Visiting Teaching Message April 2016 #2

03 May

Visiting Teaching MessagesSoon after the General Conference in early April, we posted a Visiting Teaching Message on April 14th, and used Thomas Monson’s speech ‘Choices’. When I checked back two weeks later (April 29th) to retrieve the message for May, I saw they had listed another Visiting Teaching Message for April.

Sooo…here is another VT Message for April! The title for this one is ‘Daughters of Our Eternal Father’. The overall message is to understand all females are begotten daughters of the Mormon Heavenly Father.

As it is in all other VT Messages, the first question in this lesson was, ‘How will understanding “The Family: A Proclamation to the World” increase your faith in God and bless those you watch over through visiting teaching?’

We’re still wondering what this has to do with the Bible. God’s word tells us to think upon the things that are true (Philippians 4:8), which means everything that’s the opposite of lies, or falsehoods.

In other words, what do Christians know to be true?

First of all, we know Jesus is the truth (John 14:6)! We also know His word is truth (John 17:17). A Christian must read, study, meditate and think on the word of God. The end result of these things of course, is knowing more about the Lord! Hallelujah!

When we read the Church’s ‘Family Proclamation’, we can discern this is nothing more than a man-made production in a belief the Mormon god commanded men and women to be married and have kids, because as they put it, ‘marriage is essential to His eternal plan’. (One will notice there’s no mention of Jesus in that sentence.)

This of course, leads us into the VT Message. Let’s take a look at the couple of key items they listed as elements Mormons must know –

The scriptures teach us that “we are the offspring of God” (Acts 17:29). God referred to Emma Smith, wife of the Prophet Joseph Smith, as “my daughter” (D&C 25:1). The family proclamation teaches us that we are each “a beloved spirit … daughter of heavenly parents.”1

“In [the premortal] realm, we learned about our eternal female identity,” said Carole M. Stephens, first counselor in the Relief Society general presidency.

“Our mortal journey to earth did not change those truths.”2

First of all, we need to look at the Bible verse they quoted to get a better understanding of what God meant. The Church is exhibiting another example of cult behavior. They’ve used one verse, out of context, to build an entire doctrinal thesis. Here’s a proper reading of this verse in context – (and yes, I retrieved this from their website!)

Acts 17:28-31

28 For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.

29 Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man’s device.

30 And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:

31 Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead. [emp. mine]

As we can see in Acts 17:28-31, the Apostle Paul is found warning people to stop worshiping false gods. The next thing we need to look at is the true definition for the Greek word ‘offspring’ because this is what the Church has zeroed in on.

The transliteration for ‘offspring’ is ‘genos’, which means ‘“kin” (abstract or concrete, literal or figurative, individual or collective)…’ (See Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance.)

Obviously, this word isn’t always meant to be a literal offspring. Here’s what Matthew Henry had to say about this passage –

“God honoured man in making his soul after his own likeness; but man dishonours God if he makes him after the likeness of his body. The Godhead is spiritual, infinite, immaterial, incomprehensible, and therefore it is a very false and unjust conception which an image gives us of God, be the matter ever so rich, fold or silver; be the shape ever so curious, and be it ever so well graven by art or man’s device, its countenance, posture, or dress, ever so significant, it is a teacher of lies.”

For ‘proof’ of what Matthew Henry said is correct, consider Deuteronomy 32:6, 18 when God reminded the Israelites of Who He is –

Deuteronomy 32:6, 18; “Do ye thus requite the LORD, O foolish people and unwise? is not he thy father that hath bought thee? hath he not made thee, and established thee? 18 Of the Rock that begat thee thou art unmindful, and hast forgotten God that formed thee.”

Because God isn’t an actual rock, this can show mankind isn’t literally the offspring of God. The last thing we should look at is the following statement by Mrs. Stephens –

“We each belong to and are needed in the family of God,” said Sister Stephens. “Earthly families all look different. And while we do the best we can to create strong traditional families, membership in the family of God is not contingent upon any kind of status—marital status, parental status, financial status, social status, or even the kind of status we post on social media.””

YIKES!

  • God does not need anything, because the God of the Bible is Sovereign – See article on ‘Family Councils’.
  • Membership in God’s family, if you will, is most certainly dependent upon one’s earthly status! If you aren’t a member in the body of Christ, you’re not saved!
  • The Church is trying to be inclusive of all races, in spite of their racist canon. Mrs. Stephens seems uncomfortable about their predicament by pointing out we all ‘look different’.

This last comment in their VT Message is quite sad, making it hard to say whom I feel more sorry for. I feel bad for people like Carole Stephens who is desperately lost, and obviously needs to know Jesus. My heart also hurts for those who this woman and others like her, are leading astray.

In all the years I’ve been a Christian and involved in Bible studies, I’ve neverexperienced a lesson where it’s pointed out we all ‘look different’. Bible studies focus on one thing. God’s word, and what God is revealing to mankind about Himself. A good teacher will do homework to provide extra insight about historical settings and the like, but that’s about it.

Please, don’t forget to pray for everyone involved!

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