Not-So-‘Called-Out’: The Paradox of Mormonism’s Racist Societal Conformity and Denominational Exclusivity

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints prides itself in being the only true church on the face of the earth. Doctrine and Covenants 1:30 explicitly states:

“And also those to whom these commandments were given, might have power to lay the foundation of this church, and to bring it forth out of obscurity and out of darkness, the only true and living church upon the face of the whole earth, with which I, the Lord, am well pleased, speaking unto the church collectively and not individually–“

The word “church” in the Koine Greek language is “ekklesia,” meaning: “called out ones” or “an assembly.” In ancient Greece, an Ekklesia was a public assembly where citizens came out to discuss legal matters.

Jesus Christ said that His followers are in this world, but not of this world. (See John 17) We physically live in this world alongside everyone else, but we do not follow the world’s ways. If the LDS Church claims to be the only true church, then why is it not a called-out Church, more specifically, in regards to race and racism?

Blacks in the LDS Church were not allowed to receive the priesthood until 1978. The LDS Church has written a very polished Gospel Topics Essay on lds.org called “Race and the Priesthood” In this article, it says the following: “Over time, Church leaders and members advanced many theories to explain the priesthood and temple restrictions. None of these explanations is accepted today as the official doctrine of the Church.”

How were these former Mormon explanations simply theories, when it is clearly documented that racism played a role in the ban? Also, it was taught that black skin is a curse from God, according to Mormonism. Mormon Apostle George F. Richards, spoke in General Conference and said the following:

“The negro is an unfortunate man. He has been given a black skin.

“But that is as nothing compared with that greater handicap that he is not permitted to receive the Priesthood and the ordinances of the temple, necessary to prepare men and women to enter into and enjoy a fulness of glory in the celestial kingdom.

“What is the reason for this condition, we ask, and I find it to my satisfaction to think that as spirit children of our Eternal Father they were not valiant in the fight. We are told that Michael and his angels fought, and we understand that we stood with Christ our Lord, on the platform, “Father, thy will be done, and the glory be thine forever.” I cannot conceive our Father consigning his children to a condition such as that of the negro race, if they had been valiant in the spirit world in that war in heaven. Neither could they have been a part of those who rebelled and were cast down, for the latter had not the privilege of tabernacling in the flesh. Somewhere along the line were these spirits, indifferent perhaps, and possibly neutral in the war. We have no definite knowledge concerning this. But I learn this lesson from it, brethren and sisters, and I believe we all should, that it does not pay in religious matters, matters that pertain to our eternal salvation, to be indifferent, neutral, or lukewarm.” (Conference Reports, April 1939, Second Day-Morning Meeting: Elder George F. Richards, pp. 58-59)

Joseph Smith, the founder of the LDS Church said the following:

“Having learned with extreme regret, that an article entitled, ‘Free People of Color,’ in the last number of the Star has been misunderstood, we feel in duty bound to state, in this Extra, that our intention was not only to stop free people of color from emigrating to this state, but to prevent them from being admitted as members of the Church.” (History of the Church, 1:378-79)

“Had I anything to do with the negro, I would confine them by strict law to their own species and put them on a national equalization.” (History of the Church, Vol. 5, pp. 218-19)

Brigham Young, the 2nd prophet of the LDS Church, said the following about people with black skin:

“You see some classes of the human family that are black, uncouth, un- comely, disagreeable and low in their habits, wild, and seemingly deprived of nearly all the blessings of the intelligence that is generally bestowed upon mankind. The first man that committed the odious crime of killing one of his brethren will be cursed the longest of any one of the children of Adam. Cain slew his brother. Cain might have been killed, and that would have put a termination to that line of human beings. This was not to be, and the Lord put a mark upon him, which is the flat nose and black skin. Trace mankind down to after the flood, and then another curse is pronounced upon the same race – that they should be the “servant of servants;” and they will be, until that curse is removed; and the Abolitionists cannot help it, nor in the least alter that decree. How long is that race to endure the dreadful curse that is upon them? That curse will remain upon them, [p.291] and they never can hold the Priesthood or share in it until all the other descendants of Adam have received the promises and enjoyed the blessings of the Priesthood and the keys thereof. Until the last ones of the residue of Adam’s children are brought up to that favourable position, the children of Cain cannot receive the first ordinances of the Priesthood. They were the first that were cursed, and they will be the last from whom the curse will be removed. When the residue of the family of Adam come up and receive their blessings, then the curse will be removed from the seed of Cain, and they will receive blessings in like proportion.” (Journal of Discourses 7:290-91, October 9, 1859)

These were not just theories. This belief in the curse of Cain was spoken in LDS General Conference addresses by prophets and apostles of ‘God.’ If times have changed, as most Mormons would argue, the living prophet trumps the dead prophet. Well, how convenient does this become? How solid is a religion when you have to explain away teachings of a prophet from one-hundred years ago? Could you imagine people in the prophet Malachi’s day (425 BC) saying, “Well, whatever Isaiah said a few hundred years ago in 685 BC was for then, and we have a new word today, so what Isaiah said was just his personal opinion.” It doesn’t work this way. Yes, the law and prophets were fulfilled in Christ, but that’s a different story. That has to do with switching dispensations (in example, the levitical priesthood was fulfilled in Christ; circumcision was fulfilled in Christ)

If we are in the last dispensation, according to Mormonism, then why are prophets disagreeing with each other within one particular dispensation of time? Since Joseph Smith supposedly ushered in this Final Dispensation of the Fulness of Times, then why are prophets within this dispensation changing their minds on key issues within their own dispensation? Why have the policies on blacks and the priesthood changed? As you can see in the quote above, Brigham Young taught that blacks could not receive the priesthood until all the family of Adam received the first ordinances of the Priesthood first! This hasn’t happened yet since all the residue of Adam has not received the Priesthood. Therefore, according to Brigham Young, blacks should not have received the priesthood in 1978 – they should have waited until the end of the age.

Mormons treat Brigham Young’s teachings as though he lived back in the days of when Leviticus and Deuteronomy were written. The common saying among liberal Christians is, “Well, we’re in a new day and age, and what God said in Leviticus doesn’t apply to us today.” In that line of thinking, Mormons: Brigham Young only lived a little over one-hundred years ago, and you’re throwing away his ‘prophetic utterances’ as old and just his mere opinions? Since when did General Conference sermons become an LDS prophet’s opinion? If his opinion is very wrong, how many of an LDS prophet’s false opinions that are preached to the church membership does it take for him to be considered a false prophet? Joseph Smith’s statement that “A prophet is only a prophet when he is acting as such” is such a cop-out. This gives Joseph Smith and Brigham Young a free pass to preach within or without the Spirit of God’s guidelines and still hold a prophetic office. This is not what Deuteronomy 13:1-5 states about a prophet:

“If a prophet or someone who has dreams arises among you and proclaims a sign or wonder to you, and that sign or wonder he has promised you comes about, but he says, ‘Let us follow other gods,’ which you have not known, ‘and let us worship them,’ do not listen to that prophet’s words or to that dreamer. For the Lord your God is testing you to know whether you love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul. You must follow the Lord your God and fear Him. You must keep His commands and listen to His voice; you must worship Him and remain faithful to Him. That prophet or dreamer must be put to death, because he has urged rebellion against the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt and redeemed you from the place of slavery, to turn you from the way the Lord your God has commanded you to walk. You must purge the evil from you.

Isn’t it interesting that Joseph Smith, not long before he was murdered on June 27, 1844 taught the plurality of gods in his King Follett Discourse sermon on April 7, 1844? This warning in the Bible says that a prophet who leads the people to a path of other gods will be put to death. Joseph Smith did not die a martyr, innocent as a lamb – he died because he blasphemed the Lord God. The Lord took him out before he could do more damage, commit more spiritual abuse, and practice more pedophilia. King Herod Agrippa was struck dead by the Lord for receiving praise as a god. (Acts 12) Joseph Smith was struck dead for blaspheming God.

Brigham Young says that slavery is a divine institution and predicted that the Civil War would not end slavery. He was wrong.

“Ham will continue to be servant of servants, as the Lord decreed, until the curse is removed. WILL THE PRESENT STRUGGLE FREE THE SLAVE? NO; but they are now wasting away the black race by thousands…. “Treat the slaves kindly and let them live, for HAM MUST BE THE SERVANT OF SERVANTS UNTIL THE CURSE IS REMOVED. Can you destroy the decrees of the Almighty? YOU CANNOT. Yet our Christian brethren think that they are going to overthrow the sentence of the Almighty upon the seed of Ham. THEY CANNOT DO THAT, though they may kill them by thousands and tens of thousands.” (Millennial Star, Vol. 25, page 787; also published in Journal of Discourses, Vol. 10, page 250)

White, Protestant American southerners who believed in slavery were also wrong. The LDS Church followed along with the culture of the time. Why was this the case, if they are the only true and living church upon the earth today? Through Joseph Smith, an open heaven was supposedly given. Why did he not declare slavery wrong and ordain blacks to the priesthood?

Mormonism gave in to the changing culture, as pressure was placed on the LDS Church. Conveniently, the Mormon Church came to a ‘revelation’ in 1978 that allowed blacks to obtain the priesthood. This happened with polygamy in the 19th century. Mormons proudly lived out the polygamous lifestyle, and then caved in to cultural pressure in 1890.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints do not represent the “called out ones” that the ekklesia of God is supposed to be. Had it been, God would have been the leading instrument in social change from within Mormonism since the establishment of the LDS Church in 1830. Instead, what we have is an amazingly contradictory Church that deals with obfuscation in its public relations, fills the coffers of its upper echelon, and funnels lies to its lay membership. These are the marks of not only a cult, but a dangerous theological institution that perpetuates Joseph Smith’s lies and elevates his heretical writings as sound scriptural canon.

All races were created by God, as God himself is not a racist. Mormons, please think through this. It’s okay to ask questions. It’s okay to check out sources. When you receive the revelation that Joseph Smith was a false prophet, please don’t give up on Jesus Christ. Jesus never sent Joseph. Jesus sent his Holy Spirit to bear witness of Him – He lives, He reigns, and He can save you by grace through your faith in Him. Read the New Testament as a child, and you will see Christian teachings through untainted lenses.

 

 

 

 

 

 

65 Reasons Why the Mormon Church is Not True

In his book, “Mormon Crisis: Anatomy of a Failing Religion,” James A. Beverley, a Professor of Christian Thought and Ethics at Tyndale Seminary in Toronto, outlines in his conclusion 65 reasons why The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is false. Below is a summary of those points, listed from pp. 145-149 in his book:

  1. The 1838 First Vision account is a late fabrication of Joseph Smith.
  2. There is no reliable evidence for visitation of the embodied Father and Son to Joseph in 1820.
  3. The First Vision accounts contradict one another.
  4. There was no total apostasy in the Christian Church shortly after the New Testament period.
  5. Joseph Smith engaged in the fraudulent, superstitious, and criminal practice of money digging.
  6. Joseph Smith was arrested and fined in relation to money digging.
  7. Joseph Smith used the same seer stone in translating the Book of Mormon as he did for his money digging.
  8. Joseph Smith broke his wedding vows.
  9. Joseph Smith treated his wife in an abusive way over celestial marriage.
  10. Joseph Smith coerced women to marry him.
  11. Joseph Smith lied repeatedly over years about his plural wives.
  12. Joseph Smith pressured other Mormons to lie about polygamy.
  13. Joseph Smith coerced young women to marry him, including two who were his guardians.
  14. Joseph Smith pressured already married women to marry him.
  15. Joseph Smith made false prophecies about the return of Christ.
  16. Joseph Smith made false prophecies about gaining wealth in Salem, MA.
  17. Joseph Smith made false prophecies about his Kirtland bank’s success.
  18. Joseph Smith made false prophecies about the success of the LDS in Missouri.
  19. Joseph Smith (and Sidney Rigdon) fomented the conflicts in Missouri.
  20. Joseph Smith altered his own revelations.
  21. Joseph Smith fabricated the revelation on priesthood restoration in Doctrine and Covenants section 27.
  22. Joseph Smith’s translation of Scripture is biased, unlearned and contrary to the earliest and best Hebrew and Greek manuscripts.
  23. Mormon prophets have taught various major heresies throughout LDS history.
  24. Brigham Young taught the heretical view that Adam was God.
  25. Brigham Young taught the false doctrine of Blood Atonement.
  26. Brigham Young and other prophets often engaged in careless speculation and advanced erroneous views like claiming there were people living on the sun or that the earth has a spirit and needs to be baptized.
  27. Brigham Young was responsible in part for creating the environment that led to the Mountain Meadows Massacre.
  28. Brigham Young lied repeatedly about the Massacre.
  29. LDS Church leaders engaged in cover-up of the Massacre throughout history.
  30. LDS leaders have often misled Mormons through cover-up obfuscation, and lies about various topics.
  31. Ezra Taft Benson taught a dangerous, extreme and false view about the status of the LDS prophet.
  32. LDS Church members are naive and gullible because of their unwarranted adulation of Church prophets and apostles.
  33. Loyalty to God is not to be measured explicitly by obedience to the LDS authorities.
  34. The Book of Mormon was written by Joseph Smith, with the help of others. It is not an ancient document.
  35. The Book of Mormon is not a reliable historical account in relation to Central and North America.
  36. DNA evidence about Natives contradicts the dominant view in LDS history that the Indians were originally Jewish tribes.
  37. The Book of Mormon text was altered, occasionally in significant ways, after the first edition was published.
  38. The teaching on God in the Book of Mormon was basically repudiated by Joseph Smith later in his life.
  39. The revelations given in the 1833 Book of Commandments were altered in significant ways when they were reproduced in the 1835 Doctrine and Covenants.
  40. LDS leaders tampered with LDS scripture by removing the Lectures on Faith from the LDS canon of scripture.
  41. The Book of Abraham was written by Joseph Smith.
  42. The Book of Abraham is neither a regular translation nor an “inspired” translation of ancient Egyptian documents.
  43. LDS doctrine that arises from the Book of Abraham is basically rooted in a document invented by Joseph and passed off to LDS members from his uninformed, naive and false translation work on the papyrus.
  44. The Book of Abraham contains a wild, irrational and unscientific cosmology, rooted in Joseph Smith’s imagination and nineteenth century views.
  45. The LDS prophets have been wrong to teach there is more than one God.
  46. The LDS prophets have been wrong to teach God the Father is not eternal and used to be a man.
  47. The LDS prophets have been wrong to teach that humans can become God.
  48. Prophet Gordon B. Hinckley misled the public about the theory that God was once a man. He engaged in obfuscation with the media and then smoothed things over with the LDS membership through his General Conference remarks.
  49. The truth that there is one God is a total repudiation of LDS teaching that humans can become God.
  50. LDS prophets have been wrong to teach that Jesus went through a path of eternal progression.
  51. LDS prophets have been wrong to teach that Jesus is the product of sex between Elohim and the Virgin Mary.
  52. LDS prophets have been wrong to teach that Jesus and Lucifer are spiritual brothers.
  53. LDS leaders and Mitt Romney were wrong to engage in obfuscation when Mike Huckabee said that Mormons believe Jesus and Lucifer are spiritual brothers.
  54. The Temple endowment ceremony is an invention of Joseph Smith.
  55. The Temple endowment ceremony has some of its roots in the Masonic lodge. Masonic ceremonies go back to the seventeenth century and not to the time of Solomon.
  56. The Temple endowment ceremony has been altered by LDS prophets even though they claim it is the same ceremony throughout history.
  57. The Temple endowment ceremony minimizes salvation by grace.
  58. The LDS Church system and theology creates a works-righteousness.
  59. Secret oaths and secret signs of the priesthood are totally foreign to the New Testament.
  60. Wearing special temple garments is foreign to the New Testament.
  61. The LDS prophets are wrong to support LDS scripture that contain racist statements.
  62. The LDS prophets were wrong for decades to support racist theories.
  63. LDS leaders continue to engage in obfuscation on racism in order to hide the fact that various LDS prophets have been racist in their teaching.
  64. LDS leaders lied repeatedly about polygamy after the 1890 Manifesto.
  65. LDS leaders were and are wrong to link polygamy to exaltation.

I could understand maybe one or two minor issues with a religious group – but this many? I could list dozens, if not hundreds more. Not only are these issues many, but they are all across the board in several areas: polygamy, money-digging, racism, false doctrine, temple ceremonies, etc. The biggest thing that comes up are Joseph Smith’s teachings. A foundation has a founder. No matter how one may try to explain away some of these issues, what are the chances you can erase one or two and the others will fade away? These are the signs of not only a false religion, but a failing religion.

James Beverley notes that there are a few major realities that explain why LDS members don’t engage theses issues. “The first has to do with the instant and constant reinforcement of faith through focus on subjective feelings…” the second “reason most LDS members will not face all of the evidence against the basic integrity of Mormonism is simply the realization of the cost of leaving the LDS Church. It is impossible for many Mormons to even imagine walking away from the security of Mormon culture and the love they experience in the LDS Church. As well, ex-Mormon testimonies are replete with stories of the price endured in family break-up, dissolution of friendships, and even business loss upon resigning, dismissal, or excommunication.” (Beverley, pp. 149-150)

My Latter-day Saint friends, it really is worth it to follow Jesus, even if it’s at the expenses of what you hold dear, such as your family. Keep in mind that Jesus himself said, “He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.” (Matthew 10:37, KJV)

1 Corinthians 14:33 says, “For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace…”

Mormonism is tremendously confusing, and really brings confusion to the mind, heart, and spirit of an individual. If God’s peace came with the testimony of the “truthfulness” of the Book of Mormon, why are so many LDS Church members sad, depressed, filled with anxiety, and on anti-depressants? Look at the Utah statistics in these categories – the numbers are staggering. This is what a never-ending list of works does to a person, it creates an impossible climb towards an impossible godhood.

It is Jesus Christ who said that his yoke is easy and his burden is light. (Matthew 11:30)

A Season of Growth, Strengthening, and Pressing Forward

I write this article to inform all of those who read my website and follow my ministry that I am on a hiatus from article-writing until the coming Spring of 2017. I will resume writing articles around that time, and until then, I will be busy with many things.

My last article, written in July of this past summer, came at a time when I have been in the middle of going through much spiritual warfare and change in my life. This change is for the better. No one really has known the depth and gravity of what I have been going through, save God alone. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow once said, “Every man has his secret sorrows which the world knows not; and often times we call a man cold when he is only sad.” What a perfect quote to describe what I have gone through! Those who may think that despair is never-ending are wrong; for I know that I will fully come through the spiritual warfare. Never before have I been able to relate to the book of Job than now. Also, I hang on to what Jesus said in the gospel of John: “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” (John 14:27)

I am needing this time off from article-writing to focus on my family, my current role at work, and moving forward with things in my life. My wife, Hannah, and I are expecting another child! My wife is 15 weeks pregnant as of now, and our new child’s projected due date will be April 18, 2017. Our daughter, Ingrid, will turn 2 years old on Thanksgiving Day this year! During my time off of writing articles, I will be focusing on taking care of my family (as I have before), but there is so much going on in this season of life for me that I need to really hone in and get our house ready and rearranged for a second child.

Also, the Lord provided a new job for me on May 31, 2016 as an Enrollment Counselor here at Bethel University. I work in the Post-Traditional Admissions Office; meaning, I enroll students for our M.A. in Counseling and our M.A. in Marriage and Family Therapy program (the latter of which is a Bethel Seminary program). I am so excited to be in this role, and I have been blessed by so many divine opportunities and divine appointments while in this role.

Latter-Day Sense Ministry is not going away- definitely not. My calling is ministry, missions, and outreach to the Mormons, ex-Mormons, Mormons in transition, those thinking of joining Mormonism, and those who have been hurt and deceived by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. My calling will not change, for He has chosen me for this life of service. “For many are called, but few are chosen.” -Matthew 22:14. God has called, and I have answered that call. I have tried to run from it, looked at other options, the Devil has tried to make me give it up, and so on. But I will no longer run from my calling any longer.

Many that I know, including family members, do not understand what God has for me to do in this life on this side of the veil. Often those closest to us do not know how to respond when we share our desires, dreams, and call in life. Take a look at Jesus Christ himself: the Bible says that He was not accepted in His own hometown. (Luke 4:24) He couldn’t even perform miracles there because of the people’s unbelief. Why? Because people were familiar with him to the point where even one man said, “Isn’t this the carpenter’s son? Isn’t his mother’s name Mary, and aren’t his brothers James, Joseph, Simon and Judas?” (Matthew 13:55) This is because our families have seen us grow up- they know our shortcomings, our weaknesses, our spots of rebellion during our teenage years, our failures, our attempts, our losses, and they think they know what we are ‘supposed’ to be doing. After all, society says that once we graduate high school, we go to college, find a normal job, get married, have few kids, settle down in the suburbs, and lather, rinse, repeat. But my life is different from that- my calling is different. Yes, I am happily married; yes, I am a proud father; but I am meant to not just sink into a job routine in the long run- full-time ministry will take over my job one day, and I look forward to that day with patience now.

Usually family get-togethers for me can be filled with, “So what do you want to do?” And once I explain my calling to minister to Mormons and establish a ministry, I often get myriad responses. Some don’t know what to say. Some change the subject. Some say I won’t make enough money. Some deep down wonder when I’ll stop dreaming and instead sink into ‘reality’. Some just nod their head and say, “Oh… Okay…”

But then some are encouraging, which means the world. As my grandmother Lee has always said, “People often criticize what they don’t understand.” So true. If only people took a genuine interest, then they will understand.

It is often those who do not know us well or are meeting us for the first time who say, “Wow, that sounds amazing what you want to do!” If only this could come from family members, for often one close family member’s encouraging word can mean more than 1,000 confirming words from a stranger. I don’t pity myself for not having the support of every one of my family members, but what I am encouraged by is that I can use God’s calling and my life and run with it! For at the end of the day, it is not my calling, it is God’s. He gets the glory anyway, so I might as well attribute any success I have to Him.

Though I know that I am not supposed to reveal to everyone what my calling is and what my visions are for the future. After all, it can be dangerous to tell what is precious to you to just anyone. Jesus says in Matthew 7:6, “Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces.”

Many parents simply want us to fill their shoes, live close by for convenience, fulfill something that they didn’t get to fulfill. But when God shows up and says, “Go and do,” then I know that I know that I need to simply, “Go and do.” But “going and doing” is not that simple. Things take time. My character needs to develop. My patience needs to sharpen. My impatience needs to be eradicated.

Latter-Day Sense Ministry is not going away- it will one day expand, grow, and develop. But that time is still down the road, and I am okay with that now. I need to living where God wants me to live now. That doesn’t mean that I can’t plan for the future. After all, I am a visionary and a dreamer. This is how the Lord communicates with me. But I love the ways in which God brings an inner peace about where we are at along the journey, and I have known no one better at knowing and operating in this kind of communication with God than my wife, Hannah. We are in agreement together with what we will be doing in the future, and we know that we will be guided by God, with both God’s visions for our future, and for God’s plan for us in the here-and-now. Hannah balances me out. We balance each other out. Thank God for a wife as amazing as her! All we want is what God wants for us, and that is what we will do.

Pray for me during this time. There are a handful of Mormons who hold mid-level positions in the LDS Church who have emailed me with threats, bribes, rebukes, and even damnation over the past 3 years. One of them finally stopped after a year-and-a-half of harassing emails after my first interview out in Utah. This was after I had repeatedly told him to stop emailing me and it took him 18 months to stop emailing me. I reminded him that if Mormons believe in free agency, which is the God-given privilege for us to choose for ourselves and decide what we want to do, then he needed to respect my choice to have him stop emailing me. Things like this do not discourage me- they actually encourage me because I am on the right path and just when you start stepping into what God wants you to do, more challenges come your way! If we are not doing anything for God, we are not a threat to Satan. If we live a normal routine life, not serving the Lord, then the Devil already has us where he wants us; but if we step out in faith and serve the Lord, then we will go through things. After all, one thing that Jesus Christ promises His followers is this: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33) If we follow Him, it’s a guarantee- we will have tribulation/trouble. But He overcame the world so that we could overcome the world.

What the Devil has put me through internally in the past 5 months nearly cost me my life. What the Devil had in store for me is no more. Now, what the Lord has in store for me is more. What the Lord has in store for me cannot be stolen by any person or any dark spiritual being in the heavenly places and atmosphere. We live in a seen world. Though, there is an unseen world all around us that is veiled from our eyes, and really, for our protection. If we could visibly see into the spiritual realm, we would see a war going on between God’s angels/seraphim, and Satan’s demons/fallen angels. Ephesians 6:12 says, “ For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” High places means the lower part of our atmosphere beneath the mountains, meaning, the sky above us and the sky around us. Our battle isn’t with each other, our battle is with the Devil. But, this is God’s battle to fight, for He already won the war and Jesus Christ Himself holds the keys to death and Hell. (Revelation 1:18)

Thank God for the victory!

Since the Devil has not stopped me yet, with God’s grace, I know he will never stop me- for I know the Lord God, I know my personal relationship with His Son, Jesus Christ, and I have the Holy Spirit within me. I have been baptized with His presence- and I will always be in covenant with Jesus Christ, my King, and my God.

I will press on- I will move forward in His calling in my life, and I will always return to Him when I stumble.

I will press on- knowing that at the end of my life, as the Apostle Paul so plainly put it, I will also be able to say: “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”

-I declare this in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.-

Day 1: Palmyra, NY and the Hill Cumorah Pageant

Yesterday, Tuesday, July 12th, 2016, my grandmother Lee and I flew out to Rochester, NY. We will be here until July 17. From Rochester, we drove 40 minutes east to a village called Palmyra, which is where Joseph Smith lived from 1816 til around 1830, before moving to Kirtland, Ohio and Far West, Missouri. Hence, the story of Mormonism begins here.

Why is this important? I answered God’s call to come here to Palmyra. An obscure little town in upstate New York draws thousands of Mormons each night, from July 8-9 and 12-16th to the Hill Cumorah Pageant. Joseph Smith believed that in 1823, an angel named Moroni showed up in his bedroom here in Palmyra and relayed information about golden plates buried in a nearby hill- Cumorah. Moroni said that Joseph must meet him at the Hill Cumorah every year to the day for 4 years, and then Joseph could unearth the golden plates.

Mormons believe that a record of the ancient inhabitants of the Americas was recorded on the plates and buried by their last prophet, Moroni, before their civilization was annihilated in 421 A.D. This group of people, known as the Nephites, supposedly came to the Americas from Israel around 600 B.C. Nephi’s brothers, Laman and Lemuel, rebelled against the family and became Lamanites, and Mormons believe that God cursed the Lamanites with dark skin, or what the Book of Mormon calls “skin of blackness.” (2 Nephi 5:21).

Mormons have a phenomenal pageant with hundreds in the cast, and the production is the 3rd largest in the world. The pageant starts at 9:15pm every night.

I am a missionary out here under the covering of CRC (Christian Research & Counsel), and it is amazing how people come here speak the truth to the Mormons. CRC puts on a “Plain and Precious Things about Christ and the Bible” presentation and teaching sessions in Palmyra’s Main Street Park every day this week at 2pm. Such topics as the reliability of the Bible, the bodily resurrection of Christ, the need for a Savior, and worldviews are discussed, and several pastors from local churches are present to teach and train Christians to be equipped to speak with Mormons.

Now, there are some Christians out here who are completely independent who are called “Screechers” and some that are known as “Street Preachers.” Screehers are known as those who mock Mormonism by shouting, blowing shofars at the pageant entrance, dressing up in Satan costumes while holding up the Book of Mormon in mockery, and those who do those sorts of things. I do not endorse those methods, nor are those methods sanctioned by those in the ministry outlet that I am a part of. That is not my philosophy of reaching people and I think it often turns more Mormons off to Christianity than it does lead them into Christianity. Street Preachers are some people from local churches that come out to share the Word of God on the streets, not in an abrasive way necessarily, but there can be those who do this.

I will not go so far as to say they are not brothers in the Lord because they preach the gospel, and some one may really hear out what they have to say, but we are not called to bash and bash and bash the darkness, we are called to put on the light. If we fight darkness, darkness can comprehend what we are doing, that is why Mormons’ persecution complex pops up within them and they get even more feelings that they are right because of how ridiculous some Christians can be with their approach. However, we are called to be a light IN the darkness. When we are the light in the darkness, the dark cannot comprehend it! The dark definitely notices the light, but it cannot understand and comprehend it. This is why when we showed up, even though I was wearing my white shirt and tie, Mormons can pick up when someone is not a member; and it is because this is a spirit behind it. Our battles are not against flesh and blood, but against spirits and principalities. Read Ephesians 6. This is why there were several Mormons who were elderly and middle-aged who were sitting in lawn chairs as we walked by and they studied us and stared, and they looked uncomfortable in their spirits, and you could tell that there was a war going on in the spirit realm between the Christians and the Mormons. It didn’t matter how you dressed or what you looked like on the outside. People watch. People observe. And people know and can ‘pick up’ when something is different around you. That is why uneasiness, tension, and contention occurs. This is not a bad thing, it is bound to happen when the truth comes forth and shines in the darkness. This light that we have is not our own, it is God’s light. We do not get the glory for anything we do, we must give God the glory.

When the seats for around 9,000 people are set up on the grassy prairie of the west side of the Hill Cumorah, that is where I go to talk to Mormons.

All we did is drove our car into the pageant grounds like everyone else (it feels like a mini-state fair with food and drink tents set up) and we go to the seating area. When this happens, the area floods with Mormon missionaries and the pageant cast members who have copies of the Book of Mormon and what they call Interest Cards. We talk and dialogue with whomever comes up to us and approaches us, which is a great opportunity that the Lord gives for us to do this kind of conversation.

I met up with Pastor Tony Goddard of Christian Community Church of East Williamson, New York at Fellowship Bible Church in Palmyra yesterday and met other Christian missionaries. There are guys who are older, army vets, younger teenage girls and guys, people of all ages, socio-economic background, and ethnic backgrounds, who come together in one accord to reach the lost with the pure and simple Gospel of Jesus Christ. Dinner was at 5:00pm yesterday at the church and it was a phenomenal time to fellowship with other believers. Pastor Jon Bransford and his family were there, Sue Grape and her husband were there, and it was a great time to meet everyone.

I partnered up with a Christian man named Brad, and he was my missionary companion last night at the pageant. Two Mormons, one named Elder Lester (from Gilbert, AZ) and the other named Elder Berrong (from South Weber, UT), came and talked to us, and we talked for an hour straight. The conversation was fruitful and we definitely planted seeds of truth. Elder Lester is not a missionary yet, he described himself as pre-missionary. My heart broke for these 2 Mormons young men because they were sweating bullets when we shared our testimony to them and the things from LDS sources we had issues with concerning Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon. We were not there as “Anti’s” as they call Anti-Mormons. This is why we are very careful as Christians to be culturally sensitive (without compromising the Truth) with them because any wrong move or wordage can make a light-switch go off in their heads that we are Anti-Mormon, which we are not. We are anti-Mormonism and anti-Mormon doctrine, which we need to be, but we are not anti-Mormon because we love the Mormon people. Jesus Christ created Mormon people, just like he did Baptists, Methodists, and all people on this earth. We are called to love them.

Look at he woman at the well in the Bible. Jesus confronted her and told her the truth, but not out of hatred. He came to her WHERE SHE WAS AT. We need to reach people where they are at and at their level instead of assuming we know what they believe. Just because the LDS Church’s First Presidency and their teachings manuals teach the official doctrine does not mean that all Mormons are rank-in-file along with that. There were several that we met who were from other LDS splinter churches.

One of the ironies with the “restoration” of Mormonism was that the whole point was Joseph Smith seeing all the denominations, sects, and branches of Christianity, and seeing how they contended against one another, which is a legitimate concern obviously. What Mormons may not realize is that there have been literally hundreds of Mormon sects and offshoots from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It’s not just the LDS Church. So, which of those offshoots is the “true” church? A majority of these little groups believe they are the true church and all the others are wrong. So, the irony is that Joseph Smith did not solve this problem, neither did the coming forth of the Book of Mormon.

As a matter of fact, we spoke with a man around 55 years old who was in one of those splinter groups. There were at least a few dozen of them there at the pageant, and they wore blue polo shirts with a picture of the gold plates on them that said “BMF- Witnesses for Jesus.” Brad and I spoke with this man for roughly 2 hours. He said that they are called “Restorationists” and belong to the Zion Bound sect in Independence, Missouri. They believe in the Book of Mormon, but do not believe that the LDS Church is the true church. This man straight-up denied that Joseph Smith believed in or practiced polygamy (he said that Brigham Young started it), they do not believe in temples, baptism for the dead, the restoration of the priesthood, and they even question the First Vision account that Joseph Smith had! He said that they don’t worship Joseph Smith and venerate him like the mainstream LDS Church does, they just see Joseph Smith as the vehicle in which the Book of Mormon was brought forth. They believe that Joseph Smith had the seer stone and put it in the hat to translate the Book of Mormon, just as the LDS Church just came out with for the first time publicly last year.

When talking with this man, Brad and I found much common ground with him, but the only thing we disagreed on was that he believed the Book of Mormon was a true, historical account, and he believed that North America was the location of the future city of New Jerusalem. Also, he did not believe in the rapture of the church, which I obviously do.

I got to share with this man my knowledge of the End Times, the Book of Revelation, the feasts of Israel under the Old Covenant and how their patterns are being fulfilled since Christ; this includes the Feast of Trumpets, which is a foreshadowing of the Rapture, and talked to him about Revelation 4:1 being the point in the the Book of Revelation when the rapture takes place. Revelation 1-3 took place is the past, and Revelation 4:1 is when the rapture takes place, because John was caught up into heaven, and Revelation chapters 4-22 takes place in the future. This is why in Revelation 4-22, the church is no longer mentioned anymore! This is because the Rapture takes place in 4:1 right before the Great Tribulation starts, and Christ deals with those who are left behind in the chapters following chapter 4. God’s dealings with the people on earth during the Tribulation are with the unbelievers who are left on earth and the Jews, and His Church which is in Heaven during the Tribulation, which is why we are in Heaven during that time receiving our rewards at the Bema judgment, and the Marriage Supper of the Lamb takes place the last year of the Tribulation, so that we will come back WITH Christ at His Second Coming to rule and reign with Christ for 1,000 years during the Millennium.

The man said, “Wow, I’ve never heard this stuff before… I really need to read up on this and check it out.” I’m no expert on the Book of Revelation and the Last Days, but after studying Perry Stone’s materials and ministry and this subject since I was 13, it’s just an area that I am passionate about and able to touch on when the occasion calls for it.

This was such a revelation to him, and many others from CRC on our missionary team spoke with other Restorationists. They even have their own version of the Book of Mormon, and they thanked us for being there, as they do not appreciate the Mormon views and think the Mormons are led astray.

I cannot put into words the amount of spiritual warfare I have endured because of this missions trip. My wife will tell you and testify of this, as she experienced the dreams I had in the night, the burden for intercessory prayer that has weighed upon me. I have had to pray in tongues when I’ve had no other words to say. As Jude 1:20 says, “But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit…” we are to pray in the Holy Spirit. This relates to the Book of Romans when it talks about God interceeding for us when we have nothing left to give.

I have pleaded with the Lord, wrestled with Him, sought Him, prayed to Him, and heard from Him, and any time we or someone says they hear from God, what they hear MUST be in agreement with the Word (the Bible) and confirmed by 2-3 witnesses. (See 2 Corinthians 13:1 and Mark 16:20).

I received grievous attacks from the devil since the end of April of 2016. They have been literally non-stop until now. I had it so bad this past Sunday and even the night leading up to this trip that my wife said, “This trip is under so much attack because the devil knows what is going to happen there.” This is so true, and I cannot explain the attacks, but if anyone doesn’t believe in spiritual warfare, I’ll tell you, it’s real.

My grandmother got an infection in her foot on Monday, the day before our trip, and went in to get help for it the night before we left. I had several hindrances that tried to stop me from coming on the trip. We ran into so many issues when we arrived at the airport with our rental car and I can go on and on with the attacks the devil has tried to place on me. He has wanted to get me so physically worn out so that I cannot function and be a missionary out here, and he has tried to get me to give up on ministry, my calling as a minister of the gospel, and trying to give up on reaching the Mormons.

But, there is good news. Devil, I have something to say to you: You are wrong! I will not give up in this fight. The Apostle Paul went through divers temptations and trials, and he still held his ground, because His ground WAS Christ. I will do the same, and I will push on not in my own strength, but in the One who gives me this strength. I will not give up, and I will be serving the Lord and reaching out to Mormons until either the Rapture takes place, or until I am called home to be with the Lord, whichever happens first.

I used to not believe in spiritual warfare when I was a Lutheran, because no one ever talked about that kind of stuff. Everyone just went to church because it was the thing you do, and assumed you were a Christian because you were raised in it, went through confirmation, and just simply went to church. That used to be me, but while I was in that, I realized something was missing. It was a personal relationship with the Lord, which is ripe in the New Testament. I didn’t believe in dreams and visions, and spiritual warfare until I started experiencing it myself. I mean, this was God’s means of leading me out of believing in Mormonism and believing in Christ of the Bible! So I have to really implore my fellow Christians who do not believe that God speaks to us today, who do not believe in God’s miracles in these days, and who do not believe in speaking in tongues, prophecy, and having literal dreams from God, I have this to say: I have experienced these first-hand, and know literally dozens of people delivered from alchoholism, homosexuality, fornication, atheism, Satanism, the occult, Islam, etc. Read Joel chapter 2 and Acts chapter 2. God clearly communicates to His people in these last days through dreams and visions; it’s amazing! Plus, I was so wrapped up in Mormonism because that is all I was studying during the daytime when I was 14 and 15 that I believe God needed to get my attention during the nighttime when I was asleep and He did just that!

Dreams from God in the night were how I came out of Mormonism and into a saving relationship with the Lord, so it amazes me that there are Christians who don’t believe in it. We need to hear from God in order to get saved in the first place, so how can Christians really think that we can’t hear from God? How can we have a one-sided relationship with Him, only praying to Him but not believing we can hear back? The Bible is the LOGOS word, meaning, the Word of God. The RHEMA word is the Word of God revealed to us personally as God speaks to us. If Christians do not believe in personal revelation and having dreams and visions from God, then how can they explain God doing that with me in order to come out of something false? How can they believe that they don’t exist when there are hundreds of Muslims around the world who have been having actual visions of Jesus Christ appearing to them?

You see, a man with a theory is never at the mercy of a man with an experience.

Muslims get saved through visions, and if that’s the case, then we should thank God that He leads people out of their past whether it is Islam or Mormonism, because sometimes a dream or a vision is what it is going to take for that person to believe in it! Look at Thomas in the Bible. He actually needed to see the holes in Christ’s hands. Some people, like me, were so wrapped up in Mormonism that God needed to use dreams to get my attention, and praise God for that.

I will make another post sometime tomorrow, as time permits. I am so busy out here today and the rest of the trip that I will do my best to post an update on each day when I can.

Please pray for me today as I go into battle once more, and face the enemy with the Light of Christ. The enemy is not the Mormon people; the enemy is the devil and his lies and false doctrines. May God’s favor, blessing, and light shine forth today as we bring the good news to the captives, for this is my prayer, and I ask that it may be yours too. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

 

 

Joseph Smith Lied About Having Many Wives

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints came out with an official Gospel Topics essay entitled “Plural Marriage in Kirtland and Nauvoo,” in October of 2014. Here is the link to this official, authoritative LDS essay:

https://www.lds.org/topics/plural-marriage-in-kirtland-and-nauvoo?lang=eng

Interesting to note, that if you go to http://www.lds.org, the LDS Church’s official website, click “Scriptures and Study” on the top, go to the “Learn More” heading, and click on “Gospel Topics.” You’ll see every letter of the alphabet lined up in a row, and if you click on one of them, it shows you all the articles that begin with the letter “P.” So, click on “P.” Why is it that you cannot find the article “Plural Marriage in Kirtland and Nauvoo?” Interesting.

It is only when you type in the name of the article in the search box that it even comes up. But how are Latter-day Saints who are unaware of Joseph Smith’s polygamous and polyandrous marriages to know that the authoritative essay exists? Sure, Tad Walch of Deseret News announced on October 25, 2014 that the essay had been published. His article is entitled “Polygamy essays provide information about early LDS Church – and current leadership.”

One wonders why still so many Latter-day Saints have not heard that Joseph Smith had between 30-40 wives, several of whom were currently married to other men’s wives when he married them.

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Joseph Smith statue in the Joseph Smith Memorial Building, Salt Lake City, UT

Anyway, research the history of Joseph Smith and when he married these women. Read Richard Bushman’s Rough Stone Rolling, or Todd Compton’s In Sacred Lonliness, both recount solid facts about these polygamous and polyandrous marriages and the affairs Joseph was involved in.

The point of this article is to establish the fact that Joseph Smith, the first Mormon Prophet and founder, lied about his ways and lied about being married to more women other than Emma.

On Sunday, May 26, 1844, just one month before Joseph Smith died in a gun battle at Carthage Jail in Illinois, Joseph Smith preached a sermon toward his dissenters at “the Stand,” a grove close to the Nauvoo Temple.

Joseph Smith said the following:

“What a thing it is for a man to be accused of committing adultery, and having seven wives, when I can only find one.”

This is recorded in History of the Church 6:411 (see pp. 410-412 for context) and Millennial Star No. 42, Vol. 23, pp. 672-674.

If you know your history, Joseph Smith had at least 30 wives by this time. Joseph Smith lied and said he only knew of himself having one wife, when clearly, he had many more. This quote was given in May of 1844, AFTER he took those several wives. This is why he destroyed the Nauvoo Expositor magazine, because it published the truth about Joseph Smith, that he practiced polygamy. Joseph’s treasonous actions of destroying a free press and silencing of what is labeled as “anti-Mormon” literature continues to this day, as many Mormons loath Christian ministries critical of Mormonism and try to silence them.

Yet Mormonism thrives on a martyrdom and persecution mentality. After all, Jesus talks about persecution that will follow a believer. If you want to talk real persecution, try talking to the millions of Christians in Africa and Asia who have suffered their lives to be taken because of being a Christian. This is nothing compared to a Mormon getting offended by a Christian posting something that hurts his/her feelings on a blog website. We way too often find ourselves pulling out the “I’m offended!” card way too many times nowadays. We need to stop doing that. If I am against the teachings of the LDS Church, which I am, some militant theological Mormons will not like what I have to say and they will get offended, like some have. If I was firmly LDS and taught that all other churches were corrupt, I would be offending the Christians. So either way, I will be offending someone simply because I take a stand on one side, rather than being on the fence.

Breaking open the truths about Joseph Smith and writing truths about the falsehoods of Mormonism is not persecution. If Mormons believe that a trademark of being the “only true Church” is the ‘persecution’ that follows, then why silence what they consider to be “anti-Mormon?” If they silence who they call “anti-Mormons” then there would be no more ‘persecution,’ therefore, would the LDS Church still be considered the only true church if persecution no longer follows them because the persecutors have been silenced? Not in the slightest.

As a matter of fact, much of what is “anti-Mormon” is simply true historical facts that the some LDS faithful refuse to look at, simply because it is not ‘faith-promoting.’ Why do you think the LDS Church came out with at least 13 authoritative Gospel Topics Essays since 2013 that address controversial topics that so-called “anti-Mormon” writers have been saying for decades? Because the non-Mormon sources actually had the information and put it out there to the world. Why are Mormons just now in the past few years learning about the seer stone in a hat used to translate the Book of Mormon? Or that Joseph Smith really didn’t translate the Book of Abraham from the papyrus? And many other issues? Are we just now learning this information for the first time? No. But the Mormon Church hierarchy suppressed this information from their own people. That is information control, and is very dangerous.

In a temple-recommend “worthiness” interview given upon preparing to enter the temple based on one’s personal ‘worthiness,’ a Mormon is asked: “Do you support, affiliate with, or agree with any group or individual whose teachings or practices are contrary to or oppose those accepted by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?” This is why there are several Mormons who do view my website and many other Christian ministries who present facts about Joseph Smith and the truth claims of Mormonism who know they cannot get themselves to support these facts because their ‘worthiness’ is at stake. If their worthiness is at stake, then their temple recommend is at stake. If their temple recommend is at stake and they are found guilty of ‘apostasy,’ then they could face excommunication. If they face excommunication, then their eternal family is at stake.

Jesus said in Matthew 10:37, “He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.” Family is the most important unit in Mormonism. Fear of being excommunicated drives the questioning Latter-day Saint into a predicament. On one hand, he/she has learned real, hard facts about his Church that he cannot seem to reconcile with the ‘faith-promoting’ agenda the LDS Church has in their selective information control. On the other hand, if they leave, they can lose their family for eternity.

Jesus Christ says that if we love our families more than Him, we are not worthy of Him. To the struggling Latter-day Saint, Jesus Christ is more important than the family unit, because if your family members know and have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, they will be spending eternity in Heaven with you and Christ anyway! Hence, temple sealings are vain and fruitless acts because salvation is individualistic, never collective. We each need our personal relationship with the Lord. We cannot be saviors on Mount Zion, as the LDS Church claims. We cannot dare think for a second that we can be saviors! What blasphemy! Jesus Christ is the only Savior, and the only name by which men are saved. If we find the truth about the LDS Church and leave it in order to find Christ and it means that the family will disown you for doing it, what will you choose? This is why Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:35, “For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.” Christ knew that the day would come when his followers would have to choose between Him and between the family because of situations like leaving Mormonism and what it often does to a family unit when family members leave the Church. Choose Jesus Christ, and whatever consequences come with that, know that it is worth it because Jesus has your back when everything else seems like its falling away.

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Photo taken in front of the LDS Church Office Building, Salt Lake City, UT

Yes, some “anti-Mormon” writings are demagogic, and magnify things that are not really there. I do not support those efforts. I do not support the showmanship of Ed Decker’s The God Makers or The God Makers 2, because Jerald and Sandra Tanner have exhausted a number of reasons why The God Makers 2 is full of misleading information. Neither do I endorse Bill Schnoebelen’s Mormonism’s Temple of Doom DVD teaching. If I was a Latter-day Saint, I would be more willing to listen to a soft approach on the truth of a matter, rather than something that pulls emotions into a mix of half-truths.

Many times when an ex-Mormon comes out of Mormonism and becomes a Christian, they want to start a ministry to Mormons right off the bat. When this happens, they are still a novice Christian, and try to take on a ministry position. This can lead to both burn-out and corrupt teachings because of the lack of time they have had to really grow in the Word of God, the Bible.  This is why there are some strange teachings on Mormonism that they put forth that I would agree with Mormons that they are not passionate about the Mormon people themselves and more than anything, grasp at the wind and try to pull the wind down and tackle it.

The most “anti-Mormon” writings out there are not writings written by non-Mormons being critical of Mormonism, they are simply Mormon, official LDS documents, Conference Reports, General Conference speeches, and the LDS scriptures themselves. The contradictions and inconsistencies are overwhelmingly there. Just look at the one quote in itself that Joseph Smith said about himself not having more than one wife when clearly he had at least 30. That was recorded in History of the Church, an LDS source. This stuff does not come from “anti-Mormon” writings. Yes, Christian writers on Mormonism quote LDS sources, the only reason Mormons identify these Christian writers that document polemics on Mormonism is because they are not ‘faith-promoting,’ meaning, they are full of actual facts, yet those facts eat away at the truthfulness of the truth-claims of Mormonism.

When you realize that Joseph Smith lied, what does that make you think? Will you attempt to rationalize it, throw that quote under the bus and say, “Well, Joseph wasn’t perfect. He even said he wasn’t. He had many sins, but God decided to use him as the Prophet of the Restoration.” Or are you going to look at the fact as simply a fact and realize that this “prophet” of God was lying? What are the implications about that?

LDS President Wilford Woodruff said, “The Lord will never permit me or any other man who stands as President of this Church to lead you astray.”

Does that include Joseph Smith? Because Joseph Smith was the LDS Church’s president from 1830 until 1844. Did Joseph Smith lead the people astray by lying to them about his marriages with other women, including 14-year old girls?

If we have a conscience, this information should bother us. As a matter of fact, yes, it gets us frustrated with what men can do in the name of God and religion, and really on the inside, they are lustful, ravenous wolves. But even by this point, knowing this should help us be more convicted that it is NOT men that we should follow, we should follow Jesus Christ, our Savior, and our God.

Jesus Christ is the Prophet of the Restoration. Not the Restoration of Mormonism. But the Restoration of our lives back to God, our reconciliation with God, our relationship with God. This restoration is individual, yet it is sweeping the true Church of Jesus Christ world-wide. God truly is fulfilling Malachi 4:5-6 and restoring the generations to each other by living relationships, not through dead works for the dead.

The fact that Joseph Smith lied about having many wives got a Mormon excommunicated from the LDS Church simply for posting it on Facebook. Bruce Holt posted his story on LifeAfterMormonism’s forum in April of 2016. The link to his post is here: https://www.facebook.com/bruceah/posts/10207772042792812?pnref=story

What amazes me is that bringing up actual quotes from LDS Church leaders (including Joseph Smith) to your bishop and/or stake president, can get you excommunicated. Try asking serious, foundational questions to your stake president or bishop, or bringing up Church history issues, and see how the discussion unravels. See what responses you get.

Joseph Smith did lead his Church astray. I have a lot of empathy for early Mormons in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who wanted to follow something that was true, and followed Joseph Smith for a time, yet left because they simply found themselves followers of a liar, deceiver, and an adulterer. The pain they went through was unimaginable, as they followed a false prophet.

In a sliver of ways, I can relate. Not entirely, but I did once upon a time trust Joseph Smith. I used to believe what he said, and it was unbelievably crushing to me finding out that he was not a true prophet, before I actually almost joined the LDS Church. I found a best friend in Joseph Smith when I believed what he said. It was crushing to me when I found out he lied about so many things and that his Book of Mormon and Book of Abraham were fabrications. I cannot imagine how hard it would be to a Latter-day Saint who finds out the truth about Joseph Smith, how crushing that would be.

With that said, let it be known that I am understanding that this is a difficult journey. But know that God has a plan for you in this life. If you are a Latter-day Saint, I’m not questioning if you really know Jesus Christ or if you don’t, only Christ knows that. But it is the doctrines and history of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, as well as the life of Joseph Smith that have huge problems, which have even bigger implications for the foundation of the LDS Church and its validity, which in turn have even BIGGER implications for current active members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This is the concern I have, it is not a frustration for Mormon people, nor am I anti-Mormon; it is the deceiving doctrines, cover-ups, contradictions, and unbelievably un-biblical doctrines of Mormonism that deserve to be called out.

LDS President J. Reuben Clark once said,

“If we have the truth, it cannot be harmed by investigation. If we have not the truth, it ought to be harmed.”

So if Mormonism’s claims are false and Christians are proclaiming this, this LDS leader says it is okay to do so, and that we have an obligation to shed light on the falsehoods of Mormonism.

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf said this in the following speech entitled, “Acting on the Truths of the Gospel of Jesus Christ,” Worldwide Leadership Training, February 11, 2012:

“Brothers and sisters, as good as our previous experience may be, if we stop asking questions, stop thinking, stop pondering, we can thwart the revelations of the Spirit. Remember, it was the questions young Joseph asked that opened the door for the restoration of all things. We can block the growth and knowledge our Heavenly Father intends for us. How often has the Holy Spirit tried to tell us something we needed to know but couldn’t get past the massive iron gate of what we thought we already knew?”

Latter-day Saints, I encourage you to keep asking questions. Keep asking questions. Do not stop thinking.

Why are some Latter-day Saints even ousted from their Church for believing other doctrine[?], when Joseph Smith himself said the following in History of the Church 5:340:

“I did not like the old man being called up for erring in doctrine. It looks too much like the Methodist, and not like the Latter-day Saints. Methodists have creeds which a man must believe or be asked out of their church. I want the liberty of thinking and believing as I please. It feels so good not to be trammeled. It does not prove that a man is not a good man because he errs in doctrine.”

Do Mormons not have the liberty of thinking and believing as they please? If a man errs in doctrine in the LDS Church, yes, he cannot speak it publicly or cause others to ‘stumble’ in that sense, otherwise this is considered acting in ways contrary to teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Then why are Mormons throughout this country excommunicated because they err in doctrine? Does that not make the Mormon Church like the Methodists, in Joseph Smith’s line of thinking? Do you see the irony here?

Stumbling in doctrine, according to Joseph Smith, does not prove that a man is not a good man.

1 Timothy 4:1 (KJV) says plainly that there are false doctrines brought forth by the devil himself, so yes, if you err in doctrine, that is a serious issue. Here is the scripture:

“Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;”

People are deceived by false doctrines. False doctrine is a huge issue. It can be easy to throw the word doctrine around to sound all theological, but it is really an issue of right teaching and wrong teaching. Period.

Listen closely to what prophet you follow in these latter-days. False prophets will arise, says the Lord. If something is in existence that is false, that denotes that something in existence must be true of that same category. Hence, how can there be false prophets lurking in these last days if there is not a true prophet in existence? How can there be a false answer to a test if there is not a true answer? How can there be a false piece of information when in fact there is a true piece of information to counter it? Thereby, since there are many false prophets in the world today, this means there is a true prophet in existence today.

I will tell you who He is… His name is Jesus Christ. He is our Prophet in these last days, and He is the only High Priest of His Church since his resurrection. He sits on His throne in Heaven, fulfilling His High Priestly duties, making intercession to the Father for us.

This is why the veil was torn in the temple in Jesus’ day: we can now have direct access to God and we as believers (men and women) are all a part of the holy priesthood, we can go before the holy of holies, and submit our prayers directly to Christ.

What God tore down in the temple, Mormons put back up by having a veil in their temple. Jesus tore that thing down for a reason, to show us that we are indeed in a better covenant.

He is the new and everlasting covenant. And in Him, and only Him, may we find life everlasting through having faith in Him.

The True Gospel Presented on the National Day of Prayer

Jeff Durbin, pastor of Apologia Church in Tempe, Arizona, created this video last December to present the Gospel to Mormons right outside of Temple Square in Salt Lake City.

This humble message is one of my favorites and shows the love that Christians do have for Latter-day Saints. In this National Day of Prayer that we observe in the United States of America, we long to come to God and lay down our sins so that He may forgive our sins and heal our land.

No matter what nation you are in, please read the scriptures below, as this can be universally applied to whatever ethnic background, culture, or nation you may belong to.

2 Chronicles 7:14 (KJV) says,

 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

When evil has befallen a nation, such as what has happened to the U.S. in the past decade, one can understand when one reads the rest of 2 Chronicles chapter 7. When we do not follow His commandments and forsake the God of our fathers, God’s hedge of protection is lifted. However, re-read 2 Chronicles 7:14 again.

We, as Christians, need to:

  1. Humble ourselves
  2. Pray
  3. Seek God’s face
  4. Turn from our wicked ways

In turn, God will:

  1. Hear us from Heaven
  2. Forgive our sin
  3. Heal our land

We often want to pray and have our land healed, but that cannot happen unless we humble ourselves and turn from our wicked ways. We all grew up with sin flowing through our veins from birth, but through forgiveness Jesus Christ can wash us clean by His blood that was spilled on the Cross.

Many of us wonder why we are experiencing what we are in the United States today. As we look around us at this generation and the last, we recognize that God is being put on the back burner and we have a majority of our generation who either does not believe God exists, or, has no fear of the Lord, therefore, the concept of sin vanishes.

May we never forget that we all sin and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23).

BUT, we can be born-again and have a relationship with our Savior.

Psalm 141:2 says, “May my prayer be set before you like incense; may the lifting up of my hands be like the evening sacrifice.” God bless you, and may your prayers go up to the Lord as a sweet fragrance before His Throne.

May this video remind you of how much we all need to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The person you sit next to on the subway train on the way to work, that guy in the cubicle next to you who annoys you everyday at the office, the girl who works at an ice-cream shop who had a terrible first day at work, the person who cut you off on the highway, the young orphan child who has no parents, the lackadaisical Christian who never attends church, the devout Latter-day Saint who has a picture-perfect family and thinks he ‘has it all together’, the high school drop-out who think no one is proud of him for who he is as a person, the custodian at the school who hasn’t gotten a raise in fifteen years, the next door neighbor who nobody understands, the son or daughter struggling with depression, the newly married couple who is on their honeymoon and having the time of their lives… The point is, we all need God’s grace. We all need His forgiveness. Let it be known that it is by His grace we are saved, and not of works. His grace carries us through this life, and in this life we are endowed with HIS righteousness, not our own.

God bless you all.

Christians Have a Responsibility to Approach Mormonism

Some Latter-day Saints believe Christians are hateful bigots that persecute Mormons when they simply seek to witness the Truth to them. They’ll sometimes say, “We don’t show up at your events trying to convert you!”

Right, but you have 80,000+ missionaries that show up at our homes on Saturday mornings interrupting our family time trying to convert our families to Mormonism, so it is most definitely fair that we try to spread the gospel as preached in the Bible to Mormons at events. Some passive Christians may take an issue with this, but if they do, they simply do not understand the Great Commission as laid out by Jesus in Matthew 28, nor do they understand the several times the Apostle Paul preached the gospel of Christ at occasions in synagogues and during public events. He stirred up crowds, got arrested, was stoned, and the whole 9. Imagine what the world would think of the Apostle Paul if he lived today doing the same things. Many lax Christians would think he was out of his mind and ‘controversial.’

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

We as believers have to realize that we need to contend for the faith. Jude 1:3 (NIV) states:

“Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt compelled to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to God’s holy people.”

If contention comes up between a Mormon and a Christian in a conversation, it does not mean the Christian or Mormon is wrong simply because there is contention. What this means is that there is a wrestle going on between the truth and the lie; it is an internal battle going on in the spirit world, not a matter of flesh and blood, but of principalities and spirits that is at play.

John Taylor, Mormonism’s 3rd prophet, declared the following:

“What does the Christian world know about God? Nothing …Why so far as the things of God are concerned, they are the veriest of fools; they know neither God nor the things of God.” (Journal of Discourses 13:225)

If Christians are not leaving Mormonism alone, like the Mormon leadership wants, then why does the Mormon Church not leave Christianity alone? The answer is simply this: Mormonism cannot leave Christianity alone! Its very founding is based on the teaching that all of Christianity is false. If it left this notion behind, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints would have no reason to exist.

It was Mormon Apostle Bruce McConkie who declared:

“And virtually all the millions of apostate Christendom have abased themselves before the mythical throne of a mythical Christ whom they vainly suppose to be a spirit essence who is incorporeal uncreated, immaterial and three-in-one with the Father and Holy Spirit.” (Mormon Doctrine, pg.269)

So when Christians declare that Mormonism is not Christianity, Mormons cannot get upset and think we are bigoted. If this is the case, then the Mormon leadership is full of bigotry because they say Christians “abase [ourselves] before the mythical throne of a mythical Christ,” and that we do this in “vain.”

That is pretty harsh. So Mormons, when the few Christians there are that take up the challenge to witness the gospel to you from the Bible, remember what your leaders have said about Christianity and all other churches, and think of the tens of thousands of missionaries you have knocking on Christian’s doors to spread the Book of Mormon around, and think of how many of us react to that, and then you may understand that we have the same zeal to preach Christ, though our gospels differ entirely.

Mormons, know that we do not come to you in vain, nor do we undertake our mission lightly, but we seek to show the truth to you in love.

Mormonism: Native Americans Are Cursed With Dark Skin That May Turn White if They Convert

Mormon Prophet Harold B. Lee said the following:

“The Indians on the American continent are descendants of the tribes of Ephraim, Judah, and Manasseh, we are told by the Book of Mormon. (Omni 15-19; 1 Nephi 5:14-16.) Their dark skin was a curse put upon them because of their transgression, which in a day to come in their descendants will be lifted and they will become white and delightsome as they accept the Gospel and turn to the Lord (Harold B. Lee, Decisions for Successful Living, p. 167.)

This next one is quite saddening, disturbing, and shocking; it is an official statement from LDS President and Prophet Spencer W. Kimball. Present-day Native Americans are known as descendants of the Lamanites, who were supposedly the evil group of people in the Americas in the Book of Mormon. Listen to this LDS prophet speak:

“The day of the Lamanites is nigh. For years they have been growing delightsome, and they are now becoming white and delightsome, as they were promised. In this picture of the twenty Lamanite missionaries, fifteen of the twenty were as light as the Anglos; five were darker but equally delightsome. The children in the home placement program in Utah are often lighter than their brothers and sisters in the hogans on the reservation. At one meeting a father and mother and their sixteen-year-old daughter were present, the little member girl-sixteen-sitting between the dark father and mother, and it was evident she was several shades lighter than her parents-on the same reservation, in the same hogan, subject to the same sun and wind and weather. There was the doctor in a Utah city who for two years had had an Indian boy in his home who stated that he was some shades lighter than the younger brother just coming into the program from the reservation. These young members of the Church are changing to whiteness and delightsomeness. One white elder jokingly said that he and his companion were donating blood regularly to the hospital in the hope that the process might be accelerated.” (Spencer W. Kimball, Conference Reports, October 1960, p. 34.)

Did you read that? Can you actually believe that? This is coming from a General Conference Report from a Mormon prophet! This is unbelievably racist! Thinking that Native Americans who become Mormons have their skin color naturally change to white because they accept the LDS gospel? I don’t think so!

It amazes me that the LDS Church has so many members in Latin America, as the “cursed” Lamanites dwell there as well. Listen to this:

“Who are the Lamanites? The term Lamanite includes all Indians and Indian mixtures, such as the Polynesians, the Guatemalans, the Peruvians, as well as the Sioux, the Apache, the Mohawk, the Navajo, and others. It is a large group of great people.” (Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, p. 596. See also “Of Royal Blood,” Ensign, July 1971, p. 7)

According to Mormonism, the Latin American and Native American populations today are cursed with dark skin, and that skin may become white if they convert to Mormonism. Why then, with millions of members, hasn’t the Latin American LDS population changed skin color if they are to become “white and delightsome” upon accepting the LDS gospel?

Something isn’t right here…

The God of the Bible would never curse anyone with a different skin color. God created all skin colors equal.

 

Seriousness about the Validity of Joseph Smith’s First Vision Account

God was not man

The very foundation of Mormonism centers on the supposed validity of the First Vision. The 2nd LDS prophet, Brigham Young, once stated:

“The doctrine that God was once a man and has progressed to become a God is unique to this Church.” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Brigham Young, 1997, p. 34.

How did Joseph Smith come up with the idea that God was a man? He claimed to have seen God the Father and Jesus Christ the Son in a vision back in 1820. Much emphasis is placed on the First Vision. If it did not happen, the LDS Church is in trouble. Hear LDS prophet Gordon B. Hinckley when he says the following:

“Our whole strength rests on the validity of that vision. It either occurred or it did not occur. If it did not, then this work is a fraud… upon that unique and wonderful experience stands the validity of this church.” (Gordon B. Hinckley, “The Marvelous Foundation of our Faith,” Ensign, (Conference Edition), November 2002, p. 80.

Also, Hinckley also mentioned something that sent chills up my spine when I read it for the first time.

“That becomes the hinge pin on which this whole cause turns. If the First Vision was true, if it actually happened, then the Book of Mormon is true. Then we have the priesthood. Then we have the Church organization and all of the other keys and blessings of authority which we say we have. If the First Vision did not occur, then we are involved in a great sham. It is just that simple. (Teachings of Gordon B. Hinckley, p. 227)

And also,

I would like to say that this cause is either true or false. Either this is the kingdom of God, or it is a sham and a delusion. Either Joseph talked with the Father and the Son, or he did not. If he did not, we are engaged in blasphemy. (Gordon B. Hinckley, Conference Reports, October 1961, p. 116)

Read this last quote:

“Every claim that we make concerning divine authority, every truth that we offer concerning the validity of this work, all finds its roots in the First Vision of the boy prophet.” (Teachings of Gordon B. Hinckley, p. 226) “If that opening of the curtain of light and knowledge which ushered in this, the dispensation of the fulness of times, is true, then all else which the Prophet taught is true also.” (Teachings of Gordon B. Hinckley, p. 226.)

So if the First Vision was true, then everything else that Joseph Smith taught is true. But what if Joseph Smith taught lies later in his life, false teachings, and lied about practicing polygamy? If he lied and did not teach true doctrine, then what does this say about the First Vision?

Joseph Smith even married eleven women who were currently married to other men. (Todd Compton, In Sacred Loneliness, p. 15)

Would you trust Joseph Smith around your family? Around your wife, and around your daughter? As i have a 15-month old daughter, there is no way i would want Joseph Smith around my daughter when she becomes a teenager, as Joseph Smith fancied teenage girls and married them.Here are the teenage girls’ names and ages when he married them:

  • Fanny Alger 16
  • Sarah Ann Whitney 17
  • Lucy Walker 17
  • Flora Ann Woodworth 16
  • Emily Dow Partridge 19
  • Sarah Lawrence 17
  • Maria Lawrence 19
  • Helen Mar Kimball 14
  • Melissa Lott 19
  • Nancy M. Winchester [14?]

Joseph Smith married 12 girls who were teenagers. Wow, that’s pretty disgusting to be honest with you. Would you invite Joseph Smith to your home for dinner around your family? There is no way Joseph Smith would see God the Father and the Son in a vision, claim to be a Prophet, the only man who held the keys on earth to God’s Kingdom, and treated sisters in Christ the way He did by marrying these girls.

Are you willing to stake your salvation in following a man whose ‘restoration’ of Christ’s church is all hinged on the supposed First Vision account?  A man who, given his ‘calling,’ acted on his lustful desires and had his life ended in the midst of it? I would rather find assurance in the only name under heaven by which we are saved, Jesus Christ. Acts 4:12 says that men and women cannot be saved by any other name other than the name of Jesus Christ.

If you are a Latter-day Saint, read the quotes above from your prophet Gordon B. Hinckley. Does he sound 100% sure that his Church is teaching the truth? He absolutely leaves room for doubt when he gives the seriousness of what it would be if Mormonism was indeed false.

My brothers and sisters, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is engaged in blasphemy. Hinckley said that if the First Vision was true, then EVERYTHING Joseph Smith taught afterward is true. That is pretty dangerous.Since Joseph Smith taught so many false doctrines, lied about having any wives other than one, and engaged in blasphemy, this discounts the First Vision. Had Joseph Smith really had a First Vision, his life afterwards would have mirrored the life of Paul the apostle; a life set aside in purity and preaching the Cross of Christ (see 1 Corinthians 1).

Since Mormon prophets and Mormonism does not teach much of the Cross of Christ, it is foolishness to them, and is not true Christianity. 1 Corinthians 1:18 (NIV) says,

“For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”

Think about it. Joseph Smith’s life was not lived preaching about the Cross of Christ, but a lengthy, burdensome, hard-to-follow life of contradictions and man-made commandments. Don’t be bogged down in that, find your freedom in the cross of Christ!

 

 

 

Was Joseph Smith “Sufficiently Humble?”

The Book of Mormon teaches the following in Alma 5:27-28:

“Have ye walked, keeping yourselves blameless before God? Could ye say, if ye were called to die at this time, within yourselves, that ye have been sufficiently humble? That your garments have been cleansed and made white through the blood of Christ, who will come to redeem his people from their sins? Behold, are ye stripped of pride? I say unto you, if ye are not ye are not prepared to meet God. Behold ye must prepare quickly; for the kingdom of heaven is soon at hand, and such an one hath not eternal life.”

Taking a look at Joseph Smith’s life, was he humble, and did he really follow the words the book that came forth from his own hands?

Joseph Smith says the following about himself in 1844, very shortly before his death:

“I have more to boast of than ever any man had. I am the only man that has ever been able to keep a whole church together since the days of Adam. A large majority of the whole have stood by me. Neither Paul, John, Peter, nor Jesus ever did it. I boast that no man ever did such a work as I. The followers of Jesus ran away from Him; but the Latter-day Saints never ran away from me yet” (History of the Church, 6:408-409) “…how I do love to hear the wolves howl! When they can get rid of me, the Devil will go also.” (History of Joseph Smith, 672)

Think about that. What does it say, Latter-day Saints, when your founding prophet says about himself, “When [Latter-day Saints] can get rid of me, the Devil will go also?” This is highly significant, ironic, and highly prophetic? After all, words have powerful meaning, especially when spoken forth from the mouth. If Joseph Smith was dropped by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, then the Devil would leave. This is why the foundation of the LDS Church is built upon Joseph Smith, a man who had such pride. It is not the fact that he had pride that matters, because after all, all of us have had issues with pride at some point or another.

Sometimes we may have gone out into the world to make a name for ourselves instead of giving glory to the Lord God–this is pride. Joseph Smith’s unrepentant pride that boasted with such heresy is just like Herod in Acts 12:21-23 (NIV). In this story, it says the following:

 On the appointed day Herod, wearing his royal robes, sat on his throne and delivered a public address to the people. They shouted, “This is the voice of a god, not of a man.” Immediately, because Herod did not give praise to God, an angel of the Lord struck him down, and he was eaten by worms and died.

Joseph Smith gave a sermon in 1844, not long before his death, called the King Follett Discourse. This sermon is filled with blasphemy and heretical teachings about God in relation to man. Go online and read it sometime. After the sermon, a man named Joseph Fielding said this about Joseph Smith’s sermon:

“I never felt more delighted with his discourse than at this time. They said at his oration, it is the voice of a god not of a man.” (Journal of Joseph Fielding, quoted in “The King Follett Discourse: Joseph Smith’s Greatest Sermon in Historical Perspective”)

Notice how the people said of Joseph Smith the same way they spoke of Herod when they said that “it is the voice of a god and not of a man.” Wow! Can you believe that? Herod died of worms because he accepted what the people said. Joseph Smith died a few months after this sermon that was apparently the best sermon he ever preached, in the eyes of the Mormon people.

Mormons, think about what this really means. Joseph Smith’s blasphemy led to his death. Not a death of martyrdom as a hero of the faith, but as God’s letting us know that He will not tolerate a man blaspheming His name and poising ourselves as gods.

The Jews spent 40 years in the wilderness so they could be humbled (Deuteronomy 8:2).We learn in the Bible that before honor comes humility (Proverbs 15:33). Also, Jesus teaches us that if we do not humble ourselves, we will not be exalted. (Matthew 23:12).

We need to watch our pride so that we can come as a child to Jesus Christ, lest we think we are better than our Creator, lest we think that we can become a God.

We must always keep ourselves a humble spirit and a repentant heart. Start and end your day with those two things, for it will take you far in life!