During Christmas week I was listening to a discussion on the radio regarding the place of Santa Claus in Christmas. Was it good or bad, the talk show’s host wanted to know? As you can imagine, there were all sorts of opinions expressed by callers who thought the inclusion of Santa in Christmas was good, bad, and everywhere in between.
One man said he thought the problem with Santa Claus was that he grabbed too much attention. The focus of the holiday should be Christ; His birth, after all, is what the season celebrates. But so many people forget Christ and center their festivities on Santa Claus instead. Santa, the caller said, usurps the honor and attention that is due to Jesus.
With these comments fresh in my mind, I came across a timely article at MormonTimes.com: ‘Praise to the Man’ honors Joseph Smith. The article was about a new Mormon Tabernacle Choir CD scheduled to be released on Joseph Smith’s 203rd birthday (December 23, 2008). Titled “Praise to the Man,” the recording is a “special Joseph Smith tribute album.” MormonTimes.com explained that an advance copy of the CD had been presented to LDS President Thomas Monson. According to the article,
This is the 16th CD the choir has done since establishing its own recording label, noted Sheri L. Dew, president and CEO of Deseret Book, who made the presentation. “Since then we’ve sold around 2 million albums. But the choir has never done one more meaningful for the members of the church…”
President Monson praised the efforts of the choir for “utilizing their God-given skills. You never know how many hearts have been touched and lives have been changed,” he said.
…[President Monson] noted that he’s always appreciated the fact that Joseph Smith was born in the season in which we celebrate the birth of Christ. “I think very little happens by coincidence,” he said. And at this season, he’s happy that our thoughts can be drawn to Joseph Smith. “He gave us everything.”
As I read this I was reminded of an article I saw in the November 1st edition of the LDS Church News. This article talked about the “Christmastime events at the [LDS] Museum of Church History and Art in Salt Lake City.” In addition to noting the display of a “world-class collection of Polish Nativity scenes”, the article said:
To extend gratitude for Jesus Christ into the new year, the museum will observe the Dec. 23, 1805, birthday of the Prophet Joseph Smith, who helped restore a complete knowledge of Christ in this dispensation, with a celebration Dec. 23-Jan. 3.
Festivities will include story-telling, birthday treats, crafts and games, a theatre shop, and a discovery tour enabling children to explore artifacts throughout the museum pertaining to the Prophet’s life. (page 6)
I would like to ask all of you here at Mormon Coffee a question similar to that asked by the radio talk show host: What about the place given to Joseph Smith in Christmas? Do you think it’s good, bad, or otherwise? And why do you think so?
for the record, I know many “born again Christians” who accepted JS as a prophet, when taught the gospel, and were baptized. Why didn’t they see the conspiracy? I suppose they were just not the elect to begin with right? Though they were used and promoted to show that they were ‘BORN AGAIN” what happened to them? Did they fall from their born again status. The bottom line is they do not agree with your interpretation of scripture then they have obviously come under the possession of some evil spirit.
So in the spirit of testimony bearing that you have exhibited, I would say that you have chosen your own intellect over God. You can get yourself right by acknowledging the God of Genesis (the man has become one of US) and reject the modern false prophets of religion. Reject them and accept the true prophets God has sent to you. That seems like a no brainer.
You are correct, in this case they did carry through with God’s judgment on the Midianites. This is a precursor to what the Israelites were to do, but failed to carry out, in the promised land (for exactly the same reason – these people were wicked idolaters). If you go back to Numbers chapter 25, you will see the cause of this judgment. The Midianites had tried to destroy the witness of God’s people by seducing them with idolatry and sexual immorality. Interestingly, the judgment began with God’s own chosen people – 24,000 died by plague. Later, in chapter 31, the Israelites brought about God’s judgment on the Midianites in war.
In the judgment on the Israelites, God instructs (Num 25:4) Moses to “take all the chiefs of the people and hang them in the sun before the Lord, that the fierce anger of the Lord may turn away from Israel” – Deut 21:23 says “a hanged man is cursed by God.” Ultimately, Jesus became a cursed man hanging on a tree for all who would trust in Him – He took our sins upon the cross and became the guilty while His sinless perfection was imputed to those who belong to God. Jesus was treated like a criminal so that all who believe may be freed from the tyranny of sin and live with God the Father for all eternity.
The 10 commandments were not broken here – war and the killing of those who are deserving of execution does not violate the “You shall not murder.” The word that is used for murder in the ten commandments is never used of Israel at war, and capital punishment had already been authorized before the ten commandments. I don’t know of any circumstances outlined in the Bible where marrying (in the very sense of that word) a woman currently married to another man is not adultery.
For the record, are you saying that “Thou shalt not kill” is a mistranslation?
For the record, does this mean that the Bible ISN’T inerrant or infallible?
Just using my English Standard Version translation. I personally don’t know any Christians who use the King James Version. The NIV also says “You shall not murder” – I think murder is more precise than kill and apparently a more accurate translation since these later translations use murder rather than kill. Murder is a smaller sub-category of kill, so kill would not be inherently incorrect as long as it is understood properly – so I would say it’s okay to keep using your KJV Bible, no worries. What did Joseph Smith use in his translation?
Wow- Aaron- why was I “moderated” here?
The comment policy states: “Comments that do not contribute satisfactory substance may be deleted without warning.” I chose to card this comment rather than delete it, but if you would prefer, I will delete this type of comment in the future. -Sharon
I have known and counted as friends Jews who accept Jesus as the messiah. Two that I knew particularly well, one I believe had some training in Judaism and he attended a Messianic Jewish Christian congregation (perhaps you did not know such a thing existed?). Another close friend was raised in a secular Jewish home on the west coast – so not having much religious background, she came to be a Christian and “fit right in” in an evangelical Church as she did not have much religion before other than “we’re Jews, not Christians.” As you can see, not all Jews reject the Messiah. I would even argue that the “true Jews” are those who have accepted the coming of God’s Messiah, as the Bible makes clear being a child of Abraham is not as important as following God. We have been grafted in – the true spiritual “Israel” are those who belong to Jesus.
The same reason I was.
The truth cuts to the heart and is very painful to some. Just wear it as a badge of honor like I do.
Oops, now Aaron is going to “moderate” this post. LOL!!
It is ok Aaron, I get to participate in another convert Baptism tonight, so I won’t feel bad about being “moderated”.
I’ll pass on to you the proverbial words from one of my former Army Ranger instructors:
“Suck it up and drive on!”
Aaron has “nuked” some of my comments in the past so it’s fair game on here. Your whining isn’t going to get you sympathy on here if you want to complain that Mormons don’t get a fair shake with opportunities to post their views and comments on here. I can’t tell you how many Mormon blogs that have erased all of my posts, won’t let me comment and have told me to not come back. Most of the time I just copied and pasted LDS quotes to them on Mormon doctrine and they got ticked off. If getting “nuked” is a badge of courage, then people like Aaron, myself and others that attempted to post on Mormon blogs and been annihilated permanently should be wearing “medals of honor”. Your other posts have made it on the big screen here so…(read the quote above at top again).
We had a family of temple Mormons come to our Baptist church here a while back. They had real questions and real issues going on that the LDS faithful weren’t addressing. We lovingly took them in and did what we could to help with those issues, concerns and questions. They were enraged when they found out that they had been scripturally deceived. I wish you could have seen their faces when they came out of the baptismal tank- joy, liberty and freedom! It was a “Kodak” moment. The father/husband of the family asked me if I wanted his temple garments as a souvenier or to use in the classes that I teach. I declined the offer. I have an idea what he did with them, but the content of that is not suitable for this blog.
Keep up the good work of getting the “wolves in sheep’s clothing”/fakes/apostates out of our Christian churches. We’re sure doing our best to bring the one’s that the Father is calling [John 6:44] out of the Mormon church into the Christian Church. I’ll be attending the Mormon stake down the street from me in short order to attend the Sunday school classes like I did last year. I’m looking forward to ministry there and possible more baptisms at our church as a result. Institute classes are starting soon…even more opportunities to remove the “fog” of deception created by Mormonism by reasoning from the scriptures.
“Just wear it as a badge of honor like I do” isn’t a whine.
Your accusation is riduculous!!!