Visiting Teaching Message June 2016

10 June

Idolatry is the action of demeaning God’s character by redefining who He is, and then passing the bogus information on to those around you.

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The title for this month’s Visiting Teaching Message is ‘Temple Ordinances and Covenants’, making the subject matter self-explanatory. However, before we dig in, let’s take a look at their subject matter a little more closely, along with the definition of idolatry.

The Lord’s description of the Israelites in Jeremiah 3:6 (backsliding Israel and treacherous Judah), caught my attention when i was doing a Bible study years ago. The Lord told Jeremiah Israel had played the harlot, and when her sister Judah saw it, defiled the land by not returning to Him – Jeremiah 3:9.

Even though I had been out of Mormonism more than a decade, I felt my face blush with the reminder of how seriously offensive my idolatrous past was to the Lord. The idea I had defiled the land horrified me, and marked the time I began looking at Mormonism as God did with the Israelites during the Babylonian era.

As I’m sure you’re well aware, idolatry is the absolute worst sin there is in God’s eyes. It qualifies itself as such based on what it produces. Easton’s Bible Dictionary defines it as spiritual adultery, and Smith’s Bible Dictionary as well as Easton’s and Holman’s Bible Dictionary noted it was considered high treason against the majesty of the king.

Idolatry attacks God’s character, of this there’s no doubt. Idolatry is the action of demeaning God’s character by redefining who He is, and then passing the bogus information on to those around you. Of the Ten Commandments, the first three directly speak to the sin of idolatry.

Just as leaven permeates everything it comes into contact with, the wrong perspective of God contaminates every single aspect of life. The Mormon Church is a good example of how one thing after another goes wrong with the incorrect understanding of God’s nature; which brings us back to this month’s Visiting Teaching Message, ‘Temple Ordinances and Covenants’.

This lesson contained a few important comments by LDS leaders, setting Mormonism apart from Christianity. Their comments spoke volumes about the god they worship, giving Christians insight on how to witness to friends and loved ones.

We’re listing the comments with a biblical rebuttal to use as a witnessing tool,BUT we’d love to hear how you’d witness to a Mormon about this VT Message. Please, let us know so others can learn from what you have to offer as well!

Here we go!

‘All the ordinances necessary for salvation and exaltation are accompanied by covenants with God. “Making and keeping covenants means choosing to bind ourselves to our Father in Heaven and Jesus Christ,” said Linda K. Burton, Relief Society general president.’

We  don’t believe Ms. Burton understands the biblical meaning of covenant. If she did she wouldn’t have used the phrase ‘ordinances needed for salvation’ and the word ‘covenant’ in this manner.

Jesus is the Maker of the NT Covenant. He sealed the New and Everlasting Covenant with His spilt blood on the cross at Calvary. ‘Binding’ yourself to a god that demands ordinances for salvation means you’re spiritually dead, and have bound yourself to a false god in whom there is no hope.

If I had only one question I could ask the Mormon people, it’d be Hebrews 9:14.

Hebrews 9:11-14; “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; 12 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. 13 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: 14 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?”

Neil L. Andersen said, “The Lord said, ‘In the ordinances … the power of godliness is manifest.’

“There are special blessings from God for every worthy person who is baptized, receives the Holy Ghost, and regularly partakes of the sacrament.”

Oh, how we’re praying they’ll read their Bibles! God tells us what He thinks of self-righteousness in Isaiah –

Isaiah 64:6; “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.”

A Foreign Power not of God…

“When men and women go to the temple,” said M. Russell Ballard… “they are both endowed with the same power, which is priesthood power …

“… All men and all women have access to this power for help in their lives. All who have made sacred covenants with the Lord and who honor those covenants are eligible to receive personal revelation, to be blessed by the ministering of angels, to commune with God, to receive the fulness of the gospel, and, ultimately, to become heirs alongside Jesus Christ of all our Father has.”

Priesthood power is nothing more than a false hope offered by demonic powers of Mormonism. Ask a temple worthy Mormon if they’ve been ‘blessed with the ministering of angels’. True empowerment for the Christian comes through God’s Holy Spirit and His holy word.

Hebrews 4:12 “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”

2 Corinthians 3:18 “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.”

1 John 4:4 “Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world.”

Pray that Mormons will desire to have a true covenant relationship with the Lord. We’re also praying they fully understand how worshiping their false god is participating in idolatry, much like the Israelites were doing in Jeremiah’s day.

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