Sunday, November 10, 2013

Mormonism the Restoration of the Pharisee sect



Mormon Rules: The List
Because so many people ask us about the “Mormon Rules” I’ve put together a list of the many things that are required of Mormons in order to be a faithful member in “good standing”.
1. Pay 10% of your Gross (before tax) income, aka Tithing. In addition, contribute extra amounts to various church funds such as Fast Offering, Missionary fund, Building fund, etc.
2. Do not question Mormon authority. Mormons are taught that when their “prophet” speaks it is coming from God. They are told that when the prophet speaks the thinking has been done. Members are expected to obey whatever they are told without any hesitation or skepticism.
3. Fully believe in and frequently reiterate that you know the Mormon church is true, the only true church which was formed by Joseph Smith after his claimed face to face visit with God.
4. Pass a worthiness interview yearly so you can attend the temple where you perform religious ordinances for the dead and learn the secret phrases and motions that will supposedly enable you to enter heaven.
5. Once you attend the temple for the first time you will begin wearing the special underwear (called garments) which you must wear day and night. (You take them off for only the obvious reasons like bathing and intimacy but put them right back on.)
6. No smoking, no alcohol (not even a little) no coffee (not even decaf), no tea (not even green tea!)
7. Get married early. No sex before marriage. No living together.
8. Have children early (right after you get married) and have many. Not having the financial resources to properly take care of your children is considered an "excuse" and is invalid.
9. Preach to your non-Mormon friends, family and co-workers and try to get them to become Mormon.
10. Do not associate with other non-Mormons (except when engaged in #9 above.)
11. Young Men (age 19) are to serve a two year mission to attempt to convert others to Mormonism. This is at their own expense. They are not allowed to visit family during this time. College is not considered a priority until after a mission has been served.
12. Women are expected to marry only a man who has served a mission (referred to as a “Returned Missionary”.)
13. Attend all church meetings. 3 hours (yes, three hours) on Sunday, plus additional meetings for many other things. “Good” Mormons find a Mormon church even while on vacation and attend on Sunday. Young Mormon couples are known to get married on a Saturday and attend church the very next morning.
14. Follow a Dress code for church. Women cannot wear pants. Men should be wearing suits or at the very least a white dress shirt and tie.
15. Accept and perform whatever church job (aka "calling") they give you. This takes much additional time.
16. Every member is asked to visit other members and teach a lesson out of a manual once per month. This is known as Home Teaching for the men, and Visiting Teaching for the women.
17. Fast once per month [which to Mormons is no food or water for 24 hours.]
18. Sundays are for church only, no “worldly” activities are permitted [this includes shopping, dining out, recreational activities, kid's sporting events, etc.]
19. Wear only very modest clothing: this means no shorts above the knee, no low cut tops for women, nothing sleeveless, etc.


"The worst sinners, according to Jesus, are not the harlots and publicans, but the religious leaders with their insistence on proper dress and grooming, their careful observance of all the rules, their precious concern for status symbols, their strict legality, their pious patriotism...the haircut becomes the test of virtue in a world where Satan deceives and rules by appearances." Hugh Nibley


 Both Adam and Eve are of the enlightened race as portrayed in this Mormon painting

"This privilege of obtaining a mortal body on this earth is seemingly so priceless that those in the spirit world, even though unfaithful or not valient, were undoubtedly permitted to take mortal bodies although under penalty of racial or physical or nationalistic limitations...." (Decisions for Successful Living pp 164-165) TLDP: 497


“There is no truth more plainly taught in the Gospel than that our condition in the next world will depend upon the kind of lives we live here. …Is it not just as reasonable to suppose that the conditions in which we now live have been determined by the kind of lives we lived in the pre-existent world of spirits? That the apostles understood this principle is indicated by their question to the Master when the man who was blind from his birth was healed of his blindness, ‘Master, who did sin, this man or his parents that he was born blind?’ (John 9:2.) Now perhaps you will have a partial answer to some of your questions as to why, if God is a just Father, that some of his children are born of an enlightened race and in a time when the Gospel is upon the earth, while others are born of a heathen parentage in a benighted, backward country; and still others are born to parents who have the mark of a black skin with which the seed of Cain were cursed and whose descendants were to be denied the rights of the priesthood of God”

Hugh Winder Nibley (March 27, 1910 – February 24, 2005) was an American author, Mormon apologist, and professor at Brigham Young University (BYU). His works, while not official positions of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), mainly attempt to demonstrate archaeological, linguistic, and historical evidence for the claims of Joseph Smith, and are highly regarded within the LDS community.




Laws, Laws, Laws

In stark contrast to Christianity's emphasis on God's grace, Mormonism glorifies law.

Laws provide the way for the Saint to grow, progress, and obtain happiness ... Although God's laws are exact and immovable, they are revealed and given to mankind for one specific purpose - to bring to pass their ultimate joy . .. The Doctrine and Covenants teaches that all blessings are predicated upon laws and that if one desires a particular blessing, one must abide by the law that guarantees that blessing ... God has said that no one can come unto him except by his laws. Doctrine And Covenants Student Manual, pp. 393,394.

Rules, laws, commands, obligations, restrictions, 'discouragements', regulate every aspect of Mormon life:

I would like for us to dig a bit deeper into this eternally important question about why a body is so important. Ultimately the answer affects everything we do: what we think, how we act, where we go, what we eat, what we drink, and what we wear and how we look. . .
Our physical bodies indeed are temples of God. Consequently, you and I must carefully consider what we take into our temple, what we put on our temple, what we do to our temple, and what we do with our temple. Ensign, September 2001, p. 16.
(emphasis added)

Mormons are presented with an unending list that includes dos and don't about food, drink, Sabbath law, fasting, keeping a two year supply of food and water, required child bearing, required wearing of sacred temple clothing, required marriage, required tithing, proper and improper associations, appropriate clothing & hair length, church activities, proper and improper entertainment, missionary work, appearance of one's home, filling calls to church positions...

The more rules they keep, the closer to holiness they believe themselves to be. Therefore, Mormons are obsessed by laws and rules. Mormons debate whether it is right to drink soda that has caffeine, or to take off your temple underwear for a game of basketball. Even things as insignificant as pierced ears are covered by official church commentary from the president! (one set allowed for women - but not two, not allowed for men):

The First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve have declared that we discourage tattoos and also “the piercing of the body for other than medical purposes.” We do not, however, take any position “on the minimal piercing of the ears by women for one pair of earrings”—one pair. President and Living Prophet Gordon B. Hinckley, Ensign, November 2000, p. 50.

The sacrifice of following rules for the sake of following rules becomes more important than the motivation of the heart. This is the opposite of what Jesus asked for when he said "go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’" Matthew 9:13.

First century Christians in Colosse were faced with claims similar to those of the LDS church. False teachers sought to impose numerous laws, restrictions and rules on those who followed them. These teachers looked down with lofty scorn on those who held to the simple gospel. They positioned themselves as wiser, more sophisticated Christians.

This emphasis on law-keeping, like the teaching of Mormonism, fails to honor Christ by acknowledging his fullness and all-sufficiency as our Savior (sole procurer of eternal life). This type of thinking lies at the heart of every non-Christian religion and, all to often, is found attempting to invade the Christian Church itself. Saint Paul responds to the assertions of the Colosse false teachers with stinging ridicule:

Since you died with Christ to the basic principles of this world, why, as though you still belonged to it, do you submit to its rules: 21 "Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!"? 22 These are all destined to perish with use, because they are based on human commands and teachings. 23 Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence. Colossians 2:20-23

This is the burning building, out of which, we are to pull Mormons!

Mormons hear three messages with non-stop repetition. First, that their progression towards eternal life is dependant on their own efforts. Second, that it is possible to work your way through worthiness; Jesus has shown them how. Jesus is their example, not their substitute. However, by far the most prevalent message is the simple, continual, exhortations to "Be good", "Be worthy", "Be perfect". Rarely are Heavenly Father or Jesus presented as sources of help. At best, they are pictured as being on the sidelines cheering them on.

Knowing that becoming perfect through Christ is eventually possible and that the Savior is "pulling for us" is a compelling thought. Ensign, February 1991, p. 11.

There is heavy emphasis on "modest clothing", especially enforced on the youth.  Usually the focus is on girl's clothing.  Skirts should be knee-length or longer.  Shirts should have sleeves.  Shirts should not be cut too low at the top or too high at the bottom.  "Hip-hugger" pants are discouraged.  The midriff should not show.  Bikinis are not allowed.  One-piece swim suits are, but only to be changed into at the pool (not to be worn en route).  Shorts are sometimes discouraged as well, particularly anything that would preclude wearing of the authorized under garment.  Men should not go shirtless.  

Women are expected to generally look feminine.  Earrings for men are strongly discouraged.  More than one set of earrings for women is strongly discouraged.  Tattoos are strongly discouraged.  Hair should be of natural color.  Men should keep short haircuts and are encouraged to be clean-shaven.

During Sunday church and many other meetings, women should wear dresses and men should wear suits or shirts and ties.

Joseph Smith boasted that he did more than Jesus to keep a church together.
"God is in the still small voice. In all these affidavits, indictments, it is all of the devil--all corruption. Come on! ye prosecutors! ye false swearers! All hell, boil over! Ye burning mountains, roll down your lava! for I will come out on the top at last. I have more to boast of than ever any man had. I am the only man that has ever been able to keep a whole church together since the days of Adam. A large majority of the whole have stood by me. Neither Paul, John, Peter, nor Jesus ever did it. I boast that no man ever did such a work as I. The followers of Jesus ran away from Him; but the Latter-day Saints never ran away from me yet . . . " (History of the Church, vol. 6, p. 408-409). Click here to see this quote in context.

Joseph Smith said the Book of Mormon was more correct than the Bible.
"I told the brethren that the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book,"  (History of the Church, vol. 4, p. 461).

Joseph Smith made a false prophecy (one of several).
". . .I prophesy in the name of the Lord God of Israel, unless the United States redress the wrongs committed upon the Saints in the state of Missouri and punish the crimes committed by her officers that in a few years the government will be utterly overthrown and wasted, and there will not be so much as a potsherd left . . . " (History of the Church, vol. 5, p. 394). Click here to see this quote in context.

Joseph Smith said mothers have babies in eternity and some are on thrones.
"A question may be asked, ‘Will mothers have their children in eternity?' Yes! Yes! Mothers, you shall have your children," (Journal of Discourses, vol. 6, p. 10). "Eternity is full of thrones, upon which dwell thousands of children reigning on thrones of glory, with not one cubit added to their stature," (Journal of Discourses, vol. 6, p. 10).

Joseph Smith said that God was not always God.
“We have imagined and supposed that God was God from all eternity. I will refute that idea, and take away the veil, so that you may see. These are incomprehensible ideas to some, but they are simple. It is the first principle of the Gospel to know for a certainty the Character of God, and to know that we may converse with him as one man converses with another, and that he was once a man like us; yea, that God the Father of us all, dwelt on an earth, the same as Jesus Christ himself did, and I will show it from the Bible” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pp.345-346.

Joseph Smith said there are many gods.
"Hence, the doctrine of a plurality of Gods is as prominent in the Bible as any other doctrine. It is all over the face of the Bible . . . Paul says there are Gods many and Lords many . . . but to us there is but one God--that is pertaining to us; and he is in all and through all," (History of the Church, vol. 6, p. 474). "In the beginning, the head of the Gods called a council of the Gods; and they came together and concocted a plan to create the world and people it," (Journal of Discourses, vol. 6, p. 5).

Joseph Smith said the Trinity is three gods.
"I have always declared God to be a distinct personage, Jesus Christ a separate and distinct personage from God the Father, and the Holy Ghost was a distinct personage and a Spirit: and these three constitute three distinct personages and three Gods," (Teachings of Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 370).

Joseph Smith said God was once a man.
"God himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted Man, and sits enthroned in yonder heavens...I say, if you were to see him to-day, you would see him like a man in form -- like yourselves, in all the person, image, and very form as a is necessary that we should understand the character and being of God, and how he came to be so; for I am going to tell you how God came to be God. We have imagined and supposed that God was God from all eternity,  I will refute that idea, and will take away and do away the veil, so that you may see....and that he was once a man like us; yea, that God himself the Father of us all, dwelt on an earth the same as Jesus Christ himself did." (Journal of Discourses, vol. 6, p. 3).



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