This week’s lesson entitled “Be Strong and of a Good Courage” is about the transfer of leadership from Moses to Joshua. The objective is to teach class members to remember the covenants they’ve taken to obey God and to use Joshua’s example in leadership success.
Two main items stuck out to me in this lesson that causes me to wonder how Mormons could follow the directive in the lesson and not leave the Church.
Using Joshua 1:8 as their example, they were encouraged to always remember what God told Joshua in order to be successful and to choose this day whom you will serve.
Joshua 1:8; “This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.”
Sadly the Mormons can’t see two huge problems when reading this verse in the Bible.
The first problem is that Mormonism rejects the Bible by believing it’s been translated incorrectly – Articles of Faith 8. The other problem is that Mormons have cherry picked parts of the Mosaic Law to suit their own purposes and rejected that we now live in the era of grace because Jesus spilled His blood to fulfill the Law.
At one point they commented on the importance of scripture study and asked the following question;
“Why do you think scripture study would have been important for Joshua to succeed in his calling?”
My response to this question is that Joshua heard from God when He spoke directly to Joshua and he also learned about God through the book of the Law (Torah) and in one example we find Joshua doing just that. However, this passage of scripture listed below isn’t brought up in the LDS lesson. Joshua’s success stemmed from obeying exactly what God instructed him to do not only while crossing the Jordan, but to having success in defeating Jericho and thereafter.
Joshua 8:31-32, 34; “As Moses the servant of the LORD commanded the children of Israel, as it is written in the book of the law of Moses, an altar of whole stones, over which no man hath lift up any iron: and they offered thereon burnt offerings unto the LORD, and sacrificed peace offerings. 32 ¶ And he wrote there upon the stones a copy of the law of Moses, which he wrote in the presence of the children of Israel. 34 And afterward he read all the words of the law, the blessings and cursings, according to all that is written in the book of the law.”
Notice in the passage above where it said Joshua read all the words of the law. Again, this isn’t the kind of thing Mormons are accustomed to because they don’t trust that God’s word has been translated correctly.
The last major problem in this lesson is found in their use of Joshua 24:14-15.
“Now therefore fear the LORD, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the LORD. 15 And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”
The lesson manual asks members the following question;
“Whom did Joshua and Israel covenant to serve? (See Joshua 24:15–18, 21–25, 31.) Why can’t a person serve the true God and worldly gods at the same time?”
Of course the answer is that we can’t serve two masters at the same time. Jesus said as much in Matthew 6:24;
“No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.”
Remarkably, we’ve found Jesus’ words to be true even today when it comes to many things, but in particular, Mormonism. Even the leaders of Mormonism have publicly admitted the Christ of Mormonism is definitely not the Christ of Christianity.
Gordon B. Hinckley, LDS Church News, June 20, 1998, p. 7; “The traditional Christ of whom they [evangelical Christians] speak is not the Christ of whom I speak. For the Christ of whom I speak has been revealed in this the Dispensation of the Fullness of Times. He together with His Father, appeared to the boy Joseph Smith in the year 1820, and when Joseph left the grove that day, he knew more of the nature of God than all the learned ministers of the gospel of the ages.”
I think it’s pretty clear from that statement which god the Mormons have chosen to obey. And it’s with heavy hearts we also see they’ve chosen to hate the Lord in their choice.
With Love in Christ;
1 Cor 1:18