Melissa and I saw an article in the November Ensign that caused us to raise our eyebrows in surprise at how the Church compares outside information to pornography. This isn’t the first time they’ve done this so I suppose it shouldn’t be a surprise they’ve done it again, but somehow it does.
In the November 2013 issue of the monthly periodical,Ensign, Elder Adrian Ochoa cautioned members that the internet is a scary place. I agree with him to a point as there are sites and blogs out there that are awful so let’s look at what he said and determine what if anything we can glean from his words.
“…the Internet is also full of much that is filthy and misleading. Technology has augmented our freedom of speech, but it also gives an unqualified blogger false credibility based on the number of viewers…”
First of all, the Church is spending too much time on the websites of the “enemies” if they’re noticing how many people follow a blog or site. He went on to lump filthy images in the same category as those who expose the truth about Joseph Smith.
“In particular, I caution you not to view filthy images or give your attention to the false accusers of Christ and the Prophet Joseph Smith. Both actions create the same effect: the loss of the Holy Ghost and His protecting, sustaining power. Vice and unhappiness always follow…”
How could someone lose the presence of God’s Spirit? Jesus told us that He’d never leave us as orphans – John 14:16-18. As an FYI, this ministry and our websites only provide information we retrieve from the LDS Church and that is true for many other Christian sites that minister to Mormons. And another interesting tidbit is that many of us (me included) left the Church without the aid of surfing the net. It hadn’t been invented when I left the Church so everything I read came directly from the Church itself.
If reading our website causes someone to lose the presence of the Mormon Holy Ghost then it’s because they’ve had their eyes opened to truth and God has saved them! Another truth is that Joseph Smith is the one that said the Holy Ghost can visit and then leave. This teaching of his is the complete opposite of what God’s word tells us.
D&C 130:23; “A man may receive the Holy Ghost, and it may descend upon him and not tarry with him.”
Subsequent leaders of the Church reiterated this by teaching that the Holy Spirit isn’t omnipresent –
Doctrines of Salvation 1:40; “As President Joseph F. Smith says: “He does not have to dwell with one constantly.” This man here, another one over there, and a man over in England, are confirmed members of the Church. The question arises, “How can the Holy Ghost be with them all at the same time?” He does not have to be, but the power of the Holy Ghost is such that it can be manifest in every place at the same moment of time.” – Joseph Fielding Smith
So how does a member of the Church even know if God’s Spirit is there with them at all? Maybe he’s helping out Sister Matilda on the other side of the nation or Brother John in Africa? If God comes and goes at whim where does that leave the Mormon who needs him right then and there? What guarantee does he or she have that God is listening?
Mr. Ochoa labored on…
“There are those in the world who seek to undermine your faith by mixing lies with half-truths. This is why it is absolutely critical that you remain constantly worthy of the Spirit. The companionship of the Holy Ghost is not just a pleasant convenience—it is essential to your spiritual survival…”
Boy is the irony ever rich in that statement.
If you’re LDS you need to know something vitally important. No one is worthy of God’s presence. This is the whole reason He sent His Son Jesus to die for us so we could be in His presence! At the Lord’s death upon the cross, the veil was ripped in two, giving us direct access to God! If you’re not sure what the significance of the veil means you can know that before Jesus died mankind had to offer sacrifices of animals or bread, etc at the temple. The priest would take their offering into the temple and go behind the veil which is where God’s presence resided. Only a qualified priest could enter to offer sacrifices.
When Jesus died that veil was ripped in two, giving anyone direct access to God’s presence! Matthew 27:51, Mark 15:38.
The other problem with this man’s comment is about the Holy Ghost being essential to your salvation. While what he said is true, the Holy Spirit of God which resides inside each true believer helps us discern truth, this isn’t what past leaders has taught about the Holy Spirit.
Once again we see the evolutionary ways of Mormonism with this guy’s statement and the teaching of a prophet from their past. So which guy should you believe?
Doctrines of Salvation 1:39; “I have never troubled myself about the Holy Ghost whether he will sometime have a body or not because it is not in any way essential to my salvation. He is a member of the Godhead, with great power and authority, with a most wonderful mission which must be performed by a spirit. This has satisfied me without delving into mysteries that would be of no particular benefit.” – Joseph Fielding Smith
I want to remind the Mormons that even the early Christians didn’t just accept teachings of others without first investigating if what they heard lined up with the word of God. We don’t advocate that anyone just take the words of another without first checking out the resources so just like the Bereans in the book of Acts we encourage you to do the same!
Acts 17:11; “These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.”
Ask yourself if it sounds reasonable the Holy Spirit would leave you if you read information about the Church.
Ask yourself why the Church would tell you a couple of months ago that it’s okay to share your faith on the internet and why it sounds as if they’re scaring people away from it now.
If you’re LDS we’re praying for you and hope that you’ll weigh these things in your mind.
With Love in Christ;
1 Cor 1:18