Presidential candidate helps shed light on a religion many do not understand
The Allred family gathers for their weekly family devotional, a distinctive part of the Mormon faith.
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Planet Kolob, Polygamy, False Prophet Joe Smith -- The Mormon Faith is based on a Lies, Deception, Polygamy and a self serving Pedophile Prophet named Joseph Smith. The LDS Church asks their members to believe in this fairy tale and whatever complete and utter nonsense they can come up with to get their members to tithe 10 percent to this false church-- Mormonism stands as the most preposterous religion because it can be proven to be completely false over and over again. Mormons entered the world teaching that all prior Christianity was corrupt and an abomination to God. Mormonism is not Christian, and is radically set apart from Christianity.
The Bizarre Mormon Faith was started by a convicted fraud named Joseph Smith. Smith the so called prophet practiced polygamy during his ministry, and Smith had 33 wives other than his first wife Emma Hale, many of these women were married to other men. Smith had numerous affairs with housemaids, and underage girls as young as 14. This is why Mormons will never bring their religion into live debate as the consequences would politically destroy them. Mormon Polygamy: the allowance of multiple wives was practiced and strongly defended by the Mormon Church for many years -- Brigham Young had 55 wives. The Mormon church banned the practice ONLY after Congress pressured and the Supreme Court passed the Edmunds Act, which stated that the Barbaric martial form of polygamy was a felony, punishable by five years of imprisonment and threatened to take away ALL civil rights of Mormons, including depriving them of their citizenship, to voting and holding any political office -- Sadly If it wasn't for the U.S. Government stepping in, Mormons today would be just like Warren Jeff's the polygamous prophet of the FLDS Mormon Church, Brigham Young and Joseph Smith. Romney is a product of this religious affiliation and Mormonism has been treated as a cult based on huge fundamental differences.from the majority of other christian denominations and mainstream Americans.
I'm glad I stand for my belief's and follow Biblical principals. Hurricane you're more like a light wind with nothing meaningful to add to the conversation (as usual)
Boy, I sure do love the tolerance for the religious beliefs of others that being expressed in this forum. People, of you want to worship in an LDS church, then go for it. If you don't then nobody's forcing you to go to one at gunpoint.
I'm not a Mormon, and I may or may not agree with the church's tenets, but I'll be (rhymes with "ham")-ed if I'm going to engage in all the "My God's better than your God" nonsense that's been being piled up here like so much horse manure.
How you choose to worship is between you and God. And I THANK that same God that some of the people on this forum don't have the power to dictate my faith to me. I know people of every faith that are great folks. I also know people of every faith that give Religion a bad name.
Give it a rest, people.....
Matthew 24:24. The Mormon approach for the last 30 years has been to try and convince Christians that Mormonism is the same as Christianity or that they are Christians too. If you are a Christian but weak on your knowledge, do not argue with them. The Bible tells us to flee from sin and the book of Matthew warns against these FALSE prophets.
Great correction gamommaof! Thank You! Study his history now. Mormonism is a fraud and Joseph Smith started the fraud by copying the writings and rituals of the Mason's. The most compelling proof that Joseph Smith was perpetuating a fraud is the Book of Abraham. In 1835 Smith was able to use his Urim and Thummim to translate some Egyptian scrolls that he was given access to (at that time no one could read hieroglyphics). Upon inspection, Smith declared that they contained the Book of Abraham. He promptly translated the lot and it was accepted as scripture by the church. The scrolls vanished and everyone thought the story would end there. But it didn’t – in 1966 the original scrolls were found in the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art. The scrolls turned out to be a standard Egyptian text that was often buried with the dead. To this day the Book of Abraham is a source of discomfort for the Mormon religion. Ask a Moromon if Jesus is the Son of God and responsible for offering eternal salvation. See what you get back.
All of you need to get a life...
Noholdingback, just an FYI its Joseph Smith, not John Smith. Thank you
Uhhh. Mormonism is not the same as Christianity. Been there....got the he_ll out. All to strange and cloaked. If you want to really understand, study the book and John Smith's history. Mormon's would like to main stream their religion however they will not be able to. People are unable to accept the craziness Michael spoke of below. He hit the nail on the head. Sorry Mormons, shovel that somewhere else. The WT is an anti Christian publication and they will attempt to show anything as "normal" as long as it's not Christianity. The Holy Bible speaks clearly of these days where people turn from the great I Am and turn to false God's / religions. It's nothing new to out Heavenly Father. The Bible says it clearly, there is no other way to God except through Jesus Christ. Mormon's believe Jesus existed, they just dont believe that accepting him as their savior and their only eternal salvation. If they tell you that, they are trying to deceive you. Do not argue with them. Flee from evil Christians.
Brother French -- thank you for providing us the information regarding your Mormon Church. While I disagree with its doctrine, principles and tenants, I do appreciate your effort and information on this subject.
Sweeping generalizations for $600, hurricane 77 -- It's apparent that people as yourself do mot like to hear different viewpoints regarding the Peculiar Mormon Faith. Your grammar, emotion immaturity, lack of knowledge and vulgar display are all very typical of someone who likes to police this type of local forum but never address the questions -- Often individuals like this will refuse to answer questions, make emotional outbursts, fail to give any rational answers, and when they hit a sticking point they change the subject, divert the topic and blame the person who questions the Mormon faith, but they never confront the allegations made about their Mormon prophet and religion.
447 posts?? LOL... maybe it's time to find a new hobby![beam]
I think you are right. I am going to sit this dance out.
Very nice and well balanced article Walton Tribune!
To the "my church is better than your church" comments, I have 3 words for all of that:
Freedom of Religion
Michael G: Journalism 101 rule: Never assume, you just make an a$$ out of U and me.
You need to take a pill and step back, boy. First, I am not a member of the LDS church. Never said I was.
Brother French, while your pots and responses to thins man's pathetic diatribes are well worded and thorough, with all due respect, don't try to dance with a pig. Michael is not going to listen to anything you have to say, and he has long since made up his mind that all he is cap[able of is borderline-libelous attacks on people who don't march in lock-step with his beliefs.
Many thanks to Stephen Milligan for an excellent and balanced article. I've been "being Mormon in Georgia" for over sixty years now. My parents were converts to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints before WWII in Columbus, down on the banks of the lower Chattahoochee. When the first LDS "stake" (regional group of congregations) was formed in Georgia in 1957 my father was called to be on the stake "High Council" (a group of 12 men who monthly visit the local congregations). As a young boy I traveled with him from Columbus to visit "wards" and branches of our church in Atlanta, Athens, Rome, Macon, Palmetto, Empire, Buchanan, etc.
While growing up "Mormon" in Georgia I also attended Baptist Vacation Bible School with my other Christian friends, Methodist churches, and other Protestant services. I knew I had some beliefs that were different, but I felt at home in the worship of Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. No one ever made me feel that I was not "Christian". The differences between my faith and theirs were no greater than the differences between theirs and, say, Catholics for example. (I've met some Protestants who believe Catholics aren't Christian either, but I take their arguments for what they're worth, which is not much.)
I got along well with my many friends of different faiths. I was selected "Most Popular Player" on the high school football team and I was chosen to be the "Most Representative" Senior in the yearbook. I narrowly lost being elected as president of the Student Council. ... and I'm a Mormon.
Many of the comments here have explained the Christian nature of our faith so I won't go over that again. Those who have their own narrow definition of Christianity that would exclude Latter-day Saints will have to explain that to Jesus when we all stand before Him. Personally, I look forward to the day when He will enfold me in His loving arms and say "well done, thou good and faithful servant".
It is sad that a few who call themselves "Christian" still hold onto some of the religious bigotry of the past. When some of the disciples came to Jesus complaining about others preaching in the name of Christ, he gave them counsel that might be best be heeded by his followers today:
And John answered him, saying, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name, and he followeth not us: and we forbad him, because he followeth not us. But Jesus said, Forbid him not: for there is no man which shall do a miracle in my name, that can lightly speak evil of me. For he that is not against us is on our part. (Mark 9:38)
In the late 1800's a Mormon missionary named Joseph Standing was murdered in the red clay hills near Varnell, Georgia by a mob of ruffians in the name of Christianity. Hopefully we've grown beyond that kind of behavior and we can opt to learn more about each other in a spirit of love and faith that would be approved by our Lord Jesus Christ.
I think I already answered the question that you possed to Hurrican 77. In case you missed it I will post it again.
Are Mormons Christians?Of course we are Christians. We believe in Jesus Christ! In addition, every good member of our church strives to follow Jesus Christ by keeping his commandments and doing the will of their Heavenly Father.
We are Latter-day Christians. There are also Nicene Christians. Both are followers of Jesus Christ even though they differ in doctrine as to what God is like. I refer you to the following if you want to know more on the subject:
Simply put, Nicene Christians believe that God the Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost are one and the same God, and that he (God) is a spirit without a body, parts or passions.
The bottom line difference is that we Latter-day Christians teach that Jesus Christ is a separate person from his Heavenly Father and from the Holy Ghost. We also teach that Jesus Christ has been resurrected with an immortal, glorified, spiritual body of flesh and bones like his Heavenly Father’s, and that he is still resurrected today. See Hebrews 1:1-3, Revelations. 1:10-18.
In addition, Joseph Smith talked face to face with God the Father and his Son Jesus Christ in what we call “The First Vision”. Therefore, we know our doctrine concerning the nature of the Godhead to be true.
You can also refer to John 17:20-23, 20:17, Luke 22:39-44, Acts 7:55-56. These scriptures, and scores of others, show that Christ is a separate person from his father. However, the Father, Son and the Holy Ghost are united as “one” in purpose, thought and actions.
In reference to Revelations 1:10-18 which I mentioned above please note Christ’s own statement that he is still alive (resurrected) and always will be! Also, pay particular attention to the fact that he laid his hand on John’s shoulder proving to John that he was the resurrected Christ.
We Mormons believe the Holy Bible is the word of God (insofar as it is translated correctly), and we use the King James Version. We also believe the Book of Mormon is Another Testament of Jesus Christ and we use it as a companion book of scripture to the Bible.
Here are some scriptures from The Book of Mormon that will help you to know that Mormons are Christians. 2 Nephi 2 – Lehi testifies of the Savior as our Redeemer.2 Nephi 9 – Jacob testifies of the Atonement.2 Nephi 31–33 – Nephi teaches the doctrine of Christ.Enos – Enos experiences the power of the Atonement.Mosiah 2–5 – King Benjamin teaches of Christ.Mosiah 12–16 – Abinadi gives his life in testifying of Jesus Christ.Alma 5, 7 – Alma testifies of the Savior.Alma 17–22 – Lamanites receive the testimony of Jesus Christ.Alma 34 – Amulek testifies of the Atonement.Alma 36 – Alma experiences the power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ.Alma 40–42 – Alma testifies of the resurrection and Atonement.Helaman 5 – Nephi and Lehi are instruments in God’s hands to witness of the Savior.3 Nephi 9–10 – The Savior invites people to come to Him.3 Nephi 11–18 – The Savior teaches the Nephites of the Father and of His doctrine.3 Nephi 27 – The Savior teaches His gospel.Ether 3 – The brother of Jared sees the Savior.Ether 12 – Ether and Moroni testify of the Savior and the power of His Atonement.Moroni 7–8 – Mormon teaches of the pure love of Christ and His Atonement.Moroni 10 – Moroni invites all to come unto Christ and be perfected in Him.Also, the Bible contains a prophecy concerning the coming forth of The Book of Mormon in these latter days:About 600 B.C. God commanded the tribes of Israel to keep two scriptural histories rather than one as they had done in the past. The “Stick of Judah” (the Bible record) was still to be kept by the tribe of Judah, but the new record, the “Stick of Ephraim”, was to be kept by the tribe of Joseph. Thus, God also referred to it as the “Stick of Joseph”. This new record was soon hidden from world when the Prophet Lehi and a small group from the tribe of Joseph were led by God to the Western Hemisphere. However, God declared to the Prophet Ezekiel that he would bring it forth to be joined with the Stick of Judah prior to the gathering of the twelve tribes of Israel in the latter days. Thus, God said these sacred records “shall become one in mine hand” (Ezekiel 37:15-21. Also see 2 Nephi 3:12 in the Book of Mormon). Today, we know the Stick of Joseph as the Book of Mormon. It covers a period of history from 600 B.C. to 400 A.D., and contains the writings of some of the greatest prophets who ever lived. As a companion book to the Bible (the Stick of Judah) it provides another Testament, and a second sure witness to both Jew and gentile that Jesus is the Christ!
Hurricane 77,Please inform us Christians the truth about your Mormon church. Your people who are known as the "peculiar people" had a very interesting, controversial and rather violent history. Maybe you are able to enlighten us briefly with your version of its insular and checkered past. BTW many non-mormons feel this way about your church.
Numbers don't lie in politics, this means that public opinion polls are a highly effective method to gather data on voter views. June polling data on the Mormon Religion in politics is, as expected was very negative. In a series of polls taken last month asking if voters would feel "uncomfortable" with a Mormon as president the results sent a powerful message. These results by poll were: The Mason-Dixon Poll (28%) Public Institute Research Poll (40%) and a Quinnipiac Poll (34%). A second question posed in a Gallup Poll found that 22% of those asked would not support any Presidential candidate who is a mormon. Polling data done by The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life in late November found that 24% had negative views of Mormonism, with 21% of evangelicals saying that they would not vote for a Mormon, many of them characterizing it is as being non-Christian and consider it a Cult.
Michael GayleyAthens, GA
As a lifelong Christian Protestant, Mormonism is definitely not considered a Christian religion. It is not even a Christian heresy. It is a religion that has no real connection to Christianity except maybe at a semantic level. Mormon Prophet Joseph Smith claimed that an angel named Moroni came to him in visions and guided him to golden plates buried in an earthen mound -- Where's the Golden Plates Folks?
The Mormon Faith was started by a self serving Prophet. Sadly the LDS Church asks their members to believe in this false story and whatever nonsense they are able to tell their members who tithe their 10% to their church. Joseph Smith the Mormon prophet practiced polygamy during his ministry, Smith had 33 wives other than his first wife Emma Hale many of whom were married to other men. Smith had numerous affairs with housemaids, and underage girls as young as 14. This is why Mormons will never bring their religion into live debate as the consequences would politically destroy and embarrass them. Mormons believe that Adam and Eve settled in Missouri, and that the garden of Eden was in Jackson County, MO five miles north of Kansas City -- Mormon Polygamy: the allowance of multiple wives was practiced and strongly defended by the Mormon Church for many years -- Brigham Young had 55 wives. The Mormon church banned the practice ONLY after Congress pressured and the Supreme Court passed the Edmunds Act, which stated that the Barbaric martial form of polygamy was a felony, punishable by five years of imprisonment and threatened to take away ALL civil rights of Mormons, from depriving them their citizenship, to voting and holding any political office -- Sadly If it wasn't for the U.S. Government stepping in, Mormons today would be just like Warren Jeff's the polygamous prophet of the FLDS Mormon Church, Brigham Young and Joseph Smith. Romney is a product of this religious affiliation and like it or not Mormonism has been treated as a cult based on huge fundamental differences.from the majority of mainstream Christian denominations.
Michael GayleyAthens, GA
Michael G - your comments reported to moderator for violation of rules 3 and 4 above.
Guys - if you don't want to attend an LDS church or believe as they do, then God Bless America! DON'T GO.
PLEASE - ENOUGH OF THIS 'MY CHURCH IS BETTER THAN YOUR CHURCH" GARBAGE!!!!
"You only need to scratch the surface to see what utter nonsense it is."
That's some rather offensive verbiage there. I dont think that the Mormon "nonsense" is any more or less nonsensical than the "other" Christian "nonsense. Talking snakes? Virgin births ? The idea that a 500 year old man built the largest wooden boat ever , collected all of the animals and 7 of his family members while an angry God killed every other living thing for sport and then made all the magic water disappear ?
One faith's " nonsense" is another's gospel .
To Michael G.
Actually linguistic experts continue to find indications of Hebrew and Egyptian influence in the Americas. The Book of Mormon specifically states that the Reformed Egyptian was a result of modifications the Nephites made to their language and was unique to them. “Reformed” is used as an adjective in the Book of Mormon, not a Noun. “Reformed Egyptian” is not the name of the language the Book of Mormon peoples used; rather, it is a description of the language they used . We don't expect it to be known in other places in the world or to the scholars as a title of a known language.
Recent scholarly research suggests a possible link between Uto-Aztecan (a family of about 30 Native American languages) and Hebrew. For example, Dr. Brian Stubbs argues for numerous parallels between Hebrew and Uto-Aztecan. As a professional linguist, Dr. Stubbs avoids the pitfalls of amateurs who simply point at similar words between two different languages. As he points out,
Any two languages can have a few similar words by pure chance. What is called the comparative method is the linguist's tool for eliminating chance similarities and determining with confidence whether two languages are historically—that is, genetically—related. This method consists of testing for three criteria. First, consistent sound correspondences must be established, for linguists have found that sounds change in consistent patterns in related languages; for example, German tag and English day are cognates (related words), as well as German tür and English door. So one rule about sound change in this case is that German initial t corresponds to English initial d. Some general rules of sound change that occur in family after family help the linguist feel more confident about reconstructing original forms from the descendant words or cognates, although a certain amount of guesswork is always involved.
Second, related languages show parallels in specific structures of grammar and morphology, that is, in rules that govern sentence and word formation.
Third, a sizable lexicon (vocabulary list) should demonstrate these sound correspondences and grammatical parallels.
When consistent parallels of these sorts are extensively demonstrated, we can be confident that there was a sister-sister connection between the two tongues at some earlier time.
A few of Stubbs' many examples are below showing on the left the Hebrew word and it's meaning and on the right the New World word and it's meaning. Stubbs and ather scholars have documented many more examples:
Hebrew-Semitic Uto-Aztecan kilyah/kolyah 'kidney' - kali 'kidney'
baraq 'lightning' - berok (derived from *pïrok) 'lightning'
sekem/sikm- 'shoulder' - sikum/sïka 'shoulder'
mayim/meem 'water' - meme-t 'ocean'
These are just a few examples out or many that Stubbs gives.
Rhodes Scholar Dr. Roger Westcott, non-LDS Professor Emeritus of Anthropology and Linguistics at Drew University, has made positive comments about Dr. Stubbs' research:
Perhaps the most surprising of all Eurasian-American linguistic connections, at least in geographic terms, is that proposed by Brian Stubbs: a strong link between the Uto-Aztecan and Afro-Asiatic (or Hamito-Semitic) languages. The Uto-Aztecan languages are, or have been, spoken in western North America from Idaho to El Salvador. One would expect that, if Semites or their linguistic kinsmen from northern Africa were to reach the New World by water, their route would be trans-Atlantic. Indeed, what graphonomic evidence there is indicates exactly that: Canaanite inscriptions are found in Georgia and Tennessee as well as in Brazil; and Mediterranean coins, some Hebrew and Moroccan Arabic, are found in Kentucky as well as Venezuela [citing Cyrus Gordon].
But we must follow the evidence wherever it leads. And lexically, at least, it points to the Pacific rather than the Atlantic coast. Stubbs finds Semitic and (more rarely) Egyptian vocabulary in about 20 of 25 extant Uto-Aztecan languages. Of the word-bases in these vernaculars, he finds about 40 percent to be derivable from nearly 500 triliteral Semitic stems. Despite this striking proportion, however, he does not regard Uto-Aztecan as a branch of Semitic or Afro-Asiatic. Indeed, he treats Uto-Aztecan Semitisms as borrowings. But, because these borrowings are at once so numerous and so well "nativized," he prefers to regard them as an example of linguistic creolization - that is, of massive lexical adaptation of one language group to another. (By way of analogy, . . . historical linguists regard the heavy importation of French vocabulary into Middle English as a process of creolization.)....
Lest skeptics should attribute these correspondences to coincidence, however, Stubbs takes care to note that there are systematic sound-shifts, analogous to those covered in Indo-European by Grimm's Law, which recur consistently in loans from Afro-Asiatic to Uto-Aztecan. One of these is the unvoicing of voiced stops in the more southerly receiving languages. Another is the velarization of voiced labial stops and glides in the same languages. (Roger Williams Westcott, "Early Eurasian Linguistic Links with North America," in Across Before Columbus?, edited. by Donald Y. Gilmore and Linda S. McElroy (Laconia, New Hampshire: New England Antiquities Research Association (NEARA), 1998),193–197; cited by Jeff Lindsay, "Nugget #8: Uto-Aztecan and the Book of Mormon: Linguists Provide Possible Evidence Consistent with Book of Mormon Claims," jefflindsay.com (accessed 16 September 2007) http://en.fairmormon.org/Book_of_Mormon/Anachronisms/Language/Hebrew_and_Native_American_language
Charles William Johnson has also shown that Egyptian words appear in multiple New World native languages including Mayan dialects, the Southwestern United States, and the Gulf coast. These include Taino, Quechua (Runa Simi), Purépecha, and native languages in Louisiana.
The Book of Mormon continues to make a serious impression on non-LDS scholars. As early as 1966 Near Eastern scholar William F. Albright, though not a believer in the Book of Mormon, wrote a letter in response to an anti-Mormon critic, noting that Joseph Smith probably could not have learned Egyptian from scholars of his day, yet included some authentic Egyptian names in the Book of Mormon. "It is all the more surprising that there are two Egyptian names, Paanch[i] and Pahor[an] which appear in the Book of Mormon in close connection with a reference to the original language being 'Reformed Egyptian.'" (William F. Albright to Grant S. Heward, Baltimore, Maryland, July 25, 1966, as cited by Tvedtnes, 2001.)
The Book of Mormon added about 180 new words to the English language when it was published in 1830. Most of these are names of people and places. Now, many of these names have surfaced in ancient document discoveries. When the archive at Elephantine, on the upper Nile River was discovered around 1900 we learned of a group of Jews who left Jerusalem not long before the time of Lehi and settled on the upper Nile river at Elephantine. It turns out that many names and words in the Elephantine archive match and verify the authenticity of the book of Mormon names No one in Joseph Smith’s time could have fabricated those names because Elephantine had not yet been discovered in Joseph Smith’s day and yet archeological evidence discovered long after Joseph Smith’s time corroborates the Book of Mormon.
He then implied that Joseph Smith might have been some kind of "religious genius." Given today's impressive and growing list of authentic Semitic names in the Book of Mormon, it's doubtful that the "religious genius" theory can survive. Joseph Smith was not a religious Einstein--he was a largely unschooled Prophet of God.
The enemies of Joseph charged him with fraud in various property conveyances, mostly in behalf of the Church. A succession of court proceedings that extended for nearly a decade examined these claims in meticulous detail. Finally, in 1852, long after the Saints’ exodus from Illinois (so there was no conceivable political or other cause for anyone to favor the Prophet), a federal judge concluded this litigation with a decree that found no fraud or other moral impropriety by the Prophet. (See Dallin H. Oaks and Joseph I. Bentley, “Joseph Smith and Legal Process: In the Wake of the Steamboat Nauvoo,” BYU Law Review : 735.)
Joseph’s appearance before the judge was not a trial, it was a hearing. No verdict was rendered upon Joseph; he was simply charged for court costs and the case was not pursued further. Joseph was never convicted of any crime. The critics of the LDS church are not forthcoming with this important detail. Instead they imply, or even lie, saying that Joseph was convicted. He was not!
The critics also conveniently neglect to mention that Josiah Stowell testified FOR Joseph as a defense witness at this hearing, and did not believe that Joseph had defrauded him at all. Stowell testified of Joseph's claims, "Do I believe it? No, it is not a matter of belief: I positively know it to be true." The charges were brought by Stowell's family members, who appear to have been worried that Josiah would accept Joseph's religious claims. Stowell himself joined the Church founded by Joseph and remained a faithful member to the day of his death.
Respondingn to Michael G.
Latter-day Saints invite all people to qualify themselves to come to the Temple and receive instruction. It is not intended that anyone be left out. However, as taught by the Bible prophets, the early Christians, and Jesus Himself, sacred things are shared only when people are prepared for it. The responsibility to prepare and become qualified rests on each individual. If any do not come it is because they exclude themselves and not because they are not invited. It seems so ironic to me that some people complain about being left out when, all along, we have been pleading with them to come, qualify themselves, and join with us.
The Lord gives us all truth at once but line upon line and precept upon precept, here a little and there a liltle. (Isaiah 21:10, 13). He gives milk before meat (Hebrews 5:12)
When sacred things are handed out to just anybody they are not valued or understood by the those who are unspiritualy prepared (1 Corinthians Chapter 2).
On several occasions the teachings of Jesus, or events which took place, were so sacred that he did not want to discuss them openly. After Peter James and John saw Moses, and Elias, and heard God’s voice on the Mount of Transfigureation Jesus told them “tell the vision to no man, until the Son of Man be risen again from the dead" (Matt. 17:9).
John's account tells us that "when his brethren were gone up, then went he also up unto the feast, not openly, but as it were in secret."
On other occasions the Lord told his disciples "that they should tell no man that he was Jesus the Christ," (Matt 16:20, Mark 7:36, Luke 9:21). After performing miraculous healings, Christ required that the event be kept secret. For instance, after healing a leper (Matt. 8:2-4), he said, "see thou tell no man," (Mark 5:43, Mark 7:36).
He told his disciples the following:
Matt. 13:1111 He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the amysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.
John 16:1212 I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.
Matt. 7:66 Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.
The author of Hebrews wrote that some are still babes in Christ and are ready only for milk are not yet ready for meat (Heb. 5:12-14). How are they to receive the "meat"? In sacred places, such as the temple! Paul says “I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.” (1 Corintians 3:2)
Paul, himself, when he was caught up into paradise, heard unspeakable words, which were "not lawful for a man to utter" (2 Cor. 12:4). The Bible teaches us that we are given line upon line, here a little and there a little, milk before meat. (Isaiah 28:10,13,) Paul says: “I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.” (1 Cor. 3:2; see also Heb. 5:12)
The early Christians continued this policy. Peter taught Clement of Rome (Bishop of Rome abt. 90 AD) about the necessity to protect sacred things associated with “my house” meaning the Temple:
Peter Said to me, “Let us remember that the Lord commanded us saying : 'Guard those secret things which belong to me and the sons of my house. Keep my secret ye who are kept by it. '…Now Clement you are forcing me with your questions to discuss things that are not allowed to talk about. But I will explain things so far as it is allowed. With the passing of time the more secret things will be disclosed to you….. it is not permitted to me now to disclose these things to you. God has concealed his mind from men and we are under obligation to honor with silence the very highest teachings. Nothing is harder than to reason about the truth in the presence of mixed multitudes of people. I try for the most part by using a certain circumlocution to avoid publishing the chief knowledge concerning the Supreme Divinity to unworthy ears. The teaching of all doctrine has a certain order, and there are some things which must be delivered first, others in the second place, and others in the third, and so all in their order; and if these things be delivered in their order, they become plain; but if they be brought forward out of order, they will seem to be spoken against reason…” (The Recognitions of Clement/Book III/Chapter 24)
Notice Peter’s reference to guarding secret things having to do with “my house.” This is a reference to the Temple and is very similar to what Joseph Smith taught:
"It was the design of the councils of heaven before the world was, that the principles and laws of the priesthood should be predicated upon the gathering of the people in every age of the world. Jesus did everything to gather the people, and they would not be gathered.... The main object [of gathering] was to build unto the Lord a house whereby He could reveal unto. His people the ordinances of His house and the glories of His kingdom, and teach the people the way of salvation; for there are certain ordinances and principles that, when they are taught and practiced, must be done in a place or house built for that purpose. "
It wasen’t just Peter who followed the Lord in this policy:
Lactantius (ca. 240 – ca. 320) wrote "We do not make a practice of defending and discussing this thing publicly, because, with the help of God, we quietly keep his secret to ourselves in silence . . . for it is proper to withhold and conceal the mystery with all possible care—especially so for us who bear the name of believers."(Lactantius, Divine Institutes VIII. 26 (Nibley: Since Cumorah p. 111 )
Clement of Alexandria (c.150 - c. 215)''The Mysteries of the Faith, are not to be disclosed indiscriminately to everyone, since not all areready to receive the truth."' (Clement of Alexandria, Patrologia)
The very early Testament of Our Lord Jesus opens with the admonition that the document is to come into the hands "only of proven saints who dwell in the third order (or level) next to the mansion of my Father who sent me." (Test. Dom. n. J. Christi, Rahmani, ed. I, xviii (pp.22f.); Nibley: Since Cumorah p. 111 )
Apocryphon of James.( Secret Book of James,) begins: "Since you have asked me to send you a secret book of revelation, which was given to me and to Peter by the Lord, I cannot refuse or be silent.... But I ... send it to you and to you alone.... Take care not to let this book of the Lord be communicated to many. The Savior did not want it transmitted to all the Twelve." (Apocryphon of James, 1:8-25; Nibley: Since Cumorah p. 112 )
Ignatius wrote to the Saints at Tralles (SW Turkey) who had asked him for a letter about the mysteries: "I would like to write to you of heavenly things (or of things more full of mystery), but I fear to do so, lest I should inflict injury on you who are but babes . . . you would be strangled by such things." (Ignatius, Epist. Ad Tralles, c. 5. ;Nibley: Since Cumorah p. 111 )
St. Gregory Nazianzen, Bishop of Constantinople, wrote in A.D. 379: "You have heard as much of the Mystery as we are allowed to speak openly in the ears of all; the rest will be communicated to you in private; and that you must retain within yourself... Our Mysteries are not to be known to strangers."
Hippolytus (ca. A.D. 200) made a statement: “But if there is any other matter which ought to be told, let the bishop impart it secretly to those who are communicated. He shall not tell this to any but the faithful and only after they have first been communicated. This is the white stone of which John said that there is a new name written upon it which no man knows except him who receives. â€ Clement of Alexandria claimed to possess a secret tradition of knowledge (Greek gnosis) handed down from the Savior to the Apostles and on to Clement himself by way of certain of his teachers.”
Clement represents this secret discipline to which he gives the title of gnosis, or gift of knowledge, as having been conferred by our Lord, after his resurrection, on James the Just, John, and Peter, by whom it was communicated to the other Apostles; and that by these the treasure was committed to the seventy disciples, of whom Barnabas was one. The secret discipline thus instituted by Christ was familiar to those who had been his masters and preceptors.
The multitude professing Christianity were therefore divided by them into the profane, or those who were not yet admitted to the mysteries, and the initiated, or faithful and perfect. . . and as none were permitted to be present at these mysteries, as they were termed, save those whose admission into the fellowship of the church was perfect and complete, so likewise was it expected that, as a matter of duty, the most sacred silence should be observed in regard to everything connected with the celebration of them, and nothing whatever relating thereto to be committed to the ears of the profane.
Traditional Christians believe in gender equality. Most Christians believe Mormon theology denigrates women. Mormonism has been treated as a cult from most of the mainstream Christian denominations, as well as many moderate and conservative media outlets. Mormon secrecy about its strange beliefs and bizarre practices are one of the many reasons for its widespread unpopularity among Christians. The Mormon religion bizarre behavior is deeply rooted in lies, fraud, deception, and polygamy.
Proselytizing is a primary goal of the Mormons, and for a Mormon, loyalty and the welfare of the church is more important than the principle of honesty. Lying for the lord is part of Mormonism's larger deceptive tactics, and conversion numbers of its third world participants would drastically lower if important Mormon beliefs were fully disclosed.
If more Americans understood how the Mormon church works by infesting and controlling the government in areas where the LDS church is predominant (Utah, Idaho) most Christian Americans would never consider voting for a Mormon in their lifetime.
Jesus Christ taught that baptism is necessary to enter into the kingdom of God: (John 3:3-5; see also Mark 16:14–16, and Matthew 28:19).
Throughout the book of Acts, baptism is without question the rite of initiation that all converts must undergo. (Acts 2:38; 8:12, 38; 9:18; 10:48; 16:14–15, 30–34; 18:8; and 22:16),
Many countless numbers of people have lived on the earth without the knowledge of Jesus Christ and without the chance to accept His teachings and be baptized. In churches which practice infant baptism babies are born and die without time for the priest to come and perform the baptism. Christians have struggled for centuries to answer the question: what happens to those people? They did not have the chance to be baptized. Are they condemned to because they weren’t baptized?
Jesus Christ taught that the dead would hear the teachings of Jesus Christ: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live.” (John 5:25). The Apostle Peter taught us that this would happen when Jesus Christ visited the spirit world between his death and resurrection: . (1 Peter 3:18-20). God revealed to the Prophet Joseph Smith that those who had no chance to hear the gospel in this life are taught in the spirit world and have the chance to accept it before the resurrection. (Doctrine and Covenants sections 137 and 138) This is exactly what Jesus Christ and Peter taught in the Bible.
Because of this, the early Christians baptized for the dead (1 Corintians 15:29). Here, the Apostle Paul was reminding Christians at Corinth that the resurrection was a reality and that there would be no purpose in continuing in the practice of baptizing for the dead, like the Christians were then doing, if there was no resurrection.
Some argue that Paul was supporting a true doctrine (the resurrection) with a false one (baptism for the dead), but does that make any sense? Imagine that someone who doubts the resurrection goes to his pastor for assurance. The pastor says, “well, the resurrection must be true because the Mormons baptize for the dead and there would be no point in it if there weren’t a resurrection.” The person would not find any assurance in that answer if he did not believe in baptism for the dead. It makes no sense that Paul would try to assure the Christians in Corinth that the resurrection was real by citing a false practice as proof.
The “THEY” to whom Paul refers are the apostles under Cephas (Peter) and James. “They” means that THEY, the Apostles and the Jesus Christians, were practicing baptism for the dead. Read the verses leading up to the above quote. Paul says: "For I am the least of the apostles...Therefore whether it were I or THEY [the other apostles; see verses earlier in the same chapter], so we preach, and so ye believed" (1 Corinthians 15:1-11). So when Paul says “Else what shall they do,” they means the other Apostles and Christians.
Most credible scholars who look at 1 Corintians 15:29, favor a meaning of vicarious baptism for the dead. (Michael F. Hull, Baptism on Account of the Dead (1 Cor 15:29): An Act of Faith in the Resurrection (Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2005), 8 and 11 n. 14. See Gordon D. Fee, The First Epistle to the Corinthians (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1987), 766; and Jerome Murphy-O'Connor, "'Baptized for the Dead' (1 Cor 15:29): A Corinthian Slogan?" Revue biblique 88 (1981): 532.)
Additionally, we know from historic records and research that the early Christians did believe in this practice. As John A. Tvedtnes has noted:
“...historical records are clear on the matter. Baptism for the dead was performed by the dominant church until forbidden by the sixth canon of the Council of Carthage in A.D. 397. Some of the smaller sects, however, continued the practice. Of the Marcionites of the fourth century, Epiphanius wrote:
“In this country—I mean Asia—and even in Galatia, their school flourished eminently and a traditional fact concerning them has reached us, that when any of them had died without baptism, they used to baptize others in their name, lest in the resurrection they should suffer punishment as unbaptized.” (Heresies, 8:7. As Quoted in John A. Tvedtnes,"Proxy Baptism," Ensign (February 1977), 86)
Christian communities that were very widespread and endured for a significant amount of time engaged in this practice.
Two early Christian theologians also affirm Paul’s teaching that first century Corinthian saints practiced vicarious baptisms,.
Tertullian, in the late second to early third century took it upon himself to define the Christian faith (in effect, delineating a standard for determining heresy). In one of his earliest works, On the Resurrection of the Flesh, Tertullian discusses baptism for the dead and the community at Corinth. After quoting 1 Corinthians 15:29 he states: "Now it is certain that they adopted this (practice) with such a presumption as made them suppose that the vicarious baptism (in question) would be beneficial to the flesh of another in anticipation of the resurrection.” (Tertullian, On the Resurrection of the Flesh 48, in Ante-Nicene Fathers, 3:581.)
Tertullian, using the phrases vicarious baptism and flesh of another frankly acknowledges that the Corinthians engaged in the practice under the belief that it would benefit their dead.
Epiphanius (AD 320-403), who was a bishop, mentions a tradition that this custom was obtained among the Cerinthians (Haer., 28:6). And Chrysostom (AD 347-407) states that it prevailed among the Marcionites. And all of these groups were considered heretics by the early Roman Catholic Church. The radical Cerinthians and the Marcionites were especially energetic baptizers of the dead. The Roman branch of the Church was trying to consolidating its position as the State religion of the Roman Empire and so they discourage these sects, seen as competitors
It was around the 4th century according to the records of the council of Carthage (397 AD - 6th canon of that council) when the church forbade any further administration of the practice [Baptism for the dead]. The Synods of Hippo (393) and Carthage (397) voted, after bitter debate, to condemn the practice of baptism for the dead. The Roman opposition to the practice shows that there must have been a significant acceptance of it in other Christian branches.
Interesting to note that as part of their Sacraments, the New Apostolic Church and Old Apostolic Church also practice a form of Baptism for the Dead, as well as Communion and Sealing to the Departed.
Thus, baptism for the dead was banned about four hundred years after Christ by the church councils. Latter-day Saints would see this as one out of a number of excellent examples of church councils altering doctrine and practice which were originally accepted Christian doctrines.
First: Baptism for the Dead. This is an interesting topic because it's history shows it to be a doctrine and practice of early Christianity which was later abandoned. Michael is right that Mormons aren't the same as later Christianity which abandoned this practice but Mormonism matches up well with original Christianity.
I would like to respond to the comments by Michael G. Michael repeats a number of typical criticism of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons). However, those criticism are not substantiated by fact. I hope it won' be too cumbersome if I address each in turn.
In many areas of belief (probably the majority of areas) Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) believe the same as most other Christians. It is true that in some limited areas – some very critical ones – the beliefs of Mormons differ from other Christians. Likewise there are some major areas of difference between Catholics and Protestants and likewise between one Protestant group and the next. Every denomination could make the claim that the other groups are not Christian because those other beliefs differ from their own.
Joseph Smith taught “The fundamental principles of our religion are the testimony of the Apostles and Prophets, concerning Jesus Christ, that He died, was buried, and rose again the third day, and ascended into heaven; and all other things which pertain to our religion are only appendages to it”. (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 121).
The central belief of Mormons is that Christ came into the world as the Son of God. He healed the sick, caused the lame to walk, the blind to see, the deaf to hear, and restored life to the dead. He commissioned twelve Apostles to whom he gave authority. He suffered in Gethsemane, died on the cross, and was resurrected and will come again. He, and only He, provides the means for us to be washed clean in his blood from our sins, which sins we can never correct on our own or through our own works. If that is not Christian I don’t know what is. Christ never taught the need to believe in anything like the creeds. Those came later.
Mormon belief is very much like the teachings of the earlier Christians – before the creeds – and also matches the teachings of Christ and the Apostles. The further back in time you go the more Mormon-like Christian doctrine becomes. Mormons are often portrayed as non-Christian when we don’t believe in the later extra-Biblical creedal formulations.
Reverand Jeffress said. "And I still maintain there are vast differences in theology between Mormons and Christians."
This seems to be a common view among many Christians and actually they are right to say that there are some major differences, although there are more similarities than differences. However, there are also vast differences between current Christianity and Early Christianity.
If Christianity means “historic orthodox mainstream Christianity” of today then I would agree that Mormonism is not historic Christianity; at least not in every doctrine. Although Mormons have much in common with other Christians Mormons also believe differently than historic Christians in some key areas. But the real questions to ask are 1) What is original Christianity? 2) Is mainstream Christianity of today the same as original Christianity? It turns out that Joseph Smith was right. Mormonism is a restoration of Original Christianity. It is not my intent to criticize Christians of today. However, with all the criticism of Mormonism it is important to notice that in many areas of belief Mormons are closer to original Christianity than are most Christians of today.
Mormons believe in God, Jesus, and the Holy Ghost. Our first Article of Faith states: We believe in God the Eternal Father, and in His son Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost. However “Trinity’ is a word that is not found in the Bible. Nor are the definitions and wording formulations in the extra-Biblical creeds found in the Bible. In 325 AD a council of about 300 (out of 1800 serving) bishops gathered in Nicea at the request of the pagan Emperor Constantine and formulated a creed that tried to reconcile the Biblical statements that there three persons called “God” and yet there was “one” God. They then forced all Christians to accept their solution as “gospel”, with varying results. Theological debates and other councils continued to tweak the concept for centuries which produced additional creeds.
Mormons are not supposed to be Christian because we have some doctrinal differences with other Christian groups of today. The foundation for the beliefs of these other groups is the creeds of the 4th. 5th, and 6th centuries and so on.
For example; in the Westminster Confession of Faith, which is a non-Biblical creed, we read that "there is but one God, a most holy spirit, without body, parts or passions," thus denying the resurrected Christ, for if Christ is not risen and we do not believe him when he tells us that he has an immortal body, we can then have no hope of a resurrection (Phil 3:21.)
Contrary to the creeds, the resurrected Jesus taught: "Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and ones, as ye see me have." (Luke 24:39)
From this passage we know that Jesus had his physical body after the resurrection. We also know that when Christ comes again, he will still have his physical body. (Zech. 14:4; 12:10; 13:6; John 20:24-28, Acts 1:9-11; Rev 1:7; 1 Cor. 15:3-8, 12-20, 35-42; D&C 93:33).
Very interesting article --- Mormons entered the world teaching that all prior Christianity was corrupt and an abomination to God. Mormonism is not Christian, and is radically set apart from Christianity, the ritual underclothing, baptism for the dead, and bizarre secret temple rites. Many Christians are offended with Mormonism in general with its very unusual brand of spirituality, it's polygamous prophet Joseph Smith and cult like beliefs. The Mormon theology teaches that God is only one of countless gods, and that Mormons can become Gods, and that every form of life was created spiritually on the Planet Kolob
Do you really wonder why Mitt Romney will remain absolutely silent about his Mormonism? You only need to scratch the surface to see what utter nonsense it isThe LDS church founding prophet, Joseph Smith a polygamist and convicted fraud, was supposedly presented with two golden tablets by the Angel Moroni in upstate New York. The Golden tablets were written in "Reformed Egyptian", a language which no linguist had ever heard of. Joseph Smith translated these magic plates using a seer stone in the bottom of a hat, and put his face in the hat to view the words written within the stone, he then published the translation as the Book of Mormon.
There is strong and compelling evidence that the Mormon Church leaders knowingly and willfully misrepresent the historical truth of their origins and of the Church for the purpose of deceiving their members into a state of mind that renders them exploitable For decades, the Mormon Church has tried to blend with mainstream Christianity, Mormons try to downplay theological differences when presenting themselves to the public and mainstream media.
Mormon Prophet Joseph Smith taught the doctrine of plural and celestial marriage is the most holy and important doctrine ever revealed to man on the earth, and that without obedience to that principle no man can ever attain to the fullness of exaltation in the celestial glory.” (William Clayton, Joseph Smith’s secretary, Historical Record)
Christianity...is a perfect pack of nonsense...the devil could not invent a better engine to spread his work than the Christianity of the nineteenth century." (John Taylor, third Prophet and President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Journal of Discourses, vol. 6, p.167)
I would just like to comment on Stephen Milligan's article on "Being Mormon in Walton County," in your newspaper on July 22nd. Thank you, Mr. Milligan, for your fair and honest treatment of this subject. Our Church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints ("LDS" or "Mormon" Church) is so often villified in the press, especially in the Southern States, that it's truly refreshing to read an article such as yours that is positive and uplifting. I have been a life-long, active member of the LDS Church and find its teachings inspirational and helpful to living a life of service and charity. May the Lord bless you as you continue your search for the truth. Please refer to Mormon.org for more information about the teachings and beliefs of the LDS Church.
@atticus finch - what part of "Church of JESUS CHRIST..." don't you understand?
@Brother French - well-composed, thorough response.
What is so stupid in all of this is that because the presumptive Republican nominee is Mormon, church members all over the US are being shoved into a position of having to justify their beliefs. I'm sure that wasn't what Mr. Milligan intended, but it just irks me to see a particular church being singled out. Where are the articles and the outcry forcing Holiness members to justify their faith, or the Presbyterians,for that matter?? I never DID trust THOSE people....
Atticus, step away from th keyboard and head back up to your pulpit. The rattlesnakes are ready for some hugs.
Here are some scriptures from The Book of Mormon that will help you to know that Mormons are Christians. 2 Nephi 2 – Lehi testifies of the Savior as our Redeemer.2 Nephi 9 – Jacob testifies of the Atonement.2 Nephi 31–33 – Nephi teaches the doctrine of Christ.Enos – Enos experiences the power of the Atonement.Mosiah 2–5 – King Benjamin teaches of Christ.Mosiah 12–16 – Abinadi gives his life in testifying of Jesus Christ.Alma 5, 7 – Alma testifies of the Savior.Alma 17–22 – Lamanites receive the testimony of Jesus Christ.Alma 34 – Amulek testifies of the Atonement.Alma 36 – Alma experiences the power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ.Alma 40–42 – Alma testifies of the resurrection and Atonement.Helaman 5 – Nephi and Lehi are instruments in God’s hands to witness of the Savior.3 Nephi 9–10 – The Savior invites people to come to Him.3 Nephi 11–18 – The Savior teaches the Nephites of the Father and of His doctrine.3 Nephi 27 – The Savior teaches His gospel.Ether 3 – The brother of Jared sees the Savior.Ether 12 – Ether and Moroni testify of the Savior and the power of His Atonement.Moroni 7–8 – Mormon teaches of the pure love of Christ and His Atonement.Moroni 10 – Moroni invites all to come unto Christ and be perfected in Him.
Also, the Bible contains a prophecy concerning the coming forth of The Book of Mormon in these latter days:
About 600 B.C. God commanded the tribes of Israel to keep two scriptural histories rather than one as they had done in the past. The “Stick of Judah” (the Bible record) was still to be kept by the tribe of Judah, but the new record, the “Stick of Ephraim”, was to be kept by the tribe of Joseph. Thus, God also referred to it as the “Stick of Joseph”.
This new record was soon hidden from world when the Prophet Lehi and a small group from the tribe of Joseph were led by God to the Western Hemisphere. However, God declared to the Prophet Ezekiel that he would bring it forth to be joined with the Stick of Judah prior to the gathering of the twelve tribes of Israel in the latter days. Thus, God said these sacred records “shall become one in mine hand” (Ezekiel 37:15-21. Also see 2 Nephi 3:12 in the Book of Mormon).
Today, we know the Stick of Joseph as the Book of Mormon. It covers a period of history from 600 B.C. to 400 A.D., and contains the writings of some of the greatest prophets who ever lived. As a companion book to the Bible (the Stick of Judah) it provides another Testament, and a second sure witness to both Jew and gentile that Jesus is the Christ!
Mormons and Christains (Catholic and Protestant) disagree on several major points of theology. The nature and being of Jesus Christ and God the Father are very different than orthodox Christianity. I know many Mormans and they are outstanding and dependable people. Are are they Christian? No. The difference in multiple fundamental questions is too great.
I believe the confusion arises from equating Christian to Protestant. The Church uf Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is not a branch from the Catholic Church, but from the ancient Church of Jesus Christ. We study from the same Bible (KJV) but we have a different theology. But this is what differentiates all Christian sects. Will our differences are significant, we have a lot in common with other denominations, and we have the same objectives - to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
This is a well done article about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, often referred to as Mormon. Thank you!
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