Deuteronomy 6:12-14; “Then beware lest thou forget the LORD, which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage. 13 Thou shalt fear the LORD thy God, and serve him, and shalt swear by his name. 14 Ye shall not go after other gods, of the gods of the people which are round about you.”
The passage above is what should be the focus of this week’s lesson, alas; it was with great sadness I found that it’s not.
This week’s LDS OT lesson is focused on the phrase “beware lest thee forget” and the purpose is to teach members how “to create an environment that will help them to do so”. In other words they’re explaining how members can decorate their homes with pictures of LDS temples and portraits of the LDS prophets, or set up their weekly schedules to remind them of God’s commandments.
They’re trying to get members to set up their surroundings with visual reminders to obey the Mormon god and if that isn’t enough then fill your schedule with activities every night of the week that takes place either in the Mormon ward buildings or temples. The lesson says that by doing these things you’ve put a shield of protection around you and the family. Oh dear…
The lesson used passages from Deuteronomy 6:1-9; 8:1-20; 11:18-21; 32:1-47; D&C and of course the ever present Book of Mormon. The stories they focused upon was when Moses was leading the Israelites out of the wilderness and into the Promised Land.
One of the key points of this lesson referred to the time Moses told the Israelites to remember what the Lord commanded in Deuteronomy 6:5-7.
“And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. 6 And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: 7 And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.”
The sad part about this is how they ignored verse four which says the “Lord our God is one Lord”. Of course if they spent any time on that particular verse it would raise more questions than answers I’m sure!
They also asked members to give opinions on what Deuteronomy 11:18-20 meant for them and then explained what the “frontlets” were that men wore.
The other main focus of this lesson was on the word “Rock” that’s used quite frequently in Deuteronomy.
Now in the days of Moses and the Israelites they obviously had no idea this was a foreshadowing of Jesus, but to the Mormon this isn’t so. Unfortunately they’re taught that Moses spoke about Jesus being the Rock and that Moses wasn’t buried as reported in Deuteronomy. They boldly claimed he was translated and that if Moses had died and was buried, he wouldn’t have been able to appear at the transfiguration or give Joe and friends the keys to the priesthood – D&C 13 & 84.
While we can look back to these passages and see how God is the consummate savior and redeemer which does in fact mean His Son Jesus, those who lived before Jesus came wouldn’t have known this. The reaction Jesus received when He did come to earth tells us the Israelites were looking for a different type of leader and redeemer. They were thinking of someone who would come in and gain freedom for them through military or political might and set up a new kingdom for the nation of Israel.
The Israelites’ rejection of Jesus overall points to this fact and tells us they had no idea someone by the name of Jesus of Nazareth would offer them citizenship in a kingdom they never thought of before and that God had designed.
Just like the Israelites, Mormons have rejected the true redeemer and allowed him to become a stumbling block in their quest for godhood status. In their conclusion section it gave advice to the teachers;
“Testify that the things we place around us—such as pictures, books, and music—can be powerful reminders of the Lord and the covenants we have made with him. Point out that our purpose in surrounding ourselves with these things is the same as the ancient Israelites’ purpose in wearing frontlets: to help us build upon the Rock—to help us remember and follow the Lord.”
Placing symbols around your home to remind you of what you believe can be a form of idolatry. Pictures of temples where God doesn’t reside, portraits of false prophets and days filled with busyness draws you away from God, not to Him and in no way shape or form do these things protect you!
With remorse I noticed in their list of things to purchase to remind them of what they’re doing, there’s no mention of a cross. How sad. A cross isn’t going to protect anyone, but it does signify who you believe. Do you believe in a building, aka Mormon temple? Do you believe in a prophet? Are the prophets’ pictures hanging in the LDS living rooms a symbol of Joseph Smith’s teachings?
In closing –
Our spiritual protection comes from the Holy Spirit who is God and dwells inside each and every believer. Jesus told us in John chapters 14-16 that the Father would send the Comforter. Why would we need “things” to remind us of who we are in Christ? The fruits of the spirit stand as an outward proof or evidence if you will, that He is the one we trust in and believe and it is through His work we are made new – 2 Cor 5:17.
With Love in Christ;
1 Cor 1:18