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Archive for November, 2010

November 30 – Philippians 4:8; “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”

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I had never heard this of this verse in the 30 years I was a Mormon.  It wasn’t until I had been saved when a dear Christian friend of mine showed me this verse and would remind me of it time and again during the first few years of my walk with the Lord.  I don’t know of any true Christian who gets inspiration from anyone other than the Lord Jesus.  The Mormon writings today are another example of what they really think of the body of Christ.

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“What is it that inspires professors of Christianity generally with a hope of salvation? It is that smooth, sophisticated influence of the devil, by which he deceives the whole world.”  Joseph Smith, History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 7 vols., introduction and notes by B. H. Roberts, 5: 218 – 219.

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November 29 – John 2:7-9; “Jesus saith unto them, Fill the waterpots with water. And they filled them up to the brim.  And he saith unto them, Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast. And they bare it.  When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was: (but the servants which drew the water knew;) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom.”

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Here we have the first miracle of Jesus!  Isn’t it an amazing passage to think upon?  There are many subjects to study within this small passage of scripture.  From the meaning of the water in the waterpots; to the actual miracle itself and showing the servants that He had arrived!  Mary obviously knew and now the world was about to experience the miracle of how He could change their lives.  The LDS Church has tried to make this miracle into something it is not; degrading the Lord.

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“It will be borne in mind that once on a time, there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and on a careful reading of that transaction, it will be discovered that no less a person than Jesus Christ was married on that occasion. If he was never married, his intimacy with Mary and Martha, and the other Mary also whom Jesus loved, must have been highly unbecoming and improper to say the best of it….I will venture to say that if Jesus Christ were now to pass through the most pious countries in Christendom with a train of women…and unmarried, or even married, he would be mobbed, tarred, and feathered, and rode, not on an ass, but on a rail. What did the old Prophet mean when he said (speaking of Christ), “He shall see his seed, prolong his days, &c.” Did Jesus consider it necessary to fulfil every righteous command or requirement of his Father? He most certainly did…Was it God’s commandment to man, in the beginning, to multiply and replenish the earth? None can deny this, neither that it was a righteous command…Did Christ come to destroy the law or the Prophets, or to fulfil them? He came to fulfil. Did he multiply, and did he see his seed? Did he honour his Father’s law by complying with it, or did he not? Others may do as they like, but I will not charge our Saviour with neglect or transgression in this or any other duty.”  Orson Hyde, Journal of Discourses, 26 vols, 4: 260.

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November 28 – Romans 8:15; “For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.”

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Strong’s says this about the word adoption from Romans 8:15; “the placing as a son, that is, adoption (figuratively Christian sonship in respect to God):—”

 Adoption in Biblical times meant that when you adopted someone, by law, you could never disown them; whereas you could legally disown your own flesh and blood, this was not a possibility with adopted children.  What a relief this verse and others like it bring to us!  Knowing there is nothing we could do now or in the future, our placement is certain with Him!  Read today how complicated the Mormon Church has made it for their followers to understand such a simple truth as adoption.

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“By the law of adoption those who receive the gospel and obey its laws, no matter what their literal blood lineage may have been, are adopted into the lineage of Abraham. (Abra. 2: 9-11) “The effect of the Holy Ghost upon a Gentile,” the Prophet says, “is to purge out the old blood, and make him actually of the seed of Abraham.” Such a person has “a new creation by the Holy Ghost.” (Teachings, pp. 149-150.)…Indeed, the faithful are adopted to the family of Christ; they become “the children of Christ, his sons, and his daughters”; they are “spiritually begotten,” for their “hearts are changed through faith on his name,” thus being “born of him,” becoming “his sons and his daughters.”  (Mosiah 5:7.)”  Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 23.

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November 27 – Jude 1:21; “Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.”

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Today we’re looking at the word eternal to see what it means. The Greek word for eternal from this verse is; aioônios.  The transliteration for eternal from the Strong’s Concordance is:  “perpetual (also used of past time, or past and future as well):—eternal, for ever, everlasting, world (began).” 

So today ask your Mormon friend what his understanding is of this word when Milton Hunter and Joseph Smith says that God is eternal, yet he was once a man like us and then became a god himself.

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“God Himself was once as we are now…It is the first principle of the Gospel to know for a certainty the character of God, and to know that we may converse with Him as one man converses with another, and that He was once a man like us, yea, that God Himself, the Father of us all, dwelt on an earth, the same as Jesus Christ Himself did.”

Milton R. Hunter, The Gospel through the Ages, 105.

 The meaning of the word eternal from the Webster’s 1828 Dictionary as found in the Gospel Link Dictionary; “Without beginning or end of existence.  The eternal God is thy refuge. Deuteronomy 33.”

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November 26 – Romans 14:17-20; “For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. For he that in these things serveth Christ is acceptable to God, and approved of men. Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another. For meat destroy not the work of God. All things indeed are pure; but it is evil for that man who eateth with offence.”

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Again, we need to make sure all things are looked at in context, therefore, we look at and read all historical and geographical materials we can, as well as using dictionaries and concordances.  This way we have assurance we’ve exhausted all venues.  A great example is Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance; here’s what it says about the word kingdom:  in the Greek, the word is basileia. 

The transliteration for this is:  properly royalty, that is, (abstractly) rule, or (concretely) a realm (literally or figuratively):—kingdom, + reign.” 

Nowhere does it say in the actual text (or the concordance) anything about an organization being the kingdom of God.  In fact, when we research these verses, along with reputable commentaries, they all say the kingdom is where the Christian is living a life acceptable to God, living righteously and not causing others to stumble. 

According to the Holman Bible Dictionary it means it is the rule or sovereignty of God.

 It is not a “geographical area, nor is it a political entity such as the nation of Israel…  The establishment of the kingdom is a work of God.  God will reign, and people can contribute nothing to that reigning of God.” – Holman Bible Dictionary.

 Since the kingdom of God is not the nation of Israel, that would also include the Mormon Church.  If it’s not a nationality, not an organization and not a political entity, where does that leave the people of Mormonism?  I always think of my mother when I see things like this. 

 They claim it is the duty of the Church to prepare man to live with God.  However, Jesus says otherwise.  Jesus told everyone they are welcome to enter the kingdom and to have the heart of a child.  (Mark 10:14)

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“The church is a kingdom; it is God’s kingdom. . .and as such is designed to prepare men for an inheritance… which is the celestial kingdom. Our Lord Jesus Christ is the Eternal King; his representative on earth is the President of the church…Where there is no kingdom of God there is no salvation.” Without the church, man cannot be saved.  “Whenever men can find out the will of God and find an administrator legally authorized from God, there is the kingdom of God; but where these are not, the kingdom of God is not. All the ordinances, systems, and administrations on earth are of no use to the children of men, unless they are ordained and authorized of God; for nothing will save a man but a legal administrator; for none others will be acknowledged either by God or angels.” Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pp. 271-72, 274.”  Bruce R. McConkie, New Witness for the Articles of Faith, 326- 337. The Church-Its Nature and Purpose

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November 24 – John 15:13-15; “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.  Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.”

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Communication is the fundamental key when having a relationship with anyone, whether it is a friend, a spouse, your child, or your boss.  You can’t have a relationship without this key component.  The way we communicate with Jesus therefore, would be through prayer.  Sometimes this is one of the hardest things to understand coming out of Mormonism.  It’s really okay to communicate directly with Jesus!

Read here how the Church explains to their people the proper guidelines in having a relationship with Jesus.

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“I shall speak of our relationship with the Lord and of the true fellowship all Saints should have with the Father. I shall set forth what we must believe relative to the Father and the Son in order to gain eternal life… Another peril is that those so involved often begin to pray directly to Christ because of some special friendship they feel has been developed.  And you have never heard one of the First Presidency or the Twelve, who hold the keys of the kingdom, and who are appointed to see that we are not “tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine” (Ephesians 4:14)–you have never heard one of them advocate this excessive zeal that calls for gaining a so-called special and personal relationship with Christ.” – Speech given on, March 2, 1982 at BYU by Bruce R. McConkie – Quorum of the Twelve.

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November 23 – 2 Thessalonians 2:13; “But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth.”

Hebrews 13:12; “Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate.”

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In the Greek “sanctification” is hagiasmos.  It means the state of purification.  God, through the Holy Spirit, continues to sanctify us throughout our lives if we are willing to allow Him to refine us, but by no means are we able to do this on our own.  Today’s Mormon reference not just insinuates, but outright teaches a false gospel that the Christian is responsible for their own sanctification process.

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“Sanctification is a state of saintliness, a state attained only by conformity to the laws and ordinances of the gospel. The plan of salvation is the system and means provided whereby men may sanctify their souls and thereby become worthy of a celestial inheritance.”  Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 675.

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November 22 – Romans 8:3-4; “For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:  That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”

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Jesus served as the fulfillment of the Law, meaning there is absolutely nothing we could ever do to work for our own salvation.  Remember, God isn’t the one that changes; we look to Him as our constant in life. 

Succumbing to what was politically and socially acceptable in the 21st century, the LDS Church changed their initiatory ordinances in the temple in January of 2005.  The only place they now touch you is on your forehead and the top of your head instead of touching your private body parts.  Yet, read what they had to say in 1982.

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“As temple work progresses, some members wonder if the ordinances can be changed or adjusted. These ordinances have been provided by revelation, and are in the hands of the First Presidency. Thus, the temple is protected from tampering.”  W. Grant Bangerter, executive director of the Temple Department and a member of the First Quorum of Seventy, Deseret News, Church Section, January 16, 1982

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November 21 – 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.”

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We all have our own favorite scriptures that we lean on for our strength when nothing else better could be said.  These two in Jude are some of my personal favorites.  Thank You Jesus for Your words, Your comfort, the salvation You gave to me and separating me from the LDS Church.  Thank You for forgiving me when I believed the atrocities spoken here by Joseph Smith.

Ask the Mormon in your life what they think of Joseph Smith stating that he is their god.  From what he said, it is clear they are not worshipping the One and Only True God of the Bible.

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“God is not willing to let me gratify you; but I must teach the Elders, and they should teach you. 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. (April 8, 1844.).”  Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pg. 363.

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November 20 – Hebrews 11:36-38; “And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; (Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.”

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The above scriptures are a classic example of what it means to be a martyr.  It means that you don’t fight back; you don’t have the mentality of “kill or be killed”.  You die willingly for the sake of the gospel.   Notice how Joseph and Hyrum Smith died and see if they qualify.

I’ve had people in the LDS Church tell me that Joseph died for the Mormon people and my question is always the same.  What did Joseph’s death personally do for you?

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“I shall never forget the deep feeling of sympathy and regard manifested in the countenance of Brother Joseph as he drew nigh to Hyrum, and, leaning over him, exclaimed, ‘Oh! my poor, dear brother Hyrum!’ He, however, instantly arose, and with a firm, quick step, and a determined expression of countenance, approached the door, and pulling the six-shooter left by Brother Wheelock from his pocket, opened the door slightly, and snapped the pistol six successive times; only three of the barrels, however, were discharged. I afterwards understood that two or three were wounded by these discharges, two of whom, I am informed, died.”  Joseph Smith, History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 7: 102 – 103.  The 3rd President of the Church, John Taylor made the above statements.

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November 19 – Ephesians 4:5; “One Lord, one faith, one baptism.”

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The scripture above is just one example of how many times we need to be baptized.  Paul actually admonishes the new believers in Corinth to stop practicing the pagan ritual of baptisms for the dead in his first epistle to them.  (1 Corinthians 15:29) They were confused about this ordinance of when and whom should be baptized so they were baptizing  everyone, dead or alive. 

Strangely enough, they didn’t believe in the resurrection and that is where Paul comes in with his admonition and question.  Why are you being baptized for dead people when you don’t believe they’ll rise from the dead anyway?  Remember, the theme in 1 Corinthians chapter fifteen is Paul giving a dissertation for the defense of Jesus’ resurrection.

  Jesus gave us two ordinances to observe; baptism and partaking in communion. In obedience you are doing what he says to do – be baptized.  You are publicly being set apart and declaring you are a follower of Jesus.

Being dunked down into the water symbolizes you are dead to sin.  Being raised out of the water symbolizes your new life in Christ. 

It also serves as a sign for people that after you die and are buried, you will be resurrected to live eternally in the presence of God.

According to the Mormon Church though, Jesus’ teachings are never enough – there always has to be something else to sooth the mind of its founder Joseph Smith and to keep the adherents too busy to study out the truth for themselves. 

Number of people we can save?  Zero. 

Only Jesus can save someone and you spending extra time in a baptismal font serves no purpose other than making your skin wrinkly and keeping your focus off of the true Redeemer.

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Doctrine and Covenants 128:18; “…It is sufficient to know, in this case, that the earth will be smitten with a curse unless there is a welding link of some kind or other between the fathers and the children, upon some subject or other—and behold what is that subject? It is the baptism for the dead. For we without them cannot be made perfect; neither can they without us be made perfect. Neither can they nor we be made perfect without those who have died in the gospel also; for it is necessary in the ushering in of the dispensation of the fulness of times…”

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November 18 – Hebrews 9:27; “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.”

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So we die and then we’re judged.  No where in this passage or in others does it say that people will be presenting the gospel to us and getting baptized by proxy for us after we die.  In the reference for today even the LDS scriptures agree, but as you’ll see in tomorrow’s witnessing tip, they won’t.  Also note that this supposedly took place in 74 BC.

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Alma 34:35; “For behold, if ye have procrastinated the day of your repentance even until death, behold, ye have become subjected to the spirit of the devil, and he doth seal you his; therefore, the Spirit of the Lord hath withdrawn from you, and hath no place in you, and the devil hath all power over you; and this is the final state of the wicked.”

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November 17 – Ezra 6:5; “And also let the golden and silver vessels of the house of God, which Nebuchadnezzar took forth out of the temple which is at Jerusalem, and brought unto Babylon, be restored, and brought again unto the temple which is at Jerusalem, every one to his place, and place them in the house of God.”

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This verse is just an example to show that there was never but one temple at a time built for the Lord.  There have been three temples built in all, but there’s only been one at a time all throughout history.  The Babylonians had many temples though and you’ll see in today’s quote that the Mormons have it wrong again.

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Alma 16:13; “And Alma and Amulek went forth preaching repentance to the people in their temples, and in their sanctuaries, and also in their synagogues, which were built after the manner of the Jews.”

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Kings and Queens in Embryo

By Melissa Grimes

In the May 2010 General Conference Dieter F. Uchtdorf told the women of the Mormon Church-

“Sisters, we love you. We pray for you. Be strong and of good courage. You are truly royal spirit daughters of Almighty God. You are princesses, destined to become queens. Your own wondrous story has already begun. Your ‘once upon a time’ is now.” (May 2010 Ensign, page 127)

The first time I was told I would became a “queen” was during a Mormon temple ceremony when I was washed and anointed to become a queen and priestesses to my husband in the eternities. At this time I had only been a member of the Mormon Church for a little over a year, and the thought of becoming a queen in heaven was a very foreign concept to me.

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November 16 – Acts 3:22-23; “For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you.  And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people.”

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  In the Mormon quote for today, we find that Nephi is “paraphrasing” the Apostle Peter in 570 BC…I would ask a Mormon how this could possibly happen and still be called inspired.

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1 Nephi 22:20; “And the Lord will surely prepare a way for his people, unto the fulfilling of the words of Moses, which he spake, saying: A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you. And it shall come to pass that all those who will not hear that prophet shall be cut off from among the people”

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November 15 – Colossians 1:16-17; “For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:  And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.”

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There are two problems with the Mormon quote today.  First, they do not believe that Jesus created the earth; they believe he helped organize it (Abraham 4:1).  Secondly, they do not believe in the Deity (D&C 130:22). 

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3 Nephi 9:15-16; “Behold, I am Jesus Christ the Son of God. I created the heavens and the earth, and all things that in them are. I was with the Father from the beginning. I am in the Father, and the Father in me; and in me hath the Father glorified his name.  I came unto my own, and my own received me not. And the scriptures concerning my coming are fulfilled.”

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November 14 – 2 Thessalonians 2:3; ‘Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition.’

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The Word of God tells us all the time to beware of the false teachers and false prophets who lead people astray.  It only takes a few minutes out of the day to check on simple things, you should be concerned the Mormons would use words like ‘steel’ in the supposed year of 399 BC.  Steel wasn’t invented by that time and wasn’t used in the Americas until the late nineteenth century.

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Jarom 1:8; “And we multiplied exceedingly, and spread upon the face of the land, and became exceedingly rich in gold, and in silver, and in precious things, and in fine workmanship of wood, in buildings, and in machinery, and also in iron and copper, and brass and steel, making all manner of tools of every kind to till the ground, and weapons of war—yea, the sharp pointed arrow, and the quiver, and the dart, and the javelin, and all preparations for war.”

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The Salt Lake Tribune published an interesting article yesterday about the public image of the LDS Church.  They reported at the Mormon Media Studies held at BYU this week, Professor Terryl Givens (a Mormon) from the University of Richmond in Virgina made a very enlightening comment on how the Church is not being taken seriously in a theological sense. 

According to the article from the Salt Lake Trib in a 2007 survey, Mormons were ranked amongst the “least liked faiths” along with the Buddhists and Muslims.

Professor Givens told his audience that he had broken the history of the Church down to three eras.  The beginning stages, the polygamy era and when the Church began going mainstream in American society.  He said one of the main problems with the image of the Church is how they’ve presented themselves.  Are they separate or are they mainstream Christian?  “Mormons”, he said, “are still characterized by that kind of schizophrenia”.  He said you could see Smith’s going back and forth with the Articles of Faith.

http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/home/50657590-76/givens-mormons-university-mormon.html.csp

For those of us in ministry the issue is simple.  It comes down to the doctrines of Christianity and the doctrines of Mormonism.  The Book of Mormon is either a fraud or it’s from the mouth of God Himself.  (As a side note, interestingly enough, the topic for the Capstone Conference being held at the Salt Palace in March 2011 will be on the Book of Mormon.)

For me it all goes back to what was going on in Jerusalem in 600 BC.  When you look at the historical evidence it would be impossible to accept the Book of Mormon as truth and still hold onto a Judeo-Christian faith.

As a simple example, did you know the scrolls were kept in a certain section of the temple?  The temple was separated into three sections or areas, if you will.  If Nephi and his brothers really went  back into Jerusalem to retrieve “the writings of their fathers” they would have to go through more than just one “guard” to get what they wanted.

The scrolls were held in a vaulted chamber (known as the Chamber of Hewn Stone) within the temple from where the Great Assembly presided and ruled.  Getting to the temple to retrieve any scrolls or letters would’ve been more of an ordeal than going through one person.  Before you get to the temple itself  you must also go through the sentinel house where you would go to be cleansed before you could get close to the temple. There are many other details as you can imagine.  The Book of Mormon and the Bible are so vastly different there’s no way the story from Joseph Smith is plausible.

I agree with Professor Givens, the Church is always playing a defensive game of catch-up.  But the bottom line is this.  The Mormon Church doesn’t talk about the Bible or the details of Jesus.  This is a sign there’s something wrong.  Christianity on the other hand, goes into minute detail about Him and can give explicit descriptions of the who, what, where, when, why and how.  When the Church tries to do the same thing,  their focus is always upon their church, not God.

 Christians are duty bound to expose lies and tell the truth.  The professor’s insight on how the Church has allowed outside influences to determine the legitmacy of the Church is spot on.   When you have to keep changing your story there’s something amiss.  We’re always praying those in the Mormon Church will reject the claims of Joseph Smith and accept the true teachings of the real Jesus of the Bible.

At the end of the article the Trib quoted Mr. Givens as saying; “”Pratt’s attitude seemed to be Christendom was a ship about to sink and Mormonism had the lifeboats,” Givens said. Pratt resisted the impulse of most Mormons to head back to the foundering ship. “Where Mormonism will steer its boat in the 21st century is not yet clear.””

This is an prime example of the problem in Mormonism.  Not sure where you’re going, not sure how you’re getting there and not sure what will happen once you get to where you’re going.  How very sad to live a life like that.

Christianity has and always will be the same.  There’s no such things as a “floundering ship” and nothing about man being deified.  Matthew 16:18.

Michelle Grim

1 Cor. 1:18

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November 12 – Genesis 3:17; “And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life.”

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The doctrine of God is that Jesus is God incarnate and we should obey Him, there are no hidden agendas with God and no hidden meanings. If you love Him, obey Him. Because of the fall, the ground became cursed and worse yet there came a separation of God and man. They were kicked out of the Garden and an enmity was placed between God and us. The Mormons would have you believe that this was a glorious event. Nothing could be further from the truth!  What kind of God would allow sin to be part of His plan if heaven is perfect?
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“The doctrine of Adam is the doctrine of Eve; their mission and purpose are one. “As she was at Michael’s side before the foundations of the earth,” wrote Elder Bruce R. McConkie, “so she came with him into Eden.” Together they performed the mission of the Fall, making the probation of life available to all. Chosen as the first wife and the first mother, her role in the salvation of their posterity is as vital as his. She is Adam’s counterpart and his crown. She is our glorious mother. With Adam she was set at the head to mark the way.” Joseph Fielding McConkie and Robert L. Millet, eds., The Man Adam [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1990], 85 – 88.

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A Cross on a Mormon Temple

By Melissa Grimes

While visiting my usual sites and message boards last night I came upon the link below, it leads you to a Mormon web site with a video presentation about their new temple in Rome Italy. When you get to around 1:58 you’ll see something astonishing, at least it’s astonishing to me as a former member of the Mormon Church.

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