“Saving Ordinance” Demoted to “Symbolic Gesture”?

You’ve probably heard about the current flap over the apparently unauthorized LDS proxy baptism of President Barak Obama’s deceased mother. People are offended on both sides of the issue. We’ve discussed this topic here on Mormon Coffee a couple of times over the years, when continuing LDS baptisms of Jewish Holocaust victims have been in the news. This time, though, there’s something related but different to talk about.

On the ABC News Political Punch blog, Senior White House Correspondent Jake Tapper wrote about the baptism of President Obama’s mother. Karen, a Mormon who commented on the blog, wrote,

“Baptisms for the Dead are just a symbolic gesture that we remember and love the deceased and welcome them into our faith. We understand that they have the same freedom in death as they had in life whether to accept or acknowledge our gesture.

“Consider the last chapter in the bible: [quoted Malachi 4:1, 5-6]

“We offer this gesture of symbolic baptism to demonstrate that our ‘hearts are turned to our fathers.'”

I was taken aback by Karen’s assertion that LDS baptisms for the dead are “just a symbolic gesture” to show that Mormons “remember and love the deceased.” According to the doctrines of Mormonism, do LDS baptisms for the dead have no actual effect on a person’s eternal state? Is the whole LDS program of providing “saving ordinances” for deceased people just for show? Not according to LDS leaders. For example:

“The greatest responsibility in this world that God has placed upon us is to seek after our dead” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 356).

“How are they going to be saved? It is our duty to go to the temple and take our records and work for the dead of our own lineage as far back as we can go, but what about these others? I will tell you. The great work of the millennium, of 1,000 years, will be for the salvation of these souls” (Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation 2:166-167).

“Furthermore, the dead are anxiously waiting for the Latter-day Saints to search out their names and then go into the temples to officiate in their behalf, that they may be liberated from their prison house in the spirit world” (Howard W. Hunter, “A Temple-Motivated People,” Ensign, March 2004, p. 41).

“Many of your deceased ancestors will have received a testimony that the message of the missionaries is true. When you received that testimony you could ask the missionaries for baptism. But those who are in the spirit world cannot. The ordinances you so cherish are offered only in this world. Someone in this world must go to a holy temple and accept the covenants on behalf of the person in the spirit world. That is why we are under obligation to find the names of our ancestors and ensure that they are offered by us what they cannot receive there without our help” (Henry B. Eyring, “Hearts Bound Together,” Ensign (Conference Edition), May 2005, p. 78).

Clearly, LDS baptism for the dead is necessary for the salvation of those who died without the ordinance. As quoted in Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith,

We become saviors on Mount Zion by performing sacred ordinances for the dead.

“’The Saints have not too much time to save and redeem their dead, and gather together their living relatives, that they may be saved also, before the earth will be smitten, and the consumption decreed falls upon the world.

“’I would advise all the Saints to go to with their might and gather together all their living relatives to [the temple], that they may be sealed and saved, that they may be prepared against the day that the destroying angel goes forth; and if the whole Church should go to with all their might to save their dead, seal their posterity, and gather their living friends, and spend none of their time in behalf of the world, they would hardly get through before night would come, when no man can work.

“’There is baptism, etc., for those to exercise who are alive, and baptism for the dead who die without the knowledge of the Gospel. … It is not only necessary that you should be baptized for your dead, but you will have to go through all the ordinances for them, the same as you have gone through to save yourselves. …'” (“Chapter 41: Becoming Saviors on Mount Zion,” (2007), 472–474)

“Just a symbolic gesture”?

About Sharon Lindbloom

Sharon surrendered her life to the Lord Jesus Christ in 1979. Deeply passionate about Truth, Sharon loves serving as a full-time volunteer research associate with Mormonism Research Ministry. Sharon and her husband live in Minnesota.
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70 Responses to “Saving Ordinance” Demoted to “Symbolic Gesture”?

  1. So, the rank and file believe one thing and the LDS leadership something else.

    Yet another prime example of the unity and clarity that the “restored” Gospel brought about.

  2. Berean says:

    When the LDS leadership earlier last year encouraged Church members to flood the internet and other forms of cyberspace to promote or defend the LDS gospel, I don’t think they could have imagined how this was only going to hurt their cause more than help it. Karen, like most Mormons, is ignorant of what her church teaches regarding the importance that the LDS Church places on baptism for the dead. By downgrading this ordinance as a “symbolic gesture” doesn’t hold up in light of Mormon doctrine and the words of their beloved Joseph Smith on the subject.

    If baptism for the dead is just a symbolic gesture, then is the endowment ordinance, patriarchal blessing, celestial marriage and so forth symbolic as well? I hardly doubt it. Exaltation in the Mormon program is as stake here. Try telling all the Mormon youth who are spending their free time before and after school lining up at the temple to perform baptism for the dead that they are just “going through the motions” or all the LDS faithful who are burning up countless hours doing genealogy work that it’s merely symbolic? The Bible says it’s a waste of time anyway (1 Tim 1:4), but that doesn’t detract the Mormons from marching forward with this unnecessary pursuit.

    The Mormon Church has “egg on its face” when they were cornered for continuing to do ordinance work for the Jews when they promised to stop, they are also in the same “pickle” now when it comes to President Obama’s mother. Hey, everybody can get in on this ordinance – even Adolf Hitler. The Mormons did proxy work for him on 10 Dec 1993 at the London Temple (film call number 1903846). Adolf Hitler is on his way to Mormon godhood – the murderer of 6 million Jews! So much for D&C 42:18, 79!

  3. jeffrey b says:

    Yeah that Hitler stuff doesn’t make sense, could a Mormon explain it to me? Hes a murderer – no forgiveness for murder – but is receiving baptism to inherit God’s kingdom?

  4. falcon says:

    My friend Berean recommended a book for me and it’s so creepy I can hardly get by the front cover. It’s called “Temple Manifestations: Heavenly Manifestations in Temples built by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.-1836-1930″
    I almost feel like I should annoint myself with oil before I even start reading it, maybe even fast and pray. This is some serious occult stuff here and I try to keep my mind total free of anything that’s in that realm.
    “According to the account of Elder J. Hatten Carpenter, a former recorder in the Manti Temple, spirit beings were present to witness vicarious baptisms being performed in their behalf:
    ‘A venerable patriarch, who is now dead, once related to the writer the following: The patriarch, who we will call Brother C. came to the Manti Temple some years ago when President John D. McAllister presided there. It was on a Tuesday when baptisms were being performed. Having none of his own to officiate for, he was invited into the room where this sacred ordinance is performed. As he sat and witnessed the ceremony, he became very much interested, as indeed he might be for he was gazing into the spirit world. To his view appeared the spirits of those for whom they were officiating in the font by proxy. There the spirits stood awaiting their turn, and, as the Recorder called out the name of a person to be baptized for, the patriarch noticed a pleasant smile come over the face of the spirit whose name had been called, and he would leave the group of fellow spirits and pass over to the side of the Recorder. There he would watch his own baptism performed by proxy, and then with a joyful countenance would pass away, make room for the next favored personage who was to enjoy the same privielege.
    As the eyes of Brother C. were riveted on this beautiful scene, he noticed at last that some were beginning to turn away with sorrowful countenances. Then his mind and sight came to thins material. He looked around him and saw that the

  5. falcon says:

    (cont.)
    font room was nearly empty, the day’s baptisms were at an end, and the Recorder was gathering up his records and stepping down from this desk.
    ‘I often think of this event,’ says Brother Carpenter, ‘for I so often sit at the font, and call off the names for the ordinances to be performed which means so much to the dead.'(pp. 110-111)
    Here’s another one.
    “Along about March, 1893, I found myself alone in the dining room-all had gone to bed. I was sitting at the table when to my great suprise my old brother Alfred walked in, sat down opposite me at the table and smiled. I said to him (he looked so natural), ‘When did you arrive in Utah?’ (He lived in New Zeland and I hadn’t heard from him in years.)
    He said, ‘I have just come from the Spirit World, this is not my body that you see, it is lying in the tomb. I want to tell you that when you were on your mission you told me many things about the Gospel, and the hereafter, and about the Spirit World being as real and tangible as the earth. I realized that you had told the truth. I attended the Mormon meetings.’ He raised his hand and said with much warmth, ‘I believe in the Lord Jesus Christ with all my heart. I believe in faith and repentance and baptism for the remission of sins, but that is as far as I can go. I look to you to do the work for me in the temple.’ He continued, ‘You can go to any kind of sectarian meeting in the Spirit World. All our kindred there knew you were trying to make up your mind to come and work on the temple. You are watched closely, every move you make is known there; and we were glad you came. We are all looking to you as our head in this great work. I want to tell you that there are a great many spirits who weep and mourn because they have relatives in the Church here who are careless and are doing nothing for them.’ He then disappeared. (p.129)
    Yup, nothing like dead people appearing to you to set you on the right spiritual track….YIKES!!!!

  6. falcon says:

    Now our faithful Mormon friends who read this might say, “Well the dead guy appearing to his brother testified about Jesus so it can’t be an occult appearance.” I would remind them that Jesus said that many would come in His name, many would call Him Lord, many would recount the miraculous works done in His name and he’ll say get lost I never knew you. This isn’t merely His admonition because they didn’t lead a righteous life. This is because people follow “prophets” and teachers that claim “Jesus” but it’s a deception. The Mormon Jesus is “a god”, the offspring of another man/god and his goddess wife. This Mormon Jesus can’t provide eternal life. This Mormon Jesus out there in the spirit world can provide all sorts of spiritual manifestations. People have been getting deceived by this sort of thing since the beginning of the Church age. I would encourage our Mormon friends who are reading this, to find the Jesus that can provide eternal life. Not a counterfeit that will lead them to eternal distruction.

  7. Ralph says:

    Falcon,

    you said “I would remind them that Jesus said that many would come in His name, many would call Him Lord, many would recount the miraculous works done in His name and he’ll say get lost I never knew you. This isn’t merely His admonition because they didn’t lead a righteous life.” – I guess this takes care of traditional Christianity, thanks.

    To get back on topic, as the article states, the LDS church is telling the members to submit only the names of relatives (ie direct ancestors, not ‘distant cousins twice removed’). So this means one of 2 things happened with this – 1) a relative of Barack’s mother is a member of the LDS church and submitted the name; OR 2) someone submitted the name when they should not have and it slipped through the system because no one knew better at the time. They get so many names and they are only human so yes, one would expect that things slip through.

    Another comment about the presentation of the article is that it says she was baptised ‘into’ the LDS church. This is not true – we have said many times that the baptism for a dead person does not automatically make them a member of the LDS church. The baptism will only come into effect on the day of Judgement if the person decides to accept it fully. So the person still belongs to what ever church they did in this life and will always belong to that church UNLESS they decide to accept the baptism performed for them.

    And the comment above by the member that says the baptisms are only a symbol – well that is only her opinion, and there are possibly others out there that think the same. It does not make the LDS church any less true, it just means that either they do not fully understand what they have been taught, or their teachers are not doing a good enough job.

  8. Rick B says:

    Ralph Said

    it just means that either they do not fully understand what they have been taught, or their teachers are not doing a good enough job.

    Seems to me that this is another case of LDS can not get their story straight. No surprise LDS doctrine changes so often they cannot keep the story straight.

    LDS doctrine and LDS also contradict each other, so again it is not a surprise. Rick b

  9. falcon says:

    I feel incredible sorrow for our Mormon poster. His spiritual understanding has been so darkened that he’s flipped the whole idea of who God is and what He has done for us on it’s head. I have no clever words or arguments to drive the spirit of the antiChrist off of one who has given his life, his soul and his spirit over to Satan. What we deal with here is not only a spirit of error but incredible spiritual pride. When someone thinks that they are going to become a god the seduction is complete.
    Mormonism was founded and is maintained within the occult. The arrogance of not recognizing this and being delivered from it will have it’s eternal consequences. All I can do at this point is pray that God will deliver him from the bondage he’s in.
    For those of you who come here because you are seriously doubting Mormonism, I’d just say, beware the influence of the seducing and deluding spirits that have this religion in their grasp.

  10. iamse7en says:

    Nice work Sharon. You’re determining Mormon doctrine and which ordinances are ‘demoted’ all from random comments on blogs. This is real newsworthy that one LDS member (at least we assume she is because it’s really an anonymous comment) shares her thoughts on one of our ordinances.

    I’m sure you can find a lot more ridiculous comments from, say, one self-proclaimed protestant, from a comment on some random blog, then draw conclusions on the status of Protestant doctrine based on that one comment.

    Do you see how silly this is? Are you hurting for material?

  11. mobaby says:

    iamse7en,

    I have to agree with your sentiments. I would not want what I believe to be judged by someone posting on a website claiming to be of the Reformed Christian tradition and posting theology that is contrary to the Bible. However, we are often confronted by those professing to be of the same faith and yet saying contradictory things. The LDS have the Fundamentalist LDS, the Presbyterians have the holy scripture denying Presbyterians – people are often asked to give an answer for those whom we think should be dismissed out of hand. Recently, Christians have been asked to account for a scantily clad Christ claiming beauty queen’s past indiscretions.

    The choice is to give a defense of what you believe despite the situation, or a focus on the unfairness of the question – you don’t know this person or what motivates them, but do you affirm the other view of works for the dead given here?

  12. Kevin says:

    I have to agree with Mobaby iamse7en. Attacking the point of news worthy or not is mute point of the topic at hand. Sure Karen may be a deviant (someone not of the norm) with whom we are making generalizations about; although is she really outside of the rational norm? From my experiences Mormon’s are a sensitive group of people when they are challenged on their beliefs, and for the most part they are non-confrontational; as their leaders have taught them to stay sweet in the spirit. My point being, I don’t know how long it has been on the horizon but it seems like ever since the 1900’s the LDS church has taken a certain stance to pacify the general public, i.e. claiming to be Christians (just like you), and the for mentioned Jewish baptism issue. Karen is an example of how the LDS church leadership is trying to pacify a sticky wicket. It’s an attempt to draw focus away from the real issue by making the issue seem less threatening. It’s a classic example of the dismissal of problematic information that is detrimental to the integrity to one side of the argument. Now I don’t share the same enthusiasm as our friend Falcon, harsh criticism aside, it would be good to consider what he has said.

  13. Ralph says:

    Thanks for praying for me Falcon. I need all the help I can get from God to assist me in convincing you of the errors of your ways. The hand-me-down traditions of an apostate batch of Christianity that waters down the true message and makes people complacent in their life is very difficult to remove ones self from as that requires effort. The lip service given without any true effort from living faith is what the natural man thrives upon as they give themselves up to their carnal desires and pleasures seemingly assured in the false knowledge that they are saved despite what they do in this life.

  14. falcon says:

    Well Ralph you’re causing me to violate my rule of not addressing posters directly here, but I think your immortal soul is worth it. What do I know about you? Well in the past you’ve told us that you would kill and steal if ordered to do so by the Mormon prophet. That’s a mind-set that’s pretty tough to over come, especially when it’s linked to a false hope of becoming a god and having one’s own planetary system to rule.
    You expose not only your cult-like mind-set but also your lack of historical and theological knowledge of Christianity. You certainly don’t understand the Christian concept of God’s grace.
    Your religion was started by an occultist who exchanged faith in the living God for a demonic concept of becoming a god himself. You follow a man who defrauded and stole other men’s wives and you defend his sexual deviancy with adolecent girls. And you will kill and steal for those who lead this cult. The demonic influence is so strong in your life and you’ve been seduced to a point where you see this all as normal. I will continue to pray for you, that God will break the demonic strangle hold that Satan has on you.

  15. Ralph says:

    Falcon,

    It’s nice to know that you THINK my soul is worth saving. But I KNOW yours and everyone else’s is worth saving which is why I am on here countering the false ramblings about the LDS church. I know I cannot convert others, only the Spirit can do that. But one must be open to the whisperings of the Spirit and not have their hearts closed and minds blinded by the foolish traditions learned in a false religion like traditional Christianity. Satan had kept the world in darkness for near on 1800 years with a couterfeit religion that has blinded many leading them away from the One and True God. Now the light and truth has been restored and the strait and narrow path back to the presence of God has been re-opened for all to enter if they choose. But to do that they need to sacrifice the carnal being and become spiritual, following the commandments given to us by the Saviour Himself. I hope and pray that you will come to the knowledge of that truth and move from the darkness to the light.

  16. falcon says:

    See here’s your problem Ralph, “the false ramblings about the LDS church” line rings a little hollow since we’ve got exMos on here testifying to what Mormonism is. Most of us have spent a lot of time, and a lot of money I might add, in research and study regarding Mormonism. Mormons, such as yourself, come here trying to justify the weird and wacky world of Mormonism. I’m sure you’re trying to battle back knowing that there are many Mormons doubting the religion that come here for answers.
    The god of this world, Satan, has done a fine job with you flipping your brain so that up is down and down is up. This is pretty typical of cult-like thinking. This supposed restoration has one huge problem. There is no record that Mormonism ever existed in the first century church. Mormonism is an occultic religion founded in the 19th century by a person who used magic rocks to dig up treasure before he turned to a more lucrative profession as a professional religious con man. The fact that you are willing to steal, kill and defend someone who stole other men’s wives and seduced children for sexual pleasure shows the depth of the deception you are under. The deluding spirit of Mormonism has taken you over to the point that you will justify anything to maintain your belief that you will become a god. That’s a heavy duty deception that comes right from the pit of hell where Mormonism was born. Thankfully people are leaving Mormonism in droves.
    I prayed for you this morning while I was out riding my bike and inquired of the Lord as to if you are beyond the reach of His grace. I believe He has told me that there is always hope.

  17. falcon says:

    I think it’s very instructive that there is this strain of thought out there in Mormonland that the Dunking for the Dead ritual is largely symbolic. The early Mormons certainly didn’t see it that way. In fact what they had going was a bonified version of a Mormon seance.
    From “Temple Manifestations” p.69 (a collection and celebration of incidences of Mormon temple communication with the dead):
    “There were other spiritual incidents which were manifested in the St. George Temple when the spirits in prison sought for the performances of their temple ordincances. Perhaps the best known of these instances is the coming of the signers of the Declaration of Independence to President Wilford Woodruff in the St George Temple in early March, 1877. Six months later he described the coming of these beings to him in an address delivered in the tabernacle:
    ‘…….The dead will be after you, they will seek after you as they have after us in St. George. They called upon us, knowing that we held the keys and power to redeem them.
    …..those men who laid the foundation of this American Government and signed the Declaration of Independence were the best spirits the God of Heaven could find on the face of the earth. They were choice spirits, not wicked men…….every one of these men that signed the Declaration of Independence with General Washington called upon me, as an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ, in the Temple at St. George, two consecutive nights, and demanded at my hands that I should go forth and attend to the ordinances of the house of God for them.
    Said they, ‘You have had the use of the Endowment House for a number of years, and yet nothing has been done for us. We laid the foundation of the government you enjoy and we never apostatized from it, but we remained true to it and were faithful to God.’
    These were the signers of the Declaration of Independence, and they waited on me for two days and two nights.”
    This is all symbolic of course. Yea Right!

  18. falcon says:

    What we are shown here in these examples (provided by Mormons themselves)is that Mormonism is an occultic religion. The founder, Joseph Smith, was a known nacromancer and divinator of the first order. Mormons wear “sacred” underwear adorned with occult symbols. The temples themselves often have occult symbols on their exterior. Mormons have been seduced into thinking that their “spiritism” is really “spiritual”. This is, again, the seducing spirit of Mormonism. Couple this with the lie that god is a glorified man and that the faithful Mormon man will become a god and the seduction is complete.
    This is Mormon “dope”. No wonder our Mormon friends get so upset when the light of truth is shown on their deceptive practices. I’ve had enough interaction with exMormons to know and understand the depth of the deception. Thankfully Mormons by the truck load are escaping this insidious and dangerous religion.

  19. GSwarthout says:

    iamse7en has it right. Determining what Mormons think based on a single, anonymous blog comment is ridiculous in the extreme.

    I’ll admit that I haven’t followed this blog much since it jumped the shark with the unintentionally hilarious “Coffee, a lot of upside” post, but it looks like it has continued to devolve. Now, it is little more than a club of good-ole-boys sitting around clapping each other on the back. Logical fallacy abounds in place of reasoned discourse. (Ad Hominem much, falcon?)

  20. falcon says:

    Oh please, give me a large break! I think you need to look up the definition of “ad hominem”. I can always tell when I’m hitting the ball solidly out here on this blog. We start getting the “you’re picking on Mormons” attitude and routine with no response given to the content of the post. You guys have to live with the fact that your religion was started by a dedicated occultist who invented his own god, his own scriptures and his own definition of marrage that allowed him to fornicate with wives of the members of his church and adolescent girls.
    The subject of this particular post deals with the Dead Dunking ritual of Mormonism. I’ve related accounts from Mormons themselves that show clearly they were conjuring-up spirits of the dead.
    Mormons are stuck with this and the shame of it is that they embrace it and give hardy approval to the whole sordid mess.
    There’s a path that leads to distruction and a path that leads to eternal life. Mormonism plainly leads to the former.

  21. st.crispin says:

    Falcon,

    Really, have you been skipping your meds? Your inane, foaming-at-the-mouth babblings are even more whacked-out than usual.

    Do you make this stuff up on the fly? You are really lowering the tone of this blog-site with all your half-baked ideas concerning the LDS Church. It is most apparent that you are obsessed with the occult and that clouds your whole perspective.

  22. GSwarthout wrote “iamse7en has it right. Determining what Mormons think based on a single, anonymous blog comment is ridiculous in the extreme”.

    No he hasn’t. Karen, the original poster, is a product of the “program” (for want of a better word). If Karen promotes ideas that are contrary to the program (and this is nothing new), there must be something wrong with the program.

    And even if LDS posters here consign Karen to the “apostate” bin, there are many, many other “witnesses” we could call to the box

    The unity and clarity that the restored gospel of Joseph Smith sought to bring about, has failed.

  23. falcon says:

    Naughty, naughty, naughty……are our Mormon posters getting personal? Yes in deed I think they are. It’s the old rule “if you can’t deal with the content, go after the messenger”. Actually I don’t mind. I’m rather flattered. This, once again, tells me how little Mormons know about the history of their church and the occult foundation of the Mormon religion. Ignorance is bliss as they say.
    I think our Mormon posters need to understand that what I have presented comes from a Mormon source. For some additional information see the work of Mormons Richard Bushman and Grant Palmer. What I have quoted above comes directly from a book titled “Temple Manifestations: Heavenly Manifestations in Temples built by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.-1836-1930″ by Joseph Heinerman. About the author: “Joseph Heinerman fulfilled a two-year L.D.S. mission to central Germany. He attended Brigham Young University and studied Church History and Doctrine, and foreign languages. He is presently engaged in spedcial research in the religio-cultural development of Mormon society.”
    Look, I know this stuff is really embarrassing to the average Mormon when they find it out. To think that one of the head honchos of the Mormon church was entertaining spooks that claimed to be the signers of the Decleration of Independence is on the one hand wacky and on the other dangerous. This is the religion you invest your emotions, time and treasure in….and also the destiny of your soul.
    So are you get upset with me because I report this to you? I know it’s bubble bursting stuff, but if you’d take the time to investigate your own religion, you’d find it out on your own. The fact of the matter is that your religion not only has occult roots, it’s very foundation is in the occult. Mormonism denies the God of the Bible, it rejects Jesus and substitutes a counterfeit, it maligns the Bible and accepts as scripture one book that’s been altered 4,000 times (BoM) another (BoA), that’s a fraud.

  24. falcon says:

    So what’s the average Mormon to do? I think our poster would be put in the classification of the “Naive Believer” in Mormonism. These folks typically tool along, beliving the church approved and sanitized version of Mormon reality. Then they discover that reality and Mormon reality are not the same thing. Sometimes what get’s them is the idea that Joseph Smith had 33 wives including ten that were married to other Mormon men and two of which were young girls. That’s just the tip of the iceberg.
    So this Mormon is faced with a choice; bail out of the program, deny the truth of reality, or do the mind snap (cognitive disonance) and just keep moving on rationalizing it all.
    So please, if you’ve got a problem with what I’ve presented, check it out! See if what I’ve written here is true. Make an informed decision. You’re upset with the wrong guy. Turn your wrath on the people who perpetuate this scam.
    Jesus Christ is indeed the answer to your dilemma. But we’re not talking about the Mormon Jesus. We are talking about the Jesus who can actually save your soul from an eternity in outer darkness. It takes courage to face reality. But the reward is truly knowing God and the power of the salvation He is offering you. The assurance of salvation brings eternal life and peace of mind.

  25. jackg says:

    Let’s see, we have GSwarthout accusing Falcon of “ad hominem,” but then st.crispin comes on the scene and gives us a great example of “ad hominem” in his comments against Falcon. I wonder if GS will get on st.crispin. Falcon generally backs up his statements with research. He draws his conclusions from the very words of the false prophets and leaders that have led the Mormon Church since its inception. I think it’s clear that the Mormons resort to this type of behavior because they really have no argument that makes sense. So, when that happens, they usually resort to their existential testimony or they attack the messenger, as Falcon accurately states. I have refrained from this thread simply because I don’t think giving weight to this woman’s utterances serves any purpose other than to show that some Mormons simply don’t know Mormon doctrine and theology as well as they should. Perhaps, she was a new convert, or maybe she is inactive and hasn’t attended and holds to this view that is not in harmony with Mormon teaching. I remember when I wasn’t all that active, but would still defend the church out of my ignorance and naivete. I personally feel some of the Mormons on this site are justified in some of the charges they have made regarding this post. However, as this thread has developed, I marvel at how weak the Mormon position is. Attacking Falcon is necessary for them because he brings out a lot of things they don’t want to hear. This whole idea of the dead seeking after their posterity to do their work is unbiblical. We need to look to Jesus Christ for salvation, not to human beings. One can’t eisegete Malachi 3:5 to support this doctrine. Mormons don’t get this piece because they have been brainwashed with lies regarding salvation. They have a wrong understanding of faith and works, which is the foundation for all their doctrines.

    Peace and Grace!

  26. Ralph says:

    JackG,

    Its sometimes a little more difficult than that in describing what is an ad hominem attack. For instance, a testimony is a personal thing for anyone, regardless of religion. Any attack on a testimony can be seen, especially by the person themself, as a personal attack. In a post a couple of weeks ago about why people on here were ministering to the LDS, I could have attacked their testimonies easy and point out a few ‘problems’ as manyh here do with the LDS testimonies, but I didn’t because I knew that they would have taken it personally because their testimony is personal. Another point is that some (if not many) on this site do not subscribe to a ‘set’ religion – they stay non-denominational, meaning that their religion is a personal thing for them – its whatever they want to believe in. So attacking their religion is also a personal attack in these cases. When attacking the LDS church you can attack the institution and not the members, but when attacking a non-denominational person you are attacking their personal beliefs.

    I have tried not to make personal attacks but I have slipped now and then. However, wehn one does not listen to what has been said many times it also makes it very frustrating and difficult not to get personal.

    For instance, it has been mentioned many times to look at the historical context of things to get the proper idea of what is going on. JS did have many wives, which at that time was not illegal neither is it un-Biblical (I will reference Martin Luther on that point – in fact Luther condoned polygamy and even performed a second marriage for someone). 2 of his wives were 14 or 15 years old. That was also not illegal at that time nor un-Biblical (I could find many references for this one – including Mary being pregnant between 12 and 15 years old with Jesus). So these points have nothing to do with the argument about polygamy.The only argument left then is – was it a revelation from God or wasn’t it.

  27. Ralph says:

    I said this in an earlierr blog – The only 2 arguments/issues you have against the LDS church are 1) modern revelation and prophets and 2) the relationship of faith, grace, works and salvation.

    Polygamy, temple work, the BoM, WoW, etc are all modern revelations through modern prophets. We do have some Bible scriptures that we can use to back our arguments, but they come from a modern prophet giving the interpretation from God for those scriptures.

    The things about history and people’s opinions are irrelevant as that happens in all things. There are many skeletons in the closet that people do not want to recognise so they do not discuss them. This then does not get transmitted to the next generation and so on until when its mentioned/found out, people deny that it happened or was believed in because they have never heard of it.

  28. falcon says:

    Ah, I think our Mormon posters need to attribute their claims to some source. I like to look things up and check myself. As far as polygamy, I’ve come to the conclusion that in this case in particular, our Mormon posters will search high and low to find anything that will support their condoning of Joseph Smith’s sexual deviancy. The guy was fornicating with other men’s wives for example and claiming an angel with a sword appeared to him and said he’d kill poor Joe unless he started taking on more wives. I wonder what Martin Luther would have said about that? If our Mormon friends want to give Joesph Smith’s deviant behavior a big OK, it tells me something about their state of mind. There’s a standard of decency in play here.
    It’s pretty easy to point to Mormon prophets as false prophets in the context of orthodox, Biblical Christianity. In the context of a religion called Mormonism, the standard for a prophet is pretty low. But who cares, it’s a religion in and of itself and these folks can do as they please. Just don’t call it restored Christianity. And the reason is, that none of what Mormons claim was restored, ever existed in the primitive Church. This is not even a question of historical interpretation. It’s not there…..period. If it is, please give me a source….a reliable source. Not some Mormon prophet who pronounced such gems like the moon is inhabited by six foot men that dress like pilgrims.
    The subject of this thread is the Dead Dunking performed in Mormon temples and what it means. We know for past generations of Mormons it meant that the spirits of dead people were being conjured up. It’s just pure occultic practice. Once again, our Mormon friends will justify any kind of deviancy to protect their testimony.

  29. Ward says:

    Ralph said: or instance, it has been mentioned many times to look at the historical context of things to get the proper idea of what is going on. JS did have many wives, which at that time was not illegal neither is it un-Biblical (I will reference Martin Luther on that point – in fact Luther condoned polygamy and even performed a second marriage for someone). 2 of his wives were 14 or 15 years old. That was also not illegal at that time nor un-Biblical (I could find many references for this one – including Mary being pregnant between 12 and 15 years old with Jesus). So these points have nothing to do with the argument about polygamy.The only argument left then is – was it a revelation from God or wasn’t it.

    Ralph, your argument’s about polygamy not being illegal or unbiblical are surprising when I looked for facts. I googled a query, and easily found a reference about Luther and Prince Phillip. (http://books.google.com/books?id=8ccAl9sUYycC&pg=PA78&lpg=PA78&dq=did martin luther perform a second marriage for someone?&source=bl&ots=4Lxu5Rnmy_&sig=9UejEwzZjVDdgQ14XLekJXiHGLE&hl=en&ei=h3EHSqb9DKTgtAOSsLDwAQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=4#PPA78,M1). This reference goes into detail about the whole second marriage issue, and how the punishment for such a second marriage was death. And, I found nothing that indicated ML performed the ceremony. However, he was able to negotiate a settlement with the emperor that he would not be punished, but that negotiation later resulted in the ending of the protestant estate expansion. I would also like to see your references as to where polygamy was not illegal. It was certainly such in all the states the LDS traveled through, as well as in the US territory of Utah. The historical context is that these ideas are not legal. Martin Luther’s bad judgment and bad compromise were his own design, not the Bible. And whatever her age, Mary was Joseph’s only wife. (And that gets off this thread — Sorry.)

  30. Ward says:

    Sorry – my url did not come through. The book is by Bernard Lohse “Martin Luther: An Introduction to his life and times” by fortress Press, page 78. I am new at this, being a long time reader but only just now getting words on screen.

  31. falcon says:

    Yea, I spent more time on this than I should have. Knowing that our dear Mormon poster likes to find something, anything to justify JS adultery and sexual deviancy, I don’t think what is attributed to Luther is going to make it as an endorsement for the practice of polygamy or gain much support in any Christian circles, including Lutheran.
    But if someone is looking to highjack a thread and send the Christians scurrying down empty Mormon rabbit trails, our poster is a known expert using this technique.
    A couple of points: First, if Luther endorsed polygamy, it certainly didn’t catch on as a practice. Secondly, if he did endorse it, he was wrong in doing so. That’s the beauty of the whole thing. As Christians we can review what someone writes or proclaims and say, “You’re nuts!” and then provide the reasons why. That’s the freedom we have. We don’t have to scurry about trying to find justification to support the bizarre proclamations and behavior of a supposed “prophet”. The twisted logic and desparate attempts of our Mormon friends to prop-up the disgracful behavior of their founder is one of the characteristics of cult-like thinking. Fortunately, folks are jumping off the sinking ship of Mormonism in great numbers everyday. But there’s always those who keep trying to toss out the water, a thimble full at a time.

  32. Ralph wrote “The only 2 arguments/issues you have against the LDS church are 1) modern revelation and prophets and 2) the relationship of faith, grace, works and salvation.”

    No there are not. But let’s tackle these two for starters.

    1) Modern revelation and prophets. So we don’t get too side-tracked on what constitutes a prophet, let’s say that a prophet is someone who has a special message from God for us today. If someone says “there’s a prophet over there”, I’ll be one of those who goes over and investigates. If someone wants to tell me a special message from God, I’ll be quite anxious to hear it.

    I don’t have a problem with the idea of modern prophets in this context, and I’d guess that neither do many of the Ev posters here. I do have a massive problem with Joseph Smith “for the tree is known by his fruit” (Matt 12:33). Ralph has, himself, acknowledged Joseph’s polygamy – the facts are not contested, including the facts about the women he took from other men. Joseph Smith coveted his neighbors’ wives (Ex 20:7) and he took them like ripe fruit. If this were the sum of his sins, then we have to doubt his reliability as a messenger from God, but they are just the start.

    2) Grace, works, etc etc. LDS rhetoric tries its best to make out the Orthodox Gospel as weak because it does not require a person to pre-qualify for God’s grace on the basis of works. The fear is that without an incentive to live a good life, we will carry on sinning.

    This argument is as old as the hills. Its about antinomianism, and it is what Paul contested about in Romans 6. Now, if Paul contested it, then Orthodox Christianity must be on the right track because the LDS objection is contested by what Paul wrote in the Bible.

    You do not earn God’s love. You never have, you never will. Stop looking for something inside yourself to reckon yourself worthy and look to “…Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption” (1 Cor 1:30).

  33. Berean says:

    I would simply ask our Mormon readers who are upset at the material being quoted here to just check out the references for yourselves. We have had Mormon contributors here in the past that have shared their personal experiences of seeing and talking with spirits “beyond the veil”. This is a major “red flag” for the Christian who has studied their Bible.

    The source that Falcon is quoting from is one that I have and I recommended that he read it as well. It’s called “Temple Manifestations: Heavenly Manifestations in Temples built by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 1836-1930″. This book was put together by an active and devout Mormon named Joseph Heinerman. His compilation throughout the book are verbal and written accounts given to him BY MORMONS THEMSELVES. These aren’t anti-******. If a Mormon reading the quotes given above are upset, then they need to be upset at what is going on in their own temples. This is very spiritually dangerous and the temple Mormon needs to be warned at what they are participating in is an abomination in the sight of God (Deuteronomy 18:9-14). It’s called necromancy (one who communicates with the dead).

    When D&C 124:39 states: “…for your oracles in your most holy places wherein you receive conversations”, this is condoning necromancy which God has already said is an abomination. We know, once again, that this revelation is not from the real God because this is in direct conflict with past revelation and makes God to be a liar which He cannot do (Hebrews 6:18 or Enos 1:6; Ether 3:12).

  34. Berean says:

    The 4th Prophet of the LDS Church, Wilford Woodruff, also engaged in necromancy and playing around with familiar spirits. He communicated with the deceased Joseph Smith. Wilford said:

    “Joseph Smith continued visiting myself and others up to a certain time, and then it stopped.” (Deseret Weekly News 53:112; Temples of the Most High, 10th edition, 1896, page 345)

    He also said:

    I have had many interviews with Brother Joseph until the last 15 or 20 years of my life; I have not seen him for that length of time.” (Journal of Discourses 21:317-18; JoD 19:229)

    So we have the President of the LDS Church engaging in occultic practices in defiance of what God said in Deuteronomy 18:9-14. This abomination has the penalty of the false prophet being put to death in Deuteronomy 18:20.

    Wilford Woodruff also said: “I say to Israel, the Lord will never permit me or any other man who stands as president of this Church to LEAD YOU ASTRAY. It is not in the programme. It is not in the mind of God. If I were to attempt that the Lord would remove me out of my place, and so He will any other man who attempts to lead the children of men astray from the oracles of God and from their duty.” (General Conference, Millennial Star, 24 Nov. 1890, 52:741)

    The Fourth Fundamental in Following the Prophet is: “The prophet will never lead the Church astray” (Teachings of the Living Prophets, p.15).

    We have Wilford Woodruff leading the church astray by engaging in this type of spiritual activity which is an abomination in God’s sight. Why didn’t God remove him? Wilford is serving another god (2 Cor 4:4) and God allows false prophets and false christ’s to exist today and follow their false god out of His own divine providence for His purposes. Wilford isn’t the only one. He learned from the first Mormon prophet – Joseph Smith. The successive line of those guilty of this abominable practice goes all the way back to the beginning with Joseph himself.

  35. Berean says:

    The “familiar spirits” in Deuteronomy 18:11 are also mentioned in Isaiah 29:4. Informed Mormons know the significance of Isaiah 29:1-12 (see Joseph Smith History 1:63-65). Again, this is an abomination. Ironically, LDS publication entitled “Missionary Pal” on page 170 states: “Spiritualism Not of God”. It does not get any clearer than Leviticus 19:31.

    Now, back to Joseph Smith. Once again, if Mormons are outraged they can be outrages that their church and their prophets are engaging in “double talk” and hypocrisy. I encourage faithful Mormons to read the beloved work of one of their own: Richard Bushman’s “Rough Stone Rolling”. It’s a best-seller at Deseret Books and Bushman is an active Mormon in good standing. He devotes chapters 2 & 3 exclusively to detailing Joseph Smith’s involvement with the magic arts. My personal favorites are:

    “Lucy’s [Smith} point was that the Smiths were not lazy – they had not stopped their labor to practice magic – but she showed her knowledge of formulas and rituals and associated them with the ‘welfare of our souls.’ Magic and religion melded in Smith family culture…Joseph Jr. never repudiated the stones or denied their power to find treasure. Remnants of the magical culture STAYED WITH HIM TO THE END.” (pages 50-51).

    “He [Joseph Smith] may still have been involved in magic, but he was sincere when he told Emma’s father that his treasure-seeking days were over. Magic had served its purpose in his life. In a sense, IT WAS A PREPARATORY GOSPEL.” (page 54)

    “Practice with his scrying stones carried over to translation of the gold plates. In fact, as work on the Book of Mormon proceeded, a seer-stone took the place of the Urim and Thummim as an aid in the work, BLENDING MAGIC WITH INSPIRED TRANSLATION.” (page 131)

    Look it up for yourselves. This is a devout Mormon historian doing the talking and it’s available at Deseret Books. I imagine this wouldn’t be a good Christmas present for your young children, eh?

  36. Berean says:

    Back to the LDS baptism for the dead, what faithful Mormon can dismiss Charles Penrose? He was a member of the First Presidency and the original writer of “Mormon Doctrine”. Here is what he had to say on the subject:

    “The living are thus authorized, under prescribed conditions, to act for the dead, and the fathers in the spirit world look to the children in the flesh to perform for them the works which they were unable to attend while in the body. This glorious doctrine bears the key to the sphere within the vail. IT REGULATES THE COMMUNION OF THE LIVING WITH THE DEAD. IT SAVES THOSE RECEIVE IT FROM IMPROPER AND DECEPTIVE SPIRIT COMMUNICATIONS. Tidings to the living from their friends who have passed away do not come in disorder and confusion, not by the will of men or women, whether corrupt or pure. Order is maintained in all the workds of God. Knowledge that is needful concerning the spiritual sphere will come through an appointed channel and in the appointed place. THE TEMPLE WHERE THE ORDINANCES CAN BE ADMINISTERED FOR THE DEAD, IS THE PLACE TO HEAR FROM THE DEAD. The Priesthood in the flesh, when it is necessary, will receive communications from the Priesthood behind the vail. MOST HOLY CONVERSATIONS ON ALL THINGS PERTAINING TO THE REDEMPTION OF THE RACE, BELONG IN THE PLACES PREPARED IN TEMPLES.” [Emphasis mine] (Charles W. Penrose, Mormon Doctrine, pages 40-41)

    If Charles Penrose, Wilford Woodruff and Joseph Smith would have had a child’s education and knowledge of the Bible, then they would have known that this is not from God. They failed to read 1 John 4:1 and 1 Thessalonians 5:21 and now are placed in the category of what 2 Timothy 4:4 and Romans 1:22 says.

    Current LDS Church members, it’s too late for your former prophets and apostles, but you have the information and the warning. Do the research. Test it all out. Check it – all. You have no excuse (Romans 1:20).

    Berean
    [email protected]

  37. Berean and Falcon,

    Thanks for your references.

    It might be just me, but isn’t it alarming that the verbatim quotes from the Mormon prophets aren’t coming from Mormons.

    Are LDS embarrassed at what their prophets actually said and wrote? After all the “hoo-ha” about restoring the Gospel, one would think that they would be delighted that others would know so much about them.

  38. falcon says:

    I think what we have here, from our Mormon posters, is true ignorance, by some at least, of the foundation of the Mormon religion. I’m accused of being obsessed with the occult (from the Mormon posters). I think the people who were obsessed with the occult were first of all Joseph Smith and secondly those who followed him in the practice of devination.
    I could list any number of things within Mormonism that are a major turn-off to the sensabilities of decent people. That’s why Mormonism has to hide its historical roots or “reconstruct” what it all means. And then we get the concept of not telling people all of these “truths” until they mature in the (Mormon) faith. That kind of reminds me of freemasonry where by the higher up the degree ladder a person goes, the more of the “truth” is revealed to them.
    Sure, tell the average prospect that they are going to go off to the temple and do Dead Dunking and if everything goes according to plan, the spirits of the dead people are going to show up and cheer you on. All sorts of people are going to jump into that program, right?
    That’s why folks, Mormonism is based on a “feeling” that one is to get, confirming and revealing that Mormonism is the real deal. So we have this mistaken notion that the “feeling” is a spiritually confirming experience. This is indeed a spiritual battle but Mormons try to couch it in a “spirit” vs. “intellect” battle. As Christians we know the phoniness of this argument. It’s merely an effective way to seduce the ignorant and keep them ignorant.
    Can you imagine, marching your teenage kids into a Mormon temple, before or after school, and have them participate in this occult practice and then sell it as “spiritual”.
    Poor Mormons, they’re left with denial or equivication. But they’re not left with the truth that could set them free from the bondage they’re in.
    We’ll continue to pray.

  39. falcon says:

    One of the real dangers in Mormonism, is the idea among the faithful, that either their religious history and practices are being mischaractierized or not understood properly. We Christians, who study Mormonism, really have no agenda to do either one. I know the Christians who post here have one agenda and that is to bring to light what Mormonism is all about and hold it up to the scrutiny of Biblical standards. Now, if Mormonism’s claim was that of being just any type of religion, I doubt if our deligence would be so strict. However, Mormonism promotes itself as restored first century Christianity. The story, well known, that all of the truth was lost with the death of the apostles and God restored (truth) to this poor uneducated farm boy who went out in the woods to pray.
    Mormons seem to just accept the story and go skipping merrily down the pathway of life confident that they have received a confirming feeling/revelation that Mormonism is the real deal. So having now received this feeling/revelation, all doubting and questioning is to stop. In fact, if the Mormon “feels” some negative vibes, that means that they are to flee or bear their testimony and flee.
    We’ve presented documentation here that the Dead Dunking ritual of Mormonism is just another form of necromancy forbidden by the Bible. What’s a Mormon to do about this information? Well denial is an option but it’s pretty tough to do this when Mormon sources confirm it. Perhaps claim that those who haven’t had the “truth” revealed to them don’t know that spooks appearing in the temple is really a bonifide spiritual experience. Once Mormonism went down the road of denying God and making themselves out to be future gods, they signed a pact with the devil. He’s more than happy to send his demon spirits to entertain Mormons. This is what is known as a seducing spirit. Rejecting the truth they chose a lie……Not a very good ending to this story.

  40. shematwater says:

    A brief note, as I don’t think anybody have mentioned the idea. Also, I will not be responding on this thread, just thought I mention this.

    Karen, in what she said, seems to have a great grasp on the doctrine of Baptism for the Dead, as she points out that one must except it for it to have effect. However, she sees the ordinances as a symbol of remembrance as well as a saving ordinance. There are those that cannot be saved (like Hitler) and those that many people have serious doubts about. We still perform the ceremony to show that we still think about, and care for these people. I have relatives that did not except the Church in this life. Will the baptism do them any good? Probably not, as they had their chance in this life. However, we still do the baptism to symbolize that we have not forgotten them.
    This is what I see in the words of Karen, and so she is not contradicting the leaders of the church, and she does understand the doctrine.

  41. FIGJAM says:

    I, like many of you, removed myself from the mormon “church”. However, I recently resigned (less than 5 months ago). I was not ex-communicated. I willingly removed my name from church record. That being said, let me say what a wonderful blessing this blog is. I appreciate all the “christians” that post the doctrinal truth with vigor and unwavering concern and fortitude. All of your efforts do not go unnoticed.

    Let me also express my sorrow for all mormons commenting on articles (i.e., blog entries) on this website. Regardless of how your bosom burns, you have to know that you are truly brain-washed. You worship in a henotheistic cult that will yield no true salvation. If you dispute that, then I ask each of you to contact me. I am new to this blog, but have spent over a decade in the mormon church. I think I can help if you are on the ‘fence’ and can empathize with your current confusion. Personal experience speaks volumes regarding the legitimacy of a given teaching. Mormonism is not different.

    Finally, I just wanted to “bear my testimony”, as I look forward to posting on this blog with regularity.

    Joseph Smith is an occultist who was manipulated by the Devil. He contributed to a 19th century work of religious fiction that is now canonized by his followers. The mormon church is the church of “the adversary”. There is only 1 Jesus Christ. He is my savior and can be found is the gospel. His word is infallible and does not yield to additional scripture.

    Wake-up, confront your anger, ask questions, ask the lord, and your eyes will open to the truth “brothers and sisters”.

  42. falcon says:

    Well this is an interesting take on the Mormon baptism for the dead discussion. “There are those that cannot be saved”, and then Hitler is mentioned. My friend Berean can provide the documentation that indeed the rituals have been provided for Hitler and according to Mormon doctrine, he is on his way to exaltation as a Mormon god.
    Man I can’t get over the lack of understanding by Mormons of their own history and doctrine. Pick-up a copy of the book that Berean and I have referenced here. It’s all about the Mormon grand poh bahs urging their people to do the rituals for the dead. The spooks are pleading with them to get it done. This is not symbolic. This for Mormons is one of the basic doctrines of Mormonism.
    “Will this do them any good, probably not, they had their chance in this world”……well it seems to me that there has now been a major shift in Mormon doctrine and practice. Do it out of compassion? How totally silly and worthless….these are really “dead works”.

  43. falcon says:

    There seems to be a lack of understanding among some Mormons regarding what the baptism for the dead ritual is all about.
    “……the belief of all faithful Latter-day Saints, who unlike other Christian peoples, endeavor to establish a permanent system of communication with their kindred dead in the spirit worl and angelic hosts of heaven through the performance of sacred ordinances and endowment ceremonies in holy Temples of God. In the annals of Mormon Church history are recorded the many responses made y spirit world inhabitants and heavenly personages who come from the very presence of God as they all attend these sacred temple ordinances……it is common knowledge among the Latter-day SAints that a veil separates the mortals of this world from the spirit inhabitants of the other world; yet when the earthly servants of God enter the Temples-‘the gates of heaven’-then that veil between time and eternity and the mortal and the immortal becomes very thin or even removed as the joyous expressons of those in the spirit world and the divine dictates of Almighty God and other heavenly hosts are manifested here on the earth.”
    The purpose is to establish communication with the dead. How plain is that! It’s called nacromancy. Mormonism is founded on the occult and these practices do not come from the God of the Bible. The Mormon god is more than happy to provide these poor dupes with all sorts of spirit manifestations. This is truly frightening what Mormons open themselves up to when they participate in temple ordinances. Now to call it “symbolic” is laughable. I guess we have a crop of New Order Mormons who can’t put up with a lot of the cultural, historic and doctirnal issues associated with SLC Mormonism, so they’re trying to set a new course. Folks Mormonism is what it is. You can call it something else but it’s still the same old cult it’s always been.

  44. FIGJAM,

    Thankyou for your post. Thankyou for the courage to “go public”.

    I probably don’t need to tell you about it, but you now have that unenviable task of picking apart the truth of the Gospel from the falsehoods that you were taught. Its a bit like trying to remove a cancerous tumor from someone’s spinal chord.

    Can I suggest a strategy that was recommended by an ex-JW (now a Presbyterian minister)? He said; don’t throw out anything unless 1 there is a very good reason to throw it our or 2 there is a much better explanation.

    Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. (Hebrews 12:1-3).

  45. Berean says:

    Shemwater said:

    “There are those that cannot be saved (like Hitler) and those that many people have serious doubts about. We still perform the ceremony to show that we still think about, and care for these people.”

    I’m a little puzzled at this comment since this very issue regarding Hitler was discussed early on at the top of this post. The second post of this thread I gave some documentation for the LDS faithful to look up regarding Hitler. If the Mormon Church really has the attitude that Shem says it does regarding Hitler, then why did it go to great lengths to do proxy work for him? Why waste your time? Why are Mormons ignorant of what their “god” told them in D&C 42:18, 79?

    Mormon doctrine is very clear that after a murderer has done their time (1,000 years – millennium) in hell and after the final judgement, then is that murderer finally forgiven and that person can only be in the telestial kingdom. (Read your institute manuals!) Why do endowment or any other proxy work for him? It’s senseless and doesn’t make sense even in the Mormon program.

    What I listed in my post at the top about this is only part of the record. The information is out there. Sticking one’s “head in the sand” won’t make it go away.

  46. Ralph says:

    Berean,

    Baptism is the sign of a covenant made with God – it is spelt out in the sacrament prayers if you want to know exctly what the covenant entails. It is very similar to circumcision, which was a sign/symbol of the Abrahamic covenant. We believe that baptism and its covenant is the gateway to the Celestial Kingdom that all must be given the opportunity to accept or reject to enter. That being said, all must needs be baptised either in tthis life or by proxy if they did not have the chance. This givess them the opportunity in the spirit world to either accept or reject the covenant by accepting or rejecting the baptism performed for them. Now God knows what is in our hearts and so does Jesus – and since Jesus is our final judge He will see whether the person has accepted or rejected the covenant and baptism. He can also see if that person would have lived a faithful life according to His commandments/will. Siince I am not the final judge, nor any other, I do not know what Hitler had in his heart or what he would have done had circumstance been different for him, but God and Jesus can. If Hitler was an evil man then the baptism would not have any effect for him and will not be able to save him (in this case I mean gaining the CK as that is the main goal for anyone in this life – to gain the presence of God). Whether or not he will end up in the lowest degree of glory or outer darkness, I do not know. But since he most likely will not enter the CK or the next one, he has not been ‘saved’. So your point about the baptism saving Hitler is moot as he will not gain the CK.

  47. jackg says:

    Okay, when the Mormons start teaching false doctrines, it is time to take a firm stand. Yes, baptism is the sign of the New Covenant, not just “a covenant made with God.” However, this does not mean that baptism is efficacious. In other words, it does not mean that you have to perform the act of baptism to be saved. This is where Mormons get it all mixed up. Remember, they are working from the foundation of a works-righteousness theology. This means that one has to do this, this, and this in order to be saved. Biblical Christianity teaches we are saved by the blood of Jesus Christ, and all we have to do is believe. This belief is faith acted out in love, which means love is the basis for our works, not to earn a reward. I don’t know how much simpler it can be explained, but the Mormons continue to preach a gospel void of hope, because their hope is in their works. That is not the Gospel of Jesus Christ as outlined in the Bible. So, if you are thinking about investigating the Mormon Church, or missionaries are currently teaching you, remember that even though they bring the name of Jesus into the discussion, it is a Jesus without the power to save you on His merits alone. Mormon salvation is Jesus plus your works. Christian salvation is faith in Jesus Christ alone. There is a huge difference. Now, don’t think this gives you license to live a life in rebellion to God. You would only be kidding yourself. Your works will show where your heart is, and a heart for Christ is a heart filled with love, and that is the foundation for living a sanctified life, a life that glorifies God through our works. When you are filled with love for Christ, you will want to get baptized because your salvation moves you to do so. Baptism is an outward sign of inward grace–not the ticket to heaven.

    Grace and Peace!

  48. jackg says:

    There is something else I would like to point out about Mormon theology. They claim that through JS God instituted the “New and Everlasting Covenant,” which is where they get the idea for eternal marriages. Now, we have in the OT the Abrahamic Covenant, which has the sign as circumcision. Jesus Christ IS the New Covenant, and the sign is baptism. Where does this third covenant come from? It is not biblical. To say there is a need for a third covenant is to say that Work of Jesus Chris is not sufficient to save us for an eternity in the presence of God. So, even though the Mormons bring the name of Jesus into the discussion, it is a Jesus that is not sufficient to save without our help (I know, even the sound of that makes me feel sorry for the Mormons). That is obviously not a Christian perspective. To agree with the Mormons, one has to reject the authority of the Bible and put their hope in the teachings of a false prophet, and that prophet’s name is Joseph Smith.

    I just had to add this to my last post.

    Grace and Peace!

  49. falcon says:

    I read Ralph’s post on Mormon baptism and all I could think of was “could you please provide me a reference for it”. I mean the whole deal. I can go to my big fat Christian Theology book here and read all about the basic doctrines of the Church and even different points of view of the various theologians. Where do I get that for Mormonism? I know that with Christian theology the thinking of the writer can be followed by looking at how he handles the scriptures/Bible. There’s a process, a discipline to the exercise. Where do I find that in Mormonism?
    Now to remind our readers; Mormonism isn’t Biblical Christianity. So what our poster Ralph has to say about it is being said in the context of a religion that’s not even a distant cousin of Christianity. It’s not a restoration of anything. It was Joseph Smith’s wild and wollie free flow of consciousness coupled with his practice of occult magic arts. Our poster, Ralph, has given us his opinion on Mormon baptism and what it means. I don’t think his opinion is any more legitimate than Berean’s. In fact Ralph’s presentation bears no resemblance to anything the person in the article was quoted as saying nor does it match the other Mormon posters here.
    One thing I’m sure of, what Ralph described has no foundation in the Christian faith. The apostle Paul addresses a heretical practice of some early Church members but that’s all. What Mormons are doing in actual practice is attempting to conjure up the “spirits” of the dear dead departed folks for whom they are performing the ritual. That’s just flat out playing with demonic forces. A person would really have to be deceived and totally diluted not to see that.
    So regardless of what Mormons think are the dynamics of what the Dead Dunking accomplishes, in the final analysis it’s just flat-out nacromancy which is forbidden by the Bible.

  50. falcon says:

    I don’t have a clue as to whether or not anything Ralph says reflects Mormon doctrine, and quite frankly I don’t care. What I do know is that by their own admission, Mormonism’s baptism for the dead is a way for participating Momrons to cavort with “spirits”. Now these spirits are not spirits of the dead wanting Mormons to perform these rituals for them. Once someone is dead, they are dead, period. I think Mormons might be very comfortable with TV programs like Medium or the Crossing Over playground presented by “medium” John Edwards. This is my point. Mormons are delving into the demonic world and participating in spiritism. This is serious business.
    I hope any questioning Mormon reading here will run, not walk away from Mormonism with its occult practices.
    As to First Corinthians 15:29; The practice of vicarious baptism appeared as early as the second century. Some suppose that this custiom had already been introduced at Corinth. It is extremely doubtful that the apostle would have made reference to this heretical practice without in the same breath condeming it. The expresson probably refers rather to young converts who took the place of the older brethren in the church who had died, so that it would be properly rendered “baptized in the place of.” The greek preposition huper admits this sense. (Liberty Annotated Study Bible, p1788)

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