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Saturday, May 11, 2013

Thomas S. Monson Priesthood Address April 2013

           Come, All Ye Sons of God

Priesthood Conference Address May 2013 by Thomas S. Monson
Compared to the Bible by Connie Raddon

Color Key:
Quotes from the LDS Ensign in blue.
Quotes from the Bible in red.
All my own words are black.

The May 2013 issue of the Ensign is a record of the April General Conference.  In the Priesthood Session, Thomas Monson spoke to the men of the LDS Church.  His talk is found on pg. 66 of the Ensign.

The topic of Mr. Monson’s talk is missionary work.  The main difference between Monson’s perspective and the Biblical perspective is where the focus is.  Monson’s missionary focus is on the missionary and the church.  The Bible’s perspective is on Jesus and the Holy Spirit. 

Monson explains that missionary work requires adjustments to one’s lifestyle.  This is all dependent on the work of the individual missionary. 
 “At best, missionary work necessitates drastic adjustment to one’s pattern of living.  It requires long hours and great devotion, selfless sacrifice and fervent prayer.”

Then Monson says that a missionary’s personal work will earn them eternal joy.
“As a result, dedicated missionary service returns a dividend of eternal joy which extends throughout mortality and into eternity.”

This is a perfect example of the work based religions and teachings that the Bible warns us about.  John 15:5 reminds us that if we are not in Christ, we can do nothing.  So anyone who teaches us to knuckle down and make ourselves change is a false teacher. A true teacher of God will teach you to submit all to Christ – your will, your thoughts, your desires, etc – because only HE can change you.
“I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.”

Monson teaches a formula to ensure missionary success.  The Bible does not teach a formula.  Also, the Bible does not teach that there is any way to ensure success – in anything here in this life.  The only thing the Bible says we can know for sure is that we will have eternal life if we put all our faith and trust is Jesus Christ and profess our faith.

It’s not really clear what success Monson thinks his formula will bring – he doesn’t make that clear.  Is he suggesting that by following his formula a missionary will definitely have converts?  It sounds like that is what he is implying, but it’s never said, so it’s anyone’s guess.

Here is Monson’s formula for success: (bolded words are bolded in the Ensign)

“May I suggest a formula that will ensure our success:  first, search the scriptures with diligence: second, plan your life with purpose (and, I might add, plan your life regardless of your age): third, teach the truth with testimony; and fourth, serve the Lord with love.

First, he says to search the scriptures with diligence.  According to the Bible, the BIBLE is the only scripture – so if you are studying the Book of Mormon, Doctrine & Covenants, or Pearl of Great Price, you are not in line with what the Bible says.

Proverbs 30:5-6 “Every word of God is tested…Do not add to His words, or He will reprove you and you will be proved a liar.”

Second, Monson says to plan your life with purpose.  Well, the Bible says we cannot know from one day to the next what God will do with our lives.

James 4:13-16 “Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit.’  Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow.  You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away.  Instead, you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that.”  But as it is, you boast in your arrogance; all such boasting is evil.”

Now before you jump down my throat and accuse me of saying that planning your life is evil, remember that I am just comparing what Monson said to what the Bible says.  Mr. Monson is claiming that planning your life with purpose is one of the steps of a formula that will ensure success.  THAT is not Biblical.  There is nothing wrong with planning your life, as the Bible says, as long as you go with “what the Lord wills”. 

Third, Monson’s formula says to teach the truth with testimony.  The Bible does indeed teach us that we should share the gospel and teach God’s truth.  But the “gospel” of Mormonism is NOT the same gospel in the Bible.  And if you are not teaching the gospel as taught in the Bible, you are not teaching truth, and should be cursed.

Galatians 1:8 (Paul is speaking) “But even if we, or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed.”

Fourth, “serve the Lord with love.”   This principle aligns with what the Bible teaches.  However, serving the Lord with love is in no way linked to any promise or certainty that you will have success – in a career, in marriage, in life, or in missionary work. 

The Mormon church teaches that the current prophet is the mouthpiece for God here on the earth.  Today that is Thomas Monson.  So if Monson is standing at the pulpit, addressing members all around the world, acting in the capacity of his calling as a prophet, and even closing his remarks “in the name of Jesus Christ”, would it be safe to assume that the general membership of the Mormon church believes that he is speaking in the name of the Lord?  Yes, of course! 

Well, the Bible says that if you hear a prophet speak in the name of the Lord and do not obey, you will be held accountable to God.  If, however, a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord and what he says will happen does not actually happen, you should separate yourself from him and not be afraid of him.  In other words, this is how you identify a false prophet. 

Deut. 18:18-22  “I will raise up a prophet from among their countrymen like you, and I will put My words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him.

It shall come about that whoever will not listen to My words which he shall speak in My name, I Myself will require it of him.

But the prophet who speaks a word presumptuously in My name which I have not commanded him to speak, or which he speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet shall die.

 You may say in your heart, ‘How will we know the word which the Lord has not spoken?’

When a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, if the thing does not come about or come true, that is the thing which the Lord has not spoken.  The prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him.”

Think about that…. If even one person who has ever served an LDS mission, who is currently serving an LDS mission, or ever will serve an LDS mission follows Monson’s formula and does NOT have success (converts), then Thomas Monson is a false prophet. 

The Bible also clearly teaches that it is the Holy Spirit that teaches and converts people.  For an example, read Acts 10.  Cornelius is a Roman leader who is a righteous man.  He is not, however, converted until at the end of the chapter when the Holy Spirit falls on him.  Even though it was Peter who was teaching Cornelius at the time, Peter is not the one who converted him.  The Holy Spirit is. 

Monson gives the credit of conversion to the missionaries themselves, and their own righteousness.  There is no mention of the Holy Spirit.

“Each year our young men in uniform bring many souls into the kingdom of God (WHO brings souls into the kingdom of God????) by honoring their priesthood, living the commandments of God, and teaching to others the Lord’s divine word.”  (how are these souls brought to the kingdom?  By the missionary’s righteousness and teaching????)

Like I said at the beginning, Monson is teaching missionaries to focus on themselves – not on the Holy Spirit or Jesus Christ.

The teachings in the May 2013 issue of the Ensign
are NOT Biblical, and therefore,
NOT consistent with Christian beliefs.

Brigham Young issued a challenge on May 18, 1873 (as recorded in the Journal of Discourses, Vol. 16 p. 46):  “Take up the Bible, compare the religion of the Latter Day Saints with it, and see if it will stand the test.”

I have accepted that challenge from Brigham Young.

In the May 2013 issue of the Ensign, the LDS religion FAILS this test.

Resources used for this article:
The Word of God (The Bible)
The LDS magazine, “The Ensign”
The Holy Spirit