Richard Packham‘s video is also available on YouTube
Publicly exposing the Mormon temple ceremony takes away the superficial power of secretiveness and mystery and helps people face reality. The power of mystery is largely sapped with a simple YouTube video.
Obeying God’s commandments is a form of Christian worship. God’s word tells us:
“Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret. But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible, for anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says, ‘Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.'” (Ephesians 5:11-14)
Even the LDS Articles of Faith say, “We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.” Since many Mormons use this verse to argue that the someone’s form and content of worship (especially their own) should never be criticized, I ask: Are Mormons going to criticize my form and content of worship when I obey God by exposing shameful things?
Trade in your green fig leaf apron for a cross. What God has revealed to the children of man, he has revealed to all the children of man. Find more private satisfaction in the public, personal word of God than in the shameful ceremonies of Joseph Smith.
Tips to Christians For Using (or Not Using) the LDS Temple Ceremony Content When Engaging Mormons
- Be led by the Spirit and be respectful and sensitive to people. The challenge here is immersing yourself in the Bible so that you adopt more biblical concepts of love and respect than worldly concepts. Being loving and sensitive will often require you to engage other issues of the heart and simply point people to the true nature of God and the gospel. But the Spirit may lead you to tear down false pretensions (cf. 2 Corinthians 10:4-5) and idolatry by exposing the ceremony. It is no more disrespectful to expose the shameful LDS temple ceremony than it is to expose pervasive mold to a prospective house buyer.
- Part of the whole question of whether to reveal the temple ceremony concerns strategic and loving engagement, but there is also a power struggle that is real. It cannot be ignored. People who feel like they have secrets often feel like they have a power over other people. Mormons will sometimes refer to the temple as the only appropriate place to discuss certain doctrines. Sometimes it helps to break this superficial facade of power and exclusivity by revealing your knowledge of the temple.
- Bringing up the ceremony will often end a conversation, so be wise about if and when you do it.
- That said, I suggest teaching Mormons who haven’t been through the ceremony, especially teenagers, the three secret hand clasps. Ask them if they think secret handshakes will help get them into Heavenly Father’s presence. Many will vehemently say, “No!” Express your agreement. Ask the same people, “If Satan told you to make a green fig leaf apron, what would you do?” The responses I hear are interesting. “I wouldn’t do it!” “I’d tell him to be quiet.” I like to advise people, “If Satan ever tells you to make a green fig leaf apron, rebuke him!” If they go through the temple ceremony, they will be reminded of these things. This will help them feel creeped out by the ceremony. They should feel that way, and you owe it to them in love to help them be sober about it.
- Break the news to them. The things you have just spoken of are actually in the LDS temple ceremony. If they don’t believe you, tell them to ask their parents. Or Google. The internet has more power to deliver knowledge than the Mormon “priesthood” ever will.
- Don’t over-sensationalize the role of Satan in the temple ceremony. I recommend a good article by Jerald and Sandra called, Obsession With Lucifer?.
- Expect opposition over this. Letting the cat out of the bag will drive some defenders of Mormonism in your community nuts. But keep a sober mind that this isn’t about them. It’s about the true seekers. The inherent shamefulness of the LDS temple ceremony really causes a crisis of conscience in people that causes them to leave the Mormon Church and take Christianity more seriously. Don’t want to see a close relationship severed? That’s OK. You can at least get the word out to people who haven’t been through the temple, who you can tolerate being upset at you. It’s worth it in the long run for their own sake.
- Remind your LDS friends that this isn’t a matter of trivial humor. It’s serious. It is a matter of informed consent. People have a right to know about this all before they join Mormonism.
- Ask, “Is the Book of Mormon is sacred?” “Of course.” “Is it public?” “Yes.” “So, if something is sacred, does it have to be secret and hidden from the public?” This helps when someone explains that simply because the ceremony is “sacred” it cannot be discussed publicly.
- Ask, “Why was the temple veil torn in two when Jesus was crucified?”
- Ask, “Can you think of any examples of people being married in the Old Testament temple?”
- Ask a Mormon if they are aware of the changes in the temple ceremony. Also ask, “Are the parts of the temple ceremony removed in 1990 still sacred?”
- Express your feelings about having your pastor mocked as a hireling of Satan in the pre-1990 LDS temple ceremony. Ask, “If Protestants had a secret ceremony where we called your bishops hirlings of Satan, what would you think if I said it was too ‘sacred’ to talk about?”
- Point them to the sufficiency of Christ. Share Hebrews 7 and tell them you want them to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, our great high priest. Eternal life is all about knowing Jesus, receiving Jesus, and believing Jesus as he freely offers us the forgiveness of sins and fellowship with God forever. Christians now have the indwelling of the Spirit, and our level of intimacy and fellowship with God is not dependent on whether we are in a certain building.
- Be like Jesus: “And as he came out of the temple, one of his disciples said to him, ‘Look, Teacher, what wonderful stones and what wonderful buildings!’ And Jesus said to him, ‘Do you see these great buildings? There will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down.'” Mark 13:1-2
I’ll close with a letter from an ex-Mormon Christian written to Bill Mckeever:
“Good afternoon Mr. McKeever. This email is an apology to the nasty and derogatory remarks I sent you in the past. I do not know if you remember our conversations but it was obvious that I was so deep into Mormonism, I did not realize how uneducated I sounded for defending a false faith. It is my prayer that every member of the LDS church come to the realization that Joseph Smith is one of the false prophets that the Bible warns us about. I came to my realization shortly after finding out the details of Temple rituals. I was officially removed from the membership records as of May 2005… Realizing that accepting Christ as my personal savior and putting all of my trust in him instead of Gordon B. Hinckley has made a magnanimous impact upon my life as a Christian. I want to personally thank you for distributing websites like these to bring LDS members out of the dark and into the light. Thank you for being a bold servant of Christ and May God Bless you and your co-workers always. Please feel free to post this message on your site as a hopeful inspiration to all LDS who wish to leave.”
GRCluff part deux,
“If you managed to complete a serious and objective analysis of the 3 you would learn that the Mormon temple ceremony is of ancient origin, and has the objective to bring people to Christ.”
Bring people to Christ by showing them a movie, teaching them secret handshakes, dabbing oil on them under a sheet? Funny, when I read the Bible none of that stuff appears, and none of it is needed because Christ and His righteousness are sufficient. I guess it was all removed by those sneaky preachers. Even when we were drinking the Kool-Aid, we knew when we left the Washington D.C. temple that what had gone on in there was just wrong. No wonder we were forbidden to speak of it outside of the temple.
The facts are this: there is no comparison between the OT temple and the mormon temple, there is nothing Christian about the mormon temple ceremony and the NT is clear that there is no need for a temple or handshakes or secret new names needed for eternal life. Christ, and Christ alone, is enough.
All I can go by is my own experience. My first experience with the witness of the Holy Spirit (outside of Church) came while reading the BoM. The answer to my 800th prayer about JS and the BoM was overwelming and clear. God gives no such witness until after the trial of your faith. Maybe you just gave up too soon?
As I was seeking to find direction through faith, I learned that perfection was not required, but complete repentance was. I had to be willing to do all things that God asked. When I began to make that kind of commitment, the answers came.
I have felt the same complete witness as I have attended the temple. You have been missing the spiritual side of the equation. The ordinances mean very little without the Holy Spirit’s presence—you need the proper context. Like watching the “Sound of Music” with the sound turned off. It would all seem pointless.
Let’s do a quick recap of why this temple thing is an apologetic nightmare: 1)SECRET=SACRED; totally unlike Jesus, the avg.Joe knows this 2)Masonic knock-off/Occult involvement; 3)Totally unlike the Jewish ritual of the OT; 4)Totally unlike the NT where NO BUILDING was the deal 5) Impossible to defend from history/archeology; 6)violent and creepy and disrepectful to women; 7)creates a caste system of ‘worth’ and ‘not worthy’ Flesh this out later: GERMIT
I too have prayed, multiple times for the confirming witness of the BoM. My wife was LDS at the time, and after a very deep and emotional discussion with her, I became willing to throw away all of my learnings as a Christian and accept the LDS gospel if God would just give me that confirmation. I had faith that if it was in fact true, God would let me know. I was in tears before I even started to pray, begging and pleading for God to rid me of all my bias’ and just pour out His truth to me. I met the requirements in Moroni’s challenge. Extreme desire for truth, sincerity, contrite spirit, willing to accept a spiritual witness as the ultimate truth. I was ready to completely live by a testimony received through the witness of the Holy Ghost.
Did I receive that witness? No. I felt nothing..empty. I asked my wife if she thought I was sincere enough, and she said yes.
So tell me, Cluff, was there something I am missing? Is there some more requirements that Moroni forgot to mention that you know of? I was living a decent life. I never drank or smoke anything my entire life (still haven’t), I tried to help people when I was able, I attended an LDS ward every sunday for 5 years, I even had a calling (activities committee, only one they can give to a non-member), so I was almost living the life a Mormon should. But that shouldn’t make you worthy to hear the Holy Spirit, because we all are sinners.
If God gives truth to all men freely, why would he have you pray 800 times? Does he like to play hard to get? Does he play games with your Salvation? I think its fairly obvious after probably 4 times of attempting something, it is your desire to receive something from it. Eventually, you will receive an answer if you’re that adamant about it, the question is, is it your own mind creating a manifestation to appease your desperation, or could it also be a spirit, not necessarilly the Holy Ghost, that is telling you something? That’s what people call “playing with fire”.
And there we have it: “All I can go by is my own experience.” I think GRCluff expresses the Mormon position best with that simple phrase.
No amount of evidence to the contrary can topple this attitude, which in the end is a very dangerous way to live. It ignores many things, and is completely subjective.
How many times has been said here alone that angry Muslims that have a similar attitude must then have the same validity. Or the child rapist who only knows what he likes must be excused because its just way he is. Its a feeling, and its a feeling that is no more in truth than telling an outright lie.
Mormonism is no more truth than an outright lie. I don’t know if JS really believed the things he created, or did so out of a desire for power. I used to think the latter true, but now I think he was probably deluded, and creative.
His “religion” is so full of holes when viewed from the outside with honesty, it takes that kind of defense– “All I can go by is my own experience”– to excuse it. Nothing else will do.
I always come to this point when witnessing to hardcore mormons, they throw up their hands and fall back on “I have a testimony”. Invariably when we invite missionaries over, that is what happens. The facts don’t matter. The Scriptures don’t matter. All that matters is the tstimony. Ever wonder why so much is made of the testimony meeting, why little kids are paraded up front to “bear their testimony”? To ingrain that into their heads at an early age and teach mormons reliance on your feelings above all else. That a testimony divorced from the Biblical truth is fallible has been shown repeatedly on this blog and others. You have an experience. I have a diametrically opposed, mutually exclusive experience. One of us is wrong because we cannot both be right.
“Maybe you just gave up too soon?”
Maybe you have been clinging to a false religion too long?
“If God gives truth to all men freely, why would he have you pray 800 times? Does he like to play hard to get? Does he play games with your Salvation?”
Wow, the Spirit really worked through you with these perfect questions. I am amazed at how much Spirit involvement is evident throughout this blog. I think that if a person is praying 800 times (hyperbole perhaps?) that the answer that finally comes is both concocted from within that person and a manifestation of a false spirit. God does not play hard to get, and I think Jeffrey brings up an excellent point. This trial of faith stuff does not pertain to receiving Jesus Christ but in our walk after justification by faith. My testimony is that the moment (not 800 times later) I confessed that I did not know if the BOM or JS or the church was true that God instantaneously led me to Isaiah 43:10. This hit right at the LDS teaching that I was destined to become a god and that God had His own god. The only one who lags in relationship with God is the individual. God doesn’t catch up to us, but we catch up to Him. He, from the time of our birth, is working in our lives to bring us into relationship with Him. When we confess the Son of God, we have caught up to God’s work in our lives. Right now, at this very moment, He is working in the lives of every Mormon who is on this blog to bring them into truth and into relationship with Him that is God-centered and not man-centered. Secret handshakes, etc. are not part of this beautiful relationship. Salvation is not dependent on what we do, but on what Jesus Christ did on Calvary, and what God did in raising Him from the dead. The work was finished on the cross. The Author of salvation proclaimed it thus, and I believe Him. We just need to believe and trust in Him, that His word is true. Salvation is not difficult because Christ did the work. Becoming co-heirs means that we receive salvation as the inheritance of His death on the cross.
I hope the Spirit of God continues to work through me on this blog and in my life for that matter. Even though I am in no ways deserving of it, it is humbling to know that God still wishes to use me. I believe it is in either Romans or Corinthians that God says he uses the weak and feeble minded in his ministry. That he didn’t call men of great power, intelligence, strength to do his work, because by choosing the the opposite, it showed the undeniable power of God to do great things through the meek. Those verses themselves give me strength.
From my own personal experiences with LDS culture/theology, it is noticeable to me that they seem to make everything so hard. They try so hard to be sinless because that is in fact what their church commands them to do and holds a “celestial paycheck” in front of them that, from the Christians view, doesn’t even exist. I feel that so many people are pressured to have that “spiritual confirmation” from other LDS that many don’t even have it or felt a tingle or two down their spine and believe thats it, but yet they will stand up on fast sunday and say they truly “know” because the Holy Ghost witnessed to them.
I’m not trying to take away from the witness of the Holy Ghost, but I truly believe you need to test all things, hold fast to that which is good.
We, humankind, are simply bodies filled with sin. We live in a world in which Satan has the power to infiltrate our minds, and even our hearts without us knowing it. He has the abilities to make that which is bad, seem so good and so right. I don’t think anyone can disagree with that. This is why God gave us His Word, His Light, to expose that which is dark and evil.
Praise our Lord Jesus Christ.