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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?
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".

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.

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.