Promises Mormons Make

On January 22 (2012) on Fox News Sunday Mormon presidential candidate Mitt Romney answered a question from Chris Wallace regarding Mr. Romney’s generous financial gifts (tithing) to the Mormon Church. Mr. Romney said,

“This is a country that believes in the Bible, the Bible speaks about providing tithes and offerings, I made a commitment to my church a long, long time ago that I would give 10 percent of my income to the church, and I’ve followed through on that commitment. And hopefully as people look at the various individuals who’re running for president they’d be pleased with someone who made a promise — a promise to God — and kept that promise. So, if I had given less than 10 percent then I think people would have to look at me and say, ‘Hey, what’s wrong with you fella — don’t you follow through on your promises?’” (Find this exchange at the video’s 10-minute mark.)

The clear implication found in Mr. Romney’s remark is that he is one who keeps his promises to God and church. Given that, perhaps it would be of interest to think about additional promises Mr. Romney (and other Mormons) have made to God.

Like many other Mormons, as a young man Mitt Romney attended a Mormon temple to receive his Endowments. This ceremony is currently described within Mormonism in this way:

“Your Endowment is to receive all those ordinances in the House of the Lord, which are necessary for you, to enable you to walk back to the presence of the Father, passing the angels who stand as sentinels, being enabled to give them the key words, the signs and tokens, pertaining to the Holy Priesthood, and gain your eternal exaltation.”

During the Endowment Ceremony patrons (i.e., the Mormons who are participating) are required to make several promises to God. [Since Mitt Romney committed to his temple covenants in 1966, the quotes that follow are from a 1969 transcript of the ceremony, provided by “a temple worker” and printed in Tanners’ Mormonism – Shadow or Reality. The current temple ceremony may be worded a bit differently.]

As the Endowment Ceremony begins, patrons are warned,

“If you proceed and receive your full endowment, you will be required to take upon yourselves sacred obligations, the violation of which will bring upon you the judgment of God; for God will not be mocked.”

Seven times in the Endowment Ceremony each patron is required to “covenant and promise” that s/he will do specific things.  Three of these promises are related to the “tokens” [i.e., handshakes or grips] of the Aaronic and Melchizedek priesthoods. For three tokens the patron promises essentially the same thing:

“I, [name] do covenant and promise that I will never reveal the [specific token], together with its accompanying name, sign and penalty. Rather than do so I would suffer my life to be taken.”

While making these promises (in 1969), the patron pantomimes the execution of the penalties associated with his “life [being] taken” should he go back on his word. He is instructed relative to each token:

“The execution of the penalty is represented by placing the thumb under the left ear, the palm of the hand down, and by drawing the thumb quickly across the throat to the right ear, and dropping the hand to the side.” [According to the earlier wording of the Endowment Ceremony as contained in the 1931 book, Temple Mormonism, this signifies the patron having his throat cut.]

“The execution of the penalty is represented by placing the right hand on the left breast, drawing the hand quickly across the body, and dropping the hands to the sides.” [Signifying having his heart cut out.]

“The execution of the penalty is represented by drawing the thumb quickly across the body and dropping the hands to the sides.” [Signifying being disemboweled.]

It’s easy to see why Mitt Romney and other Mormons do not want to talk about the specifics of their temple experiences. According to the promises they’ve made, they are willing to die in rather gruesome ways rather than reveal “the key words, the signs and tokens” required to enter into “the presence of the Father, passing the angels who stand as sentinels.”

Four additional promises are required from those who participate in the Mormon Endowment Ceremony. These are promises and covenants that the patron will obey certain laws defined by the Mormon Church:

Law of Obedience: “…each of you do covenant and promise that you will obey the law of God, and keep His commandments.”

Law of Sacrifice: “…the Law of Sacrifice as contained in the Old and New Testaments, which is that you do sacrifice all that you have, including your own lives, if necessary, for the building up of the kingdom of God on the earth.”

“…you do covenant and promise before God, angels, and these witnesses at this altar that you will keep the Law of Sacrifice…which has been explained to you.”

Law of the Gospel: “We are instructed to give you the Law of the Gospel, also a charge to avoid all lightmindedness, loud laughter, evil speaking of the Lord’s Anointed, the taking of the name of God in vain and every other unholy and impure practice.”

“…you do covenant and promise before God, angels, and these witnesses at this altar that you will keep the Law of the Gospel as it has been explained to you.”

Law of Consecration: “…you do covenant and promise before God, angels, and these witnesses at this altar that you will keep the Law of Consecration…which is that you do consecrate yourselves, your time, talents and everything with which the Lord has blessed you or with which He may bless you to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, for the building up of the Kingdom of God on the earth [i.e., the LDS Church] and for the establishment of Zion [i.e., a unified society of God’s covenant people — the LDS Church].”

Mormons make other formal promises to God, too — when they are baptized, when they are married, when they participate the sacrament at their church every Sunday (etc.) — but the seven detailed above provide plenty of food for thought. I’ll leave it to you, readers, to draw your own conclusions on how any of these commitments to God might be interpreted and acted upon by the Mormons who promise to keep them.

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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85 Responses to Promises Mormons Make

  1. falcon says:

    Does this sound a tad bit like what goes on in Masonic Temples? Yea, it does. Well that’s interesting isn’t it and quite a coincidence at that. It’s pretty obvious that Smith, who was a Free Mason, lifted the ceremonies for his own religion and his temple. I’ve heard Mormons try to explain all of this away by saying that this is ancient wisdom that was preserved by the Free Masons.
    So tell me this, did the first century church practices these ceremonies? Is this part of the lost gospel that needed to be restored? So the apostles went to temples and practiced what later turned-up in Masonic Lodge ceremonies?
    It’s all a little suspicious isn’t it? We’ve chronicled often here how Mormons reject the symbol of the cross but have occult symbols adorning their temples. We’ve talked about how Joseph Smith’s magic rock was placed on the altar during the days of the celebration of the dedication of the temple in Manti.
    You’d think Mormons would at least consider what’s going on here. Makes you wonder how Romney’s participation in the ceremonies, the oaths and penalties would have an effect on his governing. I don’t know if anyone can point to anything that reflects his Mormon “endowments” etc. when he was governor or how seriously he took/takes the whole thing.
    I must admit this is a real challenge for me should he become the presidential candidate for the Republican party. Frankly, it’s not his participation in these ceremonies that bothers me as much as the Mormon view on the nature of God and Our Lord Jesus Christ. Trying to separate out the political from the religious is something that’s hard for me to do.

  2. fproy2222 says:

    (printed in Tanners’)
    The tanner’s are Mormons that have shown themselves to be oath breakers, so why do you think they are now being truthful, other than you want to believe them?

  3. fproy2222 says:

    falcon says:January 30, 2012 at 1:49 pm—–(I’ve heard Mormons try to explain all of this away by saying that this is ancient wisdom that was preserved by the Free Masons.
    So tell me this, did the first century church practices these ceremonies? Is this part of the lost gospel that needed to be restored? So the apostles went to temples and practiced what later turned-up in Masonic Lodge ceremonies?)
    I see that you have learned the truth from those who only tell almost the truth. Do you think you should learn the entire truth before repeating half-truths that are used to support a lie before you repeat it?

  4. falcon says:

    I’m ready to learn and be enlightened by you. You obviously feel you have the real story and the rest of us aren’t dealing with accurate and factual information. I love to hear Mormons explain these “truths”. But please, I’m not interested in what you think the Mormon church teaches. I’d like some solid references.
    Also, Mormonism claims to be the restoration of the original gospel that was lost after the death of the apostles. I can’t find Mormonism in the NT, the writings of the Church Fathers or even the writings of the heretics. You need to produce a historical record to show us Mormonism in the first century. I’m not really interested in what some man said God revealed to him. I can’t point you towards numerous “prophets” who have claimed revelation, many from Joseph Smith’s era.
    So fred, here’s your chance to preach and defend the restored gospel to those of us you feel malign, misrepresent and don’t really understand it.

  5. canuck54 says:

    Re: Fred’s comments. I smell a hit a run coming on. Please prove me wrong, Fred. We have seen this happen time and time again. Of course whatever proof Fred could possibly come up with would not be considered official doctrine anyway. Oh wait, that was the last subject.


  6. grindael says:

    An oath given under false pretenses is not worth keeping. In fact, the Bible tells us not to “swear” by ANYTHING:

    “Above all, my brothers, do not swear–not by heaven or by earth or by anything else. Let your “Yes” be yes, and your “No,” no, or you will be condemned.” (James 5:12)

    But then, many Mormons ignore the Bible over “latter-day Prophets” to their own peril. And Smith himself, condemned oaths, after getting charged with being a Danite in Missouri:

    “I would further suggest the impropriety of the organization of bands or companies, by covenant or oath, by penalties or secrecies; but let the time past of our experience and sufferings by the wickedness of Doctor Avard suffice and let our covenant be that of the Everlasting Covenant, as contained in the Holy Writ and the things that God hath revealed to us. Pure friendship always becomes weakened the very moment you undertake to make it stronger by penalty oaths and secrecy.” ~Joseph Smith, “Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith,” p. 146

    So Smith instigating the Temple Oaths, shows that he, himself could not keep his own word, and can’t be trusted. Trying to “finger” Avard, who “fingered” him, Smith was quick to disavow oaths of secrecy, but then went back on his own words less than 5 years later when he made the Temple Oaths “mandatory” to get into his “Celestial Kingdom”. That he was a Danite, he said himself in his own diary,

    “We have a company of Danites in these times, to put to right physically that which is not right, and to cleanse the Church of very great evils which hath hitherto existed among us inasmuch as they cannot be put to right by teachings & persuasions.” ~Smith diary, July 27. 1838. (johnny)

  7. grindael says:


    Are you implying that the Tanners are lying about the Temple Oaths? That would be interesting to prove.

  8. AsItIs says:


    You’re intentionally being disingenuous. The parts quoted from the Tanners are word-for-word correct as was given in the endowment at that time. I know because I heard those words the many times I attended the temple.

  9. Mike R says:

    Fred, you said , ” the Tanners are Mormons ….” Is this an “almost truth ” ? Could you maybe
    share with us why we should trust Mormon leaders as being trustworthy in preaching Jesus’
    gospel as pertains to what is necessary to receive eternal life ? The claim is that since 1830
    Mormon apostles have proclaimed that they have been personally directed by Jesus to reveal
    what is necessary to be made right with God and receive eternal life . Yet I’m trusting in the gospel
    that Jesus’ apostles preached in the N.T. as being sufficient , the saving truths revealed therein
    have set people free for 2000 years now . Yet Mormon leaders have stated that :
    ” salvation is again available ” through a modern day prophet in 1830 . That’s a lot of people
    left in the dark ! Sounds like what Jesus was warning us all about— Matt. 7:15, 24:11,24 ;
    Gal. 1 :8-9 . So no thanks .

  10. Dale says:

    Fred, the scary thing is that Mormons do exactly what you accuse the Tanners of–they tell you (almost) the whole truth.

  11. grindael says:

    Only first century heretical groups practiced baptism for the dead, like the Marcionites. There is no proof whatsoever that Orthodox Christians practiced that heresy. It wasn’t “lost” because it was never practiced by the Orthodox Church. This would be another interesting point to prove. Unfortunately, there is not proof, only Mormon speculation. (johnny)

  12. fproy2222 says:

    More examples of almost truth that creates a lie that is hard to prove wrong.

    Oops! USA Today goofs in cover story about LDS beliefs


  13. fproy2222 says:

    falcon says:-January 30, 2012 at 4:50 pm—( fred,
    I’m ready to learn and be enlightened by you.
    . . .
    So fred, here’s your chance)
    There is a habit among many who put down God’s Church that they will say anything they want and then say it is the responsibility of the Church members to correct any mistakes.
    As I see it, it is your responsibility, as a Christian to insure that what you teach is true. You do not have to agree with what we believe, BUT IT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO GET IT RIGHT before you reteach it.
    Or do you think you, as a Christian, can repeat anything you want to repeat without first finding out if you have been taught the truth?
    Ps, as Zig Zigler says, I could give it to you, but it will do you more good if you find it out for yourself.

  14. fproy2222 says:

    grindael says:-January 30, 2012 at 6:53 pm–(Are you implying that the Tanners are lying about the Temple Oaths? That would be interesting to prove.)
    I love the way you mangle what I said into something I did not say, and then challenge me to defend something I never said. Have you been hanging out with the folks at freerepublic to learn that, or is it also taught here at mrm?

  15. fproy2222 says:

    Mike R says:-January 30, 2012 at 9:23 pm—( Yet I’m trusting in the gospel
    that Jesus’ apostles preached in the N.T. as being sufficient)
    I would dare to say you trust in the New Testament as filtered through the teachings of men that added the definition of the Trinity to God’s Word. By forcing God’s Word through that manmade definition, man has taken many truths from the Bible.
    (That’s a lot of people left in the dark)—Here we have a good example of people reteaching untruths. Again, I am not saying you need to believe what we teach, but you should at least take some time to learn why we do Baptisms for the dead and how that makes what you just taught to be false.
    (Matt. 7:15, 24:11,24 ;Gal. 1 :8-9)——This must mean that you believe that God gave the men that created the definition of the Trinity the authority to narrow His Word in the Bible. I see it as teaching “another gospel” and you should be careful in following them.

  16. fproy2222 says:

    grindael says:-January 30, 2012 at 6:47 pm—-(An oath given under false pretenses is not worth keeping)
    I find people who go back on their word, no matter what the reason, cannot be trusted to tell the truth. Do you think it is good to make a promise and then not live up to that promise?
    (the Bible tells us not to “swear” by ANYTHING)—Here we have an untruth being taught. Please show where we do more than PROMISE to do something. Those who want to deceive you about God’s Church like to substitute words so they sound like something that they are not. You can see the difference between “swearing” an oath on something and affirming an oath with a “promise, can’t you?


  17. Rick B says:

    Fred said

    So fred, here’s your chance)
    There is a habit among many who put down God’s Church that they will say anything they want and then say it is the responsibility of the Church members to correct any mistakes.
    As I see it, it is your responsibility, as a Christian to insure that what you teach is true. You do not have to agree with what we believe, BUT IT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO GET IT RIGHT before you reteach it.

    Give us a break Fred, we here have proven with quotes hundreds of times things the LDS church has said or taught. We have even posted videos from LDS showing things they teach or say, and we always hear over and over, from the LDS, thats not true. Really? Your prophets teach something, we prove they said it and you say, nope thats not true. Really? if it’s not true and the Prophets taught it, then please correct them, but you cannot and will not. Why is that?

  18. Rick B says:

    Fred, here is a good example. The first Vision. 9 different visions spanning years. Your Church hangs it’s self upon the first Vision being true and if it were false then your church would be false. So which of the 9 different first visions is the true one, and how do you know that it is true and not one of the other 8?

    I suspect you will not answer this question, and either avoid it, or dismiss it by saying something about Christian Churchs. So here is a chance to back up what you said to Falcon about proving something with evidence.

  19. Kate says:

    Have you been through the LDS temple? A better question would be, ” Did you go through the LDS temple before 1990?” Oaths were sworn and penalties of death were shown by each participant as they were swearing these oaths. What about the oath that was sworn by each member to avenge the death of Joseph and Hyrum Smith? The phrase ” Gentlemen do your duty” at Mountain Meadows was tied to this oath that the men involved swore in the LDS temple. Of course this oath was removed as were the death penalties. By the way, here’s the definition of an oath:

    oath (th)
    n. pl. oaths (z, ths)
    a. A solemn, formal declaration or PROMISE to fulfill a pledge, often calling on God, a god, or a sacred object as witness.
    b. The words or formula of such a declaration or PROMISE.
    c. Something declared or PROMISED.

    No one here is “teaching” anything. We are simply quoting and revealing what has been and is being taught by your church leaders. The article by the Deseret News (church affiliated paper) doesn’t have it all right either. The LDS church has always taught that black or dark skin is the mark of Cain. I know, I was LDS for 40 years and it was pounded into my head from the time I could talk. It was taught in lessons at church. The “revelation” given to Spencer W. Kimball was not a revelation at all! Look at it in the back of your D&C. It’s a “declaration” which in my mind means that it can be changed back at a moments notice. The same as the “declaration” of no more polygamy. It is you my friend who needs to do some research. Stop looking at FAIR and start looking at church publications.

  20. Kate says:

    (Matt. 7:15, 24:11,24 ;Gal. 1 :8-9)——This must mean that you believe that God gave the men that created the definition of the Trinity the authority to narrow His Word in the Bible. I see it as teaching “another gospel” and you should be careful in following them.

    Here we go with the Trinity again. One thing I did was research the Council of Nicea and I came away with a very different view than what I was always taught in the LDS church. There are hints to the Trinity (yes that is a man made word) all throughout the Bible. Some people just choose to close their eyes to them. John 1:1-3 comes to mind. What is also very interesting is that the Holy Trinity is in the Book of Mormon as well. Jesus being God incarnate is in the 1830 edition. What I can’t figure out is why the change to the King Follet discourse being the true nature of God. Isn’t the Book of Mormon part of the Standard works and “official” where the King Follet discourse is a sermon given at a funeral? Even in today’s BoM there is this Alma 11:26-29…Nephi 31:21…Alma 11:44….3 Nephi 27,36….Mormon 7:7….the testimony of the three witnesses oh and the D&C 20:28.

    Please read through these Mormon verses and then get back to me on the Holy Trinity.

  21. falcon says:

    You’re lazy and my guess is your knowledge of Mormonism is limited. Your quote by Zig Zigler is just a cop out. You don’t have the information and you don’t want to spend the time in serious study and research to present a proper answer. You’re basically the blog equivalent of a drive by shooter that shows up here on occasion.
    As rick has intimated, we Christians have provided enough documented evidence regarding the false nature of Mormonism to wall paper the inside of the SLC temple. I’ll throw Zig Zigler’s quote back at you.
    The folks who post here know Mormonism inside and out. I’m always fascinated by the limited knowledge and understanding that Mormons have regarding their own history and beliefs. Every ex-Mormon who posts here will say they were at where you are now at one point before they started to seriously study the religion.
    Crack the books fred unless your afraid of what you might find.

  22. falcon says:

    If you seriously want to discuss the Doctrine of the Trinity I would suggest you actually study it so you know what you’re talking about. Again, it would mean that you’d actually have to give some effort in an intellectual pursuit. It’s so much easier to play the “God revealed it to me” game. There’s absolutely no work involved with claiming this and it is suppose to have an air of authority about it.
    As Kate has pointed out, Joseph Smith supported the Doctrine of the Trinity in the original BoM. I’d be a little curious about his changing of his “most correct book”.

  23. Mike R says:

    Fred, Sorry but I take the apostles testimony in the New Testimony as they wrote it, the same
    Bible proclaimed by your hierarchy as a standard work . The gospel preached therein by Jesus’
    apostles is for all to read, and free from the additional “requirements” for eternal life that Mormon
    apostles have piled on top of it since 1830, —2John 9 . Imagine no salvation, no saving truths
    available for 1800 yrs until Mormon apostles started preaching ! God’s Word , the Bible was
    available for many centuries , thank God that people had His Word and therefore were not left in
    the dark ! That was my whole point , a point that you missed and decided to shift over to your
    baptism for the dead belief. Won’t work. . Concerning the Trinity , it is actually your leaders who
    have created their own definition of the Trinity that’s foreign to the Bible . When I cited Matt
    7:15 , 24:11,24 and Gal. 1:8-9 it was appropriate since you claim to follow a man who Mormons
    say is God’s sole mouthpiece today . I hope you can see that the testimony of the apostles
    in the N.T. is sufficient for you concerning what is necessary to receive eternal life . May God
    help you to make that decision .

  24. fproy2222 says:

    I started as a Jim Crow protestant in the deep south (did you know that the military branch of the southern church, the KKK was against the Mormons because they were too kind to blacks). Since the 70’s I have been a member of the Church, both active and inactive. I started out to prove the Church wrong and couldn’t. There have been times I wanted to find the Church was wrong, and I couldn’t. I keep coming back to you’ll teachings because I might be wrong and I have found nothing new that has not been proven wrong in the past. I have also found that no matter how often I correct someone, if they want to stay on the “truths” they know they will find a way to ignore the corrections given.
    So, I spend my time trying to help you to want to understand why you are wrong so you will find the truth for yourself.
    I have studied the Church from the inside and from the outside. I studied “traditional” Christianity both from the inside and the outside.
    So I know you know what you are talking about, please go over the parts of God’s Word in the Bible that do not fit into the definition of the Trinity and the creeds that were created from the same people.


  25. falcon says:

    The justification for Joseph Smith’s religion was that the original gospel was lost. I say prove it! Mormons can’t prove it so they make up fantastic stories that satisfy their own desires to believe what they want to believe. That’s why we ask for some sort of evidence or tradition or even writings of the heretics to demonstrate that the first century Church went to temples where they took oaths with associated penalties and rituals that’s signified by slitting their throats.
    Pretty scary stuff huh? What a great way to indoctrinate and control people by fear. Get them into a cloistered environment, have them take oaths with “secret” grips and solidify it all by saying basically that if you walk away from this, you’re toast.
    And isn’t it interesting that Smith incorporates all of this in his religion after becoming a Free Mason which uses similar rituals.
    Jesus came and preached the gospel of redemption through faith in Him; the One and only incarnate God. The only one qualified to make the perfect sacrifice for sins. God offers this to us on the basis of faith. We can’t add to what God has already done for us through Christ Jesus Our Lord. The transformed life of walking in the Spirit is a result of being born again through faith.
    Mormons want to add their own works and a bunch of hocus pocus rituals in the hope that they can morph into gods and join the pantheon of Mormon gods. This isn’t a restored gospel. It’s an abomination.
    BTW, Richard Packham has a video out exposing the rituals. They are neither sacred or secret.

  26. falcon says:

    I don’t know if the mods are interested in having this posted here, but I offer it to those who want to know more about the Mormon temple rituals. This may offend Mormon sensibilities but I think it’s important to inform people in order to demonstrate exactly what Mormonism is all about.

  27. Kate says:

    Baptism for the dead is so offensive to me. It says to me that Jesus is incapable of Saving us. He needs the help of man to redeem others. Where in the Bible is this EVER said? Why did Jesus die on the Cross then? What a waste if he can’t fully redeem people with or without baptism. Would that mean that the thief on the cross next to him is not in Heaven? Maybe the Mormons did his work for him? It’s all so twisted…Why have a Savior at all if you can just go to an LDS temple and do it yourself?

    You are right. The LDS have created their own version of the Trinity. I have never thought about it that way. A version that is absolutely not supported by God’s Word.

  28. falcon says:

    All we have to ask is where did these rituals and there oaths come from? What was the origin? This is another case where Joseph Smith would claim that the Free Masons had the rituals etc., had corrupted them, and now they needed to be restored.
    Joseph Smith’s ego knew no bounds. I would ask Mormons to trace the origins of any of Smith’s “revelations”. That would include the theory of the American Indians being decedents of Jews, the levels of heaven, polygamy and temple rituals.
    Mike points this out all of the time and I’ll do the same. If someone accepts Joseph Smith as a prophet and subsequent Mormon leaders as apostles and prophets, they will be led down a road to spiritual disaster. I don”t understand why Mormons don’t check these things out. They just accept them without careful examination.
    There must be an attraction for them in Mormonism that I just don’t get. This is where the “feelings” mistaken as communication from God comes in. I feel good about it, I get an emotional buzz from it, it’s not just emotional, it’s spiritual so it must be true. Not good!

  29. Rick B says:

    Hey Fred, Have you ever stopped to think and ponder this question?

    Many LDS come here, like you for example, Tell us we are wrong and dont know what we are talking about, yet when we ask you by name to tell us where we are wrong you never give us an answer. Does this ever make you stop and think maybe we are right and you are wrong?

  30. Mike R says:

    Fred, first off thank you for sharing your story . Also I appreciate that you are concerned about
    the truth about God ( Trinity) . Let me address some of your points. Concerning how Mormons
    kindly treated blacks in the South , that is good news. I think however that the way Mormon
    leaders treated them spiritually is of more importance since it determined their eternal destiny
    after death . The gospel of Mormonism was , in the light of Jesus’ instructions to His apostles
    in Acts 10:34-48, a false gospel. Before the “revelation” in 1978 , one Mormon authority even
    stated that the Church had no call to carry the gospel to blacks ! Jesus did condone this “restored”
    gospel preached by Mormon apostles , despite the claim by your leaders that Jesus is personally
    directing them since 1830. As for your comment that you could’nt find your Church wrong ,
    therefore you assume that means to you that all other chuches are false etc. You may not fully
    understand my next point but I hope you’ll ponder it: step back from looking at churches, people
    and take the New Testament and read, read, . Receiving eternal life is given by the right Savior,not
    by a church. Years ago I read a ton of what Mormons who knew Joseph Smith and were mentored
    by him to carry on with the message of his restored gospel . Men like B.Y. , John Taylor , Lorenzo
    Snow , and also those that served these men as apostles when they were presiding as Prophet . I
    compared them with what Jesus’ apostles preached in the N.T. since they claimed that the same
    Jesus directed both . I found such profound differences in vital doctrines .

  31. Mike R says:

    What I discovered was how Mormon apostles definded and defended their concept of the God
    mentioned in the Bible . They published their preaching and made it available to all . I had no
    choice but to dismiss them as not being trustworthy or reliable guides in vital spiritual truths.
    This is not to say that they were immoral or devious men, but even your Church has said about
    others that men with good intentions can teach incorrectly , so this applies to Mormon leaders
    also. Jesus took the time to tell us all that in the future false prophets will arise and mislead many,
    one way this is done is because people assume that all false prophets are immoral or coniving
    individuals , this is simply not the case at all. A false prophet/teacher can preach loads of how to
    live a good life , but still they can offer a different Jesus, another gospel of how to receive eternal
    life —-2Cor 11:4; Gal. 1:8-9. Can you see this fact ? I believe that many Mormons don’t grasp
    this fact . Lastly, I believe you’re putting to much effort into what you call ” the definition” of
    Trinity and our supposed embracing the definition of men . I can’t speak for everyone here but
    if I never even read the early creeds I would still believe the Trinity as I do . We are not obligated
    to hold the creeds as the defining factor in our faith etc. You have a creed, and yet it is not very
    descriptive of God at all compared to what has been taught in Church curriculum about God .
    Every “apostle” directed by Jesus? Rev2:2

  32. Kate says:

    The difference between the KKK and the Mormons is that the KKK were racist because they felt it their God given right as white men. The Mormons are ( and I say “are” because they still believe it’s the mark of Cain and they will one day become a white and delightsome people along with all darker skinned people) believe it is God telling them Blacks are inferior because they weren’t as worthy in the pre existence. It’s in their doctrines. Once again, allowing Blacks to hold the priesthood was not a revelation given to Spencer W. Kimball and it is not in the D&C, but is a declaration in the back of the D&C. It’s not canonized. It was “declared.” What does that mean anyway? I declare……as opposed to God has given me a revelation…. that big of a revelation should be IN the D&C. As to you not being able to find anything wrong with the LDS church, all I can say is you haven’t looked. I was born and raised LDS, was LDS for 40 years and it took me all of about a month to unravel most of it. I am still surprised from time to time, but it really didn’t take long at all. Really all you have to do is go out and buy a Bible not affiliated with the LDS church and ask God to reveal himself to you. It’s all in there. As far as following men and creeds, I don’t do that. I do not put my trust in men anymore. I don’t care what the Nicene Creed says or any other creed after that, I care what Jesus said. I care what his true Apostles teach in the New Testament.

  33. Rick B says:

    Fred, You said you really looked into the Mormon church and tried proving it wrong, yet was unable to do it. I am sorry tp tell you, but I dont believe you. Tell me where I am wrong on this since you believe I am wrong.

    JS had Nine first Vision accounts spanning many years. Which of the nine first vision accounts is the correct one, and why.

    JS translated the BoM from Reformed Egyptian, Why is it that language does not exist and never has?

    I will just leave you with those two. This should be pretty easy to answer me if you say you really did your research and tried proving the church wrong. These are two things that you should have come across and been a question to you. I am willing to say for the record, you wont answer me and cannot answer me. The Bible tells us on the other hand, people want to believe what they want to believe. I believe that is you. If you really care for our lost souls you will answer these questions. Rick

  34. Mike R says:

    There’s a error in one sentence of mine in the post above ( 11:43 am ). Obviously I meant to
    say : ” Jesus did NOT condone this “restored” gospel preached by Mormon apostles despite
    the claim by your leaders that Jesus is personally directing them since 1830 “

  35. fproy2222 says:

    To continue my discovery of God’s true Church.
    In high school I wondered why my friends followed so many different Jesuses (and I had not even learned about Mormons yet). It soon became clear that all Protestant denominations were founded by a man or men who found the Catholic Church to have gone astray and they were trying to correct what was wrong, or they were trying to correct what they saw wrong in another Protestant denomination. All Protestants are protesting something they see wrong in another religion.
    I know that Trinitarian Apologists try to teach that the differences in the way different denominations worship are only minor differences, but as you’ll teach, there is only one God and one Gospel and different denominations do not fit that picture of God’s Church through His Son Jesus.
    I became an independent worshiper, following no man’s interpolation of God’s Word. I followed what I believed it said in the Bible. My dog tags were marked “nondenominational”. It was about this time I found that the LDS Church was not happy at being lumped in with the Protestants on the dog tags. At the time the only Christian branches recognized by the military was Catholic and Protestants. Since the LDS Church was not Catholic, nor Protestant, they wanted to be designated as a different kind of Christian group. (Do you know that there are those who mislead people by saying that because Mormons did not want to be classified as Protestant that it meant the Mormons were trying to not be classified as Christians?)
    So I added investigation of the LDS Religion to my list. As soon as I showed a little interest in the LDS faith, people like I find here started to


  36. fproy2222 says:

    Rick B says:February 1, 2012 at 4:26 pm-( JS had Nine first Vision accounts spanning many years. Which of the nine first vision accounts is the correct one, and why.)
    Just why you want to think it was wrong for Brother Joseph to teach different groups different parts of the First Vision according to the needs at the time.

    Here we have an example of how someone is misleading you. They use the word “accounts” as if each rendition was the whole in and of itself, and not a portion off the whole.

    You must also believe that Paul’s first vision is false because he also taught different parts of his first vision at different times to different people. Since you must believe that Paul’s teachings cannot be true you must believe the Bible is not true.

    Or haven’t you thought through the teachings of others that well?


  37. fproy2222 says:

    Kate says:February 1, 2012 at 2:03 pm—(The difference between the KKK and the Mormons is that the KKK were racist because they felt it their God given right as white men)
    I can tell you did not live through the difference between the ways Mormons work with blacks and how the KKK treated blacks.
    PS. Have you ever taken the time and effort to read one of the first person accounts of how the revelation came about?

  38. falcon says:

    I think you better reload on Smith’s various versions of his first vision tale. It changed significantly. It wasn’t a matter of him telling portions of it for a while and then other portions at another time. He was told not to join any church, supposedly and then he went out and tried to join one. He had a traditional view of the nature of God when he wrote the BoM. Then he changed his vision to line-up with his changing view on the nature of God. That’s when he got into the whole men to gods mode.
    Joseph Smith would change his story whenever he got into trouble or crisis with his church members. His original version had him going out into the woods to gain assurance of the forgiveness of sins, period.
    I think it would be a good idea for you to google Charles Finney conversion and tell me where you think Smith got the foundation of his story.

  39. falcon says:

    Here you go fred.
    Read Charles Finney’s report of going to the woods and being converted and what happened later that night regarding an appearance/vision of Jesus to him. He and Smith lived in roughly the same area at roughly the same time. It’s interesting that Finney became a great preacher of the gospel of Jesus Christ and led many to salvation by faith in Our Lord. Smith on the other hand became an enemy of the gospel, inventing his own religion and leading many women into sexual sin for his own gratification.

  40. Mike R says:

    Fred, respectfully but nothing you’ve said so far in your story would be an objective reason to
    embrace Mormonism . I know that you have experiences that are personal to you but by the
    same token so have many others . I have made friends with a gentleman in my area where the
    reason that became a Mormon was because after he had a terrible bike accident and lay in the
    hospital it was 2 Mormon Missionaries who stopped by and prayed for his recovery . That’s it.
    My point is that no matter how you may have come to enter into embracing Mormonism , sooner
    or later you’ll be asked the question of who is Jesus Christ ? How you answer that will determine
    your eternal future . Your life filled with doing good and moral things can’t make up for having
    the wrong Jesus, the wrong God. This is such a simple and clear fact that even a Mormon apostle
    can say : there is no salvation in worshiping a false god or believing false doctrine. All such
    worship is in vain. It has no saving virtue or power . [ Bruce McConkie ] .

    May you test your prophets/apostles — 1Jn.4:1

  41. Rick B says:

    Fred said

    Just why you want to think it was wrong for Brother Joseph to teach different groups different parts of the First Vision according to the needs at the time.

    Really Fred, Thats all you can say? You never touched the issue of the reformed Egyptian, That simply does not exist.

    Then JS saying, I saw God, then Later I Only saw the son, then later I never saw them I only heard them. That is confusion and that is not telling different parts, that is telling totally different stories.

    Then you said, You researched the LDS church, well did you research the RLDS, or the FLDS, or the JW’s or the Muslims? How do you know they are not telling the truth and could be the true church?

    Mormonism and JW’s and Muslims cannot all be correct. So I really think it comes down to just as the Bible teaches, You have itching ears that you want tickled and you choose to believe what you want to believe despite the facts. Rick

  42. fproy2222 says:

    Rick B says:February 2, 2012 at 9:31 am– — (Really Fred, Thats all you can say? You never touched the issue of the reformed Egyptian, That simply does not exist.)
    One item at a time.
    The writers of The Book of Mormon have given you the answer. You may not believe what we teach, but you should at least know what we teach and how much of what others teach about us is false

    32 And now, behold, we have written this record according to our knowledge, in the characters which are called among us the reformed Egyptian, being handed down and altered by us, according to our manner of speech.

    33 And if our plates had been sufficiently large we should have written in Hebrew; but the Hebrew hath been altered by us also; and if we could have written in Hebrew, behold, ye would have had no imperfection in our record.

    34 But the Lord knoweth the things which we have written, and also that none other people knoweth our language; and because that none other people knoweth our language, therefore he hath prepared means for the interpretation thereof.
    (Mormon 9:32-34)

    (Then JS saying, I saw God, then Later I Only saw the son, then later I never saw them I only heard them)
    Please show me the original documents that show this, and please do not use someone else’s mis-conslusion.

  43. fproy2222 says:

    Mike R says: February 1, 2012 at 10:56 pm—(So I really think it comes down to just as the Bible teaches,)
    Which denomination’s understanding of the Bible?
    Or are you one of those that create your own understanding because you do not like the others?

  44. Rick B says:

    Version 9. On May 24, 1844, Alexander Niebaur wrote the first vision in his journal as Joseph Smith told it to him. In this account, most of the details are the same as the official version, except that Joseph was not told that all of the Christian sects were wrong. Instead, he was specifically told that the Methodists were not God’s people.

    Version 8. In 1843, Joseph Smith gave an interview to the Pittsburgh Gazette, which was reprinted in the New York Observer on Sept. 23, 1843. In this version, Joseph said he was 14 years old, and there was no mention of any dark power trying to overcome him.

    Version 7. This is the officially accepted version of the first vision, published in Times and Seasons on April 1, 1842.

    Version 6. On March 1, 1842, the Times and Seasons published contents of a letter written by Joseph Smith to John Wentworth. This was published one full month before the account that is accepted as the official version today. In this one, Joseph Smith did not give his age. He mentioned no evil power overcoming him, and he said two personages visited him, though he never identifies them. It is significant that he did not mention the evil power that played so prominently in the story and also that he omitted that the personages visiting him were supposedly God the Father and Jesus Christ.

    Version 5. In 1841, Joseph Smith’s brother William Smith told the story to James Murdock. This account is published in A New Witness For Christ In America (2:414-415). This account lists Joseph as being 17 years old when he received the vision, and rather than God and Jesus appearing to him, William states that it was only a “glorious angel.” Cont,

  45. Rick B says:

    Admittedly, this account is third hand, and William could certainly have been mistaken about Joseph’s age. But it is not likely that he would forget that God Himself and Jesus Christ visited his brother, unless he was never told that to begin with.

    Usually we dismiss third-hand accounts in our research, believing them to usually be very unreliable. However, this account is substantiated by other sources. For example, in the early LDS publication Times and Seasons for December 15, 1840 (Vol.2 pg. 241), Oliver Cowdery stated specifically that Joseph Smith, Jr. was 17 at the time of the first vision – specifically placing the year of the vision in 1823. And in at least seven other places in the Journal of Discourses, early LDS leaders shared that it was only an unidentified angel that visited Joseph, not God and Jesus (2:171, 196, 197; 10:127; 13:78, 324; 20:167).

    Brigham Young even stated specifically that the Lord did not visit young Joseph. In reference to this vision he said “The Lord did not come with the armies of heaven…But He did send His angel to this same obscure person, Joseph Smith jun…and informed him that he should not join any of the religions of the day, for they were all wrong;…” (Journal of Discourses 2:171).

    William Smith’s account was also printed in part in the RLDS Church publication The Saints Herald (Vol. 31 No. 40, page 643, 6/8/1884). No correction or retraction of the information published there was ever printed. We must keep in mind that both the LDS and RLDS (now known as the Community of Christ) share the same history for the first several years of Mormonism’s existence. Contradictions regarding Smith’s Vision would affect the credibility of both groups.


  46. Rick B says:

    Finally, this account is also worthy of special consideration because it was first brought to light by a Mormon researcher from the LDS Church-owned Brigham Young University. As mentioned earlier, Paul Cheesman wrote his master’s thesis in 1965 entitled “An Analysis of the Accounts Relating Joseph Smith’s Early Visions.” In that study he discusses this differing account of the first vision in detail. It was subsequently discussed by LDS scholars in the publication Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought for Autumn 1966. None of these researchers and scholars dismissed the account as mere gossip; rather they discussed it as a valid account worthy of consideration. There is no reason, then, for us not to consider it as well.

    Version 4. In 1837, William Appleby recorded the vision story as given by Orson Pratt in his diary. In this version, the revival was not until 1822, Joseph was 17 again, and the visitors were not God and Jesus but beings who identified themselves only as angels who claimed to have forgiven Joseph’s sins. Again, this is a third-hand account, but the most important details of the vision are left out or completely different.

    The differing details of this vision account have been verified by other statements of LDS leaders throughout the early years of the LDS Church. George A. Smith and Orson Hyde both stated that Joseph was visited not by God but by angels (Journal of Discourses 6:335; 12:334). This corroborative information makes this third-hand account worthy of our consideration. In addition, the discourses and statements of the early LDS apostles and prophets, as published in many books by the LDS Church, were mainly recorded from the diaries and journals of the early Mormons.

    The LDS Church considers these third-hand accounts to be valid enough to accept for “inspirational” cont,

  47. Rick B says:

    material. It would be inconsistent for the Mormons to accept only those accounts that support their teachings and to disregard those accounts with which they disagree. Since Orson Pratt was a first-hand witness to the early events of Mormonism and to the life of Joseph Smith, Jr., his version of the events are of significant importance for consideration – even when recorded in a listener’s journal.

    Version 3. In 1835, Joseph Smith dictated his own account of the first vision for his personal diary. There is some question among scholars, even those who are LDS, as to who the scribe was for this part of the diary. Some believe it was Warren Parrish, but others believe it was Warren Cowdery. Regardless of which man physically wrote the account, the fact is that it appears in the official diary of the Prophet, and this journal entry is accepted as accurate and valid. In this account, which was first published in Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought (VI, No.1, pg. 87), the evil power is mentioned for the very first time. In all previous published accounts (listed below), no evil power was ever mentioned by Joseph. Also, he does not claim that the messengers were God and Jesus, just that many angels visited him. That seems to be a very curious omission.

    Version 2. In February 1835, the LDS publication Messenger and Advocate recorded the account of the vision that Joseph Smith gave to Oliver Cowdery. In this account, Joseph was 17 years old, the revival is in 1823, and no mention is made of James 1:5. Instead, Joseph claimed he had been wondering if there was a God and if his sins could be forgiven. His only reason for praying was to ask if God did exist. Cont

  48. Rick B says:

    After “11 or 12 hours” in prayer, he was visited by “a messenger from God” who forgave Joseph’s sins. While this vision is given in the Messenger and Advocate as the first vision of Joseph Smith, this story was later revised and published as a second vision from the angel Moroni preparatory to giving Joseph Smith the golden plates.

    It should be noted that this account was printed not only in an LDS publication but also during the lifetime of Joseph Smith. No statements by Joseph against the accuracy of this account have been found, indicating his approval of the information given. It was also a second-hand account given by Oliver Cowdery, a witness to many of the key events in LDS history. The same account was also copied unchanged into Joseph Smith’s Manuscript History of the Church and subsequently into the LDS publication Times and Seasons. Since it was copied into so many LDS publications and records without any changes, the account must have been considered accurate and valid to Joseph Smith at that time. This adds quite a bit of significance to the differing details of this version.

    Version 1. The earliest known account of the first vision was written in 1831-32 in Joseph Smith’s own handwriting. This was the version made public by Paul Cheesman in 1965, published later that same year by Jerald and Sandra Tanner in Joseph Smith’s Strange Account of the First Vision. This account had been in the hands of LDS leaders for over 130 years, hidden away in their vaults – presumably because it differs so greatly from the official version. In this account, Smith claimed to be 16 years old and that he already knew that all churches were wrong from reading the Bible. Joseph sought forgiveness, and it was Jesus

  49. fproy2222 says:

    Rick B says:- February 2, 2012 at 2:16 pm—(Version 9. On May 24, 1844, Alexander Niebaur wrote the first vision in his journal as Joseph Smith told it to him) (etc and etc and etc)
    I can understand why you have been misled as to what we teach. Here you give me someone’s summery as if it were the original documents. A document that gives you the author’s miss-conclusions.
    And then you do not even credit who you copied and pasted it from. Try studying the original documents with an open mind and see if you still agree with this person.

  50. Mike R says:

    Fred, each and every person is accountable before God as individuals. Salvation comes from
    a person —Jesus, not from a group people who might all believe alike . You don’t seem to grasp
    that truth. Following Jesus whether anyone else does or not . You’re looking for the name on a
    building , does’nt work that way. You follow the the Mormon prophet who sits in S.L.C. ,
    but other Mormons do not . Why not exchange your prophet for THE prophet —- Jesus.

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