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Posts Tagged ‘temples’

“Behold the voice of the cry of the daughter of my people because of them that dwell in a far country: Is not the LORD in Zion? is not her king in her? Why have they provoked me to anger with their graven images, and with strange vanities?” Jeremiah 8:19

 Over the next week or so we’ll be taking a look at statements LDS Church leaders have made about some of the carved images plastered on walls of their temples, both inside and out.

Today we’re looking at their crown jewel, if you will, that being Moroni, their angel of light.

The reason for our look at this is because of the conflicting messages I kept coming across while researching info for something totally unrelated. The subtle inconsistencies about Moroni’s place in Mormonism soon became blatant contradictions.

While it may seem inconsequential, we believe there’s more to the story in the contradictory messages the Church puts out. And we have no doubt they do this on purpose.

So who is Moroni anyway? Was this from God, or man? As you’ll see in their publications their story is all over the board… (more…)

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John 4:24 “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.”

General Conference, ‘Becoming Exemplary Latter-day Saints, October 2018 “… the assaults of the adversary are increasing exponentially, in intensity and in variety. Our need to be in the temple on a regular basis has never been greater…  If you have reasonable access to a temple, I urge you to find a way to make an appointment regularly with the Lord—to be in His holy house—then keep that appointment with exactness and joy.” Russell M. Nelson (more…)

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July 3 – The vows you take. Matthew 5:33-35; “Again, ye have hard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths: But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God’s throne: Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool”.

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Romans 10:9-10; “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”

 Today we’re taking a quick look at an article Melissa came across at LDSLiving.com, ’10 Reasons You Should be Mormon’. The title of their article reminded us of our warehouse of quotes, ‘1,000 Reasons to Leave Mormonism’. That aside, we’re wondering why she isn’t promoting Christianity? Why are they always trying to pull people away from Christianity, and into Mormonism?

Although she doesn’t realize it, the young female author of the article is in dire need of our prayers! Check out what she had to say, and please, remember to pray for her, and other Mormons caught in these lies. You can read her article in full at LDSLiving.com 10 Reasons Why You Should Be Mormon. Let’s begin shall we?!

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March Witnessing Tip of the DayMarch 1 – Hebrews 9:14 tells us the worthlessness of dead works.  It says; “How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?”

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Conference Report, October 1942, p. 12-13Council-Heaven-Mormon; “PARENTHOOD…Amongst His earliest commands to Adam and Eve, the Lord said: “Multiply and replenish the earth.” He has repeated that command in our day…His people should marry only in His temple in accordance with such ordinances.

The Lord has told us that it is the duty of every husband and wife to obey the command given to Adam to multiply and replenish the earth, so that the legions of choice spirits waiting for their tabernacles of flesh may come here and move forward under God’s great design to become perfect souls, for without these fleshly tabernacles they cannot progress to their God-planned destiny…

By bringing these choice spirits to earth, each father and each mother assume towards the tabernacled spirit and towards the Lord Himself by having taken advantage of the opportunity He offered, an obligation of the most sacred kind…

No parent can escape that obligation and that responsibility, and for the proper meeting thereof, the Lord will hold us to a strict accountability…

Motherhood thus becomes a holy calling, a sacred dedication for carrying out the Lord’s plans…

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Mormon Decisions 10LDS Missions President Handbook, p 44; “All members should look to the temple as the great symbol of their membership. The goal in retention is to help new members prepare to enter into the sacred covenants of the temple and endure to the end.”

 

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Old-Testament-Gospel-Doctrine-Teachers-Manual-35570000The name of this week’s lesson is “Come to the House of the Lord” and it centers on activities that take place in the OT temple and the LDS temples today.

I’m starting this review with quoting the very last thing the teacher’s instruction manual said for lesson #30.

“Challenge class members to be more dedicated in their study of the scriptures.”

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The Church is Infallible

Journal of Discourses 24:185; “There has been no lack about this work. Its principles have withstood all that has been brought against them. They stand unshaken because they are founded on eternal truth. The whole clergy of the world may array themselves against them, as they have to a certain extent; they may endeavor to controvert these principles, but they are founded on truth and they cannot be overturned. Not a single principle that has been declared or been testified to by the Elders of this Church from the beginning up to the present time can be assailed successfully by any religionist, nor by scientific men, because they are impregnable, having had their origin in God…There are no mistakes to be corrected connected with it, either with its doctrine, with its organization, or, with its movement.

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Temple Endowment Ceremonies Part 1 The Creation

The Endowment Ceremony Prior to 1990

The Creation

[Initiates have assembled in silence in the chapel. When all is ready, they are ushered into the Creation Room.]

For the next 2 or so hours patrons stay in the same room while watching a drama type scenario that takes place on the movie screen in the front of the room.  Throughout the different films, patrons will stand and kneel to pray around the altar or put on various temple clothing which signifies the robes of the priesthood while they chant their oaths and make the arm and hand gestures at the appropriate times.

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Duties of an LDS Bishop

 Bishops in the LDS Church are called the “judge in Israel” for the wards and branches of the Church (Gospel Principles: Priesthood Organization, Chapter 14). They have many responsibilities throughout the Church, aside from conducting meetings. The Bishop and his counselors are over the different organizations in the Church, such as: the Young Men’s, Priesthood Quorum, Sunday school class, and Primary, as well as the organizations for the women, the Relief Society, and Young Women’s. In addition to all that they are to make sure that the leadership positions in these organizations are filled.

When you are “called” to a position in the Church, it is said that the Lord wants you to be in this position, this calling (The Latter-day Saint Woman, Part B Lesson 28, Serving in the Church). You are expected to accept this position. If you choose not to accept, it’s frowned upon. After all, are you going to say “no” to the Lord? (Dallin H. Oaks, November 2002, Ensign)

In my old ward there was a couple my husband and I were close to. The wife, “Jennifer” was dying of cancer; while this was happening, her husband “Tim” was called to be a Stake Missionary. This calling requires the person called to invest much of their free time away from home, going out with the missionaries to their appointments, and giving new members, the “new member” discussions.  When I asked why Tim would be given such a calling when it seemed that his wife needed him more, I was told that it’s what the Lord wanted. I couldn’t believe for one second that the Lord would want him to be away from his wife when she needed him the most.

     Another duty of a Bishop is to interview the people for the temple recommends. As of July 2000, there is a list of 15 questions the Bishop asks the member. Remember these men are considered the “judge” of these people, they represent God.  The questions are as follows: (The Bishops Manual)

1 Do you have faith in and a testimony of God the Eternal Father, His Son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost?
2 Do you have a testimony of the Atonement of Christ and of His role as Savior and Redeemer?
3 Do you have a testimony of the restoration of the gospel in these the latter days?
4 Do you sustain the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as the Prophet, Seer, and Revelator and as the only person on the earth who possesses and is authorized to exercise all priesthood keys? Do you sustain members of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles as prophets, seers, and revelators? Do you sustain the other General Authorities and local authorities of the Church?
5 Do you live the law of chastity?
6 Is there anything in your conduct relating to members of your family that is not in harmony with the teachings of the Church?
7 Do you support, affiliate with, or agree with any group or individual whose teachings or practices are contrary to or oppose those accepted by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?
8 Do you strive to keep the covenants you have made, to attend your sacrament and other meetings, and to keep your life in harmony with the laws and commandments of the gospel?
9 Are you honest in your dealings with your fellowmen?
10 Are you a full-tithe payer?
11 Do your keep the Word of Wisdom?
12 Do you have financial or other obligations to a former spouse or children? If yes, are you current in meeting those obligations?
13 If you have previously received your temple endowment:
Do you keep the covenants that you made in the temple?
Do you wear the garment both night and day as instructed in the endowment and in accordance with the covenant you made in the temple?
14 Have there been any sins or misdeeds in your life that should have been resolved with priesthood authorities but have not been?
15 Do you consider yourself worthy to enter the Lord’s house and participate in temple ordinances?

     As you can see, some of these questions are very personal, what business is it of anyone, what you drink, if you pay a full tithe, or what kind of underwear you have on?  In the LDS Church the Bishop is your judge, in a November 2003 Ensign, President Gordon B. Hinckley tells the priesthood at General Conference the areas in which the Bishop judges the church members:

“You cannot compromise your qualifications to sit as a common judge in Israel. It is a fearsome and awesome responsibility to stand as a judge of the people. You must be their judge in some instances as to worthiness to hold membership in the Church, worthiness to enter the house of the Lord, worthiness to be baptized, worthiness to receive the priesthood, worthiness to serve missions, worthiness to teach and to serve as officers in the organizations. You must be the judge of their eligibility in times of distress to receive help from the fast offerings of the people and commodities from the storehouse of the Lord. None for whom you are responsible must go hungry or without clothing or shelter though they be reluctant to ask. You must know something of the circumstances of all of the flock over whom you preside.”

     Jesus is our judge, our authority, our Savior. How could a mortal man, who is full of sin himself judge another worthy of the things mentioned in the quote above? Such questions on chastity, tithing and family matters should be between you and God, unless YOU choose to discuss it with you church leader. Jesus is the one who puts it on your heart to serve; no one can look inside your heart to see if you are “worthy” enough to serve.

     Jesus has authority over us, given to him by God. He suffered and died for us, he paid for our sins on the cross, so we might have eternal life. I would rather stand in judgment before Jesus Christ who was and is perfect in every way versus a mortal man who is no better than me. Colossians 2:16:17 tells us not to let any man judge us, even what we eat or drink we only answer to Christ, no one else.

     When a member commits a serious sin they must confess it to their Bishop. He then helps them through the repentance process. During this time the member may not be allowed to hold church callings, take the sacrament or participate in any class discussions. If needed he presides over any disciplinary council or “Court of Love” as it’s sometimes called, the person on “trial” so to speak, can be disfellowshipped or excommunicated. All this depends on how bad the sin is and how remorseful the church member is; in the end the Bishop will tell the member when their repentance process is complete.

     As President Hinckley stated above they are to judge who needs financial help and who doesn’t. The LDS members are encouraged to not accepted assistance from the government (D&C 78:13-14). They want the members to come to the Bishop if they are in need of financial help. The Church asks members to pay a “fast” offering in addition to the tithing. The “fast” offering comes from when the members who fast once a month give a “generous” fast offering.

“In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, members are encouraged to fast whenever their faith needs special fortification and to fast regularly once each month on fast day. On that day, we go without eating or drinking for two consecutive meals, commune with our Heavenly Father, and contribute a fast offering to help the poor. The offering should be at least equal to the value of the food that would have been eaten. Typically, the first Sunday of each month is designated as fast Sunday. On that day, members who are physically able are encouraged to fast, pray, bear witness to the truthfulness of the gospel, and pay a generous fast offering.”   Joseph B. Wirthlin, July 2001 Liahona

     In exchange for the finiancial help, church the members if able, are asked to help with cleaning the church, the church grounds or the Bishop;s storehouse if they live near one (I have a question, March Ensign 1978). Wanting its members to come to them for help isn’t in its self a bad thing. My concern is what happens if someone becomes dependant on the Church for assistance and they discover the church isn’t what it claims to be. What if the Lord wants to lead them out of the LDS church?  Members would feel like they couldn’t leave the Church “after all the Church has done for them”. It creates this false sense of loyalty, that no matter what, they have to stay active members of the church, because they owe the Church so much.

     As I said before Jesus is our judge. He is the only one who can judge us justly, and fairly. I wish that the LDS could know the freedom that comes from knowing the Jesus of the Bible. There is liberty in Christ. Galatians 5:1 reads, “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage”.

In Christ,

Melissa Grimes, melissa@lifeafter.org

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Michelle Grim

1 Cor. 1:18

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