Monday, March 26, 2007

Passion Play Runs Amok in Nauvoo

"WHY IS THE PASSION PLAY BEING HELD AT THE JOSEPH SMITH ACADEMY?"I read the March 21, 2007 front page article in The Nauvoo New Independent about the "Passion Play" with the looming question. Why is this play depicting the most important event of orthodox Christianity being held at the Joseph Smith Academy. You may ask, "What is the problem?" The answer: The Joseph Smith Academy is owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. So what, you may ask. Well, the Mormon Church theology does not teach that Jesus died on the Cross for our sins; rather, Mormon theology teaches that Jesus paid for what sins he could in the Garden of Gethsemane? For those who may already be saying that is not true, let me allow the Mormon Church to speak for itself. This quote comes from the Official Mormon Church magazine Ensign and is quoting the 13th Prophet of the Mormon Church, Ezra Taft Benson: "The most transcendent of all such events occurred in a garden called Gethsemane, outside Jerusalem's walls, which when the Chief Citizen of planet Earth sweat great drops of blood from every pore as He in agony took upon Himself the sins of all men on conditions of repentance (Ensign p. 54 April 2005). Brigham Young taught that Jesus' blood doesn't cover all sin, the crowning point of the Passion Play. I'll let Brigham speak for himself: "It is true that the blood of the Son of God was shed for sins through the fall and those committed by men, yet men can commit sins which it can never remit" (Journal of Discourses Vol 4, pg 54, September 21, 1856) I just read the April 2007 edition of the Ensign and to my surprise in a section called "Gospel Classics," an article by Mormon Apostle David B. Haight reaffirms the Mormon theology is at odds with the Passion Play. On page 17 it reads "When they had sung a hymn, Jesus and the Eleven went out to the Mount of Olives. There, in a garden, in some manner beyond our comprehension, the Savior took upon Himself the burden of the sins of mankind from Adam to the end of the world. His agony in the garden, Luke tells us, was so intense "his sweat was as...great drops of blood the ground." (Luke 22:24). He suffered an agony and a burden the like of which no human person would be able to bear. In that hour of anguish our Savior overcame all the power of Satan."If the Ministerial Association wants to join together for joint events that's fine; however, when the organization that is hosting the event, doesn't even believe in the subject of the event (in this case, Jesus dying on the cross for our sins). why in the world is the event being hosted there? This is like holding graduation from an alcohol rehabilitation program at the Jack Daniels Distillery. I simply find the agreement to allow this hypocritical, or an oxymoron, take your choice. I am not alone in asking this question; however, the dynamics of this town being what they are, retribution silences the other voices. So the question remains, "Why is the Passion Play being held at the Joesph Smith Academy?"

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

The Spaniards Did It!

Last week here at the Nauvoo Christian Visitors Center, I had a returned Mormon Missionary (RM) and his younger brother visit with me for about 2 1/2 hours. We discussed many different topics about Mormonism. Most of the statements offered by the RM in defense of the numerous problems of Mormon doctrine and history were the standard canned Mormon answers. These answers are not backed up with facts, but are repleat with rationalizations of the contradictions of Mormon leaders and the rewriting, altering, deleting and falsification of Mormon history.

I was born a 6th generation Mormon on dad's side and a 4th generation Mormon on mom's. Raised in an active Mormon home and then being challenged that Mormonism wasn't true, I spent four years studying to prove the challenge wrong, only to find the challenge against Mormonism was true. I was saved back in 1986 and have spent thousands of hours studying Mormonism; but, I must admit, I don't know it all and I learn new things about Mormonism all the time.

This RM brought me something all new; I'd never heard this new excuse for the damning evidence against the Book of Mormon. We have here in the Nauvoo Christian Visitors Center a nice visual display comparing coins of the Bible with coins of the Book of Mormon. The display is a framed exhibit that has two sides. On the left side are replicas of Biblical coins - we can't afford the real thing, but the replicas are accurate. On the right side are vacant coin slots with the names of the Book of Mormon coinage system, laid out in Chapter 11 of the Book of Alma in the Book of Mormon, under the empty slots. The exhibit is an accurate representation of the coins of archaeology. We find coins throughout the ancient Mediterranean, European, North African and Asian Empire archaeological digs; however, not one coin has ever been found from the Book of Mormon times in the Americas. Metalurgy was not a known science in the Americas prior to the arrival of the Spaniards in 1492 A.D.

When this display was brought to the attention of this RM he replied, "There is a good explanation why no coins have ever been found." I responded, "I'd be very interested to hear it!" This young man then, in complete sincerity, replied, "The Spaniards went to all the ancient cities of the America's and dug up all the coins and melted them down to get the gold. That's why no coins have ever been found, or ever will be found. " I couldn't believe this response from a young man who claimed to have a college degree (from BYU); but could provide such an outrageous defense that was clearly devoid of cognitive reason. I replied "And you believe Santa Claus still puts the presents under your Christmas Tree, right?"

So, there you have it. The reason why no Book of Mormon coins will ever be found is because the Spaniards dug up all the coins from the ancient cities of the America's and melted them down to get the gold. Is there any evidence that this excavation activity by the Spaniards really took place - absolutely not, zip, zilch, squat, nada, nothing - no evidence whatsoever; but then, when it comes to Mormonism, what does evidence have to do with it?!!

Friday, March 16, 2007

Teenage Christian Safety Test

When dealing with your teens, or your family in general, it is important to maintain Christian safety. A quick test for your teens would be to ask them a couple of questions: 1) Do you have any Mormon friends at school? 2) Do you think they are Christians like us? Whatever the answer to the first question - If you get a yes answer to the second question, your kids are in danger. No matter how good the Mormon Public Relations Department is (and it is first rate, of that there is no doubt), Mormonism is not Christian; it is a false teaching and you need to take action.

Education is the vaccine against false teachings. Our website is a good place to start taking the vitamins and minerals needed to fight off the attacks of false teachings. Our newsletter is an antioxidant. Sign up for our newsletter and read it; then talk to your kids about it. Go to our website and sign up: Punch 3 holes in it, put it in a 3 ring binder and keep it by the front door. When the Mormon Missionaries ring your door bell, you can't go get on the internet to look up quotes about the "Virgin Birth" or "God was once a man"; however, if you have our newsletters in a binder, there at your fingertips is ready made information that shows them that you are an informed Christian with a healthy immune system and therefore not susceptible to their strain of false teaching.


Rocky and Helen Hulse

Rocky and Helen Hulse
Defending Christianity From Mormon Doctrine