This will be part 2 in my series on the questions asked of people before they become baptized members of the Mormon Church. This second set of questions is focused on the individuals “testimony” of church leaders who’ve been called to be prophets of this organization.
Do you believe the Church and gospel of Jesus Christ have been restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith?
Mormon doctrine teaches that a Great Apostasy occurred after Jesus was crucified and the apostles died, and with it came the loss of all gospel ordinances and priesthood authority. And because these things need to be restored God choose Joseph Smith to be his prophet and restorer of their faith.
Consider the wording of this question for a moment.
In order for someone to become a member of the Mormon Church they’d have to first not believe Jesus is God, and second not believe He is powerful enough to hold His Church together.
They would have to deny any of the foundational truths they learned in the church they grew up in, or learned in Sunday school or VBS and exchange them for the false claims of one man.
And they would have to denounce the one true God, to follow false prophet and a false god of his own making.
A false prophet who believed he was better than Jesus Christ.
Joseph Smith boasted – “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 Later-day Saints never ran away from me yet.” (History of the Church, Vol. 6, pp. 408-409)
Because the Mormon Church has such a skewed view of the gospel its doctrine dictates that there must always be a living prophet on the earth. And it’s only through this living prophet that Mormons believe God can speak to his people. If there was no prophet on the earth they believe “the heavens would be closed” and God wouldn’t be able to communicate to us, which is what they believe happened during this “Great Apostasy”.
This brings me to the second half of the question, this part asks:
Do you believe that [current Church President] is a prophet of God? What does this mean to you?
The current prophet and president of the Mormon Church is Thomas S. Monson. Mormons must have a firm testimony of his stance in the church before they’re baptized as well as before they can enter into the temple.
One of the things that I find particularly odd is how Mormons tend to take such pride in the name of their church. I’ve witnessed how they’ll take the time to sound out the name phonetically and then add an extra emphasis on the Jesus Christ portion of its name any time someone dares say they’re not Christian.
And yet in order for someone to become a member of their church they have to have a testimony of mortal man? Since I’ve come to know Jesus Christ as my Savior I’ve been a member of three churches, not once did I have to have a testimony of the pastor’s call to be a shepherd over the flock I was joining, not once.
Sure I had to believe he was dividing the Word of God accurately, but I don’t believe that’s the same as what I faced as a Mormon. As a Mormon along with believing this man spoke for God in regards to the church, I had to also believe he was for God in regards to my personal life.
One thing that boggles my mind amongst many things about the church is, if the Mormon Church is all about Jesus Christ and being His Church why would they demand that those who want to join must have a testimony of anyone other than Jesus Christ?
As I conclude I want to point out that God’s Word makes it very clear how He speaks to us today. It’s not through prophets or other mortal men but through His Son.
In Hebrews 1:1-4 we read:
God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,
Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;
Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high:
Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.
If we’re in Christ Jesus, and He’s in us we are part of His Church, His body of believers. And Jesus is the head of His Church.
Ephesians 1:22-23 reads:
And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,
Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.
The Gospel of Jesus Christ never left the earth, the heavens were never closed and God never abandoned his people just because the apostles died. His Gospel is found in the same place it’s always been, and God speaks to us directly through it. I think He speaks to us more than we realize, we just need to take the time to listen.