old-testament-gospel-doctrine-teachers-manual-35570000The LDS OT Sunday school lesson for week six made me feel like I was in elementary school once again.  The way the Church presents their lessons have been a source of wonder for Melissa and me once we got going on these things and the reason why is because of their material.

These classes have been written for an adult audience so we’re wondering why they include an “attention activity” for class members offering a variety of things they can participate in. Here’s the activity for this week;

“If your classroom is large enough, ask several class members to stand in a straight line, with their arms outstretched and their fingertips touching the fingertips of the person next to them. Explain that it would take approximately 85 class members standing this way to make a line the same length as the ark that Noah built.”

They also included a visual graphic comparing five seafaring vessels for the members to understand just how big Noah’s ark was.

These comparisons are interesting and I can understand giving the dimensions in US measurements or the equivalent of measurements for the country you live in, but do grown adults need to stand in a straight row with outstretched arms?  Many of the people I go to church with are Microsoft or Boeing engineers and while I know that’s not the norm for most people, I found it laughable that any adult Sunday school class would engage in such a thing.

This week the name of the lesson is “Noah … Prepared an Ark to the Saving of His House” and its purpose is “To help class members desire to live worthily and avoid the evils of the world”.

This time around it’s not the title of the lesson, but the purpose that I have questions about. How am I as a teacher supposed to help members desire to live worthily?  That’s the job of the Holy Spirit!  People can’t help you desire anything!  You can encourage someone to live worthily, but help them desire to do this isn’t possible my friend.

This lesson just as last week’s lesson has three main points to focus on; “the people reject Noah’s call to repentance; Noah builds an ark”, “the Lord cleanses the earth with a flood”, “the people build the tower of Babel”.

In this first section they’ve used more biblical passages than in the past, but again the main focus of their lessons is taken from LDS canon providing the opportunity for Joseph Smith to change not only the text, but the message of what God’s word says as well.

In this section they’ve asked several questions, but there are two that caught my attention –

“How can listening to and following the prophets help us avoid spiritual and temporal destruction?”

“What can we do to be temporally prepared in case of calamity…?”

In answer to the first question I hope Mormon people would know that Jesus is the only prophet we should be listening to in these “latter days”! Psalm 146:3; “Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help”.  Jesus said He is “the way, the truth and the life…” in John 14:6 and nowhere in that sentence do we see any other person’s name mentioned.

The second question is in reference to their food storage program.  We wrote about this a few months ago asking what you’d do if a tornado ripped through your village or town and relocated your food storage to a cow field in the next county?

Having a few days’ supply of food and water is a good idea in case of power outages, but outside of that it’s turned from having food on hand to another project the Church has given its members to keep themselves busy with.

The most damning part of this section is found in the “additional teaching ideas” at the end of the manual. Here’s what it says;

“Enoch, Noah’s great-grandfather, saw in a vision the wickedness of Noah’s generation and the resulting flood…Enoch was sorrowful because of this wickedness, and he asked the Lord to have mercy on Noah and his children. The Lord promised Enoch that He would never again destroy the world by flood (Moses 7:51). The Lord also promised Enoch that Noah would be his descendant, and thus Enoch’s seed would continue on the earth even after the flood (Moses 7:528:2, 6, 8–9). The Lord renewed this covenant with Noah after the flood (Genesis 9:8–17; note that the Joseph Smith Translation of verses 9 and 11refers to the Lord’s covenant with Enoch; see also Joseph Smith Translation, Genesis 9:21–25).”

First of all there’s nothing in the Bible that says Enoch saw Noah’s day.

Secondly, the Lord didn’t promise Enoch that he’d father Noah.

Thirdly, the Lord didn’t promise Enoch that He wouldn’t destroy the earth with a flood!

And last but certainly not least, take note how they’ve proudly proclaimed Joseph Smith went ahead and changed scripture.  Yikes!

The 2nd part of the lesson is how “the Lord cleanses the earth with a flood” however, they should’ve called it “how Joseph Smith tried to change history by rewriting the Bible”.

They asked another set of questions prompting members to listen carefully to their prophets and make sure they have ample food storage on hand and then they got into the rewrite of history – again.

This time around they asked members what the first thing was that Noah did when he left the ark and asked them to compare Genesis 8:20 with Joseph Smith’s Translation of Genesis 9:4.

Because using those two verses doesn’t really tell the whole story we’re listing the passage of what God said compared to what Joseph said. This is important in showing how they’ve changed history and when this happens chaos and confusion ensues.

Gen 8:20 –And Noah builded an 

altar unto the LORD;

and took of every clean

beast, and of every clean

fowl, and offered burnt

offerings on the altar.

Gen 9:4 –And Noah builded an 

altar unto the Lord,

and took of every clean

beast, and of every clean

fowl, and offered burnt

offerings on the altar;

and gave thanks

unto the Lord,

and rejoiced in his heart.

Gen 8:21 –And the LORD smelled a 

sweet savour; and the LORD

said in his heart, I will

not again curse the ground

any more for man’s sake;

for the imagination of man’s

heart is evil from his youth;

neither will I again smite

any more every thing

living, as I have done.

Gen 9:5 –And the Lord spake unto 

Noah, and he blessed him.

And Noah smelled a sweet

savor, and he said in

his heart;

Gen 8:22 –While the earth remaineth, 

seedtime and harvest,

and cold and heat,

and summer and winter,

and day and night

shall not cease.

Gen 9:6 –I will call on the name 

of the Lord, that he

will not again curse

the ground any more

for man’s sake,

for the imagination of

man’s heart is evil

from his youth;

and he will not again

smite any more

every thing living, as he

hath done, while the

earth remaineth;

Gen 9:7 –And, that seed-time and harvest, 

and cold and heat,

and summer and winter,

and day and night,

may not cease with man.

As we can clearly see we have the tail wagging the dog in this passage! Noah smells the sweet savor of the sacrifice instead of God. Noah says in his heart and “asks” God not to smite the earth anymore instead of God saying in His heart that He won’t smite the earth…

The lesson goes on by wanting members to believe God’s covenant with Enoch was renewed with Noah.

The tragedy in this is how the Mormon won’t know what the truth is and when or if they want to commit scripture to memory it’s all for naught.

In the last section, “people build the tower of Babel” we find the question “why can’t we reach heaven on our own or by human methods”.  STOP!  Think about this for a moment!!!

Why would they ask such a thing if they’re a works for salvation based faith? Why are they trying to convince members their works are necessary with verses like 2 Nephi 25:23 (saved by grace after all we can do) and then teach that you can’t get to heaven on your own?  Does this make sense?

The Bible defines the works of man as filthy rags in Isaiah 64:6 and this is a fair assessment to all we do when compared to what He has done, but Mormons won’t accept this either because they’ve been tricked into believing they can become a god if they just work hard enough for one more day and “endure to the end”.

In their additional teaching ideas they prompt members to compare how God protected the righteous at the time of the Tower of Babel and to compare this with what it says in the Book of Ether when Jared and his family sailed the open seas to the promised land of the American continent circa BC 2600-2200.

The problem with this is obvious to those who know God’s word – God scattered everyone across the earth and confounded the languages.  Genesis 11:9.  In the lesson they’re instructed to read Ether 1:1–5, 33–37 to find out why God didn’t confound the Jaredites’ language.  Again, the only resource they have to retrieve info from is the Book of Mormon which stands alone in its claims with no outside historical resources to draw from for verification.

The Bible gives no indication or hint that anyone at all was righteous, thus everyone was confounded…

To date I’ve yet to find anything at all in these lessons that give a straight answer or teaching without an agenda attached to it.  If you’re Christian we’re asking that you come alongside us at LAM to pray for clarity of mind for the Mormon people when they attend church every week.

If you’re LDS we want more than anything for you to have a saving knowledge of Christ Jesus and Him crucified. We also think it’s important to say that we don’t publish these things out of animosity or to make fun of anyone.  We do this because you deserve to know the truth and the truth is that God isn’t a god of confusion, nor is He a god that changes from being a man into a god. God never changes and most of all – He loves you more than you’ll ever know! The teachings in the Gospel Doctrine classes for the OT study aren’t true.

We strongly encourage you to open a King James Bible and compare it with what this lesson has said.

With Love in Christ;

Michelle Grim

1 Cor 1:18