Tuesday, December 25, 2012

The Spirit of Christmas or Santa?

I consider myself blessed in that I had a brother who informed me that there was no such thing as Santa when I was about 4 years old. Though his intentions weren't good, it was very helpful that then my Mother told me the truth when I asked her. For starters it was to her credit that I could know that my mother was an honest person when faced with it. Additionally this gave credit to her claim that there was a God.

So many children pass through Christmas with only the thought of what they are going to get. It becomes a very selfish time. In addition it gives the child the idea that regardless of how they've conducted their lives that Santa felt them good enough to get lots of toys. Some see this as that they are cleaver enough to have put it over on an adult (Santa).

Then there is the problem that Aunts and Uncles become objects that they see as suppliers of presents, rather than appreciating their affection for them.

It wasn't Santa that offered the gift. Heavenly Father sent us the gift at the birth of Christ. It is he that should be honored for the idea of giving gifts.

One last thing is in regard family at Christmas time. There are those without family to spend Christmas with. Let me say that we all have a Heavenly Father and an older brother in Jesus Christ. They are there with us at Christmas, provided we invite them in.

I wish you and your families and friends a Great Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Setting our Vietnams Right

I was recently watching a movie about some people who went into Vietnam to rescue POW's (Prisoners of War). The film had Americans killed in the process and they only managed to rescue 4 POW's. I looked at that with mixed feelings. But there was an additional aspect to it that the film brought out.

One of the team that went in had a son that he was informed by the POW's had died prior to the raid. When he returned to the states he and his wife hugged and cried tears of relief. They looked happy that they could now lay it to rest and move forward with their lives.

This is an interesting aspect to our lives: The ability to move ahead when difficulties occur. It is very easy to live in the past or the negative problems of the present. It is true that we have to deal with these things as best we can. But we have to accept our limitations sometimes. Or accept to have patience when that is necessary.

In the case of the movie they had a Vietnam to go back to in order to try and set things right. And sometimes we are fortunate to have a Vietnam. But mostly we must move forward having learnt from our mistakes. I'm thankful for repentance and a loving Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ who teach us how to live.

Let me add my very deep thanks to those Vietnam veterans who saved South East Asia from the attempted Chinese Empire.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Can Mormons be Classified as "Christians?"

The word "Christ" comes from the Greek meaning "the anointed one." So, technically, to be classified as a "Christian" a person only need have belief in the fact that the anointed one exists. No one is qualified to dispute the right of the person to use this title beyond that.

Mormon doctrine includes the fact that Jesus of Nazareth is this Christ. It declares that he was born and raised as we all are. It states that he performed an atonement for our sins if we truly repent; and then died and was resurrected from the dead to make a resurrection that all share in.

Up to this point all those religions professing Christ don't differ. But as we go into what all this really means and what God wants, the different religions start to drift apart in opinion. Even various ministers within the same religions can be at total variance with each other.

I remember years ago watching a game show on television, called "Tell the Truth." Three people were presented all claiming to be Bill Jones (for example). And a panel asked them questions. In the end it was up to us to guess who we felt was the real Bill Jones. This certainly reminds me of this situation where we are invited to find out who the real Jesus Christ is. The religion to be qualified as the most Christian would be the one that is most correct about Jesus Christ.

It is plain, by the many religions we have professing Christ, that the Bible presents much confusion in interpretation. This is no wonder considering its size and the many types of people it had to deal with over the time. We have everything from the hard hearted people following Moses to the more spiritually prepared Elijah or Peter. God had to deliver a message to both these types of people in the one volume. It's like if you had two children, and told one of them they could plug in power cables and told the other they couldn't (because the second was too young to do it safely). If you had to do this in a volume where one wouldn't see the idea and the other would, it presents a real problem.

The wisest place to turn to in order to understand Jesus Christ is to look to his words to those spiritually ready to understand. Additionally his actions should be examined. So let's look at the real Jesus of the New Testament; where he was there before us to see in real life situations.

Firstly we find that he was born as other human beings are: He spent the time in the womb before coming out. Upon coming out he was wrapped in cloth (Luke 2:7) demonstrating that he couldn't walk. He had to learn just like we all do. The Bible mentions nothing of him being able to talk at that stage either. The Bible goes on to tell us that Jesus grew in spirit and became filled with wisdom (Luke 2:40). So we still have a very human Jesus.

The apostle Paul refers to Jesus Christ as "the man Christ Jesus" (1 Tim 2:5) (Note also Acts 2:22), even after his death and resurrection. So we know he is a man. Yet we also know that he was specially chosen by God to be the mediator between us and God to have us saved from our sins (1 Tim 2:5).

While we know that Jesus was a man born as we are we are additionally told that he is the Great I Am of the Old Testament. So here we find that he had become Jehovah of the OT. He stated that he was their only God. And yet when referred to as being "good" Jesus himself stated that he wasn't "good" but only God was (Matt 19:17). Thus he at that stage of his existence had not become a God. This seems a contradiction, but I'll get to that.

We note that Jesus didn't have the authority to take priesthood onto himself, but had to be called of God like all men _

"So also Christ didn't glorify himself to be made an high priest; but [was called by] he that said to him, You are my Son, to day have I begotten you." Hebrews 5:5

This creates an interesting understanding to the real Christ. Jesus has come as a human like us, yet he had an immortal father. We find that all things past, present and future are before God right now (eternity) (D&C 130:7). (This is also demonstrated by his ability to know future events). So upon becoming resurrected Christ had reached the stage where he was "good" also. He then became the God of the Old Testament - the Great I Am, and is going through this earth time as a God. For those with no understanding of how eternity works this seems terribly confusing. But as we seek to understand we begin to see it.

Christ also taught the manner in which we should pray is to pray to the Father through the name of Jesus Christ (John 16:23, Matt 6:9). This correct manner of prayer brings us closer to the Father and the Christ.

We must also come to realise that the Bible doesn't teach a trinity. Jesus was God's Son. Jesus stated that he didn't want to perform the atonement but would do so because the Father asked him to. Jesus asked God why he had forsaken him at the time of his death. Jesus went out and spent the night praying to the Father. Jesus had an angel come and help him in his performance of the atonement in the garden. Jesus asked that his apostles would become one with him and the Father. That they would be 14 in one. Obviously this was demonstrating that the idea is a symbolic concept.

Jesus taught that people aren't saved by just saying his name, but we must obey the Father (Matt 7:21). He taught that works are essential to our gaining the kingdom of heaven (Matt 25:31-46). Yet we also are taught that being saved from being in hell itself doesn't require works, but true faith that will create a new person who does good works.

"For by grace you are saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, in case any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to good works, which God has before ordained that we should walk in them." Ephesians 2:8-10

There are many ideas that the Bible shows about the true Christ. These are very important to our understanding of what is required of us. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints has more of these biblically correct points and must therefore be declared the most "Christian."

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Husband / Wife (Partner) / Child Physical / Verbal Abuse in Marriage.

We hear a lot about this subject. It is a serious problem that takes place to some degree in almost every family home throughout the world. Many times it is subtle. Yet other times it is obvious in one gender and very subtle in the other.

In my first area of a mission (being an industrial area) I found physical violence took place in around 33% of homes. This was plain to hear as we would walk down the street at night time and hear the arguments with crashes and thuds. Not that it was all taking place at once, but continually walking down the same streets to get to where we were working we would eventually hear it.

My second area was very different in that it was a tourist resort; and the people were more involved in making money and their own personal lives. This meant the average couple were barely seeing each other and had no children - it was like there was no family.

In spite of this latter statement there are still subtle signs of one ruling the other. They will profess that there are no arguments and that they get on well. But continued observation demonstrates that is false. Watch an older couple as the wife tells the husband not to do something. He obeys. She may even slap his hand if he doesn't, while still professing they have no violence.

"I may miss the mark, but I don’t think by far, when I say that those who verbally or physically abuse their wives or husbands or those who degrade or demean or exercise unrighteous dominion in a marriage are not keeping the covenant." F. Howard Burton 173 Annual Conference.

I certainly agree with Bro. Burton's statement concerning temple covenants and the wives and husbands. This is not God's way.

Verbal violence usually comes in subtle ways, while physical violence is often more obvious to observe. Some may quote the old saying, "sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me." This is said to suggest that verbal violence and nagging aren't that bad. But these can have long reaching effects.

For example a woman constantly nagging her husband can drive him to avoid coming home after work. He can get into the habit of going to the hotel for drinks with his work mates. Before long he can have become an alcoholic; and spending the family money on it. Then the wife is nagging even more because of the money situation. This drives him even further away from the family. With this comes low self-esteem and feelings of guilt.

Equally we can have a husband that constantly puts his wife down. She withdraws, and can even turn to legal drugs.

These types of effects are destined to create problems with the children unless the children learn positive things they should be doing from seeing the negative effects of their parents behavior. But the latter is asking a lot of the children.

My observations on a mission and since have shown the sad tale that women subtly or violently rule the home or the husband bashes the wife. Why is this so? It is because people have refused to learn from God's original statement that the man is actually to rule in the home in love. We can water it down to make it different to what the Scriptures say, to appease Women's Libbers. But it won't change reality. The truth still stands.

In looking at this I know that there is a general conception that men are the ones responsible for violence within the home. However claims are made that this is a false perception. The following are some statistics that have been presented to me _

"The federal government itself sponsored a study of "fatal child abuse", something many feminazis don't even comprehend, but which in the real world is nothing short of murder (or, actually, when killing innocent, defenseless children, it's the most cowardly and heinous form of murder imaginable)  http://christianparty.net/nis3.htm

It illustrates that, compared to children in families, children in single-mother households are:

20 times more likely to be fatally abused.
22 times more likely to be seriously abused.
20 times more likely to be moderately abused.
27 times more likely to be emotionally neglected.
50 times more likely to be physically neglected.
55 times more likely to be educationally neglected."

In a report from Canada we find the following _

"Only in the Domestic Violence area did the number of women killed (109) exceed the number of men killed (77). However the feminists ignore the high rate of women killing men in domestic violence cases and act as if only women are the victims. Clearly they are the perpetrators in family killings at a rate not far behind men.
Women who kill can count on getting off completely or getting substantially lower sentences than men in similar situations."


"Violence against family members is something women do at least as often as men! There are dozens of solid scientific studies that reveal a startlingly different picture of family violence than what we usually see in the media. For instance:
Women are three times more likely than men to use weapons in spousal violence.
Women initiate most incidents of spousal violence.
Women commit most child abuse and most elder abuse.
Women hit their male children more frequently and more severely than they hit their female children.
Women commit most child murders and 64% of their victims are male children.
When women murder adults the majority of their victims are men.
Women commit 52% of spousal killings and are convicted of 41% of spousal murders.
Eighty two percent of the general population had their first experience of violence at the hands of women."
Complete scientific citations are included in this report. Leading researchers have validated the statistics used here, "Murray Straus (a sociologist and co-director for the Family Research Laboratory at the University of New Hampshire) verified the statistics from his report . . .and Richard Gelles of the University of Rhode Island and author of Intimate Violence and other studies, also validated the statistics used by matching it to previous research." Alice Lovejoy, Brown University. "Counter Punch")"

My own limited research has found that women admit to having been the original perpetrators of using objects in every case.

Yet should a man be domineering in running the home? Obviously not. And God doesn't suggest such a thing. God speaks of the woman being part of the man's flesh. God has man loving his wives, not abusing them. But God does have the man as the final decision maker as surely as the bishop must make a final decision when getting counsel from his counselors. A stake president must make a final decision when receiving counsel from the high counselors and his counselors. This is God's way. He knows that you can't have 2 presidents in the church or the home.

It is nothing short of airy-fairy nonsense to talk of 2 people being able to come to the same decision every time, unless both are subservient to Christ in all things and are led by the Spirit in all things.
What do the Scriptures tell us concerning this? _

1 Pet 3:1 "Likewise, you wives, be in subjection to your own husbands..."
1 Pet 3:6 "Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord..."
1 Tim 2:12-13 "But I suffer a woman not to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve."
Eph 5:24 "Therefore as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be subject to their own husbands in every thing."
Moses 4:22 "To the woman, I, the Lord God, said: I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception. In sorrow you shall bring forth children, and your desire shall be to your husband, and he shall rule over you." (See also Gen 3:16)

This is what God has directed to be said. There isn't some other way that God forgot about at the time. It is true that marriage partners are equal in that they have the same value before God. They are equal in that their opinion is important to be heard. But in the end it is the man who is required to seek counsel of the Lord and make the final decision.

When families are run the way that God has directed then these problems of abuse will cease. In the meantime if you are one of those not supporting God's way it is senseless pointing the finger at those with noticeable problems in these areas.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Is the Book of Mormon More Correct than the D&C and PofGP?

Joseph Smith recorded _
"I told the brethren that the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book." History of the Church, 4:461

This statement presents a lot of questions. The most obvious being what of the Doctrine and Covenants and Pearl of Great Price? Are these books less correct than the Book of Mormon?

I believe that Joseph Smith wasn't thinking of the D&C and PofGP as finished books at the time of making this statement. After all additions to them were made afterward, by himself. I believe his statement refers to the Book of Mormon relative to the Bible. He is presenting that as the Bible has been doctored, the Book of Mormon is more correct.

Yet still on the title page of the Book of Mormon, Moroni states _
"And now, if there are faults they are the mistakes of men; wherefore, condemn not the things of God" Introduction, Title Page

So Moroni has accepted that mistakes can still occur when man is writing or dictating Scripture. And he has accepted that such mistakes can exist in the work they have put on gold plates. Additionally several times throughout the Book of Mormon the writers refer to the problems they have expressing their real meanings, due to the sloppiness of hieroglyphics.

Moroni states _
"...and if we could have written in Hebrew, behold, you would have had no imperfection in our record." Mormon 9:33

So again we have Moroni stating that imperfections exist in the Book of Mormon. Yet he believes that writing in Hebrew would resolve the problem.

Another point that members tend to raise in a positive light for the Book of Mormon relative to other sets of our Scriptures, is that it is written for our day. However that isn't correct. It would be correct to say that it was compiled on the gold plates for our value today. But it was written for the people at the time. Alma (for example) was not writing to us. He was writing for the value of his people. As surely as Moses wasn't writing in the Old Testament to us just because we have it today either. He was writing to the people of his time mostly.

In regard the Doctrine and Covenants it states at the front _
"The Doctrine and Covenants is a collection of divine revelations and inspired declarations given for the establishment and regulation of the kingdom of God on the earth in the last days." Explanatory Introduction

So the D&C was written for our time much more than the Book of Mormon was.

The completing of the D&C and PofGP as finished books brings them equal status as Keystones to our religion. The D&C contains many unique doctrines that aren't contained in the Book of Mormon. And the PofGP teaches many different things. The whole concept of continued revelation is more evident by the creation of the D&C than the one off revelatory interpretation of the gold plates.

This brings us down to the question of whether the Book of Mormon will get you nearer to God by abiding by its precepts than the Doctrine and Covenants or Pearl of Great Price? This is one place where the Book of Mormon wins. The teachings that Christ presented in the ancient Americas contain the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ in its perfect form. There is nowhere else where it is more clearly stated than in 3rd Nephi.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Freedom of Thought - Brainwashed?

One of the main complaints relative to our religion is that it removes independent thinking. There is talk of us being mindwashed: That we just do and think whatever we are told to by church "leaders." Just how accurate is this perception?

When we look at this subject we have to look around at just how much mindwashing exists all around us. I'd like to start with looking at those things mostly not related to religion to demonstrate the point. We are convinced of a lot of ideas that have absolutely no evidence for being true.

For example when I was younger we had been mindwashed to believe that the rings around Saturn were either made of gases or an oil-like substance. And secondly that they were continuous. This was pumped into us through school and within society. Yet when a probe finally passed Saturn both claims were found to be false. It was made of rocks and in fragments.

I was brought up to believe that I should feel guilty, being a white person, because of all these suppressive things we have done to the natives all over the world. We had been mindwashed to believe that the natives had a bliss of ignorance. However upon growing up and looking at the situation of how those people lived, prior to white man, I discovered the nonsense in that idea: People eating their babies because of being traditionally too lazy to plant crops, people dying from superstition because a witch doctor pointed a bone at them, populations being low because of constant war between tribes, entire peoples with their way of living being heavy drug taking, people who rejected new ideas and expelled those who came up with them, fierce pride that made it that apologies were out of the question and duels had to occur to right the situation (as a way of life), etc. (depending upon which peoples we are speaking of).

We have women trying to pretend they are men by wearing business suits, cutting their hair, getting a career, and trying to prove how tough they are. I'm waiting to see them out on the golf course next. They feel that somehow this makes them a superior woman.

The most appropriate example in this thought is when people talk of brainwashing. This enforces the myth that the brain is actually capable of thinking, just because it can product electrical impulses when thinking activity is happening. If it wasn't for mindwashing people would realise just how ridiculously impossible it is for something as small as a brain to hold your memories for an entire lifetime (or even one year).

We have been mindwashed to believe that someone can have a device that can determine accurately how old an item is. What is more we have been persuaded to believe that it must be accurate when it talks of something being MILLIONS of years old. I mean, what nonsense! How can people be so deceived? Considering that the real accuracy for carbon dating has been shown to be nothing short of pathetic (in spite of claims of scientists) how can we go on to believe in even more ancient dating methods?

We have a society that has been persuaded to believe that homosexuality is natural and that people are born that way. Yet dogs all around us are not demonstrating such activity where a dog will allow another dog to place his penis up the others rear end. And in spite of the fact that I've observed male dogs even trying to have sex with a lamp post, I have never seen a female dog licking another female in the vagina. So what happened to nature there? We should be seeing high percentages of such.

In the 60s and 70s people were told that pornography should be made more readily available, and that this would decrease rape, as would be rapists would just masturbate themselves, thus decreasing the need to rape. Hmmmmm.

People in the 60s and 70s were told to stop smacking their disobedient children, as smacking made the children more violent. They presented that stopping smacking would make children less violent, and thus violence in children would virtually cease. Er...yeah...

We have been mindwashed to believe there is good and bad cholesterol, that the stars are definitely a certain distance from each other, that there really was a dinosaur age, and an ice age, and some believe that Corn Flakes and McDonalds are actually healthy for us.

Having looked at the world around us briefly, this leads us to question just how religion itself is affected by mindwashing? Does religion increase the mindwashing problem or save us from the society's mindwashing?

There isn't an absolute answer to that question, as it depends on what people believe. It particularly depends on whether people allow themselves to be mindwashed without any thinking things through.

For example if I deliberately choose to ignore contradictions in my religious beliefs, then my religion is as useless as these other philosophies of the world I have quoted. I must be prepared to be honest with myself and accept that contradictions must be thought through and answered. The more I bury my head in the sand and pretend not to see contradictions the more I will become blinded and the further in the sand I will have to stick my head to ignore what I really know.

Some have said to me that I have just been mindwashed to believe these things. Yet the truth is that I virtually have changed my mind about everything since I was young. And this was due to several factors. One of them definitely being those things presented by the church. I was raised believing in the Protestant/Catholic (and partially Old Testament) god. It took many years of study of Scripture, discussion with the Holy Ghost, Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father himself to come to find the true God. I had to unmindwash an enormous amount of stuff.

Our society is mindwashed to believe that evil is good and good is for the weak minded. We are mindwashed to believe that wealth and fame brings happiness. We are told that revenge is sweet, there is nothing better than lustful sex, being rich is good, etc.

So how does my religion go with this? God tells us this seemingly amazing concept that forgiveness is sweet. What??? Forgiveness is sweet? You have got to be joking, we question? Yet we try it out and eventually find it works. Mindwashing? Have I been mindwashed or has my mind now become free? I feel uplifted by following that advice instead of what the world says. It is true that hearing that idea expressed from the pulpit over and over finally got me to follow the idea and gain the benefits of forgiving others. My heart feels so much happier. So one mindwashing has been used to bring me to realise that the other mindwashing was false. Is that a bad thing? Obviously not.

And this is the way I find with all true religious concepts. Lust mixed with love seemed good until I found full love without lust. Possessing seemed good until I found the full feelings of giving without worldly reward. Interestingly that latter came by pure chance. However recognising what had happened came from the mindwashing that I had heard all my life (that it is better to give than receive). I had always disputed that in my heart, feeling that I enjoyed getting Christmas presents more than giving them to others. Then I went on a mission just before Christmas. My family and friends hadn't had time to find my address and send me a present before Christmas. But I was out on a mission serving others. For the first time I felt that feeling inside myself of how much happier I felt just thinking of others instead of what I was going to get.

While on the one hand I allow God to mindwash me, on the other hand he has had a hard job getting me to listen over the years. So his mindwashing has been done with lots of examination and reluctance by me. Fortunately I have broken down enormously, as he's been so consistently right (all the time) in spite of how absurd some of those ideas have seemed to me over the years. He and Jesus Christ have shown me miraculous things in that time. By "miraculous things" I'm not so much referring to the outward miracles (though I've seen many of those), but the ones that count to us more - the inward miraculous changes.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Does Sealing Power by Righteous Parents make Wayward Children Change?

As this discussion has gone on at my answers site, and I don't publish comments on that site, I thought it best to put the subject up here so that anyone wishing to discuss it further can express their thoughts.

There is a doctrine that has come forward claiming that if righteous parents are sealed to their children in the temple then even if their children go astray that they will at some point return and gain eternal life. The claim is that the sealing will make this happen. Furthermore it is quoted that this change can even take place in the eternities.

Quotes are proposed from General Authorities as supporting this idea. Let's look at those quotes and the case of Alma the younger.

Joseph Smith:
“The world is reserved unto burning in the last days. He shall send Elijah the prophet, and he shall reveal the covenants of the fathers in relation to the children, and the covenants of the children in relation to the fathers. Four destroying angels holding power over the four quarters of the earth until the servants of God are sealed in their foreheads, which signifies sealing the blessing upon their heads, meaning the everlasting covenant, thereby making their calling and election sure. When a seal is put upon the father and mother, it secures their posterity, so that they cannot be lost, but will be saved by virtue of the covenant of their father and mother.” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 321).

Brigham Young:
“Let the father and mother, who are members of this Church and Kingdom, take a righteous course, and strive with all their might never to do a wrong, but to do good all their lives; if they have one child or one hundred children, if they conduct themselves towards them as they should, binding them to the Lord by their faith and prayers, I care not where those children go, they are bound up to their parents by an everlasting tie, and no power of earth or hell can separate them from their parents in eternity; they will return again to the fountain from whence they sprang.” (Brigham Young, JD 11:215).

Gordon B. Hinckley:
"May you be blessed, each of you. May there be love and peace and gladness in your homes. I leave my blessing upon you. May there be food on your table, clothing on your backs, shelter over your heads and a sense of security and peace and love among your children, precious children every one of them, even those who may have strayed. I hope you don't lose patience with them; I hope you go on praying for them, and I don't hesitate to promise that if you do so, the Lord will touch their hearts and bring them back to you with love and respect and appreciation.” (Gordon B. Hinckley, Prophet Returns To 'beloved England', LDS Church News, 1995, 09/02/95).

Spencer W. Kimball:
“I have sometimes seen children of good families rebel, resist, stray, sin, and even actually fight God. In this they bring sorrow to their parents, who have done their best to ... teach and live as examples. But I have repeatedly seen many of these same children ... repent... The reason I believe this can take place is that, despite all the adverse winds to which these people have been subjected, they have been influenced still more, and much more than they realized, by the current of life in the homes in which they were reared. When, in later years, they feel a longing to recreate in their own families the same atmosphere they enjoyed as children, they are likely to turn to the faith that gave meaning to their parents lives.” (President Spencer W. Kimball, Ocean Currents and Family Influences, Ensign (CR), November 1974, p.110).

Additionally the following thought was presented by someone in favor of the absolute sealing idea _
"Alma the younger lived a very sinful life. Then, an angel appeared to him and he received a miraculous conversion. Was it the angel that changed his heart? No. Alma 36:17 presents that he was “harrowed up by the memory of my many sins, behold, I remembered also to have heard my father prophesy to the people concerning the coming of one Jesus Christ…” So it was his memory of his childhood and the joy he felt then when his father taught him the gospel of Jesus Christ. Wayward children in Mortality (physical world or spirit world) will remember their childhood of joy if and only if their parents taught them well and the parents have sufficient faith."

Joseph Smith's symbolic statement presents the idea of magic sealings - go to the temple, have some symbols done, be a reasonable person and your children are guaranteed to be magically saved at some point in eternity. The idea presented in the latter quotes, however, isn't reflecting the simplistic idea Joseph has presented. The latter idea presented here is actually supported in Scripture and based on sound logic. I'm not suggesting Joseph was wrong, as such. I'm proposing that his view of it was extremely basic and needed enlarging to find what was really on his mind.

So let's have a look at it.

Joseph Smith's statement is obviously shrouded in symbolism. Talk of "destroying angels," "four quarters of the earth," "sealed in their foreheads," etc are things to come to understand the meaning of. Fortunately the Scriptures do help us in this regard to some degree. But those ideas are interpretable (thus arguable). I personally am sure that the talk of sealing in the forehead means that the mind has taken it in and the person's mind won't be changed: They have set their course. Thus their election is secured.

I'd like to start with how Brigham sees this. He presents that if parents who have accepted the full truth, live a righteous life (by God's standard), strive with all their might to never do evil but to do good continually, strive to have their children grow up with a full faith in Christ and teaching them to pray sincerely, that even though their children may stray they will eventually be drawn back by that upbringing.

This sounds far more God like than being saved by magic and symbols (as it has been interpreted by some). Brother Hinkley and Brother Kimball's statements reflect Brigham's logic.

As to Alma the Younger, I also had my wayward years (I always believed in Christ however) and I know that my mother continually prayed for me. I know my mother's prayers are very effective. It took 3 years of wayward research for me to wake up. So I have no doubt that these things happen. Yet I must add that I was not sealed in the temple at that stage. I had never even entered a temple; and was not born under the covenant of a sealing. My mother's prayers were effective and the whole thing went that way without any "sealing power." I would like to believe that it is a guaranteed, as Brigham says. Scriptural support does exist for children turning out right as being guaranteed where the right person is the parent.

"For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment; that the Lord may bring upon Abraham that which he has spoken of him." Genesis 18:19

So God is saying that Abraham's children were guaranteed to come out right.

Yet it should be noted that both Joseph Smith and Brigham Young have said nothing about these children changing in the eternities. Anyone taking it to mean so would be doing such off his own bat, unless he can support such from Scripture. D&C 76 etc etc etc disagree with changes occurring to people's outcomes later. Now is the time for man to prepare to meet God.

IF some GA accepts an extreme interpretation of this I would have to refer to the following _

President Harold B. Lee, when president of the church, in a European area conference:
"If anyone, regardless of his position in the Church, were to advance a doctrine that is not substantiated by the standard Church works, meaning the Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price, you may know that his statement is merely his private opinion. The only one authorized to bring forth any new doctrine is the President of the Church, who, when he does, will declare it as revelation from God, and it will be so accepted by the Council of the Twelve and sustained by the body of the Church. And if any man speak a doctrine which contradicts what is in the standard Church works, you may know by that same token that it is false and you are not bound to accept it as truth." [emphasis mine] The First Area General Conference for Germany, Austria, Holland, Italy, Switzerland, France, Belgium, and Spain of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, held in Munich Germany, August 24-26, 1973, with Reports and Discourses, 69.

Of course the catch 22 of this statement is that it can't be wrong. If it is then that makes it right, because it was made by the president of the church. And if he is wrong then that makes him right.
So we need to look to the Standard Works and judge this idea. Here it gains both support for what they are saying (though not the idea of a magical sealing power) and opposition.

"...for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; And showing mercy to thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments." Exodus 20:5-6

This proposes that the evil acts of parents do come upon the children in effect to the third and fourth generation after them. Therefore as all things have an equal good and bad side, it stands that the same is true for good that parents do. Thus it is true that the good acts of the parents come upon the children to the third and fourth generation. And so Joseph Smith's statement surely must have been based on this inference.

Yet for any today to take this as an absolute, has Scriptural opposition. The second verse quoted above in Exodus demonstrates that those who love him receive mercy. So what if a person has evil parents but becomes righteous? Don't they get this mercy? And if so then the reverse must also apply.
Were the sins of Terah passed on to Abraham? From a spiritual sense it would certainly seem not. Were the sins of Levi passed on to Moses? Spiritually, no! For while God declared that they were passed on to those generations, righteousness eliminates the cursing from spiritual consequences.

"Again, when I say to the wicked, you shall surely die; if he turns from this sin, and does that which is lawful and right....he shall not die." Ezek 33:14-15 (also note verses 13 for the adverse).

So even if God declares a cursing or blessing it isn't absolute if there is a change to the opposite lifestyle. If a son of righteous parents does evil don't his children fit under the curse of Exodus 20:5-6 (quoted above)? So then are we to believe that this evil son, who has placed a 4 generation curse on his descendants, is going to go to the Celestial? And this because his parents placed a one generation blessing upon him that he can't transgress from, whatever he does?

Adam was the great archangel Michael in the pre-existence. Surely then his children will all be saved into the Celestial kingdom if we are to take these statements as absolutes.

Yet in regard Cain the Lord said,
"If you do well, you shall be accepted. And if you do not well sin lies at the door, and Satan desires to have you; and except you shall listen to my commandments, I will deliver you up, and it shall be to you according to his desire. And you shall rule over him; For from this time forward you shall be the father of his lies; you shall be called Perdition; for you were also before the world." Moses 5:23-24

Should we regard that such will be in the Celestial kingdom afterward: That the tentacles have reached out to save Cain?

What of Lehi and Sariah with Laman and Lemuel? Are we to believe that we will be with Laman and Lemuel in the Celestial kingdom?

Or can a person commit the unpardonable sin and then be saved into the Celestial kingdom because his father and mother were good people?

And what of Alma's statement? _
"You can't say, when you are brought to that awful crisis, that I will repent, that I will return to my God. No, you can't say this; for that same spirit which possesses your bodies at the time that you go out of this life, that same spirit will have power to possess your body in that eternal world. For see, if you have procrastinated the day of your repentance even until death, look, you have become subjected to the spirit of the devil, and he does seal you his; therefore, the Spirit of the Lord has withdrawn from you, and has no place in you, and the devil has all power over you; and this is the final state of the wicked." Alma 34:34-35

Clearly Alma is declaring that those who turn away from God and won't change back in this life, have set their course, and WON'T change it back later.

Joseph Smith received a revelation recorded in D&C 76. The only people it declares to be going to hell are those who will be in the telestial kingdom (those going to outer darkness are stated to just be in a permanent state of woe, which isn't the same hell state).

"These are they who are thrust down to hell. These are they who shall not be redeemed from the devil until the last resurrection, until the Lord, even Christ the Lamb, shall have finished his work. These are they who receive not of his fulness in the eternal world, but of the Holy Spirit through the ministration of the terrestial." verses 84-86

Note it states that they will not receive a fulness in the eternal world. No talk of them moving onto a fulness at some stage of eternity.

In regard these it goes on further to state,
"For they shall be judged according to their works, and every man shall receive according to his own works, his own dominion, in the mansions which are prepared; And they shall be servants of the Most High; but where God and Christ dwell they cannot come, worlds without end." D&C 76:111-112

Two things stand out here. One is that they receive a mansion according to their works. Not the works of their parents being taken into account also. The second is that they cannot move up into the Celestial kingdom - "worlds without end."

So we have seen that making these things Joseph Smith has stated into an inevitability; proposing some magical "sealing power" that will make people become righteous again later on, is to take words to an extreme. These Scripture texts opposing such an interpretation are only a few that I could think of with almost no effort. The list of Scripture texts opposing such an extreme interpretation seem almost endless to me.

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Sermon on the Mount, Matthew Chapter 5:1-16

This sermon is Christ's greatest teaching. He repeated it when he went to the Americas. It was a set of instructions for those who were sincere enough to follow him around. Many of the things he taught the Jews were very basic doctrines only. But here we have those things that he expressed that through following we could become perfect.

These points pose a lot of questions. Such questions as what it means to be "poor in spirit?"
Our Scriptural sense would suggest that it means that we should feel humble inside. We are promised the kingdom of heaven by qualifying. Which presents that without the humility we won't be heirs to that kingdom.

Then we are told that we will be blessed by mourning. I can say that I know that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ feel great remorse for the many things that mankind do that bring misery to themselves and/or others. Yet it goes on to say that they shall be comforted. This I have experienced in the love I have felt for a person I mourned for because of her apostasy. Yet my heart felt so uplifted by the love that the upliftment was the greater.

Then we come to the meek being blessed. Meek seems to be being strong in person, yet not assertive unless it is important to do so. Such are promised the earth. This seems to imply inheriting the Celestialised earth after its resurrection.

We then come to hungering and thirsting after righteousness. This is referring to a powerful drawing toward everything good. The promise is that we shall be filled with the Holy Ghost (3 Nep 12:6). This I have also felt many times. As we hunger inside for good things and ponder upon the things of righteousness the Holy Ghost fills us more and we have that greater communication.

Then we are informed that we are blessed if we have mercy. If we have such to others then we shall have such to ourselves and be able to accept the forgiveness of God. Whereas if we condemn others and don't accept the idea of forgiveness then neither will we accept to forgive ourselves, and will lack the faith to accept the atonement of Christ in its fullness.

Next we are told that we should be pure in heart; and that by doing so we shall see God. If you have that pure desire for all good things then you will come to walk and talk with the Father and the Savior. It is a wonderful blessing to feel the love of both as you learn and discuss things with them. Being in their presence is truly being in heaven.

Then he mentions the peacemakers. These he calls the children of God. This makes sense as God has peace in him and desires it for all. So if we copy our God in our hearts, then we are his children from a religious aspect also. I like that thought.

Then we are told that we are blessed when we are persecuted because of our righteous lifestyle. This is something I find amazing in my life. My religious beliefs get me into trouble and then out of it. Generally it is because God sends someone or several to help me in spite of it. We learn from the struggle and finally come out the other side.

Then we are told that we are blessed when people revile and persecute us by false accusation, for the sake of the truth Christ taught. This generally takes form in claims against us as church members. Christ said that we should regard this positively because it happened to prophetic servants of God in the past.

He then relates us to salt, to say that we should keep our flavor. To me this means to keep focused on the Lord's work.

Next he talks of us having that light and that we should keep showing it to others.

These verses cover some amazing things. They appeal to us to think in a way opposite from that of the world. They teach us to oppose the ego. They teach us to ignore self and focus on service to others. They teach us how to be Godlike.

I will write further on this sermon later.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

What it Was Like in the Pre-existence

*NOTE* Firstly I should point out that the church has almost no officially stated doctrine on the pre-existence. Let me additionally state that this post, therefore, has a lot of heavy ideas presented in it, particularly as it gets further into the subject. I have cut this down somewhat from what I originally planned on posting, to try and soften it. If you find yourself overwhelmed by the different ideas presented (which you probably will at some point), then stop and come back to it later when you feel you have absorbed what you have read so far. It is better that you treat it as a wild theory that you can consider over time and using the Holy Ghost as guide. Though let me assure you that I know these things are true.

Many have posed the question of what we did from day to day and what were we like in the pre-existence. I have posted on the subject before, mostly from a basic Scriptural position. So if you are interested in the Scriptural backing for some of these ideas I'd suggest a read of that post; which was posted in May 2007. This is an extension of the subject that goes well beyond the original. Happy reading.

For those non-members reading who don't know what the pre-existence is, it is about the time before you came to this earth and were born as a mortal. This time is generally forgotten by you during this earth life.

While we talk of the pre-existence as if it was one event, it actually was made up of two parts. For eternity we have existed as an intelligence only. Then eventually our Heavenly Parents turned up and provided a spirit body to those who were prepared to go along with it. This latter body is made of spirit matter. Spirit matter is more refined and pure and therefore harder for our natural eyes to see it. We are better off to look at it with our spirit eyes. If we get into sufficient of a spiritual state we can do this.

So let's look at the life of your average eternal intelligence. Great multitudes of intelligences existed. Numbers beyond comprehension. Yet all were at varying levels of intelligence. For example Jesus Christ (Jehovah) was the most advanced within the enormous area eventually covered by Heavenly Father in his expansion here. This is why he was the first born spirit of our Heavenly Parents. Next came those other spirits showing the greatest potential. These were termed sons and daughters of the morning because they were born the earliest. Additionally there were those who were born with spirit bodies as a lesser species, such as grass or ants, to their respective Heavenly Parents.

For some reason, unknown to me, there are those intelligences who chose to advance throughout eternity and those who just didn't. And there were varying degrees of such, of course. This fulfils the natural and obvious law of eternity which says that where something can be up, something else can, and will, be down.

An intelligence is as much comprehended as seen, in that it has no discernible external shape. An intelligence isn't made of matter and can't be either made or destroyed (however there is some debate about whether it can be destroyed by its own actions). An intelligence has an enormous size, yet can fit even in a baby. It isn't affected by dimensions in the way physical or spirit matter objects are. It is interesting that a small child walking past is as full an intelligence as the child's mother and father walking with them. Heavenly Father has an intelligence that is far bigger than anybody else. Jesus Christ isn't far behind.

You can discern the fire of truth in a good intelligence. This can actually be seen spiritually. This fire was demonstrated at Pentecost, for example. And in the eyes of the Savior, as seen by several people in Scripture. The righteous are said to dwell in everlasting burnings (Isa 33:14-15). This spiritual fire is demonstrated when we feel the Holy Spirit give us the burning of truth inside our spirit.

An intelligence remembers its existence. It hasn't forgotten anything. But when it was placed in a spirit body after conception by our Heavenly Mother and Father the new spirit body part will eventually forget its intelligence only pre-existence. The demands of having a spirit body, and the new reality of it, makes the intelligence create a new awareness within itself (the intelligence time section isn't heard very well). Then eventually as we have grown and learnt enough as a spirit being, we receive a physical body by the same birth process, through mortal parents. Once again the demands of the more obvious, now physical, takes precedence over the spirit body time and the intelligence only time. Thus we eventually come to forget, in our mortal section, the time as a pre-existent spirit also. It goes from being a reality, as a baby (babies see spirits), to just being a dream and then forgotten in the mortal section. However portions can come back all of a sudden or it can be remembered with sufficient need to remember and you seeking it.

As the new intelligence section, created during our physical body time, has to communicate to the physical body to get it to function, it focuses itself in the head. This way it can create electrical impulses in the brain to get our body to do as it chooses. We don't need to use much of the brain matter to get our bodies to do all necessary functions. It learns this in the time in the womb while growing. As there is more space to fit the spirit body in the central torso area, it resides there; and we talk about heart feelings and burning in our bosom.

The intelligence only portion doesn't actually need a place to reside as such. It is more a case of finding it deep within our being. You need to go down beyond the spirit and find it down there.
An intelligence is capable of thinking at speeds that make our fastest computers look like they are standing still. I believe the possible reasons why we mostly don't think at this speed is either laziness, seeing no point in it or becoming too used to only thinking at somewhere just ahead of the speed our mouth moves at to talk. Of course, it could be a mixture of all three of those.

So what did intelligences do before getting a spirit body? We found suitable companions for our existence style (as we do now). For higher intelligences these included intelligences of both genders, as friends, rather than just those of the same gender. Because the opposite gender sees things differently, hearing their opinions creates a greater balance of ideas. Also a greater balance in emotional feelings. Some sort to be one with each other, by moving together as close as possible to feel and express love. No doubt this was also giving a sense of security of friendships. Males and females have always been different. God chose those with female inclinations to be female and those with male inclinations to be male. Naturally, these inclinations come in varying degrees from person to person. God uses these same genders when we are born in this mortal life. Thus we don't have a woman born in a man's body, as some have been deceived to believe. We are still an intelligence. In fact we are the same basic intelligence, regardless of our experiences. Yet we grow as an individual intelligence through our experiences. We could sense one another's presence by scanning out with our minds. In fact we could find one another by using this process. We used mental communication.

Some have concluded that our intelligence is made of many smaller intelligences collected together. This theory could be brought about by the fact that our spirit body (as also our physical body) is actually made of particles with intelligences in them. Also that our intelligence is capable of scanning out for great distances (as God does) could confuse people into thinking there must be lots of intelligences. However this may just demonstrate that the size an intelligence can expand itself to depends upon how intelligent it is. Because particles have intelligence and we can scan out, those creating could get particles to move: By appealing to those intelligences with love.

Heavenly Father is also an intelligence as we are, yet he has grown in his good attributes and knowledge to become what he is today. He also has a spirit body and physical body that is resurrected. This is his intension for us.

When we look at activities that were available, during the intelligence only time, we have such things as pattern finding. While no eyes were available, by scanning we could detect objects and their size and placement. Then finding patterns within the objects available can be fun. It's a bit like finding patterns on tiles for example. You can find diagonal or parallel lines between tiles of some color or shade etc. Also thought games can be played where clues are given. The list is almost endless with a bit of imagination and eternity to think of them in. Additionally, those thus inclined observed things about eternal laws and existence.

Don't forget; if you feel it is getting too heavy give it a break and think it through until you are ready to come back to it.

Moving on to the spirit body time we went through the time of forgetting. This meant that the intelligence section that we were then working in wasn't communicating with the original section sufficiently to create a being in perfect harmony with the original section. We go through a time in our lives like that after getting our physical bodies. The great majority never find perfect union between listening to both the spirit section's opinion (heart) and our physical section's opinions (mind) equally, let alone our intelligence section's opinions. This should be worked toward.

So getting back to the spirit body time; we begin to grow our spirit body and learn how to use our spirit limbs etc. The spirit body is much easier to manipulate than the physical body. We learnt how to make the particles travel extremely fast. And I mean extremely. Additionally to this, those with sufficient love began to learn how to move physical matter. As the basic particles have intelligences in them we can persuade them to move, through demonstrating love toward them. This was eventually, used by those thus inclined, in the creation process, under the direction of Jesus Christ. Our ability to move small amounts of matter, such as a mountain, were evidenced by Christ in saying that it required almost no faith at all to do such. Additionally, we have all learnt to create electrical pulses in our brains to get our body to move. This is a demonstration of the ability of our intelligence to manipulate matter.

We had things to learn that are unique to our spirit body. We had to learn to do the right things with ourselves. We continued on in friendships previously had (I feel God would see to that - my personal opinion). I also believe this of at least some within this earth life. Yet as we all had freedom of choice there were an enormous amount that eventually refused to come to earth. Some were concerned about the risk factor. This made Lucifer pose an impossible idea that he could make sure that all were saved. As freedom of choice is fundamental to the existence of all intelligences (even an ant) we cannot have a situation where we lose freedom of choice. Yet Lucifer was silly enough to believe this idea, along with so many that refused to come down. When we look at the vast numbers of people that have come down to these inhabited planets that were made around the same time as this one, we should remember that half that number (one third of those present during the spirit body time) followed Lucifer rather than Heavenly Father. That is a huge lot of spirits.

This informs us that being in Heavenly Father's presence doesn't automatically make us want to do what God says. Any more than we do with our earthly parents. (This shows the importance of us learning to see the value in following all the things the Savior taught) And it is obvious that while amongst those there were some that were strongly opposed to Heavenly Father, there would be a large variety of depth of interest. Some of that third are zealots, while others barely could care less: Just the same as those coming here to get a physical body. Jesus Christ was strongly supporting the idea while some of the two-thirds swang backwards and forwards on the idea until eventually going along with it. It took a lot of persuasion by Heavenly Father to get certain spirits to come. For example many required assurances that they wouldn't be placed with fathers such as Elijah or Abraham, whom they regarded as over-enthusiasts. Additionally there were those who realised that they were ridiculously unlikely to end up as a son of perdition if they couldn't be given the priesthood. Heavenly Father did all he could to end up with a good majority prepared to actually move forward rather that stay in their comfort zone.

I hope all have gained something from what I have written. For those who may feel I have said too much, I can assure you that there were many things that I have refrained from saying in those areas I felt could be too heavy. Yet it is a lot of ideas not usually spoken of.

In concluding this post let me restate, for the sake of non-members and new members, that the church has virtually NO declared doctrine on the pre-existence other than a small amount of the many things contained in the Standard Works of the church.

Friday, April 27, 2012

A Further Examination of Anti-"Mormon" Material Part 1

I have come across several sites that claim all these things that the church is supposed to be keeping a secret. It is entitled, "Things mormons won't tell you".

Much of it is half-truths, sensationalizing and plain nonsense. Yet I want to present how simple it is to answer these claims for any that are unsure.

I have split up the 33 claims into two sections to shorten the posts.

Here is what it presented _

1. MORMONS WON'T TELL YOU that they believe your Church is wrong, your Christian creeds are an abomination to God, and your pastor or Priest is a hireling of Satan.

Firstly no truly Christian creed is an abomination to God nor its priests hired by Satan. The missionary discussions declare Christ's statement that the creeds professing Christ at the time of Joseph Smith were wrong, this isn't hidden. We taught this during the first principle in the first discussion when I was on my mission. Considering that anti-Mormons not long after this revelation (many of whom were church going "Christians") were raping, killing, bashing, burning and stealing in regard the Latter-Day Saints, and all this with the blessing and encouragement of Protestant ministers of the time, I don't see why that would be disputable. Christ saying this to Joseph Smith seems understandable to me. And certainly those churches weren't anything Christ would claim as "Christian." Today, while there are many Protestant people that are wonderful individuals, their church's doctrines contain many falsehoods. Some turning God into a monster in reality: Saving one lot above another purely by saying a name (or whatever simple method they include) turns God into a respecter of persons. Their God turns out to become an abomination. And this is only one of many false doctrines, sadly, being taught. However many good doctrines are still in the Bible and practised by genuine people from many different religions.

2. MORMONS WON'T TELL YOU that there is salvation only in their church - all others are wrong.

There are two statements here. In regard the first statement Christ came and saved all, who truly repent, from their past sins. This means they are saved from the suffering of hell. Christ also came and performed a salvation or "redemption" of the body by making the resurrection possible. Thus overcoming the transgression of Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden. Doctrine and Covenants section 76 (part of our Standard Works of Scripture) explains that many truly repentant non-members are saved by the grace of Christ. In fact there will be far more non-members saved from their sins than true members. Only Telestials and Sons of Perdition will suffer hell. So that statement is false.

In regard the second statement. This is a bit of a blanket statement. It poses that all Protestant doctrines are false and implies that every doctrine being taught generally in the LDS church is the ultimate truth. Neither of those statements are correct. The church has more truths by having more Scripture and prophetic people. This obviously creates far more understanding than the Bible alone. Yet the Bible contains the fulness of the everlasting gospel on its own (as does the Book of Mormon). As Protestants are, hopefully, reading it, they will obtain these greatest of all teachings. so while many of the doctrines of Protestantism are incorrect, many are right. Great debate exists even within Protestantism as to what is right and what is wrong. As to the inference that the church is always correct, the church has gone through up and down periods, doctrinally, since the days of Adam, relative to the faithfulness of the members of the time. So it isn't correct to suppose its doctrines to be perfect until the members within it are all perfect. And even then this wouldn't allow for new members coming in to grow line upon line and precept upon precept, here a little and there a little.

3. MORMONS WON'T TELL YOU that those who have been through their temples are wearing secret underwear to protect themselves from "evil". This "evil" includes non - Mormons like you.

Well, if we told people they wouldn't be secret underwear, would they?

In all seriousness, I have met members who believe this type of hocus pocus of a mysterious physical protection. And I don't doubt that those who have faith in Christ will benefit from a belief in his protecting hand. However neither the temple, nor the Scriptures nor reality support this idea. I was equally physically protected with or without a temple garment on. The temple garment provides an opportunity for a person undressing to consider their actions if they are about to commit adultery or fornication. This is a fair enough observation from that perspective. And obedience to the principles accepted as a wearer of the garment certainly will create spiritual protection from sin, because of their obedience to the commandments of God. Wearers are able to think upon these things whenever getting dressed.

4. MORMONS WON'T TELL YOU about their secret temple rites at all. If they did, you would spot them as non Christians immediately.

Did this guy think about what he has written? He has said to a group of Protestants that they would realise a particular "Mormon" wasn't a Christian if he went around giving details of current temple ordinances. Thus implying that he would be a Christian by not giving such details out.

We don't actually keep their existence a secret, we keep the actual actions and words sacred.
The reason we keep them secret is because we regard them as sacred. We avoid casting pearls before those who may end up being the swine Christ referred to. And if these ordinances were untrue, as Protestantism presents, then what does it matter that we don't say what they are? That they feel they must attack them should send alarm bells into their heads. Satan makes them angry, and they are listening to him.

5. MORMONS WON'T TELL YOU that they think "familiar spirits" are good, and that their Book of Mormon has a "familiar spirit". Leviticus 19:31 says familiar spirits defile one, and are to be avoided at all costs.

An example of what God commanded against is demonstrated in the Witch of En-dor situation with Samuel the prophet. The witch actually could see Samuel. Let me add that this "familiar spirit" is stated by the Bible to actually be Samuel the prophet. This Samuel prophesied in the name of the Lord and his prophesy occurred (1 Sam 28:5-20). Obviously God had sent him. So don't get too hung up on that as an absolute if God chooses to do otherwise. It was a commandment given to the Israelites to keep them from getting absorbed in speaking to the dead and evil spirits.

It must be remembered that if we are IN Christ then the Law given to Moses is fulfilled. If we are to continue to practice the Law given to Moses then if my brother dies and had no children I am to take his wife as my wife, in addition to my own, and produce a child for my brother. Apart from polygamy being illegal today, that isn't considered acceptable behavior in our society, and the church would want to excommunicate me for obedience to it.

Secondly Jesus Christ himself said he would send back this spirit (Holy Ghost) to be with any of his disciples as a constant gift to give them answers when standing before kings etc, prophesying, healing, praying etc. This spirit will lead them into more truth as they become ready to understand - a good "familiar spirit."

Jesus Christ said _
"I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. Though when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall show it to you. All things that the Father has are mine: therefore I said, that he shall take of mine, and shall show it to you."  John 16:12-15

Here Jesus Christ is saying that he will send back that "familiar spirit" ("the Spirit of truth") that has our poor friend confused into thinking we shouldn't listen to the Holy Ghost.

6. MORMONS WON'T TELL YOU that women receive salvation only through their Mormon husbands, and must remain pregnant for all eternity.

Firstly I must state, in all fairness to the multitude of members who believe in magical invention, that many members don't believe the pregnancy part.

There we are back with the "salvation" word being used wildly. Salvation from sins comes through the atonement of Jesus Christ to each person individually. A person doesn't need to be married to be saved from their sins. What he should have said was that we know that men and women can't enjoy the ultimate of God's plan without having a spouse. The first commandment given to Adam and Eve (while they were still perfect) was to be fruitful and multiply (Gen 1:27-28). Do you believe God's ways change? If not then it must still be his commandment and will remain so even when we are physically perfect again - after the resurrection.

In regard eternal pregnancy; we are talking about glorified and immortal women. We have a pregnant woman suffering neither morning sickness, back pains, cramps nor delivery pains? The challenge to women will be learning to be a perfect parent, not problems from painless pregnancies. Our happiness will come from service to others (these children). This is what Christ taught, and it doesn't change either.

7. MORMONS WON'T TELL YOU that they intend to be gods themselves some day, and are helping to earn their exaltation to godhood by talking to you.

"Come follow me," said Jesus Christ. He taught and grew in stature and in favor with God and man (Lk 2:52). We do the same. Christ promises that if we do those things that he has taught we will reign upon the throne of the Father with him (Rev 3:21 - this is only one of many such Bible passages). Anyone telling you that we can't become a God is deceiving you, whether deliberately or in ignorance, as Christ has declared we can. This might sound glorious, but it is an eternity of blessings of happiness and joy that comes through constant hard work in service (Jn 5:16-17). God is our loving Father (Matt 7:9-11), not an egotistical ogre.

As to the reason I desire to help others, I do this out of love and concern for those individuals. I also do it out of love for Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, who love us enormously. It is true that I do realise that it is necessary for me to gain great love for me to become like my Father in Heaven, as he is full of an enormous love. And I know that through service to others and helping others to learn, I do gain love. But the latter is only a minor point to those two reasons first expressed in this paragraph.

8. MORMONS WON'T TELL YOU that they intend to have many wives in heaven, carrying on multiple sex relations throughout eternity, until they have enough children to populate their own earth, so they can be "Heavenly Father" over their own planet!

Firstly, one reason I wouldn't say what he has said here would be in all fairness to the multitude of members who don't believe what his statement is based on. Secondly this is presenting some kind of endless sex - billions of times having sex for billions of children. Yet glorified women can store a huge collection of sperm without the sperm dying (unlike us mortals). What is more is that glorified men (like Heavenly Father) can produce far more sperm than the millions per sex session that us mortals produce. Obviously at least billions. Sorry people, no endless sex.

Can women enjoy the privilege of having children throughout eternity and bring such wonderful meaning to their existence? Can men have the honor of assisting women in this? The answer is a resounding YES.

I was raised a Protestant/Catholic with a possible best future of being in heaven playing harps and eating grapes, gardening or some other worthless pursuit. I'm glad to know that I wasn't just invented from thin air by a weird being that finally got bored one day(?) in the midst(?) of eternity and decided to make some toys. Fortunately this weird being happened to be all powerful relative to nothing (a total impossibility, as all power has to be relevant to something else - remembering that he was in the midst of nothing). What is more is that as he is omniscient the Protestant god knew long before that on that day(?) in the midst(?) of eternity he would suddenly get this urge through boredom. I'm happy to know the truth is that my eternity can be full of highly meaningful activity and that I'm here for a purpose, not for some strange being's entertainment.

9. MORMONS WON'T TELL YOU that you were once a spirit - child of their heavenly father, and one of his numerous wives before you were born on earth.

Once again we have 2 statements. One true. One false. We certainly were a child of Heavenly Father. And this is taught plainly in the missionary discussions. No secret. Yet females weren't their own mothers as this sad claim purports. In fact they weren't anyone's mothers until coming here to earth, getting a body and growing to adulthood.

The statement needs to have the comma after the word "father" removed and placed after the word "wives." Then it would be correct.

Even then I must, again, in all fairness to those members who don't accept this fact, state that it isn't a generally accepted doctrine that there was a need for parents. Many members have persisted with the Protestant idea of a magical God who just conjured up their inner being out of thin air.

10. MORMONS WON'T TELL YOU that the Virgin Mary really wasn't a virgin at all but had sex relations with their heavenly father to produce the Mormon version of Jesus Christ.

It would be unfair to the extremely large majority of Latter-Day Saints to teach this, as they don't believe it, in spite of the Bible teaching it. I know it to be true, but that is just my personal knowledge. She was a "virgin" from the worldly perspective, as she had not known mortal man. To the outside world there was no visible father.

The following is a conversation an angel had with Mary, from the book of Luke, in the New Testament.
"He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give to him the throne of his father David...Then Mary said to the angel, How will this be seeing I have not known a man? And the angel answered and said to her ... the power of the Highest shall overshadow you: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of you shall be called the Son of God."  Luke 1:32 & 34-35

Mary has asked how she can have a child since she has not had sexual relations with a man. In answer to how she could have the child the angel said that God the Father would lie on top of her; and because of the action, additionally, the child shall be called the Son of God.

Mary has regarded that this has answered her question of the missing father to the child. Additionally it declares that this action would mean he is even called the Son of God. Note also that Mary answers an acceptance of this occurring as though it was a request requiring her consent.

"And Mary said, See the handmaid of the Lord [meaning herself]; let it be to me according to your word. And the angel departed from her." Luke 1:38

In concluding let me again state that this fact is not accepted by the large majority of Latter-Day Saints. This is why it isn't taught.

11. MORMONS WON'T TELL YOU that they believe Jesus had at least three wives and children while he was on this earth.

Firstly I must present that this was an opinion expressed by one LDS member only. I haven't heard any others present those 3 as being definitely his wives. I'm sure that a survey of members would disagree with it as a known fact, or anything like it. Thus, why would we teach it?

Marriage itself however was compulsory for any leader of the people by God's commandments to Moses. Particularly in the case of Christ he would also fit with the charge of marriage given to the absolute leader of the people. They had to have demonstrated an ability to keep a marriage together. Paul further presented this idea in regard Bishops and Deacons. He also presented that they must have the ability to have their children in subjection. They furthermore had to be 30 years old or over. Christ also fulfilled this requirement. The Jews would not have accepted Christ as a teacher had he not fulfilled all God's law's requirements, including marriage.

12. MORMONS WON'T TELL YOU that the "heavenly father" they ask you to pray to with them, is really an exalted man that lives on a planet near the star base Kolob, and is not the Heavenly Father of the Bible at all.

Yes, I won't tell you that he is "not the Heavenly Father of the Bible," because he is.

What is the Heavenly Father of the Bible? He is an individual that has his special Son, Jesus Christ, SITTING on his RIGHT hand side (Acts 7:55). Genesis tells us that he looks like us as a mirror would see. And that he is as like us in the things we can't see also (Gen 1:26). His intelligence fills the universe. He sees and hears all the things we do. He perceives our thoughts and the intention of our hearts. Does the Protestant know where heaven actually is geographically? No. So Abraham was informed it is on a planet. Does the Bible oppose that idea? To the contrary, the Bible talks of the meek inheriting the earth (Matt 5:5) (a planet) and Christ sitting upon it in the midst of the righteous, with Heavenly Father there also (Rev 3:21).

13. MORMONS WON'T TELL YOU that Jesus was really Lucifer's brother in the spirit world, and it was only due to a "heavenly council" vote that Jesus became our redeemer instead of Satan!!

This is a little twisted. Additionally it is false that we don't teach the actual facts behind this distortion. We tell investigators that we were ALL one another's brothers and sisters. This, therefore, includes Jesus Christ and poor Lucifer [Satan]. The "heavenly council" was a discussion in which Jesus Christ presented that he was willing to perform the necessary function of a Savior, in order that we could be saved from our sins and move ahead to perfection. This is the only way that it could be done. Lucifer presented a plan of his own, which was impossible, as we must always have free choice or we cease to exist. But being the crack-pot he is this was beyond his comprehension. Satan never could have been our redeemer instead of Christ. If Heavenly Father could have come up with an alternate plan that would bring all to exultation he would have gladly embraced it, regardless of who got the glory. God IS love, not an egotistical nutcase.

Everybody "voted" in the sense that we all chose whether to follow Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ or to follow Satan. No one but Jesus Christ (Jehovah) could have been the Savior as it required perfect living, which is completely opposite to Satan's ways of viewing things. Jesus Christ was the only one who followed Heavenly Father perfectly in the pre-existence (that we are aware of). So he was the only one that God knew would follow him perfectly here.

14. MORMONS WON'T TELL YOU that there are over one hundred divisions in Mormonism. They conveniently "forget" this while criticizing the many denominations within the body of Christ

In regard the first statement, I have mentioned this many times in my discussions with non-members. This is only par for the course. But the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is by far the largest. It also had the majority of the twelve apostles within it when most splits occurred just after Joseph Smith's death. The Baptist church (for example) has at least tens of thousands of divisions within it. And so? The question still becomes which church is true? And the addition of 100 other churches doesn't change the simplicity of finding the truth by study, asking God and opening your hearts to the truth. As to the second part, we don't expose any church's doctrines that teach the true Christ, has his authority and practises the ordinances in the way he wants them practised.

15. MORMONS WON'T TELL YOU that all their so- called scriptures such as the Book of Mormon, Pearl of Great Price, Doctrine and Covenants, and even their official "Mormon Doctrine" statements contradict each other on MAJOR doctrinal points. The King James Bible is likewise contradicted.

Firstly "Mormon Doctrine" isn't part of our "Standard Works" and has NOT been sustained as Scripture by the general church membership. Thus its opinion is not that accepted by all church members. i.e. forget it as a standard of doctrines accepted as Scripture. It wouldn't matter if all the church authorities thought it was the most wonderful book in the world (which they don't). The other 4 books mentioned - Bible, Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants and Pearl of Great Price are the ONLY Scriptures officially sustained by members as Scripture every conference.

As to contradictions in Scripture, there is always a degree of that when faced with people and limited understanding. For example Christ said that "the Father judges no man, but has committed all judgement to the Son" (John 5:22). Christ also said that he won't be the judge (John 12:47). It also says, the Saints shall judge everybody in the world (1 Cor 6:2). So we have Christ performing ALL judgement, but the Saints performing judgement of everyone, yet Christ not judging anyone because his words are all that is required.

Use of the Holy Ghost makes these types of apparent disagreements plain, where there isn't an error made through ignorance or deliberate intension, by transcribing or alterations. Yet it looks like contradictions in the Bible. The more Scripture you have the more such apparent contradictions arise. Thus by us having 3 additional sets of Scripture there is obviously more apparent contradictions.

16. MORMONS WON'T TELL YOU that the reason the Book of Mormon has no maps is because there is not one scrap of archaeological evidence to support it!

LOL. At the beginning of the book there is a statement in regard what the book is. It says that it was "translated" by Joseph Smith. It used to have to say "written" by Joseph Smith. But because it was proven in a court of law to be an authentic history of the ancient Americas it can now declare itself as a translation. This was because of the overwhelming collection of archaeological and other evidence for it. This was opposed by Protestantism, and the LDS church won. The Protestants appealed and lost the appeal. The evidence for this can now be seen in the title page of any copy of the Book of Mormon, in that it is declared a translation.

The reason there are no maps is because the church would have to convince every single member that it had chosen the right places to make such an official map. The church, unlike Protestant churches, is a Theocratic Democracy ([Theocratic] - The Church of Jesus Christ [Democracy] - of Latter-Day Saints) , not a dictatorship with one group saying what all will believe.

17. MORMONS WON'T TELL YOU that the state of Utah, which is predominately Mormon, has a higher than the national average of wife-beating, child abuse, and teenage suicide.

In regard suicides the percentage of Mormons to non-Mormons in Utah has been decreasing over several decades (due to increases in people coming to Utah for work) while the numbers of suicides have increased. So that doesn't look good for those trying to blame members for this statistic.

The same can also be said of child abuse cases. Again showing a significant percentage rise in Utah, while the percentage of numbers of LDS to non-members in Utah is on the decrease.

The same applies to wife/partner physical abuse.

Also it should be noted that of the statistics for women, having their first baby, that claimed abuse occurring before pregnancy, the numbers were significantly higher in those unmarried couples. Only 2.1% of married women claimed abuse. While 9.2% of unmarried women claimed abuse by partners. This statistic again demonstrates that Mormons (who are far more likely to be married) aren't the perpetrators of this statistic.

Considering the great blessings that God has poured out on the LDS in Utah, many people come to Utah for work. It is most likely that many of the people coming to Utah for work are already in financial difficulties. This weighs heavily in spouse arguments, violence and suicide.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

A Further Examination of Anti-"Mormon" Material Part 2

I came across a site that claimed all these things that the church is supposed to be keeping a secret. It is entitled, "Things mormons won't tell you". Almost all of it is half-truths, sensationalizing or plain nonsense. Yet I want to present how simple it is to answer these claims for any that are unsure.

I'm starting with Part 2 and will put Part 1 on next, so that it will read in order when both posts are done.

18. MORMONS WON'T TELL YOU that their prophet Joseph Smith was heavily involved in the occult when he founded Mormonism.

Claims about people when they are dead are meaningless. Piles of people say he was a great guy, and piles of people say he wasn't. As we weren't there to make our own judgement it is futile discussion. Many people were paid enormous sums of money, for the time, to write testimonies against Joseph Smith. This is not denied by either side. Half of them probably never even met him.

19. MORMONS WON'T TELL YOU that they encourage visitations from dead relatives from the "spirit world", a practice forbidden in the Bible. (Deuteronomy 18:10-12.)

Nonsense. Some members mention isolated experiences of such. But it isn't a promoted idea or to be done on a regular basis. And therefore it doesn't fit under the command made in Deuteronomy, which involves a habit of communication. I have never communicated nor sort to communicate with any of my dead relatives.

20. MORMONS WON'T TELL YOU that there are many accounts of Joseph Smith's first vision besides the one they present to you, and all are different

There are 4 accounts he made. The fact that all are different is evidence of them being authentic, not visa-versa. If I tell people of a past experience, some person who may have heard it before can sometimes say that I didn't mention that last time. Joseph Smith could only say the same thing if it was rehearsed.

21. MORMONS WON'T TELL YOU that their secret temple oaths are based on the Scottish Rite Masons.

He means there is a relationship between ALL masonic rites and some of the ceremony done in the temple; not just some Scottish ones. The masons claim that their rites come from Solomon's temple and have been handed down in perfect order. Thus it is only obvious that the Old Testament parts of our temple ordinances are similar in places.

22. MORMONS WON'T TELL YOU that before 1978 they considered the Negro race inferior, and even one drop of Negro blood prevented a person from entering their priesthood.

Those spirits which became Negros chose not to have the priesthood in the pre-existence, because having it would put them in a position to be able to become Sons of Perdition (the worst of worst eternal ends). However they became members through baptism and received the Holy Ghost. If they choose to move in a different direction after death this is their decision also. The spirits who chose this have all come to earth, and so this doesn't pertain to those born now.

In regard claiming we don't tell investigators; obviously negro investigators of the time were informed. It wasn't relevant to anyone else; and there is far enough to teach investigators without getting on to things that aren't necessary for baptismal commitment.

As to us considering Negros inferior I will quote the book of Abraham in the Pearl of Great Price (translated by Joseph Smith) in regard a Negro named Pharaoh.

"Pharaoh, being a righteous man, established his kingdom and judged his people wisely and justly all his days, ... and also of Noah, his father [in the sense that he descended from him], who blessed him with the blessings of the earth, and with the blessings of wisdom ..." (Abraham 1:26)

A wise, righteous, just and blessed negro.

23. MORMONS WON'T TELL YOU that they expect Christ to return to their temple in Missouri, but they haven't built the temple He's supposed to return to, because they don't own the property. (It is owned by the "Temple Lot Mormons" who have plans of their own, and won't let the Salt Lake City group buy it).

Once again, in all fairness to those members who feel that the promise in regard Missouri has passed because the Saints failed to live up to God's laws, this is only accepted by some members as still to happen.

Yet for the defence of those members who continue to believe this I would say, so Christ won't be having his second coming tomorrow? Oh, and I was so looking forward to it. Are we serious? Things change.

While I, personally, feel that the Missouri promise may still stand, I'm uncertain.

24. MORMONS WON'T TELL YOU that they consider the Bible to be untrustworthy and full of errors.

"Full of errors" is a ridiculous exaggeration. If we believed that it wouldn't be part of our Scriptures. However we do tell investigators that errors do exist due to transcribing errors and deliberate changes made by Catholic priests in the ancient texts. Also debate exists in regard translation from one language to another. These things are well established facts, known to all Biblical scholars of all faiths.

25. MORMONS WON'T TELL YOU that Jesus' death on the cross only partially saves the believer.

Actually we do teach this. Christ suffered far more in the garden of Gethsemane, where his sweat was great drops of blood, than on the cross. An observation of the Old Testament sacrifices show that there was to be 2 sacrifices done by the Savior. One (sacrifice for each person's sins separately) was to be done outside the temple but inside Jerusalem (the Garden of Gethsemane) and the other was to be made for all Israel outside Jerusalem (the cross).

In regard Jesus Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane, the Bible tells us _

"And there appeared an angel to him from heaven, strengthening him. And being in agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground." Luke 22:43-44

Here, in the Garden of Gethsemane, we find that Christ required an angel to come down and strengthen him. We note that it goes on to say that Christ was in "agony" in the garden. In spite of the enormous agony of dying on a cross Christ didn't require an angel to strengthen him. Nor did Christ suffer so much upon the cross that he sweat blood.

In the Garden of Gethsemane Christ suffered for sins. As his body was a mess after suffering for our sins, it was time for him to die and become resurrected. So he, effectively, paid the price of death for our sins upon the cross. This made the resurrection possible for all others also.

26. MORMONS WON'T TELL YOU that according to Anton Lavey's Satanic Bible, the demon god of the living dead is called "Mormo". Is it just a coincidence that the Mormons are so concerned with the dead?

One reason why I haven't told anyone is that I don't read the Satanic Bible to know. Now you mention it I have noticed that the Bible talks of the "Anti-Christ." Well.... I'm shocked! The word Anti-Christ includes the word "Christ." And the name Saul, the King of Israel whom God cursed, was the former name of the apostle Paul and still sounds similar to Paul. What will we all do????

What had this guy been smoking?

27. MORMONS WON'T TELL YOU that on their Salt Lake City Temple they prominently display an upside-down star which is a Satanic symbol known as the Goat's head. Why?

Mormons don't tell you because almost all members wouldn't know that Satan had stolen it.

Satan is constantly setting up things that mimic what God does, but are negative versions. Note that God set up sacrifices on alters. And Satan mimicked it with human sacrifices on alters. This didn't make God a follower of Satan. God said his firstborn would be the sacrifice and that's what the Israelites put into the fires of Molech. God set up a priesthood and Satan got pagans to make a priesthood. These sorts of things are to be anticipated.

28. MORMONS WON'T TELL YOU that they believe the Archangel Michael came down to earth with several of his celestial wives, and became Adam in the garden of Eden.

Firstly this statement is false. Adam didn't come down with several wives. There was just, initially, Adam and Eve. What Brigham Young said (and this was his personal opinion, not Scripture) was that Adam came down with Eve, who was one of his Celestial wives. If I now owned a candy store, I could say that when I was little I came to my shop often. No one concludes that I mean it was my shop when I was little. Nor was Eve one of Adam's Celestial wives at the time of him coming down. They didn't even know the difference between good and evil. She was one of the women who eventually became one of his Celestial wives, was what Brigham was implying.

29. MORMONS WON'T TELL YOU that they believe the angel Gabriel came down to earth and became Noah in the days of the flood.

Overall, who cares? Why would we bother putting this in the missionary discussions? Its just information that is trivial. It obviously interested Joseph, so he was informed and concluded that someone else may wish to know. Obviously Gabriel came down to earth as somebody, as we all do.

30. MORMONS WON'T TELL YOU that their Prophet Joseph Smith prophesied falsely many times. For example, he foretold the second coming of Christ for 1891. The Bible teaches that one false prophecy puts the prophet under death sentence. (Deuteronomy 18:20-22).

The assumption that Joseph Smith made from his prophesy was incorrect. But the prophesy itself hasn't been shown to be incorrect because he didn't live to that age. The proviso given was "IF" he lived to be that age.

The same could be said of the prophesy by Caiaphas in the New Testament. He prophesied in regard Christ dying for that nation. And then he went out to have him killed. This didn't make Caiaphas a false prophet. John clearly states in regard Caiaphas, "being high priest at that time, prophesied." Yet Caiaphas's conclusion was that he was to kill Christ for the good of all (John 11:49-53).

31. MORMONS WON'T TELL YOU that their Prophet Joseph Smith did not die as a martyr as they claim, but was killed during a gun battle in which he himself killed two men and wounded a third.

It is not a pre-requisite for a martyr that he didn't try to defend himself. A martyr is someone who dies for his cause. Those men came for the purpose of killing Joseph Smith because of his religious affiliation. Had he not taught the things he did they would not have come to kill him. And so he died a martyr.

32. MORMONS WON'T TELL YOU about the Mountain Meadows Massacre in which they brutally murdered an innocent wagon train of settlers, of over one hundred men, women, and most of the children, traveling through Utah.

Actually I've mentioned this to investigators many times. That way I can give both sides of the argument rather than just this distorted one.

This situation is a classic example of why I'm against position worship within the church. It seems a particular bishop got over zealous and fearful in regard some former Missourians (who were involved in killing, raping and pillaging the members when in Missouri) travelling through Utah in a wagon train which included others. In order to keep them from attacking his area he had his members dress up as Indians and attack the wagon train. It seems that he became fearful of discovery and decided to kill all witnesses. But some of those involved later confessed their actions.

It does stand as a sad action performed by some church members and a warning not to just follow any church authority blindly.

33. MORMONS WON'T TELL YOU that Joseph Smith taught that there were inhabitants on the moon, and Brigham Young taught there were inhabitants on the sun as well!

These ideas came from a scientist of the time. Isaiah may have believed that the earth was flat. That doesn't make him a false prophet either. Being a prophet doesn't make a person know everything. Human errors will still exist.