Mormon Terminology

 One of the most commonly asked questions I’ve received over the years is the request for help in witnessing to a Mormon friend or relative.  The first thing the born-again Christian has to understand is that they are speaking a different Christian language than the Mormon.  The words that we’re comfortable with knowing from the Bible are totally different from what the Mormon understands them to be.

 When I got out of the Mormon Church and asked Jesus to be my only Savior the subject of the unique Mormon vocabulary began a life-long study for me.  It took me roughly five years to root out all of the incorrect English words from the depths of my soul and this was done through the patience of my close friends gently correcting me, listening to and answering thousands of questions from me and of course the Lord’s promptings for me to dig deeper!

 Not long after I got out I had to accept the fact that at the age of 30 every single thing I knew to be true in life was indeed a lie, including my native tongue.  Understanding this one huge fact helped me to unravel all the lies and helped give me the clearness of mind that I so desperately needed.  I want to make it perfectly clear though, that none of this would have been possible had it not been for the mercy of Jesus and the incredible gift He gave to me!

 Because of all this, I have listed just a few of the words that were confusing to me when I got out.  I have found that in the last 12+ years this is actually true for all the other ex-Mormons I have encountered.  From the bottom of my heart I sincerely pray that the Mormon will look at the simple comparisons and then go to the God of the Bible to ask for direction.

 Adam

“Now hear it, O inhabitants of the earth, Jew and Gentile, Saint and sinner! When our father Adam came into the garden of Eden, he came into it with a celestial body, and brought Eve, one of his wives, with him. He helped to make and organize this world. He is MICHAEL, the Archangel, the ANCIENT OF DAYS! about whom holy men have written and spoken—HE is our FATHER and our GOD, and the only God with whom WE have to do.”   Sermon given by Brigham Young on April 9, 1852 in Salt Lake City, Journal of Discourses, 1: 51.

 “The first man placed upon the earth was a perfect being, a son of God. He was Michael, the Archangel, who had reached great distinction and power before he ever came to this earth; and who helped to frame this earth while he was yet a spirit, just as our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ was a spirit before he was born in Bethlehem.”  Doctrines of Salvation, vol. 1: 90.

 The Bible says this about Adam in Genesis 2:7; “And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.”

 Daniel 7:9, 13, 22; “I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire.”

“I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.”

“Until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom.”

 Ancient of days is Jesus Christ, The Messiah.  The Hebrew word Ancient is ‘attiyq’.  It means just what it says; ancient.  The Hebrew word for days is ‘yom’.  It means time, or day by day.  He lived before time was; He lived during the space of time and will reign after time is done.

 It is pure blasphemy to say that the Ancient of days is Adam and/or Michael the archangel.

 African Americans/Priesthood

This one topic was the catalyst for my personal exodus from the Church.  Half of my family is considered ‘Black Welsh’.  While this may not seem such a big deal to the non-Mormon it is huge for those of us who are/were dark while being a Utah Mormon.  There is nothing worse than being considered ‘dark and loathsome’ and being Mormon at the same time.

 In June of 1978 the Prophet Spencer W. Kimball announced to the world that he received a revelation from God.  For 148 years the Church had taught their followers that the blacks had been born under the curse of Cain here on earth because of their unrighteous deeds in the pre-existence.  Supposedly during the war in the pre-existent heaven the spirits were divided.  One-third sided with Lucifer, one-third was neutral and the rest sided with Jesus.  The other story says that one-third sided with Lucifer and was cast down, and the rest of the spirits sided with Jesus; and of the two-thirds that remained there were some that were more valiant than others.  In the 1966 version of Mormon Doctrine it states:

 “Negroes in this life are denied the priesthood; under no circumstances can they hold this delegation of authority from the Almighty.  (Abra. 1:20-27.)  The gospel message of salvation is not carried affirmatively to them (Moses 7:8, 12, 22).”  Pg. 527

 It goes on to say:

“The present status of the negro rests purely and simply on the foundation of pre-existence.  Along with all races and peoples he is receiving here what he merits as a result of the long pre-mortal probation in the presence of the Lord.”  Pg. 527

 Because of statements such as these it qualifies itself for two false prophecies.  One-this is a false prophecy because the Church authorities changed their minds in 1978.  Prophecies given by all preceding prophets about the curse are now negated. Deut. 18:20-22.

 Two-it qualifies as another false prophecy because it goes against scripture in that it suggests that God changed His mind and this is impossible.  Mal. 3:6.

 Anti-Mormon

“Anti-Mormonism includes any hostile or polemic opposition to Mormonism or to the Latter-day Saints, such as maligning the founding prophet, his successors, or the doctrines or practices of the Church.”  Encyclopedia of Mormonism, 45.

 It doesn’t matter to the Mormon where the information against them comes from.  If you argue with them or disagree in the slightest you are considered an ‘anti’.  In the June 1946 edition of the Improvement Era Magazine published by the Mormon Church it says; “When the leaders speak, the thinking has been done”.  I can assure the reader this is an insult to anyone who has a thinking brain.

 There are indeed many websites and/or ‘ministries’ out there that do attack the Church for the sake of attacking; and for every one ‘bad ministry’ out there we have seen others that are reliable and good.  They have been called by God to contend for the faith as spoken of in Jude 3.  We provide the truth to the Mormon through careful examination of Mormon publications.  We do not need to be grandiose in our presentations or try to ‘expand’ the truth for the ‘truths’ from the LDS teachings are grandiose in and of themselves.  Joseph Smith stated that “facts are stubborn things”.  I can only wonder why he’d make such a statement.

 Apostasy

“Latter-day Saints believe that apostasy occurs whenever an individual or community rejects the revelations and ordinances of God, changes the gospel of Jesus Christ, or rebels against the commandments of God, thereby losing the blessings of the Holy Ghost and of divine authority…Joseph Smith in his first vision (1820) was told by Christ that all existing churches had gone astray, both in their teachings and in their practice, although they had “a form of godliness” (JS-H 1:18-19). Thus it was necessary for a “restoration” of the gospel to take place.”  Encyclopedia of Mormonism, 56.

 The Church goes on to say; “Since truth is always in harmony with itself, and since all true saints “speak the same thing,” have “no divisions” among them, and are “perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment” (1 Cor. 1:10-13), it follows that where there are divisions and contention there apostasy is present.”  Mormon Doctrine, 45.  Interestingly enough, the introduction to this part of the section under apostasy also lists God as a spirit, Christianity, Sign of the Cross and Easter as just a few of the descriptions of apostasy.

 In other words, the entire earth had become darkened in their theology and God’s spirit was no longer upon the face of the earth, thus the need to change the rules of Christianity.  Smith may say that Christ told him there was ‘a form of godliness’, however there isn’t one single thing in the Mormon Church that is similar, theologically speaking, to the Christian church today or in 1820.  This theory also makes Jesus out to be a liar in John 14:23-6 and also throughout the hundreds of other scriptures when He claims that He is the same yesterday, today and forever.

 Apostate

“Apostates sometimes become enemies of the Church. Leaving the Church, which claims to be God’s official church, containing the fulness of the gospel, often results in feelings of guilt. While many return, others develop a need to defend their actions, “disprove” the Church, or become hostile enemies. The fruits of apostasy are generally bitter….LDS scriptures establish a loving and hopeful attitude toward apostates. Latter-day Saints are strongly counseled to love those who have left the faith, and to encourage, plead, and work with those who have strayed, inviting “the lost sheep” back to the fold (Luke 15:3-7).”  Encyclopedia of Mormonism, 59.

 Nothing could be further from the truth in regards to their attitude towards those who disagree with them.  The apostate is considered to be a hostile enemy and looked upon with scorn and disdain.  There have been hundreds of people who have left the Church and accepted Jesus into their hearts only to lose their jobs, homes and even their families.  This isn’t something that is conjured up in the mind of the author or the other apostates, but it is factual with recorded instances of their personal experiences.

 Interestingly enough the Muslims also have a certain term for all those that go against Mohammad; they refer to them as ‘infidels’.  And just for the record, there is not a shred of guilt in me, only freedom!

Authority

“The claim of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to be the only true and living church on the earth is centered on the concept of authority. The LDS belief has been well stated by President Joseph F. Smith: “As to the question of authority, nearly everything depends upon it. No ordinance can be performed to the acceptance of God without divine authority.  Authority is a divine commission or calling from God….The name given to this kind of authority in the scriptures is priesthood (Heb. 7:11-12, 14, 24; 1 Pet. 2:5, 9; D&C 84:107).”  Encyclopedia of Mormonism, pg. 88.

 Jesus told everyone in Matthew 28:18-20; “And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”

 He didn’t make exceptions to the ‘who, what, where, when and why and how’.  He simply said, ‘go’.  He also stated that He would be with us unto the end of the world.  Three things come to mind with this:  either Jesus lied, He was wrong or He gave us authority.  The latter is what is consistent throughout the whole of the Bible.  Someone once said that “the great omission of the Great Commission is not obeying”.

 Child of God

The Mormon believes they are the literal offspring of God.  They believe that in the pre-existence they were spiritually begotten through a sexual union of Heavenly Father and a Heavenly Mother.  They believe that all spirits, Jesus and Lucifer included, are literally brothers and sisters thus making us all a child of God.

 Have the Mormon think about the following:

 If it were true that we were all created before we came here to earth, then why does the Bible state that we must become children of God?

If Mormonism is correct and we were born before we came here to earth, then why didn’t Nicodemus ask Jesus if we needed to be born a third time?  Instead, Nicodemus asked Jesus if he needed to be born a second time.   More importantly in this passage is Jesus’ response.  He said that we must be born of the spirit, intimating that this hadn’t taken place yet.  You can read this in John 3:1-15.

 “Intelligences were organized before the world was, and among these were many great and noble ones, such as Abraham and Moses. God stood in their midst, saw that they were good, and chose them for responsibilities on earth and throughout eternity (Abr. 3:21-23). Jesus, the firstborn spirit, was preeminent among them. “Jesus…existed with the Father prior to birth in the flesh; and…in the pre-existent state He was chosen and ordained to be the one and only Savior and Redeemer of the human race” (JC, p. 6).”  Encyclopedia of Mormonism, pg. 1124.

“The Apostle Paul told the Athenians on Mars’ Hill that “we are the offspring of God.”…The Lord has declared that “the spirit and the body are the soul of man.” It is the spirit which is the offspring of God…God Himself is a soul, composed of a spirit and of a body of flesh and bones, as tangible as man’s…The spirits of all men are literally His “begotten sons and daughters.””  Thomas S. Monson, An Invitation to Exaltation, pg. 3.

 The Greek word for adoption is: huiothesia.  The transliteration means the placement as a son in respect to God.  This has to be one of the most important words in the entire Bible.  To understand how we become sons and daughters of God it’s imperative to understanding how it all fits together from the book of Genesis to last word of John in Revelation.

 Romans 8:15-6; “For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.  The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God.”

 Christian/Christianity

In this particular section of Mormon Doctrine it says the following about Christianity:

 “…CHRIST, CHRISTIANS, DISPENSATIONS. Christianity is the religion of the Christians. Hence, true and acceptable Christianity is found among the saints who have the fulness of the gospel, and a perverted Christianity holds sway among the so-called Christians of apostate Christendom. In these circles it is believed and taught that Christianity had its beginning with the mortal ministry of our Lord. Actually, of course, Adam was the first Christian…”  Mormon Doctrine, pg. 132.

 It is easy to see where their hatred towards the body of Christ comes from.  This type of belief system towards Jesus’ followers has been around since the inception of Christianity circa 30 AD.  In addition to all the garbage of hatred that spews from their teachings, it is ridiculous to believe that Adam was a Christian.  The Book of Mormon is replete with the following example of their ideas of the Christian church:

 1 Nephi 14:9-10; “And it came to pass that he said unto me: Look, and behold that great and abominable church, which is the mother of abominations, whose founder is the devil.  And he said unto me: Behold there are save two churches only; the one is the church of the Lamb of God, and the other is the church of the devil; wherefore, whoso belongeth not to the church of the Lamb of God belongeth to that great church, which is the mother of abominations; and she is the whore of all the earth.”

 “There can be no fellowship between Mormon and Christian. They cannot exist under the same social system. They cannot be partners in political power.”  Journal of Discourses, 2: 207.

 One of the main things that kept me in the Church for 30 years was verses like the ones I’ve listed here.  In no way did I want to be known as a whore!  To me this was one of the worst things I could have been called.  This type of teaching had been so ingrained into me throughout my childhood that I could not distinguish that I was a separate individual, unique and wonderfully made.  It was either all or nothing in my mind.  I was part of the ‘elite’ being a Mormon or I was a whore.  When anyone witnesses to the Mormon it is helpful to remind them that they are not the Church.  Always ask them for their first name as this is how we are all identified.

 The very first thing I had to do as a Christian was to ask God to forgive me for the hatred that I had inside of me towards all non-Mormons.  I have yet to adequately articulate the real feelings I felt inside towards the body of Christ, but knew that I didn’t want it inside of me any longer.  The feelings were dark and vehemently displayed whenever a true Christian asked me anything about the Church.  God, in His infinite mercy towards me gave me that forgiveness and I have enjoyed a sweetness to life that I had never experienced before then!

 1 John 3:14-5 says that we have a way to see who is saved and who is not:

 “We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.  Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.”

 These two verses aren’t talking about whether or not you like your mother-in-law or even your spouse!  This is directly speaking about the body of Christ.  Do you love the body of Christ, even as He loves you?  Or do you find that you are better than they are, that you have an added bonus of something special that the rest of the body doesn’t?

 Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Doctrine and Covenants 1:30; “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 Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is distinguished from other Christian churches in several fundamental ways. Most of these differences stem from the Church’s essential belief in continuing revelation…They accept the calling of modern prophets and apostles, beginning with Joseph Smith, and continuing to the present… Latter-day Saints emphasize religious freedom and tolerance.”  Encyclopedia of Mormonism, 277.

As you can see here it is understood that God only speaks to you (and only corporately) if you are a member of the One and Only True Church, that being the LDS Church.  The outside world is a scary place if you dare step outside of their prescribed ‘truth’.  To the members of the LDS Church your eternal life is at stake if you are not a Mormon.  In modern day Mormonism they are going out of their way to blend in with mainstream Christianity so pay careful attention to the wording of this last quote.  It is their way of saying they are vastly different from the historical view of Bible based Judeo-Christianity and at the same time emphasizing that you should be tolerant of their views.

Creation

The book of Moses in the Pearl of Great Price is the account of the creation.  Moses 2:1-31 is much like the account of the creation as told in the Bible.  Now if we skip over to Abraham chapters 4 and 5 in the Pearl of Great Price we see an entirely different story of the creation.  Here it tells the Mormon that the ‘Gods’ created the earth and then created man.  This is just one example of how the Mormons became confused.

 Now if you are a bookworm the following may (or may not) interest you.  If you aren’t the bookworm type then let me summarize this section for you in advance.  Smith changed the meanings and the spellings of the Hebrew words for beginning, God, without form, void and created.  The reason I’ve chosen to expound in this area is for two purposes.  The first is because I’m highly repulsed by Smith’s flagrant disregard for the Word of God and his hatred towards God Himself.  The second reason is for every Mormon missionary out there.  When they come knocking on your door, they like to use Smith’s ‘revelation’ of how the creation story should have been translated.  To that I say; yes, let’s take a good look at what it really says.

 The Bible says in Genesis 1:1-2; “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.  And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.”

 Now let’s take a side by side look of those first two verses in the English and Hebrew before we get into Smith’s translation.

 beginning   re’shiyth
God   ‘elohiym
created   bara’
and (with Strong’s) #0853   ‘eth
earth     ‘erets
void   bohuw
without form   tohuw

 The Encyclopedia of Joseph Smith’s Teachings, pg. 151 says;

“In the translation [referring to Genesis 1:1-2], “without form and void” it should read, “empty and desolate.” The word “created” should be formed or organized. (Joseph Smith, The Words of Joseph Smith, p. 60).”

 He then goes on to translate some Hebrew for us by stating:

 “…Now, the word create came from the word baurau, which does not mean to create out of nothing; it means to organize; the same as a man would organize materials and build a ship. Hence we infer that God had materials to organize the world out of chaos—….Element had an existence from the time He had… They had no beginning and can have no end…”

 As you can see, Smith should have used a dictionary…read on to see how he outright lied to the people about God, the Bible and translations:

 “I want to analyze the word Berosheit [in Genesis 1:1]. Rosh, the head; Sheit, a grammatical termination. The Baith was not originally put there when the inspired man wrote it, but it has been since added by an old Jew. Baurau signifies to bring forth.”

 Ask the Mormon which ‘old Jew’ added to the scripture.  This is where I challenge the Mormon to really think for themselves!  Ask them the five ‘W’s and an H’.  Smith continues to make it worse as he goes on to say the following about God:

 Eloheim is from the word Eloi, God, in the singular number; and by adding the word heim, it renders it Gods. It read first, “In the beginning the head of the Gods brought forth the Gods,” or, as others have translated it, “The head of the Gods called the Gods together.” . . .”

 His explanation of the word elohim is a lie through and through.  The Bible says in Genesis that God created the earth.  It says nothing of some council of gods or the head of the gods concocting a plan.  Smith’s utter disdain for the Holy Omnipotent God can be clearly seen from his choice of words he employs here.  The word elohim means the fullness or the deity of God; in other words, the Trinity.  Additionally, the root word for elohim is ‘el’.  It means strength, mighty, and power.  Eloi means the supreme Divinity but it is not used in the first verse of the Bible.  You can find it in Mark 15:34.

 For anyone living back in the 1830’s, a foreigner to the United States, uneducated and alone in a foreign country it is easy enough to see why people would be confused.  Goodness it’s easy enough for me to get confused living in the twenty-first century with the added benefit of technology today!  All this to say that I’m not a Hebrew or Greek scholar at all!  I have never professed to be and would be remiss if I didn’t tell everyone that I rely heavily on my Strong’s Concordance, Vine’s Expository Dictionary and various other Lexicons that I have at my fingertips.  I do know enough however to trust God Almighty, look up the meaning of a word and take the reputable scholars’ word for it that they know what they’re doing.

 The Fall

Mormons believe the fall of Adam was a “necessary step in the eternal progression of mankind” (Encyclopedia of Mormonism, 485).  They believe that is was planned in advance by God himself, 2 Nephi 2:24, otherwise Adam and Eve would not have been able to fulfill the law of bringing forth children.   They also believe they ‘will be punished for their own sins and not for Adam’s transgressions’, 2nd Article of Faith.  The book of Alma says that it was the will of the Father that Adam would sin to fulfill the spiritual and temporal deaths of mankind.  Alma 42:6-12, and D&C 29:40-2.

 “…behold, if Adam had not transgressed he would not have fallen, but he would have remained in the garden of Eden. And all things which were created must have remained in the same state in which they were after they were created; … (2 Nephi 2:22.)  Now, why would this be the case? Because they were in the presence of God, and there could be no death on the earth.”

 “…That by reason of transgression cometh the fall, which fall bringeth death. …” Transgression did not directly bring death; the fall brought death. In other words, Adam transgressed, and through transgression he severed himself from God’s presence, and when he did, the fall brought death.”  Hyrum L. Andrus, Distinct Doctrines and Teachings of the Pearl of Great Price, 80.

 The Bible says that Adam transgressed (sinned) and immediately God sent Adam and Eve out of His presence.  Gen. 3:23.  Ro. 5:17 says that through transgression came death but through the death of Jesus, who took our transgression, became our eternal life.  Further into the chapter, verse 19, it says that through Adam’s disobedience we were all made sinners.

 This is one of the biggest lies of all in Mormonism.  To teach that the transgression didn’t directly bring death is to be sitting in that garden with Adam and doing the same thing he did!  Remember loved ones; there is nothing new under the sun…Ecc. 1:9.

 Gentile

To the Mormon a Gentile is anyone who is not a Mormon, this includes the Jews.

 “Having in mind the principle that Gentiles are adopted into the lineage of Israel when they accept the gospel, and that those who fail to believe the truths of salvation (no matter what their lineage) lose any preferential status they may have had, it is not inappropriate in our day to speak of members of the Church as Israelites and unbelievers as Gentiles.”  Mormon Doctrine, pg. 311.

 “For Latter-day Saints, “Gentile” generally means “not Latter-day Saint,”.”  Encyclopedia of Mormonism, pg. 541.

 I asked a good friend of mine who is a Jewish believer how she felt about the statement that she is considered a Gentile by the Mormon Church.  The look on her face said it all as she turned around and walked away without saying a word…

 Godhead/Trinity

There are billions of gods in Mormonism, but they deal with three primary figures in their ‘godhead’.  There is God the Heavenly Father, his son after the manner of the flesh; Jesus, and the Holy Ghost.  D&C 130:22 says that God and Jesus both have bodies of flesh and bones but the Holy Ghost has not a body of flesh and bones but is a personage of spirit.  Mormons believe that God was once a man like we are now and passed through his own school of learning and became perfect in order to become a god himself.  This is also why Jesus came here to this earth; to do as his own father did.  Gospel Through the Ages, pg. 104-5, 114.

 The Bible says that God is One; Deut. 6:4, John 10:30.  Is not a man; Hosea 11:9.  There is no other Savior; Isaiah 43:10-11, 1 Tim. 2:5.  Jesus is God; John 8:58 & Ex. 3:14.  He’s always been God; Mal. 3:6, John 1:1, 14.  Holy Spirit is God; Isaiah 9:6, John 14:23, 1 John 5:7.

 God – Heavenly Father/elohim

As stated before, the Mormon god is an exalted man.

 Hyrum L. Andrus said this in his book God and Man in Eternal Union, pg. 1; “The revelations of Joseph Smith support this view. “If the veil were rent today, and the great God who holds this world in its orbit, and who upholds all worlds and all things by his power, was to make himself visible,” the Prophet said, “you would see him like a man in form—like yourselves in all the person, image, and very form as man.””

 “That which is without body or parts is nothing. There is no other God in heaven but that God who has flesh and bones. John 5:26, “As the Father hath life in himself, even so hath he given the Son to have life in himself.” God the Father took life unto himself precisely as Jesus did. (Joseph Smith, The Words of Joseph Smith, p. 60; standardized).”  Joseph Smith, Encyclopedia of Joseph Smith’s Teachings, pg. 290.

 “We believe in a God who is Himself progressive, whose majesty is intelligence; whose perfection consists in eternal advancement—a Being who has attained His exalted state by a path which now His children are permitted to follow… In spite of the opposition of the sects, in the face of direct charges of blasphemy, the Church proclaims the eternal truth: “As man is, God once was; as God is, man may be.”   James E. Talmage, Articles of Faith, pg. 390.

 I grew up being taught that calling my Heavenly Father by the name “Elohim” was to give him the utmost respect.  The Mormon’s definition of Heavenly Father is as follows:

 “Elohim is the plural of the Canaanite El or the Hebrew Eloah; consequently, its literal meaning is Gods. Accordingly, as the Prophet pointed out, such Old Testament passages as, “In the beginning God (Elohim) created the heaven and the earth” (Gen. 1:1), should more properly be translated, “In the beginning the head of the Gods brought forth the Gods,” and they created the heavens and the earth. (Teachings, pp. 370-371.)”  Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 224.

 As you can well imagine the Mormon interpretation of this is mixed with truth and outright lies.  The Bible says there are three definitions of the word elohim; here are some scriptural examples of where you can find these definitions in context from the real experts.

 Genesis 1:26a; “And God said, Let us make man in our image…”  The word ‘us’ here is elohim.  The transliteration for the word is the fullness or the deity of God.

The next example of elohim:

1 Samuel 28:13; “And the king said unto her, Be not afraid: for what sawest thou? And the woman said unto Saul, I saw gods ascending out of the earth.”  The word gods here is elohim.  The transliteration means false gods.

Two other examples the Mormons use for having a belief in multiple gods are found in Ps. 82:6 and John 10:34.  The correct transliteration for the term gods in these examples is rulers and/or kings.

 When the Mormon tells you that they only believe in the ‘god of this world’, show them

2 Cor. 4:4.  They are only parroting what they’ve been told to say in response to this question.  And when they tell you that they do worship elohim ask them which one they are worshipping because they are certainly not worshipping the Trinity so that only leaves us with one other possibility.

 Godhood

“How can the saints receive of his fulness and be equal with the Lord and not be as he is, that is, gods?”  Doctrines of Salvation, 2: 36.

 “Logically and naturally, the ultimate desire of a loving Supreme Being is to help his children enjoy all that he enjoys. For Latter-day Saints, the term “godhood” denotes the attainment of such a state-one of having all divine attributes and doing as God does and being as God is. Such a state is to be enjoyed by all exalted, embodied, intelligent being.”

 They go on to say how they will be having sex in heaven with their spouses:  

 “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints teaches that all resurrected and perfected mortals become gods (cf. Gen. 3:22; Matt. 5:48). They will dwell again with God the Father, and live and act like him… they will have the power of procreating endless lives. Latter-day Saints believe that Jesus Christ attained godhood… and that he marked the path and led the way for others likewise to become exalted divine beings by following him (cf. John 14:3).”  Encyclopedia of Mormonism, 553.

 For the Mormon it is difficult to wrap the mind around the fact that there is only ONE God and one Savior just as it says in Isaiah 43:10-11.  This is where it is imperative that you use a dictionary.  Words such as eternal, forever and before are good words to define in advance.  With this type of ‘theology’ Mormons have qualified themselves as polytheists.

 Grace

2 Nephi 25:23 says; “…for we know that it is by grace we are saved, after all we can do”.

 “God’s grace consists in his love, mercy, and condescension toward his children…

Grace is granted to men proportionately as they conform to the standards of personal righteousness that are part of the gospel plan. Thus the saints are commanded to “grow in grace” (D. & C. 50:40), until they are sanctified and justified…Grace is an attribute of perfection possessed by Deity (D. & C. 66:12; 84:102)… The same path to perfection is offered to man.”  Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 339.

 “One of the most controversial issues in Christian theology is whether salvation is the free gift of unmerited grace or is earned through good works. Paul’s statement that “a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law” (Rom. 3:28) is frequently cited to support the former view, while James’s statement that “faith without works is dead” (James 2:20) is often quoted in favor of the latter view. The LDS doctrine that salvation requires both grace and works is a revealed yet commonsense reconciliation of these contradictory positions.”  Encyclopedia of Mormonism, 560.

 “Salvation is attainable only through compliance with the laws and ordinances of the Gospel; and all who are thus saved become sons and daughters unto God in a distinctive sense.”  James E. Talmage, Articles of Faith, pg. 422.

 There is nothing you could ever say to the Mormon that would convince them they are saved by grace alone.  Remember when witnessing to the Mormon you are simply planting a seed, the Holy Spirit is the one that does the convincing!

 Mormons are racked with shame in believing they have never done enough for God and because of this they also believe that if they died today there is a good chance they wouldn’t go to heaven.  Can you just imagine living and working your entire life for God and still be thinking this way?  It is a desolate and degrading way to live life.

 Eph. 2:8-9; “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”

Romans 5:2 “By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.”

Romans 11:6; “And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.”

Galatians 2:20-1; “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.  I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.”

 Heavenly Mother

“Latter-day Saints believe that all the people of earth who lived or will live are actual spiritual offspring of God the Eternal Father (Num. 16:22; Heb. 12:9). In this perspective, parenthood requires both father and mother, whether for the creation of spirits in the premortal life or of physical tabernacles on earth. A Heavenly Mother shares parenthood with the Heavenly Father.”  Encyclopedia of Mormonism, 961.

 Hymn #270

Here are the words to verses 3 & 4:

“I had learned to call thee Father, Through thy Spirit from on high;

But, until the Key of Knowledge was restore, I knew not why.

In the heavens are parents single?  No; the thought makes reason stare!

Truth is reason; truth eternal Tells me I’ve a mother there.”

 Verse four is just as heretical:

 “When I leave this frail existence, When I lay this mortal by,

Father, Mother, may I meet you In your royal courts on high?

Then, at length, when I’ve completed All you sent me forth to do,

With your mutual approbation Let me come and dwell with you.”

 There is absolutely nothing in the whole Bible that mentions anything about a ‘heavenly mother’ or heavenly father having sex with her to beget spirit babies.

 Holy Ghost

The Mormons do not believe the Holy Ghost is God.  The Mormon Holy Ghost is a personage of spirit but nothing else.  He has limited power and does not qualify as being anything of significance in the daily walk of the Mormon’s life.

 Gospel Principles pg. 37; “He is a spirit that has the form and likeness of a man.  He can be in only one place at a time, but his influence can be everywhere at the same time.  Compare the Holy Ghost to the sun.  There is just one sun, but its light and warmth are felt by everyone on earth.”

 Mormon Doctrine pg. 359; ‘Because he is a Spirit Personage, he has power—according to the eternal laws ordained by the Father—to perform essential and unique functions for men.  In this dispensation, at least, nothing has been revealed as to his origin or destiny; expressions on these matters are both speculative and fruitless’.

 Jesus told us in John 14 that He would send the Comforter to us so we wouldn’t be left comfortless, which literally means to be orphaned.  There are many other passages throughout the Bible that teaches a different Holy Spirit than that of the Mormon Holy Ghost.  Here are just a few of those verses:

 Deut. 6:6-9; Isaiah 9:6; Jer. 31:31; Rom. 8:15, 26-7; John 14:23-6; Acts 1;8; 1 John 3:19; and 1 John 5:7.

 All of these verses promise us that He will abide with us forever with no end.  There are too many others that prove the authenticity of God’s claims.  They are all in context and fit together perfectly which completely disproves the claims of the LDS Church.  If these verses and others like them are wrong then the Mormon should be asked what kind of a god they are worshipping and why are they bothering to read the Bible.

 Intelligence

 “According to latter-day scripture, “The glory of God is intelligence, or, in other words, light and truth” (D&C 93:36). Mankind, too, may be glorified by gaining intelligence (D&C 93:28-30). As Christ did not receive a fulness of intelligence at first but continued from “grace to grace” until he received a fulness (D&C 93:11-13, 27-28), so it is with all persons. Whatever principles of intelligence they gain in mortality will rise with them in the Resurrection (D&C 130:18-19).”  Encyclopedia of Mormonism, 692.

 The Mormon people are some of the most highly educated people in the world.  They stress for their members to go to college and many are bi-lingual.  Now receiving an education is a great thing to have in life, I’m not saying there is no room in the Christian’s life for a good education.  The trouble in Mormonism is how they define and use their ‘intelligence’.

 Peter pleaded with the people to truly ‘know’ God and he taught on the different ways of knowing Him.  He used six derivatives of the word ‘knowledge’ to explain to the believers how to build their relationship with Jesus in his second epistle.  John tells us in first John that abiding in Jesus is to know Him and to know His love.  And then we have Paul warning the new Christians about the false teaching of Gnosticism.  This teaching was heretical because they taught that you must have a higher level of knowledge to obtain salvation while overusing the word ‘fullness’.  Thus, the frequency of Paul’s use of the word to redirect the baby Christians back to where they should be focusing; that being Jesus Christ.  They also taught that angels had a pre-eminence over Jesus in creation including their own daily lives.

  Jesus

“We affirm, on the authority of Holy Scripture, that the Being who is known among men as Jesus of Nazareth, and by all who acknowledge His Godhood as Jesus the Christ, existed with the Father prior to birth in the flesh; and that in the preexistent state He was chosen and ordained to be the one and only Savior and Redeemer of the human race.” Jesus the Christ, pg. 6 by James E. Talmage.

 “When the Virgin Mary conceived the child Jesus, the Father had begotten him in his own likeness. He was not begotten by the Holy Ghost… I will repeat a little anecdote. I was in conversation with a certain learned professor upon this subject, when I replied, to this idea—”if the Son was begotten by the Holy Ghost, it would be very dangerous to baptize and confirm females, and give the Holy Ghost to them, lest he should beget children…”  Sermon given by Brigham Young on April 9, 1852 in Salt Lake City, Utah, Journal of Discourses, 1: 51.

 It’s imperative for the Christian to understand the Mormons believe that Jesus is considered to be a created being.  To understand this huge point of Jesus being created will shed light on their phrase ‘after the manner of the flesh’.  This means their god had sex twice to bring the Mormon jesus into existence; once with their Heavenly Mother and then He came down here to earth in the flesh to have sex with Mary.

 This is what the Bible says about Jesus Christ:

 John 1:1, 14 says; “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.”

John 5:18; “Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God.”

John 8:58; “Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.”

Col. 1:15-20; “Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell; And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.”

 Joseph Smith

Any Mormon can tell you that Joseph Smith had a sixth grade education and fancied after digging for treasures as his own parents did for years.  When I was growing up though, the story was that he only had a third grade education.  As you’ll learn from their own books, the lack of an education didn’t stop him from making statements such as this about himself:

“Now, I ask all who hear me, why the learned men who are preaching salvation, say that God created the heavens and the earth out of nothing? The reason is, that they are unlearned in the things of God, and have not the gift of the Holy Ghost; they account it blasphemy in any one to contradict their idea. If you tell them that God made the world out of something, they will call you a fool. But I am learned, and know more than all the world put together.”  Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pg. 151.

 “Joseph Smith’s Lack of Scholastic Training.  The production of the Book of Mormon is astonishing in view of the meager education Joseph Smith received in his boyhood. The financial resources of the family made it impossible for him to go beyond the schools in the little town of Palmyra, New York… In his early manhood, as soon as opportunity offered, he proceeded to make up for his deficiencies in technical education and at his death was acquainted with the fields of languages, law, history, and government.”  John A. Widtsoe, Seven Claims of the Book of Mormon, pg. 22.

 “The Prophet’s Effectiveness –

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. (HC 6:408-9.)”  Joseph Smith, Discourses of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pg. 31.

 “Mormonism, as it is called, must stand or fall on the story of Joseph Smith. He was either a prophet of God, divinely called, properly appointed and commissioned, or he was one of the biggest frauds this world has ever seen. There is no middle ground.  If Joseph Smith was a deceiver, who wilfully attempted to mislead the people, then he should be exposed; his claims should be refuted, and his doctrines shown to be false…”  Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, vol. 1: 188.

 For a concise bio of Joseph from the beginning of his life to the very end, read the article on our website at:  http://www.lifeafter.org/jsmith.asp

 Smith also wrote his own version of his life that is located at the end of the Pearl of Great Price; it is called “Writings of Joseph Smith”.  Here he describes how he used to be a money-digger, a glass looker and treasure hunter but makes amends to the people of Mormonism by saying that it was ‘foolish’.  The problem here is that the Mormons didn’t do enough of their own digging.  They should have dug into their Bibles to find out what God says about these things.  This is what they should have read and what their response should have been to Smith:

 In Deuteronomy 18:10-13, 20-2 says; “There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer.  For all that do these things are an abomination unto the LORD: and because of these abominations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee.  Thou shalt be perfect with the LORD thy God.”

 “But the prophet, which shall presume to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die.  And if thou say in thine heart, How shall we know the word which the LORD hath not spoken?  When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him.”

 I am told by Mormons and their missionaries alike that a prophet is only a prophet when acting as such so if there is a prophecy that didn’t come to pass then it was when he was speaking as a man, not a prophet.  Funny how God forgot to mention that part of what it meant to be a prophet…

 Marriage/Polygamy

Sections 131 & 132 of the Doctrines and Covenants are the directions to the Mormon people to be married for all time and eternity, but there’s a catch to it.  When it was written by Smith back in the mid 1800’s, he meant for these sections to be understood that all marriages were to be polygamous.  The Mormons today believe that if they are ‘sealed for all time and eternity’ they will inherit kingdoms just as their god has done; in other words they will go to the celestial kingdom.  For the Mormon there is no salvation in being single.

 “A husband and wife who are married in the new and everlasting covenant and sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise under the proper priesthood authority are promised that they shall inherit “thrones, kingdoms, principalities, and powers,” and their “glory shall be a fulness and a continuation of the seeds forever and ever” (D&C 132:19). They are likened to gods, having no end. They share in the promises of eternal posterity made to Abraham and Sarah: “Both in the world and out of the world should they continue as innumerable as the stars” (D&C 132:30).”  Encyclopedia of Mormonism, 465.

 Jesus told the Sadducees that they were gravely mistaken about what takes place in heaven.  They were trying to stump Him to see if He would be mistaken about the Law but as it’s told in Mark 12 and Matthew 22 they were wrong, just as the Mormons are today.

 Mark 12:23-25; “In the resurrection therefore, when they shall rise, whose wife shall she be of them? for the seven had her to wife.  And Jesus answering said unto them, Do ye not therefore err, because ye know not the scriptures, neither the power of God?  For when they shall rise from the dead, they neither marry, nor are given in marriage; but are as the angels which are in heaven.”

 Martyr

From www.dictionary.com it says this about martyrs:

“One who voluntarily suffers death as the penalty for refusing to renounce their religion”.

 From the History of the Church vol. 6:618 it says this about Joseph Smith before he was shot and killed:

 “Joseph reached round the door casing, and discharged his six shooter into the passage, some barrels missing fire.”

 This obviously disqualifies Smith from martyrdom status.

 Moroni

“From 1823 to 1829, the angel Moroni 2 appeared at least twenty times to Joseph Smith and others. Those appearances opened the way for the translation and publication of the Book of Mormon and laid the foundation of many of the Church’s most characteristic teachings. As a resurrected messenger of God, Moroni told Joseph Smith about the Nephite record on gold plates ..”Encyclopedia of Mormonism, 954.

 “Because of the angel Moroni’s role in restoring the everlasting gospel to be preached to all the world… the Church placed a statue depicting him as a herald of the Restoration atop the Salt Lake Temple….Copies of the statue have also been placed atop several other LDS temples.”  Encyclopedia of Mormonism, 953.

 You will never see the cross on top of or inside any Mormon building.  The Mormons believe that Moroni is a central figure in the Book of Mormon who served as a prophet of God to the Jewish Nephites in Mesoamerica.  As you can see from their own writings, they believe that he is now a resurrected being who came back to visit Joseph Smith for the purpose of showing him the golden plates from which Smith eventually translated into the Book of Mormon.

 Noah/Gabriel

“To play his part in the great restoration of all things, Gabriel came in modern times and conferred the keys of his dispensation upon Joseph Smith. As with other angelic ministrants to this earth, Gabriel also spent his mortal probation here. He is Noah, the one who stands next to Michael or Adam in the priesthood hierarchy. (Teachings, p. 157.)”  Mormon Doctrine, 301.

“The Priesthood was first given to Adam…Then to Noah, who is Gabriel; he stands next in authority to Adam in the Priesthood; he was called of God to this office, and was the father of all living in his day, and to him was given the dominion. These men held keys first on earth, and then in heaven. (Joseph Smith, History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 7 Vols. 3:385-86).”   Encyclopedia of Joseph Smith’s Teachings, 446.

 The Church has never hidden the teachings of Gabriel being Noah and vice versa.  This is just another way the Church intentionally serves to confuse the members and keep their minds on things that aren’t true.  In Gen. chapter six of the Bible, we find the story of righteous Noah and the wicked earth.  No where in the Bible does it allude to any idea that he was Gabriel or that he came back to testify to Joseph Smith!

 Gabriel on the other hand is mentioned by Daniel when he had his vision.  See Daniel 8:16-9:21.  And of course there was the visit of Gabriel to both Joseph and Mary to announce the coming birth of the Messiah in Luke 1:19 and 26.

 Persecution

“Although Latter-day Saints claim no greater suffering than many others who have also been persecuted for their religious beliefs through the ages, many Latter-day Saints have been persecuted, beginning with Joseph Smith (see JS-H 1:33). As the Church grew, persecutions increased; the Latter-day Saints faced threats, murder, rape, mayhem, property damage, and revilement in Kirtland, Ohio (1831-1838), in Missouri (1831-1839), and in the area of Nauvoo, Illinois (1839-1846), culminating in the assassinations of Joseph and Hyrum Smith at Carthage, Illinois, in 1844 (Hull, pp. 643-52).”  Encyclopedia of Mormonism, 1076.

Don’t be fooled with the statement from the Church that they don’t think they suffer.  The Mormon’s feel they’re being persecuted just by being born.  One of the first stories they are taught is when Joseph Smith was tarred and feathered in 1832 for preaching the gospel.  In reality he was tarred and feathered by the townsfolk for speaking blasphemy against God and for practicing polygamy.  It was at this time also that Smith had begun translating the King James Bible into the ‘Joseph Smith Translation’.

 The Mormons took their persecution cloud with them on to Utah and have prided themselves by saying they are a ‘strange and peculiar people’.  The persecution plight is a self-inflicted wound.

 Pre-mortal life/Pre-existence

The Mormon believes that he/she existed in spirit form before the earth was created and is co-eternal with God Himself.  They also believe they came into existence through a sexual union between their Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother.

 “All men and women are in the similitude of the universal Father and Mother and are literally the sons and daughters of Deity”; as spirits they were the “offspring of celestial parentage.” (Man: His Origin and Destiny, pp. 351, 355.) “These spirit beings, the offspring of exalted parents, were men and women, appearing in all respects as mortal persons do, excepting only that their spirit bodies were made of a more pure and refined substance than the elements from which mortal bodies are made. (Ether 3:16; D. & C. 131:7-8.”  Mormon Doctrine by Bruce R. McConkie, 589.

 Ask the Mormon why the Jews were always so angry with Jesus and picked up stones to throw at Him.  In John 8:58 Jesus told the Pharisees that “Before Abraham was, I AM”.  The Jews took this to mean that He equated Himself as God just as when God told Moses in Exodus 3:14; “And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.”  The Jews were fully aware that no one had existed before the world came into existence, save God alone.  The Bible also says this about man in the pre-existence:

 1 Corinthians 15:44-47; “It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.  And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.  Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual.  The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven.”

 Priesthood

There are no less than 14 offices of priesthood holdings in the Mormon Church.  They range from the very beginning stages of the 12 yr. old boy holding the Aaronic Priesthood all the way up to the office of the Prophet of the Church.  At the age of 18 their young men are initiated into the office of the Melchezidek Priesthood.  Men hold the position of the Melchezidek Priesthood throughout the rest of their lives even when they are called to serve in the various offices such as bishop, high priest, etc.

 “Joseph Smith defined priesthood as “an everlasting principle, [which has] existed with God from eternity, and will to eternity, without beginning of days or end of years…holding the keys of power and blessings. In fact, [the Melchizedek] Priesthood is a perfect law of theocracy” (TPJS, pp. 157, 322). It is the power and authority by which The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is organized and directed.”  Encyclopedia of Mormonism, pg. 1134.

 Heb. 9:12-14 simply states:  “But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.  For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?”

 Read a little further in Hebrews 10:11-14; “By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.  And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool.  For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.”

 This tells us that Jesus is the only priesthood holder.  Jesus became the first high priest who sat down after his work was finished.  Chairs were not allowed in the temple, the priests were there to work, not to relax.  In addition to this, there have not been any sacrifices made by a priest since the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD.

 Salvation –

In Mormonism there is a general or “unconditional salvation” of all people because God gives “grace alone without obedience to gospel law”.  After this general salvation comes the placement of souls.  Heaven is comprised of three distinct levels and you earn your way into the various levels by the amount or type of work you’ve done here on earth.  These levels are; the Celestial Kingdom, Terrestrial Kingdom and the lowest level of the Telestial Kingdom.  To the Mormon you aren’t truly ‘saved’ unless you enter into what they call the Celestial Kingdom and have become a god.

 In addition to this, in Mormonism there are three different ways to earn your way to hell.  Blasphemy against the Holy Ghost (the unpardonable sin), murder, and becoming an apostate that speaks out against the church.

 “Highest among the kingdoms of glory hereafter is the celestial kingdom. It is the kingdom of God, the glory thereof being typified by the sun in the firmament. (D. & C. 76:50-70, 92-96; 1 Cor. 15:39-42.)”   Mormon Doctrine, 116.

 “Another thing that we must not forget in this great plan of redemption and exaltation, is that a man must have a wife, and a woman a husband, to receive the fulness of exaltation. They must be sealed for time and for all eternity in a temple; then their union will last forever, and they cannot be separated because God has joined them together, as he taught the Pharisees.”  Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, vol. 2: 43.

 The Terrestrial Kingdom is for “accountable persons who die without law” and who have not accepted the gospel in the spirit world and it’s for the Mormons “who are not valiant but are instead lukewarm in their devotion to the Church and to righteousness.  (D&C 76:71-80).”  Mormon Doctrine, 784.  These people are separated from God’s presence but at the same time will be servants of those who attained godhood in the Celestial Kingdom.  They may also be stuck serving the ones in the lower kingdom of Telestial glory.  This kingdom is for the Mormon who hasn’t been to the temple for their endowments, the inactive Mormon (jack-Mormon) and the good Christian from the outside of Mormonism.

 The Telestial Kingdom is for “the endless hosts of people of all ages, who have lived after the manner of the world; who have been carnal, sensual, and devilish; who have chosen the vain philosophies of the world rather than accept the testimony of Jesus; who have been liars and thieves, sorcerers and adulterers, blasphemers and murderers. (D. & C. 76:81-112; Rev. 22:15.)”  Mormon Doctrine, 778.  This group of people also includes the proud and those who live wickedly.

 There is nothing in the Bible that mentions three levels of heaven for people to reside in according to their salvation.  Jesus told the Sadducees in Mark 12:18-25 that there are no marriages in heaven and then in Luke 16:19-31 He told the Pharisees that there were no second chances after you die.

 Acts 4:12 says; “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”

Eph. 2:8-9; “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”

Rom. 10:9; “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”

Romans 4:25; “Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.”

 Sacrament/Communion

“By partaking of the sacrament, worthy saints renew the covenant previously made by them in the waters of baptism (Mosiah 18:7-10); unbaptized children, being without sin, are entitled and expected to partake of the sacrament to prefigure the covenant they will take upon themselves when they arrive at the years of accountability. Worthy partakers of the sacrament put themselves in perfect harmony with the Lord. (3 Ne. 18.) As indicated by our Lord’s statement they gain “the remission of their sins.” (Inspired Version, Matt. 26:24.)”  Mormon Doctrine, 660.

 “To Joseph Smith the Lord declared “that it mattereth not what ye shall eat or what ye shall drink when ye partake of the Sacrament, if it so be that ye do it with an eye single to my glory-remembering unto the Father my body which was laid down for you, and my blood which was shed for the remission of your sins” (D&C 27:2). In typical LDS practice, bread and water are used.”  Encyclopedia of Mormonism, 1244.

 The LDS Church serves the Sacrament (communion) each Sunday and as you can see, all are to take of it.  This is what makes it ritualistic instead of meaningful. The emblems are Wonder Bread (literally) and water that is served in small white paper cups.  The prayer for the bread is prayed over then given out to members where they eat as they receive it as opposed to the traditional practice of waiting until all have received their communion.  They go on to the water and the process is repeated this time with a different prayer that is read from a card and/or memorized.  The ‘deacons’ of the church that prays over and serves the sacrament are 12-18 year old boys.

 Mormons never have been known to pay much heed to the blood of Christ or the cross; here you can see that the same can be said with the Mormon version of communion.  No where in the Bible when referring to the communion does it talk about renewing your commitment to your baptism.  Neither Paul nor Jesus even mentioned it!  They said to do it in remembrance of the blood shed and the body given for the remission of your sin.  That’s a big difference!  It was His work, not ours that saves us!

Matthew 26:26-9 is the account of the Last Supper and Jesus showing them for the first time how to take Communion.  The passage of scripture that Paul wrote is found in 1 Cor. 11:23-34.  In fact this passage is rather interesting in light of how the Mormon Church administers the Sacrament and to whom.

 Paul said this in 1 Corinthians 11:27-29; “Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.  But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.  For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.”

 It is reprehensible that the Church would have little children taking Communion in light of this passage.  The damnation falls on the adults’ heads for this.

Sacrifice

“…Jesus said that he would no longer accept burnt offerings, but that anyone who believes in him should offer a broken heart and a contrite spirit (3 Ne. 9:19-20; cf. D&C 59:8)….For members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, sacrifice is required of those who wish to become the Lord’s people (D&C 64:23).”  Encyclopedia of Mormonism, pg. 1248.

 “Let us here observe that a religion that does not require the sacrifice of all things never has power sufficient to produce the faith necessary unto life and salvation. For from the first existence of man, the faith necessary unto the enjoyment of life and salvation never could be obtained without the sacrifice of all earthly things. It is through this sacrifice, and this only, that God has ordained that men should enjoy eternal life.”  The Lectures on Faith in Historical Perspective, pgs. 92 – 93.

 It looks like everything they say contradicts itself.  First the Church says that because of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, the only acceptable sacrifice was a broken and contrite heart. However then they say that you have to give everything you own on this earth in order to obtain salvation and enjoy life.

 Now further down in their discourse they quote Luke 18:22 so let’s take a good look at this passage to see what it really says;

 Luke 18:18-23:  (Luke 18:19-23.)

 “And a certain ruler asked him, saying, Good Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?  And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? none is good, save one, that is, God.  Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother.  And he said, All these have I kept from my youth up.  Now when Jesus heard these things, he said unto him, Yet lackest thou one thing: sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me.  And when he heard this, he was very sorrowful: for he was very rich.”

 Here we see the rich ruler was willing to give everything but his money.  This passage of scripture is to show the condition of the heart; it’s not about the monetary value of what you give to enjoy this earthly life.  The rich man was attached to material things.  Could it be the Church is as well in commanding that the members give everything they have to the Church?  Smith said that if a religion does not require the sacrifice of all things, it will not have the power to produce faith in its members.

Since when does a ‘religion’ produce faith?  The Bible says that faith comes from God.

 Scripture

The Mormons have a ‘creed’ which they call The Thirteen Articles of Faith.  The 8th Article of Faith says; “We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly; we also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God.”

 The “Standard Works” are considered to be ‘scripture’ by the Mormons.  The standard works include the Bible, The Book of Mormon, D&C, and the Pearl of Great Price.  Also, anytime a current prophet speaks a new revelation or teaching, this takes precedence over what they consider scripture.

 The Bible says in Galatians 1:6-9; “I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.  But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.  As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.”

 Isaiah 40:8; “The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.”

 Sin/Accountability

There are a few things to keep in mind about Mormonism and the subject of sin.  The first would be that they do not believe children under the age of eight years old cannot sin.  They believe:

 “In a revelation through the Prophet Joseph Smith in this dispensation, the Lord has said: “But behold, I say unto you, that little children are redeemed from the foundation of the world through mine Only Begotten; Wherefore, they cannot sin, for power is not given unto Satan to tempt little children, until they begin to become accountable before me.””  James E. Talmage, Articles of Faith, pg. 80.

 One other thing about sin in Mormonism is the belief that man cannot find forgiveness for all sins which include blasphemy against the Holy Ghost, murder and apostasy against the Church.  When this subject comes up with a Mormon I ask them about King David, the apostle Paul and the hundreds of others who’ve committed murder and found forgiveness.

 “Murder is condemned in latter-day scripture just as it is in the ten commandments and numerous other passages in both the Old and the New Testament. The Doctrine and Covenants declares that “thou shalt not kill” (D&C 42:18). The murderer “shall not have forgiveness in this world, nor in the world to come” (D&C 42:18).”  Encyclopedia of Mormonism, pg. 970.

 “The doctrines of the Church affirm that the Atonement wrought by the shedding of the blood of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is efficacious for the sins of all who believe…However, if a person thereafter commits a grievous sin such as the shedding of innocent blood, the Savior’s sacrifice alone will not absolve the person of the consequences of the sin. Only by voluntarily submitting to whatever penalty the Lord may require can that person benefit from the Atonement of Christ.”  Encyclopedia of Mormonism, pg. 131.

 Until mid 2004 in the state of Utah, the firing squad was still in operation for death penalty cases; thus allowing the murderer to atone for his sin by the shedding of his own blood.

 For the final look at the sin issue in Mormon doctrine, pay close attention as to how the Church completely strips away the effectiveness of the sacrifice made by Jesus on the cross:

 “To escape the effects of sin, mankind must both accept the Atonement and repent. Amulek, a Book of Mormon prophet, explains that the Atonement saves men from their sins, not in them (Alma 11:37).”  Encyclopedia of Mormonism, pg. 1315.

The problem with their idea that Jesus doesn’t save us in our sins is found in Romans 5:8; “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

 Temple garments

“All adults who enter the temple are required to wear it. In LDS temples, men and women who receive priesthood ordinances wear this undergarment and other priestly robes. The garment is worn at all times, but the robes are worn only in the temple. Having made covenants of righteousness, the members wear the garment under their regular clothing for the rest of their lives, day and night, partially to remind them of the sacred covenants they have made with God.”  Encyclopedia of Mormonism, 534.

 “Clean garments are a sign of cleanliness, perfection, and salvation. To gain salvation men must wash their garments in the blood of the Lamb. (1 Ne. 12:10…)… Speaking of the saints, at the dedication of the Kirtland Temple, the Prophet prayed: “That our garments may be pure, that we may be clothed upon with robes of righteousness, with palms in our hands, and crowns of glory upon our heads, and reap eternal joy for all our sufferings.” (D. & C. 109:76.)”  Mormon Doctrine, 304.

When the Bible mentions the word garments of righteousness, the Mormon will be thinking of their temple garments, not the garment of righteousness that Jesus has adorned us with as His bride.  The garment is worn 24/7.  Many Mormons claim that by wearing them they have been saved in fires and other calamities.

 Over the years the temple garments have changed to fit the needs of the members and the dictates of society.  As the sleeves inched up the female’s arms over the past century, so has the sleeve of the temple garments.  Many garments now are sleeveless and also come up over the knees.  Before 2004 the sleeves came up to just above the elbow and mid-thigh.  This has always forced the temple Mormon to dress modestly and make them feel that they are ‘set apart’ from the rest of the world.

 Revelation 3:4; “Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy.”

This verse brings comfort to the Christian who knows that they are looked upon by God as wearing the white robes of righteousness.  When God sees you or me wearing this robe He sees us as pure and holy only because our robes have been cleansed with the blood of the Lamb.

Testimony bearing

“Testimony bearing among members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is a person’s verbal expression of what he or she knows to be true concerning the divinity of Jesus Christ, the restoration of the fulness of his gospel in our time, and the blessings that come from living its principles. By divine mandate, bearing testimony is to be done “in my name, in solemnity of heart, in the spirit of meekness, in all things” (D&C 100:7).”  Encyclopedia of Mormonism, pg. 1470.

 “It is obtained by intense strivings. We can have positive certainty of the reality of a personal God; the continued active life of the Christ, separate from but like his Father; the divinity of the restoration through Joseph Smith and other prophets of the organization and doctrines of God’s church on earth; and the power of the divine, authoritative priesthood given to men through revelations from God. These can be known by every responsible person as surely as the knowledge that the sun shines. To fail to attain this knowledge is to admit that one has not paid the price.”  H. Stephen Stoker and Joseph C Muren, comps. Testimony, pg.18.

 “Many believe that a testimony comes as a dramatic, emotional event. But more often than not, a testimony comes as a feeling that the gospel is true. And while it may be an unexplainable experience, it is real. The Lord has described the feeling that comes in this way: “… you shall feel that it is right.” (D&C 9:8.)”  H. Stephen Stoker and Joseph C Muren, comps., Testimony, pg. 52.

 “Testimony bearing” to the Mormon means they will say the exact same thing to express their devotion to the Church that all other members do.  There is no variation in telling the world of their personal relationship with Jesus simply because they don’t have one.  They will say:  “I bear you my testimony that I know the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is true.  I know that the Prophet Joseph Smith was a true prophet and the prophet (whichever one is in office) is a true prophet of God today.  I know God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ appeared to Joseph Smith to tell him not to join any of the churches and they brought forth the restored gospel to Joseph Smith.  These things I tell you in the name of Jesus Christ, amen”.

 They will not share with you when they came to know Jesus or when they were convicted in their hearts of their own sin.  There is a Fast and Testimony meeting that is held one Sunday a month in lieu of their traditional Sacrament Meetings.  At the Fast and Testimony Sundays they do not eat before they go to Church; thus the ‘fast’ part.  The testimony part is meant for the members to stand in the meeting to bear their testimonies.  It’s a rather dry meeting because they will all have the same story and sometimes you’ll even hear the little toddlers stand up to recite their testimonies as well.

 Visions of Joseph Smith

“On several occasions between 1832 and 1842, the young Prophet wrote or dictated accounts of the vision, each in a different setting, the last two for publication. Each record omits or adds some details. In 1832, for example, Joseph Smith wrote that prior to his First Vision he searched the scriptures and concluded that no society taught New Testament Christianity (Backman, p. 156; Jessee, p. 5).”  Encyclopedia of Mormonism, pg. 516.

 The foundation of the LDS Church rests in the visions that Smith claimed he had.  If the message of the visions from the sacred grove were indeed authentic, and if the angel of Moroni presented the truth to Smith about the Book of Mormon, then the body of Christ has something to be worried about.  However these two major details must contain truth and neither of them does; thus disqualifying Smith’s claims that he is indeed a true prophet of God.  This in turn immediately disqualifies the Church as being the one true Church of God.

 There are a total of nine versions of Joseph Smith’s first vision.  The first vision is when Smith claimed the Father and the Son appeared to him to let him know that all of Christianity was the ‘whore of Babylon’.  These visions are all well documented throughout their writings.  When I was a Mormon each time I studied his vision of the two personages appearing to him I thought I was stupid.  The story seemed to change each time I read it and had no idea until after I got out of the Church that there were so many different accounts from Joseph about his own vision.  You can read about all nine accounts at: http://www.lifeafter.org/vision.asp

 For a small list of documents where you can read some of the accounts please see; Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pg. 324; History of the Church, vol. 6:50; and writings of Joseph Smith chapter 1.

 Joseph also documented the visions he received from John the Baptist, Peter, James and John, heavenly visions, visions of Moroni as well as other angels in heaven.  All of these visions are written about in great length in the Encyclopedia of Mormonism, pgs. 1513-6.

 Vocabulary

“Although Latter-day Saints share with other Christian faiths a general Judeo-Christian linguistic heritage, “Mormon language” includes many words and phrases that have distinctive meanings.  Also, many words commonly used in other branches of Christianity are not common in LDS language.”  Encyclopedia of Mormonism, 1537.

 “I hope to see the time when we shall have a reformation in the orthography of the English language, among this people, for it is greatly needed. Such a reformation would be a great benefit, and would make the acquirement of an education much easier than at present.” Discourses of Brigham Young, 257.

Here we have Brigham Young, second prophet of the Church, giving the members an idea of what was to come.  Orthography means, the placement of words.  At www.Dictionary.com it says this about orthography:

 “The art or study of correct spelling according to established usage.

The aspect of language study concerned with letters and their sequences in words.

A method of representing a language or the sounds of language by written symbols; spelling.”

 The problem the Church will continually have is that they are good record keepers and have written down almost everything they think or do.  The Church is its own worst enemy.  Now we know exactly how changing the vocabulary was changed and by whom.  The great need for an ‘orthography’ reformation was to control the minds of the people; simply put; if you add this with ‘thus saith the Lord’ then it becomes prophecy and the implied notion that your salvation is at stake.

 Women in the Church

“…woman’s primary place is in the home, where she is to rear children and abide by the righteous counsel of her husband.”  Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, pg. 844.

 “I have told you many times that there are multitudes of pure and holy spirits waiting to take tabernacles, now what is our duty?—to prepare tabernacles for them… It is the duty of every righteous man and woman to prepare tabernacles for all the spirits they can; hence if my women leave, I will go and search up others who will abide the celestial law, and let all I now have go where they please; though I will send the Gospel to them.”  Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, 4: 56.

 “Our sisters need not be worried about any doctrine. Brother Penrose said it would be better for them if they believed in the doctrine of polygamy. But they do believe it; they know it is true, and that is their torment. It perplexes and annoys many of them, because they are not sanctified by the spirit of it; if they were there would be no trouble. I want to say this much—the sisters do believe it.”  Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses,12: 312.

 “No woman will get into the celestial kingdom, except her husband receives her, if she is worthy to have a husband; and if not, somebody will receive her as a servant.”  Erastus Snow, Journal of Discourses, vol. 5: 291.

 The Bible says this about females:

Galatians 3:28; “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.”

 1 Peter 3:1; “Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives.”

 Now the reason I chose to use this particular verse is because of the hotly debated conversations the Mormons bring to me in the defense of the woman not being equal with her husband; therefore needing him for her ticket to heaven.

The word subjection in this verse is the same word used in 2:17 as the duty of citizens or being a part of the body of Christ.  If you read further into this passage it goes on to say that she is the weaker vessel (meaning physically, not spiritually), and if you can’t sit to pray with her then how can you submit yourself to Christ?  Furthermore, the Bible goes on to tell of God’s abhorrence towards polygamy so that subject of needing polygamy is a moot point.  See Lev. 18:18 and Deut. 17:17.

 The Bible also emphasizes the need for all of us to know doctrine.  If you take another look at 1 Peter 3:1 it says to be obedient so that the husband can be lead to God by the words of their wives.  Now if it weren’t necessary for her to be concerned with doctrine how is that accomplished other than sitting down to study?

 Word of Wisdom

“Word of Wisdom is the common title for a revelation that counsels Latter-day Saints on maintaining good health and is published as Doctrine and Covenants: section 89. The practice of abstaining from all forms of alcohol, tobacco, coffee, and tea, which may outwardly distinguish active Latter-day Saints more than any other practice, derives from this revelation.”  Encyclopedia of Mormonism, pg. 1584.

 Doctrine and Covenants 89:5-9 says; “That inasmuch as any man drinketh wine or strong drink among you, behold it is not good, neither meet in the sight of your Father, only in assembling yourselves together to offer up your sacraments before him.  And, behold, this should be wine, yea, pure wine of the grape of the vine, of your own make.  And, again, strong drinks are not for the belly, but for the washing of your bodies.  And again, tobacco is not for the body, neither for the belly, and is not good for man, but is an herb for bruises and all sick cattle, to be used with judgment and skill.  And again, hot drinks are not for the body or belly.”

 My question is this:  Does the ‘prophecy’ given by Joseph Smith mean that Jesus was sinning at times like the wedding in Cana or did God just outright lie and change his mind again, this time about wine?

 Paul warns the Colossians about the religiosity of dietary laws and counsels them to make sure their walk with Jesus is one that is based on Jesus’ righteousness, not our own.  Col. 2:16-17, 20-23 says; “Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ. Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances, (Touch not; taste not; handle not; Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men?  Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body; not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh.”

2 Responses to “Mormon Terminology”

  1. Monex January 23, 2011 at 2:17 pm #

    sometimes incorrectly called the Mormon Church claims that the ancient office of prophet has not vanished from the earth and that Joseph Smith Junior was called as a prophet of Jesus Christ in the early 1800s to begin the Restoration of the Church of Jesus. As with any discussion of religious matters there is plenty of room for other opinions and disagreement – thats fine.This is one of several pages in a suite of . This work is solely the responsibility of Jeff Lindsay and has not been endorsed by the Church.

  2. lifeafterministry January 23, 2011 at 9:47 pm #

    Not sure what you’re trying to convey in this message but I can assure you that this site has absolutely nothing to do with Jeff Lindsay. You’re right about one thing, this site has not been endorsed by the Mormon Church.

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