As we’ve been nearing the end of these lessons I’ve noticed a recurring theme going on. The Church has turned the lessons more inward than outward. What I mean by that is for the past several weeks these lessons are more about Mormonism, their temples and the growth of the Church than the Bible and what God has to say. They’ve systematically isolated members more and more with each lesson and I highly doubt members are even aware of what’s taken place. Mind you, I know all the lessons have been filled with false teachings, etc; however, they’ve been getting progressively worse.
This week’s lesson is called “Let Us Rise Up and Build” and it’s based on Ezra, Nehemiah and Haggai. While it sounds as if they’re not isolating themselves by using these three books, a close look at how they’ve cherry picked a verse here and there for their own purposes reveals the truth.
How does any serious bible student cram all these writings into one lesson and still think they’ve studied the Bible? Studying the book of Ezra alone should take a minimum of a few months!
The purpose of this lesson is “To encourage class members to help build Zion and to show Christlike love to those who oppose the work of the Lord.” In choosing Nehemiah to base that purpose on they’ve also told members “the work is great and large and we are separated” and basing this on Nehemiah 4:19.
“And I said unto the nobles, and to the rulers, and to the rest of the people, The work is great and large, and we are separated upon the wall, one far from another.”
I have to interject here. The Israelites living in times of the OT era were living under the Law, not grace. They didn’t have a missionary system set up as we’ve been commissioned by Christ to do (Mt 28:18-20) and were commanded by God to separate themselves for protection. The walls were fortified with soldiers who stood atop them and watched for any enemies who might be approaching.
In the era of grace we now live in the Kingdom of God is watched over by God first and foremost and then other Christians to warn of false teachers. When someone in the body of Christ, aka Kingdom of God, is physically impaired the Lord does that work with healing.
In addition to all that, we are in the world, but not of the world. To isolate ourselves through means of temples which are no longer needed or by false teachings is blasphemy.
Not surprisingly, the lesson went on to tell members they need to be nice to the “outsiders”. This is a complete 180 from what they’ve always taught and it stands in direct opposition to the scriptures they enslave themselves to even today.
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”.
To further confuse members and complicate matters they’ve quoted one of their apostles who said that members of the Church should and can use passages of the Bible meant for people long ago and apply it to their lives today.
Dallin H. Oaks:
“We may … find that a specific verse of scripture that was spoken for quite a different purpose in an entirely different age will, under the interpretive influence of the Holy Ghost, give us a very personal message adapted to our personal needs today. … If we seek to liken the scriptures to our own circumstances, ‘that it might be for our profit and learning’ (1 Nephi 19:23), a loving Father in heaven can use them to bless us in highly individual ways” (Studying the Scriptures [devotional given in the Salt Lake Tabernacle, 24 Nov. 1985]).
This is remarkable considering another LDS apostle told Mormons the exact opposite! And by the way, Hyde wasn’t the only one that’s said this!
Bible not for Modern Times
Journal of Discourses 2:75-76;“The words contained in this Bible are merely a history of what is gone by; it was never given to guide the servant of God in the course he should pursue, any more than the words and commandments of God, given to a generation under one set of circumstances, would serve for another generation under another set of circumstances…The Bible is not a sufficient guide; it is only the history of the people who lived 1800 years ago. The history of our Church in this day, presents the scenes and transactions of this people—the revelations and words of God to them…” – Orson Hyde, Salt Lake City, October 6, 1854
The last thing they mentioned this week was asking how they could be “more attentive as we read the scriptures”. It’s a good thing I’m sitting down when I read these lessons! My first thought was that they should study God’s commandment to the Israelites when He told them the dangers of hanging out with those who worship false gods!
Nehemiah 13:24-26; “And their children spake half in the speech of Ashdod, and could not speak in the Jews’ language, but according to the language of each people. 25 And I contended with them, and cursed them, and smote certain of them, and plucked off their hair, and made them swear by God, saying, Ye shall not give your daughters unto their sons, nor take their daughters unto your sons, or for yourselves. 26 Did not Solomon king of Israel sin by these things? yet among many nations was there no king like him, who was beloved of his God, and God made him king over all Israel: nevertheless even him did outlandish women cause to sin”.
If they study the Bible maybe they’ll figure out they shouldn’t believe Lehi’s story that he and his clan spoke in the language of their fathers, but had chosen to use “Reformed Egyptian” to write the Book of Mormon. From what it says in Nehemiah God didn’t have a whole lot of favorable things to say about this predicament.
Mormon 9:32-33; “And now, behold, we have written this record according to our knowledge, in the characters which are called among us the reformed Egyptian, being handed down and altered by us, according to our manner of speech. 33 And if our plates had been sufficiently large we should have written in Hebrew; but the Hebrew hath been altered by us also; and if we could have written in Hebrew, behold, ye would have had no imperfection in our record”.
We’re praying they connect the dots in this lesson and see God for what He is. Honest.
In all things, give glory to God first!
With Love in Christ;
1 Cor 1:18