Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Happy Birthday to Jesus!

I think it is common knowledge that Jesus was not actually born on December 25th. I took a few minutes yesterday to see what some of the opinions are as to when he was actually born. It was no surprise that every opinion I read was different and they all made it very clear that there is no way to pinpoint the actual date. Some said it could have been in September while others came to the conclusion that November was a more realistic time. Others believe it was in the Spring during the time of new birth and life.

That brings me to the Mormon belief about the birth of Jesus. Under the claim of modern revelation, they know the exact day/month/year of the nativity.

In a message from the First Presidency, the head of the LDS church, the following was said…

April is truly a historic month in which we commemorate two of the most important events in the history of mankind: the death and resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and the reestablishment of his church and kingdom here upon the earth in these, the latter days. Members of the Church also believe that Christ was born on April 6 in the year 1 b.c. (See D&C 20:1.)
N. Eldon Tanner, “Resurrection and Restoration,” Ensign, Apr 1971, 2

The verse they reference is part of a revelation telling Joseph Smith when to organize and start the church. It reads as follows…

THE rise of the Church of Christ in these last days, being one thousand eight hundred and thirty years since the coming of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in the flesh, it being regularly organized and established agreeable to the laws of our country, by the will and commandments of God, in the fourth month, and on the sixth day of the month which is called April

There have been some Mormon apostles that have said that we can’t know for sure but I could not find any instance where that was said in an official publication put out by the church like the Ensign. In fact, in the book Jesus the Christ by Elder James E. Talmage, the April 6th date is again confirmed. I mention this book because it was, and probably still is, one of the only books LDS missionaries are allowed to read while on their mission. To me that says something and is an obvious endorsement by the LDS church.

I don’t consider this to be a big issue with Mormonism but it is just another interesting piece of information.

Merry Christmas to you all! I hope your holiday is filled with JOY, PEACE, and HAPPINESS!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Endowment = Gift...Really?

I was on the other day looking for information on the temples when I ran into this quote.

“One ordinance received in the temple is called the endowment. The word endowment means "gift," and the temple endowment truly is a gift from God.”

Now, I have heard this a million times before but I have come to know that Mormons like to make up their own meaning to words so I decided to actually check to see what the real definition of endowment was and here is what I found.

Webster defines it as…

1: the act or process of endowing
2: something that is endowed ; specifically : the part of an institution's income derived from donations
3: natural capacity, power, or ability (a person of great intellectual endowment)

Endow or Endowing:

1: to furnish with an income ; especially : to make a grant of money providing for the continuing support or maintenance of (endow a hospital)
2: to furnish with a dower
3: to provide with something freely or naturally

The thesaurus gave me this information…
a special and usually inborn ability (it's a sin to waste one's God-given endowments)— see TALENT gave me the following…


Assets, funds, or property donated to an institution, individual, or group as a source of income.

I looked at 3 other sources and they all said the same things. The only time an endowment was referred to anything even close to a gift it had to do with either in-born talents or monetary gifts given to an organization such as a charity, hospital or church.

So, Mormons refer to the endowment as a “gift” but who is giving to whom? In order to be found worthy to enter the temple, you must be a full tithe payer meaning that you have to give 10% of your gross income to the church. That sounds like an endowment to me but the church is on the receiving end and not the members.

Now, the LDS church is not the only church to promote paying tithes but it is one of the only ones I know of that has it as a requirement for salvation. Salvation can not be achieved in the Mormon church unless you have been to the temple to receive your endowment and be married/sealed.

No tithing = No temple = No salvation

I wonder if there are definitions to other words they just make up to suit their own needs and give members warm, fuzzy, feelings.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Mormon Temple Prayer List

Last week I found out the members of my family were putting my family’s names on the LDS temple prayer list. Due to some interesting circumstances, I felt compelled to send them all an email requesting that they refrain from doing that again. Below is the letter I sent them today...

Dear Family,

It has come to my attention that some people have been putting our family’s names on the LDS temple prayer list. While I’m sure it was done with good intentions, I must request that the religious wishes of our family be respected. In no way do we agree with the teachings and doctrines found in Mormonism including the need for prophets today or temples. When Christ died on the cross, the Bible says that the veil in the temple was rent from top to bottom and the temple was destroyed. Then in Acts 17 we read that “God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands”.

In the temple endowment, when Adam prays at the alter he made after being removed from the Garden of Eden, His prayer is answered but not by God. He prays, “Oh God hear the words of my mouth.” but Satan is the one who answers him stating that he is the God of this world. Later in the session, that same prayer is repeated at an alter in the endowment room and then those names who are put on the prayer list are placed on the alter and prayed for. It is my opinion that, just as it is in the movie, that prayer is answered by the wrong person. God does not dwell there and there is very little justification for modern temple worship unless it comes from the self serving mouths of LDS prophets. Hebrews 1:1-2 teaches us that God, in the last days, speaks to us by his Son and that Christ was the last prophet.

1God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,
2Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;

1In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways,
2but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe.

The prophets of the Old Testament spoke of Him and He is the last word. After his death he sent his disciples out to preach His gospel and none other. (Galatians 1:9) The apostles preached endlessly about watching out for false prophets and I am beginning to see why.

It is for these reasons and many more that we do not support or sustain the doctrines of Mormonism. It is our wish that our names be kept off of the temple prayer lists and we trust that this request will be honored.

Peace be unto you this Christmas!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

"Cross" Checking Mormon Policy With the Bible

Below is a direct quote from discussing their view of the use of the cross as a religious symbol.

The cross is used in many Christian churches as a symbol of the Savior's death and Resurrection and as a sincere expression of faith. As members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we also remember with reverence the suffering of the Savior. But because the Savior lives, we do not use the symbol of His death as the symbol of our faith.

Our lives must be the expression of our faith. When we are baptized and confirmed, we covenant to take upon ourselves the name of Jesus Christ. The way we live our lives should demonstrate our love for the Savior and His work.

The only members of the Church who wear the symbol of the cross are Latter-day Saint chaplains, who wear it on their military uniforms to show that they are Christian chaplains.

In the article “The Symbol of Our Faith,” (Ensign, Apr 2005) Gordon B. Hinckley spoke of a conversation he had with a Protestant minister. Through the course of this conversation he said…

“I do not wish to give offense to any of my Christian colleagues who use the cross on the steeples of their cathedrals and at the altars of their chapels, who wear it on their vestments, and imprint it on their books and other literature. But for us, the cross is the symbol of the dying Christ, while our message is a declaration of the Living Christ.”

He then asked: “If you do not use the cross, what is the symbol of your religion?”

I replied that the lives of our people must become the most meaningful expression of our faith and, in fact, therefore, the symbol of our worship.

And so, because our Savior lives, we do not use the symbol of His death as the symbol of our faith. But what shall we use? No sign, no work of art, no representation of form is adequate to express the glory and the wonder of the Living Christ. He told us what that symbol should be when He said, “If ye love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15).

As His followers, we cannot do a mean or shoddy or ungracious thing without tarnishing His image. Nor can we do a good and gracious and generous act without burnishing more brightly the symbol of Him whose name we have taken upon ourselves. And so our lives must become a meaningful expression, the symbol of our declaration of our testimony of the Living Christ, the Eternal Son of the Living God.”

So, Mormons believe that the cross is a symbol of Christ’s death and they believe that the focus should be on the resurrection. What is interesting is that Hinckley apparently was not well versed on his own website or their view on the topic has been changed since the official statement claims that Christian churches look at the cross as a symbol of both the death and resurrection which appears to take away his justification for not using it. Hinckley and other LDS members seem to have defined the cross for those who actually use it as an emblem of their faith instead of letting them define for themselves what it represents.

For Mormons to say that it is only a symbol of the “dying Christ” is a pretty short sighted and shallow way of looking at it. In my time studying about Christianity, I have learned that Christians think so much more of it then just the Savior’s death. To them it is about His sacrifice for our sins which was completed on the cross when Jesus said “It is finished.” It is about the victory over Satan and the ability to be cleansed by the blood Christ shed. It also marked the end of the need for blood sacrifice under the Law of Moses, bringing to an end such things.

To me, without the cross and what happened there, the resurrection would not matter so to ignore the cross to celebrate the resurrection is looking beyond the mark. It is like watching the end of a movie but missing how you got there and what makes it such a powerful conclusion to the story.

Many see the cross as the ultimate sign of love, a pure love that is so immense and complex that it could only come from God. "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."

I am always surprised to see the reaction of the Mormons I come in contact with when they see the cross necklace my wife wears. They act so shocked that she would even think of wearing such a thing. Any Mormon that judges someone for wearing a cross or other religious symbol needs to look in the mirror at night. You wear a religious symbol every day when you put on your temple garments as a reminder of your beliefs and commitments. The cross serves a similar purpose for those that choose to use it.

I will leave you with one last passage from the Bible that talks about the importance of the cross.

1 Cor 1:17-18 (KJV)

17 For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect. 18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.

17 For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel—not with words of human wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power. 18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

Monday, December 8, 2008

I remember it too well...

So, I was looking for a video I had seen before regarding another topic when I ran into these. They give an accurate accounting of what missionaries teach on a day to day basis. I remember to well what it was like trying to convince people that what the LDS church believed was right. I recall wincing when some of the more obscure topics would come up. I don't envy those poor boys.

I wish I would have been approached like this because I think I would have seen the light sooner and made my exit long before I did. I am impressed at the way this man talked with these missionaries. He was polite, listened and in a calm way danced circles around them. At some point I want to be able to handle myself that way but I doubt I would be that composed.

Anyways, take a look and let me know what you think. If nothing else, it is fun to listen to their New Zealand accents.