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This website has been developed to help you understand the Word of God, the Holy Bible. We believe that the Word of God holds the keys to a peaceful, fruitful, joyful life. Jesus said that the "truth shall make you free." As you walk with Jesus and learn what the Word of God teaches you will find a new found freedom in your life.
Some of the teachings on this website may be unlike any you have ever heard. Let me encourage you to keep an open mind and also to search out what is being taught here to see if it lines up with the Bible or not. If you have problems with any of the lessons and don't agree. Send me scriptures and we can discuss your differences. Many of the lessons contained in this website will step on the toes of traditional Christianity. Jesus said that the "tradition of man makes the commandment of God of no effect." It is time to get rid of tradition and believe what the Word of God really says!
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Kenyon's Gospel Publishing Society
The Dake Annotated Bible and Other Study Material
Information About Cults
Utah Lighthouse Ministry
Pay close attention to yourself and to your teaching; persevere in these things, for as you do this you will ensure salvation both for yourself and for those who hear you. 1 Timothy 4:16
What is it? What Do They Teach?
Questions and Answers - Page Three
by Jay S. McMullan
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Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (LDS), commonly referred to as Mormons hold regular church services on Sunday like many other Christian denominations. Their church buildings are called "Wards". Ward houses are used to hold regular church services, funerals and weddings that are not eternal but time only. It is important to note here that the LDS faith believes that there are two types of marriages. There are marriages that are good until the time that one or both of the marriage partners passes away. Then there is the eternal marriage that is performed in one of the many LDS temples. I will explain this in more detail later on this page.
Why does the LDS church have Temples along with regular church buildings?
The LDS Teaching
The Mormon church has regular church buildings, or "Wards", where all members of the church and non-members can congregate to worship or hold dinners and funerals. Some of the larger wards are considered "Stake houses". In the stake house, baptisms for individuals, conferences, etc., are held. The LDS church has also built a number of temples around the world. The Salt Lake Temple is perhaps the most famous since it is located in Salt Lake City. According to the LDS church, temples are sacred places where LDS church members who are worthy can go for several reasons. In the temples, marriages for eternity, sealings for families, baptisms for the dead and covenants for the dead are performed. These temples are sacred to the LDS church and therefore only those members who hold temple recommends can enter. Any Mormon that goes to the temple to perform these ceremonies cannot share any details of them without fear of eternal retribution. In the past few years, the current LDS Prophet/President Gordon B. Hinckley has built several more temples and even smaller "mini-temples" around the world so the members of the church don't have to travel so far to do their "spiritual work".
Questions and Problems
To truly understand the importance the Temple held in the Old Testament, it is important to undestand the different dispensations (times and ages) of this world. The temple started when Moses and the Hebrew people left Egypt and wandered in the wilderness for 40 years. They built the tabernacle that was basically, a temporary, moveable temple. This was during the dispensation of the time of the law. Moses met with God, after the Hebrews were delivered out of Egypt. Moses delivered the people's wish to have a law, to God. God did not want His people to live by a law but they insisted. This brought in the dispensation of the law. We are no longer under the dispensation of the law but live in the dispensation of grace, better known as the Church age. Jesus fulfilled the law by dying on the cross and being resurrected.
When I speak of the tabernacle, I also am speaking of the temple since they were both set up for specific purposes. The only difference, as I said before, is that the Hebrews were able to pack up the tabernacle and move it daily as they traveled through the wilderness. Once they reached the promised land, they built a permanent temple.
The temple served many purposes and was a "type and shadow" of what is in heaven. The Hebrew people would bring an animal yearly, usually a sheep, to the temple to be sacrificed to atone for their sins. This had to be repeated each year. The lamb represented Jesus Christ who was the the lamb that was slain for the atonement of our sins. The big difference was that a lamb had to be sacrificed yearly where Jesus Christ only had to shed his blood once and for all. In the year 70 a.d. the temple was destroyed and has never been rebuilt. There is no more need for an earthly temple for people to go to, to sacrifice animals since Jesus made the sacrifice once and for all.
The Mormon faith did not teach the importance of a temple until approximately ten years after Joseph Smith wrote the Book of Mormon. To this day, the ceremonies that go on in the Mormon temples are secret and members are warned not to reveal anything that goes on inside the walls. In order to enter an LDS temple, you must hold a valid temple recommend. In order to get a temple recommend you must be a member of the church, follow all of the teachings of the church and tithe regularly. It is my opinion that Joseph Smith realized the value of keeping the ceremonies in the temple, a secret. People's curiousity will drive them to follow the church's ordinances, including giving their hard earned money, to see what goes on inside. Do you remember the old saying, "Curiousity killed the cat"?
The Bible clearly teaches that there is no more need for temples since our bodies are the temples in this age. The Holy Spirit lived in what was called, "the Holy of Holies" in the temple. In this age, the Holy Spirit lives inside of the believer. All of the ceremonies that are performed in the LDS temples do not have true, Biblical foundations. I will discuss them in more detail below:
1. Eternal marriage. The Mormons believe that you can be married "for time" or "for time and eternity". Mark 12:25 For when they shall rise from the dead, they neither marry, nor are given in marriage; but are as the angels which are in heaven. If you and your spouse are married for time and eternity in one of the LDS temples, that means that you will be together forever in heaven, in the "Celestial" kingdom. If you are married "for time" only, then your marriage union is dissolved when you and/or your spouse dies. As we can see from the scripture in Mark and also in Matthew 22:30, we will not be married in eternity. The reason this doctrine is so important to the Mormons is that they believe in a doctine called, "Eternal Progression". This doctrine teaches that every Mormon male can become a god of his own world if he lives a worthy life here on earth and takes plural wives (polygamy) in heaven. The LDS church teaches that, because many men will not be worthy to live in the "Celestial" kingdom of heaven, that there will be many wives who are worthy that must be taken by a worthy male as a wife. Then, that male who has become god of his own world will enter into sexual unions with these wives and produce their own population and saviour, like Jesus Christ. This leads to the conclusion that if Mormons are not completely polytheistic in their doctrines, they are at least henotheistic. Polytheism teaches that there are many gods while henotheism teaches that there may be many gods but it's followers only serve one of those gods. Although, for the most part, the church denounces it, Brigham Young taught at one time that Adam took the virgin Mary to be his wife and through an actual sexual union produced Jesus Christ. The LDS church also believes and teaches that it is important for their members to have large families to "release" those spirits that are in heaven (the results of God's sexual union with his many wives). The spirit "babies" must have a body to go into according to their faith.
When a marriage ceremony is performed in one of the LDS church's many temples, only LDS members who hold a valid temple recommend can attend a wedding in any LDS temple. For that reason, many family members of the Bride and Groom are not allowed to attend their children's weddings. I believe, at times, the LDS church uses this to force people to become members. This seems to go against the Mormons teachings on family values.
2. Baptism for the dead. The LDS church encourages it's members to do genealogical research so that they can baptize for members of their families that may not have embraced the LDS faith while they were alive. Once a baptism is performed for a deceased person, they can continue their "eternal progression" and become a god of their own world in the Celestial1 kingdom that the Mormon faith believes in. Being masters at taking scriptures our of context, the LDS church takes one scripture in 1 Corinthians 15 to base this practice on. 1 Cor. 15:29 Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? why are they then baptized for the dead?
Used by itself, this scripture sounds convincing. There are other scriptures that the LDS church uses, out of context, to convince people of their false doctrines. The subject of 1 Corinthians 15 is not, baptism but rather, the resurrection. Baptism for the dead actually started as a Pagan practice. Since I have already covered the subject of Baptism for the Dead on this web site, I will not continue here. I have also covered the subject of The Doctrine of Baptisms which is a fundamental teaching of true Christianity.
3. Sealing. When a family is "sealed" in the temple, all of the members of that family; father, mother and children, are sealed or joined together for eternity. This is a big selling point for the LDS church. Once the sealing is performed, each of the family members will always be together in eternity. The major problem with this doctrine should be self evident. If a family with children is sealed, what happens when the children grow up, marry and have children of their own? If they are sealed, once again, with their spouse and children, how will they spend eternity with their parents and siblings? Who will their spouse spend eternity with? What if members of the family can only ascend to different levels of heaven in which the Mormons believe? How then can they spend eternity together? Using a little bit of common sense shows how ridiculous this teaching and practice is.
4. Taking covenants for the dead. Volunteers work in each of the LDS church's many temples to take out covenants for those that have already died. The Bible teaches that each man and woman must make the decision to follow Christ on this earth. Once a person dies, there is no more chance to make up your mind. This practice, like most others in the LDS temples, has no Biblical foundation.
How is the leadership of the LDS church set up?
The LDS Teaching
Joseph Smith was the founder of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. When he died in a gun battle in Carthage, Missouri, Brigham Young became the next President/Prophet and soon thereafter led the members of the church to a wide valley in what is now Utah. The Mormons arrived late in the year and were unable to plant crops sufficient enough to provide for them and many suffered from starvation.
The LDS church teaches that when Jesus was resurrected from the dead that He came to the ancient Americas and set up His kingdom here. He set up twelve apostles like He had in Israel. They also teach that he set up an organization with seventy elders and the LDS church set this system up when Joseph Smith restored the true church and the gospel to the earth in the 1820's.
The President/Prophet has two counselors to help in his leadership role. The twelve apostles sit directly under the President/Prophet in authority. The seventy elders are under the apostles. Each President/Prophet serves from the time he steps into his leadership role until his death. On most occasions, the next in line, in the twelve apostles will take the lead as the new President/Prophet.
Questions and Problems
The LDS church believes that there is only one true prophet in only one true church at any one time on the earth. The Apostle Paul tells us in the book of Ephesians chapter 4 that when Jesus ascended from the grave that He gave several gifts, one being the gift of the prophet, to many in the body of Christ, or the church. This gift, as well as the gift of the apostle, the evangelist, the pastor and the teacher were given to many, not just one. Even in the Old Testament times there were more than just one prophet at a time. The Bible even tells us of female prophets, called prophetesses.
The LDS church teaches that their President/Prophet is infallible and cannot be deceived because he "holds all the keys to the kingdom" of God. Unfortunately, this has been proven not to be true. Mark Hoffman, an historical documents dealer was able to defraud the LDS church and some of it's members out of millions of dollars. The story is much too long to go into here but the story is well documented and available on the Internet. The whole think proved to be quite an embarrassment to the LDS church. Check out Utah Lighthouse Ministry's web site for more details.
Most churches are set up as 501C-3 tax exempt organizations and all of their financial records are available to members and non-members. This is not true with the LDS church. Basically, the LDS church is legally owned by the President/Prophet and therefore does not have to disclose it's financial records. It is a fact that the LDS church owns many secular businesses. Here in Salt Lake City, KSL radio and television are owned by the LDS church as well as one of the local newspapers, The Deseret News. Most of the members of the state, county and city governments are also members of the LDS church which often shows up in their decisions. Recently, the LDS church made a deal with the mayor and Salt Lake City counsel, behind closed doors, to purchase a street and piece of land that lies between the Salt Lake temple and church office buildings. Although there was a large public outcry over the sale, it went through. The Federal 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver, Colorado ruled that "free speach" could not be impeded upon on the piece of property due to the public easement. The LDS church had restrained citizens and had them arrested for preaching or passing out Christian literature on the land. The LDS church was set to take the issue to the United States Supreme Court when the city mayor caved in under pressure from the church and the church offered to build a youth center in a troubled part of Salt Lake City. The point here is that the government, state, county and city are strongly influenced by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
Things are better now than in the past. When Brigham Young was alive and President/Prophet of the church, people who opposed the LDS church were dealt with rather harshly even to the point of being murdered. Before Utah became a state, Brigham Young was indicted on murder charges because of some of the actions of his group of "Danites" that executed anti-mormons. More information can be found on Utah Lighthouse Ministry's web site. Does this sound like a godly leader or a godly institution?
1. Nowhere in the Bible is there a doctrine that says there are three levels to heaven. The LDS church takes some scriptures out of context in 1 Cor. 15 and teach that there is a "tellestial kingdom", a "Terrestrial kingdom" and a "Cellestial kingdom".
Mormon Related Links
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
This is the official web site of the Mormon church. Some of the church's beliefs are listed here.
This is an excellent site for the history and doctrine of the LDS church. Many times the LDS church has had to go to the Utah Lighthouse Ministry to get copies of old documents. The web site is produced by Jerald and Sandra Tanner. Sandra is a direct descendent of Brigham Young's (the second President/Prophet of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints). The Tanners are people of impeccable character and they do a lot of research to make sure everything they put on their web site is absolutley correct.
All articles, graphics, images, photographs and other material are © copyright 2000 to present by Jay S. McMullan and/or his assignees. Do not copy without written, expressed permission.