.

For some ex-Mormons it won’t take five years.  I’ve seen over the years of doing this that it hits harder the closer to Utah you are geographically speaking, and if you’re a convert versus a multi-generational, temple worthy or not, how many years spent active, etc.

[b] Getting Out and Taking Control

We highly encourage all people who want to disassociate themselves with Mormonism to officially resign and demand the Church send you the papers acknowledging that you have taken this action.  For the sake of space and brevity you can see sample letters of resignation on the website so I’m not listing them here.

These papers serve two purposes for the ex-Mormon.  1-You are taking control of your life, you are no longer under their edict.  2-They are forced to claim one less person in their ranks.  While the latter may not seem to make any type of impact upon the Church, let me say that if everyone who leaves would do this, the Church wouldn’t be able to claim half the numbers they do!

You’ll want to have three copies of the letter to send out.  One copy goes to each of the following; the bishop, stake president and the headquarters for membership in Salt Lake City.

Two of the letters will probably come back to you unopened.  Keep them for your verification they were sent.  The other one will make it to one of the three with someone responding.  You can find the addresses for your bishop and Stake President in your local yellow pages.  The address for the Church headquarters is:

Presiding Bishop LDS Headquarters

50 East North Temple St.

Salt Lake City, UT  84150

You will then receive a form letter from your area representative informing you that you could “lose the blessings of baptism” if you continue your action.  It will also say that per your request they will remove your name if they don’t hear from you within thirty days.  After that time you will receive your letter signed and dated stating that your name has been removed and you are no longer a member of the Church.

Depending on how active you were at the time of your resignation, they may try to coerce you into a Church trial.  DO NOT SUBMIT YOURSELF to this action.  State politely but firmly in your letter the reasons why you want your name removed and give them thirty days from the day they receive the letter.  By law they are required to follow your request.

Your letter can say anything you want it to!  You will want to take your time to think about everything you want it to say – but now is not the time to be bashful!

 [c] Doubting the Decision to Leave

From the time I graduated from high school to the time I accepted Jesus as my Savior I was a “jack-Mormon”; an inactive member of the LDS Church.  Those thirteen years of thinking the Church was wrong, but not knowing how or why was lonely indeed.  I could give no good excuse as to why I wouldn’t go to church other than to say that I didn’t like the restrictive ways.

By my mid twenties I still couldn’t articulate why I didn’t agree other than to say I didn’t want to be pregnant for all of eternity, nor did I believe people could become gods.  That was the extent of my disagreement with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

It was Palm Sunday of ’93 that I accepted Jesus into my life at a little church in the town I live.  When people accept Jesus as Savior it is a life changing experience as Luke shares with us in the book of Acts at the first Pentecost.  While our experience may not occur with the noise and miracles that took place that day in the Bible, it is still a life altering experience and a miracle in itself!

For the majority of Christians, their new lives will not include the drama of what takes place for the ex-Mormon or any other ex- cultist for that matter.  The first few months, if not the first few years, the decision they made to leave the Church will encounter some bumps along the road and doubting their decision to leave Mormonism will make an appearance.  You as a mentor will want to reassure the new Christian that this is a normal process that all Christians go through; it’s called spiritual warfare!  The thoughts of “what if” came and went from my thoughts on a daily basis for what seemed like an eternity.

In the beginning I dismissed the thoughts without divulging my shame to anyone.  I couldn’t go to my family because they had already begun the shunning process against me.  I had no clue that I should ask for prayer from my new “family in Christ”.  I chalked it up to my warped mind and not thinking godly things like other Christians thought.  Then one blissful day while in a Sunday school class I learned about doubting, and discovered I wasn’t alone!  What a glorious day it was to know I wasn’t the only one!

 Mark 9:24 says;

And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.”

I went back and forth in my mind for quite awhile, but the one thing I did do faithfully was pray that scripture to Jesus.  Intellectually I knew Mormonism was wrong.  I saw time and again how it not only contradicted the Bible, but went so far as to even contradict itself.  I stood on the promise of what Jesus told that doubting father in verse 23;

Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.”

The things I doubted were probably nothing more and nothing less than what every other ex-Mormon thinks.  I thought, “If the Mormons are right and I’m wrong then I’ll make it

to the Telestial Kingdom and that’d be okay, it’s better than hell”.  And then

the holidays came along with the beast of loneliness, but the most difficult times were when my father’s side of the family held their family reunions.

I missed seeing everyone and feeling like I belonged.  My children would never experience how warm and comforting it is to know you are surrounded by hundreds of relatives who love you just because you belong to their clan.  To be honest, there are still times even now that I miss it, but there’s not a shred of doubt that I’ve done the right thing!

One time when I was going through a fair amount of spiritual warfare, a good friend of mine showed me 2 Cor. 10:5;

Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.”

Now whenever I find myself in a not-so-nice of a mood I recite that verse aloud.  It serves two purposes; Satan hears it and knows my thoughts are upon Jesus and it sets me straight spiritually.  Through God’s omnipotent power when I speak that verse I can actually feel my mood lighten!

When an ex-Mormon expresses to me they doubt their decision to leave I share those three verses with them.  Now you may have your own set of favorite verses that you rely upon and I encourage you to share those with the person you’re mentoring.  Explain to them as I have here why you use the verses you do.

Leaving Mormonism is a huge thing to do in someone’s life!  These beautiful people aren’t just finding another church to attend; they are leaving behind their entire heritage.  Every fiber of their being is Mormon.  The way they think, dress, shop for food, and behave defines who they are.  Walking away from Mormonism demands that they reinvent themselves.  The sooner they establish a daily routine with God, the smoother their transition will be. 

[d] Discarding the hatred for non-Mormons

The LDS Church was given birth to by the inflated ego of Joseph Smith, the founder of Mormonism.  From its inception the LDS Church and members’ attitude towards the non-Mormon has been filled with hatred.  I’ve never found a word that could fully articulate the level of hatred and animosity I held towards anyone who wasn’t as good as I was being a Mormon.

I suppose the best description I could give for the reader is to think about the radical Muslims in the Middle East and their hatred towards you; the westerner.  The only difference between the Muslim and the Mormon is the lack of violence the latter employs today towards the “infidel”.  It must be understood that only a century ago the LDS Church held strongly to the beliefs of “blood atonement”, which they never hesitated to engage when and where needed. This animosity has left behind the physical manifestations of publicly avenging the Church; however the resentment is still inside of their hearts as they tutor the next generation.

It’s also important to understand they carry around an air of superiority.   For the ex-Mormon to truly be set free they must claim the blood of Jesus upon themselves and ask God to forgive them for this grievous sin of hating His people.  The Mormon truly believes their blood is Jewish blood; for they are the “true Jews”.  Brigham Young’s statement is found in the Journal of Discourses, 2:269;

Again, if a pure Gentile firmly believes the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and yields obedience to it, in such a case I will give you the words of the Prophet Joseph—“When the Lord pours out the Holy Ghost upon that individual he will have spasms, and you would think that he was going into fits.”  Joseph said that the Gentile blood was actually cleansed out of their veins, and the blood of Jacob made to circulate in them…

It’s no surprise the Biblical view of this is non-existent.  God says nothing of the sort about blood being changed at the moment of conversion.  However we have a true gem of a passage when the apostle John gave us the test of who our brothers are in Christ.  It is very telling and clearly shows how the Mormon is exempt from being a true Christian.  1 John 2:9-11;

He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now.  He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him.  But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes.”

The Book of Mormon is abundantly clear about their feelings towards the body of Christ.  It is peppered with their utter disdain towards the true Christian church throughout its text and for the sake of brevity I am only listing one example.  1 Nephi 14:10;

“And he said unto me: Behold there are save two churches only; the one is the church of the Lamb of God, and the other is the church of the devil; wherefore, whoso belongeth not to the church of the Lamb of God belongeth to that great church, which is the mother of abominations; and she is the whore of all the earth.” 

Sadly the Mormon will usually go their entire life believing this lie!  Believing this is what kept me in the Church for thirty years! I had done many things that weren’t holy but I certainly didn’t want to become a whore on top of everything else.

[e] What it means to be persecuted

Some of the best books I read about persecution when I got out of the Church were; Foxes Book of Martyrs; The Search for the Twelve Apostles and The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom.  The latter would be a great read for any ex-Mormon because it also serves as a humble example of how to forgive those who trespass against us.

Dictionary.com says this about being persecuted:  “To oppress or harass with ill-treatment, especially because of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or beliefs.”

It would also be beneficial for the ex-Mormon to learn that Joseph Smith disqualified himself from being a martyr when he shot and killed two people (History of the Church 6:607) as he himself was being attacked by an angry mob in Carthage, Illinois back in June of 1844.  The definition of martyr is:  “one who voluntarily suffers death as the penalty for refusing to renounce their religion”.  Shooting someone in self-defense doesn’t sound like martyrdom to me.  You can read about the events of Joseph and Hyrum’s arrest to the shootout in Carthage in History of the Church, 6:602-622.

The Mormon’s sense of being persecuted is usually well intact by the time they reach kindergarten.  Every good Mormon knows the story of how Joseph Smith was tarred and feathered back in 1832 and they are religiously taught this same attitude will befall them as well just for being a “peculiar people”.  In the Encyclopedia of Mormonism, pg. 1076 it says;

Anti-Mormon literature has often incited and precipitated persecution, from early attempts to discredit Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon, to recent films misrepresenting LDS doctrine. LDS missionaries have sometimes especially been persecuted.”

In Mormon Doctrine by Bruce R. McConkie it goes on to say this about persecution on pg. 569:

Persecution is the heritage of the faithful… Indeed, it is of the church of the devil which the revelation speaks when it says, she is “the great persecutor of the church”; she is “the apostate, the whore, even Babylon, that maketh all nations to drink of her cup, in whose hearts the enemy, even Satan, sitteth to reign”; she is the one, after the apostles were “fallen asleep,” who sowed the tares with the wheat. (D. & C. 86.)

These two examples will give the non-Mormon a good idea of where the ex-Mormon is coming from.  Show them Acts 5:41 but make sure that you read the whole passage in context as to why the disciples were persecuted.  Also point out that the persecution the disciples went through was for the sake of the “true gospel” of Christ.

[f] The black clouds overhead are the demons of Mormonism

As we continue in our walk with Jesus we begin to see how the Bible is replete with reminders to us from the Lord that we need not walk in fear.

Paul shows us in 2 Tim. 1:7 that God has not given us a spirit of timidity and fear.

He gave us peace beyond understanding from Phil. 4:7

Our souls cling to Him – Ps. 63:8

In times of trouble He is there – Ps. 119:49, 58

Ps. 60 throughout history has lovingly been referred to as “The Golden Ode” for prayer.  Ps. 61 is a prayer that I have used for my personal life on countless occasions for when I have no words for the pain in my heart, but I know that my Lord and God will understand it as He continues to uplift and hold me during the times of my distress.

There will be those scriptures that you’ve held onto when there have been times of trouble so you’ll want to show the ex-Mormon how to look for comfort from God’s word and apply it to their own lives.

For the first twenty plus years of my life I had no idea there were stores that catered to the Christian world.  When I got saved someone at my church told me there were Bible versions other than the KJV.  This was new!  “Wow, I thought, God doesn’t speak in 1611 English?”  It was a totally new concept for me.

With a list of suggestions from a few people in the congregation I loaded my babies in the car and drove thirty miles north of the town I lived in at the time.  I had searched for awhile in the yellow pages for one that was far enough away so there wouldn’t be any Mormons around that I might know.  Ironically, the only people I knew in town were the Christians at my church because we were relatively new to the area.  The fear I had inside ruled my world as I allowed the “scriptures” of Mormonism rule my thought life.  I was sweating like a stuck pig and shaky by the time I got there and I truly thought I could have had a heart attack!

When I got in the store there were two ladies standing at the cash register and all I could do was frantically scan the signs hanging from the ceilings describing the goods for that section.  Seeing the Bible section I ran with my baby girls in tow to quickly get something and get out fast.  I knew enough in my young Christian life that I needed something easier to read, but just how to go about that was beyond anything I was able to handle at that point.  I was obviously still suffering from panic attacks for fear of my life from my exodus from the Church.  Going to a Christian bookstore was over the top in the area of rebellion.

While standing in the Bible section and feeling my chest tighten I almost jumped to the ceiling when one of the ladies from the front counter came up behind me and touched me on my elbow.  After I answered her question about my apparent jumpiness she asked if she could ask me a question.  She wanted to know if I was Mormon and if so, could she pray for me?  I knew it.  I knew they’d find me and here I was in the middle of nowhere and they still found me!  These were my first thoughts.

It took her about five minutes to convince me she wasn’t Mormon, only that she recognized the look on my face from the other Mormons who had been saved.  She in my opinion was sent there by God personally!  I told her how long I’d been in the Church, and a little of my background for her to gain some insight.  She picked out just one Bible she thought I’d be blessed with.  Sadly, I couldn’t get out of there quickly enough.

The next week at my new church I sat in a Bible study that I had signed up for and realized for the first time in my life that God is sovereign.  The Bible that woman had picked out for me was written for the series of the Bible studies I had signed up for and I hadn’t told her about them.

Now before we go any further let me take a side trip here and explain my position on different Bible versions.  I hope it is apparent that I have nothing against the KJV.  It is a beautiful version, and I feel content that I’ve explained all this well enough in the beginning stages of this workbook.

I am of the opinion that God speaks other languages and other variations of English in addition to 1611 English.  In my personal life I use NASB for the easiness and flow in my studies.  I do use the KJV when I want to use my Strong’s Concordance so it is always at hand as well.  For the sake of the ministry and so as to not be offensive to the LDS community I use only KJV when I am with them. With that behind us…onward!

The only way I have found to be completely healed from Mormonism both inside and out is through the study of His word and companionship with Him and no one else around.  Just you, your Bible and God.

Oh, there are many good counselors, mentors, psychologists, etc. and I am not advocating that you stop seeing professional doctors if you are doing that right now or later.  I’m merely sharing what happened to me and the fact that God still performs miracles.  In fact after I got saved I chose to see a reputable Christian psychologist who through prayer and Bible study gave me an objective point of view for something very personal.  After years of prayer, work and gut-wrenching attempts and failures of eradicating Mormonism from my soul, I felt that there was just one other area that I couldn’t “clear out of me”.  It was at the end of my visits with the counselor when God allowed a stretch of time that I had to stay home from anything outside the house because of my MS.

While flipping through the television stations one morning, I came upon a preacher who had just begun a four week study on the book of Ruth.  I had never heard of him until then, but thought what he had to say was worth watching; it was Adrian Rogers.

It was during this time that the Lord, my Kinsman Redeemer healed what was still left broken inside of my heart through the book of Ruth.  Just those four chapters held the most powerful “cure” of my entire life!  I had searched for years to make the “ickiest” feeling inside of me go away, but it clung on and wouldn’t ever go away completely.  No one knew my shame but me and Jesus.  The demon wasn’t inside of me mind you; it just hung overhead reminding me of my past.  It didn’t “rule” my entire life, but it did impact many things around me with its influence.

I took that lesson from Jesus and applied it to my mission of teaching ex-Mormons and Christians alike how to do word studies and how to lead “my people” out of the darkness.  It changed my life forever.  Jesus obviously used a godly man to speak to me through His word.  I am convinced He’ll use His word again and again for you too; there is healing through the words in your Bible.

The easiest way to “find” a good scripture is to just look up the subject in the concordance and it will list all the verses where it’s located.  If the ex-Mormon is crying a lot throughout this exodus you’ll want to look up the word “tears”.  God tells us that He holds all our tears in a bottle – Ps. 56:8; Ps. 39:12.  We’ve already talked about how to get the transliterations from these words, but for now you just want the location of the verse.  If they don’t feel there is any peace in their hearts then look up peace, etc.

A good way for their minds to get off of themselves is to think of how great our God is!  This helps them put things in perspective about God and draws them away from self-destructive thinking.  Isaiah 40:12 is a great example of this.  It asks the question; who has measured the waters in the hollow of His hand?  Continue along this line to teach them there are other things to think about now that they’re a Christian.

The Mormon has never heard that the Spirit of God was moving across the waters after He created them as His word tells us in Gen. 1:2.  Engage them in conversation about this; ask them what their thoughts are when they think about the Spirit of God moving across the waters.  What would that have looked like, what would it feel like to see something like that if we could see His Spirit?

Definitely show them Isaiah 41:10-16.  This is God’s promise to His children that He will uphold them with His right hand and keep them safe from those who seek to fight with them.  What an awesome promise that this is already done and we can take comfort in this!

To the mentor:  help the ex-Mormon break the chain!  Ideas to help them refocus their attention:

Volunteer to take them to the Christian bookstore in their local town, pray with them before and after the visit to help ease their fears.  While there, explain a few of the differences in Bibles, music, study guides, etc. 

Play Christian hymns and songs while they are in your presence; give them the Christian radio station numbers on the FM and AM stations. 

Tell them about the “powerhouses” of Christian evangelists.  Adrian Rogers, J. Vernon McGee, David Jeremiah, Hudson Taylor, George Muller, Oswald Chambers, et al.

[g] Necromancy – the other oppression

Explain to the Mormon why it’s important to know about “familiar spirits”.  Deut. 18:11 tells us that we are not to consult with familiar spirits and this is what is taking place when they are performing works for the dead in the temple.  God calls it necromancy.

It’s a part of their heritage they must leave behind.  They will know what this “feels” like when you begin studying this.  It is commonly referred to as the “feeling you get when you go to temple”.  They need to ask God to forgive them for these practices and then ask Him to come and indwell them so that no other “familiar spirit” can be there.  There are other examples in the Bible that refer to “familiar spirits”; make sure you look up a good deal of them so they can begin learning how to ask for discernment.

One of the most common forms of this is seen quite often with LDS members who have lost a close relative; child, parent, spouse, et al.  Many Mormons believe their relatives can visit them after they are dead to give them special messages from God or another loved one.  In the gentlest way possible show them how this can’t be.  Luke 16:19-31 is a good example to share with them what Jesus says about this

Going back to our word studies; remind them of the witch Endor in 1 Sam. 28:7-14.  Saul had entreated the witch to bring up the spirit of the deceased prophet Samuel.  In verse thirteen the word “gods” is used.  That word in the Hebrew is “elohim”.

After our daughter Mallory died my mother gave me a book called “Angel Children”.  It was written by a well meaning LDS woman who had lost her son in infancy and his supposed visits to her after he died.  I think I scared my mother when I told her in no uncertain terms that Mallory was gone forever and wouldn’t be making any visits to me anytime soon.  I realize that at times like these emotions run high and because of this it’s important to always turn to what God says and not what we feel or think is right.

1.  Why would consulting with dead relatives be spiritually harmful?  __________________________________________

__________________________________________________

2.  What did Jesus tell the Pharisees about necromancy in Luke 16:19-31?  __________________________________________

___________________________________________________

[h] You’re not as old as you think

By now, you the mentor know enough about Mormonism that I’m certain you are aware of the “pre-existence” doctrine of LDS theology!  While there are many things in the exodus process that “shock” the ex-Mormon, the subject of the pre-existence is typically at or near the top of everyone’s list.

The first time I found out I hadn’t lived before I came here to earth was after I had been married for six or seven years.  My husband Kirk and I were driving home from town one day when the subject of pre-earth life came up; keep in mind neither of us was saved at the time.  Try as I might, God could go around the many obstacles I kept throwing in His way!

I must have said something about our lives before we came here and Kirk asked me to explain myself.  It was at that time he told me he didn’t believe in a pre-existence!  I sat in stunned silence the rest of the way home and tried to imagine being created only a handful of years previously.  What should have been shocking was that after seven years of marriage I didn’t know this about my husband!  That aside, it was the catapult to get me studying.  Up until that time I had always assumed everyone pre-existed.

The Bible is very clear in regards to when God created us with countless examples of our creation in the womb from the Psalms, Jeremiah, Isaiah 45:7 (one of my favorites to show Mormons) and on it goes!  We also see Paul tell the Corinthian church that God created Adam from the earth and then mankind was created spiritually – 1 Cor. 15:44-48.

Show the ex-Mormon another proof of no pre-existence with the term “being born again”.  John 3:3-5;

Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.”

In this passage, verse four is the key verse!  Nicodemus asked Jesus if a man could enter his mother’s womb a second time…  Now, if you’re a Mormon you would have to look at this passage and wonder why Nicodemus didn’t say “three times”.

The Mormon believes their first birth took place in the pre-existence as a spirit baby; the second time was here on earth; and the third time would be when they are baptized.  By believing that man’s spirit is eternal we are stripping away one of God’s attributes that places Him above us.  The Pharisees tried to do this with Jesus as well when they accused Him of blasphemy as He told them they did not know their own father, Abraham.  If they had known Abraham they obviously would have known not to accuse Him of this in

John 8:55-58;

 “Yet ye have not known him; but I know him: and if I should say, I know him not, I shall be a liar like unto you: but I know him, and keep his saying. Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad.  Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham?  Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.”

This infuriated the Pharisees!  By claiming His name as “I am”, the Jews knew instantly He was calling Himself God because this is what God told Moses His name is in Exodus 3:14!

Not only does this show the Mormon that no one but the Deity of God was in heaven before the earth was created, it also shows them that Jesus is God!

Whereas, here is what the Church says about the pre-existence of man and his eternal nature;

“To understand the doctrine of pre-existence two great truths must be accepted: 1. That God is a personal Being in whose image man is created, an exalted, perfected, and glorified Man of Holiness (Moses 6:57), and not a spirit essence that fills the immensity of space; and 2. That matter or element is self-existent and eternal in nature, creation being merely the organization and reorganization of that substance which “was not created or made, neither indeed can be.” (D. & C. 93:29.) Unless God the Father was a personal Being, he could not have begotten spirits in his image…” – Mormon Doctrine, pg. 589.

[i] Being the color you are is not a choice you’ve made

LDS doctrine leads the members to believe they are a certain color because of the way they behaved before they were born.  Mormons believe they were spiritually begotten by God and their Heavenly Mother before they came here to earth.  After their birth, came a war in heaven and they either took sides with Satan or Jesus.  If you sided with Satan, you would be cursed here on earth with dark skin and/or dark hair and dark eyes.  You would be known as “dark and loathsome”.  If you sided with Jesus, you were blessed with being “white and delightsome”.

With this in mind it is easy to figure out that if you are a Mormon and dark there was a price to pay.  That price is called shame.  Since we’ve already addressed this issue let’s take another look at how this can be exposed.  I’ve never counted the number of verses in the Bible that talk about our creation, but I know there are many.  Begin in Isaiah 44:2 where it says that God formed you in the womb.  There is also Ps. 139:14 and then show them 1 Cor. 15:44-9 again.  Paul told the Corinthians that man was first made from the earth and the spirit comes next.

This is in direct opposition to what the ex-Mormon has always believed.  While some of the passages I am using may sound redundant they all relate to each other and shows the ex-Mormon how detailed the lies of Joseph Smith really were.

Ask the ex-Mormon what color they think Jesus may have been.  If they’re not “white and delightsome” ask them if they still have any shame in their coloring and why.  Remind them to ask the Lord to forgive them if they’ve looked down on others for being dark or if they’ve believed the lie and known shame for being dark, they need to repent of that as well.  Remind them again that God remembers their sin no more once they’ve repented – Isaiah 43:25.

1.  Do you feel shame because of your coloring?  If so what does Genesis chapter six mean to you?

___________________________________________________

___________________________________________________

___________________________________________________

2.  Noah had three sons.  What is the Hebrew transliteration of each?  ______________________________________________

______________________________________________

______________________________________________

[j] Man is inherently evil

Another vital subject to look at is the nature of man.  LDS doctrine teaches that children cannot sin – sad but true.  They teach that everyone goes to heaven because of being born perfect until the age of accountability at the age of eight.  Then suddenly when people turn eight years old they need to repent of their sins and be baptized to be forgiven.

The depravity of man is the entire reason we need a Savior.  The Law had lived out its useful life and when the time was right, God provided the perfect Lamb to be sacrificed for our sinful existence.

1.  As an ex-Mormon what goes through your mind when you see that scenario mentioned above written down?  _________________________________________________

_________________________________________________

It is at this time the person being baptized also become official members of the Church.  There are countless scriptures that talk about the evil of man’s nature so I would spend a good deal of time in this area.

2.  Give at least five examples of the sin nature in man.  Use scripture to define your examples.

_________________________________________________

_________________________________________________

_________________________________________________

_________________________________________________

_________________________________________________

From the words of James Talmage in his book, Articles of Faith, pg. 63 it says;

It has become a common practise [sic] with mankind to heap reproaches upon the progenitors of the family, and to picture the supposedly blessed state in which we would be living but for the fall; whereas our first parents are entitled to our deepest gratitude for their legacy to posterity— But for the opportunity thus given, the spirits of God’s offspring would have remained forever in a state of innocent childhood, sinless through no effort of their own; negatively saved, not from sin, but from the opportunity of meeting sin.”

3.  What does the above LDS teaching do to the status of God?  Share an example (scripture) of what God says about Himself.

__________________________________________________

__________________________________________________

__________________________________________________

4.  What does the LDS scripture do for the status of man?  Is this okay or not and explain why.  ____________________________________________

_________________________________________________

_________________________________________________

_________________________________________________

Moses 5:10-11; “And in that day Adam blessed God and was filled, and began to prophesy concerning all the families of the earth, saying: Blessed be the name of God, for because of my transgression my eyes are opened, and in this life I shall have joy, and again in the flesh I shall see God.  And Eve, his wife, heard all these things and was glad, saying: Were it not for our transgression we never should have had seed…”

5.  Compare the false teaching above with the true chronology of events taken from the scriptures listed here; Gen. 1:26-8 and

Gen.  2:18-25.

___________________________________________________

___________________________________________________

___________________________________________________

6.  Don’t forget your key words and word study in this little section!  Look up the Hebrew word for “one” in Gen. 2:25 and define it.

____________________________________________________

____________________________________________________

____________________________________________________

The clincher to this whole subject…they are still in the Garden of Eden at this point.  The Bible says nothing of having to leave the Garden of Eden if they have babies.

Then we come to chapter three and the serpent starts tricking Eve into sin.  Observe how she is still in the Garden of Eden while being fully aware she was not to eat of the tree of knowledge and being fully aware they were to procreate.  This will be a “biggie” for the ex-Mormon.  They have always believed that Adam and Eve needed to sin in order to have babies.  God didn’t say that sex is sinful; He actually sanctioned it by giving them the command to become one flesh!

Think about it.  What parent needs to teach their kid how to have a temper tantrum and to be selfish?  I don’t know about your kids, but you should’ve been here to see mine.  While they were pretty good kids, I don’t recall ever having to teach them how to have a temper tantrum or how to steal a toy or cookie from their sibling.

[k] No, you won’t become a god

Before we begin this section I want to share an experience with you that I had right after I accepted the Lord.  This story serves as an example that there is no need to be embarrassed or ashamed of any question that is asked by the ex-Mormon; or any of us for that matter!

I was so hungry for God and would do anything I could to just sit with the pastoral staff at our church to soak up their knowledge of the Bible.  I don’t recall now how long Kirk and I had been going to church when we invited one of the senior pastors over for dessert so that we could just sit and ask stupid questions while in the privacy of our home instead of the “watchful eyes” of seasoned Christians.  (Pride, pride, pride was still reigning in our veins!)

So Pastor Ben and his wife graciously became the guinea pigs for our experience.  Pastor Ben had been retired from the ministry for over 10 years by the time we met him, but he still held the most endearing, patient look in his eyes that I’ll never forget.

I sat directly across from him and told him up front that I didn’t know the names of all the apostles; I wasn’t real clear on where Jesus was born; I had never heard of Abraham; wasn’t sure who Noah was and other miscellaneous things.  Then I asked him if John the Baptist and the apostle John was the same person.

This dear older man placed his hands down on his knees and said; “I don’t think I’ve ever been asked that question, but I’m sure glad you asked!”  Mind you, he’d been in ministry for over 60 years…leave it to me to show him something new!  He went on to tell us the difference of John the Baptist and the apostle John and their parts in the history of the gospel.  I learned the greatest lesson that day; and it had nothing to do with scripture.  I was on my way to a whole new world!

One of the most significant discoveries the ex-Mormon will make is finding out they won’t become a god.  Every time I speak to an ex-Mormon they all tell me the greatest scripture they ever found was Isaiah 43:10-11.  Here it is:

Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.   I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no saviour.”

Some other verses to compare this with are as follows:  Is. 44:6, 8; Is. 45:5, 14, 21-2; Is. 46:5, 9; Is. 48:11;  Deut. 6:4; Deut. 4:35, 39; Deut. 32:39; John 10:30; 1 Cor. 8:4; Eph. 4:6; Is. 9:6.

The other greatest discovery for the ex-Mormon is accepting that Jesus is God!  I once mentored an ex-Mormon who told me she had been saved for almost three years before someone in her Bible study at her church said something in regard to Jesus being God.  She had never heard this before.

She came over to visit so that we could go through scripture and to place one more nail in the coffin of Mormonism for her when she began explaining her day to me.  I had wrongly presumed she had been taught this from the very beginning.

It’s bad enough the Mormons aren’t taught this all important truth about Jesus, but the Christian Church isn’t proclaiming it everyday their doors are open!  What has happened here?  Let’s begin by reading John 1:1, 14;

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.”

Ask the ex-Mormon why they believe everyone was always so angry with Jesus.  They usually won’t have an answer for you or if they do, it’s usually wrong.  That’s okay though because they are with you to learn…remind them the only dumb question is the one not asked!

1. In your own words (no theologians allowed) explain the passage of scripture listed above.  The only one grading the paper you’re writing on is you – no one else.  _________________________________________________

_________________________________________________

_________________________________________________

_________________________________________________

2.  Write down at least three other times that Jesus was ridiculed for claiming He was God; the Bread of Life.

___________________________________________________

___________________________________________________

___________________________________________________

Jesus was always being yelled at because He claimed to be God as we well know.  Remind them of John 8:58.  There are going to be many verses that are your favorites so share with them what those are and teach them how to look up references to Jesus being God in their concordance.

[l] Sandals are scriptural/shorts are optional

Part of leaving Mormonism behind is finding the strength in disrobing.  While I understand that sounds horribly ungodly, stick with me here for a moment to understand the mindset of the Mormon.  The Mormon is taught that in order to truly be saved they must make it to the Celestial Kingdom – the highest level of heaven.  There is no true salvation outside this level.  In order to get there you must be temple worthy and once you’re temple worthy you are awarded the “honor and blessing” of purchasing temple garments.  The Encyclopedia of Mormonism says this about the Celestial Kingdom on page 260;

Celestial glory comes to those “who received the testimony of Jesus, and believed on his name and were baptized after the manner of his burial,…and who overcome by faith, and are sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise, which the Father sheds forth upon all those who are just and true” (D&C 76:51-53). Within the celestial glory are three levels, and to obtain the highest requires a temple marriage or sealing.”

Temple garments are a thin layer of plain white clothing that is worn next to your skin and under your “street clothing”.  The “TBM” (true blue Mormon) wouldn’t be caught dead without their garments on and after they’ve worn them awhile they become “a part of them”.  In other words, they feel as if they’re naked without them; be patient but firm in this area; in order for them to be truly free from the Church they must discard these items of clothing.

Make sure they don’t go through the rituals of what the Church tells them they must do when getting rid of them.  The Church instructs its members to burn them so “outsiders” won’t have the chance of mocking them.  Suggest they simply throw them away without burning them.  Reassure the ex-Mormon they are not under the edict of the Church; but under the counsel of Jesus now!

It’s going to take some time before the ex-Mormon feels all right about this monumental decision, but it is necessary they take this important step.  I was speaking at a church once when a woman approached me to say she was an ex-Mormon, but just couldn’t ever feel as if she’d been freed from the daunting spirit of Mormonism.  After looking at her clothing while she was speaking to me I could see that she was still wearing her temple garments.  I took her to the women’s restroom and waited outside the bathroom stall while she took them off to hand them over.  We ended up throwing the garments away and from what I understand now she has lived a Spirit filled life being set free from the hold of Mormonism!  Paul tells us in Col. 2:16-7;

Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the abbath days: Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.”

Because we have been set free in Christ we are no longer under the Law.  There is no dietary Law now that Jesus has paid the price for us!  I’ve searched the Bible front to back and have never found a scripture that tells the believers to wear garments like the Mormon Church tells its members they must do.  This would also be a good time to insert a word study on garments!  In the Greek this word is “himation”; the transliteration for this word is cloak, clothes, robe, raiment, or vesture.  Nowhere in the NT does it say we must wear this type of apparel.  The time it does talk about garments is in Rev. 3:4 and 16:15.  In this sense the garments of righteousness are the inner man.

They are white robes of justification because of the blood of the Lamb.  Not because they’ve been washing them in a Maytag!  Also remind them of the era that John was writing in.  The “garment” was worn by soldiers who were serving as guards for the governor or king.  If they were caught sleeping during their shift, their garments were taken away to shame them, thereby leaving them naked and disgraced.  The analogy was made to show that we didn’t want to be caught off guard ourselves at the end and be ashamed that we hadn’t followed Him.

The following definition of temple garments is taken from the Encyclopedia of Mormonism, pg. 534;

The white garment symbolizes purity and helps assure modesty, respect for the attributes of God, and, to the degree it is honored, a token of what Paul regarded as taking upon one the whole armor of God (Eph. 6:13; cf. D&C 27:15). It is an outward expression of an inward covenant, and symbolizes Christlike attributes in one’s mission in life. Garments bear several simple marks of orientation toward the gospel principles of obedience, truth, life, and discipleship in Christ….A biblical tradition teaches that Adam and Eve, prior to their expulsion from Eden, wore sacred clothing.

The significance of the lie in that last statement is incredible!  They wore clothing because they were hiding their shame caused by their sin!  Incredibly the LDS Church has taught their members that original sin was sanctioned by God.  As a mentor I would take the above reference from EM, pg. 534 and pick it apart scripturally speaking.  Have the ex-Mormon read, study and see how many lies he/she can pull out of that one paragraph.  For example:  how does wearing garments show respect for the attributes of God?

2 Nephi 2:25 says; “Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy.”

Times have certainly changed over the past twenty-five years and with it so have the styles in clothing.  While growing up in Utah as a Mormon the dress code I experienced was much stricter than what the non-Mormons experienced.  Having said this, keep in mind that with the Mormons here and now, not a lot has changed for them because of the dress code and dietary laws they must follow.  While the Church has changed the style of the temple garments somewhat over the years, they are still cumbersome and not always conducive to the clothing you or I might enjoy.

Summer shorts for women are usually frowned upon because they come up over the knee.  Sleeveless blouses were an absolute no-no, the temple garments usually only come in short-sleeve lengths.  It is my understanding they have since changed this in the past couple of years, but don’t expect the Mormons to be changing the way they dress anytime soon.

Keep in mind also the further away you are from Utah, the more watered down the religion becomes.  Not all Mormons think that shorts and sandals are a bad thing.  I wouldn’t have dreamt of wearing anything of the sort even though I wasn’t a temple Mormon, but I grew up being taught Utah Mormonism.  I bought my first pair of shorts and sandals when I was 32 years old.  Ironically enough, the Bible talks about sandals throughout its text.

There is the story of Boaz taking off his sandal when telling his relative that he would be the “kinsman redeemer” for Ruth, to the gospels mentioning John the Baptist saying he wasn’t worthy enough to unlatch the strings on Jesus’ sandals.  If sandals were good enough for Jesus I can’t imagine they wouldn’t be good enough for me.  The reason why sandals are frowned upon is because it serves as yet another way to bare oneself.  As I mentioned before, times have changed and it seems the Church’s idea of modesty is evolving as well.  Never mind those teachings were originally placed upon the members as a direct revelation from God.

[m] Signs of a cult

I was all of 19 years old when I heard the word “cult” for the first time.  Someone in Oklahoma, where I was living at the time, asked me if Mormonism was really a cult.  Of course I denied it even though in my heart I hated my heritage and knew something was drastically wrong.  To admit that you’re in a cult is a very humiliating experience.  I’ve always suggested that when you’re witnessing to a Mormon you try to avoid using that phrase with them.  If you don’t want to witness to them anymore then by all means it would be the way to get rid of them!

The ex-Mormon is going to be able to figure this out on their own as they go through this exodus process.  In time the Lord will reveal it to them and it will settle itself as truth in their hearts; also know that I never advocate lying so if they do ask you must be truthful.  Mormonism is indeed a cult.

Several years ago I wrote a paper that lists several “signs of a cult”.  For your convenience I’ve listed some of those signs here, but for the full list you can read it on the website.  A cult won’t necessarily have all the attributes listed, but there will be several indicating factors.  A cult is a group that deviates doctrinally from a parent or host religion.  Cults would include Mormonism, JW’s, Christian Scientists, etc.

1-Group members give many superficial answers to direct questions

2-Group doesn’t divulge monetary history or constitution of beliefs.  The average member usually isn’t privy to this information.

3-No sign of the cross.

4-They take oaths or there are ‘swearing in’ at induction ceremonies.  Hosea 10:4 tells us people worship false gods by taking oaths. Example:  Masons call Jesus the Great Architect of the Universe.  But how great can He be if only the lodge, through the Worshipful Master, can take you from darkness to light?

5-Person shuns family or close friends for no apparent reason.

6-Group stands on 1 or 2 verses as the basis for their entire belief.

How many of the examples listed above matched the LDS Church?  Which ones and why?  ___________________________________________________

________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________

[n] Why Moroni 10:4-6 is Wrong

The Bible is very clear about the evil in a man’s heart.  We have touched on it briefly in an earlier section under “Man is inherently evil”.  This means the evil in your heart is a hereditary condition.  One of the main reasons the mother is in pain while giving birth to adorable Timmy is to remind her that she is bringing another sinner into the world.  Jeremiah 17:9 warns us;

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?

Proverbs 28:26 says; “He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool: but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered.”

Now compare these with Moroni 10:4-6;

And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.  And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.  And whatsoever thing is good is just and true; wherefore, nothing that is good denieth the Christ, but acknowledgeth that he is.

How is it that you can ask God for anything with a sincere heart when you’re not “saved” to begin with? Man is born knowing how to sin; not to honor or to love God.  It wasn’t a gift given to us the moment we were conceived, it was a curse.  While we’re born with a knowledge that God does exist (Ro. 1:17-25); we are also born a very selfish ambition.

We want our bottle and clean diaper now; we want little Timmy to give us back the truck even though we already have all the other toys on our side of the room and our checkbooks are plagued with evidence of the second mortgages we beset ourselves with because we had to have something now.  We’re all guilty of it to some degree; from your pastor to the nice young couple that just moved in across the street.  We all have our weak points and our second mortgages don’t necessarily have to do with the Bank of the USA.

In our rationalizations it seemed good to us to have ________ or do_________; and therefore we just had to have it because _______ (you fill in the blanks).  As the saying goes; “The road to hell is full of good intentions”.  Other LDS doctrinal statements compared to the Bible:

D&C 9:8; “But, behold, I say unto you, that you must study it out in your mind; then you must ask me if it be right, and if it is right I will cause that your bosom shall burn within you; therefore, you shall feel that it is right.” 

Proverbs 6:27; “Can a man take fire in his bosom, and his clothes not be burned?” 

Lesson Plan for Chapter 14 – section n 

1 – Besides Jeremiah 17:9 listed above, name three other scriptural reasons why Moroni 10:4-6 is wrong.

___________________________________________________

___________________________________________________

___________________________________________________

___________________________________________________

___________________________________________________

2. In Mormonism what part does the “Holy Ghost” play in praying Moroni 10:4-6 for the active or soon to be Mormon?

___________________________________________________

___________________________________________________

___________________________________________________

3. What part does the Holy Ghost play in the lives of an active Christian in regards to Moroni 10:4-6?  Does He play a part at all?

____________________________________________________

____________________________________________________

____________________________________________________

4. In your opinion, who is the Holy Ghost of Mormonism?  Use scripture to back it up.  ___________________________________________________

____________________________________________________

[o] The Elements

Exodus 12:5, 7, 12-15; “Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats:  v. 7; And they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it.  v. 12-15; For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the LORD.  And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt.  And this day shall be unto you for a memorial; and ye shall keep it a feast to the LORD throughout your generations; ye shall keep it a feast by an ordinance for ever.  Seven days shall ye eat unleavened bread; even the first day ye shall put away leaven out of your houses: for whosoever eateth leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day, that soul shall be cut off from Israel.”

From Strong’s Concordance:

Leaven:     H#7603 – sha’ar – to swell up, make redundant, residue

Leavened: H#4682 – matstsah – not soured with yeast

Leavened: H#2557 – chametz – extortion, to ferment, pungent, sour

Leaven:     G#106   – azumos – uncorrupted, unleavened

From the time of Moses and the first Passover we have been instructed as to how to behave and the importance of staying in close contact with God more than anything or anyone else in this world.  Our very lives depend on His sustenance; our food, drink, shelter and even our breathing are completely dependent upon our Creator.

Growing up in Utah Mormonism, I don’t recall a time when I sat through a Sacrament Meeting hearing or learning about Passover.  As a matter of fact, I hadn’t heard of Passover until after I got out of the Church.

This section of the outline is bittersweet in my heart, as I’m sure it is for many of you reading this.  Mind you, I am so very grateful for what my Lord has done for me!  However, another part of me grieves deeply for people like my mother.  The very core of me is shaken when I stop to think of what the above passage of scripture says to all of us – even her.

Each week as the LDS Church goes to their Sacrament Meetings, the 12 year old “deacons” take turns praying over the leaven filled  bread and water – in Mormon terminology, the “Sacrament”.  Their “communion” consists of Wonder-bread®  and water.  Everyone at the service is invited to partake as the elements are passed around the pews – this includes babies and toddlers.  The prayer is said before the elements are passed around; thereby making it a ritual that is easily contained and done with quickly.

Today when I think of it I still cannot get over the blatant lies that Satan has spewed forth from his mouth into this group of people!  It took me awhile to connect the dots after I left the Church to put the two incidents together; the wine and the bread with the Passover…I was helping to serve and prepare for a Seder meal when it finally clicked: Jesus’ provision, the wine, the unleavened bread, the Wonderbread®, and the water all flooded my brain at once.  The longer I thought about the scenario, the bigger the overall picture fell into place.

The Bible is full of analogies comparing sin and leaven; and for those of you who have watched yeast eat the sugar in a bowl of warm water you know what I’m saying.  The yeast needs something to eat so you give it a little sugar with warm water.  It takes on a shape and life of its own right before your eyes.  God says that this is what sin does when we allow it into our daily routines and thought life.

Use scripture to fill in the chart below from both the Old and New Testament.

Leaven Sin
Ex. 12:12-15

    At the original Passover, the blood over the doorposts from the unblemished lamb was a symbol of God’s future provision – the unblemished sacrifice of His Only Son who was sinless.  For the Israelites at that time it was a sign for them the angel of death wouldn’t be visiting their home.  He would “pass over” the house if the blood of the lamb was over the doorposts.  It served as a symbolic mantel for the covering and protection over their very lives.

When God passed over the Israelites in Egypt the unleavened bread and bitter herbs were used as a remembrance each year of how pure and holy He is and how bitter their sin was to Him.  He is without blemish, (unleavened bread) and they would sacrifice their first fruits to Him to thank Him for the provision of their daily sustenance.

During Jesus’ time the Israelites would go to Jerusalem to offer sacrifices at the temple for the “covering” of the family’s sin and to praise God that He had spared them from the wilderness and Egypt.

The fullness of what Jesus gave is so incredible and so very simplistic at the same time.  He was upstairs with His disciples at the Last Supper; remember it was Passover in Jerusalem.  He passed around the bread and wine, showing the disciples what to do and how to remember Him in our taking of the bread and wine and in remembrance of the real Passover.  See what He says in Matt. 26:17-28;

“Now the first day of the feast of unleavened bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying unto him, Where wilt thou that we prepare for thee to eat the passover? And he said, Go into the city to such a man, and say unto him, The Master saith, My time is at hand; I will keep the passover at thy house with my disciples. And the disciples did as Jesus had appointed them; and they made ready the passover. Now when the even was come, he sat down with the twelve. And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body.  And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.”

Oh friends, how could bread with leaven (a sign of sin) be taken as an element when it’s taken to remember the significance of His sinless life?  He wasn’t full of sin – He was clean and unblemished – unleavened.  Leaven (yeast/sin) permeates everything you put it in.  It goes into every little nook and cranny, thereby making your loaf of bread big and poofy (New teen slang).  Sin digs deep into the heart and mind.  It can and will permeate every fiber of your being if you allow it.

The unleavened bread is to remind us of how useless and tasteless our lives are and that we are desperately in need of His grace for our salvation and mercy for our daily lives.  Joseph Smith didn’t want to pay homage to the life that is given to us through Jesus.  When we refuse to look to and thank God for the blood of Jesus, then by default we are committed to being judged by the Law that He established with Moses.

What Does It Take?

Moses Jesus
Sermon on the plain: Deut. 4 Sermon on the Mount: Luke 6
Law received by: Ex. 20 Law fulfilled by:  John 19
Came down from mountain Went up the mountain
Crowd stayed away Crowd pushed to touch Him
3,000 die at Mt. Si 3,000 saved at temple

Sadly enough the elements that are taken at an LDS Church for the sacrament are the same elements given to people in prison; bread and water.  They will indeed be in a real prison for eternity.  The irony of this is almost unbelievable!  I pray all the time that they would see their “Sacrament” as a sign of what’s to come.

As for the wine (most Protestant churches use grape juice); it is a symbol of His blood.  It’s so that I can be reminded that His shed blood is why I’m seen as clean.   The water in the LDS sacrament is colorless and tasteless; holding no meaning at all.

In an LDS Sacrament Meeting the kid in diapers two rows up just grabs a handful of the elements and splashes water around while his frantic mother tries to tackle the tray away because he wants another cup of water…this is what most of my Sacrament Meetings were like.

My LDS congregation would actually have conversations about the bread.  On one occasion I can still see a few of my classmates standing in the rows of coat racks one week saying that his dad got him to the store too late the night before and they were out of Wonderbread®.  They had to get what was left and it ended up being the store brand so that week’s Sacrament wasn’t so great.  Then they began talking about the best time of day to get the “fluffy kind of bread”.

Jesus became sin while hanging on that cross.  He became every transgression you and I committed this week, last month and next year so that we could live in heaven with Him for eternity.  His blood was shed to wash away our sin and God raised Him on the third day to show us His power and that we too will live forever with Him!

The blood over the doorposts was a sign of the sacrifice of a perfect lamb that needed to be shed for the sins of Israel.  If there was blood over the doorposts it stood as a sign of obedience.  The wine/juice in the cup is a sign of sweet Jesus’ blood He shed for you and me.  We partake of the cup as a personal token that we are acknowledge our sin and the need for His cleansing blood and that we belong to Him.

The arrogance in the heart of those who designed the LDS sacrament is difficult to imagine.  The sad part about it is that the people have just “followed the leader” all these years instead of stopping themselves to ask why.

Speaking of leaven, you can find the following speech given by Hyrum Smith  in a Conference Report, April 1909, second day morning session, pgs. 88-89. It is chilling;

No, we do not hear any more damnation, hell fire, and infant burning, or everlasting or never ending punishment. No more predestination, and total depravity of the human heart. The topless throne and bottomless pit are things of the past. Those doctrines are done away with; they are not believed, or at least, if they are believed, they are not preached. I assure you, my brethren and sisters, they are not believed by hundreds of thousands of people whose minds have been enlightened by the preaching of the Gospel by the servants of God… Thus the leaven is working, and the people of the world are coming to see the truth. They are abandoning some of their false doctrines. They are preaching many of the truths that we preach and which were not known to be true, in fact, they were looked upon as the greatest of heresy when Joseph Smith introduced them…

I am sure there is some validity to what Mr. Smith shared regarding the churches not teaching the truths about the Bible as we march down the hallways of time.  However, he obviously peppered his opinion of what they taught with false doctrine.  Be that as it may, the last thing the body of Christ needs is the leaven of Mormonism permeating the pulpits of orthodox Christianity.

© 2010 Life After Ministries, Inc.

Link for Chapter 15:

Chapter 15. They Need a Church

http://lifeafterministry.wordpress.com/2010/10/22/mentoring-handbook-chapter-15/

Read Full Post »

ASSURANCE OF OUR SALVATION

You can memorize all the “instructions” I’ve written for you in this mentoring guideline, but that means nothing to the person you’re mentoring!  What passages from the Bible are the most comforting for you and why?  The Holy Spirit will be seen clearly with the passion you put behind the mood and tone of your voice.  Mormons have an innate way of picking up on those who aren’t being completely honest with them in this genre.  Now is the time to be as transparent as you possibly can be!

Ask any Mormon you know the following question:  “If you died today do you know with certainty that you would go to heaven?”  Ninety-nine percent of the time they will respond by telling you “I sure hope so” and then they’ll share Matthew 5:48 with you;

Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.”

Never mind they’re taking it completely out of context and never mind they haven’t really looked up the meaning of the word for perfect in this tense.  In their head they’re trying hard to be perfect so they can go to the Celestial Kingdom.

The Church’s role in propagating lies about salvation has been one of the keys to submission and confusion.  If you can keep changing the rules by just tweaking one or two of the “ordinances” in addition to adding a word here or there to another word which means something else, well then by golly, you’ve got yourself a person who is unable to think independently.  Confused again?  Remember, you’re not alone!

Case in point: what does the term “gospel ordinance” mean to you (the ex-Mormon)?  Write your answer below.

______________________________________________

______________________________________________

To the Mormon its meaning encompasses everything having to do with their religion, in other words, “the plan of salvation”.

What is the plan of salvation according to the LDS Church?

_________________________________________________

_________________________________________________

Because Christ only died to fill in the gaps after “all you can do”, there is never any assurance.  If you really look back on your life honestly, can you say there wasn’t a day gone by that you weren’t lazy?  What about the times you’ve forgotten about; or when you didn’t want to “be nice” to the neighbor and hurried inside before they saw you in the front yard?

The LDS Church teaches the gospel has been around since the time of Adam, and since this time there have always been ordinances and principles that are to be followed if you truly want salvation.  In the book Gospel Through the Ages, intro pg. xvi it says;

The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the “glad tidings” or “good news” concerning the Savior, the Kingdom of God, and the salvation of man. It consists primarily of the teachings of Christ and of the apostles as recorded in the New Testament and Book of Mormon…

It goes on further to say; “Christians frequently use the word Gospel to designate their religion…” thereby letting everyone know the basics of their beliefs, i.e. “eternal nature of man, the atonement of Jesus Christ and the fall”.

This again is another place where you have to stop and clarify that man is not eternal, but created, and also to clarify what the word gospel means.  In reality the word gospel is the Greek word “euaggelizo” meaning “to announce good news, evangelize or preach glad tidings or good message”.  While the first portion of their “definition” of the word gospel is close to being correct, as we read further into their message you can see that they aren’t remotely close.

As a member of the LDS Church how did you define the “gospel”?

__________________________________________________

__________________________________________________

As a Christian, what is the “good news”?  Okay you have good news, what’s the news?

__________________________________________________

__________________________________________________

The following is from the same book we used above and the section is called “Scope of the Gospel”.  Gospel Through the Ages, pg. 3;

[It] embraces every principle pertaining to life and salvation, for time and eternity, no matter who has it. If the infidel has got truth, it belongs to Mormonism. The truth and sound doctrine possessed by the sectarian world, and they have a great deal, all belongs to this Church. As for their morality, many of them are morally just as good as we are…Mormonism includes all truth. There is no truth but what belongs to the Gospel. It is life, eternal life; it is bliss; it is the fullness of all things in the Gods and in the eternities of the Gods.

The entire point to the real gospel is, as you are well aware, the good news that a Savior has been provided for us; the sinners.  We can now feel assured that we are saved by believing on Jesus’ name that we are found without blemish.  And it is not by our own doing, but that of God’s, who gave the Ultimate Sacrifice; His Only Begotten Son.  See John 2:25, 3:17-19; Romans 10:4; Hebrews 9:26.

Have the following verses either printed or written out by hand on a sheet of paper.  Leave enough space between each for a place to write down what that verse means to them.  If there’s time also have them write down the LDS equivalent that refutes what the Bible says.

Acts 4:12; Romans 10:9; Eph. 2:8-9; Gal. 2:20-1; Romans 1:16-7; Heb. 9:11-14, 10:9-14; 1 Cor. 1:18-9; John 14:23; Matthew 16:16-8; Col. 1:13-20…the list is endless because of how kind and generous our God is!

The good news is that we don’t have to worry about living under the Law!  The good news is that this has been accomplished for the rest of our lives!  And most especially the good news is that God raised His Son on the third day, while showing us that we will be raised with Him on that final day because death could not hold Him!

Oh, what an awesome God we serve!  Who or what could ever be that powerful?  How could we ever think that some earthly good deed could equal what God has done for us through His Son?  Everything pales in comparison and quite honestly causes me to blush with shame for ever thinking I could participate in my own salvation.

How could there be any doubt of our salvation knowing that God raised Jesus from the dead?  When Jesus said “It is finished” (John 19:30), He wasn’t referring to “just His work on earth”.  He was referring to the works of the Law forever!  There was no longer any need for works to be done because the Law had been fulfilled and God’s justice had been met!  By this we can know and have assurance of our salvation as the writer of Hebrews 10:22 said;

Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.”

To walk everyday of your life not knowing if you’re saved is a curse my friend and isn’t of God!  The Lord Jesus would never want His people to be in doubt.  Do you think He hung on that cross doubting His decision?  Never before in history or since, has there been a more deliberate act of obedience and love!

© 2010 Life After Ministries, Inc.

Link for Chapter 14:

Chapter 14. Fundamentals of Mormonism: Is it a Lie or is it Biblical?

http://lifeafterministry.wordpress.com/2010/10/22/mentoring-handbook-chapter-14/

Read Full Post »

GOSPEL ORDINANCES (LAW) VS. GRACE 

Jacob 4:5; “Behold, they believed in Christ and worshiped the Father in his name, and also we worship the Father in his name. And for this intent we keep the law of Moses, it pointing our souls to him; and for this cause it is sanctified unto us for righteousness, even as it was accounted unto Abraham…” – 544 BC

If someone were to ask me why I feel so compelled to do this work, the above verse from the Book of Mormon would be my answer why.  This particular section of this booklet has my mind thinking of nothing but my mother.

She called me one day and her distressed voice captured my immediate attention.  She has been an active member of the LDS Church her entire life, yet never being quite worthy enough to earn the coveted temple recommend.  On this particular day I think she just needed a safe place to vent her frustrations with the Relief Society.

She had called the president of the Relief Society to let her know that she wouldn’t be able to provide the cookies for the meeting the next evening.  My nieces weren’t feeling well (they live with her), she wasn’t feeling well and she had just enough energy to make the call.  The president told her that she still had plenty of time to get the cookies together and she would do my mother the favor of picking them up on her way to the meeting.  She also reminded my mother how they had never had store bought cookies at their meetings.  True story!

After venting for quite some time I asked her what she was going to do and she said that she should at least go buy some chocolate chip cookies and put them in a nice serving basket.  I asked her if she really thought Jesus was more concerned about cookies for a meeting or for her physical well-being.  By the end of the conversation she hung up while being mad at my question.  I personally believe the Relief Society president had a dual problem, alas that’s for another booklet!

It’s obvious the leaders of the LDS Church have not shown its members what it means to “keep the law of Moses” or what it means to believe in Christ.  The verse from the book of Jacob makes about as much sense as the following sentence:  “I’ll be driving my car while I walk to work tomorrow”.  You can’t do both at the same time, so which mode of transportation are you going to use to get to work?

It’s much the same with our salvation.  We can live our lives believing that we want to go to heaven with the attitude of being self-sufficient.  Or, we can die to self and accept God’s precious Son as our only way to heaven.  Because of the enormity of this subject I am going to be spending a bit of time here.  Be sure to share that free salvation doesn’t give us license to do evil things and explain that the Holy Spirit wouldn’t allow us to do those things anyway because of 2 Cor. 5:17!

In addition to my examples I highly encourage the mentor to come alongside the ex-Mormon and ask him/her what ordinances were most important to them while in the Church.  The reason for this is to show them how to transfer their spiritual allegiance to Jesus fully, instead of believing in Jesus and still thinking they need to work.

Using the example of that ordinance, go to your concordance and look up the

transliterations for it, and the verses where they’re located to get a full understanding of what this ordinance really means.  Next, look for the same subject in the New Testament showing why performing this ordinance isn’t necessary because of Jesus’ work to fulfill it!

Always remember that every single thing the Mormon believes and knows about God, Jesus, and salvation is a lie.  Joseph Smith has tricked the members into believing everything he said or taught.  They are so devoted to the Church they would give their very lives, literally, so don’t be surprised at the amount of energy they would be willing to give for “works”.

The Encyclopedia of Mormonism, pg. 1032, says this about ordinances and salvation:

Latter-day scriptures give ample evidence that God has established unchangeable, eternal ordinances as essential elements of the Plan of Salvation and redemption (Isa. 24.5; Mal. 3:7; Alma 13:16; D&C 124:38)…”

Go through each of the following LDS verses with the person you’re mentoring, making a point to take note of the biblical verses in context to understand the meaning.  For instance in Malachi God told the people to return to Him even after they had been cheating Him in the tithe offerings and had an “I don’t care about you God” attitude.  Show them using biblical scripture this type of an example – God just loves us and wants us back.  Yes, we need to obey, but when we are alive in Christ it’s hard to stay away from Him and paying money to the “scribes” of Mormonism isn’t the way to God!

A biblical example of the necessity of ordinances can be found in the Lord’s statement to Nicodemus that one must “be born again” (John 3:3). The Prophet Joseph Smith taught that “being born again comes by the spirit of God through ordinances” (TPJS, p. 162). The process of salvation is experienced as a “mighty change in your hearts” (Alma 5:14) under the guidance and assistance of the Spirit of God through keeping the divine ordinances…One is fully accepted of God and is “of God” if, and only if, she or “he obey mine ordinances” (D&C 52:14-19)…”

1.  What is John 3:3 really saying when read in context.  ______

____________________________________________________

Smith went on to tell the audience more about the necessity of ordinances; from the same page of Encyclopedia of Mormonism, pg. 1032):

Ordinances, in the sense of rituals and ceremonies, embrace the entire mortal life of God’s sons and daughters and are performed by the Lord’s authorized representatives…”

2.  What does Isaiah 64:6 say?  ___________________________

____________________________________________________

This is a good time to stop and do a word study!  What is the Hebrew meaning of the term “filthy rags”?

___________________________________________________

___________________________________________________

In other words for the members of the LDS faith, it’s going to keep being this way until the day you die and there’s more of it after you get to “heaven”.  There are countless verses in the New Testament giving us instructions on what it takes to get saved.  I cannot emphasize enough that you must deal with this part of mentoring from the way you live your own life.

To make sure that I’ve given the LDS perspective its fair share of verses from their writings here’s just one more, this time from the Book of Mormon.  In 2 Nephi 25:23 it says;

For we labor diligently to write, to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God; for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do.”

In sharp contrast God, Jesus, the prophets, the disciples and others have told us throughout the sixty-six books of the Bible that the Mormon verse above would be considered blasphemy.  Not to mention that it sounds too familiar to what Paul had written 2,000 years earlier in Ephesians 2:8-9;

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”

The “slight variation” was a little addendum of Smith’s at the end of the original writing, thus totally negating the grace aspect of our salvation.

3.  According to the apostle Paul, what happens to the significance of Christ’s death when we trust in works?  Gal. 2:19-21.  ____________________________________________________

____________________________________________________

____________________________________________________  

© 2010 Life After Ministries, Inc.

Link to Chapter 13

Chapter 13. Assurance of Our Salvation

http://lifeafterministry.wordpress.com/2010/10/22/mentoring-handbook-chapter-13/

Read Full Post »

DENOUNCING MORMONISM

So I won’t have to “re-invent the wheel” so to speak, I have cut and pasted an article I wrote several years ago for this section.  You can also read this on the website.  Here is just an example of how to denounce the spirits of Mormonism and make a clean break!

Feel free to add, subtract or use this any which way is most suited to your needs.  There’s no scientific or correct way of denouncing, the only wrong way is to not do it at all!

We have found over the years that it is in the best interest of the new ex-Mormon if they go out and find a Bible believing church which they feel comfortable in attending and get re-baptized into the Lord Jesus Christ.  If you’ve been married in the temple or by a Mormon bishop or chaplain you might think about renewing your wedding vows as well.

It’s vitally important to denounce all of the vows that you’ve taken in the temples or ward meetings to help free yourself from the Mormon way of thinking.  This is a step which separates you spiritually from the Church and gives Jesus the power to do His work in you.  You might want to pray something like this:

“In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the authority I possess as a believer in Him, I rebuke any and all lying and deceitful spirits of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints which may still think that they have a claim on me or my family. In Jesus’ name, I renounce the spirits of priestcraft, the spirits of Moroni and Mormo and declare that you have no power over me any more, for I am bought and paid for by the blood of Jesus of Nazareth who died for me on Calvary.”

“I renounce any covenants made by me at my baptism into the LDS Church and any priesthood or bishopric blessings given to me. (If a former Temple Mormon: I renounce any and all covenants made in the LDS temple— especially those placing my family and children under bondage to demonic principalities and powers!) By the power of the blood of Jesus, I also renounce any generational sin or hereditary bondage which may be oppressing me or my family through covenants made by my parents or ancestors; and I nail all these things to the cross of Christ, ‘forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.’(Phil.3:13-14)…in Jesus’ name. Amen.””

© 2010 Life After Ministries, Inc.

Link for Chapter 12

Chapter 12. Gospel Ordinances (Law) vs. Grace

http://lifeafterministry.wordpress.com/2010/10/22/mentoring-handbook-chapter-12/

Read Full Post »

GUILT AND SHAME

The Mormon lives his/her life on the precept that they must work for salvation.  In Mormonism there is a “general salvation” that is given to all mankind.  After this general salvation comes the placement of souls, which is dependent on your good works here on earth.  This causes a myriad of problems as you can well imagine so our focus is on the impact it has on the soul.

There are several ways to work for your salvation in Mormonism, but for now I’m only listing a couple.  The Mormon will always feel shame if they are not accepted into the highest level of heaven – this is known also as the Celestial Kingdom and there are three requirements to get in; temple marriage, good works which includes proxy work for the dead and last but not least, a full ten percent tithing.

The most important “must” in getting to the Celestial Kingdom is by making sure you are married in the temple.  Yes, marriage is the way to salvation ladies and gentlemen.  If you are not married in the temple you lose your right to see your relatives in heaven, you will be placed in a lower kingdom; only to become a servant to those in the Celestial Kingdom.

There are the remaining two things required for “true salvation”, but keep in mind marriage is a definite must in the mind of every single Mormon.  From the series Doctrines of Salvation, 2:58-59 it says;

Marriage, as understood by Latter-day Saints, is a covenant ordained to be everlasting. It is the foundation for eternal exaltation, for without it there could be no eternal progress in the kingdom of God…Marriage is the grandest, most glorious, and most exalting principle connected with the gospel. It is that which the Lord holds in reserve for those who become his sons and daughters; all others are servants only, even if they gain salvation. They do not become members of the household of our Father…

LDS theology dictates that you will receive a calling from the Lord to work in different areas of the Church.  The bishop will take a look at his list of who has served where and for how long.  If your name has not appeared on the list of who has worked in the nursery for example, you should expect your phone to ring.  You cannot refuse this “calling from the Lord”.  The structure of the Church is made up of lay clergymen and women.  There is no compensation for your hours spent in working until you’ve been called to the status of high priest or above.

The Encyclopedia of Mormonism, pg. 48 says this;

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is organized to benefit all who participate, and all are expected to assist in its labors (see Activity in the Church; Lay Participation and Leadership; Ward Organization). The Church is administered according to the principles of individual involvement, service, and self-government. There is no paid ministry in local wards or stakes, and the work of the Church is carried out through volunteer service by the members, who are called by priesthood leaders to contribute in various capacities.”

LDS theology also dictates that you must tithe a hard 10% to receive a temple recommend.  These small slips of paper are coveted by members of the Church as their token of being righteous and worthy enough to be in God’s presence.  It is God’s permission slip for you to get in the doors.  There is no higher calling in the Church than to hold a current temple recommend and they can keep their recommend only if they have a good standing at the “annual tithing settlement”.  For those who haven’t divvied up by January there is a line at the local banks with people applying for personal loans.

D&C 119:4 says;

And after that, those who have thus been tithed shall pay one-tenth of all their interest annually; and this shall be a standing law unto them forever, for my holy priesthood, saith the Lord.”

Also see Encyclopedia of Mormonism, pg. 1481;

At the end of each year, ward members meet individually with their bishop in a tithing settlement interview to verify Church records of their individual contributions and to declare confidentially to the bishop whether or not the amount contributed is a “full tithe.”

The members are obligated to pay their ten percent and this amount goes solely to the Church for more church buildings, temples, supplies, etc.  Then once a month they hold a “fast and testimony” meeting.  The members will fast from food for two meals before they attend these meetings and take the money they would have spent on that food to donate to a benevolent fund.  These funds go to help the needy in their local food banks or if there are special needs within their own ranks.  There is a fair share of people who will not be able to meet the financial standards of giving the church requires.

These things will produce the inevitable; guilt and shame.  For others there might be guilt and shame experienced if they are a convert and get out of the Church.  Or there is the guilt associated with converting others into the Church and/or bringing children into the mix.  Many adult ex-Mormons are riddled with shame by watching their adult children making the choice of staying in the Church after they have been saved.  It is heart-wrenching no doubt to see them still in the Church while you have found freedom in Christ.

Several years ago while working through my exodus from the Church the Lord showed me an amazing truth.  It’s an easy enough thing to remember which is good for me!  But it also packs a powerful punch in the way of a learning tool for any of us in regards to our own spiritual life with Jesus.  He showed me this:

Guilt and Shame are never the same.

It rhymes and is so very simplistic.  Guilt and God both begin with the letter “g”.  God convicts us of our sin – this is the guilt – we repent and He remembers it no more as He promised us in Isaiah 43:25;

“I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins.”

Shame and Satan both begin with the letter “s”.  Shame is death to the soul dear one!  Shame is experienced when you repent for the same sin repeatedly.  At the website of www.dictionary.com it says this about shame:  “a painful emotion caused by a strong sense of guilt, embarrassment, unworthiness or disgrace”.

Isn’t it sad that this is what the Church would want for the majority of its members?  Less than 10% of active Mormons are considered temple worthy!  The bishop knows who is worthy and who is not; and you can bet the farm that everyone else in the ward will know as well when you don’t stand up to “bear your testimony” about your temple experience last month.  Yet no one gets together to compare notes because the temple experience is also considered “sacred” and shouldn’t be spoken about in detail with anyone at all.

In Deut. 28:66 God warns the Israelites that He would curse them if they didn’t obey His commands of staying pure in the land of Canaan.  The curse is not having a restful assurance of their lives.  Ask the ex-Mormon what kind of assurance they had for their salvation while being in the Church.  I don’t know of one Mormon who can say for sure that they’re going to heaven.  They have no hope at all because of shame; they never feel as if they’ve been forgiven or they haven’t done enough.  Share with the ex-Mormon from the Bible how they can be assured of their salvation.

2 Tim. 1:12 – I know whom I have believed

Phil. 1:6 – He will complete the work

Heb. 13:5-6 – He will never desert me

1 John 2:12 – Your sins are forgiven.

Isaiah 40:8 – The word of God endures forever

© 2010 Life After Ministries, Inc.

Link for Chapter 11:

Chapter 11. Denouncing Mormonism

http://lifeafterministry.wordpress.com/2010/10/22/mentoring-handbook-chapter-11/

Read Full Post »

MORMON TERMINOLOGY/WORD STUDIES

For the sake of brevity suffice it to say the Mormons do not speak the same English that you and I speak.  After prayer, this rivals the most important subject to focus on when mentoring a Mormon.  They have been taught that simple words carry a double meaning or they are just outright opposite of their true meaning.  This is one of the main reasons they have been so confused while being a Mormon.

I will give you a few examples of how to do word studies and then you and/or the Mormon pick the subjects that most interest you!  At the time of this writing I’ve been out of the church for about fourteen years and I’m still doing word studies!  I found that even after I knew the “Mormonism in me” was gone, I still needed those word studies to give me a deeper understanding of His word and thereby enriching my walk with Him.

There is an article on our website www.lifeafter.org titled Mormon Terminology.  Feel free to go there for examples of words to study.  I wrote this article after looking back on my personal journals throughout my own exodus from the Church.  These were the words most important to me when I began my new life as a Christian; however this is not to say that this list is complete or the only words that must be used!  Allow God’s Holy Spirit to guide all of you in the decision making.

One of the most important things to a Mormon is to know they are being reverent towards God.  They are taught to refer to God as “Heavenly Father”.  If they want to be extremely reverent they would use the term “elohim” but this is used only sparingly.  The significance of this name for God cannot be overstated!  The word “elohim” is one of the real Hebrew names for God.  There are actually three definitions of this word.

The first meaning for “elohim” is the fullness or deity of God.  You can find this in Strong’s.  It is listed under the word for “God” and it is # 430.  The first example for a verse that I would use is Gen. 1:26;

And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.”

The key word in this verse is “us”.  This word is translated to “elohim”.  The reason I would use this particular verse is twofold.  It shows the Mormon the truth about the meaning of the word “elohim” in regards to the creation of the earth (meaning it wasn’t created through a “Council of gods”) and that there is only ONE God.  Remember Mormons believe that they can become gods someday.

Now there are literally hundreds of verses in the Bible where the writer has used the word God with the understanding that he is referring to “elohim”.  What you’ll want to do is list a handful or so verses that Strong’s lists for “elohim”.  Take the Mormon to each of those examples throughout the Bible for them to get a full picture of God in this sense and then you’ll want to do the same thing with each of the words and their derivatives.

The second meaning of “elohim” is pagan gods.  An example of this can be found in 1 Sam. 28:13; “And the king said unto her, Be not afraid: for what sawest thou? And the woman said unto Saul, I saw gods ascending out of the earth.”  The key word in this verse is “gods”.

This is when the witch Endor brought a spirit up out of the fire at the request of Saul.  King Saul wanted the dead prophet Samuel to come and speak to him personally with a message from God.  This type of act is called necromancy and is strictly forbidden by God.  The Mormons have an affinity to communicate with their dead relatives.  The LDS Church tells the members that these types of spirits are their dead relatives – this is a lie; they are pagan gods.

The third meaning for “elohim” is rulers and/or kings.  You can find this in Psalm 82:6; “I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High.”  As you can see the key word here is once again “gods”.  Jesus actually referred to this scripture when speaking with the Pharisees. He quoted the scripture as an example to say they were indeed all gods; they are rulers of their money, their homes, and their own little lives.

Now the lesson for the Mormon here is rich.  LDS Doctrine does not ascribe to the true teachings of the Bible in regards to the Trinity, or the Deity of God.  If they are calling their Heavenly Father by the name of “Elohim” and they don’t believe in the Trinity, then who are they worshipping?

The next word I suggest studying would be covenant.  In the Hebrew this word is “beriyth”.  It means a compact made by passing between two pieces of flesh.  You could use examples of covenants that God made with men beginning with Noah, Abraham, Moses and the ultimate covenant that of course being Jesus Christ.  Explain to the Mormon the foreshadowing of these men’s covenants and how the only unconditional covenant that God made with man was the covenant of placing Jesus on that cross.  Jesus was going to hang there regardless of your actions, thereby making this unconditional.

For examples of covenants we read how God promised Noah in Genesis 6 that He would do two things.  First He would save Noah and his family from certain death if he built the ark and secondly, He’d place a rainbow in the sky as His promise that He wouldn’t flood the earth again to destroy man.  The covenants He made with Abraham begin in Genesis 15.  Explain who Abraham is and what his purpose was in life.  Most Mormons have never studied the life of Abraham and have only heard the name Abraham because it is the title in one of the books from the Pearl of Great Price.

God made a covenant with Moses in Exodus 12 with the celebration of Passover and then again instituting the Law in Exodus 19.  If time permits and you’re up to it also point out how blood covenants were used by men by showing them the covenant made between Jonathan and Samuel from first Samuel.  Studying these examples will explain to the ex-Mormon how blood covenants are in effect.

Hebrews 9:16 says; “For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator.”

Choose some of your favorite scriptures that prophecy about Jesus coming and also use some epistles and gospels from the New Testament. Just one or two from each should suffice for the examples.

Some other suggestions for word studies would be creation, salvation, justification, baptism, adopted, forgiveness, nature of man, eternal, etc.  When you begin these word studies it’s also important to remember the derivatives of the word.  For example – create, created, creation, creature.  Learning the true meanings of these words helps to erase the false teachings of Mormonism.  They will be amazed when the fog begins to dissipate from their thinking!

One more thing to keep in mind in regards to terminology.  As the ex-Mormon begins their new life in Christ and spends time in the word, at church and being around other Christians, they will obviously see/hear phrases and words that were used by the LDS Church.  Terms like “many mansions”, “pearl of great price”, “church of Jesus Christ”, “words of wisdom”, etc., can have an adverse reaction at first so reassure them through scripture how these things are legitimate and of God.

The ex-Mormon is going to be somewhat skeptical about various subjects and understandably so!  Assure them they’re not alone in this and to investigate the subject so they have a clear understanding of what they’ve encountered.  The Lord will be faithful in showing them how to trust Him in all things so they can use this example in their spiritual lives as a foundation to build upon.

© 2010 Life After Ministries, Inc.

Link to Chapter 10

Chapter 10. Guilt and Shame

http://lifeafterministry.wordpress.com/2010/10/22/mentoring-handbook-chapter-10/

Read Full Post »

THE TRUTH ABOUT THE TRIPLE COMBINATION

     There are so many subjects in this topic that people could write books about it; in fact a few of my good friends have!  The contradictions within the writings of the LDS Church are vast so I am not going to go into much detail here.  Suffice it to say that I highly recommend getting the Christian Companion to the Triple Combination written by Colleen Ralson, you can purchase this from our website or Personal Freedom Outreach; a subsidiary of Utah Missions.

It works as a great tool to emphasize to the ex-Mormon that LDS doctrine is indeed flawed.  It also serves as assurance to the ex-Mormon the contradictory teachings weren’t their imagination.  While they work through this workbook they are able to see for themselves the magnitude of the errors.

The 3-in-1 (also known as quad or triple combination) is what the Church considers to be their standard works or scripture.  They are a compilation of the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and Pearl of Great Price.  It becomes a “quad” if the Bible is in the same book.  They believe that all the books but the Bible are inerrant.  Their 8th Article of Faith states:  “We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly; we also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God.”

Notice how they didn’t say; “we also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly”.  There is obviously a difference in the way the Bible is a more deficient book of God.  For a few ex-Mormons going through the exodus process, it may take some time before they truly believe the Bible is the inerrant word of God.  Remind them of scriptures like

 Isaiah 40:8; “The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.”

      Another scripture that I prayed a lot when I got out was Mark 9:24 when the rich man asks Jesus to help him with his unbelief.   Intellectually I believed in Jesus.  In my heart, well that was sometimes “iffy”.  Mark describes the man who came to Jesus and begged him for help.  He told Jesus he knew God had sent Him; in his heart the old tapes kept playing the same old song…what if?  Jesus won’t desert you in your hour of need!  Also share with them factual information about the Bible mentioned in the previous section.  And as always, if there is a favorite verse that you rely upon, share it with the ex-Mormon!

There are of course many good, reliable books and websites to use as tools for when there is doubt.  The websites I’ve found over the years give verifiable truth to the issues raised and works through each scenario meticulously.  While going through this life change there will be times when the ex-Mormon goes through a myriad of emotions and doubts all at the same time. One thing that is going to be there for sure is anger and hatred towards Joseph Smith.  I haven’t been immune to the whole process and remember well what it felt like discovering the truth.

The emphasis of how important Joseph Smith was and still is to Church members cannot be overstated.  His words still reverberates within the covers of their “scripture” and in the hallways of their ward buildings.  The lies that the members have espoused are deep-seated in the hearts and minds of the believers.  It’s no wonder the new Christian experiences a multitude of emotions all at once as they continue learning the truth about their heritage.  Case in point is the following doctrine about the triple combination.

I’ve taken a speech from the Encyclopedia of Mormonism, pgs. 405-7 and listed it in sections below.  The purpose in doing this is to show the general public the pages of doctrine that are soaked into the minds of these dear people.  Anyone reading and listening to this year after year would have a difficult time staying focused.

After each section I have posted a few questions for the ex-Mormon.  Allow them to read the paragraphs individually and ask them to list what problems they may see.  Then show them the list of questions (add some of your own!) and compare.  Encourage them as they begin to take control of their own thought life.  You know the old saying:  “Garbage in, garbage out”.  The magnitude of lies they’ve been taught and have believed is incredible.

Don’t forget:  1. Prayer.  2. Bible.

 “The Doctrine and Covenants is a compilation of revelations, most of which were received by the Prophet Joseph Smith for the establishment and governance of the kingdom of God in the latter days. It is a standard work of the Church… Its main focus is to build up the Church of Jesus Christ and to bring people into harmony with Christ’s kingdom… It is viewed as the capstone of the Church; its companion volume, the Book of Mormon, is seen as the keystone…” (pg. 405)

 What or who is the capstone in the Bible, give proof.  __________________________________________________

___________________________________________________

What or who should be the “keystone”, biblically speaking.

___________________________________________________

What is the purpose of the Bible?  Compare that with what was said above in regards to the D&C and the BoM.____________

__________________________________________________

__________________________________________________

Whose “job” is it to edify and unite the true body of Christ?  Show proof of your answer!  _______________________________

__________________________________________________ 

Because of copyright laws I did not reprint all three pages of the example I am giving here. If the ex-Mormon wants to see it in full, (which is something I highly recommend), my quotes in the paragraph above to the end of this section came from the Encyclopedia of Mormonism, pages 405 through 407.

The Book of Mormon was written to convince all individuals that Jesus is the Christ… the Doctrine and Covenants was given to organize and orient them according to God’s mind and kingdom.”

Where does it say (if it does at all) in the Bible that it was written to convince all individuals that Jesus is the Christ?

__________________________________________________

According to the Bible, who does the convincing of man’s soul?

___________________________________________________

___________________________________________________

Also, why is it they need to “organize and orient them to God’s mind and kingdom”?  Wouldn’t the Bible already have served that purpose?  These “further revelations” aren’t just simple additions to the Bible; they serve as replacements.

Over the years after the first printing, other revelations were received and some earlier materials were deleted… In subsequent editions, more sections were added…” (pg. 406) 

Stop the presses!  The term “earlier materials” has jumped off the pages and captured my full attention!  Why would you delete some earlier materials if they are revelations from God?  Why does this god keep changing his mind?

What does Numbers 23:9 say about God?    ______________

__________________________________________________

Is it okay with you if the god you worship changes his/her mind at their own whim?  What does Malachi 3:6 say about God?  ____________________________________________________

____________________________________________________  

Despite the fact that many of these revelations are personally directed to certain individuals or groups in nineteenth-century times and places, they contain principles that have eternal application and thus current value.”  (pg. 407) 

     There has been a ton of “stuff” to dissect in just this little section but it will be well worth the study!

The first problem I see in the example above is applying revelations meant for specific people to the general population of today.  The Bible has never operated in this fashion and neither should anyone else, biblically speaking and otherwise.  An example of this philosophy would be the prophecy given to the elders of the LDS Church that they must build a temple in Zion.

How could prophesying that Zion would be found in Independence, Missouri, apply to someone like my mother who lives in Utah right now?  My mother is in her sixties; she’s raising her grandchildren and lives across the street from her ailing parents.  How can she take these “scriptures” and apply them to her daily life?  D&C 57:1-3 says that the elders of the church should build a temple in Independence in 1831.

How does this failed prophecy help my mom in her walk with her Heavenly Father?

The revelations include warnings of divine judgments upon the wicked; teachings about the progression of human souls toward exaltation and eternal life through the gospel of Jesus Christ; information about scripture, including the coming forth of the Book of Mormon and the translation of the Bible by Joseph Smith.”  (pg. 407)

I would have the ex-Mormon look in the index of the D&C, BoM, and PofGP for a variety of subjects, look up the references and begin really looking into the claims and warnings.  See if the warning to obey “such and such” is still a gospel law they have to obey or if they’ve received further revelation to discontinue that “law”, i.e. polygamy (new and everlasting covenant).

…instructions about the priesthood, its restoration, functions, offices, and ordinances; commandments and instructions to people of the Church regarding personal behavior, education, lands and property, buildings, and caring for the poor; and callings and counsel to preach and live the gospel.”  (pg. 407) 

What laws or ordinances are no longer required in the LDS Church and why?  _________________________________________

__________________________________________________

__________________________________________________

In October of ‘06 Kirk and I participated in a live debate on a Christian radio talk show in Seattle.  A local stake president that took part in the debate told me at the end of the show, off-air of course, that the Church never forbade the members from drinking caffeinated colas or coffee.  I couldn’t believe what I had just heard!  He said that I was trying to be “sensationalistic” just to get attention!  Argh!  He said; “Members listen to one thing and hear another; therefore they are the ones getting things all wrong”.  In other words; “The 12.5 million members didn’t quite understand the prophecy that is now part of the Word of Wisdom”.

The Church will always have instructions for everything, and sadly enough the members’ understanding of each of those doctrines varies from person to person.  If anything about this chapter sticks out for the ex-Mormon I pray it would be you won’t forget the truth about the “Standard Works”.

From the moment the first Book of Mormon was printed in 1830 to date, there have been over 4,000 changes made to the Book of Mormon – these do not include typographical or printing errors.  All of the 4,000 plus changes are grammatical in nature.  You can purchase or see proof of this from many reputable websites.  There will be a list of recommendations in the Bibliography for Chapter 8.  The Utah Lighthouse Ministry run by Sandra Tanner has a book she and her late husband compiled that shows a side-by-side account of the 1830 BoM and the latest edition printed in the nineties.

Joseph Smith said in TPJS, pg 299 that he didn’t use any Greek or Latin when translating the Book of Mormon.

“To the Editor of the Times & Seasons:  Sir:—Through the medium of your paper, I wish to correct an error among men that profess to be learned, liberal and wise; and I do it the more cheerfully, because I hope sober-thinking and sound-reasoning people will sooner listen to the voice of truth, than be led astray by the vain pretensions of the self-wise. The error I speak of, is the definition of the word “Mormon.” It has been stated that this word was derived from the Greek word “mormo.” This is not the case. There was no Greek of Latin upon the plates from which I, through the grace of God, translated the Book of Mormon. Let the language of that book speak for itself.”

We recently completed a project counting how many time Greek or Latin words showed up in the Book of Mormon.  After identifying over 60 words that derived from the Greek or Latin we stopped counting at 7,290 words.

The Book of Mormon holds many false prophecies; one of which is located very near the beginning.  1 Nephi 2:8 says that the river “Laman” emptied into the Red Sea.  To date there has never been a river that has emptied into the Red Sea.

Jacob 2:25 says that polygamy is an abomination before God.  That verse alone tells me someone is lying.  Joseph Smith declared to Emma and the rest of the world in D&C 132 that unless you practice plural marriage you are damned!

Likewise the D&C contradicts itself and other sacred writings of the LDS Church.  The writings in this can’t be trusted based on the passage listed above.  Smith called plural marriage “the new and everlasting covenant”.  If it’s everlasting then why did the US ban it from existence in 1890?  If this was from God wouldn’t He have been able to do something about it?

D&C 114 is a false prophecy all unto itself.  Smith prophesied that Patten would go on a mission the following spring – Patten was killed in a gun battle six months later, being unable to fulfill that prophecy for Joseph.

The Pearl of Great Price contradicts itself without even having to look at the other writings of the Church.  For instance the creation story in Moses completely disagrees with the story in Abraham.

The false prophecies in Moses 7 place it in the same category as polygamy – a false prophecy.  The prophecy is that the black people were to live under the “Curse of Cain” while here on earth.  According to the LDS Church based on Smith’s prophecy here the blacks were not to hold the priesthood – ever.

In 1978 Spencer W. Kimball, then president and prophet of the LDS Church, received a new revelation from God allowing the blacks into the priesthood.  So which prophet is right?  If you say Kimball then what does that say about the beloved Joseph?  No one ever speaks ill about him.

Lesson Plan for Chapter Eight

 

How many false prophecies does it take before you can safely say someone is not a true prophet of God?  Show biblical proof.  __________________________________________________

__________________________________________________

What must we as Christians do with the “Standard Works” of the LDS Church in light of your answer above?  ________________

____________________________________________________

____________________________________________________

Read Galatians 1:6-9 and write down what you learn about other gospels.

_____________________________________________________

____________________________________________________

Are you (the ex-Mormon) aware of what the book of Jeremiah is about?  I cannot speed over to the counter of books fast enough with you so that you can find out!  If you do know then write out your thoughts below as you compare Jeremiah and the story of the Book of Mormon.  Who are these Israelites the BoM talks about that didn’t obey God’s warning to stay put?

__________________________________________________

__________________________________________________

__________________________________________________

__________________________________________________

© 2010 Life After Ministries, Inc.

  Bibliography:

Websites for further research:

www.saintsalive.com

http://www.mrm.org/

http://www.umi.org/index.html

http://www.answeringlds.org

http://www.utlm.org

http://www.mazeministry.com/

http://www.equippingchristians.com/

http://markcares.wordpress.com/ 

Link for Chapter 9:

Chapter 9. Mormon Terminology/Word Studies

http://lifeafterministry.wordpress.com/2010/10/22/mentoring-handbook-chapter-9/

Read Full Post »

THE TRUTH ABOUT THE BIBLE

     Writing about this subject is so intimidating to me that I put it as the last section to complete.  I know I’m not articulate enough to convey the true essence of its importance even though in my mind it’s all worked out, coming off my tongue is quite another matter!  Sometimes I take the easy way out and just pray Isaiah 40:8 for the Mormons; asking the Lord to “just fix their thoughts” and make them know the truth of that verse!

Wouldn’t it be great if it was always that easy?  This is why I am always amazed at how our God supplies for us and this is one of the times that I’m beyond grateful that He laid it on the hearts of intelligent people to write books and papers about the authenticity of the Bible and its validity.

As a Mormon I was never encouraged to study factual information about the Bible, thus my great mistrust of its validity.  Below are some basic facts of the Bible that would be beneficial for the ex-Mormon to hear.

I believe the most interesting fact I learned about the Bible is that it was God-breathed, “theopneustos”.  2 Tim. 3:16.  By the power of the Holy Spirit the words were written down on papyri while God used each individual’s personality and writing style to give mankind His Law and reveal Himself to us.

The Bible is a compilation of 66 books, written in Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek.  It was written by more than forty authors in three continents over the span of more than 1,500 years. It is by far the most read book in the history of mankind.

There are 333 prophecies in the Bible, 48 of which are in Isaiah chapter 53 alone!  The odds of all those prophecies coming to fruition are staggering, yet that’s exactly what God did!  Fulfilling just 48 of 61 of the prophecies concerning Jesus are 1 in 10157.

The Dead Sea Scrolls that were discovered in 1947 by a Qumran shepherd boy taught the scholars that no changes were necessary to the KJV Bible.  The Bible is 99.9% textually pure.  (Depending on the source, this figure ranges anywhere from 95% to 99.9%; I use the 99.9% figure based on the largest consensus of experts that I’m familiar with).  The remaining .01% has no affect on the doctrine.  Share with the ex-Mormon the method by which the scribes adhered to when copying the texts.

The original texts were hand written either by the author’s own hand or by a scribe under their supervision.  The markings or letters are known as jots and tittles.  If even one of these were written down incorrectly the entire page would be torn up and thrown away (usually burned) and they would have to begin all over again.  It was an incredibly tedious work!  Pastor Floyd McElveen wrote;

 “More than 25,000 sites have been excavated verifying the existence of cities, kings, kingdoms events, officials, etc., proving the historicity and incredible accuracy of thousands of Biblical references.  Archaeologist Nelson Glueck has said, “It may be stated categorically that no archaeological discovery has ever controverted a biblical reference.”” (Evidence You Never Knew Existed, pg. 8).

      The link below contains fantastic information on the Bible.  I highly encourage you to go to this site or any others that you may know about and share them with the one you are mentoring.  They need to know, they deserve to know and they will be more than shocked to know the truth!

http://www.godandscience.org/apologetics/bibleorg.html 

      The list of reasons why the Mormons don’t believe the Bible to be trustworthy is exhaustive.  Joseph Smith spent an extraordinary amount of time berating the Bible and everyone who had ever used it or helped write it.  No one was worthy enough to escape his tirades of scathing remarks and “prophetic” utterances of disdain towards God’s word.  Listed below are just a few examples of his and other LDS leader’s heretical comments.  Also notice the way their teachings vary, thus keeping the Mormon confused.

 PRO-BIBLE

2 Nephi 9:16; “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 ascendeth up forever and ever and has no end.”  Also see 1 Nephi 13:23-4.

Articles of Faith, pg. 214; “The historical and other data upon which is based the current Christian faith as to the genuineness of the Biblical record are accepted as unreservedly by the Latter-day Saints as by the members of any sect; and in literalness of interpretation this Church probably excels.”

ANTI-BIBLE

“A fundamental operating principle of “revealed” religions is that all truth cannot be completely discovered through human reason alone. Without God’s aid, no one can obtain the vital data, proper perspectives, and interpretive keys for knowing him (see Reason and Revelation). Because Latter-day Saints believe that their religion is revealed through living prophets of God, they subordinate human reason to revealed truth.”  Encyclopedia of Mormonism, pg. 112.

A Bible!  A Bible! Pg. 13 says; Of course Joseph Smith also stated that the Bible had not been preserved in its original purity: “We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly” (A of F 1:8). The word translated as it is used here must be understood to include the idea of transmission. That is, error has occurred not only in the translation from one language to another but also in the transcription of the text from manuscript to manuscript, even in the same language. The Bible has apparently suffered mostly from omissions….”

The rest of this chapter is a contribution given to us by Pastor Elbert Sorrell from Alexandria, Ohio.

 “…The missionary looked at me on one occasion during the evening, apparently upset with my continual use of the Bible and said that he didn’t care what I would show him in “that book.” No matter what verses I used to answer questions or respond to them as we discussed the matters at hand, I was wrong…”

      The Bible is only accepted as truth in the mind of an average Mormon in a very limited, qualifying way.  The reason this is so is because of the claims that Joseph Smith made in his early written works circa 1830.  Today you can find this rock solid belief in their testaments of faith (Articles of Faith) posted at the end of the Pearl of Great Price.  The list of their standard works of scripture made it to number eight of their thirteen testaments.  (1)

Smith arbitrarily took out and left alone what he deemed worthy of notice and believability for his devoted followers.  He convinced people that the Bible was indeed the “word of God as far as it is translated correctly”; however when any member of the Church is questioned about their belief in the Bible you will be met with an air of hesitancy as their demeanor changes into a defensive mode.  They claim there have been many “plain and precious truths” taken away from the Bible (this goes for their beloved KJV) and they won’t be able to provide which parts have been mistranslated or taken away.  Smith convinced his believers the Bible is shot full of holes and is the one of the causes of the “Great Apostasy” which is why God needed Smith to “restore the One and Only True Church”.  (2)

In my experience as a missionary we often used the Bible as a “backup” to give other doctrines in Mormonism validity as we taught them. We were often taught by our mission president to, “go from the known to the unknown” in teaching an investigator. We were to teach what was alike in our doctrine first and then the doctrines that were peculiar to Mormonism could be elaborated on more easily.

Another tactic is for them to try to use the Bible to show the disunity among the various denominations. This is something that is done quite frequently by most Mormons. For the purpose of this section let me say that your job as a mentor is to get the Mormon or ex-Mormon to see the validity of the Bible and not to become sidetracked by another issue.  Also, do not get caught up in the trap of trying to defend a particular denomination. The purpose is to develop within those you are mentoring, an ability for them to use the Bible as their guide and not a particular church or group as their guide to the Bible.

After coming out of Mormonism in 1985 I was dealing one day with a Mormon missionary that was in my home and each time we dealt with a specific topic it was my habit (a good one I continue to use) to go to the Bible to verify the truth of what I was saying. The missionary looked at me on one occasion during the evening, apparently upset with my continual use of the Bible and said that he didn’t care what I would show him in “that book.” No matter what verses I used to answer questions or respond to them as we discussed the matters at hand, I was wrong.  In dealing with this subject a little basic information could be helpful.

      Remember that your aim is not to show them how much you know, but to impart truth in a way that is understandable to them.

      A famous theologian is reported to have said that on the occasions that he was permitted to preach the Word of God that he often had people of various stations in the congregation. Amongst his listening audience you would find the rich, poor, learned and illiterate, nobles and commoners.  When he preached he would attempt to reach out to those of the lowest station of society and that if he was successful in doing that, he knew that he would also reach the nobles. The Bible has come down to us through the centuries from its original form to the translations that we have today.

The original writings (those of the OT prophets, NT apostles and others who wrote the New Testament like Mark and Luke) are what are commonly called the autographs.  These original writings are no longer with us today.

      We do have what are referred to as manuscripts; which are copies of those originals. Many of those copies exist today and are what is used to make translations of the Bible in various languages. Needless to say, some of the manuscripts that are used are more complete or accurate than others. And while there are those that are more complete than others, there is nothing to lend to the idea that we do not have the complete Word of God for us today.

You could ask the question of your students; “Do you believe God could give us His Word perfectly through the Biblical writers?” If they answer yes then ask the following question; “If God is able to do that then don’t you think He also would have the power to preserve His Word to us today?”  By now you’ve probably seen some resistance being put up by the one you’re mentoring in regards to the truths you are presenting to them.  This is totally normal as well as expected so don’t panic!  They have just spent an extraordinary amount of time allowing lies to be placed against their soul and they took each one of them in as truth.  They don’t doubt you per se; they doubt everything and everyone that comes into their path and this includes themselves.

Remember this isn’t about flesh and blood as Paul tells us in Ephesians 6:11; this is about the powers and principalities of the air.  Your job is to continue laying the foundation of truth for them.  Again, this is where prayer and perseverance on your part comes into play.

The subject of various versions or translations may come up from those you are mentoring as you approach the subject of the Bible. This is an area you need to be cautious in. Even though Joseph Smith did attempt a new translation of the Bible, it is not used in its entirety by the LDS church today. Unlike other cults today that has their own “translations” of the Bible, you are at an advantage with the ex-Mormon on this area because the King James Version is a reliable and beautiful translation. Rather than trying to get them to switch to another version, I would encourage YOU as a mentor to stay with the KJV in your mentoring for a few reasons:

1 – Accuracy of the language. Many things could be added here, but let it simply suffice to say the KJV is an accurate translation that can be trusted. Those you are mentoring need to have that security.

2 – Beauty of the language it is written in.

3 – Familiarity of the Mormon with it. You have enough to deal with as it is without having to contend with the issue of getting your students to acquaint themselves with a new translation of the Bible. It will also be easier for you to show how the Mormon Church has tampered with the Bible and twisted its meaning by using the KJV since this is the version they have historically twisted.

When they begin to see how their own church has twisted Scripture and lifted it out of context, while at the same time accusing various denominations of doing it, this could (and probably will) come as quite a shock to them.

You also have a wonderful opportunity here to share with the ex-Mormon or Mormon the fact that there have been Christians down through time that has given their very lives to give us the Bible in our own language. John Wycliffe in 1380 translated the NT and in 1382 translated the OT from Latin to English.  William Tyndale translated the NT from Greek to English around 1524; Miles Coverdale and Thomas Matthews are also two men who undertook this noble task that are well known to those of us in the Church of Jesus Christ.  These men, along with many others saw a need for the common man to have the Bible and in so doing; many were executed for their efforts.

Persecution was the order of the day simply because they loved the Word of God and loved the people they knew that needed the Word of God.  It wasn’t enough they had it; they wanted others to have it as well. These people (just like those you are mentoring) went against the grain of a corrupt religious system and organization that did not want them to know the truth or tell it to others and yet at great personal cost to them in numerous ways, pressed on because they saw the reality of what the consequences were. This is another proof of the fact that the church of Jesus Christ was alive and well, even in those darkest and most difficult times, when the LDS church was yet to come into existence.

 LET US REJOICE IN AND PRAISE HIS HOLY NAME!!!

Bibliography

1 – Articles of Faith 1:8; “We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly; we also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God.”

2 – Doctrines of Salvation 3:190; “We are informed in the Book of Mormon that the Hebrew scriptures went “forth from the Jews in purity unto the Gentiles, according to the truth which is in God,” and after they went forth from the Jews many changes were made, and “many parts which are plain and most precious; and also many covenants of the Lord have they taken away.””

© 2010 Life After Ministries, Inc.

Link for Chapter 8:

Chapter 8. The Truth about the Triple Combination

http://lifeafterministry.wordpress.com/2010/10/22/mentoring-handbook-chapter-8/

Read Full Post »

 WILL THE ONE TRUE CHURCH PLEASE STAND UP?

      The one thing I always believed as a Mormon was that I belonged to the “only true church on the face of the earth”.  By birthright alone I was “special” and had advantages that no one else did.  By birthright alone I would be in heaven and by birthright alone I was a superior being.  All other churches were the whores of Babylon and only thought they knew God.

The Presbyterians, Lutherans, Catholics, Baptists, Nazarenes and yes, even the Pentecostals were all going to the Telestial kingdom (lowest kingdom) because they weren’t members of the LDS Church.  They were going to be serving those of us in the highest kingdom of heaven (Celestial Kingdom) because they either didn’t understand or chose not to be a part of the one true Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  To understand why there is such a huge stumbling block in the mind of the Mormons on this topic, we need to take a look at what causes it to begin with.

Joseph Smith maintained the body of Christ could no longer be found on earth.  He claims he went to the grove of a forest near his home in Palmyra, NY to ask God which church he should join and God told him to join none of them, that every single church on the face of the earth was wrong. (Joseph Smith’s Testimony chapter 1.)  He was then told he must wait to receive the golden or brass plates which held the story of a forgotten people from Jerusalem that came here to the Americas to escape persecution.

It was also at this time Smith claims to have been told by God to translate some old papyrus that a traveling salesman sold to him.  This papyrus supposedly held the story of the creation and the pre-existence that we read in the book of Abraham.  In reality, the papyrus is what Egyptologists call a “funerary breathing”. (How to perform ceremonies at mummification.)  As time went by the Church continued to evolve, but already the heresies had been born.

While the vast majority of the public believed Smith was a false prophet, there were on the other hand, those who believed his story.  The little group of believers grew as they continued to believe that God Himself had actually visited Smith and revealed to him the new commandments and the way to salvation.  After all, assurance of salvation is much easier to achieve and believe if you took care of things yourself; and Joseph had them convinced this was the “only true way to salvation”.  This was the mindset needed for the LDS Church to flourish and indeed it did!

The other mindset needed for a vulnerable flock, is for the belief that you are being persecuted all for the sake of the Lord.  From the beginning the Church has insisted this has been their lot in life, thus the need to continually flee to the next town while at the same time the warrants for Joseph Smith’s arrest began to stack up.  For a chronological detailed account of Joseph Smith’s life, be sure to visit the website of www.josephsmith.net to find an abundance of informative stories, historical documents and pictures to keep anyone occupied for a long time!  Keep in mind this website is a “pro-Mormon” site and you will not find all of his arrest records or complaints filed against him at this site.  (1)

The LDS have always held a very strong position in asserting their civil rights and pointing out their patriotism for America.  They are defensive when someone brings up religion in conversation and they will inevitably bring their rights as Americans into the equation every time.

Granted, it’s not against the law to invoke your First Amendment Rights to worship as you please.  However, it is unlawful to practice polygamy, to create and distribute your own monetary system; invoke Martial Law based on your own whims; and to arbitrarily burn down buildings when newspapers publish the details of charges that are being brought against you.

These charges, amongst others, were just the tip of the iceberg for the communities the LDS Church had invaded and subsequently fled from in its early years.  As of today the LDS Church now claims, as it always has, that it is the “only true church on the face of the earth”, (D&C 1:30).  They believe the power of the priesthood was not handed down as it should have been, thus the apostasy.  The Church members will become immediately defensive when asked about the history of the LDS Church, so expect some resistance to your message even after they get out of the Church.

When a Mormon gets out of the Church they are not accustomed to the vocabulary that Christians employ.  An example of this is the phrase “The church of Jesus Christ” – meaning the body of Christ – the Christians.  I would use this phrase with the new Christian as much as possible to get them used to the idea that this phrase has been in use since the inception of the true Christian church circa 33 AD.  The Christians belong to The Church of Jesus Christ.  It is His church; it belongs to Him, not the Christians.

     Compare that to the Mormon’s church which is called The Church of Jesus Christ, of Latter-day Saints.

      They believe the body of Christ originated with Adam as Joseph Smith taught (DS 3:82).  People were baptized for the remission of sins, received the gift of the Holy Ghost and men held the priesthood.  Now with the short story of the LDS Church out of the way, let’s take a look at what God tells us about His church – from the Bible!

We see in the book of Acts how God built up His church to lay the foundation for the rest of time.  I have been of the opinion lately that if the LDS Church really wanted to say there are no inconsistencies in their doctrine they should have changed the text in the book of Acts in the JST.

The entire book of Acts of the Apostles is just that; an account of how it all began.  If the so-called church at the time of Christ died with the last apostle, then why keep their stories in scripture?  What purpose does that serve the Mormon community?

For the first time in history the Holy Spirit poured Himself upon a group of people – it’s called Pentecost.  Acts chapter two tells us that men from every single country were represented in that room on that day.  They had all come to Jerusalem to celebrate the feast of the first-fruits and many ended up being a witness to the ultimate Passover Sacrifice – Christ Jesus.  They waited as Jesus instructed them to do (Acts 1:8) to receive the Promise that He had spoken to them about earlier.

Be sure to share with them some interesting facts about this event and the entire book of Acts!  For example:  at the time Luke wrote this no one objected to his writings or the authenticity of events that took place.  The witnesses of these events were still alive and they most certainly would have said something if he had any of it wrong.  Luke was a well respected doctor in that region and was known to be meticulous about the minutest of details.

Matthew Henry said this in his introduction commentary on the book of Acts;

 “Now this book gives us an account of the framing and rearing of that tabernacle. The four gospels showed us how the foundation of that house was laid; this shows us how the superstructure began to be raised…”

    Luke was with the apostle Paul on many of the missionary journeys, and therefore knew about the dreadful prisons mentioned in Acts, as well as the “prison letters” Paul wrote known as the book of Colossians, Philippians, Ephesians and Philemon.  From what the majority of respectable theologians have surmised, it is probable that Dr. Luke was also one of the original “seventy” the apostles ordained to look over the church.  The “authority” to preach the gospel, establish churches in the world and baptize believers did not die when the last apostle died.

On the contrary, the church of Jesus Christ thrived as promised by Jesus Himself.  Believers withstood persecution because of the stand they took for Jesus everywhere they lived.  Rome was notorious for the atrocities that took place in the first 300 years of Christianity.  The Romans would wrap the skins of dead animals around the Christians in the Coliseum and open the gates to let out the lions.  They were burned at the stake while those in charge would wait for them to denounce the Lord.  Nero used the Christians as human torches to light his world famous gardens in 64 AD.  By 100 AD 25,000 people became martyrs for Jesus.

As for today?  There were more Christians killed in the 20th Century for the Lord than there were in the past 19 centuries combined!  The LDS Church will reply by stating these facts do not prove anything and they do not believe the doctrines of the “Christian church” are correct, thus the need for a complete restoration.  Keep in mind this “Restoration” isn’t anything similar to what Martin Luther did some 500 years ago with the Reformation!  Many Mormon missionaries explain to the unsuspecting public that the “Restoration” and the Reformation were very similar.

Joseph Smith took every doctrine, every principle of Judeo-Christian theology and turned it upside down and sideways.  There is not one single doctrine that he left untouched in regards to the precepts of what you or I know as Christianity.  In fact the more I know about Joseph Smith the more he reminds me of Simon the great magician spoken of in Acts 8:9-24; believing that he could buy the power of the true Holy Spirit to baptize people who were seeking the God of the Bible.

Simon was also known as the “father of Gnosticism”; those who believed you are saved by what you know.  Simon didn’t care about the believers or the things they did while worshipping God.  His goal was strictly focused on one thing only – he wanted the believers to think he was a divine person.  Take notice also that he didn’t go to the unbelievers.  His mission was to go to the Christians; just like Joseph Smith.  The LDS’s biggest “pool of converts” comes from the Baptist church in the United States.

The LDS Church will tell everyone the fact that people apostatized proves the original church of Christ left the earth.  To this, our reply is hogwash!  Jesus warned there would be false christs; John spoke of the people who would sneak in a side-door in his first epistle.  The apostle Paul spoke of the elect being tricked into believing a lie in his letter to the Thessalonians.  There will always be someone who will present a false product to the masses but it doesn’t mean the entire church is gone!

Jesus’ church has withstood 2,000 years of persecution and she is still alive and well.  She is awaiting the return of her Beloved Bridegroom and will continue to wait.  The LDS Church can say what they want, but to the rest of the world and most importantly, God, the church is still in operation.

There are many churches and denominations out in the world today.  Life After hasn’t been called to examine each church’s by-laws and constitution.  What we have been called to do however is to encourage the body of Christ to stand up to the grossly inaccurate doctrine of the LDS Church that says they believe in the God of the Bible.  Come alongside us in unison with thousands of others to stand for the truth!

Life After Ministries also wants to make sure it’s understood that we don’t do this out of any animosity or revenge to bash the Mormon people.  We’ve been in the shoes of the Mormon people and our hearts are broken for the souls who truly believe they are worshipping the right Jesus.

Things to think about:

 If you (the LDS Church) are so positive that your message of the gospel is absolute truth then why bother with the “whore of Babylon” when we have websites or ministries that tell the other side of the story?

If lies about the Bible and Jesus are exposed and set straight then why are you offended?

Why has the LDS Church spent millions of dollars and 170 – plus years in proselytizing the “Christian” nation of America instead of focusing on the areas of the 10/40 or the 10/70 window of the world?

Why are families torn apart and shunned when they decide to leave the Church?  What happened to the “Families are Forever” plan? 

© 2010 Life After Ministries, Inc.                                     

1.  LAM had an ongoing e-mail debate with one of the designers of www.josephsmith.net when it first came into existence in 2005.  For months we went back and forth…we are still praying for “J” that he would come to know the real Jesus.

Link for Chapter 7:

Chapter 7. The Truth about the Bible

http://lifeafterministry.wordpress.com/2010/10/22/mentoring-handbook-chapter-7/

Read Full Post »

THE HOLY SPIRIT AND HIS RESIDENCE

     Picture yourself sitting in the upper room with Jesus and the other apostles at the end of the Last Supper.  Can you just imagine what it would have felt like and what your response would have been if Jesus had told you (happily I might add), that He was going to die so that you would be filled with The Comforter?  In the gospel of John we find just that!  Judas was about to betray the long awaited Messiah and here was Jesus; just as calm as if He were talking about the daily events in the life of a butterfly.

In less than two months from that very night they were going to be filled with the third person of the Trinity.  God would take up residence inside each and every believer from that day forward and never leave nor desert them just as Jesus promised the apostles with His comforting words on that dark night in the upper room.

 John 14:23 says; “Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.”

      The long awaited day of Pentecost* had finally arrived as the apostles gathered again for prayer. The meticulous Dr. Luke narrates for us the scenario of how the Holy Spirit rushed in from heaven, filled the whole house with His presence and then filled each of the believers; Acts 2:1-4.  Remember the times in the Gospels when Jesus said you cannot tell which way the wind bloweth?  Now through His power and the wind they felt on their cheeks, they began speaking in tongues and witnessing to the people there that represented all of the surrounding areas!

Actually, there in the city of Jerusalem, people had gathered from all around to celebrate the feast of the first-fruits.  Fifty days from the time of Passover had gone by and now was the time of harvest!  What a glorious event it must have been to witness the arrival of the Promise that Jesus had foretold.  At first the people who gathered around to watch this event thought the brand new spirit filled Christians were drunk, but Peter assured them it was only nine o’clock in the morning and no one had been drinking.

(Just imagine the hushed conversations in groups of 4-5 and compare that thought with the freedom.  The freedom those apostles and disciples now were living in – my, what an experience…probably much like it was for you when you got saved.)

God was now showing them fifty days after the resurrection of His Son Jesus; the Promise was theirs to keep.  Now God would go with them everywhere they went.  They wouldn’t have to wait outside the gates of the temple or travel several days to attend the three required yearly feasts and sacrifices at the temple where God resided.  He now came to His people instead of them going to Him.  Many of the experiences, feelings and thoughts the early Christians lived through are the same things we live through; but not with this particular incident on the first Christian Pentecost.

God purposefully used this exact time to fill His believers to get the biggest audience and get “more bang for the buck”, if you will.  All the Israelites had to come back to Jerusalem for the Feast of the first-fruits.  He wanted His children who didn’t yet believe to hear Him and when they went back to their villages and towns they would take the stories of their experience with them.

Sure, God was obviously going to send out apostles and missionaries, but the little nooks and crannies of the towns were taken care of by witnessing God in action in Jerusalem on that first Christian Pentecost.  God is never one to overlook any situation; He is the ultimate Giver of Life, our Prince of Peace.  What a merciful God we have; so eager to forgive, providing through His love for a way to come to Him just in case you change your mind…

There were so many signs that this “wind” was the infilling of the Presence of God the only way to “miss” it was to willfully turn away from Him.  Paul reiterates the residence of the Holy Spirit in his first epistle to the believers in Corinth.  In chapter 3:16 he says;

 “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?”

      And again in 6:19 he reminds them that they are the temple of God who resides inside of them.  For more examples of being filled with the Holy Spirit let’s take a quick glance at the beginning of the Church of Jesus Christ.

Acts 2:41 says 3,000 became Christians in one day. Acts 2:47 says there were people being saved every single day.  In Acts chapter three we find Peter and John going up to the temple to preach the gospel and came upon a lame man sitting at the doors of the temple.  Through this man’s healing that came from the Holy Spirit through the mouths of Peter and John, 5,000 more people were added to the body of Christ!  See Acts 4:4.  By the time we get to Acts 5:14 we see that Peter and John had brought a multitude of believers to their new spirit filled lives.

Fast forward some 2,000 years and here we are in today’s world, today’s sinful behavior filled with violence and temptations of every kind; how’s a person to survive the onslaught of evil from the television, radio, magazines, billboards and just people around them?  The answer is obviously clear for those who pronounce His name as their God, but for those who’ve been lied to on purpose it’s another story.  How does one “get the Holy Spirit”?

Questions will obviously begin swirling around in the heads of those you mentor so be prepared.  This is always such a blessing and fascinating time for them and for you.  Always know that we’re here praying for you and those you are mentoring.  Interesting word study if you have the time!  Take a look at the word “comforter”.

There’s a short list of questions to answer at the end of this section; however we won’t be delving into the subdivisions of the many denominations throughout the world.  The purpose of focusing on this subject is to show the new Christian how the disciples did nothing to deserve or expect the Holy Spirit to take up residence inside of them.   We so desperately want you to know how the everyday Christian life is spent on a day-to-day basis of leaning into Him and no one else.

Now that we’ve gone to the Bible and learned some new things, let’s compare them with the lies that are packed tightly inside of the heart of the ex-Mormon.  Exposing the lies for what they are and calling them out to the light will take the control away from the spiritual stranglehold they have around the throats of these dear people; maybe it’s even you who needs true freedom!

God said that “what is bound on earth is bound in heaven” (claim Matt. 16:19 while praying for their minds to be clear of lies).  The Bible also tells us that scripture is more powerful than a two edged sword.  As a believer you have the ability to claim spiritual authority over any darkness that still lingers around.  So with this in mind let’s take a look at the lies; expose them for what they’re are and carefully help the ex-Mormon see the differences between what the LDS Church and the Bible really says.

      For further information on denouncing and the oppression that comes along with being a Mormon, see “Denouncing Mormonism” and “The dark clouds overhead are Mormonism” later in this outline.

The LDS Church has always taught its members that “When the leaders (of the Church) speak, the thinking has been done”.  So if the leaders of the Church say the things that are listed below, it’d be difficult at best to figure out whom the Holy Ghost is, what purpose he serves or where he even come from.

In DoS 1:39 Joseph Fielding Smith, grandson of Hyrum Smith and son of Joseph F. Smith was the “leading gospel scholar and the greatest doctrinal teacher of this generation”. The point to my bringing attention to this man is that he was and still is considered to be as “authoritative” as Hinckley is today.  They use his writings in public correspondence and continued on to say the following in the preface of volume one in DoS:

 “Few men in this dispensation have approached him in gospel knowledge or surpassed him in spiritual insight, His is the faith and the knowledge of his father, President Joseph F. Smith, and his grandfather, the Patriarch Hyrum Smith.” –

      In other words, they still believe it even if they lie and say they don’t. The leaders of the Church, both dead and alive hold a tremendous amount of spiritual power over the members of the Church.

When an active, inactive, or ex-Mormon says that the Church doesn’t use these references anymore; ask them why the Church still sells them (the books) at their bookstores and why they are continuing to this day to embrace the “old prophets” theology.  They are indeed used in speeches or classes they teach when it’s convenient for the leaders.  Until they completely denounce all the teachings of the LDS faith, we will continue to speak the truth.  The prophet Joseph Fielding Smith told the members of the Church that he didn’t speculate on the purpose of the Holy Spirit.

 Doctrines of Salvation 1:39 says; “I have never troubled myself about the Holy Ghost whether he will sometime have a body or not because it is not in any way essential to my salvation. He is a member of the Godhead, with great power and authority, with a most wonderful mission which must be performed by a spirit. This has satisfied me without delving into mysteries that would be of no particular benefit.”

       Then from James Talmage in his work entitled Articles of Faith, pg. 145, it says the Holy Ghost isn’t omnipresent;

 “Much of the confusion existing in human conceptions concerning the nature of the Holy Ghost arises from the common failure to segregate His person and powers…the actual person of the Holy Ghost cannot be in more than one place at a time.

      Joseph Smith went so far as to say the Holy Ghost’s power is nothing but pure intelligence.  History of the Church 3:380;

 “There are two Comforters spoken of. One is the Holy Ghost, the same as given on the day of Pentecost, and that all Saints receive after faith, repentance, and baptism. This first Comforter or Holy Ghost has no other effect than pure intelligencewhile the effect of the Holy Ghost upon a Gentile, is to purge out the old blood, and make him actually of the seed of Abraham.

      History of the Church 3:379;

 “THE GIFT OF THE HOLY GHOST by the laying on of hands, cannot be received through the medium of any other principle than the principle of righteousness, for if the proposals are not complied with, it is of no use, but withdraws.”

      Encyclopedia of Joseph Smith’s Teachings;

 “But the Holy Ghost is yet a spiritual body and waiting to take to himself a body, as the Savior did or as God did or the gods before them took bodies; for the Savior says the work that my Father did do I also. . . . He took himself a body and then laid down his life that he might take it up again. (Joseph Smith, The Words of Joseph Smith, p. 382; standardized).

      Note:  The page number for the above passage is sketchy as it didn’t list each page number. From the entries before and after it’s somewhere between pg. 321-323.

I believe we’ve made our case and proven the Holy Spirit is not any of the things the LDS Church says He is!  I can’t imagine living even one day without His Holy Spirit inside of me.  I can look back to the time before I was saved in ‘93 and remember what a mess my life was then.  The most striking difference is the loneliness I felt all the time from running circles in my head looking for the answers and always coming back more empty than before.

*Give definition of Pentecost.  Share any insights you have gleaned in your years as a Christian.

 Questions for Chapter Five

1.  What are the transliterations in Hebrew and Greek for Pentecost?

 ____________________________________________________

____________________________________________________

____________________________________________________

____________________________________________________

2.  What is the purpose of Pentecost now that it’s “over with”?

____________________________________________________

____________________________________________________

3.  How can the Holy Spirit living inside of each believer be a comfort to the ex-Mormon?  Be as specific as you can.

__________________________________________________

___________________________________________________

___________________________________________________

___________________________________________________

4.  What were some of the signs given to the disciples and others at the time of Pentecost?

  _________________________________

____________________________________________________

____________________________________________________

____________________________________________________ 

5.  Who, where, what is the Church of Jesus Christ today?  _____

____________________________________________________

____________________________________________________

____________________________________________________

6.  What was the purpose of Pentecost in the Old Testament?  Read the following and write your answers below.  Exodus 23:14-17; Lev. 23:1-16.

___________________________________________________

___________________________________________________

___________________________________________________

___________________________________________________ 

7.  Did the Holy Spirit ever dwell inside a man before Pentecost or the time of Jesus?  Use scripture for proof of your answer.  ___________________

___________________________________________________

___________________________________________________

___________________________________________________

8.  How is the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in each believer different from the LDS version of the Holy Ghost?  1 Cor. 3:16 & 6:19 says what to us as believers?

___________________________________________________

___________________________________________________

___________________________________________________

___________________________________________________

9.  Give example of what a Christian might say to their very active LDS family members

or friends about the Holy Spirit dwelling inside of you as a Christian and don’t forget scripture!

____________________________________________________

____________________________________________________

____________________________________________________

__________________________________________________   

Link for Chapter 6:

Chapter 6. Will the One True Church Please Stand Up?

http://lifeafterministry.wordpress.com/2010/10/22/mentoring-handbook-chapter-6/

© 2010 Life After Ministries, Inc.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 402 other followers