Who are the latter day saints
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Who are the Latter-day Saints?. Investigating Mormonism. Basic Introduction to Mormons. The official name is “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.” This group believes that it is the only true church in the world today. Belief in a “restored gospel message.”.

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Who are the Latter-day Saints?

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Who are the latter day saints

Who are the Latter-day Saints?

Investigating Mormonism


Basic introduction to mormons

Basic Introduction to Mormons

  • The official name is “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.”

  • This group believes that it is the only true church in the world today.

  • Belief in a “restored gospel message.”


Church statistics 2007

Church statistics (2007)

  • Total membership - 13,193,999 (+2.47%)

  • Children increase - 93,698

  • Converts baptized - 279,218 (+2.3%)

  • Full-time missionaries - 52,686 (-0.9%)

  • Temples in operation - 124

    • Source: www.lds.org (General Conference Reports).


Lds scriptures

LDS scriptures

  • Book of Mormon.

  • Doctrine and Covenants.

  • Pearl of Great Price.

  • The Holy Bible (King James Version).

    • The belief is that precious parts of the Bible have been removed.

    • Disclaimer: The Bible is the Word of God as far as it has been translated correctly.


Scriptural authority

Scriptural authority

  • The Mormon scriptures serve as the authority where they and the Bible disagree.

  • ‘Community of Christ’ uses JST of Bible.

  • Contrary to the Bible, they teach for example:

    • God told Abraham to lie about Sarah being his sister.

    • Adam and Eve disobeyed commandments to become mortal (Alma 12:31; Plan of Salvation).

    • The Fall was a fall upward, not downward.


The prophet vs the written word

The Prophet vs. the written Word?

  • “We are differently situated from any other people that ever existed upon the earth; consequently those former revelations cannot be suited to our conditions …”


The prophet vs the written word1

The Prophet vs. the written Word …

  • At a meeting in Kirtland, Ohio, Joseph Smith said, “Brother Brigham, I want you to take the stand and tell us your views with regard to the [living] oracles and the written word of God.”

  • Brigham Young said, “When compared with the living oracles those books [the previous revelations] are nothing to me; those books do not convey the word of God direct to us now, as do the words of a Prophet or a man bearing the Holy Priesthood in our day and generation. I would rather have the living oracles than all the writings in the books.”


The prophet vs the written word2

The Prophet vs. the written Word …

  • Joseph Smith said to the congregation, “Brother Brigham has told you the word of the Lord, and he has told you the truth” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church - Joseph Smith, 2008, pp. 198-199).


Are you not concerned by this

Are you not concerned by this?

Is the Bible relevant to you today?

Does a present day teacher override an Old or New Testament prophet?


Some key lds church events

Some key LDS Church events

  • 1823 – angel Moroni appears to Joseph Smith.

  • 1827 – Joseph obtains the golden plates and begins the translation from reformed Egyptian into English.

  • 1830 – The Book of Mormon is printed.

  • April 6, 1830 – the church is organized (D&C 21:3).

  • April 26, 1838 – the church is named (D&C 115:4).


How was the book of mormon translated

How was the Book of Mormon translated?

  • It is said to be translated by the gift and power of God.

  • Gold plates on a study table vs. looking into the bottom of a black hat?

  • … or a stolen text originally authored by Solomon Spaulding?


How it began once upon a time

How it began -once upon a time …

  • The place …

    • Manchester, New York (early 1820).

  • A spiritual revival …

    • Methodists, Presbyterians, Baptists.

  • The boy …

    • 15 year-old Joseph Smith.

  • The environment …

    • Doctrinal confusion.

  • The mission …

    • Bring mankind back to God.


Attempting to bring mankind back to god

Attempting to bring mankind back to God …

  • Joseph Smith:

    • What is to be done?

    • Which of the denominations is right?

    • Are they all wrong together?

    • If any one of them be right, which is it, and how shall I know it?

    • “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God … and it shall be given him”(James 1:5).


The 1820 vision seeking god

The 1820 Vision … seeking God

  • 1820 – early spring day. Sacred Grove, New York.

    • Joseph was said to have a vision of Heavenly Father and Jesus.

    • He was told that all the churches were wrong and that all professors of religion were corrupt.

  • 1823 – angel Moroni visits Joseph in his bedroom.

    • Informed him of gold plates buried in the hill Cumorah. History of ancient American inhabitants.

    • Compare Moroni’s words with the prophet Malachi (JSH 1:37-38 vs. Malachi 4:5-6).


Analyzing the 1820 account

Analyzing the 1820 account

  • “The teachers of religion … understood the same passages of scriptures so differently as to destroy all confidence in settling the question by an appeal to the Bible” (JSH 1:12).

Have you allowed someone or something to destroy your confidence in the Bible?


Analyzing the 1820 account1

Analyzing the 1820 account …

  • “I asked the Personages who stood above me in the light, which of all the sects was right (for at this time it had never entered into my heart that all were wrong) – and which I should join” (JSH 1:18).

Recall that young Joseph had these thoughts before he went into the woods.

Does only one denomination represent the true church?


Analyzing the 1820 account2

Analyzing the 1820 account …

  • “I was answered that I must join none of them … they were all wrong … all their creeds were an abomination in his sight” (JSH 1:19).

Was the devil able to prevail against Christ’s church?


What happened to christ s church

What happened to Christ’s Church?

  • LDS beliefs (2 main thoughts):

    • True church (and gospel) are periodically removed from the earth (Gospel Principles, p. 98).

    • True church was destroyed when wrong doctrine totally infected her (Gospel Principles, p. 105). This period is called the “Great Apostasy.”


The man behind the mission

The man behind the mission


Glimpses of joseph

Glimpses of Joseph …


Glimpses of joseph1

Glimpses of Joseph …


Retrieving the plates from moroni

Retrieving the plates from Moroni

  • 1827 – After receiving the plates, he began to translate the reformed Egyptian hieroglyphics into what is known today as the Book of Mormon.

  • 1829 – The translation is finished.

    • “These plates have been revealed [and translated] by the power of God. The translation of them which you have seen is correct …” – History of the Church 1:55.


Mormon temples

Mormon Temples


Salt lake city utah

Salt Lake City, Utah


Manila philippines

Manila, Philippines


Hong kong china

Hong Kong, China


Seoul korea

Seoul, Korea


Taipei taiwan

Taipei, Taiwan


Toronto brampton ontario

Toronto (‘Brampton’), Ontario


What s common to the temples

What’s common to the Temples?

Did you see it?


The angel moroni

The angel Moroni …


What happens in the temple

What happens in the Temple?

  • The Temple Endowment.

  • Celestial Marriage for the living.

  • Proxy sealings for the dead.

  • Baptisms for the dead.

  • Secret handshakes and code words (similar to Freemasonry).


Baptismal font

Baptismal Font


Who can enter a temple

Who can enter a Temple?

  • Only someone with a valid temple recommend (or pass).

  • You must pass an interview:

    • Do you have a firm testimony of the restored gospel?

    • Are you a full-tithe payer?

    • Do you keep the Word of Wisdom \ Law of Chastity?

    • Do you strive to keep the covenants you have made, to attend your sacrament and priesthood meetings, and to keep your life in harmony with the laws and commandments of the gospel?


Mormon doctrines

Mormon Doctrines

- are they compatible with the Bible?


A pre earth life

A pre-earth life

  • “All men and women are... literally the sons and daughters of Deity.... Man, as a spirit, was begotten and born of heavenly parents, and reared to maturity in the eternal mansions of the Father, prior to coming upon the earth in a temporal [physical] body” (Joseph F. Smith, The Origin of Man, Improvement Era, Nov. 1909, pp. 78, 80).

    • Abraham 3:18 (Pearl of Great Price) says man is an eternal, uncreated spirit (intelligence/soul).


2008 presidential candidate mitt romney

2008 Presidential candidate Mitt Romney

  • “I believe Jesus Christ is the Son of God and the Saviour of the world.”


Sound familiar

Sound familiar?

Let’s hear the rest of the story…


Jesus and lucifer are spirit brothers

Jesus and Lucifer are spirit brothers

  • Jesus Christ is the spirit-brother of Lucifer and the first born son of Heavenly Mother and Father.

    • “The first spirit born to our heavenly parents was Jesus Christ, so he is literally our elder brother” (Gospel Principles, p. 11).

    • “We needed a Savior to pay for our sins. Two of our brothers offered to help” (pp. 17-18).


A plurality of gods

A plurality of Gods

  • There is more than one God.

    Father + Son + Holy Ghost + Heavenly Mother = 4 Gods (and that is just planet Earth).

    • Bible teaches one God only (Isaiah 44:6-8, 45:5-6,18,21-22).

    • Book of Mormon also teaches one God (Alma 11:26-29).

      • “Is there more than one God?”

      • “No.”


God s body

God’s body

  • God the Father has a body of flesh and bones.

    • “The Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man's” (Doctrine and Covenants 130:22).

  • God is spirit.

    • John 4:24; Luke 24:39; Jeremiah 23:24.


The evolution of god

The evolution of God

  • God the Father was once a man who became a God.

    • “It will be a great work to learn our salvation and exaltation even beyond the grave. This is the way our Heavenly Father became God” (Gospel Principles, p. 305).

    • “We have imagined that God was God from all eternity. I will refute that idea” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 1938, p.358). The 2008 edition omits this.

  • The Bible teaches that God is eternal.

    • “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel from everlasting, and to everlasting” (Ps. 41:13; 90:2).


Be all you can be a god

Be all you can be … a God

  • We can become Gods, rule over our own created planets, and be worshipped.

    • “Each one of you has it within the realm of his possibility to develop a kingdom over which you will preside as its king and god” (Religion 430-431 - Doctrines of the Gospel Student Manual, p. 29).

    • “Mortality is the testing or proving ground for exaltation to find out who among the children of God are worthy to become Gods” (Doctrines of Salvation, Joseph Fielding Smith, Volume 1, p. 69).

  • The Bible teaches:

    • “Before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me” (Isaiah 43:10).


The trinity

The Trinity

  • The Trinity is not 1 God, but 3 Gods.

    • "They [Father, Son, and Holy Ghost] constitute three distinct personages and three Gods" (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 1938, p. 370).

  • The Bible teaches:

    • “The Lord our God is one Lord” (Mark 12:29).

  • The Book of Mormon teaches:

    • “Christ the Son, God the Father, and the Holy Ghost is one Eternal God” (Alma 11:44).


The priesthood

The Priesthood

  • Men hold the priesthood, women do not.

    • Both Melchizedek and Aaronic.

    • (Gospel Principles, Chapter 13).

  • The Bible teaches:

    • Men and women belong to the royal priesthood of believers (1 Peter 2:9).


Salvation

Salvation

  • Six definitions according to Ensign, May 1998 article. We’ll focus on these three:

    • (a) resurrection.

    • (b) eternal life.

    • (c) escape from hell to inherit some kingdom of glory.


Eternal life

Eternal Life

  • Eternal life is living life as a God.

    • “Exaltation is eternal life, the kind of life God lives. He lives in great glory. He is perfect. He is a creator. We can become like our Heavenly Father. This is exaltation” (Gospel Principles, p. 302).


How is a mormon saved

How is a Mormon saved?

  • “For we labor diligently to write, to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God; for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do” (2 Nephi 25:23).

    • In this sense, “saved” means to become a God … you must earn it.


Celestial glory

Celestial Glory

  • Paradise of the Gods (Doctrine and Covenants 76:51-70.

    • Celestial Kingdom has 3 subdivisions. The highest is for the married Gods (D&C 131:1-3).

    • Not much said about 2 lesser subdivisions except that the inhabitants could be in eternal service to the Gods as ministering servants (D&C 132:16).

    • Equal in power, might, and in dominion as Heavenly Father (D&C 76:95).


Terrestrial glory

Terrestrial Glory

  • Those who died without law.

    • Honorable men of the earth who were blinded by the craftiness of men (D&C 76:72-80).


Telestial glory

Telestial Glory

  • Liars, sorcerers, and adulterers

    • Jesus has prepared mansions for them (D&C 76:111).

    • The Bible has them in the lake of fire.


Joy or eternal misery

Joy or eternal misery?

  • Joseph Smith’s parable of the wheat and the tares: “Therefore, I must gather together my people, according to the parable of the wheat and the tares, that the wheat may be secured in the garners to possess eternal life, and be crowned with celestial glory … while the tares shall be bound in bundles … that they may be burned with unquenchable fire” (D&C 101:65-66; see also Book of Mormon – 2 Nephi 2:27-29).


Original sin

Original Sin

  • Humans that are born on earth are gods-in-embryo.

    • "We are gods in embryo, and thus have an unlimited potential for progress and attainment" (Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, pp. 21, 584).


Omnipresence

Omnipresence

  • God is not omnipresent.

    • “The Holy Ghost is a member of the Godhead. He is a spirit that has the form and likeness of a man. He can be in only one place at a time” (Gospel Principles, p. 37). The Mormon Heavenly Father also has this limitation with his body of flesh and bones.


The new jerusalem

The New Jerusalem

  • Latter-day Saints will build the New Jerusalem prior to Christ’s Second Coming.

    • Jackson County, Missouri in the United States is the place for the city and temple (D&C 57:1-4).

    • A place of peace and refuge for the saints before calamity and destruction befall the earth (D&C 45:42, 66-69; 124:10).

    • The Bible teaches: New Jerusalem comes from heaven.


What should we do

What should we do?

  • Pray. Remember that this is a spiritual war.

Trust in Jesus as the “Eternal God,” not in a procreated spirit child.

Become knowledgeable.

Seek out the lost.

Don’t believe every ‘angel’ you meet.

Examine the fruits of the spirit. ‘False doctrine’ is the easiest ‘false’ fruit to spot.


References

References

  • www.ldslearning.org

    • (free PDF books and scriptural commentaries).

  • www.lds.org

  • scriptures.lds.org

  • www.mormon.org

  • www.ldsces.org

    • (Mormon Church’s educational system).

  • www.ldscatalog.com

    • (to order LDS training manuals).


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