The Duty to Expose a Shameful Ceremony is Infinitely More Sacred Than a Shameful Ceremony

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Richard Packham‘s video is also available on YouTube

Publicly exposing the Mormon temple ceremony takes away the superficial power of secretiveness and mystery and helps people face reality. The power of mystery is largely sapped with a simple YouTube video.

Obeying God’s commandments is a form of Christian worship. God’s word tells us:

“Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret. But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible, for anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says, ‘Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.’” (Ephesians 5:11-14)

Even the LDS Articles of Faith say, “We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.” Since many Mormons use this verse to argue that the someone’s form and content of worship (especially their own) should never be criticized, I ask: Are Mormons going to criticize my form and content of worship when I obey God by exposing shameful things?

Trade in your green fig leaf apron for a cross. What God has revealed to the children of man, he has revealed to all the children of man. Find more private satisfaction in the public, personal word of God than in the shameful ceremonies of Joseph Smith.

Tips to Christians For Using (or Not Using) the LDS Temple Ceremony Content When Engaging Mormons

  • Be led by the Spirit and be respectful and sensitive to people. The challenge here is immersing yourself in the Bible so that you adopt more biblical concepts of love and respect than worldly concepts. Being loving and sensitive will often require you to engage other issues of the heart and simply point people to the true nature of God and the gospel. But the Spirit may lead you to tear down false pretensions (cf. 2 Corinthians 10:4-5) and idolatry by exposing the ceremony. It is no more disrespectful to expose the shameful LDS temple ceremony than it is to expose pervasive mold to a prospective house buyer.
  • Part of the whole question of whether to reveal the temple ceremony concerns strategic and loving engagement, but there is also a power struggle that is real. It cannot be ignored. People who feel like they have secrets often feel like they have a power over other people. Mormons will sometimes refer to the temple as the only appropriate place to discuss certain doctrines. Sometimes it helps to break this superficial facade of power and exclusivity by revealing your knowledge of the temple.
  • Bringing up the ceremony will often end a conversation, so be wise about if and when you do it.
  • That said, I suggest teaching Mormons who haven’t been through the ceremony, especially teenagers, the three secret hand clasps. Ask them if they think secret handshakes will help get them into Heavenly Father’s presence. Many will vehemently say, “No!” Express your agreement. Ask the same people, “If Satan told you to make a green fig leaf apron, what would you do?” The responses I hear are interesting. “I wouldn’t do it!” “I’d tell him to be quiet.” I like to advise people, “If Satan ever tells you to make a green fig leaf apron, rebuke him!” If they go through the temple ceremony, they will be reminded of these things. This will help them feel creeped out by the ceremony. They should feel that way, and you owe it to them in love to help them be sober about it.
  • Break the news to them. The things you have just spoken of are actually in the LDS temple ceremony. If they don’t believe you, tell them to ask their parents. Or Google. The internet has more power to deliver knowledge than the Mormon “priesthood” ever will.
  • Don’t over-sensationalize the role of Satan in the temple ceremony. I recommend a good article by Jerald and Sandra called, Obsession With Lucifer?.
  • Expect opposition over this. Letting the cat out of the bag will drive some defenders of Mormonism in your community nuts. But keep a sober mind that this isn’t about them. It’s about the true seekers. The inherent shamefulness of the LDS temple ceremony really causes a crisis of conscience in people that causes them to leave the Mormon Church and take Christianity more seriously. Don’t want to see a close relationship severed? That’s OK. You can at least get the word out to people who haven’t been through the temple, who you can tolerate being upset at you. It’s worth it in the long run for their own sake.
  • Remind your LDS friends that this isn’t a matter of trivial humor. It’s serious. It is a matter of informed consent. People have a right to know about this all before they join Mormonism.
  • Ask, “Is the Book of Mormon is sacred?” “Of course.” “Is it public?” “Yes.” “So, if something is sacred, does it have to be secret and hidden from the public?” This helps when someone explains that simply because the ceremony is “sacred” it cannot be discussed publicly.
  • Ask, “Why was the temple veil torn in two when Jesus was crucified?”
  • Ask, “Can you think of any examples of people being married in the Old Testament temple?”
  • Ask a Mormon if they are aware of the changes in the temple ceremony. Also ask, “Are the parts of the temple ceremony removed in 1990 still sacred?”
  • Express your feelings about having your pastor mocked as a hireling of Satan in the pre-1990 LDS temple ceremony. Ask, “If Protestants had a secret ceremony where we called your bishops hirlings of Satan, what would you think if I said it was too ‘sacred’ to talk about?”
  • Point them to the sufficiency of Christ. Share Hebrews 7 and tell them you want them to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, our great high priest. Eternal life is all about knowing Jesus, receiving Jesus, and believing Jesus as he freely offers us the forgiveness of sins and fellowship with God forever. Christians now have the indwelling of the Spirit, and our level of intimacy and fellowship with God is not dependent on whether we are in a certain building.
  • Be like Jesus: “And as he came out of the temple, one of his disciples said to him, ‘Look, Teacher, what wonderful stones and what wonderful buildings!’ And Jesus said to him, ‘Do you see these great buildings? There will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down.’” Mark 13:1-2

I’ll close with a letter from an ex-Mormon Christian written to Bill Mckeever:

“Good afternoon Mr. McKeever. This email is an apology to the nasty and derogatory remarks I sent you in the past. I do not know if you remember our conversations but it was obvious that I was so deep into Mormonism, I did not realize how uneducated I sounded for defending a false faith. It is my prayer that every member of the LDS church come to the realization that Joseph Smith is one of the false prophets that the Bible warns us about. I came to my realization shortly after finding out the details of Temple rituals. I was officially removed from the membership records as of May 2005… Realizing that accepting Christ as my personal savior and putting all of my trust in him instead of Gordon B. Hinckley has made a magnanimous impact upon my life as a Christian. I want to personally thank you for distributing websites like these to bring LDS members out of the dark and into the light. Thank you for being a bold servant of Christ and May God Bless you and your co-workers always. Please feel free to post this message on your site as a hopeful inspiration to all LDS who wish to leave.”

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208 Responses to The Duty to Expose a Shameful Ceremony is Infinitely More Sacred Than a Shameful Ceremony

  1. GRCluff says:

    It looks like I got your exact documentation in BEFORE you asked for it! Did I already know what was coming or am I just another inspired Mormon? I’ll leave that for you to decide.

    I guess the best support for my first comment is:
    The Dead Sea Scrolls Translated (The Qumran Texts in English)” translated by Wilfred G.E. Watson, published by Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. Grand Rapids, Michigan

    but I also recommend this link:

    http://james.jlcarroll.net/LDS/temples/freemasonry.html

    He lays out my opinion pretty well.

  2. Berean says:

    No, you’re not another inspired Mormon, but I guess if you are then maybe I am too since I knew all your references would be from Mormon sources(Eerdmans Publishing, Deseret Books, Doubleday, FARMS, Hugy Nibley). Ever thought about venturing outside of your Mormon comfort zone and seeing what other credible scholars of the Bible have to say? Outside of Salt Lake City, Mormonism has no credibility. I’m waiting for the General Authorities to make the trip to the places that I mentioned and stick out their prophetic necks in attempts to translate and validate Mormon claims from the manuscripts (Dead Sea Scrolls). No offense, but they would be laughed out of the building they were standing in.

    Mormons want it both ways. You want to distance yourselves from the Masons, but look at your sources that you mentioned. Do you really expect credibility when you reference the Gnostic gospels? These writers are known heretics and their writings are not authoritative. If they were, why didn’t their works get published in the Mormon standard works? These are missing books, right? Why aren’t they included?

    Try pushing this agenda on the trip to the Holy Land to investigate the Dead Sea Scrolls and other places to observe the mauscripts going all the way back and see what the reaction is. These same scholars have read the BOM and when asked about it their reaction hasn’t been respectful. Mormons have no ancient history that can be verified whatsoever anywhere. The BoM is a work of plagiarism including many other sources that influenced that work not to mention Joseph Smith’s magic rock in his hat. If Mormons want credibility, then they are going to have to find somebody with more muscle than FARMS to prove their cause.

    Christianity has the verified history, manuscripts and two thousand years on its side just to name a few to back its claims. What do the Mormons have other than their testimony of a 14 year-old boy’s conflicting story from 1820?

  3. falcon says:

    So for days I ask for some verification, evidence, documentation that NT Christians wore sacred underware with Masonic symbols, temple costumes, had temples in which they performed Masonic rituals, throw in secret handshakes, secret passwords etc. and DOF basically wants me to give a report on 1st century clothing. THAT’S IT…..that’s my answer? That’s the best our Mormon apologists have to offer? Another, “Oh yea if your so smart……..” answer? This is truly embarrassing and demonstrates once again that Mormons do not have the evidence to support any of their claims and that includes the Man With The Magic Rock is a Prophet theory.

    GRCLUFF,
    The Dead Sea Scrolls support Mormon Temple rituals and your support for this is that you heard a tape one time that said so? I heard a tape also. It was by Mormon John P. Dehlin in which he decried the level of Mormon apologetics. An example would be that in the BoM horses are mentioned. There were no horses on the American continent at that time. The Mormon answer? Well, they were probably talking about “deer”.

    You folks better stick with your testimony because the evidence for any of this isn’t there. Hopefully those Mormons who lurk here get enough information to move them out of the system.

  4. germit says:

    DOF: you sure have been busy, until you get some backup, the hits keep coming your way. Wont candy coat this: your “why should I talk about the temple” response surprised, and saddened me a little. Why should you answer my questions about the temple. I can think of a couple of reasons, whether these are compelling to you, I can only hope so. The first is: I would, will not, play that same card on you: if I can answer your questions, I will. Sometimes I can’t, just ask Ralph and DJ, sometimes their excellent posts take me beyond what I know (not always a trans-atlantic flight). I will never require that you believe in a certain way, or accept my beliefs on points A, B, and C before I answer your question (if I can). That seems like an odd approach to me. About ordinances: I thoroughly beleive in many of them, some were a big deal in the OT,and did not carry over into the NT because they were replaced by something better. They system of sacrifices comes to mind and someone here has already discussed that on this thread. I heartily acknowledge the need for baptism. I was babtized Jan. 1,1978, the day after I came to saving knowledge in Jesus christ, in a public ‘duck pond’. Air temp was about 15deg fahr; no idea how cold the water was, but I sure didn’t care. I would’ve GLADLY chopped through ice and gone in head first: I once was dead, and now was alive. If the elder had second thoughts, I would have put him in a strong half nelson and taken him with me. As it is he went voluntarily, he had led me to the Lord the day before. Do I sound convinced ?? Here’s the diff: I would STILL be a born again christian even if I had (foolishly) stalled on the orddinance. The plunge did not ‘seal the deal” it was a public (in my case VERY public, altlhough the park traffic was light in the Jan 1 weather) TESTIMONY of a very real private reality. The public step did not add to that reality, only proclaimed it, which I was only too happy to do, and I don’t understand christians who do

  5. nelsonjl04 says:

    Okay, so everyone is carefully avoiding my questions. Again, whose voice was heard from Heaven when Jesus was baptized in the river Jordan, saying, “This is my Beloved Son in whom I am well pleased”?
    No temples are needed in Heaven since ordinances of baptism and endowment are earthly ordinances, but temples will be used during the millennial reign.
    Also, no one seems to want to address the book of James chapter two verses 13-24 (King James version, without any kind of Joseph Smith mumbo jumbo).
    Note verses 22-24:”Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? Andthe scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. Ye see then how that BY WORKS A MAN IS JUSTIFIED, and NOT BY FAITH ONLY.”
    Dispute that.

  6. germit says:

    DOF: (cont’d) not share in that enthusiasm. The phrase you see quite often in the NT is ‘beleive and be baptized’. Great biblical commands; believe and come to a saving knowledge that Jesus, all by Himself, is all I will ever need to satisfy the FATHER (the truth of that was better than any drug I’d ever taken ); and then get baptized. Seemed pretty simple to me, then and now. I could go on and on about other ‘ordinances’ but I hope you get my point: confession to others (not a confessional), the sharing of the Lord’s supper, the laying on of hands to launch into ministry: all commands, all necessary (why else would God have instituted them??) but not necessary conditions to bring about the new birth. I’m not asking you to agree on these points, only to understand the ev. christian position. It is grossly inaccurate to say the because we don’t see these as PRIOR steps to being saved, that we somehow don’t view them as ‘needed’. Of course they are needed, they’re in the BIBLE, that light and lamp we are so fond of . RALPH: what reason, other than that someone with the LDS prophetic status told you by revelation, do you, do WE, have to believe that these temples with their Masonic flavor and ritual, have been around for THOUSANDS OF YEARS PRIOR TO THE BIRTH OF CHRIST ?? Is there even the slightest shred of historical, archeoligical, cultural evidence (or the nasty “e” word) that heads in that direction? Please don’t tell me you don’t need it, I think I get that. The ‘fair minded’ observer to our conversation DOES need that, and if reality is on your side, you should not have a problem paying up. And why the deafening silence about this kind of temple in the OT?? Again, the temple was (and still IS) a showcase of God’s glory, why the secrecy around THAT?? God’s glory, to complete the thought, is now found in PEOPLE, NOT BUILDINGS, beautiful marble pales in comparison to the life of God put into one His kid’s (that’s the C.S. Lewis ‘splendor’ thing) GERMIT

  7. Michael P says:

    Nelson,

    I’ll attempt an answer to your questions, though they are obvious “traps” to change the topic and prove your point, and we’ve also been down these roads time and again. But you want an answer, so here goes: Jesus heard the Father’s voice, demonstrating his full humanity at that point. Before you take this as a victory, consider that this is no admission you are right. Jesus is God, as much the Father as Son, and the separation here is key to His sacrificial actions down the road. This is important to the discussion of rituals (ordinances), since Jesus himself replaced many of the OT rituals.

    As to the last point, yes, it is true that we demonstrate our faith by our actions, but are the actions what save us?

  8. nelsonjl04 says:

    Michael, You can call me Jennifer. Thanks for answering my questions. I can understand why you think I am trying to set a trap, but I’m not. I don’t dig pits for my neighbors. I TRULY want to understand! I don’t think you believe that. I have MANY Christian friends who have explained (or tried to) the trinity and the role of Jesus in the Godhead, from the Christian standpoint, and I am simply not satisfied, or maybe I just don’t get it.
    Please explain further what you mean by “Jesus heard the Father’s voice, demonstrating his full humanity at that point.” I don’t understand what you mean. Take WHAT as a victory? I only want to understand.
    I also believe Jesus is God the Father and the Son, because he created us under the Father’s direction (thus being our Father because he created us). I also believe his teachings, his suffering, death, and subsequent resurrection fulfilled the old testament laws, “I come not to destroy the law, but to fulfill it.” You said Jesus replaced “many” of the old testament rituals. Yes he did, rituals, but not ordinances because the ordinance itself was not a similitude of the Savior’s birth, death, and resurrection, or of the Father’s sacrificing of his son.
    As for faith and works, my point was only that many people here have accused or claimed that mormons believe they are saved by their works, when that is not truth. I have NEVER been taught that. I have only EVER been taught that my faith is proven by my works. We are ONLY OOOONNNLLLYY saved by Jesus Christ. I have never taught or been taught otherwise. Many people here have also accused me of being self-righteous because I believe that true followers of Christ strive to follow his commandments. How can you judge my heart by that? I don’t judge others. I don’t condemn others. I just try to follow my Savior’s path like all Christians do. You don’t agree with me, but that’s okay.

  9. DefenderOfTheFaith says:

    Falcon,
    Don’t mean to delay the response, but I will not answer until we are on an even playing field. If you want me to justify LDS temples with “verification, evidence, documentation” then why shouldn’t you have to do the same. If you were an atheist, not believing in any prophets, you might have a point. I have never claimed that these things must be substantiated by any other means than power of the Holy Ghost. I am only turning the tables because you have required it. You won’t operate in the realm of testimony, although I am happy to see that Germit is all for it. My point is, if you are going to remain on this “proof” criteria for justification of temple worship, then you must abide by the same standard. I am more than ready to justify all that happens in the temple as soon as you are ready to justify all that happened in temples of old. Let’s just start with Aaron’s “holy garments” Exodus 28:2. What shred of pre-Exodus evidence is there to justify this practice? Where is there any record of this practice prior to this. If it is not there, then by your reasoning, it must be false. Once you supply me with this info, I would be glad to proceed. Remember this is your criteria for validity not mine.
    Germit,
    Glad to see you operating in the realm of testimony. I just don’t understand the necessary, but not necessary logic. Why the abrupt leap from what you call a very private reality, to demanding historical, archealogical and cultural evidence (isn’t that the antithesis of revelation?)
    Berean,
    John 2 speaks for itself. I believe it as is reads. Do you believe that all references to the temple after John 2 should now be read as the “body” and not the temple? I believe JSH 1:19 exactly as it reads. This “burden of proof” concept is interesting for a couple of reasons. First, it is not Biblical. Show me where the prophets have been required to give the burden of proof that you demand. Their burden is to testify not prove anything. So you are asking LDS

  10. Michael P says:

    Well, Jennifer, the Trinity is indeed a separate topic apart from the Temple ceremonies. I hate to diverge, and do not wish to distract the topic too far for too long. But I am not surprised you do not get the Trinity. I do not wish to be condescending, but honest since it is truly a difficult concept. I am sure you understand the argument: that God, son, and spirit are all one in the same fully and completely yet separate. That’s it, and its understanding comes when you believe that Jesus is God, not just “a” god among many, but “The” God. I am not sure that I can make it clear to you without your participation– in other words, you must be able to try to see Jesus for who he is. I can tell you all day and night, in any number of ways and you still won’t get it, not because you are dumb, but because your heart has not been opened. But when you seek, you will find, and I hope you do seek and look past the difficult concept and believe that there is but one God, as is promised many times in the Bible.

    Your concept of Jesus as Father and Son falls short, because then the Father becomes our grandfather, the way I see it, and you run into many problems that way, so be careful with that.

    Faith and works and Jesus’ death on the cross. Let me just say this: the OT rituals were to cleanse believers of their sin, right? Sacrifices were made and rules were set up to not only keep people from sinning, but to gain forgiveness when they did sin, which all did. Jesus’ death on the cross fulfilled all of those requirements and made null and void every single one of them because his death was the sacrifice and his resurection was victory over death and sin. When we rest in him, or rather he in us, we are covered with his righteousness and not condemned of our sin and will see victory over death. So, it is his presence that saves, not what we do.

    You say you have never been saved by works, but have you done all you can do to warrant Christ’s atoning power?

  11. DefenderOfTheFaith says:

    …to submit to a test that you would never apply to OT or NT prophets. So I will say what I said to Falcon. Abide by the same rules. If you want me to supply the burden of proof for the temple today, then do likewise for the temple of old. Test all of the prophets by the same criteria! I cannot emphasize that enough. If you are going to put Smith under the microscope make sure you use the same powered lens for the rest as well. Remember these are your demands not mine. I try to operate within the realm of revelation. I realize this is foolishness to many Christians, but it is the heritage of all your prophets. That’s why I find it so ironic that terms like “burden of proof” and “verification, evidence, and documentation” are even part of your arsenal. It is a complete deviation from Biblical teaching. It is the realm of atheistic thought to ask these questions. I would never ask you to supply the burden of proof for the Resurrection. I wouldn’t ask that for verification of why the Savior was justified in using clay and spittle to perform miracles (suggesting his was some sort of mystic). I wouldn’t demand evidence or documentation as to why Moses slaughtered thousands of Middianites contrary to the law. I could go on and on and on (as our atheist friends are doing on other blogs). I understand all of these because I know that God operates by revelation through his servants the prophets. You can insist on the “burden of proof” realm but it is not Biblical. Revelation(and faith for that matter) are not proofs. And if you are going to mock the modern prophets because they refuse to offer any proof, why would any of us believe you wouldn’t do the same to them of old.

  12. jackg says:

    Defender,

    Thanks for responding. The issue is just as you stated it: for the Christian, he responds to God’s grace in his life and, through the infilling of the Holy Spirit, he begins to display fruits of the Spirit, which ultimately can be called good works. All this is in response to God’s grace. For the Mormon, works are intended to make one worthy enough to receive the Holy Ghost. It is a backwards idealogy that the Mormons teach. “…for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do” (2 Nephi 25:23b). This passage surely talks about grace, but it puts God in the position of responding to our works with His grace; in actuality, we respond to His grace with our works–not because we will gain anything from it, such as learning secret handshakes and whatever else the temple ritual teaches one must know to enter God’s presence–but simply because we want Him to be glorified by those things we do which are evidence of the Spirit infilling through fruits. James is merely stating that we can say we have faith in Christ, but there is a measuring stick to determine true faith or a faith that is merely spoken, and it is by works that faith is revealed. Still, works do not merit us entry into God’s presence. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). There is no mention of works in any form (unless you want to count believing as a work). “But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified FREELY by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus” (Romans 3:21-24).

  13. jackg says:

    cont’d

    Here’s another reason for works: “Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they caccuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.” No where does it state that our good deeds earn us salvation. When Jesus said, “If you love me, keep my commandments,” it shows that we cannot merely give lip service, and that such lip service will not prove genuine. Obedience is evidence of our sincere love for Christ. They do not merit us salvation. You see, when live lives of adultery, fornication, lies, stealing, it’s not that we disqualify ourselves from God’s grace, but they reveal that we were never in relationship with God to begin with. Our works are evidence; they are not prerequisites. Being made holy happens after we respond to God’s grace and accept Jesus Christ as LORD and Savior, God’s grace is not a response to our making ourselves perfect through good works. It’s difficult to discuss other topics, especially biblical exegesis, when you can’t understand the real POWER of Jesus Christ, and that He does not need anyone to help themselves in the work of redemption by learning secret handshakes and new names, etc. I proclaim the majesty and power of the Person and Work of Jesus Christ. You proclaim something very different, which is based in the false teachings of a false prophet. Test JS teachings against the Bible; not the other way around. He introduced nothing but a backwards theology with the sole purpose of diminishing God and glorifying man. And, I know with a certainty that the Spirit will bear witness to you of my words. It’s up to you to respond to God’s grace.

  14. nelsonjl04 says:

    Michael, Thank you very much. You have increased my understanding a great deal and have actually strengthened my faith in Jesus Christ. While I still refuse to leave my Mormon faith even a little, I do understand the Christian viewpoint MUCH better. It is by far the best explanation I have ever heard. Still, I do believe and will always believe that There are three distinct and separate beings within the Godhead. I can totally understand why you consider us wrong, but I feel the same about you. So there we are.
    As for the temples, I am going tonight with my children to do baptisms for the dead (please read 1 Cor. 15:29). Call me evil, or my practices evil, but recently a non-Mormon learned about our temple practices, namely baptisms for the dead, and said it was the most beautiful religious concept he had ever heard of: Baptism for those who were not able to be baptized while living on earth (the only place where necessary ordinances for salvation can be performed). And call me wrong or evil or what have you for believing that God Himself gave us specific ordinances (baptism being one of them) in order to enter into His kingdom. Wait a sec, so do you all believe you don’t have to be baptized in order to enter into God’s kingdom? Or is faith REALLY enough? Baptism is an ordinance, a requirement, is it not? If we have faith, won’t we obey? Just a thought that came to me.

  15. jer1414 says:

    When we read 1 Cor. 15 v.1-34 in its entirety, we find Paul is addressing rumors that Jesus did not rise from the dead. In v. 29 Paul makes the point that even “they” (excluding himself) believe in resurrection. Also notice in 15:1 Paul declares the gospel… v. 2 by which we are saved… v. 3 which he delivered first of all…how Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; 4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures”.
    Here we have the gospel, of first importance, by which we are saved –
    Jesus died for our sins, Jesus was buried, Jesus rose again. About Jesus, not me.

    In the beginning of the letter, Paul reprimands the arguing over who was baptized by whom (1 Cor. 1:11-17) and v. 17 Paul states “Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel…” Hearing and accepting the true gospel, that’s what saves, not baptisms.

    I don’t think jackg could have stated it any better than he did in his above two postings, “Obedience is evidence of our sincere love for Christ. They do not merit us salvation.”

    I like the key word “evidence”. Our obedience / works are “because of” our love for Christ, they are simply evidence of our faith. And what is our faith in? Not in being baptized or becoming a member of the “right” church or doing all ‘we’ can do, but our faith and hope of eternal life in heaven is only in Jesus Christ and His finished work. Only Jesus and what HE has done.

  16. falcon says:

    DOF,
    There were no Christian temples, there was no sacred underware with Masonic symbols, there were no Masonic temple rituals, there were no secret handshakes or passwords, there was no priesthood. You want documentation. Go to “Christian History and Biography” on the net and order Issue 37 of Christian History titled “Worship in the Early Church”. Five dollars plus shipping.
    If you want to believe that all of this was taking place in the NT church because God told you, get in line with Ralph who says he will kill and steal if ordered directly by the prophet and Apollo who reported he saw dead people through the veil in the temple.
    This is not the Christian religion. It is cultic and a spiritualism that is not connected to God. Joseph Smith was heavily involved in the magic arts and Free Masonry. He rolled it into a religion that won’t bring eternal life to its members. You’ve got the information. You’ve made your choice.

  17. Berean says:

    Nelson:

    I’m not going to call you evil. I will say that the rituals that you are going through in the temple for baptism for the dead is of pagan origins. You can take that to be evil from those roots if you wish. I think you should do some biblical and historical research on what you are engaging in and exposing your children to instead of blindly accepting what the LDS Church has told you about the practice. Let’s talk about 1 Cor 15:29.

    Historical background: Just north of Corinth was a city named Eleusis. This was the location of a pagan religion where baptism in the sea for dead people was practiced to guarantee a good afterlife. This religion was mentioned by Homer in “Hymn to Demeter”. The Corinthians were heavily influenced by the religous practices found at Eleusis. Paul spends a good part of 1 Cor scolding these Corinthian believers for engaging in rituals performed by pagan religions (1 Cor 5).

    The text: Look at verses 12, 29-30. Notice the pronouns in these verses. Who is being addressed:

    “We”: Corinth Church
    “They”: false teachers
    “You”: Corinth Church

    Paul never commanded believers to do baptisms for the dead. Jesus and the apostles never mentioned this practice. If Paul actually performend the ritual himself, he would include himself when talking about it. Nowhere in the New Testament are believers shown engaging in this practice.

    Taking one verse in the Bible and building a doctrine around it while ignoring the history and context of the verse is dangerous. Will you now observe Mark 16:18 and start handling snakes and drinking poison? Some churches do and build their whole practice around this one verse. Wrong!

    The Bible is clear that there are no second chances after death (Heb 9:27). We cannot do anything that would obtain salvation for another person. Each person must believe for himself (John 1:12). 1 Peter 3&4 doesn’t support the Mormon view either. Since you’re a Mormon, Alma 34:32-35 doesn’t support it either.

  18. GRCluff says:

    Berean:

    I really don’t need to visit the Holy Land to read the Dead Sea Scrolls, they are translated and published here– (Sorry, not in Salt Lake)

    My Dead Sea Scrolls reference was:

    The Dead Sea Scrolls Translated (The Qumran Texts in English)” translated by Wilfred G.E. Watson, published by Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. Grand Rapids, Michigan

    Last I checked Grand Rapids, Michigan was quite a distance from Salt Lake- just like you are quite a distance from comprehending the point I was trying to make.

    All you need to do now is take your head out of the sand long enough to read the English translation. When (not if) you do that you can then put my comment in ita proper context. I can see I will need to be very specific so- the comment I mean is:

    If we were to prove that sacred text from the first few centuries after Christ clearly and adequately describes the temple ceremony Mormons use today, wouldn’t that make this discussion rather useless?

    The Dead Sea Scrolls translation I reference is not a Mormon source, and not published in Salt Lake City. It does in fact describe an ancient religious rite much closer to the Mormon temple ceremony than any masonic rite.

    I think I HAVE met your burden of proof on the subject. It will be difficult to quote any Bible scholars, just because the Bible didn’t exist when it was written. Guess what? My source has 2000 years on its side too!

    The Mormon temple ceremony is an ancient rite with symbolism that is intented to bring people to Christ. Your objections are doing the opposite– leading people away from Christ. Is that what you intended to do? Then this is a useless discussion.

  19. DefenderOfTheFaith says:

    Falcon,
    Why do you refuse to answer the ? about OT temples? Do you not believe in the OT? Explain to me OT temple practices and I will explain ours to you. Maybe you don’t believe OT prophets were true prophets, but at least state that and we can switch topics. I don’t want documentation, you do. I don’t need it. I am simply playing your game because you insist on it. I haven’t said anything about NT Christian temples. It is irrelevant to the point I am trying to make. Please state your position so we can have a meaningful discussion. No priesthood in the NT? I am starting to wonder if we are reading the same text.

    Germit,
    I appreciate your comments on ordinances. Ironically, your statements/testimony about them are covered extensively in the ceremonies you seek to discredit (something our temple informant as conveniently left out of his “exposing” video…I think I know why).

    jackg,
    Good review of faith vs. works. On-going debate for sure, especially within the Christian faiths. Difficult to reconcile Paul’s teachings with James. The scripture that has given me the best understanding of this concept is in Moroni 10:32-33 “Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ; and if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in nowise deny the power of God.

    “And again, if ye by the grace of God are perfect in Christ, and deny not his power, then are ye sanctified in Christ by the grace of God, through the shedding of the blood of Christ, which is in the covenant of the Father unto the remission of your sins, that ye become holy, without spot.” (Moro. 10:32–33.) To me this clearly explains the LDS position. It seems in perfect harmony with Paul and James. If not then we return to the real issue: BofM and revelation.

  20. Megan says:

    Berean, that was an excellent explanation of the baptizing for the dead verse. I did some research into that myself last year and that’s the same thing I found.
    Jennifer (Nelson), the nature of God subject is probably too off-base for the temple ceremonies topic here (they are stringent about that on here), but if you look in the archives you should be able to find a lot. Not surprisingly, this is a subject that pops up quite often. Last year I went through the book “Bible Doctrine” by Wayne Grudem (excellent, by the way) and took tons of notes on the divinity of Jesus, the godhead, etc. The book gives explanations of the original Greek and Hebrew words. If you ever want to email me for my notes, my email is [email protected]. I don’t care if people see my name on here.

  21. Berean says:

    Cluff,

    My head is out of the sand, thanks. I won’t return the jab. You stated:

    “If we were to prove that sacred text from the first few centuries after Christ clearly and adequately describes the temple ceremony Mormons use today, wouldn’t that make this discussion rather useless?”

    The key word here is: IF…”IF we were to prove”. What are you waiting for? Myself and millions of other Christians (non-Mormons) are waiting for Thomas Monson or one of the 12 to call another press conference and announce to the world their findings from the Dead Sea Scrolls that validates what Mormons do in the temples today. They don’t waste any time coming out and making sure that people know that the Mormon polygamists in Texas aren’t LDS Mormons. Surely, this issue of the Dead Sea Scrolls would be a bigger item. I guarantee that would get worldwide attention from every Bible scholar on the planet. I’ll stay tuned to the LDS Newsroom and wait for that to happen.

    Am I intentionally trying to lead Mormons away from the Mormon Jesus – yes sir, I am. The Mormon Jesus is not the Jesus of the Bible (2 Cor 11:4). I’ll be happy to supply you with the Mormon references that state that if you wish. There is only one correct Jesus – not two. We both can’t be right. Again, Christianity has history and the evidence on its side. Mormonism is a new religion from the 1800′s. There is no historical proof of Mormonism from 1820 backwards. I want Mormons to know that the real Jesus of the Bible forgives all sins right NOW, make them perfet NOW, gives them eternal life NOW and gives them freedom in Him NOW – no guilt, no law, no worries, anxiety or doubts wondering about forgiveness or eternal life. Mormonism and the Mormon Jesus is a false gospel that only sends Mormons to outer darkness (Gal 1:6-9). Mormons have no assurance of eternal life or forgiveness of sin NOW. I don’t apologize for that so consider me guilty as charged. To not tell Mormons the truth is not the loving thing to do.

  22. Jeffrey says:

    Jennifer,

    I’m glad your still around. It sounds like both the evangelicals here and you are starting to make some productive dialog. Call me hopeful, but it sounds like you’re understanding of the Christian Gospel is becoming deeper, and I think it might just create a spark within you.

    The nature of God (who Jesus was talking too in the garden) and the baptism for the dead verse in the Bible are rather easy for one to understand if you just put some study into it, and also, as mentioned before, many topics in the archive cover that extensively. Berean did a good job explaining the origins of the baptisms for the dead.

    I believe just as all the other Christians on here that Baptism isn’t what saves you. It is faith in Christ, his death, his resurrection. If you NEEDED to be baptized, don’t you think it would be mentioned in the Bible along side of “having faith and believing in Christ” at almost every turn? If you want them, we can provide many quotes from the Bible that states how one receives salvation. It is important, when your ready, to get baptized though. It is spiritually empowering and its an open declaration that your life now belongs to Christ.

    DOF,

    What part of James is hard for Christians to reconcile with Paul’s teachings?

    Also, what statements about ordinances were left out of the video? I am intrigued.

  23. germit says:

    DOF: Kudos for shouldering much of the “heavy lifting” these last few weeks for the LDS side of things, not an easy task. Take a breath and remember WHO IS DEFENDING WHAT or WHICH TRUTH CLAIMS ARE MADE BY EACH SIDE. Your recent posts are getting garbled and confused. The orthodox christian position is that this temple thing played out historically, therefore VERIFIABLY, just as the Bible said it did: temple built at the time of Solomon, temple observances done in both the manner and the time table that the OT gives us etc. There may be some historians quibble at that, but I think that’s pretty agreed on in theorthodox world: notice, WE are not the ones making the claim about temple stuff done differently (with the Masonic flavor, OR earlier, as Ralph suggested. THAT IS AN LDS POSITION,AND HENCE IT IS UP TO YOU TO DEFEND (or ignore, i suppose)IT!!!! On into the NT: we claim that yes, the disciples on occasion went to the temple, but not because the temple observance was made mandatory, and again, we say that temple stuff happened in the old Jewish way, nothing Masonic (no secret handshakes etc) about it. YOU are the side that makes a novel claim about the temple ceremony being different than what christians have understood it to be, that claim is YOURS, you say it happened in SPACE, TIME, AND HISTORY, and therefore it is up to you, not us, to defend it. I know this sounds very dry and academic, but our GOD is BOTH the God of our internal reality (the internal witness) AND the God of History (remember the ‘God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob….”: that’s a statement just as much about HISTORY as it is about prophecy. The story, as it stands, from BOTH the OT and NT stands up historically and archeologically the way we orthodox christians tell it. Why wouldn’t a ‘fair minded observer’ believe OUR rendition rather than yours?? Like Ricky said…..”Lucy, you got some ‘splainin’ to do….” GERMIT

  24. Michael P says:

    Jennifer, I am glad it was helpful. Some others here have said it is easy, and it is, once you see the truth. But until you can see it for truth, I personally think it is one of the most difficult ideas to grasp. How in the world could a guy claiming to be God still pray to a father, ie someone else? That is a difficult concept to grasp, and truth is, many who do not believe point to that idea first. So you are not alone in that question. However, a difficutl concept can still be true, and in this case, it is the most important truth you can understand. It is amazing to think that The God of everything decided to humble himself and put himself through such humiliating torment with the express purpose of saving you and me. Isn’t that awesome?

    And that’s the power of it, too. That God did this, so that he can open up a direct relationship with us that we no longer need to toil and strive to be worthy. We are not, and never will be alone. This was why the OT rituals had to be repeated, endlessly. They existed to open that relationship. But when God became man, died, and rose, his journey completed, forever, the need to continue in these rituals.

    Is the idea a nice one that you try to save the lost souls? Of course. It is a wonderful idea that we can go and save loved ones who didn’t hear about God to begin with. However, it is a false idea, no matter how beautiful. Consider Luke 16: 19-31

    I won’t rehash what others have said about the 1 Cor verse. They have said it well that the verse is not a command that we baptize for the dead but rather a calling out that they not follow what the pagans did. You must also look at that verse with the one I cited above. Baptism for the dead is not Biblical.

    I do appreciate that you consider your tenants sacred, and I do not at all consider you evil, or any true Mormon. Rather, I respect you for the good you do in society. I only warn you not to rely on those good works for salvation.

  25. judithmillward says:

    I’m a first time visitor to this blog and find it very interesting. I am glad that so many people are interested in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I guess that the only thing I want to say is that you can thing what you want to about the church and the interpretation of the scriptures that we adhere to, but unless you have been in our shoes and felt what we feel you will never be able to KNOW the truth of our doctrines. Even after nearly 70 decades in the church I am still being humbled and brought to learn many things and that is the key word to learning to live by faith, or at least faith in Jesus Christ, be humble and let him teach you.

  26. jackg says:

    Defender,

    Naturally, I disagree with you that it’s difficult to reconcile the teachings of Paul and James. Both are speaking about the evidence of a life in Christ. We’re dealing with hypocrisy, here. How we live, behave, treat others, should be congruent with one who claims to be a born-again Christian. There is nothing to infer that we are saved by our works. If we keep on sinning, the question then is how genuine is our faith in Christ. I admire the LDS people for how they live; the problem I have personally seen is that a system of who is more worthy than another has developed. None of us is more worthy than another person because of ability to obey commandments; we are all equally worthy because Christ gave us each worth and value when He died on the cross. Again, God doesn’t respond with grace to our works of obedience; we respond to His grace with our works. See Romans chapter 6. I’m afraid we’re rehashing the same argument.

    I haven’t forgotten about your question regarding Elohim as plural, but I don’t see that it fits in with this thread. Perhaps, there will be a thread that will allow for this discussion. I will simply say that Elohim can be singular or plural depending on the verb, and that there is nothing to suggest a plurality of Gods. Even if your position were to be accurate, how would it explain that JS taught that the name of the Father is Elohim? It wouldn’t make sense in the context you present. Just a thought…

  27. Michael P says:

    Judith, you present an argument that cannot be refuted, not because it is correct, but because of its purely subjective nature. I cannot know your experiences, and you cannot know mine, and I’ll be willing to bet they are both felt confidently as truth. Then the question follows: both cannot be true, so how do we know which is?

    That is the question, and as long as someone rests on the assumption that personal revelation trumps anything else, there is no grounds for discussion. No matter what I tell you, or anyone who lives in this way, will make a difference until you look outside of that experience. This is a tough thing to do, and I understand how as a lifelong LDS it might be threatening.

    But, as you might expect, I argue there is a better experience out there for you, and all you need to do is honestly seek it out. I pray you will.

    God bless.

  28. Jeffrey says:

    Judith, glad to have you. You have been in the church for quite some time and its neat to have someone thats been in that long to debate with us.

    I’m confused though that you say we cant KNOW the truth of your doctrines unless we are in your shoes (being a Mormon, correct?). If that is the case, it goes against your own scripture of Moroni’s challenge. Non-members are supposed to pray about it and receive a knowledge of the BoM and its doctrines being true or not, right? So we don’t have to be Mormon really, we just have to pray about it.

    Of course then we get into the discussion if thats a reliable “truth-test”.

    I know many ex-mormons who, when they were Mormon, said they “Knew” the church was true. But then that begs the question, why would you leave? If you KNEW for a fact, without a doubt, that if you drove to the store you would get in a horrible accident and become paralyzed, would you leave your house? And this is even more important, your eternal salvation depends upon it. If the truly knew, would they leave the church and choose eternal damnation?

    From my experience, people have said they “know” on fast sunday in front of everyone for many reasons. One of them they been told that having a testimony is the most important thing and they feel pressured to regurgitate the same line.

    So, it is truly subjective and no one can dispute it. Unfortuntaely, human emotion naturally plays a large part in that truth test. The muslims pray daily. Do you think they believe they know the truth?

  29. DefenderOfTheFaith says:

    Germit,
    Thanks for answering the question. Starting with the OT. Sorry for the garble, though I don’t feel confused. I just wanted to clarify that you believe OT temples existed, ordinances were performed, etc. I am trying to establish whether you believe in OT prophets or not. I do this because your premise is it must be “Historical and therefore Verifiable”. Imagine you lived in the days of Solomon and he introduced this “new” temple with ceremonies, etc. By what criteria would you justify something that had no history? From the stance you have taken, it must be false and Solomon must be a false prophet, because it would not pass the historical test. Think of all the Biblical stories that would destroy this theory. Moses destroying the Middianites, Abraham attempting to sacrifice Issaac, Noah building an ark, Jesus putting an end to sacrifices, the Resurrection. The scriptures show a distinct pattern: Prophets and Revelation. I cannot think of a single story where Biblical prophets have even attempted to justify their actions by this historical proof criteria. They receive revelation, testify and obey. This is risky business for sure. What is my point? You have said that it is up to me to defend LDS temples. My only defense is God commanded it by revelation. According to your criteria, Solomon would not be able to defend his position. Hence, the question about his prophetic authenticity. Our claim is the same as Solomon’s. God commanded it through revelation. It places every individual up aganist the wall of faith, just as God intended. Revelation is the way God has always disseminated the message of salvation. Is there anything Biblical that states otherwise? I agree with Jeffrey it does come down to a “truth test”, who is getting the right revelation. Why the revelation revival in the 20th century? Where was it all those years. He is also right that Moroni’s test is for everyone…

  30. DefenderOfTheFaith says:

    I can only testify that I have received revelation in the affirmitive. I stand alone, independent from every creature under the heavens, for “flesh and blood did not reveal it to me” “neither did I learn it from any man”.

    Jackg,
    I am with you on the problem of elitism and superiority. President Hickley would back you wholeheartedly (April 06 Conference), he sees it as a big problem and why not. It proved the destruction of a whole civilizations (Nephites and Jaredites). That is their message from the dust…“Behold, the pride of this nation, or the people of the Nephites, hath proven their destruction. “Beware of pride, lest ye become as the Nephites of old.” Here’s the mistake. It is not the “system” that is generating that. Benson said, “Another major portion of this very prevalent sin of pride is enmity toward our fellowmen. We are tempted daily to elevate ourselves above others and diminish them”. (See Hel. 6:17; D&C 58:41.) It is the indivual who chooses to be prideful. The WHOLE “system” (Hickley, the entire BoM, etc.) has repeatedly spoken against it.

    Summary of my thought (hopefully not garbled)
    Prophets and Revelation. Revelation and Prophets. The Temple is about these. If I live in the OT during the days of Solomon, I am obligated to follow him as the Lord’s anointed, regardless of whether I like his burnt offerings. It doesn’t matter that he can’t prove that his is in line with Adam, or Seth or Abraham. I live in Moses’ day. I can’t refuse to slay the Middianites and be on the Lord’s side, even if it is contrary to the law that Moses himself delivered. THE WORD OF THE LIVING ORACLES HAS ALWAYS REIGNED SUPREME. JS saw the Father & the Son. They called him, and commanded him to restore many things including the Temple. What choice do I have? The same as every child of God since Adam. To believe or not. “Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed?” I do Isaiah! And Praise Jesus for the Prophets of the Restoration.

  31. GRCluff says:

    Berean:

    Thanks for the forgiving attitude– I guess I was getting a little testy. And you have some great points.

    The problem with endorsing the Dead Sea Scrolls as a church is obvious to me. They document the beliefs a corrupted sect, typical of the 2nd or 3rd century after Christ. No more corrupt I would guess than those that developed the Nicean Creed or created the first Pope.

    The LDS church can’t endorse any of the corrupted writings of that time, especially when the only thing remarkable about the DSS are the “secret” rites we consider sacred today. It would be pearls cast before swine.

    The beliefs that survived the apostasy had the backing of the Holy Roman Empire, and death was the penalty for heresy. The Nicean Creed was in, but temple rites were out.

    Joseph Smith fixed that malignant blasphemy on both cases.

    The ancient manuscripts that eventually became the Bible survived those centuries with some truth intact, so it should be no surprise that another text from the same period might include valid rites that early Church councils rejected or knew nothing about.

    But like you said, we really don’t need any of that because we have modern revelation. JS got the temple cermony from the original source of all truth. It is nice to discover some ancient validation for a change.

    I am still trying to avoid getting testy, but if you think the scholars and empires that selected from among legions of ancient manuscripts to create the Bible somehow managed to find every last droplet of truth, you really do have your head deep in the sand.

  32. germit says:

    DOF: you ask good questions: “isn’t that (history, archeology,etc..)the ANTITHESIS of revelation..” this ‘abrupt jump’ is abrupt for you because (and Jack might want to tune in here,this touches on your question about LDS and “knowledge/apologetics”) you’ve been carefully taught to work in the realm of SUBJECTIVE/PRIVATE truth, and pooh-pooh everything else: although the big boys in Utah would NEVER use that language. The SAME GOD who gave you the private revelation ALSO worked in space-time-history OR it wasn’t really God in EITHER situation. Either God REALLY helped JS translate the Book of Abe from Egyptian, and therefore this can be documented (notice I didn’t say “proven”, that might be asking too much) from evidence that this REALLY happened. Either the temples have been around since Adam, and have used ceremony and ritual similar to what is shown in the video, similar to what JS got by REVELATION, and can be SUPPORTED by evidence (not proof) or IT DIDN’T REALLY HAPPEN THAT WAY (and hence no evidence). God is into reality: He is not a God of illusion and guesses. Yes, the evidence only takes us so far, there will always be a leap of faith, but it won’t be a BLIND leap into the murkiness of “God revealed it to so and so, believe it ON THAT BASIS ALONE” An aside about what you have to defend: Solomon’s rationale, or reasons for doing this or that (or anyone else’s justification for making this or that temple change, OR THE IMPORTANCE OF ACCEPTING THE AUTHORITY INHERENT IN REVELATION, are ALL worthy topics, but NOT NOW: just show this stuff REALLY happened from history,archeology,culture, and/or the biblical record. It’s not that we distrust revelation: WE DISTRUST YOUR REVELATOR. thanks in advance: GERMIT

  33. Arthur Sido says:

    GRCluff,

    “I am still trying to avoid getting testy, but if you think the scholars and empires that selected from among legions of ancient manuscripts to create the Bible somehow managed to find every last droplet of truth, you really do have your head deep in the sand.”

    You believe the word of a known liar and malcontent, a man shown to have no ability to translate ancient languages. Your church hides it past and passes off sugar coated faith affirming stories as truth. Your temple ceremony has been changed over and over through the years and bears no resemblance to the Biblical temple. Your previous prophet was fooled by the Salamander Letters. Your original prophet made up the pearl of great price from common egyptian documents. And yet you go on blithely claiming to have the restored truth because of a burning in the bosom.

    Who has their head deep in the sand here?

  34. germit says:

    GRC: you wrote “it is nice to get some ancient validation once in awhile…” IF you’ve gotten some of this yummy validation, don’t keep it to yourself, so far you’ve hinted and suggested: FETCH IT OUT. Please be clear and give traceable citations, like our good Aussie Ralph. And I’ll repeat the note that I’ve been beating to death with DOF: IF the stuff you say REALLY happened in space-time-history, then SOME amount of evidence is waiting for us, granted we may disagree about how it is to be interpreted, history is like that, but we need to do better than dissect the word “since” in order to find evidence for an Egyptian location for the temple, and on back to Adam, if JS spoke the truth (truth in the sense that something happened in the real world, and not just in his head). And while you are showing us the evidence for the positive (temples, etc) you can GIVE US REFERENCES regarding the corruption of the bible. I know in this case there are MANY scholars of a liberal mind set that will join you on this tangent, just curious who is your favorite(s). AARON hasn’t weighed in on this stuff, but I think the material he gave all of us during the Blake Osterman interchange about the Nicean creed still holds, and you sir, GRC, have not given near enough evidence to turn that over (yet). YOur serve. GERMIT

  35. DefenderOfTheFaith says:

    OK Germit,
    It has taken, let see, over a month now, but your last line is what I have been waiting for. It is the entire issue at hand and I am glad that we both agree on it. “It’s not that we distrust revelation: WE DISTRUST YOUR REVELATOR.” The charge has always included the later “We distrust the Revelator”. Interesting that only until recent years, the charge has been “There is no new revelation: THEREFORE we distrust your revelator”. Why the recent “evangelical” shift, leaves me wondering. So your statement begs the question: What is revelation and what revelation do you trust? (you may want to think about this carefully). Let me ask this ?. What evidence can you give me that supports your claim that the Resurrection is a reality? ‘What evidence is waiting for me’ that Paul’s vision was something that happened in the “real world” on not just in his head. If Temple practices, the way LDS believe in them, were the same anciently, why would you expect detailed explainations in the written record. If they are one in the same, why would you look for ceremonial specifics. On the contrary, you would expect them to be absent. You would expect the Temple to 1)Be commanded by revelation 2)exist 3)be central to their worship 4)Be silent on certain ceremonies. I believe that is plenty of evidence.
    Arthur: Your comments to GRC aren’t even worth responding to. I am curious about your once “rock bottom” status. I sure that must be in reference to your diligent prayer pattern, sacrament attendance, temple worship, word of wisdom observation, scripture study, law of chastity, humility, etc. Living the ideal Mormon life would have to be the definition of “rock bottom” and I’m sure in this state your “revelation” came to you?

  36. germit says:

    DOF: thanks for the interaction,and you ask some good answers: I’ll get started today, but this will be a “teaser”. Now let’s see: God carefully explained and had recorded, exactly how he wanted the Jewish temple built and exactly how he wanted to the Jewish ritual to be done. He explained, and had recorded, the sacrificial system, the Levitical priesthood and all their duties, but when it came to all the Masonic look-alike stuff, HE falls strangely quiet: NO WRITTEN RECORD, NO DOCUMENTED COMMANDS, AND NO HISTORICAL RECORD. Alright, DOF, you can drink that Kool-aid if you want to, but this strains at credulity. You claim to be a ‘restored’ gospel, but the God who spoke clearly, consistently, and personally to the Jews about the temple (among other things) now leaves Himself without a record of any of that. How strange, also, for a Jewish culture that was nuts about good record keeping. This just doesn’t make sense. And again: the silence that you are trying to sell us is NOT just about specific ceremonies (for argument sake, let’s just say such explanation would be blasphemous) THE SILENCE IS TOTAL: there is no mention that the temple even exists, there is no mention of this tribute to God’s glory AT ALL. As a corollary, think of the LDS TODAY doing the temple building thing WITH ABSOLUTELLY NO FANFARE, NO PR, NOTHING. And then imagine that your present structures left NOT A TRACE in the historical record, neither in the written word of the time, or in archaeology. Impossible, because the modern LDS temples are ACTUALLY there. And so they leave a trail. You are hesitant (unable??) to produce evidence, because…….?? I’ll answer the resurrection and Paul’s vision angle soon: both very good questions, and yes, there are historical evidences for both. GERMIT

  37. Arthur Sido says:

    DoF, quite a lengthy response to something not worth responding to! You asked: “I am curious about your once “rock bottom” status. I sure that must be in reference to your diligent prayer pattern, sacrament attendance, temple worship, word of wisdom observation, scripture study, law of chastity, humility, etc. Living the ideal Mormon life would have to be the definition of “rock bottom” and I’m sure in this state your “revelation” came to you?”

    As a matter of fact, yes! We were carrying temple recommends, had taken out our endowments, we were attending faithfully, tithing, I was serving in the Bishopric, reading the BoM everyday, not a sip of alcohol or coffee or tea, going out with the missionries EVERY week. I was living the life when God saved me. I would encourage you to read my testimony: http://thesidos.blogspot.com/2008/02/our-journey-out-of-mormonism-saved-by.html

    What I found was that my righteousness, my works, were inadequate and irrelevant to my salvation. It is in Christ alone where salvation is found because it is Christ alone who is righteous and His works alone that can atone for sin. I came to realize that even though I was doing everything the mormon church said I was supposed to do to be worthy and righteous, it was nothing that could save me from my sins. Outward righteousness is never going to fool God.

  38. GRCluff says:

    Germit:

    I though I was clear on the source of my reference in my July 17th posting above. I checked, and the book I reference is available on amazon.com. Here is the link:

    http://www.amazon.com/Dead-Sea-Scrolls-Translated-English/dp/0802841937

    Please hurry, they have only 3 copies left. Don’t expect me to do your homework for you.

    I have found all the evidence I need to turn over the Nicean creed, but it is not the type of evidence you prefer. My favorite author on the subject is not a scholar at all, but the apostle Paul himself:

    1 Cor 2:1 And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God.
    2 For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.
    3 And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling.
    4 And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:
    5 That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.

    I think the evidence you prefer falls into the “wisdom of men” category. The evidence I have on the subject is the type that Paul recommends. Try it you may like it.

  39. Arthur Sido says:

    The source of your evidence is the dead sea scrolls? Well he has got you Germit, because that certainly trumps the Bible!

    I wonder if the apostle Paul would agree with your application of 1 Cor 2 as a reference to the dead sea scrolls as a reference to support Joseph Smith’s “revelations”. I kinda think not.

  40. GRCluff says:

    Arthur:

    I guess you have to put it in context. If the Mormon temple ceremony can be verified by the Dead Sea Scrolls, then they pre-date the Bible.

    The other conversation was pretty much unrelated. I use the power of God in 1 Cor 2 to mean the witness of the Holy Ghost because that is how I know that the Nicean Creed was NOT inspired.

  41. Arthur Sido says:

    The mormon temple ceremony can be far more easily verified by the Masonic ceremonies, you don’t need to go back to some early offshoot sect for that.

    I must have missed the part of the conversation where someone said the Nicene Creed is inspired. I hold that a number of the creeds of Christendom are useful, the Westminster Confession, the 1689 London Baptist confession, etc. God is a triune God because that is how He reveals Himself in the Bible. Whether or not the Nicene Creed says so or the Mormon church rejects it, that is who He is because that is who He has revealed Himself to be.

  42. jackg says:

    Wow, so much has been said since Friday. It’s amazing the straws being grasped at to defunk the Bible and promote Joseph Smith. It’s because of false prophets like Joseph Smith the Nicean creed was developed. The NC works within the parameters of the Bible; JS worked outside those parameters. There is no way, GRC, that you can make a claim that you know the Nicean creed not to be true and at the same time claim to know JS was a prophet. There are false spirits in this world; I know, because I followed one before God liberated me from that ugly time in my life. That’s why we have the biblical text: to test those emotions and feelings that come from false spirits. The LDS temple ritual in no way looks anything like the sacrificial system performed in the only temple ever established by the Israelites.

    With regard to the LDS ad nauseum use of “wisdom of men,” I am so sick and tired of such a weak argument. One could take that and not listen to anything because it is men through whom God works. The trick is to discern men of God and false prophets. So, in response to the accusation of following after the “wisdom of men,” I say that LDS follow the wisdom of false prophets. Wisdom comes from reading God’s word, and it is a wisdom that brings salvation, which comes through faith in Christ Jesus (see 2 Timoth 3:10-17). Wisdom teaches salvation comes through Christ because of our faith. Anyone that teaches more or less is to be considered unwise because such follows after the “wisdom of men.” Such wisdom believes Christ crucified and resurrected is not enough. So, LDS can follow the council of their unwise men (which they do despite their attempts to say they follow the Spirit). It’s their prerogative to do so. Unfortunately, the stakes are very high; in fact, eternity in the presence of God hangs in the balance.

  43. GRCluff says:

    Arthur:

    JS failed to copy the Masonic ceremonies completely- he left parts out and added new elements.

    The validation I speak of from the Dead Sea Scrolls is: They have all the parts that JS added that are NOT in the Masonic ceremonies AS WELL AS dropping the parts that JS removed.

    JS got the temple cemonony from an Masonic source, but used prophesy to drop the right parts and add parts that were missing. Then the Dead Sea Scrolls came around 100 years later with the EXACT SAME changes. The only conclusion? JS was a true prophet.

    Now do you undersand my point of validation?

  44. Arthur Sido says:

    Not really. We don’t need to look at the dead sea scrolls or masonic rituals, we can look right in the Bible to see what the temple ceremonies were like in the OT, and they are nothing like what I went through in the Washington, D.C. temple. Besides, the temple ceremony, even the designs of the garment have changed multiple times over the years so apparently both Smith and the scrolls had it wrong.

    So let’s look at the flip side. Joseph Smith was presented with Egyptian documents that no one at that time could translate. So he bought the documents and “translated” them into a book that mormons still think is scripture. The advent of the Rosetta Stone made the translation of Egyptian possible and every non-mormon egyptologist has agreed that those documents are common funeral documents and what Smith wrote has no resemblance to what the documents say.

    The only conclusion? Smith was a liar and a false prophet. Do you understaand my point?

  45. germit says:

    GRC: thanks for the recent post, but it reads like a far eastern riddle: JS replaced ‘missing parts”, missing from WHAT, and the question you have learned by now to hate, HOW WOULD I KNOW THEY ARE MISSING (other than JS told me)?? Another way of asking this: is there ANY of the Masonic stuff in the Dead Sea manuscripts ?? If not then what did JS “restore”?? “RESTORED FROM WHAT” ?? Silly me, I THOUGHT you guys were claiming this Masonic-look alike thing went back to Adam. Isn’t that your claim?? If that is the case, then we’ll find the ceremony and ritual, pretty much intact in ancient literature: hence your claim to validation. Or did JS ad lib and change the ancient ways?? If I sound confused, I am, you’ve stirred up the water a bit, could you explain this for us ?? By “explain” I mean just put forward plainly what you say happened, or how the LDS presents the evolution of the temple ceremony. Thanks. While I’m posting, let me recommend a great little book that shows just how much we can trust the NT as written: F.F. Bruce’s “The New Testament Documents: Are they Reliable?” Easy to find, and short: it shows the massive amounts of manuscript data we have availbale on the NT, there ages, and how this is relative to the trust factor in the bible. Excellent little book. GERMIT

  46. Andrea says:

    judithmillward wrote: “but unless you have been in our shoes and felt what we feel you will never be able to KNOW the truth of our doctrines.”
    I was born in the Mormon church, I grew up Mormon -I’ve been there. Fortunately, I am not there now, I am in the true Christ of the Bible. When I started asking my Christian boyfriend what he believed and such I said “Wow. That is SO different from the Jesus Mormons believe in.” I KNOW the truth of the Bible now, and I KNOW that JS was not a prophet of God and the BoM is not true. The thing about feelings is they can’t be trusted.

    DOF, on 7/18 you wrote: “JS saw the Father & the Son. They called him, and commanded him to restore many things including the Temple.”
    JS did not see the Father & the Son. Of the NINE DIFFERENT versions of the first vision (of which the first was not even written until at least 9 years after the supposed event) only ONE of them says it was the father & son he saw -the rest describe “personages” and/or “angels”.

    Sorry, I know this post is off topic. There’s nothing I can say regarding the Mormon temple rituals that hasn’t already been sais -especially the excellent post regarding 1 Corinthians. Thanks for indulging me.

  47. GRCluff says:

    Arthur:

    I like that; understaand for emphasis.

    I understaand that the Egyptian documents were partially burned, and that they left the possession of JS loyalists for a substantial period of time. They could have been manipulated in any number of ways, like removing the actual text that JS translated for example?

    Besides, I can dismiss the absence of authentic source documents the same way I do for the missing golden plates. Either one would compromise the purpose of my life — to learn to walk by faith.

    I know by the exercise of faith that the BOM is ancient scripture, and by the same exercise I can know the the PoGP is a valid translation. Actual physical evidence would just weaken my experience – AND at the same time condemn all the silly loons who still don’t know how real faith works. I don’t think God is in that business.

    As I said earlier when I quoted 1 Cor 2:5, my faith is in the power of God that is evident went I read the Book of Mormon not in the wisdom of men that is evident when seeking proof in translation.

  48. GRCluff says:

    germit:

    Try to keep up man. You would need to compare 3 things:
    1. The Mormon temple ceremony (the subject of this post)
    2. The Masonic rites of Joseph Smith’s time.
    3. The temple rites documented in the Dead Sea Scrolls.

    If you managed to complete a serious and objective analysis of the 3 you would learn that the Mormon temple ceremony is of ancient origin, and has the objective to bring people to Christ.

  49. germit says:

    GRC: I think I knew the nature of my homework, but it always helps to be reminded (do NOT tell my wife I said that). I wasn’t confused about that: I was trying to get a specific truth claim out of you, something more specific than “the Mormon temple ceremony is of ancient origin”. That’s pretty vague (to me) I don’t want to repeat the questions I’ve already asked you. Let’s just end this thought with a GERMIT PREDICTS: when I do chase down the Dead Sea scroll info, it will have ZIP,NADA,ZILCH to do with Masonic ANYTHING. The two are unrelated, because JS bogus RESTORED gospel is in fact not at all, he did a cut and paste job (as with the BoM) from a variety of sources, and with the temple, it was obviously an 1800′s version of the Masons. Not much of a restoration in my book, but hey, OLD building, NEW building, I’d still rather have the Chief Cornerstone than either one. Thanks again for you posts. This temple thing is tough to defend: alert your mishies. GERMIT

  50. Arthur Sido says:

    GRCluff, sorry to have added an extra “a”, my new laptop keys seem overly sensitive. Your defense of the Book of Abraham is not terribly convincing, given that the facsimiles appear in my quad with direct quotes explaining the meaning, meanings which don’t match up in any way with what the parchments actually read. Those facsimiles match the parchments that have been found. There is a difference between claims to have translated plates that no one else can verify and claiming to have translated documents that are verifiable and have been shown to be untrue.

    “As I said earlier when I quoted 1 Cor 2:5, my faith is in the power of God that is evident went I read the Book of Mormon not in the wisdom of men that is evident when seeking proof in translation.”

    And yet I have prayed fervently and I find that the BoM is not true. So one of us is wrong. So where to turn? You can’t turn to the Bible because it rejects mormon doctrine. So you are left with the dubious witness of a scoundrel.

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