Sunday School Old Testament: Lesson 13

20 February

old-testament-gospel-doctrine-teachers-manual-35570000This next lesson goes into Moses freeing the Israelites from bondage, the plagues in Egypt and the Passover. It takes the class through the first fourteen chapters rather quickly without taking the time to truly study what God has to teach us from these events. I can’t believe I used to think this was an acceptable way to study God’s word, especially when it comes to a Sunday school class. I guess sitting under pastors who preach expository has spoiled me. :)

In the interest of time I’m going to address two main issues I have with this lesson pertaining to the Passover which are; where the Mormons believe the atonement occurred and their sacrament.

The Garden of Gethsemane

Mormons are taught to believe that Jesus atoned for our sins in the garden and it was carried over to the cross where He died. For them the cross is a symbol of His death, not of His atoning sacrifice for our sins. By doing this Mormons take away from His sacrifice and remove the grace He freely gave all of us.

In this lesson they try to show the similarities between the Passover lamb and of Jesus being the Lamb of God. And yet at the same time totally miss the depth of what it meant for Jesus to be called the Lamb of God.

If they would take the time to read and study the chapters they’ve just glossed over in this lesson they would see that there’s no way they can affiliate what actually occurred in the garden with what the Israelites did as they sacrificed a lamb, ate the meat and covered their door posts with its blood.

Jesus suffering in the garden was immeasurable, but it wasn’t where He became the propitiation for our sins.

Romans 3:25-26  Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; 26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.

The lesson makes the statement:

“The Savior’s blood, which he shed in Gethsemane and on the cross, cleanses the faithful and saves them from spiritual death.”

That’s quite a contrast when compared to Romans 5:8 where we read:

“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

The “cleanses the faithful” part seems to imply that one must be free from a certain amount of sin to begin with prior to the blood of Jesus saving them from spiritual death. Their 3rd Article of Faith also seems to imply that obedience to the Mormon gospel must be a part of the individual’s life first, before Jesus’ sacrifice can be applied to their salvation.

The 3rd Article of Faith states:

“We believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel.”

Yet in the same book Mormons carry around with them God has said this:

Colossians 2:14-15 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; 15 And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.

The Sacrament

sacrament (1)The sacrament is what Mormons would consider their version of communion or the Lord’s Supper, but don’t be fooled, in no way shape or form does it come close to being an example what the Lord spoke of in the scriptures.

The Mormon sacrament consists of water and leavened bread to represent the blood and body of Jesus Christ. Through their substitutions they’ve perverted the meaning of the Lord’s Supper and are missing out on what it’s all about.

According to the bible leaven represents sin, so why would they choose to use bread with yeast in it as a symbol of the body of Jesus? And why would they use water to in the place of wine or grape juice for His blood? When I asked why they used water instead of grape juice I was told it was because they were concerned about it staining the seating if someone were to spill their cup.

While it’s true grape juice can stain, that’s not the reason they don’t use grape juice or wine. The truth is Joseph Smith had a “revelation” not to use wine, and was then told which emblems they should use when they partake of the sacrament.

The introduction to Doctrine and Covenants 27 reads:

 Revelation given to Joseph Smith the Prophet, at Harmony, Pennsylvania, August 1830. In preparation for a religious service at which the sacrament of bread and wine was to be administered, Joseph set out to procure wine. He was met by a heavenly messenger and received this revelation, a portion of which was written at the time and the remainder in the September following. Water is now used instead of wine in the sacramental services of the Church.

And in Doctrine and Covenants 27:2 we read:

 For, behold, I say unto you, 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.

So by those standards we could use Cheetos and root beer for our communion services if we felt so inclined to do so?

In Luke 22:14-23, Matthew 26:17-29, John 13:18-30, Mark 14:10-25 Jesus institutes the Lord’s Supper. He makes it clear why the bread and wine what they represent and why.

In Corinthians 11:27 Paul wrote:

 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.

Mormons really need to think about what they’re doing when they partake of the sacrament in this way, and when they allow their toddlers, who are too young to understand the meaning do the same. When they partake of it they’re recommitting themselves each week to the false teachings of Mormonism, and to a false prophet. I can’t imagine how sad God must be to see them distort this sacred ordinance in this manner.

In Christ,

Melissa Grimes (melissa@lifeafter.org)

Reference:

Lesson 13 – Bondage, Passover and Exodus

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