Legacy of the Salt Sermon
James 5:9; “Grudge not one against another, brethren, lest ye be condemned: behold, the judge standeth before the door.”
The purpose of this article is twofold. I pray the Mormons will see how God uses His creation for His own purpose. (Romans 13:1) The other is to show Mormon and non-Mormon alike, how the hatred in the heart of some people rules their own world regardless of what members of the Church say publicly today.
God uses people saved and unsaved alike to fulfill His purpose. I’ve seen this for myself throughout the forty-five years of my life and have learned to take comfort in that fact, knowing when I place my trust in Him I am safe.
The days of roaming the earth in an irritated rebellion came to an end for me on Palm Sunday of 1993. After accepting an invitation to attend church with my new friend Nancy, I sat at the back of a small sanctuary and listened to what I thought was an angel singing and playing a worship song on the piano. That “angel” later became a good friend named Vanessa singing “Great Are You Lord” when I fell to my knees to accept Christ Jesus into my heart as my Lord God and Savior.
As I look back on that day I will always be grateful to Him who had orchestrated the event. Nancy’s invite to church and Vanessa’s talent all played a part in His plan for me personally. Vanessa died today (Sunday, November 15, 2009) from the H1N1 virus, leaving behind a loving husband and two sons, not to mention countless friends; me included.
While I only knew Vanessa for sixteen years she will always play an important role in my life of how the Lord uses people even when we’re unaware of it.
As a baby Christian the sinful nature in me still wanted man-made justice from those I deemed guilty of being offensive either to me or others in this world. Now I realize that no matter how many laws we pass there will always be people who are prejudiced, there will always be someone in this world that will kill or maim others based on their own sliding scale of justice. You cannot force anyone to like your ideologies.
As a Mormon I carried with me a horribly cynical, judgmental attitude. I knew I was ornery and I knew I had an attitude. When I look back on it now I still can’t believe God got through to me, but He did! The good Lord used Mormons, anti-Mormons, unbelievers, Christians whom I had deemed the “whores of Babylon” and even apostate “anti-ex Mormons” to reach me.
So it was no surprise for me when I stumbled across what is known as the “Salt Sermon”, given by Sidney Rigdon in the mid nineteenth century. The venomous hatred that spilled from Rigdon’s soapbox that day is what I felt inside myself for thirty years.
The one thing I’m grateful for nowadays is that I’m still alive and can see things like this sermon for what they are. My prayer is for any active Mormon who comes to our site and reads this sermon will allow God to open their eyes to the truth. Yep, the message of the truth is coming from a “non-faith promoting” source. Or as one Mormon (Jake) told me a couple of weeks ago;
“…I just want to bear my testimony that I know the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the ONLY true and living church on this earth. And only through the covenants we make in this church will we be saved…You are a liar and a destroyer. You have been fooled by Satan and have become his instrument in destroying the Kingdom of God. You will not find a place to stand in the last days. You will fall and your fall will be great and painful. Enjoy the world. It won’t last forever.”
So here we are with the attitude of arrogant, judgmental behavior alive and well more than 171 years after Rigdon’s speech. All this because I don’t worship the same Jesus he does.
The Mormons are actually worshipping Lucifer’s brother!
When/if they think of it in this manner then perhaps they’d think to leave the Church. Sound sensationalistic? Examine the following LDS references and make your decision.
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. Haughty, ambitious, and covetous of power and glory, this spirit-brother of Jesus desperately tried to become the Savior of mankind.” – Milton Hunter
Journal of Discourses 6:8; “The contention in heaven was…Jesus said there would be certain souls that would not be saved; and the Devil said he could save them all, and laid his plans before the grand council, who gave their vote in favour of Jesus Christ. So the Devil rose up in rebellion against God, and was cast down.” – Joseph Smith, Jr.
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, possessing power and opportunity to choose the course they would pursue and the leaders whom they would follow and obey.” – James Talmage
Moses 5:13; “And Satan came among them, saying: I am also a son of God; and he commanded them, saying: Believe it not; and they believed it not, and they loved Satan more than God. And men began from that time forth to be carnal, sensual, and devilish.”
Abraham 3:27-28; “And the Lord said: Whom shall I send? And one answered like unto the Son of Man: Here am I, send me. And another answered and said: Here am I, send me. And the Lord said: I will send the first. 28 And the second was angry, and kept not his first estate; and, at that day, many followed after him.”
Where in the Bible does it say that Jesus and Lucifer are brothers? Jake’s condescending e -mail reminds me to take solace in Matthew 15:1-3;
“Then came to Jesus scribes and Pharisees, which were of Jerusalem, saying, 2 Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? for they wash not their hands when they eat bread. 3 But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?”
The scribes and Pharisees wouldn’t dare confront Jesus with their judgmental attitude so they went to the next best thing; His disciples. Some things never change do they? After responding to Jake I’ve not heard from him since. Maybe he was training before he goes out on his mission? Who knows? The one thing we most assuredly know is that we need to be in prayer for this young man.
Just as my friend Vanessa wasn’t expecting to lead a complete stranger to the Lord through her music that day, we at Life After don’t expect people to visit our website and ask how to know the Lord that very minute. We know we play an important role in the body of Christ by providing information and truth to the Mormon community and we’re humbled beyond words when we hear from people who tell us that because of our ministry their eyes were opened! We are here to plant seeds of truth and in obedience continue to do what the Lord has filled our hearts with to do.
This brings me to the question;
How would you like to be remembered? What is the legacy you’re leaving?
Do you want people to remember you because of the humility you extolled through your life or would you rather people remember you through threats of violence? If you’re a real Christian how many times a day do you look at a total stranger and think “that person is a whore of Babylon” or how about someone who attends a different church than you do; are they not a true Christian?
While it’s nearly impossible to find a full transcript of Sidney Rigdon’s “Salt Sermon” anywhere on the net, we’ve been able to find enough of what he said on June 17, 1838 in Farr West, Missouri to show you how the ugly hatred in Mormonism is portrayed.
The Salt Sermon was a warning to those who disagreed with Joseph Smith
The events that warranted such a public display of discontent on the part of a few who chose to leave the “Brethren” was tantamount to total betrayal of God and country in the eyes of church leaders. The apostates became the Benedict Arnold of Mormonism. Charges of insurrection, idolatry, adultery and having the “Spirit of God withdrawn from them” were cast upon them in March through April of 1838 and the following June, Rigdon decided to publicly denounce them. It also served as a warning to others they must watch their behavior.
The “Salt Sermon” was based upon the passage from Matthew 5:13 in Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount.
“Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.”
Rigdon, the official spokesman for the Church, had labeled the apostates of Mormonism as “salt that has lost its savor” and would literally be trodden down under foot for denying the faith they once had in the LDS Church and Joseph Smith. Can you just imagine??? While some sources say names weren’t given in the sermon, still others maintain everyone knew who Rigdon was referring to; the original Book of Mormon witnesses; Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer and John Whitmer, along with church leaders Lyman E. Johnson and W.W. Phelps.
Within three days of the sermon more than eighty members of the Church signed a letter warning the dissenters to leave immediately. The ex communicated apostates fled immediately fearing for their lives and the lives of their family members.
In essence the letter told them the Church had run out of patience and they could no longer bear the “suffering any longer”. It laboriously went on: “if you do not depart, we will use the means in our power to cause you to depart; for go you shall”.
Saints Without Halos also quotes Joseph Smith as saying the following during the time of the ill-fated Farr West leadership scuffle which led to the ex-communication.
“Though I don’t want the brethren to act unlawfully; but I will tell them one thing, Judas was a traitor, and instead of hanging himself was hung by Peter.”
My first reaction is “What?” Since when was it ever intimated that Peter hung Judas? These are the types of comments you get from someone who is power hungry with no education…Lest I digress, let’s get back to the topic at hand.
What the LDS Church doesn’t do is promote truth. The teachings are divisive, controlling and about as ungodly as one could imagine.
- Truth: They don’t tell their members that eight of
the eleven witnesses to the Book of Mormon were ex-communicated.
- Truth: Sidney Rigdon was ex-communicated in 1844, less than
six years after this sermon.
- They won’t tell investigators
that if they decide to leave the Church the remaining members of the Church are
poised and ready to shun them.
Sadly, the Church also doesn’t believe the Bible is completely trustworthy, otherwise they’d see there is something horribly wrong with their behavior in 1 John 2:1-2, 9;
“My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: 2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now.”
When and where does it say in His word you must obey a mere man in one church here on earth? Where does it say that if you leave a church you can expect to be trodden down underfoot?
My oldest daughter Jacqui is out on a six month mission for the Lord. So far she’s spent time on the streets of Berlin buying food for the homeless and in the old Czechoslovakia giving out warm clothing to gypsy children and prostitutes. Do you honestly believe she and others serving with her will be going to hell because they aren’t attending the church you do right now? The God I worship is so much bigger than that! This man Jesus, who is the Bridegroom of the body of Christ, is more compassionate than what Rigdon displayed.
As the body of Christ we can know we’re worshipping the right God by the three verses I’ve listed above. When you hate your brothers and sisters in Christ you are in darkness, not light. When you do not believe Jesus died for everyone in the world, you are in darkness, not light. This is where the hatred comes in. It is bred in the darkest of shadows from the recesses of the heart that isn’t following the God of the Bible. Remember what Jesus said in Matthew 5:21-22;
“Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: 22 But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.”
According to Jesus just thinking these things proves where your heart is. Where is yours? Are you angry when people leave your church and if so then why? What’s the deal? Where is your heart? Why can’t you rejoice with that person who is following God? Are they automatically deemed an apostate?
While the word “apostate” is not in the King James Bible it is an English word that comes from the Greek noun apostasia which means “falling away”. 2 Thessalonians 2:3 says;
“Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition.”
The Greek word apostasy means “a defection, renunciation, to depart”. Again, if these were fellow Christians in the Lord, why does it matter what church they were attending? Aren’t we all one in the Lord? Granted, more than a handful of these men were traveling a road clearly not marked for the Lord, but others were. Just because you’re not Mormon they believe you are the “whore of Babylon”. Their words, not mine. 1 Nephi 14:10;
“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.”
The Seer, pg. 255; “Both Catholics and Protestants are nothing less than the ‘whore of Babylon’ whom the Lord denounces by the mouth of John the Revelator as having corrupted all the earth by their fornications and wickedness. Any person who shall be so corrupt as to receive a holy ordinance of the Gospel from the ministers of any of these apostate churches will be sent down to hell with them, unless they repent.” – Apostle Orson Pratt
Gospel Truth, pg. 324; “After the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was organized, there were only two churches upon the earth. They were known respectively as the Church of the Lamb of God and Babylon. The various organizations which are called churches throughout Christendom, though differing in their creeds and organizations, have one common origin. They all belong to Babylon.” – George Q. Cannon
One more question for the Mormon to ponder; how could there already be a “whore of Babylon” in 600 BC which is when first Nephi was supposedly written?
We want members of the LDS Church to know we love them and our hearts hurt that you do not know the Jesus of the Bible. We pray for you daily and hope you will challenge yourself to investigate the claims we’ve made here and other articles on our site. We’re always here to answer questions and pray anytime you’d like.
With Love in Christ; Michelle
1 Corinthians 1:18