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Readers also enjoyed. About David A. David A. Reed served for a decade as a contributing editor of Dr. His most recent include Come, Follow Jesus! Books by David A. They will be forever single, without their family members. Neither the Father nor Jesus Christ will visit them, but they will be visited by the Holy Ghost Doctrine and Covenants , Mormons believe hell is a place where the future inhabitants of the Telestial Kingdom the lowest heaven will suffer for their own sins; though their punishment is not eternal in duration.
As Joseph Fielding Smith wrote,. These, however, must suffer in hell the torments of the damned until they pay the price of their sinning, for the blood of Christ will not cleanse them" Doctrines of Salvation , vol. Those who received the Mormon gospel and the Holy Ghost but reject both will be cast into outer darkness.
Like the biblical doctrine of an eternal hell, assignment here is for all eternity Doctrine and Covenants , This is the initial ceremony of the temple. Through this ceremony individuals are believed to be endowed with divine power and special protection. One can participate in this ceremony either when embarking on a Mormon mission, or when seeking to obtain a celestial marriage. This is marriage for time and all eternity. Mormons believe this practice will allow them to live with their family members in the life hereafter.
Celestial marriage is essential to attaining godhood. Worthy Mormons who attain exaltation godhood will, in this married state, be able to procreate spirit children to populate their own planetary system, just as their heavenly parents have. Mormon youth often participate in this ceremony. The practice of baptism for the dead is the driving force behind Mormon genealogical research, for which they are widely known. The purpose is to gather the names of people who did not have an opportunity to become Mormons in their earthly lives, and to be baptized on their behalf.
Mormons Answered Verse by Verse
The Word of Wisdom is a set of dietary rules that faithful Mormons are expected to obey. These rules are commonly summarized as abstaining from caffeinated drinks, tobacco products, alcoholic drinks, and illegal drugs. Mormons, in order to achieve the celestial kingdom, are expected to abide by the Word of Wisdom. The original revelation also allowed the consumption of meat only in the winter, and then only sparingly. Most Mormons take no heed of this and other elements of the Word of Wisdom.
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Doctrine and Covenants , Section Comparison Chart. Many Gods Joseph Smith taught, "I have always declared God to be a distinct personage, Jesus Christ a separate and distinct personage from God the Father, and that the Holy Ghost was a distinct personage and a Spirit: and these three constitute three distinct personages and three Gods " Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith , ; emphasis added. There is only one true God Deuteronomy ; Isaiah ; 1 Corinthians God is spirit, not an exalted man with flesh and bone John ; Luke ; Hosea ; Numbers God does not change Malachi , nor does he grow in knowledge Isaiah There is none like him, he is unique, he is the only true God Exodus ; 2 Samuel ; Isaiah ; ; , ; ; 1 Corinthians Note that though Jesus, being God, did become human in his incarnation [John , 14], this is quite different from a man progressing to become a god.
Humans Can Become Gods Joseph Smith taught, "Here, then, is eternal life to know the only wise and true God; and you have got to learn how to be Gods yourselves, and to be kings and priests to God, the same as all Gods have done before you" Ibid. Man is a created being, unlike God who has always been Genesis God will not share his glory with another Isaiah Humans Were Procreated in the Preexistence M. Russell Ballard wrote, "Before the world was created, we all lived as the spirit children of our Heavenly Father [and Mother]. Through a natural process of inheritance we received in embryo the traits and attributes of our Heavenly Father" Ballard, Our Search for Happiness , Mormons also infer this from the preexistence of Jesus Christ.
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Our existence begins in the womb of our mothers Psalm Humans cannot compare themselves to Jesus and his preexistence, for they are not deity by nature, as is Jesus. He preexisted because he is God Isaiah ; John ; ; Philippians Jesus alone is from heaven, we are from the Earth John , 31; A Complete Apostasy of the Church M. Russell Ballard wrote, "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints teaches that God's full authority was lost from the Earth for centuries following the mortal ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ… In short, the church Christ organized gradually disintegrated, and the fullness of the gospel was lost" Ibid.
The Church Remains Forever In Matthew Jesus declared, "I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
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While there are several passages that refer to an apostasy, it is never said to be a universal or complete apostasy e. Rather, we know that God will be glorified in the Church throughout all ages Ephesians , and that Christians have received a kingdom that cannot be shaken Hebrews ; cf. Daniel Hinckley wrote, "Latter-day Saints recognize that errors have crept into this sacred work because of the manner in which the book has come to us. Moreover, they regard it as not being complete as a guide" Hinckley, What of the Mormons? We know that his word is true John , contains wisdom unto salvation, and thoroughly equips Gods people for every good work 2 Timothy God has given us everything we need for life and godliness 2 Peter First, He conquered death, and as a result all people will have the privilege of everlasting life with a resurrected body.
Second, He suffered the burden and pains of our sins so that we might have the privilege of eternal life in the presence of God if we have faith in Christ as our Savior and choose to repent of our sins and keep His commandments" Ballard, Our Search for Happiness , Salvation is Based on the Righteousness of Christ The Bible never interprets mere resurrection as salvation John Those who receive Jesus will have eternal life, but the wrath of God remains on those who reject him John While Christians are called to keep God's commandments e.
John , salvation is in no way based on our own righteous deeds Ephesians ; Titus It is through the atonement of Christ that we are made perfect Hebrews The atonement took place, not in the Garden of Gethsemane but through his blood shed on the cross Colossians ; 1 Peter Heaven s There are three heavenly kingdoms: the celestial, terrestrial and telestial.
Heaven The context of 1 Corinthians is the contrast between resurrection celestial or heavenly and pre-resurrection terrestrial or Earthly bodies, not heavenly kingdoms. The Bible does speak of three heavens: the atmospheric heaven, where birds fly and from which the rains fall Genesis ; ; the astronomic heaven, where the stars and planets reside Genesis , 15; ; and the third heaven, the throne of God Matthew ; Revelation Hell Joseph Fielding Smith wrote, "Those who live lives of wickedness may also be heirs of salvation, that is, they too shall be redeemed from death and from hell eventually.
These, however, must suffer in hell the torments of the damned until they pay the price of their sinning, for the blood of Christ will not cleanse them" Smith, Doctrines of Salvation , vol. Hell One's abode in hell is as eternal as one's abode in heaven Matthew There is no second chance after death Hebrews At the final judgment, men either receive the resurrection of life or the resurrection of condemnation Daniel ; John they are assigned either to heaven or hell.
In order to be equipped to witness to our Mormon friends we need to know what we believe. It is one thing to focus our attention on what Mormons believe, it is quite another to understand clearly what the Bible teaches. In light of this, it is important that you, as a Christian, are in a habit of studying Gods word, attending a strongly biblical church, and praying for God to grant you wisdom in your witnessing opportunities.
It is easy for Christians to become overly defensive and negative toward Mormons and their claims. But this temptation must be avoided. Second Timothy provides clear guidelines for us:. Mormonism, like other pseudo-Christian religions, uses Christian vocabulary but does not use a biblical dictionary.
For this reason, confusion can arise while witnessing. Always be prepared to ask, "What do you mean by that? It has been said, that if a Mormon continually agrees with you, either they do not know what their church teaches or you have not defined your terms. Clear definitions of terms are essential for good communication.
Look at the accompanying chart to see some of the definitional differences between Mormonism and Christianity.
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An important skill in witnessing is asking probing and insightful questions. By asking questions you can find out if an individual Mormon agrees strictly with the church's teaching or if he has a personal twist on Mormon doctrine. Also, because Mormons often feel persecuted, it is important to avoid blunt or direct statements as much as possible. These will only cause them to become more defensive. Finally, by asking questions you help Mormons arrive at their own conclusions, rather than forcing conclusions at which you have arrived.
Well list some questions in the text below. Seek to understand Mormon culture: the importance of family, church authority, and personal perfection. It is important as you witness to Mormons that you seek to understand what they believe, why they believe it, and exactly how they believe it. It is best to simply ask individual Mormons about their beliefs. For example, find out how he or she became a Mormon, if their family members are Mormons, how they determine truth, and if they understand the differences between Christian doctrine and Mormon doctrine.
Was there really a great apostasy? Did the true Church die out so we now need a restoration the Mormon Church being the true Church restored? The biblical response is clear. In Matthew , Jesus declared,. Could Jesus have been wrong? Therefore, how could he fail? See also: Ephesians ; Hebrews ; and Daniel Mormons will use a variety of passages to support their belief in a complete apostasy e. But none of these actually teaches a universal apostasy; they only teach a limited falling away.
Make sure you read these passages aloud when Mormons refer to them. What about the Mormon priesthood authority?
Is it biblical? Not at all.
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The Aaronic priesthood was to be held only by those of the tribe of Levi Numbers This priesthood was fulfilled by the atonement of Christ Hebrews ; ; thus, making this priesthood no longer valid or necessary. In the Old Testament, there was generally only one high priest. What the book of Hebrews teaches is that Jesus has fulfilled the Aaronic priesthood meaning it is no longer in effect , and that he has permanently taken the position of high priest.
Since he will never die, he will have no successors Hebrews 7. Thus he is of the order of Melchizedek, without beginning or end of days. We need no other high priest no other mediator 1 Timothy So where do Christians get their authority? Directly from God. John teaches that those who receive Christ are given authority exousia, the same word used of Christ in Matthew We have been adopted as Gods children, therefore we are co-heirs with Christ.