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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