Monday, December 17, 2007
here and here
But blatant deception is nothing new on the part of the Mormon Church, for and about which Romney utters his lies.
Mormon apologist W. John Walsh has continued predictable the Mormon duck-and-dodge hodgepodge by asserting that LDS doctrine does not teach that Jesus and Satan are brothers:
"Is Jesus the brother of Satan? . . .
" . . . [I]t can be said that Jesus and Lucifer were brothers, in the sense of both being spiritually begotten by the Father, but it is a misrepresentation to say so without giving the contextual background. Whatever similarities in background exist between Jesus and Satan pale compared to the differences. Jesus is the Beloved and Chosen, who is the Only Begotten Son of God in the flesh. . . .
"['Is Jesus the brother of Satan?'] is a common question asked by those exposed to Anti-Mormon literature. Anti-Mormons often twist our doctrines out of context to make people falsely believe that Latter-Day Saints denigrate Jesus and consider Satan and the Lord to be equals. Of course, anyone familiar with our beliefs about Jesus Christ knows that we have the utmost respect and reverence for Our Savior and Redeemer.
"First, Jesus Christ is the Only Begotten Son of God the Father (and is therefore divine) and the mortal virgin Mary. Satan, a malignant spirit, does not share this parental heritage of Jesus, and cannot be considered divine in any respect.
"Therefore, in the usual way that we speak of brothers and sisters, Jesus and Satan are not brothers."
Nice attempt at dodging, there, Brother Walsh.
To had fuel to the fib, the official Mormon website declares that, in fact, Jesus and Satan are brothers, and does so by linking to an officially-published Primary lesson for children, wherein the Mormon Church teaches the following about the Jesus-Satan brotherhood:
"1. In the premortal life we were spirit children and lived with our heavenly parents . . .
2. Jesus was the firstborn spirit child of Heavenly Father and is the older brother of our spirits . . .
3. Lucifer, who became Satan, was also a spirit child of the Heavenly Father . . ." ("Jesus Christ Volunteered to Be Our Savior, " Lesson 2: Primary 7: New Testament, 5)
See it here
Unfortunately for LDS spinmeisters, the Mormon Church's official magazine, the "Ensign," in its "I Have a Question" forum, had made it clear that the LDS Church emphatically accepts as doctrine--based both in quoted scripture and the statements of Mormon General Authorities--the notion that Jesus and Satan are literal brothers and that, in fact, Satan (also like Jesus) is a son of God:
"How can Jesus and Lucifer be spirit brothers when their characters and purposes are so utterly opposed?
"Jess L. Christensen, Institute of Religion director at Utah State University, Logan, Utah [responds]:
"'On first hearing, the doctrine that Lucifer and our Lord, Jesus Christ, are brothers may seem surprising to some—especially to those unacquainted with latter-day revelations.
"But both the scriptures and the prophets affirm that Jesus Christ and Lucifer are indeed offspring of our Heavenly Father and, therefore, spirit brothers.
"Jesus Christ was with the Father from the beginning. Lucifer, too, was an angel “who was in authority in the presence of God,” a 'son of the morning.' (See Isa. 14:12; D&C 76:25–27.)
"Both Jesus and Lucifer were strong leaders with great knowledge and influence. But as the Firstborn of the Father, Jesus was Lucifer’s older brother. (See Col. 1:15; D&C 93:21.)
"How could two such great spirits become so totally opposite? The answer lies in the principle of agency, which has existed from all eternity. (See D&C 93:30–31.) Of Lucifer, the scripture says that because of rebellion “he became Satan, yea, even the devil, the father of all lies.” (Moses 4:4.) Note that he was not created evil, but became Satan by his own choice.
"When our Father in Heaven presented his plan of salvation, Jesus sustained the plan and his part in it, giving the glory to God, to whom it properly belonged. Lucifer, on the other hand, sought power, honor, and glory only for himself. (See Isa. 14:13–14; Moses 4:1–2.)
"When his modification of the Father’s plan was rejected, he rebelled against God and was subsequently cast out of heaven with those who had sided with him. (See Rev. 12:7–9; D&C 29:36–37.)
"That brothers would make dramatically different choices is not unusual. It has happened time and again, as the scriptures attest: Cain chose to serve Satan; Abel chose to serve God. (See Moses 5:16–18.)
"Esau “despised his birthright”; Jacob wanted to honor it. (Gen. 25:29–34.)
"Joseph’s brothers sought to kill him; he sought to preserve them. (Gen. 37:12–24; Gen. 45:3–11.)
"It is ironic that the agency with which Lucifer rebelled is the very gift he tried to take from man. His proposal was that all be forced back into God’s presence. (See Moses 4:1, 3.)
"But the principle of agency is fundamental to the existence and progression of intelligent beings: as we make wise choices, we grow in light and truth. On the other hand, wrong choices—such as the one Satan made—stop progress and can even deny us blessings that we already have. (See D&C 93:30–36.)
"In order for us to progress, therefore, we must have the opportunity to choose good or evil. Interestingly, Satan and his angels—those who opposed agency—have become that opposition. As the prophet Lehi taught, 'Men are free according to the flesh; and all things are given them which are expedient unto man. And they are free to choose liberty and eternal life, through the great Mediator of all men, or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil; for he seeketh that all men might be miserable like unto himself.' (2 Ne. 2:27.)
"Although the Father has allowed Satan and his angels to tempt mankind, he has given each of us the ability to rise above temptation. (See 1 Cor. 10:13.) He has also given us the great gift of the Atonement.
"When the Lord placed enmity between Eve’s children and the devil, Satan was told that he would bruise the heel of Eve’s seed, but her seed would bruise his head. (See Moses 4:21.)
"President Joseph Fielding Smith explained that 'the "God of peace," who according to the scriptures is to bruise Satan, is Jesus Christ.” (Answers to Gospel Questions, Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1957, 1:3.)
"Satan would bruise the Savior’s heel by leading men to crucify Him. But through his death and resurrection, Christ overcame death for all of us; and through his atonement, he offers each of us a way to escape the eternal ramifications of sin. Thus, Satan’s machinations have been frustrated and eventually he will be judged, bound, and cast into hell forever. (See Rev. 20:1–10; D&C 29:26–29.)
"In Hebrew, the word bruise means 'to crush or grind.' Therefore, the very heel that was bruised will crush Satan and will help us overcome the world and return to our Father. As we use our agency to choose good over evil, the atonement of Christ prepares the way for us to return to our Father in Heaven.
"We can only imagine the sorrow of our Heavenly Father as he watched a loved son incite and lead a rebellion and lose his opportunity for exaltation. But we can also imagine the Father’s love and rejoicing as he welcomed back the beloved son who had valiantly and perfectly fought the battles of life and brought about the great Atonement through his suffering and death. (Jess L. Christensen, 'I Have a Question,' Ensign, June 1986, 25–26)
See it here
Moreover, in keeping with historic LDS doctrine on the matter, Apostle Spencer W. Kimball declared that Jesus and Satan are brothers:
"There is another power in this world forceful and vicious. In the wilderness of Judea, on the temple's pinnacles and on the high mountain, a momentous contest took place between two brothers, Jehovah and Lucifer, sons of Elohim." (Kimball, "Conference Report," April 1964, p .95)
"There is another power in this world, forceful and vicious. In the wilderness of Judea, on the temple's pinnacle and on the high mountain, a momentous contest took place between two brothers, Jehovah and Lucifer, sons of Elohim. When physically weak from fasting, Christ was tempted by Lucifer: 'If thou be the Son of God, command this stone that it be made bread.' (Luke 4:3.)
"Similarly Satan had contended for the subservience of Moses. Satan, also a son of God, had rebelled and had been cast out of heaven and not permitted an earthly body as had his brother Jehovah. Much depended upon the outcome of this spectacular duel. Could Lucifer control and dominate this prophet Moses, who had learned so much directly from his Lord?" (Kimball, "Faith Precedes the Miracle," p. 87)
See it here
Now, to reasonably thinking people who hear the Mormon claim that Jesus and Satan are brothers, the reaction goes like this, with accompanying head-scratching as they try to digest the Mormon Church tortured explanations:
"Wow. Jesus and Satan sure sound like blood brothers.
"But, Mormons have a nuanced sense of brotherhood.
"Mormons believe that ' . . . all beings were created by God and are His spirit children,' says Kim Farah, spokeswoman for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
"Mormons believe in a pre-life existence populated by spirit children waiting to be born. All those spirit children are brothers and sisters in a general sense. This is why Mormons refer to each other as Brother and Sister (and joke about being the brethren and the 'cistern').
"'What this means is that as spirit children, Jesus and Satan were brothers. But they were not brothers in any sort of human sense,' says Jan Shipps, an historian at Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis, who is considered the foremost non-Mormon authority on Mormon history and culture.
"In other words, Jesus and Lucifer were never siblings like me and my brother, who I thought was Satan when he vomited in my shoes."
See it here
Yeah, right, uh-huh and whatever.
In the meantime, for additional quotes and sources to Mormon claims that Jesus and Satan are, literally speaking, brothers of God the Father, see:
When I was about 13-14 years old, I remember attending various worship services with my grandparents, who were very upset that we had "become Mormon". Somehow, the minister we were listening to would know about this fact and make his sermon built around the false doctrines of the Mormon religion, bringing up such things as polygamy, becoming Gods, and Jesus and Satan being brothers. My sister and I sat dumbfounded at some of these sermons, not having a clue what the minister was talking about, and assuming that he was just mistaken, or had read Anti-Mormon literature. We also assumed that our grandparents had informed the minister of our "situation" and that they were trying to "deprogram" us by using the intervention of the pastors in the various church services they took us to. We attended the Church of the Nazorene, the Bible Holiness Church, the Christian Union Church, the Full Faith Christian Center, etc... and it seemed highly unlikely that each sermon we heard would be directed at the only two Mormons in the entire congregation.
I remember making fun of my grandmother's assertion that Mormons worship Joseph Smith. I even pretended to mock worship while chanting "Joseph Smith", just because I found the thought of it so absurd. Now I understand what she was talking about. I didn't see it before, because I had just joined the church, but after 20+ years in it, I believe her. I'm sorry I made fun of her concern for me, and wish I could take it back.
I remember writing a letter to my grandparents defending my religion, and pointing out all the reasons why it was true, and better, and more complete than their regular plain vanilla Christianity, and now, years later, I can see where I was wrong to be so proud, so arrogant and full of myself for knowing the "truth" while others wallow in "ignorance" and "stiff-neckedness". Shame on me for using these words against people who were worried about my welfare.
Here I am on the flip side of the coin.
The LDS church teaches that all humans, all angels, all creatures were created by one God of a whole eternal family of Gods, and that we all existed before the Earth was created for our physical test. We would need to obtain knowledge and experience in order to progress past this child-like state we were in, and we petitioned our God-creator for the chance to become like him. (similar to how our children want to grow up to become like us). In this pre-existence, we discussed together what types of experiences and tests we would need in order to grow and gain wisdom and knowledge. Our eldest brother, Jesus, the first born, proposed a plan of free agency, knowing some would be lost and not be able to return. Another of God's creations, an angel of light, called Lucifer, proposed a plan in which not one soul would be lost, all would gain the necessary knowledge and wisdom, and all would return. He expected to be glorified in exchange for this guarantee. And God decided that Jesus' plan was better, even though it meant that some of his children would not return. Then, according to Mormon theology, Lucifer basically incited a riot, stirring up 1/3 of the souls against Jesus' plan, because they wanted a guarantee that they would complete the trials and tests. There was 1/3 who sided with Jesus, and they would ultimately become those souls who would obtain human form, and receive the opportunity to progress to Godhood. And the remaining 1/3 were fence-sitters, neither for or against one plan or the other. And because of this they were considered "less-valiant" in the pre-existance. Therefore, these souls would still get the opportunity for a human experience, but they would be faced with harder trials, such as being born with disabilities, being born outside Mormon families, being born to parents of African or Asian lineage, or not having the same opportunity to hear the message of salvation while in this earthly state. Therefore they would be rewarded according to their accomplishments, and because they were lukewarm in the "family feud" between Jesus and Lucifer, their fates would be sealed and they would never obtain Godhood. But, those who chose Jesus and his plan, would be born to Mormon families, sealed in the covenant, serve righteous missions, obtain their endowments in the temple, memorize the sacred handgrips, words, and signs, wear the special garment with the compass and the square stitched in the right places, fulfill their duties in the church, complete the ordinance work for all of their dead relatives, pay an honest tithe, have as many babies as they are physically able to do without regard for financial concerns or personal preference, and always listen to the words and advice of their prophets and the "Lord's Anointed", and if they were good enough, and worked hard enough, and fulfilled all of the requirements, then they would be able to obtain Celestial Glory, and be sealed to their families forever in an unending chain of generations. But only the very elect of these select individuals would ever obtain Godhood, because it is also necessary to have been given the Second Anointing to make their calling and election sure, and to be made Priests and Kings (or Priestesses and Queens unto their husbands) in the Kingdom of Heaven, whereas in the endowment session, they are only anointed to potentially become such.
See, how wonderful this plan is?
Even after all that work, if you haven't had your calling and election made sure by receiving the Second Anointing, you'll make it to the CK, but you won't become rulers of your own spirit children, you won't be able to give them the same chance at progression to become a God themselves, and you won't be able to obtain it either, because you didn't know that you had to be anointed a second time in the Holy of Holies withing the Salt Lake Temple. There are thousands of faithful Mormons who don't know that they have been passed over for this ordinance because it is "so sacred" that it isn't even revealed to you until (or unless) you are called to receive it. And then, you are forbidden from discussing it with anyone, not any family or other members, because you are "so special" that you were chosen to receive this calling and election as a Priest and King (or etc.) that if you were to let it be known, you would lose this guarantee of Godhood.
Your own mother could have had this ordinance, and she couldn't tell you. And she can't ever know if you have received it either. Your bishop might not even know about it. Or your Stake President. But if they did, they couldn't tell you, or they would lose their guarantee. See how masterful the plan is?
Go ahead. Google it. Type in "Second Anointing LDS" You might be surprised.
And that's all I have to say about that.......
Friday, December 07, 2007
Ever wonder why both Mormon politicians and lay members vote in unison in support of the church, despite their differing political affiliations?
Ever wonder what motivates members of the church to reject their own spouses, children and relatives in favor of the church?
Ever wonder why members of the church sacrifice their personal integrity in defense of official church history and practices?
The answer is that faithful members know that their first and foremost duty is uncompromising loyalty to the church.
Church President Gordon B. Hinckley recently declared:
"Now may I say a word concerning loyalty to the Church. We see much indifference. There are those who say, 'The Church won't dictate to me how to think about this, that, or the other, or how to live my life.'"
"No, I reply, the Church will not dictate to any man how he should think or what he should do. The Church will point out the way and invite every member to live the gospel and enjoy the blessings that come of such living. The Church will not dictate to any man, but it will counsel, it will persuade, it will urge, and it will expect loyalty from those who profess membership therein."
"The book of Revelation declares: 'I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth' (Revelation 3:15-16)."
"I make you a promise, my dear brethren, that while I am serving in my present responsibility I will never consent to nor advocate any policy, any program, any doctrine which will be otherwise than beneficial to the membership of this, the Lord's Church."
"This is His work. He established it. He has revealed its doctrine. He has outlined its practices. He created its government. It is His work and His kingdom, and He has said, "They who are not for me are against me" (2 Nephi 10:16)."
"In 1933, there was a movement in the United States to overturn the law which prohibited commerce in alcoholic beverages. When it came to a vote, Utah was the deciding state. President Heber J. Grant, then President of this Church, had pleaded with our people against voting to nullify Prohibition. It broke his heart when so many members of the Church in this state disregarded his counsel."
"On this occasion I am not going to talk about the good or bad of Prohibition but rather of uncompromising loyalty to the Church."
"How grateful, my brethren, I feel, how profoundly grateful for the tremendous faith of so many Latter-day Saints who, when facing a major decision on which the Church has taken a stand, align themselves with that position. And I am especially grateful to be able to say that among those who are loyal are men and women of achievement, of accomplishment, of education, of influence, of strength-highly intelligent and capable individuals."
"Each of us has to face the matter-either the Church is true, or it is a fraud. There is no middle ground. It is the Church and kingdom of God, or it is nothing."
- President Gordon B. Hinckley. "Loyalty," April Conference, 2003.
Unquestioning Obedience a Virtue
"For us, to 'believe all things' means to believe the doctrine of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ as well as the words of the Latter Day prophets. It means to successfully erase our doubts and reservations. It means that in making spiritual commitments, we are prepared to hold nothing back. It means we are ready to consecrate our lives to the work of the kingdom."
"The more we believe, the easier faith-based obedience becomes. Hence the value of 'believing all things.'"
"We are instructed to be like children, who are willing to be taught and then to act without first demanding full knowledge."
"Some members are constantly evaluating the gospel by the standards of the world. They may think, 'That is not how I think the Lord would want it done,' or, 'Based on my understanding of the scriptures, the Church position should have been . . .'"
"Some Church members may have reservations because of a physical appetite they are not quite willing to surrender."
"Other common reservations are flagged by words such as 'yes, but . . .' when scriptures or prophets are quoted. Or we may hear, 'I am not going to let the Church make my decisions for me.'"
"Obedience is a fundamental law of the gospel. It is not only the demonstration of our faith but also the foundation of our faith. But the philosophical standard of the world holds that unquestioning obedience equals blind obedience, and blind obedience is mindless obedience. This is simply not true. Unquestioning obedience to the Lord indicates that a person has developed faith and trust in Him to the point where he or she considers all inspired instruction — whether it be recorded scripture or the words of modern prophets — to be worthy of obedience."
"One day there will be answers to all our questions, and they will be based on divine fairness and love. The Lord will not hold people accountable for factors over which they have no control."
"Let us believe all things. Let us have unquestioning faith in all of the doctrines and truths of the restored gospel."
Elder Robert Oaks, "Believe All Things," Ensign, July 2005, page 30
"I know a 17-year-old who, just prior to the prophet’s talk, had pierced her ears a second time. She came home from the fireside, took off the second set of earrings, and simply said to her parents, “If President Hinckley says we should only wear one set of earrings, that’s good enough for me.”"
"Wearing two pair of earrings may or may not have eternal consequences for this young woman, but her willingness to obey the prophet will. And if she will obey him now, on something relatively simple, how much easier it will be to follow him when greater issues are at stake."
- Apostle M. Russell Ballard, “His Word Ye Shall Receive,” Ensign, May 2001, 65
Church Leaders Expect Conformity
"But no child in this Church should be left with uncertainty about his or her parents' devotion to the Lord Jesus Christ, the Restoration of His Church, and the reality of living prophets and apostles who, now as in earlier days, lead that Church according to 'the will of the Lord, . . . the mind of the Lord, . . . the word of the Lord, . . . and the power of God unto salvation.' In such basic matters of faith, prophets do not apologize for requesting unity, indeed conformity, in the eloquent sense that the Prophet Joseph Smith used that latter word. In any case, as Elder Neal Maxwell once said to me in a hallway conversation, 'There didn't seem to be any problem with conformity the day the Red Sea opened.'"
"What a classic example of the warning Elder Richard L. Evans once gave. Said he:
Sometimes some parents mistakenly feel that they can relax a little as to conduct and conformity or take perhaps a so called liberal view of basic and fundamental things-thinking that a little laxness or indulgence won't matter-or they may fail to teach or to attend Church, or may voice critical views. Some parents . . . seem to feel that they can ease up a little on the fundamentals without affecting their family or their family's future. But, if a parent goes a little off course, the children are likely to exceed the parent's example.
"To lead a child - or anyone else - even inadvertently, away from faithfulness, away from loyalty and bedrock belief simply because we want to be clever or independent is license no parent nor any other person has ever been given. In matters of religion a skeptical mind is not a higher manifestation of virtue than is a believing heart, and analytical deconstruction in the field of, say, literary fiction can be just plain old-fashioned destruction when transferred to families yearning for faith at home. And such a deviation from the true course can be deceptively slow and subtle in its impact. As one observer said, "[If you raise the temperature of my] bath water . . . only 1 degree every 10 minutes, how [will I] know when to scream?"
- Apostle Jeffrey R. Holland, General Conference, Sunday April 6th 2003
Do church leaders think they have a duty to tell the truth, or to protect church authority at all costs?
Apostle Dallin Oaks:
"My duty as a member of the Council of the Twelve is to protect what is most unique about the LDS church, namely the authority of priesthood, testimony regarding the restoration of the gospel, and the divine mission of the Savior. Everything may be sacrificed in order to maintain the integrity of those essential facts. Thus, if Mormon Enigma reveals information that is detrimental to the reputation of Joseph Smith, then it is necessary to try to limit its influence and that of its authors."
- Apostle Dallin Oaks, footnote 28, Inside the Mind of Joseph Smith: Psychobiography and the Book of Mormon, Introduction p. xliii
Apostle Boyd K. Packer:
“You seminary teachers and some of you institute and BYU men will be teaching the history of the Church this school year. This is an unparalleled opportunity in the lives of your students to increase their faith and testimony of the divinity of this work. Your objective should be that they will see the hand of the Lord in every hour and every moment of the Church from its beginning till now.”
“Church history can be so interesting and so inspiring as to be a very powerful tool indeed for building faith. If not properly written or properly taught, it may be a faith destroyer.”
“There is a temptation for the writer or the teacher of Church history to want to tell everything, whether it is worthy or faith promoting or not.”
“Some things that are true are not very useful.”
“That historian or scholar who delights in pointing out the weaknesses and frailties of present or past leaders destroys faith. A destroyer of faith — particularly one within the Church, and more particularly one who is employed specifically to build faith — places himself in great spiritual jeopardy. He is serving the wrong master, and unless he repents, he will not be among the faithful in the eternities. ... Do not spread disease germs!"
- Boyd K. Packer, "The Mantle is Far, Far Greater Than the Intellect", 1981, BYU Studies, Vol. 21, No. 3, pp. 259-271
Apostle Russel M. Nelson:
"Indeed, in some instances, the merciful companion to truth is silence. Some truths are best left unsaid."
"Any who are tempted to rake through the annals of history, to use truth unrighteously, or to dig up “facts” with the intent to defame or destroy, should hearken to this warning of scripture:
“The righteousness of God [is] revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith. For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness.” (Rom. 1:17-18.)
"I repeat: 'The wrath of God is … against all … who hold the truth in unrighteousness.'"
To anyone who, because of truth, may be tempted to become a dissenter against the Lord and his anointed, weigh carefully your action in light of this sacred scripture:
“These dissenters, having the same instruction and the same information … yea, having been instructed in the same knowledge of the Lord, nevertheless, it is strange to relate, not long after their dissensions they became more hardened and impenitent, and … wicked, … entirely forgetting the Lord their God.” (Alma 47:36.)
"We must realize that we are at war. The war began before the world was and will continue. The forces of the adversary are extant upon the earth. All of our virtuous motives, if transmitted only by inertia and timidity, are no match for the resolute wickedness of those who oppose us."
- Russell M. Nelson, “Truth—and More,” Ensign, Jan. 1986, page 69
Never Criticize Past or Present Church Leaders - Even if it's True
"It is one thing to depreciate a person who exercises corporate power or even government power. It is quite another thing to criticize or depreciate a person for the performance of an office to which he or she has been called of God. It does not matter that the criticism is true."
"As Elder George F. Richards, President of the Council of the Twelve, said in a conference address in April 1947, 'when we say anything bad about the leaders of the Church, whether true or false, we tend to impair their influence and their usefulness and are thus working against the Lord and his cause.' ... The Holy Ghost will not guide or confirm criticism of the Lord's anointed, or of Church leaders, local or general. This reality should be part of the spiritual evaluation that LDS readers and viewers apply to those things written about our history and those who made it."
- Dallin H. Oaks, "Reading Church History," CES Doctrine and Covenants Symposium, Brigham Young University, 16 Aug. 1985, page 25. also see Dallin H. Oaks, "Elder Decries Criticism of LDS Leaders," quoted in The Salt Lake Tribune, Sunday August 18, 1985, p. 2B
Apostle Dallin H. Oaks published a similar talk for the February 1987 Ensign Magazine. Again, Apostle Oaks declared that there is no place in the church for public criticism of church leaders, even if the criticism is true. He also said:
"Truth surely exists as an absolute, but our use of truth should be disciplined by other values. ... When truth is constrained by other virtues, the outcome is not falsehood but silence for a season. As the scriptures say, there is “a time to keep silence, and a time to speak.”
"Does the commandment to avoid faultfinding and evil speaking apply to Church members’ destructive personal criticism of Church leaders? Of course it does. It applies to criticism of all Church leaders—local or general, male or female. In our relations with all of our Church leaders, we should follow the Apostle Paul’s direction: “Rebuke not an elder, but intreat him as a father.” (1 Tim. 5:1.)"
"Government or corporate officials, who are elected directly or indirectly or appointed by majority vote, must expect that their performance will be subject to critical and public evaluations by their constituents. That is part of the process of informing those who have the right and power of selection or removal. The same is true of popularly elected officers in professional, community, and other private organizations."
"A different principle applies in our Church, where the selection of leaders is based on revelation, subject to the sustaining vote of the membership. In our system of Church government, evil speaking and criticism of leaders by members is always negative. Whether the criticism is true or not, as Elder George F. Richards explained, it tends to impair the leaders’ influence and usefulness, thus working against the Lord and his cause."
"Public debate—the means of resolving differences in a democratic government—is not appropriate in our Church government. We are all subject to the authority of the called and sustained servants of the Lord. They and we are all governed by the direction of the Spirit of the Lord, and that Spirit only functions in an atmosphere of unity. That is why personal differences about Church doctrine or procedure need to be worked out privately."
- Apostle Dallin H. Oaks, “Criticism,” Ensign, Feb. 1987, page 68
"Some people exalt themselves above God and His annointed servants because of their learning and scholarly achievements. We must never allow our intellect to take priority over our spirit. Our intellect can feed our spirit and our spirit can feed our intellect, but if we allow our intellect to take precedence over our spirit, we stumble, find fault, and may even lose our testimonies."
- Apostle Joseph B. Wirthlin. October 2004 General Conference.
“You may not like what comes from the authority of the Church. It may contradict your political views. It may contradict your social views. It may interfere with some of your social life. But if you listen to these things, as if from the mouth of the Lord himself, with patience and faith, the promise is that ‘the gates of hell shall not prevail against you; yea, and the Lord God will disperse the powers of darkness from before you, and cause the heavens to shake for your good, and his name’s glory.’ (DC 21:6)”
- Prophet Harold B. Lee, Conference Report, Oct. 1970, p. 152
One effective way church members are locked into loyalty is through the temple ordinances, which include strong oaths of total loyalty and sacrifice to the church.
(Warning to LDS members: I am about to reveal the words used in actual temple ordinances both past and present. This has been done before on many sites, all one has to do is ask for it. If you wish to remain loyal to the church, DO NOT READ IT)
TEMPLE NARRATOR: (All patrons stand.) "And as Jesus Christ has laid down his life for the redemption of mankind, so we should covenant to sacrifice all that we possess, even our own lives if necessary, in sustaining and defending the Kingdom of God."
"All arise. Each of you bring your right arm to the square. You and each of you solemnly covenant and promise before God, angels, and these witnesses at this alter that you will observe and keep the Law of Sacrifice, as contained in the Old and New Testament, as it has been explained to you. Each of you bow your head and say "yes.""
TEMPLE PATRONS: "Yes."
ELOHIM: "That will do." (All patrons sit down.)
TEMPLE NARRATOR: (All patrons stand.) "Each of you bring your right arm to the square. You and each of you covenant and promise before God, angels, and these witnesses at this altar, that you do accept the Law of Consecration as contained in this, (The Officiator holds up a copy of the Doctrine and Covenants again.), the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, in that you do consecrate yourselves, your time, talents, and everything with which the Lord has blessed you, or with which he may bless you, to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, for the building up of the Kingdom of God on the earth and for the establishment of Zion."
"Each of you bow your head and say "yes.""
TEMPLE PATRONS: "Yes."
PETER: "That will do." (All patrons sit down.)
Mormons take these oaths very seriously. In fact, all members of the church who attended the temple prior to 1990 also made death-oaths in connection with these pledges of absolute loyalty.
Death Oath #1:
ELOHIM: "All arise." (All patrons stand.)
ELOHIM: "Each of you make the sign of the First Token of the Aaronic Priesthood, by bringing your right arm to the square, the palm of the hand to the front, the fingers together, and the thumb extended. This is the sign. Now, repeat in your mind after me the words of the covenant, at the same time representing the execution of the penalty."
"I ________, think of the new name, covenant before God, angels and these witnesses that I will never reveal the First Token of the Aaronic Priesthood, with its accompanying name and sign, and penalty. Rather than do so, I would suffer my life to be taken."
(Patrons perform the action as the Officiator guides them.)
"That will do." (Patrons sit down.)
Death Oath #2:
PETER: "The sign is made by bringing the right hand in front of you, with the hand in cupping shape, the right arm forming a square, and the left arm being raised to the square. This is the sign. (The officiator demonstrates.) The Execution of the Penalty is represented by placing the right hand on the left breast, drawing the hand quickly across the body, and dropping the hands to the sides. I will now explain the covenant and obligation of secrecy which are associated with this token, its name, and sign, and penalty, and which you will be required to take upon yourselves."
PETER: "All arise. (All Patrons stand.) Each of you make the sign of the Second Token of the Aaronic priesthood by bringing the right hand in front of you, with the hand in cupping shape, the right arm forming a square, and the left arm being raised to the square. This is the sign."
"Now, repeat in your mind after me the words of the covenant, at the same time representing the Executing of the Penalty."
"I, _________, think of the first given name, solemnly covenant, before God, angels, and these witnesses that I will never reveal the second Token of the Aaronic Priesthood, with its accompanying name, and sign, and penalty. Rather than do so, I would suffer my life to be taken."
(Patrons perform the action as the Officiator guides them.)
"That will do." (All patrons sit down.)
Death Oath #3:
PETER: "All arise. (All patrons stand.) Each of you make the sign of the First Token of the Melchizedek Priesthood or Sign of the Nail by brining the left hand in front of you with the hand in cupping shape, the left arm forming a square; also by bringing the right hand is also brought forward, the palm down, the fingers close together, the thumb extended, and by placing the thumb over the left hip. This is the sign."
"Now repeat in your mind after me the words of the covenant, at the same time representing the Execution of the Penalty:"
"I solemnly covenant in the name of the Son that I will never reveal the First Token of the Melchizedek Priesthood or Sign of the Nail, with its accompanying name,and sign and penalty. Rather than do so, I would suffer my life to be taken."
(Patrons perform the action as the Officiator guides them.)
"That will do." (All patrons sit down.)
Prior to the 1930's, these death oaths were even more gruesome.
ADAM : "We, and each of us, covenant and promise that we will not reveal any of the secrets of this, the first token of the Aaronic priesthood, with its accompanying name, sign or penalty. Should we do so, we agree that our throats be cut from ear to ear and our tongues torn out by their roots."
ADAM: "All bow your heads and say Yes."
TEMPLE PATRONS: "Yes." (All patrons sit down.)
PETER: "The brethren and sisters will now stand, push back the seats, place the robe on the left shoulder, and receive the Second Token of the Aaronic Priesthood. We and each of us do covenant and promise that we will not reveal the secrets of this, the Second Token of the Aaronic Priesthood, with its accompanying name, sign, grip or penalty. Should we do so, we agree to have our breasts cut open and our hearts and vitals torn from our bodies and given to the birds of the air and the beasts of the field."
"All bow your heads and say yes."
TEMPLE PATRONS: "Yes." (All patrons sit down.)
PETER: "We and each of us do covenant and promise that we will not reveal any of the secrets of this, the First Token of the Melchizedek Priesthood, with its accompanying name, sign or penalty. Should we do so, we agree that our bodies be cut asunder in the midst and all our bowels gush out."
"All bow your heads and say yes."
TEMPLE PATRONS: "Yes." (All patrons sit down.)
Is it any wonder that faithful Mormons will give up everything, including their own family members and integrity to the cause of the church?
How could anyone who takes these oaths seriously be open-minded about problems with the church?
After hearing Mitt Romney's speech, hits on my site tripled in a matter of hours. The key words used were "weird mormon beliefs". So, in response to this surge of interest in what Mitt believes, and how much influence those beliefs would have on his duties as President, I decided to highlight in red, those things that his spiritual leaders have taught, and those things that he dare not publicly refute or deny. Also, it is worth pointing out that Romney has served as Bishop of his local ward, and as a Stake President. What does this mean, you ask?
It means that Mitt has been set apart as one of the LORD'S anointed already. He has been in total command of a couple thousand LDS members under his charge when he was Stake President. He was one of the two men who interviewed members for temple worthiness. He sat in judgment of other's faithfulness and devotion to the LDS church, and he presided over "courts of love" during times of excommunication for members who were not living up to the church's standards. He has the rights and privileges similar to a Catholic Archbishop, even though he has had no formal training in theology, counseling, psychology, or even attended a seminary in preparation for his church duties. He was simply chosen one day to fill the vacancy, and the members revere him because of it. They believe he was "called of God" to fulfill that office, and they will continue to reverence him even after he has been replaced by someone else. He was a Bishop of his local ward, with about 200+ members under his direct umbrella of responsibility and stewardship. These people had to come to him for welfare assistance, getting their temple recommendation updated every year, and report to him any personal problems regarding sexual conduct, keeping the commandments such as the Word of Wisdom, and questions about church doctrine.
It's laughable that he maintains that no one man should be held as a spokesman for his religion when he has done exactly that for many years. He has taught doctrine directly, he has overseen others who teach doctrine to the members,( in his past capacity as Bishop and Stake President) he has corrected those who teach false doctrine, (as a Bishop and Stake President) and he has disciplined members who do not obey the counsel of their leaders, who defy the authority that is placed over them, or who do not profess absolute belief in the founding prophet.
He has presided over the tithing settlement at the end of the year, and made certain that each member living within his ward boundaries was current on their 10% "donation" to the church, or he refused to renew their recommendation until they hand over a check. He has started the proceedings of excommunication against members that he could counsel, persuade, urge, or otherwise guilt-trip into conformity.
It was his primary duty to be a leader, guide and "father of the ward", and to say that he does not feel that he is a spokesman for his religion is an outright LIE, since that is how he has conducted himself in the past to the members of his ward or his stake. That's how they view him today even, since he is still considered to be one of the "Lord's Anointed", having served in those offices before.
It's also likely that he has been a High Priest's Quorum President, or Elder's Quorum President in the past, and let's not forget that he was also a missionary for two years in France. If that isn't enough to qualify him as a spokesperson for the religion, I wonder what it would take to become one?
It's like telling the country that only the Pope can tell us what Catholics believe or only Pat Robertson can reveal what Christians think.
Another thing that pisses me off is his insistence that all questions regarding specific doctrines of Mormonism get referred to the official website of the church. That is a cop-out. He knows EXACTLY what the specific doctrines of the church are, because he is responsible for making sure they are followed. He is not in the dark about the teachings, he doesn't get to say, "I don't know that we teach that". He knows full well what goes on in the temple, he knows exactly what the reasons were for denying blacks the priesthood up until 1978, and he knows without a doubt what the ultimate goal is for every Mormon when they die. Letting him skirt the issues and get referred to a whitewashed, "Christianized" website that never gets any deeper than "faith in God and Jesus" is a shame and reveals the laziness of today's media to get to the meat of the sandwich. Where is the hard hitting cover-story? Where is Murphy Brown when you need her?
Edited 12-8-07 to add:
I read an article here written by Bill Dolack and he hit a major point that I had missed about Romney's speech. Without copying the entire article, I would like to share a minor excerpt from it here:
Article VI of the United States Constitution prohibits imposing a religious test "as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States."
Romney, through use of the big lie, is busy trying to convince the public that the voters themselves are prohibited from imposing a religious test – and nothing could be further from the truth. While Article VI doesn't say, "The government shall impose no religious test," it is painfully obvious that this is the intent of the passage. To force this restriction upon the people would do irreparable harm to our First Amendment right of freedom of religion.
He goes on to say that:
It is MY right as an American to express my religious freedom by rejecting ANY candidate who I believe is unqualified for office for any reason, including religious reasons. Despite Romney's attempt to use the big lie, this is not "the very religious test the Founders prohibited in the Constitution." He is unconstitutionally attempting to impose a government prohibition upon individual people.
I couldn't agree more!!! I wish I had thought of that when I heard him say it. But instead, I became confused, even doubting for a short while that anyone could challenge Mitt's beliefs publicly, because it seems as though the Constitution prevents us from doing it.
That's the Lie!!!
He WANTS us to believe that we do not have the right to question his beliefs, and that he doesn't have to reveal them to us, and that the Constitution SAYS SO!!! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!
That's absolutely amazing!!! What a classic twist of words, expertly delivered in the same hypnotic drone of the Mormon bishop that he has been in the past! And just like a willing sheep, I was sucked into it, even momentarily.... Wow I guess that Mormon training doesn't wear off easily. I am so glad I can mill about the Internet reading articles about any thing I want to read about and discover, else I might have actually gone on to believe that Mitt had found a legitimate way of keeping his religious beliefs off-limits from the average non-Mormon voter, and he covered himself with the blanket of the Constitution to do it!!!
Oh, Mittster, you are in deep shit now. Wait till it sinks in after a couple of days, wait till the pundits finally understand what you are implying, wait till the writer's strike is over buddy!
Stephen Colbert is going to eat you for lunch!!!
Friday, November 30, 2007
Has anyone else ever taken note of the "Trickle Down Tithing Scam"? My grandfather complained about it a time or two before he passed away years ago and it never hit me as to why he would have such a beef with it until I reformatted my Mormon brain into a more ex mormon state of mind. Basically it goes like this:
Thomas Temple Attender works for the LDS church. He makes $40,000 a year gross. Thomas Temple Attender promptly pays 10% of his salary dollars back to the church in tithing.
Thomas Temple Attender hires Peter Priesthood to paint him... say... a very nice portrait of his wife, Henrietta Homemaker. Peter Priesthood charges Thomas $20,000.00... to which he is immediately paid upon completion.
Peter Priesthood has now earned $20,000.00 and now Peter Priesthood, being the faithful member that he is, and ever wishing to not burn at the 2nd coming, will now pay the LDS church the $2,000 in tithing that it demands.
To save time and space, I'll forego the rest by explaining that Peter Priesthood then hires Fanny Alger to babysit his 9 children as a nanny and he pays her $10,000.00 to do it. Fanny Alger, very interested in seeing her daughter marry in the temple next month, then pays the LDS church $1,000 tithing dollars in order to qualify and be worthy to go to the ceremony. Fanny Alger then hires Zina Huntington/Smith/Young to do X who then pays prompt tithing dollars on those earnings... and it trickles down down down from there.
In this way, the LDS church is getting many multiples of tithing dividends on the original $40,000 it paid Thomas Temple Attender at the start of this thought experiment. The kicker is that Thomas Temple Attender's salary is generated from... you guessed it....
Thomas: $40,000 = $4,000 tithing dollars to the church
Peter: $20,000 = $2,000 tithing dollars
Fanny: $10,000 = $1,000 tithing dollars
Right there the church has practically doubled the tithing dollars from the original $40,000 it paid to it's employee.
There is much more to this thought experiment... like for example, the church is notorious for lower paying (by national comparisons and standards) careers. Though the pay is lower by competetion standards, it is even more of a bargain for the church in that the employee basically signs an implied contract with his job that states he/she will be a faithful Mormon... in essence, he WILL pay the LDS church 10% of his salary. So every church employee is an automatic 10% kickback to the Mormon church.
Nice, huh? I'm a small business owner. Man, I cannot tell you what a slick deal that would be if I could get my employees to sign up for a deal like that... oh shoot... see... but then I'd have to offer them benefits like... eternal life and that could get rather complicated... especially if I tested their loyalty by sending them to the other side of the United States on business trips and marrying their wives while they were gone.****My Thoughts****
I used to encourage my kids to pay 10% on the allowance that I paid them, AFTER I had already paid my 10% to the church. Just think how much money the church retains by encouraging their members to do business with fellow Mormons! That money NEVER leaves! It just keeps getting recycled and redistributed to the church one way or another.
Most cults make you promise away all your worldly possessions, inheritances, bank accounts, etc to the uplifting and sustaining of the organization. That's what compels their loved ones to try and draw them out, since it seems completely senseless to live in sackcloth and ashes, devoting all your time and energy to the organization, preaching and attending endless meetings, hoping for a chance to one day GLIMPSE at the guru running it all, and proclaim it to be the most spiritual, uplifting moment of your life.
Look, just because you can get in your car and drive around the block without permission, that doesn't mean you aren't in a cult. Mormonism is a cult of the mind. The "sacred undergarments" are a thought control device, not a physical protection against harm. When your most trusted guides and authority figures counsel you to guard yourself against receiving or seeking information from "outside"....BOOM! There's your cult. It's right there in the words.
" Don't read unapproved literature"
"Don't surf the Internet unprotected"
"Don't question the Lord's anointed"
They don't HAVE to build 25-foot high walls surrounding a secluded compound. You have already accomplished that in your mind. All they have to do is make you afraid to tear down that wall and look on the other side, and they have you, safely tucked away from "evil" and "Satan".
The illusion is that you are free to choose right from wrong. You know you can step in a bar at any moment, just by making a right turn instead of left. You know that you can dive deep into Mormon history in just a few clicks of the keys. You know that you can shuck those garments off and keep them off for a whole day. But the guilt, the fear, the shear panic you will face when you go against the words of the Brethren, keeps you within their control. Why do you follow their advice? Because you believe them! And you feel good when they pay attention to you, praise you, encourage you, and "choose" you for service. All of that would go away if you ever disobeyed their words. You would lose their comfort, their company, and their guidance. But these are MEN. Not God. God will STILL be there for YOU. Even without these MEN to tell you what you must do. Nobody OWNS God. If you believe in God, then that's ALL you need. No handshakes, no tokens, no secret temple names, no sacred underpants. Just belief in God.
As for myself, don't judge my journey as a road map for everyone. I chose to extend beyond Christianity, beyond religion itself for a short time. And I'm not stating that it is the right choice for everyone. But you at least owe it to yourself to look around and be WILLING to change your belief based on what you see, not limit yourself to what you are told.
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Monday, November 26, 2007
By Errol Lewis
Sunday, November 25th 2007, 4:00 AM
Let's quit tiptoeing around the question of whether Republican Mitt Romney's Mormon religion will be an issue in his bid to become President of the United States.
Of course it will matter. And it should.
Voters have every right to be curious and concerned about a candidate's beliefs - especially a candidate like Romney, who keeps talking about the importance of faith in his life.
Romney's not a run-of-the-mill believer. Before entering politics, he served as a Mormon bishop, presiding over several congregations in Massachusetts.
There's little chance that a devout follower of Rastafarianism, the Unification Church or the Nation of Islam - not just a believer, but a leader - could expect to run for high political office and not get a couple of questions about what they believe and what public actions they took as a church leader.
Romney has gotten a few. He told CBS News he is a "true-blue through-and-through" believer, but also said, "My church wouldn't endeavor to tell me what to do on an issue, and I wouldn't listen to them on an issue that related to our nation."
Those contradictory statements won't cut it. And they don't sidestep the plain fact that Mormonism, like the other faiths I mentioned, is not a Christian religion.
This is a sore point with Romney and other Mormons, who emphasize their reverence for Jesus, belief in His divinity, and the fact that the religion's official name is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Those protests hold little water with leaders of most Christian denominations. In 2001, the Catholic doctrinal office (then headed by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, who is now the Pope) decreed [that] Mormons must be re-baptized to join the Catholic Church. Methodists, Presbyterians and Baptists have similar official disclaimers.
The reasons are clear to anyone who stayed awake through Sunday School and takes a look at the Mormon holy books, including the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants and the Pearl of Great Price.
Mormons, it turns out, believe human souls have existed for all eternity, temporarily inhabit physical bodies and can eventually evolve into gods. They also believe the Garden of Eden was in Missouri and that tribes from Israel traveled to what is now America, built ancient cities and fought epic battles.
Needless to say, there's no physical evidence of the cities or the thousands killed in the ancient wars of the Mormon holy books, and DNA evidence rules out American Indians as descendants of ancient Israel. It will take time for Mormon supernatural claims to attain the respect given those of older religions.
But forget the historical and theological disputes. I have no quarrel with the nearly 6 million Americans who practice this religion - but I do have questions for the one among them who wants me to vote him into the White House.
In particular, I want to know more about Bishop Romney's beliefs and actions related to the Mormon religion's odious and longstanding practices of racial segregation.
Brigham Young, an early father of the Mormon Church, preached, "If the White man who belongs to the chosen seed mixes his blood with the seed of Cain [those with dark skin], the penalty, under the law of God, is death on the spot. This will always be so."
In addition to this death penalty for race-mixing, Mormons barred blacks from becoming priests or taking part in the religion's holiest rituals. This went on until 1978.Romney, who was 31 when Mormon elders officially scrapped the church's racist doctrines, says he broke down and cried when the change was announced.
I really hope he did more than wait till the end and weep: I'd like to know what Bishop Romney grew up believing on this subject, exactly what he taught to others - and what steps, if any, he took to battle discrimination when doing so was at odds with his religion.
A clear explanation is the least we should expect from a candidate who wears his faith on his sleeve.
Brigham Young's statement is contained in the Journal of Discourses and can be read here.
Most Christian denominations never learn that Mormonism teaches that the Garden of Eden was in Missouri, that God started out as a mortal man on another Earth and became exhalted after his death, creating his own Earth to populate with his own spirit children, (us), and that we will have those same opportunities for exhaltation and Godhood if we:
1. Become Mormon
2. Participate in Temple rites and rituals
3. Perform the same acts of temple ritual for our dead ancestors
4. Enter into polygamy
That last one is still a major belief of Mormonism, even though it is condemned in practice. It is NOT condemned in theory, and is still believed to be necessary to obtain exhaltation (that is, the highest level within the Celestial Kingdom). Many covert temple sealings have been done without government knowledge or approval. Among these is the "second anointing" ordinance, which even many mainstream Mormons themselves know little to nothing about.
Mormonism used to focus most of their conversion efforts on the American Indians and the inhabitants of the Pacific Islands because the Book of Mormon speaks of Lamanites as the principle ancestors of these people. DNA evidence has know proven that these people are of Asiatic origin, and not of Jewish descent after all. The Book of Mormon has now been reworded to state that Lamanites are among the ancestors of these people. That runs counter to over a hundred years of belief and the conversion efforts of thousands of members to redeem the remnants of the lost tribes of Israel, with a book of scripture that was supposedly about their own people.
IF People like me shut up and go away....
The church can go on subtly changing doctrines, denying the past, obfuscating the present, and controlling the future. George Orwell's 1984.
The only way to limit the church's ability to rewrite history in a favorable light is to remain vigilant and informed. There is no such thing as "accepting it on faith" , because faith only comes into play when certain plausible ideas cannot be proven or disproved. That is not the case with many doctrines of Mormonism, they can and have been proven false, scientifically and scripturally. The only tool the church has left is to create enough fear within the organization, so that knowledge is limited. "We will tell you all that you need to know, and if you desire to know more, you will be accused of loosing your faith, becoming full of pride, trusting in the intellect of man and not of God, and all sorts of evil will befall you if you question your anointed leaders."
Sounds like something Warren Jeffs might say...
Sunday, November 18, 2007
I wanted to show you how the Mormons set aside the works and teachings of Jesus in favor of the life and times of Joseph Smith. Typically the month of December is a time to celebrate the prophet's life and accomplishments, and revere him on his date of birth, which, unfortunately, lands two days before Christmas. Some of us ex-Mormons have taken to calling the season "Merry Smithmas", on account of all the focus being given to the founder of the religion, instead of the founder of Christianity, and I brought this article from the archives of the Recovery from Mormonism board to post here. In it, there are several quotes from past Mormon prophets who extol the virtues of their beloved leader. I thought it might be relevant to anyone wondering what Mitt Romney's religion is all about.
This is a season for giving and a time for gratitude. We remember with appreciation the birth of the Prophet Joseph Smith, which is celebrated this same month of December, two days before Christmas.
How great indeed is our debt to him. His life began in Vermont and ended in Illinois, and marvelous were the things that happened between that simple beginning and tragic ending. It was he who brought us a true knowledge of God, the Eternal Father, and His Risen Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. During the short time of his great vision he learned more concerning the nature of Deity than all of those who through centuries had argued the matter in learned councils and scholarly forums. He brought us the marvelous Book of Mormon as another witness for the living reality of the Son of God. To him, from those who held it anciently, came the priesthood, the power, the gift, the authority, the keys to speak and act in the name of God. He gave us the organization of the Church and its great and sacred mission. Through him were restored the keys of the holy temples, that men and women might enter into eternal covenants with God and that the great work for the dead might be accomplished to open the way for eternal blessings.
Great is his glory and endless his priesthood. Ever and ever the keys he will hold. Faithful and true, he will enter his kingdom, Crowned in the midst of the prophets of old. (“Praise to the Man,” Hymns, no. 27)
He was the instrument in the hands of the Almighty. He was the servant acting under the direction of the Lord Jesus Christ in bringing to pass this great latter-day work.
We stand in reverence before him. He is the great prophet of this dispensation. He stands at the head of this great and mighty work which is spreading across the earth. He is our prophet, our revelator, our seer, our friend. Let us not forget him. Let not his memory be forgotten in the celebration of Christmas. God be thanked for the Prophet Joseph."
Why the Mormon Church hates Christianity - JOSEPH SMITH
Jesus Christ is just not enough for the Mormon Church. Grant Palmer was not excommunicated for not having faith in Jesus Christ. He lost his salvation, in the eyes of the church, because he did not accept the stories the church tells about Joseph Smith.
This all goes back to the very foundation of the Mormon Church and its authority:
Salvation not through Jesus Christ, but Joseph Smith
"If we get our salvation, we shall have to pass by him [Joseph Smith]; if we enter our glory, it will be through the authority he has received. We cannot get around him [Joseph Smith]"
- Apostle George Q. Cannon, as quoted in 1988 Melchizedek Priesthood Study Guide, p. 142
"Whosoever... does not confess that God has sent Joseph Smith, and revealed the everlasting Gospel to and through him, is of Antichrist...,"
- Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 8, p. 176
[There is] "no salvation without accepting Joseph Smith. If Joseph Smith was verily a prophet, and if he told the truth...no man can reject that testimony without incurring the most dreadful consequences, for he cannot enter the kingdom of God"
- Prophet Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, vol. 1, p.190
"No man or woman in this dispensation will ever enter into the celestial kingdom of God without the consent of Joseph Smith...every man and woman must have the certificate of Joseph Smith, junior, as a passport to their entrance into the mansion where God and Christ are... [Joseph Smith] reigns there as supreme a being in his sphere, capacity, and calling, as God does in heaven. Many will exclaim—"Oh, that is very disagreeable! It is preposterous! We cannot bear the thought!" But it is true."
- Prophet Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, vol. 7, p.289-91
"He that confesseth not that Jesus has come in the flesh and sent Joseph Smith with the fullness of the Gospel to this generation, is not of God, but is anti-christ"
- Prophet Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, vol. 9, p.312
"It is because the Lord called Joseph Smith that salvation is again available to mortal men.... If it had not been for Joseph Smith and the restoration, there would be no salvation,"
- Apostle Bruce McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, p. 396, 670
"I tell you, Joseph holds the keys, and none of us can get into the celestial kingdom without passing by him. We have not got rid of him, but he stands there as the sentinel, holding the keys of the kingdom of God; and there are many of them beside him. I tell you, if we get past those who have mingled with us, and know us best, and have a right to know us best, probably we can pass all other sentinels as far as it is necessary, or as far as we may desire. But I tell you, the pinch will be with those that have mingled with us, stood next to us, weighed our spirits, tried us, and proven us: there will be a pinch, in my view, to get past them. The others, perhaps, will say, If brother Joseph is satisfied with you, you may pass. If it is all right with him, it is all right with me. Then if Joseph shall say to a man, or if brother Brigham say to a man, I forgive you your sins, "Whosoever sins ye remit they are remitted unto them;" if you who have suffered and felt the weight of transgression—if you have generosity enough to forgive the sinner, I will forgive him: you cannot have more generosity than I have. I have given you power to forgive sins, and when the Lord gives a gift, he does not take it back again."
- Apostle Orson Hyde, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 6, p.154-155
"You call us fools; but the day will be, gentlemen and ladies, whether you belong to this Church or not, when you will prize brother Joseph Smith as the Prophet of the Living God, and look upon him as a God, and also upon Brigham Young, our Governor"
- Apostle Heber C. Kimball, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 5, p. 88
"It is to be feared that in course of a century, some gifted man like Paul, some splendid orator, who will be able by his eloquence to attract crowds of the thousands who are ever ready to hear, and be carried away by, the sounding brass and tinkling cymbal of sparkling oratory, may command a hearing, may succeed in breathing a new life into this modern Mahometanism, and make the name of the martyred Joseph ring as loud, and stir the souls of men as much, as the mighty name of Christ itself. Sharon, Palmyra, Manchester, Kirtland, Far West, Adam-ondi-Ahman, Ramus. Nauvoo, and the Carthage Jail, may become holy and venerable names, places of classic interest, in another age; like Jerusalem, the Garden of Gethsemane, the Mount of Olives, and Mount Calvary to the Christian, and Mecca and Medina to the Turk."
- Prophet Brigham Young, History of the Church, Vol. 7, p.40-41
Thanks to Joseph Smith, Mormon leaders condemn Christians:
"This is not just another Church. This is not just one of a family of Christian churches. This is the Church and kingdom of God, the only true Church upon the face of the earth..."
- Prophet Ezra Taft Benson, Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, p.164-165
"In bearing testimony of Jesus Christ, President Hinckley spoke of those outside the Church who say Latter-day Saints 'do not believe in the traditional Christ.' 'No, I don't. The traditional Christ of whom they speak is not the Christ of whom I speak. For the Christ of whom I speak has been revealed in this the Dispensation of the Fulness of Times. He together with His Father, appeared to the boy Joseph Smith in the year 1820, and when Joseph left the grove that day, he knew more of the nature of God than all the learned ministers of the gospel of the ages.'"
- Prophet Gordon B. Hinckleey, LDS Church News, June 20, 1998, p.7
"The old Catholic church traditions are worth more than all you have said. Here is a principle of logic that most men have no more sense than to adopt. I will illustrate it by an old apple tree. Here jumps off a branch and says, I am the true tree, and you are corrupt. If the whole tree is corrupt, are not its branches corrupt? If the Catholic religion is a false religion, how can any true religion come out of it? If the Catholic church is bad, how can any good thing come out of it? The character of the old churches have always been slandered by all apostates since the world began."
- Prophet Joseph Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, Section Six 1843-44, p.375
"And also those to whom these commandments were given, might have power to lay the foudation of this (Mormon) church, and to bring it forth out of obscurity and out of darkness, the only true and living church upon the face of the whole earth..."
- Joseph Smith speaking as Jesus Christ, Doctrine and Covenants 1:30
“The Lord said that this is the only true and living church upon the face of the earth with which He is well pleased [see D&C 1:30]. I didn’t say that. Those are His words. The Prophet Joseph was told that the other sects were wrong [see Joseph Smith—History 1:19]. Those are not my words. Those are the Lord’s words."
- Prophet Gordon B. Hinckley, June 2004 Ensign, page 3
"My object in going to inquire of the Lord was to know which of all the sects was right, that I might know which to join. No sooner, therefore, did I get possession of myself, so as to be able to speak, than I asked the Personages who stood above me in the light, which of all the sects was right (for at this time it had never entered into my heart that all were wrong)—and which I should join."
"I was answered that I must join none of them, for they were all wrong; and the Personage who addressed me said that all their creeds were an abomination in his sight; that those professors were all corrupt; that: “they draw• near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me, they teach for doctrines the commandments of men, having a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof.” He again forbade me to join with any of them;..."
- Prophet Joseph Smith, Joseph Smith History 1:18-20
"What is it that inspires professors of Christianity generally with a hope of salvation? It is that smooth, sophisticated influence of the devil, by which he deceives the whole world"
- Prophet Joseph Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p.270
"...all the priests who adhere to the sectarian religions of the day with all their followers, without one exception, receive their portion with the devil and his angels."
- Prophet Joseph Smith , The Elders Journal, Joseph Smith Jr., editor, vol.1, no.4, p.60
"And he [the angel of God] said unto me: Behold there are save two churches only; the one is the church of the Lamb of God, and the other is the church of the devil; wherefore, whoso belongeth not to the church of the Lamb of God belongeth to that great church, which is the mother of abominations; and she is the whore of all the earth. And it came to pass that I looked and beheld the whore of all the earth, and she sat upon many waters; and she had dominion over all the earth, among all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people."
- Book of Mormon, 1 Nephi 14:10-11
"Both Catholics and Protestants are nothing less than the 'whore of Babylon' whom the Lord denounces by the mouth of John the Revelator as having corrupted all the earth by their fornications and wickedness. Any person who shall be so corrupt as to receive a holy ordinance of the Gospel from the ministers of any of these apostate churches will be sent down to hell with them, unless they repent"
- Apostle Orson Pratt, The Seer, p. 255
"After the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was organized, there were only two churches upon the earth. They were known respectively as the Church of the Lamb of God and Babylon. The various organizations which are called churches throughout Christendom, though differing in their creeds and organizations, have one common origin. They all belong to Babylon"
- Apostle George Q. Cannon, Gospel Truth, p.324
"When the light came to me I saw that all the so-called Christian world was grovelling in darkness."
- Prophet Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 5:73
"With a regard to true theology, a more ignorant people never lived than the present so-called Christian world."
- Prophet Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 8:199
"The Christian world, so-called, are heathens as to the knowledge of the salvation of God"
- Prophet Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 8:171
"Brother Taylor has just said that the religions of the day were hatched in hell. The eggs were laid in hell, hatched on its borders, and then kicked on to the earth."
- Prophet Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 6:176
"Christians—those poor, miserable priests brother Brigham was speaking about—some of them are the biggest whoremasters there are on the earth, and at the same time preaching righteousness to the children of men. The poor devils, they could not get up here and preach an oral discourse, to save themselves from hell; they are preaching their fathers' sermons —preaching sermons that were written a hundred years before they were born. ...You may get a Methodist priest to pour water on you, or sprinkle it on you, and baptize you face foremost, or lay you down the other way, and whatever mode you please, and you will be damned with your priest.
- Apostle Heber C. Kimball, Journal of Discourses, 5:89
"The Gospel of modern Christendom shuts up the Lord, and stops all communication with Him. I want nothing to do with such a Gospel, I would rather prefer the Gospel of the dark ages, so called"
- Prophet Wilford Woodruff, Journal of Discourses, vol. 2, p.196
"But as there has been no Christian Church on the earth for a great many centuries past, until the present century, the people have lost sight of the pattern that God has given according to which the Christian Church should be established, and they have denominated a great variety of Christian Churches ... But there has been a long apostasy, during which the nations have been cursed with apostate churches in great abundance"
- Apostle Orson Pratt, Journal of Discourses, 18:172
"Christianity...is a perfect pack of nonsense...the devil could not invent a better engine to spread his work than the Christianity of the nineteenth century." (Journal of Discourses, vol. 6, p.167); "Where shall we look for the true order or authority of God? It cannot be found in any nation of Christendom."
- Prophet John Taylor, Journal of Discourses, 10:127
"What! Are Christians ignorant? Yes, as ignorant of the things of God as the brute best."
- Prophet John Taylor, Journal of Discourses 13:225
"What does the Christian world know about God? Nothing... Why so far as the things of God are concerned, they are the veriest fools; they know neither God nor the things of God."
- Prophet John Taylor, Journal of Discourses 13:225
"Doctrines were corrupted, authority lost, and a false order of religion took the place of the gospel of Jesus Christ, just as it had been the case in former dispensations, and the people were left in spiritual darkness. For hundreds of years the world was wrapped in a veil of spiritual darkness, until there was not one fundamental truth belonging to the place of salvation ...Joseph Smith declared that in the year 1820 the Lord revealed to him that all the 'Christian' churches were in error, teaching for commandments the doctrines of men."
- Prophet Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, vol. 3, p.282
"...the Book of Mormon remains secure, unchanged and unchangeable, ...But with the Bible it was not and is not so....it was once in the sole and exclusive care and custody of an abominable organization (Christianity), founded by the devil himself, likened prophetically unto a great whore, whose great aim and purpose was to destroy the souls of men in the name of religion. In these hands it ceased to be the book it once was."
- Apostle Bruce R. McConkie, The Joseph Smith Translation, pp. 12, 13
"Must we, under the broad folds of the American Constitution, be compelled to bow down to the narrow contracted notions of Apostate Christianity? Must we shut up our consciences in a nut shell, and be compelled to submit to the bigoted notions, and whims, and customs of the dark ages of popery, transferred to us through the superstitious of our fathers? Must we be slaves to custom and render homage to the soul-destroying, sickening influences of modern Christianity? No!"
- Apostle Orson Pratt, The Seer, Vol.1, No.7, p.111
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Answer: He wouldn't do that, so it wouldn't be Jesus who said it. Obviously he would be the anti-Christ.
Rebuttal: So anyone who claims that the LDS church is not true would be in agreement with the anti-Christ, in your opinion?
Answer: Yes, that's correct.
Question: Are you at the point in your testimony that there's nothing that could ever cause you to not believe the church is true?
Answer: Yes, there is nothing that will ever cause me to give up that belief.
Question: Even hypothetically?
Answer: No. To spend any time at all thinking about hypothetical reasons is to give equal time to the adversary, and I won't do that.
Question: If it weren't true, would you want to know it?
Answer: No. I wouldn't want to know anything that may destroy my belief. I take great pains to avoid reading materials published by those who would try to persuade me to doubt, and I refuse to give into that temptation. I believe that Satan tries very hard to get faithful Mormons to leave. He did it to you...
Question: So, you sincerely believe that my choice to leave was because of the work of Satan?
Answer: Yes. I sincerely do. You gave into the temptation, you didn't trust what your teachers taught you, you questioned their inspiration and their authority in spiritual matters and you went on your own quest. That's why you can't be sealed to our family anymore. Your rebellious nature prevents us from being united in the Celestial Kingdom.
Question: And you think that if you aren't careful around me, you might hear some things that come into direct opposition to what you believe, so rather than having to weigh the evidence in your own mind, you would rather depend on the guidance of your church? Does that make life easier, not having to make these kinds of decisions on a daily basis?
Answer: Even know I can see Satan working in you... You know that's not what I said or implied. What I stated is that your rebellious nature is what caused you to go looking for answers from outside the church, and once you got the answers that would give you an excuse to quit keeping God's commandments, you left. That was Satan's trap and you fell straight into it. I'm not going to make that same mistake...
Question: Have you ever considered that it might be Satan's trap to keep you from questioning this doctrine, to keep you bound to your leaders, doing everything in lockstep with their commands, never turning your head to either side and searching for truth with the mind and reasoning powers God bestowed upon you for your use?
Answer: You're just trying to cause me to doubt my beliefs again. Only an agent of Satan would do that...
Response: I believe that this thing you call "Satan" would be much more subtle. It's easier to comfort you with many soothing lies than to confront you with truths you are too afraid to hear.
Answer: I am not afraid to hear the truth, because I already have the truth. You are the deluded one, not me...
Response: Sure I am. My mistake. Have fun living in your box where Satan can't get you. Or is it where Satan won't let you out...I keep getting them confused...
Answer: Oh, don't worry about me. I have all the knowledge I need. I don't need to search for answers to unasked questions like you. I am content with what has been given to me, not prideful and rebellious like you.
Response: That's the fallback, isn't it? Those who leave are prideful, rebellious and under Satan's power. That's true for all those who leave, isn't it? I guess it matters more to me than it does to you, to get the truth no matter what the cost. Funny how this church divides and condemns families instead of uniting them, isn't it?
Answer: Goodnight. I'm done arguing with you. Nothing is going to change. I'm going to the Celestial Kingdom, and you could too if you would just set all this Anti-Mormon crap aside and come back to what you deep down know is the true church.
Response: Thanks for the final twist to the liver. You really know how to kick us Satan-loving heathens right where it counts, don't you?
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
In the Endowment video, I noticed that it had fish and birds created on the 5th day of creation but also had all the animals created on the 5th day. Then Adam is created on the 6th day. After I got home from my travels to the Temple, I checked my Bible and sure enough. The animals were created on the 6th day, the same as man. Then I check the Book of Abraham and the Book of Moses. Both had the animals created on the 6th day. This started to really bug me so on my next trip to the Temple a month later, I paid special attention to the creation as it was portrayed. Yes, they had it wrong.
I made an appointment with my Bishop when I got home and told him about my discovery and asked for an explanation. Quite honestly, he replied that he had never noticed that discrepancy and would be going to the Temple the next weekend and would check it out. When he got back, he called me to come in for an appointment and the Stake President was also there. That should have been a clue that something was up. Anyway, my Bishop confirmed that in fact the Temple ceremony DID have the animals created on the 5th day. That he had called SLC to get clarification and was told by GA that it was "Newer Revelation". I asked him how I was supposed to teach my primary kids the creation story as it is in the Bible and Pearl of Great Price, knowing in my heart that it was wrong. The bottom line for them was, "Did I believe in new revelation?" I told them I thought new revelation should be consistent with prior revelation and not totally different. Wrong Answer. They questioned my commitment, my conduct, my thoughts, my studies, and readings. Something must have caused me to "lose my testimony." It was a 4-hour ordeal, I cried a lot, I didn't know how to answer them. Finally, they said since I was female, I was not allowed received revelation since I didn't have the priesthood. So trying to find an answer for the obvious conflict was beyond my spiritual reach. I received a letter a few days later from my stake president indicating that I could no longer wear my temple garments, I could attend services but could not take sacrament. I was welcome to continue paying my tithe. Within just a few days I had gone from what seemed a seemingly insignificant error to being an Apostate.
Is the church EVER wrong? It seems to me that they can use the 'Newer Revelation' as a cover-up for mistakes in doctrine. They don't REALLY believe that the sequence of events in the Creation story have been re-clarified in this new order. They used it as an excuse to chastise someone who would dare to question their authority on the matter. Since she wouldn't accept it as a real answer, she was punished for her insubordination. And since she is lowly female, she has no way of receiving any answer independent from what the Brethren tell her. Females do no receive revelation, because they do no have priesthood authority, she is told. But that is also a lie. Females in the early Mormon church, the one that Joseph Smith founded, were given priesthood authority equal to the men, and this continued until Brigham Young and his successors slowly ebbed it away to nothing. The modern Mormon church has apostatized from it's original restoration. Modern revelation is nothing more than a series of cover stories designed to cut out dissenters and doubters. Fear is now the motivator to keep the members quiet.
What would possibly be gained by questioning authority? Your family and friends would avoid you, you would not be able to maintain an equal status with them if it were not for that golden recommend. The only way to keep those people close to you is to stay in step with them, do what's expected of you and never let a doubt or question interrupt your testimony. The only thing waiting for you on the other side is hostility, frustration and separation from them, the ones whose opinions you treasure the most. And as long as appearances and acceptance mean more to you than honesty, truth, and personal integrity, you'll stay right where you are, changing and molding your beliefs with every new issue of the Ensign magazine, or every General Conference broadcast.
You silly sheep. You can't see that you are guarded day and night by ravenous wolves who look for any excuse to cast you outside the fence and make you into an example for others to avoid. Or, like lobsters, your family and friends whom you hope to impress are the ones who keep pulling you down further into the basket, keeping you from seeing the daylight above. They don't even care to see it for themselves, but they aren't going to let you see it either.
What would be the worst thing about reading some article that comes into direct conflict with your beliefs? You might change your mind. That sort of thing is unimaginable in the Mormon world. And if you come to believe that you have been lied to, and you leave the church, would you be upset that your chance to be permanently sealed to your family in the afterlife is gone? I would be more upset that they told me such a thing existed in the first place! They do not have the power or authority to perform these multi-generational sealings, they cannot promise a link between families through temple rituals and handgrips. It's all been a huge hoax from the start. And it is often assumed that the real reason I am angry and hostile towards the church is because I am not ALLOWED to partake in this blessing. Let me be perfectly clear when I say this: I am angry because THEY believe their rituals have any binding authority, and they are smugly excluding me from it because of my UN-belief. I have NO belief that the Mormon church has any such power or authority to determine my worthiness for its blessings. I have NO belief that families who are sealed together in the temple are better off than families who are not. And I especially don't believe that you should work harder to maintain relationships with family you have been sealed to, and cut everyone else off because they aren't MORMON.
Here's what really bites my ass though:
An individual that I know has maintained a relationship of sorts with her ex-husband, his new wife, and his entire family, even though the central cause of their divorce was HIS arrest and conviction of molesting as many as 10 children, including a niece and a nephew of HERS, and because of this temple sealing that they had 15 years ago, and the children they have that were born "in the covenant", she feels perfectly justified in continuing on with attending family events on her ex-husband's side, including weddings and family reunions, EVEN THOUGH she is remarried AND her new husband has adopted the kids as his own. They even go bowling once a month with her ex husband and his new wife, (who knows that she can't have any children with him because he's a sex offender), AND they invite the ex husband and his new wife over for events the children are involved in, (even thought the niece and nephew live in the same town and are never aware that he is around) AND they've even had dinner together at her house with the children referring to him as "Uncle", knowing very little about the circumstances that led him to be separated from them. AND ALL OF THIS IS IN THE NAME OF MORMONISM!!!
What a f*cked up plan of Heavenly Father's this is?! Why the hell would I want to be part of that system? If families are forever, I don't want any part of that family, the ones who stay put together in dangerous relationships and risk the serious psychological unhinging of their children from being forced to include such sick individuals in their lives forever, all in the name of MORMONISM.
That's why I hate this church. They teach you that your common sense and rational thinking are secondary to promoting the faith and maintaining family connectedness (as long as their all Mormons too). What would happen on the day that this individual decided to research the church history and doctrine and decide to leave it? This family that she has fought so hard to keep together and maintain relationships with, all in the name of Mormonism would soundly reject her, reject her children, reject her place among them, the righteous Mormons that they are and have been for generations. And since she is a convert, with no claims to family sealing in her own family, she has no choice but to avoid doubts and reinvest herself solidly in the Mormon belief system.
I was lucky. I had virtually no one to upset when I left. Just my mom and sister. I didn't have to worry about disrupting a plan of family togetherness, since there is NO WAY my mom will be sealed to a man in this lifetime (and even if she did, I wouldn't get sealed to HIM). None of my other brothers or sisters will ever rejoin the church, none of their spouses will ever join, no children are being raised Mormon, except my sister's. What's the f'n point of all of this? There's no way my mom will get what the Mormons promised her 22 years ago. She is working for nothing. There will be nothing to gain except the futile hope that she might just be worthy to be assigned to 'another worthy man' once she gets to the afterlife. Someone she doesn't know and has never met. But that's the best she can hope for.
As for my sister, she fared a little better. But she can't leave, ever. Too much invested. Too much to lose if she were to start questioning. Stupid Cult. I wish I had never heard of it.