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Posts Tagged ‘sacrifice’

Mormon Decisions 10Ensign, “The Great Plan of Happiness”, November 1993; “…When we have done all that we are able, we can rely on God’s promised mercy. We have a Savior, who has taken upon him not just the sins, but also “the pains and the sicknesses of his people … that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities” (Alma 7:11–12). He is our Savior, and when we have done all that we can, he will make up the difference, in his own way and in his own time.” – Dallin Oaks

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March Witnessing Tip of the DayMarch 9 – Romans 5:19; “For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous”.

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Old-Testament-Gospel-Doctrine-Teachers-Manual-35570000As with most of their lessons this next one has a tiny bit of truth mixed in with a whole bunch of nonsense, I hope to adequately address both in the following paragraphs. The premise of lesson 9 centers on sacrifice, it gives a biblical account of Abraham’s attempt to sacrifice Isaac and touches on this being a similitude of God’s willingness to sacrifice Jesus.

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salt lake mormon temple 2Articles of Faith, pg 167; “The office of the Holy Ghost is to enlighten the mind, to purify and sanctify the soul, to incite to good works, and to reveal the things of God.” – James Talmage

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Atonement

Mormon Decisions 10Gospel Principles, pg 233; “The Atonement of Jesus Christ assures each of us that we will be resurrected and live forever. But if we are to live forever with our families in Heavenly Father’s presence, we must do all that the Savior commands us to do. This includes being baptized and confirmed and receiving the ordinances of the temple.”

Mark 10:45; “For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.”

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November 13 – Hebrews 7:1-4; ‘For this Melchisedec, king of Salem, priest of the most high God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him;  To whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all; first being by interpretation King of righteousness, and after that also King of Salem, which is, King of peace;  Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually.  Now consider how great this man was, unto whom even the patriarch Abraham gave the tenth of the spoils.’

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August 20 – Exodus 6:4, 6; “And I have also established my covenant with them, to give them the land of Canaan, the land of their pilgrimage, wherein they were strangers.  Wherefore say unto the children of Israel, I am the LORD, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will rid you out of their bondage, and I will redeem you with a stretched out arm, and with great judgments…”

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Adam and Eve’s Sin and the New Mormon Website

    In my daily LDS Gems e-mails I received notice today (February 26, 2008) of another new website launched by the Church.  Here in part is what it said;

“The new site is a helpful resource for anyone who wishes to know firsthand what Latter-day Saints believe about Jesus Christ. It is also a valuable reference that Church members can use as they share their beliefs with others.”

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Furniture of the Temple 1

     The verses that I’ve chosen to focus on during this word study are: John 19:30; “When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.” And also Gal. 2:21; “I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.”

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Who Voided the Atonement of Christ?

      We received an e-mail from a member of the LDS Church who felt compelled to reply to our online newsletter he received last week.  I thought it was important to share this with our readers for two reasons.  First, to show the mindset of the Mormon and secondly, to ask the Mormon some serious questions.

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February 8 – “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 Sabbath days;” Col. 2:16

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When Jesus came to earth, He was the fulfillment of the Law.  There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ.  If you’re truly saved, your outward behavior is a manifestation of your inner conversion, thus negating the need for more laws to follow.  Obeying the ordinances of man doesn’t bring honor to God.

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“Three types of things are prohibited to man by the Word of Wisdom—tobacco, strong drinks, and hot drinks…through the cleanliness resulting from keeping this law of health, and by ‘walking in obedience to the commandment’, the saints will qualify for the companionship of the Holy Spirit…”  Mormon Doctrine, pgs. 845-847

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Birth of Jesus; Purely Philosophical or Purely Divine?

 Christmas 2007

 Gal. 5:24; “And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.”

      While doing some research for a project I came across the following statement made by the Prophet Brigham Young in Journal of Discourses 8:115-116;

 “While brother Joseph was referring to the providences of God, I was led to reflect that there is no act, no principle, no power belonging to the Deity that is not purely philosophical. The birth of the Saviour was as natural as are the births of our children; it was the result of natural action. He partook of flesh and blood—was begotten of his Father, as we were of our fathers.

      This quote was one of those that made me stop in my tracks.  How pathetically disgusting the thoughts was of this man to say such a thing!  I’ve always said that you can worship the rocks in your back yard and call them “god”, but that doesn’t make it any truer than calling my car “god”.

     Mankind has learned a lot about the Lord over the past 6,000 plus years, but that is only because God has revealed these things to us.  How could anyone believe the birth of Christ is purely philosophical?  We only know what we do about Him because of what He’s revealed to us and nothing more.  If His Son’s conception and birth could be found out through philosophical means, why pray tell are you worshipping a god that can only be as good as you are?

     I don’t know about the rest of you, but I can assure you that I am grateful I worship the Only God of the Universe.  I am assured success at the end of each day knowing that I can find comfort, rest, forgiveness and safety in His arms.  I can still have bad days here on earth, but one thing is certain – my concerns for tomorrow lay in His Sovereign Hands.

     Debasing the Father and Son brings no comfort to my soul.  I don’t find any peace in thinking that He had to make the same stupid mistakes I go through here on earth.  My question to those who believe this – how could you?

 Gal. 6:7; “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.

         Here are the definitions of a few words taken from the American Heritage Dictionary and Random House Unabridged Dictionary at www.dictionary.com

 Philosophy – “Investigation of the nature, causes, or principles of reality, knowledge, or values, based on logical reasoning rather than empirical methods.

 Virgin – A person who has not experienced sexual intercourse

 Incest – “The crime of sexual intercourse, cohabitation, or marriage between persons within the degrees of consanguinity or affinity wherein marriage is legally forbidden.”

 * [see reference at end of article]

         Now read what the Apostle Orson Pratt had to say about the Heavenly Father and His daughter Mary:

 The Seer, pg. 158; The fleshly body of Jesus required a Mother as well as a Father.  Therefore, the Father and Mother of Jesus, according to the flesh, must have been associated together in the capacity of Husband and Wife; hence the Virgin Mary must have been, for the time being, the lawful wife of God the Father: we use the term lawful Wife, because it would be blasphemous  in the highest degree to say that He overshadowed her or begat the Savior unlawfully….But God having created all men and women had the most perfect right to do with His own creation, according  to His holy will and pleasure: He had a lawful right to overshadow the Virgin Mary in the capacity of a husband, and beget a Son, although she was espoused to another, for the law which He gave to govern men and women was not intended to govern Himself, or to prescribe rules for his own conduct.  ..Inasmuch as God was the first husband to her, it may be that He only gave her to be the wife of Joseph while in this mortal state, and that He intended after the resurrection to again take her as one of his own wives to raise up immortal spirits in eternity.

      Why would you want to believe in a god that is your “father” knowing that in heaven you’d be married to him for eternity?  As a female, the thought of sleeping with your father typically makes you shutter.  I can only imagine that any decent man would have the same reaction.

     I was a sixth generation Mormon from Utah and in the Church for thirty years.  For the last couple or so years of my Mormon life I began giving some serious attention and purposeful thoughts to the subject of “religion”.  I wasn’t so sure that I could stomach another religion per se; however I had a deep desire to read more about Jesus and find the truth.  There were just too many teachings in Mormonism that overshadowed the basics. 

     In those last couple of years before I accepted the truth, my heart began to panic when I thought of the implications.  I couldn’t stand the thought of being eternally pregnant and began telling God that I wanted to go to hell so I didn’t have to be married for eternity.  Then there were many times I’d have an overwhelming urge to sit and read the Gospels, knowing in my heart that I wanted to be in heaven someday.  As those times of study began more frequent, it occurred to me one day that I should probably read up on my Book of Mormon to see why I had such an aversion to it.  So I studied. 

     The truth is this:  no where in the Bible does it say that God had sex with Mary.  No where in the Bible does it say that Jesus was “the only begotten according to the flesh”; no where in the Bible does it say that Jesus was married.  The Bible doesn’t condone polygamy, nor does it intimate that God is an exalted man.  On the contrary the Word of God is consistently consistent!

     The entire Old Testament points to and prophecies about the coming Messiah.  I’ve never counted the number of verses in the Bible that describes God and/or Jesus.  I do know there are 333 prophecies in the Old Testament about Jesus Christ (all were fulfilled).  The point being I’d be here forever making sure I listed all of them.  For now, let’s take a look at just a handful of places we can “gain knowledge” about our God in order to worship Him the way we are meant to!  I’ve listed several scriptures identifying the reality about the God of the Universe and His Beloved Only Begotten Son, Jesus. 

     And please, if you’re LDS, pray about these and ask God to give you clarity of mind when you do. 

 With Love in Christ;

Michelle

Jude 24-25

 Hebrews 1:5;For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son?

Is. 55:8-9;For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. 9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

 Ps. 111:2-4;The works of the LORD are great, sought out of all them that have pleasure therein. 3 His work is honourable and glorious: and his righteousness endureth for ever. 4 He hath made his wonderful works to be remembered: the LORD is gracious and full of compassion.

 Numbers 23:19;God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? Or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?

 Isaiah 7:14; Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

 Luke 1:31-35; “And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.  32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:  33 And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.  34 Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?  35 And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.

 Isaiah 9:6; For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

 Acts 3:15; And killed the Prince of life, whom God hath raised from the dead; whereof we are witnesses.

 Isaiah 46:4-5; And even to your old age I am he; and even to hoar hairs will I carry you: I have made, and I will bear; even I will carry, and will deliver you.  5 ¶ To whom will ye liken me, and make me equal, and compare me, that we may be like?

 Ex. 3:14; And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.

 John 8:58; Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.

 Isaiah 53:7; He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.

 John 1:29; The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.

 Psalm 27:1; The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

 John 8:12; Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

 Deut. 10:17; For the LORD your God is God of gods, and Lord of lords, a great God, a mighty, and a terrible, which regardeth not persons, nor taketh reward.

 1 Tim. 6:16; Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen.

 Gal. 4:6; And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.”

 Nahum 1:3-5; The LORD is slow to anger, and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked: the LORD hath his way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet.  4 He rebuketh the sea, and maketh it dry, and drieth up all the rivers…5 The mountains quake at him, and the hills melt, and the earth is burned at his presence, yea, the world, and all that dwell therein.

 Matthew 8:25-27; And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish. 26 And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm.  27 But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!

 Eph. 3:9; And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ.

      I pray that during this Christmas season the Mormon people will take more than just a few minutes to think about whom they are worshipping.  The Jesus of the Bible is not a created being, but in fact is the Creator; He is God Incarnate; Redeemer; Prince of Peace; Light of the world; Son of God; and last but not least;

 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.

  * The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
Copyright © 2006 by Houghton Mifflin Company.

 * Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1)
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2006.

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THE ATONEMENT

Answers to Gospel Questions 4:17; “To many, like the writer, such a custom is repugnant and contrary to the true worship of our Redeemer. Why should we bow down before a cross or use it as a symbol? Because our Savior died on the cross, the wearing of crosses is to most Latter-day Saints in very poor taste and inconsistent to our worship.”

      For many of us there has been a time or two in life when we knew things were about to change.  This happened to me several years ago as I sat listening to a pastor challenge his audience about their personal knowledge of Jesus Christ.  Life as I knew it up to that point was radically different than what I was about to embark upon!

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Holy Week:  Do you know what it means?

      I can’t believe Easter is just around the corner!  Spring is my favorite time of year for a few reasons; but ultimately it reminds me of the new life I have in Christ.

     Because of what Jesus has done for all of us, we can start anew.  Just as spring is a new beginning to the world around us, we can have a new beginning in our lives when we ask Jesus into our hearts.  Last year when I was newly out of the LDS Church I didn’t give much thought to Holy Week. As a Mormon, my family celebrated on Easter Sunday, and that was it.  There was no special Sunday service at church and no real acknowledgment of why this is such a special time of year.  As part of my growth as a new Christian and walk with the Lord, I wanted to take the time to learn about Holy Week and share what I learn with all of you.

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December 13 – 1 Peter 1:19; “But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.”

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It is rare someone will hear about the blood of Christ and the cross at any sacrament meeting held at the local ward building of the LDS Church.  Share with a Mormon why it was necessary the sacrifice had to be spotless. 

The Greek word for blemish is: amoômos.  It means without blame (unblameable), or faultless.  The Mormon will hear the phrase “lamb of God” couched in the middle of ordering them to obey the ordinances and laws of the gospel; this makes it confusing and nonsensical!  On the flip side, they will more than likely hear the following about Smith.

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“When Joseph went to Carthage to deliver himself up to the pretended requirements of the law, two or three days previous to his assassination, he said: “I am going like a lamb to the slaughter; but I am calm as a summer’s morning; I have a conscience void of offense towards God, and towards all men. I SHALL DIE INNOCENT, AND IT SHALL YET BE SAID OF ME—HE WAS MURDERED IN COLD BLOOD.”—The same morning, after Hyrum had made ready to go—shall it be said to the slaughter? yes, for so it was.”   Doctrine and Covenants 135:4

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December 2 – John 3:16-17; “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.  For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.”

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John 3:16 is always a favorite for Christians, but many times we overlook the very next verse.  Today pray for the Mormons and the immense amount of pressure they put themselves under by believing they’ll never be good enough to be saved.  As if teaching you have to save yourself isn’t bad enough, notice here today what else they believe about Jesus.

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  “Only Begotten Son; Only Begotten in the flesh, meaning in mortality. This designation of our Lord signifies that he was begotten by Man of Holiness as literally as any mortal father begets a son. The natural processes of procreation were involved; Jesus was begotten by his Father as literally as he was conceived by his mother.”  Bruce R. McConkie, Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, 3 vols., 1: 144.

 Also see:

 “And the great and wonderful love made manifest by the Father and the Son in the coming of the Redeemer into the world; That through his atonement, and by obedience to the principles of the gospel, mankind might be saved.”  Doctrine and Covenants 138:3-4.

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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/

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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?  ___________________________

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

___________________________________________________

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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.  ____________________________________________________

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© 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/

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