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Thursday, December 29, 2011

Adam and Eve Part 1: Who is Adam?


Adam and Eve Part 1:  Who Is Adam?
By Connie Raddon

“And the Lord appeared unto them, and they rose up and blessed Adam,
and called him Michael, the prince, the archangel.”  D&C 107:53-54


Color Key:
Quotes from the Mormon Teachings in blue.
Quotes from the Bible in red.


First of all, remember that Christians believe that the Word of God is contained in the Bible alone. 
So what does the Bible alone teach us about Adam?

Genesis 2:7  “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.”

That “breath of life” kick-started humanity.  (That living soul started with Adam, and was passed on to every one of his descendants.) 

Then… God put Adam into the Garden of Eden (Gen 2:16). 

Then… God made woman from Adam’s rib (Gen 2:18; 21).

Simply put, God created Adam out of the earth, and brought him to life.

What does Mormonism teach about Adam?

In one of the Mormon scriptures, the Doctrine & Covenants, section 107 teaches how the priesthood began to be handed down… “Three years previous to the death of Adam, he called Seth, Enos, Cainan, Mahalaleel, Jared, Enoch, and Methuselah, who were all high priests, with the residue of his posterity who were righteous into the valley of Adam-ondi-Ahman, and there bestowed upon them his last blessing.  And the Lord appeared unto them, and they rose up and blessed Adam, and called him Michael, the prince, the archangel.”  D&C 107:53-54

In the book, “LDS Beliefs” (published 2011) Brent L. Top explains, “Adam was known as Michael, the prince, the archangel…  Undoubtedly, the archangel joined with the Father and the Son in governing the kingdom of heaven and preparing the earth.  President Brigham Young taught that ‘Father Adam came to assist in organizing the earth out of the crude material that was found’ (Journal of Discourses, 16:167).  Likewise, President Joseph Fielding Smith taught:  ‘It is true that Adam helped to form this earth.  He labored with our Savior Jesus Christ’…

Just as Michael helped prepare the earth, so will the postmortal Adam play a deeply significant role in preparing the earth for the Second Coming and the ultimate triumph of God’s kingdom.  He ministered to the Prophet Joseph Smith…”  pg. 21
Let me just point out here that the Bible teaches that angels are a different species from man, so Adam would have to be a hybrid of some sort- which the Bible says absolutely nothing about.

(If you are subscribed to this blog, you will the article on Angels when it comes out, and there will be more information on this subject.)

The LDS scriptures also teach that the term, “Ancient of Days” from Daniel chapter 7 refers to Adam.

“…it is the place where Adam shall come to visit his people, or the Ancient of Days shall sit, as spoken of by Daniel the prophet.”  (D&C 116:1)

“Daniel, in his seventh chapter speaks of the Ancient of Days; he means the oldest man, our father, Adam, Michael…”  (Joseph Smith, History of the Church 3:386)

“This is one of the laughable and lamentable mistakes of Joseph Smith because the Bible is clear that this revelation refers to deity; namely, and uniquely, first to the Father, and then the Son – not Adam.”1

The second president and prophet of the LDS Church, Brigham Young taught that Adam was none other than God the Father, Himself.

“How much unbelief exists in the minds of the Latter-day Saints in regard to one particular doctrine which is revealed to them, and which God revealed to me – namely that Adam is our father and God”  (Brigham Young, Deseret News, June 18, 1873, p. 308)

Although Brigham Young proclaimed this to be DOCTRINE, the LDS Church today discourages its members to believe it, calling it only a theory.  They chose to carry on with the belief that Adam is Michael the archangel, instead.

(More references about these beliefs can be found at www.utlm.org)



I know the Mormon Church REALLY wants people to consider them to be Christian.  However, like most of their beliefs, the LDS belief about the Adam is NOT Biblical, and therefore, NOT consistent with Christian beliefs.


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.

On the subject of the Adam, the LDS religion FAILS this test.


1“Where Mormonism Meets Biblical Christianity Face to Face:  An A to Z Doctrinal Comparative between Mormonism and Biblical Christianity” by Shawn Aaron McCraney (2011)  pg. 7

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Aaronic Priesthood


The Aaronic Priesthood
By Connie Raddon

Color Key:
Quotes from the Mormon Teachings in blue.
Quotes from the Bible in red.


As with so many other Biblical terms, LDS leadership has taken “Aaronic Priesthood”, and created a completely different meaning for it.  They have twisted it and added to it so much that it’s not even recognizable as the Biblical priesthood it truthfully is. 

Let’s take a look at what the Aaronic Priesthood meant in the Bible…

First, the Aaronic Priesthood was hereditary and was non-transferable to anyone outside the descendants of Levi. 

In his book, “Where Mormonism Meets Biblical Christianity Face to Face”, Shawn McCraney explains this.

            “When Moses led the children of Israel out of Egypt, the ancient manner of “head-of-household” priests was still being observed by them.  But on Mount Sinai, a change in this ancient practice was made.  Exodus 28 teaches us that God had a hereditary priesthood take over.  The heritage assigned to the priesthood line was the tribe of Levi.

There are two important things to remember; first, there were priests in this hereditary priesthood; and second, there were high priests.  A man’s Levitical lineage determined the two.  You see, Levi had three sons whose names were Gershon, Merari, and Kohath (Genesis 46:11).  Kohath had a son named Amram (Exodus 6:18); and Amram had sons named Aaron and Moses (Numbers 26:59).

Got that?  ONLY those men who came from the Levi/Kohath/Amram/Aaron line could be high priests while the rest of the sons of Levi – the offspring of Gershon and Merari – acted as priests, subordinated to Aaron’s line in their temple duties.

How important were these hereditary lines in this priesthood?  Well, let me blow your  mind a bit here.  Not even JESUS himself, being from the tribe of Judah, could officiate in the Levitical priesthood duties as either a high priest or a priest.  Don’t believe me?   Hebrews 7:14   For it is evident that our Lord sprang out of Judah; of which tribe Moses spake nothing concerning priesthood.1


During the rebuilding of Solomon’s temple, some Aaronic priests returned from exile.  They could not find their family records to prove that they were in Aaron’s line, so they were excluded from the priesthood as unclean.  (Nehemiah 7:63-64)

So being in the correct line, and proving that lineage was absolutely essential for anyone to participate in the Aaronic priesthood.

Second, in the Bible, everything the Aaronic priests did was for the one and only purpose to point forward to the finished work of Jesus Christ.
           
“This leads us perhaps [to] the most important point relative to the misapplication of the Aaronic priesthood today by the LDS.  The Aaronic priests represented the people before God, and offered the various blood sacrifices which were all shadows of the coming Messiah!

Once a year, on the day of atonement, the high priest
·         Who came from the Kohath line of Levi,
·         Who had to be between 30 and 50 years of age,
·         Who had been purified ritualistically like no other,
·         Who had to be dressed in severely restricted and detailed ways,
·         And who would perform rites and rituals exactly as God commanded him…

…would enter the Holy of Holies alone and once a year offer sacrifice to God for the sins of the people as a type of the Messiah who was to come!  This was the reason it was on earth!  It pointed to the finished work of Jesus.”2


Now, what do the LDS say about the Aaronic Priesthood? 

In the LDS publication, “True to the Faith” says, “Joseph Smith… and his scribe Oliver Cowdery went into the woods to inquire of the Lord concerning baptism.  As they prayed, ‘a messenger from heaven descended in a cloud of light.’  This messenger was John the Baptist, the prophet who had baptized Jesus Christ centuries earlier.  John the Baptist, now a resurrected being, laid his hands on Joseph and on Oliver and conferred upon each of them the Aaronic Priesthood, which had been taken from the earth during the Great Apostasy.  With this authority, Joseph and Oliver were able to baptize one another. (See Joseph Smith – History 1:68-72)3

The LDS Church wants its members to believe that John the Baptist gave the Aaronic Priesthood to Joseph and Oliver without the slightest consideration as to whether or not they are descendants of Aaron.  In fact, the LDS Church doesn’t even pretend that Joseph and Oliver were in the lineage of Aaron, or even in the general tribe of Levi.  The Church acts like heredity doesn’t even matter anymore.

Not only that, but the Aaronic Priesthood had nothing to do with baptism, or any authority to baptize.  But according to Mormonism, it suddenly does?!?

“In the Church today, worthy male members may receive the Aaronic Priesthood beginning at age 12.”4

So any 12 year old boy who is considered “worthy” by his bishop can receive the Aaronic Priesthood.  (In Mormonism being worthy means you are keeping all the laws and ordinances of the Mormon Church – these include the 10 commandments, paying a full tithing, obeying the Mormon dietary laws called the “Word of Wisdom”, and supporting and sustaining all the LDS leaders, to name a few).

They believe that the Aaronic Priesthood is a “…lesser priesthood, which is a preparatory priesthood – preparing and training its worthy possessors to receive the Melchizidek Priesthood…”5

Remember that in the Bible, the sole purpose of the Aaronic Priesthood is to point forward to the finished work of Jesus Christ?  Well, in Mormonism the Aaronic Priesthood points forward to….the Melchizidek Priesthood – NOT CHRIST!  (More on the Melchizidek Priesthood coming up later this year in another article).

In the Bible, the Aaronic Priesthood had two positions – priest, and high priest – that’s all.  But in Mormonism, “the offices in the Aaronic Priesthood now include bishop, priest, teacher, and deacon…”6

Finally, in the book, “LDS Beliefs”, A.C. Skinner inserts the Aaronic Priesthood into a Biblical passage that has absolutely nothing to do with the priesthood.  He says, “The lesser priesthood was a ‘schoolmaster’ to bring or prepare Israel to understand and receive Christ (Galatians 3:24)7

Let’s take a look at Galatians 3:24-25… “Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith.  But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor.”

Some translations of the Bible use the word “tutor”, and some use the word, “schoolmaster”.  But either word refers to THE LAW – not the Aaronic Priesthood.  Even if “law” means “Aaronic Priesthood” (which it doesn’t), this verse says that it is a tutor to lead us to Christ where we are justified (made perfect) by FAITH.  Then once we have that faith, we no longer need the tutor!  So if the Aaronic Priesthood is this tutor, or schoolmaster, this verse says we no longer need it!  This is a perfect example of how the LDS Church inserts their own doctrines into the Bible without understanding what the Bible really teaches.  It just doesn’t make sense.

The LDS belief about the Aaronic Priesthood is NOT Biblical, and therefore, NOT consistent with Christian beliefs.


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.

On the subject of the Aaronic Priesthood, the LDS religion FAILS this test.


1“Where Mormonism Meets Biblical Christianity Face to Face:  An A to Z Doctrinal Comparative between Mormonism and Biblical Christianity” by Shawn Aaron McCraney (2011)  pg. 460-1
2  Ibid pg 463-4
3 “True to the Faith: A Gospel Reference”  published by the First Presidency of the LDS Church in 2004  pg. 3
4 Ibid pg. 3
5 “LDS Beliefs: A Doctrinal Reference” by Robert L. Millet, Camille Fronk Olson, Andrew C. Skinner, and Brent L. Top.  (2011),  pg 4
Ibid pg 5
Ibid pg 5

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


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


Work First, Atonement Second?
By Connie Raddon

One of the monthly sections of the Ensign is “We Talk of Christ”.  In the December issue, this article is written by Michael D. Woodbury. 

Woodbury states, “Because of the Atonement, I will be resurrected and any physical pain will be wiped away.  My wife, children, and I are sealed together as an eternal family.  The Atonement made that possible too.”

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

Woodbury goes on to say, IF we move forward with FAITH in our Savior as we pass through the TRIALS of life and ENDURE to the end, the Atonement will provide the path we need to follow, with the glorious promise of eternal life waiting at the end.”

Notice how all these things are based on what WE do.

WE have faith… WE pass through trials…WE endure to the end…

The “glorious promise of eternal life” that Woodbury refers to depends on…
1.      Moving forward with FAITH in our Savior. 
2.      Passing through the TRIALS of life.
3.      ENDURING to the end.

When the LDS leadership talk about “passing through trials” and “enduring to the end”, it’s not very clear what they mean.  When I was a Mormon, I understood that “enduring to the end” meant overcoming all the trials in life by remaining obedient to all the laws and ordinances of the Mormon Church.

The following paragraphs will explain what the Bible says about FAITH, passing through TRIALS, and ENDURING to the end.

FAITH: The Bible teaches that faith is something that we can’t get for ourselves.  It is a gift from God.  1 John 5:4  “For whatever is born of God overcomes the world.  And this is the victory that has overcome the world – our faith.”  Our faith is born of God.  We can’t even take credit for our faith because IT is a gift from God.

TRIALS: The article says that we must overcome our trials.  The Bible also teaches that we will have trials.  The difference is the LDS teach that you must overcome your trials in order to prove yourself worthy of the benefits of the atonement, and eternal life. The Bible, on the other hand, teaches that once you are born again, the Holy Spirit is with you always – renewing you and strengthening you.  All the glory and all the credit goes to God when you overcome a trial.  If you believe you overcome it on your own strength, all the glory and credit goes to YOU. 

Jesus is speaking to his disciples in John Chapter 15 about how we must rely on Christ.  John 15:5  “I am the vine, you are the branches.  He who abides in Me, and I in him bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.”  Trials are overcome with the power of God.  The glory is His.  We don’t deserve the credit, God does.

ENDURE:  Like I said before, most Mormons understand this to mean overcoming your trials on a continual basis by obeying all the laws and ordinances of Mormonism.  In the Bible, Paul speaks to the Philippians about how he has learned to be content no matter what happens.  Christ will give him whatever he needs.  Phil 4:13 “I can do all things through Chirst who strengthens me.”  We endure because God gives us every single thing that provides endurance.  To take any credit is to rob God of His glory.

So, this article explains that you must have faith, overcome your trials, and endure to the end FIRST.  THEN you will have earned, or been “worthy” to receive the benefits of the atonement.  And according to Woodbury, the atonement will provide the path.  This means your work is not finished.  The atonement only provides “the path we need to follow.” In Mormonism, following that path means to obey all the laws and ordinances of Mormonism, like going to the temple, paying a full tithing, obeying the Word of Wisdom (dietary laws), just to name a few. 

So let me point out that if the promise of eternal life comes to us after we have done all these things to earn it, then the credit and glory for this accomplishment would be ours.

The Bible says something very different:
Ephesians 2:8-9  “For by grace we are saved, through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, not of works, so that no one can boast.”  In the Bible, “saved” means the same thing as “eternal life”, or “exaltation” in Mormonism.  Paul is trying to teach the believers in Ephesis that they do not need to earn eternal life through obedience to laws.  He says that eternal life can’t come from works, because then people would be able to boast and take credit for it.

So once again, let’s review what Woodbury said.   “If we move forward with faith in our Savior as we pass through the trials of life and endure to the end, the Atonement will provide the path we need to follow, with the glorious promise of eternal life waiting at the end.”

He says the promise of eternal life comes after our trials, endurance, and obedience.  But the Bible says we can be saved right now… immediately… currently… in the present. 
John 5:24 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.”
This means that once you believe, or have faith, you have eternal life immediately.  You just happen to be spending the first few years of your eternal life here on earth. 

Notice how Jesus does not say that he who believes WILL HAVE everlasting life.  He says instead, he who believes HAS everlasting life, and HAS PASSED from death to life. 


The teachings in this article are NOT Biblical, and therefore,
NOT consistent with Christian beliefs.


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 2011 issue of the Ensign, the LDS religion FAILS this test.