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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

Thursday, April 4, 2013

The Holy Ghost Comforts, Inspires, and Testifies


“The Holy Ghost Comforts, Inspires, and Testifies”
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.

In the April 2013 issue of the Ensign, the section “What We Believe” is about receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost.  It is on pg. 10-11.

The article describes what the Holy Ghost does: “...the Holy Ghost comforts, inspires, warns, purifies, and guides us… He teaches ‘the truth of all things’… we receive revelation and spiritual gifts from God through the Holy Ghost… we receive our testimonies of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ through the Holy Ghost.”

Hooray!  We have a moment that LDS teachings are fairly consistent with the Bible! 

However... LDS teachings go on to contradict the Bible.  The article says “Before you were baptized, you could feel the Holy Ghost from time to time.  But only by receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost after your baptism could you enjoy the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost, provided you are worthy.”

Baptism does not need to come first.  Here is an example in the Bible where people received the Holy Spirit first, and then they got baptized second.

“While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who were listening to the message.  All the circumcised believers who came with Peter were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also.  For they were hearing them speaking with tongues and exalting God.

Then Peter answered, ‘Surely no one can refuse the water for these to be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we did, can he?’ And he ordered them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ.”  Acts 10:44-48

But much more important than the order of baptism and receiving the Holy Spirit is the idea that you can have the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost “provided you are worthy.”

The LDS call this the “gift” of the Holy Ghost.  What kind of a “gift” is that?  It’s not really a gift at all.  You can only have it when you have earned it.  If that’s the case, then for my daughter’s birthday, I think I’ll get her a brand new car – as soon as she earns the money to pay for it.  Nice gift, right?  NO!  That’s not a gift at all.

Another problem with this teaching is that the LDS Church teaches its members that they can actually BE worthy. 

The Bible says, “There is none righteous, not even one.”  Romans 3:10 

So do LDS leaders teach their members to just ignore the Bible?  Or maybe just ignore the parts that they don’t like?  Or do they teach that God didn’t really mean that verse?  Or do they teach that there are none righteous, except Mormons who are trying their best? 

Either way, it’s denying the word of God.

If anyone thinks that their good works or obedience to laws and ordinances makes them worthy… or if they think they could possibly be without sin for even a fraction of a second…the Bible tells them they are lying.  Therefore, they are sinning, so they are not worthy anymore.

“If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us.”  1John 1:8

The article goes on to say, “ Because the Spirit of the Lord doth not dwell in unholy temples, (Helaman 4:24) we must be worthy of His companionship.”

This is not how the Bible says we get the Holy Spirit in us (by being worthy).  The Holy Spirit enters into a believer the moment he or she exercises a saving faith in Christ.  And the Holy Spirit stays there forever. 

“However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you.  But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him.”  Romans 8:9

This is saying that if you do not have the Holy Spirit, you do not belong to Christ.  So if LDS teachings are right, and you don’t always have the Holy Spirit with you, but only have it when you’re “worthy”, then you don’t belong to Christ most of the time.  Or at least some of the time.  (None of the time, if you truly understand that you cannot ever be worthy.)  So I ask Mormons – Who do you belong to during those times when you are a little short of being worthy and the Holy Spirit isn’t dwelling in you?

After the resurrected Jesus spent time on earth with his disciples, he promised “…I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”  Matthew 28:20

Was Jesus lying?  Because he isn’t here with us.  No, he was not lying… he sent the Holy Spirit to be with us.  He is with us through the Holy Spirit.  He did not say he would be with us only at the times we are worthy.  He said he would be with us ALWAYS.

To the LDS reader:  Have you entered into that saving faith? Have you been born again?  Please trust God and His word to teach you truth.


The teachings in the April 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 April 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”
Unger’s Bible Dictionary

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Born of Water and the Spirit


“We Must Be Born of Water and of the Spirit”
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.

In the February 2013 issue of the Ensign, the section “What We Believe” is about being baptized and receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost.  It is on pg. 14-15.


The article begins, “We believe we must be baptized and receive the gift of the Holy Ghost (through an ordinance called confirmation) to be saved in the kingdom of heaven.

The LDS Church teaches that there are requirements to be saved in the kingdom of heaven.  Right here they mention two – the ordinances of baptism and confirmation. 

However, the Bible teaches that we are saved by grace alone – not by grace plus ordinances.

“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.”  Eph 2:8-9

Another way to say that we are saved in the kingdom of heaven is to say that we are justified.  Justified means to be made perfectly righteous in the eyes of God. 

“Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ…” 
Gal 2:16

When the LDS leaders teach that you MUST do something (like be baptized) in order to be saved in the kingdom, they are making it a law.  The Bible teaches that the law does not save us, but faith in Christ alone saves us. 

The article goes on to say, “The Savior taught, ‘Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God’. (John 3:5)”

The LDS Church teaches that “born of water” means the ordinance of water baptism, and “born of the Spirit” means the ordinance of confirmation, or receiving the Holy Ghost.  However, when we study that verse in context, we find it to mean something different.  Here is the text that surrounds the quoted verse– where Nicodemus is confused about how a man can be born a second time.

“Jesus answered  and said to him, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.  Nicodemus said to Him, ‘How can a man be born when he is old?  He cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born, can he?’
Jesus answered, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.  That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.’”  John 3:3-6

When Jesus explains it to Nicodemus, he says “born of water”.  And then he clarifies, “born of flesh.”  Therefore, “born of water” means “born of flesh”.  In other words, it means when we are born physically into this world.  And being “born again” means to be born of the Spirit.  Jesus is not talking about baptism.

“The Lord also taught that the ordinance of baptism – like all other gospel ordinances – must be performed by a worthy priesthood holder…”

This idea is exclusive to the LDS religion.  It’s fine if they believe that ordinances are required for salvation, or that the priesthood was restored, or even believe that it’s somehow possible for any priesthood holder to be “worthy” – HOWEVER, the LDS Church claims to be Christian, and claims that they believe in the Bible.  Therefore, this is a contradiction in their claims. 

First of all, the Bible teaches that no one is “worthy”. 

“What then?  Are we better than they?  Not at all; for we have already charged that both Jews and Gentiles are all under sin; as it is written, ‘There is none righteous, not even one’.”
Romans 3:9-10

Second, the priesthood of the Bible (the one that the LDS Church claims to have been restored only to them) was given to the descendants of Aaron.  It was the lineage that was required – not righteousness or worthiness.  Also, the priesthood of the Bible has nothing to do with baptism.  The purpose of the Biblical priesthood was for a high priest to make animal sacrifices to cover the sins of the people.  The priests and high priests had ceremonial washings in order to prepare for these sacrifices, but they had nothing to do with baptism, or confirmation.

I’m thrilled to point out that this next sentence in the article is Biblically accurate! 

“Baptism by immersion symbolizes the burial of the sinner and the spiritual rebirth of the person to live in ‘newness of life’.” (Romans 6:4)

Baptism is just that – a symbol.  It’s an outward symbol of what has happened on the inside – that we have died in our old self, and become united with Christ to become a new creature. 
(2 Cor. 5:17)  It is not, however a requirement for salvation.  It is something new believers do to obey and be identified with Jesus.  It’s just a symbol.

But then the LDS Church adds some kind of “covenant” that is not found anywhere in the Bible.

“Baptism also includes a sacred covenant, a promise, between Heavenly Father and the individual who is baptized.  We covenant to keep His commandments, serve Him and His children, and take upon ourselves the name of Jesus Christ.  He promises to forgive our sins, ‘pour out his Spirit more abundantly upon [us]’ (Mosiah 18:10), and offer us eternal life.”

What this means is that once you are baptized, if you break any of the commandments, God is no longer under a covenant to forgive you, give you the Holy Spirit, or offer you eternal life.  What a heavy, crushing burden to bear!  The only way around this is to delude yourself into thinking that you can actually keep all the commandments all the time. I’m sure there are many people who are comfortable with living in that delusion for now.  But the eternal consequence of that choice is NOT heaven.   The Church does offer a process of repentance – but that is a topic that needs its own article because it, also, a burden on the people, lengthy to describe, and impossible to really do.

The final note of the article is this:  “By baptism and confirmation we become ‘fellow citizens with the saints’ in the ‘household of God’.”  (Ephesians 2:19)

If we read this verse in context, it actually disproves that baptism and confirmation are what bring us into the household of God.

Ephesians 2: 11-19
“Therefore remember that formerly you, the Gentiles in the flesh… that you were at that time separate from Christ… But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.

(Read that one more time – were we brought near by baptism and confirmation?   No – BY THE BLOOD OF CHRIST.)

For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups [Jews and Gentiles] into one and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall, by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law of commandments contained in ordinances…

Jesus abolished the enmity. 
What was the enmity?  The Law of commandments. 
What was the Law of commandments contained in?  Ordinances!

…so that in Himself He might make the two into one new man, thus establishing peace, and might reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross… So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household.”

The leadership of the LDS Church has continued to teach that the ordinances of baptism and confirmation are required for entrance into the kingdom of heaven.  The Bible teaches that they are not.  Being united with Jesus Christ is the entrance. 

The teachings in the February 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 February 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”