Mentoring Handbook Chapter 4

22 October

THE TRUTH ABOUT JESUS

      Jesus' sacrificeFrom its inception, the LDS Church has maintained that Jesus Christ is a son of God.  While they say they are Christians by showing Him partiality; calling Him the first born; and proclaiming they worship Him; the evidence of their doctrine tells a different story.

When you ask a Mormon if they believe that Jesus is God they will answer with a resounding “NO”!  When you ask them who they believe Jesus is, they will reply with; He is (the) Christ, God’s Only Begotten Son.  I remember the first time I had heard that Jesus is God.  A friend of mine asked me if I believed in the Trinity.  I had never heard of that word before so I asked her to define it for me.

She said; “Jesus is God incarnate (in the flesh)”.  Well, needless to say that I had never felt so small and insignificant in my life and that feeling stayed with me for quite some time afterward.

If you ask a Mormon if they believe Jesus died for their sins, they will say, “Oh yes”!  And then go on to tell you they also believe He was resurrected on the third day.

When you ask them if they are Christians, they will tell you they most certainly are and the proof is that “His name is in the title of their church”; The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  [1] They will also tell you that they prefer to be called “a member of the LDS Church” instead of “Mormon”.  If you’re confused don’t feel alone; so are they.

I personally find it interesting that the title they now prefer doesn’t include Jesus’ name.  Notice; “I’m a Latter-day Saint” or they have told me “I’m LDS” – where is Jesus in all of this?

Some of the most blasphemous teachings about Jesus in “these latter days” have been promulgated by the doctrines of the LDS Church.  I guarantee that as you continue to go through the various steps of mentoring and layers of lies begin unraveling, you will understand.

When you are mentoring an ex-Mormon it may seem daunting to approach or get through this part of it, but don’t be dismayed.  I have yet to find a Mormon that doesn’t love Jesus to the very core of their being.  If I had a shred of doubt about this I wouldn’t be in this ministry.  The entire reason I do this is because I am one hundred percent convinced they do love Jesus!

Above all in this chapter, be sure to show your enthusiasm about Jesus.  You’re not a mentor because you’ve begrudgingly accepted the position, so don’t give them a subdued “Tom” or a mellow “Susan”; just be yourself!  Go out of your way to show them “faith in action” and how you live your everyday life having a personal relationship with Jesus.

One of the reasons this book ever came to be is because of an “everyday Christian”.  My good friend Fran befriended me at church not long after I got saved.  Everyone in my new Christian church welcomed me warmly and showed me much grace and kindness.

Kirk, the girls and I were invited to various homes for fellowship and all the programs they offered at the church; but not one single person I met had ever personally known a Mormon.  Out of the congregation of roughly 250 there were only a handful of women that took me aside to help and only one or two from that group truly sat with me on a consistent basis to help show me how to have an intimate relationship with the Lord.

We understand it might seem overwhelming to anyone that has no experience with Mormonism.  What you want to keep in mind is that the mentor doesn’t necessarily have to know intimate details about Mormonism and most certainly the Christian mentor doesn’t need to be a psychoanalyst!  You’re there to serve and accept them in the spiritual condition they’ve found themselves in; right here, right now, right at this moment.

God has orchestrated your paths to cross at this time for His purpose; not ours.  The spiritual warfare will have certainly made an appearance by now as you’ve gone through this mentoring book with your Mormon friend or loved one.  If it hasn’t done so yet, then you can count on it as you dig deeper into the Bible with them.  Now is the time to really make sure you’re side by side with them in prayer and as a show of spiritual strength they can learn from as they discover the truth about Jesus.  If they can just capture a tiny bit of whom He really is, their lives will never be the same!  God does all the work inside of their minds and hearts; we’re just pointing them in the right direction.

Remember the story of how Aaron and Hur held up the arms of Moses during his prayer to God Almighty?  You may want to share the story as a visual of you standing by their side encouraging and praying while they fight the battles of their exodus from Mormonism.

The story of Moses’ prayer and Israel’s success in the battle against Amalek will give them hope.  The passage comes from Exodus 17:1-12.  There is going to be a two-pronged lesson learned by using this passage.  The Amalekites were descendants of Esau and were the first group of people the Israelites had to fight after crossing the Red Sea. This exodus process is probably the first battle they’ll have in their new walk with Christ.

      Sharing a few tidbits of the goodness and truth found in the OT as you go along will help those put things into perspective as they learn how to cultivate and grow their relationship with our Savior.  It’s not that the Mormons are merely unaware of how to have this relationship with Jesus when they get out of Mormonism; they are actually trained not to do this as Mormons!  They believe that He was here to show that He was perfect and had to “earn” His own way to godhood.  He is their “example” for their path to their own godhood status.  Doctrines of Salvation 1:32;

 “Our Savior was a God before he was born into this world, and he brought with him that same status when he came here. He was as much a God when he was born into the world as he was before.

     Again, while I know that it seems I may be “beating a dead horse”, allow me to reiterate; they cannot have a personal relationship with the Jesus of the Bible, if the Mormon or ex-Mormon doesn’t know the truth about Him.

In many ways I am a visual-type student so I created a side-by-side chart comparing the doctrines of the LDS Church and the doctrines of God which I took from the Bible.

These basic teachings that I’ve chosen to list here weren’t pulled from some dusty old books that went unread for centuries or even decades.  On the contrary, the teachings I’ve listed here are just some of the things I was taught and buried deep in my heart while growing up as a sixth generation Mormon in Ogden, Utah.

BIBLE/TRUTH LDS/LIES
God incarnate:  John 1:1, 14 – (the Word) “…Father, Son, HG crammed into one God…could be monster…” TPJS, pg. 372    [1]
Mighty God:  Isaiah 9:6 “…Jesus is a god…” DOS 1:32 [2]
God of the whole earth:  Isaiah 54:5 “Jesus is the Christ, the Eternal God”.  Introductory page of BoM
Ancient of Days:  Jer. 7:13-4 “…Adam is Ancient of Days…” EOM, pg. 16 [3]

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Ensign of the people:  Is. 11:10 “Joseph Smith has done more, save Jesus…for the salvation of men…”  D&C 135:3
Friend of sinners:  Matt. 11:19 “…Jesus is not our friend…”Apostle McConkie, 1982  [4]
The Great “I AM”:  John 8:58 & Ex. 3:14 “Man was also in the beginning with God. Intelligence, or the light of truth, was not created or made, neither indeed can be.” D&C 93:29
Our Passover:  1 Cor. 5:7 “…some sins beyond reach of Christ’s blood…” DOS 1:134  [5]
Image of the invisible God:  Col. 1:15 “The Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man’s; the Son also…” D&C 130:22

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Mediator of a better covenant:  Heb. 8:6 “…Jesus was Great High Priest; Adam next…”  Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pg. 158.
True God:  1 John 5:20 “I have always declared God to be a distinct personage, Jesus Christ a separate and distinct personage from God the Father, and that the Holy Ghost was a distinct personage and a Spirit, and these three constitute three distinct personages and three Gods.”  HoC 6:474 
Creator: Gen. 1:23, 26 “…earth was organized by three distinct characters, namely, Eloheim, Yahovah, and Michael…” Journal of Discourses 1: 51.
Born in Bethlehem: Matt. 2:1 Born in Jerusalem Alma 7:10
His blood of the New Covenant  Matt. 26:28 “…His great suffering was before he ever was placed upon the cross. It was in the Garden of Gethsemane that the blood oozed from the pores…” DoS 1:130

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Lamb of God:  John 1:29, 36 Jesus is Lucifer’s brother:  Gospel Through the Ages, pg. 15
“The cross is foolishness to those who are perishing…” 1 Cor. 1:18 “…such a custom is repugnant and contrary to the true worship of our Savior…” AGQ 4:17

For all LDS references in full contextual proof see Bibliography, Chapter Four footnotes.

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Please note that while it may seem there are a few rabbit trails that I wander off on, remember that everything the Mormon knows is a lie; and I mean everything.  While the Bible talks about the Israelites going to battle against Amalek; in the Book of Mormon the Amalekites are the good guys in scriptural history.  Your sharing a small tidbit from the OT will be rich for them.

One integral part of Mormonism that you’ll want to address is Jesus’ name.  The Mormons only refer to Him as Christ, rarely by His given name of Jesus.  Explain to the Mormon that the word Christ is a title, not a name.  The first place in the Bible you’ll find this word is in Matthew 1:1;  “The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.

In the Greek the word Christ is “Christos” and it means; the Messiah or anointed one.  It is from the Hebrew, Meshiah.   Also notice that listing the genealogy of Jesus establishes His right to the throne as it is evidence He came from the royal line of David.

Again, we’ll be looking at Matthew 1:1, as it is the first time the name of Jesus is mentioned. “The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.” Jesus is the Greek (and Latin) form of this name while it was originally of Hebrew origin.  In the Hebrew the name is Yehowshuwa (Joshua).  It means he will save; the deliverer; the Lord is salvation.  The name Yehowshuwa originally came from the name Yehovah (Jehovah).  This is the Jewish national name of God and it is understood that Jehovah is self-Existent or Eternal and that He is God.

LDS doctrine says that Jesus is Jehovah but they’ve also been taught to believe that Jesus (Jehovah) is not the same as ‘elohim’ (heavenly father).  They are taught that the godhead is made up of three distinct personages.

One of the ways Mormons have stripped Jesus’ personal identity from Him is by not referring to Him by His given name.  This way they don’t have to deal with the reality of whom He really was for the Israelites and who He became for the Gentiles.  Jehovah – He will save.  Not me, not you, not your spouse, nothing, nobody.  Jehovah will save.

Isn’t it strange they “play the same game” with their missionaries?  They’ve stripped their identities from them as well.  They go out as nameless faces with a suit, tie and nametag.  Whenever I speak with the missionaries I insist they give me their first names as this is how they are identified.  They wear their nametags stating they are “Elder so and so” and since they can’t all be named “Elder”, I break the ice using this method of making it personal for them.

So now we have established what the name “Jesus” means and what the word “Christ” means.  This is the foundation from where we begin to build our truth from this point forward.  Jesus is God who saves and will deliver.  Jesus is also the Messiah.

Encourage the new ex-Mormon they can now have a relationship that is built on a first name basis with Him!  If they haven’t done so yet, now would be a good time to pray with them to accept Jesus into their life.  At the end of this booklet is a copy of the “Romans Road”.  It is a group of scriptures to read and understand how to be saved.

Another suggestion would be to share with the ex-Mormon a few of the prophecies in the Old Testament about Jesus.  There are 333 prophecies about Jesus from the OT and every single one of them came true!  In Isaiah chapter 53 there are 48 prophecies about Jesus; from His mission to the way He would die are all in that one chapter of only twelve verses.  These are the things the Mormon has never heard of before.  Even on Easter their services are filled with stories of Joseph Smith and nothing about Jesus, the cross or the resurrection.

A couple that had visited Kirk and I a few years back shared their last Easter experience with us at the LDS Church.  They wanted so badly that Sunday to sit and hear about Jesus and actually told their two daughters to get excited to hear the news!  The only time they heard Jesus’ name mentioned was at the end of the perfunctory prayers they use at the end of taking Sacrament and when the bishop ended his talk he used Jesus’ name as a salutation.

That was it – they heard nothing about Jesus, the crucifixion or His resurrection.  No mention of the last supper, Judas’ betrayal or the incident in the Garden of Gethsemane when the disciples kept falling asleep; no mention of the trial, the scourging or the glorious and triumphant victory over death.  How sad for this family and what a letdown for their future outlook of the lives they’re expending on this false christ.

 LESSON PLAN FOR CHAPTER FOUR

 

1 – Name four LDS teachings about Jesus that weren’t listed in this chapter.  Refute the LDS’ doctrine you just listed by using Scripture.  (Don’t forget to use your skills of picking out “key words”.  You can get other facts from the website of www.lds.org)

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2 – What is the Hebrew form of the name Jesus?  Give proof by using Bible, Concordance or Lexicon

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3 – How many times if any did Jesus appear in the Old Testament and in what form?  Read Gen. 32:24-32 and give explanation of the name Israel.  Were there any other times Jesus appeared in the O.T.?

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4 – Give as many verses as you can from the Bible that gives a definitive explanation of the nature and/or character of Jesus.

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5 – What new teaching about Jesus was the ex-Mormon most shocked about?  Show a scripture from the Bible to refute the LDS teaching.  As always –we use scripture to claim authority over the lies of Satan and to help the ex-Mormon see that it was a “real teaching” not just something they made up on their own!

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6 – What teaching about Jesus in the LDS Church does the ex-Mormon miss the most and why?  Be sure this is a doctrine, not a tradition or something from the heritage/culture of Mormonism.  There are categories that seem to be intertwined at places that can’t be unwoven, but for now see what you can do with this one.  We’ll be addressing different culture subjects later in this study.

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7 – Does the ex-Mormon now have a new favorite teaching about Jesus that speaks to them personally?  If so, have them write it out here.  (Be sure to list “location” of the verse or passage.)

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© 2010 Life After Ministries, Inc.

Bibliography

Chapter Four:

LDS CHURCH

Jesus was Great High Priest and Adam next:

Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pg. 158; “How have we come at the Priesthood in the last days? It came down, down, in regular succession. Peter, James, and John had it given to them and they gave it to others. Christ is the Great High Priest; Adam next…

Jesus is Only Begotten according to the flesh:

Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pg. 323; “Jesus Christ is the heir of this Kingdom—the Only Begotten of the Father according to the flesh, and holds the keys over all this world.”

The phrase “according to the flesh” is code talk meaning “through a sexual union”.

Jesus is our elder brother:

Encyclopedia of Mormonism, pg. 724; “In the premortal life, Jesus Christ, whose main title was Jehovah, was the firstborn spirit child of God the Father and thus the eldest brother and preeminent above all other spirit children of God. In that first estate, he came to be more intelligent than all other spirits, one “like unto God” (Abr. 3:19, 24), and served as the representative of the Father in the creation of “worlds without number” (Heb. 1:1-3; D&C 76:24; Moses 1:33; 7:30).

Jesus and the cross:

Doctrines of Salvation 1:130; “We speak of the passion of Jesus Christ. A great many people have an idea that when he was on the cross, and nails were driven into his hands and feet, that was his great suffering. His great suffering was before he ever was placed upon the cross. It was in the Garden of Gethsemane that the blood oozed from the pores of his body…”

Jesus and Lucifer are brothers:

Gospel Through the Ages, pg. 15; “The appointment of Jesus to be the Savior of the world was contested by one of the other sons of God. He was called Lucifer, son of the morning.”

Also see Jesus the Christ, pg. 8; “Thus it is shown that prior to the placing of man upon the earth, how long before we do not know, Christ and Satan, together with the hosts of the spirit-children of God, existed as intelligent individuals.”

Jesus is not our friend:

The Apostle Bruce McConkie said this in a speech at BYU in March 1982;

Another peril is that those so involved often begin to pray directly to Christ because of some special friendship they feel has been developed. In this connection a current and unwise book, which advocates gaining a special relationship with Jesus, contains this sentence: Because the Savior is our mediator, our prayers go through Christ to the Father, and the Father answers our prayers through his Son. This is plain sectarian nonsense.

Chapter 5. The Holy Spirit and His Residence

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