Monday, December 17, 2007

Just Answer the Question: Do Mormons believe and teach that Jesus and Satan are Brothers?

Once again, multi-mouth Mitt is attempting to dishonestly skirt and misrepresent as alleged anti-Mormon religious bigotry the clearly-stated Mormon doctrine of a Jesus-Satan brotherhood. For the one of the latest examples of his blatant deceptive tactics, see:
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."

See here

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:


*****My Thoughts*****

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

Mitt Romney's #1 Mormon Belief : Loyalty to the Church

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)


Quoting from the temple ceremony:

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.""


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.""


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.

From the temple ceremony before 1990 through the 1930's:

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.

From the temple ceremony prior to the 1930's:

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?

*******MY THOUGHTS********

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!!!