Joseph Smith: The Prophet of the Restoration

ThrowbackThursIt’s Throwback Thursday!ย The following blog article originally posted at Mormon Coffee on May 3, 2006. This year, 2015, marks the 10th anniversary of the original release of the Mormon Church-produced film discussed in this post. Please note: the original film was heavily edited in 2011 (โ€œThe revised version is five minutes shorter than the original and about 40 percent of the movie is newโ€). Some of the parallels noted in this blog post, which appeared in the original film, no longer exist in the current (revised) version.

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I’ve spent the last 4 days in Nauvoo, Illinois, the historic town used by the Mormon Church for faith-promotion and proselytizing. On Sunday, at the LDS Visitors Center (pictured at left), a friend and I viewed the movie, Joseph Smith: The Prophet of the Restoration. Produced as part of last year’s celebration of the 200th anniversary of Joseph Smith’s birth, this hour-long film is meant to depict the life and mission of Joseph Smith, the founder of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

As with all films produced by the Mormon Church, this one relies on manipulation of the viewers’ emotions at the expense of accurate history. I expected this; but I was surprised — and deeply offended — by the blatant near-deification of Joseph Smith. Though this comment may seem severe, it does not even begin to convey the blasphemous nature of the film’s portrayal of Joseph Smith’s life. Let me explain.

Near the beginning of the movie, during the scene of Joseph Smith’s First Vision, my friend leaned over to me and said, “Does this remind you of The Passion of the Christ?” And indeed it did. Joseph was portrayed in the Sacred Grove in torment as he prayed for wisdom. Nearly prostrate on the ground, he trembled and he sweat and he agonized as evil forces swirled around him. The scene immediately brought Christ’s struggle in the Garden of Gethsemane to mind.

As the film continued we were struck time and again by the way it portrayed Joseph’s life in seeming parallel with the life of Christ. It was almost as if the script writers had taken the story of Jesus and mapped Joseph’s life onto it. Though the details and sequence of events differed, in discussing it after the film we recalled these corresponding scenes between this portrayal of Joseph’s life and the life of Christ (listed here in no particular order):

  • The Garden of Gethsemane
  • Jesus crying, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
  • Scourging and mocking at the hands of soldiers
  • Judas’ betrayal
  • Jesus’ arrest
  • Peter’s denial
  • Pilate’s declaration, “This man is innocent.”
  • Jesus washing the disciples’ feet
  • Healing the sick
  • Raising Jairus’ daughter to life

Throughout the entire film Joseph was abused and mistreated continually; he received this treatment for no reason at all. He was portrayed as being wholly innocent and righteous in all his ways. In the words of an LDS woman, the Prophet of the Restoration was depicted as being perfectly and unreservedly “Christlike.”

After the film a Mormon missionary asked me if I liked it. When I told her I had been offended and thought the film did a grave disservice to my Lord and Savior, she replied, “I’m sorry, but it’s history.”

Of course, it’s not accurate history, but that’s not the point I’m making here. To me, the film sought to elevate Joseph Smith to the level of someone worthy — not just of reverence — but of worship. In portraying the story of Jesus Christ in the person of Joseph Smith the film crossed the line from propaganda to blasphemy.

My friend believes the film reveals that within Mormonism there is no need for Jesus; Joseph is enough. As it happened, we later spoke with another LDS missionary and my friend asked, “In this church, if you have a testimony of Joseph Smith, do you need a testimony of Jesus Christ?” The missionary and his wife both answered no; that a testimony of Joseph and a testimony of Jesus are “one and the same.” As we toured the historic LDS sites on Sunday, at each place we stopped and listened to the scripted tours, we were treated to the missionaries’ “testimony of Joseph.” Not once did a Mormon missionary share a testimony of Jesus.

Now that I’ve had a few days’ distance from my encounter with Joseph Smith: The Prophet of the Restoration my indignation has settled into a deep sorrow over the spiritual state of the Mormon people. They have been so conditioned that they cannot see a significant difference between Joseph Smith and Jesus Christ. They watch The Prophet of the Restoration and dab tears from their eyes — tears shed in gratitude for what the Prophet has done for them.

As I walked around Nauvoo and talked to the Mormon missionaries there I was saddened by their apparent willingness to sacrifice Christ’s offer of reconciliation with God in Him, in favor of maintaining their own love of Church and devotion to Joseph Smith. I thought of Christ’s words, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem,โ€ฆHow often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!” (Matthew 23:37).

Yet even now Jesus stands at the door and knocks. If anyone hears His voice and opens the door, He “will come in to him” (Revelation 3:30). May God, in His mercy, give them ears to hear.

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.

This entry was posted in Early Mormonism, Jesus Christ, Joseph Smith, LDS Church, Mormon Culture, Mormon History, Mormon Missionaries, Nauvoo, Prophets and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

33 Responses to Joseph Smith: The Prophet of the Restoration

  1. cattyjane says:

    Sharon
    I get what they are saying about a testimony of JS being the same as a testimony of JC. I think they are just meaning that since JS testified to JC and according to them restored the church to the original state in that it is one in the same. In order to testify to JS you must also testify of JC. Of course this is not true since the LDS church doesn’t have a glimmer of restoration to what the church would have been in JC day. Since JS isn’t a true prophet than they are testifying to falsehood. From what I remember when I joined, it is necessary to understand that JC death was payment for sin. I don’t think that they are replacing JC with JS but they are making him an equal in the fact that they believe he did a work as glorious as JC because he restored the church and the priesthood. Well, now that I put it that way they are in a fact replacing JC. The high priest that we have now is JC. He is our mediator. If they are saying that JS restored the priesthood isn’t that saying that the priesthood he restored is replacing the priesthood that JC stands in? That is an interesting thought to ponder.

  2. LMCoffren says:

    I’ve been a member of the LDS church for less than 5 years. Recently I’m seeing things going on there – mostly with the governing of the church – that I have stopped attending completely. It is all too reminiscent of my 10 years as a Jehovah’s Witness. Impossible standards, oppression of women, extreme judgmental-ism – it’s got me all turned around. Anyway, I enjoy your blog. I do consider myself a Christian since I have been through a conversion experience at a young age and I’ve never faltered from my faith in Christ. I think I was searching for acceptance from others by getting involved in these various groups to begin with. Don’t laugh, I’m 53 – unresolved personal issues! Ha! I got an entire subscription to those. Anyway, I enjoy your blog, thanks for being here. ๐Ÿ™‚ Back to “lurk” mode in 3…2…1…. *poof* ๐Ÿ˜€

  3. Mike R says:

    LmCoffren,

    Thanks for sharing your story . Jumping from the Watchtower Society to Mormonism — wow . That’s quite interesting . From one false prophet led organization to another is unfortunate experience , but don’t let that “burn” you from the simple answer you ( and everyone) is longing for : a personal relationship with God , acceptance by Him , this is not by joining an autocratic religious organization but it happens when you comply with God’s arrangement : come directly to Jesus and bow before Him , He has the ability and authority to forgive you and become the “way ” to the Father for you — Jn 14:6 . Complete salvation is available through faith in Jesus alone . Eph 2:8-9 . No prophet , no joining a religious organization , no temple recommend — you can come to Jesus and serve Him without any of those . Please read the New Testament ( and not one published by the Mormon church ) , get alone with it and read and re-read it .

    My wife experienced the answer when she put down Watchtower publications and read the Bible for
    herself . No more faithful and discreet slave interpreting the Bible for her . She found the answer to her inner longings and being accepted by God for eternal life — Jn 14:6 ; Heb 7:25 . She’s now a
    ex-Jw for Jesus .

    I won’t say anymore about her since it is off topic . Again , thanks for stopping by .

  4. cattyjane says:

    LMCoffren

    No judgement from where im sitting at all. I have made my religious rounds as well. My dad is JW. I was raised with him so the exposure was very minimal to that religion. My mother is Baptist. I started studying with LDS when I was 15 due to my boyfriend being in that religion. I joined the church when I was 20. I got married at 24 and bounced around between Baptist and Church of Christ for about 5 years because that is what my husband was and then when things got bad I returned to the church to try and fix my marriage. That of course didn’t work and I got divorced within a year. I starting searching for truth and started conversion to Judaism. I officially left the LDS church to follow thru with my Jewish conversion. I have a friend who I have been corresponding with for the last year in Israel who is Messianic and believes that Jesus Christ is the Messiah. I am going to give you some amazing insight about conversion that I found very enlightening. We had this discussion two weeks before I would have completed my conversion process to Judaism.

    “Ask yourself if you are converting for the sake of converting or if you are converting because you truly believe that the thing you are entering into is an accurate reflection of your personal beliefs and values. If you find that you have an urge to convert even though you feel like you are compromising some core beliefs that you hold, then you might be actually converting for the sake of converting, or because you have come this far so why turn back.”

    When I really dug into my beliefs, I found that they did not all line up with what this particular sect of Judaism believes. If my conversion to a religion is a description of what my personal beliefs about the Creator are than I realized I could not go through with this conversion. This conversation between my friend and I occurred two weeks before my official conversion was to occur. Since that conversation a lot of things have transpired. We should never sacrifice truth in order to feel accepted by people in this world. What I am about to say may sound really corny but it is the truth. If the only acceptance that we ever receive while we exist is from the Creator above. That is enough. It is more valuable to be a defender of truth, even unto death, than to allow the pressures of this world to convince you to sacrifice it.

    The story of Esther is brought to my mind. If you haven’t read it than you should. Esther was Jewish but when she became the Queen she hid her Jewish identity. When the decree was sent out by Haman to kill all of the Jewish people in the land, her uncle Mordecai sent a letter to Esther asking for her to make a plea to King for mercy on the Jewish peoples behalf. Esther states that no man or woman could enter the kings presence in the inner court without having been summoned or else they would be put to death. The reply from Mordecai was this. Esther 4:13-14 “Do not imagine that you, of all the Jews, will escape with you life by being in the king’s palace. On the contrary, if you keep silent in this crisis, relief and deliverance will come to the Jews from another quarter, while you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows, perhaps you have attained to royal position for just such a crisis.” Esther of course appeared before the king unannounced. She was protected by God and was extended the royal scepter of mercy for her life. She pleaded on behalf of the Jewish people and revealed her identity. The King granted the people the right to fight back and the Jewish people were spared. Esther’s decision to stand for what was right saved the lives of millions of people.

    I guess the reason I am saying this is because there is a higher purpose that God has for our lives. It is not to be accepted by a religion or a group of people. It is not to build wealth or obtain the most in this world. The purpose is to reveal His character and nature in this time in order that all should know who the One True God is. So that none should perish but that all should come to repentance. Even if it means laying down our own lives to do that which Esther discovered she must be willing to do. The reward is not in this world but in the world to come. The journey that we travel in order to discover truth is just as important as the journey we travel in revealing it. I hope that you have not stopped your journey in finding truth in order to have community. I believe there will be a day when you would regret that decision. Seek truth in the scriptures, not in a religious organization. Cry to the Father and ask for his hand on your life to guide you in the right direction.

    Welcome to the blog by the way. I usually here off and on until I make someone mad. ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. cattyjane says:

    Sorry I meant to say that I wasn’t raised with my Dad.

  6. LMCoffren says:

    I don’t want to draw the discussion off-topic with too long of a reply here. I will say although I haven’t formally left the LDS church (that’s in the works), I will no longer be attending any churches in the future. It’s the best outcome for me; I do believe in the gospel (as I understand it, in the “born again” way) but got carried off track by needing to belong somewhere with other people. Ever since I had my experience at 15 I knew my beliefs would lead me to an isolated existence and have just been bucking that particular fact by moving from church to church. Once anyone started heaping the expectations on, I’d leave. Because they were man-made expectations. After that life got lonelier. So I started joining other churches, got in with the JWs for 10+ years, now LDS. And frankly it’s just as lonely to be in as it is to be out. If I’m out, I don’t have all the weird expectations, i.e. “Use all your free time to go door-to-door”, elders and other members watching everything I do and reporting back to the Watchtower BTS, being told to wear garments and getting an endowment which was frankly the weirdest thing I’ve ever done and never want to go back to the Temple, having to watch hours of talks that make no sense, and “feeling the spirit” in church or at conferences or in the Temple which I never feel and mostly I feel creeped out. LOL!!!! So there’s my short reply. VERY sorry for the long response, I hope everyone understands. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Thank you all for your replies so far. Please nobody get mad at me. If you do, try to be nice anyway?

  7. cattyjane says:

    LMC
    It is definitely freeing to let go of religion. Just don’t let go of God and a desire to find truth in the process. Blessings.

  8. Mike R says:

    LmCoffren ,

    Nobody is going to get mad at you . What you have experienced in your life from the Watchtower Society and with Mormonism may cause a lot of emotional carnage but don’t allow that to detour you from finding God’s love for you . That love finds it’s highest manifestation in what Jesus did for you –
    Jn 3:16-18 . The two organizations named above have only muddled that simple message by adding their man made additions to it . Stick with the New Testament .

  9. Mike R says:

    That film mentioned by Sharon ( ” Joseph Smith : Prophet of The Restoration” ) was a good example of the Mormon church P.R. Dept at work . It’s main thrust was on emotionalism .

  10. LMCoffren says:

    I saw the 2011 version of that film. Watched it with the missionaries and with another friend, and they kept saying that they felt the spirit really strong when they watched it. I’m like, “Well, ok….”.

    Part of that huge leap from being with the JWs and moving to the LDS was based on the notion that the JWs focus on reasoning and thinking through every teaching (even if it needs to get stretched to fit their ideas). The LDS focuses on feeling over analysis. So by the time I left the JWs I was an obvious tasty morsel for the LDS to snack on.

  11. LMCoffren says:

    And before anyone says anything really bad… I apologize for sounding snarky. The LDS members – in my ward – are AMAZING people. Extremely kind and have helped me get through some hard times. I will always consider them my friends. If someone says they’ll stop talking to me if I leave the LDS, it doesn’t bother me, went through that with the JWs – 100% severed friendships there after spending every day with them for 10 years. Okay that’s all from me. ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. RikkiJ says:

    @CattyJane

    Good to see you on MC. Hope things are well. Drop me a line sometime by email if you’re up for it.

  13. Mike R says:

    LMcoffren,

    Sorry to hear that you believe your life is to be one of loneliness . It does’nt have to be that way .
    Also , while salvation is not about having to join a religious organization / church , still it is important to find a local fellowship where you can be a blessing to others . When that happens is something you have to decide for yourself . Don’t rush it . Please don’t measure other fellowships by the Watchtower organization or the Mormon church , those two are the double whammy of large false prophet led organizations .

    You mentioned that you believe in the gospel , in the “born again” way . If you learned what the gospel was( and ” born again) from Mormonism then you have been short changed in a very subtle way . The true gospel of salvation is simple yet life changing : Rom 3:23 ; 5:8-10 ; 6:23 ; 10:9-13 ; Eph 2:8-9 . It’s all about Jesus ( the true Jesus ) saving sinners who call upon Him to spiritually rescue them . The Mormon Jesus ( the spirit brother of Lucifer — p.15 Church manual “Gospel Through The Ages ) has not the ability nor authority to save anyone .

    Take a lot of time alone with the Bible , especially the New Testament .
    Praying for you .

  14. LMCoffren says:

    Hi Mike R,

    I am going one more time to the Temple next week with a friend. I want to be absolutely sure that what I’m feeling is what I’m really feeling. Even after joining the LDS church I have never been able to relate to any but the Christ found in NT scriptures and that is another core belief that the LDS has not been able to “correct” over the few years I’ve been there. I am not going to do any Temple work, just tour the building and pray and I think I will get a confirmation of what I already think is the case (that it’s just not my place).

    Thank you for your prayers, I hope I can follow up here if no one minds.

    Lynn

  15. MJP says:

    Lynn,

    Just know that you do have a family in Christ. All believers in the orthodox, traditional Christian Gospel are a united family. There may be differences in some things, some not insignificant or contentious, but we are united in Christ.

  16. Mike R says:

    Lynn,

    You said , ” I am not going to do any temple work , just tour the building and pray and I think I will get a confirmation of what I already think is the case ( that it’s not my place ).”

    I read that and can only say , why ?

    Why go ? Why pray any further ? It will be difficult to walk away , but start now . Lingering around the Mormon church system is a slippery slope . It can keep you emotionally tethered to Mormonism and that is not good . You have friends and family there ? That’s why it can be difficult , and why only God can give you the strength to transition out of Mormonism .

  17. LMCoffren says:

    Because it will give me certainty of why I’m doing what I’m doing. Not from an a emotional perspective only, but from a reasoning perspective as well. I have been working from emotions only since I left the JWs. I’ve found that working from just one or the other perspective is misleading. This visit, I will apply both because I am emotionally strong enough to handle it and can decide for or against for myself. Probably first time since my teens I’ve been able to do this. I have to decide for myself, not because someone tells me what to decide (or why), but because it’s the first time making a decision about spiritual matters from a “selfish” (“what’s best for me”) standpoint.

    Lynn

  18. MistakenTestimony says:

    You don’t need to go to the Temple to rationalize if Mormonism is true or not, just briefly study the historicity of the Book of Mormon from a third-person perspective.

  19. MistakenTestimony says:

    Lynn,

    You said, “Iโ€™ve never faltered from my faith in Christ.” With all due respect, if you spent “10 years as a Jehovahโ€™s Witness” and was “a member of the LDS church for less than 5 years” then you have indeed faltered from faith in the true Christ, at least twice. That is, assuming that you accepted the Christ of the Trinity prior to your JW tenure. Do you accept the Christ of the Trinity as the only true Christ and the Christ of the JWs and LDS as false Christs?

  20. MistakenTestimony says:

    In context you also said, “I do consider myself a Christian since I have been through a conversion experience at a young age … I’m 53.” Forgive me for being to-the-point, and we’re all glad you’re here.

  21. Vax says:

    As a lifelong member of the LDS Church until age 53, I gradually learned over time that Joseph Smith was not the man protrayed in the LDS books for youth or even the other LDS published biographies. I read Bushman’s Rough Stone Rolling about 7 years ago which at least I thought was an attempt at making Joseph a more realistic man. But still I was amazed how often Bushman attributed thoughts or motives to Joseph’s actions, always giving him the benefit of the doubt. Reading it I still felt there was too much apologizing about he and his behaviors and how good motives were always atributed to his actions. As if anyone can ever know another’s motives or inner thoughts, esxpecially after 175 years! I never expected that Prophets were infallible and it always bothered me when lesson manuals or talks portray history like the Saints were persecuteed for no reason except jealousy and anger over the righteous. As if the Saints were ony ruled by the best of motives and all of the other western settelrs were angry ruffian anarchists. Or that Joseph was killed by an angry mob for no reason other than standing up for his beliefs. Or that the printing press was destroyed by Mormons but we are never given reasons other than they were printing lies about the prophet. And nothing about the fact that the “lies” they were about to expose were Joseph’s polygamous relationships. It’s all disjointed, no real cause and effect, just black and white revision of history. Anyone with any kind of life experience knows that nothing happens in this world is black and white or only 2 sides. Life and interpersonal and politcial relationships are by nature, intensely complex. The LDS story just doesn’t ring true. I always knew they were portraying a whitewashed version and it bothered me but it took a while to see the scope of the problem. And longer for me to to see the malicious intent. I feel the Church would do more to “own up” to their shady history. Admit the prophets weree men and had issues with drinking and tobacco and huge egos. Own up to polygamy and stop trying to make it seem less than it was. When you hide improtant parts of the story it looks bad. If you are hiding something you are lying. If you have to lie about your history, you have a huge problem. They’d be better off coming clean and spend all of their time, not defending lies, but in defending the faith that Joseph Smith started. That’s the real issue. They don’t even believe in the same doctrine Joseph Smith and early Mormons. The LDS leadership have a huge conundrum. rewrite history to make it appeal to people today, or own up to the early church behaviors and doctrine that will be so completely out of step with today’s societal knowledge and sophistication. We don’t live in a world where use of magic peep stones and treasure digging and are believed or trusted. But admitting all of that is not consistent with gaining new members. So they really have to whitewash it all. It’s a huge conundrum for current LDS leadership.

  22. Vax says:

    Lynn, you think these people are good. And I have no doubt they think they are too. But I gaurantee you, once they realize you are serious about leaving you will be dropped like a hot potato. People I have known and served with for decades stopped talking to me, didn’t return e-mails, refused social interactions and you are left to “suffer” until you see the light of your sins and come crawling back in humilty begging for another chance. Or so they think. They think, in their twisted way, they are helping you repent by shunning you and the pain and guilt will cause you to repent. I truly think they feel they are doing you a favor. And they are but not for the reasons they think. Once you distance yourself for even a few weeks, the weekly “banging” on you becomes quieter and quieter and your mind begins to uncloud. It’s an amazing transformation. It’s no wodner they push 3 hours of church and meeting after meeting, and home teaching and missionary work, and social events, and overcrowded youth calendars…because when you step even a tiny bit away, you realize how silly it all is and how you don’t need it to be happy. In fact their version of happiness is nothing more than wanting to be happy in some far off future other life. Thus the terms unduring to the end, and obedience, and the “gospel of works”, and “after all you can do”…does any of this sound like happiness? In the mean time, when you aren’t happy now, you still bear testimony that you are happier than other heathen non-Mormons every week until you believe it. And if you don’t have happiness it’s because you aren’t being good enough to be happy. You have to earn your happiness and if you haven’t, you must be sinning because Mormons are the happiest people on earth (er..never mind the highest users of antidepressants on the planet earth!)

    Don’t get me started on the temple. It is a place that could be awesomely used for meditation and personal prayer and solitude but it is a building where you are “banged on” some more and made to feel inadequate and guilty. There really is no place to meditate in the temple, you gotta move on through…”how many endowments did you do? How many people were you baptized for? etc etc etc.

  23. LMCoffren says:

    <– Exits. Peace.

  24. MistakenTestimony says:

    Lest we forget earlier Lynn did say:

    Back to โ€œlurkโ€ mode in 3โ€ฆ2โ€ฆ1โ€ฆ. *poof*

  25. Mike R says:

    Lynn,
    May God bless and help you through this crucial but difficult time in your life . You are in my prayers . Take care .

  26. cattyjane says:

    LMC
    The temple you are visiting is not a temple established by the One True God. And its certainly not a place that Messiah Jesus would ever enter. Why would you seek an answer inside a building that the Messiah you believe in would never enter? I understand this temple you are speaking of can be found in Mormonism, but where is it found in the scriptures (NT and OT). This temple you will be attending cannot be found in those scriptures. I understand that you are on the fence about some things. I have been there. Just please know that some things don’t have to be prayed about to receive an answer. He has already given us answers inside of the scriptures we hold in our hands. Proverbs 25:2 It is the glory of God to conceal a matter, to search out a matter is the glory of kings. Your answer lies within the scriptures. The truth about who God is and how we worship him is right there. The only temple ever commanded to be built by human hands was the temple in Jerusalem, and it is no longer standing and hasn’t stood since 70AD. I can guarantee you that the practices that happen in the Mormon temple never ever ever occurred in that temple when it stood. You are being misled and Im sorry to say that if you believe in Jesus and try to worship him in falsehood, especially if you know it is falsehood, you will end up in a dark place.

    You don’t have to be a lurker by the way. No one knows who you are. Eventually you won’t care if they do know who you are. It might be time for you to learn to be strong and come out of the shadows. Seek truth like your life depends on it. It does actually. You are fighting for your soul. This isn’t a game. If you have questions, regardless if its “on topic” or not, just ask. These guys are pretty nice actually. I was just tough on them but I don’t play by the rules. I kinda make my own road. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Anyways. I hope we chat more on here. Regardless if you find the strength to leave the church, seek out truth, or sit on the sidelines, you will learn something along your journey. Hopefully truth. You will learn more tho if you ask questions. Blessings to you along your journey.

  27. cattyjane says:

    LMC
    BTW my aunt would love your avatar! She collects pigs! Her office doubles as a display for all the pigs she cant fit on the shelves around the house.

  28. MistakenTestimony says:

    I actually think you should go to the Temple. Not going to the Temple does not make one a Christian, so feel free to go all you want; there are much bigger thelogical errors to be addressed first. I just disagree with your reasons for going because there are many more effective ways to rationalize Mormonism. CJ is right too because there is no promise from Christ in the Scriptures that the Holy Spirit will be present in “the Temple.” The best apologetic explanations for the signs and tokens are that they are merely non-efficacious symbols, so best case scenario you will be bored out of your mind and worst case scenario is you will be having a lie as a religious experience. But like I say, there are much bigger theological errors to be addressed first, and many more effective ways to rationalize Mormonism.

  29. LMCoffren says:

    Sorry, I was upset yesterday when I read some of the replies. I don’t think it is anyone’s place (here or in the LDS) to tell me what is best for me. I have opened up and shared my feelings and suddenly more people are telling me what is the true church and what is not and making not-so-subtle attempts to make me feel guilty or start talking doctrinal points. That is not helpful, and is instead hurtful. This is something I must figure out for myself, not because someone else tells me what is true or what is not true in any given belief system (Christian or otherwise). Please think about what I have shared here, and what I am saying in this reply.

    I have never said I have not made mistakes in my choices. I think I am stronger and in a better place to make the choice for myself (this after almost committing suicide a year and a half ago and being hospitalized because I was so messed up about EVERYTHING) for once in my life. I have spent time in therapy, time in the Bible, and time in prayer and need to do this because it is right for me.

    Peace, kids. It’s all good.

    P.S. My house is chock full of pigs. LOL!

  30. Mike R says:

    Lynn,

    Sorry you feel attacked or pressured . No one here desires you further hurt, disillusionment, than you already may feel . No doubt you must have known this is a public blog , therefore you may hear any number of comments and some may not meet your expectations etc . We here are merely quests of those who run this ministry ( MRM ) . This is’nt a private counseling session , although you may glean some helpful information from the conversation that will help you work through certain issues you may be struggling with . Being out of the Mormon church is a freedom but it is not the ultimate freedom Mormons need . That freedom comes when they personally come to Jesus forsaking all:
    the temple , Joseph Smith , attempting to climb the ladder of works Mormon leaders have called their gospel . It’s all about Jesus , a one on one intimate relationship with the risen Savior who loves them more than they can fathom . That’s the message here . But for many ex Mormons that can take a lot of time to discover this . It can be a long struggle . Hopefully, those like myself who have never been a Mormon will never forget that .

    Don’t give up . There’s a light at the end of the tunnel . God bless you . 1 Pt 5:7

  31. LMCoffren says:

    Mike,

    Thank you. I realize it’s not private counseling, I already get that. ๐Ÿ™‚ This is just something I have to go through in my life and in my own way. I was just sharing my experience here.

    Lynn

  32. Vax says:

    I hope I didn’t offend. I wasn’t trying to tell anyone what to do. I am dealing with my own issues and pain and this blog is a wonderful insight to some of the pain I went through and, clearly still am evolving through. Peace.

  33. LMCoffren says:

    Hi Vax,

    You didn’t. No harm done. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m going through a lot of pain with this whole thing too, just sorting it out.

    Please be well.

    Lynn

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