Posts Tagged ‘worship’

You Are Clean

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

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

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

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

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


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How to behave “reverently” in a Mormon Sacrament Meeting

I can clearly remember the Sunday Morning I walked into the Christian church that would become my church family for the next two years of my life. It was the middle of February, my family and I had officially left the Mormon religion and we were looking for a new church to call home. As we walked into the sanctuary we could hear the happy chatter of people talking and visiting with one another which was quite a shock to me.


As I witnessed what was going on around me my mind flashed back to the Mormon Sunday meetings were everyone was expected to take their seats and sit quietly, without whispering to each other as we waited for the meeting to begin. We were told by our Bishop to do this to “keep the reverence” of the meetings so that everyone could “feel” the spirit as they mentally prepare themselves to partaking of the sacrament.


However the voices of people talking didn’t distract, or drown out the spirit of worship I found in this church meeting. As the music began playing everyone quieted down, the worship leader asked all of us to rise as we began with our opening song. After we sang a couple of songs we had a chance to greet each other with a hug or hand shake, followed by more singing as we praised God in song. I think at this point you probably could’ve knocked my over with a feather. What I was experiencing was so foreign to me, and yet so wonderful at the same time. I was amazed at how every song we sang was about Jesus. The songs gave me the feeling of coming home, and I thought to myself “so this is what it’s all about”.


For the first time in my life I witnessed people raising their hands in praise and worship to God, which was something that never happens in the Mormon Church.  Not only did these people clap during a song, but they clapped after the organist was finished playing their solo during the offering. Clapping in any Mormon meeting is a huge no-no. If you’re the only one clapping in a meeting they know you’re new, and need to be educated as to how to behave.


As I sat in the worship service I looked at the faces around me, everyone seemed so happy to be there, which was such a contrast to what I witnessed in the Mormon Church.  As I looked more closely at those around me I noticed not only were the expressions on their faces different, but their manner of dress was as well. Of course there were a few ladies, and men dressed in their “Sunday best”, but many were dressed in jeans, pull over shirts, or dress pants.


As a Mormon it would have never crossed my mind to wear jeans to church, or even dare to wear dress pants for that matter. This way of thinking came from the countless lessons in Relief Society I had on the proper way to dress for church.  Dressing for a Mormon Church service didn’t include anything less than a dress, or a skirt & blouse, and dress shoes (jean skirts, flip-flops, or sandals were definitely out). Males young and old were expected to dress in a suit, or a white shirt, and tie. I was told dressing this way helped keep everyone “reverent”.


While it was nice having only one person give the message, it was different experience for me as well. In the Mormon Church I was used to at least three people giving a message on Sunday. The subject topics varied, but were usually about food storage, temple work, keeping the Sabbath day holy, obeying the Word of Wisdom, and tithing to name a few. When I explained this to a family member who’s a born-again Christian he told me it sounded like there were one too many chefs in the kitchen. J I had never heard a message from a Mormon pulpit that was about the biblical Jesus, so you can imagine my surprise when the message the pastor gave was all about Jesus and the grace He offers everyone.


At the end of the meeting an altar call was given to those who wanted to accept Jesus as their Savior, or for those who just wanted to pray. This is another Christian practice unknown to me until that day. By the end of the meeting I knew I belonged; it’s something I never experienced in all my years as a Mormon. It made me reflect on what I used to think about Christians before coming to know Jesus. I hated the way I used to look down my nose at the way they worshipped, believing they were mocking God. I learned that day it wasn’t mockery, but a total surrendering of one’s self to God in complete worship.


It was such a joyful yet unbelievable surprise to me to attend a church meeting where everything was about Jesus.  This is a joy you don’t see within Mormonism. Most Mormons are dreading teaching or speaking that day. Moms of young children aren’t looking forward to dealing with their young children during sacrament meeting. This is especially worse for those who have husbands in the Bishopric; the mothers are left to tend to the kids by themselves while their husbands sit on the stand with the rest of the Church leadership.


A few years ago Mormon Church leaders came out with a statement telling members not to ask the congregation to turn with them in their scriptures to a specific verse while they were giving their talks. The reason for this they said, was to maintain the spirit of reverence in their meetings. I just have to wonder what “spirit” they are trying to maintain in their meetings if they can’t clap, raise their hands in praise to God, or even turn in their Bible while the word of God is being read.


In Christ,
Melissa Grimes (melissa@lifeafter.org)


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November 26 – Romans 14:17-20; “For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. For he that in these things serveth Christ is acceptable to God, and approved of men. Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another. For meat destroy not the work of God. All things indeed are pure; but it is evil for that man who eateth with offence.”


Again, we need to make sure all things are looked at in context, therefore, we look at and read all historical and geographical materials we can, as well as using dictionaries and concordances.  This way we have assurance we’ve exhausted all venues.  A great example is Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance; here’s what it says about the word kingdom:  in the Greek, the word is basileia. 

The transliteration for this is:  properly royalty, that is, (abstractly) rule, or (concretely) a realm (literally or figuratively):—kingdom, + reign.” 

Nowhere does it say in the actual text (or the concordance) anything about an organization being the kingdom of God.  In fact, when we research these verses, along with reputable commentaries, they all say the kingdom is where the Christian is living a life acceptable to God, living righteously and not causing others to stumble. 

According to the Holman Bible Dictionary it means it is the rule or sovereignty of God.

 It is not a “geographical area, nor is it a political entity such as the nation of Israel…  The establishment of the kingdom is a work of God.  God will reign, and people can contribute nothing to that reigning of God.” – Holman Bible Dictionary.

 Since the kingdom of God is not the nation of Israel, that would also include the Mormon Church.  If it’s not a nationality, not an organization and not a political entity, where does that leave the people of Mormonism?  I always think of my mother when I see things like this. 

 They claim it is the duty of the Church to prepare man to live with God.  However, Jesus says otherwise.  Jesus told everyone they are welcome to enter the kingdom and to have the heart of a child.  (Mark 10:14)


“The church is a kingdom; it is God’s kingdom. . .and as such is designed to prepare men for an inheritance… which is the celestial kingdom. Our Lord Jesus Christ is the Eternal King; his representative on earth is the President of the church…Where there is no kingdom of God there is no salvation.” Without the church, man cannot be saved.  “Whenever men can find out the will of God and find an administrator legally authorized from God, there is the kingdom of God; but where these are not, the kingdom of God is not. All the ordinances, systems, and administrations on earth are of no use to the children of men, unless they are ordained and authorized of God; for nothing will save a man but a legal administrator; for none others will be acknowledged either by God or angels.” Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pp. 271-72, 274.”  Bruce R. McConkie, New Witness for the Articles of Faith, 326- 337. The Church-Its Nature and Purpose

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November 12 – Genesis 3:17; “And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life.”

The doctrine of God is that Jesus is God incarnate and we should obey Him, there are no hidden agendas with God and no hidden meanings. If you love Him, obey Him. Because of the fall, the ground became cursed and worse yet there came a separation of God and man. They were kicked out of the Garden and an enmity was placed between God and us. The Mormons would have you believe that this was a glorious event. Nothing could be further from the truth!  What kind of God would allow sin to be part of His plan if heaven is perfect?
“The doctrine of Adam is the doctrine of Eve; their mission and purpose are one. “As she was at Michael’s side before the foundations of the earth,” wrote Elder Bruce R. McConkie, “so she came with him into Eden.” Together they performed the mission of the Fall, making the probation of life available to all. Chosen as the first wife and the first mother, her role in the salvation of their posterity is as vital as his. She is Adam’s counterpart and his crown. She is our glorious mother. With Adam she was set at the head to mark the way.” Joseph Fielding McConkie and Robert L. Millet, eds., The Man Adam [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1990], 85 – 88.

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