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Archive for December, 2011

False Prophecies by False Prophets

When we don’t follow God’s word man’s idea of righteousness goes every which way.  Case in point is Joseph Smith and what he did in 1830.  With his idea of God people went their own ways after his death and today we see literally hundreds of different kinds of Mormonism rearing their ugly heads.

The case in Texas took another turn this week.  Warren Jeffs, the self proclaimed prophet of the polygamous group FLDS, issued a new prophecy.   Now he’s predicted the walls of the prison are going to fall down around him and until then no one is allowed to have sexual relations in their marriages.  If you’re caught doing so the punishment is swift and severe; it’s excommunication for you.

Let’s pray the reports are true that people are finally leaving.  And although that may seem like a good thing we also need to pray they’ll come to know the truth about Jesus and get saved!

http://www.ksl.com/?nid=148&sid=18684356#.Tv84AfjaeIs.facebook

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Council of gods

D&C 121:32; “According to that which was ordained in the midst of the Council of the Eternal God of all other gods before this world was, that should be reserved unto the finishing and the end thereof, when every man shall enter into his eternal presence and into his immortal rest.”

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What is exaltation? 

 Encyclopedia of Mormonism, pg. 479; “It is available only in the highest degree of the Celestial Kingdom and is reserved for members of the Church of the Firstborn. This exalted status, called eternal life, is available to be received by a man and wife. It means not only living in God’s presence, but receiving power to do as God does, including the power to bear children after the resurrection (TPJS, pp. 300-301; D&C 132:19). Blessings and privileges of exaltation require unwavering faith, repentance, and complete obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ.”

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Self Reliant

http://lds.org/ensign/2009/03/becoming-self-reliant-spiritually-and-physically?lang=eng

Ensign, March 2009; To become self-reliant, a person must work. Work is physical, mental, or spiritual effort. It is a basic source of happiness, self-worth, and prosperity. Through work, people accomplish many good things in their lives. …

“As people become self-reliant, they are better prepared to endure adversities” and are “better able to care for others in need.” – By Elder M. Russell Ballard, Becoming Self-Reliant—Spiritually and Physically

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The Glory of God

If the glory of God is intelligence then what should we make of 1 Corinthians 13:8 which says;

“Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.”

Does this mean that God’s glory will vanish?

Gospel Standards, pg. 160; “We, of course, seek after knowledge, light, and intelligence and to inform ourselves upon all matters of importance. The glory of God, we have been told by the Prophet Joseph, is intelligence; and we desire to gain knowledge and to become as intelligent as we possibly can…—Era, 24:866.” – Heber J. Grant

Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pg. 297; “It is not wisdom that we should have all knowledge at once presented before us; but that we should have a little at a time; then we can comprehend it. President Smith then read the 2nd Epistle of Peter, 1st chapter, 16th to last verses, and dwelt upon the 19th verse with some remarks. Add to your faith knowledge, etc. The principle of knowledge is the principle of salvation. This principle can be comprehended by the faithful and diligent; and every one that does not obtain knowledge sufficient to be saved will be condemned. The principle of salvation is given us through the knowledge of Jesus Christ.”

D&C 93:36; “The glory of God is intelligence, or, in other words, light and truth.”

 

 

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The Stick of Judah and Joseph

The Mormon quotes we’re using today are found in the Ensign and also used in an LDS Gem I received from the Church when I signed up for their daily scripture readings a few years ago.  It was titled “Biblical Descriptions of the Book of Mormon” so if you’d like to see the article in full go to http://lds.org/ensign/2007/11/scriptural-witnesses?lang=eng

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What are gospel ordinances?        

An “ordinance” in the Church is any ceremony the Church deems necessary for salvation. 

Encyclopedia of Mormonism, pg. 1033; “In harmony with biblical precedent and latter-day commandment, all saving and exalting ordinances, from baptism to temple marriage, are performed in the presence of witnesses, and a proper and faithful record is made and kept in the archives of the Church (2 Cor. 13:1; cf. D&C 128:2-5). Thus, ordinances become “a law on earth and in heaven” and, unless the covenants are violated, they cannot be annulled, “according to the decrees of the great Jehovah” (D&C 128:6-10).”

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True Religion

 Ensign, May 2008, pg 75; “The restored gospel of Jesus Christ is the faith of our Heavenly Father. It is His truth, revealed to His servants the prophets from the days of Father Adam until our own time. The Father and the Son appeared to Joseph Smith to restore the faith of our Father on this earth, never to be taken away again. God desires that all of His children receive it, irrespective of their background, culture, or tradition. True religion should not originate from what pleases men or the traditions of ancestors, but rather from what pleases God, our Eternal Father.” – Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “Faith of Our Father”

When I saw this LDS quote a few questions came to mind immediately.

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Suicide in Utah

Today I received a Google alert that the Utah Department of Health released a report on suicide in Utah.  Once again the numbers are horrific and I post this as a reminder to the body of Christ to please pray for the Mormon people, especially for anyone in Utah.

 

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Becoming as Saviors to Our Departed Loved Ones

Ensign, Nov. 2006, pg 11; “President Hinckley has told us that ‘just as our Redeemer gave His life as a vicarious sacrifice for all men, and in so doing became our Savior, even so we, in a small measure, when we engage in proxy work in the temple, become as saviors to those on the other side who have no means of advancing unless something is done in their behalf by those on earth’ (Discourses of President Gordon B. Hinckley, Volume 2: 2000-2004 [2005], 265).

“This is such meaningful service we give because our departed brothers and sisters literally become more connected to us.” – Richard H. Winkel, “The Temple Is About Families”

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Prophet of God

Ensign, May 1991, 64; “Joseph Smith was not only a great man, but he was an inspired servant of the Lord, a prophet of God. His greatness consists in one thing–the truthfulness of his declaration that he saw the Father and the Son and that he responded to the reality of that divine revelation. Part of the divine revelation was instruction to reestablish the true and living Church, restored in these modern times as it existed in the day of the Savior’s own mortal ministry. The Prophet Joseph Smith said the Church of Jesus Christ was ‘organized in accordance with commandments and revelations given by Him to ourselves in these last days, as well as according to the order of the Church as recorded in the New Testament.’ (History of the Church, 1:79.)

“For the first time in eighteen hundred years, God had revealed himself as a personal being. Furthermore, the Father and the Son demonstrated the undeniable truth that they are separate and distinct personages. Indeed, the relationship of the Father and the Son was reaffirmed by the divine introduction to the boy prophet, ‘This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him.’ (JS–H 1:17.) Those who were baptized into the Church on the sixth of April, 1830, believed in the existence of a personal God; they believed that his reality and the reality of his Son, Jesus Christ, constitute the eternal foundation upon which this Church is built.” – Howard W. Hunter, “The Sixth Day of April, 1830”

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Demonstrating Enough Faith to Come unto the Savior

Ensign, Nov. 2006, 113; We long to be close to the Lord, for we know that He loves each of us and desires to encircle us ‘eternally in the arms of his love’ (2 Nephi 1:15). His touch can heal ailments spiritual, emotional, or physical. He is our Advocate, Exemplar, Good Shepherd, and Redeemer. Where else would we look, where else would we reach, where else would we come but to Jesus Christ, ‘the author and finisher of our faith?’ (Hebrews 12:2).

“He pronounced: ‘Yea, verily . . . , if ye will come unto me ye shall have eternal life. Behold, mine arm of mercy is extended towards you, and whosoever will come, him will I receive’ (3 Nephi 9:14). His promise invites us not only to reach towards Him but also to take the all-important next step: to come unto Him.” – Anne C. Pingree, “To Look, Reach, and Come unto Christ

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What does it mean to be “reverent”?

Encyclopedia of Mormonism, pg. 1229; “Reverence is expected to pervade public places of worship as well. Because Latter-day Saints tend to be vibrant and sociable and because they often worship with their children, the Church leaders periodically emphasize the importance of reverence. Addressing the issue, President Gordon B. Hinckley stated, “We encourage the cultivation of friends with happy conversations among our people. However, these should take place in the foyer, and when we enter the chapel we should understand that we are in sacred precincts…. All who come into the Lord’s house should have a feeling they are walking and standing on holy ground” (Ensign 17 [May 1987]:45).”

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Who was the gospel first given to & when? 

The Church teaches that Adam was the first person to ever teach and spread the gospel on earth.  The Mormon Apostle Mark Petersen says this in his book

Adam, Who Is He, pg. 9; “Adam received the holy priesthood and was commanded by the Lord to teach his children the principles of the gospel. Moreover, Adam was baptized for the remission of his sins, for the same principles by which men are saved now were the principles by which men were saved in the beginning. In that day as many as repented and were baptized received the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands. Adam made all these things known to his sons and daughters.” (Doctrines of Salvation, Bookcraft, 1956, 3:81-82.)”

2 Thessalonians 2:9-11; “Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, 10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie.”

 

My heart seriously grieves for those in the Church like my mother who would believe the tales of these false prophets and false teachers.

Question: who would be there to lay hands on Adam for the gift of the Holy Ghost?  Who would know the word gospel since it wasn’t used until the time of Christ? 

Why would Adam be baptized if the institution of sacrifices had just made its first appearance?

What did Jesus’ words mean in John when He told the disciples He was going to send the Comforter to them if Adam had already received Him?  See John 16:7-8.

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You Are Clean

Ensign, Nov. 1996, pg 30; “On 3 April 1836 the Prophet Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery were engaged in sacred spiritual worship in the Kirtland Temple. After a solemn and silent prayer the Lord appeared to them and accepted the Kirtland Temple as His house.

“The marvelous description of the Savior and the appearance of ancient prophets who restored essential keys make the 110th section of the Doctrine and Covenants one of the most sacred and profound of all the communications the Lord has given us.

“Some of the most beautiful words in this section, or that any of us could ever hope to hear, are contained in verses 5 and 6:

“’Behold, your sins are forgiven you; you are clean before me; therefore, lift up your heads and rejoice.

“‘Let the hearts of your brethren rejoice, and let the hearts of all my people rejoice, who have, with their might, built this house to my name.’” – Quentin L. Cook, “Rejoice!”

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Baptism for the Dead and being Born Again

I often wonder what Mormons think of the passage of scripture in John when Nicodemus asked Jesus what he must do to be born again.  While we’ve explored this issue in our Mormon Dilemmas section before, today I began wondering about another angle to this scenario.

If Jesus told Nicodemus he had to be born again then how are dead people born again?

John 3:3; “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.”

The Mormon Church teaches that they can’t be saved without their dead and the dead can’t be saved without members doing works for them in the temple.

D&C 128:18; “…baptism for the dead. For we without them cannot be made perfect; neither can they without us be made perfect.”

So how can a dead person be born again?  Remember, we’re not talking about being spiritually dead, but a literal dead person.

The Mormons I’ve spoken with have told me the person who is dead has the choice of accepting or rejecting that which was done for them in the temple.  But this doesn’t answer the question so it’s something I’d keep asking them about.

I also wonder how they feel about Moroni 10:26 and 2 Nephi 9:38 in light of the Doctrine and Covenants passage listed above.

Moroni 10:26; “And wo unto them who shall do these things away and die, for they die in their sins, and they cannot be saved in the kingdom of God; and I speak it according to the words of Christ; and I lie not.”

2 Nephi 9:38; And, in fine, wo unto all those who die in their sins; for they shall return to God, and behold his face, and remain in their sins.”

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Who Do You Follow?

Journal of Discourses 7:284; “It was the occupation of Jesus Christ and his Apostles to propagate the Gospel of salvation and the principles of eternal life to the world, and it is our duty and calling, as ministers of the same salvation and Gospel, to gather every item of truth and reject every error. Whether a truth be found with professed infidels, or with the Universalists, or the Church of Rome, or the Methodists, the Church of England, the Presbyterians, the Baptists, the Quakers, the Shakers, or any other of the various and numerous different sects and parties, all of whom have more or less truth, it is the business of the Elders of this Church (Jesus, their elder brother, being at their head,) to gather up all the truths in the world pertaining to life and salvation, to the Gospel we preach, to mechanism of every kind, to the sciences, and to philosophy, wherever it may be found in every nation, kindred, tongue, and people, and bring it to Zion.” – Brigham Young, October 9, 1859, Salt Lake City

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Whom Did the Lord Choose?

Ensign, Jan. 2006, 34-35; “In a surprisingly short time, the [ancient] Church disassembled. Without Apostles, the Church lost its anchor and began to drift on every wind of doctrine. Spiritual gifts disappeared, revelations ceased, the keys to the priesthood were lost, ordinances changed. Ultimately, the purity of our Lord’s gospel began to meld with other doctrines, beliefs, and practices. Philosophies and political influences began to infiltrate and transform the Church.

“During the centuries that followed, the light dimmed even further. President Thomas S. Monson . . . explained: ‘The dark ages of history seemed never to end.’ . . .

“At first a few great reformers began to speak out. When John Wycliffe completed the first English translation of the entire Bible, those in authority did all they could to destroy it. Many of Wycliffe’s followers were severely punished.

“Jan Hus, another fearless reformer who spoke against corruption in the church, was chained by the neck to a stake and burned.

“Thousands of others heroically searched for the truth and risked their all as they sought to worship God according to the dictates of their consciences.” – Joseph B. Wirthlin, “The Restoration and Faith”

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Brigham Young’s words more than 150 years ago seems less than prophetic or inspiring in today’s day and age when he said the following;

Journal of Discourses 7:286; “Mankind are here because they are the offspring of parents who were first brought here from another planet, and power was given them to propagate their species, and they were commanded to multiply and replenish the earth.” – Brigham Young, October 9, 1859, Salt Lake City

It gives the line “what planet are you from” a whole new meaning.

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Bible and Book of Mormon Authenticate Each Other

Ensign, Nov. 2007, 43; “Scriptural witnesses authenticate each other. This concept was explained long ago when a prophet wrote that the Book of Mormon was ‘written for the intent that ye may believe [the Bible]; and if ye believe [the Bible] ye will believe [the Book of Mormon] also’ (Mormon 7:9). Each book refers to the other. Each book stands as evidence that God lives and speaks to His children by revelation to His prophets.

Love for the Book of Mormon expands one’s love for the Bible and vice versa. Scriptures of the Restoration do not compete with the Bible; they complement the Bible. We are indebted to martyrs who gave their lives so that we could have the Bible. It establishes the everlasting nature of the gospel and of the plan of happiness. The Book of Mormon restores and underscores biblical doctrines such as tithing, the temple, the Sabbath day, and the priesthood.” – Russell M. Nelson, “Scriptural Witnesses”

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