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Saturday, February 18, 2012

The Law of Health

“The Lord Has Given Us A Law Of Health”
Compared to the Bible by Connie Raddon

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

One of the monthly sections of the Ensign is called “What We Believe”.  In the February 2012 issue, this article is entitled “The Lord Has Given Us A Law of Health”.  It is found on page 8-9.

The article begins, “One of the great blessings we received when we came to earth was a physical body.”  This refers to the LDS belief that we all existed in a pre-mortal life as spirits.  They also believe that the spirits who lived their pre-mortal life worthy enough, would get the blessing of coming to earth to gain a physical body.  (I want to stay on the topic of a law of health, so just as a side note: this belief is not consistent with what the Bible teaches, but I will go further into that in other articles.)

The Ensign continues, “Our bodies are holy and so important that the Lord calls them temples of God (see 1 Corinthians 3:16). 

So let’s take a look at 1 Cor. 3:16 “Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?”

This verse does indeed say that we are temples of God and that the Spirit of God lives inside us.  But the LDS Church mistakenly assumes this applies to everyone.  It does not.  1 Corinthians is a letter written by Paul, specifically to believers – those who have already accepted Christ and been born again.  You can find that easily when you turn back to 1 Cor. 1:1-2 where it says: “Paul, called as an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God… To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus, saints by calling, with all who in every place call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours.”

So as the Ensign claimed, yes, our bodies are holy temples – but ONLY after they have been sanctified in Jesus.  I hope that is understood very clearly:  It’s JESUS who makes us clean – nothing else.  (Especially not what we eat or drink, or refrain from eating or drinking.)

The Ensign article continues, “Because our Heavenly Father wants us to take care of our bodies, He revealed essential information on how to do so.  Much of this information is found in Doctrine and Covenants 89 and is known as the Word of Wisdom. 
            Here we learn several things we should and should not do to keep our bodies healthy.  The spirit of this law is to consume nutritious foods and to refrain from anything that is habit forming or harmful to our bodies.”

So basically the spirit of this law is to eat things that are healthy, and not eat things that are  harmful.  When I read this, I just shook my head with my forehead in my palms thinking to myself, I can’t believe I used to be so grateful for this “wisdom” that I was told to be from God!  Our simple common sense can figure out that eating nutritious foods is good for our bodies, and eating or drinking harmful substances is bad. 
It now seems not only ridiculous, but insulting to have to be told this as claimed revelation from God.  I can’t think of a louder way to scream to Mormons that they are not capable of thinking for themselves, and must look to their leaders to even know what they should and shouldn’t eat.

Just because something is wise to do or not do, does not mean that it is a revelation or a commandment from God.  Do we really need to be commanded, or have the LDS prophet receive a revelation for mothers to not give all their children maximum doses of Benadryl to help the kids fall asleep – NO!  We have common sense.  Do we need revelations to tell us to not get drunk and drive?  NO!  We have common sense.  

“Among the things the Lord commands us not to take into our bodies are alcohol and tobacco…”

This is contradicts what Jesus Himself did…
Matt 11:19: The Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, Behold a man gluttonous, and a winebibber…

Calling someone a “winebibber” back then was like calling them an alcoholic.  They were making exaggerations to falsely accuse Jesus.  We know Jesus ate – But His accusers called him “gluttonous” as an exaggeration.  We also know Jesus drank wine, but his accusers again exaggerated and called him an alcoholic.

John 2:9-10: When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was: (but the servants which drew the water knew;) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom, and saith unto him, ‘Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse; but thou hast keep the good wine until now.”
That was an account of the first miracle Jesus performed.  It was turning water into wine.  Not cheap wine, watered down, or anything like just grape juice, but the “good” wine, which meant the most fermented.

1 Timothy 5:23: No longer drink only water, but use a little wine for your stomach’s sake and your frequent infirmities.
Paul gave this instruction to Timothy for some kind of stomach problem Timothy was having: to not drink only water, but to use a little wine.

The Ensign article also says, “The Lord counsels us against the use of ‘hot drinks’ (D&C 89:9) Prophets have explained that this means coffee and tea…”
 (Quick question to consider:  Why wouldn’t the Lord explain to Joseph Smith that “hot drinks” meant coffee and tea when this supposed revelation took place?)

“Fruits, vegetables, and wholesome herbs are to be used ‘in the season thereof’ and ‘with prudence and thanksgiving’ (D&C 89:10-11)”

“Meat and poultry have been ‘ordained for the use of man with thanksgiving; nevertheless they are to be used sparingly. (D&C 89:12)”


Deuteronomy 14:26  “And you shall spend that money for whatever your heart desires; for oxen or sheep, for wine or similar drink, for whatever your heart desires; you shall eat there before the Lord your God, and you shall rejoice, you and your household.”

God is saying to eat and drink whatever you want – and glorify God in doing it.

In Matthew 15, Jesus is teaching the people about God’s commandments and man’s traditions:
Matt 15:11, 17-18  “Not what goes into the mouth defiles a man; but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man…Do you not yet understand that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and is eliminated?  But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man.”

Jesus is telling us that God is concerned and interested in what is in our hearts – not in our stomachs.

Paul explains it again in Romans 14:17  “For the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.”

1 Corinthians 8:8  “But food does not commend us to God; for neither if we eat are we the better, nor if we do not eat are we the worse.”

See how the Bible teaches that what we eat or drink does not matter to God?  What does matter is that we have given our heart over to Jesus Christ, our Lord, God, and King.  Once we have done that, all our sins are forgiven – past, present, and future – so what we eat can’t make even a tiny dent in the surety of our eternal life in heaven. 

Actually, the LDS law of health (Word of Wisdom) is a very good idea in a lot of its points – eating meat sparingly, eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, avoid addictive substances and other harmful things.  But instead of just being a suggestion, the LDS Church makes your salvation depend on obedience to it.  You cannot go to the temple if you do not obey the Word of Wisdom.  If you can’t go to the temple, you cannot get sealed to your spouse for eternity, or perform ordinances that the LDS leaders claim are required for salvation. 

When I was a teenager, my dad was the bishop of our ward.  He told me that bishops hold a high calling of being “judges in Israel”.  Part of what that meant was that bishops should interview members at least once a year to make sure they are still worthy to attend the temple.  After the member answers all the interview questions, the bishop is to judge the worthiness of the member.  One of these questions is “Do you keep the Word of Wisdom?”  Another one is “Do you keep the Sabbath Day holy?”

With that in mind, let’s take a look at Colossians 2:16…
“So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or Sabbaths.”

I think that’s pretty clear – no man on earth has the right to judge us based on what we eat or drink.  Sorry, bishops, but according to the Bible, you are out of line.

I would challenge you, if you are LDS, to study this further.  Read Romans 14 – the entire chapter, and ask yourself – is the Word of Wisdom from God?  Or is it invented by men as another rule you must follow to be a good Mormon?

The teachings in the February 2012 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 2012 issue of the Ensign, the LDS religion FAILS this test.

Resources used for this article:
The Word of God (The Bible)- King James Version and New King James Version
The LDS magazine, “The Ensign”
“Where Mormonism Meets Biblical Christianity Face to Face” by Shawn Aaron McCraney
My research parter, Art Haglund.

Thank you also to my husband, Ken, who sacrifices time with me while I study and write,  and provides proofreading and editing services!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Angels: What are They?

By Connie Raddon

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

Although one’s understanding about Angels is not essential for salvation, I wanted to write a comparison to point out that even in some of the smaller details (like the nature and purpose of angels), Mormonism and Biblical Christianity contradict each other. 

What Does the Bible Say?

The word translated as “angel” in the Hebrew is “malak”; in Greek it is “angelos”.  Both mean “messenger”.  It can be used to describe
·         Human Being Messengers: 1 Sam 11:3; Job 1:14; Luke 7:24, 9:52
·         Prophets:  Isaiah 42:19; Haggai 1:13
·         Priests:  Malachi 2:7
·         Non-human agents (used figuratively):  Ex 14:19; 2 Sam 24:15-17; Psalm 104:4

However, in the Bible, the most common use for “angel” refers to specific spiritual and superhuman beings who are sent to humans as messengers from God.  The Bible describes the characteristic of these spiritual and superhuman beings:
·         They have a personal existence: 
o   Gen 16:7-11 – An angel speaks with Hagar in a two-sided conversation
o   Judges 13:2-21 – An angel has a conversation with Manoah and his wife
o   Matt 28:2-7 – An angel speaks to the women at Jesus’ empty tomb.  He is described “his appearance was like lightning, and his clothing as white as snow”.
·         They are very numerous:
o   Daniel 7:10 “Thousands upon thousands were attending Him”.
o   Matt 26:53  “…more than twelve legions of angels”.
·         They have different ranks in dignity and power:
o   Zech 1:9-11 “These are those whom the Lord has sent to patrol the earth”.
o   Daniel 12:1 “…Michael, the great prince who stands guard over the sons of your people…”
o   1 Thess 4:16 “For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God…”
o   Eph 1:21 – Christ is above all – “far above all rule and authority and power and dominion…”
o   Coloss 1:16 For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers of authorities – all things have been created through Him and for Him.”
·         They are spirit:
o   Hebrews 1:14 “Are they not all ministering spirits…?”
·         They appear to man in human form:
o   Luke 24:4 “While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men suddenly stood near them in dazzling clothing”

“We know angels never die (Luke 20:36) and they possess superhuman intelligence and power (Mark 13:32; 2 Thess 1:7; Psalms 103:20).  We know their strength is great, which could be a result of not being confined to a physical nature (Psalms 103:20; Rev 5:2, 18:21)  We also know their activities are described as ‘marvelous’ (Isaiah 6:2-6; Matthew 26:53; Rev 8:13)”1

“There are no reports of angelic appearances to man until after the call of Abraham.  And then from that time onward there are frequent references to their ministry on earth. 

Then Jesus was born.

And here we are introduced to what we call the ministrations of angels. It sort of seems like Jesus brought them with Him to earth and they came with their King to do him service while He was here.”2

“So there’s the Biblical view.  In summary, angels are a creation of God, superior to human beings in power, might, and ability, who govern the affairs of heaven and earth, and the final state of the redeemed humanity is said to the ‘like’ them.

Bottom line in Mormonism:  they are all human beings in some state of progression or another.  The LDS completely discount the Biblical idea that angels are a completely different species from humans, created in heaven for heavenly purposes.”3

What Does Mormonism Say?

“Angels are not, as traditional Christians aver [believe, declare], special creations of God.  Rather, they are human beings who minister for the Lord.  An angel may be a resurrected being (D&C 129:1); a translated being; an unembodied spirit, one who has not yet taken a physical body; a disembodied spirit, one who has lived and died and now awaits the resurrection…”4

“Indeed, one of the signs of the times, and one of the spiritual indicators of a people’s worthiness, is the extent to which angels continue to minister, inasmuch as ‘it is by faith that the angels appear and minister unto men; wherefore, if these things have ceased wo be unto the children of men, for it is because of unbelief’ (Moroni 7:37)

‘The keys of the ministering of angels’ were restored by John the Baptist on 15 May 1829 (D&C 13:1).  Further, the ministry of angels is a gift of the Spirit (Moroni 10:14), a gift the Saints of God are encouraged to seek (D&C 46:8).”5

The LDS scriptures  teach that if a man and woman do not get married in the temple, (with the LDS priesthood authority), they will not be sealed together but instead they will only be as the angels – like it is a form of punishment – and they will not be able to progress any further.

“Therefore, if a man marry him a wife in the world, and he marry her not by me nor by my word, and he covenant with her so long as he is in the world and she with him, their covenant and marriage are not of force when they are dead, and when they are out of the world; therefore, they are not bound by any law when they are out of the world.  Therefore, when they are out of the world they neither marry nor are given in marriage; but are appointed angels in heaven, which angels are ministering servants, to minister for those who are worthy of a far more, and an exceeding, and an eternal weight of glory.  For these angels did not abide my law; therefore, they cannot be enlarged, but remain separately and singly, without exaltation,  in their saved condition, to all eternity; and from henceforth are not gods, but are angels of God forever and ever”  D&C 132:16-17

“Angels are those beings who have been on an earth like this, and have passed through the same ordeals that we are now passing through.  They have kept their first estate far enough to preserve themselves in the Priesthood.  They did not so violate the law of the Priesthood and condemn themselves to the sin against the Holy Ghost as to be finally lost.  They are not crowned with the celestial ones.  They are persons who have lived upon an earth, but did not magnify the Priesthood in that high degree that many others have done who have become Gods, even the sons of God.  Human beings that pertain to this world, who do not magnify or are not capable of magnifying their high calling in the Priesthood and receive crowns of glory, immortality, and eternal lives, will also, when they again receive their bodies, become angels and will receive a glory.  They are single, without families or kingdoms to reign over.  All the difference between men and angels is, men are passing through the day of trial that angels have already passed through.  They belong to the same family that we do; but they have proven themselves worthy only of an exaltation to the state of angels, whereas we have the privilege of obtaining not only the same exaltation they enjoy, but of going further until we become Gods, even the songs of God.”  (Brigham Young, January 5, 1860, Journal of Discourses 9:102-103

Those without eternal marriage may be angels.  Now, the angels will be the people who did not go to the temple, who did not have their work done in the temple.  And if there are some of us who make no effort to cement these ties, we may be angels for the rest of eternity.  But if we do all in our power and seal our wives or husbands to us… then we may become gods and pass by the angels in heaven.  Some might say, ‘Well, I’d be satisfied to just become an angel.’ But you would not.  One never would be satisfied just to be a ministering angel to wait upon other people when he could be the king himself.”  The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball (12th President of the LDS Church), pg. 51

“God, angels, and men are all of one species, one race, one great family, widely diffused amont the planetary systems as colonies, kingdoms, nations, etc.”  LDS Apostle, Parley P. Pratt, Key to the Science of Theology 1978, pg 21

Mormons claim they are Christian.  However, the LDS belief about angels 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 Angels, 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. 14-15
Ibid pg 15-16
3 Ibid pg 16-17
4LDS Beliefs: A Doctrinal Reference” by Millet, Olson, Skinner, and Top;  Robert Millet is the author of the section on Angels in this book.  Pg. 36
5 Ibid pg. 36
Other Sources used for this article:
The New STRONG’S Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible
The New UNGERS Bible Dictionary
“In Their Own Words – A Collection of Mormon Quotations” Compiled by Bill McKeever
The Book of Mormon (LDS Scripture)
The Doctrine & Covenants (D&C) – (LDS Scripture)