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Monday, December 13, 2010

For Unto Us A Child Is Born…

The December 2010 issue of the “Ensign” has heretical teachings on these three very important issues:

1.      Who God is
2.      Who WE are
3.      How we gain Salvation

God is Eternal

The Bible teaches that one of the characteristics of God is that He is Eternal, Forever, and Everlasting.  He always was, and always will be.  This remains true, even if we have a hard time understanding it. 
Gen 21:33 “Abraham… called on the name of the Lord, the Everlasting God”
Psalm 90:2 “… Even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.”

Is God Everlasting?  YES.
Is Jesus God?  The Bible demonstrates that He is.

Isaiah 9:6 “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: …and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.”

Who does “child” and “son” refer to?
Jesus.
Among the names He shall be called are “the mighty GOD”, and “The EVERLASTING Father”. 

If Jesus is the mighty God, and He is everlasting, then his divinity (or “Godhood”) could not have been given to him at a particular moment in time – because He has been God forever.

There is a section of the Ensign called “What We Believe”.  In this issue on pg 8, it contains a two page article entitled, “Jesus Christ is the Only Begotten Son of God”
The article begins: “Jesus was the only person to be born of a mortal mother, Mary, and an immortal father, God the Father.  That is why Jesus is called the Only Begotten Son of God.  From His Father, He inherited divine powers (see John 10:17-18).  From His mother, he inherited mortality…”.

If Jesus was the mighty and everlasting God, He already had divine powers, and didn’t need to “inherit” them.  If He inherits His divinity, it means He is a created God, and He is not everlasting.

By teaching this idea, the leadership of the LDS church minimizes Christ.  The Bible says that Jesus was God – and that He became flesh. 
John 1:1;14 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God… And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us.”

I know that this is an impossible concept for us as humans to completely understand.  But when we don’t understand it, we don’t have the right to twist it to fit our understanding.  This is what the LDS leaders have done, and are doing.

A Virgin Birth?

LDS leaders have taught that God the Father,with a literal, physical body, had literal, physical intercourse with Mary, making Jesus the literal and physical son of God the Father.  This was taught by Brigham Young, Orson Pratt,  Joseph F. Smith, Joseph Fielding Smith, Ezra Taft Benson, George Q Cannon, Heber C Kimball, James E. Talmage, Melvin J. Ballard, and Bruce R. McConkie.

“I am bold to say to you, … Jesus Christ is the Son of God in the most literal sense. The body in which He performed His mission in the flesh was sired by that same Holy Being we worship as God, our Eternal Father. He was not the son of Joseph, nor was He begotten by the Holy Ghost. He is the Son of the Eternal Father!”  Ezra Taft Benson, "Five Marks of the Divinity of Jesus Christ", Ensign, Dec. 2001
(This same quote was printed in the Church News in 2004.)

The Bible does NOT support this idea. If God had physical relations with Mary, then Mary was not a virgin any more.  In fact, if this idea is true, then Jesus Christ is NOT the Messiah.  The prophecy is:  “Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel” Isaiah 7:14 (The meaning of the name, “Immanuel” is “God With Us”.  In other words, Jesus is God.)

So let’s take another look at the most current teachings from the leaders of the LDS church: (the December 2010 Ensign)…

“Jesus was the only person to be born of a mortal mother, Mary, and in immortal father, God the Father.  That is why Jesus is called the Only Begotten Son of God.”

The leaders continue to deceive the members of the their church.  For clarity, maybe they could change the name to "Church of Jesus Christ-(not born of a virgin)-of Latter Day Saints".


WHO WE ARE
On page 12, in the section of “Our Homes, Our Families”, there is an article about parenting written by Marcos Fernando dos Santos.  He says “…our children are also the spirit children of our Heavenly Father.”
This is a false idea.  The pre-mortal existence with God is false.  It is not found anywhere in the Bible.  Yet the entire Mormon gospel – “the Plan of Salvation” is built upon this premise.

HOW WE GAIN SALVATION
Eph 2:8-9 tells us how we are saved:  “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:  Not of works, lest any man should boast.”
This issue of the Ensign is filled with statements that contradict Eph 2:8-9.  Look how much is said about what we have to do, what we need to do, and the blessings that will come from obedience.  (All these are ways of earning the grace of God).
Pg 7 – “Our Responsibility to Participate in Temple and Family History Work” by Julie B. Beck, Relief Society General President:
 “There are personal blessings you receive as a result of participation in temple and family history work.”
“…Another is that you are able to qualify for a temple recommend, which signifies your worthiness before the Lord.”
“I testify that the Atonement is real and that sins can be forgiven upon proper repentance.”
“The prophet Joseph Smith said, ‘The greatest responsibility in this world that God has laid upon us is to seek after our dead’. (History of the Church, 6:313)”
Pg 9 – “Modern-Day Fiery Serpents” by David R. Smith
“… we may have His Spirit to be with us IF we always remember Him (see D&C 20:79)” (italics added by me.)
“I am trying to lift my thoughts to Jesus Christ, knowing that IF I will always remember Him, particularly His sacrifice and Atonement for me AND KEEP HIS COMMANDMENTS, I may have His Spirit to be with me.”
Pg 12-13 “Helping Children Exercise Their Agency” by Marcos Fernando dos Santos
“…blessings that come through living the gospel.”
“As we keep these principles in mind, we will be blessed, to be filled more abundantly with the pure love of Christ and will have greater success as parents.”
Pg 20-21 “Commandments, Calamities, and the Second Coming” by Elder James J. Hamula
“Jesus Christ gave Joseph doctrines, covenants, and commandments to ‘prepare [all people] for that which is to come’ (D&C 1:12).  Only by receiving such doctrines and covenants, and commandments can the world be properly prepared for the Lord’s coming and everything leading up to that event.”
“There is no more essential preparation for the great day of the Lord than heeding His call to repent and be sanctified, which we cannot accomplish without baptism, and the gift of the Holy Ghost.”
“It is important that we not only leave Babylon, but also that we remain worthy of the companionship of the Holy Ghost.”  … To ensure the continued companionship of the Holy Ghost, the faithful must ‘stand in holy places’ (D&C 101:22)… The holy places where the faithful should stand are in the temples of the Lord.  It is in such places that the power to overcome the world is delivered to them.”
“They who have received the truth, and have taken the Holy Spirit for their guide, and have not been deceived – verily I say unto you, they shall not be hews down and cast in the fire, but shall abide the day (D&C 45:57).  Such persons will have sanctified themselves through receipt of the saving ordinances and obedience to the covenants associated with such ordinances, understanding that when the veil is rent and all men shall see Him, ‘he that is not purified shall not abide the day’ (D&C 38:8).  Such persons will be those who have availed themselves of the blessings of the temple and made such blessings available to their kindred dead.”
Pg 30-35 “A Gift Worthy of Added Care” by Elder Neil L. Anderson
“Jesus stressed the incalculable value of baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost: ‘Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God’ (John 3:5)”
“This gift of the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost is available only to those who have been baptized and confirmed members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  The Holy Ghost can influence at times all seekers of truth, but the gift of the Holy Ghost is reserved in its fullness for those who have taken upon themselves the covenants of the restored gospel.”
“The Holy Ghost… is promised to all of us IF we diligently seek our way back to our heavenly home.”
“None of us can survive in the world of today, much less in what it soon will become, without personal inspiration.”
“If you want greater clarity in understanding and believing the still, small voice, there is no better medicine than greater obedience.”

On May 18, 1873 (as recorded in the Journal of Discourses, Vol. 16 p. 46), Brigham Young issued a challenge:  “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 December 2010 issue of the Ensign, the LDS religion fails this test.

Monday, October 11, 2010

October 2010 "Temples"

Temples
by Connie Raddon
The October 2010 issue of the Ensign was a special edition about temples.  The articles focused on these three topics the most:
ORDINANCES: What they are and how crucial they are for salvation (exaltation).
WORK FOR THE DEAD: After doing your own work, how important it is to perform these ordinances for the dead.
WORTHINESS: What it takes to be worthy to go to the temple
The leaders of the LDS church deny what the Bible teaches and lead their members away from Christ in all three of these areas.
TEMPLE ORDINANCES:
Quotes from the Ensign articles:
“All of our efforts in proclaiming the gospel, perfecting the Saints, and redeeming the dead lead to the holy temple.  This is because the temple ordinances are absolutely crucial; we cannot return to God’s presence without them.”  (Howard W. Hunter, 14th President of the LDS Church)
 “Ordinances of the temple provide for reconciliation with the Lord and seal families together forever.  Obedience to the sacred covenants made in temples qualifies us for eternal life – the greatest gift of God to man.” (Russel M. Nelson)
“Ordinances and covenants become our credentials for admission into God’s presence.” (Russel M. Nelson, quoting President Packer, President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles)

What the Bible says:
Christ said, “Verily, verily, I say unto you he that heareth my word, and believeth on Him who sent me hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation: but is passed from death unto life.”  John 5:24
Notice the Bible does NOT say we must hear, believe, have washings and annointings done, be baptized, take out our endowments, get married and sealed, and obey commandments and covenants to have everlasting life.  It says that the only thing we need to do is BELIEVE GOD'S WORD. 
John 14:6 says, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”  This means that our way to eternal life is Jesus Christ, and ONLY Jesus Christ.  To make Hunter’s and Nelson’s comments biblically accurate, we need to replace the word “temple” with “Jesus Christ” ‘Jesus Christ is absolutely crucial; we cannot return to God’s presence without HimJesus Christ provides for reconciliation with the Lord…Jesus Christ becomes our credential for admission into God’s presence.’

RESTORATION?
The LDS Church claims that the “restoration” of Christ’s gospel through Joseph Smith includes the building of temples and performing temple ordinances. 
This is impossible for four reasons.
1.      The purpose of the temple in the Old Testament is for atonement of sin and worshipping God.  Only priests were allowed in the temple sanctuary, and only the high priest could enter the holy of holies.  People brought their animals to offer as a sacrifice to atone for their sin.  The high priest would pass through a tall, very thick curtain, or veil to enter the holy of holies.  There, he would intercede for the people and offer their sacrifice to God.  When Christ died, this huge, thick veil was torn from top to bottom.  God literally opened up the holy of holies to everyone.  Christ was the FINAL blood sacrifice.  He was also the FINAL high priest, offering that sacrifice to God on our behalf.  (Hebrews 4, 9, &10)  By reinstating priests, high priests, and temple ordinances, the LDS church is metaphorically “sewing back up the veil”.  They are placing the temple between God and the people again. 

2.      On the day of Pentecost, God sent His Holy Spirit to live inside all believers.  Our bodies are the temple that the Holy Spirit lives in now.  Collectively, all believers form a “temple” or “church”.  Christ does not have a temple of bricks or stone.  It is a body of believers, and made of people.  “Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?”  1 Cor. 3:16.  Peter describes Christians as “living stones” that God is using to build “a spiritual house”.  1 Peter 2:5

3.      The ordinances in the Old Testament temples were to atone for sins.  In other words, the temple was for sinners.  The atoning sacrifices were a foreshadowing of Christ.  The LDS church has this completely backwards, and requires members to first be righteous and worthy in order to attend the temple.

4.      The ordinances in Mormon temples have nothing to do with Biblical temples.  There were no endowments, sealings, or work for the dead in God’s temple.  The Mormon temples even have baptismal fonts in them.  Baptism is a New Testament ordinance.  The purpose of these fonts in the Old Testament temple was for ceremonial washing, which was required of the priests and high priests.
On pg. 26, Gordon Hinckley, 15th President of the LDS Church said that “Temples are houses of instruction”.  From personal experience, I know that this is true.  Members receive ordinances and instructions.  There is no sacrifice for sin, and no worship.
For these reasons, temples cannot possibly be part of a “restored” gospel of Christ. 
In fact, it contradicts the gospel of Christ. 

People are married in the temple so they can be “sealed” for eternity as a family.  This goes against what the Bible teaches.  The Sadducees were questioning Jesus. They posed a hypothetical situation about a woman who married each of seven brothers after the previous one died.  They asked who she would be married to after she was resurrected.  “Jesus said to them, "Is this not the reason you are mistaken, that you do not understand the Scriptures or the power of God? For when they rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven.” Mark 12:24-25

However, the LDS church teaches that marriages performed in the temple will last for eternity.
“When a man and a woman are married in [the] house of the Lord, they are joined not only for the period of their mortal lives, but for all eternity.  The couple so married has the assurance of divine revelation that their relationship and that of their children will not end with death but will continue in eternity provided they live worthy of that blessing.”  (Gordon Hinckley, 15th President of the LDS Church)

WORK FOR THE DEAD:
There is only one reference in the Bible to performing ordinances for the dead.  It is when Paul is trying to teach the Corinthians about resurrection.  They are having a hard time understanding it, and asking all kinds of questions about it.  He responds by referring to another group of people (not Christian believers) who can obviously understand that there is a resurrection – or else why would they do baptisms for their dead? 1 Cor. 15:29.   This is NOT teaching that it is a doctrine, or allowed by God in any way.  It was merely an illustration for Paul to make his point about resurrection.
In fact, the Bible teaches that we should not be dealing with the dead.  In Leviticus and Numbers, Moses explains that even touching a dead person makes one unclean.  In Deuteronomy 18:10-11, Moses denounces all sorts of acts that involve dealing with the dead.
Doing work for the dead involves incredibly lengthy genealogies.  1 Tim 1:4 has this to say about genealogies, “nor to pay attention to myths and endless genealogies, which give rise to mere speculation rather than furthering the administration of God which is by faith.”  
Yet Hinckley has this to say about work for the dead and genealogies:  “Through living proxies who stand in behalf of the dead, the same ordinances are available to those who have passed from mortality… It makes necessary a vast undertaking of family history research to find and identify those who have gone before.”

WORTHINESS
The LDS church claims that the ordinances performed in the temple are crucial for eternal life.  In other words, no one can get to heaven (the “Celestial Kingdom”) without having these ordinances performed.  Yet only the most righteous Mormons can go into the temple. You have to show a card called a “recommend”.  You get this recommend by passing through interviews with your local Mormon leaders.  Based on your answers to their questions, they determine if you are worthy to go to the temple. 
They ask about your personal conduct, worthiness (keeping the ten commandments), loyalty to the Church, loyalty to the officers of the Church, your moral cleanliness, whether you keep the Word of Wisdom, pay a full tithing, live in complete harmony with the teachings of the Church, and whether you maintain any affiliation or sympathy with apostate groups.  If you can appropriately answer all of the questions in the interview, these men will deem you “worthy” and give you a temple recommend.
(The word “worthy” was used 36 times in the October 2010 Ensign.  There were another 19 references being worthy using synonyms like “qualified, ready, obedient, keeping the commandments, in good standing, and eligible.”  That’s a total of FIFTY FOUR references to the requirement of being worthy.)
This places incredible and unnecessary pressure on the Mormon people!

How does the Bible tell us we are saved? 
In Ephesians 2:8-9 it says, “For it is by GRACE that we are saved, through FAITH.  And that NOT OF OURSELVES.  It is a gift from God, NOT OF WORKS, lest any man should boast.”  (Capitals added for emphasis)

I am embarrassed to admit it, but during the years I held a temple recommend, I also held arrogance in my heart.  Having a recommend proved that I was righteous, special, and WORTHY to be part of an elite group with access to secrets that those who were unworthy, and somehow lesser than me could not have access to.  I also believed that I had a ticket to eternal life that others were just not good enough to get.  I’m not saying everyone feels that way, but having associated in those circles, I can guarantee it wasn’t just me.
It’s even more embarrassing to realize how much the experience resembles Dr. Seuss’s book about the “star-bellied Sneetches”.  The stars were completely meaningless, but some character convinced the Sneeteches that they would be more important if they had one.  So they paid him money to print a star on their belly – then they walked around thinking they were much better than the Sneetches without stars on their bellies.  The story ends up in a big mess, and the only one who gained anything was the character who made all the money from the Sneetches.  I feel like having a temple recommend is just like buying a star for your belly.

The leaders of the LDS church replace Jesus Christ with the temple (among other things). 
Pg. 13, current president, Monson: “The temple lifts us, exalts us…” - Not Jesus.
Pg. 13, current president, Monson: “The temple provides purpose for our lives.”  - Not Jesus.
Pg. 15, Monson:  “The temple brings peace to our souls.”  - Not Jesus.
Pg. 30, Packer: (recommend interview questions) “… loyalty to the Church, and its officers” – Not to Jesus.
Pg. 35, Packer: “Temples are the very center of the spiritual strength of the Church.” – Not Jesus!
Pg. 35, Packer: “[the temple] is a good place to take our cares.”  - Not Jesus.
Pg. 36, Packer: “our labors in the temple cover us with a shield and protection.”  - Not Jesus.
Pg. 37. Hunter, 14th President: “All of our efforts in the Church lead to the holy temple.”  - Not Jesus.
Pg. 41, Nelson: “The temple is the object of every activity, every lesson, and every progressive step in the Church.” 
- NOT JESUS.

On May 18, 1873 (as recorded in the Journal of Discourses, Vol. 16 p. 46), Brigham Young issued a challenge:  “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 October 2010 issue of the Ensign, the LDS religion fails this test.


Sunday, September 5, 2010

September 2010 - Is Jesus Christ Enough?

Is Jesus Christ Enough?


  
John 14:6 says, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” The Bible teaches over and over that the only way to salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone. The Old Testament shows how God led His people under the law. They needed priests to atone for their sin. The New Testament shows how Christ fulfilled the law, and become our one and only high priest, doing away with the need for any other intercessors between us and God. We have all of God’s Word in the Bible, and it contains all we need to know for God’s truth and salvation. It is the plumb line we use to determine truth.
The LDS church leads people away from salvation by teaching that Jesus Christ is not enough. It teaches that we must rely on our own strength and willpower to obey the commandments – then Christ’s grace can make up the difference. It has minimized grace and put its members back under the bondage of the law by teaching them that they must obey laws and ordinances to have salvation. This is in direct opposition to what the Bible says: Gal. 3:24-25 “Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.”

The LDS church also emphasizes study of the Book of Mormon over the Bible. Again, leading its members away from God’s Word where they can find salvation and peace.

These are examples found throughout the September 2010 issue of the Ensign.

These first quotes are from the “First Presidency Message”:
THE BOOK OF MORMON AS A PERSONAL GUIDE
By President Henry B. Eyring, First counselor in the First Presidency
  •  “He [God] gave us the gift of His Beloved Son as our Savior to provide the path and to teach us how to follow it”. pg 4 (Henry B. Eyring, Sept 2010 Ensign)
The Savior’s purpose was not to provide a path that we then needed to follow. He lived a perfect life – a path that is impossible to follow. The purpose of Jesus Christ was to redeem us sinners and justify us before God. John 3:16-17 “ For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.”

The Bible does not say that ‘whosever believeth and follows the path provided by him…”. Nor does it say that ‘the world, by following His teachings might be saved.”

The teaching of Henry B. Eyring is that we must follow the path by our own strength. We do the work, (obeying the commandments), following the example of Christ.

The teaching of God, however, is that we must completely surrender our own strength, wisdom, and effort to Jesus Christ. He, then, transforms us from inside our heart, living through us – by no strength of our own. He did so much more than provide a path. Using the “path” analogy – Christ showed us the path, paved it, and then picks us up a carries us the full length of the path, because we are unable to walk it without constantly stumbling.

  •  “The Prophet Joseph Smith was inspired to translate the record of prophets that is the Book of Mormon. It is our sure guide on the way home to God.” pg 4 (Henry B. Eyring, Sept 2010 Ensign)

Eyring just explained that the Savior provided the path. If the Savior provided the path, why is the Book of Mormon ‘our sure guide’? The LDS church teaches that the Savior is not enough. They teach that the Book of Mormon is the sure guide on the way home to God. This is not what the Bible teaches. John 14:6 says, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” It doesn’t say ‘no man cometh unto the Father, but by me, and future books and prophets that I have yet to send.”

The Bible teaches that salvation is through Jesus Christ alone – and not additional sources.
  •  “Joseph Smith said of that precious book, ‘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 could get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts than by any other book.’” pg 4

Here is a link to an article by Sandra Tanner that shows the 3,913 changes that have been made to the Book of Mormon. http://utlm.org/onlinebooks/3913intro.htm The way Joseph described translating the golden plates, every single word was perfect before he moved on to the next word. When I was Mormon, I was not aware that there had been ANY changes. Most of these changes are grammatical changes. (But if Joseph confirmed every word to be perfect, it doesn’t make sense that even simple changes in spelling and grammar could occur.) There were also some very significant changes. The following is quoted from the article mentioned,
“One of the most significant changes was made in 1 Nephi 13:40. It was stated in this verse that the purpose of the Nephite records was to make known that Christ is the Eternal Father. In the first edition we read as follows:

"... These last records ... shall make known to all kindreds, tongues, and people, that the Lamb of God is the Eternal Father and the Savior ... " (Book of Mormon, 1830 edition, page 32)

In the 1964 edition it reads as follows:

"... These last records ... shall make known to all kindreds, tongues, and people, that the Lamb of God is the Son of the Eternal Father, and the Savior ..." (Book of Mormon, 1964 edition, 1 Nephi 13:40)”


Here are more ways Eyring reinforces the unbiblical doctrines of 1) relying on ourselves, and
2) books outside the Bible as God’s word. (pg. 4-5) (Henry B. Eyring, Sept 2010 Ensign)


  •  “The precepts of the Book of Mormon are the commandments of God we find in it. Some are direct commands from the Savior through His prophets as to what we are to do and what we are to become." 
  • “The Book of Mormon gives us the Savior’s example to increase our faith and determination to obey His command to follow Him.” 
  • “The book is filled with the doctrine of Christ to guide us.”
  • “…can we follow Jesus save we shall be willing to keep the commandments of the Father?”
  • “The book makes plain that we must receive the Holy Ghost as a baptism of fire to help us stay on the strait and narrow path.” 
  •  “Wherefore, IF ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life.” (2 Nephi 31:20) 
  •  “When our natures are changed by the power of the Atonement and through our faithful obedience to the commandments, we will be filled with the love of God.”  
  • “The Book of Mormon also gives us confidence that we can become so purified in this life that we have no more desire to do evil.”


The Book of Mormon is mentioned 23 times in this issue of the Ensign.
The Bible, only once.

Here are some more examples of how the LDS church teaches to rely on ourselves, our own works, and the Book of Mormon in addition to Christ and the Bible. These examples are found in the rest of the articles in the September 2010 Ensign.


  •   “I thank God for the matchless gift of His divine Son and for that beautiful experience of learning of Him and trying to become more like Him.” (pg 9)
  •  “His message was one of peace, love, and obedience to God’s commandments…He also taught that ordinances such as baptism, are necessary for us to return to our Heavenly Father.” (pg 10)
  •  “Marriage between a man and a woman is essential to His eternal plan and our eternal possibilities.” (pg 15)
  •   “When we cross a line and engage in immoral behavior… we lose that influence of the Holy Ghost in our lives…” (pg.16)
  •  “…we must be pure in heart to have the guidance of the Holy Ghost.” (pg. 16)
  •   “Teach them [youth] to focus on the temple and on being worthy to make and keep covenants.” (pg. 20)
  •   “…true joy comes from obeying…” (pg.25)
  •   “Focus sisters on increasing their faith and personal righteousness.” (pg. 35)
  •   “HOPE in the ordinances of the gospel” (pg 36)
  •   “I’ve tried to live my life this way [doing the Lord’s work]. I think that’s why the Lord has blessed me so much.” (pg 49)
  •   “But we knew that if we were faithful and paid tithing, doing what the Lord required, somehow things would work out.” (pg 51)
  •  “But it was also our commitment to studying the Book of Mormon and fasting that changed our lives.” (pg 51)
  •   “Sacrifice Brings Forth Blessings” (pg 52)
  •  “The scriptures, prayer, my journal, and the temple became my primary links to daily strength.”(pg 60)
  •   “… and I promised to live as close to the Spirit as I could so I would be worthy of His guidance and wisdom.” (pg 61)
  •  “I know Heavenly Father keeps His promises when we obey His commandments with all our heart.” (pg. 70)

On May 18, 1873 (as recorded in the Journal of Discourses, Vol. 16 p. 46), Brigham Young issued a challenge: “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 September 2010 issue of the Ensign, the LDS religion fails this test.