Friday, January 31, 2020

Baptism For The Dead

1 Corinthians 15:29-Baptism for the Dead??
The Mormon Teaching. In 1 Corinthians 15:29 we read, "Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? Why are they then baptized for the dead?"
James E. Talmage says, "These words are unambiguous and the fact that they are presented without explanation or comment argues that the principle of baptism for the dead was understood among the people to whom the letter was addressed." (Talmage p. 149). Indeed, "herein is shown the necessity of vicarious work--the living ministering in behalf of the dead: the children doing for their progenitors what is beyond the power of the latter to do for themselves." (Talmage pp.149-50).

The Biblical Teaching. Even though evangelical scholars offer different interpretations of what Paul is talking about in 1 Corinthians 15:29, they unanimously agree that the Mormon interpretation is incorrect.
Scripture clearly states that this life on earth is the only time we have to choose either for or against Christ. Once we die, all opportunities vanish. Hebrews 9:27 telks us. "It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment. "
It is critical to recognize that throughout 1 Corinthians, Paul refers to the Corinthian belivers and himself using first-person pronouns ( we, ye, I ). But when he comes to 1 Corinthians 15:29--the verse dealing with baptism for the dead--Paul switches to the third person ("They"). With that in mind, a plain reading of the text seems to indicate that Paul is referring to people outside the Christian camp in Corinth. And Paul seems to be disassociating himself from the group practicing baptism for the dead.
Note the words of Charles R. Hield and Russell Ralston:
A careful reading of this epistle shows that the Apostle Paul writes to the Corinthian Saints using the words "I", "we", "ye", "you", when referring to them and/or himself all the way through his message; but when he mentions baptism for the dead, he changes to "they." What shall they do ?" Why are they then baptized for the dead?" In the verses following, he returns to the use of "we", and "you." Thus he seems to disassociate himself and the righteous Saints from the methods used by those groups who at that time were practicing baptism for the dead.
The Apostle Paul did not urge his hearers to practice the principle, nor did he command it. He merely used the case as an illustration. Paul did not worship the "unknown God" of the pagans because he found an altar to the pagan unknown god (Acts 17:23)....There is no mention of baptism for the dead in the Bible up until Paul---and no mention afterward.
Paul, as well as the other apostles, rather than endorsing baptism for the dead as then practiced, seems to have excercised a counteracting influence upon this ordinance, for it was perpetuated only among heretics.
The Bible contains no specific authorization of this doctrine. Christ does not mention it, nor do any of the apostles, save Paul; who makes only an indirect reference to it. ( Charles R. Hield and Russell F. Ralston, Baptism for the Dead pp.23-24.)
Why do you think the Apostle Paul uses first-person pronouns ("we," "ye," "I") throughout 1 Corinthians in reference to the Corinthian believers, but then switches to the third person ("they") in 1 Corinthians 15:29?
If God desired us to practice baptism for the dead, why is it mentioned only here in the Bible (in the third person) --with no other references? Why aren't there any commands dealing with this kind of baptism?
Why don't Paul or the other apostles command the practice if it's essential for us ( as the LDS church claims today), and why aren't there any guidelines for conducting this practice?
Luke 16:19-31, This passage--dealing with the fate of the rich man and Lazarus --is not a story, nor a parable, but a real event Jesus cited in order to make a point: Once the rich man had died and ended up in a place of great suffering, he had no futher opportunity for redemption. Nothing could be done at that point to ease his situation ( Luke 16:24). A baptism for the dead would not have had any effect on this rich man's -- or anyone else's -- situation.
This emphasizes the importance of Paul's exhortation in 2 Corinthians 6:2: "Now is the day of salvation." There are no opportunities beyond death's door. A person must choose for or against the Christ of the Bible in this life.
It is also interesting that even through the Book of Mormon is supposed to contain the "fulness of the everlasting gospel," baptism for the dead is not mentioned a single time within its pages. How can our activities for the dead be our "greatest responsibility" if they are not mentioned in the Book of Mormon? It doesn't make sense.
Please show me a single clear reference in the Book of Mormon that supports baptism for the dead.
If baptism for the dead is not mentioned in the Book of Mormon, and if baptism for the dead is so important in the Mormon plan of salvation, then how can the Book of Mormon be said to contain the "fullness of the everlasting "?
I do not believe in the Book of Mormon, so my only objective in bringing up these questions is to give yet another example of the major and irreconcilable contradictions in the Mormon doctrine.
Along these same lines, there are several verses in the Book of Mormon that say salvation must be obtained in this life. For example: 

Alma 34:31--.."Yea, I would that ye would come forth and harden not your hearts any longer; for behold, now is the time and the day of your salvation....For behold, this life is the time for men to prepare to meet God....I beseech of you that ye do not procrastinate the day of your repentance until the end; for after this day of life, which is given us to prepare for eternity, behold, if we do not improve our time while in this life, then cometh the night of darkness wherein there can be no labor performed."

2 Nephi 9:38---"In fine, wo unto all those who die in their sins; for they shall return to God, and behold his face, and remain in their sins."

Mosiah 26:25-27--"It shall come to pass that when the second trump shall sound then shall they that never knew me come forth and shall stand before me. And then shall they know that I am the Lord their God, that I am their Redeemer; but they would not be redeemed."

If baptism for the dead is the only means of salvation for countless numbers of deceased persons---and an essential means of accomplishing "the greatest responsibility we have in this world " ( the redemption of the dead)---why does the Book of Mormon say that the issue of a person's salvation must be determined in this life??

Friday, October 25, 2019

Mormons follow a different Christ than traditional Christians

 The traditional Christ of whom they speak is not the Christ of whom I speak. For the Christ of whom I speak as been revealed in this the Dispensation of the Fullness of Times. He together with His Father, appeared to the boy Joseph Smith in the year 1820, and when Joseph left the grove that day, he knew more of the matters of God than all the learned ministers of the gospel of the ages." (Church News, June 20, 1998, p70) Gordon B Hinckley

We Look to Christ 2002 General Conference April

LDS Apostle Bruce McConkie taught that Christians have "a mythical Christ" (Mormon Doctrine, p.269). That means we must decide which faith has the real Christ because somebody clearly has a mythical Christ. Do these faiths have the same Jesus? No, if you read the LDS Ensign. It says Christian Churches worship a different Jesus (May 1977, p.26).

Notice the Book of Mormon agrees with the Traditional Christian view of Jesus and completely contradicts the Mormon Christ 

Mosiah 3:5 For behold, the time cometh, and is not far distant, that with power, the Lord Omnipotent who reigneth, who was, and is from all eternity to all eternity, shall come down from heaven among the children of men, and shall dwell in a tabernacle of clay, and shall go forth amongst men, working mighty miracles, such as healing the sick, raising the dead, causing the lame to walk, the blind to receive their sight, and the deaf to hear, and curing all manner of diseases.

Notice that Jesus is the Lord Omnipotent and God from Eternity which would mean that he had no Father until he became flesh
Mosiah 15 3 The Father, because he was conceived by the power of God; and the Son, because of the flesh; thus becoming the Father and Son—

Which agrees with the Bible that teaches Jesus was Fatherless as Jehovah

Hebrews 7 
  For this Melchisedec, king of Salem, priest of the most high God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him; 
To whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all; first being by interpretation King of righteousness, and after that also King of Salem, which is, King of peace; 
Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually.

I agree with Gordon B Hinkley that the Christ of Mormonism is a different Christ than Traditional Christianity which agrees with the Creeds including the Book of Mormon 

Mormon temples not Biblical 

Acts 17:24-25 God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; 25 Neither is worshiped with men's hands, as though he needed anything, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things;

Acts 7:48-51 Howbeit the most High dwelleth not in temples made with hands; as saith the prophet, 49 Heaven is my throne, and earth is my footstool: what house will ye build me? saith the Lord: or what is the place of my rest? 50 Hath not my hand made all these things? 51 Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye.

1 Corinthians 3:16-17 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? 17 If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? 20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.

2 Corinthians 6:16-17 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.

Ephesians 2:19-22 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; 20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; 21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto a holy temple in the Lord: 22 In whom ye also are builded together for a habitation of God through the Spirit.

      We, as Christians, are the temple of God; we are the church. It is totally unnecessary to worship Him in a special building.

Monday, October 29, 2018

One of many Mormon idols "family"

"President Nelson encouraged Church members to hang certain reminders of the plan of salvation in their home: “I invite the members of the Church to place on the walls of their homes pictures of their family, pictures of their grandparents, pictures as a couple, pictures of their children, and pictures of the temple. These all symbolize God’s eternal plan. It’s all about the family.” (LDS Living, June, 2018)

Well, this proves that this Nelson, the so-called "prophet" of the Mormon cult is NO PROPHET at all. In fact, he's a false teacher. Where on earth do the Mormons derive their belief that "it's all about the family" has anything to do with the Gospel of Christ, especially when Jesus Christ, Himself, taught otherwise?

The Family as an Idol

Matt. 12:50:
"For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”

Apparently Jesus taught that our relationship as brothers and sisters is predicated upon belief in Him and the Gospel. He obviously saw no familial relationship due to some fantasy pre-mortal existence where all spirits are related by patrilineal descent (with various "mothers" providing the "venue" for new baby spirits). Relationships, according to Jesus, are defined by being born into another family, by becoming sons and daughters of God by faith.

John 1:12:

"12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name,

he gave the right to become children of God,"

Apparently, the Mormon false prophet is more concerned about physical descent than spiritual descent by faith in Christ. And therein lies one of the worst idols that Mormonism has set up: the physical family. Has Nelson read the Gospel of Matthew?:

Matt. 10: 21

"Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; children will rise against their parents and have them put to death."

Matt. 10: 35 For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.

36 And a man's foes shall be they of his own household.

37 He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.

and does this seem "family focused?"

Luke 18: And Peter said, “See, we have left our homes and followed you.” 
And he said to them, “Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or wife or brothers or parents or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God, 
who will not receive many times more in this time, and in the age to come eternal life.”

Luke 19:29: And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or fields for the sake of My name will receive a hundredfold and will inherit eternal life.

and, Matt. 19:29:
"And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life."
There are many other verses, but these suffice to demonstrate that Jesus certainly had no Mormon attitude toward "families." He certainly never taught that it's "all about families." Neither in the Bible or the BoM is this found as a New Covenant teaching. Family-worship is an idol found in Mormonism, and in the Occult where spirit contacts with deceased family members are desired.....and many Mormons indicate they have communed with dead family members (an outgrowth of Mormon occultism).

The Bible, however, teaches us that Jesus did not recognize physical relationships as binding in any way in heaven, but rather spiritual relationships make us brothers and sisters because of faith in Jesus; furthermore, there is no marriage, or being in a matrimonial state, in the Kingdom of God:

" 29 Jesus answered them, "You are wrong, because you do not understand the Scriptures nor the power of God. 30 For after the resurrection there is no marrying or being married, but they live as angels do in heaven. 31 But as to the resurrection of the dead, did you never read what was said to you by God, 3 'I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob'? He is not the God of dead men but of living!" (note here is one of Jesus' clearest teachings on the condition of deceased Christians in the afterlife - they are "living.') Goodspeed

So, Jesus teaches here that humans will be like angels (not become angels), and that marital relationships do not exist as they do here on earth: "There is NO marrying or being married." This is pretty clear and only someone who is illiterate or considers Joe Smith's words as of greater importance than those of the Lord's would ever see in this passage anything to do with "eternal marriage." In Jesus' Kingdom there is no need for marriage vows since we won't be procreating as couples do on earth.

The Spirit Medium, Swedenborg, from whom Joe Smith borrowed his three heavens teaching, also taught that there were martial relationships in heaven. All these teachings, Swedenborg's and Smith's, come from demonic sources. They directly contradict the teachings of Jesus.

Where oh where does the Bible teach that it's "all about the family," as Nelson proclaims? No place in the New Covenant texts. Under the Old Covenant, relationships were reckoned by physical descent from this patriarch or that. Patrilineal descent in Judaism has now been changed to Matrilineal descent to prove one is a Jew. That says something about our decline in morality. However in the New Testament, it is one's spiritual relationship through faith in Christ which determines whether or not we are adopted into the REAL FAMILY, THE ONLY ONE THAT MATTERS, God's Family, John 1:12:

John 1: " 11 He (my note: Jesus) came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. 12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.

Who were "his own" that did not receive Jesus? They were the Jews to whom He was related through the flesh of Mary. The Jews, His own family members DID NOT receive Jesus. Therefore, the Bible teaches that relationship with God depends not on the fleshly relationships, but on the spiritual:

"Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God." And this was not because of natural descent, as the verses explain.

Under the Old Covenant, "natural descent" from one of the 12 Patriarchs was the means to be part of God's "Chosen People." However, under the New Covenant, natural descent is meaningless. It bestows no validity. Under the New Covenant it is FAITH IN JESUS which makes us children of God.

The useless "sealings" of parents to children performed in Mormon temples are simply without any validity, and wasted time. My children won't become Christians because of me, or anyone else. They will be saved by their OWN faith. Jesus, not blood ties, saves a person and places them in God's family. In Christ, there has been a transition from the fleshly to the spiritual, and the Mormons have apparently missed it!

Paul said that a state of singleness was preferable to marriage:

1 Cor. 7:8 " Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I do. "

1 Cor. 7:38 So then he who marries his betrothed does well, and he who refrains from marriage will do even better.

I think this is pretty clear, and directly opposes the Mormon false teaching about eternal marriages.

So, we have two different teachings. One from the Bible, the other from the false cult of Mormonism. Which is true?

Has the central idol of Mormonism, other than Joseph Smith, become "the family?" It's obvious that it has. And this form of idolatry is taught neither in the Bible or their Book of Mormon.

Since the LDS faith has the family so important to salvation it even teaches Jesus needed wives and a family 

“and what does he say upon the subject of Christ and his Apostles, and their belief? He says, "The grand reason why the Gentiles and philosophers of his school persecuted Jesus Christ, was, because he had so many wives; there were Elizabeth, and Mary, and a host of others that followed him." After Jesus went kern the stage of action, the Apostles followed the example of their master. … The grand reason of the burst of public sentiment in anathemas upon Christ and his disciples, causing his crucifixion, was evidently based upon polygamy, according to the testimony of the philosophers who rose in that age. A belief in the doctrine of a plurality of wives caused the persecution of Jesus and his followers. We might almost think they were "Mormons."” (Jedediah M Grant, Journal of Discourses Vol. 1, pp. 345-346)

“the great Messiah who was the founder of the Christian religion, was a polygamist … the Messiah chose to take upon himself his seed; and by marrying many honorable wives himself, show to all future generations that he approbated the plurality of wives under the Christian dispensation” (Mormon Apostle Orson Pratt, The Seer, p. 253)

“Now, briefly, the reason that the Lord, through the Prophet Joseph, introduced the doctrine of plural marriage, and the reason that the Church ... has never and will never relinquish the doctrine of plural marriage, is simply this: The major purpose of the Church is to help man attain the great eternal destiny suggested in that couplet ... plural marriage is the patriarchal order of marriage lived by God and others who reign in the Celestial Kingdom. As well might the Church relinquish its claim to the Priesthood as the doctrine of plural marriage.” (John J. Stewart (1961), Brigham Young and His Wives, p. 41)

“because I said, in my lecture on Marriage, at our last Conference, that Jesus Christ was married at Cana of Galilee, that Mary, Martha, and others were his wives, and that he begat children.” (Mormon Apostle Orson Hyde, Journal of Discourses Vol. 2, p. 210)

"The Scripture says that He, the LORD, came walking in the Temple, with His train; I do not know who they were, unless His wives and children ..." (Mormon 2nd Prophet & President Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 13, p. 309)
actually the LORD there would be Jehovah  "Jesus" that Brigham Quotes above  .

Isaiah 53

1 Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed? 2 For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. 3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

4 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. 5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. 6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. 7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. 8 He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation?

According to the scripture above it sounds Jesus life was cut off before he could marry or have children, this verse is also quoted in the New Testament Acts 8:32

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Mormon salaries, living allowances or stipends

"The only principle upon which they judge me is by comparing my acts with the foolish traditions of their fathers and nonsensical teachings of hireling priests, whose object and aim were to keep the people in ignorance for the sake of filthy lucre; or as the prophet says, to feed themselves, not the flock."

- Prophet Joseph Smith, Jr., The Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 315

"How much tithing do you pay? The professing Christians, apostates and others have a great deal to say about the Saints paying tithing. Now let us compare notes. The Elders of this Church travel and preach without purse or scrip, and labor at home as Bishops, Presidents, High Counselors, and Ministers, free of charge. Now take the Christians, how many of their Ministers preach without pay? Go to their meetings, in their churches, halls, schoolhouses, or any of their public gatherings, and you have a box, a plate, or a hat put under your face, and it is, 'Give me a sixpence, give me a sixpence, give me a sixpence!' Show me the Elder of this Church that does this? We preach the Gospel without purse or scrip and work for our own bread and butter. Yet the Christian world whine about our paying tithing. The Saints should pay the tenth of their income with glad and thankful hearts, and help to bring home the poor. We have supported and helped the poor to the amount of millions."

- Prophet Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, v. 16, p. 44 - p.45, May 18, 1873

“While all this has been done for our country, and we have comparatively tamed the savage and held in check his wild and blood-thirsty nature, that the inhabitants of the world could travel across the deserts without being robbed and murdered, we have been the subject of vile scandal, simply because our religious views were different from those of the hireling clergy who occupy the pulpits of Christendom. We taught that men should preach the Gospel without pure or scrip--preach it freely; and a man who depended upon a congregation for a salary by which to obtain his black coat and fit-out, was ready to denounce preaching without purse and scrip as a heresy; why? Because it would reduce him to the necessity of going to some useful calling, instead of making merchandise of the Gospel, which God has made free."

- Prophet George Albert Smith, Journal of Discourses, v. 11, p. 179, October 8, 1865

"A few weeks ago a lady physician came to our office, ...She said, ‘Will you be kind enough to have an interview with one of our ministers and tell him how he can work along these lines.' I remarked to her that I would willingly do so, but that I was afraid he could not live to it or teach it to his congregation. Why? she asked. My answer was, ‘He requires a salary to preach the Gospel. Whenever he arises to preach to his congregation and says that which they do not like, they say that he will have to stop preaching that way or they will stop his salary.' ‘Now,' said I, ‘when I preach to the people, I do not care whose toes I tread on; I do not care who I strike; I teach the truth, and no matter where it hits they cannot come to me and say, "We'll stop your salary" because I haven't any to stop. That is the difference between your minister and me.' That is one great difference between the ministers of the world, who are professing to preach the Gospel unto the people, and the Elders of the Lord Jesus Christ. I would sooner be a humble Elder preaching the Gospel unto the people, bearing testimony that Jesus is the Christ and that Joseph Smith is a Prophet of God, than to be the greatest‘divine'upon the face of the earth."

- Joseph A. McRae, Conference Report, October 1902, p. 11

"Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine. For the scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, The labourer is worthy of his reward."

- Holy Bible, 1 Timothy 5:17-18

"What of the Mormon clergy? ...There is no paid or professional ministry. Thirty-nine general officers and the presidents of missions are given living allowances."

- Prophet Gordon B. Hinckley, What of the Mormons?, p. 4

"Because the Church has no professional clergy, it is administered at every level through LAY PARTICIPATION AND LEADERSHIP, and officials other than the General Authorities contribute their time and talents without remuneration. ...Because the General Authorities are obliged to leave their regular employment for full-time Church service, they receive a modest living allowance provided from income on Church investments."

- Encyclopedia of Mormonism, p. 510

"The calling [to be a Mission President] is not a regular remunerative position,...The family involved gives of its time and energies without salary, though there is a modest allowance for living expenses."
- Encyclopedia of Mormonism, p. 914

"It can be said also that the officers of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who labor without salaries coming out of the pockets of the members, are just as spiritually minded, have just as good judgment and wisdom in directing the temporal as well as the spiritual welfare of the people, as are any of the ministers who spend their entire time in what may be called spiritual counsel. For instance, the bishops of our wards and the presidents of our stakes and other officers give their time freely without any monetary compensation paid by members of the Church. It is equally true that the young men and women who are distributed over the face of the earth as missionaries of the Church pay their own way, or their parents do. We do not have a paid ministry, yet these brethren put in as much time in spiritual and Church duties, as do ministers of other denominations who devote their entire time, and in addition, they are under the necessity of earning their own living by their daily employment in industry. They do this because they have an abiding testimony of the divinity of the work the Church requires of them.”

- Prophet Joseph Fielding Smith, Answers to Gospel Questions, v. 3, p. 79