Posts Tagged ‘endowments’

March 18 – Nephi denounces those who keep secrets. Luke 11:33 says; “No man, when he hath lighted a candle, putteth it in a secret place, neither under a bushel, but on a candlestick, that they which come in may see the light”.


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January 30 – “Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do.”  1 Timothy 1:4


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Secret Societies

Evidences & Reconciliations, pg 282; “The Church ever operates in full light. There is no secrecy about its doctrine, aim, or work. It is open to all men who will conform to its requirements. Access to the temples, where the most sacred ordinances are performed, may be had by every member of the Church who lives the honorable life expected of faithful Latter-day Saints.”


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Why Build Temples?

Discourses of Wilford Woodruff, pg 147; “WHY BUILD TEMPLES. We are building temples to the name of the Lord. What are we building them for? That we may enter in and redeem the living and the dead.—JD 22:209, January 9, 1881.”


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October 2005

As most of you are aware, my writings about the LDS Church often reflect the book in the Bible I am studying at the time.  Right now I am in an in-depth study on Paul’s first epistle to the new believers in Corinth.  Half way through my study for the day it became abundantly clear what I was to write this time for the website.  After walking with the Lord for more than twelve years now I’ve discovered there is no such thing as “coincidence”.


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Baptisms for the Dead

The following paragraph about the practice of baptizing the dead was taken from Jefflindsey.com, an LDS “apologetic” website–if there is such a thing.  It shows how Mormons helplessly try to explain the practice of baptizing the dead:

 “Baptism for the dead is a powerful evidence that Joseph Smith was a real prophet and the Church of Jesus Christ has been restored. The LDS practice has long been derided as absolute fiction and an abomination, and based on a terrible mis-interpretation of 1 Cor.15:29. However, long after Joseph Smith restored the practice through revelation, dozens of ancient documents have turned up showing that early Christians (at least some) indeed believed in and practiced baptism for the dead much as we do today. “

 I am always glad to see the appearance of the phrase “through revelation” because it usually means that all other Mormon explanations have been exhausted leaving only “we do what we want through revelation.”  

 If there’s a part of scripture that best illustrates how Mormons twist the word of God, this is it.  We have always maintained that Mormons are great basing an entire belief system upon one or two verses of scripture.  This is a well known fact amongst those of us who work in the field of counter-cult ministries.  The LDS Church is no exception to this rule, although they would vehemently deny the allegations.  There is literally one verse that talks about baptism for the dead and this is what the Mormon Church has put their minds on to set a standard of a dead work for their god.  It is found in 1 Corinthians 15:29 and it says; ‘Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? Why are they then baptized for the dead?’

 The key to understanding scripture is to read all things in context before you apply it to any teaching.  The first half of 1 Corinthians 15 is speaking about the absurdity of not believing in the resurrection of the dead.  Paul gave examples of those who had witnessed Jesus’ resurrection and then went on to explain that baptizing for dead people was even more absurd if they didn’t believe in the resurrection.  The uniqueness of Christianity lies in the resurrection of the dead.  For whatever reasons, the Corinthian church believed they needed to perform this proxy for the dead and Paul was there to set them straight.

 Joseph Smith is quoted in the book Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pg. 179 as follows; ‘The Saints have the privilege of being baptized for those of their relatives who are dead, whom they believe would have embraced the Gospel, if they had been privileged with hearing it, and who have received the Gospel in the spirit, through the instrumentality of those who have been commissioned to preach to them while in prison.’ 

Several questions arise in my mind when I read this thought process of Smith’s.  First of all, how does one know if their dead relative got the chance to hear the gospel in spirit prison?  Secondly, how could someone ever presume that their dead relative would even accept the gospel? Third, if, as many Mormon leaders teach today, that all people will be caught up in the first two levels of heaven regardless of whether they’re Mormon believer or not (i.e. they deny the concept of hell), then what is the point of baptizing the dead? Aren’t we all already going to heaven? 

Let’s look at the exact passage in scripture:

 1 Cor. 15: 29

 “Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? Why are they then baptized for the dead?” KJV.

Just to gather some meaning here, let’s read the same verse from the NLV to get a better understanding:

“What good will it do people if they are baptized for the dead? If the dead are not raised, why are people baptized for them?”

Mormon “apologists” put all their reasoning behind the word “they,” in 1 Cor. 15:29, as if to imply that since Paul said “they” in referring to his fellow apostles in the early part of the chapter, that he means to attribute “they” to [the apostles’] practices later in the chapter as well.

 We cannot build a doctrine based on that.  We need more.  We need to know what is biblical and what is not, based on the entire bible. Since God is not a God of confusion, He tells us what is His ways and what is not.  We know that when we see things mentioned in the bible, as in God’s law in the Old Testament, we also saw it in practice in the scriptures as well.  Paul talks about living a life for Christ numerous times in the New Testament and we see many characters in the Gospels doing just that. We also see what Paul wrote to the Churches in Ephesus, Corinth and others, yet again, we see it put into practice in Acts. We also know that the Church of Corinth was a church that was practicing some strange rituals.  They had lost their way and Paul’s letter was sent to correct that.  That alone should make us suspicious and cause us to question his motives for mentioning baptisms for the dead—if the context to the chapter were not obvious already.

 But let’s look at this from one other angle.  Doesn’t it seem reasonable that if baptisms for the dead were truly God’s way, then it’s a significant thing?  Forgetting or not baptizing the dead as the Mormon’s teach would cost someone their salvation, or so we’re led to believe by LDS doctrine.  That’s an incredible statement if true!  If it were a practice of the early church, and a teaching of Jesus Christ that Paul taught as well, shouldn’t it have appeared somewhere else in scripture?  Perhaps Paul just wasn’t that concerned about the dead. And perhaps Jesus had better things to do.

 Again, I cannot over emphasize this.  The idea of baptizing the dead so that people could be resurrected who would otherwise be lost for all eternity is a rather astonishing idea.  And there is much to be lost if the Church has failed to practice this exercise. Were it not the pagan ritual that it is, then we should have seen it put into practice by the early church. The book of Acts gave us many examples to follow, preaching, baptism, and laying on of hands, to name a few.

 I was baptized for the dead on several occasions in the Ogden Temple while I was growing up as a Mormon in Utah. I remember thinking I had never heard of any of the people I was baptized for so I was unable to say if those people accepted the gospel.  Each time I went to do my proxy work I wondered if what I was doing was in vain.  I prayed that with all my hard work to stay holy and pure to get in the temple wouldn’t be for nothing.  I wasted many hours praying they would accept what I had to offer them.

 The Lord tells us to set our minds upon the things of Christ.  In 2 Corinthians 10:5 it says; ‘Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ’.  The church keeps their members busy so they don’t have the time to think about the obedience of Christ, let alone anything He would want them to do, i.e., studying His Word.

 My prayer now is that if you are a Mormon, you will study the entire passage in 1 Corinthians 15 to see where this teaching originated.  I can assure you that it had nothing to do with the Mormon Jesus’ teaching on the ‘eternal principles’ of baptizing for the dead in the meridian of times and everything to do with Jesus’ resurrection as told consistently in other scriptures in the bible. Can Mormons present the same evidence for Baptism of the dead being taught elsewhere in scripture?

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“Lord Increase Our Faith”, page 64; “The real focus on the Book of Mormon should be on the details of the book itself, not on the details of the process by which it came forth.  Although we do not know everything about the process of its coming forth or its translation, the Book of Mormon is open to full scrutiny.” – Neal A. Maxwell

Ensign, May 2007, pg. 88; “This ancient volume of holy scriptures is a sacred companion to the Bible, containing the fulness of the everlasting gospel of Jesus Christ.” – L. Tom Perry

     My objective in this article is for members of the LDS Church to ponder the information presented here and honestly ask themselves if it makes sense the Book of Mormon is from God.  While I don’t agree with Mr. Maxwell’s opinion on how people should view the Book of Mormon (Galatians 1:6-9), we’re going to take him up on what he said about it being open to full scrutiny.

     All right, so I have an obsession with the book of Jeremiah; I’ll be the first to admit it!  If you’re a Mormon, have you ever read the book of Jeremiah?  There’s an important lesson to be learned in Jeremiah 36:20-32.  King Jehoiakim had decided he didn’t like God’s written word so he cut it up and burned it thinking that would take care of God, but he was sorely mistaken.

     I believe it was Matthew Henry who said “Those who hate it always seem to do things like this in life” …they either try to destroy or discredit God’s very words. 

     It was 600 BC and the prophet Jeremiah had been warning the Israelites for forty years that danger was lurking.  He told them God had an important message He wanted for them to hear and if they obeyed Him they wouldn’t lose their lives.  Times would be tough, but if they fled for Egypt on their own seeking safety, they would die by sword, famine or pestilence.  If they stayed put in Jerusalem (Jer. 42:10) God would protect their lives in the upcoming onslaught of the Babylonian takeover.  While they were in captivity for a time, there was a small remnant that was allowed to remain seventy years later.

     The certifiably insane King Nebuchadnezzar (descendant of Queen of Sheba and Solomon) marched the Israelites out of Jerusalem, chained some of them nude alongside a river while partying on a boat nearby and eventually went totally mad, living with animals.  He too hated God and turned the sacred scrolls into sacks filled with sand for the captive Israelites to carry into Egypt.  No one escaped his wrath.  (Eventually Nebuchadnezzar repented and worshipped God.)

     Now some 2,400 years later we have the story of Joseph Smith and the “golden plates” which he said contains the “fullness of the gospel”, otherwise known as the Book of Mormon.  One of the remarkable events about this story is the timeline.  It’s the story of a lost tribe of Israelites fleeing Jerusalem in 600 BC and guess what?  Yep, they’re headin’ for Egypt, seeking safety from the fall of Jerusalem.

     Okay, foregoing the arguments, let’s say God told everyone but this lost tribe of “Nephites” to stay put in Jerusalem; what about Joseph Smith’s other assertion about the Book of Mormon? 

     He said a lot of things about this work so his claims should be investigated as Mr. Maxwell suggests.  It’d be amazing if anyone escaped the wrath of Nebuchadnezzar, so these plates should be of significant value if true, right?   

     What do these brass plates tell us?  Does the Book of Mormon contain the “fullness of the gospel”?  Remember, parts of these plates are supposedly what the Nephites hauled over to the States when they sailed here.   

     Let’s begin with what Doctrine and Covenants 19:26, 27:5 and 135:3 says:

And again, I command thee that thou shalt not covet thine own property, but impart it freely to the printing of the Book of Mormon, which contains the truth and the word of God—

Behold, this is wisdom in me; wherefore, marvel not, for the hour cometh that I will drink of the fruit of the vine with you on the earth, and with Moroni, whom I have sent unto you to reveal the Book of Mormon, containing the fulness of my everlasting gospel, to whom I have committed the keys of the record of the stick of Ephraim.

Joseph Smith, the Prophet and Seer of the Lord, has done more, save Jesus only, for the salvation of men in this world, than any other man that ever lived in it. In the short space of twenty years, he has brought forth the Book of Mormon, which he translated by the gift and power of God, and has been the means of publishing it on two continents; has sent the fulness of the everlasting gospel, which it contained, to the four quarters of the earth…

     As you can see, we have confirmation through the prophecies above; the Church does believe it’s the “fullness of the gospel”.  Now in light of those prophecies by Smith, we need to compare them with what the Bible says about prophets and prophecies, in addition to looking at a few core Mormon doctrines and see if they’re in the Book of Mormon.  If they’re not found on those plates, we ask in all sincerity – how can this be the fullness of the gospel if it doesn’t contain all the requirements for salvation?

What the Bible Says:

Deuteronomy 18:20-22; “But the prophet, which shall presume to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die.  21 And if thou say in thine heart, How shall we know the word which the LORD hath not spoken?  22 When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him.”

Deuteronomy 13:1-5; “If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder, 2 And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them; 3 Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the LORD your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul. 4 Ye shall walk after the LORD your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him.  5 And that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams, shall be put to death; because he hath spoken to turn you away from the LORD your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt, and redeemed you out of the house of bondage, to thrust thee out of the way which the LORD thy God commanded thee to walk in. So shalt thou put the evil away from the midst of thee.

     Mormons believe a true and full salvation can only be attained in the highest kingdom of heaven which they call the “Celestial Kingdom”.  The Celestial Kingdom is reserved solely for those who have been found worthy enough to become a god themselves after they have accomplished a number of works here on earth.  Below are a handful of requirements and beliefs each Mormon needs for a true salvation in the Mormon Church. 

What the Mormon Church Says:

Church Government

 3 Nephi 12 says the twelve Nephite apostles received power to share the gospel, baptize and give the gift of the Holy Ghost.  This is the closest we come to anything remotely close to the hierarchy we see in the Mormon Church today.

 There is no “first presidency”, no quorum of the seventies, no bishops, no bishopric, no wards, no branches, no stakes and no stake presidents, no area presidency…compare it with what the Bible says about church structure:

1 Corinthians 10:32, 12:9-10, 18, 29, 30; Acts 13:1, Romans 12:8, Ephesians 2:20, 3:5, 4:11 


Father God has a body of flesh and bonesD&C 130:22

God was once a man. – HC 6:305, Gospel through the Ages, pg. 105 

God has many wives/Mother gods Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, pg. 25

God has a father Gospel Truth, pg. 101; The Seer by Orson Pratt, pg. 132; Discourses of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pg. 38

God had sex with Mary Journal of Discourses 4:218 – Brigham Young, February 8, 1857; Journal of Discourses  1:50-51, 8:115, 11:268

God progresses/Eternal progression – Distinct Doctrines and Teachings of the Pearl of Great Price, pg. 76; Gospel through the Ages, pgs. 114-115; Articles of Faith, pg. 390 

Three Separate Personages in Godhead Mormon Doctrine, pg. 576; D&C 130:22-23; Encyclopedia of Mormonism, pg. 552; Mormon Doctrine of Deity, pgs. 9-10; History of the Church 6:474, June 16, 1844


Many gods and councils of gods Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pg. 348; Abraham 4:25

Man may become a god – Discourses of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pgs. 136-137; Gospel through the Ages, pgs. 105-106; D&C 76:58, TPJS 342-345

Man is a god in embryo Miracle/Forgiveness, pg. 3


Three levels of heaven. – Encyclopedia of Mormonism, pg. 367; D&C 131:1-4



Jesus chosen to become a godMormon Doctrine, pg. 129, Abraham 3:27-28

Jesus and Lucifer are brothers Jesus the Christ, pg. 8; Gospel through the Ages, pg. 15

Jesus was MarriedJournal of Discourses 2:82, 2:210, 4:259-26 

Jesus was a polygamist Jesus was Married by Ogden Kraut, pg. 27; Journal of Discourses 13:309

Jesus Crucified for Polygamy Journal of Discourses 1:346


Polygamy Condemned Jacob 2:24

Polygamy is true salvation D&C 131:1-4, 132:4-6, 20-21; Journal of Discourses 5:204 & 282, 11:269, 12:262, 13:167-168, 13:189, 17:225; Doctrines of Salvation 2:67; Mormon Doctrine, pg. 219; Evidences and Reconciliations, pg. 390; Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pg. 332…


Elohim populating earth through sexually begotten spirit children –

Discourses of Brigham Young, pg. 24; D&C 49:17, 93:23-29, 138:55-56; Mormon Doctrine, pg. 516; Abraham 3:22-28; Journal of Discourses 4:216; Melvin Joseph Ballard, Sermons and Missionary Services, page 247; Answers: Straightforward Answers to Tough Gospel Questions, pgs. 5-6; Life Before, pg. 91; For Behold Ye are Free, pg. 42; Ensign, November 1997, pg. 65; Way to Perfection, pg. 29…



Temple marriage a requirement for exaltation – Teens, Temple Marriage and Eternity, pg. 1; Doctrines of Salvation 2:62; D&C 131:1-4

President of Church Holds Keys to – Mormon Doctrine, pg. 591

Salvation after Death

Book of Mormon – none is available after death 2 Nephi 9:15, 38; Alma 12:13-14, 34:31-34, 42:22-23

Other LDS teachings say it is necessary

Baptism for the dead D&C 124:29-30, 128:15; Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pg. 191; History of the Church 4:568-569; Encyclopedia of Mormonism, pg. 1258; Are Mormons Christians? pg. 19; Doctrines of Salvation 2:175…

     As the reader can plainly see, not one of those core doctrinal teachings is in the Book of Mormon.  The list here is brief in comparison to the hordes of all their teachings.  What we’ve presented here is enough to show the Book of Mormon certainly doesn’t stand up to the claims Joseph Smith and other Church leaders have made.

     How can the Book of Mormon contain the “fullness of the gospel” if their teachings are not to be found in the Book of Mormon?

     If you’re LDS we want you to know that we pray diligently for you each and every day.  We hope you’ll investigate these claims for yourself and see that God is not a God of confusion as it says in 1 Cor. 14:33.  Ask yourself and your leaders why there is such a huge contradiction in what D&C says and what the Book of Mormon doesn’t say.

With Love in Christ;


1 Cor. 1:18  …

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