Sunday, December 8, 2013

Keystone of our Religion

Book of Mormon
By Rocky Hulse                                                                                            December 2013

     During this Christmas Season, may all Christians everywhere reflect that the “Cornerstone of our Faith, is Jesus Christ.” He is the reason for the season. The Bible is His Word, left for us to know He is God and He came to hang on the Cross of Calvary for us, bearing our sins. Nothing is more important than Jesus Christ and Him crucified. Anything that adds to that message is false! 
     On the back page of the August 18, 2013 issue of the “Church News”, which is a weekly publication of the Deseret News, which is owned and operated by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, better known as the Mormon Church, is an article titled: “Keystone of our religion.” This is an article about the Book of Mormon from which the Mormon Church derives its nickname. The title of this article is finite in its statement: Keystone of our religion. The article from the Mormon Church, about the religion it espouses, Mormonism, vividly demonstrates what we have said since we first began in ministry: Mormonism isn’t Christianity.  Mormonism is a complete separate religion; it is not a different Christian denomination. Christianity is centered in Jesus Christ and derives its teachings concerning Him from the Bible.


     The first five paragraphs of the article clearly set the “Book of Mormon” as the structural element that bears the weight of, and supports the whole fabric of Mormonism. 

   “A keystone is a wedge-shaped piece of masonry at the crown of an arch that locks the other pieces in place, allowing the entire structure to bear weight. Once the keystone is set in place, all the other pieces become stronger.
     The term is also used figuratively to refer to the central supporting element of any structure, such as a theory or an organization. Without, “the keystone” the whole structure would collapse.
     After translating the Book of Mormon, the Prophet Joseph Smith explained: ‘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, 4:461; Book of Mormon introduction)
     Indeed, the Book of Mormon is the keystone of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
     President Ezra Taft Benson, the 13th president of the Church, called the Book of Mormon ‘one of the most significant gifts given the world in modern times.’” (Church News, Week of August 18, 2013, pg 16)

What about the work of Jesus Christ?

     What did Jesus Christ do for us? He died on the Cross for our sins. He died for you and me; He took the rightful penalty of yours and my sins upon himself. The Apostle Paul laid out the gospel of Jesus Christ very plainly in I Corinthians 15:1-4:
    •    Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;
    •    By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.
    •    For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
    •    And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:

     This article, “Keystone of our religion,” is 1056 words, more or less, in length. The article mentions Jesus Christ, but not in His Christian role. The article mentions Him in the formal name title of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and in praying unto the Father through the name of Jesus Christ. The article mentions “faith in Christ” but only as a way to know the “promises” of the Book of Mormon, and that it is “Another Testament of Jesus Christ.”
     This article reflects what Mormonism does, it glorifies everything about Mormonism, but leaves out where all glory truly resides – In Jesus Christ and Him crucified.

The importance of the Book of Mormon! Doesn’t this tell us something about how the Lord views this sacred work?

     ‘“A…powerful testimony to the importance of the Book of Mormon is to note where the Lord placed its coming forth in the timetable of the unfolding Restoration. The only thing that preceded it was the First Vision,’ said President Benson in his October 1986 general conference address. ‘In that marvelous manifestation, the Prophet Joseph Smith learned the true nature of God and that God had a work for him to do. The coming forth of the Book of Mormon was the next thing to follow.
     ‘Think of that in terms of what it implies. The coming forth of the Book of Mormon preceded the restoration of the priesthood. It was published just a few days before the Church was organized. The Saints were given the Book of Mormon to read before they were given the revelations outlining such great doctrines as the three degrees of glory, celestial marriage, or work for the dead. It came before priesthood quorums and Church organization. Doesn’t this tell us something about how the Lord views this sacred work?”’ (Church News, Week of August 18, 2013, pg 16)

     These two paragraphs from this article truly point out that Jesus and His work are not the center of Mormonism; the center of Mormonism is its non-Christian doctrines (degrees of glory, celestial marriage, work for the dead) and the “organization” of the “Church.”
     Mormonism claims that it is the: “…only true and living church on the face of the whole earth…” (Doctrine and Covenants 1:30). Mormonism brings forth doctrines that are not found in the Bible and are not found in history, which the doctrines of Christianity truly are. So, Mormonism, to substantiate its claim to be the only “true” church on the face of the earth, being birthed through Joseph Smith, its first “Prophet,” in 1830, promotes its unique doctrines, and its unique book, the Book of Mormon, as proof it is the “Restored Gospel.” It’s all about these claims, it’s not about Jesus.

The promises, the promises, the promises!

     “President Thomas S. Monson, today’s prophet and Church president, said the pages of the Book of Mormon come precious promises, including promises of truth, peace, freedom and blessings.
     ‘From its pages comes the promise of ‘never ending happiness’ to ‘those that keep the commandments of God. For behold, they are blessed in all things, both temporal and spiritual’ (Mosiah 2:41).
     ‘From its pages come the promise of ‘incomprehensible joy’ to those who become ‘instrument[s] in the hands of God’ in rescuing His precious sons and daughters (Alma 28:8; 29:9).
     ‘From its pages comes the promise that scattered Israel will be gathered – a work in which we are engaged through our great worldwide missionary efforts (3 Nephi 16:21-22).
     ‘From its pages comes the promise that as we pray unto the Father in the sacred name of Jesus Christ, our families will be blessed (see 3 Nephi 18:21). …
     ‘And from the pages of the Book of Mormon comes Moroni’s promise that through prayer, real intent and faith in Christ, we may know the truth of these promises ‘by the power of the Holy Ghost’ (Moroni 10:4-5).’” (Church News, Week of August 18, 2013, pg 16)

     Notice the promises are: “never ending happiness”; “incomprehensible joy”; “scattered Israel will be gathered”; “families will be blessed”; “know the truth of these promises” and all of these “promises” require the Mormon to: “keep the commandments of God”; “become ‘instrument[s] in the hands of God’”; “through our great worldwide missionary efforts”; “pray unto the Father in the sacred name of Jesus Christ”; “through prayer, real intent and faith in Christ”.
     Jesus Christ is an after thought in Mormonism. Gaining the Mormon concept of eternal life, which is becoming a god and creating endless universes that the male god populates through his goddess wives, comes through one’s own efforts, work and personal perfection.

What about the Bible?

     The above subject article is 1056 words, more or less, in length. Not one time does this article mention God’s inerrant Word, the Bible. The object of this article is to promote the Book of Mormon above all things. Notice that I said “all” things. That would include Jesus Christ.
     As already discussed, the first paragraph of this article defines the “keystone” as that object that holds everything together. Jesus Christ is the “Chief Cornerstone” (Mt. 21:42;
Ac. 4:11; Ep. 2:20; 1 Pe. 2:6), the foundation that Christianity is built upon. Where do we find this out? Where do we find out who Jesus Christ is? The answer of course it the Bible. The “keystone” of Christianity is that book that was left for us to know who Jesus is: The Bible.
     Yet, this article, published by the Mormon Church owned and published, “Church News” makes no mention of the Bible – none, nada, nothing!!


     Why does the Mormon Church set the “keystone” of its “religion” as the Book of Mormon? The answer is quite simple actually: It is the silence of the Bible; the silence on all of the “unique” doctrines of Mormonism that cannot be found in the Bible. The Bible tells of Jesus Christ; who He was and what He did for us. The Bible does not identify the unique doctrines of Mormonism that Joseph Smith brought forth: men becoming gods; women becoming goddesses; celestial marriage (marriages where in eternity gods and goddesses will continue to have children in order to populate future planets); baptism for the dead; sealing ordinances for the dead; second anointing; Aaronic and Melchesidek Priesthoods; ordaining 12 year old boys as “Deacons”; 14 year old boys as “Teachers”; 16 year old boys as “Priests”, and 18 year old boys as “Elders”; building temples all around the world and requiring all humans to have their “work” done in one of them in order to have eternal life; 3 degrees of glory (celestial, terrestial, and telestial).  The Bible doesn’t mention these “doctrines” because they are the fabrication of Joseph Smith’s imagination. What is truly noteworthy with respect to the Book of Mormon being the “keystone” of the Mormon Church: It doesn’t mention these unique doctrines either!

© Copyright 2002-2013  Mormon Missions Midwest Outreach, Inc. All Rights Reserved. —Permission is granted to reproduce, provided content is not changed and this copyright notice is included.


Sunday, December 1, 2013

Those who have never known nor been in intense conflict, will never understand what it means to take a stand.

The truth can handle scrutiny, but unfortunately some people can't handle truth.

Most of what passes for tolerance today is not tolerance at all, but rather intellectual cowardice. Those who hide behind it are often afraid of intelligent engagement. Unwilling to be challenged by alternate points of view, they don't grapple with contrary opinions or even consider them. It's easier to hurl an insult – "you intolerant bigot" – than to confront the idea and either refute it or be changed by it. In the modern era of semantic mysticism, "tolerance" has become intolerance. 

Proverbs 20:19 He that goeth about as a talebearer revealeth secrets: therefore meddle not with him that flattereth with his lips.
Proverbs 24:21 My son, fear thou the LORD and the king: and meddle not with them that are given to change:

Psalms 101:1-8 A Psalm of David. I will sing of mercy and judgment: unto thee, O LORD, will I sing. I will behave myself wisely in a perfect way. O when wilt thou come unto me? I will walk within my house with a perfect heart. I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me. A froward heart shall depart from me: I will not know a wicked person. Whoso privily slandereth his neighbour, him will I cut off: him that hath an high look and a proud heart will not I suffer. Mine eyes shall be upon the faithful of the land, that they may dwell with me: he that walketh in a perfect way, he shall serve me. He that worketh deceit shall not dwell within my house: he that telleth lies shall not tarry in my sight. I will early destroy all the wicked of the land; that I may cut off all wicked doers from the city of the LORD.
Do you know Him?  

© Copyright 2002-2013  Mormon Missions Midwest Outreach, Inc. All Rights Reserved. —Permission is granted to reproduce, provided content is not changed and this copyright notice is included.

Rocky and Helen Hulse

Rocky and Helen Hulse
Defending Christianity From Mormon Doctrine