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Posts Tagged ‘bible’

Why Mormons Can’t Celebrate Good Friday

Originally posted March 2013

Cross, Amy CarmichaelI’m certain I’m not alone when I say that Good Friday always gives us lots to think upon and pray about! Each of us has our own list of reasons why we’re grateful God intervened in our life and we each carry our own set of memories why this day is special for us.

One of the most memorable experiences for me dates back to my days in Junior High School of all things. At the time I had become friends with a handful of other girls and as it turned out I was the only Mormon. My small group of friends included a Catholic, a Presbyterian, an Episcopalian and a Methodist. I began noticing my Catholic friend only ate fish on Fridays and while all the girls had their own set of doctrinal creeds they held dear, their customs afforded me a front row seat to other cultures right there in the heart of Utah Mormonism. I began wondering what it’d be like to attend a church that had a cross somewhere on the building.

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Mormon Decisions 10Of All Things! Classic Quotations of Hugh Nibley, p 76; “Do not begrudge existence to creatures that looked like men long, long ago, nor deny them a place in God’s affection or even a right to exaltation, for our scriptures allow them such. Nor am I overly concerned as to just when they might have lived, for their world is not our world. They have all gone away long before our people ever appeared. God assigned them their proper times and functions. “Before Adam,” CWHN 1:82” – Hugh Nibley, edited by FARMS, 1991

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Maundy Thursday 1Wednesday after sundown is actually the beginning of Thursday on the Jewish calendar, and the day Jesus instructed His disciples to go ready the room for the Passover meal in the city. The events of what took place in this one scenario are nothing short of amazing so check this out!!!

Luke 22:7-13; “Then came the day of unleavened bread, when the Passover must be killed. 8 And he sent Peter and John, saying, Go and prepare us the Passover that we may eat. 9 And they said unto him, Where wilt thou that we prepare? 10 And he said unto them, Behold, when ye are entered into the city, there shall a man meet you, bearing a pitcher of water; follow him into the house where he entereth in. 11 And ye shall say unto the good man of the house, The Master saith unto thee, Where is the guest chamber, where I shall eat the Passover with my disciples? 12 And he shall shew you a large upper room furnished: there make ready. 13 And they went, and found as he had said unto them: and they made ready the Passover.”

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April 17 – 2 Cor. 4:6-7; “For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.”

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The Betrayal

Luke 22:3-6; And Satan entered into Judas who was called Iscariot, belonging to the number of the twelve. 4 And he went away and discussed with the chief priests and officers how he might betray Him to them. 5 They were glad and agreed to give him money. 6 So he consented, and began seeking a good opportunity to betray Him to them apart from the crowd.

For those who read my writings it’s obvious I’m not Catholic, nor do I belong to a liturgical church, but that doesn’t mean I’m not interested in what took place during the week between Palm and Easter Sunday, thus the articles this week! The importance of Jesus’ actions during this unforgettable week cannot be overstated.

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Ensign, ‘The Mormon Decisions 10Keystone of Our Religion’, January 2004; “President George Q. Cannon (1827–1901), First Counselor in the First Presidency, stated: “The Book of Mormon is not a geographical primer. It was not written to teach geographical truths. What is told us of the situation of the various lands or cities … is usually simply an incidental remark connected with the doctrinal or historical portions of the work.” 6

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The Parables & the Woes 

Isaiah 53:1, 3; “Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed? 3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.”

The day after Jesus cursed the fig tree and equated its fruitless wonder to the nation of Israel, He once again readied Himself for the day ahead as He gathered the disciples and set out for the 30 minute walk to Jerusalem.

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Mormon Decisions 10Today we’re asking the question –

Is it plausible that the BoM people practiced Christianity while living in both Central and South America for over 1,100 years and left no evidence of their existence on either continent?

 

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Holy Week; Monday

 A Fig Tree and A Den of Thieves

Mark 11:12-14; “And on the morrow, when they were come from Bethany, he was hungry: 13 And seeing a fig tree afar off having leaves, he came, if haply he might find anything thereon: and when he came to it, he found nothing but leaves; for the time of figs was not yet. 14 And Jesus answered and said unto it, No man eat fruit of thee hereafter forever. And his disciples heard it.”

In what is known today as the West Bank, Jesus spent the night with His friends Lazarus, Mary and Martha in Bethany. Being relatively close to Jerusalem, the next morning afforded Jesus and the disciples a short mile or so walk as they headed east back into Jerusalem. One can only imagine the heaviness of His heart as He made His way back after witnessing the insane practice of money changing at His Father’s house. While on His way He couldn’t help but take notice of a nonproducing fig tree…

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Mormon Decisions 10Ensign, ‘The Keystone of Our Religion’, January 2004; “It is important to know what the Book of Mormon is not. It is not primarily a history, although much of what it contains is historical…The test for understanding this sacred book is preeminently spiritual. An obsession with secular knowledge rather than spiritual understanding will make its pages difficult to unlock”. – James Faust

 

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Mormon Decisions 10Jarom 1:1-2; “Now behold, I, Jarom, write a few words according to the commandment of my father, Enos, that our genealogy may be kept. 2 And as these plates are small, and as these things are written for the intent of the benefit of our brethren the Lamanites, wherefore, it must needs be that I write a little; but I shall not write the things of my prophesying, nor of my revelations. For what could I write more than my fathers have written? For have not they revealed the plan of salvation? I say unto you, Yea; and this sufficeth me”.

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Mormon Decisions 10Liahona, ‘Follow the Prophet’, April 2014; “As we follow President Monson and try to be more like him, we will inevitably succeed in being more faithful disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ.” – Elder William Walker of the Seventy

Journal of Discourses 16:248; “We talk of obedience, but do we require any man or woman to ignorantly obey the counsels that are given? Do the First Presidency require it? No, never.” – Joseph F. Smith, Salt Lake City, October 7, 1873

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Mormon Decisions 10Marvelous Word and a Wonder, p 67; “…(Isaiah 29:1-4.) Isaiah saw the downfall of Ariel, or Jerusalem, at a time far in the future, “add ye year to year.” Then he seems to have been carried away in vision to witness a similar destruction of the cities of Joseph, “and it shall be unto me as Ariel.” He describes how they would be besieged and forts would be raised against them. They would be brought down and would speak out of the ground. Their speech would be “low out of the dust”; their voice would be as one that hath a familiar spirit, out of the ground; and their speech would whisper out of the dust. Now, obviously, the only way a dead people could speak “out of the ground” or “low out of the dust” would be by the written word, and this the people did through the Book of Mormon. Truly it has a familiar spirit, for it contains the words of the prophets of the God of Israel.” – LeGrand Richards

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Old-Testament-Gospel-Doctrine-Teachers-Manual-35570000Matthew 16:16-19; “And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. 17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. 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. 19 And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven”.

You’ll want to keep the passage of scripture above in mind today as we go through this week’s lesson.  The title for this lesson is “A Kingdom Which Shall Never be Destroyed” and their purpose is to “strengthen class members’ testimonies of the restored Church of Jesus Christ and encourage them to help build the kingdom of God on earth”.

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Old-Testament-Gospel-Doctrine-Teachers-Manual-35570000As we’ve been nearing the end of these lessons I’ve noticed a recurring theme going on.  The Church has turned the lessons more inward than outward. What I mean by that is for the past several weeks these lessons are more about Mormonism, their temples and the growth of the Church than the Bible and what God has to say. They’ve systematically isolated members more and more with each lesson and I highly doubt members are even aware of what’s taken place. Mind you, I know all the lessons have been filled with false teachings, etc; however, they’ve been getting progressively worse.

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Old-Testament-Gospel-Doctrine-Teachers-Manual-35570000The name of this lesson is “The Great and Dreadful Day of the Lord” and it’s centered on Zechariah 10-14 and Malachi. Its purpose is “To encourage class members to (1) prepare for the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ, (2) pay an honest tithe and generous offerings, and (3) experience the blessings that come because of the sealing power of the priesthood.”

If you’re thinking ‘how could they possibly do justice to these two books in one short lesson’, the answer is simple; they can’t and they don’t.

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Old-Testament-Gospel-Doctrine-Teachers-Manual-35570000The lesson this week is called “I Will Write It in Their Hearts” and its focus is “to encourage class members to participate in God’s great latter-day work and to have his law written in their hearts”. They’ve used Jeremiah chapters 16, 23, 29 & 31.

This lesson reminded me of CS Lewis’ Screwtape Letters. Screwtape (the demon who’s reached a higher level in the bureaucracy of hell) and his nephew Wormwood grapple over the best way to trick their victim into believing in their god who is from below. Every once in awhile they’ll use biblical scriptures to entice the unknowing, but their main objective is to plant seeds of doubt into the mind of the victim so he’ll not know the true God of the Bible.  It’s a battle of the mind and heart of man in Lewis’ classic work, the Bible and even our lives today.  If Lewis’ work isn’t readily available to give an example of spiritual warfare to the Mormon, I suggest you use this lesson as an acceptable alternative.

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“The stick of Judah and the stick of Joseph”

Old-Testament-Gospel-Doctrine-Teachers-Manual-35570000In this next lesson we find ourselves in the book of Ezekiel, and another shining example the Mormon Church’s inflated ego that tells them a passage in this book is about them.

Probably one of the most well-known prophecies in Ezekiel amongst the Mormon people is found in chapter 37. In verses 15-28 Ezekiel has a prophecy of the reunion between Judah and Israel. However Mormons see it as a uniting of the Book of Mormon and the Bible. (“The stick of Judah symbolizes the Bible, and the stick of Joseph symbolizes the Book of Mormon.”)

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Mormon Decisions 10The Essential Joseph Smith, pp 87-90; “The fact is inconvertible, that the first mention we have of slavery, is found in the Holy Bible, pronounced by a man who was perfect in his generation, and walked with God.

And so far from that prediction being averse from the mind of God, it remains as a lasting monument to the decree of Jehovah, to the shame and confusion of all who have cried out against the South, in consequence of their holding the sons of Ham in servitude! “And he said, Cursed be Canaan, a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren. Blessed be the Lord God of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.”

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crosses 3Luke 9:23-25; “And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. 24 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it. 25 For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away?”

A couple of weeks ago my pastor spoke on taking risks and what our responsibilities are as members of the church of Jesus Christ. He based his sermon on the passage above and of course I began thinking about the Mormons. For this article   I have two objectives to explore and they are;

What did Jesus mean when He said ‘pick up your cross’?

What does this phrase mean for the Mormon?

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